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Eleven Essays by Various Writers. Revised and much enlarged Edition. To the Es tablishment of Judaism under Ezra. Descriptive Prospectus on Application. It must form the first of a few other treatises on the subject of Introduction to the New Testament which will appear shortly, for some of the cardinal problems of this branch of Biblical study are still far from being set in so clear a light as to permit of their being dismissed in a short essay.
The genuine epistles of St.
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Paul, the writings of St. Luke, and the history of Eusebius are the pillars of primitive Christian history. This fact has not yet been sufficiently recognised in the case of the Lukan writings ; partly because critics are convinced that these writings are not to be assigned to St.
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And yet, even if they were right in their supposition, the importance of the Acts of the Apostles at least still remains funda mental. However, I hope to have shown in the following pages that critics have gone astray in this question, and that the traditional view holds good. Ten years ago, in the preface to the first volume of the second part of my " History of Christian Literature," I stated that the criticism of the sources of primitive Christianity was gradually returning to the traditional standpoints.
My friends have taken offence at this statement of mine, although I had already in part established its truth. I now offer them a new proof, and I beg for their impartial criticism. With my opponents, on the other hand, my statement has fared much more sadly. I saw myself suddenly brought for ward as a witness to testify that in historical criticism we are returning to the conservative point of view.
I am not responsible for this misapprehension of my position ; indeed, in that very preface I took care to guard myself against it as it seems, to no purpose.
Let me, therefore, now express my absolute conviction that historical criticism teaches us ever more clearly that many traditional positions are untenable and must give place to new and startling discoveries. We do, of course, recover something of the old ground, in that we can now more accurately circumscribe the home and the time of the formation of the most primitive and funda mental Christian tradition.
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We can now assert that during the years A. This result of research is becoming clearer day by day, and is steadily replacing the earlier "critical" hypothesis which assumes that the fundamental development of Christian tradition extended over a period of some one hundred years, and that in its formation the whole Diaspora played a part as important as that of the Holy Land and its primitive churches. In regard to the chronological framework, the majority of the leading personages who are named, and the scene of action, the report of ancient tradition stands firm ; but when we proceed further i.
Indeed, the problems which present them selves are rendered the more difficult by the shortening of the period of fundamental development and by the weight which must be assigned to the testimony of persons who still belong to the first generation. If, for instance, St. Luke and not some other unknown com piler is the author of the third gospel and the Acts, we are then left with a psychological and historical problem of extraordinary difficulty scarcely less diffi cult, indeed, than that which the author of the fourth gospel presents when he includes in his narrative both the Miracle at Cana and the Final Discourses.
I am also far from wishing to commend it in every case ; but the problem before us whether the author of the so- called " we "" sections is identical with the author of the whole work can be really mastered by a method which comprises close and detailed examination and discussion of vocabulary and style. I have corrected it in a few places, and have amplified the last Appendix St. Luke and St.
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Otherwise the book remains unaltered. I gladly seize the opportunity of expressing my thanks to the English scholars Hawkins, Hobart, and Plummer for all that I have learnt from their works.
PAGE I. LUKE i. In fact, there is no justifiable reason for doubting that Justin already regarded the third gospel as the work of St. Luke "Dial. Indeed, a further step backwards is permissible ; for those who first formed the collection of four gospels and this was done before the middle of the second century, perhaps long before gave this gospel the inscription KATA AOTKAN.
It is therefore probable that Marcion, who assailed the other gospels while he accepted and edited the third gospel, was already acquainted with the name Luke as the name of its author. This, however, does not admit of stringent proof, 1 and one must therefore i In proof of Marcion s knowledge of the name of Luke we may bring forward the fact that Marcion in his text of Col. Of necessity the gospel which begins with a prologue must have contained in its title the name of its author.
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If St. Luke was not the author, then the real author s name must have been purposely suppressed either when the book was combined with the three other gospels or at some previous time.
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Such a suppression or substitu. Anonymous compilations in the course of tradition easily acquire some determining name, and it is easy to imagine an author writing under a pseudonym ; but in the case of a writing determined by a prologue and a dedication we require some very definite reasons for a substitution of names, especially when this is supposed to occur only one generation after the date of publica tion.
If Iren. But " Luke" was not this, so far as we know. On this very account, ever since the end of the second century these historical writings were carefully brought into such close connection with the Apostle St. Paul that the name "Luke" lost all importance. The name, therefore, was not authoritative enough at that time. Paul, 4 a fellow- worker with St.
Paul at an earlier period. It is not, however, probable that he was with the Apostle at the time of the composition of the epistles to the Thessalonians, to the Corinthians, and to the Romans ; for in this case we should expect some mention of his name. It is therefore improbable that he was personally, or at all events intimately, acquainted with the Christian communities of Thessalonica, Corinth, and Rome before St. Paul visited that city. Paul would not have given such emphasis to the special profession of his companion in travel if he himself had not derived benefit there from.
On the other hand, he is never mentioned as a fellow-prisoner of St. Paul like Aristarchus Col. Paul in these epistles makes no mention of individuals who send greeting. Luke, apart from these references to him in the writings of St. Paul, is probably not altogether untrustworthy, though it will not here claim our attention. One statement, however, deserves to be regarded as specially reliable. Luke with the original Apostles more accurately than the latter. Rather we are here compelled to assume a common source, which must therefore be of very early date.
Texte u. This is probably correct. Tne statement that St.