Page images

be answered decidedly or dogmatically, though approximate | two of St Paul's letters. In the Epistle of James we have a and provisional answers may before long be forthcoming. All parts of the problem have been greatly forwarded by the recent publication of important works by Wellhausen and Harnack (see below). The date of the completed Luke depends (a) on whether or not we believe Luke himself or a later disciple to be the author, and (b) whether or not we believe that the autl.or of Acts had seen Josephus' Antiquities, published in A.D. 93 or 94. Professor Burkitt takes an original line in maintaining that Luke was the author of both works, and yet that he had seen Antiq. The present writer is inclined to think the latter hypothesis not proven. The date of Matthew cannot be fixed more nearly than 70-100.

3. The Catholic Epistles.-The Catholic Epistles were so called in the first instance from their wider and more indefinite address; they were intended for Christians generally, or over some wide arca, rather than for a particular church or individual. 2 and 3 John are exceptions, but probably came in under the wing of the larger epistle, which is strictly "catholic." As applied to a class of epistles, the title dates from Eusebius, early in the 4th century; the epithet is given to single epistles by Origen, and is found as far back as the end of the 2nd century. In later Latin usage "catholic" came to mean much the same as "canonical," another name that was also given.

This group of epistles practically continues and supplements the work of the epistles of St Paul. 1 Peter, if genuine, must date from the end of the apostle's carcer (for the early composition claimed for it by B. Weiss is a paradox that may be disregarded). It was written to instruct and encourage the Christians of Asia Minor at a time of persecution, which on the hypothesis of genuineness, would be the Neronian, i.e. a secondary outbreak perhaps loosely connected with the onslaught in Rome. The Epistle of James (also, if genuine) must be placed late in the lifetime of the brother of the Lord. In that case it was probably not written with any direct polemic against writings of St Paul, but against hearsay versions of his teaching that had reached Jerusalem. Controversy of this kind is not always conducted with complete understanding of that which is being opposed. The Epistle of Jude cannot be either dated or localized with any certainty. It seems on the whole most probable that 2 Peter is not a genuine work, but that it came from the same factory of pseudonymous Petrine writings as the Apocalypse which bears the same name, though the one has, and the other has not, obtained a place within the Canon. This epistle was questioned from the first, and only gained its place with much hesitation, and rather through slackness of opposition than any conclusiveness of proof. The three Johannine epistles may be more conveniently treated under the next head.

Even in the case of the two more important epistles, 1 Peter and James, we have to add the qualification "if genuine," but rather perhaps because of the persistence with which they are challenged than because of inherent defect of attestation. The evidence for 1 Peter is both early in date and wide in range, and the book was one of those that passed as "acknowledged" in antiquity. The evidence for James is not so widely diffused but is found in early writings. Perhaps the position of these two epistles might be described as not unlike that of Colossians and Ephesians. Instead of casting doubt upon them, we should prefer to say that they are both probably genuine, but that there are features about them that are not as yet fully explained. The chief of these features is their relation to the writings of St Paul. There is indeed so much that is Pauline in 1 Peter as to give distinct attractiveness to the hypothesis, which is most elaborately maintained by Zahn, that a larger share than usual in the composition of the letter was left to Silvanus (1 Peter v. 12). Nor does it appear to us that the objections to this theory brought by Dr Chase in his excellent article on the epistle in Hastings' Dictionary are really so fatal as he supposes. The epistle is more the work of a companion of St Paul of long standing than of one who, with quite different and independent antecedents, had only been influenced by the perusal of one or

really distinct type; and it seems to us that the degree to which the epistle misses its mark as a polemic may be easily and naturally accounted for in more ways than one.

4. The Johannine Writings.-The Gospel and Epistles that bear the name of John, and the Apocalypse, form a group of writings that stand very much by themselves and are still the subject of active discussion. The points in regard to them that would unite the greatest number of suffrages would seem to be these:-(i.) That, except 2 Peter, they are probably the latest of the New Testament writings, and that they form a group closely connected among themselves, though it is not clear how many hands have been at work in them. (ii.) That they arose not far from each other towards the end of the 1st century. The Apocalypse is plausibly dated by Reinach and Harnack near to the precise year 93, and the other writings may be referred to the reign of Domitian (81-96), though many critics would extend the limit to some two decades later. (iii.) The writings are to be connected, either more or less closely, with John of Ephesus, who was a prominent figure towards the end of the 1st century. On the other hand, the greatest differences would be:-(i.) As to the personal identity of this John-is he himself the beloved disciple"? Is he the apostle, the son of Zebedee or another? Can the writer of the Apocalypse be the same as the writer of the Gospel and Epistles? (ii.) What is the exact relation of John of Ephesus to the Gospel? Is he its author or only the authority behind it? (iii.) How far is the Gospel intended to be, and how far is it, in the strict sense historical? This last question is beginning to overshadow all the rest.


Whatever may be the ultimate decision on these intricate questions, the Fourth Gospel in any case played a very important part in the history of the Church and of Christian theology. It drew together and gathered up into itself the forces at work in the apostolic age; and, by reaching out a hand as it were (through the preface) towards Greek philosophy, it succeeded in so formulating the leading doctrines of Christianity as to make it more acceptable than it had as yet been to the Gentile world, and in securing for the Gospel a place in the main stream of European thought. It is probably true to say that no other primitive Christian writing has had so marked an effect on all later attempts to systematize the Christian creed.

The situation as to the Fourth Gospel has been altered in recent years by the statement attributed to Papias that the two sons of Zebedee (and not only one) were slain by the Jews-a statement which becomes more difficult to put aside as the evidence for it increases (fu. details in Burkitt, Gosp. Hist. pp. 252-255; E. Schwartz, Uber d. Tod d. Sohne Zebedaci, Berlin, 1904). But this statement does not affect the historical character of John of Ephesus, who is also expressly described by Papias as "a disciple of the Lord" (Eus. H.E. iii. 39. 4). On the other hand, the theory that the Gospel is a thorough-going allegory must be hard to maintain in view of the frequent appeals to "witness" which is several times defined as eye-witness (John i. 15, 32, iii. 11, xix. 35, xxi. 24; 1 John i. 1-3; cf. John v. 36, x. 25). This is borne out by Ignatius with his strong emphasis on the reality of the Gospel history (Eph. xx. 2; Trall. x.; Smyrn. i. 1, 2, ii., iii. 1-3, v. 2). If the writer of the Gospel were simply inventing his facts, they would be no proof of his thesis (John xx. 31). It is a paradox that he should be invoked to prove the reality of Jesus Christ" (as against Docetism), and yet that it should be contended at the same time that for him ideas, and not events, were the true realities."


5. Other Literature not included in the New Testament.-It must not be thought that the primitive Christian literature came abruptly to an end with the writings that are included in our present New Testament. On the contrary, all round these there was a broad fringe of writings more or less approximating to them in character. Most nearly on the lines of the New Testament are the so-called Apostolic (really Sub-Apostolic) Fathers (Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, Didache, Barnabas, the letters of Ignatius and the single letter of Polycarp, the Shepherd of Hermas, the homily commonly known as the Second Epistle of Clement). These are in most cases the writings of leading persons in the Church who took up and continued the tradition of the apostles. Barnabas and 2 Clement are more

eccentric, but the writers must have been persons of some note. Outside this group would come what are called the Apocryphal Gospels and Acts (Gospel according to Hebrews, according to Egyptians, of Peter, of Truth, of the Twelve [or Ebionite Gospel], the recently recovered so-called Logia; the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Protevangelium of James, the Gospel of Thomas, the Acts of Pilate, Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas; the Preaching of Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter). As the 2nd century wears on, we come to controversial or philosophical works by Agrippa, Castor, Quadratus, Aristides. With the middle of the century we reach a considerable writer in Justin Martyr. With him the twilight period which succeeds to the apostolic age is over, and we enter upon the main course of ecclesiastical history. At this point, therefore, our survey may end.

(B) The Process of Discrimination and Collection. 1. Discrimination. Throughout the apostolic age Christians were conscious of being carried forward in a great movement, the origin and motive-power of which they regarded as supernatural. It began on the Day of Pentecost, but continued in full tide almost to the end of the 1st century, and, even when it began to subside, it did so quite gradually. The moment of transition is clearly marked in the Didache, where the charismatic ministry of "apostles and prophets" is beginning to give place to permanent local officials of the Church, bishops, presbyters and deacons. The literature that we now call the New Testament held its place because it was regarded as a product of the palmy days of that great movement. It was considered to be the work of inspired men, of men whom the Holy, Spirit, at that time specially active in the Church, had chosen as its organs. We have seen how St Paul, for instance, fully believed that his own preaching had a force behind it which vindicated for it the claim to be "the word of God" (1 Thess. ii. 13); and it was inevitable that the other preachers and teachers should have had in different degrees something of the same consciousness. This consciousness receives perhaps its strongest expression in the Apocalypse. There is really no contradiction between this sense of a high calling and mission, with a special endowment corresponding to it, and the other fact that the writings from this age that have come down to us are all (except perhaps the Apocalypse, and even the Apocalypse, in some degree, as we see by the letters to the Seven Churches) strictly occasional and natural in their origin. The lives and actions of apostles and prophets were in their general tenor like those of other men; it was only that, for the particular purpose of their mission, they found themselves carried beyond and above themselves. St Paul himself knew when he was speaking by the Spirit, and when he was not; and we too can recognize to some extent when the afflatus comes upon him. It is fortunate that this should be so clearly marked in his epistles, because it enables us to argue by analogy to the other writers. When we come to historical books like the third Gospel and the Acts, we find the writer just pursuing the ordinary methods of history, and not claiming to do anything more (Luke i. 1-4). With the methods of history, these writers were naturally exposed to the risks and chances of error attendant upon those methods. There was not at first among the writers any idea that they were composing an infallible narrative. The freedom with which they used each other's work, and with which the early texts were transmitted, excludes this. But there was the idea that the whole movement of the Church to which they gave expression was in a special sense divine. And this belief was the fundamental principle that determined the marking off of the writings of the first, or apostolic, age from the rest.

