An Introduction to the New Testament

By Adolf Jülicher


Chapter 1 - Section 25


§ 25. The Gospel according to Matthew

[For books to be consulted see §§ 23 and 24. For special commentaries see H. A. W. Meyer, i. 1, by B. Weiss (1899), and P. Schanzʼs ʽKommentar tiber das Evangelium des heiligen Matthäusʼ (1870). The author of this last is probably the most thorough and unprejudiced exegete that the Roman Catholic Church possesses at the present day. For the points discussed in paragraph 5, see W. Soltauʼs article in the ʽZeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft,ʼ part i., 1900, entitled ʽZur Entstehung des ersten Evangeliumsʼ (pp. 219-248).]

1. The Gospel of Matthew was used, though anonymously, by most of the Christian writers of the second century. But considering the freedom of quotation of those days, it is hardly possible, nor is it worth while, to make a list of authors who can be proved to have been acquainted with Matthew. As far as we know, the authorship of the Gospel by the Apostle Matthew was never once questioned. It was universally held to be the oldest, and Eusebius for one has details of its origin to give us,1 to the effect that when Matthew was going on to preach to other peoples after leaving the Jews, he left behind him his Gospel, in the mother tongue, as a substitute for his own personal ministration. Origen (about 240) was already aware that the Gospel had been written for the converted Jews, and Irenaeus speaks of its being written in Palestine at the time when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome. But the special emphasis laid by all these critics on the words ʽwritten in the Hebrew tongueʼ betrays the source whence all their knowledge springs, namely Papias.2¯ Papias is quoted by Eusebius in his ʽHistoria ecclesiasticaʼ3 in the following terms: ʽMatthew wrote down the Sayings in the Hebrew tongue, and everyone translated them for himself as best he could. I consider it to be beyond dispute that Papias was here giving information concerning what is now our First Gospel, and that he regarded it as a Greek version of a Gospel written in Hebrew by the Apostle Matthew. I think it probable, too, that if he owed his information to the ʽPresbyter,ʼ the latter understood the same thing by it as he himself, and that when Papias inquired of him as to Matthewʼs book he and his questioner were not talking at cross purposes. Nevertheless, although the fact seems highly favourable to this view that in Matt. ix. 9-18 the call of the publican Matthew to the ranks of the disciples is told at particular length,4 while in the parallels to this passage5 the name of the publican is given as Levi, it at once gives rise to the gravest objections. The Gospel according to Matthew as we have it to-day cannot possibly be the translation of a Hebrew original. Not only does its clear and fluent Greek, which is much less tinged with Hebrew than that of Mark, forbid such an assumption, but the writer frequently makes use of such forms as the genitive absolute, subordinate clauses and the antithesis of μέν and δέ, while the uniformity of style and vocabulary displayed by the whole Gospel is such as no ordinary translator could have attained to.6 Even plays on Greek words, like that of xxiv. 30—κόψονται καὶ ὄψονται— are to be met with. It is true that part of the Old Testament quotations are taken from the Hebrew text (e.g. in xiii. 35a for ʽI will utter things hidden from the beginning of the worldʼ we have ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς . instead of the Septuagint rendering φθέγξομαι προβλήματα ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, while on the other hand 35b¯ corresponds word for word with the Septuagint7), but part of them are also identical with the Septuagint renderings, particularly in cases where the Masoretic text would be of no use, and where the whole story depends upon the Greek—e.g. xxi. 16, where we read with the Septuagint ʽOut of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise,ʼ as against the Hebrew version ʽThrough the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast established might [or a bulwark].ʼ8 Finally, we shall show later on that Matthew reproduces older Greek authorities practically without modification, and for anyone possessing sane common sense this should surely settle the question of its original language once and for all.

I certainly do not wish, however, to dispute the writerʼs knowledge of the Hebrew idiom, although many of the instances brought forward to prove it—such as the word-play on ʽmaster of the houseʼ and ʽBeelzebubʼ in x. 25—should rather be laid to the score of Jesus than to that of the Evangelist, while I am not prepared to think that he was the first and only writer who interpreted the Hebrew name ʽJesusʼ as that of ʽthe Saviour.ʼ But Old Testament quotations like that of xxvii. 9 do betray the Hebrew student, though not—especially when one thinks of Paul, Mark, John!—the Hebrew writer. Nor does the statement of Irenaeus, that the heretical Jewish Christians known as Ebionites and Nazarenes used the Gospel of Matthew alone, of which he believed the Church to possess a Greek version, take us any further, for we may doubt whether Irenaeus ever saw this Hebrew Gospel of the Ebionites, and perhaps he merely concluded on the authority of Papias that it must be identical with Matthew. Jerome, who displayed a scientific interest in the Gospel according to the Hebrews (τὸ εὐανγνγέλιου καθ’ Ἑβραίους), of which he found a copy in the library of Caesarea, expressly states that this was the Hebrew foundation of the Canonical Matthew, and such an identification would not have been displeasing to the Jewish Christians. But the very fact that Jerome claims to have made both a Greek and a Latin translation of the Gospel according to the Hebrews shows that there must have been considerable differences between it and Matthew, otherwise such a task would not have been worth while. And indeed the fragments —unfortunately all too few—that still remain to us of the Gospel to the Hebrews9 differ so markedly from Matthew, both in form and matter, that we cannot even accept the theory that both works were based upon a common Hebrew foundation, recast in the one case in the interests of the Church universal, and in the other in those of the Judaistic party.

Are we, then, to ignore the Papias tradition altogether? Schleiermacher has gained wide acceptance for an hypothesis of compromise, according to which this statement of Papias did not refer to our First Gospel at all, but to an older document, possibly made use of by its author and consisting merely in a collection of Logia. He contends that the ʽPresbyterʼ was speaking only of Logia, that is of sayings, and that this was a title wholly inapplicable to a Gospel containing so much narrative matter as Matthew. It is certainly true that Papias had just defined the contents of Mark as ʽthat which Jesus spoke or didʼ (ἦ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα), and that this sounds like a conscious differentiation between Mark and the more limited work of Matthew; true, too, that the words ἡρμήνευσε δ’ αὐτά produce the impression that Papias was speaking of oral translation as occasion or necessity arose, and especially in connection with the reading aloud in the Church services. But Papias is not really so very precise in his definitions, for three lines farther on in his passage about Mark he speaks only of ʽsayings of the Lordʼ (κυριακοὶ λόγοι) even in his case, while on a closer examination we are bound to consider the ἑρμηνεία in the case of Matthew as written and not oral. The point of the statement would be wholly mistaken if we supposed that any special stress was laid on the object, τὰ λόγια,, or even on the predicate συνεγράψατο; the stress lies, on the contrary, solely on the words ἑβραΐδι ι διαλέκτῳ. By the words τὰ λόγια, the contents of Matthewʼs book are at once briefly summarised, a parte potiori, and solemnly characterised as oracles, such as form the content of the historical books of the Old Testament. Matthewʼs authorship is taken for granted, but the problem remained to be solved as to how the world came to possess a Greek work from the hand of the Jewish tax-gatherer. The answer was that he himself had written it in his mother-tongue, but that others—obscure, unknown men —had translated it into Greek. A certain shade of depreciation lies in the word ʽeveryoneʼ as well as in the ʽas best he couldʼ; both expressions are meant to imply the inferiority of the translation. It would, however, be a hasty inference to say that the speaker had really known many different versions; he might at most have concluded something of the sort from the complaints of others as to the great discrepancies apparent in the material of what the Christians circulated as their ʽGospel.ʼ Papias—or his informant—was measuring Matthew as well as Mark against a Norm-Gospel, which can scarcely have been other than John; he could not deceive himself as to the differences between them, nor could he venture simply to dispute the authority of the others, and therefore he makes an indirect attack upon them: certainly, he implies, he has not a word to say against Peter or against Matthew, but, after all, their Gospels did not faithfully express the Apostles themselves, but only the work, carried out as it was under different conditions, of their interpreters.

