William Kelly Major Works Commentary
Part 1 of An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke
Edited with annotations, by E. E. Whitfield.
(The reference figures, relate to the notes respectively so numbered in the Appendix - luke_app.doc.)
"All flesh shall see the salvation of God." - Luke 3:6.
The late William Kelly, for many years editor of the serial entitled The Bible Treasury, left in it a set of papers covering the whole of the Gospel according to Luke, for reproduction in collected form. The editor of the present volume, which carries out that intention, has used as Introduction a section of the same writer's "God's Inspiration of the Scriptures," which was published a short time before his decease, has added marginal references to parallel passages of the other Gospels, and has supplied critical apparatus in footnotes, as well as a full index immediately following the Exposition. The translation of the biblical text has been derived mainly from the same source as that used in editing a companion volume on the Gospel according to Mark. Where, in references to the Revised Version in the numbered Notes, any difference exists between the English and the American "Standard" edition (1901), attention is called to this for the convenience of Transatlantic readers. The portions in bold type in the exposition, are peculiar to Luke's record; though this indication is typical, not systematic.
As in the current editions of Mr. Kelly's Expositions of the Gospels, severally according to Mark and John, a sequel of notes has been subjoined, for which the editor alone is responsible. These may show the bearing of this Exposition of the Third Gospel upon critical views largely developed since the papers first appeared, and will in other respects put the reader in possession of the various phases of thought upon the composition and history of Luke's Gospel in particular, the literature for which is very extensive. The notes are in general harmony with the expositor's point of view; much in them results from conversations and correspondence with him during a friendship of some thirty-five years. Reference to this part may be aided by the Summary of Contents prefixed to it, which should, in the first instance, be read continuously.
As a venerable German professor of the first rank has remarked in correspondence with the present writer, much of the criticism of the Gospels in which his countrymen indulge "strikes out that which is inconvenient to it, and drags in that which has not the support of a single word in the text." Criticism is of little value unless independent of academical tradition, however imposing, or of ecclesiastical authority, however dogmatic; and every one must in these days have the courage of his own convictions. But there may at least be general agreement as to what is morally weakening; progress in its highest department must not be sacrificed to that of any lower. In the closing index will be found reference to treatment of "Difficulties" under that head.
The Third Gospel being a mine of material for homiletic as well as mission work, constant reference has been made in Part 2 to discourses of notable preachers in comments on prominent passages of this precious record.
Mr. Kelly, who was mighty in the Scriptures, helped believers much. In like spirit to that in which he himself sent forth such books, the present volume is commended to the gracious blessing of God, "without Whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy," that He may use it, to the glory of Christ, for the profit of souls.
E. E. W.
l. SUMMARY OF CONTENTS.*
*From Bible Treasury, Sept., 1900 (pp. 139-144), reproduced in God's Inspiration of the Scriptures."
The third Gospel is distinguished by its display of God's grace in man, which could be only and perfectly in the "Holy Thing" to be born and called the Son of God.1 Here, therefore, as the moral ways of God shine, so is manifested man's heart in saint and sinner. Hence the preface and dedication to Theophilus, and the Evangelist's motives for writing; hence also the beautiful picture of Jewish piety in presence of Divine intervention for both forerunner and Son of the Highest to accomplish promise and prophecy, as announced by angels (Luke 1.). The last of the Gentile empires was in power when the Saviour was born in David's city, and Jehovah's glory shone around shepherds at their lowly watch that night when His angel proclaimed the joyful event and its significant token, with the heavenly host praising as they said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, in men complacency" (or good pleasure). God's Son, born of woman, was also born under law, the seal of which He duly received; and the godly remnant seen in Simeon and Anna, that looked for Jerusalem's redemption, testified to Him in the spirit of prophecy; while He walked in the holy subjection of grace, with wisdom beyond all teachers, yet bearing witness to His consciousness of Divine Sonship even from His youth (Luke 2.).
In due time, marked still more explicitly by the dates of Gentile dominion and of Jewish disorder, both civil and religious, John comes preaching, not here the kingdom of the heavens, nor yet the kingdom of God, but a baptism of repentance for remission of sins. He alone and most appropriately is quoted from Isaiah's oracle, "All flesh shall see the salvation of God"; here only have we John's answers to the inquiring people, tax-gatherers and soldiers; and here too is stated anticipatively his imprisonment, but also the baptism of our Lord; and here only is given His praying, when the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him, and the Father's voice was heard, "Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee am I well pleased." And the genealogy is through Mary (as she throughout is prominent, not Joseph as in Matthew) up to Adam, as becomes the Second Man and Last Adam (Luke 3.). It may help if it be seen that "being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph" is parenthetical, and that "of Heli, of Matthat," etc., is the genealogical line from Mary's father upward.
Then follows His temptation, viewed morally, not dispensationally as in the first Gospel; the natural, the worldly, and the spiritual. This order necessarily involved the omission in Luke 4:8, which ignorant copyists assimilated to the text of Matthew. The critics have rightly followed the best witnesses, though none of them appears to notice the evidence it renders to plenary inspiration. Divine purpose is clearly in it. Thereon He returns to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and at Nazareth in the synagogue He reads Isaiah 61:1-2 (omitting the last clause strikingly), and declares this scripture fulfilled "today" in their ears. In that interval, or within the acceptable year, Israel as it were goes out, and the Church comes in where is neither Jew nor Gentile, but Christ is all and they one new man in Him. Then when His gracious words were met by unbelieving words on their part, He points out the grace of old that passed by Israel and blessed Gentiles. This kindled His hearers to murderous wrath even then, whilst He, passing through the midst of them, went His way. At Capernaum He astonished them publicly with His teaching, and cast out an unclean spirit in the synagogue, as He brought Peter's mother-in-law immediately to strength from "a great fever," and subsequently healed the varied sick and demoniacs that were brought, while He refused their testimony to Him. And when men would detain Him, He said, "I must announce the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for therefore was I sent" (Luke 4.). It is a question of the soul yet more than of the body.
In connection accordingly with preaching the Word of God, we have (Luke 5) the Lord, by a miracle that revealed Him, calling Simon Peter (who judged himself as never before) with his partners, to forsake all and follow Him: an incident of earlier date, but reserved for this point in Luke. The cleansing of a man full of leprosy follows, and after the healing of multitudes He retires and prays; but as He afterwards is teaching in presence of Pharisees and law-doctors, He declares to a paralytic the forgiveness of his sins, and, to prove it, bids him arise, take up his couch, and go to his house, as the man did forthwith. Then we have the call of Levi, the tax-gatherer, and a great feast with many such in his house; but Jesus answers all murmurs with the open assertion of His coming to call sinners to repentance, as He defends the actual eating and drinking of His disciples by their joy in His presence with them: when taken away, they should fast. In parable He intimates that the old was doomed, and that the new character and power demand a new way; though naturally no one relishes the new, but likes the old.
Luke 6 shows first, the Son of Man Lord also of the Sabbath, and secondly the title to do good on that day, which filled them with madness against Him. Next, going to the mountain to pray all night to God, He chose twelve and named them apostles, with whom He came down to a plateau, healing all that came under diseases and demons. Then He addresses them in that form of His discourse which falls in perfectly with our Gospel. The great moral principles are there, not in contrast with law as in Matthew, but the personal blessedness of His own, and the woes of such as are not His but enjoy the world. Another peculiarity is that Luke was led to give our Lord's teaching in detached parts connected with facts of kindred character; whereas Matthew was no less Divinely given to present it as a whole, omitting the facts or questions which drew out those particulars.
Then in Luke 7 He enters Capernaum, and the healing of the centurion's slave follows. Luke distinguishes the embassy of Jewish elders, then of friends when He was near the house; but the dispensational issue was left to Matthew. The raising of the widow's only son at Nain yet more deeply proves the Divine power He wields with a perfect human heart. It was high time for John's disciples to find all doubts solved by Jesus, Who testifies to the Baptist's place instead of being witnessed to by him. Yet was wisdom justified of all her children, as the penitent woman finds from the Lord's lips in the Pharisee's house. Everywhere it was Divine grace in man; and she tasted it in the faith that saved, and in the grace that bade her go in peace.
In Luke 8 we see Him on His errand of mercy, followed not by the twelve only but by certain women healed of wicked spirits and infirmities, who ministered to Him of their substance. And the Lord addresses the crowd in parables, but not of the Kingdom, as in Matthew; after that He designates His true relations to be those that hear and do the Word of God. The storm on the lake follows, and the healing of Legion in the details of grace, as well as of the woman who had a flux of blood, while He was on the way to raise the daughter of Jairus.
Luke 9 gives the mission of the twelve empowered by and like Himself, and sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God, with its effect on Herod's bad conscience. The apostles on their return He leads apart, but, being followed by a hungry crowd, He feeds about 5,000 men with five loaves and two fishes multiplied under His hand, while the fragments left fill twelve hand-baskets. After praying alone, He elicits from His disciples men's varying thoughts of Him, and Peter's confession of His Messiahship (Matthew recording much more). For this He substitutes His suffering and His glory as Son of Man: they were no more to speak of Him as Messiah. Deeper need had to be met in the face of Jewish unbelief. The transfiguration follows with moral traits usual in Luke, and the Centre of that glory is owned Son of God. When the Lord and His chosen witnesses come down, the power of Satan that baffled the disciples yields to the majesty of God's power in Jesus, Who thereon announces to them His delivery into men's hands, and lays bare to the end of the chapter the various forms that self may assume in His people or in pretenders to that place.
Then we have in Luke 10 the seventy sent out two and two before His face, a larger and more urgent mission peculiar to Luke. On their return, exultant that even the demons were subject to them in His name, the Lord looks on to Satan's overthrow, but calls them to rejoice that their names are written in the heavens. To this our Gospel leads more and more henceforth. His own joy follows, not as in Matthew dispensationally connected, but bound up with the blessedness of the disciples. Then the tempting lawyer is taught that, while those who trust themselves are as blind as they are powerless, grace sees one's neighbour in every one who needs love. The parable of the Samaritan is in Luke only. The close of the chapter teaches that the one thing needful, the good part, is to hear the Word of Jesus. It is not only by the Word that we are begotten; by it we are refreshed, nourished, and kept.
But prayer hereon follows ("as He was praying") (Luke 11), not only because of our need, but to enjoy the God of grace Whose children we become through faith; and in His illustration He urges importunity. Here again we have an instructive example of the Divine design by Luke as compared with that in Matthew 6. His casting out a dumb demon to some gave occasion to blaspheme, whereon He declares that he who is not with Him is against Him, and he who gathers not with Him scatters: a solemn word for every soul. Nature has nothing to do with it, but the grace that hears and keeps the Word of God. So did the Ninevites repent, and the Queen of Sheba come to hear; and a greater than Solomon and Jonah was there. But if light is not seen, it is the fault of the eye; if it is wicked, the body also is dark. Then to the end the dead externalism of man's religion is exposed, and the woe of such as have taken away the key of knowledge, and their malice when exposed.
Luke 12 warns the disciples against hypocrisy, and urges the sure revelation of all things in the light, with the call to fear God and to confess the Son of Man, trusting not in themselves but in the Holy Spirit. It is no question now of Jewish blessing; and He would be no judge of earthly inheritances. They should beware of being like the rich fool whose soul is required when busy with gain. The ravens and the lilies teach a better lesson. The little flock need not fear, but rid themselves rather of what men covet, and seek a treasure unfailing: if it is in the heavens, there will the heart be. And thence is the Lord coming, Whom they were habitually and diligently to wait for. Blessed they whom the Lord finds marching! Blessed he whom the Lord finds working! To put off His coming in heart is evil, and will be so judged. But the judgment will be righteous, and worst of all that of corrupt and faithless and apostate Christendom. Whatever His love, the opposition of man brings hate, and fire, and division, not peace meanwhile. His grace aroused enmity. Judgment came and will; as, on the other hand, He was baptized in death that the pent-up floods of grace might flow as they do in the Gospel.
With the Jews on the way to the judge, and about to suffer from God's just government (at the end of the chapter before), the Holy Spirit connects in Luke 13 the question of what had befallen the Galileans. Here the Lord pronounces the exposure of all to perdition, except they repented. The parable of the fig-tree tells the same tale; respite hung on Himself. In vain was the ruler of the synagogue indignant for the Sabbath against Jehovah present to heal; it was but hypocrisy and preference of Satan. The Kingdom about to follow His rejection was not to come in by manifested power and glory, but, as under man's responsibility, from a little seed to wax a great tree, and to leaven the assigned measure, wholly in contrast with Daniel 2, 7. Instead of gratifying curiosity as to "those to be saved" (the remnant), the Lord urges the necessity of entering by the strait gate (conversion to God); seeking their own way they would utterly fail. So He would tell them He knew them not whence they were, in the day when they should see the Jews even thrust out, and Gentiles sitting with the fathers, last first and first last, in the Kingdom of God. Crafty as Herod was, it was Jerusalem He lamented, the guiltiest rejecter alike of God's government and of His grace, yet not beyond His grace at the end.
Hence Luke 14 points out unanswerably the title of grace in the face of form, and its way of self-renunciation, which will be owned in the resurrection of the just, not by the religious world which is deaf to God's call to the great supper. But if the bidden remain without, grace fills it not only with the poor of the city, but with the despised Gentiles. Only those who believe God's grace are called to break with the world. Coming to Christ costs all else: if one lose the salt of truth, none more useless and offensive.
In Luke 15 the Lord asserts the sovereign power of grace in His own seeking of the lost one, in the painstaking of the Spirit by the Word, and in the Father's reception and joy when he is found; as self-righteousness betrays its alienation from the Father and contempt for the reconciled soul.
