Notes on the Introduction
Mark, although he may have been (as Birks thought, p. 235) a Roman Christian on his father’s side, was doubtless maternally a Hebrew (Palestinian) Christian (Acts 12:12). Cf. the Aramaic surname of his cousin Joseph (Acts 4:36). Hence the Greek used by him would have, as we find, an Aramaic tinge about it. Very noticeable is the frequency with which he gives Aramaic words. At Mark 6:15, Mark 8:14, Mark 10:22, Mark 14:8, Mark 15:12, Wellhausen impeaches him of imperfect acquaintance with Greek (as to which see note 78 in particular). Mark’s peculiarities, however, are all explicable from the
κοινὴ διάλεκτος, used from the time of Polybius to long after the beginning of the Christian era. As to this “Hellenistic” Greek, see Carr, Notes on Luke, pp. 9-14. The second Evangelist does but combine an Aramaic element with strictly colloquial Greek, with which the Roman Christians would be familiar, as this was the language very long used in that community at Rome (Swete, Introduction).
Many have based their belief that this Gospel was composed for the special benefit of Christians at Rome on the presence of numerous Latin expressions in it, but these were current coin throughout the Empire. The reference to Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21) is suggestive, because of mention of a Rufus in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:13). But there is something to be said for Birks’ view (p. 227 ff.; cf. Bernard, p. 43) that Mark’s Gospel had Palestinian Roman readers in view from the fact that no geographical explanation is offered, such as Italians would require, where some (as Wellhausen, Wernle) find vagueness in his statements, so as to attribute to the Evangelist himself imperfect knowledge of the country. As to this, however, see Greswell (p. 98 f.).
2 The treatment of incidents in which Peter is prominent strikes all readers: that which would be honourable to the Apostle is passed over, whilst anything discreditable to him is emphasized. If this be not seen, some support might attach to the Tübingen “tendency theory.” Peter’s connection with this Gospel acquired, however, a legendary character, more and more as the actual circumstances receded. Papias (A.D. 125) and Irenaeus (A.D. 180) having represented the Gospel as finished after the death of Peter, Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 200) spoke of it as written in his lifetime; Eusebius as with the Apostle’s sanction; whilst Jerome (A.D. 420) makes out that Peter dictated it (Pfleiderer, i. 398f.).
As to the extent of the circulation of Mark’s Gospel in the early Church, see Burkitt, p. 260 f. The earliest Greek commentary upon it which is extant was that of Victor and others of Antioch (about A.D. 400); the earliest Latin that of our venerable Bede. See, further, note 168.
3 Since the middle of the second century of our era (with the exception of a statement by Clement of Alexandria, that the two Gospels with genealogies were the first written), the Gospel of Mark has taken the second place, intermediate between those of Matthew and Luke, of the Gospels called “Synoptic” by Griesbach (1790). So in typical authorities such as Muratori’s fragment in the West, Athanasius’s list of books in the East, neither Mark nor Luke is placed first in a single document. The traditional idea, followed by Origen (third century), has been that Matthew’s was the Gospel first of all written, then Mark’s; and this belief was accepted by post-Reformation writers of repute, such as Grotius and Bengel. In the nineteenth century Greswell (i., p. 16) adhered to the old view, and it underlies Bernard’s esteemed Bampton Lectures on “Progress of Doctrine,” where (p. 143 f.) Matthew’s close link with the Old Testament and his treatment of the Gospel preached first to “the circumcision” (Rom. 15:8), have been emphasized. Archbishop Thomson, in his introduction to the first volume of the “Speaker’s Commentary” (p. xxxvii. 1.), did not depart from it. Roman Catholic opinion, represented by Hug (1808) and Schanz, maintains the precedence, of Mark over Luke. That W. Kelly’s conviction was the same as that of these various writers appears in his “Lectures on Matthew” (p. 376. f.).
From the time of Herder (1780), however, the notion arose that Mark’s, the shortest and simplest of the three, was the earliest of the Gospels written. Lachmann (1835) gave formal expression to this belief (see Burkitt, p. 37). For a time, in the hands of the dominant Tübingen school (Baur, Hilgenfeld, etc.), Matthew’s priority held its ground, and as late as the year 1885 H. J. Holtzmann could describe this as a “burning question.” It is still an open one, although the suffrages of most experts, including Westcott in England (p. 190), are for Mark (see below under “Synoptic Problem”). Some of these, nevertheless, allow that passages such as Matt. 5:17, Matt. 10:6, Matt. 15:24, tell against their opinion. Certain modern writers have held that Mark was last of the three, whilst some Germans in the middle of the last century have assigned to Luke priority over both Matthew and Mark. Such was already Beza’s opinion at the time of the Reformation: he could not believe that Matthew and Mark wrote before Luke, because of the third Evangelist’s apparent criticism, in his Preface, of all predecessors. But it has not been generally supposed that Luke included Matthew and Mark in what he there says. Matthew, at any rate, was an “eye-witness,” an “attendant on the Word” (Greswell, p. 75), whilst Mark’s Gospel is in close relation to the Apostle Peter’s ministry (note 2).
Dean Robinson adopts Professor Harnack’s earliest date for Mark, which is A.D. 65; Professor B. Weiss’s date is A.D. 67. The corresponding date for Matthew is A.D. 70 (the Epistle of Barnabas, quoting Matthew’s Gospel, refers to the destruction of Jerusalem as quite recent); and for Luke, A.D. 80. Zahn’s dates are, for Mark, A.D. 67; for Luke, A.D. 75; for Matthew, A.D. 85.
The chief result of assigning the earliest date of all to Mark has been that the critics’ view of the development of Christian doctrine has been shaped by their interpretation of this Gospel in particular, which is regarded as exhibiting the teaching of the “historical” in distinction from the “Pauline” Christ. Mr. F. W. Newman, in his last book, “Hebrew Jesus,” remarked (p. 57): “No one can reasonably doubt that the whole essence of the faith and religion of Jesus of Nazareth finds its expression in the Lord’s Prayer.” Strange to say, the prayer is not contained in the Gospel of Mark! For reply to the same writer’s remarks in “Phases of Faith,” p. 173, on the Synoptists in relation to the Deity of Christ, see J. N. Darby, “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 287.
4 There has always been difference of judgment as to which of the Gospels, if any, exhibits the exact sequence of events in the Lord’s ministry. Ancient opinion favoured Luke’s order; modern is for that of Mark. Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis (A.D. 125), according to a passage quoted by Eusebius (“Ecclesiastical History,” iii. 39), stated on the information of “John the Elder,” a disciple of the Lord, that Mark’s record of what He said and did was “not in order.” The historian describes Papias as “a man of petty mind,” which opinion Réville (i. 291) puts down to the ecclesiastical courtier’s dislike of millenarian opinions represented by this Papias; nevertheless, the old Bishop seems to have been wrong in this. Greswell (i., p. 5) and Birks held Mark’s order to be the most regular, Greswell going on to say, rightly, that it is confirmed by that in the fourth Gospel. On the other hand, Farrar’s much-read “Life of Christ” is based on Luke’s order (see edition of 1903, p. 143); and Wright (“New Testament Problems,” p. 176 f.), Salmond (art. “Mark” in “Hastings’ Dictionary,” p. 255), Wellhausen (“Introduction to the Gospels,” p. 51), J. Weiss (p. 19), with Wernle (“Sources,” pp. 58, 60), are adverse to the now prevalent view, which W. Kelly always maintained. It rests on a firm basis: where Matthew and Luke differ from Mark’s order, they differ also from each other; Mark and Matthew constantly differ from Luke, Mark and Luke from Matthew, but we do not find that Matthew and Luke together differ from Mark, save most exceptionally (see Abbott, “Encyclopaedia Biblica,” or Bennett, “Primer,” and especially Burkitt, p. 36 ff.). It would be found that the first part of Mark coincides with Matthew, but the second with Luke.
5 The “fragmentary” view was advocated by the celebrated Schleiermacher (1817), whose Essay on Luke was translated into English by Bishop Thirlwall (1832). But Mark’s Gospel (6:14) will show us that the Evangelists, selecting their materials (cf. John 20:30), did not go to work with mere fragments which came to their hand haphazard. Their omissions were due to an entirely different cause from that alleged by writers who measure their knowledge of words and deeds by the limits of their respective records.
A crucial instance is that of the raising of Lazarus. Professor Burkitt writes as to this: “Where are we to put the scene into the historical framework preserved by St. Mark? Can any answer be given except there is no room?” (p. 222). Already had Professor Sanday, in his “Fourth Gospel” (p. 166), written: “The vague, shifting outlines of the Synoptists allow ample room for all the insertions made in them with so much precision by St. John” (cf. John 4:2, 3). Professor Tischendorf, in his “Synopsis Evangelica,” placed the incident between the end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth chapters of Mark, and that without awakening sense of dislocation on the part of most students, including Greenleaf, the standard American writer on Evidence, who assigns the same position to it in his “Harmony.” But Burkitt goes on to say that the event could not have been unknown “to a well-informed personage like Mark, nor could he have had any reason for suppressing a narrative at once so public and so edifying. . . . Is it possible,” he asks, “that anyone who reads the story of Mark can interpolate into it the tale of Lazarus and the notable sensation? . . . Must not the answer be that Mark is silent about the raising of Lazarus because he did not know of it?” (p. 222 f.). Hear now W. Kelly: “Why should the resurrection of Lazarus be omitted in the first three Gospels? Man, if these accounts had been his work, would not have omitted it; he would deem the insertion of it in each Gospel necessary for a full and truthful account. . . . The omission of so stupendous a miracle in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, points out clearly that it is the Spirit of God who wrought sovereignly, and writes by each with a special purpose. . . . This miracle of raising Lazarus does not show us Jesus as the Messiah, or the SERVANT, or the Son of man, but as the Son of God, who gives life and raises the dead, a grand point of doctrine in John 5, and there found alone in the Gospels” (“Lectures on Matthew,” p. 437 f.). The difference between the “sayings” of Jesus and “public events” in His life (Burkitt) is of no significance whatever from this point of view. So it is with the whole texture of the Gospels, from Matt. 1 to John 22. Various incidents are recorded by those who did not actually witness them, whilst one or other who did is silent about them. Cf. another quotation in note 7 from an earlier part of Professor Burkitt’s book.
6 We here reach one of the two determining elements of the so-called “Synoptic Problem,” which has engaged men’s minds since the time of Le Clerc (1716), more particularly since the thirties of the last century. It is the conjunction of agreements and differences which makes the problem, from the merely literary point of view, so “complex and difficult,” as Professor Sanday has described it in his Bampton Lectures (p. 281). Professor H. J. Holtzmann remarks that, while the idea of inspiration (see note 13) governed scholars’ minds, it was the differences which exercised them; that now they canvass the agreements, which the older writers ascribed to the autor primarius. W. Kelly, however, would explain the differences in the same way.
Archbishop Thomson refers agreements to a common source. That there was any such written one is purely hypothetical. Luke’s
ἄνωθεν (Luke 1:4) does not tell us, as Newman’s “Phases of Faith” (p. 127) might lead unwary readers to suppose, that the third Evangelist used such (cf. “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” reissue, p. 162 f.). If there be any truth at all in a story, we look for substantial agreement in the witnesses.
7 For a historical student, as for a lawyer, it is differences which demand the more consideration. When we have to estimate the value of any statements, as Chrysostom long ago said, the very differences may remove all suspicion of collusion on the part of the witnesses. Now, if “each of the three Gospels represents a different view of our Lord’s life and teaching” (Burkitt, p. 131), the solution of differences should usually not be far to seek, even if it seem not at first entirely adequate; and this because we do as yet but “know in part.”
A solution of some difficulty of this kind often proposed is that the diversity arises from difference in translation from the Aramaic speech of Christ or of those reporting Him (so Eichhorn: see Schmiedel, col. 1850). There is, says Salmon, the tendency of different translators of a common document to vary in both words and constructions (p. 105 f.). The reference there is to Mark 12:38, compared with Luke 20:46. At verse 40 of Mark (as verse 47 of Luke) we have “prayers,” but in Matt. 23:5 “phylacteries”: the word “tephillin” means both.
The following simple cases may be taken in further illustration:
1. Reporting the Parable of the Sower, Mark 4:15 has “Satan,” Matt. 13:29 the “wicked one,” Luke 8:12 “the devil.”
2. In the account of the Transfiguration, Mark 9:5 has “Rabbi,” Matt. 17:4 “Lord,” Luke 9:33 “Master” (as to which last, see Burkitt, p. 113 f.). It is easy to see that for these a mere difference of translation may arise.
3. The superscription on the cross, written in three languages. Mark’s narrative (Mark 15:26), probably read in particular by Roman Christians, would follow the Latin form, the most concise.
4. The parallels to Mark 12:15 in Matt. 22:18 and Luke 20:23 used by Westcott are very interesting, because they exhibit a difference of both verbs and nouns throughout.
But the difference may be one of enlargement or contraction, as in the report of Peter’s great” confession. Mark 8:29 has simply “the Christ,” but Luke 9:20, “the Christ of God,” whilst Matt. 16:16 gives “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Here is a case in which Mr. Kelly’s difference of “Divine design,” of which the respective writers were instruments, alone will help us. Reference may be made to his “Lectures on the Gospels,” and to those specially on Matthew, in a separate volume.
8 Cf. H. J. Holtzmann, “Introduction,” p. 233 “The Gordian knot, which dogmatics failed to cut, it is for criticism to untie.”
9 The characteristic portions of Matthew referred to are Matt. 5 - 7; of Luke: Luke 6:20 - 8:3, and Luke 9:51 - 18:14.
10 The natural solution — from the literary standpoint — is doubtless that the Synoptists either copy one from another, or make use of a common source (Burkitt, p. 34; cf. Westcott, pp. 184-186).
As common source, Lessing (1785) supposed (it is all a question of hypothesis, note 6) an Aramaic Gospel of the Nazarenes; and so Eichhorn (1794), whose work was translated into English by Bishop Marsh. Eichhorn held that no Synoptist had used either of the two others. Greswell makes the natural remark (p. 36) that “a primary common source might account for verbal agreements, but not for supplemental arrangement of facts”; and, the more helpful observation (p. 39 f.), that “if you believe in the inspiration of the Gospels, the supposed existence of sources from which the Evangelists derived their materials is not more precarious than unnecessary” (cf. note 13 below). Such is precisely the standpoint of these Lectures.
As far as Mark’s Gospel is concerned, the idea of any document being behind it scholars now gradually give up (Burkitt, p. 63 f.). An exception is made with regard to Mark 13:14, where the words “Let him that readeth understand,” Sanday (followed by Burkitt) may be right in saying, “could not have been suggested by oral tradition.”
The hypothesis that now holds the field is that our canonical Mark is the common source of Matthew and Luke, so far as regards the matter which these Gospels have in common. In his “Manual Commentary” on the Gospels, H. J. Holtzmann already, seventeen years ago, wrote of it as proven (p. 3). This professorial writer is possessed by the idea that “Christianity is a book religion”; so that for him it does not so far, rise above the level of Islam. Not so, happily, his fellow-critic Bernhard Weiss, for whom it is “a life.”
The connection between the Gospels of Mark and Luke is referred by Dean Luckock (i. 7) to the intercourse between these Evangelists, to be gathered from Col. 4:10-14, Philem. 4. Cf. the affinity of Luke’s Gospel to the writings of Paul.
One stage in the conduct of this investigation was marked by, a discussion of the supposed existence of an “original Mark” (Urmarcus, called by French writers Protomarc). English readers are referred for this to Burkitt, p. 40 ff. H. J. Holtzmann and Pfleiderer (i. 401) have been dominated by the idea of such a document having existed in Aramaic. Jülicher (p. 232) and Burkitt, amongst others, think that there was no such document behind the canonical Mark, the last-named German professor referring to the peculiarity of Mark’s vocabulary and style, quite unlike a translation.
There remains, however, the question whether any other document, no longer existing, once furnished materials for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Another statement of Papias, also reproduced by Eusebius, appears in all the modern literature upon this topic. According to Papias (as well as Irenaeus and Origen), Matthew wrote
λόγια (Oracles: cf. Rom. 3:2, Heb. 5:12) in the “Hebrew dialect,” by which is understood Aramaic. Each. Papias says, made what he could of this record of “sayings.” Its existence is not questioned by W. Kelly, or those like-minded (cf. “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” pp. 102 note, 294). This is the document called “Q” by Wellhausen. Bishop Lightfoot (“Essays on Supernatural Religion,” p. 173 f.) and Zahn (as Burkitt; p. 13 5, giving parallels with Mark at p. 147 f.) have thought that it recorded both acts and words of the Lord. Most are of opinion that, while Matthew’s Gospel in its Greek form, and Luke may have drawn from this collection, Mark did not; but Ewald, B. Weiss, and Schanz extend its use to the second Gospel also. Of course, the existence of such a collection in Aramaic would carry with it the possibility of a corresponding Greek document. Words of the Lord not in our canonical Gospels seem to have been in circulation. In Acts 20:35 “remember” indicates that Paul was not speaking by revelation. “There can be no doubt,” wrote Neander,” that Paul made use of written memoirs of the life of Christ” (p. 7). Some of the Apostle’s own writings have not been in like manner rescued from oblivion (1 Cor. 5:9; Col. 4:16).
