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INTERNAL EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATED TO BE THE VERY REVERSE OF UNFAVOURABLE TO THESE VERSES.
The “Style” and “Phraseology” of these Verses declared by Critics to be not S. Mark’s.—Insecurity of such Criticism (p. 140).—The “Style” of chap. xvi. 9-20 shown to be the same as the style of chap. i. 9-20 (p. 142).—The “Phraseology” examined in twenty-seven particulars, and skews to be auspicious in none (p. 145),—but in twenty-seven particulars shewn to be the reverse (p. 170).—Such Remarks fallacious (p. 173).—Judged of by a truer, a more delicate and philosophical Test, these Verses proved to be most probably genuine (p. 175).
A DISTINCT class of objections remains to be considered. An argument much relied on by those who deny or doubt the genuineness of this portion of S. Mark’s Gospel, is derived from considerations of internal evidence. In the judgment of a recent Editor of the New Testament,—These twelve verses “bear traces of another hand from that which has shaped the diction and construction of the rest of the Gospel241241 Alford on S. Mark xvi. 9-20..” They are therefore “an addition to the narrative,”—of which “the internal evidence will be found to preponderate vastly against the authorship of Mark.”—“A difference,” (says Dr. Tregelles,) “has been remarked, and truly remarked, between the phraseology of this section and the rest of this Gospel.”—According to Dr. Davidson,” The phraseology and style of the section are unfavourable to its authenticity.” “The characteristic peculiarities which pervade Mark’s Gospel do not appear in it; but, on the contrary, terms and expressions,” “phrases and words, are introduced which Mark never uses; or terms for which he employs others242242 Introduction, &c. p. 113..”—So Meyer,—“With ver. 9, we suddenly come upon an excerpting process totally different from the previous mode of narration. The passage contains none of Mark’s peculiarities (no εὐθέως, no πάλιν, &c., but the baldness 137and lack of clearness which mark a compiler;) while in single expressions, it is altogether contrary to Mark’s manner.”—“There is” (says Professor Norton) “a difference so great between the use of language in this passage, and its use in the undisputed portion of Mark’s Gospel, as to furnish strong reasons for believing the passage not genuine.”—No one, however, has expressed himself more strongly on this subject than Tischendorf.” “Singula” (he says) “multifariam a Marci ratione abhorrent243243 Nov. Test. Ed. 8va i. p. 406..” . . . Here, then, is something very like a consensus of hostile opinion: although the terms of the indictment are somewhat vague. Difference of “Diction and Construction,”—difference of “Phraseology and Style,”—difference of “Terms and Expressions,”—difference of “Words and Phrases;”—the absence of S. Mark’s “characteristic peculiarities.” I suppose, however, that all may be brought under two heads,—(I.) Style, and (II.) Phraseology: meaning by “Style” whatever belongs to the Evangelist’s manner; and by “Phraseology” whatever relates to the words and expressions he has employed. It remains, therefore, that we now examine the proofs by which it is proposed to substantiate these confident assertions, and ascertain exactly what they are worth by constant appeals to the Gospel. Throughout this inquiry, we have to do not with Opinion but with Fact. The unsupported dicta of Critics, however distinguished, are entitled to no manner of attention.
1. In the meantime, as might have been expected, these confident and often-repeated asseverations have been by no means unproductive of mischievous results:
Like ceaseless droppings, which at last are known
To leave their dint upon the solid stone.
I observe that Scholars and Divines of the best type (as the Rev. T. S. Green244244 Developed Crit. pp. 51-2.) at last put up with them. The wisest however reproduce them under protest, and with apology. The names of Tischendorf and Tregelles, Meyer and Davidson, command attention. It seems to be thought incredible that they can all be entirely in the wrong. They impose upon learned and unlearned readers alike. “Even Barnabas 138has been carried away with their dissimulation.” He has (to my surprise and regret) two suggestions:—
(a) The one,—That this entire section of the second Gospel may possibly have been written long after the rest; and that therefore its verbal peculiarities need not perplex or trouble us. It was, I suppose, (according to this learned and pious writer,) a kind of after-thought, or supplement, or Appendix to S. Mark’s Gospel. In this way I have seen the last Chapter of S. John once and again accounted for.—To which, it ought to be a sufficient answer to point out that there is no appearance whatever of any such interval having been interposed between S. Mark xvi. 8 and 9: that it is highly improbable that any such interval occurred: and that until the “verbal peculiarities” have been ascertained to exist, it is, to say the least, a gratuitous exercise of the inventive faculty to discover reasons for their existence. Whether there be not something radically unsound and wrong in all such conjectures about “after-thoughts,” “supplements,” “appendices,” and “second editions” when the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ is the thing spoken of,—a confusing of things heavenly with things earthly which must make the Angels weep,—I forbear to press on the present occasion. It had better perhaps be discussed at another opportunity. But φίλοι ἄνδρες245245 ἀμφοῖν γὰρ ὄντων φίλοιν, ὅσιον προτιμᾶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν.—Arist. Eth. Nic. I. iii. will forgive my freedom in having already made my personal sentiment on the subject sufficiently plain.
(b) His other suggestion is,—That this portion may not have been penned by S. Mark himself after all. By which he clearly means no more than this,—that as we are content not to know who wrote the conclusion of the Books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, so, if needful, we may well be content not to know who wrote the end of the Gospel of S. Mark.—In reply to which, I have but to say, that after cause has been shewn why we should indeed believe that not S. Mark but some one else wrote the end of S. Mark’s Gospel, we shall be perfectly willing to acquiesce in the new fact:—but not till then.139
2. True indeed it is that here and there a voice has been lifted
up in the way of protest246246 To the honour of the Rev. F. H. Scrivener be it said, that
he at least absolutely refuses to pay any attention at all “to the argument
against these twelve verses arising from their alleged difference in style
from the rest of the Gospel.” See by all means his remarks on this subject.
(Introduction, pp. 481-2.)—One would have thought that a recent controversy
concerning a short English
Poem—which some able men were confident might have been written by
Milton, while others were just as confident that it could not possibly be his,—ought
to have opened the eyes of all to the precarious nature of such Criticism. against the proposed inference from the familiar premisses; (for the self-same statements have now been so often reproduced,
the eye grows weary at last of the ever-recurring string of offending vocables:)—but,
with one honorable
exception247247 Allusion is made to the Rev. John A. Broadus, D.D.,—“Professor
of Interpretation of the New Testament in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,
Greenville, S.C.,”—the author of an able and convincing paper entitled “Exegetical
Studies” in “The Baptist Quarterly” for July, 1869 (Philadelphia),
pp. 355-62: in which “the words and phrases” contained in S. Mark xvi. 9-20 are
If the present volume should ever reach the learned Professor’s hands, he will perceive that I must have written the present Chapter before I knew of his labours: (an advantage which I owe to Mr. Scrivener’s kindness:) my treatment of the subject and his own being so entirely different. But it is only due to Professor Broadus to acknowledge the interest and advantage with which I have compared my lucubrations with his, and the sincere satisfaction with which I have discovered that we have everywhere independently arrived at precisely the same result. , men do not seem to have ever thought of calling the premisses themselves in question: examining the statements one by one: contesting the ground inch by inch: refusing absolutely to submit to any dictation whatever in this behalf: insisting on bringing the whole matter to the test of severe inquiry, and making every detail the subject of strict judicial investigation. This is what I propose to do in the course of the present Chapter. I altogether deny the validity of the inference which has been drawn from “the style,” “the phraseology,” “the diction” of the present section of the Gospel. But I do more. I entirely deny the accuracy of almost every individual statement from which the unfavourable induction is made, and the hostile inference drawn. Even this will not nearly satisfy 140me. I insist that one only result can attend the exact analysis of this portion of the Gospel into its elements; namely, a profound conviction that S. Mark is most certainly its Author.
3. Let me however distinctly declare beforehand that remarks on “the style” of an Evangelist are singularly apt to be fallacious, especially when (as here) it is proposed to apply them to a very limited portion of the sacred narrative. Altogether to be mistrusted moreover are they, when (as on the present occasion) it is proposed to make them the ground for possibly rejecting such a portion of Scripture as spurious. It becomes a fatal objection to such reasoning that the style may indeed be exceedingly diverse, and yet the Author be confessedly one and the same. How exceedingly dissimilar in style are the Revelation of S. John and the Gospel of S. John! Moreover, practically, the promised remarks on “style,” when the Authorship of some portion of Scripture is to be discussed, are commonly observed to degenerate at once into what is really quite a different thing. Single words, perhaps some short phrase, is appealed to, which (it is said) does not recur in any part of the same book; and thence it is argued that the Author can no longer be the same. “According to this argument, the recurrence of the same words constitutes identity of style; the want of such recurrence implies difference of style;—difference of style in such a sense as compels us to infer diversity of authorship. Each writer is supposed to have at his disposal a limited number of ‘formulae’ within the range of which he must work. He must in each chapter employ these formulae, and these only. He must be content with one small portion of his mother-tongue, and not dare to venture across the limits of that portion,—on pain of losing his identity248248 Dr. Kay’s Crisis Hupfeldiana, p. 34,—the most masterly and instructive exposure of Bp. Colenso’s incompetence and presumption which has ever appeared. Intended specially of his handling of the writings of Moses, the remarks in the text are equally applicable to much which has been put forth concerning the authorship of the end of S. Mark’s Gospel..”
How utterly insecure must be every approximation to 141such a method of judging about the Authorship of any twelve verses of Scripture which can be named, scarcely requires illustration. The attentive reader of S. Matthew’s Gospel is aware that a mode of expression which is six times repeated in his viiith and ixth chapters is perhaps only once met with besides in his Gospel,—viz. in his xxist chapter249249 Matth. viii. 1 (καταβάντι αὐτῷ):—5 (Εἰσελθόντι τῷ Ἰ.):—23 (ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ):—28 (ἐλθόντι αὐτῷ):—ix. 27 (παράγοντι τῷ Ἰ.):—28 (ἐλθόντι)—xxi. 23 (ἐλθόντι αὐτῷ).. The “style” of the 17th verse of his ist chapter may be thought unlike anything else in S. Matthew. S. Luke’s five opening verses are unique, both in respect of manner and of matter. S. John also in his five opening verses seems to me to have adopted a method which is not recognisable anywhere else in his writings; “rising strangely by degrees,” (as Bp. Pearson expresses it250250 On the Creed, Art. ii. (vol. i. p.155.),) “making the last word of the former sentence the first of that which followeth.”—“He knoweth that he saith true,” is the language of the same Evangelist concerning himself in chap. xix. 35. But, “we know that his testimony is true,” is his phrase in chap. xxi. 24. Twice, and twice only throughout his Gospel, (viz. in chap. xix. 35: xx. 31), is he observed to address his readers, and on both occasions in the same words: (“that ye may believe.”) But what of all this? Is it to be supposed that S. Matthew, S. Luke, S. John are not the authors of those several places? From facts like these no inference whatever is to be drawn as to the genuineness or the spuriousness of a writing. It is quite to mistake the Critic’s vocation to imagine that he is qualified, or called upon, to pass any judgment of the sort.
5. I have not said all this, of course, as declining the proposed investigation. I approach it on the contrary right willingly, being confident that it can be attended by only one result. With what is true, endless are the harmonies which evolve themselves: from what is false, the true is equally certain to stand out divergent251251 τῷ μὲν γὰρ ἀληθεῖ πάντα συνᾴδει τὰ ὐπάρχοντα, τῷ δὲ ψευδεῖ ταχὺ διαφωνεῖ τἀληθές. Aristot. Eth. Nic. I. c. vi.. And we all desire nothing but the Truth.142
I. To begin then with the “Style and manner” of S. Mark in this place.
1. We are assured that “instead of the graphic, detailed description by which this Evangelist is distinguished, we meet with an abrupt, sententious manner, resembling that of brief notices extracted from larger accounts and loosely linked together252252 Davidson’s Introduction, &c. i. 170..” Surely if this be so, the only lawful inference would be that S. Mark, in this place, has “extracted brief notices from larger accounts, and loosely linked them together:” and unless such a proceeding on the part of the Evangelist be judged incredible, it is hard to see what is the force of the adverse criticism, as directed against the genuineness of the passage now under consideration.
2. But in truth, (when divested of what is merely a gratuitous assumption,) the preceding account of the matter is probably not far from the correct one. Of S. Mark’s practice of making “extracts,” I know nothing: nor Dr. Davidson either. That there existed any “larger accounts” which would. have been available for such a purpose, (except the Gospel according to S. Matthew,) there is neither a particle of evidence, nor a shadow of probability. On the other hand, that, notwithstanding the abundant oral information to which confessedly he had access, S. Mark has been divinely guided in this place to handle, in the briefest manner, some of the chiefest things which took place after our Lord’s Resurrection,—is simply undeniable. And without at all admitting that the style of the Evangelist is in consequence either “abrupt” or “sententious253253 And yet, if it were ever so “sententious,” ever so “abrupt;” and if his “brief notices” were ever so “loosely linked together;”—these, according to Dr. Davidson, would only be indications that S. Mark actually was their Author. Hear him discussing S. Mark’s “characteristics,” at p. 151:—“In the consecution of his narrations, Mark puts them together very loosely.” “Mark is also characterised by a conciseness and apparent incompleteness of delineation which are allied to the obscure.” “The abrupt introduction” of many of his details is again and again appealed to by Dr. Davidson, and illustrated by references to the Gospel. What, in the name of common sense, is the value of such criticism as this? What is to be thought of a gentleman who blows hot and cold in the same breath: denying at p.170 the genuineness of a certain portion of Scripture because it exhibits the very peculiarities which at p. 151 he had volunteered the information are characteristic of its reputed Author?,” I yet recognise the 143inevitable consequence of relating many dissimilar things within very narrow limits; namely, that the transition from one to the other forces itself on the attention. What wonder that the same phenomenon should not be discoverable in other parts of the Gospel where the Evangelist is not observed to be doing the same thing?