Then Luke 16 describes parabolically the Jew losing his place; so that the only wisdom was, not in hoarding for self but in giving up his master's goods, to make friends with an everlasting and heavenly habitation. Practical Christianity is the sacrifice of the present (which is God's) to secure the future (which will be our own, the true riches). Pharisees, being covetous, derided this; but death lifts the veil that then hid the true issue in the selfish rich tormented, and the once suffering beggar in Abraham's bosom. If God's Word fail, not even resurrection would assure. Unbelief is invincible, save by His grace.
As grace thus delivers from the world, so it is to govern the believer's walk, who must take heed to himself, rebuke a sinning brother, and if he repent, forgive him even seven times in the day (Luke 17.). Faith is followed by answering power. But the yoke of Judaism, though still existing, is gone for faith, as the Lord shows in the Samaritan leper, who broke through the letter of the law, rightly confessed the power of God in Christ, and went his way in liberty. The Kingdom in His person was in the midst of men for faith. By-and-by it will be displayed visibly and judicially; for such will be the Son of Man (now about to suffer and be rejected) in His day, as in those of Noah and Lot, far different from the indiscriminate sack of Jerusalem by Titus.
Luke 18 shows prayer to be the great resource, as always, so especially when oppression prevails in the latter day, and God is about to avenge His elect, and the question is raised if the coming Son of Man shall find faith on the earth. After this the Lord lets us see the spirit and ways suited to the Kingdom in the penitent tax-gatherers contrasted with the Pharisee, and in the babes He received, not in the ruler who, not following Jesus, because he clave to his riches, lost treasure in heaven. Yet he that leaves all for His sake receives manifold more now, and in the coming age life everlasting. Lastly, the Lord again announces His ignominious death, but His resurrection.
Then (verse 35) begins His last progress to Jerusalem and presentation as David's Son; and the blind beggar, invoking Him so, receives his sight, and follows Him, glorifying God.
Zacchaeus in Luke 19, chief tax-gatherer and rich, is the witness of yet more - the saving grace of God. But the Lord is not going to restore the Kingdom immediately, as they thought; He is going to a far country to receive it and to return; and when He does, He will examine the ways of His servants meanwhile entrusted with His goods, and He will execute judgment on His guilty citizens who would not that He should reign over them. Next He rides to the city from the Mount of Olivet on a colt, given up at once by the owners; and the whole multitude of the disciples praise God aloud for all the powers they have seen, saying, "Blessed be the coming King in Jehovah's name: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." It is strikingly different from the angels' praise at His birth; but both in season. Pharisees in vain object, and hear that the stones would cry out if the disciples did not. Yet did He weep over the city that know not even then the things that made for its peace, doomed to destruction because it knew not the time of its visitation. The purging of the temple follows, and there He was teaching daily; yet could not the chief priests and the chiefs of the people destroy Him, though seeking it earnestly.
Then in Luke 20 come the various parties to judge Him, really to be judged themselves. The chief priests and the scribes with the elders demand His authority; which He meets with the question, "Was John's baptism of Heaven or of men?" Their dishonest plea of ignorance drew out His refusal to tell such people the source of His authority. But He utters the parable of the vineyard let to husbandmen, who not only grow worse and worse to their lord's servants but killed it last his son and heir, to their own ruin according to Psalm 118:22-23, adding His own solemn and twofold sentence. Next, we have His reply to the spies who would have entangled Him with the civil power; but as He asks for a denarius, and they own Caesar's image on it, He bids them render to Caesar Caesar's things, and to God the things that are God's; and they were put to silence. The heterodox Sadducees followed with their difficulty as to the resurrection; whereon He shows that there was nothing in it but their ignorance of its glorious nature, of which present experience gives no hint. Resurrection belongs to the new age, to which marriage does not apply. Even now all live to God, if men cannot see. The Lord closes with His question on Psalm ex., how He Whom David calls his Lord is also his Son. It is just Israel's stumbling-stone, ere long to be Israel's sure foundation. Then the chapter concludes with His warning to beware of those who affect worldly show in religion, and prey on the weak and bereaved, about to receive, spite of long prayers, judgment all the more severe.
Luke 21 begins with the poor widow and her two mites of more account than the richest in the offertory. Then, in correction of those who thought much of the temple adorned with goodly stones and offerings, the Lord predicts its approaching demolition, though the end was not to be immediately. But He cheers and counsels His own meanwhile. From verses 20 to 24 is the siege under Titus, and its consequences to this day. Verse 25 and the following look on to the future. The Gentiles are prominent; whence we have, "Behold the fig-tree and all the trees" in verse 29. Observe also "this generation," etc., in verse 32, is in the future part, not in what is fulfilled. Lastly, verses 34-36 give a moral appeal. Here again we find Him teaching in the temple by day, and every night lodging at Olivet.
The last Passover approached (Luke 22) and found the chief priests and the scribes plotting, when Judas Iscariot* gave them the desired means. On the day of sacrifice He sent Peter and John to prepare, and the Lord instructed them divinely when and how: for as He said, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer," and its cup He bade them take and divide it among themselves. Then He institutes His supper. As yet He had given no sign to mark the traitor, though He had long alluded to the fact. But alas! they were even then contending which of them would be accounted greatest; whilst He explains that such is the way of the Gentiles and their kings, whilst they were to follow His example - "I am in the midst of you as he that serveth." Yet He owns their continuance with Him in His temptations, and appoints to them a kingdom. He tells Simon of Satan's sifting, but of His supplication that his faith should not fail, and bids him, when turned again, or restored, to stablish his brethren. After further warning Peter, He clears up the change from a Messianic mission to the ordinary ways of Providence in verses 35-38, and then goes out to the mount and passes through His agony with His Father (39-46) while the disciples sleep. Then a crowd comes, and Judas draws near to kiss, and the Lord lays all open. He heals the high priest's bondman, whose right ear was cut off; but remonstrates, yet allows Himself to be taken Who could have overwhelmed them with a word. Peter denies Him thrice. The men revile the Lord with mockery and blows; and as soon as it is day, He is led to the Sanhedrin, and when asked if He is the Christ, He tells them of the place the Son of Man will take, and owns Himself Son of God.
*It is quite general here in verse 3: "And [not Then] Satan entered into Judas." The precise time is shown in John 13:27, where then is expressed; here the statement is general, as often in the third Evangelist. So in 24: 12, it should be And or But, not Then. (B.T.)
Before Pilate in Luke 23 the effort was to prove Him a rival of Caesar; but though confessing Himself the King of the Jews, Pilate found no fault in Him. The connection with Galilee gave the opportunity for a compliment to Herod, who got not a word from the Lord; but after, with his soldiers, insulting Him, he sent Him back, when Pilate again sought to release Him, as neither he nor yet Herod found evidence against Him. But the Jews only the more fiercely demanded a seditious murderer to be released, and Jesus to be crucified. Still Pilate made a last effort. But their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that what they asked for should be done. Such is man; and such is religious man, even more wicked: "Jesus he delivered up to their will." Simon of Cyrene had to prove the violence of that hour; and Jerusalem's daughters lamented with wailing. But the Lord bade them weep for themselves and for their children, and proceeded to Calvary where He was crucified, and the two robbers on either side. There He prayed His' ' Father to forgive them, as rulers scoffed and soldiers mocked. Even one of those crucified kept railing on Him; but the other became a monument of grace, confessing the Saviour and King, when others forsook and fled. The centurion too bore testimony to Him; and if they made His grave with the wicked, the rich was there in His death, and with Pilate's leave His body was laid in a tomb hewn in stone where never man had yet lain. It was Friday, growing dark, and Sabbath twilight was coming on. And the Galilean women who saw Him laid there returned and prepared spices and unguents. Little did they know what God was about to do; yet they loved Him in Whom they believed.
On the first day of the week at early dawn the women came (Luke 24), but found the stone rolled away from the tomb and the body gone; and two in dazzling raiment stood by them to their alarm, who asked, "Why seek ye the Living One among the dead? He is not here, but is risen"; and they recalled to their minds His words in Galilee, now fulfilled in His death and resurrection. Even the apostles disbelieved. And Peter went, and saw evidences and wondered. Then we have the walk to Emmaus with all its grace and deep instruction from the Scriptures, not for those disheartened men only, but for all time and all believers. Next the Lord makes Himself known in the breaking of bread (the sign of death), and at once vanishes. For we walk by faith, not by sight. On returning to Jerusalem they hear how He had appeared to Simon; and as they spoke, the Lord stood in their midst, bade them handle Him and see (for they were troubled), and even ate to reassure them of His resurrection. He speaks further and opens their minds to understand the Scriptures; a distinct thing from the power of the Spirit they were to receive in due time. No going to Galilee is introduced here; it is exactly suited to Matthew's design. Here Jerusalem is prominent, which was avowedly most guilty. So repentance and remission of sins "were to be preached in His name, unto all the nations, beginning with Jerusalem." There too they were to tarry till clothed with power from on high. But thence, when the day arrived, He led them out over against Bethany, and blessed them with uplifted hands; and, while blessing them, He parted from them and was borne up into heaven.
(E. E. Whitfield)
(Appendix to 'An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke')
Notes on the Introduction.
1 The third Gospel, exclusive of the Prologue or Preface, may be divided into four sections (cf. Moffatt): (i.) Luke 1: 5 - 4: 13, the preliminary period; (ii.) Luke 4: 14 - 9: 50, the Galilean Ministry; (iii.) Luke 9: 51 - 18: 30, the Ministry in Samaria and Perea; (iv.) Luke 18:31 - end, the closing Judean Ministry with the last supper, the Lord's trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
It also admits, including the Prologue, of division into seven parts (cf. Garvie): (i.) Luke 1 and 2, the annunciation, the birth and childhood of the Baptist and of the Lord; (ii.) Luke 3:1-38; Luk 4:1-13, early preaching of the Baptist, and the Baptism and Temptation of the Lord; (iii.) Luke 4: 14 - 9: 50, the Lord's Galilean ministry; (iv.) Luke 9: 51 - 18: 30, His ministry in Galilee and Perea; (v.) Luke 18: 31 - 21: 38, closing Judean ministry, including the Prophecy on Olivet; (vi.) Luke 22 and 23, the last supper, trial and death; (vii.) Luke 24, the resurrection and ascension. Godet would make the fourth of these end at 19: 28, and the fifth begin, accordingly, with Luke 19:29 (so R. G. Moulton, "Modern Readers' Bible").
Renan's praise of this Gospel as "the most beautiful book in the world" ("The Gospels," p. 283) has often been reproduced. As Westcott says, the "narrative begins with hymns and thanksgivings, and ends with blessings and praises." It is the Gospel which has the fullest details of the Lord's life on earth: often circumstantially informing us (when the first Gospel does not) the occasion upon which He spoke the words recorded (e.g., "the Lord's Prayer"). Most readers are struck with the frequency of the mention of Prayer (Luke 3:21, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18; Luk 9:29; Luke 10:2, Luke 11:13, Luke 24:49), as also of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41; Luk 1:67; Luke 2:25; Luk 2:27; Luke 4:10; Luk 4:14; Luk 4:18; Luke 10:21, Luke 11:13, Luke 24:49). For other links with John's Gospel, like the last named, as in Luke 9:51, Luke 11:42, Luke 12:21, Luke 22:26 f., see Harnack, "Luke the Physician," p. 224 ff. Readers of Bernard's "Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament" (pp. 42-44) will know of the distinction made between Luke and Matthew and Mark, that while these set forth the kingdom with reference rather to the past and present respectively, this Gospel views it largely in the light of the future.
"Christ," says Canon Wilson, "is seen here as the teacher of individual souls" ("Studies," etc., p. 66); but that the same writer goes too far in stating that the parables here have no bearing on the Kingdom (p. 67) will be shown in notes below.
Being the Gospel of the "Son of Man," it is characterised, as the Expositor remarks, by many specially human traits, such as the development of the Lord's mind and body. Differences in character are portrayed, as Herod's curiosity and Pilate's indecision. Dante has spoken of the writer as "the scribe of the gentleness of Christ," his tenderness comes out in sympathy with women and children (Luke 7:12, Luke 9:38; Luk 9:42; Luke 23:28 f.), as well as with the poor. The expository literature upon it is exceedingly rich, and this Gospel has always been a much used instrument in the hands of preachers.
2 Three questions arise in connection with study of any Book of the Bible: (i.) as to the authorship and the materials ("sources") used by the writer, to which those engaged in the higher internal criticism address their inquiries; (ii.) as to the authority attaching to the Book, which is concerned with inspiration, and also with interpretation; (iii.) as to its genuine text, which is the inquiry of textual, external criticism (cf. Barry, p. 28). To each of these topics some remarks will be devoted, as introductory to such study of the Gospel.
First, as to the authorship of the third of the Gospels, which, like the rest, is anonymous. This has been traditionally ascribed to LUKE; in the manuscript copies that have come down to us, the shortest form of title, "according to Luke," is borne by the two oldest, the so-called "Sinaitic" () and "Vatican" (B). The Apostle Paul names in his Epistles, as a close companion in his labours, a Luke, described by him as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). Comparison of the Preface to the Gospel with the introductory words of the "Acts of the Apostles" - also traditionally connected with the name of the same writer - in which (Luke 1:1) reference is made to a "former treatise," seems to determine the authorship without dispute, for, although the later book does not name its writer, the common style and dedication support the belief that these two books were produced by one and the same person, each of them affording indication that he was a physician.
