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INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS.
introduction of Greeks into the temple, because they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian" with him; and as we know that Luke was with Paul on that occasion, it would seem that they had taken him for a Jew, as they made no mention of him. On the other hand, his fluency in classical Greek confirms his Gentile origin. The time when he joined Paul's company is clearly indicated in the Acts by his changing (at ch. 16. 10) from the third person singular ("he") to the first person plural ("we"). From that time he hardly ever left the apostle till near the period of his martyrdom (2 Timothy, 4, 11). Eusebius makes him a native of Antioch. If so, he would have every advantage for cultivating the literature of Greece, and such medical knowledge as was then possessed. That he died a natural death is generally agreed among the ancients: Gregory Nazianzen alone affirming that he died a martyr.
The time and place of the publication of his Gospel are alike uncertain. But we can approximate to it. It must at any rate have been issued before the Acts, for there the Gospel is expressly referred to as the same author's " former treatise" (Aots, 1. 1). Now the book of the Acts was not published for two whole years after Paul's arrival as a prisoner at Rome, for it concludes with a reference to this period; but probably it was published soon after that, which would appear to have been early in the year 63. Before that time, then, we have reason to believe that the Gospel of Luke was in circulation, though the majority of criticx make it later. If we date it somewhere between A.D. 50 and 60, we sball probably be near the truth; but nearer it we cannot with any certainty come. Conjectures as to the place of publication are too uncertain to be mentioned here.
That it was addressed, in the first instance, to Gentile readers, is beyond doubt. This is no more, as Davidson remarks, (Introduction,' p. 186), than was to have been expected from the companion of an 'apostle of the Gentiles,' who had witnessed marvellous changes in the condition of many heathens by the reception of the Gospel. But the explanations in his Gospel of things known to every Jew, and which could only be intended for Gentile readers, make this quite plain-eee chs. 1. %; 4. 31 ; & 28; 21. 37; 92. 1; 24. 13. A number of other minute particulars, both of things inserted and of things omitted, confirm the conclusion that it was Gentiles whom this Evangelist had in the first instance in view.
We have already adverted to the classical style of Greek which this Evangelist writes-just what might have been expected from an educated Greek and travelled physician. But we have also observed that along with this he shows a won. derful flexibility of style, so much so, that when he comes to relate transactions wholly Jewish, where the speakers and actors and incidents are all Jewish, he writes in such Jewish Greek as one would do who had never been out of Palestine, or mixed with any but Jews. In da Costa's Four Witnesses' will be found some traces of the beloved physician' in this Gospel. But far more striking and important are the traces in it of his intimate connexion with the apostle of the Gentiles. That one who was so long and so constantly in the society of that mastermind has in such a work as this shown no traces of that connexion, no stamp of that mind, is hardly to be believed. Writers of Introductions seem not to see it, and take no notice of it. But those who look into the interior of it will soon discover eridences enough in it of a Pauline cast of mind. Referring for a number of details to da Costa, we notice here only two examples. In 1 Corinthians, 11. 93, Paul ascribes to an express revelation from Christ Himself the account of the Institution of the Lord's Supper which he there gives. Now, if we find this account differing in small yet striking particulars from the accounts given by Matthew and Mark, but agreeing to the letter with Luke's account, it can hardly admit of a doubt that the one had it from the other; and in that case, of course, it was Luke that had it from Paul. Now Matthew and Mark both say of the Cup, "This is my blood of the New Testament;" while Paul and Luke say, in identical terms, “ This cup is the New Testament in My blood." Further, Luke says, "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying." &c.; while Paul says, "After the same manner He took the cup when He had supped, saying," &c.; whereas neither Matthew nor Mark mention that this was after supper. But still more striking is another point of coincidence in this case. Matthew and Mark both say of the Bread merely this: "Take, eat; this is My body:" whereas Paul says, "Take, eat; this is My body, thich is broken for you," and Luke, “This is My body, which is given for you." And while Paul adds the precious clause, “ This do in remembrance of Me." Luke does the same, in identical terms. How can one who reflects on this resist the conviction of a Pauline stamp in this Gospel? The other proof of this to which we ask the reader's attention is in the fact that Paul, in enumerating the parties by whom Christ was seen after His resurrection, begins, singularly enough, with Peter" And that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the Twelve (1 Corinthians, 15, 4, 5)--coupled with the remarkable fact, that Luke is the only one of the Evangelists who mentions that Christ appeared to Peter at all. When the disciples had returned from Emmaus to tell their brethren how the Lord had appeared to them in the way, and how He had made Himsell known to them in the breaking of bread, they were met, as Lake relates, ere they had time to utter a word, with this wonderful piece of news, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon" (Luke, 24. 34).
