Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Kodgavtos, a Roman farthing, made of brass or lead, which was the fourth part of an as, and amounts in value to the English 1}d. Mark xii. 42: Lenta duo, o EOTI Xo&partns, two mites, which are a farthing.

Aoraplov, Matt. x. 29. By Rabbinical writers this is called 71DX, and contains 8 mites. According to Messrs. Parkhurst and Horne, it is about three farthings.

The xegua of John ii. 15, was a small piece of money, thus called, because in the rude state of ancient money such were frequently clipt off from larger pieces to make weight in their dealings with each other. A practice this, which still prevails aniong some nations,

[merged small][ocr errors]

In concluding these suggestions on Biblical Arithmetic, it may not perhaps be unsuitable to submit an Analytical Review of the leading considerations, which have been the subject of remark.

CHAP. I. Historical Introduction.
Principles of Arithmetic in Mosaic history— Progress of
Commerce Indian origin of Arabic digits-Character and
import of Figures—Their introduction into the Scriptures-
Jewish method of computation-Terms of this Art or Science.
-See Nos. xlix. p. 29–32, and Li. p. 15.

CHAP. II. Numbers.
Importance of understanding the Subject-Use of Letters
- Numeral words—Applications of the term Number
Seeming Contradictions in Scripture reconciled.-Nos. Li. p.
13--17, and liv. p. 253-257.

CHAP. III. Measures.
Scriptural employment of the word—Terms usually applied
-Two kinds; of Length and Capacity.

Sect. 1. Of Length, or Application-Origin in human members Standard variously fixed— Tabular View Particular Illustration.--No. LVI. p. 219–224.

Sect. 2. Of Capacity— Liquid and Dry-Examples of StandardsTabular Representation-Specification of Liquids -Enumeration of Dry -No, LVIII. p. 249–252.

Chap. IV. Weights. Reference to Money-Principal Terms-Standard differently provided-Superintendents of Weights and Measures-

1

Tabular Exhibition-Specific Explanation.-No. LvIII. p. 252-254.

CHAP. V. Money.
Etymology of word-Primary terms- Various Species-
Materials in ancient times-Gradual improvement - Hebrew
and Jewish Coins-General enumeration-Particular and Phi-
lological illustration of Silver, Gold, and Brass, Money.—No.

p.
321-327.

J. W.
Alanchester, October, 1824.

LX.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM.
On the First and Second Chapters of St. Matthew; com-

prising a view of the leading Arguments in favor of
their Authenticity, and of the principal Objections
which have been urged on the subject." By LATHAM
WAINEWRIGHT, M. A. F. S. A., of Emman. Coll.
Cambridge, and Rector of Gi. Brickhill, Bucks, &c.

[ocr errors]

No. III.-[Continued from No. LIX.] The next proof that St. Matthew composed his Gospel in the Syro-Chaldee or Hebrew, is derived from the evidence of Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, and in the early part of his life the disciple of Polycarp. Nothing can be less equivocal than the language of Irenæus on this subject, in his celebrated work against heresies.' (Lib. iï. c. 1.) “Matthew composed a gos

• It is a singular circumstance that this work of Irenæus, the only one extant, should have descended to the present times in the Latin language, though it is generally allowed to have been originally written in Greek. This indeed we night naturally suppose to have been the case from his being a native of Greece, and it is confirmed by the existence of the first book in Greek, and by the Greek fragments of his writings, which are preserved in the works of other authors. The passage mentioned in the text is cited by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, (Lib. v. c. 8.) ο μεν δε Ματθαίος εν τους Εβραίοις εν τη ιδία αυτών διαλέκτω και γραφήν εξήνεγκεν Είαγγελίου. .

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

pel ainong the Hebrews in their own dialect.” The testimony of this writer is not less important than that of the former, as he must unquestionably be regarded as an original and independent witness. That he was indebted Papias for his knowlege of this fact has indeed been affirmed, but without the shadow of reason, On the contrary, from his manner of speaking of Polycarp, and from the deference which he acknowleges that he paid to all his instructions, there can be little doubt that bis information respecting St. Matthew's Gospel was communicated to him by his venerable master; and as we know that the latter was the disciple of the apostle John, we must admit that no one could be better acquainted with the truth, and that no one's authority can be more decisive.?

The testimony in favor of the same fact, which possesses the next highest claim to our attention, is that of Origen. His words, as quoted by Eusebius, are these :-"As I have learnt by tradition, concerning the four Gospels, which alone are received, without dispute, by the whole church of God under heaven; the first was written by Matthew, once a tax-gatherer, afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for the benefit of the Jewish converts, composed in the Hebrew language."3 That his knowlege of this particular was not derived from Papias, which has been affirmed, is sufficiently evinced by the opposite opinions which these fathers entertained, and their totally dif

' Dr. Marsh's note in his translation of Michaelis, Vol. iji. Part 2. to chap. iv. sect. 4.

2 Michaelis next introduces the evidence of Pantænus of Alexandria, which arises indeed, rot from his writings, por from any fragments of them, sipce ncne have been preserved from the corrosions of time; but from the account of him contained in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius. The latter relates, that Pantænus was said to have travelled into India (which in this place probably designates Arabia Felix) to preach the Christian religion, and that he found in the hands of some of the inhabitants the Gospel of St. Matthew, written in Hebrew, which had been Jeft with them by Bartholomew. If this relation be true, it affords a very strong confirmation of the Hebrew original here contended for. Its truth indeed is denied by Dr. Masch, but without an argument of the slightest weight. And even allowing it to be false, it plainly shows that the common

opinion entertained at ihat period was, that St. Matthew composed his Gospel in Hebrew. The same fact relative to Pantænus is mentioned by Jerome.

3 Euseb. Hist. Eccles. Lib. vi. C. 25. Edit. Valesii, Cantab. 1720.“Ως έν παραδόσει μαθών περί των τεσσάρων ευαγγελίων & και μόνα αναντίρρητα έστιν εν τη υπό τον ουρανόν εκκλησία του Θεού ότι πρώτον μεν γέγραπται το κατά τον ποτέ τελώνην, ύστερον δε απόστολον Ιησού Χριστού, Ματθαίον, εκδεδωκότα αυτό τους από Ιουδαϊσμου πιστεύσασι, γράμμασιν Εβραϊκούς συντεταγμένον.

ferent modes of interpreting scripture; but it is rendered still niore manifest, by his declaring that he learnt it by tradition. This very expression, however, (év tapadócei paiwy,) has given rise to another objection,—that as Origen heard it by report, it does not follow that he believed it. The truth is, that the word napádoois, usually translated trudition, does not authorise the interpretation here given to it. The best lexicographers' consider this term as properly implying “any communication conveyed to others either by word or writing ;" and that it is not used in the present instance in a mere popular sense, appears from the other facts which Origen informs us he learnt through the same channel. He certainly did not mean to say that his information respecting the authors, the language and the respective designs of the four Gospels which he is there describing, had no better authority than the passing rumor of the day. The objection therefore is perfectly futile.

The language of Eusebius also on this occasion is not less satisfactory and decisive than that of the witnesses already cited; “ Matthew having first preached to the Hebrews, delivered to them, when he was preparing to depart to other countries, his Gospel, composed in their native language.? And indeed, exclusively of his direct testiniony, the circumstance of his not contradicting or qualifying the attestations of preceding ecclesiastical writers, would alone enable us to perceive what his own sentiments were on the point in question.

Subsequently to the time of Eusebius, it would be easy to adduce the testimony of a long catalogue of ancient writers unequivocally confirming the same fact; as Dositheus of the third century, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Gregory of Nazianzum, Cyril, Chrysostom and Jerome of the fourth century, Augustine of the fifth, and Theophylact of the eleventh century : and by every unprejudiced mind, it must surely be regarded as a conclusive argument, that down to the fifteenth century, no account exists which opposes the statement of this cloud of witnesses.3

· The latitude in which this word was frequently used by the ancients is evident from the manner in which it is explained by Suicer in his Thesaurus Ecclesiasticus Patrum Græcorum. He observes (under the title !icipédois), that traditions may be divided into divine and humana, of which he describes the former as those quæ ab ipso Deo proficiscuntur ; so that, in one sense, the inspired writings themselves were termed traditions.

2 Πατρίω γλώττη γραφή παραδούς το κατ' αυτόν Ευαγγέλιον. Εccl. Ηist. lib. iii. c. 24. The objections to the testimony of Eusebius are to the last degree frivolous and far-fetched, and have been well answered by Michaelis.

3 It is deserving of notice, that though the Greek subscriptions to the

In addition to the external evidence for the Hebrew origin of our first gospel, there are other considerations which tend in no slight degree to corroborate the same opinion. It has been justly remarked, that as St. Matthew was a native of Palestine, and expressly composed his narrative for the use of its inhabitants, it might naturally be inferred that he would write in the vernacular language of the country, that is, in the Syro-Chaldee. Some few critics indeed have ventured to maintain that the common language of Palestine at that time was Greek ;' but this

[ocr errors]

books of the New Testament cannot claim any great authority, it is yet a striking circumstance, that while inany of them describe the Gospel of St. Matthew to have been written in Hebrew, not one of them intimates the opinion that it was written in Greek. It is likewise observable, that the Syriac and Arabic subscriptions coincide with the same account.

Among the advocates of this opinion, the most celebrated perhaps is Isaac Vossius; and what he has advanced in its vindication will enable us to form a tolerable estimate on the subject. His arguments are these: 1st, That the Romans endeavored to extirpate the language of every country which they conquered. 2dly, The Jews could not dispense with the Greek language in contracts, testaments, and courts of justice. 3dly, Two living languages cannot exist at the same time in the same place; therefore the old vernacular language must have become extinct. 4thly, The dominion of the Macedonian kings in Syria had introduced the Greek language into that country, whence it spread into Palestine. 5thly, Theodoret relates that no Jewish children learnt to speak Hebrew, but the language of the country where they were born. These arguments are answered by Michaelis, in a German work, intitled, “An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews;" and his replies are thus briefly detailed by Dr. Marsh. The two first arguments, if they proved any thing, would prove that the Latin, and not the Greek language, was substituted for the Chaldee. The 3d is not in itself an argument, but only an inference founded on the supposition that Greek was become the vernacular language of Palestine. Nor is it true that two living languages cannot exist at the same time in the same place, as the fact is exemplified in several European countries at the present time. The 4th argument only shows that Greek was the language spoken at the court of the Seleucidæ and the principal towns of Syria; but Syriac still continued to be spoken in the country. There is nothing, therefore, to warrant the supposition that Greek had superseded the vernacular language of Palestine. With respect to the 5th argument, the remark of Theodoret applies only to the age in which he lived, and to the Jewish children born in foreign countries. See Dr. Marsh's note to vol. jii. ch. iv. sect. 6. of Michaelis's Introd. to N.T. Also Walton's Prolegom. 13. The arguments which have since been urged on the same point by Diodati in Italy, and Dr. Masch in Germany, have been respectively refuted by Ernesti and Michaelis.There is another proof that the common language of Palestine, in the time of our Saviour, was the Chaldee or East Aramæan, which is derived from the conversation of Christ with his disciples, as described in St. Mark. Thus ch. iii. 17, ’ETÉO nacey aŭtos óvópara Boavegyés. Ch. v. 41, Λέγει αυτή: Ταλιθα κούμι, Ch. vii. 34, Λέγει αυτώ 'Εφφαθά.

« ZurückWeiter »