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are very different from the instantaneous miracles in Matthew.
Upon the whole, the study of Mark's Gospel leaves the impression of an honest writer, who did not insert stories of his own invention, but only such as he had received from others and considered credible; and who did not, even in these, suppress unfavourable particulars when they were within his knowledge. The warmth of narration led him frequently to exaggerate and to embellish upon
the materials before him; but not more than has been done by many historians of good credit, since the minute particulars filled up by him, are, in general, only such as would be suggested by the belief of the main facts.
The external testimony tends to shew that this Gospel was written soon after Matthew's; and the internal
agrees with it, for no new views appear in it; the distress of Jerusalem, and the persecutions of the church, are dwelt upon so much, as to shew that it was written at a time when these were still the most interesting topics.
* See Appendix.
ON THE DATE AND CREDIBILITY OF THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE.
The prefaces to this Gospel and the Acts shew that both proceed from the same author, and the earliest traditions agree
that he was Luke, the companion of Paul, mentioned Col. iv. 14; 2 Tim. iv. 11; Philem. 24. There is some reason for supposing that he was the same This Gospel, like the others, is not alluded to in any
of the speeches in the Acts, nor in the Epistles.f
A.D. 96. Clement of Rome has a passage agreeing exactly with Luke xvii. 2; but nearly the same sentence is in Mark.
A.D. 140. Justin Martyr mentions the visit of Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, in the words of Luke i. 35–38; and Christ's agony, in the words of Luke xxii. 42; both which texts have no parallel one in the other Gospels. He does not mention Luke by name, but frequently speaks of the Gospels or memoirs composed by the Apostles and their companions, as his authority.
* The pronoun we first occurs in the narrative of the Acts, at ch. xvi. 10. “We endeavoured to go into Macedonia.” The only companions of St. Paul at this time appear to have been Silas and Timothy. (See xv. 40; xvi. 3, 4, 6.) In this case either St. Paul, Silas, or Timothy, wrote the Acts.
It was neither Timothy, nor Paul himself, ch. xx. 4. there accompanied him (Paul) into Asia, Sopater of Berea ... and Timotheus, &c. These going before, tarried for us at Troas.”
Also ch. xx. 13, “And we went before to ship, and sailed into Assos, there intending to take in Paul.”
Therefore Silas was the writer. Wherever the pronoun we occurs, throughout the Acts, there is no objection to supposing that Silas was of the company. The name Silas, or Silvanus, has nearly the same meaning as Lucas, or Lucanus, the one being derived from Silva, a wood, and the other from Lucus, a grove; each being probably merely a latinized form of the author's original Greek or Hebrew name.
† John the Baptist's preaching is mentioned Acts xiii. 25, and the Lord's supper 1 Cor. xi. 23, in words agreeing very nearly with Luke. But neither passage is introduced as a quotation; and it seems more likely that Luke should have borrowed from Paul, than the contrary.
A.D. 178. Irenæus is the first who names Luke as the author of a Gospel. After speaking of Mark, he says, “And Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the Gospel preached by him.”—“But the Gospel according to Luke being of a priestly character, begins with Zacharias the priest, offering incense to God.”—But if any one rejects Luke, as if he did not know the truth, he will be convicted of throwing away the Gospel, of which he professeth to be a disciple. For there are many, and those very necessary parts of the Gospel, which we know by his
A.D. 194. Clement of Alexandria (according to Eusebius) “had a tradition that the Gospels containing the genealogies were first written."
A.D. 230. Origen.“ The third Gospel is that according to Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, published for the sake of the Gentile converts."
A.D. 392. Jerome. “The third evangelist is Luke, the physician, a Syrian of Antioch, who was a disciple of the apostle Paul, and published his Gospel in the countries of Achaia and Boeotia."
A.D. 596. Isidore, of Seville. “Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Judea; then Mark in Italy; Luke the third, in Achaia; John the last, in Asia.”
The most prevalent opinion then, was, that Luke's Gospel was written the third in order of time; which agrees well with the internal evidence, for, on comparing the three, there is much appearance that Luke made use of both Matthew and Mark.
The preface says, “ Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which were from the beginning eye-witnesses and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.”
Thus Luke does not state precisely whence he obtained his information. His words certainly do not imply that he copied from some of the many who went before him; but neither do they disclaim it so distinctly as to set aside the internal evidence of his having done so.
Matthew and Mark are the only Gospels extant which could have been amongst the many alluded to ;* and it seems very evident, on examination, that Luke drew largely from both, and especially from Mark. Compare Luke iv. 1-12, with Matt. iv. Luke vi. 1-ll, with Mark ii. 23 ; 1-11.
iii. 6. iv.38–43, with Marki. 29–38. viii. 26-39, with Mark v. 1-20. v. 12—15, with Mark i. 40–45, . ix. 23_-36, with Mark viii. 34 ; and Matt. viii. 1-4.
ix. 10. v. 18-38, with Mark ii. 3-22, xxii. 7-13, with Mark xiv. and Matt. ix. 2-8.
12-16. When his two predecessors have the same story, Luke generally seems to prefer transcribing from Mark, but occasionally supplies an expression from Matthew: Luke xx. 8—47, Mark xi. 33, xii
. 40, compared with Matt. xxi. 27, xxii. 46. Here, where Mark omits, Luke omits also, but verse 18 he seems to have supplied from Matthew. See also Luke xx. 45–47, agreeing closely with Mark xii. 38—40, whilst Matthew xxiii. 5-14 is much longer; Luke xviii. 15, compared with Mark x. 13, and Matt. xix. 13.
There are, however, a great many stories and parables in Luke not found in the other two; it therefore seems likely that he took these from some of the other writings
* Origen argued that Luke could not intend to include Matthew and Mark amongst the many, because they did not "take in hand to write," but wrote. Most Christian writers have been anxious to prove the same point, but apparently without any better argument. (See Lardner, vol. v. p. 383.) The expression does not imply any disrespect on the part of Luke towards his predecessors, for the word " also” makes it apply to his own work. He probably considered that Matthew and Mark had still left room for a more complete and elegantly written life of Christ. And, in fact, Luke's Gospel is more full than either of those two, and, as is generally allowed, written in better Greek.
† In order to account for the agreements between the first three Gospels, Eichhorn and Bishop Marsh maintained that there must have been an original Aramaic document which was the common source of them all. But there appears to be no historical evidence of the existence of such a document. The translator of Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on Luke says, “The German critic's ingenious and specious investigation of this supposed document, and the tempting facilities. it offered for the solution of the problem, seem to have dazzled the judgment of his followers, and to have
which he alludes to, now lost, or that he selected them from the current traditions. Also he might have learned some things himself from the original eye-witnesses; but as he does not say which these are, it is impossible to discover what parts of his Gospel have this superior authority.
The variations from, and additions to, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, shew that Luke possessed sources of information which in some cases he preferred even to those evangelists. For instance, his story of the woman with the alabaster box of ointment, vii. 36, is very different from that in the other two, although the points of agreement shew that the same fact forms the foundation of all the three stories. His genealogy and history of Christ prevented him from scrutinizing the groundwork of his whole fabric with his usual vigilance. In the dissertation itself the probability of such a document having ever existed is not thought deserving of any discussion.” Translator's introduction, p. 25. Yet, not to insist upon this point, the difficulties of explaining the agreements on Eichhorn's hypothesis were found to be so great, that in a later work he published an improved form of it, viz. that four different copies of the supposed Aramaic original must have formed the basis of the three Gospels.
Schleiermacher himself says, “Without assenting to all the arguments which Hug opposes to Eichhorn's hypothesis of an original Gospel, I think he has, upon the whole, succeeded in making the thing improbable in the eyes of all unprejudiced persons.' Introd. p. 2. — “For my part, it is quite enough to prevent me from receiving Eichhorn's theory, that I am to figure to myself our evangelists surrounded by five or six open rolls or books, and that too in different languages, looking by turns from one into another, and writing a compilation from them. I fancy myself in a German study of the eighteenth or nineteenth century, rather than in the primitive age of Christianity.” Ibid. p. 6.
Mill says, “That Luke's Gospel was published after those of Matthew and Mark, appears, on the comparison of the three, clearer than light. For nothing is plainer than that Luke borrowed the very phrases and expressions of Matthew and Mark, nay, whole paragraphs word for word.” Mill, Proleg. p. 116.
Wetstein says, “That Luke took many things from Matthew, and more from Mark, appears on collating them.” De Lucâ, ap. T. Gr. tom. i.
643. Michaelis says, “It is wholly impossible that three historians, who have no connexion, either mediate or immediate, with each other, should harmonize as Matthew, Mark, and Luke do."--Origin of the first three Gospels, ch. i.