« הקודםהמשך »
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPÉLS,
DAMAscenus JOANNES, John of Damascus, born about A. D. 676.
EUTHALIUS : this writer flourished about A. D. 458. and wrote a critical work on the Acts of the Apostles.
EUTHYMIUS ZIGABENUS, a monk who flourished in the twelfth century.
JEROMÉ, one of the most eminent of the Latin Fathers; author of the translation of the Scriptures called the Vulgate ; born about A. D. 342. and died in 420.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was martyred about A. D. 107.
PHÆBADIUS, or PuÆGADIUS, was of the province of Aquitain, of which he was Bishop: he flourished about A. D. 359.
Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, A. D. 857.
AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
Victor ANTIOCHENUs, flourished about A. D. 400: he wrote on St. Mark's Gospel, and on the Catholic
Victor TUNUNENSIS, Bishop of Tunis, in Africa, flourished about 555.
For farther information concerning these and other writers mentioned in the Work, see Cave's Historia Literaria, and Dr. Lardner's Works.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. The above writers are only referred to for the quotations from the Sacred Writings found in their works. The Latin Fathers, before the time of Jerome, i. e. before the fourth century, quote from the Itala Version. Those after his time, generally make their quotations from the Vulgate. The Greek Fathers quote from the different editions of the Greek text in their respective countries. Ephraim Syrus, and probably some others, from the ancient Syriac Version.
Of the Fathers in general, it may be said, they often quote from memory; not giving the exact words of the sacred writers, but the sense : and often rendering a word by another equivalent to it, the same language. This sort of quotation has given rise to a vast number of various readings, which should never encumber the margins of our critical editions of the Greek text; though many of them may be of use as fixing the sense in which the writers understood the original text. Those Fathers who comment on the sacred writings, are most valuable, such as Origen, Ambrosiaster, Euthalius, Chrysostom, Jerome, Theophylact, &c. because it may be always supposed they had the copies before them, from which they quoted ; and that these copies were such as were held to be authentic in the churches to which they respectively belonged. But even here we find the same Father inconsistent with himself, in repeated quotations of the same words ; which is perhaps not so much to be attributed to quoting from memory, as to mistakes made by succeeding copyists of the works of these authors. The different MSS. of the Greek and Latin Fathers, stand as much in need of collation as any other works; and some of them need this as much as the Greek text itself.
In quoting the Greek text, I have generally followed the second edition of Griesbach, occasionally consulting Mill, Wetstein, and Bengel: for the different Versions, as far as they are extant in it, I have followed the London Polyglott, occasionally consulting both the Complutensian and Antwerp editions. The Coptic, Gothic, Sahidic, Philoxenian Syriac, and Anglo-Saxon, which are not in the Polyglotts, I have consulted in the editions to which they are confined. The Vulgate I have frequently consulted in my own MSS. of that Version. The Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Bezæ, I have often quoted from the editions of Woide and Kipling I have taken a few readings from some fragments of St. Matthew's Gospel, engraven and published from a Codex Rescriptus in Trinity College, Dublin, by the very learned Dr. Barrett, Vice Provost and Librarian of that University. This MS. written in uncial letters, and perhaps one of the oldest extant, I have not mentioned among the MSS. described p. xi. &c. because it has not been quoted by Griesbach, not being published when the first volume of his Testament went to the press. The work in which Dr. Barrett has described this, I have quoted largely in the notes on the genealogy of our Lord, at the end of Luke, chap. iii.
Every biblical student, in consulting the sacred writings of the New Testament, should have at hand, if possible, the second edition of Griesbach ; I mean that printed at Halle, two volumes 8vo. 1796, &c. On the late London edition of that work, equal dependance cannot be placed. A learned American Clergyman, the Rey. Sam. F. Jarvis, Rector of St. Michael's, &c. New York, has published proposals for a new, and, as far as I can learn from the prospectus, &c. an improved edition of Griesbach's work : and in so important and useful an undertaking, it is to be hoped he will meet with due encouragement.
Those who have not a Polyglott, to refer to the Syriac Version, will find Schaaf's edition to answer every purpose : it is generally very correct, and very valuable. A new edition of the Syriac Testament is now in the press, at the
at the expence of the British and Foreign Bible Society, under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Claudius Buchanan, who has made this text his particular study; and has brought from the East, some valuable MSS. of this important and ancient Version.
While the critical enquirer is availing himself of every help within his reach, let him not forget humbly and fervently to implore the help and teaching of Almighty God; without whom, nothing is wise, nothing strong. It is only when He opens our eyes, that we behold wonders in his law. He who does not pray, is not humble; and, an unhumbled searcher after truth, never yet found it to the salvation of his soul. In such a work, the following inimitable Prayer cannot be used in vain. “Blessed Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them; that by patience and comfort of thy holy word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Amen. London, Feb. 21, 1814.
Collect for the second Sunday of Advent.
Chronological Arrangement of the Books of the New Testament ; the Places where written, accord
ing to Dr. LARDNER; and the enumeration of all the Books, Chapters, and Verses.
Places where written.
Time shen written.
Books Chapters. Verses.
28 16 21 21 28 16 16 13 6 6 4 4 5 3 6 4 3 1 13 5 5 3 5 1
880 1006 431 437 256 149 155 10+ 95 89 47 113 83 46 25 303 108 105
61 105 13 15 25 405
THE CATHOLIC EPISTLES.
