William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Luke

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William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Luke

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Verse Commentaries:

Part 1 of An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke

Edited with annotations, by E. E. Whitfield.

(The reference figures, relate to the notes respectively so numbered in the Appendix - luke_app.doc.)

"All flesh shall see the salvation of God." - Luk_3:6.


The late William Kelly, for many years editor of the serial entitled The Bible Treasury, left in it a set of papers covering the whole of the Gospel according to Luke, for reproduction in collected form. The editor of the present volume, which carries out that intention, has used as Introduction a section of the same writer's "God's Inspiration of the Scriptures," which was published a short time before his decease, has added marginal references to parallel passages of the other Gospels, and has supplied critical apparatus in footnotes, as well as a full index immediately following the Exposition. The translation of the biblical text has been derived mainly from the same source as that used in editing a companion volume on the Gospel according to Mark. Where, in references to the Revised Version in the numbered Notes, any difference exists between the English and the American "Standard" edition (1901), attention is called to this for the convenience of Transatlantic readers. The portions in bold type in the exposition, are peculiar to Luke's record; though this indication is typical, not systematic.

As in the current editions of Mr. Kelly's Expositions of the Gospels, severally according to Mark and John, a sequel of notes has been subjoined, for which the editor alone is responsible. These may show the bearing of this Exposition of the Third Gospel upon critical views largely developed since the papers first appeared, and will in other respects put the reader in possession of the various phases of thought upon the composition and history of Luke's Gospel in particular, the literature for which is very extensive. The notes are in general harmony with the expositor's point of view; much in them results from conversations and correspondence with him during a friendship of some thirty-five years. Reference to this part may be aided by the Summary of Contents prefixed to it, which should, in the first instance, be read continuously.

As a venerable German professor of the first rank has remarked in correspondence with the present writer, much of the criticism of the Gospels in which his countrymen indulge "strikes out that which is inconvenient to it, and drags in that which has not the support of a single word in the text." Criticism is of little value unless independent of academical tradition, however imposing, or of ecclesiastical authority, however dogmatic; and every one must in these days have the courage of his own convictions. But there may at least be general agreement as to what is morally weakening; progress in its highest department must not be sacrificed to that of any lower. In the closing index will be found reference to treatment of "Difficulties" under that head.

The Third Gospel being a mine of material for homiletic as well as mission work, constant reference has been made in Part 2 to discourses of notable preachers in comments on prominent passages of this precious record.

Mr. Kelly, who was mighty in the Scriptures, helped believers much. In like spirit to that in which he himself sent forth such books, the present volume is commended to the gracious blessing of God, "without Whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy," that He may use it, to the glory of Christ, for the profit of souls.

E. E. W.



*From Bible Treasury, Sept., 1900 (pp. 139-144), reproduced in God's Inspiration of the Scriptures."

The third Gospel is distinguished by its display of God's grace in man, which could be only and perfectly in the "Holy Thing" to be born and called the Son of God.1 Here, therefore, as the moral ways of God shine, so is manifested man's heart in saint and sinner. Hence the preface and dedication to Theophilus, and the Evangelist's motives for writing; hence also the beautiful picture of Jewish piety in presence of Divine intervention for both forerunner and Son of the Highest to accomplish promise and prophecy, as announced by angels (Luke 1.). The last of the Gentile empires was in power when the Saviour was born in David's city, and Jehovah's glory shone around shepherds at their lowly watch that night when His angel proclaimed the joyful event and its significant token, with the heavenly host praising as they said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, in men complacency" (or good pleasure). God's Son, born of woman, was also born under law, the seal of which He duly received; and the godly remnant seen in Simeon and Anna, that looked for Jerusalem's redemption, testified to Him in the spirit of prophecy; while He walked in the holy subjection of grace, with wisdom beyond all teachers, yet bearing witness to His consciousness of Divine Sonship even from His youth (Luke 2.).

In due time, marked still more explicitly by the dates of Gentile dominion and of Jewish disorder, both civil and religious, John comes preaching, not here the kingdom of the heavens, nor yet the kingdom of God, but a baptism of repentance for remission of sins. He alone and most appropriately is quoted from Isaiah's oracle, "All flesh shall see the salvation of God"; here only have we John's answers to the inquiring people, tax-gatherers and soldiers; and here too is stated anticipatively his imprisonment, but also the baptism of our Lord; and here only is given His praying, when the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him, and the Father's voice was heard, "Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee am I well pleased." And the genealogy is through Mary (as she throughout is prominent, not Joseph as in Matthew) up to Adam, as becomes the Second Man and Last Adam (Luke 3.). It may help if it be seen that "being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph" is parenthetical, and that "of Heli, of Matthat," etc., is the genealogical line from Mary's father upward.

Then follows His temptation, viewed morally, not dispensationally as in the first Gospel; the natural, the worldly, and the spiritual. This order necessarily involved the omission in Luk_4:8, which ignorant copyists assimilated to the text of Matthew. The critics have rightly followed the best witnesses, though none of them appears to notice the evidence it renders to plenary inspiration. Divine purpose is clearly in it. Thereon He returns to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and at Nazareth in the synagogue He reads Isa_61:1-2 (omitting the last clause strikingly), and declares this scripture fulfilled "today" in their ears. In that interval, or within the acceptable year, Israel as it were goes out, and the Church comes in where is neither Jew nor Gentile, but Christ is all and they one new man in Him. Then when His gracious words were met by unbelieving words on their part, He points out the grace of old that passed by Israel and blessed Gentiles. This kindled His hearers to murderous wrath even then, whilst He, passing through the midst of them, went His way. At Capernaum He astonished them publicly with His teaching, and cast out an unclean spirit in the synagogue, as He brought Peter's mother-in-law immediately to strength from "a great fever," and subsequently healed the varied sick and demoniacs that were brought, while He refused their testimony to Him. And when men would detain Him, He said, "I must announce the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for therefore was I sent" (Luke 4.). It is a question of the soul yet more than of the body.

In connection accordingly with preaching the Word of God, we have (Luke 5) the Lord, by a miracle that revealed Him, calling Simon Peter (who judged himself as never before) with his partners, to forsake all and follow Him: an incident of earlier date, but reserved for this point in Luke. The cleansing of a man full of leprosy follows, and after the healing of multitudes He retires and prays; but as He afterwards is teaching in presence of Pharisees and law-doctors, He declares to a paralytic the forgiveness of his sins, and, to prove it, bids him arise, take up his couch, and go to his house, as the man did forthwith. Then we have the call of Levi, the tax-gatherer, and a great feast with many such in his house; but Jesus answers all murmurs with the open assertion of His coming to call sinners to repentance, as He defends the actual eating and drinking of His disciples by their joy in His presence with them: when taken away, they should fast. In parable He intimates that the old was doomed, and that the new character and power demand a new way; though naturally no one relishes the new, but likes the old.