At the same time it must not be supposed that a hard and fast line can be drawn beyond which the spiritual stimulus of this first age ceased. The writings of Clement of Rome (A.D. 97) and of Ignatius (c. A.D. 110) mark the transition. Ignatius, for instance, clearly distinguishes between his own position and that of the apostles: "I do not enjoin you, as Peter and Paul did. They were Apostles, I am a convict; they were free, but I am a slave to this very hour" (Rom. iv. 3). And yet, none the less, Ignatius is conscious of acting and speaking at times from a

kind of inspiration. "Even though certain persons desired to deceive me after the flesh, yet the spirit is not deceived, being from God; for it knoweth whence it cometh and where it goeth, and it searcheth out the hidden things. I cried out, when I was among you; I spake with a loud voice, with God's own voice, give ye heed to the bishops, and the presbyters and deacons ' (Philadelph. vii. 1). In like manner Clement, in two places (lix. 1, lxiii. 2), writes as though God were speaking through him. 2. Collection. Concurrently with the tendency to discriminate between the higher authority of certain writings and the lower authority of others, there was also a tendency to collect and group together writings of the first class. The earliest example of this tendency is in the case of the Pauline Epistles. Marcion, we know (c. A.D. 140), had a collection of ten out of thirteen, in the order, Gal., 1 and 2 Cor., Rom., 1 and 2 Thess., Laodic. (=Eph.), Col., Phil., Philem. We observe that the Pastorals are omitted. But it is highly probable that the collection went back a full generation before Marcion. The short Epistle of Polycarp contains references or allusions to no less than nine out of the thirteen epistles, including 2 Thess., Eph., 1 and 2 Tim. Ignatius, writing just before, gives clear indications of six, including 1 Tim. and Titus. The inference lies near at hand that both writers had access to the full collection of thirteen, not omitting the Pastorals. Polycarp (ad Phil. xiii. 2) shows how strong was the interest in collecting the writings of eminent men.


It of course did not follow that, because the letters of St Paul were collected, they were therefore regarded as sacred. The feeling towards them at first would be simply an instinct of respect and deference; but we have seen above that the essential conditions of the higher estimate were present all along, and were only waiting to be recognized as soon as reflective thought was turned upon them. This process appears to have been going on throughout the middle years of the 2nd century.

The famous passage of Irenaeus (Ado. Haer. iii. 15. 8) assumes the possession by the Church of four authoritative Gospels and no more. This is the general view of the Church of his time, except the little clique known as the Alogi who rejected the Fourth Gospel, and Marcion who only recognized St Luke. But here again, we may go back some way farther. Irenaeus writes (c. A.D. 185) as though the Four Gospels had held the field as far back as he can remember. About A.D. 170 Tatian, the disciple of Justin, composed out of these Gospels his Dislessaron. If Justin used any other Gospel, his use of it was very subordinate. Practically we may say that the estimate of the Four to which Tatian and Irenaeus testify must have been well established by the middle of the century, though sporadic instances may be found of the use of other Gospels that did not become canonical. The sifting out of these was proceeding steadily and gradually, and by the end of the century it may be regarded as complete.

We must make allowance for the existence of this margin, and for the blurring of the boundary-line that goes along with it. We cannot claim for the Church absolute sureness of judgment as to what falls on one side of the line and what on the other. It is possible, c.g., that a mistake has been made in the case of 2 Peter, which, however, is edifying enough. It is not less possible that writings like 1 Clem. and Epp. Ignat. are not inferior in real religious value to the Epistle of Jude. But, broadly speaking, the judgment of the early Church has been endorsed by that of after ages