11 Bishop Westcott (“Introduction to the Gospels,” p. 164 ff.), Archbishop Thomson, Deans Plumptre and Farrar, with other scholars of the characteristically “English school,” and the Swiss Professor F. Godet (on Luke), make it mainly a question of oral tradition, which Westcott conceives lasted to the time of Papias. Zahn shows from the history of the Canon that the Gospels were generally current in the Church from about A.D. 130. In 1 Cor. 15:5-7, Paul appeals to no written record, but to living witnesses. The tendency in Germany has been to attach ever less importance to oral tradition, which Schmiedel characterises as a “refuge for the destitute” (col. 1845). The Lord’s words were brought to the remembrance of the Twelve (John 14:26). They were to proclaim His sayings from the housetops (Matt. 10:27; cf. Acts 10:37, 1 Cor. 15:3, 1 Tim. 6:3). Abbott supposes that the Synoptic Gospels were independent expansions of notes taken from “the Apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). Wright dwells much on catechetical instruction (Luke 1:4 in Greek); but see H. J. Holtzmann’s strictures in his “Introduction,” and also the remarks in “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 291, on insufficiency of human repetition.
12 On the “supplemental” view, see Westcott, p. 183f. The history of the whole problem, of which this is the last phase discriminated by W. Kelly in the text, would be found lucidly given in H. J. Holtzmann’s “Introduction.” The Fathers and traditional theology held that Matthew’s Gospel was intended to prove the Lord’s Messianic claims; that Mark made use of Matthew, according to Augustine, whom Erasmus followed, as an epitomizer; but Koppe, in 1782, rightly denied that such was the case. The Roman Catholic scholar Hug held that Mark gave a chronological arrangement to the materials that he found in Matthew’s record; and that Luke, besides using his predecessors’ work, as assumed by Augustine in his “De consensu Evangelistarum,” i. 2, 4, where “co-operation” is spoken of (said by Schanz, p. 25 ff., to have continued to be the prevalent idea), availed himself of further sources. From the extracts used by Greswell (p. 55 f.) it would seem that Luke was actually acquainted with Matthew’s Gospel as well as Mark’s. In the third Evangelist’s account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper some find combination of Matthew and Mark’s records with Paul’s (1 Cor. 11:23-25).
Biblical writers do seem to have made use of each other’s work: (1) in the Old Testament, for example, Jeremiah of Deuteronomy, Micah of Isaiah, or vice versa; (2) in the New Testament, where the First Epistle of Peter is cognate with the Roman and Ephesian Epistles of Paul, Second Peter with Jude. Paul is supposed by W. Kelly, in his exposition of 1 Tim. (5:18), to have used Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10:7). Zahn connects Mark 10:9 with 1 Cor. 7:10. As to this use by one writer of another, see “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 165.
13 The INSPIRATION of the Bible is a topic which, unhappily, at the present day awakens dissension amongst Christians. The older view is represented by such writers as Bishop Wordsworth of Lincoln. Archdeacon Lee of Dublin, and Dean Burgon; that now prevalent, by the British and American Higher Critics and their adherents of the “modern” pulpit.
The slur which imputation of “Bibliolatry” carries with it no more attaches to those cherishing the same conviction as that of W. Kelly than to all Christians worthy of the name who venerate the Bible as an altogether unique sacred Book. The superstitious respect in which a volume of the Bible is held by the Russians is something quite different from the allegiance of such as the lecturer, for whom there is no exchange of the thraldom of “historical Christianity,” as it is called, for bondage to the letter of Scripture, so often alleged against the English Reformers. Those who emphasize the guidance of the Spirit are not prone to make that mistake.
Gardner is right in saying, “All compromises are unavailing; we must have either verbal inspiration or scientific criticism, with its results, whatever they may be” (“Exploratio Evangelica,” p. 469). It will be seen that the present book unreservedly accepts this issue.
A bogey has been made of plenary (verbal) inspiration by reason of ill-advised statements of extremists (see Ladd, vol. ii., pp. 182, 206 f., 218). To contend for the inerrancy of Hebrew vowel-points and accents (ii. 177), which tyros in that language at the present day know were invented only after the Canon of Scripture was closed, and to set up other like indefensible positions, have brought discredit on the phrase, from which there is difficulty in emancipating it. The “mechanical” view, so called, that God “took possession of every faculty, suspending and superseding it” (Thomson, “Introduction,” p. lv.), is negatived by 1 Cor. 7:40, 2 Cor. 11:17. As the Archbishop rightly says, “the sacred writers were not machines. . . . If his mind was logical, he reasoned as Paul did; if emotional, he wrote as John wrote.” That theory carried with it the idea of dictation, which was a mistake: it is, to begin with, inconsistent with reminiscence (John 14:26). As to style: “If God has expressly formed the instrument, He can use it for the purpose for which He has formed it. That is style” (“Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 147). Of course, the Holy Spirit has no special language of His own: He did but use the particular writer’s language, which none the less bears the impress of the Spirit. One may take 1 Cor. 15:2 in R.V.: “in what words I preached it unto you.” A spiritualist will tell you that a “medium” gives him the spirit’s words. Why not, then, God His own in the Bible? To say, as do advocates of the “illumination” theory (as to which see Farrar, “The Bible,” etc., p. 111), that inspiration extends only to doctrine, not at all to the language of Scripture, traverses 1 Cor. 2:13. The word
λαλεῖν used there is not applied by Biblical writers exclusively to oral speech (see Rom. 7:1, Heb. 4:8, 2 Peter 3:16, comparing Acts 28:25). Reference may here be made to the note below on Mark 14:9, in respect of which Wellhausen has tripped. Few will question the supernatural value of the Lord’s own words on earth, and the claim they make upon His disciples. As a Synoptic passage we may take Mark 8:38, and compare 1 Tim. 4:6, 1 Tim. 6:3, where probably the Apostle speaks of his own utterances or communications as “words of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That there is a difference between “the word” and “words” appears from John 8:43 (cf. Davidson, art. “Prophecy” in “Hastings’ Dictionary” and note 69). That inspiration attaches to the
ῥῆμα as used in Acts 28:25, where “one” such extends to verse 28, is beyond dispute. Dr. Clifford (p. 88) objects to the American sceptic Ingersoll’s remark: “It will not do to say that it (the Bible) is not verbally inspired. If the words are not inspired, what is?” The infidel was perfectly right. It is not those who defend “plenary” inspiration that need any commiseration, but certainly those that deny it. Instead of such concessions conciliating infidelity, they do but encourage it, as the present writer found when concerned with intelligent workmen at Chatham, whose hostility to conventional religion has not been removed, but rather strengthened, by certain summer courses of cathedral sermons in the neighbourhood.
Ancient opinion as to inspiration may be seen in Westcott (“Introduction” Appendix B). Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Origen certainly went further than moderns; Basil, Chrysostom and Jerome allow for individuality.
After Luther had already expressed his opinion against the idea (Dorner, “History of Protestant Theology,” i., 254), a decree of the Council of Trent declared for dictation, somewhat to the embarrassment of the recent Papal Commission. As to the present Catholic position, see Schanz, “A Christian Apology,” ch. xiii. Calvin was of much the same mind as the German reformer (Dorner, i., p. 390). Calov and Quenstedt, of the Wittenberg school, in the following century held the most extreme view of “mechanical” inspiration (ii. 128, 131, 136). With them agreed the divines who drew up the Helvetic Confession (1675).
As far as writers like W. Kelly are to be classified, it will be with those whose sympathies go with the “dynamic” view, of “the immediate and indefeasible guidance of the Holy Spirit”; but the miserable idea of mistakes on the part of the Biblical writers is for such entirely excluded. Schaff’s moderate statement is to be commended: “We cannot say that the thoughts only are Divine, while the words are altogether human. Both thoughts and words, contents and form, are Divine and human as well.” It is the same, he says, as with the Person of Christ.
Leading British theologians, for the most part, now are influenced by the views of Coleridge, which underlie the “general” view (see Farrar, p. 112) represented by Dean Alford, and fostered in the academic teaching of the Old English Universities, as well as Nonconformist theological colleges. It recognises “the action of the Holy Spirit on the heart of the writers, not distinct from the analogous influence on all Christian men.” But this is to confound positive inspiration with a strain of high fervour. Nobody could wisely deny a Divine “afflatus” to Christian hymns which impress the spiritual nature of people of different nations in somewhat the same way as Scripture does: such is the hymn by Bernard of Clairvaux, put into English verse by Josiah Conder, which begins, “Thou art the everlasting Word.” Hymns and spiritual songs of that high quality go into every hymn-book. Some writers, from the names used by the Apostle appearing in the titles of the LXX, have supposed that the “hymns and spiritual songs” Paul mentions in his Ephesian and Colossian letters were the Old Testament Psalter alone. But with this view W. Kelly could not agree (see his “Reply to Rees”).
The school of opinion on inspiration last discriminated in Farrar’s book attaches “no attribute of infallibility to Bible phrases and references.” As this position is very much the one taken by Martineau and Emerson, it is manifest that with it “Higher Criticism” acquires wide scope, and few safeguards remain. “Calling it inspiration,” wrote W. Kelly, “only adds to the delusion” (“Exposition of John,” p. 412). Doubtless the Spirit is, as A. B. Bruce said, “the only true guardian of orthodoxy” (“Kingdom of God,” p. 336); but, at the same time, you have leading Higher Critics claiming that the movement engineered by themselves is a “breathing of the Spirit.” It rather behoves the “spiritual” to acknowledge than to criticize Scripture (1 Cor. 14:3; cf. John 7:17, and Ps. 112:4).
Professor Sanday (“Oracles of God,” p. 36) says There is a grave question whether its history is altogether infallible,” although Dr. Clifford writes: “Historians were seers, and went down below the surface of things.” Réville (i. 257) alleges misreporting and misrepresentation of the Lord’s sayings by the Evangelists; and so Dr. Horton in “Revelation and the Bible” (p. 233f.): “Historical criticism may challenge the accuracy of the Evangelists.” He himself has assailed that of John (“The Teaching of Jesus”). How any responsible writers can, in the face of Luke 1:4, state that the Biblical writers do not claim accuracy is an enigma. Thus Wright ventures to say that “the Scriptures themselves protest against the traditional view of the Gospels that they are absolutely true,” and his Scripture reference is none other than 1 Cor. 13:9 f., which does but speak of what is true as far as it goes — i.e., covers nothing in any way false; it concerns what as yet remains unrevealed. Moreover, such use of Paul’s words is surely perilous in the light of Mark 13:32. In the same strain as Dr. A. Wright, Dean Robinson speaks of “an inspiration which does not carry with it the entire accuracy of every detail of historical narrative” (“Thoughts on Inspiration,” p. 10).
The unity of the Scripture is manifestly impaired by the very prevalent error that the historical element is purely human. What is one to think of the use made by some of James 3:2 as evidence of a disclaimer by Biblical writers of infallibility? How, in the name of such British common sense as exists outside of a modern minister’s study, can one conceive that the readers of that epistle (in accordance with a favourite canon of interpretation) understood the Apostle’s Words in that fashion? For them, as for Luther, his letter would only have been one of “straw.”
Associated, strangely enough, with misrepresentation by the Evangelists of the Lord’s teaching is the alluring cry of “back to Christ” (the new, Ritschlian, theology). Wellhausen tells you that such a thing is impossible; that the “historical Christ” (cf. note 3 at end) is so much overlaid by “historical Christianity” as to be “played out.” Amidst all this wreck, let writer and reader hold fast 1 John 4:6. What can we know of Christ save as instructed by His commissioned first followers?
Much depends on the use which we make of the Bible for the particular view we take of inspiration. If the word be our daily food, that view will be high; if it is only “studied,” a very low view will satisfy. As far as there is any fault, it must be in ourselves. Principal Fairbairn has well said, “Unless God he heard in the soul, He will not be found in the word” (“Christ in Modern Thought,” p. 499).
A profound student of Holy Scripture has written: “We are only sure of the truth when we retain the very language of God which contains it” (Darby, “Synopsis of the Books of the Bible,” on 2 Tim. 1:13 ). It was from sharing this conviction that men like Tregelles and Burgon, widely divided in their views of textual criticism, went to work in the same spirit, the former wearing himself out with lifelong devotion to an attempt to arrive at an approximately pure text of the New Testament. Such pains taken by anyone with lower views of inspiration than his it is difficult to appreciate.
As to “the word of God” being “contained in Scripture,” see note on 7:13. Reference may further be made to Sir R. Anderson’s trenchant remarks on the whole subject of the present note in his “Bible and Modern Criticism,” pp. 83. 177-184.
14 J. J. Griesbach, Professor at Jena, described by Mr. Kelly in the preface to his edition of the “Greek Text of the Revelation” as “perhaps the most distinguished of modern critics for judicial ability,” divided the authorities into Alexandrian (as “B”), Western (as “D”), and Constantinopolitan or Byzantine (as “A”). In his second edition (1796-1806) Griesbach gave preference to the Alexandrian recension.
J. M. A. Scholz, Roman Catholic Professor at Bonn, followed in 1830-1836 with an edition professedly based on Byzantine readings.
Karl Lachmann, mentioned in the text, published his larger edition in 1842-1850, and wherever possible regarded only Alexandrian copies older than the fifth century. He rigidly excluded internal evidence. Although he sought to carry out the idea of Bentley in exhibiting a text current in the fourth century, he neglected to give effect to the English scholar’s acknowledgment of the value of the later for correction of slips in the ancient manuscripts. These are respectively called “cursives,” or “minuscules,” and “uncials.”
15 As to the Syrian text, “which underlies the so-called Textus Receptus, Westcott and Hort, in their “Introduction,” § 185, p. 133, admit that it “must be the result of a recension in the proper sense of the word, a work of criticism performed by editors, not merely by scribes.”
“The triumph,” writes Sir R. Anderson, “of the Westcott-Hort school of textual criticism in the revision of the New Testament was due to either ignorance or neglect of the science of evidence. The mutilation of the Gospels, by making the text agree with certain of the oldest manuscripts, was but an example of the tendency of laymen to disparage indirect evidence when direct evidence is available. No lawyer would accept the authority of those manuscripts against the united voice of the versions and the Fathers” (“Pseudo-Criticism,” p. 5). For this, compare Wills on “Circumstantial Evidence,” p. 260 (secondary evidence admissible when an original document has been lost), and also the American standard work on “Evidence” of Professor Greenleaf, vol. i., part ii., chapter iv., §§ 84, 509.
16 It is really the application of one’s mind to the internal evidence which carries with it the most severe test. How often your merely textual critic may be like the person who, up to a certain point, could only see men as trees walking (Mark 10), because some eye-salve is wanting for spiritual insight! (Rev. 3:18). Even if it were another hand, as Tregelles and others have supposed, who added the twelve last verses of our Gospel, that man, Aristion or any other, was governed by more sense of spiritual propriety than those now who try to account for the addition by merely historical or literary considerations. - On the text of Mark, see Blass, “Philology of the Gospels,” chapter xi.
Notes On Mark 1.
17 Mark 1:1 — “Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Some, as Meyer and Wellhausen, treat this as a title, corresponding to that in the beginning of Matthew, which view H. J. Holtzmann discredits because of the “according as.” “Gospel” here is not used in the literary sense of “book,” a meaning which it did not bear until well into the second century, when Justin Martyr, writing about the year 150, speaks of the Gospels as “Memoirs” (
ἀπομνημονεύματα). Some writers — the Germans, misled by Luther’s version (kept up in the joint critical translation of 1899) — take Mark’s words to mean “Gospel concerning Jesus Christ.” Zahn, however, sees that the real force is “beginning of the Gospel” as ministered, good news brought, by Him. Cf. Acts 1:1, Heb. 2:3, Rev. 19:10 (“testimony of Jesus Christ”). It is a portraiture of His service, a model for His workmen (cf. 1 Peter 2:20 ff. with 8:35, 10:29 here). Zahn well says that for doctrine about Him the Biblical manner of expression would show
περί, as in Acts 28:31, Rom. 1:3. See also Hosea 1:2, referring likewise to W. Kelly’s “Exposition of the Epistles of Timothy,” p. 4.
18 Mark 1: 2. — With regard to the quotation, Klostermann points out that “prepare the way” in Malachi is, in fact, characteristic of the latter part of Isaiah, and that the absence of “and” is significant — that Mark meant a single prediction (p. 176). Large use of “and” (parataxis) is certainly peculiar to this Gospel, for which, besides the opening chapter (passim), see in particular Mark 3:13-16 and Mark 10:32.
Lee (p. 339), after Hengstenberg (“Christology of the Old Testament,” iii., p. 608), supposes that Malachi used Isaiah — that is, not to have given an independent prediction (cf. note 12 above).
“Thy [for My] way.” J. Weiss (p. 197f.) remarks that “the Christology of Mark is related to that of John more closely than is generally supposed.” As to this, reference may be made to Mark 2:10:41, 44, (see note there), Mark 3:15, Mark 6:7, and to note 3 above. The “priority” of Mark lends no assistance to the theories of writers like Martineau about growth of “mythological attributes of the person of Jesus” (“The Seat of Authority in Religion,” ii. 360).
