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Christianity according to S. Lulce. by th 


3 1924 029 342 221 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 









Lucas Syrus natione Antiochensis arte medicus discipulus aposto- 
lorum postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius serviens 
domino sine crimine. Nam neque uxorem umquam habens neque 
filios septuaginta annorum obiit in Bithynia plenus spiritu sancto. 

Praefatio vel argumentum Lucae {c. 230). 










This book has grown out of some lectures delivered at Cambridge 
in August 191 5 to the members of the Vacation School of Biblical 
Studies. The lectures have been rewritten and considerably 
enlarged, and the volume now represents an attempt to describe 
with soine fulness the meaning and historical background of the 
third Gospel. I have tried my best to make an independent 
examination of the subject, but I cannot hope that scholars will 
find in it much that is new to them. I had almost written " any- 
thing that is new," but it does occasionally happen that even 
very learned scholars allow themselves here and there to consider 
a text simply as a text, in isolation from its setting. Where this 
has in any degree been done, an attempt to portray the setting 
and to place the text against its real background may be of 
service. Let us by all means have historical criticism, but let 
it be genuinely historical. The truth is that the Gospels will not 
be understood unless two things are appreciated, the Palestinian 
environment of the events that are recorded in them, and the 
ecclesiastical, or Christian, environment of the Evangelists. Of 
these, the former has been carefully considered by modern writers, 
but the other is still sometimes neglected. It seems, therefore, 
that there is room for a study of S. Luke's Gospel as a Church 
document. And, if the personal touch may (in a Preface) be 
forgiven, I am glad to make an opportunity of saying that member- 
ship of Selwyn College has fortified, and, I trust, also clarified, 
a belief which I acquired in South London. The belief is that 
problems of theology, as of politics and other provinces of human 
thought, are at least most likely to be solved by such as will look 
at them with Christian eyes, while they are trying, with others, 
to live a Christian life. 

Readers who are not familiar with New Testament criticism 



will find that the book makes certain demands upon their patience, 
if it is to be used with profit, but I hope that they will not find 
it obscure or over-technical. 

The magnitude and frequency of my obligation to previous 
writers are indicated in the foot-notes, but I am further indebted 
to Mr. Valentine-Richards, Fellow and Dean of Christ's College, 
who has most kindly read through a part of the proofs, and to 
Mr. S. R. Wareing, who has compiled the indices. 


Selwyn College, Cambridge 
February 19 19 




































Of the many dangers that beset the path of one who writes a book 
about the Bible, or any part of it, there are two which demand 
attention at the outset. In the first place, if we assume that the 
intention of the writer is to shew that the Bible has a modern 
application, he will be tempted, in his anxiety to commend the 
Book to a contemporary audience, to father upon Prophet or 
EvangeUst some mere invention of his own. The following pages 
have not been planned in entire forgetfulness of the danger of 
that particular presumption. I greatly hope that in them the 
Evangelist will be heard speaking for himself. It is admitted, of 
course, that any appreciation of an ancient book, written in 
English and in the twentieth century, must owe something, good 
or bad, to the date and standpoint of the compiler, but it happens 
in the case of S. Luke that the ancient author comes more than 
half-way to meet us. . If he be modern, as I believe he is, it 
will not be because he has been successfully modernized. He 
hardly even requires to be re-stated. Only, at most, to be 
re-translated. ' 

The other danger is this. One tragic consequence of the 
multiplication of books about the Bible is that they are read, and 
the Bible -is not read. The very thing that should have been for 
the wealth of the reader is for him an occasion of falling. The 
author of an " Introduction " to the Gospel of S. Luke has turned 
away his readers from the words of the Gospel that he thought 
to make known. He was minded to promote the " daily reading 
and weighing of the Scriptures," and he succeeds in providing a 
mean substitute. The remedy for the abuse is not altogether in 
the hands of the writer of the " Introduction," but the danger is 
one which he will do well to bear in mind. 



Our object, then, is to throw S. Luke upon the screen. His 
editor, if the term may be used, does not particularly wish to 
correct him, or to supplement him, still less to apologize for him. 
But, inasmuch as the sin of " taking away " from the words of 
any of the Books of Revelation ^ is worse and less remediable than 
the sin of " adding " to them, therefore of all possible results of 
the writing of the present volume the most fatal would be to 
produce on readers the impression that they need not read S. Luke 
any more, because they know what he has to say. Second-hand 
theology is a widely circulated and by no means useless com- 
modity, but second-hand religion, when the age of childhood is 
once passed, is a fond thing, vainly invented. 

It will perhaps seem at first sight quite inconsistent with the 
foregoing remarks to say that S. Luke can only be understood 
when he is considered as a member of the Christian Church. 
Here, it will be thought, is the thin end of the ecclesiastical 
wedge. The Bible is not really being left to speak for itself. 

The objection leads us at once to one of the great modern mis- 
understandings of Christianity. The impression having first of all 
been produced that Christianity^ consists of the Bible, it is then 
supposed that the Bible exists somehow in vacuo, hanging between 
earth and heaven, and that it originally appeared, like Melchizedek, 
on a sudden, without father, without mother, without genealogy, 
having neither beginning of days nor end of life. And this is the 
more curious because the mistake in kindred connexions is 
generally avoided. No one imagines that the Book of Common 
Prayer can be considered apart from the Church of England, or 
that the Church of England can be considered apart from the 
main stream of historic Christianity, as it dates from Christ and 
His Apostles. No one proposes to estimate the value of such 
things as Baptism and Confirmation without some reference, 
expressed or implied, to the general truth of Christian theology. 
It is recognized that it is impossible to deal with Papal or Non- 
conformist questions without taking certain historical facts into 

All this is admitted, and yet the attempt is made to treat the 
New Testament as if it were only a cause, and not also an effect. 

* See Rev. xxii. i8 and 19. 


The place of the New Testament in the chain of Christian evolution 
is a very great and very conspicuous place. But it did not make 
Christianity. On the contrary, Christianity made it. 

The true course of events was this. With Christ, a new 
creative energy entered the world. When Gabriel, the angel, was 
sent unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, there occurred an 
act of God, from which there has flowed and is flowing an immense 
series of results. Thence came the Nativity and Ministry of 
Jesus, the Upper Room, the Cross, the victory of Easter, the 
Ascension. Thence came the Day of Pentecost, the Church, the 
Sacraments, the Bible, the Episcopate, the Creeds, the nineteen 
Christian centuries. Thence have come whatever of faith, or 
spiritual power, or faculty of prayer and worship may belong to 
ourselves or to any of our fellow-Christians. And thence will have 
come the repentance, the good resolutions, the Easter Communions, 
the mystic ecstasy, the Ordinations or the family worship of 
millions who are yet unborn. We do not nowadays pile " pyra- 
mids of doctrine on the apex of a single text." But inasmuch as 
Christianity is an historical religion, we are compelled, in the 
interests of the truth, to trace whatever Christian things have 
happened since Christianity began back to the time when it did 
begin, to the time when God did not abhor the Virgin's womb. 

The New Testament is part of this vast stream of consequences. 
It is also itself, within the stream, a secondary cause. For the 
Church is an organism, not a machine. As soon as the group of 
documents that we now call the New Testament began to come 
into existence, it was found to be so full of real, creative life that 
it at once took a dominating place in the movement as an active 
and productive cause. As time went on and the first generations 
of believers died, its usefulness became greater and greater. It 
became indispensable. It enshrined and preserved the gracious 
memory that would otherwise have become indistinct. It made 
available for later generations the apostolic witness, and the 
apostolic interpretation of the supreme events. The New Testa- 
ment has made it possible for Christians to have what in things 
of this world is almost always unattainable. It enables them to 
have their advantage in two ways at once. For the perfection of 
Our Lord's life and the power of His conquest over the grave have 


been wrought into the fabric of the Church. The early Christians 
had Redemption, and we have it, stored in the Church for daily 
use. But also, in the Bible, it is captured and depicted, as fresh 
as it was on the day when it was born. Since the Church began, 
it has been for Christians the daily food of their salvation. There 
we use it, and yet, in the Bible, we can have it too. Moreover, 
that which can be said of the redeeming power of the Master can 
be said also, on the lower level, of the stimulating grace of the 
disciple. We use in the Church from day to day the frailty and 
the fealty of S. Peter, the sternness and sweetness of S. John ; 
and we can have them, for our example and admonition, in the 

But the Church is more than the Bible. Nothing can alter the 
fact that the New Testament is one of the possessions of the 
Church. The Church existed for a number of years without it. 
We can easily see now that its formation was the response to 
" divine inspiration," but at the time it seemed casual and 
haphazard. The writers of the Epistles, at least, had not the 
slightest idea that future generations would read their letters as 
they themselves read the Law and the Prophets. Their inspira- 
tion was unconscious. The Evangelists were rather more defi- 
nitely aware than the Epistle-writers that posterity would read 
their books, but even they would have been startled beyond 
measure to learn that they were engaged in the composition of 
part of the Bible. S. Paul and others wrote their letters, and the 
Evangelists wrote their records, for the benefit of the Church or 
some part of it. They wrote as Churchmen to Churchmen about 
things with which Churchmen are concerned. Even the most 
superficial examination of S. Paul's first letter to the Church of 
Salonika, one of the earliest, if not the very earliest existing 
Christian document,^ will shew that the author was writing out 
of the heart of a Christian environment. He begins by speaking 
in one breath of " God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ," 
and throughout he presupposes the existence of the Church. 

It ought, therefore, to be a platitude to say that no book of 
the New Testament can be understood unless it is regarded as a 

* Some critics now date Galatians before Thessalonians. According to Hamack's 
chronology the date of Thessalonians was eighteen years after the Crucifixion, arid 
S. Paul's Conversion was about one year after the Crucifixion. 


product of Church-life. But there is still much misconception on 
the subject. When we recall what is often said about " simple 
Bible teaching," or the views that are commonly held by English 
people about the Bible, and indeed what is sometimes written by 
very learned scholars — the statement still wears almost the aspect 
of- a paradox. The case of S. Luke's Gospel is in this respect 
particularly instructive. It is in itself so interesting, and it 
appears on the surface to be so complete and self-contained a story 
that it seems perfectly able to stand on its merits. And so indeed 
it will, if the scope of its own merits be fully understood. For it is, 
in itself, actually and confessedly, a Church document. It claims 
to be, and is, an attempt by a Churchman of the second generation 
to utilize and co-ordinate the knowledge of the original generation 
of Churchmen and to put it at the disposal of his contemporaries, 
and possibly also of their successors. Its purpose was primarily 
to confirm the accuracy and to supplement the amount of what 
had been taught to Theophilus by the Church, and secondarily 
(this is not stated, but it is a certain inference) to enable other 
Churchmen to verify the truth of whatever religious instruction 
might have been given them. These" purposes it has actually 
served, and still serves to-day.-^ 

The book must therefore be judged as one of the early volumes 
of a long and still unfinished series. It must be judged not only 
in its contemporary background, but, in the largest sense of the 
word, historically, that is, as scriptus et in tergo necdum jinitus. 

It must be surveyed with the help of knowledge of ancient 
history and Church doctrine, if the survey is to be complete. As 
Dr. Sanday has said, " No great movement can be rightly judged 
only by its initial stages, or apart the impression left by it 
upon the highest contemporary minds." ^ Dr. Sanday is pleading 
for freedom to apply the Fourth (Gfospel, to allow it to add its 
peculiar interpretative testimony to that of the Synoptists. But 
that is only one instance — though an outstanding, monumental 

1 " It is a great mistake to. judge the Gospel story as a thing complete in itself. 
The Gospel story is only the Prologue to the history of Christianity. Not to go beyond 
the circle of the Canonical Evangelists, we know that one at least of the Four actually 
treated what we call the Gospel merely as the first volume of a larger work. S. Luke's 
point of view is surely the true one " (Burkitt in Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 198). 
Cf . F. D. Maurice, The Kingdom of Heaven, p. xxxv. 

» Outlines of the Life of Christ, and ed., p. 247. 


instance — of an immense process. The Christian Church as a 
whole has accepted S. Luke's volume as one of its canonical 
Gospels, It has found his picture— the picture of the Virgin-born 
Healer and Saviour of the World— to be adequate and satisfying 
as one of the accounts of the genesis of its own religion, and 
indeed of itself. If, therefore, any modern reader is disposed to 
question the adequacy of the Gospfel, he must remember that he 
is questioning the verdict of Christendom. That verdict was 
considered and practically fixed during the years between the time 
of writing and some date before the middle of the second century,^ 
and has been either tacitly or formally reasserted by every genera- 
tion since. This does not mean that the modern critic will 
necessarily be found to be mistaken. Still less does it foreclose 
his right of criticism. But it creates a very high degree of prob- 
ability that the Church on the whole has known its own business 
better than he does, and it unquestionably indicates the necessity 
of caution.^ 

And even if one is finally driven to question the authority of 
Christendom, it is the fundamental error of errors to neglect it. 
To neglect it is to neglect history. For, in the narrower sense of 
the word, historically it was the Church which first created a 
demand for S. Luke's Gospel, and then sanctioned it when written. 
And, in a wider sense of the word, it is, historically, the Church 
which delivers S. Luke's Gospel into our hands to-day. For 
Christian instruction is always given in the first instance by some 
representative of the Church. The attempt to produce conver- 
sions to Christianity by distributing copies of the Bible, even of 
the Gospels, is mistaken. I do not at all assert that it is a useless 
or mischievous thing to do. But it is not an adequate method 
of producing conversions.^ And it was certainly not the method 

^ The Diatessaron of Tatian shews that by that time the Canonical Gospels were 
accepted as the four standard Gospels of the Church. Harnack, speaking of the collec- 
tion of four Gospels, says that " this was done before the middle of the second century, 
perhaps long before " (Luke the Physician, p. i). 

2 So Prof. Burkitt : " The fine instinct which reserved a place for the Gospel of 
Mark among the books of the New Testament shows the Catholic Church to have been 
wiser than her own writers, wiser than the heretics, wiser, finally, than most Biblical 
critics from S. Augustine to Ferdinand Christian Baur " (Gospel History, p. 261). 

' The experience of Callista, in Newman's tale, to whom S. Cyprian gave a copy of 
S. Luke's Gospel, is a good illustration of the part legitimately played by the New 
Testament in the process of conversion. 


of the Apostles. For even if the New Testament had been in 
existence in their time, they would not have begun their evangeliza- 
tion with it. They might have left copies behind them when 
they went away. They might conceivably have distributed 
copies during the course of the catechumenate.i They might 
further have found it useful to ask their disciples to look up 
references in passing, to use the New Testament,- in fact, very 
much as the Church does now. But they would not have begun 
with it. 

They would have begun — ^in fact it is certain that they did 
begin — ^with the thing that seemed to them all-important, the 
good news that expectations and desires, the expectations of the 
Jews and the desires of many Greeks, had been realized in the 
person of Jesus of Nazareth ; they would add that they them- 
selves were witnesses of His redeeming and victorious work, that 
He had gathered them into His family or body, and soon would 
welcome them to His Heavenly Kingdom ; meantime the Christ- 
Spirit underlying their corporate life was available for others, and, 
finally, the invitation was now open to listen, to repent, to be 
instructed and baptized. ^ That was the method of Philip at 
Samaria, of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, of Peter and all other 
Apostolic missionaries in all places to which they ever went. That 
is the method which the Church pursues now.^ The proper 
modern procedure is the Apostolic procedure. The baptized child 
receives, as formerly the adult inquirer received, some elementary 
Christian teaching about God and Christ and being good; This 
is given either by the priest at the Little Catechism, or by the 

* I.e., just as a modem teacher of, say, Hebrew might require his class to procure 
Hebrew Bibles at an early stage of their grammatical instruction, so they may turn 
over the pages, recognize a word here and there, and look forward to the time when 
they will be able to read it with understanding. 

' Even at a still earlier stage, the stage not of the dissemination of Christian know- 
ledge but of its birth, the same holds good. The original, creative events were enacted 
in the environment of that Jewish Church, of which the history is but the first volume 
of the continuous library of God's Revelation to man. Some such attempt as that 
which will be made in other chapters of the present work to sketch the background 
of the Gospel, the Semitic background of the events recorded by S. Luke and the 
Hellenic, yet sympathetic and, so to speak, philo-Semitic background of his record 
of them, is indispensable. Neither the events nor their treatment can be understood 
apart from knowledge of " the People of God." 

* There is just one difference. The order of the Christian events has been changed 
by the custom of Infant Baptism, which the existence of Christian families very soon 
made a natural and normal thing. The Church status is now conferred at an early age. 


teacher in the Sunday Kindergarten, or by the mother at home. 
Sometimes by all three. But in ^ny case by the Church. As 
soon as he knows some prayers, and a hymn or two like " I love 
to hear the story," he is taken to Church, and is introduced to 
Christian worship. " Who is that ?• " " The priest." " What is 
he doing ? " " He is standing at the altar, and doing what our 
Lord says we are to do." Then, presently, comes the reading of 
the Gospels. That is the true Christian order of events. 

The Church is the original and permanent organism, the 
instrument of God. The Bible is one of the instruments of 
the Xlhurch. And the Evangelists realized this as well as any- 
body. Thus, while it can hardly be asserted that they had 
thought out completely the place that their own work would be 
likely to take in a permanent scheme, what is certain is that they 
did riot assume any place for their work that did not belong to it. 
They desired to advance the cause of the Church and they were 
content that their work should be used or superseded as. God 
might choose. 

S. Luke, then, like all the other Evangelists, was first and 
foremost a Churchman. It would not be unreasonable to describe 
him as an " ecclesiastically minded layman." But the title must 
not be pressed. He was no more " ecclesiastically minded " than 
any other of the Evangelists. In fact, less so than the author of 
S. Matthew's Gospel. And if we bear in mind that he was a 
physician who accompanied S. Paul on- missionary journeys, and 
that S. Paul was accustomed to class gifts of healing along with 
gifts of prophecy and the like as kindred gifts of ministration 
(i Cor. xii. 9), it seems doubtful whether it is quite correct to 
call him a layman. His status was perhaps at least as clerical as 
that which was afterwards described as Minor Orders.^ 

But this is only a question of terms. What is meant is that 
S. Luke's Gospel, like all the other Gospels, arose in an ecclesias- 
tical atmosphere. It happens that S. Luke himself supplies much 
of the evidence which proves this. For S. Luke was also the 
author of the Acts. It is likely enough that even before he began 
his Gospel he knew that he would follow it up with another book, 

' In Philem. 24, S. Paul describes him as one of his a-vvepyoi. Many of the features 
of his writings suggest that he knew a good deal about preaching. See, for the Gospel, 
Hawkins in Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. 90-94. 


and that he had already collected some of the later material. ^ 
And anyhow it is certain that, as he wrote his Gospel, he was 
thinking all the time of the great event which he records elsewhere, 
in the second chapter of his other book, namely, the Coming of 
the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. That was for him the centre 
of gravity of the Christian religion. The Christian religion had 
begun with Jesus, but it was Pentecost jivhich put- the grace of 
Jesus into universal circulation. Without Pentecost it would 
never have reached Theophrlus or .even the Evangelist himself. 
And it was the Evangelist's knowledge of Pentecost, and his hourly 
dependence on its fruits, that made it seem worth while to him to 
reconstruct the tale of those Galilean events which preceded 
Pentecost and made it possible. 

We shall see presently that this reconstruction was a recovery 
of what might otherwise have been lost or at least obscured. 
S. Luke's Gospel is in the first place a definite attempt — ^very 
striking on the part of a Pauline Christian — to recover the historic 
Jesus. And in the second place it is a step — it is very hard to 
say how far it is a conscious step — in the direction of recovering 
the environment, the thoroughly Jewish and also highly apoca- 
lyptic environment, in which the Master had actually lived. In 
so far as it was unconscious, the fact is a tribute to the simple 
truthfulness of the EvangeHst. On the other hand, the more 
deliberate we suppose it to have been, the more notable is its 
evidence to his power as an historian of the Christian movement. 

The examination of this attempted recovery will occupy the 
next three chapters. Its sources will be considered later. Mean- 
time we may consider for a moment what the circumstances of 
S. Luke's own conversion most probably had been. We have 
some reason for supposing that he was converted through the 
agency of S. Paul. There is no actual proof of this, but the 
subsequent relations of the two men, and the way in which he 
speaks of S. Paul, and S. Paul of him, are best explained by sup- 
posing that he was one of those who owed to S. Paul " his own 
soul also." 

Can we go even further, and say that S. Luke originally 

1 It has occasionally been held that he wrote" Acts first and the Gospel afterwards. 
See Chase in Cambridge Theological Essays, pp. 380-381, 406 n. 


became known to his friend in the capacity of a physician, that he 
was called in to heal some visitation of the " thorn in the flesh " 
or other infirmity, and that he was won, as many a physician has 
been won, by observing the spirit of his patient ? It' is an attrac- 
tive picture — the physician gradually yielding himself to the power 
by which his patient seems to be inspired, and in particular, 
perhaps, impressed by his notable ability to triumph over his 
own infirmities. If this was so, it is easy to imagine the course 
of events. On recovery, or, more probably, long before complete 
recovery, when the sick man ought to have been still in bed, he 
persuaded his doctor to seek initiation into the mystical society, 
which possessed, or rather was possessed by, the Spirit of Christ, 
the Great Healer and Saviour of the world. 

But whether or no this was the actual beginning of S. Luke's 
Christian life, it is certain that he owed to S. Paul a very great 
debt. Our examination of S. Luke's environment has brought us 
to a point which demands a chapter to itself. 



The object of this chapter is not to determine how far S. Luke's 
Gospel is affected by the Pauline Theology. That task will be 
attempted later. The present intention is merely to exhibit the 
significance of the fact that out of the Pauline circle there came — 
a Gospel. 

The occasion on which S. Luke first met S. Paul was not later 
than S. Paul's first visit to Troas, during what is called his Second 
Missionary Journey, the visit which is described in Acts xvi. 8. 
The proof of this statement is as follows. 

Certain portions of Acts are written in the first person. The 
author relates, for instance, that " we sought to go forth into 
Macedonia " (Acts xvi. lo). These sections abound in personal 
reminiscence, and are quite evidently the work of an eyewitness 
of the incidents described. This shews that S. Luke himself was 
a member of the party at that time. It has indeed been suggested 
that the author was using a travel-diary of some other person, 
and that he either neglected or was unwilling to turn from the 
first person of his authority into the third person of his normal 
narrative. "But this is very unlikely, for various reasons. The 
theory of carelessness is impossible. S. Luke was too careful a 
writer to exhibit the seams of his borrowings so crudely. We 
know that he did use in the Acts material of various kinds.^ But 
he used it very skilfully, and it would certainly have occurred 

1 E.g., it is commonly tliought that the matter of Acts i. is derived from some Acta 
of the Church in Jerusalem, that chapter viii. came from Philip (with whom S. Paul 
and S. Luke sojourned at a later date — see Acts xxi. 8, 9, and cf. the incidental mention 
of Csesarea in Acts viii. 40) and his daughters. Chapter xii. may well have come from 
Khoda, or S. Mark. Other portions of the narrative may be due to the information 
of, e.g., Aristarchus (see Acts xix. 29,' xx. 4, xxvii. 2 ; also Col. iv. 10, Philem. 24, 
where in both cases S. Paul mentions him alongside of S. Luke) and Silas. A certain 
amount is surely from S. Paul himself. 



to him in such a case that the abrupt transition was inartistic. 
He must, therefore, have had some reason for making the transi- 
tion. There are two possible reasons. Either he desired to pose 
as the eyewitness, and to pretend that he had been with S. Paul 
from time to time when, as a matter of fact, he had not been or 
else he was really an eyewitness at those times. Can we believe 
that he pretended ? It is, I think, a sufficient answer to say that 
if he had wanted to pretend he would have been clever enough 
to do it more efficiently. He would have stated roundly that he 
had been there. It is true that he was a literary artist. But 
one of the first duties of a literary artist is to use language that 
will convey his meaning and be understood by those for whom 
he writes. At the time when he wrote Acts he must have known 
that the Christians for whom he was writing — or anyhow, the 
Christians whose sanction he was anxious to obtain — ^were simple, 
straightforward people (" babes," Lk. x. 21), who had no taste for 
subtlety and allusiveness. If he had wanted to produce in their 
minds for the first time the impression that he had accompanied 
S. Paul he would have said openly that he had done so. 

The alternative theory is that it was his own diary. And this 
is supported by two important facts, {a) The style in which 
these " we-sections," as they are called, are written is the same 
as the style of the remainder of the book and of the Gospel. 
Readers who are not familiar with New Testament criticism may 
think this a hazardous statement. But it is a solid fact. S. Luke 
has a definite style of writing, with a great many characteristic 
words, phrases, and grammatical constructions. The language of 
the New Testament, especially that of the Gospels and Acts, has 
been examined with extraordinary minuteness. The researches 
of Sir John Hawkins and others have put the truth of the statement 
beyond any kind of doubt.^ Harnack goes so far as to say, " In 
no other part of the Acts of the Apostles are the peculiarities of 
vocabulary and style of the author of the twofold work so accumu- 
lated and concentrated as they are in the ' we-sections ' " (Date 

' See, for example, Hawkins, Horae SynopHcae (and ed.), pp. 16-25, 26-29, 174-189 ; 
Plummer, Commentary on S. Luke's Gospel, pp. xli.-lxvii. ; Stanton, Gospels as His- 
torical Documents, ii, pp. 312-322; Harnack, Luhe the Physician, pp. 40-87; Date 
of the Acts and Synoptic Gospels, pp. 2-29 ; Moulton, Grammar of the New Testament, 
i. PP- I. 3-1 8. 


of ActSy etc., p. 12).^ And (b) no other person known to have 
been at any time a travel-companion of S. Paul will fill the part. 
The movements of Timothy, Silas and the others cannot be fitted 
in with the hypothesis that any one of them was the companion 
at the times in question. The hypothesis breaks down in every 
case. With the exception of Titus, for whose authorship there is 
no other evidence, each one of them can be shewn to have been 
elsewhere at one or more of the times. Luke " is with me " at 
them all. 

We conclude, then, that S. Luke was a companion of S. Paul 
during some part of his journeys. Now, the important point is 
this. The " we-sections " begin at Troas in Acts xvi. 10.^ That is 
why it was asserted at the beginning of this chapter that the 
first acquaintance of S. Paul and S. Luke cannot be later than this 
stay at Troas. The passage is as follows : " They came down to 
Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night ; there was a 
man of Macedonia, standing, beseeching him, and saying. Come 
over into Macedonia, and help us. And when he had seen the 
vision, straightway we sought to go forth into Macedonia, ^con- 
cluding that God had called us for to preach the Gospel unto 
them." It shews clearly that S. Luke began to accompany 
S. Paul at this point. Sir William Ramsay makes {St. Paul the 
Traveller and Roman Citizen, p. 202) the plausible suggestion 
that the " man of Macedonia " was S. Luke himself. For other- 
wise how would S. Paul recognize the man to be a Macedonian ? 
The clothes of a Macedonian would not differ from those of any 
' other Greek. He must have known him before. What more 
likely than that S. Luke, called in perhaps as a physician,- had 
spoken of the promising field in Philippi and other cities of what 
we now call Europe, and that S. Paul, falling asleep with the 
conversation in his mind, had dreamed about his friend ? It may 
even be that Philippi, whose title to pre-eminence, as against the 
rival claims of Salonika, is asserted so emphatically in Acts xvi. 12, 
was S. Luke's own city. The early Christians were bolder than 
some of us to-day. Following the example of their Master,^ they 

1 Hawkins speaks of "an immense balance of internal and linguistic evidence in 
favour of the view that the original writer of these sections was the same person as 
the main author of the Acts and the third Gospel " {Horae Synopticae, p. i88). 

» See note at end of this chapter. ' Lk. iv. i6 ; cp. viii. 38, 39. 


did not mind beginning to preach in places where they were knqjvn. 
Anyhow, the description of events at Philippi shews that S. Luke 
was left behind there. He did not share in the imprisonment of 
Paul and Silas (the " we " ceases at verse 17), and he probably 
remained to build up the newly founded Church, 

If we could ascertain what period of his development S. Paul 
had then reached, we should be greatly assisted in determining 
the standpoint which S. Luke would be likely to acquire. It is 
important, therefore, to examine the relations that must have 
subsisted between them. 

The things which would most impress the physician in the 
enthusiastic conversation of the friend, who was so bad a patient, 
so lovable a man, were : 

(i) The importance he attached to the fellowship of the 

(2) His reference of the presence of the Spirit underlying the 
fellowship to an earlier series of historical events (see chap. iii). 

To these may be added : 

(3) An expectation, which S. Luke, as a Greek, would not find 
so congenial, of a coming Day of God (see chap. iv). 

Let us consider these three points. 

(i) S. Paul's doctrine of the Church. 

His doctrine at a later period is clearly set forth in the general 
or encyclical letter which we call the Epistle to the Ephesians. In 
that letter no language is too exalted to express his conception 
of the Body of Christ. He speaks of it as he speaks of Christ 
Himself. Of Christ he says that God " raised him from the 
dead " and " seated him at his own right hand " " in the heavenly 
sphere " (i. 20). Of the Church he says : " When we were dead 
in trespasses he quickened us with Christ " and " seated us in the 
heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus " (ii. 5, 6). The glory of the 
Church is, of course, derivative. The order is — Christ first, then 
the Church ; " Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are 
Christ's." But except that the expression " at his own right 
hand " is reserved for Christ only, and that the word " quickened " 
is used only of the Church, the language is identical. There is no 
doubt that he regarded the Church, which he describes as the 
Body of Christ, as the earthly expression of the heavenly life of 


Christ. He would have had no difficulty in admitting, if the 
definition had been proposed to him, that the Vicar of Christ, the 
Representative, Mediator, Revealer and Dispenser of Christ was, 
theologically, the Holy Spirit, and, practically, the Church. He 
even goes so far as to say that the Church, Christ's Body, is " the 
fulfilment of him who is (thereby) completely fulfilled." ^ This 
means, in theological language, that the Church is the normal 
" extension of the Incarnation," and that, as more and more souls, 
ot" different races and generations and temperaments, are brought 
into the Church, the perfect Christ is more and more built up.^ 
The same idea occurs in Col. i. 24, " I rejoice in my sufferings for 
your sake, and fill up on my part (avTavaTrXtipSi) that which is 
lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, 
which is the Church." ^ It underlies the thought of Lk. x. 16 
(" Whoso heareth you, heareth me ") ; it underlies the famous 
" Inasmuch " passage in Mt. xxv. 40 and 45, and also the common 
expression, " taking up the cross " (cp. Lk. ix. 23, xiv. 27), which 
must surely mean taking up not merely another cross, like that 
of Christ, but having the Christ-member's privilege of taking up 
part of His Cross. It perhaps also supplies a deeper meaning in 
the reference to bearing the " stigmata " of Jesus in Gal. vi. 17, 
and (less certainly) to 2 Cor. iv. 10 — " always bearing about in 
the body the dying of Jesus." I have often thought that S. Paul's 
doctrine of the identification — the term is not too strong, if it be 
remembered that the Church on its human side is only capable of 
gradual identification, and at any given time has only arrived at 
an approximation to complete identity — the identification of 
Christ and the Church,* dates from his own conversions " Why 
persecutest thou Me ? " The " Me " really contains the whole 
Pauline theology of. the Church. At any rate, S. Paul's doctrine 

I Eph. i. 23. The English Version has an unfortunate mistranslation : " the 

ulness of him that fiUeth all in all." It treats the word irXripoviiivov as a middle. 

in the sense of " fill " or " pervade." This is possible, but very improbable. The 

best modem commentators agree that it must be passive. See Robinson, Westcott, ad he. 

' This is the real answer to the demand of Mr. Wells for " a finite God." 

» Dr. H. J. C. Knight finds the same thought in the peculiar use of the word " bodily " 
in Col. ii. 9. See his instructive note in Colossians {The Churchman's Bible), p. 148 f., 
and cf. Robinson, Ephesians, p. 88. 

* With reference to the term " identification," a very instructive correspondence 
between Dr. Sanday and the late Dr. Moberly is printed in Sanday's Conception of 
Priesthood, pp. 131-176. Cp. Atonement and Personality, p. 53 and passim, and Essays 
VI and VII in Foundations. 



of the Church being what it was, it is not surprising to find him 
saying in Eph.-iii. lo, that it was the divine purpose " that there 
might be made known to the principalities and powers in the 
heavenly sphere through the Church the manifold wisdom of God." 
The Church is the organ of the divine Operation. 

This is high doctrine. And it is commonly asserted that it 
belongs only to a comparatively late stage of the Pauline develop- 
ment. It is argued that S. Paul only reached his full conception 
of the Church when he became a prisoner in the imperial city, the 
centre of the world. His arrival in Rome, the long expected and 
much desired goal of his journeyings, is thought to have presented 
to his mind the idea of the Catholic Church, which, founded on a 
more enduring basis than even the most glorious of earthly 
empires, was destined to build up on the imperial framework its 
own spiritual fabric, to utilize and eventually to succeed and 
supersede the Empire. It cannot be doubted that thoughts of 
this kind would be confirmed and reinforced by residence, even 
as a prisoner, at the heart of the Roman world. They woijld also 
be developed in the process of compiling, in Ephesians, what was 
something like a formal treatise on the subject of the Church. 
But that they were not suggested for the first time at this late 
period of the Apostle's life is not difficult to prove. 

The idea which underlay S. Paul's earlier, controversial 
Epistles, Galatians and Romans, is essentially the same as that 
which underlies Ephesians, namely, the Chvirch.^ For consider 
what the early controversy was. It was, in substance, this. Is 
there to be one Church for the Jews, and another for the Gentiles ? 
That would undoubtedly have been the easiest solution of a grave 
difficulty. But it was a solution which S. Paul absolutely refused 
to entertain. In other words, his feeling about the Church 
already was what he only definitely expounds in a later Epistle. 
The idea was quite certainly developed in the dozen years or so 
that elapsed between Galatians and Ephesians, but it was not 
born. .. - 

Now, at the time of the Troas visit (Acts xvi. 8), where the 
" we-sections," and, consequently, the companionship of S. Luke, 
begin, S. Paul was in the thick of this controversy. The Council 

* See Hort, Romans and Ephesians, pp. 40, 49, 128, 173 


of Jerusalem (Acts xv.) which resulted in a victory for the Pauline 
party, who desired the inclusion of the Gentile believers in the 
one Church/ was just over. The Epistle to the Galatians, which 
is vehemently controversial, had been written, according to some 
authorities, a few months before. And in any case, even if it was 
somewhat later than this (e.g. at Acts xviii. 23 or xix. 10), much 
of the material for it, and therefore also of Romans, was seething 
in the Apostle's mind. The quite recent necessity for controversy 
on the subject is clearly indicated in Acts xv. i. S. Luke would 
be likely to imbibe, during his catechumenate and his subsequent 
companionship with S. Paul, some elements of the Pauline doctrine 
of the Church. It would be foolish indeed to assert that he 
grasped it all, for it is quite obvious that neither he nor any early 
Christian — it might perhaps be added, nor any Christian of all 
time — ^has succeeded in doing that. But enough has been said to 
make it clear that S. Luke's Gospel emerged from a Pauline 
environment. The further significance of this fact will be con- 
sidered in the following chapter. 


The sections in question are Acts xvi. 10-17, ^^- 5-i6, xxi. i-iS.^xxvii. i-xxviii. 
16. They shew that the author went from Troas to Philippi, was left behind there 
for some years; was picked up again in xx. 5, and accompanied the Apostle t,o Csesarea 
and Jerusalem (xxi. 16, 17) and on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome. It is, therefore, 
natural to find him named in the Epistles of the Roman Captivity (Col. iv. 14 ; Philem. 
24). It may be that the unnamed brother, " whose praise is in the Gospel through all 
the Churches " (2 Cor. viii. 18) is S. Luke, though the expression used quite certainly 
does not mean the writer of a Gospel. And it is an attractive conjecture that S. Luke 
is the " true yokefellow " of Phil. iv. 3. He is not mentioned in that Epistle as being 
with the Apostle. It ought to be added that according to one reading an isolated " we " 
occurs in Acts xi. 28 at Antioch. This would, perhaps, make it appear that S. Luke 
belonged not to Philippi, but to Antioch (see p. 20). The theory of Blass that the 
" Western " readings in Acts, of which xi. 28 is one, are from a first edition of the book, 
while the ordinary text is a later revised form addressed to Theophilus, has met with 
some but by no means universal acceptance. " Blass has assigned far too great weight 
to the readings of this important Codex D with its satellites " (Harnack, Sayings of 
Jesus, p. XV.). For Blass's converse theory about the text of the Gospel, see p. 231. 

1 According to a well-known and. widely accepted " Western " variant reading in 
Acts xv. 20 and 29, and also xxi. 25, the victory of the Pauline party was much more 
complete than is suggested by the traditional text. The " Western " texts omit 
"things strangled" in all three passages. It then becomes easy to interpret the 
remaining prohibitions as relating to idolatry in general (i.e. not only the eating of 
idol-meats), fornication, and murder.. In other words, the Gentiles were simply required 
to observe the ordinary moral laws of Christian living, and there were no food restric- 
tions at all. The question is discussed at lengtji in K. Lake, Earlier Epistles of S. Paul, 
pp. 48 £f. 


Against the supposition that S. Luke was by origin a Philippian are : (a) an 
early tradition (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., iii, 4, 6) that he was " by birth of those from 
Antioch " (to which may be added the Latin Prologue quoted at the beginning of this 
volume) ; (6) the way in which Acts emphasizes the importance of Antioch in the 
history and development of the Church— see, for example, vi. 5 (Nicolas), xi. 19-30 
(esp. w. 20 and 26), xiii. i, xiv. 26, xv. 2, 23, 35, xviii. 22 : Antioch is the starting- 
point of the mission to the Greek world ; (c) the- possibility that the variant reading 
in Acts xi. 28 (see above) is correct. The two views may perhaps be combined by 
supposing that he was an Antiochene who was in medical practice at Philippi. In 
any case he probably supported himself by professional practice there during the 
period between Acts xvi. 17 and xx. 5. Miss F. M. Stawell (in a paper on S. Luhe and 
Virgil, read at the International Medical Congress at Oxford in 191 3, for knowledge of 
which I am indebted to Dr. Maurice Jones {New Testament in the Twentieth Century), 
has put forward the interesting theory that S. Luke was a Roman, connected with 
the gens Annaea, to which Gallic and Seneca belonged. The evidence for the theory 
is not at all conclusive, but its acceptance would explain a number of the phenomena 
of Acts. Sir W. M. Ramsay (Recent Research, etc., pp. 370 f.) argues that Loukas is the 
same as Lucius. If this was his praenomen, he must have been a Roman citizen, and 
was probably a freedman. On the other hand, he may have been a Hellene with the 
simple name Loukios. In that case he was certainly not a Roman citizen. 

Prof. Souter has " little doubt that the reason why Titus, though a valued coadjutor 
of S. Paul, is not mentioned in Acts is that he was Luke's brother, especially as the 
only natural way to take the words t6v a8e\(j>6v in 2 Cor. xii. 18 is as ' his brother,' 
i.e. the brother of the man previously mentioned, that is, of Titus " {Diet, of Christ 
and the Gospels, ii, 84 ; cp., for a fuller treatment of the theory. Expos. Times, xviii, 
pp. 285, 325). 



It was said in the last chapter that the first thing by which the 
physician would be impressed in the teaching of his friend would 
be the importance which he attached to the fellowship of believers, 
that is, the Church. The second thing was the reference of the 
presence of the Spirit underlying this fellowship to an earlier series 
of historical events. In this connexion let it be remembered that 
S. Luke, as was said before, wrote the whole of his Gospel with 
his mind full of the great event which he records in the second 
chapter of his other book. For the all-important link in the chain 
of backward reference was the Day of Pentecost. The physician, 
as an educated man, with at least something of the historical 
mind, would inquire how and when the immanence of the Spirit 
in the community had begun. He would learn that it was at a 
certain popular religious festival, to wit, a Harvest Thanksgiving, 
at which the Almighty had revealed Himself,^ after His manner, 
as One Who consecrates common things. It was impossible to 
analyse the Christian fellowship, as it existed, without perceiv- 
- ing that it had been created and was maintained by a certain 
indwelhng Spirit. And it appeared that it was at Pentecost that 
this Spirit had come upon the disciples and had made them into 
the Church.i 

The Spirit is mentioned in the Lukan writings under various 
names : " The Holy Spirit " (with, or without, the article), " the 

* It is sometimes thought that S. Luke's account of the events of the Day of Pente- 
cost is unhistorical. The view appears to depend on an exaggerated estimate of the 
difference between the Pauline view of " speaking with tongues " and the view taken 
in Acts ii. But even if it be supposed that Acts ii. is only a picturesque attempt to 
ascribe a fitting origin to certain existing phenomena, the argument of this chapter 
remains practically unaffected. That the early'Christians were full of some unusual 
and mysterious spiritual influence is perhaps the most certain fact in early Christian 
history. There must have been some event, or events, which marked the beginning of 
this known condition. 



Spirit," "the Spirit of the Lord," and, once, in a remarkable 
passage (Acts xvi. 7), " the Spirit of Jesus." S. Paul in some 
places appears to speak of Christ and the Spirit almost indifferently. 
So much so, in fact, that Deissmann, a modern and enthusiastic 
interpreter of S. Paul, says bluntly, following Pfleiderer and others, 
that he identifies the two conceptions.^ This is clearly an exag- 
geration, as may be seen from passages like 2 Cor. xiii. 14 — " The 
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the 
communion of the Holy Ghost"; Eph. ii. 18— " through him 
(Christ) we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father " ; 
Eph. iii. 16 — " strengthened with power through Jjis Spirit in the 
inward man ; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith " ; 
or the series in Eph. iy. 4-6 — " There is one body . . . one 
Spirit . . . one Lord . . . one God and Father of alL" But 
the point is this : when S. Paul spoke of Christ he did mean in 
the first instance the spiritual power and presence of the heavenly 
Christ, 2 and this was due to the nature, and date, of his con- 
version. He did not mean primarily the Jesus Who walked in 
Galilee. That, in his thought, came after. He went back to 
that from Pentecost. But to what extent was it vital ? What, 
in other words, was the Pauline, and therefore to a considerable 
extent the Lukan, analysis of that spiritual presence ? The 

' " The living Christ is the Spirit." " In numerous passages S. Paul makes state- 
ments about Christ and the Spirit in precisely equivalent terms. This is specially 
observable in the parallelism of the mystical formulae ' in Christ ' and ' in the Holy 
Spirit ' " (S. Paul, a Study in Social and Religious History, Eng. tr., pp. 125 ff.). Pas- 
sages which lend a certain amount of support to this position are Rom. viii. 9-1 1, 

1 Cor. ii. 10-16, XV. 45, and perhaps above all (especially if Kvpiov be read in v. 17) 

2 Cor. iii. 14-18. 

" " If you have ever imagined a young Rabbi or a Galilean artisan who, by his 
exquisite goodness and purity, his realization of the brotherhood of man, his conscious- 
ness of the fatherhood of God, made so deep an impression upon his friends that after 
his condemnation and death they thought of him as living with divine power, and 
pouring a divine radiance into their own lives— if you add to this that he did actually 
rise from the grave by the power of God and appeared to these friends, assuring them 
of his endless life— if you suppose that you have thus rendered a reasonable historical 
account of the Gospel, you have to reckon with the fact that S. Paul himself, our chief 
witness of the events, knew no such legend. For him it was no Jewish Rabbi or Galilean 
peasant who died and rose again : it was the Son of God, who humbled himself to be 
made in the likeness of men, expressly that he might die and triumph " (T. A. Lacey, 
The Historic Christ, p. 33). 

A good example of the way in which S. Paul, at the mention of Christ, begins at 
once to " theologize " is 2 Cor. i. 17-20. His defence of himself from the charge of 
fickleness leads to a mention of the truthfulness of Christ, and He, says S. Paul, is 
the Everlasting Yea, because the Incarnation is the fulfilment of all the promises 
pf God. 


question raises a problem of some difficulty, for the solution 'of 
which S. Luke's writings supply much of the material.^ 

We must first ask a preliminary question. What exactly is 
meant by saying that Christianity is an historical religion ? It 
means, I suppose, that it depends for its validity upon the fact, 
or at the very least upon the assumption, that certain events in 
what is known as the past really happened. But, on the other 
hand, is it not true, as Dr. Figgis is always saying, that if is right 
to begin history at this end ? There is, he declares, only one fixed 
date in history, and that is now. Such, I am persuaded, was 
S. Paul's position. He began with the only thing he really knew. 
He said, " Here am I, a man whose heart Christ has touched. He 
has drawn me into the company of those who are His, He has 
made me a member of His Body." But the thinker instantly 
works backwards.^ He was much too practical — ^not to speak of 
the fact that he was a Pharisee, with Jerusalem connexions, who 
had doubtless known and probably approved of what had been 
done outside the city on that famous Friday afternoon — but at 
any rate he was much too practical to accept any religion which 
would appear to him to be standing in the air. He would say at 
once, " Who is this Christ ? " And the answer would be, as in 
fact the answer was, " It is Jesus." " It is He Who was crucified. 
It is He of Whose suppression I heard and approved. It is He of 
Whom Stephen spoke.^ It is He Whom I had supposed to be a 
disloyal and undesirable schismatic. It is He Who lived in 
Galilee." That, or something like that, is surely what happened. 
The suggestion that S. Paul accepted Christ without any thought 
of Who He was or what He had done is impossible. Por the 
supreme obstacle which S. Paul had to' surmount on his conversion 
was the fact of the Crucifixion. This, as he says, was " to Jews 
a stumbling-block." To him, a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees, a 
fierce patriot and defender of the traditions of his fathers, it must 

1 It is impossible here to do more than allude to the profound significance of the 
fact that the Fourth Gospel, in the ater chapters of which the Spirit is " Christ's Alter 
Ego " (B. T. D. Smith, The Parting of the Roads, p. 279), is presented in the form not 
of a theological treatise, but of a Gospel. 

* As indeed Peter and the other Apostles did in their preaching. The first thing 
that they proclaimed in Jerusalem was the fact of the Resurrection ; the thought of 
Acts X. 38 {" Who went about doing good ") comes later. 

» It is not unlikely that Saul was among those of the Synagogue " of them of Cilicia " 
who disputed (Acts vi. 9) with Stephen. 


"have been a stumbling-block of peculiar difficulty. There^is not 
the least doubt that he found a way not round it but over it. He 
made what might have been an occasion of falling into the means 
of his wealth.! He claimed the offence itself as the ground of 
his faith and hope. " We preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a 
stumbling-block, and unto Gentiles fooHshness ; but unto them 
that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, divine power and 
Christ, divine wisdom. Because the foolishness of God is wiser 
than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men " 
(i Cor. i. 23-25). And the fact of the Crucifixion carries with it 
the fact of an earthly life. Calvary brings with it Galilee. 

Those writers of the " Mythological " school,^ who attempt to 
shake the received belief in the historical existence of Jesus of 
Nazareth, .find their greatest difficulty in the evidence of S. Paul, 
and the opposition of the ^ Jews to him. To explain the former, 
they have recourse to wholesale excisions from the text of his 
Epistles, a procedure for which there is no authority either in the 
manuscripts or in the principles of scientific historical investiga- 
tion. And one favourite method of disparaging — ^not necessarily 
the historical existence of Our Lord, but S. Paul's concern with it 
— is to assert that Christianity was to S. Paul only the best of the 
contemporary mystery-religions. 

The mystery-religions are an exceedingly interesting pheno- 
menon of the first few Christian centuries. The one about which 
we have most information, namely, Mithraism, is post-Pauline. It 
did not become popular till the second and third centuries, when 
it was for a time a very serious rival of Christianity. But some 
of them existed in S. Paul's time. They came from Egypt or 
Phrygia, or from the heart of Asia. They were founded in many 
cases on the annual resurrection of Nature which takes place in 
the spring, and they personified this into the death and resurrection 
of a deity, whom no one really supposed to be an historical 
character. He was merely a convenient symbol. They were 
regular religions, with priests, temples, liturgies, rituals, and. a 
doctrine of salvation and eternal life.^ They did not make very 

' See, for example, his treatment (in Gal. iii. 10-14) oi Deut, xxi. 23 : " He that is 
hanged is accursed of God." * gee note at the end of this chapter (p. 32). 

' E.g. it has often been noticed that the language of the girl with the spirit of 
divination in Acts xvi. 17 is reminiscent of the Mystery-terminology. 


much diflference to tHe moral character of their adherents, but 
they provided an attractive outlet for religious emotion. Apart 
from the Jews, who would not touch them, they influenced a large 
number of the more religious inhabitants of the Greek cities in 
S. Paul's time. It has been suggested by no less a person than 
Loisy 1 that Pauline Christianity was simply a mystery-cult, and 
that S. Paul cared no more, and perhaps believed no more, about 
the historicity of Jesus than the Osiris-worshipper cared or" 
believed about the historical existence of Osiris. 

In the face of this resolution, whether of the Pauline concep- 
tion or of Christianity itself, into a mythology, we are entitled to 
ask " What are the facts ? " Did S. Paul, at his conversion, or 
before, or after, engage for his own satisfaction in any kind of 
historical research ? And if so, how thoroughly did he (and, we 
may add, S. Luke) carry through the process ? 

The first impression of the ordinary person who is not famiHar 
with the New Testament is that, of course, S. Paul had read the 
Gospels, especially perhaps the Gospel of S. Luke, just like any- 
body else. But he soon finds that this is impossible. He comes 
across some book like Mr. Lacey's The Historic Christ, or 
perhaps he conducts some independent study of S. Paul, and he 
is surprised to find that S. Paul' makes so little mention of Our 
Lord's earthly life. He finds that there is something to be said 
for the position that S. Paul knew very little and cared hardly 
at all about the historical events. ^ He perhaps is puzzled by 
some such verse as 2 Cor.' v. i6 : " Wherefore we henceforth know 
no man after the flesh : even though we have known Christ after 

* The later, more fantastic Loisy, not Loisy the grave critic, and not, if I may say 
so, Loisy the Christian priest. See Hibbert Journal, Oct. 191 1, p. 45 f. : " Paul having 
translated the Passion of Jesus into a myth of salvation, the Christ of history had no 
place at all in his religion " (p. 61). It is true that Loisy does not go all the way with 
the thoroughgoing mythologists. See I.e. p. 63. . 

' E.g. Dr. P. Gardner says : " As to the joumeyings and public ministry of his 
Master, Paul knew very little, probably less than a sceptical modem critic would regard 
as reasonably certain " (Religious Experience of St. Paul, p. 252). But Harnack writes 
{Date of Acts, etc., p. 117) : " The book [Acts] suggests the question : Did Jesus really 
live at all ? . . . So people would have probably judged ; for they now say much the 
same in the case of S. Paul. Fortunately, the author of Acts has also written a ' gospel,' 
and accordingly the whole of this train of argument is upset. Unfortunately, we 
possess no ' gospel ' from the hand of S. Paul ; but no one can be sure that, if he 
had written one, it would' have been poorer in subject-matter than that of S. Luke." 
The whole question is very fully discussed in Knowling's Testimony of St. Paul to 


the flesh, yet now we know him so no more," ^ and he comes to 
the hasty and erroneous conclusion that S. Paul's was a non- 
historical religion. 

Continued study would, I think, lead our inquirer to a con- 
clusion less crude and sweeping. I can only give a brief account 
of the problem. 

(a) In general. 

It is certain that S. Paul was a great believer in the doctrine 
of the Incarnation. There is no need to quote a long series of 
passages. Any one who has ever read S. Paul will know that the 
great Christological passage of Phil. ii. 6 f. : " Who, being in the 
form of God . . . emptied himself, taking the form of a servant," 
is only an epitome of his whole teaching. He insists on every 
page on exactly those fundamental elements of Christian belief 
about Our Lord—" came," " suffered," " rose," " ascended "— 
which are mentioned in the Apostles' Creed. They constitute 
what he describes in i Cor. xv. 1-4 as his " Gospel." S, Paul 
is, in fact, one of the two great exponents of Christian doctrine 
in the New Testament. And belief in the Incarnation was the 
breath of his spiritual life. 

But besides being the great believer, he was the great pastor. 
I find it wholly impossible to suppose that he was not profoundly 
sensible of the practical, pastoral advantage of being able ta 
appeal to the earthly footprints of the Son of Man. It has been 
said already that knowledge of the Crucifixion presupposes 
knowledge of the Ministry. And those who are concerned with 
work of a pastoral kind know that, whether in pubHc or in private 
speaking, hearers are always interested if it can be shewn that, 
as some one once put it. Our Lord was a real person. Thus in 
I Cor, xi. I (cf. I Thess. i. 6) he says, " Be ye imitators of me, as 
I am of Christ," though there is no further particularizatjon.' 

* Several recent scholars — e.g. Johannes Weiss {Paul and Jesus, Eng. tr.), J. H. 
Moulton (Expositor, July igii, p. i66), and Sir W. M. Ramsay {Expositor, M.3.y 1901, 
p. 362 f., and Oct. 191 1, p. 296 f. ; see below, p. 146 n.) — interpret the second half of 
this verse as meaning that S. Paul had actually seen and known jesus of Nazareth in 
His earthly lifetime. This is by no means impossible, but it does not follow from 
the passage. The meaning of the whole verse is that before his conversion he had 
judged Jesus by what he now sees to have been a worldly and carnal judgment. " It 
is not a ' Christ after the flesh,' but a ' knowledge ' of Christ ' after the flesh ' that is 
devoid of spiritual value " {Foundations, p. 188). 


Again, there is no doubt that the reference in 2 Cor. viii. 9 (" who, 
though he was rich, for your sakes became poor ") is primarily, 
and almost wholly, to the doctrinal fact of the Incarnation, but 
it is hard to believe that the choice of the particular word " became 
poor " does not denote an interested knowledge, of the actual 
circumstances of the life in Galilee.^ And though the passage in 
Eph. iv. 20 (" But ye did not so learn Christ, if so be that ye 
hearrd him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus ") may 
be interpreted of instruction in what we call the Apostles' Creed, 
yet it " strongly suggests that systematic instruction in a Christ- 
like character, by reference to His Teaching as well as His Example, 
had been given." ^ So also he speaks (i Tim. vi. 3) of the 
importance of adhering to " sound words, the words of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ." ' 

We all know something of what the Gospels have been to the 
Church. We know, for example, what an essential . niche the 
story of the Cradle at Bethlehem has made for itself in the com- 
plete gallery of Christian knowledge. It is the fact that Christen- 
dom, which, humanly speaking, has been taught chiefly by 
S. Paul, has found its favourite Bible-reading in the first two 
chapters of S. Luke. 

S. Paul appealed confidently to the appearance that brought 
about his conversion. On this he grounded his claim to be an 
Apostle.* He carefully distinguished this historical appearance 
(together with the other appearances recorded in i Cor. xv. i-i i) ^ 
from the " visions and revelations of the Lord," the mystic 
communings, which, as he says in 2 Cor. xii. 2-4, it " is not lawiul 
for a man to repeat," on which, therefore, he will ground no kind 
of claim. It is not, therefore, likely that the man to whom the 

1 Dr. Moulton, commenting on 2 Cor, viii. 2, supposes that Saul had been present 
during the conversation recorded in Lk. xxi. 1-4 (Expositor, July 1911, p. 25). 

' Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, ii. p. 65. 

' vyiaivova-i \6yois. It seems not impossible that expressions of this sort, which 
are characteristic of the Pastoral Epistles (see i Tim. i. lo, vi. 3 ; 2 Tim. i. 13, iv. 3 ; 
Tit. i. 9, 13, ii. I, 2) are due to association with the beloved physician. S. Luke has 
(v. 31) " they that are whole (ol vyiaivovTes) " for S. Matthew's ol la-xvovres. 

* I Cor. ix. I : " Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus 
Our Lord ? " One of the qualifications for apostleship was ability to be a witness of 
the Resjirrection. See Acts i. 22. 

' It is true, of course, that the appearance to S. Paul was after the Ascension, 
whereas the others were before. And S. Paul in i Cor. xv. 8 distinguishes them on 
this ground. But elsewhere he observesonly the classification indicated in the text. 


event of the road to Damascus was everything, would undervalue 
the importance of that longer and more sacred road that led from 
Bethlehem to Calvary. " We see no trace in his writings," says 
Dr. P. Gardner, "of any difficulty in uniting in thought the 
eternal with the temporal existence." ^ 

As for the question whether S. Paul thought of Christianity as 
one of the mysteries, the actual evidence for the hypothesis is 
very slight indeed. He is fond of calling the Gospel a musterion, 
and he uses some of the technical mystery-terms, e.g. " enlighten," 
" seal," " the perfect," i.e. the initiated. The argument of 
I Cor. X. 14-22 is : " What your mysteries profess to do, the 
Breaking of the Bread really does." He was probably quite glad 
to use language which his Greek readers, who were familiar with 
the mysteries and had in many cases been hahituis of them, would 
understand. But S. Paul deprecates in the strongest possible way 
(i Cor. X. 21) any attempt to combine (kui) the old mysteries and 
the Christian Eucharist, and, as a matter of fact, all his so-called 
" mystery-words " can be paralleled from Jewish literature. Above 
all, at the heart of his exposition of the Eucharist — ^the very place 
where Hellenism might be expected, and indeed is found — ^lies 
the thoroughly eschatological, and therefore Jewish, thou^t of 
" till He come." Nothing can really shake the position of those 
who maintain that Christianity, including Pauline Christianity, is 
rooted in Judaism. And if Christianity is rooted in Judaism, it is 
not a " pre-Christian, heathen, mythological cult." ^ 

(h) In detail. 

The references are not many, but they are quite conclusive. 
S. Paul not only knows the fundamental facts of the Incarnation, 
Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, but he is familiar with the 
fact of the Lord's descent from David (Rom. i. 3 ; 2 Tim. ii. 8), 

1 In his contribution to Jesus or Christ ?, p. 53. 

^ Dr. Hamilton's The People of God is a masterly exposition of the continuity of the 
Old and New Testaments. Cf. Clemen {Primitive Christianity and its non-Jewish 
Sources, Eng. tr., p. 372) : " The New Testament ideas that are perhaps derived 
from non- Jewish sources — for we may emphasize once more the hypothetical nature 
of most of our results — lie mainly on the fringe of Christianity, and do not touch 
its vital essence." The utmost that can be said of the extent of Mystery-influence on 
S. Paul is put very attractively by Dr. Percy Gardner in The Religious Experience 
of S. Paul, and by Professor Lake in The Earlier Epistles of S. Paul. See also 
Foundations, p. 181 ff. 


with the birth from a woman (Gal, iv. 4), with the manner of the 
death, i.e. by crucifixion upon the Tree, with the fact that the 
Resurrection took place " on the third day " (i Cor. xv. 4), and 
with the names of those to whom the Risen Lord appeared. He 
speaks of the Twelve, of Cephas and John as the most important 
of them (Gal. ii. 9), of the wife of Cephas, and of the Lord's 
Brethren (i Cor. ix. 5) exactly as in the Gospels. He appeals to 
the Corinthians (2 Cor. v. 21) by Our Lord's sinless life, and 
(2 Cor. X. i) " by the meekness and gentleness of Christ " ; the 
latter phrase perhaps indicates that he was familiar with the 
saying recorded in Mt. xi. 29 ("I am meek and lowly of heart ").i 
He knows not only that Jesus was of the seed of David, but also 
that He was made (Rom. xv. 8) " a minister of the circumcision 
for the truth of God." In Rom. xv. 3, he says " even Christ 
pleased not himself," and in i Tim. vi. 13 that " Christ Jesus 
witnessed before Pontius Pilate the good confession." And there 
is, of course, the famous description of the Last Supper in i Cor. xi., 
which, be it noted, is only brought in because of certain misunder- 
standings and misdemeanours which have occurred at Corinth. 
It is only the necessity for administering a rebuke which shews us 
how much S. Paul knew of this particular set of historical facts, 
and how important he believed it to be. 

There are also passages which appear to shew acquaintance 
with the general teaching, or with the actually recorded words, of 
Jesus. He tells the Thessalonians (i Th. iv. 15) " by a word of 
the Lord " that those who survive till the Parousia will have no 
advantage over those who have died. And in i Th. iv. 2 he 
reminds them of the injunctions that he had previously given 
them on the subject of personal holiness " through the Lord 
Jesus." In Gal. iii. 12 (cp. Rom. x. 5) he quotes, albeit with a 
note of disparagement that is his own, a passage about the Law 
(Lev. xviii. 5 ; Ezek. xx. 1 1) to which Our Lord refers in Lk. x. 28.2 
In his teaching about marriage in i Cor. vii. he distinguishes the 
various degrees of authority which he claims for his judgments 
(see verses 6, 10, 12, 25, 40), and appeals sometimes to " the 
Lord." It is conceivable that he is here referring to some private 

» Cp. also Eph. iv. i, 2 ; Col. iii. 12. 

' It is remarkable that the word " justify," in quite a Pauline sense, occurs 'in 
Lk. X. 29 and xvi. 15. 


mystical experience of his own, but his judgments do in fact 
coincide with judgments of Our Lord recorded in the Gospels.^ 
I Cor, X. 27 (" Eat whatever is set befpre you ") is identical with 
Lk. X. 8, though the connexion is different, i Th. v. 2 (" the day 
of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night ") is like Mt. 
xxiv. 43 ; I Tim. v. 18 (" the labourer is worthy of his hire ") is 
identical with Lk. x. 7.2 With this may be compared i Cor, ix. 14 : 
" So did the Lord ordain that they who preach the Gospel shall 
live of the Gospel." Rom. xii. 14-17 (" bless them that persecute 
you, bless and curse not . . . not rendering evil for evil ") looks 
like an echo of Mt. v. 44 : " But I say unto you, Love your enemies 
and pray for them that persecute you ; " and Lk. vi. 27, 28 : " Love 
your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that 
curse you," etc. Rom. xii. 21 : " Be not overcome of evil, but 
overcome evil with good," reminds us of Jn. xvi. 33 : "I have 
overcome the world." Rom. xvi. 19 : "I would have you to be 
wise unto that which is good, innocent unto that which is evil," is 
only another form of Mt. x. 16: "Shew yourselves therefore 
prudent as serpents, innocent as doves." Finally, in his speech 
at Miletus to the Ephesian elders, S. Paul quotes (Acts xx. 35) a 
saying of the Lord Jesus, " that- it is more blessed to give than 
to receive," which is not elsewhere recorded, not even in the 
Gospel of S. Luke, who was perhaps a hearer of the address. In 
fact, it is not too much to say, with Dr. Anderson Scott, that 
" Paul shews just that harmony with Jesus, with His aim and 
method, which in another we should put down to intimacy. In 
fact, were it not that we have such excellent reasons for believing 
that he was not one of the disciples of Jesus, we should inevitably 
have taken him to be one of these, and the one among them who 
had entered most deeply into his Master's spirit. Even the most 
rigidly historical among the critics make large admissions in this 
direction. Thus Bousset : ' He who had never known Jesus in 

1 See especially v. lo : " Unto the married I give charge, yet not I, but the Lord, that 
the wife depart not from her husband (but and if she depart [i.e. what we now call a 
" separation "], let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband) ; and 
that the husband leave not his wife." This agrees exactly, even to the use of the 
word p^cBpiffiv, with Mk. x. 1-12. 

' It has occasionally been held that this is an actual appeal to canonical Scripture. 
If this were so, it would at once put the date of the Epistle into the second century. 
But " the Scripture " is,, of course, the first half of the verse (Deut. xxv. 4), and the Koi 
means " compare also the well-known saying." 


person understood Him better than the small souls who appealed 
to their, personal connexion with Him'; Wernle: 'Paul never 
knew Jesus in his lifetime, and nevertheless it was he who best 
understood Him ' ; ' he who would understand S. Paul aright, 
should seek to find him at the height of his ideal, and then he will 
discover that he is not far distant from Jesus'; Jiilicher: 'It 
■ is not a poor repetition of words that is to be ascribed to the 
great Apostle : what was controlling for him was the total impres- 
sion made by the historical Christ ' " {Cambridge Biblical Essays, 

PP- 375-376). 

There is ample evidence to shew- that he was familiar with 
what we may call the traditional portrait. It is reasonably 
certain that he had known something of the facts while he was 
still a persecutor, that he learned a good deal more from Ananias 
at his Baptism, much more again during the fifteen days spent at 
Jerusalem in conference with Peter (Gal. i. 1 8) some years later, 
and that he used his opportunities when lodging with Philip the 
Evangelist and with Mnason, the " original disciple," at a still 
later period (Acts xxi. 8, i6). On the last two occasions S. Luke 
was with him. The inference that he was either ignorant or 
indifferent about certain things which he does not mention is 
highly precarious. It would not be impossible to find thirteen 
modern .sermons in which less is said about the events of our 
Lord's Ministry. I am not sure that in the circumstances of the 
present day they would be good sermons or worthy to be preached. 
But they would not be impossible to find. It must be remem- 
bered that the congregation or congregations to whom the Pauline 
Epistle-sermons are addressed are persons without a New Testa- 
ment, with probably no single copy of any one Gospel in their 
hands, and also persons whose original instruction was by oral 
catechizing ; and further, if it be borne in mind that the lections 
read in the services of these congregations provided no means of 
verifying possible Galilee-allusions, but were either from the Old 
Testament or from some Christian writings of an epistolary 
nature, the comparative absence of reference to the incidents of 
what we call the Gospels becomes much less astonishing. 

