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supposed to have derived his information from Peter); only it is unfortunate for his argument that the expressions he quotes are not peculiar to Mark, being also found in Matthew.

To readers of the Boyle Lectures for 1863, and works of similar character, the notion of any book of the New Testament being forged may be a novel one, but let them turn to the above-mentioned work of Neander's, and they will find it stated, fol. 204, "Such forgeries were not at all uncommon in this century” (the second ?), “and the authors were very adroit in justifying such deceptions, for the purpose of giving currency to certain principles and opinions.

The Second Epistle of Peter, though professing to have been written by an apostle, is of no use to us as evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, because of its uncertain authorship; we will therefore dismiss it from the present inquiry. As to the other disputed books, the Epistles of James and Jude, and the Apocalypse, they do not profess to have been written by apostles, by witnesses of the life and resurrection of Jesus, and therefore will not serve any purpose of evidence thereof, except to confirm the fact—which, however, does not need confirmation—that a belief in Jesus' resurrection existed before the year 70.

The three Epistles of John are also anonymous, and their apostolic origin is widely questioned ; and the nine professing the authority of Paul, besides that to the Hebrews (so often ascribed to him), being rejected by the Tübingen school of criticism, and, even if genuine, containing nothing more of import to our inquiry than is to be found in the fouradmitted Epistles, may also be dismissed from our consideration. And on similar grounds the Acts of the Apostles should be set aside from the ranks of the witnesses for Jesus.

* See also Strauss, in “Life of Jesus for the People,” vol. i. pp.

148, 149.

Of the nineteen disputed books of the New Testament there now remains but the First Epistle of Peter to be noticed by us; and, besides the fact that its genuineness is questioned by many competent to judge, it may be doubted whether it affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus at all, since, according to some translators, it states (iii. 18), that he was "made alive in spirit.” * It is not to be questioned that Peter did actually believe in a resurrection of Jesus from the dead, either bodily or only spiritual.

Turning now to the four Epistles of Paul before named, which, according to Baur, "bear in themselves so incontestably the character of Pauline originality that it is not possible for critical doubt to be exercised upon them with any show of reason,” it must be admitted that they contain evidence not to be excluded from any inquiry concerning the reality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; but, as it is not certain that Paul had ever seen Jesus during his life, we shall reserve any notice of these till we treat of the events subsequent to the crucifixion.

* The revisers have “ being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit.”

We have next to consider what knowledge of Jesus is accessible to us in the four biographies termed

Gospels." Each of these affirms, amid other matters, the reality of the two great events, which, as we have said, require the confirmation of such weighty and uncontradicted evidence. We therefore, as before, commence by asking, who were the authors of these books?

We are informed by Paley,* “ The received author of the first was an original apostle and emissary of the religion. The received author of the second was an inhabitant of Jerusalem at the time, to whose house the apostles were wont to resort, and himself an attendant upon one of the most eminent of that number. The received author of the third was a stated companion and fellow-traveller of the most active of all the teachers of the religion, and in the course of his travels frequently in the society of the original apostles. The received author of the fourth, as well as of the first, was one of these apostles. No stronger evidence of the truth of a history can arise from the situation of the historian than what is here offered. The authors of all the histories lived at the time, and upon the spot. The authors of two of the histories were present at many of the scenes which they describe, eye-witnesses of the facts, ear-witnesses of the discourses." Thus Paley ; but since his day, what giant strides have been made in the field of Biblical criticism ! What eminent critic will now affirm that the first

Evidences,” vol. i. p. 117.



three Gospels were written respectively by Matthew, Mark, and Luke? The Johannine authorship of the fourth is also very widely questioned. The first three, called from their similarity the Synoptic Gospels, are now admitted by all moderate and well-informed theologians to be, more or less, of the nature of compilations, and to be void of the stamp of personal testimony to the events they record. For example, we are told by M. de Pressensé, of the Orthodox Section of the French Reformed Church,* "All those who have not gone into the question with an inflexible bias have agreed to place the composition of our three first Gospels between the years 71-80, and to see in our canonical narratives the reflection of an anterior tradition. The time allowed is very short, as it appears to us, for such a legendary manipulation of facts as should have entirely transformed them.”

It will be remembered that the Boyle Lecturer for 1863 stated, that even the modern critics opposed to Christianity admitted that “All the books of the New Testament were the productions of the authors whose names they bear"; but if we take up the Boyle Lectures of three years later (1866) by the well-known Professor (now Dean) Plumptre, we find, on pp. 39 and 40, comparing the Gospels with the Pentateuch and the historical books of the Old Testament, he says, “ So three out of the four bear every mark, in their agreement and their differences, of having been compiled, in like manner, from that diffused tradition, and

* See p. 142 of “ Jesus Christ,” Annie Harwood's translation.

those many memoirs of the life of Christ. How far the names which the prescriptive tradition of the Church has affixed to the four Gospels indicate actual authorship, has been, and may be, questioned. The substance of the books themselves contains no statement by the writer as to his own name and position ; and the names affixed by transcribers are not in themselves more convincing than the headings, often doubtful, of the Psalms, or the notes, often misleading, appended to St. Paul's Epistles."

Mr. Sanday, in his work written at the request of the Christian Evidence Society," says, p. 151, “The

* theory that we have in the second Gospel one of the primitive Synoptic documents is not tenable.” And of the first he says, p. 152, “It is both secondary, and secondary in a lower stage than St. Mark: it has preserved the features of the original with a less amount of accuracy."

We thus see that the ground taken by Paley, in reference to the authorship of the Synoptic Gospels, has been abandoned as no longer tenable ; and, however pardonable ignorance of this fact might have been in 1863, it may be presumed no future Boyle Lecturer will put forth a statement similar to that quoted from Canon Garbett, since even in so widely diffused a work as that of Canon Farrar's “Life of Christ,” we find the fragmentary nature of the Synoptic Gospels distinctly affirmed, thus: “The Gospels are, of their very nature, confessedly and designedly fragmentary,

“ The Gospels in the Second Century." Macmillan, 1876.


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