ἐβάπτισα we have a good instance of the flexibility of the later aorist, scarcely differing here from the present. It is not a mere Hebraism.
19 Mark 1:11. — “I have found my delight.” That is, in the self-humiliation of JESUS, seen in His submission to the baptism; not excluding the Lord’s earlier life on earth (Gould), nor reference to His preincarnate condition (Swete). Wellhausen strangely renders
εὐδόκησα by “I have chosen.” If that he intended to conform to Isa. 42:1, Theodotion’s version of which Swete mentions as “probable” reference, the connection (Matt. 12:17 ff.) of the prophet’s words is missed — Christ’s rejection by the nation, and God’s then taking up the Gentiles. We have here the objective attestation of the sonship (Sanday) for the Lord’s own enjoyment. So in Luke 3:22, whereas in Matt. 3:17 (cf. John 1:33) the Spirit records the voice as to the Baptist. See, further, note on Mark 8:38.
20 Mark 1:13, 14. — Between these two verses a position may very well be found for the early Judean ministry of the Lord recorded by the fourth Evangelist. Greswell supposes that it lasted six months at least (p. 19). Cf. John 3:24, John 4:13, and Acts 10:37, with Mark 3:7, 8. In Luke 4:44 there is a striking variant reading — “the synagogues of Judea” — which finds place in the text of the “Workers’ New Testament” and in the margin of the R.V.
21 Mark 1:15. — Intelligent habitual readers in general of the Gospels suppose that they understand such familiar phrases as “kingdom of heaven,” “kingdom of God,” without being aware of the extent to which the meaning or bearing of these expressions is canvassed by professional expositors of Scripture. Some scholars (as Schürer, 2, p. 453; Stalker, “Christology,” p. 138; and O. Holtzmann, p. 160 ff.) can find no difference between them. Such commonly rely on the acknowledged fact that “heaven,” in Jewish usage, may stand sometimes for “God” (H. J. Holtzmann, “New Testament Theology,” p. 50), as in Matt. 5:34 (cf. Matt. 23:22), Mark 11:30, Luke 15:18, John 3:27. So Bishop Robertson, Bampton Lectures, p. 62f. (cf. Dalman on “Phraseology, of the Mishna,” p. 179). But “used as a name of God, we always have the singular (
οὐρανός), and never the plural” (Cremer, “Lexicon of New Testament Greek,” edited by Urwick, p. 662 f.). It is so in the passages just quoted from each of the Gospels. Writers who so blend the two expressions have no adequate explanation to offer of Matthew’s phrase “kingdom of God” in Matt. 12:28, Matt. 19:24, Matt. 21:31. See also Fairbairn, “Studies in the Life of Christ,” p. 104.
As to the connection between “kingdom” and “Church,” A. B. Bruce says: “The two categories do not entirely coincide. The kingdom is the larger category. It embraces all who by the key of a true knowledge of the historical Christ are admitted within its pale” (“The Kingdom of God,” p. 266). Cf. Principal Fairbairn: “The kingdom created the Church, not the Church the kingdom. The parables that explain and illustrate the one are inapplicable to the other. . . . The Church and the kingdom may be more properly contrasted than compared” (op. cit., p. 108), and “the Church began to exist after the Ascension” (p. 110). Dr. Hort wrote helpfully on this subject. “Since Augustine’s time,” he says, “the kingdom has been simply identified with the Christian Ecclesia. This is a deduction from some of our Lord’s sayings taken by themselves, but it cannot, I think, hold its ground when the whole range of His teaching about it is examined. We may speak of the Ecclesia as the visible representation of the kingdom of God, or as the primary instrument of its sway. . . . But we are not justified in identifying the one with the other, so as to be able to apply directly to the Ecclesia whatever is said in the Gospels about the kingdom of heaven or of God” (“The Christian Ecclesia,” p. 19). Cf. Dorner, “The Future State,” American translation, p. 73 ff. Wellhausen has not advanced beyond Augustine’s idea. See his “Introduction,” p. 106. The passage has been paraphrased by Burkitt (p. 192 ff.). He, too, treats the kingdom as equivalent to the Church, and misapprehends the distinctive character of the first Gospel. In the volume on Matthew’s Gospel (p. 113f.) W. Kelly has: “There is not in all Scripture a single passage where the kingdom of heaven is confounded with the Church, or vice versa.”
The phrase “kingdom of heaven,” derived from the Old Testament (Dan. 4:26), meant primarily the visible sovereignty of God established in power and glory (cf. Mark 9:1). The rejection of Christ has postponed that, and has imparted to the kingdom the form of “mystery” (Matt. 13) which it now takes. The present is the time of the King’s “patience” (Rev. 1:9). In Matt. 28:18 we find “all power is given unto Me in heaven.” Here is the inauguration of the “kingdom of heaven” which, as “kingdom of God,” had already affected the earth (Luke 17:21).
22 Mark 1: 21. — Capernaum (cf. Matt. 9:1, “His own city”). Trench quotes Chrysostom (“Homily on Matthew”): “Bethlehem bare Him, Nazareth nurtured Him, Capernaum had Him continuously as inhabitant.”
23 Mark 1: 22. — For the scribes, see art. s. tit. in the American “Jewish Encyclopaedia,” vol. xi. A stupendous fact of the Lord’s life on earth is that He had no education commonly so called, although Josephus (“Contra Apion,” ii. 25) tells us that “Moses gave commandment to instruct children in the elements of knowledge (
γράμματα).” Graetz (“History of the Jews,” ii. 148) quotes from the Talmud that “a fatherless child was not brought to be taught” in any synagogue school. Indeed, “there is no evidence,” writes Fairbairn, “that in the time of Jesus any schools existed in Nazareth. The wonder both at Nazareth (Mark 6:2) and Jerusalem (John 7:15) how He knew His letters proves that He had not been educated in any school” (“Studies in the Life of Christ,” p 52; cf. his “City of God,” p. 226). The Lord spoke the Aramaic dialect of a Galilean peasant, but Fairbairn goes probably too far in saying that He did not know Greek (“Manchester Lectures on the Miracles of Christ,” p. 17). If so, how did He communicate with the Greek woman of Mark 7:26? Sepphoris, a Greek city, was within five miles of Nazareth, and Greek was spoken throughout that region. Even so, His would be only colloquial Greek, like that which we meet with in the Gospel of Mark. See, further, note 56.
H. J. Holtzmann (“New Testament Theology,” p. 129 f.) speaks of the importance of students of the Gospels being acquainted with the vernacular of JESUS. Cf. Burkitt, p. 5 f., where reference is made to Wellhausen’s application of such knowledge to the interpretation of the Gospel records, the Cambridge Professor stating that things imperfectly understood by students knowing only Hellenistic Greek are “immediately clear” to those so further equipped. As far as the German Professor’s “Commentary on Mark” is concerned, we are not struck with the result as profitable. His treatment of “Son of man” is based on a view of the Aramaic background which Dalman, the leading expert in this branch, rejects (see note on Mark 2:10). Is it helpful to anyone to be told by Wellhausen (on Mark 1:4) that the Aramaic equivalent of a Greek passive is an active intransitive (reflexive), illustrated in baptism by “the one baptized” of the classical language being equivalent to “the one dipping (himself)” in the vernacular of Christ? Leaving eccentricities or tricks of language alone, we may recall a solemn question of the Lord at Jerusalem, and His own answer (John 8:43): “Why do ye not know My speech (
λαλίαν)? Because ye cannot hear My word (
As to the scribes (Sir A. F. Hort, “Divinity Professors”), reference may be made to Edersheim, “Life of Jesus the Messiah,” if not to Schürer, “History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ,” § 25. As to Christian “theology,” see note 35.
24 Mark 1: 24. — This incident is vividly exhibited in Delitzsch, “A Day in Capernaum,” p. 99.
25 Mark 1: 29. — Klostermann makes use of this verse in illustration of the process of Peter’s supposed connection with the second Gospel. The Apostle’s “we” and “me” (my) Mark is considered to have simply converted into “they” and “Simon.” Klostermann treats 3:16 similarly.
26 Mark 1: 34. — For the difference between “devil” and “demon,” see Trench, “On the Miracles,” p. 166f.
27 Mark 1: 43, 44. — Harnack (“What is Christianity?”) uses this passage in support of his idea that the Lord “did not assign that critical importance to His miraculous deeds which even the Evangelist Mark attributed to them.” On the miraculous, see note 58.
“Say nothing to anyone”: lest the priests, hearing of it by anticipation, should discredit the hand of JESUS in it (J. Wesley).
Notes On Mark 2.
28 Mark 2: 4. — For description of such a house, see A. M. Thomson, “The Land and the Book,” ii., p. 433 f.
29 Mark 2: 7. - Blasphemy is one of the New Testament Greek words which acquired an extension of meaning among the Jews beyond that which they had in the classics. There it meant simply “speaking against” a person, a “blasphemy” thus being the opposite of a “euphemism” (Trench, “Miracles,” p. 219). Cf. its use in Mark 14:64, and for the thought cf. Phil. 2:6. Bengel has a good note in his “Gnomon” at Matt. 9:3. Another such word is
αἰώνιος, used in Mark 3:29, where the “Workers’ New Testament” renders “age-abiding.” Such words illustrate Ps. 12:6: “The words of Jehovah are pure words, silver tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times.”
30 Mark 2: 10. — Here we meet, for the first time in Mark, with the title Son of man, used characteristically by the Lord of Himself. The lecturer sets forth at the end of this chapter (verse 27 f., cf. the note there) what is undoubtedly its true significance. But the phrase exercises “divines” still, as of old the “scribes” (John 12:34). H. J. Holtzmann says that the meaning intended is “one of the most intricate questions in New Testament theology” (“Introduction,” i., p. 246); and the art. s. tit. in Hastings (vol. iv.) certainly shows the perplexity prominent contemporary writers feel in dealing with it (p. 586). How could anyone really be satisfied with such enlightenment as this article affords? It is, however, like exposés of “modern thought,” which Mrs. Humphry Ward deems instruments of a “liberal education.” A summary of the points at issue may be useful:
1. Whether “Son of man” does or does not bear a Messianic meaning. Bousset (chapter 10) avers that the majority of scholars regard it as a true Messianic title. Harnack, on the affirmative side, agrees not only with H. J. Holtzmann, but with B. Weiss, whom Stalker (Lect. ii.) and Stevens follow. They are influenced by such passages as Mark 14:61 f., John 3:13, and 1 Cor. 15:45, 47 — some, accordingly, seeing a reference in it to Christ’s heavenly origin (so also Dalman). The negative side is taken by Westcott (“Commentary on John’s Gospel”) and Wendt (“The Teaching of Jesus”). Neander limited himself to saying, “It is certain that this name was not amongst the more usual or best-known names of Messiah” (p. 98).
2. As to the meaning which “Son of man” bears in the Old Testament. The passages discussed are Job 25:6, Ps. 8:5 and Ps. 80:17, Ezek. 2:1, etc., Dan. 7:13. Job 25:6 and Ps. 8, as well as the passages of Ezekiel, are supposed to describe inferiority. A. B. Bruce on Matt. 9:6 would connect the parallel passage here with those of the Ezekiel type (“humiliation”). Dan. 7:13, it is generally agreed, stands for superiority. However this may be, H. J. Holtzmann, Dalman, Schmiedel, etc., trace the New Testament use of the title to Daniel; not so Westcott, etc.
3. The relation of the Evangelists’ “Son of man” to that in the apocryphal book of Enoch (“Similitudes,” chapters xxxvii. — lxxi.) is discussed. This book was for long known only in Ethiopic, but for the last twenty years the first thirty chapters of it have been available in Greek. Deane, in his “Epigrapha,” has dealt with so much as concerns the present topic (pp. 49-95; see in particular pp. 62, 89 f.). Amongst others, Réville (i. 192 note) is of opinion that the picture of the “Son of man” in this book “differs entirely from that common to the four Gospels.” Stanton and Drummond agree in considering the book post-Christian.
4. With regard to the meaning being (a) “mankind,” or (b) simply a “human being.” Grotius took it in the first sense; later writers, as Neander (p. 99), Westcott, Stanton (“Jewish and Christian Messiah,” part ii., chapter ii.), and Farrar, understand by it the “Ideal of Humanity,” and practically a new title, although Ps. 8:4 and Ps. 80:17 might seem, from the parallelism in each, to countenance that sense already in the Old Testament. H. J. Holtzmann (“Introduction,” p. 39 f.; “New Testament Theology,” i., p. 255), Pfleiderer (i. 341, referring to Matt. 9:8), Wright, Wellhausen (“Jewish and Hebrew History,” p. 346), hold that the use of Bar Enosh in Aramaic determines “human being” as the sense, on the ground that B-E is the only equivalent in that language for “man.” This view naturally suits such as Martineau (“Seat of Authority in Religion,” p. 335 f.). Holtzmann’s view, however, Dalman, the leading expert, describes as “a grievous error,” “a mare’s nest,” because in Biblical Aramaic Enosh alone, not B-E, stands for “man,” and with him Schmiedel and some others agree.
Theology — call it “systematic” or “scientific” — is certainly not at its best in such uninspiring treatment of this title, after which it is refreshing to find Fairbairn writing that “Son of man” is “no man’s son”; that He “has no fellow”; that Christ is “the Son of man”; and, further, “As Son of God, Christ interprets God to man; as Son of man, He interprets man to God” (“Christ in Modern Theology,” p. 364).
Following up the lecturer’s remarks, which introduce the reader to a very different atmosphere from that of conventional scholarship, we may develop these by reference to the “Synopsis of the Books of the Bible,” by Mr. J. N. Darby. The second psalm, he explains, in the light of Acts 4:25 ff., as exhibiting to us the Son of God, rejected in His character of Messiah; the eighth as setting Him forth “the Son of man,” with a higher glory (cf. John 1:49 ff., John 12:23, 34). In Mark 9 (see also notes on that chapter) Peter, having confessed Jesus as Messiah, the Lord thereupon drops that title for the time being, to introduce His sufferings as Son of man. In Ezekiel the title “suited the testimony of a God who spoke outside of His people.” “It is Christ’s own title, looked at as rejected and outside of Israel. He would not, thus rejected, allow His disciples to announce Him as the Christ, for the Son of man was to suffer” (ii., p. 370 f.). “He could not be rejected as Christ without His having a more glorious place destined to Him” (ibid., p. 78). On Dan. 7 the same writer remarks: “It is not now the Messiah, owned as King in Zion, but ONE in the form of the Son of man, a title of far greater and more wide significance. It is the change from Ps. 2 to Ps. 8 brought about by the rejection of the Messiah” (p. 437).
In his “Lectures on Matthew” W. Kelly has remarked, with reference to the use of this title in Acts 7:52-56, that when the Lord “was refused as Messiah, Stephen, finding that the testimony was rejected, is led of God to testify of Jesus as the exalted Son of man at God’s right hand” (p. 352).
Attempts are made to divorce the Synoptic from the Johannine treatment of the Lord’s ministry in general; but a comparison of Mark 14:64 with John 10:36 would show what a link this title forms between the three first and the fourth Gospels. Cf. Schanz, “A Christian Apology,” ii., p. 521. Thus in John 6:27 we are told that in His baptism (Mark 1:10 f. and parr.) the Lord was “sealed” as Son of man. Moreover, not only in John’s, but in all the other narratives the distinction between the titles “Christ” and “Son of man” is maintained. This is especially noticeable in Luke 9:26 (cf. Matt. 10:23), but we meet with it also in Mark 9:21 f. See also Mark 12:34, and compare Westcott’s note on p. 34 of his “Commentary on John.”
In all four Gospels the sufferings of the Son of man as well as His exaltation, are spoken of; His being future Judge (John 5:22) is but one form of the latter.
Outside the Gospels, besides Acts 7:52 ff., already mentioned, reference may be made to 1 Cor. 15, Eph. 1, and Heb. 2, and, of course, to Rev. 1:13 and Rev. 14:14. On Matt. 9:6, Bengel connects “on earth” with “Son of man” (as here). Cf. John 3:13. Neander also accepts the idea of the connection with heaven in the title itself. The Lord, he says, indicated thereby “His elevation above all other men, the Son of God in the Son of man” (p. 100).
See, further, notes on verses 27, 28, and 14:64; also note on 8:27 ff. as to the claim of JESUS to be Christ, which, as so much else at the present day, has been wantonly questioned.
31 Mark 2: 16. — As to the Pharisees, see Edersheim’s “Life of Jesus the Messiah,” if not Réville i., chapter x., or the American “Jewish Encyclopedia,” vol. ix.
32 Mark 2: 18. — The Pharisees’ idea was that pious people should not, even if they could, be emphatically happy! The remonstrances came both from them (Luke 5:33) and from John’s disciples (Matt. 9:14).
33 Mark 2: 22. — As to the different Greek words for “new,” see Trench, “Synonyms,” lx. The
νέος (time) applies to the wine, the
καινός (quality) to the skins. A. B. Bruce remarks (on Matt. 9:17): “That which is new in time does not necessarily deteriorate with age; it may even improve. That which is new in quality always deteriorates with age.”
34 Mark 2: 26. — A difficulty is raised here from the fact that Abiathar was not the official high-priest at the time of this incident (see 1 Sam. 21:1; cf. 1 Sam. 22:11). The confusion of names already arose in the Old Testament text of both Hebrew and Greek; cf. 1 Sam. 22:20 with 2 Sam. 8:17 (1 Chron. 18:16). But “the” before “high-priest” is absent from the Greek of Mark — “Abiathar, a high-priest.” Abiathar was doubtless acting for his father at the time, and he was, as Plumptre says (ad loc.) “of David’s party, the chief agent in allowing him to take the shewbread.” Moreover, the preposition
ἐπί may here be taken as “in the presence of” (cf. Greek of 1 Tim. 6:13).
35 Mark 2:27, 28. — The questions raised in respect of the designation “Son of man” have been already discussed in note 30 (on verse 10), in anticipation of the lecturer’s remarks at this place. Grotius would apply the rules of formal logic to the “man” of the first of these two verses, followed by the “Son of man” of the other (cf. note 29 above); and so H. J. Holtzmann (ad loc.). Bousset likewise finds it “obvious” that Son of man here means “man in general” (p. 185). But much that is “obvious” to any not going beyond the surface of a passage is illusion. The application of logic, which we have to correct in life by our experience, has been baneful in “theology”: see as to this Professor Julius Kaftan’s standard book on “The Truth of the Christian Religion” (1894), or his recent pamphlet “Jesus and Paulus,” especially at pp. 33, 36. All know how forcibly this consideration applies to Calvin’s system of doctrine. It is curious that learned men should be anxious to foist conventional logic into the interpretation of such a homely narrative as Mark’s is throughout. The reader may look for like treatment by “advanced” writers at Mark 10:18, Mark 12:37, where see notes.
It may be desirable here to note the characteristics of theology, or reasoned development of Biblical doctrine, which it has been since the time of Origen. One whose writings are not sufficiently known shall speak. “When a man’s mind apprehends the truth, and he seeks to give it a form, he does it according to the capacity of man, which is not its source; the truth as he expresses it, even were it pure, is separated in him from its source and its totality; but, besides this, the shape that a man gives it always bears the stamp of the man’s weakness. He has only apprehended it partially, and he only produces a part of it. Accordingly, it is no longer the truth. Moreover, when he separates it from the whole circle of truth in which God has placed it, he must necessarily clothe it in a new form, in a garment which proceeds from man: at once error mixes with it. Thus it is no longer a vital part of the whole: it is partial, and thereby not the truth; and it is, in fact, mixed with error. That is theology” (J. N. Darby, Synopsis,” vol. v., on 2 Timothy).
Notes On Mark 3.
36 Mark 3:1-6. — Neander observes as to the incident recorded in these verses that “it is obvious that the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, were written independently of each other” (p. 275 note).
27 Mark 3:7, 8. — Farrar rightly finds here an implication of Judean ministry (cf. note 20), the Lord having been “well-known [already] to people at and near Jerusalem.” See also verse 22 of this chapter.
38 Mark 3:12. — We find Chrysostom long ago saying “The Lord would not have the wicked, whether demons or men, bear testimony to His truth” (cited by Isaac Williams, i. 410).
39 Mark 3:13. — “The mountain.” Wernle (“Sources of the Life of Jesus,” p. 58) here indulges in miserable criticism of the use of the definite article; as if Mark, from vague acquaintance with the land, thought that there was only one mountain in the district. The definite article in the colloquial style is used to mark mountainous country, highlands. It is the same in more or less classical Hebrew, as at Gen. 12:8, Gen. 14:10, Deut. 1:24 (“ins Gebirge” in German, Kautzsch’s “Textbibel,” 1899, for which French has a like fitting expression, “à la montagne”). So at Mark 6:46, Matt. 5:1, etc.
It is at this point that “the Sermon on the Mount” fits in with Mark’s narrative. See, further, last verse of the chapter and note 43.
40 Mark 3:16. — Klostermann draws from this verse another of his illustrations of how he supposes Peter’s communications to Mark took shape in this Gospel (cf. note 25 above).
40a As to “Boanerges,” see art. by Prof. Rendel Harris, in Expositor, Feb., 1907.
41 Mark 3:21. — Farrar writes The Gospels faithfully record what sceptics are pleased to consider so damaging an admission (“Life Of Christ,” p. 75). Wernle and others imagine that Matthew’s and Luke’s omissions were sometimes dictated by the feeling that Mark had divulged incidents derogatory to the Lord’s reputation — so little do such writers grasp the singleness of purpose with which plain-speaking, because plain-thinking men, as the sacred writers, were animated. Such an experience of Christ as is here recorded does but reveal the hindrances to devotedness in God’s service for which those of one’s own flesh and blood in every age are accountable: for the disciple it must be as it was for the Master, as we are told by each of the Evangelists, who, it is alleged, suppressed such incidents in their narratives (Matt. 10:24, Luke 6:40).
42 Mark 3:29. — As to the Biblical usage of such words as
αἰώνιος (everlasting), see note 29 above. Etymology is a slender basis to go upon; the usus loquendi all important. Outside the Gospels (as Matt. 25:46) we have the word contrasted with
πρόσκαιρος in 2 Cor. 4:18. Call it there “timeless,” “cyclic,” or what you will, it is but to reach some equivalent expression for that which is beyond the limits of human intelligence; this ever needs conditions of time as of space, because apprehension is not the same as comprehension. God himself is
αἰωνιος (Rom. 15:26). If in 2 Thess. 1:9 destruction is not really “everlasting,” then salvation in Heb. 5:9 will not be either; if fire in Jude 7 be not “eternal,” so also glory in 2 Tim. 2:7. To come to our Gospel; if guilt
αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος do not mean endless woe, the “life eternal” of Mark 10:30 cannot stand for endless bliss. Bishop Moorhouse, in a sermon on “The Teaching of Christ,” has actually ventured to insist on the “life” of Matt. 25:46 not being “eternal”; and logic is, confessedly, on his side. Were it not well to leave that severely alone? (cf. note 35). Dean Farrar, in his “Eternal Hope,” here takes refuge in the critical reading (“sin”); but Dr. Beet rightly treats this as equivalent to the “punishment” of Matt. 25:46. The word
κόλασις used there, Trench (“Parables”) insists, does not in Biblical Greek bear its classical meaning of that which is corrective, remedial. The reader is referred to Sir R. Anderson’s powerful treatment of the whole question in his “Human Destiny.”
43 Mark 3:35. — Adeney (p. 46) notes the obvious implication that the Lord did not, “could not, regard other people in the same light” as the responsive hearers spoken of in this passage. For the “will of God,” see the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7).
Notes On Mark 4.
44 Mark 4: 3-8. — For the local scenery which enters into the Parable of the Sower, reference may be made to Thomson, “The Land and the Book,” i., 115, as also to Stanley’s description in his “Sinai and Palestine.”
45 Mark 4: 10-12. — Compare Matt. 13:10-17, where the Divine motive behind the Lord’s words is made quite clear. The “remnant” is discriminated from the nation at large, whose wilful repudiation of Him as the Messiah, as represented by its leaders, brings upon the mass (“the many” of Dan. 9:27, Mark’s “those without,” Luke’s “the others”) that judicial sentence of blindness which Isaiah (Isa. 6) proclaimed, but modern critics, such as Schmiedel (col. 1866) and Bousset (p. 42), are slow to apprehend. A diatribe of one of these is against the “preposterous dogmatic pedantry of a later age.” Jülicher pronounces the words reported by Mark as “impossible in the mouth of Jesus.” Compare with such infatuated views Neander’s remarks: “There is here expressed “a moral necessity that those destitute of the right will (on which all depends, and without which the Divine drawing is in vain) could understand nothing of the things of the Lord which they saw and heard. So long as they remained as they were, the whole life of Christ, according to the same general law, remained to them an inexplicable parable” (p. 107 f.). Cf. the judicious remarks of Burkitt (p. 88) on the subject. Menzies refers to Rom. 11:8, comparing Mark 3:5. Salmond cites Matthew Henry: “A shell that keeps good fruit for the diligent, but keeps it from the slothful.” — J. Wesley: (a) would not, (b) could not.
In verse 12 Mark for “that” has
ἵνα, for which Matthew has
ὅτι. Bengel, nevertheless, would take
ἵνα also as consecutive (“so that”), referring to Gen. 22:14 in the LXX (cf. Luckock, ad loc., the “more merciful rendering”), according to which the people must be supposed to make their own heart fat. See also Sadler’s note on Matthew’s parallel. Gould thinks that “it is only ironically that God commands the prophet to harden the people by his pungent preaching.” Plumptre had already written: “The acceptance of a foreseen result was in Hebrew forms of thought expressed as the working out of an intention” (cf. John 3:19). At the passage in Matthew he refers to John 12:40 and Acts 28:26. With this view agrees what Schanz says on the subject.
46 Mark 4: 25. — Cf. Matt. 13:12, Luke 8:18. Neander writes “Whosoever in reality has made to himself a living possession of the truths which he has heard, to him shall more be ever given. But he that has received it only as something dead and outward, shall lose even that which he seems to have, but really has not.”
47 Mark 4: 26-29. — The same distinguished theologian last quoted writes on this passage: “Christ intended to impress upon the disciples that their duty was to preach the word (not to make it fruitful). . . . If they only preach the word and do nothing further to it, it will by its own efficacy produce in men a new creation which they must behold with amazement (verse 27). No words could have more effectually . . . rebuked the tendency to ascribe too much to human agencies, and too little to the substantive power of the word itself” (p. 346 f. Cf. Trench, “Parables,” p. 290).
48 Mark 4:33. — Cf. Mark 6:34, and see, of course, Matt. 13, etc., for such parables. Reference may be made here to the “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 279 f.
Notes On Mark 5.
49 Deliverance from the world, writes Professor Kaftan, is the keynote of Paul’s doctrine of Redemption (“Jesus and Paulus,” pp. 50-54), a thought that seems being echoed in these days within the State Church of Prussia.
Amelioration of the world, whether of its moral state or of the material interests of mankind, which goes under the name of “Humanitarianism,” and is, according to Cotter Morison and his school, to provide “the religion of the future,” is a poor copy of what Christianity left to itself would effect. It is not, of course, to be denied that
φιλανθρωπία was known to the pre-Christian moralists; it belongs to the vocabulary of Xenophon and Plato (cf. Acts 28:2). But, to his credit, Professor Percy Gardner in his book (p. 187) has questioned whether humanitarians from mere “love for man” accomplish what Christ did for man from love of God. See Titus 3:4, and cf. Acts 10:38, besides, for the Old Testament, Micah 6:8.
50 Mark 5: 2. — Out of a comparison of this passage and that in Luke, both speaking of a single demoniac, with the parallel account of Matthew, who tells us of two men so relieved by the Lord, one of the stock difficulties is raised which are trotted out generation after generation. Readers do not always notice that the dual is a peculiarity of Matthew’s Gospel: so with his blind men of Jericho and his colt and foal at the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It arises from the Jewish standpoint of his Gospel, and may in some, at least, of the instances be explained by the corresponding need of what, according to the Old Testament, was accounted adequate testimony. Greenleaf, independently of this consideration, cites Le Clerc’s maxim: “Qui plura narrat, pauciora complectitur; qui pauciora memorat, plura non negat.” The American writer’s book is interesting as having been dedicated to his brethren of the legal profession; his points are those which appeal to such as are expert in evidence. The work was written from the believing point of view. Cf. note on Mark 10:46.
51 Mark 5: 11. — Gadara (Edd. at v. 1 read Gerasenes instead of Gadarenes) was capital of the region in which it was situated, which may account for Mark’s adoption of this name (see Thomson, “Land and Book,” i. 367, ii. 338). It was a Grecian city (Josephus “Antiquities,” xvii. 2, 4), which explains the presence of swine, not to be looked for amidst a Jewish population. The late Professor Huxley, in his magazine controversy with Mr. Gladstone, did his utmost to weaken the statement of Josephus
52 Mark 5: 19. — “The Lord.” Luke 8:39 has
ὁ Θέος. Cf. the “Introductory Lectures,” p. 196. The only place where
κύριος represents JESUS in the unquestioned part of Mark is 11:3, and then in Christ’s own mouth, where see note, and compare that on Mark 16:19f. Some readers may be glad to be reminded here of John Newton’s fine hymn (No. 92 in the Olney collection), which begins “Legion was my name by nature,” and probably sprang from his special personal experience.
53 Mark 5: 23. — Cf. Luke 8:42, 49; also Matt. 9:18, where Jairus speaks of his daughter as already dead. See Trench, “Miracles,” pp. 192 f. “Jairus was perplexed whether to speak of her as departed or not.” The narrative is, as he says, “drawn from the life.”
54 Mark 5: 36. — Cf. Luke 8:50. “Only believe” carries faith in Himself, whose power (Mark 9:23) is ever involved in any question concerning it, and yet is but one element of it (cf. note on 8:4). But His Person as such is not so much in the forefront in Mark’s as it is in Luke’s Gospel. In Mark 9:42 the words
εἰς ἐμέ are rejected by the editors, although well attested — by ABCcorr and later uncials, with 1, 69, Jerome’s Vulgate, Syrr., as against Cpm, D and
Δ. See, further, note on verses 5 and 6 of the next chapter, and cf. Sir R. Anderson’s reply to Harnack’s “What is Christianity?” in “Christianized Rationalism” (Twentieth-Century Papers, 1903).
Notes On Mark 6.
55 Mark 6: 1. — “His own country.” See note 22; also Réville i. 390.
56 Mark 6: 2. — Some remarks have already been made in note 23 upon the “education” (speaking
κατὰ ἄνθρωπον) of our blessed Lord. It is quite needless to consider whether He in youth ever entered the portals of such an academy as in the Talmud is called a yesheybah ()$ for the accuracy of the Jews in the taunt recorded in the passage of John cited in the earlier note may remain unquestioned. His “new doctrine” (Mark 1:27) was His prophetic word, as to which cf. Amos 7:14 f. It was creative, not created (Schlottmann, § 144; cf. John 7:46). Wernle, in “Beginnings of Christianity,” vol. i., p. 36, describing the Lord as “Layman,” says that He “redeemed His listeners from the theologians” (p. 99). May we not add that such redemption is to be had in our day from the critics likewise? As Sir R. Anderson has said in a recent book, we do not propose to exchange thraldom to the one set of men for bondage to the other. Wernle’s book has been translated by one cleric and edited by another. “All laymen,” we are told by him, “accept the most obvious contradictions, and do not strive after any inner harmony” (p. 379), Surely those who live in the proverbial glass house might withhold their stones. “Laymen” are not so idiotic (see Greek of 1 Cor. 14:23). Wernle’s countryman Weizsäcker (“Textbibel”) has rendered
ἰδιῶται by Uneingeweihte, “uninitiated” (shall we say in “mysteries”?). Cf. 2:14 there. The writer of that Epistle co-ordinates them with
ἄπιστοι, Ungläubige, “unbelievers.” Lawyers, describing critics as “laymen,” will tell these that they are miserable judges of evidence, in statements that seem to conflict.
57 Mark 6: 3. — “The carpenter.” As to the humiliation of this pursuit, see “Ecclesiasticus,” xxxviii. 24-34, and cf. Delitzsch, “Jewish Artisan Life in the Time of Christ” (1902).
In Matt. 13:55 we have the “carpenter’s Son.” That is one of the variations from Mark’s record found in the first and third Evangelists which some critics idly imagine represent a later tendency to tone down Mark’s language, so as to divest the record of the Master of what was considered derogatory to it; whilst others represent Mark as “secondary,” because he does not speak of Christ as son of Joseph (Schmiedel, col. 1846). True, such is what “literary analysis” can accomplish. How very appropriate to the second Gospel is the disclosure that the servant Son of God thus wrought with His own hands, sanctifying all human service, and doubtless maintaining a widowed mother!
It is on record that when the Emperor Julian (“the Apostate”) was engaged in his last campaign, a Christian soldier was asked by a scornful officer, What was the Carpenter doing just then? The answer received was, “Making a coffin.” The Emperor fell in that very battle (Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History,” v. 8).
“The son of Mary” (cf. Luke 4:22, “the son of Joseph”). It is common for critics to allege against the virgin-birth of the Lord being historical the fact that Mark is silent about it. In this strain writes Menzies. Mary herself “knows nothing of His having been born in any extraordinary way.” If, however, our second Gospel were the earliest, what could be more reasonable than to conclude that during the lifetime of the Lord’s mother the circumstances of His birth Divine wisdom and propriety of human feeling combined to withhold? The perfection of the Bible does, of course, lie in its matchless fusion of Divine and human, a truism constantly urged by critics, but feebly apprehended in any helpful, fruitful way by themselves. The Tübingen scholar Baur, who adhered to Matthew’s priority, used this verse in support of his idea that Mark did know of the virgin-birth! See, further, note in Farrar, “Life of Christ,” p. 63.
As to there being no genealogy in Mark W. Kelly has written: “Who would ask the pedigree of a servant?” (“Exposition of John,” p. 8),
58 Mark 6: 5, 6. — Faith in the Person of Christ attaches in the second Gospel to His function as Prophet; in Luke’s to, that of Priest; in Matthew to His being the King. With Mark’s narrative cf. Peter’s words in Acts 3:22.