Lastly, it is notorious that S. Paul was suspect to a certain 
number of his fellow-Christians. From the controversial, auto- 


biographical nature of his writings we happen to know a good, deal 
of the ground of these suspicions. It seems he was actually- 
suspected because he had not been a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth 
in the flesh, because *he was a slow late-learner in the school of 
Christ. When we remember this, and when we remember that his 
first, dominating thought of Christ was the thought of Christ now, 
Christ reigning in the heavens, is it not significant that the man, 
who was so much suspected, and suspected moreover on the very 
ground that he had not had the experience of personal association, 
a man, too, who was really open to the charge — ^if charge it were— 
of approaching his religion from the mystical rather than from 
the historical side, was never, so far as we know, accused of dis- 
paraging the Galilean Ministry ? The very men who had known 
Jesus in the flesh, who had seen and heard Him, and with their 
hands had handled Him, were content to find themselves members 
of a mystical communion, which S. Paul expounded to them as 
the Body of Christ. They were neither distressed nor puzzled by 
the Pauline doctrine of the Church. 

(c) Finally, there is S. Luke. The man who travelled with 
S. Paul and made him the hero of a book, who is clearly and 
deeply influenced by him, whose thought and language alike are 
noticeably Pauline, is induced — ^we do not know by what, but it 
is unlikely to have been wholly against his masterful friend's own 
judgment and approval — to make a contribution to the possessions 
of the Church. That contribution, the contribution of S. Luke, 
the friend and disciple of S. Paul, -took the form of a written 


It is remarkable that while some of the writers in question, e.g. Mr. J. M. Robertson, 
are definitely anti-Christian, others see in the reduction of the historicity of Jesus 
either to a negligible quantity or to a myth the surest bulwark of a new, impregnable 
" Christianity." Among these are Drews (in Germany), W, B. Smith (in America), 
and K. C. Anderson. It is not necessary in this book to deal in any detail with the 
fantastic arguments of this school, but it may be noted that there is an increasing 
tendency among recent scholars to regard as at least partly genuine the famous reference 
to Jesus in Josephiis {Ant. xviii. 3, 3), which had long been suspected, though not by 
Renan (Kie d» Jisus, ed. 1863, p. x,), to be a Christian interpolation. See Burkitt in 
Theol. Tijdschrift, 1913, pp. 135-144 ; Harnack in Iniernai. Monatsschrift fiir Wiss., 1913, 
pp. 1037-1068; J. Weiss, Jesus von Naaareth, p. 88, n. i. Another passage (Ant. 


XX. 9, i) about the death of James, " the brother, of Jesus, who was called Christ," 
is less suspected. The former passage, if any part of it is genuine, is fatal to the myth- 
theory. So are- the well-known references in Tacitus (Ann. xv. 44) and Suetonius 
(Claudius, 45). And so are many other things, including even a very slight capacity 
to estimate the connexion between effects and causes. A scathing exposure of the 
Christ-myth theory, mingled with a good deal that is distasteful to Christian readers, 
will be found in F. C. Conybeare, The Historical Christ. 

Whateley's famous Historic Doubts concerning Napoleon Buonaparte shews how easy 
it is to make out a case for the non-existence of an historical person. In the same 
spirit of ingenious irony Henry Rogers, The Eclipse of Faith, sets forth (pp. 296 f.) 
the obviously mythological character of the " Papal Aggression " of 1850. 

The nine " foundation-pillars for a- truly scientific life of Jesus," according to Prof. 
Schmiedel (Encycl. Bibl., ii, pp. 1881-1883), are : Mk. in. 21 (" he is beside himself ") ; 
Mk. vi. 5 (" he could there do no mighty work) ; Mk. viii. 12 (cp. Mt. xii. 39, xvi. 4 ; 
Lk. xi. 29) (" there shall no sign be given ") ; Mk. x. 18 = Lk. xviii. 19 (" Why callest 
thou me good ? ") ; Mk. xiii. 32 = Mt. xxiv. 36 (" none knoweth — not even the Son ") ; 
Mk. XV. 34 = Mt. xxvii. 46 (" Why hast thou forsaken me ? ") ; and Mt, xii. 32 = 
Lk. xii. 10 (blasphemy against the Son of Man may be forgiven) ; also Mk. viii. 14-21 
(if it be conceded that the feeding of the 4000 and of the 5000 are really parables referring 
to spiritual food) and Mt. xi. 5 = Lk. vii. 22 (if we suppose that the heaUngs and 
raisings are spiritual). This judgment, which is often quoted, is sometimes misunder- 
stood. Schmiedel is arguing against the Mythic School, and the reason why those 
nine passages are " pillars " is that they are such-as would in no case have been invented. 
Whatever tendencies there were in the early Church were in the opposite direction. 
" If passages of this kind were wholly wanting in them it would be impossible to prove 
to a sceptic that any historical value was to be assigned to the Gospels ; he would 
be in a position to declare the picture of Jesus contained in them to be purely a work of 
phantasy, and could remove the person of Jesus from the field of history " (Encycl. Bibl., 
ii. 1881). Schmiedel really maintains that they " form the ground-plan of what Js 
credible, and that when once the existence of Jesus has been proved by their means, 
then everything in the prst three Gospels which agrees with the image* of Jesus as 
founded on the " Pillars," and does not lie otherwise open to objection, is worthy of 
behef " (Jesus or Christ. >, p. 80: cp. his Preface to Amo Neumann's Jesus, Ehg. tr.). 

Thus, for example, it is " wholly credible " that the name Cephas was bestowed upon 
Simon by Jesus. We can " recognize faithful reminiscence in the statement that in 
Gethsemane Jesus took Peter, James, and John to watch with him, and that never- 
theless they fell asleep," and that in the case of the raising of Jairus's daughter the same 
three were chosen witnesses. " There is no difficulty in believing that Jesus on a sabbath- 
day healed Peter's mother-in-law and other sick persons, but on the following day with- 
drew himself into solitude and was sought out by Peter and his comrades " (Encycl. 
Bibl., iv. 4572). In fact, the power of healing (where there is faith) "is so strongly 
attested throughout the first and second centuries that in view of the spiritual greatness 
of Jesus, the imposing character of his personality, it would be indeed difficult to deny 
it to him " (Encycl. Bibl., ii. 1884). "Appearances of the risen Jesus did actually 
occur ; that is to say, the followers of Jesus really had the impression of having seen him " 
(Encycl. Bibl., iv. 4061). But the real province of the credible and the real centre of 
interest he characteristically finds (ii. 1889) in " the purely religious-ethical utterances 
of Jesus." " Here we have a wide field of the wholly credible in which to expatiate, 
and it would be of unmixed advantage for theology were it to concentrate its strength 
upon the examination of these sayings, and not attach so much importance to the 
minute investigation of the other less important details of the gospel history." 



It was said above that the third thing which woiald impress the 
physician in the teaching of his friend was Ukely to be less con- 
genial to the Greek than it was to the Jew. It was the expectation 
of a Coming Day of God. 

That the expectation of the Parousia was a very large element 
in S. Paul's outlook needs no proving. It is true that his Epistles 
are constantly dealing with moral topics quite apart from escha- 
tology, and that in the matter of eschatology, as time went on, he 
gradually spiritualized the hope, while from the first he balanced 
it by other elements. ^ But no one will deny that it is there. 
" There is probably no dispute," writes Professor Lake, " among 
students of the New Testament . . . that this belief is foiind in 
the Pauhne Epistles ; the point which is seriously disputed is 
whether it is central or peripheral. That it was absolutely central 
to the average Gentile Christian in, for instance, Corinth, I do not 
beheve ; ior the centre of Christianity for him was the Sacraments 
rather than the expectation of the Parousia, even though the 
latter was a very prominent part of his creed. ^ On the other 
hand, for a Jewish Christian, the expectation of the Parousia was 
probably quite central. I believe that it was so for S. Paul 
himself, and the reason why there is comparatively so little in the 
Epistles on the subject is because it was not a subject for contro- 

1 Thus Romans xiv. 17 (cf. viii. 14, 15 ; i Cor. iv. 20) is a definition of the " king- 
dom " in terms of the present. In fact it is often said that hKouxrvvrj is S. Paul's 
substitute for the " kingdom " of the Gospels. And from the first he uses his favourite 
formula " in Christ " in a present sense. But, on the other hand, even this was only 
an " earnest " (Rom. viii. 23) of that which was to come. Cp. Eph. i. 13, 14. 

' There seems little doubt that the four points mentioned in i Thess. i. 9, 10 — 
(i) turning from idols to God, (2) awaiting His Son from heaven, (3) Whom He raised 
from the dead, (4) Who delivereth us from the wrath to come — form a characteristic 
summary of S. Paul's early preaching to the Gentiles. The Sacraments would come 
in as the way in which all four are realized and carried into practical effect. 




versy among Christians, but an undisputed hope which all 
cherished." ^ This is perhaps an overstatement, and anyhow is 
difficult to prove. But no student of S. Paul can meet it with a 
flat denial. It may therefore be taken for granted that S. Luke, 
in the process of forming his own theological opinions, was com- 
pelled to take into consideration the existence of a large Apoca- 
lyptic element in the Christianity which was presented to him. 
I attempt later to indicate the way in which he dealt with it.^ 
But meantime we must consider two things. Where did Apoca- 
lyptic come from, and what sort of sanction had the Lord Himself 
given to it ? 

The expectation of a Coming Age, introduced by a Day of the 
Lord, had come to the Jews of our Lord's time from the Old 
Testament, but its form had been much affected by the religious 
literature produced by Judaism between the end of the Old 
Testament and the Birth of Christ.^ This literature is largely of 
what is called an apocalyptic character, that is, it more or less 
resembles the Book of Daniel * and the Revelation of S. John. 
It was widely read by our Lord's contemporaries, and there is no 
doubt that He was Himself familiar with a good deal of it. His 
words, as recorded in the Gospels, contain many allusions to it, 
and some direct quotations. 

The Book of Daniel was written at the beginning of the 
Maccabean period, about 166 b.c, during the terrible persecution 
of Antiochus Epiphanes. Its object, as the object of Apocalyptic 
writing always is, was to reassure the distressed faithful by 

' Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, p. 437. Mr. Emmet, however, writes : " Surely no one 
can maintain that the eschatological idea was with him [S. Paul] central and all-pervad- 
ing. It never, so far as we can see, affected his practical policy, which was to spread 
the kingdom of God, or the Church, upon earth here and now, as a new power in the 
midst of existing society ; it but seldom affected his ethical teaching. . . . What has 
the thought of an immediate Parousia to do with his view of the Atonement or justifica- 
tion, his Christology, or later doctrine of the Church ? " {The Eschatological Question in 
the Gospels, p. 59, a most valuable and illuminating book). 

' In outline at the end of this chapter ; in rather more detail in chapter vii. 

' See R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (translation and commen- 
tary) ; W. E. Oesterley, The Books of the Apocrypha, their Origin, Teaching and Contents ; 
F. C. Burkitt, Jewish and Christian Apocalypses. There is a convenient series of 
translations, edited by Dr. Oesterley and Canon' Box, of (a) Palestinian- Jewish and 
(6) Hellenistic- Jewish Texts, published by S.P.C.K. A clear account of the more 
important books is given in Latimer Jackson, Eschatology of Jesus, pp. 171-254. 

* Isaiah xxiv.-xxvii. is also fin Apocaljrpse, and Joel, Zechariah ix.-xiv., and much 
of Ezekiel are of an Apocalyptic character. 


reminding them that their cause is in the hands of God, Who will 
work out His purpose in his own way and at His own time. The 
hero of the book is a character from an earlier period of Jewish 
history, the Babylonian Captivity, a period less violent than the 
time of writing, but difficult and depressing. The purpose of this 
choice is to shew that the Almighty has guided His chosen through 
dangerous events before ; that He Who has saved will save again. 
In much the same way other Apocalyptic writers take Enoch, 
Moses, or Elijah as their hero. 

The main lesson of Prophecy is "let him that thinketh he 
standeth take heed lest he fall." The motto of the Apocalyptists, 
on the other hand, is " look up, ye fearful saints." In accordance 
with this idea, the Apocalyptic writings have much more to say 
about the life after death than the Old Testament. Even Dan. 
xii. 2 flE., which speaks only of a partial resurrection, is perhaps 
the most definite Old Testament utterance on the subject of 
immortality, and the later Apocalyptic Books and the Apocrypha 
generally represent a further advance. 

The main subject of Apocalyptic writing, as well as of the more 
futurist parts of the Old Testament, is the Coming Age, which in 
the Gospels is more particularly defined as the " Kingdom " or 
" Reign " of God.^ The time is coming when God will at last 
reveal Himself with power, will judge the nations and (in some 
writings, e.g. Amos and Hose'a) Israel too, and will vindicate 
bfefore all the world the cjaim of a regenerated Israel to be His 
People. This Messianic dispensation is the one constant element 
in the expectation of the Jews. It appears sometimes without 
any mention of a personal Messiah, and, where Messiah is spoken 
of, he is sometimes not much more than a representative of the 
people. Thus, in the Book of Enoch in chapters i-xxxvi and 
xci-civ there is no Messiah, and in Ixxxiii-xc (165-161 B.C.) 
the Messiah is merely " the head of the Messianic community out 

1 " The Kingdom of God " is not found in the Old Testament (Wisd. x. lo is in a 
different sense) nor is its synonym " tlie Kingdom of Heaven," though the general idea • 
of a theocracy already existing and some day to be perfectly established is abundant. 
In the Apocalyptic books "the Kingdom of God " is found in a few passages only. 
Dr. E. F. Scott suggests (The Kingdom and the Messiah, p. 93) that " the idea of a 
kingdom, with its suggestion of a restored Israel, was never superseded by the more 
vague and speculative idea. Its re-emergence in the later Kabbinical literature can 
best be explained from its thus surviving among the people ; and in the same manner 
we may account for its use by John the Baptist." 


of which He proceeds, but He has no special role to fulfil, and 
His presence in that description seems due merely to literary 
reminiscence." ^ Other elements of the complete picture, e.g. 
the return of Elias, the appearance of Belial or Antichrist, are 
even less constant. They belong only to some streams of the 
Apocalyptic tradition. But the Coming Age, whether in earth 
or in " a new heaven and a new earth," is the main topic 

It does not nowadays need proving that the conception of the 
Kingdom of God, the proximity of which had already been 
announced by John, was absolutely central in the preaching of 
our Lord. The fact was obscured in Harnack's What is Chris- 
tianity?, but Loisy in UEvangile et VEglise had no difficulty in 
shewing that Harnack was in that respect mistaken. And since 
then no one has doubted that Loisy was so far right. To prove 
this we should perhaps most naturally turn first to S. Mark, as 
the earliest Gospel, or to S. Matthew, which is particularly the 
Gospel of the Kingdom. But their evidence may be taken for 
granted, and for S. Luke it will suffice to refer to such passages 
as iv. 43, viii. i, ix. 2, 60, xi. 20, xviii. 29. 

Further, it is clear that our Lord took over, at least in the first 
instance, the conception of the Kingdom as a well-known and 
well-understood thing. He nowhere defines it. Even the parables 
are not formal definitions of its nature. It need not be said that 
He approved only the more ethical and spiritual parts of the con- 
temporary belief, and that to those He made His own supreme 
contribution.^ This would be proved by the account of the 
Temptation, if by nothing else. But that selection and amplifica- 
tion can be more conveniently considered when we come to our 
Lord's own connexion with the kingdom that He proclaimed. 
And to that we come at once. In the Coming Kingdom what 
place does He assign to Himself ? 

Some (not all) of the Apocalyptic books find the centre of their 
hopes for the future in the appearance of a personal Deliverer. 
This Deliverer gradually becomes more personal. In Daniel vii. 

1 R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, p. 50. 

" E.g. the character consistently demanded in those who should inherit the Kingdom. 
" For Jesus, the present usurper of the sovereignty was not Caesar, but the devil " 
(McNeile, S. Matthew, p. xxii.). 


13-18, the Son of Man is a collective term, hardly individual at 
all.i In some parts of the later Book, or rather Books, of Enoch 
he is a distinct, personal Figure, Who is to bring in from His 
pre-existent state, with every evidence of supernatural and divine 
power, the Kingdom or Reign of God. 
Among the more striking passages are : 

(i) And there I saw One, who had a head of days, 
And His head was white Hke wool, 
And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance 

of a man, 
And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 

And I asked the angel who went with me and shewed me all the hidden 
things, concerning the Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, [and] 
why he went with the Head of Days. And he answered and said 
unto me : 

This is the Son of Man who hath righteousness. 

With whom dwelleth righteousness, 

And also revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden. 

Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him 

And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in 
uprightness for ever. 

And this Son of Man whom thou hast seen 

Shall raise up the kings and mighty from their seats 

And the strong from their thrones 

And shall loosen the reins of the strong. 
And break the teeth of the sinners ; 

And he shall put down the kings from their thrones and kingdoms 

Because they do not extol and praise Him,_ 

Nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed upon them. 

And he shall put down the countenance of the strong, 
And shall fill them with shame. 

And darkness shall be their dwelling, 
And worms shall be their bed, 

• Thus in Dan. vii. 13-14 " the Kingdom " is given to " one like unto a son of 
man," but in verse 18 it is received by " the saints of the Most High." 


And they shall have no hope of rising from their beds 

Because they do not extol the name of the Lord of Spirits [c. xlvi.]. 

(2) And at that hour "the Son of Man was named 
In the presence of the Lord of Spirits, 

And his name before the Head of Days. 

Yea, before the Sun and the Signs were created. 

Before the stars of the heaven were made, 

His name w-as named before the Lord of Spirits. 

He shall be a staff to the righteous whereon to stay themselves and 

not fall, 
And he shall be a light of the Gentiles 
. And the hope of those who are humbled of heart. 

All who dwell on earth shall fall down and worship before him. 
And wiU praise and bless and celebrate with song the Lord of Spirits. 
And for this reason hath he been chosen and hidden before him. 
Before the creation of the world and for evermore [c. xlviii.]. 

(3) For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden 

And the most High preserved him 4n the presence of His might, 
And revealed him to the elect. 

And the congregation of the elect and holy shall be sown, 
And all the elect shall stand before him on that day. 

And all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who rule 

the earth 
Shall fall down before him on their faces. 
And worship and set their hope upon that Son of Man, 
And petition him and supplicate for mercy at his hands [c. Ixii.]. 

(4) And he sat on the throne of his glory. 

And the sum of judgment was given unto the Son of Man, 

And he caused the sinners to pass away and be destroyed from off the 

face of the earth 
And those who have led the world astray. 

With chains shall they be bound. 

And in their assemblage-place of destruction shall they be imprisoned, 

And all their works vanish from the face of the earth ; 

And from henceforth there shall be nothing corruptible, 


For that Son of Man has appeared, 
And he seated himself on the throne of his glory, 
And aU evil shall pass away before his face, 
And the word of the Son of Man shall go forth 
And be strong before the Lord of Spirits ^ [c. Ixix.]. 

It would be possible to quote from other books, e.g. the 
glowing anticipations of a Davidic King in the Pharisaic Psalms 
of Solomon (xvii. and xviii.) or the spiritual teaching of the 
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. But it must suffice to 
have given specimens of one book, though if must be borne in 
mind that the picture there drawn is the most transcendental 
of all. 

The passages quoted are all from the Similitudes or Parables 
of Enoch, i.e. chapters xxxvii.-lxxi. of the composite book, a 
portion which is dated between 105 and 64 B.C. It represents 
" a great and noteworthy advance on the earlier conception of the 
Messiah, and an approximation to the ethical and spiritual 
Christology of the Gospels." ^ It may be taken as certain that 
Our Lord made large use of this conception in order to describe 
His own office and function, though it is fair to add that He 
combined with it other elements. It is a great mistake to isolate 
the Apocalyptic element either in the general course of develop- 
ment of the Jewish Church or in our estimate of the material 
available for and used by our Lord. He stands at the end of the 
whole line of the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. He 
Himself sums up the series in Lk. xvi. 16: "The Law and the 
Prophets were until John ; from that time the good news of the 
kingdom of heaven is announced." One of His main controversies 

• The Book of Enoch was held in high esteem by the early Church, and was commonly 
supposed to be the work of the Patriarch. It is expressly quoted in Jude 14, and 
the New Testament contains many echoes of its language, e.g. Lk. i. 52, ix. 35, xxiii. 35 
(" the Elect One "), xvi. 8 (" sons of the light "), xvi. 9 (" mammon of unrighteousness "), 
xviii. 7 ("the prayer of God's elect"), xxi. 28 (the drawing nigh of redemption). The 
so-called Epistle of Barnabas quotes it twice (iv. 3, xvi. 5) as " Scripture." In the second 
case the comment is added " and it came to pass as the Lord spake." The Jews from 
about A.D. 100 rejected it, partly because 'of its popularity with the Christians and 
partly because with the Fall of Jerusalem Judaism turned in another direction and 
passed into Rabbinism. From the time of S. Augustine the Church ceased to use it, and 
it was practically lost for centuries. It was rediscovered in Abyssinia in ^573, and the 
first English translation was made in 182 1. The version here used is that of Dr. Charles, 
from whose Book of Enoch, pp. 48-49, the above parallels with S. Luke are quoted. 

' W. v. Hague in Journal of Theological Studies, Oct. i9r'o, p. 95. 


with contemporary Judaism was over. His claim to revise the 
Mosaic Law, a. claim in which there is no sign of any eschatological 
motive. He deals with the Temptations, with the Sabbath, with 
Divorce, with Immortality, with the Law of Charity, by means 
of quotations which penetrate to the true meaning of the Old 
Testament as a whole, and reveal it as it had never been under- 
stood before. In general, it may be said that He handles the 
whole Jewish Bible with so familiar and masterly a touch that 
it would clearly be mistaken to suppose that He employed only 
its last, phase. 

Further, in connexion with His actual use of the Enochian 
conception, it seems certain that He combined "with it other 
specific associations. " We turn the page," writes Dr. Sanday, 
" which separates the New Testament from the Old. We look at 
the Figure which is delineated there, and we find in it a marvellous 
meeting of traits derived from the most different and distant 
sources. . . . And these traits do not meet, as we might expect 
them to do, in some laboured and artificial compound, but in the 
sweet and gracious figure of Jesus of Nazareth — King, but not as 
men count kingship, crowned, but with the crown of thorns ; 
suffering for our redemption, but suffering only that He may 
reign." ^ The most important of the actual elements in our 
Lord's fulfilment of the Old Testament as a whole, over and above 
His special appropriation of the later Apocalyptic, appear to be 
(i) the simpler conception of the Son of Man, which is found in 
Psalm viii. and in Ezekiel (where it is used for the prophet himself), 

(2) the conception of the Suffering Servant from Isaiah liii.,^ and 

(3) the conception of the " lowly " or " poor " king from Zech. ix. 9. 
And, as we shall see directly, there was much in His self-conscious- 
ness for which no existing category was at all adequate. 

By the time of our Lord's Baptism the Old Testament, rein- 
forced by the Apocalyptic literature (a literature which intensifies 

* Inspiration, p. 405. 

* This is not so obvious as it may seem. Although the passage "tvas at once seized 
upon by Christian writers (e.g. Acts viii. 32-35 ; i Peter ii. 22-25), and has held its 
place ever since as the classical prediction of Good Friday, it is not expounded in any 
detail by Our Lord. Lk. xxii. 22 (cp. Is. liii. 6 and 12, LXX. — wapthoBt) eh Bdvarov r/ 
'^X'l ovTov) and 37 (cp. Is. liii. 12) are significant, and there is the famous Xirpov 
dvrl iToWZv (cp. Is. liii. 11). Scott (op. cit., p. 217 f.) gives reasons for supposing 
that the prophecy " was of cardinal importance for the Messianic thought of Jesus. 


a conception already prominent in the Old Testament, viz. the 
nearness of the Coming Day), had produced an immense impression 
on Palestinian Judaism. The impression was both religious and 
political. For example, the allusions in Daniel to the Syrian 
oppressor were applied by the Jews of the first century to the 
Roman domination. The expectation that this would somehow 
be overthrown and that the people of God would enter upon their 
long-promised heritage grew almost to fever-heat. 

The Zealots, of whom there was at least one, and perhaps 
more, among the Twelve, were the party who only waited for a 
leader to raise the old Maccabean war-cry, and to unfurl the 
patriotic banner with the watchwords of " Judsea for the Jews," 
and " Down with Rome." This done, the political revolution 
would pass into a cosmic renewal, and God would at last estabHsh 
His Kingdom securely in a new and different world; .And on the 
other hand, the hopes cherished by the little circle described in 
the opening chapters of the Gospel of S. Luke, e.g. Simeon, who 
was " looking for the consolation of Israel " (ii. 25) and those 
" looking for the redemption of Israel " to whom Anna spoke 
(ii. 38), were quieter and less political, but eager and intense. . 

No doubt the two groups overlapped. The more religious 
were not unpolitical, and the more political were far from wholly 

Our Lord Himself not only accepted the general expectation 
of a corning Age and a coming Kingdom, but at the head of it 
He placed Himself. It is possible to meet in critical writings with 
occasional denials that He ever claimed in His own lifetime to be 
Messiah, or that He ever used the title " Son of Man " ; and it 
may well be that He adopted the Messiah-conception with pro- 
found consciousness of its inadequacy, and perhaps even with 
reluctance, and that He used the title " Son of Man " with much 
less frequency and with a more specialized meaning than the 
Gospels indicate. But at least the whole later course of the 
Ministry, and above all the Trial and Crucifixion, prove that 
the overwhelming majority of critics are right in beheving Him 
to have claimed both the status of Messiah and the Enochian 

It is surely incredible that one who clearly knew Himself to 


be of unique spiritual stature, to have a unique relation to both 
God and men, could have failed, in using these current conceptions 
of a Coming Dispensation, to connect it with Himself. And the 
uniqueness — to use for the moment no more specific word — of 
both nature and relation is undisputed. It would be easy to 
quote from writers, whose formulated belief is that He " did not 
overstep the limitations of pure humanity," passages of which the 
passionate enthusiasm makes one wonder whether, in Dr. Sanday's 
words, " all this spiritual value is legitimately obtained." ^ How 
is it possible to suppose that He Who so called men to let Him 
lead them into the Kingdom did not also know that He would be 
there in power and glory to meet them when they arrived ? " I 
am, and ye shall see " (Mk. xiv. 62). 

The Kingdom itself was and could only be the Kingdom of 
Almighty God, the Lord of Spirits, the Ancient of Days. Our 
Lord conceived of His own part in it, as of each single step of 
His earthly pilgrimage, as that which should be committed to 
Him by the Father. But in the Kingdom He Who was now 
God's Pilgrim, yet even now God's Chosen, God's Beloved, would 
at last be at home in His own proper sphere, the Prince of Glory, 
the wielder of divine authority, and would say to those on His 
right hand, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
that has been prepared." ^ 

Even in this world, unlike the Apocalyptists, who wrote 
anonymously, and indeed pseudonymously. Our Lord speaks in 
His own person, like a prophet. And even the prophets He 
transcends. They were content to say, " Thus saith the Lord." 
His formula is, " Amen, I say unto you." 

Already He is " the Son," to Whom " all things have been 

'delivered by the Father" (Lk. x. 22; Mt. xi. 27). God is His 

-Father in a sense in which none else may use the term. " None 

knoweth the Father save the Son." ^ He claims authority to 

1 C. F. NoUoth, "the Person of Our Lord and Recent Thought, has collected a number 
of such passages, p. 354 f. 

* Mt. XXV. 34. The section Mt. xxv. 31-46 has much in common with Enoch Ixii. 

» For the " absolute " use of " the Son," " the Father," dp. Mk. xiii. 32 ; the use 
'" has thus the authority of the two most ancient sources of the Gospel material. If it 
be allowable to assume, with Harnack, that Mt. xi. 28-30, which are not in Luke, stood 
in an original source and are authentic (they can hardly have stood at this point in the 
source used by Matthew and Luke), Our Lord, echoing Ecclus. li. 23-27, identifies Himself 
with Wisdom. Cp. Lk. xi. 49, which is perhaps a quotation from some unknown book 


restate the sacred Law, in the divine origin of which his hearers 
and Himself alike believed. His words will survive the passing 
away of heaven and earth. Already He forgives and summons 
men to follow Him. " Messiah " and " Son of Man " refer to the 
future, and to the present only in so far as it is an anticipation 
and instalment of the future. But consciousness of that which 
has been rightly named Divinity is the fixed centre of His thoughts 
about Himself. " He Who already in His present state of 
existence is more than a prophet and greater than John, He Who . 
is the Son, will be the coming King and Judge." ^ 

The question of questions then is — ^How definite was this 
consciousness ? How certain ? 

We can see in the Gospels the disciples beginning, to feel after 
the true doctrine of the Person of the Master. We know the 
exalted categories in which a few years later S. Paul and others 
strove to express their own experience. ^ And we know the 
Nicene theology. The comparative slowness of the process is due 
to the fact that the mind of man was overwhelmed by the per- 
sonality of Jesus. Only in the course of years does it become at 
all competent to receive — ^much more to express — the world- 
shaking conception of " God with us." And even now the process 

(Harnack, Sayings, p. 103), with Mt. xxiii. 34. The Divine Wisdom is one of the ideas 
which make up the full content of the Johannine Logos. 

1 Hamack, Sayings, p. 244. The same writer draws particular attention to the 
following passages, among others, as coming from the oldest source, i.e. Q (see p. 136 f.): 
Lk. X. 15, 16, Capernaum is lifted up to Heaven by our Lord's Ministry there, and 
"Hethat rejectethmerejectethHim that sent me"; xi. 31, 32, "greater than Solomon, 
greater than Jonah " ; xii. 8, " Every one that confesseth me before men," etc. ; xii. 52, 
" From now households are to be divided " ; xiii. 34, the claim over the allegiance of 
the holy city of Jerusalem ; xiv. 26, 27, " if any man hateth not . . . whosoever taketh 
not up his cross," etc. ; and in the Sermon on the Mount, which is " above the level 
of a prophetic manifesto," " obedience to His compiandments is treated as the same 
thing as doing the Will of the Father " (p. 236). These passages are from a source of 
which Hamack believes that it " was intended solely for the Christian community 
and was addressed to those who did not require the assurance that their Teacher was 
also the Son of God f and] . . . was not compiled in the interests of Christian apologetics" 

(P- 235)- 

2 These are still fluid in S. Paul. They have not yet crystallized into formal 
dogmatics. " What was sought for in Christianity was an immediate fellowship with 
God, and it was felt, as a simple fact of experience, that through Jesus Christ this 
fellowship had been rendered possible. The Messianic idea could afford no explanation 
of such a fact. . . . There needed to be some deeper relation between Jesus and God 
if the Father was truly present in the Son, bringing the believer into communion with 
Himself. The growth of this conviction is traceable in the writings of Paul. He 
accepts the Messianic category, but ... he is seeking his way towards some other 
theory of Christ's Person, which should correspond more adequately to the demands of 
Christian faith " (E. F. Scott, Apologetic dfthe New Testament, p. 65). 


of reception and expression is not nearly finished. What then of 
the human mind of Our Lord Himself ? His method is intuitive, 
not philosophical. He teaches what He knows. What does He 
know about Himself ? It appears to me that the more firmly we 
beUeve in the fact of the Incarnation, the less we shall be disposed 
to assert that He knew the whole truth about Himself. Man can 
know God. Man can beheve in God. But Man cannot compre- 
hend God. How then could Jesus comprehend Himself ? How 
could the life, of which the actual purpose was to express the 
Divine Nature in terms of veritable human kind, have an un- 
limited comprehension of its own Divine Selfhood ? He knew 
God, and He uttered without doubt or hesitation the Truth 
about God and Man. He was Himself the perfect Revelation of 
God. His arrival upon earth was the consecration of humanity ; 
His death was its redemption ; His resurrection its victory ; and 
His ascension its coronation. But if it be conceded — as it must 
be — ^first, that His whole Revelation was mediated through^ the 
human nature of a Galilean peasant, and, secondly, that Divine 
Revelation is a thing which, in so far as it has actually proved 
comprehensible to our own human nature, has been comprehended 
only by long centuries of Christian experience, it seems improbable 
that consciousness of Divinity could emerge in any other way 
than the way of Our Lord in the Gospels. The highest known 
categories are filled and exhausted, and there is the overwhelming 
intuitive consciousness that somehow He transcends them all.^ 
Tyrrell has written : 

" Jesus believed that He was destined to be revealed to all the world in 
the clouds of heaven as the Son of Man. Probably, if not certainly, He 
understood this destination as more than moral or decretorial, as an inherent 
potentiality of His own spirit. Already He spoke and acted as God's 
plenipotentiary . . . this points to a sense of present, and not merely of 
prospective, superhuman dignity. Not tiU He was glorified, however, would 
He be technically the Christ and assume the full functions of the Son of 
Man. Now it is idle to contend that this was something secondary in the 

' It is clearly desirable that speculations on so mysterious a subject should be 
expressed in a cautious and tentative way. I am reminded by a friendly critic that 
it is just in the sphere of self-knowledge that Our Lord's mind would doubtless go 
farthest ; also that the " Galilean peasant "-argument loses much of its force in the 
case of one whose moral and spiritual knowledge was manifestly so profound. In any 
case, my sole desire is to discover what exactly is involved by belief in the Incarnation. 


self-consciousness of Jesus ; a little touch of the megalomania so frequently 
attendant on genius and on the realization of unusual influence and power ; 
a fiery tongue of fanaticism, shooting up from the pure flame of faith. He 
does not begin as an ethical teacher or a prophet, and then warm up to 
new and astounding pretensions. His attitude is the same throughout, 
and is just such as consists with the secret consciousness of His Messianic 
dignity. That consciousness is the cause, and not the effect, of His soul- 
compelling power. His belief in Himself makes others believe in Him. . . . 
They asked themselves : ' What manner of man is this ? ' What won their 
love and affection was the lowliness and gentleness of One whom they felt, 
through an irrepressible emanation of His own self-consciousness, to be 
mysteriously great and strong and holy." ^ 

But always the Treasure is in an earthen vessel. Our Lord, 
Who would not give any overwhelming " sign " to the Pharisees, 
claimed no such " sign " for Himself. His consciousness of Son- 
ship was rather in the realm of religion than of metaphysics, or 
even theology. 

Let us take an illustration from the Cross, the supreme instance, 
which resolves all difficulties. Religiously, it is satisfying ; philo- 
sophically, it is difficult. We only arrive at a true theological 
understanding of the matter when our philosophy is enlightened 
and spiritualized by our religion. And what is true of the Cross 
is true also of the whole life of the Incarnate. The more we 
connect the Passion with the whole of Our Lord's earthly life, 
the better we shall understand both. Now, we are accustomed 
to find in the Fourth Word from the Cross the tragic heart of«the 
Atonement. Without that, we feel that the testing would not 
have been complete, the champion would not have endured the 
last stage of conflict, the Conqueror would not have perfectly 
established His own conquest. And so it appears that in the 
very hour of victory He seemed to Himself to be failing — and 
yet He still held on. It was the last ounce of the redemptive 
burden, the last item in the price of perfect victory. In somewhat 
the same way — ^not altogether, for Our Lord^s life was not a 
perpetual crucifixion — may we not say that His consciousness of 
Divinity was not a matter of logic or of memory, but of intuition 
and religious faith ? 

It is, indeed, often suggested that we can distinguish stages 

' Christianity at the Cross-Roads, p. 179. 


in Our Lord's belief about Himself, a gradual acceptance of 
Messiahship, a gradual acceptance of the prospect of death, and 
so on. I think myself that such distinctions are often precarious, 
because the Gospel criticism ^ on which they depend is of a 
partially subjective nature, and also because Our Lord comes 
before us in the Gospels with His mind much more made up and 
His path much more determined than is sometimes supposed. 
But there is no a priori objection to finding such stages, if they 
can be found.^ It was said lately in a perhaps hasty criticism 
of a learned and stimulating book ^ that in the opinion of the 
author, " Jesus did not know whether He was the Messiah or 
not." Supposing that the intention of the author had been to 
assert that Our Lord did not know whether He was great enough 
to claim the title, it would have been intolerable indeed. But the 
fact is — and the intention of the author was to assert — that He 
must have felt the title to be inadequate. 

Our Lord welcomed the outburst of S. Peter, He accepted the 
Messiah-conception and was content that it should be the occasion 
of His death. And more particularly He accepted and used the 
highly Apocalyptic conception of Messiahship which is connoted 
by the Enochian title. Why ? Partly as He accepted the 
Aramaic language — because it was at hand. But more, because 
those were the highest forms available, because those were the 
ways in which God the Father had gradually taught the Chosen 
People to anticipate the Bringer of the Kingdom which Our Lord 
knew that He was Himself to bring. 

We are prepared, of course, to find that He was not precisely 
the kind of Messiah that was anticipated. It is surely of the 
essence of God's gift to be more than we either deserve or desire. 
So Dr. L. P. Jacks puts into the mouth of his " psychologist 
among the saints " the illuminating fancy that Our Lord " was 
Man in so far as He did -yvhat was expected and God in so far as 

'■ In S. Luke's Gospel it is hardly to be attempted, and therefore I do not here 
consider suggestions which have been put forward. It must be found, if anywhere, 
in the Gospel of S. Mark. 

' E.g. Hamack finds " Son-consciousness " in Our Lord at an earlier date than 
"Messiah-consciousness " (Sayings of Jesus, pp. 245 n., 301). 

» The Eschatology of Jesus, by Dr. H. L. Jackson, from many of whose conclusions 
I venture to differ a good deal. For the allusion in the text see, e.g., p. 64 and cp. 
PP- 325. 327- 


He took the world by surprise." ^ And so at the beginning of the 
Ministry we see Our Lord confronted by the question whether He 
should be the kind of political-apocalyptic Messiah and bring in 
the kind of political-apocalyptic kingdom that was largely anti- 
cipated. The story of the Temptation in the wilderness shews 
Him meeting and rejecting three false conceptions of Messiahship. 
And all through the Ministry we find Him constantly and con- 
sistently refusing to be identified with narrow, worldly, purely 
national or purely political Messianic ideas. 

But, of course, no one can deny that a considerable portion of 
Our Lord's teaching, as it is recorded in the Gospels, is of an 
Apocalyptic character. From the early proclamation — " Repent, 
for the Kingdom of God is at hand," ^ to the predictions about 
the last days which form the contents of S. Mark xiii. and its 
parallels in S. Matthew and S. Luke, there is a great deal of 
Apocalyptic. Far more of the parables and sayings than is 
commonly supposed are eschatological, that is, have reference to 
a future coming of the Kingdom which will mean, in some real 
sense, the end of the existing world. Of that Kingdom " He was 
already the proleptic head." ^ It is not easy to ascertain, espe- 
cially in this connexion, how far the Gospels, as they stand, 
represent the actual words and specific teaching of Our Lord. It 
has been suggested that much of the imagery which He is repre- 
sented as using (e.g. " The sun shall be darkened, and the moon 
shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and 
the powers of the heavens shall be shaken") was put into His 
mouth by the Evangelists, because they assumed that He must 
have used the language with which they were themselves familiar. 
Many critics, for example, would assign a substantial part of the 

* Among the Idol-makers, p. 328. 

2 It has often been pointed out that even here two elements are combined. 
"Repent"^ is ethical: "the kingdom is at hand" is eschatological (Lake, Earlier 
Epistles, p. 443). 

' The word is Professor Lake's, who says : ' ' The use of this technical term of the 
grammarians may be excused by the difficulty of finding any expression to convey the 
required meaning. The point is that the kingdom was not yet come, and therefore 
there could not yet be any king ; but it was quite certain that it was coming, and that 
Jesus would be the king. The Christians lived in a constant anticipation of the future, 
a ' prolepsis ' of things to come " (Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, p. 14 n.). Cp. Schweitzer, 
Quest, p. 284. Reference of the whole kingdom to the future seems to need qualifica- 
tion, especially when it is realized that Profe,ssor Lake is speaking of the period not of 
the Gospels but of the early chapters of Acts. See infra, p. loi f. 


eschatological discourse reported in S. Mark xiii, and its parallels 
to another source. ^ They do not believe that more than about a 
third of it was really spoken by Him. And whether or not we 
handle this particular discourse as freely as, for example, Dr. 
Charles and Canon Streeter have done, there is little doubt that 
in the early Church, and to some extent in the Gospels, His 
teaching on such subjects was sharpened and exaggerated. We 
know from S. Paul's earlier Epistles (i and 2 Thessalonians, 
I Corinthians) that he expected (at first consistently, afterwards 
with some hesitation) that the end of the world would come in 
his own lifetime, and there are a great number of passages in 
Acts and elsewhere which are only to be explained by supposing 
that the same expectation was commonly entertained. T^ere was 
therefore a natural tendency to amplify whatever of Apocalyptic 
Our Lord's own words had contained. It seems certain that 

' It is held by very many critics that Mk. xiii. and the parallels include " a written 
fly-leaf of early Christian apocaljfptic prophecy, or ' small apocalypse,' consisting of 
material set in the ordinary triple division, common to apocalyptic literature," i.e. 
(a) dpxfi aBlvwv, (6) d\i>jfis, {cj wapovaia. See Moffatt, Introd. to Lit. of New Testament , 
pp. 207-209, where weighty support is quoted for this opinion. It is further supposed 
that this prophecy was the " divine revelation " mentioned by Eusebius {Hist. Eccl., 
iii. 5, 3) which caused the Christian population of Jerusalem to flee to Pella before 
the destruction of the city. A few critics hold that the fly-leaf waS a Jewish Apocalypse, 
which was taken over and Christianized. See on the whole question Charles, Critical 
History of the Doctrine of a Future Life, 2nd ed., pp. 379 f., and Streeter in Oxford Studies, 
pp. 179-183. Cf. Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, ii. 1 15-121 ; Winstanley, 
Jesus and the Future, p. 205 f . , The argument is not purely a priori ; it is largely based 
on the fact that the long discourse of Mk. xiii. is a unique feature in that Gospel, and 
on the nature of its contents. 

On the other hand, Prof. Lake suggests a qualification of this verdict : "I think 
that the Synoptic Gospels give us a correct account of the facts, and I see no reason 
for the excision of Mark xiii., or of parts of it, as a Jewish interpolation. . . . The 
critics who deny that this view was that of Jesus may possibly be right, but at all 
events the S5fnoptic Gospels were largely written to prove the opposite " {Earlier 
Epistles, p. 436). Prof. Lake is not exactly controverting the authors quoted above, 
but rather those who maintain that Our Lord's teaching has been seriously misrepre- 
sented by the importation into the record of it of practically the whole eschatological 
element. So Prof. Burkitt, who considers that the chapter is founded upon a separate 
written document, adds that " both the general purport of the discourse and most 
of the single sayings seem to me, if I may venture to give an opinion, perfectly to 
harmonize with what we otherwise know of the teaching of Jesus " {Gospel History, 
p. 63). And Dr. Sanday has said : " When it seemed that these features could be thus 
got rid of, the hypothesis by means of which the amputation was performed was eagerly 
welcomed and from that time onward has been a generally accepted part of the liberal 
tradition. But we must distinctly recognize that it is nothing more than a hypothesis. 
The proof of it is very far from being stringent. It is one thing to say that certain 
verses are detachable from their context, and another thing to infer that they ought 
to be detached. For myself I fail to see how the decision can ever be final " {Hibbert 
Journal, Oct. 191 1, p. 95)- 



this tendency was actually in operation during the gradual 
compilation of the Gospels, 

But when all possible deductions have been made, it seems 
most unlikely that the Church would depart altogether, or even 
very widely, from the Master's own standpoint. The amplifica- 
tion was one of terms and emphasis, not an importation of funda- 
mental ideas. In any case a number of eschatological parables 
and sayings remain. No criticism could excise them all, and it 
so happens that most of them are of such a kind as to approve 
themselves.' For my own part, I am sure that wholesale excision 
would be not only a critical blunder but a religious loss. For 
it is a great satisfaction to be able to feel that the old academic 
Liberal Protestant conception of Our Lord has been finally 
disposed of. The old Liberal Protestants were quite sure that 
Our Lord was one of themselves.^ He was depicted by some 
scholars as a kind of lecturer-philanthropist, enunciating valuable 
ethical maxims and anxious to ameliorate the general condition 
of mankind. And it was sometimes even gravely pointed out that 
these maxims were clothed in a religious phraseology for which, 
considering the age in which He lived and the nationality to 
which He belonged, every allowance must be made. All this is 
now seen to be impossible, and Christianity re-emerges as a 

1 Matthew Arnold had in many ways a wonderful, understanding of the " Secret 
of Jesus " and the value of the Bible. But, apart from the illegitimacy of his dogmatic 
rejection of dogma, even his criticism was largely vitiated by his nineteenth-century 
prepossessions. Thus he writes (Literature and Dpgma, chap, vi) : " Take, again, 
the escbatology of the disciples . . a literal appropriation of the apocalyptic pictures 
of the book of Daniel and the book of Enoch. ... It is not surprising . . . what is 
remarkable is that they should themselves supply us with their Master's blame of their 
too literal criticism, his famous sentence, ' The kingdom of God is within you.' Such an 
account of the kingdom of God has more right, even if recorded only once, to pass with 
us for Jesus Christ's own account than the common materializing accounts, if repeated 
twenty times ; for it was manifestly quite foreign to the disciples' own notions, and 
they never could have invented it." 

The " reduced Christianity " of German Protestantism is not really historical. 
Even the glowing enthusiasm of Hamack's What is Christianity ? (1900) was not adequate 
as an explanation of the phenomena. But Hamack speaks later (Sayings of Jesus, 
p. 232) of " the sovereignty of the eschatological point of view," though he wisely 
adds that this is not to be sought only in " dramatic eschatology." But Prof. Bacon 
still maintains that the significance attached by Jesus Himself to his mission was " purely 
religio-ethical and humanitarian " (Beginnings of the Gospel-Story, p. xxxviii) and that 
" the apocalyptic figure of the Son of man could not be Jesus' ' favorite self-designa- 
tion.' . . . Such apocalyptic fanaticism is the characteristic, not of the sane and well- 
poised mind of the plain mechanic of Nazareth, but of Pharisaism in his own time 
and of the later generations of his followers " (ibid. p. 108). , 


religion, spiritual, supernatural, other-worldly.^ The expectation 
of a coming end of the existing regime, a catastrophic upheaval 
of all that is, and the inauguration by the Son of Man of a new 
order — this is not the whole of Our Lord's message, it is the burden 
of some only of His parables and sayings, but it is a not incon- 
siderable part. 

But the discoverers of an overlooked aspect or an unused clue 
are apt to exaggerate. I mentioned in the last chapter the view 
of those who allege that the Pauhne school conceived of Chris- 
tianity as a Greek mystery, hardly connected with Nazareth at 
all. So now the extreme eschatologists, Johannes Weiss, 
Schweitzer,^ and those who hold with them, violently repudiating 
all suggestion that S. Paul or Christianity was influenced by the 
mysteries, and starting from an opposite, or non-Hellenic, point 
of view, have succeeded in raising a difficulty, in the present 
connexion, of almost the same ■ sort. ^ Neglecting the many 
parables and sayings in the Gospels which are, to use the technical 
term, non-catastrophic, which speak of gradual growth and find 

• " It is not an exaggeration, in fact, to say that eschatology means religion ' 
(Headlam, St. Paul and Christianity, p. 36). Cp. Burkitt in Cambridge Biblical Essays 
(1909), p. 208. This whole essay is most illuminating, especially when read in the light 
of subsequent events. The fact that the type of character most worth having is that 
which is best prepared to face a crisis, and that the future is with those who are able to 
discern and receive the kingdom of God as it comes riding upon the wings of storm, has 
become obvious to all. It is extraordinarily interesting that the eschatology of the New 
Testament should have been rediscovered at the end of a period in which thought had 
come to be more and more dominated by evolutionary conceptions, and that the re- 
discovery should be followed immediately by a period of " distress of nations, with 
perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear; and for looking after those things which, 
are coming on the earth " (Lk. xxi. 25, 26). 

* An account of the German writers of this school will be found in Sanday's Life 
of Christ in Recent Research. See, in particular, Schweitzer's Von Reimarus zu Wrede, 
translated under the title of The Quest of the Historical Jesus, with an introduction by 
Prof. Burkitt. The main part of the book is occupied with a survey of German 
Lives of Jesus, and Schweitzer's own interpretation, except for incidental comments 
and criticisms, appears only on pp. 328-401. E. F. Scott's The Kingdom and the Messiah 
is an illuminating exposition of the whole subject. Slighter but in some ways more 
constructive is E. G. Selwyn's The Teaching of Christ. Father Tyrrell in his later 
writings, e.g. Christianity at the Cross-Roads, took over, with a rather uncritical want 
of discrimination, the views of the thoroughgoing eschatologists. C. W. Emmet's 
The Eschatological Question in the Gospels contains a searching criticism of Schweitzer. 

» " We must be prepared to find that the historical knowledge of the personality 
and life of Jesus will not be a help, but perhaps even an offence to religion. But the 
truth is, it is not Jesus as historically known, but Jesus as spiritually arisen within men, 
who is significant for our time and can help it. . . . The abiding and eternal in Jesus 
is absolutely independent of historical knowledge and can only be understood by contact 
with His spirit, Avhich is still at work in the world. In proportion as we have the 
spirit of Jesus we liave the true kndwledge of Jesus " (Qt*est, p. 399)- 


a large element of permanence in the existing situation, passing 
over all this, Schweitzer alleges that Our Lord's own message 
practically consisted of a brief announcement of the rapidly 
approaching end ; that what appears to be ethical teaching was 
really only an interim programme ^ for the few months that re- 
mained before the shock ; that He expected till the very last that 
God would justify Him before the eyes of men by visibly bringing 
in the Kingdom, with falling stars and darkened sun ; that the 
cry, " My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ? " was 
wrung from Him by the failure of this hope, and that He died, 
for this reason, of a broken heart. In spite, however, of this 
conspicuous and total disappointment, the disciples somehow 
carried on the expectation that He would return in glory, and 
were so " obsessed " with eschatology that they tended to regard 
the Ministry as purely preliminary, and to regard Jesus as a sort 
of John Baptist to Himself, a Messias futurus, a forerunner of 
His other, greater self Who was soon to come. Thus we are 
reduced from a quite different point of view to much the same 
conclusion as that of the mystery-school, that Galilee is unimpor- 
tant. Or rather, perhaps, tjiat it is important, but only in a 
negative way. It is important to discover what the historical 
Jesus was, but the discovery lands us in a cul-de-sac. The world- 
view of Jesus is not transferable to us. His actual outlook, with 
its unmitigated Semitism, its strict predestinarianism, its entire 
preoccupation with the end of the world, the baldly provisional 
nature of its ethic, is not for us. The ordinary interpretation 
of even the Markan picture is confused and garbled. Theologians 
read what they want between the lines ; they illegitimately 
" book through-tickets at the supplementary-psychological-know- 
ledge office" (Quest, p. 331). And as for what is described in 
this book as the Lukan " solution," it is not even considered. 
It would be dismissed as the desperate expedient -of what an 
American professor has called an " entangling aUiance of theology 
and history." , 

Albert Schweitzer has not always had justice done to him. 
His doctrine, strange and distasteful as much of it must seem to 
old-fashioned Christians, or indeed to Christians of any sort, is 

1 Interimsethik, or " Meantime-morality." 


nevertheless a real religion. He has a passionate devotion to 
Jesus, and in 191 3 he laid down his academic position at Strasburg 
in order to become a missionary in, French Equatorial Africa. ^ 
His defect is that he is one-sided and exaggerated. The truth 
about Jesus is. too great to be completely seen from any single 
standpoint. No single category is able to contain Him. The 
truth is more comprehensive than is supposed by either the 
Mystery school or the thoroughgoing Eschatologists.^ 

One simple fact, which is enough to prevent us from accepting 
the theory of Schweitzer in its entirety, is the fact that Chris- 
tianity survived, that it made and commended its appeal to 
Greeks and Romans, and became a world-religion. It cannot 
therefore have consisted wholly of the expectation of the end of 
the world. A religion which, pins its faith entirely to an antici- 
pated event must abide by the decision of time, especially when 
that decision is mediated through persons to whom the earlier 
categories are uncongenial. But this, though a fair counter, 
is hardly a solution.^ 

1 See an interesting article, " Schweitzer as Missionary," by his English translator, 
Mr. Montgomery, in Hibberi Journal, July 1914. 

' It may well be that the only " thoroughgoing eschatologists " in early days were 
the disciples of John, who appear in Acts xix. if. If so, the fact that they are described 
as " disciples " and that they consorted to some extent with the Church, proves that 
the Church itself was highly eschatological. But both they and ApoUos (xviii. 24-28) 
clearly lack something, which, when the fact is discovered, is at once supplied, and 
the sect did not as a matter of fact survive. If it be true that the Fourth Gospel is in 
part directed against them, it would help to account for the almost complete dis- 
appearance of the eschatological element in that Gospel. The explanation of J. H. A. 
Hart in Joum. Tkeol. Stud., Oct. 1905 ; Lake, Earlier Epistles, p. 107 f., that they were 
familiar with " Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah," gives rather a forced explana- 
tion to the phrase in Acts xviii. 25, " the things concerning Jesus," a diflSculty which 
Hamack to some extent gets over by supposing (Luhe the Physician, p. 150) that " the 
baptism of John " means the baptism by John of Jesus. 

s On the other hand, it is equally undeniable that " had the early Christians devoted 
themselves to the well-to-do philanthropy of the nineteenth century, they never would 
have survived atall " (Burkitt, Gospel History, p. 182). " Unnecessary difficulty has 
often been felt in the fact that' the Parousia of the Messiah did not take place, and has 
not yet taken place, as a catastrophic event as He pictured it. He Himself balanced the 
Jewish language by non- Jewish conceptions. But the pictorial language must be frankly 
accepted as Jewish. His human intellect, like all other human intellects before and 
since, was compelled — ^not consciously but inevitably — ^to employ symbolism in order 
to express the transcendental ; and He employed that of His age and country, the 
language of prophets and apocalyptists of the past. (See the classical exposition of this 
by T3rrrell, Christianity at the Cross-Roads, chaps, x, xii.) The divine translation of 
it in history must be seen, as the evangelists recognized, in the Christian Church, which 
was, in fact, born in a sudden outburst within the generation then living and which, 
in its ideal, is a polity of redeemed souls living in righteousness, over whom God reigns 
on earth in the Person of Jesus the Messiah " (McNeile, S. Matthew, p. xxvi.). 


There is a " solution," and it is largely furnished by S. Luke. 
But before coming to it, I should like to make it clear that in my 
own opinion, to a considerable extent, no solution, in the strict 
sense, is required. Our Lord was, among other things,, a prophet. 
The vision of the prophet is fixed upon eternal things. He thus 
approaches, according to his capacity, the timeless vision of God. 
He goes to the heart of the matter, and proclaims that which is 
of supreme importance, namely, that God has a purpose for His 
people. The result is that he tends to neglect time,^ which is in 
itself a thin-g of secondary importance and belongs, as philosophers 
would say, to appearance rather than to reality. We therefore 
find that the Old Testament prophets often seem to anticipate 
that the coming deliverance will follow immediately upon the 
present distress. ^ The sureness with which their vision penetrates 
to the important central truth makes them foreshorten the time 
which the divine Operation will actually take.^ Our Lord is no 
exception to this prophetic law. On the other hand He uses it, 
and is not used by it. He does not succumb to the Apocalyptic 
habit. He guards Himself against being supposed to be a purveyor 
of arithmetical prognostications. He abandons altogether the 
calculations of " a time, and times, and half a time " and " seventy 
weeks " and so forth, which were a favourite feature of Jewish 
Apocalyptic, and recur again in the Revelation of S. John. He 
says expressly that " of that day and hour knoweth no one, not 
even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father " (Mk. 
xiii. 32).* He deprecates (in Acts i. 7) the desire to " know times 
and seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority." 
But it seems impossible to deny that Our Lord did mentally 

* Not always. Jeremiah knows^that the Captivity will last seventy years. But 
the more apocalyptic prophecy becomes, the more it foreshortens the future. 

' See above, p. 36. An illuminating sentence of Prof. Lake is quoted by von 
Dobschiitz (Echatology of the Gospels, p. 68) : " The Jew is separated from the realm of 
bliss by time, the Greek by space." 

? Cp. Tyrrell, Christianity at the Cross-Roads, p. 159. 

* The Bishop of Zanzibar has an instructive comment on this passage : " Here we 
meet the one great fact of human life, that no human mind can conceive. To know 
the day and hour of judgment is to know each single soul, to trace the history of each 
family and tribe and nation, to see all men and nations in one whole, and to become 
conscious of the exact moment of time in which the lines of opportunity of individuals 
and nations come to an end, meeting in the single point of completed destiny. In fact, 
it is to have universal relations to the creation : the very thing which that Son of 
God renounced, within a definite sphere, when He became Incarnate " (The One Christ, 
p. 199). 


foreshorten the time which would be required for His religion to 
leaven the world. 

This was, in fact, one of the chief intellectual problems which 
the early Church had to solve. How were they to explain the 
non-fulfilment of the Lord's prediction of a speedy Return in 
glory and their own expectations of such a Return ? The author 
of 2 Peter is expressing a widely felt difficulty when he reminds 
his readers of the mockers who say, " Where is the promise of His 
coming ? For from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things 
continue as they were from the beginning of the creation " (iii. 4). 
The Gospels, especially the Gospel of S. John, were written in 
order to make, it clear that the Good News had not consisted 
entirely of this expectation. And, in fact, the continued existence 
of the Church proves that the original message cannot have 
consisted entirely of this, or anyhow of the crudest form of it. 
But side by side with the pressure of facts, and the recovery, by 
means of the Gospels, of something like a complete account of 
what had really been Our Lord's position in the matter, other 
forces were at work. As Canon Streeter has said, " The process " 
(i.e. such a process as I have referred to, of sharpening and 
heightening Our Lord's Apocalyptic utterances) " was not allowed 
to go on unchecked. Two great religious geniuses, S. Paul and 
the author of the Fourth Gospel,^ stemmed the tide, and by a 
counter-evolution brought back the Church to profounder and 
more spiritual conceptions " (Oxford Studies, p. 436). 

This was, in fact, the " solution." Jesus was rediscovered in 
the Christ of the Church. S. Paul and S. John spiritualized the 
eschatological hope.^ They helped to purge it, where that was 
necessary, of its purely Jewish dress, its " Hebrew old clothes." 
And they taught the Church that Pentecost was, in Westcott's 
phrase, the " Pentecostal coming of the Lord," ^ that its own life 

^ " The Fourth Gospel is perhaps the only book in the New Testament in which 
there is no expectation of the Parousia or of the approaching end of the age " (Dr. Inge in 
Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 283 ; cf. pp. 255, 257, 264, 284. See, however, Jn. v. 25-29). 

2 " What had happened in the meantime ? Behind the screen (so to speak) of 
eschatology the Church had gradually been building up for itself an organized body of 
thought, the imposing structure of that we call its ' theology ' " (Sanday, The Life of 
Christ in Recent Research, p. i r4). 

* Comm. on S. John, xiv. 18. Cf. " This descent, this incorporation, of the Spirit 
was in some sense a second Divine Nativity, the birth of the Church, ' Christ's Body,' 
the beginning of the order under which we live " (The Historic Faith, p. 106). 


was the normal continuation of the Hfe of Jesus, and that the 
Church, to use the common and useful definition, was " an exten- 
sion of the Incarnation." The fact, already referred to, that 
S. Paul exhibits some tendency to confuse the work of the Son 
and the work of the Spirit, a confusion from which it is both 
impossible and unnecessary for us altogether to escape, ^ and the 
fact that S. John uses the same word, " Paraclete," in his Gospel 
(xiv. i6, " another Paraclete," 26, xv. 26, xvi. 7) of the Spirit, 
and in his First Epistle (ii. i) of the Son, are evidence enough 
that the work of the Spirit, and thus, practically, the work of the 
Church, are regarded as a genuine and proper continuation of the 
work of Jesus. Such sayings as " There be some here, of them 
that stand by, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see 
the kingdom of God come with power " . (Mk ix. i) had been in 
fact verified at Pentecost and were being slowly carried into 
execution in the Spirit-fed life of the Church. Christ is immanent 
in the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church 
is, therefore, part of Christ. It is the visible part of Christ, that 
part of Himself through which He now necessarily acts. Indeed, 
the Book called " Acts," which can also be truly described as the 
" Gospel of the Holy Spirit," prov-es that the expression " Body 
of Christ " is not a mere pious exaggeration, but expresses what 
the early Christians believed to be a fact. There is no suggestion, 
either made in Acts or possible to-day, that it has ceased to be 
necessary either to pray or work in the direction of " Thy Kingdom 
come," or that there will not be a future culmination, whether 
gradual or catastrophic ; but it is not untrue to say that where 
Christ is present by His Spirit in His Church, there is the King- 
dom. The Church has begun, and consists of those who have 
already been saved from the power of darkness and translated 
into the kingdom of the Son (Col. i. 13; Rom. xiv. 17). The 
members of the Church, in Acts and in the twentieth century, are 
very far indeed from being perfect, but their sacraments -and 

1 I.e. because the Spirit is in any case the Spirit of Christ, " proceeding from the 
Father and the Son." His work (Jn. xvi. 14) is to " take of mine and declare it unto 
y u." " The purpose of Christ's mission was to reveal God as His Father . . . the 
purpose of the mission of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ " (Westcott on Jn. xiv. 26). 
The orthodox doctrine on the subject, called by the Greeks perichoresis and by the 
Latins circuminchsio, is that whatever is done by any Person of the Blessed Trinity 
is done by all. No Person of the Trinity acts singly and alone. 


prayers are genuine roads between earth and heaven. " Go, and 
tell John what things ye do hear and see." 

So the Church, which was a great moral engine in a decadent 
world, seized on the ethical teaching of the Lord. Wherever that 
teaching had been tinged with eschatological associations, they 
tended to release it from its associations. When it was absolute, 
they used it absolutely. And always it seemed to them — and the 
impression produced upon the world was just the same — that 
Christ was speaking through His Church. " Christ liveth in me," 
cries S. Paul. The work that the Master had inaugurated was 
being continued by the selfsame Master, but it could also be 
spoken of as the work of the Spirit and the Bride. 

It is not intended, of course, to suggest that Pentecost is an 
isolated thing. It must always be thought of as having been 
made possible by the Death and Resurrection and Ascension of 
Our Lord. " It is expedient for you that I go away, for, if I go 
not away, the Comforter cannot come unto you " is a true state- 
ment of the case. " From now," says Our Lord before the 
Sanhedrin, " from now the Son of Man shall be seated on the 
right hand of the power of God " (Lk. xxii. 69). The Cross is the 
first step of the Throne of Glory. A few hours, and Messiah will 
be reigning from the Tree.^ I am unable to accept the arguments 
of some who maintain that the New Testament (except Acts i.) 
speaks of the Resurrection and Ascension as one act, or the position 
(still occasionally taken) that the eschatological predictions of the 
Gospels refer to and are fulfilled by the Resurrection. But it is 
the fact, as Dr. Latimer Jackson notes, that " no explicit reference 
to a Coming in the future is placed by the Evangelists in the lips 
of the Risen Lord." ^ And anyhow it is certain that the Resur- 
rection and Ascension are parts of the same process. They are 
the essential conditions of the Pentecostal Life. They represent 
the liberation of the Redeemer from the preliminary and limiting 
conditions of a single life ; they set Him free to return in Spirit 
to be available for all the world and for all time. 

Nor, on the other hand, is it intended to isolate Pentecost from 
subsequent events. There is no doubt, for example, that our 

1 So E. G. Selwyn, The Teaching of Christ, p. i68, and W. Temple, The Kingdom of 
God, p. 36. " Eschatology of Jesus, p. 342, n. 2. 


Lord foresaw the great crash that was coming on the Jewish 
nation. His allusions to it have been mingled by the Evangelists 
with His allusions to the Coming Age. The Christian Church has 
rightly discerned in the tragedy of a.d. 70 the beginning of a new- 
volume in the history of Christianity, a veritable Coming of the 
Lord.i In like manner the fall of the Roman Empire produced 
Augustine's City of God and mediaeval Europe. The Reformation, 
the French Revolution, and the Great War of the twentieth 
century are crises in the history of the world. Apocalyptic at 
such times is apt to revive in questionable shape, but all the same, 
each such crisis is a Coming of the Lord. And the whole history 
of the Church, the gradual completion of the Incarnation, the 
progress of the ever-growing, more inclusive, more Catholic 
Church, till at last there comes to be the perfect Christ, Christ's 
ever-perfect self and Christ's now perfected Body, is but the 
fulfilment of those sayings which shall not pass away.^ 

Now, is it not significant that the author of Acts was also the 
author of a Gospel ? He was the iriend of S. Paul, the man who 
gradually outgrew his early eschatology, who first wrote the 
primitively eschatological second chapter of 2 Thessalonians and 
afterwards did so much to spiritualize the eschatological hope, 
who in his doctrine of the Eucharist combines the Jewish eschato- 
logical ideas of the covenant sealed in blood and the proclamation 
of the Lord's death " till he come," with those other more sacrificial 
ideas which appealed rather to the Hellenic frequenters of the 
Mysteries.^ He was himself the author of Acts, the book which 
tells how the expectation of a Jewish Messiah was carried over 
into the formation of a stable, Greek-speaking Church. And 
he was also the author of a Gospel. Does it not shew there was 
at least no incompatibility between Nazareth and the life of the 
Christian Church in the Roman world ? Does it not shew that 
whether he himself conceived of Christianity in the earlier Pauline 
way as mainly a preparation for a coming Day, or, as is much 
more probable, in view of his Greek nationality and his equable 

1 Cp. Lk. xxi. 20 with Mk. xiii. 14, Mt. xxiv. 15. 

» See Westcott on Jn. xlv. 3 and constantly (e.g. The Historic Faith, pp. 90 &.), and 
cp. Streeter in Concerning Prayer, pp. 12-19. 

» See (a) i Cor. xi. 25, 26 ; of. Mk. xiv. 24, 25 ; (6) i Cor. xi. 23-29, x. 16-22. Cf. 
Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, ii. 164. 


temperament, in the later Pauline way as mainly a Spirit and a 
Church, he nevertheless believed that it was most important to 
produce a careful narrative of what Jesus of Nazareth did, and of 
His training of that " little flock " to whom, as he himself records, 
it was " the Father's good pleasure " to " give the kingdom " 
(Lk. xii. 32). 

Here, then, three lines' of argument appear to meet. It was 
said before that the three things which would most impress our 
Evangehst in the thougljt and conversation of his friend were : 
(i) the importance he attached to the fellowship of the brethren, 
i.e. his doctrine of the Church ; (2) his reference of that presence 
of the Spirit, which underlay the fellowship, to earher events, in 
the first instance to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, and 
so inevitably to GaHlee, and, as I think, to Bethlehem ; and 
(3) his expectation of a coming Day. 

And now it seems that the lines meet, (i) It was S. Luke 
who came to know and was converted by S. Paul at the time when 
the great Apostle was hammering out under the stress of dividing 
controversy his doctrine of the one indivisible Church. It was 
S. Luke who went with him on his voyage to Rome, the centre 
of that now united world which was one day to be converted to 
the Church, and was with him in Rome (Col. iv. 14 ; Philemon 24) 
at about the time when he was elaborating, in the Epistle to the 
Ephesians, his doctrine of the Church. (2) It was S. Luke who 
had drunk so deeply of the Pauline spirit that he was eventually 
moved to write a book describing the coming of that Spirit and 
His action in the early Church. (3) It is S. Luke who shews how 
that action both verified and broadened the early Jewish expecta- 
tions of a Messiah Who was to come. 

And S. Luke is the author of a Gospel. The Christian disciple 
who is personally disposed to make so much of his membership of 
the Body, who regards the life of the Body as the continuous 
manifestation of the power and life of the divine Saviour, and the 
real fulfilment of the Apocalyptic Messianic promises, is found 
referring in Acts i. i to his former volume as one " concerning all 
that Jesus began both to do and to teach." 

"Christ the Beginning, and the End is Christ." The eccle- 
siastically minded layman compiles a narrative of the words and 


acts of Jesus. He was himself a Greek, and, among the ancients, 
something of a modern. He stood at what seemed to him perhaps 
the midday of the Christian faith. It was in reality but the 
" first hour " of a morning far longer than he dreamed of, a day 
of which the full noontide is still unutterably distant. But~he 
harks back, for understanding and for inspiration, to that Apoca- 
lyptic dawn which rose so strangely in the mysterious bosom of 
the East. Not otherwise — the parallel is surely not altogether 
fanciful — does the devout Churchman live through the later hours 
of his Lord's " Day " on the strength of the strange and super-' 
natural Bread that is given " very early in the morning." The 
rite itself was in its origin remote, Semitic, incomprehensible ; the 
phraseology of its liturgical embodiment is sometimes difficult 
to modern ears. But it is real religion. It brings the divine 
touch to bear on earthly things. 




The analysis by a modern critic of an ancient book is often 
vitiated by the fact that between the ancient and the modern 
there is a gulf of difference which it is hard for criticism to bridge 
over. But S. Luke is among the most modern of ancient writers, 
and it is possible to analyse his book, and then, with some degree 
of confidence, to ascertain his methods and to determine his 
motives. Here is a summary outline of the book as we have it, 
with a few notes on points of fact. 

i. 1-4. The first four verses are the Preface, written in literary 
Greek. It is partly Preface, partly what we should now call 
Dedication. As Preface, it may be compared with the Prefaces 
commonly found in Greek historical .writings. In so far as it was 
Dedication, t shews that the book was compiled with a specific 
purpose. S. Luke has no particular theory of his own inspira- 
tion ^ ; he only claims to have made a careful and complete use 
of such evidence as was at his disposal. He was not himself an 
eye-witness, but he is in touch with those who were, and he has 
the further advantage of being able to. build on the labours of 
various predecessors. ^ He is not concerned to prove what we call 

1 In fact he almost seems to disclaim divine inspiration. Contrast " it seemed 
good to me " (i. 3) with " it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us " (Acts, xv. 28). 
One reader at least has felt disturbed by this. The scribe of Codex b has_ added, 
in i. 3, " and to the Holy Ghost." 

* The nature of S. Luke's sources in so far as they seem actually ascertainable is 
dealt with in chapters ix. and x. But since those can hardly be described as " many," 
a note on the point is demanded here. There were, no doubt, a number of attempts 
to write down portions of the current oral tradition. According to Blass (PMlol. 
of -Gospels, p. 15), avaTa^aaOm means "restore from memory." Why have they all 
perished, except S. Mark ? Partly, no doubt, because they were fragmentary and so 
were superseded by the Gospels, which included and in value far surpassed them.. 

Some were perhaps heretical, or at least so inadequate as to be practically heretical. 
Perhaps they would have perished anyhow. The " Logia "which " Matthew composed 
in Hebrew" have perished. Q, which is perhaps to be identified with his Logia, 
defies and will probably continue to defy complete reconstruction. S. Mark's Gospel 



the " historicity of Jesus." It was an unquestioned fact that 
Jesus had exercised a Ministry in Galilee, and the whole series of 
events which he proposes to describe is referred to as " the things 
which have been fulfilled amongst us." His object is to assure 
his aristocratic friend ^ that the spiritual movement, into which 
he had been gathered, had actually begun in the manner suggested 
in outline by his instructors. The main points of his friend's 
preparation for baptism had naturally been practical. It had 
been designed to produce conversion and to test his faith. There 
had been little opportunity for historical narrative. He and his 
friends were probably a good deal puzzled by the varied nature 
of the traditions which had reached them. But now the time had 
come to exhibit in some detail the Galilean basis on which the 
Church was built. 

i. 5-ii. 52. To pass from verse 4 to verse 5 of the first chapter 
is like passing from Gibbon to the Pilgrim's Progress. The Preface 
is in the style of the professional historian ; the remainder of the 
first two chapters is in the style of Genesis. The reason for this 
sudden change will be discussed later, but, speaking broadly, it is 
because he is about to describe a scene of old-fashioned rural piety. 

The contents of the section are nearly all peculiar to S. Luke.^ 
The announcement to Zacharias and Elizabeth of the birth of 

nearly perished, as we can see from the fact that all our MSS. of it are descended from 
one single (mutilated) copy. The Gospel according to the Hebrews is known to us only 
from scattered references in S. Jerome, Origen, and Eusebius, and is generally thought 
to be of early date (perhaps before a.d. ioo, and possibly as early as a.d. 65). Even if 
the earlier date be correct, it was probably not used by S. Luke. It was something like 
S. Matthew's Gospel, and the reason why the remainder of it has not survived is very 
likely the fact that its contents were largely the same as, those of S. Matthew. The 
extant fragments contain some genuine traditions and some legendary matter. 

1 There seems little doubt that Theophilus was a real person, not a " gentle reader " 
like Bishop Christopher Wordsworth's Theophilus Anglicanus. It has been suggested that 
S. Luke was his freedman, and Sir W. M. Ramsay maintains that the use of the word 
KpoTWTf proves that he was a Roman. of&cial of equestrian rank. In that case his 
baptismal name may have been used by S. Luke in order to avoid committing an official 
person to a connexion with the despised sect (St, Paul the Traveller, p. 388 n.). The 
addressee of the second-century Epistle to Diognetus, who is saluted, perhaps in imita- 
tion of S. Luke, as " most excellent Diognetus," is commonly thought to be a fictitious 

* The Nativity Story in S. Matthew forms a most instructive contrast to that of 
S. Luke. The two are entirely different, and each is entirely characteristic of the 
writer. " In St. Matthew the Birth of Christ is connected with national glories : in 
St. Luke with pious hopes. ... In St. Matthew we read of the Incarnation as it was 
revealed in a dream to Joseph, in whom may be seen an emblem of the ancient people ; 
but in St. Luke the mystery is announced by the Mighty one of God to the Blessed 
Virgin, the type of the Christian Church, In St. Matthew the Nativity is ushered in 


the forerunner is followed " in the sixth month " by the Annuncia- 
tion to Mary. The Visitation, the Magnificat/ the birth and 
naming of John, and the Benedictus complete the first chapter. 
The Nativity, the story of the angels and the shepherds, the 
Circumcision and Presentation of the Holy Child, the episode of 
Simeon and Anna, the return to Nazareth and the story of the 
Child Jesus in the Temple are the materials of the second. 

iii. 1-ix. 50.2 -pj^^jg section deals with the appearance and 
career of S. John Baptist, with Our Lord's Baptism (here charac- 
teristically connected with the baptism of " all the people," and 

by prophecy : in St. Luke it is heralded by those songs of triumphant faith which 
have been rehearsed in our public services for thirteen centuries. ... In St. Matthew 
the Magi — the wise inquirers into the mysteries of the world— led by a strange portent 
in the sky, offer adoration and symbolic tribute to the new-born King of the Jews. 
In St. Luke the shepherds — ^the humble watchers of nature — ^the despised successors of 
the patriarchs — cheered by the voice of Angels, recognize and proclaim the praises 
of the Saviour of the meek in heart " (Westcott, Introd. to Study of Gospels, p. 317 f,). 
The only serious inconsistencies are that S. Matthew (ii. 23) appears to think that 
Joseph and Mary had not lived at Nazareth before, and that S. Luke says nothing of 
a flight to Egypt. 

^ In i. 46 three " European " Latin versions read " Elizabeth " for Mary. This 
was also the reading of Irenaeus and of Niceta of Remesiana, the probable author of 
the Te Deum. It seems likely that both " Mary " and " Elizabeth " are glosses to 
explain an original ambiguous Koi etnev. The analogy of the LXX. suggests that 
fcai fmev may equally well introduce a continued utterance of the same speaker, or a 
reply by the other. Cp. (a) Lk. xxiv. 46 and (6) Lk. ii. 49. Prof. Burkitt argues that 
aiiTJj in w. 56 must mean the speaker of the hymn ; Bishop John Wordsworth that 
V. 48, " all generations shall call me blessed," is the natural answer to the ascription 
of blessedness to Mary in v. 45. On the whole the relative importance which S. Luke 
would be likely to assign to the two women seems best illustrated by regarding vv. 42-45 
as the minor hymn of Elizabeth and the Magnificat as the major hymn of Mary, See 
the discussion (by Burkitt and Wordsworth) in Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, pp. cliii.- 
clviii. ; also Burkitt in Journ. Theol. Stud., Jan. 1906, 220 f. ; C. W. Emmet, The 
Eschatological Question, etc., p. 175 f., where the point is made (p. 183) that " the only 
words in Hannah's song which are really appropriate to Elizabeth [i.e. i Sam. ii. 5b] 
are entirely unrepresented in the Magnificat " ; Burn in Diet, of Christ and the Gospels, 
s.v. Magnificat ; Loisy, Les ^vangiles synpptiques, i. 302-306. 

" iii. I is a remarlcable attempt to bring the Gospel history into relation with the 
history of the great Roman world. In .the same spirit S. Luke calls Herod by his 
proper title of Tetrarch, not " king " (as Mk. vi. 14) ; he inserts in his parable of the 
Pounds (xix. 12, 14) an allusion to a journey made by Archelaus to Rome ; he .records 
(xiv. 31, 32) an illustration drawn from war and international diplomacy ; he relates 
(xxiii. 2) the civil charge laid before Pilate ; and in his account of Our Lord's trial he 
exonerates Pilate from blame much more than S. Mark does. With this may be com- 
pared his favourable picture of the Roman officials in Acts. Finally, as a travelled 
Greek, he does not call the Lake of Galilee a " sea." 

The perplexing question of the " fifteenth year of Tiberius " is discussed by C. H. 
Turner, Hastings' Diet, of the Bible, art. " Chronology of the New Testament," and 
Ramsay, Was Christ born at Bethlehem ?. If the reign of Tiberius is reckoned from the 
death of Augustus (a.d. 14), it must be a.d. 28 or 29, both of which are unlikely. If 
the reign of Tiberius be reckoned from his earliest investment with certain specific 
-powers, the fifteenth year may be as early as a.d. 25. For the supposed proof that 
S. Luke, in his reference to LysaniaS, is following Josephus, see p. 229. 



with mention of prayer), Genealogy ,i and Temptation, and with the 
Ministry in Galilee. S. Luke, with his love for delineation and 
differentiation of character, is the only Evangelist who mentions 
the various classes of people who came (iii. lo ff.) to receive 
baptism at the hands of John, and the counsel that he gave them.^ 
Other incidents that are known to us only from this Gospel are 
the first sermon at Nazareth, with its dramatic end (iv. 16-30), 
the full story of the Call of Peter (v. i-n), the raising of the 
widow's son at Nain (vii. 11-17), the anointing by the woman 
who was a sinner, with the parable of the two debtors (vii. 36-50), 
and the ministering women (viii. 1-3). The most important 

1 Why does S. Luke insert his genealogy after the Baptism ? Dr. Mofifatt (with 
particular reference to " the concluding editorial touch Son of God," and iii. 22) suggests 
that " he reserved this part of his source till he could prepare for it by the baptism at 
which Jesus, according to the primitive view, became Son of God {Introd. to Lit. of New 
Testament, p. 272). For the relation of the Baptism to the Sonship see below, p. 172. 
Even if the primitive view was as Dr. Mofiatt suggests, the obvious reference to 
iii. 22 is quite enough to account for the place of the genealogy. It is a further 
explanation of " My beloved Son." 

It has sometimes been contended that S. Luke's genealogy is that of Mary. Eusebius 
(Hist. Eccl., i. 7), and other early writers assume that Mary was of the same tribe 
as Joseph, and that his descent and hers are therefore the same. But this is unproven 
and improbable. The genealogy of Luke may well have been compiled by some one 
who knew nothing of the Virgin Birth, and in any case Joseph was Our Lord's putative 
and legal " father." Both genealogies are certainly intended to be his. The differences 
are obvious. Matthew, who arranges the names in such a way as to make them easy to 
remember, traces the descent from Abraham, the father of the Jews, through Solomon, 
David, Jeconiah (= Jehoiachin), and Zerubbabel ; Luke traces the ascent through Zerub- 
babel, Nathan, David, Abraham to Adam, the father of mankind. Matthew's genealogy 
is certainly defective and is generally considered to be artificial ; the writer probably 
did not mean " begat " necessarily to imply physical parentage but only succession 
to the royal throne, and we may compare with this the practice of considering the issue 
of a " levirate " marriage (Deut. xxv. 5-10, Mt. xxii. 24 ; though in Ruth iv. 21 Obed 
is called the son of Boaz) to be the son of the deceased first husband. The absence of 
Jeconiah from Luke's list is perhaps to be explained by Jer. xxii. 30, but if so, the omi^ion 
is not due to S. Luke ; in a matter of this kind he would certainly follow some recognized 
list. What that was cannot now be determined. Mr. E. B. Nicholson suggests {see 
A. Wright, S. Luke, p. 24) that he " gives a list of names (imperfect) from the Bethlehem 
land-register of owners of Jesse's property." It seems probable that he reversed the 
order and added the names from Abraham to Adam (see Plummer, Commentary, p. 104, 
and Bacon in Hastings' Diet, of the Bible, ii. 140a). There is no difficulty about the 
comparative poverty of a family claiming Davidic descent. Cp. the well-known story of 
Domitian and the two grandsons of Jude, the Lord's brother (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., iii. 
20 and 32). 

2 The fact that in Mt. iii. 7 " offspring of vipers, who hath warned you," etc., is 
spoken to the Pharisees and Sadducees, in Lk. iii. 7 to the multitudes, is sometimes 
attributed to Matthew's tendency to severity towards the Jewish rulers, sometimes to 
the Lukan disposition to spare them ; and sometimes to S. Luke's Greek detestation 
of "ithe rabble — ^the lower orders — the illiterate, noisy mischief-makers " (A. Wright, 
Synopsis, 2nd ed., p. 188). Cp. Lk. xi. 29 (Mt. xii. 38), Lk. xi. 15 (Mt. ix. 34, xii. 24), 
Lk. xii. 54 (Mt. xvi. i). The last view is plausible but not easy to reconcile with other 
Lukan characteristics which will appear later. 


paragraphs during this record of the Galilean Ministry (not, of 
course, peculiar to S. Luke) are the Choosing of the Twelve 
(vi. 12-16), the Sermon " on a level place," which corresponds 
roughly to S. Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. (vi. 17-49), the 
message from the Baptist, and its sequel (vii. 18-35), S. Peter's 
Confession (ix. 18 f.), and the Transfiguration (ix. 28-36). In the 
main the Evangehst agrees with the Markan order, though he 
adds to it information which he has gathered from a source of 
his own and from another which he shares with S. Matthew. In 
one place he omits about a chapter and a half of S. Mark, an 
omission which must be considered later. 

ix. 51-xix. 28. Much of the contents of this long section is 

pecuUar to S. Luke.^ In fact, the greater part of the section, 

ix. 51-xviii. 14, is commonly called the Great Interpolation. It 

used to be called the' Persean Ministry, because it was supposed 

to describe Our Lord's journey through Persea. Persea was that 

part of the territory of Herod Antipas which lay beyond or on 

the east side of Jordan, the land anciently called Gilead. This 

was the usual route of pilgrims from Galilee to Jerusalem, chosen 

in .order to avoid passing through Samaria. But Professor 

Burkitt has shewn {The Gospel History and, its Transmission, 

p. 96 n.) grounds for beheving that Our Lord Himself, with James 

and John and perhaps others, went by way of Samaria, i.e. 

without crossing and recrossing the Jordan, and that Peter and 

others went by the ordinary Peraean route. If this was so, it 

explains {a) why the first incident of the section is the incident of 

James and John and the Samaritan village (cp. x. 33, xvii. 11, 16) 

and (b) why Peter is not mentioned in this section at all. There 

are, no doubt, a good many paragraphs which really belong 

to an earlier period of the Ministry, and are only recorded here 

because S. Luke had no note of their place and date, and inserted 

them in what seemed to him a convenient setting.^ 

' Only 35 verses out of 330 " contain any parallels to Mark either in substance or 
in phraseology" (Hawkins in Oxford Studies, p. 31). About half the section can be 
paralleled or illustrated from Mt., though the sequence, and the setting of the various 
sajdngs, are constantly different. It is only in relation to the Markan narrative that 
the section can properly be called the Great Interpolation. 

* E.g. X. 38-42, xi. 14 ff., xi. 37 ff., xiii. 31 f., xiv. i fi., and no doubt others. Notes 
of time in this section are very vague. See ix. 51, 57, x. i, 38, xi. i, 5, 29, 37, xii. i, 22, 
54, xiii. I, 10, 22, 3i,"^iv. i, 25, etc. Burkitt suggests that " the greater part " of this 
section is misplaced (Gospel History, p. 208). But see Hawkins, Oxford Studies, p. 58. 


In any case, the section describes the last journey to Jerusalem. ^ 
It begins with the solemn opening, " and it came to pass that 
when the days were being accomplished that he should be received 
up that he set his face to go towards Jerusalem" (ix. 51). It 
contains a great many of the mos.t " Lukan " things, e.g. the 
rebuke to the fierceness of James and John (ix. 50-56), the Mission 
of the Seventy (x. i ff.),^ their return (x. 17) and the strange 
passage about Satan fallen as lightning frorn heaven, the Good 
Samaritan (x. 25-37), Martha and Mary (x. 38-42), the Lord's 
Prayer in its Lukan version and its Lukan setting (xi. 1-4), the 
request to divide an inheritance and the parable of the Rich Fool 
(xii. 13-21), the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and 
the Lost Son (xv.), the Unrighteous Steward (xvi. 1-13), Dives 
and Lazarus (xvi. 19-31), the Ten Lepers (xvii. 11-19), the Poor 

* Anyhow, it is intended to do so. Moffatt (Introd. p. 273) says bluntly: "ix. 
51-xviii. 34 is not a travel-narrative ; although it contains some incidents of travel 
(ix. 51-56, 57-62 ; x. 38 flf. ; xiii. 22 f. ; xiv. 25 f. ; xvii. 11 f.), these do not dominate 
the general situation." The actual contents of the section appear to be an original 
travel source, on which there have been grafted, either by S. Luke or by some prede- 
cessor, a number of parables and sayings. 

' There is a tradition that S. Luke was himself one of the Seventy ; to this was 
subsequently added the further idea that S. Luke and S. Mark turned away at S. John 
vi. 66 and were brought back by S. Peter (Westcott, Introd. p. 234). The first part 
of this opinion appears to underlie the selection of the Go.spel for S. Luke's Day in 
the Western Church (in the East, Lk. x. 16-21 is read). But if, as seems certain, S. Luke 
was a Gentile (see Col. iv. 10-14, ^'^^ compare the mention of " barbarians " in Acts 
xxviii. 2, 4) he cannot possibly have been a disciple at this stage. Moreover, in his 
Preface he expressly distinguishes the first generation of " eye-witnesses " from that 
second generation to which he himself belonged. The same arguments are decisive 
against the truth of another tradition, that he was the unnamed disciple with Cleophas 
on the road to Emmaus (xxiv. 13). But it is likely enough that he was a proselyte, 
or one of the God-fearers who are so frequently mentioned in Acts. It is, moreover, 
very probable that he drew some of his material from one of the Seventy. Cp. viriyperai 
(i. 2), a word not used of the Apostles. Eusebius, following Clement of Alexandria and 
other early writers, says that Barnabas, Barsabas who was sumamed Justus, and 
Matthias were among the Seventy. The qualifications credited to the two latter in 
Acts i. 22, 23 are such as to make this probable enough. It may be that PhiUp the 
Evangelist (see pp. 145 and 148) was one of them. 

It is sometimes suggested that S. Luke describes the Mission of the Seventy as well 
as, and more fully than, of the Twelve, because seventy was the supposed number of 
the heathen nations. (See Gen. x. and cp. Clement. Horn, xviii. 4.) But the contents of 
the charge are thoroughly Jewish (see p. 91), and an alternative explanation of the choice 
of the number, if an explanation be required, is at hand in Num. xi. 16, or perhaps 
Gen. xlvi. 27. The Mission is sometimes condemned as unhistorical, but there is nothing 
inherently improbable in the belief that some number larger than twelve was sent 
out on such an errand as is described. It is the fact, however, that the contents of 
the two charges in Lk. ix. and x. are, roughly, the same as that of Mt. x. Hawkins 
suggests that ix. 57-62 may refer " to a sifting of the disciples preparatory to the 
appointment of so many of them to ' preach the kingdom of God ' " {Oxford Studies, 


Widow and the Unjust Judge (xviii. 1-8), the Pharisee and the 
Pubhcan (xviii. 9-14), and Zacchseus (xix. i-io). 

xix. 29-xxi. 38. This section contains the events of Sunday 
to Wednesday in Jerusalem. The story is closely parallel to that 
of S. Mark. The most notable Lukan addition is the moving 
incident of Our Lord weeping at the sight of the city (xix. 41-44).^ 

xxii.-xxiv. The Passion and. Resurrection. Here the outline 
is identical with that of S. Mark, but it is used freely, and there 
^re many differences.^ The Last Supper ^ (xxii. 7-20) and the 

^ In xxi. 20, where Matthew and Mark have the phrase from Dan. ix. 27, "the 
abomination of desolation," Luke has " when ye see Jerusalem surrounded by armies." 
This was actually accomplished in a.d. 70, and the Lukan phraseology is often thought to 
have been coloured by the nature of the event. See p. 106 and the discussion of the 
date of the Gospel on p. 229 f. 

One interesting, though not very important, group of MSS. (the " Ferrar " group) 
insert the passage about the woman taken in adultery (which appears in the ordinary 
text of Jn. vii. 53-viii. 11, though it quite certainly does not belong to that Gospel), 
after Lk. xxi, 38. There are in the passage certain Lukanisms of style, but the reason 
for its assignment to this place is probably the resemblance of the first three verses 
[S. John] vii. 53-viii. 2, to Lk. xxi. 37, 38. Eusebius {Hist. Eccl. iii. 39) remarks, on the 
authority of Papias, that the " Gospel according to the Hebrews " contained a story 
of " a woman accused of many sins before the Lord." It is most likely a genuine piece 
of tradition, excluded from the canonical Gospels because its treatment of sin was 
liable to be misunderstood. 

' Sir John Hawkins finds on examining Lk. xxii. 14-xxiv. 10 that " Matthew 
adheres to Mark's language very nearly twice as closely as Luke does " [Oxford Studies, 
p. 78). > 

' The phrase in Lk, xxii. 27 — " For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, 
or he that serveth ? Is not he that sitteth at meat ? But I am among you as he that 
serveth " — is the sole equivalent in Luke, and indeed in the Synoptic Gospels, to the 
feet-washing of Jn. xiii. 

There is an important variation in the text of this passage. The authority of the 
" Western " text is against verses 19b and 20. Dr. Stanton concludes [Gospels, etc., 
ii. 164) that " the truth probably is, not that the Western form must be the original 
one, but that the differences between it and the text of the best Greek MSS. go back 
to a very early time and that we have not sufficient evidence to enajjle us to decide 
between them." The important facts are that Mark, Matthew, and the shorter Lukan 
text omit the command to " do this." The shorter Lukan text is thus independent of 
I Cor. xi. in this respect, though it agrees with i Cor. x. 16 in mentioning the Cup before 
the Bread (cp. Didache, 9). These facts, and the further circumstance that the word 
" new " occurs only in i Cor. xi and the longer Lukan form, have suggested to some 
critics that Our Lord did not at this time institute a rite which was intended to be 
repeated. Against this there is (i) the evidence of Deissmann [Light from the Ancient 
East, p. 341) that biaBifKtf in Hellenistic Greek can only mean " testament." Now a 
testament is clearly something that is to be used after death. And if it be urged that 
it is impossible altogether to evacuate from the LXX. meaning of the word the sense 
of a bilateral " covenant," it appears that the Old Testament passages here referred to 
(Exod. xxiv. 6-8 and perhaps Jer. xxxi. [LXX. xxxviii.] 31, diadr/Kriv Katvfjv) are 
certainly inaugural of a new state of things. (2) There is much to be said for the view 
that the feeding of the five thousand was the first inauguration of something which 
typified and anticipated the Messianic feast. See Is. xxv. 6 ; Prov. ix. 5 ; Ecclus. xxiv. 
19 f ; and Jn. vi., and note on p. 77. The newness of the Supper would in that case 
lie in the connexion then made with the Lord's Death, which Death was subsequently 


Agony 1 in the Garden and the Arrest (xxii. 39-53) are related more 
fully, and among new features are the Trial before Herod (xxiii. 
6-12) and the story, told with Lukan irony, of its surprising 
result (12), the episode of the daughters of Jerusalem (xxiii. 27-3 1), 
the two Robbers (xxiii. 39-43), three of the seven words^from 
the Cross, and several of the incidents of the Resurrection.^ The 

interpreted by the Resurrection. And not only subsequently. It seems certain that 
Our Lord at the Supper thought of His approaching Death as a releasing of redemptive 
forces, and that He anticipated a coming state of glory which was also somehow con- 
nected with the present meal— y" until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom 
of God " (Mk. xiv. 25 ; cf. Mt. xxvi. 29 ; Lk. xxii. 18). Some may find it difficult to 
trust the verbal accuracy of the Gospel sayings like " and on the third day shall rise 
again," because it was so easy for the Evangelists thus to complete from their own 
knowledge the three predictions of the Passion, but it is much more difficult to deny that 
Our Lord knew that His Death would be in some way effective. We cannot say for 
certain that He foresaw the Day of Pentecost, the Catholic Church, or even His own 
Resurrection, exactly as they subsequently came to pass, because in all these matters He 
was content to be in the Father's hands. But we can say for certain that the solemn 
ritual of the upper room on that tragic night was for Him possessed and transfigured by 
an anticipation of coming Triumph. (3) It is very difficult to imagine that the disciples 
did not Imow what the Master had wished. We know that as a matter of fact they did 
subsequently continue to break bread together and, further, that a presence of the 
Risen Master was in some way made known to them on the occasions of their doing so. 
Yet they connect this practice and this experience with the Last Supper. On the 
hypothesis that the real origin of the Eucharist, as a Church rite, is to be sought rather 
in Apostolic experience than in the events of the Upper Room we are led to the improb- 
able conclusion that the Church consistently and confidently antedated the moment at 
which the Lord had revealed to them His will in the matter, and yet abstained from 
adding to the Synoptic narrative the single word " iroteire," which would have 
completely justified their practice. Finally {4) there is S. Paul, who is earlier than any 
of the Gospels. His " I received from the Lord " in i Cor. xi. 23 must indicate, at least 
in part, the same process as that of the Resurrection tradition in 1 Cor. xv. 3, " I 
received." " The preposition may quite properly be taken to describe the ultimate, 
and not the immediate, source of the information " (Anderson Scott in Cambridge 
Biblical Essays, p. 337). " He means, of course, through those who had delivered to 
him the Lord's commandments " (Stanton, Gospels, ii. 165 n.). The significance of the 
Eucharist wcis no doubt made known to him by the Lord Himself, perhaps in the course 
of such experiences as those referred to in 2 Cor. xii. 1-4, 9, perhaps as a result of repeated 
acts of participation in the breaking and receiving of the Bread. But the facts of the 
Upper Room, as here summarized, can only have reached him from one or more of those 
who had been present. S. Paul was watched by critics and even antagonists, who were 
perpetually on the look-out for indication on his part of some damning divergence 
from Apostolic practice ; he was himself actually accustomed to think more of the 
heavenly than of the Galilean Christ. It is wholly incredible that he could have 
invented and foisted upon the Church the practice of a rite which nevertheless came 
to be universally and unquestioningly accepted as the iulfilment of a Dominical 

1 xxii. 43, 44 are perhaps not part of the genuine text of S. Luke. 

* It must be observed that S. Luke's narrative does not by itself constitute the 
ground on which Christians believe in the Resurrection. Nor was it ever intended to 
do so. Also it is to be noted that neither S. Luke nor any other of the Evangelists 
describes the Resurrection itself. Contrast the fanciful story of the second-century Gospel 
of Peter : " And in the night when the Lord's day was "drawing on, as the soldiers were 
on guard . . . there was a great voice in heaven, and they saw the heavens opened 
and two men descend thence with great radiance, and they stood over the tomb. But 


most considerable of these incidents is the walk to Emmaus, but 
there may also be noted the fact of an appearance to Simon 
(xxiv. 34 ; cp. I Cor, xv, 5)/ the " Handle me and see," 2 the 
eating of a piece of broiled fish (43) ^ ; the exposition of Moses, 
the prophets, and the Psalms ; the " promise of the Father," 
and the injunction to the disciples to wait in the city till they 
should be endued with power from on high (44-49). The scene 
of the Resurrection appearances mentioned by S. Luke is the 

that stone which had been cast at the door rolled away of itself and withdrew to one 
side, and the tomb was opened, and both the young men entered . . . again they 
behold three men coming out of the tomb, and two of them were supporting the third, 
and a cross was following them : and the heads of the two men reached to the heavens, 
but the head of Him Who was being led along by them was higher than the heavens 
[cf. Wisdom, xviii. i6]. And they heard a voice from heaven which said. Hast thou 
preached to them which are asleep ? And a response was heard from the cross. Yea " (tr. by 
Rendel Harris). The Gospel of Peter even knows the name of the centurion, Petronius, 
a name clearly derived from the " stone " of the sepulchre, just as the legendary name 
of the soldier at the Cross is Longinus Q^oyxn, Jn. xix. 34). A Christian interpolation 
in the Ascension of Isaiah goes further and speaks of " the descent of the angel of the 
Church which is in heaven " and invents a prediction that " the angel of the Holy 
Spirit and Michael the Chief of the holy angels on the third day will open the tomb, 
and His Beloved come forth seated on their shoulders ' ' (iii. 15 f.) • A Coptic book of the 
latter half of the second century introduces Martha and Mary, with other legendary 
details, including a quotation by Our Lord of Wisdom xviii. 17. 

^ Origen conjectures that Peter was one of the two disciples going to Emmaus. 
In that case we should have to conclude that Lk. xxiv. 34 should read (as Codex Bezae 
does) " they found the eleven . . . and said," Xeyovres for Xiyavras. 

* Ignatius {Ad Smyrn. 3) quotes the substance of xxiv. 38; 39 in a sUghtly difierent 
form : " Take, handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal demon [Sai/ioVtoj' 
aa-ajxaTov] ; and straightway they touched him, and beUeved, being joined with [lit. 
mixed with] his flesh and his spirit." The actual source of the particular expression 
"incorporeal demon" is said by Jerome [De. Vir. ill. 2 and elsewhere) to be the Gospel 
according to the Hebrews, though Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. iii. 39) does not know the source 
of the incident, and Origen {De Princ, prcef. 8) assigns it to a document called Doctrina 
Petri. The point is that, whether Ignatius took it from tradition or from a written 
source, the language of the canonical Gospels has begun already to be elaborated. 
See Lightfoot, ad loc. The wording of Ignatius has possibly been affected by Eucharistic 

' Contrast Tobit xii. 19. If the incident be really historical, its purpose must have 
been to reassure. It seems impossible that the Risen Lord can have needed either food 
or sleep or habitation. All that can be said is that He may have taken food in order to 
convince the disciples that His present mode of existence was continuous with what 
they had known before. S. Luke's object is no doubt to assert the reality of the Resur- 
rection. Canon V. F. Storr {Christianity and Immortality, p. 88, following an article 
by Rev. R. Vaughan in the Church Quarterly Review, Jan. 1916) has some very interest- 
ing suggestions. " We must assume that when He took the food into His hands He 
changed its substance so that it could be assimilated by His spiritual body. If we keep 
steadily in mind the spiritual origin of matter, and remember that matter owes at each 
moment its continuance to spirit, it ceases to be incredible that at Christ's touch the 
food should become spiritualized. If food can become spirit, if there is one unbroken 
process of transformation from the initial stage of digestion to the activities of mind 
and will, it is not impossible to believe that one possessed of Christ's control of- matter 
could convert the food at once into the spirit which it had in it the capacity ultimately 
to become.^' 


city of Jerusalem. He " foreshortens the history " (Swete), and 
has no space for the Gahlean events of S. Matthew (the lost end 
of S. Mark), and Jn. xxi. The traditional period of forty days 
(Acts i. 3) leaves time for both,-*- but one of the results of the 
Lukan selection of events is that for S. Matthew's," that they go 
unto Galilee, and there shall they see me " (x3?viii. 10 ; cp. 16, 17), 
which was no doubt also in the lost ending of S, Mark (see xvi. 7), 
he has " Remember how he spake unto you while he was yet in 
Galilee " (xxiv. 6). The times indicated in the Gospel are appa- 
rently the beginning and the end of the whole period. Thus, it 
is clear that everything down to xxiv. 43 happened on the first 
Sunday, and for the remaining incidents Dr. Swete supposes that 
Luke xxiv. 44-46 or 47 belongs to the Sunday before the 
Ascension and the rest to the day of the Ascension.^ Finally, 
S. Luke alone of the Evangelists records the Ascens'ion. 

As a matter of fact, it has been maintained that S. Luke does 
not record the Ascension. " The Ascension," says Dr. Hort 
{The New Testament in the Original Greek, vol. ii. App., p. 73), 
" apparently did not lie within the proper scope of the Gospels, as 
seen in their genuine texts ; its true place was at the head of the 
Acts of the Apostles, as the preparation for the Day of Pentecost, 
and thus the beginning of the history of the Church." The 
reference to " genuine texts " takes for granted that the marginal 
reading of the Revised Version of Lk. xxiv. 51, which omits " and 
was carried up into heaven," is correct. But even so, it is probable 
that the solemn " parted from them " and the return of the 
disciples " with great joy " indicate something which they per- 
ceived to be a final separation. . In all probability S. Luke intended 
at the end of his Gospel to mention briefly the fact of the Ascension, 
reserving the detailed story for the opening of his second book. 
At any rate, as Dr. Plummer points out, he claims in Acts i. i, 2 
to have recorded in his previous volume the things that Jesus 
began to do and to teach " until the day when he was taken 
up." And it may well be that at the earlier date he did not 
know the whole story. His notes of time in verses 44, 46 are 
vagueness itself. It is not necessary to suppose with some critics 

1 The actual distance from Jerusalem to Capernaum was about eighty miles as 
the crow flies. ^ Appearances of Our Lord after the Passion, p. 93. 


that he means to suggest that the Resurrection and the Ascension 
took place on. the same day,^ but it is true that the account in 
the Gospel is silent about the forty days of Acts i. 3, during which 
He spoke to the disciples of the things pertaining to the kingdom 
of God. 

* Ep. Bam., xv. 9 is often referred to in this connexion : " We keep the eighth day 
for rejoicing, on which Jesus both rose from the dead and having been manifested 
ascended into heaven." This need only mean that the author supposes that the 
Ascension occurred on a Sunday. See Swete, The Apostles' Creed, pp. 64-70. With 
regard to the " forty days " of Acts, if we could accept the theory of Dr. Chase, that 
Acts was written first, the Gospel account would be a summary mention of an incident 
already described at length. 



We have seen something of the previous history, the environment, 
and the habit of mind of the EvangeHst. And we have noted 
summarily the contents of his book. We may now begin to 
examine it more closely. How far may we believe the story that 
it contains ? 

I have no intention of attempting to prove in detail ab initio 
the historicity of the received story of Our Lord's earthly life. 
Reference has already been made to the Mythological school and 
to the nine " foundation pillars." ^ No one need hesitate to 
reject the vagaries of the former and to build with generous 
though always scientific freedom on the latter. ^ 

But the principal argument for the general historical truth of 
the Gospels is the existence of Christianity. Thus one real reason 
for believing that Our Lord rose from the dead is the fact of the 
Church. S. Luke's Resurrection narrative does not prove it. It 
was never meant to do so. In fact, apart from his mention of the 

' See above, p. 33. 

' It is true that the Fourth Evangelist, wishing to kill the absurd theory ol certain. 
Docetists that it was Simon of Cyrene who really died on the Cross instead of the Saviour 
(for whom suffering and death were unthinkable), does so by eliminating Simon from his 
narrative and saying (xix. 17) that " Jesus went forth carrying the cross /or himself." 
It is true that he meets the claims of those who in his day assigned an overgreat 
importance to the Baptist, by emphasizing more than the Synoptists and more than is 
at all probable historically the Baptist's recognition of Our Lord's Person and Office. 
These things are warnings against supposing that the Evangelists treated history in 
the modern way. I do not suggest that S. Luke claims anything like the same right 
to restate and interpret facts, but, to take one example, the divergence in his three 
accounts of S. Paul's conversion (Acts ix., xxii., xxvi.) shews that he assumes a certain 
liberty in presenting his story. What we have in his Gospel is a substantially true 
history, to which is added the inestimable boon of the impression made by the life of 
Jesus on his mind. When it is remembered that we have at hand S. Mark's Gospel, 
with its more photographic method and its clearer delineation of the stages in the Ministry, 
and that this does enable us to some extent to go behind S. Luke, I am disposed to 
think that, whatever be the exact degree of interpretation in S. Luke's Gospel, it is a 
gain much more than a loss. 



appearance to Peter and the Emmaus incident, his narrative is 
not by itself very convincing. Parts of it (e.g. xxiv. 41-43) may 
even be unhistorical ; and the record may depend on some 
popular tradition that reached the Evangelist and was accepted 
by him because he argued that the Lord must surely have proved 
somehow that He was not a phantom. But these things hardly 
affect the truth of the Lukan portrait. The fact that Christianity 
began, and has continued, to exist, proves incontestably that a 
certain very piercing impression was made in the first century of 
our era on Palestinian Judaism, and subsequently on the world 
at large. 

The results of that impression are known to us. In fact, we 
ourselves are one of them. And the causes — a coherent, reasonable, 
and adequate series of causes — are provided by the events recorded 
in the Gospels. 

The assumption that some such events as those really hap- 
pened gives us — ^what no counter-theory can pretend to give — a 
vera causa for the subsequent history of the world. As Professor 
Burkitt has said, " There is one thing at least which we know 
before we start. We know that the events of the first century 
produced the second and succeeding centuries. There is no need 
for the most timid to be afraid of the results of historical investiga- 
tion. We know the result of the events beforehand ; the investi- 
gations of the critics cannot alter the events of past history." ^ 

Nor need the fact that many of the events are miraculous 
detain us long. And that for two reasons. First, because we are 
no longer in the eighteenth century. At that time on the one 
hand it was supposed by many that a story containing miracles, if 
not actually an indication of mala fides on the part of the writer, 
could anyhow be dismissed at once. On the other hand Chris- 
tianity was sometimes defended on the ground that the evidence 
in favour of its miracles was well up to the legal standard and 
was accordingly sufficient to establish the truth of the religion. 
Secondly, because we are no longer in the nineteenth century, 
when, in the first enthusiasm of certain newly reahzed and over- 
widely doihinating conceptions, it was supposed that the universe 
was made for law and not law for the universe. 

^ The Gospel History, etc., p. 32. 


From this accident of birth there proceed two results. We no 
longer, with Paley, attempt to prove Christianity on the evidence 
of its miracles ; we have, in fact, reversed the process. And, in 
the second place, the discussions which took place forty or fifty 
years ago on the a priori possibility of miracle have been replaced 
by consideration of the " creative " nature of evolution or, in 
more definitely theological language, of the freedom of God, It 
has become much easier to believe in miracles, but on the other 
hand Christians attach less importance to them, and are prepared 
to believe that some other name may presently be found for 
them. But those who believe the Catholic Faith and also appre- 
ciate the -historical importance of the early phenomena of; Chris- 
tianity as it comes before us, say at Corinth in the middle of the 
first century, have no difficulty in coming to two conclusions : 

(i) The despair into which the disciples of Jesus had been 
plunged by the Crucifixion was quickly changed to a condition of 
happy faith which \§ only to be explained by believing that their 
Master had really risen from the dead. Compare, for example, 
Lk. xxii. 54-63 with Acts ii, 36-39, iv, 10-13, v, 29, xv, 28, etc, 

(2) The spiritual exaltation of the early Christians and the 
discernment which they unquestionably possessed of the veritable, 
eternal truth of God were accompanied by a remarkable control 
over human bodies and perhaps other material things. 

Everything else is comparatively unimportant. If it be 
allowed that Our Lord was God Incarnate, that He rose from the 
dead, and that His Spirit gave to the members of His Church a 
power of affecting their material environment which is akin to 
that attributed in the Gospels to Himself, we may confidently 
leave the historicity of the specific miracles of the Gospels to be 
determined by the advancing knowledge of the future, Dr, 
Sanday quotes a remark of Schweitzer to the effect that he is 
disposed simply to leave the miraculous incidents in the Gospels 
" with a note of interrogation," Dr. Sanday himself would place 
the note of interrogation " in brackets and in the margin." ^ 
The interrogation, whether bracketed or unbracketed, whether in 
text or margin, is a necessary tribute to the difference between 
the ways in which an event would naturally be recorded by a 

1 The Life of Christ in Recent Research, p. 103. 


typical observer of the first century and another of the twentieth. 
There is a difference, and the question to be decided is — ^how great 
exactly is it ? If, for example, a " rationalizing " explanation of 
the feeding of the five thousand ^ is really more probable than 
the explanation generally received among orthodox Christians, by 
all means let us accept it. Let us be fully conscious of the simple 
faith which led S. Luke to accept without any kind of philo- 
sophic hesitation the traditions that Jesus had raised the widow's 
son and the daughter of Jairus. But if we nevertheless believe 
that Jesus is one to whom such operations are normal and natural,^ 
that " the Lord of all good life " could hardly be manifested 
among men without affecting His environment in some such ways 
as these, let us not stumble at the fact that the narrative is 
miraculous. The ordinary canons of historical probability miist 
be 'applied, as far as we are competent to apply them, to all the 
narratives, " miraculous " and " non-miraculous " alike.^ 

We pass, therefore, from these philosophical matters to the 
historical question — How far may the Gospel of S. Luke be 
considered to be a real portrait ? And here may I give two 
warnings ? The actual accounts contained in all four Gospels of 
Our Lord's words and deeds represent only a fraction of what He 

* Perhaps I ought really to say " religious " rather than " rationalizing." It may 
be that the real purpose of the distribution was what we should call " religious," that 
it was more like Holy Communion than a regular meal, and the portions distributed 
were accordingly very small. One of the traditional features of the expected Kingdom 
of God was the Messianic feast, and it appears from a comparison of Mk. vi. 43 
(= Mt. xiv. 22) with Jn. vi. 15 that such an interpretation of the feeding was made 
by the multitude and some of its consequences were deprecated by Our Lord. In 
any case, it is held by many critics that the Last Supper presupposes some such antici- 
pation of its Messianic significance as is here suggested. For the Messianic feast 
Schweitzer {Quest, p. 377) refers to Is. Iv. i f., Ixv. 13 f., xxv. 6-8 ; Enoch xxiv., xxv., 
Ixii. 14 ; Mt. viii. 11, 12, xxii. 1-14, xxv. 1-13 ; Apoc. ii. 7, 17, iii. 21, vii. 16, 17. Cp. 
Lk. xxii. 18, 29. 

* The point that Our Lord's miracles are restorations of a broken order is made 
by Dr. Gore in his Bampton Lectures (Lect. II). 

' The difficulty of returning a consistently negative answer is illustrated by Mr. 
Montefiore's comment on Lk. vii. 11-17 : " The story is clearly based upon the stories 
of Elijah and Elisha in i Kings xvii. 17-24 and 2 Kings iv. 33-37. Almost each detail 
in the Elisha story finds its parallel here. The rest is taken from other stories — the 
daughter of Jairus, the healing of the paralytic, and so on. It must be admitted that 
the number of these parallels speak for the invention of the tale'by the Evangelist. 
But how came he to think of putting the scene of the story at Nain ? Why should he 
have deliberately chosen this particular place, unless there was at least some record or 
tradition that at Nain Jesus had worked a stupendous miracle ? " {Synoptic Gospels, 
ii, p. 897). Mr. Montefiore does not mean to suggest that the miracle was actually 
performed, but the reader is irresistibly reminded of Blougram's " Just when we are 
safest, there's a sunset touch." 


said and did. S. Luke refers (iv. 23) to things done at Capernaum, 
and (x. 13) to mighty works wrought at Chorazin and Bethsaida, 
which he has not described.^ And S. John says (xxi. 25) that if 
all the other things which Jesus did were written every one, " not 
even the world itself would contain the books that should be 
written." The Gospels are not a complete record, but an impres- 
sion. The contents of them are not a tithe of the whole activity 
of the Lord's Ministry. But the events which are written are 
written for our admonition, and by the grace of God they are 
enough. And the fact that there are four records, each surveying 
the central Figure from its own point of view, and that these 
records are broadly comprehensible and have in fact been com- 
prehended into the Christ-picture of the Church, is a further 
proof that the Gospels are impressions, and that an impressionist 
method was the proper and indeed the only practicable method. 

Secondly, let it be noted that while I from time to time point 
out respects in which S. Luke differs from the other Evangelists, 
and from such of his peculiarities as seem to be significant I do 
not hesitate to draw conclusions about his intellectual and spiritual 
stature, I do not propose to confine myself to points which are 
peculiar to S. Luke. The result of doing so would be a calamity. 
For this might mean that many features which are entirely 
characteristic of the Third Evangelist, an essential part of the 
material for a complete appraisement of his Gospel, would be 
omitted. Points which he took from sources which we know may 
be just as characteristic as the points which he took from sources 
that we do not know. It is impossible to say that S. Luke did 
not read S. Mark with just as much enthusiasm as any of his 
other sources, or that the sayings of his Master reported in the 
document called Q, and thus used by S. Matthew as well as by 
himself, did not kindle his devotion and renew his faith as much 
as any for which he may have been indebted to special sources 
like Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, or to Mary the 
mother of Our Lord herself. It will be the aim of the chapters 
that follow to see his Gospel steadily and to see it whole. I 
shall not, therefore, think it necessary to omit from consideration 
all characteristics that S. Luke shares with others. And the 

' Cp. also xiii. 34, " How many times ! " 


bearing of this on the question of his historical credibiUty is 
obvious. If it appear that he has used with free but reasonable 
loyalty his known Markan source and another which can at least 
be partly identified, it is likely that he used his other sources, if 
with equal freedom, yet with equal faithfulness. 

It is supremely important to understand that all the Gospels 
arose in an already Christian atmosphere, and represent an attempt 
to satisfy those -who were already Christians. Without the 
knowledge of this fact they remain an inscrutable enigma. In 
the case of S. Luke's Gospel the fact is quite obvious. The 
book is dedicated, as we should say, to one Theophilus, who was 
a Christian and had already been catechized.^ The object of 
the book is to enable him to know the certainty of that which 
had been orally imparted. It cannot be understood too clearly 
that whether we assign, with Harnack, an early date to S. Luke, 
or with other scholars the later date, S. Paul's Epistles were 
already written, and Christianity had been established in many 
parts of the Mediterranean world for a number of years. 

Before the Gospels had been written, the Church subsisted on 
the memories of eye-witnesses, on oral tradition, on a collection of 
the Lord's sayings, and on Epistles. This was the sum-total ; of 
this no local Church had more than a part. S. Mark perceived 
the danger that the Church might be content to rely merely on 
the theology of preachers and Epistle-writers and on that bare 
record, if such indeed it was, of select sayings of the Master 
which we commonly call Q. He conceived the great and (as far 
as we know) original design of a Gospel, a fairly complete if brief 
and summary Gospel, a means of recovering, before they receded 
altogether from the memory of man, the earthly Kneaments of 
that wonderful life. 

On this subject Mr. Lacey writes : 

What is the purpose of this human document [S. Mark's Gospel] ? I 
have a suggestion to offer. It is that St. Paul's Gospel, the primitive Gospel, 
was found in practice to make for an imperfect apprehension of the real 
manhood of Jesus Christ. You know the tendency of all Christian ages 
... to convert the Incarnation into a pure theophany. I suggest that 
1 i. 4. KOTtixv^V^- See, however, p. 124. 


St. Paul's teaching about the coming of the Son of God to the death of the 
Cro^, and his neglect of the sayings and doings of Jesus,^ were being exagge- 
rated in this fashion ; that consequently the intimate follower of St. Peter 
was moved to put on record incidents which illustrated and emphasized 
the real humanity of the Master. 

Whether I have gauged his purpose correctly or not, this is in fact what 
he did. He portrayed Jesus in his habit as he lived. It is amazing that 
such a portraiture was possible, that after so many years of developed 
teaching about the Christ, disciples were able to put on record memories 
of the Master's life and conversation almost untouched by anything which 
they had subsequently come to understand in his personality. The record 
is on this account the more convincing. And its value for us exceeds all 
calculation. ... It is for us in practical truth the beginning of the Gospef 
of Jesus Christ. But I remind you that this is not the primitive Gospel. 
You cannot start from this and make the teaching of St. Paul a later develop- 
ment. The Gospel of St. Paul came iirst : the Synoptic tradition came later. 
It was in effect, if not in purpose, . a necessary correction of a possible 
misunderstanding {^he Historic Christ, pp. 61-63). 

A quite different view is put forward by the writers of Essay IV 
in Foundations : " The effect of ' Paulinism ' was not to destroy 
men's interest in the earthly Hfe and Passion of the Lord, but 
rather to stimulate it ; to this fact it may be that we owe the 
existence of S. Mark's Gospel. It is curious to observe that the 
critical school which has insisted most strongly upon the alleged 
indifference of S. Paul to the ' Jesus of history ' has also been the 
most quick to discover in S. Mark the operation of a ' Pauline 
tendency' " (p. 188 n.). , 

I cannot doubt that Mr. Lacey is nearer the truth. The 
question is complicated by the difficulty of ascertaining how far 
the Docetism ^ and the resolution of Christianity into a non- 
historical mysticism, which were undoubtedly great dangers in 
the second century, are also to be assumed in the first century. 
It is certain that the Gospel and First Epistle of S. John are anti- 
Docetic, and at least as far as concerns the acceptance of the 
Gospels it seems right to conclude, with Professor Burkitt, that 
" the part played by Docetic theories of Our Lord's nature and 

* A neglect which Mr; Lacey appears to overestimate a little. 

" Docetism is the view, to us fantastic, but not uncommon in early days, that 
Our Lord's Humanity, and especially His Death, was only an appearance (SoictTv). 
It is based upon the idea that God does not express Himself in matter, and, above all, 
cannot su£fer. 


person had a determining influence upon the official preservation 
of the Gospel History." " The Gospels that we have would never 
have become the official charters of the Church, but for the 
theological necessity of insisting upon the true humanity of Our 
Lord " {Gospel History, pp. 274, 287). 

S. Luke evidently shared the opinion that a Gospel was a 
desirable accession to the equipment of the Church. But he also 
wished to emphasize an element of Christianity which appealed 
with special force to him, an element which will be described in 
greater detail hereafter. He wished to depict the kind of Christ 
in Whom he had himself learned to believe. It would no doubt 
be possible to assert that he determined at all costs to attribute 
to Our Lord his own personal notion of Christianity, to Paulinize 
and Lukanize the Master. I am myself quite sure that he had 
no such intention.^ His motive in writing was the motive of 
giving chapter and verse to his friend Theophilus and others like 
him. His method was the method of using all the best authorities 
within his reach. I do not think that his motive was anywhere 
a wish, or even willingness, to invent suitable or congenial things, 
or that his method was anywhere, except in a few instances, a 
method of considering within himself what might most naturally 
be supposed to have occurred. And yet he writes, as I say, quite 
definitely as a Christian, to Christians, about things which only a 
Christian is likely to appreciate or understand. What difference 
does this attitude make to his Gospel ? 

In the work of criticizing the early literature of Christianity, 
the completely critical position is only possible to those who are 
Christians. I actually mean that those who are not Christians 
are at a critical disadvantage. They have something less than 

* " One of the most assured results of recent research is that he was not a Paulinist 
masquerading as an historian " (Moffatt, Introd. to Lit. of New Testament, p. 281). Dr. 
Mofiatt quotes Julicher, Wellhausen, B. Weiss, and others to the same efiEect. It must 
be remembered that " Paulinist " is here used in a special, technical sense. In that 
sense it is really very doubtful whether there ever was such a thing as Paulinism at all, 
at least until the time of Marcion. See Harnack, Luhe the Physician, p. 142, and Lake, 
Earlier Epistles, pp. 423-424 ; Dr. Anderson Scott in Camh. Bibl. Essays, pp. 334-335 ; 
A. B. Bruce, With Open Face, pp. 55-56. In a more general sense of the word Harnack 
has no hesitation in describing S. Luke as a Paulinist. Cp. Schmiedel in Encycl. Bibl., ii. 
1840 : " The very widely accepted view that Luke is of a specifically Pauline character 
can be maintained only in a very limited sense." Loisy even says : " II ne s'int4resse 
pas k la th6ologie particuli^re de saint Paul, et Ton dirait presque qu'il I'ignore " (Les 
ivangiles synoptiques, i. p. 173). 



the complete equipment. They lack one item of the complete 
critical apparatus. For a complete criticism is one that takes 
account of all the facts. And non-Christians do not appreciate 
that to which the Christian origins have actually led. They cannot 
survey all the facts, because there is one leading fact, the super- 
fact, which they have passed over. They examine the origins of 
Christianity, but they have omitted to take into consideration 
the present existence of the Church. They are therefore critically 

The critics whom I am here accusing would probably reply 
that- my own churchmanship gives me a bias in the traditional 
direction. And indeed, inasmuch as Christian theology does 
consist, strictly speaking, of the investigation of Christianity by 
Christians, a bias which is founded on actual, experience and is 
anxious to take into consideration the experience of previous 
generations of Christians, is a good and true bias to have. To 
understand consists not in the apprehension of isolated facts, but 
in the comprehension and co-ordination of facts into a scheme. 
Christian theologians need common honesty and truthfulness as 
much as anybody, but there is a quality of sympathy without 
which it is more difficult to arrive at truth. The criticism 
described by its exponents as " thoroughgoing " is a useful 
exercise and a salutary object-lesson. But better is that criticism 
which is not only thoroughgoing but complete. 

This is not merely a digression. My point is that S. Luke was 
equipped for his study of Christian origins in what I have called 
the complete way. He approached it with the kind of sympathy 
which is Hkely to lead to the ascertaining of the truth. How far 
did his position as a Churchman assist him in his work as an 
historian ? 

1. I think it must be admitted that in one respect his position 
may have given him a distorted view. He was undoubtedly what 
we should call a truthful person, but it cannot be pretended that 
he had the scientific zeal of the best modern historians. He took 
pains to ascertain facts, but he was not alive to some of the perils 
that surround historical inquiry. 

The extent of his failure has been grossly exaggerated. He 
was not an eye-witness of the events which he describes in hi& 


Gospel, and he was not a "realist," in the modern sense of one 
who particularly delights to record unpleasing things.^ He 
omitted, and here and there he altered, things which he thought 
unedifying.^ He may have occasionally confused two events of 
like kind.^ Physician though he was, He was uncritical about 
miracle,* There is probably an imaginative element in his 
account of the Nativity. That is all. The view that he wrote his 
Gospel or the Acts with the intention of enveloping the life of 
Our Lord or the early years of the Church with a glamour of 
agreeable invention, that he recklessly imagined scenes which he 
had no reason to believe had ever taken place, that he disarmed 
controversialists and resolved their controversies by the expedient 

1 That he was a realist in the better sense of the word is surely, indicated by passages 
like vii. 11-17, xiv.. 1-6, 7-11, xvii. 11-19, xxi. 37, 38, xxiii. 9, 10, xxiv. 13-32. As 
far as concerns what is called his " eirenic " tendency, the impression produced by a 
comparison of the two books is that this tendency is more apparent in the Acts than 
in the Gospel, though even in Acts it has been greatly-exaggerated. For example, 
his account of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts xv., which was formerly considered by 
many critics to be a serious glossing over of a deep-seated divergence, is much more 
easily regarded as in the main trustworthy now that the " Western " reading of xv. 
20, 28 and xxi. 25 is beginning to be accepted as probable. See, for a discussion of this. 
Lake, The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, p. 48 ff. It remains true, to take one more 
example, that he nowhere describes the withstanding of S. Peter by S. Paul which is 
alluded to in Gal. ii. 11. But it must be remembered that even S. Paul only alludes 
to it once, and that this single mention is wrung from him in -the heat of controversy. 
S. Luke, if we assume that he knew the incident, which is not certain, may well have 
considered that anyhow it was safely over and done with, and that it was not one of 
the steps in the gradual building-up of the Church with which he was "concerned. In 
the same way he omits, in the Gospel, the rebuke of S. Peter's presumption {Mk. viii. 33) 
and the ambitious request of James and John (Mk. x, 35 fif.) . The quarrel with Barnabas, 
which he does relate, had more of a missionary result. 

It must be added that the impression referred to above is perhaps to be discounted 
by the fact that in the case of the Gospel we have no such vivid, independent, and 
unconscious testimony as is provided for Acts by the Epistles of S. Paul. S. Mark's 
Gospel is indeed available for comparison, but it does not provide so searching a test 
of accuracy as the actual contemporary correspondence of the chief actor in the events. 

2 See below, pp. 132, 133. 
' See p. 86, n. i. 

" Dr. P. Gardner speaks, apropos of Lk. xxiv. 39 and 43 and Acts ii. 1-4, vii. 56, 
ix. 3, 4, of the Evangelist's " resolute materialism " (Religious Experience of St. Paul, 
p. 7). This is rather in the severe nineteenth-century vein, though it may readily be 
conceded that S. Paul's attitude towards the miraculous is much truer than S. Luke's. 
Dr. Gardner has even gone so far as to say (Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 390) that he 
" loves a good miracle," and suggests (with Hamack) that he " was attracted to the new 
faith by its power over disease and evil spirits " (ibid. p. 386 ; op. Luke the Physician, 
pp. 176, 187, 195). This may be so, though in Acts xiv. 19, 20, and perhaps xx. lo, he 
abstains from pointing a miraculous moral where it would have been quite easy to 
do so. And cp. x. 20 (" Rejoice not that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice 
that your names are written in the heavens "). It was this passage which Gregory 
quoted to Augustine when the latter had written rather boastfully of the miracles 
accomplished by him at Canterbury. See Bede, Eccl. Hist. i. 31. 


of diverting attention to a charming narrative about something 
else, is one which has no foundation. 

An interesting example of the oversubtlety with which 
S. Luke can be treated is to be found in Professor Schmiedel's 
criticism^ of the account of the Call of Peter in chapter- v. "It 
constitutes," he says, following Lipsius and other critics, " one of 
the few examples we have in the Synoptists of a consciously 
framed allegory being put forward in the form of a seemingly 
historical narrative, in order to set forth a particular idea ; this 
idea is in point of fact quite clear." The professor goes on to 
argue as follows : The passage (v. i-i i) is evidently a substitute 
for the brief account of the call of Peter in S. Mark. The function 
of fishers of men is teaching. The story is therefore a parable, Hke 
the parable of the drag-net in Mt. xiii. 47. " Simon with his 
comrades has toiled in vain the whole night through ; now, on 
receiving a special command from Jesus, he makes an unexpected 
haul." This refers to " the practically fruitless mission to 
the Jews, and the highly successful mission to the Gentiles. 
In the latter Peter received a special divine command, and 
this was necessary in order to overcome his original aversion 
to such an undertaking (i^cts x. 9-22, the story of Cornelius). 
The launching forth into the deep also will admit of being 
interpreted as referring to missions to heathen lands as com- 
pared with the less venturesome putting out a little from 
the shore, although it is not said that the fruitlessness of the 
night's toil is caused by the proximity to the shore. The sin 
of which Peter becomes suddenly conscious (v. 8) is thus by 
no means sinfulness in general — reference to this were hut little 
called for by the circumstances — but definitely the sin of failure 
hitherto to recognize and practise the duty of evangelizing the 

" The naming of James and John ... is still more note- 
worthy ... it can hardly be by accident that . . . the names 
. . . are the names of the three who according to Galatians ii. 9 
were the ' pillars ' of the primitive Church, and who at the 
Council of Jerusalem, though at first averse, in the end gave their 
sanction to the mission to the Gentiles ; it can hardly be mere 

1 Encycl. Bibl, 4573-4576, art. " Simon Peter." 


accident, even although there the James intended is no longer the son 
of Zebedee, hut James the Brother of Jesus." 

But there is even more to come. " Their fellows in the other 
boat," who in v. 7 are called in to help, are to be distinguished 
from James and John, who in v. 10 are described as " partners," 
a different Greek word.^ " The fellows," writes Dr. Schmiedel, 
" were called in to help, because Peter and his comrades — ^in 
whose number James and John were thus included — are unequal 
to their task unaided. This applies to no one hut to Paul and 
those with him. In actuality he was the originator of the mission 
to the Gentiles, but we must remember that here the dominating 
presupposition is that it was by the original apostles that the 
mission was begun, at the direct command of Jesus, or of God." 
Finally, it is left doubtfuL whether the touch in v. 6, that the nets 
threatened to break (Greek, " were breaking "), is an allusion to 
the strain of the Judaizing controversy. But, anyhow, it is 
regarded as certain that the author of the last chapter of S. John 
interpreted the passage thus, because he remarks (Jn. xxi. ii) 
that the net in that case remained unbroken, and this " indicates 
that the unity of the Church had not come to harm." 

I have quoted the passage at length, only drawing attention 
by means of italics to some of the features of what it is perhaps 
not unfair to describe, in Dr. Schmiedel's own way, as an uncon- 
sciously framed self -revelation put forward in the form of a 
seemingly critical analysis of a document. What are we to say 
about the view of S. Luke's Gospel which it implies ? The 
criticism is as interesting to r^d as it must have been to compile. 
And at least it draws attention to a truth. The fact that a 
somewhat similar story is related in a quite different context in 
another Gospel certainly makes it possible to hold either that 
there was confusion somewhere, or that one of the two Evangelists 
is allegorizing. But there is very little in the complete phenomena 
of S. Luke's Gospel to support the hypothesis that, if there was 
allegorizing, the allegorizer was S. Luke. It is not in accordance 
with the facts about S. Luke to suggest that the Cornelius narrative 
of Acts X. is a picturesque, parabolic personification of the general 

1 Dr. Schmiedel appears to miss the point that a cognate word is used in Gal. ii. 9 
("Cephas and James and John . . . gave unto me and Barnabas the right hands' 
of partnership "). 


experience of the early Church, and then that the narrative of 
S. Luke V. is due to the idea that it would be a good thing to 
represent the earlier Peter as having had the same sort of 

(i) In the first place, it would not be difficult, as Dr. Salmon 
long ago pointed out, to shew in this kind of way that many of 
the universally beheved facts of history, including the general 
supposed course of constitutional history in France for a long 
period of years, could not possibly have occurred, because they - 
resemble other facts.^ After all, events which proceed from 
permanent tendencies in human nature are hkely to resemble one 
another. All revolutions have some common features. And 
events which flow from the unwearying perseverance of the 
Creator are likely to have a great similarity. One sunrise is very 
like another. 

(2) In the second place this particular method of treating the 
Gospels impHes that Prof. Schmiedel retains a not inconsiderable 
measure of the old Tubingen behef that the Gospels are the 
elaborate productions of highly sophisticated minds, with subtle 
tendencies, a behef, in fact, that the Evangelists were German 
professors. It is a theory which will win degrees of acceptance 
and degrees of repudiation. 