Luke 6 shows first, the Son of Man Lord also of the Sabbath, and secondly the title to do good on that day, which filled them with madness against Him. Next, going to the mountain to pray all night to God, He chose twelve and named them apostles, with whom He came down to a plateau, healing all that came under diseases and demons. Then He addresses them in that form of His discourse which falls in perfectly with our Gospel. The great moral principles are there, not in contrast with law as in Matthew, but the personal blessedness of His own, and the woes of such as are not His but enjoy the world. Another peculiarity is that Luke was led to give our Lord's teaching in detached parts connected with facts of kindred character; whereas Matthew was no less Divinely given to present it as a whole, omitting the facts or questions which drew out those particulars.

Then in Luke 7 He enters Capernaum, and the healing of the centurion's slave follows. Luke distinguishes the embassy of Jewish elders, then of friends when He was near the house; but the dispensational issue was left to Matthew. The raising of the widow's only son at Nain yet more deeply proves the Divine power He wields with a perfect human heart. It was high time for John's disciples to find all doubts solved by Jesus, Who testifies to the Baptist's place instead of being witnessed to by him. Yet was wisdom justified of all her children, as the penitent woman finds from the Lord's lips in the Pharisee's house. Everywhere it was Divine grace in man; and she tasted it in the faith that saved, and in the grace that bade her go in peace.

In Luke 8 we see Him on His errand of mercy, followed not by the twelve only but by certain women healed of wicked spirits and infirmities, who ministered to Him of their substance. And the Lord addresses the crowd in parables, but not of the Kingdom, as in Matthew; after that He designates His true relations to be those that hear and do the Word of God. The storm on the lake follows, and the healing of Legion in the details of grace, as well as of the woman who had a flux of blood, while He was on the way to raise the daughter of Jairus.

Luke 9 gives the mission of the twelve empowered by and like Himself, and sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God, with its effect on Herod's bad conscience. The apostles on their return He leads apart, but, being followed by a hungry crowd, He feeds about 5,000 men with five loaves and two fishes multiplied under His hand, while the fragments left fill twelve hand-baskets. After praying alone, He elicits from His disciples men's varying thoughts of Him, and Peter's confession of His Messiahship (Matthew recording much more). For this He substitutes His suffering and His glory as Son of Man: they were no more to speak of Him as Messiah. Deeper need had to be met in the face of Jewish unbelief. The transfiguration follows with moral traits usual in Luke, and the Centre of that glory is owned Son of God. When the Lord and His chosen witnesses come down, the power of Satan that baffled the disciples yields to the majesty of God's power in Jesus, Who thereon announces to them His delivery into men's hands, and lays bare to the end of the chapter the various forms that self may assume in His people or in pretenders to that place.

Then we have in Luke 10 the seventy sent out two and two before His face, a larger and more urgent mission peculiar to Luke. On their return, exultant that even the demons were subject to them in His name, the Lord looks on to Satan's overthrow, but calls them to rejoice that their names are written in the heavens. To this our Gospel leads more and more henceforth. His own joy follows, not as in Matthew dispensationally connected, but bound up with the blessedness of the disciples. Then the tempting lawyer is taught that, while those who trust themselves are as blind as they are powerless, grace sees one's neighbour in every one who needs love. The parable of the Samaritan is in Luke only. The close of the chapter teaches that the one thing needful, the good part, is to hear the Word of Jesus. It is not only by the Word that we are begotten; by it we are refreshed, nourished, and kept.

But prayer hereon follows ("as He was praying") (Luke 11), not only because of our need, but to enjoy the God of grace Whose children we become through faith; and in His illustration He urges importunity. Here again we have an instructive example of the Divine design by Luke as compared with that in Matthew 6. His casting out a dumb demon to some gave occasion to blaspheme, whereon He declares that he who is not with Him is against Him, and he who gathers not with Him scatters: a solemn word for every soul. Nature has nothing to do with it, but the grace that hears and keeps the Word of God. So did the Ninevites repent, and the Queen of Sheba come to hear; and a greater than Solomon and Jonah was there. But if light is not seen, it is the fault of the eye; if it is wicked, the body also is dark. Then to the end the dead externalism of man's religion is exposed, and the woe of such as have taken away the key of knowledge, and their malice when exposed.

Luke 12 warns the disciples against hypocrisy, and urges the sure revelation of all things in the light, with the call to fear God and to confess the Son of Man, trusting not in themselves but in the Holy Spirit. It is no question now of Jewish blessing; and He would be no judge of earthly inheritances. They should beware of being like the rich fool whose soul is required when busy with gain. The ravens and the lilies teach a better lesson. The little flock need not fear, but rid themselves rather of what men covet, and seek a treasure unfailing: if it is in the heavens, there will the heart be. And thence is the Lord coming, Whom they were habitually and diligently to wait for. Blessed they whom the Lord finds marching! Blessed he whom the Lord finds working! To put off His coming in heart is evil, and will be so judged. But the judgment will be righteous, and worst of all that of corrupt and faithless and apostate Christendom. Whatever His love, the opposition of man brings hate, and fire, and division, not peace meanwhile. His grace aroused enmity. Judgment came and will; as, on the other hand, He was baptized in death that the pent-up floods of grace might flow as they do in the Gospel.

With the Jews on the way to the judge, and about to suffer from God's just government (at the end of the chapter before), the Holy Spirit connects in Luke 13 the question of what had befallen the Galileans. Here the Lord pronounces the exposure of all to perdition, except they repented. The parable of the fig-tree tells the same tale; respite hung on Himself. In vain was the ruler of the synagogue indignant for the Sabbath against Jehovah present to heal; it was but hypocrisy and preference of Satan. The Kingdom about to follow His rejection was not to come in by manifested power and glory, but, as under man's responsibility, from a little seed to wax a great tree, and to leaven the assigned measure, wholly in contrast with Daniel 2, 7. Instead of gratifying curiosity as to "those to be saved" (the remnant), the Lord urges the necessity of entering by the strait gate (conversion to God); seeking their own way they would utterly fail. So He would tell them He knew them not whence they were, in the day when they should see the Jews even thrust out, and Gentiles sitting with the fathers, last first and first last, in the Kingdom of God. Crafty as Herod was, it was Jerusalem He lamented, the guiltiest rejecter alike of God's government and of His grace, yet not beyond His grace at the end.

Hence Luke 14 points out unanswerably the title of grace in the face of form, and its way of self-renunciation, which will be owned in the resurrection of the just, not by the religious world which is deaf to God's call to the great supper. But if the bidden remain without, grace fills it not only with the poor of the city, but with the despised Gentiles. Only those who believe God's grace are called to break with the world. Coming to Christ costs all else: if one lose the salt of truth, none more useless and offensive.

In Luke 15 the Lord asserts the sovereign power of grace in His own seeking of the lost one, in the painstaking of the Spirit by the Word, and in the Father's reception and joy when he is found; as self-righteousness betrays its alienation from the Father and contempt for the reconciled soul.

Then Luke 16 describes parabolically the Jew losing his place; so that the only wisdom was, not in hoarding for self but in giving up his master's goods, to make friends with an everlasting and heavenly habitation. Practical Christianity is the sacrifice of the present (which is God's) to secure the future (which will be our own, the true riches). Pharisees, being covetous, derided this; but death lifts the veil that then hid the true issue in the selfish rich tormented, and the once suffering beggar in Abraham's bosom. If God's Word fail, not even resurrection would assure. Unbelief is invincible, save by His grace.

As grace thus delivers from the world, so it is to govern the believer's walk, who must take heed to himself, rebuke a sinning brother, and if he repent, forgive him even seven times in the day (Luke 17.). Faith is followed by answering power. But the yoke of Judaism, though still existing, is gone for faith, as the Lord shows in the Samaritan leper, who broke through the letter of the law, rightly confessed the power of God in Christ, and went his way in liberty. The Kingdom in His person was in the midst of men for faith. By-and-by it will be displayed visibly and judicially; for such will be the Son of Man (now about to suffer and be rejected) in His day, as in those of Noah and Lot, far different from the indiscriminate sack of Jerusalem by Titus.

Luke 18 shows prayer to be the great resource, as always, so especially when oppression prevails in the latter day, and God is about to avenge His elect, and the question is raised if the coming Son of Man shall find faith on the earth. After this the Lord lets us see the spirit and ways suited to the Kingdom in the penitent tax-gatherers contrasted with the Pharisee, and in the babes He received, not in the ruler who, not following Jesus, because he clave to his riches, lost treasure in heaven. Yet he that leaves all for His sake receives manifold more now, and in the coming age life everlasting. Lastly, the Lord again announces His ignominious death, but His resurrection.

Then (verse 35) begins His last progress to Jerusalem and presentation as David's Son; and the blind beggar, invoking Him so, receives his sight, and follows Him, glorifying God.

Zacchaeus in Luke 19, chief tax-gatherer and rich, is the witness of yet more - the saving grace of God. But the Lord is not going to restore the Kingdom immediately, as they thought; He is going to a far country to receive it and to return; and when He does, He will examine the ways of His servants meanwhile entrusted with His goods, and He will execute judgment on His guilty citizens who would not that He should reign over them. Next He rides to the city from the Mount of Olivet on a colt, given up at once by the owners; and the whole multitude of the disciples praise God aloud for all the powers they have seen, saying, "Blessed be the coming King in Jehovah's name: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." It is strikingly different from the angels' praise at His birth; but both in season. Pharisees in vain object, and hear that the stones would cry out if the disciples did not. Yet did He weep over the city that know not even then the things that made for its peace, doomed to destruction because it knew not the time of its visitation. The purging of the temple follows, and there He was teaching daily; yet could not the chief priests and the chiefs of the people destroy Him, though seeking it earnestly.

Then in Luke 20 come the various parties to judge Him, really to be judged themselves. The chief priests and the scribes with the elders demand His authority; which He meets with the question, "Was John's baptism of Heaven or of men?" Their dishonest plea of ignorance drew out His refusal to tell such people the source of His authority. But He utters the parable of the vineyard let to husbandmen, who not only grow worse and worse to their lord's servants but killed it last his son and heir, to their own ruin according to Psa_118:22-23, adding His own solemn and twofold sentence. Next, we have His reply to the spies who would have entangled Him with the civil power; but as He asks for a denarius, and they own Caesar's image on it, He bids them render to Caesar Caesar's things, and to God the things that are God's; and they were put to silence. The heterodox Sadducees followed with their difficulty as to the resurrection; whereon He shows that there was nothing in it but their ignorance of its glorious nature, of which present experience gives no hint. Resurrection belongs to the new age, to which marriage does not apply. Even now all live to God, if men cannot see. The Lord closes with His question on Psalm ex., how He Whom David calls his Lord is also his Son. It is just Israel's stumbling-stone, ere long to be Israel's sure foundation. Then the chapter concludes with His warning to beware of those who affect worldly show in religion, and prey on the weak and bereaved, about to receive, spite of long prayers, judgment all the more severe.

Luke 21 begins with the poor widow and her two mites of more account than the richest in the offertory. Then, in correction of those who thought much of the temple adorned with goodly stones and offerings, the Lord predicts its approaching demolition, though the end was not to be immediately. But He cheers and counsels His own meanwhile. From verses 20 to 24 is the siege under Titus, and its consequences to this day. Verse 25 and the following look on to the future. The Gentiles are prominent; whence we have, "Behold the fig-tree and all the trees" in verse 29. Observe also "this generation," etc., in verse 32, is in the future part, not in what is fulfilled. Lastly, verses 34-36 give a moral appeal. Here again we find Him teaching in the temple by day, and every night lodging at Olivet.

The last Passover approached (Luke 22) and found the chief priests and the scribes plotting, when Judas Iscariot* gave them the desired means. On the day of sacrifice He sent Peter and John to prepare, and the Lord instructed them divinely when and how: for as He said, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer," and its cup He bade them take and divide it among themselves. Then He institutes His supper. As yet He had given no sign to mark the traitor, though He had long alluded to the fact. But alas! they were even then contending which of them would be accounted greatest; whilst He explains that such is the way of the Gentiles and their kings, whilst they were to follow His example - "I am in the midst of you as he that serveth." Yet He owns their continuance with Him in His temptations, and appoints to them a kingdom. He tells Simon of Satan's sifting, but of His supplication that his faith should not fail, and bids him, when turned again, or restored, to stablish his brethren. After further warning Peter, He clears up the change from a Messianic mission to the ordinary ways of Providence in verses 35-38, and then goes out to the mount and passes through His agony with His Father (39-46) while the disciples sleep. Then a crowd comes, and Judas draws near to kiss, and the Lord lays all open. He heals the high priest's bondman, whose right ear was cut off; but remonstrates, yet allows Himself to be taken Who could have overwhelmed them with a word. Peter denies Him thrice. The men revile the Lord with mockery and blows; and as soon as it is day, He is led to the Sanhedrin, and when asked if He is the Christ, He tells them of the place the Son of Man will take, and owns Himself Son of God.

*It is quite general here in verse 3: "And [not Then] Satan entered into Judas." The precise time is shown in Joh_13:27, where then is expressed; here the statement is general, as often in the third Evangelist. So in 24: 12, it should be And or But, not Then. (B.T.)

