Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ It cannot be ascertained in what place each of the Evangelists wrote.” Victor informs

us, That Mark was also called John, and was the son of Mary; that he wrote a Gospel after Matthew; that for a while he accompanied Paul, and Barnabas his relation, but when he came to Rome he joined Peter. When he was obliged to quit Rome, he was requested by the brethren to write a history of his preaching, and of his heavenly doctrine; with which request he readily complied.”

Cosmas of Alexandria, writes, “That Mark, the second Evangelist, wrote a Gospel at Rome, by the dictation of Peter."

CECUMENIUS says, “ This John, who also is called Mark, nephew to Barnabas, wrote the Gospel which goes by his name, and was also the disciple of Peter.'

Theophylact informs us, “That the Gospel according to Mark, was written at Rome, ten years after the ascension of Jesus Christ, at the request of the believers there; for, this Mark was a disciple of Peter. His name was John, and he was nephew to Barnabas, the companion of Paul.”

Euthymius concurs exactly in this testimony. His words are, “ The Gospel of Mark was written about ten years after our Lord's ascension, at the request of the believers at Rome, or, as some say, in Egypt; that Mark was, at first, much with his uncle Barnabas, and Paul, but afterwards went with Peter to Rome, from whom he received the whole history of his Gospel.”

NICEPHORUS says, “Only two of the twelve have left memoirs of our Lord's life, and two of the seventy, Mark and Luke.” And a little after, “ Mark and Luke published their Gospels, by the direction of Peter and Paul.”

Eutychius, Patriarch of Alexandria, has the following words :-“In the time of Nero, Peter, the prince of the Apostles, making use of Mark, wrote a Gospel at Rome, in the Roman language."

The reader will recollect, that this last writer lived as late as the tenth century, which will account for his calling Peter “the prince of the Apostles," a language entirely foreign to the early ecclesiastical writers. And Selden is of opinion, that by the Roman language, he meant the Greek, which was then in common use at Rome; and it is well known, that in our times, the modern Greek language is called Romaic. Jones and Lardner concur in the opinion of Selden.

SECTION VI.

GOSPEL OF LUKE-TESTIMONIES OF THE FATHERS RESPECTING IT.

[ocr errors]

The third Gospel is that of Luke. He is mentioned in Scripture as the companion of Paul in his travels; and when 'that Apostle was sent a prisoner to Rome, this evangelist accompanied him, and continued with him during his two years' confinement in that city, as may be gathered from Paul's Epistles, written during this period. Whether he was the same as the beloved physician, mentioned by Paul, is uncertain, but the general opinion is in favour of it. It is also disputed, whether or not he was one of the Seventy Disciples. Without undertaking to decide these points, I will proceed to lay before the reader the principal testimonies of the Fathers, respecting this Gospel and its author.

IRENÆUS asserts, “That Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the Gospel preached by him.”. Again, he says, “Luke was not only a companion, but a fellow-labourer of the Apostles, especially of Paul.” He calls him “A disciple and fellow-labourer of the Apostles.” Apostles," says he, “envying none, plainly delivered to all, the things which they had heard from the Lord. So likewise Luke, envying no man, has delivered to us what he learned from them, as he

says, • Even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of his word.'”

EUSEBIUS informs us, that CLEMENT of Alexandria bore a large testimony to this, as well as to the other Gospels; and he mentions a tradition concerning the order of the Gospels, which Clement had received from presbyters of more ancient times—“That the Gospels containing the genealogies were written first."

TERTULLIAN speaks of Matthew and John as Disciples of Christ; of Mark and Luke as Disciples of the Apostles; however, he ascribes the same authority to the Gospels written by them as to the others. “ The Gospel,” says he," which Mark published, may be said to be Peter's, whose interpreter Mark was; and Luke's Digest is often ascribed to Paul. And, indeed, it is easy to take that for the Master's which the Disciples published.” Again, “Moreover, Luke was not an Apostle, but an Apostolic man; not a master, but a disciple: certainly less than his master; certainly so much later, as he is a follower of Paul, the last of the Apostles.”

Origen mentions the Gospels in the order commonly received—“ The third,” says he, “is that according to Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, published for the sake of the Gentile converts.” In his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, which we now have in a Latin version only, he writes, “Some say Lucius is Lucas, the Evangelist, as indeed it is not uncommon to write names, sometimes according to the original form, sometimes according to the Greek and Roman termination.”

Eusebius has left us the following testimony concerning Luke the Evangelist:-“ And Luke, who was of Antioch, and by profession a physician, for the most part a companion of Paul, who had, likewise, more than a slight acquaintance with the other Apostles, has left us, in two books, divinely inspired, evidences of the art of healing souls, which he had learned from them. One of them is the Gospel which he professeth to have written as they delivered it to him, who, from the beginning, were eye-witnesses and ministers of his word.” With all whom, he says, he had been perfectly acquainted from the first. And in another place, he says, " Luke hath delivered in his Gospel, a certain account of such things as he had been assured of by his intimate acquaintance and familiarity with Paul, and his conversation with the other Apostles.”