It was not until the last century that the traditional view was questioned, as by De Wette and Baur of a past generation, and by Jülicher amongst living scholars, who have contended that the writer of the Acts could not have been the Luke intimate with Paul (Col., ibid., Philem. 24, 2 Timothy 4:11), because of the alleged contrast between the Apostle's own account in his Epistles of his attitude towards the Jewish party and the way in which that is presented in Acts 15, alongside of the fact, practically acknowledged by all, that the two books were from the same hand (see Bp. Hervey, Lect. 4, on "The Authenticity," etc.). The traditional view, however, has within the last few years received the unhesitating support of Harnack; of old it would seem never to have been doubted. The Muratorian Fragment (circ. 170 A.D.) calls Luke the writer of this Gospel, and a "Medicus"; Irenaeus (circ. 180), in his treatise against Heresies, iii. 1, says that "Luke, Paul's companion, recorded in a book the gospel preached by him"; and Tertullian (circ. 200), in his treatise against Marcion, iv. 2 and 5, speaks of Luke as author. So also the contemporary Clement of Alexandria.
The name Lucas (Lucanus) is not to he confounded with Lucius (Acts 13:1). Eusebius ("Ecclesiastical History," iii. 4) describes our Evangelist as by birth, "of those from Antioch" (cf. Jerome, "Life"); but see Westcott, "Introduction to Study of Gospels," p. 233, note. Eusebius' words may mean only that Luke had a family connection with that city; so Ramsay ("St. Paul the Traveller," p. 389), who supports Renan's suggestion that he was a native of Philippi, and regards the Evangelist as having been the "man of Macedonia," of Paul's vision, comparing this with Paul's previous vision as to Ananias, and Peter's as to Cornelius. Harnack, however, favours the older view that he was an Antiochene, and thus was familiar with the origin of the name "Christian" ("Expansion," vol. i., p. 347, note).
Titus, as not being mentioned in the Acts, some have supposed was a near relative of Luke. cf. 2 Corinthians 12:18 (τόν, his).
Beza's M S. (D) in Acts 11:28 has "When we were assembled"; but, from the text represented by most MSS., the Apostle and the Evangelist seem to have first met at Troas, in 53 A.D., during Paul's second missionary tour. After using "they" in Acts 16:8, the writer in verse 11 changes to "we"; but in Acts 17:1, he reverts to "they," which seems to show that Luke was left behind at Philippi (infra). Then, in connection with the Apostle's return to Troas, during his third missionary journey, we meet in Acts 20:5 with "us . . . we"; whilst in Acts 21:19, the narrative is resumed in the third person; but from Acts 27:1 f. we learn that Luke had rejoined Paul at Caesarea.
The "beloved physician" - described by Wilson as a "layman" (op. cit., p. 83) - and he alone (2 Tim., ibid.), remained with the Apostle to the end of so much of Paul's life as is covered by the New Testament. Harnack treats the reference to him there as cold ("Expansion," i., p. 170), which English readers more happily regard as commendatory. He is probably the "true yokefellow" of Php 4:3.
Luke's medical knowledge is disclosed by various passages in our Gospel, as Luke 4:38, Luke 7:44, Luke 10:30, Luke 21:34. This has been worked out by Hobart ("The Medical Language of St. Luke"), whose book has been turned to account by Harnack. The Evangelist's treatment of cases of demoniacal possession is important in this connection: he does not regard them, according to modern notions, as merely physical disorders.
As Colossians 4:11 is usually understood, Luke was by birth, not (as Roberts and Hahn have thought) a Jew, but a Greek. He may have been a "proselyte," and so have ranked as a Hellenist. Dalman supposes that he did not know Hebrew or Aramaic ("Words of Jesus," p. 32); but see Jerome, "De Vir. Illust.," ch. 7. Neubauer treats the Evangelist's quotations as derived from an unwritten "Targum" or Aramaic paraphrase (Essay in "Studia Biblica," vol. i., p. 67); whilst Harnack and others have to assume that Luke was not unacquainted with Aramaic, if he was to translate, as they suppose he did, from an Aramaic document for the first part of Acts. His familiarity with Greek is easily recognisable; and for his use of the Septuagint, see Hawkins, "Horae Synopticae"; indeed, his vocabulary is largely drawn from the Apocrypha (Abbott).
From the fourth century, he was thought by some to have been one of the Seventy (chapter 10); but this is now generally discredited. This affords some ground for the belief that he was the unnamed disciple of ch. 24: 18: his withholding the name has significance for readers of juridical training.
Finally, Origen and Jerome believed that this "physician of the soul" was the brother whose praise in the Gospel is through all the churches (cf. the Collect for St. Luke's Day with 2 Corinthians 8:18), in the sense that Luke had then already published his Gospel. Although Erasmus reproduced this idea in his Latin translation of the Gospels (1520), it meets now with as little support as does the idea that it is to this Gospel the Apostle refers in 2 Timothy 2:8; cf. Romans 15:19; Galatians 2:2 (see also note 100 below). Another statement of Jerome, that Luke lived to the age of 84 and remained unmarried, Harnack supposes goes back to the third century. The Evangelist's death is variously reported to have been by martyrdom, or peacefully; some saying in Bithynia, others in Boeotia.
W. Kelly has regarded Luke as a prophet: see "Exposition of Mark," p. 2. Hippolytus prefixed a quotation of 18: 2-5 by "as the apostle and Evangelist says" ("On Antichrist," in Ante-Nicene Christian Library, vol. x., p. 33).
In seeking to determine the date of the composition of this Gospel time must be allowed for the attempts made by others of which the Prologue speaks. Followed by the Book of Acts, which does not record Paul's death, the Gospel might seem to have been completed before 64 A.D. (Blass, after Eusebius: by at least 60). So the late Bishop Hervey and Dr. Gloag; whilst Keim puts it at 66; Godet, between 63 and the last-named year. Writers such as Jülicher (p. 336), influenced by the idea that the language of Luke 19:43 f. as to the overthrow of Jerusalem imports composition after the event, would say after 70; and so Zahn, about 75; Plummer and Sanday, 75-80; B. Weiss, Abbott, Ramsay, about 80; McGiffert and Bacon, following Harnack's former opinion (down to 1897: see below), decide for 78-93; Wernle and Moffatt, for circ. 90. In the same way it has been argued that Deuteronomy could not have been of Mosaic date, because of the contents of the last chapter: but in either case allowance may he made for editorial accretions or modifications after the original record was put in writing. As to grounds for belief that Luke's Gospel was put forth before the year 70 of the era, see Pullan, in Murray's "Bible Dictionary," p. 487.
The extreme views range between the last decade of the first century and the year 120 (Jülicher), In considering such opinions one must work back from about the year 160, i.e., from the time of Justin Martyr. While not naming our Evangelist, Justin speaks of "the Gospel," a term current in his time for all four records, which make up the "Diatessaron" of his pupil Tatian, an English translation of which may be seen in J. Hamlyn Hill's "The Earliest Life of Christ" (1910). Thirlwall (Introduction to Schleiermacher's "Essay of Luke," p. lxiv. ff.) considered that Justin's looseness in quotation (dwelt on by Cassels in "Supernatural Religion") was due to his regarding the New Testament as a commentary on the Books of the Hebrew Canon, which he quoted more carefully (p. lxxiii.). Somewhat earlier was Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, whose date is put by Harnack at 145; by Stanton, at 140; by Abbott, at 115-130. The testimony of this old bishop is of less account because he avowedly preferred oral to written accounts. But in Marcion, son of a bishop of Synope in Pontus, who was at Rome about 140 A.D., we have a witness of prime importance, because the substance of a Pauline gospel put forth by him is manifestly drawn from some recension of our third Gospel: see Westcott, on the Canon, chapter iv. Akin to Marcion's doctrinal system was that of his fellow Gnostic Valentinian (circ. 130), who, with Basilides, a contemporary heretic, seems also to have been acquainted with the contents of Luke's Gospel. We are thus carried back to the early years of the second century; and then, for the last decade of the first, are met by the question whether Luke had read Josephus' Antiquities (published in the winter of 93-94) because of similarity in the language used by the Evangelist and by the Jewish historian.
Holtzmann, Keim, Hausrath and Burkitt, after Krenkel, hold that Josephus' work was known to Luke, and accordingly date this Gospel after 93 (Clemen: 94 or 95) A.D. Zahn, Sanday, Salmon, Wellhausen, Harnack and Moffatt discredit all this. The words employed by the two, of course contemporaries, were undeniably in common use: each drew from the LXX., and thus sometimes used an identical vocabulary.
Reverting to the yet earlier critical dates, that of "about the year 70" maybe taken as a moderate conjecture, in probably large acceptance. In this the present writer can acquiesce, only so far as it may mark the limit of editorial revision, as to which see Wright, "Composition of the Gospels," p. 117. The process of construction is represented by the more advanced critics as completed later: thus Loisy's date is 90-100: Schmiedel's, 100-110.
The last-named writer (§ 110). after Pfleiderer (cf. Bruce, "Kingdom of God," p. 337), finds in this Gospel in its settled form certain opposite tendencies:- Pauline universalism associated with Jewish particularism (Luke 1:68; Luke 2:10; Luke 5:30; Luke 7:16; Luke 13:16; Luke 19:9; Luke 22:30), referring such to different editorial "working over"; but in the present Exposition these will be found explained as part of the Divine design of which the Evangelist himself was the instrument. The fact is, Luke's Gospel was not intended specially for either Jews (as Matthew's) or for Gentiles (as Mark's), but equally for both. Whatever actual revision there was connects itself with the extended or completed publication, and not the original issue, of the Gospel, which may quite well have been before the year 70, as formerly believed by all later readers. Harnack (supra) in his recent book on the Acts in particular finds it difficult to think that Luke in Luke 21:32 regarded the destruction of the city as past at the time of his writing (E. T., p. 293). He now thinks that a date soon after the year 60 is credible.
3 Theophilus ("Friend of God"), whose name (Origen: "a man whom God loves") may have been given to him at his baptism, and used only among Christians, seems to have been of equestrian rank, and saluted as "most excellent" (κράτιστε, cf. our "Right Honourable"), from being a ἡγεμών, like Felix (Acts 23:26) and Festus (Acts 26:25). He can have been no such fictitious person as Origen supposed, by reason of this very designation. With the Expositor's remarks on the social position of this friend of the Evangelist, compare note on Luke 6:20.
4 The Gospels called "Synoptic," i.e. as together representing the same general view (cf. note 3 on Mark), can have been composed under one or other of the following conditions. I. To each Evangelist was separately revealed that which he had to write, independently of the rest (cf. note 10 on Mark). Very few Biblical scholars since Greswell have committed themselves to this theory, but it was that of the Expositor himself, and very much the view of Dr. Harvey Goodwin, when writing contemporaneously as Dean of Ely, before becoming Bishop of Carlisle. II. Each Evangelist reduced oral tradition to a written form in the light of his special purpose and in his own way. Such has been the view of English scholars who followed Gieseler: since the early sixties it has been represented by Westcott, in particular, and by Abbott, Wright and Salmon; in Germany by Zahn, etc. III. Some written record long defunct lies behind all the Gospels in their existing form - the view of Eichhorn and his followers. IV. One of the Gospels is a main source of the rest; the second and the third used one or more additional sources no longer separately extant. During the last preceding generation this has been the view most accepted. The first, the ecclesiastical or "traditional" view, which satisfied most minds from the fifth to the eighteenth century, means that "all the differences between the Gospels were taken as individual variations of a divine type, each variation perfect in its kind" (Nash, pp. 61, 155). The second will be considered here in sections A., B. Whatever is true in the third is generally deemed to be included in the last of the views above stated: these together rely on the notion of dependence as governing the development of the Gospel records (sections C. - F.).
Hug, amongst Roman Catholics, was one of the eighteenth century scholars holding that each successive Evangelist used his predecessors. The theory which has given rise to views of dependence may be seen stated in Westcott, "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels," p. 183. There will be found an account of the "supplemental" view, according to which each successive writer added something to his predecessor's account: an idea first suggested by Chrysostom. Greswell has left a Dissertation on the subject.
In principle there can be no objection to the belief that writers of the New Testament have drawn upon ordinary sources of information, e.g., Acts 23:25-30, and from one another: this last seems to have been done by the historical and prophetical writers respectively of the Old Testament. Tacit borrowing is noticeable in Micah, from Isaiah (if not vice versa); Jeremiah, from Hosea, Isaiah and Zephaniah; Ezekiel, from Hosea, Zephaniah and Jeremiah; Joel, from Jonah; Haggai, from Ezekiel; and Zechariah, from Isaiah. Girdlestone, referring to this "spiritual communism," remarks that "Inspiration does not imply originality" ("The Grammar of Prophecy," p. 10 f.). Whilst it may be unnecessary to go so far as to say that "the most simple faith and the keenest investigation are one and the same thing" (Thirlwall), we have certainly apostolic injunctions, on the one hand, to "prove all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and, on the other, to be on our guard against "spirits" not of God (1 John 4:1). If both of these considerations be kept in view, investigation of this subject may be fruitful.
It is the two-fold effect of manifest independence (differences) in combination with apparent use of common sources (agreements) which has given rise to the "Synoptic Problem," for the history of the solution of which see H. Holtzmann, "Introduction to the New Testament," pp. 351-357. The well-selected passage by way of example from Luke 5 (verses 18-26), collated with Mark 2:3-12, Matthew 9:2-8, in Green's Angus ("Handbook to the Bible," p. 630), may be compared with that, in A.V., used by Rushbrooke ("Synopticon," p. 96). Upon the parenthesis each time, "He said to the sick of the palsy," of which use was made by H. Holtzmann in his earliest work on the subject, see comment of D. Smith (Introduction, p. xiv.).
This problem has been briefly considered in notes 6-12 appended to the "Exposition of Mark." In the present volume we shall start from a general statement of that which is suggested by the phenomena made by a truly devout and esteemed English Biblical student, the late Lord Arthur Hervey, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who in a lecture on the third Gospel expressed himself as follows:-
"The writer seems to have had three sources of information: (1) the oral teaching, as we see it in those parts which occur also, word for word, in Matthew or Mark, or both; (2) those living eye-witnesses whom he had personally known, and from whose lips he had taken down the various particulars related by him; (3) written records which he transcribed or otherwise used in the composition of his own narrative" (p. 99 f.). The subject, with special reference to Luke's Prologue (Luke 1:1-4), which is unique in the whole Bible, will be taken in the same order as the bishop's statement, in successive sections.
A. The word for "delivered" (παρέδοσαν) in Luke 1:2 is etymologically connected with that for "tradition" (παράδοσις), which in the plural comes before us in 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Such tradition might be either oral or written (ibid.); it is with the first that we are concerned at present. It originated with "the Apostle's teaching" (Acts 2:42), and seems to have continued for about 100 years, as there are words about it attributed to Papias, who lived, it is believed, as late as at least 130 if not 140 A.D. He tells us that Christians of his time preferred "the living voice" to written statements, one reason perhaps for delay in production of our Gospels. "There appears," wrote Thirlwall, "to be no reason for supposing that written documents of any kind entered into the general plan of the Apostles for the diffusion of Christianity" (p. 121), and, as says Bunsen in his "Hippolytus" (i., p. 28), "Nobody was anxious to have a written biography of Him whose return was daily expected." To tradition we owe the names of the respective writers of the Gospels. One saying of our Lord outside their records has been rescued for us by Paul (Acts 20:35), yet recorded by Luke himself. That this was in currency before the Apostle quoted it, may be seen by his word "remember." Other such sayings, which are credited, are found in Clement (of Rome), chapters ii., xiii., xlvi., and Polycarp, chapter ii. (see Harnack, "Sayings of Jesus," pp. 187-190). Fragmentary notes may indeed have been taken by individual hearers of the Apostles' instruction.
Nearly all scholars are agreed that these three Gospels rest ultimately on oral tradition. "The written word marks a time when the first generation of Christians was passing away and the Lord still delayed His coming" (Green's Angus, p. 632). For a considerable time the Apostles laboured together in Jerusalem. But that which here is of chief importance is the Evangelist's reference to catechizing in verse 4; this has been turned to account by Wright (cf. Carr in Expositor, October, 1907). It must have been very much the instruction that now is given in Bible classes for adults and in Sunday schools or children's services. Timothy would engage in this (1 Timothy 5:17). See further, notes 9 and 16 below.
As preceding continuous written records, the primitive believers, then, had at their command a fund of material which, through constant repetition of the same things by the same speakers, would "stereotype the words" (Bennett, p. 136). The Synoptic Gospels represent "written records of forms taken by tradition at the end of three diverging lines of development" (ibid.); or as Salmon, in his posthumous work (p. 27), says, "The most probable explanation of . . . three histories, so like one another yet so independent, is that we have preserved for us the oral gospel as delivered at three different centres" (Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch). But this explanation of variations from "lapse of memory" (p. 67, etc.) will not do. As another puts it, "The Evangelists were editors, not authors: they reduced the oral apostolic tradition to writing; and therefore it is that their books are entitled, not the Gospel of, but the Gospel according to Matthew," etc. (D. Smith, p. xiv). Cf. Godet, i. pp. 36-41. That which Hahn held as to Luke, Zahn maintains for Matthew - the belief that none but oral sources were used.
This floating tradition in the Aramaic vernacular Westcott and others have conceived was put into Greek before being committed to writing. Orr thinks that it was closely followed by Mark, and that the two other Evangelists "borrowed parts of the same tradition which they combined with material drawn from other sources."
Sir John Hawkins ("Horae Synopticae," p. 67) allows for other than documentary sources; and so B. Weiss in his "Life of Christ," i. 81, and "Sources of Luke's Gospel," chapter i.; but in his "Sources of Synoptic Tradition." chapter v., the venerable Berlin scholar seems practically to exclude it. Whenever doubt may arise between oral and written sources, he would decide for the latter. Various objections to the oral theory are enumerated by Peake. That any substantial record was kept orally is discredited by Burkitt from supposed difficulty in memorising it; but this objection is disposed of by the younger Weiss, who says, "When we see how in the Talmud words of the Rabbins have been preserved for centuries, clearly with the utmost exactitude, we shall not doubt that the Lord's disciples also were able to retain the leading subjects for decades. These men had by far fresher and more practised memory than we children of a paper age. . . . Many people even now who cannot read much make up for it by their retentive memory of what they hear" ("Writings of the New Testament," p. 54). We have, of course, to add to this the all-important words of our Lord in John 14:26. For Westcott as for Godet (see Introduction in his later French editions), apostolic tradition was the dominant factor. Besides Westcott ("Introduction to the Study of the Gospels"), reference may be made to Abbott, "The Common Tradition," Introduction, p. vi., Moffatt, Introduction, pp. 180-182, and Wright, "Synopsis of Gospels in Greek," Introduction, p. x. (cf. note 11 on Mark).
Before proceeding further, it may be convenient for the reader to be furnished with a list of passages altogether peculiar to Luke, which is transcribed from Wernle, "The Synoptic Question," p. 92:-
Luke 1, Luke 2; Luke 3:10-14; Luk 3:23-38; Luke 5:4-9; Luke 7:11-17; Luk 7:36-50; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 9:51-56; Luke 10:17-20; Luk 10:25-42; Luke 11:5-8; Luk 11:27-28; Luke 12:13-21; Luk 12:35-37; Luk 12:47-49; Luk 12:54-56; Luke 13:1-17; Luk 13:31-33; Luke 14:1-14; Luk 14:28-33; Luke 15:11-32; Luke 16:1-12; Luk 16:14-15; Luk 16:19-31; Luke 17:7-19; Luke 18:1-14; Luke 19:2-10; Luk 19:41-44; Luke 22:28-38; Luke 23:6-12; Luk 23:27-31; Luk 23:39-43; Luke 24:13-53. Other portions of "The Single Tradition of Luke" (as in Luke 3, verses 1-2, 4-6, 15-16, 18-20) would be found in Rushbrooke's third appendix.
Difficulty has arisen among critics in arriving at agreement as to the source of the special passages, whether oral or written. Wernle himself, amongst others, treats them as derivable from that writer's one written "special source" supposed to have been used by Luke.
B. The Apostle Paul, converted, whether, as Harnack thinks, not more than a year, or as Ramsay, three years after the Crucifixion. has made use of the aid of "eye-witnesses" with reference to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord: 1 Corinthians 15:3, "Also I received," with which cf. "Also ye" in verse 1, and verse 23 with note 540 below. In 1 Cor. 15 there is no question of any appeal made to a written document (cf. Hebrews 2:3), in an epistle of which some still hold that Paul was the writer.
Besides Apostles (for John, see below) as eye-witnesses in general, who would be the originators of tradition dealt with in section A, there must have been private persons (see Acts 1:21 f.) who supplied the Evangelist with information in answer to his inquiries (cf. note 7 below). The birth narrative could have been obtained from the Lord's mother. Her reticence as to His childhood has been recorded by Luke (Luke 2:51): it has a bearing on her probably special disclosures to this Evangelist (Macalpine, p. 20).
For the Galilean and Perean records in particular there would be the evidence available of other women from that region; and for the respective relations of the Baptist and of our Lord to the court of Herod, that of Joanna (Luke 3:1, Luke 8:3, Luke 9:7-9, Luke 13:31, Luke 23:7-12).
Luke was resident for two years in the house of Philip the Evangelist (Acts 21:8; cf. Harnack, "Luke the Physician", p. 155 ff.), through whom he may have gleaned much that is recorded in chapters 9 - 18. Again, he may have obtained from such as Nicodemus details as to the Passion of our Lord (Barnes). We may also suppose that Luke had considerable intercourse with John the son of Zebedee; for affinity between his Gospel and the Fourth, see already note 1.
C. Reverting to what has been introduced at the beginning of the present note as to critical opinion going back to the last quarter of the eighteenth century, it is necessary to recall such views as Lessing's that common written material underlies all the Synoptics; and Eichhorn's, that an Aramaic original was used in the composition of the three existing Gospels, but that none of them saw the others' work. Unremitting study of the subject by many scholars during the last century has led to the now dominant conclusion: most critics find various strata or layers in all, indicating different stages of development in the form that the Synoptics have respectively taken (J. Weiss, p. 39 f.), resulting in part from inter-dependence (with this cf. Godet's conservative view, i., pp. 42-48, 53-71). And so of Luke's Gospel, that it depends primarily on one or other of its predecessors. We may, then, first consider the order in which these Gospels were written.
In the early Curetonian Syriac version, Luke's is placed last of the four Gospels, probably because it was the latest to be translated into Syriac. In the Western MSS. existing when Jerome began his study of the New Testament, as in the recently discovered Akhmîm Codex now at Detroit, U.S.A.. although placed third (as already in the Muratorian Fragment), it follows John, and is before Mark. The order in which readers of the English Bible know it is that assigned to it by Origen, the great Christian scholar of the third century, in agreement with the majority of MSS. and versions that have come down to us. The view taken by some Germans in the middle of the last century that it was the first written is now much discredited. Indeed, Bishop Westcott's arrangement, 1 Mark, 2 Luke, 3 Matthew, has found support in Germany, as by Pfleiderer. But writers of such a different type as Professor Schmidt in America and Professor Orr in Great Britain dispute the priority of Mark to Matthew.
The question as yet remains, had the writer of our third Gospel seen the one going under the name "Matthew." The answer of Hug was that Luke made use of it, and the Roman Catholic professor was followed in this by Greswell, who held that Luke must have seen Matthew's record. A few writers, such as E. Holtzmann, Wendt, and Allen, think that he used it to some extent. The esteemed Roman Catholic professor Schanz adheres to the ancient view that Luke's Gospel was to a large extent derived from both Matthew and Mark.
But the view of most moderns, amongst them Ewald, Meyer, B. Weiss, and now Harnack ("Sayings," p. 112), is that the independence of Luke and of the present "Matthew" was established by Weisse (1838), after the great English scholar Thirlwall (Introduction to Schleiermacher's Essay) in 1825 had expressed the belief that neither of them could have known the other's account of the Infancy and the Resurrection. Current criticism favours the theory that it is the use by Luke of a document lying behind our Matthew which explains a considerable amount of matter being common to these two Gospels alone. This point will be discussed in section E. below.
With regard to the question whether Luke had seen Mark's Gospel, critical opinion, to a large extent, is very different. This must now engage attention.
D. Analytical comparison of Luke's Gospel with that attributed to Mark has revealed, especially in chapters 4 - 9 of the third Gospel, a similarity so close in order and wording in both Matthew and Luke to the parallel record in our second Gospel, as to lead many scholars to the conclusion that Mark's Gospel was used by each, with the necessary corollary, in keeping with the now prevalent opinion recorded in section C., that the shortest of the Synoptic Gospels was the one first written. This is a complete reversal of the view taken by Griesbach, Schleiermacher, Baur, Strauss, and Davidson, for whom the order was 1 Matthew, 2 Luke, 3 Mark (cf. note 2 in volume on Mark). Such are the vagaries of criticism previously illustrated by the paraded late date, as was supposed, of Deuteronomy, which has given place to the priority, maintained with no less dogmatism, of that book to the so-called "Priestly Code." The now supposed priority of Mark to Matthew underlies the book entitled "The Synoptic Question (Problem)," by Wernle, and the more recent works of Harnack, which may be consulted in English translations, as also in the latest writings of Professor Bernhard Weiss, which have been reviewed in the German "Journal of Theological Literature" by Dr. Harnack.
The principal, more or less common, results worked out by these three scholars, in particular by Weiss in his "Sources of Luke's Gospel," will be set out in the present section, which is concerned with so much of the hypothesis now most in favour respecting the composition of the first and the third Gospel as pertains to the supposed relation between Luke's record and that of Mark.
The "common tradition of the Synoptic Gospels" (cf. section A.) is contained in the passages of Luke (as of Matthew) parallel to Mark, which are shown in Rushbrooke's "Synopticon," pp. 1-131, and is there exhibited by the aid of red type. The strict parallels (see margin of text of Exposition, passim) begin with Luke 3:1 and end at 24: 11 of our Gospel. Examination of this material has shown that Luke has reproduced nearly three-fourths of Mark in much the same order (Harnack's "Luke the Physician," p. 87); this phenomenon is specially noticeable as far as chapter 9 of the third Gospel. A sample was given by Abbott thirty years ago in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica," which reappears in the introduction to the "Synopticon" (Matt. 23: 21-42: Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-17); another may be seen in Green's edition of Angus's "Handbook to the Bible" (p. 630 f.; Matthew 9:28; Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26). The following passages of Mark alone seem to have no equivalent in our Evangelist (cf. Wernle "Synoptic Question," pp. 3-40): - Mark 4:26-29; Mar 4:33 f.; Mark 6:1-6; Mar 6:45-56; Mar 6:7 throughout; Mark 8:1-9; Mark 10:35-40; Mark 13:20-23; Mark 15:16-20 (here, however, cf. Luke 23:11). Parts of these also absent from the Gospel of "Matthew" have been put in bold type in the "Exposition of Mark."
Incidents (the "matters," πράγματα, of verse 1 of the Prologue; cf. the "deed" of 24: 19), as distinct from the words of our Lord (see next section), make up a little over half of Luke's Gospel (Wernle states it as 52 per cent., p. 253), which may be verified by the aid of the Cambridge "Verba Christi" Testament. This is deemed the Marcan element in his record.
