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THE Markan sayings relating to the Passion may be grouped as follows:

(1) The Saying about the Removal of the Bridegroom.

(2) The Sayings regarding the Suffering of the Son of Man.

(3) The Saying at the Descent from the Mount of Transfiguration.

(4) The Saying about the Cup and Baptism.

(5) The 'Ransom' Passage.

(6) The Parable of the Vineyard.

(7) The Saying in the Story of the Anointing.

(8) The Prophecy of the Betrayal.

(9) The Sayings at the Last Supper.

(10) Two Old Testament Quotations: The Stone, The Shepherd.

(11) The Gethsemane Sayings. (12) The Cry from the Cross.

(1) THE STATEMENT ABOUT THE REMOVAL OF THE BRIDEGROOM (Mk. ii. igf.; cf. Mt. ix. 155 Lk. v. 34f.)

19a. 'Can the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while bridegroom is with them?

19b. As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.


20a. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them,

20b. And then will they fast in that day'.

The agreement of Matthew and Luke with Mark is almost verbatim, except that both Evangelists omit Mk. ii. 19b. The omission of 19b by D Wabe &c. has probably no significance, and may be an assimilation to the text of Mt. and Lk.

This saying of Jesus is of great interest since it is the earliest recorded reference to His death in the Markan story. It raises many difficulties just because it appears so early in Mark, and also because it seems to reflect two different attitudes to the question of fasting. On these grounds many critics regard 19b, 20 as a later addition, in which the Christian community justifies its existing practice in respect of fasting.11   Cf. W. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 40f.; R. Bultmann, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 17; M. Dibelius, From Tradition to Gospel, 65. See the important note in C. H. Dodd's The Parables of the Kingdom, 116. The structure of the two verses is against this view. 19b merely repeats the thought of 19a in another form and the verse is a clear example of Semitic parallelism. The parallelism, indeed, is continued in 20, since there is an obvious contrast between 19a and 20a, and between 19b and 20b. This fact, so far as it goes, favours the originality of the entire saying; as a later construction of the community, it is too neat to be convincing. Again, the whole saying is naturally expressed; one thought leads to another. The idea of the removal of the bridegroom in 20 is already implicit in 19b, and indeed in 19a, in the words: 'while the bridegroom is with them'.22   It is perhaps a perception of this fact which led Bousset to recast 19a, and to suggest that originally the question ran: 'Can wedding-guests fast?', op. cit., 41. Thus, the section is a unity. Further, there is no convincing reason why 19b, 20, as well as 19a, should not come from the lips of Jesus. It is 96 unnecessary to assume that in 19a He is defending a mode of life without fasting, and hence to infer that 20, which contemplates fasting, cannot be genuine. What He opposes is not fasting in general,11   Cf.Mt.vi.16. but fasting under the special conditions of the Messianic time in which the disciples are living in company with Himself. The absence of the bridegroom from the feast must obviously make a difference to their joy, and it is to express this that Jesus repeats the reference to fasting. The primary intention is not to prophesy the practice of fasting, but to describe the change which the removal of the bridegroom must bring. Now there is joy; then there will be sorrow! The saying indicates that during the Galilean Ministry Jesus faced the eventuality of death and its effect upon His disciples.22   A. E. J. Rawlinson thinks that the story is quite intelligible as it stands, if we assume that the episode happened soon after the Baptist's death, St. Mark, 31.

It is unfortunate that the saying cannot be dated with any precision, since it belongs to a section (Mk. ii. 1-iii. 6) which is arranged topically, and which probably existed as a connected whole at the time when Mark wrote his Gospel.33   Cf. The Formation of the Gospel Tradition, 16, 177. Whether it really belongs to a point so early as that suggested by the Markan outline, we cannot tell, but the Evangelist is probably right in placing it well before the account of Peter's Confession near Caesarea Philippi; it obviously belongs to a time when the liberal spirit of Jesus and His disciples was beginning to arouse comment and opposition. Its importance is great, not only because it indicates that in the full tide of the Galilean Mission Jesus faced the possibility of death, but also because it shows that already He was confronted with the enigma 97 present in the thought of the death of the Messiah. The term 'Bridegroom' is a descriptive title used with reference to the Messiah11   Cf. also Eph. v. 28ff. and Apoc. xix. 7, and see Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, i. 517; E. Klostermann, Das Markusevangelium, 33. in Mt. xxv. 1 ; Jn. iii. 28f., and recalls the ideas of Hos. ii. 19f., and its use by Jesus proves that He was alive to the problem which is solved by Him in the sayings of Mk. viii. 31, ix. 31, x. 33. These are the passages which speak of the suffering and rejection of the Son of Man.


(a) 'And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again' (cf. Mt. xvi. 21; Lk. ix. 22).

(b) 'For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he shall rise again' (cf. Mt. xvii. 22f; Lk. ix. 44).

(c) 'Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him unto the Gentiles: and they shall mock him, and shall spit upon him, and shall scourge him, and shall kill him; and after three days he shall rise again' (cf. Mt. xx. 18f.; Lk. xviii. 31-3).

Matthew and Luke reproduce these passages with very considerable fidelity. The changes are of minor importance, but are of much interest in connexion with the question of the genuineness of Mark's version. The alterations, made it should be remembered some fifteen or twenty years after Mark was written, may be summarized as follows:


The later Evangelists change 'after three days' into 'the third day' (Lk. omits the phrase in (b)). In (a) after 'must' Matthew inserts 'go unto Jerusalem', and omits 'rejected'; Luke turns the passage into direct speech. In (b) Matthew omits 'when he is killed'; Luke merely gives the first part of the saying, and omits the references to killing and rising again. In (c) Matthew deletes the phrase about spitting, and instead of 'kill' has 'crucify'; Luke summarizes the first part of the passage in the words: 'Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written by the prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man,' and after 'mocked' adds 'and shamefully entreated'.

In the light of the use which Matthew and Luke have made of their source, the opinion that the Markan sayings are prophecies 'after the event' and products of early Christian reflection,11   Cf. Ed. Meyer, Ursprung und Anfange des Christentums, i. 117f.; W. Bousset, op. cit., 16; K. L. Schmidt, Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jesu, 218; M. Dibelius: 'What Mark reproduced therefore in these words is in brief the preaching of the Church about the Son of Man,' From Tradition to Gospel, 226; B. H. Branscomb, The Gospel of Mark, 157. ought to be received with some degree of scepticism. After half a generation of further Christian experience, the sayings reappear in the later Gospels with less important alterations than might be expected. Most of the changes are omissions; there are few expansions; and the only alterations which are due to a knowledge of the Passion Story are the substitution of the phrase 'the third day' for 'after three days', the use by Matthew of the word 'crucify', and the reference by Luke to 'the prophets' and his employment of the words 'and shamefully entreated'. These changes are secondary modifications, introduced perhaps unconsciously because of a knowledge of what had happened. There does not seem to be adequate reason to suspect more in the case of the Markan sayings. Some modifications may well have been made in the course of transmission, but they are not 99 likely to have been such as to transform radically the meaning of the original announcement.

A very interesting attempt has recently been made by Rudolf Otto to trace the history of these sayings.11   Reich Gottes und Menschensohn, 311-4. Otto finds the simplest and most original anticipations of suffering and death in such sayings as Lk. xii. 50: 'I have a baptism to be baptised with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!'; Mk. ix. 12: 'How is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?'; and Lk. xvii. 25: 'But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation.' To this type belong the opening words of Mk. ix. 31: 'The Son of man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they shall kill him.' Here, observes Otto, nothing is said of being delivered into the hands of the Romans, nothing about details, nothing of crucifixion. Jesus, indeed, is probably thinking of stoning at the hands of a mob rather than crucifixion; and this may be suggested by His reference to Jerusalem which 'stoneth them that are sent to her' (Mt. xxiii. 37), and by His comparison, at the Supper, of His body with broken bread (Mk, xiv, 22), The doctrinal ideas of the community (Gemeindedogmatik) appear in the latter part of Mk. ix, 31, in the words: 'and when he is killed, after three days he shall rise again.' There is a further addition in Mk. viii. 31 in the reference to 'the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes', and still more supplements in Mk. x. 33f., in the allusions to condemnation, delivering over to the Gentiles, mocking, spitting, scourging, and execution. Finally, the most complete form appears in Mt. xx. 19 where the word 'crucify' is expressly employed. While tracing this development, Otto argues that it points to the genuineness of the original forms (Lk. xii. 50, xvii, 25; Mk. ix. 12b, 31a), 100 since no one would have invented these at a later time Jesus, therefore, actually foresaw His suffering; He possessed the charism of prophecy and exercised it in relatior to Himself.11   Op. cit., 313f. Otto has already observed that it is a mark of the Charismatiker to prophesy his fate, and compares the case of Paul (cf. Acts xx. 22ff.), op. cit., 310.

There is undoubtedly much that is attractive in this critical reconstruction. Otto is not afraid of making concessions and can press them into the service of apologetics. He has a shorter line to defend and the citadel appears tc be impregnable. Nevertheless, it should be considered whether the advantages are not purchased too dearly, whether the concessions are not made at the expense of history in the interests of a theoretical scheme. Is it necessary, for example, to dismiss the references to 'rising again'? By so doing, one escapes the severest strictures to which the sayings are exposed, for it has frequently been claimed that, since the disciples were completely overwhelmed by the events of the Passion and did not expect the Resurrection, these phrases cannot be authentic.22   C K. L. Schmidt, Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jeus, 218. This argument cannot be said to be conclusive, if we have regard to the ideas of the disciples regarding Messiahship and remember how effectively attention to plain statements is limited by strong preconceptions. Moreover, if, as Otto powerfully contends,33   Op. cit., 203-20. Jesus was deeply influenced in His prophecies of suffering by Isa. liii., it is improbable that He would content Himself with dark allusions to suffering, and nothing more. Isa. liii. 12 definitely speaks of the triumph and exaltation of the Servant who 'poured out his soul unto death'. He is to 'see of the travail of his soul' (liii. 11) and to 'divide the spoil with the 101 strong' (liii 12). It is reasonable, therefore, to believe that Jesus spoke, not only of His suffering and death, but also of His vindication and of His victory over death. Further, the phrase 'after three days', found in all the Markan passages, is worthy of note. Although C. H. Turner11   St. Mark, 40f. Turner refers to Gen. xlii. 17f. and 2 Chron. x. 5, 12. has shown that in the Septuagint 'after three days' can be the equivalent of 'the third day', the fact that both Matthew and Luke independently alter their common source, suggests their uneasiness with the Markan expression and strengthens the possibility that, as used by Jesus, 'after three days' means a short undefined interval like the phrase 'on the third day' in Hos. vi. 2.22   Cf. also Lk. xiii. 32, and see the discussion on p. 168. In this case the language is distinctive and is not likely to be a later addition.

The other points raised by Otto are opinions less open to close discussion. The suggestion that Jesus anticipated stoning is an interesting speculation, but one can hardly say more. There is no good reason why Jesus should not have referred to 'the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes' (viii. 31), and the details mentioned in x. 33f. cannot be thought impossible in the mind of one who faced the certainty of suffering and rejection with any degree of imagination. At the same time the close agreement of the series condemnation, surrender to the Gentiles, mocking, spitting, scourging, killing, and resurrection with the events narrated in Mk. xiv. 53 -- xvi. 8, leaves room for hesitation, and it is in this saying, and still more in Mt. xx. 19 where crucifixion is mentioned, that there is most reason to infer the presence of modifications. As regards the sayings as a whole the opinion expressed at the beginning of this discussion seems well justified. In substance the sayings are not 102 vaticinia ex eventu, and such modifications as may have been made are not serious or important. 11   The opinion that the three Markan passages are variant forms of the same saying would, if true, strengthen its attestation, but this opinion (cf. A. T. Cadoux, The Sources of the Second Gospel, 25f.) has little in its favour and has difficulties of its own. Cf. Rawlinson, 143; Wood, 694.

The great importance of the sayings is beyond question.22   For an interesting and detailed account of the discussion which has arisen on the question, why Jesus went to Jerusalem, see Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, i. 190-3. The word 'must' (Greek, dei) indicates that Jesus saw His suffering, death, and rising again as inward and divinely conditioned necessities. In Mk. ii. 19f. He contemplates the possibility of the 'taking away' of the Bridegroom; here He implies that this is no mere stroke of fate, but is an essential part of His mission. This conviction is announced as a new disclosure, but not as something of which Jesus thought for the first time after Peter's Confession. What is disclosed is a new interpretation of the mission and destiny of the Son of Man. Instead of the ideas of rule and dominion present in Dan. vii. 14, a role of rejection and suffering is assigned to him, and, although a time of conflict is described in Dan. vii. 21, 25, it is from Isa. liii. that the darker colours in the portraiture are derived. No reference, however, is made to any Old Testament passage, and this implies that before Caesarea Philippi Jesus had fused together diverse elements into the composite picture of the Suffering Son of Man in whose form He saw Himself. But this perception means that, besides facing the possibilities of rejection and death, Jesus had reached a solution. He did not see His death as a catastrophe, but as an essential part of His Messianic achievement. He had to suffer and to rise again; such was the Divine purpose He had made His own. Why rejection and death were necessary, and what purpose 103 they would fulfil, the sayings do not explain; but it is certain that Jesus must have found in His sufferings profound ethical and spiritual meaning. Other sayings may throw light upon that meaning, but it is probable that its secret lies in the sense in which He interpreted His mission, and the relationship in which He believed Himself to stand both to God and to men.


'And how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?'

Luke does not make use of Mk. ix. 9-13; but cf. Lk. xvii. 25: 'But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation'. Matthew alters the position of the saying and records it after the two references to Elijah in the form: 'Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.'

Like the sayings already examined, this passage speaks of the suffering of the Son of Man, but it differs from Mk. viii. 31, ix. 31, x. 33f. in that there is an explicit reference to Scripture, but no direct mention of death and resurrection. The critical questions which arise can be adequately treated only when the passage is studied in relation to its context. Only then can it be decided whether the words are a query of Jesus, a question of the disciples or of others, a statement of the Evangelist, or a community-saying. As they stand in Mk., the words are spoken by Jesus during the descent from the Mount of Transfiguration. Mark says that as they came down Jesus charged His disciples that they should tell no one of what they had seen 'save when the Son of man should have risen again from the dead'. He records that they kept the saying, 'questioning among themselves 104 what the rising from the dead should mean/ and then continues:

11 . 'And they asked him, saying. How is it that the scribes say

12.a. that Elijah must first come? (R.V mg.). And he said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things:

12.b. and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer

13 . many things and be set at nought? But I say unto you, that Elijah is come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, even as it is written of him.'[/poem]

The difficulties raised by 12b are manifest: it does not appear to be related to the disciples' question; it separates the references to Elijah; and as a question put by Jesus it reads strangely. It is not surprising, therefore, that various transpositions have been suggested, and that in these reconstructions the complex 12a+13 is a common feature. An attractive view, supported by Bousset,11   Kyrios Christos, 6 in 2; cf. Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, i. 208. Bultmann,22   Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 131f. Klostermann,33   Das Markusevangelium, 98, 101. and Sundwall,44   Die Zusammensetzung des Markusevangetiums, 57. is that originally, in whole or in part, 11-3 followed ix. 1, and that the connexion has been broken by Mark's insertion of the story of the Transfiguration (ix. 2-10). Bousset 55   Op. cit., 7. solves the difficulties of 12b by cancelling it as a redactional addition,66   Bultmann explains the entire complex (ix. 1. 11-3) as a community-product: 'Its origin out of the theological debates of the community should be clear,' op. cit., 131. The question of genuineness is discussed later. but Sundwall transposes it with 12a, and in this way obtains the following rearrangement: 1, 11, 12b, 12a, 13. This suggestion furnishes little help. Two references to Elijah are brought together, but the 105 difficulties of 12b are increased, since now the question is that of the bystanders, whereas, according to Mk. viii. 31, ix. 31, x. 33f., the teaching is given to the disciples alone.11   For Sundwall the question is only one of community-tradition. A better reconstruction is the transposition suggested by C. H. Turner,22   The Study of the New Testament, 61. that 12b should follow 10. In this case, 12b is a statement of the Evangelist describing the disciples' perplexity; it assumes a question pondered, and perhaps asked, by them. This rearrangement has been received with much favour, and is perhaps the best of those which have been suggested.33   K. L. Schmidt thinks that the question in 11 may have been asked by any one, or by the scribes and Pharisees. Cf. Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jesu, 226f. He takes Mk. ix. 11-3 as a self-contained unit.

It may be doubted, however, if any transposition is likely to prove satisfactory; each solves some difficulties only to create others. The combination of 12a and 13, which is the common element in the various proposals, fatally obscures the remark about Elijah in 13: 'they have also done unto him whatsoever they listed, even as it is written of him,' which is prompted by the reference to the suffering of the Son of Man. Swete, therefore, is justified when he says that 'it is unnecessary to suppose that the order of Mark has here been disturbed, the true sequence being 11, 12b, 12a'.44   St. Mark, 194. If this is so, a fresh effort should be made to see if the existing order does not supply the best meaning.

The problem is the appearance of the question, 'How is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?' when the disciples have asked, 'How is it that the scribes say that Elijah must first come?' (Mk. ix, 11   For Sundwall the question is only one of community-tradition. 1). Jesus concedes this scribal 106 interpretation, which is based on Mal. iv. 5f.,11   'Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.' Cf. Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, i. 597, 729, 753-8. but He does not believe that this is the only occurrence, still less the principal event, preceding the Parousia. For Him, therefore, a bare agreement is not possible, and this is indicated in the form of His reply: 'Elijah, it is true (Greek, men), cometh first, and restoreth all things' (12a).22   Cf. Swete, 193. The situation is one in which He found Himself not infrequently (cf. xii 14f., 19-23, xiv. 61f.), and, as elsewhere, He meets it by asking a counter-question: 'And how is it written of the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?' (12b). For Him this is the decisive issue on which the coming of the Kingdom waits.

It is not, of course, written anywhere that the Son of Man should suffer. The question presupposes the teaching given to the disciples in Mk. viii. 31, and implies the identification in the mind of Jesus of the Son of Man and the Suffering Servant of Isa. liii. The suggestion that before the Parousia, not only must Elijah first come, but also the Son of Man must suffer, is made allusively; it is the protest of a teacher whose lesson has not been learnt. The question asked by the disciples is not ignored. It is answered again (ix. 13); but in such a manner that the idea of suffering is thrust into the foreground. 'Elijah has actually come; but consider how he fared! They have also done unto him whatsoever they would, even as it is written of him.' Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist,33   Cf. also Mt. xi. 14: 'And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, which is to come.' as Matthew records (xvii. 13), and the reference to 107 Scripture is to passages like 1 Kings xix. 2,11   C Swete, 194. John 'had found his Jezebel in Herodias'. 10, and possibly to the traditions lying behind Apoc. xi. 3-13;22   Cf. Charles, i. 280-92. but the unspoken suggestion is that what is true of John (= Elijah) is true also of the Son of Man. Matthew states this in so many words: 'Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them' (xvii. 12). In writing thus, Matthew is recasting his source, but he correctly expresses what Jesus meant.

The kind of exegesis present in Mk. ix. 12f. is not that of a scientific modern commentator. It is possibly this fact which predisposes many critics to recast the section. A relative amount of consistency is thereby imparted to it, but at the cost of those marks of originality which are to be found where Jesus uses the Old Testament. Jesus is not a modern interpreter and cannot, without violence to His words, be made modern. His methods are His own. In His treatment of the Elijah-tradition, He follows precisely the method pursued in His treatment of the problem of the Messianic sufferings of the Son of Man. Just as He identifies the Son of Man and the Servant, so here He identifies John and Elijah; and as He ascribes the suffering of the Servant to the Son of Man, so He applies what is said of Elijah to the case of John. The difference is that Isa. liii. 12 speaks of the death of the Servant whereas the Old Testament does not mention the martyrdom of Elijah. This difference, however, is not ignored by Jesus; He restricts the parallelism in Mk, ix. 12b to the thought of suffering: 'How is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?33   It is therefore beside the point when Montefiore asks: 'Where is the martyrdom of Elijah redivivus predicted in Scriptures?', op. cit. i. 209.

Those commentators are right who see in this saying a 108 genuine utterance of Jesus.11   Cf. Goguel, Jean-Baptiste, 59; Otto, Reich Gottes und Mensckensohn, 209, 311. Otto remarks: 'It is appropriate only in His own mouth, not in the mouth of a later community' op. cit., 209. If we have correctly interpreted the meaning of the words, it is needless to consider the suggestion that Mk. ix. 12b is a 'community-saying'. That a community could so exactly reproduce the manner of using the Old Testament characteristic of Jesus, and could create the atmosphere which surrounds His mode of interpretation, is not credible. R. H. Lightfoot's suggestion that in Mk. ix. 11-3 'we may perhaps see the church striving to construct some kind of a philosophy of history, in the light of its convictions about the person and office of its Master, and of his work and its results',22   History and Interpretation in the Gospels, 92. is not convincing. Churches do not construct philosophies of history, although individuals under their influence may do so; but, in this case, the result normally has a smoother form, and lacks the note of reality characteristic of this passage. F. C. Burkitt shows a truer appreciation of its nature when he says: 'The passage Mark ix. 9-13, so abrupt, so unliterary, so obscure in detail, however clear may be the general meaning, reads to me like reminiscences of a real conversation.'33   Christian Beginnings, 33f.

The saying is of the greatest importance. It confirms the view that Jesus believed He must suffer as the Son of Man, and that He had taught this truth to His disciples. Further, it is not open, as other passages are often said to be, to the charge that its words reflect a knowledge of subsequent events. A bare reference to suffering and being set at nought is a disappointing vaticinium post eventum! In one important respect the saying goes farther than the other passages. In these there is no express reference to 109 Scripture: here it is definitely said that suffering 'is written of the Son of man'. Moreover, the reference to Scripture appears naturally; it is occasioned by the question concerning Elijah. Isa. liii. is not mentioned, but it is hypercriticism to doubt that this Scripture is in mind. Thus, a probable reference in Mk. viii, 31, ix. 31, x. 33f., is confirmed in Mk. ix. 12b. Finally, by reason of its association with the question concerning Elijah, the saying shows that Jesus thought of His Messianic suffering in relation to the coming of the Kingdom. He had faced the problem created by the expectation of the return of Elijah before the Parousia, and had solved it by identifying Elijah with John; but He had also faced a problem not contemplated in the thought of the time the necessity of the suffering of the Son of Man before the perfecting of Rule of God. This problem He had solved in the certainty of His own suffering and rejection.

(4) THE SAYING ON THE CUP AND THE BAPTISM (Mk. x. 38; cf. Mt. xx. 22).

'Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?'

Matthew has 'the cup that I am about to drink', and omits the reference to the baptism (xx. 22). Luke does not make use of Mk. x. 35-41, but see the similar saying in Lk. xii. 50: 'But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!' See pp. 165ff.

The figure of the cup of suffering is common in Old Testament usage (cf. Psa. lxxv. 8; Isa. li. 17ff.; Jer. xlix. 12; Lam. iv. 21; Ezek. xxiii. 31ff.). The symbolism of baptism is not used in this sense, but the idea of water as a symbol of calamity appears in such passages as Psa. xlii. 7 ('All thy waves... are gone over me'), lxix. 2 ('I am come into deep waters'), 15 ('Let not the waterflood 110 overwhelm me'), Isa. xliii. 2 ('When thou passest through the waters...').11   Cf. also Psa. xviii. 16, cxxiv, 4f. Moreover, there is good reason to think that in popular Greek baptidzessai was used metaphorically in the sense of being 'flooded' or overwhelmed with calamities.22   Moulton and Milligan cite a use of the verb in this sense in a papyrus document c.153 B.C., and say: 'That the word was already in use in this metaphorical sense (cf. Diod., i. 73. 6), even among uneducated people, strikingly illustrates our Lord's speaking of His Passion as a "baptism",' The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, 102. It is, therefore, unnecessary to think of the reference of baptism as the addition of any early transcriber33   Cf. B. W. Bacon, The Beginnings of Gospel Story, 148. in a Hellenistic environment.44   Cf. A. Oepke, Kittel's Theologisches Worterbuch zum N.T., 536. Matthew's omission of the clause is probably no more than an example of abbreviation, and Lk. xii. 50 furnishes independent testimony to the use of this imagery by Jesus.

The saying in the following verse, Mk. x. 39, 'The cup that I drink ye shall drink; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized' is involved in the controversy regarding the 'alleged Papias tradition', that James and John suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Jews; and in consequence its genuineness is often questioned. It is impossible to discuss this problem here. I have treated it elsewhere, and can only repeat the conviction that the tradition 'ought unhesitatingly to be dismissed', 55   Cf. The Gospels: A Short Introduction, 117. and with it the suspicions against Mk. x. 39. In any case, the problem does not affect Mk. x. 38, unless it is held to involve the entire narrative. There can be no reasonable doubt that Jesus did speak of a cup which He must drink and a baptism that He had to endure, and that, in particular, He was thinking of His Passion when He used these metaphors. It is wrong, however, to limit the 111 reference in the saying to the thought of death. In a true sense Jesus is already drinking the cup; it includes the whole of His Messianic sufferings of which death is the climax.

An additional suggestion calls for notice. Jesus asks James and John if they are able to drink the cup and to endure the baptism; and, if x. 39 is accepted, He promises that they shall do so. The implication is that there is a sense in which His disciples can share in His Messianic sufferings. Martyrdom may be contemplated, but it is improbable that this is the only, or even the chief thought in the mind of Jesus. Participation of a more spiritual kind is suggested. The suggestion is that the destiny of James and John has a parallel in His own experience. We cannot suppose, however, that Jesus interpreted His own Cup and Baptism only in terms of martyrdom; such an inference would be altogether too narrow an explanation of His thought. But, if this be so, it is also too narrow an explanation of the promise to James and John. Whatever the suffering and death of Jesus may be found to mean, some part in that experience is intended for them. The nature of the sharing is not disclosed in the enigmatic words, but its reality is clear. If the same conclusion is suggested by other sayings, it is a matter of first importance for our understanding of the manner in which Jesus viewed His suffering and death.

(5) THE 'RANSOM' PASSAGE (Mk. x. 45; cf. Mt. xx. 28).

'For verily the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.'

Matthew reproduces the saying with a small stylistic alteration ('Even as the Son of man...'). Luke omits it probably because he regards xxii. 24-7 (True Greatness) as an equivalent.


If the genuineness of the passages already examined had often been contested, this is still more true of the present saying. 11   See the summary of critical opinion in Rashdall's The Idea of Atonement, 49-56. Its treatment has suffered gravely from the effects of doctrinal bias at the hands of both conservative and radical scholars. For this reason it is necessary to examine its meaning with great care and, as far as possible, apart from the theological implications which appear to be involved.

One of the most notable discussions in modern times is that of H. Rashdall in The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology.22   Pp. 29-37, 49-56. His view is that the words about a ransom are a 'doctrinally coloured insertion' and were probably 'never uttered by our Lord'. He argues that the passage is wanting in Q, is irrelevant to its context, and is paralleled by other examples of later ecclesiastical and dogmatic language in Mark. He does not deny, however, that the words 'possibly represent a genuine saying', and therefore inquires what the original meaning may have been. He thinks that there is something to be said for taking the words quite literally: 'in some way this death of His would save their lives at least for the present.' Such a meaning, he says, would suit the context well. Rashdall, however, is not satisfied with this explanation. He admits that, if they are genuine, the words are an echo of Isa. liii. The thought is that the death would accomplish 'some kind of spiritual service' which would have 'a liberating, releasing effect'. Again, the idea may be that the death would benefit others 'just as the sufferings of other righteous men had done and might yet do', perhaps as F. C. Burkitt suggested, 'by causing the Lord of the Vineyard to hasten the judgement'; or, less definitely, that the death would procure benefits for many 'just as the prayers 113 and intercessions of the righteous might do'. The only doctrine of the Atonement, he says, which can trace itself back to Jesus Himself is 'the simple doctrine that His death, like His life, was a piece of service or self-sacrifice for His followers, such as they themselves might very well make for one another'.

It must be allowed, I think, that this exposition yields little satisfaction to any one who takes the passage seriously; it is an example of grasping at straws, at anything, in short, which renders the words as mild and inoffensive as possible. The assumption is that only a broad humanitarian interpretation, tinctured with a religious flavour, is historically conceivable. This assumption throws off all disguise in the assertion that the selfsacrifice of Jesus for His followers is 'such as they might very well make for one another'. There is nothing unique, or even distinctive, in the saying; it is a commonplace of religious experience! In sum, Rashdall's interpretation is that, either the words are not genuine, or else represent a passing reflection;11   Op. cit., 37. and it is to his credit that he preferred the former alternative. His views have been examined because The Idea of Atonement is one of the best known discussions of modern times. That, in his foundation chapter, he should have accorded such cavalier treatment to Mk. x. 45 is strange, and only stranger is the fact that his exposition has been so rarely challenged.

Whatever may be thought of Rashdall's interpretation, it has the merit of subjecting the Ransom-passage to detailed discussion. More commonly it is rejected, as a dogmatic insertion, almost without argument. The only scientific approach is to investigate the saying without prejudice to the question of genuineness.

There can be little doubt that the ideas which lie behind 114 the saying are those of Isa. liii.11   Cf. Swete, 240f.; Rawlinson, I46f.; R. Otto, Reich Gottes und Menschensohn, 207-19. With reference to Mk. x. 45, Otto says: 'Wieder haben wir hier die deutliche Synthese zwischen Menschensohn und jesaianischem Gottesknecht', *op. cit., 210. This is implied in the declaration that 'the Son of man came ... to serve'; it is the same synthesis of ideas which appears in Mk. viii. 31 and parallel passages. Further the words 'for many' (in Greek, anti pollon) are suggested by Isa. liii. 11f. where the word 'many' is found no less than three times:

11 . 'By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many,

12a . 'Therefore will I divide him a portion among many',22   The R.V., in view of the parallelism (cf. the reference to 'the strong* in the next line), translates: 'the great'; but the same word is used in all three cases in the Hebrew and the LXX.

12c . 'Yet he bare the sin of many'.

The phrase 'to give himself' and the use of the metaphor of a ransom are also probably suggested by the description of the Suffering Servant. They describe a fate like that which in the poem is characterized as that of being 'taken away' and 'cut off out of the land of the living' (cf. Isa. liii. 8); and they interpret a service which entails bearing the griefs of others, carrying their sorrows, receiving the stroke of God and the chastisement by which peace is won (cf. Isa. liii. 4f.). The service is costly; it demands a ministry which the many cannot render for themselves; and its effect is their deliverance. As such, it is well described as one which provides 'a ransom for many'. The actual word 'ransom' is not found in Isa. liii., but it may have been taken from Psa. xlix. 7f. by one who had brooded on the nature of the Servant's task.33   Cf. also Job xxxiii. 23f. The Psalmist had said:

'None of them can by any means redeem his brother,

Nor give to God a ransom (kopher) for him:

For the redemption of their soul is costly.

And must be let alone for ever.'


Jesus may well have reflected that this was to be the Servant's achievement, and that He, as the Suffering Son of Man, had come to effect the deliverance.

