Изображения страниц

description. But this is perfectly natural, as the oue was all which could be deposited in the tomb. But when the writer says, that eveqavio&noav nolloîs, they made their appearance, or shewed themselves, to many persons,' it would be strange indeed if the reader did not receive from this the impression, that their appearance was short and incidental. As the account in Matthew now runs, it would seem that they were raised from the dead at the time when the tombs were opened by the groans of the expiring Saviour, but that they did not actually appear in Jerusalem until after the resurrection of Jesus, μετὰ τὴν ἔγερ ov avtou. This intervening time was, however, only one day and a small part of two more. Some twenty-six or twentyeight hours are all the time which it is necessary to make out, between the death and the resurrection of the Saviour. More may be supposed or conceded; but more is unnecessary.

Now as to the facts themselves, I do not see how we can shew the impossibility, or even the improbability of them, any more than of the rending the veil of the temple, darkening the sun, cleaving the rocks, etc. That there may be difficulty in freeing the passage from all the objections which might be raised theologically, or physiologically, I would not gainsay; but that there is any stable ground for critical objections to the genuineness of the passage, I see no good reason to believe.

Mark 14: 8-20, i. e. the concluding paragraph of Mark's Gospel, is also regarded by Mr. Norton as an interpolation. And here it cannot be said that he is entirely destitute of any critical support; for the Codex Vaticanus, a Ms. of great age and of high authority, omits the paragraph in question. In a number of other Mss., (Mr. Norton states them to be more than forty), there are remarks of the following purport in connection with these verses, viz., "Wanting in some copies, but found in the ancient ones;" "in many copies;" "considered spurious, and wanting in most copies;" "not in the more accurate copies ;" generally in accurate copies," etc.

[ocr errors]

That some of the ancient fathers had doubts concerning the genuineness of this passage, is clear from what Eusebius says, in his Quaestiones ad Marinum, pp. 61, 62. Gregory of Nyssa avers, that the passage is not found in the more accurate

Greek Mss.; and Jerome, that it is wanting in many of them.
Greg. Opp. III. 411. Jerome, Opp. IV. P. I. col. 172.

After all, however, only one Ms. (Cod. Vat.) is known which omits the paragraph under examination. It is in all the Versions, unless some Codices of the Armenian should be excepted, which is doubtful. No recent critic has ventured to thrust it out from the corrected text of the New Testament.

No one, I apprehend, can do so, and justify himself on grounds that are purely critical, while the state of the evidence continues to be as it now is.

As in the preceding cases, Mr. Norton here resorts to internal difficulties, and depends principally upon them. He notices the apparent discrepancy between Mark 16: 9, ávaoras dè, πρωΐ πρώτη σαββάτου ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ, and Matt. 23: 1, όψσὲ δὲ σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων, ἦλθε Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή. He admits, however, that the difficulty here is nothing more than in appearance. Mark asserts, (if his text be rightly pointed), that Jesus, when risen, appeared early in the morning on the first day of the week (first, as the Jews counted days, for their Sabbath was the last day of their week), to Mary Magdalene. He does not say when Jesus rose from the dead. Matthew asserts, that sometime on the evening of the Sabbath, (which here means the evening that followed the Jewish Sabbath, if we so translate the passage), or (as we may translate) on the evening of the week which dawned toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, etc. Nothing more need be said than simply to explain the two passages, in order to shew that there is no contradiction between them. Both unite in the sentiment, that Jesus shewed himself to Mary Magdalene, early on the first morning which followed the Jewish Sabbath.

[ocr errors]

Mr. Norton here ingenuously declares, that "there is no ground for believing that transcribers are to be charged with omitting passages in one Evangelist, because they found, or fancied, them to be irreconcilable with those in another; p. lxxiv. yet, on p. lxix. he represents some copyist of Matthew's Gospel as having thrown in the clause in Matt. 27: 53, μerà rýv ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ, in order to avoid contradicting another passage of Scripture, which states that Christ was the First-Born from the dead. What an inconsistent part, then, does Mr. Norton make these copyists to act! Did they not know that the penalty was the same for adding to the Scriptures, that it is for taking away from it ?


Mr. Norton appeals to the language of Mark 16: 9 seq. as differing from that of the rest of his Gospel. Here,' says he, • Mark uses πρώτη σαββάτου, while he uses μία σαββάτων in 16: 2; as do the other Evangelists.' But what does this amount to ? Μία σαββάτων is a Hebraism, and πρώτη σαββά Tov is conformed to the usual Greek idiom. Had not a Hebraistic writer his choice, who wished to avoid repeating the same phrase too often?

'But 'Extin in v. 10, and Kazɛivot in v. 11, are not used demonstratively, nor emphatically; which occurs no where else in Mark's Gospel.'-Yet it lies on the face of the narration here, that Mary Magdalene is spoken of emphatically, or at any rate demonstratively, in order to render plain the distinction between her and the other Marys. As to zaxɛivo, whoever attentively reads the preceding verse may see, that the word is here altogether in its place.

Several anak youɛva Mr. Norton has also selected from the passage, p. lxxv. But I can attribute no weight of importance to this argument. We may select passages from Matthew's account of the Sermon on the Mount, from almost any of Paul's epistles, or from the book of Acts, and disprove the genuineness of each passage on the same ground. When are we to become sufficiently aware, that the same writer is not confined to one and the same mode of expression, on all subjects and at all times?

But Mr. Norton's main reliance is on the internal improbability of the things asserted in the paragraph under examination. 'The enumeration of miracles' he says is strange.' Some of these were to be such as neither Jesus nor his disciples were accustomed to perform. They were liable to be confounded with the tricks of pretended magicians. Some of the powers promised could be of no use to others. The promise appears to be to Christians in general; while we know that all private Christians never possessed miraculous powers.' pp. lxxvi. seq.

The passage I have marked in Italics (which Mr. Norton does not) seems to me somewhat strange. We open our New Testament at Luke 10: 19, and find the Saviour declaring to the Seventy disciples whom he sent forth on a special mission: "Behold I give you power over serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Acts 28: 5 tells us that Paul shook off a viper from his hand, which did him no harm.' Did the Saviour not SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. NO. I. 10

know that magicians had played tricks with tamed serpents and scorpions, and that the Seventy would be in danger of being taken for magicians?


Casting out devils is another miraculous power mentioned in the passage before us. Yet the Seventy Disciples before mentioned were commissioned with such power: Lord," say they, in the account there given of their missions, "even the devils are subject to us through thy name; "Luke 10: 17. Let the reader turn to Acts 5: 16. 8: 7. 16: 28. 19: 12, and he will see whether the apostles are represented as being possessed of the power in question.

They shall speak with new tongues, is another part of the commission in Mark. And here we need only to ask the reader to peruse Acts 11. and 1 Cor. XIV. I am aware of what Herder, Eichhorn, Bleek, and others, have said against the usual interpretation of these passages; but I am not in any measure satisfied with their views, and verily believe them to be philologically inadmissible.

They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. If the reader wishes any explanation of this, the book of Acts, the First of Corinthians, and the Epistle of James, chapter v., may be appealed to, without any room for doubt as to what was promised and what was bestowed.

What remains, then, of this list of extraordinary and improbable miraculous powers? No one thing-except what is designated by the following phrase: If they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. But is not this virtually contained in the commission to the Seventy Disciples, Luke 19: 19, when the Saviour says that they shall be over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt them? There is, however, no need of further defence. It is enough to say, that when serpents and poison are mentioned (as in Mark), two obvious and usually irremediable causes of death are particularized, merely as a symbol or specimen of all dangers. The passage, then, contains a promise of protection from all dangers, even the worst, until their work should be finished. What can be more common in the Scriptures, than such a mode of speech as this, where a part is particularized, and stands as representative of the whole genus?

As to miraculous powers being granted to Christians in general, I do not see how Mr. Norton gets at such an interpretation of the passage before us. Whom does the Saviour address?

His eleven apostles; (Judas was dead). Does all which he promises to them, belong also to every individual Christian in the world?


But enough. Mr. Norton says, at the close, that there is a conciseness and brevity of statement here, [i. e. in the paragraph before us], which is unusual for Mark, who commonly details facts with more particularity than any of the other Evangelists.' And yet, this very characteristic detail of Mark seems to be conspicuous in the passage before us. Matthew represents the Saviour as simply saying: Lo! I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Luke, in Acts 1: 5, represents the Saviour as saying: Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.

What these two writers have thus so briefly expressed, Mark has designated in his usual way, i. e. by detailing particulars. This lies on the very face of his record. And when the other Evangelists have said so much as has just been recited and referred to, what objection can lie against the narration in Mark, with respect to the miraculous powers which it promises should be bestowed on the apostles?

One more remark, and I have done with the discussion of this topic. I must request the reader to open his Greek Testament at Mark 16: 8, i. e. at the verse which immediately precedes the paragraph that Mr. Norton thinks to be an interpolation. What kind of ending the Gospel of this Evangelist would have, if vs. 9-20 should be rejected, may be seen at once, viz. the following: καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπον· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ. Now as this would be truly a άπαξ λεγόμενον, if I may so speak, in the whole world of books, and as it is, moreover, too improbable for rational belief, so Mr. Norton suggests, that probably sudden death or accident interrupted Mark in the midst of his work; and then, that some individual who was taking copies. of his work, with good intention but not with the best judgment, added the paragraph under consideration, in order to complete the work!' Mr. Norton here forgets what he has so well said, in the body of his volume, on the impossibility that even a single sentence should be added by an interpolator, without its being detected, so difficult is it to imitate the style of the Gospels, and so marked is this style. He seems also to have forgotten the powerful argument which he urges against the probability of the corruption of the Gospels, from the fact that any one copy, or even a considerable number of copies, if interpo

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »