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authenticated facts, as might disclose the nature, and form sufficient proof of the truth of the Christian religion. In favour of this opinion, let the following remarks, from the pen of a writer who has produced one of the mostlogical and well-conducted arguments in proof of the authenticity of the New Testament that has ever appeared upon the subject, be carefully considered. “There are no marks of an intention, on the part of any of the evangelists, to give to their narratives a regular chronological order. While, in general, there are no indications of the succession, and proximity of the events narrated, but from their being prior, or posterior, and contiguous in the narrative, or from such indefinite expressions as τοτε, παλιν, εν ταις ημέραις εκειναις, εν εκεινω TW xapw, ev tw radečns, meta tavra; on the other hand, it sometimes occurs, that the events which one evangelist relates as in immediate succession, are noticed by himself to be not contiguous in time, and are put down by another, with some of the intervening transactions interposed. Than evidence of this kind, as to the purpose of a history, no declaration by the writer can be more satisfactory. Such declaration, unless perfectly explicit, may be required to be modified, by what his work bears within itself of its purpose. But there can be no ambiguity in the evidence, deduced from such facts as we have noticed, in the Gospel narratives. Against this evidence, too, there is no contrary declaration to be weighed. The evangelist (John xx. 30, 31.) expressly asserts that the purpose of his writing, was to make such a selection of facts as might be good ground of faith in the divine mission of Jesus Christ; but be no where affirms the chronological order of the selection. Luke, also, thus declares the purpose of his writing to Theophilus, Ίνα επιγνως περι ων κατηχηOns loywv iny aopaketav, (Luke i. 4.) and the expression in the preceding verse, 'Εδοξε καμοι, παρηκολουθηκοτι ανωθεν πασιν ακριβως kabeing col ypapai, is to be interpreted according to that purpose. For this purpose, thus distinctly expressed by two of the evangelists, and evident from the manner of writing common to them all, it was assuredly necessary that, either directly or indirectly, they should furnish us with such information, as might enable us to refer the facts in the Gospel history to a certain country, and a certain period in the history of the world. Without this, the Gospels would not have afforded the proper means for distinguishing them from fictitious histories; and hence, could not have answered the purpose of furnishing evidence to the truth of Christianity. This it was possible to do, either formally by dates, such as are found in the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Luke's Gospel; or by allusions to known places, persons, and circumstances, to be learnt from other bistories. Of these two modes, the evangelists, with a few exceptions, follow the latter; natural to men writing immediately for contemporarios, apon or near the scene of the events, and conformable to the usual simplicity by which their whole style is pervaded. But for this purpose, it was not in the least necessary to frame regular chronological narratives; and accordingly,
what was not necessary, has not been effected; the connexions car-
pression made on most readers by the narratives of the evangelists.
After noticing the difficulties which present themselves in the way of making a chronological adjustment of the facts narrated in the Gospels, Dr. Cook thus concludes: “ It seems thus necessary, not only from the impossibility of effecting any.well-grounded adjustment of the apparent anachronisms in the Gospels, but from the whole style of the works, to abandon the hypothesis, that in any one of them the narrative of events has closely adhered to their order in time; and to adopt that one, favoured to a certain degree by Bengel and Michaëlis, and coinciding with the great purpose, for which the reason of the thing itself, the express declaration of the evangelist John, and the mode of narrative common to them all, induce us to think that they were written. This last hypothesis does not absolutely prohibit every attempt to reach the chronological arrangement of facts in the Gospel history; but it teaches us, should we make such attempt, to pass the insuperable difficulties, as nothing that is not in perfect consistency with the great end for which the Gospels were composed. The evangelists may thus be considered, as having written their testimony to the truth of Christianity, in very much the same unpremeditated way, that a witness examined before a court, gives extemporaneous evidence; each, after having begun his narrative, following the arrangements which the varying associations, passing in his mind during the course of it, most naturally suggested; till, occasionally going backwards and forwards upon the precise order of events in point of time, the whole information designed to be communicated, was completed."*
* Cook's Inquiry into the books of the New Testament, p. 212.
The same remarks will apply with equal weight to the book styled “ the Acts of the Apostles;”–
-a title rather calculated to mislead the reader, than to give him a correct idea of the nature of its contents. Nothing can be more obvious from a careful perusal of this collection of writings, than that the purpose designed by its author was not to give a complete history of the labours, success, and sufferings of the apostles, or even of any one of them ; but that his design, like that of the writers of the Gospels, was to give such a selection of well authenticated facts as might afford indubitable evidence of the truth of Christianity, and serve for the illustration of some of its most important doctrines.