Other points connected with this Gospel will be adverted to in the Commentary.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO S. JOHN.
The author of the Fourth Gospel was the younger of the two sons of Zebedee, a fisherman on the sen of Galilee, who
1 resided at Bethsaida, where were born Peter and Andrew his brother, and Philip also. His mother's name was Salome, who, though not without her imperfections (Matthew, 20, 20, &c.), was one of those dear and honoured women who accompanied the Lord on one of his preaching circuits through Galilee, ministering to His bodily wants; who followed Him to the cross, and bought sweet spioes to anoint Him after His burial, but, on bringing them to the grave, on the morning of the First Day of the week, found their loving services gloriously superseded by His resurrection ere they arrived. His father, Zebedee, appears to have been in good circumstances, owning a vessel of his own and having hired servants (Mark, 1. 20). Our Evangelist, whose occupation was that of a fisherman with his father, was beyond doubt a disciple of the Baptist, and one of the two who had the first interview with Jesus. He was called while engaged at his secular occupation (Matthew, 4, 21, 22), and again on a memorable occasion (Luke, 8. 1-11), and finally chosen as one of the Twelve Apostles (Matthew, 10.9). He was the youngest of the Twelve-the " Benjamin," as da Costa calls him-and he and James his brother were named in the native tougue, by Him who knew the heart, "Boanerges," which the Evangelist Mark (3. 17) explains to mean " Song of thunder;" no doubt from their natural vehemence of character. They and Peter con
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS.
tituted that select triumvirate of whom see on Luke, 9. 28. But the highest honour bestowed on this disciple was his being admitted to the bosom-place with his Lord at the table, as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John, 13. 23; 20. 2; 21. 7, 3. 54. and to have committed to him by the dying Redeemer the care of His mother (19. 28, 27). There can be no reason. shle doubt that this distinction was due to a sympathy with His own spirit and mind on the part of John which the all-penetrating Eye of their common Master beheld in none of the rest; and although this was probably never seen either in his life or in his ministry by his fellow-apostles, it is brought wonderfully out in his writings, which, in Christ-like piritaslity, heavenliness, and love, surpass, we may freely say, all the other inspired writings
After the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we find him in constant but silent company with Peter, the peat spokesman and actor in the infant Church until the accession of Paul. While his love to the Lord Jesus drew Miom spontaneously to the side of His eminent servant, and his chastened vehemence made him ready to stand courageously by him, and suffer with him, in all that his testimony to Jesus might cost him, his modest humility, as the youngest of all be apostles, made him an admiring listener and faithful supporter of his brother apostle rather than a speaker or separate actor. Ecclesiastical history is uniform in testifying that John went to Asia Minor-but it is next to certain that this could Bot bare been till after the death both of Peter and Paul; that he resided at Ephesus, whence, as from a centre, he superIntended the churches of that region, paying them occasional visits; and that he long survived the other apostles. Whether the mother of Jesus died before this, or went with John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried, is not agreed. One or
szerdotes of his later days have been handed down by tradition, one at least bearing marks of reasonable probability, Dat it is not necessary to give them here. In the reign of Domitian (A,D. 81-96) he was banished to "the isle that is called Patmog" (8 Emall rocky and then almost uninhabited island in the Ægean sea), "for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation, 1. 9). Irenæus and Eusebius say that this took place about the end of Domitian's dThat he was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, and miraculously delivered, is one of those legends which, though reported by Tertullian and Jerome, is entitled to no credit. His return from exile took place during the brief but tolerant tem of Nerva: he died at Ephesus in the reign of Trajan (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3. 23), at an age above 90, coording to some; according to others, 100; and even 120, according to others still. The intermediate number is generally regarded as probably the nearest to the truth.
As to the date of this Gospel, the arguments for its having been composed before the destruction of Jerusalem (though rebied on by some superior critics) are of the slenderest nature: such as the expression in ch. 5. 2, "there is at Jerusalem, by the sbeep gate, a pool," &c.; there being no allusion to Peter's martyrdom as having occurred according to the prediction a . Il 18 thing too well known to require mention. That it was composed long after the destruction of Jerusalem, med after the decease of all the other apostles, is next to certain, though the precise time cannot be determined. Probably # a before his banishment, however; and if we date it between the years 90 and 94, we shall probably be pretty near
As to the rendas for whom it was more immediately designed, that they were Gentiles we might naturally presume to the latenese of the date; but the multitude of explanations of things familiar to every Jew puts this beyond all question.
So doubt was ever thrown upon the genuineness and authenticity of this Gospel till about the close of the last century, T ere tbese embodied in any formal attack upon it till Bretschneider, in 1820, issued his famous treatise (Probabilia.' te the conclusions of which he afterwards was candid enough to admit had been satisfactorily disproved. To advert to the sould be as painful as unnecessary; consisting as they mostly do of assertions regarding the Discourses of our Lord
rded in this Gospel which are revolting to every spiritual mind. The Tubingen school did their best, on their peculiar made of reasoning, to galvanize into fresh life this theory of the post-Joannean date of the Fourth Gospel; and some Uni. tarina crities in this country still cling to it. But to use the striking language of van Ostersee regarding similar speculabeasca tbe Third Gospel, Behold, the feet of them that shall carry it out dead are already at the door' (Acts, 5. 9). Is Boere one mind of the least elevation of spiritual discernment that does not see in this Gospel marks of historical truth and i surpassing glory such as none of the other Gospels possess, brightly as they too attest their own verity; and who will
be ready to say that it not historically true, and true just as it stande, it never could have been by mortal man compored or sendeired?
or the peculiarities of this Gospel we note bere only two. The one is its reflective character. While the others are reely narrative, the Fourth Evangelist pauses, as it were, at every turn,' as da Costa says (* Four Witnesses,' p. 234), 'at
e time to give a reason, at another to fix the attention, to deduce consequences, or make applications, or to give utterance to the language of praise. See chs. 2. 20, 21, 23-25; 4, 1, 2; 7. 37-39; 11, 12, 13, 49-52 ; 21. 18, 19, 22, 23. The other peculiarity tuis Gospel is its supplementary character. By this, in the present instance, we mean something more than the studi.
esith which he omits many most important particulars in our Lord's history, for no conceivable reason but that bey sere already familiar as household words to all his readers, through the three preceding Gospels, and his substituting
place of these an immense quantity of the richest matter not found in the other Gospels. We refer here more particuriy to the nature of the additions which distinguish this Gospel; particularly the notices of the different passovers which
red daring our Lord's public ministry, and the record of His teaching at Jerusalem, without which it is not too much ny that we could have had but a most imperfect conception either of the duration of His ministry or of the plan of it. Ens another feature of these additions is quite as noticeable and not less important. We find,' to use again the words
da Costa (pp. 238, 219), slightly abridged, only six of our Lord's miracles recorded in this Gospel, but these are all of the best remarkable kind, and surpass the rest in depth, speciality of application, and fulness of meaning. Of these six Teed only one in the other three Gospels--the multiplication of the loaves. That miracle chiefly, it would seem, on account
the important instructions of which it furnished the occasion (ch. 6.), is here recorded anew. The five other tokens of Devise power are distinguished from among the many recorded in the three other Gospels, by their furnishing a still bigher ils of power and command over the ordinary laws and course of nature. Thus we find recorded here the first of all the itseies that Jesus wrought-the changing of water into wine (ch. 2.), the cure of the nobleman's son at a distance (ch. 4.);
the posterous cures of the lame and the paralytic by the word of Jesus, only one of the man impotent for thirty and eight on feb. 8.); of the many cures of the blind, one only-of the man born blind (ch. 9.); the restoration of Lazarus, not from
drfh-bed, lite Jairus daughter, nor from a bier, like the widow of Nain's son, but from the grave, and after lying there Bords, and there ginking into corruption (ch. 11.); and lastly, after his resurrection, the miraculous draught of fishes a there of Tiberias (ch. 21.). But these are all recorded chiefly to give occasion for the record of those astonishing Dis.
m od Conversations, alike with friends and with foes, with His disciples and with the multitude, which they drew forth."
Other illustrations of the peculiarities of this Gospel will occur, and other points connected with it be adverted to, in the course of the Commentary.