The idea that Luke (as "Matthew") made use of Mark's Gospel in an earlier form (the "Ur-Markus" or "Primitive Mark" of earlier criticism [cf. Barnes, p. 25; Moffatt, pp. 191 ff.]), had already been abandoned by its chief advocate, H. Holtzmann, before the recent books of Harnack and B. Weiss appeared. These writers agree in the belief that Mark's Gospel lay before the other Evangelists in turn in the same form as that in which his Gospel has come down to us. The following is a sample of the fanciful treatment of the subject in the hands of some critics: "The endeavour of Luke, as of Matthew, was to give renewed recognition to the Gospel of Mark by an enlarged and improved edition in such a way as Mark himself would have freshened up his work in any second edition" (J. Weiss, p. 36; cf. Harnack, "Luke the Physician," p. 158). Such is the fruit of a system from which Divine design is excluded. The following remark of an English writer is appropriate: "If Luke and Matthew made use of a written Mark, the book must have been frequently copied and widely circulated immediately after it was written. And yet, according to the now current theory, only one copy of St. Mark's Gospel existed at the time of his death and probably for many years afterwards" (Wright's introduction to "Gospel of St. Luke in Greek," p. 15)!
Salmon has left behind his matured opinion that Luke was not acquainted with Mark as a written document, but only with those portions of it which he had heard orally recited at Antioch (p. 26), before he became Paul's companion (p. 38). As far as Luke's Gospel is concerned, we may take into account the intimacy between these two Evangelists. They may have conferred together on their joint labours, Luke being partly influenced by Mark's chronological arrangement (cf. note 12 below, and "Exposition of Mark," p. 3, and note 4 there), from his colleague's close connection with a prominent eye-witness (cf. "Exposition of Mark," pp. 1 and 2).
Prof. Schmidt in America, and Prof. Orr of Glasgow ("The Resurrection," pp. 63-72), are amongst writers of repute who repudiate the Marcan part of the documentary hypothesis, which Burkitt and Allen in this country fondly imagine to be "among the most assured results" of investigation of the Synoptic problem. Orr has written, "None of the critics defending dependence are able to do more than elbow out the difficulties created by the phenomena set out in Alford's 'Prolegomena."' For the view of Thirlwall and De Wette, see note 6d below.
As it is, those who contend that Luke was dependent on Mark for his narrative portion have, on their own principles, to account for the large amount of matter, chiefly of course sayings, which is common to the first and the third Gospels, but without any equivalent in Mark. This presents itself for consideration in the section which immediately follows.
E. In an earlier section was foreshadowed that portion of the theory now in favour which, in particular, is supplementary to the portion of it dealt with in section D. Matthew and Luke also often agree closely when they do not follow Mark, that is, they have the same material within the limits of our second Gospel, which, nevertheless, has nothing corresponding to their parallels inter se. But neither Luke nor Matthew could have borrowed from the other, because the literary peculiarities of each remain the same as when following Mark (see section C. above).
The matter common only to Matthew and Luke is found to be a record chiefly of the Lord's sayings: see λόγων, verse 4 of the Prologue, R.V. marg. "words," and Luke 24:19, where "things" is divisible between "deed" and "word," for which last cf. John 17:8. The two are combined again in Acts 1:1, "to do and to teach." The deeds of our Lord, as has been seen, are supposed to be accounted for by the Marcan material in Luke (section D.); for the sayings, Weisse propounded a theory, that in the composition of the Gospel of Matthew use was made of another document, which H. Holtzmann, Weizsäcker, B. Weiss, Harnack, etc., think Luke also has turned to account, each compiler being independent of the other in the process. This further phenomenon has already been introduced in the last paragraph of note 10 on Mark (p. 238). It is discussed in, amongst recent books, Hawkins' "Horae Synopticae," pp. 88 ff.; Wernle, "Synoptic Question," pp. 80-91, 224-233; Wellhausen, "Introduction," pp. 65-68; Harnack, "Sayings," and B. Weiss, "Luke's Gospel," chapter 2; "Sources of Synoptic Tradition," chapters 1, 2: and Moffatt, "Introduction," pp. 194 ff.
The critics' belief was suggested by a statement preserved by Eusebius, of Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis (see note 1), which acquires importance for the study of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Papias speaks of a collection made by Matthew of Logia (λόγια) of our Lord in "the Hebrew dialect." From the use of this by the compiler of our first Gospel the name under which that goes is supposed to have been derived. Harnack, whilst himself of opinion (pp. 115, 171) that it is probable that this collection, which with B. Weiss he conceives lay primarily behind Luke's Gospel, was (as Salmon supposed) identically the same as that spoken of by Papias, thinks that it is a point which "can neither be proved nor disproved" ("Journal of Theological Literature," 1907. No. 5, p. 13 ff.). Weiss regards the compiler of the Logia as an eyewitness. To this hypothetical document the designation of "Q" has been given, as first letter of the German word for "source" (Quelle).
This "double tradition" of Matthew and Luke may be gathered from the passages set out in Rushbrooke's first appendix, pp. 134-170, where the material common to these two Evangelists is shown in capitals. The passages asterisked in the list of these below are considered by Wernle (§ 7) to be in historical order. The Matthew parallels (see again margin of Exposition) may be ascertained from reference Bibles, such as the Cambridge "Interlinear" or Bagster's. Cf. Hawkins, p. 107 ff.
Luke 1:26-31; Luk 1:34 f.; Luke 2:39; Luke 3:7-9; Luk 3:17; Luk 3:23-25; Luk 3:31-34; Luke 4:3-13; Luke 6:20-23; Luk 6:25; Luk 6:27-49; Luke 7:1-3; Luk 7:6-10; Luk 7:18-35; Luke 9:57-60; *Luke 10:1-16; Luk 10:21-24; Luke 11:1-4; *Luk 11:9-15; Luk 11:19 f., 23-26, 29-32, *34-44 [47-50]; *Luke 12:2-9; Luk 12:22-34; Luk 12:39-46; Luk 12:51-59; Luke 13:20 f., 23-29, *34 f.; Luke 14:1-6; Luk 14:11; *Luk 14:13-24; Luk 14:26 f., 34 f.; Luke 15:3-7; Luke 16:13; Luk 16:16 f.; Luke 17:1; Luk 17:3-6; *Luk 17:23 f., 26 f., 33-37; *Luke 19:11-28; Luke 20:18; Luke 22:28-30.
It will be observed that in chapters 5, 18, 21, 23 f. nothing from "Q" is found noticeable. That document is thought to begin to be clearly discernible in the record of John's Baptism. According to Wernle's analysis, about 48 per cent. of our Gospel consists of discourses.
The text of "Q" as conceived by B. Weiss appears in chapter i. of his critical commentary. Harnack similarly furnishes a translation of it according to his own analysis. Weiss has always contended that it extends to narrative also; until lately his view has been supported by very few writers; but Harnack now finds in "Q" seven narratives, two of them miracles of healing (p. 163). Orr also has recently expressed his agreement with Weiss on this point. Cf. Schmidt, pp. 219 f., 227 f.
It is commonly believed that "Q" was written originally in Aramaic, the colloquial dialect (Wellhausen, p. 14, etc.), in which form Pfleiderer and Nestle think that it was used by both Evangelists; but Abbot, Resch, Briggs, and the Jewish scholar Dr. Gaster are more probably right (such also was the opinion of Delitzsch in his later years) in holding that Hebrew was the language of its composition. Aramaic does not seem to have been used in Palestine for literature so early.
The late Bishop Goodwin gave as his judgment in the sixties that "the common written materials used by the Evangelists were not originally in Greek, but were translated into Greek by different hands" (p. xxxii.). It is clear that some record in Greek would early be needed by the Greek-speaking believers of the Dispersion, when it is remembered that there are said to have been no less than three hundred synagogues for the Hellenists (cf. Acts 6) at Jerusalem alone. Although the question of variations arising from different translations (see Jülicher, p. 359) may present itself, as Harnack says (p. 92), in places like Luke 15:4, "wilderness," compared with Matthew 18:12, "mountains," yet this distinguished scholar supports in the main the view of Weiss, that one and the same Greek version of "Q" was used by Matthew and Luke, because their verbal agreements in this element of each Gospel are generally so close.
Wellhausen (pp. 73-89) assigns priority in time to Mark. But Weiss, dating "Q" in the year 67, thinks it earlier than Mark's record (so Harnack, p. 193 f.; cf. Sanday "Life of Christ in Recent Research," p. 157). From the fact that it includes no account of the Lord's death, etc., Salmon (p. 247) and Ramsay have revived a suggestion of Paley, the celebrated writer on evidences, that some record was kept in Christ's lifetime; as to this, Loisy ("Gospel Studies," p. 11) remarks that the Twelve were "more accustomed to the fisherman's rod than to the pen of a scribe"; but this would be inapplicable to Matthew, who, moreover, would know both Greek and Aramaic (Zahn). As far as concerns Greek, knowledge of that language must, it seems, be credited to Philip and Andrew (John 12:20 f.) as well as to Matthew. A reason given by some who discredit Paley's idea is, that the vivid expectation which the disciples had of the speedy "completion of the age" would keep them from so recording the Lord's utterances (cf. Westcott Introduction, etc., p. 163). It has to be remembered, however, that the Lord's words about this came only at the end of His ministry. Whatever view be adopted, it must of course take into account the bearing of His words in John 14:26. There can be little doubt that the prevalent impression is that any record was oral only.
Godet (pp. 48-53), whilst admitting use of documents, questioned their being common to the different Evangelists, and Zahn does not support the view that any such document as "Q" was a dominant factor in the composition of Matthew and Luke, whilst, from what has been said in section A. of Salmon's judgment, the reader will be able to appreciate the Dublin scholar's opinion already recorded, that, although he joins others in thinking that Luke was dependent on "Q," our Evangelist obtained his knowledge of it, not by study of any document, but by having heard it read at the weekly gatherings of the Assembly in Antioch. A "Synoptic Table," according to the Two-source Theory, would be found in Holtzmann, Introduction, pp. 376-382. Although Schmidt, describing his own opinion as "in harmony with early tradition," holds that "the attempt to solve these problems by the so-called two-source theory cannot be regarded as successful" (p. 228 f.). Similarly Bartlet in "Oxford Studies," Burkitt ("Gospel History," p. 37), and Allen (Preface to St. Matthew, 7), following B. Holtzmann, as already stated, accept the theory as established before the recent works of Harnack and Weiss appeared. Moreover, currency has been given to it in this country by the Angus-Green popular "Handbook" which is put forth by the Religious Tract Society, so that it is no longer confined to the fraternity of the learned.
When material from the sources dealt with in the last two sections has been discriminated in Luke's Gospel, there is still a residue of its contents to be accounted for, which must be considered in the next section.
F. Parts of Luke remain discernible in every chapter of his Gospel, so as to amount to more than one half of it, which by modern critics are attributed to some special source or sources at his command (cf. Moffat, pp. 266 ff. and section B. above). Weiss ("Sources of Luke's Gospel," chapter iv.) - with whom Harnack essentially agrees - assigns these to a single source, which he has designated "L," and Bartlet "S" (Sondergut of Wernle). Whether there is more than one such source, Harnack describes as at present "the most important problem in Synoptic criticism."
"L" ("S") is rich in parables, such as that of the Good Samaritan and the parable of the Prodigal Son so-called. It is in passages so classified that the epithet "the Lord" occurs, applied characteristically in this Gospel to Christ, that we have the birth and childhood narratives, the genealogy, the version of the great discourse said to have been delivered on a "plateau," the raising to life of the young man of Nain, the healing of the Samaritan amongst the lepers, the parable of the Pounds, and our Evangelist's record of the Last Supper, the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension. In Weiss's treatment of this part of his analysis ("Sources of Synoptic Tradition," chapter iii.), writes Harnack, "that veteran has no predecessors." In chapter iv. of his treatise, "L" is regarded as of Judean, i.e., strictly Hebrew-Christian origin, and a purely written source, so likewise Sanday, in his academical lecture (Expository Times, December, 1908). Wright finds three sources ("Luke's Gospel in Greek," p. vii.f.). Wernle discusses "L" in his "Synoptic Question," pp. 91-107 (cf. the English translation of his popular booklet, pp. 143-153).
The passages representing Abbott's "Single Tradition of Luke," as arranged by Rushbrooke, will be found in the "Synopticon," pp. 198-234. These, beginning with the first and ending with the last verse of the Gospel are:
Luke 1 and 2 throughout; Luke 3:1-2; Luk 3:4-6; Luk 3:10-16; Luk 3:18-20; Luk 3:23-38; Luke 4:14-30; Luke 5:1-10; Luk 5:12; Luk 5:17-19; Luk 5:39; Luke 6:11 f., 19, 24-26, 37 f.; Luke 7:1-7; Luk 7:10-21; Luk 7:29 f., 36-50; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 9:6; Luk 9:30-32; Luk 9:36; Luk 9:43-46; Luk 9:48; Luk 9:51-56; Luk 9:61 f.; Luke 10:1-5; Luk 10:7-11; Luk 10:17-21; Luk 10:29-42; Luke 11:1; Luk 11:5-8; Luk 11:12; Luk 11:21 f., 27-29, 33, 36-41, 44-46, 53 f. ; Luke 12:1; Luk 12:13-21; Luk 12:32-38; Luk 12:41; Luk 12:47-58; Luke 13:1-17; Luk 13:22-27; Luk 13:31-33; Luke 14:1-33; Luke 16:1-31; Luke 17:5-22; Luk 17:25; Luk 17:28-30; Luk 17:32; Luk 17:37; Luke 18:1-14; Luk 18:34; Luk 18:43; Luke 19:1-28; Luk 19:37-44; Luk 19:47 f.; Luke 20:20; Luk 20:26; Luk 20:34-36; Luk 20:38; Luke 21:12-15; Luk 21:18-26; Luk 21:28; Luk 21:34-38; Luke 22:15 f., 23 f., 27-41, 43 f., 48 f., 51-53, 59-61, 63, 65-68; Luke 23:1 f., 4-19, 22-25, 27-32, 34 f., 39-46, 48-51, 53-56; Luke 24:3-53.
