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accounts as ours should have been written in the first ten years after the destruction of Jerusalem. When it had fallen, and the prospect of a further continuation of the life of this world opened upon Christians, they found themselves thrown more than ever upon the person and life of Christ." We apprehend that those who hold a much later origin of the Gospels, would make very light of this argument, and ask how it appeared that the contemporary Christians saw the destruction of Jerusalem in the same point of view in which subsequent history places it to us, namely, as the commencement of a new era; and why Matthew, Mark and Luke, must all have rushed into authorship in the first ten years after that event, to meet the wants which it created. For ourselves, we ask, on the other hand, what is the proof or reasonable presumption that no desire for an authentic narrative of our Lord's life existed among his disciples before the destruction of Jerusalem, and why may not our three first Gospels have been written to satisfy that desire ? Has Dr. Bunsen forgotten the proem to Luke—“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand,” &c.-or does he suppose that the wonderful fertility of one troubled decennium produced all these, in addition to the canonical Gospels ? But if, before the fall of Jerusalem, the affection and curiosity of Christians had led them to desire memorials of their Lord's ministry, and inaccurate works had been produced to gratify these feelings, why should not an apostle, or the companion of an apostle, have stepped forth then to supply an authentic Gospel? The restriction to a period of ten years is not only quite arbitrary, but in itself very improbable. A singular reason is indeed assigned why the three first Gospels* could not have been written before A. D. 65: “ Though eye-witnesses might have ventured to give an unchronological account of events they had seen, they could not propose an arrangement seemingly chronological, but in reality irreconcilable with the chronological order. Such, however, is the relation which the first Gospel, as well as the two others, and the chronological groundwork common to them all, bear to that of St. John, the undoubted author of the fourth.” This is another fine limitation of time, the grounds of which we confess ourselves unable to perceive. We will not enter here into the question of the discrepant chronology of John's Gospel and that of the other evangelists, though, if compelled to consider them as irreconcilable, we should choose to adhere to the older authority in preference to the later.t But, granting that John is right and the others wrong, why was it possible for them to compose and publish a narrative, false in its chronology, after the year 70, but impossible before 65? Had all the eye-witnesses who could have convicted them of their error died off in the interval, or perished in the destruction of Jerusalem? One supposition contradicts the laws of nature, and the other the testimony of history, which informs us that few Christians suffered by that event. Dr. Bunsen explains the coincidences of the synoptical Gospels (I. p. 37), by the supposition of a body of oral catechetical instruction in the life of our Saviour, which has served as the basis of them all. We think the supposition (which he does not advance as original) wholly inadequate to explain these coincidences; they indicate the existence of a written document. But waving this question, since there must have been some time at which the oral tradition was reduced to writing, what fixes that time to the narrow limits within which Dr. Bunsen would confine it? The poems of Homer, or the national poetry of the Calmucks, may have been transmitted orally for many generations, for want of pen and ink; but the disciples, whether Jews or Gentiles, were familiar with the art of writing, and had its materials ready at hand; and why should they have trusted to memory, when they could so easily put their traditions of their Master's sayings and doings in the safety of a written record ?
* Vol. I. p. 35. The remark is applied immediately to the hypothesis of a protevangelium ; but it bears just as strongly on our three first Gospels, and is applied by the author to them.
+ St. Luke must be held to have boasted without cause when he speaks of himself as tapakolov.Inkus ävw.dev mãow árpißoc (i.3), if he has made a mistake of two years in the duration of our Lord's ministry.
Of St. John and the authorship of his various works, Dr. Bunsen entertains some rather singular opinions. His Gospel, he says, was certainly written in the last decennium of the first century and at Ephesus, and published by the elders of the church in that city. “As in the life and writings of Paul, so in those of St. John, we clearly discern two periods. In the Apocalypse (which Bunsen supposes to have been written A.D. 68, after the death of Nero) we see his ardent mind subject to prophetic ecstasies; in his Gospel and Epistle we behold the calm teacher, the disciple of love. This difference is independent of another circumstance which may help to explain the contrast as to language. I mean the difference between a Jewish secretary who may have acted the part of an amanuensis in committing the vision to writing, and whose style would naturally be hebraizing and barbarous, and the men of Asia Minor, the Bishops and Elders of the Greek cities, who edited his Gospel in good Hellenistic Greek” (I. 50). We shall not inquire into the psychological probability of the change supposed to be wrought in the evangelist; among other reasons, because we see no more cause to conclude that the author of the Apocalypse was subject to prophetic ecstasies, than that the author of the Pilgrim's Progress was a great dreamer. The vision in the one case, the dream in the other, is only the vesture of the thought. But the notion that the difference in style between the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse is owing to an amanuensis, is one of the most extraordinary that we have met with. We have hitherto considered it as the duty of an amanuensis to write to his master's dictation. We should have been surprised if in the controversy respecting the genuineness of certain orations of Cicero, it had been alleged that the difference in style between the oration pro Milone and that pro Domo sua was owing to Cicero's employing two different amanuenses. Dr. Bunsen's supposition represents the evangelist to us in the helpless condition of a low Italian of the present day, who, unable to indite a letter, betakes himself to the scrivano, by whom his purposes are endowed with words, according to the measure of his own literary ability. We are not sure that we understand the part assigned to the Bishops and Elders; “ they edited John's Gospel in good Hellenistic Greek.” Does this mean that St. John wrote it in bad Greek, and that they put it into good Greek? How can we be sure of the incorruptness of a document which has passed through such a process, or how reconcile such an operation with their solemn words, “ This is the disciple which wrote these things”? If all that is meant is that St. John wrote good Hellenistic Greek, and they edited his Gospel as he left it, there is an unhappy ambiguity in our author's phrase.
Before leaving the subject of the canon and text of the New Testament, we may observe, that Dr. Bunsen has fallen under the high displeasure of Dr. Wordsworth, for a very innocent and just remark respecting its interpolations. He had said, “ that the Sacred Text has been adulterated with dishonest or untenable readings and interpretations," and that “supposititious words and verses have been foisted into them.” On this Dr. Wordsworth thus comments :
“By 'verses foisted in for a particular purpose, and on which certain definitions of the ancient Church have been founded,' it is probable that M. Bunsen means 1 John v. 7. Did M. Bunsen ever read Bentley's Letter on that subject? (Correspondence, II. 529). His general insinuation of supposititious verses and dishonest readings, and consequently of uncertainty in the Sacred Text, is a repetition of the charge made by Antony Collins, in another form, against the integrity of the Gospels as altered, “tanquam ab idiotis Evangelistis composita,' which was refuted so triumphantly by the same writer, Dr. Bentley, On Free-thinking,' Cambr., 1743, p. 112."
We think we can answer for Dr. Bunsen, that when he spoke of supposititious verses and dishonest readings, he referred not only to 1 John v. 7, but to the substitution of God for who in 1 Tim. iii. 16, and of God for Lord in Acts xx. 28; nor can there be any reasonable doubt that these changes were dishonestly made, as they are now dishonestly retained, to make Scripture speak the language of ecclesiastical definitions. Dr. Wordsworth does not venture to defend the genuineness of 1 John v. 7, and contents himself with asking if Bunsen has read a certain
letter of Bentley's. In that letter, written with great reserve, Bentley declines to say whether he shall or shall not insert the text in his edition, but comforts his alarmed correspondent with the assurance that, whatever becomes of the text, the doctrine is safe. It would have been strange if the Master of Trinity and Prebendary of Worcester had avowed a different opinion. But although Bentley's edition never appeared, Dr. Wordsworth, an old Trinity man, must surely have read Porson's Letters, and have seen there that Bentley delivered a public lecture to prove the verse spurious.* We hope, too, that he has read a letter addressed to Bentley in the page following that which he quotes, in which another correspondent, hearing that he was engaged on a critical edition of the New Testament, conjures him for the honour of orthodoxy to omit the spurious verse. + “ The blessed Trinity require it at your hands in vindication of their honour and of the truth of those sacred oracles they have graciously given, as the sole rule of doctrine for men, and which ought to be freed from a spurious interlineation foisted therein. Religion demands it, which has already but too much suffered, through such indirect, villanous and pernicious practices; all learned men expect it, knowing your great abilities in critical learning; lastly, the souls of millions of mankind implore it from you, who have suffered and are daily suffering in doctrines relating to their eternal salvation.” Without regarding the consequences in so very serious a light as this writer, we must say that the retention of this text in the Authorized Version is a flagrant inconsistency in the Heads of a Church whose watchword (against the Catholics) is, “ The Scriptures, the whole Scriptures, and nothing but the Scriptures.” Dr. Wordsworth's insinuation in the close of the note which we have quoted, that Bunsen has revived the old cavil of Collins, respecting the corruption of the text of the New Testament, is without the smallest foundation, a mere effusion of theological malice.
