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under his own observation, there can be no such documentary agreement between it and historical works written before its publication, as that which subsists between the other Gospels. Now, we find that in the few cases where the same events are recorded in this Gospel and the preceding ones—such as the feeding the five thousand, and the unction of our Lord at Bethany—his accounts are entirely independent of theirs. There is, however, a possible 'case, which ought not to be overlooked. From the minute circumstantiality of many of the details in St John's Gospel, we must suppose that they were originally committed to writing whilst the impression was still fresh which the events made upon him; but if so, they must have been written before St Luke wrote his Gospel, and we must suppose that a man of research like this evangelist would have had recourse to so unquestionable an authority. There are, indeed, strong reasons for believing that he did so, and that St John, as well as other of the apostles, delivered to him accounts of what they had seen; and that the reason why we cannot exhibit the connection between John and Luke, as we can between Luke, and Mark, and Matthew, is owing to the supplementary character of the fourth Gospel, and that the author intentionally avoided repeating what had been published by the preceding evangelists. We can thus explain the silence of St John as to very remarkable events in the life of our Lord at which he was present, such as the Transfiguration and the Last Supper. His presence on the latter occasion is, indeed, alluded to incidentally, but without details, as an event which must be known to the reader (xxi. 20); but he is altogether silent as to the Transfiguration. Now, we find in Luke's account details which could only be furnished by Peter, James, or John; but we cannot ascribe them to Peter, for they are not noticed in the second Gospel. His informant, therefore, must have been either James or John—and we can account for the silence of John, by supposing that he considered it unnecessary to repeat what had been already given by the other Gospels. But a work may be supplementary, without being a mere supplement. To have omitted everything related by the other evangelists would have rendered his Gospel of no value, unless accompanied by them. I believe that both St John and St Luke meant their works to be at once supplementary, and what German critics term “ selbstandig,” i.e., able to stand by themselves.
John's account of the resurrection has all the circumstantiality of an eyewitness, and here, if anywhere, we might expect to find evidence that St Luke was acquainted with it. Now, I am satisfied that there is evidence that he was-that, whilst his account is based on other sources, he has made it more complete by what he has derived from John. Thus, St John has given an extremely autoptical account of his own visit to the sepulchre in company with Peter: St Luke is the only other evangelist who notices it. In doing so, he treats it historically, leaving out the circumstantial details, confining himself to the main facts—all of which are to be found in John—and at certain points of the narrative the accounts tally ; that is, the same events are given in the same words exactly at those points of the narrative where a historian, condensing an original memoir, would naturally use them. John's account is as follows:
“ Peter went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together : and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down saw the linen clothes lying ; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.”—(John, xx. 3-8.)
The account of the same visit is thus given by St Luke :
"Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre ; and stooping down he saw the linen clothes lying, laid by themselves."-(xxiv. 12.)
It may be objected to the supposition that Luke took the account of this visit from John, that no mention is made in it of his presence; but historians are not in the habit of naming all who were present at an event: and the part which John takes, in
his own account of the transaction, is merely that of a witness. Peter was the person who, upon this occasion, first entered into the tomb—John, although first on the spot, giving place to him. Again, the account of our Lord's appearance to the disciples at Jerusalem is given in the very words of John :
“Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”—(xx. 19, 20.)
St Luke relates the same event thus : “ Jesus himself stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled ? handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. And when he had so said, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy," &c.-(xxiv. 36-41.)
There is, therefore, reason to suppose that amongst the communications of eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, alluded to by St Luke in his preface, were the yet unpublished memoirs of St John, and that these were made use of by him.
There is still another possibility which, in an inquiry like the present, ought not to be passed over unnoticed. I mean the assistance which, as a beloved friend and fellow-labourer, he may be supposed to have derived from the Apostle Paul.
