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this I would merely observe that St Matthew has avowedly given the genealogy of Joseph, and he could not have been at any loss in knowing who the father of Joseph was. The simplest explanation appears to be, that Luke's is the genealogy of our Lord according to the flesh, and that Heli was the father-in-law of Joseph. Had the point of divergence been at a period of remote antiquity, we might have supposed that the authors, ignorant of each other's writings, had made use of different and incorrect registers of descent; but the divergence was, in fact, within the memory of man when the Gospels were written. There is no improbability in supposing that St Luke was personally acquainted with Mary; at all events, he could be under no difficulty in ascertaining a fact which he must have thought of consequence, otherwise he would not have inserted the genealogy, and which must have been within the knowledge of many then living.
With regard to the omissions which Professor Thiersch supposes that St Luke, in his striving after completeness, would have avoided, they are explained by the supposition that his Gospel was to a certain extent supplementary; and besides, we find the very same phenomenon in the connection between Luke and Mark which Professor Thiersch admits. Luke has omitted many passages from Mark, such as that beginning at vi. 45, and ending at viii. 36.
Such objections, however, are merely negative, and whether we can explain them or not, they never can outweigh the positive evidence drawn from the fact that we find passages of Matthew's Gospel included in that of St Luke. It may, indeed, be said, How do we know that it is not Matthew who borrows from Luke, and not Luke from Matthew ? I admit that a mere verbal agreement would not of itself indicate which is the latest writer ; but in the present case we can apply the geological argument of included fragments. Whenever we find fragments of one deposit included in another, we are certain that the deposit to which they belong is older than the one which contains them.
Where I am now writing, I look on rocks of red sandstone ; at a very short distance I find rocks of slate : I have never seen them in contact,
so as to infer from the order of superposition which is the oldest, but I find fragments of slate included in the sandstone, and therefore infer with certainty that the slate is the oldest formation. So it is with the Gospels. I find fragments of Matthew included in the Gospel of Luke, and infer that the Greek Gospel of Matthew existed before St Luke wrote, and was used by him as a historical authority. In the Gospel of Luke, then, we find a certain, although not a large portion, which he has taken immediately from the Gospel of Matthew. There are also agreements between the Gospels which may be termed mediate—that is, where both evangelists have drawn their materials from the same source ; such are all the agreements which are translational and not transcriptural. Such agreements prove that an original must have existed in another language, and consequently, where they occur, neither of the Gospels can be the original. Agreements of this kind can nearly all of them be referred to the Gospel according to Mark, which I hold to be the translation of an original apostolical memoir, and therefore such an authority as historians would naturally make use of; but as Luke came after Matthew, his translation of the passages which each of them gave entire would almost unavoidably be influenced by the previous* one of Matthew, and the phenomena of dependent translation would be the result. In order, therefore, to form an accurate judgment of the nature of the connection of the Gospels of Mark and Luke, we must leave out of sight all the sections which are common to the three Gospels, and confine ourselves to those only common to Luke and Mark : now, in these we find no verbal agreement greater than what occurs in independent translations; the exceptional cases pointed out by former writers I have elsewhere shown did not exist in the earliest MSS. I conclude, therefore, that St Luke, in drawing up his Gospel, made use, to a certain extent, of the Greek Gospel of Matthew, and the Hebrew or Aramaic original of Mark.
The retrograde order of our inquiry which we have pursued brings us now to the Gospel of Matthew ; for although it was the first authoritative account of our Saviour's life published to the world, yet, as I suppose that it contains matter taken from the original of the second Gospel, we must so far consider it posterior to Mark.
According to Eusebius, “ Matthew, after having first proclaimed the Gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going to other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue, and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings.”H. E., 1. 3, c. 24.
Other ancient writers state that this Gospel was written upon the dispersion of the apostles by persecution, when, for the reasons stated by Eusebius, a written account became necessary. This account of its origin, which is probable in itself, is not contradicted either by external or internal evidence. From the numerous allusions to Jewish Scripture and the fulfilment of prophecy, it is obvious that it was especially meant for Jewish readers. The earliest account is that of Papias, as quoted by Eusebius, H. E., iii. 39: “Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, which every one translated as he was able.”
The sense here is apparently incomplete, and what is wanting would probably inform us that those to whom the Hebrew was a foreign language, were obliged to translate it as they best could, till the Greek version was supplied.* The words of Papias imply, at all events, that a translation was requisite.
There is much patristic evidence to prove that Matthew wrote originally in Hebrew, but it by no means follows that he did not also write in Greek ; indeed, the objects he had in view could not have been accomplished unless he had done so, for the circumstances of Judea with respect to language were precisely the same as those of Ireland at the present day, and just as one portion of
* I find Professor Thiersch has arrived at a similar conclusion. According to Dr David. son, he supplies the ellipse thus :—“Till he himself published the Greek copy, which is read throughout the whole church as his Gospel;” but Dr Davidson, whilst he admits that the quotation from Papias has a fragmentary appearance, calls this "an arbitrary assumption drawn from the air.”—Introd. to N. T. i. 51. I do not think so. The extract from Papias points to a desideratum which could only be supplied by a Greek Gospel, and which was supplied by the present Greek Gospel before Papias wrote.
the Irish understand what is written in their native language (Tarpią ylcoon), but do not understand English, so another portion understand English, but not Irish. It is necessary, if we wish to communicate the Gospel to the Irish, that it should be in two languages ; so also it was in Palestine at the time of the first publication of the Gospels. Every notice we have of the language spoken by our Lord shows that it was Hebrew—see Mark, v., 41, vii. 34, xv. 34, and Acts, xxvi. 14. But he was not understood at Jerusalem, Mark, xv. 35. The mob at Jerusalem were surprised to hear themselves addressed in Hebrew, Acts, xxii. 2; and the captain of the guard did not suppose that St Paul could speak Greek (xxi. 37). In the inscription on the cross, we have the language of the dominant power, and of the two classes of the inhabitants. The case of Josephus, the contemporary and fellow-countryman of Matthew, is one in point : he tells us, in his preface to his History of the Jewish Wars, that he had formerly written it in their native tongue (Tarpio) for the use of the barbarians—. e., those who did not understand Greek; and now turned it into Greek (Ελλάδι γλώσση μεταβαλών) for those who did.
The strongest proof of the originality of St Matthew's Greek Gospel-applying the term originality to it as I would to the History of Josephus——is the use that is made of it by St Luke ; for no writer of accurate research, such as St Luke claims to be, and unquestionably is, will have recourse to a translation when he understands and has access to the original.
I do not lay much stress upon the ignorance of Jerome as to this point ; his evidence is exceedingly confused, and not easily reconcilable with his necessary knowledge of the Greek Gospel. Eusebius appears to have considered the Greek version as Matthew's own, for whilst he states that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, he quotes his Greek translation of a passage in the 78th Psalm, v. 35, as direią ésdógel,“ his own rendering or edition,” contrasting it with the same passage as given in the Septuagint. Professor Hug, who does not admit that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, explains the contradiction in Eusebius by supposing that as a historian he
adhered to his authorities, but as a philologist and biblical investigator he formed a different opinion. On the other hand, Dr Davidson, who does not believe that Matthew wrote in Greek, whilst he admits that, if Hug’s translation of the above passage from Eusebius be correct, “the conclusion is unavoidable that the apostle wrote in Greek,” says “that the term čedovis does not sigpify translation—it denotes recension.
I must demur to this sense of the word. By “recension” I understand a revision of the same translation, rather than a different and independent translation ; but Eusebius is speaking of different translations. What Hug says is undeniable, that Matthew does depart from the Seventy, who render the passage in question, Psalm lxxviii. 2, poéyšopal Tpoflýpara ár’ úpxîs—“I will utter dark sayings of old;" but by Matthew it is rendered thus, épeútouai κεκρυμμένα από καταβολής, xiii. 35-«I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” The meaning is the same, although every word in the Greek is different; and unquestionably the circumstance of Matthew being a Hebrew, and consequently acquainted with the language, does account for his using a translation of his own. I give the whole passage :-åri του φθέγξομαι προβλήματα απ’ αρκής Εβραίος ών ο Ματθαίος, οικεία εκδόσει κέχρηται ειπών ερεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα από καταβολής, which Dr Davidson paraphrases thus
—“ Matthew, being a Hebrew, uses that recension of the Old Testament text which was current in his native land, and had the Hebrew words to which ερεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα, κ. τ.λ., and not φθέγξομαι, K. 7. 8., corresponds” (vol. i. p. 12); but which I would translate thus—“Instead of 'I will proclaim from the beginning,' Matthew, being a Hebrew, uses a rendering of his own, 'I will utter things concealed from the foundation,'” &c.
I see, therefore, no contradiction in the supposition that St Matthew wrote his Gospel in both languages; and when I see an author who could not be mistaken, and who professes to write upon the authority of eyewitnesses, making use of the Greek Gospel, I conclude that it is by the original author of that Gospel. At all events, the Greek Gospel existed before St Luke wrote, and was used by him as an authority.