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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT


- Matthew

by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs






Archdeacon of Manchester, Principal of Egerton Hall

Third Edition



T & T Clark Ltd.

59 George Street

Edinburgh Eph_2 2LQ


ISBN 0 567 05021 1

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T&T Clark Ltd.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library



Since the first publication of this book two important Commentaries have appeared, viz. Dr. Plummer’s valuable Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, London, 1909, and Klostermann’s most useful Commentary in the Handbuch zum Neuen Testament Tübingen, 1909. In this third edition of my Commentary no attempt has been made to revise the whole work. A number of corrections, for which I have to thank many kind friends, has been made in the text, some additional notes and references are appended, and two supplementary notes on the subjects of Divorce, and of the Date of the Gospel, are printed at the end by kind permission of the Editor of The Expository Times. By way of supplement to what I have said on pp. lvii-lix as to the Matthean Logia, may I refer to an Essay on “The Book of Sayings used by the Editor of the First Gospel” in Studies in the Synoptic Problem, Clarendon Press, 1901.



Perhaps no one, especially during the last thirty years, has undertaken to write a Commentary on one of the Canonical Gospels, without experiencing again and again, during the process of production, that he had undertaken a task which was beyond both his strength and his equipment. That has certainly been my own experience in writing this Commentary on the First Gospel. For a commentator upon this book, who is to do his work efficiently, should have many qualifications. He should be a competent Greek scholar, versed in the Hellenistic Greek literature, and acquainted with the bearing of modern archæological discovery upon the history of the language. He should be acquainted also with the Hebrew of the Old Testament, with the various Aramaic dialects, and with the later dialects of the Talmuds and Midrashim. If the writings of Deissmann on the one hand, and of Wellhausen and Dalman on the other, have shown what new light can be thrown upon the New Testament by experts in their own department, they have also illustrated the defective character of a one-sided knowledge, and have given indications of the sort of work that may be done by a scholar of the future, who shall be at the same time a Grecian and an Orientalist. The commentator should further be a master of the material for the textual criticism of the Gospel, which is in itself the study of a lifetime. He should have a thorough knowledge of the literature dealing with the so-called Synoptic Problem, and should have formed a judgement based upon independent investigation as to the literary relationship between the Canonical Gospels and the sources which lie behind them. He should have studied the growth of theological conceptions as illustrated in the Old Testament, and in the apocryphal and apocalyptic literature up to and during the period in which our Gospels were written. And he should have mastered the Talmudic and Midrashic theology at least sufficiently to be able to form an independent judgement as to the possibility of using it for the purpose of illustrating theological conceptions and religious institutions in the first century a.d. I can lay claim to no such qualifications as these. Nevertheless, within the limits to be mentioned presently, I venture to hope that the present volume will give some help to those who desire to find out what this Gospel meant to the Evangelist as he wrote it. How much may here be done Dalman has shown us, but much still remains to be done; and it is probably the case that, in some measure, the secret of the Gospels will never altogether disclose itself to those who cannot approach them from the Jewish-Oriental view of life, as well as from other aspects. In view of what has been said, it will be understood that the following Commentary has been, of necessity and intentionally, made one-sided in its method and aim, and it will be desirable to try and explain the principles upon which it has been written.

There are, I think, roughly speaking, two methods of commenting upon one of the Synoptic Gospels. One, and that the traditional and familiar one, is based upon the two assumptions, first, that all three Gospels are sources for the life of Christ of equal value; and, second, that the commentator is in direct contact with the words of Christ as He uttered them (due allowance being made for translation from Aramaic into Greek). From this point of view the commentator will always be mindful that it is his duty to elucidate and explain the words of the Gospel upon which he is at work, in such a way as to enable the reader to reconstruct for himself as nearly as possible the life of Christ; to see before him the scenes being once again enacted; to hear, and to understand as he hears, the words flowing from Christ’s lips. From this standpoint that which is common to all the Gospels will be all-important. The special features of each, in so far as they cannot be easily harmonised with the other Gospels, will be treated as a difficulty to be explained away. Where two Gospels differ in detail, the commentator upon one of them will feel it to be his duty to account for the difference, and to try and ascertain what the actual historical fact was which underlies, and accounts for, the two divergent records. The atmosphere in which the commentator works will be one of effort to harmonise apparent discrepancies, and, so far as possible, to represent the Gospels as in essential agreement.

The very important element in the Gospels which such a treatment of them overlooks, or minimises, is the individuality of the respective Evangelists. It leaves no room for the obvious fact that, as they penned their Gospels, these writers selected, arranged, compiled, redacted, with the intention of trying to set before their readers the conception of the Christ as they themselves conceived Him. In its haste to arrive at the actual facts of Christ’s life, it tends to obliterate individual characteristics of each separate Gospel, and to lose sight of the contribution to a complete impression of the Christ which is made by each individual Evangelist.

Further, the assumptions by which this method seeks to justify itself are thoroughly artificial and mechanical. The Gospels, of course, are not all, and, in their every component part, of exactly equal historical weight and value. For practical purposes, the ordinary Christian may safely regard them as such, and he will not be far wrong. But it is impossible for the student of life to allow such rough generalisations to keep him from studying the Gospels in the best and latest method that the science of history can suggest to him; and historical method is always improving year by year. Precious stones, e.g., have a value for their beauty and brilliance to the ordinary public. But such wide generalisations as that “diamonds are beautiful” cannot deter the student of life from endeavouring to investigate the life-history of diamonds, and to discover the cause of their radiance by scientific analysis. And the results of his investigation, that a diamond consists of such and such chemical elements, does nothing whatsoever to destroy the value which diamonds have for the unscientific purchaser; nay, rather would a thousand times enhance their value and interest, if he understood but a thousandth part of the extraordinary process which has gone to produce the stone which he buys.

The method of dealing with the Gospels upon the basis of these artificial assumptions seems to the modern student of life to cast an atmosphere of unreality round them, and to lead to results which are of the nature of theories without foundation in actual fact. Of course, it may ultimately prove to be the truth that these assumptions are in reality intuitions of facts of first-rate importance. And that is, indeed, my own belief. The Synoptic Gospels are, I think, historical sources for Christ’s life of nearly equal value, and the reader is, I believe, in large measure in immediate touch with the acts and words of the historical Christ. The impression which he obtains of the Person of the Lord from one Gospel is, with very slight reservation, the same as that which is given him by another. In all of them it is the same Christ who acts and speaks. But these impressions or intuitions become vicious when they are used as grounds for treating the Gospels in a quite artificial and mechanical way. So far from being, from the point of view of the student of history, axioms with which he starts, they themselves need to be proved and justified by historical investigation.

The fact that the study of the Gospels is in such a chaotic condition, is partly due to this radically false method of studying them. On the one hand, traditional commentators have used these assumptions as a ground for treating the Gospels in a wholly artificial manner. By force of reaction the modern critic has often not only (and quite rightly) insisted on studying the Gospels on historical methods, but has also too often, and with fatal effect, refused to see that these assumptions are of the nature of brilliant intuition of elements in the Gospel, which are in part outside the range and scope of his scientific analysis, but which in some measure his analysis should have discovered, if he had not been wilfully blind to them.

When, if ever, the irritating and provocative influence of false and artificial methods of dealing with the Gospels ceases to create an equally false opposition method of studying them, it will, I believe, be found that the scientific investigation of the Gospels, upon the best historical methods that the future can ever give us, will lead to results which will in large part coincide with the old conservative and traditional intuitions. On the one hand, it will be found that the sources of our Gospels are early in date, and that, with some slight reservations, they describe for us the historical life of the Saviour of Mankind. It will be seen that the personality of the Evangelists plays a relatively very small part in their records, whilst these agree in an astonishing degree in giving to us an harmonious and consistent account of a unique Personality.

No real student of life will ask, “Why then all this critical investigation of the Gospels, if it is simply to give us the old results?” and if the simple-minded should ask this, it is to be feared that no answers which could be given would satisfy him. But two obvious reasons are these. First, that false and antiquated methods of exegesis do incalculable harm to the young and simple, and to the coming generation of men. The science of history has within the last century undergone a revolution. It has adopted new methods of research, which are every day being improved and perfected. Nothing is more calculated to shake the faith of the men of the new age in the historical character of the Gospels, than to find that the Christian commentator still interprets the Gospels on the basis of purely a priori assumptions which should themselves be first proved, and by methods which are outworn and unlike the methods used by students in every other department of history. On the other hand, nothing will so reassure the faith of the younger generation of thoughtful men as the discovery that the Gospels, when studied and interpreted along the lines of ordinary historical research, still present to our love and adoration the figure of the Divine Saviour, and that the efforts to prove the Gospels to be late and legendary growths are in large measure a failure, because they start from unscientific presuppositions, and employ unscientific methods of historical inquiry.

And, secondly, the consideration of value must, of course, always be kept out of sight by the student. A very large part of historical and scientific research will always seem to the practical man to be of little immediate value. But the student will care nothing for that. He investigates because he must. And the Gospels cannot, any more than any other element in life, be hidden away from the curious search and restless probing of the human intellect.

It will hardly be necessary to add now that I have deliberately set aside the methods which I have just tried to describe. I have not employed the other Gospels in order to weaken impressions left by the words of the First Gospel, nor have I allowed myself to approach it as an exact representation of Christ’s sayings and words.

It remains, therefore, to describe the method which I have adopted.

In accordance with this method, the work of a commentator upon a Gospel should form only one stage in a complicated process of historical investigation and inquiry. The first stages of this process should belong to the textual critic, and to the scholar whom, in default of a better name, we may term the literary critic. The former should give us a Greek text of the Gospel upon which to work; the latter should have decided for us such questions as the relationship of the Gospels one to another, and to any source or sources which have been embodied in them. Properly speaking, this first stage of textual and literary criticism should have been completed before the commentator begins his work. But, unfortunately, the day is not yet when we can believe that we have a final Greek text of the Gospels, and the work of literary analysis is probably much nearer its beginning than its end. I have, however, reduced to as small an amount as possible the textual critical element in this Commentary. Handbooks to textual criticism, and editions of the text with full critical apparatus, are now easily accessible. On the other hand, whilst assuming what I believe to be the one solid result of literary criticism, viz. the priority of the Second to the other two Synoptic Gospels, I have thought it desirable to try and prove, by a detailed and full comparison of the first two Gospels, that, so far as they are concerned, this assumption everywhere justifies itself as an explanation of the relationship between them. This will explain the large part which S. Mark’s Gospel plays in the following pages. S. Luke’s narrative, in so far as it is parallel with the Second Gospel, lies, of course, on this assumption, outside the range of a commentator on the First Gospel.

The second stage in the process should be the work of the commentator on the text of each separate Gospel. Starting with the results given to him by the literary critic, and equipped with the Greek text supplied by the textual critic, the commentator will approach each separate Gospel with the purpose of ascertaining what were the conceptions of the life and Person of Christ which governed and directed the Evangelist in his work. From this point of view the main interest of the commentator will lie rather in what is characteristic of, and peculiar to, each Gospel, than in what is common to them all. He will refuse to try and harmonise discrepant details or divergent conceptions. Rather he will emphasise these as important, because they enable him to reconstruct the life of Christ as it presented itself to the minds of the Evangelist and of his readers. He will always be mindful of the fact that he is immediately concerned, not with the actual facts of the life of Christ or with His doctrine, but rather with these as mirrored in the mind of the particular Evangelist with whom he is dealing.

The third stage in the process belongs to the historian. Just as the commentator is obliged to rely very largely upon the work already done by the literary critic, so the historian must depend for his material to a great extent upon the work of the commentator and of the critic alike. He will have as his material the Gospels as analysed into their sources by the critic, and the mass of not always harmonious impressions of the life of Christ, as given to him by the commentators upon the separate Gospels. With this material at his disposal, it will be his duty to attempt to recover the historical facts of Christ’s life, to ascertain as far as possible the exact words which He spoke, and to determine the meaning which these words originally carried with them.

In accordance with what has been said, I have felt it to be my duty to begin my work equipped with some acquaintance with the results of the literary criticism of the Gospels. If I have found it necessary partly to assume the results of such labour, and partly to work out a view of my own as to the sources of the Gospel, that is only because the work of the critic and of the commentator cannot in the present conditions of knowledge be quite kept apart. On the other hand, I have done my best not to encroach upon the sphere of the historian. Here and there I may have been tempted to express some view as to the historical character of some incident or saying, as apart from the general credibility of the source of which it forms a part, but generally speaking it has been my aim to consider the contents of the Gospel always in the first place from the standpoint of their meaning for the editor of the Gospel, and only secondarily from the point of view of their relation to the historical Christ.

This explains, of course, in large measure, the limitations of the Commentary which follows. Considerations as to the historical character of the incidents which the Gospel records, have for the most part been carefully avoided; and no attempt has been made to discuss the question whether the teaching here put into the mouth of Christ was as a matter of fact taught by Him. These are questions which should be left to the historian who is dealing with all the sources which are available for the reconstruction of the life of Christ, and should not be approached by the commentator who is dealing with only one Gospel.

This limitation carries with it the omission of reference to much literature, ancient and modern. If the commentator is engaged in explaining the meaning of a single Gospel from the standpoint of the Evangelist, he clearly need not discuss those ancient and modern conceptions of the historical Christ with which an historian of Christ’s life must grapple. Consequently purely controversial discussion of modern critical views has been purposely avoided in the following pages.

Of course, I am aware that in practice the several stages in the process which I have described cannot be kept rigidly apart. The commentator must to some extent exercise his independent judgement in revising the work of the literary critic, and the historian will always find it necessary to test the work of both critic and commentator. But the range of subjects and activities connected with the work of using the Gospels as historical sources is so vast, that it is probable that in the future as, and in so far as, scientific method is improved, the commentator on the Gospels will not be expected to cover more than a part of the ground. He will, e.g., to a greater extent than is at present possible, be able to accept a Greek text from the hands of the textual critics, and so relieve his Commentary of any textual critical apparatus. He will be able also, with more justification than he can at present, to adopt the results of the labours of the literary critics, and so omit from his Commentary a good deal of critical analysis that is at present indispensable. This will leave him free for the more important work of endeavouring to ascertain the meaning of the contents of the Gospel to its writer and first readers, by the methods of investigation into the philological meaning of the words of the Gospel, and of illustration of its ideas from contemporary sources.

But within narrower limits the absence from these pages of continual reference to the vast literature dealing with the Gospel requires some apology. It would have been easy to double the size of this book if constant reference had been made to the interpretation of single passages by previous commentators. The limitation that I have imposed upon myself of stating simply the meaning that, as it seemed to me, a particular passage had to the mind of the Evangelist as he wrote it, without giving also the several or many other interpretations which have been given of such a passage by ancient and modern writers, requires some defence, and is, I feel, open to criticism.

I have adopted this course on the following grounds: (1) the purpose of this Commentary, to attempt to make clear the conception of the Evangelist, made it desirable to omit the interpretations of many writers who have commented on the book, with the quite different object of ascertaining the meaning of the sayings here recorded as they were spoken by Christ Himself. If, e.g., in dealing with 16:17-19 I had given in detail, and with some discussion, all the views that have ever been taken of these much debated verses, I should have required many pages; but the reader’s attention would only have been distracted from the end which I had in view, viz., to set before him as clearly as possible the meaning which these words had in the mind of the Evangelist when he placed them in their present position in his Gospel.

(2) In writing the following pages, I have always had chiefly in view the needs, not of the preacher nor of the general reading public, but of the student who desires to have some understanding of the growth and development of the Gospel literature in the first century a.d., and of the meaning which this particular Gospel had for the Evangelist and his first readers. Now a Commentary which is also a catalogue of all possible interpretations which have ever been read into the Gospel, and at the same time an Encyclopædia of information upon all subjects directly or indirectly connected with the subject-matter, is no doubt a very useful book, but Commentaries of this nature already exist, and they are very tedious to read. The student who wishes for information of this kind knows that on the one hand he can turn to the Commentaries of Meyer or Alford, and on the other to such indispensable works of reference as Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, and Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, or the Encyclopædia Biblica. I have myself often felt the need of a Commentary on this Gospel which would tell me, not all that can be known about every subject mentioned in it, nor every view that has ever been held about its sayings; but, what the words of the Gospel meant to the Evangelist, that I might form my own conclusion as to the value of that meaning; and I have purposely avoided filling these pages with, what seemed to me to be, needless iteration of information, which is easily accessible to every student.

Anyone who turns over the following pages will realise how impossible it is for me to express adequately my obligations to others. I have added to the Introduction a list of the writers to whom I have referred by name in the Commentary, but I owe an equal and in some cases a much greater debt to many others whose names will not be found there. I am particularly indebted to the editions of Meyer’s Commentary edited by Dr. B. Weiss, to Zahn’s admirable Commentary on St. Matthew, to Wellhausen’s brilliant notes on the first three Gospels, to the English Commentaries of Dr. Plummer on S. Luke, Dr. Swete on S. Mark, and Dr. Gould on S. Mark, and to Dr. A. Wright for his excellent Synopsis. To the members of the class which has met at Dr. Sanday’s house for some years to study the Synoptic Problem I owe much, and especially to Mr. C. Badcock, the Rev. V. Bartlet, the Rev. B. W. Streeter, and the Rev. Sir John Hawkins, whose Horæ Synopticæ is the invaluable companion of every student of the Gospels. Sir John Hawkins was so kind as to read the proofs of the Introduction of this book, and it owes much to his correction and addition. Lastly, Dr. Plummer, as supervising editor, has very kindly made many most valuable suggestions and corrections.

Of my obligations to Dr. Sanday I cannot write adequately. He is in no sense directly responsible for anything that these pages contain, but if there be any sound element in method or in tone in what I have written, it is probably ultimately traceable to his influence and to that of his writings.

Finally: I think that no scholar will mistake the character and purpose of my translation of the texts of the First and Second Gospels. It aims neither at elegance of diction nor at correctness of English idiom. On the contrary, I have not hesitated to sacrifice idiom and correctness alike, in order to give a literal and bald rendering which should, so far as is possible, represent in English the differences in tense, in syntax, and in vocabulary between the Greek of the Second and that of the First Gospel.





1. Almost the entire substance of the second Gospel has been transferred to the first. The only omissions of any length are the following:

(a) Mark 1:23-28 Healing of a demoniac.

(b) Mark 1:35-39 Preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

(c) Mark 4:26-29 Parable of the seed growing secretly.

(d) Mark 7:32-37 Healing of a deaf man.

(e) Mark 8:22-26 Healing of a blind man.

(f) Mark 9:38-40 The exorcist.

(g) Mark 12:41-44 The widow and her alms.

2. But in 3-13:58 the editor makes a good deal of alteration in the order of Mk.’s sections. The following table will exhibit this. Passages enclosed in square brackets are interpolations into Mk.’s narrative:

The alteration of order here shown is not arbitrary nor without reason, but is due to the scheme upon which the editor is building up this first part of his Gospel

In 3:1-4:17 he has matter parallel to Mark 1:1-15 with considerable additions. It may be doubted whether he is here borrowing from another source, or whether he is borrowing from Mk. and expanding his narrative by additions, either from oral tradition, or from a second written source.

4:18-22 comes from Mark 1:16-20.

The editor then comes to Mark 1:21.

He has already (4:13) anticipated the mention of Capharnaum,1 and can therefore omit Mark 1:21a, Mark 1:21b speaks of teaching in the synagogue. Here, therefore, is an opportunity of inserting an illustration of Christ’s teaching, which is to be followed by an illustrative group of His miracles. As an introduction to these two sections of illustration, the editor substitutes for Mark 1:21 a general sketch of Christ’s activity (4:23-25), using for this purpose phraseology borrowed from various parts of the second Gospel The reason why he places his illustration of Christ’s teaching before that of His miracles is no doubt to be found in Mark 1:22, which describes the effect produced by that teaching on the people. The editor therefore inserts the Sermon on the Mount between Mark 1:21 and 22, and closes it with this latter verse. Thus:

4:23-25 are substituted for Mark 1:21.

5-7:27 are inserted.

7:28-29 = 1:22.

The editor now proposes to give illustrations of Christ’s miracles. The next five sections in Mk. are:

1:23-28 The demoniac.

1:29-31 Peter’s wife’s mother.

1:32-34 Healing the sick.

1:35-39 Retirement and tour.

1:40-45 Healing of a leper.

We therefore expect the editor to begin his series of illustrations with the narrative of the demoniac, but he omits this altogether, and, passing over Mark 1:32-39, continues with Mark 1:40-45 the healing of the leper:

8:1-4 = Mark 1:40-45.

It is not easy to account for the omission of Mark 1:23-28, and for the transposition of 40-45. The following reasons may have cooperated to produce them:

(a) Mt. has omitted the reference to Capharnaum (Mark 1:21), and has adapted Mark 1:22 to an entirely different situation. But still he might have inserted a statement of an entry into Capharnaum to form a link between the Sermon and the healing of the demoniac.

(b) The incident of the leper is recorded by Mk. without any detail of time or place, after a verse which states that Christ “came preaching in their synagogues throughout the whole of Galilee.” It is therefore not unnatural to place the healing of the leper after the Sermon, which may be taken as illustrative of this synagogue preaching.

(c) Leprosy was perhaps the most dreaded of all bodily ailments in Palestine, and its cure forms a fitting introduction to a series of three healings of disease.

(d) The reason why, after inserting the healing of the leper, the editor did not continue with that of the demoniac, may have been that he wished to form a series of three healings of disease, and that in the Church tradition the healing of the centurion’s servant was closely connected with the Sermon. Lk. has the same connection.

(e) Moreover, there were features in the story of the demoniac which did not recommend it to the editor, features which Lk. found it desirable to modify. See below, p. xxxiii.

After inserting Mark 1:40-45 and omitting 23-28, the editor inserts the healing of the centurion’s servant, 8:5-13, and can then continue with Mark 1:29-31, thus forming a series of three healings of disease—leprosy, paralysis, fever. He closes the series with words borrowed from the succeeding verses of Mk 32-34, adding a quotation from Isaiah. Thus:

8:1-4 = Mark 1:40-45.

8:5-13 are inserted.

8:14-15 = 1:29-31.

8:16 = 1:32-34.

8:17 is inserted.

The next section in Mk. is 1:35-39. This would be out of place in a series of miracles, and is therefore omitted. Mark 1:40-45 has been already inserted. The editor, therefore, comes to Mark 2:1-22. This he postpones, perhaps because it occurred on a visit to Capharnaum different to that just described. By recording it here the editor would confuse the two visits. Mark 2:23 he reserves for a controversial section. 3:7-35 contain no miracle. 4:1-34 he reserves for his chapter of parables. He therefore comes to 4:35. Here Christ is surrounded by a crowd. The editor adapts this to his context:

8:18 = Mark 4:35,

inserts 8:19-22,

and then takes over Mark 4:36 with considerable omissions:

8:23-34 = Mark 4:36.

In Mark 5:21 Christ returns to the western side of the lake. Mt. adds to this, that “He came to His own city”:

Matthew 9:1 = Mark 5:21a,

and can then go back and borrow Mark 2:1-12 with its sequel 13-23:

Matthew 9:2-17 = Mark 2:1-22,

thus completing a second series of three miracles which illustrate Christ’s power over natural forces (8:23-27), over the hostility of demons (28-34), and in the spiritual sphere (the forgiveness of sins, 9:1-8).

The editor now postpones Mar 2:23-34 for the same reasons as before. He comes therefore to 5:22-43. This he abbreviates, and adds two other miracles, thus forming a third series of three miracles illustrating Christ’s power to restore life, sight, and speech:

9:18-26 = Mark 5:22-43.

9:27-31 inserted.

9:32-34 inserted.

Having thus given illustrations of Christ’s teaching and miracles, the editor now proposes to show how this ministry found extension in the work of the disciples. He therefore postpones Mark 6:1-6a, and expands 6b into an introduction to this mission modelled on the similar introduction 4:23-25:

9:35 = Mark 6:6b.

9:36-38 inserted.

Chapter 10:1 continues with Mark 6:7; but the editor here inserts Mark 3:16-19, which he had passed over. The rest of 10-11:1 is an amplification of Mark 6:8-11:

10:1 = Mark 6:7.

10:2-11:1 = 6:8-11.

11:2-30 inserted.

There now follows a series of incidents illustrating the growth of hostility to Christ on the part of the Pharisees. For these the editor now goes back to Mark 2:23-28ff.:

12:1-8 = Mark 2:23-28.

12:9-14 = 3:1-6.

12:15-16 summarises 3:7-12.

12:17-21 inserted.

Having already borrowed Mark 3:13-19a he now comes to 19b-21 and 22-30. For this he substitutes a similar but longer discourse introduced by another miracle:

12:22-45 enlarged from Mark 3:19-30,

and continues with the next section in Mk.

12:46-50 = 3:31-35.

This brings him to Mark 4:0, which is a chapter of parables. The editor borrows this and adds other parables:

13:1-52 = Mark 4:1-34.

As he has already inserted Mar 4:35-43 he now comes to Mark 6:1-6a:

13:53-58 = Mark 6:1-6a.

From this point the editor follows the order of Mk.’s sections.

3. The editor not infrequently abbreviates Mk.’s record.

(a) Some examples of abbreviation in expression are given below on p. xxiv.

(b) In other cases details are dropped from the narrative

E.g. Mark 1:13 “He was with the wild beasts.”

1:20 “with the hired servants.”

1:29 “with James and John.”

2:26 “in the days of Abiathar the high priest.”

Mark 2:27 “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”

3:17c Boanerges.

4:38 “upon the cushion.”

5:13 “about two thousand.”

6:12 the mission of the Twelve.

6:37 “two hundred pennyworth.”

6:39-40 “by companies—green—in ranks, by hundreds and by fifties.”

7:3-4 the explanation of “unwashen hands.”

9:3 “so as no fuller on earth can whiten them.”

14:5 “three hundred pence.”

14:51 the young man who fled naked.

15:21 “the father of Alexander and Rufus.”

15:44 Pilate’s inquiry about the death of Christ.

Especially statements of the thronging of the multitudes and the inconvenience caused by it.

E.g. Mark 1:33 “and the whole city was gathered together at the door.”

1:45 “so that He would no longer enter into a city.”

2:2, 4 “And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, no, not even about the door. … And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the crowd.”

3:9 “And He spake to His disciples, that a little boat should wait upon Him because of the crowd, lest they should throng Him.”

3:10 “pressed upon Him.”

3:20 “so that they could not so much as eat bread.”

6:31 “they had no leisure to eat.”

(c) Not infrequently sayings are omitted from a discourse. But, for the most part, such sayings have already been inserted in an earlier part of the Gospel. The left-hand column shows where the saying has been omitted, the right-hand column where it has been inserted.

Matthew 13:23-24 Mark 4:21 Matthew 5:15.

13:23-24 4:22 10:26.

13:23-24 4:24a 7:2.

13:23-24 4:24b 13:12.

18:5 9:37b 10:40.

18:5 9:41 10:42.

18:9 9:50 5:13.

21:22 11:25 6:14.

24:8 13:9b, 11-12 10:17-20.

(d) In other cases a whole narrative or section is given in a much abbreviated form.

E.g. Mark 3:7-12 is compressed into two verses in 12:15-16. The reason is obvious. The editor is collecting illustrations of the controversies between Christ and the Pharisees. Having just borrowed Mark 2:23-6, which is suited to his purpose, he comes to 3:7-12, which has nothing bearing upon the subject. He might well have omitted it, just as he omitted 1:35-39. But the thought of Christ’s ministry of healing, Mark 3:10, suggested to him a contrast between the Lord’s quiet work of love with its shrinking from publicity, Mark 3:12, and the hostile clamour of the Pharisees. He therefore shortened Mark 3:7-12 and added a quotation from Isaiah to emphasise this contrast.

Mark 5:1-43 is much shortened in Matthew 8:28-34, Matthew 9:18-26. See notes on 8:28, 9:18.

Mark 6:14-29 is abbreviated in Matthew 14:1-12.

Mark 9:14-29 appears in a shorter form in Matthew 17:14-20. See note on 17:18.

4. Contrasted with this shortening of narrative sections is the amplification of discourses.

E.g. Mark 1:7-8, the preaching of the Baptist is expanded into Matthew 3:7-12.

Mark 3:22-26, the refutation of the charge of diabolical agency is expanded into Matthew 12:24-45.

Mark 4:0, the chapter of parables is considerably lengthened in Matthew 13:0.

Mark 6:8-11, the charge to the Twelve is expanded into Matthew 10:5-42.

Mark 9:35-50 teaching about greatness is expanded into Matthew 18:2-35.

Mark 12:37-40, denunciation of the Pharisees forms the nucleus of a whole chapter in Matthew 23:0.

Mark 13:0, the discourse on the last things is expanded in Mt 24-25 into double the length.

Four of these bodies of discourse, formed by interweaving some other source or sources with the shorter discourses found in Mk., viz. chs. 10, 13, 18, 24-25, are closed by a formula: καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσενἸησοῦς διατάσσων τοῖς δώδεκα μαθηταῖς αὐτους, 11:1; καὶ ἐγέετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσενἸησοῦς τὰς παραβολὰς ταύτας, 13:58; καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσενἸησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους, 19:1; καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσενἸησοῦς πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους, 26:1. These together with the Sermon on the Mount, chs. 5-7, which closes with a similar formula 7:28, cf. Luke 7:1, form one of the most striking features of this Gospel.

5. In linguistic detail there are a certain number of characteristic changes made in Mk.’s language.

(a) Mk.’s characteristic words καὶ εὐθύς, πάλιν, the adverbial πολλά and ὅτι after verbs of saying, are frequently omitted, and δέ is repeatedly substituted for καί.

εὐθύς or καὶ εὐθύς occurs in Mk. about 41 times, in Mt. about 7 times only, all borrowed from Mk.

πάλιν occurs in Mk. about 26 times, in Mt. about 16, only 4 of these coming from Mk.

The Aramaising adverbial πολλά occurs in Mk. about 13 times, in 4 times.

ὅτι after verbs of saying occurs about 50 times in Mk. Of these about 42 are omitted by Mt. It occurs in Mt. some 38 times, 8 of these being from Mk. Of the others, about 20 occur in the formula, “I say unto you that.” In a few instances it is inserted in Marcan passages where Mk. omits it, e.g. 13:11, 19:8, 9, 23, 28, 21:23.

Mt. substitutes δέ for Mk.’s καί about 60 times. On καί in Mk., see Her. Syn. p. 120.

(b) Mk.’s historic presents and imperfects are frequently supplanted by aorists, and his ἤπξατο with an infinitive is generally avoided. So also εἶναι with a participle, and changes are made in the voices of verbs.

Sir John Hawkins1 reckons 151 historic presents in Mk., of which Mt. retains only 21. Mt. has about 93 such presents, 21 of them being from Mk. About 66 are cases of λέγει or λέγουσιν, about 11 of them being from Mk. Nine of the historic presents retained from Mk. occur in Mark 14:27-41 = Matthew 26:31-45. It seems clear, therefore, that Mt. generally avoided the historic present when reproducing Mk., and some of the 21 cases where he retains it may be due to assimilation. In reproducing other sources he seems also to have avoided the present, except in the case of λέγει and λέγουσιν. The small number of other exceptions occurs in parables (but in the nature of things the Logia would not have many such presents), and in chs. 2-4:11. The presence of some 9 presents not including λέγει in this section is very curious, and would be naturally explained by the theory that this section was drawn from a source in which such presents were a marked feature, if there were sufficient corroborative evidence. See below, p. lx.

Mt. substitutes aorists for imperfects in the following cases:

Mark 1:32 ἕφερον. Matthew 8:16 προσήνεγκαν.

3:6 ἐδίδουν, B L; ἐποίουν, 12:14 ἔλαβον.

A al; ἐποίησαν, א C.

3:12 ἑπετίμα. 12:16 ἐπετίμησεν.

4:2 ἐδίδασκεν. 13:3 ἐλάλησεν.

4:33 ἐλάλει. 13:34 ἐλάλησεν

5:13 ἐπνίγοντο. 8:32

Mark 6:41 ἐδίδου. Matthew 14:19 ἔδωκεν.

6:56 ἐσωξζοντο. 14:36 διεσώθησαν.

9:11 ἐπηρώτων. 17:10 ἐπηρώτησαν.

9:13 ἤθελον. 17:12 ἠθέλησαν.

10:13 προσέφερον. 19:13 προσηνέχθησαν.

10:13 ἐπετίμων, A D al latt. 19:13 ἐπετίμησαν.

10:48 ἐπετίμων. 20:31 ἐπετίμησεν.

10:48 ἔκραζεν. 20:31 ἔκραξαν.

10:52 ἠκολούθει. 20:34 ἠκολούθησαν.

11:8 ἐστρώννυον, D curss. S1. 21:8 ἔστρωσαν.

11:19 ἐξεπορεύοντο. 21:17 ἐξῆλθεν.

12:17 ἐξεθαύμαζον. 22:22 ἐθαύμασαν.

12:18 ἐπηρώτων. 22:23 ἐπηρώτησαν.

12:34 ἐτόλμα. 22:46 ἐτόλμησεν.

14:35 ἔπιπτεν. 26:39 ἔπεσεν.

14:55 ηὕρισκον. 26:60 εὗρον.

14:65 ἐκολάφιζον, D a c k. 26:67 ἐκολάφισαν.

14:70 ἠρνεῖτο. 26:72 ἠρνήσατο.

14:72 ἔκλαιεν. 26:75 ἔκλαυσεν.

15:10 ἐγίνωσκεν. 27:18 ᾔδει.

15:23 ἐδίδουν. 27:34 ἔδωκαν.

15:41 ἠκολούθουν. 27:55 ἠκολούθησαν.

To these may be added about 10 cases where εἶπεν (ον) is substituted for ἔλεγεν (ον). In about 187 other cases the imperfect is avoided by omission or by paraphrase.

ἤρξατο (αντο) with infinitive:

Mark 1:45 ἤρξατο κηρύσσειν. Mt. omits the verse.

2:23 ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν τίλλοντες. Matthew 12:1 ἤρξαντο τίλλειν.

4:1 ἤρξατο διδάσκειν. 13:1 ἐκάθητο.

5:17 ἤρξαντο παρακαλεῖν. 8:34 παρεκάλεσαν.

παρεκάλουν, D.

5:20 ἤρξατο κηρύσσειν. Mt. omits the verse.

6:2 ἤρξατο διδάσκειν. Matthew 13:54 ἐδίδασκεν.

6:7 ἤρξατο

Mark 13:5 ἤρξατο λέγειν. Matthew 24:4 εἶπεν.

14:19 ἤρξαντολέγειν. 26:22 ἤρξαντολεγειν.

14:33 ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι. 26:37 ἤρξατο λυπεῖσθαι.

14:65 ἤρξαντοἐμπτύειν. 26:67 ἐνέπτυσαν.

14:69 ἤρξατο λέγειν. 26:71 λέγει.

14:71 ἤρξατο

14:72 ἤρξατο κλαίειν, D. Matthew 26:75 ἔκλαυσεν.

It will be seen that Mt. retains the construction six out of twenty-six times. He has it also in 4:17, 11:7, 20, 14:30, 18:24, 24:49.

εἶναι with a participle.

(a) Imperfect.

Mark 1:6 ἦνἐνδεδυμένος. Matthew 3:4 εἶχεν τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ.

1:33 ἦνἐπισυνηγμένη. 8:16 omits.

2:6 ἦσανκαθήμενοι. 9:3 omits.

2:18 ἦσαννηστεύολτες. 9:14 omits.

4:38 ἦνκαθεύδων. 8:24 ἐκάθευδεν.

5:5 ἦν κράζων. 8:28 omits.

6:52 ἦνπεπωρωμένη. 14:33 omits.

9:4 ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες. 17:3 omit ἦσαν.

10:32 ἦσανἀναβαίνοντες. 20:17 paraphrases.

10:32 ἦν τροάγων. 20:17 omits.

14:4 ἦσανἀγανακτοῦντες. 26:8 ἠγανάκτησαν.

14:49 ἤμηνδιδάσκων. 26:55 ἐκαθεζόμην διδάσκων.

14:54 ἦν συνκαθήμενος. 26:58 ἐκάθητο.

15:7 ἦνδεδεμένος. 26:16 omits.

15:26 ἦνἐπιγεγραμμένη. 27:37 paraphrases.

15:40 ἦσανθεωροῦσαι. 27:55 ἦσαν ἐκεῖθεωροῦσαι.

15:43 ἦν προσδεχόμενος. 27:57 paraphrases.

15:46 ἦν λελατομημένον. 27:60 ἐλατόμησεν.

Mt. has the construction four times from Mk., viz. 7:29, 8:30, 19:22, 26:43. Besides only twice, 9:36, 12:4.

(b) Future.

This occurs only once in Mk. (13:13 = Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:9). Mt. has it besides four times in the saying about binding and loosing,16:19 (2), 18:18 (2).

Perhaps we might place under this head:

Mark 1:4 ἐγένετοκηρύσσων. Matthew 3:1 παραγίνεταικηρύσσων.

9:7 ἐγένετοἐπισκιάζουσα. 17:5 ἐπεσκίασεν.

9:3 ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκά. 17:2 ἐγένετο λευκά.

Cf. 4:22 ἐγένετο

For ἐγένετο in these cases as equivalent to ἦν, cf. Daniel 1:16 ἦν Daniel 2:35 λεπτὰ ἐγένετο, LXX. = ἐλεπτύνθησαν, Th.; Lamentations 1:16 ἐγένοντοἠφανιμένοι.

Changes of voice.

Passive for Active or Middle:

Matthew 4:1 Mark 1:12 ἐκβάλλει.

8:15 ἠγέρθη. 1:31 ἤγειρεν.

9:25 ἐξεβλήθη. 5:40 ἐκβαλών.

14:11 ἠνέχθη. 6:28 ἤνεγκεν.

14:11 ἐδόθη. 6:28 ἔδωκεν.

15:17 ἐκβάλλεται. 7:19 ἐκπορεύεται.

16:26 ὠφεληθήσεται. 8:36 ὠφελεῖ.

18:8 βληθῆναι. 9:43

Daniel 2:31 ἑώρακας. ἐθεώρεις.

2:34 ἑώρακας. ἐθεώρεις.

2:34 κατήλεσεν. ἐλέπτυνεν.

2:45 συνηλόησεν. ἐλέπτυνεν.

3:4 ἐκήρυξεν. ἐβόα.

3:7 ἤκουσαν. ἤκουον.

3:7 προσεκύνησαν. προσεκύνουν.

3:8 διέβαλον. διέβαλλον.

5:5 ἔγραψαν. ἔγραφον.

6:24 ἔθλασαν. ἐλέπτυναν.

7:2 ἐνέπεσον. προσέβαλλον.

7:5 εἶπεν. ἔλεγον.

8:17 ἔπεσα. πίπτω.

8:18 ἐκοιμήθην. πίπτω.

9:6 ἐλάλησαν. ἐλάλουν.


Mark 1:44 μηδενὶ [μηδέν].

3:27 οὐ δύναται οὐδείς. Mt. πῶς δύναταί τις.

9:8 [οὐκέτι] οὐδένα.

11:14 μηκέτιμηδείς. Mt. οὐ μηκέτι.

12:34 οὐδεὶς [οὐκέτι]. Mt. transfers οὐκέτι to the next clause.

14:25 οὐκέτι οὐ μὴ πίω. Mt. οὐ μὴ πίω

14:61 οὐκ Matthew 26:63; cf. Matthew 27:12 οὐδὲν

But Mt. retains the double negative in the parallels to:

Mark 12:14 οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός.

12:34 οὐδεὶς οὐκέτι ἐτόλμα. Mt. οὐδὲ ἐτόλμησέν τιςοὐκέτι.

15:5 οὐκέτι οὐτὲν

Mark 1:16 παράγων παρά. Matthew 4:18 περιπατῶν παρά.

1:21 εἰσπορεύονται εἰς. 4:13 ἐλθὼνεἰς.

2:1 εἰσελθὼνεἰς. 9:1 ἦλθεν εἰς.

Mark 3:1 εἰσῆλθενεἰς. Matthew 12:9 ἦλθεν εἰς.

5:13 εἰσῆλθον εἰς. 8:32

But in Mark 2:26, Mark 2:3:27, Mark 2:6:10, Mark 2:11, Mark 2:7:15 (2), 18, 20, 21, 9:43, 45, 10:23, 11:11, 15, 12:8, 13:12. Mt. retains the double preposition. Other cases in Mk. are 1:29, 45, 5:2, 8, 12, 6:54, 7:19, 24, 25, 26, 29, 8:23, 26, 9:25, 28, 10:15, 24, 11:2, 16, 16:5, where Mt. omits the whole paragraph or clause.

That Mt. has less liking than Mk. for these redundant phrases may be seen from the following, the relative length of the two Gospels being borne in mind I quote from the Concordance of Moulton and Geden:

εἰσέρχεσθαι εἰς— [Matthew 27:0, Mk. 24].

Of Mt.’s 27 all but 5 are in sayings. Of the 5, 2 (21:10, 12) are from Mk., and another (8:5) probably a reminiscence of Mk. The reading in 2:21 is doubtful. This leaves one (27:58) to the credit of the editor.

On the other hand, of Mk.’s 24, 10 occur in narrative.

ἐξέρχεσθαι ἐκMatthew 11:0, Mark 13:0.

Of Mt.’s 11, 2 only are in narrative, 15:21, 21:17, and both are from Mk. Of Mk.’s 13, 7 are in narrative.

εἰσπορεύεσθαι εἰςMatthew 1:0 in a saying, Mark 4:0 in sayings, 2 in narrative.

ἐκπορεύεσθαι ἐκMatthew 2:0 in sayings. Mark 3:0 in sayings, 2 in narrative.

διέρχεσθα διάMatthew 2:0 (19:24) in sayings, Mark 2:0 in sayings.

διαπορεύεσθαι διά—Mt. 0, Mark 1:0 in narrative.

παράγειν παρά—Mt. 0, Mark 1:0 in narrative.

περίκεισθαι περί—Mt. 0, Mark 1:0 in a saying.

συνσταυροῦσθαι σύνMatthew 1:0 in narrative, from Mk., Mark 1:0.

In other words, these iterated prepositions are common in both Gospels in sayings. In narrative there are about 24 cases in Mk. and about 8 in Mt., of which 6 come from Mk.

Once in a saying Mt. has εἰσέλθητε εἰς (26:41) where Mk. (14:38) has ἔλθητε εἰς, א* B; but εἰσέλθητε, אc A C D L al.

(d) Not infrequently a commonplace word is substituted for an uncommon or unusual one; e.g.:

Mark 1:10 σχιζομένους. Matthew 3:16 ἠνεωῴχθησαν.

1:12 ἐκβάλλει. 4:1

Mark 1:10 σχιζομένους. Matthew 3:16 ἠεῴχθησαν.

1:12 ἐκβάλλει. 4:1

Mark 1:16 Matthew 4:18 βάλλοντας

2:11 κράβαττον. 9:6 κλίνην.

2:21 ἐπιράπτει. 9:16 ἐπιβάλλει.

3:28 τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν

Matthew 3:16 Mark 1:10 ἐκ.

16:1 ἐκ = 8:11

Matthew 3:11 ἐν ὕδατι = Mark 1:8 ὕδατι.

3:16 ἐπʼ αὐτόν = 1:10 εἰς αὐτόν.

4:18 εἰς = 1:16 ἐν.

9:15 ἐφʼ ὅσον = 2:19 ἐν ᾧ.

12:1 dative = 2:23 ἐν.

13:7 ἐπί = 4:7 εἰς.

13:8 ἐπί = 4:8 εἰς.

9:18 ἐπʼαὐτήν = 5:23 αὐτῇ.

15:33 ἐν = 8:4 ἐπί.

10:42 εἰς = 9:41 ἐν.

19:15 ἐπιτιθεὶςαὐτοῖς = 10:16 τιθεὶς ἐπʼ—αὐτά.

21:8 ἐν = 11:3 εἰς.

22:16 ἐν

In 3:16 the change of ἐπί for εἰς is probably intentional. See note. In 4:18 εἰς is perhaps more natural than ἐν after βάλλοντας. In 13:7, 8 ἐπί is also more natural after the verb πίπτειν than εἰς. In 9:18 and 26:50 Mt. substitutes ἐπί with accusative for the dative after ἐπιτίθεσθαι τὴν χεῖρα; but he has the dative in 19:15 where Mk. has the accusative with ἐπί, so that the change is without significance. In 15:33 ἐν is perhaps easier than ἐπί. In 10:42 Mt. has εἰς ὅνομα for ἐν ὀνόματι; but the succeeding words are different, and the passages are not really parallel. For εἰς ὄνομα, cf. Matthew 10:41 (2) 18:20, 28:19. In 21:8 ἐν is easier than εἰς, and this is the case with ἐπί, 24:3, and ἐν, 10:17, 24:18. The substitution of ἐπί for ἐν, 24:30, and for μετά, 26:64, is due to desire to assimilate to Daniel 7:13 (LXX). And the participles in 8:28, 9:20 avoid Mk.’s curious use of ἐν.

ἐπί with different cases:

Matthew 9:16 ἐπὶ ἰματίῳ = Mark 2:22 ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον.

13:2 ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλόν = 4:1 ἐπὶτῆς γῆς.

14:14 ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς = 6:34 ἐπʼ αὐτούς.

14:19 ἐπὶ τοῦ χόρτου = 6:39 ἐπὶ τῷ χόρτῳ.

14:25 ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν = 6:48 ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης.

15:35 ἐπὶτὴν γῆν = 8:6 ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

10:18 ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνας = 13:9 ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων.

Cf. 21:7 ἐπʼ αὐτῶν = 11:7 αὐτῷ.

21:7 ἐπάνω αὐτῶν = 11:7 ἐπʼ αὐτόν.

9:18 ἐπʼ αὐτήν = 5:23 αὐτῇ.

19:15 αὐτοῖς = 10:16 ἐπʼ αὐτά.

26:50 ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν = 14:46 αὐτῷ.

In 9:16 the dative is perhaps more natural after the weakened sense of ἐπιβάλλειν, which Mt. substitutes for Mk.’s ἐπιράπτειν, than the accusative.

In 13:2 cf. for the accusative after ἵστημι, Rev 12:18, Revelation 12:14:1, Revelation 12:15:2; but the genitive is found in Luke 6:17, Acts 21:40, Revelation 10:5, Revelation 10:8.

ἐπί with the dative after σπλαγχνίζεσθαι is found in Matthew 14:14 and Luke 7:13. Mk (6:34, 8:2 and 9:22) has the accusative, and so Matthew 15:32.

In 14:19 the verb is Revelation 7:10, Revelation 19:4, Revelation 21:5. Mt.’s substitution of genitive for dative is, therefore, not unnatural. Cf. his substitution of καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦὌρους, 24:3, for Mk.’s καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸὌρος, 13:3. For the latter, cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καθίσαι.

In 14:25 Mt. substitutes the accusative for Mk.’s genitive and has the accusative in v. 29 but in v. 26 he retains Mk.’s genitive.1 Jn 6:19 has the genitive. The change of accusative for genitive in 10:18 is conditioned by the change of verb,

Matthew 8:16 dative = Mark 1:32 πρός.

9:2 dative = 2:3 πρός.

17:17 dative = 9:19 πρός.

21:23 dative = 11:27 πρός.

22:23 dative = 12:18 πρός.

27:58 = 15:43 πρός.

In 8:16 and 9:2 Mt. substitutes προσφέρειν for Mk.’s φέρειν. προσφέρειν is a favourite word with him, and he always uses the simple dative of a person after it. In 17:17 the verb is φέρειν in Mt. and Mk. Mt. has the dative again in 14:18. Mk. uses the dative 7:32, 8:22, or πρός 1:32, 2:3, 9:19, 20, 11:7. In 21:23, 22:23 and 27:58. Mt. substitutes his favourite word προσέρχεσθαι, for ἔρχεσθαι, Mark 11:27, Mark 12:18, and εἰσέρχεσθαι, 15:43. The substitution of the dative for πρός is a natural consequence.

Other changes:

Matthew 12:4 μετʼ αὐτοῦ = Mark 2:26 σὐν αὐτῷ.

12:25 καθʼ ἑαυτῆς = 3:24 ἐφʼ ἑαυτήν.

12:25 καθʼ ἑαυτῆς = 3:25 ἐφʼ ἑαυτήν.

But Mt. retains ἐφʼ ἑαυτόν in v. 26.

13:19 ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν = 4:15 εἰς αὐτούς.

10:14 omit = 6:11 ὑποκάτω.

24:18 ὀπίσω = 13:16 εἰς τὰ ὀτίσω.

14:25 dative = 6:18 περί with accusative.

14:27 dative = 6:50 μετὰ αὐτῶν.

λαλεῖν μετά occurs only here in the Synoptic Gospels, 4 times

in Jn., 6 in Rev. But cf. Matthew 17:3 συνλαλοῦντες

μετʼ αὐτο͂υ = Mark 9:4 the dative.

15:29 παρά = Mark 7:31 εἰς.

16:7 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς = 8:16 πρὸς

dative = Mark 10:34 μετά with accusative.

21:1 εἰς τὸὌρος = 11:1 πρὸς τὸὌρος.

21:25 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς = 11:31 πρὸς ἑαυτούς.

21:38 ἐν ἑαυτοῖς = 12:7 πρὸς ἑαυτούς.

26:28 περί = 14:24 ὑπέρ.

26:34 ἐν = 14:30 dative.

27:33 ἐλθόντες εἰς = 15:22 φέρουσινἐπί.

27:46 περί = 15:34 dative.

27:60 dative = 15:46 ἐπί with accusative.

Many of these changes are without significance, but those in 3:16, 24:30, 26:64 are probably intentional, whilst those in 24:1, 13:7, 8, 19, 15:33, 21:8, 24:8, 10:17, 24:18, 8:28, 9:20, 9:16, 14:19 ease the construction. Those in 8:16, 9:2, 17:17, 21:23, 22:23 and 27:58 are to conform to Mt.’s usage elsewhere.

(g) Conjunctions.

Mk. three times has ὅταν with the indicative, viz. 3:11, 11:19, 25. Mt. avoids this construction. Cf. Mark 6:56 ὅπου ἂν εἰσπορεύετο, which Mt. omits. Cf. Revelation 14:4 ὅπου ἂν ὑπάγει (A C).

εἰ in a statement meaning “that not,” Mark 8:12, Mt. substitutes οὐ.

(h) Changes made in Mk.’s language are sometimes due to the fact that the editor has inserted similar sayings from another source in another part of his Gospel, and assimilates Mk.’s language to these similar passages.

E.g. Mark 4:25 = Matthew 13:12; but Mt adds καὶ περισσενθήσεται, to assimilate to 25:29.

Mark 8:12 has τίγενεὰ αὕτη ζηπεῖ σημεῖον;

Matthew 16:4 has γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ, to assimilate to 12:39.

Mark 8:35 has σώσει; but Matthew 16:25 has εὑρήσει, to assimilate to 10:39.

Mark 9:43 has ἐὰν σκανδαλίσῃ—ἀπόκοψονσετὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον; but Matthew 18:8 has εἰ σκανδαλίζειἔκκοψονσοί, and adds καὶ βάλε

Mark 9:42 has καλόν ἐστιν εἰ; but Matthew 18:6 has συμφέρειἵνα, to assimilate to 5:30.

Mark 9:47 has ἐὰνσκανδαλίζῃ—ἔκβαλεσέ; but Matthew 18:9 has εἰσκανδαλίζειἔξελεσοί, and adds καὶ βάλε

Mark 10:11 = Matthew 19:9. Mt. adds (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, to assimilate to Matthew 5:32 παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας.

Mark 11:28 = Matthew 21:21. Mt. adds ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν, to assimilate to 17:20.

In 15:33-39 Mt. assimilates the language to 14:19-21.

(i) A few changes seem to be due to the desire to emphasise an antithesis, e.g.:

Matthew 15:2 διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου παραβαίνουσιν.

15:3 διὰ τί καὶ ὑμεῖς παραβαίνετε.

15:4 ὁ γὰρ θεὸς εἶπεν τίμα.

15:5 ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετεοὐ μὴ τιμήσει.

19:8 Μωυσῆςἐτέτρεψεν.

19:9 λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν.

6. More important, however, than changes in language, are alterations which seem due to an increasing feeling of reverence for the person of Christ. The second Evangelist had not scrupled to attribute to Him human emotion, and to describe Him as asking questions. Such statements are almost uniformly omitted by the editor of this Gospel.

E.g. he omits the following:

Mark 3:5 περιβλεψάεμενος αὐτοὺς μετʼ ὀργῆς συνλυπούμονος. Cf. the way in which Matthew 12:49 avoids περιβλεψάμενος of Mark 3:34.

1:41 σπλαγχνισθείς; but D a ff2 have ὀργισθείς.1

1:43 ἐμβριμησάμενος.

3:21 ἐξέστη.

6:6 ἐθαύμασεν.

8:12 Mark 2:8.

10:14 ἠγανάκτησεν.

10:21 ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτόν.

14:33 Mt has λυπεῖσθαι for ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι.

He omits also clauses which seem to ascribe inability to Christ, or desire which was not fulfilled.

E.g. 1:45 ὥστε μηκέτι αὐτὸν δυνασθαιεἰσελθεῖν.

6:5 οὐκ ἐδύνατο ἐκεῖ ποιῆσαι οὐδεμίαν δύναμιν. Matthew 13:58 substitutes οὐκ ἐποίησεν ἐκεῖ δυνάμεις πολλάς.

6:48 ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. Mt. omits.

7:24 οὐδένα ἤθελεν γνῶναι καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνάσθη λαθεῖν. Mt. omits.

9:30 καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ. Mt. omits.

14:58 καταλύσω. Matthew 26:61 δύναμαι καταλῦσαι.

In 11:18 Mk. describes the Lord as coming to a fig tree [εἰ ἄρα τι εὑρήσειἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ἐλθὼν] ἐπʼ αὐτὴν οὐδὲν εὗρεν εἰ μὴ φύλλα [ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς οὐκ ἦν σύκων]. Mt. omits the bracketed clauses, which might give rise to the question why Christ expected to find figs which did not exist, and that out of season.

The same feeling of reverence may have caused the following changes:

Mark 6:3τέκτων. Matthew 13:55τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός.

10:18 τί με λέγεις Matthew 19:17 τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ

13:32 οὐδὲυἱός. Matthew 24:36 omits.

He omits also the following questions which Mk. places in the mouth of the Lord:

Mark 5:9 τι σοι ὄνομα;

5:30 τίς μου ἥψατο τῶν ἱματίων;

6:38 πόσους ἔχετε ἄρτους;

8:12 τίγενεὰ αὕτη ζητεῖ σημεῖον;

8:23 εἴ τι βλέπεις;

9:12 τῶς γέγραπται ἐπὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ

There is a tendency to emphasise the immediacy of a miracle; cf. the insertion of Matthew 9:22, Matthew 15:28, Matthew 17:18. A more striking case of this occurs in the parable of the Fig Tree. In Mk. an interval of a day is placed between the denunciation of it by the Lord and the observation of the disciples that it had withered in the meantime. But Mt. draws together the two sections of the narrative, states that the tree withered immediately upon Christ’s word, and that the disciples were astonished at this immediate fulfilment of the Lord’s word (21:21).There is a similar heightening in the universal scope of Christ’s healings. Mark 1:32, Mark 1:33 records that “all” who were sick were brought to Christ, and that He healed “many.” Mt. reverses the adjectives—“many” were brought, and “all” were healed (8:16). There is a similar alteration in Matthew 12:15 as compared with Mark 3:7, Mark 3:10. Here, too, may be noticed the heightening in number in the two miracles of feeding by the insertion of the phrase χωρὶς γυναικῶ καὶ παιδίων, 14:21, 15:38.

Noticeable also is the omission of the two miracles, Mark 7:31ff., Mark 8:22ff., in which the cure is effected by physical means: “He put His fingers into his ears, and spat, and touched his tongue,” 7:33; “He spat on his eyes,” 8:23. Moreover, in the latter incident the cure is a gradual one, necessitating a twofold laying on of hands. Contrast the emphasis laid by Mt. in two cases on Christ as healing “with a word,” 8:8, 16. Another noticeable change of this sort is found in Matthew 17:17-18. Mark 9:20-26 describes how the spirit tare the sufferer as he was brought to Christ, so that he fell on the ground and wallowed foaming. The Lord presently bade the spirit come forth; whereupon, “having cried out and rent him sore, be came out. And he became as one dead, so that many said that he had died.” Mt. omits all these details, simply saying that “the demon came forth from him.” St. Luke retains much of this description, but omits all traces of physical suffering after Christ’s command. A similar desire to avoid descriptions of bodily anguish after Christ’s healing word may have co-operated with other motives in causing the omission of Mark 1:23-28. Mk. records that after Christ’s word “the unclean spirit rent him, and cried with a loud voice.” Here again a similar motive has influenced St. Luke, who states indeed that “the demon threw him down in the midst,” but adds, “came out from him, having done him no hurt,” 4:35.

In view of the facts recorded above, it may perhaps be not too fanciful to see a striving after a reverential attitude in the following changes. In Mark 4:38 the disciples ask the half-reproachful question, “Is it not a care to Thee that we perish?” Matthew 8:25 substitutes “save, we perish.” In Mark 6:37 they ask a question which might be interpreted in an ironical sense: “Are we to go away and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread?” Matthew 14:17 omits.1 Does Mt. omit Mark 1:45 because, side by side with the statement that Christ was unable to do something, it records an act of direct disobedience to Christ’s express command? Lastly, Mt. has substituted for Mark 12:28-34 a narrative of very different tone. Did he find the approbation of Christ’s teaching expressed by the scribe too patronising? See note on 22:34. For the relation of Mt. to Mk. in the account of Christ’s use of the parabolic method in teaching, see on Matthew 13:10-12.

7. Side by side with these changes in expressions dealing with the person of the Lord runs a series of somewhat similar alterations in favour of the disciples.

E.g., in Mark 4:13 there is a rebuke addressed to the disciples, “Do ye not know this parable, and how shall ye appreciate all the parables?” In Matthew 13:16-17 this rebuke is omitted, and there is inserted instead a blessing, “Blessed are your eyes,” etc.

In Mark 4:40 οὔπω ἔχετε πίστιν becomes ὀλιγόπιστοι in Matthew 8:26. Mark 6:52 οὐ γὰρ συνῆκαν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις Matthew 14:33.

Mark 8:17 πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν; ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες οὐ βλέπετε καὶ ὦτα ἔχοντες οὐκ Matthew 16:9, and in v. 12 a statement is inserted to the effect that the disciples did understand.

At Mark 8:29 Mt. inserts the eulogy of St. Peter,“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona,” etc., 16:17-19.

At Mark 9:13 another clause is inserted to emphasise the fact that the disciples understood Christ’s teaching (Matthew 17:18).

From Mark 9:5, Matthew 17:4 omits the statement that St. Peter “knew not what to answer.

Mark 9:10, which records that the disciples disputed about the rising from the dead, is omitted at Matthew 17:9.

For Mark 9:32 “And they understood not the saying, and were afraid to ask Him,” there is substituted in Matthew 17:23 the harmless words, “And they were very grieved.”

From Mark 9:33-34 Mt. omits the statements that the disciples had disputed who was the greater among them, 18:1.

In Mark 10:35 an ambitious request is ascribed to James and John. In Matthew 20:20 this request is transferred to the mother of the two Apostles.

In Mark 4:10-13 the Twelve are represented as ignorant of the meaning of Christ’s parables. Mt. avoids this.

From Mark 14:40 the words, “and they knew not what to answer Him,” are omitted by Matthew 26:43.

Compare also the omission of οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐτ. τοῖς λόγοις αὐτου (Mark 10:24) in Matthew 19:23, and the omission of καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο (Mark 10:32) in Matthew 20:17.

8. The following alterations are due to a desire to emphasise a fulfilment of prophecy in an incident recorded by Mk.:

Mark 11:2 πῶλον δεδεμένον. Matthew 21:2 ὄνον δεδεμένην καὶ πῶλον μετʼ αὐτῆς. The citation from Zechariah 9:9 follows in v. 5.

Mark 14:11 ἐπηγγείλαντο αὐτῷ Matthew 26:15 ἔστησαν αὐτῷ τριάκοντα Zechariah 11:12, and are here inserted to prepare the way for the quotation of Zechariah 11:13 in 27:9, 10.

Mark 15:23 ἐσμυρνισμένον οἶνον. Matthew 27:34 οἶνον μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον, with probable reference to Psalms 69:22.

9. The following changes or brief insertions are made by Mt. to qualify or explain a statement of the second Evangelist:

Mark 8:11 = Matthew 16:4. Mt. adds εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰῶνα, remembering that in 12:40 he has already represented Christ as making this qualification of His words.

8:15 = Matthew 16:6. Mt. substitutes καὶ Σαδδουκαίων for καὶ τῆς ζύμης Ἡρῴδου to prepare the way for his explanation in v. 12 that “leaven” meant “teaching.”

8:29 = Matthew 16:16. Mt. adds ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος.

10:11 = Matthew 19:9. Mt. adds (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ.

10:34 = Matthew 20:19. Mt. substitutes σταυρῶσαι for

14:65 = Matthew 26:67. Mt. adds τίς ἐστινπαίσας σε to explain προφήτευσον.

15:36 = Matthew 27:49. Mt. has οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν for Mk.’s ambiguous λέγων.

Lastly, the substitution of οὗτός ἐστιν in Matthew 3:17 for Σὺ εἶ in Mark 1:11 may be due to a desire to make it clear that the divine voice was heard not by Christ alone, but by others also. It was a public announcement of His divinity.

10. Under the head of changes made for the sake of greater accuracy may be noted the following:

Mark 2:26 ἐπὶ Ἀβιάθαρ Matthew 12:4 omits.

5:22 εἶς τῶν Matthew 9:18 ἄρχων εἶς; cf. Schürer, II. ii. 65.

6:14 βασιλεύς. Matthew 14:1 τετραάρχης.

6:22 τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ (αὐτῆς) Ἡρῳδιάδος. Matthew 14:6θυγάτηρ τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος.

8:31, 9:31, 10:34 μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας. Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:23, Matthew 20:19 τῇ τρίτἡμέρᾳ.

9:5 Ἠλείας σὺν Μωυσεῖ. Matthew 17:8 Μωυσῆς καὶ Ἠλείας.

14:1 τὸ πάσχα καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα. Matthew 26:2 omits καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα

14:12 τῇ πρώτἡμέρᾳ τῶν Matthew 26:17 omits ὄτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον.

15:21 ἐρχόμενον Matthew 27:32 omits. See note.

15:46 Matthew 27:59 omits. See note.

11. Some noticeable changes in point of fact are:

Mark 2:14 Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου. Matthew 9:9 ἄνθρωπονΜαθθαῖον λεγόμενον.

5:1 Γερασηνῶν. Matthew 8:28 Γαδαρηνῶν.

5:2 ἄνθρωπος Matthew 8:28 δύο.

8:10 Δαλμανουθά. Matthew 15:39 Μαγαδάν.

10:46 ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου Βαρτίμαιος τυφλὸς προσαίτης. Matthew 20:30 δύο τυφλοί.

14:57 τινες. Matthew 26:60 δύο.

It is hoped that the facts collected above will be sufficient to convince the reader that of the two Gospels, that of S. Mark is primary, that of S. Matthew secondary. They seem to point all in the same direction. That is to say, whilst it is not inconceivable that such changes should have been made by a later writer in the text of S. Mark, it is extremely improbable that the author of the second Gospel should have been dependent on the first, and have made the changes in the reverse direction. From every point of view, whether it be of linguistic style, of reverence for Christ, of esteem for His Apostles, or of consideration for the reader, the alterations made by Mt. give the impression of belonging to a later stage of evangelic tradition as compared with that represented by Mk. Isolated cases may seem open to question, but anyone who reads through the first Gospel with Mk. before him, asking himself why it is that Mt. differs from the second Gospel, will, I believe, be led to the conclusion that, taken as a whole, his deviations from Mk.’s text can only be explained as due to motives which interpenetrate every part of his work.

This subject, however, must not be left without some consideration of the fact that Mt.’s treatment of Mk. often finds a parallel in Lk. In other words, Mt. and Lk. often agree against Mk. in omission and in substitution of a word or phrase, and (rarely) in an insertion. This fact has led to the suggestion that in addition to Mk., Mt. and Lk. had a second source containing parallel matter, and that they not infrequently agree in preferring the language of this second source to that of Mk. This second source might, of course, be either a document already used by Mk., or a document independent of Mk., but containing many parallel sections.

The following facts are worthy of consideration:

Lk. like Mt. omits many details from Mk.’s narrative.

E.g. Mark 1:13 the wild beasts.

1:29 James and John.

2:26 Abiathar.

3:17c Boanerges.

4:38 the cushion.

5:13 “about two thousand.”

6:37 “two hundred pennyworth.”

6:39 “green”; Lk. also omits “grass.”

6:40 “in ranks”—“by hundreds.”

9:3 the fuller.

14:51 the young man.

15:21 the father of Alexander and Rufus.

15:44 Pilate’s question about Christ’s death.

Especially the statements about the thronging of the multitudes:

1:33, 45, 2:2, 3:9, 10, 20, 6:31.

Lk. like Mt. frequently omits Mk.’s characteristic words and phrases, καὶ εὐθύς, πάλιν, πολλά, ὄτι after verbs of saying; and substitutes δέ for καί.

καὶ εὐθύς occurs only once in Lk. in a non-Marcan passage, 6:49.

πάλιν occurs 3 times in Lk., once, 23:20, from Mk.

πολλά (adverbial) occurs in Lk. twice, both from Mk., 9:22, 17:25.

ὄτι after verbs of saying is omitted by Lk. from Marcan passages 14 times.

δέ is substituted for καί by Mt. and Lk. 26 times. See Hor. Syn. p. 120.

Like Mt., Lk. avoids Mk.’s historic presents. There is but one instance in Lk., viz. 8:49 = Mark 5:35. See Hor. Syn. p. 119. Like Mt., Lk. substitutes aorists for imperfects, e.g. in Mark 1:32, Mark 1:4:2, Mark 1:5:13, Mark 1:17, Mark 1:6:7, Mark 1:12:18, Mark 1:14:72. But Mt. is much more consistent than Lk. in this change.

Like Mt., Lk. omits ἤρξατοαντο, from Mark 5:17, Mark 5:20, Mark 5:6:34, Mark 5:8:31, Mark 5:10:28, Mark 5:32, 47, Mark 5:13:5, Mark 5:14:69; but Lk. has this construction 27 times.

Like Mt., Lk. sometimes avoids Mk.’s redundant phrases. Clauses bracketed in the following are omitted by Lk.:

Mark 1:32 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης].

1:42 [καὶ ἐκαθερίσθη].

2:15 [ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοί].

2:16 [ἰδόντες ὄτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν].

2:19 [ὄσοννηστεύειν].

2:25 [χρείαν ἔσχεν].

5:12 Lk. abbreviates.

5:19 [πρὸς τοὺς σούς].

6:35 Lk. abbreviates.


Mark 1:10 σχιζομένους; Mt. Lk. ἠνεῴχθησαν,

1:12 ἐκβάλλει; Mt.

Lk. agrees with Mt. in nearly all the changes mentioned on pp. xxxi ff. with reference to the person of the Lord, omitting either the words in question or the whole paragraph. Exceptions are that Lk. retains the questions in Mark 5:9, Mark 5:30 and 14:14, and τί με λέγεις

In the following changes of the same kind he has not the support of Mt.

Mark 1:38 ἐξῆλθον; Lk.

Lk. omits the agony in the garden, Mark 14:33-34 (Luke 22:43-44, which is not in Mk., is omitted by אa A B R T S1); the mockery by the soldiers, Mark 15:16-20a; the spitting, Mark 14:65; the feeling of desertion by God, Mark 15:34; the rebuke of Christ by St. Peter, Mark 8:32.

Lk.also agrees with Mt. in some of the changes with reference to the disciples.

Mark 4:13 Lk. omits.

4:40 οὔπω ἔχετε πίστιν; Lk. ποῦπίστις ὑμῶν;

6:52 Lk. omits the whole section.

8:17 Lk. omits the whole section.

9:10 Lk. omits the whole section.

9:32 Lk. adds a clause to explain that the ignorance of the disciples was due to the fact that the matter was hidden from them (by God ?); cf. Luke 18:34, Luke 24:16.

10:24 Lk. omits.

10:32 Lk. omits.

10:35-45 Lk. omits the whole section.

14:40 Lk. omits the paragraph.

In the following changes of the same kind Lk. has not the support of Mt.:

8:33 the rebuke of St. Peter. Lk. omits the paragraph.

14:50 the flight of the disciples. Lk. omits.

(1) Of these changes many of the more important might well be due to independent revision of Mk. by Mt. and Lk., especially those relating to Christ and His Apostles. It is evident that contemplation of the life of the Lord, and reflection upon His Person and work, and all that it meant for human life; and the deepening reverence that springs spontaneously from the life of meditation upon His words, and from spiritual communion with Him, and from worship of God in His name, was gradually leading Christian writers partly to refine and purify, partly to make careful choice of the language in which they described His life. In connection with His Sacred Person the choicest words only must be used, choicest not for splendour or beauty of sound or of suggestion, but as conveying in the simplest and most direct way the greatest amount of truth about Him with the least admixture of wrong emphasis. In this respect the Synoptic Gospels present in miniature the same process that afterwards took place on a larger scale in the history of the creeds. Already the Gospel writers found themselves committed to the task of describing the life of One whom they knew to have been a truly human Person, whom yet they believed to have been an incarnation of the Eternal. This task, in which it could never be possible to attain more than a relative amount of success, was increased by the fact that the books to be written were intended not for Christians with years of Christian thought and instruction to soften apparent inconsistencies, nor for men trained in the art of so softening the intellectual paradoxes of life as to escape from mental paralysis, but for the average member of the Christian congregation, simple-minded and matter-of-fact, to whom the narrative of the Lord’s life with its double-sidedness would repeatedly suggest hard questions, until use and custom blunted their edge. How could the Lord, if He was divine, ask for information? How could He wish or will things that did not happen? How could it be said that He could not do this or that? Did God really forsake Him in the garden? Could it be that He had prayed a prayer which was unfulfilled? Was it possible that S. Peter had rebuked Him? Why was He baptized if baptism implied repentance and forgiveness of sin? The first and third Gospels prove themselves to be later than the second by the consideration which they show for the simpleminded reader in questions like this, and it is quite possible that Mt. and Lk. may often have agreed in a quite independent revision of Mk. in these respects. A good many of the verbal agreements, e.g. the grammatical changes, such as the substitution of aorists for historic presents, or the correction of an awkward turn of phrase in Mk., might also be due to independent revision. But no doubt this explanation will not account for all the agreements between Mt. and Lk. taken in their entirety, and we must look for other more comprehensive or supplementary explanations.

(2) The theory that Mt. and Lk. had in addition to Mk. a second source, containing parallel matter to almost the whole of Mk., is very unsatisfactory. Here and there it seems to promise a solution. But the attempt to make it explain all the agreements in question ends in the reconstruction of a lost Gospel, almost identical with our S. Mark, save for the points of agreement between Mt. and Lk. which are in question. Is it in the least likely that there should have existed a second Gospel so similar to that of S. Mark? And granting this, is it probable that two later writers would have independently turned from S. Mark to pick out words and phrases from this Mark’s “double”? See, further, Abbott, Corrections of Mark, 319. Here and there, however, the principle which underlies this explanation will be of service. Mt. and Lk., e.g., agree, against Mk., in certain words of the parable of the Mustard Seed. It is possible that Mt. turned here from Mk. to the Logia (see p. lvi), whilst Lk.’s account of the parable, which does not stand in his Gospel in the place where Mark 4:30-32 should occur, but later, was taken from some source where it occurred in a form like that of the Logia. This would account for agreements between Mt. and Lk.

Along these lines, that the agreements in question are sometimes due to the fact that Mt. and Lk. independently agree in re-editing Mk., and they are sometimes due to the fact that Mt. and Lk. sometimes substitute for Mk. a second tradition which they drew immediately from different sources, much may be explained.

But three other factors must probably be taken into account.

(3) Some of the agreements in question are probably due to the fact that the copy of Mk. used by Mt. and Lk. had already undergone textual correction from the original form of the Gospel. That is to say, the text of Mk. used by Mt. and Lk. may be called a recension of the original Mk., whilst the text of Mark as we have it is another recension. E.g. Mark 1:41 has σπλαγχνισθείς, but Mt. and Lk. both omit the word. It is quite possible that their copy of Mk. had ὀργισθείς, which is read by D a ff 2. The omission of Mt. and Lk. would then be parallel to other changes made by them in Mk.’s text.

In Mark 11:8 the majority of MSS. have ἔστρωσαν, but D S1 curss. have the imperf. ἐστρώννυον, which has the advantage of being in Mk.’s style and is probably original. Now Mt. probably read the imperfect in Mk. He alters it in accordance with his custom into the aorist in 21:8, but he shows his knowledge of it by repeating the verb in the imperfect. And Lk. also read the imperfect in Mk.

(4) Some of the agreements in question are probably due to the fact that the texts of the first and third Gospels have been assimilated.

E.g. Mt. in 22:34-40 and Lk in 10:25-27 have narrative similar to Mark 12:28-34, in which they have several agreements against Mk. One of the most important of these is the word νομικός, by which they describe the questioner. But νομικός is omitted from Mt. by 1. S1 Arm. Orig., and may be due to assimilation to Lk.

In Matthew 21:44 the majority of MSS. have a verse which is not found in the section in Mk., but which is also inserted in the corresponding section in Lk. But in Mt. the verse is omitted by D 33 a b e ff1. 2 S1, and may be due to assimilation to Lk.; or, as suggested in the commentary, it may be a gloss which came into the first Gospel, and was incorporated into the third by the same or by a later copyist.

If we could recover the text of our two Gospels as they left the hands of the Evangelists, it is quite possible that the number of their agreements would be largely diminished.

(5) Lastly, amongst his many sources (Luke 1:1) Lk. may have seen and read Mt., though his use of it is so slight that he cannot have had it constantly before him. This can nowhere be proved, but would obviously explain many agreements, both in matter parallel to Mk. and in non-Marcan material. I am inclined to believe that Luke 17:1-4 is due to abbreviation of Matthew 18:6-21 (see notes), and the agreement of Mt. and Lk. in substituting ἐνετύλιξεν for the ἑνείλησεν of Mark 15:46 seems to me to be most naturally explained by the theory that Lk. had read Mt. and was here influenced by reminiscence of his language. Of course, if a reasonable case could be made out for Lk.’s dependence upon Mt. in any one case, then a large number of agreements between the two Gospels would be at once more easily explained by this fact than by any other theory.


Matthew 3:7-12 =Luke 3:7-17.

See note on Matthew 3:7-12. Probably not borrowed from a common written source.

4:2-11 =Luke 4:2-13.

See note on Matthew 4:2. Probably not borrowed from a common written source.

5:1-12 Sermon. =Luke 6:17, Luke 6:20-23.

5:39b, 40, 42 Sermon. 6:29, 30.

5:42b Sermon. 6:34, 35.

5:44 Sermon. 6:27a, 28b.

5:45 Sermon. 6:35b.

5:46 Sermon. 6:32.

5:47 Sermon. 6:33.

5:48 Sermon. 6:36.

7:1 Sermon. 6:37a.

7:2 Sermon. 6:38b.

7:3-5 Sermon. 6:41, 42.

7:12 Sermon. 6:31.

7:16 Sermon. 6:44.

7:18 Sermon. 6:43.

7:21 Sermon. 6:46?.

7:24-27 Sermon. 6:47-49.

These parallels suggest that Mt. and Lk. had before them different recensions of the Sermon on the Mount.

See p. 70.

5:13a Sermon. =Luke 14:34, Luke 14:35.

5:15 Sermon. 11:33.

5:18 Sermon. 16:17.

5:25, 26 Sermon. 12:57-59.

5:32 Sermon. 16:18.

6:8 Sermon. cf. 12:30.

6:9-13 Sermon. 11:1-4.

6:19-21 Sermon. 12:33, 34.

6:22, 23 Sermon. 11:34, 35.

6:24 Sermon. 16:13.

6:25-34 Sermon. 12:22-31.

7:7-11 Sermon. 11:9-13.

7:13, 14 Sermon. 13:24.

7:22, 23 Sermon. 13:25-27.

It will be seen that Mt. has in close connection sayings which in Lk. appear in different contexts. There is also a good deal of divergence in language. The former fact makes it unlikely that these sayings were drawn from a common written source unless it were a document containing detached sayings and groups of sayings. The latter fact suggests diversity of source.

Matthew 8:11-12 East and West. =Luke 13:28-30.

8:5-13 Centurion. 7:1-10.

Not from a common source, but either from oral tradition or from independent written sources. See note on Matthew 8:5-13.

8:19-22 Two aspirants. 9:57-60.

Not from a common source. See note on Matthew 8:19.

9:32-34? Beelzeboul. Luke 11:14?.

9:37, 38 Labourers few. 10:2.

10:10b Charge to the Twelve. 10:7b.

10:12, 13 Charge to the Twelve. 10:5, 6.

10:15 Charge to the Twelve. 10:12.

10:16a Charge to the Twelve. 10:3.

10:24, 25 Charge to the Twelve. 6:40.

10:26-33 Charge to the Twelve. 12:2-9.

10:34-36 Charge to the Twelve. 12:51-53.

10:37, 38 Charge to the Twelve. 14:26, 27.

10:39 Charge to the Twelve. 17:33.

Not from a common written source, but from oral tradition or from different written sources. Or Lk. has been influenced by Mt. See the commentary.

11:2, 3 The Baptist. 7:18-21.

11:4-11 The Baptist. 7:22-28.

11:12, 13 The Baptist. 16:16.

11:16-19 The Baptist. 7:31-35.

11:21-23a The Baptist. 10:13-15.

11:24 The Baptist. 10:12.

11:25-27 The Baptist. 10:21, 22.

Not from a common written source, but from independent written sources. See the commentary.

12:11 Lost sheep. 14:5.

Not from a common written source.

12:22, 23 Beelzeboul. 11:14.

The similarity here may be accidental. See note on.

12:27, 28 Beelzeboul. 11:19, 20.

12:30 Beelzeboul. 11:23.

12:32 Beelzeboul. 12:10.

12:33-35 Beelzeboul. 6:43-45.

12:38 Sign. 11:16

12:39, 40 Sign. 11:29, 30.

12:41. Sign. 11:32.

12:42. Sign. 11:31.

12:43-45 Sign. 11:24-26.

From independent written sources. See note on Matthew 12:22.

Matthew 13:16, Matthew 13:17 Blessed are your eyes. Luke 10:26, Luke 10:24.

From independent written sources.

13:33 Leaven. 13:20, 21.

From a common written source. Or Luke has been influenced by Matthew.

15:14 Blind leading blind. 6:39.

Independent fragments.

16:2-3? 12:54-56?.

17:20? Grain of mustard seed. 17:6?.

18:12-14 Lost sheep. 15:4-7.

Independent versions of the parable. See the commentary.

18:7 Offences. 17:1.

18:15 Forgiveness. 17:3.

18:21, 22 Forgiveness. 17:4.

Independent written sources. Or Luke may have been influenced by Matthew. See note on Matthew 18:15.

21:32? 7:29, 30.


21:44? 20:18?.

But the verse is probably spurious in Mt. See note.

22:35-401 The Great Commandment. 10:25-27.

23:4 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:46b.

23:12 Denunciation of Pharisees. 14:11, 18:14.

23:14 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:52.

23:23 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:42.

23:25, 26 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:39-41.

23:27, 28 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:44.

23:29-31 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:47, 48.

23:34-36 Denunciation of Pharisees. 11:49-51.

23:37-39 Denunciation of Pharisees. 13:34, 35.

Not from a common written source. See note on Matthew 23:1.

24:23, 26-28 End of world. 17:23, 24, 37.

24:37-39 End of world. 17:26, 27, 30.

24:40, 41 End of world. 17:34, 35.

From independent sources.

24:43-51 End of world. 12:39-46.

Perhaps from a common written source.

25:14-30 Talents. 19:11-28.

Independent versions of the parable.

It will be seen that the material tabulated above falls into two groups. A. A few narrative sections:

Matthew 8:5-13 = Luke 7:1-10 The Centurion.

8:19-22 = 9:57-60 The two aspirants.

12:22-23, cf. 9:32-33 = 11:14 The dumb devil.

Matthew 12:38 = Luke 11:16 Request for a sign.

22:35-40 = 10:25-27 The great commandment.

To which may be added—

Matthew 3:7-12 = Luke 3:7-17 John’s preaching.

4:2-11 = 4:2-13 The temptation.

B. Sayings of Christ.

Some of these are isolated sayings or small groups of sayings which occur in different contexts in the two Gospels; e.g.:

* Matthew 5:13 = Luke 14:34.

* 5:15 = 11:33.

* 5:18 = 16:17.

* 5:25-26 = 12:57-59.

* 5:32 = 16:18.

6:8 cf. 12:30.

* 6:9-13 = 11:1-4.

* 6:19-21 = 12:33-34.

† 6:22-23 = 11:34-35.

† 6:24 = 16:13.

† 6:25-34 = 12:22-31.

† 7:7-11 = 11:9-13.

* 7:13-14 = 13:24.

* 7:22-23 = 13:26-27.

* 8:11-12 = 13:28-30.

* 10:24-25 = 6:40.

* 10:26-33 = 12:2-9.

* 10:34-36 = 12:51-53.

* 10:37-38 = 14:26-27.

* 10:39 = 17:33.

* 12:11 = 14:5.

† 13:16-17 = 10:23-24.

† 15:14 = 6:39.

* 21:32? = 7:29, 30?.

† 21:44? = 20:18?.

† 23:12 = 14:11, 18:14.

† 23:37-39 = 13:34-35.

† 24:43-51 = 12:39-46.

* 25:14-30 = 19:11-28.

In the passages marked * there is, besides the difference of setting, considerable verbal variation. Note, however, in Matthew 6:9-13 = Luke 11:1-4 the remarkable agreement in ἐπιούσιος. In the passages marked † there is very close verbal agreement, with occasional variation.

So far as these passages go, the divergence in setting, combined with the differences of language, are adverse to the theory of a common Greek source, unless that were a collection of detached sayings or groups of sayings. The few passages marked † might be explained by the view that Luke was acquainted with Matthew, and was sometimes influenced by his language, or by the view that the different sources used by the two Evangelists contained these sections, the agreement in language being due to derivation from a document lying behind the sources of our two Gospels.

Other passages, however, present more difficulty, since the agreement is greater in extent; e.g.:

(1) The Sermon on the Mount, Mt 5-7 = Luke 6:0.

(2) The charge to the Twelve, Matthew 10:0 = Luke 9:10.

(3) The discourse about the Baptist, Matthew 11:0 = Luke 7:10.

(4) The discourse about Beelzeboul, Matthew 12:0 = Luke 11:0.

(5) The denunciation of the Pharisees, Matthew 23:0 = Luke 11:0.

(6) The discourse about the last things, Matthew 24:0 = Luke 17:0.

In the Sermon on the Mount there is very substantial agreement combined with, as, e.g., in the Beatitudes, remarkable divergence. The charge to the Twelve is remarkable, because Mt. has expanded and enlarged Mk.’s short charge. Lk. in the parallel to Mt. borrows Mk., but has one or two agreements with Mt. against Mk. But in the next chapter he gives a charge to the Seventy which agrees in many respects with Mt.’s expansion of Mk.

In the discourse about the Baptist there is great verbal agreement. In the sayings of denunciation of the Pharisees the context is different, but there is great verbal agreement. The discourse about Beelzeboul has remarkable features. If Lk. were non-existent, it might be supposed that Mt. had expanded Mk., adding a further section dealing with the request for a sign. But Lk., who omits Mk.’s discourse from its proper place in his Gospel, inserts later a discourse similar to that of Mt.’s, but places at the beginning of it both the charge of casting out devils by the aid of Beelzeboul and the request for a sign, thus weaving Mt.’s two consecutive discourses into one. The discourse about the last things in Matthew 24:0 contains several sayings which Lk. has in a different context but in similar language in ch. 17.

We may now take into consideration the whole of the sayings common to the two Gospels.

The following theories have been put forward to account for their agreement:

(1) “Both Evangelists drew from a common written source.” This is a natural way of explaining the fact that the two Gospels have so many sayings in common; and if they contained these sayings and no others, the conclusion that they drew from a common written source would be almost irresistible. But the fact that in both Gospels there are found many sayings not preserved elsewhere, considerably weakens the argument. For the fact that they both record many similar or identical sayings may be equally well explained by the probability that these were the best known and most widely current sayings of Christ in the early Church.

Against this theory of a common written source may be urged the following objections:

(a) It is almost impossible to reconstruct any sort of written document out of the common material unless indeed it were a series of isolated and detached sayings, or short groups of sayings. If the two Evangelists had before them a common written source containing discourses and parables connected with incidents, how is it that they differ so widely in the general order in which they record these sayings, and very often in the context or occasion to which they assign them? In following S. Mark the editor of the first Gospel rarely transfers sayings from one context to another.

(b) If, however, it be supposed that the alleged source was a collection of detached sayings, the variation in language is still to be accounted for. However, it is true that in following S. Mark the editor of the first Gospel not infrequently alters the words of Christ’s sayings. Cf. e.g.:

Matthew 8:4 τὸ δῶρον. Mark 1:44 περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου.

9:4 ἐνθυμεῖσθε. 2:8 διαλογίζεσθε.

9:6 κλίνην. 2:11 κράβαττον.

9:15 πενθεῖν. 2:19 νηστεύειν.

9:16 ἐπιβάλλει. 2:21 ἐπιράπτει.

13:32 ἐν τοῖς κλάδοις αὐτοῦ. 4:32 ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ.

And it might be urged that he (and perhaps S. Luke also) has sometimes departed from the phraseology of the alleged source. But, taken as a whole, the variation in language in these sayings common to Mt. and Lk. suggests rather independent sources than revision of a common source, and in some cases the former alternative is necessary if Wellhausen1 is right in explaining the variations which occur in them as due to translation from an Aramaic original. For his suggestion that the two Evangelists had access not only to a Greek translation of the supposed common written source, but also to the Aramaic original, is a clumsy theory. It is simpler to suppose that the two Evangelists drew from different Greek sources.2

(2) “Both Evangelists drew from oral tradition.” There is a great deal to be said in favour of this, for it will be remembered that we are dealing with groups of sayings, parables, or discourses which would be easily retained in the memory. And amongst the Jews, as to-day amongst the Chinese, the current educational methods trained the memory to retain masses of teaching. When Josephus (c. Apion. ii. 19) says that “if anybody ask any one of our people about our laws, he will more readily tell them all than he will tell his own name,” he may have generalised too far, but there is every probability that Christian converts in the early Church knew by heart sayings and parables which had been taught to them as traditional sayings of the Master.

However, there is little need to force the oral tradition theory to cover all the facts presented by the agreement between Mt. and Lk., because there is reason to think that both writers used written sources.

(3) “The two Evangelists drew from independent written sources.” It is quite unlikely that when these editors drew up their Gospels, S. Mark’s writing was the only written source before them. So far as S. Luke is concerned, he distinctly implies that there were many evangelic writings. And, indeed, nothing is in itself more probable than that sayings, parables, and discourses of Christ should have been committed to writing at a very early period. Not, of course, necessarily for wide publication, but for private use, or for communication by letter, or for the use of Christian teachers and preachers. The assertions frequently made, that the Christian eschatological doctrine would have acted as a prejudice against writing down the words of Christ, and that the Jewish scruple about committing the oral law or the targums to writing would have transferred itself to the early Christian community and the teaching of their Master, are purely conjectural, and without foundation. We are dealing with a society in which, as the letters of the New Testament show, writing was well known and in common use.1 In every Christian community there would probably be found individuals who possessed in writing some of the words of Christ.

(4) S. Luke was acquainted with the first Gospel. This is at present a view very much out of favour amongst critical writers. But there is much to be said for it. S. Luke may well have read the first Gospel and been influenced by its phraseology, and here and there by its arrangement of sayings. On the other hand, its Jewish-Christian colouring, its anti-Jewish polemic, its artificial grouping of Christ’s sayings, may well have seemed to S. Luke to be features in it which it was undesirable to imitate. The popular supposition, that if he had been acquainted with it he could not have omitted from his Gospel anything that the editor of the first Gospel had recorded, is an entirely conjectural and unnecessary fiction. There is no reason to suppose that he intended, any more than the author of the Fourth Gospel, to record everything that tradition handed down of the sayings and acts of Christ. On the other hand, the fact that he had read the first Gospel amongst many other evangelic writings would sometimes explain agreements in language and arrangement between the two Gospels in matter common to them. It would also explain another feature. In matter parallel to S. Mark, where they are presumably copying the second Gospel, they often agree in omission or in alteration of a word or phrase against S. Mark. For this there are probably several co-operating causes. In part, they may independently agree in revising the second Gospel. Again, the copies of S. Mark which lay before them may have been recensions1 of the second Gospel differing from that which has come down to us, but agreeing in some of those points in which Mt. and Lk. agree against Mk. Further, the second Gospel may have undergone revision since its use by the first and third Evangelists, or the agreements of Mt. and Lk. against Mk. may in part be due to textual assimilation of one of these Gospels to the other. But, lastly, some of these agreements may be due to the fact that Lk. has read the first Gospel, and was influenced by its phraseology even where he had Mk. before him, and was reproducing it.

If, now, we ask how far these hypotheses can be applied to the matter tabulated above, we shall find the theory of a single written source unsatisfactory. Variation in order, in setting, and in language all alike are evidence against the use of such a source. And what can be more uncritical than to heap together in one amorphous and conjectural document a number of sayings simply because they occur in two Gospels? Is there any more reason for supposing that they come from one document than for assigning them to a number of sources? It is urged that, whereas other written sources are entirely conjectural, we do know of one source the writing of which2 Papias speaks. But not only does an earlier writer than Papias speak of many who had undertaken to draw up evangelical records (Luke 1:1), but the reconstruction of the Aramaic document mentioned by Papias out of the material common to Mt. and Lk. is an impossible task. Let us assume that the two writers had before them the same translation. Why then do they present its contents in such different methods? Why does Mt. mass together in the Sermon on the Mount sayings which Lk. distributes over chs. 11-16? Why does Mt. give us nine beatitudes, whilst Lk. has four blessings, counterbalanced by four woes? Why does Mt. place the Lord’s Prayer in the Sermon, whilst Lk. records it in quite a different connection, and in a shorter form? Or, allowing that in spite of this arbitrary treatment of their source, such a document can be reconstructed, why then do they so wilfully alter its phraseology? Upon what sort of principle did Mt. alter πράκτορι into ὑπηρέτῃ (Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58), or λεπτόν into κοδράντην (Matthew 5:26, Luke 12:59), or οἰκτιρμονες into τέλειοι (Matthew 5:48, Luke 6:36), or κόρακας into πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Matthew 6:26, Luke 12:24), or πνεῦμα ἄγιον into Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13), and the like; or for what reason did Lk. make the reverse changes? What is needed to explain the variations in order, in context, and in language between these sayings as they appear in the two Gospels, is not a single source, but a multiplicity of sources. And if Wellhausen is right in saying, e.g., that καθάρισον, Matthew 23:26, and δότε ἐλεημοσύνην Luke 11:41, are derived from an Aramaic original, how is it possible that in this and similar cases Mt. and Lk. had before them a Greek document as the source of this and all the other sayings which they record in common?

Shall we say, then, that the two writers drew these common sayings from oral tradition? The counter argument, that they agree in phraseology to a very remarkable extent, is no good reason against oral tradition as a source. For there is every probability that sayings and discourses would be handed down in oral tradition with just that predominant uniformity of language, varied with occasional divergence, which the Gospels present to us. Nothing, e.g., is more likely than that there might be in different parts of the Christian Church traditional forms of the Sermon on the Mount the same in general outline but differing in length and varying very often in expression. If there were any good reason for denying the existence of a multiplicity of written sources, the conception of oral tradition as a source for these sayings would be less artificial and more agreeable to the data than the hypothesis of a single written source.

In view, however, of the facts that Mt. demonstrably used one written source, viz. the second Gospel, and that Lk. professes that he was acquainted with many, out of which he certainly used one, viz. S. Mark; in view, further, of the great probability that collections of the Lord’s words were committed to writing at a very early date, and of the fact that Papias speaks of one such collection as made by Matthew the Apostle, it would be arbitrary to assign all the sayings common to Mt. and Lk. to oral tradition. Wherever verbal agreement extends over several verses, it may reasonably be supposed either that Lk. had seen Mt., or that both writers had before them written sources containing, not, indeed, identical, but similar sayings. That amongst these written sources one or more may have been used by both Evangelists is, of course, possible, but can nowhere be proved with certainty so long as the possibility remains that the literary link consists in the dependence of Lk. upon Mt.

If we turn now to the common narrative sections tabulated on p. xliii f., it may be at once admitted that there are two possible solutions. Either the verbal agreement is due to the fact that Lk. has been influenced by Mt., or both Evangelists drew from common sources. The agreement in language in the case of “the centurion’s servant” and of “the two aspirants” is very close. And this is also the case in the narratives containing the Baptist’s preaching and the Temptation. The incident of “the great commandment” is still more remarkable. Mt.’s account of it differs considerably from Mark 12:28-34. Lk. has omitted Mark 12:28-34, but has placed earlier in his Gospel a narrative which has some points of agreement with Mt., where Mt. differs from Mk. In all these cases it is a plausible view that the two Evangelists were using common sources. Is it possible to combine these narratives with the discourses specified on p. xlv, and possibly with all the sayings common to the two Gospels, and to reconstruct a Gospel used by both writers? Hardly, because the few narrative sections with which we are dealing, combined with six discourses and a large number of detached sayings or groups of sayings, seem insufficient material wherewith to construct a Gospel. And even if it were done, the question why did the two Evangelists dismember this document and change the form of the Lord’s words, raises itself again as an insoluble problem. Nor, indeed, is there any real need for this heaping together into one document a few narratives and discourses and many sayings, because there is more probability that Lk., if not Mt., was acquainted with several non-Marcan documents than there is that he knew of only one writing containing Gospel material. The Sermon on the Mount is really the crucial case. Both Evangelists had before them a Sermon, but not identically the same Sermon; that is, they were borrowing from different sources. In the same way it may be supposed that their sources contained the other sayings, discourses, and narratives which are substantially common to them both, in forms varying from close agreement to very considerable variation.


1: 2.

3:14-15 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. Editorial.

4:13-16 Quotation.

4:23-25 Description of Christ’s ministry. Editorial.

5:1, 2, 4 Sermon on the Mount. Vv. 1, 2 editorial.

5:5 Sermon on the Mount.

5:7 Sermon on the Mount.

5:8 Sermon on the Mount.

5:9 Sermon on the Mount.

5:10 Sermon on the Mount.

5:13a Sermon on the Mount. Editorial.

5:14 Sermon on the Mount. V. 14a editorial.

5:16 Sermon on the Mount.

5:17 Sermon on the Mount.

5:19, 20 Sermon on the Mount.

5:21-24 Sermon on the Mount.

5:27, 28 Sermon on the Mount.

5:31 Sermon on the Mount.

5:32 παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνειας.

5:33-37 Sermon on the Mount. V. 33 editorial t.

5:38, 39a Sermon on the Mount.

5:41 Sermon on the Mount.

5:43 Sermon on the Mount.

6:1-7, 8 Sermon on the Mount.

6:10b, 13b Sermon on the Mount.

6:16-18 Sermon on the Mount.

6:34 Sermon on the Mount.

7:6, 7:12b Sermon on the Mount.

7:15 Sermon on the Mount.

7:19, 20-22 Sermon on the Mount. cf. Luke 6:46, Luke 6:13:26, Luke 6:27.

7:28a Sermon on the Mount. Editorial.,

1, 5a Sermon on the Mount. Editorial.

8:17 Quotation.

9:13a An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

9:26 Editorial.

9:27-31 Healing of two blind men. Editorial.

9:32-34 Cf. Luke 11:14. Healing of a deaf demoniac. Editorial.

9:35, 36 A description of Christ’s ministry. Editorial.

10:2a Editorial.

10:5b-8 Charge to the Twelve.

10:16b Charge to the Twelve.

10:23 Charge to the Twelve.

10:25b, 36 Charge to the Twelve.

10:41 Charge to the Twelve.

11:1 Editorial.

11:14 Elias. Editorial.

11:20 Editorial.

11:28-30 Come unto Me.

12:5-7 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

12:11, 12a An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. but cf. Luke 14:5.

12:17-21 Quotation.

12:22, 23 Cf. Luke 11:14. Healing of a blind demoniac. Editorial.

12:36, 37 Every idle word.

12:45 end

13:14, 15 Quotation. Editorial.

13:18 Editorial, cf. Luke 8:11.

13:24-30 The Tares.

13:35 Quotation.

13:36-43 Explanation of the Tares. V. 36a editorial.

13:44 The Hid Treasure.

13:45, 46 The Precious Pearl.

13:47-50 The Draw Net.

13:51, 52 Every scribe instructed.

13:53 Editorial.

14:28-31 S. Peter on the water. An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

15:12, 13 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

15:23-25 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. Editorial.

15:30-31 Taking the place of Mark 7:31ff.. Editorial.

16:2b, 3 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. Editorial. (if genuine).

16:11b, 12 Editorial.

16:17-19 S. Peter and the keys. An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

16:22b Editorial.

17:6-7 Editorial.

17:13 Editorial.

17:20 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative, cf. Luke 17:6.

17:24-27 The Stater in the fish’s mouth.

18:3, 4 As a little child.

18:10 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

18:14 One of these little ones.

18:16-20 The Church.

18:23-35 The two debtors.

19:1a Editorial.

19:9 (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ.

19:10-12 Eunuch. Vv. 10-11 editorial.

19:28 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative, cf. Luke 22:28-30.

20:1-16 The Labourers in the Vineyard. V.16 editorial.

21:4-5 Quotation.

21:10, 11 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

21:14 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. Editorial.

21:15b, 16 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative.

21:19 end παραχρῆμα. Editorial.

21:28-32 The Two Sons, cf. Luke 7:29-30.

21:43 Editorial.

21:44 Editorial if genuine, cf. Luke 20:18.

22:1-14 The Marriage Feast.

22:33-34 Editorial.


23:1-3 Denunciation of Pharisees. V. 1 editorial.

23:5 Denunciation of Pharisees.

23:7b-10 Denunciation of Pharisees.

23:15-22 Denunciation of Pharisees.

23:24 Denunciation of Pharisees.

23:28 Denunciation of Pharisees.

23:32, 33 Denunciation of Pharisees.

24:10-12 False prophets.

24:20 μηδὲ σαββάτῳ.

24:30a Sign of the Son of Man. Editorial.

25:1-13 The Ten Virgins.

25:14-30 Cf. Luke 19:11-28.

25:31-46 The Sheep and the Goats.

26:1 Editorial.

26:44 Editorial.

26:50 Editorial.

26:52-54 An insertion in Mk.’s narrative. Editorial.

27:3-10 Judas and the blood money.

27:9, 10 Quotation.

27:19 Pilate’s wife.

27:24, 25 Pilate washes his hands.

27:36 Editorial.

27:43 Editorial.

27:51b-53 The resurrection of the dead Saints.

27:62-66 The sealing of the Tomb.

28:1 end 2-4 Editorial.

28:11-15 The bribing of the guard.

28:16-20 Christ’s last words.

This may be classified as follows:

(a) Editorial 1:1-17, 3:14, 15, 4:23-25, 5:1-2, 13a, 14a, 33? 7:28a, 8:1-5a, 9:26, 27-31? 32-34, 35-36, 10:2a, 11:1a, 12-14, 20, 12:22-23, 13:14-15, 18, 36a, 53, 15:23-25, 30-31, 16:2b-3. (if genuine) 11b-12, 22b, 17:6-7, 13, 19:1a, 10-11, 20:16, 21:14, 19 end 43, 44 (if genuine) 22:33, 34, 23:1, 24:30a, 26:1, 44, 52-54, 27:36, 43, 28:1 θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον, 2-4.

1:1-17 is a compilation of the editor, and 4:23-25 and 9:35, 36 (?) are from his hand. 3:14, 15 is inserted by him into a section from Mk.,but may, of course, rest on tradition. 5:1, 2 are probably due to him. For 5:13a, 14a, 33 see the notes. 7:28a and the similar formulas 11:1a, 13:53, 19:1a and 26:1 are probably from his hand. 8:1 and perhaps 5a, see p. 73, are editorial connecting links. 9:26 and 31 are due to the editor, and 9:28-30, 32-34 may be his work. 10:2a is an editorial link. So is 11:20 probably. 11:12-14 is probably due to the editor, but 13-14 embody traditional logia. 12:22-23 may be the editor’s work. 13:14-15 are from his hand, and so Isaiah 13:18, and probably 36a. 15:23-25 may be his work, or may rest upon a non-Marcan source. 15:30-31 are due to him. 16:2b-3 and 21:44 are from his hand if they are genuine. 16:11b-12 are his work, and so is 16:22b. 17:Isaiah 16:6-7 are due to revision of Mk. 19:10 is probably editorial, and so less probably is v. 11. 20:16 is an editorial repetition of 19:30. 21:14 is due to editorial revision of Mk. 21:15b-16 may be due to tradition. 21:19 καὶ ἐξηράνθη παραχρῆμασυκῆ, is editorial, and so is v. 43. 23:1 is due to the editor. So probably are 24:30a, 26:44, 52-54, 27:43 is inserted by him, and 28:1 end to 4 are due to revision of Mk.

(b) Sayings inserted into a section borrowed from Mk.: 3:14-15, 9:13a, 12:5-7, 11-12a, 15:12-13, 23-25, 16:2-3, 17-19, 17:20, 18:4, 10, 19:10-12, 28, 21:15b-16, 43, 24:10-12, 30a, 26:52-54?.

(c) Sayings peculiar to this Gospel in one of the great discourses formed by the editor on the basis of short discourses recorded by Mk., or in the Sermon on the Mount, or in chs. 11 or 23.

5:4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 19-20, 21-24, 27-28, 31, 33-37, 38-39a, 41, 43.

6:1-7, 8, 10b, 13b, 16-18, 34.

7:6, 12b, 15, 19, 20-22.

10:5b-8, 10b, 16b, 23, 25b, 36, 41.

11:14, 28-30.


13:24-30, 36-43, 44, 45-46, 47-50, 51-52.

18:3, 4, 10, 14, 16-20, 23-35.

23:1-3, 5, 7b-11, 15-22, 24, 28, 32-33.

25:1-13, 14-30, 31-46.

(d) Other sayings:

20:1-16, 21:28-32, 22:1-14.

(e) Incidents:

1:18-25, 2. 14:28-31, 17:24-27, 21:10, 11, 26:52-54 ? 27:3-10, 19, 24-25, 51a, 58, 62-66, 28:9-10, 11-15, 16-20.

(f) Quotations from the Old Testament:

1:23, 2:15, 18, 23, 4:13-16, 8:17, 12:17-21, 13:35, 21:4, 5, 27:9.

It will be noticed that the great majority of the sayings tabulated under b and c have a common character. They are (a) parabolic, or (b) anti-Pharisaic, or (c) strongly Jewish-Christian, or (d) couched in Jewish phraseology.

Thus (a) Parables:

13:24-30, 36-43, 44, 45-46, 47-50, 18:23-35, 20:1-16, 22:1-14, 25:1-13, 14-30. If we count 25:1-30 as one section, all these parables are introduced by similar formulas of a type which finds parallels in the Rabbinical literature. 13:24 Ὡμοιώθη, 31, 44, 45, 47 ὁμοία ὲστίν, 18:23 ὡμοιώθη, 20:1 ὁμοία ἐστίν, 22:1 ὡμοιώθη, 25:1 τότε ὀμοιωθήσεται. In all except the last the subject is ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

(b) Anti-Pharisaic:

5:20 “except your ‘righteousness’ surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.”

6:1-8, 16-18 By the “hypocrites” of this section the Pharisees are no doubt intended. 9:13a “mercy and not sacrifice,” cf. v. 11.

10:25b It was the Pharisees (12:24) who called the master of the house Beelzeboul.

12:5-7 occur in an anti-Pharisaic context, cf. 12:2.

12:11-12a also in an anti-Pharisaic context.

15:12-13 the Pharisees are blind guides.

21:43 “the kingdom shall be taken from you.” Cf. v. 45 “the chief priests and the Pharisees.”

23:1-3, 5, 7b-11, 15-22, 24, 28, 32-33 are directly anti-Pharisaic.

(c) Jewish-Christian:

5:17, 19, 21-22, 27-28, 31, 33-37, 38-39a, 43. The Mosaic law to be “fulfilled,” not destroyed.

5:23-24 τὸ θυσιαστήριον.

5:32 παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας represents Christ as reaffirming the Mosaic law.

6:10b “Thy will be done,” a Jewish prayer.

7:6 “swine”=the Gentiles?.

7:12b Emphasis on the law and the prophets.

7:15 “false prophets.”

7:22 “prophesied.”

10:5b-8, 23 See note on 10:5.

10:41 “a prophet.”

13:52 “every scribe.”

15:23-24 “I was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

18:16 “two witnesses” to conform to the law.

19:9 (εἱ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ represents Christ as reaffirming the Mosaic law.

19:28 “judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

24:20 μηδὲ σαββάτῳ. The Mosaic law is to be observed.1

(d) Coloured by Jewish phraseology:

5:4 See note.

5:5 = Psalms 36:11 (LXX.).

5:7, 8, 9. See notes.

5:10 ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανων.

5:16 τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

7:6 τοῖς κυσίτῶν χοίρων.

11:28-30 See notes.

12:36-37 ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως.

16:17-19 σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα—ὁ πατὴρἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖςπύλαι ἄδουτῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶνδήσῃς—λύσῃς, and the contrast ἐπὶ τῆς γῆςἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

18:3, 4 ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶ οὐρανῶν.

18:10 τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.

18:14 θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.

18:16-20 “Two witnesses,” “binding and loosing,” “earth and heaven,” “My Father who is in heaven.”

19:28 ἐν τῇ παλιγγενεσίᾳ ὅταν καθίσῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ

The following phrases are characteristic of these passages: (1) ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν, 5:10, 19 (2), 20, 8:11, 10:7, 13:24, 44, 45, 47, 52, 16:19, 18:3, 4, 23, 19:12, 20:1, 22:2, 25:1. We might on that account add to our list 5:3, which differs in language from Luke 6:20; Luke 7:21, which differs from Luke 6:46; Luke 11:12, which differs from Luke 16:16; and 23:13, which differs from Luke 11:52. The phrase occurs in these passages 23 times, and else where in the Gospel 9 times, viz. 3:2, 4:17, 11:11, 13:11, 31, 33, 18:1, 19:14, 23. In 3:2, 4:17, 13:11, 31 ? 18:1, 19:14, 23 the editor has inserted the phrase into Marcan passages. The two remaining verses, 11:11 and 13:33, might, with some probability, be added to our list.

(2) πατὴρἐν (τοῖς) οὐρανοῖς:

5:16, 6:1, 16:17, 18:10, 14, 19.

We might on this account add to out list 5:45 (which differs from Luke 6:35) 6:9, 7:11, 21, 10:32, 33. The phrase only occurs besides in 12:50, where it is substituted for Mk.’s τοῦ θεοῦ.

(3) πατὴροὐράνιος:

15:13, 18:35, 23:9.

We might on this account add to the list 5:48 (which differs from Luke 6:36) 6:14, 26, 32. The phrase occurs nowhere else.

(4) πατὴρ ἡμῶν, ὑμῶν, σου, αὐτῶν:

5:16, 6:1, 4, 6 (2), 8, 18 (2) 13:43, 23:9.

We might on this account add 5:45, 48, 6:9, 14, 15, 26, 32, 7:11 and 10:29, which differs from Luke 12:6.

It is not unreasonable to suppose that these verses, characterised as they are for the most part by special features, and distinguished by the use of two or three striking Jewish phrases, came as a whole, or in large part, from a single source.1 And here, if anywhere, the information of Papias can assist us. He speaks of a compilation put together in Hebrew or Aramaic by Matthew containing τὰ λόγια. On the other hand, we find in our Gospel a number of sayings of marked Palestinian characteristics and phraseology. If the editor of the Gospel borrowed these from the Matthæan document, whether it lay before him in its original form or in a Greek translation, we have at once an explanation of the reason why the name Matthew attached itself to the first Gospel, of which these sayings form a substantial proportion. Of course, if there be sufficient reason for supposing that the editor used this Matthæan source, it will then be probable that he borrowed from it some of the sayings which he has in common with Lk., but in a different form and context. Whilst he drew them from a Greek translation of the Logia, Lk. will have drawn them from other sources into which they had passed from the Matthæan collection. The following would be not out of harmony with the tenor of many of the Logian sayings:

5:18 “not a jot or tittle to pass from the law.” Cf. Luke 16:17.

5:32 Cf. Luke 16:18, who has not the limitation παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας.

6:9-13 the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer as found in a different context in Luke 11:1-4, has lost some of its Jewish colouring.

13:16-17 προφῆται καὶ δίκαιοι is Jewish. The verses occur in a different context in Luke 10:23-24 with βασιλεῖς for δίκαιοι.

23:4, 23, 25-26, 27, 29-31, 34-36. All anti-Pharisaic. Cf. Luke 11:39-52 in a different context.

5:12 Anti-Pharisaic: “they persecuted the prophets.” Cf. 23:32-33.

I venture, therefore, to assign the following to the Matthæan Logia:

* 5:3-12.

* 5:13-16 Probably not in Sermon.

* 5:17-20.

* 5:21-24.

5:25-26 Probably not in Sermon.

* 5:27-28.

5:29-30 Probably not in Sermon.

* 5:31-32.

* 5:33-37.

* 5:38-42.

* 5:43-48.

* 6:1-4.

* 6:5-6.

* 6:7-15 Perhaps not in Sermon.

* 6:16-18.

6:19-33 Probably not in Sermon.


* 7:6 Probably not in Sermon.

7:7-11 Probably not in Sermon.


7:13-14 Probably not in Sermon.

* 7:15-23.


* 8:11, 12.

* 9:13a.


* 10:5b-8.

* 10:23.

* 10:24-25 Not in this connection.

10:26-33 Not in this connection.

10:34-41 Not in this connection.

11:2-30 Not necessarily in this order.

* 12:5-7.

* 12:11-12.

12:25-45 Not necessarily in this order.


* 13:24-30.

13:33. ?

* 13:31-43.

* 13:44.

* 13:45-46.

* 13:47-50.

* 13:51-52.

* 15:12-14.


* 16:17-19.

* 17:20.

* 18:3-4.

* 18:10.


* 18:14.

* 18:15-20.


* 18:23-35.

* 19:10-12.

* 19:28.

* 20:1-16.


* 21:28-32.

* 21:43.

* 22:1-14.


* 23 Not necessarily in this order.

* 24:10-12.





* 25:1-13.

* 25:14-30.

25:31-46. ?

* 26:52-54. ?

Of course, much that is here assigned to the Logia may have come from other sources. The passages marked with an asterisk are in the main peculiar to Mt., and have the Palestinian characteristics referred to above. These may be assigned to the Logia with much probability. The remaining passages are for the most part found also in Lk. But his variations in setting and language make it probable that he drew them from other sources than the Logia. And, to some extent, he may have been influenced by reminiscence of the first Gospel.

We must, therefore, think of the Matthæan Logia as a collection of Christ’s sayings containing isolated sayings, sayings grouped into discourses, and parables. If there was any particular arrangement or order observed, it is, of course, not possible now to rediscover it. One of the longer discourses was probably the Sermon on the Mount; but as this now stands in the first Gospel, it has been enlarged by the editor, who has inserted into it sayings from other parts of the Logia. There were also in all probability a group of eschatological sayings, and groups of parables. The original language was either Hebrew or Aramaic. Papias calls it Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ; Irenæus, τῇ ἰδίᾳ αὐτῶν (οἱ Ἑβραῖοι) διαλέκτῳ; Eusebius, πατρίῳ γλώττῃ; and Origen speaks of the Gospel as γράμμασιν Ἑβραϊκοῖς συντεταγμένον. On historical as well as philological grounds it is probable that the language was rather Aramaic than Hebrew. When the editor of the first Gospel used it, it had already been translated into Greek. The fact that he was using a Greek rendering of S. Mark’s (probably originally Aramaic) Gospel does not, of course, preclude the possibility that he may have had the Aramaic Logia before him, but suggests that this was not the case. A stronger argument is the fact that some of the many sayings which Mt. and Lk. have in common agree very closely in language. This is not best accounted for by the theory that both Mt. and Lk. used a common Greek translation of the Logia, nor by the view that Lk. is dependent on Mt. Rather, the editor of the first Gospel used a Greek translation of the Logia. Then other translations were made, and from these excerpts and groups of sayings passed into the “many” evangelic writings with which Lk. was acquainted. This accounts for the fact that Lk. had before him, or was acquainted with, sources containing sayings and groups of sayings which are often nearly identical with sayings contained in the first Gospel, and yet frequently differ from them. The Logian sayings must have passed through several stages of transmission before they reached Lk., whilst Mt. drew from a translation of the original collection. Wellhausen has rightly seen that some features in sayings common to Mt. and Lk. cannot be explained without reference to an Aramaic original (Einleitung, p. 36). Since, however, he clings to the theory that the verbal agreement in many of these sayings forces us to suppose that they used a common Greek source, he is obliged to hazard the complicated and unnecessary conjecture that the two Evangelists sometimes altered their Greek original and sometimes substituted for it a new translation from the original Aramaic (p. 68). But, as I have already shown, the great amount of disagreement in substance, in setting, in order, and in language between Mt. and Lk. in these sayings is only explicable if they were not directly using a common source. Mt. drew directly from a Greek translation of the Logia. Other translations were also made, and from these the Logian sayings passed in a form substantially agreeing, whilst often slightly differing in language, into the evangelic writings of the Church.

Hence, when Lk. wrote his Gospel, he found these sayings dispersed in many quarters. Some of them, e.g. the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer, had passed through many stages since they were first extracted from the Logia. Others had suffered but little change. If at times the agreement in language between Mt. and Lk. seems remarkably close, it must be borne in mind that Lk. may well have read the first Gospel, and have been sometimes influenced by it.

The narrative sections tabulated above under (e) call for special consideration, since it is unlikely that they came from the same source as the sayings just discussed. The narratives contained in 1:18-25, 2:1-12, 13-23, 14:28-31, 17:24-27, 21:10-11, 27:3-10, 19, 24-25, 51a-53, 62-66, 28:11-15 all look very much like Palestinian traditions. Judgment upon their date and value must be almost wholly subjective, but to the present writer they seem to be early in date, or, to say the least, there seem to be no cogent reasons for placing them late. For 17:24-27 as written before the fall of Jerusalem, see Wellhausen, in loc. Whether they came to the editor in written form, or whether he had himself collected them in Palestine, it is impossible to conjecture. Some little evidence might be adduced to show that 1:18-4:17 came from a special source which in 3:1-4:17 overlapped with Mark 1:1-15. E.g.:

(a) The editor of the Gospel shows a distinct tendency to remove historic presents from a source before him (p. xx). In Mk. there are 151 such tenses. Of these, 72 are cases of λέγει or λέγουσιν. Of the remaining 79 the editor of the first Gospel omits or alters 69, retaining only 10. Yet in 3:1-4:17 there are 7 such tenses,1 viz. 3:1, 13, 15, 4:5, 8 (2), 11. This would be explicable if the editor were following a source of which the use of the historic present was a marked feature.

(b) There are some words and phrases which occur only or chiefly in this part of the Gospel; e.g.:

λάθρα, 1:19, 2:7.

Ἰεροσόλυμα, fem. sing., 2:8, 3:5 ?.

παραγίγνεσθαι, 2:1, 3:1, 13.

πυνθάνεσθαι, 2:4.

κατʼ ὅναρ, 1:20, 2:12, 13, 19, 22. Besides only 27:19.

παραλαμβάνειν, 8 times. Besides from Mk 17:1, 20:17, 26:37.

Elsewhere, 12:45, 18:16, 24:40, 41, 27:27.

ἀναχωρεῖν, 5 times. Elsewhere, 9:24, 12:15, 14:13, 15:21, 17:5.

κατοικεῖν, twice. Elsewhere, 12:25, 23:21.

The construction

(5) 1:23 agrees in the main with the LXX.; 2:6 seems to be an independent rendering of the Hebrew; 2:15 is also a rendering of the Hebrew; 2:18 is apparently quoted from the LXX., with reminiscence of the Hebrew in τὰ τέκνα αὐτῆς; 2:23 cannot be traced; 4:15-16 is from a Greek Vs, but not from the LXX. (see note, in loc.); 8:17 is an independent translation from the Hebrew; 12:17-21 is from the Hebrew, with reminiscence of the LXX. in the last clause, or more probably from a current Greek version, which is already implied in Mark 1:11; Mark 13:35 seems to be an independent translation from the Hebrew, with reminiscence of the LXX. in the first clause; 21:5 agrees partly with the Hebrew, partly with the LXX.; 27:9 appears to be a free translation, with reminiscence of the LXX. Further, 2:6 seems to come in the main from Micah 5:1-4, with assimilation of the last clause to 2 S 5:2; 12:18 from Isaiah 42:1-4, with assimilation of the last clause to Habakkuk 1:4 (Heb.); Matthew 21:5 is a conflation of Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9; 27:9-10 comes from Zechariah 11:13, but has probably been influenced by Jeremiah 32:6-9.

With these quotations might be compared 11:10, which occurs also in Mark 1:2, and which therefore seems to have been current in Christian circles in a form slightly differing from the LXX. Here, too, there seems to have been a slight assimilation to Exodus 23:20.

It will be seen that there is a good deal of agreement with the Hebrew against the LXX. This makes it very unlikely that these quotations are due to the editor. For (a) in the quotations borrowed by him from Mk. the editor shows a tendency to assimilate the language more closely to the LXX. The single exception of change in favour of the Hebrew is Mark 12:30 = Matthew 22:37. For such assimilation, see Matthew 13:15 καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς for Mk.’s καὶ Matthew 15:8λαὸς οὗτος for Mk.’s οὗτοςλαός; Matthew 19:5 adds καὶ (προς κολληθήσεται τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ; Matthew 22:32 adds εἰμί; Matthew 26:31 adds τῆς ποίμνης. So LXX. A. Matthew 27:46 ἵνα τί for εἰς τί.

(b) In nine quotations not borrowed from Mk., viz. 4:4, 7, 10, 5:21, 27, 38, 43a, 9:13 = 12:7, 21:16, there is a general agreement with the LXX., except in καὶ οὐ, 9:13 = 12:7, which agrees with Heb. and LXX. A Q against LXX. B.

It seems, therefore, probable that the eleven quotations introduced by a formula, and also 11:10 were already current when the editor compiled his work in a Greek form. They may come from a collection of Old Testament passages regarded as prophecies of events in the life of the Messiah. In this connection 2:23 is very important, because it must have originated in Jewish Christian, i.e. probably in Palestinian, circles.

1 The κατῴκησεν of 4:13 implies that Capharnaum will henceforth be the headquarters of Christ’s ministry.

1 Hor. Syn. pp. 114 ff.

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

Th. Theodotion.

L the Matthæan Logia.

1 See Abbott (Johannine Grammar, 2342), who urges that Mk.’s περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης is ambiguous, and might mean “walking about on the edge of the sea.”

1 See note on 8:2. Mt. uses σπλαγχνίζεσθαι of Christ four times (9:36, 14:14, 15:23, 20:34), and probably read ὀργισθείς in Mark 1:41.

1 Cf also the omission of the question Mark 5:31 from the parallel in Mt.

Hor. Syn. Horœ Synopticœ (Hawkins).

1 Cf. Mark 9:50.

1 Cf. Mark 12:28-34.

* In the passages marked * there is, besides the difference of setting, considerable verbal variation.

† In the passages marked † there is very close verbal agreement, with occasional variation.

1 Einleitung, p. 36.

2 I welcome a tendency in Germany to speak doubtfully about the material to be assigned to the alleged common source. Cf. Harnack: “ich zweifle nicht das Manches, was Matth. und Luk. gemeinsam ist und daher aus diesel Quelle stammen könnte, nicht auf sie zurückgeht, sondern einen anderen Ursprung hat,” Lukas der Arzt, p. 108, Anm. 1.

1 In Oxyrhynchus Papyri, 1-4, there are about twenty-eight private letters of the first cent.; in Fayûm Towns about twenty.

1 Translations of the second Gospel if based on an Aramaic original.

2 See p. lxxviii.

1 The editor probably inserted μηδὲ σαββάτῳ into Mark 13:18 because he found a saying with this addition in the Logia. In the same way he has inserted (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, 19:9, into Mark 10:11, because a parallel saying which he has inserted in 5:22 was to be found in the Logia with a similar limitation.

1 Cf. E. De Witt Burton, Principles of Literary Criticism and the Synoptic Problem, p. 41. I have been much indebted to this book.

* The passages marked with an asterisk are in the main peculiar to Mt., and have the Palestinian characteristics referred to above. These may be assigned to the Logia with much probability.

1 Cf. φαίνεται, 2:13 (but B has ἐφάνη) and 2:19.

P Palestinian traditions.

X passages in which Mt. and Lk. agree closely, borrowed from an unknown source or sources.

B. Babylonian Talmud.


In making the second Gospel the framework of his own, the editor has adopted the general outline and plan of that Gospel, which is as follows:

A. Mark 1:1-13 Introductory. The Messiah had been heralded by the Baptist, had been declared to be the Son of God at His baptism, and had been prepared for His ministry by temptation.

B. 1:15-7:23 Ministry in Galilee.

C. 7:24-9 Ministry in the surrounding districts.

This period is marked by the confession of S. Peter, and by teaching as to Christ’s death and resurrection.

D. 10:1-52 The journey through Peræa to Jerusalem.

E. 11-16:8 The last days of the Messiah’s life.

To this general framework the editor prefixes two chapters dealing with the genealogy, birth, and three incidents of the Messiah’s childhood.1

[A. 1. 2 Birth and Infancy of the Messiah.]

He then inserts Mk.’s introductory section with considerable expansions.

B. 3:1-4:11 Preparation for His ministry, [3:7-10, 12, 14-15, 4:3-11].

Passing to Mk.’s section B, the editor makes considerable alterations in the order of Mark 1:15. For a detailed examination of these alterations, see pp. xiii-xvii.

The result is as follows:

C. 4:12-15:20 Ministry in Galilee:

(1) Public appearance as a teacher, 4:12-17 [13-16].

(2) First disciples, 4:18-22.

(3) Illustrations of His teaching and work:

(a) Preliminary, [4:23-25].

(b) His teaching, 5:1-7:29 [5:1-7:27].

(c) His work, 8:1-9:34 [8:5-13, 19-22, 9:27-31, 32-34].

(4) Extension of His mission in the work of the Twelve,

9:35-11:1 [9:35b-38, 10:5b-8, 10b, 15-16, 23-11:1].

[(5) Survey of His ministry, 11:2-30].

(6) Illustrations of His controversies with the Pharisees,

12:1-45 [5-7, 17-21, 22-23, 27-28, 30, 32-45].

(7) His relations seek Him, 12:46-50.

(8) Illustrations of His teaching in parables, [13:16-17, 24-30, 33, 35-52].

From this point the editor is entirely guided by the order of sections as they stand in Mk. [14:28-31 and 15:12-14 are not found in Mk.].

(9) Various incidents, 13:53-15:20.

In the next sections he follows the order of incidents in Mk.’s section C. Thus:

D. 15:21-18:35 Ministry in the neighbourhood of Galilee, [15:23-24, 16:2-3, 17-19, 17:24b-27, 18:3-4, 7, 10-35].

E. 19:1-20:34 Journey to Jerusalem, [19:11-12, 28, 20:1-15].

F. The last days of the Messiah’s life, 21:28 [21:4-5, 10-11, 14-16, 22:28-32, 43-45, 22:1-14, 23 (very greatly enlarged from Mark 12:37-40) 24:26-28, 25. 26:25, 52-54, 27:3-10, 19, 24-25, 43, 52-53, 62-66, 28:9-10, 11-22].

The life of Christ as thus presented in the Gospel is framed in an Old Testament setting.

He was the Jewish Messiah descended from Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation (1:1, cf. 3:9), and within narrower limits from David (1:1, 20, 12:23, 21:9, 15, 22:42). In particular, he was the Messianic King (2:2, 21:5, 27:11, 29, 37, 42), the Messianic Son of God (3:17, 4:6, 11:27, 14:33, 16:16, 17:5, 27:54), and the Messianic Son of Man. See pp. lxxi ff.

Many of the incidents of His life had been foretold by the prophets. His birth (1:22-23) by Isaiah, at Bethlehem (2:6) by Micah, Herod’s massacre of the children (2:17-18) by Jeremiah, Christ’s return from Egypt (2:15) by Hosea, the settlement of His parents at Nazara by the prophets, the coming of His herald (3:3) by Isaiah, His own mission in Galilee (4:14-16) by Isaiah, His work of mercy in healing the sick (8:17) by Isaiah, His avoidance of publicity (12:17-21) by Isaiah, His preaching in parables (13:35) by the Psalmist, and the inability of the people to understand them (13:14-15) by Isaiah; His entry as king into Jerusalem (21:4-5) by Zechariah, and the use to which the price of His life was put (27:9-10) by “Jeremiah.” His betrayal (26:24, 54, 56), His desertion (26:31), and many of the incidents of His death and burial had been foretold in Scripture (27:34, 35, 39, 43, 57). And of His three days’ sojourn in the tomb Jonah was a, type, 12:40.

Three features of the Gospel are prominent as characteristic of the editor’s method:

(a) the grouping of material in 4:23-13 into sections illustrative of different aspects of Christ’s ministry.

(b) the massing of sayings into long discourses.

(1) the Sermon on the Mount (5-7:27), which seems to be an expansion of a shorter Sermon found in the Logia.

(2) the charge to the Twelve (10).

(3) the chapter of parables (13).

(4) the discourse about greatness and forgiveness (18).

(5) the discourse about the last things (24-25).

These are all ended by a special formula.

We might add:

(6) the discourse about the Baptist (11).

(7) the denunciation of the Pharisees (23).

(8) the parables of warning, 21:28-22:14.

(c) the arrangement of incidents or sayings into numerical groups.

e.g. three, five, and seven:

three divisions in the genealogy, 1:17.

three incidents of childhood, 2.

three incidents prior to His ministry, 3:1-4:11.

three temptations, 4:1-11.

three illustrations of righteousness, 6:1-18.

three prohibitions, 6:19-7:6.

three commands, 7:7-20.

three miracles of healing, 8:1-15.

three miracles of power, 8:23-9:8.

three miracles of restoration, 9:18-34.

threefold “fear not,” 10:26, 28, 31.

threefold answer to question about fasting, 9:14-17.

three complaints of the Pharisees, 9:1-17.

three οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος, 10:37-38.

three parables of sowing, 13:1-32.

three sayings about “little ones,” 18:6, 10, 14.

three prophetical parables, 21:28-22:14.

three questions, 22:15-40.

three parables of warning, 24:43-25:30.

three prayers at Gethsemane, 26:39-44.

three denials of S. Peter, 26:69-75.

three questions of Pilate, 27:17, 21, 22, 23.

three incidents which vexed the Pharisees, 12:1-24.

three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, 6:11-13.

three aspirations in the Lord’s Prayer, 6:10.

five great discourses, ended with a formula. 5-7:27, 10, 13, 18, 24-25,

five illustrations of the fulfilment of the law, 5:21-48.

seven woes, 23.

Cf. also 12:45 seven demons, 18:21-22 forgiveness seven times, 22:25 seven brethren, 15:34 seven loaves, 37 seven baskets.

Many commentators reckon seven beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, and seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, and Sir John Hawkins1 reckons ten miracles in 8:1-9:34.

For two, cf. the two demoniacs, 8:28; two blind men, 20:30; two false witnesses, 26:60; two blind men, 9:27.



Jesus was the Messiah of the Old Testament (1:1), and was therefore descended from David and from Abraham (1:1). His ancestral line rose to monarchical power in the person of David (1:6), lost its royal dignity at the time of the Captivity (1:11), but recovered it in the person of Jesus, the anointed Messiah (1:16). Jesus was therefore born as King of the Jews (2:2), entered Jerusalem as its king (21:4-5), and died as a claimant to royal power (27:11, 29, 37, 42). He was born of a virgin, as the Prophet Isaiah had foretold (1:22), by conception of the Holy Spirit (1:20), so that He could be called God-with-us (1:23), or Son of God (2:15, 3:17, 4:3, 6, 8:29, 14:33, 17:5, 26:63, 27:40, 43, 54). At His baptism the Spirit of God came down upon Him; and here, as at the Transfiguration, He was proclaimed by God to be His Son, the Beloved, divinely elected (3:17, 17:5). He therefore spoke of Himself as “Son,” and of God as “Father” in a unique sense1 (11:27, 24:36).2 As Messiah, He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. His supernatural birth (1:22), several incidents of His early years (2:5, 15, 17, 23), His public ministry in Galilee (4:14), His ministry of healing (8:17), His avoidance of publicity (12:17), the misunderstanding of His hearers (13:14), His use of parables (13:35), the manner of His entry into Jerusalem (21:4), His betrayal (26:24), His desertion (26:31), His arrest (26:54, 56), and the use to which the money given for His betrayal was put (27:9), had all been foretold in the Old Testament. As Son of God, He cast out demons by the Spirit of God (12:28). He preached the near advent of the kingdom of heaven (see below). He performed miracles, chiefly of healing, but He also cast out demons, raised dead persons to life, walked on the water on one occasion, and twice fed multitudes with a few loaves and fishes. He foretold His death and resurrection, and promised that He would come again in the near future (see below) to inaugurate the kingdom. He spoke of Himself as the “Son of Man.” As such He had angels at His command (13:41, 24:31), and would come again in glory with angels (16:27, 24:30), and sit on the throne of His glory (19:28, 25:31).

Thus three aspects of the Messiah’s work are represented in the Gospel: (1) The work of healing and preaching, which formed a sort of preparation for the coming kingdom; (2) the reappearance at the end of the age, when He would come again to inaugurate the kingdom; (3) His death. This was, from one point of view, a necessary stage in the development of the divine purpose. If the Son of Man was to appear on the clouds of heaven in His kingdom, He must first return to the Father in heaven to be invested with the divine glory. Thus the Son of Man “must” suffer (16:21). This was a part of the divine scheme (16:23). It had been foretold in prophecy (26:24, 54).

But it was something more than a necessary link in a divinely foreseen chain of events. It had in itself a redemptive aspect. His blood was “shed for many,” that their sins might be forgiven (26:28). This bloodshedding signified the ratification of a covenant between God and man (26:28). The idea presumably is that the death could be regarded as a sacrifice which once and for all propitiated God, brought men into a right relation to God, in virtue of which men could approach Him and be received by Him without further sacrifices. Hence it can be said that He came for this very purpose to “give His life a ransom for many” (20:28 from Mark 10:45).


This phrase occurs in the Gospel 32 times, viz. 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 10, 19 (2), 20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 12, 13:11, 24, 31, 44, 45, 47, 52, 16:19, 18:1, 3, 4, 23, 19:12, 14, 23, 24 (Z 133 124 157 S1 S2 a b c e, but א B al τοῦ θεοῦ) 20:1, 22:2, 23:14, 25:1. We find also ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ in 12:28, 19:24 (א B al) 21:31, 43 and 6:33 (E al latt S2, but א B g1 k omit τοῦ θεοῦ). This phrase occurs in Mark 14:0 times; Matthew 5:0 times substitutes ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν, and 8 times omits or paraphrases. In the remaining case, Mark 10:25 = Matthew 19:24, both readings are found in Mt.; but, in spite of the fact that τῶν οὐρανῶν is not so well attested as τοῦ θεοῦ, there is a strong presumption against the latter, from the fact that in the 13 other cases the editor omits, paraphrases, or substitutes τῶν οὐρανῶν for τοῦ θεοῦ. In any case, it is clear that in 12:28, 21:31 and 43 there must be special reasons for the occurrence of ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. In 12:28, which finds a parallel in Luke 11:20, the phrase probably occurred in the source used by the Evangelist. He would, no doubt, have substituted τῶν οὐρανῶν if the context had admitted it. But, as will be shown below, he everywhere uses ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν of the kingdom which Christ announced as at hand, to be inaugurated when the Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. In 12:28 the editor found in his source the words, “But if I by the spirit of God cast out devils, then the kingdom of God came upon you.” Whatever “the kingdom of God” means here, it clearly has not quite the same significance as “the kingdom of the heavens” in such passages as 8:11, 13:45. The editor therefore retains τοῦ θεοῦ to mark the contrast between “the kingdom of God” as used here, and “the kingdom of the heavens” as used elsewhere in the Gospel. In 21:31 ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ is again probably due to the source used. And here we might have expected the editor to substitute τῶν οὐρανῶν with a future verb. “Will go before you into the kingdom of the heavens” would have given a very good sense. But he is faithful to his source, which had a present tense, “go before you into the kingdom of God.” It was clear to him that, whatever the phrase meant, the kingdom here was not quite the same as “the kingdom of the heavens” as used by him elsewhere in the Gospel, and he recorded his sense of the difference of meaning by retaining τοῦ θεοῦ. In 21:43, on the other hand, ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ is probably editorial (see the notes). Why, then, does not the editor use τῶν οὐρανῶν ? Because he wished to explain the taking away of the vineyard, and the giving it to others (41). And there was no phrase which would so well correspond to the vineyard as “the kingdom of God.” “The kingdom” alone would have been too suggestive of merely earthly political power. “The kingdom of the heavens,” as elsewhere used in the Gospel, had never been, like the vineyard, entrusted to the Jewish nation. But “the kingdom of God” might well be used to sum up that whole revelation of God to the Jewish people which was to be transferred to others.

We find, further, the simple ἡ βασιλεία in 4:23, 8:12, 9:35, 13:19, and the following: “His kingdom,” 6:33, 13:41, 16:28; “Thy kingdom,” 6:10, 20:21; “the kingdom of their Father,” 13:43; “the kingdom of My father,” 26:29. For the idea of “the kingdom of heaven” in Jewish literature, see Dalman, Words, pp. 91 ff.; Bousset, Rel. Jud. 199 ff. Dalman has shown that in Jewish writings “מלבות, ” when applied to God, means always the “kingly rule,” never the “kingdom.” In other words, it should be translated by “sovereignty” rather than “kingdom.” The “kingly rule” of God was His divine sovereignty, which governed all things in heaven and in earth; cf. Psalms 103:19 “His ‘sovereignty’ ruleth over all,” Daniel 4:34 “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His sovereignty from generation to generation,” Enoch 84:2 “Thy power, and kingship, and greatness abide for ever and ever.” Hence men, in devoting themselves to the service of God, can be said to choose or accept His sovereignty, Cf. Jubilees 12:19 “Thee and Thy dominion have I chosen”; Mechilta (Ugol.) 384: “They joyfully agreed to receive ‘the sovereignty’ ”; and the service thus accepted is called a “yoke”; cf. Siphri (Ugol.) 916: “Take upon you the yoke of the sovereignty of heaven.”

But the conception of God’s sovereignty is an ideal one, and there is much in life which seems inconsistent with it. The future would see a universal recognition of it. Hence the idea easily becomes an eschatological one, and blends with the conception of the coming Messiah as king. Cf. Daniel 7:14, Sib. Or.; 3:45-46 τότε δὴ βασιλεία μεγίστη

He proclaimed its near advent. It was at hand (4:17), and He bade His disciples make the same proclamation (10:7). This preaching was an evangel, i.e. good news (4:23, 9:35). The disciples were to pray for the coming of the kingdom (6:10). It would, however, not come in the lifetime of the Messiah, but after His death, when He would come as Son of Man (16:28, cf. 21). This coming would usher in the end of this dispensation (24:3). It would take place immediately after the great tribulation (24:29) which would accompany the fall of Jerusalem (24:15, 16), i.e. within the lifetime of that generation (24:34, cf. 16:28, 10:23). But God alone knew the exact day and hour (24:36), and the good news must be preached first to all nations (24:14, cf. 28:19). It seems clear that the Evangelist saw no obstacle to this preaching being effected within a very short period (10:23). The inauguration of the kingdom is called the new birth (19:28). Then the Apostles would sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. They who should find a place in it were “the pure in heart” (5:8), those who were “persecuted in the cause of righteousness” (5:10). Those who broke the Mosaic law and taught others to do so would be called least in it (5:19). They alone whose righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees would enter into it (5:20). Rich people would hardly find entrance (19:23-24). But they should obtain admission who did the will of God (7:21), and who were of childlike character (18:3, 19:14). On the other hand, the chief priests and elders, the representatives of the Jewish nation, would have the kingdom which should have been theirs taken from them (21:43, cf. 8:12). Publicans and harlots would enter in before them (21:31).

Christ’s disciples were to give up all earthly possessions for the sake of the kingdom (19:29), even life itself (16:24-26). Some of them would renounce marriage (19:12). They were to strive after the kingdom first (6:33).

In ch. 13 we have a series of illustrations intended to throw light upon the nature of the kingdom. But it is clear that no definition of the kingdom can be deduced with certainty from them. They can only be used as illustrations of a conception which is already clearly defined. In some of these parables the kingdom might seem to denote an abstract principle, the divine sovereignty, so that “the kingdom of heaven” would be equivalent to the “will of God.” In others it lends itself easily to definition as the Church, the Christian Society in which the principle of recognition of the divine sovereignty finds expression. But without inquiring into the ideas involved in the phrase as used by Christ Himself, it seems probable that so far as the editor of this Gospel is concerned we should give to the phrase in these parables the meaning which it seems to bear elsewhere in the Gospel, i.e. the meaning of the coming kingdom to be inaugurated at the end of the age.

Thus in 13:24-30, 36-43, a parable from the Matthæan Logia, the story deals with the period of preparation for the kingdom which is to be set up at the end of the age (43). The world during this period is compared to a field. Christ the Son of Man (37) has sown in it the good seed of the knowledge of the true nature and near approach (cf. 4:17) of the coming kingdom. But in the meantime the Devil also sows tares, i.e. false teaching. The good seed ripens to maturity in the “sons of the kingdom,” i.e. those who are destined to enter into it (cf. the same phrase of the Jews in 8:12). The tare seed develops into unbelievers, i.e. sons of the evil one (38), i.e. those who partake of his nature, and who will be excluded from the kingdom. The end of this period of preparation is likened to a harvest (39). Then the Son of Man will come and inaugurate the kingdom (cf. 16:28 “coming in His kingdom”). From it will be excluded the wicked, whilst the righteous will shine forth in it as the sun (43).

The teaching of the parable of the Sower (13:3-23) seems to be to the same effect. The seed is “the word of the kingdom” (19), i.e. the doctrine of its near advent, and of the requirements of entry into it. This must fall into receptive hearts if it is to develop into the righteousness which qualifies for admission into the kingdom.

The short parables of the Mustard Seed (13:31-32) and of the Leaven (13:33), another parable from the Logia, seem to illustrate the quick spreading and deeply penetrating influence of the doctrine of the kingdom.

Two other Logian parables, “the Hid Treasure” (13:44) and “the Goodly Pearl” (13:45-46), teach the lesson that a man must strain every nerve and give up all else that he may acquire the right to enter into the kingdom.

Lastly, the parable of the Drag Net (13:47-50) describes the doctrine of the kingdom as a truth which attracts disciples of different qualities, some good, some bad. At the end of the age, when the kingdom is inaugurated, there will be a separation.

Besides these parables in ch. 13, there are seven others bearing upon the kingdom. 18:23-35 (Logia) teaches the necessity of a forgiving spirit as a qualification of a disciple preparing for the kingdom (cf. 18:3 “Shall not enter”). 20:1-16 (Logia) seems to teach that in discipleship of the kingdom priority in date of admission to discipleship did not necessarily carry with it special privileges. All alike would receive eternal life when the kingdom came.

On the three parables, 21:28-32 (Logia) 21:33-44 and 22:1-14 (Logia), see the notes.

It has been noticed above that the phrase ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν occurs 17 times in passages which are peculiar to this Gospel, and which probably come from the Logia, viz. 5:10, 19 (2), 20, 13:24, 44, 45, 47, 52, 16:19, 18:3, 4, 23, 19:12, 20:1, 22:2, 25:1. It occurs, besides, 8 times in sayings which are paralleled in Lk., but which may also come from the Logia, viz. 5:3, 7:21, 10:7, 11:11, 12, 13:33, 18:3, 23:13.

In passages of the first class we find also 8:12, 13:38 οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς βασιλείας, 13:41 τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ, 13:43 τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν, 21:31 τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, 21:43 ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ, 25:34 τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν; and in passages of the second class, 6:33 τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ. It seems not improbable, therefore, that this Jewish phrase was characteristic of the Matthæan Logia, and that the editor of the Gospel was strongly influenced by it. He has inserted it into matter parallel to Mk. in 3:2, 18:1, and has substituted it in 4:17, 13:11, 31, 19:14, 23 for Mk.’s ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.


Mk. has this phrase 14 times. Mt. retains it in all these cases. 8:31 is not an exception; for though Mt. in the parallel to that verse, 16:21, has αὐτόν for τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ

The editor of our Gospel clearly saw in the phrase thus put into the mouth of Christ in the sources which he was using, a proof that Christ would fulfil this anticipation of a supernatural Messiah. He was to come as Son of Man (10:23) in the glory of His Father (16:27) upon the clouds of heaven (24:30). He would then send forth His angels and gather the elect (24:31; cf. 13:41), and sit upon the throne of His glory (19:28, 25:31). Then He would render to every man according to his deed (16:27), and all nations would be gathered before Him (25:31). For “upon the clouds of heaven,” cf. Daniel 7:13; for “render to every man according to his deed,” cf. Enoch 45:3 “On that day Mine Elect One will sit on the throne of glory, and make choice among their deeds”; 61:8 “He will weigh their deeds in the balance”; for the gathering, the elect, cf. Enoch 51:2 “He will choose the righteous and holy from amongst them”; for the gathering of all nations before the throne of glory, cf. Enoch 62:3 “There will stand up in that day all the kings, and the mighty, and the exalted, and those who hold the earth, and they will see and recognise Him, how He sits on the throne of His glory.”

But, secondly, if Christ had used the phrase “Son of Man” of Himself with reference to His future coming, He had also used the phrase in non-eschatological contexts. He was to come as Son of Man, but He also was the Son of Man during His life. This Sonship was not a prerogative to be bestowed upon Him in the future. It was a present possession. Of course, we might suppose that the editor thought that Christ had often used the phrase of Himself in an anticipatory sense. But there are features in the Gospel which make it rather probable that he believed Christ to be by nature “the Son of Man,” and regarded the phrase as illustrative of the mysteriousness of His person.

Christ was born of a virgin (1:18-25). He was in an unique sense Son of God (11:27, 22:41-46). He had been chosen by God (3:17). What better phrase could be found to express the mysterious nature of such a personality than the “Son of Man,” which was already in use to designate the supernatural Messiah? It emphasised His real humanity, it hinted at the mysterious nature of His birth, it drew attention to His Messianic office and functions, and it heralded His future glory.

It does not lie within the scope of this Introduction to raise the question whether Christ did or did not use this phrase of Himself, or in the latter case why the Evangelists have attributed it to Him. Only two facts need here be noticed. First: the editor found the phrase so applied in both his main sources, Mk. and the Logia. It has therefore as much attestation as any phrase attributed to Christ. Second: the argument that the phrase “Son of Man” as a title is linguistically impossible in Aramaic, is unwarranted. “Son of Man” having already been used by the author of Daniel and converted into a semi-technical term by the writer of Enoch, it must have been as possible in Aramaic as in any other language to refer to it, and to say “the Son of Man,” or “the ‘man,’ ” or “the whatever else may be the right equivalent of בֵּר אֳנָשׁ in Daniel”.

In order to make the matter clearer, it may be well to add a few words on the origin of the phrase and its meaning. That “Son of Man” is a semi-technical description of the supernatural Messiah in Enoch and in 2 Esdras is clear. But whence did they derive it? Almost certainly from the בר אנש of Daniel 7:13. Dalman is inclined to the view that בר אנש was not in common use in early Palestinian Aramaic. אנש was employed to denote “a man,” בני אנשא to denote “men.” בר אנש, on the other hand, was a literary phrase formed by imitation of the rare and poetic בן אדם, and means “one of the human species,” “one who had in himself the nature of a human being.” But in the later Jewish Galilean dialects it came to be used in the sense of “a human being,” “anyone.” If it were desired to express in Aramaic the בר אנש, this phrase would become כר אנשא. This was the original of ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ

On the other hand, it is urged by Wellhausen that כר אנשא and בר אנש can mean nothing but “man”; not an individual man, but man in general. Already in Daniel כר אנש means a man, a member of the human race. Hence it is impossible to express in Aramaic the Son of Man, because “son of Man” in that idiom means simply “man” collectively. Christ, therefore, could not have used the phrase “the Son of Man.” And ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ

Parallel to this conception of the Messiah as “the Man,” runs the more fragmentarily illustrated conception of the Messiah as mysteriously born of the woman (cf. Isaiah 7:14, and Gressmann, pp. 270 ff.) The fact that we get the two side by side in the first Gospel throws light upon the Evangelist’s conception of the Person of Christ. He was born of a virgin (1:18-25). He was therefore God’s Son (3:17). He had been elected to Messianic functions (3:17), and was the King Messiah, the Beloved (3:17). He was also “the Man,” the meeting-point between the divine and the human, who should come, as Daniel had said, on the clouds of heaven to inaugurate the kingdom of heaven.

Cf. Driver, DB iv. 579 ff.; Dalman, Words, pp. 234 ff.; Wellhausen, Skizzen u. Vorarbeiten, vi. 200 f., Einleitung, pp. 39f.; Drummond, JThS. April, July 1901; Lietzmann, Der Menschensohn, Leipzig, 1896; Gunkel, ZWT vii.; Volz, Jüd. Eschat. pp. 214f.; Fiebig, Der Menschensohn, 1901; Gressmann, Isr. Jüd. Eschat. pp. 334 ff.; and the references in Driver’s article.


The Messiah had come. He had preached the coming of the kingdom. He had been put to death. He would come at the end of the age on the clouds of heaven. In the meantime His disciples were to preach the doctrine of the kingdom, and make disciples by baptism into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost (28:19). The disciples constituted an ecclesia (16:18, 18:17). They were to cultivate such qualities as humility (5:5, 18:3-4), mercy (5:7), forgiveness (6:14-15, 18:15, 21-35), love (5:44); and to practise almsgiving (6:2), prayer (6:5-13, 7:7-11), and obedience to Christ’s commands (7:24-27). They were to be prepared to give up all things for Christ’s sake, e.g. marriage (19:12), property (19:29), earthly relationships (19:29, 10:37), even life itself (10:39, 16:25-26). They were to rely upon God’s providence, and to avoid the accumulation of riches (6:19-34). Wealth was a hindrance to admission into the kingdom (20:23). Marriage was an ordinance of God (19:4-6); but divorce, except for πορνεία (5:32, 19:9), was an accommodation to human weakness (19:8).

The righteousness to be aimed at by them was to be based on right motive rather than observance of rules, upon the spirit rather than the letter of the law (5:21-48, 15:1-20).

All the disciples were brethren, having one Father, God, and one Master and teacher, Christ (23:8-10). As such they constituted the ecclesia (18:17), and possessed common authority to legislate for the Church’s needs (18:18). Wherever two or three met for prayer, Christ would be with them (18:19). (Cf. 28:20.)

As in the Jewish Church so in the Christian, there would be prophets (10:41, 23:34), wise men (23:34), and scribes (13:52, 23:34).

But from among the disciples twelve in particular were commissioned to preach and to baptize (10:5, 28:19). Amongst these Peter was pre-eminent (cf. 10:2 πρῶτος It was he to whom first was revealed the true nature of the Christ which was to be the foundation rock of the Church (16:17). He was to have administrative and legislative power within the kingdom (16:18-19). But in that kingdom all twelve would sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (19:28).


The probability that these sayings were collected and preserved by the early Church in Palestine is suggested by the following considerations:

(a) The title and conception of the kingdom of the heavens as found in these sayings is Jewish in character. See above.

(b) The interest shown in S. Peter, and the prominent position attributed to him, points in the same direction.

(c) The mission of the Messiah and of His Apostles is limited to the Jewish nation.

Cf. 15:24 “I was not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

10:6 “Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

10:23 “Ye shall not exhaust the cities of Israel till the Son of Man come.”

19:28 “Ye shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

7:6. See note.

(8:11, 12, though in its present position it seems to express a forecast of the admission of Gentiles into the kingdom, would not necessarily convey this meaning to a Jewish Christian society. Nor need the parables 21:28-32, 33-46, 22:1-14 have seemed to such a community to bear this meaning.)

The editor of the Gospel has preserved these sayings in spite of the fact that he himself clearly believed that the good news of the kingdom was intended for Gentiles. For he inserts 8:5-13, adding to it from the Logia vv. 11, 12 the result being that the admission of Gentiles is clearly alluded to. And the three parables 21:28-22:14 in their present position in the Gospel seem to suggest the same lesson. Compare also his insertion of 25:31-46, possibly a Christian homily, of 24:14 from Mk.; and of 28:16-20, especially v. 19, which is probably also derived from Mk.’s lost ending.

There is, however, nothing in these passages as recorded by Mt. which takes us outside the Jewish Christian point of view of the early Church at Jerusalem as described in Ac 1-15. In that Church reluctance to the admission of the Gentiles into the Church was at length so far worn down, that it was admitted that the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles. But the standpoint adopted was somewhat similar to that of the canonical prophets, who advocated the view that the Jewish religion was destined to attract to itself all nations, but who never seem to have doubted that the result would be the submission of the Gentiles to the privileges of Judaism rather than the complete supersession of Judaism by a new religion. In the same way there is nothing in the first Gospel which is not consistent with a conception of Christianity as a purified Judaism which was destined to absorb within itself disciples (proselytes) from all nations.

Of course, Christ’s sayings contain within themselves a wider and freer spirit than this, but the Jewish Christian Church of Palestine may well have failed to see the ultimate goal of universalism towards which this teaching inevitably tended.

(d) The insistence on the permanent validity of the Mosaic law.

Cf. 5:17-20, 18:16, 23:8, 23 ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι. Cf. 7:12b, and especially the law of divorce for unchastity, 5:32.

This has so far influenced the editor, that he inserts a similar saying into Mk.’s narrative 10:2-12 = Matthew 19:3-10, where it is certainly out of place. See notes on Matthew 19:0. Cf. also the insertion of the words μηδὲ σαββάτῳ in 24:20, the omission of Mark 2:27a, and the emphasis on the fulfilment of prophecy.

(e) The Jewish phraseology of the sayings.

Cf. especially:

βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

πατὴρἐν (τοῖς) οὐρανοῖς.


πατὴρ ὑμῶν, ἡμῶν, σου, αὐτῶν,

on which see above. And

5:18 ἰῶτα ἓνμία κεραία.

5:22 ῥακά.

6:23 πονηρός See note.

13:25 ζιζάνια.

13:38 οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς βασιλείας.

13:40 συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος.

13:52 γραμματεύς.

16:17 σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα.

16:18 πύλαι ᾄδου.

16:19 “bind” and “loose.”

18:18 “bind” and “loose.”

19:28 παλιγγενεσίᾳθρόνου δόξης.

Cf. also the word-play to Ναζωραῖος, 2:23, and in Βεελζεβούλ, 12:24.

(f) Anti-Pharisaic polemic.








Cf. 8:11, 13:38.

Of course, this anti-Pharisaic attitude is observable also in a less degree in the editor’s other source, viz. the second Gospel, where the Pharisees are represented as finding fault with Christ’s teaching, 2:6. or conduct, 2:16, 3:2, 22, or with the conduct of His disciples, 2:18, 24, 7:5. They combine against Him with the Herodians, 3:6, 12:13. They ask Him for a sign, 8:11, and question Him about divorce, 10:2 (but see note on 19:3). They question Him about His right to teach, 11:27. Christ bids His disciples beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, 8:15, and beware of the scribes, 12:38. They plot to kill Him, 14:1. The Pharisees are mentioned by name in nine of the above cases, viz. 2:16, 18, 24, 3:6, 7:5, 8:11, 15, 10:2, 12:13. In the others, viz. 2:6, 3:22, 14:1, it is the scribes who are mentioned, and it is scribes who with other members of the Sanhedrin effect the arrest of Christ, 14:43, and His condemnation, 14:53, 15:1.

But the editor of the first Gospel extends the anti-Pharisaism of his sources. He not only borrows the polemical sayings from the Logia and the polemical incidents from S. Mark, but so arranges and adds to them as to give a very dark picture of the Pharisees. To them and to the Sadducees the Baptist spoke his words of denunciation and warning, 3:7-12. Against their teaching was directed a considerable section of the Sermon on the Mount, 5:20, 6:1-18. His teaching was, says S. Mark, “not as the scribes,” not, adds S. Matthew, as the scribes and Pharisees.1 The editor also alters Mk.’s οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων (2:16) into οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, and Mk.’s οἱ γραμματεῖς (3:22) into of οἱ Φαρισαῖοι (12:24, Cf. 9:34). The same change occurs in Mark 12:35 = Matthew 22:41, and in Mark 12:28 = Matthew 22:34. See also critical note on 19:3.

Mk.’s short denunciation of the teaching of the scribes, 12:37b-40, is lengthened into a long and severe denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, ch. 23. The parable, Mark 12:1-12, is there, as in Matthew 21:23-44, addressed to the chief priests and elders; but in Matthew 21:45 it is the chief priests and the Pharisees who recognise that it was aimed against them. Indeed, the whole section, 21:23-22:46, seems to be directed against the Pharisees; cf. 21:45, 22:15, 34, 41. This polemical motive probably explains the fact that in 21:31, 41, 22:20 the opponents are made to utter their own condemnation (λέγουσιν). The whole section seems to develop towards the terrific condemnation of ch. 23. Lastly, in 27:62 it is the chief priests and the Pharisees who effect the sealing of the tomb and the placing of the guard before it. It is perhaps due to the same anti-Jewish motive that we owe the insertion of the incident of Pilate’s handwashing (27:24-25).


1. Papias apud Eusebius, H. E. iii. 39:

Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνεγράψατο.1 Ἡρμήνευσε δʼ αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς2 ἕκαστος.

2. Irenæus, iii. 1, 1 apud Eusebius, H. E. v. 8. 2:

μὲν δὴ Ματθαῖος ἐν τοῖς Ἑβραίοις τῇ ἰδίᾳ αὐτῶν διαλέκτῳ καὶ γραφὴν ἐξήνεγκεν Εὐαγγελίου, τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ τοῦ Παύλου ἐν Ῥώμεὐαγγελιζομένων καὶ θεμελιούντων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν.

3. Origen apud Eusebius, H. E. vi. 25:

ὅτι πρῶτον μὲν γέγραπται τὸ κατὰ τὸν ποτὲ τελώνην, ὕστερον δὲ

(c) Jerome, Comment. in Isaiah 11:2:

Evangelium quod Hebræo sermone conscriptum legunt Nazaræi.

(d) Jerome, Comment. in Micah 7:7:

Evangelium “quod secundum Hebræos editum nuper transtulimus.”

(e) Jerome, Comment. in Isaiah 40:9:

Evangelium “quod juxta Hebræos scriptum Nazaræi lectitant.”

(f) Jerome, Comment. in Ezech 16:13:

“In evangelio quoque Hebræorum, quod lectitant Nazaræi.”

(g) Jerome, Comment. in Matthew 12:13:

In evangelio quo utuntur Nazaræni et Ebionitæ, quod nuper in Græcum de Hebræo sermone transtulimus, et quod vocatur a plerisque Matthæi authenticum, etc.

(h) Jerome, Ep. 20:5:

Denique Matthæus, qui evangelium Hebræo sermone conscripsit, ita posuit: Osanna barrama.

(i) Jerome, Comment. in Matthew 23:35:

In evangelio quo utuntur Nazaræni, etc.

(j) Jerome, De Vir. Illus. 2:

“Evangelium quoque, quod appellatur Secundum Hebræos et a me nuper in Græcum Latinumque sermonem translatum est, quo et Origenes sæpe utitur,” etc.

It will have been seen that Papias and the Gospel had a narrative in common; but it does not, of course, follow that Papias had seen the Gospel. Ignatius has a saying which was also contained in the Gospel. Hegesippus quoted from it. Irenæus speaks of it as in use among the Ebionites; but he probably uses Ebionites loosely as a general term for the Jewish Christians of Palestine. It was, as Jerome many times states, the Gospel of the Nazarenes, whilst the Ebionites had another Gospel (Epiphanies, Hæres. xxx. 3, 13). Jerome saw the Gospel at Berœa, and says that there was a copy in the library at Cæsarea. He translated it into Latin and into Greek, and not infrequently (some eighteen times) quotes from it in his writings. The extant fragments of it are too scanty to admit of positive judgements, but 1t is unlikely that there was any dependence of our canonical Gospel upon the Gospel according to the Hebrews, or vice versa. All that can be said is, that from the beginning of the second century the Jewish Christian Nazarenes had a Gospel which they ascribed to Matthew, and which was written in the Aramaic language and in Hebrew letters. It may have been ascribed to Matthew for the same reason that caused his name to be connected with our canonical Gospel, viz., the fact that one main source for its material was that Apostle’s collection of sayings of Christ.


The data furnished by the Gospel itself seem best satisfied if we suppose that its author compiled it within a period of a few years before or after the fall of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. An earlier date does not seem possible, in view of the fact that the compiler had S. Mark’s Gospel before him.

The writer’s forecast of history is clear and unmistakable. The coming of the Son of Man, whom he clearly identifies with the crucified Christ, would be the first stage in a series of events, comprising the gathering of the elect and the final judgement, which together would form a terminus to the present dispensation of the world’s history. Compare the following:

24:3 “What is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age?”

24:30 “They shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven,” etc.

25:31 “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory, and all nations shall be gathered before Him.”

This coming and the consummation of the age lay in the near future. Compare the following:

10:23 “Ye shall not finish the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.”

16:28 “There are some of those who stand here, who shall not taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

24:34 “This generation shall not pass away, until all these things come to pass.”

But it could be still further defined, for it was to take place “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” 24:29; and this tribulation is clearly to the writer the distress which would accompany the downfall of Jerusalem; cf. 24:2, 3 “There shall not be left a stone upon a stone.—When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age?”

It is true that the writer anticipates a previous preaching of the goodness of the kingdom in all the world to all nations, 24:14; but he makes it clear that in his opinion this could be accomplished before the great tribulation of the final overthrow of the Jewish nation; cf. 24:14ff. “then shall come the end. When, there fore, ye see (the approaching fall of the city),” etc. It is probable that he saw in the apostolic preaching in the West, culminating in the arrival of S. Paul at Rome, an ample fulfilment of this “preaching in all the world (οἰκουμέη) for a testimony to all nations.”

It seems impossible to suppose that a Gospel in which Christ’s sayings are so arranged as to give this quite definite impression that He had foretold His coming as Son of Man, and the consummation of the age, in close connection with the events of the year 70 a.d., could have been written more than a very few years after that date.

Nor does the Gospel contain anything that decisively conflicts with such a date.

Certainly not the narratives of chs. 1, 2. Whatever the amount of historical fact here recorded may be, there is no reason why these traditions should not have been recorded before the year 75 a.d., this date being chosen as the latest probable limit. See note on chs. 1, 2. It is only the narrow and undiscerning logic of modern criticism which finds it necessary to detect earlier and later stages of thought in these chapters, on the ground that one and the same writer could not have recorded the story of the supernatural birth, and, at the same time, have compiled as an introduction to it a genealogy professedly designed to emphasise the fact that Joseph was in a real sense the father of Jesus. I have endeavoured to prove in the commentary that the Gospel as it now stands is an indivisible unity; and that the only stages required are an early cycle of Palestinian traditions, and a compiler who placed them at the beginning of his Gospel, and compiled as an introduction to them a genealogy of the main figure in his Gospel narrative. The traditions may well have been current in Palestine before the year 70 a.d., and the compiler need not have done his work much later, if at all later, than this.

Nor need such sayings as 16:17-19, 18:16-20 reflect a late period of Church history. The “Church” may well be the Palestinian community of Jewish-Christian disciples of Jesus in the middle of the century, and the prominence given to S. Peter probably reflects his position in the Palestinian Church during that period. If we regard the writer of the Gospel as a Jewish Christian, and do not read into his record of Christ’s words ideas which the later Church quite naturally found there in the light of the development of Christianity, there seems no reason to suppose that he may not have written his book within the period 65-75 a.d. And his arrangement of Christ’s eschatological sayings almost conclusively points to that period.


The Greek of the Gospel is not so full of Aramaisms and of harsh constructions due to translation from Aramaic as is the Greek of the second Gospel. Nor, on the other hand, has it the Septuagintal and, so, Hebraic ring of the language of the third Gospel. It has rather the lack of distinction which characterises any narrative compiled from previous sources by an editor who contents himself with dovetailing together rather than rewriting the sources before him.

The following phrases are strikingly characteristic of the Gospel:

τότε. This occurs in narrative at the beginning of a new paragraph,1 3:13, 4:1, 9:14, 11:20, 12:22, 38, 13:36, 15:1, 18:21, 19:13, 20:20, 22:15, 23:1, 26:14, 31, 36, 27:3, 27, or in the course of a section, 2:7, 16, 17, 3:5, 15, 4:5, 10, 11, 8:26, 9:6, 29, 37, 12:13, 15:12, 28, 16:12, 20, 24, 17:13, 19, 19:27, 21:1, 22:21, 26:3, 38, 45, 50, 52, 56, 65, 67, 74, 27:9, 13, 16, 26, 38, 58, 28:10. Frequently also in sayings and parables, 5:24, 7:5, 23, 9:15, 12:29, 44, 45, 13:26, 43, 16:27, 18:32, 22:8, 13, 24:9, 10, 14, 16, 21, 23, 30 (2), 40, 25:1, 7, 31, 34, 37, 41, 44, 45.

ἰδού.2 This occurs in narrative, either alone, 1:20, 2:1, 13, 19, 9:18, 32, 46, 26:47, or with καί prefixed, 4:16, 17, 8:2, 24, 29, 32, 34, 9:2, 3, 10, 20, 12:10, 15:22, 17:3, 5, 19:16, 20:30, 26:51, 27:51, 28:9; in sayings and parables, either alone, 11:8, 10, 19, 12:2, 47, 13:3, 19:27, 20:18, 22:4, 24:23, 25, 26, 26:46, 28:7, or with καί, 7:4, 28:7, 20.

ὅπως, 17 times.

ἀναχωρεῖν, 10 times.

προσέρχεσθαι, 52 times.

προσκυνεῖν, 13 times.

προσφέρειν, 14 times.

συνάγειν, 24 times.

ὄχλοι. Mk. has ὄχλος 37 times, ὄχλοι once, ch. 10 (but D S1 a b c ff i k q ὄχλος). On the other hand, Mt. has ὄχλοι 30 times, ὄχλος 17.

For other phrases, see Horæ Syn. pp. 4-7, 25-27, and above, p. lv f.

Another characteristic of the editor’s style is a tendency to repeat a phrase or construction two or three times at short intervals. This is particularly noticeable at the beginning or close of a section.

Cf. the following:

(1) τοῦ δε Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέτοςἰδού, 2:1.

ἀναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶνἰδού, 2:13.

τελευτήσαντος δὲ τοῦ Ἡρῷδου ἰδού, 2:19.

(2) παραγίνεται, 3:1.

παραγίνεται, 3:13.


Ox = A papyrus fragment, containing Matthew 1:1-9, Matthew 1:12, Matthew 1:14-20, published in Oxyrhynchus Papyri, 1.

The Syriac versions are quoted thus:

S1 = the Sinaitic MS.

S2 = the Curetonian.

S3 = the Peshitta.

S4 = the Harclean.

S5 = the Jerusalem Lectionary.

The Old Latin (pre-Vulgate) MSS. are quoted under the ordinary letters (a b c, etc.), or in cases where several agree as latt.

No attempt has been made to give the whole of the evidence for textual readings. The syllable al means “with other uncial MSS.,” e.g. E F al means that a reading is attested by E F and other uncials.



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Thompson R. C., The Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia. London: vol. 1., 1903.

Usener, H., Nativity (Encyclopædia Biblica, iii. 3340 ff.).

Volz, P., Jüdische Eschatologie von Daniel his Akiba. Tübingen, 1903.

Von Oefele, F., Die Angaben der Berliner Planatentafel, p. 8279. Berlin, 1903.

Votaw, C. W., Sermon on the Mount (Dictionary of the Bible, Extra Volume, 1 ff.).

Weber, Jüdische Theologie. Leipzig, 1897.

Wellhausen, J., Das Evangelium Marci, 1903.

Das Evangelium Matthœi, 1904.

Das Evangelium Lucæ, 1904.

Einleitung in Die Drei Ersten Evangelien, 1905. Berlin: G. Reimer, 1905.

Skizzen und Vorarbeiten. Berlin, 1899.

Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek. Introduction. London, 1896.

Winer-Schmiedei., Grammatik des Neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms. Göttingen, 1894.

Wright, A., Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek. London, 1903.

Zahn, T., Forschungen für Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons. Erlangen, 1881-1903.

Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons. Erlangen, 1888-1890.

Einleitung in das Neue Testament. Leipzig, 1897-1899.

Das Evangelium des Matthäus. Leipzig, 1903.



Æsch. Æschylus.

Am. Pap. Amherst Papyri.

Anth. P. Anthologia Palatina.

Aph. Aphraates.

Apoll. R. Apollonius Rhodius.

Aq. Aquila.

Arist. Aristotle.

Aristoph. Aristophanes.

Asc. Is. Ascension of Isaiah.

Ass. Mos. Assumption of Moses.

B. Babylonian Talmud.

Bab. Babylonian Talmud.

BU Aegyptische Urkunden aus den Koenig lichen Museum zu Berlin, 1892 ff.

Burk. Burkitt.

Class. Rev. Classical Review.

Clem. Alex. Clement of Alexandria.

Dalm. Dalman.

DB. Dictionary of the Bible (Hastings).

DCG. Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.

Deissm. Deissmann.

Demosth. Demosthenes.

Diat. Diatessaron of Tatian.

Diod. Diodorus.

Dion. H. Dionysius Halicarnassus.

Ditt. Syll. Dittenberger Sylloge.

Enrycl. Bib. Encyclopædia Biblica.

Eph. Ephrem Syrus.

Epict. Epictetus.

Eus. Eusebius.

Ev. Pet. Evangelium Petri.

Exp. Times Expository Times.

Hdt. Herodotus.

Hor. Heb. Horæ Hebraicœ (Lightfoot).

Hor. Syn. Horœ Synopticœ (Hawkins).

Iren. Irenæus.

Jer. Jerusalem Talmud.

Jos. Josephus.

JThS. Journal of Theological Studies.

Jub. Jubilees.

Just. Mart. Justin Martyr.

latt. Manuscripts of the Old Latin Version.

LXX The Septuagint Version.

Luc. Lucian.

Onq. The Targum of Onkelos.

Or. Sib. Sibylline Oracles.

Ox. Pap. Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

Plut. Plutarch.

Polyb. Polybius.

Ps.-Sol. The Psalms of Solomon.

Sib. Or. Sibylline Oracles.

Sym. Symmachus.

Targ. Targum.

Tat. Tatian.

Teb. Pap. Tebtunis Papyri.

Tert. Tertullian.

Th. Theodotion.

Wellh. Wellhausen.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

Win.-Schm. Winer-Schmiedel.

Xen. Xenophon.

The letters in the margin of the Commentary denote the sources from which the words are drawn:

E = editorial passages.

L = the Matthæan Logia.

M = the Second Gospel.

O = quotations from the Old Testament borrowed from a collection of Messianic prophecies. See pp. lxi f.

P = Palestinian traditions.

X = passages in which Mt. and Lk. agree closely, borrowed from an unknown source or sources.

1 Passages enclosed in square brackets are interpolations into Mk.’s narrative.

1 Hor. Syn. p. 134.

1 The distinction is also implied in the fact that Christ is represented as speaking of “My Father,” but not of “our Father,” except in 6:9, where the phrase is put into the mouths of the disciples. Schmidt (The Prophet of Nazareth, p. 154) argues that “Jesus said neither ‘My Father’ nor ‘your Father,’ but ‘the Father who is in heaven.’ ” But whilst it is true that Christ may have used Abba ( = the Father) in the sense of “My Father,” cf. Mark 14:36 and Dalm. Words, 192, the evidence of the first Gospel, that He spoke of “your Father” and “their Father,” must not be set aside, since it is supported by the usage of the Jewish literature. Cf. the instances cited on p. 44. Consequently the absence from the Gospel of “our Father,” except in 6:9, is very significant; cf. Dalm. Words, 190.

2 But see note on 24:36.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

S Syriac version: Curetonian.

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

E editorial passages.

Sib. Or. Sibylline Oracles.

1 Quoted by Dalman, Words, p. 99.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

JThS. Journal of Theological Studies.

1 Their scribes א B. their scribes and the Pharisees latt S2.

1 v.l. συνετάξατο.

2 v.l. ἠδύνατο.

1 As arranged in the text of Westcott and Hort.

2 This word is characteristic of Mt. only as contrasted with Mk. It is common in Lk.

1 Die Vier Canonischen Evangelien.

Ox A papyrus fragment, containing Matthew 1:1-9. Matthew 1:12.Matthew 1:14-20; Matthew 1:14-20, published in Oxyrhynchus Papyri, i.

S Syriac version: Peshitta.

S Syriac version: Harclean.

S Syriac version: Jerusalem Lectionary.

latt. Manuscripts of the Old Latin Version.




Now that the commentary has come to its end, it may seem desirable to attempt an estimate of the value of the Gospel as a contribution to our knowledge of the life of Christ. I would willingly have spared myself a task like this, which necessitates an excursion beyond the territory of concrete fact into the mist-covered land of individual judgement and conjecture. But the reader may naturally ask whether the analysis of the Gospel into its sources does, or does not, throw light upon the value of the book as a historical record; and it is but fair that some answer should be given.

I hope that the commentary has made clear the following facts about the editor of the book:

1. that he used S. Mark’s Gospel in Greek;1

2. that he used a Greek translation of the Matthæan Logia;

3. that he borrowed from a collection of Greek translations of Messianic passages from the Old Testament;

4. that he had before him one or two narratives, in particular that of the centurion’s servant, in a Greek form almost identical with the form in which they occur in the Third Gospel;

5. that he had access to a series of Palestinian traditions chiefly about Christ’s birth and infancy, and about the closing days of His life, but including also one or two relating to the period of His Galilean ministry.

These facts do but serve to make the personality of the editor a complete enigma. On the one hand, the fact that he used Greek sources, and employed the Greek Old Testament, would naturally lead us to suppose that he was a Christian Jew of the Dispersion. Why should a Jewish-Christian of Palestine write in Greek? Why should he rely for his facts almost entirely upon the Greek Second Gospel? On the other hand, the cycle of Palestinian traditions suggests a Palestinian editor. Of course, these traditions might have been carried from Palestine to a Jewish-Christian living in the West, and their fragmentary character would be most naturally accounted for on this view. But what clinches the argument in favour of a Palestinian origin for the completed Gospel is the impression which it leaves upon the mind as being a book of the Palestinian Church. In it we breathe on every page the atmosphere of the anti-Pharisaic Jewish-Christianity. “The official representatives of the Jewish nation have rejected Christ. They slander the circumstances of His birth, and misrepresent His sojourn in Egypt. They ridicule the claims of a Messiah who came from Nazareth.” To such calumnies the Gospel is a counterblast. “Jesus is the Messiah of Jewish expectation, and the pages of the Old Testament bear witness to Him. He is truly David’s son, and yet also by supernatural birth Son of God. The flight into Egypt took place when He was an infant, too young to learn magical arts there. He dwelt at Nazareth, a city of no repute, that the prophetic anticipation of Him might receive its fulfilment. The representatives of official Judaism have rejected Him; but in so doing they have drawn down upon their nation the Divine wrath; and judgement is near at hand, when Jerusalem shall be delivered into the hands of its enemies, and the Son of Man shall come to gather His elect into the Kingdom of the Heavens.” And whilst the Gospel is Palestinian in its attitude to Pharisaism, it is also Palestinian in its description of the Christian Church, and in its relation to Gentiles. The community of Christ’s disciples still retains Jewish nomenclature. Its officials are “prophets,” and “wise men,” and “scribes” (23:34). Offending members of the Society are to become to them, as to the Jew, “as heathen and as toll-gatherers” (18:17). Christ no doubt sanctioned the reception of Gentiles into the Society (8:11, 15:28), but in His earthly life He expressly taught that His mission was to the chosen nation, and He bade His disciples adhere to this limitation (15:24, 10:5). If He sometimes extended His mercy to Gentiles (8:13, 15:28), and if He bade His disciples make disciples of all the nations (28:19), had not the Old Testament itself, the text-book of Pharisaism, anticipated the admission of Gentiles into the covenanted mercies of God? The standpoint of the whole book upon this question seems to be this, that the Jewish-Christian Society was the successor of the Old Israel in God’s grace. The “Sons of the Kingdom” (8:12) had been cast out, and the new Israel had taken their place (21:43). But the relation of Gentiles to God’s mercy remained the same. Under the old system they might join themselves to Israel as proselytes, under the new they might attach themselves to the Jewish-Christian Society.

And once again: how Palestinian the book is in its attitude to the law! If Christ had attacked the Pharisaic traditions, He had at the same time upheld the permanent sanctity of the Scriptures. He had not, as the Second Gospel might seem to suggest, overruled the Deuteronomic sanction of divorce (19:9), nor had He, as a reader of that Gospel might infer, set aside the Mosaic distinction between clean and unclean meats (15:20). If He had brushed aside Pharisaic scruples which forbade men to do works of necessity and of mercy upon the Sabbath, yet the Old Testament law of the Sanctity of the Sabbath was still in force (24:20). The letter of the Old Testament was still binding upon Christian men (5:18), and members of the Christian Society were still to obey its precepts, as, e.g., in the matter of obtaining “two or three witnesses” before passing judgement (18:16).

It seems hardly possible that a Gospel so interpenetrated by ideas such as these could have been written anywhere but on Palestinian soil.

Of course, it may be urged that I am over-emphasising these Jewish-Christian aspects of the Gospel. It will be said that many of the Parables were originally meant to teach ideas of a more liberal and universal character. That may be quite true; but it does not affect my point. I am not now dealing with the probable meaning of Christ’s words as He spoke them, but with the interpretation placed upon them by the editor of this Gospel, and by the writers of the sources from which he drew much of its contents. And my point is this, that by the editor himself, and still more by the author of his Palestinian source, importance was attached to those sayings of Christ that could be interpreted in such a way as to represent Him as having taught the permanent validity of the Jewish law, and the prior claim of the Jew to participation in His Kingdom. One debt which we owe to the First Gospel is this, that it enables us to reconstruct in some measure the theology of the Jewish-Christian Church in the middle of the first century a.d.

But few readers of this commentary will be content with such a method of interpreting the Gospel. “What we want to know,” they will say, “is not only what the Palestinian Christians believed about Christ, but whether they were justified in so believing. Does the Gospel give us an historically accurate account of the life of the Lord? Did He teach what He is here represented as teaching?”

Let us re-examine the component parts of the Gospel.

(a) S. Mark.

It will, I hope, have become clear to the reader that, when the editor of the First Gospel alters the order of incidents in the Second, his motive is a purely literary one, and its effect artificial. Cf. Introduction, pp. xiii-xvii. Again, the editor seems to have no information at his command which would enable him to correct S. Mark’s narratives. The sayings which he inserts into these narratives will be treated below. But his changes in the narrative details of S. Mark hardly ever commend themselves as of great historical value. Those relating to our Lord and to His Apostles have been discussed in the Introduction, pp. xxxi-xxxvi, xxxviii Others seem to be of the nature of conjectures. If he substitutes Gadara for Gerasa, that is probably only because the Gerasa best known to him was clearly out of the question as being too remote from the scene of the miracle, whilst Gadara was at least within reasonable distance. On the other hand, in Magadan he may be nearer to the original name than is S. Mark’s corrupt Dalmanutha. Another point of knowledge of fact is perhaps to be found in the substitution of Matthew for Levi in the list of the Apostles (10:3). But the duplication of the Gadarene demoniacs, and of the blind men at Jericho, is probably purely artificial. With the sole exceptions of Magadan for Dalmanutha and of Matthew for Levi, there is, I believe, no instance where changes made by Mt. in Mk. approve themselves as betraying knowledge or reminiscence of the original scene. On the other hand, the greater number of the alterations, whether they are purely linguistic, or whether they change the point of view of the narrative; whether they are of the nature of omission of what is difficult, or expansion of what is obscure; whether they set in a new light Christ’s relation to the law, or shift the emphasis of His doctrine of the Kingdom,—nearly always seem to be of the nature of editorial revision, springing not from more accurate knowledge, or reminiscence of the actual events of Christ’s life, but from a desire to bring S. Mark’s narratives as much as possible into harmony with the editor’s conception of Christ’s Person, and with his interpretation of Christ’s teaching.

In other words, if we want to have an accurate reproduction of Christ’s doings, we shall always find ourselves nearer to the historical Christ in S. Mark’s narratives than in these narratives as edited by Mat_1Mat_1

(b) However, Mt. not only re-edits the material contained in the Second Gospel, but he adds to it. What is the historical value of this added material? It will be convenient to divide this into narratives and discourses, although, of course, the dividing line is not sharply defined. With regard to narrative-material, the really remarkable thing is that the editor adds so little to our knowledge. He has some narratives of Christ’s Infancy, and a few traditions relating to the last week of His life; but how little he adds to the material for reconstructing the history of the Galilean ministry! He is able to tell us something more than we learn from S. Mark of the Baptist’s preaching and of the Lord’s Temptations; he can contribute an additional miracle—that of the centurion’s servant; and he knows of a few traditions in which S. Peter was the chief figure. But how little it all amounts to!

And, of course, we must guard ourselves from the fatal supposition that he records all that he knew. None of the four Evangelists, we may be sure, did that. The editor may very probably have been acquainted with some of the non-Marcan miracles recorded by S. Luke, and possibly with some of the narrative material found only in the Fourth Gospel. But his space was limited, and his interest lay chiefly in the preservation of Christ’s sayings. Whatever may have been the reason which decided him to use S. Mark’s Gospel as the framework for his narrative, the decision, once made, rendered it impossible for him to add much from other sources to the period of the Galilean ministry. If he has found room for a few traditions connected with S. Peter, we may be sure that he has done so only out of consideration for the interest of his Palestinian readers in the “first” (10:2) of the Apostles.

With regard to the historical value of these traditions, judgement must unhappily be almost entirely subjective and conjectural; and it is probable that they do not stand all upon the same level of value. Of the incidents in chaps. 1-2 enough has already been said. See pp. 18-22.1 The account given of the Baptist’s preaching finds additional corroboration in the Third Gospel; but it may reasonably be supposed that the editor of the First Gospel has, here as elsewhere, woven into a discourse dominated by a single motive (denunciation of the Pharisees and Sadducees) sayings spoken on two or three different occasions, and to different audiences. The narrative of the Lord’s Temptation also finds support in the Third Gospel. It may very well rest upon Apostolic reminiscence of communications of Christ to His companions. Another narrative also given by S. Luke is that of the centurion’s servant. It commends itself by its general agreement in character and representation with the narratives of S. Mark. Here, as in the case with incidents borrowed from the Second Gospel, Mt. has probably interwoven with the narrative verses (8:11, 12) drawn from his discourse-source. On the three short miracles, 9:27-33 and 12:22, see the notes. They are probably editorial, and literary rather than historical. In any case they do not add to our knowledge of Christ information different in kind from that given by S. Mark.

The two incidents relating to S. Peter (14:29-31 and 17:24-27) seem nearly related in character. The former presents no more difficulty than do some of the miracles in S. Mark, and may be regarded as equally credible. Against the latter one or two plausible objections may be raised. As the commentary will show, the narrative seems to presuppose the following situation. The Jews pay the tax to the Temple. They inquire if Christ and His disciples will pay it also. In His answer, Christ seems to draw a distinction between His disciples, who in a true sense are sons of the heavenly King, and the non-Christian Jews, who are really aliens. (Cf. elsewhere in the Gospel the same conception of the Jews as those whose claim to descent from Abraham has no spiritual justification (3:9), and as “Sons of the Kingdom” (8:12), whose “Sonship” will not avail to prevent them from being cast into the outer darkness. By analogy with Oriental political custom, the Jews = “the strangers” (17:25) should pay the Temple-tribute, whilst Christ and His disciples, as the Sons of God (17:25), should be exempted. But they would pay, as an act of grace, what could not be demanded from them as tribute legally due. Now it is quite possible that the question here debated was raised in Christ’s lifetime, and that He bade His disciples pay the Temple-tax as a concession to the patriotic zeal of their fellow-countrymen. But, on the other hand, it may be doubted whether the sharp distinction here drawn between Jews and Jewish-Christians does not suggest a later historical situation for the narrative. It seems more easily explained if we suppose it to be a product of the early days of the Palestinian Church, when Jews and Jewish-Christians were falling apart, and when the question, whether Jewish-Christians, who were ceasing to use the Temple for worship, could conscientiously continue to pay the Temple-tax, was becoming a subject of controversy. But, in any case, the narrative reflects the circumstances of the Jewish-Christian Society in the period before the fall of Jerusalem, and it must therefore be early in date.

Of the non-Marcan narratives in chaps. 27-28 it is difficult to speak with any precision. If 28:9-10, 16-20 are based on the lost ending of S. Mark, they must be adjudged to be of equal value with the rest of the contents of that Gospel. If they are drawn from Palestinian tradition, they must rather be classed with 27:3-10, 19, 24-25, 52-53, 62-66, 28:2-4, 11-15. Of these 27:3-10 is exceptional, because the fact underlying the narrative, namely, the evil end of the recreant Apostle, finds corroboration in the different account in Acts 1:18-19. But by what standard or test of historical credibility are we to judge the other narratives? Plausible reasons might be found to account for the invention of some of them. E.g. 27:24 might be attributed to a desire to emphasise the guilt of the Jewish authorities, and 27:62-66 and 28:11-15 to a wish to emphasise the miraculous character of the Resurrection. But who is there with any judgment of human nature who will condemn these narratives on such purely a priori, subjective, and conjectural grounds; and what reason can be adduced for the invention of so motiveless a detail as that contained in 27:19? The details which convey most strongly the impression of legendary growth are those in 27:52-53 and 28:2-3. But the student, who finds no reason for saying that a narrative which contains miraculous detail must therefore be unhistorical, will content himself with observing that all these non-Marcan details in chaps. 27-28 are traditions of the early Christian Church in Palestine, and in default of further evidence for or against the details recorded, will refrain from dogmatic utterances upon their precise historical value.

(c) These narrative-sections are, however, not the only addition which Mt. was able to make to S. Mark’s Gospel. He made a much more important contribution to the understanding of the life of Christ when he added to S. Mark’s narratives a large number of sayings. I have endeavoured to show in the Introduction that many of these sayings were probably drawn from the Matthæan Logia, and that this accounts for the name given to our First Gospel. I wish now to add something as to the form in which these sayings occur in our Gospel, and then to discuss their claim to be a faithful expression of Christ’s teaching.

And first, as to the form in which they are given to us. It seems to be clear that the process of compiling detached sayings which is already observable in the Second Gospel (e.g. in chap. 9) has been carried to much greater lengths in the First.

(1) The sayings interpolated into the middle of one of S. Mark’s sections are not always introduced there, because they were originally spoken under the circumstances implied in the narrative, but because they add to or illustrate or elucidate the tenor of Christ’s teaching as recorded by Mk. on that occasion:

E.g. 9:13 = 12:7 was probably a detached Logion which could be used to illustrate any incident of controversy with the Pharisees:12:5-6 is probably a fragment from some other occasion of Sabbath-controversy, inserted in its present context to compensate for the omission of Mk.’s “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” 12:11-12 has been treated in the same way. S. Luke (14:5 and 13:15) has similar sayings, but the circumstances amidst which he places them are different.

(2) In other cases Mt. has built up, around a few verses of discourse recorded by Mk., a longer discourse. This is the case with Matthew 10:5-42 = Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 13:3-52 = Mark 4:2-34, Mat_18 = Mar_9, Matthew 12:24-45 = Mark 3:22-30, Mat_23 = Mark 12:37-40, Mt 24-25 =Mar_13. In some of these cases Mt. may rather be substituting for Mk.’s short discourse a longer one from his Logian source, than simply compiling detached sayings round Mk.’s nucleus. But, in either case, the discourses, as they now stand in the First Gospel, are in large measure the result of accretion of detached sayings round a common centre.

In other words, the artificiality which characterises Mt.’s arrangement of incidents also marks his arrangement of sayings. Many of them were clearly not spoken on the particular occasion to which he assigns them.

But, if we allow for this transposition of many sayings from their original context (which after all rarely affects the meaning of the saying, for what difference, e.g., does it make whether the saying about an ox or an ass in a pit was originally spoken after the healing of a man with a withered hand (Mat_12), or of a crippled woman (Luke 13:15)), how far have these sayings, whether peculiar to Mt. or in substance recorded by Lk. as well, any real claim to be genuine utterances of Christ?

Before speaking of them as a whole, I will deal with one or two which seem to be most open to objection.

Against Matthew 3:14-15 it may reasonably be urged that the omission from Mark 1:4 = Matthew 3:1, Matthew 3:2 of εἰς ἄφεσιν

25:31-46 leave upon my own mind the impression that they are a Christian homily, based no doubt upon reminiscence of words of Christ,1 but, in its present form, due to the editor or to some Palestinian preacher. I am aware that no convincing proof can be given for such a judgment; but, on the other hand, I do not feel that there is any fatal objection to such a view. The editor was, I believe, the sort of man who would add such a homily as a suitable peroration to his compilation of Christ’s sayings on the last things, without necessarily intending his readers to suppose that the words were the exact words of Christ Himself, or suspecting that they would do so. If the passage was already familiar to many of his readers as a piece of Christian literature, they would know why it was placed in its present position, and would not misunderstand it.

28:16-20 may in part be based upon Mk.’s lost ending, but, if not, it represents a piece of Palestinian tradition. In this case, I do not suppose that it ever occurred to the editor that his readers would infer that the exact words here recorded were literally spoken by Christ upon this particular occasion.

On 11:12-13, 19 end, see the notes.

But what shall we say of these sayings taken as a whole? If I am right in conjecturing that they are in large part drawn from the Matthæan Logia, then they are perhaps the earliest of all our sources of knowledge for the life of Christ, and rest even more directly than does the Second Gospel on Apostolic testimony. For the Apostle Matthew seems to have written down for the use of his Palestinian fellow-Christians some of the sayings of Christ that he could remember, selecting no doubt such as would appeal most strongly to his readers and satisfy their needs. Better security that these sayings were really uttered by Christ Himself we could hardly desire.

There remains, however, one consideration which calls for our attention. I have endeavoured to show that these sayings are strongly marked by special features. As they now stand in the First Gospel, they represent our Lord as adopting a conservative attitude towards the Old Law, as teaching that He would return on the Clouds of Heaven to inaugurate the Kingdom, and as not limiting the scope of His teaching to Jews, but as assuming that it was intended, in the first place, for the Jew, and, in a secondary sense only, for the Gentile. And the question may well be asked, are we to assume that in broad outline Christ really taught such conceptions as these? Seeing that there must be between the original Aramaic Logia at least two stages of transmission, first a translation into Greek accompanied possibly by some re-editing, and secondly their incorporation into our Gospel, accompanied certainly by a good deal of artificial arrangement and editorial revision, is it not probable that the impression which these sayings, as they now stand, give of Christ’s teaching upon these points, is in large part due to the Palestinian-Christian editors through whose hands they have passed?

Now this is a question which concerns to a small extent the commentator on the First Gospel, and to a larger extent the historian who attempts to reconstruct from all sources the life of Christ. The commentator must answer that, to some extent at least, the impression given by the Gospel upon these points is due to the manipulation of his sources by the editor.

With regard to Christ’s attitude to the law, e.g., it seems clear that the editor has rewritten Mark 10:1-12 in order to bring Christ’s teaching upon the subject of divorce once again into harmony with the stricter school of Jewish interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4. He has done so by combining with Mark 10:1-12 another tradition as to Christ’s teaching upon this subject, which he has also preserved in the Sermon on the Mount (5:32), and which he no doubt drew from the Logia. But the commentator will naturally say, “If the editor has interpolated into Mk 10 a clause “except for fornication,” which is clearly inconsistent with the tenor of Christ’s teaching upon that occasion, he or the Jewish editors through whose hands the Logia passed may also have interpolated the similar clause into the Logion preserved in 5:32.”

Again, the editor seems clearly to have tried to interpret Mark 7:14-23 in such a way as to avoid the obvious impression that Christ directly attacked the Mosaic distinction between clean and unclean meats; and, if this be so, some of the other passages in the First Gospel which emphasise the permanent validity of the law may have undergone similar revision. And once again: it seems clear that the editor has so altered Mark 9:1 as to make it emphasise the near approach of the Second Coming. If that be so, then some of the other passages in the Gospel may have undergone revision by the editor, or by his Jewish-Christian predecessors, from similar motives. In particular, the εὐθέως of 24:29 may be due to such revision.

So far the commentator: the result of his observations being this:—that, whilst the original group of Logia was a selection of Christ’s sayings which laid emphasis on His teaching about His Second Coming, on His teaching about the permanence of the Old Law, and on the first claim of the Jew to discipleship of the Kingdom, some allowance must be made for a possible intensifying of these points in the process of transmission of the Logia in the period between the time when the Apostle Matthew penned them and the time when they appear in our Gospel; and that, in any case, the editor has worked over S. Mark’s Gospel in order to introduce these conceptions into it where before they did not exist, or existed in language so ambiguous that other interpretations were possible.

At this point the commentatator should cease his work, and the historian of Christ’s life should succeed him. Without any claim to be an historian, I may perhaps be permitted to suggest the way in which an historian would perhaps make use of the results of the commentator’s work as just sketched.

It seems clear that, if due allowance be made for some over-emphasis and undue insistence upon details, the representation of Christ’s teaching upon the three points that have been so often mentioned was that which was familiar to the early Jewish-Christian Church, and which influenced to some extent the entire Apostolic preaching in its earliest stages. Thus, the eschatological conception of the Kingdom and the belief in the imminent coming of Christ affect to some extent all the literature previous to the First Gospel. It is found in S. Mark (chap. 13). If Ac 1-12 may be taken as in any sense a generally accurate account of the belief of the early Church at Jerusalem, it prevailed there (1:11, 3:20). It is frequently found in S. Paul’s earlier letters, 1 Thess., 2 Thess., 1 Corinthians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 16:23, Philippians 3:20. It is found in S. James (5:7-8), in S. Peter (1 P 1:7-8), and in S. John (1 John 3:2).

Again: the belief that Christ had taught that the Gospel was intended primarily for the Jew, explains the controversy that occupies so large a part of the narrative of the Acts. Pressure of circumstances alone seems to have opened the eyes of the Palestinian Apostles to those other aspects of Christ’s teaching, which led logically to the Jew and the Gentile being placed in a position of equality.

And again: the belief that Christ had come, not to do away with the claims of the Old Testament upon the consciences of men, but to reinforce them with stronger sanction than ever before, is a part of the common Christian belief of the New Testament writers.

On these grounds, the representation of the First Gospel of Christ’s teaching upon these points (due allowance being made for some over-insistence upon detail, and over-emphasis due to massing of sayings under a common head) has every claim to be regarded as historically accurate.

On the other side must be set the wider perspective of much of S. Paul’s teaching, and of the Third and Fourth Gospels, with regard to the Second Coming, and to the scope of the Gospel; and the question is naturally raised, “Do these wider conceptions represent a gradual spiritualisation of Christ’s actual teaching, or do they carry us back to the historical Christ, whose teaching was misunderstood and narrowed in range and conception by the early Palestinian Church? At this point the historian will bring into account some other considerations. He will observe that a good deal of the discourse-material in the First Gospel, which it seems necessary to interpret from the standpoint of the editor, in accordance with ideas that run through the entire book, would (taken by themselves and in a different context) lend themselves to a very different interpretation. Such parables, e.g., as the Sower, the Mustard Seed, the Draw-Net, may, where they stand, teach lessons about the nature of the coming Kingdom; but how possible it is that, as originally uttered, they were intended to illustrate the gradual spread of Christianity in the world. The preaching to the Gentiles may, to the editor, have seemed no obstacle to the immediate coming of Christ, but the words, as originally spoken, may well have foreshadowed a still far-distant future. The “fulfilling of the law” may, to the editor, have involved the permanent validity of the smallest commandment, but, interpreted in the light of Christ’s teaching elsewhere, it seems clear that the words must have had a much wider meaning.

The historian who notices points like these will shrink from the conclusion that upon such subjects the teaching of Christ was altogether and exclusively what the editor of the First Gospel represents it to have been, to the exclusion of representation of it to be found in other parts of the New Testament.

And this should lead us to what seems to me to be a right judgement upon the representation of Christ’s teaching as found in this Gospel.

That teaching was no doubt many-sided. Much of it may have been uttered in the form of paradox and symbol. The earliest tradition of it, at first oral, and then written, was that of a local church, that of Jerusalem, which drew from the treasure-house of Christ’s sayings such utterances as seemed to bear most immediately upon the lives of its members, who were at first all Jews or proselytes. In this process of selection the teaching of Christ was only partially represented, because choice involved over-emphasis. Paradox may sometimes have been interpreted as an expression of literal truth, symbol as reality, and to some extent, though not, I think, to any great extent, the sayings in process of transmission may have received accretions arising out of the necessities of the Palestinian Church life. Thus the representation of Christ’s teaching in this Gospel, though early in date, suffers probably from being local in character. In the meantime much of Christ’s teaching remained uncommitted to writing; and, not until S. Paul’s teaching had made men see that Palestinian Christianity suffered in some respects from a too one-sided representation of Christ’s teaching, did they go back to the utterances of Christ, and reinterpret them from a wider point of view; seeking out also other traditions of different aspects of His teaching which had been neglected by the Palestinian guardians of His words.

But in making such generalisations I am going beyond my allotted sphere as commentator on the Gospel, and I leave these questions now to judgements which are wiser than my own.




l. 20

Add the omission of Mark 5:31 “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest though, Who touched me?” from Matthew 9:22.


l. 17

See also Burney, JThS. July 1909, 580 ff.



For garments of hair as worn by prophets, see Asc. Is. 210 (ed. Charles).



Cf. Apoc. Bar (ed. Charles) 59:2 “The lamp of the eternal law shone on all those who sat in darkness.”



For βασάνοις Cf. Artem. Oneir. 359 βασάνους καὶ θλίψεις.



Cf. also Secrets of Enoch (ed. Charles) 45:4 “God requires a pure heart.”



(Critical note.) Add ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ] ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματος μου S1-2, ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης D a b c k. This last reading may be the original text.



To references for light as applied to persons add Apoc. Bar 77:13 “The lamps which gave light are extinguished.” In Jewish writings the metaphor is more often used of the law. Cf. Apoc. Bar 59:2, 17:4, Test. Levi (ed. Charles) 14:4, Book of Wisdom 184, Prov 623, and for other references Weber, Jüd. Theol, p. 22.



For “do and teach,” ct: Test. Leviticus 13:0; Leviticus 13:9Leviticus 13:9 “Whosoever teaches noble things and does them.”



For ἕνοχος τῇ κρίσει, cf. ἔνοχος τοῖς ἴσοις ἐπιτείμοις in Milligan’s Greek Papyri, 20, l. 32.



For the right hand in this connection, cf. Lucian, Amores (ed. Jacobitz), vol. ii. p. 237, l. 9, ἤ λάθριος ὑγρῶςδεξιὰ κατὰ κόλπου δῦσα μαστοὺς——πιέζει, and see references in Burton’s Anatomy, P. 531 (1845).


Cf. Test. Benjamin, 8:2 οὐχ ὁρᾷ γυναῖκα εἰς πορνείαν, and for the whole verse references in Schechter’s Rabbinic Theology, p. 214.



See Büchler in JThS. Jan. 1909.


“do righteousness,” cf. Test. Leviticus 13:0; Leviticus 13:5Leviticus 13:5.



Cf. Mechilta (ed. Winter und Wünsche), p. 44, “Wer im geheimen übt, den macht der Heilige, geb. s. er. öffentlich macht”; p. 193, “Wenn du im Verborginen rufst, so werde ich dir antworten in der Oeffentlichkeit.”


l. 19

See also Schechter, Rabbinic Theology, p. 29, “Thou art the Lord our God in heaven and on earth.”



For Test. Zeb. 8:6 κακίατὸν πρόσωπον



For Test. Issachar, 4:2 ὁ ἁπλοῦς χρυσίον οὐ πλεονεκτεῖ.


Cf. Test. Benj. 4:2 ὁ γὰρ



“With what measure,” cf. also Mechilta (ed. Winter und Wünsche), pp. 76, 79, 126, 128, 133, 173.



Cf. Sayings of the Jewish Fathers (ed. Taylor), 219 “The day is short, and the task is great, and the workmen are sluggish, and the reward is much, and the Master of the house is urgent.”



For the juxtaposition of “prophets” and “righteous men,” cf. Test. Leviticus 16:0; Leviticus 16:2Leviticus 16:2, Test. Daniel 2:0; Daniel 2:3Daniel 2:3.

For εἰς ὄνομα = “in the capacity of,” cf. Milligan’s Greek Papyri, 18. 1:17 ὀνόματι ἐλευθέρου = “ in virtue of being free-born.”



For the form ἐπροφήτευσεν, cf. also Helbing, Gram. der Sept. 79 f.; Thackeray, Gram. of the Old Test. in Greek, 1207.



For the “yoke,” cf. also Secrets of Enoch 34:1, 48:9, Mechilta (ed. Winter und Wünsche), p. 15.



For the seven evil spirits, cf. Test. Reuben 2:2 ἐπτὰ οὖν πνευματα ἐδόθν κατὰ τοῦ



“Be of good cheer—be not afraid,” of. Secrets of Enoch 1:8.



Cf. Test. Leviticus 14:0; Leviticus 14:4Leviticus 14:4 ἐναντίας ἐντολὰς διδάσκοντες τοῖς τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιώμασί.



For the rock, cf. the passage quoted by Schechter, Rabbinic Theology, p. 59, “When He perceived that Abraham would one day arise, He said, Be hold I have found the petra on which to build and base the world.”



“Throne of glory,” cf. also Mechilta (ed. Winter und Wünsche), p. 178, “Geschworen hat Gott bei seinem Throne der Herrlichkeit.”



Cf. Test. Gad 5:7 ἄφες αὐτῷ



For “giving the life for,” add Mechilta (ed. Winter und Wünsche), p. 4, “die Väter und die Propheten ihr Leben für Israel hingaben”; p. 213, “die Israeliten welche—ihr Leben für die Gebote hingeben.”



ἐφιμώθη, cf. Lucian, De Mort Per. 15, οἱ δὲ ἐχθροὶ ἐπεφίμωντο.



παγιδεύσωσιν, cf. Test. Joseph 7:1 περιεβλέπετο ποίῳ τρόπῳ με παγιδεῦσαι.



“Abel the righteous,” cf. Test. Benj. 7:4 Ἀβὲλ τὸν δίκαιον Test. Leviticus 10:0; Leviticus 10:5Leviticus 10:5 Ἐνὼχ τοῦ δικαίου.



For “house” = Jerusalem, cf. also Test. Leviticus 10:0; Leviticus 10:5Leviticus 10:5 “ the house which the Lord shall choose shall be called Jerusalem.”



For the “right hand,” cf. Test. Benj. 10:6, 25:35, 36. cf. Test. Joseph 1:5, 6 Ἐν λιμῷ συνεσχέθην, καὶ αὐτὸςΚύριος διέθρεψε με. Μόνος ἤμην, καὶθεὸς παρεκάλεσέν με. Ἐν



For αὐλή = “house” or “palace,” see Milligan’s Greek Papyri, 118.


For Dial. Mer. 11 (ed. Jacobitz, p. 268),



τιμή αἵματις, cf. Test. Zeb. 3:3 οὐ φαγόμεθα αὐτήν, ὅτι τιμή ἐστιν αἵματος.



Cf. Test. Leviticus 10:0; Leviticus 10:3Leviticus 10:3 σχισήσεται τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ.


Cf. Test. Lev_4Lev_4;Lev_1 ὄτι πετεῶν σχιζομένωνκαὶ τοῦ ᾅδου σκυλευομένου.

1 For Mk. as based on an Aramaic original, see note, p. 88. Dr. Briggs believes the original Mk. to have been written in Hebrew. See New Light on the Life of Jesus, pp. 134-135.

1 Of course it does not lie within the scope of this note to attempt an estimate of the historical value of the Second Gospel. The English reader may be referred to the Dean of Westminster’s Study of the Gospels, and to Professor Burkitt’s The Gospel History and its Transmission. But, by way of illustration of my own view, I will only say that I believe that the simple reader who accepts the Second Gospel as a narrative of literal fact, is nearer the truth than the critic who starts heavily handicapped by hard and fast conceptions of the limitations of personality, and who distorts narratives, which on all other evidence are proved to be early, into late and legendary growths, because they contain a record of facts which his theories will not allow him to credit as historical.

1 See also Briggs’ Criticism and the Dogma of the Virgin-Birth (North American Review, June 1906), and “Annunciation” and “Birth of Christ” in Hastings’ DCG..

1 Cf. Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission, p.199 , “It is not so easy to make new Sayings and Parables like those in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.” These words would fitly apply to the passage under discussion. My point is that, not the tenor of the words, but the literary form in which they are set, suggests a Christian homily. The discourses in the Fourth Gospel furnish some analogy.

JThS. Journal of Theological Studies.

Asc. Is. Ascension of Isaiah.