Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures













THE Bible is the book of life, written for the instruction and edification of all ages and nations. No man who has felt its divine beauty and power, would exchange this one volume for all the literature of the world. Eternity alone can unfold the extent of its influence for good. The Bible, like the person and work of our Saviour, is theanthropic in its character and aim. The eternal personal Word of God “was made flesh,” and the whole fulness of the Godhead and of sinless manhood were united in one person forever. So the spoken word of God may be said to have become flesh in the Bible. It is therefore all divine, and yet all human, from beginning to end. Through the veil of the letter we behold the glory of the eternal truth of God. The divine and human in the Bible sustain a similar relation to each other, as in the person of Christ: they are unmixed, yet inseparably united, and constitute but one life, which kindles life in the heart of the believer.

Viewed merely as a human or literary production, the Bible is a marvellous book, and without a rival. All the libraries of theology, philosophy, history, antiquities, poetry, law and policy would not furnish material enough for so rich a treasure of the choicest gems of human genius, wisdom, and experience. It embraces works of about forty authors, representing the extremes of society, from the throne of the king to the boat of the fisherman; it was written during a long period of sixteen centuries, on the banks of the Nile, in the desert of Arabia, in the land of promise, in Asia Minor, in classical Greece, and in imperial Rome; it commences with the creation and ends with the final glorification, after describing all the intervening stages in the revelation of God and the spiritual development of man; it uses all forms of literary composition; it rises to the highest heights and descends to the lowest depths of humanity; it measures all states and conditions of life; it is acquainted with every grief and every woe; it touches every chord of sympathy; it contains the spiritual biography of every human heart; it is suited to every class of society, and can be read with the same interest and profit by the king and the beggar, by the philosopher and the child; it is as universal as the race, and reaches beyond the Limits of time into the boundless regions of eternity. Even this matchless combination of human excellencies points to its divine character and origin, as the absolute perfection of Christ’s humanity is an evidence of His divinity.

But the Bible is first and last a book of religion. It presents the only true, universal, and absolute religion of God, both in its preparatory process or growth under the dispensation of the law and the promise, and in its completion under the dispensation of the gospel, a religion which is intended ultimately to absorb all the other religions of the world. It speaks to us as immortal beings on the highest, noblest, and most important themes which can challenge our attention, and with an authority that is absolutely irresistible and overwhelming. It can instruct, edify, warn, terrify, appease, cheer, and encourage as no other book. It seizes man in the hidden depths of his intellectual and moral constitution, and goes to the quick of the soul, to that mysterious point where it is connected with the unseen world and with the great Father of spirits. It acts like an all-penetrating and all-transforming leaven upon every faculty of the mind and every emotion of the heart. It enriches the memory; it elevates the reason; it enlivens the imagination; it directs the judgment; it moves the affections; it controls the passions; it quickens the conscience; it strengthens the will; it kindles the sacred flame of faith, hope, and charity; it purifies, ennobles, sanctifies the whole man, and brings him into living union with God. It can not only enlighten, reform, and improve, but regenerate and create anew, and produce effects which lie far beyond the power of human genius. It has light for the blind, strength for the weak, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty; it has a counsel in precept or example for every relation in life, a comfort for every sorrow, a balm for every wound. Of all the books in the world, the Bible is the only one of which we never tire, but which we admire and love more and more in proportion as we use it. Like the diamond, it casts its lustre in every direction; like a torch, the more it is shaken, the more it shines; like a healing herb, the harder it is pressed, the sweeter is its fragrance.

What an unspeakable blessing, that this inexhaustible treasure of divine truth and comfort is now accessible, without material alteration, to almost every nation on earth in its own tongue, and, in Protestant countries at least, even to the humblest man and woman that can read! Nevertheless we welcome every new attempt to open the meaning of this book of books, which is plain enough to a child, and yet deep enough for the profoundest philosophe and the most comprehensive scholar.


The Bible—and this is one of the many arguments for its divine character—has given rise to a greater number of discourses, essays, and commentaries, than any other book or class of books; and yet it is now as far from being exhausted as ever. The strongest and noblest minds, fathers, schoolmen, reformers, and modern critics and scholars of every nation of Christendom, have labored in these mines and brought forth precious ore, and yet they are as rich as ever, and hold out the same inducements of plentiful reward to new miners. The long line of commentators will never break off until faith shall be turned into vision, and the church militant transformed into the church triumphant in heaven.

Biblical exegesis, like every other branch of theological science, has its creative epochs and classical periods, followed by periods of comparative rest, when the results gained by the productive labor of the preceding generation are quietly digested and appropriated to the life of the church.

There are especially three such classical periods: the patristic, the reformatory, and the modern. The exegesis of the fathers, with the great names of Chrysostom and Theodoret of the Greek, and Jerome and Augustine of the Latin Church, is essentially Catholic; the exegesis of the reformers, as laid down in the immortal biblical works of Luther and Melanch thon, Zwingli and Œcolampadius, Calvin and Beza, is Protestant; the modern exegesis of Germany, England, and America, may be called, in its best form and ruling spirit, Evangelical Catholic. It includes, however, a large variety of theological schools, as represented in the commentaries of Olshausen and Tholuck, Lücke and Bleek, Hengstenberg and Delitzsch, Ewald and Hupfeld, de Wette and Meyer, Lange and Stier, Alford and Ellicott, Stuart and Robinson, Hodge and Alexander, and many others still working with distinguished success. The modern Anglo-German exegesis is less dogmatical, confessional, and polemical than either of its predecessors, but more critical, free, and liberal, more thorough and accurate in all that pertains to philological and antiquarian research; and while it thankfully makes use of the labors of the fathers and reformers, it seems to open the avenue for new developments in the ever-expanding and deepening history of Christ’s kingdom on earth.

The patristic exegesis is, to a large extent, the result of a victorious conflict of ancient Christianity with Ebionism, Gnosticism, Arianism, Pelagianism, and other radical heresies, which roused and stimulated the fathers to a vigorous investigation and defence of the truth as laid down in the Scriptures and believed by the Church. The exegesis of the reformers bears on every page the marks of the gigantic war with Romanism and its traditions of men. So the modern evangelical theology of Germany has grown up amidst the changing fortunes of a more than thirty years’ war of Christianity with Rationalism and Pantheism. The future historian will represent this intellectual and spiritual conflict, which is not yet concluded, as one of the most important and interesting chapters in history, and as one of the most brilliant victories of faith over unbelief, of Christian truth over anti-Christian error. The German mind has never, since the Reformation, developed a more intense and persevering activity, both for and against the gospel, than in this period, and if it should fully overcome the modern and most powerful attacks upon Christianity, it will achieve as important a work as the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Former generations have studied the Bible with as much and perhaps more zeal, earnestness, and singleness of purpose, than the present. But never before has it been subjected to such thorough and extensive critical, philological, historical, and antiquarian, as well as theological investigation and research. Never before has it been assailed and defended with more learning, acumen, and perseverance. Never before has the critical apparatus been so ample or so easy of access the most ancient manuscripts of the Bible having been newly discovered, as the Codex Sinaiticus, or more carefully compared and published (some of them in fac-simile), as the Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Ephraemi Syri, and the discoveries and researches of travellers, antiquarians, historians, and chronologers being made tributary to the science of the Book of books. No age has been so productive in commentaries on almost every part of the sacred canon, but more particularly on the Gospels, the Life of Christ, and the Epistles of the New Testament. It is very difficult to keep up with the progress of the German press in this department. One commentary follows another in rapid succession, and the best of them are constantly reappearing in new and improved editions, which render the old ones useless for critical purposes. Still the intense productivity of this period must sooner or later be exhausted, and give way to the more quiet activity of reproduction and application.1

The time has now arrived for the preparation of a comprehensive theological commentary which shall satisfy all the theoretical and practical demands of the evangelical ministry of the present generation, and serve as a complete exegetical library for constant reference: a commentary learned, yet popular, orthodox and sound, yet unsectarian, liberal and truly catholic in spirit and aim; combining with original research the most valuable results of the exegetical labors of the past and the present, and making them available for the practical use of ministers and the general good of the church. Such a commentary can be sucessfully wrought out only at such a fruitful period of Biblical research as the present, and by an association of experienced divines equally distinguished for ripe scholarship and sound piety, and fully competent to act as mediators between the severe science of the professorial chair and the practical duties of the pastoral office.


Such a commentary is the Bibelwerk of Dr. LANGE, assisted by a number of distinguished evangelical divines and pulpit orators of Germany, Switzerland, and Holland.2 This work was commenced in 1857, at the suggestion of the publishers, Velhagen and Klasing, in Bielefeld, Prussia, on a plan similar to that of STARKE’S Synopsis, which appeared a hundred years ago, and has since been highly prized by ministers and theological students as a rich storehouse of exegetical and homiletical learning, but which is now very rare, and to a large extent antiquated.3

It is to embrace gradually the whole Old and New Testament. The Rev. Dr. John P. Lange, professor of evangelical theology in the University of Bonn, assumed the general editorial supervision; maturing the plan and preparing several parts himself (Matthew, Mark, John, Romans, and Genesis), selecting the assistants and assigning to them their share in the work. It is a very laborious and comprehensive undertaking, which requires a variety of talents, and many years of united labor. It is the greatest literary enterprise of the kind undertaken in the present century. HERZOG’S Theological Encyclopœdia, of which the eighteenth volume has just been published (with two volumes of supplements still in prospect), is a similar monument of German learning and industry, and will be, for many years to come, a rich storehouse for theological students. So far the Commentary of Lange has progressed rapidly and steadily, and proved decidedly successful. Even in its present unfinished state, it has already met with a wider circulation than any modern commentary within the same time, and it grows in favor as it advances.

The following parts, of the New T., have been published, or are in course of preparation:

I. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW, with an Introduction to the whole New Testament. By Dr. JOHN P. LANGE, 1857. Second (third) edition revised, 1861.

II. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK. By Dr. JOHN P. LANGE. Second edition revised, 1861.

III. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE. By Dr. J. J. VAN OOSTERZEE, professor of theology at Utrecht. Second edition revised, 1861.


V. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. By Prof. Dr. G. LECHLER, of Leipzig, and Dean K. GEROK, of Stuttgart. Second edition revised, 1862.

VI. THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS, now in course of preparation by the editor, in connection with his son-in-law, Rev. Mr. FAY, in Crefeld, who assumed the homiletical part.





XI. THE PASTORAL EPISTLES and THE EPISTLE TO PHILEMON. By Dr. J. J. VAN OOSTERZEE, of Utrecht. Second edition revised, 1864.



XIV. THE EPISTLES OF PETER and THE EPISTLE OF JUDE, by Dr. G. F. C. FRONMÜLLER. Second edition revised, 1861.

The remaining parts, of the N. T., containing THE EPISTLES OF JOHN, and THE REVELATION, have not yet appeared. Part VI. (on the Epistle to the Romans) and Part XV are, however, in process of preparation, and may be expected within a year.

Of the Commentary on THE OLD TESTAMENT, one volume has just been published (1864), which contains a general Introduction to the whole Old Testament, and a commentary on Genesis by the editor.

According to a private letter of our esteemed friend, Dr. Lange, the following dispositions have already been made concerning the Old Testament:

DEUTERONOMY. By Rev. JUL. SCHRÖDER, of Elberfeld (successor of Dr. F. W. Krummacher as pastor, and author of an excellent practical commentary on Genesis).

JOSHUA. By Rev. Mr. SCHNEIDER, rector of the seminary at Bromberg.


KINGS. By Dr. BÄHR, in Carlsruhe (author of the celebrated work on the Symbolism of the Mosaic Worship, etc.).

THE PSALMS. By Dr. MOLL, general superintendent in Königsberg.

JEREMIAH. By Rev. Dr. NÄGELSBACH, of Bayreuth.


The reader will naturally feel some curiosity about the personal history and character of the editor and manager of this great Biblical work, who heretofore has been less known among English readers than many German divines of far inferior talent. Only two of his many works have been brought out in an English dress, and they only quite recently, namely, his Life of Jesus, and parts of his Commentary on the Gospels.

Dr. Lange was born on the 10th of April, 1802, on the Bier, a small farm in the parish of Sonnborn, near Elberfeld, in Prussia. His father was a farmer and a wagoner, and brought his son up to the same occupation, but allowed him, at the same time, to indulge his passion for reading. Young Lange often drove the products of the soil to market. He early acquired an enthusiastic love of nature, which revealed to his poetic and pious mind, as in a mirror, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. He was instructed in the doctrines of the Heidelberg Catechism, which is still in use among the Reformed Churches on the Rhine, although the Lutheran and Reformed Confessions are united in Prussia since 1817 under one government and administration, and bear the name of the United Evangelical Church. His Latin teacher, the Rev. Herrmann Kalthof, who discovered in him unusual talents, induced him to study for the ministry. He attended the Gymnasium (College) of Düsseldorf from Easter, 1821, to autumn, 1822, and the University of Bonn from 1822 to 1825. There he studied mainly under Dr. Nitzsch, the most venerable of the living divines of Germany, who for many years was a strong pillar of evangelical theology in Bonn and subsequently in Berlin. The writings of Nitzsch, though pregnant with deep thoughts and suggestive hints, give but an imperfect idea of his power, which lies chiefly in his pure, earnest, and dignified, yet mild and amiable personal character. He is emphatically a homo gravis, a Protestant church-father, who, by his genius, learning, and piety, commands the respect of all theological schools and ecclesiastical parties.

After passing through the usual examination, Lange labored from 1825 to 1826 in the quiet but very pleasant town of Langenberg, near Elberfeld, as assistant minister to the Rev. Emil Krummacher (a brother of the celebrated Dr. Frederic William Krummacher, who wrote the sermons on Elijah the Tishbite, and other popular works). From thence he was called to the pastoral charge of Wald, near Solingen, where he remained from 1826 to 1828. In 1832 he removed as pastor to Duisburg, and began to attract public attention by a series of brilliant articles in Hengstenberg’s Evangelical Church Gazette and other periodicals, also by poems, sermons, and a very able work on the history of the infancy of our Saviour, against Strauss’s Life of Jesus. In 1841 he was called to the University of Zürich, in Switzerland, as professor of theology in the place of the notorious Strauss, who had been appointed by the radical and infidel administration of that Canton, but was prevented from taking possession of the chair by a religious and political revolution of the people. In Zürich he labored with great per severance and fidelity in the midst of many discouragements till 1854, when he received a cal to the University of Bonn, in Prussia, where he will probably end his days on earth.5

Dr. Lange is undoubtedly one of the ablest and purest divines that Germany ever produced. He is a man of rare genius and varied culture, sanctified by deep piety, and devoted to the service of Christ. Personally he is a most amiable Christian gentleman, genial, affectionate, unassuming, simple, and unblemished in all the relations of life. He combines an unusual variety of gifts, and excels as a theologian, philosopher, poet, and preacher. He abounds in original ideas, and if not always convincing, he is always fresh, interesting, and stimulating. He is at home in the ideal heights and mystic depths of nature and revelation, and yet has a clear and keen eye for the actual and real world around him. He indulges in poetico-philosophical speculations, and at times soars high above the clouds and beyond the stars, to the spiritual and eternal “land of glory,” on which he once wrote a fascinating book.6 His style is fresh, vigorous, and often truly beautiful and sublime, but somewhat deficient in simplicity, clearness, and condensation, and is too much burdened with compound, semi-poetical, unwieldy epithets, which offer peculiar difficulties to the translator. His speculations and fancies cannot always stand the test of sober criticism, although we might wish them to be true. But they are far less numerous in his Commentary than in his former writings. They are, moreover, not only harmless, but suggestive and pious, and supply a lack in that sober, realistic, practical, prosaic common-sense theology which deals with facts and figures rather than the hidden causes and general principles of things, and never breathes the invigorating mountain air of pure thought.

Poetical divines of real genius are so rare that we should thank God for the few. Why should poetry, the highest and noblest of the arts, be banished from theology? Has not God joined them together in the first and last chapters of the Bible? Has He not identified poetry with the very birth of Christianity, in the angelic hymn, as well as with its ultimate triumphs, in the hallelujahs of the countless host of the redeemed? Is it not one of the greatest gifts of God to man, and an unfailing source of the purest and richest enjoyments? Is it not an essential element and ornament of divine worship? Can any one fully understand and explain the Book of Job, the Psalms and the Prophets, the Parables, and the Apocalypse, without a keen sense of the beautiful and sublime? Theology and philosophy, in their boldest flights and nearest approaches to the vision of truth, unconsciously burst forth in the festive language of poetry; and poetry itself, in its highest and noblest forms, is transformed into worship of Him who is the eternal source of the True, the Beautiful, and the Good. No one will deny this who is familiar with the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions, where the metaphysical and devotional elements interpenetrate each other, where meditation ends in prayer, and speculation in adoration. But the greatest philosophers, too, not only Plato, Schelling, and Coleridge, who were constitutionally poetical, but even Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel, who were the greatest masters of pure reasoning and metaphysical abstraction, provethis essential harmony of truth and beauty.7 The poetic and imaginative element imparts freshness to thought, and turns even the sandy desert of dry critical research into a blooming flower garden. I fully admit, of course, that the theologian must regulate his philosophical speculations by the word of revelation, and control his poetic imagination by sound reason and judgment. Lange represents, among German divines, in hopeful anticipation, the peaceful and festive harmony of theology and poetry, of truth and beauty, which exists now in heaven, “the land of glory,” and will be actualized on the new earth. Take the following striking passage on the locality and beauty of heaven, as a characteristic specimen of his thought and style:8

“When the beautiful in the world manifests itself alone, so that the friendly features of God’s character are exclusively seen, profane souls remain profanely inclined; yea, they become even more profligate in the misuse of the riches of God’s goodness. If, on the other hand, the greatness and power of God are revealed in the rugged and terribly sublime, in the hurricane, in the ocean-storm, then the profane are overwhelmed with horror, which is easily changed into fear, and may manifest itself in hypocritical or superficial exhibitions of penitence; but when the goodness and power of God manifest themselves in one and the same bright phenomenon, this produces a frame of spirit which speaks of that which is holy. This is the reason why the much-praised valley of the Rhine is so solemn and sabbatic, because it is enamelled by a blending of the beautiful and the sublime: stern mountains, rugged rocks, ruins of the past, vestiges of grandeur, monumental columns of God’s power, and these columns at the same time garlanded with the loving wreaths of God’s favor and goodness, in the midst of smiling vineyards which repose sweetly around in the mild sunlight of heaven. For this reason the starry night is so instructive—the grandest dome decked with the brightest radiance of kindness and love. For the same reason there is such magic attraction in the morning dawn and in the evening twilight: they take hold upon us like movings to prayer; because in them beauty is so mingled with holy rest, with spiritual mystery, with the earnest and sublime. Thus does it meet the festive children of this world, who are generally of a prayerless spirit, so that they are as it were prostrated upon the earth in deep devotion, when some great sight in nature, in which the beautiful is clothed with sublime earnestness, bursts upon their view; or when, on the other hand, some marked manifestation of God’s power is associated with heart-moving wooings of kindness. Accordingly, we hear one tell what pious emotions he felt stirring his bosom, when he beheld the wide-extended country from the top of the Pyrenees; another tells how the spirit of prayer seized upon his soul when he stood upon the height of Caucasus, and felt, as he looked over the eastern fields and valleys of Asia, as if heaven had opened itself before him. Such witnesses might be gathered to almost any extent.

“But now it is certain that there must be SOME PLACE in the upper worlds where the beauties and wonders of God’s works are illuminated to the highest transparency by his power and holy majesty; where the combination of lovely manifestations, as seen from radiant summits, the enraptured gaze into the quiet valleys of universal creation, and the streams of light which flow through them, must move the spirits of the blest in the mightiest manner, to cry out: HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!—And there is the holiest place in the great Temple! It is there, because there divine manifestations fill all spirits with a feeling of his holiness. But still rather, because there he reveals himself through holy spirits, and through the holiest one of all, even Jesus Himself!”

Dr. Lange’s theology is essentially biblical and evangelical catholic, and inspired by a fresh and refreshing enthusiasm for truth under all its types and aspects. It is more positive and decided than that of Neander or Tholuck, yet more liberal and conciliatory than the orthodoxy of Hengstenberg, which is often harsh and repulsive. Lange is one of the most uncompromising opponents of German rationalism and scepticism, and makes no concessions to the modern attacks on the gospel history. But he always states his views with moderation, and in a Christian and amiable spirit; and he endeavors to spiritualize and idealize doctrines and facts, and thus to make them more plausible to enlightened reason. His orthodoxy, it is true, is not the fixed, exclusive orthodoxy either of the old Lutheran, or of the old Calvinistic Confession, but it belongs to that recent evangelical type which arose in conflict with modern infidelity, and going back to the Reformation and the still higher and purer fountain of primitive Christianity as it came from the hands of Christ and His inspired apostles, aims to unite the true elements of the Reformed and Lutheran Confessions, and on this firm historical basis to promote catholic unity and harmony among the conflicting branches of Christ’s Church. It is evangelical catholic, churchly, yet unsectarian, conservative, yet progressive; it is the truly living theology of the age. It is this very theology which, for the last ten or twenty years, has been transplanted in multiplying translations to the soil of other Protestant countries, which has made a deep and lasting impression on the French, Dutch, and especially on the English and American mind. It is this theology which is now undergoing a process of naturalization and amalgamation in the United States, which will here be united with the religious fervor, the sound, strong common sense, and free, practical energy of the Anglo-American race, and which in this modified form has a wider field of usefulness before it in this new world than even in its European fatherland.

Dr. Lange is an amazingly fertile author. Several of his works belong to the department of belle-lettres, æsthetics, and hymnology. Some of his hymns have deservedly found a place in modern German hymn books,9 and help to swell the devotions of the sanctuary. His principal works on theological subjects are, first, a complete system of Divinity, in three parts, severally entitled: Philosophical Dogmatics, Positive Dogmatics, and Applied Dogmatics (or Polemics and Irenics). This is an exceedingly able work, abounding in original and profound ideas, but artificial and complicated in its arrangement, often transcending the boundaries of logic, and in many sections almost untranslatable. His second great work is a Life of Jesus, also in three parts, which, upon the whole, is justly regarded as the fullest and ablest modern work on the subject, and the best positive refutation of Strauss. It has quite recently been given to the English public by Mr. Clark, in six volumes.10 His History of the Apostolic Church, in two volumes, was intended as the beginning of a general History of Christianity, which, however, has not been continued. But the last, the most important, and the most useful labor, worthy to crown such a useful life, is his Theological and Homiletical Commentary. All his preceding labors, especially those on the Life of Christ, prepared him admirably for the exposition of the Gospels, which contains the rich harvest of the best years of his manhood. This Commentary will probably engage his time for several years to come, and will make his name as familiar in England and America as it is in Germany.

I add a complete list of all the published works of Dr. Lange, including his poetry, in chronological order:

1. Die Lehre der heiligen Schrift von der freien und allgemeinen Gnade Gottes. Elberfeld, 1831.

2. Biblische Dichtungen. 1 Bändchen. Elberfeld, 1832.

3. Predigten. München, 1833.

4. Biblische Dichtungen. 2 Bändchen. Elberfeld, 1834.

5. Kleine polemische Gedichte. Duisburg, 1835.

6. Gedichte und Sprüche aus dem Gebiete christlicher Naturbetrachtung. Duisburg, 1835.

7. Die Welt des Herrn in didaktischen Gesängen. Essen, 1835.

8. Die Verfinsterung der Welt. Lehrgedicht. Berlin, 1838.

9. Grundzüge der urchristlichen frohen Botschaft. Duisburg, 1839.

10. Homilien über Colosser iii. 1–17. Vierte Auflage. Bremen, 1844.

11. Christliche Betrachtungen über zusammenhängende biblische Abschnitte für die häusliche Erbauung. Duisburg, 1841.

12. Ueber den geschichtlichen Character der kanonischen Evangelien, insbesondere der Kindheitsgeschichts Jesu, mit Beziehung auf das Leben Jesu von D. F. Strauss. Duisburg, 1836.

13. Das Land der Herrlichkeit, oder die christliche Lehre vom Himmel. Mörs, 1838.

14. Vermischte Schriften, 4 Bände. Mörs, 1840–’41.

15. Gedichte. Essen, 1843.

16. Die kirchliche Hymnologie, oder die Lehre vom Kirchengesang. Theoretische Einleitung und Kircher liederbuch. Zürich, 1843.

17. Das Leben Jesu, 3 Bücher. Heidelberg, 1844–’47.

18. Worte der Abwehr (in Beziehung auf das Leben Jesu). Zürich, 1846.

19. Christliche Dogmatik, 3 Bände. Philosophische, Positive, und Angewandte Dogmatik. Heidelberg, 1847.

20. Ueber die Neugestaltung des Verhältnisses zwischen dem Staat und der Kirche. Heidelberg, 1848.

21. Neutestamentliche Zeitgedichte. Frankfurt a. M., 1849.

22. Briefe eines communistischen Propheten. Breslau, 1850.

23. Göthe’s religiöse Poesie. Breslau, 1850.

24. Die Geschichte der Kirche, Erster Theil. Das apostolische Zeitalter, 2 Bände. Braunschweig, 1853–’54.

25. Auswahl von Gast-und Gelegenheitspredigten. Zweite Ausgabe. Bonn, 1857.

26. Vom Oelberge. Geistliche Dichtungen. Neue Ausgabe. Frankfurt a. M., 1858.

27. Vermischte Schriften. Neue Folge, 2 Bändchen. Bielefeld, 1860.

28. Theologisch-homiletisches Bibelwerk, commenced 1857, Bielefeld. Dr. Lange prepared the Commentaries on Matthew, 3d edition, 1861; on Mark, 2d edition, 1861; on John, 2d edition, 1862; on the Epistle of James (in connection with van Oosterzee), 1862; on Genesis, with a general introduction to the Old Testament, 1864; on the Epistle to the Romans (now in course of publication).


The plan of Lange’s Bibelwerk is very comprehensive. It aims to give all that the minister and Biblical student can desire in one work. Its value consists to a great extent in its completeness and exhaustiveness, and in the convenient arrangement for practical use.

It contains, first, appropriate INTRODUCTIONS, both critical and homiletical, to the Bible as a whole, to each particular book, and to each section. The sections are provided with clear and full headings, the parallel passages, and the indications of their homiletical use in the order of the church year.

The TEXT is given, not in the original Greek, nor in Luther’s version, but in a new German version, which is as literal as the genius of the language will bear, and is made with special reference to the exposition. The principal readings of the Greek text are given in foot-notes, with short critical remarks. The critical editions of the Greek Testament by Lachmann and Tischendorf11 are made the basis.

Then follows the Commentary itself. This is threefold, CRITICAL, DOCTRINAL, and HOMILETICAL.12 The three departments are kept distinct throughout, and are arranged under different heads, so that the reader can at once find what he wants at the time, without being forced to work his way through a mass of irrelevant matter.

1. The first department contains: EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL NOTES13 These explain the words and phrases of the text, and endeavor to clear up every difficulty which presents itself to the critical student, according to the principles of grammatico-historical exegesis. On all the more important passages, the different views of the leading ancient and modern commentators are given; yet without the show and pedantry of learning. The chief aim is to condense, in as brief a space as possible, the most valuable and permanent results of original and previous exegetical labors, without detaining the reader with the tedious process of investigation, and a constant polemical reference to false opinions. The building appears in its beautiful finish, and the scaffolding and rubbish required during its construction are removed out of sight.

2. The second department is headed: LEADING DOGMATICAL AND ETHICAL THOUGHTS, or DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL.14 It presents, under a number of distinct heads, the fundamental doctrines and moral maxims contained in, or suggested by, the text. In the Gospels, these truths and principles are viewed mainly from the christological point of view, or as connected with the person and work of our Saviour. The reader will find here a vast amount of living theology, fresh from the fountain of God’s revelation in Christ, and free from scholastic and sectarian complications and distortions. The person of Christ stands out everywhere as the great central sun of truth and holiness, from which light and life emanate upon all parts of the Christian system.

3. The third department is entitled: HOMILETICAL HINTS or SUGGESTIONS.15 This shows the way from the study to the pulpit, from the exposition and understanding of the word of God to its practical application to all classes and conditions of society. It is especially the pastor’s department, designed to aid him in preparing sermons and Biblical lectures, yet by no means to supersede the labor of pulpit preparation. It is suggestive and stimulating in its character, and exhibits the endless variety and applicability of Scripture history and Scripture truth. It brings the marble slabs from the quarry, and the metals from the mine, but leaves the chiselling and hammering to the artist. The authors of the several parts give under this heading first their own homiletical and practical reflections, themes and parts in a few words, and then judicious selections from other homiletical commentators, as QUESNEL, CANSTEIN, STARKE, GOSSNER, LISCO, OTTO VON GERLACH, HEUBNER, and occasionally brief skeletons of celebrated sermons.

I must confess, I was at first prejudiced against this part of the Commentary, fearing that it made the work of the preacher too easy; but upon closer examination I became convinced of its great value. If I am not mistaken, the American readers will prize it in proportion as they make themselves familiar with it. They will be especially edified, I think, by the exuberant riches and high-toned spirituality which characterize the homiletical suggestions of Lange, and several of his contributors, especially Dr. van Oosterzee (a man of genius, and the best pulpit orator of Holland), as also with the selections from Starke and his predecessors found under his name, Otto von Gerlach (late court-preacher in Berlin, and author of a brief popular commentary), and the venerable Heubner (late director of the Theological Seminary at Wittenberg).

There are standard commentaries on special portions of the Scriptures, which excel all others, either in a philological or theological or practical point of view, either in brevity and condensation or in fulness of detail, either in orthodoxy of doctrine and soundness of judgment or in expository skill and fertility of adaptation, or in some other particular aspect. But, upon the whole, the Biblical work of Dr. Lange and his associates is the richest, the soundest, and the most useful general commentary which Germany ever produced, and far better adapted than any other to meet the wants of the various evangelical denominations of the English tongue. This is not only my individual opinion, but the deliberate judgment of some of the best Biblical and German scholars of America whom I have had occasion to consult on the subject.


A work of such sterling value cannot be long confined to the land of its birth. America, as it is made up of descendants from all countries, nations, and churches of Europe (e pluribusunum), is set upon appropriating all important literary treasures of the old world, especially those which promise to promote the moral and religious welfare of the race.

Soon after the appearance of the first volume of Dr. Lange’s Commentary, I formed, at the solicitation of a few esteemed friends, and with the full consent of Dr. Lange himself, an association for an American edition, and in September, 1860, I made the necessary arrangements with my friend, Mr. Charles Scribner, as publisher.16 The secession of the slave States, and the consequent outbreak of the civil war in 1861, paralyzed the book trade, and indefinitely suspended the enterprise. But in 1863 it was resumed at the suggestion of the publisher and with the consent of Mr. T. Clark, of Edinburgh, who in the mean time (since 1861) had commenced to publish translations of parts of Lange’s Commentary in his “Foreign Theological Library.” I moved to New York for the purpose of devoting myself more fully to this work amid the literary facilities of the city, completed the first volume, and made arrangements with leading Biblical and German scholars of different evangelical denominations for the translation of the other volumes.

The following books are already finished, or in course of preparation for the press:

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW, with a General Introduction to the New Testament. By the American EDITOR.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK. By the Rev. Dr. W. G. T. SHEDD, Professor of Biblical Literature in the Union Theological Seminary at New York.




THE EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS. By the Rev. Dr. DANIEL W. POOR, of Newark, N. J., and Dr. C. P. WING, of Carlisle, Pa.


THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS, and that TO PHILEMON. By Prof. Dr. H. B. HACKETT, Theol. Seminary at Newton Centre, Mass.



THE PASTORAL EPISTLES. By Prof. Dr. GEORGE E. DAY, of Lane Theol. Seminary, Ohio.


GENESIS. By Prof. TAYLER LEWIS, Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., and the Rev. Dr. A. GOSMAN, Lawrenceville, N. J.

These gentlemen, and others who are or will be invited to take part in the work, have already an established reputation as excellent Biblical scholars or experienced translators from the German, and will no doubt do full justice to the task assigned them.

It is impossible beforehand to state with absolute certainty the number of volumes or the time required for the completion of the whole commentary. It is sufficient to say that it will be energetically pushed forward, without undue haste, and published with proper regard to economy of space and price. The enterprise is necessarily a very extensive and expensive one, and falls in a most unfavorable period of the American book trade; the war having caused an unprecedented rise in the price of composition, paper, and binding material. But it has the advantage over an encyclopædia and other voluminous works, that each volume will cover an entire book or books of the Bible and thus be relatively complete in itself, and can be sold separately.


The character of the proposed Anglo-American edition of Lange’s Bibelwerk, and its relation to the original, may be seen from the following general principles and rules on which it will be prepared, and to which all contributors must conform, to insure unity and symmetry.

1. The Biblical Commentary of Dr. Lange and his associates must be faithfully and freely translated into idiomatic English, without omission or alteration.17

2. The translator is authorized to make, within reasonable limits, such additions, original or selected, as will increase the value and interest of the work, and adapt it more fully to the wants of the English and American student. But he must carefully distinguish these additions from the original text by brackets and the initials of his name, or the mark Tr.

3. The authorized English version of 1611, according to the present standard edition of the American Bible Society,18 must be made the basis, instead of giving a new translation, which, in this case, would have to be a translation of a translation. But wherever the text can be more clearly or accurately rendered, according to the present state of textual criticism and biblical learning, or where the translation and the commentary of the German original require it, the improvements should be inserted in the text (in brackets, with or without the Greek, as the writer may deem best in each case) and justified in the Critical Notes below the text, with such references to older and recent English and other versions as seem to be necessary or desirable.

4. The various readings are not to be put in foot-notes, as in the original, but to follow immediately after the text in small type, in numerical order, and with references to the verses to which they belong.

5. The three parts of the commentary are to be called: I. EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL; II. DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL; III. HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL.

6. The EXEGETICAL NOTES are not to be numbered consecutively, as in the original, but marked by the figure indicating the verse to which they belong; an arrangement which facilitates the reference, and better accords with usage.19

7. Within these limits each contributor has full liberty, and assumes the entire literary responsibility of his part of the work.

If these general principles are faithfully carried out, the American edition will be not only a complete translation, but an enlarged adaptation and improvement of the original work, giving it an Anglo-German character, and a wider field of usefulness.

The typographical arrangement will be closely conformed to the original, as upon the whole the best in a work of such dimensions. A page of the translation contains even more than a page of the original, and while the size of volumes will be enlarged, their number will be lessened.


The first volume which is now issued, will show these principles and rules in their actual execution, and may therefore serve as a specimen for the volumes that will follow.

As regards the translation of this part of the commentary, I must acknowledge my indebtedness to the Edinburgh translation of the Rev. ALFRED EDERSHEIM and the Rev. W. B. POPE, which I used to a large extent as a basis, especially in the earlier chapters, comparing it word for word with the original.20 But I found it necessary to make innumerable alterations and additions, so that this may be regarded almost as a new work. There is not a page and hardly a sentence in the Edinburgh translation, so far as I used it at all, which remained untouched. I have no disposition to criticise it in detail, or to injure any of the useful publications of my esteemed friend, Mr. Clark, who has done more than any other publisher for transplanting German learning on British soil, and is entitled to the lasting gratitude of English and American divines. But I must say that, while some portions of the Edinburgh translation are well executed, especially if we take into consideration the peculiar difficulties of Lange’s style and thought, it is very unequal and imperfect: it omits, besides the improvements of the second and third editions of the original, without a word of explanation, all the critical foot-notes and various readings of the text, the changes in the English version, even where they are imperatively demanded by Lange’s German version or comments, all the liturgical and most of the literary references of the work, and abounds in mistakes and mistranslations, some of which pervert the sense of the original into the very opposite, and suggest the charitable supposition that the nominal translators employed in part other and inferior hands in the execution of their laborious and difficult task.21

But I confined myself by no means to a thorough revision and completion of the Edinburgh translation. The American edition contains over one hundred pages, mostly in the smallest type, that is, fully one fourth, more matter than the German original (which numbers 462 pages). The additions are found mostly in the department of textual criticism, the revision of the English version, and in the comments on the later chapters of the Gospel.22

It seemed to me worthy of the labor and trouble to make an attempt, on a somewhat larger scale than Dr. Lange, to popularize so much of the immense critical apparatus of modern biblical learning as can be made available for the practical use of ministers and students. A few words of explanation on the principles which guided us, may not be out of place here.

The great variety of readings in the Greek Testament is a fact which should stimulate investigation and strengthen our faith. All these discrepancies in the few uncial and the more than five hundred cursive manuscripts of the N. T. are unable to unsettle a single doctrine or precept of Christianity, and strengthen the evidence of the essential purity and integrity of the sacred text, showing that it has been substantially the same in all ages and countries in which those manuscripts were written. “If there had been,” said Richard Bentley, the great classical scholar and critic, more than a hundred years ago, “but one manuscript of the Greek Testament at the restoration of learning, then we had had no various readings at all. And would the text be in a better condition then, than now we have 30,000 (50,000)? So far from that, that in the best single copy extant we should have hundreds of faults, and some omissions irreparable. Besides that, the suspicions of fraud and foul play would have been increased immensely. It is good, therefore, to have more anchors than one. … It is a good providence and a great blessing that so many manuscripts of the New Testament are still amongst us, some procured from Egypt, others from Asia, others found in the Western Churches. For the very distances of places, as well as numbers of the books, demonstrate that there could be no collusion, no altering nor interpolating one copy by another, nor all by any of them. In profane authors whereof one manuscript only had the luck to be preserved, as Velleius Paterculus among the Latins, and Hesychius among the Greeks, the faults of the scribes are found so numerous, and the defects so beyond all redress, that, notwithstanding the pains of the learnedest and acutest critics for two whole centuries, those books still are, and are like to continue, a mere heap of errors. On the contrary, where the copies of any author are numerous, though the various readings always increase in proportion, there the text, by an accurate collation of them, made by skilful and judicious hands, is ever the more correct, and comes nearer to the true words of the author.”

The object of biblical criticism is to restore the oldest and purest text which can be obtained with our present means and facilities. In accordance with the well-known principle first propounded by Bentley, revived by the venerable Bengel, and recently applied and carried out by Lachmann, we must make the oldest and most authoritative uncial manuscripts of the New Testament now extant the basis of the true text, especially those few which date from the fourth to the sixth century. They are the following: 1. Codex SINAITICUS, edited by Tischendorf, Leipz., 1863.23 2. Cod. VATICANUS (designated by the letter B., defective from Heb. 9:14), carelessly edited by Cardinal Angelo Mai, with improvements by Vercellone, Rome, 1857, and much better by Const. Tischendorf. Lips. 1867. 3. Cod. ALEXANDRINUS (A., in the British Museum), of which the New Testament was published in uncial types, though not in fac-simile, by C. G. Woide, Lond., 1786, and by B. H. Cowper, 1860. 4. Cod. (rescriptus) EPHRAEMI SYRI (C., a cod. rescriptus, or palimpsest, very imperfect), published by Tischendorf, in uncial type, but not in fac-simile, Leipz., 1843. 5. Cod. BEZÆ (D., at Cambridge), containing the Gospels and the Acts, with a Latin version, published in fac-simile by Ths. Kipling, Camb., 1793, 2 vols., fol.24 In the same class with these oldest manuscripts, though last, must be placed the later and less important uncials, as Cod. BASILIENSIS (called E., of the eighth or ninth century, containing the Gospels), Cod. BOREELI (F., at Utrecht, the Gospels, except some portions of Matthew and Mark), Cod. SEIDELII HARLEIANUS (G., in the British Museum, the greater part of the Gospels), Codd. H., I., K., L. (Paris, No. 62, generally in agreement with Codd. Sin. and Vatic), etc. Next in importance to the uncial manuscripts are the quotations of the early fathers, and the ancient versions, especially the Latin and the Syriac. In the third rank are to be placed the cursive manuscripts of later date, down to the close of the fifteenth century, of which more than five hundred have been collated in the Gospels alone. For our purpose it was useless to refer to them except in those rare cases where the older authorities are insufficient to establish the original text. The decision of the true reading depends, however, not only on the antiquity and number of authorities, but also on internal reasons. Lachmann’s object was simply historical, viz., to establish the oldest attainable text, as it stood in the fourth or fifth century, in the place of the comparatively recent, accidental, and unreliable textus receptus. This is the only safe basis for future critics, but it is only a part of the task, which must be completed by a proper consideration of the internal evidences. Where the oldest authorities—uncial manuscripts, patristic quotations, and ancient versions—lead to no satisfactory result, later manuscripts (which may be transcripts of uncial manuscripts even older than those we now possess) may be profitably consulted, and that reading deserves the preference which gives the best sense and agrees most with the style and usage of the writer. Thus, in many instances, a return from Lachmann to the textus receptus may be justified. See the seventh critical edition of Tischendorf.

As to the corrections of the authorized English version, I beg the reader to view them as part of the commentary. Some of them would be unnecessary or even objectionable in a revised version for public use. Our incomparable English Bible stands in no need of a radical revision; its idiom, beauty, and vigor are all that can be desired. But no good scholar will deny that it might be greatly improved as to clearness and accuracy; while many doubt whether it could be done without producing greater division and confusion, and thus doing more harm than good. A final revision for popular use should proceed from a body of scholars representing the British and American Bible Societies, and all the Protestant Churches which worship God in the English language, and have an equal claim to this inestimable inheritance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the mean time, no one can object to new translations and revisions for exegetical and critical use. They prepare the way for a final authorized revision for general and popular use.

My selections from other writers are mostly taken from representative older and modern commentators of the various English and American Churches, with the view to give this work an Anglo-German character. Thus Burkitt, M. Henry, Scott, and Doddridge represent the older practical exegesis of England; Alford and Wordsworth, the modern Anglican exegesis in its two divergent, progressive, and conservative, tendencies; D. Brown, the Free Church of Scotland; J. Addison Alexander, the Old School Presbyterian; Barnes and Owen, the New School Presbyterian; Whedon and Nast, the Methodist; Conant, the Baptist, views on the more important doctrinal passages in the Gospel of Matthew.

I cannot conclude this lengthy preface without giving public expression to my sense of gratitude to the officers of the “American Bible Union,” for the unrestricted use of their valuable Biblical Library, with its rich variety of Bibles in all languages, commentaries, dictionaries, the Benedictine and other editions of the church fathers, etc., which make it probably the best collection of the kind on this continent.

May the blessing of the triune God rest upon this commentary on His holy word, which was commenced in faith and with the earnest desire to assist the ministers of the Gospel in the discharge of their high and holy mission.





§ 1. THEOLOGY in general, or the scientific knowledge of the Christian religion, may, according to its historical and scientific character, be arranged under two great divisions,—Historical, and Theoretical or Systematic Theology, taking these terms in their widest sense. (I.) Historical Theology may again be ranged under the following three sections:—(1) The History of Revelation, or of the Kingdom of God, which forms the basis of the whole system; (2) The History of the Records of Revelation, or Exegetics in the wider sense; (3) The History of Revealed Religion, or Church History. (II.) In the same manner, Theoretical or Systematic Theology may be divided into three sections:—(1) The System of Christian Doctrines, or Dogmatics; (2) The System of Christian Morals, or Ethics; (3) The System of Christian Polity, or Practical Theology.

§ 2. From this analysis we infer that the materials from which to construct a theological and homiletical Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures, must be derived from the elements of the history of revelation, of exegesis, and church history, as well as from the elements of dogmatics, ethics, and practical theology, always with special reference to the practical, homiletical, and pastoral point of view.

§ 3. Before proceeding with our special Introduction to the New Testament, we must premise, in brief outline, a General Introduction to the Scriptures. The special introduction to the Old Testament may be left for another occasion,25 not merely because our present task is connected with the New Testament, but because, as Christians, we proceed, theoretically, from the New Testament to the Old, and not vice versa. It is sufficient for our purpose to communicate, in briefest form, the results obtained by modern research, and to indicate the works which may aid the reader in reviewing these results for himself.

§ 4. Accordingly, we shall have to preface the N. T. portion of our Commentary,—(1) by a General Introduction from the theological and homiletical point of view; (2) by a Historical and Exegetical Introduction to the New Testament in general, and to its various parts; (3) by a General Homiletical and Pastoral Introduction; (4) by a Homiletical and Pastoral Introduction to the New Testament.




§ 1


THE History of the Kingdom of God must not be confounded with Biblical History. The latter, like Biblical Theology, forms part of Exegesis, while the History of the Kingdom of God embraces the whole history of the world viewed from the Christian stand-point.

The kingdom of God is that new creation in which God reveals Himself in His character as Redeemer. It is based upon the universal and absolute dominion of God over the world, and results from it; and it consists in the restoration of the dominion of the Spirit of God over the hearts of men, brought about by Christ, who is the heart of the race. As mankind was originally destined to form the kingdom of God, and for that purpose was arranged into one family, the kingdom of God may also be viewed as the restoration of mankind to one body under the One and Eternal Head (Acts 3:21; Eph. 1:22), in whom it was elected from all eternity, and called, for the harmonious manifestation of the glory of God (Eph. 1:4, 5).

The restoration of this kingdom presupposes the existence of an opposite pseudo-kingdom, in which the human family were scattered and dispersed by sin—a kingdom of darkness and of falsehood, the kingdom of Satan. Accordingly, the history of the preparation, foundation, and completion of the kingdom of God, is at the same time the history of its hostile conflicts with the antagonistic kingdom of darkness.

The kingdom of God disappeared from earth through the working of unbelief, by which the Lord was robbed of His dominion over the heart. Similarly has it again been restored to the world by the combined operation of the grace of God, and of a spiritual faith which He has planted in the heart of His elect, and which ultimately appeared in all its fulness and perfectness, as conquering the world, in Christ, the Elect One. This salvation of the world is destined gradually to spread till it pervades all mankind. Hence the extension of the kingdom of God to its final completion in the world will occupy the entire course of time, even as this kingdom is destined to cover all space in the world. Viewed in this light, the whole history of the world itself is simply the history of the restoration and transformation of the world into the kingdom of God.

Thus, all history may be included under the idea of the βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. But its innermost centre is that manifestation of God’s redeeming grace, by which, on the basis of His general revelation to man, He has founded His kingdom.

The all-comprehensive medium of God’s revelation was His personal incarnation in Christ. Throughout the entire course of history, we perceive how mankind, in ever-narrowing circles, tends towards this manifestation of the God-Man. Again, after He has appeared, we notice how, in ever-widening circles, it tends towards the final goal—to present all mankind as born of God.

Christ, then, is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all revelation. But as revelation is ever love, light, and life, it embodies at the same time both saving truth and saving reality, or revelation in the narrower sense, and actual redemption Hence it is that in Christ we have not only the completion of revelation, but also complete redemption.

Redemption, in all its phases and stages, is prepared and introduced by judgments, which, by the grace of God, are, however, converted into so many deliverances. Again, every new stage in the unfolding and history of salvation is marked by a fresh extension and establishment of the kingdom of God, appearing as the Church of the redeemed. Hence, while the real kingdom of God was founded when redemption was first introduced, it shall be perfected when the benefits of redemption shall have been extended to the utmost boundaries of the world.

This is the Development of Revelation, to which we now proceed.

I. General Revelation

a) Widest circle (revelation by Symbolical signs, which ultimately point of the Word).

1. Objectively: creation (Rom. 1:20)

2. Subjectively: the human mind, especially the conscience (Rom. 2:14, 15).

b) Narrower circle (revelation by facts).

1. Objectively: history (Ps. 2, 110).

2. Subjectively: the dealings of God with individuals (Ps. 104; 139:16)

II. Special Revelation, or Revelation of Salvation (by the Word, accompanied by Symbolical Signs)

a) Revelation during the course of its progress.

1. Objectively: the Old Covenant (Gen. 12. etc.)

2. Subjectively: faith (Gen. 15:6).

b) Revelation completed.

1. Objectively: the New Covenant (Luke 22:20; John 13:34)

2. Subjectively: justifying faith, in its New Testament sense (Rom. 5:1; 1 Pet. 3:21).

So far as we are concerned, it is by subjective revelation that we become partakers of objective revelation, even as it is only by the revelation of salvation that we come to understand and see general revelation. The various cycles of revelation are clearly perceived only when viewed in the light of justifying and saving faith, which sheds upon each of them a new and glorious lustre.

The following are the various periods of historical revelation in parallel review:—

The Old Testament in the wider sense of the term:

The New Testament in the wider sense of the term:

1. Primeval religion, unto Abraham, 2000 B. C.

1. Gospel history, and the Apostolic Age.

2. Patriarchal faith in the promise, unto 1500 B. C.

2. The ancient Catholic Church. The Fathers.

3. The period of the Law, unto 800 B. C.

3. The legal Church of the Middle Ages. [The Popes.—P. S.]

4. The period of the Prophets, unto 400 B. C.

4. The Protestant Churches. [The Reformers.—P. S.]

5. The period of national religiousness (the Maccabees).

5. Union into one evangelical Church in its progress.

6. Concentration of religious longing in the ancient world as the cradle of the Messiah. The Blessed Virgin.

6. The Bride of Christ, or the Church in the last days awaiting His coming.

7. The first coming of Christ.

7. The last coming of Christ. His manifestation in glory.

The manifestation of salvation, as it constitutes the great moving force of all history, draws the course of the latter into the whole of the history of the kingdom of God. The history of the βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ may be divided into that of the Kingdom of God in its legal and typical form, or the Theocracy (a term formed by Josephus, Contra Apion. ii. 16), and that of the real Kingdom of God in spirit and in truth—the βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν,—or into the Pre-Christian and the Christian (not Post-Christian) Era.

I. History of the Theocracy, or of the Pre-Christian Era

1. Primeval times, the type of the entire history of the world to the great judgment—till the Flood—and the new formation of the (Noachic) race.

2. The dispersion of nations and the calling of Abraham; or, origin of the contrast between Heathenism and Judaism (preparation for the Theocracy), or between passive and active religiousness (the religions of nature, and that of revelation).

a) The table of nations in Genesis, and the mythologies of the Gentiles.

a) Promise of the holy people.

b) Separation between the civilized nations of antiquity and barbarous tribes (Heathenism in its ascending and in its descending line. See Rom. 2).

b) Separation between Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau. Difference among the sons of Israel (Judaism in its ascending and in its descending line. Rom. 2 and 10).

3. Establishment of the great contrast; or, the Empires of the world as the central points of civilization, and the foundation and history of the Theocracy in the narrower sense. Antagonism and mutual influence.

a) Great Empires of the world in their origin and growth. Egypt, Assyria, Phœnicia, etc.

a) The Theocracy in its origin. Antagonism and mutual influence between Israel, and Egypt, Canaan, Syria, Phœnicia, and Assyria.

b) The great Empires of the world fully developed.—Dan. 2 Vision of the image of the various monarchies. Its bright aspect: Union. Dan. 7. Vision of the four beasts. Its dark aspect: Division.

b) The Theocracy in its full typical manifestation.

 Antagonism and mutual influence between Israel and the four Empires.

α) The Babylonian Empire.

α) Period of the Judges and Prophets, from Moses to David.

β) The Persian Empire.

β) Period of the Kings, from David to the Babylonian Exile.

γ) The Macedonian Empire.

γ) Period of the Priests (blooming period under the Maccabees).

δ) The Roman Empire.

δ) Close of the typical and commencement of the real kingdom of God.

4. Removal of the great contrast and antagonism. Gentiles settle in Palestine; the Jews of the Diaspora. Cessation of the typical, and preparation of the real Theocracy. (Heathen power and heathen culture. Oppression of the Jews and prophecies.)

a) The Cuthæans settled in Samaria, and becoming Samaritans.

a) The ten tribes carried to Assyria beyond the Euphrates.

b) The Aramæan language and Sadducean notions introduced into Palestine on the return from Babylon.

b) Many of the Jews remaining in Babylon.

c) The Decapolis in Galilee of the Gentiles, founded chiefly by the veterans of Alexander the Great.

c) Jewish colonies in Alexandria, Libya, Syria, and Asia Minor. The Septuagint.

d) The Herodians. Introduction of Grecian and Roman manners in Palestine. (The Proselytes.)

d) The Jewish Diaspora in Rome and through-out the West, since the time of Pompey and Cæsar. (The Essenes.)

e) Rule of the heathen, of Christians, and of Mohammedans in Palestine.

e) Destruction of Jerusalem, and dispersion on the people throughout the world.

5. The first coming of Christ. Close of the first, and commencement of the second era. Redemption of the world.

II. History of the Kingdom of God in its Fulness, or of the Kingdom of Heaven in the World

1. Primeval Christianity, the type of all Church History

2. Appearance of the antagonism between the Christian Church and the Jewish and heathen world.

a) The Talmud, and heathen calumnies against Christianity.

a) The ancient Catholic Church and the martyrs.

b) Judaism in its unhistorical ossification. (Analogy with the partial barbarism of the original races.)

b) Separation between the Church and heretical sects.

3. Establishment of this antagonism; or, the Christian Empires, and the establishment of the Church in the narrower sense. Hostility and mutual influences. Mediæval Legalism a symbol and type of the future.

a) Movement in the heathen world.

a) The worldly Church of Constantine the Great. Missions.

b) Secularization of the Church.

b) The Monastic Church.

c) Migration of the nations into the Church, and the great baptism of water.

c) The Theocratic legalistic Church.

d) The Eastern Church, or orthodoxy secularized.

d) The Roman Church.

e) Mohammedanism, or heresy completed.

e) Western Catholic Christendom. The Crusades.

f) The Western Papacy.

f) Protestant parties and movements during the Middle Ages. Humanism. Popular literature.

g) The Catholic Roman Empire. The antievangelical powers. Machiavellianism.

g) Evangelical Christendom. Germ of the true Church and the true State.

4. Removal of the antagonism, and appearance of the true Church and the true State.

a) The Roman Catholic world.

a) The Church of the Reformation (harmonious difference between Church and State).

b) The reformatory movements in the Roman Catholic Church.

b) Romanizing divisions of the Evangelical Church.

c) The dissolving elements of Jesuitical Monasticism, Mysticism, political influences, and the advance of civilization in Romish Churches and countries, under the form of reaction.

c) Awakenings and union among Protestants.

d) Revolutions in the Roman Catholic world.

d) Protestant Reforms.

e) The world in all forms of intellectual heathenism acting upon the Church.

e) Christian missions acting upon all parts of the world.

f) Humanism as leaven in the Roman Catholic and in Romanizing Churches.

f) The authority of Christ appearing in all departments of life. The Bible the book of nations.

5. The future of Christendom.

a) Apostasy in the alliance between Absolutism and Antichrist.

a) Victory in the union of believers under the banner of Christ.

b) Judgment upon the apparent completion of Hierarchism and Secularism.

b) Redemption of the visible Church of Christ *is its apparent destruction. Manifestation of the Bride, and advent of the Bridegroom.


In a certain sense, every branch of literature may be regarded as auxiliary to the study of the history of the kingdom of God. More particularly, however, we include here those works on universal history which are written from a general or a religious point of view, and works on the philosophy of history. It is scarcely necessary to add, that we would also direct special attention to historical books written in a Christian spirit, and to those which treat expressly of the history of the kingdom of God.


On Chronology:—Gatterer (1777), Ideler (1825–26), Brinkmeier (1843). On General History:—Herder, Fred. Schlegel (R. C.), and Hegel, on the Philosophy of History. Eyth: History from the Christian stand-point (1853). Ehrenfeuchter: The Histor. Development of Mankind (Heidelb. 1855). Bräm, Barth, Lisco, Theremin, Grundtwig, Zahn, Kalkar, Ziegler, Kurtz, on Sacred History. Bunsen: God in History (Part I. Leipz., 1857). Leo (Romanizing), and Dittmar: History of the World before and since Christ. [R. Turnbull: Christ in History. Boston, 1854.—P. S.]


1. History of Creation.—Schubert, Wagner, Pfaff, Burmeister (negative), Rougemont. Humboldt: Kosmos. Kurtz: Bible and Astronomy (Germ. and English). [Hugh Miller: Testimony of the Rocks, or Geology in its bearings on the two theologies, natural and revealed. Edinb. and Boston, 1859. Tayler Lewis: The Six Days of Creation, or the Scriptural Cosmology. New York and London, 1855.—P. S.]

2. The Flood.—Lücken, Stolberg (Hist. of Religion, Germ., vol. i. App.), Buttmann, Bopp (Die Sündfluth, Berlin, 1829), Rud. Wagner (Naturgeschichte des Menschen, 1838), Schubert (Das Weltgebäude, Erlangen, 1852).

3. The Division of Nations and the Genealogical Table. Heathenism.—Feldhoff (Die Völkertafel der Genesis, 1837), Knobel (ditto, 1850). [Tuch, Delitzsch, Bush, on Genesis, ch. x.—P. S.] Creuzer, Baur, Stuhr, Wuttke, on Ancient Mythology and the heathen religions. G. Seibert: Griechenthum und Christenthum, 1857. Döllinger (R. C.): Heidenthum und Judenthum—Vorhalle des Christenthums, 1857. [A very learned and instructive work, also translated into English.—P. S.] Schelling: Philosophy of Mythology.

4. History of Israel.—Hess, Jost (a liberal Jew), Bertheau, Ewald, [Milman, Stanley] on the history of the Jews.—Comp. Josephus on the Jewish war.

5. Fulfilment of Prophecies.—Keith, O. Strauss (Niniveh and the Word of God, 1855), Layard (Nineveh and Babylon).

6. The Life of Christ.—Works of Hase, Neander, Lange, Ewald, Lichtenstein, Friedlieb, Bucher, [Sepp, Kuhn, Ellicott, Andrews, on the Life of Christ; also Ullmann, Young, Bushnell, Schaff, Dorner, on he Character and sinless Perfection of Jesus.—P. S.]

7. The Apostolic Age.—Neander, J. P. Lange (Leipz., 1853), P. Schaff (2d ed., Leipz., 1854, German and English), Thiersch, Trautmann, Lechler, in the Apostolic Age. Mosheim, Baur, Hagenbach and Schaff, on the Church in the first three centuries.

8. Church History.See Liter. in Hagenbach’s Theol. Encyclop., p. 220, and in Schaff’s Hist. of the Apost. Church, Gen. Introd., ch. iv. On the moral effects of Christianity: Tzschirner, on the Down-fall of heathenism (German), Chaste, Beugnot, on the same subject (French), C. Schmidt: Essai historique sur la société civile dans le monde romain, et sur sa transformation par le Christianisme, [comp. an able review of the latter work, by Dr. Sears, in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1863.—P. S.]

9. Post-Christian Judaism.—Friedländer, Grätz, Beer, M‘Caul, Jost, [Edersheim,] on later Jewish history.

10. Mohammedanism.—G. Weil: Mohammed, his Life and Doctrine (German). Stuttgart, 1343. Döllinger: Mohammed’s Religion. München, 1838. W. Irving: Life of Mohammed. Gerok: Christology of the Koran (German). Gotha, 1839. German translations of the Koran, by Boysen, Wahl, Geiger, Ullmann. [Engl. trsl. with notes, by J. M. Rodwell. London, 1861.—P. S.]

11. History of Civilization.—A very extensive literature. General works on the subject by Gruber, Kolb, Wachsmuth (Leipz. 1850), Guizot [Balmez.] History of Philosophy by Brucker, Tennemann, Reinhold, Rixner, Ritter, Hegel, Sigwart, Schwegler; and on special sections of the hist. of Philos.: Brandis, Erdmann, Chalybäus [Zeller, Morell, A. Butler, Maurice.—P. S.] History of Art by Kugler, Schnaase, Otte, Springer, Piper, etc. History of Literature by Eichhorn, Wachler, Bouterweck, Schlegel, [Grässe, Brunet, Allibone, etc.] History of Law and Jurisprudence by Eichhorn, Walter, Philipps, Grimm, Savigny.

12. History of Missions.—Blumhardt: Gen. Hist. of Missions in the Christ. Church. Basel, 1828–1837, 3 vols. G. Schmidt: Victory of Christianity, etc. (German). Leipz., 1857, 3d ed. Steger:Protest. Missions, 1838. W. Hoffmann: Missions-Stunden, and other writings. Wallmann: The Missions of the Evangel. Churches (German), 1849. [Harvey Newcomb: Cyclopedia of Missions (700 pages). New York, 1854. The Memorial Volume of the first Fifty Years of the Amer. Board of Com. for Foreign Missions. Boston, 1861.—P. S.] The periodical reports and publications of Missionary societies in Europe and America. On Inner missions see the works of Wichern, März, [and the reports of the German Church Diet and Congress for Inner Missions, since 1848.—P. S.]

§ 2


I. Auxiliary Sciences

Among the auxiliary sciences of exegesis we include all those which serve to prepare us for the study of Scripture. To this class belongs the study of antiquities, and that of ancient languages, generally; and, more particularly, that of criticism and of hermeneutics. The direct auxiliaries to the study of the Scriptures are, so far as the text itself is concerned, biblical antiquities and the sacred languages; and, so far as regards the present form of the text, biblical criticism and hermeneutics. These two sciences consist in the knowledge how scientifically to examine and to ascertain the genuineness of the records of Scripture and of the text, and in acquaintanceship with the fundamental principles of biblical interpretation.

1. Biblical Archæology in general.—Comp. Hagenbach, Theol. Encyclop., p. 132. Among works on this subject we name those by Warnekros, Rosenmüller, Jahn, de Wette, Ewald, Scholz, Saalschütz, the Real-Wörterbuch of Winer (indispensable), and other Encyclopædias of Biblical Literature.

Various branches of biblical Archœology.

a) Ethnology.—The descendants of Shem. The Hebrews. The Jews. The nations of Canaan. The nations surrounding Israel. Comp. the Archæological works of Bellermann, Rosenmüller, Winer, Movers (on the Phœnicians), [Layard, Rawlinson, and Niebuhr on the Assyrians.]

b) Geography.—Palestine and the other countries mentioned in the Bible. Travels. Topographical works. Maps. Comp. especially Crome, von Raumer, Robinson (Researches, Engl. and Germ.), Strauss (Sinai und Golgatha), Krafft (Topography of Jerusalem), Schulz (Jerusalem), Tobler; the Travels of Berggren, Schubert, Robinson, Wilson, Van de Velde, Schulz, Tischendorf, [Stanley, Hackett, Thomson, Bausman,] etc.

c) Natural Science.—Bochart’s Hierozoicon.

d) Chronology.—Comp. as above, p. 6.

e) Civilization.—Agriculture. Pastoral life. Dwellings. Furniture. Trades. Domestic life. Social life (Poetry and Music). Government. Theocracy. See Michaelis, The Laws of Moses; Herder and Saalschütz (on Hebrew Poetry); [the various commentaries of Ewald, Hupfeld, Umbreit, Hengstenberg, Delitzsch, Alexander, etc., etc., on the Psalms and other poetical books of the O. T.—P. S.]

f) Religion.—On the typology of the Old Testament services, comp. the works of Bähr (Symbolik des Mos. Cultus, 2 vols. 1837), Kurtz, Hengstenberg, Keil, [and Fairbairn, Typology of Scriptures, Edinb. and Philad., 1857.]

2. The Languages of Scripture.Philologia sacra. See Hagenbach, p. 123, and the manuals quoted below.

3. Biblical Criticism.—Unhappily, we are still without any accurately defined canon of criticism, especially of biblical criticism. Hence, when biblical criticism appears in so many instances to be self-contradictory and self-destructive, this must be ascribed not merely to Rationalism, but also to the want of well-ascertained scientific principles. The two great points which must be kept in view in criticism are, the authenticity of the text, and its integrity. On the character and literature of biblical criticism, see Hagenbach, p. 146.—Fundamental principles: (1) The place of criticism is not above the subject, as looking down upon it, but in juxtaposition to, and in living contact with it. (2) In criticism we must progress from the general to the particular, in order to be always sure that we are treating of the same subject; while, on the other hand, we must also pass from the particular to the general, in order thereby to make sure of the reality and actuality of the subject. (3) The standard which we apply to a subject must be commensurate to it. Thus historical facts cannot be judged of by the physical standard applied to them by Pantheism and by Fatalism. Mythological ideas are altogether inapplicable to the elucidation of the Scriptures. The Old Testament standard is insufficient for the criticism of the Gospel history. (4) The critic must first have settled his general principles before he can arrive at any conclusion as to the special results of these principles. Above all, therefore, he must be quite clear about the personality of God and of the God-Man. (5) Criticism must ever recognize it that all history has a deep religious bearing, symbolical of the great fact that all history has an ideal object, and that this grand idea is evolved in the course of history. (6) The critic must bear in mind that one grand idea pervades and connects the various portions of Scripture, while he at the same time keeps in view the gradual development of Scripture, its various periods, and the special form which each separate portion has taken, according to the individuality of the writer. (7) Criticism must be able to distinguish between agreement in spirit, and agreement in the letter merely. (8) The criticism of the witnesses themselves must precede the criticism of what they witnessed. (9) The various records of Scripture must be classified according to their relation to the character and object of those who bore the record. (10) The great fact that the Word has become flesh—i. e., that the idea has become history—must be laid down as the fundamental principle of all criticism. This presupposition raises the critic above all false presuppositions. See Lange, Leben Jesu, i. 108; Posit. Dogm., p. 605.

On the history of criticism, see Hagenbach, Theol. Encyclop., p. 157, sqq.

4. Biblical Hermeneutics.—This is the science of the right understanding and the right interpretation of Holy Writ. For further explanation, and for the literature of the subject, see Hagenbach, p. 162. Among modern writers on hermeneutics, we mention Lücke, Clausen, Schleiermacher, Lutz, and the writer of the article Hermeneutics in Herzog’s (German) Real-Encycl.; [also Cellerier: Manuel d’Hermeneutique, Geneva, 1852; Fairbairn: Hermeneutical Manual, Philad. 1859.—P. S.] For the history of scriptural interpretation, and of its principles, we refer to the work of G. W. Meyer (Hist. of Exegesis since the revival of Letters (Gött., 1802–1808, 5 vols.). On the allegorical exegesis of the Middle Ages, see Elster: De medii œvi theologia exegetica, Gött., 1855.

The following are the essential conditions in hermeneutics:

a. For the right understanding

(1) Inward condition of interpretation: homogeneousness of spirit with the writer and his subject.

(2) Outward condition: familiarity with the languages, antiquities, and history.

(3) Combination of these two elements: familiarity with the peculiar character and spirit of revelation, and, in consequence, ability to distinguish between what is symbolical and mere myths, and again, between what is symbolical and what is pure history or abstract dogma. (The symbolical must not be confounded with myths; but, on the other hand, it must not be regarded as pure dogma.)

(4) The mind of the interpreter must continually connect and bring into juxtaposition the Scriptures, in their general bearing, with the individual portions under examination. (Scripture must not be made to contradict itself by pressing the letter.) Analogy of faith: survey of the grand total bearing, the fundamental idea. Analogy of Scripture: survey of the individual and the special parts. Comparison of Scripture with Scripture.

(5) A comparison and connection between the general spirit of Scripture, and the personal and individual views of each inspired writer.

(6) A lively interchange between the mind of the Word and the mind of the interpreter.

(7) A living interchange between the individual interpreter and the general spirit of interpretation in the Church. (Not, indeed, blind submission to authority, but neither craving for singularity.)

b. For the proper interpretation

(1) Accurate exposition of the meaning of the text. Interpretation in the narrower sense.

(2) Illustration of the meaning of the text, by analogous passages. Explanation.

(3) Reproduction of the meaning of the text, by pointing out its eternal bearing and import. Application.

II. Exegetics

Exegetics, in the widest sense, depends on the proper connection between the right understanding and interpretation of the general import of Scripture and that of its individual portions. The parts can neither be understood without the whole, nor the whole without the parts. Hence that interpreter only can advance the subject who has learned to view the individual parts in the light of the total bearing of Scripture, and the total bearing in the light of the individual portions thereof. Thus alone can the necessary equilibrium be preserved.

Viewed theoretically, criticism is the first process, although, in point of practice, criticism follows upon exegetics and hermeneutics.

Criticism consists in a lively interchange between a scrutiny of the general principle and that of the individual statements of Scripture.

Hermeneutics then shows the lively interchange existing between the interpretation of the spirit, or of the meaning of Scripture as a whole, and the interpretation of the special passage or expression.

Lastly, we have Exegetics proper, which may be either general or special. The former, or Introduction (Isagogics), establishes and explains, from the mutual relationship between the character of Scripture as historically ascertained, and the summary contents of its various portions, the import and substance of the Scriptures generally. Special Exegetics develops and exhibits the succession of thought in Scripture, down to the minutest expression and letter, by connecting and comparing the ascertained character of Scripture with the text under review. The Introduction to the various books of Scripture belongs to the department of Exegesis, since, on the one hand, it presupposes an exegetical analysis of each book, while, on the other, it concludes with an exegetical survey of the contents of the portion of Scripture examined. Again, Exegesis itself is an Introduction, in the most special sense of the term. For every exegetical treatise must not only commence with a special introduction to, and indicate the character and contents of, the portion of Scripture about to be examined, but it must ever again revert to those general views and leading characteristics which have been ascertained.

1. Definition of the Holy Scriptures

Holy Scripture is the complete sum of the records of our divinely revealed religion, which culminates in Christianity. Hence it marks the progress of the incarnation of the Eternal Word of God to its completion in the final settlement of the canon of Scripture. If, generally speaking, writing is the peculiar organ of civilization, the medium for the increasing interchange of thought, the record of the history of mankind, the standard of its development, all this applies in the highest, and, indeed, in a unique sense, to the sacred writings. They are the form under which Christianity originally appeared to regenerate the world, the bond of fellowship between believers of all nations and ages, the record of the history of revelation, and the standard and rule for the development of Christianity and of the Church.

In the all-wise arrangement of the God of revelation, Holy Writ was therefore as necessary as the Incarnation itself. The Gospel was destined to pervade every relationship of life and every institution. As in Baptism, it sanctified the washing with water; in the Eucharist, the meal of fellowship—the bread and the wine; and by the Charismata, the diversity of human gifts, so as a written record it sanctified the letter and assumed this essential form of intellectual and spiritual intercourse among men.

Bretschneider:27 “The Bible may be viewed,—1, historically, if we inquire what its character is, according to the testimony of history—viz., a collection of credible documents of the Jewish and the Christian religion; or, 2, dogmatically, if we in quire in what light the religious society of Christians regard it—viz., as the code of Divine revelation.” While at one time theologians were wont to lay special emphasis on the dogmatical, they have of late equally dwelt upon the historical character of Scripture. But all such seeming antagonism disappears if we take a deeper view of Holy Writ. Scripture is not “a collection,” it is the collection. The various records of which it is composed, together form only one record. Lastly, the great question which claims our attention is not merely concerning the records of the Jewish and Christian religion generally, but as to the Divine origin and institution of these religions.

LITERATURE.—Comp. the article Bible in the different Encyclopædias of Ersch and Gruber, Herzog, Hagenbach, Pelt, [Kitto, Smith.—P. S.]. The different Introductions to the Old and New Testament (see a list of them in Winer’s Handbuch der theol. Literatur, vol. i, p. 33 sqq.). Also the introductory chapters of the Bible-works of Starke, Richter, Gerlach, Lisco, Bunsen. Then the articles on the Holy Scriptures in the principal works on Dogmatics. Köppen: Die Bibel, 2 vols. Finally the modern works on Biblical Theology. On the History of the Bible, see E. Reuss (Braunschweig, 2d ed., 1853), and the more popular works of Ostertag: Die Bibel und ihre Geschichte, (2d ed., Basel, 1857), and Tholuck Die Bibel (Leipzig, 1851). [Prideaux, Stackhouse, Howel, L. Clarke, on the History of the Bible; A. Alexander, and L. Gaussen, on the Canon of the Old and New Testaments.—P. S.]

2. Various Designations of the Scriptures

The three different designations commonly given to the Scriptures indicate the different points from which the same Divine record maybe viewed. The term BIBLE (τὰ βιβλία sc. θεῖα), i.e. the Book, or the Book of books, points out the difference between Holy Writ and all other literature, while at the same time it also connects the Scriptures with the intellectual productions of men. All other writings are, like planets, to move round this central sun. The name HOLY SCRIPTURE (ἱερὰ γραφή, ἁγία γραφή, θεῖα γραφή) refers to the relationship between the form or the letter of the Scriptures and the inspired word of God which it contains. Lastly, the term WORD OF GOD (Verbum Dei) indicates the identity of the oral revelation of God with the Bible, and also its internal identity—the agreement of the whole with the parts, and of the parts with the whole. The Bible, as such, is the historical object of theological science, the introduction to the Old and New Testament. The Bible, in its character as the Holy Scriptures, is the human expression of Divine inspiration, and the religious object of our faith. The Bible, as the Word of God, is the canon or the doctrinal rule and standard of our belief and practice. The first of these names designates the human aspect of Scripture in its Divine grandeur; the second, the combination of Divine revelation with human development and intellectuality; while the third points to the pure and perfect revelation of God which it embodies, or the canon, as the final and grand leading characteristic of the Bible, both as a book and as the Scriptures.

3. The Bible in its Divine Aspect Inspiration. The Word of God

The Bible consists of a number of books, whose composition is coextensive with the progress of Divine revelation in Israel, and covers a period of more than one thousand five hundred years. Its writers were of the most different character and education; it exhibits every variety of form, and is couched in two very different languages. Yet withal it is so thoroughly one in its character, that it might be supposed to have been written in one century, in one year, in one hour, in one moment.

Throughout, it is pervaded by one and the same idea of God and revealed religion; it sets forth the same truths; it breathes the same spirit; it has the same object. This is its Divine aspect. The Bible is not of time, nor of man; it is Divine, because it is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21).

But the inspiration of the Scriptures by the Spirit of God must not be viewed apart from the inspiration of the holy men who wrote it, in the execution of their immediate, prophetic, and Divine calling. Nay, the inspiration for their office has this advantage over the inspiration of their writings, which are closely connected, that it is more direct and more lively. On the other hand, the inspiration of these writings implies special preparedness and collectedness on the part of the sacred writers, and a special significance of the occasion and the motive. In all these respects a corresponding measure of spiritual blessing and direction must have been vouchsafed.

It is for didactic theology to enter into fuller details. The following points, however, should be borne in mind:—The idea of inspiration entertained by the Jews of Palestine was different from that of the Jews of Alexandria. The former accurately distinguished between Divine illumination and mere human enlightenment (hence the difference as to the Apocrypha). Besides, the views of the Palestinians were also sounder and more liberal on the question of the relation between the Divine Spirit and the intellect of man in inspiration. The Alexandrian Jews, following in this respect Grecian ideas, were wont to regard inspiration as something magical,—the individuality of man being for the time depressed and silenced: while the Hebrews understood it that human individuality was only humbled, but thereby also exalted and purified, and thus set free and quickened. The Alexandrians reasoned on the supposition that originally the Divine and the human mind were heterogeneous, and that in the course of history this gulf was bridged over; while the Hebrews proceeded on the idea of an original homogeneousness, and held that the discord which appeared in the course of history was more or less removed by the influence of grace. Hence it was that they alone properly appreciated the Divine element of Scripture in its human form—the “apples of gold in pictures of silver.” The Alexandrian idea was substantially that which, at a later period, was urged by the Montanists. This view of inspiration was rejected by the ancient Church. Still, kindred notions again partially prevailed in the seventeenth century. Rationalism was of course incompetent to remedy such a defect. If theologians had formerly overlooked the human individuality in the composition of Scripture, the Rationalists went to the opposite and more dangerous extreme of denying the Divine character of Scripture altogether, or at least of confining the Divine element to the operation of mere reason, or to special providence, or to moral elevation on the part of the writers. Inspiration necessarily implies the presence and sway of the Spirit of God in the writer, whereby he becomes the organ of that Spirit. The impulse or motive power (impulsus), the communication or the contents (suggestio), and the guidance toward the object aimed at (directio), are all divine, and conform to the objects and aim of the kingdom of God. But this also implies that inspiration itself is subject to certain limitations or conditions. These are either religious conditions, flowing from the nature of this object; or intellectual conditions, arising from its gradual realization; or organic conditions, connected with Him who is the great centre of that object; or, lastly, ethical conditions, springing from the personal holiness of that object. In other words, 1, The Bible, as inspired, is a book of religion, and not an astronomical, geological, or scientific revelation. 2, It has gradually progressed from the incompleteness of the Old, to the perfectness of the New Testament. 3, It has its centre in Christ, as God incarnate, and as the absolute revelation of God in human form. 4, It must never be considered as the effect of a morbid state of body or mind on the part of the writers (such as clairvoyance), but always as the result of direct moral and spiritual intercourse of the personal and living God with the personal mind of man. The Spirit of God was indeed strong enough to preserve the sacred writers from essential mistakes or false testimonies and traditions, and to secure to their writings the impress of never-fading freshness of youth, although He never could nor would force them to speak otherwise than in language conformable to the current ideas of the people, and to their own intellectual development.

We are now prepared to answer that much vexed modern question,—whether the Holy Scriptures be the Word of God itself, or whether the Word of God be in the Holy Scriptures. Viewing the Bible in its individual parts and sections, we reply, The Word of God is in the Bible. But, regarding it as an organic whole, of which all the parts point to Christ and proceed from Christ, we must confess: Holy Writ, as it explains itself, and opens up from book to book and from verse to verse, is the one harmonious and complete Word of God.28

On the literature of inspiration, comp. the Encyclops.; also the works of Wilson, Haldane, Rudelbach, and Gaussen. We specially refer to Fr. de Rougemont, Christ et ses témoins, 2 vols. Paris and Lausanne, 1856—a work which equally opposes the views of Gaussen and the false spiritualism of the Strassburg school of Scherer and others. [W. Lee: The Inspiration of the Holy Scripture, its Nature and Proof. Dublin and New York, 1857, 478 pages.—P. S.]

4. The Holy Scriptures in their Human Aspect; or, History of the Holy Scriptures (Isagogics in the narrower sense)

The period over which the composition of Holy Scripture extends, reaches from Moses to the Apostle John, or from about 1500 before to 100 after Christ,—a period of sixteen centuries,—irrespective of the oral traditions and of those small commencements of scriptural records which preceded the time of Moses.

Equally great is the distance of places where these books were written, varying from Jerusalem and Babylon to Rome, and embracing all Palestine and Greece.

The Bible was composed in the two leading languages of antiquity, which reflect the greatest contrast in the intellectual world. The Hebrew tongue may be characterized as the most unstudied and childlike, as the deepest, purest, and most direct language of spiritual experience; while the Greek is the most cultivated, refined, and philosophical expression of intellectual life. The inspired writers were shepherds and kings, men learned and men unlettered. The diversity of form in the Scriptures appears not only objectively in their contents and character (being partly historical, partly poetic, partly apophthegmatic, partly prophetic, and partly epistolary), but also subjectively in their style and composition, each book bearing a faithful impress of the individuality of its writer. Not reckoning the Apocrypha, the Old Testament comprises thirty-nine books (counting the Book of Lamentations separately), while the New Testament contains twenty-seven separate writings. Yet, from the unity of spirit pervading this vast literary collection, they constitute, really, only one book—a second intellectual creation (Ps. 19).

The science of General Isagogics treats of Scripture as a whole, giving the history,—1, of the collection, or of the canon; 2, of the present form and character of the text, of the various codd. and editions; 3, of its spread, or of the translations and quotations; 4, of its application, or of interpretation. The science of Special Isagogics treats of separate books, discussing their authorship, time, place, occasion, character, contents, division, and literature.

On the Introduction to the Holy Scriptures and its literature, compare Hagenbach’s Encycl. pp. 140, 144, and the excellent works of Hertwig: Tables to the Introduction into the Old Testament. Berlin, 1856; and to the Introduction into the New Testament. Berlin, 1855.

5. The Holy Scriptures in their Christological, Divine-Human (Theanthropic) Character; or, the Scriptures as the Canon. The Old and the New Testament

Viewed in their Christological character, the Holy Scriptures are the canon, both as the record of the revelation completed in Christ, and as the rule of the Christian life of faith. According to this Christological principle, they are divided into the Old and New Testaments (testamentum, διαθήκη, בְּרִית), to indicate that the Old Testament is the incomplete commencement which is explained, fulfilled, and glorified by the New, embodying, as it does, absolute perfectness. According to the same principle, the Apocrypha are kept distinct, as a mere appendix to the Bible, which, so to speak, forms an intermediate link between the canonical Scriptures and common literature. Lastly, viewed in this light, the Scriptures bear special reference to the development of the Christian Church and of the Christian life, where their teaching is expressed in a logical form (more especially in confessions of faith), while at the same time they serve as the rule, standard, and guide on all questions of doctrine.

The expression Canon implies not merely that the Bible is a sacred book, but that in its pages revelation continues, by the agency of the Spirit, an ever-present and ever-sufficient reality. As the canon, the Bible is, so to speak, the Word of God incarnate, which, by means of writing, continues spiritually effectual to the present time. The Old Testament is not merely the book of the Old Covenant, but the Old Covenant itself as the type of the New. Similarly, the New Testament is the New Covenant itself, the Gospels are the Gospel, and the apostolic writings, the living word of the Apostles.

The organic Christological relationship between the Old and New Testament, according to which the former is the preparation, the introduction, and the growth of the New, while the latter is the fulfilment, the abrogation, and the completion of the Old, is indicated in the Old Testament itself, and amply confirmed in the New (Deut. 18:18; Isa. 66:3; Jer. 31:31, 32; Ezek. 36:25; Dan. 2:44; Hos 2:19, etc.; and 2 Cor. 3:7; Matt. 5:17–20, 12:40, 42; John 1:17, 18, 8:56; Gal. 3:25; Heb. 8:7, etc.).

The relationship between the canonical and the apocryphal books was correctly defined by the ancient Jewish synagogue, and, after it, by the ancient Greek and the modern Protestant Churches in opposition to the Roman Catholic theory. The Apocrypha serve, 1, as a kind of historical supplement, being a narrative of the kingdom of God during the period intervening between the Old and New Testaments; 2, as a record of popular piety, forming a distinct period between the age of the Prophets and that of the New Testament; 3, to exhibit the character of Alexandrian Judaism, though only a part of them is derived from that source; 4, as a background to the canon itself; 5, for private instruction and edification. Even the strictly Calvinistic Synod of Dort decided on retaining the Apocrypha along with the canon, and, despite their fallibility and mistakes, they are too deeply imbued with the genuine spirit of the Theocracy to rank them among the ἄτοπα καὶ δυσσεβῆ, in which Eusebius (3:25) places the heretical New Testament Apocrypha.

The Hebrews have divided the Old Testament into the Law (תּוֹרָה); the Prophets, נְבִיאִים (which includes the books of Joshua, of the Judges, of Samuel, and of the Kings); and the Writings generally (כְסוּבּ), or Hagiographa. This division bears reference to the foundation, the historical development, and the edification of the Theocracy. The great preponderance of the prophetic books in the canon, clearly shows that Judaism was the religion of the future, and that the tendency of the Old Testament was ever towards the New. The arrangement of the canon adopted in Christian theology is that into Historical, Doctrinal, and Prophetical Books, corresponding to the same division in the New Testament.

According to this analogy we notice, 1, that to us the Law has become history; 2, that the Prophets are brought into immediate contact with the New Testament, and point out the tendency of the Old towards the New Covenant; while the circumstance that the New Testament contains only one prophetical book, although it is throughout a prophecy of the second coming of Christ, indicates the deep rest which the longings of the soul have found, in the appearance of Christ, and in the redemption which He has accomplished.

Viewing the Holy Scriptures as one connected canon, we may consider all doctrine as historical fact with historical efficacy, and all history as ideal, symbolical, typical, and spiritual, while in their prophetic portions they combine both these elements.

There is, of course, a difference between the genuine canon of Scripture and that which is current, in respect, 1, of unauthenticated readings, or variations; 2, of mistakes, or of infelicity of translation; 3, of the various misrepresentations of the genuine text by exegetical traditions.

The Scriptures, as canon, are necessarily subordinate to the living Saviour, and to the blessed Trinity. They are the written revelation of Christ, but not a second Christ; least of all when taken individually, and under the impression that the Old Testament is in every respect quite equal in authority to the New Testament. On the other hand, as the canon of Christ, the Scriptures must ever form the directory of the external Church, and of the individual Christian, in their fallible growth and development, and are consequently above them. Finally, they are coordinate, or occupy the same line with the ideal life of Christ in the Church, and stand forth as a second spiritual creation by the side of God’s revelation in nature.29

6. Import of the Holy Scriptures

The Bible is a mystery of Divine Providence in the department of literature similar in character to the mystery of the incarnation itself. The incarnation of God in Christ has, so to speak, assumed a bodily expression in the essential Church, i. e., in the preaching of the Gospel, on the basis of the apostolic office, and in the congregation of holy baptism and of the Eucharist. Similarly, the Scriptures are its intellectual or spiritual30 expression.

It is simply impiety to designate the origin of the Bible as accidental, while the decrees of Synods and papal bulls are called necessary.

Holy Writ is the tradition of traditions, and the canon of canons. All other traditions and canons must be brought to the test of the Prophets and Apostles. And, in truth, the Bible reflects all times and places, or rather it is the reflex of eternity. Viewed in reference to its centre, it is the biography of the eternal Christ; viewed in its circumference, it is that of humanity: for, in the power of the prophetic spirit which pervades it, it embraces the end as well as the commencement of our world, and sounds the depths of hell as well as scales the heights of heaven. The book of God is also the book of the world; and, rightly understood, the book of nature as well as the book of the Spirit. There, the history of revelation becomes doctrine, and doctrine becomes history. Proceeding from the Spirit of God, it is fully understood only by the Spirit, even as it can only be explained and applied by the Spirit. To those who are called and waiting, it opens its mysteries; while to the hardened and the sinner it proves a closed book, as it were sealed with seven seals. Nay, like the Gospel itself, it is to some “a savour of life unto life;” to others, “a savour of death unto death.” The outward senses may be absorbed by the letter only, and make an idol of it. In this respect the elements of Scripture have the same import and effect as those of the world. But just as the elements of the world are only rightly known when viewed in the unity of creation, and only wholly known if viewed as the symbolical Word of God, so the Bible is only rightly known when regarded as the second and spiritual creation, and wholly known when viewed as the second and higher revelation of God—the revelation of the foundation, of the reconciliation, and of the transformation of the world.

7. Relation between Holy Writ and the so-called Sacred Records of other Nations and Religions

All the principal religions have chronicled their origin in sacred records, which ever afterwards were regarded as the standard for their development. The most renowned of these religious records are the Vedas of the Indians, the Kings of the Chinese, the Zendavesta of the Persians, the two Eddas of the ancient Germans, and the Koran of the Mohammedans. Even the Old Testament, when brought into combination with the Jewish Talmud, becomes quite different from what it is when viewed in the light of the New Dispensation. To the Jews it has become a series of traditional statutes, upon which the covering of Moses rests. The Mormons of our day have stamped upon themselves the mark of apostasy, since, like Mohammed of old, they have adopted the falsified records of a new and spurious revelation.

The religious records of all nations are faithful representations of these religions themselves. All heathen religions are mythical,—the myth being the essential form of heathenism. But if form and substance are related, the contrast between Holy Scripture and myths must be as great in point of form as that between revealed religion and heathenism. In the Bible, religion has become faith, faith fact, fact sacred history, and sacred history the soul of secular history. Hence also biblical history gives not merely outward facts, but is itself symbolical. Hence also biblical doctrine is not a scholastic system, but also historical and deeply practical. Lastly, it is on this ground that Scripture presents such a wonderful concatenation and succession of history and of doctrine. But the antagonism of history and doctrine is transformed into a higher unity in the prophetical and poetical portions of Scripture.

Revealed religion discloses the errors of all other creeds, while at the same time it brings out any remnant of truth in them, which in turn may become a point of connection for the kingdom of God. Similarly, Holy Writ sheds light on the sacred records of the Gentiles, showing their utter insufficiency, their errors, and the traditions of truth which may have been preserved in them. Indeed, the same remark might be made with reference to all other literature. Thus in this sense also the Bible is the Book of books.

III. Special Exegetics; or, the Art and Practice of Scriptural Exposition

Viewing it in the widest sense, all science and civilization, consciously or unconsciously, must serve as a kind of exposition of the Scriptures, and that whether the Scriptures be dragged down to the level of man, or man raised to the level of the Scriptures. (The Talmud, the New Testament.) Speaking more strictly, the spiritual life of the Christian Church, and more especially the pastoral office, may be regarded as an exposition of the Scriptures, with a twofold and diverse result (tradition, faith). Lastly, the same remark holds true of scriptural exposition in the narrowest and special sense of the term; and there is an exegesis which draws down Scripture to its own level, and another which rises to that of Scripture (mere dogmatism or rationalism on the one hand, and, on the other, the light of the Bible thrown upon exegesis, and that of exegesis upon the Bible).

Various qualifications are requisite for the right interpretation of the Scriptures. Thus the Bible as a whole must all along be compared with its individual parts; exposition must be closely connected with explanation, or the word with the life; exegetical tradition (or the analogy of faith as expressed in the various confessions of faith) and individuality must each have their proper place,—there must be proper submission, and yet proper independence; above all, the interpreter must ever realize that the Lord speaks, and that he is to hear,—or, in other words, the truth revealed must find a response in the obedience of faith, and again, in the prayer which it evokes.

The results of Exegesis are Bible History and Biblical Theology.

IV. Bible History

Bible History differs from the general history of the kingdom of God, in that it delineates only the foundation of this kingdom by means of and during the course of revelation. It traces in historical succession the narrative contained in the Scriptures in all its essential features. In the Old Testament, it shows us all the elements of the life of faith, and sets before us many a precious example of faith and patience for our imitation; while in the New Testament it exhibits the history of faith and salvation “made perfect,” both in the miracles and triumphs of the Lord, and in the deeds of His Apostles. Thus Bible History forms the basis of Church History.

Comp. the Sacred Histories of Hübner, Rauschenbusch, Zahn, Grube, Günther, Kurtz, etc.

V. Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology may be regarded as the final result of exegesis, and at the same time as the basis of the History of Dogmas and of Systematic Theology. Its purpose is to trace the gradual yet uniform development of Christian doctrine and ethics throughout revelation. It may be divided into General and Special. The former follows the development of faith throughout Scripture, showing,—a, The Divine aspect of Scripture, or its one and all-pervading idea: the faith of revelation in the God of revelation, b, Its human aspect, or its gradual unfolding in the individual books of Scripture, according to the various stages of religious development and their character. c, Its Christological or theanthropic aspect, viewing revelation to its completion in Christ, and according to the different doctrinal types in the New Testament.—On the other hand, it is the task of Special Biblical Theology to trace the doctrines of Scripture from their first germs in the Old Testament to their completion in the New, viewing them in the light of theology, of anthropology, of Christology, and of the doctrine of the kingdom of God (Theocratology).

On the literature of the subject, comp. Hagenbach, pp 197 and 201. [We mention de Wette, Steudel, Oehler, Lutz, on Biblical Theology, and especially the excellent work of the late Dr. Schmid, of Tübingen: The Biblical Theology of the N. T. Stuttg., 1853, in 2 vols.—P. S.]

VI. Appendix. Exegetical and Homiletical Helps31

1. Biblical Philology.

a) Hebrew Grammar: Gesenius, Rödiger, Ewald, Stier, Freitag, Hupfeld, Thiersch, Nägelsbach. [Engl. works: Stuart, Conant, Bush, Tregelles, Nordheimer, Green.—P. S.]

b) Hebrew Dictionaries: Buxtorf, Coccejus, Simonis, Simonis-Winer, Gesenius, Schröder, Fürst, Maurer. [Robinson’s Gesenius, 3d ed., Bost., 1849; B. Davidson and Bagster’s Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (with a grammatical analysis of each word in the H. Bible), London, 1848.—P. S.]

c) New Testament Grammar: Winer [6th ed., Leipz., 1855. Two Engl. trsl.—P. S.], Alt, Buttmann.

d) New Testament (and Septuagint) Dictionaries: Schöttgen, Schleussner, Wahl, Bretschneider, Schirlitz, Wilke, Dalmer, [Robinson: A Greek and Engl. Lexicon of the N. T., the new ed., New York, 1851, etc., and Bagster’s Analytical Greek Lexicon, Lond., 1852.—P. S.]

2. Archæology.Geography of Palestine: Ritter (Erdkunde, vol. 15), K. von Raumer, Bräm, Crome, Völter, Robinson, [Stanley, Thomson, Hackett, Bausman.—P. S.] Maps of Grimm, Kiepert, Zimmermann, and the Bibel-Atlas of Weiland, Weimar, 1832, [and of Jenks, Coleman, and the Americas Tract Society.—P. S.] Topograghy of Jerusalem Schulz (Berlin, 1845), Krafft (Bonn, 1846), Tobler, Robinson, Berggren.

3. Introduction to the Bible.—Bertholdt de Wette, Scholz, Eichhorn, Schott, Hug, Credner, Guericke, Reuss, Hengstenberg (Beiträge), Hävernik, Keil, etc.; [also the posthumous works of Bleek, and the English works of Horne and Davidson.—P. S.]

4. Editions of the Bible.Polyglot Bible by Stier and Theile (Bielefeld, 2d ed., 1854, 4 vols.). The Hebr Old Testament by Simonis, van der Hooght, Hahr, Theile. The Septuagint by Breitinger, Tischendorf, and Paris edition. The Greek Testament by Griesbach, Knapp, Schott, Hahn, Lachmann (small and large editions), Theile, Tischendorf (Leipz. 1841, ’48, ’49, 59, different ed.), etc. Synopsis or Harmonies of the Gospels: Griesbach, de Wette and Lücke, Rödiger, Anger, Tischendorf, Robinson (all in Greek), Lex (Die Evangelien-Harmonie, Wiesbaden, 1835), [Robinson, Strong, in English.—P. S.] The Vulgate by van Ess, Kistemaker, etc.

[NOTE.—The best of the many ed. of TISCHENDORF, which I have used in this Engl. edition of Lange’s Matthew, is the large critical edition in 2 vols.: Novum Testamentum Grœce. Ad antiquos testes denuo recensuit, apparatum criticum omni studio perfectum apposuit, etc. Edit. septima, Lips. 1859. The smaller critical edition in one vol. (ed. ii. 1849) gives a sufficient amount of critical apparatus for ministers and students. In connection with this, reference should be had now also to Tischendorf s edition of the famous Codex Sinaiticus, discovered by him, and issued in 1863.

Of LACHMANN I have used the large edition in two volumes with the Latin translation: Novum Testamentum Grœce et Latine. Berolini, 1842 and 1850.

I have also compared occasionally STIER and THEILE: Polyglotten-Bibel, 2d ed., 1849; and PHILIPPUS BUTTMANN: Novum Testamentum Grœce ad fidem codicis Vaticani, (Cod. B.) Berol., 1862, (in new Greek type, conformed to the ancient uncial MSS., the Greek inscriptions of the Augustan age, and the Pompeyan papers.)

The best English editions of the Greek Testament, to which I have more or less frequently referred in the course of the work, are the following:

Dr. S. T. BLOOMFIELD: The Greek Testament with English Notes, 9th ed., Lond., 1855, 2 vols., with a supplementary volume of Critical Annotations, Lond., 1860, which contains a digest of the various readings, and embodies the investigation of seventy uncollated or ill-collated MSS. and the valuable materials derived from Scrivener’s collation of seventy MSS.

W. WEBSTER and W. F. WILKINSON: The Greek Testament with Notes, Critical and Exegetical. Lond., 1855, 2 vols. Anglican, useful “for learners rather than the learned.”

Dr. HENRY ALFORD: The Greek Testament, etc., 4th ed., Lond. 1859, 4 vols. The first vol. containing the four Gospels, was reprinted, from the third ed., by the Harpers of New York, 1859. Alford gives a revised text, and a critical digest of various readings (entirely rewritten in the 4th ed.) between the text and the comments. He surpasses his English predecessors, is essentially orthodox (Anglican) and evangelical, yet critical, liberal, progressive, and made good use of the Germans, especially Olshausen, Tischendorf, de Wette and Meyer.

Dr. CHR. WORDSWORTH: The New Testament in the original Greek: with Notes, new ed. in 2 vols., Lond., 1862. Conservative, reverential, patristic and Anglican.

Dr. S. P. TREGELLES (a Plymouth brother, and a believer in the absolute plenary inspiration): The Greek New Testament, edited from ancient authorities, with various readings of all the ancient MSS., the ancient versions, and earlier eccles. writers (to Eusebius incl.). together with the Latin version of Jerome, Lond., vol. i. containing the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, 1859; vol. ii., containing Luke and John, 1860. Not yet completed. Tischendorf does him injustice in his large ed. of 1859, Prolegg., p. 113 sqq. Tregelles is one of the few scholars who have made the restoration of the genuine apostolic text of the N. T. the work of their life, and, like Bengel, unites with critical learning and laborious research a childlike faith and profound reverence for the Word of God. Mr. Scrivener, in his Introduction to the Criticism of the N. T. (1861), p. 347, remarks: “Every one who venerates the spectacle of time and substance freely bestowed in the best of causes, without the prospect or indeed the possibility of earthly reward, will grieve to know that the further prosecution of his opus magnum is for a while suspended by Dr. Tregelles’ serious illness.”—P. S.]

5. Criticism.—Capelli, Kenicott, Bengel, Gries bach, Reiche, Schleiermacher, Löhnis, Lachmann, Tischendorf. [Bloomfield, Alford, Wordsworth, Tregelles, in the critical parts of their ed. of the Gr. Test., and especially the able work of Fr. H. Scrivener: A plain Introduction to the Criticism, of the N. T. for the use of Biblical students. Cambridge, 1861.—P. S.] Kirchhofer: Quellensammlung zur Geschichte des N. T. Kanons. Zürich, 1844. Olshausen on the Genuineness of all the books of the N. T. [Engl. trsl. by Fosdick, prefixed to vol. i. of Kendrick’s Olshausen.—P. S.] Thiersch on the Canon, 1845. Ebrard: Kritik der evang. Geschichte [not Schriften, as the original reads.—P. S.], 2d ed., 1850. [Engl. condensed trsl., Edinb., 1863.] Bleek: Beiträge zur Evangelienkritik. [Westcott: Introduction to the Study of the Gospels. Amer. ed. with an introduction by Hor. B. Hackett. Boston, 1862.—P. S.] Also Neander, Lange, Schaff, Thiersch, on the Apostolic Age. For the O. T.: Hengstenberg, Hävernick, Keil, Bleek, etc.

6. Translations.—Luther’s last original edition of his German Bible, by Bindseil and Niemeyer, Halle, 1850. Von Hoff, Leipz., 1851. Other German Bible versions: by Friedr. von Meyer, Stier (Bielefeld, 1856), de Wette, the Zürich transl., and the Roman Catholic translations of Leander van Ess, Braun, Brentano, Allioli, Dereser, etc. [English versions: Wiclif, A. D. 1380; Tyndale, 1534; Cranmer, 1539; Geneva, 1560; The Bishop’s Bible, 1568; Authorized, or King James’s, 1611. Roman Catholic versions: Anglo-Rhemish, 1582, and Douay Bible, 1609, etc. See Bagster’s English Hexapla, London; also Mrs. H. C. Conant: Hist. of the Engl. Bible New York, 1856. The publications of the American Bible Union, N. York, especially the revised versions of Lillie, Conant, and Hackett. Dean Trench on the Revision of the C. V., Lond., 1858. Dr. Alford’s revised Engl. N. Test., Lond., 1863. The authorized English Bible of 1611 is, upon the whole, the best of all Bible versions ancient and modern. Comp. John H. Newman’s eloquent testimony in its favor, after his transition to Rome; also the testimony of Marsh in his Lectures on the English Language.—P. S.]

7. Commentaries on the Whole Bible.Critici sacri, several editions. Amsterd., 1698; Frankf. a. M., 1700, etc. Polus: Synopsis, Frkf., 1712, 5 vols. Grotius: Annotationes. On the Old Testament: Rosenmüller (Scholia), Maurer, the Exeget. Manual (Germ.) of Leipz., 1838 sqq., (rationalistic in part). On the New T.: Calvin, Wolf (Curœ philologicœ et criticœ, 1741, 5 vols.), Bengel [Gnomon, Lat., Germ., and in two Engl. transl.], Olshausen [transl. into Engl., Edinb.; Amer. ed., revised by Dr. Kendrick, N. Y. 1856, etc.], de Wette, Meyer. [English Commentaries on the whole Bible: Henry, Scott, J. Gill, Clarke, Patrick—Lowth—Whitby, David Brown (Glasgow, 1863); on the New T.: Hammond, Doddridge, Burkitt, Bloomfield, Alford, Wordsworth, Webster and Wilkinson, Barnes, Owen, Jacobus.—P. S.]

8. Commentaries on Separate Books.See list in Hagenbach: Theol. Encycl., p. 179 sqq., and Winer: Handbuch der theol. Lit., i., p. 33 sqq., 162 sqq. [On Genesis and the Pentateuch: Calvin, Luther, Hengstenberg, Tuch, Bertheau, Gerlach, Delitzsch, Bush. On the other historical books of the O. T.: Keil, Maurer, Thenius, Movers, Bertheau, Bush. On the Psalms: Luther, Calvin, De Wette, Tholuck, Hengstenberg, Hupfeld, Delitzsch, Jos. Add. Alexander, Isaac Taylor. On Job: Ewald, Umbreit, Hirzel, Schlottmann, Barnes, Conant. On the Proverbs: Umbreit, Stier, Bertheau, M. Stuart. On the Song of Songs: Herder, Umbreit, Ewald, Hengstenberg, Delitzsch. On Ecclesiastes: Umbreit, Knobel, Bertheau, Hengstenberg. On Isaiah: Gesenius, Hitzig, Dressler, Händewerk, Jos. Add. Alexander. On Jeremiah: Hitzig, Umbreit. On Ezekiel: Hävernick, Hitzig. On Daniel: Hävernick, Hengstenberg, Lengerke, Hitzig, Auberlen. On the Minor prophets: Theiner, Ackermann, Hitzig, Henderson, Pusey.—On the New Testament: On the Four Gospels (either separately or in harmonies): Calvin, Olshausen, Meyer, Macknight, Campbell, Greswell, Owen, Jacobus; also Catena aurea on the Gospels from the Fathers, collected by Thomas Aquinas. Oxf., 1843. On Matthew and Mark: Fritzsche, Jos. Add. Alexander, Conant. On Luke: van Osterzee (in Lange’s Bibelwerk). On the Gospel of St. John: Lampe, Lücke, Tholuck, Luthardt, Hengstenberg. On the Sermon on the Mount: Tholuck. On the Parables and Miracles: Trench. On all the Discourses of Jesus: Stier: Reden Jesu. (The Words of the Lord Jesus, trsl. by Pope, and republ. twice in America.) On the Acts: Baumgarten, Hackett, Jos. Add. Alexander. On all the Epistles of St. Paul: Calvin, MacKnight, Conybeare and Howson (Life and Epistles of St. Paul. Lond. and N. York ed.). On separate epistles of Paul: Tholuck (on the Romans), Fritzsche (ditto, 3 vols., Latin), Rückert, Mos. Stuart (ditto) Osiander (Corinthians), Winer, Usteri, Wieseler (Galatians), Harless, Stier (on the Ephesians), Huther, Wiesinger (the smaller and the Pastoral Epistles), Neander (Corinthians, Philippians, etc.), Pelt, Lillie (Thessalonians), Hackett (Philemon), Hodge (on Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians), Ellicott, (the English Meyer, on Galatians, Ephesians, Thessalonians, etc., republished in Andover, 1860, sqq.). On the Epistle to the Hebrews: Bleek (a real exegetical masterpiece, in 3 vols., 1828–1840), Tholuck, Stuart, Ebrard (as continuator of Olshausen). On the Catholic Epistles: Steiger (on Peter), Lücke, Neander, Rickli, Düsterdieck, Ebrard (on John’s Epistles), Archbishop Leighton (on 1 Peter), Schneckenburger, Kern, Neander, Stier (on James), Stier (on Jude). On the Apocalypse: Bengel, Auberlen, Hengstenberg, Lücke, Düsterdieck, Ebrard, Bleek, Elliott, Mos. Stuart.—P. S.]

9. Bible Dictionaries (of things).—Winer: Bibl. Real-Wörterbuch, 2 vols., 3d ed., 1848 (critical), Zeller: Biblisches Wörterbuch, 2 vols., 1856 (popular, and very useful). Many articles in Herzog’s Real-Encyclop. für Prot. Theol., [condensed transl. of Bomberger and others, unfinished.] Oetinger: Bibl. Wörterbuch, newly ed. by Hamberger, Stuttg., 1850. [English Bible Dictionaries: Taylor’s, and Robinson’s Calmet, Kitto, W. Smith (London and Boston, 1863, 3 vols.), and, for popular use, those of the American Tract Society, and of the American Sunday-School Union.—P. S.]

10. General Bible Works for practical and homiletical use.—Christoph Starke (Past. primarius of Driesen): Synopsis Bibliothecœ exegeticœ in Vetus et Novum Testamentum; oder kurzgefasster Auszug der gründlichsten und nutzbarsten Auslegungen, 2d ed., Leipz., 1740, 10 vols. The Berleburger Bibel, 1726–’39, 8 vols. fol., new ed., 1857, J. J. Hess: Bibelwerk, Zürich, 1776–1812, 23 parts. H. & W. Richter: Erklärte Hausbibel, Barmen, 1840. O. v. Gerlach: Das A. und N. Test. mit Einleitungen und erklärenden Anmerkungen, Berlin, 1854, Lisco: Das A. und N. Test. mit erklärenden Anmerkungen. Matthew Henry: An Exposition of the O. and N. T., London, 1849, 6 vols., [and many older Engl. and Amer. editions. Henry’s Com. is very spiritual and practical, and widely popular in England and America. The same is true of Thomas Scott: The holy Bible, with original notes, practical observations, etc., first 1788, 5th and best ed., Lond. 1822, in 6 vols., and often since.—P. S.] Braun (Rom. Cath.): Die heil. Schrift, lat. u. deutsch nach dem Sinne der h. röm. Kirche, der h. Kirchenväter, etc., Augsb., 1789–1806, 13 vols.




§ 1


I. The Name: New Testament

THE term New Testament unquestionably proceeds from the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord designates the Eucharist the New Covenant in His blood, in the strict sense of the term. The New Testament fellowship of believers reconciled to God by Christ, which commences in, and is introduced by baptism, is completed and appears outwardly in the Holy Supper. In the Eucharist the Lord carries out that New Covenant with the Church which is founded upon His holy life and His Word, upon His atoning death, His victory, and on the conversion of individual believers. While the celebration of the Eucharist is a remembrance of the first foundation of the Church, it ever inaugurates anew the formation of the Church, and also serves as its manifestation. Hence the writings which record the foundation of this new and eternal covenant are themselves called the New Covenant, the New Testament. Lastly, this designation indicates the connection and the contrast between these writings and those of the Old Covenant.

II. Origin of the New Testament

The first commencement of the New Testament dates, in all probability, from the period when the Lord lived and taught on earth. It has ever been the practice to write down that which was deemed most memorable. Accordingly, it can scarcely be supposed that any one acquainted with letters should have been brought into contact with the Lord, or come under the influence of His Spirit, without noting down the most striking occurrences he had witnessed, or the most weighty truths he had heard. In this manner some brief memoirs must have been composed before any of the New Testament writings had been compiled—a fact to which, indeed, the Evangelist Luke bears testimony (Matthew 1:1). Nay, more, we are warranted in assuming that the most important events in the early history of Christ, such as the song of praise of Zacharias, of the Virgin, and of old Simeon, may have been written down at a very early period. To our mind it seems natural that Matthew, who was probably the most practised writer32 among the Apostles, should very early have collected together the sayings of the Lord; and similarly, that John should have made a collection of His discourses.

But such memorabilia were only the faithful historical recollections of individuals. Before the New Testament could be written, the work of the Lord required to be finished, and His Holy Spirit poured out upon the Apostles, that thus they might be fully fitted for their high calling.

The original mission intrusted to the Apostles and the seventy disciples—to testify of the Lord after the completion of His life and work—necessarily implied also the duty of writing about Him, as opportunity afforded. If, according to the Saviour’s injunction, they were to devote all their energies to this work, to apply every means, to seize every opportunity for its promotion, they must, of course, also have employed the powerful instrumentality of literature. Nor were they unfaithful to their calling. As they went forth into all the world preaching the Gospel, so also did they address themselves to all ages by their writings. And, as at last, at the end of the world, they shall again meet, the faithful messengers of the Lord, who by the instrumentality of the Church (which they had served to plant) have fulfilled their great commission of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so also will they be found to have accomplished their work through the writings of the New Testament.

As the composition of the New Testament formed, like the preaching of the Word, part of the great mission which the Lord intrusted to His Apostles, it required special Divine preparation and illumination by the Holy Ghost. Just as “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” so wrote they by the same Spirit. The inspiration bestowed on them for the purposes of their apostolic calling, was at the same time the source of their preaching and of their writings.

But, while asserting the Divine origin of the New Testament, we do not by any means overlook the human form in which it was cast. On the contrary, that human form appeared all the more genuinely when it became the vehicle of Divine revelation. Hence, the New Testament writings are clothed in the language of Greece, and couched in its peculiar mode of thought. This form constitutes another contrast between the Old and the New Testament. The language of the Old Testament (the Hebrew) is that of feeling, of directness, and of the esoteric religion of the Jews. The language of the New Testament is that of full intellectual consciousness (νοῦς), of matured reflection, and of the exoteric religion of all nations. But the New Testament is also imbued with the spirit of the Old; and whenever there is any direct and esoteric presentation of revelation (the speaking ἐν πνεύματι), we meet with frequent Hebraisms, especially in the Book of Revelation.

III. Chronological Succession of the books of the New Testament

The oldest apostolic letter is that addressed by the Synod at Jerusalem, about the year 53 [or rather A. D. 50—P. S.], to the Gentile Christian Churches, and which is recorded by Luke in the 15th chapter of Acts.

Soon afterward Paul wrote his first letters to the Churches. The apostolic writings may be arranged in the following order of succession:—

1. The two Epistles to the Thessalonians, written from Corinth, about 54 or 55 [53—P. S.].

2. The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, written from Ephesus, about the year 56 or 57.

3. The two Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians, written from Ephesus and Mace donia, about the year 58.

4. The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, written from Corinth, about the year 59.

5. The Epistle of James, written from Jerusalem, and addressed to the Jewish Christians in the Diaspora, about the year 62.

6. The Epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, and to Philemon, written from Rome, about the year 63.

7. The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, written from Rome, about the year 64.

8. The Epistle to the Hebrews, the Gospel by Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles, written probably from the same place, or at least from Italy, and about the same time—the year 64.

9. The First Epistle of Peter, written from Babylon, about the year 64.

10. The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy, written from Macedonia, between 64 and 66 [?].

11. The Epistle of Paul to Titus, written from Macedonia, or from Greece, between 64 and 66 [?].

12. The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy, written from Rome, about the year 67 or 68 [?].

13. The Second Epistle of Peter, written in the same place, and about the same time, about 67 or 68.

14. The Gospel by Mark, written in Rome, about the year 68.

15. The Gospel by Matthew, written in Judea, about the year 68 or 69.

16. The Gospel by John, written about the year 70.

17. The Epistle of Jude, written probably between the years 80 and 90

18. The Revelation of John, written about the year 95.

19. The three Epistles of John, written probably between the years 96 and 100 [?].33

IV. Critical Collection of the New Testament Canon

It will be readily granted that the various Churches carefully preserved the epistles and writings of the Apostles, and those of their assistants, the Evangelists Mark and Luke. The idea that several apostolic writings, more especially a third Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, and an Epistle to the Laodiceans by the same Apostle, have been lost, owes its origin to a misunderstanding of some allusions in the New Testament. (Comp. Lange’s Apost. Age, I. 205 sqq.) But it is probable that at a later period Mark himself enlarged his Gospel by adding to it a conclusion, appended to that which it had in its original shape; as also, that at the commencement of the second century, the well-known passage in the Second Epistle of Peter was inserted after the Epistle of Jude. (Apost. Age, I. 152) These circumstances, however, do not affect the authenticity of the text. The interpolation of the trinitarian passage in 1 John 5:7-8, is of much later date. The Gospel of Matthew, originally written in Hebrew, was translated at a very early period, and probably by Matthew himself, into our present Greek Gospel, which has ever since been received as canonical in the Church.

It was natural that the writings of the Apostles should be communicated from one church to the other, and extensively diffused, since many of them were evangelical epistles, addressed to several, or to all Christian communities (as, for example, the Epistle to the Hebrews, that of James, the two Epistles of Peter, the First Epistle of John, the seven epistles in the Book of Revelation, and the Epistle to the Ephesians), Besides, the practice was also distinctly prescribed by the Apostles (Col. 4:16). Accordingly, we find even in the New Testament an allusion to collections of apostolic writings, more especially of those of Paul, as in the Second Epistle of Peter (3:16), with which also Acts 16 may be compared with reference to the address of the Synod of Jerusalem, recorded in Acts 15.

Such collections of apostolic writings rendered something like critical examination necessary, to enable the churches to distinguish between what was genuine and what spurious. It is remarkable that so early as in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:2), which is the second oldest of the New Testament writings, we find an appeal to the critical sense of the churches. So long, indeed, as some of the Apostles, or even their immediate disciples, lived and taught, the stream of oral apostolical tradition was so abundant and so pure, that some preferred to apply directly to that source of instruction. Thus we account, for example, for the circumstance that Papias, a disciple of John, who lived at the commencement of the second century, mentions the Gospels of Matthew and of Mark, but, instead of referring to those of Luke and of John, records the names of the men whose presence and instructions had in his case filled the place of these Gospels (Euseb. 3:33; comp. Lange, Leben Jesu, I. 151, and Apost. Age, I. 215). Even in the writings of the apostolic Fathers we meet with frequent evidence of their familiarity with the New Testament writings. On these various testimonies, as they multiply with the lapse of time, as also on the various forms and lists of the canon to its final close in the fourth century, compare the various Introductions to the New Testament.

Nor must we omit to mention that, during the first three centuries, the Church amply proved its critical capacity by rejecting from the canon that vast mass of apocryphal writings which claimed admission into the New Testament. But the deep contrast between these works and the spirit of the New Testament has only lately been fully brought to light, in connection with the controversy about the mythical theory of Strauss. (Compare the literature on the subject as given by Winer, and the collections of New Testament Apocrypha, by Fabricius, Thilo, and Tischendorf.)

V. Unity and Organic Arrangement of the New Testament


At first, it seemed as if the ancient Church would have adopted an arrangement of the New Testament writings substantially similar to that of the Jews for the Old Testament. Thus we find mention of three sections of the New Testament, to correspond with the ancient division into Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa. Besides the arrangement into τὸ εὐαγγέλιον and ὁ ἀπόστολος (Clemens Alex.), τὰ εὐαγγελικὰ καὶ τὰ ἀποστολικά (Irenæus)—by which they meant the Gospels, and, in the first place at least, the writings of St. Paul—we also find mention of a third collection under the name of καθολικαὶ ἐπιστολαί, which seems to have included the apostolic writings generally, καθόλου (see Hug. Einl. in’s N. T., vol. ii., p. 428). This explanation of the word καθολικός has been controverted; but the fact that the Epistle to the Hebrews, although catholic in its tenor, was not included among the Catholic Epistles, because its authorship was attributed to St. Paul, speaks in favor of the above suggestion. This division of the New Testament, however, fell to the ground when the canon was completed. Hence there can be no valid objection to the modern division into Historical, Doctrinal, and Prophetic books. But it deserves notice that the Book of Acts was originally, and also in the Scripture lessons, included among the Epistles, and this with good reason; for in the strict historical sense, it belongs not to the period of the Gospel history, but to that of the foundation of the Church by the Apostles, and serves as historical basis to the Epistles. Properly speaking, it forms a transition from the historical to the doctrinal books.

This division of the New Testament is warranted by the peculiar cast, and by the prevailing characteristics of its various books, although in a certain sense each of them contains, at the same time, history, doctrine, and prophecy. Keeping this arrangement in view, the New Testament canon presents to our mind the eternal past, present, and future of the Church; Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever—or Christ in His historical manifestation, in His rule over the Church, and in His glorious advent. But here each part is organically connected with the other, just as, in the idea of eternal life, the past, the present, and the future pervade and interpenetrate each other. “All the writings of the New Testament contain, in the first place, the basis, or the ideal past of the Church; next, its standard, or the rule for its present development; lastly, its final aim, or the goal of its future.” (See my Apost. Age, ii., p. 571.)

The historical books describe the first manifestation and the foundation of the kingdom of heaven in our world, and its inroad upon the world, with a view to final conquest, by the planting of the apostolic Church. The doctrinal books are intended to serve as a directory for the development of Christian and ecclesiastical life in the kingdom of heaven, or of the kingdom of heaven as manifest in ecclesiastical and Christian life, in all its relations to the world, whether hostile or peaceable. This development is ever based upon, and traced to, the first coming of Christ for the redemption of man. Lastly, the prophetical books are intended to guide this development of Christian and ecclesiastical life, in accordance with the prophetic announcement and description of the second advent of Christ. The foundation of the kingdom of heaven—its unfolding—its future conquests, and ultimate completion: such are the three parts which constitute the New Testament.

The Historical portion of the New Testament consists of two parts, the Gospels, and the Book of Acts. The former exhibits the eternal basis of the Church, and its foundation in time; the latter, the planting of the Church, its original form, and the first and prophetic outlines of its spread through the world.


§ 2


The four Gospels, which together form only one Gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) under a fourfold aspect (κατὰ Ματθαῖον, etc.), constitute, along with the Book of Acts (πράξεις τῶν ἀποστόλων), the historical records of the New Testament.

The great leading idea which pervades this history, is the introduction of the kingdom of heaven (βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), or its manifestation (at least, so far as its principles and power are concerned)—the revelation of God being completed by the coming of the God-Man, the Redeemer of the world, and His kingdom founded upon earth by the planting of His Church through the power of the Holy Ghost. Accordingly, this evangelical history forms the centre of all history, by concluding that of the ancient and commencing that of the new world.

The difference between the historical books of the New Testament consists in this, that while the four Gospels record the history of the revelation of the kingdom of heaven, and of its foundation in the Person and the work of the Lord Jesus, the Book of Acts describes the royal administration of Christ as manifested in planting His kingdom in and for the world, by the power of the Holy Ghost working through the Apostles. The Gospels exhibit the kingdom of heaven in the Person of Christ; the Book of Acts, the Person of Christ in the kingdom of heaven; the former show us the kingdom of heaven upon the earth, yet above the earth, separate and distinct from all the world; the latter, the kingdom of heaven in the world—all its roots and fibres having taken hold upon the soil of earth. In the one case, we have the perfect revelation of God in the Spirit of Christ (the ἀποκάλυψις), in the other, by the Spirit of Christ (the φανέρωσις); in the one case, the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem upon the holy city, in the other, the spread of that heavenly kingdom from Jerusalem to Rome. The Gospels show us how Christ consecrated Himself for the world, and thereby reconciled it to God in that solemn judgment which the world pronounced upon itself; the Book of Acts teaches how Christ consecrated the world unto Himself, and thereby redeemed it. Yonder, the old era terminates, the principle of the new having appeared; here, the new era commences, the principle of the old having been mortified.

I. The One Gospel in the Four Gospels

Viewed as a literary production, the Gospel history exists in a fourfold form. But for the ancient, true, churchly view, this circumstance is altogether secondary to the fact that under this fourfold form we have the one Gospel of the Lord. Strictly speaking, therefore, it is not the Gospel of Matthew, etc., as we now are accustomed to say, but the Gospel according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke, and according to John. It is this grand unity of character, of history, of doctrine, and of spirit, which gives to the Gospels their common designation. Though we have four human writings, they form only one Divine record of the Gospel. To doubt this essential unity, is to lose to the same extent the capacity for the churchly appreciation and even the Christian understanding of the Gospels.

But even this does not exhaust the relation between the four Gospels and the one Evangel. Not only does the difference between the four Gospels not obscure the unity of the one Evangel; but this number four rather indicates the unfolding of the Evangel in all its fulness, so that it reflects the fourfold sway of God in the world, meets the fourfold wants and views of the world, and under a fourfold aspect displays the infinite riches of revelation.

Irenæus (Advers. Hœres. iii. 1) connected the vision of the four cherubim in Ezekiel 1 with the four Gospels, and explained the symbolical meaning of that passage as applying to the distinctive peculiarities of the Evangelists. The idea was afterwards adopted and developed by the Fathers, and the four Gospels were compared with the vision of the four living creatures. Christian art has perpetuated the special arrangement of these symbols, proposed by Jerome, by assigning to Matthew the symbol of the man, to Mark that of the lion, to Luke that of the ox or sacrificial bullock, and to John that of the eagle. (Comp. Credner: Introd. to the N. T., p. 54.) Our own study of the Gospels would lead us to modify the interpretation of Jerome in so far as to regard Matthew under the symbol of the ox, and Luke under that of the man. (Leben Jesu, I. p. 156.) Stier has approved of this change.

The first Gospel is preeminently that of history, and of the fulfilment of the Old Testament by the sacrificial sufferings and death of Christ and the redemption thus achieved. Hence the sacrificial bullock is the appropriate symbol of Matthew.

The second Gospel presents to our minds the all-powerful revelation and working of Christ as direct from heaven, irrespectively of anything that preceded,—the completion of all former manifestations of the Deity. Symbol, the lion.

The third Gospel is preeminently that of perfect humanity,—human mercy presented in the light of Divine grace, the transformation of all human kindness into Divine love. Symbol, the figure of a man.

Lastly, the fourth Gospel exhibits the deep spiritual and eternal import of the history of Christ—the Divine element pervading and underlying its every phase,—and with it the transformation of all ideas, and of all ideals, in connection with Christ. Symbol, the eagle.

To this rapid sketch we might add, that the essential harmony of these Gospels cannot be properly appreciated, unless, while recognising their intrinsic unity, we also keep in mind those peculiar characteristics of the Evangelists on which the differences in their narratives depend.

LITERATURE.34—On the Gospel Harmony compare the [German] works of Tholuck: Credibility of the Gospel History (against Strauss’s Life of Jesus); Ebrard: Criticism of the Evangelical History; Thiersch: On the Restoration of the historical standpoint, etc.; Lex: The Gospel Harmony on the Life of Jesus (Wiesbaden, 1855). Also the Lives of Jesus by Neander, Hase, Lange, and J. Zeller: Voices of the German Church on Strauss’s Life of Jesus. [Engl. works: Macknight, Campbell, Greswell, Robinson, Strong: on the Gospel Harmony; Westcott: Introduction to the Study of the Gospels (1862); Ebrard: The Gospel History (Edinb. trsl., 1863); Ellicott, und Andrews: The Life of Christ.—P. S.]

II. The Book of Acts

The Book of Acts may also be arranged under four sections. 1. We have the apostolic Church, as the preparation and foundation of the one primeval Church for all the world,—embracing all nations and tongues (Matthew 1 and 2); 2. The Jewish Christian Church (with Jerusalem as its metropolis, and Peter as its representative), tending toward the Gentile world and the Gentile Church (Matthew 3 to 12); 3. The Gentile Christian Church (with Antioch as its metropolis, and Paul as its representative), tending toward the Jewish Christian Church (Matthew 13 to 25:12); 4. The removal of any temporary difference by a higher unity, commencing with the journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome, and in the church at Rome, where the Jewish Christian and the Gentile Christian elements appear combined.

The modern assaults on the credibility of the Acts are refuted by Lechler: The Apostolic and post-Apostolic Age; Dietlein: Das Urchristenthum; Schaff and Lange: History of the Apostolic Age, and in part by Baumgarten in his Commentary on Acts. [Also in Wisseler: Chronology of the Apostolic Age, 1848.—P. S.]

§ 3


“As the historical writings of the New Testament form a τετράμορφον εὐαγγέλιον, so a similar τετράμορφον (to use an ancient ecclesiastical expression), a τετράμορφος ἀπόστολος, might, so to speak, be traced in its parenetic portions” (Guericke, Isagogics, p. 216). This writer then proceeds to compare Matthew with James, Mark with Peter, Luke with Paul, and the Gospel with the Epistles of John. So also substantially Neander, Schmid, Schaff.

The didactic portion of the New Testament consists of epistles addressed to particular churches (epistles in the narrower sense), and general or catholic epistles addressed to the whole Church, or to a larger section of it. (On the various interpretations of the word καθολικός, comp. the Introductions). The writings of Paul, although belonging to the former class, might also be termed catholic, as they successively extend over every department of Christian life. Thus 1. Eschatological Epistles: the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, which treat of the doctrine of the last things; 2. Ecclesiastic Epistles: the two Epistles to the Corinthians, which treat of the organization and discipline of the Church; 3. Soteriological Epistles: the Epistle to the Galatians, which treats of the doctrine of redemption, presenting the righteousness by faith in contrast with the spurious righteousness by works; while the Epistle to the Romans exhibits this same righteousness in its nature and effects, in opposition to sin and its consequences. 4. Christological Epistles: the Epistle to the Philippians, which shows the exaltation of Christ in and by His humiliation, forms a transition between the previous epistles and those which treat of the Person of Christ, more especially the Epistles to the Colossians, and to the Ephesians. The Epistle to the Colossians commences by presenting the eternal and inherent glory which Christ possessed before all time, and then presents Him as the sole object of our faith; while the Epistle to the Ephesians commences with the final glory of Christ at the termination of all time, and presents Him as the only goal of the Church, and as forming the grand bond of its unity. 5. Lastly, we have the Pastoral Epistles: among which we include, besides the two Epistles to Timothy and that to Titus, the Epistle to Philemon.

The Epistle to the Hebrews must, on account of its general tenor, be classed with the Catholic Epistles, although, from its origin and character, it evidently claims kindred to those of Paul. We have thus three series of Catholic Epistles. The Epistle to the Hebrews, and that of James, express the relation in which the Church universal, but especially the Jewish Christian Church, stands to the Old Testament (to the ceremonial and the moral law), with the view of warning against apostasy and Judaizing tendencies. The three Epistles of John exhibit the relationship between the Church and the present state of things: 1. The fellowship of believers in Christ; 2. The proper limits of that fellowship,—the necessity of avoiding heretics; 3. The proper extent of that fellowship,—avoiding a spirit of separatism. Lastly, the Epistles of Peter and of Jude treat mainly of the relationship of the Church to the future.

§ 4


The Book of Revelation contains a prophetic description of the second advent of the Lord, and of the manifestation of His new creation and the transformation of the world, which is to be brought about by a series of great conflicts and triumphs of Christ over Antichrist and over the world. The description of this new work of creation opens with the Sabbath of redemption (hence the prophet has his vision on the Lord’s Day), and extends to the eternal Sabbath of final completion. Accordingly, we also have the sacred number seven, seven times repeated—the seven churches, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven thunders, the seven vials, and the seven heads of Antichrist. At the close, we have the manifestation of the seven Spirits of God—who throughout have guided the struggle (Matthew 1)—in the appearance of Christ and the transformation of the world: a new genesis, by which the Bible at its conclusion points back to its commencement, showing how final and perfect fulfilment had now been attained.




§ 1


ONE of the main duties of the pastoral office is preaching, as this work is more clearly defined by practical theology. The latter science, however, embraces more than that special department. It gives the theory of ecclesiastical life and Christian fellowship, and of its cultivation, or of edification, and treats, according to the teaching of Paul (1 Cor. 12:4–6),—1. Of the Charismata in the Church; 2. of ecclesiastical offices; 3. of ecclesiastical functions. Among these, public worship occupies the most prominent place; and again, in public worship the preaching of the word, for which homiletics supplies the rules. Public worship is the real (not symbolical) and direct outward manifestation of the life of the Church in Christ its Head; while, at the same time, it also serves to deepen and to extend that life. The former of these objects is attained more especially by what may be designated the liturgical services, or prayer and praise, while the latter is aimed at by means of the sermon.

Based upon the eternal Word of God, and derived from it, the sermon is intended to advance the spiritual life of the Church in its individual members,—its lessons being always pointed with special reference to the present state and requirements of Christians, and to their ultimate calling. The rules for the proper discharge of this New Testament prophetical office are laid down in the science of Homiletics, or the sacred Art of Religious Discourse.

§ 2


Christian Homiletics is the evangelical churchly application of Rhetorics to sacred purposes. The homiletic oration is addressed to the spiritual feelings and interests of men, in divine wisdom and simplicity, and with spiritual motives, in order either to enlist them for those spiritual purposes which form the one grand aim of man, or else to quicken their spiritual life. From this it follows, that we shall have to dispense with all the mere outward artifices of secular rhetorics—many of which are dishonest, and to present our theme in a simple, yet well arranged, lively and effective address.

From this we may derive the following fundamental rules of Homiletics.

1. The sermon occupies a place intermediate between the eternal Word of God and the present requirements of the Church. On this ground, it must neither be merely a practical exposition of Scripture, nor yet merely a practical address adapted to the wants of the moment. It must combine these two elements, and at the same time serve to quicken, to sanctify, and to further develop the inner life, from the Word of God.

2. This application of the Word of God to the state and wants of the Church, is entrusted to the believing hearts of a properly trained ministry. Accordingly, the sermon must bear evidence both of personal piety and of intellectual individuality, or rather, this intellectual individuality must appear consecrated by devotion to the altar.

3. The sermon is addressed to a real church,—not a perfect church, but yet to a church. On this ground, it must proceed on the assumption that there are spiritual principles and sympathies to which it can appeal, whilst at the same time keeping in view and seeking to remove existing obstacles and objections. It must therefore avoid the extreme of being merely an appeal to the unconverted (a λόγος προτρεπτικός), while, on the other hand, it eschews mere indirect and pointless “speaking with tongues” (γένη γλωσσῶν). It must ascertain the exact spiritual state of the congregation, and, in accordance therewith, progress from conviction to joy and thanksgiving. Nor should it ever be forgotten that the sermon forms part of worship, and that, while in its character and purpose prophetic, it is also essentially devotional. Hence the sermon must be neither noisy nor drawling; noise in the pulpit runs counter to the dignity of worship, and to that of Christianity itself. Conversion is not to be confounded with nervous excitement; it implies a state when the soul is moved indeed to its inmost depths, yet calmed in Christ. As for drawling, it is entirely out of place in the pulpit. Singing should be left to the congregation; and the moment the sermon rises into musical festivity, it should close.

4. The sermon is addressed to a congregation, not to students. Hence, it must be popular, clear, pointed, and practical,—avoiding obscurity, confusion, and abstract propositions. On the other hand, it must be simple, direct, lively, yet sufficiently dignified. It must have sprung from prayer and meditation, from communion with the Lord and with His Word, and from deep sympathy with the spiritual state and the wants of the congregation.

5. The sermon is addressed to an evangelical church, i.e., a church called to the freedom of the Spirit. Hence it is to be a homily, in the ancient sense of the term i.e., an interchange between the mind of the preacher and the spiritual views of the congregation, which cannot be obtained by mere persuasion, far less by outward or authoritative injunction, excluding all liberty, but by communion and fellowship of life. The homily is, so to speak, query and reply. Yet it were a mistake to rebut every objection which might possibly be raised, instead of replying to the queries which would naturally arise in the mind of the audience. These enquiries must be answered not with the wisdom of man, but by the Word of God.

6. The sermon is an official address delivered to the Church in the name and by the authority of the Head of the Church. Hence its name, Preaching,—prœdicatio, declaration. Accordingly, the testimony of the truth must be supported by evidence; nor must it be of the nature of mere philosophical demonstration, which, of course, is incapable of being preached. Nor, lastly, would it be right to substitute for this testimony a mere asseveration: the testimony of the heart is to be combined with argument addressed to the mind.

7. The sermon is to edify. It is intended to build up the living temple with living stones; i. e., to promote spiritual communion, and thereby to quicken Christians.

8. The construction of the sermon depends upon an exercise of the mind, which in turn presupposes meditation, prayer, and theological and religious knowledge. For the regulation of this exercise of the mind, Homiletics lays down certain rules about the invention of the theme, its division, and the execution and delivery of the discourse itself.


§ 3


That which gives to the sermon its value, is the Word of the living God, which is laid down objectively in the Scriptures, and expressed and applied by the preacher in a subjective form.

The central point of the Word of God, and its grand, all-embracing personality, is the eternal and historical Christ with His finished work. In the Person of the God-Man revelation and redemption are united, and revelation itself becomes redemption; there the Law and the Gospel meet, and the Law itself becomes Gospel; there doctrine and history meet, and doctrine itself becomes history; there the Church and the Scriptures meet, and the Church itself presents the epistles read and known of all men; there the Church and the believing heart meet, the Church being in Him of one heart and one soul; lastly, there justification and sanctification are united, and sanctification becomes a justification for the day of judgment. With all this we wish to impress upon our readers that the mystery of revelation must be preached, not as a matter of speculation, but with a view to its grand teleological object—the salvation of sinners; that the Old Testament must be explained according to the analogy of the New; that doctrine must be illustrated by life, and the confessions of the Church regulated by the Divine Scripture; that the Church must be built up by seeking the conversion and personal holiness of souls; and that justification by faith must ever be presented along with its final aim—the glorification of saints.

The main point which the preacher should keep in view is, that the great object of Christianity is to bring us into personal relationship to the risen Saviour, that is, into blessed fellowship, through Him, with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The selection of a suitable subject for the sermon may be determined, 1, by the order of the Church universal, as it presents itself in the ecclesiastical year with its great festivals; 2, by the traditional or a new series of Gospels and Epistles for the day; 3, by the directions of the authorities of the particular national or state Churches; 4, by the order of Synods and consistories; 5, by the ordinary course of nature and its seasons; 6, by extraordinary events (casualia); 7, by the peculiar relation and condition of the pastor and the congregation; 8, by literary helps, concordances, commentaries, religious reading, etc., which facilitates the invention and preparation of matter for sermons.35

1. The Order of the Church General. The Church Year

The Church year designates the Christian consecration of time to the service of God, whereby the cycle of seasons becomes the symbol and type of the cycle of the evangelical history, and of the great facts of redemption. The Greek and Roman Churches changed the whole secular time into a succession of holidays in the interest of an exclusive hierarchy and an external showy ceremonialism; and thus the holidays of saints gradually obscured and almost annihilated the holy day of the Lord, or the Christian sabbath. But the ancient Catholic and the evangelical Church year represents typically and really the sanctification of the year as a manifestation of, and preparation for, eternity. [The Church year, as observed in the evangelical churches of Germany and the Continent, in the Church of England, and their descendants in America, is a reformation, purification and simplification of the Catholic Church year; it omits most or all holidays of saints, martyrs and angels, and of the Virgin Mary, but retains the leading festivals which commemorate what God has done for us in the incarnation, the passion and death, the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost; thus making the festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost prominent, and restoring—at least in England and America—the weekly festival of the Christian Sabbath to its proper dignity and significance.—P. S.]

LITERATURE.—On the Christian Church year see the works of Fred. Strauss (Berlin, 1850), Lisco (Berlin, 1852), Alt (1851), Harnack (1854), Warner 1860), and Piper’s Evangelical Year-book, published annually at Berlin since 1850. [Also the Liturgical works and collections of Daniel, Mone, Neale, etc., the Liturgies of the Church of England, and the Lutheran Churches of Europe and America, Ebrard’s Ref. Kirchenbuch, the new Baden Liturgy, the Irvingite Liturgy, the new (provisional) Liturgy of the G. Ref. Church of the U. S. (Philad. 1857), Baird’s Collection of Presbyterian Liturgies (New York, 1859), etc., etc.—P. S.]

2. The Old and New Pericopes, or Scripture Lessons for the Sundays of the Year

On the history of perikopes see the article Perikopen in the Univers. Theol. Dictionary of Danz; [also the more recent one in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopœdie, vol. xi., p. 373–399, written by E. Ranke.—P. S.] Ranke: Das kirchliche Perikopen-system. Berlin, 1847. Alt: Der christl. Cultus. Berlin, 1851, sqq., 3 vols. Lisco: Das christl. Kirchenjahr, 4th ed., Berlin, 1852. Bobertag: Das evangel. Kirchenjahr in sämmtlichen Perikopen. des N. T. Breslau, 1857. On modern selections of Scripture lessons: Ranke (Berlin, 1850), Suckow and Nitzsch (Bibl. Vorlesungen aus dem A. und N. T. Bonn, 1846). See the list of the old series of perikopes at the close of the gen. introduction.

3. National and State Churches

These have appointed in different countries of Europe a festival of the Reformation. [In Germany it is celebrated October 31, the day when Luther affixed the 95 theses on the doors of the castle church at Wittenberg, in 1517.—P. S.] Also political festivals, [coronation of kings, commemoration of royal birthdays; in the Church of England, the commemoration of the death of King Charles I., and of the Gunpowder Plot,—now abolished and omitted from the Common-Prayer Book.—P. S.] National fast and humiliation days. [Thanksgiving days annually recommended by the Governors of the different States of the United States of America, especially in New England, and national thanksgiving, or fast days, recommended to the whole people by the President of the United States, e.g. by President Taylor, during the cholera in 1849, and several times by President Lincoln, during the civil war, especially on the 30th of April, 1863. But, owing to the separation of Church and State, Governors and Presidents cannot ordain and command, like European sovereigns, but simply recommend, the observance of Christian festivals. Nevertheless, such days are generally even better observed in America than in Europe, perhaps for the very reason that their observance is not made a matter of compulsion, but of freedom.—P. S.]

4. Provincial Synods [Denominations] and Local Congregations

Missionary festivals, foreign and domestic. Laying of corner stones, and dedication of new churches, etc. Confirmations, communions, benedictions, solemnization of marriage, funerals. All these are not, strictly speaking, casualia, but occur in the ordinary course of religious and congregational life.

5. Churchly Festivals of the Natural Seasons

New Year. Spring festival. Harvest festival. Sylvester, (close of the year, December 31).

6. Extraordinary Events of Nature and of History (Casualia)

Extraordinary days of humiliation and prayer, during seasons of pestilence, famine, and war (Comp. above sub No. 3), or of thanksgiving after the return of peace or some great national deliverance.

7. Pastoralia

Ordination—, installation—sermons. Introductory and valedictory sermons. [Opening sermons at Classical and Synodical meetings, diocesan and general Conventions, Centenary and other commemorative discourses.—P. S.]

8. Homiletical Helps

1. Concordances, verbal or real, or both, by Wichmann (1782), Schott (1827), Hauff (1828), Büchner (1776), continued and improved by Hübner (1837 and often), Bernhard (1850). [All these works are German.] Greek concordance by H. Bruder: Ταμεῖον τῶν τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης λέξεων. Lips., 1842. [Based upon an older work of Erasmus Schmid; contains all the words of the Greek N. T. in alphabetical order with the passages where they occur; invaluable for reference.—P. S.] Hebrew concordance by Jul. Fürst: Concordantiœ libror. V. T. Lips., 1840. [Based upon Joh. Buxtorf, and as valuable for the Hebrew, as Bruder for the Greek T.—English Concordances: Alex. Cruden: A complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures of the O. and N. Test., first published in London, 1731, and often since, both in England, Scotland and America, in full and in abridged forms. Also: The Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, publ. by S. Bagster, London, and republ. by Harper & Br., New York, 1855,—a useful adaptation of Schmid’s Greek Concordance to the study of the English Bible.—The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Test., etc., Lond. (Longman, Green, Brown, and Longmans), 1843, 2 vols.,—an equal adaptation of Buxtorf-Fürst to the English Bible.—P. S.]

2. Lists of Texts. Schuler: Repertorium biblischer Texte und Ideen für Casual-Predigten und Reden. Halle, 1820. Haupt: Bibl. Casualtext-Lexicon, 1826. [There are a number of English works of the kind with or without skeletons of sermons; but I have none within reach, and cannot now find their titles.—P. S.]

3. Materials. Homiletical Bible-works and collections of Sermons and Preachers’ Manuals. See the list in Danz’s and Winer’s works on theol. Literature. Collection of Patristic sermons in Germ., trnsl. by Augusti (2 vols., 1830 and 1839). Luther’s Hauspostille and Kirchenpostille. The older German sermons of Scriver, H. Müller, Val. Herberger, Rieger, and the more recent sermons of Reinhatt, Dräseke, Harms, Schleiermacher, Nitzsch, Fr. Strauss [court chaplain at Berlin, died 1863], Tholuck, Jul. Müller, G. Dan. and Fr. W. Krummacher, Ludw. and Wm. Hofacker [brothers], Kapff [of Stutgart], Schenkel [of Heidelberg], Beck [of Tübingen], Steinmeyer, W. Hoffmann [both of Berlin], Stier, Liebner, van Osterzee [of Rotterdam, now of Utrecht], and many others.—[The best English pulpit orators are Jeremy Taylor, Rbt. South, Isaac Barrow, Jos. Butler, Tillotson, Whitefield, John Wesley, among the older, and Edward Irving, Melville, Robt. Hall, Chalmers, Guthrie, Caird, Hare, Trench, Archer Butler, Spurgeon, among the more recent. Of American preachers we mention Jonathan Edwards, Sam. Davies, John M. Mason, Bethune, Alexander (father and two sons) G. Spring, Skinner, Stockton, Durbin, Wayland, Lyman Beecher, Park, Bushnell, Phelps, H. Ward Beecher, etc., etc. The French pulpit is best represented by Bossuet, Bourdaloue, Massuet, among the Roman Catholics, and Saurin, Adolf Monod, and Vinet, among the Reformed.—P. S.]36

§ 4


Finding of the Subject.—This evidently depends on the above-mentioned traditions of the church year, etc., and on circumstances which cannot be prescribed or induced from without. Standing between the Word of God and the special wants of his congregation, the minister must choose his theme according to his spiritual perception and peculiar disposition at the time. However obvious in the circumstances a text may appear, yet the theme is always a discovery, or rather a gift from the Lord, a message to the Church, which can only be obtained or understood by prayer and meditation, by inward labor and spiritual meditation.

Division.—The sermon itself is the organic and artistic unfolding of the theme, showing the living connection between the text and the peculiar wants and circumstances of the congregation.

The theme of the discourse constitutes the fundamental idea of the sermon, and, accordingly, must pervade the whole. It is generally expressed in a short, definite proposition (which accordingly is frequently called the theme). The theme must embody both the cause and the object of the discourse; i.e., it must have a divine basis, and at the same time a divine aim, although, in the proposition, either the cause or the object may be more prominently brought forward. The different parts of the sermon naturally flow from the theme. It is the object of the introduction to prepare the audience for the theme. Again, the subject must be presented in a lucid manner. This is the object of the proposition and of the division. The execution aims at presenting the theme in all its fulness. Lastly, the subject is summed up and applied in the conclusion. The general object and benefit of the delivery is, that in it the living truth is directly communicated to the living soul.

The homily, in the narrower sense (or the familiar expository lecture), differs from the sermon, in that it follows not so much the logical order of the theme, as the order of the text, which in this case is generally a larger portion of Scripture. In the sermon, the main contents of the text are compressed and expressed in the theme and in its proposition, and afterward systematically expounded in the various parts of the discourse. The distinction commonly made, of analytical and synthetical discourses, is apt to mislead. Even the most analytical homily must be one in its idea and aim, otherwise it degenerates into a mere accidental exposition; while the so-called synthetic or systematic sermon also must ever unfold the teaching of the word, if it is to be a sermon, and not merely a religious address. As intermediate between the homily and the sermon, we may mention those compositions in which the two elements are combined, homiletic sermons and systematic homilies.

The theme must be expressed in the proposition, briefly, clearly, strikingly, yet simply and not artificially. According to the text, or the circumstances of the case, or the state of the audience or of the speaker, it may be expressed either in a positive sentence, or in the form of a query, or of an inscription; in which latter case it resembles more closely the ancient homily, or the mental interchange between the congregation and the preacher.

Uniformity in presenting the subject would indicate a want of living interchange of thought with the people—a kind of dead scholasticism and formalism, unsuited to the pulpit. The same remark holds true in reference to the division, which must not be determined simply according to the syntactic arrangement of the sentence, but flow from the subject by an interchange of thought and feeling between the preacher and the hearers.

The division of the sermon will therefore vary with our varying aim. Still, it is always necessary to observe logical order, which may be expressed in the following rules. The division must, 1, embrace no more than the theme; 2, it must exhaust the theme; 3, it must arrange it according to its essential synthetic parts; 4, it must express the regular progress of these parts, from the cause to the final object, from the ἀρχή to the τέλος .

Execution.—The same rules are here to be observed. The subject must be properly grouped, without, however, allowing this arrangement to appear too prominently. So far as style is concerned it behoves us to remember that ours is sacred oratory, and that the effects aimed at are spiritual in their nature. Accordingly, we must equally avoid the extreme of vulgar familiarity, and that of philosophic pomposity or of flowery poetry.

Delivery.—Here also art comes into play. The delivery of the discourse, in reference both to what is heard and what is seen (declamation and action), must not be rude nor unstudied. On the other hand, it must be free from extravagance or affectation. It must be natural, in the sense of corresponding to and expressing the subject treated, and yet distinctive, according to the individuality of the preacher, always bearing in mind that he is but the minister of the word.

LITERATURE.37—The principal writers on Practical Theology are Baxter, Burk, Schwarz, Köster, Marheineke, Hüffell, Harms, Gaupp, Nitzsch, Schleiermacher, Moll, Ebrard. The chief works on Homiletics are those of Schott [translated in part by Dr. Park in earlier vols. of the Bibliotheca Sacra.—P. S.], Theremin [trsl. by Dr. Shedd.—P. S.], Stier, Alex. Schweizer, Palmer, Baur, Vinet [trsl. by Dr. Skinner.—P. S.]. On the History of Pulpit Eloquence, we refer to the works of Schuler, Ammon, Schmidt, Paniel, and Lentz, also Beyer: Das Wesen per christl. Predigt, 1861, and Kirsch: Die populäre Predigt, 1861. [Comp. Henry C. Fish: History and Repository of Pulpit Eloquence (a collection of the masterpieces of the greatest preachers of different ages and denominations, with biographical sketches, and a masterly introductory essay by Dr. Park, of Andover), New York, 1857, 3 vols.—P. S.]




THE rules which we have already given apply specially to the homiletical treatment of the New Testament. It may be considered a mark of progress, that in our days, more than in the ancient Church, the New Testament is chosen as the subject of exposition; although, on the other hand, Socinian and Rationalistic views may have led to a depreciation of the Old Testament. In opposition to any such tendency, it is sufficient to remark, that the Apostles themselves based their teaching upon the Old Testament, and that the saying of Paul, in 2 Tim. 3:16, applies to all times. Deeper and more spiritual views of the New Testament as the fulfilment of the Old, and that of all prophecies of creation and of ancient history, will lead us, in expounding the New Testament, ever to refer to the Old, and thus to enrich and explain, to enlarge and to quicken, our addresses. The point to be always kept in mind is this, that in Christ alone is all fulness.

LITERATURE.38—1. Homiletical and Practical Commentaries on the New Testament. C. H. Rieger: Betrachtungen über das N. T. zum Wachsthum in der Gnade und Erkenntniss Jesu Christi. Tübingen, 1828, 2 vols. Heubner: Praktische Erklärung des N. T. Potsdam, 1860, sqq. Besser: Bibelstunden. Halle, 1854, sqq. Mad. Guyon: La Ste. Bible, avec des explications. Amsterd., 1713–’15, 20 vols. Also the commentaries of Bengel, Bogatzky, Gossner. [The best English commentators for homiletical and practical use are Henry, Scott, Gill, Doddridge, Burkitt, Barnes (Hodge on the Romans). Comp. also David Brown and others: A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments. Glasgow and London, 1863 sqq.—P. S.]

2. Expositions of the Pericopes, or Gospels and Epistles for the year. A large number of German sermon books of Herberger, Rambach, Harms, Stier, the two Hofackers, Kapff, Hirscher (R. Cath.), Lisco, etc.


 The Gospels.

The Epistles.

 The Gospels.

The Epistles.

1. Adveut.

Matt. 21:1–9.

Rom. 13:11–14.

1. Pentecost.

John 14:23–31.

Acts 2:1–13.

2. Adveut.

Luke 21:25–36.

Rom. 15:4–13.

2. Pentecost.

John 3:16–21.

Acts 10:42–46.

3. Adveut.

Matt. 11:2–10.

1 Cor. 4:1–5.

3. Pentecost.

John 10:1–11.

Acts 8:14–17.

4. Adveut.

John 1:19–28.

Phil. 4:4–7.

Trinity Sunday.

John 3:1–15.

Rom. 11:33–36.

1. Christmas.

Luke 2:1–14.

Tit. 2:11–14. (Isa. 9:2–7.)

1. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 16:19–31.

1 John 4:16–21.

2. Christmas.

Luke 2:15–40.

Tit. 3:4–7.

2. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 14:16–24.

1 John 3:13–18.

(St Stephen’s Day)

Matt. 23:34–39.

Acts 6:8–7:2.


 3. Christmas.

John 1:1–14.

Hebr. 1:1–12.

3. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 15:1–10.

1 Pet. 5:6–11.

(St. John’s Day).

John 21:20–24.

1 John 1


 Sunday after Christmas.

Luke 2:33–40.

Gal. 4:1–7.

4. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 6:36–42.

Rom. 8:18–23.

New Year’s Day; Circumcision.

Luke 2:21.

Gal. 3:23–29.

5. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 5:1–11.

1 Pet. 3:8–15.

Sunday after New Year.

Matt. 2:13–23.

1 Pet. 4:12–19.

6. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 5:20–26.

Rom. 6:3–11.


Matt. 2:1–12.

Isa. 60:1–6.

7. Sunday after Trinity.

Mark 8:1–9.

Rom. 6:19–23.

1. Sunday after Epiphany.

Luke 2:41–52.

Rom. 12:1–6.

8. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt 7:15–23.

Rom. 8:12–17.

2. Sunday after Epiphany.

John 2:1–11.

Rom. 12:7–16.

9. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 16:1–9.

1 Cor. 10:6–13.

3. Sunday after Epiphany.

Matt. 8:1–13.

Rom. 12:17–21.

10. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 19:41–48.

1 Cor. 12:1–11.

4. Sunday after Epiphany.

Matt. 8:23–27.

Rom. 13:8–10.

11. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 18:9–14.

1 Cor. 15:1–10.

5. Sunday after Epiphany.

Matt. 13:24–30.

Col. 3:12–17.

12. Sunday after Trinity.

Mark 7:31–37.

2 Cor. 3:4–11.

6. Sunday after Epiphany.

Matt. 17:1–9.

2 Pet. 1:16–21.

13. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 10:23–37.

Gal. 3:15–22.


Matt. 20:1–16.

1 Cor. 9:24–10:5.

14. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 17:11–19.

Gal. 5:16–24.


Luke 8:4–15.

2 Cor. 11:19–12:9.

15. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 6:24–34.

Gal. 5:25–6:10.


Luke 18:31–43.

1 Cor. 13

16. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 7:11–17.

Eph. 3:13–21.


Matt. 4:1–11.

2 Cor. 6:1–10.

17. Sunday after Trinity.

Luke 14:1–11.

Eph. 4:1–6.


Matt. 15:21–28.

1 Thess. 4:1–7.

18. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 22:34–46.

1 Cor. 1:4–9.


Luke 11:14–28.

Eph. 5:1–9.

19. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 9:1–8.

Eph. 4:22–28.


John 6:1–15.

Gal. 4:21–31.

20. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 22:1–14.

Eph. 5:15–21.


John 8:46–59.

Hebr. 9:11–15.

21. Sunday after Trinity.

John 4:47–54.

Eph. 6:10–17.

Palm Sunday.

Matt. 21:1–9.

Phil. 2:5–11.

22. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 18:23–35.

Phil. 1:3–11.

Mounday Thursd’y

John 13:1–15.

1 Cor. 11:23–32.

23. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 22:15–22.

Phil. 3:17–21.

Good Friday.

History of the Passion.

Isa. 53

24. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 9:18–26.

Col. 1:9–14.

1. Easter.

Mark 16:1–8.

1 Cor. 5:6–8.

25. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 24:15–28.

1 Thess. 4:13–18.

2. Easter.

Luke 24:13–35.

Acts 10:34–41.

26. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 25:31–46.

2 Pet. 3:3–14.

3. Easter.

Luke 24:36–47.

Acts 13:26–33.

27. Sunday after Trinity.

Matt. 25:1–13.

1 Thess. 5:1–11.

1. Sunday after Easter (Quasimodog.)

John 20:19–31.

1 John 5:4–10.


 2. Sunday after Easter (Miser. Dom.)

John 10:12–16.

1 Pet. 2:21–25.


 3. Sunday after Easter (Jubilate)

John 16:16–23.

1 Pet. 2:11–20.


 4. Sunday after Easter (Cantate)

John 16:5–15.

James 1:16–21.


 5. Sunday after Easter (Rogate).

John 16:23–30.

James 1:22–27.


 Ascension Day.

Mark 16:14–20.

Acts 1:1–11.


 6. Sunday after Easter (Exaudi).

John 15:26–16:4.

1 Pet. 4:8–11.









THE genealogy at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew is of the greatest importance. The first Gospel connects the New Testament most intimately with the Old, not by an index of the writings of the Old Testament, but by the Old Testament genealogy of Jesus. This serves as evidence of the indissoluble connection between the Old and the New Testament, which continued in the secret recesses of Jewish life even during the age of the Apocrypha. It expresses at the same time the important truth, that God’s revelation was carried on not only by the spoken and written word, but also, and chiefly, in and by the seed of Abraham, through a succession of living men, until it reached its climax in the personal incarnation, in Christ.

In the Gospel by Matthew, the life of Jesus is presented as forming part of the history and life of the Jewish nation; and hence as the fulfilment of the hereditary blessing of Abraham. Jesus is here set before us as the new-born King of the Jews, as the promised Messiah, and the aim and goal of every progressive stage of the Theocracy. He is the great Antitype of Old Testament history, in whom everything has been fulfilled—the types in the law, in worship, in historical events, and in gracious interpositions—in short, the fulfilment of the Theocracy. In and with Him the Old Covenant is transformed into the New, the Theocracy into the kingdom of heaven, the demands of the law into the beatitudes, Sinai into the Mount of Beatitudes, the prophetic into the teaching office, the priesthood into redemption by suffering, and the kingship into the triumph of almighty grace, restoring, helping, and delivering a fallen world.

But as Christ formed both the central truth and the crown of the entire history of the Old Covenant, His life, and the perfect revelation of God in Him, were necessarily opposed to the carnal and spurious form which Judaism had assumed in that age, or the historical traditionalism of the Scribes. This claimed to expound the full import of the law of Moses, and assumed the appearance of strictest conformity to its requirements, but, in point of fact, it perverted the Old Testament into a series of outward ordinances, utterly destructive of the spirit of the law, and which from their very nature evoked scepticism on the one hand, and false spiritualism on the other, while they necessarily led to the decay of national life. The truth of this statement appears but too clearly from the connection of the Judaism of the Pharisees and Scribes with the scepticism of the Sadducees, the false spiritualism of the Essenes, and the semi-heathen and semi-Jewish rule of Herod the Idumæan. This essential antagonism between true and false Judaism accounts for the persecution and the sufferings of the Christ of God. In truth, His life was a continuous conflict between the real and the spurious King of Israel, between the true Prophet and the spurious claims of the Scribes and Pharisees, between the true High Priest and a carnal priesthood. This contest issued in His death upon the cross.

Hence Christ is at the same time the heir of the blessing and the heir of the curse, which descended upon Him through the successive ages of history. Viewed in Himself, as the Son of God and the Son of Man, He is the great Heir of the blessing of Abraham, and of humanity in general; for from the first the human family was elected and blessed in Him. On the other hand, in His history,—i.e., through the connection subsisting between His sinless divine-human Person and His guilty and sin-laden brethren,—the curse due, in the first place, to His people Israel, and in the next, to all mankind, is seen to descend and to meet upon Him. But by His world-conquering love, the curse of the cross became in turn the greatest of blessings, even the reconciliation of the world. The glorious fact, that by the death of Christ the reconciliation of the world had been accomplished, became immediately manifest in His resurrection. Hence He who, in the execution of His mission, was subject to every human condition and limitation,—who, during His earthly course, was despised and rejected of men, and in His death bore the concentrated weight of every curse, He, the image of God from heaven, for His great love cast down to hell by His blinded people, appears in His resurrection as the glorious and sovereign Lord and King, to whom all power is given in heaven and upon earth, and who gathers His elect from every nation and kindred.

The history of Jesus, as delineated by Matthew, is at the same time the fulfilment and the transformation of all history. If that Evangelist has given us chiefly the History of the gospel, he has also furnished the Gospel of history.

As here presented to our view, the Saviour not only sounds the depths of every sorrow, but also transforms it. It is this transformation of sorrow which constitutes the Priesthood of the Spirit. For, by His unconditional self-surrender, prompted by unspeakable love, the sacrificial Lamb became the eternal High Priest. The covenant blessing which Jesus had inherited as the Son of Abraham now opened up in all its fulness, and appeared as the fulfilment and the climax of every blessing hitherto vouchsafed to our earth. The kingdom of heaven—the eternal Canaan—was no longer confined to one spot, but all, of whatever nation or kindred, who were poor in spirit, and thus the true seed of Abraham, were to be admitted citizens of this spiritual and heavenly country.

From its prevailing historical character, the Gospel of Matthew may be regarded as forming the basis of all the others. It dwells chiefly on the great facts of the life of Jesus as foretold and foreshadowed in the Old Testament; while Mark sketches His individual personality, Luke presents Him in His mercy to humanity at large, and John, in his symbolical, divinely ideal Gospel, opens to our view the fulness of grace and of truth which came by Jesus Christ.

In its typological view and exposition of the Old Testament, the Gospel according to Matthew strongly resembles the Epistle to the Hebrews.


From his peculiar genius, his training, and his apostolical calling, Matthew Levi, the publican and Apostle, was peculiarly fitted for the task of writing this Gospel. In truth, his Gospel is just the embodiment of the faith and blissful joy which sprung up in his own heart from a view of the Lord and a survey of His history. What he saw and believed, he presents to his readers.

Before his conversion, Matthew was employed in collecting toll and custom by the Lake of Gennesaret (Matt. 9:9 sq.). He is the same with “Levi, son of Alpheus,” whom, according to Luke 5:27, 29; Mark 2:14, the Lord called from the receipt of custom. For the special calls of Christ in the Gospels refer always to the apostolic office, and besides this, only one of the Apostles—Matthew—had formerly been a publican. The change of name cannot be regarded as an objection, as several of the Apostles adopted a new name expressive of their altered views or calling. His old name, Levi (for Levite, לֵוִיִּי), might either express the idea of Jewish legalism, or, from its etymology (לֵיִי), attachment and dependence. The name Matthew, which he adopted, is not identical with Matthias (מַתִּיָּה, Θεόδωρος or Θεόδοτος). The different formation of the word points to a different derivation. Besides, another of the disciples bore the name of Nathanael, or “gift of God.” The word מָהַי signifies full extension or growth—in concreto, like מַת, one who is fully grown, a man, a hero: add to this the word Jah, and the name might be interpreted as meaning “God’s free man,” in opposition to Levi, the servant of the law. Such at least was Matthew, whatever may be deemed the right interpretation of his name.41

The great and gracious calling of Matthew from the receipt of custom to the apostolic office took place at a time when many publicans and sinners (or excommunicated persons) were awakened by the word of the Lord. Even before that, however, Matthew had been an “Israelite indeed,” familiar and imbued with the spirit of the Old Testament. The circumstance that, although deeply attached to the religion of his fathers, he adopted an occupation against which such strong prejudices were entertained, would seem to indicate that, to some extent at least, he could distinguish between the true essence of Judaism and its outward forms and traditional prejudices. In his conversion, this distinction was fully impressed on his mind. Internal and external Judaism, spiritual and outward tradition, the fulfilment of genuine hope in Christ, and its perversion in the carnal expectations of the Jews,—such are the fundamental ideas of his Gospel, and set before his readers in that orderly, rubrical, business-like manner, to which he had been trained in the school of his former employment as a publican. This methodical arrangement of the subject, an aptitude for descrying and presenting any grand contrast in a striking manner, to which must be added a peculiar breadth of mind, formed the mental qualifications of our Evangelist for his work, which were still further developed in the school of grace.

The New Testament furnishes no details of his later activity as an Apostle. According to Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 3:24), Matthew proclaimed the Gospel first to the Hebrews, and then went to other nations, after having “committed his Gospel to writing in his native language” (the Hebrew). Later historians report that he had gone to Ethiopia (to Meroë), and there preached the Gospel (Socrates, Hist. Eccles. 1:19; Rufinus x. 9). According to the earlier statement of Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iv.), he died a natural death: later writers speak of his martyrdom42 (Mart. Rom. 21 Sept. Abdiæ Hist. Ap. 7). Isidore of Seville represents him as laboring in Macedonia, Symeon Metaphrastes in Upper Syria, Ambrosius in Persia, and others in different places. But we attach no historical value to any of these notices, except those of Clement and Eusebius. According to an ancient tradition, Matthew remained in Jerusalem for fifteen years after the ascension of the Lord (Clement Alex. Strom. vi.).

Matthew and John alone have the honor of being at the same time Apostles and Evangelists. As Evangelist, our publican stands first in order, and opens the message of salvation, even as Mary Magdalene, who had been a sinner, was the first to bring tidings of the resurrection.


1. As to the original language of the first Gospel, the most ancient and trustworthy witnesses record that Matthew wrote it in Hebrew. The testimonies to this effect commence with that of Papias of Hierapolis, at the beginning of the second century, who evidently refers to the written Gospel by Matthew (see Euseb. H. E. iii. 39). His statement is confirmed by almost all the older Fathers, such as Irenæus, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, and Epiphanius. On the other hand, however, an independent examination of our present Greek Gospel by Matthew, and especially of the independent form of his quotations from the Old Testament as compared with the Septuagint, leaves the impression of an original work, whether it was written by Matthew himself, or by some other person clothed with apostolic authority. Papias relates that this Gospel was repeatedly interpreted, and the apostolic Church undoubtedly retained its most trustworthy rendering. This translation was preserved in its purity, and obtained canonical authority; while the Hebrew original was afterwards corrupted and interpolated by the Jewish-Christian sects, and in this heretical form called the Gospel of the Hebrews, which lost or rather never enjoyed canonical authority. The whole tenor of the first Gospel proves, that it was originally destined for Jewish Christians. Matthew evidently assumes that his readers are conversant with the Old Testament, with the sacred writings, and with Palestine and its manners. If this view be correct, we also gather how different the tenets of the early Jewish Christians were from those of the later Ebionites. Christians who could appreciate his narrative would not afterwards confound the Gospel with legal and ceremonial traditionalism.

The genuineness of the first two chapters of this Gospel has been doubted, but without any good reason. We might as well separate the head from the body as call in question the chapters, which form the basis of the whole Gospel. Such doubts belong to a period, happily gone by, when commentators and critics had not the most remote conception of the fundamental ideas and the organic connection of the various Gospels.

2. Time of Composition.—From such passages as Matthew 27:8, and 28:15, we infer that this Gospel was composed a considerable time after the resurrection of Christ. Again, we may conjecture from Matthew 24:15, that it was written when the temple of Jerusalem was already, in a certain sense, desecrated by the “abomination of desolation.” Of course it must date from before the destruction of Jerusalem, although that event was already foreshadowing. Hence we may date the Gospel of Matthew from the year 67 to 69.

3. Authenticity.—For the many testimonies in favor of the authenticity of this Gospel, we refer the reader to the various Introductions, especially to Kirchhofer’s Collection of Sources (Quellensammlung) for the History of the New Testament Canon (Zur., 1842). Papias already knew this Gospel, the expression recorded by Eusebius (H. E. iii. 39) manifestly referring to a Gospel,—the word Λόγια applying to the entire evangelical tradition of Matthew, and not merely to a collection of sayings, as appears from the similar statement about Mark. The Diatessaron of Tatian, which dates from the middle of the second century, shows that at that time all the four Gospels had already been recognized by the Church; and it must be remembered that Tatian was a disciple of Justin, and that the Memorabilia (ἀπομνημονεύματα) point back to an earlier period. In the second half of the second century, the founder of the Catechetical School at Alexandria met with the Gospel of Matthew among the Arabs (Euseb. v. 10). The testimony of Irenæus (adversus hæres. iii. 1) dates from about the same period; after which we have the testimonies of Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, and others.

4. Title.—As in the inscription to all the other Gospels, so in this also, the expression, According to Matthew (κατὰ Ματθαῖον), calls attention to the important fact, that, notwithstanding the human diversity appearing in the Gospels, they form but one Divine message of salvation.


We confine ourselves here to the special works on Matthew, having already noticed the general commentaries on the New Testament.

Among the older monographs on Matthew we mention MELANCHTHON: Breves Commentarii in Matthœum, Strasb., 1523; ŒCOLAMPADIUS: Enarrationes in Evang. Matthœi, Bas., 1536; and similar works of WOLFG. MUSCULUS, OLEARIUS, &c. Modern commentators of Matthew, in full or in part, are: GRIESBACH; WIZENMANN (The History of Jesus according to Matth.); MENKEN (Meditations on the Gospel of M., 2 vols., Frankf., 1809; Bremen, 1822,—homiletical and practical); HARNACK (Jesus the Christ, or the Fulfiller of the Law, a bibl. theol. Essay on the basis of the Gospel of Matth., Elberf., 1842); THOLUCK [Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5–7, Hamburg, 1833, 3d ed., 1845; translated into English by R. L. BROWN, Edinb., 1860; it is regarded as the most elaborate and valuable exegetical work of Dr. Tholuck.—P. S.]; KLING (The Sermon on the Mount, Marburg, 1841); [FR. ARNDT, of Berlin, Sermons on the Sermon on the Mount, Magdeb., 1839, 2 vols.—P. S.;] LISCO [and especially TRENCH] on the Parables, and on the Miracles of Jesus (several editions); STIER (in the Reden Jesu) [Words of Jesus, vols.i. and ii., German and English]; HEUBNER (Practical Com., vol. 1.: The Gospel of Matth., Potsdam, 1855); and the Roman Catholic divines: ARNOLDI (The Gospel of Matth., Treves, 1856); SCHEGG (Munich, 1856); and BUCHER (Schaffhausen, 1855). Comp. also the critical essays of HARLESS: De compositione Evang. quod Matthœo tribuitur (Erlangen, 1842), and DELITZSCH: On the Origin and Plan of Matth. (Leipz., 1853); also the exegetical monograph of DORNER: De oratione Christi eschatologica, Stuttg., 1844 [on Matt. 24.].

For fuller lists of older writers on Matthew, see HEIDEGGER: Enchiridion biblicum, p. 464; WALCH, Biblioth. theol., p. 463; DANZ: Universalwörterbuch der theol. Literatur, p. 636–’46, and the Supplement, p. 72 and 73; WINER: Hand-buch der theol. Lit., i., p. 245 sqq., Supplement, p. 38; and SCHMIDT: Biblioth. theol. (Halle, 1855), p. 36.

[American works on Matthew.—Jos. ADDISON ALEXANDER (O. S. Presbyt): The Gospel according to Matthew (New York, 1861). The last work of the author, completed only to the close of chapter 16; with a short analysis of the remaining chapters which he finished a few days before his death. WILLIAM NAST (educated in the university of Tübingen, minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and editor of a German religious periodical in Cincinnati): Kritisch-Praktischer Commentar über das N. T., vol. i. on Matthew (Cincinnati, 1860). It is now being translated into English under the supervision of the author. D. D. WHEDON (Method. Episc.): A Commentary on the Gospels of Matthew and Marie, for popular use (New York, 1861). T. J. CONANT (Baptist): The Gospel by Matthew. The Common English Version and the Received Greek Text; with a Revised Version and Critical and Philological Notes; prepared for the Amer. Bible Union (New York, 1860). Comp. also the popular Commentaries on the Gospels by A. BARNES (N. S. Presbyt.), Prof. OWEN (N. S. Presbyt.) and Prof. JACOBUS (O. S. Presbyt.), and ROBINSON’S and STRONG’S Harmonies.—P. S.]


Jesus, the offspring of David, is the fulfilment of the Old Covenant. His doctrine and His life embody the essence and the spirit of the Old Testament Theocracy—Judaism is its fundamental idea and import,—thus proving that He was the promised Christ of God. But, on this very ground, His history presents a continual antagonism with the spurious and degenerate Judaism, represented by the hierarchy of His age. In this conflict, while outwardly succumbing, He achieves that triumph by which His eternal kingdom is established. He dies,—but as the great atoning sacrifice by which the world is reconciled to God; and this reconciliation constitutes the basis of His kingdom.

Viewed in this light, the Gospel of Matthew presents to us the fulfilment of the Old Covenant. It is the Gospel of the law, of the priesthood, of the genealogies, of history, of sufferings, and of death,—in a word, the Gospel of the promised and accomplished atonement, of the predicted and achieved triumph.

As fulfilling the Old Covenant, Jesus Christ transforms the typical Theocracy into the everlasting kingdom of heaven; and that in His capacity as eternal Prophet, High Priest, and King,—i. e., as the true Christ.

Part First

Jesus comes into this world, as the true theocratic Messiah, to fulfil the Old Covenant. He remains unknown to, and unrecognized by, the outward and worldly Theocracy of His day; yea, he was rejected and cast out. Hence He is destined to undertake His Messianic pilgrimage in obscurity and humility; but He is glorified and attested by God.

1st Section.—Prophetic types of the Messiah in the genealogy of the Messiah (Matthew 1:1–17).

2d Section.—Jesus, as miraculously conceived by His mother in faith, or in the mystery of His incarnation, is not recognized even by the legitimate representative of the house of David (Joseph), till attested by an angel from heaven (Vers. 18–25).

3d Section.—On His appearance upon earth, He is rejected, despised, and persecuted by the theocratic city, the theocratic priesthood, and royalty; but owned by God in signs from heaven, in the adoration of wise men from the heathen world, in His miraculous and Divine preservation, effected by the flight into Egypt, and by His concealment during His youth in the obscurity of Galilee (Ch. 2).

4th Section.—On entering upon His public ministry, Jesus remained still unknown, even to those who had humbled themselves and professed penitence in Israel. In the baptism unto repentance He receives His solemn consecration unto the death which He was to accomplish, while at the same time He is owned and glorified by the Father as His beloved Son,—the whole blessed Trinity shedding its lustre around Him, and His advent being announced by His special messenger, John (Ch. 3)

5th Section.—Jesus renouncing the world, and commencing His conquest of it. While preparing for the public discharge of His office, He has to encounter the threefold temptation of Satan, corresponding to the threefold form in which a worldly minded people had shaped to themselves their hopes of the Messiah. Thus Jesus is constrained to conceal His dignity from the people, and to commence His work in the despised district of Galilee. But God glorifies Him in the homage paid to Him by His disciples and the people (Ch. 4).

Part Second

Christ manifests Himself as the true Messiah in His continual conflict with the spurious notions entertained by the Jews concerning the Messiah, and proves Himself the promised Prophet, King, and High Priest.

1st Section.—Christ manifests Himself as the Prophet:

a. As Teacher of the kingdom of heaven, in the Sermon on the Mount (Ch. 5 to 7).

b. As Wonder-worker of the kingdom of heaven, attesting and confirming His word (Ch. 8 and 9).

2d Section.—Christ manifests Himself as the King:

a. As Shepherd of His people, in sending to the scattered sheep His twelve Apostles, endowed with the power of His Spirit, for the purpose of establishing the kingdom of heaven (Ch. 10).

b. By bringing out clearly the fact that He has not been owned as Prophet, and by manifesting His royal dignity (Ch. 11).

c. By proving Himself Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of the people. Conqueror of the kingdom of Satan, the future Judge of His foes, and the Founder of the kingdom of love, or of the family of the saints (Ch. 12).

d. By presenting in parables the foundation and the development of His kingdom through all its phases, from its commencement to its termination (Matthew 13:1–51).

3d Section.—Christ manifests Himself as the High Priest in His sufferings;—being rejected,

a. By His own city, Nazareth (Matthew 13:52–58).

b. By the political despotism of Herod, the ruler of Galilee (Ch. 14).

c. By the Scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem, or the theological authorities of the schools (Ch. 15).

d. By the Pharisees and Sadducees, or the theocratical authorities of the whole country (Matthew 16:1–12).

Part Third

Christ presents the future picture of the kingdom of heaven, in opposition to the traditional form of the ancient world and Theocracy.

1st Section.—The Church in its prophetic character, as confessing Christ the Son of God, in opposition to the legal opinions concerning Him entertained by the synagogue:

a. The Church as confessing Christ (Matthew 16:13–20).

b. The Church as bearing the cross of Christ, in contrast to that worldly fear of the cross by which He is tempted (Vers. 21–28).

c. The Church as a spiritual communion, in opposition to the solitary tents of spurious separation from the world as exhibited in the history of anchoretism and monasticism (Matthew 17:1–8).

d. The Church as wholly unknown and hidden (Vers. 9–13).

e. The Church as wonder-working by the spiritual power of prayer and fasting (Vers. 14–21).

f. The Church in its human weakness (Vers. 22, 23).

g. The Church as free, and yet voluntarily subject, and paying tribute to the old temple (Vers. 24–27).

2d Section.—The priestly order in the Church of Christ:

a. The hierarchy of the service of love (Matthew 18:1–14).

b. The discipline of the Church (Vers. 15–20).

c. Absolution in the Church (Vers. 21–35).

3d Section.—The priestly family in the Church:

a. Marriage in the Church (Matthew 19:1–12).

b. Children in the Church (Vers. 13–15).

c. Property in the Church (Vers. 16–23).

4th Section.—Future kingly manifestation of the Church:

a. Glorious reward of the Apostles, and of all who renounce the world (Vers. 27–30).

b. Reward by free grace (Matthew 20:1–16).

Part Fourth

Christ surrendering Himself to the Messianic faith of His people.

1st Section.—Full prophetic anticipation of the end (Matthew 20:17–19).

2d Section.—Places at the right and the left of His throne, and of His priestly cross (Vers. 20–28).

3d Section.—The courtly pride which would prevent those who are poor and needy from coming to the Lord, and manifestation of Christ as King of mercy (Vers. 29–33).

4th Section.—Prophetic Hosanna of the people, and amazement of Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–11).

5th Section.—Purification of the temple; residence of the King in His temple.

a. The house of prayer and of mercy, in opposition to the den of thieves (Vers. 12–14).

b. The children in the temple, and the high priests and Scribes (Vers. 15, 16).

c. The barren fig tree covered with foliage, but without fruit, on the Temple Mount. Symbolical curse of the priesthood (Vers. 17–22).

6th Section.—Assaults of the outward Theocracy on the King in His temple:

a. Assault of the high priests and elders, and triumph of the Lord (Matthew 21:23–22:14).

b. Assault of the Herodians, or of the political party, and triumph of the Lord (Vers. 15–22).

c. Assault of the Sadducees, and triumph of the Lord (Vers. 23–33).

d. Assault of the Pharisees, and triumph of the Lord (Vers. 34–46).

7th Section.—Final judgment of Christ upon the Pharisees and Scribes. Christ of His own accord leaves the temple (Ch. 23. to 24:1).

Part Fifth

Final and fullest manifestation of Christ as the Prophet; or, discourses of the Lord concerning the “last things.”

1st Section.—The general judgment; or, the end of Jerusalem and that of the world (Matthew 24:2–41).

2d Section.—Judgment on the rulers of the Church (Vers. 42–51).

3d Section.—Judgment upon the Church itself (Matthew 25:1–13).

4th Section.—The final judgment as retribution (Vers. 14–30).

5th Section.—The final judgment as separation (Vers. 31–41).

Part Sixth

Final and fullest manifestation of Jesus as the High Priest in His sufferings.

1st Section.—Certitude of the Lord, and incertitude of His enemies (Matthew 26:1–3).

2d Section.—The anointing to the burial; or, the loving woman and the traitor (Vers. 4–16)

3d Section.—The Passover and the Eucharist (Vers. 17–29).

4th Section.—Promises of the disciples and Christ in Gethsemane (Vers. 30–46).

5th Section.—The traitor, the defender, and the disciples generally (Vers. 47–56).

6th Section.—Caiaphas (Vers. 57–68).

7th Section.—Peter (Vers. 69–75).

8th Section.—Judas and the high priests (Matthew 27:1–10).

9th Section.—Pilate, the Jews, and the band of soldiers (Vers. 11–31).

10th Section.—Golgotha (Vers. 32–56).

11th Section.—The burial and the sealing of the tomb (Vers. 57–66).

Part Seventh

Christ in His full kingly glory (Ch. 28).

1st Section.—The angel from heaven (Vers. 1–8).

2d Section.—The Lord, and the women worshipping Him (Vers. 9, 10).

3d Section.—Judaism and its saying; or, impotent end of the old world (Vers. 11–15).

4th Section.—Almighty rule of Christ, and His kingdom in heaven and on earth (Vers. 16–20).

Note.—The view lately broached by Delitzsch (in the Essay: Neue Untersuchungen über Entstehung der kanonischen Evangelien, Part I., Leipz., 1853), on the connection between the Gospel of Matthew and the Pentateuch, is exceedingly ingenious, although somewhat strained. Delitzsch sets out by selecting the passage in Matthew 5:17, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” etc., as containing the fundamental idea of the whole Gospel. Thus far we agree with him; but we demur to his inference from this verse, that not only has the Old Testament Theocracy, in all its parts, been fulfilled in the life of the Lord, but that the arrangement of the Gospel is such, that its five parts correspond to, and fulfil, the five portions of the Pentateuch. Our author proceeds to prove this hypothesis by showing how the first chapter of Matthew, or the Book of the Genesis of Christ, corresponds with the Book of Genesis. Similarly as the Book of Exodus opens with the murder of the Hebrew infants in Egypt, so the second chapter of Matthew with that of the infants in Bethlehem. In general, many and striking points of analogy are brought out. The Sermon on the Mount is, of course, the counterpart of the giving of the law. Again, Matt. 8:1 is a fulfilment of the Book of Leviticus: the cleansing of the leper pointing to the corresponding legal ordinances. Still further, Matt. 10:1 corresponds to the Book of Numbers,—the numbering of the twelve tribes being fulfilled in the selection of the twelve Apostles. Lastly, the portion corresponding to the Book of Deuteronomy commences with Matthew 19, when the ministry in Galilee ceases, and that in Judæa begins. In this case Genesis and Leviticus evidently would be too short, Numbers and Deuteronomy too long. The same disproportion would apply to the single parts. The hypothesis is ingenious, but fanciful, and has the disadvantage of overrating a supposed formal correspondence at the expense of the inward and material correspondence. The main thing to be kept in view is the great fact, that the Old Testament Theocracy itself was fulfilled—not in the letter, but in the spirit—by the kingdom of heaven under the New Testament.



THE Sinaitic Manuscript of the Bible, which Professor Tischendorf rescued from the obscurity of the Convent of St Catharine on Mount Sinai, and carefully edited in two editions in 1862 and 1863,* two years after the issue of the third edition of Dr. Lange’s Commentary on Matthew, has been carefully compared in preparing the American edition of this work from Chapter 8 to the close of the Gospel of Matthew. I thought I was the first to do so, but just before I finished the last pages of this volume, I found that Bäumlein, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St. John,** and Meyer, in the fifth edition of his Commentary on Matthew, both of which appeared in 1864, had preceded me, at least in print. No critical scholar can ignore this manuscript hereafter. For it is the only complete, and perhaps the oldest of all the uncial codices of the Bible, or at least of the same age and authority as the celebrated Vatican Codex (which is traced by some to the middle of the fourth century), and far better edited by the German Protestant Professor, Tischendorf, than the latter was by the Italian Cardinal, Angelo Mai. In the absence of a simpler mark agreed upon by critics (the proposed designation by the Hebrew א has not yet been adopted, and is justly objected to by Tregelles and others on the ground of typographical inconvenience), I introduce it always as Cod. Sin., and I find that Dr. Meyer in the fifth edition does the same. As I could not procure a copy of the printed edition of this Codex till I had finished the first seven chapters, I now complete the critical part of the work by adding its more important readings in the first seven chapters where they differ from the textus receptus, on which the authorized English, as well as all the older Protestant Versions of the Greek Testament are substantially based.

*NOVUM TESTAMENTUM SINAITICUM, sive Novum Testamentum cum Epistola Barnabœ et Fragmentis Pastoris (Hermæ). Ex Codice Sinaitico auspiciis Alexandri II., omnium Russiarum imperatoris, ex tenebris protracto orbique litterarum tradito accurate descripsit ÆNOTHEUS FRIDERIOUS CONSTANTINUS TISCHENDORF, theol. et phil. Dr., etc. etc. Lipsiæ, 1863. The text is arranged in four columns and covers 148 folios; the learned Prolegomena of the editor 81 folios. There is besides a magnificent photo-lithographed fac-simile edition of the whole Sinaitic Bible, published at the expense of the Emperor of Russia, in 4 volumes (3 for the Old and 1 for the New Testament, the latter in 148 folios), under the title: BIBLIORUM CODEX SINAITICUS PETROPOLITANUS. Auspiciis augustissimis imperatoris Alexandri II. ed. Const. Tischendorf. Petropoli, 1862. A copy of this rare edition I have also consulted occasionally, in the Astor Library of New York. For fuller information on this important Codex (in the words of Tischendorf: “omnium codicum uncialium solus integer omniumque antiquissimus”), we must refer the reader to the ample Prolegomena of TISCHENDORF, also to an article of HILGENFELD in his Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, vol. vii. (1864), p. 74 ff. (who is disposed to assign it to a somewhat later age), and to SCRIVENER’S treatise, which I have not seen.

**Hengstenberg, in his Commentary on John, concluded in 1863, pays no attention whatever to this Codex, and is very defective in a critical point of view

1:6.—Cod. Sin. omits the second ὁβασιλεύς, the king, after David. See Commentary, Crit. Note 1 on p. 48.

1:18.—Cod. Sin. sustains γένεσις, birth, nativity (B., C., P., S., Z., etc., Lachmann, Tischendorf, Alford) for the lect. rec. γέννησις, which may easily have arisen from ἐγέννησε and ἐγεννήθη, and as appearing to suit the connection better (partus modus), comp. Meyer, in the fifth ed., p. 43. But Christ’s origin was not properly a begetting, engendering, γέννησις (from γεννάω); and hence γένεσις is preferable both for internal and external reasons. Comp. Luke 1:14: ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ, which is better supported there than γεννήσει.

1:19.—Cod. Sin.: δειγματισαι for the lect. rec. παραδει γματίσαι; the παρα in Cod. Sin. being “punctis notatum rursus deletis,” as Tischendorf remarks, Proleg. p. 42, which I found to be correct on inspection of the fac-simile edition in the Astor Library. The sense, however, is not altered, since both δειγματίζω (only once, Col. 2:15) and παραδειγματιζω (twice, Matt. 1:19 and Heb. 6:6) mean to make a show or example of one, to put to shame. Lachmann, Tischendorf (ed. septima critica major, 1859), Alford (4th ed. of 1859), and Meyer (5th ed., but omitting to notice the original reading of Cod. Sin.) read δειγματίσαι on the authority of B., Z., and scholia of Origen and Eusebius.

1:25.—Cod. Sin. reads simply: ετεκεν υιον, instead of the lect. rec.: ἔτεκω τὸν υἱὸν αὑτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, and here sustains the testimony of Codd. B., Z., etc., and the modern critical editions. The omission of πρωτότοκον is much easier accounted for, on doctrinal grounds, than its insertion, and cannot affect the controversy concerning the question of the brothers of Christ, since πρωτότοκος is genuine in Luke 2:7, where there is no variation of reading. On the other hand, the term does not necessarily prove that Mary had children after Jesus. Comp. Crit. Note 2, on p. 52, and the remark of Jerome, quoted in Tischendorf’s crit. apparatus (ed. 7. p. 4).

Matthew 2:11.—Cod. Sin. reads: ιδον (εἶο͂ον), they saw (as in the Eng. Ver.), for ε υ̇͂ ρον they found (Vulg.: invenerurt).

2:18.—Cod. Sin. omits θρῆνοςκαἰ, lamentation and, before κλανθμός, weeping. So all the critical editors. The text. rec. seems to be enlarged from the Septuagint.

Matthew 3:3.—δια ησαιου, through Isaiah, instead of ὑπὸ Ἠσαί̈ου, by Isaiah. The reading διά is sustained also by Codd. B., C, D., Syr., Sahid., Æth., Vulg., Griesb., Lachm., Tischend., Alf., and is more correct; for the word was spoken by the Lord through Isaiah (a Domino per, as Irenæus has it). Hence insert in text on p. 67 after by: [through; διά].

3:6.—Cod. Sin.: ιορδανη ποταμω (also in Codd. B., C’., M., Δ., etc.) for ̓Ι ορδάνη ὑπ̓ αὐτοῦ. But ποταμῷ, river, may have been inserted from Mark 1:5.

Matthew 4:5.—Cod. Sin.: εστησεν, text. rec.: ἰστησιν (E. V.: setteth). Lachmann and Alford adopt ἔστησεν with B., C., D., Z., while Tischendorf (7 ed., 1859) and Meyer retain ί̓στησιν. The aorist interrupts the flow of the prœsens historicum in this verse (παραλαμβάνελέγει), comp. Matthew 1:8 and 10, and may have been a correction from Luke 4:9.

4:10.—ὀπίσωμου, behind me, is wanting in Cod. Sin., as in other important witnesses, and in Elzevir’s ed. (see the apparatus in the crit. editions), and is probably an old insertion from Matt. 16:23, where Peter is addressed. Comp. Lange’s Exeg. Note on Matthew 4:10, p. 85.

Matthew 5:11.—Cod. Sin. sustains the lect. rec. ψευδόμενοι (E. V. falsely), which was suspected by Griesbach, and thrown out of the text by Fritzsche, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Meyer, who says (fifth ed. p. 135) rather too dogmatically: “Das entbehrliche und den Nerv der Rede nur schwächende Wort ist ein frommer, ungefügiger, und daher auch verschieden gestellter Zuzatz. Comp Crit. Note 2 on p. 98.

5:30.—Cod. Sin. sustains the Vatican Codex, Vulgata (eat), etc., Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford, in reading εἰς γέ εγς ας ἀπέλθῃ, should depart into hell, instead of the lect. rec. βληθῇ εἰς γέενναν, should be cast into hell, which seems to be a correction to suit the preceding verse.

5:44.—Cod. Sin. reads simply: αγαπατε τους εχθρους υμων και προσευχεσθευπερ των διωκον των love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, and omits after ῦμῶν the words from εὐλογεῖτε to μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς(bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you), and after ὑπὲρ τῶν the words: ἐπηρεαζόν των ὑμᾶς καί (who despitefully use you and). It agrees in this omission with Cod. B., Copt., Iren., Orig., Euseb., and other fathers. Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford, expunge the words referred to, as an interpolation from Luke 6:28; but de Wette and Meyer object, since the order of the clauses in Luke is different, and since the homœoteleuta could easily cause omissions. The words ἐπηρεαζόν των ὑμᾶς καί, however, are very suspicious, and in all probability inserted from Luke 6:28. Hence Meyer, also, gives them up.

5:47.—Cod. Sin. sustains ἐθνικοί, heathen, with B., D., Z., verss. and fathers against τελῶναι, publicans, which seems to have been inserted from 5:46, as already remarked on p. 112, Crit. Note 6.

Matthew 6:1.—Cod. Sin. agrees here again with the Vatican MS. (also D., Syr., Hieros., Itala, Vulgata, several fathers, Lachm., Tischend., Treg., Alf.), in reading δικαιοσύνην, righteousness, instead of ἐλεημοσύνην (text, rec., Matthäi, Scholz), which is “a mistaken gloss, the general nature of this opening caution not being perceived.”

7:12.—Cod. Sin. (also B., Z.): ἀφήκαμεν (have forgiven) against the lect. rec.: ἀφίομεν, and the reading of D., E., L., etc.: ἀφίομεν, which may have been taken from Luke 11: 4. Lachm., Tischend., Alford, and Meyer, favor ἀφήκαμεν.

7:13.—Cod. Sin. omits the doxology and the amen in the Lord’s Prayer, with other ancient witnesses and all the modern critical editors, German and English, except Matthaei, whose exclusive adherence to his own Moscow manuscripts gives his edition the character of partiality. It is generally regarded as an insertion from the ecclesiastical liturgies in the fourth century. On the other hand, it is strongly defended as genuine, not only by Stier, as mentioned on p. 122, but also by Scrivener (A Supplement to the authorized English Version of the N. T., vol. i. 1845, p. 155 ff.). Alford’s testimony against it, as quoted on p. 122, is certainly too strong. The importance of the case will justify us in adding here the principal arguments on both sides of the question. It must be admitted that the weight (though by no means the number) of critical testimony is rather against the doxology. Four of the most ancient uncial MSS., Cod. Sin. (4th cent.), Vaticanus (B., 4th cent.), Cantabrigiensis, or Codex Bezæ (D., 5th or 6th cent.), Dublinensis rescriptus (Z., of the 6th cent., containing, of the N. T., the Gospel of Matthew with many lacunæ), and five cursive MSS. (1, 17, 118, 130, 209, of much later date), moreover the ancient Latin versions, and most of the early fathers, especially the Latin ones, including Origen, Tertullian, and Cyprian, who wrote practical commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer, omit the doxology. The other uncial MSS. are here defective, and cannot be quoted for or against. Cod. Alexandrinus (A., 5th cent.) is mutilated from Matt. 1 to 25:6 (its first leaf commencing: ὁ νυμφίος), and Cod. Ephraemi Syri (C., 5th cent.) omits Matt. 5:16 to 7:4 (according to Tischendorf’s edition, which is, however, unfortunately not in fac-simile). Its omission from the text is, moreover, much more difficult to account for than its insertion from the ancient liturgies. But on the other hand, the doxology is already found in the venerable Peschito (of the second century), and the two younger syriac Versions (Philoxeniana and Hierosolymitana), in the Sahidic or Thebaic Egyptian Version (which ranks next to the Peschito on the score of antiquity), the Æthiopie, Armenian, Gothic and Gregorian Versions, in the Apostolical Constitutions, Chrysostom, as well as in nearly all the five hundred or more cursive man uscripts in which the sixth chapter of Matthew is preserved. As to internal reasons, it can hardly be urged that the doxology interrupts the context or the logical connection between vers.12 and 14 (Scholz, Meyer, Alford), for this argument would require us to cancel the whole of 6:13 (Scrivener). No one can doubt the eminent propriety of this solemn conclusion which we are accustomed to regard from infancy as an integral part of the prayer of prayers, and which we would now never think of sacrificing to critical considerations in our popular Bibles and public and private devotions. Probably it was the prevailing custom of the Christians in the East from the beginning to pray the Lord’s Prayer with the doxology, comp. 2 Tim. 4:18. Chrysostom comments on it without the least consciousness that its authenticity is doubtful.

In the seventh chapter Cod. Sin. offers no important deviations from the received text.

Matthew 7:2.—Cod. Sin. sustains with the best ancient authorities ματρηθήσεται, shall be measured, which is now adopt ed by the editors of the Greek text (even Stier and Theile, and Words, worth, who adhere closely to the Elzevir text), against the lect. rec. ἀντι μετρηθήσεται, shall be measured again, or in turn (from Luke 6:38).



7:4.—λεγις (λέγεις)




7:14.—οτι στενη*


πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη.(so B)

7:21.—τα θεληματα

τὸ θέλημα (so also B.).


ὁμοιώσω αὐτόν.





7:29.—γραμματεις αυτων


*But it is not certain whether ὅτι or τί was the original reading. Tischendorf remarks, Proleg. xliii. ad membranam iv. exteriorem: “οτι: o litteræ punctum impositum; nescio an ante Cg. jam B imposuerit; obelum vero solus Cg. addidit.” “Οτι στενή, for strait, Is the reading of the text. rec. and retained by Tischendorf and Alford, but it may easily have arisen from ὁτι πλατεῖα, 7:13. Lachmann, Meyer, and Scrivener prefer τί στενή, how strait (Vulgata: quam angusta), which has the balance of external evidence in its favor


[1]Even Dr. Wordsworth, who is disposed to find in the old Catholic and modern Anglican fathers the beginning and the end of exegetical knowledge and wisdom, feels constrained to admit (in the Preface to his Commentary or the N. T., p. v.): “Indeed it must be confessed, with thankfulness to the Divine Author of the Scripture, that the present age enjoys, in certain respects, greater privileges for the due understanding of Holy Writ than were ever conferred by Almighty God on any preceding generation since the revival of letters.” And he is candid enough to admit, also (on p. vi.), “that the palm for industry in this sacred field is especially due to another nation. The Masorites of the New Testament are from Germany.”

[2]The full German title of this work is: THEOLOGISCH-HOMILETISCHES BIBELWERK. Die Heilige Schrift Alten und Neuen Testaments mit Rücksicht auf das theologisch-homiletische Bedürfniss des pastoralen Amtes in Verbindung mit namhaften evangelischen Theologen bearbeitet und herausgegeben von J. P. LANGE. Bielefeld. Verlag von Velhagen und Klasing, 1857 ff.

[3] SYNOPSIS BIBLIOTHECÆ EXEGETICÆ IN NOVUM TESTAMENTUM. Kurzgefasster Aussug der gründlichsten und nutzbarsten Auslegungen über alle Bücher Neuen Testaments. In Tabellen, Erklärungen. Anmerkungen und Nutzanwendungen, mit Zuziehung des Grundtextes, und fleissiger Anführung der dabey gebrauchten Bücher, zum erwünschten Handbuch, etc. etc. Mit Beyhülfe einiger Gelehrten von CHRISTOPH STARKE, Pastore Primario und Garnison, Prediger der Stadt und Festung Driesen. 3 vols. 4to. The preface is dated 1733. I have seen in this country and occasionally compared two copies of this work, one of the second edition, Leipzig, 1740 (in the Theol. Seminary Library at Mercersburg, Pa.), and one of the 4th ed., Leipz. 1758 (in possession of a German clergyman at New York). The first volume, containing the four Gospels, covers 2,523 closely printed quarto pages. The title of the Old Testament Part is: SYNOPSIS BIBLIOTHECÆ EXEGETICÆ IN VETUS TESTAMENTUM, etc., Berlin and Halle, 1741 ff. 6 vols. 4to. His son, Johann Georg Starke, completed the Old Testament. Christoph Starke was born A. D. 1684, was pastor primarius in the town and fortress Driesen, and died 1744. His motto was: Crucem sumo, Christum sequor. He was not a man of genius, like Lange, but of immense literary industry, and his work is a dry but useful compilation. He embodied in it extracts from previous exegetical works, especially those of Luther, Brentius, Canstein, Cramer, Hedinger, Lange, Majus, Osiander, Piscator, Quesnel, Tosanus, Biblia Wurtembergensia, Zeisius. Lange transfers the substance of Starke’s labors to the homiletical sections of his Commentary, and credits him with the extracts from his predecessors under their names.

[4]This part will probably be rewritten by another hand on account of the recent unfortunate change in the Theological position of the author.

[5]For the biographical notices I am indebted to the kindness of Dr. Lange, who communicated them to me by letter at my request. I previously wrote also a sketch of his character as a divine in my book on Germany, its Universities and Divines, Philadelphia, 1857, of which I have no copy on hand, the edition being exhausted. I have seen Dr. Lange in Zürich in 1844, and at Bonn in 1854, and corresponded with him more or less for the last twenty years.

[6]Under the title: Das Land der Herrlichkeit, oder die christliche Lehre vom Himmel, first published as a series of articles in Hengstenberg’s Evangelical Church Gazette, and then in book form, 1838. Dr. H. Harbaugh, of Mercersburg, Pa., has translated a portion of it in the third of his three popular works on the heavenly world, which have gone through some fifteen or twenty editions.

[7]I would mention as examples that noble passage of Aristotle on nature’s argument for the existence of God, preserved by Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, ii. 37, and quoted by Alexander von Humboldt with admiration, in his Kosmos, vol. ii. p. 16 (German edition), a work where otherwise even the name of God is nowhere mentioned; Kant’s famous saying of the two things which fill his soul with ever-growing reverence and awe, the starry heaven above him, and the moral law within him; and Hegel’s truly sublime introduction to his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, as well as many of the noblest passages in his Lectures on Æsthetics.

[8]From his youthful work: Das Land der Herrlichkeit. Not having a copy of the original within reach, I borrow the translation from Dr. Harbaugh’s Heavenly Home, Matthew 7 p. 142 ff.

[9]I adopted a number of them in my German hymn book, published in 1859 and extensively used in this country, e.g., Nos. 94, 194, 227.

[10] THE LIFE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: a complete critical examination of the Origin, Contents, and Connection of the Gospels. Translated from the German of J. P. LANGE, D. D. Edited, with additional Notes, by the Rev. Marcus Dods, A. M., in 6 vols. Elinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1864. Vol. i. is translated by Sophia Taylor, vol. ii. by J. E. Ryland, vol. iii. by M. G. Huxtable, vol. I bv:lvxx'by Rev. Rob. E. Wallis, vol. v. by Rev. S Manson, vol. vi. by Rev. Robert Smith. Six translators for one of the many books of Lange! This is a sufficient evidence of the difficulty of the task. The editor (Mr. Dods), in the introductory preface to vol. i., speaks in the highest terms of “this comprehensive and masterly work.” I am very happy to find that Lange, who has been comparatively unknown out of Germany, is beginning to be appreciated in England. The frequent references to the Leben Jesu in this Commentary on Matthew are always to the German original; the translation having reached me too late to change the figures. It is not likely, however, that such a voluminous and costly work will be soon reprinted in America; the less so, since the author has embodied many of the most important results in his Commentaries on Matthew, Mark, and John.

[11]Not, however, the seventh and best edition of Tischendorf, which appeared in 1859, two years after the first edition of Lange’s Matthew, and which often deviates from the text of his previous editions and returns to many of the readings of the textus receptus. This is the case in the Gospel of Matthew alone in more than a hundred places, e.g., Matt. 2:13; 3:1; 4:23; 5:11, 13, 32; 6:5, 16, 33; 7:14; 8:10, 13; 9:1, 8, 9, 11, 17; 10:7, 10, 14, 19, 23, 33, etc.

[12]The proper rendering of the German headings of the three distinct sections, viz., EXEGETISCHE ERLÆUTERUNGEN, DOGMATISCH-CHRISTOLOGISCHE or (in the Acts and Epistles) DOGMATISCH-ETHISCHE GRUNDGEDANKEN, and HOMILETISCHE ANDEUTUNGEN, has given some trouble. The Edinburgh translation of Matthew renders them: CRITICAL NOTES, DOCTRINAL REFLECTIONS, and HOMILETICAL HINTS. But this is too free, and the edition alluded to is not consistent. The Scotch translator of the Commentary on the Acts, of which the first twelve chapters have just appeared, Rev. Paton J. Gloag, renders the headings more literally: EXEGETICAL EXPLANATIONS, DOGMATICAL AND ETHICAL THOUGHTS, HOMILETICAL HINTS. But Grundgedanken means fundamental or leading thoughts. Upon the whole I thought it most advisable to use the adjectives only, as best calculated to reconcile conflicting tastes and opinions. Christologico Dogmatical, and Dogmatico-Ethical would be too heavy, while Doctrinal and Ethical is good English and gives the idea as well. For symmetry’s sake I chose a double adjective for the other sections: 1. EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL; 2. DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL; 3. HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL.

[13]In German: EXEGETISCHE ERLÆUTERUNGEN, lit.: EXEGETICAL ILLUSTRATIONS or EXPLANATIONS (which is somewhat tautological, exegetical being identical with expository or explanatory).

[14]In German: DOGMATISCH-ETHISCHE GRUNDGEDANKEN. In the Gospels, where the christological element preponderates, Lange calls them: DOGMATISCH-CHRISTOLOGISCHE GRUNDGEDANKEN. But his contributors have substituted for it the more general title: DOGMATICO-ETHICAL FUNDAMENTAL THOUGHTS, which is as applicable to the respective sections in the Gospels as to those in the Epistles. In his Commentary on Genesis, just published (1864) Dr. Lange uses THEOLOGISCHE GRUNDGEDANKEN.


[16]I may be permitted to state that I went into this enterprise at first with considerable reluctance, partly from a sense of its vast labor and responsibility, partly because it involved in all probability the abandonment of an original, though much shorter commentary (German and English) which I had been preparing for the last twenty years, and of which a few specimens appeared in the Kirchenfreund (1848–’53) and in the Mercersburg Review. But the task seemed to devolve on me naturally and providentially, and I gradually became so interested in it that I am willing to sacrifice to it other cherished literary projects. Dr. Lange himself, in forwarding to me an early copy of the first volume, wished me to take part in the original work, and encouraged me afterward to assume the editorial supervision of the English translation, giving me every liberty as regards additions and improvements. I made, however no use of my old notes on Matthew, leaving all my exegetical manuscripts boxed up with my library at Mercersburg. I did not wish to mix two works which differ in plan and extent, and adapted my additions to the general character and plan of Lange’s work and the wants of the English reader.

[17]A condensation, such as has been proposed by some in this case, opens the door for an endless variety of conflicting opinions and tastes, and almost necessarily results in a mutilation of the original. The only proper alternative seems to be either to translate a foreign work entire, if it be at all worthy of translation, or to make it the basis of a new work.

[18]Not the revision of 1854 (which contained unauthorized changes and was set aside), but the collation adopted by the Board of Managers in 1858, and printed in 1860 and since. See the Report of the Committee on Versions is the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, for February, 1859.

[19]I would remark, that all the changes and improvements above proposed have the hearty approval of Dr. Lange The last one he has since adopted himself in his recent Commentary on Genesis.

[20]The Edinburgh translation was made from the first edition of Lange, and appeared in small octavo, large type, uniform with “Clark’s Foreign Theological Library,” Third series, vols. ix. ff., under the title: Theological and Homiletical Commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew. From the German of J. P. Lange, D. D. By the Rev. Alfred Edersheim, Ph. D., vol i., Edinburgh, 1861; vol. ii. and part of vol. iii., 1862. From a note on the back to the title page of vol. ii. it appears that the Rev. W. B. Pope translated from Matthew 20:28 to the close of the second volume. The third volume, which contains the conclusion of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, appears without the name of a translator. According to this plan, the whole Commentary of Lange on the N. T. would require at least thirty volumes of Mr. Clark’s “Library.”

[21]I have occasionally pointed out some of the omissions and errors of the Edinburgh edition, where they furnished occasion for additional explanations. See e.g. pp. 31, 37, 367, 389, 394, 396, 445, 511, 531, 533, 550.

[22]Compare pp. 18, 33, 34, 121, 180 f., 203–208, 228, 239, 256–260, 267, 293–297, 339, 353 f., 381 f., 449, 454–458, 467 f. 471–475, 519–522, 555–566, etc.

[23]Dr. Lange could not make use of this very important discovery, which will hereafter figure largely in the critical apparatus of future editions of the Greek Testament, although it will not materially disturb the principles and results of modern criticism. Tischendorf (Prolegg., p. xxx. sqq.) regards the Sinaitic MS., which he was so fortunate as to discover on Mount Sinai, and which he published under the liberal patronage of the Russian government, as the oldest copy extant, older even than the famous Vatican MS., and Bäumlein, Meyer and Wieseler agree, while Hilgenfeld objects. It is moreover the only complete uncial MS., and contains the whole Bible of the O. and N. T. Compare the Addenda at the close of this volume. The Sinaitic Bible generally agrees with Codd. B., D., L., T. (T. is Codex Borgianus, at Rome, of the fifth century, and contains only a few fragments, John 6–8.), X. (Codex Monacensis, parts of the four Gospels), Z. (Dublinensis, a palimpsest, the greater part of Matthew), over against Cod. A. (Alexandrinus) and the great majority of later uncial and cursive manuscripts, while Cod. C. (Ephraemi Syri) occupies a position of its own. With all its great value the Sinaitic Manuscript abounds in blunders owing to the ignorance and carelessness of the transcriber. This shows the great importance of the vast number and variety of manuscripts of the Bible, which far exceeds in amount that of any other ancient book in the world. Comp. Wieseler on the Sinait. MS., in the Studien und Kritiken for 1864, p. 399.

[24]I was so fortunate as to have access, in the Library of the American Bible Union of New York, to the printed editions of these important manuscripts, which are far preferable to the imperfect collations of former critics, and the mere references often faulty in the apparatus of Greek Testaments. For fuller information on these and other Codices I must refer the reader to the ample Prolegomena of Tischendorf to his seventh critical edition of the N. T. 1859, and to his edition of Cod. Sinaiticus, 1863; also to the Prolegomena of Alford, Commentary, vol. i., 4th ed, 1859, Matthew 7, p. 102 ff, and to Scrivener’s Introduction to the Criticism of the N. T., 1861.

[25] [The Theol. and Homil. Commentary on the Old Testament which is included in the plan of Dr. Lange’s Bibel work, and will follow that on the New T.—P. S.]

[26][This long list of books is reduced in the Edinb. trsl. to a few lines, without division of subjects.—P. S.]

[27] Systemat. Entwicklung aller in der Dogmatik vorkommenden Begriffo.

[28] Comp. Lange’s Philosophische Dogmatik, p. 540 sqq.

[29] [Dr. Lange’s distinction between untergeordnet, überqeordnet, gleichgeordnet, and beigeordnet cannot be fully rendered, but is more clearly expressed above than in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[30] [Dr. Lange uses here the unusual term: geisthaft, as opposed to leibhaft, and with a shade of difference from geistig or intellectual, geistlich or spiritual, and geisterhaft or ghost-like. The antithesis is dear enough.—P. S.]

[31] [This whole section is omitted in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[32][Der schreibkundigste, the best penman. The Edinb. trsl. mistakes the sense in rendering this: the best educated. Dr. Lange refers simply to the mechanism of writing, in which Matthew, as a former collector of customs, by constant practice, had acquired more case and skill than the other Apostles, who were fishermen. As to natural talent and education, Peter, Paul, and John were undoubtedly his superiors. Luke also had more learning, being a physician by profession, and a superior Greek scholar.—P. S.]

[33] [The chronological dates assigned to the apostolic writings by Dr. Lange slightly differ in three or four instances from those adopted in my History of the Apostolic Church. Of some books it is impossible accurately to ascertain the time of composition.—P. S.]

[34][Omitted in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[35] [This last and all the following sections from 1–8 till § 4, are omitted in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[36] [We add a more complete list of distinguished deceased American preachers, selected almost entirely from Dr. W. B. Sprague’s Annals of the American Pulpit, arranged by denominations and in chronological order. The list is, of course, very incomplete, and a number of very eloquent and useful men are omitted, because they published nothing, or were poorly educated. The most eloquent preachers in the list are put in italics; those marked (*) have left behind them one or more volumes of sermons; those marked () have left nothing except in pamphlet form.—P. S.]


* Thomas Hooker Died, 1647.

* Benjamin Wadsworth Died, 1737.

* Benjamin Coleman, D. D. Died, 1747.

* Jonathan Edwards Died, 1758.

John Hooker Died, 1777.

Samuel Cooper, D. D. Died, 1783.

Joseph Bellamy, D. D. Died, 1790.

Peter Thatcher, D. D Died, 1802.

* Charles Backus, D. D Died, 1803.

* David Tappan, D. D . Died, 1803.

* Nathan Strong, D. D Died, 1816.

* Timothy Dwight, D. D. Died, 1817.

* Jesse Appleton, D. D Died, 1819.

Samuel Spring, D. D. Died, 1819.

* Joseph Lathrop, D. D. Died, 1820.

* Samuel Worcester, D. D. Died, 1821.

* David Osgood, D. D. Died, 1822.

* Edward Payson, D. D. Died, 1827.

* Ebenezer Porter, D. D. Died, 1834.

* Nathaniel Emmons, D. D. Died, 1840.

Leonard Woods, D. D. Died, 1854.

* Joshua Bates, D. D. Died, 1854.

* Lyman Beecher, D. D. Died, 1863.


* Jonathan Dickinson. Died, 1747.

Aaron Burr. Died, 1757.

* Samuel Davies. Died, 1761.

* Gilbert Tennent. Died, 1764.

Samuel Finley, D. D. Died, 1766.

* Jonathan Parsons. Died, 1776.

* John Witherspoon, D. D. Died, 1794.

Samuel Büell, D. D. Died, 1798.

John Blair Smith, D. D. Died, 1799.

John Blair Linn, D. D. Died, 1804.

* Samuel Stanhope Smith, D. D., LL. D. Died, 1819.

* Sylvester Larned. Died, 1820.

* John B. Romeyn, D. D. Died, 1825.

* John Mitchell Mason, D. D. Died, 1829.

John Holt Rice, D. D. Died, 1831.

* William Nevins, D. D. Died, 1835.

* Edward Dorr Griffin, D. D. Died, 1837.

* Daniel A. Clark. Died, 1840.

John Breckenridge, D. D. Died, 1841.

* James Richards, D. D. Died, 1843.

* Ashbel Green, D. D . Died, 1848.

Samuel Miller, D. D. Died, 1850.

* Archibald Alexander, D. D. Died, 1851.

* Erskine Mason, D. D. Died, 1851.

* Ichabod Smith Spencer, D. D. Died, 1854.

* Philip Lindsley, D. D. Died, 1855.

* James W. Alexander, D. D. Died, 1859.

Nicholas Murray, D. D. Died, 1861.

* Jos. Addison Alexander, D. D. Died, 1860.


Samuel Johnson, D. D. Died, 1772.

* Rt. Rev. Samuel Seabury, D. D. Died, 1796.

Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D. Died, 1830.

* Gregory Townsend Bedell, D. D. Died, 1834.

* Rt. Rev. William White, D. D. Died, 1836.

Samuel Farmar Jarvis, D. D., LL. D. Died, 1851.


* Samuel Stillman, D. D. Died, 1807.

* Jonathan Maxcy, D. D. Died, 1820.

Richard Furman, D. D. Died, 1825.

Thomas Baldwin, D. D. Died, 1826.

William Staughton, D. D. Died, 1829.

* William Theophilus Brantley, D. D. Died, 1845.

* Wm. Parkinson. Died, 1848.

Spencer H. Cone. Died, 1855.


* Thomas Coke, LL. D. Died, 1804.

Francis Asbury. Died, 1816.

* John Summerfield. Died, 1825.

Wilbur Fisk, D. D. Died, 1839.

* Henry Bidleman Bascum, D. D. Died, 1850.

* Stephen Olin, D. D., LL. D. Died, 1851.

Elijah Hedding, D. D. Died, 1852.

* William Capers, D. D. Died, 1855.


* Theodore Jacobus Freling-huysen. Died, 1751.

* William Linn, D. D. Died, 1808.

John N. Abeel, D. D. Died, 1812.

John Henry Livingston. D. D. Died, 1825.

John Melanchthon Bradford, D. D. Died, 1826.

John De Witt, D. D. Died, 1831.

Philip Milledoler, D. D. Died, 1852.

Jacob Brodhead, D. D. Died, 1855.


Michael Schlatter. Died, 1790.

* Charles Becker, D. D. Died, 1818.

* Augustus Rauch, P. D. Died, 1841.


Henry Melchior Mühlenberg. Died, 1787.

Justus Henry Christian Helmuch, D. D. Died, 1833.

Carl Rudolph Demme, D. D. Died, 1863.


James McKinney. Died, 1804.

* Alexander McLeod, D. D. Died, 1833.

Gilbert MeMasher, D. D. Died, 1854.


* James Gray. D. D. Died. 1824.

* Alexander Proud fit, D. D. Died, 1843.

J. M. Duncan, D. D. Died, 1851.


* Jonathan Mayhew, D. D. Died, 1766.

* John Clarke, D. D. Died, 1798.

* Joseph Stephens Buck-minster. Died, 1812.

* Samuel Cooper Thacher. Died, 1817.

* Abiel Abbott, D. D. (of Beverly). Died, 1828.

* James Freeman, D. D. Died, 1835.

John Thornton Kirkland, D. D. Died, 1840.

* William Ellery Channing. D. D. Died, 1842.

* Henry Ware, Jr. D. D. Died, 1843.

* Francis William Pilt Greenwood, D. D. Died, 1843.

* W. B. O. Peabody, D. D. Died, 1847.

[37][Omitted in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[38][Omitted in the Edinb. trsl.—P. S.]

[39] [This Table is likewise omitted in the Edb. trsl. But as it belongs to the homiletical character of this Commentary and is frequently referred to in the Homiletical sections, we have retained it with the exception of the Apostles Days, and Days of the Virgin Mary, which are very rarely observed among Protestants. The old series of Gospels and Epistles is essentially the same in the Rom. Cath., Luth., Episcop., and Germ. Reform. Churches with a few variations. Compare the Tables in the Episc. Common Prayer Book, in the Germ. Ref. Liturgy of 1857, pp. 30–33, and in many Lutheran and Reformed Liturgies and Hymn Books.—P. S.]

[40] [This and the following Latin titles are the initial words of the introductory Latin Psalms appointed for these several Sundays in the Latin Church.—P. S.]

[41]For other derivations of the name, see Winer’s Bibl. Real-Wörterbuch.

[42]The legend runs, that one of the attendants of Hirtacus, king of Ethiopia, murdered Matthew, by piercing him through the back while at prayer. The revenge of the king was prompted by the conversion of Ægyppus, his predecessor on the throne, who with his whole family, had adopted Christianity in consequence of the preaching of Matthew.

[43][This whole section is omitted in the Edinb. edition.—P. S.]

Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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