As it was not necessary, in order to accomplish this purpose, to give a chronological arrangement of facts, so we find nearly the same neglect of this order here, as in the evangelical histories. The various attempts which bave been made to divide the history contained in this book into certain epochs, within one or other of which the various facts may with certainty be placed, are only calculated to shew that such attempts are utterly useless. It is true that Luke, in this work, as in his Gospel, has defined with sufficient distinctness, within what period of the history of the world, bis narrative begins and terminates. But when this is said, the utmost bas he granted relative to the chronology of the “ Acts of the Apostles,” that can be reasonably required.
With the following Harmonized view of the writings of the New Testament the subject shall be closed. For this analysis, I am indebted to a friend, who has evidently bestowed much attention upon the subject, and who appears to me to have succeeded in an attempt to exbibit in a small compass a tolerably satisfactory harmony of the New Testament. I think it right to state, that this synopsis has already been printed as part of a more extended undertaking, in a periodical work wbich deserves to be more extensively known, as possessing the strongest claims on the attention and support of the Biblical student: “ The Scripture Magazine (formerly Critica Biblica), or Depository of Sacred Literature," vol. ij. p. 15.-- Lond. 1825.
1.—The Life AND MINISTRY OF Jesus CHRIST. Harmonized View of the Writings of
John. Sect. 1.The introduction of the Evangelists.
i. 1. i. 1. i.1-4.
i. 1-5. 2. Relatives and birth of John.
i.5-25, 39-45, and
57-80. Y. W. 3. The connections and nativity of Jesus Christ. i. 18—25.
i. 26-38, 46-56, ii.
ii. 1. to end.
ii. 852. 6. John's ministry and baptism of Christ.
iii., iv. 1-11. i. 2-13 iii. 1-23. iv. 1-13. i. 6-34. from 7. The Saviour's entrance on his ministry.
iv. 12. to end. 1. 14. iii. 12. iv. 14. vi. 11. i. 35. ii. from 8. The nomination and charge of his Apostles, ix, 35. xi. 19. iii. 13-v. vi. 12-vii. 35. i. 35-52. 9. Journey and transactions of Christ in Galilee.
iv. 1. to end. 10. His celebrated Sermon on the Mount.
v. vi. and vii. 11. Mission of the Apostles; and John's death.
xiv. 1-12. vi. 1. to end. 4004. 12. Various miracles, and public instructions.
xi. 20. to end.
vii. 36-ix. 17.
v. 1. to end
xxii. 15. xxiii. vii. viii. 26.
xvi. 13–xviii. viii. 27-X. 31. ix. 18–10.
vii. 2. viii.
xxiv-xxv. xii. 13--xiii.
xiv-xvii. 26. The celebration of the last supper.
xxvi, 1–56. xiv. 1-52. xxi. 5--xxii. 53. 27. Crucifixion of Christ, with its attendant scenes. xxvi. 57—xxvii. 56. xiv. 53—XV. 41. xxii. 54-xxiii. 49. xviii- xix. 37. 28. His resurrection from the dead.
xxvii. 57—xxviii. 7. xv.42-xvi. 8. xxiii. 50—-xxiv. 8. xix. 98-XX. 10. 29. Appearance to his Disciples, & their commission. xxviii. 8. to end. xvi. 9-20. xxiv. 9, to end. xx. 11–xxi.
II.-THE LABOURS AND SUCCESS OF THE APOSTLES.
Acts i. 1 to end.
ii. 1 to end.
iii. and 4.
v. 1 to end. AC 5. The appointment of seven Deacons: the Disciples increased.
viii. 1-25. from 8. Philip and the Eunuch of Ethiopia.
viii. 26 to end, from
ix. 1 to end.
X. &. xi. 1-18.
xi. 19 to end.
xii. 1 to end. 35.
xiii. and xiv.
xv. 36-41. & xvi.
xvii. and xviii. 22.
-- Xviii. 23 to end. 18. His two Epistles to the Thessalonians. Thess. i.—v. & i.-iii. 19. Consequences of his preaching at Ephe
Acts xix. 1 to end. 20. His first Epistle to the Corinthians.
1 Cor. i.-Xv. 21. Labours in Greece and “ Asia," on his to way to Jerusalem.
Acts xx. 1 to end.
to 22. His first Epistle to Timothy.
1 Tim. i.-. 23. His Epistle to Titus.
Acts xxi.- xxiii. So. about 27. His defence there, before Felix and also
xxviii. 17 to end.
2 Tim. i.-iv. 4094. 32. His Epistles to the Ephesians, Philip
90. pians, and Colossians.
Philem. i. Heb. i.-xiii.
Johni. -v. i. i.