The grounds on which I should not hesitate to say that the 
Synoptic Gospels are on the whole not compositions of this kind, 
and that Professor Schmiedel has gravely misconceived the 
character of the EvangeHsts, appear on many different pages of 
this book. So far as the actual interpretation of this passage is 
concerned, the reply to Schmiedel is somewhat as follows. It is 

1 Hamack and Loisy assign a different origin to this section. Hamack supposes 
that the incident was part of the lost ending of S. Mark, where it stood, quite correctly 
(cp. the Gospel of Peter, and Lk. xxiv. 34) as the first appearance of the Risen Lord. 
It was afterwards desired to suppress this incident or depose it from its premier place. , 
S. John accordingly makes it the third appearance, and S. Luke (or his authority) 
boldly antedates the whole story. The " depart from me " really refers to Peter's 
denial, and " fishers of men " is " Feed my sheep." See Luhe the Physician, App. iv. 
The last point is not convincing. The two metaphors are not identical : " fishers 
of men " occurs in Mk. i. 17 ; and the appearance to Peter is actually mentioned in 
Lk. xxiv. 34. " Depart from me " is not in Mark, and may therefore be a later accretion. 
But the calling of Peter to discipleship (even if we dismiss the haul of fish as legendary 
or misplaced) was certainly a great moment in his life. It is not difl&cult to believe 
that a man of simple, childlike character had at such a moment a profound sense of 

' Inirod. to New Testament, chap, xviii. 


true that fishing is easily used as an illustration of gathering 
disciples. The analogy may therefore have occurred to the 
EvangeHst. But it may also have occurred to their Master. 
Some of the Twelve were actually fishermen, and it does not 
seem impossible, or even in the least degree unlikely, that they 
had on one occasion the experience of success after protracted 
failure, and that the Lord turned this to account. The relevance 
of Peter's confession of sinfulness in the presence of the Master 
Who had just done a thing which seemed to him deeply impressive 
is, of course, a matter of opinion. The more Christian the critic, 
the better (as it seems to me) he will be able to comprehend the 
feelings of Peter in such a case, and the relevance of his alleged 
conduct. Schmiedel's own admission reveals the precariousness 
of the significance assigned to the mention of James and John. 
And as to the supposed allusion to S. Paul, an allusion so subtle 
that it was not suspected till the nineteenth century is not likely 
to have been perpetrated by S. Luke.^ 

But (3) Professor Schmiedel's examination of this one passage 
suggests a larger question. It is really raised by the typical 
nature of many of S. Luke's characters. How far are the incidents 
of his Gospel themselves parables ? ^ It is often suggested, to 

^ The further question of the Fourth Gospel cannot be dealt with here. I will 
only say that it seems impossible to deny that there is in it parable recorded as fact. 
The question is. How much is parable and how much is fact ? Miss Evelyn Underbill's 
The Mystic Way contains an ingenious and attractive argument to the effect that much 
of what looks like fact is really parable ; but I am not completely convinced by it. 

" In Loisy's Les £vangiles synoptiques a great many of the incidents are explained 
as merely symbolic presentations of spiritual lessons, e.g. iv. 16-30, v. i-ii, etc. The 
Old Testament is regarded as exercising in many cases a determining influence on 
the form of the narrative. " L'anecdote de Zach^e a le m6me caract^re que celle 
des dix lepreux et de la femme guerie le jour du sabbat : r^cit symbolique et sans 
originalit6, proc6dant de la redaction plus que de la tradition 6vang61ique " (i. 159) ; 
of the story of Martha and Mary " il serait impossible de r6futer pfiremptoirement 
celui qui y verrait un pur symbole, conju d'apres le' tableau des deux soeurs, Israel 
et Juda, au livre d'Ez^chiel " (ii. 105). The two sisters in this symbolic narrative 
represent Jewish and Gentile Christianity. So also " le mauvais larron .repr^sente le 
Judaisme incredule, la foi du bon larron reprfeente la conversion du monde " (ii. 677). 
It seems certain that S. Luke himself perceived the applicability of many of his incidents 
to the purposes of Christian preaching, and I have no wish to deny that there are cases 
in which the form of his narrative was influenced by his own later knowledge. But 
Loisy's assignment of motive is constantly oversubtle. Thus Jesus is bom in a stable 
because David was a shepherd (i. 349), and the reason why the centurion (Lk. vii. 3) 
does not come himself to seek Jesus is perhaps because he represents the Gentiles and 
so must not come into immediate contact with the Saviour (i. 651). On the other hand, 
the next paragraph (vii. 11-17) is explained as follows : " Comme, dans le recit pr6c4- 
dent, r^vang^liste faisait entrevoir le salut des Gentils sous la figure d'une gudrison de 
paien, op6r6e k distance par J^sus, il oriente maintenant la pens^e du lecteur vers 


take an instance in which S. Luke is not the defendant, that the 
withering of the fig-tree is a case where " parable has hardened 
into miracle," i.e. that the incident of Mk. xi. 12 ff. and Mt. xxi. 
18 ff. has really grown out of some such story as that related in 
Lk. xiii. 6-9. And it may be so. What then of the Lukan 
characters, the Samaritan leper, the widow of Nain, Zacchseus, 
the penitent robber, the persons of the Nativity ? By what 
authority does S. Luke introduce them ? This question can best 
be answered, as it was answered once before, by asking another, 
not unrelated, question. The Gospel of Christ— was it from 
Heaven or of men ? Or, to expand the counter-query, our 
answer to this question about S. Luke must depend partly on our 
belief about these three great and fundamental problems : 

(a) Is there a divine government of the world ? 

(b) Is there a divine guidance of the Christian Church ? 

(c) Which was there first, the fact or the perception of its 
typical character ? How easy or how difficult is it to believe that 
persons and incidents which are clearly and instructively typical 
are also historical, that the things which are obviously written for 
our admonition really happened for our example ? What, in 
fact, is to be our opinion on the relation between art and 
nature ? 

This chapter is already long, and it will be convenient to 
consider these questions in connexion with the crucial case of the 
Nativity. But meantime it is perhaps not unreasonable to say 
that a Christian is likely to take a truer and more enlightened 
view of nature than anybody else. 

That there are some cases of theological or ecclesiastical 
" contamination " it is impossible to deny. S. Luke's Gospel is 
not so " churchly " as S. Matthew's. S. Luke, for example, has 
not collected Our Lord's teaching under various heads for conve- 
nience of Church instruction. He has not " rabbinized " ^ as 

I'oeuvre que le Christ a opdree directement, le salut d'Israel, realist dans la personne 
du groupe de croyants, qui a constitud le premier noyau du christianisme. La veuve 
d^sol^e repr&ente la fille de Sion, Jerusalem, menac^e de perdre Israel, son fils unique, 
et le perdant en effet, pour le recouvrer miraculeusement par la puissance de J6sxfS " 
(i. 655). For most of these references I am indebted to the review of Loisy in Emmet, 
The Eschatological Question in the Gospels. 

* The word is Canon Streeter's. Speaking of the difference between principle and 
law he says : " Law can only be interpreted casuistically, and on their premises the 
rabbis were right. Our Lord saw this, and therefore avoided giving any definite 


S. Matthew occasionally does, the original principles of Jesus 
into code and exception. But in a few cases his comparatively- 
late date and his second-generation standpoint peep out. He 
omits a few expressions, " indignantly," " with anger," " being 
grieyed," and so forth, which appear in S. Mark,i which were no 
doubt true, which were perhaps the recollections of the eye- 
witness Peter. It happens that he omits entirely some of the 
Markan paragraphs in which the expressions occur, but it may 
well be that his omissions of those paragraphs is partly due to 
the fact that they contained things which he did not think 
quite edifying or worthy.^ He emphasizes a little the uni- 
versal character of the Gospel, he emphasizes its asceticism, 
and its app^l to women, and also its appeal to thfe outcast 
and degraded. ^ But it will hardly be denied that these things 
have a right to be regarded as chapters in the Gospel of Chris - 
tianityj quite apart from what S. Luke says about them. And 
in case it is suggested that Christianity owes them to S. Luke, 
it is a sufficient reply to point out that the Evangelist's own 
strength clearly lay much more in the direction of sympathetic 
apprehension than of creation.* Finally, he spares the Twelve ^ 

precept which His followers might treat as the rabbis did those of Moses. But humanity 
loves a definite rule, and Peter asks, ' How oft shall my brother offend and I forgive 
him ? "... In at least two cases, Matthew, or the tradition behind him, has begun to 
make such rules. In Mt. xviii. 15-18 he expands Our Lord's general precept on 
forgiveness in Lk. xvii. 3, which merely intends ' strive hard for reconciliation,' into 
a piece of ecclesiastical law. Again, in v. 32 and xix. 9 he adds to Our Lord's quite 
general ideal condemnation of divorce the practical limitation TrapeKTos Xdyov Tropveias 
{fiTi e'jrl jTopvcla), where both Mark x. 1 1 and Luke xvi. 18 keep the original unexpanded 
form " (Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, p. 221). 

1 This can easily be seen by comparing, e.g., Mk. x. 14 with Lk. xviii. 16 ; Mk. iii. 3 
with Lk. vi. 10. See also Lk. iv. 35 (liTjSev ^Xdijfav ; cp. Mk. i. 26), and S. Luke's 
treatment of Mk. i. 34 (ttoWovs) and xiv; 33 (fK^a^jSeio-^ai) in iv. 40 and xxii. 40 f. 

' This probably applies to Mk. iii. 21, " For they said, he is beside "himself," and 
Mk. vi. 5, " He could there do no mighty work, save that he laid hands on a few sick 
folk and healed them ; and he marvelled at their unbelief " ; also to the fourth Word 
from the Cross, " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? " ; perhaps also 
to some of the incidents in what is called S. Luke's " Great Omission." See below, 

p. 132 i- 

' Illustrations of this will be found in vii. 37 f ., xv., xix. i-io, xxiii. 43. The general 
character of the Lukan emphasis is discussed in chaps, viii. and xiii.-xvi. 

* " The graciousness and universalism of the Gospel are due to Jesus ultimately, 
not to the apostle " (i.e. S. Paul) — nor, it may be added with confidence, to the Evange- 
list (Moffatt, Introd. to Lit. of New Testament, p. 281). 

5 He omits, for example, the " Get thee behind me, Satan," spoken to Peter ; he 
omits the ambitious request of James and John, and the flight of the Apostles from 
the Garden (Mk. xiv. 50), afad he is careful to record (xxii. 45) that thfe disciples at 
Gethsemane were " sleeping for sorrow." 


more than S. Mark or S. Matthew, and he spares the 

He misses, then, in a few cases, the clear-cut, realistic portrait 
of S. Mark. He had not seen with his own eyes, as Peter had, 
the keen edge and quality of Our Lord's human nature, and he 
could not always quite believe it. But he believed quite as much 
as was necessary for his salvation, or for ours. It has been sug- 
gested that he attributes to Our Lord, if not actually a Docetic 
impassibility, at least a Stoic imperturbability, but' there is quite 
enough realism in his Gospel to prove that his second-generation 
standpoint had not blinded him altogether to the actual, natural 
facts which must accompany an Incarnation. 

2. On the other hand, there are some respects in which his 
status helped him to arrive at the truth. He perceived clearly 
that Christianity had grown out of Judaism. And until this is 
perceived, the origins of Christianity can never be understood. 
It is sometimes asserted that " Christ did not found the Church." 
The statement is usually made in the interest of shewing either 
that S. Paul was the real creator of Christianity, or that the mind 
of Jesus was completely preoccupied with a hurried message of 
repentance before the imminent end of the world. As such, as 
either, it is more than dubious, but the statement in itself may 
be accepted without hesitation on the ground that the Church was 
already founded. There has never been more than one Church 
of God. In its embryonic stages it was the Jewish Church. 
When it was fully constituted it was the Christian Church. That 
is all. 

Now, how did S. Luke, the only Gentile among the writers of 
the New Testament, come to appreciate the early history of the 
Christian movement with such remarkable exactness ? How is it 

1 He omits some of the anti-Pharisaic passages which appear in, e.g., Mt. xxiii. 
He passes lightly over the cleansing of the Temple (xix. 45 ft.) and he represents Our 
Lord as being on several occasions (vii. 36, xi. 37, xiv. i) a guest in a Pharisee's house. 
The intercourse there held is not always entirely peaceable, and there are severe passages 
like xi. 39, 40, 52, xiii. 15, xx. 45 ff. to be reckoned with. But if there is foundation 
for the complaints of Jewish scholars like Mr. Montefiore and Dr. Abrahams that Chris- 
tian scholars take or have taken until lately an unduly disparaging view of the value 
of Pharisaism , then S . Luke may have preserved a more accurate picture than S . Matthew. 
S. John is very definitely hostile to " the Jews," but in that he is quite clearly reflecting 
the controversy of the Church with Judaism towards the end of the first century as 
well as, or perhaps even rather than, the actual controversies of Our Lord's own 


that although it is perfectly clear that he was himself a universaHst, 
yet the background, of his Gospel is as Jewish as S. Matthew's, as 
Jewish as the real background indubitably was. There is an 
eloquent passage in Dr. Sanday's Bampton Lectures, in which, to 
clear the Evangelists from the charge of anachronism, he first 
contrasts the condition of affairs before and after the destruction 
of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, and then asks : " Was there ever an easier 
problem for a critic to decide whether the sayings and doings 
which lie before him come from the one side of this chasm or the 
other ? " (p. 284). 

Dr. Sanday quotes Mt. v. 23, 24, xxiii. 16, 17, viii. 4 ; Lk. ii. 22, 
24, 36-38 ; Mk. xii. 13, 14 ; Mt. x. 23 — ^passages " some belonging 
to the common matter of all three Gospels, some to the double 
narrative, and some to a portion peculiar to a single Evangelist." 
We may add some from S. Luke. " It is not likely that he knew 
that a Jewish boy normally became a " Son of the Law " at the 
age of thirteen, but that in respect of attendance at Feasts at 
Jerusalem it was customary to anticipate this by one or two 
years.i He would hardly know this ; but his narrative (ii. 42) 
allows for it. At Nazareth (iv. 16 ff.) Our Lord goes " as his 
custom was " ^ to the Synagogue on the Sabbath day. After 
healing the leper. He is careful to -enjoin him to make the cus- 
tomary offering (v. 14). Compare also the same injunction in the 
case of the ten lepers in xvii. 14. The action of the Twelve in 
plucking corn on the Sabbath is justified (vi. 3) by an appeal to 
the example of David, The testimony borne by the elders to 
the centurion, " that he loveth our nation and himself hath 
built our synagogue," appears to be an additional inducement 
(vii. 5) to Our Lord to heal the benefactor's servant. The Charge 
to the Seventy (x. 2-16) is thoroughly Jewish in its tone ; verse 4, 
as Edersheim shews (Life and limes, i. 643), is like the rabbinic 
injunctions not to enter the Temple with staff, shoes, or money- 
girdle — " to avoid even the appearance of being engaged in other 
business." In x. 26 f. the whole duty of man is expressed in 
Mosaic terminology, and the expression is ascribed by S. Luke 
to the lawyer, and in xvi. 29, 31 the ordinary means of grace are 

i-Edersheim, Life and Times of Jes'us the Messiah, i. 233. 

' There is no real necessity to contrast the " custom " of iv. 16 with the going " in 
he power of the Spirit " of iv. 14. 


described *as having and hearing " Moses and the prophets," In 
xiii. 1 6 the woman with the spirit of infirmity is sympathetically 
described as a " daughter of Abraham," and where, in xix. 9, the 
publican is defended, it is said that even he after all is " a son of 
Abraham." In xx. 37 the immortality of man is asserted, as 
earlier the seducings of the Tempter had been met, by a simple 
appeal to the Old Testament, and in the coming Kingdom the 
disciples are to " sit x)n thrones, judging the twelve tribes of 
Israel " (xxii. 30), 

A transition is indicated by S. Luke in the following passages. 
In V. 39, after the saying about the new wine and the old bottles, 
it is recognized that a man cannot be expected at once to desire 
what is new ; " for he saith. The old is good." In iii. 8 it is 
laid down that it is not enough to claim physical descent from 
Abraham, but even so the new race which God can raise up even 
of the stones will still be " children of Abraham." In iii. 17 the 
coming Saviour will throughly purge His floor, but it is still 
" His floor." And lastly, the Forerunner is the greatest (vii. 28) 
of all those hitherto born of women, though the inauguration of 
the new Kingdom will lift the lowliest to a level unreachable even 
by him. 

The significance of this is admirably put by Dr. Scott Holland : 

How little the eye-witnesses had seen at the time what was going forward ! 
" They understood none of these things ; and the thing was hid from them." 
That was the wonder of it. That was the note that rang through their 
recollection. Therefore, they delight, now, in going back to the old facts 
just as they were when they understood none of them. They show Jesus 
rigidly circumscribed within local, narrow limits, living as a Jew would 
live, occupied with a Jew's questions, held within Jewish associations and 
horizons, bounded by a Jew's experience. He talks as Jews talk. He speaks 
as with the knowledge that any Jew might possess. He refers to diseases in 
the Jews' manner. He moves within the circle of Jewish hopes and feelings. 
The whole Gentile outlook is shut off from Him, except it be through some 
Roman centurion who astonishes Him by his faith, or through some Syro- 
Phoenician woman who forces her way in upon Him. Now, as they write 
the record, the Jewish life had passed entirely into the far past ; these 
Jewish questions had ceased to have a meaning, the hidden Gentilism 
was their very breath and being. Yet Jesus, the Jew, under these Jewish 
limitations, was, then and there, in the act of winning His authority to be 
the whole^world's Christ. That was what made these old incidents so 


vital, so fascinating. Back, therefore, to the facts as facts, the writers 
turned the believers' eyes.^ 

The significance is immensely increased when we see that 
S. Luke has not shrunk, Gentile as he was, from depicting the 
Apocalyptic background of the Lord's life and the Apocalyptic 
terminology of His speech. We shall see reason later to suppose 
that he has slightly modified this element, but, even so, it appears 
on every page. 

It was because he was a member of the Church, associating 
daily with Christians who had actually been Jews, conscious 
himself of the stem on which he had been grafted, and knowing 
that Christianity was the perfection of that which had been crude 
and tentative experiment, that S. Luke could catch and reproduce 
the tone so perfectly. He knows as well as any one, and much 
better than most, that there, are times when even the Lord's 
Mother and Brethren " cannot come at him " (viii. 19), and that 
there is a sense in which His Mother and Brethren are " they who 
hear the Word of God and do it " (viii. 21). But he does not 
forget that, as well as Mary, and as well as the mystical Holy 
Family which consists of the members of Christ's Body, there was 
a National Mother and that there are still brethren " according 
to the flesh." Judaism had not been in the least his own pergonal 
preparation for Christianity ; in fact, there is reason to believe 
that it was not in all respects very congenial to him. He leaves 
out, as being comparatively unimportafit for his readers and, I 
think, less interesting to himself, a good deal of what S. Matthew 
keeps. But he understood it, because it had been the preparation 
of the community to which he now belonged. That he knew ' 
it had been their preparation is clear from the consistent back- 
ground which he paints into his Gospel and the changing, develop- 
ing background, the gradually less Jewish and more Hellenic 
background which he paints into the Acts. 

Further, he even indicates that the mind of man had not 
been able to keep pace with the unfolding purposes of God. He 
is, indeed, the historian of the first generation of the CathoKc 
Church, and he brings his book of Acts to a deliberate and prepared 
conclusion vdth the arrival of the Apostle to the Gentiles, who 

^ Essay in Jesus or Christ ?, p. 132. 


was also the author of the Epistle to the Ephesians, at the centre 
of the Roman world. But. it is well known that the Chris tology 
of the earlier chapters of the book is thoroughly primitive.^ Our 
Lord is spoken of as " The Servant of God " and the " Holy 
Servant Jesus," .and, in spite of S. Luke's Pentecostal " solution " 
of the eschatological problem, he preserves, in his record of early 
Christian thinking, not a few traces of Messianic views and 
expectations which he himself had either outgrown or never 

The Evangelist knows, then, that the Gospel was born and 
bred on Jewish soil. From a Jewish seed it had come to be a 
tree whose leaves were for the healing of the nations, in the branches 
of which even the Gentiles could find rest. S. Luke's Book of 
Acts shews that he knew that there had been development, 
development from a little, sheltered company to a large Hellenic 
Church with world-relations and, to use a contemporary word, 
world-poUtics. But he was not misled by this development. He 
never denied that it had taken place. The language of his Gospel 
is consistently primitive. Though he was no doubt accustomed 
every day to speak of Jesus as the Lord, he does not, except in 
about a dozen instances, so speak of Him in his Gospel. ^ Whereas 
the existing 'fragment of the so-called Gospel of Peter uses no 
other term, and even goes so far as to say that the women came 
to the sepulchre on the morning of " the Lord's Day," a gross 
anachronism, S. Luke retains almost throughout the primitive, 
non-committal name of " Jesus." Like the other Synoptists, he 
makes Our Lord speak of Himself as the Son of Man, the primitive 
title, which is actually avoided by the Epistle-writers. He speaks 
often of the Kingdom, never of the Church. The Twelve he quite 
properly calls disciples, although in Acts (e.g. vi. i, 2, 7, ix. i, 19, 
26, etc.) he uses that word of the general body of baptized adhe- . 
rents. It is easy to see from his narrative of the Passion, from 
the loving care and completeness with which he relates it, how 
vital he beUeved it to be. Yet there is no hint in his story of the 
theology of the Cross. That story at least is free from theological 

' It is like that of the almost wholly Jewish Didache, which comes to us out of some 
curious un-Hellenized backwater of the early Church. 

» The majority of these instances occur in paragraphs which are peculiar to S. Luke, 
e.g. vii. 13, X. I, xxii. 6i. 


" contamination." He records the rending of the Temple Veil, 
but he does not point any moral. There is no hint, in his story 
of the Wicked Husbandmen, of any Resurrection of the Son Who 
was sent last. Why not ? He believed firmly in the Resurrec- 
tion. But this was a pre-Resurrection parable. There is little 
attempt to cover up the limitations and misunderstandings of the 
Twelve. He does spare them more than S. Matthew, but he is 
far from concealing their infirmities.^ Why ? Because he knew 
that before they -became the great spiritual leaders whom he 
^ himself had met, there had been an earlier disciple stage. 

Once more, the parables. It is likely that something of the 
obvious symbolism of the ring, the shoes, and the robe in his 
parable of the Prodigal Son, which has figured in so many sermons, 
had already occurred to him. The Pauline metaphors of the body 
and of the spiritual armour would furnish a precedent. But it is 
not allowed to find its way into his narrative. It is unlikely that 
he failed to see the Jew-and-Gentile reference of many, if not 
most, of the other parables.^ In one or two cases he does point 
the moral. His version of the New Cloth parable (v. 36) makes 
Our Lord deprecate not merely patching, but the rending of a 
piece from a new garment to patch an old one — a very strongly 
worded repudiation of the policy of such as would still spoil 
Christianity for the sake of Judaism. And he alone notes at the 
Transfiguration (ix. 33) that Peter's unprofitable suggestion of 
three tabernacles was made just as the representatives of Law 
avi.6iVxo^h&CY were passing away. He is aware that there has been 
development, and in two or three cases he shews that he is aware 
of it. But in the great majority of cases such commentary as he 
was disposed to make in his own mind or was in the habit of making 
in his personal expositions is rigidly excluded from his text. 

' Two striking Lukan passages of this sort are ix. 45 (" and they were ignorant of 
this saying, and it was hid from them that they should not perceive it, and they feared 
to ask him concerning this saying ") and xviii. 34 (" and they understood none of 
these things, and this saying was hid from them, and they knew not the things which 
were said "). Cp. also, after the Resurrection, xxiv. 11 (" these words seemed to them 
as idle talk, and they disbelieved the women "). 

' E.g. xi. 24-26 (on which Dr. Plummer says : " The worship of idols had been 
exorcized, but that demon had returned as the worship of the letter, and with it the 
demons of covetousness, hypocrisy, spiritual pride, uncharitableness, faithlessness, 
formalism, and fanaticism," Commentary, p. 305), x. 25-37 (The Good Samaritan), 
xiv. 16-24 (The Great Supper), and xx. 9-18, where note especially the appreciation 
that follows in v. 19. 



An earlier chapter of this book contained an attempt to sketch 
the Apocalyptic background of Our Lord's life and of the Gospels 
which record it. What was then said may here be summed up 
in a few sentences. 

The main subject of Our Lord's preaching was the Old Testa- 
ment and later Jewish doctrine, which He in important respects 
improved and spiritualized, of the Coming Age. This Age or 
Kingdom is to be brought in by a Messiah, whom He describes, in 
the Enochian manner, as the Son of Man. By this- term He 
without doubt meant Himself. How far His claim to the title 
Son of Man can be called actual rather than potential, how far 
the Kingdom can be described as present, and in what proportion 
He combined the catastrophic and the evolutionary elements in 
His teaching, are points on which scholars are not agreed. The 
extreme school of Schweitzer refer all the allusions to the future. 
Those who are most willing to take account of all the facts and 
shirk none of them find, as might be expected, that no one single 
explanation will meet the case. 

It is a comtnonplace that the predictions in the Gospels of a 
speedy return in glory were not literally fulfilled. S. Luke, as 
we have seen, has a partial solution of the problem jn his implicit 
doctrine that Christ had returned at Pentecost and was, by His 
Spirit, immanent in the Church.^ This was considered at an 
earlier stage of this book, when we were concerned with the 
general relations between the period covered by the Gospels and 
the life of the Church. S. Luke has another solution in his 
doctrine, to which we shall come in a moment, of " Transmuted 
Eschatology." Meantime it is essential to assure ourselves once 

/ * See above, p. 55 f. 



more that whatever be the date and manner of the fulfilment 
which Our Lord expected of His words, His message was definitely 
supernatural : He claimed already, and intended at His return to 
claim stiU more compellingly, a supernatural position ; His 
Kingdom was to be unworldly and other-worldly, and He desired 
an unworldly, other-worldly character in its members. How far 
His actual teaching was meant to be provisional, how far it may 
truly be characterized as Interimsethik, valid only until the cosmic 
revolution should bring in the new kingdom and the new life, is, 
as I say, disputed, and S. Luke is a guide who may be followed. 

- As far as S. Luke's Gospel is concerned there seems to be no 
doubt that his picture is of an Apocalyptic figure. I quote a 
startling but instructive passage from an author whose opinion is 
particularly valuable because he perhaps has never heard of 
Schweitzer and has not a very profound acquaintance with the 
writings of Professor Burkitt. Mr. G. K. Chesterton says : 
" Instead of looking at books and pictures about the New Testa- 
ment, I looked at the New Testament. There I found an account, 
not in the least of a person with his hair parted in the middle or 
his hands clasped in appeal, but of an extraordinary being with 
lips of thunder and acts of lurid decision, flinging down tables, 
casting out devils, passing with the wild secrecy of the wind from 
mountain isolation to a sort of dreadful demagogy ; a being who 
often acted like an angry god — and always like a god " {Orthodoxy, 
p. 269). No doubt this summary description is drawn rather 
from the Markan than from the Lukan story. But S. Luke also 
has his contribution. 

That S. Luke in general gives, us the picture of a Jewish Christ 
was shewn in the last chapter. In this place we are concerned 
with the more specifically Apocalyptic element of the contem- 
porary Judaism. How does he deal with that ? 

To begin with, he certainly accepts in outline the Old Testament 
expectation. An interesting example of the discriminating way 
in which he deals with it is found in xiii. 29. S. Matthew, in the 
parallel passage (viii. 1 1), says : " Many shall come from the east 
and the west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac in the 
kingdoim of heaven." Notice exactly what is involved in the 
Matthaean version. The kingdom is universal, but it is neverthe- 



less defined in terms of actual Judaism.^ It consists in the society 
of the patriarchs. Now turn to the version of S. Luke. Whereas 
the context in S. Matthew was the heahng of the Centurion's 
servant — an incident which S. Luke (vii. 9) is content to close 
with " I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel " — in this 
passage (xiii. 27) he records the saying about the patriarchs, but 
gives it a different turn : " Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. 
There shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall 
see Abraham, and, Isaac and. 'Jacob, and all the prophets, in the 
kingdom of God,^ and yourselves cast forth without. (29) And 
they shall come from the east and west, and from the north and 
south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God." S. Luke, in 
fact, has dealt with the Old Testament and its heroes in a dis- 
criminating way. For him the genesis of the kingdom is still 
Israel, but the wine has burst the bottles, and the old definition, 
as a definition, can no longer be applied. 

Another example of his discrimination is his narrative of the 
road to Emmaus. The difficulty of the two disciples is over- 
whelmingly and overflowingly answered by the event. S. Luke 
has not the least doubt that the Jewish expectation is fulfilled, 
and more than fulfilled, in Christ. But it was a Jewish expecta- 
tion. " We thought it had been he which should have redeemed 
Israel." The Risen Saviour " made as though he would have 
gone further." He was prepared, if they had been able to follow, 
to lead them far beyond their expectation. But He begins to do 
so by expounding to them Moses and the prophets. 

It is difiicult not to believe that S. Luke has here caught 
something very like the real mind of Jesus. Our Lord was 
Himself what may be called a discriminating patriot, and the 
Gentile yet philo- Judaic Evangelist seems to have reproduced 
with wonderful success the sure and balanced judgment of Him 
Who was " the pillar of a people's hope " and also " the centre of 
a world's desire." 

^ It is as when those Churchmen who, without undervaluing churchmanship, are 
nevertheless disposed to take liberal views, allow that members of the Society of Friends 
may have a Baptism, or a Confirmation, " of Desire." If I remember rightly, Andrew 
Lang said in an obituary notice of a distinguished agnostic that he was " a sad, good 
Christian after all." 

^ It is worth noting that Marcion in his adaptation of S. Luke substituted for 
" Abraham . . . the prophets " the non-committal words " all the righteous." 


Even the peaceful chapters in which S. Luke tells the story of 
the Nativity bring out the expectant side of contemporary 
Judaism. The child forerunner is to be an Elias, the Magnificat 
is a song of revolution ; the visiting and redeeming of God's 
people, which is betokened by the birth of John, is " a horn of 
salvation raised up in the house of David." Simeon and Anna 
and those to whom they speak are " looking for the redemption 
of Israel." The Child is " set for the fall and rising again of many 
in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against." A sword 
shall go through the mother's heart, which shall rend her affections 
and shall sunder and reveal the thoughts of many. 

A locus classicus is, of course, the Temptation, that mysterious 
passage which indicates that Our Lord, after the exhilaration of 
His Baptism, passed through an experience comparable to that 
which mystics call " the dark night of the soul." ^ It is well known 
that the order of the three temptations differs in S. Matthew and 
S. Luke. In S. Matthew the final, culminating temptation is 
" Fall down and worship me." In S. Luke it is " Cast thyself 
down." It was formerly said (e.g. by Dr. Westcott) that inas- 
much as the Kingdom was a dominant thought in the first Gospel, 
the crowning temptation there was naturally that in which the 
Messiah is pressed to use the illegitimate means of political or 
mihtary force for the establishing of His kingdom. But now it is 
suggested, e.g. by Canon Streeter in Foundations, p. loi, that 
" Cast thyself down " means " Make the traditional appearance 
as the Son of Man, riding on the clouds of heaven." If so, it is, 
if possible, more Messianic and Apocalyptic than the other. The 
old distinction therefore does not hold. But the point is, that 
the whole Temptation is to be explained as the self-communing 
of One Who either newly realizes Himself to be Messiah, or at 
least realizes that He must now begin His work. How is He 
to adopt and fulfil, and yet purge and spiritualize, the old concep- 

1 It is not necessary to suppose that the Tempter appeared to Our Lord in visible 
form, any more than it is to suppose that the " I beheld Satan " of x. 18 or the tempta- 
tions implied in iv. 13 (" the devil departed from him for a season ") and xxii. 28 (" ye 
are they that have continued with me in my temptations ") involve visible appearances. 
The striking picture (by W. Dyce, R.A.) prefixed to Sanday's The Life of Christ in 
Recent Research presents a conception of the Temptation which it is difficult to dismiss. 
On the other hand, visualization in such a case does not seem to be psychologically 


tions ? He will not use His power to satisfy His personal needs, 
He will not commit the error of supposing that a spiritual 
kingdom can be established by material means, He will not 
be the conventional deus ex caelo. But, nevertheless. He will 
be the Messiah, about Whose person all these traditions have 
grown up. He is not come to^ destroy, but to fulfil. " I that 
speak unto thee am He." He transcends the old categories, 
bursts the old limitations, rejects many of the old associations, 
but He is Messiah. 

S. Luke's parables — far more of them than is commonly 
supposed, and yet not so many in S. Luke as in S. Matthew — are 
capable of bearing a forward, that is, an eschatological meaning. 
The thoroughgoing eschatologists refer everything to the future, 
which is an error. But short of this mechanical interpretation of 
the whole message of Jesus as a sort of post-dated cheque, the 
reference is often to the future. The Lord's Prayer, especially in 
the Lukan version (xi. 2) is an example. With the Matthsean 
version it might be contended that " Thy Kingdom come " is to 
be. interpreted in terms of " Thy will be done," and that the 
interest of the prayer is dominantly ethical. But S. Luke omits 
the clause " Thy will be done," ^ and the interest of his version 
of the prayer is largely eschatological. Of the actual parables, 
the Rich Fool (xii. 16), the parables about the duty of watching 
in xii. 35-48, the Pounds (xix. 11) ^ and the Wicked Husbandmen 
(xx. 9), and of course the definitely eschatological matter of 
chapter xxi., look forward to events that have not yet occurred. 
On the whole the eschatological element and eschatological 
interest in S. Luke's Gospel is slightly .smaller than in the other 
strands of the Synoptic record. Canon Streeter, who finds in this 
connexion' in the Gospels an increasing series, Q — ^Mark — ^Matthew, 
that is to say, that S. Mark is more eschatological than Q, and 
S. Matthew than S. Mark, adds that this does not apply to S. Luke, 
" in whom a slight, but only very slight, tendency to tone down 
eschatological language can be detected, doubtless the result of 

1 There is a curious alternative to the Lukan text, found in Mardon and one or 
two other very early witnesses : " Thy holy spirit come upon us and sanctify us." 

' It is to be noticed, however, that the introduction to the parable of the Pounds 
is highly significant : " He added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, 
and because they supposed that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." Cp. 
xvii. 22, xxi. 9, 12 — cases in which S. Luke hints at a postponement. 


Pauline influence." ^ Thus Lk. vi. 46 (" Why call ye me Lord, 
Lord, and do not the things that I say ") is less eschatological than 
Mt. vii. 21 ("Not every one that saith unto me, "Lord, Lord, 
shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven "). The Parable of the 
Pounds ends (Lk. xix. 27) without the conventional formula of 
Mt. XXV. 30 (" there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of 
teeth "). The prediction in Lk. xiii. 35 (" ye shall not see me 
till ye say. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ") 
is intended by S. Luke to refer to the Palm Sunday Entry (xix. 38), 
though S. Matthew, who probably dates the whole section more 
correctly (xxi. i f.), gives it an eschatological meaning. It seems 
likely -enough that in some of these cases (e.g. Lk. vi. 46 = Mt. 
vii. 21) the first Evangelist has " eschatologized " an originally 
non-eschatological saying. To do so is one of his tendencies, 
e.g. it is quite possible that the detailed eschatology of the explana- 
tion of the Parable of the Tares (Mt. xiii. 37-43) is due to him, 
and not to Our Lord. The decision in any given case depends on 
the amount of eschatology which must be believed to have been 
contained in the original source, a subject on which there is 
considerable difference of expert opinion. 

The general solution of the " eschatological difficulty " is, as 
we have seen, the solution which was adopted, although with 
varying emphasis and consistency, by the Evangelists, and has_ 
been adopted, on the whole, by Christendom. The " Coming " 
was, for the time being, realized when the Church was born. In 
particular S. Luke is associated with the belief that the dispensa- 
tion of the Spirit in the Church is a real continuation of the Life 
of Jesus. But he is also concerned to shew that the Life of Jesas 
was the necessary exordium to the dispensation of the Spirit. 
Where the King is, there is the Kingdom. This is what has been 
described as Transmuted Eschatology. It is not found only in 
S. Luke, but it is a feature of his Gospel. It means that events 
which have hitherto been supposed to be connected with the 
future advent of Messiah are actually occurring now.^ 

1 Oxfofd Studies, p. 426 n. (but see subsequent qualifications in Foundations, p.. 1 12 n.). 
For Q see below, p. 136 f. It means at least the non-Markan matter which is common to 
S. Matthew and S. Luke, with perhaps a good deal more. 

' The term is due to Prof, von Dobschtitz, whose Eschatology of the Gospels is 
a valuable corrective to the extreme view of Schweitzer. He points out (p. 150) 
that there is a double transmutation " in the sense that what was spoken of in the Jewish 


There is a familiar parallel. English Churchmen will readily 
recall the phrase of the Catechism, " I was made ... an inheritor 
of the kingdom of heaven." Is the kingdom there present or 
future ? Does inheritor mean one who has already inherited or 
one who will inherit in the future ? Plainly, it means both. 
The Church of the baptized is a real home of grace, and its members 
have a real communion with the heavenly world. But they are 
not yet perfected.^ 

So in the Gospel. Our liOrd knew that His own mission, vital 
as it was, was nevertheless of a preliminary character. " Greater 
things than these shall ye do." He taught the disciples to anti- 
cipate the time when He should belong, not only to the little 
group of persons who happened to be in earth at that time and 
in that place, but to all persons in all places and at all times ; He 
taught them to lift up their heads and look forward to the coming 
dispensation, when, after the universalizing which is pictured for 
us by the Ascension, He should be poised, as it were, above all 
human history, and there should be no distinction between Jew 
and Gentile, ancient and modern, contemporary witness or 
mystical believer. The kingdom was not yet, because the Spirit 
was not yet come, and the community was not yet spiritual. But 
where Jesus is, the kingdom is not altogether absent. The 
eschatological conceptions are transmuted into terms of what is 
already before the eyes of men. 

Here are some of the signs of the transmutation. It may be 
that Peter's confession, yvhatever the actual intention of the 

eschatology as to come in the last days is taken here as already at hand in the lifetime 
of Jesus ; transmuted at the same time in the other sense that what was expected as 
an external change is taken inwardly." But he seems content to place the eschatological 
and non-eschatological parts of Our Lord's teaching side by side, without relating 
them to one another. Thus, his explanation (p. 7) of the famous verse Mt. x. 23 seems 
rather cursory. It is, no doubt, because he overestimates the significance of Tiis true 
remark (p. 3) that whereas" eschatology was not so long ago the last chapter of dog- 
matics . . . time went on, and New Testament exegesis became historical instead 
of dogmatic." 

^ Thus the Church doctrine of the Eucharist looks backward (" Who in the same 
night in which He was betrayed. . . . This is My Body which is given for you ") and 
forward (" until His coming again "). The latter thought is the more Jewish part; 
the former, the element which has appealed more to Gentile believers. The Eucharistic 
doctrine of the Jewish Didache is eschatological, the doctrine of Justin is sacrificial. 
Schweitzer, as might be expected, lays the whole stress on eschatology. The Sacraments 
have the effect of " sealing " (cp. Ezek. ix. 4) the disciples in preparation for the coming 
Day. See Paul and his Interpreters, Eng. tr,, p. 243; The Quest of the Historical Jesus, 
V- 375 f- 


speaker, was accepted by Our Lord as pointing to the future. 
But the famous, " I beheld Satan fallen from heaven " (x. 18) 
seems to be an accomplished fact. And in the succeeding verses, 
while the fact of the disciples' names being written in heaven 
perhaps points forward,^ it is undoubtedly assumed that in fhe 
case of the subject spirits the powers of the kingdom are already 
in operation. 

More certain are the following. At the first sermon in Nazareth 
(iv. 21), " to-day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." The 
Sons of the bridechamber are not to fast while the bridegroom is 
with them (v. 34). " Blessed are the eyes which see the things 
which ye see " (x. 23). " If I with the finger of God cast out 
demons, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you " (xi. 20). 
Whatever be the meaning of the famous phrase, " The kingdom of 
God is within you " (xvii. 21), ^ at least the time referred to is the 
present. The kingdom has to some extent arrived already.^ ' 

Above all, there is the reply sent back to S. John Baptist 
when he asked, " Art thou he that should come or look we for 
another ? " The reply is a frank appeal to the signs of the 
kingdom which are before the eyes of the messengers. " Go, and 
tell John what things ye have heard and seen : the blind receive 
their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf 
hear : the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel 
preached unto them" (vii. 22). 

1 The idea of " names written in the book of life " (Phil. iv. 3 ; Rev. iii. 5, xx. 15, 
xxi. 27, etc.) is a favourite Apocalyptic idea. 

^ The actual meaning of the words is almost certainly " within you," not " among 
you." For " among " S. Luke would have said iv fiiirco, which occurs seven times in 
his Gospel (see especially xxii. 27) and' four times in Acts. (One of the New Sayings of 
Jesus (Grenfell and Hunt, 1904), which may conceivably be genuine, though it includes a 
Greek proverb, is " the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and whosoever shall know 
himself shall find it.") The difficulty is that the words are addressed to the Pharisees. 
For the present purpose the difference of meaning is not, material. It is to be noted 
that the passage is the great stronghold of those " Liberal " theologians who minimize 
the eschatological elements of the original Gospel. See p. 50, n. i . 

' My friend and former pupil, Mr. Philip Carrington, points out to me that when 
Dr. Winstanley (Jesus and the Future, pp. 61-72) maintains that there is in the earliest 
reports of Our Lord's utterances no clear reference to a present Kingdom, but neverthe- 
less admits that it is " potentially present " and " an earnest of its power is recognized 
in the acts of Jesus," that this, though " barely visible and meagre," is yet a " com- 
mencement," and that " loyal adherents " "see the tokens of the Messianic age already 
about them," he is giving to the word " future " an unusually enlarged sense. A 
Kingdom of which the results are already in operation is a Kingdom that has begun to 
arrive. So Mr. Montefiore remarks on Lk. xvi. 16, " Here the Kingdom is not merely 
future. In one sense men can and do enter it already " (Synoptic Gospels, ii. p. 999). 


Gnce more, the Lukan transmuted eschatology is summed up 
in one phrase of the story of Zacchseus (xix. i-io), " This day is 
salvation come to this house." The extravagances of thorough- 
going eschatology can be met by the statement, which in itself is 
likely to be generally accepted, that this saying might have been 
assigned, with equal verisimiHtude, to almost any of the incidents 
related in the Gospel. If we had found it in connexion with any 
of the persons whom Jesus ever met, we should hardly have 
questioned its appropriateness. 

Finally, xxii. 69 (" From now the Son of Man shall be seated 
at the right hand of the power of God "), reveals that even if the 
time of glory be in the future, it is a future strictly continuous 
with the present time. 

In general, the Gospel ethics, both in the Evangel as a whole 
and in S. Luke in particular, are largely independent of eschatology. 
" When we recall the prevailing tone of ethical teaching, and still 
more the habitual attitude of the Teacher to the world in which 
He found himself, it is difficult to see in it a predominating quality 
of indifference to the world's affairs, or a complete preoccupation 
with a supernatural catastrophe. On the contrary, the ethics of 
Jesus exhibit on the whole a kind of sanity, universality, and 
applicability which are independent of abnormal circumstances 
and free from emotional strain. There is nothing apocalyptic in 
the parable of the Good Samaritan, or in the appropriation by 
Jesus of the two great commandments, or in the prayer for to-day's 
bread and the forgiveness of trespasses, or in the praise of peace- 
making or of purity of heart. Yet in these, and not in the mys- 
terious prophecies of an approaching desolation, the conscience of 
the world has found its Counsellor and Guide." ^ , 

After all, we know that Our Lord was actually reproached 
because He lived too much in the world, because He came eating 

1 Prof. F. G. Peabody, quoted in Emmet, The Eschatological Question in the Gospels, 
p. 62. Compare the fact pointed put by von DobschUtz (The Eschatology of the Gospels, 
p. 153 f.) that passages related by S. Mark and Q and thus proved to have been popular 
and' widely known, are mainly non-eschatological. Thus he notes that of the thirty 
passages of this kind quoted in Burkitt's Gospel History (p. 147 f.) only seven can be 
called eschatological. The rest " contain non-eschatological matter of a moral cha- 
racter." And yet the Gospel ethics are never mere ethics. " It is idle to pretenii 
that His influence has been purely ethical. He has satisfied, not only the moral, but 
the mystical needs of millions for centuries, and His moral influence has been largely 
dependent on His mystical influence " (Tyrrell, Christianity at the Cross-Roads, p. 102). 


and drinking, and was the friend of publicans and sinners. His 
commands are given absolutely. His teaching, for example, about 
marriage goes back to the beginning — ab initio autem non fuit sic 
— and, as far as we can see, looks forward to an end of which the 
near imminence is not even hinted -in this context. Part of 
S. Paul's teaching on the subject (i Cor. vii. 26, 29) is really 
Interimsethik, but Our Lord's teaching is not. So, too, the com- 
mands to love your enemies, to forgive, to be pitiful and patient, 
to be like Mary rather than like Martha, not to live in the clouds,^ 
but to love God and serve man — all these are absolute and timeless. 
They have actually been attempted, and found to be a true way 
of life, by persons for whom any expectation of a coming cosmic 
crisis is at most an occasional side-thought. " We are struck at 
once by the fact that the shortness of the time is, in fact, never 
emphasized in the Sermon on the Mount, or in many other parts 
of Christ's ethical teaching. He does not say ' Give away your 
coat, for there will never be another winter,' or ' Do not trouble 
about the needs of the body since the time is quickly coming 
when they will all be superseded.' On the contrary, it is ' Realize 
the true values of the earthly and the spiritual in all conditions 
of life, and trust your Heavenly Father.' And so we find, in fact, 
all through Christ's teaching that where the eschatological motive, 
with its stress on the shortness of the time, is prominent, the 
contents of the teaching are commonplace (' repent '), and in 
no way affected by this idea. On the other hand, where the con- 
tents of this teaching might be regarded as determined by the 
eschatological outlook, the eschatological motive is conspicuously 
absent." 2 

S. Luke, then, knows how to rescue the Apocalyptic element 
from its association only with the end of all things, and also to 
shew that it is part of the complete and permanent Gospel. Can 

1 fiT] iicT€a>pi^ea-6f, Lk. xii. 29. Cf. Ps. cxxxi. (cxxx.) i. 

' C. W. Emmet in J'he Faith and the War, p. 200. See also the same writer's paper, 
" Is the Teaching of Jesus an Interimsethik ? " read at Leiden Congress for the History 
of Religions, and printed in the Expositor, Nov. 1912, p. 423 f. Mr. Montefiore concludes 
his Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels with the words : " He was not always the prophet 
of doom and repentance : he was also the Seel-sorger ; the saver of souls, the shepherd. 
... He does not merely predict that, in the future, in the Kingdom which is to come, 
men will know God truly ; he seeks by his own care and influence and love, by his 
example and teaching, to make them know God truly now. He seeks to save and to 
redeem " (ii. 1098). 


he do this with the more violent, catastrophic element in the 
Apocalyptic ? It is commonly asserted that he is not quite equal 
to deahng with what may be called the extreme left wing of the 
traditional material. Canon Streeter's verdict was referred to 
just now, and it may be allowed that in this as in some other 
respects S. Luke's is the mildest of the three Gospels. Its author 
is, as Dante said, the scriba mansuetudinis Christi. It is also the 
most Hellenic. Thus in xxi. 28 he concludes g highly eschato- 
logical passage ^ with the comparatively quiet ending, " When 
these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, 
for your redemption draweth nigh." Elsewhere he to a certain 
extent " rationalizes " the predictions. In xxii. 69 he at least 
connects the coming glory with the present by adding " from 
now," and in the same passage he, omits " and coming on the 
clouds of heaven," which is found in both Mk, and Mt. In xxi. 20 
he substitutes for the mysterious phrase of Daniel the much more 
intelligible gloss, " Jerusalem compassed by armies." There is, 
in fact, little doubt that he would regard the destruction of 
Jerusalem as a " Coming " of the Lord. 

But there is an impressive group of passages in the Gospel 
which shew that the Evangelist does not refuse to handle the 
more violent element in the material that came before him. 

One of the most striking features in the character of the 
Apocalyptic Christ, as depicted by S. Luke, is His attitude of 
being constrained and borne along by an absorbing — even violent 
— sense of mission. It is in this direction that Eschatology has 
done so much to vindicate Christianity as a real religion. One of 
the conclusions of the eschatologists in which there is surely a 
great deal of truth is that Our Lord solemnly and deliberately 
approached His death, believing that it would release forces 
which were required for the establishment of His kingdom. 
S. Matthew ^ and S. Luke would agree that it was His Death and 
Resurrection which burst the bounds of merely Jewish nationality. 
And S. Luke is, of course, particularly associated with the position 

1 Although Dr. Abbott speaks of " the comparatively cheerful discourse on the 
Coming " of Lk. as contrasted with Mt. (Encycl. Bibl., ii. 1792). 

^ " Universalism " only appears in S. Matthew's Gospel in the last chapter, after 
the Resurrection. There is no earlier parallel to xxviii. 19, " Go ye and make disciples 
,of all the nations." Cp. Lk. xxiv. 47-49. 


that His Ascension and Return at Pentecost completed the 
process of uhiversalization, and made Him available for the 
needs of all lands and all times. But within Our Lord's earthly 
Hfetime there is evidence from S. Luke's Gospel that He anticipated 
something of the kind. 

It is seen most clearly in the long section ix. 51-xviii. 14, 
the contents of which are largely peculiar to S. Luke. It is 
the story of the final journey to Jerusalem. It begins with the 
striking passage, " And it came to pass, when the days were 
being accomplished that he should be received up, he stedfastly 
set his face to go to Jerusalem " (ix. 51). There is a new stern- 
ness in the paragraphs which immediately follow. The ignorant 
Samaritans are not punished for their ignorance. But three 
postulants (57-62) are warned of hardships and deprivations that 
now begin to be involved in 'following. It may be noted that the 
third member of the group appears only in S. Luke. In xii. 49-5 1 , 
a passage of which two-thirds is Lukan only, Our Loxd says, " I 
came to cast fire upon the earth, and what will I " (that is, prob- 
ably, " what should I then have left to work for ") " if it is already 
kindled ? ^ But I have a Baptism to be baptized with, and how 
am I straitened [or ' constrained '] till it be accomplished ? " 
i.e. " When death shall have baptized Me into a freer, less straitened 
life, then I can truly and perfectly inaugurate the kingdom." In 
xiii. 32, another " Lukan only " passage. Our Lord says, " Go, 
and say to that fox [Herod Antipas], Behold, I cast out demons 
and perform cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am 
perfected. Howbeit, I must go on my way to-day and to-morrow, 
and the day following ; for it cannot be that a prophet perish 
out of Jerusalem." In xvi. 16 we have a reference, apparently 
in praise, to the temper required in those who would lay violent 
hold of what God gives — " the law and the prophets were until 
John ; from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is 
preached, and every man entereth violently into it." ^ The 

1 It seems just possible that this is an allusion to the fierce suggestion of James 
and John that they should call down fire from heaven on the inhospitable Samaritan 
village (ix. 54). A variation of this saying is quoted by Origen {Horn, in Jerem. iii, 
p. 778), apparently from some Apocryphal Gospel, " He that is near me is near the 
fire ; he who is far from me is far from the kingdom." 

* This passage, or rather the parallel passage in S. Matthew — " from the days of 
John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and violent men 


Palm Sunday Entry, and the weeping over the city, -which 
immediately follows (xix. 41), are the actions of One Who knows 
what is before Him. The eagerness of the prelude to the Supper, 
" with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before 
I suffer " (xxii. 15), and the solemnity of the words spoken in the 
Garden, " this is your hour and the power of darkness " (xxii. 53), 
are two more elements in the tragic picture. And the whole 
bearing of Our Lord throughout the Lukan account of the Passion 
is that of One Who moves serenely, deliberately, sadly, freely 
along a predetermined road.^ S. Luke's own reconciliation of the 
freedom and the fixity of the final issue is found in Acts ii. 23 : 
" Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore- 
knowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have 
crucified and slain." 

Thus the Lukan solution is of two kinds. The religion of 
Jesus was capable of being carried over into the quiet, regular 
processes of a Church, and the Church itself was only an extension 
of the Incarnate Life of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth, Who required 
faith in those around Him, Who demanded from them an intense 
activity of co-operating prayer, was well assured that, though 
God His Father would shortly make Him Lord and Christ, yet 
His Lordship and Hi's Christhood would not become perfectly 
effective till all Israel should be saved and the fulness of the 
Gentiles should come in. His own appointed triumph and the 
coming of the kingdom with power and great glory lay on the 
other side of death. But that death would be for the ransom of 
many. The spiritual children of His Body were already come 
almost to the birth. But without the Cross He would not have 

take it by force "• — which is generally considered the more authentic version, is con- 
nected by Dr. E. F. Scott with Our Lord's constant teaching, as recorded especially by 
S. Luke, about the value of insistent prayer (The Kingdom and the Messiah, p. 142). 
It is as if He had been asked, " What hinders the coming of the kingdom ? " and 
Jlis answer was, " It depends on you. If you can storm the courts of heaven with 
your prayers, and lay yourselves down, as living stones, to build up the highway on which 
it may arrive, then it will be soon." See also Dr. Scott's admirable exegesis (op. cit. 
p. 228 f.) of Lk. xii. 49-51. 

1 See alsoxviii. 31, xxii. 22, 37, xxiv. 25-27, 44-47. Compare (at an earlier period) 
iv. I, 14. The note of freedom will be observed if we compare any of these passages 
with Ezek. iii. 14. A desire to assimilate our Lord's experience to another passage of 
Ezekiel (viii. 3) led in The Gospel according to the Hebrews to the following : " Just now 
my mother the Holy Spirit took me by one of my hairs, and bore me away to the great 
mountain Thabor." A similar incident is related in Bel and the Dragon, 36. Cp. also 
Ezek. xi. i, 24, xxxvii. i, xliii. 5. 


strength to bring them forth. Only that Baptism of blood 
would summon into being the sons and daughters that God would 
give Him. His paiigs would be their life. And the new Hfe to 
which He himself should come through death would then be their 
life for ever. Parent and children, Saviour and saved, Christ and 
His Church, for ever. 

So Jesus of Nazareth must have His followers, and Christ 
must have His Church. 



The Gospel, which is so full of mystery and Apocalyptic, draws 
also a homely picture of the friend of sinners. 

It may seem, perhaps, after what has been said about the 
Enochian associations of the title " Son of Man," ^ that the heading 
of this chapter is not really legitimate. But even if it be true 
that " Son of Man " in Our Lord's life is always Apocalyptic,^ yet 
it was even in that connexion joined by Him to the idea of suffer- 
ing. Further, it was of all possible Messianic titles the most 
broadly human. It was inclusive as far as the Jewish nation 
was concerned. It summed up the twofold expectation of the 
Messianic kingdom and its representative head. And it was also 
inclusive in a larger sense. It was much less purely national 
than the Hebrew title of Messiah. It prepared the way, as 
S. Luke undoubtedly perceives, for the Christian doctrine of 
Christ and the Church which was presently to emerge. 

If, on the other hand, it could be supposed, with Dr. Abbott,' 
that the title is (a) not Messianic at all, and (b) adopted from 
Canonical rather than Deutero-canonical sources, and that its 
reference is to Gen. i. 26 (" man, in our image "), to Ezekiel, 
where it is used for the prophet himself, and to Dan. vii. 13, where 
it means " Man " who is to have dominion over " Beast," its use 
in connexion with " the sons of men " would need no defence. 

Anyhow, the purpose of this chapter is only to indicate some 
ways in which S. Luke draws attention to the sheer humanity of 
Jesus, both in Himself and as the central figure of the groups by 
which He was surrounded. 

' See p. 38 f. 

' " His use of it as a title of office was always proleptic . . . but it always included, 
when applied to Himself, a reference to His present human life " (McNeile, S. Matthew, 
p. XXV.). ' The Message of the Son of Man. 



(i) The Son of Man is represented as living the ordinary life. 
In fact, the common portrait in most people's minds is drawn 
largely from S. Luke. His is the domestic Gospel. It is he who 
shews Our Lord a guest in the house of His friends. His Jesus is 
familiar with the life of the poor man, with the patching by which 
he lengthens the life of his cheap clothes, with the awkward 
situation created by the unexpected arrival of a stranger late at 
night, with the homely nuisance (perhaps the serious embarrass- 
ment) of a shilling that has somehow rolled into a corner of the 
kitchen. His Jesus knows the facts of country life, the ways of 
fish and seeds and flowers, the price of sparrows, the signs of 
to-morrow's weather. He knows, as any countryman will know, 
that a man must water his beasts or deal with a sudden accident 
on the farm if it be half a dozen Sabbaths. He is in the midst 
of His people as One that serveth. Unlike the ascetic John, He 
comes " eating and drinking," He feeds the bodies of His friends 
with bread, , the poor man's food, and He will leave the same 
elemental means of living on the everlasting Table of His spiritual 
hospitality. He preaches about figs and brambles and children 
and beggars and fathers and sons from the pulpit of a hill-side or 
a fishing-boat, in conimon dress and workaday employ. Two 
paragraphs of Dr. T. R. Glover will express my meaning much 
better than I could myself. " It was Mary, we may believe, who 
put the leaven in three measures of meal . . . and Jesus sat by 
the fire and watched it. In after years the sight came back to 
Him. He remembered the big basin, the heaving, panting mass 
in it, the bubbles struggling out, swelling and breaking, and 
the level rising and falling. It came to Him as a picture of the 
Kingdom of Heaven at work in the individual man and in the 
community." And again : " They saw Him in every sort of 
situation, at every sort of disadvantage, and they came to 
know Him, they would have said, through and through— 
though afterwards they might not have been so sure. They 
talked with Him, one supposes, about every conceivable topic 
in which men could be interested, Herods and Roman Governors, 
zealot tales told by Simon, custom-house memories of Levi, 
fisher-talk of Peter and James and John, neighbour-talk of 
houses and men and their sons— even gossip of Galilean tragedies 


in Jerusalem and accidents of falling towers. What failed to 
interest Him ? " ^ 

It is worth noting that nearly all the material for this impres- 
sion is taken from S. Luke. 

A large proportion of Our Lord's teaching, as recorded in this 
Gospel, arises out of casual questions or incidents of everyday 
life. Examples are xi. 45, xiii. i, xiii. 31, xviii. 18, xx. 2, xxi. 5, 
xxii. 24. The Parables, in many cases, have a similar origin. 
The Two Debtors is the result of neglectful discourtesy and an 
unspoken thought of Simon the Pharisee (vii. 36-50). The Good 
Samaritan is an attempt to pierce the self-complacency- of a 
lawyer (x. 29). The Rich Fool is Our Lord's comment on a 
family quarrel (xii. 13), the Great Supper on a piece of idle senti- 
ment (xiv. 15). The three " Lost " Parables of the fifteenth 
chapter are the answer to a reproach. The Lukan Parables are 
not formal expositions of the nature of the Kingdom, they are 
appeals ad hominem. And they are drawn for the most part, not 
from the processes of nature, but from the facts of human life and 

Our Lord in His Ministry had very little privacy, except what 
He made for Himself frqm time to time. Too poor to buy 
seclusion, too greatly beloved to be left to it for long, too human, 
it would seem, to desire it overmuch. He lived, from the day of 
His unscreened Nativity to the day of His public and notorious 
Crucifixion, the crowded, gossip-ridden and unleisured life which 
in this world is the invariable lot of all but a few favoured persons. 

(ii) The Suffering Servant. 

It has generally been held that the mysterious group of the 
four living creatures in the first chapter of Ezekiel's prophecy is 

^ The Meaning and Purpose of a Christian Society., pp. 1 8, 47. Cp. The Jesus of History. 
by the same author, pp. 27-28, 81. Mr. Glover has brought out with vivid accuracy 
the fact that the experience on which Our Lord drew on His teaching was largely the 
experience of His own home life. " Are we to think that all the tenderness of Jesus 
came to Him by a miracle when He was thirty years of age ? Must we not think it 
was all growing up in that house and in that shop ? Or did He never tell a story — 
He who tells them so charmingly — ^till He wanted parables ? " (p. 30). Again, on 
vii. 32 : " How strange, and how delightful, that the great Gospel, full of God's word 
for manldnd, should have a little comer in it for such reminiscences of children's 
games I " (p, 36). 

^ Dr. Stanton points out that in the one exception to this generalization^-the 
Barren Fig-Tree — " the conversation of the proprietor and the gardener forms a large 
and significant part of the parable " (Gospels, etc., ii, p. 231). 


capable of being treated as symbolic of the four Evangelists. 
The exact meaning of the symbolism is " variously explained by 
different writers from Irenaeus (III. ii. 8) downwards. But all 
agree in assigning the Ox or Calf to S. Luke." ^ The ox is the 
sacrificial animal, and S. Luke's is a Gospel of sacrifice. I leave 
on one side the question of atoning, priestly sacrifice which, 
except for occasional symbol and suggestion, S. Luke excludes 
from his own range, ^ and speak only of its tale of suffering. From 
the outset the Saviour is rejected and despised. And this is 
natural. " Thus is it written, that the Christ should suffer." 
Given the conditions of human life, given the fact of sin, the 
necessary lot of Love Incarnate is service and sacrifice. And so 
he is born in a stable, because the house of public entertainment 
is occupied by more important persons. .As an infant, it is said 
of Him that He is for a sign that shall be spoken against. As a 
boy, He is misunderstood by Joseph and His Mother. He is 
compelled by His knowledge of the history of the chosen people 
and by the facts of His own life to pronounce His benediction 
upon the poor, the hungry, the weeping, the hated, and the perse- 
cuted. The momentary tumult of acclaim which greets His 
philanthropic ministries is unintelligent, and distracts Him from 
His real work. The confession (ix. 20) of the one eager soul who 
penetrates a little way below the surface is followed immediately 
by the prediction of the Passion, " The Son of Man must suffer 
many things." ^ The Cross is a necessary part, not merely of the 
burden, but of the equipment of His followers. To play the miser 
with one's life is false economy, but sacrifice is salvation. The 

^ Plummer, S. Luke, p. xxii. The writer known as Ps.-Athanasius appears to be 
an exception. 

» But it is never very far away. It is not without purpose that the scene of the 
first two chapters is in and around the Temple, and also that, in Westcott's words, 
" the last view which St. Luke gives of the of&ce of the risen Saviour corresponds with 
the earlier traits in which he shews His relation to mankind. ... He is the High 
Priest in whose name repentance and remission of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations 

^the Mediator who sends forth to men the promise of the Father " [Introd. to Study of 

Gospels, pp. 339-340). 

» On this passage Schmiedel undiscemingly remarks : " Least of all is it -credible . 
that Jesus should have put forth such a prediction directly after Peter's Confession. 
This confession must have been one of the supreme moments in the joyous consciousness 

of Jesus ^the discovery that he was finding recognition as the Messiah and was winning 

His battle. Suffering and death are the very opposite of all that is looked for in the ^ 
Jewish Messiah, and of what Jesus at that moment could have looked forward to for 
himself " (Encycl. Bibl, ii, 1887). 



quality and survival-value of a soul is to be gauged by the freedom 
with which it is content to spend itself (ix. 23, 24). 

In the same chapter Moses and Elijah are seen attendant 
upon the Transfigured Christ. But the subject of their speech 
with Him is the Death which He is shortly to accomplish in 
Jerusalem. And the scene of exaltation is followed by a reminder 
of human suffering, the pathetic incident of the demoniac boy 
with the distracted father and the impotent disciples. And this 
again by, " Let these words sink into your hearts : for the Son of 
Man shall be delivered up into the hands of men." 

He weeps aloud (xix. 41) at the sight of the holy city, which 
kills the prophets (xiii. 34), from whose eyes the things of her 
own peace are hid. The testament, or covenant, which He has 
desired with a great desire (xxii. 15) to seal with His disciples 
before His suffering, is sealed with His own blood. Before the 
coming of the kingdom in which He shall drink the new wine of 
Resurrection with His regenerated friends, a body must be 
broken on a cross, and blood poured out in death. The denial of 
Peter is touched by S. Luke with a peculiar pathos. He alone 
tells us (xxii. 61) that " the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter." 
And lastly, after the Resurrection, when Our Lord expounded to 
the two disciples the things which were written of Himself in 
Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, and opened their mind 
that they might understand the scriptures, He said " thus it is 
written, that the Christ should suffer." 

One special element in the burden that lay upon the Master's 
heart, as it lay afterwards upon the heart of His great Apostle, 
was His rejection by His own people.^ S. Luke does not pretend 
that the actual message of the Galilean Jesus was addressed to 
any but the house of Israel : his own universalism appears only 
in an allusion here and there. But his Gospel describes the 
preparation for that inevitable time when an ardent patriot, 
whose maxim was " t6 the Jew first," was driven to exdaim, 
" seeing therefore that ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves 
unworthy of eternal life, lo ! we turn to the Gentiles " (Acts xiii. 
46). The rejection by the Nazarenes (iv. 29) and the failure of 

* Dr. Latimer Jackson finds the " note of pessimism " in words which " tell of 
members of His own nation excluded from the Kingdom " (e.g. Lk. xiii. 28) (Eschatology 
of Jesus, p. 46). 


the purpose that would have gathered the children of Jerusalem 
as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings, are the 
beginning and the end of the remorseless chain of sorrows that 
make Our Lord say, with the pregnant pathos of one who faces 
facts and yet refuses to impair the freedom of the human con- 
science, " When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith upon 
the earth ? " (xviii. .8). 

These, then, are elements in S. Luke's picture of the Lord. It 
remains only to shew how the sons of men were drawn to Him, 
how it came to pass that " all the people hung upon Him to hear 
Him " (xix. 48). 

