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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

- Luke

by Johann Peter Lange

Professor Of Theology In The University Of Utrecht



It affords me great pleasure to introduce the author of this Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke to the American Churches, well assured that his name will soon be esteemed and beloved wherever the Anglo-American edition of Dr. Lange’s Commentary is known.

Dr. John James van Oosterzee was born at Rotterdam, Holland, in 1817, and brought up in the faith of the Reformed Church. He studied at the University of Utrecht, and commenced his theological career in 1840, with an able Latin dissertation De Jesu e virgine Maria nato, in defence of the gospel history against the mytho-poetical hypothesis of Strauss. He labored as pastor first at Eemnes, and at Alkmaar, and since 1844 in the principal church of Rotterdam, where he continued eighteen years.1In 1862 he was called to his alma mater, as Professor of Theology. He opened his lectures in Utrecht with an apologetic oration De sceptieismo hodiernis theologis caute vitando, 1863.

Dr. van Oosterzee is generally considered as the ablest pulpit orator and divine of the evangelical school in Holland now living. He combines genius, learning, and piety. He is orthodox and conservative, yet liberal and progressive. He seems to be as fully at home in the modern theology of Germany, as in that of his native country. To his attainments in scientific theology he adds a general literary culture and fine poetical taste.
It is as pulpit orator that he first acquired a brilliant and solid fame. He has been compared to Adolph Monod, in his more calm and matured days, when he stood at the head of the Evangelical Protestant pulpit of Paris and of France. His sermons on Moses, on the seven churches of the Apocalypse, and other portions of Scripture passed through several editions and some of them have been translated into the German language. He was selected as the orator of the festival of the Independence of the Netherlands, where he delivered in the Willems Park at Hague, in the presence of the whole court, an eloquent and stirring discourse under the title De eerste steen (The first stone).

In midst of his labors as preacher and pastor, he prepared a number of learned works which gave him an equal prominence among his countrymen as a divine. His principal contributions to theological science are a Life of Jesus,2 which is mainly historical and apologetic; a Christology, or Manual for Christians who desire to know in whom they believe, which is exegetical and doctrinal;3 and Commentaries on several books of the New Testament, of which we shall speak presently. These and other works involved him in controversies with Dr. Opzoomer and Professor Scholten of Leyden, which bear a part in the conflict now going on in Holland between supernaturalism and rationalism. He also founded and edited, in connection with Professor Doedes, the Dutch Annals of Scientific Theology from 1843–1856. His essays on Schiller and Goethe, and similar subjects, prove his varied culture and deep interest in the progress of general literature and art.

The merits of our author have secured him a place in several literary societies, and also the decoration of the order of the Dutch Lion, and the Swedish order of the Pole-star.
It was a happy idea of Dr. Lange to associate so distinguished a scholar with his comprehensive Commentary, at the very beginning of the enterprise in 1857. He could hardly have found, even in Germany, a co-laborer who combines in a higher degree all the necessary theoretical and practical qualifications for a theologico-homiletical exposition of the Word of God, and who could more fully enter into the peculiar spirit and aim of this work. Dr. van Oosterzee may be called the Lange of Holland. He is almost as genial, fresh, and suggestive as his German friend, in hearty sympathy with his christologico-theological standpoint, and philosophico-poetic tastes, and equally prepared by previous studies for the task of a commentator. If he is less original, profound, and fertile in ideas, he compensates for it by a greater degree of sobriety, which will make him all the more acceptable to the practical common-sense of the Anglo-American mind. His style is clear and natural, and makes the translation an easy and agreeable task, compared with the translation of Lange’s poetic flights and transcendent speculations. The Dutch mind stands midway between the German and the Anglo-Saxon.
Dr. van Oosterzee has already contributed several parts to Dr. Lange’s Bibelwerk, which are undoubtedly among the very best, viz., Commentaries on the Gospel of Luke, the Pastoral Epistles, the Epistle to Philemon, and the Doctrinal and Homiletical Sections to the Commentary on the Epistle of James 4:0

The first edition of the Commentary on the Gospel of Luke appeared in 1859, and was translated by Miss Sophia Taylor for Clark’s Foreign Theological Library at Edinburgh, in two volumes, 1862–’63. The second, revised and improved, edition was published in 1861, and from this the present American translation was prepared, without change or omission, but with considerable additions original and selected, according to the plan which is laid down in the Preface to the first volume. I acknowledge my indebtedness to Miss Taylor for assistance derived from her translation to the close of the third chapter.

It was my intention to prepare the whole Gospel of Luke alone. But owing to pressing engagements, and a proposed voyage to Europe during this summer, I have secured the co-operation of a competent assistant, the Rev. Charles C. Starbuck, of New York, who is vigorously engaged in the work, with the help of the same literary apparatus, and the same study in the valuable exegetical library of the American Bible Union.
For the Introduction and the first three chapters I am alone responsible.

The department of textual criticism—the most difficult and laborious, though perhaps the least grateful task of the American editor—is wholly new, and hence enclosed in brackets. As the esteemed author notices very few readings in the first three chapters, and never refers to the English version, it was deemed unnecessary to retain them separately and thus to multiply brackets and initials. In these additions, as in the volume on Matthew, full use has been made of the Sinaitic Manuscript, and the latest discoveries and researches in the department of Biblical criticism.
From the author’s Exegetical Notes I have in several important instances freely and fully expressed my dissent, e.g., from his solution of the census difficulty, Luke 2:3 (pp. 30, 32), his exposition of the angelic hymn, Luke 2:14 (pp. 38, 39), and his view of the dove at the baptism of Christ, Luke 3:22 (p. 58).

But these differences of opinion do not affect the unity of faith or at all diminish my admiration of the author. His book is sound, evangelical, fresh and interesting as few commentaries are. He has a happy tact in steering at equal distance from learned pedantry and unscholarly popularity, from tedious prolixity and cursory brevity. In the homiletical sections he shows rare talent and experience as a pulpit orator, and very properly confines himself to brief hints or finger-boards to the inexhaustible mines of Scripture truth and comfort, leaving the reader to explore them and to work up the precious ore for practical use.
I cannot conclude without publicly expressing my profound gratitude for the hearty and even enthusiastic welcome with which the first volume of this Commentary has been greeted in all the evangelical churches of America. Dr. Lange also expressed himself highly gratified with the plan and outfit of the American edition. I take the liberty of translating an extract from a letter of March 9, 1865. “In your brilliant sketch,” he wrote to me, “I could hardly recognize the aged worker whom you have so leniently described; nor could I identify your stately Matthew with the humble German original; excepting, of course, the faithfulness and reliableness of your reproduction of the original text, in which I knew from the start you would fully satisfy every reasonable demand. As an author, I am thankful for the honor thus conferred upon me; as a Christian, I rejoice in the furtherance of a work which has been owned and blessed by the Lord.”
This success, which far surpasses the expectations of the editor and his co-laborers, will only increase their zeal and energy in the prosecution of their noble work. It is their aim to prepare, on an evangelical catholic basis, the very best Commentary for practical use which the combined scholarship and piety of Europe and America can produce.
From God must come the strength, and to Him shall be the praise.


[Since the above was set in type, I spent some happy days of last summer and autumn with my esteemed friend, Dr. Lange, at Bonn, on the charming banks of the Rhine, in delightful spiritual communion, as also with several of his co-laborers in the Bibelwerk, and with his intelligent publisher, Mr. Klasing at Bielefeld, all of whom feel deeply interested in the English reproduction of their work for the American churches. I regret that I was unable to follow the urgent invitation of Dr. van Oosterzee to pay him a visit at his summer residence in Holland, but I submitted to him the preface and the proof-sheets of the first three chapters, which met his cordial approval. Dr. Lange wrote to me since, that my visit to Germany had inspired him and his associates with fresh courage and zeal in the vigorous prosecution of the Commentary, and that most of the Old Testament books are now distributed among sound and able divines, although it is impossible to say when the whole will be completed. As for the American edition I can only say that nearly all the parts published in German are already taken in hand, and several of them are approaching completion. The Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, and the Book of Genesis will probably be published before the close of this year.

P. S.

At the request of my honored friend, Dr. Schaff, I consented to continue the Commentary on Luke, which is now happily brought to a close. I did this with reluctance, being sensible to what disadvantage the bulk of the translation, with its comparative meagreness of illustrative addition, would appear by the side of the first three chapters, enriched as these are with the affluence of annotation which the studies of many years have enabled the Editor to add. I have been fortunate, however, in being admitted, through the great kindness of the officers of the American Bible Union, to the free use of their admirable library, of which I have availed myself especially in the Notes on the Text, as the comparative fulness of these will show. These have also been compared with the Codex Sinaiticus throughout, which had not been published when the original appeared.

The notes on the other parts of the work, though reasonably numerous, will usually be found brief, as, from the prevailing soundness and judiciousness of Dr. Van Oosterzee’s own discussions, I found but little occasion for enlarging. In those which have been added, the names of Bleek, Meyer, and Alford appear most frequently, the two former because of their high eminence in Biblical science, the latter because of his special relation to the Anglo-Saxon student of the gospels.
A great many modifications of the Common Version have been made, but solely with a view to critical exactness, and, therefore, with no particular regard to diction. No archaisms or points of style have been touched which were not supposed to obscure the sense.
The Revised Version of the American Bible Union in its final form was not published till the Commentary was about half printed. Several corrections have been adopted from it, and a good many are common to both works, being such as are naturally suggested by an effort to gain critical clearness.

Nothing whatever has been retrenched from the original except some mere references to German writers of little note, whose works it may fairly be presumed that those who read only English will never see. But every thought, it has been my aim to retain.
The translation of my portion is an entirely new one. There is, indeed, an Edinburgh translation, but I have not even seen it, and have not, at first or second hand, made any use whatever of it. The great simplicity and peculiar agreeableness of Dr. Van Oosterzee’s style has rendered the work of translation a comparatively easy and exceedingly pleasant one. The remarks of Dr. Schaff, made above, as to the character of the Dutch mind, as mediating between the German and the Anglo-Saxon mind, will be found, I think, fully borne out by the character of this Commentary. While thoroughly familiar both with the results and with the processes of German criticism, the author judges them all with that sober simplicity which we are disposed to claim as a main characteristic of our own race. The work, however, shows abundantly that sobriety and simplicity do not necessarily mean dryness, for it is pervaded by a genial glow, rising not unfrequently into a rich eloquence, worthy of the first living preacher of Holland. It has been a progress of no common pleasure and spiritual profit, guided by him, to accompany the Godman through all the stages of His wondrous life, as laid out before us in the less methodical, but free and rich delineation of St. Luke, from the Baptism to the day when, having passed through the grave and gate of death to His joyful resurrection, He crowns His patient training of the disciples whom He had chosen by His last great charge, and is then taken up to sit at the right hand of God, leaving them full of joyful adoration, and ready for the coming of the Paraclete. Seeing that in our day the affections of believers, and the defence of the faith are both gathering more closely around the person of our Lord, those render the most eminent service who enable us most clearly to behold His image in the fulness of His theanthropic love and majesty. To this clearer vision of our Redeemer, we are persuaded that the present Commentary will contribute in no mean measure, and with a living force derived from the author’s experiences as a Christian preacher, whose work is so much more nearly like that of our Lord than the work of the merely critical scholar.

In conclusion, it gives me pleasure to acknowledge the assistance of my friend, the Rev. James B. Hammond, who acted as my amanuensis, and whose intellectual sympathy with the work rendered his services of a much more than merely mechanical value.



It was at the commencement of last year that my esteemed friend Dr. J. P. Lange communicated to me the plan of his Theological and Homiletical Commentary, and, at the same time, expressed the wish, which surprised as much as it honored me, that I should take part with him in this work, by furnishing a Commentary on one of the Gospels. It will not seem surprising that I did not give my consent to this proposal till after much delay. When I considered, on the one hand, my numerous professional engagements and other occupations; on the other, the measure of my ability; I felt that I would rather see so important a work in other hands. When I remembered that I had been hitherto accustomed to learn from so many excellent German theologians, I could not quickly familiarize myself with the idea of becoming their fellow-laborer, and in this work even one of their leaders. And, finally, when I surveyed the peculiar difficulties under which every author must labor, in appearing before a public for the most part unknown to him, I felt, notwithstanding the favorable reception which some of my translated writings have met with abroad, almost constrained to return a negative answer. On the other hand, however, there was something very attractive to me in the plan of this Commentary. The thought of being associated in a work with a theologian whom I so highly esteem as Dr. Lange, and with others of a kindred spirit, and of thus discharging a portion of the debt of gratitude for the rich instruction I had derived from their writings, possessed unusual interest. The opportunity offered me of being useful in another and more extensive manner than I could hope for in my immediate neighborhood, seemed to me an evident indication from the Lord of the church, which I felt I must by no means leave unheeded. The difficulty concerning the language was soon removed with the help of friends who are thoroughly masters of the German, so that I need not fear the application of the old adage to my work: His ergo barbarus sum, quia non intelligor olli. Besides, as I wrote here for foreign divines and ministers, I was at liberty to make such selections from my Dutch writings as seemed to me useful and necessary for the purpose. I therefore took courage to put my hand to the plough, without further hesitation; and have now the pleasure of presenting to the friends of Dr. Lange’s Bibelwerk the fruit of the comparatively few, and frequently interrupted, leisure hours which my professional occupations allowed me.

I may be permitted to take this opportunity of saying a few words on the manner in which I have performed my share of this great and noble undertaking. It is obvious that, for the sake of maintaining the uniformity which was on all accounts desirable, the plan and arrangement of my work should be strictly prescribed to me, both by the prospectus which first appeared, and by the subsequently published Commentary on Matthew. Even if it had been my opinion that a different arrangement of the material was preferable, it was my duty to remember that I was not called upon to execute a building of my own, but only to furnish a stone towards the completion of an edifice already planned and partly reared by others. It need scarcely be mentioned, also, that in writing on Luke’s Gospel, I was obliged continually to have regard to what had already been said in the Commentaries on Matthew and Mark. It was desirable to avoid repetitions as much as possible, especially with respect to exegetical and archæological matters; while, on the other hand, I wished to make my work on Luke something more than a mere appendix to those on Matthew and Mark. It will then be believed, without further explanations, that it was by no means an easy task to avoid both Scylla and Charybdis; and that a glance at the copiousness of the ideas developed in the treatment of the parallel passages in the two first Evangelists, could not fail to convince me that the commentator on the third would have a difficult position to occupy. The attempt, however, had to be made, to say again that which should be, in the main points, the same in a different manner; and I shall rejoice if competent judges can testify, that a comparison of my work on Luke with Dr. Lange’s on Matthew and Mark presented them with neither a mere echo nor a jarring discord.

In the translation of the text, I adhered generally to Luther’s version except where accuracy and clearness justified an alteration. This modesty, with regard to the master-work of the hero of the Reformation, may be expected from a foreigner who feels no calling to produce a radical reform in this department. As regards the varietas lectionum, I have only noticed those readings which have a bearing on the translation and exposition. The character of the exegesis has been accommodated to its homiletical purpose. It would not, perhaps, have been difficult to produce a more extensive apparatus of theological learning; but, mindful of the task imposed upon me, of writing chiefly for practical theologians and clergymen, I thought I should best satisfy this condition by giving a more historical and psychological, than a philological, character to my exposition, and by caring more about clear explanations of things, than extensive explanations of words. Among ancient expositors, I have chiefly consulted Calvin and Bengel; among moderns, de Wette, Stier, and Meter; and even where I have felt obliged to differ from them, I have found no difficulty in recognizing the service done to the exposition of the Gospel by these celebrated men. In the division entitled “Leading Doctrinal and Ethical Thoughts,” I have endeavored to penetrate somewhat more deeply into the nature of events than was possible in the “Exegetical and Critical Notes;” and, here and there where it seemed necessary, to bring forth the apologetic element which, in a work like the present, intended for so many different hands, ought never to be wholly wanting. In this part, and also in the “Homiletical Hints,” I have had respect not only to the rich stores of German literature, but also, occasionally, to the productions of other countries, and especially to the theologians and preachers of my own, and the creations of sacred art.

If aught useful or profitable should be found in this division of the Bibelwerk, part at least of the thanks is due to the revered Editor, who not only encouraged me to venture upon this work, but, with true liberality, neither wished nor required me to withdraw or to modify my views of certain passages, where they did not coincide with his own. This state of affairs is indeed attended with this inconvenience, that I am entirely responsible for my own work, with all its faults and defects. … I could say much, on the great distance—greater perhaps on this occasion than ever—which I find between my performance and my own ideal. But it is needless to increase this sufficiently lengthy book by a long preface. The work must speak for itself; and if I have anywhere contributed merely combustible material to the great temple, I could not myself wish that it should stand the fire.

The views concerning the person of our Lord, and the divine authority of the written Word, on which this Commentary on Luke is based, and which I hope are brought forward with mildness and dignity, will perhaps find more echo in the German than in the Dutch Church and theology. But what does it matter to their defenders, whether the majority or the minority of the moment be on their side, so long as they are conscious of serving the cause of truth, and of always finding a response in many hearts and consciences? May this be at least the case in the circle for which this work is more immediately intended: the Author would then, perhaps, feel encouraged, in accordance with the wish of the Editor, to undertake another portion of this Commentary; the success of which will be best promoted by the concurrence of a select number of like-minded fellow-laborers. Be this as it may, however, he does not regret the many precious hours devoted to this difficult, but very attractive task. Spiritual intercourse with the Gospel of perfect humanity has a peculiar worth in days when, on the one hand, so many look upon humanity and Christianity as in irreconcilable opposition, while others again believe that if humanity is to attain its highest perfection, Christianity must be shorn of its special characteristics, and Christ of His super-human dignity. May this work, then, be the means of bringing many to a higher appreciation and more profitable distribution of the treasures hidden in the third Gospel; and may the κρὶσις of Him of whom Luke testified, be a κρίσις ζωῆς καὶ δόξης for my work.



When, a few months ago, I was informed by the esteemed publisher of the Bibelwerk that a new edition of my Luke was called for, I felt equally surprised and rejoiced. As a stranger in the ecclesiastical and theological world of Germany, I could hardly expect to be so favorably received and even admitted to the rights of citizenship. I embrace this opportunity to return my hearty thanks for the many kind and cheering words expressed to me from near and far, both privately, and by older and younger brethren in the ministry, and in public notices. I feel especially indebted to an unknown reviewer in the monthly journal: The News of the Churches, and Journal of Missions, for March, 1860, for the manner and spirit in which he directed the attention of England and Scotland to this book. I would have been still more gratified, if the criticism had been as thorough and searching as it was encouraging. I regret to say that the author of the notice in Rudelbach and Guericke’s Zeitschrift für Lutherische Theologie for 1860, p. 499 sqq., raises a number of objections without having more than superficially glanced at the work; at least, he charges me with views directly opposed to those which I have expressly stated in more than one place, and he even doubts my full faith in the true Divinity of the Saviour, simply because I call the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of the purest humanity! …

The time since the appearance of the first edition was too short to allow of a thorough reconstruction of the work, especially since I was occupied at the same time with the preparation of a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, and on Philemon for the Bibelwerk. I confined myself to improvements in style and expression; I added what was neglected, and removed defects which, in my own opinion, as well as in the opinion of others, clung to the first edition. The careful reader will find on many pages the traces of a zealously improving hand, and the word “revised,” on the title-page, is by no means merely an ornamentum tituli. For whatever defects still remain, I ask anew the indulgence of the reader, and commend my Luke, in his further journeys, humbly to the blessing of Him who guides and directs with His wisdom, not only the events of our life, but also our writings.



[The Collect: Almighty God, who calledst Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel, to be an Evangelist and physician of the soul: may it please Thee, that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine, delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.—From Ford’s Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke.—P. S.]



Concerning the person and history of the third Evangelist we know little that is perfectly certain. From the Epistles of Paul we learn that he held a conspicuous rank among the friends and fellow-laborers of the great Apostle of the Gentiles (Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11). He is expressly distinguished (Colossians 4:14) from the brethren who were of the circumcision (Colossians 4:10-11), and was therefore a Christian of Gentile extraction; having, probably, been first a proselyte to the Jewish religion,5 and afterward a convert to the faith of Christ. According to Eusebius [H. E. iii. 4] and Jerome he was born at Antioch in Syria;6 this tradition rests on no evidence, but is preferable, on account of its antiquity, to all other conjectures concerning his origin. Perhaps it was there that he became acquainted with Paul, and associated himself with that Apostle; at least it is not proved that the view of Eusebius arose simply from an erroneous inference from Act 13:1.7 His Greek education and learning are apparent from the philological excellence of his writings. According to Colossians 4:14, his original avocation was that of a physician.8 It has been often supposed, but cannot be proven, that he was one of the seventy disciples, and one of the two travellers to Emmaus, whose history he has so touchingly narrated. It is at Troas that we first find him in company with St. Paul (Acts 16:10). He accompanied him thence to Philippi, where he seems to have remained during the second sojourn of the Apostle at Corinth. He afterward again travelled with Paul to Jerusalem (Luke 20:5-6), where he would certainly meet with James and the elders of the Church (Luke 21:18), and not lose the opportunity of personal intercourse with the first witnesses of the life and resurrection of Christ. And since, according to Acts 24:23, free access was allowed to his friends during Paul’s two years’ imprisonment in Cæsarea, it is probable that Luke remained near him during this interval. He afterward accompanied the Apostle to Rome (Acts 27:28), undergoing the perils of his shipwreck, and, according to 2 Timothy 4:11, sharing his imprisonment, a few months before his martyrdom, when most of his friends had forsaken him. He has been supposed, and not without reason, to have been the brother “whose praise was in the gospel throughout all the churches,” and of whom it is said (2 Corinthians 8:18), that he was sent to Corinth with Titus, to make the collection there for the poor saints at Jerusalem. At all events, he was, during Paul’s life, not only his fellow-traveller, but also his fellow-laborer; and there is no doubt that he would continue, after the death of the great Apostle, to be both zealous and active in the cause of the kingdom of God.

He is said by Epiphanius to have preached mainly in Gaul; and by Nicephorus, to have suffered martyrdom in Greece, where, after having been condemned by the unbelievers without even the form of a trial, he was, for want of a cross, nailed to the nearest olive-tree, in the eightieth or eighty-fourth year of his age. His body is said to have been removed, together with the remains of Andrew, from Achaia to Constantinople, and to have been there deposited in the Church of the Holy Apostles, by the Emperor Constantine, or his son Constantius.9 All these accounts, however, are as little deserving of belief as the very recent tradition, that he was a painter, and painted the portraits of our Lord, the Virgin, and the principal Apostles. This tradition, however, is a fact in a higher sense; for are not the writings of Luke truly pictures, full of high and holy art, delighting us by their interesting groups and animated portraits of the best and purest of men?

The Catholic Church dedicates the 18th of October to the memory of Luke, assuming, on insufficient ground, that this was the day of his death. The Evangelical Church is willing to leave untouched the curtain which conceals the cradle and grave of Luke, in order to contemplate, with more undivided attention, the precious legacy of his writings, the earliest and most important of which we are now about to consider.
[Literature.—On the person, history, and writings of Luke comp. Hieronymus: De viris illustribus, cap. 7 (tom. 2 pp. 826 and 827 in Vallarsi’s edition of Jerome’s works); Winer: Bibl. Realwörterbuch, art. Lukas (vol. ii. pp. 34, 35); Güder: art. Lukas in Herzog’s Real-Encyklopœdie (vol. viii. p. 544 ff.); Wm. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, art. Luke (vol. ii. p. 150 ff.); and the relevant sections in the Critical Introductions to the N. T. and the Commentaries on Luke.—P. S.]


On turning from the reading of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to that of Luke, we are conscious of receiving a very peculiar impression. It is the same Gospel, but announced in a manner quite different from that of the two first synoptical Gospels. Luke gives much more than Matthew and Mark: witness his account of events preceding our Lord’s birth in Luke 1:2, the parables in Luke 15:16, and many other singularia Lucœ; and even where his facts coincide with those of the other narratives, he relates them in a manner of his own. He is far more careful than Matthew to preserve the strict order of events (καθεξῆς), and to comply with the requirements of a history, properly so called. His important preface (Luke 1:1-4), which is written in pure Greek, implies previous diligent investigation of the various sources open to him. He tells us that many had already attempted (ἐπεχείρησαν)—for so we understand his account—a written history of the occurrences of the life of Jesus. They had endeavored to take for their guidance, the real instructions of the first witnesses for Jesus, the Apostles, from whom Luke distinguishes both himself and them. It seems very improbable that Luke is here alluding to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark 10:0 He seems rather to have in view certain literary efforts of Christian antiquity, of which some might be better than others; but among which not one was, in his opinion, quite satisfactory. He, at least, considers them inadequate for the “certainty” (ἀσφάλεια) of the faith of Theophilus; and having weighed and examined the various documents to which he -had access, he felt himself powerfully impelled to under-take such a work also, and, as far as in him lay, to improve upon the accounts of his predecessors.

The third Gospel bears the plainest traces of the individuality of its composer, as far as we know him from the few hints of the Acts, and of the Epistles of Paul. As Luke was a Christian of the Gentiles, his work bears a decidedly universal character [i.e., he represents Christianity as the religion for the whole race, and for all societies, classes, and conditions of men]. It is he who traces the genealogy of our Lord, not to Abraham only, as Matthew, but to Adam, and cares less to represent the Messiah of God in His relation to Israel than in His relation to all mankind. Is he represented to us as a scientifically educated man, living in the polished city of Antioch, which Cicero commends11 as a seat of science and learning? The style as well as the contents of his writings plainly show that he was not brought up at the receipt of custom, or beside the nets of the fisherman. Again, we recognize the physician (Colossians 4:14) by the minute accuracy with which he describes certain diseases, and find, from other remarks, that the physician was at the same time an excellent psychologist.[12] Luke 4:38; Luke 22:43-44; Luke 22:51, may be cited as proofs of the former; while in Luke 9:54-61; Luke 18:34; Luke 23:12; Luke 24:41, we find significant hints of his insight into the mysteries of human nature. And, lastly, does it appear from the Epistles of Paul that Luke was his friend and fellow-traveller? No other Gospel bears such visible traces of the genuine Pauline spirit. It is not indeed probable, that when Paul speaks of his Gospel (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 2:8), he is alluding to the written narrative of Luke; yet both coincide, in a remarkable manner, in their descriptions of the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19-20; comp. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29), in their mention of the appearance of Christ to Peter (comp. Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5), and in other special circumstances. In the form, too, of his expressions, as well as in the choice of his incidents, we recognize in Luke a genuine follower of Paul. Consider, in this view, his narrative of the preaching of Jesus at Nazareth, and the mention of divine favors bestowed upon Gentiles under the Old dispensation (Luke 4:16-30); the anointing of the Lord by the repentant sinner in Simon’s house, and the pardon vouchsafed to her faith (Luke 7:36-50); the parable of the Pharisee and publican, who went down to his house justified (δεδικαιωμένος, Luke 18:14); the history of Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10), of the penitent thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), and other incidents which might be mentioned. As Paul led the people of the Lord out of the bondage of the law into the enjoyment of gospel liberty, so did Luke raise sacred history from the standpoint of the Israelitish nationality, to the higher and holier ground of universal humanity.

And hence it is no difficult task to characterize in a few words the distinctive peculiarities of the third Gospel. Matthew presents Christ to us as the Messiah of Israel; Mark announces the Gospel of the Son of God; while Luke depicts the Son of man, appearing indeed in Israel, but for the benefit of the whole race of man.13 Most justly, therefore, may the figure of a man be appropriated to him from among the symbols by which the ancient Church designated the four Evangelists. He does not, indeed, soar to such heights as the Eagle (John), but chooses our earth as his sphere of action, and shows us the incarnate Son of God, “in all things made like unto His brethren,” sin only excepted. And as the Epistle to the Hebrews teaches us to contemplate the humanity of the Son of God as gradually developing, and attaining the highest degree of perfection (Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 12:2), so also does the Gospel we are now considering. The two former Gospels show us who Jesus was: this informs us how He became what He was; pointing out to us successively the καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας (Luke 1:42), the βρέφος (Luke 2:16), the παιδίον (Luke 2:27), the παῖς (Luke 2:40), the ἀνῆρ (Luke 3:22). No other Gospel is of so strongly antidocetic a character; it is a continuous commentary on those suggestive words of the Apostle, “God sending His Son in the likeness (ἐν ὁμοιώματι) of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3). In studying it, we are more attracted by the loveliness than even by the dignity of the Lord; and the Holy One, born of Mary, appears before our eyes as the fairest of the children of men (Psalms 45:2). Does it not even seem as if Luke had felt the necessity of transferring to his Master the very calling to which his own life had been hitherto devoted, while depicting to us, far oftener than the other Evangelists, the great Ἰατρός, the Physician who came, not only to “minister” (Matthew 20:28), but “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), who felt compassion for all diseases both of mind and body, and whose power was present to heal? (Luke 5:17). Even in recording such words and deeds of our Lord as are also noticed by his two predecessors, Luke generally adds some important hints, which give greater prominence to the genuine humanity of His person, and the healing nature of His redeeming work. All, for instance, narrate the temptation in the wilderness, but Luke alone adds that “the devil departed from Him for a season.” All describe His agony in Gethsemane, but Luke alone has preserved the touching account of His bloody sweat, and of the angel who strengthened Him. All speak of the repentance of Peter, but Luke alone of that look of the Lord which accompanied the crowing of the cock. And this genuine human greatness of the Redeemer, appears the more striking in this Gospel, from its continuous contrast with the poverty of His outward condition, and the opposition of His enemies. The angels and shepherds at the nativity; Simeon and Anna at the presentation of the child in the temple; Simon and the “woman who was a sinner;” the tears of Jesus over Jerusalem, and the hosannas of the multitude; the silent seriousness of the sufferer, and the noisy jesting of Herod and his men of war; His prayer on the cross for His enemies, and the apathy and hatred of the crowd:—what striking contrasts, depicted by Luke alone, and greatly enhancing the beauty of his Gospel! Not only remarkable copiousness, but surprising variety, characterize this history, and render it, both from its contents and style, of the first importance toward a right acquaintance with the life and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the crown of the synoptic Gospels, as the symbol of man (Luke) rises above that of the bullock (Matthew) and the lion (Mark).


After what has been said, the genuineness of the third Gospel can scarcely be doubted. We have found it bearing, throughout, that peculiar stamp which would characterize the spirit of the friend and fellow-traveller of Paul. But there is also no lack of external evidence. The most ancient is that offered by Luke himself, in the beginning of the Acts, where he plainly declares that both books were the composition of the same person. The supposition that the companion of Paul (Acts 16:10; Acts 20:5) was another than Luke, either Timothy (Mayerhof) or Silas (Hennell and others), already rank among the antiquarian curiosities of historical criticism. It will be shown hereafter, how certain it is that the book called the Acts of the Apostles, is the production of Luke 14:0 but the same evidence proves also the authenticity of his Gospel.

Further external testimony is abundantly furnished by Irenæus, Origen, and Tertullian, while Eusebius also, without any hesitation, places this Gospel in the rank of the ὁμολογούμενα. For details, see the various Introductions, especially also Kirchhofer’s Quellensammlung, or Collection of the Sources for the History of the New Testament Canon (Zurich, 1844).

It might seem surprising that Papias, who speaks so decidedly of the two former Gospels, should have left no notice of the third; but, on the other hand, we may be certain, that if a spurious Gospel had, in his days, been in circulation under the name of Luke, so conscientious a man would hardly have failed to warn his readers against it. Besides, the preface of Luke seems to have been present to his mind, if he did not exactly follow it in writing the commencement of his now unfortunately lost συγγράμματα (Eusebius H. E. iii. 39). See Credner’s Introduction to the N. T. vol. i. p. 202. If the ingenious conjecture of Lange (Leben Jesu, i. p. 252), that Luke was one of those Greeks who came to Jesus shortly before His death (John 12:20), and indeed the same whom Papias calls Aristion (lucere = ἀριστεύειν), could be substantiated, this silence would be sufficiently explained. But be this as it may, it is abundantly compensated by the involuntary but powerful testimony of the well-known Marcion, in the second century. It is certain that this Gnostic was well acquainted with this Gospel, which he has both used and mutilated, incorporating much of it in his own, to support his heretical opinions, and thus proving that it existed, not only in his days, but in those of his teacher Cerdo (Tertullian, de prœscript. hœret. cap. 51).

Certain critics of our days have represented the so-called Gospel of Marcion (chiefly known to us through the writings of Epiphanius and Tertullian), not as a corruption of the original, but as one of the sources whence the present (ungenuine) Gospel of Luke is derived. Dr. A. Ritschl especially, in his Das Evangelium Marcions und das kanonische Evangelium des Lukas (Tübingen, 1846), has zealously defended the hypothesis, “that the Gospel of Marcion is not a mutilation of the third Gospel, but the basis of it;” but he himself afterward abandoned this view.15 Schwegler (Nachapost. Zeitalter, i. pp. 260–284), Baur (Kritische Untersuchungen über die kanonischen Evangelien, p. 397), and Zeller (Theol. Jahrbücher, ii. 1843, pp. 50–90) have sought to explain the Gospel of Luke as being written with a distinct party-purpose, in the sense of the Tübingen school; namely, either for the purpose of reconciling the Petrine and Pauline parties, or of giving a certain triumph to the Pauline tendency.16 Such criticism, which sees in the most evident traces of mature Christian individuality only the fruit of cool calculation, and the craftiness of party spirit, is morally condemned, even before it is scientifically refuted. Such criticism killed and buried the hypotheses of its immediate predecessors, Strauss, and Bruno Bauer, but the feet of them that shall carry it out dead are already at the door (Acts 5:9); and, meanwhile, we may rest contented with the refutation of the monstrous hypothesis, concerning the inverted Marcion, furnished by Hahn, Olshausen, and de Wette. Compare also the learned Dissertatio de Marcione, Lucani Evangelii adulteratore, of Dr. Harting, Traj. ad Rhenum, 1849.17

The aim of Luke in writing his Gospel is sufficiently clear from his preface. Concerning Theophilus, see the remarks on Luke 1:1-4. His chief source of information was undoubtedly oral tradition. This had, however, been already, in various instances, reduced to writing. We will not venture to assert (with Dr. Baur) that he also knew and used the Gospel of Matthew; at least this is by no means “a long-established result of critical research.” But according to the testimony of Irenæus (Adversus hœres. iii. 1, 14), of Origen (in Eusebius’ H. E. vi. 25), and of Tertullian (Adv. Marc. iv. 2), the Apostle Paul exercised a direct influence in the composition of this Gospel. The different accounts of the Fathers of the ancient Church may be so harmonized, that Paul was not only the enlightener (illuminator) of Luke during the progress of his work, but that, when completed, it received his approbation. It is true, indeed, that our Evangelist does not name Paul as an authority, but this was unnecessary to accredit his narrative to Theophilus; and its early and undisputed reception as canonical, proves that the primitive Church soon recognized in this Gospel the marks of a genuine apostolicity. Indeed, it was never discredited, except by the Cerinthians and Ebionites.

As to the time of composition, Luke, as well as Matthew and Mark, seems to have written his Gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem. The abrupt conclusion of the Acts (Acts 28:30-31) leaves us to suppose that Paul was still alive when this second record was completed. Nor is it by any means proved, by Luke 21:24, that this Gospel was not written till after the year 70. If we had here only a vaticinium post eventum, the Evangelist would undoubtedly have made a far more precise distinction between the destruction of Jerusalem and the second coming of our Lord.

The place where this Gospel was composed can only be conjectured. Alexandria, Bœotia, Achaia, Cæsarea, Asia Minor, and Rome, have all been mentioned, with more or less reason. Perhaps the latter seems the least arbitrary supposition; but the whole question is one of minor importance, the saying of Paul holding good in this instance: ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ οῦ δέδεται (2 Timothy 2:9).

[According to Irenæus (Adv. hœr. iii. 1) Luke wrote after the death of Peter and Paul, i.e., after 64. But it seems to me intrinsically very probable (with Thiersch) that the Gospel of Luke was written at Cæsarea in Palestine during Paul’s imprisonment there, a. d. 58–60; while his Acts were composed at Rome before the close of the first imprisonment of Paul, between 61–63; for his martyrdom would hardly have been ignored in Acts 28:31, if it had occurred before. Alford (in Prolegomena to his Commentary on the Gospels, p. 46, 4th ed.) places the composition of the third Gospel even earlier, before a. d. 58, consequently before the traditional date of the Gospel of Matthew. But according to the almost unanimous testimony of the early Church, Matthew’s Gospel was written first. Jerome, in his biographical sketch of Luke, De viris illustr. cap. 7, mentions that some understand Paul to refer to the written Gospel of Luke quotiesquunque in epistolis suis Paulus dicit juxta Evangelium meum. But this is no doubt the gospel which Paul preached himself (comp. Galatians 1:8-9); and as to the passage 2 Corinthians 8:18 which Jerome quotes, it is not certain that Luke is intended, and in any case, εν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ refers not to a written Gospel, but to the affairs of the preached gospel and its spread among the Gentiles. On the other hand, de Wette, Reuss, Bleek, Meyer, and others, place the composition too late, viz., soon after the year 70, on the false assumption that Luke 21:24 f., already presupposes the destruction of Jerusalem. See Com. in loco.—P. S.]

The integrity of this Gospel is beyond all doubt. The objections formerly made to the first two chapters are not more weighty than those made, on doctrinal grounds, to Matthew 1:2.

With respect, finally, to its dignitas canonica et auctoritas divina, the third Gospel is certainly not the work of one of the first Apostles; but who can prove that the promises of our Lord, John 14-16, concerning the Paraclete, were limited to the Twelve; and may we not rather apply to the calling of Luke to be an Evangelist, the apostolic word: ἑκάστῳ δὲ δίδοται ἡ φανέρωσις τοῦ ΙΙνεύματος πρὸς τὸ συμφέρον (1 Corinthians 12:7)?


The great value of the third Gospel easily explains the large number of investigations and comments. We confine ourselves to such works as are specially devoted to Luke, and omit the general commentaries and works on the Bible, which include Luke among the rest.
Above many others we mention J. Piscator: Analysis logica Evangelii secundum Lucam, Siegen, 1596; Morus: Prœlect. in Lucœ Evang., ed. Donat., Lips. 1795; F. Schleiermacher: Ueber die Schriften des Lukas, ein kritischer Versuch, Berlin, 1817 [transl. into English by Bishop Thirlwall]; H. Planck: Observationes quœdam de Lucœ Evangelii analysi critica a Schleiermachero proposita, Göttingen, 1819; K. W. Stein: Commentar zu dem Evang. des Lukas, Halle, 1830; F. A. Bornemann: Scholia in Lucam ad supplendos reliquorum interpretum commentarios, Lips. 1830; Lisko: Die Parabeln, und Wunder Jesu, 1836 and 1841; Lange: The Exposition of the Gospel of Luke in his Leben Jesu, 3d Part, 3d Division; R. Stier: Die Reden Jesu nach Marcus und Lukas, Barmen, 1844 [the same in English: The Words of the Lord Jesus, transl. by Rev. Wm. B. Pope, vols. iii. and iv. of the new Philad. ed.—P. S.]; J. ab Utrecht Dresselhuis: Over het Evangelie van Lucas (a crowned prize-essay of the Society of Haag pro vindicanda religione Christiana), 1839; J. da Costa: Beschouwing v. het Ev. v. Lucas, Amsterdam, 1850; Dr. H. E. Vinke: Het Ev. v. Lucas met opheld. en toepass. aanmerkingen, Utrecht, 1852; W. F. Besser: Das Evangelium Lucœ in Bibelstunden für die Gemeinde ausgelegt, 3d ed., Halle, 1854 [homiletical and practical]; Heubner: Praktische Erklärung des Neuen Testaments, 2d vol. containing the Gospel of Luke, Potsdam, 1856.

Among older commentaries the work of the Dutch divine Segaar: Observationes philol. et theolog. in Evang. Lucœ capita priora, Ultraject., 1766, should not be forgotten. Special treatises on single chapters and verses will be noticed at their proper places.

[The English and American commentaries on the Gospel of Luke are chiefly those contained in the general commentaries (either of the whole Bible or of the N. T., or at least of the Gospels) of Hammond, Whitby, Burkitt, Matthew Henry, John Gill, Adam Clarke, Scott, Doddridge, Bloomfield, Webster and Wilkinson, Alford, Wordsworth, Barnes, Owen, Crosby, Jacobus (and, in course of preparation, Nast, and Whedon). In addition to these we mention James Ford: The Gospel of S. Luke illustrated (chiefly in the doctrinal and, moral sense) from ancient and modern authors, Lond. 1851 (684 pages); (N. N. Whiting:) The Gospel according to Luke, translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common Version, with (philological) Notes. New York: Am. Bible Union, 1860.—Of the Fathers we have Homilies and imperfect Commentaries on Luke by Origen, Eusebius, Cyril of Alexandria (the last two first published by Cardinal Angelo Mai, in Patrum Nova Bibliotheca ex Vat. Codd. Rom. 1844, vols. ii. and iv.), Ambrose (tom. i. col. 1261–1544, in the Bened. ed. of Ambr. Opera, Par. 1686), and others. Jerome wrote a brief Commentary on all the Gospels (as also on the Epistles and the Apocalypse, and the greater part of the Old Testament); but his Commentary on Luke is rather superficial. See the Vallarsi edition of Jerome’s works, tom. 10. pp. 772–828. Of Chrysostom we have a series of Homilies on Matthew and John (in tom. 7 and 8 of Montfaucon’s ed. of Chrys.), but none on Mark and Luke. The Patristic interpretations, including extracts from certain Homilies of Augustine, Gregory, Bede, etc., are conveniently (though not completely) brought together for the English reader in the Oxford translation of Thomas Aquinas’ Catena Patrum, vol. iii. Part i. Oxford, 1843.—P. S.]


“The second man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). These words of Paul might well be chosen as the inscription of the most Pauline of all the Gospels. On the one hand, we are taught to see in Christ the Lord from heaven, whose miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin, and visible ascension after the accomplished victory, are far more minutely and precisely related by Luke than by any of his fellow-witnesses. On the other hand, he represents Him to us as the second, the perfect, the ideal man, in whom the saying, “Homo sum, nil humani a me alienum puto,” becomes a sacred reality. And beyond any of his fellow-laborers, does he portray the genuine human purity and beauty, the human love and pity, and the human dignity and glory, of our Lord; while he bears no less emphatic testimony to his Divinity. From Luke 1:4-5; Luke 3:1-2; Luke 9:28, and other passages, we learn that Luke aims more fully than Matthew or Mark at chronological order in the arrangement of events. The higher unity of the different parts is found in the central idea: Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

Part First
The Miraculous Birth and Normal Development of the Son of Man.
(Luke 1:2)

1st Section.—Events preceding the birth of Christ (Luke 1:5-80).

A. Annunciation of the birth of His forerunner (Luke 1:5-25).

B. Annunciation of the birth of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38).

C. Hymns of praise, with which the expectation of the Messiah’s birth and the actual birth of the Baptist are greeted (Luke 1:39-80).

2nd Section.—The history of the Nativity (Luke 2:1-20).

A. The highest gift of Heaven (Luke 2:1-7).

B. The first Gospel upon earth (Luke 2:8-12).

C. Heaven and earth united in celebrating the Nativity (Luke 2:13-20).

3d Section.—The history of the development of the Son of Man (Luke 2:21-52).

A. The eighth day; or, submission to the law (Luke 2:21).

B. The fortieth day; or, the redemption from the service of the temple (Luke 2:22-40).

C. The twelfth year; or, the growth in wisdom and favor (Luke 2:41-52).

Part Second
The Beneficent Activity and Holy Pilgrimage of the Son of Man
. (Luke 3:1-19; Luke 3:27)

1st Section.—Testimony borne to Messiah[18] (Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:13).

A. By the preaching and baptism of John (Luke 3:1-22).

B. By the genealogy (Luke 3:23-38).

C. In the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13).

2d Section.—The journeyings of Jesus (Luke 4:14 to Luke 9:50).

A. Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30). The first rejection of the holy Son of Man by the sinful children of men.

B. Capernaum (Luke 4:31 to Luke 7:50). The Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.

a. The first settlement, the first miracles, the first choice of Apostles at Capernaum (Luke 4:31 to Luke 5:11).

b. The first departure from Capernaum to journey in its neighborhood. The Son of Man the Physician of the sick, the Friend of the publicans, the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lawgiver of the kingdom of God (Luke 5:12 to Luke 6:49).

c. The first return to Capernaum the first fruits of the believing Gentiles (Luke 7:1-10).

d. A second departure from Capernaum. The Son of Man manifested as a compassion ate High-Priest at the gate of Nain, and at the table of Simon; and also as the holy Messiah, to the scandal of John, of the people, and of the Pharisees (Luke 7:11-50).

C. Galilee and its neighborhood, including Capernaum (Luke 8:1 to Luke 9:50).

a. The first Christian sisterhood (Luke 8:1-3).

b. The parables of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:4-21).

c. The King of this kingdom, also the Lord of creation, of the world of spirits, and of death (Luke 8:22-56).

d. The Son of Man proclaimed by the twelve Apostles, feared by Herod, honored by the multitude whom He had fed (Luke 9:1-17).

e. The glory of the Son of Man acknowledged on earth, and accredited by Heaven. The scenes on the summit and at the foot of Mount Tabor (Luke 9:18-50).

3d Section.—The way of death (Luke 9:51 to Luke 19:27).

A. The divine harmony exhibited in the Son of Man, and the four temperaments of the children of men (Luke 9:51-62).

B. The seventy disciples (Luke 10:1-24).

C. Lessons of love, faith, and prayer (Luke 10:25 to Luke 11:13).

D. The Son of Man dealing with sanctimonious enemies and weak friends (Luke 11:14 to Luke 12:59).

E. The Son of Man dealing with the sin of some and the misery of others (Luke 13:1-17).

F. The nature of the kingdom of God; the way to the kingdom of God; the struggle for the kingdom of God (Luke 13:18-35).

G. The Son of Man eating and drinking (Luke 14:1-24).

H. The Son of Man opening His mouth in parables (Luke 14:25 to Luke 17:10).

I. Journey in the borders of Samaria and Galilee, with the remarkable events occurring there (Luke 17:11 to Luke 18:14).

K. Toward Jericho, in Jericho, from Jericho toward Jerusalem (Luke 18:15 to Luke 19:27).

Part Third
The last Conflict, and highest Glory of the Son of Man.
(Luke 19:28 to Luke 24:53.)

1st Section.—The last conflict (Luke 19:28 to Luke 23:56).

A. The preparation for the conflict (Luke 19:28 to Luke 22:38).

a. The entrance into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-44).

b. Disputes with His adversaries (Luke 20:0).

c. Revelations and parting communications to His friends (Luke 21:1 to Luke 22:36).

B. The increase of the conflict (Luke 22:39 to Luke 23:43).

a. Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-53).

b. Caiaphas (Luke 22:54-71).

c. Pilate and Herod (Luke 23:1-25).

d. Golgotha (Luke 23:26-43).

C. The end of the conflict (Luke 23:44-56).

a. The rest of death (Luke 23:44-46).

b. The mourning of nature and humanity (Luke 23:47-49).

c. The Sabbath of the grave (Luke 23:50-56).

2d Section.—The complete triumph (Luke 24:1-48).

A. Over the power of death and of sin (Luke 24:1-10).

B. Over the doubts of unbelief (Luke 24:11-45).

C. Over the opposition of Israel, and of the Gentile world (foretold), (Luke 24:46-48).

3d Section.—The dazzling crown (Luke 24:49-53).

A. The promise of the Prophet (Luke 24:49).

B. The blessing of the Priest (Luke 24:50).

C. The glory of the King (Luke 24:51-53).


[1]There I made his personal acquaintance in 1854, and kept up some literary correspondence with him since. I hope to see Dr. van Oosterzee and Dr. Lange again during this summer.

[2]Leven van Jesus, first published in 1846–1851, in 3 vols.; second edition, 1863–1865.

[3]Christologie, een handboek voor Christenen die weten willen in wien zij geloven, Rotterdam, 1855–1861, also in 3 volumes. The first part discusses the Christology of the Old Testament; the second that of the New; the third states the results and forms a complete work in itself, describing the Son of God before His incarnation, the Son of God in the flesh, and the Son of God in glory. The third part has been translated into the German by F. Meyering under the title: Das Bild Christi nach der Schrift. Hamburg, 1864. It is well worthy of an English translation. Dr. van Oosterzee wrote also a reply to Renan’s Vie de Jésus, under the title: History or Romance? It was translated from the Dutch into the German and published at Hamburg, 1864, and republished by the Am. Tract Society, N. Y. 1865.

[4]The Pastoral Epistles in the Anglo-American edition of Lange’s Commentary have been assigned to Prof. Dr. Day, of Lane Theol. Seminary, Ohio (who knows Dr. van Oosterzee personally, and is acquainted with the Dutch language and literature); the Epistle to Philemon to Prof. Dr. Hackett, of the Theol. Seminary at Newton Centre, Mass., and the Epistle of James to the Rev. J. Mombert, of Lancaster, Pa. All these translations will probably be finished during the present year or in 1866.—[P. S.—Owing to the removal of Prof. Day to Yale College, the Epistles to Timothy have since been assumed by the Rev. Dr. Ed. A. Washburn, of New York.]

[5][The author must mean a half-proselyte, or proselyte of the gate, who embraced only the moral law and the Messianic hopes of Judaism, as distinct from the full proselytes, or proselytes of righteousness, who conformed to the ceremonial law also, and were generally more bigoted than native Jews. Some regard Luke as a Hellenist or a Greek Jew (as distinct from the Hebrews proper), and thus account for his pure Greek style and liberal views. But the comparison of Colossians 4:14 with ver. 11 favors the conclusion that he was uncircumcised, since Paul does not mention him among his companions ἐκ περιτομῆς. Dr. Lange, in his Life of Jesus (i`. p. 252, German ed.), ingeniously supposes, though without proof, that Luke was one of the Greeks who visited the Saviour shortly before the crucifixion, John 12:20, and one of the two disciples of Emmaus, Luke 24:13.—P. S.]

[6][Jerome, in his short but interesting sketch of Luke, in his Liber de viris illustribus, cap. vii.: Lucas medicus Antiochensis, ut ejus scripta indicant, Græci sermonis non ignarus fuit, sectator apostoli Pauli, et omnis peregrinationis ejus comes, etc.—P. S.]

[7][By confounding Luke with Λούκιος ὸ Κυρηναῖος, Lucius of Cyrene. The name Lucas may be a contraction of Lucanus, or even Lucilius, but not of Lucius.—P. S.]

[8] [Jerome (Epist. ad Paulinum) says of Luke: Fuit medicus, et pariter omnia verba illius animæ languentis sunt medicinæ. Allusion is made also to his medical profession in the ancient lines:

Lucas, Evangelii et medicinæ munera pandens,

Artibus hinc, illinc religione valet:
Utilis ille labor, per quem vixere tot ægri;
Utilior, per quem tot didicere mori!
—P. S.]

[9][So says Jerome, Lib. de viris illustribus, cap. vii. at the close: Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vicesimo. Constantii anno, ossa ejus cum reliquiis Andreæ apostoli translata sunt.—P. S.]

[10][The word “many” must at all events imply more than two, and applies to imperfect accounts which are to be superseded in whole or in part by the more full and exhaustive narrative of Luke. Alford (Prolegomena to vol. i. of his Commentary, p. 50) gives it as his opinion that Luke never saw the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, else “he would most certainly have availed himself of those parts of their narratives, which are now not contained in his own.”—P. S.]

[11]In Verrem. Luke 2:0.

[12]Proofs of the scientific acquirements of the physicians of those times, and of Luke in particular, are abundantly furnished by Tholuck in his Glaubwürdigkeit der evangelischen Geschichte, p. 160 ff.

[13]It is, of course, understood by all reflecting readers that such remarks concerning the peculiarities of the Evangelists are meant not in an absolute, but in a relative sense only. We speak not of exclusive advantages of the Evangelists, but only of the prevailing standpoint from which a parte potiori each represents the inexhaustible wealth of the life of the God-Man.

[14]Comp. Lechler on Acts, p. ii. (in Lange’s Commentary).

[15][In an article on the subject in the Tübingen Theol. Jahrbücher for 1851.—P. S.]

[16][I add a judicious remark of the archbishop of York, Dr. William Thomson, in his article on the Gospel of Luke, in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. ii. p. Luke 155: “The passages which are supposed to bear out this ‘Pauline tendency,’ are brought together by Hilgenfeld with great care (Evangelien, p. 220); but Reuss [of Strassburg, a liberal critic] has shown, by passages from St. Matthew which have the same tendency against the Jews, how brittle such an argument is, and has left no room for doubt that the two Evangelists wrote facts and not theories, and dealt with those facts with pure historical candor (Reuss: Histoire de la Théologie, vol. ii. l. vi. Luke 6:0). Writing to a Gentile convert, St. Luke has adapted the form of his narrative to their needs; but not a trace of a subjective bias, not a vestige of a personal motive, has been suffered to sully the inspired page. Had the influence of Paul been the exclusive or principal source of this Gospel, we should have found in it more resemblance to the Epistle to the Ephesians, which contains (so to speak) the Gospel of St. Paul.”–P. S.]

[17][Comp. also Bishop Thirlwall’s Introduction to Scleiermacher on Luke, and especially Volckmar, Das Evangelium Marcions, Leipzig, 1852, who, though some of his views are untenable, has conclusively proved that our Gospel of Luke is older than the mutilation of Marcion. The original always precedes the caricature; truth is older than heresy.—P. S.]

[18][The German titles for the three sections are shorter than the translation: Die Beglaubigung; die Wanderschaft; der Todesweg.—P. S.]

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