A comparison of this place with Matt. 13:58 affords some critics another illustration of their fad that Matthew, or the “editor” of his Gospel, revised Mark’s too naive statements!
A distinction may be made between the “supernatural” and the “miraculous” in respect of the efficacy of ordinary prayer (Drummond, p. 13 f.). Some answers to prayer, however, may fall under the miraculous.
On the general subject of miracles, see notes 27, 54 above.
Schmiedel’s discrimination of certain passages of Mark which for him constitute the “foundation pillars for a truly scientific life of Jesus” (cols. 1881-1883 of his article in “Biblical Encyclopaedia”), Fairbairn well characterises as an illusion that mistakes critical ingenuity for historical science (“Philosophy of the Christian Religion,” p. 304).
With reference to the passage under consideration, Bousset (p. 56; E.T., p. 49) makes the Lord’s being unable all a matter cognizable by human psychology. For the believer it suffices to know the method of the “psychology” which is Divine. Men may have pressure put on them to come within the range of spiritual blessing (Matt. 20:17-19), but faith is a gracious gift, in no way the result of compulsion. In the first Gospel (Matt. 11:12) force is exerted by men themselves, who seek God with all their heart (Deut. 4:29). According to Matt. 22:11, 12, a man already in the presence of the Host is found not to have accepted that vesture which, according to the custom of ancient princes, was offered by them to their guests (cf. Phil. 3:12).
One may be sure that Richard Hooker did not foresee the use which would be made in our day of his position in the “Ecclesiastical Polity” that God is Himself governed by His own laws.
59 Mark 6:8. — “No money in their belt.” Dr. R. F. Horton, according to his “Revelation and the Bible” (p. 367), has allowed himself to be strangely misinformed as to the practice of Christians whom he describes as “the most emphatic in maintaining the Divine infallibility of the Bible.” He alleges that they “reject the inference of St. Paul in favour of paid ministry.” He would be right if by “paid” he merely meant stipulated remuneration, which is unknown in the community amongst whom W. Kelly laboured. It contains most of the few who really act upon the precepts of Scripture bearing on hired ministry (1 Cor. 9:9, etc.). Material support of ministry exercised in faith is a Divine obligation which they ever recognise.
60 Mark 6:14. — “The King.” Herod’s title was “Tetrarch,” strictly not “King.” Dr. A. B. Bruce, on Matt. 14:9, says that “it was natural for Mark,” writing for Romans, “to use this title, as it was applied freely in Rome to all Eastern rulers” (Cf. Réville, i. 236; and Farrar, “Life of Christ,” p. 305, where it is described as a “courtesy title”).
60a Mark 6:15. - With the Greek of this verse, cf. end of Judges 16:11, in LXX, “a man like any other ordinary man.” Wellhausen’s “scarcely Greek” (ad loc.) is poor criticism (cf. notes 1, 78).
61 Mark 6: 20. — Field (“Notes on the Translation of the New Testament,” p. 29 f.) inclined to the reading
ἐποίει, “did” (many things). “Herod,” he remarks, did all but the vital thing — “dismissing his wife.”
62 Mark 6: 21. — Wellhausen (ad loc.) relies on the statement of Josephus that the Baptist was executed at Machaerus, on the other side of the Jordan. Even so, there was nothing to prevent the Tetrarch’s summoning his Galilean courtiers thence. We meet with scribes and Pharisees “from Jerusalem” among Christ’s audience in Galilee or Perea; so in the first verse of the next chapter (cf. Luke 13:31-34). According to the critic’s view, such ministry must have been exercised in the very neighbourhood of the metropolis. From exaggeration in idea of “local colouring,” Wellhausen would place the scene of verse 27 here in Galilee (“into the sea”), and not Judea (cf. Burkitt, p. 61).
63 Mark 6: 35. — “Late in the day” i.e., between three and six p.m., which time already the French still describe as soir, the first of the Jewish two evenings. In verse 47 we have the second evening (six o’clock to dusk).
64 Mark 6: 40. — The description here is explained by Luke 9:14. The people were arranged as one hundred in front and fifty deep.
65 Mark 6: 45. — Wellhausen here avails himself of an old difficulty created by comparison of John 6:17 with Mark’s statement. In Mark we find
πρός, “Bethsaida”; in John
εἰς, “Capernaum.” Indeed,
εἰς τὸ πέραν, which is sufficiently accredited by the textual evidence (its omission in the Sinaitic Syrian version is insignificant), exhibits the difference of prepositions involved. They occur together again in 11:1, where
εἰς stands for the direction taken;
πρός for the point arrived at or actually reached (cf. the quotation in Luke 4:26). There is no inconsistency, nor “conversion of B. into C.,” as Wellhausen puts it. Trench (“Miracles,” p. 296) says: “This Bethsaida (cf. John 1:44) lay on the west side of the lake, in the same direction as Capernaum, and near to it.” Wellhausen himself has “not far from Capernaum.”
65a Mark 6: 52. —
ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις should not be rendered by concerning the loaves, as R.V., or about, etc., as in the “Workers’ New Testament,” but by through, etc., as Wellhausen. The loaves supplied the ground of the disciple’s misapprehension (cf.
ἐπι τῳ ὀνόματι μου in Mark 9:37, Mark 13:6).
Notes On Mark 7.
66 Mark 7: 1-23. — Wernle here asks: “Why does this controversy about clean and unclean, detached from all other controversies, appear amidst stories about meals?” It is a signal instance of Mark’s method, not that of Matthew or Luke, with whom the arrangement is dispensational and moral respectively, of narrating incidents as they actually happened. How could it have anything to do with a device on the Evangelist’s part to connect it, for dramatic effect, as this critic suggests (p. 66), with the interview between Jesus and the heathen woman?
67 Mark 7: 3. — The usage explaining the word
πυγμῃ may be found in Edersheim, “The Temple, its Ministry,” etc., p. 239.
68 Mark 7: 6. — “Hypocrites.” The strong language of the Lord which enters into the narratives of both Mark and Matthew in other connections matches whatever can be alleged by Burkitt (p. 227 f.) and others of a more exasperating tone in any of the Johannine discourses.
69 Mark 7: 13. — “The word of God.” From the time of the Reformation much has been written as to the connection of this phrase with Scripture, some holding that the two terms are now co-extensive, whilst others maintain the ancient distinction between “the word” as oral and as written. Happily, in this country “the judicious Hooker” wrote, now three hundred years ago, that “we have no word of God but the Scripture.” He opposed the Puritans’ idea that mere reading of Scripture cannot be effectual (“Ecclesiastical Polity,” v. 21, 1, 2).
This standard Anglican writer has expressed himself as follows on the subject of interpretation: “I hold it for a most infallible rule in exposition of sacred Scripture that when a literal construction will stand, the farthest from the letter is commonly the worst” (cf. notes 88, 134). There is, of course, a logical connection between inspiration (note 13) and interpretation.
It is no doubt correct that, as A. B. Davidson has said for the Old Testament (Hastings, vol. iv., p. 127), “the word” stands for the spiritual meaning of the “words” (see John 8:43, and cf. John 17:8, 14). It is, however, an exaggeration on the part of Farrar (“The Bible,” etc., p. 134 f.; cf. Beet, “Manual of Theology,” p. 65) to represent that “nowhere in the New Testament is the Old Testament called the word of God” — that this phrase is used of Christ alone. That “the word of God” is used in the New Testament chiefly of the contemporary oral word, as in Mark 2:2 (Cf. 2 Tim. 4:2) and Heb. 13:7, is unquestionable. But even if such a passage as Heb. 4:12 could be shown not to refer to Scripture, it seems certain that Mark 7:13 distinguishes “the word of God” from aught oral. Cf. “it is written in your law” this last word, we know, applies in the New Testament, not only to the Pentateuch, but to the Psalms (John 10:34). As for the New Testament, when Timothy was enjoined to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2), this precept was given in close connection with what the Apostle says of the Scriptures (end of chapter 3 — i.e., in the same context), so that the material of the written word can scarcely be excluded from the preaching. Professor Theodor Zahn, in a sermon on James 1:16 ff., has said: “When we talk of the word of God, we first think of the Bible, the word of God reduced to writing for His community (Church). But James is not speaking of the Bible. . . . It is possible to honour the Bible, and not to hear thus the voice of God. “
Moreover, God does of course speak to His creatures otherwise than by Scripture. We have, however, to be guided by intimations on the subject (as in the case of the raising up of Cyrus), not by the influence of great names, as Luther (Dorner, “History of Protestant Theology,” p. 244). Note here the extravagance of Zwingli: “He who is born of the Spirit requires a book no longer” (Dorner, i. 290 f.; cf. Barclay’s “Apology for the Quakers”). It is through the word that any are so born, so that it is the vital principle (which needs sustaining), if we listen to Apostles (1 Peter 1:23); and those not of God are characterised by ears closed to the inspired writers (1 John 4:6).
A further momentous question is the interrelation of the Bible and the Church. And, first, does the Church’s “sanction” impart to the Scriptures their authority? The Church has not formed the Bible, but it was through Christ’s word which we have in the Bible that the Church was “gathered” . . . . . “If the Bible,” writes Fairbairn, “is made to depend on the Church, is it not evident that it is not the Bible conceived as a revelation? What the canonizing process produced was not a revelation, but a book.” And again: “Hebrews was precisely as much inspired, and possessed exactly as much authority, before as after its incorporation in the Canon,” whilst “the continuance of the Spirit is the source of the authority of the word of the living God” (“Christ in Modern Thought,” p. 505 ff.). Dorner had already written that the Bible is itself a revelation, “not merely the record of a revelation previously given” (“History of Protestant Theology,” ii. 128).
Bishop Gore has written that, for his school, “it becomes more and more difficult to believe in the Bible without believing in the Church” (“Lux Mundi,” p. 248; cf. his sermon in 1900 at Westminster Abbey for the British and Foreign Bible Society), which means, doubtless, as Fairbairn puts it, that “as the supremacy of the Bible is weakened, the position of the Church is strengthened.” If men thus tell us that our faith must be rooted in the Church’s testimony, we need only reply by inquiring, How are we to know that “the Church” is to be trusted? Any rejoinder that the Church rests on the authority of the Bible would he manifest reasoning in a circle.
For the views of such as Dr. James Martineau on Scripture as authority, reference might be made to his “Seat of Authority,” book ii., chapter ii. The Deism which passed from this country to Germany, to beget there the Rationalism of the eighteenth century (see Cheyne, “Founders of Criticism”), returned hither in the nineteenth in the form of “Higher Criticism,” now running its course; with such a movement Unitarians naturally are in sympathy. They claim as virtual adherents the German leaders of this unholy cause, who, as their comrades in Great Britain, remain in outward conformity to officially orthodox Churches.
The “critics” at present in vogue find no proper place in their vocabulary for Paul’s “in part” (1 Cor. 13:9). With such limitations as they themselves seek to impose, there can be no true progress, no fully scientific because no sufficient accuracy (cf. Sir Wm. Ramsay in the Expositor, December, 1906). Many of them, like souls of old, will not “enter in,” nor allow others to do so who lean upon them.
For Roman Catholic treatment of Tradition, see Schanz, “A Christian Apology,” ii., ch. xi.
70 Mark 7: 15. - The Lord here sets aside Mark 11:43; so the critics wax bold with such an example! It is as with a Swiss hunter who scales an Alpine crag, his child looking on. Let the latter try the same experiment, and what will be the result? There is as little reasonableness in the one process as the other.
71 Mark 7: 18-23. — Use is made of this passage in Sanday’s “Lectures on Inspiration,” p. 410.
72 Mark 7:24-30. Wernle (“Sources,” p. 60) speaks of fellow-investigators having “split their heads” over the cause of the Lord’s going into the region of Tyre and returning to the Sea of Galilee by, way of Sidon (see critical note for verse 31), but spares himself by the “simple” suggestion that the Evangelist, with the record of this interview before him, found it convenient to locate the Lord on heathen ground, and did so accordingly! Such is the “critical” intelligence which goes towards the making of a modern professor!
73 Mark 7:26. — As to the respective use made of Hebrew, of Aramaic, and of Greek at that period, see Schürer, § 22 f.
74 Mark 7: 27. — Some, as Pfleiderer, contrast the mainly Jewish outlook of Christ’s ministry with Paul’s “cosmopolitan” view. This can only be rightly understood by reference to Matthew’s Gospel, and such helps as the “Lectures” of W. Kelly upon it. Professor Julius Kaftan is one of the few German writers on the subject whose bearings are satisfactory. The Apostle, as he says in a recent pamphlet, did but follow his Master’s policy, for him, too, it was ever to the Jew first. Moreover, Kaftan points out how, according to the first, especially Jewish, Gospel, one finds the Lord incurring opposition from the hints He threw out of coming Gentile blessing; and Pfleiderer’s extreme form of this antithesis completely breaks down when we reach the light of the third Gospel. It is true that the Lord’s own “mission” was to Israel alone (Matt. 15:24).
75 Mark 7: 31. — See critical note. W. M. Thomson (“The Land and the Book,” iii. 481) explains as follows: “He went northward, then eastward, and probably crossed the Jordan at Dan, and came through the region east of that river until He reached the shores of the Lake of Tiberias.” Cf. Burkitt, p. 92, and the route map there. The Cambridge professor resists the temptation to follow Wellhausen’s conjectural emendation of Sidon into Bethsaida from supposing that Mark had Saidan before him, which he took for Sidon.
Notes On Mark 8.
76 Mark 8:1-9. - Cf, parallel in Matthew. Having had in chapter 6 the record of the feeding of five thousand men, we here meet with the description of another like work of power in behalf of four thousand persons. This time it is not JESUS in the character of Messiah among Israelites as such. The significance of numbers in Scripture is allowed more or less by even German writers (as Ewald); it is illustrated here by the difference between seven baskets as compared with twelve in the previous case, appropriate in a Jewish connection. Chapter 6 sets before us that which was dispensational; in chapter 8 we find the Lord acting as “Creator and Preserver of all mankind.” This was seen of old by Hilary amongst others (see Trench).
Modern critics, who never rest on their oars in the quest of novelties, find a “doublet” here. Menzies, amongst British writers, treats the two accounts as only different versions of the same incident. As in most other questions of criticism, our scholars, for the most part, are content to echo the Germans. Wernle (“Sources,” p. 66) offers the hypothesis that Mark “was told something of the kind twice over,” and will have it that “the similarity of the two accounts is disguised by the interposition of other stories.” B. Weiss, adhering to the distinction between them — which it requires only “eyes to see” (see below, note 79) — supposes that there were divergencies in the “Petrine tradition.” What a balanced English writer of the first rank says on the subject may be seen by consulting Sanday (“Outlines,” p. 123).
77 Mark 8: 10. - Dalmanutha: mentioned here alone in the Gospels. Its site being unknown, the place is marked conjecturally in Perthes’ Gotha map between Capernaum and Magdala.
78 Mark 8:14-16. — Wellhausen, in loc., makes the odd confession: “I do not know whether
εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον οὐκ is Greek.” It is perfectly good Greek, although of the Hellenistic type. This Semitic scholar is not as much at home in the New Testament Greek as in the Old Testament Hebrew.
79 Mark 8: 19 f. — The baskets in the earlier miracle were
κόφινοι (hand-baskets); in the second,
σπυρίδες (hampers). This closely accurate distinction has been often remarked, as by E. J. Holtzmann (“Manual Commentary,” p. 191). Some have supposed that it militates against the theory of essentially oral tradition (Burkitt, p. 35).
80 Mark 8: 23. — Why “out of the village”? Trench answers, that the man might be more receptive of deep and lasting impressions (“Miracles,” p. 376). For Bethsaida being the place, Greenleaf compares Matt. 11:21.
81 Mark 8: 27-30. — Cf., of course, parallels in Matt. 16 and Luke 9. This passage has been somewhat anticipated in note 30.
82 Mark 8: 29. — The literature now most in vogue ignores the impressions which must have been left on those disciples who had come to Christ in the first instance through John, by his testimony to Messiah (John 1:34-51). Difference of judgment as to the historical value of the fourth Gospel becomes vital. How is one to understand their alacrity in Mark 1:16-20, which implies belief in some human testimony, but for John’s narrative? That belief has now ripened into conviction, issuing in confession, which is Divine (Schlottmann, p. 111).
Martineau (most original of the English school) held that the Lord never Himself claimed to be Messiah; that it was “a position made for Him and palmed upon Him by His followers” (“Seat of Authority,” p. 331 f.). Réville calls this “proving too much” (ii. 185). Harnack has sense enough to abstain from this negation (“What is Christianity?” p. 133); for the Berlin professor the entry into Jerusalem is decisive.
83 Mark 8: 30. — Another novelty, for which the author, however, has not succeeded in gaining much acceptance, is that of Wrede (“The Messiah Secret,” p. 114), that the Lord kept secret His Messianic claim as long as He was upon earth; that it began to be realised only after His resurrection (Acts 2:30). As to this, any able to use it might consult the book of J. Weiss (p. 45).
The sceptical fads do not stop there. H. J. Holtzmann (on Mark 2:18) finds another “I” besides “the proper I,” because the Lord uses the third person. So Wellhausen (Introduction, p. 97). It is easy to understand the changed form of speech in the light of the transition from “the Christ” to the “Son of man,” especially as Sufferer (Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33), explained in these Lectures. Cf. those on Matthew, pp. 352, 443.
