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xxi. 4). This is followed by the announcement of the destruction of the temple, the last judgment, and the end of the world (xxi. 5–38). The events preparatory to our Lord's passion contrast somewhat more strongly with the passion itself than in the case of the preceding synoptists (xxii. 1-38). The passion of Jesus (xxii. 39-xxiii. 56). The resurrection of the Lord, viewed especially as a glorifying of His death on the cross according to the Scriptures, and as a revelation of His new life in the risen spiritual body (xxiv.).
In the work of Dr A. Ritschl, Das Evangelium Marcions, und das kanonische Evangelium des Lukas, which, pretty much in the manner of the Tübingen school, proceeds on the hypothesis, that the Gospel of Marcion is not a mutilation of the Gospel according to Luke, but its root, the attempt to delineate the 'pragmatic plan of the Gospel of the original Luke' is introduced with the remark: It is difficult to discover any definite order whatever, chronological or material, in the Gospel (p. 203). This assertion is certainly confirmed by what follows, in which the author succeeds better in overthrowing the arrangement by Schleiermacher, based on the narrative of the journeys, than in discovering any satisfactory connection for himself. An attempt of a similar kind is found in Ebrard, p. 99. The anonymous author of the book, · Die Evangelien, ihr Geist, ihre Verfasser, und ihr Verhältniss zu einander' (Leipzig, Otto Wigand, 1845), has marked the traces of the peculiarities of the Gospels, especially also of Luke, with much acuteness. But the delicate and free physiognomic forms of these peculiarities have, through his singular want of appreciation of the domination of the one Spirit of Christ in the four Gospels, been distorted into malicious, politically refined caricatures. Criticism has here reached that stage in which it seeks to interpret the unconstrained, fine, and beautiful lines of life in the different conceptions of the one object, formed by the several Evangelists, as specimens of the shrewd cunning, the spite and the animosities, which flow from party feeling, and to ascribe, therefore, those peculiar gifts, whose common vital ground is the one Spirit of God, to the spirit of hierarchical and political cabal. The preparation for this newest point of view, which seeks a construction of the Gospels by the
imputation of immoral and disreputable motives, was, indeed, already in existence. In reference to the essay by Zeller, • Ueber den dogmatischen Character des dritten Evangeliums,' in his Theol. Jahrbücher,' ii. 1843, comp. Baggesen, Bedenken gegen die Berufung des Herrn Dr C. Zeller, p. 11.
TIIE LITERARY PREFACE.
(Chap. i. 1-4.)
In the preface, which is comprehended in a single, scientifically constructed, and somewhat lengthy sentence, the Evangelist addresses himself to his friend Theophilus, and commits to him the writing, which, in the first instance, he has dedicated to him.
He first indicates the sources of help which he had within his reach; states the character of his investigation ; and finally, mentions the immediate and chief object which occasioned the writing of the book. 'Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth a de
" claration of the events which have had their accomplishment (see above, i. 260) in the midst of us (in us ?), according as those who were eye-witnesses from the beginning, and became ministers of the word (of these events), have delivered them unto us, it seemed good to me also, having carefully gone through the whole from the beginning (from the first beginnings), to write it for thee, most excellent? Theophilus, ' in orderly succession, that thou mightest be acquainted with the sure foundation of the doctrines in which thou hast been instructed.'
| This expression shows that he does not mean to find fault with the written records, which lay before him.
Κρατιστος. * Probably a title of honour.'— De Wette. 3 • Not nom. appell., or a feigned name. Who, however, the man was, cannot be determined.'—De Wette. In reference to the untenableness of the supposition that he was a high priest of this name, or an Alexandrian, see De Wette's Evang. des Luk.
* On the term xebe&is, see Ebrard, p. 95.
The Evangelist had thus a variety of evangelical documents in his possession. Besides this, he had received reports from original eye-witnesses of the Gospel history (also of its first commencement, the history of the childhood of Jesus). In general, he had found the documents to be in harmony with the reports. Nevertheless, from the existing material of written and oral traditions, he constructed a new work. This writing has primarily for its object to impart to a single individual, Theophilus, a Christian and personal friend of the Evangelist, a trustworthy historical foundation for his evangelical faith.
Although Luke was a disciple and companion of Paul, and composed his Gospel in a Pauline spirit, even if we must admit that he was in possession of evangelical traditions in common with Paul, it follows from the foregoing, that he must have written his history in an independent manner.
