« PreviousContinue »
From the brevity with which Luke has narrated some parts of St. Paul's history, and from the silence in which unquestionably other parts are passed over, though many of the particular events here recounted in the epistle can be extracted from the Acts, all of them certainly cannot. But then the perfect consistency of the articles inserted in the one with every thing found in the correspondent parts of the other, has been admirably pointed out by Dr. Paley, H. P. 68, 69...with ingenious indication also to show where, in vacant spaces of the narrative, various accidents and disasters may well be supposed to have happened, or rather in the troubled course of such affairs could hardly fail to take place.
For similar elucidation of the same topic, the reader may be referred to some valuable remarks in Mr. Greswell's Dissertations upon the Harmony of the Gospels, 1837. vol. ii. p. 63. in the Note.
s. 6. Original argument against the early date of the
epistle 1 Timothy. We have already stated, (at the beginning of s. 2.) that according to St. Paul's calculation in the first instance, Timothy, after visiting the Macedonian churches, might have visited the church of Corinth, and that, too, even in time, perhaps, to arrive at Ephesus before Paul's departure, as originally designed, from that city. In writing to the Corinthians accordingly, i C. iv. 17., he speaks of having sent Timotheus unto them; though he afterwards expresses himself, xvi. 10., more in the language of doubt and contingency, 'Edv dè aby Τιμόθεος, , “ Now in case of Timothy's coming,” &c.
Here then a word of remark may find its place, in decisive reply to those commentators, who maintain, H. P. 166., that the First Epistle to Timothy was written to him, and when left behind, 1 T. i. 3., at Ephesus, about this very time.
time. Of course, to maintain that hypothesis, it must be assumed, that Timothy from Corinth had actually reached Ephesus, before Paul left that city, although his departure was abrupt and evidently premature.
Be it so then, that Timothy, on returning from his journey to the north, had travelled very quickly to Corinth, and after fulfilling there the apostle's commission, 1 C. iv. 17., to bring them into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ," had been so well “conducted forth,” xvi. 11., as to reach Ephesus before Paul left that place. What is the consequence that immediately results from such concession ? Why, that St. Paul must at that rate have received from Timothy (in ever so short an interview) the very latest information of the now happy state of things in the church of Corinth ; and being released therefore from all immediate solicitude about the spiritual state of the Corinthian brethren, he could not possibly have felt any anxiety or impatience whatsoever to hear the report of what must have been of an earlier date, from the mouth of Titus, concerning them.
The supposed arrival, therefore, of Timothy at Ephesus before Paul departed from thence, thus stands utterly irreconcileable with the recorded fact, that Paul, when he reached Troas, was labouring under affectionate disquietude as to meeting Titus there: which painful feeling was unabated, till Titus after all came to him at Philippi, and poured into his heart the consolatory intelligence that all at Corinth was well.
While therefore those other considerations which Dr.
Paley, H. P. 166, 7, has so clearly and acutely advanced, may be allowed, I think, as of themselves quite strong enough to set that erroneous date of 1 Tim. aside ; it cannot be deemed a work of supererogation, if by a line of argument quite distinct and apparently original (as this seems to me) the total improbability of that hypothesis be once for all thus demonstrated.
APPENDIX E. p. 100. .
On Acts xxvii. 1.
Luke, his Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles. s. 1. Where was Luke, when he wrote the gospel ? s. 2. The gospel of Luke posterior to those of Mat
thew and Mark. s. 3. Where was Luke when he wrote the Acts ?
s. 1. Of all the eight opinions which have assigned a locality for Luke when he wrote his gospel, (Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 248.) Antioch, Troas, Alexandria, Egyptian Thebes, in Achaia, Bithynia, Macedonia, &c., there is not one in any probability at all comparable to that opinion, which would assign Palestine as the place for that purpose, and for the time to write it part of those two years, during which he appears to have been at Cesarea, generally in company with St. Paul, even if he was occasionally sent on missions elsewhere. We have definite fact for that time and that place, which for no other time and place is even pretended. And as to opportunity for the composition of the sacred narrative, could any scene be imagined more happy and appropriate than Cesarea ? Jerusalem was only seventy miles distant : and the intercourse betwixt the seat of Roman government and the Holy City must have been as expeditious as it was frequent.
Then, too, in what other situation could Luke enjoy such ready access to those who “from the beginning” (L. i. 2.) had been "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word ?” To James the Less in particular (as well as to others) we are certain that Luke had become personally known; when, on their arrival in Jerusalem, A. xxi. 18., “ Paul went in with us unto James, and all the elders were present.” An acquaintance, thus begun with that eminent minister of our Lord, he would certainly cultivate by opportunities afterwards.
But it may naturally be asked, Allowing the Gospel to have been written at Cesarea in the time of St. Paul's imprisonment there, who was Theophilus, to whom the Gospel is dedicated ? Here again we enjoy the decisive advantage of referring to a real person, the only one known to us by that name at that period ; a person belonging to Judea, as having been high priest, who from the time about which he held that office, and from the early age at which it could then be held, was likely enough to be alive at the very date required, and who, as having held the high priesthood, was entitled to the address of rank, xpériots, “ most excellent.”
We are indebted to the acute perspicacity of Theodore Hase (Michaelis, u. s. pp. 238...240.) for this most ingenious and highly probable supposition, in all
its principal points. And I am disposed to go
farther than Michaelis as to the satisfaction with which we may contemplate it. He, after examining all the other notions which have been advanced upon the subject, declares (p. 266.) of this, that though not confirmed by (direct) historical evidence, it is supported by its own internal probability, and is on the whole more eligible than any of the merely traditionary reports.
For my part, I see no difficulty whatever in Theodore Hase's hypothesis, except it be from a point of chronology which shall be noticed at the close of this section. And I am strongly inclined to recommend its adoption to the readers of these pages, not only as harmonising well with all the phenomena of the case, but as favoured by positive considerations already stated, and therefore as greatly superior to the other hypotheses which have nothing but obscure tradition to rest upon.
As to a high priest's having become a Christian convert, what should hinder it ? At an early period, and in Jerusalem, we read, A. vi. 7., that “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” In Corinth, several years after, we find one ruler of the synagogue at least, Crispus, A. xviii. 8., to have been so converted. And why should we doubt but that some even of the highest dignity might be converted in Jerusalem ?
Note above referred to. Mr. Greswell, it is true, in his own calculations, or in those adopted by him, having made the high priesthood of Theophilus extend from A. D. 37 to 41, and having fixed the conversion of St. Paul in 37, sees an insuperable objection to that Theophilus having been the Theophilus of St. Luke; since, according to Mr. Greswell's tables, it was he that must have given to Saul the letters of prosecution, A. ix. 1., against the believers at Damascus.