CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL
THE NEW TESTAMENT
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
HEINRICH AUGUST WILHELM MEYER, TH.D.,
TRANSLATED FROM THE SIXTH EDITION OF THE GERMAN BY
REV. PETER CHRISTIE
THE TRANSLATION REVISED AND EDITED BY
FREDERICK CROMBIE, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL CRITICISM, ST. MARY’S COLLEGE, ST. ANDREWS.
T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET.
PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR
T HE translation of this first volume of the Commentary on Matthew has been made from the last (sixth) edition of the original, which had been carefully revised by Dr. Meyer himself, and which has been recently edited from his manuscript, with very slight alterations, by Dr. Albert Ritschl, of Göttingen. The translator of the portion extending from the sixth chapter to the end is the Rev. Peter Christie, of Abbey St. Bathans, who has performed his work with care and ability; but the whole has been revised and carried through the press by myself. As in the volumes of the series already published, reference has been made throughout to the English translations of Winer’s and Buttmann’s Grammars of New Testament Greek, and frequently also to translations of other German works, quoted or referred to by Dr. Meyer. For the copious Bibliographical list prefixed to the book, I am indebted to my learned friend and co-editor Professor Dickson, who has also translated the biographical sketch of Dr. Meyer by his son, which accompanies it.
For a statement of the circumstances which have led to the issue of the Commentary of Dr. Meyer in an English translation, of the special grounds for preferring it to the kindred work of de Wette, and of the reasons which have induced the editors to undertake the work of revising the several portions of the translation in the interests of technical accuracy and uniformity, the reader may be referred to the “General Preface,” prefixed by Dr. Dickson to the volume first issued, viz. Romans, vol. I.
It is only necessary to say further, that the editors are not to be held as concurring in Dr. Meyer’s opinions on some matters embraced in this volume, such as his theory of the original composition of the Gospel, and his views regarding the credibility of certain portions of the history.
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE, ST. ANDREWS,
31st October 1877.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF DR. MEYER
BY HIS SON, DR GUSTAV MEYER, PH.D.
M Y father, who died on the 21st June 1873, was born in Gotha on the 10th January 1800. On the 12th January he was baptized in the St. Margaret’s Church, and received the names Heinrich August Wilhelm. His father was shoemaker to the ducal court, and was a native of Rügheim in Lower Franconia. An old family document,—a certificate of my grandfather’s baptism,—composed with the pleasing diffuseness of the olden time, states that Rügheim was “under the dominion of the most reverend Prince and Lord of the Holy Roman Empire, Lord Francis Louis, Bishop of Bamberg and Würzburg.” It is a peculiarity of this document, drawn up in 1781, that the name is never written Meyer, but always Majer or Mayer. My late father was a tender child, and a crayon portrait which has been preserved, representing him when a boy of about seven years of age, shows a pale and delicate face—in which, however, the large, earnest-looking eye suggests an active mind. His bodily training was anything but effeminate. He practised swimming and skating, not merely as a schoolboy and a student, but at a much later age, when such exercises had long been given up by many of his companions. And it was in truth not a time for rearing boys tenderly. One of his earliest recollections was of the autumn of 1806, when, not quite seven years old, he saw the prisoners from the battle of Jena confined in the churches of his native town. Gotha lay in the line of retreat of the beaten French in the days of October 1813; and he was an eye-witness of the way in which the Cossacks drove before them and made havoc of the magnificent Imperial Guard.
He received his school training in the Gymnasium of his native town, which had a reputation passing far beyond the narrow bounds of the little province, and could point to pupils drawn from the most remote regions. His teachers were Döring, Kaltwasser, Galletti, Kries, Schulz, Regel, Uckert, Rost, and eventually also Bretschneider as religious instructor. At the Gymnasium of Gotha he laid the foundations of his classical culture; there he first acquired a deep and thorough familiarity with the laws of the Greek and Roman languages,—a tenacious adherence to which was a characteristic feature of his later labours, and not unfrequently brought on him the reproach of pedantic stiffness. While he greatly lamented the neglect of modern languages during his days at school, he was yet far from granting that the methods of instruction pursued in the Gymnasia of more recent times, or the requirements of the Abiturient examination, were preferable to those of his youth. He conceived that in former times there were greater facilities for each individual following out his own course of self-development. It was not to be denied that an Abiturient of the present day, after having passed a good examination, could show a greater extent and wider range of knowledge; but it was to be feared that this knowledge was more of an encyclopaedic nature, and excluded thoroughness and depth. Be this as it may,—and the question is not even now to be held as decided,—the grammar-schoolboy, August Meyer, who had gradually been advanced to the highest class and to the foremost place in it, must have been esteemed by his teachers as one who had well bestowed his time and strength on following out his predominant bias—bordering perhaps on one-sidedness—for the classical languages.
The third centenary celebration of the Reformation was duly honoured even in the Gymnasium at Gotha. To Meyer was entrusted the Latin address on the occasion, which was to be delivered in hexameters. There lies before me the third edition of Heyne’s Tibullus, which was presented to him by some of the citizens “in celebration of the jubilee festival of the Reformation, 1817, upon the recommendation of his teachers.” Half a year after this incident, important at all events in the career of a grammar-schoolboy, namely, at Easter 1818, he passed his Abiturient-examination, and entered the University of Jena to study theology. “These were different times,” he was wont to say, “from the present. Everything was much simpler and less luxurious than now, when the course of study costs more than twice as much, and yet not twice as much is learned.” All honour to the greater simplicity of those days; but unless money had had a far greater value then than now, such a course of study, moderate as it was in price, would not have been possible for him even with the strictest frugality. The father of the young student of theology had sustained a serious loss of means by the continuance of the troubles of war, the quartering of troops in large numbers, severe sickness, and other misfortunes. His son cost him at Jena 80 thalers (£1.2) half-yearly. He had no exhibition, no free board; only he had, of course, mostly free clothing, the renewal of which was as a rule reserved for the holidays. And yet he was withal no recluse. The charm of the fresh student-life, which, just after the War of Liberation, burst into so fair a bloom, had strong attractions for him. He was a member of the great Burschenschaft. Most leaves of his note-book exhibited the crossed rapiers with the G. E. F. V. of the fraternity. Thoroughly simple must have been the social life of that joyous academic youth of 1818 and 1819! Should these lines perhaps meet the eyes of one or another of my father’s old comrades, especially in Thuringia,—and some are still there, he was wont to say, but not many,—they will possibly awaken recollections of the cheap Commerse in the public market, of the drinking and guitar-playing, of the rapier duels fought out in the open street, of the journeyings home at vacation time,—fifteen hours on foot from Jena to Gotha, without putting up for the night, not seldom in bad weather, in snow and rain. Many who shared these journeys are doubtless no longer surviving. One who, on account of his ever-ready knowledge of Greek, was called by his friends the Count of ἐπί, equally prepared for conflict with the rapier or with the tongue, was especially often mentioned by him, and held in sincere esteem. He was called away long before him, and died universally respected as a Head-master in our province. After the unhappy deed of Karl Sand in March 1819, and the dissolution of the great Burschenschaft which thereupon ensued, my father took no further part in student-life, but applied himself all the more zealously to those studies of which he had not hitherto been neglectful. His theological teachers were Gabler, Schott, Danz, Baumgarten-Crusius, Kosegarten the Orientalist, Eichstädt the philologist, Fries the philosopher, and Luden the historian. As he was fond of recalling—and not without regret that their days were over—the lectures read in Latin, such as Schott’s, he often also, and with pleasure, called to mind the discussions on theological subjects, which were started by the young students even in their walks and were conducted in Latin. He felt himself least attracted by the prelections on philosophy; his whole bent was already at that time decidedly towards the field of languages.
After a curriculum of two years and a half, at Michaelmas 1820 he left the University; and entered, as domestic tutor, the educational institution of Pastor Oppermann, who subsequently became his father-in-law, at Grone near Göttingen. The time for young theologians then was similar to what it is now. They were wholly, or almost wholly, spared that long and laborious career of domestic tutorship, which led many a one, amidst the subsequent crowd pressing forward to the study of theology, to lose heart and hope. At Easter 1821 he underwent his examination as candidate at Gotha, and soon he had the choice between an appointment in the Gymnasium of his native city and a pastorate. He chose the latter; and in December 1822 was nominated as pastor at Osthausen in the district of Kranichfeld, which subsequently (1826) was ceded, on the division of the ducal inheritance, from Gotha to Meiningen. In January of the following year, when exactly twenty-three years old, he was installed as pastor in Osthausen; and in July of the same year he brought home from Grone to fair Thuringia his youthful bride. How soon afterwards came a change of times! To the candidates who not long thereafter appeared in numbers exceeding the demand,—men, who had but finished their examinations at the age of thirty, whose hair not seldom began to get suspiciously grey while they were still domestic tutors, and who counted the duration of their affianced state at least by lustres,—it must have sounded almost like a fable, that a young theologian had established for himself a home of his own as an independent pastor at the age of twenty-three. God, who bestowed on him this great favour, granted to him also a duration of the married state for almost forty years.
The pleasant leisure which fell to the young pastor’s lot in a community of about 400 souls—for which down to the close of his life he cherished the utmost affection—did not make his mind indolent or his hands idle. It was natural that so juvenile a pastor should still for a time address himself to private study before coming before the public as an author, and all the more so in his case, seeing that in 1827 he went to Hannover for the purpose of passing a Colloquium, with a view to acquire the privilege of naturalization in the then existing kingdom. But as early as the year 1829 there was issued by Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht—the esteemed publishing-house, with which he so long maintained most friendly relations—the first portion of his work on the New Testament, containing the Greek text and the German translation. In the year 1830 followed his Libri symbolici Ecclesiae Lutheranae. In the same year—as a fruit of his Colloquium, and probably also of the services already rendered by him in the field of theological literature—he was appointed as pastor at Harste, near Göttingen. Although he had paved the way for such a step by acquiring naturalization in 1827, and had by his marriage with the pastor’s daughter in Grone become half a Hannoverian, and indeed a man of Göttingen, the breaking up of the home established seven years before at Osthausen was a sore trial to my parents. On the day after Christmas, amidst a severe snowstorm, when they doubly missed their wonted comfortable abode, they set out on their perilous journey from Osthausen amidst tears shed alike by those departing and by those left behind. It was not till the third day that the hardships and perils of the winter-migration were oMatthew :Their new relations were not at first of too agreeable a nature. They needed to be gradually inured to their new position in life before they could feel themselves at home in it. With the far less perfect communication at that time between the several districts of our country, and with the loose connection subsisting between one portion of the Germanic Federation and another, a journey from the Meiningen to the Göttingen district was a more distant, and a transference of abode thither in more than one respect a more difficult, matter than at present. Yet, in spite of the many new impressions which had to be formed and assimilated,—the power of which did not permit him in the remotest degree to anticipate that he would part from this community also with deep pain,—my father did not allow his scientific labours to lie in abeyance. In the beginning of the year 1832 appeared the second part of his work on the New Testament, containing the Commentary. The long time that elapsed between the first part (1829) and the second is explained by “the change of his place of abode, and the edition of the Libri symbolici, issued in the jubilee-year of the Augsburg Confession” (Preface, 20th Jan. 1832). The Commentary, according to the original plan, was to form two divisions, the first of which was to extend to the Book of Acts (inclusive), and the second was to embrace the remaining books. That this idea proved a mistaken one; that the work has extended to 16 divisions; that his own strength did not suffice to overtake the constantly increasing labour; that new editions were continually needed; that an English translation of it is in the press,—all this is evidence of the rare favour which the Commentary has retained for more than forty years among the theological public of all schools. It would be surprising, if in so long a period the standpoint of the author, diligent as he was and unwearied in research, had not undergone modifications; and that in the course of years his views did become more positive, is a fact well known to his readers; but to the principle of grammatico-historical interpretation, on which so much stress is laid in the Preface of 1832, he remained unalterably faithful down to the close of his life. And as a zealous representative of this school he will maintain his place in the history of exegesis, whatever new literary productions time may bring to light.
With a rare activity of mind, he had the skill to lay hold of whatever—whether from friends or from opponents—could be of service to him. The circumstance that he mastered without difficulty the contents of the most voluminous Latin exegetes, and most conscientiously consulted the old Greek expositors, cannot surprise us, when we consider his preponderant leaning to classical studies; but the facts, that he used with ease commentaries written in English and French, that he never left out of view works composed in Dutch, and that he made himself master of Gothic so far as in a critical and exegetical point of view he had need of it,—all serve to attest alike his uncommon qualifications and his iron diligence. Everything new that made its appearance in the field of theological literature, especially in the domain of exegesis, excited his interest; sparing in self-indulgence otherwise, he conceived that, so far as concerned the acquisition of books, he had need to put a restraint on himself; as regards edition, place of publication, size, rarity, and the like, he had an astonishing memory. The administration of a large and liberally supported library seemed to him to be an enviable lot. The theological public hardly needs to be told that studies so comprehensive in range required of course years, and many years, to reach maturity, and that between the Commentary on Matthew of the year 1832 and the fifth edition of the same work in 1864, a very considerable difference in every respect is discernible. Among the MSS. left behind him I find a sixth edition of his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, which, although according to his own expression not yet quite ripe for the press, to judge from a superficial glance through it, deserves in every respect to be pronounced an improvement on its predecessor. He was in the habit of long polishing at a work and correcting it, before he marked it “ready for the press.” The ninth division—the Epistles to the Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon—was being printed in a fourth edition, when an incurable visceral disorder threw him on his last short, but painful, sickbed.
It was beyond doubt in great measure a result of the favour which his Commentary enjoyed, that the author was at a comparatively early age withdrawn from the quiet work of a rural pastor and called to Hoya as superintendent at Michaelmas 1837. In this position as Ephorus and as preacher in a country town, whose inhabitants must be presumed to have had other claims than those of simple villagers, two aspects of his nature had opportunity to show and further develope themselves—that of the practical man of business, and that of the pulpit orator. In the first-named relation he was thoroughly exact; his principle was “to be always ready.” To postpone disagreeable affairs, to put off irksome reports, was just as impossible for him as to leave accounts unpaid. He vied with his fellow-commissary, the no less exact von Honstedt, former high-steward at Hoya, in the quick despatch of the business on hand, and the art of gaining something from the day—namely, by early rising. As a pulpit orator he strove honestly and with success to expound the word of the cross in plain and simple form as the power of God unto salvation, and he was listened to with pleasure so long as he acted as a preacher (till Midsummer 1848).
His ministry in Hoya lasted only four years, during which the publication of his Commentary went on with unabated vigour. At Michaelmas 1844 he was called to Hannover as Consistorialrath, Superintendent, and chief pastor of the Neustädter St. Johanniskirche. I well remember the many attestations of unfeigned affection and cordial attachment, when on the clear sunny autumn day, thirty-two years ago, he departed from Hoya to enter upon the more stirring and more responsible career before him in the capital. None but a man in the prime of his vigour could do justice at once to his position in the supreme ecclesiastical court, and to the duties of superintendent and pastor in a community of more than 5000 souls. He had but little ministerial help in his pastoral office. It was his duty to preach every Sunday forenoon; a scantily paid court-chaplain, who was obliged to make up the deficiency of his income by giving private lessons, had regularly the service in the afternoon, and was expected, moreover, to act for him in any pastoral duties when at any time he was hindered from discharging them. But how often it happened that he was called away even from the sittings of the Consistory to administer baptism to infants apparently dying and the communion to the sick, because his court-chaplain was under the necessity of giving private lessons somewhere! It required, in truth, a stubborn following out of his principle of “being always ready” (as in fact it was his wont, almost without exception, to prepare for his sermon even on the Monday), to remain faithful to his vocation as an exegete amidst this burden of work. It was again the early hours of the morning which put him in a position to do so. He obtained an honourable recognition of the services thus rendered at Easter 1845, when he was nominated by the Faculty at Göttingen Doctor of Theology, “propter eximiam eruditionem artemque theologicam eamque praecipue editis excellentissimis doctissimisque in libros Novi Testamenti commentariis, quibus consensu omnium de ornanda et amplificanda hermeneutica sacra praeclarissime meruit, comprobatam.”
Hitherto the lines of the son of the court-shoemaker in Gotha had fallen in pleasant places; but he was now to see days in which the hand of the Lord was to be laid heavily upon him. It was doubtless in part a result of the unusual demands made on his strength—to which was added his taking part in the Church Conference at Berlin in the winter of 1846—that at the end of February in that year he was stretched by a severe visceral affection on a sickbed, which long threatened to be his last. But the goodness of God averted the danger, and preserved him still for a number of years to his friends and to theological science. The strenuous care of the now long departed Hofrath Holscher was successful in putting him on the way to slow recovery, which was accelerated in a most gratifying manner by a visit to the mineral waters of Marienbad. But the old indomitable strength was gone. This he perceived only too plainly, even when he had for the second time gratefully felt the benefit of the Bohemian medicinal springs. His weakened health imperatively demanded a change in his manner of life, and a consequent diminution of the burden of labour that lay upon him. Henceforth he became—what he had never previously allowed himself the time for—a habitual walker. Every morning between 7 and 8 o’clock, after having previously devoted some hours to exegesis, in wind and storm, summer and winter, even on the morning of the Sundays when he had to preach, he took his accustomed walk, to which he ascribed in no small degree his gradual recovery of strength. At the same time he became a zealous water-drinker, and he called water and walking his two great physicians. The lightening of his labour, that was so essentially necessary, came at Midsummer 1848, when he resigned his duties as Ephorus and pastor, in order to devote himself henceforth solely to the Consistory, in which, however, as may readily be understood, the measure of his labours became greater in point both of quality and of quantity. Many of the clergy of our province belonging to the days when there were still three examinations to be passed and that in Latin, will recollect with pleasure the time when he conducted the preliminary, and regularly took part in the stricter, trials. His easily intelligible Latin, and his definite and clear mode of putting questions, were specially spoken of with praise.
