Imatges de pÓgina
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stant companion. From him therefore the incidents might be derived, where the writer himself was not present. I shall before the end of this section enquire how far the appearances warrant our supposing that his testimony has furnished such portions.

2. I proceed to enquire into the probable sources of the first part of our history. And here something will depend on our answer to another question, When is it probable that Luke was engaged in drawing up the book? I shall endeavour to support in another section my firm conviction that its publication took place at the end of the two years mentioned in ch. xxviii. 30, 31. It may be convenient for me at present to assume that to have been the case, but my argument does not altogether depend on that assumption. I proceed on the hardly deniable inference, that of the last voyage and shipwreck a regular journal was kept by Luke-probably set down during the winter months at Malta. It must then be evident, that at this time the purpose of writing a second treatise was ripened in his mind. But how long had this purpose been in his mind? Am I altogether beside the mark in supposing, that it was with this purpose among others that he became one of Paul's company on the return to Asia in ch. xx. 4, 5? Whether (see Introduction to Luke, § iv. 2, 3) the Gospel was written for the most part during the interval between Luke being left at Philippi in ch. xvi. and his being taken up at the same place in ch. xx., or afterwards in Palestine,-on either supposition it is not improbable that the writing of the Acts was at this time already designed, either as a sequel to the Gospel already finished, or simultaneously with the Gospel, as its future sequel.

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3. It is very possible that the design may have grown under his hands, or more properly speaking have been by little and little suggested by the direction of the Spirit of God. He may have intended, on leaving Philippi with Paul (ch. xx. 4, 5), only to draw up a memoir of his own travels in company with that Apostle, to serve as a record of his acts and sayings in founding the churches in Europe and Asia. However this may have been, we find him recording minutely every circumstance of this voyage, which I take to have been the first written portion of the book. At any time during that or subsequent travels, or during the two years at Rome, he may have filled in those parts of the narrative which occurred during his absence from Paul,-by the oral dictation of the Apostle.

4. Let us now suppose St Paul already in custody at Cæsarea. The narrative has been brought down to that time. The circumstances of his apprehension,-his defence before the Jews,-their conspiracy,-his rescue from them and transmission to Felix,-all this has been duly and minutely recorded, even the letter of Claudius Lysias having been obtained, probably by acquaintance with some one about Felix. An

intention similar to that announced in the words "having traced down all things accurately from the beginning" (Luke i. 3), is here evidently shewn.

5. But now Providence interposes, and lays aside the great Apostle for two years. During all this time Luke appears to have been not far from his neighbourhood, watching the turn of events, ready to accompany him to Rome, according to the divine announcement of ch. xxiii. 11. But "they also serve, who only stand and wait." What so natural, as that he should avail himself of this important interval to obtain, from Cæsarea and Jerusalem, and perhaps from other parts of Palestine, information by which he might complete his hitherto fragmentary notices? That accurate following up of every thing, or rather tracing down of every thing from its source,-what time so appropriate for it as this, when among the brethren in Judæa he might find many eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, and might avail himself of the memoirs, which of all places would be most likely to abound there where the events themselves had happened? During this interval therefore I suppose Luke to have been employed in collecting materials, perhaps for his Gospel, but certainly for the first part of the Acts.

6. His main source of information would be the church at Jerusalem. There, from James, or from some apostolic men who had been on the spot from the first, he would learn the second and fuller account of the Ascension, the weighty events of the day of Pentecost, the following acts and discourses. In the fulness of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the apostles and elders at this time, which raised them above ordinary men in power of spirit and utterance, it would be merely an inference from analogy, that their remembrance of the words uttered at remarkable crises of the apostolic history should be something surpassing mere human recollection: that these hallowed words of the Spirit's own prompting should have abode with the church for its comfort and instruction, and finally have been committed to writing for all subsequent ages.

7. But if analogy would from previous considerations suggest this, the phænomena of our history confirm it. The references (which have been on that account a singularly interesting labour) will shew to the attentive student in those speeches, quite enough peculiarities to identify them as the sentiments and diction of the great Apostle of the circumcision, while at the same time there is enough of Luke's own style and expression to shew that the whole material has been carefully worked over and græcized by his hand.

8. It has been much disputed whether Luke used written documents in constructing this part of the Acts. It may have been so. Detailed memoirs of some of the most important events may have been drawn up. If so, ch. ii. would in all probability be such a memoir. The letters,

ch. xv. 23-29 (xxiii. 26—30), must have been of this kind: some of the discourses, as that of Peter ch. xi. 5-17, containing expressions. unknown to Luke's style: more or less, the other speeches of Peter, containing many striking points of similarity to (both) his Epistles,see reff. At the same time, from the similarity of ending of the earlier sections (compare ch. ii. 46, 47; iv. 32 ff.; v. 42; ix. 31; xii. 24), from the occurrence of words and phrases peculiar to Luke in the midst of such speeches as those noted above, the inference must be (as in the last paragraph) that such documents were not adopted until their language had been revised, where thought necessary, by the author himself. The very minute and careful detail of ch. xii., evidently intended to give the highest authority to the narrative of Peter's miraculous deliverance, so that the house itself of Mary the mother of John Mark is specified, the name of the female servant who went to the door, her remarks and the answer made to her, are all given,-has apparently been the result of diligent enquiry on the spot, from the parties concerned. We can hardly resist the inference, that the very same persons who fifteen years before had been witnesses of the deliverance, now gave the details of an occurrence which they could never forget, and described their own feelings on it.

9. Whether Luke at this time can have fallen in with Peter personally, is very questionable. That Apostle certainly does not appear to have been at Jerusalem when Paul visited it: and from the omission of all mention of him after ch. xv., the natural inference is, that he was not there during any part of Paul's imprisonment. (See note on Gal. ii. 11, and Introduction to 1 Pet.)