Cf. the "Register" of B. Weiss in his "Sources of Luke's Gospel," pp. 10-12, and the margin of the text in the "Commentary on Luke," by J. Weiss ("Writings of the New Testament"), where "M" stands for Mark, "Q" for the collection of sayings, "S" for his father's "L."
The younger Weiss, after Pfleiderer and Wernle, regards "S" ("L") as an enlarged edition of "Q," applying this to "special" matter of either Matthew or Luke; but see Harnack's strictures in "Sayings," p. 185, note. Bartlet thinks that the "Q" element in Luke came to him already in "L" ("Oxford Studies," p. 360), and that this is largely parallel with Mark, where Luke's Gospel is (p. 361). Stanton likewise makes much of "L."
Harnack supposes, after Dr. Rendel Harris, that there was a written document entitled "Words of the Lord Jesus" (see Acts 20:35), which he inclines to identify with the Logia.
Bishop Hervey and Dr. Sanday agree with German critics in the belief that there was an Aramaic written source of chapters 1, 2, the Oxford scholar remarking that "for a Greek like Luke there must have been many technical points" in the topics concerned (loc. cit., p. 112). Contra, Ramsay.
Zahn (p. 104 of German edition) repudiates the idea of some critics (see Burkitt) that the canticles were simply composed by Luke himself.
B. Weiss believes that just when Luke had no chronological indication such as Mark often otherwise afforded him, our Evangelist arranged his "special" materials according to his own sole judgment. W. Kelly would have said, more happily: Luke in that, as in all else, was Divinely guided, with a moral design. See in particular his "God's Inspiration of the Scriptures," p. 105 f.
G. A succinct account having thus been given of the development to the present time of the "Synoptic Problem," a few words may be added by way of summary and appraisement of critical results. We have found that the hypothesis now prominently before students of the Gospels assumes the existence of at least two, most scholars think three, main sources of "Luke." Amongst indications of the synoptist's use in general of various sources is that afforded by what are deemed duplicate records (Weiss, "Sources of Luke's Gospel," p. 119); that is, two records of the same incident or discourse noticeable in Matthew, and even in Mark, in regard to which our Evangelist is believed, like John, to have exercised something like modern "criticism," at least discrimination: as to these "doublets" so-called, see Hawkins, pp. 80-107, if not Wernle, pp. 99-101. Luke 4:16-30 might be compared with Mark 6:1-6, or Luke 15:4-7 with Matthew 18:12-14: see Bennett, p. 141, Hawkins, loc.cit., or Wernle, p.99 ff. Some, as H. Holtzmann (followed by Wernle), find "doublets" even in Luke, e.g., the mission discourse in Luke 11 compared with that in Luke 10; 19: 26 with Luke 8:18; Luke 21:14 with Luke 12:11. Such writers discredit the supposition that the Lord spoke or acted in the same or a similar way at different times, in diverse connections, with distinct purposes; but see Godet, l., p. 69.
Readers trained in evidence dealt with in English courts of justice, when they take up critical treatises by German theologians, are struck with the slender amount of evidence for their theories that satisfies these writers. Cf. Letter of the late Lord Chancellor Hatherley to the present Bishop of Durham (booklet of "Thoughts on the Resurrection"), and the weakness of the reasoning upon such evidence as they adduce. Hypotheses, each in turn "assured," supplant one another in rapid succession. Such has been the history of these literary investigations. Blass might well speak of "scientific" theology so-called as "that untrustworthy guide of laymen" ("Philology of the Gospels," p. 35).
Use of earlier by later writers is suggested by agreements, and these "the documentary hypothesis" can account for, as Wright has owned ("Luke's Gospel in Greek," p. x.). But it is differences which most test the capacity of the inquirer. Divergences, as the same English writer further remarks, are not accounted for by the dominant critical theory. "The oral hypothesis rightly understood accounts for both" (ibid.). So, already, Godet, i., p. 70. Augustine may well be followed in his belief that a fusion of the two elements affords the best solution of an undeniably difficult problem.
4a None of the narratives referred to in the text, other than the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, both of which the Expositor excludes, have survived, at least in their integrity, as applicable to the "Gospel according to the Hebrews" (supposed by Lessing to be common source of the three Synoptics), and the "Gospel according to the Egyptians," to which latter the recently-discovered Oxyrhynchus fragments of Logia may have borne some relation. The Gospels commonly called "Apocryphal" were considerably later productions (Cf. Godet, vol. i., p. 56).
5 Origen, in his first Homily on Luke, says that such compilers did but attempt that which the canonical Gospels achieved. Those others worked "without the grace of the Holy Spirit." The word επεχείρησαν, rendered "undertaken," is the same as is used by the Evangelist in Acts 19:13, of the Jewish exorcists.
5a As regards the word πράγματα rendered "matters," cf. its use in Acts 5:4, where "thing" is equivalent to "action." Reference has already been made to the use of λόγος in the same connection (verse 4) and to like conjunction of act and word in 24: 19, and Acts 1:1.
5b The word πεπληροφορημένων, which has been rendered "fully believed," as by Olshausen, Meyer, etc., Jerome (whom Godet, p. 58, Bishop Lightfoot and Blass follow), took as "fulfilled" (R.V. text) "come to pass." Orr would translate it "fully established" (R.V. marg.). Cf. its use in 2 Timothy 4:5; 2Ti 4:17, as rendered in R.V.
6 The subject of Authority, the second mentioned in note 2, goes to the heart of burning questions of religion at the present day. Already fifty years ago Dean Goodwin wrote: "The inspiration controversy has ceased to be the property of the learned." In Germany, some representatives of the theological faculties of the Universities have been giving what in England would be described as "University extension" lectures to audiences of such as Prof. Harnack would describe as "half-educated" people; and this with the idea of saving the position from pastors of the type of Frenssen and Kalthoff, if not from men of the calibre of Haeckel, alike deemed to poach on the preserves of the "scientific" theologians, who little regard "the man in the street." The pronouncements of such "pastors" are reproduced in this country through English translations circulated by the Rationalist Association for popular reading; so that the question is pressed on public attention.
Our English philosopher, Locke, wrote that "every one has to decide for himself what is REVELATION, and believe accordingly." The Apostle Paul, "that if any one thought himself a prophet or 'spiritual' (πνευματικός) he was to recognise the Apostle's words as from God" (1 Corinthians 14:37); and he evidently assumed that the persons whom he had in mind possessed some Divine afflatus, such as resided in the Ante-Nicene Church down to the time of Tertullian.
"Revelation," writes Stalker, "took place through the institutions, events, personages of a divine history" (p. 19). "Inspiration was the power of interpreting through history, putting its meaning into words" (ibid.). Cf. Bishop Boyd Carpenter's statement in pp. 89, 96, of his perhaps widely circulated little book, published by Dent. The bête noire is what goes under the name of "verbal" inspiration, a leading writer upon which eighty years ago was the very able Alexander Carson. He, in "Remarks on Dr. J. Pye Smith's Theory of Inspiration" (1827), with reference to 2 Timothy 3:16, asks, "What is a writing but words written?" (p. 32). Upon the disputed translation of that classical passage, Carson observes, "The substantive verb is naturally to be understood to each of the adjectives. What reason can be given for giving it to one and withholding it from the other?" Cf., in defence of the A.V., W. Kelly's treatment of the same passage in his "Exposition of the Epistle," and also his "God's Inspiration of the Scriptures," pp. 25, 38 and 598 f., as well as his exposition of 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, in the last-mentioned volume (pp. 22-25). There is no excuse for referring (as does Bousset) the Apostle's statement in 1 Cor. to the ecstatic language of tongues; the word λαλεῖν (verse 13) Paul used in Romans 7:1 definitely of the language of a letter.
All depends upon what is exactly meant by the phrase "verbal" ("literal") inspiration. In modern times it seems to have had its roots in Calvin's words "composed under the dictation of the Holy Spirit" ("Institutes," iv. 8, 6), and his speaking of the New Testament writers as "amanuenses of the Holy Spirit" (ibid., iv. 8, 9), which his seventeenth century followers expanded, unhappily, into what has since been described as "mechanical inspiration" (Synod of Geneva, 1675).
Luther, rightly enough, gave no countenance to this last view. He doubtless, by his free treatment of Scripture, gave the impulse that has produced "higher-criticism," some of which he would certainly have repudiated.
With such language as that of the Swiss synod in his mind, Thirlwall, afterwards Bishop of St. Davids, speaking of "that doctrine of inspiration once [i.e., for about 100 years, to the time of Lessing] universally prevalent - the sacred writers were merely passive organs or instruments of the Holy Spirit - abandoned by the learned, still a generally received notion . . . this doctrine of literal inspiration, etc.," admitted that all the hypotheses as to the composition of the Gospels were irreconcilable with a theory, which no intelligent Bible student seems any longer to hold: see W. Kelly's "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels" (1866), p. 288; cf. his chapter on The Human Element in "God's Inspiration, etc." At the present day no representative writer can be charged with maintaining that the inspiration of the Bible was on a plane with the Moslems', idea of the Koran - dictated word for word to a Prophet (see Margoliouth, "Mohammed and the Rise of Islam," p. 91 f.). It is, however, precisely that absurd system which Archbishop Temple ("what can be a grosser superstition"), Dean Farrar, Canon Wilson, and Mr. Gladstone (on Butler, iii. p. 17) have in turn criticised. What the meaning was of the reaffirmation of "plenary" inspiration by such Papal encyclicals as the document of 1893 may be left to writers of that communion to determine. We are concerned mainly with the sentiment of those not subject to the Roman obedience. That there is room for criticism of statements by Gaussen, Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, Dean Burgon, and Archdeacon Lee is not questioned. Some of them have not allowed that the personality of a scripture writer could influence at all what he wrote; but words of Paul dispose of such ill-advised ideas: "I speak as a fool" (2 Corinthians 11:23). Tregelles, the eminent textual critic who held a healthy form of plenary inspiration, had weighed well what he wrote: "It is the thing and not the expression which I would maintain. The expression has been represented as if it implied some mere mechanical operation, while the thing really is that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, so that everything in it - narratives, prophecies, citations - are such as He saw fit to be there; and the whole - ideas, phrases, expressions, and words - was given forth exactly as was according to His mind and will" ("Remarks on the Prophecies of Daniel," p. 275). Cf. his "Hope of Christ's Coming" p. 94. This was but another way of stating the proposition of Carson: "It is of the words as containing the meaning, and not of the meaning as distinguished from the words, that inspiration is directly and expressly asserted."
We may next record the position of Theodore of Mopsuestia, because he was the ancient protagonist within the Church of the now current academical view. It is thus stated by Barry (p. 216): "Theodore limited the meaning of inspiration by the mind of its organ; he could not tolerate a deeper than man's intention. So prophecy to him became ethics; Messianic passages were understood exclusively of their immediate objects; the words of the Bible did not proceed from God" (cf. Newman, on "Development," pp. 285-291, and Farrar, "The Bible," p. 71). Before him came Origen, who ventured to write that "God Himself introduced errors" (De Princ., iv., 1; see Gwatkin's extract), following the Alexandrian Jew, Philo, who, though holding what crudely passes for "verbal inspiration," attributed by him to the Seventy, said that it contained "self-contradictory statements and ridiculous stories" (Watson on "Inspiration", p. 221). As to this the late Prof. Jowett wrote: "There is no more reason why imperfect narratives should be excluded from Scripture than imperfect grammar; no more ground for expecting that the New Testament should be Aristotelian in form than that it should be written in Attic Greek" (reprint of "Essay on Interpretation of Scripture," p. 20 f.). That "Reason excludes inconsistency" (Benn, "Rationalism," i., 131) is common ground for believers and unbelievers. It is always and solely a question of making good any inconsistency alleged. Chrysostom, in a homily on Matthew, says that collusion might have been imputed had everything tallied exactly (Schanz, "A Christian Apology," ii., p. 423, E. T.).
As to the objection raised from the several evangelists reporting the same thing in different words, see Carson, p. 39 ff. He selects as example the different wording of the inscription on the Cross (cf. note 349 in "Exposition of John" ). A living writer has remarked, "Jesus did not use both forms of expression at one and the same time . . . not that they are always literally and exactly the very words Christ used" (Orr on "Verbal Inspiration," and so W. Kelly, as cited above). The Glasgow professor illustrates his view by reference to Luke 6:22 compared with Matthew 5:11; Luke 9:27 with Matthew 16:28; Luke 12:5 f. with Matthew 10:28; Luke 23:28 with Matthew 27:37; also Mark 15:26 with John 19:19.
The inconsistency is flagrant of scholars who belittle "verbal" inspiration in the sense of this note, and yet insist on discriminating the exact force of particles, etc.
On the bearing of textual criticism on Inspiration, see note 17 below.
Many serious Bible students will join the present writer in here at least, following Augustine (quoted by Schanz from a letter of his to Jerome): "I firmly believe that none of their authors has fallen into any error," rather than Thirlwall (p. xv.) or Dr. A. Wright in Introduction to his "Synopsis of the Gospels," and that to his "Gospel of St. Luke in Greek," who rates the authority of Schürer more highly than that of Luke with regard to the Census: we are reminded of Carlyle's famous words about the Creation.