With this admission our informant has already deprived the Matthew of the Greek Church of direct Apostolic origin. Here he is quite right, for a work which we shall show to be dependent upon various authorities, some of which were themselves not at first hand, cannot indeed be from the pen of an Apostle, of one of the Twelve: but, as a matter of fact, the book nowhere sets up the smallest claim to Apostolic authorship. It is, of course, possible that the markedly legendary features of the narrative might have been preserved to us by an Apostle as well as by anyone else—perhaps even those of the birth-story—if he had himself received them from others. But the arrangement of the Gospel is so artificial, so lacking in the unimportant traits, the sure pegs on which all kinds of detail depend that are never lost to the memory of an eyewitness (for where Mark and Luke can still give the names of individual persons concerned, such as those of Jairus10 and of Bartimeus,11 Matthew contents himself with a colourless ʽa centurion,ʼ ʽtwo blind menʼ)—lastly, it would be so unnatural that the narrator should have withdrawn himself so completely from the circle of characters moving through the Gospel—no ʽIʼ or ʽwe!ʼ—that we cannot believe this book to have been the work of a disciple.

Does this result, however, deprive the Papias tradition of all its value? I think not. Hebrew speech and imperfect translation may have been invention with a purpose by the Presbyter, but all the more firmly does the name of Matthew cling to this Gospel; the Presbyter found it already existing there, and did not venture to make any attack upon this older tradition. It is true that this tradition itself may be founded on error, but anyone who was enthusiastic enough to seek an Apostolic label for an anonymous Gospel circulating in the first century—for we must be prepared to go back as far as that—would scarcely have hit upon the name of an Apostle so little known as Matthew without definite cause. He would have been far more likely to ascribe it to Peter in view of the brilliant rōle assigned to him in xvi. 18 fol. and xvii. 24-27. All existing facts, including the interest shown by the author in Matthew in ix. 9 and x. 8, are best explained on the supposition that peculiar relations existed between this Gospel and Matthew, that the author actually used a collection of Logia made by Matthew as the foundation for his book, and that since he had not his own personal glory so much at heart as the influence of his Gospel, he recommended this latter to his fellow-believers as a Greek version, made according to his ability, of the old Matthew. If Papiasʼs Presbyter knew, on the one hand, of the existence of a Hebrew collection of Logia with Matthew for author, and, on the other, had learnt to regard our first Greek Gospel as the Gospel of Matthew, the combination mentioned by Eusebius would have been the most natural thing in the world to him, who had probably never read the Hebrew text, and in any case believed that he possessed a higher and more spiritual tradition than either Peter or Matthew. However uncritical it may be, then, to insist, in defiance of all appearances and solely on the testimony of Papias, upon an original Hebrew Matthew, it is no less reasonable and safe to recognise a Hebrew collection of Logia made by Matthew as one of the chief constituents of this Gospel—provided, indeed, that when we come to examine the Synoptic authorities we are led by a quite independent road to admit the existence of Hebrew Logia of Apostolic origin. The danger of ranging the ἕκαστος-hermeneutist, with his sometimes inadequate δυνατόν, too close to the disciple Matthew cannot exist for us, unless we wish to prove ourselves σμικρότεροι τὸν νοῦν than the literary historians, in dealing with Eusebius ii. 39.

2. Since we must derive all our knowledge, except the name by which it was known in the Church, from the Gospel itself, we shall first try to determine the date of its composition, of which the ancient world knew nothing. Here we cannot take the comparatively numerous passages into account in which the Holy City is assumed to be still untouched and the service of the Temple still continuing. These are all sayings of Jesus himself, which the author reproduces faithfully according to his documents. The remarkable εὐθέως too of verse xxiv. 29, which appears to place the Last Day in close proximity to the destruction of Jerusalem, springs in like manner from an older authority and cannot be taken as evidence of the date of Matthew. If the catastrophe of Jerusalem really vibrates more powerfully through this Gospel than through any of the others, this does not prove that its author was writing in the first decade after 70 (as Harnack contends), but at most that it was more important for his purpose than for that of the other Evangelists to lay special stress upon that catastrophe. That Matthew was composed after the year 70 is conclusively proved by verse xxii. 7; for there the touch that accords so ill with the rest of the parable of the wedding-feast —the sending out of his armies by the king, roused to wrath by the neglect of his invitations, to ʽdestroy those murderers and burn their cityʼ—could scarcely have been thought of before the burning of Jerusalem. The expressions in two of the parables, ʽmy Lord tarriesʼ12 and ʽbut because the bridegroom tarried,ʼ13 show that men were already feeling that they must seriously face the question of the long delay of the Parusia, and vv. xxvii. 8 and xxviii. 15—ʽuntil this dayʼ—support the impression that the narrator feels himself separated by wide tracts of time from the events he narrates. If the external evidence forbids us to go further than the beginning of the second century, other considerations make it practically impossible to urge an earlier date; the time about the year 100 is the most probable. The general condition of the Church favours this assumption; she had become, on the one hand, a Church Universal, for we hear that the Risen One has promised her the whole of mankind— ʽmake disciples of all nations,ʼ ʽlo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the worldʼ14 (in order to weigh this utterance truly, we need but compare verse xi. 23); on the other, she sees her very existence threatened by the hatred of the powers. of this world.15 The writer is especially concerned not to give any provocation to the Roman authorities,16 and it is not without design that he draws Pilate and his wife (who is well disposed towards Jesus) in so favourable a light.17 Since the later years of Domitianʼs reign,18 Christianity had had every reason to assert its political harmlessness, and if possible to call up political personages of the past to bear witness to the fact.

