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before his baptism contradict Matthew; and his version of the parable of the talents differs widely from Matthew's.
From as large a collection of materials as he could obtain, it appears that he intended to write in order a history of Jesus from the first, but that he soon found the task too difficult with respect to the order; for, after the first few chapters, his narrative becomes so jumbled and confused, that the reader can form no clear idea of the course of events. It has the appearance of a mass of anecdotes and sayings, put down as they came to the author's notice, with very little regard to time or place, instead of a regular narrative, like Matthew's. Nearly the whole of Matthew and Mark may be traced in different parts of Luke, but much cut up and displaced. It seems probable that he endeavoured to accommodate as large a portion as he could of those two to his other materials; but finding that some sayings and facts were thus left out, in his anxiety to make his Gospel complete, he inserted the fragments where he could (see Luke xvi. 16-18; xvii. 1-10; xi. 34–36). That his order, rather than Matthew's, is generally erroneous, is shewn by the inappropriateness of the context, and his want of clearness as to time and place; for instance:
Luke xii. 54. The reference to the sign of the times is here made abruptly, and to the people, who consequently seem to be called hypocrites without occasion. But in Matthew xvi. 2, it is in answer to the Pharisees who had been asking a sign from heaven.
Luke xiii. 34, The lamentation over Jerusalem is introduced long before Jesus's journey thither; but in Matt. xxiii. 37, it occurs in a discourse at Jerusalem.
Luke xxii. 30, The promise of twelve thrones is put in a speech rebuking the disciples' desire of greatness, at the last supper. But in Matthew, xix. 28, it is in answer to Peter's inquiry "what shall we have?" on the approach to Jerusalem.
Luke xi. 37, The woes against the Pharisees are here represented as spoken by Jesus at the house of a Pharisee who had invited him to dinner. But in Matthew
xxiii. they are part of a public discourse. Luke ix. 51, "He stedfastly set his face to go to Jeru
salem." x. 38, "It came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house." This must have been at Bethany, near Jerusalem, since Martha's house was there. Yet Luke seems afterwards to have forgotten or to be ignorant that he had brought Jesus so near to Jerusalem, for at ch. xiii. 31, he represents him as still in Herod's jurisdiction, i. e. in Galilee; and at ch. xvii. 11, he says, "And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee." This shews not only the incorrectness of Luke's order of events, but that he attended very little to the locality of the scenes which he was describing.*
In some places he appears to have copied carelessly, as in the story of the blind beggar cured near Jericho. Mark says, "they came to Jericho," and "as he went out of Jericho," the miracle was done. Luke relates it as done when he came "nigh unto Jericho:" whilst so many of Luke's expressions agree with Mark's in the rest of the story, that it is difficult to suppose that he did not borrow from him. The oversight might easily be made
* The attempt to preserve the order of the narrative appears to be continued to the end of ch. x; for, so far, one incident is generally connected with the preceding by some remark indicating the interval of time; vi. 1, "and it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first;" 13, "and when it was day;" vii. 1, 11; viii. 1; ix. 1, 28, 37, 57; x. 1, 21, 38. But from the beginning of ch. xi. the notices of this kind are less clear and frequent: the reader has no means of judging when and where the events happen, further than that they are in a certain place, in the house of a certain Pharisee, &c. On arriving at that part of his work, Luke seems to have grown tired of the task he had undertaken of setting forth his materials in order, and to have been satisfied to dispose of the rest in the form of miscellaneous memoirs, until he comes to the arrival at Jericho, ch. xix.
† The doctrine of the divine inspiration of the evangelists rendered it very difficult for the Fathers to explain this passage. Augustine said there must have been two similar miracles. hil aliud restat intelligere, nisi bis esse factum hoc miraculum." Quest. Evang. 1. ii. qu. 48, 1. Origen confessed that the attempt to reconcile the inconsistencies of the evangelists made him giddy. Comment. in Johan. t. ii. p. 151. Edit. Huet.
Grotius says that, besides the usual sense of ɛyyılεw, to draw
by one endeavouring to condense Mark's style. here also appears to prefer his authority to that of Matthew, who says, that there were two blind men.
The destruction of Jerusalem is introduced by Luke, with these additional particulars," they shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled;" whereas Matthew does not carry on his description to what took place after the siege. This confirms the opinion that Luke's Gospel was written somewhat later than Matthew's. Besides, Matthew says, "immediately after those days shall the sun be darkened, and the sign of the Son of Man appear in heaven," &c. Luke only limits the term of the prophecy's fulfilment to "this generation," which variation agrees well with the supposition that Luke wrote rather later than Matthew, and, consequently, had seen that the sign did not come immediately after the fall of Jerusalem.
Upon the whole, Luke was an industrious compiler: he made a large collection of stories concerning Christ from what he had heard or found written, and put them into good Greek for the use of Theophilus. But such a work adds very little to the evidence of the facts themselves-less even than Mark's; for he was a follower of Peter, an eye-witness; whilst Luke only followed Paul; and he does not say he learned his facts from the eyewitnesses themselves, which he surely would have done, if he could; for that, at least, was necessary to set his pretensions on a level with those of the writers before him. But he merely says, "he had perfect understanding of all things from the first," an assertion which he must know would procure to his work less authority than if he could have said, that he had his information from Peter, or Andrew, or James. But, since the fact appears to be that he borrowed chiefly from previous writings,*
near to a place, it might mean merely, to be not far from it. But that the former is the sense of Luke in this place is shewn by xix. 1, "and Jesus entered, and passed through Jericho,” i. e. immediately after the cure.
* Schleiermacher, although he does not admit that Luke copied from Matthew and Mark, says of him, "He is, from beginning to
the phrase was as good an one as could be found for a preface, consistently with truth.
The book of the Acts is a more orderly narrative. In the first part many chasms and abrupt transitions occur; but when the writer comes to his own times, and the transactions in which he professes to have borne a part, he becomes clear and precise as to time and place. Moreover, in this latter part, the narrative contains a less proportion of miracles, and those mostly such as might easily be resolved into ordinary events miraculized by the imagination.* The style of the narrative shews that the writer was a zealous adherent of the church, a believer in its miraculous pretensions, and, therefore, not disposed to examine very rigidly stories favourable to the Christian cause. He had, in common with Josephus, Herodotus, and most ancient historians, the habit of embellishing his story with speeches which he deemed suitable to the occasion. The difficulty of recording discourses at a distance of many years, unless taken down at the moment by a reporter, is so great that few modern historians attempt to do it at length. But Luke introduces numerous formal speeches: amongst others, one of Gamaliel, which has much the appearance of being Luke's own composition, since it is impossible that a doctor of the law, in the year A.D. 34 or 37, could say that Theudas rose up before his days, when, according to Josephus, Theudas only rose up in the procuratorship
end, no more than the compiler and arranger of documents which he found in existence."-Crit. Essay, p. 313.
* In the last thirteen chapters of the Acts, the miracles recorded are, the vision of the man of Macedonia; the casting out of the spirit of divination; the earthquake at Philippi; Paul's cures at Ephesus: the revival of Eutychus; the prophecy of Agabus; Paul's prediction of the storm; the viper at Melita; the cure of Publius's father and others.
+ Ludovicus Capellus places the speech of Gamaliel at the beginning of Caligula's reign (viz. A.D. 37); Whitby, and others, in the twentieth of Tiberius (A.D. 34). The history itself purports that it was not long after Christ's death.
‡ "Whilst Fadus was procurator of Judea, a certain impostor, called Theudas, persuaded a very great multitude, taking their effects with them, to follow him to the river Jordan; for he said he was a prophet, and that, causing the river to divide, he would
of Cuspius Fadus, or not before A.D. 44; although it was very natural that Luke, a foreigner, writing in the year A.D. 71 or 72, should forget the dates of some of the Judean insurrections, and attribute such a speech to Gamaliel for want of knowing what was said; for, according to his account, the council was a secret one.*
Some have supposed that Matthew and Luke wrote first, and that Mark copied from them both; and it is true that this hypothesis would also account very well for most of the agreements between the three. But, besides, the other reasons adduced in favour of Mark's priority, it would be difficult to explain why he should have preferred following Luke in the manner of relating separate stories, and yet have omitted nearly all the stories which Luke has in addition to Matthew.
In either case, the inference occurs, that the three Evangelists are not independent witnesses. Le Clerc, indeed, said, "They seem to think more justly, who say that the first three Evangelists were unacquainted with each other's design. In that way greater weight accrues to their testimony. When witnesses agree who have first laid their heads together, they are suspected." And
give them a passage. By these speeches he deceived many, but Fadus sent out a troop of horse, who slew many, and took many prisoners. They cut off the head of Theudas, and brought it to Jerusalem. These things happened in Judea, while Cuspius Fadus was procurator." Jos. Ant. xx. cap. 4, 1. Fadus was sent as procurator after the death of Herod Agrippa. A.D. 44.
*The best vindication that Lardner can find for Luke is, that there must have been two Theudases, and that Josephus must have omitted the first (vol. i. p. 425). But it is not likely that so minute an historian should have omitted any notable attempt at insurrection; and the speech implies that it was so, by classing it with that of Judas of Galilee (A.D. 6 or 7). The very grossness of Luke's blunder, in placing Theudas before Judas, that is, fifty years wrong, at least, has been used as an argument that he could not have committed it. But events in any country might easily become misplaced by half a century in the mind of a foreigner. It would not be surprising to find a Frenchman so inaccurate in his remembrance of English history as to imagine that the Manchester massacre occurred before Lord George Gordon's riots.