3. But wherever in his Gospel S. Mark is doing the same thing, he is observed to adopt the style and manner which Dr. Davidson is pleased to call “sententious” and “abrupt.” Take twelve verses in his first chapter, as an example. Between S. Mark xvi. 9-20 and S. Mark i. 9-20, I profess myself unable to discern any real difference of style. I proceed to transcribe the passage which I deliberately propose for comparison; the twelve corresponding verses, namely, in S. Mark’s first chapter, which are to be compared with the twelve verses already under discussion, from his last; and they may be just as conveniently exhibited in English as in Greek:—
(S. Mark i. 9-20.)
(ver. 9.) “And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. (10.) And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: (11.) and there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (12.) And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. (13.) And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the Angels ministered unto Him. (14.) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (15.) and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of Goy is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel. (16.) Now, as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. (17.) And Jesus 144said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (18.) And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him. (19.) And when He had gone a little farther thence, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. (20.) And straightway He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him.”
4. The candid reader must needs admit that precisely the self-same manner is recognisable in this first chapter of S. Mark’s Gospel which is asserted to be peculiar to the last. Note, that from our Saviour’s Baptism (which occupies the first three verses) the Evangelist passes to His Temptation, which is dismissed in two. Six months elapse. The commencement of the Ministry is dismissed in the next two verses. The last five describe the call of four of the Apostles,—without any distinct allusion to the miracle which was the occasion of it. . . . How was it possible that when incidents considerable as these had to be condensed within the narrow compass of twelve verses, the same “graphic, detailed description” could reappear which renders S. Mark’s description of the miracle performed in the country of the Gadarenes (for example) so very interesting; where a single incident is spread over twenty verses, although the action did not perhaps occupy an hour? I rejoice to observe that “the abrupt transitions of this section” (ver. 1-13) have also been noticed by Dean Alford: who very justly accounts for the phenomenon by pointing out that here “Mark appears as an abridger of previously well-known facts254254 N. T. vol. i. Prolegg. p. 38..” But then, I want to know what there is in this to induce us to suspect the genuineness of either the beginning or the end of S. Mark’s Gospel?
5. For it is a mistake to speak as if “graphic, detailed description” invariably characterise the second Gospel. S. Mark is quite as remarkable for his practice of occasionally exhibiting a considerable transaction in a highly abridged form. The opening of his Gospel is singularly concise, and altogether sudden. His account of John’s preaching 145(i. 1-8) is the shortest of all. Very concise is his account of our Saviour’s Baptism (ver. 9-11). The brevity of his description of our Lord’s Temptation is even extraordinary (ver. 12, 13.)—I pass on; premising that I shall have occasion to remind the reader by-and-by of certain peculiarities in these same Twelve Verses, which seem to have been hitherto generally overlooked.
II. Nothing more true, therefore, than Dr. Tregelles’ admission “that arguments on style are often very fallacious, and that by themselves they prove very little. But” (he proceeds) “when there does exist external evidence; and when internal proofs as to style, manner, verbal expression, and connection, are in accordance with such independent grounds of forming a judgment; then, these internal considerations possess very great weight.”
I have already shewn that there exists
no such external evidence as Dr. Tregelles
supposes. And in the absence of it, I am bold to assert that since nothing in the
“Style” or the “Phraseology” of these verses ever aroused suspicion in times past,
we have rather to be on our guard against suffering our judgment to be warped by arguments
drawn from such precarious considerations now. As for determining from such data
the authorship of an isolated passage; asserting or denying its genuineness for
no other reason but because it contains certain words and expressions which do or
do not occur elsewhere in the Gospel of which it forms part;—let me again declare
plainly that the proceeding is in the highest degree uncritical. We are not competent
judges of what words an Evangelist was likely on any given occasion to employ. We
have no positive knowledge of the circumstances under which any part of any one
of the four Gospels was written; nor the influences which determined an Evangelist’s
choice of certain expressions in preference to others. We are learners,—we
can be only learners
here. But having said all this, I proceed (as already declared) without reluctance
or misgiving to investigate the several charges which have been brought against
this section of the Gospel; charges derived from its Phraseology; and which will be found to be nothing else
but repeated assertions that
146a certain Word or
Phrase,—(there are about twenty-four such words and phrases in all255255 It may be convenient, in this place, to enumerate the several words and expressions about to be considered:—
(i.) πρώτῃ σαββάτου (ver. 9.)—See above.
(ii.) ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια (ver. 9.)—See p. 152.
(iii.) ἐκβάλλειν ἀπό (ver. 9.)—See p. 163.
(iv.) πορεύεσθαι (vers.10, 12, 15.)—Ibid.
(v.) οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ γενόμενοι (ver. 10.)—See p. 155.
(vi.) θεᾶσθαι (ver. 11 and 14.)—See p. 156.
(vii.) θεαθῆναι ὐπό (ver. 11.—See p.158.
(viii.) ἀπιστεῖν (ver. 11 and 16.)—Ibid.
(ix.) μετὰ ταῦτα (ver. 12.)—See p. 159.
(x.) ἕτερος (ver. 12.)—See p. 160.
(xi.) ὕστερον (ver. 14.)—Ibid.
(xii.) βλάπτειν (ver.18.)—Ibid.
(xiii.) πανταχοῦ (ver. 20.)—See p. 161.
(xiv. and xv.) συνεργεῖν—βεβαιοῦν (ver. 20.)—Ibid.
(xvi.) πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις (ver. 15.)—Ibid.
(xvii.) ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου (ver. 17.)—See p. 162.
(xviii. and xix.) παρακολουθεῖν—ἐπακολουθεῖν (ver. 17 and 19.)—See p. 163.
(xx.) χεῖρας ἐπιθεῖναι ἐπί τινα (ver. 18.)—See p. 164.
(xxi. and xxii.) μὲν οὖν—ὁ Κύριος—(ver. 19 and 20.)—Ibid.
(xxiii.) ἀναληφθῆναι (ver. 19.)—See p. 166.
(xxiv.) ἐκεῖνος used in a peculiar way (verses 10, 11 [and 13?].)—Ibid.
(xxv.) “Verses without a copulative,” (verses 10 and 14.)—Ibid.
(xxvi. and xxvii.) Absence of εὐθέως and πάλιν.—See p. 168.,)—“occurs nowhere in the Gospel of Mark;” with probably the alarming asseveration that it is “abhorrent to Mark’s manner.” . . . . The result of the inquiry which follows will perhaps be not exactly what is commonly imagined.
The first difficulty of this class is very fairly stated by one whose name I cannot write without a pang,—the late Dean Alford:—
(I.) The expression πρώτῃ σαββάτου, for the “first day of the week” (in ver. 9) “is remarkable” (he says) “as occurring so soon after” μία σαββάτων, (a precisely equivalent expression) in ver. 2.—Yes, it is remarkable.
Scarcely more remarkable, perhaps, than that S. Luke in the course of one and the same chapter should four times designate the Sabbath τὸ σάββατον, and twice τὰ σάββατα: again, twice, τὸ σάββατον,—twice, ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ σαββάτου,— 147and once, τὰ σάββατα256256 S. Luke vi. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9: xiii. 10, 14, 15, 16. S. Luke has, in fact, all the four different designations for the Sabbath which are found in the Septuagint version of the O. T. Scriptures: for, in the Acts (xiii. 14: xvi. 13), he twice calls it L Lἡ ἡμέρα τῶν σαββάτων.. Or again, that S. Matthew should in one and the same chapter five times call the Sabbath, τὰ σάββατα, and three times, τὸ σάββατον257257 S. Matth. xii. 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12.. Attentive readers will have observed that the Evangelists seem to have been fond in this way of varying their phrase; suddenly introducing a new expression for something which they had designated differently just before. Often, I doubt not, this is done with the profoundest purpose, and sometimes even with manifest design; but the phenomenon, however we may explain it, still remains. Thus, S. Matthew, (in his account of our Lord’s Temptation,—chap. iv.,) has ὁ διάβολος in ver. 1, and ὁ πειράζων, in ver. 3, for him whom our Saviour calls Σατανᾶς in ver. 10.—S. Mark, in chap. v. 2, has τὰ μνημε+α,—but in ver. 5, τὰ μνήματα.—S. Luke, in xxiv. 1, has τὸ μνῆμα; but in the next verse, τὸ μνημεῖον.—Ἐπί. with an accusative twice in S. Matth. xxv. 21, 23, is twice exchanged for ἐπί with a genitive in the same two verses: and ἔριφοι (in ver. 32) is exchanged for ἐρίφια in ver. 33.—Instead of ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς (in S. Luke viii. 41) we read, in ver. 49, ἀρχισυνάγωγος: and for οἱ ἀπόστολοι (in ix. 10) we find οἱ δώδεκα in ver.12.—Οὖς in S. Luke xxii. 50 is exchanged for ὡτίον in the next verse.—In like manner, those whom S. Luke calls οἱ νεώτεροι in Acts v. 6, he calls νεανίσκοι in ver. 10. . . . All such matters strike me as highly interesting, but not in the least as suspicious. It surprises me a little, of course, that S. Mark should present me with πρώτη σαββάτου (in ver. 9) instead of the phrase μία σαββάτων, which he had employed just above (in ver. 2.) But it does not surprise me much,—when I observe that μία σαββάτων occurs only once in each of the Four Gospels258258 It occurs in S. Matth. xxviii. 1. S. Mark xvi. 2. S. Luke xxiv. 1. S. John xx. i. 19. Besides, only in Acts xx. 7.. Whether surprised much or little, however,—Am I constrained in consequence, (with Tischendorf and the rest,) to regard this expression (πρώτη σαββάτου) as a note of spuriousness? That is the only thing 148I have to consider. Am I, with Dr. Davidson, to reason as follows:—“πρώτη, Mark would scarcely have used. It should have been μία, &c. as is proved by Mark xvi. 2, &c. The expression could scarcely have proceeded from a Jew. It betrays a Gentile author259259 Introduction, &c. i. 169..” Am I to reason thus? . . . I propose to answer this question somewhat in detail.
(1.) That among the Greek-speaking Jews of Palestine, in the
days of the Gospel, ἡ μία τῶν σαββάτων
was the established method of indicating “the first day of the week,” is plain, not only from the fact that the day of the
Resurrection is so designated by each of the Four Evangelists in turn260260 See the foregoing note (s).; (S. John
has the expression twice;) but also from S. Paul’s use of the phrase in 1 Cor.
xvi. 2. It proves, indeed, to have been the ordinary Hellenistic way of exhibiting the
vernacular idiom of Palestine261261 See Buxtorf’s
Lexicon Talmudicum, p. 2323.. The cardinal (μία)
for the ordinal (πρώτη)
in this phrase was a known Talmudic expression,
which obtained also in Syriac262262 y. Lightfoot (on 1 Cor. xvi. 2) remarks concerning S. Paul’s phrase
κατὰ μίαν σαββάτων,—“בחד בשבת [b’had b’shabbath,]
‘In the first [lit. one] of the Sabbath,’ would the Talmudists say.”—Professor Gandell writes,—“in Syriac,
the days of the week are similarly named. See Bernstein s. v.
[lit. one in the Sabbath, two in the Sabbath, three in the Sabbath.]”. Σάββατον and σάββατα,—designations in strictness of the Sabbath-day,—had come to be also used as designations of the week. A reference to S. Mark xvi. 9 and S. Luke xviii. 12 establishes this concerning σάββατον: a reference to the six places cited just now in note (s) establishes it concerning σάββατα. To see how indifferently the two forms (σάββατον and σάββατα) were employed, one has but to notice that S. Matthew, in the course of one and the same chapter, five times designates the Sabbath as τὰ σάββατα, and three times as τὸ σάββατον263263 S. Mark xii. 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12.. The origin and history of both words will be found explained in a note at the foot of the page264264 The Sabbath-day, in the Old Testament, is invariably שַׁבָּת, (shabbath): a word which the Greeks could not exhibit more nearly than by the word σάββατον. The Chaldee form of this word is שַׁבָּתָא (shabbatha:) the final א (a) being added for emphasis, as in Abba, Aceldama, Bethesda, Cepha, Pascha, &c.: and this form,—(I owe the information to my friend Professor Gandell,)—because it was so familiar to the people of Palestine, (who spoke Aramaic,) gave rise to another form of the Greek name for the Sabbath,—viz. σάββατα: which, naturally enough, attracted the article (τό) into agreement with its own (apparently) plural form. By the Greek-speaking population of Judaea, the Sabbath day was therefore indifferently called τὸ σάββατον and τὰ σάββατα: sometimes again, ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ σαββάτου: and sometimes ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν σαββάτων
Σάββατα, although plural in sound, was strictly singular in sense. (Accordingly, it is invariably rendered “Sabbatum “in the Vulgate.) Thus, in Exod. xvi. 23,—σάββατα ἀνάπαυσις ἁγία τῷ Κυρίῳ: and 25,—ἔστιν γὰρ σάββατα σήμερον τῷ Κυρίῳ. Again,—τῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ σάββατα. (Exod. xvi. 28: xxxi. 14. Levit. xxiii. 3.) And in the Gospel, what took place on one definite Sabbath-day, is said to have occurred ἐν τοῖς σάββασι (S. Luke xiii. 10. S. Mark xii. 1.)
It will, I believe, be invariably found that the form ἐν τοῖς σάββασι is strictly equivalent to ἐν τῷ σάββάτῳ and was adopted for convenience in contradistinction to ἐν τοῖς σαββάτοις (1 Chron. xxiii. 31 and 2 Chron. ii. 4) where Sabbath days are spoken of.
It is not correct to say that in Levit. xxiii. 15 שַׁבָּתוֹת is put for “weeks;” though the Septuagint translators have (reasonably enough) there rendered the word ἑβδομάδας. In Levit. xxv. 8, (where the same word occurs twice,) it is once rendered ἀναπαύσεις; once, ἑβδομάδες.. Quite distinct is שָׁבוּעַ (shavooa) i.e. ἑβδομ̤ς; nor is there any substitution of the one word for the other. But inasmuch as the recurrence of the Sabbath-day was what constituted a week; in other words, since the essential feature of a week, as a Jewish division of time, was the recurrence of the Jewish day of rest;—τὸ σάββατον or τὰ σάββατα, the Hebrew name for the day of rest, became transferred to the week. The former designation, (as explained in the text,) is used once by S. Mark, once by S. Luke; while the phrase μία τῶν σαββάτων occurs in the N.T., in all, six times..