It is often said, disparagingly, of some Biblical record, that it is only given by one of the Evangelists: this, to say nothing worse, is really uncritical. Thus is Luke 23:7-12, pronounced by some critics as unhistorical because not found in Mark, deemed by them superlatively reliable! Burkitt, himself ably representing "critical" principles, as to this sensibly remarks: "The story of the Gadarene swine rests really on no more evidence than the story of the blind man at Bethsaida; and similarly the parable of the seed growing secretly is really no more attested than the parable of the vineyard" (p. 132; cf. p. 138 f.).
We must ever consider the Biblical writers in a light relative to their respective periods. Smyth well remarks, "Even Moses, Samuel, and David may have had on some points lower spiritual conceptions than some of the children in our Sunday-schools today, and yet their conceptions were so far above those of the people whom they taught that only Divine inspiration could account for them" (p. 172). Upon the Bible viewed as in Eastern book, see Barry, p. 18 f.
The official Roman Catholic position may be found stated in Schanz, op. cit., vol. ii., chapter xiii. (p. 432 in particular); cf. Cardinal Newman's paper in The Nineteenth Century for Feb., 1884, and Barry, p. 17. The last-named writer states that verbal inspiration "is no longer made equivalent to verbal perfection, as though there must be a divine style recognisable by its human characters." The only reason why the Jesuits reject it is, that they seek to raise Tradition to the level of Scripture.
Christ's "power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9); this may explain the allowance of such a reference as that in Acts 7:16, which perhaps falls under the principle stated by Barry: "We should be creating imaginary difficulties did we suppose that, because a volume is inspired, it must needs be written with a minute accuracy of quotation or incident such as no human author can achieve" (p. 19).
Schanz says. "Faith in Scripture will waver only if faith in the authority of the Church falters" (p. 391). This characteristically Roman position will be examined in note 13 below. It has a bearing on the "Modernism" that agitates Roman, and the "Higher Criticism" which burdens English, Church circles. "Anglican Churchmen have used the Church to lessen the strain upon the Scriptures; in other words, to take away the terrors of criticism" (Nash, p. 160 f.). See, e.g., the series of Essays entitled, "Lux Mundi" (edited by Mr., now Bishop, Gore).
Unitarian sentiment is represented by the writings of the late Dr. James Martineau, as in the cheap reprint of his "What is Christianity?" (p. 17). It is largely what lies behind "advanced" criticism.
"The Bible," writes Nash, "must submit to the most searching examination." Left to speak really for itself, it has always done so. What about the converse process? (Hebrews 4:12). That is a vitally serious question which every reader "must" answer. "It is said," writes Tregelles, "whatever theory of inspiration a man may hold, it does not disqualify him from being a Christian. A parallel statement would be: Whatever theory of obedience to the laws a man may hold, it does not disqualify him from being a loyal and peaceable subject and citizen" (op. cit., p. 278).
A recent writer has said, "Believers in the Apostles' day were independent of the written Word; but we can neither stand nor move without it." "Scripture is the crystallised breath of the Holy Ghost, and the Bible a telephone down the ages, at the other end of which is the Voice of God" (D. M. Panton).
Carson described the doctrine of verbal inspiration, rightly understood, as "one of the fortresses committed to Christians by Jesus Christ" (p. 49). This was re-affirmed by the Expositor's own words: "Scripture, like the Lord Jesus, is a grand moral test" ("God's Inspiration, etc.," p. 57).
Cf. note 13 on Mark, and also notes 11 and 13 below; besides a recent defence. of plenary inspiration by C. E. Stuart ("Outline of the Gospel of Luke," pp. 325-336).
6a Delivered; cf. Acts 6:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (alike oral and written tradition).
6b "From the beginning" (ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς). The meaning is fixed by Acts 1:22, the baptism of John. See 4E above.
6c "Of the word" (λόγου), - ministry, as in Acts 6:2. Wright takes the "ministers" of "catechists"; cf. the use of ὑπηρέτης in Luke 4:20, where the chazzan of the synagogue is spoken of, whose function it was to give such instruction. The same two Greek words occur again together in Acts 13:5.
6d The same view was expressed with almost equal emphasis by Thirlwall, who wrote: "It seems nearly certain that if his document had been founded either on a document such as that imagined by Eichhorn (note 4) or on the works of St. Matthew and St. Mark (infra) he would have made some allusion to these sources. All that can be collected from the Prologue with certainty is that, at the time when St. Luke wrote, there were several documents relating to the transactions which form the subject of his Gospel, and that these were imperfect. To deduce anything more from his language requires a rather subtle and elaborate argument" (p. cx. ff.) Similarly De Wette (ad loc.), "Luke does not expressly say that he used his predecessors." Cf. "God's Inspiration of the Scriptures," p. 70 f. Cf. Godet, i. p. 85. Origen and Athanasius (cf. Zahn) took λόγος here in the sense of John 1:1.
7 "Having thorough acquaintance . . . accurately." - The word παρακολουθεῖν means personal acquaintance. Calvin refers to its use by Demosthenes, "On the Crown," 53 (the passages may be seen in Alford), the similarity of whose language to several words of the Prologue is most striking. The famous commentator of the Reformation remarks that in the case of the Athenian orator and the Evangelist alike "each was in the same position as if he had been an eye-witness." Orr: "Luke himself, in contrast with the many, goes back to first-hand sources. This is his own account, with which any interpretation must harmonize" (p. 71). Cf. the use of the same word in 2 Timothy 3:10.
The word ἀκριβῶς is used of exact scientific processes (Carr).
8 "All things." Whether Luke was acquainted with the Gospels of Matthew and Mark or not, he was, undoubtedly, with the facts that they recorded. Abbott writes, with reference to the words quoted by Paul in Acts 20:35, "had the Evangelists known it as Christ's saying they could hardly have omitted it . . . almost certainly it did not come from His lips" ("From Letter to Spirit," § 997). This is like saying that either Luke did not know of the contents of Mark 6: 45 - 8: 26, because he has no clear equivalent, or that, aware of such a record, he discredited it, as is the wont of some writers on the Gospels. Luke's omission of, at any rate, most of that section is, in itself, a problem for critics.
9 "To arrange." ἀνατάξασθαι, rendered as equivalent to συντάξασθαι. The word employed by Luke is taken by Blass to mean, "reproduce, restore from memory." He cites Irenaeus for use of the same word as to Ezra's traditional restoration of the books of the Old Testament ("Phil. of the Gospels," p. 15). Cf. note 4A above, and note 16 below.
10 "From the outset." In Acts 26:5, Luke has used ἄνωθεν in the same sense as here, of time.
11 "Seemed good." Cf. the same form of expression in Acts 15:22, and in verse 28, "to the Holy Spirit and to us," where Divine direction and human motive are unquestionably linked together.
12 "In regular order"; as Ebrard, Meyer, Weiss, Hahn and Godet, understand καθεξῆς of chronological order (cf. 8: 1, Acts 3:24); but Blass more as the Expositor, explains the word as meaning "uninterruptedly," "completely." Alford (after Westcott), "a moral or logical sequence." Cf. Salmon, p. 74, etc. Luke follows Mark's sequence of events as far as 9: 17 of his own Gospel, after which he seems never to return to it. While von Soden thinks that Luke has followed the order of "Q" more closely than Matthew, Harnack gives the other Synoptist's order the preference.
13 "Mightest truly know." Cf. use of ἐπιγνῶναι in Acts 24:8. These words introduce the subject of Interpretation (note 2), which is ancillary to that of Inspiration (note 6).
It is still sometimes said, but chiefly by Romans and their sympathisers, that indiscriminate, popular Bible reading is productive of heresy, so-called. With regard to this, Girdlestone inquires, "Who was to interpret St. Luke to Theophilus . . . to the elect lady, John's letter to her?" ("English Church Teaching," p. 10). It might seem as if a Romanist would attempt an answer to this by first inviting a distinction between Books of Scripture which afford "devotional and spiritual reading" (Clarke, "The Pope and the Bible," p. 43), and those from which the Church has developed its doctrine. Thus the R.C. "Penny Catechism," Ans. to Q. 360, names the "Gospels" par excellence, without any distinction between the Synoptics and the Fourth, as suitable for the purpose just named. But there Romanist and Protestant alike meet with inspired teaching; and in theory Roman dogma is grounded upon it. So that Clarke's idea of limiting the "general distribution" of the Scriptures to the above as "the sole object" goes by the board. Indeed, according to "a Roman Catholic, correspondent" writing to the Guardian (issue of 9th Dec., 1908), the Society of Jesus in France has tried to have the reading of Gospels prohibited, because of their suggesting Protestantism. Father Clarke has done his best to justify the prohibition, in 1229, of Bible-reading by the laity, but Voltaire's criticism (cited by Reinach, p. 423), is unanswerable: "It was to insult the human race to venture to say to it, We want you to believe, and would not have you read the Book upon which this Faith is based."
Memorable are the words, from his pulpit, of John Chrysostom, the great ornament of the ancient Eastern Church, whose canonization by Rome, awkwardly for her, no Pope has executed the feat of cancelling, as did Benedict XII. that of Clement of Alexandria. When the Church was rent, in the same way as now, by contending factions and discredited by corruption, the "golden mouthed" preacher in his Forty-third Homily on Matthew, declared that "there can be no proof of true Christianity, nor other refuge for Christians wishing to know the true faith, but the Divine Scriptures"; that "the Church of Christ is known in no way to those wishing to ascertain which is the true Church, but only through the Scriptures." Not a word does he add about note or comment.
"We cannot imagine," says a living Roman writer, "the Bible without the Church or the Church without the Bible" (Barry, p. 8). Observe here the "vicious circle": Bible and Church are made mutually to rest on each other. For Romans, the Church has a living magisterium or teaching office (Schanz, ii., p. 389), and claims monopoly of right "interpretation" (cf. note 2, above). This, however, traverses the testimony of the Holy Spirit in 2 Timothy 3:15, as to the "Holy Scriptures," there said to be able per se, to make wise, etc.
Again, Catholics rely on the "consent of the Fathers," which is very much a mirage, as Barry frankly witnesses: "Diversities make the unanimous consent of Fathers in an identical exegesis rare" (p. 15). He takes, for example, Basil's and Augustine's different interpretations of Gen. 1.
Once more listen to Clarke: "What effect has Protestant Bible-reading on the lives of the readers? . . . No one can read the books of modern infidels and agnostics without observing how familiar to them is Scriptural language" (p. 46). The moral of this is that such people, whether trained as Protestants or Romanists, need to be evangelized; Canon (now Bishop) Gore's relations with the late Dr. G. Romanes illustrate this. Which precedes the other in Ephesians 4:11, the teacher or the evangelist?
Here arises the question whether the Church is or is not the source of ministry. That it was so primitively is an untenable proposition. The Church was called and formed already by evangelization, one form of ministry. Hence the flaw in Dr. Hawkins' principle, that "the Church teaches, Scripture proves"; see his Bampton Lectures (Sermon II.), and Newman's letter to Froude, in Miss Mozley's "Life and Correspondence" (II., p. 126), of the Provost of Oriel's more famous colleague, who has referred to it also in his "Apologia." Again, as well might hostile critics of the New Testament be right in holding that our Lord's Resurrection was progeny of the Apostolate as for an Anglican writer, Vernon Staley, to speak of the Bible as "the child of the Church" ("The Catholic Religion," p. 343), instead of the Church as Witness to Holy Writ, which derives no authority from it. So Leslie, quoted approvingly in Bishop van Mildert's Bampton Lecture, p. 327, whose position supplies the antidote to Augustine's famous saying: how it was that he believed in the Gospel, which was quoted at the Council of Trent.
The "ruin of the Church" as a whole, a view of which W. Kelly was a leading exponent, would not impair the credit of its witness to Holy Writ, - to the canon arrived at by it, because we have to distinguish between the mass in early times and the "faithful men" referred to in 2 Timothy 2:2, by whose influence, under the hand of God, such questions were determined.
Is it not throwing dust into people's eyes to go on telling them that "the Church wrote the inspired books?" (Staley, loc. cit.). To whom then, any intelligent reader might inquire, were the books addressed? "Historical Christianity," which gave birth to such a theory, was for the Expositor a system too circuitous and vapoury.
And so for Bishop Gore's suggestion ("Lux Mundi," p. 339 f.) that it is "irrational, considering the intimate links by which the New Testament canon is bound up with the historic Church, not to accept the mind of the Church as interpreting the mind of the Apostolic writers," which was probably suggested to him by Newman's like argument with regard to ecclesiastical miracles. The worthlessness of the bishop's remark has been shown by Sir R. Anderson's parody of it: he transfers the idea to the Old Testament canon as determined by the Jews, whose interpretation of the Messianic prophecies their descendants might similarly call upon us to accept ("The Bible or the Church," p. 73 f.).
The well-worn misapplication of 2 Peter 1:20 would be found corrected by Bishop van Mildert (op. cit., p. 180 f.). The observations of that bishop on p. 153 f. as to dispensational differences might well be re-affirmed in the present generation - so much neglected still is the principle concerned.
As to the exaggeration of the pregnancy of Scripture by the system of Cocceius (Vitringa the Elder, etc.), see Conybeare's Bampton Lectures, pp. 263 ff.
See further, notes below on 5: 1 and 6: 39, and Sir R. Anderson's trenchant chapter 6.