In seeking to understand the meaning of the saying it is necessary to examine its terminology, even if the problem cannot be settled in this way alone. The word rendered 'ransom' is (in Greel, lutron) which, as Deissmann has shown, was used in the Greek world of the first century of 'the purchase-money for manumitting slaves'; it was also used of 'sacral manumission', a process whereby, in regaining his freedom, the slave became the property or protege of some particular god. 11   Lightfrom the Ancient East, Revised ed., 327f. Kopher, its commonest Hebrew equivalent, is also used of a 'payment' or 'requital'. Otto thinks that sacrificial ideas lie behind the word;22   Reick Gottes und Menschensohn, 214-20. and, although in the Old Testament it is not used in connexion with the sacrifices, except perhaps in Ex. xxx. 12, its derivation, like that of *kaphar, 'to cover' or 'to wipe away', supports this view. In any case, both the Greek and the Hebrew words describe something which is counted as an equivalent for purposes of deliverance or redemption. There is thus a definitely substitutionary idea in the terminology, although, of course, not one that is necessarily mechanical, or which demands a theory of vicarious punishment.

The meaning of lutron determines that of anti in the phrase anti pollon ('for many'). This use of the rarer preposition, instead of what Moulton calls 'the more colourless huper',33   Grammar of the New Testament, i. 105. can hardly be accidental, and its commonest meaning 'instead of, rather than 'on behalf of', is probably required in this passage.44   Cf. F. Buchsel in Kittel's Theologisches Worterbuch, i. 373. The 'ransom' is 116 provided 'instead of' or 'in the place of' the 'many'. The word 'many', it need scarcely be said, does not exclude the meaning 'all', but is naturally used, as in Isa. liii. 11f., in contrast to the One who lays down His life for men.

It is wrong to conclude from this linguistic study that the saying must be interpreted in a crudely substitutionary sense. Undoubtedly, it contains a substitutionary idea, since something is done for the many which they cannot do for themselves. But the word 'ransom' is used as a metaphor, and ought not to be treated as if it were a fixed scientific term. Even if the language is metaphorical, it must not be explained away, as indicating some vague kind of spiritual service. After all, a metaphor is used in order to say something forcibly. At the least the saying means that, by the willing surrender of His life, Jesus, as the Son of Man, comes to provide a means of deliverance for men. It is difficult, however, to escape the conviction that Jesus regarded His death as in some way an act of requital. The activity is not on this account mechanical and external. Our knowledge of Jesus and of His teaching is enough to show that He can never have contemplated an act which should be operative of itself. If the thought is sacrificial, the offering of Jesus is to be appropriated actively by the spiritual participation which is an essential element in a true sacrifice. It should be frankly recognized, however, that, whether we find a sacrificial meaning in the saying depends ultimately upon other sayings of His, especially those connected with the Supper; it is also determined by our view of the relation of Jesus to the sacrificial principle.

The difficulty of the saying is that it stands apart among the recorded words of Jesus. It ought not to be dismissed on that account. Rather the question should be asked 117 whether it is not organically related to His conceptions of God, of sacrifice, and of the nature of His Messianic task. It is in favour of the saying that its fundamental ideas are those of Isa. liii. Further, in spite of opinions to the contrary, it moves naturally to its climax. A new idea is certainly introduced at the end in the thought of a 'ransom' given by the Son of Man; but it cannot be described as irrelevant in a context which speaks of service, or impossible as a word of Jesus. Again, the idea that no act of requital is due to a Holy God, or is needed by men, is a modern notion which it would be a libel to attribute to the ancient world; and to say that Jesus cannot have spoken of His death in this way is to modernize His figure and His thought. Jesus is a stranger to the thought-world of the twentieth century. Finally, the restraint of the saying is in its favour. It is the duty of a dogmatic addition to be reasonably explicit; but, as we have seen, the saying leaves many important points open, and in no way characterizes the need or condition of the 'many'. As a 'community-product', the saying is much too discreet; as an utterance of Jesus, it has just that air of mystery, and the note of provocativeness, constantly found in His words. For these reasons it is better to conclude that Jesus has furnished a theme for later Pauline developments rather than that Mark has introduced a Pauline sentiment into the words of Jesus. This is the opinion of Lagrange,11   Evangile selon Saint Marc, 5th ed., 283. and it is well based. The theologian has every reason to take the saying into serious consideration in his attempt to discover the secret of the Cross. 22   Dibelius includes Mk. x. 35-45 among his 'Paradigms of a less pure type'. Cf. From Tradition to Gospel, 43, 51. Bultmann also includes it among his 'Apophthegmata', but regards vv. 41-5 as a Markan supplement. Cf. Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 23. 118 (6) THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD (Mk. xii. 1-125 cf. Mt. xxi. 33-45; Lk. xx. 9-19).

6 . 'He had yet one, a beloved son: he sent him last unto them, saying,

7 . They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance

8 . shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard'.

Matthew and Luke reproduce these verses with but slight variations. Both alter the order in 8. Luke reads: 'And they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him' (xx. 15; cf. Mt. xxi. 39). Luke's version of 6 is: 'And the lord of the vineyard said. What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him' (xx. 13).

This parable is based on the allegory of the Vineyard in Isa. v. 1f.,11   My wellbeloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; and he made a trench about it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.' and has several peculiar features. It is an allegory rather than a parable; it includes a direct allusion to the death of Christ; and some of its details, the sending of the son when the servants have been beaten and killed, and the argument that if the son is killed the vineyard will be the property of the husbandmen, seem artificial. On these grounds objections have frequently been brought against its authenticity. Since Julicher wrote his Die Gleichnisreden Jesu (1899) it has frequently been held that Jesus did not use allegory, and that Mk. xii. 1-12 is a doctrinal construction of the Christian community. 22   Cf. Bultmann, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 191. This view is not convincing. While it is not the habit of Jesus to use allegory, we cannot be certain that He never did so. Moreover, the allegorical element in Mk. xii. 1-12 is partial; the lord of the vineyard is God, the husbandmen 119 are the Jewish leaders, the servants the prophets, and the heir Jesus; but there is no allegorical significance in the hedge, the pit, the winepress, and the tower, or in the departure to 'another country'. Further, Isa. v. 1f., the model on which Mk. xii. 1-12 is built, is allegorical and itself suggests the further use of allegory, while the use of this literary form is well adapted to the situation in which Jesus found Himself. Again, an early Christian writer would have been strongly tempted to bring the story into closer contact with the facts of history, by inserting a reference to the Resurrection,11   Cf. F. C. Burkitt, Transactions of the Third International Congress for the History of Religion, ii. 321-8. or by mentioning the death after the casting from the vineyard,22   So many commentators. See the Synoptic parallels. in view of the idea that Christ suffered 'without the gate' (cf. Heb. xiii. 12). Finally, the alleged inconsistencies are permissible in a story, and indicate that the allegory is incomplete. One of them, the improbability that the heir would have been sent after the beating and killing of the servants, illustrates a point Jesus desires to make, the divine reluctance to believe that human obduracy can resist the supreme appeal of love: 'they will reverence my son'. With the eye of an artist Luke perceives this suggestion when he writes: 'it may be they will reverence him.' The difficulties are real, but they are less than those of the theory of invention by the community; the design is new, but the workmanship bears its own signature.

No explanation of the purpose of the death of Jesus is given in the parable, but there are several implications of the greatest importance in forming an opinion upon this question: the position superior to the prophets which is quietly assumed by Jesus, the consciousness of a unique relationship of Sonship, the conviction that He has been 120 sent by God as a final envoy to Israel, the recognition that rejection and death await Him. There is present also the consciousness that the rejection involves the judgment of Israel, which is voiced less as a menace than as a sorrowful recognition of the inevitable course of history: 'What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard to others' (Mk. xii. 9). The restraint of these words is matched only by their poignant sadness.

(7) THE SAYING IN THE STORY OF THE ANOINTING (Mk. xiv. 8; cf. Mt. xxvi. 12).

'She hath anointed my body aforehand for the burying.'

Matthew recasts the form of the saying, but does not alter its meaning: 'For in that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial' (xxvi. 12). Luke does not record the Markan story in view of his similar narrative in vii. 36-50.

This saying, and still more the prophecy in the following verse, is widely interpreted as a subsequent expansion of the story of the Anointing. The addition, it is held, is part of the editorial process by means of which the isolated and self-contained story was fitted into the continuous Passion-narrative. This, for example, is the opinion of Dibelius who classifies the story as a Paradigm,11   Cf. From Tradition to Gospel, 43, 60, 178. and of Bultmann who includes it among the Biographical Apophthegmata.22   Cf. Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 37, 59, 283; see also Klostermann, Das Markusevangelium, 158ff. These scholars argue that the story reaches its climax in the words: 'Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor always with you, and whensoever ye will ye can do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath 121 done what she could' (xiv. 6-8a). Its purpose is to show that there are circumstances in which social duties must give place to the claims of religion.

Bultmann is unusually sympathetic to the historical value of the story as thus reconstructed. He denies that it is merely the symbolical clothing of the idea just mentioned,11   Op. cit., 37. and accepts the reference to Bethany (xiv. 3) as original.22   0p. cit., 69.

The opinion of these scholars, that in the oral period the story circulated as a self-contained narrative, must, I think, be accepted; for it is complete in itself, and it gives expression to a thought of practical importance in the life of the primitive communities. It is also possible, and even probable, that the prophecy that the woman's deed would be made known wherever 'the gospel' should be preached 'for a memorial of her' (xiv. 9) is an addition; for the words have a later ring, and, as it has frequently been observed, the woman's name is not mentioned. It is, however, a much less convincing suggestion that the story ended with the words: 'she hath done what she could.' In this case, the only points in the narrative which make it suitable for insertion in the Passion-narrative are the reference to Bethany and the words: 'me ye have not always.' But once the story is read apart from its context, and the reference to anointing for burial is cancelled, these words are less suggestive of death, although probably they imply it. 33   Klostermann observes that originally the words need not be a prophecy of death, op. cit., 158. But this is not probable. Cf. Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, i. 317f. A reason for including the story in the framework of the Passion-narrative is obviously more apparent if Jesus expressly said: 'she hath anointed my body aforehand for the burying.'


The motive for the alleged expansion of the original story is variously explained. It is not, of course, of a doctrinal character; the intention is either to sharpen the allusion to death, or to suggest that the anointing which the three women failed to accomplish at the tomb (xvi. 1) had been done in Bethany by anticipation.11   Cf. Montefiore, op. cit., i. 318. The latter suggestion seems unnecessarily subtle, and the former does not exclude the possibility that Jesus Himself sharpened the allusion to death. That Jesus spoke the words is the simplest and most convincing explanation. The manner in which the indignation of the guests is countered, and the woman's action is interpreted, has characteristics present in other stories about Jesus, as, for example, when He meets the question of the Pharisees by the request for a denarius (Mk. xii. 15), or suggests that John the Baptist is Elijah-redivivus (Mt. xi. 14). The objection of Montefiore, that nobody is astonished, is without foundation, for we do not know what effect it produced, and in any case Jesus often mystified His hearers.

For theology the saying under review has little importance, for it reveals nothing of the meaning which Jesus saw in His death, but for historical purposes the words are significant. They show how strongly the thought of death occupied His mind. Anointing is primarily a mark of courtesy,22   Cf. Strack-Billerbeck, op. cit., i. 427. and to anoint the head is in certain circumstances an act of kingly homage;33   Cf. 1 Sam. x. 1, xvi. 1, 13. but neither of these associations is uppermost in the thought of Jesus. While recognizing the woman's reverence, He relates her action to His death. Only a dominating interest can account for this reference. In this respect the saying is 123 important, and it bears on the question of the historical value of other sayings. If we are right in taking into account the interest of the primitive communities in Christ's death, we are no less bound to recognize its supreme significance for Jesus Himself. In the last days of His ministry it was the central point in His thinking and His words and actions were determined by it.

(8) THE PROPHECY OF THE BETRAYAL (Mk. xiv. 17-21).

17 . 'And when it was evening, he cometh with the twelve.

18 . And as they sat and were eating, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you shall betray me, even he that eateth with me.

19 . They began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one,

20 . Is it I? And he said unto them, It is one of the twelve, he

21 . that dippeth with me in the dish. For the Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had not been born.'

In recording the sayings Matthew follows his source closely. In 18 he omits the quotation: 'even he that eateth with me' (cf. Psa. xli. 9). In 20 he omits 'it is one of the twelve', and adds 'the same shall betray me'. After 21, which is repeated verbatim, he adds: 'And Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Is it I, Rabbi? He saith unto him, Thou has said' (Mt. xxvi. 20-5).

Luke's version in xxii. 21, 23, is probably independent.11   Cf. Behind the Third Gospel, 40f. In xxii. 22, which is based on Mk., he substitutes 'as it hath been determined' for 'even as it is written of him', and omits the words: 'good were it ... not been born.'

In the corresponding Johannine story (Jn. xiii. 21-30), Mk. xiv. 18 reappears in the form: 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me'. It is peculiar to this account that Jesus secretly indicates to the Beloved Disciple who the traitor is (xiii, 25f.). The suppositions of the disciples, when Judas goes out, are also mentioned (xiii. 28f.).


Apart from such variations as are merely stylistic or editorial, the parallels are instructive. If Lk. xxii. 21,23 is independent of Mk., it is an additional authority for the incident Jn. xiii. 21-30 may also reflect an independent tradition which has been developed by the art of the Fourth Evangelist. There is therefore good ground for believing the prophecy to be historical.

It will be seen that there is an increasing definiteness in the later narratives. In Mt. xxvi. 25 Judas asks: 'Is it I, Rabbi?' and Jesus replies: 'Thou hast said'; while in Jn. xiii. 25-9 the traitor is secretly indicated and, when he departs, the surmises of the disciples are given. These added details throw into relief the greater simplicity of the Markan story where Judas is neither named nor indicated. It is, however, a fair question whether even this narrative does not reflect a knowledge of subsequent events. This, I think, is apparent in Mk. xiv. 20. The words: 'It is one of the twelve,' may be the words of Mark, influenced by xiv. 17 ('with the twelve'). If this surmise is justified, the reply of Jesus to the question: 'Is it I?' was no more than a further allusion to Psa. xli. 9.11   'Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.' It is highly improbable that He can have remained blind to the defection of Judas, and the narrative has characteristic notes of reserve and appeal. The 'Woe' (Mk. xiv. 21) is not a curse22   Cf. Swete, 333; Raewlinson, 203. (cf. Mk. xiii. 17), but an expression of deep sadness and of warning. The objection that Judas would not have returned after his visit to the authorities33   Cf. Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, i. 324. is not convincing; it was essential to his plan that he should return and continue as before.44   Cf. Rawlinson, 202f. Further, there is no force in the 125 plea that no indication is given of how and when Judas made his exit from the Upper Room.11   Cf. B. W. Bacon, The Beginnings of Gospel Story, 202f. The Markan narrative is not a detailed report, and ought not to be treated as such. Moreover, as we have seen, in this narrative Jesus does not identify Judas as the traitor, but contents Himself with a veiled allusion, couched in the language of Scripture. All these considerations strengthen confidence in the story as a historical record.

The important saying in Mk. xiv. 21 occupies a natural place in such a context. The use of the term, 'Son of Man', and the belief of Jesus that His fate is the fulfilment of Divine purpose, are found in Mk. viii. 31, ix. 12b, 31, x. 33f., 45; and these points have been discussed in connexion with these passages. Mk. xiv. 21 resembles Mk. ix. 12b in that, while the Old Testament is referred to, no citation is made, or indeed is possible. It is perhaps a recognition of this which led Luke to modify his source in the phrase 'as it hath been determined' (xxii. 22). This is probably the sense in which Jesus used the words 'as it hath been written of him'. Behind this utterance lies His identification of the Son of Man with the Suffering Servant; it is so firmly established in His thought that He can say of the Son of Man what, so far as the text of Scripture is concerned, is true only of the Servant. Each successive example of this identification reveals how deep-rooted it is in the Markan tradition; it becomes more and more difficult to believe that, while it was an accepted idea in the earliest Christian communities, it was unknown to Jesus Himself.

The knowledge that He will be betrayed by one of the Twelve is an element in His Messianic sufferings. It is clear, however, that Jesus does not think of Judas as the 126 blind instrument of fate; in that case the atmosphere of the story would be different, and there would be no occasion for the warning which He gives. On the other hand, Jesus does not interpret His approaching death as simply the result of human action. He is to be betrayed, and men will do their worst, but it is still true that He is fulfilling a Divine purpose with which He has completely identified Himself. Herein is revealed the antinomy which appears whenever such a purpose is associated with human activity. Jesus does not discuss the antinomy; it is not His method to deal with philosophical questions. He neither renounces the idea of a Divine destiny to be fulfilled through suffering and death, nor ignores human responsibility for evil deeds, although later He prays, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do'.11   For a discussion of the textual problem of Lk. xxiii. 34 see Streeter, The Four Gospels, 89, 123, 138. He will go 'as it hath been written of him', but alas! for men like Judas! It is this tension which gives to the scene the 'solemnity and impressiveness' which Montefiore says 'cannot be denied'.22   Op. cit., i. 325. Surely, we must add that it is the tension of historical realism, not the product of later invention.

(9) THE SAYINGS AT THE LAST SUPPER (Mk. xiv. 22-55 cf. Mt. xxvi. 26-9; Lk. xxii. 14-20; 1 Cor. xi. 23-5).

Since our main interest is in the Markan sayings, the complicated historical problems connected with the Supper need be discussed only in so far as they affect questions of exegesis.

The date of the Supper is a problem of very great difficulty. The Synoptists appear to look on the Supper as 127 the Passover Meal,11   Cf. Mk. xiv. 12-6 and parallels. but the Fourth Evangelist implies that it was eaten before the Passover. 22   Cf. Jn. xviii. 28, xix. 14. Critics in general are rather evenly divided 33   A very full summary of critical opinion is given by J. Jeremias in Die Abendmahlsworte Jesu, 8-13. in their attempts to solve this riddle, but in Great Britain it is perhaps the majority view to-day that the Supper preceded the Passover. Among other arguments it is strongly maintained that this view is implied, not only in the Fourth Gospel, but also by statements in the Synoptic Gospels themselves such as Mk. xiv. 2 ('Not during the feast') and Lk. xxii. 15f.44   See pp. 180-3. and by such indications as the fact that the disciples bore arms (Mk. xiv. 47), and that Simon is described as 'coming from the country' (Mk. xv. 21). Not all these arguments are equally cogent, and recently they have been keenly contested by Dalman55   Jesus-Jeshua, 86-106. and by J. Jeremias66   Op. cit., 5-39. who identify the Supper with the Passover Meal. The whole question calls for renewed examination and must be regarded as still sub judice.

Those scholars who think that the Supper preceded the Passover try to identify the meal in various ways. G. H. Box77   The Journal of Theological Studies, iii. 357-69, x. 106f. and others have argued that it was the Sabbath-Kiddush, or the sanctification of the Sabbath when wine was blessed and bread was broken; W. O. E. Oesterley,88   The Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy, 156-93. G. H. C. Macgregor,99   Eucharistic Origins, 37ff. and others prefer to identify it with the Passover-Kiddush, or the ritual sanctification of the 128 Passover, Unfortunately, in neither of these cases was the meal in question eaten on a Thursday, and it is still necessary to assume that it was anticipated by a day.11   F. C. Burkitt pointed out that 'Kiddush immediately precedes the actual celebration of the day, e.g. kiddush for Sabbath is done on what we call Friday evening, not twenty-four hours earlier,' The Journal of Theological Studies, xvii. 294. At the same time these suggestions are valuable as showing that, in addition to the Passover Meal, there existed in contemporary Judaism quasi-religious meals which, in certain respects, are not unlike the Last Supper. The same may also perhaps be said of the theory of H. Lietzmann,22   Messe und Herrenmahl, 210. R. Otto,33   Reich Gottes und Menschensohn, 234-41. Otto ascribes a sacramental character to these meals. and others, who see in the Haburoth or groups of associates who assembled in order to celebrate religious meals, a type to which the Supper conforms.44   This suggestion, and Otto's views in particular, are strongly criticised by Jeremias, op, cit., 20. Otto, indeed, maintains that the Supper was not a new invention, but that, on the contrary, Jesus was repeating familiar table-rites to which He gave a special significance, in the circumstances in which He found Himself, by means of the words which He spoke over the bread and the wine.55   Op.cit., 241. It may well be that, if the Supper preceded the Passover, no precise identification is necessary, and that it was a hurried anticipation of the Passover Meal to which Jesus had looked forward so eagerly (cf. Lk. xxii. 15f.)

These questions are obviously of great interest and importance, but their significance can be exaggerated. Whether the Supper was the Passover Meal or not, Paschal ideas and associations must have occupied the mind of 129 Jesus on this occasion; and this is the important fact to remember in studying both the narratives and the sayings. A second question to which preliminary consideration must be given is whether the stories of the Supper are 'cult-narratives'. This question is partly a matter of terminology. If by 'cult-narratives' are meant stories freely invented to explain or justify an existing rule, none of the stories can justly be so described; they are too restrained in statement, too limited in detail, to be of this character. Moreover, such a usage leaves the cult itself unexplained. For its explanation it is necessary, either to postulate a tradition very much like that found in the existing narratives, or to have recourse to inferences suggested by the Mystery-religions, which break down when they are subjected to close examination. If, however, by a 'cultnarrative' is meant a story influenced by the practice of worship, it is probable that all the stories of the Supper are of this character. Nothing is more natural than that it should be so. Even in the Lukan story liturgical interests may lie behind the statement that Jesus received the cup and gave thanks (xxii. 17); they are more evident in the Markan narrative in the great detail of the story and the words: 'and they all drank of it' (Mk. xiv. 23); and most of all are they to be seen in the Matthaean account where the commands to eat and to drink are explicit (Mt. xxvi. 26). Naturally, the question arises whether such influences have corrupted the original tradition, and this point must be considered especially in connexion with 'the words of institution'. In general, I believe it is true to say that, while liturgical interests may have determined what is told or emphasized in the Gospel narratives, unhistorical elements have not been imposed upon the primitive tradition in any important degree.

The sayings in the Markan narrative are three in


number and relate to (a) the bread, (b) the wine, and (c) the future Messianic Feast. These sayings must now be examined.

(a) 'Take ye; this is my body' (Mk. xiv. 22).

Matthew has: 'Take eat' Paul adds: 'which is for you'. The interpolation in Lk. xxii. 19b has: 'which is given for you.'

The words: 'This is my body' can be understood only in the light of the statement that 'as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said' (xiv. 22).

The fraction of the loaf is symbolic and recalls the practice of the Old Testament prophets who sometimes in similar ways dramatized their words. Isaiah walks naked and barefoot (xx. 2), and gives to his son a significant name (viii. 3). Jeremiah is commanded to break a potter's bottle (xix. 10), and wears a yoke (xxviii. 10). Ezekiel takes a tile and uses it to depict a besieged city as 'a sign to the house of Israel' (iv. 3). In the New Testament Agabus binds his feet and hands with Paul's girdle, and declares that so the Jews will bind its owner at Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 11). The action of Jesus at the Supper is of the same character. The intention is to suggest that, as the loaf is broken, so His body will be broken in the near future. The words are interpretative and invest the fraction with dramatic significance.

This explanation, however, is only partial, and it may be that prophetic action provides a further parallel. It is now recognized that often the actions have more than a symbolic meaning; they are 'effective representations' for bringing about that which is depicted. The prophet believes that by wearing the yoke the Babylonian conquest is made inevitable, and when his rival breaks the yoke he 131 imagines that he is rendering it ineffective (cf. Jen xxvii., xxviii.). 'When Zedekiah equips himself with horns of iron (1 Kings xxii. 11), and thrusts with them like an angry bull, he is doing something that will help to achieve the thrusting of the Syrians which he predicts'.11   W. L. Wardle, History and Religion of Israel, 178. Cf. Otto, Reich Gottes und Menschensohn, 253ff. 'The spoken word in the thought of the Hebrews has a real power and energy which fulfils itself. . . . And if a mere word can bring about its own fulfilment, how much more certainly will an acted parable ensure the coming about of what it symbolizes!'22   Wardle, ibid.

Otto's recent treatment of the significance of the Supper is of great interest in this connexion.33   Op. cit., 255ff. He thinks that the action of Jesus is not only a prophecy of impending death, but is also an 'effective representation' for the purpose of imparting a share in that which is represented. This corresponds, he says, to the ancient view, that through the use of a representation one can carry over and appropriate the nature, the power, the influence, the individuality, the curse or the blessing, which belongs to a thing or an event, in consequence of the will of him who makes the representation. He admits that this idea can be the basis of magical manipulation, but holds that it can rise into the religious sphere when it is the foundation of the 'sacrament', and it can be 'completely spiritualized', as in the action of Christ; 'then it is the foundation of the significant, symbolic act'. Otto traces the presence of this conception in Israel, in the story of Isaiah whose lips are cleansed by the touch of a live coal from off the altar (Isa. vi. 6f.), and in the Old Testament belief that the altar itself represents the numen as 'effective' (cf. Mt. xxiii. 19). The action of Jesus at the Supper is in line with these ancient 132 ideas; 'it is the gift of a share (Anteilgabe) in the power of that which is represented, namely, the expiatory power of the broken Christ.'11   Op. cit., 257. This interpretation does not mean that there is any change in the substance of the bread; such ideas, Otto maintains, lie wholly distant from this gift and experience of sharing.22   Cf. Dalman: 'There is no suggestion of a mystic food for the soul in the words of the Institution, and the connexion with Judaism is perfectly clear. The latter offered the usage which our Lord Himself, when He ate with His disciples, always observed,' Jesus-Jeshua, 144. The thought is that of Psa. xvi. 4f., where the Psalmist speaks of Yahweh as 'the portion' of his 'cup,'33   Cf. Psa. xi. 6, where fire and brimstone and burning wind are spoken of as 'the portion' of the 'cup' of the wicked; also Psa. cxvi. 13: 'I will take the cup of salvation.'. and it is expressed in the ancient Hebrew custom of 'eating before God' (cf. Ex. xviii. 12). St. Paul, therefore, is not under Hellenistic influences when he speaks of the bread and of the cup as 'a communion of the body' and 'of the blood of Christ' (1 Cor. x. 16), or when he asks concerning 'Israel after the flesh': 'Have not they which eat the sacrifices communion with the altar?' (1 Cor. x. 18).44   They are in fellowship with the altar, and therefore with the unseen God, whose altar it is,' Robertson and Plummer, 215.

These extremely interesting suggestions take us beyond the question of the significance of the fraction, and emphasize the necessity of examining closely the words by which it is accompanied. In point of fact, in the Old Testament examples of symbolic action it is the prophet's word which determines the significance and force of what is represented. We turn, then, to the words: 'Take ye: this is my body.'

The word, 'this', undoubtedly refers to the bread, and not to Christ Himself.55   Cf. Lagrange, Evangile selon saint Marc, 378. The predicate, 'my body', does not mean Christ's flesh, still less the Church, but the body 133 which is surrendered to death for men. In a true sense the phrase describes Christ Himself; but this explanation may prove misleading unless it is understood as meaning Christ offering Himself in death.11   Dalman, gives as the Aramaic equivalent of [in Greek] touto estin to soma mou, the phrase den hu guphi. Cf. Jesus-Jeshua, 14.1. Otto renders this: Dies bin ich selber (op. cit., 250, 253). See also Rashdall, op. cit., 42. While, however, Dalman admits that guph can express the idea of 'self', he thinks that the early Christians did not take it with this meaning, especially in view of the similar reference to the blood, and he prefers the familiar rendering: 'This is my body'. At the same time he brings the words into the closest relation with the person of Jesus. To give the body for someone, he says, naturally means to die; in the Semitic idiom -- to give one's soul; it was 'because of the bread, in this case the yet unbroken loaf, our Lord spoke of the Body instead of the Soul.' Among other references he mentions the description of Jassa bar Halputa (Pirke Aboth, 42c) as one who 'gave his soul for circumcision,' and to Isa. liii. 12, 'where the Servant of God is promised a reward when he gives up his soul unto death'. Op. cit., 145f. The term, 'body', is used partly because the fraction easily suggests a body dissolved in death, and partly because it is a natural correlative to the term, 'blood', used in connexion with the wine. But there is probably a deeper reason. The use of the word is better explained if Jesus has sacrificial practice in mind. In reading His words it is difficult not to think of the sacred meal which normally was the final stage in the Old Testament sacrifices, when the worshipper participated in that which he offered or in that which was offered on his behalf. If these are the associations of the saying -- and our views upon this matter are inevitably coloured by our estimate of the attitude of Jesus to sacrifice -- we must infer that Jesus uses the term 'body' because He looks upon His Passion as an offering for men in which they are invited to share.

This interpretation, which is in line with that of Otto, raises the question of the copula which defines the relation between 'this' and 'my body'. It is not easy to find an 134 exact English equivalent for the Greek estin. In the Aramaic form of the saying there would be no copula, but, of course, one is implied, and the question is whether it is best rendered by 'is', or by some such word as 'represents', 'signifies', or 'means'.11   Cf. C. J. Cadoux, Christianity and Catholicism, 399; J. W. Hunkin, The Evangelical Doctrine of Holy Communion (ed. A. J. Macdonald), 14; C. A. Anderson Scott, Christianity according to St. Paul, 189; Foot-Notes to St. Paul, 115. Anderson Scott recalls Lietzmann's declaration that the rendering 'signifies' or 'represents' 'ought never to have been disputed'.

The translation 'is' suggests a relationship of identity which can, it is true, be interpreted spiritually, but is only too easily conceived materially. The saying is explained with reference to Christ's 'risen and ascended body',22   Cf. Darwell Stone, Art. 'Lord's Supper', Hastings Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, ii. 73. or, in refined forms of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, it is urged that Catholic Doctrine leaves 'substance' undefined,33   C W. E. Orchard, From Faith to Faith, 280. but in popular belief the materialistic interpretation becomes common. If such ideas are avoided, there is much to be said for the rendering: 'This is my body,' inasmuch as it indicates a vital relationship between the bread and the offering of Christ.

On the other hand, such renderings as 'represents', 'signifies', 'symbolizes', suggest an almost casual and external relationship between the bread and the body. Usually, they are defended by citing passages in which the copula indicates 'parabolic or symbolic parallelism', as, for example, Gen. xli. 26; Ezek. v. 5; Dan. vii. 17; Lk. viii. 11; Mt. xiii. 38, xvi. 18; Gal. iv. 24; 1 Cor. x. 4; Apoc. i. 20.44   Cf. Cadoux, op. cit., 399. These passages show that the copula can have the meanings mentioned, but it is doubtful if they give the guidance desired. After all, in interpreting the words: 135 'This is my body,' limited help is afforded by passages about cows, hair, beasts, seeds, fields, rocks, stars, candlesticks, and the mother of Ishmael. In the end the decision turns, not on the copula, but on the subject and the predicate in any particular case. If the bread is a symbol alone, we may well translate: 'This represents my body'; but if it is also a means whereby faith appropriates the blessings of Christ's Sacrifice, the least unsatisfactory rendering is: 'This means my body.'11   Cf. Mofiatt's translation: 'Take this, it means my body'. Since the fraction probably suggests more than a bare symbol, the choice lies between this rendering and the more ambiguous translation: 'This is my body' and for purposes of theology the former is the better.22   For the same reasons Mk. xiv. 24. should be read: 'This means my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many'. Cf. Moflatt: 'This means my covenant-blood which is shed for many'.

It is in harmony with the ideas suggested by the rest of the saying that Jesus says: 'Take ye.' The disciples are invited to receive the broken bread in the sense in which it is interpreted by His act and word. Eating is a physical action which on the spiritual side corresponds to the appropriation of life, although the distinction between the material and the spiritual is much clearer to us to-day than it was in the ancient world.33   And yet even we moderns believe in the dose relation of these two; for we hold that with the material elements of the bread and wine spiritual gifts are imparted to the faithful in the Holy Communion,' R. H. Charles, I.C.C., Revelation, i. 268. The fact that the disciples are directed to eat suggests strongly that the bread is more than an adventitious symbol. Otherwise, it would have been enough to say: 'This is my body'; there would have been no need for the words: 'Take ye,' and no occasion for the Matthaean amplification: 'Take, eat.'44   The Matthaean form merely brings out what is implied in Mk.


If we now have regard to the saying as a whole, it becomes clear that by His action and word Jesus intends the bread to be a means whereby the disciples may participate in the power of His surrendered life. There is no suggestion of any intention to transform the bread into a quasi-material or mystic 'food of the soul'. Materially, it is unchanged; spiritually, it becomes a means for the communication of life, because it is invested by Jesus with new meaning and power. The life is His own, offered for men and made available for them. As the gift is spiritual, so its appropriation is spiritual, although a broken loaf, among the commonest of material things, is the vehicle of the one and the medium for the other.

If we are right in interpreting the saying in this way, there is no justification for explaining it as a 'community-product' which owes its origin to Hellenistic circles in early Christianity.11   Cf. Bultmarm, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition, 285; Klostermann, Das Markusevangelium, 163; Loisy, Les Evangiles synoptiques, ii. 541; Dibelius, From Tradition to Gospel, 206. Dibelius speaks of the narrative as 'an aetiological tradition of the rite', op. cit., 206, but also says that 'we have every reason to regard one form or another of the story of the Last Supper as old and as a part of the earliest Passion story,' op. cit., 182. This question must obviously receive further consideration when the parallel saying: 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many,' comes under review, for it is mainly in relation to this saying that the influence of ideas connected with the Mystery-religions has been alleged. As regards the saying immediately in question several considerations favour its genuineness. The underlying ideas are fundamentally Jewish. The practice of symbolic action, the use of the imagery of bread, the idea of eating in connexion with a sacrificial offering, are all found in the Old Testament and were perfectly familiar to Jesus. Further, what is distinctive in the words bespeaks creative originality, for it 137 is brought within the orbit of a uniform conception which includes elements derived from the ideas of the Suffering Servant, the Messianic Hope, the Kingdom of God (cf. Mk xiv. 25), and the ancient usage of the sacred meal. The combination is that of an original thinker, not the product of a community.

The doctrinal significance of the saying is of supreme importance. It suggests that Jesus looked upon His suffering and death as a sacrificial offering of Himself for men. Any conception of His Passion as a martyrdom, or even as a revelation concerning God and sin, is shown to be hopelessly inadequate to His thought. But, more than this, the saying throws light upon the way in which He interpreted His self-offering. In bidding His disciples to receive the broken bread, which He had interpreted as His 'body', Jesus revealed that He did not look upon His sacrifice as a thing apart from men, to be accepted passively as one recognizes an external event. On the contrary, He thought of it as standing in the closest relation to human need, as an experience to be shared and appropriated; and, as a realist, He provided a rite whereby fellowship in His sufferings, and participation in the hallowing power of His sacrifice, might be assured.

(b) 'This is my blood of the covenant , which is shed for many (in Greek uper pollon)' (Mk. xiv. 24).

Matthew introduces the saying by the words: 'Drink ye all of it', inserts 'for', changes 'for many' to 'concerning (in Greek, peri) many', and adds, 'unto remission of sins' (xxvi. 28). Paul records the saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood' (1 Cor. xi. 25). This is repeated almost verbatim in the longer Lukan text, which adds: 'that which is poured out for you (in Greek, uper humon)' (xxii. 20).

The second Markan saying raises critical problems as well as questions of exegesis. In part, these problems 138 arise from the close similarity of the first half of Mk. xiv. 24 to 1 Cor. xi. 25; in part, they concern the Markan saying itself. The similarity is at once apparent when the two passages are closely compared, and the questions for investigation are whether either is a variant of the other, whether they are different sayings, or whether they are independent versions of a lost original. Bound up with these problems is the further question whether Jesus is likely to have invited His disciples to drink of the wine as the symbol of His out-poured blood.

In many theological discussions it is argued that, whatever the original words of institution may have been, the existing texts show that Jesus spoke of a covenant established in virtue of His blood; and the treatment proceeds from this point. This is a strong position, but it is taken at serious cost. Such a position may, or may not, be necessary, but in any case a critical investigation cannot begin at this stage, but must first consider the claims of the Markan saying itself.

Complicated as the problems already mentioned are, two preliminary inquiries must be undertaken. One of them concerns the text of Mk. xiv. 24, and the other its content, (1) Is the Markan saying a unity? (2) Is it intended by Mark as a 'word of institution', defining the sense in which the cup is to be received, just as the words, 'This is my body', interpret the taking of the bread?

The first question relates to the words: 'which is shed for many.' Are they a subsequent addition? The words have no parallel in 1 Cor. xi. 25, but they need not, on this ground, be explained as a gloss.11   See p. 80f. The longer text in Lk. ends with the phrase: 'even that which is poured out for you', but this reading may be based on Mk. See Lk. xxii. 20. On the contrary, it is this phrase which gives distinctiveness to the saying, since


it defines the statement, "This is my blood of the covenant.' The genuineness of these words has yet to be considered, but meantime it may be claimed that there is no sufficient reason to question the originality of the qualifying phrase. It plainly reflects the ideas of Isa. liii., 11   Cf. Dalman: 'The "many" to whom the blood of Jesus will be of service, point to the "many" who, in Isa. liii. 11f., are mentioned as those whom the suffering of the Servant of God will benefit. . . . If it were not for Isa. liii. 12, our Lord would scarcely have used this expression,' op. cit., 171. and, in the use of the word 'many*, is in agreement with Mk. x. 45; and the earlier discussion has shown how deeply the Servant-conception influenced the mind of Jesus. The principal objection on the part of many critics to the phrase is that it obviously bears a sacrificial meaning, but our study of the attitude of Jesus to sacrifice has revealed that this objection is without foundation. If the words are a later addition, the interpolator is an excellent exegete : it is better to conclude that they are an integral part of the saying.

The further Matthaean supplement, 'unto remission of sins', is probably an interpretative addition made by the Evangelist. This is suggested, not so much by the content of the phrase, as by the fact that it is Matthew's habit to expand his Markan source, and because in xxvi. 26-9 there is no sign that he is using any other source. The words do not imply that forgiveness is impossible apart from the death of Christ, but that the blood-shedding has the forgiveness of sins for its purpose. A truer criticism of the gloss is that it concentrates attention upon a single element, although an important one, in the purpose of Christ's self-offering, the establishment of real fellowship between God and man. 22   Otto remarks that in Christian teaching forgiveness of sins and expiation for sins are not the purpose, but the means to the eschatological goal, op. cit, 263, 273.


The second question, whether Mk. xiv. 24 is intended as a 'word of institution', may seem strange, but it is prompted by the Markan narrative itself. If it is answered in the negative the seriousness of the questions under discussion is diminished; if in the affirmative, the problems are present in their fullest intensity. It is necessary, therefore, to study Mk. xiv. 24 in relation to its context.

'And as they were eating, he took bread and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them. This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God,'

It will be seen that the position of the saying is one of much interest. In the corresponding passage concerning the bread the explanation accompanies the distribution, and in view of the significance of the broken loaf, this order is natural. The fragments are eaten as having a certain meaning; they symbolize the broken Body. If, in like manner, the wine represents the out-poured blood, it is not unreasonable to expect the same sequence; the wine, one might think, should be received for what it is. In fact, however, the sequence is inverted in the Markan narrative; the explanation follows the statement, 'they all drank of it.' The wine is drunk and then interpreted.

The strangeness of this arrangement is not a modern discovery. Matthew, the Churchman, and one of the first commentators on Mark, has observed it clearly. He recasts his source, turning the statement, 'they all drank of it,' into the command, 'Drink ye all of it,' and inserting 'for' into the explanatory words which follow (cf. xxvi. 27f.), It is obvious that, in Matthew's view, the 141 explanation should precede the reception. How then are we to account for Mark's arrangement?

Only two theories are possible. Either the arrangement is a mere structural incoherence in Mark's narrative, and, despite its setting, the saying is intended as a 'word of institution'; or it is due to the fact that Mark followed a tradition which did not connect the words about the wine with the giving of the cup. Several considerations favour the latter theory. A description of the cup, or its contents, is certainly natural before the words, 'and they all drank of it.' Mark, moreover, could have recorded his saying at this point, and he was prompted to do so by the manner in which he had introduced the explanation of the bread. He resisted, that is to say, the structural suggestiveness of his own narrative. Again, the words, 'And he said unto them,' which introduce the Markan saying, and the fact that the latter is followed by another saying on drinking 'the fruit of the vine', may indicate that Mark is using a short collection of Supper-sayings, topically arranged as in ii. 21f., iv. 21-5, ix. 41-50. This would be an added reason for thinking that he did not know the words, 'This is my blood,' as a 'word of institution'.

These arguments are far from being conclusive, and there are several considerations to be urged on the other side. In the first place, the arguments all deal with matters of structure, and they require a higher standard of coherence in the Markan narrative than it is reasonable to expect. Mark's style is rough and unpolished, and as a compiler he demonstrably lacks the skill of Matthew.11   Cf. Swete, xlvii. ff., Rawlinson, xxxi.ff. Again, it would be rash to assume that whenever Mark uses the phrase, 'And he said unto them,' he is drawing upon a sayings-collection, and the connexion between the 142 two Markan sayings is not necessarily artificial. Further, it is possible that his arrangement may be influenced by his eagerness to include the words, 'And they all drank of it,' as a polemical statement in view of existing diversities of practice.11   Harnack has contended that in certain Jewish-Christian circles water was used instead of wine. Cf. Texte und Untersuchungen, vii. 2, 115ff. See also Otto, op. cit., 237; Klostermann, Das Markusevangelium, 164. Finally, and most important of all, the form of the saying, 'This is my blood' strongly suggests that it is intended to be taken as a 'word of institution'. It is parallel in form to the words, 'This is my body,' which define the sense in which the bread is to be taken, and the presumption is that similarly the words, 'This is my blood,' define the meaning with which the wine is to be received.

These considerations justify us in concluding that the strangeness of the Markan narrative has no special significance, and that Mark intends the words, 'This is my blood' to express the meaning of the wine as received. In this case, in editing his source, Matthew has brought out its actual implications.

The conclusion just reached increases the urgency of the problems raised by the similarity of Mk. xiv. 24 and 1 Cor. xi. 25 and by the difficulty of the Markan saying as a command of Jesus. It is not possible to avoid these problems on the plea that Mk. xiv. 24 belongs to a discourse after the Supper, or is otherwise unconnected with the giving of the cup.

The verbal similarity between the two passages is obviously great. Each passage contains the words 'this', 'is', 'covenant', 'blood', and each, though in different Greek forms, has the phrase 'my blood'. How close the agreement is appears best when the sayings are set down side by side: 143 Mark: 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many'.

Paul: 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood.'11   The Greek is as follows: Mark: touto estin to aima mou tes diathekes to exqunnomenon huper pollon (in Greek);

The ideas, it is true, are different. The Markan saying interprets the wine as Christ's 'blood of the covenant' shed for many, and is based on Ex. xxiv. 8 and Isa. liii. 12. The Pauline saying interprets the cup as representing the 'new covenant' established by Christ's blood, and rests on a combination of Jer. xxxi. 31 and the ideas illustrated in Ex. xxiv. 1-13. This difference of ideas, however, does not exclude the possibility that one passage is a variant of the other or that both are variants of a lost original. On the contrary, it might account for the origin of the variants. Whether this explanation is probable is the main point for consideration, for, striking as it is, the agreement in vocabulary cannot be considered conclusive in itself.

Is, then, Mk. xiv. 24 a variant of 1 Cor. xi. 25? This view is difficult to sustain, for, in this case, the simpler Pauline form has been replaced by one that is obviously more difficult. The Markan saying is exposed to the serious objection that it offends Jewish scruples, and it may be safely asserted that, as a cult-saying, it could not have come into existence in Jewish-Christian circles.22   See the opinion of Dibelius quoted on p. 134. Only in a non-Jewish environment is the transformation conceivable through the infiltration of pagan ideas associated with the Mystery-religions. But this theory, while easily stated, cannot be considered convincing. The language of the entire saying is fragrant with Old Testament

Paul: touto to potepion e kaine diatheke estin en to emo aimati (in Greek). 144 associations, and its ideas, as we have seen, represent a unique combination of the teaching of Ex. xxiv. and Isa. liii. Further, there is a paucity of references to sacred meals11   Cf. H. A. A. Kennedy: 'The evidence regarding Sacramental Meals in the Mystery-Religions is both meagre and difficult to interpret,' St. Paul and the Mystery-Religions, 256; C. Clemen, Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish Sources, 257-66; N. P. Williams, Essays Catholic and Critical, 389; A. E. J. Rawlinson, The New Testament Doctrine of the Christ, 270-84. in the existing texts which relate to the Mystery-religions, and, whatever may be true of later times,22   Cf. J. C. Lambert, The Sacraments in the New Testament, 418f. the date to which the evidence belongs renders it improbable that Mystery-influences were operative in the formation of the Gospel tradition during the first generation of Christianity.33   Cf. Kennedy, op. cit., 69, 279. Clemen closes his discussion with the opinion: 'The doctrine which the New Testament really teaches regarding the Lord's Supper cannot be derived, even collaterally or by way of supplement, from pagan sources,' op. cit., 266. T. Wilson recognises that, in the last resort, the Christian sacraments are 'sui generis in the whole history of the religious life of man,' St. Paul and Paganism, 183. See also Rawlinson, op. cit., 279; Goguel, The Life of Jesus, 187; Gore, The Reconstruction of Belief, 724f. If, finally, the objections to the genuineness of the saying prove to be wanting in force,44   See pp.133ff. there is no reason to resort to this kind of explanation. The evidence, it may be concluded, is unfavourable to the view that Mk. xiv. 24 is a variant of the Pauline saying, provided the exegetical difficulties are not insuperable.

Is, then, 1 Cor. xi. 25 a modification of Mk. xiv. 24? It is in favour of this view that the Pauline passage is much less difficult that the Markan. In it the cup represents the new covenant sealed by Christ's blood; nothing is said of the wine as a symbol of His covenant-blood. Accordingly, it is tempting to argue that the Pauline form has arisen in consequence of the difficulties of the Markan 145 saying in Jewish-Christian circles.11   Dalman thinks of Greek circles: 'The peculiar equation, not of the wine and the blood, but of the cup and the covenant, may be due to the avoidance of the offence which the other formulation might have given to Hellenic sensibility,' op. cit., 161. He appears to think that the Pauline form presupposes Mk. xiv. 24, but does not discuss the point. See p. 162. Such a conclusion, however, is premature, for the theory is no more than a possibility; and it may well be that both passages are authentic or that both represent a lost original. All that we are entitled to conclude from the comparison is that, if the passages are variants, it is probable that Mk. xiv. 24, and not 1 Cor. xi. 25, is the original.

We have now reached the point when it is necessary to examine more closely the difficulty of the Markan saying.

The strongest objection which can be brought against Mk. xiv. 24 is the fact that the Jew regarded the drinking of blood with horror; can Jesus, then, have commanded His disciples to drink wine as the symbol of His blood? From feelings of reverence this difficulty has not received the attention it demands, for there can be no doubt that it is formidable. Writing as a Jew, C. G. Montefiore expresses it temperately when he says: 'I would also venture to suggest how difficult it is to believe that a Palestinian or Galilaean Jew could have suggested that in drinking wine his disciples were, even symbolically, drinking blood. For the horror with which the drinking of blood was regarded by the Jews is well-known'22   The Synoptic Gospels, i. 332. J. Klausner, also a Jew, makes the point more trenchantly: 'The drinking of blood, even if it was meant symbolically, could only have aroused horror in the minds of such simple Galilaean Jews'.33   Jesus of Nazareth (Eng. tr.), 329. It is not surprising that many continental scholars explain the words as a cult-saying which originated in a non-Jewish environment. Thus, Dibelius 146 writes : 'A Jewish Christian Church with its dread of blood would scarcely have made Jesus say "this is my blood" (in the cup), but rather "this cup means a new covenant which is instituted by my blood, i.e. by my death".'11   From Tradition to Gospel, 207.

It is, I think, a fair rejoinder to this argument to say, first, that it is not a question of what 'a Palestinian or Galilaean Jew' would be likely to suggest, but of what might be commanded by a Jew who believed himself to be the Son of Man destined to suffer on behalf of the 'many'.22   On the question of the Messianic consciousness of Jesus, Montefiore speaks with the greatest hesitation and reserve. Cf. The Synoftic Gospels, i. cxxi.ff. One of the more positive passages is that in vol. ii. p. 20: 'It is, indeed, conceivable that, towards the close of his ministry, Jesus may have realised that his mission was only to succeed, and the Kingdom of God to be inaugurated, by his own suffering and death... His conception of his Messiahship may have been the conception of the Suffering Servant, through whose stripes and death men were healed, rather than that of the righteous and conquering king.' Again, it is a very doubtful canon of authenticity to question words of Jesus on the ground that they would have awakened horror in the minds of Jews. During the first days of His preaching Jesus appeared in the eyes of His family to be 'beside himself' (Mk. iii. 21). To the scribes His claim to forgive sins was blasphemy (Mk. ii. 7). His liberal interpretation of the law of the Sabbath led the Pharisees to take counsel with the Herodians, 'how they might destroy him' (Mk. iii. 6). At His Trial His declaration that His judges would see 'the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven' so roused the high priest that he rent his clothes, and said: 'What further need have we of witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye?' (Mk. xiv. 63f.).33   The Fourth Gospel contains stronger examples, influenced in part by current controversy: cf. vi. 52, viii. 48, 52; ix. 24, x. 20, 33. Further, the men addressed are not 147 just 'simple Galilaean Jews', as Klausner describes them, but disciples, to whom, though with little success, Jesus had already imparted the teaching that 'the Son of man must suffer'. Difficult as they had found this doctrine to accept, they would not be likely, in the light of it, to take the words of Jesus as a bare suggestion that in drinking wine they were drinking blood symbolically. Finally, to interpret the words of Jesus in this way is to put an ambiguous and misleading construction upon them. Jesus does not invite His disciples to drink blood, or to drink blood symbolically, but to drink wine as representing His life surrendered for many. The objection under review has force if the theory of Transubstantiation is accepted; but there is no probability that Jesus saw any objective virtues in blood, or implied that His word transformed the 'substance' of wine into the 'substance' of blood. The wine remains wine, but wine invested with a new significance and power. Blood is mentioned in view of the circumstances, and because of the associations of the term. The red vintage suggests it, the thought of a violent death implies it, the well-known Old Testament use of the word makes it a convenient vehicle of thought; but the term is misconceived if it is isolated from the ideas it is meant to suggest. What Jesus has in mind is a redemptive activity, not a transformation of 'substance'; He is thinking of His life surrendered for the salvation of many, and the wine is offered as a symbol of the life and a means whereby it may be appropriated.

It is not, of course, to be supposed that, at the time, the disciples understood the full meaning of the words of Jesus, or the significance of what He invited them to do; but this fact throws no doubt upon the Markan saying. Rather is it the manner of Jesus to speak words which challenge thought and become luminous only in the 148 course of experience. His words are 'words of aeonian life'. The note of challenge, and even of offence, is characteristic of the sayings of One who disdained qualifications, and said: 'Blessed is he, whosoever shall find none occasion of stumbling in me' (Lk. vii. 23).' For these reasons, there is little satisfaction in efforts which trace the Markan saying to an unknown 'community' situate in the back-streets of Rome. Conceivably, its origin might be such; but every consideration of probability favours the belief that its unstrained allusions, its bold challenge, and its virility of thought have the authentic ring. The one speaker who is most likely to have used these words is Jesus Himself.11   Cf. G. H. C. Macgregor, Eucharistic Origins, 64ff.

This conclusion has most cogency if it extends to the entire saying, and since there are no adequate reasons for detaching the phrase, 'which was shed for many,' from the rest,22   See p. 126f. it may with justice be claimed for the whole. If this view is accepted, there is no reason to consider whether Mk. xiv. 24 and 1 Cor. xi. 25 are different versions of a lost original. Mk. xiv. 24 is original, and 1 Cor. xi. 25 is either a variant of it or is a distinct saying. Which of these alternatives is the more probable may be deferred until the Pauline sayings are examined further.33   See pp. 203-6.

It remains for us to consider more closely the implications of the Markan saying, and, in particular, the mean-of the phrase, 'my blood of the covenant.'

The idea of a covenant between Yahweh and Israel, which from the side of the people demands obedience, and from the side of Yahweh promises blessings, is deeply inwrought in Old Testament thinking, and the use of the phrase, 'blood of the covenant,' suggests that the ancient story of the institution of the covenant in Ex. xxiv. 1-11 149 forms the background of the words of Jesus. It is necessary, therefore, to examine this story.

The narrative tells that when Moses returns with the words of Yahweh, the people declare their willingness to obey. Next day an altar is built, burnt-offerings are offered, and peace-offerings are sacrificed to Yahweh. Half of the blood is then sprinkled on the altar, and when the book of the covenant is read, the people declare: 'All that Yahweh hath spoken will we do.' Blood is then sprinkled on them, and Moses says: 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh hath made with you concerning all these words.' Moses and his companions then ascend into the mount, and it is recorded of them: 'they beheld God, and did eat and drink' (Ex. xxiv. 11).

In this narrative a distinction is drawn between the blood sprinkled upon the altar and that which is sprinkled upon the people. The former is the symbol of the people's obedience; it is their offering to God, confirmed by the words: 'All the words which Yahweh hath spoken will we do.' The latter, the blood sprinkled upon them, is dedicated blood which Yahweh has accepted, and the sprinkling means that the people now share in the blessings and powers which it represents and conveys. It is this blood which is described as 'the blood of the covenant'.

It is not easy to determine how far the details of this story were in the mind of Jesus during the Supper. Was He thinking, for example, of this ancient representative company of men eating and drinking in fellowship with God, when He took bread for His disciples 'as they were eating', and, having blessed and broken it, said: 'Take ye: this is my body'? Certain it is that the phrase, 'blood of the covenant,' is taken from the story, and the words, 'my blood of the covenant,' suggest reflection on the words of Moses. The saying of Jesus strongly suggests the 150 thought that, as of old dedicated blood was applied in blessing to the people of Israel, so now His life, surrendered to God and accepted by Him, is offered to, and made available for men. Of this life the wine is a symbol: but, since it is given to them to drink, it is more than a symbol. It is a means of blessing, an opportunity for appropriation. It is not transformed into blood, but is a vehicle of the life released for many in the shedding of blood. That the life is conveyed mechanically, ex opere operato, is foreign to the outlook and thought of Jesus; but it is true to the meaning of His words at the Supper to say that, in the rite, the life of a fellowship with God is offered to men, so that of them also it may be said: 'they beheld God, and did eat and drink.'

In his recent important brochure, Die Abendmahlsworte Jesu, Joachim Jeremias, while recognizing that Ex. xxiv. 8 gives a good meaning for the words: 'This is my blood of the covenant,' finds a nearer interpretation in the thought of the blood of the Passover lamb. He recognizes that the Passover of later times was not an atoning sacrifice, but calls attention to two passages in the Talmudic Literature which speak of the blood of the Passover lamb as 'covenant-blood'.11   Targ. Zech. ix.11; Mekh. Ex. xii. 6. Both passages relate to Zech. ix. 11: 'As for thee also, because of the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water,' and interpret this passage with reference to the deliverance from Egypt. The Passover blood is the blood of the covenant in the power of which the deliverance is accomplished. Jeremias is of the opinion that the thought of Jesus, who during the last days of His Ministry had this chapter of Zechariah in mind (cf. Mt. xxi. 5), is the same; it is the atoning blood of the Passover lamb at the departure from Egypt with which He compares His own 'blood 151 of the covenant'. He thus describes 'His death as an atoning death which establishes the new and eternal communion of a humanity cleansed from sin with its God -- the communion of the Kingdom of God'.11   Op. cit., 82.

This view seems to me to be less probable than the interpretation which finds the reference, in the words of Jesus, in Ex. xxiv. 8, but the conclusion as to the significance of the words of institution is the same. This is especially clear in the words with which Jeremias closes his essay with reference to the saying on the Messianic feast in the future Kingdom in Mk. xiv. 25: 'As He will there give to them the divine gift of the bread and water of life, so He gives to them now in bread and wine His gift -- a share in the reconciling power of His vicarious death. So certainly as they eat the bread which Jesus breaks for them, and drink the wine over which He spoke the word concerning the blood of the covenant, so certainly avails for them the "for you" of His death, and the "with you" of the future Supper-communion in the renewed world.' 22   Op. cit., 94. 'His action is a guarantee, is an anticipation of the future Supper-communion established with the Parousia,* ibid.

(c) 'Verily I say unto you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God' (Mk. xiv. 25).

Matthew's version contains merely stylistic and exegetical variations (xxvi, 29). Luke's version is shorter, and may be independent of Mk. In the second part he has: 'until the kingdom of God shall come' (xxii. 18). See pp. 183ff.

In the third Markan saying Jesus looks beyond the present Supper to the consummation of the Kingdom when He will drink the wine of the Messianic Banquet. The genuineness of the saying needs little 152 discussion.11   Wellhausen thinks that there is no saying of Jesus which gives a greater impression of authenticity, but he needlessly supposes that Jesus thinks of Himself simply as a guest, and not the Messiah present or future, Ev. Marc., 115. Cf. Montefiore, op. cit., i. 335; Ed. Meyer, Ursprung und Anfange des Christentums, i. 179. Its ideas are entirely Jewish. The thought of the Messianic Feast goes back to Isa. xxv. 6, 22   'And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.' and the phrase, 'the fruit of the vine', appears in Isa. xxxii. 12 and Hab. iii. 17 (cf. Numb. vi. 4). Moreover, as Montefiore reminds us, 'the joys of the Kingdom are constantly referred to in Rabbinical literature under the metaphor of pleasures of food and drink'. 33   Op. cit. i., 334; cf. Strack-Billerbeck, *op. cit., i. 992. The possibility, therefore, that the saying is a 'community-product' does not arise.

The saying is closely connected with the preceding words: 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many'; and this is an indication that more was said at the giving of the cup than the 'words of institution'. The saying introduces a strong eschatological note into the account of the Supper, and the question arises how this element is related to the sacrificial conceptions implied in the other sayings.

Loisy has argued that the anticipation of the Messianic Banquet (Mk. xiv. 25) excludes the ideas connected with the body and the blood (Mk. xiv. 22, 24),44   Les Evangitts synoptiques, ii. 540; cf. Montefiore, op. cit., i. 337. but this is a suggestion which places the various sayings in an unnecessary antagonism. If Jesus Himself drank of the wine, and this is the opinion of very many commentators,55   This view is implied by the Markan words, 'I will no more drink . . . until . . .', and by the reading of D, "ou me prostho pein" (in Greek). This reading, which is supported by 565 a f arm (cf. Legg, Novum Testamentum Graece, in loc.), has an authentic ring. Cf. LL xx. 11, and see Moulton, Grammar of New Testament Greek, ii, 445. 153 the action must have had a different significance for Him from that which it had for the disciples. For them the drinking of the cup foreshadows the approaching death and sacrifice; for Him it heralds the joys of the Kingdom. The disciples themselves are introduced into this aspect of the Supper in the words of Mk. xiv. 25; for them also it is made clear that 'if death is certain, so is reunion'.11   A. W. F. Blunt, 252. The eschatological idea, indeed, is indissolubly connected with the Supper in the earliest tradition. It dominates, as we shall see, the Lukan account, 22   See pp. 180ff. and is emphasized by St. Paul in the words: 'For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come' (1 Cor. xi. 26). 33   Cf. A. Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, 267. This thought of the future consummation, however, is distinctively present to the mind of Jesus during the Supper, and is in no way in conflict with the teaching which He gave to the disciples concerning the bread and the cup. With Him they could think of the Supper as an anticipation of the Messianic Feast, but for them in particular it meant also participation in His approaching sacrifice.

Mk. xiv. 25 is of the greatest importance for the insight it gives into the mind of Jesus as He contemplates His death. It shows that the idea of the Kingdom, so central in His Galilaean teaching, was His sure hope and confidence in the very shadow of the cross. He did not renounce His earlier teaching and replace it by the idea of a redemptive sacrifice. On the contrary, He is still sure that the Kingdom will be established; He will yet drink the wine of the Messianic Banquet. The ring of joyful confidence is unmistakable. This hope can only mean that He believed His death to be a necessary step to the establishment of the Kingdom. He must suffer and die, 154 then the Rule of God can be consummated; this, and nothing less is the implication of His words. When or how the Kingdom will come is not stated, but the atmosphere of the saying, as in Mk. ix. 1 and xiv. 62, is that of a hope whose realization is near.

Important as this thought is in itself, it must not be separated from the Supper with which it is associated; it is the Supper which releases the hope and is the medium of its expression. Much of the discussion in respect of the three Markan sayings has necessarily turned on the meaning of the Supper; but this is no departure from the study of the attitude of Jesus to His death and passion, since it is His own words which bring the death and the Supper into the closest connexion. H. A. W. Meyer shows a just and a true appreciation of the connexion when he says: 'The atonement through the death of Jesus is at any rate the necessary premiss of even the symbolical interpretation of the Lord's Supper. With every attempt to explain away the atoning death, the Supper becomes utterly unintelligible.'11   The Epistles to the Corinthians, i. 342n.

(10) Two OLD TESTAMENT QUOTATIONS; THE STONE (Mk. xii. 10f.); THE SHEPHERD (Mk. xiv. 27).

The Acts and the Epistles show that in early Christianity the greatest interest was taken in Old Testament passages which were felt to be illustrated or 'fulfilled' in the life and ministry of Jesus. It is always possible, therefore, that during the oral period such passages were unconsciously read back into His sayings, and this possibility must always seriously be taken into account. On the other hand, it is anything but a critical proceeding to reject in a wholesale manner sayings which contain quotations, for the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus Himself 155 read the Old Testament with fresh insight and expressed His thoughts in its familiar language (cf. Mk. vii. 6f., xii. 26, 36; Lk. vii, 27, &c.). The real difficulty arises in particular examples, and in these cases the decision must turn on whether the quotation is well related to its context, whether its use has any distinctive characteristics, and whether its ideas appear elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus. Where these tests are fulfilled, the presumption is that the quotation is original.

(a) 'The stone which the builders rejected,

The same was made the head of the corner:

This was from the Lord,

And it is marvellous in our eyes' (Mk. xii. 10f.).

The passage is reproduced verbatim in Mt. xxi. 42, and the first part in Lk. xx. 17.

The quotation is taken from Psa. cxviii. 22f., where it refers to Israel as despised among the nations, but destined in the purpose of God to attain pre-eminence. 11   An alternative explanation (Duhm) refers the passage to the beginnings of the Maccabean House. Some commentators explain it as an addition on the part of the community or the Evangelist,22   So Klostermann, 137; Bousset, op. cit. 69. See also Luce, 310. but this view lacks adequate justification. Undoubtedly, the passage was a favourite quotation in early Christian apologetic; it appears in Acts iv. 11; Eph. ii. 20; and 1 Pet. ii. 4-8. Justin Martyr twice speaks of Christ as the 'stone,'33   Dial., 34, 36. and it may well be that the quotation appeared in early Christian collections of Testimonia drawn from the Old Testament.44   Cf. J. Rendel Harris, Testimonies, i. ii.; D. Plooij, Studies in the Testimony Book. See also Bousset, op. cit., 69; Sanday and Headlam, 282. But these facts merely raise the question of genuineness; in no way do they preclude the use of the quotation by 156 Jesus. Although the words introduce a new figure of speech, they are not inapposite as an appendage to the parable of the Vineyard, and the researches of P. Fiebig have shown that quotations from Scripture are found in Rabbinical parables. 11   Cf. Die Gleichnisreden, 78; Der Erxahlungsstil der Evangelien, 41, 43. In later times there is evidence that the Rabbis gave a Messianic interpretation to the passage,22   Cf. Stracfc-Billerbeck, Kommentar, i. 876. and Jesus who in the parable is thinking in Messianic terms, may well have read it in the same way. J. Jeremias thinks that Jesus is employing the figure of the New Temple, and that He designates Himself as the 'keystone' which brings it to completion.33   Cf. Jesus als Weltvollender, 80. A parallel idea appears in the saying which lies behind Jn. ii. 19, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,' which is echoed in the accusation brought against Jesus at His Trial (Mk. xiv. 58)44   See the interesting discussion by Goguel in The Life of Jesus, 507ff., where Mk. xiv. 58 is claimed as 'a fully authentic saying', with the support of Wrede, J. Weiss, Wellhausen, Loisy, Norden, Bultmann, and Bertram. and in the taunts of those who pass by at the Crucifixion (Mk. xv. 29; cf. Acts vi. 14). Jesus was keenly interested in the fate of the Temple (cf. Mk. xiii. 2), and, accordingly, to believe that He had reflected on an Old Testament passage which, in His view, defined a Messianic function He was destined to fulfil, is historically justifiable, especially in the light of His claim to be the founder of a New Temple 'made without hands' (Mk. xiv. 58). For these reasons it is unnecessary to trace the passage to the 'community'; it is better interpreted as a quotation of Jesus Himself.55   The interest of Jesus in passages which speak of the 'Stone' is further illustrated in Lk. xx. 18: 'Every one that falleth on that stone shall be broken to pieces; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust' (cf. Isa. viii. 14 and Dan. ii. 44), but this isolated and obscure logion has difficulties of its own.


The use of the quotation is a further proof that Jesus thought of His death, not as a stroke of fate, but as a necessary part of His Mission. The 'stone' is rejected, and by the builders, but this event is not the end. The rejected stone becomes 'the head of the corner'. So God has ordained it, and looking upon the result men confess it marvellous in their eyes. The use of the passage by Jesus implies His obedient acceptance of a divinely appointed role, and no less His sure conviction of its triumphant issue. For Him rejection is a temporary condition followed by the victory of the divine Will. 11   The agreement of this idea with those of Isa. liii. is obvious.

(b) 'And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, And the sheep shall be scattered abroad' (Mk. xiv. 27).

Matthew has 'the sheep of the flock; Luke omits the section.

This quotation is taken from Zech. xiii. 7, but instead of the future, 'I will smite', both the Hebrew and the LXX read the imperative, 'Smite the shepherd.' R. H. Kennett,22   Peake's Commentary, 583. however, suggests that the future should be read in Zechariah as in Mark.

Several commentators explain the future tense as due to the influence of Christian usage or of a collection of Testimonia,33   Swete, 338; B.T.D. Smith, 199; Blunt, 252. while others think that the quotation is a later addition prompted by Christian reflection.44   Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, i. 340; Wood, Peake's Commentary, 697. The following verse, 'Howbeit, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee,' is wanting in the Fayoum Gospel-Fragment,55   Cf. M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, 25. 158 and Holtzmarm has argued that verse 29 (Peter's protest 'Although all shall be offended') follows much better after 27a ('All ye shall be offended'). Montefiore reminds us, however, that J. Weiss takes verse 28 to mean: 'I will go at your head, and will lead you to Galilee,' and that he interprets the verse as the embodiment of 'a very old expectation (or prediction) which was not fulfilled'.11   Op.cit., i. 340f. The critical objection to the genuineness of the quotation is clearly put by Bertram who sees in the passage an attempt to show that Jesus foresaw His fate, and to prove that what happened was in accord with Old Testament prophecy.22   Die Leidensgeschichte Jesu und der Christuskult, 42.

A decision between the alternative explanations is not easy. Bertram's suggestion would account for the genesis of the story, for it relates the narrative to a situation which existed in primitive Christianity. On the other hand, it is just as pertinent to urge that Jesus Himself foresaw His fate, and, as the investigation has already shown. He found its secret in the Old Testament. The passage, therefore, can just as naturally be attributed to Jesus as to the Christian community. Moreover, the quotation is well related to the immediate situation in the story. Few things in the Gospel tradition are more certain than that Jesus foretold the defection of Peter; but Peter's protest, 'Although all shall be offended,' implies the sorrowful observation of Jesus, 'All ye shall be offended' (lit., 'made to stumble'), and in such a connexion the Old Testament words about the scattering of the sheep are very apposite.

The evidence that Jesus used imagery connected with sheep and shepherds is abundant. He saw the people of the land 'as sheep not having a shepherd' (Mk. vi. 34), and spoke of Himself as sent to 'the lost sheep of the house of Israel' (Mt. xv. 24; cf. x. 6). He related His immortal parables of the Lost Sheep (Lk. xv. 3-7) and the Sheep and 159 the Goats (Mt. xxv. 31-46). He bade the 'little flock' of His disciples not to fear, since it was the Father's good pleasure to give them the Kingdom (Lk. xii. 32), and in the Fourth Gospel He speaks of Himself as 'the good shepherd' that 'layeth down his life for the sheep' (Jn, x. 11). To use, therefore. Old Testament language, and prophesy that when He, the shepherd, is smitten, the sheep will be scattered, is simply to employ His own vocabulary. Moreover, as J. Jeremias11   Op.cit., 32f. has pointed out, the figure of the Shepherd is a common designation of the bringer of Salvation throughout the East, and in the Old Testament it is used of the Messiah (cf. Mic. v. 4; Ezek. xxxiv. 23f., xxxvii. 24).

If the quotation is a later insertion due to subsequent Christian reflection, it has been admirably introduced into a natural sequence of thought and adapted to the language of Jesus in the interests, not of doctrine, but of apology. This is possible, but the presumption, I think, is that the quotation was made by Jesus. If this conclusion is accepted, the passage is another illustration of the way in which the thought of His death absorbed the mind of Jesus and led Him to ponder the ancient prophecies of Israel. If the change from the imperative ('smite') to the future ('I will smite') is a deliberate modification, and not caused by early Christian usage, it reveals His conviction that His suffering and death are not merely events compassed by men, but rather the fulfilment of a purpose deep in the counsels of God.

(II) THE GETHSEMANE SAYINGS (Mk. xiv. 34, 36, 37f., 41f., 48f.).

Rawlinson's view, that the basis of the story of Gethsemane is 'historical and beyond the reach of invention',22   St. Mark, 210. is 160 shared by critics of very different schools. The opinion, it is true, is not universally accepted. Dibelius explains the story as one which has been built up out of material supplied by the Old Testament in such a way that it 'became a revelation of Jesus' obedience in opposition to the inert and dull disciples'.11   From Tradition to Gospel, 213. Bultmann speaks of its 'wholly legendary character',22   Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition 288. and Goguel describes it as 'an admirable allegory' 'which expresses what took place in the soul of Jesus'. 33   The Life of Jesus, 495. These views, however, stand opposed to a consensus of opinion shared by unusual allies. The historian, Eduard Meyer, says that this scene and that of the Denial bear ;the impress of complete authenticity'.44   Ursprung und Anfange des Christentums, i. 149. Montefiore, while voicing a warning against pressing the details of the story, says that 'it may well have a historic basis', and declares that 'one cannot but marvel at the wonderful grace and beauty, the exquisite tact and discretion, which the narrative displays'.55   The Synoptic Gospels, i. 342. Even more remarkable is the opinion of Joseph Klausner: 'The whole story bears the hallmark of human truth: only a few details are dubious. It must have been transmitted to the Evangelists (or their sources) direct from Peter, James or John, with such simplicity and conviction that even the ideas or tendencies of Pauline times could not obscure their memories. The sorrow and sufferings of the solitary Son of man, profound as they are, leave on every sympathetic heart, be it the heart of the believer or unbeliever, such an impression as may never be wiped out.'66   Jesus of Nazareth, 332. So much is Montefiore impressed by the sublime words of the prayer that he asks: 'And why should it not, even though for us Jesus is neither God nor Messiah, give strength to Jewish hearts also? We must restore this hero to the bead-roll of our heroes,' op. cit., i. 344.


This estimate of the narrative does not, of course, exclude the necessity of considering closely the difficulties, as well as the meaning of the five sayings associated with Gethsemane,11   It is interesting to recall that even D. F. Strauss recognized as 'an historical kernel', 'the fact, that Jesus on that evening in the garden experienced a violent access of fear, and prayed that his sufferings might be averted, with the reservation nevertheless of an entire submission to the will of God,' Life of Jesus (Eng. Tr. by Geo. Eliot, 5th ed., 640).

(a) 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: abide ye here, and watch' (Mk. xiv. 34; cf. Mt. xxvi. 38 and Lk. xxii. 40).

Matthew adds, 'with me'. Luke omits the saying, and has: 'Pray that ye enter not into temptation' Cf. xxii, 46 and Mk. xiv. 38.

These words echo the language of Psa. xlii. 5, 11; xliii. 5: 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul?' Once more, they show how inevitably Jesus expressed His deepest feelings in the language of the Old Testament. Mark has attempted to interpret the words when he says that Jesus 'began to be greatly amazed and sore troubled' (xiv. 33).22   'To be full of terror and distress' (Weymouth), 'To feel appalled and agitated' (Moflatt). The saying expresses grief and sorrow so deep as to threaten life itself.33   Cf. Swete, 342; Rawlinson, 211; and see Jon. iv. 9. Klostermann, 168, thinks the idea is that death is to be preferred. Something more than shrinking from death is implied. It was not with such feelings that the martyrs faced death,44   Cf. H. B. Workman, Persecution in the Early Church, 303-52. The absence of all fear, in fact, is one of the notes of the early Church,' 305. 'For weeks before the fatal issue, we find the martyrs living in a state of ecstasy,' 321. The Christian's contempt of death was remarkable even in an age in which indifference to death formed one of the pleasures of life,' 331. and the only tenable explanation of the words is one which recognizes that it was the prospect of death as Jesus interpreted it which tortured His soul in this hour. He saw His sufferings as 162 comparable to those of the Suffering Servant, and the present saying is in harmony with such a conception. His sorrow 'unto death' is that of the Servant who 'bore the sin of many' (Isa. liii. 12).

What is the meaning of the command: 'Abide ye here, and watch'? The suggestion that the three are to watch in order to warn Jesus of danger may be dismissed. Jesus does not go to Gethsemane for safety, and when the traitor approaches, so far from taking to flight, He goes boldly to meet him (Mk. xiv. 42). The injunction means that He desires the sympathy of the disciples' presence. But does it not mean more? Already the disciples have received bread and wine in virtue of which they participate in the sacrifice of Jesus. Can it be that their present vigil belongs to the same cycle of ideas, and is in keeping with the assumption of ancient religion that there is no offering apart from men who 'draw near'? If Jesus believes that His selfgiving avails for the many, it is natural that He should associate with His suffering His most intimate disciples whose presence and sympathy give meaning to what He does. Hence, either now (Lk. xxii. 40) or later (Mk. xiv. 38), He warns them against yielding to temptation. The Son of Man must not be left to bear His sorrow and suffering alone. So far as it is given to men so to do, they are to share His cup, as indeed He had foretold (Mk. x. 39), in the silent fellowship of sympathy and love.

That this interpretation reads a meaning into the words of Jesus may be freely granted. Its justification is the urgency with which He bids them watch, and the interpretation He Himself placed on the nature of His Messianic suffering.

(b) 'And he said, Abba,Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilf' (Mk. xiv. 36; cf. Mt. xxvi. 39, 42; Lk. xxii. 42).


Matthew has 'O my Father', and 'if it be possible' (cf. Mk. xiv. 36). Instead of 'remove' he has 'let... pass away' and, at the end, 'nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt'. Luke has 'Father, if thou be willing,' and at the end, 'nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done' (cf. Mt. vi. 10).

The difficulties of the record are not theological, but historical. 'Every kind of eyewitness is excluded from the essential part of the scene', writes Dibelius, 'since the witnesses are asleep.11   Op. cit., 211. Cf. Goguel, *The Life of Jesus, 494. Many writers feel this difficulty to be insuperable, and in consequence are compelled to attribute the prayer to guesswork22   Cf. J. Mackinnon, The Historic Jesus, 240. or inference.33   Cf. Bacon, The Beginnings of Gospel Story, 207. It is not, however, necessary to take this view; we do not know what interval separates verses 36 and 37, or when the disciples fell asleep, nor can we exclude the possibility that Mark himself was an eyewitness (cf. xiv. 51f.). In view of these uncertainties, it is best to decide the question of genuineness by the content of the prayer itself. To say that the reporter 'has truly guessed',44   Mackinnon, op. cit., 240. or that the words are 'a consummately successful attempt to express what the situation demanded',55   Montefiore, op. cit., i. 344. or even to suggest that, later, the disciples 'must have been spiritually close enough to interpret the scene aright',66   H. G. Wood, Peake's Commentary, 697. are not very satisfactory explanations. How came the reporters to resist doctrinal tendencies, and why is their work so consummately successful? It is not a Christian, but Klausner the Jew, who gives the coup de grace to the critical suggestions when he says: 'None would afterwards have invented such words, so contradictory to the Christian belief.'77   Op. cit., 332. Cf. Montefiore: For the tendency was to turn Jesus from a man into a God, and a God has no moments of fear or agony, even if he is about to die,' op. cit., i. 242.


The prayer, therefore, may be taken as genuine, or, in any case, as representing the mind of Jesus correctly.

The reference to the 'cup' recalls the same expression in Mk. x. 3811   See pp. 97ff. (cf. Lk. xii. 50), and must be interpreted in the same manner. The cup is an experience of deep spiritual suffering of which death is the climax. Martyrdom is included, but it cannot possibly be regarded as the sole ingredient in the cup, in view of the strong consciousness of the fulfilment of a destiny revealed in the prayer itself, in the words, 'but what thou wilt,' and in the reference to the arrival of 'the hour' in xiv. 41 (cf. xiv. 3 5). For Jesus the martyrdom has a meaning, and it is the meaning which constitutes the cup. Those interpretations which speak of it as a 'cup of wrath' are wrong in fact,22   Not to mention other objections, this view is ruled out by the tenderness and confidence in the words. 'Abba, Father,' a bilingualism which may represent the usage of Jesus Himself. For different interpretations of the phrase see Swete, 344. but not in principle. It is right to find in it whatever belongs to His Messianic suffering. The saying does not describe its contents, but if, on other grounds, there is reason to think that Jesus looked on the surrender of His life as an offering for 'the many', the cup can mean nothing less than the bitter experience thereby involved.

There is no contradiction between the prayer and the earlier predictions of death (Mk. viii. 31, and similar sayings). 'It is a natural wish rather than a hope which prompts the prayer: and the very form of it, "Abba Father, all things are possible to thee," suggests that the request is for something beyond human power or expectation (cf. Mk. x. 27)'.33   H. G. Wood, op. cit., 668. Nothing, more than this tension between the acceptance of a destiny and the shrinking of 165 a sensitive spirit, is so eloquent of the realism of the Gospel story.

(c) 'And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest thou not watch one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak' (Mk. xiv. 37f.; cf. Mt. xxvi. 4o; Lk. xxii. 45f.).

Matthew omits the reference to Simon, and adds, 'with me' after 'watch'. Luke's version, which may be independent, says that the disciples were sleeping 'for sorrow', and records the saying briefly: 'Why sleep ye? rise and pray, that ye enter not into temptation' (cf. xxii. 40).