(2.) Confessedly, then, a double Hebraism is before us, which must have been simply unintelligible to Gentile readers. Μία τῶν σαββάτων sounded as enigmatical to an ordinary Greek ear, as “una sabbatorum” to a Roman. A convincing proof, (if proof were needed,) how abhorrent to a Latin reader was the last-named expression, is afforded by the old Latin versions of S. Matthew xxviii. 1; where ὄψε σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων, is invariably rendered, “Vespere sabbati, quae lucescit in prima sabbati.”
(3.) The reader will now be prepared for the suggestion, that when S. Mark, (who is traditionally related to have written his Gospel at Rome265265 So Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. ii. 15), and Jerome (De Viris Illust. ii. 827), on the authority of Clemens Alex. and of Papias. See also Euseb. Hist. Eccl. vi. 14.—The colophon in the Syriac Version shews that the same traditional belief prevailed in the Eastern Church. It also finds record in the Synopsis Scripturae (wrongly) ascribed to Athanasius.,) varies, in ver. 9, the phrase 150he had employed in ver. 2, he does so for an excellent and indeed for an obvious reason. In ver. 2, be had conformed to the prevailing usage of Palestine, and followed the example set him by S. Matthew (xxviii. 1) in adopting the enigmatical expression, ἡ μία σαββάτων. That this would be idiomatically represented in Latin by the phrase “prima sabbati,” we have already seen. In ver. 9, therefore, he is solicitous to record the fact of the Resurrection afresh; and this time, his phrase is observed to be the Greek equivalent for the Latin “prima sabbati;” viz. πρώτη σαββάτου. How strictly equivalent the two modes of expression were felt to be by those who were best qualified to judge, is singularly illustrated by the fact that the Syriac rendering of both places is identical.
(4.) But I take leave to point out that this substituted phrase, instead of being a suspicious circumstance, is on the contrary a striking note of genuineness. For do we not recognise here, in the last chapter of the Gospel, the very same hand which, in the first chapter of it, was careful to inform us, just for once, that “Judaea,” is “a country,” (ἡ Ἰουδαία χώρα,)—and “Jordan,” “a river,” (ἡ Ἰορδάνης ποταμός)?—Is not this the very man who explained to his readers (in chap. xv. 42) that the familiar Jewish designation for “Friday,” ἡ παρασκευή, denotes “the day before the Sabbath266266 παρασκευὴ, ὅ ἐστι προσάββατον.—Our E. V. “preparation” is from Augustine,—“Parasceue Latine praeparatio est.”—See Pearson’s interesting note on the word.?”—and who was so minute in informing us (in chap. vii. 3, 4) about certain ceremonial practices of “the Pharisees and all the Jews?” Yet more,—Is not the selfsame writer clearly recognisable in this xvith chapter, who in chap. vi. 37 presented us with σπεκουλάτωρ (the Latin spiculator) for “an executioner?” and who, in chap. xv. 39, for “a centurion,” wrote—not ἑκατόνταρχος, but—κεντυρίων?—and, in chap. xii. 42, explained that the two λεπτά 151which the poor widow cast into the Treasury were equivalent to κοδράντης, the Latin quadrans?—and in chap. vii. 4, 8, introduced the Roman measure sextarius, (ξέστης)?—and who volunteered the information (in chap. xv. 16) that αὐλή; is only another designation of πραιτώριον (Praetorium)?—Yes. S. Mark,—who, alone of the four Evangelists, (in chap. xv. 21,) records the fact that Simon the Cyrenian was “the father of Alexander and Rufus,” evidently for the sake of his Latin readers267267 * Consider Rom. xvi. 13.: S. Mark,—who alone ventures to write in Greek letters (οὐά,—chap. xv. 29,) the Latin interjection “Vah!”—obviously because be was writing where that exclamation was most familiar, and the force of it best understood268268 Townson’s Discourses, i. 172. : S. Mark,—who attends to the Roman division of the day, in relating our Lord’s prophecy to S. Peter269269 Ibid.:—S. Mark, I say, no doubt it was who,—having conformed himself to the precedent set him by S. Matthew and the familiar usage. of Palestine; and having written τῆς μιᾶ○ σαββάτων, (which he knew would sound like “una sabbatorum270270 See the Vulgate transl. of S. Mark xvi. 2 and of S. John xx. 19. In the same version, S. Luke xxiv. 1 and S. John xx. 1 are rendered “una sabbati.”,”) in ver. 2;—introduced, also for the benefit of his Latin readers, the Greek equivalent for “prima sabbati,” (viz. πρώτη σαββάτου,) in ver. 9.—This, therefore, I repeat, so far from being a circumstance “unfavourable to its authenticity,” (by which, I presume, the learned writer means its genuineness), is rather corroborative of the Church’s constant belief that the present section of S. Mark’s Gospel is, equally with the rest of it, the production of S. Mark. “Not only was the document intended for Gentile converts:” (remarks Dr. Davidson, p. 149,) “but there are also appearances of its adaptation to the use of Roman Christians in particular.” Just so. And I venture to say that in the whole of “the document” Dr. Davidson will not find a more striking “appearance of its adaptation to the use of Roman Christians,”—and therefore of its genuineness,—than this. I shall have to request my reader by-and-by to accept it as one of the most striking notes of Divine origin which these verses contain.—For the moment, I pass on.152
(II.) Less excusable is the coarseness of critical perception betrayed by the next remark. It has been pointed out as a suspicious circumstance that in ver. 9, “the phrase ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια, is attached to the name, of Mary Magdalene, although she had been mentioned three times before without such appendix. It seems to have been taken from Luke viii. 2271271 Davidson’s Introduction, &c. i. 169, ed. 1848: (ii. 113, ed. 1868.).”—Strange perversity, and yet stranger blindness!
(1.) The phrase cannot have been taken from S. Luke; because S. Luke’s Gospel was written after S. Mark’s. It was not taken from S. Luke; because there ἀφ᾽ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει,—here, ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια is read.
(2.) More important is it to expose the shallowness and futility of the entire objection.—Mary Magdalene “had been mentioned three times before, without such appendix.” Well but,—What then? After twice (ch. xiv. 54, 66) using the word αὐλή without any “appendix,” in the very next chapter (xv. 16) S. Mark adds, ὅ ἐστιν πραιτώριον.—The beloved Disciple having mentioned himself without any “appendix” in S. John xx. 7, mentions himself with a very elaborate “appendix” in ver. 20. But what of it?—The sister of the Blessed Virgin, having been designated in chap. xv. 40, as Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου τοῦ μικροῦ καὶ Ἰωσῆ μήτηρ; is mentioned with one half of that “appendix,” (Μαρία ἡ Ἰωσῆ) in ver. 47, and in the very next verse, with the other half (Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου.)—I see no reason why the Traitor, who, in S. Luke vi. 16, is called Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτην, should be designated as Ἰούδαν τὸν ἐπικαλούμενον Ἰσκαριώτην in S. Luke xxii. 3.—I am not saying that such “appendices” are either uninteresting or unimportant. That I attend to them habitually, these pages will best evince. I am only insisting that to infer from such varieties of expression that a different author is recognisable, is abhorrent to the spirit of intelligent Criticism.
(3.) But in the case before us, the hostile suggestion is peculiarly infelicitous. There is even inexpressible tenderness and beauty, the deepest Gospel significancy, in the reservation 153of the clause “out of whom He had cast seven devils,” for this place. The reason, I say, is even obvious why an “appendix,” which would have been meaningless before, is introduced in connexion with Mary Magdalene’s august privilege of being the first of the human race to behold the risen Saviour. Jerome (I rejoice to find) has been beforehand with me in suggesting that it was done, in order to convey by an example the tacit assurance that “where Sin had abounded, there did Grace much more abound272272 “Maria Magdalene ipsa est ‘a quâ septem daemonia expulerat’: ut ubi abundaverat peccatum, superabundaret gratiae.” (Hieron. Opp. i. 327.).” Are we to be cheated of our birthright by Critics273273 So Tischendorf,—“Collatis prioribus, parum apte adduntur verba ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑ. δ.” (p. 322.) I am astonished to find the same remark reiterated by most of the Critics: e.g. Rev. T. S. Green, p. 52. who, entirely overlooking a solution of the difficulty (if difficulty it be) Divine as this, can see in the circumstance grounds only for suspicion and cavil? Ἄπαγε.
(III.) Take the next example.—The very form of the “appendix” which we have been considering (ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια breeds offence. “Instead of ἐκβάλλειν ἀπό,” (oracularly remarks Dr. Davidson,) “Mark has ἐκβάλλειν ἐκ274274 Introduction, &c. vol. i. p.169..”
Nothing of the sort, I answer. S. Mark once has ἐκβάλλειν ἐκ275275 viz. in chap. vii. 26., and once ἐκβάλλειν ἀπό. So has S. Matthew, (viz. in chap. vii. 4 and 5): and so has S. Luke, (viz. in chap. vi. 42, and in Acts xiii. 50.)—But what of all this? Who sees not that such Criticism is simply nugatory?
(IV.) We are next favoured with the notable piece of information that the word πορεύεσθαι, “never used by S. Mark, is three times contained in this passage;” (viz. in verses 10, 12 and 15.)
(1.) Yes. The uncompounded verb, never used elsewhere by S. Mark, is found here three times. But what then? The compounds of πορεύεσθαι are common enough in his Gospel. Thus, short as his Gospel is, he alone has εἰσπορεύσθαι, ἐκ-πορεύεσθαι, συμ-πορεύεσθαι, παρα-πορεύεσθαι, oftener than all the other three Evangelists put together,—viz. twenty-four times against their nineteen: while the compound 154προςπορεύεσθαι is peculiar to his Gospel.—I am therefore inclined to suggest that the presence of the verb πορεύεσθαι in these Twelve suspected Verses, instead of being an additional element of suspicion, is rather a circumstance slightly corroborative of their genuineness.
(2.) But suppose that the facts had been different. The phenomenon appealed to is of even perpetual recurrence, and may on no account be represented as suspicious. Thus, παρουσία, a word used only by S. Matthew among the Evangelists, is by him used four times; yet are all those four instances found in one and the same chapter. S. Luke alone has χαρίζεσθαι, and he has it three times: but all three cases are met with in one and the same chapter. S. John alone has λύπη, and he has it four times: but all the four instances occur in one and the same chapter.
(3.) Such instances might be multiplied to almost any extent. Out of the fifteen occasions when S. Matthew uses the word τάλαντον, no less than fourteen occur in one chapter. The nine occasions when S. Luke uses the word μνᾶ all occur in one chapter. S. John uses the verb ἀνιστάναι transitively only four times: but all four instances of it are found in one chapter.—Now, these three words (be it observed) are peculiar to the Gospels in which they severally occur.
(4.) I shall of course be reminded that τάλαντον and μνᾶ are unusual words,—admitting of no substitute in the places where they respectively occur. But I reply,—Unless the Critics are able to show me which of the ordinary compounds of πορεύομαιS. Mark could possibly have employed for the uncompounded verb, in the three places which have suggested the present inquiry, viz.:—
ver. 10:—ἐκείνη πορευθεῖσα ἀπήγγειλεν τοῖς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ γενομένοις.
ver. 12:—δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν . . . πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν.
ver. 13:—πορευθέντες εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἅπαντα, κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον;—
their objection is simply frivolous, and the proposed adverse reasoning, worthless. Such, in fact, it most certainly is; for it will be found that πορευθεῖσα in ver.10,—πορευομένοις in 155ver. 12,—πορευθέντες in ver. 15,—also “admit of no substitute in the places where they severally occur;” and therefore, since the verb itself is one of S. Mark’s favourite verbs, not only are these three places above suspicion, but they may be fairly adduced as indications that the same hand was at work here which wrote all the rest of his Gospel276276 Professor Broadus has some very good remarks on this subject..
(V.) Then further,—the phrase τοῖς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ γενομένοις (in ver. 10) is noted as suspicious. “Though found in the Acts (xx. 18) it never occurs in the Gospels: nor does the word μαθηταί in this passage.”
(1.) The phrase μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ γενόμενοι occurs nowhere in the Acts or in the Gospels, except here. But,—Why should it appear elsewhere? or rather,—How could it? Now, if the expression be (as it is) an ordinary, easy, and obvious one,—wanted in this place, where it is met with; but not met with elsewhere, simply because elsewhere it is not wanted;—surely it is unworthy of any one calling himself a Critic to pretend that there attaches to it the faintest shadow of suspicion!
(2.) The essence of the phrase is clearly the expression οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ. (The aorist participle of γίνομαι is added of necessity to mark the persons spoken of. In no other, (certainly in no simpler, more obvious, or more precise) way could the followers of the risen Saviour have been designated at such a time. For had He not just now “overcome the sharpness of Death”?) But this expression, which occurs four times in S. Matthew and four times in S. Luke, occurs also four times in S. Mark: viz. in chap. i. 36; 25; v. 40, and here. This, therefore, is a slightly corroborative circumstance,—not at all a ground of suspicion.
(3.) But it seems to be implied that S. Mark, because he mentions τοὺς μαθητάς often elsewhere in his Gospel, ought to have mentioned them here.
(a) I answer:—He does not mention τοὺς μαθητάς nearly so often as S. Matthew; while S. John notices them twice as often as he does.
(b) Suppose, however, that he elsewhere mentioned them five hundred times, because he had occasion five hundred 156times to speak of them;—what reason would that be for his mentioning them here, where he is not speaking of them?
