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7. The Apparatus for Study. As it may not be clear what means of study are required in order to form an opinion on the subject, the following apparatus may be specified as essential. Two copies of the gospels (of the same edition) should be cut into columns, and made into a continuous text on one side only.
First.-Set out the text of the Nucleus in parallel columns of the three gospels. The references for this are given in the first columns of Tables I, II, III. Along with this may be kept in sequence the passages which are only in two gospels in sequence, as stated in the second columns of the tables. These are the first and second classes of documents, which were accreted before the separation of all the three gospels.
Second.—Set out similarly the text of all episodes which are parallel, and which come together in a block in any gospel, but which do not recur in the sequence with the Nucleus in different gospels. These are in the third columns of Tables I, II, III, and are the scattered documents.
Third.—Set out all remaining passages of each gospel separately, marking in cross references to all parallels. These are in the fourth and fifth columns of Tables I and II. Those verses which have cross references are the fourth and fifth classes above. The other verses are the sixth class, which comprises the material which is only found in one gospel. This systematises the whole text.
Tables are needful of the chapters and verses of the Nucleus, which are here supplied in the columns of Tables I, II, and III. Also of the passages in sequence in two gospels, Table IV. Also of the passages which are in sequence together, but are not placed uniformly in the Nucleus, Table V. Also of the are in scattered sequence in each of the gospels, the documents which were not incorporated but only extracted, Table VI. Lastly, the doublet verses, Table VII. A list is also needed of all other cross references between the gospels, in order to search for any extracts recurring in the same order in different gospels; this is the only way to detect scattered portions of documents.
THE CLASSES OF DOCUMENTS
8. The Nucleus (I). We may first note the respective proportions in which the different classes of documents constitute the gospel of Matthew :-(1) Original Nucleus, one-quarter; (2) Episodes arranged as in Mark only, less than one-fifth (there are practically none in common with Luke); (3) Episodes which are inserted at different places in other gospels, one-fifth; (4) Scattered verses following the order in other gospels, one-fiftieth; (5) Episodes entirely out of relation to their place in other gospels, one-fourteenth ; (6) Episodes entirely unknown otherwise, two-sevenths. Thus classes (4) and (5) are practically insignificant, but the other four classes each contribute a large share.
The Nucleus is, by its nature, of closely the same length in each gospel. It amounts to nearly a quarter of the whole in Matthew and Luke, and to two-fifths in Mark. The insertions in the Nucleus are so frequent that there are seldom more than two or three episodes of Nucleus still left together; and in the two chapters of the Trial and Passion, so minute has been the gathering in of supplementary detail, that the verses are almost alternately of Nucleus and of insertions.
In the gospel of Luke the Nucleus was retained from the third to sixth chapters ; after that there are only two portions of it in chapters viïi and ix) until the eighteenth chapter. Nearly ten chapters have here been inserted of entirely independent material which was gathered by Luke.
The historical view of the Nucleus and the tracing of its connections will be dealt with in the next chapter. Here we observe only the structural evidence, which is unquestionable. The text of the Nucleus is given here as an appendix.
9. The Two-gospel Sequences (II). In dealing with those episodes which occur in two gospels in the same part of the Nucleus, we touch one of the most interesting problems of the enquiry. In dealing with it we may be met by a positive assertion that the Marcan form is the earlier, and that no other conclusion is open. On the contrary, in all the small details of words, it appears that Mark has a later form than Matthew. These facts are put in an appendix, to avoid a long digression here. At least, it must be granted that we must come to the structural evidence without any
dictation from other criticism limiting our conclusions.
On looking at Table IV, we see the remarkable state of the connections between two gospels only. There are first two short passages of fourteen verses found in Matthew and Luke, which are probably accretions subsequent to Mark. Then come in strict sequence with the Nucleus five passages, ninety-eight verses, found in Mark and Luke, down to Mark vi. Of these there are three also in Matthew, but in different positions,