But the decisive argument, in my opinion, is the religious attitude of Matthew. Though its author is so conservative in his treatment of the tradition, he is already far enough removed from it in spirit; he writes a Catholic Gospel, and his truly Catholic temper gained for his work the first place among the Gospels. A Christian who could summarise the task of the Christian missionaries in the words ʽbaptise them . . . and teach them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you,ʼ19 who is already familiar with a baptismal formula expressed in precise Trinitarian terms,20¯ can scarcely belong to the first century. Christianity, indeed, as is finely shown especially in xxv. 31-46, is still, properly, only perfect righteousness, the school of goodness and self-sacrifice, the community which accepts the new law given by Jesus—for the ethical interest prevails throughout over the dogmatic— but such a community needs a firm organisation and a clear code of laws, such as we find in xvi. 18 fol. and xvii. 15-17. In Matthewʼs eyes the community, the Church, forms the highest disciplinary authority, and is the keeper of all heavenly gifts of grace; here, in fact, we find the primitive Catholicism already complete in its fundamental features. It was the strangest mistake that criticism could commit to place this essentially Catholic Gospel first among all the evangelistic products of the early Church. The partisans of tradition might be forgiven for it, for to them the most precious is always the oldest; but in defence of criticism it can only be urged that even at the present day there are many to whom a slight tinge of Jewish colour counts as a sure sign of pre-Catholic origin, and that Hellenisation is proclaimed far too one-sidedly as the one cardinal point of distinction between primitive Christian and early Catholic theology.

3. Who the author was and to what province he belonged will probably never be known. The only certain thing is that he wrote for Greek readers who knew no Hebrew, for he translates Hebrew words to them. For instance, as early as i. 28, we have ʽEmanuel, that is, God with us.ʼ From his knowledge of the Hebrew language and Bible we may conclude that he was himself a born Jew. He is intimately acquainted with the Old Testament, and expounds it in the manner of the Palestinian scribes, without using the Alexandrian method. That in his book quotations from, or at any rate references to, the Old Testament occur much more frequently than in those of the other Evangelists—we naturally do not include here the quotations in Jesusʼ own discourses— is no mere coincidence; it hangs together with the fundamental tendency of his work, revealed as early as i. 22— ʽall this is come to pass that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet.ʼ21 Such expressions occur throughout the whole Gospel.22 Besides the main purpose common to all the Evangelists,23 it is evident that the author had in view the special purpose of showing, at every important point in his narrative, how the prophecies of holy Scripture had been fulfilled. How obviously has the account of the entry into Jerusalem24 been shaped to fit this pomt of view! Jesus asks for two animals, ʽan ass and a colt tied with her,ʼ simply in order to suit Zechariah ix. 9. The object of Matthew is, as it were, to wrest the Old Testament from unbelieving Israel and hold it up as the patron of the Christian faith. Our author did not, of course, stand alone in the Church of his day in pursuing such an object, and thus stories like that of the murder of the Innocents, which seem to have been invented merely for the purpose of reproducing Old Testament types in the history of the fulfilment, were not necessarily first imagined by him. It was the first duty of Christian theology to find out Old Testament prophecies according to which the Messiah must suffer and die, and this task was begun even before the conversion of Paul. The second would then naturally follow— that of collecting together the remaining prophecies concerning Christ and demonstrating their conformity with the actual history of Jesus. Here it would of course be all-important to refute the calumnies of the Jews against Jesus and their attacks upon his Messiahship, by the words of Scripture; hence we have xxvi. 15 and xxvii. 9 in justification of the Judas episode —Zechariah had foretold it all, down to the very details. An enormous amount of work of this kind had been done before the appearance of Matthew, and we are not in a position to decide which are his own discoveries and where he is dependent on others. At any rate the selection of them was his own affair, and thus we may at once regard as typical of Matthewʼs taste the genealogy of Jesus.25 Here the three series each containing fourteen generations (from Abraham to David, from David to the Babylonian Captivity, from the latter to Jesus) all arranged by dint of a clumsy forcing of the Old Testament data—are obviously meant to make the reader feel that the whole line has now found its consummation, and that the Seed of Abraham, the Son of David, must needs make his appearance now for the salvation of all peoples, whereas fourteen generations earlier, calamity and curse had reached their highest point.