The Evangelist's own approach is clearly seen. His personal 
affinities are with the ascetic side of Our Lord's life and teaching. 
S. Paul had emphasized this aspect. Partly perhaps because he 
so understood the Gospel, but more because he believed that he 
was writing with the End almost in sight, he had bidden his 
converts stand loose from earthly ties.^ And S. Luke's sym- 
pathies are with the " virgin daughters, which did prophesy " 
(Acts xxi. 9), with the devout widow watching unto prayer, with 
those who are driven by the all-absorbing violence of vocation to 
separate themselves from earthly bonds and to " hate," as he 
puts it, their father and their mother ^ : "So therefore whosoever 
he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be 
my disciple " (xiv. 33) ; " Give for alms those things that ye 
can ; and, behold, all things are clean unto you " (xi. 41) ; " Sell 

^ It must always be remembered that although nearly all S. Paul's moral teach- 
ing is entirely independent of eschatology (see p. 34), the inadequate conception of 
marriage in i Cor. vii. (see especially vv. 2 and 9) is due to " the present distress " (26), 
and because " the time is shortened " (29) (cp. Lk. xxi. 34-36, xxiii. 29, xyii. 28). A 
much more worthy doctrine is found in Eph. v. 25-33. On the subject of asceticism 
in S. Luke's Gospel it may be remarked that if the Evangelist has learned some of it 
from S. Paul, he has learned from tjie same teacher that to be of aily value it must 
be free. Is it too hazardous, for example, to suggest that the Lukan wording of v. 34 
(" Can ye make the sons of the bridechamber to fast ? ") is affected by recollection of 
some indignant Pauline denunciation of the legal spirit ? Mt. ix. 15 has " Can the 
sons of the bridechamber fast ? " It must be admitted that some of the early Christians 
were a little wooden about their fasting. The Didache enjoins (chap, yiii), " Let not 
your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the 
week, but do ye keep your fast on the fourth and the preparation (the sixth) day." 

* The difficulty of determining what exactly is meant by " hating "• father and 
mother is in one sense increased, but is also mitigated, when it is observed that the 
disciple is required to hate " his own soul also." It is significant that Lk. alone adds 
here " and wife " (xiv. 26). So also in xiv. 23 he alone records the injunction to go 
out " into the highways and hedges." Cp. Deut. xxxiii. 9. 


that ye have, and give alms ; make for yourselyes purses which 
wax not old, a treasure in the heavens thatfaileth not " (xii. 33). 
S. Luke has in common with the other Evangelists the stories of 
the rich young man,^ and the widow's mite, but he alone records 
Our Lord's injunction to invite the poor, the maimed, the halt, 
and the blind, who will be unable to return the hospitahty (xiv. 
12-15) ; ^^ alone relates the warning of the backsliding worldli- 
ness of Lot's wife (xvii. 32), and how Our Lord obtained from the 
disciples the admission (xxii. 35) that, when He sent them forth 
without purse or wallet or shoes, they had lacked nothing. The 
Lukan parables include the Good Samaritan, Dives and Lazarus, 
the Importunate Widow. His version of the Beatitudes blesses 
those who suffer actual hunger and are physically poor,^ and he 
adds to them " Woes " upon the rich, the full, those who laugh 
now and those of whom all men speak well (vi. 20-26). It is not 
fair to call his Gospel " Ebionite," if the term is intended to 
involve a condemnation of all property, but in general the Lukan 
way, if I may borrow Mr. Stephen Graham's title, is the way of 
Mary rather than the way of Martha. 

Again, it is well known that his references to Our Lord. as 
praying are far more numerous than those of the other Gospels. 
There are no less than seven allusions peculiar to S. Luke. Of 
these, the " Ember prayer " (" He went up into the mountain to 
pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. And when it 

^ Origen has preserved the following addition to the story : " Another rich man 
said to Him, ' Master, what good thing shall I do to live ? ' He said to him, ' O man, 
fulfil the Law and the Prophets.' He answered Him, ' I have fulfilled them.' He 
said to him, ' Go, sell all that thou possessest, and come follow Me.' But the rich 
man began to scratch his head, and it did not please him. ' And the Lord said to him, 
' How sayest thou, I have fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, since it is written in the 
Law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ; and lo I many of thy brethren, sons 
of Abraham, are clothed in filth, dying of hunger ; and thy house is full of many, goods, 
and nothing at all goes out of it to them ? And he turned and said to Simon his 
disciple, who was sitting by Him, ' Simon, son of John, it is easier for a camel to enter 
the eye of a needle than for a rich man [to enter] into the kingdom of heaven ' " (Comm. 
on S. Matthew, torn. xvi. 14). 

" The supposed difficulty of this is eased by two considerations : (i) The constant 
use in the Prophets and Psalms of the term " poor " in the sense of "-godly poor " 
implies that S. Luke's " poor " is probably not very different in meaning from S. 
Matthew's " poor in spirit " ; (2) Dr. Stanton, who considers that the Lukan form is 
the more original, says : " In St. Luke the gesture described at the beginning of the 
discourse — ' He lifted up His eyes upon His disciples and said ' — and the direct address 
to them throughout should be noticed [i.e. '-Blessed are ye poor, etc.'] ; it is not all 
the poor who are blessed, but Christ's disciples, although they are poor " {Gospels, etc., 
ii, p. 107). 


was day, he called his disciples ; and he chose from them twelve, 
whom also he named apostles," vi. 12), and the Lukan setting of 
the Paternoster (" And it came to pass, as he was praying in a 
certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said to 
him. Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples " 
(xi. i) ), are the most important.^ Three of the " Lukan only " 
parables, the Friend at midnight (xi. 5-8), the Unjust Judge 
(xviii. 1-8), and the Publican (xviii. 9-14) are parables of prayer. 

Closely connected with his ascetic sympathies,^ but perhaps 
less Pauline, is the place which he assigns to women. It is perhaps 
not always realized that S. Luke tells us all we know about 
Elizabeth, Anna, the mother at Nain (vii. 11), Joanna, who 
ministered to Jesus of her substance (viii. 3), the sentimental 
woman in the crowd, who exclaimed, " Blessed is the womb that 
bare thee " (xi. 27), the " daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had 
bound, lo ! these eighteen years," who was healed with the 
touching words, " Thou art loosed from thine infirmity " (xiii. 12), 
the widow whose continued pleading won even the unrighteous 
judge (xviii. 3), the woman, in the parable, who lost the piece of 
silver (xv. 8), and the women, the daughters of Jerusalem, who 
bewailed and lamented on the road to Calvary (xxiii. 28). From 
S. Luke we learn a great deal of what we know about the Virgin 
Mother and about Martha and Mary. In the story, related by 
all four Evangelists, of the woman who anointed Our Lord with 
the precious ointment, many of the most familiar features, the 
fact that the woman was a sinner, the contempt of the Pharisee, 
the whole story of the two forgiven debtors and the " greater love," 
are found only in S. Luke (vii. 36-50).^ 

Apart from these special points there are many indications of 

1 The others are iii. 21 (the Baptism), v. 16, ix. 18 (before the Confession of 
S. Peter), ix. 28 (the Transfiguration), and xxii. 32 ("Simon, Simon ... I prayed 
for thee"). 

» See F. C. Burkitt, The Gospel History, pp. 214-215 : " We must never forget that 
Christian asceticism has generally tended towards the equalization of the sexes. . . . 
And so the Gospel which most strikes the ascetic note is also that which tells us most 
of the part played by women in the Gospel history." 

' Perplexing features of this narrative are that S. John twice over (xi. 2, xii. 3) 
says that this woman was Mary of Bethany, and also that, while S. Luke relates the 
incident as early as the seventh chapter, all the other Evangelists assign it to the last 
week. There is no evidence for the common identification of S. Luke's " woman who 
was a sinner " with Mary Magdalene. In fact, the mention of her a few verses later 
(viii. 2) makes the identification rather particularly .difficult. 


the Pauline tinge of his beHef. His use of Pauline words hke 
" repentance " and " grace " ^ is but a small part of the evidence. 
The whole Gospel is Pai^Une. He begins his genealogy not, as 
S. Matthew, from Abraham, the father of the Jews, but from Adam, 
the father of humanity. His Christ is a light to lighten the 
Gentiles ; He has one law for the home-born and the foreigner, 
for the Jew and the Samaritan alike. It was his Gospel which 
Marcion, the second-century anti-Semitic " Paulinist " who 
believed that the whole history of the Jews was of the devil, 
adapted to fit his curious purpose. But, on the other hand, it 
required considerable adapting.^ For, like S. Paul, our Evangelist 
could never forget that salvation was given in the first instance 
through the Jewish Church. He could appreciate the charm of the 
picturesque old Judaism which he describes in his first two chapters, 
and his parable of the unfruitful but regenerated fig-tree (xiii. 
6-9) is one of many that shew his belief that Judaism still had 
a chance. 

In various passages he sketches what he clearly intends to 
be the typical relations between the believer and the Lord. The 
tone is very Pauline. There is, for example, v. i-ii, the story 
of the call of Peter, already noticed in connexion with the inter- 
pretation of Professor Schmiedel. The attitude of Peter, who 
falls down at Jesus' knees, saying, " Depart from me, for I am a 
sinful man, O Lord," is the inevitable and proper attitude. Only 
thus can man hope to hear the reassuring message, which is with- 
held till then, that there is no need to be afraid ; because he has 
been a humble servant, the Master will make him a great prince ; 
because he had bravely faced the facts of his own soul, he shall 

* Of this the best examples are vi. 32 (33, 34), where for S. Matthew's " What 
reward have ye ? " he substitutes " What grace have ye ? " and v. 32, where in the 
saying, " I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," the last 
two words belong, according to the true text, to S. Luke only. In vi. 36 he substitutes 
" pitiful " for S. Matthew's " perfect," and in viii. 12 he adds a Pauline touch, " believe 
and be saved." There is perhaps a Pauline ring about the form of the saying recorded 
in xviii. 8, " shall he find faith on the earth ? " about the repeated " thy faith hath 
saved thee " (vii. 50, viii. 48, xvii. 19, xviii. 42), and the substitution of " unfaithful " 
in xii. 46 for the " hypocrites " of Mt. xxiv. 51. 

' The version of S. Luke's Gospel which Marcion constructed can be reproduced 
almost exactly from the comments of TertuUian {Adv. Marcionem). He omitted about 
300 verses, i.e. the first three chapters (except iii. i) and various other sections of which 
he disapproved. Some, e.g. xi. 29-32 (Jonah), are for obvious reasons, but it is less easy 
to see why he left out the Parable of the Prodigal Son. See Sanday, Gospels in the 
Second Century, chap, viii, and Burkitt, Gospel History, chap. ix. 


win the souls of others. And further7when once the great sur- 
render has been made and the great promise heard, it is possible 
to forsake all and follow, even though a thousand questions are 
still unanswered. The principle that justifies so wild an adventure 
is the Pauline principle that " Faithful is he that caUeth you, 
who also will perform " (i Thess. v. 24). The parable (in xvii. 7) 
of the master who makes his servant wait upon him and only 
then serve himself sounds at first rather harsh. It seems, more- 
over, that the servant must not expect, and the master is not 
required to give, any thanks for what is done. But the point is 
the thoroughly Pauline point that the relation of God and man 
is not a bargain. There is no question of earning or deserving. 
It is " not of works." It is an affair, from end to end, of grace.' 
The initial fact, the undeserved miracle, is that God has had mercy 
on a sinner.^ And so in the end the servants are left saying, 
" We have established no kind of claim. It is all the free, gracious 
gift of God. We are unprofitable servants. We have only done 
that which we were bound in our Christian honour" to perform." ^ 
No sketch, of the Lukan conception of the relations between 
God and man would be complete without some reference to the 
Parable of the Prodigal Son, If the story of the Wicked Husband- 
men (xx. 9) is, in an historical sense, the Gospel in brief, yet 
homiletically and spiritually the title of Evangdium in evangelio 
must be assigned to the Prodigal Son. The only parable that 
could dispute is perhaps the Good Samaritan. Both are found in 
S. Luke only. In the story of the Prodigal (xv. 11) it has been, 
sometimes noticed that there is apparently no atonement.^- Sir 
Oliver Lodge, for instance, has remarked that there seems to be 
no feeling on the part of the father which has to be " removed by 

I Cp. the unsparing truthfulness of rjKtriiiivos in i Cor. vii. 25. Most men would 
have used some word like " chosen." 

' Cp. Du Bose on the parable of the Pharisee and Publican, " No man who knows 
what righteousness is will come into God's presence with a claim of his own to it. And 
if he does, so far from the claim being recognized, it will be the one disqualification 
for the reality to which it pretends. . . . We see already in Our Lord's parable the precise 
and entire principle which in St. Paul we find developed into the doctrine of justification 
by faith " (The Gospel according to St. Paul, p. 71, 73) . In this connexion it may be noted 
that in x. 29 and xvi. 15 " justify " is used in the Pauline sense. Also that the apparent 
harshness of the actual parable mentioned in the text is mitigated by the reversal of 
parts indicated in xii. 37 and xxii. 27. 

' " All the dogmatic dreams of the upholders' of an atonement by blood vanish, 
like oppressive nightmares, before this single parable " (" A German Rationalist," 
quoted by Trench, Parables, p. 409). 


expiatory sacrifice or by propitiation of any kind. . . . There is 
very little residue of the Mosaic dispensation in that story." ^ But 
this, even apart from the error of supposing that sacrificial ideas 
are wholly- Jewish, surely presupposes an unworthy and impossible 
doctrine of Atonement. For, unless we are to- accept the pesti- 
lential theology of Milton, the Atonement is the action of the 
Father's love. " While he was yet afar off, his father saw him, 
and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell oh his neck, 
and kissed him;" What is this but the Pauline doctrine-^ " Perad- 
venture for the good man some one would even dare to die. But 
God commendeth his own love for us, in that, while we were 
yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly " (Rom. v. 7, 8) ? Or 
again : " God was reconciling the world unto himself in the person 
of Christ " (2 Cor. v. 19).^ The Cross is the actual revelation of 
the Love of God the Father.^ 

This Paulinism is brought out in many of the minor incidents 
of the Gospel. A man appeals to Our Lord (xii. 13) to make his 
brother divide his inheritance with him. And the reply is : " Man, 
who made me a judge or a divider over you ? Take heed, and 
keep yourselves from covetousness." The request is for legaHsm. 
" Lay down mechanical rules, which we can carry away, keep 
in our pockets, and use for eight hours a day." But the answer 
is that grace is not a thing that you can keep in your pocket. 
It is new every morning, and it comes, fresh-made, from God in 
heaven. It is, in fact, the Gospel, as contrasted with the law. 
The parable of the Rich Fool (xii. 16) is the lesson that there 
never comes a time when you can say, " I have served God 
enough. I will rest now and take my ease." But rather, " I 

* Hibberi Journal, October 1904, p. 19. In fact, he adds : " So markedly has this 
been felt indeed by some preachers that, in dismay at finding themselves adrift from 
their familiar moorings, a few have actually seized upon the fatted calf, and tried to 
construct some kind of propitiatory sacrifice out of that." I have not myself met 
■with any modem instance of this curious exegesis, though it occurs in Origen (Horn. 
I. in Lev.). Augustine says, " Tuncenim cuique \Christ%is1 occiditur, cum credit occisum." 

2 I paraphrase the familiar words thus, in order to avoid seeming to suggest that 
S. Paul means " God was in Christ, reconciling," etc. I do not think that S. Paul 
would have shrunk from saying that God was in Christ. But he is not here laying 
down any formal doctrine of Incarnation, only appealing to the Atoning Love of God. 

° " The Collect for the Sunday before Easter might have been formed upon the 
parable of the Prodigal Son ; there is no sufficient commentary upon that parable but 
the Cross itself. [The whole week] is either a dream, or it is a translation into fact 
of this parable " (F. D. Maurice, The Kingdom of Heaven, pp. 233, 243). 


count not myself yet to have apprehended. ... I press on 
towards the goal " (Phil. iii. 13). It cannot be alleged for a 
moment that S. Luke disparages good works. But, with S. Paul, 
he thinks of them rather as a fruit and consequence than as a 
deserving merit. It is Mary who is more abundantly justified 
than Martha, and that by faith. 





No one who examines the three Synoptic Gospels can fail to see 
that they stand in some relation to one another. They agree, in 
the selection and order of events, and in a good many of the 
actual words, for pages at a time. Thus, for example, (i) the 
passage Mk. ii. 13-22 is reproduced almost exactly in Mt. ix. 9-17 
and Lk. v. 27-38, the only substantial difference being that 
Mt. inserts a reference to the Old Testament in ix. 13. Again 
(2), to take a rather longer passage, Mk. viii. 27-ix. 37 appears in 
Mt. xvi. 13-xviii.- 5 and in Lk. ix. 18-48. The only material 
differences are that (a) Mt. makes two characteristic additions 
(xvi. 17-19 and xvii. 24-27) and Lk. one (ix. 31), (b) both Evan- 
gelists omit a touch (Mk. ix. 3) which would not seem nearly so 
important to them as it does to us, and a question (Mk. ix. 21) 
over which they perhaps feared that their readers might stumble,^ 
and (c) Lk. compresses the whole narrative and also omits the 
rebuke addressed to Peter (Mk. viii. 32, 33) and the conversation 
about Elijah (Mk. ix. 11-13). It is important to note that this 
second illustrative passage includes the first and second predictions 
of the Passion, both of which appear in the same order and context 
in all three Gospels. Finally (3), the third and last prediction of 
the Passion appears in the same relative position in a third 
passage, which is practically identical in all three (Mk. x. 13-52 ; 
Mt. xix. 13-XX. 34; Lk. xviii. 15-43), the only differences here 
being that Mt. inserts (xx. 1-16) a parable which suits his general 
purpose, as having an obvious reference to the Jews, and Lk. 

* other questions (Mk. vi. 38, viii. 12, ix. 33) are either omitted by S. Luke or 
turned in another way. (See Lk. ix. 13, xi. 29, ix. 47). The only exception appears to 
be Lk. viii. 45, though it is not quite certain that this is intended to be a real question 
asked for information. 




characteristically omits the ambitious request of James and John, 
and their rebuke.^ 

So much for the identity of subject-matter and order. For 
the identity of actual wording one striking example will suffice. 
The healing of a paralysed man is thus recorded in the three 
Synoptic Gospels : 

Mk. ii. 9-1 1 . 
Which is easier ? 

To say io the paralytic, thy 
sins are forgiven thee, or 
to say. Arise and take up 
thy bed and walk ? 

But that ye may know 
that the Son of Man hath 
authority to forgive sins 
on earth — 

He saith to the paralytic, 
I say unto thee, Arise. 

Ml. ix. 5-6.- 

For which is easier 

To say, ' Thy sins are for- 
given thee, or to say. 
Arise and walk ? 

But that ye may know 
that the Son of Man hath 
authority on earth to for- 
give sins — 

Then saith he to the para- 
lytic. Arise. 

Lk. v. 23-24. 

Which is easier. 

To say. Thy sins are for- 
given thee, or to say, 
Arise and walk ? 

But that ye may know 
that the Son of Man hath 
authority on earth to for- 
give sins — 

He said to the paralysed 
man, I say unto thee. 

We have here as near an approach to verbal agreement as is 
possible in writers who are not simple copyists. The changes of 
word, indicated by the use of italics, or of order of words, indicated 
by dots, are trifling, and, if space permitted, could be explained 
in practically every case by reference to the known literary habits 
of the several writers. But the measure of identity is astonishing, 
and, most remarkable of all, the three Evangelists actually agree 
in the somewhat unusual grammatical structure of a sentence. 
All three break oil the spoken word, " but that ye may know," 
etc., by a return to narrative, " he saith " (Lk. " said "), in 
precisely the same way. Many other cases of identity of language, 
only one degree less striking, could be mentioned. 

These instances make it unquestionable that the Synoptic 
Gospels stand in some relation to one another. What then is the 
relation ? 

What is called the Oral Theory will take us along part only of 
the way. It is pointed out quite truly that Oriental memories 
are very retentive, and that the Rabbinic teachers had attached 
great importance to oral methods and had even a certain distrust 

1 S. Luke gives the teaching of this section in other connexions. See xii. 50 and 
xxii. 25, 26. 


of the written word.^ Moreover it is undeniable that Peter and 
other Apostles, if they were accustomed to relate various parts of 
the story of their Master's life again and again, might very 
naturally come in course of time to relate them always in more or 
less the same words. Finally, it is suggested that catechists 
would probably be trained for their work by learning the narrative 
and the words of the Lord by heart. There is not much specific 
evidence for the existence of a regular order of Catechists, but it 
appears that Theophilus had been " catechized " (i. 4) in a pre- 
liminary way 2 ; the Word is also used of the initial instruction of 
ApoUos in Acts xviii. 25 ; S. Paul refers (Rom. xii. 7 ; i Cor. xii. 28 ; 
Eph. iv. 1 1) to " teachers " ; S. Mark, who is said by Papias to 
have been the " interpreter " of S. Peter, may well have been a 
sort of catechist under the direction of the Apostle ; and S. Luke 
may perhaps have discharged the same function for S. Paul. 
In this way it has been suggested that a stereotyped form 
grew up. 

The Oral Theory does carry us a certain part of the way. As 
Westcott says : " The experience of oral teaching was required to 
bring within the reach of writing the vast subject of the Hfe of 
Christ. . : . But of the countless multitude of Christ's acts those 
were selected and arranged . . . which were seen to have the 
fullest representative significance for the exhibition of His divine 
life." ^ So Schmeidel, who considers that the adoption of the 
oral theory as a complete explanation is either an asylum igno- 
rantiae or an asylum orthodoxiae, admits that " it contains an 
essential element of truth. Unquestionably, the formation of a 
Gospel narrative was oral in its beginning." * Sir John Hawkins 
has collected a number of cases in which various features (e.g. 
the attribution of the same or like words to different speakers, 
the use of the same or like words now as part of a speech and 

1 Edersheim refers to Rabbinic judgments to the effect that the ordinances of the 
Scribes were " more precious and more binding than those of Holy Scripture itself " 
(Life and Times, ii, p. 15) . For references to passages illustrating the capacity of Oriental 
memories see Hawkins, Horae Synopticae, p. 54 n. 

'■ Though Blass [Philology of the Gospels, p. 20) maintains that this need only mean 
" informed." Cp. Acts xxi. 21, where it is used of (mistaken) information. So on 
Acts xviii. 25 Blass supposes (p. 31 n.) that ApoUos had had a book read aloud to him 
by a slave. 

' Introd. to Study of Gospels, p. 169, 170. 

1 Encycl. Bibl., ii, 1846. 


now as part of the narrative, and transpositions of order) appear 
to indicate the influence of oral tradition.^ 

'The truth probably is that as long as Christianity remained a 
Palestinian religion, the tradition remained either wholly or pre- 
dominantly oral. Even to this day it has never become — except 
by reason of comparatively modern misunderstandings — a " book- 
religion." Least of all was it a book-religion in Palestinian times. 
It also appears certain that a good deal of oral tradition 
survived side by side with the written Gospels. There is, for 
example, the quotation in Acts xx. 35, and other traditionally 
recorded sayings not found in the Gospels. And there are 
peculiairitiQS in the quotations of the Apostolic Fathers of which 
the simplest explanation in some cases is that they were influenced 
by tradition. 

It is, however, generally agreed that the oral theory will not 
by itself explain all the facts. It will explain some of the resem- 
blances and some of the differences, but it will not explain the 
remarkable combination of resemblance and difference which is 
presented by the Gospels. ^ It certainly will not explain the 
particular phenomena quoted above (p. 123). Nor will it explain 
an interesting item in the Synoptic material, in referring to 
which I must anticipate to some extent the argument that follows 
in the text (p. 136 f.). I mean what are called " doublets," i.e. 
passages of S. Matthew or of S. Luke which occur twice in the 
same Gospel. On the oral theory, it seems certain that an 
Evangelist, finding a passage for the second time among his 
traditional material,, would omit it, on the ground that he had 
recorded it once already. It may perhaps seem strange that he 
has not omitted it the second time in any case. But it is the fact 
that he has not. Doublets exist, and the most probable explana- 
tion of them is that the EvangeHst (S. Matthew or S. Luke) found 
one member of the doublet in his main source, i.e. S. Mark, and 

1 Horae Synopiicae, 2nd ed., Pt. II, §§ 2, 3. 

2 " I am not denying the retentive capacity of Oriental memories, so often invoked 
by the defenders of an oral hypothesis ; but if our evangelists had worked Upon a 
fixed oral tradition of this definite sort, I cannot imagine why they dared to take such 
liberties with it. A definite oral tradition is authoritative : can we conceive of an oral 
tradition which accurately distinguishes between the baskets of fragments taken up 
after the feeding of the 5000, and the hampers taken up after feeding the 4000, but 
which left the details of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection vague ? " (Burkitt, Two 
Lectures on the Gospels, p. 45 ; cp. The Gospel History, etc., pp. 145 f.). 


the other in some other source. As a matter of fact, where there 
are doublets, it is found almost always that one occurs in the 
Markan narrative and the other in a portion of the Gospels which 
on other grounds is commonly assigned to Q. Examples of 
Lukan doublets are (i) viii. i8 and xix. 26, (2) ix, 23, 24, and 
xvii. 33, (3) xi. 43, and xx. 46. A famous Matthaean doublet is 
Mt. V. 32 and xix. 9. The absence of " triplets," except the 
proverbial saying, " He that hath ears, let him hear " (Mt. xi. 15, 
xiii. 9, 43), " seems to indicate that there were only two main 
sources." ^ 

Finally, the' word " many " in Lk. i. i does not suggest the 
existence of an overwhelming prejudice against any kind of 
writing. On the whole it must be said that the more extreme 
advocates of the oral theory have a mistaken and somewhat 
anachronistic notion of what really happened. 

It is clear that eventually Gospels were written; and the 
period of writing began before the compilation of the Gospels that 
we have. For a complete explanation of the facts of the Gospels, 
some documentary hypothesis is essential. The remainder of this 
chapter and the next are occupied with a brief account of the 
most commonly received form of such a hypothesis. Confining 
ourselves to the supposed sources of S. Luke, we may assert with 
some confidence that his first source was : 

1. The Markan Source. ^ 

As between S. Mark and S. Luke there is no doubt which way 
the dependence runs. It is one of the thoroughly established 
results of Synoptic criticism, which has been extraordinarily 
careful and minute, that both the other Synoptic Evangehsts used 

1 Horae Synopticae, 2nd ed., p. 82. 

* There can be no doubt that S. Luke was personally acquainted with S. Mark. 
The separation of the latter from S. Paul (Acts xiii. 13) occurred before the companion- 
ship of S. Paul and S. Luke appears to have begun. But the two Evangelists are heard 
of together at a later date. In fact, on the only three occasions on which S. Luke is 
named in the New Testament (Col. iv. 10-14; Philem. 24; 2 Tim. iv. 10) S. Mark 
is mentioned too. Harnack (Luke the Physician, p. 158) is of opinion that S. Luke is 
somewhat prejudiced against S. Mark. He does not name him in his Preface. He 
" wrote his Gospel in order to supplant the Gospel of S. Mark," and further in Acts " the 
only apostolic man about whom something unpleasant is therein recorded is S. Mark." 
The first point is without significance ; the second would apply equally to S. Matthew, 
and is so qualified by Harnack (" in the sense, at least, in which every author writing 
after another author on the sarhe subject intends to supersede the work of his pre- 
decessor ") as to make it worthless ; for the third point, see above, p. 83, n. 1. 


S. Mark, and not vice versa. This is proved in the following way. 
The facts are, briefly, these : {a) Practically the whole of Mk. is 
contained in either Mt. or Lk., and a very large part in both. On 
the other hand, both Mt. and Lk. have much that is not in Mk. 
{b) As has been pointed out already, there is in all three Gospels 
a large measure of identity in structure and order of events. 
Finally, (c) Mk. again and again agrees verbally with Mt. against 
Lk. and almost as frequently with Lk. against Mt., but Mt. and 
Lk. very seldom agree together against Mk. In other words, 
where there is verbal agreement between two, Mk. is nearly 
always one of the agreeing pair. As far as the narrative is 
concerned, he is the link or common element in the triple 

These, then, are the facts. What is their bearing on the case 
for the priority of Mk. ? In the first place, {a) it is hard indeed 
to see how S. Mark could have consented to omit the additional 
matter of Mt. and Lk., if he had had it before him. Next, (b) 
" the order followed by all three Synoptists is, generally speaking, 
that of Mark with its greater simplicity as compared with the 
more elaborate and sometimes artificial grouping of the First and 
Third Evangelists. If the latter part company from Mark's 
order, they invariably return to it ; when one or other temporarily 
forsakes it, a reason is not far to seek ; when both forsake it, they 
invariably differ among themselves." ^ Finally, (t) it is quite 
impossible that S. Mark in compiling his Gospel should have 
either desired or been able to construct a narrative which should 
consist in great part of just those sections, and often of just those 
very words, which happened to be common to Mt. and Lk., and ye't 
should be a natural, straightforward and even spirited narrative. ^ 

It is, then, as certain as anything can be, that S. Matthew and 
S. Luke had before them, and made use of, a source which was 

^ Dr. Latimer Jackson in Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 438. After the Appoint- 
ment of the Twelve (Mk. iii. i3-i9a=Mt. x. i^4=Lk. vi. 12-16) Mt. and Lk. both go on 
independently of Mk. and vrith considerable differences between themselves as to both 
matter and arrangement until Mt. at xiii. i and Lk. at viii. 4 resume the Markan order 
with the Parable of the Sower (Mk. iv. i). An even more obvious example is that 
whereas the exordia of the two later Evangelists are independent, they begin to agree, 
with one another and with Mk., at the point when Mk. begins. 

' This was put once for all in Dr. Abbott's Common Tradition of the Synoptic Gospels, 
p. vii. See also a lucid treatment of the subject by F. H. Woods in Studia Biblica, 
vol. ii. 


identical or practically identical with what we now call the 
Gospel of S. Mark. 

The use of the word " practically " requires some explanation. 
It is sometimes thought that there were two (if not three) editions 
of S. Mark, our present version being the latest. This theory 
appears in two forms : 

(a) It is suggested that S. Matthew and S. Luke both used one" 
of the earlier editions, i.e. what is sometimes called Ur-Markus. 

It was said above that whereas there are constant agreements 
of Mk., Mt. against Lk., and of Mk., Lk. against Mt., there are 
very few cases of Mt., Lk. agreeing against Mk. It is obvious 
that if there were many important cases of such agreement it 
woidd become impossible to believe that S. Matthew and S. Luke 
did what they are commonly supposed to have done, i.e. made 
independent but identical use of the Markan document in its 
present form. For it is exceedingly improbable that in any 
great number of cases they would have hit on the same variation, 
and it would then seem certain that they both had before them 
some version of S. Mark different from that which we know. 

Now, as a matter of fact, there are (i) a few negative agree- 
ments of Mt. and Lk. against Mk., i.e. the two EvangeUsts, in 
retelling a Markan story, from time to time agree in leaving out 
some of those vivid and picturesque touches which are commonly 
thought to be recollections of S. Peter. But it is, as a rule, not 
difficult to assign reasons for these omissions. A case in point is 
Mk. vi. 39, where Mt. and Lk. have not repeated the observation 
that the groups of people sitting on the green grass were like a 
series of Jlower-beds. Other instances of much the same kind, 
where a Markan (and perhaps Petrine) detail is omitted as un- 
necessary, are Mk. i. 20 (" with the hirfd servants "), iv. 38 (" on 
the pillow "), V. 41 (" Taleitha Koum "), ix. 36 (" Taking them 
up in his arms "), x. 16 (as ix. 36), x. 22 (" his face fell "), xiv. 51, 
52 (the episode of the young man [S. Mark himself f] in the garden), • 
xiv. 59 (" and even so their witness was not satisfactory "), and 
XV. 21 ("the father of Alexander and Rufus "). In all these 
cases it must be remembered that S. Matthew and S. Luke would 
not value the realistic element, the vivid touch that indicates the 
eye-witness, as we do nowadays. 


Examples in which the later Evangelists correct some mistake 
or polish some literary roughness in Mk. are : Mk, i. lo (" rent 
asunder "), ii. 4 (the curious and perhaps unhistorical mention 
of "digging through" the roof),i ii. 10 (the word for "bed," 
which is believed to be a vulgarism), ii. 26 (the mistaken reference 
to Abiathar— see- 1 Sam. xxi. i), v. 23 (" is at the point of death— 
a vulgarism in Greek), viii. 12 ("no sign shall be given "—a 
curious Hebraism), xiy. 3 (the improbable statement that an 
alabaster vessel was " broken "), xiv. 30 (" twice "— cf. xiv. 72, 
" a second time "), xiv. 72 (the obscure word ein^dXmv, of 
which the meaning is not really known), and xv. 25 (" the third 
hour "). 

Among the cases where the omission by S. Matthew and 
S. Luke may perhaps be assigned to mistaken theological circum- 
spection 2 are Mk. iii. 5 (" with anger," and " being grieved "), 

^ Ramsay, however, explains this by saying that " Mark ii. 4 describes how the 
bearers stripped off the covering of clay and soil . . . broke a hole in the ceiling, and 
let down the bed through it. This description was true of the simple Palestinian hut, 
but was unintelligible to a person who knew only the houses of a Greek or a Roman 
city. Luke adapts his account of the incident (not to a Greek house, but) to a Roman 
house " (Luke the Physician, etc., p. 46). 

* It is easy for modern Christians to talk of mistaken circumspection. How natural 
and inevitable the process was will appear from the following words of Archdeacon 
Allen : " It is evident that contemplation of the life of the Lord, and reflection upon 
His Person and work, and all that it meant for human life ; and the deepening reverence 
that springs spontaneously from the life of meditation upon His words, and from 
spiritual communion with Him, and from worship of God in His name, was gradually 
leading Christian writers partly to refine and purify, partly to make careful choice of 
the language with which they described His life. In connexion with His Sacred Person 
the choicest words only must be used, choicest not for splendour or for beauty of sound 
or of suggestion, but as conveying in the simplest and most direct way the greatest 
amount of truth about Him with the least admixture of wrong emphasis. In this 
respect the Synoptic Gospels present in miniature the same process that afterwards 
took place on a larger scale in the history of the creeds. Already the Gospel writers 
found themselves committed to the task of describing the life of one whom they knew 
to have been a truly human person, whom yet they believed to have been an incarnation 
of the Eternal. This task, in which it could never be possible to attain more than a 
relative amount of success, was increased by the fact that the books to be written 
were intended not for Christians with years of Christian thought and instruction to 
soften apparent inconsistencies, nor for men trained in the art of so softening the 
intellectual paradoxes of life as to escape from mental paralysis, but for the average 
member of the Christian congregation, simple-minded and matter-of-fact, to whom 
the narrative of the Lord's Ufe with its double-sidedness would repeatedly suggest 
hard questions, until use and custom blunted their edge. How could the Lord, if 
He was divine, ask for information ? How could He wish or will things that did not 
happen ? How could it be said that He could not do this or that ? Did God really 
forsake Him in the garden ? Could it be that He had prayed a prayer which was 
unfulfilled ? Was it possible that S. Peter had rebuked Him ? Why was He baptized 
if baptism implied repentance and forgiveness of sin ? The first and third Gospels 
prove themselves to be later than the second by the consideration which they show 



iii. 21 (" they said, He is beside himself "), iv. 38 (" Carest thou 
not "), vi. 3 (" the carpenter "), x. 14 (" was indignant "), xi. 13 
("the time of figs was not yet"), xiv. 33 ("sore amazed"), 
XV. 44 (" Pilate marvelled that he should be dead already "), 
XV. 45 (" corpse "), and finally the two miracles peculiar to S. 
Mark (vii. 31-37 and viii. 22-25).^ 

It is difiicult to assign a reason for the omission (especially by 
Lk.) of Mk. ii. 27 (" The sabbath was made for man, and not man 
for the sabbath "), though Mt. has here(xii. 5-7) a special addition, 
and in S. Luke D (Codex Bezse) inserts after vi. 4, " the same 
day, having seen a man working on the sabbath, he said to him, 
Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou, but if 
thou knowest not thou art accursed and a transgressor of the 
law." It is noticeable th^t D omits Mk. ii. 27. 

It will be seen that most of these negative agreements can be 
explained. But there are also (2) some passages in which Mt. 
and Lk. do positively agree in their wording against Mk. Dr. 
E.'A. Abbott has found 230 cases of this. Sir John Hawkins about 
240.2 It seems a large number, but the great proportion of them 
are very tiny, e.g. they are cases of the Markan "historic present," 
which is avoided by the other Evangelists, especially S. Luke ; 
others are portions of words ; others are substitutions of Si for 
Kal, etc. Sir John Hawkins ^ is of opinion that only twenty or 
twenty-one cases are of any real importance. These passages are 
all quite short, and except in this particular connexion of the two- 
edition theory of S. Mark, the differences are quite unimportant. 
One example, the most interesting of them all, is Mk. xiv. 65 
(the first mocking of Our Lord by the Temple servants), wherein 
Mk. has simply " Prophesy," and both the other Evangelists add, 
" Who is he that smote thee ? " * The importance of such posi- 
tive agreements against Mk. is, of course, this. Unless it can be 
shewn that the two later Evangelists would quite naturally make 

for the Simple-minded reader in questions like these, and it is quite possible that Mt. 
and Lk. may often have agreed on a quite independent version of Mk. in these respects " 
{Comm. en S. Matthew, p. xxxviii). 

1 For S. Luke's reasons for omitting these, see p. 133. 

" The Corrections of Mark, App. I. ; Horae Synopticae, App. B. 

° Horae Synopticae, and ed., p. 210 f; See also Burkitt, The Gospel History and 
its Transmission, pp. 42-58 ; C. H. Turner in Journ. Theol. Stud., Jan. 1909, p. 174 f. 

« Mt. has " Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that smote thee." 


the same correction independently, or might quite naturally hit 
upon the same variation independently, it would seem that they 
must have had before them (if we remember the closeness with 
which they elsewhere follow their original) some slightly different 
edition of Mk. from that known to us. As a matter of fact, the 
application of the most modern principles of Textual Criticism 
has the effect of reducing the number of these cases to sixteen,^ 
and the remainder can be explained without excessive ingenuity. 
The only one that presents any difficulty is that quoted above. 
If there were several like it, they would constitute a case. But it 
stands alone. Even in this case it is not difficult to imagine the 
two later EvangeKsts filling up a not very clear sentence in the 
same way. On the whole, many scholars find no difficulty in 
concluding that S. Matthew's and S. Luke's editions of S. Mark 
were the same as ours.^ 

(b) The other form of the theory is one that more particularly 
concerns S. Luke. It is supposed that he at least used a different 
version of S. Mark's Gospel, because in one place (after ix. 17) he 
leaves out about a chapter and a half (Mk. vi. 45-viii. 26), a 
section of which S. Matthew contains everything except Mk. vii 
31-37 and viii. 22-26. This omission would perhaps be most 
simply explained by postulating an earlier and later edition of 
Mk., but inasmuch as no difference of style is discernible between 
this section and the remainder of the Gospel,^ we are led to consider 
other possible explanations. I reproduce here the argument of 
Sir John Hawkins.* 

(i) It may have been simply an accident. There is, as it 
happens, a mention of feeding and also a mention of Bethsaida, 
both at the beginning and at the end of the section (vi. 44 and 

* E.g. in Mk. v. 27 = Mt. ix. 20 = Lk. viii. 44 the received texts of both Mt. and 
Lk. turn " his garment " into " the border of His garment." But the true reading 
in Lk. is perhaps " his garment." 

2 A few other cases, from which the reader will be able to draw his own conclusions, 
are : Mk. vi. 14, where Mt. and Lk. substitute " Tetrarch " for " king " ; Mk. ix. 19, 
where they add " and perverse " after " faithless," an addition which obviously comes 
from Deut. xxxii. 5 ; cp. Phil. ii. 15. 

' Hawkins in Oxford Studies, pp. 63-66. 

* In Oxford Studies, pp. 63-74, ^^ argument of which Dr. Sanday (ibid., p. xii) says : 
" I am myself inclined to regard as a classical treatment of the subject." But it must be 
noted that Dr. Stanton maintains [Gospels as Historical Documents, ii. p. 156 f.) that 
considerable portions of the section were not in the version of S. Mark used by S, Luke. 
So also Mr. N. P. Williams in Oxford Studies, p. 418 f. 



viii. 14-21, vi. 45 and viii. 22), and it Is possible that S. Luke, 
using his original, may have been misled by this and have gone 
on, after an interval, at the wrong place. It must be remembered 
that the ancient book had no chapters and verses, and if a copyist 
or reader once lost his place it was much harder for him to find it 
again than it is for us. 

(2) It is also possible that S. Luke, knowing that he had other 
material to incorporate, purposely omitted this section, in order 
that he might not exceed the traditional length of an ancient 
book. It is the fact that S. Matthew, S. Luke,S. John, and Acts 
are all about the same length. 

But (3) it is not hard to shew that the several items of this 
section are all such as he might have been disposed to be wilhng 
to omit. I append a list of them, adding in each case a note of 
possible reasons for its omission by S. Luke : 

Mk. vi. 45-56 
(The walking on the sea, 
the disciples' lack of dis- 
cernment, and the landing 
at Gennesaret). 

(i) S. Luke has just before (viii. 22-25) 
described a storm at sea. (2) The incident 
might conceivably be misunderstood and 
supposed to involve a Docetic view of Our 
Lord's Person. (3) S. Luke does not insist 
much on the frailties of the Twelve. 

Mk. vii. 1-23 
(Jewish Law and Tradition). 

(i) S. Luke does not think that this would 
particularly interest his readers. (2) He 
is accustomed to spare the Pharisees rather 
more than the other Evangelists. (3) Dr. 
Abbott makes (Encycl. Bibl., ii, 1774) 
the ingenious but oversophisticated sug- 
gestion that the abrogation of the Levitical 
" Law of meats " may have seemed to him 
to point to a later period, such as that in 
Acts X. 9-16. 

Mk. vii. 24-30 
(The healing of the Syro- 
Phcenician woman's 

At first sight this seems to be a section 
which S. Luke would record with peculiar 
pleasure. But it is to be noticed that the 
boon is granted only in response to great 
pressure. It is an exceptional favour, and 
the Gentiles are referred to as " dogs." 



Mk. vii. 31-37 
(The healing of the deaf 
man with an impediment 
in his speech). 

(i) The miracle is described as having been 
wrought at the expense of some painful 
emotion on the part of Our Lord, and 
possibly (2) the method employed approxi- 
mates too closely, in S. Luke's opinion, to 
those in use among Oriental professional 

Mk. viii. i-io S. Luke has already (ix. 12-17) described the 

(The feeding of the four similar incident of the five thousand, 

Mk. viii. II, 12 
(A sign from Heaven). 

This is the sole exception to the statement that 
the whole section Mk. vi. \^-viii. z6 is 
absent from Lk. This passage does appear 
in Lk. xi. 16 and 29. But the corresponding 
passage in-Mt. is a " doublet" i.e. it appears 
twice, at xz/i. 1-4 and xii. 38, 39. The first 
time Mt. has apparently drawn it from his 
Markan material, and the second time from 
his other main source, Q. And it is from 
this latter source that Lk. here appears to 
take it. Its presence in Lk. does not, there- 
fore, invalidate the general argument about 
Lk.^s " Great Omission." 

Mk. viii. 13-21 
(The leaven of the Phari- 

(i) This section depends for part of its signi- 
ficance upon the already omitted section of 
the Four Thousand. (2) It is of mainly 
Jewish interest, and (3) it exhibits the 
disciples as " without understanding." 

Mk. viii. 22-26 
(The healing of a blind man 
at Bethsaida). 

(i) The miracle is wrought gradually, and 
so seemed hardly worthy of the Master. 
(2) The means employed are open to the 
same possible objection as those mentioned 
above on Mk. vii. 31-37; 

There- is, therefore, no compelling reason vs^hy we should 
assume the existence, and the use by Mt. and Lk. or by Lk. of 
more than one edition of Mk. And on general grounds there are 
reasons why we should not. For the theory, as Professor Burkitt 


has shewn,^ presupposes more interest in the details of the 
GaHlean Ministry than was really felt at first. The most interest- 
ing things to the first generation were the Passion and Resurrection, 
the argument from Old Testament Prophecy, and the Teaching of 
the Lord. 

Moreover, the theory also presupposes more interest in 
S. Mark's Gospel than was really likely to be taken. That Gospel 
has come into its own with the rise of historical criticism. But 
for centuries it was neglected, and at one period it was very nearly 
lost. There was a time when the line of communication between 
S. Mark's autograph and ourselves was narrowed down to one 
single copy, and of that copy the concluding page was torn off.^ 

On the whole it appears that we may conclude without much 
hesitation that if Ur-Markus means a document differing at all 
considerably from -our S. Mark, then there was no Ur-Markus. 
Dr. Swete testifies that he " has risen from his study of the Gospel 
with a strong sense of the unity of the work, and can echo the 
requiescat Ur-Markus which ends a recent discussion." ^ This 
verdict is not quite unqualified. The writer adds that " he is not 
prepared to express an opinion as to the nature and extent of the 
editorial revision which S. Mark's original has undergone — a point 
which he desires to reserve for further investigation." So Dr. 
Sanday rejects the idea of an Ur-Markus, and believes that the 
phenomena of Mt., Lk., are due to " a recension of the text of 
Mk. different from that from which all the extant MSS. of the 
Gospel are descended." * Sir John Hawkins, summing up a long 
discussion,^ finds only nine details which support the two-edition 
theory of S. Mark. Dr. Stanton finds a greater number and those 
more important. But the question really belongs to the study of 
S. Mark's Gospel in itself. I have only touched upon it in so far 
as it is involved in a brief examination of the Lukan sources. 

1 Two Lectures, pp. 48 f. 

' " The later Gospels, no doubt, reflected the wants and ta^stes of their first pubhc, 
or they would never have been published at all, and the mutilated conclusion of St. 
Matk tells us of a period — shall we say the first quarter of the second century ? — 
when the only copy of that Gospel which was destined to survive was lying neglected 
and forgotten in the tiny library of some early Christian, perhaps at Rome, perhaps at 
Alexandria " (Burkitt, op. cit., p. 34). ' 

' St. Mark, p. Iviii n. * Oxford Studies, p. 21. 

' Horae Synopticae, 2nd ed., pp. 115-153, 


It remains only to sum up very shortly the degree to which 
S. Luke follows his Markan authority. His first two chapters are 
quite independent, iii. i-iv. 30 cover the period of Mk. i. 1-13, 
but in the main come from other sources. At iv. 31 he begins to 
follow S. Mark (Mk. i. 21) and does so with considerable fidelity 
as far as vi. 20. Here begins what is sometimes called his " Lesser 
Interpolation," i.e. vi. 20-viii. 3, the Sermon, the Centurion's 
Servant, the Widow of Nain, thfe message of the Baptist and its 
sequel, the woman who was a sinner, the ministering women. All 
this is either from the source that he shares with S. Matthew or 
from sources of his own. At viii. 4 the Markan narrative is 
resumed (Mk. iv. i). This continues until ix. 50. At ix. 51 
begins the " Great Interpolation," which goes on till xviii. 14. 
At xviii. 15 he turns again to Mk. x. 13, and from that point to 
the end he follows the Markan outHne, though he makes to it 
a number of important additions. 



2. S. Luke's Second Source is that which he has in common 
with S. Matthew. The non-Markan, or practically non-Markan 
material,^ which he has in common with S. Matthew, amounts to 
about one-sixth of his Gospel, and consists of Sayings of the 
Lord. This much at least of his Gospel is now usually assigned 
to a source described as Q, that being the initial letter of Quelle, 
the German word for " source." The advantage of such a symbol 
is that it does not beg any question as to the exact nature of the 
contents of the source. It may be taken as certain that such a 
source, no doubt originally Aramaic, then Greek — ^most probably 
at first oral, then written ^ — ^was in existence, and was used, in 
the same or in somewhat different forms, by the two later Evan- 
gelists. Characteristic specimens of its contents are such passages 
as the following : (i) That part of the Sermon on the Mount 
which is common to Mt. (v., vi., vii.) and Lk. (vi. 20-49) ^ 5 (2) ^^^ 
passage beginning, " Go, and tell John what things ye saw and 
heard " (Lk. vii. 22) ; (3) " All things have been delivered to me 
of my Father " (Lk. x. 22). 

Harnack, whose reconstruction of Q may be regarded as a 
minimum, describes it as -follows : 

" Q is a compilation of discourses and sayings of Our Lord, 
the arrangement of which has no reference to the Passion, -with 
an horizon that is as good as absolutely bounded by Galilee, 

^ It is sometimes thought that S. Mark shews knowledge of this source; e.g. the 
accounts of the preaching of John and the Temptation, and the Beelzebub passage in 
Mk. coincide to some extent with matter that Mt. and Lk. appear to have drawn from 
Q. But in any case S. Mark's use of Q can only have been very slight, and the question 
need not be discussed here. 

* The stages were perhaps three — oral Aramaic, written Aramaic, written Greek. 

' E.g. the first four beatitudes, the law of love, the mote and the beam, and the 
final parable of the two builders. ■* 



without any clearly discernible bias, whether apologetic, didactic, 
ecclesiastical, national, or anti-national. So far as any purpose at 
all — ^beyond use of imparting catechetical instruction — can be 
discerned in the compilation, it consisted perhaps in an endeavour 
to give, with a certain degree of completeness, a representation of 
the main features of Our Lord's relationship with His environ- 
ment." Elsewhere he says : " One receives the impression that a 
personal disciple of Our Lord has written down all the teaching 
of Jesus which seemed to him most important for the life of 
discipleship." And again : " The compilation in Q was intended 
solely for the Christian community, and was addressed to those 
who did not require the assurance that their Teacher was also 
the Son of God." ^ Canon Streeter has further shewn that three 
points with which Q appears to have been specifically concerned 
were all points which would be particularly important to Pales- 
tinian Christians of the first generation. They were : (i) Our 
Lord's relation to the great Prophet of Palestine, John Baptist ; 
(2) His relation to the Scribes and Pharisees ; and (3) the answer 
to the question, " Why, if He was Messiah, did He come in such 
unexpected and questionable form ? " ^ 

So far there is among critics a fair measure of agreement. 
There is also agreement that, as well as sayings, Q must have 
contained a certain amount of matter in the form of narrative. 
Thus, for example, the full story of Our Lord's Temptations is 
non-Markan and is common to Mt. and Lk. It is therefore from Q. 
So is the healing of the centurion's servant (Mt. viii. 5-13, Lk. vii., 
2-10, i.e. in both cases immediately following the Sermon on the 
Mount). Some critics proceed to argue from > this that Q must 
also have contained an account of the Passion, and was in fact 
a Gospel. Thus Prof. Burkitt (Journ. Theol. Stud., April 1907, 
p. 454), Professor Bacon and others find it inexplicable that 
any compilation of Christian material should begin " as a story " 
and end " as a homily." ^ But there is very little posittve ground 
for thinking that Q included a Passion narrative; Moreover, the 
Q portions of Mt. and Lk. have the appearance of coming from a 

* Sayings of Jesus, p. 171 ; Date of Acts and Synoptic Gospels, p. 138 ; Sayiftgs 

P- 235- 

» Oxford Studies, p. 212 f. 

' Bacon, quoted by J. V. Bartlet in Oxford Studies, p. 361. 


collection of sayings and not from a Gospel.^ And it is arguable 
that the narratives which the source did contain were not really 
narratives in the strict sense at all. Thus, the story of the 
Temptation was perhaps regarded by the disciples as a Saying, a 
Self-revelation, that had come from the Master's lips, rather than 
as one of the events of His life ; the account of the healing of the 
centurion's servant is said to be required to lead up to and explain 
the Saying, " Verily, I have not found so great faith, no, not in 
Israel " ; the accounts of the appearance of S. John Baptist and 
of his message from the prison are necessary settings for the 
Sayings which it was desired to record. 

It is clear, then, from what has been said that there is great 
divergence of opinion about the limits of Q. And it is even clearer 
that the attempt actually to reconstruct Q is an extremeily difficult 
if not altogether impossible task. Professor Burkitt thinks that 
it can never be reconstructed, and that the attempt to do so is 
" futile." 2 He argues that if we had not possessed S. Mark's 
Gospel, and only knew or supposed that it had been used by 
S. Matthew and S. Luke, our attempts to reconstruct S. Mark 
would haye been very far from correct.^ In the same way it is 
impossible to reproduce Q correctly. This is quite true, and 
most, if not all, of those who have published their conception of 
Q have done so in a qualified and guarded way. Sir John Hawkins, 
for example, desires only to ascertain " what inferences as to the 
nature and contents of Q we can draw from the above eighty-four 
passages which are more or less likely to have been quoted from 
it." * Dr. Stanton feels " considerable confidence " in giving " a 
list of the passages from our first and third Gospels which there 
is most reason to think were contained in their common non- 
Markan source," ^ But, he adds, " there is some ground for 
going further." And few of the sixteen scholars whose recon- 
structions of Q are summarized in Dr. Moffatt's Introduction to 
the Literature of the New Testament (p. 197 f.), would assert more 

' See e.g. Stanton, Gospels, etc., ii. p. 105 and n. 2 ; Hawkins in Oxford Studies, 
p. 103. 

" Gospel History, p. 17; cp. pp. 123, 131. 

' For proof of this see the same writer in Journ. Theol. Stud., April 1907, pp. 456- 
457 ; cp. Allen in Oxford Studies, p. 282. 

* Oxford Studies, p. 118. 

" Gospels, etc., ii. p. 104. 


than that their reconstruction is a minimum. It is obviously 
difficult to decide how much of the non-Markan matter peculiar 
to Mt. or Lk. came originally from Q, and was for some reason 
not used by the other Evangelist.^ And there is, of course, the 
further possibility that there were some sections of Q which have 
not been used by either of them. Canon Streeter describes as 
"highly speculative" his own attempt to " ascertain whether any 
passages peculiar to Matthew or Luke can be referred to Q." ^ 
He himself believes that much of the peculiar matter in S. Luke's 
"Great Interpolation" (ix. 51-xviii. 14) is from this source. 
Archdeacon Allen in the same volume maintains the quite different 
theory that Q was really a Matthaean source, and that the greater 
part of the non-Markan teaching in the whole of S. Matthew's 
Gospel came from it. This " when put together, presents us with 
a homogeneous, consistent, and intelligible work (no doubt only 
fragmentary) " (p. 242). The fact that Lk. also has many of 
these sayings is due to his use of another source (p. 281, 282).^ 
Finally, Dr. Stanton and Dr. Bartlet are of opinion — an opinion 
in which Canon Streeter partially agrees — ^that S. Luke's version of 
Q was a considerably expanded form of the Q which was known 
to S. Matthew.* Dr. Bartlet even goes so far as to doubt that 
Q was ever written down till it was reduced to writing as part of 
S. Luke's Gospel. S. Luke's source is " the form assumed in the 
memory and teaching of some oral evangelist of the first genera- 
tion." But this doubt is shared by very few scholars.^ 

So the case stands. It is, and will continue to be, a much- 
debated and probably insoluble question. The important prob- 
lems from the point of view of S. Luke's Gospel are mainly two : 

1 E.g. Dr. Stanton points out that " if Lk. xii. 35-38 (' Let your loins be girded,' 
etc.) was contained in it, our first Evangelist might have passed it over on the ground 
that in the parable of the Ten Virgins, vifhich he proposed to 'give, the same idea is 
more fully worked out " (op. cit., ii, p. 227). 

" Oxford Studies, p. 184. He suggests (p. 185) that " the passages which we can 
identify as Q by the fact that both Matthew and Luke reproduce them may possibly 
only represent about two-thirds of the original total matter in Q." 

' More than this, Mr. Allen declines to assign to Q such sections as the Centurion's 
servant, the Preaching of John, and the Temptation (and Baptism) of Our Lord, about 
which other scholars speak with confidence. Op. cit., p. 273. 

* See Gospels, etc., ii, p. 239 f., and Oxford Studies, Essay XI. 

5 E.g. the careful argument of Sir John Hawkins in Horae Symopticae, pp. 54 f., 
66, 107 f., makes it difficult to deny that Q was a written document. See also Stanton, 
op. cit., ii. p. 44, " from a document used by both, or from two closely allied docu- 


(«) Did Q contain a Passion, and, if so, do the peculiarities of the 
Lukan Passion story come from it ? {b) How many parables are 
to be assigned to Q ? On {a) the balance of opinion is against 
the theory, and it is generally suggested that its Palestinian 
readers would be perfectly acquainted with the fact that Jesus 
had died and risen, and that their desire at that early stage would 
be only for an account of what might otherwise be forgotten, 
namely, the teaching. It has been further suggested that Q was 
actually written down before the Crucifixion took place, but this 
can more profitably be discussed later. The other question (b) 
appears to me to be insoluble. There is little doubt that Q 
contained the Leaven, the Mustard-seed, the Children in the 
Market-place, and the parabolic conclusion of the Sermon on the 
Mount, but it seems to me impossible to determine how much of 
S. Luke's Great Interpolation came from this source, or whether 
we may assign to it such a passage as Mt. xi. 28-30 (" Come unto 
me," etc.) or the Great Assize (Mt. xxv. 31-46).^ 

The authorship of Q depends on the view taken of the famous 
sentence of Papias. He relates (Eusebius, Hist. Ecd. iii. 39) that 
John the Elder said, " Matthew composed the oracles {ra Xoyia) 
in the Hebrew ^ language, and each man interpreted them as he 
was able." Very few critics now believe that this can refer to 
the Gospel of S. Matthew, which in the first place appears to be 
a document originally Greek, which further reflects too much 
the standpoint of the second generation to be assigned to the 
first, and finally is too dependent on S. Mark to be the work of 
an Apostle. One or two critics suppose it to be the Gospel according- 
to the Hebrews. Prof. Burkitt and some others believe it to have 
been a collection of Testimonia or Messianic proof-texts from 
the Old Testament. But the most probable view is that which 
identifies the Logia with Q. This would explain the connexion 
of the first Gospel, which is par excellence the Gospel of the Teach- 
ing of Jesus and makes large use of Q, with the name of S. Matthew. 
He was a comparatively obscure member of the Apostolic band, 

^ There is much force in Mr. Allen's remark (Oxfovd Studies, p. '238) : " Now here 
is a strange thing, that in a document professing to be a collection of Christ's sajrings 
there should be only four parables. The inference is obvious. Harnack's reconstructed 
source is at best incomplete." 

' " Hebrew," i.e. probably Aramaic, but Biblical Hebrew is not impossible. 


and it is difficult to see why his name should become attached to 
a Gospel without some such reason as this. At any rate, " had 
Matthew written, it would have been a book like this." ^ 

Q is in any case a very ancient source, considerably older than 
S. Mark. " Nothing prevents it from being assigned to the 
year 50, or even earlier." ^ Canon Streeter speaks of " quite the 
early years," and remarks that " Q is perfectly intelligible as a 
document written to supplement the living tradition of a generation 
which had known Christ. Within a dozen years after the event 
something of the kind would be needed. It is not intelligible as 
a document thirty or forty years later, when the events which 
Q presupposes as matter of common knowledge were a generation 
old." ^ Some have gone even further, and have concluded that 
it, or at least its original Aramaic form, was written down before 
the Crucifixion, perhaps actually at the time of speaking. What 
are we to say of this ? Q is certainly of early, Palestinian origin. 
There is evidence that the art of writing shorthand was practised 
at this time,* and of all the Apostles S. Matthew is perhaps most 
likely to have been acquainted with the system. There is, how- 
ever, more than one way of explaining the fact (if it be a fact) 
that Q contained no mention -of the Crucifixion. 

{a) It is said that it dates from a time when the story of the 
Passion and Resurrection was well known, and the demand, 
perhaps caused or assisted by eschatological expectations, was for 
an account of the Teaching, (b) It is said that the Crucifixion 
had not yet taken place. So Sir W. M. Ramsay : " There is only 
one possibility. The lost Common Source of Luke and Matthew " 
(which, in the opinion of the writer quoted, was longer than the 
Q of, e.g., Harnack, and contained more narrative) ". . . was 
written while Christ was still living. It gives us the view which 
one of His disciples entertained of Him and His teaching during 
His lifetime, and may be regarded as authoritative for the view 

• Sfreeter in Oxford Studies, p. 216. 
" Harnack, Date, etc., p. 125 n. 

' Streeter in op. cit., pp. 212, 215. The hope is entertained in some quarters that 
a copy of Q may yet be discovered. But it is exceedingly unlikely. " In no soil outside 
Egypt could a- papyrus copy of Q have lain hid and yet safe from inevitable decay ; 
and we have no reason to imagine that Q was read in Egypt before it received its 
honourable burial in our Gospels " (Dr. J. H. Moulton in Expositor, July 1911, p. 17). 

* See Kenyon, Palaogmphy, p. 33 ; Hibbert Journal. April 1912, p. 723. 


of the disciples generally. This extremely early date was what 
gave the lost source the high value that it had in the estimation 
of Matthew and Luke, and yet justified the freedom with which 
they handled it. . . . On the one hand it was a document practi- 
cally contemporaneous with the facts, and it registered the impres- 
sion made on eye-witnesses by the words and acts of Christ. On 
the other hand, it was written before those words and acts had 
begun to be properly understood by even the most intelligent eye- 
witnesses." References follow to Jn. ii. 22 ; Mt. xvi. 21 f. ; Lk. ix. 
44 f., xviii. 31-34 (fhe Oldest Written Gospel, in Luke the 
Physician, etc., p. 89).^ {c) Archdeacon Allen believes that 
Ramsay is right in thinking it improbable that such a minimized 
version of Q as is postulated by, e.g., Harnack should have been 
in circulation during the generation after the Crucifixion, but 
instead of concluding that it was therefore written before that 
date, he asks " whether such a document as Harnack gives us 
ever existed at all , . . the source must have contained much 
more than is given in Harnack's reconstruction." ^ 

This reminds us once more of the precariousness of all attempts 
to define the exact limits of 0- But, bearing in mind that the 
common, non-Markan element in S. Matthew and S. Luke must 
clearly be derived from some source, that the literary nature of 
their agreements points to the fact that it was a written source, 
and that the nature of the subject-matter concerned indicates an 
early date and a Palestinian origin, we may conclude with the 
utmost confidence that the record of Our Lord's Teaching which 
is embedded in the two later Gospels is a very primitive and very 
authentic record. In it we get as near as we shall ever get to the 
ipsissima verba of Our Lord Himself. The further fact that we 
are assured on very ancient authority that the Apostle Matthew 
piade a collection of Logia enables us to make a shrewd guess as 
to the actual authorship. The suggestion that Q was a real 
Gospel and contained a Passion appears improbable. The 

^ Cp. Salmon, The Human Element in the Gospels, p. 274. " We have in them [the 
Gospels] contemporaneous history, that is to say, we have in them the stories told of 
Jesus immediately after His death, and which had been circulated, and, as I am_disposed 
to believe, put in writing while He was yet alive." See also Flinders Petiie, The Growth 
of the Gospels, p. 5, though there the theory is bound up with others that are difficult 
to accept. 

' Oxford Studies, p. 239. 


inference that some or much of the peculiar matter of S. Luke and 
S. Matthew came from it is more likely, but extremely difficult 
to prove. 

It remains only to indicate the use which appears to have 
been made of Q by the first and third Evangelists. Q probably 
consisted of undated and perhaps unconnected fragments. It 
may be that each began, like some of the recently discovered 
Oxyrhynchus Sayings, and like some of the liturgical Gospels in the 
Book of Common Prayer,^ with " Jesus said." If this was so, we 
can partly see how our Evangelists dealt with their material. We 
know that S. Matthew is accustomed to combine his matter into 
blocks for convenience of teaching. Thus, to take only one 
example, in Mt. the Sermon on the Mount occupies three chapters 
(v., vi., vii.), while in Lk. the corresponding Sermon " on the 
level place " comprises part only of one chapter (vi.), and the 
remainder of the Lukan parallels to the Matthaean sermon are 
found in as many as seven different chapters of the Gospel. The 
same apphes to Mt.'s other collections. In fact, three-quarters 
of Q, as it is recovered by Sir John Hawkins, is differently placed 
in Mt. and Lk.^ It is a priori easier to believe that one Evangelist 
has combined originally separated material than that another has 
broken up what lay before him as a compact whole. Moreover, 
the first Gospel shews other traces of editorial arrangement,^ 
which are not present in Lk., and most scholars believe that 
S. Luke has adhered more closely to the original order,* although 
they admit that he has recast the language with some freedom. 
This behef is largely based on observation of the ways in which 
the two Evangelists have used their known Markan source. 

3. The Great Interpolation. 

It is generally agreed that much of the Great Interpolation 
(Lk. ix. 51-xviiL 14) came from a third source. Some of it is 

' In the Gospels for the Ninth and Twentieth Sundays after Trinity the words 
" Jesus said " are added for the sake of clearness. 
' Oxford Studies, p. 120. 

• E.g. the recurrent formula with which the Evangelist closes his five " Teaching 
collections " (vii. 28, xi. i, xiii. 53, xix. i, xxvi. i). 

* E.g. Stanton, Goi^eii, etc., ii, pp. 74-76 ; 'BnrVM,, Gospel History, -p. i-io; Armitage 
Robinson, Study of the Gospels, pp. 87, 95 ; Streeter, Oxford Studies, p. 141 f ; von 
Soden, Hist, of Early Christian Literature, p. 129. See, on the other side, Harnack, 
Sayings, p. 174 f. 


from Q, as is proved by the fact that it is paralleled in S. Matthew. 
This appHes especially to the earlier part,^ e.g. the charge to the 
disciples in x. 2-12, the Lord's Prayer (xi. 2-4), and the consequent 
exhortations to fervency in prayer (xi. 9-13). But there are 
many other passages. The total amounts to about 170 verses. 
We are then faced by the question, raised in the previous division 
of this chapter, whether any of the purely Lukan matter in this 
section can also be assigned to Q, and, if so, how much of it. 
Canon Streeter's argument in Essay VI of Oxford Studies is very 
interesting, but very speculative. It may be, as he tentatively 
suggests, that the incident of Martha and Mary (x. 38-42) was in 
Q, and was omitted by S. Matthew because he feared the possible 
drawing of such an antinomian conclusion as that against which 
S. James protests in his Epistle. It may be that S. Matthew 
would not understand . " The Kingdom of God is within you " 
(Lk. xvii. 21), and therefore omitted it. It may be that some of 
the other motives which are suggested in particular cases were 
really operative. ^ But it is clearly impossible to feel certain. 
The argument is necessarily heterogeneous, and not conclusive. 

The utmost that can be said is that some of the Great Interpola- 
tion was certainly drawn from Q, and that some further part of 
it is very likely to have come from the same source. 

We pass, therefore, to the general consideration of the section 
as a whole. We are prepared by the Evangelist's own reference 
to " many " in i. i, to suppose that he was acquainted with more 
than two sources. As to the nature of the third source which 
was used by him in this section, two theories are of importance, 

(i) A travel-document, containing a number of parables, may 
have been drawn up by him at some earlier date, i.e. perhaps 
before he had begun to make use of S. Mark's Gospel for the 
general purpose of his whole book.^ But this does not carry us 
very far. S. Luke was not an eye-witness of any of the events, 
and there must be some ulterior source. 

(2) It is suggested that his informant must have been one of 

1 " ix. 51-xii. 59, of which nearly four-fifths, as algo occurring in Matthew, is 
venfiahly Q, as is the case also with all but a few verses of xiii. 18-35 " (Streeter, Oxford 
Studies, p. 189). 

' Cp. the reference to Lk. xii. 35-38. oti p. 139, above. 

' So Sir John Hawkins in Oxford Studies, pp. 53-56. 


the early Palestiniah disciples, perhaps one of the Seventy, whose 
mission is described by him alone. A name that readily occurs 
to the imagination is that of Philip, the father of the four pro- 
phetic daughters, by whom S. Luke (Acts xxi. 8, " we ") was 
entertained at Caesarea. This visit lasted some time (xxi. lo), 
and very shortly afterwards S. Paul was again at Caesarea for two 
years (xxiv. 27). It is not certain that S. Luke was there too 
during the whole of that period, but it is certain that at the end 
of it S. Paul and he left Caesarea together (xxvii. i). The use of 
such a source would explain a number of the features in the 
section, i.e. the feminine interest (x. 38-42, xi. 27, xiii. 10 f., 
XV. 8 f., xviii. I f., xxiii. 27 f.), the Samaritan interest (ix. 52, 
X. 33, xvii. II, 16; cp. Acts viii. 5 f.), and perhaps, though this 
is more doubtful, the connexion observable between the third and 
fourth Gospels. 1 

This argument may easily be extended to cover the earlier 
and later portions of S. Luke's Gospel as well as this section. The 
Nativity, the Genealogy, the Preaching of John, the Sermon at 
Nazareth, the incident at Nain, and the Lukan story of the 
Passion are indebted to a Palestinian authority, which it is not 
unreasonable to connect with Philip. But it will be seen presently 
that in the case of the Nativity there are alternative Suggestions, 
which are perhaps more conjectural but certainly more attractive. 

4. A Fourth Source appears to be indicated in S. Luke's 
account of the Passion. There he does not abandon S. Mark, but 
uses him with freedom, and makes a number of additions. 
Various explanations have been suggested for this : 
(a) S. Luke had access to some written record of the Passion. 
A form of this theory is the suggestion, already noted, that Q 
contained a Passion narrative. If by Q is meant a document 
used in the same form by Mt. and Lk., it seems to me impossible. 
S. Matthew would never have omitted the many important and 
edifying things that Q on this theory contained. If by Q in this 
connexion is meant an expanded version of Q which had reached 

^ See especially Bartlet, Oxford Studies, p. 352, and in general compare Hamack, 
Luke tKe Physician, pp. 155 f., 164, and App. iv. See also above, pp. 13, 31. It is also 
worth noting that Acts xxi. 18 (" with us ") shews that S. Luke came into contact with 
James, the Lord's brother. 



S. Luke, it still seems improbable, in view of what we can other- 
wise infer as to the nature of Q, that it was expanded by the 
addition of so much narrative. If all reference to Q be excluded, 
the theory of a Passion document of some kind remains possible, 
though there is practically no proof of its existence. 

{b) Sir John Hawkins dismisses the above theory on 'the 
ground that close investigation shows that " Luke's additions are 
(unlike Matthew's) so mixed up with the Grundschrift, and they 
have caused alterations and modifications of such kinds, as to 
suggest a long and gradual conflation in the mind, rather than a 
simple conflation by the pen." ^ He proceeds to argue (i) that 
S. Luke was a fellow-worker' with S. Paul, and therefore, no doubt, 
a preacher, or at least a catechist. (ii) The matter of S. Paul's 
" Gospel " was mainly the Death and Resurrection of the Lord, 
(iii) The section of S. Luke's Gospel with which we are concerned 
is the record of the Passion, and, moreover, it begins with the 
Last Supper, which is the only Gospel incident described in detail 
by S. Paul, (iv) The Lukan additions are such as would be useful 
to a preacher, and have constantly been employed by preachers 
in all ages. 2 

All this is true, but the difficulty remains that, unhke the 
parables of the Great Interpolation, the Lukan additions here are 
not particularly " Pauline." ^ 

(f) It is to be observed that this section contains special 
information about Herod. The Trial before Herod (xxiii. 7-12), 
with what is generally but perhaps mistakenly called the Mocking 
before Herod,* and the reconciliation of Herod and Pilate, are 

' Oxford Studies, p. go. 

2 " Let any preacher of experieace, after recalling the two lists of additions made 
by the First and Third Evangelists respectively, ask himself how often he has made use 
of the Matthaean additions in comparison with those made by S. Luke " {pp. cit., p. 93). 

' Dr. Moulton (Expositor, July 1911) brought forward some interesting arguments 
to support the view that (i) Paul's hatred of Jesus was due to his application to Him 
of the " false prophet " passage in Deut. xiii. 1-5 ; (2) that he had busied himself in 
Jerusalem before the Crucifixion in collecting evidence against Him ; (3) that some of 
the Pauline echoes of Gospel language were due not to tradition but to actual recollec- 
tion ; (4) that his insistence, on the Passion was due to the fact that -he had witnessed 
it himself ; and (5) that the face that he saw on his road to Damascus was the face that 
he had seen before on the Cross. The whole article, though not very convincing, is 
most instructive, and helps us to realize how great was the loss to the cause of Christian 
scholarship when Dr. Moulton lost his life " by perils on the sea " early in 1917- For. 
(3) see above, p. 26 n. 
' • See below, p. 199 f. 


peculiar to this Gospel. Elsewhere, too, S. Luke is well informed 
about Herod and his court. See, for example, iii. i, ix. 7 (where 
the report that John Baptist had risen again is only a common 
rumour, and not assigned, as in Mk. vi. 16, Mt. xiv. 2, to the 
Tetrarch himself),^ xiii. 31, 32 (" Herod seeketh to kill thee . . . 
go, tell that fox "), Acts xii. 21 f.^ Compare also the reference to 
Archelaus and a journey that he took to Rome, which is worked 
into the Lukan parable of the Pounds (xix. 11 f.). Now, there 
are mentioned in the Lukan writings two persons who probably 
possessed, and may well have imparted to the Evangelist, informa- 
tion of this kind. One is Manaen, who in Acts xiii. i is described 
as the foster-brother of Herod. The other is Joanna, the wife of 
Chuza, Herod's steward, who is twice mentioned in the Gospel 
(viii. 3, xxiv. 10, i.e. once in the present connexion), and nowhere 
else. It seems not improbable that Joanna was a source of the 
EvangeHst's Herodian sections, and perhaps of much else as well. 
There is also, as before, the probability that S. Luke gathered a 
certain amount of Palestine and Jerusalem information at Csesarea, 
and from S. James. 

5. The fifth and only remaining Lukan source is that used by 
him for his account of the Nativity and Childhood of Our Lord. 
This must be considered separately. 

Meantime let us for a moment survey results. How far have 
we penetrated behind our existing documents, and what do we 
know of S. Luke as an historian ? 

The conclusion to which we must come is that S. Luke's 
Gospel, as has often been pointed out, is a new work. It is, as 
Renan said, " the most beautiful book in the world," but with 
this we are not concerned for the moment. The point is that, 
whereas the first Evangelist takes S. Mark's Gospel and is content 
to prefix to it an account of the Nativity, and to insert in it at 
various places {a) collections of Our Lord's teaching and parables, 
{b) various fulfilments of Old Testament prophecy, and {c) a few 

* It has been conjectured that Herod was a Sadducee. In any case their tenets 
were certainly known, and perhaps congenial, to him. 

' On Acts xii. 1-19 : Sir W. M. Ramsay {The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the 
Trustworthiness of the New Testament, p. 220) holds that " there is nothing improbable 
in the supposition that some person influential in the entourage of Herod Agrippa I 
had skilfully engineered the escape of Peter." 


incidents, connected in some cases with S. Peter, while otherwise 

he follows the Markan outline, S. Luke, on the other hand, uses 

his materials much more freely, and constructs a new book. It 

is clear, I think, that he was accustomed to appeal, as he says in 

his Preface, to the best authorities, and, wherever possible, to 

eye-witnesses. We cannot determine the exact degree of credibility 

which must be assigned to his authorities, other than S. Mark 

and Q. But it does not seem necessary to think of Philip and 

his daughters or of " Christians of Jerusalem or Judaea who had 

wandered from Palestine " as " ecstatics, altogether wanting in 

sober-mindedness and credibility," and to draw from that the 

conclusion that the authenticity of his special traditions is 

" almost entirely dubious and . . . must indeed be described for 

the most part as legendary." ^ S. Paul had visions, and said, 

" I thank God, I speak with tongues niore than you all," but he 

was also a practical, sane person. If in S. Luke, as in the other 

Gospels, there are occasional inconsistencies and indications of the 

use of sources with different points of view, they only shew the 

faithfulness with which S. Luke and the other Evangehsts used 

such materials as they had. Recall once again the claim that 

S. Luke rnakes (I paraphrase and modernize his language) : " The 

attempt has been made in many quarters to draw up a narrative 

of those facts (irpayjj.aroov), the occurrence and results of which 

have led to the existence of our society, namely, the Church, 

whose belief is founded on the traditions of persons who from the 

beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word. I have 

determined to take a further step. I have once more traced the 

course of the whole series of events with accurate research, and I 

now present you, most excellent Theophilus, with an ordered 

history, that you may by means of this fuller treatment be 

reassured as to the accuracy of those points on which you have 

already received summary information." 

1 So Hamack, Luke the Physician, pp. 152, 153. 



It is time now to turn to the difficult question which was raised 
at the end of the eighth chapter. The widow of Nain and the 
Publican and Zacchseus are good types of the kind of person for 
whom, in S. Luke's opinion, the Christian religion is intended. 
They are good texts for Pauline sermons. They are mentioned 
in S. Luke only. Is there any ground for supposing that he, or 
some like-minded person, invented them as suitable illustrations 
of his meaning ? The sections in question are all interesting and 
important, but much the most important and much the most 
interesting of them is the Nativity. A learned friend of the writer 
said of the lectures on which this book is founded : " Many of 
your hearers will want to know about the first two chapters, and 
some of them will not be content to be put off in the usual way." 
This is a challenge which must be taken up. 

(i) The first point of interest is the style in which the narrative 
is written. There is between the first four verses of chapter i. and 
the remainder of the first two chapters one of the most startling 
contrasts to be found in any book. The Preface is written in 
literary Greek, and is like the Preface to the History of Polybius 
or some other Greek historian. The rest is in the archaic 
Hebraistic style of. Genesis. It is dangerous nowadays to talk of 
Semitisms, because since the recent discovery of tens of thousands 
of papyrus writings in Egypt, comprising non-literary documents, 
letters, wills, proclamations, and business communications of all 
kinds, it is known that 'the whole Mediterranean world spoke the 
kind of Greek which was formerly called New Testament Greek, 
and the number of genuine Semitisms which can be found in the 
New Testament has been diminished to an extraordinary extent. 
Whereas in 1895 Prof. Kennedy estimated that there were 



550 " Biblical " words in the vocabulary of the New Testament, 
Prof. Deissmann now estimates that there are 50.^ It is probable 
that Deissmann, like most pioneers, has rather exaggerated his 
.case. Neither the language nor the personality of S. Paul are 
quite so non-literary as he alleges.^ But even he allows that 
there are in the New Testament fifty Hebraic words, and also 
that there are Hebraisms of phrase. Of these Hebraic turns of 
phrase a large number are fouad in these two chapters. A 
glance at the language of Lk. i. 5-7 will illustrate the statement. 
Hebraic expressions are in italics. ^ 

" It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Judsea that 
there was a certain priest by name Zacharias of the course of 
Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name 
(was) Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, 
walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord 
blameless. And they had no child, because EHzabeth was barren, 
and both were advanced in their days." 

There are two possible explanations of the phenomena. Dr. 
Moulton has said : " In Luke, the only New Testament writer, 
except the author of Hebrews, to show any conscious attention to 
Greek ideas of style, we find (i) rough Greek translations from 
Aramaic left mainly as they reached him, perhaps because their 
very roughness seemed too characteristic to be refined away ; 
and (2) a very limited imitation of the LXX. idiom, as specially 
appropriate while the story moves in the Jewish world." * And 
it is certain either that S. Luke was here depending on an Aramaic 

1 Light from the Ancient East, p. 71 f. Cp. " The Holy Ghost spoke absolutely in 
the language of the people, as we might surely have expected He would " (Moulton, 
Grammar of New Testament Greeh, Prolegomena, p. 5. 

* E.g. " St. Paul generally dictated his letters, no doubt because writing was not 
an easy thing to his workman's hand . . . his large handwriting, over which-he himself 
makes merry " ifip. cit., p. 153 n. 2). 

' Grammar of New Testament Greek, i, p. 18. Dr. Moulton continues : " The conscious 
adaptation of his own style to that of sacred writings long current among his readers 
reminds us of the rule which restricted our nineteenth-centuiy Biblical Revisers to the 
English of the Elizabethan age." Cp. also the following passage from the same authority 
in Cambridge Biblical Essays (p. 480) : " Epic poetry, even down to Noimus, must 
endeavour to follow the nondescript dialect into which Ionic rhapsodists had transformed 
the Achaian of Homer. Choral odes in tragedy and comedy must preserve the broad 
a which witnesses to the origin of drama in some region outside the area of the Ionic- 
Attic. We can, therefore, understand the instinct that would lead the educated Greek 
Evangelist to suit his style under certain conditions to the book which held the same 
relation to his Gospel as the Iliad held to subsequent experiments in Epic verse," 


(or possibly Hebrew) source, or else that he wrote in an archaic 
style himself on purpose, in order to present the traditional story 
in suitable dress. It is an attractive theory that he was himself 
responsible, and though this would be a daring assumption in 
the case of any other New Testament writer, a comparison of 
i. 1-4 with iii.-xxiv. proves that S. Luke had more than one 
style at his command. He may have written i. 5-ii. 52 in Hebraic 
style, because it was a Palestinian story, with close affinities to 
certain Old Testament narratives, e.g. the birth of Samson, the 
story of Elijah, and the story of Hannah. The same phenomena 
recur in Acts. The first part of Acts, as long as the scene is 
Jerusalem, is in Hebraic, though not, as here, in ultra-Hebraic 
style. The second part of Acts, where the stage is the Hellenic 
world, is written in ordinary, polished Greek. 

The conjecture is attractive, but far from dertain. There is 
reason to expect that more of the characteristic Lukan diction 
would be traceable even in such a composition than can actually 
be observed. And it has often been pointed out that these 
chapters exhibit a local colouring which S. Luke himself nowhere 
contributes in his Gospel (e.g. i. 39, 65, and the use of the Hebrew 
form Mapidft for Mapla), and come quite certainly from a primi- 
tive, Palestinian and practically pre-Christian environment.^ 
They reflect so clearly the tone of the actual period that some 
critics pronounce the material here used to be the most ancient 
thing in the New Testament. ^ 

For our present purpose it does not matter much whether the 
style here is the Evangelist's or that of his source, because in any 
case he must in some way be depending on Palestinian sources, 
just as he does in the early chapters of Acts. 

(2) The census. Some years ago the census (ii. i) was regarded 
as a serious difficulty. It was known that Quirinius was Governor 
of Syria in a.d. 6, i.e. ten years after the death of Herod the 
Great, and that in his time a census was conducted, not after 

1 Cp. the fact that the announcement in ii. lo is " to the people," i.e. Israel, although, 
of course, Lk. ii. 32 (Isaiah xlix. 6) must not be forgotten. 

2 " These two chapters — ^whatever the date at which they were first committed to 
writing — are essentially the most archaic thing in the whole New Testament, older 
really in substance — whatever may be the date of their actual committal to 
writing — ^than 1 and 2 Thessalonians "(Sanday, The Life of Christ in Recent Research, 
p. 166). 


the Jewish method described in the Gospel, according to which 
each man is enrolled in his own ancestral city, but after a house- 
to-house method. This later census led to a riot among .the 
Jews, which is mentioned in Acts v. 37, and in Josephus, Ant. 
xviii. i. I, and elsewhere. Nothing was known of any " Jewish " 
census or of any governorship of Quirinius at the time required, 
i.e. 8-6 B.c.,^ and it was not impossible to draw the conclusion 
that S. Luke had invented the whole story in order to account 
for the Nativity being at Bethlehem instead of Nazareth, even 
though it would not be a very good invention for the purpose.^ 

But in recent years some remarkable discoveries have changed 
the' situation. The whole question is discussed in Sir W. M. 
Ramsay's Was Christ born at Bethlehem? and more briefly by 
Dr. Sanday in Hastings' Diet, of the Bible (art. " Jesus Christ "), 
and Dr. P. Gar-dner in Encycl. Bill. (art. " Quirinius "). Ramsay's 
researches, which have been corroborated by other discoveries still 
later,^ have shewn that there were periodical enrolments, certainly 
in Egypt, and probably in Syria, every fourteen years. This cycle 
brings us to about the date required. Further, it is "known that 
Herod tvas anxious to persuade the Romans to conciliate the Jews 
in all reasonable ways (the rebellion of a.d. 6 was probaHy due 
to the innovation of conducting the census in the Roman manner) ; 
and lastly, there is some ground for thinking that Quirinius did 

• The date 7-6 b.c. is arrived at by Mr. C. H. Turner as the result of five converging 
lines of inquiry (Hastings, Did. of the Bible, art. " Chronology of the New Testament," 
i. p. 415 £.). 

' E.g. Loisy {Les Evangiles synoptiques, i, p. 169) : " Le moyen presque m6canique 
dont le narrateur s'est servi pour faire naitre le Christ dans la patrie de David se fonde 
sur un anachronisme des plus facheux, le recensement de Quirinius 6tant post&ieur 
d'une dizaine d' armies k la mort d'H6rode le Grand." Ramsay, however, notes that 
" the mere commonplace historians of Rome are much more merciful to Luke's account 
of the census than the theological critics." He refers to Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi Aug., 
p. 1 76 f . {The Bearing of Recent Discovery, etc., p. 229) . 

' E.g. Deissmann has pubUshed a newly discovered edict of G. Vibius Maximus, 
governor of Egypt, a.d. 104, which runs as follows : " The enrolment by household 
being at hand, it is necessary to notify all who for any cause soever are outside their 
homes to return to their domestic hearths, that they may also accomplish the customary 
dispensation of enrolment and continue stedfastly in the husbandry that belongeth to 
them " {Light from the Ancient East, p. 268 ; see also Kenyon and Bell, British Museum 
Papyri, iii, p. 124 ; and Milligan, Selections from the Greek Papyri, p. 73). A fourteen-year 
series running backwards from 104 gives a.d. 6 and 8 b.c. There is actual pap3rrus 
evidence of enrolment in the years a.d. 90, 48, and 20 in Egypt, and perhaps in Syria 
(Hastings' Diet, of the Bible, v. 356a ; Rendel Harris in Expositor, March 1908, p. 217). It 
will be noticed that the procedure indicated in the edict given above tends to support 
the common belief, based on Mt. ii. 22 (not Lk.) that Bethlehem was Joseph's own 
original home. 


hold some kind of command in Syria in 11-8 or 7 b.c. It is 
therefore supposed that S. Luke knew of these two commands, 
and alludes to -the fact in the word " first " (ii. 2). TertuUian 
says (Adv. Marc. iv. 19) that Our Lord was born in the governor- 
ship of Sentius Saturninus (i.e. 9-6 b.c). This comes evidently 
from some source other than S. Luke's Gospel, and it is not 
impossible that TertuUian, as a lawyer, had access to official lists. 
Mr. Turner (in the important article already referred to) came to 
the conclusion that S. Luke was in the main correct, but was in 
error as to the name of the governor. This may well be, but 
Sir W. M. Ramsay-, on the strength of further inscriptions dis- 
covered at Antioch, argues that Quirinius and Saturninus both 
held commands in Syria at the same time, and that these com- 
mands were respectively military and civil. ■'■ The question is too 
complicated to be fully discussed here, and it remains difficult to 
understand why Mary should have accompanied Joseph, especially 
if it be the fact that she was at that time only " betrothed " to 
him.2 But there is some real ground for supposing that S. Luke's 
historical and political accuracy, which has been so well tested in 
Acts, is not deficient here.^ 

(3) Sources. From whom does the information come ? The 
nature of the Evangelist's authority, in a linguistic sense, has 
already been considered. The source, as we have seen, is Pales- 
tinian, and the connexion, already noted, of the Evangelist with 
Philip and his daughters is again a possible guide. Can we go 

^ Expositor, Nov. 191 2. " We can now prove by indisputable contemporary 
evidence that Quirinius was governing Syria about the time of the first census " (p. 385). 
It is to be noted that S. Luke does not say that Quirinius was proconsul {avdiiraros), but 
governor (^ye/iciv). Cp. The Bearing of Recent Discovery, etc., pp. 222-296. 

' Sir W. M. 'Raxasa.y-iExpositor, Nov. 1912, p. 386) adopts Colonel Mackinlay's 
suggestion (The Magi : How they recognized Christ's Star) that Joseph and Mary com- 
bined their census visit to Bethlehem with a visit to Jerusalem on the occasion of the 
Feast of Tabernacles. 

» Prof. Lake (Expositor, Nov. 1912, p. 462 f.) has suggested an entirely new 
chronology for the period covered by the Gospels. Confronted by the evidence of 
Josephus, and what he considers to be the consequent necessity of dating the marriage 
of Herod and Herodias as late as A.D.35, and accepting the general accuracy of S. Mark's 
account of the death of S. John Baptist, he is compelled to throw over the record in 
Mt., which gives the Nativity as within the lifetime of Herod the Great (d. 4 B.C.), and 
supposes that it took place in a.d. 6, the year of Quirinius' undoubted governorship 
and of the " Roman " census. It then becomes necessary to emend Gal. ii. i, " fourteen 
years " into " four years." This is easily done at the cost of a single iota (= 10). 
Prof. Lake points out with justice that the fourteen years are " an almost blank space 
in the history of St. Paul." His article is tentative, and hardly does more than suggest 
the reopening of the question. 


further ? Readers of S. Luke have often noticed that he shews 
a special sympathy and, I think we may say, affinity with women. 
As far as these chapters are concerned, it is quite obvious. The 
tale is told from a woman's point of view. In chapter i. there 
are verse 7, verses 24, 25, verse 26 (" in the sixth month ") ; there 
is the whole story of the Nativity, told as it affected Mary, whereas 
S. Matthew's narrative is from the point of view of Joseph ; there 
is the intimate and touching story of the Visitation in 39-44; 
there is the Magnificat ; and the " three months " of verse 56. 
In chapter ii. there is verse 19 (" But Mary kept all these things, 
and pondered them in her heart ") ; there is verse 34 (" Arid 
Simeon said unto Mary his mother, ... A sword shall go 
through thine own heart also ") ; there is verse 48 (" And his 
mother said unto him. Son why hast thou thus dealt with us ? ") ; 
and verse 51 (" His mother kept all these sayings in her heart "). 
Many of these details, and especially perhaps " the peculiar method 
of dating the events " in i. 24, 26, 56, can hardly have come from 
any but one of the two women concerned. It may well be that 
S. Luke, as a physician, would be able, more easily than another, 
to acquire and use information of this particular kind, and in any 
case he is the author of " the Women's Gospel." ^ 

There is no other definite counter-theory of the actual source. 
Hints and surmisings which proceed from the beHef that the 
whole story is a legend will be considered later. Harnack, after 
laying down that " there can be no doubt that these stories have 
been freely edited by a poetic artist, namely, St. Luke," continues : 
" But there can be just as little doubt that St. Luke regarded 
them as proceeding from St. Mary ; for his practice elsewhere as an 
historian proves that he could not by himself have invented a 
fiction like this. Hence we may conclude that they came to him 
with the authority of St. Mary, and therefore certainly from 
Palestine." ^ The fact that he speaks in his Preface of having 

' For the whole argument of tliis section I am much indebted to Dr. Sanday, Critical 
Questions, p. 139. Dr. A. Wright has suggested (Gos^e/ according to S. Luke, p. viii) that 
" certain other sections which are connected with the Holy Family, viz. the Genealogy, 
the Visit to Nazareth, and the Raising of the Widow's Son at Nain," are from the same 
source as chapters i. and ii. 

' Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, Eng. tr., p. 155. The mention of " these 
stories " is due to Hamack's acceptance of the belief that not only did' the part relating 
to the birth of John Baptist come from a different source (as in the last analysis it is 
obvious that it must), but that it took shape among the disciples of the Baptist. He 


received information from " those who from the beginning were 
eye-witnesses " can hardly be pressed, in view of Acts i. 22, x. 37, 
where the " beginning " is from the Baptism of John, unless 
indeed we suppose, with Dr. Chase, that Acts was written first. 

But it need not have come from Our Lady to S. Luke direct. 
We know that the Evangelist did spend some time at Csesarea 
(Acts xxi. 8), which was near Jerusalem, and if Mary was still 
living it is possible that he may have had speech of her at that 
time. But of course this is quite unprovable, and it is sa!"er to 
conjecture that the story came to him through some intermediary. 
This may perhaps have been Joanna, whom he mentions among 
the little group of women of whom Mary was one (Lk. xxiv. 10 ; 
Acts i. 14). But even this is only a guess. 

There have not been wanting suggestions that the whole idea 
is pagan, and that the narrative has therefore a non-Jewish 
source. The theory has even been hazarded that the Evangelist 
adopted the language in which the courtly Roman world rejoiced 
at the birth of Augustus ! And stories of supernatural birth are 
quoted from Greece, Egypt, India, Babylon, and many other 

Some orthodox Christians are distressed when they discover 
the existence of these quasi-parallels, but it is surely a support 
rather than a trial to faith to learn on the one hand that the 
Christian revelation is the satisfaction of what has been an almost 

makes the further suggestion that S. Luke had perhaps himself been an adherent of 
that school, and that the wondering (iii. 15) concerning John, " whether he were the 
Christ " reproduces his own early experiences. It is an ingenious theory, but the 
evidence in its favour is practically nil. Even if it be granted that there were originally 
two sources, they arose in precisely similar environments. The tone of the Benedictus 
and of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis are the same. There is indeed much to 
be said for the hypothesis that S. Luke had been in some kind of touch with members 
of that early Palestinian group. He makes certain additions to the Synoptic account 
of John's preaching (iii. 10-14), and he is interested (Acts xviii. 24-28, xix. 1-8) in the 
survival of the " Johannine " sect in later days. But there is also plehty of evidence 
(in Q) that the great importance of the Baptist and some definition of Our Lord's 
relation to him was an integral part of early Christian teaching. A detailed account 
of S. John's preaching, and knpwledge of the musings created by his advent, do not 
require any very special, explanation. And the references in Acts (difftcult as it is to 
say exactly what is meant by " the things concerning Jesus " and " knowing only the 
Baptism of John " in xviii. 25) are quite a natural part of the general story of S. Paul. 
Apollos was a sort of " John Baptist " to S. Paul, and the Ephesian incident in chapter 
xix. was a second, rather difierent, illustration of the Apostolic practice of laying hands 
on the baptized, of which an ordinary case had been described in chapter viii. The 
i^airTia-Brjo-av of ». 5 (as contrasted with u. 6, " Paul ") is incidentally an illustration of 
the Pauline principle laid down in i Cor. i. 17. 


universal human instinct, and on the other hand to reaUze, as 
is undoubtedly the case, that the Christian story of the Birth 
of the Redeemer ~ is incomparably the purest, most beautiful, 
and most edifying of all known versions of a supernatural 

But as a matter of fact the best authorities are all agreed that 
the Gospel stories cannot possibly have a pa^an origin. Pagan 
ideas were so abhorrent to the Church till long after the doctrine 
was thoroughly established in the Creed that the suggested 
importation is wholly incredible. " The idea," to use Harnack's 
words, " contradicts the entire earliest development of Christian 
tradition " {History of Dogma, Eng. tr., i, p. 100 n.). The story 
quite certainly originated in a Jewish circle. There is hardly a 
verse in either S. Matthew's or S. Luke's account which does not 
contain evidence of this. And yet it cannot have been borrowed 
from non-Christian Judaism. The Jews had no particular 
reverence for virginity. And if it be thought that Isaiah vii. 14 
(" A virgin shall conceive ") must have created among Jews 
the expectation that Messiah would be Virgin-born and that the 
Christian belief must then have been borrowed from that expecta- 
tion, it is the fact that there was no such expectation. Isaiah's 
words were never regarded by the Jews as a prediction of Messiah's 
birth of a virgin.^ Jews in the time of Justin Martyr regarded 
the Matthasan interpretation of the text as a Christian misinter- 
pretation, and maintained that the meaning in the original was 
" a young woman shall conceive." 

One final point in connexion with the source or sources arises 
from a comparison of the Lukan and Matthsean accounts. They 
are very different, so different that they are unquestionably 
independent of one another. Yet they are both records of a 
Supernatural Birth. And though the canonical date of both 

1 So Canon Box, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, p. 220. To this book I am indebted 
for a number of points in this and the following chapter. The " Philonian traditions," 
referred to by Dr. Abbott in Encycl. Bibl., ii. 1778, are so vague, and Philo is so thorough- 
going an allegorist of the text of the Old Testament, that nothing can be inferred from 
them, and Dr. Abbott's own inference is contrary to the general trend of Jewish thought. 
, Harnack remarks {Date of Acts, etc., p. 146, n. i) that " the testimony adduced from 
Philo is without importance." Prof. Useaer {Encycl. Bibl., iii. 3351) admits that the 
language of Philo "does not teach Virgin birth," though, he adds, " it certainly teaches 
divine generation." 


accounts is post-Markan, they both breathe the atmosphere of 
the quite early days when Christianity was still a part of Judaism. 
The fact of their agreement and the wideness of their divergence 
combine to require a considerable period behind them. The 
essential story which they relate is not a recent myth, but one 
that dates from early days. 

V ■ 



The most important part of the inquiry is still to come. Is the 
narrative, or how far is the narrative, idealized ? I will begin by- 
offering four general considerations. 

{a) Theology and Documents. 

Matters of this sort, involving belief or disbelief in the doctrine 
of the Virgin Birth, are not determined, and cannot be deter- 
mined, by sheer literary and historical criticism. I have heard a 
very distinguished scholar say that to him the documents were 
convincing. I cannot take that view. It does not seem to me 
that any document can settle a matter of this kind. My own 
belief in the doctrine is part of my general belief in the Incarnation, 
of which it seems to me to be a subordinate and not discordant 
part. It is not based on the documents, though it is assisted and 
confirmed by them, and, I will add, by S. Luke more than by 
S. Matthew. It is part of a larger belief. And the kind of 
criticism which was before described as a complete criticism is 
one that takes account of facts in their relation to other facts.^ 

This is at once the weak point and the strong point of the case 
for the belief. On the one hand the criticism can easily be made : 
" You apparently do not object to rationalizing a miracle or two 
here and there. You are willing to explain away the coin in the 
fish's mouth (Mt. xvii. 24-27) or to give up the walking on 
the sea (Mt. xiv. 28-31). But you stop short of anything that 

1 " A mind unwilling to believe, or even undesirous to believe, our weightiest 
evidence must ever fail to impress. It will insist on taking the evidence in bits and 
rejecting item by item. The man who announces his intention of waiting until a single 
bit of absolutely conclusive evidence turns up, is really a man not open to conviction, 
and if he be a logician he knows it. For modem logic has made it plain that single 
facts can never be ' proved,' except by their coherence in a system. But as all the 
facts come singly, any one who destroys them one by one is destroying the conditions 
under which the conviction of new truth could arise in his mind " (F. C. S. Schiller, 
quoted by Sir W. F. Barrett in the Preface to On the Threshold oj the Unseen). 



really matters." On the other hand the defence, is obvious : 
"The things that matter are the things in which principle is 
most clearly seen." 

The question then is, What, in this connexion, is the principle, 
and is it seen more clearly in the traditional belief than in any 
other ? The principle is the principle of the Incarnation, and 
that, I take it, means (i) a genuine arrival of that which is truly 
divine, and (ii) a genuine assumption of that which is truly human. 
Moreover, (iii) this arrival of the divine and this assumption of 
the human are initial and creative. 

Now, is this Incarnation principle more clearly exhibited in 
the doctrine of a Virgin Birth than in any other ? For myself I 
have no doubt of it. For it. must be remembered that purity 
is positive, not negative. It is far from consisting merely in 
the absence of violation. It is a white flame, an eager, burning, 
and creative thing. We should enter more fully into that which 
God has wished (and wishes) His Church to believe if we thought 
and spoke less of what is to be understood by the " virginity " of 
Mary than of what is to be understood by " conceived of the 
Holy Ghost." 

Belief in the Virgin Birth is not essential, if by " essential " is 
meant a preliminary condition. It is not a preliminary, but a 
subsequent and consequent belief, I am sure that it is genuinely 
consequent, that is, divinely intended, divinely taught, and true. 
And I suspect that if it were abandoned, belief in the Incarnation 
would be damaged. 

But this is prediction, the truth of which cannot be proved. 
Nor does it seem ^possible to deny the Christianity of some who 
assert that they believe the Incarnation, but are unable to express 
belief in the Virgin Birth. But it was, nevertheless, a true 
instinct which led the Catholic Church to express its own belief 
in the Incarnation by a clause in the Creed which speaks in one 
breath of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary ; it seems fitting 
that the Birth of One Who is Very God in Very Man should 
-originate in a divine-human mystery, earthly enough and at the 
same time heavenly enough to satisfy the twofold presuppositions 
of Redemption ; and the unorthodox or quasi-orthodox Christians, 
with powers of devout intuition which make them impatient of 


the Church's logic, owe more to the traditional doctrine than they 

There is little space here to elaborate doctrinal points, but 
three reasons may be briefly given for connecting the ideas of 
Divine Incarnation and Virgin Birth. They correspond to the 
three points named just now as involved in the Incarnation 
principle : 

(i) The first is summed up in the words of S. Ambrose, Talis 
partus decet Deum. When the Lord our God, that hath His 
dwelling so high, humbleth Himself to behold, and to adopt, the 
things that are in earth, the new thing that now begins to be, the 
heavenly reinforcement, the fresh accession of divinity to an else 
hopeless world, demands a newness in the manner of its arrival 
which shall correspond with the newness of the gift it brings. He 
is to baptize men, no longer with mere water, but with the Holy 
Ghost and with fire, and the Advent of the fire-bearing. Spirit- 
bringing Saviour is vouchsafed to Mary by *the burning touch of 
the most Holy Paraclete. 

(ii) The second point is that Our Lord is a new humanity. 
S. Paul calls Him " The Second Adam." And the fact that Adam 
is now no longer thought of as an individual, but rather as 
" primitive man," i.e. a collective life, lasting many generations, 
and perhaps spread over many parts of the surface of the earth, 
only increases the value of the comparison. For Christ's humanity 
is universal. As S. Irensus said, longam hominum expositionem 
in seipso recapitulavit?- This thought has been admirably put by 
Dr. Du Bose : 

" Who and What is Jesus Christ, in His real and essential 
personality ? The answer which the artless, and yet most pro- 
foundly artful, so-called nursery myth forestalls and excludes is 
this. He was no mere natural offspring of Joseph and Mary. Why 
not ? Because the product of every such natural union is an 

• III, 19, I (ed. Harvey). The word occurs constantly in Irenseus, who is fond 
of expounding the thought of Eph. i. 10. In one place (II, 33, 2-4) he infers from 
Jno. viii. 56, 57 that Our Lord had reached the age of nearly fifty, and argaes that, 
being a Master, He came " not despising or evading any condition of humanity, nor 
abrogating in His own person the law which He had made for the human race, but 
sanctif3dng every age . . . infans . . . parvulus . . . juvenis ... sic et senior . . ■ 
deinde et usque ad mortem pervenit, ut sit primogenitus ex mortuis, ipse primatum 
tenens in omnibus, princeps vitae, prior omnium, et praecedens omnes." 


individual human person. Viewing Jesus Christ in that light it 
is impossible to construe Him otherwise than as a human indi- 
vidual, exceptionally favoured by unique relations with God " 
{The Gospel in the Gospels, p. 212). Whereas, the writer continues 
(p. 216) : " The human self in Him was not that of only one of us, 
but of us all. It was not one man but humanity that He was. 
We were every one present in Him : as, if we but knew it, He is 
present in us every one : and operative unto salvation in every 
one of us who believes and realizes His presence." 

" It may now be asked, and unquestionably will be asked, 
how we shall go about conceiving the derivation from Mary of a 
huma^ nature apart from a distinct human subject or personality. 
For my part, I might say that I do not go about it at all. What 
I am concerned about is simply the matter of Our Lord's person 
or personality, without any responsibility or competency for the 
question of how it came about. The Gospels do give us a most 
highly and beautifully poetical account of this, and the account 
assists me to imagine or picture to myself what I can in no wise 
explain or understand. I do not at all believe the one divine- 
human personality of Our Lord upon the authoritative statement 
of the story of His birth. Knowing Jesus Himself as He is known 
and revealed to us in the New Testament and in the mind and 
experience of the Church, I unhesitatingly recognize in Him — and 
the more, the more I know Him — ^no single man filled with God, 
but the fulness of the Godhead present and operative in all 
humanity " (p. 228).^ 

(iii) The third point can be very briefly stated. It is some- 
times urged by defenders of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth that 

' I quote this argument with all approval. But it is not an easy one to wield. 
It is generally recognized now that the weak point of the Chalcedonian Fathers' theology 
lay in their inevitably deficient understanding of what is meant by personality. And 
it appears that we are still waiting for a complete account of it. But, as far as I have 
been able to observe, philosophy is tending more and more to deny that there is such 
a thing as an " individual," while at the same time there is a disposition on the part 
of many who are not orthodox Christians to speak of Christ as " the soul of humanity." 
Dr. Du Bose himself meets the objection that the concept is difficult, as follows : " The 
universality of Our Lord's humanity is only explicable upon the fact that His personality 
is a divine one. It is only God in it that can make it applicable to all or the truth of 
all. . . . The concrete universal of humanity which may be found in Jesus Christ 
belongs to it not as humanity but as God in humanity. It is God in it which makes 
that particular humanity of Our Lord, His holiness, His righteousness. His life, valid 
and available for all ; so that every man may find himself in Christ, and in Christ find 
himself " (The Gospel according to St. Paul, p. 297). See below, p. 214 f. 



it is an illustration of the " Sacramental principle." To this the 
reply is fairly made that, although the Sacraments are a divine 
using of earthly material, they do not affect the physical order. 
But the rejoinder again is not difficult. The Incarnation is that 
of which the Church and Sacraments are derived " extensions." 
The initial consecrating step once taken, earth is a holy thing, and 
Sacraments are possible. But what made them possible ? 

(Jb) The Mythopoeic Faculty. 

Critics inevitably differ as to the extent to which they suppose 
that in any given case of this kind the mythopoeic faculty has been 
at work. It may be conceded that as soon as the earthly career 
of any great hero, Messiah or what you will, is ended, that faculty, 
in an uncritical, pre-scientific age, will tend to come into operation. 
Those who believe that there was in the actual life of Jesus no 
miracle at all, will of course find very large traces of the operation 
of the faculty. Those who believe that an original minimum has 
been exaggerated, will no doubt have some criterion of their own 
by which to separate the true from the false. It will be most 
likely a mixture of the seeming appropriateness of the incidents 
related and the nature of their attestation. In this connexion 
attention may be directed to the Apocryphal Gospels, in which 
we see what the imagination and mythopoeic faculty of the early 
Christians really could produce. 

In the first place the Apocryphal Gospels are eager to go behind 
the Nativity, and to supply fantastic and marvellous details 
about the birth of Mary and her wonderful childhood, in which 
" she was not regarded as a little child, but as an adult of about 
thirty years, so earnest was she in prayer. . . . With the food 
that she received from the hand of the angel she refreshed herself 
alone ; but she distributed to the poor the food which she received 
from the priests. The angels of God were frequently seen to talk 
with her, and they most diligently obeyed her. If any one that 
was sick touched her, that same hour he returned home whole " 
{Ps. -Matthew, vi.). The same writer enlarges, elaborately though 
not /grossly, on the virginity of Mary, and describes how both 
Joseph and she were compelled to go through a sort of Ordeal, 
after which Mary said with a loud voice : " As the Lord Adonai 


liveth ... I have never known man ; but I am known by Him 
to Whom from infancy I have devoted my mind. . . . Then all 
began to kiss her feet, and to embrace her knees, praying her to 
pardon their evil suspicions " (ibid. xii.). 

The writers leave little to the imagination. At the Annuncia- 
tion, Mary was " not incredulous at these words of the angel, but 
wishing to know the mode of their accomplishment, asked : ' How 
can this be ? ' " (Nativity of Mary, ix.). 

The Nativity itself abounds in miracles. It is without pain 
to the mother, and the Child is adored by the Ox and the Ass 
(Ps.-Matthew, xiii., xiv.). The hand of Salome, who is incredulous, 
is first withered and then restored (Protevangelium Jacobi, xx.). 
An old woman is cured of paralysis by placing her hands upon 
the Child, and goes out saying : " Henceforth will I be the hand- 
maid and servant of this infant all the days of my life " (Arabic 
Gospel of the Infancy, iii.). A demoniac boy is healed by means 
of the swaddhng clothes, " and the demons began to come forth 
out of his mouth, and fled in the form of crows and serp^ts " 
(ibid. xi.). 

The silent years of the childhood and growth are filled with 
trivial and sometimes objectionable inventions — the commanding 
of dragons, the making of clay birds to fly, the killing and raising 
to life of other children, carrying water in a cloak, miraculous 
assistance to Joseph in the workshop, etc. Instead of the 
gradual advance " in wisdom and stature " (Lk. ii. 52), and the 
single hint that all who heard the Boy in the Temple " were 
amazed at His understanding and answers " (ii. 47), we have this, 
at five years of age : " Wonder ye at this that such things are 
spoken by a child ? Why then do ye not believe me in the 
things which I have spoken to you ? . . . I have seen Abraham, 
whom ye call your father, and talked with him, and he hath seen 
me. . . I was among you with children, and ye knew me not. 
I have talked with you as with wise men, and ye have not under- 
stood my voice, because ye are inferior to me and of little faith " 
(Ps.-Matthew, xxx.). Or this : " He answered and explained to 
him physics and metaphysics, hyperphysics and hypophysics ; 
the virtues of the body ; also the humours and their effects ; also 
the number of the members and bones, veins, arteries, and nerves 


. . . what the operation of the soul upon the body . . . and 
other things which the intellect of no creature attains unto" 
{Arabic Gospel, lii.). His teacher cries : "Ought he to live upon 
the earth ? Verily, he deserves to be hanged on a great cross. 
... I flee before him, for I cannot endure the word of his mouth " 
(Ps.-Matthew, xxxi.). After the incident of the Temple : " The 
Scribes and Pharisees said, Art thou the mother of this child ? 
And she said, I am. And they said to her. Blessed art thou 
among women, for God hath blessed the fruit of thy womb, in 
that he hath given thee such a glorious child and such a gift of 
wisdom, as we never saw or heard " (Gospel of Thomas, xv.). 

Finally, the authors cannot resist the invention of coincidences. 
On the road to Egypt, Titus and Dumachus, the two robbers of 
the Crucifixion, are introduced and play appropriate parts. 
" And the Lord Jesus answered and said to his mother. After 
thirty years, O mother, the Jews will crucify me at Jerusalem, 
and these two robbers will be lifted on the cross with me, Titus 
at my right hand and Dumachus at my left, and ^fter that day 
Titus shall go before me into Paradise. And when she had said, 
God avert this from thee, my son, they went thence to a city of 
idols, which, when they approached, was changed into heaps of 
sand." And again : A boy who was a demoniac " sought to bite 
the Lord Jesus, but he could not, yet he struck the right side of 
Jesus, who for this cause began to weep. Forthwith Satan went 
out of the boy in form like a mad dog. Now this boy, who struck 
Jesus, from whom Satan went out in the form of a dog, was 
Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him to the Jews, and that side of 
him on which Judas had smitten him, the Jews [sic] pierced with 
a spear " (Arabic Gospel, xxiii., xxxv.).^ We may fairly say, with 
Dr. Armitage Robinson : " The frigid miracle-mongering of the 
so-called Gospels of the Infancy, when compared with the trans- 
parent honesty and delicate reserve of our Evangelists, offers one 

' I use the translation of B. H. Cowper, The Apocryphal Gospels. All these docu- 
ments, except the Protevangelium Jacobi, are of late date and no authority. With the 
exception of the Protevangelium, the existing portions of the comparatively early books, 
e.g. the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Ebioniie Gospel, etc., do not touch upon 
this part of the subject, save as is indicated in the note at the end of this chapter. Part 
of the composite Protevangelium is early (it was perhaps known to Justin in 153), but 
it does not contain much legendary detail. Dr. Findlay's article " Gospels (Apocryphal) " 
in Hastings' Diet, of Christ and the Gospels is an admirable account of the subject. 


of the most instructive contrasts in all literature." ^ The contrast 
is enough to reassure those who are impressed with the fact that 
S. Marjc, the earliest Gospel, begins only with the Baptism,^ and 
are thus led to wonder if the Nativity stories of S. Matthew and 
S. Luke are perhaps the imaginative products of a desire to satisfy 
devout demands. If I may borrow once again the words of Dr. 
Du Bose : 

" If we should arrange the subject-matter of the Gospels in 
the order, not so much of the inherent relative Importance of the 
different parts or topics, as of their actual influence in the produc- 
tion of these records, it would probably run as follows : (i) The 
death and resurrection. ... (2) The public ministry. . . . (3) The 
baptism and its attendant circumstances. ... (4) Latest of all 
arose the question of the point which even though first in reality 
would naturally come last in apprehension or investigation. 
While the order of things in themselves is always forward, the 
order of thought about things is backward, so that our last know- 
ledge is that of adequate or sufficient causes. So Christianity may 
have rested for a moment upon the spiritual endowment of Jesus, 
as covered by His baptism Or anointing with the Holy Ghost from 
heaven. But not for long ; the explanation was inadequate ; it 
was impossible to see in Jesus only a man approved of God by 
mighty works and wonders and signs. The deeper question of 
His person could not but follow after the others and gradually 
work its way to the front. As the record of His life had found it 
necessary to find a starting-point for the ministry in the acts and 
fact of the baptism, so it was not long in going back, behind 
S. Mark for example, to find a yet earlier beginning for itself in 
the account of His birth. S. John, we shall see, finds it necessary 
to go yet further back into the origin of things for sufficient 

* Some Thoughts on the Incarnation, p. 38. 

« Why does S. Mark begin with the Baptism ? There are three possible answers, 
(i) The life of power, which he wished to relate, did date from that point ; (2) he knew 
no traditions of the earUer period ; (3) he had not what we call the biographical motive 
— cp. the entire absence of any description of Our Lord's personal appearance or of 
any attempt to sum up His character. Of these answers (i) seems entirely true ; 
(2) has a considerable amount of truth in it, though, as V, M'Nabb shewed in Journ. 
Theol. Stud., April 1907, his Gospel bears some testimony to the fact of the Virgin 
Birth ; and (3) is in itself true, though it is not easy to determine the precise weight 
that should be assigned to it as an explanation of his Gospel. There can be little 
doubt that all three reasons were more or less operative together. 


antecedent and cause for His Gospel." {The Gospel in the Gospels, 
p. 210-211), 

All this does not, of course, prove that S. Luke's narrative is 
true to fact. In the strict sense of proving, nothing can ever 
prove the truth of its central statement. But the argument 
does at least estabHsh the reaspnableness of the belief as 
maintained in the Christian Creed and in the Christian 

(f) Grace and Truth. 

It is Sometimes asserted that the inimitable beauty of the 
narrative proves that it is a legend. That, as an a priori state- 
ment, I entirely deny. S. Luke may be artistic, but so is God. 
There is, for example, a significant contrast between the birth of 
John and the birth of Jesus. The last prophet of the Jewish 
covenant is the child of aged parents. The Second Adam is the 
child of a young maiden. But the fact that S. Luke seems to 
have been aware of the significance of the contrast does not prove 
that he invented it. Again, we read the moving story of the 
Visitation : " When the voice of thy salutation came into mine 
ears the babe leaped in my womb for joy." It appeals, not 
because S. Luke alone thought of it, but because every one knows 
it, because it happens somewhere a thousand times a day ; and 
it happens because God's in His heaven. We do not create the 
handiwork of the Almighty, we do but recognize it. Preachers 
draw out the fact that we have here the first response of creation 
to its Redeemer, and this is both true and beautiful. What are 
we to conclude from it ? It may be admitted that the actual lan- 
guage of i. 43 (" mother of my lord ") looks like an anachronism,-*- 
but on the general issue it is important to remember that the 
same God Who created the physiological law of which this is an 
instance, and the psychological capacity in Evangelist or preacher 
to appreciate its lesson, may also have furnished in this supreme 
instance a perfectly ordinary yet exquisitely classical illustration 
of His own universal law. It may be difficult for some minds to 
believe that Jesus was born of a pure virgin : it is no more difficult 

' Even though it happens that the sentence comes in a form that is frequent in the 
New Testament and in common speech, but has no parallel in S. Luke. See Hamack, 
Luke the Physician, p. 201. 


to beKeve the incident of the Visitation than it is to believe that 
He was born. 

In the same way there is the Magnificat. It has been suggested 
that the hymn is a free composition of the EvangeHst. In favour 
of that view there is the fact that ancient historians, did not mind 
composing suitable speeches for their characters, and that S. Luke 
himself very hkely did this very thing in the Acts. Against it 
there is the fact that if S. Luke did compose speeches for the 
Acts he probably knew at least that there had been speeches at 
those places, and it is not impossible that he had some record of 
their general tenor. It may well be that the balance, rhythm, 
and allusiveness of the actual language owes something to the 
later Church, perhaps even to S. Luke himself. But it is to be 
noted that the Magnificat is pre-Resurrection. It suits its place. 
It is Christian enough, being, in fadt, as is well known, a Chris- 
tianized and spiritualized version of the Song of Hannah, but it 
contains no anachronisms. Also there is the consideration that 
metrical compositions are more easily remembered than prose, 
and therefore if it can be believed that under the stress of a 
supreme emotion a Jewish maiden, unlearned but familiar with 
the Bible, and, I think we may add, of a singularly sweet and 
holy character, could improvise so marvellous a song, it was not 
impossible for that song to become traditional. 

Once more, it is true that the old country priest, the shepherds, 
Simeon and Anna are characters who suit the Lukan Gospel. 
But do they not also .suit the Nativity itself ? There were such 
people, and that was the kind of environment which the Son of' 
Man would choose. The incident of the Child Jesus in the Temple 
is capable of being used as an illustration of S. Luke's own view 
of Christianity. But may it not also be an illustration of the 
divine view ? 

For, after all, of what sort is the beauty of the narrative ? Is 
it the beauty of conscious elaboration or of nature ? " Events," 
said Maurice, " the belief of which has affected all the art and 
speculation of the most civilized nations of the modern world, 
are recorded in fewer words, and with less effort, than an ordinary 
historian would deem suitable to the account of the most trivial 
transaction. Such marvellous associations have clung for cen- 


turies to these verses that it is hard to realize how absolutely 
naked they are of all ornament. We are obliged to read them 
again and again to assure ourselves that they really set forth what 
we call the great miracle of the world " {The Kingdom of Heaven, 
p. 28). Whatever ground there be, in any carefully selected 
black-list of theological writings, for Mr. Wells's castigation of 
" materialistic inventions about his ' miraculous ' begetting and 
morbid speculations about virginity and the hke that arise out of 
such grossness," S. Luke at least is not to be blamed. 

(li) Idealization. 

That there is an element other than hteral truth in the narra- 
tive is, I think, to be admitted even by the most orthodox. It is, 
for example, not orthodox and must, I believe, be counted as 
heresy to assert that the angels have bodies. Therefore the 
appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary was in the 
strict sense a vision. It would not necessarily have been seen at 
aU by any other person who might have been present. I beUeve 
entirely that her experience was true ; I mean that God sent it- 
and that Mary took, from it the impression that she was intended 
to take. I do not beheve that the words, " Hail, thou that art 
highly favoured ; the Lord is with thee," were spoken in audible 
tones, though I believe that they represent as nearly as human 
words can do the sense which Mary was intended to receive ; and 
I beheve that they were beyond the power of either Luke or Mary 
to invent, though their meaning was not beyond the power of 
Mary to apprehend. That experience, described so briefly, so 
simply, so plainly, yet without a single word that could offend the 
most delicate purity, I take to be the Conception of the Holy 

' Sir W. M. Ramsay has some suggestive remarks : " Here we have a narrative 
which comes from a Hebrew source, from a woman thinJdng in Hebraic fashion, one 
whose language was saturated with Hebraic imagery. This narrative Luke has trans- 
mitted to us- in a form which clearly shows its Hebrew origin,' and equally clearly shows 
that it had been re-expressed in Lukan language, and transformed by Luke. But also, 
I venture to believe, it has been rethought out of the Hebraic into the Greek fashion. 
The messenger of God, who revealed to Mary the Divine will and purpose, becomes to 
Luke the winged personal being who, like Iris or Hermes, communicates the will and 
purpose of God. Exactly what is the difference between the original narrative and 
the Greek translation, I am not able to say or to speculate ; but that there was a more 
anthropomorphic picture of the messenger in Luke's mind than there was in Mary's 
I feel no doubt. Yet I believe that Luke was translating as exactly as he could into 


Nor need we hesitate to admit that the dialogue in general is 
only an approximation to what actually occurred. There would 
no doubt be a tradition that Zacharias had been disbelieving and 
that he had been rebuked for his unfaith. The, " How shall I 
know this ? " and, " I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of 
God," would be legitimate amplifications of the central idea. 
Again, the details of the scene at the naming of the infant John, 
and the actual words (ii. 15) put into the mouths of the shepherds 
are undoubtedly dramatic inventions, but it would be hazardous 
to deny or even to question their substantial truth. But the 
suggestion that the whole narrative is enveloped in poetic haze, 
which has only a remote relation to the truth, and that it repre- 
sents the later conception of the Church read back, in ignorance 
or with assumed poetic licence, into the consciousness of Mary, 
may be dismissed, because there is very little sign of such a 
process in the New Testament. S. John's Gospel contains some 
anachronisms, e.g. the long disputes of Jesus " with the Jews " 
may include some anticipation of the controversies which the 
Church held with later Judaism, and the theological statements 
ascribed to Our Lord owe much to the subsequent reflections of 
the Evangehst himself* S. Matthew's Gospel here and there 
attributes to Our Lord's teaching an ecclesiastical precision which 
really was of somewhat later growth, and it may be that the 
picture of the Church in the first half of Acts is affected in a few 
points by later history, but an enHghtened criticism finds very 
little trace of such a process in the Lukan account of the Nativity. 
It is perfectly true that anachronisms in plenty in connexion with 
the Nativity have found their way into the subsequent mind of 
the Church. Poetry and Mystery-Play have accustofned us, for 
example, to picture a degree of immediate comprehension on the 
part of the shepherds which is wholly improbable, but the 
anachronism has no Biblical authority. Sermons and hymns 
attach mystical meanings to the gifts, of the Magi, but we have 
no sanction for so doing from S. Matthew's Gospel. The presenta- 
tion of a Httle cross by the infant John to the infant Jesus is 
frankly a creation of mediaeval artists. 

Greek the account which he had heard. He expresses and thinks as a Greek that 
which was thought and expressed by a Hebrew " {Luke the Physician, p. 13 ; cp. ibid., 
P- 255)- 


It remains only to consider briefly some part of the actual 

It is not possible to deal here with the alleged " silence " of 
S, Paul and S. John. It can only be remarked that the assertion 
that there is any significance* in their " silence," or even that 
they are " silent " on the subject, is precarious (e.g. Jn. i. 13 
{avSpos) and S. Paul's argument in i Cor. xv. 45-49, and his 
language in Galatians iv. 4, are at least congruous with the belief. 
And it seems certain that Jn, vi. 42, vii. 27, vii. 41, 42 are deHberate 
cases of Tragic Irony ; cp. Lk. iv. 22). But the evidence of other 
parts of the Lukan writings does belong to our present subject. 

The supposed difficulties are three : 

(i) Was the fact known to the Apostles, and did it form part 
of the Apostolic preaching ? 

During Our Lord's earthly lifetime they did not know it. 
S. Peter on the Day of Pentecost can hardly have known it. If 
he had, it is far from certain that he would have proclaimed it. 
He did preach the Resurrection, because that was the thing of 
which he was himself the witness. But he did not proclaim, and 
probably at this time did not possess, any reasoned theory as to 
the manner of the Resurrection. That was expounded subse- 
quently by S. Paul when occasion happened to arise. In the 
same way S. Petpr announces in Acts i.-v. that a heavenly Christ 
has come into the world, but he is not concerned at present 
with Incarnation theology, still less with any doctrine of tlie 
manner of the Lord's Birth. And as for later times, those who 
are prepared to assert that the existing records of the Apostolic 
preaching (or of S. Paul's correspondence) represent all that they 
ever said will find it possible to argue that they had never heard 
of the Virgin Birth or that they disbelieved it, but the assumption 
is more than doubtful. It is admitted by all that the fact did 
not form part of the earliest missionary preaching. It is quite 
possible that it was not among the things in which Theophilus, 
for example, had been instructed. It was not the foundation, 
but part of the superstructure, of Christian belief. 

(2) Was the fact known to the brethren of the Lord, and is 
the subsequent conduct of His Mother consistent with belief in 
the substantial accuracy of chapters i. and ii. ? 


Of the Brethren we know from Jn. vii. 5 that " they 
beheved not in him." From Mk. iii. 21 (a verse omitted in 
S. Matthew and S. Luke) we learn that when " his friends " 
(0/ vap avTov) heard that He had chosen twelve disciples and 
was becoming a centre of interest to " the multitude," they 
" cam^out to lay hold on him, for they said, He is beside himself." 
There is no mention of the Mother here, but in Mk. iii. 31 
(Mt. xii. 46, and Lk. viii. 20) it is reported to Him," Behold, thy ' 
mother and thy brethren without seek thee." ^ 

What are we to make of this ? It seems not unreasonable to 
say that in the course of thirty years even a very wonderful 
experience, which had not been renewed by any specific act of 
God, would have become less vivid to the mind of a peasant 
woman, and that it would therefore be very startling to find a son 
beginning to act in the way described. Our Lord did not at this 
stage claim publicly to be Messiah, and even if He had. His actions 
were not all easy to fit into the traditional Messianic role. There 
was, for instance, an element of " Nonconformity " about them, 
which may well have puzzled and even distressed the old-fashioned 
orthodoxy of the devout Mother. Further, it is to be remembered 
that the members of the Holy Family were " poor people." And 
" poor people " often need to hear a thing more than once before 
they comprehend it. The " Be it unto me according to thy word " 
cannot be said necessarily to involve complete understanding. 
It seems to us that so great a miracle as that indicated in the story 
must have made an overwhelming, ineffaceable impression. 
There could be no doubt or hesitation after that. But the miracle 
would not be nearly so " miraculous " to Mary as it is to us. 

It is not necessary to dwell on the supposed inconsistencies in 
chapter ii., e.g. verse 33 (" his father and his mother "), 41 (" his 
parents "), 48 (" thy father and I "). The first two are purely 
conventional,^ and the third is actually used to introduce a 

^ 1 It seems just possible that the detail found only in S. Luke (" and they could 
not come at him for the crowd ") was a recollection of the Mother herself. 

" Canon Box in his admirable volume The Virgin Birth of Jesus, which is particularly 
valuable because of the writer's knowledge of Jewish literature, quotes (p. 5) from the 
Apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (chap, xxvii.) : " And some went away to the 
chief priests . . . and told them that Jesus the son of Joseph had done great signs, 
etc.," and notes that a few pages further on (chap, xxx.) Jesus is made to say, " But 
I am an alien in your courts, because I have no carnal parent." 


delicate correction. Again, the words of v. 50 (" They understood 
not ") are very far indeed from being a relic unskilfully retained, 
from an alien and discordant source. They are profoundljr 
consistent with the narrative as a whole. They mean " The 
Child understands the mystery better than we do ourselves." 

(3) Was the fact known to Our Lord Himself, and do His 
subsequent actions allow us to believe that it was true ? 

The " psychology of Jesus," and the " Messianic consciousness 
of Jesus " have been treated with such strange confidence by 
some writers that it is impossible not to feel the perils of an 
attempt to state what He did and did not know.^ Yet the 
attempt must be made. We know from Lk. ii. 52 that He 
" advanced in wi&dom," and from Heb. v. 8 that He " learned 
obedience by the things that he suffered." And for my own 
part I do not feel certain that our Saviour knew the facts of His 
own Birth. I cannot at all events assert it as unquestionable. 
But assuming that He did, we cannot infer-that He would proclaim 
it. We may, in fact, infer the opposite. It is clear from the 
Temptation that He knew Himself to be Messiah, but He does 
not publicly proclaim the fact. 

The inquiry is perhaps unprofitable and may seem irreverent. 
But I cannot think that the " silence " of Our Lord about His 
Birth constitutes any reason to doubt the historicity of the 
Christian tradition. Bearing in mind the general nature of His 
appeal to men, and in particular His attitude towards His own 
miracles, we may fairly say that an argument from the circum- 
stances of His Birth was precisely the sort of argument that He 
would not use. 

The slightly different version of the same question which 
forms the second half of our supposed difficulty seems more 
urgent. " The full consciousness of Sonship," says Dr. McNeile, 
seems to have come to Him at the Baptism " {Gospel of St. Matthew, 
p. xxiv.). Anyhow, it is agreed that the Baptism represents a 
considerable stage in our Saviour's vocation. It was the point 
from which He took up His public Ministry, and His Temptation, 
which immediately follows it, is most easily explained by supposing 

1 E.g. I have been inter alios rebuked by one of my own pupils, who remarked 
" so many lecturers quote passages of the Gospels and then say, ' What Our Lord really 
meant was so-and-so.' " 


that He then was conscious for the first time of the possession of 
superhuman power. Nor is this wonderful. If we assume, as 
upon Christian grounds we must assume, that His Infancy and 
Childhood were a real infancy and a real childhood, there must 
have come a time whea His adult Manhood was at length ready 
for the work which the Father had given Him to do. And the 
arrival of this time was clearly marked by the Baptism. 

But to make any sort of return to the ancient heresy that 
Jesus only began to be the Son' of God at His Baptism is surely 
impossible. If we are to find in the Life which is recorded in the 
Gospels a Redemption of Mankind, if it be true that in Jesus God 
re-created human nature, the re-creating and redeeming process 
must have begun when the human substance of the Redeemer was 
yet unperfect, while His members day by day were fashioned, 
when as yet there was none of th,em. The classical expression of 
man's need of Redemption is that of the Miserere, " Behold, I was 
shapen in wickedness and in sin hath my mother conceived me," 
and it seems to follow that the remedy must go at least as deep 
as the disease. We shall not be wrong if we say, with a modern 
disciple of Jesus who has had singular opportunities of studying 
the nature of his fellow-men : " God laid His hand on the deepest 
spring of man's being when His Son came to us ' conceived by 
the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.' " ^ 


The " Western " text, i.e. D (Codex Bezae), the Old Latin Versions, Justin (C. Tryph., 
89 and 103), Augustine {De Cons. Evv., ii. 14), and some other patristic citations, read : 
" Thou are my Son ; tliis day have I begotten thee." The Ebionite Gospel, quoted in 
Epiph., Hier., xxx. 13, combines the " Western " and the ordinary reading, " Thou art my 
beloved Son ; in thee I am well pleased. And again : To-day have I begotten thee . . . 
and again a voice came from heaven to him (John) : This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased." 

The " Western" text looks like the primitive reading, and it is thought (Harnack, 
Sayings, p. 314 ; 'Oxford Studies, p. 187) that it must have stood in Q. Otherwise S. 
Luke would not change the version that he found in Mk. Further, it looks as if it came 
originally from some circle in which there was no doctrine of the Virgin Birth. This is 
in -itself probable enough. ^ But there are some other considerations which prevent 
absolute certainty on the point. 

(i) All Greek MSS. (except D), and the Old Syriac Version, have the received text. 

(2) The " Western" reading is a quotation (Ps. ii. 7), and there would be a natural- 
tendency to assimilate the Gospel words to the known language of the Old Testament. 

1 Father Paul Bull, God and our Soldiers, p. 244. 


This tendency, however, has not operated in the other Gospels, nor in the similar passage 
in the account of the Transfiguration. ' 

{3) Ps. ii. 7 was a commonplace of Christian quotation. This verse is quoted in 
Acts xiii. 33 ; Hebr. i. 5, v. 5 ; and the Psalm in Acts iv. 25 ; Apoc. ii. 27, xii: 5, xix, 15. 

