Imágenes de página
[ocr errors]

Britain, both at home and abroad, provoked me to attempt a con futation of them: and the volumes, which I accordingly published, again employed an interval of nearly two years. Toward the end of 1799, I returned to the study of theology: I began to collect materials for observations on the other books of the New Testament > and I intended to have treated them in the same manner as I had done the three first Gospels, when a new interruption took place in March 1800. From the university of Leipzig, where I then resided, I returned to England, in consequence of an invitation, which I could not refuse and as the completion of my original plan, with regard to Michaelis's Introduction, was thus deferred to an unlimited time, I determined to print the remainder of the translation without further delay. In so doing, I hope I shall not incur the censure of the public: as it is certainly more desirable to have the work of Michaelis complete, though the whole is not accompanied with notes, than to wait several years longer for the completion of the work, merely for the sake of some additional observations by the translator.' Vol. iii. Part i. p.iv.

Following the same method of division as in the former, Michaëlis commences this part of his work with a brief chapter on the name and number of the canonical Gospels; whence he proceeds, in a second, to consider the harmony that subsists between them. In discussing this topic, he begins with stating their apparent contradictions, adding answers to the objections advanced on this ground in respect to the order of time, and laying down rules to be observed in making a harmony of them, which lead it to consider the proter inference from the supposition that real contradictions to exist in these Gospels. An examination next follows of different degrees of importance in the different kinds of contradiction observable in them, which, having introduced an account of the principal harmonies, induces the author, from retrospect if the difficulties and defects attending them, to propose a harmony of his own. This is followed by a masterly investigation concerning two very actively employed sabbaths in the life of Christ, which are of material importance in settling the concordance of the Gospels: these sabbaths are, the day of the sermon on the mount, and the day of the sermon in parables; on which it is observed, that

Whoever examines the preceding harmonic table of the Gospels, will perceive, that on the two days, of which I have just examined the history, depends the arrangement of many facts, which happened either on or near to one of these two days, and which the evangelists have related, one at one period, another at another. Now these two days might be very easily confounded, as they are in many respects similar to each other: the scene of action is on both days in Capernaum, on both days Jesus leaves the city in the evening, on both days he performs miracles and delivers discourses, both are sabbath days, and on each he is accused of a violation of the sabbath. Two such days as.these, might be very easily exchanged by any one,

who had not kept a regular journal, and who wrote merely from memory. The question to be asked therefore is: Has any such exchange taken place in the present instance? According to St. Mark, ch. iv. 35-41. and St. Luke, ch. viii. 22. Jesus crossed the sea, when he was exposed to a severe storm, on the second day: but according to St. Matthew, the storm happened on the day after the sermon on the mount, when, according to St. Mark and St. Luke, Jesus went westward on the land side. Which of the evangelists are we then to follow? We may abide by the relation of St. Mark and St. Luke, without necessarily supposing that St. Matthew was mistaken, and therefore that he was not inspired; for he has not positively determined the time, but says only, ch. viii. 18. When Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart to the other side.' Yet on the other hand it is difficult, after having read ver. 14-17. to suppose, on coming to ver. 18. that the writer could have any other intention than to connect the subsequent with the preceding relation, and to describe the passage across the sea, as having happened on the day after the sermon on the mount. Further, on the day after the sermon in parables, St. Matthew makes no mention of any passage across the sea, but says only, ch. xiii. 53. That when Jesus had finished these parables he departed thence.'


The determination of the difficulties which I have stated in this section has very material influence on our arrangement of the facts recorded by the evangelists, as many a harmonist has severely felt, without being conscious perhaps of the real cause which produced the perplexity. Which of the evangelists we ought to follow I am really unable to determine: for though St. Matthew has in general the advantage over St. Mark and St. Luke, in being eye-witness to the facts which he records, yet the present instance makes an exception. For St. Matthew by his own account was not called from the receipt of custom, and therefore was not become an attendant on Jesus, till after Jesus was again returned to Capernaum. Nor is this a contradiction to the account given No. 26. from which it appears that the twelve apostles, among whom St. Matthew is mentioned by name, were chosen on the morning of that day on which Jesus held the sermon on the mount. St. Matthew might have been nominated an apostle, and yet not instantly abandon his occupation as receiver of tribute: the sermon on the mount was delivered on a sabbath day, on which the receivers of tribute were disengaged; but on the following morning he returned to his duty at the house of custom, whence Jesus now invited him to be his constant attendant. Besides, even an eye-witness, who relates from memory events which happened several years before, may easily exchange two days, which are similar to each other.-In this instance therefore I followed St. Mark and St. Luke, because they make a majority of evidence, and because they have in fact determined the time. A further examination of the two days, which I have considered in this section, would perhaps throw more light on what is called the Harmony of the Gospels. Vol. iii. Part i. p. 90.

The object of the next chapter is to discover the cause why

St. Matthew and St. Mark, as also St. Mark and St. Luke, in several instances present an extraordinary verbal harmony, though the one did not copy from the writings of the other. Having stated on this head the examples below *, this remarkable verbal agreement, adds Michachis, I am unable to explain on any other than the following hypothesis.

Before the three first Gospels were written, or, at least, before St. Matthew's Gospel had been translated into Greek, there existed several apocryphal Gospels, to which St. Luke alludes in his preface, and of which it was his object to correct the inaccuracies. But when the accounts, which they contained, were accurate, St. Luke, as well as St. Mark, and the translator of St. Matthew, abided by the expressions which they found, as they were regardless of the ornaments of style. It is likewise possible that St Mark and St. Luke followed these early accounts in the arrangement of the recorded facts, and that hence arose the deviation from St. Matthew's order, which has occasioned so much perplexity to the harmonists.

Another argument for the opinion that the evangelists made use of written documents, is, that St. Luke, who when left to himself was able to write good Greek, has sometimes in his Gospel such harsh Hebraisms, as he would hardly have used, unless he had drawn from written documents. I will mention a few examples, Ch. i. 49. άγιον το όνομα αrre, if it is equivalent to οὗ αγιον το όνομα αυτό, is a harsh Hebraism. Of eλsos, ver. 50. 54. 58. 72. I have already treated, vol. i. ch. iv. sect. 7.-ETE иparos, ver. 51. is exactly derived from the Hebrew 'n wy, res magnas gessit, vicit Μνησθηναι ελεος, Tw Abgaau, ver. 54, 55. is the same Hebraism as we find in the Septuagint, Psalm xcviii. 3. vrby, te shs8s aura τῳ Ιακω5, and Psalmi cxix. 49. μνησθητι των λόγων σε τῷ δόλῳ σε V. 76. TEO TEISWT Te Kuçia, and v. 79. oxia Savare are manifest Hébraisms ——Ch. vii. 21. εθεράπευσε πολλές απομαστιγων is an

[ocr errors]

‘* Mark i. 4. Luke iii. 3. Κηρυσσαν βαπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς αφεσιν ἁμαρτίων Math. in. 12. Luke iii. 17. Οὗ το πτυον ἐν τῇ χειρι αυτό, και διακαθαρσει την άλωνα αυτή, και εντάξει τον σιτον (αυτς) εις την αποθήκην (αυτω), το δε άχυρον κατακαύσει πυρι ασβεστῳ. Here the harsh Hebraism οὗ ἐν τῇ χειρί αυτῳ is worthy of notice.-Matth. iv. 5. Luke iv. 9. repoyov, a very unusual word, peculiar to the Egyptian Greek dialect, and of which no commentator, has given an accurately philological explanation.-Mark v. 22. ii. 1-12. and Luke viii. 41. v. 17-26. are remarkable, not only for the similarity of expressions used in these passages, but likewise for the separation of two events, which in the Gospel of St. Matthew are connected with each other.-Matth. vi. 11, Luke xi. 3. Ezing, a word, which, according to Origen, no Greek writer had ever used before the evangelists The agreement, however, in respect to 118ies may be explained on the supposition, that this word was already in use among the early Christians in the Lord's Prayer, at the time when St. Matthew and St. Luke wrote their Gospels.-Matth. viii. 2-4. Mark i. 40-45. Luke v. 12-16.— Matth. xvi. 24. Mark viii. 34. Luke ix. 23. In this last example it is remarkable that all the three evangelists agree in using the Syriae phrase eflow fast AB, instead of the common Greek word axcλæðuv-Mark xii. 41, 42. Luke xxi. 1, 2. yazoquλaxio and here, the former of which is taken by these two evangelists in an unusual sense.-Mark xiv. 12-16. Luke xxi. 7-13.-Mark xiv. 54. Luke xxii. 56. mṣos тo prç.—Matth. xxviii, 1. Luke xxiii, 54, #mipwonw, a harshSyriasm explained above, vol. i, ch. iv. § 5.' Vol, iji. Parti. p. 93.



harsh expression, which nowhere occurs in the New Testament, except in the present instance, and at Mark iii. 10. v 29. 34. Homer indeed, in describing a disorder with which the Greeks were afflicted, says, they were lashed with Jupiter's scourge: but Homer had here the image of a scourge before his eyes, and wrote in allegory, whereas a writer who literally calls a disease a scourge, and uses such expressions as to be afflicted with a scourge,' to be cured of a scourge,' no longer thinks on the original meaning of parri. Pure Greek writers never applied the word in this manner. Ch. ix. 51-53, posure disharmoniously occurs not less than three times, where a pure Greek writer would not have used it even once. In the second instance, o goswжe aute is a common Hebraism: in the second and third instances, το προςωπον αυτου εστήριξε το πορευέσθαι εις Ιερεσαλημ, and το προσωπον αυτό ην πορευόμενον εις Ιερεσαλημ are less common Hebraisms, of which we find examples in 2 Kings xii. 17. Jerem. xlii. 15. 2 Chron. xxxii. 2.—Luke xii. 8. ós av dμology E εμοί, and ὁ Υἱός τε Ανθρωπε ὁμολογήσει εν αυτῷ, a Syriasm, which I have already explained.-Luke xiii. 16. da in the sense of jam, is a Syriasm borrowed from ', of which I recollect no other instance in the whole New Testament.' Vol. iii. Part i. P. 94.


From thus much of observation on the Gospels in general, our author descends to that of St. Matthew in particular. Commencing with an account of this evangelist, and the time when he wrote, and attempting to reconcile the contradictions in respect to the others, Michaëlis proceeds to consider the original language of St. Matthew's Gospel, and, after having submitted some introductory remarks, subjoins testimonies of the ancients relative to an Hebrew original. The question is next examined, whether Origen and Eusebius have argued, in any part of their writings, as though they supposed that St. Matthew had written in Greek? Additional arguments are adduced in favour of the opinion that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew; the objections made to this opinion are discussed; and observations on several passages in the Greek Gospel of St. Matthew are advanced, to evince that the translator had been inaccurate in his version; accompanied with conjectures relative to the words of the ori ginal, and the causes which might have led a translator into error. Notices are next presented relative to the Hebrew Gospel used by the Nazarenes and Ebionites; and an inquiry is instituted, whether this Gospel, in its primitive state, actually were the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew? The investigation closes with an account of the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew published by Sebastian Munster, and of the edition by John


Among topics of such various interest as those which this chapter contains, there is not one that does not abound with instruction: those which follow we cite as of material importance. Having premised the authority of Jerom, I will now propose

[ocr errors]

some conjectures of my own. Ch. iii. 15. πασαν δικαιοσυνην is not
so suitable to the contest as παντα τα δικαιώματα, which signifes
all commandments relative to religious ceremonies.' Perhaps Pa
was used in the original.-Ch. iv. 8. the tempter conducts Christ to
the top of a lofty mountain, and shows him πασας τας βασιλείας το
κόσμο. Now if we take these words in a literal sense, the fact is
útterly impossible and if it was a mere illusion, there was no ne,
cessity for ascending a lofty mountain. Here some word must have
been used in the original which was capable of more than one
translation: perhaps, which signifies the land,' as well as
the earth; or, which, as well as oixsusvy, may denote the
land of Palestine. Or thirdly, what is perhaps the most probable con-
jecture, it is not improbable that St. Matthew wrote
10, that is all the kingdoms of the Holy Land, and that the
translator mistook 13 for 13, which in the Septuagint is some-
times rendered by xopos.
It is even possible, as 3 signifies lite-
rally beauty,' and xoguos has likewise this sense, that the translation
in question was occasioned by a too literal adherence to the original.
Now all the kingdoms which existed in Palestine in the time of
Christ could be seen from the top of mount Nebo: St. Matthew
therefore meant all the kingdoms of Palestine, which his translator
converted into all the kingdoms of the world.'-Ch. v. 18. &ws an
Tavra yeral is not very intelligible, for the question relates to the
laws of God; and the laws of God are not universally fulfilled. Per-

[ocr errors]

which are ,עד כי יעשה הכל haps the words of the original were

capable of a different translation from

έως αν παντα γενηται: for

may denote for ever,' and ', if was used in the preceding clause, would signify but.' The meaning therefore of Christ was, As long as heaven and earth remain, they shall not be abolished, but every thing shall be executed.'—Ch. v. 48. TeλEO is somewhat obscure. A word expressive of peace or reconciliation would be more suitable to the context than a word expressive of perfection. Perhaps was used in the original, which admits both senses.- Ch. viii. 28, 29. mention is made of two demoniacs, whereas St. Mark and St. Luke mention only one. Now if the dialect, in which St. Matthew wrote, was the Syriac, this contradiction may be ascribed to the translator. For in Syriac, when a noun is in what is called the status emphaticus, it has the very same orthography in the singular as it has in the plural; and even in the verb, the third person plural is sometimes written like the third person singular, without the Vau, namely for. However I shall not insist on this explanation, because I much doubt whether St. Matthew wrote in Syriac.'-Ch. ix. 18. Jairus says of his daughter apri ETEλEUTYCE, she is already dead;' whereas, according to St. Mark, he says εσχάτως έχει, “ she is at the point of death, and receives the first intelligence of her death as he was returning home accompanied by Christ. Various artifices have been used by the harmonists to reconcile this contradiction, and with very little success: but as soon as we reflect on the words which must have stood in the original, all difficulty vanishes on this head. For any may signify either she is now dead,' or she is now dying.' St. Matthew's translator rendered the word according to the former


עתה מתה

« AnteriorContinuar »