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF JESUS.—THE PARENTS
OF HIS FORERUNNER. THE ANNUNCIATIONS. THE UN-
(Chap. i. 5–80.)
The beginning of the history of the personal life of Jesus conducts us to the temple at Jerusalem. It was in the temple that the first word of the near approach of Christ was spoken. The announcement was given by the angel Gabriel to a priest. Thereafter the same angel brings tidings of the approaching birth to a virgin in Nazareth, whom God had destined to be His mother.
The priest is Zacharias, who lives with his wife Elisabeth, of the daughters of Aaron, in the hill country of Judea. They have grown old, without having enjoyed the coveted blessing of
children. Zacharias belongs to the priestly order of Abia, which, according to the appointed course, at this time executes the priest's office in the temple. By lot he has been selected to burn incense, which leads him into the temple. Here the angel appears to him, and imparts the heavenly message.
The virgin who receives the second message is Mary, the betrothed of Joseph, of the house of David, in Nazareth.
It is remarkable, however, how strongly the history of the first message contrasts with the second.
Zacharias is an aged priest, who, with his wife Elisabeth, has walked in all the commandments and ordinances (means of justification, dikaiájaoi) of the Lord, blameless. He is occupied in the sanctuary, in the holiest function—the offering of the incense, praying, and fulfilling the symbol of the prayers of Israel. Here the angel appears to him. As a propitious sign, he places himself on the right side of the altar, and announces the tidings, that his prayer for a son has been at length heard, and that this son should be the forerunner of the Messiah. But Zacharias is struck with fear and troubled at the appearance. At first he cannot believe the message, because he and his wife are advanced in years; and he asks for a sign, by which he may know its truth. As a chastisement for his unbelief, the angel informs him that he should be dumb until the day that these things were accomplished. Thus the priest returns from the temple under a penalty of dumbness. He is unable to declare to the people the glad tidings of the nearness of the Messiah, but must carry them in silence back with him to his mountains. These are already indications that the temple-service approaches its end.
How entirely different is it with the history of the second message! It is imparted, not to a priest, but to a young Jewess -not in the temple, but at Nazareth in Galilee—not during the burning of incense on the altar, but in the simple dwelling of the virgin. But Mary receives the heavenly message with an heroic faith. She sees the angelic appearance with a more defined distinctness than Zacharias : it is as if a traveller by the way had turned in to visit her. And yet she is not afraid, like the priest.
The one received the smaller promise, that his wife, the aged
1 In the first case, it is " noon dè avrợ ; in the second, kad sioenowy ó άγγελος.
Elisabeth, should bear him a son, the forerunner of the Messiah, and doubted : Mary listened to the most unheard-of announcement, that she should bear the Messiah-bear Him as virgin, and was prompt to believe. The priest has to return with the heavenly message dumb to his home; and only after the son is born, or rather only at his circuincision, does he recover speech again, to sing the hymn of praise : Mary is at once moved with heavenly joy, and proclaims her blessedness in a song of thanksgiving.
This is the contrast between the Old and New Covenants. It also belongs to the contrast, that Elisabeth, after her conception, hid herself five months, according to Old Testament custom; whilst Mary, in the freedom of the New Testament spirit, hastens away over the mountains to visit her friend, after she has received the heavenly message, and its fulfilment is already in progress. In the opposite demeanour of the two mothers, there appears a reflection of the future mode of life which distinguishes the sons : John, who withdraws into the desert; and the Lord, who goes about doing good unto all.
Notwithstanding this inequality, in which the high dignity of the New Covenant in comparison with the Old, the decisive advance by which Christianity transcends Judaism significantly announces itself, we still find the closest connection, relationship, and harmony between the two. The same angel brings the first message and also the second, and in the second makes reference to the first. It is one grand operation of divine sovereignty which calls into being the two great messengers of the coming kingdom almost at the same time.
They have both, according to the announcement of the angel, a close affinity to each other: the one born in the old age of the priestly couple, and filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; the other the miraculous offspring of the Virgin, conceived and born through the overshadowing power and operation of the Holy Ghost : the one a prophet, great in the sight of the Lord —a Nazarite, who drinks neither wine nor strong drink—the forerunner of the Messiah, who goes before Him in the power of Elias, and turns many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,' to make ready a people
1 On the reference of this passage to the scribes and Pharisees, see vol. i. p. 347.