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would never think of objecting to the passages selected by Mr. Norton, any more than to a multitude of others which present difficulties at least equally great. That there are many others of this character, it would be easy to shew. I deem the work superfluous, however, for every intelligent and well-informed reader of the Gospels must have observed them in the course of his own studies.
I must object, therefore, on general grounds, to the aspect at large of Mr. Norton's criticisms on these particular topics. It wears the air of theological prejudice-of a priori reasoning. I may say of it, I think truly, non sinit ratio nec loci nec temporis. In mere questions of lower criticism, difficulties of theology, or of rhetoric, or of concinnity, should all hold quite an inferior place. I would not say, that they should be entirely kept out of sight; but I would aver, that they are by no means to constitute a prominent part of all that we have to say on such
Are they not, however, prominently exhibited in the remarks of Mr. Norton? For example; what critical authority does he adduce, in order to establish the spuriousness of Matt. I. II. ? Not even one. And yet he is quite in earnest, that we should reject these chapters. Why? Because they contain narrations exhibiting, in his view, various incongruities and improbabilities. But did not the Ebionites reject them on the like ground? Did not Faustus the Manichaean, whom Augustine so severely reproves, prune away these chap'ers because of his particular views respecting the nature of evil as necessarily attached to all which is material? Did not Marcion prune away some parts of Luke, for the reason that he could not reconcile them with his philosophy or theosophy? Did not even Luther reject the epistle of James, because he thought that it took sides against him, in his dispute with the Romanists respecting justification? And did he not at first reject the Apocalypse, because he could not understand it, and afterwards incline to admit it because he learned that it might be turned to good advantage against "the scarlet beast at Rome?" Where shall we begin and end with such processes as these?
If Mr. Norton, in reply to this, should say, that the cases of interpolation produced by him, are of so flagrant a nature, that he rests his objections against them on this ground; then I must appeal to what has been said in the preceding pages, in order to disprove such an assertion.
In a word; it is to me a matter of deep regret, that what Mr. Norton has built up so ably with one hand, he should pull down with the other. His book contains much that has, in my view, more than ordinary excellence. With the maxims of lower criticism which he seems to hold on almost all occasions, I should fully accord. With his application of them, or rather (I should say) with his failure to apply them, in the supposed cases of interpolation, I cannot be satisfied. I cannot think that he has been consistent with himself.
At all events, if the liberty he has taken with the Gospels is a matter of common right, (and why should it not be ?) then we may expect to find almost every sect in Christendom applying the shears of criticism to the New Testament, and cutting out such parts as become troublesome to them whenever they are urged against their particular opinions by a skilful antagonist. Should they follow the example of Mr. Norton, they would not need the support of Mss. and Versions, in order to justify themselves in such a process. It is enough, if they are persuaded that some parts of the Gospels which they approve seem to be embarrassed by other parts which they would willingly spare. Actum est, in regard to the latter. Scripture cannot contradict reason, i. e. their reason; and so that cannot be Scripture which seems to contradict their reason. Where can we stop, now, in such a process as this?
Highly, then, as I think of Mr. Norton's book in many respects, and cheerfully as I concede to him the well earned praise of great diligence, much learning, and cultivated style; much as I truly wish him success in the further prosecution of his interesting and important labours; I must, so far as is proper for me to do, enter my most solemn protest against some of the practical developments of his criticism, and against their results in respect to those portions of the Gospels, the integrity of which he has called in question. I do not assert in a categorical manner, or with a dogmatical air, that these portions are genuine; for of what use could such an assertion be? But it is my most sincere and hearty belief, that, as critics, we are not entitled by the present state of evidence to pronounce against them. I go one step further. I cannot even admit, with the evidence before me which as yet has been proffered, that a great portion of them are even of a doubtful character. I must on the whole, therefore, continue to regard them and to appeal to them as genuine, until new and different light shall be poured
in upon them. It is on every ground safer to do so, than it is to substitute subjective feelings and difficulties for external evidence, theological opinions for critical reasons, and to launch forth on the boundless ocean of conjecture without rudder or compass.
SOME REMARKS ON HEBREWS 12: 25.
By T. D. Woolsey, Professor of Greek Literature in Yale College, New Haven.
THERE are one or two points connected with this verse, which may profitably be made the subject of more extended remark, than is usually found in a general commentary. It has been doubted not a little who is meant by τὸν ἀπ ̓ οὐρανῶν, and the opinions of critics have not been entirely united with regard to τὸν ἐπὶ γῆς. The construction also of χρηματίζοντα is somewhat questionable. I beg leave to offer some observations on these points and on the verse generally, although, on account of having given little study of late years to New Testament Greek, not very well qualified for the task.
In the first place let me ask, who is meant by tov inì yňs χρηματίζοντα? As ἐκεῖνοι indisputably carries the mind back to those Jews of v. 19, who were witnesses of the scenes on Mt. Sinai, tov ini yns can only point either to God or Moses. It appears that so excellent a scholar as Grotius, after the Greek commentators Theophylact and Oecumenius, has referred these words to God. But in this way, God is contrasted either with himself or with Christ. In either case, the reasoning from the less to the greater,—so evident in the passage,-is destroyed or very much weakened. Again, the form of the sentence,Tó contrasted with tov,-seems necessarily to point at two different objects. And, as if utterly to demolish this interpretation, in the very passage of Exodus (20: 22) where the first transactions on the sacred mountain are recorded, to which these commentators suppose an allusion, God is represented as speaking from heaven ; ὑμεῖς ἑωρακατε ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ λελάληκα πρὸς uas. The author of the epistle must then have been strangely
forgetful, to have conceived of God as speaking on earth. But far more important question is, who is intended by rov un' ovgavar, God, or Christ? Of modern commentators, whom I have consulted, Mr. Stuart decides, with some hesitation, in favor of Christ; Heinrich, in a trifling note, has no doubt that God is meant "id quod sequentia necessario flagitant." Kuinoel thinks that Christ is undoubtedly spoken of. The general opinion is in favor of Christ, speaking through his apostles, or his gospel.
That Christ, and no other, can have been in the writer's mind, may be made evident, I think, by several considerations. In the first place, Moses and Christ are before compared in similar passages of the epistle (3: 1-6. 10: 28, 29); what, then, so natural, as here to argue from the danger of rejecting Moses to that of rejecting Christ? Secondly, not only are Moses and God no where else contrasted, but it would be inapposite and unsuited to the state of the Jewish mind to contrast them here; for God was the author of the old economy as well as of the new, so that he would be equally rejected in both cases; and a Hebrew would not suppose that he rejected God, but only Christ, when he gave up the gospel, and clung to the law which God had confessedly given. Further, it deserves to be mentioned, though it may be a weaker argument, that by interpreting the latter clause of God, we take ponuaritovra in two different shades of meaning. For, when used of Moses, it points to him as making divine communications,-as introducing the Jewish system; but if spoken of God, it must be understood of him as promulgating the christian system from heaven in a figurative sense. As referring to Christ, it compares him, the head of the christian system, with the head of the Jewish; and then the same nuance of thought is preserved. But finally, the preceding context leads us irresistibly to regard Christ as intended. For τὸν λαλοῦντα οf v. 24 is plainly the same as τὸν ἀπ' οὐρανῶν of v. 25. But the person there is defined by what goes immediately before "Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling which speaketh—.” What that blood speaks, is plainly spoken by Christ.
A third point, to which some attention is due, is the construction of the participle χρηματίζοντα in relation to τὸν ἐπὶ γῆς, Tov an ovgavov. In connexion with this, the meaning of the parts of the verse, its relations to the context, and some points touching the language, may occupy us with advantage.
I formerly thought that our translators were wrong in taking τον with χρηματίζοντα, and that τὸν ἐπὶ γῆς, τὸν ἀπ' οὐρανῶν were to be separated from the participle; tov being the subject οἱ ἐπὶ γῆς ὄντα, ἀπ ̓ οὐρανῶν ὄντα, and the participle indicating the action in which the two persons were engaged when they were or might be rejected. The prepositions and genitives would then denote the origin of the persons, nì yns being equivalent to iniyetov terrestrial, of earthly origin. The sense would be, "if they escaped not when they rejected the earthly one, when he spake, much more (shall not) we escape who turn away from him that is from heaven, when he speaketh." The reasons for this change in the translation seemed to be, 1. and especially, that the participle of the Aorist was needed, if tóv and zonμarisovia were taken together in the first clause. A matter of history, the rejection of Moses by the Jews, is the subject of thought; the rejectors are spoken of in the historical tense, παραιτησάμενοι, ἔφυγον ; and there seemed to be no assignable reason why the imperfect participle should be used of the person rejected; as the mere fact was insisted upon. 2. Moses and Christ are before contrasted in regard to their origin or official dignity. (See c. 3, c. 10 u. s.) 3. There seemed to be something frigid, and rhetorical, in comparing them as to the place from which their communications to man were given forth, especially as those of Christ were equally made on earth. 4. The separation of χρηματίζοντα, by παραιτησάμενος, from its clause, seemed to add some little weight to these reasons. But the other construction produced a sense so natural for the writer, so true and elegant, as to commend itself, without much weight of argument. On looking into Kuinoel, I find the same view adopted by him, and ascribed to Cramer, Storr, and Böhm. He calls the explanation that arises from taking tov ε. y. zonu. together, frigidam paene ab reliquâ oratione ornatâ et vividâ alienam; he has no hesitation in explaining ini yis (övrα) to be the same as niyetov, but does not seem to feel the argument derived from the tense of the participle.
But, notwithstanding this sanction of a critic respectable for his knowledge both of classical and Hellenistic Greek, the opinion must, I think, be abandoned as untenable. For first: common as are phrases consisting of the article in and a genitive with v understood (e. g. inì Too xovos, Acts 12: 20. ó ini návrov, Ephes. 4: 6.) I know of no example like the present, in which in and a genitive may be resolved into an