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priest which may be considered as a proof, that the evangelists were habituated to the manner of speaking then in use, because they retain it when it is neither accurate nor just. For the sake of brevity, I have put down, from Josephus, only a single example of the application of this title in the plural number; but it is his usual style.

Ib. [p. 871.] Luke iii. 1. "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John." There is a passage in Josephus very nearly parallel to this, and which may at least serve to vindicate the evangelist from objection, with respect to his giving the title of high priest specifically to two persons at the same time: "Quadratus sent two others of the most powerful men of the Jews, as also the high priests Jonathan and Ananias *." That Annas was a person in an eminent station, and possessed an authority co-ordinate with, or next to, that of the high priest properly so called, may be inferred from St. John's Gospel, which, in the history of Christ's crucifixion, relates that "the soldiers led him away to Annas first †." And this might be noticed as an example of undesigned coincidence in the two evangelists.

Again, [p. 870.] Acts iv. 6. Annas is called the high priest, though Caiaphas was in the office of the high priesthood. In like manner, in Josephus, "Joseph, the son of Gorion, and the high priest Ananus, were chosen to be supreme governors of all things in the city." Yet Ananus, though here called the high priest Ananus, was not then in the office of the high priesthood. The truth is, there is an indeterminateness in the use of this title in the Gospel; sometimes it is applied exclusively to the person who held the office at the time sometimes to one or two more, who probably shared with him some of the powers or functions of the office; and, sometimes, to such of the priests as were eminent by their station or character §; and there is the very same indeterminateness in Josephus.

XXIV. [p. 347.] John xix. 19, 20. "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross." That such was the custom of the Romans on these occasions, appears from passages of Suetonius and Dio Cassius: "Patrem familias-canibus objecit, cum hoc titulo, Impiè locutus parmularius." Suet. Domit. cap. x. And in Dio Cassius we have the following: "Having led him through the midst of the court or assembly, with a writing signifying the cause of his death, and afterward crucifying him." Book liv.

Ib. "And it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin." That it was also usual about this time in Jerusalem, to set up advertisements in different languages, is gathered from the account which Josephus gives of an expostulatory message from Titus to the Jews, when the city was almost in his hands; in which he says, Did ye not erect pillars with inscriptions on them, in the Greek and in our language, "Let no one pass beyond these bounds."

XXV. [p. 352.] Matt. xxvii. 26. "When he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified."

The following passages occur in Josephus:

"Being beaten, they were crucified opposite to the citadel ||." "Whom, having first scourged with whips, he crucified ¶."

“He was burnt alive, having been first beaten** .”

To which may be added one from Livy, lib. xi. c. 5. "Productique omnes, virgisque cœsi, ac securi percussi."

A modern example may illustrate the use we make of this instance. The preceding of a capital execution by the corporal punishment of the sufferer, is a practice unknown in England, but retained, in some instances, at least, as appears by the late execution of a regicide, in Sweden. This circumstance, therefore, in the account of an English execution, purporting to come from an English writer, would not only bring a suspicion upon the truth of the account, but would, in a considerable degree, impeach its pretensions of having been written by the author whose name it bore. Whereas, the same circumstance, in the account of a Swedish execution, would verify the account, and support the authenticity of the book in which it was found; or, at least, would prove that the author, whoever he was, possessed the information and the knowledge which he ought to possess.

De Bell. lib. xi. c. 12. sect. 6.

P. 1247, edit. 24. Huds.

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XXVI. [p. 353.] John xix. 16. "And they took Jesus, and led him away; and he, bearing his cross, went forth."

Plutarch, De iis qui serò puniuntur, p. 554; à Paris, 1624. "Every kind of wickedness produces its own particular torment; just as every malefactor, when he is brought forth to execution, carries his own cross."


XXVII. John xix. 32. "Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him."

Constantine abolished the punishment of the cross; in commending which edict, a heathen writer notices this very circumstance of breaking the legs: "Eò pius, ut etiam vetus veterrimumque supplicium, patibulum, et cruribus suffringendis, primus removerit."

Ces. cap. xli.

XXVIII. [p. 457.] Acts iii. 1. "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple, at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour."

Joseph. Antiq. lib. xv. c. 7. sect. 8. "Twice every day, in the morning and at the ninth hour, the priests perform their duty at the altar."

XXIX. [p. 462.] Acts xv. 21. "For Moses, of old time, hath, in every city, them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day."