Harnack raises an interesting question (Reden u. Aufrüm i 239 ff.), how it came about that Four Gospels were recognized, and not only one. There are many indications early in the 2nd century of a tendency towards the recognition of a single Gospel; for instance, there are the local Gospels according to Hebrews, according tinians preferred St John and so on: Tatian reduced the Four to Egyptians; Marcion had but one Gospel, St Luke, the ValesGospels to one by means of a Harmony, and it is possible that something of the kind may have existed before he did this. There is probably some truth in the view that the Church clung to its to reduce the number of its documents. But, over and above this. Four Gospels as a weapon against Gnosticism; it could not afford there was probably something in the circumstances in which the

canonical Gospels were composed, and in their early history, which | both heads. The list recognized four Gospels, Acts, thirteen gave them a special prestige in the eyes of the faithful. The story which Eusebius quotes from Clement of Alexandria (H.E. vi. 14) seems to point to something of the kind.

epistles of Paul, two epistles of John, Jude, Apocalypse of John and (as the text stands) of Peter; there is no mention of Hebrews or (apparently) of 3 John or Epistles of Peter, where it is possible-we cannot say more-that the silence as to 1 Peter is accidental; the Shepherd of Hermas on account of its date is admitted to private, but not public, reading; various writings associated with Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides and Montanus are condemned.

3. Influences at work.-The whole process of the formation of the New Testament was steady and gradual. The critical period, during which the conception grew up of the New Covenant with its sacred book by the side of the Old Covenant, which in its written embodiment we call the Old Testament, extends roughly over the 2nd century. By the last decades of that century a preliminary list of these new Sacred Books had been formed and placed by the side of the Old with substantially the same attributes. We must. briefly sketch the process by which this came about, tracing the causes which led to the result and indicating the manner in which they operated.

We have seen that the ultimate cause was the consciousness on the part of the Church that the first age of its own history was characterized by spiritual workings more intense than other times. This feeling had been instinctive, and it found expression in several ways, each one of them partial, when taken alone, but obtaining their full effect in combination. It should be understood that the goal towards which events were moving all the time was the equalizing of the New Testament with the Old Testament.

(a) Public Reading.-From the first the way in which the Epistles of Paul were brought to the knowledge of the churches to which they were addressed was by reading in the public assemblies for worship. This was done by the direction of the apostle himself (1 Thess. v. 27: Col. iv. 16).. At first any writing that was felt to be useful for edification was read in this way, especially if it had local associations (cf. Dionysius of Corinth, ap. Eus. H.E. iv. 23. 11). But, as worship became more thoroughly organized, it was invested with increasing solemnity; the freedom of choice was gradually restricted; and inasmuch as lections were regularly taken from the Old Testament, it was only natural that other lections read alongside of them should gradually be placed upon the same footing.

(b) Authority of Christ and the Apostles.-As the words of prophets and lawgivers had from the first carried their own authority with them under the Old Covenant, so from the first the words of Christ needed no commendation from without under the New. And what

applied to words of Christ soon came also to apply in their degree to words of the apostles. The only difference was that an authority at first instinctively assumed came to be consciously recognized and formally defined. There was also a natural tendency towards levelling up the different parts of books and groups of books. In other words, the somewhat vague sense of spiritual power and impressiveness hardened into the conception of sacred books united in a sacred volume.

(c) Controversy.-The process was accelerated by the demand for a standard or rule of faith and practice. At an early date in the 2nd century this demand was met by the composition of the oldest form of what we call the Apostles' Creed. But the Creed was but the condensed essence of the New Testament scriptures, and behind it there lay an appeal to these scriptures, which was especially necessary where (as in the case of the Valentinian Gnostics) the dissident bodies professed to accept the common belief of Christians. In its conflict with Gnostics, Marcionites and Montanists the Church was led to insist more and more upon its Bible, its own Bible, just as in its older controversy with the Jews it had to insist on the Bible which it inherited from them. This was a yet further cause of the equating of the two parts of the sacred volume, which went on with an imperceptible crescendo through the first three quarters of the 2nd century, and by the last quarter was fairly complete.

(1) Provisional Canon of New Testament (end of 2nd century). -By the last quarter of the 2nd century the conception of a Christian Bible in two parts, Old Testament and New Testament, may be said to be definitely established. Already at the beginning of this period Melito had drawn up a list of the twenty-two Books of the Old Covenant, i.e. of the documents to which the Old Covenant made its appeal. It was a very short step to the ompiling of a similar list for the New Covenant, which by another ery short step becomes the New Testament, by the side of the ld Testament. It is therefore not surprising, though a piece of reat good fortune, that there should be still extant a list of the ew Testament books that may be roughly dated from the end the century. This list published by Muratori in 1740, and lled after him "the Muratorian Fragment on the Canon," is mmonly believed to be of Roman origin and to be a transtion from the Greek, though there are a few dissentients on

There are many interesting points about this list, which still shows discussions about the Gospels, both in disparagement of the Synoptics considerable freshness of judgment. (i.) There are traces of earlier as compared with St John, and in criticism of the latter as differing from the former. (ii.) There is a healthy tendency to lay stress on the historical value of narratives which proceed from eye-witnesses. Spirit. (iv.) The writer is concerned to point out that letters ad(iii.) An over-ruling and uniting influence is ascribed to the Holy dressed to a single church and even to an individual may yet have a wider use for the Church as a whole. (v.) The sense is not yet lost that the appeal of the Old Testament is as coming from men of prophetic gifts, and that of the New Testament as coming from apostles. (vi.) It is in accordance with this that a time limit is placed upon the books included in the New Testament. (vii.) Christians are to be on their guard against writings put forth in the interest of heretical sects.

When the data of Fragm. Murat. are compared with those supplied by the writers of the last quarter of the 2nd and first of the 3rd centuries (Tatian, Theoph. Ant., Iren., Clem. Alex., Tert., Hippol.), it is seen that there is a fixed nucleus of writings that is acknowledged, with one exception, over all parts of the Christian world. The exception is the Syriac-speaking Church of Edessa and Mesopotamia. This Church at first acknowledged only the Gospel (in the form of Tatian's Diatessaron), Acts and the Epistles of Paul. These seem to have been the only books translated immediately upon the foundation of the Edessan Church, though an edition of the separate Gospels must have churches the four Gospels, Acts and Epistles of Paul are fixed, followed either before or very soon afterwards. In all other with the addition in nearly all of 1 Peter, 1 John. The Apocalypse was generally accepted in the West. Hebrews and James were largely accepted in the East.

In the 3rd century the conspicuous figure is Origen (ob. 253), whose principal service was, through the vast range of his knowledge, his travels and his respect for tradition wherever he found it, to keep open the wider limits of the Canon. There is not one of our present books that he does not show himself inclined to accept, though he notes the doubts in regard to 2 Peter and 2 and 3 John. Later in the century Dionysius of Alexandria applies some acute criticism to justify the Alexandrian dislike of the Apocalypse.

(8) The Final Canon (4th century).-Early in the 4th century Eusebius, as a historian reviews the situation (H.E. iii. 25. 1). He makes three classes; the first, including the Gospels, Acts, Epistles of Paul, 1 Peter, 1 John, is acknowledged; to these, if one likes, one may add the Apocalypse. The second class is questioned, but accepted by the majority; viz. James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John. The third class, of works to be decidedly rejected, contains the Acts of Paul, Hermas, Apocalypse of Peter, Barnabas, Didache; to these some would add Apoc. of John, and others Ev. sec. Hebr. About the same time another line of tradition is represented by Lucian and the school of Antioch. The vernacular Church of Syria represented yet a third. In Egypt the uncertainty and laxity of usage was still greater. This state of things the great Athanasius set himself to correct, and he did so by laying down a list identical with our New Testament as we have it now. It was very largely the influence of Athanasius that finally turned the scale. He was peculiarly qualified for exercising this influence, as his long exile in the West made him familiar with Western usage, while he was also able to bring to the West the usage that he was trying to establish in the East. His efforts would be helped by Westerns, like Hilary and Lucifer, who were exiled to the East. The triumph of the Athanasian Canon, indeed, went along with the triumph of Nicene Christianity. And while the movement

received its impulse from Athanasius, the power by which it was carried through and established was largely that of his powerful ally, the Church of Rome.

The final victory was no doubt a little delayed. Asia Minor and Syria were for most of the 4th century divided between the following of Eusebius (Cyril of Jerusalem in A.D. 348, Gregory of Nazianzus, the list of Apost. Can. 85, that attached to Can. 59 of the Council of Laodicea, c. A.D. 363) and the school of Antioch. The leading members of that school adopted 3 Epp. Cath. (James, 1 Peter, 1 John), Theod. Mops. omitting this group altogether, and the whole school omitting Apoc. Amphilochius of Iconium (c. 380) gives the two lists, Eusebian and Antiochene, as alternatives. The Eusebian list only wanted the complete admission of the Apocalypse to be identical with the Athanasian; and Athanasius had one stalwart supporter in Epiphanius (ob, 403).

The original Syriac list, as we have seen, had neither Epp. Cath. nor Apoc. The Peshito version, in regard to which Professor Burkitt's view is now pretty generally accepted, that it was the work of Rabbula, bishop of Edessa, 411-433, added the 3 Epp. Cath. The remaining 4 Epp. Cath. and Apoc. were supplied in the Philoxenian version of 508, and retained in the Harklean revision of 616. But both these were Monophysite and of limited use, and the Nestorians still went on using the Peshito.

