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that Matthew's Gospel being first written was consulted by Mark and Luke. Others have maintained that these three evangelists followed, in common, some written history, which has since been lost. These two theories, with the numerous modifications which they have undergone, are now giving way to another which, though not free from doubt, deserves to be here stated, since it is favoured by some of the best critics of the present day. Their supposition is, that the first three Gospels are based on an early tradition, which for a time orally transmitted the principal facts of the evangelic history. The first history of Christ was no doubt an oral one ; for it was what the apostles and evangelists delivered in the preaching of the gospel. And as there was occasion for the frequent repetition of the same accounts, they would naturally assume the same or a similar order in the minds of both preachers and hearers, and become clothed in the same or like language. The very words of the Saviour, or in case these were translated into another tongue, the words that most nearly corresponded to them, could be the more easily remembered, because the Jews were so accustomed to treasure up the exact expressions of their teachers, and because so much of Christ's teaching was in parables, which greatly assisted the memory. In this way we can conceive that the apostles, without any concert with each other, or any written guide to follow, might be led by memory and the influence of the Holy Spirit, to pursue in their discourses the like train of narration, and to employ corresponding expressions. Such oral histories satisfied the wants of the church for a season, until the death of some of the original witnesses, and the dispersion of others in foreign lands, when false teachers arose and preached another gospel. Then it became necessary that the apostles should not only set forth the life of Christ in their preaching, but also deliver in writing the truths which they taught, either with their own pens, or by directing the pens of their associates in labour. And thus, it is conceived, were composed the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; each being based on oral apostolic teachings, which had become so familiar by frequent repetition, that the separate accounts often coincide in arrangement and in phraseology, especially where they give the discourses of the Saviour.1
The present work is based upon, and has almost entirely followed, Dr. Robinson's Harmony of the Greek Gospels. It is proper, therefore, to state the views of that distinguished author in his own language. “ The public,” he writes in the Preface, “ will naturally be slow to expect any great amount of novelty in a work of this kind, on a subject which has been before the ablest minds of the church during many centuries. Yet in the lapse of centuries, and even of years, there is a constant progress in the discovery or observation of new facts and circumstances bearing upon the social and also the physical history of the Hebrews and other ancient nations. These all serve to enlarge the circle of Biblical knowledge; they add to the apparatus and means of the interpreter and harmonist; and thus enable him often to shed new light upon topics which before were dark or doubtful. It may also be truly said, that in no former period, perhaps, has there been accumulated a greater amount of such facts and of such progress, than in the almost seventy years which have elapsed since the publication of Newcome's Harmony. Hence, in a similar work issued at the present day, the scholar may justly require, that it shall exhibit the result of these later investigations into language, manners and customs, history, geography, and the like, so far as they are well founded; and thus become, to a certain extent, the representative of the present state of Biblical science in this particular de
| See a valuable article on the Synoptical Study of the Gospels, by Prof. Hacket, in the American Eibliotheca Sacra for Feb. 1846.
2 A Harmony of the Four Gospels in Greek, according to the text of Hahn. Newly arranged, with explanatory Notes, by Edward Robinson, D. D. LL. D. Professor of Biblical Literature in the Union Theological Seminary, New York, &c. 1 vol. 8vo. 1845.
partment. Such, accordingly, has been my aim in the preparation of this volume. I have also every where endeavoured faithfully to judge and write, according to the impressions left on my mind by a personal inspection of most of the scenes of the gospel history; a privilege enjoyed, I believe, by no previous Harmonist. There will be found, I trust, some new views, and also some new illustrations of old views, which are now-a-days assailed. This is true, especially in respect to the transactions during the last six months of our Lord's life and ministry; and the remark applies more particularly to the identifica. tion of the city Ephraim, and the return of Jesus from that place through Peræa; also to the important passover question; and to the mode of harmonizing the several accounts of the Lord's resurrection and its accompanying incidents."
After thus giving the learned professor's own judicious and modest representation, it is sufficient to observe, that his erudition and sound judgment pre-eminently qualified him for the task, and have secured for his work general confidence and adoption. In preparing this edition, however, two other very important works have been diligently compared, as they were not included in the list of works consulted by Dr. Robinson. One is Greswell's Harmonia Evangelica, with elaborate Dissertations, in 4 vols. 8vo. 1830-1834,work of very distinguished learning and ability. The result of this comparison has been that only one or two slight changes have been adopted in consequence. The other work is Wieseler's Chronological Synopsis of the four Gospels, published in 1843, which is in high estimation in Germany. The examination of this work has tended, in the main, to support Dr, Robinson's arrangement.
The Notes consist of those given by Robinson, with occasional slight changes by the editor, together with a considerable number of others, partly original and partly compiled for this volume from Wieseler, Greswell, and others. They relate chiefly to points affecting the agreement of the four evangelists ; but other topics of interest and importance are often noticed. As an introduction to his Notes, Dr. Robinson makes the following statements in reference to his mode of harmonizing the Gospel of John with the other three, and in regard to the aim of his work.
“The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, along with many diversities, have nevertheless a striking affinity with each other in their general features of time and place. But, when compared with John's Gospel, there is seen to be a diversity no less striking between them and the latter, not only in respect to chronology, but likewise as to the part of the country where our Lord's discourses and mighty works mainly occurred. The three speak only of one passover, that at which Jesus suffered; and from this it would follow, that our Lord's ministry continued at most only about six months. John expressly enumerates three passovers, and more probably four, during Christ's ministry; which therefore must have had a duration of at least two and a half years, and more probably of three and a half. Again, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, place the scene of Jesus's public ministrations chiefly in Galilee; whence he goes up to Jerusalem only just before his death. John, on the other hand, narrates the miracles and discourses of our Lord as occurring principally at Jerusalem, on various former occasions as well as at his last visit.
“ The first difference is at once set aside by the remark, that although the three evangelists do expressly mention only one passover, yet they do not any where, nor in any way, affirm, or even imply, that there were no more; while the testimony of John is express and definite. And further, the incident, narrated by all the three writers, of the disciples plucking ripe ears of grain as they went through the fields, necessarily presupposes the recent occurrence of a passover during our Lord's ministry, different from the
See an able review of it in the Theologische Studien und Kritiken for 1846, pp. 1003—1028.
one at which he suffered ; and this is further confirmed by Luke's mention of the second sabbath after the first (oáßßatov ÒEUTEPOTT PwTov) in the same connexion. See Matt. 12. 1; Mark 2. 23; Luke 6. 1. See also Notes on ş25, 37.
“ This difference being thus satisfactorily explained, the existence of the second difference is of course accounted for. If John is right in enumerating several passovers, he is right in narrating what took place at Jerusalem on those occasions. But, more than this, we find in the other evangelists several things in which they too seem to allude to ear. lier visits and labours of Jesus in the holy city. So the language in which our Lord laments over Jerusalem, as having rejected his efforts, Matt. 23. 37; Luke 13. 34. So too the mention of scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem, who seek to catch him in his words, Matt. 4. 25; 15. 1; and, further, his intimate relations with the family of Lazarus, Luke 10. 38, 39; comp. John 11. 1, 2. “ For these reasons,
I do not hesitate to follow, with most Commentators, the chronology of John's Gospel, and assign to our Lord's ministry four passovers, or a duration of about three and a half years. The second of these passovers is less certain than the rest, and depends on the interpretation of John 5. 1, which will be considered in its place; see Note on § 36.
“ The Gospels, and especially the first three, can in no sense be regarded as methodical annals. It is therefore difficult, and perhaps impossible, so to harmonize them, in respect to time, as in all cases to arrive at results which shall be entirely certain and satisfactory. There is often no definite note of time; and then we can proceed only upon conjecture, founded on a careful comparison of all the circumstances. In such cases, the decision must depend very much upon the judgment and taste of the Harmonist; and what to one person may appear probable and appropriate, may seem less so to another.
“ It is the aim of the present work, not so much to ascertain and fix the true and precise chronological order (although this object is not neglected) as to place side by side the different narratives of the same events, in an order which may be regarded as at least a probable one; and by so doing to exhibit the legitimate uses of a Harmony, and accomplish a threefold purpose, viz. to make the evangelists their own best interpreters; to show how wonderfully they are supplemental to each other in minute as well as important particulars; and in this way to bring out fully and clearly the fundamental characteristic of their testimony, UNITY IN DIVERSITY.”
2. 29, 40
1. 21-28 4. 31-37
1. 29-34 4. 38-41
1. 35-39 4. 42-44
50 13. 1-23 4. 1-25 8. 4-18
55. Parable of the tares. Other parables.-Near Caper-
53 13. 24-53 4. 26-34
56. Jesus directs to cross the lake. Incidents.
tempest stilled.-Sea of Galilee.
54 | 8. 18-27 35-41 8. 22-25