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in possession of accounts furnished by eyewitnesses; and although he does not, in express words, say that he made use of such authority, it is surely implied that he did. If I write to a friend that I am anxious that he should know the truth of certain events, and if I inform him that I am in possession of the evidence of eyewitnesses, he must of necessity conclude that I availed myself of it. Irenæus so understood St Luke's preface.
“ Luke delivered to us what he had learned from them (the apostles), as he himself testifies, saying, “Even as they delivered them to us, which were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word.'” *
So also Eusebius describes the manner in which St Luke composed his Gospel :
“Luke, who was born at Antioch, and by profession a physician, being for the most part connected with Paul, and familiarly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us, in two inspired books, the institutes of that spiritual healing which he obtained from them. One of these is his Gospel, in which he testifies that he has recorded as those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word' delivered to him (kadà tapédorav å vto), whom also he says he has in all things followed." +
And in his Evangelical Demonstrations, in noticing the precedence which Luke gives to Matthew before Thomas, he says
“ Thus Luke honours Matthew according to what had been delivered to him (καθ' ά παρέδωκαν αυτώ) by those which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word.” I
Jerome is not less clear upon this point. He says that
“ Luke did not learn his Gospel from Paul alone, who had not been with our Lord in the flesh, but from the other apostles, as he himself declares in
* “Lucas . . . ea quæ ab eis (Apostolis) didicerat tradidit nobis sicut ipse testificatur dicens, 'Quemadmodum tradiderunt nobis qui ab initio contemplatores et ministri fuerunt verbi.'”-Adv. Hær., iii. 14.
* « Λουκάς δε το μεν γένος ών των απ’ Αντιοχείας την δε επιστήμης ιατρός, τα πλείστα συγγεγονώς το Παύλο και τους λοιπούς δε ου παρέργως των αποστόλων όμιληκώς ης από τούτων προσεκτήσατο ψυχών θεραπευτικής εν δυσιν ημίν υποδειγματα θεοπνευστους καταλέλοιπε βιβλίοις τώ τε ευαγγελίω ο και χαράξαι μαρτύρεται καθά παρέδοσαν αυτό οι απ' άρχης κ.τ.λ.” –Η. Ε., iii. 4.
1 « “Ούτως μεν τον Ματθαιόν ο Λουκάς ετίμησεν καθ' ά παρέδωκαν αυτό οι απ' αρχής K.T.N."
the beginning of his volume, saying, ' As they delivered to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word.”” *
And Tertullian, although he does not quote St Luke's preface, grounds the authority of his Gospel upon its being derived immediately from the apostles. After noticing that St Paul himself required the authority of the apostles, he adds, “How much more is that authority necessary for the Gospel of Luke than for the Gospel of his Master ?”—-Adv. Marcion, iv. 2.
I conclude, therefore, with the Fathers, that St Luke not only asserts in his preface that he was in possession of the narratives of those engaged in the transactions, but that his Gospel was in a great measure drawn up from them.
I conclude also that the expression év nuav, “ amongst us," implies that the Gospel was written in Judea, the scene of the events which are recorded in it; but if so, the evangelist must have been personally familiar with the localities—a most important element in historical accuracy. Now, I think there is internal evidence to prove that he was, and that he describes events just as a person writing on the spot would do, even when he draws his information from preceding authors. Thus in his account of our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he marks the very spot where the attendant multitude burst out into hosannas, xix. 37 (see Sect. lviii. p. 144), a circumstance peculiar to Luke's Gospel
. So also, in describing the events in Galilee, the influence of his familiarity with the localities is very perceptible. Writing to a person at a distance, he thinks it necessary, when he mentions Capernaum, to inform him that it is a city of Galilee; but when the great features of nature which characterise the site of that city, the mountain and the lake, are mentioned, it does not occur to him that any explanation is necessary.
The strongest proof, however, that the Gospel was written in Judea, is drawn from the difference in the use of the word 'lovdaios (Jew) in the Gospel, as compared with the Acts. A historian
* “ Quod ipse quoque in principio sui voluminis declarat, dicens, sicut tradiderunt nobis qui a principio,'" &c.— Vita D. Lucae.
does not think of giving the national designation to the inhabitants of the country he is writing in, although he naturally does of other countries. The Acts and the Gospel of John were certainly not written in Judea ; Matthew, and the original of Mark, I am satisfied were. Now, I find in Matthew the word “ Jew" occurs five times; in Mark, seven times; in Luke, five times, and those in cases where it could not be avoided; but in John it occurs seventy-one times ; and in the Acts, eighty-two. I can account for this difference in the use of the word in Luke's writings, upon no other supposition than that his Gospel was written in Judea; but if so, it was written under circumstances of all others the most favourable for procuring historical information ; and if, as I suppose, some of the apostles had committed accounts of the events which they had witnessed to writing, he could not fail to be acquainted with them. The Gospel of Matthew agrees precisely with his description of the documents mentioned in the preface. It is “a digest of the things which had been accomplished” – διήγησιν περί των πεπληροφορημένων πραγμάτων, 1. 1. Did he, or did he not, make use of it? I apprehend that, if commentators, instead of resting upon their own preconceived opinions of what St Luke ought to have done in such circumstances, had inquired into what he actually has done, they could not have failed to have arrived at the same conclusions which I have been led to, by the evidence of the case, that, amongst other authorities, he has made use of St Matthew's Gospel. I attach no weight to objections drawn from the opinions of modern critics as to the mode in which the evangelists ought to have written, upon the supposition that they were acquainted with the works of their predecessors. When, for instance, Dr Lardner says, “ It is not suitable to the character of any of the evangelists that they should abridge another historian,” I can only advance the opposite opinion that it was, provided the preceding historian related what fell under his own observation; and I adduce St Luke's own words in support of my views. Dr Davidson asks:
“ If authentic histories of Jesus' life, written by Matthew and Mark, existed, and many had erred in departing from them, what reason could Luke have had for writing a new history to correct the many writers who had attempted the task ? Were not those of Matthew and Mark quite sufficient ? Could he not have referred Theophilus to them? Were they not able to impart dopádela?"_Vol. i. p. 393.
Before answering these questions, I must protest against their relevancy in the present inquiry, which is not, How ought the evangelists to have composed their Gospels ? but, How did they compose them? I may not be able to explain either why St Luke, if he was acquainted with the preceding Gospels, added anything, or left anything out from them in his Gospel ; but if we take into consideration both the proximate and ultimate object which he had in view, I can see no difficulty. The proximate object was, to assure Theophilus of the certainty of “ the things wherein he had been instructed;" the ultimate object, to assure others. Now, he could not have sent the Gospel of Mark to Theophilus, for it was not then published, nor did it exist in a language which he could understand. The Gospel of Matthew did exist in a language which Theophilus could understand ; and, if not already in possession of it, we may suppose that St Luke did send it to him; but if he did, what then ? Are we to suppose that he was resolutely to omit whatever St Matthew had mentioned ? Such a mode of composition might serve the purposes of Theophilus, but would render his work unintelligible to others not in possession of St Matthew's Gospel. One object of St Luke, in making use of St Matthew's Gospel, is very evident;—it was to make the account he had translated from the original of St Mark more complete. Let us take the first example which occurs. In his account of John the Baptist, we find two passages inserted from Matthew: first, John's rebuke to the pharisees, beginning, “O generation of vipers,” iii. 7; next, John's description of our Lord, “ whose fan is in his hand,” (Sect. 1 and 2, Mat. and Luke, p. 224-5.) In both cases St Luke's account is rendered more complete by the extracts from St Matthew, and we can see a reason why he should have inserted them.
go over the sections, and in many cases be able to assign evident or probable reasons for the manner in which St Luke has treated the matter, as I have done, to a certain extent, in the Notes ; but it is unnecessary. It is sufficient to say, that if St Luke had acted as many commentators suppose he would have done, if acquainted with the preceding Gospels, we should have been deprived of the only record of many of the most important miracles, parables, and discourses of our Lord.
There are, however, other and more weighty objections to this view, because they rest upon the facts of the case. Professor Thiersch, in his review of my Dissertation on the origin of the writings of St Luke, * asks :
“ If it were so, how is it possible there should be such great variations between Luke and Matthew? How comes it that, with Luke's striving after completeness, he leaves out so much matter given by Matthew, and that, in the narrative of the childhood of Christ, of his discourses, of his resurrection, he differs so much from that of Matthew? We hold this phenomenon to be inexplicable, except upon the supposition that Matthew and Luke were unacquainted with each other, and worked independently. Their agreements are sufficiently explained by the fact that they had a common leader in Mark. There are difficulties in this hypothesis, but they are small when compared to the difficulty which the author has, apparently without being aware of it, advanced, in ascribing to St Luke the knowledge of the Greek Gospel of Matthew, and that it (the Greek version) was an apostolical writing.”
In reply, I admit that in none of the cases cited by Professor Thiersch did Luke make use of the Gospel of Matthew, and I account for his not doing so by the supplemental character of his Gospel ; but this, in fact, proves no more than that he made use of other authorities than Matthew and Mark. The differences, if differences there be, existed in the original writings, and Luke made no attempts to reconcile them by suppressions, or tampering with the originals, which, I infer from the terms of the preface, were all apostolical.
The most striking difference between the accounts of the early life of Christ in Matthew and Luke is in the genealogies. Upon
* Goettingische gelehrte Anzeigen, 1851. P. 1378.