His aged mother witnessed with just pride his enjoyment of the fruit of his exertions; she did not die till the year 1851, after she had had, and had conferred, the pleasure of a visit to him at HannoMatthew :On the Christmas eve of 1858 he stood by the bier of a son of much promise, who, as a teacher of the deaf and dumb at Hildesheim, was carried off by typhus, away from his parental home, in the flower of his age, at twenty-three. This blow was no doubt far more severe than that by which, in 1847, God took from him a boy of seven years; but under this painful trial the word of the cross approved itself to him a power of God. In May 1861 he became Oberconsistorialrath. The constant uncertainty of his health, moreover, and in particular a very annoying sleeplessness, made him even at that time entertain the idea of superannuation. In the summer of 1863 he sought and found partial relief at the springs of Homburg. In January 1864 the hand of God dissolved the marriage-tie, which he had formed in the year 1823. In the preface to the fifth edition of the Commentary on St. Matthew he has penned a well-deserved tribute to the memory of the faithful companion of his life, who had shared with him the joys and sorrows of forty years.
From the Midsummer of this year down to his death—exactly, therefore, nine years—he lived under the same roof with me, affectionately tended by my wife, the teacher, friend, companion, I might almost say playmate, of his two granddaughters.
On 1st October 1865 he retired from official life, on which occasion, in honourable recognition of his lengthened services, he obtained a higher decoration of the Guelphic Order which he had already worn since 1847—the cross of a Commander of the Second Class. At first he retained some share in conducting the examinations; but this official employment, too, he soon gave up. Twice after his superannuation he was present by direction of the Government at Halle to take part in the Conference, which occupied itself with the settlement of a uniform text for Luther’s translation of the Bible, and the fruit of which was the edition of 1870, published at the Canstein Bible-Institute. Now that, at the age of sixty-five, he was released from professional activity in the strict sense of the term, he could devote his life the more tranquilly to science and to the pleasure of the society of his friends. His two granddaughters accompanied him regularly on his walks in the morning; and I know several houses, the inmates of which looked out every day upon the company regularly making its appearance, in which hoary age, with blooming youth playing around it, seemed to return to the bright days of childhood. And the kindly grandfather in the midst of his granddaughters on these morning walks was not monosyllabic or mute. On these occasions jest and earnest alternated with instructions and reflections of the most varied character. Punctually every morning at the same hour he returned home from these walks, which he continued to his last day of health. But he returned not in order to be idle. He was wont by way of joke, even after his superannuation, to speak of how precisely his time was meted out, and how strictly he had to husband it. The earlier rapidity of his writing no doubt ceased, and increasing age imperatively demanded pauses, where his more youthful vigour would not have even felt the need of a break.
To all political party-proceedings he was thoroughly hostile; but he followed the mighty events of the years 1866 and 1870 with the liveliest interest. When the German question was being solved by blood and iron, when old thrones tottered and fell, he had a cordial sympathy with much that was disappearing irretrievably; but he did not obstinately close his eyes to the gratifying fruit which sprang up on the bloody soil of 1866. Difficult as it certainly would have been for the old man to reconcile himself to altogether new relations of allegiance, he sincerely rejoiced over the increasing strength of Germany, and that with the greater reason, because he knew from the experiences of his youth how sad was the prospect in those days when Germany was simply a geographical idea. And if the year 1866 may have kept alive some bitter recollections now and then in one who had grown grey in the service of the kingdom of Hannover, he well understood the language of thunder, in which God spoke to the nations in 1870, and he recognised the sovereign sway of the Almighty, who with strong arm saved us from the house of bondage. To a man, who in the years of his boyhood had so often heard the French shout of victory, had seen the great Napoleon, had passed through the times of the Rhenish Confederation, and had grown up to manhood in the period when so many political hopes were nipped in the bud, the blows of Weissenburg and Wörth, the united onset of all Germans, appeared almost like a fable. How often he changed the direction of his accustomed walks, in order to hear at the telegraph-office of new victories and heroic deeds! And how grateful was he, who had shared in the times of sore calamity and ignominy, for what God permitted the Germans to achieve! He was born under the last Emperor of the house of Hapsburg; could anything else be expected of the Protestant exegete, than that he should cordially rejoice at the mode in which the German Empire was reconstituted on the 18th January 1871 at Versailles?
In the sphere of religion, as in that of politics, all ill-temper and irritation were odious and repugnant to him. He had, in the course of time, as every reader of his exegetical work well enough knows, become more positive in his views; but he was far removed from any confessional narrow-mindedness or persecuting spirit. He desired that there should be no stunting or spoiling of the homely, simple words of Scripture either from one side or another; and he deeply lamented it, wherever it occurred, let the cause of it be what it would. He never concealed his conviction; it has gone abroad everywhere in many thousand copies of his book; and he carried with him to the grave the hope that it would please God, in His own time, to complete the work of the Reformation.
A mere outward observer of the tranquil and regular course of life of my late father might not surmise, but those who were in closer intercourse with him for the last two years could not conceal from themselves, that his day was verging to its close. No doubt he still always rose, summer and winter, immediately after four o’clock; he was constantly to be seen beginning his walks at the same time; his interest in his favourite science was still the same; but his daily life became more and more circumscribed in its range, and the pendulum of his day’s work vibrated more and more slowly, so that its total cessation could not but be apprehended. The journeys to the house of his son-in-law, Superintendent Steding at Drausfeld, where he had so often found refreshment and diffused joy by his visits, had long since ceased. After a fall, which he met with about a year before his death, his walks were curtailed. To this outward occasion he attributed what was probably a consequence of gradual decline of strength and advancing age.
The Lord of life and death, who had so graciously dealt with him for seventy-three years, as he himself most gratefully acknowledged, spared him also from prolonged suffering at the last. On the 15th June he still followed quite his usual mode of life; he spent the afternoon with contentment and cheerfulness in his garden, then took a little walk, and went to rest punctually at eight o’clock, as he always did in his latter years. The walk on that Sunday afternoon was to be his last, and the unfolding glories of the summer were not to be seen by him again with the bodily eye. During the night, towards one o’clock, he awoke us, as he was suffering from violent iliac pains. With the calmest composure he recognised the hand of the Lord, which would remove him from the scene of his rich and fruitful labours. He declared that he was willing and ready to depart, asking only for a speedy and not too painful end. The medical aid which at once hastened to his side afforded indeed momentary relief by beneficial injections of morphia; but the eye of science saw the same danger as those around him had immediately felt and foreboded.(1) It was an incurable visceral affection, which was conjectured to be connected with the severe illness that he had happily survived twenty-seven years before. On the 19th June a transient gleam of hope shone once more for a short time. “Willingly,” he said on this day, after an uneasy night, “would I still remain with you; but willingly am I also ready to depart, if God calls me.” It was but a brief gleam of the setting sun before the approach of night. This we could not but soon perceive, and this he himself saw with the manly Christian self-possession, by means of which he had been so often in life a comfort and example to us. Soon after there set in a state of half-slumber, during which the most diversified images flitted in chequered succession before his mind. Now he saw himself seated before a large page from the New Testament, on which he was employed in commenting, while he fancied that he held the pipe in his mouth. In this way had he devoted many a quiet morning hour to his favourite study, when his window had been the only one lighted up in the street. Then, again, he busied himself with the Fatherland; “Germany, Germany above all,” we heard him distinctly say. Was it that the recollections of his cheerful student-days, when the Burschenschaft was full of fervour and enthusiasm specially for the Fatherland, became interwoven with the mighty events of his latter years? Soon afterwards he saw clearly the cross, of which he had so often during his long life experienced and diffused the blessing. On the 20th June there was given the fatally significant intimation that he might be allowed to partake of anything which he wished. He made no further use of it than to take some beer, of which he had always been fond. But it was only for a passing moment; and the beer also soon remained untouched, just as his pipe and box, formerly his inseparable attendants, had since his sickness lost their power of attraction. Violent vomiting and the weary singultus, which hardly abated for a moment, announced but too plainly that the end of that busy life was closely approaching. Shortly before 10 P.M., on the 21st June, he entered without struggle upon his rest. His wish, often and urgently expressed during his lifetime and also on his deathbed, that his body might be opened for medical examination, was complied with on the following day. The result was to exhibit such visceral adhesion and intussusception,—beyond doubt an after-effect of his earlier illness,—that even the daring venture of a surgical operation could not have been attended with success. On Midsummer-day he was buried in the Neustädter churchyard, where he had so often, during the exercise of his pastoral functions, stood by the open grave of members of his flock. On the cross at his tomb are placed the words from Romans 14:8 : “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord’s.”
HANNOVER, December 1873.
PREFACE TO THE PRESENT (SIXTH) EDITION
T HE venerable author of the Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of Matthew, who was called away from this life just this day two years ago, left behind him a complete revision of the book with a view to a sixth edition of it. He was most conscientiously careful in keeping the successive editions, that were ever being called for, of the several portions of his Commentary on the New Testament thoroughly on a level with the competing critical and exegetical labours of his contemporaries. Accordingly he had prepared in good time the matter to be substituted for the fifth edition of the present part, which appeared in 1864. The few material changes and the supplementary additions, by which this edition is distinguished from its predecessor, are thus wholly the work of Meyer. The undersigned, out of friendship for the publisher, and out of dutiful affection towards the author, with whom he was closely connected in his latter years, undertook to look over the manuscript, and has accordingly deemed himself entitled merely to make alterations of minor compass in form and style. This Preface, therefore, has no other object than simply to introduce the book afresh to the theological public, to whom there is no need that I should descant on the merits of the deceased author in order to keep alive his memory and the enduring intellectual influence of his work.
PROFESSOR DR. A. RITSCHL.
GÖTTINGEN, 21st June 1875.
[THE following list—which is not meant to be exhaustive, but is intended to embrace the more important works in the several departments to which it applies—contains commentaries, or collections of notes, which relate to the New Testament as a whole, to the four Gospels as such, to the three Synoptic Gospels (including the chief Harmonies), or to the Gospel of Matthew in particular, along with the principal editions of the Greek New Testament that are referred to in the critical remarks prefixed to each chapter, and the more noteworthy Grammars and Lexicons of New Testament Greek. It does not include (with the exception of some half-dozen works that contain considerable exegetical matter) the large number of treatises dealing with questions of Introduction or of historical criticism in relation to the Gospels, because these are generally specified by Meyer when he refers to them; nor does it contain monographs on chapters or sections, which are generally noticed by Meyer in loc. Works mainly of a popular or practical character have, with a few exceptions, been excluded, since, however valuable they may be on their own account, they have but little affinity with the strictly exegetical character of the present work. The editions quoted are usually the earliest; al. appended denotes that the book has been more or less frequently reissued; † marks the date of the author’s death; c. = circa, an approximation to it.
W. P. D.]
ALFORD (Henry), D.D., (4) 1871, Dean of Canterbury: The Greek Testament, with a critically revised text … and a critical and exegetical commentary. 4 vols. 8°, Lond. 1849–61, a(5).
ANGER (Rudolph), (6) 1866, Prof. Theol. at Leipzig: Synopsis Evangeliorum Matthaei, Marci, Lucae.… 8°, Lips. 1852.
ANNOTATIONS upon all the books of the O. and N. Testament.… by the joint labour of certain learned divines thereunto appointed … [by the Westminster Assembly of Divines]. 2 vols. 2°, Lond. 1645, a(7).
ANSELM, of Laon, (8) 1117, Teacher of Schol. Theol. at Paris: Glossa interlinearis. 2°, Basil. 1502, a(9).
AQUINAS (Thomas), (10) 1274, Scholastic philosopher: Catena vere aurea in quatuor Evangelia. 2°, s. l. 1474, a(11).
[Translated by Dr. Pusey and others. 4 vols. in 8. 8°, Oxf. 1841–45.]
ARNAULD (Antoine), (16) 1694, Port Royalist. Historia et Concordia evangelica. 12°, Paris. 1643, a(17).
ARNOLDI (Matthias): Commentar zum Evangelium des h. Matthäus. 8°, Trier, 1856.
AUGUSTINUS (Aurelius), (18) 430, Bishop of Hippo: Exegetica commentaria in N. T., viz. De consensu Evangelistarum libri iv.; De sermone Domini in Monte libri ii.; Quaestionum Evangeliorum libri ii.; Quaestionum septendecim in Evang. Secundum Matthaeum liber i.; In Joannis Evangelium tractatus cxxiv.; in Epistolam Joannis ad Parthos tractatus x.; Expositio quarundam propositionum ex Epistola ad Romanos, liber i.; Epistolae ad Romanos inchoata expositio, liber i.; Expositio Epistolae ad Galatas, liber i. [Opera, tom. iii. ed. Benedict. 2°, Paris. 1680, a(19).]
[Partly translated in “Library of the Fathers” and in “Works of St. Augustine.”]
BEAUSOBRE (Isaac de), (23) 1738, French pastor at Berlin: Remarques historiques, critiques et philologiques sur le N. T. 2 tomes. 4°, La Haye, 1742.
BEELEN (Jean-Théodore), R. C. Prof. Or. Lang, at Louvain: Grammatica Graecitatis N. T.… 8°, Lovanii, 1857.
BENGEL (Johann Albrecht), (27) 1751, Prelate in Wurtemberg: N. T. Graecum ita adornatum, ut textus probatarum editionum medullam, margo variantium lectionum … delectum, apparatus subjunctus criseos sacrae, Millianae praesertim, compendium, limam, supplementum ac fructum exhibeat. 4°, Tubing. 1734, a(28).
Richtige Harmonie der vier Evangelisten. 8°, Tübing. 1736, a(31).
BERLEPSCH (August, Freiherr von): Quatuor N. T. Evangelia … orthodoxe explanata.… Ratisb. 1849.
BÉZE [BEZA] (Theodore de), (32) 1605, Pastor at Geneva: N. T. sive N. Foedus, cujus Graeco textui respondent interpretationes duae, una vetus, altera nova Theodori Bezae … Ejusdem Th. Bezae annotationes … 2°, Genev. 1565, a(33).
BISPING (August), R. C. Prof. Theol. at Münster: Exegetisches Handbuch aim N. T. 9 Bände. 8°, Münster, 1867–76.
BLEEK (Friedrich), (34) 1859, Prof. Theol. at Bonn: Synoptische Erklärung der drei ersten Evangelien. 2 Bände. 8°, Leip. 1862.
BLOOMFIELD (Samuel Thomas), D.D., (35) Vicar of Bisbrooke: The Greek Testament, accompanied with English notes, critical, philological, and exegetical. 2 vols. 8°, Lond. 1829, a(36).
Recensio synoptica annotationis sacrae … 8 voll. 8°, Lond. 1826–28.
BRETSCHNEIDER (Karl Gottlieb), (40) 1848, General Superintendent at Gotha: Lexicon manuale Graeco-Latinum in libros N. T. 2 voll. 8°, Lips. 1824, a(41).
BROWN (John), D.D., (42) 1858, Prof. Exeg. Theol. to United Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh: Discourses and sayings of our Lord illustrated in a series of expositions. 3 vols. 8°, Edin. 1850.
BROWN (David), D.D., Principal of Free Church College at Aberdeen: A commentary, critical, experimental, and practical, on the New Testament. [Vols. V. VI. of Commentary … by Dr. Jamieson, Rev. A. R. Fausset, and Dr. Brown. 8°, Glasg. 1864–74.]
BUCER (Martin), (43) 1551, Prof. Theol. at Cambridge: In sacra quatuor Evangelia enarrationes perpetuae.… 8°, Argent. 1527, a(44).
BULLINGER (Heinrich), (45) 1575, Pastor at Zürich. N. T. historia evangelica sigillatim per quatuor Evangelistas descripta, una cum Act. Apost. omnibusque Epistolis Apostolorum explicata commentariis. 2°, Turici, 1554, a(46).
BUNSEN (Christian Carl Josias von), (47) 1860, German statesman: Vollständiges Bibelwerk für die Gemeinde.… 10 Bände. 8°, Leip. 1858–70.
[Band IV. Die Bücher des N. B. Herausgegeben von Heinrich Julius Holtzmann.]
BURTON (Edward), D.D., (50) 1836, Prof. Theol. at Oxford: The Greek Testament with English notes. 2 vols. 8°, Oxf. 1831, a(51).
BUTTMANN (Alexander), retired Professor at Berlin: Grammatik des neutest. Sprachgebrauchs, im Anschlusse an Ph. Buttmann’s Griechische Grammatik bearbeitet. 8°, Berlin, 1859.
[Authorized translation (by J. H. Thayer), with numerous additions and corrections by the author. 8°, Andover, 1873.]
CALMET (Augustin), (56) 1757, Abbot of Senones: Commentaire litteral sur tous les livres de l’A. et du N. Testament. 23 tomes. 4°, Paris, 1707–16, a(57).
CALOVIUS (Abraham), (58) 1676, General Superintendent at Wittenberg: Biblia Testamenti Veteris [et Novi] illustrate.… 2°, Francof. ad M. 1672–76, a(59).
[Tom. IV. Cum Harmonia evangelica noviter concinnata.]
[Translated by Rev. W. Pringle. 8°, Edin. 1844–45.]
Subsequently issued under the title, “Commentarius in N. F.…” along with Beza’s N. T. and Annotations. 2°, Cantab. 1642.
CAMPBELL (George), D.D., (65) 1796, Principal of Marischal College, Aberdeen: The four Gospels translated from the Greek, with preliminary dissertations and notes critical and explanatory. 2 vols. 4°, Lond. 1789, a(66).
CAPPEL (Jacques) [CAPPELLUS], (67) 1624, Prof. Theol. at Sedan: Observationes in N. T.… nunc demum … in lucem editae, procurante Ludovico Cappello [(68) 1658, Prof. Theol. at Saumur] … una cum ejusdem Lud. Cappelli Spicilegio.… 4°, Amstel. 1657.
CARPENTER (Lant), LL.D., (69) 1840, Unitarian Minister at Bristol: A harmony or synoptical arrangement of the Gospels. 2d ed. 8°, Lond. 1838.
CARTWRIGHT (Thomas), (70) 1603, Puritan divine: Harmonia evangelica, commentario analytico, metaphrastico et practico illustrata. 4°, Amstel. 1627, a(71).
CASTALIO [CHATEILLON] (Sebastian), (72) 1563, Prof. of Greek at Basel: Biblia V. et N. T. ex versione Sebast. Castalionis cum ejusdem annotationibus. 2°, Basil. 1551, a(73).
CATENAE Patrum. See CRAMER, CORDERIUS, POSSINUS.
CHAPMAN (Richard), B.A. A Greek harmony of the Gospels … with notes. 4°, Lond. 1836.
CHEMNITZ (Martin), (74) 1586, Teacher of Theol. at Brunswick: Harmonia quatuor Evangelistarum, a … D. Martino Chemnitio primum inchoata: D. Polycarpo Lysero post continuata, atque D. Johanne Gerhardo tandem felicissime absoluta. 3 voll. 2°, Francof. 1652, a(75).
[First issued separately, 1593–1627.]
Homiliae in Matth. Graece, textum … emendavit, praecipuam lectionis varietatem adscripsit, annotationibus … instruxit Fredericus Field. 3 voll. 8°, Cantab. 1839.
[Translated in “Library of the Fathers.” 8°, Oxf. 1843–51.]
CLARIO [CLARIUS] (Isidoro), (80) 1555, Bishop of Foligno: Vulgata editio V. et N. T., quorum alterum ad Graecam veritatem emendatum est … adjectis … scholiis … locupletibus.… 2°, Venet. 1542, a(81).
CLARKE (Adam), (82) 1832, Wesleyan minister: The Bible … with a commentary and critical notes. 8 vols. 4°, Lond. 1810–26.
CLARKE (Samuel), D.D., (83) 1729, Rector of St. James’, Westminster: A paraphrase of the four Evangelists … with critical notes on the more difficult passages. 4°, Lond. 1701–02, a(84).
CLAUSEN (Henrik Nicolai), Prof. Theol. at Copenhagen: Quatuor Evangeliorum tabulae synopticae. Juxta rationes temporum … composuit, annotationibusque … instruxit H. N. Clausen. 8°, Kopenh. 1829.
Fortolking af de synoptiske Evangelier. 2 parts. 8°, Copenh. 1850.
[Translated. 4°, Lond. 1701. See also HAMMOND.]
CONANT (Thomas J.), D.D., Prof. Heb. at New York: The Gospel of Matthew … With a revised version, and critical and philological notes. [American Bible Union.] New York, 1860.
CORDERIUS [CORDIER] (Balthasar), (87) 1650, Jesuit: Catena Graecorum patrum triginta in Matthaeum, collectore Niceta episcopo Serrarum. Cum versione Latina ed. B. Corderius. 2°, Tolosae, 1647.
CRAMER (John Anthony), D.D., (88) 1848, Principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford: Catenae Graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum. 8 voll. 8°, Oxon. 1838–44.
CRELL (Johann), (89) 1633, Socinian teacher at Racow: Opera omnia exegetica sive in plerosque libros N. T. commentarii … [Opera. I.–III.] 2°, Eleutheropoli [Amstel.], 1656.
CREMER (Hermann), Prof. Theol. at Greifswald: Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der neutestamentlichen Graecität. 8°, Gotha, 1866, a(90).
[Translated by D. W. Simon, Ph.D., and William Urwick, M. A. 8°, Edin. 1872.]
DIEU (Louis de), (95) 1642, Prof. at Walloon College, Leyden: Animadversiones sive commentarius in quatuor Evangelia.… 4°, Lugd. Bat. 1631, a(96).
Critica sacra, seu animadversiones in loca quaedam difficiliora V. et N. T. variis in locis ex auctoris manuscriptis aucta. 2°, Amstel. 1693.
DIONYSIUS CARTHUSIANUS [DENYS DE RYCKEL], (99) 1471, Carthusian monk: Commentarii in universos S. S. libros. 2°, Colon. 1530–36.
DODDRIDGE (Philip), D.D., (100) 1751, Nonconformist minister at Northampton: The family expositor; or, a paraphrase and version of the N. T., with critical notes.… 3 vols. 4°, Lond. 1738–47, a(101).
DOUGHTY [DOUGTAEUS] (John), (102) 1672, Rector of Cheam, Surrey: Analecta sacra, sive excursus philologici breves super diversis S. S. locis. 2 voll. 8°, Lond. 1658–60, a(103).
DRUSIUS (Joannes) [VAN DEN DRIESCHE], (104) 1616, Prof. Or. Lang, at Franeker: Annotationum in totum Jesu Christi Testamentum; sive praeteritorum libri decem. Et pars altera.… 4°, Franek. 1612–16.
[Translated in “Foreign Theological Library.”]
EICHTHAL (Gustave de), Les Evangiles. 1e partie: examen critique et comparatif des trois premiers Evangiles. 8°, Paris, 1863.
ELSLEY (J.), M.A., Vicar of Burneston: Annotations on the Four Gospels; compiled and abridged.… 2 vols. 8°, Lond. 1799, a(108).
ELSNER (Jakob), (109) 1750, Consistorialrath at Berlin: Observationes sacrae in N. F. libros.… 2 voll. 8°, Traject. 1720–28.
Commentarius critico-philologicus in Evangelium Matthaei, edidit et notulas quasdam adjecit Ferdinandus Stosch. 2 voll. 4°, Zwollae, 1767–69.
ELZEVIR, or ELZEVIER, name of the celebrated family of printers at Leyden. The abbreviation Elz. denotes the edition of the N. T. issued in 1633 [N. T. Ex regiis aliisque optimis editionibus cum cura impressum, 12°, Lugd. 1633], and frequently reprinted, which presents what is called the Textus Receptus.
EPISCOPIUS (Simon), (110) 1643, Prof. Theol. at Amsterdam: Notae breves in xxiv. priora capita Matthaei. [Opera theol. 2°, Amstel. 1650.]
ERASMUS (Desiderius), (111) Matthew 1536: Novum Testamentum omne, diligenter recognitum et emendatum … 2°, Basil. 1516. Editio princeps followed by others edited by Erasmus in 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535.
Adnotationes in Novum Testamentum, 2°, Basil. 1516, et al.
Paraphrases in Novum Testamentum, 2°, Basil. 1522, et al. [Translated. 2 vols. 2°, Lond. 1548, a(112).]
EUTHYMIUS ZIGABENUS, (113) c(114) 1118, Greek monk: Commentarius in quatuor Evangelia Graece et Latine. Textum Graecum … suis animadversionibus edidit C. F. Matthaei. 3 tomi in 4. 8°, Lips. 1792.
EWALD (Georg Heinrich August), (115) 1876, Prof. Or. Lang. at Göttingen: Die drei ersten Evangelien übersetzt und erklärt. 8°, Götting. 1850, a(116).
FISCHER (Johann Friedrich), (120) 1799, Principal of the Fürsten Collegium at Leipzig: Prolusiones in quibus varii loci librorum divinorum utriusque Testamenti … explicantur atque illustrantur.… 8°, Lips. 1779.
FLACIUS Illyricus (Matthias) [FLACH], (121) 1575, Prof. Theol. at Jena: Clavis scripturae sacrae, seu de sermone sacr. litterarum. 2°, Basil. 1567, a(122).
FRIEDLIEB (Joseph Heinrich), R. C. Prof. Theol. at Breslau: Quatuor Evangelia sacra in harmoniam redacta … 8°, Vratisl. 1847.
FRITZSCHE (Karl Friedrich August), (124) 1846, Prof. Theol. at Rostock: Evangelium Matthaei recensuit et cum commentariis perpetuis edidit D. C. F. A. Fritzsche. 8°, Lips. 1826.
GEHRINGER (Joseph), R. C.: Synoptische Zusammenstellung des griechischen Textes der vier Evangelien. 8°, Tübing. 1842.
GERHARD (Johann), (127) 1637, Prof. Theol. at Jena: Adnotationes posthumae in Evangelium Matthaei. 2°, Jenae, 1663.
Harmonia quatuor Evangelistarum. See CHEMNITZ (Martin).
GLÖCKLER (Conrad): Die Evangelien des Matthäus, Markus, und Lukas in Uebereinstimmung gebracht und erklärt. 2 Abtheilungen. 8°, Frankf. 1834.
GRATZ (Aloys): Kritisch-historischer Commentar über das Evangelium Matthaei. 2 Theile. 8°, Tübing. 1821–23.
GREEN (Thomas Sheldon), M.A., Headmaster of Grammar School at Ashby de la Zouch: Treatise on the grammar of the N. T. dialect.… 8°, Lond. 1842, a(130).
GRESWELL (Edward), B.D., Vice-Pres. of Corpus Christi Coll., Oxford: Harmonia evangelica, sive quatuor Evangelia Graece, pro temporis et rerum serie in partes quinque distributa. 8°, Oxon. 1830, a(131).
Dissertations upon the principles and arrangement of a Harmony of the Gospels. 3 vols. 8°, Oxf. 1830.
An exposition of the parables and of other parts of the Gospels. 5 vols. in 6. 8°, Oxf. 1834–35.
GRIMM (Karl Ludwig Willibald), Prof. Theol. at Jena: Lexicon Graeco-Latinum in libros Novi Testamenti. 8°, Lips. 1868.
GRINFIELD (Edward William), M.A.: N. T. Graecum. Editio Hellenistica. 2 voll. Scholia Hellenistica in N. T.… 2 voll. 8°, Lond. 1843–48.
GROTIUS (Hugo), (135) 1645, Dutch statesman; Annotationes in N. T. 2°, Paris, 1644, a(136).
Annotationes in N. T. Denuo emendatius editae. 9 voll. 8°, Groning. 1826–34.
HEINSIUS (Daniel), (142) 1665, Prof. Hist. at Leyden: Sacrarum exercitationum ad N. T. libri xx.… 2°, Lugd. Bat. 1639, a(143).
HENGEL (Wessel Albert van), Prof. Theol. at Leyden: Annotatio ad loca nonnulla N. T. 8°, Amstel. 1824.
HEUMANN (Christoph August), (144) 1764, Prof. Theol. at Göttingen: Erklärung des N. T. 12 Bände. 8°, Hannov. 1750–63.
HIERONYMUS (Eusebius Sophronius), (145) 420, monk at Bethlehem: Commentarius in Matthaeum. [Opera.]
HILARIUS Pictaviensis, (146) 368, Bishop of Poitiers: In Evangelium Matthaei commentarius. [Opera. I. ed. Bened.] 2°, Paris. 1693.
HOLTZMANN (Heinrich Johann), Prof. Theol. in Heidelberg: Die Synoptische Evangelien, ihr Ursprung und geschichtlicher Charakter. [See also BUNSEN.] 8°, Leip. 1863.
HOMBERGH zu Vach (Johann Friedrich), (147) 1748, Prof. of Laws at Marburg: Parerga sacra, seu observationes quaedam ad N. T. 4°, Traj. ad Rhen. 1712, a(148).
HUNNIUS (Aegidius), (149) 1603, General Superintendent at Wittenberg: Thesaurus evangelicus complectens commentaries in quatuor Evangelistas et Actus Apost. nunc primum hac forma editus. 2°, Vitemb. 1706.
Thesaurus apostolicus, complectens commentaries in omnes N. T. Epistolas et Apocalypsin Joannis … novis, quae antea deficiebant, commentationibus auctus … 2°, Vitemb. 1707. [Also, Opera Latina, III., IV. 2°, Vitemb. 1607.]
KÄUFFER (Johann Ernst Rudolph), Court chaplain in Dresden: N. T. Graece … edidit et … brevibus notis instruxit J. E. R. Käuffer. Fasc. I. Evangelium Matthaei. 12°, Lips. 1827.
Annotata in omnes N. T. libros. 4°, Amstel. 1709.
KNAPP (Georg Christian), (160) 1825, Prof. Theol. at Halle N. T. Graece Recognovit atque insignioris lectionum varietatis et argumentorum notationes subjunxit G. Ch. Knapp. 4°, Hal. 1797, a(161).
KÖCHER (Johann Christoph), (165) 1772, Prof. Theol. at Jena: Analecta philologica et exegetica in quatuor S. S. Evangelia, quibus J. C. Wolfii Curae philol. et crit. supplentur atque augentur. 4°, Altenb. 1766.
KÖSTLIN (Karl Reinhold), Prof. Theol. at Tübingen: Der Ursprung und die Komposition der synoptischen Evangelien. 8°, Stuttg. 1853.
KRAFFT (Johann Christian Gottlob Ludwig), (166) 1845, Prof. Theol. at Erlangen: Chronologie und Harmonie der vier Evangelien.
Herausgegeben von Dr. Burger. 8°, Erlang. 1848.
KUINOEL [KÜHNÖL] (Christian Gottlieb), (168) 1841, Prof. Theol. at Giessen: Commentarius in libros N. T. historicos. 4 voll. 8°, Lips. 1807–18, a(169).
Observationes ad N. T. ex libris Apocryphis V. T. 8°, Lips. 1794.
KYPKE (Georg David), (171) 1779, Prof. Or. Lang, at Königsberg: Observationes sacrae in N. F. libros ex auctoribus potissimum Graecis et antiquitatibus. 2 partes. 8°, Vratislav. 1755.
Commentarius in Harmoniam.… 2 voll. 4°, Paris. 1699.
Apostolisches Licht und Recht.… 2°, Halae, 1729.
Apocalyptisches Licht und Recht.… 2°, Halae, 1730.
Biblia parenthetica … darinnen der biblische Text durch gewisse mit andern Littern darzwischen gesezte Worte nach dem Grundtext erläutert wird. 2 Bände. 2°, Leip. 1743.
LEIGH (Edward), M.P., (179) Matthew 1671: Annotations upon the N. T. 2°, Lond. 1650, a(180).
LIVERMORE (Abiel Abbot), Minister at Cincinnati: The four Gospels, with a commentary. 12°, Boston, U. S., 1850.
LOESNER (Christoph Friedrich), (185) 1803, Prof. Sac. Philol. at Leipzig: Observationes ad N. T. e Philone Alexandrino. 8°, Lips. 1777.
LUCAS (Francois), (186) 1619, R. C. Dean at St. Omer: Commentarius in quatuor Evangelia. 2 voll. 2°, Antv. 1606.
LYRA (Nicolas de), (189) 1340, Franciscan monk: Postillae perpetuae; sive brevia commentaria in universa Biblia. 2°, Romae, 1471, a(190).
MARIANA (Juan), (195) 1624, Jesuit: Scholia brevia in V. et N. Testamentum. 2°, Matriti, 1619, a(196).
MARLORAT (Augustin), (197) 1563, Pastor at Rouen: Novi Testamenti catholica expositio ecclesiastica … seu bibliotheca expositionum N. T. 2°, Genev. 1561, a(198).
MATTHAEI (Christian Friedrich von), (199) 1811, Prof. of Class. Lit. at Moscow: N. T.… Graece et Latine. Varias lectiones … ex centum codicibus Mss. vulgavit … scholia Graeca … addidit animadversiones criticas adjecit et edidit C. F. Matthaei. 12 voll. 8°, Rigae, 1782–88.
MAYER (Ferdinand Georg), Prof. of Greek and Heb. at Vienna: Beiträge zur Erklärung des Evang. Matthaei für Sprachkundige. 8°, Wien, 1818.
MELANCHTHON (Philipp), (200) 1560, Reformer: Breves commentarii in Matthaeum. 8°, Argentor. 1523, a(201).
MENOCHIO (Giovanni Stefano), (202) 1655, Jesuit at Rome: Brevis expositio sensus litteralis totius Scripturae.… 3 voll. 2°, Colon. 1630, a(203).
MEUSCHEN (Johann Gerhard), (204) 1743, Prof. Theol. at Coburg: Novum Testamentum ex Talmude et antiquitatibus Hebraeorum illustratum curis … B. Scheidii, J. H. Danzii et J. Rhenferdi, editumque cum suis propriis dissertationibus a J. G. Meuschen. 4°, Lips. 1736.
MEYER (Johann Friedrich von), (205) 1849, Jurist in Frankfort: Die heilige Schrift in berichtigter Uebersetzung Martin Luther’s mit kurzen Anmerkungen. 3 Theile. 8°, Frankf. 1818, a(206).
MICHAELIS (Johann David), (207) 1791, Prof. Or. Lit. at Göttingen: Uebersetzung des N. T. 2 Bände. 4°, Götting. 1790.
Anmerkungen für Ungelehrte zu seiner Uebersetzung des N. T. 4 Theile. 4°, Götting. 1790–92.
[… Collectionem Millianam recensuit … suisque accessionibus locupletavit Ludolphus Kusterus. 2°, Amstel. 1710.]
MOLLER (Sebastian Heinrich), (210) 1827, Pastor at Gierstädt in Gotha: Neue Ansichten schwieriger Stellen aus den vier Evang. 8°, Gotha, 1819.
MORISON (James), D.D., Prof. Theol. to the Evangelical Union, Glasgow: Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew 8°, Lond. 1870.
MÜNSTER (Sebastian), (211) 1552, Prof. Heb. at Heidelberg: Evangelium secundum Matthaeum in lingua Hebraica, cum versione Latina atque succinctis annotationibus. 2°, Basil. 1537.
MUNTHE (Kaspar Fredrik), (212) 1763, Prof. of Greek at Copenhagen: Observationes philologicae in sacros N. T. libros, ex Diodoro Siculo collectae. 8°, Hafn. 1755.
MUSCULUS [MEUSSLIN] (Wolfgang), (213) 1573, Prof. Theol. at Berne: Commentarius in Matthaeum. 2°, Basil. 1548, a(214).
NICETAS Serrariensis. See CORDERIUS.
NORTON (Andrews), (217) 1853, formerly Prof. Sac. Lit. at Harvard: A translation of the Gospels, with notes. 2 vols. 8°, Boston, U. S., 1855.
NOVARINO (Luigi), (218) 1658, Theatine monk: Matthaeus expensus, sive notae in Evangelium Matthaei.… 2°, Venet. 1629.
Marcus expensus.… 2°, Lugd. 1642.
Lucas expensus.… 2°, Lugd. 1643.
OLSHAUSEN (Hermann), (222) 1839, Prof. Theol. at Erlangen: Biblischer Commentar über sämmtliche Schriften des N. T. Fortgesetzt von J. H. A. Ebrard and A. Wiesinger. 7 Bände. 8°, Königsb. 1830–62.
[Translated in “Foreign Theological Library.” 9 vols. 8°, Edin. 1847–63.]
OSIANDER (Andreas), (225) 1552, Prof. Theol. at Königsberg: Harmoniae evangelicae libri quatuor, Graece et Latine … Item elenchus Harmoniae: adnotationum liber unus. 2°, Basil. 1537, a(226).
Specimen exercitationum philol.-crit. in sacros N. F. libros. 8°, Lond. 1755.
PAULUS (Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob), (229) 1851, Prof. Eccl. Hist. at Heidelberg: Philologisch-kritischer und historischer Commentar über das N. T. 4 Theile. 8°, Leip. 1800–04.
Exegetisches Handbuch über die drei ersten Evangelien. 3 Theile in 6 Hälften. 8°, Heidelb. 1830–33.
PELLICAN (Konrad), (231) 1556, Prof. Heb. at Zürich: Commentarii in libros V. ac N. Testamenti. 7 voll. 2°, Tiguri, 1532–37.
PISCATOR [FISCHER] (Johann), (232) 1626, Conrector at Herborn: Commentarii in omnes libros V. et N. Testamenti. 4 voll. 2°, Herbornae, 1643–45.
[In omnes libros N. T. 2 voll. 4°, Herbornae, 1613.]
POOLE [POLUS] (Matthew), (234) 1679, Nonconformist: Synopsis criticorum aliorumque S. S. interpretum et commentatorum. 5 voll. 2°, Lond. 1669–74, a(235).
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Traduction nouvelle avec introductions et commentaires.
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SCHMID (Erasmus), (262) 1637, Prof. of Greek at Leipzig: Opus sacrum posthumum, in quo continentur versio N. T. nova … et notae et animadversiones in idem. 2°, Norimb. 1658.
SCHMID (Sebastian), (263) 1696, Prof. Theol. at. Strassburg: Biblia sacra; sive Testamentum V. et N., ex linguis originalibus in linguam Latinam translatum.… 4°, Argent. 1696.
SCHMIDT (Johann Ernst Christian), (264) 1831, Prof. of Eccl. Hist. in Giessen: Philologisch-kritische Clavis über das N. T. 8°, Gissae, 1796–1805.
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Die heilige Schrift des N. T. übersetzt, erklärt und … erläutert. 8°, Frankf. 1828–30.
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Editionem tertiam emendatam et auctam curavit D. Schulz. 8°, Berol. 1827
De aliquot N. T. locorum lectione et interpretatione. 8°, Vratisl. 1833.
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[Translated in “Foreign Theol. Library.” 8 vols. 8°, Edin. 1855–58.]
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Neuer kritischer Commentar über das N. T. Halle, 1804–1806.
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WALCH (Johann Georg), (304) 1775, Prof. Theol. at Jena: Observationes in N. T. libros. 8°, Jenae, 1727.
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WEBSTER (William), M.A., and WILKINSON (William Francis), M.A.: The Greek Testament, with notes grammatical and exegetical. 2 vols. 8°, Lond. 1855–61.
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WEIZSÄCKER (Karl Heinrich), Prof. Theol. at Tübingen: Untersuchungen über die evangelische Geschichte. 8°, Gotha, 1864.
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[Previously translated by de Wette and Augusti, 1809–14.]
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WILKE (Christian Gottlob), (315) 1856, formerly pastor at Hermannsdorf: Clavis N. T. philologica. 8°, Dresd. 1840.
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Der Urevangelist oder exegetisch—kritische Untersuchung über des Verwandtschaftsverhältniss der drei ersten Evangelien. 8°, Dresd. 1838.
… Siebente Auflage besorgt von Dr. Gottlieb Lünemann. 8°, Leip. 1867.
[Translated … with large additions and full indexes by Professor W. F. Moulton, D.D., 8°, Edin. 1877; and by Professor J. H. Thayer, 8°, Boston, 1872.]
[Previously issued separately, 1725–35.]
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
SEC. I.—BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF MATTHEW
R EGARDING the life and ministry of the Apostle Matthew, exceedingly little is known to us that is historically certain. In Mark 2:14, his father is named Alphaeus. According to Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius on Matthew 9:9, Paulus, Bretschneider, Credner, Ewald, and others, this individual is said to have been identical with the father of James the Less. But this assumption is rendered extremely improbable by the circumstance, that in the lists of the apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) Matthew is not grouped along with that James, and that the name חלפי was of very frequent occurrence, and it would only be admissible if in Mark 2:14 the name Levi designated a different person from the Apostle Matthew, in which case Levi would not have been an apostle.
It was Matthew who, before he passed over to the service of Jesus, was called Levi, and was a collector of taxes by the lake of Tiberias, where he was called away by Jesus from the receipt of custom. From Matthew 9:9, compared with Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27, it is sufficiently evident that the two names Matthew and Levi denote the same individual; for the agreement between these passages in language and contents is so obvious, that Levi, who is manifestly called to be an apostle, and whose name is yet wanting in all the lists of the apostles, must be found again in that Matthew who is named in all these lists; so that we must assume that, in conformity with the custom of the Jews to adopt on the occasion of decisive changes in their life a name indicative of the change, he called himself, after his entrance on the apostolate, no longer לֵוִי, but מַתָּאִי, i.e. מַתַּנְיָה (Theodore = Gift of God). This name, as in the cases of Peter and Paul, so completely displaced the old one, that even in the history of his call, given in our Gospel of Matthew, he is, at the expense of accuracy, called, in virtue of a historical ὕστερον πρότερον, by the new name (Matthew 9:9); while Mark, on the other hand, and after him Luke, observing here greater exactness, designate the tax-gatherer, in their narrative of his call, by his Jewish name, in doing which they might assume that his identity with the Apostle Matthew was universally known; while in their lists of the apostles (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), where the apostolic names must stand, they rightly place the name Matthew.
In this way we dispose of the view, opposed to the prevailing tradition, that Matthew and Levi were two different individuals (Heracleon in Clement of Alexandria, Strom. iv. 9, p. 505, ed. Potter; and Origen, c. Celsum, i. 13), and yet two tax-gatherers (Grotius, Michaelis, and Sieffert, Ursprung d. erst. kanon. Evang. p. 59, Neander, Bleek doubtfully), where Sieffert supposes that in the Gospel of Matthew the similar history of the call of Levi was referred through mistake by the Greek editor to Matthew, because the latter also was a tax-gatherer. So also, substantially, Ewald, Keim, Grimm in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1870, p. 723 ff. From Clement of Alexandria, Paedag. ii. 1, p. 174, ed. Potter, we learn that the Apostle Matthew was an adherent of that stricter Jewish-Christian asceticism which refrained from eating animal food (comp. on Romans 14:1 ff.); and we have no reason to doubt that statement. Regarding his labours beyond the limits of Palestine ( ἐφʼ ἑτέρους, Euseb. H. E. iii. 24) nothing certain is known, and it is only more recent writers who are able to mention particular countries as the field of his labour, especially Ethiopia (Rufinus, H. E. x. 9; Socrates, H. E. i. 19; Nicephorus, ii. 41), but also Macedonia and several Asiatic countries. See, generally, Cave, Antiquitt. Ap. p. 553 ff.; Florini, Exercitatt. hist. philol. p. 23 ff.; Credner, Einleitung, I. p. 59. His death, which according to Socrates took place in Ethiopia, according to Isidore of Seville, in Macedonia, is already stated by Heracleon (in Clement of Alexandria, Strom. iv. 9, p. 595, ed. Potter) to have been the result of natural causes; which is also confirmed by Clement, Origen, and Tertullian, in so far as they mention only Peter, Paul, and James the Elder as martyrs among the apostles. As to his alleged death by martyrdom (Nicephorus, ii. 41), see the Roman martyrology on the 21st Sept. (the Greek Church observe the 18th Nov.), Acta et Martyr. Matth. in Tischendorf’s Acta Apost. Apocr. p. 167 ff.
SEC. II.—APOSTOLIC ORIGIN AND ORIGINAL LANGUAGE OF THE GOSPEL
(1.) In the form in which the Gospel now exists, it cannot have originally proceeded from the hands of the Apostle Matthew. The evidence in favour of this view consists not merely of the many indefinite statements of time, place, and other things which are irreconcilable with the living recollection of an apostolic eye-witness and a participator in the events, even upon the assumption of a plan of arrangement carried out mainly in accordance with the subject-matter; not merely in the partial want of clearness and directness, which is a prominent feature in many of the historical portions (even Matthew 9:9 ff. included), and not seldom makes itself felt to such a degree that we must in this respect allow the preference to the accounts of Mark and Luke; not merely in the want of historical connection in the citation and introduction of a substantial portion of the didactic discourses of Jesus, by which the fact is disclosed that they were not originally interwoven in a living connection with the history; but also—and these elements are, in connection with the, above, decisive—the reception of narratives, the unhistorical character of which must certainly have been known to an apostle (such as, even in the history of the Passion, that of the watchers by the grave, and of the resurrection of many dead bodies); the reception of the preliminary history with its legendary enlargements, which far oversteps the original beginning of the gospel announcement (Mark 1:1, comp. John 1:19) and its original contents (Acts 10:37 ff.; Papias in Eusebius, H. E. iii. 39: τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα), and which already presents a later historical formation, added to the original gospel history; the reception of the enlarged narrative of the Temptation, the non-developed form of which in Mark is certainly older; but most strikingly of all, the many, and in part very essential, corrections which our Matthew must receive from the fourth Gospel, and several of which (especially those relating to the last Supper and the day of Jesus’ death, as well as to the appearances of the risen Saviour) are of such a kind that the variations in question certainly exclude apostolic testimony on one side, and this, considering the genuineness of John which we must decidedly assume, can only affect the credibility of Matthew. To this, moreover, is to be added the relation of dependence (see Section IV.) which we must assume of our Matthew upon Mark, which is incompatible with the composition of the former by an apostle.
(2.) Nevertheless, it must be regarded as a fact, placed beyond all doubt by the tradition of the church, that our Matthew is the Greek translation of an original Hebrew (Aramaic) writing, clothed with the apostolic authority of Matthew as the author. So ancient and unanimous is this tradition. For (a) Papias, a pupil, not indeed (not even according to Irenaeus, v. 33. 4) of the Apostle John, but certainly of the Presbyter, says,(322) according to the statement of Eusebius (iii. 39), in the fragment there preserved of his work λογίων κυριακῶν ἐξήγησις:(323) ΄ατθαῖος μὲν οὖν ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο (al. συνεγράψατο), ἡρ΄ήνευσε δʼ αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος. An attempt has indeed been made to weaken this very ancient testimony, reaching back to the very apostolic age, that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, by means of the well-known σφόδρα γὰρ σ΄ικρὸς ἦν τὸν νοῦν,(324) which Eusebius states regarding Papias; but Eusebius by that expression refers to what he had stated immediately before regarding the millenarianism of the man. A simple historical remark, which stood in no connection either with millenarianism or with accounts of fabulous miracles (to which Papias, according to Eusebius, was inclined), cannot, owing to that depreciatory judgment, be à priori regarded as suspicious, especially if, as in the present case, there is added the confirmation of the whole subsequent tradition of the church. The supposition, however, that Papias is indebted for his statement to the Nazarenes and Ebionites (Wetstein, Hug), is pure imagination; since one narrative, which he had in common with the Gospel according to the Hebrews (Eusebius, iii. 39: ἐκτέθειται δὲ καὶ ἄλλην ἱστορίαν περὶ γυναικὸς ἐπὶ πολλαῖς ἁμαρτίαις διαβληθείσης ἐπὶ τοῦ κυρίου, ἣν τὸ καθʼ ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον περιέχει, where these last words belong to Eusebius, and do not contain a remark of Papias), stands altogether without any reference to the above statement concerning Matthew. (b) Irenaeus, Haer. iii. 1. 1, relates: ὁ μὲν δὴ ΄ατθαῖος ἐν τοῖς ἑβραίοις τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ αὐτῶν καὶ γραφὴν ἐξήνεγκεν εὐαγγελίου, τοῦ πέτρου κ. τοῦ παύλου ἐν ῥώμῃ εὐαγγελιζομένων κ. θεμελιούντων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν. Against this it has been objected, that Irenaeus borrowed his judgment from Papias, whom he esteemed very highly as the friend of Polycarp (Haer. v. 33). But, irrespective of this, that if this objection is to deprive the testimony of weight, the authority of Papias must first fall to the ground, it is extremely arbitrary, seeing we have now no longer any other authorities contemporary with Papias, to regard him, and no one else, as the author of the tradition in question, which, yet, is uncontradicted throughout the whole of ecclesiastical antiquity. And Irenaeus was not the man to repeat at random. See Tertullian, de test. anim. i.; Hieronymus, cp. ad Magn. 85. (c) Of Pantaenus, Eusebius (v. 10) says: ὁ πάνταινος καὶ εἰς ἰνδοὺς (probably the inhabitants of Southern Arabia) ἐλθεῖν λέγεται· ἔνθα λόγος εὑρεῖν αὐτὸν προφθάσαν τὴν αὐτοῦ παρουσίαν τὸ κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον παρά τισιν αὐτόθι τὸν χριστὸν ἐπεγνωκόσιν, οἷς βαρθολομαῖον τῶν ἀποστόλων ἕνα κηρύξαι, αὐτοῖς τε ἑβραίων γράμμασι τὴν τοῦ ΄ατθαίου καταλεῖψαι γραφήν· ἣν καὶ σώζεσθαι εἰς τὸν δηλούμενον χρόνον. This testimony, which is certainly independent of the authority of Papias, records, indeed, a legend; but this description refers not to the Hebrew Matthew of itself, but to the statement that Pantaenus found it among the Indians, and that Bartholomew had brought it thither (Thilo, Acta Thomae, p. 108 f.). Irrespective of this, Pantaenus, in keeping with his whole position in life, certainly knew so much Hebrew that he could recognise a Hebrew Matthew as such. If, however, the objection has often been raised, that it is not clear from the words whether an original Hebrew writing or a translation into Hebrew is meant (see also Harless, Lucubr. evangelia canon. spectant. Erlangen 1841, I. p. 12), there speaks in favour of the former view the tradition of the entire ancient church concerning the original Hebrew writing of Matthew, a tradition which is followed by Eusebius (see afterwards, under e); he must therefore have actually designated it as a translation, if he did not wish to recall the fact which was universally known, that the Gospel was composed in Hebrew. The same holds true of the account by Jerome, de vir. illust. 36: “Reperit [Pantaenus in India], Bartholomaeum de duodecim apostolis adventum Domini nostri Jesu Christi juxta Matthaei evangelium praedicasse, quod Hebraicis literis scriptum revertens Alexandriam secum detulit.” (d) Origen in Eusebius, vi. 25 : ὅτι πρῶτον μὲν γέγραπται τὸ κατὰ τὸν ποτὲ τελώνην, ὕστερον δὲ ἀπόστολον ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ ΄ατθαῖον, ἐκδεδωκότα αὐτὸ τοῖς ἀπὸ ἰουδαϊσμοῦ πιστεύσασι γράμμασιν ἑβραϊκοῖς συντεταγμένον. He indicates tradition, indeed, as the source of his narrative ( ὡς ἐν παραδόσει μαθών); but the witness of tradition on so thoroughly undogmatic a point from the mouth of the critical and learned investigator, who, in so doing, expresses neither doubt nor disagreement, contains especial weight; while to make Origen derive this tradition from Papias and Irenaeus (Harless, l.c. p. 11), is just as arbitrary as to derive it merely from the Jewish Christians, and, on that account, to relegate it to the sphere of error. (e) Eusebius, iii. 24 : ΄ατθαῖος μὲν γὰρ πρότερον ἑβραίοις κηρύξας, ὡς ἔμελλε καὶ ἐφʼ ἑτέρους ἰέναι, πατρίῳ γλώττῃ γραφῇ παραδοὺς τὸ κατʼ αὐτὸν εὐαγγέλιον, τὸ λεῖπον τῇ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ τούτοις ἀφʼ ὧν ἐστέλλετο, διὰ τῆς γραφῆς ἀπεπλήρου. Comp. ad Marin. Quaest. ii. in Mai, Script. vet. nov. collectio, I. p. 64 f.: λέλεκται δὲ ὀψὲ τοῦ σαββάτου παρὰ τοῦ ἑρμηνεύσαντος τὴν γραφήν· ὁ μὲν γὰρ εὐαγγελιστὴς ΄ατθαῖος ἑβαΐδι γλώττῃ παρέδωκε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, κ. τ. λ. It is already evident from the latter passage that Eusebius relates that the Gospel was composed in Hebrew, not merely as a matter of history, but that he himself also adopted that view, against which his own remark on Psalms 78:2 has been erroneously appealed to (in Montfaucon, Collect. Patr. Grec. I. p. 466): ἀντὶ τοῦ φθέγξομαι προβλήματα ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἑβραῖος ὢν ὁ ΄ατθαῖος οἰκείᾳ ἐκδόσει κέχρηται εἰπών· ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς. For οἰκείᾳ ἐκδόσει cannot here be his own (Greek) translation of the passage of the Hebrew psalm (Marsh, Hug, and several others), but only—as the reference to εβραῖος ὤν, and the antithesis to Aquila which there follows, clearly show—a vernacular, i.e. Hebrew edition of the original text, so that the meaning is: Matthew transcribed the words of the psalm from a Hebrew edition into his (Hebrew) Gospel; the result of which was, that in the Greek they now agree neither with the LXX. ( φθέγξομαι προβλήματα ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς) nor with Aquila, the Greek editions of which ( ἀνθʼ οὗ ὁ μὲν ἀκύλας· ὀμβρήσω αἰνίγματα ἐξ ἀρχῆθεν, ἐκδέδωκεν, Eusebius continues) had no influence on Matthew, who wrote in Hebrew. (f) Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechet. 14 : ΄ατθαῖος ὁ γράψας τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἑβραΐδι γλώσσῃ τοῦτο ἔγραψεν. (g) Epiphanius, Haer. xxx. 3 : ΄ατθαῖος μόνος ἑβραϊστὶ καὶ ἑβραϊκοῖς γράμμασιν ἐν τῇ καινῇ διαθήκῃ ἐποιήσατο τὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἔκθεσίν τε καὶ κήρυγμα. Comp. 51:5, also 30:6, where a converted Jew testifies that he discovered the Hebrew Matthew in a treasure-chamber. (h) Jerome, Praef. in Matt.: “Matthaeus in Judaea evangelium Hebraeo sermone edidit ob eorum vel maxime causam, qui in Jesum crediderant ex Judaeis.” Comp. de vir. ill. 3, where he assures us that he discovered the original Hebrew text among the Nazarenes in Beroea in Syria, and that he transcribed it. Comp. also Ep. ad Damas. IV. p. 148, ed. Paris; ad Hedib. IV. p. 173; in Jes. III. p. 64; in Hos. III. p. 134.
The testimonies of Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Augustine, and of later Fathers, may, after those already mentioned, be passed over, as well as that also of the Syrian Church in Assemann’s Bibl. Orient. III. p. 8.
The weight of this unanimous and ancient tradition has secured acceptance down to the most recent times, notwithstanding the opposition of many critics,(325) for the hypothesis also that Matthew wrote in Hebrew (Richard Simon, Mill, Michaelis, Marsh, Storr, Corrodi, J. E. Ch. Schmidt, Haenlein, Eichhorn, Bertholdt, Ziegler, Kuinoel, Gratz, Guericke, Olshausen, Klener (de authent. Ev. Matth., Göttingen 1861), Sieffert, Ebrard, Baur, Weisse, Thiersch, Tholuck, Lange, Luthardt (de compos. Ev. Matth., Leipsic 1871), Güder (in Herzog’s Encykl. IX. p. 166), and others). The opposite view of a Greek original of our Gospel, from which the polemic interest which operated in the older Protestantism, in opposition to tradition and the Vulgate, has long ago disappeared, is found in Erasmus, Cajetan, Beza, Calvin, Flacius, Gerhard, Calov., Erasmus Schmidt, Clericus, Lightfoot, Majus, Fabricius, Wetstein, Masch (Grundspr. d. Ev. Matth., Halle 1755), Schubert (Diss., Göttingen 1810), Hug, Paulus, Fritzsche, Theile (in Winer’s and Engelhardt’s krit. Journal, II. p. 181 ff. 346 ff.), Buslav (Diss., 1826), Schott, Credner, Volkmar, Neudecker, Kuhn, B. Crusius, Harless, Thiersch (with reference to the canonical Matthew, which, according to him, is a second edition of the apostle’s original work in Hebrew), de Wette, Bleek, Ewald, Ritschl (in the theolog. Jahrb. 1851, p. 536 ff.), Köstlin (Ursprung u. Kompos. der synopt. Ev., Stuttgart 1853), Hilgenfeld, Anger (Ratio, quâ loci V. T. in Ev. Matth. laudantur, 3 Programme, Leipsic 1861 f.), Holtzmann (synopt. Ev. 1863), Tischendorf, Keim, and others, predominantly also by Delitzsch, but is entirely destitute of any external foundation, as the unanimous tradition of the church is rather insuperably opposed to it; while to deduce the latter from an error occasioned by the Gospel according to the Hebrews (Bleek, Tischendorf, Keim, and others), is a decision of critical peremptoriness which must give way especially before the testimony of Jerome, who was minutely acquainted with the Gospel according to the Hebrews, as well as with the Hebrew Matthew. The loss of the Hebrew original is all the more explicable the more early and widely the Greek Matthew was circulated; while the heretics obtained possession of the Hebrew work, and caused it to lose canonical authority. The internal grounds, moreover, on which stress has been laid, are sufficient only to show that our Matthew might be an original composition in Greek, but not that it is (actually) such. For the dissemination of the Greek language in Palestine at that time (Hug) so little excludes, especially considering the predilection of the people for their own language (Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2), the composition of a Hebrew Gospel, that it only makes the early translation of such a work into Greek more conceivable. If, further, it has been observed (Credner, sec. 46) that to the Hebrew feminine רוּחַ no male function (Matthew 1:18) can be ascribed without the antecedent medium of the Greek tongue, as indeed in the Gospel according to the Hebrews the maternal position towards Christ is actually assigned to the Holy Spirit (Credner, Beiträge, I. p. 402 f.); so, on the other hand, it holds good that in Matthew 1:18 no male function of the Spirit is at all spoken of, but a generation in which the specifically sexual meaning remains out of consideration, as, moreover, the Greek πνεῦμα is not masculine. The unimportant play upon the word in Matthew 6:16 might already have its impress in the original, but may also, either from intention or accident, have originated with the translator. With respect to Matthew 27:46, see the remarks in loc. The frequent identity of expression, moreover, in Matthew with Mark and Luke, does not necessarily point to an original composition of the former in Greek, but leaves this question quite unaffected, as the translated Matthew might either have been made use of by the later Synoptics, or might even have originated also from the use of the latter, or of common sources. The most plausible support for an original composition in Greek is found in the circumstance that a portion, although a small one, of the quotations from the Old Testament, especially those which are cited as Messianic predictions (comp. Jerome, de vir. ill. 3; and see, especially, the copious dissertation by Credner, Beiträge, I. p. 393 ff.; Bleek, Beitr. p. 57 ff.; Ritschl, in the theolog. Jahrb. 1851, p. 520 ff.; Köstlin, p. 36 ff.; Anger, l.c.; Holtzmann, p. 258 ff.; Keim, Gesch. Jesu, I. p. 59 ff.), do not follow the LXX., but deviate with more or less freedom from it, although taking account also of the same, and follow the original text as the case requires. This presents the appearance of not being the work of a translator, who would have adhered more mechanically to the LXX. But, irrespective of the fact that this observation is by no means always beyond doubt with regard to the individual passages to which it is applied (Delitzsch in the Zeitschr. f. Luther. Theologie, 1850, p. 463 f., and Entsteh. u. Anl. d. kanon. Ev. I. p. 13 ff.; Weiss in Stud. u. Kritik. 1861, p. 91 f.), we are not at liberty to prescribe limits so narrow either to the freedom and peculiarity of the manner of citation which was followed in the Hebrew work, or to that of the translator,—who, as generally throughout his work, so also in the rendering of the quotations, might go to work with pragmatic independence,—that the tradition of a Hebrew original of the Gospel would be excluded as incorrect. This conclusion no more follows, than it would be at all necessary to suppose that the translator must have had as the basis of his text that of a different writer, more familiar with the Old Testament (Baur); or that this variation betrays evidence of the hand of a second redactor (Hilgenfeld, Keim).
(3.) The original Hebrew writing, however, from which our present Matthew proceeded through being translated into Greek, must, apart from the language, have been in contents and form, in whole and in part, substantially the same as our Greek Matthew. The general evidence in favour of this view is, that throughout the ancient church our Greek Matthew was already used as if it had been the authentic text itself. Accordingly, although the church knew that it was a text which had arisen only through a translation, it cannot have been aware of any essential deviation from the original. Jerome, however, in particular, de vir. ill. 3, who was minutely acquainted with the Hebrew original, and made a transcript of it, makes mention of it in such a way that the reader can only presuppose its agreement with the translation, and makes (on Matthew 6:11, ad Hedib. IV. p. 173, on ὀψέ, Matthew 28:1) exegetical remarks, which rest upon the presupposition that it is a literal translation. The same holds true in reference to the passages of Eusebius quoted under 2 e. On the whole, no trace is anywhere found that the Greek Gospel in its relation to the original Hebrew work was regarded as anything else than a translation in the proper sense; and therefore the opinion which has recently become current, that it is a free redaction, extended by additions (Sieffert, Klener, Schott, über d. Authenticit. d. Ev. Matth., 1834, Delitzsch), is destitute of all historical basis. If, however, our Greek Gospel of Matthew is to be regarded as a simple translation, not as an altered and extended revision; if, moreover, the Hebrew work, which was translated, consequently possessed, at the time when the translation was made, the same substantial extent, contents, and expression which are presented by our present Matthew,—then it follows, agreeably to what is observed under (1.), that the Hebrew document cannot have been composed by the apostle in the shape in which it was translated into Greek.
(4.) Notwithstanding, the Apostle Matthew must have had in the Hebrew composition, of which our present Gospel is a translation, so substantial a part, that it could, on sufficient historical grounds, vindicate its claim to be regarded, in the ancient and universal tradition of the church, as the Hebrew εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον. To ascertain what this part was, we must go back to the oldest of the witnesses in question, which in fact discloses the original relation of the apostle to the Gospel which bears his name. The witness of Papias, namely, in Eusebius, iii. 39 (above under 2 a), declares that Matthew, and that in the Hebrew tongue, “ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο,” where the—to us unknown—context of the Fragment must have shown the λόγια to be those of the Lord. According to this view, his own work, composed by himself, was a σύνταξις or (according to the reading συνεγράψατο) a συγγραφὴ τῶν λογίων, consequently nothing else than a placing together, an orderly arrangement (comp. on σύνταξις with gen. in this literary sense, Polybius, xxx. 4. 11, i. 4. ii. 8, iv. 5. 11; Diodorus Sic. i. 3, xiv. 117), of the sayings of the Lord (Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11); as in the Classics also λόγια is always used of sentences, especially divine, oracular sentences, and the like (Krüger on Thucyd. ii. 8. 2). A similar undertaking was that of Papias himself, in his work: λογίων κυριακῶν ἐξήγησις, which consisted of five books ( συγγράμματα). He also gave the λόγια of Christ; but in such a way that he explained ( ἐξηγήσατο, comp. on John 1:18) their divine meaning historically (Eusebius himself quotes such a history), and from other sources (thus, according to Eusebius, he also made use of testimonies from some New Testament Epistles); Matthew, on the other hand, had given no ἐξήγησις, but only a σύνταξις of the Lord’s sayings. The work of Papias was an Interpretatio (Jerome: “explanatio”); that of Matthew was only an orderly Collectio of the same. Schleiermacher in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1832, p. 735, has the merit of having brought forward and made good(326) the precise and proper meaning of λόγια: he has been rightly followed by Schneckenburger, Ursprung des ersten kanon. Evang. 1834, by Lachmann in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1835, p. 577 ff., Credner, Weisse, Wieseler, B. Crusius, Ewald, Köstlin, Reuss, Weizsäcker, and others;(327) also by Holtzmann, p. 251 ff.; Steitz in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1868, p. 68; Grau, Entwickelungsgeschicht. d. N. T. I. p. 173 f.; Scholten, d. älteste Evang. übers. v. Re-depenning, 1869, p. 244 f. On the other hand, many others have found in the λόγια even evangelic history, so that it would be a designation a potiori for the entire contents of a Gospel. So Lücke in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1833, p. 501 f., Kern, Hug, Frommann in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1840, p. 912 ff., Harless, Ebrard, Baur, Delitzsch, Guericke, Bleek, Weiss (partly), Hilgenfeld, Thiersch, Güder, Luthardt, Kahnis, Anger, Keim, Zahn. This is quite untenable, because Papias shortly before designates the entire contents of a Gospel (that of Mark) in quite a different way, viz.: τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα (comp. Acts 1:1); and because, in the title of his work: ἐξήγησις τῶν λογίων κυριακῶν, he undoubtedly understood the λόγια in the proper sense of the word, i.e. τὰ λεχθέντα, effata, so that the history which his book contained belonged not to the λόγια, but to the ἐξήγησις which he gave of the λόγια. And with a comparative glance at this his literary task, he says of Peter: οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λόγων (var. λογίων),—words which are not therefore to be used to prove the identity of meaning between λόγια and λεχθέντα and πραχθέντα (as is still done by Keim and Zahn); comp. § 4, Rem. 1. On the other hand, our Matthew contains in its present shape so much proper history, so much that is not given as a mere accompaniment of the discourses, or as framework for their insertion, that the entire contents cannot be designated by the one-sided τὰ λόγια, especially if we look to the title of the work of Papias itself. The later Patristic usage of τὰ λόγια, however (in answer to Hug and Ebrard), does not apply here, inasmuch as the view, according to which the contents of the N. T. in general, even the historical parts, were regarded as inspired, and in so far as λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ, did not yet exist in the time of Papias nor in his writings (Credner, Beitr. I. p. 23 f.; Kahnis, vom heilig. Geist. p. 210 ff.; Holtzmann, p. 251), against which view the ὡς γέγραπται in Barnabas 5 can prove nothing (comp. on John, Introd. § 2, 2).
According, then, to this opinion, the Apostle Matthew, agreeably to the testimony of Papias, has composed a digest of the sayings of Christ,(328) and that in the Hebrew tongue, but not yet a proper gospel history, although, perhaps, the λόγια might be briefly accompanied, now and again, with special introductory remarks of a historical kind, and a gospel history was thereby, in some measure, formed beforehand. It is this collection of sayings now which obtained and secured for the Gospel, which was afterwards further elaborated out of it, the name of the apostle as author, the name εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον. The collection of Hebrew sayings, namely, such as it proceeded from the apostle, was, in the hands of the Hebrew Christians, for whom it was intended, gradually expanded by the interweaving of the history into that gospel writing which, translated into Greek, presents itself in the present Gospel; and which, under the name of the apostle, rightly obtained the recognition of the church in so far that the σύνταξις τῶν λόγιων, which was composed by Matthew himself, was substantially contained in it, and was the kernel out of which the whole grew. This apostolic kernel by itself perished; but the name of the apostle, which had passed over from it to the Hebrew Gospel work which so originated, led to the latter being regarded as the original composition of Matthew himself,—a view which lies at the foundation of the testimonies of Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, and others. In any case, however, this Hebrew work, which gradually grew out of the collection of sayings, must, before it was translated into Greek, have undergone a systematic, final redaction, by means of which it received the form which corresponds to our present Greek Matthew, for the latter is always attested only as a translation; and it is precisely to this final redaction, before the translation was made, that the recognition of the work by the church as apostolic must have been appended and confirmed, because in the rendering of the work into Greek, the Hebrew was only translated,—a view which underlies the testimonies and quotations of the Fathers throughout. The Hebrew original, which arose out of the apostle’s collection of sayings, and which corresponds to our present Matthew, fell, after it was translated, into obscurity, and gradually became lost,(329) although it must have been preserved for a long time as an isolated work in Nazarene circles (besides and alongside of the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews), where it was still found in Beroea by Jerome, who made a transcript of it, and who also testifies that it existed down to his own day in the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea (de vir. illust. 3).
That the translator was one individual, is attested by the fixed style of expression which runs throughout the whole (Credner, Einleit. § 37; Holtzmann, p. 292 ff.); who he was, cannot be at all determined: “quod quis postea in Graecum transtulerit, non satis certum est,” Jerome. The opinions, that the translation was executed by Matthew himself (Bengel, Guericke, Schott, Olshausen, Thiersch), or at least with his co-operation (Guericke),—or by another apostle (Casaubon, Gerhard), perhaps James the Lord’s brother (Synopsis S. S. Pseudo-Athanasius), or even by John (Theophylact, Scholia on Matthew, Subscriptions in the MSS.), or was prepared under the eye and commission of the apostles (Ebrard),—or that two of the disciples of Matthew had written down, the one in Aramaic, the other in Greek, the tradition preserved by the apostle (Orelli, Selecta Patr. Eccles. Capita, 1821, p. 10),—easily connect themselves with dogmatic presuppositions, but are destitute of all historical foundation, and must, in consequence of the testimony which Papias bears as to what Matthew wrote, altogether fall to the ground.
If, as the result of all that precedes, the share of the apostle in the work which bears his name must be referred back to his Hebrew σύνταξις τῶν λογίων, and in so far the book as a whole cannot be called apostolic in the narrower sense, but “already a secondary narrative” (Baur), the apostolic authenticity,(330) which has been strictly defended down to the most recent time, can remain only in a very relative degree. If, however, the gospel history thereby loses this direct guarantee, so far as in many single points it would lack the weighty authority of the apostle and eye-witness as a voucher, yet the gain is to be more highly estimated which it derives from being completely emancipated from the contradictory statements of two apostles on which apologetic harmonists, since Augustine, Osiander, Chemnitz, Gerhard, Calovius, Bengel, Storr and others,(331) have exercised their inventive ingenuity with the Sisyphus-labour of a one-sided acuteness, and from seeing the decisive authority of John in relation to the first Gospel altogether unshackled. To this authority must also be subordinated the discourses of Jesus in individual parts, which, considering the genetic development under which our Matthew gradually grew up out of the collection of sayings, cannot have remained unchanged (especially those relating to the last things and to the last Supper). Yet the greater portion of them, so far as they belong to the non-Johannean stage of action, are independent of and unaffected by the Johannean accounts of the discourses. If, namely, as our Gospels furnish the actual proof of it, there was formed earliest of all a Galilean cycle of gospel history which extended itself to Judea only at the last great termination of the history; so it is conceivable enough, since Galilee was actually the principal theatre of the ministry of Jesus, that Matthew in his σύνταξις τῶν λογίων already confined himself to this cycle, while it was reserved for John first, when evangelic historical composition had reached its culminating point, to include the whole of the Judaic teaching and acting,—nay, by supplementing that older and defective range of narrative, to place it in the foreground of the history. Delitzsch, in connection with his fiction of a pentateuchal construction of our Gospel (see afterwards, Section IV.), without any reason regards Matthew as the creator of the Galilean gospel type: he only connected himself with it by his collection of sayings, which an apostle could also do if he did not wish to write a history of Jesus.
The Hebrew Matthew was adopted, as by the Hebrew Christians in general, so by the Nazarenes and Ebionites in particular, as their Gospel, and was overlaid (by the Ebionites, who omitted the two first chapters, still more than by the Nazarenes) with heretical and apocryphal additions and partial changes, as well by spinning out as by omitting, by which process arose the εὐαγγέλιον καθʼ ἑβραίους; see the fragments of the same collected from the Fathers in Credner’s Beitr. I. p. 380 ff.; by Hilgenfeld in his Zeitschrift, 1863, p. 345 ff.; and in the N. T. extra Canon. recept. IV. According to Eusebius, iii. 39, Papias had already received into his work an apocryphal history, which was contained(332) in the εὐαγγέλιον καθʼ ἑβραίους, and which had been already made use of by Ignatius, ad Smyrn. 3 (see Jerome, de vir. illust. 16), and by Hegesippus (see Eusebius, iv. 22, iii. 20; Photius, Bibl. Cod. 232). This essential relationship of the εὑαγγέλιον καθʼ ἑβραίους—the contents of which, according to the remains that have been preserved, must have been extensive,(333) and wrought up with skill and some degree of boldness (see Ewald, Jahrb. VI. p. 37 ff.)—to the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, makes it explicable how the former might be regarded by many who did not possess an exact acquaintance with it, as the Hebrew Matthew itself (Jerome, contra Pelag. iii. 2, “Ut plerique autumant;” ad Matthew 12:13, “quod vocatur a plerisque Matthaei authenticum”). To the number of these belonged also Epiphanius, who says (Haer. xxix. 9) that the Nazarenes possessed τὸ κατὰ ΄ατθ. εὐαγγέλιον πληρέστατον (comp. Irenæus, Haer. iii. 11. 7) ἑβραϊστί, but who, nevertheless, does not know whether it also contained the genealogy. Of the Ebionites, on the other hand, he states (Haer. xxx. 3. 13) that they did not possess the Gospel of Matthew in a complete form, but νενοθευμένον καὶ ἠκροτηριασμένον, and quotes passages from the Ebionitic ἑβραϊχόν. We must suppose that he had an exact acquaintance only with the Ebionite edition of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, probably derived from Ebionite writings. Jerome, on the other hand, had a minute acquaintance with the evangelium secundum Hebraeos, and, in opposition to the view which has recently become current, definitely distinguished it from the Hebrew Matthew.(334) Of the latter, namely, which he found in use among the Nazarenes at Beroea, he made a transcript (de vir. illust. 3); the Gospel according to the Hebrews, of which, consequently, there could not have been as yet any widely diffused and recognised translation, he translated into Greek and Latin (de vir. illust. 2, ad Mich. Matthew 7:6, ad Matthew 12:13), which of course he did not do in the case of the Hebrew Matthew, as that Matthew was everywhere extant in Greek and also in Latin. Jerome consequently could not share the erroneous opinion of the plerique above mentioned; and the very precarious assumption—precarious because of his well-known acquaintance with the Hebrew language—that he held it at a former time, but abandoned it afterwards (Credner, de Wette, Holtzmann, Tischendorf, and several others), or at least expressed himself more cautiously regarding it (Hilgenfeld), is altogether baseless, and is only still more condemned by Credner’s arbitrary hypothesis (Beiträge, I. p. 394). It is, however, also conceivable that it was precisely among the Nazarenes that he found the Hebrew Matthew, as they naturally attached great value to that Gospel, out of which their own Gospel, the evangelium secund. Hebraeos, had grown. Of the former (de vir. ill. 3), as well as of the latter (c. Pelag. iii. 2), there was a copy in the library at Caesarea. As Jerome almost always names only the Nazarenes as those who use the evangelium sec. Hebraeos, while he says nothing of any special Ebionitic Gospel; nay, on Matthew 12:13, designates the Gospel according to the Hebrews as that “quo utuntur Nazareni et Ebionitae,” he does not appear to have known any special Ebionitic edition, or to have paid any attention to it; while he simply adhered to the older, more original, and more widely disseminated form of the work, in which it was authoritative among the Nazarenes, and was certainly also retained in use among the Ebionites side by side with their still more vitiated gospel writing. The supposition that the evangelium sec. Hebraeos arose out of a Greek original (Credner, Bleek, de Wette, Delitzsch, Reuss, Hilgenfeld, Holtz mann; comp. also Sepp, d. Hebr. Evang. 1870), has against it the statement of the Fathers (Eusebius, iv. 22; Epiphanius, Haeres. xxx. 3. 13; and especially Jerome), who presuppose a Hebrew original; while, further, there stands in conflict with it the old and widely disseminated confusion between that Gospel and the original Hebrew work of Matthew. The alleged wavering, moreover, between the texts of Matthew and Luke, which has been found in some fragmentary portions, is so unessential (see the passages in de Wette, sec. 64a), that the fluidity of oral tradition is fully sufficient to explain it. Just as little can that hypothesis find any support from the individual passages, which are still said to betray the Greek original (of Matthew), from which the evangelium sec. Hebraeos arose by means of an Aramaic edition. For, as regards the ἐγκρίς in Epiphanius, Haer. xxx. 13, see on Matthew 3:4. And when Jerome, on ch. Matthew 27:16, relates that in that Gospel the name Barabbas was explained by filius magistri eorum, it has been erroneously assumed that the Greek accusative βαραββᾶν was taken as an indeclinable noun ( בררבן = בַּר רַבְהוֹן). So Paulus, Credner, Bleek, Holtzmann. Such a degree of ignorance of Greek, precisely when it is said to be a translation from that language, cannot at all be assumed, especially as the Greek βαραββ. was written with only one ρ, and the name בראבּא and βαραββᾶς was very common. “Filius magistri eorum” is rather to be regarded simply as an instance of forced rabbinical interpretation, where אבּא was referred, in the improper sense of magister, to the devil; and in support of this interpretation, an eorum, giving a more precise definition, was, freely enough, subjoined.(335) When, further, according to Jerome on Matthew 23:35, filius Jojadae stood in the Gospel according to the Hebrews in place of υἱοῦ βαραχίου, this does not necessarily presuppose the Greek text, the mistake in which was corrected by the Gospel according to the Hebrews, but the בר יוידע may just as appropriately, and quite independently of the Greek Matthew, have found its way in, owing to a more correct statement of the tradition, in room of the erroneous name already received into the original Hebrew text. Just as little, finally, is any importance to be attached to this, that, according to Jerome on Matthew 6:11, instead of τὸν ἐπιούσιον there stood in the Gospel according to the Hebrews מהר, since there exists no difference of meaning between these two words. See on Matt. l.c. None of these data (still less that which, according to Jerome, the Gospel according to the Hebrews, ch. Matthew 25:46, contained respecting the breaking of the supraliminare templi; and what was formerly adduced, still especially by Delitzsch, Entsteh. u. Anl. d. kanon. Evang. I. p. 21 f.) is fitted to lay a foundation for the opinion that that apocryphal Gospel was derived from a Greek original, and especially from our Greek Matthew, or from the (alleged) Greek document which formed the foundation of the same, which is said to have undergone in the Gospels of the Nazarenes and Ebionites only other redactions, independently of the canonical one (Hilgenfeld, Evangel, p. 117).
The converse view, that our Greek Matthew proceeded from a Greek translation of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which was subjected to modification of various kinds until it finally became fixed in its present shape in our canonical Gospel of Matthew (probably about the year 130 A.D.), Schwegler, Baur, renders necessary the unhistorical supposition, which especially contravenes the testimony of Jerome, that the Hebrew writing of Matthew was identical with the Gospel according to the Hebrews; leaves the old and universal canonical recognition of our Matthew, in view of the rejection by the church of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, unexplained; overlooks, further, that the assumed transformations which our canonical Matthew underwent prior to its being finally fixed, must—since, according to the unanimous testimony of the church, it is a translation—have related not to the Greek, but only to the Hebrew work; and it must, finally, refer the relative quotations of Justin (and of the Clementines, see Uhlhorn, Homil. u. Recog. d. Clemens, p. 119 ff.) to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or assume as a source the Gospel of Peter and other unknown apocrypha (Schliemann, Schwegler, Baur, Zeller, Hilgenfeld, after Credner’s example), although it is precisely our Matthew and Luke which are most largely and unmistakeably employed by Justin in his quotations from the ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλων, although freely and from memory, and under the influence of the oral tradition which had become current, and which stood at his command (Semisch, d. Apost. Denkwürdigk. Justin’s, 1848 [Eng. transl. Messrs. Clark’s Cab. Libr.]; Delitzsch, Entsteh. u. Anl. d. kanon. Evang. I. p. 26 ff.; Ritschl in the theolog. Jahrb. 1851, p. 482 ff.). See, generally, on the priority of the Gospel of Matthew to that of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is most decidedly and persistently denied by Hilgenfeld; Köstlin, p. 118 ff.; Bleek, Beitr. p. 60 ff., Einl. p. 104 ff.; Frank in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1848, p. 369 ff.; Ewald, Jahrb. VI. p. 36 ff.; Keim, Gesch. Jesu, I. 29 ff.; Grau, Entwickelungsgesch. d. N. T. I. p. 265 ff.; Volkmar, and others.
SEC. III.—READERS, AND OBJECT OF THE GOSPEL—TIME OF ITS COMPOSITION
Not merely was the collection of discourses composed by Matthew himself intended for the Jewish Christians of Palestine, but the Hebrew Gospel also, which gradually grew out of that collection, as already appears from the language of the work itself, and as is confirmed by the testimonies of the Fathers (Irenaeus,Haer. iii. 1; Origen in Eusebius, vi. 25; Eusebius, Jerome, and others). Hence the frequent quotations from the O. T. to prove that the history of Jesus is the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy,—quotations, amongst which are to be classed even such as, without some explanatory addition, were intelligible only to those who were acquainted with the Hebrew language (Matthew 1:22) and the Hebrew prophetic manner of expression (Matthew 2:23); and hence, also, as a rule, all in the Gospel is presupposed as known which, in reference to manners and customs, to religious and civil, to geographical and topographical relations, could not but be known to residents in Palestine as such; while, on the contrary, by the other evangelists (comp. Mark 7:2-4 with Matthew 15:2), such remarks, explanations, etc. as were unnecessary for the inhabitant of Palestine, are frequently added in consideration of readers living out of that country. That the unknown translator, however, had also in view Jewish Christians out of Palestine, is clear from the very fact of his undertaking a translation. It was in reference to such readers that some interpretations of specially noteworthy names (Matthew 1:23, Matthew 27:33), and the translation of the exclamation on the cross in Matthew 27:46, were added by the translator, to whose account, however, pragmatical observations such as those in ch. Matthew 22:23, Matthew 28:8; Matthew 28:15, are not to be placed.
The object which was to be attained, both by Matthew’s collection of discourses as well as by the Gospel, could be no other than to demonstrate Jesus to be the Messiah, which demonstration is carried out in the Gospel by means of the history and teaching of Jesus (in the collection of discourses by means of His teaching) in such a way that Jesus is set forth as He who was promised in the O. T. Credner, Einl. I. p. 60; Ewald, Jahrb. II. p. 211. We must regard, however, as entirely alien from this view,(336) the premature thought of a Jewish Christian (Petrine) party writing (so the anonymous work, Die Evangelien, ihre Geschichte, ihre Verfasser, Leipzig 1845), with which the universalism which pervades the Gospel from Matthew 3:9 to Matthew 28:19 is in decided conflict. The chronological and even historical exactness, which could be in harmony only with a later period (Luke 1:3), retired into the background before this didactic purpose, and the tradition which dominates the Gospel found therein that quite unlimited room to play which was allowed it by the belief of the community, while it was not lessened on account of its wanting the testimony of an eye-witness, owing to its redactor not being an apostle. Considering the Palestinian destination of the work, and the contents assigned it by the collection of the discourses, and by the history itself and its tradition, it was natural and necessary that it should set forth much that was in antithesis to an unbelieving Judaism and its degenerate leaders. We are not, however, to assume a special tendential character referring to that (Köstlin), or the prosecution of an anti-Ebonitic aim (Grau), as that antithesis has its basis in the position of Christ Himself and of His historical work; while upon a Gospel intended for Palestinian Jewish Christians it could not but impress itself spontaneously, without any special purpose, more than on other Gospels.(337)
The principal sections of the Gospel are as follow: (1) History of the birth and childhood, ch. 1, 2; (2) Preparations for His appearance as Messiah, ch. 3–4:11; (3) Messianic ministry in Galilee, until His departure from the theatre of His work up. to that time, Matthew 19:1; (4) Setting out for Judea, and completion of His Messianic ministry and destiny, ch. 19–28:20. Plans of a more complicated character (see in Luthardt, l.c. p. 14 ff.) are the outcome of subjective presuppositions.
As regards the time of composition, the tradition of the church assigns to the Gospel of Matthew the first place amongst the canonical Gospels (Origen in Eusebius, vi. 25; Epiphanius, Haer. li. 4; Jerome, de vir. ill. 3). Eusebius states more precisely (iii. 24) that Matthew wrote when he wished to take his departure from Palestine; Irenaeus, however, iii. 1, 2 (comp. Eusebius, v. 8), while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome. Of these two notices, the first is very indefinite; but between the two there certainly lies a long period of time, especially since, at the dates when Paul made his first apostolic journeys to Jerusalem (Galatians 1, 2), there is at least no longer any express trace of Matthew’s residence in that city. This very varying tradition of the time of composition is, however, conceivable without any difficulty from this consideration, that Matthew’s collection of sayings must in reality have been composed at a far earlier date than the Gospel which bears his name. The time when the one originated was easily transferred to the other, as at a later date, when the first was no longer extant, the two writings were not, in general, separately distinguished. Nothing, however, could be more natural than that Matthew, when he wished to follow his vocation amongst strangers, should present his Palestinian hearers with a well-arranged collection of the Lord’s sayings, which might remain with them as a legacy in place of his oral preaching. The Gospel, which then gradually grew out of this collection of sayings, might have been in constant process of formation down to the time indicated by Irenaeus (from 60–70), and then have received its last redaction, after which also the translation soon followed, consequently shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem. For as the Hebrew work is in any case to be placed before the destruction of Jerusalem, so also is the Greek translation; because in Matthew 24:29 ff. the Parousia is so definitely predicted as commencing immediately after the desolation of Palestine (comp. Matthew 16:28, Matthew 24:34), that all attempts to evade this conclusion remain ineffectual. On the other hand, we are not to infer from Matthew 23:35, Matthew 24:15 (Hug, Credner), that at the time when the last chapters were composed the Romans had already taken possession of Galilee, and were upon the point of conquering Judea.(338)
Any more precise determination of the locality where it was composed is nowhere pointed to, not even in Matthew 19:1 (see on the passage), where Köstlin finds the residence of the writer presupposed as being in the country to the east of the Jordan, to which view Holtzmann also is inclined (p. 414 f.).
The above notice of time given by Eusebius is more precisely determined: by Eusebius of Caesarea, in the Chronicon, as the year 41; by Cosmas Indicopleustes, as in the time of the stoning of Stephen; by Theophylact and Euth. Zigabenus, as eight years after the ascension; by the Alexandrine Chronicon and Nicephorus, as fifteen years after the ascension. All these are the outcome of a desire to place the Gospel as early as possible. In modern times, the determination of the time within the 60 years has been for the most part rightly adhered to (Keim, 66). Still, in so doing, any alleged use of the Apocalypse (Hitzig, Volkmar) is to be left out of consideration.
The strange mixture of agreement and divergence in the Synoptics when compared with each other, in which there appears an obvious communion, not merely as to the matter and extent and course of the history, but also as to the words and transactions, extending even to the most accidental minutiae and to the most peculiar expressions,—partly, again, a very varying peculiarity in the manner of receiving and dealing with the subject-matter, as well as in the selection of the expressions and links of connection (see the more minute demonstration of this relation in de Wette, Einl. secs. 79, 80; Credner, sec. 67; Wilke, neutestament. Rhetorik, p, 435 ff; Holtzmann, p. 10 ff.), has, since the mechanical strictness of the older theory of inspiration had to yield its place to the claims of scientific investigation, called forth very different attempts at explanation. Either all the three Gospels have been derived from a common source, or critics have contented themselves with the old hypothesis (see already Augustine, de consensu Evang. i. 4), that one evangelist made use of the other,—the later of the earlier one or more, where, however, ancient evangelical writings and the oral traditions of the apostolic age have been called in, and could not fail to be so, by way of aid.
A. After Clericus (Hist. eccl. II. prim, saec., Amstelodami 1716, p. 429) had already directed attention, with a view to the explanation of the affinity in question, to ancient gospel writings composed by eye- and ear-witnesses,—while, at a later date, Semler in his translation of Townson’s Discourses on the Four Gospels, Halle 1783, I. pp. 221, 290, had assumed one or more original Syro-Chaldaic writings, as Lessing also had (theol. Nachl. 1785, p. 45 ff.) already regarded the Gospel according to the Hebrews as the common source, in which he was followed by Niemeyer (Conjecturae ad illustr. plurimor. N. T. scriptor. silentium de primord. vitae J. Ch., Hal. 1790), C. F. Weber (Untersuch. üb. d. Ev. d. Hebr. 1806), Paulus (Introductio in N. T. capita selectiora, Jenae 1799), Thiess, (Kommentar, I. p. 18 f.), Schneckenburger, and several others,—it was, first, pupils from the school of Eichhorn (Halfeld and Russwurm in the Göttinger Preisschriften, 1793, and see the work of the latter on the origin of the first three Gospels, Ratzeb. 1797), and, soon after, Eichhorn himself (in d. Bibl. d. bibl. Literatur, 1794, p. 759 ff.), who came forward with the hypothesis, which has become famous, of an original written Gospel, which, with manifold modifications, was adopted by Marsh (Remarks and Additions to Michaelis, Einl. aus dem Engl. von Rosenmüller, Gött. I. 1795, II. 1803), Ziegler (in Gabler’s neuest. theol. Journ. IV. p. 417), Hänlein, Herder (partly), Gratz (see afterwards), Bertholdt, Kuinoel, and several others.
According to Eichhorn, an original Syro-Chaldaic Gospel, composed about the time of the stoning of Stephen, contained the sections common to all the three evangelists; but in such a way that four, likewise Aramaic, editions of the same served as a foundation for the Synoptics,—namely, edition A to Matthew; edition B to Luke; edition C, composed of A and B, to Mark; and besides these, still an edition D to Matthew and Luke alike. The less, however, that in this way the verbal agreement was explained, and that too of the Greek Gospel, consisting, as it does so often, of casual and unique expressions, the less could more complicated attempts at explanation fail to be made. Herbert Marsh, l.c. II. p. 284 ff., set up the following genealogy:—(1) א, an original Hebrew Gospel; (2) אֿ, a Greek version of the same; (3) א + α + α, a transcript of the original Hebrew Gospel, with smaller and larger additions; (4) א + β + β, another transcript of the same, with other smaller and larger additions; (5) א + γ + γ, a third transcript, again with other additions; (6) ב, a Hebrew gnomology in various editions. The Hebrew Matthew, according to this theory, originated by means of א + ב + α + α + γ + γ; the Gospel of Luke, by means of א + ב + β + β + γ + γ + אֿ; the Gospel of Mark, by means of א + α + α + β + β + אֿ; the Greek Matthew, however, was a translation of the Hebrew Matthew, with the addition of אֿ, and of the Gospels of Luke and Mark.
In order to remove the objections which were raised against him, Eichhorn (Einl. I. p. 353 ff.) expanded his view in the following way:—(1) An original Hebrew Gospel; (2) a Greek version of this; (3) a peculiar recension of number 1; (4) a Greek version of number 3, with the use of number 2; (5) another recension of number 1; (6) a third recension, derived from Numbers 3, 5; (7) a fourth recension from number 1, with larger additions; (8) Greek version of number 7, with the use of number 2; (9) a Hebrew Matthew, derived from Numbers 3, 7; (10) a Greek Matthew, from number 9, with the assistance of Numbers 4, 8; (11) Mark, derived from number 6, with the use of Numbers 4, 5; (12) Luke, from Numbers 5, 8. The hypothesis of an original written gospel received a somewhat more simple shape from Grätz (neuer Versuch der Entstehung der drei ersten Evang. zu erklären. Tüb. 1812) as follows:—(1) An original Hebrew Gospel; (2) an original Greek Gospel, derived from former, with many additions; (3) shorter evangelic documents; (4) Mark and Luke arose out of number 2, with the help of number 3; (5) a Hebrew Matthew, derived from number 1, with additions, partly its own, partly borrowed from a document which here and there agreed with the gnomology employed by Luke; (6) a Greek version of the Hebrew Matthew, in making which the Gospel of Mark was consulted, and additions derived from it; (7) interpolations from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, by means of mutual transpositions of many sections from, the one to the other.
Considering the entire want of any historical basis for the existence of an original written Gospel of the kind in question, although it could not but have been regarded as of very high authority; considering the meagre and defective materials of which it must needs have been composed; considering the contradictions which the testimonies of Luke in his preface, and of the fragment of Papias, carry in themselves to an original written Gospel; considering the artificial nature of the structure which is raised up upon a presupposed basis by the arbitrary calling in of materials at will; considering the accumulated and strangely trivial cultivation of authorship, which is presupposed, in opposition to the spirit, the wants, and the hope of the apostolic age; considering the dead mechanical way especially in which the evangelists would have gone to work, altogether without that independent idiosyncrasy which, in the case of apostles and apostolic men, cannot, even in respect to their written activity in the service of the church, be conceived of as wanting without doing injury to the historical character and spirit of the original Christian age; considering the high authority, finally, which the Synoptics have attained, but which they could scarcely have reached by a style of writing history so spiritless, so laboriously fettered, and of so compilatory a character:—it can only be regarded as an advance and a gain, that these artificial hypotheses have again disappeared, and are worthy of note only as evidences of an inventive conjectural criticism, which, when we consider the theological character of its time, cannot astonish us even in respect of the approval which it received. A beneficial recoil from this approval was brought about first by Hug (Einl. 1808, 4te Aufl. 1847), who simply went back to the critical use to which Mark subjected Matthew, and Luke both his predecessors, consequently in harmony with the order of succession in the Canon,—a view which, at the present day, is held most decidedly by Hilgenfeld.
The assumption also of many hinds of original gospel writings and essays as sources of the Synoptics (after Clericus, l.c., Semler, Michaelis, Koppe, and others; first, in reference to the third Gospel, by Schleiermacher, üb. d. Schriften des Luk. Berlin 1817 [Eng. transl. by late Bishop of St. David’s]), is by no means sufficient to solve the riddle, especially if we keep in view the harmony of the three in respect of their plan and design as a whole; for if we were to explain all the peculiarities of the relation in this way, we would be entangled in a mosaic work of multitudinous combinations and separations, in which there would again fall to the share of the evangelists themselves nothing but a curiously mechanical skill as their undeserved fate.
B. Far greater reputation, nay, even permanent approval down to the most recent time (Guericke, Ebrard, Thiersch, and many others; also Schleiermacher, Einl., ed. Wolde, 1845), has been attained by the hypothesis of an original oral Gospel, which, after Eckermann (theol. Beitr. V. 2, p. 148), Herder (Regel d. Zusammenstimm. unserer Evangel. in: von Gottes Sohn, der Welt Heiland, 1797), has found its most thoroughgoing representative(340) in Gieseler’s celebrated Versuch über die Entstehung und frühesten Schicksale der schriftl. Evang., Leipzig 1818. According to this hypothesis, which may be compared with that of Wolf regarding the origin of Homer, the doctrines, acts, and destinies of Christ were, among the apostles and first Christians at Jerusalem, the oft-repeated subject of their conversation, in a greater or less degree, always in proportion as they appeared more or less as witnesses for the Messiahship. The memory of one disciple thus aided that of another in the way of correction and arrangement, so that the facts and discourses were apprehended in a firm living recollection. By this process, however,—through which men who were destined to be fellow-labourers with the apostles were prepared for their vocation, instruction being imparted by one apostle in the presence of the others,—these ἀπομνημονεύματα attained a continuous historical shape; and in order to prevent any disfiguration, the expression also, and therewith, at the same time, the thought, became fixed,(341) which might take place all the more easily, considering that the state of culture among the first narrators was pretty much the same. There was thus formed a standing, as it were stereotype, narrative, which comprised the sections common to the three Synoptics. As, however, some portions of the history formed more the topic of conversation and of narration to the converts, and others less, always according to their greater or less importance,—which determined, also, a more or less free form of address; and as, in addition, special recollections of the apostles flowed into their addresses,—there are explained in this way the divergencies which are found in some parts of the historical narrative. This oral narrative was impressed upon the memory of those who were intended for the vocation of teaching by frequent repetition. The language of this original type of oral Gospel, the Aramaic, was with all care translated into Greek, when Hellenists in increasing numbers were received into the community. Finally, the word became fettered by the letter, whereby, the individual author, in selecting and setting forth his material, fell in with the wants of his readers; so that Matthew handed on a purely Palestinian; Mark, a Palestinian Gospel, modified abroad, and for strangers out of Palestine; Luke, a Pauline Gospel.
The want, however, of all historical testimony for a standing apostolic tradition of that kind; the mechanical method, opposed to the living spirit of the apostolic age and activity, which is presupposed in order to its origination and establishment; the mechanical literary manner in which the evangelists are said to have continued the oral account which pre-existed; the incompleteness and limitation, beyond which a narrative of that kind could not have risen; the want of agreement precisely in the all-important histories of the passion and resurrection of Christ; the circumstance that, as already appears from the Acts of the Apostles and the New Testament Epistles, the preachers of the apostolic age (see on Acts 21:8) had to deal chiefly with the whole redemptive work of Christ, and that therefore they, by preference, announced His incarnation, His manifestation and ministry, in brief, condensed summary (see, e.g., Acts 10:37-42), His doctrine as a fact viewed as a whole, the testimony to His miracles, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, glorification, and second advent, in doing which they possessed, in their own recollection, and relatively in the living tradition, material and warrant enough for the preaching also of the individual doctrines, discourses, acts, and destinies of the Lord, which they certainly had likewise to do in the discharge of this great chief vocation of theirs (comp. 1 Corinthians 11:23, ch. Matthew 15:1 ff.; see also what Papias says of Mark, as the hearer of Peter, in Eusebius, iii. 39), and did not need a previous stereotype didactic preparation; the want of every trace of such a standing type in the New Testament Epistles; finally, the testimonies of Luke and Papias, which are exactly opposed to an original Gospel tradition in the sense assumed; the complete breaking through of such already by Luke, and its annulling by John:—all these are just so many reasons why any explanation of the synoptic Gospels upon that hypothesis of an original oral Gospel (without prejudice, however, to the necessary and great influence of oral tradition in general) must be renounced, even apart from this, that the formation of such an original Gospel, by means of the designed co-operation of the apostles, would be simply irreconcilable with the contradictions which are presented by the Gospel of John.
The view, according to which one evangelist made use of the other,—where, however, the gospel tradition, as it existed in a living form long before it was recorded in writing (Luke 1:2), as well as old written documents, composed before our Gospels (Luke, l.c.), come also essentially into consideration,—is the only one which is fitted to enable us to conceive of the synoptic relationship in a natural manner, and in agreement with the history.
The order in which the three originated has, according to this view, been very variously determined. Namely, (1.) according to the order of the canon, Matthew wrote first, Mark made use of him, and Luke of both. So Grotius, Mill, Wetstein, Bengel, Townson (Abhandlungen über d. vier Evangel., aus dem Engl. von Semler, Leipzig 1783, I. p. 275, II. p. 1 ff.), Seiler (de temp, et ord., quo tria ev. pr. can. scripta sunt, Erlangen 1805, 1806), Hug, Credner,(342) Hengstenberg, Grau, and several others; of the Tübingen school, Hilgenfeld (d. Markus-Evangel, Lpz. 1850, krit. Untersuch. üb. d. Evangel. Justin’s, etc., Halle 1850, also in the theolog. Jahrb. 1852, p. 102 ff., 158 ff., 1857, p. 381 ff., 408 ff., and die Evangelien nach ihrer Entstehung, and 1854, d. Urchristenthum, 1855, and in his wiss. Zeitschrift, 1859, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1870; also in his Kanon u. Kritik. d. N. T. 1863), who refers our canonical Matthew to an apostolic documentary work—of a strictly Judeo-Christian character—between the years 60 and 70, which, however, received, immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem, a freer treatment, and in this way attained its present shape, as he also places, as an intermediate link, between Matthew and Mark, not merely the Petrine-Roman tradition, but also a Petrine edition of Matthew, a Gospel of Peter, which was also made use of by the author of our Mark, while he makes the Gospel of Luke to arise out of a Pauline working up of the two first Gospels, and other sources about 100 years after Christ. Augustine’s opinion (de consen. ev. i. 4) already was: “Marcus Matthaeum subsequutus tanquam pedissequus et breviator ejus videtur,” which Koppe (Marcus non epitomator Matthaei, 1782) rightly controverts, as is done afterwards also by Herder and others, proceeding from other principles; and especially by those who assign to Mark the priority among the three (see subsequently). (2.) Matthew, Luke, Mark, the so-called hypothesis of Griesbach. So Owen, Observations on the Four Gospels, London 1764; Stroth in Eichhorn’s Repert. IX. p. 144; and especially Griesbach, Commentat. qua Marci ev. totum e Matthaei et Lucae commentariis decerpt. esse monstratur, Jen. 1789, 1790 (also in his Opsuc., ed. Gabler, II. p. 385 ff.); Ammon, de Luca emendatore Matthaei, Erl. 1805; Saunier, üb. d. Quellen des Ev. Mark., Berlin 1825; Theile, de trium prior, ev. necessitud., Leipzig 1825, and in Winer’s and Engelhardt’s krit. Journ. V. 4, p. 400 f., Sieffert, Fritzsche, Neudecker, Kern, de Wette, Gfrörer, heil. Sage, p. 212 ff., Strauss, Schwarz, neue Untersuch. üb. d. Verwandtschaftsverhältniss d. synop. Evang., Tübingen 1844, p. 277 ff., Bleek, Schwegler in the theolog. Jahrb. 1843, p. 203 ff., and in the nachapost. Zeitalter, I. p. 457 ff., Baur, p. 548 ff., and d. Markus-Evangel., Tüb. 1851, also in the theolog. Jahrb. 1853, p. 54 ff.; and frequently Strauss, Zeller, Dölling, Köstlin,(343) Kahnis, Keim. Among these defenders of the priority of Matthew, Delitzsch, in a manner which is peculiar to himself, believes that he has demonstrated the same (see his neue Unters. üb. Entstehung und Anlage d. kanon. Evangelien, I. p. 59), namely, by means of a presumed pentateuchic plan of the Gospel in harmony with the setting forth of Christianity as a new, not less divine νόμος, raised above that of Moses. This discovery, however, is nothing else than a playing of the Rabbinical mind with a fanciful typology (see especially Lücke: de eo, quod nimium artis acuminisque est in ea, quae nunc praecipue factitatur sacrae scripturae … interpretatione, Gött. 1853; Baur in the theolog. Jahrb. 1854, p. 235 ff.; Weiss in the deutsch. Zeitschr. Beibl. 1854, 3), for the sake of laying a foundation for the confident assertion of the author, that to think of the priority of Mark will be henceforth quite impossible,—a remark which has been already abundantly refuted by experience.
(3.) Mark, Matthew, Luke. So Storr, ûb. d. Zweck d. evang. Gesch. u. d. Briefe des Johannes, p. 274 ff., and de fontibus evang. Matt. et Lucae, Tüb. 1794 (also in Velthusen, Commentatt. III. p. 140 ff.); from Mark, namely, the Hebrew Matthew, and partly, also, Luke were derived, and that the Greek translator of Matthew then made use of Mark and Luke.
The order, Mark, Matthew, Luke,(344) is maintained also by Lachmann in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1835, p. 570 ff.; Weisse, evang. Gesch. 1838, and Evangelienfr. 1856, Ewald, Reuss, Thiersch; Tobler, Evangelienfr. 1858; Ritschl in the theolog. Jahrb. 1851, p. 480 ff.; Plitt, de compos, evang. synopt. 1860; Weiss in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1861, p. 29 ff., 646 ff., and in the Jahrb. f. D. Theolog. 1864, p. 49 ff., 1865, p. 319 ff.; compare his Markus-Evangel. 1871; Eichthal, les évangiles, 1863; Schenkel; Wittichen in the Jahrb. f. D. Th. 1862, p. 314 ff., 1866, p. 427 ff.; Holtzmann, d. synopt. Evangelien, 1863; Weizsäcker, who assumes a written source common to the three, the extent and arrangement of which may be recognised substantially in the representation of Mark; Scholten, d. älteste Evang., krit. Unters., aus d. Holländ. v. Redepenning, 1869. Amongst these, Ewald and Scholten especially have laid down, in very dissimilar ways, a most complicated order of origination. This, according to Ewald, is as follows:—(1) The oldest Gospel, describing the most prominent events in the life of Jesus, made use of by the Apostle Paul, probably composed by the Evangelist Philip in the Greek language, but with a Hebrew colouring; (2) the Hebrew collection of sayings by Matthew, containing chiefly large portions of discourses, but also narrative introductions; (3) the Gospel of Mark, for which 1 and 2 were used, yet of independent origin, although no longer preserved quite in its original form; (4) the book of the higher history, which undertook to depict in a new fashion the very heights of the gospel history, and from which proceeds, e.g., the copious narrative of the temptation in Matthew and Luke; (5) our present Gospel of Matthew, written in Greek, with the use of 1–4, especially, however, of Mark, and the collection of sayings, probably also of a writing upon the preliminary history; (6, 7, 8) three different books, which may still be pointed out from, the Gospel of Luke; (9) the Gospel of Luke, in which all the hitherto enumerated writings, with the exception, however, of Matthew, were used. According to Scholten, however, a sketch by John Mark, after undergoing a first revision (Proto-Markus), was united with Matthew’s collection of sayings (Proto-Matthaeus), through which process arose a Deutero-Matthaeus, a second recension of which (Trito-Matthaeus) produced our first canonical Gospel; the latter, however, must also have been already known to a second redactor of the Proto-Markus, i.e. to our canonical Mark (Deutero-Markus), as is shown by its putting aside the history of the birth. The view of Holtzmann is simpler, who regards an original Mark ( α) as the sole basis of our present Mark, which, however, was also used, after the collection of sayings ( λ), by Matthew and Luke, yet in such a way that these two, along with α and λ, made use also of other smaller written sources and oral traditions. Weiss, again, supposes the λόγια to be the original Gospel, with which portions of the history, of the nature of sketches, yet without the history of the birth and passion, were already combined, and then makes our Mark follow at once, as a working up of the original Gospel with the recollections of Peter. The question, whether Luke made use of our Matthew, is denied, not merely by Ewald, but also by Weisse, Reuss, Thiersch, Plitt, Weiss, Holtzmann, Weizsäcker.
