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Gospels

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a term evidently of Anglo-Saxon origin (according to some, i.q. God's Spell, i.e., Word of God; but according to most and better authorities, i.q. good spells i.e., glad news) is the rendering of εὐαγγέλιον, good message (originally spoken of a reward for good news, Homer, Odyssey, 14:152, 166; Plutarch, Ages. 33; then of glad tidings itself, and so Sept. for בְּשׂוֹרָה 2 Samuel 18:20; 2 Samuel 18:22), constantly used in the N.T. (but not in Luke nor by John, and only twice in Acts, once in Peter, and once in Revelation) to denote,

1. The annunciation of the kingdom of the Messiah, as ushered in by the coming and life of Christ;

2. The Gospel scheme or plan of salvation thus inaugurated, especially in its promulgations; and,

3. The records or histories which constitute the original documents of this system of faith and practice. Justin Martyr employs for the last the less appropriate term ἀπομνεύματα , memoirs; and other ancient writers occasionally style them βίοι, lives; but they were not so, much designed as biographical sketches, whether complete or otherwise, but rather as outlines of the divine economy introduced in the New Dispensation. The central point of Christian preaching was the joyful intelligence that the Savior had come into the world (Matthew 4:23; Romans 10:15); and the first Christian preachers, who characterized their account of the person and mission of Christ by the term εὐαγγέλιον, were themselves called εὐαγγελισταί (Ephesians 4:11; Acts 21:8). The former name was also prefixed to the written accounts of Christ; and as this intelligence was noted down by various writers in various forms, the particle κατά, "according to" (e.g. εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ματθαῖον ) was inserted. We possess four, such accounts; the first by Matthew, announcing the Redeemer as the promised King of the kingdom of God; the second by Mark, declaring him "a prophet mighty is deed and word" (Luke 24:19); the third by Luke, of whoms it might be said that he represented Christ in the special character of the Savior in of sinners (Luke 7:36 sq.; Luke 15:18-19 sq.); the fourth by John, who represents Christ: as the Son of God, in whom deity and humanity became one. The ancient Church gave to Matthew the symbol of the ox, to Mark that of the lion, to Luke that of the man, and to John that of the eagle; these were the four faces of the cherubim. The cloud in which the Lord revealed himself was borne by the cherubim, and the four evangelists were also the bearers of that glory of God which appeared in the form of man.

I. Relative Position. Concerning the order which they occupy in the Scriptures, the oldest Latin and Gothic versions, as also the Codex Cantabrigieassis, place Matthew and John first, and after them; Mark and Luke, while the other MSS. and old versions follow the order given to them in our Bibles. As dogmatical reasons render a different order more natural there is much in favor of the opinion that their usual position arose from regard to the chronological dates of the respective composition of the four gospels (see Seiler, De tempore et ordine quibus tria Evangg. priora scripta sunt, Erlang. 1805 sq.): this is the opinion of Origen, Ireneaeus, and Eusebius. All ancient testimonies agree that Matthew was the earliest and John the latest evangelist. Kitto, s.v. For the dates, see each gospel. See also Tischendorf's tract, Wann wurden unsere Evangelien verfasst? (2d ed. Lpz. 1865).

II. Authenticity. It may fairly be said that the genuineness of these four narratives rests upon better evidence than that of any other ancient writings. They were all composed during the latter half of the 1st century. Before the end of the 2d century there is abundant evidence that the four gospels, as one collection, were generally used and accepted. Irenaeus, who suffered martyrdom about A.D. 202, the disciple of Polycarp and Papias, who, from having been in Asia, in Gaul, and in Rome, had ample means of knowing the belief of various churches, says that the authority of the four gospels was so confirmed that even the heretics of his time could not reject them, but were obliged to attempt to prove their tenets out of one or other of them (Contr. Haer. 3:11, § 7). Tertullian, in a work written about A.D. 208, mentions the four gospels, two of them as the work of apostles, and two as that of the disciples of apostles (apostolici); and rests their authority on their apostolic origin (Adv. Marcion. 4, chapter 2). Origen, who was born about A.D. 185, and died A.D. 253, describes the gospels in a characteristic strain of metaphor as "the [four] elements of the Church's faith, of which the whole world, reconciled to God in Christ, is composed" (In Johan.).