(4) The reference in Acts^xiii. 33 is to the Resurrection (cp. Rom. i. 4 ; Phil. ii. 9), 
not to the Baptism. Hebr. v. 5 is perhaps general, jjerhaps to the Ascension (cp. iv. 14). 
" There are three moments to each of which are applied with variations the words of 
Ps. ii. 7 : ' Thou are my Son ; this day have I begotten thee.' They are (i) the Baptism 
(Mk. i. II II) ; (ii) the Transfiguration (Mk. ix. 7 ||) ; (iii) the Resurrection (Acts xiii. 33). 
We can see here the origin of the Ebionite idea of progressive exaltation, which is, 
however, held in check by the doctrini of the Logos in both its forms, Pauline (2 Cor. iv. 
4, etc.) and Johannean (Jn. i. i ff.). The moments in question are so many steps in the 
passage through an earthly life of One Who came forth from God and returned to God, 
not stages in the gradual deification of one who began his earthly career as ^iXot 
avOpmiros" (Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. 9). 




We have seen something of the environment of S. Luke's Gospel 
and the' background from which it emerges. We have noted its 
contents, and some points in the character of the Master. We have 
spent sdme time on the examination of the sources of the portrait. 
It remains to consider the nature of the artist's workmanship. 
The first point to come before us is the insight into Nature, both 
Divine and human, which the Evangelist displays. ^ A learned 
theologian remarked not long ago that of the four Evangelists 
S. Luke was the one whom he would most gladly meet. He felt 
that S. Mark and S. Matthew had already told us what they 
could. " S. John," he said, " was a saint, but I think I know 
the kind of thing that he would say to me. But S. Luke is 
different. He was not a saint. He was a psychologist. I should 
like to meet him." 

" A psychologist among the Saints." When some one said, 
forty years ago, " We do not attack religions : we explain them," 
he was anticipating,' with rather more bitterness than the event 
has justified, what is now called religious psychology. He was 
mistaken in supposing that the process, of which he saw only 
the merest germ, would be destructive of religion. But there was 
this much truth in his anticipation : the scientific study of 
religion has, to a considerable extent, been carried on by those 
who have observed it from without. The psychologist is, as a 
rule, a person who, armed himself with an equable detachment, 

* The subst^ce of this chapter appeared in the Interpreter, Jan. 1917, and is now 
reprinted by kind permission of the Editor. 

' Loisy, who has a surprisingly unfavourable estimation of the Luliian style (" in^gal, 
mani£r£, on oserait presque dire truqu6 "), and speaks of the dedication to Theophilus 
as " pompeuse et banale," nevertheless finds the charm of the Gospel in " une certaine 
note psychologique, un sens profond des choses de I'Sme, un ton p6n6tr6, ce je ne sais 
quoi qui vient du coeur et qui touche le cceur " {Les Evangiles synoptiques, i, p. 260). 

177 M 


surveys and analyses human nature. He is interested in streams 
of tendency, but he is not carried away by them. He welcomes 
what seems to be a personality, and is glad to explore it, but he 
does not fall down and worship it. In his distrust of cant, 
hypocrisy, and sentimentality he is sometimes unduly disparaging 
of sentiment. He is too scientific not to allow for religion, but 
he is sometimes unscientific enough to think that he can explain 
it. His methods of investigation are acute and delicate : his 
temper scrupulously just. He has perceived the inadequacy of 
mere counting : he weighs and analyses : he has even summoned 
imagination to his aid. But there are still some secrets which 
•faith only could reveal to him, 

S. Luke was certainly a psychologist in some senses of the 
word. He was by nature detached and equable. He was 
interested in humanity : he was accustomed to survey it, and, 
as far as contemporary methods enabled him, to analyse it. He 
was, in fact, what used to be called, before the word " psychology " 
was invented, a philosopher. To what extent he had the defects 
of the philosophic temperament, equable to the point of an 
inhuman neutrality, cool to the degree of being cold-blooded, will 
never be known. Because, if he had, his experience was such as 
to redeem his character. For it happened that he was con- 
verted. He fell in love with Jesus. From being interested in 
the singular case of one Paul, a travelling sophist, whose restless 
zeal already begins to play havoc with his constitution, he passed 
to the consideration of the still more unusual case of " one Jesus, 
who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive " (Acts xxv. 19). 

It is often said that the manner of regarding the Saints of the 
Church is right or wrong, according as it views them in connexion 
with or apart from Our Lord, the King of Saints. If this be 
so, it is certain that the physician's attitude towards the object 
of his immediate admiration did not blind him to that which lay 
beyond. It is not difficult to see that he is something of a 
Paulinist ; but he can hardly write a sentence without revealing 
that he is a Christian. He is not, indeed, a formal theologian. 
Like those Corinthian Christians " who had believed through 
grace " (Acts xviii. 27), the Evangelist from time to time found 
that the learning of an ApoUos was a powerful reinforcement. 


But in the beginning he had believed through grace. And there 
is no doubt of S. Luke's devotion to his Master. In fact, this 
chapter is largely concerned with some respects in which he was, 
among psychologists, exceptional. 

It has been said of the famous brothers, William and Henry 
James, that the one wrote psychology like a novel, and that the 
other wrote novels like psychology. Each, in fact, is what he 
might be expected to be, and something more. Is it possible, 
without irreverence, to adapt the epigram, and say that S. Luke 
was an Evangelist who was also a psychologist and a psychologist 
who also wrote a Gospel ? '■ 

For in his Gospel it is possible to see how the detached observer 
was carried away by admiration. The leading characteristic of 
his Gospel is the devotion of the author to his Hero. He has 
other minor but not unconnected admirations for aspects of Our 
Lord's message, which he shows by his description of certain 
types, but his main object is to draw a picture of the Son of 
Man. His biography is inspired, as were the biographies of 
Plutarch and other ancient writers, by the motive called in 
Latin fietas. 

One of the best ways to obtain a general view of S. Luke's 
picture of Our Lord is to examine the incident (iv. 16-30) 
with which he begins his account of his ministry. It is as 
follows : 

" And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up ; 
and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the 
sabbath day, and stood up to read. (17) And there was delivered 

' The importance of psychology as an illuminant for theologians is increasingly 
recognized. See, for example, some striking remarks in Prof. Lake's Earlier Epistles, 
p. 241 f. Note especially : " If I do not mistake the signs of the times, the really serious 
controversy of the future will be concerned with this point, even among those who 
are agreed in assigning the highest value to religion, and [that] the opposing propositions 
will be : (i) That religion is the communion of man, in the sphere of the subliminal 
consciousness, with some other being higher than himself ; (2) that it is communion 
of man with his own subliminal consciousness, which he does not recognize as his own, 
but hypostatizes as some one exterior to himself. Those who wish to prepare for this 
controversy will do well to study on the one hand the facts of reUgion — not of theology — 
and on the other the principles of psychology " (p. 251). The adequacy of the word 
" subliminal " in (i) is very questionable. The speculations of Dr, Sanday's Chris- 
toiogies — Ancient and Modern have not been generally accepted; and while it may be 
allowed that the subliminal may be a genuine and important sphere of communion with 
God, it seems better to look for the truest communion at a level of rational conscious- 


unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he -opened the 
book, and found the place where it was written, 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed 

me to preach good tidings to the poor : 
He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives. 
And recovering of sight to the blind. 
To set at liberty them that are bruised. 
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.^ 

And he closed the book and gave it back to the attendant, and 
sat down : (20) and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened 
on him. And he began to say unto them. To-day hath this 
scripture been fulfilled in your ears. (22) And all bare him 
witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded 
out of his mouth : and they said. Is not this Joseph's son ? 
(23) And he said unto them. Doubtless ye will say unto me this 
parable. Physician, heal thyself : whatsoever we have heard 
done at Capernaum, do also here in thine own country. And he 
said. Verily I say unto you. No prophet is acceptable in his own 
country. But of a truth I say unto you, There were many 
widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was 
shut up three years and six months, when there came a great 
famine over all the land : (26) and unto none of them was Elijah 
sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman 
that was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the 
time of Elisha the prophet ; and none of them was cleansed, but 
only Naaman the nSyrian. And they were all filled with wrath 
in the synagogue, as they heard these things ; and they rose up, 
and cast him forth out of the city, and led him unto the brow 
of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might throw 
him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of thera 
went his way." 

It is an incident peculiar to this Gospel, and it brings out 

^ It has often teen noticed that the quotation ends without including the severe 
conclusion of the original, " and the,day of vengeance of our God " (Is. Ixi. 2). Irenseus 
considers and rejects the argument that the use of the singular number (" year ") 
implies a ministry of twelve months only. It is not impossible that this may have 
been S. Luke's opinion, as it was that of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, but the 
complicated evidence (see Turner in Hastings' Diet, of the Bible, art. " Chronology of the 
New Testament ") points rather to a period of about two years. 


many of its characteristic features. " He went to Nazareth, 
where he had been brought up." Here is the Hnk with the 
early chapters, and the willingness of the Master — an example 
which was perhaps followed by the Evangelist himself — to 
begin preaching where He was known. And yet on the other 
hand the passage immediately enlarges the idea of home ; it 
shews that the supposed son of Joseph {v. 22) is not as His 
brethren, but belongs to a larger world, with a wider definition 
of brotherhood. And also its scene is Judaea in the larger, less 
strictly Jewish, sense, a sense in which S. Luke several times uses 
the actual word " Judaea," as including the semi-Gentile Galilee. 
The sermon begins (v. if), as a Jewish sermon should, with the 
Old Testament, but the text is from Isaiah, the most Evangelical 
and the most universalist of prophets. The quotation brings out 
two things. Our Lord's sense of mission and the fact that His 
message was especially for the poor and the oppressed. Both 
points are highly characteristic of S. Luke. It is, perhaps, 
fanciful to insist on the fact that the book is closed after it has^ 
served as the introduction to a sermon, and it is, perhaps, an 
unimportant detail that the eyes of the congregation are said 
(v. 20) to have been fixed on the preacher. But the word for 
" fixed " is a favourite Lukan word, and it is beyond question 
part of S. Luke's plan to record the deep impression that Our 
Lord made on all sorts of people.^ But the main point of .the 
paragraph is the single sentence in which the whole sermon is 
summed up, " To-day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." 
One of our Evangelist's favourite thoughts is that many of the 
traditional elements in the Messiah picture were actually realized 
' in the earthly life of Jesus : where the King is, there is the king-' 
dom. The description of the sermon, " the words of grace that 
proceeded out of his mouth," is again Lukan. The proverb 
quoted in v. 23 is found only here, and it, perhaps, appealed with 
special force to the physician. The Old Testament examples of 
the woman of Sarepta and Naaman the Syrian, again peculiar to 
this Gospel, are from the more liberal parts of the Old Testament.^ 

* Cp. iv. 15', ix. 43, xviii. 43, xix. 37, cases where the point is made by S. Luke 

» In verse 26 Wellhausen for " widow " would read "Aramaean," i.e. Gentile. The 
two words in Aramaic are almost identical. 


And, finally, the failure of the attempted violence and the passing 
of the victim unharmed through their midst is due to jhe fact, 
continuously reaHzed by Our Lord and from time to time hinted 
by the Evangelist, that His hour was not yet come. 

Such, then, was the episode with which S. Luke has chosen 
to begin his story of the ministry. But it is time to review the 
elements of his picture on a larger scale. 

There is, first of all, the element of mystery. At the end of 
his account (v. 26) of the forgiving and heahng of the paralytic, 
whom he describes by the correct medical term (Tra/oaXeXu/teVoj), 
and not the popular expression of the other Evangelists, S. Luke 
adds, " And fear took hold upon them all, and they glorified 
God, and they were filled with fear, saying. We have seen strange 
things to-day." This is much more typical than is sometimes 
supposed. For it is often suggested that, whereas S. Matthew 
exhibits the Royal Lion of the tribe of Judah, S. Mark, in Pro- 
fessor Burkitt's words, " a mysterious and stormy Personage," 
and S. John, as all know, a figure obviously divine, S. Luke's 
Gospel, with the Parable of the Good Samaritan as its charac- 
teristic feature, is the plain record of the philanthropic Jesus. 
But his record is only plain with the plainness of careful and 
consummate portraiture, and his Jesus is an overwhelming 

S. Luke, in one sense, is not a theologian ; that is, he does 
not pubHcly expound his theological beliefs, and, Pauline as he 
is, in his long narrative of the Passion he excludes all reference 
to the theology of the Cross. And it sometimes seems as if he 
felt that a difficult problem solvitur ambulando. Thus, he may 
have recorded with a special appreciation that word of the Lord 
which appears only in his Gospel (xii. 29), " Neither be ye of 
doubtful mind." ^ It is he alone who tells (xiii. i) how Our 
Lord deprecated what would have been a barren philosophical 
inquiry into the case of the eighteen on whom the tower fell, by 
means of the practical warning, " I say unto you, except ye repent, 
ye shall all likewise perish." 

But his own belief is sufficiently suggested. ^ With the other 

' fir] fieTea)pi^f(r0f. Cf. xiii. 23, 24. 

2 " In Christology S. Luke approaches to the Johannine type " (Harnack, Luke the 
Physician, p. 226). 


Synoptists, he relates (viii. 25) the story of " Who then is this, 
that he commands the winds and the sea and they obey Him ? " 
It is the first stage in a process that has occasionally been regretted, 
but was quite inevitable, the transformation of Syrian peasants 
against their will into philosophers and theologians. The first 
stage is very simple. They are impressed. They have no dogma, 
no theory, no formula. They shake their heads and say, " Well, 
it beats us to understand." It is the beginning of the creed.^ A 
second stage in the process of the education of the disciples is 
the Transfiguration (ix. 28-36), where we may note especially — 
" they feared as they entered into the cloud " (34), and — " they 
held their peace and told no man in those days any of the things 
which they had seen " (36). The third stage is the final one. 
It is elaborately prepared for by the long account (ix. 51-xix. 28, 
which is almost all peculiar to S. Luke) of the going up to 
Jerusalem. Its significance is revealed to all who are willing 
to perceive it in the Palm Sunday Entrance (xix. 29-44), ^^'^ ^° 
some who are unwilling to perceive it in — " if thou art the Christ, 
tell us plainly. And he said to them. If I tell you, ye will not 
believe. And if I ask you ye will not answer. And from now 
there shall be the Son of Man seated on the right hand of the 
power of God. And all said, Art thou, then, the Son of God ? 
And he said to them, Ye say that I am. And they said. What 
further need have we of witness ? For we ourselves have heard 
from his own mouth " (xxii. 67-71). 

But on the other hand he will not overstate. For example, 
S. Matthew and S. Mark relate that the centurion at the Cross 
said, when all was over, " Truly, this was the Son of God." There 
is, of course, no possibility that he meant what we mean by such 
words. He was a pagan, and he meant " a son of the gods," 
"a. demigod," "no ordinary man," "there's more in this than 
meets the eye." S. Luke, himself a Greek, would appreciate this, 
and, lest he should seem to encourage an illegitimately theological 
idea, he interprets, " Truly, this was a righteous man " (xxiii. 47). 

An isolated touch occurs in viii. 39, " Go unto thy house and 
tell what great things God hath done for thee. And he departed, 

^ This point is admirably dealt with by Dr. Bethune Baker in Cambridge Theological 
Essays, p. 544 f. 


proclaiming throughout all the city what things Jesus had, done 
for him." There are profound passages like x. i8, "I beheld 
Satan fall from heaven as lightning," spoken on the return of 
the Seventy. This has been thought to refer to the Temptation, 
or to the 6riginal fall of Satan, but it probably means, " While 
you were on your mission you were but reaping the fruits of My 
concentration here. I wrestled with the demons, and so they 
were exorcised at your word." But, whatever be the- interpreta- 
tion of it, the passage has an unearthly and mysterious ring.^ 
Then there is Our Lord's comparison of Himself to one stronger 
than the strong man armed (xi. 22), there is the declaration 
(xii. 51), highly characteristic of this Gospel^ that He came not 
to bring peace but division upon the earth (S. Luke is peculiarly 
alive to the necessity, which conversion may produce, of sundering 
old ties and old relations), and there is the famous — ^" All things 
have been delivered to me by My Father" (x. 22), followed 
immediately by — " many prophets and kings have desired to see 
the things which ye see, and have not seen them ; and to hear 
the things which ye hear, and have not heard them." 

There is the frequent use of the argument a fortiori,. oi which 
Mr. Chesterton has said, " Christ had even a literary style of 
his own, not to be found, I think, elsewhere ; it consists of an 
almost furious use of the a fortiori. His ' how much more ' 
is piled one upon another like castle upon castle in the clouds " 
(Orthodoxy, p. 269). It appears not infrequently in S. Luke, 
and it is, undoubtedly, one of the cases in which both he and 
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who has affinities, 
with him,^ have imitated the Master's style. There is, for 
example, the parable of the friend at midnight (xi. 5), which 
is Lukan only, and the analogies of father and son and bread 
and stone, which he has in common with S. Matthew, though 
he gives the conclusion a characteristic turn, " If ye then, being 
evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much 

1 " What He meant was that the victory over the Power of Evil was virtually won. 
The healing of those few demoniacs might seem a small thing ... it was really a 
crisis — the crisis in the history of the human race " (Sanday, The Life of Christ in Recent 
Research, p. in). 

" It has occasionally been thought that S. Luke was the author of the Epistle. 
But the theory wiJl not bear examination, 


more will your Father in Heaven give " (not " good gifts," as 
S. Matthew but) " holy spirit to them that ask him ? " There 
is the allusion (xi. 20) to the exorcising of demons by the Jews, 
followed by " But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no 
doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." There is Our 
Lord's description of Himself as a greater than Solomon and a 
greater than Jonah (xi. 31-32). There is the famous "If God 
so clothe the grass " (xii. 28), and there is the Lukan parable of the 
Unjust Judge (xviii. 2) with the superlative conclusion, " And 
shall not God avenge His own elect ? " 

In his account of the Transfiguration (ix. 28-36) S. Luke 
makes his psychological contrast in a paradoxical but deeply 
Christian way. We know how S. Paul overcame the great 
offence, and turned what seemed to be a shame into a glory. Not 
even the most exalted moment of the Jewish dispensation was 
one-tenth so splendid as that in Christianity which the Jews 
dismissed as infamous. " The children of Israel could not look 
stedfastly at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face." 
But this was but a transitory glory. The real, abiding glory 
is that of the New Order, of the Kingdom, of the Church, of 
the Spirit, of Pentecost, of Christ. " If that which passeth away 
was with glory, much more that which remaineth is in glory " 
(2 Cor. iii. 7-1 1). The real glory is that which radiates from the 
Crucified. Moses was " a prince and a great man in Israel." 
His Law was a tutor to lead men onwards. Mount Sinai was 
where man had heard the voice of God. Again, the later hill of 
Zion was " a fair place," and " the joy of the whole earth." But 
the still later hill of Calvary was the place of 

" The light that shone when Hope was born." 

The surpassing glory was the glory of the Cross. 

So is it with the Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah are the 
representatives of the Law and the Prophets. When they 
appear in glory and speak with Him Who is the End of the Law 
and the Meaning of the Prophets, they speak, in S. Luke's 
version, " of His decease which He should shortly accomplish at 
Jerusalem." And yet it is S. Luke only who refers (xi. 43) to 
that " majesty," in which the author of 2 Peter, who has so 


much to say about the Transfiguration, finds (i. i6) its characteristic 

Finally, there is the Lukan account of the Last Supper (xxii. 
15-20). It is a Passover, and much more than a Passover. The 
experience of the Twelve is the experience of many disciples since, 
who have come expecting a bare Memorial, and have found, 
according to the measure of their discernment, the Body of the 
Lord. A few bewildered men are expecting to bind themselves 
in sad obedience to preserve a tragic memory, and they are 
bidden to look forward to the new wine of Resurrection and 
Eternal Life. The Last Passover is transfigured into a Eucharist 
of praise.^ ^ 

One of the penalties of greatness is loneliness. The great 
artist is, perhaps, never understood by his contemporaries. 
The consummate Artist has twelve pupils, but they do not 
penetrate His secret. And the Evangelist, himself an artist, has 
not failed to indicate this in his picture. One of the chief impres- 
sions taken from the Gospel is that Our Lord lived alone. We 
perhaps may not say that it is S. Luke who expands the story 
of the .Garden of Gethsemane to include the agony and the more 
earnest prayer, the sweat of blood and the Angel who supplies 
ministrations which might have been given by the Twelve, ^ 
though the genuineness of xxii. 43, 44 is accepted by Harnack as 
"very probable" {Luke the Physician, p. 194). But it is he 
who records the wistful " Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath 
desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat, but I have 
prayed for thee that thy faith fail not " (xxii. 31). It is he who 
tells, a few verses later, how the disciples said in their stolid, 

1 Most critics now agree that S. John's Gospel (xiii. i, xviii. 28) is right in 'Suggesting 
that the Last Supper was not, strictly speaking, the Passover. The Passover lamb 
was not slain till the following (Friday) afternoon, the time at which Our Lord was 
dying on the Cross. The Synoptic Gospels (e.g. Lk. xxii. 7-13, especially v. 7) do 
certainly state that the meal was the Passover, but there are some indications (e.g. the 
carrying of arms, Lk. xxii. 52) which make it clear that the Passover season had not 
really begun. The solution probably is that the Last Supper was regarded by the Master 
and His disciples as their Passover, i.e. an anticipation, in the special circumstances, of 
what would ordinarily have taken place on the following night. It would thus be 
celebrated with unleavened bread only, and without a lamb, which was not an essential 
feature. This perhaps explains the " with desire have I desired to eat this Passover 
with you before I suffer " of Lk. xxii. 15. 

' The Lukan addition is not found in full in all the MSS. But it is generally allowed 
to be a piece of genuine tradition, even though, like the incident of Jn. vii. 53-viii. 11, 
it may not belong to its place in the textus receptus. 


faithful, uncomprehending way, " Lord, here are two swords " : 
and He said, half tragic, half playful, and altogether loving, 
misunderstood but not misunderstanding, " It is enough." And 
at an earlier period, after the second prediction of the Passion 
(ix. 45), S. Luke relates, " They knew not this saying, and it 
was hid from them that they should not perceive it, and they 
feared to ask him concerning this saying." And again after the 
third prediction (xviii. 34), " They understood none of these 
things, and this saying was hid from them, and they knew not 
the things which were said." It -is riot, I think, for nothing that 
S. Luke introduces his account of S. Peter's confession (ix. 18) 
with " It came to pass that as he was praying by himself." He 
trod the winepress alone. What the Provost of Oriel said to 
Newman — " Nunquam minus solus quam^cum solus " — ^was doubt- 
less supremely true of Jesus, but this is a tragic variation of the 
thought — Solus etiam inter discipulos. S. Luke also records the 
touching parable of the children playing in the market-place, 
that perpetual, futile excuse of the conventional — that if only 
the original, creative genius had come in some already accepted, 
recognizable form they -vyould have been only too happy to accept 
and recognize it, S. Luke tells this in common with S. Matthew, 
but in the conclusion which points the irony and points also to 
the ultimate solution, he adds one single word, " And yet wisdom 
was justified of all her children " (vii. 34). 

It is not, of course, claimed that S. Luke understood all the 
pathos and all the glory of Our Lord's life, that he was fully 
sensitive to the whole wonder of its sweetness and its tragedy 
and its triumph. He has affinities with the Fourth Evangelist, 
but -he is not a John. He misses even some of the points which 
S. Mark — ^whether by accident of date or design of workmanship 
— ^has preserved for us. He gives us little help in the attempt 
to trace development in Our Lord's life and thought. He softens 
a few hard-seeming corners, which, if they be truths of fact,, must 
also be truths of Revelation. Thus, there are several human 
touches in S. Mark which our Evangelist omits, perhaps from 
motives of reverence. But there are also one or two mysterious 
touches which he might have been expected to incorporate. 
Notably Mk. x. 32, " And they were in the way, going up to 


Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them, and they that 
followed were afraid." We do not know how S. Luke can have 
borne to omit so vivid a fragment of reality, but there is enough 
to enable us to say that the Lukan Christ, of all persons the most 
approachable, was yet not approached. Though His love was 
" broader than the measures of man's mind," though the heart of 
the Eternal, then as ever, was ' most wonderfully kind," though 
He was the Saviour Who bore the burden of the world, yet He 
experienced in the days of His flesh something of that which may 
be called, perhaps unworthily and foolishly, but not altogether 
inexcusably, the loneliness of God. 



Much of what might naturally appear under this title has been 
said already in earlier chapters. Our task here is chiefly to 
consider the EvangeUst as a master of style. The author of 
" the most beautiful book in the world " was a Hterary artist. 

It appears in the boldness with which he conceived the plan 
of writing two ^ books (or perhaps three) ^ about Christian origins. 
The conception of a written record of the doings of the Apostles 
was (as far as we know) a complete and startling novelty, and 
though he had predecessors in the earlier part of his two-volume 
narrative, yet there was in him enough initiative to make him 
recast his inaterial and use his Markan and other sources according 
to his own design. For example, he completes his account of the - 
life of the Baptist before proceeding to relate the Ministry of 
the Lord, whereas S. Mark, followed by S. Matthew, records the 
death of John in its chronological place. S. Luke's own design 
in the case of the Gospel was perhaps not quite so masterly as 

* " The words ' concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us ' 
seem strangely poor and indefinite, if they refer only to the life and work of Jesus Christ. 
An inclusive phrase, on the other hand, was necessary if the subject-matter both of 
the Gospel and the Acts was within the writer's purview. Again, the two sides of the 
characteristics claimed for the primary witness become in this view full of significance. 
Their qualification as ' eye-witnesses ' is important mainly in relation to the events 
of the Lord's life and, we may add, of the Day of Pentecost ; their qualification as 
• ministers of the word ' is concerned rather with the story of Apostolic work. Once 
more, whatever difficulty may be felt in interpreting the words ' to write unto thee 
in order ' — a phrase implying some kind of chronological arrangement (cp. Acts xi. 4) — 
when it is understood to apply only to S. Luke's Gospel, vanishes at once if the reference 
is to the whole course of the long history which began with the birth of the Baptist 
and ended with the sojourn of S. Paul in Rome " (Chase, Credibility of the Booh of the 
Acts of the Apostles, pp. 16-17 '• cp- von Soden, Early Christian Literature, p. 211). 

' It is possible that he contemplated a third book which should carry on the Christian, 
story to the end of S. Paul's life. But this is only conjecture. The word irpSurov in 
Acts i. I is sometimes appealed to as evidence. In classical Greek it would mean the 
first of more than two, but in S. Luke's time the distinction between irparos and 
irporepos was not observed. 



in his other book. In Acts he has the advantage of first-hand 
knowledge and an infinitely smaller subject, but in his Gospel he 
at least has ascertained clearly and describes faithfully how the 
little seed grew into the great tree. We have seen already that 
he likes to bring his narrative into connexion with the history 
of the great world. That perhaps was to be expected. But the 
marvel is that he was able to catch the setting of the little world 
from which the Gospel sprang. It is wonderful indeed that a 
man who had not known Jesus in the flesh could have written 
the book that he has written. In this supreme delineation of the 
Saviour of the world, a Greek-speaking Gentile, a product of the 
Pauline teaching, has been able to reconstruct the atmosphere of 
Judaism and to do justice to the Praeparatio Evangelica of the 
Temple, of Moses and the Prophets. 

Yet the EvangeKst constantly bears in mind the require- 
ments of the reader and the readers whom he is addressing. He 
is writing to Gentiles, and he is careful to explain (xx. 27) that 
the Sadducees are " they who say that there is 'no resurrection," 
that "the feast of unleavened, bread " is called the Passover 
(xxii. i). He avoids Hebrew terms like " Rabbi," ^ " Corban," 
" Ephphatha," " Hosanna " ; he speaks of the scribes as " law- 
yers " (vii. 30, X. 25, xi. 45, 53, xiv. 3) ; he translates the obscure 
term " Cananean " to the more intelligible " zealot " (vi. 15) ; in 
his description of the Transfiguration he avoids the word " was 
metamorphosed," which has heathen associations. He renders 
S, Matthew's " publicans " and " gentiles " (v. 46, 47) by 
" sinners " (vi. 32) to avoid allusions which would be perplexing 
and perhaps oflFensive to any but a Jewish reader. His phrase 
in viii. 15 recalls irresistibly the well-known Greek equivalent for 
the modern word " gentleman." ^ 

In another way, his narrative has an artistic purpose. He 
"seems to see, as the main obstacles to the Faith, not 'hypoc- 
risies ' nor Jewish backsliding, but the temptations of wealth 
and social position acting upon half-hearted converts ; and his 

* For " Rabbi," " Rabboni," he substitutes " Master " (eiriordra). 

• " An honest and good heart " is not adequate as a rendering of xapSia KoKfj koi 
ayadfj. Nothing but a paraphrase would really serve. Psalm xv., or what was said 
about Dean Church at the time of his election to an Oriel Fellowship, " There is such a 
moral beauty about Church that they could not help taking him," are illustrations of 
the meaning. KoKbs KayaBos is common in Plato and other Greek writers. 


sayings about ' building the tower,' ' putting the hand to the 
plough,' ' renouncing all one's possessions,' and ' hating ' father 
and mother are pathetic indications of what must have been 
going on in the divided hoiisehold of many a young ' Theophilus'.'" ^ 

More generally, the literary capacity of S. Luke appears in 
innumerable points of style. It is not always easy to appreciate 
these in the English version. But his conversations will repay 
close study. We have seen already that many of the parables 
in his Gospel arise out of a casual question or allusion. * Here are 
a few cases of the skill with which he manages his dialogue. In 
the parable of the Good Samaritan (x. 25-37) ^^^ lawyer had 
asked, " Who is my neighbour, i.e. Who has a claim on me ? 
Shew me some person whom I may fairly be expected to assist." 
But Our Lord asks in return, " Which now of these three was 
neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves ? " In the 
Prodigal Son (xv. 11-32), "This thy son, which hath devoured 
thy living with harlots " becomes " this thy brother, which was 
dead and is alive again, which was lost and is found." In xx. 16 
S. Luke alone records that the " God forbid," which follows the 
condemnation pronounced upon the wicked husbandmen, was a 
spontaneous exclamation of the hearers of the parable. And in 
xix. 25 it seems probable that the " Sir, he has ten pounds " is a 
like tribute to the entrancing interest of the story. ^ 

The Evangelist's choice of words is, of course, very often not 
his own. Those pregnant phrases like " the tombs of the 
prophets " (xi. 47) and " widows' houses " (xx. 47), which have 
been seized by modern dramatists in search of epigrammatic titles, 
are due not to S. Luke but to his Master. But S. Luke in his own 
narrative has a gift of words. He is not altogether free from a 
common convention of ancient literature, by which the same 
words are baldly used a second time when the same meaning 
needs to be expressed. An example of this is xviii. 4, but the 
Evangelist errs, if it be an error, in company with Homer. But 
in V. 25 he shews that he has the modern feeling for variety. 
And in xv. 21 and xix. 22 the repetition is artistic. In xxiii. 48, 49 

* Dr. Abbott in Encycl. Bihl., ii. 1792. 

* It is possible that in his fondness for recording "table-talk" (vii. 36 I., xi. 37 f., 
xiv. I f.) S. Luke was influenced by his knowledge of the symposia of Greek literature. 

' See also v. 4-10, vii. 40-50, x. 25-30, 40-42, xiii. 12-17, xiv. 3-6, xix. i-io. 


he notes that the majority of the bystanders had come out " to 
be spectators " of an unusual spectacle, while His acquaintance 
and the women that followed Him from Galilee " saw " in what 
was done the crucifixion of their hopes,^ 

Some of his polishings of the rough Markan style have already 
been noted in chapter ix. A few more" may be mentioned here. 
He avoids the perpetual " and . . . and . . . and " which is 
characteristic of S. Mark : he avoids the frequent " straightway." 
He changes S. Mark's constant " historic presents " into a more 
pleasing variety of tenses. He drops out non-literary words.^ 
He smoothes a rough sentence in.xx. 5, 6 (Mk. xi. 31, 32), and 
corrects an awkward Hebraism in xi. 29 (Mk. viii. 12). He eluci- 
dates an 'obscure sentence in xx. 38 (Mk. xii. 27). 

A fair number of his words and phrases are definitely medical, 
and can be paralleled from Hippocrates and similar writers.^ 
Dr. Hobart in The Medical Language of St. Luke collected no less 
than four hundred instances. The great majority of these are 
either quite common Greek words or words that occur in the 
Septuagint version of the Old Testament, for which there. is no 
need to postulate any specifically medical provenance. But there 
remain quite enough to make it .extremely likely that the Evan- 
gelist was familiar with professional medical terminology. The 
most interesting examples in the Gospel are iv. 23, where S. Luke 
alone has " You will quote to me this saying. Physician, heal 
thyself"*; v. 31, where for Mt.'s "they that are strong" he 
gives us " they that are in health," viii. 27, the allusion to a 
characteristic phenomenon of insanity, and viii. 43, where Mk. 
relates (v. 26) that the woman with the issue of blood " had 
suffered many things at the hands of many physicians, and had 
spent all that she had and was no better but rather became 

* en-c rriv Oeapiav raunjj', BtioprjcravTts ra yevofieva . . . ipairai ravra. 

^ Dr. Abbott [Cornctions of Mark) mentions among others Mk. ii. 4, 9, 11 (Kpa^arros) ; 
X. 25 (patois) ; ^?iv. 65 {pairurpa) — all of which are condemned by Phrjmichus the 

' The ancient medical writers, besides Hippocrates, who lived in the fifth century 
B.C., are Celsus, Dioscorides, Aretaeus, all three contemporary, or nearly so, with S. 
Luke, and Galen, a century later. It has been suggested that S. Luke's Preface is an 
imitation of the Preface to the Materia Medica of Dioscorides. See Naylor in Hibbert 
Journal, Oct. igog. 

* This is no doubt intended to prepare the way for xxiii. 35 — " He saved [healed] 
others ; let him save himself." 


worse," and Lk. is content to say that " she could not be healed 
of any." So he omits (xvii. i, 2) the metaphor of amputation 
in Mt. V. 29, 30 (= xviii. 6-9). It may also be noted that Lk. 
alone records the healing of the ear of the servant in the garden 
(xxii. 51).^ Among his actual medical terms are " holden with 
a great fever " (iv. 38), " full of leprosy " (v. 12), " a man that 
was palsied" (v. 18), "moisture" (viii. 6), "foaming" (ix. 39), 
" half dead " (x. 30), " dropsical " (xiv. 2), " surfeiting " (xxi. 34), 
" tormented " (ii, 48, xvi. 24, 25), and several of the words 
connected with the subject of pregnancy and childbirth.^ 

To pass from these details to effects somewhat broader, it may 
be noted that he is fond of teaching by contrast or cumulative 
effect. He has in chapter'xv. three " Lost " parables in succes- 
sion, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Lost Son. Of this group 
two members and the arrangement are his own. He has in 
ix. 57-62 three aspirants for discipleship as against S. Matthew's 
two. He alone points the contrast between the two robbers on 
the cross, and he alone bf the Synoptists between Martha and 
Mary. His parables include the contrasts between Dives and 
Lazarus, the Pharisee and the Publican, the two debtors, the 
priest and the Levite and the Samaritan, the Judge and the 
Widow, the one and the nine lepers, and the Prodigal and his 

These examples are quite obvious. But it is easy to overdo 
the search for indications of design. Most readers will feel that 
little of the elaborate analysis constructed by ^Vestcott (Introd. to 
Study of the Gospels, pp. 393 f., 480 f., 484 f.) was really present 
to the mind of the Evangelist. And it is not easy to feel certain 
of the significance of such a fact as that noted by -von Soden 

1 If it be thought that a miracle recorded by only one Evangelist is probably not 
genuine, it is not difficult to explain this (as Dr. Abbott suggests in Encycl. Bibl., ii, 
p. 1793) by supposing that an original tradition " let it [i.e. the sword] be restored to 
its place " was misunderstood by S. Luke or his authority. Harnack {Luke the Physician, 
p. 187) is quite sure that S. Luke has invented the story " in championship of Our 
Lord the Physician. It would iiave been inexcusable if He had not exerted His 
miraculous powers of healing on this occasion." 

^ It is interesting to observe that in Acts xxviii. lo, immediately after the relation 
of the curing of the chief's father and other sick persons, S. Luke adds that " they, 
honoured us with many honours." It seems probable that the healings were an instance 
of a co-operation that ought to be more common than it is. Sir W. M. Ramsay notes 
[Luke the Physician, p. 16) that the words employed in xxviii. 8 and 9 are lAa-aTo (" he 
healed ") and iBeparrevouTo {" were medically treated "). 



{History of Early Christian Literature, p. 175) : "We find among 
them [his additions] no fewer than three passages concerned with 
Samaritans (ix. 51-56, x. 25-37, xvii. 11-19), three with sinners 
(vii. 36-50, xvii. 9-14, xix. i-io), and three with women (vii. 
36-50, viii. 1-3, X. 38-42)." 

At any rate, we are on surer foundation when we say that he 
is a master of Tragic Irony, the making of a character in a drama 
say something which really tells, and is recognized by those who 
know the whole story as telling, in the opposite direction fjom 
that in which the speaker supposes. S. Luke does not as a rule 
stop to explain his allusions, but he surely appreciates the fact 
that a decree of Caesar was the occasion which led to the birth of 
the King of kings at Bethlehem. Some of his instances, the 
supreme case of the kiss of Judas,^ the " ninety and nine just 
persons," the fact that it was the Sadducees who brought up the 
problem of the resurrection and a maidservant who put one of 
the crucial questions in the courtyard, the gibe that He saved 
others and if He is indeed the Christ of God, the elect. He may 
now save Himself — all these are part of the general tradition of 
the Gospels. But other examples are his own. The " is not this 
the son of Joseph ? " (iv. 22) and the " two swords " of xxii. 38 
are cases in point. Another notable case is the Woman in vii. 
36 flf. In this passage the fact that the woman was a sinner and 
the whole inserted story of the two debtors and the lesson drawn 
therefrom is peculiar to S. Luke. The irony of the situation 
between the woman and the Pharisee, and the " If this man had 
been a prophet he would have known," is truly Sophoclean. So, 
or rather perhaps Socratic, is the way in which the Pharisee him- 
self answers the question, " Which of them will love him more ? " 
with the answer, " He to whom he forgave more." ^ The parable 

* S. Luke does point the irony of the kiss of Judas (xxii. 48). 

■^ This answer, it may be noted in passing, clears up a frequent misunderstanding 
of the meaning of the story. " Because she loved much " does not mean " She was 
forgiven because she loved." That is the wrong order. There is a famous passage 
in Du Maurier's Trilby which contains an efEective but mistaken use of quia muUum 
amavit. The truth is, God begins. And the meaning of the whole passage, as vii. 47 f. 
and the inserted story of the two debtors shews quite plainly, is, " You can see how' 
much she must have been forgiven, because she loves so much." The Vulgate reads 
quoniam dilexit multum, which is nearer to the real meaning of the Greek. A friend 
informs me that quia multum amavit was invented by Thackeray and copied from him 
by Du Maurier. 


of the Rich Fool (xii. 16 f.) is another case of Tragic Irony. So is 
the reconciliation of Pilate and Herod over Our Lord's condemna- 
tion. In xxiii. 25, S. Luke pens a sentence of which the pathos 
is almost insupportable : " And he released unto them him who 
for murder and sedition was cast into prison, tohom they had, desired, 
but Jesus he delivered to their will." And the story of Emmaus, 
where faith is born of the very ashes of despair, is full of irony, 
though of a tender and more healing kind. 

As a painter of portraits S. Luke excels. His short pen- 
pictures of Zacharias, the Virgin Mother, Martha and Mary,^ 
Zacchaeus, and the repentant robber are masterly, and though it 
is S. Mark whose Gospel is believed to contain the recollections 
of S. Peter, and S. Matthew who is commonly said to have had 
access to a special Petrine source,^ yet it is from S. Luke that we 
get those three penetrating touches that have done so rhuch to 
make Peter seem to us the most human of the apostles. They 
are v. 8 — " Depart from Me," with its sequel, " Fear not " ; 
xxii. 31, 32 — " Simon, Simon, behold Satan desired to have you 
that he might sift you as wheat ; but I prayed for thee that thy 
faith fail not ; and when thou art converted strengthen thy 
brethren"; and xxii. 61 — "The Lord turned and looked upon 
Peter." Finally, to his description of the " woes " upon the 
scribes or lawyers which he has in common with S. Matthew, S. 
Luke adds the dramatic touch, " Ye take away the key of know- 
ledge " (xi. 52). 

In the case of S. Luke's parables, we do not, of course, know 
how far he inherited the actual words in which he tells them. But 
anyhow he gave them a place in his Gospel, and it is possible 
that he was the first to write down some of them in Greek. ^ The 

* It is interesting to see that the passage about married and unmarried women in 
I Cor. vii. 32-35 presents a number of parallels to the description of Martha and Mary 
in Lk. X. 38-42. Readers of Greek will note that no less than three of S. Luke's words, 
7rapaKa6e<76ei(ra (39); irepiea-iraxo (40), and fifptfivas (41) have their counterpart in S. 
Paul's language {einrdptSpov t<S Kvpla — dnepKTwdaTois—pepipvq^. 

* The incidents of Mt. xiv. 28-31, xvi. 17-19, xvii. 24-27 occur only in that Gospel. 

' Dr. Stanton notes that the parable of the Good Samaritan (x. 25-37) is specially 
marked by Lukan characteristics. He observes : " The literary style of the whole 
piece is admirable. Among other excellences note the three participial clauses in v. 30, 
and their arrangement, the first two being joined by a conjunction and placed before 
the verb, and the third, of which the action coincides with that qf the verb, placed 
after it. Moreover, as this last clause describes the condition in which the wounded 
traveller was left, it forms an impressive ending to the sentence. The combination of 


parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, which is the summing-up, 
in an historical sense, of the ;whole Evangel, he shares with S. 
Matthew and S. Mark, but he alone giv£S us those spiritual 
summaries of it which we know as the Good Samaritan and the 
Prodigal Son. 

There are two schools of interpretation of the parables. The 
one, following such whole-hearted allegorizers as Origen and 
Augustine, not to speak of the minute distortions of the Gnostic 
writers, finds a meaning in every detail, and is often fantastic and 
impossible. It is incredible, for example, that the " three loaves " 
of Lk. xi. 5 stand for the doctrine of the Trinity, and only one 
degree less unlikely that the " two pence " of the Good Samaritan 
stand specifically for' the two Sacraments of the Gospel, A 
number of examples are quoted in Trench, On the Parables. The 
other school finds one principal idea in each parable and neglects 
the details. This canon seems on the whole safer than the other, 
but it is sometimes pressed too severely. Thus, in Dives and 
Lazarus, although the main lesson is one of mercy, it is probable 
that the parable is intended incidentally to teach that there is 
progress after death. On the other hand again, it does not 
sanction " Abraham's bo^om " as the last word in the definition 
of the heavenly state.^ 

One of the Lukan parables which is often misunderstood is 

that of the unrighteous Steward (xvi. i f.). Of the very numerous 

expositions of the parable the most interesting is that of F. D. 

Maurice. He supposes that the steward is the Jew, who is 

tempted by the growing popularity of his religion with curious 

Gentile inquirers to relax his moral and spiritual standards, 

and to ask fourscore or fifty instead of the divine requirement of 

a hundred. Other famiUar difficulties are largely solved in the 

variety with repetition in v. 32, as compared with v. 31, should also be noted ; and 
again, the expressive compound words — avTnTaprjKQev — iwixiiov — iic^dKaiv — irpoirSuw- 
avTjerrjs — cwavcp^^ecdai " {Gospels, etc., ii, p. 300). 

1 This is not meant to discourage detailed application of the parables to modem 
conditions, which is often most profitable. Trench is a mine of information as to how 
they have been or may be interpreted. It is often thought that Mt.'s explanation of 
the Tares (xiii. 36-43) is his own and not the Lord's. The same objections do not 
seem to lie against the explanation of the Sower, which is found in all three Gospels 
(Lk. viii. 10 f.). It may be noted that the Jews were weak in the pictorial and plastic 
arts, and their word-pictures, e.g. the visions of Ezekiel and others in the Old Testament, 
and the Apocalypse, often contain a great number of individually significant touches 
which are very hard to combine into a consistent whole. 


Revised version. The " lord " in v. 8 is not Jesus, but the 
master in the parable. The correct version of v. 9 is " Make 
to yourselves friends hy means of the mammon of unrighteousness/ 
that when it jails they may receive you into eternal habitations." 
The whole argument is, first, that the instinct to make friends is 
right, and then, that business efficiency produces business success, 
whereas the children of the light do not take enough trouble over 
their religion.^ 

It may be said that S. Luke appreciates, not indeed to the full, 
but nevertheless as few other writers would, what has been 
called the balance of Our Lord's teaching. " These ought ye to 
have done and not to leave the other undone " (xi. 42). " Render 
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things 
that are' God's" (xx. 25). It is easy to be extravagant in one 
direction. S. Luke, like Christianity itself, is extravagant in both 
directions. He has, as we have seen, a bias in favour of asceticism. 
The beatitudes in his Gospel are not for those who hunger and 
thirst after righteousness, and for the poor in spirit, but for the 
actual poor and those who are really hungry and really weep ; ^ 
his version of " him that loveth father or mother more than me " 
is " him that hateth not his father or his mother " ; and so forth. 
But on the other hand he is perhaps the most practical of the 
Evangelists.* He makes it clear that Our Lord, in the words of 

^ " The mammon of unrighteousness " comes from Enoch. 

* A simpler, probably too simple, explanation is that the Steward had previously 
overcharged the debtors. Some critics think that this parable, and the Unjust Judge, 
and the Importunate Friend are not genuine. See Abbott in Encycl. Bibl., ii, p. 1792. 
Schmiedel (ibid., ii,' p: 1S64) finds in it " two Ebionitic hands " and a transforming 
revision by the Evangelist ! Mr. A. G. Little {Studies in English Franciscan History, 
p. 147 f.) quotes some curious examples of the argumentum a mundo from the preaching 
of the Friars. Thus the fourteenth-century Fasciculus Morum contains the following : 
" We have an example in the poor little spinster who takes wool to spin, but often 
compelled by necessity, because she has not enough to live on, she sells some of the 
wool, and when she has to take the spun wool back, she moistens it, so that the weight 
may not be wanting. Now we ought to do like that. When at the suggestion of the 
flesh or the devil we rob God, not of wool or linen, but of our soul, created in His image ; 
if we wish to restore it to Him with its full weight, we must moisten it well with penance 
and tears of contrition." 

» See,Jiowever, p. 116, n. 2. 

• Few questions have been more discussed than that of the practicable (or impractic- 
able) nature of such sayings as " unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer 
also the other " (Lk. vi. 29). But there can be no doubt that they are strictly, even 
violently, practical, i.e. they demand positive action. I cannot feel myself that the 
true meaning of " Christian non-resistance " has yet been discovered. Certainly, as 
Canon Peter Green points out (The War and the Kingdom of God, p. 87), it is impossible 
to expect that nations and other partly Christian societies shall practise it, until Christian 


Dr. Du Bose, " took definite part with the West against the East 
in making the distinctive note of life not apatheia but energeia " 
{The Gospel in the Gospels, p. ig). It is not possible to serve God 
and mammon, but on the other hand it is possible (xvi. 9) to 
make friends " by means of the mammon of unrighteousness," 
The conclusion of the Good Samaritan, " Go and do thou likewise," 
is severely practical. In his record of the saying about taking 
up the Cross (ix. 23), and in his version of the Lord's Prayer 
(xi. 3), S. Luke adds the words " day by day." He is opposed 
to sentimentality. In three cases he alone records Our Lord's 
rebuke of it. In xi. 27 he tells how a woman lifted up her voice 
and said, " Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the breasts 
that thou hast sucked." But He said, " Rather, blessed are 
they who hear the word of God .and keep it." In xiv. 15 a similar 
remark, " Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of 
heaven," that is (with clasped hands and upturned eyes) : " What 
a happy thing it will be when we all meet in heaven " is followed 
by — " But He said unto him, A certain man made a great feast, 
and bade many. And they made excuse." And the well- 
meant weepings of the daughters of Jerusalem are met by — " Weep 
not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children " 
(xxiii. 28). The allegiance must be whole-hearted, and the 
kingdom is other-worldly, but men may not lightly pledge their 
lives in a moment of enthusiasm. The three aspirants (ix. 57-62) 
are bidden to examine their prospect of perseverance, the man 
who would build a tower, and the king who would go to war 
with his adversary, are counselled to sit down and count the 
cost (xiv. 28-33), ^^"i o^^ who would like to listen to an abstract 
disquisition on the fewness of those who shall be saved is told 
to strive that he may enter through the narrow gate (xiii. 23). 
The whole of the eleventh chapter ^ of the Gospel is one long 
reminder of the necessity of incessant prayer and incessant effort, 

individuals have discovered and exhibited its meaning on a far larger scale than has 
hitherto been done. At present the point that we have reached seems to Jse this : a 
nation or society is justified in taking measures for the restraint of anti-social conduct, 
but in the Christian who calls such restraint into operation there must be no personal 
vindictiveness. As far as he is himself concerned, he ought to be willing to " take 
joyfully the spoiling of his goods," or even to sufEer in person. See the excellent remarks 
of Plummer, St. Luke, p. 185. 

* See especially verse 8, the strong word avaihiav, " audacious desire to get " 
(Moulton and Milligan, s.v. avaiSfia). So the poet speaks : 


and the kingdom of heaven (xv. 16) is something that has to be 
taken by force. 

Once more, our Evangelist can depict a situation. He tells 
us how the kingdoms of the world were brought before the 
imagination of Our Lord by the tempter " in a moment of time." 
It is he, as we have seen, who tells how the captive Master turned 
and looked after the disciple who had purchased his liberty at 
the price of his loyalty (xxii. 61). It is he who ends the story 
of the rebuking of James and John, when they desired to call 
down fire from heaven on the inhospitable Samaritans, with the 
simple, pregnant sentence, " And they went to another village " 
(ix. 56). One of the most dramatic situations in this Gospel is 
the Trial before Herod, which occurs only in S. Luke. The 
reader has been prepared for it by ix. 9 and xiii. 32. The central 
incident of the Trial, usually described as the mocking before 
Herod, is not easy to understand. It is one of three mockings 
in the Gospels (two in S. Luke), the other two being those by the 
Temple' servants and by the soldiers of Pilate. Three is a 
curiously large number. But it perhaps can be explained. In 
April 1909, an article, " Christ before Herod," was published in 
the Journal of Theological Studies by Dr. Verrall, the distin- 
guished classical scholar, who brought his accustomed ingenuity 
to bear upon the problem. His argument, as might be expected 
by those who know his Horatian and Euripidean Studies, is too 
elaborate to reproduce in anything like detail, but the gist of it 
IS this : Herod was not unfavourably disposed, and even when 
the Magician would not perform any of his feats, he nevertheless 
made him a present of a cast-off robe. This robe was subse- 
quently preserved by the" agents of the Crucifixion, because a 
garment which had come from a king's wardrobe would fetch 
a considerable sum. The meaning of xxiii. 1 1 (" Herod with his 
soldiers set him at nought, and mocked him ") is this : Herod 

" Fervent love, 
And lively hope, with violence assail 
The kingdom of the heavens, and overcome 
The Will of the Most High ; not in such sort 
As man prevails o'er man, but conquers it 
Because 'tis willing to be conquer'd, still. 
Though conquer'd, by its mercy conquering." 

Dante, Paradiso 20, Gary's trans. 


had been consulted by Pilate as to whether the prisoner was 
politically dangerous. Herod was satisfied that He was not. 
The King " with his soldiers," i.e. not with the help of the few 
men-at-arms whom he would have with him at Jerusalem, but 
" with his forces," that is, relying on the security of his general 
position, made light of the supposed danger, and reassured the 
governor. Whether Verrall's reconstruction of the scene is 
correct or not, the situation of the expectant monarch and the 
silent Christ is one which demands, and has obtained, a great 
artist to depict it.-^ 

But the supremely dramatic passage in the Gospel is the 
picture in the last chapter of the two enthusiasts who, chilled 
and disappointed by a signal failure, were taking a country walk 
together on Sunday afternoon. They were talking of the apparent 
impotence of good. The chivalrous effort of a great champion 
has been met by the lethargy of some and the bitter opposition 
of others. Once more a human sacrifice has been laid upon the 
altar of the world ;, one more heroic life has poured itself into the 
great attempt to lift the level of humanity. But everything has 
come to nothing. " All he was is overborne." As usual, it ends 
in the martyrdom of the hero and the failure of the cause. " We 
must go back, and begin again at the beginning. What weary 
work it is ! " 

And, as they talked, Jesus Himself drew near. The super- 
natural is there, the possibility of victory, even the victory itself, 
but it is not recognized at first. " What manner of communica- 
tions are these that ye have one with another, as ye walk and 
are sad ? " It is the method of Christ to make men formulate 
their troubles. Not till the difficulty has been faced and made 
articulate, not till the reformer has gone to the root of the matter 
and called things by their right names, is he ready for Christ. 
The pitiful inadequacy of merely political remedies, the need to 
change the characters of men, the fact of sin, mankind's neces- 
sity, is the Great Physician's opportunity. It is the humble and 
meek who are exalted. 

They explain the failure of their hopes. They had at one 

1 Dr. Wright (S. Luke's Gospel, p. 203), Canon Streeter {Oxford Studies, p. 229), 
and Dr. T. R. Glover connect the estrangement of Herod and Pilate with the incident 
of Lk. xiii. 1-5. 


time expected that the religion of Jesus would have redeemed 
Israel. But now it is dead. They see and realize quite well 
the point of failure. If only it had not died, it would have been 
just the thing that was wanted. If only some spirit could descend 
upon them from above, and purge away the cruelty and selfishness 
and laziness which are the real obstacles to reform ! 

" But are you sure that it is dead ? " Well, it was true that 
certain women of their company had found the tomb empty and 
had brought back word of an angelic message. But those who 
had goije to verify the rumour had not seen Him. " O foolish 
ones and slow of heart to believe." And beginning at Moses and 
all the Prophets, He expounded unto them the things concerning 
Himself. He touches the Scriptures with such a kindred touch, 
and with such mastery, He speaks of sacrifice and resurrection 
with such experience and such authority, that their hearts burn 
within them. What manner of man is this ? 

" They drew nigh unto the village whither they went, and He 
made as though He would go further." He is willing, it seems, 
to carry them on with Him to further truth, but they have reached 
their Umit. And He is content to wait. He has still many 
things to say to them, but they cannot bear them now. 

But He has, even now — and they feel that He has — a secret 
to impart — something which they will be able to understand with 
growing clearness, and use with growing power in after years. 
" Abide with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is far 
spent. Come into our home and share our life. Sit down with 
us to meat. Work out in practice the marvellous things of which 
we hear. As by thy special grace preventing us thou dost 
put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we 
may bring the same to good effect. Translate the ideal into 
flesh and blood. How do these magnificent conceptions. Incarna- 
tion, Atonement, Resurrection, make men better ? How are 
our problems of home and work and life interpreted by the gift 
of which thou speakest ? " 

" Abide with us." And He went in to tarry with them. 
And as He sat at meat with them, He took bread and blessed 
and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened and 
they knew Him. The common meal of bread and wine is trans- 


figured into the Supper of the Lord. When brothers are assembled 
in repentance and full consciousness that all their brotherhood 
depends upon the Fatherhood of God and the Sonship of His 
Christ, their fellowship is made divine. The natural is met and 
strengthened and uplifted by the supernatural. The simplest 
thing of daily life is not already but can be made religion by 
the touch of God. 



It must be confessed that the title of this chapter is very loose. 
We do not know what S. Luke's political opinions were. We 
are not sure that he had any. We cannot, for example, draw 
any general conclusion from the fact that both the Baptist and 
Our Lord are described by him as being in opposition to King 
Herod. Still less from the fact that, in his version of what is 
most likely the same parable, the " pounds," unlike S. Matthew's 
" talents," are equally distributed. It is probable that he was 
disposed to accept without question or complaint the Imperial 
system .^^ At any rate such political opinions as he had were no 
doubt largely the result of his religion. He might have exclaimed, 
with a famous modern Christian, " All my radicalism I sucked 
in from the breasts of the Gospel." 

And yet it was difficult for a first-century Christian not to 
have opinions which touched politics very nearly. The Christians 
of the first few centuries were deficient in the civic virtues, but 
that was because they were disfranchised by persecution, and 
because they despaired of the existing .state of things. A modern 
thorough-going Syndicalist regards with indifference the questions 
at issue between the two old political parties, but he has his 
own views about what he would like to do with both of them. 

It is not quite without reason that the Christians of the first 
century have been compared to the Syndicalists of the twentieth. 
There are obvious differences, but^ there is an undeniable 

1 This is the more probable because the Gospel tends to exonerate Pilate from the 
guilt of the Crucifixion (xxiii. 4, 7, 14-20), and it is well known that Acts exhibits the 
Roman authorities as being fairly tolerant to S. Paul. The fact that in several cases 
S. Luke records words of rebuke as addressed to " the multitudes '/ (iii. 7, xi. 29-36, 
xii. 54), whereas S. Matthew addresses them to the Scribes or Pharisees, from which Dr. 
Wright infers that he had a Greek dislike of the vulgar rabble (Synopsis, ed. 2, p. xxiv.), 
can hardly be counted against the preponderant weight of evidence on the other side. 



comparison. The early Christians lived in eager expectation 
of a coming day which would repair all abuses and inaugurate 
a happier regime. The destruction of the existing world was a 
small price to pay for the advent of the next. 

S. Luke's own version of this hope was that the new regime 
had been inaugurated already. His position may be compared 
to that of a Syndicalist after the Act of Revolution has taken 
place, when all that remains is the task of converting everybody 
in the world to accept the system and co-operate with it. The 
Day of Pentecost, which was an earnest of the final Parousia, 
had fully come, and the Church had only to be built up and 

S. Luke's conception of the Church was that it was a body 
in which the poor and needy for the first time had a fair and equal 
chance. In the Homeric battles, of which he doubtless knew 
something, the real fighting was all done by the well-armed 
heroes, and the multitude existed and fought only as what would 
nowadays be called " cannon-fodder." This was, in fact, the 
general valuation of the ancient world. Even the much-lauded 
Athenian democracy was only democratic within very definite 
limits. The chairs of the discussing, legislating citizens were 
borne upon the necks of slaves. And the favourite philosophies 
of the age in which the Gospel came were aristocratic. They were 
philosophies of the well-to-do ; Stoics like Seneca recUned on 
couches which were made by sweated labour, reflecting on 
prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, while their severe 
pleasures were ministered to them by certain of those less fortunate 
beings who had been designed by nature for the servile state. 

It is not to be supposed that S. Luke, any more than S. Paul, 
proposed to abolish slavery. A general revolt would clearly 
have done more harm than good, and S. Luke probably did not 
think that it mattered much whether you were a slave or not.^ 
He had quite possibly been a slave himself, and if so, since his 
vocation was certainly to be a missionary and Church writer, he 
was glad that he was one no longer, but if he had been a domestic 

* See I Cor. 7, 21. " Were you a slave when you became a Christian ? Care not 
for it, but if you get the opportunity of becoming free, use it rather." The meaning 
of XPW'^^ is disputed, but it most likely signifies " use the opportunity." But the 
Epistle to Philemon is the real key to S. Paul's view of slavery. 


slave, the physician-secretary of some great household, he would 
no doubt have made it his aim to serve his heathen master 

The thing of which he was profoundly convinced was the 
general dignity of man as man, a dignity so high and wonderful 
that beside it the ordinary distinctions that men 'make between 
themselves are of no account. The coming of Christ in human 
flesh had conferred upon humanity at large a new status, a 
status which before had not been dreamed of. The change was 
heartily disliked by those who were already comfortably estab- 
lished ; it bewildered and excited, sometimes unduly, many of 
those for whom it was primarily intended. S. Luke was not a 
great theologian, like S. Paul, and it is not to be supposed that 
he had worked out all the implications of belief in the Divinity 
of Christ. But inasmuch as he was a disciple of S. Paul, and 
inasmuch as his own Christianity consisted of Churchmanship, 
the supposition is legitimate, and indeed it is abundantly justified 
by the facts of his Gospel, that he believed all human souls to be 
precious in God's sight. 

A passage from Professor Gilbert Murray's Four Stages of 
Greek Religion is instructive at this point. He says : " It always 
appears to me that, historically speaking, the character of 
Christianity in these early centuries is to be sought not so much 
in the doctrines which it professed, nearly all of which had their 
roots and their close parallels in older Hellenic or Hebrew thought, . 
but in the organization on which it rested. For my own part, 
when I try to understand Christianity as a mass of doctrines. 
Gnostic, Trinitarian, Monophysite, Arian, and the rest, I get no 
further. When I try to realize it as a sort of semi-secret society 
for mutual help, with a mystical religious basis, resting first on 
the proletariats of Antioch and the great commercial and 
manufacturing towns of the Levant, then spreading by instinctive 
sympathy to similar classes in Rome and the West, and rising in 
influence, like certain other mystical cults, by the special appeal 
it made to women, the various historical puzzles begin to fall 
into place. Among other things this explains the strange sub- 
terranean power by which the Emperor Diocletian was baffled, 
and to which the pretender Constantine had to capitulate ; it 


explains its humanity, its intense feeling of brotherhood within 
, its own bounds, its incessant care for the poor, and also its com- 
parative indiflference to the virtues which are specially incumbent 
on a governing class, such as statesmanship, moderation, truthful- 
ness, active courage, learning, culture, and public spirit. Of 
course such indifference was only comparative. After the time 
of Constantine the governing classes come into the fold, bringing 
with them their normal qualities, and thereafter it is Paganism"; 
not Christianity, that must uphold the flag of a desperate fidelity 
in the face of a hostile world — a task to which naturally enough 
Paganism was not equal. . . . The minds that are now tender, 
timid, and reverent in their orthodoxy would probably in the 
third or fourth century have sided with the old gods ; those of 
more daring and puritan temper with the Christians " (pp. 179- 

It is not necessary to agree entirely with every word of this. 
But it is largely true, and it forms a valuable commentary on 
the Gospel of S. Luke. If we may leave aside consideration of 
the accuracy of all the Professor's judgments, it appears that the 
chief danger of so viewing Christianity, even if it b§ so viewed 
with friendly eyes, is that you may tend to substitute the Church 
for Christ. S. Luke was preserved from this danger because he 
was an Evangelist, and because he was a disciple of S. .Paul, 
a teacher who would effectually -prev.ent him from neglecting the 
personality of Christ. Professor Murray, surveying Church 
history with a severe regard, resolves Christianity into member- 
ship of a community. Professor Royce, in The Problem of 
Christianity, surveying it with greater sympathy, resolves Chris- 
tianity into " devotion to the beloved community." Both appear 
to eliminate or at all events to obscure Christ. No religion which 
does that can claim to be the Christian religion. S. Luke is 
saved from doing it by the nature of his experience, by the fact 
that he wrote the Gospel as well as the Acts, and by the fact 
that S. Paul, in Ephesians and elsewhere, deals first with the 
doctrine of Christ's Person, and only then and thence draws 
out his doctrine of Christ's Church. 

S. Luke's doctrine of the Incarnation, in so far as it is right 
to say that he had a formal doctrine, is a social doctrine. His 


general theological position was that Christ had enriched the 
stream of human life with a divine infusion, and his general 
practical conclusion was that everybody, the poor man as well 
as the rich man, the woman as well as the man, was an interesting 
and important person. 

This was not a mechanical judgment. He did not suggest 
that the poor man would be saved because he was poor. In 
the parable of Dives and Lazarus, in which the condition after 
death does happen to be a simple reversal of the previous parts 
of the two men, it yet also happens that the fortunate state of 
Lazarus is actually defined as consisting of the society of the 
wealthy Abraham. S. Luke, who records a quarrel even in the 
Upper Room, knows well that the multitude are not always 
discerning, and that poor men are not led by unfailing instinct 
through the narrow gate. -He tells how Our Lord took a little 
child and set him in the midst. The child was any child, and 
the symbolic meaning was that the ordinary childlike character 
is the kind of character to have. Yes, but it must be used. It 
is vital to use what God has given. He records how Our Lord 
said, " Some one touched me, for I knew that virtue was gone 
out from me." There was in Him the general will to heal, without 
distinction, but something further was required. It is not quite 
clear what happened immediately after the woman's touch, but 
there is surely some additional meaning, perhaps a permanent 
cure, in " Thy faith hath saved thee ; go in peace " (viii. 43-48). 
Again, he describes how the sick man was borne of four into the 
presence of the Healer. But that is not all that happened. 
" Seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee " 
(v. 20). In like manner all through the Christian centuries wistful 
souls have been borne of four Evangelists into the presence of the 
Healer, but S. Luke for his part will not disguise from us that 
mechanical Juxtapositions do not save souls. It will not do to 
begin J:o say, " We have Abraham to our father " : it will not 
even do to claim, " We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, 
and Thou hast taught in our streets. For I will say to them, 
I know not whence ye are " (iii. 8, xiii. 26). 

And if men are not saved by merely having seen the Hfe and 
handled it, still less are they saved by merely having seen and 


handled something else. The man who came and said, " Master, 
speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me," 
is a type of those who think that society can be redeemed by a 
mechanical redistribution of goods, but the answer, " Who made 
me a judge or a divider over you. . . . Take heed and keep 
yourselves from covetousness. ... A man's life consisteth not 
in the abundance of the things' that he possesses," is a reminder 
that salvation is a spiritual thing (xii. 13 f.). 

The fact is that S. Luke's democracy was of the Christian 
sort. And Christian democracy has always comprehended some 
elements which are commonly thoiight of as belonging to other 
systems. There is in it, for example, an element of autocracy. 
S. Luke had quite enough of what Matthew Arnold called 
Hebraism to know that there is an irresistible, unquestionable 
will of God. Joseph and Mary accept the decree of Caesar that^ 
they must go to Bethlehem and register their names. So Mary 
must accept the sword that will go through her heart. The 
friends of the eighteen victims of the falling tower must realize 
that God is wise and just and irresistible. All persons must 
accept the Ten Commandments, because that is the Will of God, 
against which there is no appeal. The rich young man must 
accept his difficult orders because that is his vocation, from which 
there is no escape but disobedience. There is an element of 
legalism in the Gospel. 

There is also room in S. Luke's system for aristocracy. It 
is not impossible that he himself was ranked among the prophets, 
and anyhow, although it is he who records the saying, " Rejoice 
not that the spirits are subject unto you, but rejoice that your 
names are written in the Book of Life," yet he knew that some 
had special gifts. " When thou art converted," says the Lord 
to Peter in his Gospel, " strengthen thy brethren." His picture 
of Mary, unique in privilege, blessed among women, the high 
place which he assigns to the Forerunner, the greatest among 
those born of women, the contrast between the twelve and " the 
rest," who see and perceive not, who hear and understand not — 
these things are proofs that he recognized the fatal weakness of 
mere democracy, the inexorable fact that the majority are Hable 
at any given time to be mistaken. They need the help of such 


as would in an ordinary connexion be called leaders — ^not, in 
Carlyle's scornful language, " the few wise to take command of 
the innumerable foolish," but those who in this context may be 
called saints and prophets. 

All this is but to say that he recognized that humanity must 
be fortified by sense of duty, and taught by the inspiration of 
its most inspired individuals. He knew that the only thing 
which could kindle the passion for righteousness, which Arnold 
calls Hebraic, was the conception of a dominant, overhanging 
Divine Will, by which all projects must be measured, without 
which all strength is useless, with which the little ones go forth 
as mighty. It was this conception which in the Acts inspired 
unlearned men to stand out before the grand Council of their 
nation and say, " We must obey God rather than men," and later, 
in their own Council at Jerusalem, " It seemed good to the_Holy 
Ghost and to us. . . ." He knew that if you refused to avail 
yourself of the help and example of those whom God had set 
before your eyes, a Mary or a Paul, you were rejecting means of 

It is easy to shew that S. Luke had a special sympathy with 
the poor man. But that was because of the special circumstances 
of the poor man, because nobody else had so far shewn him any 
sympathy at all. His real sympathy was with every man. It 
may be that he a little exaggerates the ascetic, world-renouncing 
side of Our Lord's teaching. Professor Burkitt has suggested 
that if the Acts had been written by the author of the First 
Gospel instead of the author of the Third, we should have heard 
less about their community of property, and more about their 
community of customs and morals.^ It may be so, though as 
a matter of fact we do not hear very much about their community 
of property, and one of the things we do hear is that it was not 
compulsory. But at any rate, in spite of the ordinary superficial 
exegesis of Dives and Lazarus, it is quite impossible to assert 
that S. Luke's conception of heaven was a place where all the 
rich would be poor and all the poor would be rich. 

He did seriously believe that wealth was a terribly dangerous 
thing. He suspected it. And he a little bit suspects position. 

' Gospel History, p. 214. 



He alone mentions that the man with great possessions was a 
" ruler " (xviii. i8). He probably recorded with discerning 
appreciation the fact that it was first the priest and then the 
Levite who passed the wounded traveller. So, earlier in his 
narrative, he had not failed to see the contrast between Zacharias 
the unbelieving priest and Mary the believing maiden. He 
tended, as the Old Testament, and especially the Psalms, had 
tended, to find among the poor and needy (not, be it noted, the 
victims of the grinding poverty which has been produced by 
modern civilization, but among the decent poor), his best examples. 
And thi§ agrees with the known fact, which has of late years 
been so strenuously restated and so richly illustrated by Deiss- 
mann, that Christianity first became known and made its way 
among the common people.^ 

Consider again from this point of view his account of Our 
Lord's life. Born in a stable, because the public-house was 
occupied, in after years a manual labourer, and then a vagrant, 
with not where to lay His head, suspected by His brethren on 
the ground that He was an upstart, and by the clergy because 
He had no University degree, accused of all the offences of which 
the poor man always is accused — conceit, unworthy motives, 
lack of authority, trespassing on rights of property, and general 
impossibility — He is arrested, tried by summary process, bandied 
from Pilate to Herod, and back again to Pilate, finding the kind 
of justice that the poor man so often finds, and in the end He dies 
by Crucifixion on the gallows. 

The greater part of Our Lord's life was lived among the poor, 
and therefore it is not wonderful that much of His teaching is 

1 " Even when Christianity had risen from the workshop and the cottage to the 
palace and the schools of learning, it did not desert the workshop and the cottage. 
The living roots of Christianity remained in their native soil — ^the lower ranks of society 

and regularly in the cycle of the years, when autumn had gathered the topmost 

leaves and the dry boughs had snapped beneath the storms of winter, the sap rose 
upward and woke the buds from slumber, with promise of blossom and rich days of 
fruitage. Jesus the carpenter and Paul the weaver of tent cloth mark the beginnings, 
and again at the most momentous crisis in the history of later Christianity there comes 
another homo novus in the person of Luther, the miner's son and peasant's grandson " 
{Light from the Ancient East, p. 404). Deissmann points out truly that we need a history 
of Christianity^^or, as Dr. T. R. Glover puts it in his Nature and Purpose of a Christian 
Society, " a history of Christian character," written from this point of view. Something 
of the kind was attempted in Brace's Gesta Christi, and more recently, on a small scale, 
but with more knowledge and perspective, by Mr. J. K. Mozle'y in The Achievements 0/ 


drawn from their example. His parables are about the patching 
of old clothes and the baking or the borrowing of a loaf of bread. 
The culminating-point of His description of His work to S. John 
Baptist is : " the poor have the Gospel preached unto them." ^ 
And S. Luke has caught this tone. The quotation from Isaiah, 
on which his sermon at Nazareth in iv. 16 is based, is about the 
gospel of release which is to be proclaimed to the poor and the 
oppressed. The Magnificat is the most revolutionary of hymns. 
The poor widow, the publican, and the prostitute are among the 
most typical of Lukan characters. The Prodigal Son, the Good 
Samaritan, and many others are parables of mercy. 

This comes, as I say, from his belief in the Incarnation. " He 
shall be great and shall be called Son of the Most Highest, and 
the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David, his father, 
and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his 
Kingdom there shall be no end. . . . How shall this be ? . . . 
Holy Breath shall come upon thee, and power of the Most Highest 
shall overshadow thee : wherefore also that which is born of 
thee shall be called holy, the Son of God." It is amazing that 
after this profound exordium he should have been content, as 
the apocryphal Gospels were obviously not content, to tell a 
simple, round, unvarnished tale of human action and emotion. 
The Gospel of S. John, following upon the Prologue, is almost as 
extraordinary. But the very idea of compiling at all such Gospels 
as we have is the real miracle, and I have tried to shew that one 
of the leading evidences of the general truthfulness of the Gospels 
is the primitive, non-anachronistic character of their language 
and their subject-matter. The faith of all who would be Christian 
democrats is founded on the fact that the Son of' Mary is the Son 
of God. 

1 In view of the fact that koI irray^oi eiayyeXi^ovTac is omitted by k and Syr. 
Sin. in Mt. xi. 5, Prof. Burkitt suggests that "there can be little doubt that the clause 
is S. Luke's own insertion, and that it gives his quite correct interpretation of the inner 
meaning of the rest of this saying of Our Lord " (Journ. Theol. Stud., Apr. 1907, p. 458, 
Cp. Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, ii, p. 239). 



It is not easy, as we have seen already, to say to what extent 
S. Luke had worked out his doctrine of what has since come to 
be called the Incarnation. It is certain, however, that he held 
the conviction that in Christ there had come divine deliverance 
for the human race. And what he meant is summed up, for him 
perhaps especially among the Evangelists, by the title of Our 
Lord's own choice, the Son of Man. 

We saw in an earlier chapter that this title, though of apoca- 
lyptic origin, yet may fairly be said tojndicate the human, even 
if not specifically the plain, everyday character of Our Lord's 
life among men. It is time now to examine something of its 
theological significance. 

One of the most interesting points about the Old Testament 
Messianic expectation is the way in which sometimes the Kingdom 
is anticipated without any mention of a King^ and at other times 
the conceptions of Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom are inter- 
mingled. Thus in Second Isaiah the Figure of the Servant (it 
is not necessary to conside;r here whether the Servant is Messianic 
in the strict sense) is such that it is not easy to say when He is 
an individual and when the nation or some part of it.^ The 
difficulty is even greater when in the later books the term " Son 
of Man" is used. In Dan. vii. 13 the "one like unto a son of 
Man " is hardly personal at all. In the Similitudes of Enoch 
" the Son of Man " has become personal and also clearly super- 
human, but He is still to some extent a representative figure. 
It is not, therefore, surprising that Our Lord, wishing to use, 
and also to enlarge, the idea of Messiah, should have chosen this 

1 Cp. Ps. Ixxxix. 19-44 (David and Israel), and also the way in which the "I " of 
the Psalmist constantly stands for the nation and is by modern readers interpreted as 
meaning the Church or even humanity. 



more than national, this broadly human term, which some have 
'actually desired to render " Man." He uses it ^ in the Gospels 
(some 80 times in all, and, as calculated by Dr. Driver, on some 
40 different occasions ^ in passages of two kinds. Sometimes it 
is a title of glory, as when He says (Lk. xxii. 69), " Henceforth 
the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power 
of God," and sometimes it is a title of humiliation, as in Lk. ix. 
58 (" The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, 
but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head").^ This 
double use of the same term is closely parallel to the double sense 
in which it is used in the eighth psalm, or indeed in many of the 
famous passages in literature which contain moralizings on the 
nature of man. It would be easy to quote Sophocles, Shakespeare, 
and many more in support of the belief that humanity contains 
in a strangely earthen vessel some strange spark of the divine. 
But the point is that the broadly representative term " Son of 
Man " prepares the way, as the term " Messiah " could never 
have done, for the Christology which was to come. The Church 
would never have been satisfied with any but the highest explana- 
tion of Christ's Person, because Christians found in experience 
that He did mediate to them nothing less than God. " Messiah " 
would have broken, as in fact, where it was tried alone, it did 
break in their hands.* 

^ It is never used by the Evangelists in tlieir own narratives, or elsewhere in the 
New Testament, except in S. Stephen's speech (Acts vii. 56), and in one or two cases 
of quotation from the Old Testament. , 

* Hastings' Did. of the Bible, iv, p. 5796. No doubt this number must be reduced. 
The use of the term is perhaps only genuine in those passages which follow the confession 
of Peter. 

' On this passage Dr. A. B. Bruce has made the interesting but not very convincing 
conjecture that it means " spiritually an alien, without a home in the reUgion of 
the time " (With Open Face, p. 218). Professor Lake is nearer the truth when he 
compares " the disciples," and, we may add, their Master, " in this respect " to 
" Catholic Modernists, who have been frequently disavowed by CathoUc authority, 
yet have never accepted the situation " [Earlier Epistles, p. 15). In view of the fact 
that Kkiveiv njv Ke<^a\rjv occurs only in Lk. ix. 58 (= Mt. viii. 20), and Jn. xix. 30, 
Dr. Abbott remarks (Encycl. Bibl., ii, p. 1778), " there is pathos and power in the 
thought that the one place on earth where the Son of man ' rested his head ' was on 
the Cross, and the one moment was when he had accomplished the Father's will." 

« See on this the reference given to Dr. E. F. Scott on p. 108. Cp. also : " It is difficult 
to expound the phrase ' Son of Man ' without falling into the language of philosophy, 
which would be quite foreign to the lines of thought which belong to the Master. If 
we say that He claimed to embody the ideal Man or the idea of man, we use Platonic 
language. If we say that He stood as high priest for the human race, we fall into the 
way of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews and do not use the language of the 


It was remarked just now that some would retranslate the 
term. The exact meaning of the original expression is no doubt 
a question for Aramaic scholars to decide.^ But as far as the 
existing Greek Gospels are concerned, the general sense of " Man " 
would suit well enough a passage like — " The sabbath was made 
for man ; therefore man [in the Gospels " the Son of Man "] is 
lord of the sabbath." But it does not satisfy such passages as 
the comparison with the Baptist (" John came neither eating 
nor drinking . . . the Son of Man came eating and drinking "), 
where it is clearly personal and almost as clearly a reference to 
the speaker Himself. Nor does it satisfy the majority of the other 
passages where the term occurs. But it is certainly the case 
that the term is in some sort inclusive. It means something like 
the Head and Representative of humanity, something like what 
Plato called the auto or ideal man ; it means part at least of 
what Our Lord intended to convey- by " Whosoever shall receive 
this little child in my name receiveth me " ; , it perhaps means 
what we may call, if it be possible to rescue the word from a 
sense which it has recently acquired, the superman. The later 
theology of the Church, according to which the human nature 
of Our Lord is impersonal (whatever be the exact meaning of 
that not very explanatory definition), is based upon this thought. 
Our Lord is not a man, but Man. " He alone," says Dr. Moberly 

earliest Christianity. If we say that He represented humanity as perfected and so 
made divine, we speak more in the fashion of Buddhism than of Christianity. But 
of these interpretations the first is more consonant to the Jewish genius than the others " 
(P. Gardner, Exploratio Evangelica, p. 189, quoted in Nolloth, Person of Our Lord, 
p. 106, n. 2). Dr. Gardner's book was written in 1899 (2nd ed. 1907), i.e. before much 
attention had been called to the apocaljrptic literature. So also Dr. Sanday ; " It 
seems to me that Our Lord must have regarded Himself as in some manner representing 
Humanity. The idea of ' representing ' may seem to be too modem'; and the idea 
of embodying an ideal humanity may seem to be more modern still. I do not know 
exactly what expression to use so as to avoid this. An ancient might have had some 
difficulty in expressing the abstract idea ; it seems to me that the word ' represent ' 
is just what the ancients wanted. But, however that may be, I feel sure that there 
was a deep reality corresponding to it in the consciousness of Our Lord. The great 
passage to which I would appeal in proof is Mt. xxv. 31-46" [Life of Christ in Recent 
Research, p. 128). 

1 That is, if it be assumed that Our Lord spoke in that language. There is ground 
for believing that Greek was widely known in Palestine, especially in Galilee. Allen 
[Oxford Studies, p. 291) gives references to Schiirer, Zahn, and Dalman on the subject. 
It has even been conjectured that the Greek phrase o vlbs toI; avOpomov was some- 
times used by Our Lord (Driver in Hastings' Diet, of the Bible, iv, p. 583a ; Plummer, St. 
Matthew, p. xxvi.). Prof. Dalman, who does not allow that it was a Messianic title, 
is sure that it cannot mean simply man [Wortf Jesu, i8g8, p. 191 f., Eng. tr., revised, 
1902, p. 234 t). 


(and Dr. Temple's Essays in Foundations are largely an expansion 
of the idea) " was not generically, but inclusively man." 1 

The whole theological teaching of Dr. Du Bose, which has been 
referred to in an earHer chapter where the present argument was 
to some extent anticipated, is a profound exposition of the same 
great truth. One passage may be quoted here : " The Sonship 
reahzed and revealed to us in Jesus Christ is at once the final 
and the first cause of all things, of the whole creation. The 
universe comes to its majority and enters upon its inheritance 
in His person. If this seems an exaggerated and preposterous 
statement it is nevertheless just what is consistently and per- 
sistently maintained in the New Testament as a whole. And 
not only is it in many places, as we shall see, actually so stated, 
but the statement itself is in perfect harmony and keeping with 
the whole mind and truth of the sacred record and the faith of 
Christianity then and since." ^ 

The thought is greatly helped by another two-sidedness in 
Our Lord's use of the term. It is, as was said in an earlier chapter, 
exceedingly difficult to determine how far Our Lord's prophetic 
vision, discerning sub specie aeternitatis the important, eternal 
things, and accordingly neglecting, the time-plane in which the 
rest of us live too exclusively, led Him to foreshorten in His own 
mind that which has been the actual course of subsequent events. 
Anyhow, it may be said that the reference of the term " Son of 
Man " is mainly future, but the future in this connexion is regarded 
as having been to some extent anticipated and realized in the 

* Atonement and Personality, p. 88. Cp. also : " His relation to the race was not a 
differentiating but a consummating relation . . . what others do but faintly suggest 
is realized in Him . . . the only relation which can at all directly .compare with it 
is that of Adam ; who in a real — ^though a primarily external and therefore inadequate — - 
sense, was Humanity. . . . What if our limited being points towards, is real in God ? 
If Christ's Humanity were not the Humanity of Deity, it could not stand in the wide, 
inclusive, consummating relation, in which it stands in fact, to the- humanity of all 
other men. But as it is, the very essence of the Christian religion is the indwelling of 
the Spirit of Christ" {Ibid., pp. 86-90; see also pp. 204-205). Cp. Dr. H. M. Relton 
{A Study in Christology, p. 228) : " What was v/anted was a revelation of One Who was 
Divine, and therefore perfectly and completely human, even if infinitely more than this. 
The human Ego in man is incomplete. The manhood of Christ, if it had possessed a 
human Ego onlj', would have been incomplete. Hence the Logos as its Ego was the 
sole condition which could secure its completeness. We may not speak of Christ's man- 
hood as being real and complete except on one supposition — namely, that its personality 
was Divine. Though it might be purely human, it could not .be truly or completely 
human without the Divine element." 

' The Gospel in the Gospels, p. 224. 


present. The explanation of this is surely that Our Lord's earthly 
life was of an inclusive kind. He passed through what may be 
called the necessary experience of mankind. His life is adequate 
as an example even to those whose lot is cast in a much later 
century and widely different conditions'. But it was in itself of 
a preliminary character. It did require to be universalized by the 
Ascension and the Return at Pentecost, events which inaugurated 
a condition in which " in Christ there is no distinction." 

S. Luke depicts for us the broad humanity of Jesus. He is 
also the historian of the Church. And he indicates in three ways 
the universalizing of which I have spoken. 

(i) Men and Women. Among the many acute criticisms made 
by Mr. R. A. Knox on Foundations, there were few more piercing 
or more timely than his remark that the book " is always for 
discussing the difficulties of the modern man, as if the modern 
woman did not matter," and his further remark that " men 
become agnostics, but women become atheists." ^ An interest 
exhibited by women in politics is generally a sign that a funda- 
mental question has been- reached,^ and on the answers that are 
forthcoming to the questions that women are asking about 
Christianity there depends the decision of the momentous alterna- 
tive — are modern women going to be Christian with aU the 
fervour of which they are capable, a fervour that few men can 
reach, or are they going to abandon Christianity altogether ? 
We have seen already that there is an element of violence on the 
Third Gospel. It is S. Luke who tells us of the absurdity of 
rending a piece from a new garment to patch an old one ; it is 
S. Luke who insists on the necessity, at least from time to time, 
of cutting old associations and abandoning old ties. It is women 
rather than men who are likely to appreciate this intensity of 
method and sharpness of logical result. And it is here rather 
than in the mere fact that Christianity enfranchises women that 
the appeal to women of the Faith in general, and of S. Luke's 
presentment of it in particular, will be found to lie. 

1 Some Loose Stones, pp. i6, 17. I cannot refrain from noting that he adds, after 
his first comment, " We should, I fancy, have heard a different story from Cambridge." 

" " There were many women among them. Had our friend been older, he might 
have known that the presence of good women in a political crowd portends something " 
(Winston Churchill, The Crisis (1901), p. 144). 


But the fact that Christianity does enfranchise women is in 
itself of great importance. Professor Murray, in the passage 
quoted in the last chapter, said that Christianity was assisted 
by the special appeal that it made to women. ' This is quite 
true. Mithraism, the most popular of the heathen religions, 
was, like Islam, a religion for men only. And under not a few 
of the systems that were contemporaries and rivals of early 
Christianity, it is hardly too much to say that a woman's only chance 
of salvation was to be born again, and this time to be born a man. 

Christianity stands in sharp contrast with this. Even S. Paul 
is much more enlightened than is sometimes thought. Part of 
his apparently low view of marriage in i Cor. vii. is explained by 
the circumstance that he is answering a question, by the facts 
of existing Hellenic life, and by his expectation of the Parousia, 
and part of it is balanced and improved by his later, developed 
teaching in Eph. v. And even before he wrote i Corinthians he had 
put into words that which is the great Christian charter of woman- 
hood — " there is neither male nor female ; for ye are all one man 
in Christ Jesus " (Gal. iii. 28). ^ And at any rate S. Luke, helped 
possibly by his experience as a physician, has written a Gospel 
in which women play an important part. In Acts he notes with 
sympathy how the women of the Macedonian cities respond to 
the preaching of S. Paul. We have already examined his point 
of view in the first two chapters. In general, the women of his 
Gospel are many, and are also essential to the bringing out of 
the full meaning of the Lord's work. 

I am unable to say how far S. Luke would have been able to 
work out for himself that " in Him is neither male nor female," 
nor how exactly he would have connected the Pauline principle 
with any specific doctrine of Christ's universal humanity. ^ It 

1 Our Lord is traditionally reported to have made, in reply to the question, " Wlien 
shaU the kingdom come ? " the following answer, " When the two shall be one, and 
that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither 
male nor female " (Ps.-Clem. 12, perhaps quoted from the Gospel according to the 
Egyptians) . The same tradition is referred to more than once by Clement of Alexandria, 
but it seems too " mystical " to be authentic. 

» "The doctrine of the representative or inclusive manhood of Christ . . . was 
never actually formulated by S. Paul himself, for the abstract phraseology required 
for its formulation belongs to another age than his. Yet there can be no doubt that 
over and over again in his writings we come across the substance of the doctrme, and 
to recognize its presence there is essential to the understanding of Pauhne thought 
(O. C. Quick, Essays in Orthodoxy, p. 101). 


is probable that he would have been rather surprised by the 
present analysis of his own tendency, but the materials for the 
conclusion that Our Lord's character is not exclusively fhale is 
largely supplied by him. The conclusion itself can hardly be 
doubted by any believer in the Incarnation, or even any reader 
of the Gospels. The old proof of it, based on His gentleness and 
tenderness, still stands as strong as ever, but it has been reinforced 
by the complementary observation of the thoroughgoing, even 
violent elements of Our Lord's character. And it can hardly 
be doubted that some of the things which have been said, espe- 
cially in the Middle Ages, about Our Lady and the women saints, 
have owed their measure of exaggeration to a failure to comprehend 
the Catholic doctrine of Our Lord's own humanity.* It is, of 
course, impossible to suppose that His correction of an impulsive 
speaker in Lk. xi. 28 (" Yea rather, blessed are they that hear 
the word of God and keep it ") was actually intended as a warning 
against subsequent over-veneration of His Mother in the Church, 
but the principle implied, and more clearly indicated in Lk. viii. 21 
(" My mother and my brethren are they who hear the word of 
God and do it "), is the principle which is contained in the Catholic 
doctrine of Christ's Body, which is the Church. That Our Lord 
was Himself actually of the male sex is indisputable. It is also 
the fact that He was a Jew, a poor man, and that He followed 
a specific trade. But no Christian denies that Gentiles, of all 
stations and occupations, find in His Ufe the example that they 
need. The sex-division is deeper than any of these, but the 
humanity of Christ is deeper still. A true humanity is that 
which counts nothing human as alien from itself. The classical 
definition of the meaning of the word " Catholic " as applied to 
belief is quod semper, quod ubique, quod ah omnibus creditum est. 
If the Catholicity of Our Lord's human nature be put to this test, 
it will only pass if His nature be found, as it is found, to include 
in itself the excellences not only of one sex, but of them both.* 

1 I mean, of course, only such things as tend to isolate the saints and to consider 
them apart from Christ. Considered truly, those reflections of the universal Lux Mundi, 
which are seen in such lives as those of Mary Magdalene, Perpetua, Hilda, Teresa, the 
Lady Margaret, and, above all, the Mother of the Lord, are of inestimable value, and 
are worth far more study than they commonly receive. 

* " There are differences again between the male and female character, under which, 
nevertheless, we divine that there lies a real identity, and a consequent tendency to 


And, as I have said, it is S. Luke who. brings this out more clearly 
than any other writer of the New Testament. From the time 
when he lets us see that the first Christian was Mary, when God 
did not abhor the Virgin's womb, to the later pages in which we 
perceive how the permanent presence of the Ascended Lord was 
expressed in that long, gradual, impersonal incarnation of the 
Christ-Spirit which we call the Church, he is depicting a Christus 
Consummator, Who, being " poor " in that wherein most men and . 
women find the best augmentation of their individual Hfe, is yet 
able to " make many rich " in that He exhibits in Himself, and 
can bestow on others, the completed possibiHty not of one-half 
of the race, but of the whole. 

(2) Good and Sad. S. Luke's Gospel is a Gospel of sacrifice 
and a Gospel for sinners. It contains the word " sinners " more 
often than the other three put together. S. Luke's Son of Man 
" came to seek and to save that which was lost " (xix. lo). See 
especially v. 30, 32, vii. 34, xv. 2, xix. 7. His account of the 
Temptation contains the significant addition, " the devil departed 
from him /or a season." He makes the Lord say later (xxii. 28), 
" Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations." 
He characteristically connects the Baptism of Jesus with the 
Baptism of the multitude (iii. 21). In S. Luke (vii. 37) the woman 
who anoints Our Lord is a notorious sinner. S. Luke connects 
the saying about taking up the Cross and the first prediction of 
the Passion with the confession of Peter. S. Luke relates how the 
Lord §aid to the women of Jerusalem, " Weep not for me, but 
weep for yourselves and for your children." And the parables, 
the Lost Sheep, the Lost Son, the Publican, and others, tell the 
same story. He means — it is almost too obvious to need mention 
— that Christianity is not a religion only for the good, but for 
every one, especially the bad. " ' Christianity is the religion of 
all. poor devils,' the German Jew Borne said." ^ 

fusion 1n the ultimate ideal. Had the Gospel tj'pe of character been stamped with 
the peculiar marks of either sex, we should have felt that there was an ideal free from 
those peculiarities beyond it. But this is not the case. It exhibits, indeed, the pecu- 
liarly male virtue of courage in the highest degree, and in the form in which it is most 
clear of mere animal impetuosity and most evidently a virtue ; but this form is the 
one common to both sexes, as the annals of martyrdom prove " (Goldwin Smith, 
Lectures on the Study of History, quoted in Westcott, Historic Faith, p. 231). 
^ T. R. Glover, Natvtre and Purpose of a Christian Society,- p. 34. 


There is just one point that is perhaps not quite obvious. It 
is sometimes thought that he is too uncritical, that his parables 
forgive too easily, that he underestimates the strength of the 
virus of iniquity. It is true that he is not one of the " twice- 
born," desperately contending souls, like S. Paul or S. Augustine. 
And it is true that his version of the parables that he has in 
common with S. Matthew lack something of the sternness which 
characterizes the Gospel that has been described as " Jehovah's 
ultimatum to His people." But whenever it seems in a hard 
moment that perhaps the Prodigal is not really quite penitent 
enough or that we ought to have been told more clearly that 
Mary Magdalene had turned in loathing from her former life, it 
must be remembered that it is Jesus Who speaks the parable, 
that it was Jesus Who converted and healed the prostitute. 
And in His presence sin dies and penitence is born. " We who 
have died to sin, how can we any longer live in it ? " 

It is not for a moment to be supposed that S. Luke commits 
himself in any way to the erroneous conclusion, against which 
S. Paul so indignantly protests, that it is a good thing to have 
sinned ; that, in the words of some of the more crude of modern 
Evangelists, " God loves a great big sinner " ; that it is a good 
thing to tempt the Lord your God by experimenting to see whether 
He will be able to make grace abound. The returned Prodigal 
has the ring and the shoes and the robe, and there is music and 
dancing in honour of his reclamation, but to the elder brother the 
father says, " Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is, 
thine." He was not so un-Christian or so foolish as to believe 
in doing evil that good may come. But his Christ is the Friend 
of sinners. He believed in grace. The carefully balanced state- 
ment of S. Paul is one which he would heartily approve, " God 
sent His Son into the world in the likeness of sinful flesh." Not 
" in the likeness of flesh," which would destroy the reality of 
the Incarnation. Not " in sinful flesh," which would destroy the 
efficacy of the Redemption. But " in the likeness of sinful 
flesh," the Saviour among sinners. 

(3) Nationalism and Internationalism. One of our present 
problems, which has in some directions been postponed, and in 
others has been made more urgent by the war, is how to avoid 


the evils of the baser sort of nationalism, and see our way to an 
internationalism which shall not be merely cosmopolitan. To 
the history of Judaism, as it was summed up in the person of 
its Messiah, we naturally turn for illumination. We have seen 
already that the background of S. Luke's Gospel (and indeed of 
all the Gospels) is intensely Jewish. And yet it is the fact that 
in Christ the old distinctions have to a considerable extent not 
broken down but ceased to be what they were. 

It is true, of course, that the Gospel was helped by circum- 
stances — or perhaps rather it ought to be said, in the Pauline 
way, that it came in " the fulness of time." It came when the 
Pax Romana had just been established, when for the first time 
in the history of the world it became possible for business men 
and tourists to travel freely and safely wherever they desired, 
and when the Empire, with its immense geographical range and 
its policy of combining centralization with local freedom, had 
begun to dispose the minds of men in a cosmopolitan direction. 
All this was helpful. But it is not enough for opportunities to 
exist. They have to be seized and used. And it is a fact of 
history that the power which did convert political unity into 
moral and spiritual unity was the power of Christ. The Church 
kept alive the Empire much longer than it would otherwise have 
lived, and the Church eventually succeeded it. 

" In Christ there is no distinction." How was it done ? It 
was done by first filling and exhausting the meaning of Judaism. 
The principle appears to be that, in order to be a good inter- 
nationalist, .you must first be a good nationalist. It is no more 
a part of your Christian and "Catholic duty to deny your nation 
than it is good citizenship to forget the family to which you have 
the honour to belong. " The theory," says Dr. Hamilton, " which 
presents Jesus as denying the unique authority and divine origin 
of the Jewish religion may be much more easily squared with 
certain systems of metaphysics, but it involves very serious 
historical -diflaculties." ^ Mr. Montefiore says that "he brought 
about the diffusion and universalization of some fundamental tenets 
of Judaism. . . . Though, in their highest moments, the Rab- 
binical authorities might say that Abraham was the father of 

1 The People of God, i, p. 226. 


the proselyte quite as much as he was the ancestor of the born 
Jew, yet as a matter of fact the transference of Judaism to the 
Gentile upon any large and adequate scale was beset with diffi- 
culties. . . . The significance of Jesus for his age lies, then, in 
the fact that by certain elements in his teaching and by 
certain qualities in his personality he enabled these barriers 
of law and nationality to be broken down." ^ Mr. Monte- 
fiore writes from his own point of view, that of Liberal 
Judaism, and Christians will feel that there is much to be 
added to what he has here said. But as far as it goes his 
picture is truer than that of Mr. Houston Chamberlain, who 
practically denies that Our Lord was of Jewish race at all, and 
believes that His religion is (and was) of an Aryan and indeed 
anti-Semitic type.^ 

There is, of course, a truth in Mr. G. K. Chesterton's hasty 
dictum, " What nobody can possibly call Him is a Galilean of the 
time of Tiberius," ^ because Our Lord held His Judaic nation- 
ality so easily and lightly, because He penetrated beneath its 
superficialities, and though He was " straitened " by them 
(Lk. xii. 50), yet He overpassed its limitations. But it remains 
unquestionable that He lived and died a Jew.* 

The Gospel of S. Luke exhibits Our Lord as a practising 
member of the Jewish Church, willing to fulfil all such observances 
as are worthy of the name of righteousness. From the time 
when the birth of the forerunner is announced to the priest as 
he offers incense in the Temple, to the time when the veil of the 
same Temple is rent in twain at the Crucifixion, we may take it 
that there is being extracted from the Jewish Law the whole 
meaning which that Law is capable of yielding,** The hour has 
not yet come to pass beyond it. The exceptions are still excep>- 

1 Hibberi Journal, July 1912, pp. 767, 772-773. 

' Foundations of the Nineteejnth Century. Cp. Inge, The Church and the Age, 
p. 49. 

" Hibbert Journal, July 1909, p. 748. 

* " Both ftHe Rabbis and Jesus] are bone of the Jewish bone and spirit of its spirit " 
(Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, ii, p. 1098). 

5 " He did not say that He would destroy the Temple, but that, were it destroyed, 
He would raise it up again._ When He purged it. He did not rend the veil or throw 
down the altar and its ornaments, saying : ' Take these things hence.' He drove 
forth those whose traffic dishonoured the sanctity of what He recognized as a house of 
prayer for all nations " (Tyrrell, Christianity at the Cross-Roads, p. 76). 


tions to a rule.^ Our Lord does not give any countenance to 
the desire that prevails nowadays in some circles — although, 
considered strictly as circles, they are rather lop-sided and irregular 
— to belong to more than one Church and to believe more than 
one religion at the same time. It is only when the Resxirrection 
has burst the bounds in which human life is ordinarily confined 
that Our Lord enters upon an existence that has in it nothing 
specifically Jewish. With the Ascension the barriers, not only 
of race, but of space and time are swept away, and the Saviour 
becomes universally available. With Pentecost there is begun 
the application of the Christ-life to all the nations and to a 1 the- 
generations of the world, and the Body of Christ is built up in 
Antioch and Philippi, Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. 

The process of Hellenization caused the Jewish origin to be 
obscured, in some cases to be forgotten or even repudiated. The 
stress of Jewish controversy in the second century produced not 
only in Marcion, but in others more orthodox, an anti-Semitic 
tendency. It is only with the dying down of acute controversy, 
and with the help of the good sense of men like Irenseus, that 
the Church was able to take a more reasonable view of the Old 
Testament, as an imperfect but genuine preparation for the 
Gospel. But Christianity does date in a real sense from Galilee. 
The Founder of the Catholic Church was the National Hero of 
the most intensely national nation that has ever been. It happens 
— by a paradox so striking that we must surely find some other 
name for it — that some of the Jews themselves had formed the 
habit of speaking of their expected Hero as the Son of Man. 
Who is this Son of Man ? God is His Father, and the holy nation 
is His Mother. And for all His Jewish outlook. His national 
patriotism and His Galilean accent. He has overleaped the bounds 
of nationality and transcended the limitations of station, century, 
and sex ; He has invented and alone can rightly wield an appeal 
which is divinely perfect, but also humanly complete ; He has 
created— incidentally, and almost casually, in the course of His 
redeeming of man's soul— the only true democracy that is ever 
likely to exist. We may use of Him Matthew Arnold's lines 

» E.g. the case of the Syro-PhcEnician woman {Mk. vil. 24 f. ; Mt. xv. 21 f.) is 
obviously exceptional. It is perhaps because the Gentiles are there described as 
" dogs " that S. Luke omits the passage. 


on Shakespeare with a meaning far surpassing that of the 
original — 

Others abide our question. Thou art free. 

All pains the immortal spirit must endure, 

All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow, 

Find their sole speech in that victorious brow. 

A time of war presents many parallels to the time described 
in the Gospels. Above all in two ways : (i) It is a time when the 
sense of nationality is deeply stirred and fiercely roused. The 
National Mission of 191 6 and after, which was born of the neces- 
sities of war, was genuinely Christian in that it never pretended 
that Christianity is merely English. Its aim was ilot " Christ for 
England," but " England for Christ." But some of the recru- 
descence of religion that we have witnessed in England since 191 4 
has been a recrudescence of something that is infinitely less than 
Christianity, a flamboyant " patriotism," to which, for emphasis, 
the name of God has been attached. Those who have had patience 
to read through this book gre not likely to be such as to be carried 
away by this crude exuberance. Yet the great majority of them 
are accustomed, as I think, rightly, to discern in the character of 
their fellow-coimtrymen a notable reflection of the supreme and 
universal character of Christ. But in spite of this not a few of 
them, even after the lacerating experiences that have come to 
them during years of war, and even with resolute acceptance of 
the grim corollaries that follow inevitably from the initial responsi- 
bility of going to war, will still preserve the conviction, learned 
perhaps at Ober-Ammergau, that there is, too, a " German Christ.!' 
In the deepest sense there is, of course, no such thing. But nor 
is there any " English Christ." And those who are able to enter- 
tain the faith that out of chaos and ruin God is able to build up 
some better fabric than has been, that divine redemption rides 
upon the very wings of human storm, can look for its fulfilment 
nowhere but to Him " Who is our Peace, who hath made the two 
one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition." ^ The 
Christ, Who welded Jew and Gentile into one Body, and began 


1 Eph. U. 14, 15. 


the era in which the fulness of the Gentile^ was to be gathered 
in and all Israel to be saved, is the only Giver of the means of 
grace by which Europe will be enabled to " repair the losses and 
heal the wounds of war." We can hardly wonder that any nation 
should be interested first in itself, and then in others. What is 
all-important is that they should remember that their task is 
nothing smaller than the upbuilding of Christ's Body in the 

(2) A time of war, like the time of Our Lord's Ministry, is 
a time of Interimsethik. I do not adopt the word in its extreme 
sense. But that a time of gigantic war can truly be described 
^s " a time of visitation," a formative, creative period, a period 
in which new principles emerge, which principles are presently 
to be carried over into the less exciting, yet more stable, more 
constructive days that will ensue, or that it can be described in 
various other terms that are also an obvious description of the 
Gospel-time, will hardly be denied. At such a time soldiers at the 
front, and in a measure people at home, live under an Interims- 
ethik. Can they claim to be " the little flock " to whom it is 
the Father's good pleasure " to give the kingdom " ? They can, 
but whether or no the Father will bring His good pleasure to 
effect depends entirely on whether they are able to carry over, 
as primitive Christians did in the manner described by S. Luke, 
the initial, creative impetus of their blinding, overwhelming 
experience. The years of the Great Wajr are, in a sense, the 
Gospel. They have renewed, for some at least, the sense of the 
nearness of the Son of Man, the White Companion ; they have 
revealed afresh the divine significance of the Birth at Bethlehem, 
the Home at Nazareth ; they have given a clearer understanding 
of what is meant by Crucifixion ; they have produced a measure 
of that which may be called Resurrection and Ascension. Will 
the remainder of this century be worthy to be called The Acts 
of the Apostles, a real history of the Catholic Church in the world ? 
S. Luke's writings furnish us with a complete statement of our 
problem, and the only indication of its ultimate solution. 

The connexion of the former point with the immediate subject 
of internationalism was obvious. The connexion of this second 
matter of war-ethics is not less reah For if the main contention 



of this book be not radically unsound, Our Lord's eschatology 
was carried — ^and was intended to be carried — into effect by the 
operation of the Church, His Body, " that wonderful and sacred 
mystery." "He spoke," says Dr. E. F. Scott in words that J 
gladly quote, " of a Kingdom which God would bring to pass 
by His own creative act ; but the Church has felt the obligation 
laid upon it of assisting the work of God. By making disciples 
of all nations, by righting the world's injustices, and conforming 
all human institutions to the law of Christ, it has endeavoured 
to realize, in ever larger measure, that new age which He foretold. 
It may be argued that this attempt to fulfil His Kingdom through 
the faith and labour of Christian men can find no sanction in the 
teaching of Jesus. His own hope for the world's future fell to 
the ground, and was replaced by another, with which it had 
nothing in common. But when we look deeper, we can recognize 
that it was Jesus Himself Who inspired the activities of His 
Church, While He conceived of the Kingdom as the direct gift 
of God, He declared that men, by their own effort, might bring 
it nearer. In His own life He gave the example of an all-conquer- 
ing faith, and sought to awaken a like faith in His people. Waiting 
on God, they were also to work with Him for the hastening of 
the Kingdom." ^ 

And it is S. Luke who reveals this to us. The Jesus of his 
Gospel, living the Jew's life in the Jewish world, is nevertheless 
depicted, as prepared, when the time shall come, to take the 
wings of the morning and abide in the uttermost parts both of 
the sea and of the land, there to live everlastingly in the lives 
of those who belong to His Body and perform His Will. The 
Acts is the classic of missionary literature. S. Luke's own status, 
as a Gentile Christian, was wholly due to the fact that the ship of 
the Church had burst its early moorings and had found him as 
he tossed, half drowned and perishing of hunger, cold, and naked- 
ness, on the sea of the Hellenic world. He does not point his 
moral ; his simple tale remains unadorned by theological inference. 
Such inferences are most fitly drawn by each generation in the 
language of its own day. In our day there is much that hel^s 
us to perceive that while Christ, as Very God of Very God, is 
^ The Kingdom and the Messiah, p. 145. 


always perfect, yet His perfection is by degrees translated into 
terms of man's appropriation. The Incarnation of the Son of 
God is worked out and effected as the world begins to find Him 
and be found in Him. 

S. Paul in Eph. ii. 20 speaks of the Church as " founded upon 
the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the head 
corner-stone." He elsewhere (i Cor, iii. 11) uses the easier and 
more natural figure, in which Our Lord is regarded as being 
Himself the Foundation. But here he is thinking of Christ as 
the completion of the Church, the top stone that crowns the 
finished work. It is the characteristic thought of the Ephesian 
Epistle, and comes out most conspicuously in iv. 13 — " unto the 
building up of the body of Christ, until we all come unto the 
oneness of faith and -of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto 
a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the completion 
of the Christ." " Christ the beginning and the End is Christ," 
or, as the Seer mystically puts it, " the Alpha and the Omega," 
or the Epistle to the Hebrews, " Jesus, the Author and the 
Finisher of our faith." It is impossible — be it noted once again — 
to say how far S. Luke had grasped this sublime thought. Its 
full analysis was perhaps far beyond him, but he was feeling after 
it, if haply Theophilus or we might find it. Like those four 
friends of the afflicted man whom he describes, he carries such 
as desire healing and salvation into the presence of Him Who, 
first in the days of His flesh and then in the era of His Spirit, 
communicates to wandering or stricken souls " the wholesome 
medicine " of His redeeming and regenerating Life. 


There is no good reason to doubt the traditional and well-attested belief that the 
Gospel was written by the author whose name it bears. It is not necessary, therefore, 
in this note to take into consideration the very late date, approaching the middle of the 
second century, which was assigned to the Gospel by some of the writers of the Tiibingen 
school, but is now generally abandoned. Among the suggested dates which are com- 
patible with Lukan authorship the most important are as follows : 

(i) c. A.D. loo. The determining argument in this case is an alleged acquaintance 
on the part of the author with certain passages in Josephus, who published his Antiquities 
in A.D. 93 or 94. (a) Lk. iii. i, 2 records that " in the fifteenth year of the reign of 
Tiberius . . . Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip, his brother, tetrarch of the 
region of Itursea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene . . . the word of 
God came to John." Josephus says {Ant. xviii. 4, 6) that " Philip, Herod's brother, 
died in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius, after he had been tetrarch of Tra- 
chonitis . . . thirty-seven years." This resemblance of language proves nothing at 
all, but there is another passage which has been thought to account for S. Luke's mention 
of Abilene and Lysanias. It is in any case possible that the reference to Lysanias is a 
chronological error, because an official or king of that name, who had ruled " over the 
hill country of the Ituraeans " (Strabo), was put to death in 36 b.c.^ But it also happens 
that Josephus {Ant. xx. 7, i), after mentioning the two regions of Trachonitis and 
Abila, adds that the latter " had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias." This is thought to 
prove that S. Luke had (somewhat carelessly) read Josephus, though it seems easier to 
conclude either that he knew of a second Lysanias, a tetrarch, or that he made a mistake 
about Lysania.s, and, if the latter, that both his mistake and the manner of Josephus' 
reference are due to the fact that the name of Lysanias was for some reason still con- 
nected with Abilene. (6) In Acts v. 36, 37 Gamaliel refers first to Theudas and then 
to Judas the Galilean, who revolted " in the days of the enrolment." It seems that the 
two incidents really happened in the reverse order," and the revolt of Theudas had not 
taken place at the date when Gamaliel is supposed to be speaking. Josephus in Ant. 
XX. 5, I mentions the revolt of Theudas, and some twenty lines later (xx. 5, 2), " Judas 
of Galilee . . . who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account 
of the estates of the Jews." The evidence for dependence here is stronger than in the 
other case, and the two together have convinced Professor Burkitt {Gospel History, 
pp. 105-110), but it is at least equally probable that both S. Luke and Josephus'are 
indebted to some lost source or to common knowledge. It must be remembered that, 
as no Christian was present at the meeting of the Sanhedrin, S. Luke's version of the 
speech can only be what he supposed to have been said. Further, if the arguments of 
Sir William Ramsay (see p. 152 f.) are sound, S. Luke was thoroughly acquainted 
with all the facts about Cyrenius, and would not depend on inaccurate recollection of a 
casual mention in Josephus. 

The negative evidence to the eSect that S. Luke had not read Josephus is very strong. 

1 Ramsay {The Bearing of Recent Research, etc., p. 297 f.) quotes evidence from an 
inscription found on the site of the ancient Abila, which satisfies him that one Lysanias 
was a tetrarch at some time between A.D. 14 and 29. This period would cover the 
Lukan date. 

" " The hysteron-proteron is not proved beyond a doubt. It is also possible that 
there is a mistake in Josephus " (Hamack, Luhe the Physician, p. 123, n. i). 



It seems incredible that, if he had, the result should appear only in the two passages 
quoted. Harnack writes, " The time of Josephus need not be taken into consideration ; 
for the theory that the author of the Acts had read that historian is quite baseless " 
{Luke the Physician, p. 24, n. 2). 

{2) A.D. 75-80. The chief argument for this date is the fact that S. Luke substitutes 
for the mysterious reference to " the abomination of desolation " the more specific and 
more intelligible phrase " Jerusalem surrounded by armies." ^ This is often said to 
be a vaticinium post eventum. But, if so, it is very vague, and as a matter of fact history 
contains some far more astonishing anticipations of future events than the language of 
S. Luke. Thus, Blass (Philology oj the Gospels, p. 41 f.) points out that Savonarola's 
predictions, in sermons that were preached in 1496 and printed in 1497, of the capture 
of Rome, were fulfilled with singular precision of detail in 1527. On the whole it may 
be said that while this date allows time for the drawing up of " many " previous narra- 
tives (Lk. i. j), and satisfactorily accounts for some of the general phenomena of the 
Gospel, e.g. the occasional but not consistent use of Kvpios, the reasons in its favour 
are not overwhelming. 

(3) c- A.D. 63. The argument for this date is that Acts must have been written very 
soon after the end of the events which it describes, i.e. before S- Paul's death (see above, 
p. 189, n. 2). If this was so, the Gospel must have been still earlier. Harnack {Date of 
Acts, etc., p. 99)' considers this " in the highest degree probable." ^ Moreover, no use 
is made in either the Gospel or Acts of the Epistles of S. Paul. Mr. Edmundson (The 
Church in Rotne during the First Century, p. 67, n. 4), who believes that the Gospel was 
based, not on S. Mark as we now know it, but on " a number of separate lections or 
instructions written by S. Mark previously for the use of Greek-speaking converts in 
Judaea," assigns the writing of S. Luke's Gospel to Csesarea during the two years of 
S. Paul's captivity in that place. He would find the Petrine lections in the possession 
of Philip. 

• S. Luke's omission of this Old Testament reference (Dan. ix. 27; xi. 31, xii. 11) 
obliges him also to omit the explanatory note, " let him that readeth understand," 
which is found in Mk. and Mt. ' 

2 Cp. ibid., p. 124 : " It now seems to be established beyond question that both 
books of this great historical work were written while St. Paul was still alive." 


The margin of the Revised Version from time to time records that " some " or 
" many " " ancient authorities " either insert or omit certain words. In some cases 
these authorities comprise the group of witnesses for what is traditionally known as 
the " Western Text." The group consists of one Greek Uncial MS., Codex Bezts (D), 
the oldest copies of the Latin Version, the oldest copies of the Syriac Version, and a 
number of early Patristic quotations. This evidence carries us back to a date con- 
siderably earlier than that of the actual writing of the great Greek Uncials, Vaticanus 
and Sinaiticus, and it comes from places as far apart as Carthage and Edessa. 

The peculiarities of the group, which is not in every case fully represented, are mainly 
of two kinds : 

(i) Additions. For example, in Lk. ix. 55 the \yestem Text adds, " Ye know not 
what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man came not to destroy, but to 

(2) Omissions. There is a series of omissions in Lk. xxii.-xxiv. (e.g. xxii. 196, 20 ; 
xxiii. 34 ; xxiv. 12, 36, 40, 51 ; see also Mt. xxvii. 49), which Westcott and Hort describe 
as " non-interpolations." They believe that the Western Text has, so to speak, resisted 
the temptation to interpolate in these places, and so preserves the original reading. 
N.B. — ^The passages may or may not represent what actually occurred or was said. We 
are here only concerned with their claim to be parts of S. Luke's text. 

(There is a very interesting addition, after Lk. vi. 4, about the man working on the 
Sabbath, for which D is the sole authority, and there are also in D some very curious 
paraphrases in the text of Acts.) 

Westcott and Hort in 1885 were disposed to follow the Western Text in its omissions, 
but not in its additions. The discovery (in 1892) of the Sinaitic Syriac Version, and 
the further examination of patristic texts (e.g. the text of Clement of Alexandria, by 
Mr. P. M. Barnard), have added to the evidence, and many scholars now assign great 
weight, not particularly to D, but to the agreements of the Old or " African " Latin 
and the Old Syriac. 

Dr. Rendel Harris has sought to explain many of the readings as due to glosses in 
the Latin version, which found their way into the Greek. Dr. Chase has a counter- 
theory of Syriac influence. Professor Blass maintains that both types of text are Lukan, 
and that the Evangelist addressed his first version (the non- Western Text) to Theophilus, 
and afterwards published another version (the Western Text) for the use of the Roman 

On the whole, the question of the date and provenance of the text, and of the degree 
of authority which should be assigned to it, must be regarded as still sub judice. See 
the verdict of Professor Stanton, quoted on p. 69, n. 3. 






I: I 126 

III: 21 . . . 117, 219 


63, 124, 148, 151 


66, 173 


. 64, 150, 157 

23 f. . 



• 154 

IV: I f. 

99, 219 






• 154 

14 . 



• 154 




• 151 

16 f. . 


5, 66, 91, 179 








170, 194 




78, 192 


65. 154 . 




• 151 


• 135 

II: 2f. 

65, 153. 169 





38 . 




40 . 


22 f. 


43 • 




V: i-ii 


5, 84, 87, 118 


• 151 




• 171 

8 . 

• 195 


• 154 

12 f. . 




14 • 



• 42,91 

19 . 



• 171 








• 65 

25 • 

. 191 


. 163 

26 . 

182, 192 



154, 171, 193 




. 65 

30 . 



. 172 

31 ■ 

27, 192 


• 154 

32 . 

118, 219 


163, 172 

34 • 

103, 115 


65. 135. 147. 229 

36 . 






66, 203 

VI: 3 • 



92, 207 

4 • 

130, 231 



5 ■ 

. 214' 


. 155 


. 89 




. 117 






VI: 12-16 . 

67, 127 

IX: 18 

.'67, 117, 122, 187 

15 . 

. 190 


. "3 


. 67 

23 . 

. 17, 114, 126, 198 

20 f. . 

116, 135, 136 

24 • .i 

114, 126 

32 . 

118, 190 


. 67, 182, 185, 203 

34 . 

. 118 

28 . 

. 117 

46 . 


29 . 

. 66, 122, 133 

VII: 2-10 . 


31 ■ 


3 • 

. 87 

33 • 


5 • 


35 • 


9 . 


39 • 

. 193 


66, 77, 83, 87 

43 • 




44 ■ 

. 142 

13 . 



95. 187 


... 67 

47 • 



• 33. 103, 136 

50 . 




51 .67, 68, 107 

, 143, 183, 193, 194 

28 . 

• 30. 92 

54 • 

. 107 

' 30 . 


55 • 

. 231 



56 . 

. 199 

34 . 

187, 219 

57 • 

107, 198 

36 f. . 

66, 90, 112, 194 

58 . 

. 213 

37 • 

89, 219 

X: I . 



117, 191, 220 



50 . 


7-8 . 


VIII: 1 

. 37, 66, 194 

13 • . ■ 

. . 78 


117, 192 



3 • 

117, 147 

16 . . . 


4 . . . 

127. 135 



6 . . . 

. 193 

17 . . . 


7 r • • 


18 . . . 

. 99, 103, 184 

10 . . . 


21 . . . 


11 . . . 


22 . . . 

. 43, 136, 184 

15 • • • 


23 . . . 

. 103 

18 . . . 


25 • . • 


19 . . 


25-37 68, 95, 

191. 193. 194. 195 

20 . ^ . 


26 . . . 


21 . . . 

93, 218 

28 . . . 




29 . . . 

29, 112 

25 . . . 

. 183 

30 ■ • • 

. 193 

38 . . . 


33 • 

. 67 

39 • • • 

15. 183 

38-42 . 68, 

144, 191, 194, 195 

43 • • • 

192, 207 

XI: 1-4 

68, 144 

44 . . . 
.48 . . . 

. 131 
. 118 

1 . . . 

2 . . . 

. 117 

IX: 2 . 


3 • • • 


7 . . . 

• 147 

5-8 . 

. 117 

9 . . . 


5 ■ • • 

184, 196 


■ 133 

15 . • . 


13 ■ • • 


20 . . . 

. 37, 103, 185 

14 . . . 

135. 139 

22 . . . 

. •. 184 

16 . . . 

• 133 







XI: 27 . . 117, 145, 198 

XIV: 26 . . . 44, 115 

28 , 

. 218 

27 . 

• 17. 44 

29 . 

33. 192 




44, 185 


. 65 



33 • 

89. "5 

41 . 

. 115 

XV: 2 . 


42 . 

• 197 

8 . 

"7. 145 

43 . 

126, 185 



45 • 

112, 190 



gf., 191, 220 

47 • 


16 . 


49 . 


XVI: 1-13 

68, 196 

52 . 

• 195 

8 . 


53 • 


9 • 

40, 198 

XII : 8 . 


15, • 


13 f. • 

. 68, 1X2, 120, 208 

16 . 

40, 103, 107 

16 f. . 

100, 120, 195 

18 . 



. . .185 




105, 191 



32 . 




33 ■ 

116, 139 

XVII: 1-2 


35 • 

100, 144 




107, 108 

7f. . 


50 • 

123, 222 


. 194 

51 • 



. 68, 83, 194 

52 . 



67, 145 

54 • 


14 . 


XIII: If. 

112, 182, 200 

16 . 

67, 145 

6-9 . 

88, 117 

19 • 

. 118 

10 f. . 

• 145 


103. 144 


117, 191 



15 • 


28 . 

• "5 

16 . 


32 . 




33 ^■ 

. 126 


181, 198 

XVIII: 1-14 

69, 117 

24 . 

. 181 


. 185 

26 . 






4 • 

. 191 

31 • 


6-9 . 

. 193 

32 . 

107, 199 

7 • 


34 • 

44. "4 

8 . 

. "5 

35 • 






14 . 


1-6 . 

. 83 




. 193 

15 • 

. 135 



16 . 


3-6 . 


18 f. . 

112, 210 

7-1 1 

. 83 

19 • 



. 116 

29 . 



112, 198 


. 142 



34 • 

95. 187 


• "5 

42 . 


25 . 


43 • 

. 181 




XIX : i-io . . 69, 89, 191, 194 


XXII: 30 . . . 92 

7 • 


31 • 


186, 195 

9 . 

92, 102 

32 . 

"7, 195 



35 . 

. 116 


100, 147 

38 . 

• 194 


. 65 



14 . 

. 65 

40 f . . 

. '89 




70, 186 

26 . 




27 . 


48 . 

• 194 

37 • 


51 ■ 

• 193 

38 . 


52 . 


41 . 

108, 114 

53 • 





• 76 

48 . 



94, 114, 199 

XX: 2 . 

5-6 . 


69 . 


. 183 
104, 106, 213 

9 . 

100, 119 

XXIII ; 2 

. 65 



4-7 • 


16 . 

. 191 



25 • 



• 83 

27 . 


II f. . 

■ '199 

28 . 




37 • 






27 ■ 


46 . 


28 . 

117, 198 

47 • 


29 . 

• 115 

XXI: 1-4 


34 • 

35 • 

. 231 
40, 192, 195 



39-43 ~ 


9 . 






47 • 

. 183 


58, 69, 106 


. 191 

25 • 

• 51. 78 

XXIV : 6 


28 . 

40, 106 


147, 155 





34 • 




37 ■ 



83, 200 f. 

38 . 


34 • 

. 71, 86 



36 . 

. 231 



38 . 




39 . 

• 71. 83 

14 f. . . 


40 . 

. 231 

15 f- • 

108, 114, 186 





43 • 


19 f. . 

69, 231 




41, 107 



24 • 


■ 44 . 



. 123 

46 . . 

• 65 

27 . 

69. 103 




99, 219 

51 • 

72. 231 


Abbott, E. A., io6, no, 127, 156, 191, 

197. 213 
Acta of Jerusalem, 13 
Allen, W. C, 129, 138 f., 142 
Anderson, K.C., 32 
, Antioch, 19, 20 
Apocalyptic books, 35 f., 54 
Apocryphal Gospels, 162 f . " 

Arnold, Matthew, 50, 208 
Ascension of Isaiah, 71 
Asceticism, 115 f., 209 
Augustine, 58, 120, 173, 196, 220 

Bacon, B. W., 50, 66, 137 

Baker, J. F. Bethune, 183 

Barnard, P. M., 231 

Barrett, Sir W. F., 158 

Bartlet, J. V., 139, 145 

Bede, 83 

Blass, F., 19, 63, 124, 230, 231 

Blougram, 77 

Bousset, W., 30 

Box, G. H., 35, 156, 171 

Brace, G._L., 210 

Bruce, A. B., 81, 213 

Burkitt, F. C, 7, 8, 32, 35, 49, 51. 53. 
65- 67, 75, 80, 117, 125, 130, 133, 
134, 137, 138, 209, 211, 229 

Callista, 8 

Carrington, P., 103 

Charles, R. H., 35, 37, 40, 49 ^ 

Chase, F. H., 11, 73, 155, 189 

Chesterton, G. K., 97, 184, 222 

Church, the, Pauline doctrine of, 16 f. 

Circumincessio, 56 

Clemen, C, 28 

" Contamination," 88 f., 95 

Conybeare, F. C, 33 

Cowper,.B. H., 164 

Criticism, 81 f. 

Cross, the, 46, 108, 113, 185 

Dalman, Prof., 214 

Dante, 106, 199 

Deissmanji, A., 22, 69, 150, 152, 210 

Didache, 69, 94, 102, 115 

DiviQity of our Lord, 44 f., 183 

Dobschiitz, von, 54, loi, 104 

Docetists, 74, 80, 90, 132 

Doublets, 125, 133 

Drews, A., 32 

Du Bose, W. P., 119, 160, 165, 198, 215 

Dyce, W., 99 

Ebionism, 116, 209 

Ebionite Gospel, 173 

Edersheim, A., 91, 124 

Edmundson, G., 230 

Emmet, C. W., 35, 51, 65, 88, 105 

Enoch, Similitudes of, 38 f., 212 

Epistles of New Testament, 6 

Eschatologists, 51 f. 

Eucharist, the, 58, 60, 69 f., 77, 186, 2Q? , 

Eusebius, 20, 49, 66, 69, 71, 140 

Ferrar Group, the, 69 
Figgis, J. N., 23 
Findlay, Prof., 164 
Foundations, 80, 99 

Gardner, P., 25, 28, 83, 152, 214 

Genealogy, the, 66 

Glover, T. R., in f., 200, 210, 219 

Goldwin Smith, 219 

Gore, C, 77 

Gospel of Peter, 71, 94 

Graham, Stephen, 116 

Green, P., 197 

Hague, W, V., 40 

Hamilton, H. H., 28, 221 

Hamack, 6, 14, 19, 25, 37, 44, 47, 50, 
53, 81, 83, 86, 126, 136, 141, 143, 
148, 154, 156, 166, 186, 193, 229 

Harris, J. R., 231 




Hart, J. H. A., 53 

Hawkins, J. C, 10, 14, 15, 67, 68, 124, 
130, 131, 134, 138, 139, 143. 144- 146 
Headlam, A. C, 51 
Herod, 146, 199 i. 
Hobart, Dr., 192 
Holland, H. S., 92 
Hort, F. J. A., 18, 72 

Idealization, 168 f. 

Ignatius, 71 

Incarnation, the, 26 f., 45 f., 76, 159 f., 

206 1, 218 f. 
Inge, W. R., 55, 222- 
Interimseihik, 52, 97, 105, 225 
Internationalism, 221 
" Interpolation, the Great," 67 f., 143 f. 
Irenaeus, 65, 160 

Jackson, H. L., 35, 47, 114, 127 

Jacks, L. P., 47 

Jerome, 64, 71 

Joanna, 78, 147 

Josephus, 32, 152, 229 

Jtilicher, 31, 81 

Justin, 102 

Kennedy, H. A. A., 149 
Kenyon, F. G., 141 
Kingdom, the, 36 f., 42, 103 f. 
' Knight, H. J. C, 17 
Knox, R. A., 216 
Knowling, R. J., 25 

Lacey, T. a., 22, 25, 79, 80 

Lake, K., 19, 28, 34, 48, 49, 53, 83, 

153, 213 
Lang, Andrew, 98 
Liberal Protestants, 50 
Lightfoot, J. B., 71 
Little, A. G., 197 
Logia, 63, 140 
Loisy, A., 25, 37, 65, 81, 87, 152, 177 

Magnificat, the, 65, 167, 211 

Manaen, 147 

Marcan Source, 126 f. 

Marcion, 81, 98, 118 

Maurice, F. D., 7, 120, 167, 196 

Maurier, Du, 194 

McNeile, A. H., 37, 53, 172 

Medical language, 192 f. 

Messiah, 36 f., 44, 96 f., no, 213 f. 

Miracles, 75 f., 133, 162 1, 171 

Mithraism, 24, 217 

Moberly, R. C, 214 

Moffatt, J., 49, 66, 68, 81, 89, 138 

Montefiore, C. G., 77, 103, 105, 221 f. 

Montgomery, 53 

Moulton, J. H., 14, 27, 141, 146, 150 

Mozley, J. K., 210 

Murray, G., 205, 206, 217 

Mystery-religions, 24, 28, 205 

Mythological School, 24, 28, 32, 51, 74 

Mythopceic Faculty, 162 

Neumann, Arno, 33 
New Testament, 5 f . 
NoUoth, C. F., 43 
Niceta of Remesiana, 65 

Oesterley, W. O., 35 
" dmission, the Great," 131 f. 
Oral Theory, the, 123 f. 
Origen, 64, 71, 107, 116 
Oxyrhynchus Sapngs, 103, 143 

Paley, 76 

Papias, 140 

Parables, the, 112, 196 

Passion, S. Luke's account of, 69 f., 

145 f- 
Passover, the, 186 
Pauliaism, 81, 118 f. 
Peabody, F. G., 104 
Pentecost, u, 21 f., 55 f., 102, 107, 216, 

Perichoresis, 56 
Peter, call of, 84 f. 
PhUippi, 15 f., 20 
Pfleiderer, 22 

Plummer, A., 14, 66, 95, 113, 198 
Prayer, 116 f. 

" Q," 44, 78, 79, 126, 136 f. 
Quick, O. C, 217 
Quirinius, 151 f. 

Ramsay, Sir Wm., 15, 20, 26, 65, 129, 

147, 152, 153, 168, 193 
Relton, H. M., 215" 
Renan, E., 32 
Robertson, J. M., 32 
Robinson, J. A., 17^ 164 
Rogers, H., 33 
Royce, Prof., 206 



Salmon, G., 86, 142 

Sanday, W., 7, 17, 49, 51, 55. 76, 91, 

n8, 131, 134, 151, 154, 184. 214 
Schmiedel, P. W., 33, 81, 84 f., 113, 118 
Schweitzer, A., 48, 51 f., 77, 102 
Scott, C. A. A., 30, 70, 81 
Scott, E. F., 36, 41 44, 51, 108, 213, 

Selwyn, E. G., 51, 57 
Semitisms, 149 f. 
Seneca, 204 
Seventy, the, 68, 145 
Smith, B. D. T., 23 
Smith, W. B., 32 
Soden, von, 143, 189, 193 
Son of Man, 38 f., no f., 214 f. 
Souter, A., 20 
Stanton, V. H., 14, 27, 58, 69 f., 112, 

138. 139 
Stawell, F. M., 20 
Storr, V. F., 71 
Streeter, B. H., 49, 55, 88, 99, 100, 

137. 139, 141. 143. 144 
Suetonius, 33 
Swete, H. B., ^2, 73, 134 

Tacitus, 33 
Tatian's Diatessar'on, 8 
Temple, W., 57, 215 
Temptation, the, 99, 219 
Theophilus,' 7, 64, 81, 124, 191 
Tiberius, fifteenth year of, 65 
Tragic irony, 194 

Transfiguration, the, 114, 185 

Transmuted eschatology, 96, loi f. 

Trench, R. C, 119,, 196 

Troas, 13 f. 

Turner, C. H., 65, 130, 152, 180 

Tyrrell, G.. 51, 53, 54, 104, 222 

Tubingen School, 86 

Underhill, E., 87 
Ur-Markus, 128, 134 
Usener, Prof., 156 

Vaughan, R., 71 
Verrall, A. W., 199 

Weiss, J., 26, 32, 51 

Weiss, B., 8i 

Wellhausen, J., 81, 181 

Wells, H. G., 17, 168 

" We-sections," 14 f., "19 

Wernle, 31 

Westcott, B. F., 55, 56, 58, 65, 68, 

124, 231 
WUUams, N. P., 131 
Winstanley, E. H., 103 
Women, 117, 154, 216 
Woods, F. H., 127 
Wordsworth, C, 64 
Wordsworth, J., 65 
Wright, A., 66, 154, 200, 204 

Zanzibar, Bishop of, 54 
Zealots, 42