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St Mark, the exponent possibly of a Petrine tradition, gives us another collection of Logia, arranged somewhat differently, not in the shape of long addresses, but by way of a narrative. He shows us how this tradition first attached importance to the occasion and the situation of each saying, how it inquired into the persons concerned, and then how groups of related anecdotes came to be formed. St Mark's groups, too, contain a portion of the theology of the early Christians.

The first of his groups collects words of Jesus in which His power to forgive sins, His intercourse with publicans, His opposition to fasting, His lordship over the Sabbath, are all illustrated in contrast to the Scribes and Pharisees and the disciples of John. . The same heading, “ Jesus and the parties,” may be placed over the controversies in Jerusalem with the priests, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes, which illustrate Jesus' attitude to the people, to the Roman government, to the resurrection, to the law and the prophets. A third controversy sets forth Jesus' attitude to the tradition of the elders. The enemies, it will seen, are the same as those against whom St Matthew's Collection of Logia fights. And the same subjects meet us here as well as there, the kingdom of God, the second advent, the confession of sins, love of the brethren, and prayer. An especial group brings together the principal sayings about marriage, children, riches, self-denial and the duty of serving. It is true that the chief commandments in which God's will consists are nowhere set forth in order. The reason for this will be that the Logia Collection had already obtained so firm a footing.

What St Mark's tradition does for us is partly to complete St Matthew's Logia, partly to bring them home to us with greater vividness. And yet the picture of the Gospel thus presented to us is an independent one and has peculiar features of its own. We see the opponents better before us, we share in the rejoicings when Jesus' answers, concise, full of irony and the confidence of victory, ever hit their mark full in the centre; we live through the education to independence and freedom under the guidance of Jesus. St Mark's authority, the man who handed down to him the groups of stories, was without doubt a layman who saw in the Scribes the deadly enemies of Jesus and His cause. It was just his hostile feelings against the theologians which enabled him to grasp in so masterly a fashion the new and revolutionary elements in Jesus.

But the treasury of the early Christian brotherhood was not yet exhausted. The first and the third evangelists drew still further riches from this marvellous store; above all, the numerous parables which partly in all probability lay before them in written collections. St Luke especially must have been acquainted with a wonderful tradition of parables. It is a pity that those who took up arms in defence of the position that Jesus was the Messiah were but seldom clear as to the real sources of their strength. They did not perceive that the simple setting forth of the words of Jesus without any addition or explanation constitutes the best defence of Christianity, because better than all titles and legends it sets forth Jesus the man.




In one respect the development of the whole of the early Christian community was from the first reactionary—that is to say, in its far more positive relation to the Jewish nation. The belief in its incapacity and rejection by God with which Jesus left the world gave way to renewed patriotic hopes and renewed loving efforts. For Jesus there was finally no further doubt as to the certain separation between the kingdom of God and Israel, but His disciples clung to the old connection with a desperate tenacity, nor could all the persecution they had to suffer at the hands of the Jews cool the ardour of this religious patriotism. Here on this ground, Paul, with his ardent love for his native land, with his readiness to be banished from God's sight for His people's sake, stands shoulder to shoulder with the twelve apostles and with James the brother of the Lord, of whom Hegesippus relates that he was once found on his knees in the temple praying for the forgiveness of the sins of his people. Even at the beginning of the Jewish war, when the apocalyptic leaflet (contained in St Mark xii.) was circulated amongst the Christians, they did not believe in the destruction of the temple, but only that it would be sore oppressed by Antichrist. It was only the catastrophe of the year 70 that opened the eyes of the Christians and led to a new judgment as to the Jewish people. Before the Jewish war this relation of the Christians to the Jews had nowhere been felt as a cause of the formation of parties.

Parties had, however, arisen through the relation to the law—though not at first. Both for Himself and His disciples Jesus had to the very last clung to the faith that they had the law on their side against the Pharisees. Nor was this faith in anywise diminished at first in spite of the self-deception on which it rested. They disputed with the Jews about questions of Christology, not about the law.

Amongst the brethren the word of Jesus was the ultimate authority—hence a free and natural life such as Jesus had brought into the world. There was no return to the ideal of the Pharisees, or to the asceticism of John the Baptist. All the emphasis was laid upon conscientiousness, love, the longing for God and trust in Him; but it was in these very points that they believed they were but faithful to the law. God's will as it was written in the law was declared in the words of Jesus. As soon as God's will was grasped in its inner meaning, becoming the deepest motive of the heart instead of an external ordinance, every contradiction seemed to be removed. This oldest Jewish Christianity is therefore to be conceived as entirely anti-Pharisaic, nay, more, as at bottom not Jewish at all for how could it otherwise have bequeathed to us the picture of Jesus such as we have it? Yet at the same time it was a Christianity filled with the deepest reverence for the authority of the law.

Here was an inherent contradiction, for the same law was also the authority for the Pharisaic Scribes. Now, as soon as it was recognized, the contradiction was bound to lead to the formation of parties according to the answer which men gave to the question : Should Jesus' word and the law remain connected or not?

The first missionary journey to the Gentiles afforded the occasion. Nowhere could any other feeling than that of joy prevail at the thought that Gentiles were to be admitted into the Church. But what was to be the condition of this admission ? Was it to be Jesus' word or the ceremonial law ? For the Jewish Christians, circumcision, the Sabbath, the regulations as to food, etc., were such old customs that they were scarcely any longer felt as burdens, but all the more unendurable were they for the Gentiles.

Barnabas and Paul simply set aside the law altogether for the Gentiles who sought admissionthe sole condition then demanded being faith in Jesus. News of the great invitation only reached Jerusalem when it had already become an accomplished fact. It came through a hostile channel, being reported by narrow-hearted brethren who were Pharisees in all but the name. What was now to be done?

Thus early in the history of the young community do we come to the parting of the ways. True, at first the leaders, James, Peter, and John, united with

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