Freethought Archives > Walter R. Cassels > Supernatural Religion 


Part 6, Chapter 2 (concl'd) (pp. 829-850)

[829:5] It is argued from the oidamen of Jn. 20:2 that there were others with her, although they are not named.

[829:7] Mark 16:4; Luke 24:2; John 20:1.

[830:2] Compare his description with Dan. 10:6. It is worthy of consideration also that when Daniel is cast into the den of lions a stone is rolled upon the mouth of the den, and sealed with the signet of the king and his lords (6:17).

[832:2] Keim, Jesu v. Nazara, iii., p. 522.

[832:3] Ib., iii. 522, anm. 1.

[832:4] Mark 16:4. The continuation, "for it was very great" (ên gar megas sphodra), is peculiar, but of course intended to represent the difficulty of its removal.

[833:1] Luke 24:3-9, 11. It is unnecessary to say that verse 12 is a later interpolation.

[834:1] From the use of this plural, as we have already pointed out, it is argued that there were others with Mary who are not named. This by no means follows, but if it were the case the peculiarity of the narrative becomes all the more apparent.

[835:2] This is the reading of the Vatican and Sinaitic Codices, besides D and many other important MSS.

[838:1] We omit kai apo melissiou kêriou, which is not found in the most ancient codices.

[838:2] The statement in 24:44, however, is suggestive as showing how the fulfilment of the Prophets and Psalms is in the mind of the writer. We have seen how much this idea influenced the account of the Passion in the Gospels.

[841:1] Cf. p. 538 f.

[842:1] Dr. Farrar makes the following remarks on this point: "The oi de edistasan of Matt. 28:17 can only mean "but some doubted" - not as Wetstein and others take it, whether they should worship or not, but respecting the whole scene. All may not have stood near to Him, and even if they did, we have seen in four previous instances (Matt. 28:17; Luke 24:16, 37; John 21:4) that there was something unusual and not instantly recognisable in His resurrection body. At any rate, here we have another inestimable proof of the candour of the Evangelists, for there is nothing to be said in favour of the conjectural emendation oude" (Life of Christ, ii. 445, note 1).

[842:2] This is supposed to be a reference to Daniel 7:14.

[843:1] Dr. Farrar, without explanation or argument, boldly asserts the presence of the 500 (Life of Christ, ii. 445).

[843:2] Dean Alford, whilst admitting that it is fruitless to attempt a harmony of the different accounts, curiously adds: "...Hence the great diversity in this portion of the narrative: and hence I believe much that is now dark might be explained, were the facts themselves, in their order of occurrence, before us. Till that is the case (and I am willing to believe that it will be one of our delightful employments hereafter, to trace the true harmony of the Holy Gospels, under His teaching of whom they are the record), we must be content to walk by faith, and not by sight" (Gk. Test on John, 20:1-29, i., p. 905).

[844:2] The last phrase, "and was carried up into heaven," kai anepherto eis ton ouronon, is suspected by Griesbach, omitted by Tischendorf, and pronounced inauthentic by some critics. The words are not found in the Sinaitic Codex and D, but are in the great majority of the oldest MSS., including the Alexandrian and Vatican, C, F, H, K, L, M, S, U, V, etc. The preponderance of authority is greatly in their favour. Compare also Acts 1:2.

[845:3] The testimony of the Epistle of Barnabas (chapter 15) does not agree with this.

[846:1] Gen. 5:24; Ecclesiasticus 44:16, 49:14; Heb. 11:5.

[846:2]2 Kings 2:11; Ecclesiasticus 48:9, 11.

[846:3] Strauss, Das Leben Jesu, p. 618.

[846:4] Cf. Fortnightly Review, 1877, p. 502 f.

[846:5] ... nethous aiphnidion huper auton stantos aphanizetai kata tinos pharangos.  Antiq. Jud., 4:8, § 48.

[847:1] Farrar, Life of Christ, ii. 432, note 1.

[847:2] "Professor Westcott, with his usual profundity and insight, points out the differences of purpose in the narrative of the four Evangelists. St. Matthew dwells chiefly on the majesty and glory of the Resurrection; St. Mark, both in the original part and in the addition (Mark 16:9-20), insists upon it as a fact; St. Luke, as a spiritual necessity; St. John, as a touchstone of character (Introd., 310-315)" (Farrar, ib., ii. 432, note 1). Dr. Westcott says: "The various narratives of the Resurrection place the fragmentariness of the Gospel in the clearest light. They contain difficulties which it is impossible to explain with certainty, but there is no less an intelligible fitness and purpose in the details peculiar to each account … It is necessary to repeat these obvious remarks, because the records of the Resurrection have given occasion to some of the worst examples of that kind of criticism from which the other parts of the Gospels have suffered, though not in an equal degree. It is tacitly assumed that we are in possession of all the circumstances of the event, and thus, on the one hand, differences are urged as fatal, and, on the other, elaborate attempts are made to show that the details given can be forced into the semblance of a complete and connected narrative. The true critic will pause before he admits either extreme" (Int. to the Study of the Gospels, 4th ed., p. 329, 331).

[850:1] Matt. 17:1 f.; cf. Mark 9:2 f., Luke 9:28 f. Nothing could be more instructive than a careful comparison of the three narratives of this occurrence and of the curious divergencies and amplifications of a common original introduced by successive editors.

[850:3] We need not here speak of the use of the verb horaô.

Return to Pt 6, Ch 2 (concl'd)      Return to Contents