Joseph. contra Ap. 1. ii. "He (Moses) gave us the law, the most excellent of all institutions; nor did he appoint that it should be heard, once only, or twice, or often, but that, laying aside all other works, we should meet together every week to hear it read, and gain a perfect understanding of it."

XXX. [p. 465.] Acts xxi. 23. "We have four men, which have a vow on them; them take, and purify thyself with them, that they may share their heads."

Joseph. de Bell. 1. xi. c. 15. "It is customary for those who have been afflicted with some distemper, or have laboured under any other difficulties, to make a cow thirty days before they offer sacrifices, to abstain from wine, and shave the hair of their heads."

Ib. v. 24. "Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them that they may shave their heads."

Joseph. Antiq. 1. xix. c. 6. "He (Herod Agrippa) coming to Jerusalem, offered up sacrifices of thanksgiving, and omitted nothing that was prescribed by the law. For which reason he also ordered a good number of Nazarites to be shaved." We here find that it was an act of piety amongst the Jews, to defray for those who were under the Nazaritic vow the expenses which attended its completion; and that the phrase was, "that they might be shaved." The custom and the expression are both remarkable, and both in close conformity with the Scripture account.

XXXI. [p. 474.] 2 Cor. xi. 24. "Of the Jews, five times received I forty stripes, save

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Joseph. Antiq. iv. c. 8. sect. 21. "He that acts contrary hereto, let him receive forty stripes, wanting one, from the public officer."

The coincidence here is singular, because the law allowed forty stripes:-"Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed." Deut. xxv. 3. It proves that the author of the Epistle to the Corinthians was guided not by books, but by facts; because his statement agrees with the actual custom, even when that custom deviated from the written law, and from what he must have learnt by consulting the Jewish code, as set forth in the Old Testament. XXXII. [p. 490.] Luke iii. 12. "Then came also publicans to be baptized." From this quotation, as well as from the history of Levi or Matthew (Luke, v. 29), and of Zaccheus (Luke, xix. 2), it appears, that the publicans or tax-gatherers were, frequently at least, if not always, Jews: which, as the country was then under a Roman government, and the taxes were paid to the Romans, was a circumstance not to be expected. That it was the truth however of the case appears from a short passage of Josephus.

De Bell. lib. ii. c. 14. sect. 45.-" But, Florus not restraining these practices by his authority, the chief men of the Jews, among whom was John the publican, not knowing well what course to take, wait upon Florus, and give him eight talents of silver to stop the building." XXXIII. [p. 496.] Acts xxii. 25. "And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?"

Cic. in Verr.

"Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum; scelus verberari." "Cædebatur virgis, in medio foro Messanæ, civis Romanus, Judices: cùm intereà nullus gemitus, nulla vox alia, istius miseri inter dolorem crepitumque plagarum audiebatur, nisi hæc, Civis Romanus sum."

XXXIV. [p. 513.] Acts xxii. 27. (Paul), Tell me, art thou a Roman ? is, that a Jew was a Roman citizen.

"Then the chief captain came, and said unto him He said, Yea." The circumstance here to be noticed

Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiv. c. 10. sect. 13. "Lucius Lentulus, the consul, declared, I have dismissed from the service the Jewish Roman citizens, who observe the rites of the Jewish religion at Ephesus."

Acts, xxii. 28. "And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom." Dio Cassius, lib. lx. "This privilege, which had been bought formerly at a great price, became so cheap, that it was commonly said, a man might be made a Roman citizen for a few pieces of broken glass."

XXXV. [p. 521.] Acts xxviii. 16. "And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him."

With which join ver. 20. "For the hope of Israel, I am bound with this chain."

"Quemadmodùm eadem catena et custodiam et militem copulat; sic ista, quæ tam dissimilia sunt, pariter incedunt." Seneca, Ep. v.

"Proconsul æstimare solet, utrùm in carcerem recipienda sit persona, an militi tradenda." Ulpian. 1. i. sect. De Custod. et Exhib. Reor.

In the confinement of Agrippa by the order of Tiberius, Antonia managed, that the cen-turion who presided over the guards, and the soldier to whom Agrippa was to be bound, might be men of mild character. (Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 7. sect. 5.) After the accession of Caligula, Agrippa also, like Paul, was suffered to dwell, yet as a prisoner, in his own house.