Before Pilate in Luke 23 the effort was to prove Him a rival of Caesar; but though confessing Himself the King of the Jews, Pilate found no fault in Him. The connection with Galilee gave the opportunity for a compliment to Herod, who got not a word from the Lord; but after, with his soldiers, insulting Him, he sent Him back, when Pilate again sought to release Him, as neither he nor yet Herod found evidence against Him. But the Jews only the more fiercely demanded a seditious murderer to be released, and Jesus to be crucified. Still Pilate made a last effort. But their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that what they asked for should be done. Such is man; and such is religious man, even more wicked: "Jesus he delivered up to their will." Simon of Cyrene had to prove the violence of that hour; and Jerusalem's daughters lamented with wailing. But the Lord bade them weep for themselves and for their children, and proceeded to Calvary where He was crucified, and the two robbers on either side. There He prayed His' ' Father to forgive them, as rulers scoffed and soldiers mocked. Even one of those crucified kept railing on Him; but the other became a monument of grace, confessing the Saviour and King, when others forsook and fled. The centurion too bore testimony to Him; and if they made His grave with the wicked, the rich was there in His death, and with Pilate's leave His body was laid in a tomb hewn in stone where never man had yet lain. It was Friday, growing dark, and Sabbath twilight was coming on. And the Galilean women who saw Him laid there returned and prepared spices and unguents. Little did they know what God was about to do; yet they loved Him in Whom they believed.

On the first day of the week at early dawn the women came (Luke 24), but found the stone rolled away from the tomb and the body gone; and two in dazzling raiment stood by them to their alarm, who asked, "Why seek ye the Living One among the dead? He is not here, but is risen"; and they recalled to their minds His words in Galilee, now fulfilled in His death and resurrection. Even the apostles disbelieved. And Peter went, and saw evidences and wondered. Then we have the walk to Emmaus with all its grace and deep instruction from the Scriptures, not for those disheartened men only, but for all time and all believers. Next the Lord makes Himself known in the breaking of bread (the sign of death), and at once vanishes. For we walk by faith, not by sight. On returning to Jerusalem they hear how He had appeared to Simon; and as they spoke, the Lord stood in their midst, bade them handle Him and see (for they were troubled), and even ate to reassure them of His resurrection. He speaks further and opens their minds to understand the Scriptures; a distinct thing from the power of the Spirit they were to receive in due time. No going to Galilee is introduced here; it is exactly suited to Matthew's design. Here Jerusalem is prominent, which was avowedly most guilty. So repentance and remission of sins "were to be preached in His name, unto all the nations, beginning with Jerusalem." There too they were to tarry till clothed with power from on high. But thence, when the day arrived, He led them out over against Bethany, and blessed them with uplifted hands; and, while blessing them, He parted from them and was borne up into heaven.

Luke: Notes

(E. E. Whitfield)

(Appendix to 'An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke')

Notes on the Introduction.

§ 1.

1 The third Gospel, exclusive of the Prologue or Preface, may be divided into four sections (cf. Moffatt): (i.) Luke 1: 5 - 4: 13, the preliminary period; (ii.) Luke 4: 14 - 9: 50, the Galilean Ministry; (iii.) Luke 9: 51 - 18: 30, the Ministry in Samaria and Perea; (iv.) Luk_18:31 - end, the closing Judean Ministry with the last supper, the Lord's trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

It also admits, including the Prologue, of division into seven parts (cf. Garvie): (i.) Luke 1 and 2, the annunciation, the birth and childhood of the Baptist and of the Lord; (ii.) Luk_3:1-38; Luk_4:1-13, early preaching of the Baptist, and the Baptism and Temptation of the Lord; (iii.) Luke 4: 14 - 9: 50, the Lord's Galilean ministry; (iv.) Luke 9: 51 - 18: 30, His ministry in Galilee and Perea; (v.) Luke 18: 31 - 21: 38, closing Judean ministry, including the Prophecy on Olivet; (vi.) Luke 22 and 23, the last supper, trial and death; (vii.) Luke 24, the resurrection and ascension. Godet would make the fourth of these end at 19: 28, and the fifth begin, accordingly, with Luk_19:29 (so R. G. Moulton, "Modern Readers' Bible").

Renan's praise of this Gospel as "the most beautiful book in the world" ("The Gospels," p. 283) has often been reproduced. As Westcott says, the "narrative begins with hymns and thanksgivings, and ends with blessings and praises." It is the Gospel which has the fullest details of the Lord's life on earth: often circumstantially informing us (when the first Gospel does not) the occasion upon which He spoke the words recorded (e.g., "the Lord's Prayer"). Most readers are struck with the frequency of the mention of Prayer (Luk_3:21, Luk_6:12, Luk_9:18; Luk_9:29; Luk_10:2, Luk_11:13, Luk_24:49), as also of the Holy Spirit (Luk_1:41; Luk_1:67; Luk_2:25; Luk_2:27; Luk_4:10; Luk_4:14; Luk_4:18; Luk_10:21, Luk_11:13, Luk_24:49). For other links with John's Gospel, like the last named, as in Luk_9:51, Luk_11:42, Luk_12:21, Luk_22:26 f., see Harnack, "Luke the Physician," p. 224 ff. Readers of Bernard's "Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament" (pp. 42-44) will know of the distinction made between Luke and Matthew and Mark, that while these set forth the kingdom with reference rather to the past and present respectively, this Gospel views it largely in the light of the future.

"Christ," says Canon Wilson, "is seen here as the teacher of individual souls" ("Studies," etc., p. 66); but that the same writer goes too far in stating that the parables here have no bearing on the Kingdom (p. 67) will be shown in notes below.

Being the Gospel of the "Son of Man," it is characterised, as the Expositor remarks, by many specially human traits, such as the development of the Lord's mind and body. Differences in character are portrayed, as Herod's curiosity and Pilate's indecision. Dante has spoken of the writer as "the scribe of the gentleness of Christ," his tenderness comes out in sympathy with women and children (Luk_7:12, Luk_9:38; Luk_9:42; Luk_23:28 f.), as well as with the poor. The expository literature upon it is exceedingly rich, and this Gospel has always been a much used instrument in the hands of preachers.

§ 2.

2 Three questions arise in connection with study of any Book of the Bible: (i.) as to the authorship and the materials ("sources") used by the writer, to which those engaged in the higher internal criticism address their inquiries; (ii.) as to the authority attaching to the Book, which is concerned with inspiration, and also with interpretation; (iii.) as to its genuine text, which is the inquiry of textual, external criticism (cf. Barry, p. 28). To each of these topics some remarks will be devoted, as introductory to such study of the Gospel.

First, as to the authorship of the third of the Gospels, which, like the rest, is anonymous. This has been traditionally ascribed to LUKE; in the manuscript copies that have come down to us, the shortest form of title, "according to Luke," is borne by the two oldest, the so-called "Sinaitic" () and "Vatican" (B). The Apostle Paul names in his Epistles, as a close companion in his labours, a Luke, described by him as "the beloved physician" (Col_4:14). Comparison of the Preface to the Gospel with the introductory words of the "Acts of the Apostles" - also traditionally connected with the name of the same writer - in which (Luk_1:1) reference is made to a "former treatise," seems to determine the authorship without dispute, for, although the later book does not name its writer, the common style and dedication support the belief that these two books were produced by one and the same person, each of them affording indication that he was a physician.

It was not until the last century that the traditional view was questioned, as by De Wette and Baur of a past generation, and by Jülicher amongst living scholars, who have contended that the writer of the Acts could not have been the Luke intimate with Paul (Col., ibid., Philem. 24, 2Ti_4:11), because of the alleged contrast between the Apostle's own account in his Epistles of his attitude towards the Jewish party and the way in which that is presented in Acts 15, alongside of the fact, practically acknowledged by all, that the two books were from the same hand (see Bp. Hervey, Lect. 4, on "The Authenticity," etc.). The traditional view, however, has within the last few years received the unhesitating support of Harnack; of old it would seem never to have been doubted. The Muratorian Fragment (circ. 170 A.D.) calls Luke the writer of this Gospel, and a "Medicus"; Irenaeus (circ. 180), in his treatise against Heresies, iii. 1, says that "Luke, Paul's companion, recorded in a book the gospel preached by him"; and Tertullian (circ. 200), in his treatise against Marcion, iv. 2 and 5, speaks of Luke as author. So also the contemporary Clement of Alexandria.

The name Lucas (Lucanus) is not to he confounded with Lucius (Act_13:1). Eusebius ("Ecclesiastical History," iii. 4) describes our Evangelist as by birth, "of those from Antioch" (cf. Jerome, "Life"); but see Westcott, "Introduction to Study of Gospels," p. 233, note. Eusebius' words may mean only that Luke had a family connection with that city; so Ramsay ("St. Paul the Traveller," p. 389), who supports Renan's suggestion that he was a native of Philippi, and regards the Evangelist as having been the "man of Macedonia," of Paul's vision, comparing this with Paul's previous vision as to Ananias, and Peter's as to Cornelius. Harnack, however, favours the older view that he was an Antiochene, and thus was familiar with the origin of the name "Christian" ("Expansion," vol. i., p. 347, note).

Titus, as not being mentioned in the Acts, some have supposed was a near relative of Luke. cf. 2Co_12:18 (τόν his).

Beza's M S. (D) in Act_11:28 has "When we were assembled"; but, from the text represented by most MSS., the Apostle and the Evangelist seem to have first met at Troas, in 53 A.D., during Paul's second missionary tour. After using "they" in Act_16:8, the writer in verse 11 changes to "we"; but in Act_17:1, he reverts to "they," which seems to show that Luke was left behind at Philippi (infra). Then, in connection with the Apostle's return to Troas, during his third missionary journey, we meet in Act_20:5 with "us . . . we"; whilst in Act_21:19, the narrative is resumed in the third person; but from Act_27:1 f. we learn that Luke had rejoined Paul at Caesarea.

The "beloved physician" - described by Wilson as a "layman" (op. cit., p. 83) - and he alone (2 Tim., ibid.), remained with the Apostle to the end of so much of Paul's life as is covered by the New Testament. Harnack treats the reference to him there as cold ("Expansion," i., p. 170), which English readers more happily regard as commendatory. He is probably the "true yokefellow" of Php_4:3.

Luke's medical knowledge is disclosed by various passages in our Gospel, as Luk_4:38, Luk_7:44, Luk_10:30, Luk_21:34. This has been worked out by Hobart ("The Medical Language of St. Luke"), whose book has been turned to account by Harnack. The Evangelist's treatment of cases of demoniacal possession is important in this connection: he does not regard them, according to modern notions, as merely physical disorders.

As Col_4:11 is usually understood, Luke was by birth, not (as Roberts and Hahn have thought) a Jew, but a Greek. He may have been a "proselyte," and so have ranked as a Hellenist. Dalman supposes that he did not know Hebrew or Aramaic ("Words of Jesus," p. 32); but see Jerome, "De Vir. Illust.," ch. 7. Neubauer treats the Evangelist's quotations as derived from an unwritten "Targum" or Aramaic paraphrase (Essay in "Studia Biblica," vol. i., p. 67); whilst Harnack and others have to assume that Luke was not unacquainted with Aramaic, if he was to translate, as they suppose he did, from an Aramaic document for the first part of Acts. His familiarity with Greek is easily recognisable; and for his use of the Septuagint, see Hawkins, "Horae Synopticae"; indeed, his vocabulary is largely drawn from the Apocrypha (Abbott).

From the fourth century, he was thought by some to have been one of the Seventy (chapter 10); but this is now generally discredited. This affords some ground for the belief that he was the unnamed disciple of ch. 24: 18: his withholding the name has significance for readers of juridical training.

Finally, Origen and Jerome believed that this "physician of the soul" was the brother whose praise in the Gospel is through all the churches (cf. the Collect for St. Luke's Day with 2Co_8:18), in the sense that Luke had then already published his Gospel. Although Erasmus reproduced this idea in his Latin translation of the Gospels (1520), it meets now with as little support as does the idea that it is to this Gospel the Apostle refers in 2Ti_2:8; cf. Rom_15:19; Gal_2:2 (see also note 100 below). Another statement of Jerome, that Luke lived to the age of 84 and remained unmarried, Harnack supposes goes back to the third century. The Evangelist's death is variously reported to have been by martyrdom, or peacefully; some saying in Bithynia, others in Boeotia.

W. Kelly has regarded Luke as a prophet: see "Exposition of Mark," p. 2. Hippolytus prefixed a quotation of 18: 2-5 by "as the apostle and Evangelist says" ("On Antichrist," in Ante-Nicene Christian Library, vol. x., p. 33).

In seeking to determine the date of the composition of this Gospel time must be allowed for the attempts made by others of which the Prologue speaks. Followed by the Book of Acts, which does not record Paul's death, the Gospel might seem to have been completed before 64 A.D. (Blass, after Eusebius: by at least 60). So the late Bishop Hervey and Dr. Gloag; whilst Keim puts it at 66; Godet, between 63 and the last-named year. Writers such as Jülicher (p. 336), influenced by the idea that the language of Luk_19:43 f. as to the overthrow of Jerusalem imports composition after the event, would say after 70; and so Zahn, about 75; Plummer and Sanday, 75-80; B. Weiss, Abbott, Ramsay, about 80; McGiffert and Bacon, following Harnack's former opinion (down to 1897: see below), decide for 78-93; Wernle and Moffatt, for circ. 90. In the same way it has been argued that Deuteronomy could not have been of Mosaic date, because of the contents of the last chapter: but in either case allowance may he made for editorial accretions or modifications after the original record was put in writing. As to grounds for belief that Luke's Gospel was put forth before the year 70 of the era, see Pullan, in Murray's "Bible Dictionary," p. 487.

The extreme views range between the last decade of the first century and the year 120 (Jülicher), In considering such opinions one must work back from about the year 160, i.e., from the time of Justin Martyr. While not naming our Evangelist, Justin speaks of "the Gospel," a term current in his time for all four records, which make up the "Diatessaron" of his pupil Tatian, an English translation of which may be seen in J. Hamlyn Hill's "The Earliest Life of Christ" (1910). Thirlwall (Introduction to Schleiermacher's "Essay of Luke," p. lxiv. ff.) considered that Justin's looseness in quotation (dwelt on by Cassels in "Supernatural Religion") was due to his regarding the New Testament as a commentary on the Books of the Hebrew Canon, which he quoted more carefully (p. lxxiii.). Somewhat earlier was Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, whose date is put by Harnack at 145; by Stanton, at 140; by Abbott, at 115-130. The testimony of this old bishop is of less account because he avowedly preferred oral to written accounts. But in Marcion, son of a bishop of Synope in Pontus, who was at Rome about 140 A.D., we have a witness of prime importance, because the substance of a Pauline gospel put forth by him is manifestly drawn from some recension of our third Gospel: see Westcott, on the Canon, chapter iv. Akin to Marcion's doctrinal system was that of his fellow Gnostic Valentinian (circ. 130), who, with Basilides, a contemporary heretic, seems also to have been acquainted with the contents of Luke's Gospel. We are thus carried back to the early years of the second century; and then, for the last decade of the first, are met by the question whether Luke had read Josephus' Antiquities (published in the winter of 93-94) because of similarity in the language used by the Evangelist and by the Jewish historian.

Holtzmann, Keim, Hausrath and Burkitt, after Krenkel, hold that Josephus' work was known to Luke, and accordingly date this Gospel after 93 (Clemen: 94 or 95) A.D. Zahn, Sanday, Salmon, Wellhausen, Harnack and Moffatt discredit all this. The words employed by the two, of course contemporaries, were undeniably in common use: each drew from the LXX., and thus sometimes used an identical vocabulary.

Reverting to the yet earlier critical dates, that of "about the year 70" maybe taken as a moderate conjecture, in probably large acceptance. In this the present writer can acquiesce, only so far as it may mark the limit of editorial revision, as to which see Wright, "Composition of the Gospels," p. 117. The process of construction is represented by the more advanced critics as completed later: thus Loisy's date is 90-100: Schmiedel's, 100-110.

The last-named writer (§ 110). after Pfleiderer (cf. Bruce, "Kingdom of God," p. 337), finds in this Gospel in its settled form certain opposite tendencies:- Pauline universalism associated with Jewish particularism (Luk_1:68; Luk_2:10; Luk_5:30; Luk_7:16; Luk_13:16; Luk_19:9; Luk_22:30), referring such to different editorial "working over"; but in the present Exposition these will be found explained as part of the Divine design of which the Evangelist himself was the instrument. The fact is, Luke's Gospel was not intended specially for either Jews (as Matthew's) or for Gentiles (as Mark's), but equally for both. Whatever actual revision there was connects itself with the extended or completed publication, and not the original issue, of the Gospel, which may quite well have been before the year 70, as formerly believed by all later readers. Harnack (supra) in his recent book on the Acts in particular finds it difficult to think that Luke in Luk_21:32 regarded the destruction of the city as past at the time of his writing (E. T., p. 293). He now thinks that a date soon after the year 60 is credible.

3 Theophilus ("Friend of God"), whose name (Origen: "a man whom God loves") may have been given to him at his baptism, and used only among Christians, seems to have been of equestrian rank, and saluted as "most excellent" (κράτιστε cf. our "Right Honourable"), from being a ἡγεμών like Felix (Act_23:26) and Festus (Act_26:25). He can have been no such fictitious person as Origen supposed, by reason of this very designation. With the Expositor's remarks on the social position of this friend of the Evangelist, compare note on Luk_6:20.

4 The Gospels called "Synoptic," i.e. as together representing the same general view (cf. note 3 on Mark), can have been composed under one or other of the following conditions. I. To each Evangelist was separately revealed that which he had to write, independently of the rest (cf. note 10 on Mark). Very few Biblical scholars since Greswell have committed themselves to this theory, but it was that of the Expositor himself, and very much the view of Dr. Harvey Goodwin, when writing contemporaneously as Dean of Ely, before becoming Bishop of Carlisle. II. Each Evangelist reduced oral tradition to a written form in the light of his special purpose and in his own way. Such has been the view of English scholars who followed Gieseler: since the early sixties it has been represented by Westcott, in particular, and by Abbott, Wright and Salmon; in Germany by Zahn, etc. III. Some written record long defunct lies behind all the Gospels in their existing form - the view of Eichhorn and his followers. IV. One of the Gospels is a main source of the rest; the second and the third used one or more additional sources no longer separately extant. During the last preceding generation this has been the view most accepted. The first, the ecclesiastical or "traditional" view, which satisfied most minds from the fifth to the eighteenth century, means that "all the differences between the Gospels were taken as individual variations of a divine type, each variation perfect in its kind" (Nash, pp. 61, 155). The second will be considered here in sections A., B. Whatever is true in the third is generally deemed to be included in the last of the views above stated: these together rely on the notion of dependence as governing the development of the Gospel records (sections C. - F.).

Hug, amongst Roman Catholics, was one of the eighteenth century scholars holding that each successive Evangelist used his predecessors. The theory which has given rise to views of dependence may be seen stated in Westcott, "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels," p. 183. There will be found an account of the "supplemental" view, according to which each successive writer added something to his predecessor's account: an idea first suggested by Chrysostom. Greswell has left a Dissertation on the subject.

In principle there can be no objection to the belief that writers of the New Testament have drawn upon ordinary sources of information, e.g., Act_23:25-30, and from one another: this last seems to have been done by the historical and prophetical writers respectively of the Old Testament. Tacit borrowing is noticeable in Micah, from Isaiah (if not vice versa); Jeremiah, from Hosea, Isaiah and Zephaniah; Ezekiel, from Hosea, Zephaniah and Jeremiah; Joel, from Jonah; Haggai, from Ezekiel; and Zechariah, from Isaiah. Girdlestone, referring to this "spiritual communism," remarks that "Inspiration does not imply originality" ("The Grammar of Prophecy," p. 10 f.). Whilst it may be unnecessary to go so far as to say that "the most simple faith and the keenest investigation are one and the same thing" (Thirlwall), we have certainly apostolic injunctions, on the one hand, to "prove all things" (1Th_5:21), and, on the other, to be on our guard against "spirits" not of God (1Jn_4:1). If both of these considerations be kept in view, investigation of this subject may be fruitful.

It is the two-fold effect of manifest independence (differences) in combination with apparent use of common sources (agreements) which has given rise to the "Synoptic Problem," for the history of the solution of which see H. Holtzmann, "Introduction to the New Testament," pp. 351-357. The well-selected passage by way of example from Luke 5 (verses 18-26), collated with Mar_2:3-12, Mat_9:2-8, in Green's Angus ("Handbook to the Bible," p. 630), may be compared with that, in A.V., used by Rushbrooke ("Synopticon," p. 96). Upon the parenthesis each time, "He said to the sick of the palsy," of which use was made by H. Holtzmann in his earliest work on the subject, see comment of D. Smith (Introduction, p. xiv.).

This problem has been briefly considered in notes 6-12 appended to the "Exposition of Mark." In the present volume we shall start from a general statement of that which is suggested by the phenomena made by a truly devout and esteemed English Biblical student, the late Lord Arthur Hervey, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who in a lecture on the third Gospel expressed himself as follows:-

"The writer seems to have had three sources of information: (1) the oral teaching, as we see it in those parts which occur also, word for word, in Matthew or Mark, or both; (2) those living eye-witnesses whom he had personally known, and from whose lips he had taken down the various particulars related by him; (3) written records which he transcribed or otherwise used in the composition of his own narrative" (p. 99 f.). The subject, with special reference to Luke's Prologue (Luk_1:1-4), which is unique in the whole Bible, will be taken in the same order as the bishop's statement, in successive sections.

A. The word for "delivered" (παρέδοσαν in Luk_1:2 is etymologically connected with that for "tradition" (παράδοσις which in the plural comes before us in 2Th_2:15. Such tradition might be either oral or written (ibid.); it is with the first that we are concerned at present. It originated with "the Apostle's teaching" (Act_2:42), and seems to have continued for about 100 years, as there are words about it attributed to Papias, who lived, it is believed, as late as at least 130 if not 140 A.D. He tells us that Christians of his time preferred "the living voice" to written statements, one reason perhaps for delay in production of our Gospels. "There appears," wrote Thirlwall, "to be no reason for supposing that written documents of any kind entered into the general plan of the Apostles for the diffusion of Christianity" (p. 121), and, as says Bunsen in his "Hippolytus" (i., p. 28), "Nobody was anxious to have a written biography of Him whose return was daily expected." To tradition we owe the names of the respective writers of the Gospels. One saying of our Lord outside their records has been rescued for us by Paul (Act_20:35), yet recorded by Luke himself. That this was in currency before the Apostle quoted it, may be seen by his word "remember." Other such sayings, which are credited, are found in Clement (of Rome), chapters ii., xiii., xlvi., and Polycarp, chapter ii. (see Harnack, "Sayings of Jesus," pp. 187-190). Fragmentary notes may indeed have been taken by individual hearers of the Apostles' instruction.

Nearly all scholars are agreed that these three Gospels rest ultimately on oral tradition. "The written word marks a time when the first generation of Christians was passing away and the Lord still delayed His coming" (Green's Angus, p. 632). For a considerable time the Apostles laboured together in Jerusalem. But that which here is of chief importance is the Evangelist's reference to catechizing in verse 4; this has been turned to account by Wright (cf. Carr in Expositor, October, 1907). It must have been very much the instruction that now is given in Bible classes for adults and in Sunday schools or children's services. Timothy would engage in this (1Ti_5:17). See further, notes 9 and 16 below.

As preceding continuous written records, the primitive believers, then, had at their command a fund of material which, through constant repetition of the same things by the same speakers, would "stereotype the words" (Bennett, p. 136). The Synoptic Gospels represent "written records of forms taken by tradition at the end of three diverging lines of development" (ibid.); or as Salmon, in his posthumous work (p. 27), says, "The most probable explanation of . . . three histories, so like one another yet so independent, is that we have preserved for us the oral gospel as delivered at three different centres" (Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch). But this explanation of variations from "lapse of memory" (p. 67, etc.) will not do. As another puts it, "The Evangelists were editors, not authors: they reduced the oral apostolic tradition to writing; and therefore it is that their books are entitled, not the Gospel of, but the Gospel according to Matthew," etc. (D. Smith, p. xiv). Cf. Godet, i. pp. 36-41. That which Hahn held as to Luke, Zahn maintains for Matthew - the belief that none but oral sources were used.

This floating tradition in the Aramaic vernacular Westcott and others have conceived was put into Greek before being committed to writing. Orr thinks that it was closely followed by Mark, and that the two other Evangelists "borrowed parts of the same tradition which they combined with material drawn from other sources."

Sir John Hawkins ("Horae Synopticae," p. 67) allows for other than documentary sources; and so B. Weiss in his "Life of Christ," i. 81, and "Sources of Luke's Gospel," chapter i.; but in his "Sources of Synoptic Tradition." chapter v., the venerable Berlin scholar seems practically to exclude it. Whenever doubt may arise between oral and written sources, he would decide for the latter. Various objections to the oral theory are enumerated by Peake. That any substantial record was kept orally is discredited by Burkitt from supposed difficulty in memorising it; but this objection is disposed of by the younger Weiss, who says, "When we see how in the Talmud words of the Rabbins have been preserved for centuries, clearly with the utmost exactitude, we shall not doubt that the Lord's disciples also were able to retain the leading subjects for decades. These men had by far fresher and more practised memory than we children of a paper age. . . . Many people even now who cannot read much make up for it by their retentive memory of what they hear" ("Writings of the New Testament," p. 54). We have, of course, to add to this the all-important words of our Lord in Joh_14:26. For Westcott as for Godet (see Introduction in his later French editions), apostolic tradition was the dominant factor. Besides Westcott ("Introduction to the Study of the Gospels"), reference may be made to Abbott, "The Common Tradition," Introduction, p. vi., Moffatt, Introduction, pp. 180-182, and Wright, "Synopsis of Gospels in Greek," Introduction, p. x. (cf. note 11 on Mark).

Before proceeding further, it may be convenient for the reader to be furnished with a list of passages altogether peculiar to Luke, which is transcribed from Wernle, "The Synoptic Question," p. 92:-

Luke 1, Luke 2; Luk_3:10-14; Luk_3:23-38; Luk_5:4-9; Luk_7:11-17; Luk_7:36-50; Luk_8:1-3; Luk_9:51-56; Luk_10:17-20; Luk_10:25-42; Luk_11:5-8; Luk_11:27-28; Luk_12:13-21; Luk_12:35-37; Luk_12:47-49; Luk_12:54-56; Luk_13:1-17; Luk_13:31-33; Luk_14:1-14; Luk_14:28-33; Luk_15:11-32; Luk_16:1-12; Luk_16:14-15; Luk_16:19-31; Luk_17:7-19; Luk_18:1-14; Luk_19:2-10; Luk_19:41-44; Luk_22:28-38; Luk_23:6-12; Luk_23:27-31; Luk_23:39-43; Luk_24:13-53. Other portions of "The Single Tradition of Luke" (as in Luke 3, verses 1-2, 4-6, 15-16, 18-20) would be found in Rushbrooke's third appendix.

Difficulty has arisen among critics in arriving at agreement as to the source of the special passages, whether oral or written. Wernle himself, amongst others, treats them as derivable from that writer's one written "special source" supposed to have been used by Luke.

B. The Apostle Paul, converted, whether, as Harnack thinks, not more than a year, or as Ramsay, three years after the Crucifixion. has made use of the aid of "eye-witnesses" with reference to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord: 1Co_15:3, "Also I received," with which cf. "Also ye" in verse 1, and verse 23 with note 540 below. In 1 Cor. 15 there is no question of any appeal made to a written document (cf. Heb_2:3), in an epistle of which some still hold that Paul was the writer.

Besides Apostles (for John, see below) as eye-witnesses in general, who would be the originators of tradition dealt with in section A, there must have been private persons (see Act_1:21 f.) who supplied the Evangelist with information in answer to his inquiries (cf. note 7 below). The birth narrative could have been obtained from the Lord's mother. Her reticence as to His childhood has been recorded by Luke (Luk_2:51): it has a bearing on her probably special disclosures to this Evangelist (Macalpine, p. 20).

For the Galilean and Perean records in particular there would be the evidence available of other women from that region; and for the respective relations of the Baptist and of our Lord to the court of Herod, that of Joanna (Luk_3:1, Luk_8:3, Luk_9:7-9, Luk_13:31, Luk_23:7-12).

Luke was resident for two years in the house of Philip the Evangelist (Act_21:8; cf. Harnack, "Luke the Physician", p. 155 ff.), through whom he may have gleaned much that is recorded in chapters 9 - 18. Again, he may have obtained from such as Nicodemus details as to the Passion of our Lord (Barnes). We may also suppose that Luke had considerable intercourse with John the son of Zebedee; for affinity between his Gospel and the Fourth, see already note 1.

C. Reverting to what has been introduced at the beginning of the present note as to critical opinion going back to the last quarter of the eighteenth century, it is necessary to recall such views as Lessing's that common written material underlies all the Synoptics; and Eichhorn's, that an Aramaic original was used in the composition of the three existing Gospels, but that none of them saw the others' work. Unremitting study of the subject by many scholars during the last century has led to the now dominant conclusion: most critics find various strata or layers in all, indicating different stages of development in the form that the Synoptics have respectively taken (J. Weiss, p. 39 f.), resulting in part from inter-dependence (with this cf. Godet's conservative view, i., pp. 42-48, 53-71). And so of Luke's Gospel, that it depends primarily on one or other of its predecessors. We may, then, first consider the order in which these Gospels were written.

In the early Curetonian Syriac version, Luke's is placed last of the four Gospels, probably because it was the latest to be translated into Syriac. In the Western MSS. existing when Jerome began his study of the New Testament, as in the recently discovered Akhmîm Codex now at Detroit, U.S.A.. although placed third (as already in the Muratorian Fragment), it follows John, and is before Mark. The order in which readers of the English Bible know it is that assigned to it by Origen, the great Christian scholar of the third century, in agreement with the majority of MSS. and versions that have come down to us. The view taken by some Germans in the middle of the last century that it was the first written is now much discredited. Indeed, Bishop Westcott's arrangement, 1 Mark, 2 Luke, 3 Matthew, has found support in Germany, as by Pfleiderer. But writers of such a different type as Professor Schmidt in America and Professor Orr in Great Britain dispute the priority of Mark to Matthew.

The question as yet remains, had the writer of our third Gospel seen the one going under the name "Matthew." The answer of Hug was that Luke made use of it, and the Roman Catholic professor was followed in this by Greswell, who held that Luke must have seen Matthew's record. A few writers, such as E. Holtzmann, Wendt, and Allen, think that he used it to some extent. The esteemed Roman Catholic professor Schanz adheres to the ancient view that Luke's Gospel was to a large extent derived from both Matthew and Mark.

But the view of most moderns, amongst them Ewald, Meyer, B. Weiss, and now Harnack ("Sayings," p. 112), is that the independence of Luke and of the present "Matthew" was established by Weisse (1838), after the great English scholar Thirlwall (Introduction to Schleiermacher's Essay) in 1825 had expressed the belief that neither of them could have known the other's account of the Infancy and the Resurrection. Current criticism favours the theory that it is the use by Luke of a document lying behind our Matthew which explains a considerable amount of matter being common to these two Gospels alone. This point will be discussed in section E. below.

With regard to the question whether Luke had seen Mark's Gospel, critical opinion, to a large extent, is very different. This must now engage attention.

D. Analytical comparison of Luke's Gospel with that attributed to Mark has revealed, especially in chapters 4 - 9 of the third Gospel, a similarity so close in order and wording in both Matthew and Luke to the parallel record in our second Gospel, as to lead many scholars to the conclusion that Mark's Gospel was used by each, with the necessary corollary, in keeping with the now prevalent opinion recorded in section C., that the shortest of the Synoptic Gospels was the one first written. This is a complete reversal of the view taken by Griesbach, Schleiermacher, Baur, Strauss, and Davidson, for whom the order was 1 Matthew, 2 Luke, 3 Mark (cf. note 2 in volume on Mark). Such are the vagaries of criticism previously illustrated by the paraded late date, as was supposed, of Deuteronomy, which has given place to the priority, maintained with no less dogmatism, of that book to the so-called "Priestly Code." The now supposed priority of Mark to Matthew underlies the book entitled "The Synoptic Question (Problem)," by Wernle, and the more recent works of Harnack, which may be consulted in English translations, as also in the latest writings of Professor Bernhard Weiss, which have been reviewed in the German "Journal of Theological Literature" by Dr. Harnack.

The principal, more or less common, results worked out by these three scholars, in particular by Weiss in his &quo