There can be no doubt but that the connection must have given great value to the writings of St Luke in the estimation of the early Christians, and most justly so; for we cannot suppose that he wrote without the sanction and approbation of St Paul, with whom we have good reason to believe he was, both when he wrote the Acts and when he wrote the Gospel. He was, therefore, always within reach of such assistance; and his account of the Last Supper seems to indicate that he availed himself of it to a certain extent. Origen informs us that his Gospel was approved of, or rather praised, by Paul-“ υπό. Παύλου επαινούμενον ευαγγέλιον.”. Ap Euseb., H. E., vi. 25.
It appears that there was a tradition that this Gospel had its origin in the instructions of St Paul, and we can easily understand how it should have arisen. Tertullian mentions the tradition, or rather the conjecture, that such was the case, and accounts for it by saying “it was natural to take that for the masters', which the disciples promulgated.”
."* Irenæus, indeed, says that “ Luke, the follower of Paul, wrote what Paul preached.” + But this is not inconsistent with what may be inferred from St Luke's preface, that he wrote from what the original eyewitnesses had communicated to him; because, in another place, he (Irenæus) takes the same view of the origin of this Gospel. We may conclude, therefore, both from the circumstances of the case and ancient tradition, that St Luke had the approbation of St Paul, and, to a certain extent, his assistance.
I now proceed to show that he did make use of the authority of those“ who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word.”
Having in another work demonstrated that the Acts of the Apostles could only have been written by a person engaged in some of the most eventful scenes which he has recorded, I avail myself of his testimony, first, as to the genuineness of his own Gospel, proving that it was written before the Acts; and, in the next place, to his testimony, given in the preface to the Gospel, proving that before it was written there were already many accounts of the life of our Lord in existence. That this most important fact is asserted by St Luke, will not be disputed; but its connection with the next clause of the preface has given rise to much discussion, and has been turned into every possible shape so as to suit the purposes of theorists.
Dr Davidson, who, in his Introduction to the New Testament, ascribes the phenomena of the origin of the Gospel to oral tradition, explains it thus :—“Many attempts have been made to give a fixed character, in writing, to the oral evangelical tradition before Luke commenced to write.” But to draw up a digest does not necessarily
*"Lucæ digestum Paulo ascribere solent. Capit magistrorum videri quæ discipuli promulgarint.”--Adr. Marc., iv. 5.
+ « Λουκάς δε ακόλουθος Παυλου το υπ' εκείνου κηρυσσόμενον ευαγγέλιον έν βιβλίων κατέDeto."— Ado. IIær. iii. 1.
mean to give fixity to oral tradition. There is not a word about oral tradition expressed in the preface, nor do I believe implied in it. I know that the second clause is understood by many critics as explanatory of the first—that is, of the mode in which the many had drawn up their digests, “as eyewitnesses, &c., had delivered to us.” But, in the first place, what is derived directly from eyewitnesses is not necessarily oral, and even when it is, the term “ tradition” is inapplicable—for it is never applied to the direct testimony of eyewitnesses. If Luke, for instance, received accounts from an eyewitness, and recorded them in his history, he could not be said to be writing from tradition; neither could it be said of the “ many,” if it be Luke's intention to tell us that they derived their information from eyewitnesses. But I do not believe that such was his intention. If it had been, he would have said, delivered to “ them;" not, to “us.” He could have no object in stating to Theophilus the authority of the “many;" but he had a very essential object in stating that he himself was in possession of the accounts of eyewitnesses. Now, he does so in the expression tapédogav ňuiv, " delivered to us;" for however wide the meaning we give to nuīv, “ us,” it must include Luke. I believe he uses the first person plural as a less egotistical expression than if he had said, “ delivered to me.” So Eusebius understands it; for in quoting Luke's preface, in the third person, he repeatedly renders " jpîr” not into “ ávross,” but into “ ávrợ”—that is, not as they delivered to “ them” (the many), but unto “ him” (St Luke). *
The preface is short and elliptical. It begins with the general statement, which is so expressed as to include all who had previously written on the same subject. This is connected with the next clause by the adverb kabàs, which I would translate, “such as," and render the connection thus,“ many have drawn up a digest of the events, &c., such as we have received from those who were eyewitnesses,” &c. But however we may understand the passage, we must admit that by St Luke's own statement he was
* See instances in the notes in the next page.