XXXVI. [p. 531.] Acts xxvii. 1. "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul, and certain other prisoners, unto one named Julius." Since not only Paul, but certain other prisoners, were sent by the same ship into Italy, the text must be considered as carrying with it an intimation, that the sending of persons from Judea to be tried at Rome, was an ordinary practice. That in truth it was so, is made out by a variety of examples which the writings of Josephus furnish; and, amongst others, by the following, which comes near both to the time and the subject of the instance in the Acts. "Felix, for some slight offence, bound and sent to Rome several priests of his acquaintance, and very good and honest men, to answer for themselves to Cæsar." Joseph. in Vit. sect. 3. XXXVII. [p. 539.] Acts xi. 27. "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch; and there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world (or all the country); which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cæsar."

Joseph. Antiq. 1. xx. c. 4. sect. 2. "In their time (i. e. about the fifth or sixth year of Claudius) a great dearth happened in Judea."

XXXVIII. [p. 555.] Acts xviii. 1, 2. "Because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome."

Suet. Claud. c. xxv. "Judæos, impulsore Chresto assiduè tumultuantes, Româ expulit." XXXIX. [p. 664.] Acts v. 37. "After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him."

Joseph. de Bell. 1. vii. "He (viz. the person who in another place is called, by Josephus, Judas the Galilean or Judas of Galilee) persuaded not a few not to enrol themselves, when Cyrenius the censor was sent into Judea."

XL. [p. 942.] Acts xxi. 38. "Art not thou that Egyptian which, before these days, madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?"

Joseph. de Bell. 1. ii. c. 13. sect. 5. "But the Egyptian false prophet brought a yet heavier disaster upon the Jews; for this impostor, coming into the country, and gaining the

reputation of a prophet, gathered together thirty thousand men, who were deceived by him. Having brought them round out of the wilderness, up to the mount of Olives, he intended from thence to make his attack upon Jerusalem; but Felix, coming suddenly upon him with the Roman soldiers, prevented the attack.-A great number, (or as it should rather be rendered) the greatest part of those that were with him, were either slain or taken prisoners."


In these two passages, the designation of this impostor, an Egyptian," without his proper name; "the wilderness;" his escape, though his followers were destroyed; the time of the transaction, in the presidentship of Felix, which could not be any long time before the words in Luke are supposed to have been spoken; are circumstances of close correspondency. There is one, and only one, point of disagreement, and that is, in the number of his followers, which in the Acts are called four thousand, and by Josephus thirty thousand: but, beside that the names of numbers, more than any other words, are liable to the errors of transcribers, we are in the present instance under the less concern to reconcile the evangelist with Josephus, as Josephus is not, in this point, consistent with himself. For whereas, in the passage here quoted, he calls the number thirty thousand, and tells us that the greatest part, or a great number (according as his words are rendered) of those that were with him, were destroyed; in his Antiquities, he represents four hundred to have been killed upon this occasion, and two hundred taken prisoners*: which certainly was not the greatest part," nor a great part," nor a great number," out of thirty thousand. It is probable also, that Lysias and Josephus spoke of the expedition in its different stages: Lysias, of those who followed the Egyptian out of Jerusalem; Josephus, of all who were collected about him afterward, from different quarters.




XLI. (Lardner's Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, vol. iii. p. 21.) Acts xvii. 22. "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious; for, as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."

Diogenes Laertius, who wrote about the year 210, in his history of Epimenides, who is supposed to have flourished nearly six hundred years before Christ, relates of him the following story that, being invited to Athens for the purpose, he delivered the city from a pestilence in this manner:-"Taking several sheep, some black, others white, he had them up to the Areopagus, and then let them go where they would, and gave orders to those who followed them, wherever any of them should lie down, to sacrifice it to the god to whom it belonged; and so the plague ceased." Hence," says the historian, " it has come to pass, that to this present time may be found in the boroughs of the Athenians ANONYMOUS altars: a memorial of the expiation then madet." These altars, it may be presumed, were called anonymous, because there was not the name of any particular deity inscribed upon them. Pausanias, who wrote before the end of the second century, in his description of Athens, having mentioned an altar of Jupiter Olympius, adds, "And nigh unto it is an altar of unknown gods." And in another place, he speaks" of altars of gods called unknown §." Philostratus, who wrote in the beginning of the third century, records it as an observation of Apollonius Tyanæus, "That it was wise to speak well of all the gods, especially at Athens, where altars of unknown demons were erected||."

