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The Car


THIS Section, which forms the preface, or rather the title to the Gospel, I suppose, was added by Mark when he translated the memoir; but being peculiar to Mark, it is foreign to my purpose to comment upon it.



The three accounts are so obviously taken from the same original, that I can scarcely imagine that any inquirer who has studied the subject can explain the agreement upon any other supposition. But admitting this to be the case, there are several modes in which it may be accounted for. First, That proposed by Griesbach, which is, that Mark took his account from those of Matthew and Luke. Second, That of Hug and other later critics, that Mark copied Matthew, and that Luke copied both Mark and Matthew. Third, That Mark's account is the original, and that both Matthew and Luke took their accounts from his. And lastly, The modification of the third hypothesis which I have advanced in the preliminary dissertation, which is, that the second Gospel contains an original memoir written by Peter, and translated by Mark; that it was originally written in the SyroChaldaic or Aramaic, which is termed by the evangelists and fathers Hebrew, but that before it was translated it was used both by Matthew and Luke in the composition of their Gospels, and that St Luke also made use of the Greek Gospel of St Matthew.

Let us now test these different theories by the case before us. The commencement of the narrative in the second Gospel (Mark i. 2) is singularly abrupt, and the order inartificial-natural, indeed, in a person writing with the first intention, and full of his subject. He


recognises the fulfilment of prophecy in the mission of John the Baptist, and records his impressions in the order in which they occur to himself, without reference to the manner in which they might impress others. The object of the historian, on the other hand, is to state them in such a manner as to make them readily understood by readers who had no means of information besides that which the history affords. It is obvious, in such a case, that the statement of facts must precede the inferences. In the present instance, the fact is the advent of John; the inference is, that by it prophecy was fulfilled. If we assume that we have the original narrative in the second Gospel, we can easily account for the alteration in the order made by Matthew and Luke, because theirs is the natural order; but if, on the other hand, we suppose that Mark took his account from Matthew or Luke, or both, we cannot account for the inversion in the order of narration. If, therefore, the account in the second Gospel cannot have been taken from both or either of the other Gospels, it follows, first, that their authors must have made use of it, for we find the whole of this section incorporated in St Matthew's account; and the whole of it, with the exception of the details respecting the food and raiment of John the Baptist, in St Luke's account. Second, That it must have been in a different language from the Greek, otherwise we cannot account for the translational agreement which exists between Mark's account and that of Matthew and Luke, the only verbal agreement in this case being the quotation from Isaiah; but that presents no difficulty, for all the three agree verbatim with the Septuagint version, and at all events the verbal agreement can be referred to the Gospel of Matthew. Wherever this is the case, we can account for it by supposing that Mark, in executing his translation, availed himself of the previous translation of Matthew.

In addition to the account of the Baptist given in the second Gospel, and incorporated in the first, we find two very striking passages, the first being the stern rebuke of John to the Pharisees and Sadducees, beginning, "O generation of vipers," (Matt. and Luke, sect. i. p. 224); the second, the description given by John of our Saviour, "Whose fan is in his hand," &c. (ib. sect. ii.) Now we find that both of these passages are adopted into Luke's account, and in both cases in language which is nearly identical. The slight differences are not translational, and it is not possible that so close a verbal agreement can be accidental: one of the writers must have had the work of the other before him in the Greek language; and if it be admitted that the Gospel of St.

It is only necessary to compare them in the original to see that they are different translations of the same originals, with peculiarities in each which I shall now consider. And first, with regard to the additions in the Gospel of Matthew, they consist entirely of the words of our Lord, which he must have heard, and therefore the cause of their insertion is obvious.

With regard to the omissions on the part of Matthew, they are merely the abbreviations of a historian, with the exception of the wellknown text, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." The explanation I have to offer is, that St Mark's statement contains both the facts and the inference; the other historians consider it sufficient to give the inference. There are two additions made by St Luke, which at first sight appear to be autoptical: the first relates to the time when the events recorded in these two sections took placeit was "on the second Sabbath after the first ;" the other states that the disciples rubbed the ears of corn in their hands. The first does not occur in the earlier uncial MSS.; but, assuming it to be genuine, it must be taken as a proof of St Luke's accuracy of research, and anxiety to ascertain the date, where it was possible. "Rubbing them with their hands" is, I believe, a paraphrastic addition; the evangelist mentions what must have been done in eating ears of corn. This addition is quite in accordance with the graphic style in which this evangelist describes scenes, even where he was not present.



We have in this section an excellent example of the contrast between the autoptical and the historical. The account in the second Gospel is more than three times as long as that of St Matthew, and yet the latter contains not only everything which is of historical importance, but contains additions which are so. Both accounts begin with stating that the Pharisees, upon going out of the synagogue where our Lord cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, conspired against him; St Matthew simply notices the conspiracy. Both evangelists state that our Lord withdrew himself. Mark tells us where he withdrew himself to, which was of no historical consequence; but he does not tell us why he withdrew himself, which was. Schleiermacher, in remarking on this passage, says, "Christ withdraws, one does not


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unworthy to stoop down and unloose" our Lord's shoes; according to St Matthew, he says he is unworthy "to bear" his shoes. This, Dr Middleton, as quoted by Bishop Newcome, says is "trifling indeed with regard to the point in difference, yet effectual to evince inadvertency or mistake with regard to the strictness of truth." To meet this objection, Bishop Newcome supposes that the words were spoken on different occasions, and accordingly arranges his harmony as if this were the case. He says, "No doubt many occasions were taken by the Baptist to give so important a testimony, which was a principal end of his mission. But where is the contradiction, if on different occasions different words were used?"*

When it is considered that this passage forms but a portion of a lengthened address, we can scarcely suppose that it could have occurred so exactly in the same words on any other occasion, nor are we called upon to make the supposition. The Baptist evinces his humility by saying he was unworthy to perform the most menial office to our Lord; he is addressing a multitude, and therefore speaks rhetorically, by describing the action of the humblest of the attendants of a dignified Jew, who was required to pull off his shoes on entering the temple, and therefore had an attendant to assist in pulling them off, and take charge of them, or bear them. St Matthew, with the original of Mark before him, states shortly what is in effect the same thing, just as if a modern author should render a passage saying, "I am unworthy to stoop down and brush his shoes," into "I am unworthy to clean his shoes."

The occurrence of John's rebuke to the Sadducees and Pharisees, beginning, "O generation of vipers," and his description of our Lord, beginning, "Whose fan is in his hand," &c., present no difficulty when found in the writings of an apostle.

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When we examine St Luke's account, it will be found to contain the whole of St Mark's account, with the exception of the quotation from Malachi already accounted for, and the description of John's food and raiment, an autoptical detail not requisite in a historical work. St Luke fixes the date of the commencement of the public life of our Lord from his own investigations, and includes the additions made by Matthew, evidently from the Greek, (see Matt. and Luke, sect. i. and ii. ;) and he gives, from sources peculiar to himself, the passage beginning with verse 10 to verse 16, and which, from his preface, as well as from

*Notes on Harmony, p. 6.

the circumstances in which we know he was placed, we are warranted to conclude that he derived from an apostle.



We have here three independent translations from the same original; but both Matthew and Luke add important matter from their own peculiar sources of information. Matthew relates John's humble remonstrance to our Lord, and his reply, ver. 14 and 15; and St Luke adds that our Saviour was engaged in prayer, ver. 21, a circumstance to which he evidently attaches much importance, from the frequency with which we find it mentioned in his Gospel.



St Mark's account of the temptation, which is short and historical, is entirely distinct from the detailed accounts of Matthew and Luke, which will be noticed elsewhere: it will be remembered that Peter had not yet joined the company of the apostles.



Luke's account of our Saviour's return to Capernaum, iv. 14-32, is much fuller, and quite independent of the other two, which are evidently taken from the same Hebrew original, but with explanations and additions characteristic of Matthew. In the first place, whilst Mark merely states the fact that, "after that John was put into prison, Jesus came to Galilee," v. 14, Matthew takes care to connect the events by the insertion of the word Akovσas-when Jesus "heard" that John was imprisoned, &c. He also points out the fulfilment of prophecy in our Lord's choice of residence, v. 13-16. Both of these changes are exactly such as a Jewish historian, writing for the Jews, would insert : the facts are all given in the memoir, the explanations and inferences in the history.

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