14 "The certainty (ἀσφάλειαν) Cf. Luke's use of τὸ ἀσφαλές in Acts 22:30. A man, to impart certainty, must first himself command it. How can any with show of reason, question the Evangelist's claim? Dr. Abbott ventures to say that Luke is "probably the least authoritative of the four." Marcion's judgment, strange to say, was the exact opposite of that of our modern English scholar, whose saying that Luke "defeats his object" by adapting, improving, and reconciling, rests upon question-begging.
One sometimes hears it said that inspiration is not required for writing true history. Even those who say so, if candid, admit that scriptural history at what they would call its worst is incomparably above ordinary records. Cf. it only with Church histories, most affected by the writers' bias. It has only been in our own time that "historical science" has been cultivated.
Luke was not himself a witness. "Scientific" critics hold, further, that none of the writers of the other Gospels were; that their records are founded on testimonies no longer available. The effect of this is that the historical JESUS is beyond our apprehension (Reinach, p. 332), i.e., in any merely human way. His very death belongs to the same category as all else. Divine testimony, and faith in that, are needed throughout. Cf. note 6 above, and notes 450 and 589 below.
15 "The things" (verse 4). As to λόγοι here and πράγματα ("matters" in sense of "acts") in verse 1, see note 4, especially section E.
16 "Thou hast been instructed" (κατηχήθης), that is "catechised," as said of Apollos in Acts 18:25. Cf. 1 Corinthians 14:19; Galatians 6:6; Wright: "Did the Gospel originate in the pulpit or in the schoolroom?" He supposes that Mark's Gospel was used for the instruction of Apollos; but Blass thinks that Apollos may have derived his information from reading the document as itself the instructor.
Goodwin: "St. Luke does not purpose to enlarge the knowledge of Theophilus, but to confirm it." In other words, the Evangelist does not, as sometimes alleged, propose to communicate to the addressee all that the writer himself knows.
17 The question of textual (external) criticism - third of those enumerated in note 2 - which has been briefly dealt with in notes 14-16 on Mark, must here receive development, because of its relatively greater importance in connection with Luke's Gospel.
The English Authorised Version (1611) of the New Testament was mainly derived from what was afterwards called the Received Text, based on a recension of the original Greek called "Byzantine" by Griesbach, and contained chiefly in relatively late MSS. (such as LΔ among uncials and cursive 1). The Revised Version (1881) is founded on a more ancient text (ABC, etc.) allied to that which the same critic named "Alexandrian," but, as limited by Westcott and Hort, the most influential members of the committee in textual matters, has been called "Neutral." The views of these English scholars rapidly received general support, and the dominance of their system of selection has only within the last few years been shaken by those critics who incline towards greater recognition of a third rescension, known as the "Western" or "Syro-Latin." As Sir R. Anderson has written, the Westcott-Hort "mutilation of the Gospels" by rejection of the indirect evidence afforded by the united voice of versions (such as the Old Syriac and Old Latin) and Fathers in favour of the direct evidence of "certain of the oldest manuscripts," was not likely to commend itself to adepts in the science of evidence. ("Pseudo-Criticism," p. 5.) The, leaders in the reaction are German critics, Blass and Wellhausen in particular. Sanday continues his allegiance to the Cambridge scholars, whilst Weiss adheres to a modified form of the Westcott-Hort criticism, regarding the cursives somewhat more than those English scholars have done, and internal evidence always, but sometimes following B even when Hort has not done so, as in 5: 18, whilst Harnack is disposed to apply the drag to the rapidly radical departure from it.
Westcott and Hort, developing predecessors' classification of the Greek copies, arranged the MSS, as follows:-
i. The Syrian group (previously called Byzantine) that of most copies headed by the Alexandrine ("A," in the British Museum), which have been compared, in particular, with Chrysostom's quotations and radiated from Antioch.
ii. The Western, typified by Beza's MS. ("D," at Cambridge), compared with Latin Patristic quotations, and proceeding especially from Rome and Carthage.
iii. The "Neutral," so called from being thought comparatively free from corruptions, which are best represented by the Vatican MS. ("B," at Rome), compared especially with Origen's quotations, and derivable, probably, from Caesarea, if not Alexandria.
The theory of the Cambridge scholars (Hort in particular) was that the text underwent a Syrian revision by editors acting under episcopal supervision, from about the middle of the third to almost the middle of the fourth century. Interpolations (inter alia) were deemed to characterize more or less the two other groups, the first especially, so that note was taken of any Western non-interpolations - i.e., omissions of what is, accordingly, placed by these editors under suspicion. Example: Luke 22:44 f.
"B" was accorded the first place in excellence among "Neutral" MSS. as being least of all influenced by other copies, unlike A and C affected by "" (Sinaitic), or LΔM by "D."
The Swiss professor Wernle expresses preference of one combination above another, thus: "BCL together are more reliable than D Ital Syrr cu sin" (p. 9).
Scrivener discussed the theory in chapter 7 of the third edition of his "Plain Introduction" (1883), describing it as "destitute of historical foundation."
Godet's critical apparatus in his commentaries was discredited simply because, as Schanz says, he was "no friend of the Alexandrines." The esteemed Swiss scholar himself wrote: "Criticism inclines to the documents of the Alexandrian text as blindly as it did formerly to the representatives of the Byzantine . . . the Alexandrian text cannot deprive criticism of the right of free examination in each particular case. Very often the true reading has been preserved by the representatives of the two other texts combined, or even by those of one of them." (3rd French ed., 1888, p. 80 f.)
The copies of the Western group are marked by tendency to adopt additions from non-canonical sources - e.g., at Luke 6:5, and Luke 23:53; to harmonizing, noticeable in Luke 24:6; Luk 24:12; Luk 24:36; Luk 24:40; to paraphrase (Luke 24:53), or to elucidation of the sense, as in Luke 14:5 (D adds "sheep") and Luke 24:51 f.
Such authority as was possessed by "D," Hort thought to be derived from its being read in the Assembly at Rome. As the only uncial which has the Western text, he depreciated it. This codex exhibits more variations in Luke's writings than elsewhere, which Hort accounted for by supposing that it had, naturally, a large circulation among Gentile Christians at trade centres widely distant from one another. Its peculiarities have since been discussed by Professor Rendel Harris and Prof. (now Bishop) Chase. Dr. Rendel Harris (in "Texts and Studies," edited by Dean Robinson, vol. ii., pp. 1-272) regards the Western text is a "readjustment of an earlier text to the Latin versions." He suggests that "D" has passed through Montanist hands (chapter xiv). If so, its reading in Luke 11:2, "Let Thy Holy Spirit come in," is the more interesting. Cf. the "Ante-Nicene Christian Library," vol. vii., p. 289. The bishop, in his "Syro-Latin Text," regards the Western as "Moulded on a Syriac text." See further in Kenyon's "Handbook," pp. 73-82.
It is the textual work, however, of the late learned Dr. Friedrich Blass, Professor of Classical Philology at Halle, which has most recently attracted the special attention of students of the New Testament. Blass was not restrained by any such theory as Hort's from following merely Western authority. He has explained the many variations of "D" in Luke's Gospel and the Acts by supposing ("Philology of the Gospels," chapters vii. and ix.) that there were two editions of each, and that while the codices "" and "B" represent the earlier and shorter recension, followed in this scholar's own edition of the Gospel, "D" has preserved to us the later edition of it, which was that read by Theophilus (p. 103). Another view taken is that the shorter text represented in our English Bible is a later, revised one. In the idea of two editions Blass was anticipated by the view of Le Clerc in the seventeenth century, revived by the late Bishop Lightfoot in his "Fresh Revision of the New Testament," p. 29. It might account for additions or omissions, as in Luke 9:56; Luke 22:43; Luke 23:34; but would fail in some other respects. Whilst Nestle, Salmon (p. 497), and a few more scholars have favoured Blass's theory, it is discredited by B. Weiss, W. Holtzmann, Zahn, Jülicher, Bousset, Ramsay, and Kenyon (see pp. 291-304 of his "Handbook ").
There is a balanced account of the Western text in the Interpreter, Jan., 1908. 150 f., by Prof. Swete. Wellhausen, in his "Commentaries on the Gospels," favours the recension. "D," he remarks in his "Introduction, etc.," "often contains Semitisms which were removed in B and ." The Western text also finds appreciation in the article on "The New Testament Text," by C. H. Turner ("Murray's Illustrated Bible Dictionary," p. 575). The latest Continental textual investigator, Prof. von Soden, manifestly inclines to it. See an account of his researches and theory in Lake, pp. 100-103 (4th ed.).
Upon the connection of the Synoptic with the Textual problem, see Salmon, p. 108 f. Had Luke's Gospel been a mere enlargement of Marcion's, the canonical document would have been as late as 130 A.D. Scholars now commonly agree that Marcion mutilated it for dogmatic purposes, although a few cling to the idea that he used the first or shorter edition. See further, Thirlwall, pp. li. - lxiv.
Dr. Rendel Harris writes: "Of the books in the New Testament which have undergone revision, the two which have suffered most are the Gospel of Luke and the Acts ("Studies, etc.," p. 286). And Orr: "The text of the Bible during its long literary history has been subject to vicissitudes, to interpolation, explanatory annotation, editorial revision, for a special purpose (e.g. Temple use of Psalms, etc.)." There is no real excuse, however, for such words as those of Mede: "It is patent that, once we know the elementary facts of the history of the text, it is utterly impossible that there can be any question of verbal inspiration" (p. 77). Tregelles, of course, had a familiarity with the whole textual problem beyond all comparison with that of the Theosophist writer, and to his remarks, reproduced in note 6 above, reference may here again be made. It is only superficial prejudice that would resist the proposition of W. Kelly "Various readings belong to the distinct region of man's responsibility" ("God's Inspiration," p. 598). As to critical "emendation" of the text, it may suffice to refer to Scrivener, op. cit., p. 490.
Prominent for textual criticism of this Gospel among recent discoveries are a copy in the Monastery of the Laura on Mount Athos, of the eighth or ninth century, which is lettered , and the Akhmîm from Egypt, of the fourth or fifth century, in the possession of C. L. Freer, at Detroit, U.S.A.
The witness of the following fragmentary copies of Luke's Gospel will be recorded in the footnotes where variant readings calls for it.
(i.) Those of Codex Zacynthius, lettered ξ, in the library of the British and Foreign Bible Society; a palimpsest of the eighth century with marginal commentary, published by Tregelles in 1861. It contains less than one-fourth of the Gospel, viz., Luke 1:1-9; Luk 1:19-23; Luk 1:27 f., 30-32, 36-66, 77-80; Luke 2:1-19; Luk 2:21 f., 33-39; Luke 3:5-8; Luk 3:11-20; Luke 4:1 f., 6-20, 32-43; Luke 5:17-36; Luke 6:21-49; Luke 7:1-6; Luk 7:11-37; Luk 7:39-47; Luke 8:4-21; Luk 8:25-35; Luk 8:43-50; Luke 9:1-28; Luk 9:32 f., 35,41-62; Luke 10:1-18; Luk 10:21-40; Luke 11:1-4; Luk 11:24-33. Six-sevenths of its agreements with , A, B, and C are with the "Vatican" uncial.
(ii.) Those of Codex Nitriensis, lettered "R" by Tischendorf, a palimpsest of the sixth century (Scrivener, i., p. 145). It is shown in Case C of Biblical MSS. at the British Museum, and contains about one-half of the Gospel, i.e., Luke 1:1-13; Luk 1:69 - Luke 2:4 (visible in B.M. case), 16-27. Luke 4:38-44; Luk 5:1-5. Luke 5:25-39; Luk 6:1-8. Luke 6:18-36; Luk 6:39; Luk 6:49 - Luke 7:22; Luk 7:44; Luk 7:46 f. Luke 8: 5-15, 28 - 9: 1. Luke 9:12-43. Luke 10:3-16. Luke 11:5-27. Luke 12:4-15; Luk 12:40-52. Luke 13:26-35; Luk 14:1. Luke 14:12-35; Luk 15:1. Luke 15:13-32; Luk 16:1-16. Luke 17:21-37; Luk 18:1-10. Luke 18: 22 - 20: 20. Luke 20:33-47. Luke 21:12-38; Luk 22:1-15. Luke 22:42-56. Luke 22:71; Luk 23:1-11. Luke 23:38-51 (all recorded in Tischendorf's eighth edition).
Seven-ninths of its agreements with ancient copies are with "B."
The term "conflation," which will sometimes be used in the footnotes, is that used by Westcott and Hort for mixtures, where scribes having before them a marginal alternative reading, copied it as well, e.g., in the last verse of Gospel, where before "blessing" (εὐλογοῦντες) "D" added "praising" the (αἰνοῦντες), reproduced in A.V.
Besides literature referred to above, reference may be made to Burkitt's article on the "Text of the New Testament" in the "Encyclopaedia Biblica," vol. iv. (1903), to Kenyon, in Hastings' "One Volume Dictionary," and to the American Professor Vincent's "History of Textual Criticism"; whilst readers of German might derive aid from consulting Prof. B. Weiss' study of Luke's text in the "Texts and Investigations," edited by Gebhardt and Harnack, new series, vol. iv. (1899), pp. 1-246. Reference is sometimes here made to this last in critical notes.
18 With regard to translation, some students regret our not having possession of the actual Aramaic background of the Greek text. There is, however, one advantage acknowledged in the fact that an impress of the Aramaic thought remains in the Greek, which was happily reproduced in the translation published in 1611, the cherished inheritance of English-speaking peoples.
Mr. Kelly's critical notice of the R.V. of Luke's Gospel would be found in "The Bible Treasury," vol. xiii., p. 302, and that of the American renderings in vol. xiv., p. 335.