10. But one very important section of the first part of the Acts is concerned with events which happened at Cæsarea,--and derived from information obtained there. There dwelt Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven (ch. xxi. 8): a most important authority for the contents of ch. vi. and viii., if not also for some events previous to ch. vi. There too, we may well believe, still dwelt, if not Cornelius himself', yet some of the " many that were come together” of ch. x. 27,—the persons perhaps

6 De Wette objects, that Philip could hardly have imparted ch. viii. 39 in its present form. At first sight, it seems so: but the next verse, "he evangelized all the cities, &c.," can on the other hand hardly have been imparted by any but Philip: and this leads us to think whether subsequent enquiry respecting the eunuch (who as he had before come to Jerusalem to worship at the feast, so would again) may not have enabled Philip to add this particular, "for he went his way rejoicing," over and above what he could know at the time.

7 It seems probable that the Roman forces never left Cæsarea during the whole period from Augustus to Vespasian. The territory during that time (see chronological table) was alternately part of the province of Syria, and a dependent kingdom: but the garrisons do not appear to have been changed in such cases.

who had gone to fetch Peter from Joppa,-at all events plenty who could narrate the occurrences of that memorable day, and the words which formed the great proœm of the Gentile Gospel.

11. Connected with the Cæsarean part of our history, is one minute touch of truth and accuracy, which is interesting as pointing to careful research and information of the most trustworthy kind. The awful death of Herod Agrippa I. had happened on a great public occasion. It appears that the celebration of a festival in honour of Cæsar had also been selected as the time of audience for an embassy of the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, and during this audience, after making an oration to the embassy, Herod was struck by the hand of God. Now of this latter particular, the Sidonian embassy, the Jewish historian knows nothing. (See the passage quoted on ch. xii. 21.) But Luke, who had made careful enquiries on the spot, who had spent a week at Tyre, ch. xxi. 4-7,-and Paul, who had friends at Sidon, ch. xxvii. 3, were better acquainted with the facts of the occurrence than to overlook, as Josephus did, the minute details in the general character of the festival.

12. One or two sections in the former part of the Acts require separate consideration.

(a) The apology of Stephen, from its length and peculiar characteristics, naturally suggests an enquiry as to the source whence it may probably have been obtained by Luke. And here I should feel little hesitation in ascribing a principal share in the report to him who was so deeply implicated in Stephen's martyrdom,-who shews by his own reference (ch. xxii. 20) to the part taken by him on that occasion, how indelibly it was fixed in his memory, and who in more than one place of his recorded speeches and writings, seems to reproduce the very thoughts and expressions of Stephen. At the same time it would be improbable that the church at Jerusalem should have preserved no memorial of so important a speech as that of her first martyr before his judges. So that, however we may be inclined to attribute much of its particularity and copiousness to information derived from Paul, it must be classed, as to its general form, among those contributions to the history obtained by Luke at Jerusalem.

(b) The narrative of the conversion of Saul in ch. ix. can hardly fail to have been derived from himself. I have shewn in the notes that there are no discrepancies between this and the two other relations of the same event, but such as may easily be accounted for by the peculiar circumstances under which each is given, and the necessarily varying expressions of narratives which were afterwards not reduced into harmony with each other, but written faithfully down as delivered.

13. Agreeable with the above suppositions is the fact, that the former

part of the book presents more traces of Hebraistic idiom, not only in speeches, but in the form of the historical narrative.

14. I proceed now to an enquiry promised in par. 1 of this section: How far we have indications of the gaps in the author's personal testimony in the latter part having been filled in by that of Paul.

Perhaps one of the best sections for the purpose of this examination will be that from ch. xvii. 16-xviii. 5, which relates to a time when Paul was left alone. Do we discover in the narrative or speech the traces of an unusual hand, and if so, whose is it? That some unusual hand has been here employed, is evident: for in the six verses 16-21 inclusive, we have no fewer than nine expressions foreign to Luke's style, or nowhere else occurring: and in the speech itself, no fewer than nineteen. Now of these twenty-eight expressions, five are either peculiar to, or employed principally by Paul; besides that we find the phrase "his spirit," so frequently used by him of his own mind or feelings. Here I think we can hardly fail to trace the hand of the Apostle by quite as many indications as we might expect to find. That Luke should, as in every other case, have wrought in the section into his work, and given it the general form of his own narrative, would only be natural, and we find it has been so.

15. It may be instructive to carry on the examination of this part of the history somewhat further. At ch. xviii. 5, Silas and Timotheus joined Paul at Corinth. One at least of these, Timotheus, was afterwards for a considerable time in the company of Luke in the journey from Philippi to Jerusalem. But on his arrival at Corinth, no alteration in the style of the narrative is perceptible. It still remains the mixed diction of Paul and Luke: the uncommon words are fewer, while we have some remarkable traces of Paul's hand. Again, in vv. 24-28 of the same chapter, we have a description of what took place with regard to Apollos at Ephesus, when Paul himself was absent. This portion it would be natural to suppose might have been furnished by Apollos himself, were it not for the laudatory description of ver. 24. If not by Apollos, then by Aquila and Priscilla to Paul on his return to Ephesus. And so it seems to have been. The general form is Luke's: the peculiarities are mostly Paul's.

16. The examination of these sections may serve to shew that the great Apostle appears to have borne a principal part in informing Luke with regard to such parts of his history: the traces of this his share in the work being visible by the occurrence of words and phrases peculiar to him in the midst of the ordinary narrative from Luke's own pen. These he preserved, casting the merely narrative matter into the form in which he usually wrote.

8 See on this and the following paragraphs, the foot notes on this part of the Introduction in my Greek Test. VOL. I.-83]

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