These words farther illustrate the importance Jesus attached to the presence and sympathy of the disciples. The rebuke is sharp, especially in the case of Peter (cf. xiv. 31), and the command is repeated and extended; they are to watch and pray, and not to enter into temptation.11   INA (in Greek) c. subj. in Mk. xiv. 38 is used, not of purpose, but either of the content of the prayer (Klostermann, 169), or as a substitute for the imperative (Moulton, Prolegomena, 178). Loisy suggests that the original command was: 'Pray that I enter not into trial';22   Luce, 337, thinks the conjecture 'natural enough'; Easton, 331, records it with an exclamation mark. Reville similarly conjectured that the saying on the spirit and the flesh was 'obviously spoken by Jesus of Himself. Cf. Wood, 697. but, while this interpretation does not raise insuperable doctrinal difficulties, it is not required by the infinitive in Lk. xxii. 40, and is excluded by the in Mk. xiv. 38; Mt. xxvi. 41, and Lk. xxii. 46. The temptation is that of relaxing vigilance, and so of failing to give to Jesus the sympathy and fellowship of which He is in need; it may also be that of proving faithless amid the events which will ensue. Although the rebuke is sharp, the peremptoriness of the command is softened 166 by His recognition of their willing spirit as well as their human frailty.

(d) 'And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them. Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough (apexei): the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us be going: behold, he that betrayeth me is at hand' (Mk. xiv. 41f.; cf. Mt. xxvi. 45f.).*

Matthew's version is in almost verbatim agreement, but apexei is omitted, and the hour is described as 'at hand'. There is no parallel in Lk.

In this obscurely worded passage the question of genuineness hardly arises,11   Bultmann, op. cit., 288, regards everything after 'the hour is come' as a later addition. 'Is not this hypercriticism?', asks Montefiore, op. cit., i. 346. and the only points for discussion are the rendering and interpretation of the saying.

Probably the first two verbs should be taken as questions22   Cf. Moffatt: 'Still asleep? still resting?'. as in xiv. 37. apexei has been the subject of much discussion. Usually, it is rendered, 'It is enough' (E.V., cf. Vulg. sufficit), and is interpreted with reference to sleep33   So Klostermann, 169; Rawlinson, 213. Cf. Moflatt: "No more of that'. ('Enough of sleep') or to the reproof44   So Swete, 348. ('Enough of irony'); but this meaning of the word is very infrequent. J. de Zwaan55   Expositor, VI. xii. 452ff. has argued for the rendering, 'He (Judas) did receive (the promised money)', in view of the fact that the verb is constantly found in the papyri and ostraca 'as a technical expression for drawing up a receipt'66   Moulton and Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, 57f.; Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 110f.; but the introduction of this idea in xiv. 41 is very abrupt.77   Cf. Rawlinson, 212. Torrey's suggestion, that the meaning is 'already'88   The Four Gospels, 327. 167 ('Already the hour is come') is simple, but is exposed to the uncertainties of the supposed Aramaic original. The common meaning of the verb is 'to be distant' or 'far away from', and J. T. Hudson11   The Expository Times, xlvi. 382. has recently put forward a strong argument for this rendering in connexion with the reading to telos found in both Western and Eastern MSS. Since Hudson wrote, his argument has been strengthened by the additional textual evidence recorded in Novum Testamentum Graece, edited by S. C. E. Legg, and there is much force in the contention that this reading supplies the best explanation of the textual variations.22   The reading is supported by D W Θ, the Ferrar Group and some cursives, a d f ff q r2, sy3 syp syhi. The Neutral text omits to telos, and Ψ k bo omit apeksei. 106 and sy syp support the reading epeksei. If this view is accepted, the phrase is a third ironical question, and the first part of the saying may be translated: 'Still asleep? Still resting? The end is far away? The hour has come!'

The reference to 'sinners' is variously explained as meaning 'Gentiles', 'Romans', or 'Jews', but probably Rawlinson is right when he interprets it 'in the more obvious meaning of "sinful men".'33   Rawlinson, 213.

The saying confirms the impression made by Mk. xiv. 34, 37f., that Jesus found deep meaning in the presence and sympathy of the three intimate disciples. If all the verbs at the beginning are interrogatives this inference is at its strongest; it is diminished only a little if, after all, apeksei means 'It is enough'; it is permissible if the improbable translation, 'Sleep on, and take your rest,' is accepted. Jesus had counted on the three; they had a part to play in His Messianic sacrifice; and it is an added sorrow that they fail Him just as the hour of destiny strikes. The full horror of the situation breaks upon Him in the 168 reflection that the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men. Here, every point is significant, the person of the One betrayed, the betrayal itself, the character of those into whose hands He falls. Opposed in every respect to those who surround Him stands the figure of Jesus Himself. Now, as always. He is master of the situation. His 'Arise, let us be going', is not a counsel of flight,11   Swete, 349; Gould, 272; Rawlinson, 213; Blunt, 254; Klostermann, 169. but a call to action. He 'goes forth to meet His fate'.22   Gould, 272.

(e) 'And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a robber, with swords and staves to seize me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but (this is done) that the Scriptures might be fulfilled' (Mk. xiv. 48f.; cf. Mt. xxvi. 55f.; Lk. xxii. 52f.).

Matthew adds at the beginning 'to the multitudes'. He follows Mark closely, but says, 'All this is come to pass', and adds 'of the prophets' after 'Scriptures'. Luke refers to 'the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and elders'(cf. Mk. xiv. 43). He has 'Ye stretched not forth your hands against me', and adds, 'But this is your hour, and the power of darkness'.

The only point to be considered is the phrase, 'that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.' The words are felt by some to be a gloss,33   Bultmann, op. cit., 305, rejects xiv. 48f.; Ed. Meyer, op. cit., i. 184, regards 48, 49a as authentic, but not 49b. but they may well have been spoken by Jesus. As in Mk. ix. 12b and xiv. 21 no particular passage is suggested. The point, however, is not of much importance, since, at this stage, it is fully evident that Jesus interpreted His suffering in terms of Old Testament thought.


(12) The Cry from the Cross (Mk. xv. 34; Mt. xxvii. 46),

'And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'

Matthew has 'about the ninth hour', and gives the Hebrew form Eli, Eli,' omitting 'being interpreted'. Luke omits the saying.

This saying, together with the reply to the high priest's question (xiv. 62) and the words 'Thou sayest' in answer to Pilate (xv. 2), are the only utterances of Jesus recorded by Mark after the Arrest.11   R. H. Lightfoot observes that this is strong evidence for the general excellence, historically, of St. Mark's passion narrative, History and Interpretation in the Gospels, 145. The words are a quotation from Psa. xxii., and there is much to be said for the view that they were spoken in Hebrew.22   Cf. Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, 205; Turner, St. Mark, 78f. Although Codex Bezae and some Old Latin MSS. (c and i) support the reading 'reproached' instead of 'forsaken', it is probable that the common reading is correct. The absence of the saying from Luke and John shows that it raised difficulties at a very early time, and the Western reading is probably a further illustration of this feeling;33   The Western reading is accepted by Harnack, Probleme im Texte der Leidensgeschichte Jesu, 11-5; Turner, op. cit., 79. it is still more obviously present in the Gospel of Peter which reads: 'My power, my power, why hast thou forsaken me?'44   V. 19.

The genuineness of the saying is beyond dispute for those who think it expresses feelings of despair. Schmiedel, for example, included it among his nine 'foundation-pillars for a truly scientific life of Jesus',55   Encyclopaedia Biblica, col. 1881. and Arno Neumann described it as bearing, unmistakably, 'the stamp of genuineness'.66   Jesus, 162. Other interpretations, however, are possible, and these deeply affect the question.


It is frequently urged that the saving reveals the interests of primitive Christianity rather than the actual feelings of Jesus. R. H. Lightfoot11   Op. cit., 157-60. holds that we must exclude the common supposition that Mark 'in his faithfulness to historical fact . . . allows us to listen to a final and despairing utterance of Jesus, forsaken by both God and man in his extremity'. The Passion Narrative was written for the edification of the Christian communities, and, in the words in question, Jesus is to be regarded as 'claiming as his own a psalm, in which, taken as a whole, more perhaps than in any other passage of the scriptures, to judge by the use which they have made of it, the Christians found revealed to them the meaning and purpose of the passion'.22   Op. cit., 159. This view stops short of denying the genuineness of the saying, but other interpretations of the kind are clearer in this respect. Loisy, for example, thinks that Psa. xxii. dominates the accounts of the Passion, and that 'nothing was more natural than to place its opening words in the mouth of the dying Christ'.33   Cf. Rawlinson, 236. In the opinion of Bultmann the Psalm provided a secondary interpretation of the last cry of Jesus mentioned in xv. 37.44   Op. cit., 304, 342. The same view is taken by Bertram, 55   Op. cit., 83. and, indeed, nearly thirty years ago it was expressed by B. W. Bacon.66   The Beginnings of Gospel Story, 223. This line of interpretation is altogether too doctrinaire to carry conviction, and is too much for an independent observer like Klausner. Jesus, as he sees Him, was 'permeated with the spirit of the Scriptures', and 'it is, on the whole, unlikely that the Church would have put such a verse into the mouth of Jesus if he had not uttered it'.77   Op. cit., 354. A more positive rejection, however, is fully justified. With the 171 whole Psalm at their disposal, it is incredible that the primitive communities should have passed by its radiant affirmations, and should have selected a verse which proved a rock of offence for later Evangelists, copyists, and writers. It is with a just appreciation of the difficulty of the saying that Goguel says that 'the fact that both Luke and John felt this difficulty constitutes a very strong reason for believing that the cry of dereliction is authentic'.11   The Life of Jesus, 541. Unfortunately, we do not know precisely how the first Christians interpreted the saying; but it is difficult, if not impossible, to offer any interpretation which, in the absence of historical tradition, would have made it a suitable selection for the exercise of creative activity.

On the assumption of the genuineness of the saying different views have been taken as to its meaning.

We may dismiss at once 'the traditional interpretation', if by this is meant the view that the saying implies that Jesus was abandoned by the Father and, as a substitute for sinners, endured the pains of the lost. This is Luther's interpretation.22   Look at Christ, who for thy sake has gone to Hell and been abandoned by God as one damned for ever.' Cf. Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk (3rd ed.), ii. 177, cited by J. Denney, The Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation, 263. More cautiously it is expressed by Calvin,33   Institutes, II. xvi. 10. 'How could He be angry with the beloved Son, with whom His soul was well pleased?'. Cf. Mozley, The Doctrine of the Atonement, 145. with the denial, however, that Jesus endured the divine wrath; and in modern times it has been maintained by Dale.44   The Atonement, 61, 360, 'Immediately before His death He was forsaken by God. When we remember the original glory in which He dwelt with the Father, His faultless perfection, and His unbroken communion with the Father during His life on earth, this is a great and awful mystery...,' 360. Apart altogether from the ethical and theological 172 objections, it is enough to say that nothing in the saying requires such an interpretation. It may be that the words imply a feeling of abandonment, and that the suffering has a penal aspect, but abandonment as an actual fact cannot justly be inferred from the cry. On this point Glover's observation is unquestionably true: 'I have sometimes thought there never was an utterance that reveals more amazingly the distance between feeling and fact.'11   The Jesus of History, 192.

At the opposite remove from the traditional view is the interpretation which finds in the Cry a final declaration of faith. This view is strongly maintained by J. M'Leod Campbell.22   The Nature of the Atonement, 240f. The words, he contends, are not a cry of desolation, but an utterance of unbroken trust. This inference is drawn from the character of Psa. xxii. as a whole, and especially verse 24:

'For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;

Neither hath he hid his face from him;

But when he cried unto him, he heard.'

Trust in God, personal trust, it is argued, pervades the Psalm. Accordingly, it is held, the Cry from the Cross does not imply abandonment by the Father, and not even any temporary experience of being forsaken. Substantially, the same view is expressed by Carpenter who speaks of 'this last affirmation of the Kingdom' (cf. Psa. xxii. 28-31) with which Jesus died.33   The First Three Gospels, 393. Menzies argues that 'he who quotes the first words of a poem may be thinking not of those words only but of some later part of the poem or of its general course of thought'44   The Earliest Gospel. See Rawlinson, 236.; and the contention is one which has made a wide appeal.55   Cf. A. T. Cadoux, The Sources of the Second Gospel, 113.


It seems to me that this type of explanation entirely fails to explain the saying. It is a product of reaction, of recoil from the traditional interpretation; and it is just as 'theological' as the latter. If the Cry is meant to be a declaration of faith, it is singular, as Strauss observed long ago,11   Life of Jesus (Eng. Tr. by Geo. Eliot), 5th ed., 688. that Jesus should quote the verse least adapted to His purpose, and one that is expressive of the deepest misery. It would indeed be the most tragic irony of history if death prevented the citation of the later affirmations of the Psalm, and it is not convincing to argue that these are implied in words which suggest the opposite. It must, I think, be allowed that this type of exegesis is no more satisfactory than the former type. Indeed, if the traditional explanation is stripped of its revolting, and unnecessary features, it is very much nearer the truth.

In contrast with the two kinds of explanation which have been considered, it seems to me best to conclude that the saying expresses a feeling of utter desolation, a sense of abandonment by the Father, an experience of defeat and despair. If this conclusion does not agree with our theories of the Person and Work of Christ, we ought to adapt these to the implications of the saying, not to explain the latter in terms of the former. The feeling of desolation is temporary, but it is real, and it is due, so far as it can be explained at all, to preoccupation by Jesus with the fact and burden of sin. The suffering is not punishment directly inflicted by God, and is penal only in so far as it is a sharing in the sense of desolation and loss which sin brings in its train when it is seen and felt for what it is. Like the explanations already examined, this also is theological, but it differs from these in that it does not begin with theology but with the direct implications of the saying. When these are accepted, it is legitimate, and necessary 174 to relate them to the fact that Jesus interpreted His death as a suffering for the many, as sacrificial, and as standing in the closest relation to human need. If these conclusions are valid, it appears to be an inescapable inference that Jesus so closely identified Himself with sinners, and experienced the horror of sin to such a degree, that for a time the closeness of His communion with the Father was broken, so that His face was obscured and He seemed to be forsaken by Him.

Present-day exposition is reluctant to draw this conclusion and shows a marked tendency to fall back on the view that we do not know exactly what was in the mind of Jesus, and are face to face with 'the supreme mystery of the Saviour's Passion'.11   On the assumption that our Lord really uttered the words it is better to say frankly that we do not know exactly what was in His mind at the time, that we are here face to face with the supreme mystery of the Saviour's Passion,' Rawlinson, 236. Such an attitude breathes a spirit of fine reverence which all must feel who read the saying with sympathy and understanding. Is there not, however, a real danger of reverent agnosticism becoming critical evasion?22   Still more is this danger present when it is explained that the verb in the saying does not mean 'leave alone', but leave helpless'. Cf. Gould, 294, It is not a question of knowing exactly what the Cry implies, but of saying whether the words: 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' imply a sense of abandonment, and it is hard to see how the question can be answered otherwise than by saying that they do involve that inference.

Bishop Gore explained the words by saying that they suggest the agony of a righteous soul, conscious of perfect innocence, and 'finding itself, in a world which it knows to be God's world, exposed to ignominy, failure, outrage, and death, while God remains silent and does nothing'.33   The Reconstruction of Belief, 594. 175 He then observed that it is a cause of profoundest thankfulness, for all who feel the like trial in whatever degree, 'that Christ should have asked the great question -- "My God, my God, why didst thou forsake me?" -- and received no answer'. The only inference which gives meaning to this very true observation is that the sense of abandonment was real; but, instead of drawing this conclusion, Gore went on to say that he saw no reason for believing that Jesus experienced in His spirit 'the sense of the Father's alienation from the sinner'. This remark seems to me to be somewhat beside the point. The desolation is felt because Jesus loves sinners, and in loving them comes so near to their plight as to feel in His spirit the shadows of the Divine judgment upon sin. No doubt the exegesis of the saying has suffered from well-meaning attempts to say too much, but it has also suffered from the tendency to say too little. It does not seem to me that there can be true progress in a worthy doctrine of the Atonement until we recognize in the saying the accents of desolation and then ask, in the light of other sayings and wider indications of the thought of Jesus, what is implied. The implications are theological: the desolation is historic fact.

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