« AnteriorContinuar »
the Roman world, as it involved the religious as well as the national centre. Henceforward Christianity lost its sense of any tie to Judaism.
Now, looking at the characteristics of these periods, we see how not only was there an entirely new problem and new atmosphere of thought in each decade, but also how the interests and questions of one or two decades before or after had either passed away or were as yet unthought of. And when we notice how the fulfilling of the law is the main theme of the Nucleus, and how little of the completed gospels refer to the Gentile problems, we must see how devoid of historic sense is the anachronism of supposing the main body of the gospels to have originated as late as the Gentile period.
16. The Historic Position of the Nucleus. We are now prepared to estimate the position shewn by the Nucleus in relation to the known history. When we search through it, as given in the Appendix, there is not a single idea or incident recorded which steps beyond the field of thought of the ministry and of the
HISTORIC POSITION F THE NUCLEUS 39
Church at Jerusalem in its earlier growth. Even in the stage after this the Syro-Phoenician was still looked on as a “dog" not worthy of the children's bread.
When the geographical position is regarded the result is still more trenchant. Galilee is only vaguely named without indicating a single locality. There is but one precise statement of any place north of Jerusalem and Jericho. That exception is Caesarea (Matt. xvi 13), and that exactly localised account was doubtless due to Philip the evangelist of Caesarea (Acts xxi 3), who was at Jerusalem by 30 A.D. (Acts vi 5). Otherwise it seems that during the formation of the Nucleus, and before the separate gospels began to be constructed upon it, the Galilean ministry was but vaguely realised by the Church at Jerusalem.
The narratives are quite different as soon as we touch the later period of only two gospels in sequence. By the time of that growth the Galilean narratives had come to be incorporated, and we find named Capernaum, Tyre, Sidon, Gadara, Magdala, Dalmanutha, the SyroPhoenician, and Jairus. This local detail is foreign to the Nucleus, and its absence shews how entirely that belonged to the Jerusalem Church, while the names in the northern episodes were brought in from documents which had originated in Galilee.
Another strong evidence of the early date of the Nucleus is its treatment of the Resurrection period. It is full of minute detail down to the Burial; but only three or four verses at the utmost can be in the common basis of the gospels regarding the Resurrection. Yet the Resurrection was preached at a very early date (Acts ii 32; iv 2, 33; vii 56; x 40), and were the Nucleus even ten years later there would have been a full record about it. The close of the Nucleus suggests a document drawn up within a few months of the final events.
Now that the Nucleus is before us in the Appendix, it
be noticed how various links of episodes have been broken by the insertion of additions, even at a very early period of growth. The references here are to Matthew. After the preaching of the Baptist, the call of Simon and Andrew (iv 22) is continuous with the going into Simon's house (viii 14). After saying that the sick were brought (viii 16), there follows (ix 2) a case of palsy. The position of new doctrine is illustrated by the parables of the old garment and old bottles (ix 7) continued in (xii 1) the episode of eating corn on the Sabbath and healing on the Sabbath. The statement of universal relationship to the disciples (xii 50) may well have been the close of a primitive group of narrative dealing with the early questions about the law. The succeeding matter refers more to the aspect of the Church. The miracle of the loaves (xiv 13-20) has been thrust in between the perplexity of Herod (xiv 1-2; Luke ix 7) and the answering paragraph (xvi 13-16; Mark viii 27-31). The setting of a child in the midst (xviii 1-5) was followed immediately by children being brought to be blessed (ix 13), though in Luke nine chapters have been interpolated between the two halves of the episode (Luke ix 48 to xviii 15). The final visit to Jerusalem and the Crucifixion occupied nearly half of the Nucleus, and were expanded by numerous small insertions afterwards. Such was the teaching of the Church in Jerusalem before the Galilean documents had been collected and incorporated.
Though the extent of the Nucleus is selfdefined by the extent of matter in the same sequence in all three gospels, yet in the question of detail as to which of the three versions is nearest to the original, personal judgment must come in. The choice of wording which has been made here in the Appendix is settled by the adoption of whichever version appeared to be the simpler and earlier in its ideas and expressions.
The result is that 161 verses of Matthew, 97 verses of Mark, and 3 verses of Luke were adopted as being apparently the earliest forms. But not a word is omitted which is found in all three versions. Further detail belongs to the domain of textual and verbal criticism, and in this immense field there is unlimited scope for research. Here we must limit our view to structural criticism.
17. The Two-Gospel Additions. After the compilation of the Nucleus, the stage is reached where the additions to it were not universally used, but it began to grow on different lines into different gospels. Those double narratives which are in sequence