Meantime, in the West, an important Synod was held by Damasus at Rome in 382 which, under the dominant influence of Jerome and the Athanasian tradition, drew up a list corresponding to the present Canon. This was ratified by Pope Gelasius (492-496), and independently confirmed for the province of Africa by a series of Synods held at Hippo Regius in 393, and at Carthage in 397 and 419, under the lead of Augustine. The formal completion of the whole process in East and West was reserved for the Quinisextine Council (Council in Trullo) of 692. But even after that date irregularities occur from time to time, especially in the East.

In the fixing of the Canon, as in the fixing of doctrine, the decisive influence proceeded from the bishops and the theologians of the period 325-450. But behind these was the practice of the greater churches; and behind that again was not only the lead of a few distinguished individuals, but the instinctive judgment of the main body of the faithful. It was really this instinct that told in the end more than any process of quasi-scientific criticism. And it was well that it should be so, because the methods of criticism are apt to be, and certainly would have been when the Canon was formed, both faulty and inadequate, whereas instinct brings into play the religious sense as a whole; with spirit speaking to spirit rests the last word. Even this is not infallible; and it cannot be claimed that the Canon of the Christian Sacred Books is infallible. But experience has shown that the mistakes, so far as there have been mistakes, are unimportant; and in practice even these are rectified by the natural gravitation of the mind of man to that which it finds most nourishing and most elevating.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.-The separate articles on the various books of the New Testament may be consulted for detailed bibliographies. The object of the above sketch has been to embrace in constructive outline the ground usually covered analytically and on a far larger scale by Introductions to the New Testament, and by Histories of the New Testament Canon. In English there is a standard work of the latter class in Westcott's General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (first published in 1855, important revision and additions in 4th ed. 1874, 7th ed. 1896), with valuable appendix of documents at the end. There was also a useful collection of texts by Prof. Charteris of Edinburgh, Canonicity (1880), based on Kirchhofer, Quellensammlung (1844), but with improvements. The leading

documents are to be had in the handy and reliable Kleine Texte (ed. Lietzmann, from 1902). On Introduction the ablest older English work was Salmon, Historical Introduction to the Study of N.T. (1st ed. 1885, 5th ed. 1891); but,

New Testaments Gospels

Acts and Epistles Acts and Catholic Epp. Pauline Epp. Apocalypse



Century IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. |XVIf.



10 26 10





although still possessing value as argument, this has been more de tinctly left behind by the progress of recent years. England has made many weighty contributions both to Introduction and Canon, especially Lightfoot, Essays on Supernatural Religion (collected in 1889); editions of Books of the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers; Westcott, editions; Hort, especially Romans and others. The Oxford Society of Historical Theology put out a useful Ephesians (posthumous, 1895); Swete, editions; Knowling and New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers in 1905, and Prof. Stanton of Cambridge, The Gospels as Historical Documents (part i. in 1993). Prof. Burkitt's Gospel History and its Transmission appeared in 1906. For introductory matter the student will do well to consult Encyclopaedia Biblica (ed. Cheyne and Black, 4 vols., 1899-1903). the Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Hastings, 5 vols., 1898-1904) and Dr Hastings and his contributors belong more to the right wing of criticism, and Dr Cheyne and his to the left. The systematic Intro duction is a characteristic production of Germany and has done excellent service in its day, though there are signs that the analytic method hitherto mainly practised is beginning to give place to something more synthetic or constructive. The pioneer work in this latter direction is Weizsäcker's skilful and artistic Apostolisches Zeitalter (1st ed. 1886, 3rd ed. 1901; Eng. trans. 1894-1895); somewhat similar on a smaller scale is von Soden, History of Early Christian Literature (trans., 1906). Special mention should be made of Wellhausen on the Synoptic Gospels (1903-1905), and Harne Beiträge z. Einleitung in d. N.T. (part i. 1906, part ii. 1907). The most important recent works on Introduction and Canon have been (1st ed. 1886, 3rd ed. 1897); a series of works by Th. Zahn, those of H. J. Holtzmann (1st ed. 1885, 3rd ed. 1902); B. Weiss almost colossal in scale and exhaustive in detail, embracing Gesch. d. neut. Kanons (2 vols., 1888-1892, third to follow), Forschungen z. Gesch. d. neut. Kan. (7 parts, 1881-1907), Einleitung (2 vols., 18971899), Grundriss d. Gesch. d. neut. Kan. (1st ed. 1901, 2nd ed. 1904); A. Jülicher, Einleitung (1st and 2nd ed. 1894, 5th and 6th ed. 1906; Eng. trans. by Miss Janet Ward, 1904). Zahn and Julicher may be said to supplement and correct each other, as they write from very different points of view, and on Jülicher's side there is no lack of criticism of his great opponent. Zahn's series is mongmental in its way, and his Grundriss is very handy and full of closely packed and (in statements of facts) trustworthy matter. Julicher's work is also highly practical, very complete and well proportioned in scale, and up to a certain point its matter is also excellent. The History of the Canon, by the Egyptologist Joh. Leipoldt (Leiprig, 1907), may also be warmly recommended; it is clear and methodical, and does not make the common mistake of assigning too much to secondary causes; the author does not forget that he is dealing with a sacred book, and that he has to show why it was had sacred. (W. SA.)