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
M IS book is to the Gospelg what the fruit is to the tree that bears it. In the Gospels we see the corn of wheat fallin
1 into the ground and dying: in the Acts we see it bringing forth much fruit (John, 12. 24). There we see Chris purebasing the Church with His own blood : here we see the Church, so purchased, rising into actual existence; firs among the Jews of Palestine, and next among the surrounding Gentiles, until it gains a footing in the great capital a the ancient world-sweeping majestically from Jerusalem to Rome. Nor is this book of less value as an Introduction t the Epistles which follow it, than as a Sequel to the Gospels which precede it. For without this history the Epistles o the New Testament-presupposing, as they do, the historical circumstances of the parties addressed, and deriving from these so much of their freshness, point, and force-would in no respect be what they now are, and would in a number o places be scarcely intelligible.
The genuineness, authenticity, and canonical authority of this book were never called in question within the ancien Church. It stands immediately after the Gospels, in the catalogues of the Homologoumena, or universally acknowledged books of the New Testament (see Introduction to our larger Commentary. Vol. V. pp. iv, v). It was rejected, indeed, by certain heretical seots in the second and third centuries-by the Ebionites, the Severians (see Eusebius, Ecclesiastica History, 4, 29), the Marcionites, and the Manicheaus: but the totally uncritical character of their objections (see Introduc tion above referred to, pp. xiii, xiv) not only deprives them of all weight, but indirectly shows on what solid grounds the Christian Church had all along proceeded in recognising this book.
In our day, however, its authenticity has, like that of all the lending books of the New Testament, been made in Germany the subject of keen and protracted controversy. First, de Wette, while admitting Luke to be the author of the entire work, pronounces the earlier portion of it to have been drawn up from unreliable sources (Einleitung.'9 a and 3 C). But the Tubingen school, with Baur at their head, have gone much further. As their fantastic theory of the postJoannean date of the Gospels could not pretend even to a hearing so long as the authenticity of the Acts of the Apostles remained unshaken, they contend that the earlier portion of this work can be shown to be unworthy of credit, while the latter portion is in flat contradiction to the Epistle to the Galatians-which this school regard as unassailable-and bears internal evidence of being a designed distortion of facts for the purpose of setting up the Catholic form which Paul gave to Christianity in opposition to the narrow Judaic but original form of it which Peter preached, and which after the death of the apostles was held exclusively by the sect of the Ebionites. It is painful to think that one so lately deceased should have spent so many years, and, aided by learned and acute disciples, in different parts of the argument, should have expended so much learning, research, and ingenuity, in attempting to build up a hypothesis, regarding the origination of the leading books of the New Testament, which outrages all the principles of sober criticism and legitimate evidence. As a school, this party at length broke up: its head, after living to find himself sole defender of the theory as a whole, left this earthly scene complaining of desertion; while some of his associates have abandoned such heartless studies altogether for the more congenial pursuits of philosophy, others have modified their attacks on the historical truth of the New Testament records, retreating into positions into which it is not worth while to follow them, while others still have been gradually approximating to sound principles. The one compensation for all this mischief is the rich additions to the apologetical and critical literature of the books of the New Testament, and the earliest history of the Christian Church, which it has drawn from the pena of Thierech, Ebrard, and many others. Any allusions which it may be necessary for us to make to the assertions of this school will be made in connection with the passages to which they relate-in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians.
The manifest connexion between this book and the Third Gospel- of which it professes to be simply the continuation by the same author-and the striking similarity which marks the style of both productions, leave no room to doubt that the early Church was right in ascribing it with one consent to Luke. The difficulty which some fastidious critics have made about the sources of the earlier portion of the History has no solid ground. That the historian himself was an eye-witness of the earliest scenes-as Hug concludes from the circumstantiality of the narrative-is altogether improbable: but there were hundreds of eye-witnesses of some of the scenes, and enough of all the rest, to give to the historian, partly by oral, partly by written testimony, all the details which he has embodied so graphically in his History; and it will appear, we trust, from the commentary, that de Wette's complaints of confusion, contradiction, and error in this portion are without foundation. The same critic, and one or two others, would ascribe to Timothy those later portions of the book in which the historian speaks in the first person plural-"We;" supposing him to have taken notes of all that passed under his own eye, which Luke embodied in his History just as they stood. It is impossible here to refute this gratuitous hypothesis in detail; but the reader will find it done by Ebrard (Gospel History,' sect. 110, Clark's translation ; sect. 127 of the original work, Wissenschaftliche Kritik der Evangel. Geschichte,' 1850), and by Davidson ("Introduction to New Testament,' Vol. H., pp. 9-21).
The Undesigned Coincidences between this History and the Apostolic Epistles have been brought out and handled, as an argument for the truth of the facts thus attested, with unrivalled felicity by Paley in his 'Hora Pauline,' to which Mr. Birks has made a number of ingenious additions in bis . Horre Apostolicte. Exception has been taken to some of these by Jowett ("St. Paul's Epistles,'Vol. I. pp. 108, &c.), not without a measure of reason in certain cases--for our day, at leastthough even he admits that in this line of evidence the work of Paley, taken as a whole, is unassailable.
Much has been written about the object of this History. Certainly the Acts of the Apostles' are but very partially recorded. But for this title the historian is not responsible, Between the two extremes-of supporing that the work has no plan at all, and that it is constructed on an elaborate and complex plan, we sball probably be as near the truth as is necessary if we take the design to be to record the diffusion of Christianity and the rise of the Christian Church, first among the Jews of Palestine, the seat of the ancient Faith, and next among the surrounding Gentiles, with Antioch for its headquarters, until, finally, it is seen waring over imperial Rome, foretokening its universal triumph. In this view of it, there is no dificulty in accounting for the almost exclusive place which it gives to the labours of Peter in the first instance, and the all but entire disappearance from the History both of him and of the rest of the Eleven after the great apostle of the Gentiles came upon the stage-like the lesser lights on the rise of the great luminary.
The chronology of the Aots is involved in great uncertainty, the notes of time which it contains being few and vague, It is only by connecting those events of secular history which it records, and the dates of which are otherwise tolerably known to us-such as the famine under Claudius Cæsar (ch. 11. 28), the expulsion of the Jews from Rome by the same emperor
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS.
dear power and
fot. 18. 9), and the entrance of Porcius Festus upon the procuratorship (ch. 34. 97)- with the intervals specified between
me occurrences in the apostle's life and others (such asch, 20. 31; 94. 27; 28.30; and Galatians, 1. and 2.)--that we can thread ir pay through the difficulties that surround the chronology of the apostle's life, and approximate to certainty. Immense research has been brought to bear upon the subject, but the learned, as might be expected, are greatly divided. Every year has been fixed upon as the probable date of the apostle's conversion, from A.D. 31 (Bengel] to A.D. 42 [Eusebius). But the weight of authority is in favour of dates ranging between 35 and 40, a difference of not more than five years; and the largest sumber of authorities is in favour of the year 37 or 3& Taking the former of these, to which opinion largely inclines, the following Table will be useful to the student of apostolic History:
AD. 37, ... PAUL'S CONVERSION
. . . Acts, 9.1. ... First Visit to Jerusalem,
9. 26; Gal. 1. 18. ** 49-44, .. Fir First Residence at Antioch, .
11. 26-30. " 44, ... Second Visit to Jerusalem, . .
11. 30; 12. 25. FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY,
13, 2; 14. 26. 47-51, . . Second Residence at Antioch,
14. 28. Third Visit to Jerusalem, .
15. 2-30; Gal. 2. 1-10.
(on which see Notes.) * 51, 53, or 54, SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY,
15. 36, 40; 18. 22. 53 or 54. . Fourth Visit to Jerusalem, .
18. 21, 22. Third Residence at Antioch,
" 18, 22, 23. 54-58, .. THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY, .
18. 23; 21. 15. S Fifth Visit to Jerusalem, .
*" 21. 15; 23. 35. Arrest and Imprisonment at Cesarea. . 60 (Ant) - Voyage to and Arrival in Rome, . . * 61 Spring), S
“ 27. 1; 28. 16. * 63. ... Release from Imprisonment. .
At Crete, Colosse, Macedonia, Corinth, Nicopolis, Dal-
. 1 & 2 Timotby and Titus " 6-65, or 66, or possibly so late as
66-68, .. Martyrdom at Rome.
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST. On the order of some of our Lord's Miracles and Parables, the data being scanty, considerable
The two debtors,
(Capernaum,] Galilee, Galilee. Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea-shore of Galilee, Sea shore of Galilee, Capernaum, Near Jerusalem, Near Jerusalem, Galilee, Galilee, Perea, Perea, Peres, Perea, Jerusalem, Perea, Perea, Perea, Perea, Perea, Perea, Jericho, Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Mount of Olives,
Luke, 7. 40-43.