61 or 62
between 80 & 90
64 or 65
95 or 96
N. B. This Introduction is to be placed before the Notes on St. Matthew's Gospel.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
THE Book of the ACTS of the APOSTLES forms the fifth, and last, of the Historical Books of the New Testament. And on this account, it has been generally placed at the end of the four Gospels ; though in several MSS. and Versions, it is found at the end of St. Paul's Epistles, as many circumstances in them, are referred to by the narrative contained in this Book ; which is carried down almost to the Apostle's death.
This Book has had a variety of names : Ilgaeis twy ATOOTOWY, the Res gesta, Acts or Transactions of the Apostles, is the title it bears in the Codex Beza. Igagens Twr Ay.my ATOOTOXwv, The Acts of the holy Apostles, is its title in the Codex Alexandrinus, and several others; as well as in several of the ancient Versions, and in the Greek and Latin Fathers. One or other form of the above title, is followed by almost all the editors of the Greek Testament, and translators and commentators in general. By some it has been reckoned a fifth Gospel; and by Ecumenius it is termed, The Gospel of the Holy Spirit ; and by St. Chrysostom, To Bilanov, Atodeikis avar tarEWS, The Book, The Demonstration of the Resurrection. These two last characters are peculiarly descriptive of its contents. All the promises which Christ gave of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, are shewn here to have been fulfilled in the most eminent manner: and by the effusion of the Holy Spirit, the resurrection of our blessed Lord has been fully demonstrated. The calling of the Gentiles, is another grand point, which is here revealed and illustrated. This miracle of miracles, as one terms it, which had been so frequently foretold by the Prophets and by Christ himself, is here exhibited ; and by this grand act of the power and goodness of God, the Christian church has been founded; and thus the tabernacle and kingdom of God have been immutably established among men. It is truly a fifth Gospel, as it contains the glad tidings of peace and salvation to the whole Gentile world.
AÎl antiquity is unanimous in ascribing this book to St. Luke as the author; and from the commencement of it, we see plainly that it can be attributed to no other; and it seems plain that St. Luke intended it as a continuation of his Gospel,- being dedicated to Theophilus, to whom he had dedicated the former; and to which, in the introduction to this, he expressly refers : indeed he has taken up the narrative in this Book, precisely in the place where he had dropped it in the other The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until
PREFACE TO THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
the day in which he was taken up, &c. and from this we may form a safe conjecture, that the two Books were written at no greater a distance from each other, than the time of the last occurrence recorded in this Book. Some have supposed that this Book was written from Alexandria ; but this does not appear to be probable. The conjecture of Michaelis is much more likely, viz. that it was written from Rome, at which place St. Luke mentions his arrival in company with St. Paul, shortly before the close of the Book. See Acts xxviii. 16.
Though the time in which the Book of the Acts was written, is not recorded, yet the same writer observes, that as it is continued to the end of the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment, it could not have been written before the year 63; and had it been written after that year, it is reasonable to conclude that it would have related some farther particulars relative to St. Paul; or would at least have mentioned the event of his imprisonment, in which the Reader is so much interested. This argument seems conclusive, in reference to the date of this Book.
St. Luke's long attendance upon St. Paul, and his having been himself eye-witness to many of the facts which he has recorded, independently of his divine inspiration, render him a most respectable and credible historian. His medical knowledge, for he is allowed to have been a physician, enabled him, as Professor Michaelis has properly observed, both to form a proper judgment of the miraculous cures which were performed by St. Paul, and to give an account and authentic detail of them. It is worthy also of observation, that St. Luke himself does not appear to have possessed the gift of miraculous healing. Though there can be no doubt, that he was with St. Paul when shipwrecked at Malta, yet he was not concerned in healing the father of Publius the governor; nor of the other sick persons mentioned Acts xxviii. 8, 9. These were all healed by the prayers of St. Paul, and the imposition of his hands; and consequently miraculously: nor do we find any evidence that St. Luke was ever employed in this way. This is another proof of the wisdom of God: had the physician been employed to work miracles of healing, the excellence of the power would have been attributed to the skill of the man, and not to the power
of his Maker.
The Acts of the Apostles have been generally considered in the light of a Church History, and, consequently, the first ecclesiastical history on record: but Professor Michaelis very properly contends that it cannot have been intended as a general history of the Christian church ; even for the period of time it embraces, as it passes by all the transactions of the church at Jerusalem, after the conversion of St. Paul; the propagation of Christianity in Egypt; Paul's journey into Arabia ; the state of Christianity at Babylon, (1 Pet. v. 13); the foundation of the Christian church at Rome ; several of St. Paul's voyages ; his thrice suffering shipwreck, &c. &c. See more particulars in Lardner and Michaelis.
The object of St. Luke appears to have been twofold, 1. To relate in what manner the gifts of the Holy Spirit were communicated on the day of Pentecost, and the subsequent miracles performed by the Apostles, by which the truth of Christianity was confirmed. 2. To deliver such accounts as proved the claim of the Gentiles to admission into the church of Christ; a claim disputed by the Jews, especially at the time when the Acts of the Apostles were written. Hence we see the reason why he relates, chap. viii. the conversion of the Samaritans; and chap. x. xi. the story of Cornelius,' and the determination of the Council in Jerusalem, relative to the Levitical law; and for the same reason he is more diffuse in his account of St. Paul's con