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on fancy. Our view is, that our Lord has here shown a type of what was to be accomplished in Himself at no very distant time. The raising of Lazarus by Jesus has often been judged as a prelude to His own resurrection. Strauss himself has expressly acknowledged the right of considering it in this light (certainly in the interest of his own tendencies). But still more indisputably is it allowable to bring the event before us in a relation of that kind to an occurrence in the termination of the career of Jesus Himself. When in fact our Lord drank the cup of death, there stood the mater dolorosa at the foot of the cross, with similar though deeper grief than the woman at Nain. Jesus Himself was also, in a certain sense, “the only son of His mother, and she was a widow.' We know how He looked down with compassion upon her, and spoke to her His weep not,'—not in words alone, but by means of a testamentary disposition. Among all His ties of kindred, that to His mother was the only one to which He felt bound. For even the so-called 'brothers,' even though it should be convincingly proved that they were the real sons of Mary,' were not in a complete sense His brothers. Hence He experienced towards the woman who bare Him a peculiar compassion, different and deeper than if the blind and the lepers, or the needy in general, had depicted all their necessities to Him,-a compassion not by means of His suffering pity, but in sympathy with His own experience of pain. And if it now happened that a woman came before His eyes in trouble, in a position in which He would soon have to see His mother, there is thus shown a degree of the expressly reported onlayxvioon, which makes the probability of this act of compassion conceivable.

1 The newest treatise by Laurent (Neutestamentl. Studien, pp. 152-193) on this question, decides it in this way. We certainly plead just as little for all the details of this treatise, as for the collected fruits of these studies in general.


For the extraordinary exertions which Strauss has made against this narrative, exegesis as well as apologetics are deeply indebted to him. He has cleared the air; he has strikingly and victoriously shown, that all the half measures of accommodating theology, however numerous and manifold they may be, are in this case to be condemned as pure impossibilities. With a well-deserved irony he turns against those who seek, 'with the pens of modern poets,' to conceal the unexplained difficulty and their own restlessness. Clearly and sharply he shows others that, notwithstanding all their evasions, they only reach the most common rationalism. As gently as he judges Renan (whose exposition, however much it may provoke the reader, is really, in its principle at least, more reasonable than what many others have said in a manner less hurtful to the feelings), he also declares to him that, with such an endeavour to make the raising of Lazarus a mere intrigue of the family, the matter becomes 'not essentially better.' Lastly, he has proved that even Schleiermacher's view is an impossible one. This theologian asserts that we have before us here no deed of Jesus, as our Lord ascribes the work not to Himself, but to His Father.1 Strauss shows what this really means in plain language ; for by this mode of explaining them, all the miracles of Jesus would either vanish before our eyes (as without a glance upwards to His Father, or without a prayer to Him, did our Lord certainly accomplish no single one), or they would be placed altogether under one new point of view only. Also in this way a real difference between the Lazarus miracle and the other miracles of Jesus would in no wise occur. The critic has thus so far rendered quite thankworthy services.

1 See Schleiermacher's Leben Jesu, p. 233 : "The miracle as a deed of Christ possesses quite a different character. For while He prays to God to hear Him, He takes the effect as a divine one resulting from His prayer. He Himself thus steps outside the region of miracle, excepting the firmness of His conviction that what He asked would also happen on the part of God.'

We now turn to Strauss' own view. He proceeds negatively and positively at the same time. After he has attempted to show that the history could not have happened as it is told, he tries to prove the genesis of the myth. The incredibility of the occurrence appears sure to him, on external as well as internal ground. In regard to the former, the reality of it is destroyed by the circumstance that the synoptics know nothing of it. On the other hand, the internal improbability is evident, partly from the conduct of Jesus before His arrival at Bethany, which, as here stated, would be “revolting;' partly from the feigned prayer at the grave of Lazarus, which would be the affair of an unskilful actor.'

If this negative explanation, even in its outlines, appears a very weak one, Strauss has, on the other hand, in the positive half of the exposition, unfolded the whole glory of his power of showing probabilities and drawing conclusions from them. At the head he places the assertion, that the root of the Johannine narrative is the interest that existed to support the Christian doctrine of the future resurrection of the dead through Christ's coming again, by means of a miracle, which should witness to its having happened in the past. As a proof that at a future time all that were buried should rise at the voice of the Son of God, it was necessary to show that He had called forth from the grave with a mighty voice during His mortal


It was

pilgrimage, one who had already fallen into corruption. But for this end, the history of Jairus was applicable just as little as the narrative at Nain. necessary to invent an incident which would relate to the latter, just as the superlative does to the comparative and positive. The justification of this view is shown by the disclosure of the theme of the myth, then furthered by the designation of its base, and lastly completed by proving how the author of the fourth Gospel arrived at the persons acting, and how he was led to the form of his composition. The theme consists of the sentence, 'I am the resurrection and the life;' for all the details rest on the carrying out of this. On the other hand, the base may be the history of the raising of the daughter of Jairus. This latter must evidently have served the poet as a pattern; the close relation of the several features prove it,--here as there the commencing of the announcement of the mere sickness, and then of death resulting from it; here as there the designation of death as a sleep,—'the maid sleepeth,' 'our friend Lazarus sleepeth;' here as there the going to Jesus with “Trouble not the Master, the child is dead,' 'Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died;' lastly, in both cases the same conduct of Jesus to the mourners, --in the one the forbidding of demonstrations of grief, in the other the trial of the weeping sisters. 'Is it not therefore plain that the fourth evangelist, taking his plan in general from the groundwork of the history of Jairus, has followed out the raising of this subject into the superlative degree?' But for such actors as were needed for the material of the dramatic composition, the author has obtained them by a circumspect use of the synoptic Gospels. We have in Matthew and Mark at Bethany an anointing woman, in Luke an anointing sinner; and the sisters Mary and Martha in an uncertain place. These threads are now found drawn together in the narrative before us, in such a form that at the same time the peculiarities of the persons, faintly pointed out in the synoptic Gospels, have become of use. Of a real Lazarus the older sources knew indeed nothing, but only of one in a parable. And that this latter had been borrowed from Luke, and changed into a real one, is based not only on the striking resemblance between John xi. 1 and Luke xvi. 20: "There was a certain sick man, Lazarus of Bethany,' “There was a certain poor man, Lazarus by name,' but also on this, that both died and are buried; that one of them, as the rich man wished, rose from the grave; and that the Jews, notwithstanding this, did not believe, as Abraham had predicted, this result in the parable. And from this is drawn the conclusion, that as we have so plainly seen whence the fourth evangelist obtained his Lazarus with his surroundings, and as it is inconceivable that the others, if he had really existed, and had been raised from the dead by Jesus, should have omitted it, it is evident that a mythical poem lies before us, the object of which is not to be mistaken.

Before we turn to the examination of this critical attempt, we again must attest the full justice of the view, that the fourth evangelist was conscious of giving the report of a real raising from the dead, which Christ had accomplished, and that all endeavours to question it are in vain. In order not to repeat what has been said at length, we again call attention to the often-overlooked, or at least not sufficiently-estimated passage (chap. xi. 39),—a passage that, by means of two or three witnesses, cuts off any possible excuses. We read: 'Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days.'

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