Dr. Bunsen had noticed how far short of Athanasian orthodoxy the doctrine of Hippolytus respecting the nature of Christ falls, and had called the statement of Christianity with which he winds up his tenth book his “ Confession of Faith.”! To this title Dr. Wordsworth (171) objects, that Hippolytus is addressing Heathens, and that we must not expect to find there an exposition of Christian doctrine; and he quotes from a Homily, supposed to be by Hippolytus, a fuller statement, amounting
* Porson's Letters to Travis, Pref. p. viii.
† Bentley's Corresp., II. p. 632. We doubt whether J. Shaw, who signs this letter, was not a heretic in disguise. Can any of our readers give information about him, if the name represent a real person, or about the pamphlet which he quotes : “A full Inquiry into the original Authority of the Text, 1 John v. 7, &c. Printed for J. Baker, at the Black Boy, in Paternoster Row, 1715, and sold by J. Darby, in Bartholomew Close"?
| Hippolytus concludes his statement by saying, Touávin ý kaš' nuās aiotic. after all to nothing more than that every one who was baptized confessed Christ to be God. He again supplies the deficiency of his own supplement, by another Homily supposed to be by Hippolytus, in which he speaks of a Trinity. Now it is hardly fair to tax Bunsen with misrepresentation, because in speaking of Hippolytus’ theology as it appears in the newly-recovered treatise, he had not taken into account two other works of questionable genuineness. According to Dr. Wordsworth, the address to the Heathens must be considered as an exoteric statement of Christian doctrine, in which the deeper mysteries of faith are not to be expected. We think we know what judgment he would pass on a Jesuit missionary who should practise such reserve in publishing his Gospel. Hippolytus professes the object of his summary to be, “that heathens and those who have adopted heresies inay recognize the power of truth and be saved by worthy faith in God.” If any heathen or heretic, taking him at his word, embraced Christianity or orthodoxy according to his statement, and found too late that it was deficient in some doctrines, the belief of which was essential to salvation, the saint must have incurred an awful responsibility.
In one point Dr. Bunsen has been corrected by his critic. He had rendered the words of Hippolytus, in speaking of the Logos, TOŪTOV povov čĘ övrwv éyévva, "him alone of all things he begat," whereas the context shews that it should be,“ him alone he begat out of things which existed,” the Father being tò öv, the only real existence, and all the elements being produced tx o'k övrwv. Nor can we be surprised that he declines to accept a conjecture of Bunsen's on another passage. Hippolytus says, Xploròs yap έστιν και κατά πάντων θεός, ός την αμαρτίαν εξ ανθρώπων αποπλύνειν προσέταξε. Bunsen omits the ός after θεός, and reads και ο κ. πθ. #posérače, alleging that he could not have said that Christ was the Father, as the words in the present text imply, and that Christ nowhere orders men to wash off sins. To the first objection Dr. Wordsworth replies, “Why should he not call Christ God over all, when in many other places he has called him God, and St. Paul (Rom. ix. 5) has called him God over (éni) all ?" He cannot be ignorant, however, that there is a wide difference between the two phrases, “God” and “God over all;" and if he had read Wetstein's note on this passage, he would have seen how many of the Fathers deny that Christ is called “God over all," Ignatius even declaring that those who call him so are “ servants of Satan.” In a case of pure philological criticism, we think there could be no doubt that they either read or pointed this passage differently. Among those who denied this title to Christ is Hippolytus himself (see Wetstein). A more candid reason, therefore, might have been found for Bunsen's conjecture than a desire "to corrupt a testimony of Hippolytus to the deity of Christ." Equally uncandid is the imputation of