(4.) Mark, Luke, Matthew. So Wilke (der Urevangelist, 1838), B. Bauer. Comp. also Hitzig, üb. Johann. Markus und seine Schriften, 1843; and especially Volkmar, die Evangelien od. Markus u. d. Synopsis, etc., 1870, according to whom the Gospel of Mark is said to be a self-conscious didactic poem upon a historical basis; the Gospel of Luke a Pauline renewal of the original didactic writing against a Jewish-Christian reaction; while the Gospel of Matthew is a combination of both in the universalistic Jewish-Christian sense. See also Volkmar, Urspr. uns. Evangelien nach d. Urkunden, 1866.
(5.) Luke, Matthew, Mark. So Büsching, die vier Evangelisten mit ihren eigenen Worten zusammengesetzt, Hamb. 1766; Evanson, The Dissonance of the Four generally received Evangelists, 1792.
(6.) Luke, Mark, Matthew. So Vogel (in Gabler’s Journ. für auserl. theol. Lit. I. p. 1 ff.). A more minute statement and criticism of these various views belongs to the science of Historico-Critical Introduction. It may here suffice to note the following points.
Since the testimony of Papias regarding the work of Mark furnishes no reason (see afterwards, note (345)) for regarding this work as different from our second canonical Gospel; and since our present Gospel of Matthew is not identical with the σύνταξις τῶν λογίων which the apostle composed, but is a non-apostolic historic product which gradually grew up out of this apostolic writing; since, finally, Luke, who already presupposes a manifold evangelic literature, and who wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, must be regarded in any case as the last of the Synoptists, while the tradition, which assigns the first place to Matthew, may be fully conceived and explained from the very early existence of that apostolic σύνταξις τῶν λογίων,—the Gospel of Mark thus most naturally presents itself, on a historical consideration of the origin of the three synoptic Gospels—and that without the assumption, which is devoid of historical testimony, and throws everything back into uncertainty, of an original writing,(346) differing from its present form—as the one which is the oldest amongst the three, and which alongside of oral tradition and other original evangelic written sources, exercised a dominant influence upon the others. With this assumption that Mark is the oldest of the Synoptics, the distinctive internal character of this Gospel is quite in harmony,—the omission of all preliminary histories which cannot be explained as resulting from design (according to Baur, from neutrality), the beginning [of the history] with the appearance of the Baptist, the as yet altogether undeveloped narrative of the temptation, the circumstantial treatment of the history of the miracles, the freedom from legendary insertions in the history of the Passion which are found in Matthew, the objective character which, nevertheless, indicates the theological design and method, and especially the original stamp of direct liveliness and picturesque clearness of style and description. “This enamel of the fresh flower, this full pure life of the materials” (Ewald, Jahrb. I. p. 204), cannot be explained from the “tendency towards what is drastic and striking” (Kahnis), or from a purely “subjective manner on the part of the author” (Köstlin), and is not reconcilable with the assumption of a compilatory treatment; while the peculiar omission, moreover, and abbreviation on the one side, and the numerous, more circumstantial narratives and individual features on the other, which Mark exhibits, when compared with Matthew, would be conceivable neither psychologically nor historically, if Mark were the copyist and extractor of Matthew (or even of Matthew and Luke). See especially Weiss, Holtzmann, Weizsäcker, Klostermann. The Gospel of Mark, which, agreeably to its extent, arrangement, and presentation of the gospel material, flowed most directly from the early Christian tradition, must have preceded our present Gospel of Matthew, and it is only the actual composition of the Apostle, Matthew’s collection of sayings, which can be regarded as the source which Mark, and that with the independence of his peculiar object, which did not go in quest of copious accounts of discourses, made use of from Matthew. His Gospel, moreover, had the authority of Peter in its favour (see the fragment of Papias); and it is all the more explicable, when the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew gradually formed itself amongst the Christians of Palestine out of the Apostle Matthew’s collection of sayings, that it obtained a very substantial influence not only upon the shaping of this itself as to contents and form, but was also, at its final redaction and subsequent translation into the Greek language, made use of in such a way that the community even of expressions, which appears so often in the portions that are common, is thereby explained, exactly as at a later time again Luke had the Gospel of Mark also as one of his sources, and by the manner in which he made use of it, might make it appear as if it occupied a middle position between the first and third Gospels, borrowing in a dependent manner from both; a view by which a crying injustice is done to Mark under the domination of the Griesbachian hypothesis(347) (especially, also, by de Wette, Baur, Köstlin, Bleek, Keim). If accordingly, besides oral tradition, the σύνταξις τῶν λογίων of the Apostle Matthew, and our Gospel of Mark, are to be regarded as the chief Christian sources of our first Gospel, to the latter of which sources the relation of our Matthew is often directly that of omission and extraction, there yet must also have been other original evangelic writings in existence, which were worked up along with these when the Gospel was moulding itself into shape. Such individual writings are certainly to be recognised in the genealogy and in the preliminary history, and though less certainly determinable, yet also not to be denied in the further course of the history. The uniformity of the linguistic stamp, which exists in general, finds its sufficient explanation partly in the final redaction which preceded the translation, partly in the unity of the translator.
The testimony of the Presbyter John (not of the Evangelist John, as Zahn, Riggenbach, and Klostermann think), in Papias, regarding Mark, as quoted in Eusebius iii. 39, is as follows:—“ ΄άρκος μὲν, ἑρμηνευτὴς πέτρου γενόμενος, ὅσα ἐμνημόνευσεν ἀκριβῶς ἔγραψεν, οὐ μέντοι τάξει, τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα· οὔτε γὰρ ἤκουσε τοῦ κυρίου οὔτε παρηκολούθησεν αὐτῷ ὕστερον δὲ, ὡς ἔφην, πέτρῳ, ὃς πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας, ἀλλʼ οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λόγων (al. λογίων, as Laemmer reads), ὥστε οὐδὲν ἥμαρτε ΄άρκος οὕτως ἔνια γράψας ὡς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν· ἑνὸς γὰρ ἐποιήσατο πρόνοιαν, τοῦ μηδὲν ὧν ἤκουσε παραλιπεῖν ἢ ψεύσασθαί τι ἐν αὐτοῖς. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἱστόρηται τῷ παπίᾳ περὶ τοῦ ΄άρκου.” This statement, now, in the opinion of Credner (compare also Schleiermacher in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1832, p. 758 ff.), Schneckenburger, Weisse, Schwegler, Baur, Köstlin, and others, is said not to be appropriate to our Gospel of Mark, because τάξις, in general, is a feature that is applicable to it. According to Baur, the work meant by Papias is to be conceived of as after the fashion of the Clementine Homilies; according to Köstlin, as a Petrine gospel, containing for the most part discourses of Jesus; according to Ewald and Hilgenfeld, its contents were at least of greater extent than our Mark. But the meaning of the above passage is as follows:
After Mark had become the interpreter, i.e. not the translator (Grimm in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1872, p. 686), but the secretary of Peter, he committed to writing so much of what had either been spoken or done by Christ as his memory enabled him to recall, although not in the order of historical succession. He could not have adopted the latter plan, because he had been neither a hearer nor a follower of the Lord; but at a later date, as mentioned (ut dixi, namely, in the words ἑρμην. πέτρου γενόμ.), he became a follower of Peter, “who regulated his doctrinal teaching according to the requirements of the occasion, though not in such a way as if he had intended to set forth the discourses of the Lord in an orderly combination. Mark therefore committed no error in having written down some things in the shape that his recollection presented(348) them to him; for one thing he made of importance, to omit nothing of what he had heard (from Peter), and to falsify none of the statements.” The ἔγραψεν, mentioned at the beginning of the statement, refers then to the writing down which immediately followed the hearing of the addresses of Peter, which might take place οὐ τάξει, not according to historical order, but only in the form of notices, in the fashion of Adversaria. The γράψας, on the other hand, that follows, refers to the later composition of the Gospel, as clearly appears from the ἔνια which stands beside it (in opposition to the preceding ὅσα). This ἔνια, however, brings into prominence some things, out of the entire contents of his Gospel, which might, indeed, have been expected to be given in a different way from that in which Mark’s memory recalled them, i.e. in a better pragmatic arrangement and connection; but in reference to which the presbyter justifies the evangelist on the ground of the accidental, fragmentary style and fashion in which his notices regarding the matter of the Gospel originated. It is not, then, to the gospel writing of Mark as a whole, but only to a few individual portions of it ( ἔνια), that the presbyter denies the property of τάξις; and he explains this defect, and offers an excuse for it.(349) If, then, there is no ground stated in the words of Papias for any intention to point out in the Gospel of Mark generally a deficiency in definite arrangement (Ebrard, Reuss),—or at least a deficiency in closeness of succession, perhaps also in chronological certainty (Zahn),—these words cannot, on the other side, serve also to prove that our present Gospel is not intended. The οὐ τάξει, seeing it is limited only to some things, is to be left entirely in its objective accuracy, as an attested defect in the Gospel of Mark, without our having to refer this attestation to a comparison—lying at its basis—with another Gospel, especially with John (Ewald, Jahrb. I. p. 206) or with Matthew (Ebrard, Hilgenfeld, Weiss, Bleek, Holtzmann, and several others), or even with the work of Papias (Weisse). The inference, moreover, is not to be drawn from the present passage, that the alleged original Mark contained chiefly discourses of Christ (Köstlin), since οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιοῦμενος λόγων characterizes a potiori the instructions of Peter, and that in a negative manner in comparison with Papias’ own work, which had the λόγια as its contents. Peter, in his διδασκαλίαι, certainly communicated the Lord’s sayings, but in a sporadic manner, according to the measure of the varying needs [of his hearers], but not in such a way as if he had wished to produce a σύνταξις of them; and he connected them in so far with the relative historical instructions, that his companion Mark might write down from the addresses of the apostle to which he had listened, not merely τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ λεχθέντα, but τὰ ἤ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα.
With regard to the order of the synoptic Gospels in respect of their origin, the tradition of the church is unanimous for the priority of Matthew, and almost unanimous for assigning a middle position to Mark, in opposition to which there is only the isolated notice in Eusebius vi. 14, by Clement of Alexandria, in favour of the hypothesis of Griesbach: προγεγράφθαι ἔλεγεν τῶν εὐαγγελίων τὰ περιέχοντα τὰς γενεαλογίας. That unanimous tradition, however, is reconcilable also with our view regarding the origin of the Gospels, in so far, namely, that Matthew in reality wrote before Mark, i.e. his σύνταξις τῶν λογίων, out of which our present Gospel then grew up. To this relation to the first written source of the Gospel is the origin of that tradition to be referred.
Altogether without reason has Baur, in the theol. Jahrb. 1853, p. 93, with the approval of Volkmar, interpreted the predicate of Mark, ὁ κολοβοδάκτυλος (with the mutilated finger), in the Philosophumena Origenis, which cannot, without arbitrariness, be understood otherwise than quite in its proper sense (see Ewald, Jahrb. VII. p. 197), of the epitomatory character of the Gospel.
Although the Gospel of Mark is the oldest of the Synoptics, and has apparently preserved in part purer and more original traditions than the Gospel of Matthew, it may still be partially inferior in point of originality to the tradition which has stamped its impress upon the latter, since Mark could mainly work up his notices, gathered from his connection with Peter, only by help of tradition; and since, on the other side, the Gospel of Matthew was moulded into shape gradually, and in Palestine itself, so that in any case, even apart from the apostolic collection of sayings, which passed over substantially into this Gospel, many older elements of tradition, and older documentary portions than any in Mark, may have been preserved in it. To the critical comparison of the narratives given in Matthew with those of Mark, no hindrance can then be interposed by the placing of the latter first; as in Mark in comparison with Matthew, so also in Matthew in comparison with Mark, we may recognise more original elements, and thus, in so far, partly assign to the first also a primary position.
εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον
THIS superscription has the oldest and best witnesses in its favour. κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον (B א, Codd. Lat.) is in conformity with this, because whole volumes bore the title of εὐαγγέλιον. All longer superscriptions are of later date, as: τὸ κ. ΄. εὐαγγέλιον; τὸ κ. ΄. ἅγιον εὐαγγέλιον; εὐαγγέλιον ἐκ τοῦ κ. ΄.; ἐκ τοῦ κ. ΄. εὐαγγέλιον. Both the latter are derived from Lectionaries.
Instead of ΄ατθαῖος, Lachmann and Tischendorf write ΄αθθαῖος, after B D א.
εὐαγγέλιον signifies in the old language a present given in return for joyful news (Hom. Od. 152, 166; Plut. Ages. 33; 2 Samuel 4:10; Cic. Att. ii. 12), or a sacrifice offered up for the same (Xen. Hell. i. 6. 26, iv. 3. 7; Aristoph. Eq. 656; Diod. Sic. xv. 74; Pollux, v. 129). First in later Greek only does it also mean the good news itself (Plut. Sert. 11; Lucian. Asin. 26; Appian, B. C. iv. 20; LXX. 2 Samuel 18:25). So throughout the N. T. (corresponding to the Hebrew בְּשׂוֹרָה), where it signifies κατʼ ἐξοχήν, the joyful news of the Messiah’s kingdom (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 24:14; Acts 20:24), which news preached Jesus as the Messiah. So also in the superscriptions of the Gospels, which present the knowledge of salvation by Jesus as the Messiah in historical form, in the form of a historical demonstration of the Messiahship of Jesus. The designation of our writings as news of salvation by the Messiah ( εὐαγγέλια) is derived from the most remote ecclesiastical antiquity. See Justin. Apol. i. 66, Dial. c. Tryph. 100.
κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον] The knowledge of Messianic salvation, as it was shaped (in writing) by Matthew. In Villoison’s Scholia on Homer we have the expressions: ὅμηρος κατὰ ἀρίσταρχον, κατὰ ζηνόδοτον, κατὰ ἀριστοφάνην. There is thus also a εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ ΄ατθαῖον, κατὰ ΄άρκον, and so on. Comp. Euseb. iii. 24 : ΄ατθαῖος … γραφῇ παραδοὺς τὸ κατʼ αὐτὸν εὐαγγ. Matthew is in this way designated as the author of this written form of the Gospel, which in itself is one (Credner, Gesch. d. Kanon, p. 87). It is incorrect, however, to maintain, as do others, and even Kuinoel, after older writers, that κατά denotes simply the genitive. For if so, then, firstly, this case, which certainly most obviously suggested itself, and which would also have been analogous to Paul’s expression, τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25), would have been employed; secondly, the Hebrew ל of authorship, which is to be viewed as the dative of connection, is not applicable here, because the LXX. does not express it by κατά; thirdly, even in the passages which are quoted from Greek writers, the genitival relation is not contained directly, but is only derived in the relation of the thing to the persons, as in the numerous passages in Polybius (Schweighauser’s Lex. p. 323); comp. already, Thuc. vi. 16. 5 : ἐν τῷ κατʼ αὐτοὺς βίῳ; Bernhardy, p. 241; Valckenaer, Schol. I. p. 4; Buttmann, N. T. Gramm. p. 137 [E. T. pp. 156, 157]. See also 2 Maccabees 2:13 : ἐν τοῖς ὑπομνηματισμοῖς τοῖς κατὰ τὸν νεεμιάν, and Grimm on the passage. It is quite opposed to history (Introduction, sec. 2) when others (Eckermann in the theolog. Beitr. 5 Bd. 2 St. p. 106 ff.) fall into the opposite extreme, and draw the inference from κατά that the composition is not here ascribed to the evangelists, but that all that is said is, that the writings are composed after them, i.e. after their manner. So Faustus the Manichaean in Augustine, c. Faust. xvii. 2, xxvii. 2, xxxiii. 3; Credner’s Einleit. §§ 88–90; Jachmann in Illgen’s Zeitschr. 1842, 2, p. 13; Volkmar, who sees himself driven, by the fact that Luke and John were the authors of the third and fourth Gospels, to the arbitrary assumption that the superscriptions of the two first Gospels are to be regarded as original, while those of the third and fourth were intentionally added by a third hand for the sake of uniformity, after the proper meaning of the κατά in the two first had come to be lost. Even in the titles of the apocryphal gospels ( εὐαγγέλ. καθʼ ἑβραίους) κατά designates not the readers, for whom they were intended, but the gospel, as it had shaped itself under the hands of the Hebrews, etc., the gospel as redacted by the Hebrews, in this sense also shortly termed ἑβραϊκόν (Epiph. Haer. xxx. 13).
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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Matthew". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany