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1. Who collected the first Greek Testament ?
4. What active agent traversed the Roman Empire to make such col. lection of Greek ?
5. What special need of Greek-speaking Churches called for this collection when it was made ?
6. Who bore the cost of this Canon ?
7. What sort of reception did the early Church give to this Greek Testament?
8. How does the theory of a first collection of a canon, in the second century, harmonise with the introduction to the Gospel of Luke ?
9. What place have you for the company of editors found at the close of John's Gospel ?
10. How does your theory account for the unfinished state of the Acts of the Apostles ?
11. How was the pledge of Jesus to send scribes or writers as a final test of the character of the Jews, before the ruin of Jerusalem, redeemed on your critical theory?
12. How do you show that the wisdom promised in the same sentence as the writings was given to the apostles if they neglected to secure, in their own day, a New Testament Canon ?
If any adherent of Greek originals from which every other early New Testament was translated can answer these twelve questions, let him do
But if he give up the task as beyond his power, we beg to hint that they can all be answered when we follow the right track.
MAN'S ONLY HOPE OF IMMORTALITY. An E.cposition of Christ's Argument against the Sadducees. BY WILLIAM GLEN MONCRIEFF.
THE PROPOSED INTERPRETATION.
and rejected, we must determine with ourselves in what direction the speakers -- the Lord God, Jesus, and the Sadducees- bend their thoughts. That is to say, what vision rises before each of them? Not that of an intermediate state, so frequently adverted to amid the errors of our time, but of eternity itself, to which a resurrection is the door yet to be thrown wide open for the slumbering saints. They alone, we have gathered from the authoritive part of the reply, are the heirs of an existence similar in permanence and splendour to that of the loving Redeemer's own. When“ at the bush ” the Lord God pronounced the words concerning the Patriarchs, His mind, and we speak thus with emotions of unfeigned reverence, is occupied with the transcendent hereafter, overlooking entirely, as of infinite trivial interest, their temporary confinement and oblivion in the grave. We so describe it, for what are a few thousand years to Him who is from everlasting to everlasting? A speck, an instant, measured by the perpetuity of His being ; and the same is also true of the life in store for His regenerated sons, through the ages of the ages. What are they to those who “ know not anything” in their deep repose ? Meditating on their condition as it lasts from generation to generation, we feel it waste and sad; to them, however, appertains no sense of duration, no perception of their lowly state. They weary not for the break of morning, yet it shall break; they pine not for release, but they shall be delivered ; and when the resistless voice thunders at the portals of Sheol, “Come forth !” it will appear to them as if their eyes had just on that very second closed in the tents where they expired. To understand the argument, we must realise all this, awed by the overpowering spectacle as it looms into view.
In like manner, Jesus. He passes over, and for the same reasons, the brief interval of their suspended being, and “that world ”—the solemn and unclosing future- meets His prophetic eye. He beholds all their destiny mapped out before His far-reaching glance ; and just as His Father beheld the worthies, so did He, onward yonder where no night falls.
Even the poor misguided Sadducees, bondsmen of their early education and embittered prejudices, rose in their question to the same height, that of eternity; though according to their creed immortal life was reserved for no child of man. They likewise overlooked the years appointed for the woman and her husbands in the region of forgetfulness, and imagined them in the eternal world, so as for the occasion to stand on the same plane with the “Master” they addressed : “In the resurrection ”—when she is recalled to life and enters on the unending stage of being you discourse about " whose wife is she?”
Thus all the speakers, divine and human, are away in the realm of the illimitable hereafter. God and His Son, in the excessive overflow of a mighty compassion, speaking words that ought to bend every knee in adoring thankfulness; and the hostile questioners trying their best, in the hardness of their hearts, to thwart heaven's blessed aim, to bring reproach and derision on the Light of the world, and to shut the gates of mercy on mankind.
11. We now hasten to develop directly what we regard as the correct view of our Lord's reasoning : first, briefly in the conversational form, taking the responsibility of both interlocutors upon ourselves; and afterwards, having resumed the ordinary style, justifying the exposition, 80 as most distinctly and completely to exhibit the argument in its grasp, point and cogency:
Writer-Jesus affirms that the doctrine of a resurrection, rejected by the Sadducees, is taught in the words of Moses, “ I am the God of Abraham,” &c.
Reader -I accept the statement, but how is the doctrine established thereby?
Writer-Let us in the most reverential spirit imagine three possible human beings before the mind, or vision, of God, and ask ourselves the question, Would it be consistent with fact for Him to say, “ I am the
God of these three men"? Remember, that by supposition they have no actual existence, and may never have it.
Reader-I think He could not say so.
Writer- Well, suppose He has resolved to give existence to the three men who stand in vision before Him, could He affirm He is their God ?
Reader— It seems to me not. It would, however, be perfectly sistent and proper for Him to declare, I may become their God, or, I shall yet be a God to them, regulating His statement by His unerring foresight.
Writer- Exactly. The language we might expect Him to employ, for it would be the language of truth, is just what you have suggested, -I shall be a God to them. Reader-Well, so far everything is lucid and intelligible.
Writer--But take one step further : suppose that He has resolved to bring the three men appearing before Him in vision into existence, and also foresees that He will become their God, in the same way as He was a God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, might He not, by reason of His unerring prescience, adopt the words, “ I am their God," since what His omniscience beholds in the future is as good as if it had already come to pass ?
Reader—To the best of my discernment He might, since it is the Divine prerogative to call things “ that are not as though they were," in virtue of the fact that they must at length necessarily come out of nonbeing into existence, or out of vision-being into real being.
Writer-Now, was God ever the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Reader—Yes; when they lived on earth in His fear and service. Writer-Does He not say He is their God still ?
Reader - He did say so “ at the bush,” — “ I am the God of Abraham,” &c.
Writer— Then, if He who sees the end from the beginning affirms He is still their God, does he contemplate them as dead men-men bereft of consciousness for ever, as the Sadducees assumed they wereor as the heirs of a life to come; in fact, as good as living, or already resurrected ?
Reader-As heirs of life ; men once more to be-men as good to Him, when He spake from the centre of the burning bush, as if they were at the moment realities in His presence.
Writer-And if He contemplates them as heirs of life--as good as if they were alive—when He used the memorable words, what does that necessarily involve ?
Reader - That they will all yet actually return to life ; in other words, that THEY ARE SURE OF A RESURRECTION.
DEFENCE AND ILLUSTRATION OF THE PROPOSED EXPOSITION, 12. The pith and essence of the argument for a resurrection, it bas been previously observed, is enclosed in the words, “ I am the God of Abraham,” &c., and that the additional matter in verse 37 merely explains the reasoning, or shows that the proof of the doctrine is contained in the language recorded by Moses. We are to suppose some
such question as the following asked at Jesus by one listening to His repetition of the words spoken at Horeb : How does that establish your doctrine ? The answer is given in two forms, substantially embodying the same idea, (1st) negatively, “ For He is not the God of the dead; (2nd) positively, “but” (repeat He is the God) “ of the living ; "that is, it would be meaningless language, an empty title, for the Holy One to declare Himself the God of the Patriarchs if they are eternally done with existence, since the relationship that once subsisted between them must, in that event, be regarded as absolutely dissolved. Their names are cancelled from the list of human existences. He is their God no more. So far, however, from the relationship being terminated, He declares Himself still their God ; and since that is His own positive testimony, the inference to be drawn is, “then" (rather than " for ") “they all live unto Him," intimating that He contemplates them as alive. "To His. view, in other words, they are as good as living men, because they will certainly again be made alive.
13. We prefer to substitute then in the room of “for,” because the Greek particle gar seems to exercise an inferential force in the passage. As our version runs, the statement, " for all live unto Him,” was clearly understood by the English translators to contain a reason in support of something that went before. What precedes it is, “ He is not a God of the dead, but of the living ;” and it strikes us as the most natural supposition that they held the words, “ for all live unto Him,” to convey the reason why He designates Himself the God of the Patriarchs—" for they all live unto Him," or for His glory, in the unseen state-according to the common explanation of these words. Now there is nothing very extraordinary in that. He was their God here below, and we cannot imagine that He would cast them off when they entered, as orthodoxy assures us they did, on the heavenly scenes, and were nearer Himself, and away from fleshly and worldly temptations, and beside the springs of perennial happiness. Well, suppose we pass that by,--comes up the old insuperable difficulty, with which we shall not again tax the reader's patience beyond a few lines. The difficulty is, the utter absence of any logical and valid connection between God being their God while they continue to serve Him behind the veil, and a resurrection for them at some future period or other. It is a demonstration that demonstrates nothing. It depends exclusively on pure assumption for any show of vitality it contains. “Made perfect in holiness," they have lived, so we are encouraged to believe, in exalted, illuminating, and blissful circumstances for thousands of years already, apart from any physical organism, and why not for ten thousand more? why not for millions ? why not for ever ?
What we want, and what the blessed Redeemer provided, is a reason, not why God is the God of the three worthies, but WHY THEY ARE TO BE RESURRECTED. The reason is close at hand, and would soon be found out did not heathen fables and philosophising, baptized as Christian truth, hide it from observation.
But, to be done with the weary confusion and obscurity which soulimmortality creates here and all over Holy Writ, let the words, “ All live unto Him,” be taken as a luminous and welcome deduction, and the whole matter is simplified at once. He is their God, because He sents them to Himself as living beings, not as those who have parted with
existence for evermore. This is the aspect in which they appear,-they are alive in the foresight and immutable purpose of Heaven. The vision of God—“who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were ” (Rom. iv. 17)—the vision is, as it were, a prophecy to the Infinite Consciousness, based on His intention to revoke them from Sheol, the grave, the land of the enemy, and to bestow upon them in sovereign mercy an undying and angel-like existence. In other words, they will sooner or later be resurrected by Omnipotence. Had no resurrection been intended for them the Divine Voice might have said at the bush, “I was the God of Abraham,” &c., because He would have viewed them as perpetually dissociated and exiled from life and Himself; but He testifies, “I am the God of Abraham," &c., contemplating them as sons yet to dwell in undecaying youth in His presence. Their names, then, are on the illumined scroll of “ kings and priests,” sus. pended from the throne on high. Their very dust is precious in His sight. Now they calmly repose in the “sunless land," not everlastingly wiped out of being; and He whose eyes never weary watches over them, as a mother by her sleeping child. For ages they have been concealed from all ken but His own, as if no quickening energy would at any time stir them into life, and love, and song; but, thanks to Him who planned their destiny "after the counsel of His own will,” long long before the morning stars joined in their earliest hymn, that repose will be disturbed when the far-streaming glory of Emmanuel returning strikes on the eyelids of the tomb.
14. That the Greek word (gar) rendered “for" in the testimony under review often has the force of then or therefore, is susceptible of easy proof, proof quite intelligible to the mere English scholar. Take the following examples from the New Testament: “ If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you : on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. But (me gar) let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busy body in other men's matters (1 Pet. iv. 14, 15).
The word gar at the commencement of verse 15 introduces, not a reason for what had been advanced, but an advice, or an inference of moral obligation, founded upon the relationships and privileges just described ; and the sense is this, if what is stated in verse 14 be true, " then, or therefore, let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief," &c. “Let every one"-(ekastos gar) — "of us please his neighbour for his good to edification” (Rom. xv. 2).
This verse looks back to the one immediately before it, which was, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Nor is this a reason in support of what precedes it, but a moral deduction from it: “ Then (or wherefore, or since, that is our duty let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”
So also gar must be understood in 1 Cor. xiv. 8,—“For if” (rather, wherefore if-gar) “the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle ? " an inference from the general statement in the antecedent verse,—“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how