In the Synopsis ascribed to ATHANASIUS, it is said, “ That the Gospel of Luke was dictated by the Apostle Paul, and written and published by the blessed Apostle and physician Luke.”

Gregory Nazianzen says, “ That Luke wrote for the Greeks;" and GREGORY NYSSEN, " That Luke was as much a physician for the soul as the body.”

The testimony of Jerome concerning Luke is as follows: “ Luke, who was of Antioch, and by profession a physician, not unskilful in the Greek language, a disciple of the Apostle Paul, and the constant companion of his travels, wrote a Gospel, and another excellent volume, entitled, the Acts of the Apostles ..... It is supposed that Luke did not learn his Gospel from the Apostle Paul only, who had not conversed with the Lord in the flesh, but also from other Apostles, which likewise he owns at the beginning of his volume, saying, “ Even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word.' Therefore, he wrote the Gospel from the information of others; but the Acts he composed from his own knowledge."*

The same writer, in the preface to his Commentary on St Matthew, says, “ The third evangelist is Luke, the physician, a Syrian of Antioch, who was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, and published his Gospel in the countries of Achaia and Bætia."

In another place he observes, “ That some said that Luke had been a proselyte to Judaism, before his conversion to Christianity."

CHRYSOSTOM, in his first Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, has this remark: “ Luke had the fluency of Paul, Mark the conciseness of Peter, both learning of their masters.”

ISIDORE of Seville, says, “ Of the four evangelists, the first and last relate what they had heard Christ say, or had seen him perform. Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Judea; then Mark in Italy; Luke, the third in Achaia; John, the last, in Asia.” And, again, “ Of all the evangelists, Luke, the third in order, is reckoned to have been the most skilful in the Greek tongue. For he was a physician, and wrote his Gospel in Greek.”

In TheophyLACT's preface to St Matthew's Gospel, it is said, “There are four evangelists, two of whom, Matthew and John, were of the Apostles; and the other two, Mark and Luke, were of the number of the Seventy. Mark was a disciple and companion of Peter; Luke, of Paul ..... Luke wrote fifteen years after Christ's ascension.”

In his Commentary on Luke, he observes, “ That it appears from Luke's Introduction, that he was not from the beginning a disciple, but only afterwards. For others were disciples from the beginning, as Peter, and the sons of Zebedee, who delivered to him the things which they had seen or heard.”

EUTHYMIUS says, “ Luke was a native of Antioch, and a physician. He was a hearer of Christ, and, as some say, one of his Seventy Disciples, as well as Mark. He was afterwards very intimate with Paul. He wrote his Gospel, with Paul's permission, fifteen years after our Lord's ascension.”

EUTYChius, patriarch of Constantinople, has handed down the following account:-“ In the time of the same emperor, (Nero) Luke wrote his Gospel in Greek, to a notable and wise man of the Romans, whose name was Theophilus; to whom he

• Book of Illustrious Men.

also wrote the Acts, or the history of the Disciples. The Evan. gelist Luke was a companion of the Apostle Paul, going with him wherever he went. For which reason, the Apostle Paul, in one of his epistles, says, 'Luke the physician salutes you.'

The same arguments by which the Canonical authority of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were established, apply with their full force to the Gospel of Luke. It was universally received as Canonical by the whole primitive church—has a place in every catalogue of the books of the New Testament which was ever published—is constantly referred to and cited by the Fathers, as a part of Sacred Scripture—and was one of the books constantly read in the churches, as a part of the rule of faith and practice for all believers.

Marcion, the heretic, it is true, had a Gospel according to Luke, which differed essentially from that in the Canon, but his authority has no weight.

SECTION VII.

1

THE OBJECTIONS OF J. D. MICHAELIS, TO THE CANONICAL AUTHORITY OF TBE

GOSPELS OF MARK AND LUKE, CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED.

J. D. MICHAELIS, in his Introduction to the New Testament, as translated from the German by Bishop Marsh, in the Third Section of the Third Chapter, speaking of the Gospels of St Mark and St Luke, and of the Acts of the Apostles, and of the grounds of placing them in the Canon, says, “ I must confess that I am unable to find a satisfactory proof of their inspiration; and the more I investigate the subject, and the oftener I compare their writings with those of St Matthew and St John, the greater are my doubts.” He then goes on to say, that in the former edition of this work, he had stated the arguments on both sides of the question, but although uncertain which he should prefer, yet he had rather inclined to the affirmative. But now, he tells us, that he is strongly inclined to the negative

The first argument for the inspiration of these Gospels which the learned professor considers, is derived from the fact, that

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »