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PRINCIPAL ABBREVIATIONS EMPLOYED

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Cur. The Curetonian Syriac Version of the Gospels (cf. p. 26).
Pal. Syr. = The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary (cf. p. 25).
Pesh. The Peshîţtā Syriac Version (cf. p. 25).
Sin. The Sinaitic Syriac Version of the Gospels (cf. p. 26).
Targ. Jer. = The Jerusalem Targum on the Pentateuch (cf. p. 24).
Targ. Jon. = The Targum of Jonathan on the Prophets (cf. p. 24).
Targ. Onk.

The Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch (cf. p. 23). Targ. Ps.-Jon. = The Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan on the Pentateuch

(cf. p. 23). WH. The Greek text of Westcott and Hort.

Abbott, JG. = Edwin A. Abbott, Johannine Grammar (1906).
Dalman, Gramm. = G. Dalman, Grammatik des jüdisch-palästinischen

Aramäisch (1894).
Dalman, WJ. = G. Dalman, The Words of Jesus considered in the light of

Post-Biblical Jewish Writings and the Aramaic Language (Eng. Trans.,

1902). Deissmann, LAE. = A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (Eng.

Trans., 1910). HS?. = Sir John C. Hawkins, Horae Synopticae (2nd edition, 1909). Moulton, NTGS. = J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek

3rd edition, reprinted 1919). Schlatter, Sprache = A. Schlatter, Die Sprache und Heimat des vierten

Evangelisten (1902). Wellhausen, Einleitung? = J. Wellhausen, Einleitung in die drei ersten

Evangelien (zweite Ausgabe 1911).

INTRODUCTION

In a sermon preached in June 1920 before the University of Oxford* the present writer made a plea for a closer synthesis of Old Testament learning with the study of the New Testament; and reviewing summarily and generally the kind of New Testament problems which might receive fuller elucidation through the more direct application to them of Semitic learning, he put forward the possibility that in the future a Semitic scholar might arise who, examining the language of the Fourth Gospel in detail, would prove beyond the range of reasonable doubt that it was based upon an Aramaic original.

In venturing upon this somewhat bold prophecy, the writer had not at the time any thought of undertaking the task himself. Absorbed in Old Testament studies, and realizing with evergrowing insistency the task which lies before Semitic scholars of widening and deepening the basis of their learning if they would make any really first-hand contribution to their subject, he had not enjoyed the opportunity of prosecuting his New Testament studies beyond the somewhat superficial stage which ordinarily represents a theological tutor's acquaintance with the wide range of learning in which, in addition to his own special branch of research, he has generally to direct his pupils' reading. The problem of the origin and authorship of the Fourth Gospel had, however, always attracted him. He had been impressed (as every Hebrew scholar must be impressed) with the Semitic character of its diction, and recognizing to the full the importance of Dr. Lightfoot's remarks on the question,+ had realized that this was a subject of research fundamental to the problem of authorship which called for closer and more expert attention than it had hitherto received; and he had been amazed at the lightness with which it was dismissed or

* Since published by the Oxford University Press under the title The Old Testament Conception of Atonement fulfilled by Christ.

+ Biblical Essays, pp. 126 ff.

altogether ignored by New Testament scholars who confidently asserted the Hellenistic character of the Gospel. An article by Dr. C. J. Ball, entitled 'Had the Fourth Gospel an Aramaic Archetype ?', which appeared in the Expository Times for November 1909, explained certain peculiarities in the first chapter of the Gospel by the theory of an Aramaic original ; and this, though (to the best of the present writer's knowledge) it stands alone in advocating this theory, yet appealed to him as evidently upon right lines.* The evidence there adduced he had casually supplemented by notice of additional peculiarities pointing in the same direction; notably, the sharing by the Fourth Gospel of many of the peculiarities of diction which Canon Allen and Prof. Wellhausen cite as exhibiting the influence of Aramaic upon the style of St. Mark's Gospel.

This was about the position at which the writer's acquaintance with the subject stood when he wrote the sermon which he has mentioned. He had formed an opinion based on general observation, but he could not claim to have substantiated it by the kind of close study which deserves to be dignified as research. Further reflection, however, convinced him that the matter could not be allowed to rest here. He had suggested in the sermon that both

* The view that the Fourth Gospel was originally written in Aramaic was put forward, though not worked out, by C. Salmasius (De Hellenistica Commentarius, 1645, pp. 257 f.), I. A. Bolten (Der Bericht des Joannes von Jesu dem Messias, über. setzt ; 1797, Vorbericht, pp. xiv ff.), H. F. Pfannkuche (Ueber die palästinische Landessprache in dem Zeitalter Christi, in Eichhorn's Allgem. Bibl d.b. Litt. viii, 1797, p. 367). L. Bertholdt (Verosimilia de origine evangelii Joannis, 1805 ; Einleitung in ... Schriften des A. u. N.T., iii, 1813, $ 342) supposed that St. John wrote down the discourses of our Lord in Aramaic soon after they were spoken, and long subsequently translated them into Greek and incorporaled them into his Greek gospel.

Many scholars, from Grotius (Annotationes, 1641) onwards, while holding the Gospel to have been written in Greek, have emphasized the Semitic character of its diction. The opinion of so great a Semitic scholar as H. Ewald (Die johann. Schriften, 1861, i, p. 44) is worthy of quotation: ‘The Greek language of the author bears in itself the plainest and strongest marks of a genuine Hebrew. He is one born among Jews in the Holy Land, one who grew up to manhood in this society, without speaking Greek. Under the Greek mantle that he at a late date learned to throw about himself, he still bears in himself the whole mind and spirit of his mother tongue, and does not hesitate to let himself be led by it. The discussion by C. E. Luthardt on the language of the Gospel (St. John's Gospel, E. T., 1876, i, pp. 15-64) is of considerable value.

Mention should here be made of the highly important work by Prof. A.

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