84 Mark 8:34. — Adeney well notes on
εἴ τις θέλει, κ.τ.λ., that the renunciation Christ looks for is not merely that of a besetting sin, but of self.
85 Mark 8: 35. — “For My sake and the Gospel’s” (Cf. Mark 10: 29). It is only in this Gospel we find the words italicised. They illustrate Mark’s point of view, in which service is dominant. Not entering into this, Carpenter (p. 186) and Wellhausen can only suggest the influence of Pauline ideas on the form ultimately taken by Marks Gospel. The temptation to assimilate the other accounts seems not to have asserted itself in respect of these words. — As to alleged absence of claims of the SON from the Synoptic Gospels, see Mason, Cambridge Essays, p. 443.
86 Mark 8: 38. — Farrar shows from this that “Son of man” was not a synonym of “Messiah” (“Life of Christ,” p. 333). But he seems not to have apprehended its full significance.
87 Ibid. — None of Christ’s disciples are to be ashamed of His words — e.g., in Mark 9:48, Mark 13:32. All are exhorted by one of His Apostles to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3), without regard to such restraint as suggested by Bishop Moorhouse’s “self-appointed champions of the faith” (“The Teaching of Christ”). Those so criticized may take courage from 1 Cor. 16:15:
ἔταξαν ἑαυτούς (“consecrated themselves”). Some of the official leaders act a very unworthy part at the present day.
As to exaltation of the Son of man, cf. 13:26, 14:62.
Notes On Mark 9.
88 Mark 9:1. — “Come in power.” The Greek form (
ὲληλυθῦιαν) expresses “come in its completeness” as the end of a gradual process (Plumptre).
Trench (“Studies in the Gospels,” pp. 185ff.) rightly rejects the idea that Pentecost was the fulfilment of these words. But he falls short of the truth when he sees the fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. J. Scott Russell’s views). Even so, partial fulfilment, as he puts it, is “a rehearsal of the final.” Pentecost in Acts 2 was that. As to the same writer’s connection of Matt. 24:34 with the complete fulfilment, see notes below on Mark 13:30. Here, as there, we have illustration of an Apostolic principle as to
ἰδία ἐπίλυσις (2 Peter 1:20).
That the first Christians looked for the return of the Lord in their lifetime, as Bishop Robertson says in his Bampton Lectures, one may suppose to have been the case previously, to the fall of Jerusalem. That event, being unattended by His
παρουσία, must have widened their understanding of His words.
Dr. Horton, on the same page of his “Revelation and the Bible” where already an error of his has been pointed out (note 59), goes wrong with Alford over Paul’s words in 1 Thess. 4:15. Neither the elastic use of the Greek present participles there nor the English idiom of the common translation requires our understanding the Apostle to say that he would be one of those alive at the time of the
παρουσία. The form of words, it is certain, may be equivalent to “those of us who,” etc. So Theodoret, Chrysostom, Bengel, Dean Vaughan, and others (cf. Greek at Heb. 10:39). Moreover, the Apostle employs the Old Testament formula: he was speaking
ἐν κυρίῳ - i.e., oracularly. It was of God, for the benefit of believers throughout the dispensation, that he expressed thus vaguely the “blessed hope” of that event. See, further, note 134.
89 Mark 9: 5. — Dalman traces all three designations of Rabbi (Mark), Lord (Matthew), and Master (Luke), to the Aramaic equivalent preserved by Mark (cf. note 7).
90 Mark 9: 7. — “Beloved Son.” Cf. Mark 1:11 and 2 Peter 1:17; so in Matt. 17:5, but in Luke 9:35 the critical reading is “chosen,” which is very much the equivalent of
ἀγαπητός in Semitic languages; whilst in Hellenistic Greek it was a synonym of
μονογενής - only-begotten. In Luke’s account (Luke 3:22) of the baptism of JESUS he uses
ἀγαπητός, there unchallenged.
91 Mark 9: 10. — With the Pharisees’ idea of resurrection of the dead the disciples were familiar, but resurrection from among the dead, or first resurrection, of which the Lord was Himself to be the “first-fruits” (1 Cor. 15:20), was an enigma. The Authorised Version did not bring out the force in this connection of the preposition
92 Mark 9:13. — According to Matthew’s parallel, the Lord here made use of Mal. 4:5, as well as of Mal. 3:1 in Matt. 2:10 (cf. Mark 1:2); whilst the Baptist, according to John 1:23, quoted Isa. 40:3, to which alone he appeals. Isaiah set forth the witness of the forerunner.
92a Mark 9: 24. — For other than personal faith inducing grace, cf. Luke 5:20.
93 Mark 9:31. — The
ἄνθρωποι into whose hands the Lord was to be betrayed were Gentiles. It is impossible to get a satisfactory explanation of the title “Son of man” in a passage like this from the collocation of Son of man and men as treated from the point of view now popular. The Lord was rejected (1) as Christ by the Jews; (2) as Son of man by the Gentiles as well. Under such circumstances, the modern conception of Him as ideal is feeble in the extreme (see notes 30, 35).
94 Mark 9:37. — The language here resembles that of John’s Gospel (Sir A. F. Hort).
95 Mark 9:38-42. — There is no such break in the connection between verses 37 and 42 as Carpenter supposes (pp. 187, 202). Cf. verses 34 and 38, which describe the same spirit, if from different points of view.
96 Mark 9:40. — Here we have forbearance commended, in contrast with a sectarian party spirit; whilst Matt. 12:30 speaks of latitudinarianism as affecting Christ personally. (Renan supposed the passages to be contradictory.) The first Evangelist supplies the principle applicable to ourselves, Mark that applicable to others. Cf. Epistles 1 and 2 of John. Neutrality here means aid; indifference, in Matthew’s Gospel, hostility to Christ.
97 Mark 9:41. — We have here JESUS speaking of Himself as “the Christ.” Cf. note 82.
98 Mark 9:42. — “In Me.” See critical note. The same words in Matt. 18:6 are unquestioned. Cf. note 54, and also Ewald, “Theology of the Old and the New Testament,” p. 275 f. It is noticeable that in recording this utterance of the Lord each of the three Synoptists uses a distinct expression for “it were better,” etc.: Mark,
καλὸν . . . μᾶλλον; Matt. 18:6,
συμφέρει; Luke 17:2,
99 Mark 9:43 ff. — “ Enter into.” See Dalman, p. 95, on this terminology.
100 Mark 9:48. — “Worm.” See Isa. 66: 24. It is, of course, metaphorical (Beet, “The Last Things,” p. 180 f.). As to recognition by the Pharisees of endless punishment, see Schürer, § 26, or Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 8, 14.
101 Mark 9:49. — Cf. Keble’s lines:
”Salted with fire they seem to show
How spirit lost in endless woe
May undecaying live . . . . “
Mason remarks: “When our Lord says their worm . . . the thought is rather that of unintermittency than that of interminableness” (“ The Faith of the Gospel,” p. 418 f.).
101a Cf. Col. 4:6. On germs in Mark of Pauline teaching, see B. Weiss, “Theology of the New Testament,” § 63 f., etc., and Cf; note 122.
Notes On Mark 10.
102 Mark 10:1. — As to the route taken, see Burkitt, p. 96, note.
103 Mark 10:2. — Bennett on the Mishna (p. 72 1.) refers to the Talmudical treatise Gittin (4:8, 8:5, 8), for loose views of the Rabbins on the subject of divorce, akin to those prevalent in some American States.
104 Mark 10:11, 12. — Wellhausen, following D and Syrsin, would read “put away by,” as the common reading would violate the Jewish, but be in keeping with Greek and Roman law, conceived to be familiar to Mark’s first readers (cf. Wernle, p. 47; Bousset, p. 39). But Burkitt (p. 100 f.) is surely right in seeing a reference to the wanton ways of Salome (Josephus “Antiquities,” xv. 7, 10) and Herodias. Greenleaf, too, supposes a natural allusion to an existing legal custom. Cf. 1 Cor. 7:13 for the effect of adoption of Christianity on marital relations.
105 Mark 10:15. - “Receive the kingdom.” See Dalman, p. 91; and note above On 9:47. Cf. Matt. 10:30, and next note, besides that on verse 30.
106 Mark 10:17. “Inherit life eternal.” Inherit stands for “take possession of,” as in Matt. 25:34 (Dalman). So in Luke 18:18. In the Synoptic Gospels it is regarded as in reserve; so in Paul’s Epistles. Luke 18:22 tells us that the young man was to have treasure in heaven. Cf. Col. 3:3.
Some have supposed that there is a difference between “life” and “life eternal,” but this is a mistake. See Matt. 19:16, 17, and Dalman, who shows that in the early and in part contemporary Jewish literature “life” without qualification stands for “life eternal.” Outside the Bible (Ps. 133:3 and Dan. 12:2) we meet with the expression in the apocryphal Psalm of Solomon (3:16), 2 Maccabees (vii. 9), and the Book of Enoch (xxxvii. 4), as also in the Aramaic paraphrases (“Targums”) used in the synagogues, as at Lev. 18:5, Deut. 33:6. See, further, note 110.
107 Mark 10: 18. — Much use has been made of this verse by those interested in obtaining evidence for the notion that, in respect of the Deity of the Saviour, as of much else, there are layers of narrative, in the earliest of which there is no recognition of aught beyond simple humanity. Christ here seems to be taking the position predicted of Him in Ps. 16:2. The emphasis is not on “Me,” but on “good” (Swete). Nothing further need be added to the words of the lecturer here, although reference may be made to his “Lectures on Matthew” (p. 415 f.) for remarks on “goodness” in the parallel passage there; also to “Introductory Lectures,” p. 358 f. One may readily see in either passage an intended appeal to the man’s sanctified reason. It was a question to be answered by himself. For the use made by Bishop Chase, after Germans (cf. Wernle, p. 42; Bousset, p. 202, E.T.), of the Matthew passage, as if it betrayed the moulding influence of the editor’s hand, see Burkitt, p. 17 f., and cf. notes 57, 59 above.
108 Mark 10: 22. — Wellhausen criticizes Mark’s
ἦν γαρ ἔχων, κ.τ.λ., as “scarcely Greek.” It is, of course, for
εἴχε, κ.τ.λ., (“he was in possession of many estates”). This use of
εἰμί with the participle is very frequent in the best Greek writers (see Blass, §62), and is often noticeable in the sections of Luke’s Gospel peculiar to that Evangelist. See, again, note 1.
109 Mark 10:29. — Cf. Mark 8:35.
110 Mark 10:30. — “In the coming age life eternal.” For the Jew all blessing is connected with this earth, and expressly in connection with Messiah’s reign. The Synoptic Gospels do not go beyond the Old Testament use of the phrase “life eternal” (note 106). In general, says Dalman, “the life of the world to come took the place of eternal life” (cf. Nicene Creed). It is nowhere, however, regarded as lapsing when the eternal state sets in, as some in recent years have supposed. The fourth Gospel regards the title to it as indefeasible (Mark 10:28 f.).
111 Mark 10:46-52. — Matthew speaks of two blind men relieved by JESUS as He went out of Jericho; Mark of one only, healed as He was going out from the town; Luke also of one only, healed as the Lord was near to the place (so Kelly — cf. “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 440 — after Grotius). Greswell supposed that one was healed as Jesus entered the town (Luke); the other as He left it (Mark). See his “Dissertations,” vol. ii., p. 569. Greenleaf says that the Lord may be regarded as “occasionally going out of Jericho, in which city He had made some abode” (cf. 6:1-8, 22:10, 40, with 11:19), and that it was as He thus was returning into the town (Luke 18:35) that the miracle as described by Luke was wrought. He again refers to Le Clerc’s maxim, quoted above at v. 2. Gloag thinks that the miracle was performed on the two simultaneously.
112 Mark 10:47. — As to the form “Nazarean,” see “Exposition of John,” p. 375, note.
Notes On Mark 11.
113 Mark 11:1. — On the use of the prepositions here, see note 65.
114 Mark 11:3. — Field (“Notes,” p. 34) supports the view taken by the lecturer that
κύριος, is nominative to
ἀποστέλλει - i.e., the man is to send them back, not Jesus Christ’s
ὁ κύριος is manifestly used of Himself. In verse 9 the anarthrous name is for Jehovah. Cf. note 52.
115 Mark 11:7. — This is another case in which Matthew has two for the other Evangelists’ one. Réville (ii. 267) refers to the parallelism in Zech. 9:9. which he supposes Matthew was “misled.” Yet that Evangelist is all the time supposed to be describing what he himself witnessed (see note 50). Origen (speaking of it as the received interpretation), Athanasius, and Augustine understand the foal to stand for the Jew, the colt for the Gentile, use being made also of Mark’s “two roads” (verse 4). Cf. Ambrose, that one disciple was sent as if to the circumcision, the other to the uncircumcision (Isaac Williams, ii., p. 340 ff.).
116 Mark 11:12-14 (and Mark 11:20-24). — Wellhausen in loc. indulges in another of his characteristic sneers. He may never have so much as heard of the standard English work on the miracles by Trench, from which the following is an extract: The fig-tree “was punished not for being without fruit, but for proclaiming by the voice of those leaves that it had fruit; not for being barren, but for being false; and this was the guilt of Israel, so much deeper than the guilt of the nations.” Trench aptly refers to Gen. 3:7, Hosea 14:8, Rom. 2:3, 17-27, Rom. 10:3, 4, 21, Rom. 11:7-10. There should be no excuse whatever afforded to writers such as Professor Carpenter for saying of this incident that it is “a stumbling-block to apologists for the Gospel narratives” (p. 32). He, amongst others, might with advantage consult Mr. Kelly’s “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 443; “Introductory Lectures,” p. 88f.; or Mr. Darby’s “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 181 of reissue.
Surely Principal Fairbairn goes too far in saying that here was something in nature which surprised Christ as indicative of His limited knowledge (“Christ in Modern Thought,” p. 353 note). The surprise is of the same category as that which He experienced in connection with unbelief in Israel.
117 Mark 11:15-18. — Cf. John 2:14 ff. Farrar says rightly that it is “impossible to believe that the narratives refer to the same event.” Miss Bramston (perhaps echoing Wright or others) says that “it is improbable that He did it twice,” but why is not stated (“Sunrise of Revelation”).
118 Mark 11: 20. — Schmiedel treats this as contradicting Matt. 21:19. But in Mark it is only said that the Lord “saw,” etc. Anyhow, it is a case of merging by Matthew of two days’ events into one, as explained by the lecturer.
119 Mark 11: 22. — “Have faith in [of] God,” or Divine faith. See note 54, and cf. the Pauline phrase “righteousness of God.”
120 Mark 11:25. — Note here some of the vocabulary of the forms of prayer recorded in Matt. 6 and Luke 11, which is regarded by all as unquestionably spoken by the “historical Jesus,” and for F. W. Newman constituted the one basis of His doctrine (note 3). Yet Mark does not include it in his narrative. It is clear that he knew of the prayer, whether he was acquainted with the raising of Lazarus or not (note 5).
Notes On Mark 12.
121 Mark 12: 1-11. — This is the passage taken by Dr. Abbott in comparison with Matt. 21:33-44, Luke 20:9-18, to illustrate the theory of the composition of the Gospels put forth by him in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” (see note 11). All the words in the Greek of Mark, save four, he shows, are common to Matthew’s and Luke’s parallels. The difficulty any mere “compiler” would have had is set forth without any exaggeration.
122 Mark 12: 8. — It is common, with regard to the question of probation, either (1) to uphold the idea that Christians are under the law, or (2) to deny man’s complete moral ruin before God, in either alternative impairing Pauline doctrine (Gal. 5:18, Rom. 6:14, Rom. 7:18, Rom. 8:8). The alleged antithesis between the Synoptic reaching of the Lord on this subject and that of the Apostle is one of the novelties of “modern thought” with which the present generation is harassed. Anyone may understand that the full truth as to human depravity must have become clearer after the Crucifixion; yet the germs of Paul’s doctrine, like that of John (John 3), are to be found in Mark 10:15, the truth of which Matthew’s
στράφητε (Matt. 18:3) does but emphasize.
123 Mark 12: 28-34. — The words quoted by the Lord in verse 29 f. are those of the Shema, which it was the duty of males to repeat morning and evening. On the use made by Christ of the Hebrew, Farrar (“Life of Christ,” p. 69) writes: “Jesus was acquainted with it, for some of His Scriptural quotations directly refer to the Hebrew original.”
124: Mark 12: 35-37. — We are here told that David himself, and that by inspiration (for the Greek, cf. Rev. 1:10), said that which modern critics deny to him as his words. The old Jewish idea of the authorship of Ps. 110 was that, in David’s old age, when he could no longer go out to battle, a Court poet composed it in order to console him. But the Evangelist here tells us that the Lord cited the Psalm definitely as David’s own. Not content with the denial of such authorship, some writers go on to represent that Christ here disavowed His being Himself “Son of David” Réville i., p. 47 note, 303 f., 381; Bousset, p. 182). Compare what Professor Sanday says on this subject (article “Son of God,” p. 573 in Hastings); Neander (p. 402) “to oppose a one-sided adherence to the one at the expense of the other”; and, for the relation of sonship of God to the Lord’s Messianic claims, the article in Hastings just referred to, p. 576.
125 Mark 12: 40. — As to the result of comparing Mark’s record with that of Matthew (23:5), see note 7.
Notes On Mark 13.
126 This chapter sets before us Mark’s form of the Apocalypse on Mount Olivet, which brings under consideration the general question of prophecy as such. In this Gospel we have the Lord presented as “Prophet,” in which character it may be expected that He would engage in prediction. At the present day this supernatural element is but feebly confessed. Scholars in general incline to content themselves with searching for some historical background to each prediction, to which the application of the particular prophecy is then limited. Consequently, a persistent effort is regularly made to establish the fulfilment already of each prediction, so that the margin of unfulfilled prophecy becomes in men’s hands rapidly narrower. That which cannot be so explained is deemed “ideal.” The writers who favour this treatment of Scripture have themselves to assume the role of prophets. Thus Professor Driver in his popular Looks on Isaiah and Jeremiah, where we are told that there are predictions which never will be fulfilled. But it is impossible for such writers to establish that conditions which seem to have passed away can never reappear. If we are to attach such importance to individual background, let us not forget the principle long ago stated by a master in this department, that history tends to repeat itself (Thucydides) — a useful consideration when studying the pregnant utterances of our Lord recorded in this chapter. Too many now have the “ideal” on the brain; they need themselves to be more practical.
All Scriptural prophecy looks on to the time when “the kingdom of God and the authority of Christ is come” (Rev. 11:15 -12:10). For the interpretation of each several prophecy an Apostolic principle serves us: the scope of “no prophecy of Scripture is had from its own (particular) interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). Cf. “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 251 of reissue; also the “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 377 f., to which frequent reference has been made in these notes.
Because of the difficulty modern professors have in distinguishing in the prophecy before us the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus from analogous events to take place in connection with Christ’s second coming, it is useless for expositors of Scripture to allege confusion in the Evangelists’ minds or misreporting on their part of what the Lord said on this occasion. One need say nothing here upon such palpable irreverence. The fault lies with moderns in their “critical” presuppositions, as well as in superficial study of the Old Testament and depreciation of the Jew. The gravity of the sins of that people and consequent national judgment are to be overcome by the future blessing assured to them in their Scriptures. Men shrink from believing that aught of the kind must be attended by preliminary judgments, but this remains as true as ever it was. The “germinant” nature of prophecy, which Bacon wrote of three hundred years ago, is true today, and will remain so (Cf. “Irrationalism of Infidelity,” p. 255 f., 270).
Some particular points will be dealt with in the order in which they arise in the chapter, but the reader is expected first carefully to weigh the lecturer’s own remarks.
127 Mark 13: 2. — From the vicious standpoint of critics explained in the last preceding note Wernle would date the publication of this Gospel after the year 70 (see note 3), because of the destruction of the Temple being placed in the forefront of the discourse — that is, anything like veritable prediction is denied to our Lord as to mere men like Isaiah; simply human foresight at its best (that in His case likewise faulty!) is allowed.
128 Mark 13: 8. — For “throes” here, cf. Hosea 13:13.
129 Mark 13: 10. — “The Gospel.” As to supposed reflex influence of the theological language of the early Church on the Synoptic vocabulary, see Sanday, “Son of God,” in Hastings, p. 573.
120 Mark 13: 11. — In this early Synoptic Gospel we meet already with the promise of the Spirit in the Johannine sense (cf. note 94).
131 Mark 13: 14. — The words of this verse (cf. Matthew’s parallel) are supposed to suggest that at the time of the siege of the city a sort of “fly-sheet” containing the Apocalypse in a separate form was in circulation for the guidance of Christians (note 10, cf. Carpenter, p. 197; Burkitt, p. 63 f.).
“He that reads” (see 1 Tim. 4:13, Rev, 1:3, and Col. 4:11). The Greek word implies (cf. “that hear” in Rev.) “reading aloud” that is,
ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ. Cf. Rev. 2:7, etc., for the importance of such use of Scripture in ministry, worship, etc. The very “reader” may be preacher in the sense of Rom. 10:14, compared with the passages in Revelation. There is blessing to be had by the “hearer” of such.
“Standing where he ought not.” Throughout medieval times “Antichrist” was regarded as Mohammedanism; since the Reformation the Papacy has enjoyed that unhappy distinction in the eyes of Protestant controversialists. To the view in general of the Reformers Dr. C. H. H. Wright adheres in the first of his two volumes on Daniel recently published. According to Dr. Wright, the Jesuits started, as a set-off against the Protestant view, the idea now shared by all premillenarian writers, who have abandoned the Lutheran “Antichrist.” Be this as it may, the belief that the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4) stands either for the political head of the Roman Empire when it is revived (Rev. 13:1), or for his confederate (ibid., ver. 11) prince of a revived Jewish State, called the false prophet in Rev. 16:13 (see Kelly, “The Revelation Expounded,” third edition, pp. 159-162), agrees, as far as the first alternative is concerned, with the conviction of the primitive Christians, which seems to have passed away definitely only after Constantine’s acceptance of Christianity as the religion of the Empire. The “Holy Roman Empire” established by Charlemagne passed away in 1806, and the “temporal power” of the Pope in 1870; but students of prophecy look for a confederacy between the magnates symbolized in Rev. 13 as “beasts.” Those who advocate “reunion” of Christendom on the basis of “the primacy of Peter” seem as feebly to apprehend the bearings of the last book of the Bible as supporters of “Zionism” would do. The “Revelation of John” must be studied in close connection with the prophecy on Olivet. Besides Mr. Kelly’s writings on the subject, readers would do well to acquaint themselves with the late R. Govett’s “The Apocalypse Expounded by Scripture,” and Sir R. Anderson’s “The Coming Prince.”
132 Mark 13: 19, 20. — In keeping with the theory of the strictly contemporary character of the account (note 127), Carpenter (ubi supra) here finds “retrospect” in the one verse of what has been “anticipated” in the other. But the Lord’s words in verse 20 are to be understood of what had already been predetermined when He spoke. In verse 19 the reference is to the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7). The miseries of the Jews during the siege doubtless exemplified what is here set before us, just as the phenomena of Pentecost did Joel’s prediction, which in like manner awaits complete fulfilment.
133 Mark 13:24. — This Gospel has not Matthew’s word “immediately.” On this Carpenter (p. 198) bases a supposition that Mark here, or his editor, is post eventum (“secondary” to Matthew). Such literary analysis may be ingenious, but Mark’s reason for its omission seems hidden from writers who can but indulge in barren conjectures.
134 Mark 13: 26. — Cf. 8:38, and note ad loc. Here we have what Paul in one of his very earliest letters (2 Thess. 2:8), speaks of as the
ἐπιφάνεια of the Lord, “the appearing of His coming (
παρουσία).” The “coming” in its initial stage he has described in his first letter to the same Christians (4:15). It may be useful at this point to state the ideas of some critics on the subject. We shall take H. J. Holtzmann as a now long-accredited spokesman. In his somewhat famous “Synoptic Gospels,” published just before these lectures appeared in the Bible Treasury, this scholar discriminated three aspects of the Second Advent — of His return as dealt with by the Lord when on earth; (a) for judgment (Luke 17:24), (b) a historical coming (Mark 9:1), (c,) a spiritual coming (Matt. 18:20, to which we may add John 14:18, John 16:7). All this, it is believed, is very much in accordance with the facts which the Gospel records supply. To the view thus gained we have to add Paul’s revelation (1 Thess. 4), which speaks of that not to be confounded with any of Holtzmann’s comings. The Apostle’s first statement many Christians, misled by the majority of commentaries — e.g., Alford on 2 Thess. 2:1 — wrongly merge in his supplementary declaration, made to correct the Thessalonians’ understanding of his first (see 2 Thess. 2:2, R.V.). Cf. note 88 above.
135 Mark 13: 30. — “This generation . . . all these things . . . .” From taking “generation” in the temporal sense of the word, Strauss and De Wette represented the Lord as fallible. Others, as Meyer, A. Wright, Swete, preserve their “orthodoxy,” while still explaining the word of a period of some thirty to thirty-three years. The difficulty of determining when such a generation should begin — the Lord’s contemporaries belonged to different generations relative to their age - is altogether ignored. These writers, to begin with, have to assume that such a generation as they think of commenced with His ministry, without anything in the Gospels to appeal to for support. Origen and Chrysostom of old, followed by Wordsworth and Alford (as equivalent to
γένος) of recent English commentators, with Dorner and Stier amongst Germans, take “generations,” as it must be taken, in its moral meaning. Not only is it so used in the Old Testament (as in Deut. 32:5, Ps. 24:6 and Ps. 73:14, Jer. 8:3), but in the Gospels themselves (Mark 9:19, Matt. 17:17, Luke 16:8), as elsewhere Acts 2:40, etc.; cf. Gal. 1:4). Is not “that day” in verse 32 suggestive of “something at a distance”? (Beet, “Manual of Theology,” p. 446 f.).
Verse 10 must be borne in mind in connection with the words “all these things.” The convenient makeshift of critics has been mentioned in note 129.
135a Mark 13:31. — “My words.” It is not merely a question in this Gospel of His words (Wellhausen), but of His deeds likewise (see note on last verse of Mark 16).
136 Mark 13:32. — “Nor the Son.” Cf. Matt. 24:36 in the critical text, followed in the “Workers’ New Testament.” These words have been supposed by writers of Unitarian tendency to impair the Lord’s omniscience, in which they are followed by several in high ecclesiastical position in the English Establishment. The
κένωσις (emptying) of the Lord spoken of in Phil. 2:7 has a bearing on the words.
“it is of course difficult,” writes Dean Strong, “to understand how two kinds of consciousness can have been present at one time in one Person” (“Manual of Theology,” p. 119). Again, Bishop Gore: “He willed to observe the limits of the science of His age, and He puts Himself in the same relation to its historical knowledge” (“Lux Mundi,” p. 205). This idea had already been countenanced by a living prelate. “When He quoted passages from the Old Testament, He might have no more knowledge of their age and actual authors than that which was current in His own time” (Bishop Moorhouse, “Teaching of Christ,” p. 47). See, however, more healthy remarks than these in Schaff, “Christ and Christianity,” pp. 107-119.
The American writer Gould speaks of the passages having given rise to much ‘‘theological tinkering.” He does not himself, certainly, afford any help on the Subject.
Augustine (quoted by Wordsworth in loc.) refers to the elastic force of the word “know,” undeniable as regards both Hebrew and Greek. Here the word is
γινώσκει). Its use may be seen in “I know you not,” “the Lord knoweth them that are His . . . . . I knew Him not” (said by John Baptist of Christ, evidently not deriving any ordinary previous acquaintance with JESUS (John 1:31, 33, Matt. 3:14, and Luke 1:36). Cf. Peter’s “I know not this Man” (Mark 14:71).
Some have repudiated explanations offered on the ground that these virtually supported a Docetic view — that is, that our Lord “feigned a condition which did not actually exist for the benefit of His disciples.” The Docetists, such as Cerinthus, held that the flesh of Christ was not real (see Strong, p. 99, and cf. Fairbairn, “Christ in Modern Thought,” p. 353). Réville (ii. 313), condemning words of a sermon by Bossuet, questions the authenticity of the words, which he supposes were due to Arian influence on the manuscripts of the Gospels. Worst of all, Schmiedel (article on “Gospels” in “Encyclopaedia Biblica,” col. 1881) boldly says, “In the person of Jesus we have to do with a completely human being,” and that “the Divine is to be sought in Him only in the form in which it is capable of being found in a man.” He seems to seek to blunt the edge of these soul-corrupting words by adding what is true — that the historical value of the Gospels goes with the presence of such passages in them.
The devout Bengel’s explanation, which most commends itself of all put forth on the “orthodox” side, is that the Lord had no command from the Father to declare that day. For the “authority” of His words, see Mark 1:2, John 12:48-50, John 14:24, and cf. Acts 1:7 (Greek), Rev. 1:1 ff., and see remarks of Professor Sanday (article “Son of God” in Hastings), also Dorner, “Person of Christ,” i. 54. As to correlative use of the “Father and the Son,” reference may be made to Mark 9:37, Mark 14:30, comparing Matt. 11:27, Matt. 28:19, Luke 10:22, all of which bear on Harnack’s proposition that “the Gospel as Jesus proclaimed it has to do with the Father only, and not with the Son” (“What is Christianity?” p. 147).
With this question is connected that of silence (see Mark 15:5).
A few words of the late J. N. Darby may be welcome as a conclusion to this note. “In the historical presentation of Christianity the Son is always presented as down here in servant and manhood estate all through John, though in heaven and one with the Father. . . . In Matt. 3 the whole Trinity is revealed, and, we may say, for the first time fully. . . . Hence, No! not the Son, has no difficulty” (“Notes and Comments,” vol. ii., from p. 416).
136a Mark 13: 35. — Observe the division of the night, and see on 15:25.
Notes On Mark 14.
137 As to the difficulties felt, and much discussed, in connection with the Synoptic accounts of the last Passover as compared with the fourth Gospel, see note on verse 12.
138 Mark 14: 2. — The lecturer’s remarks on the frustration by God of the rulers’ desire that our Lord should not suffer at the time of the feast (
ἐν τῃ ἑορτῃ) call for earnest consideration in respect of their bearing on the points that come before us at verse 12. It is no question (as Wellhausen puts it on the present verse) of Mark’s following the “old” chronology in agreement with John’s statement, rather than with the “usual Synoptic chronology.” Such “layers” of narrative in the Gospels are veritable cobwebs, not rendered more respectable by the names of distinguished professors associated with them.
139 Mark 14:3. — “A woman.” Pfleiderer (i. 385, note) suggests that the woman was Mark’s own mother, whom he identifies with Luke’s Mary and also John’s Mary, the anointer of His feet. Even critics can do that which Wellhausen satirizes in his note on verses 51, 52 (cf. note 153 here).
140 Mark 14: 8 f. - Allowing the Aramaism, it is only necessary to remark that
τὸν καιρόν is understood as object of the verb
προέλαβε, “seized in good time her opportunity of embalming with myrrh,” etc. Whatever Wellhausen may think, it is accurate, idiomatic Greek.
As to “Gospel,” see note 17. Here it is, of course, the Gospel of “service,” as elsewhere in Mark, not doctrine about Christ (Carpenter, p. 204, and Wellhausen, ad loc.), save as His service and that of the woman to Him are reproduced in the devotion of His followers.
Chrysostom already (about 400 A.D.) in Homily on Matt. 8, spoke of “those who inhabit the British Isles publishing abroad an act done in Judea privately in a house by a woman” (I. Williams, ii. 19).
J. Weiss (p. 5) uses this verse to show how far distant for Mark was the
παρουσία (see note 88).
141 Mark 14: 10 f. — Cf, John 18:2. Wellhausen here finds no “historical connection,” because the betrayer’s motive is not alleged by the Evangelist. It is, however, stated indirectly. Does such a feeble remark arrogate to itself the name of “criticism “?
142 Mark 14: 12 f. — Cf. verse 1 f. “The first day of unleavened bread, when they used to sacrifice the Passover” (cf. Matt. 26:17, “on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread”; Luke 22:7, “the day of unleavened bread”; John 13:1, “before the feast of the Passover”). This introduces a long-debated question — whether the Passover partaken of by our Lord on the verge of His crucifixion was, as the Synoptists represent, the ordinary Paschal meal, or one in anticipation of it, as John’s Gospel some have thought requires us to believe. It will be desirable first to seek to determine the meaning of the expressions used by the Synoptists before considering any specially found in the fourth Gospel.
1. “The first day of unleavened bread.” The patristic Greeks took Matthew and Mark’s
πρώτῃ as equivalent to
προτέρᾳ (we might say
προτεραίᾳ), “the day before” (the
ἄζυμα, “unleavened bread”) — a view that was unwittingly confirmed by the Jewish medieval commentator Rashi on Ex. 12:15, who says that “first day” there means “the day before” (Schanz), the 15th of Nisan being technically the first of these days. As for Luke’s “the day,” we may compare Gen. 2:4, noting the words of the third Evangelist, “called the Passover,” which are exactly, those used by Josephus in his “Antiquities.” If “days of unleavened bread” were called “Passover,” we have to do with a whole season.
2. The “feast of the Passover” (John). Lev. 23:5 f. requires our distinguishing in the original institution the initial “Passover” from the “feast” annexed to it — the “feast of unleavened bread.” Each term has to be understood not only in its own proper narrower meaning, but also according to its conventional elastic meaning. The learned Dr. John Lightfoot (seventeenth century) has shown in his “Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae” (Gandell’s edition, vol. ii., p. 467f.) on the present passage of Mark that, according to Jewish phraseology, considered with reference to Deut. 16:2 (cf. Num. 28:17), oxen (“herds”), or the sacrifices offered after the lamb eaten, were called the “Passover,” as well as the lamb itself; and in his notes on John 18:28 (vol. iii., p. 420f.) he shows, from expressions used by the Rabbins, that it is the chagigah, or festive offering, brought on the fifteenth day (not fourteenth) of Nisan to which John’s word “Passover” refers. “Feast” speaks of the whole season, but specifically of that prescribed in Lev. 23:6 (cf. Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,” chapter ix., p. 489).
The American “Jewish Encyclopaedia” (article “Passover,” by Emil Hirsch) shows that what was strictly the “Passover” and the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” came naturally to be looked upon as one season, and therefore to have the same designation.
3. All four Evangelists fix the day of the Crucifixion as a Friday, with which agrees the tradition recorded in the Talmud. Wellhausen at Mark 15:42 renders
παρασκεύη as “Friday,” in accordance with old Syriac, and also modern Greek. This leads us to inquire what the “preparation” was for. Westcott and others have replied, for the Passover in the narrow sense of the word, but Purves (“Hastings’ Dictionary,” under “Preparation”) holds that it was for the Sabbath and so “preparation of the Passover” would stand for “the preparation in Passover week.” Whilst the technical word “preparation” seems to have been in standing use for a weekly function (with Mark 15:42 cf. Josephus, “Antiquities,” xvi. 6, 2, referred to in Grimm’s “Lexicon,” s.v.), some preparation would be needed for various festivals, and the preliminaries for the Passover in that year would blend with those for the Paschal Sabbath, called “high day” in John 19:31.
The “Jewish Encyclopaedia” discredits Chwolson’s idea that the present calendar for Passover, which excludes Friday as a day for its observance, was in existence then, stating that it is not generally accepted.
To sum up: The Lord and His disciples may be confidently regarded as having taken the initial meal substantially at the same time as the rest of the Jews, within the limits of what Wellhausen (on “Luke”) calls the same “official day,” referring to Luke 22:34 there (cf. Mark 14:30, yet more explicit). The language of John 18:28 is, in the light of Jewish usages, in no way incompatible with that of Mark 14:12; and John 19:14 does but fix the day and hour of what is spoken of in the latter passage, whilst John 19:31 speaks of preparation simply with manifest reference to the Sabbath alone. The “mistake” that critics have attributed to the Synoptists is a “mare’s nest.” Most are singularly wanting in what Huxley called “scientific imagination.”
Grotius, Hengstenberg, Alford, Wordsworth, Westcott, Ellicott, Farrar, Edersheim, W. Kelly (“Exposition of John,” p. 392, note), Drummond and Sanday have in turn discussed the question. Grotius supposes that no lamb was used by the Lord (so Luckock, Carr, etc.). Even if it were so, the case would be in line with that of the Jews outside the land. Hengstenberg (on John) follows Lightfoot; Alford settles nothing; Wordsworth is content to follow Chrysostom, who supposes that the Jews broke the law by deferring their observance of the supper until after midnight of the 14th of Nisan. Sir R. Anderson’s treatment of the subject in his “Bible and Modern Criticism” (chapter 8) is excellent ‘
Wright (“Synopsis,” p. xxxi.) hesitates not to speak of John as “correcting Mark”; Gardner, of its being “impossible to reconcile the two in accordance with the canons of history” (p. 152 f.). But the language and ways of the period have to be thoroughly investigated before a “reconciliation” can be deemed needful. If it be “quite uncertain,” as Professor Gardner says, “which date for the Crucifixion is the true one,” does not such “uncertainty,” affect only the minds of those who imagine reconciliation is required? Again, there is no excuse for an arch-offender, Schmiedel, saying that the Synoptists (he speaks of Luke) confound the preparation and the Passover itself. It is only those in confusion over the
παρασκεύη who could say so; the two could certainly be coincident, and did in that year fall unquestionably on the same day.
See further at verse 18 here, and as to Mark’s “third hour,” considered in relation to John’s “sixth,” refer to note on 15:25 below.
The two disciples, Luke tells us (Luke 22:8), were Peter and John.
143 Mark 14:14. — “The Teacher.” The person addressed may have been himself a disciple. Conjecture has been employed as to his identity. For “upper room,” cf. Acts 1:13; here it is
144 Mark 14:17. — See note 63.
145 Mark 14:18. — The Jews had adopted the Roman custom of reclining at meals.
146 Mark 14:19 f. — The allusion to the betrayer becomes intelligible on reference to John 13.
147 Mark 14:21. — Note the recurrence of the word
ἄνθρωπος, and cf. note on 9:31. See also Beet, “The Last Things,” p. 190.
148 Mark 14:23. — The benediction was a custom at all Jewish meals (cf. Acts 27:35).
149 Mark 14:24. — The order here is significant. The disciples partake of the cup before the Lord speaks of its symbolism. We have in this a corrective of the Catholic idea of the elements, regarded independently of the spiritual condition of the recipient.
διαθήκη has probably the meaning of “covenant” everywhere in Biblical Greek, Heb. 9:16 f. not excepted. See Hatch, “Essays in Biblical Greek,” p. 48: “must be invariably taken in the sense of covenant in the New Testament. The word testamentum in early Latin versions meant ‘covenant.’“
150 Mark 14:27. — This may be treated as a paraphrase, the words of Christ agreeing with neither the Masoretic Hebrew text nor the LXX in either of the MSS. B or A (Swete). Wellhausen’s suggestion that they come from Theodotion’s translation is needless. See Matt. 8:14 for a clear instance of paraphrase; also Heb. 10:5, and cf. Gloag, p. 30.
151 Mark 14: 28. — The word
προάγειν (“go before”) of the shepherd is used likewise in John 10:4; also of false leaders in 2 John 9.
151a Mark 14: 30. — “This day, even in this night.” See note 142 as to Jewish “official” day.
152 Mark 14: 34-39. — Cf. Luke 22:43, Heb. 5:7. “My soul is full of grief.” This is one of the Gospel passages bearing on our Lord’s full humanity, which was early questioned. Thus Apollinaris held that in the Lord the place of a human soul or spirit was taken by the word (
λόγος). See Pullan, “Early Christian Doctrine,” p. 101; or Dorner, “History of the Development of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ,” vol. ii., p. 35 f.
Wellhausen (ad loc.) truly remarks: “Death itself is not what is terrible, but that which precedes and leads up to it.”
153 Mark 14: 51 f. — Some venture to regard the record of this incident as trivial. It is of the same order as Paul’s request to Timothy in his second Epistle (2 Tim. 4:13). The “Irish clergyman” of Mr. F. W. Newman’s “Phases of Faith” was restrained from parting with his library by Paul’s words there, illustrative of a determination that no part of Scripture should be a dead letter for the author of “The Irrationalism of Infidelity.” Nothing would seem to be too commonplace for the Holy Spirit’s use.
W. Kelly, in Bible Treasury, vol. xx., p. 28, speaks of his impression that Mark himself is the person intended. So already Townson and Greswell had thought, as Olshausen and Lange, followed by Godet and Réville (ii. 378). Ewald suggested Paul; Plumptre, Lazarus.
154 Mark 14: 61f. — As to the Lord’s reticence when first interrogated, see Stalker, p. 151, and Sir R. Anderson’s book on “The Silence of God.” Observe the association here of the three titles, Christ, Son of God, Son of man. Martineau (p. 133), as Wendt, allows the Messianic sense of Son of God in this place alone (cf. Luke 22:67-70).
155 Mark 14: 64. — The felt blasphemy is very noticeable in connection with the title “Son of man” (cf. note 30). On the aorist
ἠκοὑσατε, see note 18a.
156 Mark 14:69. — “The maid.” A man is spoken of in Luke 22:58. The two versions are combined in John 18:25 — “they said” (cf. note 158).
157 Mark 14: 71. — “I know,” etc. (
οἶδα). See note 136.
158 Mark 14: 72. — “Wept,” or “kept weeping” (
ἔκλαιεν, imperfect). The passages of the Gospels which afford a complete view of Peter’s failure may, be referred to in the following order: John 18:17, Matt. 26:69 (Mark 14:66, Luke 22:56), Mark 14:68 f., Matt. 26:71, John 18:25, Luke 22:58, 59, John 18:26, Matt. 26:73 (Mark 14:70-72).
Notes On Mark 15.
159 Mark 15:5. — See note 154.
160 Mark 15: 12. — “That I do to Him,” etc. (
ποιήσω ὅν). On this Wellhausen ventures to say: “In the Greek the accusative after
ποιήσω is incorrect.” Such infatuation in a professed scholar is unaccountable. The Greek language was plastic everywhere and at all times. “To do good to a man” is in colloquial Greek
εὖ δρᾶν τινα, or
ἀγαθὸν ποιεῖν τινα, to treat well;
κακὸν ποιεῖν πράσσειν, to do ill to, to treat amiss. “What shall I do to [him]?” “How shall I treat [him]?” There is no solecism, no awkwardness in the Evangelist’s language here. See Blass, § 34, p. 91, at foot.
161 Mark 15: 21. — See note 1.
162 Mark 15: 25. — Cf. John 19:14, and note 142. Mark’s “third hour” is by “critics” set against John’s “sixth hour.” Such do not see that, while the second Evangelist is speaking of the Crucifixion, the fourth refers to the outcry before Pilate (Kelly, “Exposition of John,” p. 392 f.). It is usual for “reconcilers” to suppose that the Synoptists’ statements are based on the strictly Jewish day, those of John on the Roman way of reckoning the civil day. The Jews took the hours from sunrise (our six a.m.), the Romans from midnight, with whom the sixth hour, accordingly, was the same as ours. Then three hours would elapse before the crucifixion (nine a.m.), and these would be taken up by the events recorded in the three first Gospels: the sentence of death, the journey to Golgotha, and the preparations there for the crucifixion. See, however, papers of Sir W. M. Ramsay in the Expositor, referred to by Professor Sanday in “Outlines of the Life of Christ,” p. 147. As to Wieseler’s idea, see Farrer, “Life of Christ,” p. 112 note, where reference is given to Justinian’s “Digest” (xli., Titus 3:6, 7). — The present writer believes that it means the third hour after the last watch of the night (Mark 13:35).
163 Mark 15: 26. — Cf. Kelly, “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 551, and note 7 above (third illustration).
164 Mark 15: 34 f. - Eloi. This is the Aramaic form, Eli in Matt. 27:46 the Hebrew, which Wellhausen supposes was that actually used by the Lord, as having a ring more like Elias. As he says, the Jews could not have misunderstood Eloi, their vernacular.
165 Mark 15: 37. — Nowhere in the Gospels is the word “died” used as the result of our Lord’s crucifixion. Here
ἐξέπνευσεν, “expired,” as in Luke, Matthew’s word being
ἀφῆκετ.π., “dismissed His spirit,” whilst John’s is
παρέδκνετ.π., “gave up,” etc. As to these, see “Exposition of John,” p. 398. — The date seems to have been 7 April, A.D. 30.
166 Mark 15: 43. — “Took courage,” etc.,
τολμήσας. Such is Dr. Field’s rendering, based on that of the “New Translation,” by J. N. Darby, to which the learned editor of the “Hexapla” refers in his “Notes on the Translation of the New Testament” at this passage.
Notes On Mark 16.
167 Mark 16: 1-8. — The accounts of the Resurrection given by the four Evangelists have always been closely scrutinised in the service of unbelief, so that the most has been made of apparent discrepancies. The late Professor Rawson Birks, in his “Horae Evangelicae,” vol. iii., chapter iii., p. 449 f., entered into an “examination of charges of inconsistency of Mark’s account with that of one or other of the rest of the Evangelists,” to which any reader may be referred, as also to the later work of Christlieb, “Modern Doubts,” p. 468 f.
It is desirable closely to compare the four accounts, and to make sure of the right meaning of the exact expression used by each Evangelist. Something like the following scheme may aid any reader of a book like O. Holtzmann’s “Life of Jesus,” in which the different accounts are represented as inconsistent with one another.
Mary Magdalene (accompanied by “the other Mary”) visited the sepulchre whilst it was yet dark (Matt. 28:1, John 20:1). The word
ἐπιφώσκειν used by Matthew refers, not to morning, but to evening twilight — “as it began to grow dusk” — i.e., on the Sabbath evening which preceded the morning of the resurrection. See its like use in Luke 23:54, where Wellhausen remarks that in the Syriac liturgies the expression bears the same sense.
Mary Magdalene goes to tell Peter and John, who come and go again (John 20:3-10, Luke 24:12 — omit “then” of A.V.), but Mary Magdalene on her return remains, and sees JESUS (Mark 16:9, John 20:11 f.). The other Mary, it seems, in whose company she revisited the sepulchre, carried information to Salome (Mark 16:1).
Then other women (Luke 24:10) come, who see the angels and flee, saying, whilst on their flight, nothing to anyone until they meet JESUS, whose words rally them, so that they deliver their message to the eleven as to Galilee (Mark 16:5-8, Matt. 28:5-10, Luke 24:9). Cp. Bp. Chase, Camb. Essays, p. 393.
Mary Magdalene delivers the message confided to her by JESUS to the disciples in general as to the Father (John 20:17, 18, Mark 16:9-11).
Luke 24:13-35 (cf. Mark 16:12, 13) tells us of the interview between JESUS and the two journeying to Emmaus, and verses 36-49 (Mark 16:14 f.) of His appearance to the eleven, which was on two consecutive Sundays (John 20:19-29). Within the next five weeks the disciples must have gone to Galilee, and returned to Judea for the Ascension scene recorded by Luke.
And so, if Mark’s “Salome” is set against Luke’s “Johanna,” the common-sense explanation is that Luke must have included Salome among “the others” he speaks of in the same verse (Luke 24:10).
Again, in verse 5 here, “a young man.” Against this “critical” writers use Luke’s “two men” (Luke 24:4). The women were trembling. Only one of the angels, presumably, was spokesman; to him their attention was attracted.
ἠγόρασαν, bought (not, as A.V., on the Friday evening). See Blass, p. 202.
Mark 16: 7. — “He goes before you into Galilee” (so Matt. 28:7). But for O. Holtzmann (as for Wernle, p. 16) there is a difficulty in the fact that Luke, who tells us about appearances in Judea, says nothing about Galilee in this connection. Throughout the Gospels of Matthew and Mark Galilee is prominent. The Divine design of the Gospels here, as always, comes to our aid (see the “Lectures on Matthew,” p. 562 f.).
168 Mark 16: 9-20. — The textual criticism of the closing verses of Mark has been fully discussed by Tregelles, Scrivener, Burgon, Westcott and Hort, Sadler, Salmon, and others. A recent statement will be found in Swete’s Introduction to his edition of Mark.
They appear in AC and fifteen other uncials, all cursives, and versions except Syrsin. D has as far as v. 15, whilst Syrcm shows vv. 17-20. Hippolytus quotes verse 19, Irenaeus verse 20. Their place in the Gospel has been recognised by Wetstein and Bengel among the older scholars: by Scheiermacher, De Wette, Bleek, Strauss, Hilgenfeld, Olshausen, Ebrard, Ellicott, Salmon, Wace, etc., among the more recent — in particular by Scrivener and Burgon. Scrivener deals with the external evidence in his “Introduction,” pp. 337-344, fourth edition; Burgon with the internal in his, chapter 9. Salmon writes: “We have no evidence that any writer anterior to Eusebius remarked that there was anything abrupt in the conclusion of St. Mark’s Gospel, or that it gave no testimony to our Lord’s resurrection” (p. 146). He, too, discusses the internal evidence, holding that it favours reception of the verses; Morison, the same emphatically, calling the question as to these verses a “romance of criticism, which must, as time goes on, yield to sober truth” (lxxiii).
The following scholars, amongst others, have been more or less adverse to the belief that Mark was the writer: Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, B. Weiss and Zahn.
Tregelles, while questioning that Mark was the writer, treats the verses as authentic and a part of canonical Scripture. He compares them with the last chapter of Deuteronomy (“Printed Text of the New Testament,” p. 246 f.).
By those English scholars who do not defend Mark’s authorship they are supposed to have been written by Aristion, spoken of by Papias as “a disciple of the Lord.”
Dr. Hort’s views will be found in “Introduction to Greek New Testament,” Appendix, pp. 28-51.
Wright suggests that Mark’s Gospel was not copied in his lifetime, and would therefore be little used, thus “narrowly escaping extinction” (Synopsis XIV., cf. Burkitt, p. 260 f.).
Professor Sanday writes: “The most probable view, I think,” regarding these verses, “is that they were written to make good a loss through the frayed end of a roll” (Bampton Lectures, p. 380).
Zahn’s opinion, that the book remained uncompleted, he rests on the critical canon that, where two mutually exclusive texts, the origin of each of which may be a shorter, well-attested text, compete with this, the shorter must be regarded as the original recension (“Introduction to the New Testament,” vol. ii., p. 227).
Pfleiderer (i. 395) compares these verses with verses 58-60 of the “Gospel of Peter,” which has a like abrupt ending. See also Dean Robinson’s lecture on that apocryphal work (p. 29).
So much for the views of those not defending the verses. Since the appearance of the Revised Version, it has been discovered that they are included in Tatian’s “Diatessaron,” of the early part of the second century. This later phase of the question may have led to some modification of the case against them.
W. Kelly to the end of his life shared Burgon’s conviction as to the inordinate respect in which the most ancient copies have in general been held, whilst feeling, perhaps yet more strongly than the late Dean of Chichester, that the text was really tampered with here, as was always the lecturer’s belief with regard to another dozen verses in the fourth Gospel (John 7:53-8:11).