(c) It must be evident to any one reading the Gospel with attention that besides οἱ μαθηταί,—(by which expression S. Mark always designates the Twelve Apostles,)—there was a considerable company of believers assembled together throughout the first Easter Day277277 Consider the little society which was assembled on the occasion alluded to, in Acts i. 13, 14. Note also what is clearly implied by ver. 21-6, as to the persons who were habitually present at such gatherings.. S. Luke notices this circumstance when he relates how the Women, on their return from the Sepulchre, “told all these things unto the Eleven, and to all the rest,” (xxiv. 9): and again when he describes how Cleopas and his companion (δύο ἐξ αὐτῶν as S. Luke and S. Mark call them) on their return to Jerusalem, “found the Eleven gathered together, and then that were with them.” (xxiv. 33.) But this was at least as well known to S. Mark as it was to S. Luke. Instead, therefore, of regarding the designation “them that had been with Him” with suspicion,—are we not rather to recognise in it one token more that the narrative in which it occurs is unmistakably genuine? What else is this but one of those delicate discriminating touches which indicate the hand of a great Master; one of those evidences of minute accuracy which stamp on a narrative the impress of unquestionable Truth?
(VI.) We are next assured by our Critic that θεᾶσθαι “is unknown to Mark;” but it occurs twice in this section, (viz. in ver. 11 and ver. 14.) Another suspicious circumstance!
(1.) A strange way (as before) of stating an ordinary fact, certainly! What else is it but to assume the thing which has to be proved? If the learned writer had said instead, that the verb θεᾶσθαι, here twice employed by S. Mark, occurs nowhere else in his Gospel,—he would have acted more loyally, not to say more fairly by the record: but then he would have been stating a strictly ordinary phenomenon,—of no significancy, or relevancy to the matter in hand. He is probably aware that παραβαίνειν in like manner is to be found in two consecutive verses of S. Matthew’s Gospel; παρακούειν, twice in the course of one 157verse: neither word being used on any other occasion either by S. Matthew, or by any other Evangelist. The same thing precisely is to be said of ἀναζητεῖν and ἀνταποδιδόναι, of ἀντιπαρέρχεσθαι and διατίθεσθαι, in S. Luke: of ἀνιστάναι and ζωννύναι in S. John. But who ever dreamed of insinuating that the circumstance is suspicious?
(2.) As for θεᾶσθαι, we should have reminded our Critic that this verb, which is used seven times by S. John, and four times by S. Matthew, is used only three times by S. Luke, and only twice by S. Mark. And we should have respectfully inquired,—What possible suspicion does θεᾶσθαι throw upon the last twelve verses of S. Mark’s Gospel?
(3.) None whatever, would have been the reply. But in the meantime Dr. Davidson hints that the verb ought to have been employed by S. Mark in chap. ii. 14278278 S. Luke (v. 27) ἐθεάσατο τελώνην. S. Matthew (ix. 9) and S. Mark (ii. 14) have preferred εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον (Λευῒν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου) καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον..—It is, I presume, sufficient to point out that S. Matthew, at all events, was not of Dr. Davidson’s opinion279279 See S. Matth. ix. 9.: and I respectfully submit that the Evangelist, inasmuch as he happens to be here writing about himself, must be allowed, just for once, to be the better judge.
(4.) In the meantime,—Is it not perceived that θεᾶσθαι is the very word specially required in these two places,—though nowhere else in S. Mark’s Gospel280280 One is reminded that S. Matthew, in like manner, carefully reserves the verb θεωρεῖν (xxvii. 55: xxviii. 1) for the contemplation of the—Saviour’s Cross and of the Saviour’s Sepulchre.? The occasion is one,—viz. the ‘beholding’ of the person of the risen Saviour. Does not even natural piety suggest that the uniqueness of such a ‘spectacle’ as that might well set an Evangelist on casting about for a word of somewhat less ordinary occurrence? The occasion cries aloud for this very verb θεᾶσθαι; and I can hardly conceive a more apt illustration of a darkened eye,—a spiritual faculty perverted from its lawful purpose,—than that which only discovers “a stumbling-block and occasion of falling” in expressions like the present which “should have been only for their wealth,” being so manifestly designed for their edification.158
(VII.) But,—(it is urged by a Critic of a very different stamp,)—ἐθεάθη ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς (ver. 11) “is a construction only found here in the New Testament.”
(1.) Very likely; but what then? The learned writer has evidently overlooked the fact that the passive θεᾶσθαι occurs but three times in the New Testament in all281281 S. Matth. vi. 1: xxiii. 5. S. Mark xvi. 11.. S. Matthew, on the two occasions when he employs the word, connects it with a dative282282 Πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι αὐτοῖς, (vi. 1); and τοῖς ἀνθρώποισ, xxiii. 5).. What is there suspicious in the circumstance that θεᾶσθαι ὑπό should be the construction preferred by S. Mark? The phenomenon is not nearly so remarkable as that S. Luke, on one solitary occasion, exhibits the phrase μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπό283283 S. Luke xii. 4.,—instead of making the verb govern the accusative, as he does three times in the very next verse; and, indeed, eleven times in the course of his Gospel. To be sure, S. Luke in this instance is but copying S. Matthew, who also has μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπό once284284 S. Matth. x. 28.; and seven times makes the verb govern an accusative. This, nevertheless, constitutes no reason whatever for suspecting the genuineness either of S. Matth. x. 28 or of S. Luke xii. 4.
(2.) In like manner, the phrase ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν will be found to occur once, and once only, in S. Mark,—once, and once only, in S. Luke285285 S. Mark iv. 41. 8. Luke ii. 9.; although S. Mark and S. Luke use the verb φοβεῖσθαι upwards of forty times. Such facts are interesting. They may prove important. But no one who is ever so little conversant with such inquiries will pretend that they are in the least degree suspicious.—I pass on.
But really, such a remark is wholly without force, as an argument against the genuineness of the passage in which the word is found: for,
(1.) Where else in the course of this Gospel could ἀπιστεῖν have occurred? Now, unless some reason can be shewn why the word should, or at least might have been employed elsewhere, to remark upon its introduction in this place, where it 159 could scarcely be dispensed with, as a ground of suspicion, is simply irrational. It might just as well be hold to be a suspicious circumstance, in respect of verses 3 and 4, that the verb ἀποκυλίζειν occurs there, and there only, in this Gospel. Nothing whatever follows from the circumstance. It is, in fact, a point scarcely deserving of attention.
(2.) To be sure, if the case of a verb exclusively used by the two Evangelists, S. Mark and S. Luke, were an unique, or even an exceedingly rare phenomenon, it might have been held to be a somewhat suspicious circumstance that the phenomenon presented itself in the present section. But nothing of the sort is the fact. There are no fewer than forty-five verbs exclusively used by S. Mark and S. Luke. And why should not ἀπιστεῖν be, (as it is,) one of them?
(3.) Note, next, that this word is used twice, and in the course of his last chapter too, also by S. Luke. Nowhere else does it occur in the Gospels. It is at least as strange that the word ἀπιστεῖν should be found twice in the last chapter of the Gospel according to S. Luke, as in the last chapter of the Gospel according to S. Mark. And if no shadow of suspicion is supposed to result from this circumstance in the case of the third Evangelist, why should it in the case of the second?
(4.) But, lastly, the noun ἀπιστία (which occurs in S. Mark xvi. 14) occurs in two other places of the same Gospel. And this word (which S. Matthew uses twice,) is employed by none of the other Evangelists.—What need to add another word? Do not many of these supposed suspicious circumstances,—this one for example,—prove rather, on closer inspection, to be confirmatory facts?
(IX.) We are next assured that μετὰ ταῦτα (ver. 12) “is not found in Mark, though many opportunities occurred for using it.”
(1.) I suppose that what this learned writer means, is this; that if S. Mark had coveted an opportunity for introducing the phrase μετὰ ταῦτα earlier in his Gospel, he might have found one. (More than this cannot be meant: for nowhere before does S. Mark employ any other phrase to express “after these things,” or “after this,” or “afterwards.”)160
But what is the obvious inference from the facts of the case, as stated by the learned Critic, except that the blessed Evangelist must be presumed to have been unconscious of any desire to introduce the expression under consideration on any other occasion except the present?
(2.) Then, further, it is worth observing that while the phrase μετὰ ταῦτα occurs five times in S. Luke’s Gospel, it is found only twice in the Acts; while S. Matthew never employs it at all. Why, then,—I would respectfully inquire—why need S. Mark introduce the phrase more than once? Why, especially, is his solitary use of the expression to be represented as a suspicious circumstance; and even perverted into an article of indictment against the genuineness of the last twelve verses of his Gospel? “Would any one argue that S. Luke was not the author of the Acts, because the author of the Acts has employed this phrase only twice,—‘often as he could have used it?’ (Meyer’s phrase here286286 Professor Broadus, ubi suprà..)”
(X.) Another objection awaits us.–Ἕτερος also “is unknown to Mark,” says Dr. Davidson;—which only means that the word occurs in chap. xvi. 12, but not elsewhere in his Gospel.
It so happens, however, that ἕτερος also occurs once only in the Gospel of S. John. Does it therefore throw suspicion on S. John xix. 37?
(XI.) The same thing is said of ὕστερον (in ver. 14) viz. that it “occurs nowhere” in the second Gospel.
But why not state the case thus?—Ὕστερον, a word which is twice employed by S. Luke, occurs only once in S. Mark and once in S. John.—That would be the true way of stating the facts of the case. But it would be attended with this inconvenient result,—that it would make it plain that the word in question has no kind of bearing on the matter in hand.
(XII.) The same thing he says of βλάπτειν (in ver. 18).
But what is the fact? The word occurs only twice in the Gospels,—viz. in S. Mark xvi. 18 and S. Luke iv. 35. It is one of the eighty-four words which are peculiar to S. Mark 161and S. Luke. What possible significancy would Dr. Davidson attach to the circumstance?
(XIII.) Once more.—“πανταχοῦ” (proceeds Dr. Davidson) “is unknown to Mark;” which (as we begin to be aware) is the learned gentleman’s way of stating that it is only found in chap. xvi. 20.
Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford insist that it also occurs in S. Mark i. 28. I respectfully differ from them in opinion: but when it has been pointed out that the word is only used besides in S. Luke ix. 6, what can be said of such Criticism but that it is simply frivolous?
(XIV. and XV.) Yet again:—συνεργεῖν and βεβαιοῦν are also said by the same learned Critic to be “unknown to Mark.”
S. Mark certainly uses these two words only once,—viz. in the last verse of the present Chapter: but what there is suspicious in this circumstance, I am at a loss even to divine. He could not have used them oftener; and since one hundred and fifty-six words are peculiar to his Gospel, why should not συνεργεῖν and βεβαιοῦν be two of them?
(XVI.) “Πᾶσα κτίσις is Pauline,” proceeds Dr. Davidson, (referring to a famous expression which is found in ver. 15.)
(1.) All very oracular,—to be sure: but why πᾶσα κτίσις should be thought “Pauline” rather than “Petrine,” I really, once more, cannot discover; seeing that S. Peter has the expression as well as S. Paul287287 Col. i. 15, 23. 1 S. Pet. ii. 13..
(2.) In this place, however, the phrase is πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις. But even this expression is no more to be called “Pauline” than “Marcine;” seeing that as S. Mark uses it once and once only, so does S. Paul use it once and once only, viz. in Rom. viii. 22.
(3.) In the meantime, how does it come to pass that the learned Critic has overlooked the significant fact that the word κτίσις occurs besides in S. Mark x. 6 and xiii. 19; and that it is a word which S. Mark alone of the Evangelists uses? Its occurrence, therefore, in this place is a circumstance the very reverse of suspicious.
(4.) But lastly, inasmuch as the opening words of our 162 Lord’s Ministerial Commission to the Apostles are these,—κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει (ver. 15): inasmuch, too, as S. Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians (i. 23) almost reproduces those very words; speaking of the Hope του̂ εὐαγγελίου . . . τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ κτίσει τῇ ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν:”—Is it not an allowable conjecture that a direct reference to that place in S. Mark’s Gospel is contained in this place of S. Paul’s Epistle? that the inspired Apostle “beholding the universal tendency of Christianity already realized,” announces (and from imperial Rome!) the fulfilment of his Lord’s commands in his Lord’s own words as recorded by the Evangelist S. Mark?
I desire to be understood to deliver this only as a conjecture. But seeing that S. Mark’s Gospel is commonly thought to have been written at Rome, and under the eye of S. Peter; and that S. Peter (and therefore S. Mark) must have been at Rome before S. Paul visited that city in A.D. 61;—seeing, too, that it was in A.D. 61-2 (as Wordsworth and Alford are agreed) that S. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Colossians, and wrote it from Rome;—I really can discover nothing unreasonable in the speculation. If, however, it be well founded,—(and it is impossible to deny that the coincidence of expression may be such as I have suggested,)—then, what an august corroboration would this be of “the last Twelve Verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark!” . . . If, indeed, the great Apostle on reaching Rome inspected S. Mark’s Gospel for the first time, with what awe will he have recognised in his own recent experience the fulfilment of his Saviour’s great announcement concerning the “signs which should follow them that believe!” Had he not himself “cast out devils?”—“spoken with tongues more than they all?”—and at Melita, not only “shaken off the serpent into the fire and felt no harm,” but also “laid hands on the sick” father of Publius, “and he had recovered?” . . . To return, however, to matters of fact; with an apology (if it be thought necessary) for what immediately goes before.
(XVII.) Next,—ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου (ver. 17) is noticed as another suspicious peculiarity. The phrase is supposed to occur only in this place of S. Mark’s Gospel; the Evangelist elsewhere 163employing the preposition ἐπί:—(viz. in ix. 37: ix. 39: xiii. 6.)
(1.) Now really, if it were so, the reasoning would be nugatory. S. Luke also once, and once only, has ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου: his usage elsewhere being, (like S. Mark’s) to use ἐπί. Nay, in two consecutive verses of ch. ix, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου—σου is read: and yet, in the very next chapter, his Gospel exhibits an unique instance of the usage of ἐν. Was it ever thought that suspicion is thereby cast on S. Luke x. 17?
(2.) But, in fact, the objection is an oversight of the learned (and generally accurate) objector. The phrase recurs in S. Mark ix. 33,—as the text of that place has been revised by Tischendorf, by Tregelles and by himself. This is therefore a slightly corroborative, not a suspicious circumstance.
(1.) But what can the learned author of this statement possibly mean? He is not speaking of the uncompounded verb ἀκολουθεῖν, of course; for S. Mark employs it. at least twenty times. He cannot be speaking of the compounded verb; for συνακολουθεῖν occurs in S. Mark v. 37. He cannot mean that παρακολουθεῖν, because the Evangelist uses it only once, is suspicious; for that would be to cast a slur on S. Luke i. 3. He cannot mean generally that verbs compounded with prepositions are “foreign to the diction of Mark;” for there are no less than forty-two such verbs which are even peculiar to S. Mark’s short Gospel,—against thirty which are peculiar to S. Matthew, and seventeen which are peculiar to S. John. He cannot mean that verbs compounded with παρά and ἐπί have a suspicious look; for at least thirty-three such compounds, (besides the two before us,) occur in his sixteen chapters288288 παραβάλλειν [I quote from the Textus Receptus of S. Mark iv. 30,—confirmed as it is by the Peshito and the Philoxenian, the Vetus and the Vulgate, the Gothic and the Armenian versions,—besides Codd. A and D, and all the other uncials (except B, L, Δ, א) and almost every cursive Codex. The evidence of Cod. C and of Origen is doubtful. Who would subscribe to the different reading adopted on countless similar occasions by the most recent Editors of the N.T.?]: παραγγέλλειν: παράγειν: παραγίνεσθαι: παραδιδόναι: παραλαμβάνειν: παρατηρεῖν: παρατιθέναι: παραφέρειν: παρέρχεσθαι: παρέχειν: παριστάναι.—ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι: ἐπαισχύνεσθαι: ἐπανίστασθαι: ἐπερωτᾷν: ἐπιβάλλειν: ἐπιγινώσκειν: ἐπιγράφειν: ἐπιζητεῖν: ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι: ἐπιλανθάνεσθαι: ἐπιλύειν: ἐπιπίπτειν: ἐπιῤῥάπτειν: ἐπισκιάζειν: ἐπιστράφειν: ἐπισυνάγειν: ἐπισυντρέχειν: ἐπιτάσσειν: ἐπιτιθέναι: ἐπιτιμᾷν: ἐπιτρέπειν.. What, then, I must 164really ask, can the learned Critic possibly mean?—I respectfully pause for an answer.
(2.) In the meantime, I claim that as far as such evidence goes,—(and it certainly goes a very little way, yet, as far as it goes,)—it is a note of S. Mark’s authorship, that within the compass of the last twelve verses of his Gospel these two compounded verbs should be met with.
(XX.) Dr. Davidson points out, as another suspicious circumstance, that (in ver. 18) the phrase χεῖρας ἐπιτιθέναι ἐπί τινα occurs; “instead of χεῖρας ἐπιτιθέναι τινα.”
(1.) But on the contrary, the phrase “is in Mark’s manner,” says Dean Alford: the plain fact being that it occurs no less than three times in his Gospel,—viz. in chap. viii. 25: x. 16: xvi. 18. (The other idiom, he has four times289289 S. Mark v. 23: vi. 5: vii. 32: viii. 23..) Behold, then, one and the same phrase is appealed to as a note of genuineness and as an indication of spurious origin. What can be the value of such Criticism as this?
(2.) Indeed, the phrase before us supplies no unapt illustration of the precariousness of the style of remark which is just now engaging our attention. Within the space of three verses, S. Mark has both expressions,—viz. ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ (viii. 23) and also ἐπέθηκε τὰς χεῖρας ἐπί (ver. 25.) S. Matthew has the latter phrase once; the former, twice290290 Matth. ix. 18:—xix. 13, 15.. Who will not admit that all this (so-called) Criticism is the veriest trifling; and that to pretend to argue about the genuineness of a passage of Scripture from such evidence as the present is an act of rashness bordering on folly? . . . The reader is referred to what was offered above on Art. VII.
(XXI. and XXII.) Again: the words μὲν οὖν—ὁ Κύριος (ver. 19 and ver. 20) are also declared to be “foreign to the diction of Mark.” I ask leave to examine these two charges separately.165
(1.) μὲν οὖν occurs only once in S. Murk’s Gospel, truly: but then it occurs only once in S. Luke (iii. 18);—only twice in S. John (xix. 24: xx. 30):—in S. Matthew, never at all. What imaginable plea can be made out of such evidence as this, for or against the genuineness of the last Twelve Verses of S. Mark’s Gospel?—Once more, I pause for an answer.
(2.) As for ὁ Κύριος being “foreign to the diction of Mark in speaking of the Lord,”—I really do not know what the learned Critic can possibly mean; except that he finds our Lord nowhere called ὁ Κύριος by S. Mark, except in this place.
But then, he is respectfully reminded that neither does he find our Lord anywhere called by S. Mark “Jesus Christ,” except in chap. i. 1. Are we, therefore, to suspect the beginning of S. Mark’s Gospel as well as the end of it? By no means, (I shall perhaps be told:) a reason is assignable for the use of that expression in chap. i. 1. And so, I venture to reply, there is a fully sufficient reason assignable for the use of this expression in chap. xvi. 19291291 See below, pp. 184-6..
(3.) By S. Matthew, by S. Mark, by S. John, our Lord is called Ἰησοῦς Χριστός,—but only in the first Chapter of their respective Gospels. By S. Luke nowhere. The appellation may,—or may not,—be thought “foreign to the diction” of those Evangelists. But surely it constitutes no reason whatever why we should suspect the genuineness of the beginning of the first, or the second, or the fourth Gospel.
(4.) S. John three times in the first verse of his first Chapter designates the Eternal Son by the extraordinary title ὁ Λόγος; but nowhere else in his Gospel, (except once in ver. 14,) does that Name recur. Would it be reasonable to represent this as a suspicious circumstance? Is not the Divine fitness of that sublime appellation generally recognised and admitted292292 See Pearson on the Creed, (ed. Burton), vol. i. p. 151.?—Surely, we come to Scripture to be learners only: not to teach the blessed Writers how they ought to have spoken about God! When will men learn that “the 166Scripture-phrase, or language of the Holy Ghost293293 Ibid. p. 183,—at the beginning of the exposition of “Our Lord.”” is as much above them as Heaven is above Earth?
(XXIII.) Another complaint:—ἀναληφθῆναι, which is found in ver. 19, occurs nowhere else in the Gospels.
(1.) True. S. Mark has no fewer than seventy-four verbs which “occur nowhere else in the Gospels:” and this happens to be one of them? What possible inconvenience can be supposed to follow from that circumstance?
(2.) But the remark is unreasonable. Ἀναληφθῆναι and ἀνάληψις are words proper to the Ascension of our Lord into Heaven. The two Evangelists who do not describe that event, are without these words: the two Evangelists who do describe it, have them294294 S. Mark xvi. 19. S. Luke ix. 51. Acts i. 2.. Surely, these are marks of genuineness, not grounds for suspicion!
It is high time to conclude this discussion.—Much has been said about two other minute points:—
(XXIV.) It is declared that ἐκεῖνος “is nowhere found absolutely used by S. Mark:” (the same thing may be said of S. Matthew and of S. Luke also:) “but always emphatically: whereas in verses 10 and 11, it is absolutely used295295 Alford.” Another writer says,—“The use of ἐκεῖνος in verses 10, 11, and 13 (twice) in a manner synonymous with ὁ δέ, is peculiar296296 Davidson.”
(1.) Slightly peculiar it is, no doubt, but not very, that an Evangelist who employs an ordinary word in the ordinary way about thirty times in all, should use it “absolutely” in two consecutive verses.
(2.) But really, until the Critics can agree among themselves as to which are precisely the offending instances,—(for it is evidently a moot point whether ἐκεῖνος be emphatic in ver. 13, or not,)—we may be excused from a prolonged discussion of such a question. I shall recur to the subject in the consideration of the next Article (XXV.)
(XXV.) So again, it may be freely admitted that “in the 10th and 14th verses there are sentences without a copulative: 167whereas Mark always has the copulative in such cases, particularly καὶ.” But then,—
(1.) Unless we can be shewn at least two or three other sections of S. Mark’s Gospel resembling the present,—(I mean, passages in which S. Mark summarizes many disconnected incidents, as he does here,)—is it not plain that such an objection is wholly without point?
(2.) Two instances are cited. In the latter, (ver. 14), Lachmann and Tregelles read ὕστερον δέ and the reading is not impossible. So that the complaint is really reduced to this,—That in ver. 10 the Evangelist begins Ἐκείνη πορευθεῖσα, instead of saying καί ἐκείνη πορευθεῖσα. And (it is implied) there is something so abhorrent to probability in this, as slightly to strengthen the suspicion that the entire context is not the work of the Evangelist.
(3.) Now, suppose we had S. Mark back among us: and suppose that he, on being shewn this objection, were to be heard delivering himself somewhat to the following effect:—“Aye. But men may not find fault with that turn of phrase. I derived it from Simon Peter’s lips. I have always suspected that it was a kind of echo, so to say, of what he and ‘the other Disciple’ had many a time rehearsed in the hearing of the wondering Church concerning the Magdalene on the morning of the Resurrection.” And then we should have remembered the familiar place in the fourth Gospel:—
γύναι τί κλαίεις; τίνα ζητεῖς; ἘΚΕΊΝΗ δοκοῦσα κ.τ.λ. X.
After which, the sentence would not have seemed at all strange, even though it be “without a copulative:”—
ἀφ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια. ἘΚΕΊΝΗ πορευθεῖσα κ.τ.λ.
(4.) For after all, the only question to be asked is,—Will any one pretend that such a circumstance as this is suspicious? Unless that be asserted, I see not what is gained by raking together,—(as one easily might do in any section of any of the Gospels,)—every minute peculiarity of form or expression which can possibly be found within the space of these twelve verses. It is an evidence of nothing so much as an incorrigible coarseness of critical fibre, that every slight variety of manner or language should be thus pounced. upon 168and represented as a note of spuriousness,—in the face of (a) the unfaltering tradition of the Church universal that the document has never been hitherto suspected: and (b) the known proclivity of all writers, as free moral and intellectual agents, sometimes to deviate from their else invariable practice.—May I not here close the discussion?
There will perhaps be some to remark, that however successfully the foregoing objections may seem to have been severally disposed of, yet that the combined force of such a multitude of slightly suspicious circumstances must be not only appreciable, but even remain an inconvenient, not to say a formidable fact. Let me point out that the supposed remark is nothing else but a fallacy; which is detected the instant it is steadily looked at.
For if there really had remained after the discussion of each of the foregoing XXV Articles, a slight residuum of suspiciousness, then of course the aggregate of so many fractions would have amounted to something in the end.
But since it has been proved that there is absolutely nothing at all suspicious in any of the alleged circumstances which have been hitherto examined, the case becomes altogether different. The sum of ten thousand nothings is still nothing297297 Exactly so Professor Broadus:—“Now it will not do to say that while no one of these peculiarities would itself prove the style to be foreign to Mark, the whole of them combined will do so. It is very true that the multiplication of littles may amount to much; but not so the multiplication of nothings. And how many of the expressions which are cited, appear, in the light of our examination, to retain the slightest real force as proving difference of authorship? Is it not true that most of them, and those the most important, are reduced to absolutely nothing, while the remainder possess scarcely any appreciable significance?”—p. 360, (see above, p. 139, note g.). This may be conveniently illustrated by an appeal to the only charge which remains to be examined.
(XXVI. and XXVII.) The absence from these twelve verses of the adverbs εὐθέως and πάλιν,—(both of them favourite words with the second Evangelist,)—has been pointed out as one more suspicious circumstance. Let us take the words singly:—
(a) The adverb εὐθέως (or εὐθύς) is indeed of very frequent occurrence in S. Mark’s Gospel. And yet its absence from 169chap. xvi is proved to be in no degree a suspicious circumstance, from the discovery that though it occurs as many as
|12||times in||chap. i;|
|and 6||”||chap. v;|
|and 5||”||chap. iv, vi;|
|and 3||”||chap. ii, ix, xiv;|
|and 2||”||chap. xi;|
|it yet occurs only 1||”||chap. iii, viii, x, xv;|
|while it occurs||”||chap. xii, xiii, xvi.|
(b) In like manner, πάλιν, which occurs as often as
|6||times in||chap. xiv;|
|and 5||”||chap. x;|
|and 3||”||chap. viii, xv;|
|and 2||”||chap. ii, vii, xi, xii;|
|and 1||”||chap. iv, v;|
|occurs||”||chap. i, vi, ix, xiii. xvi.298298 S. John has πάλιν (47 times) much oftener than S. Mark (29 times). And yet, πάλιν is not met with in the iind, or the iiird, or the vth, or the viith, or the xvth, or the xviith chapter of S. John’s Gospel.|
(1.) Now,—How can it possibly be more suspicious that πάλιν should be absent from the last twelve verses of S. Mark, than that it should be away from the first forty-five?
(2.) Again. Since εὐθέως is not found in the xiith or the xiiith chapters of this same Gospel,—nor πάλιν in the ist, vith, ixth, or xiiith chapter,—(for the sufficient reason that neither word is wanted in any of those places,)—what possible “suspiciousness” can be supposed to result from the absence of both words from the xvith chapter also, where also neither of them is wanted? Why is the xvith chapter of S. Mark’s Gospel,—or rather, why are “the last twelve verses” of it,—to labour under such special disfavor and discredit?
(3.) Dr. Tregelles makes answer,—“I am well aware that arguments on style are often very fallacious, and that by themselves they prove very little: but when there does exist external evidence, and when internal proofs as to style, manner, verbal expression, and connection, are in accordance with such independent grounds of forming a judgment; then these internal considerations possess very great weight299299 Printed Text, p. 256..”—For all 170rejoinder, the respected writer is asked,—(a) But when there does not exist any such external evidence: what then? Next, he is reminded (b) That whether there does, or does not, it is at least certain that not one of those “proofs as to style,” &c., of which he speaks, has been able to stand the test of strict examination. Not only is the precariousness of all such Criticism as has been brought to bear against the genuineness of S. Mark xvi. 9-20 excessive, but the supposed facts adduced in evidence have been found out to be every one of them mistakes;—being either, (1) demonstrably without argumentative cogency of any kind;—or else, (2) distinctly corroborative and confirmatory circumstances: indications that this part of the Gospel is indeed by S. Mark,—not that it is probably the work of another hand.
