« ZurückWeiter »
IX. The chapters 35, 36, and 47, give extracts from Diodorus about the Lacedæmonian kings,—the nations who ruled the seas, and the Albanian kings; and chapter 37,-on the Macedonian kings before Philip, is probably taken from the same source. Future editors of Diodorus will not neglect these extracts; to history they afford nothing new.
The annexed chronicle of Samuel of Ania is a foreign addition. For the canon of Eusebius, so far as it goes, we have other far better critical aids; the continuation, drawn from other wellknown Byzantine works on chronography, is equally valueless, up to the last centuries before the lifetime of the author, where it certainly affords some information about the Armenian State in Armenia Major, which was formed after the decline of the Caliphate, and the wretchedness of the country after its annihilation. The Armenian history is one of those of which I am most ignorant, and so I do not know whether this information is new. it should have been extracted; for care ought really to be taken to spare literature from a flood of insignificant works full of repetitions.
Ania, whence this Sainuel writes, lay not far from Acalzice and Eriwan. Colonel Rottiers, who conducted the Persian war in those regions, told me that this city lay spread out in enormous ruins ; the remains of magnificent churches and palaces were still standing in some parts, in sufficient preservation to be recognized. It is to be hoped that these ruins will be visited some day by an architect. As I happen to be speaking of Armenia, I will conclude with a notice which I have heard within the last few days (1819) from the lips of an Armenian priest, that the Christians in Pontus, and the great majority of those even in Trebizond, are Armenians, and speak Armenian. At Trebizond certainly there also exists a numerous native Greek community. In the interior of Asia Minor, even at Cesarea in Cappadocia, he says that the Christians speak Greek, but it is very corrupt and unintelligible, compared to the Greek of Constantinople. I should be inclined to suppose that its unintelligibleness arises chiefly from the intermixture of words belonging to the old barbarian tongues, and that the perfectly unintelligible language of the Christians at Zilla, near Conia, which my father heard mentioned by the Greeks in his caravan, might be a complete relic of such a language; and how many others of the same nature may exist! Would it not be an important object for a philologist to travel through Asia Minor as leisurely as might be necessary, in order to trace out the remnants of the former tongues in the dialects of the living vernacular languages ? Inscriptions, both in Greek and in those unknown languages, he would be sure to find.
THE BIRTH AND INFANCY OF JESUS.
The birth and infancy of Jesus are related by two only of the four Evangelists ; by Matthew, i. and ii., and by Luke, i. 26-56, and ii. 1-39. The genuineness of both these passages having been called in question, a preliminary inquiry arises as to their canonical authority: the question, however, need not detain us long.
*In examining,' says Bishop Marsh, the question, whether a passage of the Greek Testament be genuine or not, the first question to be asked is, What is the evidence of the Greek mss., of the ancient versions, and of the ancient fathers ?' The following is the Bishop's summary of the results of such inquiries in the case of the two first chapters of Matthew :—Now there have been not less than three hundred and fifty-five Greek mss. of the Gospels collated, every one of which contains the two first chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel, with the exception of the single Codex Ebnerianus; but even this Ms. contains the second chapter, and the more ancient Ms. contained probably the whole of the first. The evidence of the Greek mss., therefore, is decidedly in favour of the authenticity of the first two chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel
. Equally decisive is the testimony of the ancient versions, for these chapters are contained in all of them.. With respect to the quotations of ancient writers, which form the third kind of evidence, it is sufficient to observe that both Clement of Alexandria and Origen have quoted from the two chapters in question, without signifying any suspicion of their want of authenticity; and, what is still more, even Celsus, the great enemy of the Christian religion in the second century, has quoted from them (see Griesbach's Symbolæ Criticæ, Tom. ii. p. 241). We must set, therefore, all the laws of criticism at defiance if we assert that the Greek Gospel of St. Matthew, to which alone the preceding arguments relate, began with chap. iii., εν δε ταϊς ημέραις.'
Bauer, ‘Breviarium Theologiæ Biblicæ, Lipsiæ, 1803; Jones, 'Sequel to Ecclesiastical Researches,' London, 1813; Williams, ‘Free Enquiry into the Authenticity of the First and Second Chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel,' London, 1790 ; Ammon. Diss. de Lucâ emendatore Matthæi, Erlang. 1793 ; Evanson, * Dissonance of the Four generally received Evangelists,' Ipswich, 1792; also by • Authors of the Improved Version, London, 1813. h Michälis's Introd. vol. iii. p. 2, 138.
What the learned prelate conjectured as probable has since been ascertained as a fact. It is therefore decided .... that the Ebnerian MS. of the New Testament contains the tirst chapter of Matthew.' Dr. Gabler (by whom the collation was undertaken), ' Journal for Theol. Literat. ii. 1, 1801 ; apud Hug. Introd. ii. 281; Wait's Translation, 1827.
Mutatis mutandis every one of these remarks will equally apply to the disputed passage in the Gospel of Luke. Irrefutable as the case appears on this statement of Dr. Marsh's, it is in fact much stronger; indeed the evidence as thus recited would now seem to be almost universally admitted. Mr. Norton a of
says the account of the nativity given by Luke,' that there is no plausible reason for doubting' that it always made a part of his Gospel ;' and of the first two chapters of Matthew's Gospel, that there is no doubt that they have always made a part of our Greek translation. The question, therefore, may now be considered as exclusively restricted to Matthew's Hebrew original.
As to this Hebrew original, we have,' to quote Mr. Norton once more, satisfactory evidence that, as an heretical sect, the Jewish Christians used it exclusively of the other three from the second century downwards.' It is evident, both from Origen and Eusebius, that these Jewish Christians, called, as it should seem, indiscriminately Ebionites and Nazarenes,e were distributed into two different classes, “a class which denied the supernatural birth of Jesus, and another class which admitted it." A portion of these Jewish Christians, called by Jerome Nazarenes, we learn from that Father, used a copy of the Hebrew Gospel which did contain these two suspected chapters. It is fair to presume that this was the case with the entire class that admitted the supernatural birth of Jesus, to which these chapters bear such unequivocal testimony. The other class, who denied it, of course did not receive these chapters, otherwise the only Gospel which they recognized would have condemned the very foundation upon which their entire system rested. And this indeed is in fact the only class which Mr. Norton alleges not to have received the disputed passage. These are his words :- A large portion of the Jewish Christians did not believe the miraculous conception of our Lord, and had not the account of it, that is, the two chapters in question, in their copies of Matthew's Gospel.'h. But surely this is a slender ground
d The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels,' vol. i. ; Additional note A. S v. pp. 204-5.
* Dicet fortassis alius, Nazaræos sub Ebionæorum nomine a veteribus simul comprehendi: nec id specie caret. Certum enim est, sæculi secundi et tertii scriptores Ebionæorum vocabulo latiorem interdum potestatem subjecisse, quam recentiores, atque omnes Ebionæos vocasse, qui ex Judæis Christum ita receperant, ut Mosis simul legem servarent. Mosheim, De Rebus Christ.' p. 329; see also Neander, 'Church History,' vol. ii. p. 19 et all. Clark's Ed.; also Norton, i. p. 198.
* Οι διττοί Έβιωναίοι, ήτοι εκ παρθένου ομολογούντες, ομοίως ημίν, τον Ιησούν, και ουχ ούτω γεγενήσθαι, αλλ' ώς τους λοιπούς ανθρώπους. Orig. c. Cels. 1. v. c. 61, ap. Neander, ii. 18. Euseb. 1, iii. c. xxvii. vol. i. 253, ed. Heinichen Lipsiæ, 1827; see also the editor's note.
$ In Matt. ii., ap. Neander, ii. p. 20 ; Catal. de Vir. Illustr., c. 3. Mihi quoque a Nazarenis, qui in Beroa, urbe Syriæ, hoc volumine utuntur, describendi facultas fuit: Ap. Kirchhofper, "Quellensammlung zur Geshichte. d. 'N. T. Canons, p. 117. Zürich, 1844.
h Vol. i. p. 205.
on which to assail a passage, in the face of the unanimous authority of all collated mss., all the ancient versions, and the entire course of patristic testimony. Whatever inference the fact, such as it is, supplies against the two first chapters of Matthew, it equally supplies against all the other Gospels, since these Jewish Christians certainly used their copy of Matthew, “exclusively of all the other three !'Indeed, if Mr. Norton's reasoning is valid against the authority of these two chapters, we are left without any confidence in the remainder of the Gospel as it has descended to us, seeing that on the same evidence on which we have the fact that in the copies used by a “large portion of the Jewish Christians these two chapters were not extant, we are also informed that their copies were defective in other respects, though precisely in what particulars, or precisely to what extent, we do not learn. The only copy of Matthew's Gospel of which we have any accurate and certain knowledge—the only copy, moreover, of which we have any record that it was ever universally received - is the Greek translation which we have now in our possession, and that, Mr. Norton himself being witness, always has contained these two disputed chapters.' We may therefore consider the preliminary inquiry as being now disposed of, and at once proceed with the immediate subject of this paper.
Each of the canonical accounts is complete in itself. Matthew, , however, mentions several circumstances which Luke omits, and the narrative of Luke similarly supplements that of Matthew. In order, therefore, to obtain a full view of the facts as a whole, both accounts must be submitted to minute and careful investigation. Our object being partly apologetic, we will examine each of the narratives separately, observing the order of their canonical arrangement, in the hope that whatever may be lost by this method of procedure in other respects will be more than compensated in clearness and satisfaction.
1. To begin, then, with the narrative of Matthew. It thus commences - An account of the descent of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.' The account then follows, and offers nothing particularly calling for remark until we arrive at the 10th verse, where the received text reads, in the authorised version, * And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren about the time they were carried away into Babylon.': As the passage thus stands it is evidently corrupt. Both Josias and Joacim his son died before the exile. It was Jeconias that was carried away into Babylon. In 2 Kings xxiv. 6, 8, LXX., the only difference between the names of Joacim the father and Jechonias the son is, that whereas the name of the father is written with ® ('I waxiu), that of the son is written with X ('I waxine), just as in the Hebrew text the only difference in the two letters is that whereas the name of the father terminates with D, that of the son terminates with 7. In 2 Chron. xxvi. 9, the name of the son of Joacim is written as in Matthew, 'Iegovías, as also in the genealogy 1 Chron. iii. 6. How readily a transcriber, deceived by the similarity of the two names, may have omitted one of them may easily be conceived: both having been confounded, the not unnatural result was the “extrusion of one. The original records of the Jewish people having unquestionably contained both, since we may be sure that the Evangelist
i The phrase finds its precise correspondent in the Alexandrine rendering of nitkin 190 0I, Gen. v. i. airn Å BLBAOs yevérews, vid. “Trommii Concord.' $. v. Bibros, “Vox Bibros in N. T. non tantum librum, ut vulgo, sed et cate um, recensionem, significat. Exemplum est in principio Evangelii Matthæi Bibros yevéoews. Non potest ibi vox Bißros librum significare. Non enim totus liber agit de prosapiâ Christi, sed parva modo libri portio.' Vorstius de Hebraismis,' ed. Fischer,
wrote conformably to the public record of his nation,' we are fully justified, as the first step towards the restoration of the text, in inserting the name of Joacim. Nor is the restoration unsupported by authority; at least the following Mss. read 'Iwolas δε έγέννησε τον Ιωακείμ, Ιωακείμ δέ εγέννησε τον Ιεχονίαν, Cod. Vat. 349; Escurial 9, 12; Neapolit. 1; nunc Vindob. 1. The Jerusalem Syriac (Birch), and also the Philoxenian version support the amended reading. This, however, is not the only emendation which this portion of the received text requires.
No brothers of Jeconiah are anywhere mentioned; but of Joacim's the genealogist (1 Chron. iii. 15) has named three, one elder and two younger. It is perhaps worthy of remark that in the only other instance in which Matthew adds and his brethren,' it follows after the name of one who, like Joacim, was not his father's eldest son, but his fourth, Judas. Matthew in every other instance being perfectly accordant with the Old Testament genealogies, and the received text in this passage being notoriously corrupt, it is only fair to the Evangelist to suppose that the original Gospel was here and in this respect also quite in agreement with the public records. A further emendation is therefore proposed, namely, to insert the phrase και τους αδελφούς αυτού after Ιωακείμ, and not, as in the received text, after 'Isxovías.m We should therefore read, instead of 'And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren,' and Josias begat Joacim and his brethren ; and Joacim begat Jecho
* See 'Penn's Annot, to the Book of the New Covenant,' p. 120. Fischeri Proluss. de Vitt. Lexicc. note 13, p. 422, Lipsiæ, 1791. Fischer adds, vid. Treschovius Tentamen descript. codd. vett. iquot Græc. N. F. MSS. p. 24. Kuinoel in Matt. i. 11, 12, ed. 4ta. Lips. 1837. Muralto, N. T. ad fidem codicis principis Vaticani ; varr. lectt. p. 488, ed. minor Hamburg, 1848.
m A similar emendation was proposed by Robert Stephens, and afterwards by Erasmus Schmid. Fischer, * Prolusiones,' p. 423.