No. I.


Different Hypotheses stated.-II. Examination of the Hypothesis, that the Evangelists abridged or copied from each other.III. Examination of the Hypothesis, that the Evangelists derived their information from a primary Greek or Hebrew Document.-IV. Examination of the Hypothesis, that they consulted several Documents.-V. And of the Hypothesis, that oral Tradition was the Source of the first three Gospels.-VI. That the only Document consulted by the first three Evangelists was the Preaching of our Saviour himself.

I. THAT the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke should | contain so much verbal agreement, and yet that there should exist such striking differences as appear in the parallel accounts of these three Evangelists when they relate the same discourses or transactions, is indeed a most remarkable circumstance. Hence several eminent writers have been induced to discuss this singular fact with great ability and equal ingenuity and although the testimonies which we have to the genuineness and authenticity of the Gospels, are so clear and decisive, as to leave no doubt in the minds of private Christians; yet, since various learned men have offered different hypotheses to account for, and explain, these phenomena, the author would deem his labours very imperfect, if he suffered them to pass unnoticed.

Four principal hypotheses have been offered, to account for these verbal similarities and occasional differences between the first three evangelists; viz. 1. That one or two of the Gospels were taken from another;-2. That all three were derived from some original document common to the evangelists;-3. That they were derived from detached narratives of part of the history of our Saviour, communicated by the apostles to the first converts to Christianity;-and, 4. That they were derived from oral tradition. We shall briefly state the arguments that have been offered for and against these various hypotheses.

II. The FIRST and most commonly received opinion has been, that one or two of the first three evangelists had copied or abridged from the third, or one from the other two. Thus Vogel endeavoured to show that Mark made use of the Gospel of Luke, and that Matthew drew from Mark and Luke.' Grotius, Mill, Simon, Calmet, Wetstein, Wolfins, Drs. Owen and Harwood, and others, after Augustine, have asserted that Mark was an epitomiser of Matthew. Griesbach2 and Dr. Townson3 have maintained that both Mark and Luke had seen and consulted the Gospel of Matthew. Hug has defended the opinion that Mark had before him the Gospel written by Matthew for the Jews dwelling in Palestine, and that Luke made use of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.5 Seiler affirmed that Mark translated into Greek and enlarged the Syro-Chaldaic Gospel of Matthew; that this Syro-Chaldaic Gospel, enlarged in many places, either by Matthew himself, or by other men worthy of credit, was subsequently translated into Greek either by the evangelist or some other person; and that the Greek translator consulted the Gospel of Mark.6 Storr endeavoured to prove that the Gospel of Mark was the source whence Matthew and Luke derived

1 Vogel, über die Entstehung der drey ersten Evangelien (on the Origin of the first Three Gospels), in Gabler's Journal für auserlesene Theologisch Literatur, band 1. stuck 1. p. 1. et seq.

2 Griesbach, in Kuinöel's, Ruperti's, and Velthusen's Commentationes Theologica, tom. i. pp. 303. et seq. Griesbach's hypothesis was refuted by Koppe, in Pott's and Ruperti's Sylloge Commentationum Theologicarum, tom. i. pp. 55. et seq. Ammon defended Griesbach's hypothesis, and also contended that Luke made use of the Greek version of St. Matthew's Gospel, which he corrected and enlarged. Dissertatio de Luca emendatore Matthæi. Erlangæ, 1805. 4to.

Discourses on the Four Gospels, Oxford, 1778, 4to.; or vol. i. of Dr. Townson's Works, pp. 1-273.

Hug's Introduction to the New Testament, translated by Dr. Wait, vol. ii. pp. 73-83. 111-134.

Ibid. voi ii. pp. 152-185. Dr. Wait's translation having been executed from Hug's first edition, the learned translator of Dr. Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke has given an abstract of Hug's hypothesis from his second edition published in 1821. Introduction, pp. xcviii. cxv.

Seiler, Dissertationes II. de tempore et ordine quibus tria Evangelia priora canonica scripta sunt. Erlangæ, 1805-6. 4to. VOL. II.-APP. 3 C

materials for their Gospels. Busching was of opinion that Matthew and Mark compiled from Luke. Saunier maintains that the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, are authentic and independent narratives; that Mark made use of those by Matthew and Luke; and that the passages, not to be found in either of these, were supplied by Peter, under whose direction he wrote. And, lastly, Janssens affirms that the agreement and disagreement between the Gospels of Matthew and Mark are sufficiently accounted for, by saying, after the ancient fathers, that Mark composed his Gospel after that of Matthew, and after the preaching of Peter.10 Not to dwell upon the uncertainty of these various hypotheses, all of which differ as to the point which was the original writer, and which of the evangelists were copyists or abridgers, the opinion which they respectively are designed to advocate is contradicted by the following weighty considerations:

1. They could have no motive for copying from each other. others, when their narratives were known, they could not have “Fór, as each acknowledged the authority and veracity of the been so absurd as to repeat what had been already rightly told. Had they then written successively, with knowledge of each other's writings, it is probable, nay, it is almost certain, that each subsequent author would have set down only, or at least chiefly, what his predecessors had happened to omit. To repeat in substance, but in different words, what another had sufficiently told, might have been practised by writers who valued themselves upon their peculiar style of expression, or their own mode of compilation. But to supersede, and to introduce them in the very same manner, is to copy the very words of another, whose account we do not mean an idle and superfluous task, which no man in his senses would ever undertake." That the two evangelists, St. Mark and St. Luke, who were not eye-witnesses of the facts, and heard not the discourses of Christ pronounced, relate them nearly in the same words with those who were actually present, appears to me to prove that the narratives of all the witnesses perfectly agreed. same manner. The witnesses had all taken such care to rememThat what one wrote others had told, and each precisely in the ber, with minute exactness, the principal discourses of their Lord, and the occasions on which they were spoken, and were so often called upon to repeat them, in making and confirming converts to the faith, that a precision was obtained in relating these particulars, of which, if no other example occurs in the annals of the world, the reason is, because no other relators of facts and diswords and actions to relate; such frequent occasions to repeat them; or so many powerful reasons to relate them with the strictest accuracy, on every possible occasion. From this cause it naturally arose, that they who wrote as original witnesses, and they who wrote from the testimony of such witnesses, agreed, not only substantially, but almost verbally. The exact and literal truth, without alteration or embellishment, was equally delivered by them; as when several perfect mirrors reflect the same object, the images will be the same in form, at the first or second reflection."12

courses were ever so situated. No other men ever had such

Storr, Dissertatio de fonte Evangeliorum Matthæi et Lucæ, in Kuinöel's,
Ruperti's, and Velthusen's Commentationes Theologica, tom. iii. pp. 140.
et seq.
Busching, Harmonie der Evangelisten, pp. 99. 108. 118. et seq. Kui-
nöel's Commentarius in Libros Historicos Novi Testamenti, tom. i. Prole-
gom. pp. 1-3.
Saunier, Ueber de Quellen des Evangeliums des Marcus. Berlin,
1827. Svo. The above notice of Saunier's hypothesis is given from the
Christian Examiner or Church of Ireland Magazine, vol. iv. p. 389.
10 Janssens, Hermeneutique Sacrée, tom. ii. p. 11. Paris, 1828. 8vo.
11 "If I follow another writer, and copy the substance of his account in
other words, I make it my own, and become responsible, as a second wit-
ness; but if I take his very words, my account is resolvable into his, and
it is still but one testimony."

12 Nares's Veracity of the Evangelists, pp. 33-35.

But, further, "the copying of one book from another is usually of things related in them, except a few necessary facts. But there the resource either of ignorance or indolence. Of ignorance, when is no certain evidence, either that Mark knew that Matthew had the writer has no knowledge of the facts, except what he derives written a Gospel before him, or that Luke knew that the two from the author whom he copies: of indolence, when, though pre-evangelists had written Gospels before him. If Mark had seen the viously informed, he takes the statement of another, which he ap-work of Matthew, it is likely that he would have remained satisfied proves, to save himself the thought and trouble which would be with it as being the work of an apostle of Christ, that is, an eyerequired for forming an original narrative. With respect, then, to witness, which he was not. Nor would Luke, who, from the beginthe evangelists, above all other writers, we may surely ask, if they ning of his Gospel, appears to have been acquainted with several knew not of a certainty what they undertook to write, why did memoirs of the sayings and actions of Christ, have omitted to say they undertake it? But if they knew from their own recollection that one or more of them was written by an apostle, as Matthew or inquiries, why should they copy from any other person? If they was.-His silence, therefore, is an additional proof that the first thought a new narrative was wanted, why should they copy one three evangelists were totally unacquainted with any previous which was already to be had? If they are supposed to have copied authentic written history of Christ. through ignorance, why did they presume to alter even a single 5. The seeming contradictions occurring in the first three word? If they copied through indolence, the very same indolence would doubtless have led them to copy word for word, which is Gospels (all of which, however, admit of easy solutions), are much more easy than to copy with variations, but which it never an additional evidence that the evangelists did not write by concan be pretended they have done, for many lines together. I know cert, or after having seen each other's Gospels. but of one more supposition, which can be made, and that is so 6. In some of the histories recorded by all these three evandishonourable to the evangelists, that I think no sincere Christiangelists, there are small varieties and differences, which plainly could be induced to make it. It is this. That they copied, indeed, show the same thing. through ignorance or indolence, or both, but inserted slight alterations, as they went on, for the purpose of disguising or concealing their thefts. Should an enemy even presume to say this, for surely no other would say it, to him I would boldly reply, that, if so, they were very awkward and blundering contrivers; for they altered so very little, that copying has been generally imputed to them: and yet sometimes so indiscreetly, that their differences have been, without reason indeed, but hastily, regarded as contradictions." 2. It does not appear that any of the learned ancient Christian writers had a suspicion, that either of the first three evangelists had seen the other Gospels before he wrote his own. They say, indeed, "that when the three first-written Gospels had been delivered to all men, they were also brought to Saint John, and that he confirmed the truth of their narration; but said, that there were some things omitted by them which might be profitably related:" or, "that he wrote fast, supplying some things which had been omitted by the former evangelists." To mention no others, Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea,2 Epiphanius,3 Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Jerome, express themselves in this manner. Towards the close of the fourth century, indeed, or early in the fifth, Augustine supposed that the first three evangelists were not totally ignorant of each other's labours, and considered Mark's Gospel as an abridgment of Saint Matthew's; but he was the first of the fathers who advocated that notion, and it does not appear that he was followed by any succeeding writers, until it was revived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by Grotius

and others.

3. It is not suitable to the character of any of the evangelists, that they should abridge or transcribe another historian. Matthew was an apostle and an eye-witness, and consequently was able to write from his own knowledge; or, if there were any parts of our Lord's ministry at which he was not present, he might obtain information from his fellow-apostles or other eye-witnesses. And, with respect to things which happened before the calling of the apostles (as the nativity, infancy, and youth of Christ), the apostles might ascertain them from our Saviour himself, or from his friends and acquaintance, on whose information they could depend.

Mark, if not one of Christ's seventy disciples, was (as we have already seen) an early Jewish believer, acquainted with all the

In illustration of this remark, it will suffice to refer to and compare the accounts of the healing of the demoniac or demoniacs in the country of the Gadarenes (Matt. viii. 28-34. with Mark v. 1-20. and Luke viii. 26-40.); the account of our Lord's transfiguration on the mount (Matt. xvii. 1-13. with Mark ix. 1-13. and Luke ix. 28-36.), and the history of the healing of the young man after our Saviour's descent from the mount. (Matt. xvii. 14-21. with Mark ix. 14-29. and Luke ix. 37-42.) In each of the accounts here cited, the agreeing circumstances which are discoverable in them, clearly prove that it is the same history, but there are also several differences equally evident in them. Whoever, therefore, diligently attends to these circumstances, must be sensible. that the evangelical historians did not copy or borrow from each


7. There are some very remarkable things related in Saint Matthew's Gospel, of which neither Saint Mark nor Saint Luke has taken any notice.

Such are the extraordinary events recorded in Matt. ii. xxvii. 19. xxvii. 51-53. and xxviii. 11-15.: some or all of which would have been noticed by Mark or Luke, had they written with a view of abridging or confirming Matthew's history. It is also very observ. able, that Luke has no account of the miracle of feeding "four lated in Matt. xv. 32-39. and Mark viii. 1-9. The same remark thousand with seven loaves and a few small fishes," which is reis applicable to Luke's Gospel, supposing (as Dr. Macknight and others have imagined) it to have been first written, as it contains many remarkable things not to be found in the other Gospels.. Now, if Matthew or Mark had written with a view of abridging or confirming Luke's history, they would not have passed by those. things without notice.

8. All the first three evangelists have several things peculiar to themselves; which show that they did not borrow from each other, and that they were all well acquainted with the things of which they undertook to write a history.

Many such peculiar relations occur in Matthew's Gospel, besides those just cited; and both Mark10 and Luke," as we have already seen, have many similar things, so that it is needless to adduce any additional instances.

9. Lastly, Dr. Mill has argued that the similarity of style and composition is a proof that these evangelists had seen each other's writings.

But this argument in Dr. Lardner's judgment is insufficient. In fact, Mill himself allows that a very close agreement may easily subsist between two authors writing on the same subject in the Greek language.13

apostles, and especially with Saint Peter, as well as with many other eye-witnesses: consequently he was well qualified to write a Gospel; and that he did not abridge Matthew, we have shown by an induction of various particulars. Luke, though not one of Christ's seventy disciples, nor an eye-witness of his discourses and actions, was a disciple and companion of the apostles, and especially of Paul; he must therefore have been well qualified to write a Gospel. Besides, as we have shown in a former page,9 it is manifest, from his introduction, that he knew not of any authen-critics have attempted to explain the verbal harmony obIII. The SECOND hypothesis, by which some distinguished tic history of Jesus Christ that had been then written; and he expressly says, that he had accurately traced all things from the source in succession or order, and he professes to write of them to Theophilus. After such an explicit declaration as this is, to affirm that he transcribed many things from one historian, and still more from another, is no less than a contradiction of the evangelist himself.

servable in the first three Gospels, is that which derives them from some COMMON GREEK or HEBREW DOCUMENT OF source, which occasioned the evangelists so frequently to adopt the same terms and forms of expression. Le Clerc14 was the first writer to whom this idea occurred; and after it had lain dormant upwards of sixty years, it was revived and 4. It is evident from the nature and design of the first three advocated by Koppe,15 and has been modified in various Gospels, that the evangelists had not seen any authentic writ-ways by subsequent writers, so that (as it has been severely ten history of Jesus Christ.

There can be no doubt but that John had seen the other three Gospels; for, as he is said to have lived to a great age, so it appears from his Gospel itself that he carefully avoided the repetition

Nares's Veracity of the Evangelists, pp. 168-170.

2 See the passages from Eusebius in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. iv. pp. 226, 227.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 369.

a Ibid. 8vo. vol. iv. pp. 314, 315.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 418.

Ibid. 8vo. vol. iv. pp. 511, 512.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 529.
Ibid. 8vo. vol. v. p. 41.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 553.

Ibid. 8vo. vol. v. p. 93.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 583.

See p. 304. of this volume.

See pp. 306, 307. of this volume.

See p. 311. supra.

but not unjustly remarked) "hypothesis has been knocked down by hypothesis, till the Gospels must begin to feel themselves in a very awkward condition."16

Of these various modifications, the following is a concise outline:

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1. MICHAELIS, in the fourth German edition of his Introduction, abandoning his former opinion that Mark copied from Matthew, "attributes the verbal harmony of all three evangelists to the use of the same documents. But, as he assumes that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew, he supposes, not that Matthew himself, but his Greek translator, had access to the same Greek document or documents which had been used both by St. Mark and St. Luke; and that hence arose the verbal harmony between the Greek Gospel of St. Matthew and the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke."2

2. SEMLER, in 1783, intimated rather than enunciated the hypothesis of a common Hebrew or Syriac document or documents, whence the first three evangelists derived the principal materials of their Gospels. The hypothesis of Semler was subsequently adopted by Berchtold, who maintained that the verbal conformity in the corresponding passages of our Gospels was produced by the alterations of transcribers.1

3. In 1784 LESSING asserted the hypothesis of a common Syriac or Chaldee original, which he supposes to be the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or the Gospel according to the twelve Apostles. From this Gospel he imagines that Matthew (who in his opinion wrote only in Greek), Mark, and Luke, derived the principal materials of their Gospels, and accordingly translated it more or less fully, more or less closely into Greek. Niemeyer," Halfeld, and Paulus, adopted and improved upon Lessing's notion: but their views have been eclipsed.

4. By the late Professor EICHHORN, of whose earlier modifications of the hypothesis of a primary document, Bishop Marsh has given an interesting account. According to Eichhorn's hypothesis, as developed in the second edition of his (German) Introduction to the New Testament,10 there were four copies of the Aramaic Original which formed the basis of the first three Gospels; which with their respective translations he thus designates:"A. An Aramaic Text of the original doctrine, with some of the great additions now found in St. Matthew. This was early translated.

B. An Aramaic Text, with some of the greater additions now in St. Luke. Not translated independently. C. An Aramaic Text compounded of A. and B. This forms St. Mark's Gospel, having been either translated by himself, or an early translation of it having been revised by him.

D. An Aramaic Text, with some of the other great additions in St. Luke, which was also translated early.

E. St. Matthew's Aramaic Text, composed out of A. and D., except some additions made by St. Matthew himself, who arranged the whole of the original Gospel and the additions chronologically. The translator of this into Greek used the early translations of A. and D.

F. St. Luke's Aramaic Text, composed of B. and D. (except some additions peculiar to St. Luke), and translated by himself, with the assistance of the existing translation of D. B. is thus common to St. Mark and St. Luke, but they had no commen translation of it."" This scheme, it will be seen, on comparison, does not materially vary from that proposed by

5. Bishop MARSH, in his elaborate "Dissertation on the Origin and Composition of our first three Gospels." After many preparatory steps, assigning reasons for the rejection

Vol. iii. part 1. ch 5. sect. 5. of Bp. Marsh's translation.
Bp. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part 2. p. 186.

In the notes to his German translation of Dr. Townson's Discourses. (Townson, Abhandlungen über die vier Evangelien, vol. i. pp. 221. 290.) Michaelis, vol. iii. part 2. p. 187. Kuinöel, Comment. in Lib. Hist. Nov. Test. tom. i. Prolegom. pp. 3, 4.

An outline of Berchtold's hypothesis will be found in the Introduction to the English translation of Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke, pp. xcvi. xcvii.

Lessing's Theologischer Nachlass (Theological Remains), pp. 45-72., cited by Bp. Marsh, vol. iii. part 2. pp. 187, 188. Niemeyer, Conjecturæ ad illustranduin plurimorum N. T. Scriptorum Silentium de primordiis Jesu Christi. Hala, 1790. 4to. Halfeld, Commentatio de Origine quatuor Evangeliorum et de eorum canonica auctoritate. Gotting, 1794. 4to.

Paulus, Introductio in N. T. capita selectiora, quibus in originem, scopum, et argumentorum Evangeliorum et Actuu. Apostolorum inquiritur. Jen, 1799. Svo.

Michaelis, vol. iii. part 2. pp. 181-205.

10 Einleitung in das N. T. vol. i. 1820.

11 For the preceding abstract of Eichhorn's latest hypothesis, the author is indebted to the learned reviewer of Schleiermacher's Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke in the British Critic and Theol. Review, vol. ii. pp. 346, 347.


of other hypotheses, and various forms of this hypothesis, Bishop Marsh proposes his own in the following terms, marking the common Hebrew document, which he supposes the evangelist to have consulted, by the signs, and certain translations of it with more or less additions by the letters a, B, &c. .

"Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, and Saint Luke, all three, used copies of the common Hebrew document : the materials of which Saint Matthew, who wrote in Hebrew, retained in the language in which he found them, but Saint Mark and Saint Luke translated them into Greek. They had no knowledge of each other's Gospel; but Saint Mark and Saint Luke, besides their copies of the Hebrew document, used a Greek translation of it, which had been made before any of the additions, B, &c. had been inserted. Lastly, as the Gospels of Saint Mark and Saint Luke contain Greek translations of Hebrew materials which were incorporated into Saint Matthew's Hebrew Gospel, the person who translated Saint Matthew's Hebrew Gospel into Greek frequently derived assistance from the Gospel of Saint Mark, where Saint Mark had matter in common with Saint Matthew; and in those places, but in those places only, where Saint Mark had no matter in common with Matthew, he had frequently recourse to St. Luke's Gospel."12

The hypothesis thus stated and determined, its author conceives, will account for all the phenomena relative to the verbal agreement and disagreement of our first three Gospels, as well as for the other manifold relations which they bear to each other; and he has accommodated it with great attention to particular circumstances, enumerated by him in the former part of his "Dissertation on the Origin of the first three Gospels," which circumstances, however, we have not room to detail. This document, he thinks, may have been entitled in Greek, ΔΙΗΓΗΣΙΣ περι των πεπληρεφερημένων εν ημιν πραγμάτων, καθώς παρέδοσαν ημίν οι απ' αρχής αυτόπται και υπηρεται του λόγου, that is, A NARRATIVE of those things which are most firmly believed among us, even as they, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, delivered them unto us. Consequently, if this conjecture be well founded, the document in question is actually referred to by Saint Luke.13 In addition also to this supposed first Hebrew document & and its translations, Bishop Marsh supposes the existence of a supplemental Hebrew document, which he calls 2, and which contained a collection of precepts, parables, and discourses, delivered by our Saviour on various occasions, but not arranged in chronological order. This he terms a Iveco, and conceives that it was used only by Matthew and Luke, who had copies of it differing from each other.

In order to unite the two hypotheses of Eichhorn and Bishop Marsh, Professor GRATZ supposes that there was a Hebrew or Syro-Chaldaic original Gospel for the use of the preachers of the Christian faith in Palestine, from which Matthew composed his Hebrew Gospel. When they began to propagate the Christian doctrines in other countries, this original Gospel was translated into Greek, and enriched with several additions. From this version Mark and Luke composed their books, and hence arose the agreement both as to facts and expressions, which is observable in their respective Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew was also translated into Greek, in executing which version the translator made use of the writings of Mark, whence he also sometimes interpolated Matthew; and this circumstance gave rise to a similarity between them as to matter, in places where Luke differs from them. But the agreement between Matthew and Luke, to the exclusion of Mark, was effected by subsequent interpolations, since these passages were transcribed from the Gos12 Michaelis, vol. iii. part 2. p. 361.

13 Michaelis, vol. iii. part 2. pp. 363, 368. But the absence of the Greek article is fatal to the conjecture of Bishop Marsh, and proves that the sup posed document never existed. The force of this objection seeins to have struck the mind of that learned writer; for he has candidly left it to others to determine whether his conjecture is not rendered abortive by the want of the article before dry (narrative or declaration) in Luke i. 1. On this topic Bishop Middleton is decisively of opinion that it is rendered totally abortive. With respect to the Greek article, he remarks, that "the rule is, that the title of a book, as prefixed to the book, should be anarthrous" (i. e. without the article); "but that when the book is referred to, the article should be inserted." And he adduces, among other instances, Hesiod's poem, entitled Arms Hexxxsovs (Hercules's Shield), which Longinus thus cites-είγε Ησιόδου και ΤΗΝ Ασπιδαθετέον (if indeed της shield may be ascribed to Hesiod). Bishop Middleton on the Greek article, p. 289. first edition. In the two following pages he has controverted the translation of Luke i. 1-4. proposed by the translator of Michaelis.

pel of Matthew into that of Luke; and in those places, where the original Gospel has no additions, they all agree in matter as well as harmonize in words.' The modifications of the hypothesis that there was an original Aramæan Gospel, proposed by Eichhorn and Bishop Marsh, have been adopted by Kuinöel,2 Schoell,3 and some other continental critics; but they have been strenuously opposed, on the continent, by Professor Hug, and in this country by the late Bishops Randolph and Middleton, Bishop Gleig, the editors of the British Critic, and other distinguished writers, of whose arguments and reasonings the following is an abstract:

1. Supposing such a theory to be necessary, in order to account for the verbal similarities and differences of the first three evangelists (which necessity, however, is by no means admitted), the obvious fault of this hypothesis, in all its modifications, is its extreme complexity.

To omit the earlier modifications which have yielded to the schemes of Eichhorn and Bishop Marsh:-According to the former there are an Aramaic original Gospel, which was translated into Greek, and five compilations from it, with various additions. According to the latter there are two Hebrew or Aramaic documents, and several Greek versions, with additions gratuitously supposed, which the algebraical notations, introduced by their author, can scarcely enable the reader to distinguish from each other. To describe the sources of Saint Matthew's Gospel by this method, not fewer than seven marks are employed; viz. 8, a, y, A, r1, 2, and г2. Besides these, there are the marks peculiar to Saint Luke or Saint Mark, 8, B, and N,—in all, ten different signs standing for so many separate documents or modifications of documents; and all these gratuitously supposed without proof for the existence of one among the number. This hypothesis Bishop Marsh considers as simple; but, with every possible deference to such an authority in all matters respecting biblical literature, it is submitted, that few persons will be found to coincide in his opinion. And although he states, with respect to the steps of this hypothesis, that "there is no improbability attending any one of them; they are neither numerous nor complicated:" yet we must observe that, altogether, they are both numerous, and, consequently, by the combinations supposed in their application, they become extremely complicated. Further, though no particular step may be in itself improbable, yet the discovery of ten different sources to certain works, by mere analysis, is a circumstance of the highest improbability, and forms such a discovery as was never yet made in the world, and probably never will be made; because, if not absolutely impossible, it approaches so nearly to impossibility, that the mind can scarcely conceive a distinction.10

2. But if either of these hypotheses would solve, without difficulty or exception, all the phenomena," of every description, which are assumed to exist in the first three Gospels, the TOTAL SILENCE of ecclesiastical antiquity presents a direct and invincible argument against the existence of any such primary document.

(1.) To commence with the apostolic age:-is it to be supposed that there ever existed a work of such approved excellence, and such high authority, as to become the basis of the first three Gospels, and yet that nothing-not even the memory of it should survive that age 12 "Were we indeed as certain, that the apostles, before they separated, had really met for the purpose of drawing up a copious and authentic history of their Divine Master's life and doctrines, as we are that an authentic record was kept at Jerusalem of the reigns of the different kings, the state of religion under each, and the preaching of the prophets, this would be by much the easiest, and, perhaps, the most satisfactory method of account

Gratz, Neuer Versuch, die Enstehung der drey ersten Evangelien zu erklären (Tubingen, 1812), cited in Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. p. 83. There is an abstract of Gratz's scheme, with remarks by the translator of Schleiermacher (Introd. pp. lxxxvi. xciii.), who considers it "to be not only unwarranted, but contradicted by every memorial we have remaining, of the earliest transactions in Christian history."

2 Comm. in Hist. Lib. Nov. Test. vol. i. pp. 7-9.
Histoire Abrégée de la Littérature Grecque, tom. ii. pp. 66-82.
Hug's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 89-101.

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ing as well for the harmony as for the discrepancies which we find among the several abridgments made by the first three evangelists But, that the apostles met for such a purpose as this, before they thesis, had it even been made and supported by the most unexcepleft Jerusalem, has never been supposed; and, indeed, the hypotionable testimonies of the earliest uninspired writers of the church, would deserve no regard whatever, unless these writers had each declared, without collusion among themselves, that he had possessed a copy of the original record. Even then, unless a copy of it were still in existence, from which we might, from internal evidence, decide on its claims to an apostolical origin, we should hesitate, after the imposture of the book called the Apostolical Constitutions,' to admit the authenticity of such a record. The apostles, in a state of persecution, had not the same facilities for publicly recording the actions of their Lord, as the ministers of state, called the Scribe and the Recorder, possessed in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel for writing registers of the deeds of their ing to any such record, while the writers of the historical books respective sovereigns; nor do we ever find the evangelists appealof the Old Testament frequently appeal to the annals or chronicles of the kingdom.13 A common record, from which all the evangelists selected the materials of their histories, must, therefore, be abandoned as an hypothesis perfectly groundless, notwithstanding all the learning and ingenuity which have been displayed in support of that hypothesis."14

(2.) If we consult the writings of the apostolical fathers, who were the immediate disciples of the apostles and evangelists, we shall find that the same silence prevails among them; for, although they did not cite by name the various books of the New Testament (the canon not being completed until the close of the first century), yet in their allusions to the evangelical writings they refer to our other document. Ignatius, who flourished in the beginning of the four Gospels, and do not so much as intimate the existence of any second century (A. D. 107), is supposed to have mentioned the book of the Gospels under the term "Gospel," and the Epistles under that of "Apostles;"15 but as this point has been controverted by learned men, we shall waive any positive evidence which might be offered from his writings, observing only that he nowhere alludes or refers to any other books of the New Testament, besides those which have been transmitted to us; and that his silence concerning the existence of any other document affords a very strong presumptive argument against its existence. Let us now consider the evidence of the fathers who were either contemporary with Ignatius, or who lived within a few years of his time. The first witness we shall adduce is Papias, who flourished A. D. 116, and had conversed with apostolical men, that is, with those who had been the immediate disciples of the apostles. It is remarkable, that this father refers to no primary document whatever; but, on the contrary, he bears a most express testimony to the number of the Gospels, which were only four, in his day.16 Four-and-twenty years afterwards lived Justin Martyr, whose evidence is still more explicit:-for instead of quoting any such source, under the name of AYEUNATH TWY ATOFORO, or "Memoirs of the Apostles," he Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, and, in short, every subsequent expressly declares that he means the Gospels.17 Tatian, Irenæus, ecclesiastical writer of antiquity, is equally explicit as to the number of the Gospels, and equally silent as to the existence of any source whence the evangelists derived the materials of their Gos pels.18

3. The incongruities and apparent contradictions, which (as we have seen) form a strong objection against the supposition that the evangelists copied from each other, form an objection no less strong against the supposition that they all copied from one and the same document."

For if, as this hypothesis requires, they all adhered to their document, no difference could have arisen between them; but they 13 See, among a variety of such appeals, 1 Kings xvi. 19. and 1 Chron xxvii. 24.

14 Bp. Gleig's edition of Stackhouse's History of the Bible, vol. iii. p. 103. 15 On this topic, see Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ii. p. 81.; 4to. vol. i. p. 322.

16 See the testimony of Papias in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 107-110.; 4to. vol. i. pp. 337, 338.

17 In his first apology for the Christians, which was delivered to the Emperor Antoninus Pius (c. 66.), Justin gives the following reason for the celebration of the Lord's supper among the Christians:-"For the apostles, in the Memoirs (μvμovμv) composed by them, which are called GOSPELS ( xxλT EYATTEAIA), have thus assured us, that Jesus or

Dr. Randolph in his "Remarks on Michaelis's Introduction, 8vo. vols. dered them to do it; that he took bread, gave thanks, and then said, "This iii. and iv." London, 1802.

On the Doctrine of the Greek Article, pp. 286-291.

In his valuable edition of Stackhouse's History of the Bible, vol. iii. pp. 103-112. Brit. Crit. vol. xxi. (O. S.) p. 178. et seq. Brit. Crit. and Theological Review, vol. ii. pp. 347-350. Particularly Mr. Veysie, in his "Examination of Mr. Marsh's Hypothesis," 8vo. London, 1808, and Mr. Falconer, in his Bampton Lectures for 1810. p. 105. et seq. See also the Christian Observer for 1808, vol. viii. pp. 623-628., and the late Dr. Milner's Strictures on some of the Publications of the Rev. Herbert Marsh, D.D. Lond. 1913, 8vo. 10 Brit. Crit. vol. xxi. (O. S.) p. 180.

11 Mr. Veysie has instituted a minute examination of Bishop Marsh's statement of the phenomena observable in the first three Gospels, in which ne has shown its incompetency to explain those phenomena. As this in vestigation is not of a nature to adinit of abridgment, we refer the reader to Mr. V.'s "Examination," pp. 12-50.

12 On the subject here necessarily treated with brevity, see Mr. Falconer's Bampton Lectures for 1810, pp. 115-120.

do in remembrance of me; this is my body: that in like manner he took the cup, and after he had given thanks, said, 'This is my blood."-And in another passage (c. 67.), when giving the emperor an account of the Christian worship, he says, "The Memoirs of the Apostles are read, or the Writings of the Prophets, according as time allows; and, when the reader has ended, the president of the community makes a discourse exhorting them to the imitation of such excellent things."-An evident proof this, that, so early as the beginning of the second century, the four Gospels (and no greater number) were not only generally known among the Christians, but were revered even as the Scriptures of the Old Testament, that is, as divine books. The late Bishop of London (Dr. Randolph) has satisfactorily vindicated the testimony of Justin against the charge made by the translator of Michaelis, that this father had quoted what does not exist in sense or substance in any of our four Gospels. See his "Remarks on Michaelis's Introduction," &c. p. 78. et seq. second edition.

18 See the references to the individual testimonies of these fathers in the Index to Dr. Lardner's Works, voce Gospels. See also the British Critic and Theological Review, vol. ii. pp. 317-350. for some forcible objections against the existence of any primary document.

would all have agreed in relating the same thing in the same manner, as much as they must have done, if they had copied from each other. If, in order to avoid this difficulty, it be supposed that they did not all adhere to their document, but that occasionally some one (or more) of them gave a different representation of some fact, either from his own knowledge, or from information derived from another source (as the supposed document 2, &c.), this appears to sap the very foundation of the evidence; for in this case, what becomes of the authority of the primary document? And, how can all three evangelists be said to have derived from it alone all the matter which they have in common? In whatever light, then, we view the subject, we cannot see how any modification of the general supposition, that the three evangelists, in the composition of their Gospels, used only one document, can satisfactorily explain all the examples of verbal disagreement which occur in the Gospels. We conclude, therefore, that no hypothesis which is built upon this foundation can be the true one.

IV. The THIRD hypothesis, which has been offered, to account for the verbal similarities and disagreements in the first three Gospels, is that of A PLURALITY OF DOCUMENTS. Of this hypothesis there have been two modifications:-one by the late Rev. Mr. Veysie, the other by Professor Schleiermacher.

1. Mr. Veysie gives the following description of his hypo


"The apostles, both in their public preaching and in their private conversations, were doubtless accustomed frequently to instruct and improve their hearers by the recital of some action or discourse of our blessed Saviour. And many pious Christians, unwilling to trust to memory alone for the preservation of these valuable communications respecting their Redeemer, were induced to commit to writing the preaching of the apostles while it was fresh in their memory. And thus at a very early period, before any of our canonical Gospels were written, believers were in possession of many narratives of detached parts of the history of Jesus;-drawn up, some in the Hebrew language, and others in the Greek. Of the Hebrew narratives, the most important was soon translated into Greek, for the benefit of the Greek Christians, to whom they were unintelligible in the original, and vice versa."

From these detached narratives Mr. Veysie is of opinion that the first three canonical Gospels were principally compiled. Of the authors of these Gospels, he thinks that as Matthew alone was an eye-witness, he alone could write from personal knowledge of the facts which he recorded; and that even he did not judge it expedient to draw exclusively from his own stores, but blended with these detached narratives such additional facts and discourses as the Holy Spirit brought to his remembrance. Mark, our author further thinks, had no knowledge of Matthew's Gospel; and having collected materials for a Gospel, he added to them numerous explanations in order to adapt them to the use of the Gentile converts, together with various circumstances, the knowledge of which he probably acquired from Peter. And he is of opinion also, that Luke compiled his Gospel from similar detached narratives, many of which were the same as had been used by the other evangelists, though some of them had been drawn up by different persons, and perhaps from the preaching of other apostles; and that Luke, being diligent in his inquiries and researches, was enabled to add greatly to the number. Matthew, Mr. V. thinks, wrote in Hebrew, and the other two evangelists in Greek." But Mark being a plain unlettered man, and but meanly skilled in the Greek language, was, for the most part, satisfied with the very words of his Greek documents, and with giving a literal version of such as he translated from the Hebrew. Whereas Luke, being a greater master of the Greek language, was more attentive to the diction, and frequently expressed the meaning of his documents in more pure words, and a more elegant form. Only he adhered more closely to the very expression of his documents, when he came to insert quotations from the Old Testament, or to recite discourses and conversations, and especially the discourses of our blessed Saviour. Both Mark and Luke adhered to the arrangement which they found in those documents which contained more facts than one. The documents themselves they arranged in chronological order. All the evangelists connected the documents one with another, each for himself and in his own way." ." Our author also conjectures that Matthew's Gospel was translated into Greek some time after the two 2 Ibid. p. 97.

Veysie's Examination, p. 56.

3 Examination of Mr. Marsh's Hypothesis, pp. 98, 99.

other Gospels were in circulation; that the translator made great use of them, frequently copying their very words where they suited his purpose; that, however, he made most use of Mark's Gospel, having recourse to that of Luke only when he could derive no assistance from the other; and that where he had no doubt, or perceived no difficulty, he frequently translated for himself, without looking for assistance from either Mark or Luke.4

ference to that of Bishop Marsh. That it accounts for all the Such is the hypothesis proposed by Mr. Veysie in prephenomena, which have, in Germany, been supposed to involve so many difficulties, we have no inclination to controvert; for, as he observes of his lordship's hypothesis, "being framed by a man of genius and learning, principally with a view to explain the phenomena which the author had observed, it may reasonably be expected to answer, in every point of importance, the purpose for which it was intended." We are even ready to grant, that it answers this purpose more completely than that of the learned translator of Michaelis, of which, therefore, it may be considered as an improvement; but to improve requires not the same effort of genius as to invent. Both, however, are mere hypotheses, or rather complications of various hypotheses, which he who rejects them cannot by argument or testimony be compelled to admit; while both appear to us to detract much from the authority which has hitherto been allowed to the first three Gospels.

To this author's detached narratives the same objections seem to lie which he has so forcibly urged against the very existence of Bishop Marsh's documents, and which have been already stated. Some of these narratives must have been of considerable length; for some of the examples of verbal agreement, which they have occasioned between Matthew and Mark, are very long and remarkable. They must likewise have been deemed of great importance, since they were translated from Hebrew into Greek for the benefit of the Greek Christians; and appear, indeed, from this account of them, to have furnished the whole matter of Mark's Gospel, except the explanation of some Jewish customs and names, and some circumstances acquired from Peter. Such narratives as these are exactly Bishop Marsh's documents, and one of them his document & an entire Gospel, of which not even the memory survived the apostolic age. 2. The hypothesis of Professor Schleiermacher, who is one of the most distinguished classical scholars in Germany, is developed in his "Critical Essays on the Gospel of Saint Luke." He supposes that there existed, at a very early period, detached narratives of remarkable incidents in the life of Jesus Christ, of his miracles, and discourses; which were collected by different individuals with various objects. From these minor collections Dr. Schleiermacher conceives that the works now called Gospels might be framed; and he is of opinion that Saint Luke formed his Gospel by the mere juxta-position of these separate narratives, without any alteration whatever on the part of the compiler, except the addition of copulative particles. The result of the examination which he institutes in support of his hypothesis is, that the evangelist "is neither an independent writer, nor has made a compilation from works which extended over the whole life of Jesus;" and that "he is, from beginning to end, no more than a compiler and arranger of what he found in existence, and which he allows to pass unaltered through his hands."

The only difference between this hypothesis and that of Mr. Veysie is, that the latter supposes the first Christians to have made memoranda of what they heard in the public preaching and private conversation of the apostles; while, according to Professor Schleiermacher, the memoranda of the Christians were collected by various persons, as chance or inclination directed them. On the continent, his hypothesis has been attacked by Fritsch, Plank, and Gersdorf; and in this country it has been examined and refuted at great length by the learned author of the critique upon his essay in the British Critic and Quarterly Theo

4 Examination of Mr. Marsh's Hypothesis, pp. 100, 101.

5 British Critic, vol. xxxiv. (O. S.) p. 114. An hypothesis similar to that of Mr. Veysie was offered by a learned writer in the Eclectic Review (vol. V.'s, this brief notice of it may suffice. viii. part i. pp. 423, 424.); but as it is liable to the same objections as Mr.

6A Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke, by Dr. Frederick Schleier. macher, with an Introduction by the translator, containing an account of the controversy respecting the origin of the first three Gospels since Bishop Marsh's Dissertation. London, 1825. 8vo. The original German work was published at Berlin, in 1817.

Schleiermacher, p. 313. British. Critic and Theol. Rev. vol. ii. p. 34.

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