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321-322

II. Modern Authors

323-324

III. References to the Bible and to Jewish and other Ancient

Literature.

324-332

IV. Greek Words .

332-337

V. Hebrew and Aramaic Words

337-338

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PREFACE

PERHAPS no one, especially during the last thirty years, has undertaken to write a Commentary on one of the Canonical Gospels, without experiencing again and again, during the process of production, that he had undertaken a task which was beyond both his strength and his equipment. That has certainly been my own experience in writing this Commentary on the First Gospel.

First Gospel. For a commentator upon this book, who is to do his work efficiently, should have many qualifications. He should be a competent Greek scholar, versed in the Hellenistic Greek literature, and acquainted with the bearing of modern archæological discovery upon the history of the language. He should be acquainted also with the Hebrew of the Old Testament, with the various Aramaic dialects, and with the later dialects of the Talmuds and Midrashim. If the writings of Deissmann on the one hand, and of Wellhausen and Dalman on the other, have shown what new light can be thrown upon the New Testament by experts in their own department, they have also illustrated the defective character of a one-sided knowledge, and have given indications of the sort of work that may be done by a scholar of the future, who shall be at the same time a Grecian and an Orientalist. The commentator should further be a master of the material for the textual criticism of the Gospel, which is in itself the study of a lifetime. He should have a thorough knowledge of the literature dealing with the so-called Synoptic Problem, and should have formed a judgement based upon independent investigation as to the literary relationship between the Canonical Gospels and the sources which lie behind them. He should have studied the growth of theological conceptions as illustrated in the Old Testament, and in the apocryphal and apocalyptic literature up to and during the period in which our Gospels were written. And he should have mastered the Talmudic and Midrashic theology at least sufficiently to be able to form an independent judgement as to the possibility of using it for the purpose of illustrating theological conceptions and religious institutions in the first century A.D. I can lay claim to no such qualifications as these. Nevertheless, within the limits to be mentioned presently, I venture to hope that the present volume will give some help to those who desire to find out what this Gospel meant to the Evangelist as he wrote it. How much may here be done Dalman has shown us, but much still remains to be done; and it is probably the case that, in some measure, the secret of the Gospels will never altogether disclose itself to those who cannot approach them from the Jewish-Oriental view of life, as well as from other aspects. In view of what has been said, it will be understood that the following Commentary has been, of necessity and intentionally, made one-sided in its method and aim, and it will be desirable to try and explain the principles upon which it has been written.

There are, I think, roughly speaking, two methods of commenting upon one of the Synoptic Gospels. One, and that the traditional and familiar one, is based upon the two assumptions, first, that all three Gospels are sources for the life of Christ of equal value; and, second, that the commentator is in direct contact with the words of Christ as He uttered them (due allowance being made for translation from Aramaic into Greek). From this point of view the commentator will always be mindful that it is his duty to elucidate and explain the words of the Gospel upon which he is at work, in such a way as to enable the

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