The author of the dialogue Philopatris, by many supposed to have been Lucian, who wrote about the year 170, by others some anonymous Heathen writer of the fourth century, makes Critias swear by the unknown god of Athens; and, near the end of the dialogue, has these words, "But let us find out the unknown god at Athens, and, stretching our hands to heaven, offer to him our praises and thanksgivings."

This is a very curious and a very important coincidence. It appears beyond controversy, that altars with this inscription were existing at Athens, at the time when Saint Paul is alleged to have been there. It seems also (which is very worthy of observation), that this inscription was peculiar to the Athenians. There is no evidence that there were altars

Paus. 1. v. p. 412. § Ibid. 1. i. p. ¶Lucian. in Philop. tom. ii. Græv. p. 767. 780.

* Lib. 20 c. 7. sect. 6.
In Epimenide, 1. i. segm. 110.
Philos. Apoll. Tyan. 1. vi. c. 3.


inscribed" to the unknown god" in any other country. Supposing the history of Saint Paul to have been a fable, how is it possible that such a writer as the author of the Acts of the Apostles was, should hit upon a circumstance so extraordinary, and introduce it by an allusion so suitable to Saint Paul's office and character?

THE examples here collected will be sufficient, I hope, to satisfy us, that the writers of the Christian history knew something of what they were writing about. The argument is also strengthened by the following considerations:

I. That these agreements appear, not only in articles of public history, but sometimes, in minute, recondite, and very peculiar circumstances, in which, of all others, a forger is most likely to have been found tripping.

II. That the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place forty years after the commencement of the Christian institution, produced such a change in the state of the country, and the condition of the Jews, that a writer who was unacquainted with the circumstances of the nation before that event, would find it difficult to avoid mistakes, in endeavouring to give detailed accounts of transactions connected with those circumstances, forasmuch as he could no longer have a living exemplar to copy from.

III. That there appears, in the writers of the New Testament, a knowledge of the affairs of those times, which we do not find in authors of later ages. In particular, "many of the Christian writers of the second and third centuries, and of the following ages, had false notions concerning the state of Judea, between the nativity of Jesus, and the destruction of Jerusalem." Therefore they could not have composed our histories.

Amidst so many conformities, we are not to wonder that we meet with some difficulties. The principal of these I will put down, together with the solutions which they have received. But in doing this, I must be contented with a brevity better suited to the limits of my volume than to the nature of a controversial argument. For the historical proofs of my assertions, and for the Greek criticisms upon which some of them are founded, I refer the reader to the second volume of the first part of Dr. Lardner's large work.

I. The taxing during which Jesus was born, was "first made," as we read, according to our translation, in Saint Luke, "whilst Cyrenius was governor of Syriat." Now it turns out that Cyrenius was not governor of Syria until twelve, or at the soonest, ten years after the birth of Christ; and that a taxing, census, or assessment, was made in Judea, in the beginning of his government. The charge, therefore, brought against the evangelist is, that intending to refer to this taxing, he has misplaced the date of it by an error of ten or twelve years.

The answer to the accusation is found in his using the word "first:"-" And this taxing was first made:" for, according to the mistake imputed to the evangelist, this word could have no signification whatever; it could have had no place in his narrative; because, let it relate to what it will, taxing, census, enrolment, or assessment, it imports that the writer had more than one of these in contemplation. It acquits him therefore of the charge it is inconsistent with the supposition of his knowing only of the taxing in the beginning of Cyrenius's government. And if the evangelist knew (which this word proves that he did) of some other taxing beside that, it is too much, for the sake of convicting him of a mistake, to lay it down as certain that he intended to refer to that.

The sentence in Saint Luke may be construed thus: "This was the first assessment (or enrolment) of Cyrenius, governor of Syria;" the words "governor of Syria" being used after the name of Cyrenius as his addition or title. time of writing the account, was naturally enough after the transaction which the account describes. • Lardner, part i. vol. ii. p. 960. +Chap. ii. ver. 2.

If the word which we render "first," be rendered "before," which it has been strongly contended that the Greek idiom allows of, the whole difficulty vanishes for then the passage would be,—“ Now this taxing was made

And this title belonging to him at the subjoined to his name, though acquired A modern writer who was not very exact in before Cyrenius was governor of Syria;" which corresponds with the chronology. But I rather choose to argue, that, however the word "first" be rendered, to give it a meaning at all, it militates with the objection. In this I think there can be no mistake.

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