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action, and who is the only historian that mentions this circumstance, might be mistaken with respect to it.
You add, that “if we expunge this verse, there will be want of force in the observation, John vij. 1:"* “ After these things Jesus walked in Galilee ; for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” Now, besides that I transpose the 5th and 6th chapters, and therefore your Lordship’s argument may perhaps not affect me at all, I really do not apprehend wherein the force of this observation lies, as you do not explain it. I must, therefore, wait for your Lordship’s next letter before I reply to it. I suppose the feast of pentecost to have preceded what is related in this 7th chapter, and it was at this feast that the Jews sought to kill Jesus, as we are informed in the fifth chapter, which I make to precede this; and this circumstance is an argument in favour of that transposition.
I had observed that Irenæus cannot be supposed to have had the reading of this marxa in his copy of John's Gospel, , because he does not avail himself of it in his answer to the Valentinians. In reply to this, your Lordship says, “ Ire. næus only proposed to mention how often, at the season of the passover, our Lord, after his baptism, went up to Jerusalem; and therefore the mention of John vi. 4, was not to his immediate purpose ; because this very evangelist informs us, ch. vii, 1, that Jesus did not attend that festival." +
But, my Lord, what was the reason for this writer's enumerating the passovers at which our Lord gave his attendance at Jerusalem, but only to shew that there were so many passovers in the course of his ministry? I wish your Lord
. ship would reperuse what Irenæus says on this subject, and consider his immediate object. You must then perceive, that our Lord's attendance at the passover is of no consequence at all to his purpose, which was simply (as he was professedly combating the Valentinian opinion at large) to note all the passovers that occurred in the course of our Lord's public ministry. Considering, therefore, how intent he manifestly was to collect all the evidence he could, against the opinion of Valentinus, and that he neither in this place, nor any other, makes the least mention of it, it may, I think, be safely presumed that he found no such reading.
Your Lordship cannot deny but that the urging of this passover would have been greatly to his purpose. Why else
Reply, pp. 120, 121. (P.)
+ Ibid. p. 121. (P.)
does your Lordship make so great account of it, in main. taining the same argument? You are sensible that it is the most decisive circumstance that can be urged in the case. Had Mr. Mann admitted this passover, there would not have been the least colour for his hypothesis. He could never have entertained the idea of it. Account then, if you can, for the silence of Irenæus with respect to this passover, when it could not but have been of as much use to his argument as to your Lordship's, for they are the very same.
Your Lordship says, that he only enumerates the passovers at which our Lord attended, but why did he not think of enumerating those at which he did not attend; when, if he was capable of thinking and writing at all, he could not but see that these would have been just as much to his purpose as the others; because every passover, whether Jesus attended at it or not, adds a year to the duration of his ministry, to extend which was his only and immediate object. I must therefore conclude that, as he has not noted this passover, though he professedly went over the Gospel history, and especially that of John, with that view, he found no such reading in his copy, and consequently that the present reading is an interpolation since his time.
The enumeration of the different passovers (though he does not pretend to find any so called by any evangelist besides two) is at the very beginning of Lib. ii. Cap. ix., the title of which is “ Ostensio quod uno anno non præconcionaverit Dominus post baptismum, sed omnem habuisse ætatem;" that is, to shew that our Lord did not, after his baptism, preach only one year, but employed every age in it. And therefore, after the enumeration of all the passovers, he proceeds to give reasons why Christ must have preached in every stage of life, even to advanced years, (provectior ætas,) which he states as commencing at forty or fifty years. And this age, meaning probably the latter, he asserts, from the testimony of those who conversed with them, that John and the other apostles actually gave to Jesus.
But none of this good man's commentators pay any regard to this account, but consider the whole as proceeding from his excessive zeal to confute the Valentinians. « Candide autem” (says Feuardentius, as quoted by Grabe on the place) "de beatissimo Martyre sentiendum, quod impetu ipso refellendi Gnosticos, qui annum trigessimum primum illum non excessisse dicebant, in partem contrariam delatus est. Sanctissimis enim et doctissimis hoc non raro contigisse, ipsa luce manifestius est.”
That our readers may judge for themselves, I shall translate the whole passage from Irenæus.
“It is very extraordinary, that they who pretend to have penetrated into the deep things of God, should not have searched the Gospels, to find at how many passovers Jesus, after his baptism, went up to Jerusalem, as it is a custom with the Jews to assemble at Jerusalem from all couņtries every year for this purpose. First he went to this feast of passover after he had changed the water into wine at Cana in Galilee ; when, as it is written, many believed on him, seeing the miracles that he did, as is related by John the disciple of our Lord.
“ Then, withdrawing himnself, he retired to Samaria, when he held the conversation with the Samaritan woman, and, being absent, cured, by a word, the son of the centurion, saying, Go, thy son liveth.
“ After this he went a second time up to Jerusalem at the feast of passover, when he cured the paralytic person who had lain at the pool thirty-eight years, bidding him rise and take up his bed. Then, retiring over the sea of Tiberias, and and being followed by a great multitude, he fed them with five loaves, so that twelve baskets of fragments remained.
“ Again, when he had raised Lazarus from the dead, and the Pharisees laid wait for him, he retired to the city of Ephrem, and thence coming to Bethany six days before the passover, and going from Bethany to Jerusalem, and there having eaten the passover, the following day he suffered. That these three seasons of passover cannot be comprised in one year must be acknowledged by every body. And that the month in which the passover is celebrated is the first month, and not the twelfth, they who boast that they know all things might have learned from Moses."
“ Their interpretation therefore of the one year, and of the twelfth month, is proved to be false, so that they must either abandon this interpretation, or the gospel. Otherwise, how did our Lord preach only one year?”
What can be more evident from this, than that our Lord's attendance at the passover here mentioned was a circumstance of no moment whatever to this writer's argument; since he only means to shew that there were, at least, three passovers in the course of his ministry, and therefore that it must have extended beyond one year?
It must also, I think, be very evident, that if this writer had found any mention of another passover in John vi. 4, he would not have failed to note it. For his hypothesis was not that Christ preached only two years, but that he continued preaching to an advanced age.
Grabe's note upon this passage is as follows: " Irenæus is mistaken when he supposed the feast of the Jews mentioned John v. 1, to be a passover. But a little after, in the sixth chapter, which our author also cites, there is, at the fourth verse, express mention of the approach of another Jewish passover, from which the second year of Christ's preaching is clearly collected.” In my opinion, Irenæus would have been as quick-sighted in discovering this passover as Mr. Grabe, being much more interested to do it; and his not noting it is a proof with me that, in his copy of that Gospel, and probably in all the copies of his time, there was no such passover mentioned.
Your Lordship says farther, that “another reason for Irenæus's silence may be assigned. He might possibly think that the passover alluded to was that at which Christ suffered.”
I acknowledge that Irenæus has shewn himself capable of supposing very strange things, especially that Christ preached till he was of advanced age; yet I do not think he was capable of taking the passover in John vi. 4, to be that at which Christ suffered, because several other Jewish feasts are distinctly mentioned between this and the last passover. John vii. 2: “ Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.” X. 22: “ And it was at Jerusalem, the feast of dedication, and it was winter.” xi. 55: “ And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand.”
This last was evidently that at which our Lord suffered. Could it be supposed, then, that this writer should mention the same passover so long before, as a feast at hand, when a feast of tabernacles, and another of dedication, intervened, (our Lord's attendance at each of which are distinctly mentioned, and his conversation with the Jews at each of them recited,) and so long after speak of it again as a feast at hand? This is a supposition so very improbable, that I really think even Irenæus incapable of it. I therefore still conclude that Irenæus found no passover mentioned in this place. His want of passovers was such, that he would certainly have catched at it.
I was far from denying, as your Lordship seems to suppose, † that Eusebius extended the ministry of Christ to
I have always considered him as the first known author of that opinion. But this he might think to • Reply, p. 122.
+ Ibid. p. 124. (P.)
be consistent with what he also says, that the three first evangelists record the actions of our Saviour for one year only, viz. after the imprisonment of John the Baptist ; since he might think that he preached more than two years before the imprisonment of Joha. But I say he could not have supposed this, and at the same time have had the reading of πασχα
in his copy of the text in dispute, or have given that attention to the Gospel of John which he seems to have done ; because this passover must necessarily fall between the iin prisonment of John and the death of Christ.
It must have done so according to the Gospel of John himself. For we learn from Matthew and Mark that Jesus left Judea to go into Galilee on his hearing of the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and John (iv. 3) mentions this leaving of Judea ; and it is not till after relating the particulars of this journey, and, as your Lordship supposes, his return to some other feast at Jerusalem, and back again to Galilee, that this other passover is mentioned.
This opinion, therefore, of Eusebius, viz, that the preaching of Christ after the imprisonment of John was comprised within the space of a year, is inconsistent with his having the word
copy of John vi. 4. It was not, therefore, till after the time of Eusebius that the interpolation of that word came to be general in the copies of John's Gospel.
You say, “ The quotation from Lardner, in my preface, shews that, upon re-examination, Eusebius did not overlook it * (the word tarxa) in John vi. 4. The whole passage from Dr. Lardner is as follows : “ Eusebius says, “The other three evangelists have recorded the actions of our Saviour for one year only, after the imprisonment of John the Baptist. Jerome speaks to the like purpose, in his book of illustrious men ; but it should have been said 'one year and somewhat more,' meaning the time and actions of our Lord's most public ministry. For it seems to me, that the ancients supposed our Lord's ministry to have lasted, in the whole, somewhat more than two years. I Eusebius, indeed, computed our Lord's ministry to have consisted of three years and a half, and supposed St. John's Gospel to have in it four passovers. He seems to have been the first Christian who advanced that opinion, and he is now generally followed by harmonizers of the Gospels, and by ecclesiastical historians.” § * Notes, p. 27. (P.)
+ Dr. Lardner adds, “just now transcribed," referring to (VI. 189) where he had translated Jerome as saying, “ but one year of our Lord's ministry.”
"As was shewn, II. pp. 423, 424." Lardner, $ Supplement. (P.) Works, VI. pp. 217, 218.
πασχα in his