Elsewhere, in commenting on the opening words of Luke, he draws a line between the inspired Gospels and such productions as "the Gospel according to the Egyptians," "the Gospel of the Twelve," and the like (Homil. in Luke 3, page 932 sq.). Although Theophilus, who became sixth (seventh ?) bishop of Antioch about A.D. 168, speaks only of "the gospels," without adding, at least in that connection, the names of the authors (Ad Autol. 3, pages 124, 125), we might fairly conclude with Gieseler that he refers to the collection of four, already known in his time. But from Jerome we know that Theophilus arranged the records of the four evangelists into one work (Epist. ad Algas. 4, page 197). Tatian, who died about A.D. 170 (?), compiled a Diatessaron, or Harmony of the Gospels. The Muratorian fragment (Muratori, Antiq. It. 3:854; Routh, Reliq. S. volume 4), which, even if it be not by Caius and of the 2d century, is at least a very old monument of the Roman Church, describes the gospels of Luke and John; but time and carelessness seem to have destroyed the sentences relating to Matthew and Mark. Another source of evidence is open to us in the citations from the gospels found in the earliest writers. Barnabas, Clemens Romanus, and Polycarp quote passages from them, but not with verbal exactness. The testimony of Justin Martyr (born about A.D. 99, martyred A.D. 165) is much fuller; many of his quotations are substantially found in the gospels of Matthew, Luke, probably of John, and possibly of Mark also, whose words it is more difficult to separate.

The quotations from Matthew are the most numerous. In historical references, the mode of quotation is more free, and the narrative occasionally unites those of Matthew and Luke: in a very few cases he alludes to matters not mentioned in the canonical gospels (see Sernisch, Apost. Denkuiirdigk. d. M. Justin. Hamb. 1848). Besides'these, Matthew appears to be quoted by the author of the epistle to Diognetus, by Hegesippus, Irenaeus, Tatian, Athenagoras, and Theophilus. Eusebius records that Pantaenus found in India (the south of Arabia?) Christians who used the gospel of Matthew. All this shows that long before the end of the 2d century the gospel of Matthew was in general use. From the fact that Mark's gospel has few places peculiar to it, it is more difficult to identify citations not expressly assigned to him;' but Justin Martyr and Athenagoras appear to quote his gospel, and Irenaeus does so by name. Luke is quoted by Justin, Irenaeus, Tatian, Athenagoras, and Theophilus; and John by all of these, with the addition of Ignatius: the epistle to Diognetus, and Polycrates. From these we may conclude that before the end of the second century the Gospel collection was well known and in general use.

There is yet another line of evidence. The heretical sects, as well as the fathers of the Church, knew the gospels; and as there was the greatest hostility between them, if the gospels had become known in the Church after the dissension arose, the heretics would never have accepted them as genuine from such a quarter. Both the Gnostics and Marcionites arose early in the 2d century; and therefore it is probable that the gospels were then accepted, and thus they are traced back .almost to the times of the apostles (Olshausen). Upon a review of all the witnesses, from the apostolic fathers down to the Canon of the Laodicean Council in 364, and that of the third Council of Carthage in 397, in both of which the four gospels are numbered in the Canon of Scripture, there can hardly be room for any candid person to doubt that from the first the four gospels were recognized as genuine and as inspired; that a sharp line of distinction was drawn between them. and the so-called apocryphal gospels, of which the number was very great; that; from the citations of passages, the gospels bearing these four names were the same as those which we possess in our Bibles under the same names; that unbelievers, like Celsus, did not deny the genuineness of the gospels, even when rejecting their contents; and, lastly, that heretics thought it necessary to plead some kind of sanction out of the gospels for their doctrines: nor could they venture on the easier path of an entire rejection, because the gospels were everywhere known to be genuine. As a matter of literary history, nothing can be better established than the genuineness of the gospels; and if in these latest times they have been assailed, it is plain that theological doubts have been concerned in the attack. The authority of the books has been denied from a wish to set aside their contents. Out of a mass of authorities the following may be selected: Norton, Genuineness of the Gospels (Bost. 1846-8, 3 volumes); Kirchhofer, Quellensammlung zur Geschichte des N.-T. Canons (Zurich, 1844); De Wette, Lehrbuch der hist.-krit. Einleitung, etc. (6th ed., Berlin, 1860; tr. Bost. 1858); Hug's Einleitung (tr. with notes, Andover, 1836); Olshausen, Biblischer Commentar. Introduction, and his Echtheit der 4 Canon. Evangelien (Konigsb. 1823); Jones, Method of settling the canonical Authority of the N.T. (Oxf. 1798, 2 volumes); Baur, Krit. Untersuchungen ü ber die Canon. Evangelien (Tub. 1847); Reuss, Gesch. des N.T. (4th ed., Brunswick, 1864); Alford's Greek Testament, Prolegomena, volume 1; Westcott's History of N.T. Canon (2d ed. Lold. 186.6); Gieseler, Historisch-kritischer Versuch uber die Enstehung, etc., der schriftlichen Evangelien (Leipzig, 1818).

III. Mutual Relation and Origin. "Many portions of the history of Jesus" (remarks Mr. Norton, who has minutely investigated the subject) "are found in common in the first three gospels, others are common to two of their number, but not found in the third. In the passages referred to, there is generally a similarity, sometimes a very great similarity, in the selection of particular circumstances, in the aspect under which the event is viewed, and the style in which it is related. Sometimes the language found in different gospels, though not identical, is equivalent or nearly equivalent; and not unfrequently, the same series of words, with or without slight variations, occurs throughout the whole or a great part of a sentence, and even in larger portions" '(Genuineness of the Gospels, 1:240). Mr. Westcott exhibits the proportion of correspondences and peculiarities in several numerical tables: "If the extent of all the coincidences be represented by 100, their proportionate distribution will be, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 53; Matthew and Luke, 21; Matthew and Mark, 20; Mark and Luke, 6.... Looking only at the general result, it may be said that of the contents of the synptic gospels, about two fifths are common to the three, and that the part peculiar to one or other of them are little more than one third of the whole." He adds, "in the distribution of the verbal coincidences a very simple law is observable; they occur most commonly in the recital of the words of our Lord or of others, as are comparatively rare in the simple narative. Thus, of the verbal coinciden in Matthew, about seven eighths; of those in Mark, sabout four fifths; and of those in Luke, about nineteen twentieths, occur in the record of the words of others" (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, page 179). The following instances may be referred to for illustration, Matthew 8:2-3 -Mark 1:40; Mark 1:42=Luke 5:12-13; Matthew 9:5-6 =Mark 2:9; Mark 2:11 Luke 5:23-24; Matthew ix. 23, 24= Mark 10:23-25 =Luke 18:24-25. The amount of agreement, however remarkable, ought not to be overrated; it occurs chiefly in reporting the words of Christ. Norton gives, as the most striking instance of verbal coincidence in the case of narrative Luke 9:16 (comp. Matthew 14:19; Mark 6:41). Along with thee instances of correspondence, there are also many instances of difference. This renders the problem difficult of solution. No explanation can be satisfactory which does not account for both the correspondences and differences. Such is the phenomenon which has provoked so many attempts at explanation. "The literature of the subject is of vast extent, and the question is regarded as still unsettled. Our aim in the present article is to inquire how near the principal hypotheses which have been proposed approach to a solution of the difficulty.

1. In order to account for this singular relationship between the synoptic gospels, the first supposition is that the evangelists copied from one another, or that one evangelist used the gospels of his predecessors making such extracts as he thought necessary, with alterations and additions of his own. It is a curious circumstance, however, that the supposition of any one of the evangelists copying from the others is attended with insuperable difficulty. Whichever of them we suppose to be the original evangelist, and whichever we suppose to be the last, having one or both the others before him, we are unable in this way to explain the phenomenon. There are six possible ways of putting the case, every one of which has had learned advocates, and this variety of opinion itself is a strong argument against the hypothesis. Griesbach thought that Mark copied from Matthew and Luke, and this opinion is still held by some; but an opinion in favor of the originality of Mark has of late been gaining ground (Thiersch. Meyer, Weiss). It must, we think, be evident to any one who attentively compares the gospels of Matthew and Mark, that the latter cannot with any propriety be called a copy or abridgment of the farmer. There is an air of originality and freshness in Mark's narrative which proves the work to be anything but a compilation; and besides, in several important particulars, Mark differs from Matthew. No explanation can be satisfactory which does not account for the want of agreement as well as the agreement between the gospels. Indeed, it is not easy tosee what object Mark or any other of the evangelists could have in compiling a new gospel out of one or more which were acknowledged to be the works of apostles or their companions. "In its simple form, the 'supplemental' or 'dependent' theory is at once inadequate for the solution of the difficulties of the relation of the synoptic gospels, and inconsistent with many of its details; and, as a natural consequence of a deeper study of the gospels, it is now generally abandoned, except in combination with other principles of solution" (Westcott, On the Gospels, page 184).

2. We are thus brought to consider Eichhorn's famous hypothesis of a so- called original gospel, now lost. A brief written narrative of the life of Christ is supposed to have been in existence, and to have had additions made to, it at different periods. Various copies of this original gospel, with these additions, being extant in the time of the evangelists, each of the evangelists is supposed to have used a different copy ass the basis of his gospel. In the hands of bishop. Marsh, who adopted and modified the hypothesis of Eichhorn, this original gospel becomes a very complex thing. He supposed that there was a Greek translation of the Aramaean original gospel, and various transcripts with alterations and additions. But when it is considered that all these suppositions are entirely gratuitous, that they are made only to meet the emergencies of the case as they arise, one cannot help feeling that the license of hypothesis is carried beyond just bounds. The grand objection to this original gospel in the entire want of historical evidence for its existence. If such an original gospel ever had existed, it must have been of the very highest authority, and, instead of being tampered with, would have been carefully preserved in its original form, or at least in its Greek translation. The alterations and additions supposed to have been made in it are not only inconsistent with its sacred and authoritative character as the original gospel, but also with the habits of the Jews. Even if this hypothesis did adequately explain the phenomena presented in the first three gospels, it is far too artificially contrived to be true; but it fails of its aim. The original work, supposed to consist of the sections common to the three gospels, cannot be made out; and the individuality of, character belonging to each of the evangelists is irreconcilable with the supposition that several different writers contributed materials. Notwithstanding the identity of subject among the three gospels, each writer is distinguished by his own characteristic style. It is remarkable that Dr. Weiss, of Kö nigsberg, has quite recently (Stud. u. Kritik. 1861, 1, 4) propounded a theory of explanation very much akin to that of Marsh. He supposes that the first evangelist, the writer of Matthew's Gospel, as well as Luke, used a copy of Mark's Gospel, and, along with this, a second more ancient, perhaps immediately apostolic written source, which Mark also had already made use of in the composition of his gospel. In this way he thinks all the phenomena are simply and easily explained. He endeavors to establish his view by a detailed examination and comparison of the three synoptic gospels, and holds that these results of criticism are confirmed by the ancient tradition that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew, while there is no trace of the Hebrew gospel itself. The conclusion is that the Hebrew gospel of Matthew must have been displaced at, an early period by another containing its essential contents, but richer and more generally accessible in its Greek form. Hence, the later Greek gospel was held to be the work of Matthew the apostle, the more ancient Hebrew one having.been really the apostle's work. This revival in the present day of what is substantially the byypathnesis of Eichhorn and Marsh is significant of the still sunsettled state of the question.

3. That our present gospels are to be traced mainly to the oral teaching of the apostles as their source, was the opinion of Herder and Gieseler, and more recently of De Wettea, Guericke, Norton, Westcott, and others. "They have correctly apprehended" (says De Wette) "the spirit of Christian antiquity who regard the or al tradition of the gospel (the oral original gospel) as the basis and source of all the Christian gospels, and who endeavor to apprehend the history of the origin of the latter in a definite relation to the former" (Introd. to N.T., sec. 87). The gospel was published orally before it was committed to writing, and the preaching of the apostles must, from the nature of the case, have consisted chiefly of a narration of the facts recorded in our present gospels. It is naturally supposed that very soon a certain agreement or uniformity of narrative would be the result, and that we have a transcript, as it were, of this type or form of narrative in the first three gospels. The verbal coincidences in the gospels are found especially in those cases in which it might have been expected that the first preachers of the gospel would be exact, namely, the recital of the words of Christ, and quotations from the O.T. This account of the probable origin of the gospels is not only in accordance with the character of the period as an age of oral tradition rather than of writing, but is also substantially the same as that which Luke gives in the preface to his gospel (Luke 1:1-4). While Luke refers to written accounts of the ministy of Christ in the possession of some Christians at that time, he mentions that these accounts were founded directly or indirectly upon the oral accounts of the apostles (καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρἐται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου ). The statement of Papias respecting the origin of Mark's Gospel is, that it was derived from the preaching of Peter, and we have already quoted the important testimony of Irenaeus to the same effect. To prevent misapprehension, however, it ought to be observed that our written gospels date from the latter half of the first century, and that, "so long as the first witnesses survived, so long the tradition was confined within the bounds of their testimony; when they passed away it was already fixed in writing" (Westcott, page 192). The theory of the oral origin of the gospels, while it has much evidence in its favor, cannot be accepted as a complete solution of the problem. It does not explain the striking instances of verbal coincidence in the narrative portions common to the three synoptists, or to two of them; nor the instances in which either two or all the three evangelists agree with each other in their quotations from the Sept., and at the same time differ from the Sept. itself (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; compared with Isaiah 40:3, Sept., and Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8, camspared with Deuteronomy 6:13, Sept.). De Wette would combine the two hypotheses of a common oral source, and of the influence through writing of one evangelist on another."

There is a striking difference between the fourth gospel and the synoptic gospels in respect both to contents and form; but, with all this difference, there is a general and essential agreement. John relates in part the same things as the synoptists, and in a similar manner, but not with the verbal agreement. The following are parallel: The purification of the Temple, John 2:13-22=Matthew 21:11 sq.; the feeding of the multitude; John 6:1-15 =Matthew 14:13-21; the walking upon the sea, John 6:16-22=Matthew 14:22-36; the anointing, John 12:1-8 =Matthew 26:6-13; the entry into Jerusalem, John 12:9-19 =Matthew 21:1-11; the prediction of the denial of Peter, John 13:36-38 Matthew 26:33-35. In some of these instances the expressions are verbally parallel; also in the following: John 12:25=Matthew 10:39; Matthew 13:20= Matthew 10:40; Matthew 14:31 =Matthew 26:46. There is a similarity betweenjohn John 4:44, and Matthew 13:57; between John 13:16 and Matthew 10:24, and Luke 6:40 (De Wetta, Exagat. Handb. zum N. Test.). On. the other hand, however, much important matter has been omitted and much added by John, while his manner of narrations also differs from that of the synoptists. In the first three gospels, the scene of our Lord's ministry is chiefly laid in Galilee, but in the fourth gospel it is chiefly in Judaea and Jerusalem. This may partly account for the different style of our Lord's discourses in the synoptic gospels, as compared with the Gospel of John (Hug, page 433). In the former, Christ often makes use of parables and proverbial sayings; in the latter, John records long and mystical discourses. Yet we find proverbial maxims and parables also in John 12:24-26; John 13:16; John 13:20; John 10:1 sq.; John 15:1 sq. Many points of difference between the fourth gospel and the others may be satisfactorily accounted for from the fragmentary character of the narratives. None of them professes to be a complete biography, and, therefore, one may contain what others omit. Besides, the fourth gospel was composed after the others, and designed to be in some respects supplemental. This was the opinion of Eusebius, and of the still more ancient writers whose testimony he cites, Clement of Alexandria and Origen; and the opinion appears to be well founded. Whether John was acquainted with the works of his predecessors or not is uncertain, but he was no doubt acquainted with the evangelical tradition out of which they originated. We have, then, in this circumstance, a very natural explanation of the omission of many important facts, such as the institution of the supper, the baptisnm of Jesus by John, the history of his temptationand transfiguration, and the internal conflict at Gethsemane. These his narrative assumes as already known. In several passages he presupposes in his readers an acquaintance with the evangelical traditions (John 1:32; John 1:45; John 2:1; John 3:24; John 11:2). It is not easy to reconcile the apparent discrepancy between John and the synoptists with reference to the day on which Christ observed the first passover with his disciples. Lü cke decides in favor of John, but thereby admits the discrepancy to be real.

Again, ins the synoptic gospels, the duration of our Lord's ministry appears to beonly one year, whereas John mentions three passovers which our Savior attended; but neither the Synoptists nor John determine the duration of the Savior's ministry, and, therefore, there is no contradiction between them on this point. It has been alleged that there is an irreconcilable difference between the synoptics and the Johannean representation of Christ, so that, assuming the historical reality of the former, the latter must; be regarded as ideal and subjective; particularly, that. the long discourses attributed to Christ in the fourth gospel could hardly have been retained in John's remembrance, and that they are so unlike the sayings of Christ in the other gospels, and so like John's own, style in his epistles, that they appear to have been composed by John himself. If the allegation could be made good that the Christ of John is essentially different from the Christ of the synoptists, the objectionwould be fatal. On the contrary, however, we are persuaded that, on this all- important point, there is an essential agreement among all the evangelists. We must remember that the full and many-sided character of Christ himself might be represented under aspects which, although different, were not inconsistent with each other. It is by no means correct to say that thee fourth gospel represents Christ as God, while the others describe him as a mere man. Yet we may find in the fact of his wondrous person as the God- man an explanation of the apparent difference in their respective representations. That the synoptists do not differessentially from John in their view of Christ is shown; by Dorner in an admirable comparison (Dorner, Entweckelungsgeschichtea, v. 81 sq.; E. tr. v. 50 sq.). Lü cke and Fromman, as well as De Wette, greatly incline to the view that John has mingled his own subjectivity with the discourses of Christ, which he professes to relate. That the evangelist does not transfer his own subjective views to Christ appears from the fact that while he speaks of Christ as the Logos, he never represents Christ as applying this term to himself. We may also refer to those passages in which, after quoting obscure sayings of the Redeemer or remarkable occurrences, he either adds an explanation or openly confesses his ignorance 'of their meaning' at the time (John 2:19-22; John 6:70; John 7:37-39; John 11:11; John 12:16; John 12:32; John 13:27; John 20:9). The susceptible dispositiona of John himself, and the intimate relation in which he stood to Christ, make the supposition reasonable that he drank so deeply into the spirit of his master, and retained so vivid a recollection of his very words, as to reproduce them with accuracy. Instead of transferring his own thoughts and expressions to Christ, John received and reproduced those of Christ hirnself. In this way the similarity between John's language and that of Christ is accounted for. It is acknowledged, even by Strauss and De Wette, that the most characteristic expressions in John were really used by Christ himself. When it is objected that John could not retain in remembrance, or hand down with accuracy, such long discourses of Christ as he records in his gospel, far too little regard is paid to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to be expected especially in such a case as this, according to the Savior's promise, "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

See Bp. Marsh's Translation of Michaelis's Introd. to N.T. 3:2 (1803) for an account of Eichhorn's earlier theory and of. his own. Veysie's Examination of Mr. Marsh's Hypothesis (1808) has suggested many of the objections. In Bp. Thirlwall's Translation of Schleiermacher on St. Luke (1825, Introduction) is an account of the whole question. Other principal works are, an essay of Eichhorn, in the 5th volume, Allgemeine Bibliothek der Biblischen Literatur (1794); the Essay of Bp. Marsh, just quoted; Eichhorn, Einleitung in das N.T. (1804); Gratz, Neuer Versuch die Enstehung der drei ersten Evang. zu erklaren (1812); Bertholdt, Histor. kritische Einleitung in sammtliche kanon. und apok. Schriften des A. und N.T. (1812-1819); and the work of Gieseler quoted above. See also De Wette, Lehrbuch, and Westcott, Introd., already quoted; also Weisse, Evangelienfrage (Lpz. 1856); Schlichthorst, Verhaltn. d. synopt. Evang. zu einander (Gö tting. 1835); Wilke, Der Urevangelist (Dresden and Leipz. 1838); Lucke, Kommentar ub. d. Ev. Joh.; Frommann, Der Johannische Lehrbegriff; Schwarz, Untersuchungen uber d. synopt. Evangelien (Tub. 1844); Anon. Die Evangelien, ihr Geist, Verfasser und Verhaltniss zu einander (Leipz. 1845); Ritsch, in the Theol. Jahrb. 1851; Kostlin, Ursprung und Kompos. d. synopt. Evangelien (Stuttg. 1853); Smith (of Jordanhill), Origin and Connection of the Gospels (Edinb. 1853). For the mythical theory of the origin of the gospels, as developed by Strauss and others, (See RATIONALISM), and the art. (See JESUS). For diatessara on the Gospels, (See HARMONIES OF THE GOSPELS).

IV. Commentaries, expressly on the whole of the four gospels alone, have been numerous; the most important are here designated by an asterisk (*) prefixed: Theophilus, Commentariorum fragmenta (in Grabe, Spicilegium, 2:223 sq.); Athanasius, Quaestiones (in Opp. [Spur.], 2:253 sq.); Jerome, Expositio (in Opp. [Suppos.] 11:733 sq.); Augustine, Quaestionum lib. 2 (in Opp. 4:311 sq.); Juvencus, Carmina (in Bibl. Patr. Gallandii 4); Sedulius, Expositiones [on Matthew, Mark, and Luke] (in Maii Script. Vet. 9:159 sq.); Arnobius, Annotatiuncula (in Bibl. Max. Patr. 8); Theophylact, Commentarius (in Opp. 1); Anselm, Explanationes (in Opp. ed. Picard); Rupert, In Evang. lib. 1 (in Opp. 1:534 sq.); Euthymius, Commentarius (Gr. and Lat., Lips. 1792, 3 volumes, in 4, 8vo); Aquinas, in Aurea Catena (Paris, 1637, fol.; also in Opp. 4:5; in Bibl. Patr. Gall. 14:297, et al.; Catena from the Fathers, by Pusey, etc., Oxf. 1841-5, 4 volumes, in 8, 8vo); Gorrainus, Commentaria (Colon. 1472, 1537, Hag. 1502, Antw. 1617, Lugd. 1693, fol.); Zuingle, Adn.otationes [ed. Lec Juda] (in Opp. iv); Faber, Commentarii (Meld. 1522, Basil. 1523, Colossians 1541, fol.); Bucer, Enarrationes (Argent. 1527, 1528, 2 volumes, 8vo; Basil. 1537, Geneva, 1553, fol.); Arboreus, Commentarius (Paris, 1529,1551. fol.); Cajetan, Commentarii (Venice, 1530, Paris, 1532, 1536, 1540, 1543, fol.; ib. 1542, Lugd. 1558, 1574, 8vo). Sarcer, Scholia (on the gospels successively, Freft. and Basel, 1538-50, 4 volumes, 8vo); Broeckweg, Enarratione, (Par. 1543, 8vo; Ven. 1648, 4to); Herborn, Enarrationes (Colon. 1546, 4to); Brunsfeld, Adnotationes [including Acts] (Argent. 1553, fol.); Delreio, Commentarii (Hispal. 1554, fol.); Lossii, Adnotationes (Francft. 1559, 2 volumes, fol.); Bullinger, Commentarius (on successive gospels; together, Tigurini. 1561, fol.); Aretius Commentarii (Lausanne, 1578. 2 volumes, 8vo; also in his Comment. on the N.T.); Rande, Erklarung (Francfort, 1597, fol.); Biniet, Commentaria (Paris, 1581); Sa, Scholia [compiled] (Antwerp, 1591, Lugd., 1602, Colon. 1612, 4to); Bulliond, extracts of old and new comments (in French, Lyons, 1596, 1628, 4to); *Maldonatus [Rom. Catholic], Commentarius (Mussipont. 1596, 2 volumes fol.; and often later in various forms; his own last. ed. Lugd. 1615, fol.; lately, Mogunt. 1841-55, 5 volumes, fol.); Gualtha, Homolia [including Acts] (Tigur. 1601, fol.); Lucas, Commentarius (Antw. 1606, 2 volumes, fol., with a supplement in two volumes, fol. on ib., 1612-16, complete, ib. 1712, 5 volumes, in 2, fol.); Scultetus, Exercitationes (Amst. 1624, 4to; also in the Critici Sacri, 6); Heraeus, Scholia [founded on Aquinas] (Antw. 1625, 12mo); Coutzen, Comm;ezentaria (Colon. et Mog. 1626, 2 volumes, fol.); Munster and others, Annotationes (in the Critici Sacri, 6); Masius, Notae (ib. 6); Jansen, Commentarius (1631); Crell, Explicatio (in Opp. 3:1 sq.); Ebert, Tetrasticha Hebraea (in Ugolini. 31:17 sq.); De Rance, Reflexions (Paris, 1699, 4 volumes, 12mo); De Dieu, Animadversiones (L.B. 1633, 4to); Spanheim, Dubia Evangelica [polemical] (Geneva, 1634-9, and later, 3 volumes, 4to); Bounet's Commentary (in French, Par. 1634, 4to); Panonus, Commentarius (Naples, 1636, fol.); De Sylveria, Commentarii (in 6 successive volumes, some of them often, chiefly at Lyons, 1642-75); Trapp, Commentary [including Acts] (London, 1647, 4to; 1748, 1868, 8vo); Walseus, Commentarius [from Beza and others] (L.B. 1653, 4to); Boys, Collatio [chiefly in favor of the Vulgate] (Lond. 1655, 8vo); Ferrerus, Commentarius (Lugd. 1661, fol.); Wolzogen, Commentarius in Opp. [Amst. 1668, fol.] pages 1-1038);. Sandys, Interfretationes (Amst. 1669, 8vo); Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae [valuable for Talmudical comparisons] (ed. Carpzov, Lips. 1675, 4to); Keuchen, Adnotata [including Acts] (Amnst. 1689, and later, 4to); *Alex. Natalis, [Rom. Cath.] Expositio [chiefly extracted] (Paris, 1703, fol.); *Dorsche, Commentarius (Hamb. 1706, 4to); Ulric, Bibelubung [completed by Wirz] (Tigur. 1713-39, 4 volumes, 8vo); S. Clarke, Paraphrase (first in parts, Lond. 1721-2, and later, 2 volumes, 8vo; also in Works, 3; transl. in Germ. by Wilmsen, Berl. 1763, 3 volumes, 4to); Hagiophilus, Observationes [incomplete] (Gardeleg. 1741, 4to); Hoecher, Analecta (ed. Wolfii, Altenb. 1766, 4to); Lynar, Erklr. (Hall. 1775, 8vo);, Bp. Pearce, Commnetary [including Acts] (London, 1777, 2 volumes, 4to); Thalemann, Versio [including Acts] (Berlin, 1781, 8vo); Bp. Mann, Notes [including Acts] (2d ed. London, 1788, 12mo); Campbell, Notes (Aberdeen, 1789, 2 volumes, 8vo, 3d ed. ib. 1814, 4 volumes, 8vo; Andover, 1837, 2 volumes, 8vo); Quesnel, Comment (Bath, 1790, 2 volumes, 8vo; London, 1830, 3 volumes, 12mo); Bossuet, Reflexions (in OEuvres, 14:117 sq.); Erskine, Songs (in Works, 10:627 sq.); Schulz, Anmerk. (Halle, 1794, 4to); Elsley, Annotations [including Acts] (Lond. 1799,1821, 1827, 3 volumes; 1841, 2 volumes; 1844, 1 volume, 8vo); Brameld, Notes (Lond. 1803, 8vo); *Kuinö l, Commentarius [including Acts] (Lips. 1807-12, and since, 4 volumes, 8vo; London, 1835, 3 volumes, 8vo); Jones, Illustrations (Lond. 1808, 8vo); Stabback, Annotations [including Acts] (Falmouth, 1809, 2 volumes, 8vo); St. Gilly, Observations (Lond. 1818, 8vo); Kistemacher, Erklarung (Munst. 1818-20, 4 volumes, 8vo); Moller, Ansichten (Gotha, 1819, 8vo); *Fritzsche, Commentarii [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] (Lips. 1825-30, 2 volumes, 8vo); Sumner, Exposition (Lond. 1832, 8vo); Barnes, Notes (New York, 1832, 1847, 2 volumes, 8vo); *Watson, Exposition [Matthew and Mark] (London, 1833, 8vo; New York, 1841); Page, Notes (London, 1834, 12mo); Glockler, Erklarung [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] (Frankfort, 1834, 8vo); Slade, Remarks (Lond. 1835, 12mo); Lingard, Notes (London, 1836, 8vo); Adam, Exposition (ed. Westoby, London, 1837, 2 volumes, 8vo); Ripley, Notes (Boston, 1837-8, 2 volumes, 8vo); Rule, Notes (Gibraltar, 1841, 4to); Longking, Notes (N.Y. 1841-4, 4 volumes, 16mo); Kenney, Commentary [including epistles] (Lond. 1842, 2 volumes, 12mo); Paulus, Exeg. Handbook, [first 3 gospels] (Heidelb. 1842, 3 volumes, 8vo); Baumgarten-Crusius, Commentar, [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] 1 (Leipzig, 1844, 2 volumes, 8vo); Livermore, Commentary (Lond. 1844, 8vo; Boston, 1850, 12mo); Paige, Notes (Boston, 1844-5, 2 volumes, 12mo); Mackenzie, Commentary [including Acts] (London, 1847, 8vo); *Ewald, Erklarung (first 3 gospels, Gottingen, 1850, 3 volumes, 8vo; John, ib. 1861-2, 2 volumes, 8vo); Brown, Discourses of Christ (Edinburgh, 1850, 3 volumes, 8vo; New York, 1864, 2 volumes, 8vo); also Commentary (ib. 1854-5, 4 volumes, in 7, 8vo); Girdlestone, Lectures (new ed. Lond. 1853, 4 volumes, 8vo); *Stier, Reden Jesu [on Christ's words only (Barmen, 1853-5, 7 volumes, 8vo; tr. Edinb. 1855 sq., 8 volumes, 8vo; N.Y. 1864-8, 2 volumes, in 3, 8vo); Stebbing, Helps (Lond. 1855, 8vo); *Norton, Notes (Boston, 1855, 2 volumes, 8vo); Lyttleton, Notes [including Acts] (Lond. 1856, 8vo); Ryle, Expos. Thoughts (London and N.Y. 1856-66, 6 volumes, 8vo); Hall, Notes (N.Y. 1857, 2 volumes, 12mo) Owen, Notes (N.York, 1857-60, 3 volumes, 12mo); Whedon, Commentary (N.Y. 1860-6, volumes 1, 2, 12mo); *Bleek, Erklarung [first 3 gosp.] (Lpz. 1861-2, 2 volumes, 8vo); Jacobus, Notes (N.York, 1848-56; Edinb. 1863, 3 volumes, 8vo); Burger, Erkldrung [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] (Nordlingen, 1865, 8vo); Burgon, Commentary (new ed. London, 1865, 5 volumes, 12mo); Bisping, Exeg. Handb. (Mü nster, 1865, 8vo); Warren, Notes (Boston, 1867, volume 1, 12mo). (See NEW TESTAMENT).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gospels'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/g/gospels.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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