And thus the formidable enumeration of twenty-seven grounds of suspicion vanishes out of sight: fourteen of them proving to be frivolous and nugatory; and thirteen, more of less clearly witnessing in favour of the section300300 It will be found that of the former class (1) are the following:—Article iii: vii: ix: x: xi: xii: xiii: xiv: xv: xxi: xxiv: xxv: xxvi: xxvii. Of the latter (2):—Art. i: ii: iv: v: vi: viii: xvi: xvii: xviii: xix: xx: xxii: xxiii..
III. Of these thirteen expressions, some are even eloquent in their witness. I am saying that it is impossible not to be exceedingly struck by the discovery that this portion of the Gospel contains (as I have explained already) so many indications of S. Mark’s undoubted manner. Such is the reference to ἡκτίσις (in ver. 15):—the mention of ἀπιστία (in ver. 14):—the occurrence of the verb πορεύεσθαι (in ver. 10 and 12),—of the phrase ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου (in ver. 17),—and of the phrase χεῖρας ἐπιτιθέναι ἐπί τινα (in ver. 18):—of the Evangelical term for our Lord’s Ascension, viz. ἀνελήφθη (in ver. 19):—and lastly, of the compounds παρακολουθεῖν and ἐπακολουθεῖν (in verses 17 and 20.)
To these Thirteen, will have to be added all those other notes of identity of authorship,—such as they are,—which result from recurring identity of phrase, and of which the assailants of this portion of the Gospel have prudently said nothing. Such are the following:—
(xiv.) Ἀνίσταναι, for rising from the dead; which is one 171of S. Mark’s words. Taking into account the shortness of his Gospel, he has it thrice as often as S. Luke; twelve times as often as S. Matthew or S. John.
(xv.) The idiomatic expression πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν, of which S. Matthew does not present a single specimen; but which occurs three times in the short Gospel of S. Mark301301 Ch. xiii. 16,—ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν ὤν: and ch. xv. 21,—-ἐρχόμενον ἀπ᾽ ἀγροῦ,—an expression which S. Luke religiously reproduces in the corresponding place of his Gospel, viz. in ch. xxiii. 26.,—of which ver. 12 is one.
(xvi.) The expression πρωΐ (in ver. 9,)—of which S. Mark avails himself six times: i.e. (if the length of the present Gospel be taken into account) almost five times as often as either S. Matthew or S. John,—S. Luke never using the word at all. In his first chapter (ver. 35), and here in his last (ver. 2), S. Mark uses λίαν in connexion with πρωΐ.
(xvii.) The phrase κηρύσσειν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (in ver. 15) is another of S. Mark’s phrases. Like S. Matthew, he employs it four times (i. 14: xiii. 10: xiv. 9: xvi. 15): but it occurs neither in S. Luke’s nor in S. John’s Gospel.
(xviii.) The same words singly are characteristic of his Gospel. Taking the length of their several narratives into account, S. Mark has the word κηρύσσειν more than twice as often as S. Matthew: three times as often as S. Luke.
(xix.) εὐαγγέλιον,—a word which occurs only in the first two Gospels,—is found twice as often in S. Mark’s as in S. Matthew’s Gospel: and if the respective length of their Gospels be considered, the proportion will be as three to one. It occurs, as above stated, in ver. 15.
(xx.) If such Critics as Dr. Davidson had been concerned to vindicate the genuineness of this section of the Gospel, we should have been assured that φανερουσθαι is another of S. Mark’s words: by which they would have meant no more than this,—that though employed neither by S. Matthew nor by S. Luke it is used thrice by S. Mark,—being found twice in this section (verses 12, 14), as well as in ch. iv. 22.
(xxi.) They would have also pointed out that σκληροκαρδία is another of S. Mark’s words: being employed neither by S. Luke nor by S. John,—by S. Matthew only once,—but by S. Mark on two occasions; of which ch. xvi. 14 is one.172
(xxii.) In the same spirit, they would have bade us observe that πανταχοῦ (ver. 20)—unknown to S. Matthew and S. John, and employed only once by S. Luke,—is twice used by S. Mark; one instance occurring in the present section.
Nor would it have been altogether unfair if they had added that the precisely similar word πανταχόθεν (or πάντοθεν) is only found in this same Gospel,—viz. in ch. i. 45.
(xxiii.) They would further have insisted (and this time with a greater show of reason) that the adverb καλῶς (which is found in ver. 18) is another favorite word with S. Mark: occurring as it does, (when the length of these several narratives is taken into account,) more than twice as often in S. Mark’s as in S. John’s Gospel,— just three times as often as in the Gospel of S. Matthew and S. Luke.
(xxiv.) A more interesting (because a more just) observation would have been that ἔχειν, in the sense of “to be,” (as in the phrase καλῶς ἔχειν, ver. 18,) is characteristic of S. Mark. He has it oftener than any of the Evangelists, viz. six times in all (ch. i. 32; 34: ii. 17: v. 23: vi. 55: xvi. 18.) Taking the shortness of his Gospel into account, he employs this idiom twice as often as S. Matthew;—three times as often as S. John;—four times as often as S. Luke.
(xxv.) They would have told us further that ἄῤῥωστος is another of S. Mark’s favorite words: for that he has it three times,—viz. in ch. vi. 5, 13, and here in ver. 18. S. Matthew has it only once. S. Luke and S. John not at all.
(xxvi.) And we should have been certainly reminded by them that the conjunction of πενθοῦσι καὶ κλαίουσι (in ver. 10) is characteristic of S. Mark,—who has κλαίοντας καὶ ἀλαλάζοντας in ch. v. 38: θορυβεῖσθε καὶ κλαίετε in the very next verse. As for πενθεῖν, it is one of the 123 words common to S. Matthew and S. Mark, and peculiar to their two Gospels.
(xxvii.) Lastly, “κατακρίνω (in ver. 16), instead of κρίνω, is Mark’s word, (comp. x. 33: xiv. 64).” The simple verb which is used four times by S. Matthew, five times by S. Luke, nineteen times by S. John, is never at all employed by S. Mark: whereas the compound verb he has oftener in proportion than S. Matthew,—more than twice as often as either S. Luke or S. John.173
Strange,—that there should be exactly “xxvii” notes of genuineness discoverable in these twelve verses, instead of “XXVII” grounds of suspicion!
But enough of all this. Here, we may with advantage review the progress hitherto made in this inquiry.
I claim to have demonstrated long since that all those imposing assertions respecting the “Style” and “Phraseology” of this section of the Gospel which were rehearsed at the outset302302 See above, p. 148.,—are destitute of foundation, But from this discovery alone there results a settled conviction which it will be found difficult henceforth to disturb. A page of Scripture which has been able to endure so severe au ordeal of hostile inquiry, has been proved to be above suspicion. That character is rightly accounted blameless which comes out unsullied after Calumny has done her worst; done it systematically; done it with a will; done it for a hundred years.
But this is not an adequate statement of the facts of the case in respect of the conclusion of S. Mark’s Gospel. Something more is certain than that the charges which have been so industriously brought against this portion of the Gospel are without foundation. It has been also proved that instead of there being discovered twenty-seven suspicious words and phrases scattered up and down these twelve verses of the Gospel, there actually exist exactly as many words and phrases which attest with more or less certainty that those verses are nothing else but the work of the Evangelist.
IV. And now it is high time to explain that though I have hitherto
condescended to adopt the method of my opponents, I have only done so in order to
show that it proves fatal to themselves. I am, to say the truth, ashamed
of what has last been written,—so untrustworthy do I deem the method which, (following
the example of those who have preceded me in this inquiry,) I have hitherto pursued.
The “Concordance test,”—(for that is probably as apt and intelligible a
designation as can be devised for the purely mechanical process whereby it
is proposed by a certain school of Critics to judge of the authorship of Scripture,)—is
about the coarsest as well as about the most delusive that could be
174devised. By means of this clumsy and vulgar instrument, especially
when applied, (as in the case before us,) without skill and discrimination, it would
be just as easy to prove that the first twelve verses of S. Mark’s Gospel
are of a suspicious character as the last303303 The reader will be perhaps interested with the following
passage in the pages of Professor Broadus already (p. 139 note g) alluded
to:—“It occurred to me to examine the twelve just preceding verses, (xv.
44 to xvi. 8,) and by a curious coincidence, the words and
expressions not elsewhere employed by Mark, footed up precisely the same number,
seventeen. Those noticed are the following (text of Tregelles):—ver.
γνοὺς ἀπό, a construction found nowhere
else in the New Testament: also
ἐνείλησεν, λελατομημένον, πέτρας,
προσεκύλισεν:—chap. xvi. ver. 1,
μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων:—ver. 3,
σφόδρα, (Mark’s word is λίαν.)
ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς is a construction not
found in Mark, or the other Gospels, though the word
δεξιός occurs frequently:—ver. 8,
εἶχεν, in this particular sense, not elsewhere in the New Testament:
“This list is perhaps not complete, for it was prepared in a few hours—about as much time, it may be said, without disrespect, as Fritsche and Meyer appear to have given to their collections of examples from the other passage. It is not proposed to discuss the list, though some of the instances are curious. It is not claimed that they are all important, but that they are all real. And as regards the single question of the number of peculiarities, they certainly form quite an offset to the number upon which Dean Alford has laid stress”—p. 361.. In truth, except in very skilful hands, it is no test at all, and can only mislead.
Thus, (in ver. 1,) we should be informed (i.) that “Mark nowhere uses the appellation Jesus Christ:” and (ii.) that “εὐαγγέλιον Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ” is “Pauline.”—We should be reminded (iii.) that this Evangelist nowhere introduces any of the Prophets by name, and that therefore the mention of “Isaiah304304 Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford.” (in ver. 2) is a suspicious circumstance:—(iv.) that a quotation from the Old Testament is “foreign to his manner,”—(for writers of this class would not hesitate to assume that S. Mark xv. 28 is no part of the Gospel;)—and (v.) that the fact that here are quotations from two different prophets, betrays an unskilful hand.—(vi.) Because S. Mark three times calls Judaea by its usual name (Ἰουδαία, viz. in iii. 7: x. 1: xiii. 14), the unique designation, ἡ Ἰουδαία χώρα (in ver. 5) would be pronounced decisive against “the authorship of Mark.”—(vii.) The same thing would be said of the unique 175expression, ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ ποταμῷ, which is found in ver. 5,—seeing that this Evangelist three times designates Jordan simply as Ἰορδάνης (i. 9: iii. 8: x. 1).—(viii.) That entire expression in ver. 7 (unique, it must be confessed, in the Gospel,) οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς—ὑποδημάτων αὐτοῦ, would be pronounced “abhorrent to the style of Mark.”—(ix.) τὸ Πνεῦμα, twice, (viz. in ver. 10 and ver. 12) we should be told is never used by the Evangelist absolutely for the Holy Ghost: but always τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, (as in ch. iii. 29; xii. 36: xiii. 11).—(x.) The same would be said of οἱ Ἱεροσολυμῖται (in ver. 5) for “the inhabitants of Jerusalem:” we should be assured that S. Mark’s phrase would rather be οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων,—as in ch. iii. 8 and 22.—And (xi.) the expression πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ (ver. 15), we should be informed “cannot be Mark’s;”—who either employs εἰςand the accusative (as in ch. ix. 92), or else makes the verb take a dative (as in ch. xi. 31: xvi. 13, 14.)—We should also probably be told that the ten following words are all “unknown to Mark:”—(xii.) τρίχες,—(xiii.) δερματίνη,—(xiv.) ὀσφύς,—(xv.) ἀκρίδες,—(xvi.) μέλι, (xvii.) ἄγριος (six instances in a single verse (ver. 6): a highly suspicious circumstance!),—(xviii.) κύπτειν,—(xix.) ἱμάς, (xx.) ὑποδήματα (all three instances in ver. 7!)—(xxi.) εὐδοκεῖν,—(xxii.) καὶ ἐγένετο . . . ἦλθεν, (ver. 9),—unique in S. Mark!—(xxiii.) βαπτίζεσθαι εἰς (ver 9), another unique phrase!—(xxiv.) οἱ οὐρανοί twice, (viz. in verses 10, 11) yet elsewhere, when S. Mark speaks of Heaven, (ch. vi. 41: vii. 34: viii. 11: xvi. 19) he always uses the singular.—Lastly, (xxv.) the same sorry objection which was brought against the “last twelve verses,” (that πάλιν, a favourite adverb with S. Mark, is not found there,) is here even more conspicuous.
Turning away from all this,—(not, however, without an apology for having lingered over such frivolous details so long,)—I desire to point out that we have reverently to look below the surface, if we would ascertain how far it is to be presumed from internal considerations whether S. Mark was indeed the author of this portion of his Gospel, or not.
V. We must devise, I say, some more delicate, more philosophical, more real test than the coarse, uncritical expedient 176which has been hitherto considered of ascertaining by reference to the pages of a Greek Concordance whether a certain word which is found in this section of the Gospel is, or is not, used elsewhere by S. Mark. And I suppose it will be generally allowed to be deserving of attention,—in fact, to be a singularly corroborative circumstance,—that within the narrow compass of these Twelve Verses we meet with every principal characteristic of S. Mark’s manner:—Thus,
(i.) Though he is the Author of the shortest of the Gospels, and though to all appearance he often merely reproduces what S. Matthew has said before him, or else anticipates something, which is afterwards delivered by S. Luke,—it is surprising how often we are indebted to S. Mark for precious pieces of information which we look for in vain elsewhere. Now, this is a feature of the Evangelist’s manner which is susceptible of memorable illustration from the section before us.
How many and how considerable are the new circumstances which S. Mark here delivers!—(1) That Mary Magdalene was the first to behold the risen Saviour: (2) That it was He who had cast out from her the “seven devils:” (3) How the men were engaged to whom she brought her joyful message,—(4) who not only did not believe her story, but when Cleopas and his companion declared what had happened to themselves, “neither believed they them.” (5) The terms of the Ministerial Commission, as set down in verses 15 and 16, are unique. (6) The announcement of the “signs which should follow them that believe” is even extraordinary. Lastly, (7) this is the only place in the Gospel where The Session at the right Hand of God is recorded. . . . So many, and such precious incidents, showered into the Gospel Treasury at the last moment, and with such a lavish hand, must needs have proceeded if not from an Apostle at least from a companion of Apostles. , if we had no other token to go by, there could not be a reasonable doubt that this entire section is by no other than S. Mark himself!
(ii.) A second striking characteristic of the second Evangelist is his love of picturesque, or at least of striking details,—his proneness to introduce exceedingly minute particulars, 177often of the profoundest significancy, and always of considerable interest. Not to look beyond the Twelve Verses (chap. i. 9-20) which were originally proposed for comparison,—We are reminded (a) that in describing our Saviour’s Baptism, it is only S. Mark who relates that “He came from Nazareth” to be baptized.—(b) In his highly elliptical account of our Lord’s Temptation, it is only he who relates that “He was with the wild beasts.”—(c) In his description of the Call of the four Disciples, S. Mark alone it is who, (notwithstanding the close resemblance of his account to what is found in S. Matthew,) records that the father of S. James and S. John was left “in the ship with the hired servants 305305 S. Mark i. 9: 14: 20..”—Now, of this characteristic, we have also within these twelve verses, at least four illustrations:—
(a) Note in ver. 10, that life-like touch which evidently proceeded from an eye-witness,—“πενθοῦσι καὶ κλαίουσι.” S. Mark relates that when Mary conveyed to the Disciples the joyous tidings of the Loan’s Resurrection, she found them overwhelmed with sorrow,—“mourning and weeping.”
(b) Note also that the unbelief recorded in ver. 13 is recorded only there.
(c) Again. S. Mark not only says that as the two Disciples were “going into the country,” (πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν306306 The same word is found also in S. Luke’s narrative of the same event, ch. xxiv. 13., ver. 12,) Jesus also “went with them”—(συν-επορεύετο, as S. Luke relates;)—but that it was as they actually “walked” along (περιπατοῦσιν) that this manifestation took place.
(d) Among the marvellous predictions made concerning “them that believe;” what can be imagined more striking than the promise that they should “take up serpents;” and suffer no harm even if they should “drink any deadly thing”?
(iii) Next,—all have been struck, I suppose, with S. Mark’s proneness to substitute some expression of his own for what he found in the Gospel of his predecessor S. Matthew: or, when he anticipates something which is afterwards met with in the Gospel of S. Luke, his aptness to deliver it in language entirely independent of the later Evangelist. I allude, for instance; to his substitution of ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιε (xiv. 72) 178for S. Matthew’s ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς (xxvi. 75);—and of ὁ τέκτων (vi. 3) for ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός (S. Matth. xiii. 55).—The “woman of Canaan” in S. Matthew’s Gospel (γυνὴ Χαναναία, ch. xv. 22), is called “a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation” in S. Mark’s (Ἑλληνὶς, Συροφοινίσσα τῷ γένει, ch. vii. 26).—At the Baptism, “instead of the “opened” heavens of S. Matthew (ἀνεῴχθησαν, ch. iii. 16) and S. Luke (ἀνεῳχθῆναι, ch. iii. 22), we are presented by S. Mark with the striking image of the heavens “cleaving” or “being rent asunder” (σχιζομένους307307 On which, Victor of Antioch (if indeed it be he) finely remarks,—Σχίζονται δὲ οἱ οὐρανοὶ, ἢ κατὰ Ματθαῖον ἀνοίγονται, ἵνα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἀποδοθῇ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ὁ ἁγιασμὸς, καὶ συναφθῇ τοῖς ἐπιγεῖοις τὰ οὐράνια.—(Cramer p. 271.), ch. i. 10).—What S. Matthew calls τὰ ὅρια Μαγαδαλά (ch. xv. 39), S. Mark designates as τὰ μέρη Δαλμανουθά (ch. viii. 10.)—In place of S. Matthew’s ζύμη Σαδδουκαίων, (ch. xvi. 6), S. Mark has ζύμη Ἡρώδου (ch. viii. 15.)—In describing the visit to Jericho, for the δύο τυφλοί of S. Matthew (ch. xx. 29), S. Mark gives υἱὸς Τιμαίου Βαρτιμαῖος ὁ τυφλὸς . . . . προσαιτῶν (ch. x. 46.)—For the κλάδους of S. Matth. xxi. 8, S. Mark (ch. xi. 8) has στοιβάδας; and for the other’s πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι (xxvi. 34), he has πρὶν ἢ δὶς (xiv. 30.)—It is so throughout.
Accordingly,—(as we have already more than once had occasion to remark,)—whereas the rest say only ἡ μία τῶν σαββάτων, S. Mark says πρώτῃ σαββάτου (in ver. 9).—Whereas S. Luke (viii. 2) says ἀφ᾽ ἦς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει,—S. Mark records that from her ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια.—Very different is the great ministerial Commission as set down by S. Mark in ver. 15, 16, from what is found in S. Matthew xxviii. 19, 20.—And whereas S. Luke says “their eyes were holden that they should not know Him,” S. Mark says that “He appeared to them in another form.” . . . Is it credible that any one fabricating a conclusion to S. Mark’s narrative after S. Luke’s Gospel had appeared, would have ventured so to paraphrase S. Luke’s statement? And yet, let the consistent truthfulness of either expression be carefully noted. Both are historically accurate, but they proceed from opposite points of view. Viewed on the heavenly side, (God’s side), the Disciples’ “eyes” (of course) “were 179holden:”—viewed on the earthly side, (Man’s side), the risen Saviour (no doubt) “appeared in another form.”
(iv.) Then further, S. Mark is observed to introduce many expressions into his Gospel which confirm the prevalent tradition that it was at Rome he wrote it; and that it was with an immediate view to Latin readers that it was published. Twelve such expressions were enumerated above (at p. 150-1); and such, it was also there shewn, most unmistakably is the phrase πρώτη σαββάτου in ver. 9.—It is simply incredible that any one but an Evangelist writing under the peculiar conditions traditionally assigned to S. Mark, would have hit upon such an expression as this,—the strict equivalent, to Latin ears, for ἡ μιᾷ τω̂ν σαββάτων, which has occurred just above, in ver. 2. Now this, it will be remembered, is one of the hacknied objections to the genuineness of this entire portion of the Gospel;—quite proof enough, if proof were needed, of the exceeding improbability which attaches to the phrase, in the judgment of those who have considered this question the most.
(v.) The last peculiarity of S. Mark to which I propose to invite attention is supplied by those expressions which connect his Gospel with S. Peter, and remind us of the constant traditional belief of the ancient Church that S. Mark was the companion of the chief of the Apostles.
That the second Gospel contains many such hints has often been pointed out; never more interestingly or more convincingly than by Townson308308 Disc. v. Sect. ii., in a work which deserves to be in the hands of every student of Sacred Science. Instead of reproducing any of the familiar cases in order to illustrate my meaning, I will mention one which has perhaps never been mentioned in this connexion before.
(a) Reference is made to our Lord’s sayings in S. Mark vii, and specially to what is found in ver. 19. That expression, “purging all meats” (καθαρίζων309309 This appears to be the true reading. πάντα τὰ βρώματα), does really seem to be no part of the Divine discourse; but the Evangelist’s inspired comment on the Saviour’s words310310 So Chrysostom ὁ δὲ Μ άρκος φησὶν, ὅτι “καθαρίζων τὰ βρώματα,” ταῦταἄλεγεν. [vii. 526 A]—He seems to have derived that remark from Origen [in Matth. ed. Huet. i. 249 D]:—κατὰ τὸν Μάρκον ἔλεγε ταῦτα ὁ Σωτὴρ “καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα.”—From the same source, I suspect, Gregory Thaumaturgus (Origen’s disciple), Bp. of Neocaesarea in Pontus, A.D. 261, [Routh, iii. 257] derived the following:—καὶ ὁ Σωτὴρ ὁ “πάντα καθαρίζων τὰ βρώματα” οὐ τὸ εἰσπορευόμενον, φησὶ, κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἐκπορευόμενον.—See, by all means, Field’s most interesting Adnotationes in Chrys., vol. iii. p.112. . . . Ἐντεῦθε (finely says Victor of Antioch) ὁ καινὸς ἄρχεται νόμος ὁ κατὰ τὸ πνεῦμα. (Cramer i. 335.). 180Our Saviour (he explains) by that discourse of His—ipso, facto—“made all meats clean.” How doubly striking a statement, when it is remembered that probably Simon Peter himself was the actual author of it;—the same who, on the house-top at Joppa, had been shewn in a vision that “God had made clean” (ὁ Θεὸς ἐκαθάρισε311311 Acts x. 16.) all His creatures!
(b) Now, let a few words spoken by the same S. Peter on a memorable occasion be considered:—“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the Baptism of John, unto that same day that He was taken up (ἀνελήφθη) from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His Resurrection312312 Acts i. 22, 23. Cf. ver. 2,—ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας . . . ἀνελήφθη..” Does not S. Peter thereby define the precise limits of our Saviour’s Ministry,—shewing it to have “begun” (ἀρξάμενος) “from the Baptism of John,”—and closed with the Day of our Lord’s Ascension? And what else are those but the exact bounds of S. Mark’s Gospel,—of which the ἀρχή; (ch. i. 1) is signally declared to have been the Baptism of John,—and. the utmost limit, the day when (as S. Mark says) “He was taken up (ἀνελήφθη) into Heaven,”—(ch. xvi. 19)?
(c) I will only further remind the reader, in connexion with the phrase, πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει, in ver. 155,—(concerning which, the reader is referred back to page 162-3,)—that both S. Peter and S. Mark (but no other of the sacred writers) conspire to use the expression ἀπ᾽ ἀρχη̂ς κτίσεως313313 S. Mark x. 6: xiii. 19.—2 S. Pet. iii. 4 (Cf. 1 S. Pet. ii. 13.). S. Mark has besides κτίσεως ἧς ἔκτισε ὁ Θεὸς (ch. xiii. 19); while S. Peter alone styles the Almighty, from His work of Creation, ὁ κτίστης (1 S. Pet. iv. 19).
VI. But besides, and over and above such considerations 181as those which precede,—(some of which, I am aware, might be considerably evacuated of their cogency; while others, I am just as firmly convinced, will remain forcible witnesses of God’s Truth to the end of Time,)—I hesitate not to avow my personal conviction that abundant and striking evidence is garnered up within the brief compass of these Twelve Verses that they are identical in respect of fabric with the rest of the Gospel; were clearly manufactured out of the same Divine materials,—wrought in the same heavenly loom.
It was even to have been expected, from what is found to have been universally the method in other parts of Scripture,—(for it was of course foreseen by Almighty God from the beginning that this portion of His Word would be, like its Divine Author, in these last days cavilled at, reviled, hated, rejected, denied,)—that the Spirit would not leave Himself without witness in this place. It was to have been anticipated, I say, that Eternal Wisdom would carefully—(I trust there is no irreverence in so speaking of God and His ways!)—would carefully make provision: meet the coming unbelief (as His Angel met Balaam) with a drawn sword: plant up and down throughout these Twelve Verses of the Gospel, sure indications of their Divine Original,—unmistakable notes of purpose and design,—mysterious traces and tokens of Himself; not visible indeed to the scornful and arrogant, the impatient and irreverent; yet clear as if written with a sunbeam to the patient and. humble student, the man who “trembleth at God’s Word314314 Is. lxvi. 2..” Or, (if the Reader prefers the image,) the indications of a Divine Original to be met with in these verses shall be likened rather to those cryptic characters, invisible so long as they remain unsuspected, but which shine forth clear and strong when exposed to the Light or to the Heat; (Light and Heat, both emblems of Himself!) so that even he that gropeth in darkness must now see them, and admit that of a truth “the Lord is in this place” although he “knew it not!”
(i.) I propose then that in the first instance we compare the conclusion of S. Mark’s Gospel with the beginning of it. We did this before, when our object was to ascertain whether 182the Style of S. Mark xvi. 9-20 be indeed as utterly discordant from that of the rest of the Gospel as is commonly represented. We found, instead, the most striking resemblance315315 See above, p.143-5.. We also instituted a brief comparison between the two in order to discover whether the Diction of the one might not possibly be found as suggestive of verbal doubts as the diction of the other: and so we found it316316 See above, p. 174-5..—Let us for the third time draw the two extremities of this precious fabric into close proximity in order again to compare them. Nothing I presume can be fairer than to elect that, once more, our attention be chiefly directed to what is contained within the twelve verses (ver. 9-20) of S. Mark’s first chapter which exactly correspond with the twelve verses of his last chapter (ver. 9-20) which are the subject of the present volume.
Now between these two sections of the Gospel, besides (1) the obvious verbal resemblance, I detect (2) a singular parallelism of essential structure. And this does not strike me the less forcibly because nothing of the kind was to have been expected.
(1.) On the verbal coincidences I do not propose to lay much stress. Yet are they certainly not without argumentative weight and significancy. I allude to the following:—
(b) [κηρύσσων, ἐκήρυσσε (i. 7)]
(b) ἐκήρυξαν (xvi. 20)
(c) κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (xvi. 15
(c and d) πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ (i. 15)
Now this, to say the least, shews that there exists an unmistakable relation of sympathy between the first page of 183S. Mark’s Gospel and the last. The same doctrinal phraseology317317 My attention was first drawn to this by my friend, the Rev. W. Kay, D.D.,—the same indications of Divine purpose,—the same prevailing cast of thought is observed to occur in both. (i.) A Gospel to be everywhere preached;—(ii.) Faith, to be of all required;—(iii.) Baptism to be universally administered; (“one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism:”)—Is not this the theme of the beginning of S. Mark’s Gospel as well as of the end of it? Surely it is as if on comparing the two extremities of a chain, with a view to ascertaining whether the fabric be identical or not, It were discovered that those extremities are even meant to clasp!
(2.) But the essential parallelism between S. Mark xvi. 9-20 and S. Mark i. 9-20 is a profounder phenomenon and deserves even more attention. I proceed to set down side by side, as before, what ought to require neither comment nor explanation of mine. Thus we find,—
(A) in ch. i. 9 to 11:—Our Lord’s Manifestation to the World ἐπιφανεία on His “coming up (ἀναβαίνων) out of the water” of Jordan: (having been “buried by Baptism,” as the Apostle speaks:) when the Voice from Heaven proclaimed,—“Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
(A) in ch. xvi. 9 to 11:—Our Lord’s appearance to Mary Magdalene (ἐφάνη) after His Resurrection (ἀναστάς) from Death: (of which God had said, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”
——12 to 14:—Two other Manifestations (ἐφανερώθη) to Disciples.
(B)—— 12, 13:—Christ’s victory over Satan; (whereby is fulfilled the promise “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt Thou trample under feet.”)
(B)——17, 18:—Christ’s promise that “they that believe” “shall cast out devils” and “shall take up serpents:” (as [in S. Luke x. 19] He had given the Seventy “power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy.”)
[(C)——8:—The Pentecostal Gift foretold: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”]
(C)——17:—The chief Pentecostal Gift specified: “They shall speak with new tongues.”
(D) in ch. i. 14, 15:—Christ “comes into Galilee, preaching the Gospel . . . . and saying . . . . Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.”
(D) in ch. xvi. 15, 16:—He commands His Apostles to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”
(E)——15: His announcement, that “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
(E)——19:—S. Mark’s record concerning Him, that “He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God:” (where He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet.”)
(F)——20:—The Apostles’ Ministry, which is everywhere miraculously attested,—“The Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.”
It is surely not an unmeaning circumstance, a mere accident, that the Evangelist should at the very outset and at the very conclusion of his Gospel, so express himself! If, however, it should seem to the Reader a mere matter of course, a phenomenon without interest or significancy,—nothing which I could add would probably bring him to a different mind.
(3.) Then, further: when I scrutinize attentively the two portions
of Scripture thus proposed for critical survey, I am not a little struck by the
discovery that the VIth Article of the ancient Creed of Jerusalem (A.D. 348) is
found in the one: the Xth Article, in the other318318 The Creed itself, (“ex variis Cyrillianarum Catacheseon locis
collectum,”) may be seen at p. 84 of De Touttée’s ed. of Cyril. Let the following be compared:—
ἀνελήμφθη εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ, (ch. xvi. 19.)
ἈΝΕΛΘΌΝΤΑ ΕἸΣ ΤΟῪΣ ΟΥΡΑΝΟῪΣ, ΚΑῚ ΚΑΘΊΣΑΝΤΑ ἘΚ ΔΕΜΙ῀ΩΝ ΤΟῩ ΠΑΤΡΌΣ (Art. VI.) This may be seen is situ at p. 224 C of Cyril.
βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, (ch. i. 4.)
ΒΆΠΤΙΣΜΑ ΜΕΤΑΝΟΊΑΣ ΕἸΣ ἌΦΕΣΙΝ ἉΜΑΡΤΙ῀ΩΝ (Art. X.) This may be seen at p. 293 C of Cyril.
The point will be most intelligently and instructively studied in Professor Heurtley’s little work De Fide et Symbolo, 1869, p. 9.. If it be a purely fortuitous 185circumstance, that two cardinal verities like these,—(viz. “He ascended into Heaven, and sat down at the Right Hand of God,”—and “One Baptism for the Remission of sins,”) should be found at either extremity of one short Gospel,—I will but point out that it is certainly one of a very remarkable series of fortuitous circumstances.—But in the thing to be mentioned next, there neither is, nor can be, any talk of fortuitousness at all.
(4.) Allusion is made to the diversity of Name whereby the Son of Man is indicated in these two several places of the Gospel; which constitutes a most Divine circumstance, and is profoundly significant. He who in the first verse (S. Mark i. 1) was designated by the joint title “Ἰησοῦς” and “Χριστός,”—here, in the last two verses (S. Mark xvi. 19, 20) is styled for the first and for the last time, “Ὁ ΚΎΡΙΟΣ”—the Lord319319 See above,—p.165-6..
And why? Because He who at His Circumcision was named “Jesus,” (a Name which was given Him from His Birth, yea, and before His Birth); He who at His Baptism became “the Christ,” (a Title which belonged to His Office, and which betokens His sacred Unction);—the same, on the occasion of His Ascension into Heaven and Session at the Right Hand of God,—when (as we know) “all power had been given unto Him in Heaven and in Earth” (S. Matth. xxviii. 18),—is designated by His Name of Dominion; “the Lord” Jehovah . . . “Magnifica et opportuna appellatio!”—as Bengel well remarks.
But I take leave to point out that all this is what never either would or could have entered into the mind of a fabricator of a conclusion to S. Mark’s unfinished Gospel. No inventor of a supplement, I say, could have planted his foot in this way in exactly the right place. The proof of my assertion is twofold:—
(a) First, because the present indication that the Holy Ghost was indeed the Author of these last Twelve Verses is even appealed to by Dr. Davidson and his School, as a proof of a spurious original. Verily, such Critics do not recognise the token of the Divine Finger even when they see it!186
(b) Next, as a matter of fact, we have a spurious Supplement to the Gospel,—the same which was exhibited above at p. 123-4; and which may here be with advantage reproduced in its Latin form:—“Omnia autem quaecumque praecepta erant illis qui cum Petro erant, breviter exposuerunt. Post haec et ipso Iesus adparuit, et ab oriente usque in occidentem misit per illos sanctam et incorruptam praedicationem salutis aeternae. Amen320320 Cod. Bobbiensis (k): which however for “illis” has “et:” for “Petro,” “puero:” and for “occidentem,” “orientem.” It also repeats “usque.” I have ventured to alter “ab orientem” into “ab oriente.”—Compare what is found in the Philoxenian margin, as given by White and Adler..”—Another apocryphal termination is found in certain copies of the Thebaic version. It occupies the place of ver. 20, and is as follows:—“Exeuntes terni in quatuor climata caeli praedicarunt Evangelium in mundo toto, Christo operante cum iis in verbo confirmationem cum signis sequentibus eos et miraculis. Atque hoc modo cognitum est regnum Dei iu terra tota et in mundo toto Israelis in testimonium gentium omnium harum quae exsistunt ab oriente ad occasum.” It will be seen that the Title of Dominion (ὁ Κύριος—the Lord) is found in neither of these fabricated passages; but the Names of Nativity and of Baptism (Ἰησοῦς and Χριστός—Jesus and Christ) occur instead.
(ii.) Then further:—It is an extraordinary note of genuineness that such a vast number of minute but important facts should be found accumulated within the narrow compass of these twelve verses; and should be met with nowhere else. The writer,—supposing that he had only S. Matthew’s Gospel before him,—traverses (except in one single instance) wholly new ground; moves forward with unmistakable boldness and a rare sense of security; and wherever he plants his foot, it is to enrich the soil with fertility and beauty. But on the supposition that he wrote after S. Luke’s and S. John’s Gospel had appeared,—the marvel becomes increased an hundred-fold: for how then does it come to pass that he evidently draws his information from quite independent sources? is not bound by any of their statements? even seems purposely to break away from their guidance, and to adventure some extraordinary statement 187of his own,—which nevertheless carries the true Gospel savour with it; and is felt to be authentic from the very circumstance that no one would have ever dared to invent such a detail and put it forth on his own responsibility?
(iii.) Second to no indication that this entire section of the Gospel has a Divine original, I hold to be a famous expression which (like πρώτη σαββάτου) has occasioned general offence: I mean, the designation of Mary Magdalene as one “out of whom” the Lord “had cast seven devils;” and that, in immediate connexion with the record of her august privilege of being the first of the Human Race to behold His risen form. There is such profound Gospel significancy,—such sublime improbability,—such exquisite pathos in this record,—that I would defy any fabricator, be he who he might, to have achieved it. This has been to some extent pointed out already321321 See above (Art. II.) p. 152-3..
(iv.) It has also been pointed out, (but the circumstance must be by all means here insisted upon afresh,) that the designation (found in ver. 10) of the little company of our Lord’s followers,—“τοῖς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ γενομένοις,”—is another rare note of veracious origin. No one but S. Mark,—or just such an one as he,—would or could have so accurately designated the little band of Christian men and women who, unconscious of their bliss, were “mourning and weeping” till after sunrise on the first Easter Day. The reader is reminded of what has been already offered on this subject, at p.155-6.
(v.) I venture further to point out that no writer but S. Mark, (or such an one as he322322 Consider S. Luke xxiv. 9: 33. Acts ii. 14.), would have familiarly designated the Apostolic body as “αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἔνδεκα,” in ver. 14. The phrase οἱ δώδεκα, he uses in proportion far oftener than any other two of the Evangelists323323 S. Matth. xxvi. 14, 29, 47.—S. Mark iv. 10: vi. 7: ix. 35: x. 32: xi. 11: xiv. 10, 17, 20, 43.—S. Luke viii. 1: ix. 1, 12: xviii. 31: xxii. 3, 47.—S. John vi. 37, 70, 71: xx. 24.. And it is evident that the phrase οἱ ἕνδεκα soon became an equally recognised designation of the Apostolic body,—“from which Judas by transgression fell.” Its familiar introduction into this place by the second Evangelist is exactly what one might have 188looked for, or at least what one is fully prepared to meet with, in him.
(vi.) I will close this enumeration by calling attention to an unobtrusive and unobserved verb in the last of these verses which (I venture to say) it would never have entered into the mind of any ordinary writer to employ in that particular place. I allude to the familiar word ἐξελθόντες.
The precise meaning of the expression,—depending on the known force of the preposition with which the verb is compounded,—can scarcely be missed by any one who, on the one hand, is familiar with the Evangelical method; on the other, is sufficiently acquainted with the Gospel History. Reference is certainly made to the final departure of the Apostolic body out of the city of Jerusalem324324 Compare S. Luke xxii. 39; and especially S. John xviii. 1,—where the moment of departure from the city is marked: (for observe, they had left the house and the upper chamber at ch. xiv. 31). See also ch. xix. 17,—where the going without the gate is indicated: (for ἔξω τῆς πύλης ἔπαθε [Heb. xiii. 12.]) So Matth. xxvii. 32. Consider S. Luke xxi. 37.. And tacitly, beyond a question, there is herein contained a recollection of our Saviour’s command to His Apostles, twice expressly recorded by S. Luke, “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.” “Behold,” (said He,) “I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high325325 S. Luke xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4..” . . . After many days “they went forth,” or “out.” S. Mark, (or perhaps it is rather S. Peter,) expressly says so,—ἐξελθόντες. Aye, and that was a memorable “outgoing,” truly! What else was its purpose but the evangelization of the World?
VII. Let this suffice, then, concerning the evidence derived from Internal considerations. But lest it should hereafter be reckoned as an omission, and imputed to me as a fault, that I have said nothing about the alleged Inconsistency of certain statements contained in these “Twelve Verses” with the larger notices contained in the parallel narratives of S. Luke and S. John,—I proceed briefly to explain why I am silent on this head.
1. I cannot see for whom I should be writing; in other 189words,—what I should propose to myself as the end to be attained by what I wrote. For,
2. What would be gained by demonstrating,—(as I am of course prepared to do,)—that there is really no inconsistency whatever between anything which S. Mark here says, and what the other Evangelists deliver? I should have proved that,—(assuming the other Evangelical narratives to be authentic, i.e. historically true,)—the narrative before us cannot be objected to on the score of its not being authentic also. But by whom is such proof required?
(a) Not by the men who insist that errors are occasionally to be met with in the Evangelical narratives. In their estimation, the genuineness of an inspired writing is a thing not in the least degree rendered suspicious by the erroneousness of its statements. According to them, the narrative may exhibit inaccuracies and inconsistencies, and may yet be the work of S. Mark. If the inconsistencies be but “trifling,” and the inaccuracies “minute,”—these “sound Theologians,” (for so they style themselves326326 See above, p. 2.,) “have no dread whatever of acknowledging” their existence. Be it so. Then would it be a gratuitous task to set about convincing them that no inconsistency, no inaccuracy is discoverable within the compass of these Twelve concluding Verses.
(b) But neither is such proof required by faithful Readers; who, for want of the. requisite Scientific knowledge, are unable to discern the perfect Harmony of the Evangelical narratives in this place. It is only one of many places where a prima facie discrepancy, though it does not fail to strike,—yet (happily) altogether fails to distress them. Consciously or unconsciously, such readers reason with themselves somewhat as follows:—“God’s Word, like all God’s other Works, (and I am taught to regard God’s Word as a very masterpiece of creative skill;)—the blessed Gospel, I say, is full of difficulties. And yet those difficulties are observed invariably to disappear under competent investigation. Can I seriously doubt that if sufficient critical skill were brought to bear on the highly elliptical portion of narrative contained in these Twelve Verses, it would present no 190exception to a rule which is observed to be else universal; and that any apparent inconsistency between S. Mark’s statements in this place, and those of S. Luke and S. John, would also be found to be imaginary only?”
This then is the reason why I abstain from entering upon a prolonged Inquiry, which would in fact necessitate a discussion of the Principles of Gospel Harmony,—for which the present would clearly not be the proper place.
VIII. Let it suffice that, in the foregoing pages,—
1. I have shewn that the supposed argument from “Style,” (in itself a highly fallacious test,) disappears under investigation.
It has been proved (pp. 142-5) that, on the contrary, the style of S. Mark xvi. 9-20 is exceedingly like the style of S. Mark i. 9-20; and therefore, that it is rendered probable by the Style that the Author of the beginning of this Gospel was also the Author of the end of it.
2. I have further shewn that the supposed argument from “Phraseology,”—(in itself, a most unsatisfactory test; and as it has been applied to the matter in hand, a very coarse and clumsy one;)—breaks down hopelessly under severe analysis.
Instead of there being twenty-seven suspicious circumstances in the Phraseology of these Twelve Verses, it has been proved (pp.170-3) that in twenty-seven particulars there emerge corroborative considerations.
3. Lastly, I have shewn that a loftier method of Criticism is at hand; and that, tested by this truer, more judicious, and more philosophical standard; a presumption of the highest order is created that these Verses must needs be the work of S. Mark.191
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