2. Texts and Versions.

The apparatus criticus of the New Testament consists, from one point of view, entirely of MSS.; but these MSS. may be divided into three groups: (A) Greek MSS., which in practice are known as "The MSS," (B) MSS. of versions in other languages representing translations from the Greek, (C) MSS. of other writings whether in Greek or other languages which contain quotations from the New Testament.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

This table says nothing about style of writing or material, but it may be taken as a general rule that MSS. earlier than the 13th century are on vellum and later than the 14th century are on paper, and that MSS. earlier than the 9th century are uncial and later than the 10th are minuscule. There are said to be 129 uncial MSS. of the New Testament (Kenyon, Textual Criticism of the New Testament, p. 45), but it is not easy to be quite accurate on the point.

Besides the MSS. mentioned in the table above, there are 281 MSS. containing commentaries on the Gospels, 169 on Acts and Epistles, 66 on the Apocalypse, 1072 lectionaries of the Gospels and 287 of Acts and Epistles, making a grand total of 3698 MSS. It must be remembered that the dating of the MSS., especially of minuscules, is by no means certain: Greek Palaeography is a difficult subject, and not all the MSS. have been investigated by competent palaeographers.

by passing on to the thousands and using 2000-2999 for the 12th century, 3000-3999 for the 13th and so on. In each case e is prefixed whenever there is any chance of ambiguity. It is claimed that this system gives the maximum of information about a MS., and that it leaves room for the addition of any number of MSS. which are likely to be discovered. At present it has not seriously threatened the hold of Gregory's notation on the critical world, but it will probably have to be adopted, at least to a large extent, when von Soden's text is published.

The notation of this mass of MSS. is very complicated. There are at present two main systems: (1) Since the time of Wetstein it has been customary to employ capital letters, at first of the Latin and latterly also of the Greek and Hebrew alphabets, to designate the uncials, and Arabic figures to designate the minuscules. Of this system there are two chief representatives, Gregory and Scrivener. These agree in the main, but differ for the more recently discovered minuscules. Gregory's notation is more generally used, and Scrivener's, though still followed by a few English scholars, is likely to become obsolete. This method of notation has various disadvantages. There are not enough letters to cover the uncials, the same letter has to serve for various fragments which are quite unconnected except by the accident of simultaneous discovery, and no information is given about the MS. referred to: (2) To remedy these drawbacks an entirely new system was introduced in 1902 by von Soden in his Die Schriften des neuen Testaments, Bd. 1, Abt. 1, pp. 33-40. He abandons the practice of making a distinction between uncial and minuscule, on the ground that for textual criticism the style of writing is less important than the date and contents of a MS. To indicate these he divided MSS. into three classes. (1) New Testaments (the Apocalypse being not regarded as a necessary part), (2) Gospels, and (3) Acts, Epistles and Apocalypse (the latter again being loosely regarded). These three classes he distinguished as 8( = diałýên), e (=evayyédɩov) and a (= áñóσTodos). To these letters he attaches numbers arranged on a principle showing the century to which the MS. belongs and defining its Contents more precisely. The number is determined thus:MSS. of the 8 and a classes from the earliest period to the 9th century inclusive are numbered 1 to 49; those of the roth entury 50 to 99; for the later centuries numbers of three figures re used, and the choice is made so that the figure in the hundreds' lace indicates the century, 1 meaning 11th century, 2 meaning 2th century, and so on; to all these numbers the appropriate tter, if it be d or a, must be always prefixed, but if it be e, only hen there is any chance of ambiguity. In & MSS. a distinction made for those of the 11th and subsequent centuries by serving 1 to 49 in each hundred for MSS. containing the Docalypse, 50 to 99 for those which omit it. Similarly, in a SS. a distinction is made according to their contents; the ree-figure numbers are reserved for MSS. which contain Acts, tholic Epistles and Pauline Epistles with or without the ocalypse, the presence or absence of which is indicated as in 8 MSS.; but when a MS. consists of only one part a I prefixed, thus making a four-figure number, and the precise t is indicated by the two last of the four figures; 00-19 means Is and Catholic Epistles, 20-69 means Pauline Epistles and 99 means Apocalypse. In the case of e MSS. 1-99 is used for earliest MSS. up to the 9th century, and as this is insufficient, available numbers are increased by prefixing a o, and koning a second hundred from 01 to 099; 1000 to 1099 are S. of the 10th century; 100 to 199 are MSS. of the 11th cury, 200-299 of the 12th century, and so on; as this is fficient, the range of numbers is increased by prefixing a 1, so obtaining another hundred, e.g. 1100 to 1199, and in the and subsequent centuries, where even this is not enough,


[The full details of this subject can be found in E. Miller's edition of Scrivener's Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (George Bell, 1894); C. R. Gregory's Prolegomena to Tischendorf's Novum Testamentum Graece, Ed. VIII. critica major (Leipzig, 1894); C. R. Gregory's Textkritik (Leipzig, 1900); H. von Soden's Die. Schriften des neuen Testaments (Berlin, Band i., 1902-1907); F. G. Kenyon's Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London, 1901), especially valuable for a clear account of the Papyri fragments.]

It is neither possible nor desirable to give any description of most of these MSS., but the following are, critically, the most important.

UNCIALS.-Codex Vaticanus (Vat. Gr. 1209), Greg. B, v. Soden 81; an uncial MS. of the 4th century. It is written in three columns and has forty-two lines to the column. It originally Codex contained the whole Bible, but in the New Testament Vaticanus. Heb. ix. 14, xiii. 25, I and 2 Tim., Tit., Philemon, Apoc., are now missing. It was written by three scribes of whom the writer of the New Testament was identified by Tischendorf as the scribe D of (cod. Sinaiticus). The text has been corrected by two scribes, one (the coprns) contemporary with the original writer, the other belonging to the 10th or 11th century. The latter probably also text, though some critics think that this was done by a monk of re-inked the whole of the MS. and introduced a few changes in the the 15th century who supplied the text of the lacuna in Heb. and of the Apocalypse from a MS. belonging to Bessarion. The text is the best example of the so-called Neutral Text, except in the Pauline "Western " element. How this epistles, where it has a strong MS. came to be in the Vatican is not known. It first appears in the catalogue of 1481 (Bibl. Vat. MS. Lat. 3952 f. 50), and is not in the catalogue of 1475, as is often erroneously stated on the authority of Vercellone. It was, therefore, probably acquired between the years 1475 and 1481. The problem of its earlier history is so entangled with the similar questions raised by that the two cannot well be discussed separately. [Phototypic editions have been issued in Rome in 1889-1890 and in 1905.]

Codex Sinaiticus (St Petersburg, Imperial library), Greg. ", von Soden 82; an uncial MS. of the 4th century. in 1844 by C. Tischendorf (q.v.) in the monastery of It was found St Catherine on Mt. Sinai, and finally acquired by the Sinaiti


tsar in 1869. It is written on thin vellum in four columns of forty-eight lines each, to a page. It contained originally the it also contains the Ep. of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas, whole Bible, and the New Testament is still complete. At the end unfortunately incomplete, and there was probably originally some other document between these two. The text was written, according to Tischendorf, by four scribes, of whom he identified one as also ally in the 6th century, by a scribe known as and in the 7th the scribe of cod. Vaticanus. It was corrected many times, especiIt has, in the main, a Neutral text, less mixed in the Epistles than that of B, but not so pure in the Gospels. The corrections of N are important, as they are based (according to a note been corrected by Pamphilus, the disciple of Origen, friend of by that scribe, at the end of Esther) on an early copy which had Eusebius and founder of a library at Caesarea.

[The text of was published, in Tischendorf's Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus (vol. iv.,1862), and separately in his Novum Testamentum Sinaiticum (1863); in 1909 it was published in collotype by the Clarendon Press, Oxford. The relations of to Pamphilus are studied by Bousset in "Textkritische Studien zum N.T." (in Texte u. Untersuchungen, xi. 4).]

If Tischendorf was right in identifying the scribe of B with that of part of x, it is obvious that these MSS. probably come from the same place. He was probably wrong, but there are some indications of relationship to justify the same view. The two most probable places seem to be Caesarea and Alexandria. The case for Caesarea is that the colophon written by at the end of Esther, and also of Ezra, shows that was then in the library of Caesarea, and that a chapter division in Acts found both in and B can also be traced to the same library. This is a fairly strong case, but it falls short of demonstration because it cannot be shown that the MS. corrected by Pamphilus was still at Caesarea when it was used by *, and because it is not certain either that the chapter divisions in Acts were added by the original scribes, or that and B were at that time in their original home, or that the chapter divisions were necessarily only to be found at Caesarea. The case for Alexandria depends partly on the orthography of B, which resembles

.°א by

« PreviousContinue »