Nothing is, however, more mistaken than to regard the Jewish Christian who clung to the Old Testament as a bigoted Israelite and an anti-Pauline. The wicked man of the parable26 who sows tares at night among the wheat has been identified with Paul, but Matthew himself identifies him with the devil.27 At first sight it might be tempting to interpret the prediction of false prophets and of increasing lawlessness (ἀνομία) among the faithful28 as directed against the law-freed Paulinism. But did not Paul himself predict with horror the revelation of the ʽlawless oneʼ?29 It is true that the Gospel contains words that have in them very little of the Pauline spirit, such as ʽGo not into any way of the Gentiles,ʼ30 and still more the dwelling on the eternal continuance of every letter of the Law in v. 17-19. In Matt. xxiv. 20 Jesus bids his disciples pray that their flight be not ʽin the winter, neither on a Sabbathʼ31 (μηδὲσαββάτῳ— possibly meaning the ʽSabbatical yearʼ?), whereas Mark fears the winter only. Matt. xvi. 17-19 seem to be intended for the sole purpose of proclaiming Peter as the representative of Christ on earth, and of denying the right of any co-ordinate authority —such as that of Paul—beside his own, within the Church; but the same writer, alone of all the Evangelists, had inserted in the story of Jesus walking on the sea32 an episode which exposes Peterʼs want of faith as clearly as that of chap. xxvi.33 exposes his cowardice during Jesusʼ trial. Are we to suppose that the severe ʽWherefore didst thou doubt?ʼ of xiv. 31 is spoken—through the lips of Jesus—by the Paul of Galatians ii. 11? Assuredly not, for the anecdote is merely meant to show that the faith of a true disciple must be able to compass all the miracles performed by Christ himself. But if the anti-Petrine bias is a delusion here, the Petrine or Jewish-Christian bias is no less so in xvi. 17-19 and, more especially, in xvii. 24-27; in this latter passage Peter merely represents the whole class of free sons of God created by Christ, while the words of the former—whatever meaning may have attached to them in the first instance—cannot have been meant by the Evangelist, who wrote long after Peterʼs death, as a distinction conferred upon Peter alone: in his eyes Peter stood for the Apostolate, for the Apostolic Church.

In chap. xxvii., moreover, we might almost detect a trace of anti-Jewish feeling in Matthew; the Gentile Pilate is represented as washing his hands in innocence of the deed, while all the people cry out: ʽHis blood be on us, and on our children!ʼ34 Matthew takes pains, in fact, to represent the High Priest and the ὄχλος as those who were breathing slaughter against Jesus. Finally, against the utterances on the side of the Law we must set others that not only attack Pharisaism and all its piety of word and formula in the sharpest way, but were also never written or spoken by a legally strict Israelite; of these we may mention the summing up of the whole of the Old Testament in the twofold commandment concerning the love of God and the love of oneʼs neighbour,35 and the saying ʽAll things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them; for this is the law and the prophets.ʼ36 Such contradictions in the same Gospel are nothing exceptional: for instance, the warning against the teaching of the Pharisees in xvi. 12 scarcely agrees with xxiii. 8, ʽall things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observeʼ—a command which seems to be already revoked in xxiii. 4, particularly in connection with xi. 29 fol. Later writers misunderstood individual sayings of Jesus; and moreover in different circumstances and from different points of view Jesus expressed himself differently about the same matter. In following his authorities, Matthew incorporated sayings of a strongly conservative stamp without difficulty, because to him it seemed obvious that, rightly explained, each of these sayings agreed perfectly with his Christianity. But wherever his own hand shows itself, one sees that his method of thought is as universalistic as it is free from the bondage of the Law. In the parable of the marriage feast37 he sees the rejection of the unbelieving Israelites and the calling of the Gentiles, and the law on the fulfilment of which everything depends, is not for him the Jewish ritual law, but the moral law, which the teaching of Jesus first led men to understand in all its fulness.

Nor is the righteousness which he prizes so highly that of which the Pharisee boasts in the parable,38 but rather that which was to be won by obedience to the commandments of Christ, and the Sermon on the Mount is intended to impart the principal substance of this Christian code. The Evangelist looks upon v. 17-19 merely as confirming the agreement between the old revelation and the new; he represents Jesus not as the depreciator of duty and service, but as the teacher who first showed men how to understand the Law and the Prophets in all their profundity and gigantic scope. The ceremonial ordinances do not enter into his thoughts: they have already disappeared from his horizon; and thus the sayings of v. 17 etc. present no difficulties to him.

Of course the Saviour was not the destroyer but the fulfiller of the Old Testament, both in his works and in his teaching (but, of the Law and the Prophets, be it observed); it is to prove this that the First Evangelist writes his Gospel; nevertheless, for the believer there can be no other authority than Jesus himself.39 There are no specifically Pauline formule in Matthew, but still less are there traces of any animosity against Paul. The writer has no part in the strifes of the Apostolic age, and to put him down as belonging to one or other of its parties is a fundamental mistake. He represents the standpoint, not of Paul, nor of Peter, nor of Apollos, nor of the Corinthian ʽmen of Christ,ʼ but of the Church, the building of which he alone foretells in the triumphant words of xvi. 18. It is no mere chance that those Judaists who separated themselves from the Catholic Church were not satisfied with this Gospel. And, indeed, it would have been the strangest irony of history if a Gospel of Judaising or Essenising tendency had so quickly conquered the hearts of all Gentile Christians as to remain to this day the principal Gospel of Christendom, the Gospel by which the picture of Jesus has been engraved on all our minds! Certainly Matthew has come to be the most important book ever written, but not through any misunderstanding or because of any mere advantages of form. It has exerted its enormous influence upon the Church because it was written by a man who bore within him the spirit of the growing Church Universal, and who, free from all party interests, knew how to write a Catholic Gospel: that is to say, a Gospel destined and fitted for all manner of believers.

4. Much, indeed, in the individuality of Matthew has favoured this triumphal progress of the First Gospel. Leaving out of account the beginning and end, it is richer in material even than Luke. The ingenious system by which the writer has made use of the numbers 38, 7, 10 or 12 for grouping together sections related either in matter or form, has remained for the most part unnoticed; on the other hand, his love for making long and homogeneous compilations, like the Sermon on the Mount, which he has put together out of all kinds of disjointed material, like the chapter of the seven parables,40¯ the discourse at the sending forth of the disciples,41 the declaration of Woe,42the discourse on the last things,43 as well as the section about the miracles of Jesus44—all these have won him the gratitude of those who care more for an arrangement calculated to aid the memory than for chronological accuracy. In telling his story Matthew hits the happy mean between circumstantial prolixity and obscure terseness; he is easy to read, for the readerʼs attention is never diverted from the matter in hand by anything artificial or striking in his form. The Hebrew colouring which comes out so abundantly (though not only, it is true, in this Gospel) in the many pleonasms like ʽand it came to pass, that,ʼ45 ʽand he answered and spakeʼ (esp. λέγων after a verbum dicendi), or in the placing of the predicate before the subject46; and the preference (peculiar to Matthew) for connecting the different sections with ʽafter these thingsʼ and ʽin that time,ʼ47 are admirably suited to the quiet, even tone in which the common folk like to have such stories told. However many written sources Matthew may have borrowed from, we must acknowledge, even without comparing them, that he has not made himself their slave, but has used them with absolute freedom, assimilating them as he thinks best. The individuality of the author makes itself so strongly felt from beginning to end both in style and tendency, in cadence and thought, that it is impossible to think of the Gospel as a mere compilation.

5. The integrity of Matthew has recently been disputed, generally with the object of weeding out later and, as it is said, interested interpolations made in the genuine ʽMatthew,ʼ or even with that of distinguishing a later ʽeditorʼ from the earlier compiler, a deutero from a proto-Matthew. The most vigorous champion of this latter view is Soltau. Harnack considers it an obvious fact that xxviii. 9 and 10 form a simple duplicate of xxviii. 5-7, due to the desire to fit an appearance at Jerusalem into the Gospel, but he also has his suspicions concerning the birth-story, the confession of Peter and the organisation of the Christian community. Soltau ascribes the following additions to the later supplementer: chaps. i. and i; all illustrative quotations, such as vv. iii. 8, iv. 14-16, etc.; those paragraphs which depend upon the arguments of such quotations, such as xxvi. 15, the stories of the ass and the colt48 and of Judas,49 and also v. 18 fol. because this latter represents the fundamental principle of illustrative quotation; Matthewʼs three Petrine legends,50 and, in the story of the Passion, xxvii. 19, 24 fol., 52 fol., the passage from xxvii. 62 to xxviii. 20. and a few isolated expressions recalling passages in the Old Testament. Soltau defends this hypothesis on the grounds that the contrast in language between the additions and the rest of the Gospel, and also in style between the discourses and the more considerable additions, demand a difference of author; that the interpolations generally disturb and interrupt the context, whereas as a rule Matthew impresses us with its uniformity of structure, and finally that the original Matthew was anti-Judaistic and undogmatic in his opinions, while on the other hand the Judaistic supplementer maintained a strictly dogmatic point of view. These observations all contain an element of truth, and only the second is somewhat wrongly stated; these ʽadditionsʼ are δευτερώσεις, later accretions, which it was beyond the skill of the Evangelist to weld into a perfect whole with the original substance of the Gospel matter; but must we therefore assume that they were interpolated as afterthoughts into the finished Gospel? This hypothesis would moreover leave but a sorry patchwork task to the Proto-Matthew, and ascribes everything with any independent stamp upon it to his later amplifier. In reality we are never forced by our First Gospel to assume the existence of two different editors—apart, of course, from those portions in which the writerʼs authorities are distinctly traceable;—it presents a whole, proceeding from a single mind, as far at least as a truly Catholic Christian of the year 100 or thereabouts could create a whole out of such materials. The theory of the Deutero-Matthew was, in fact, only brought forward to make the criticism of the Synoptics easier, for certain writers wished to assert both the dependence of Luke on Matthew and his priority before Matthew. If this is established, we must look upon Matthew as a hybrid production; but on this point we would refer our readers to §§ 28 and 29. The hybridity of Matthew, which is in a sense shared by Luke, is to be explained by the facts of religious and traditional developments, not by hypotheses of literary history alone. Under the circumstances, therefore, the mere fact that we find older and newer material intermingled in his book does not justify us in dividing the First Evangelist (the beginning and end of whose work correspond so well together) into two persons, of one of whom we could form no conception. Deutero-Matthew, moreover, must have expunged large sections of Proto-Matthewʼs work, especially his ending: why not, then, have corrected it?



1) Hist. Eccl. iii. 24, 6.

2) Died A.D. 165.

3) iii, 39, 16.

4) Of. ʽMatthew the publicanʼ in the list of the Apostles Matt. x. 3.

5) Mark ii. 14 fol.; Luke v. 27 fol.

6) E.g., τότε καὶ ἰδού, in referring to the Kingdom of Heaven, the end of the world, ete.

7) Compare also Matt. viii. 17 and Isaiah liii. 4a.

8) Cf. xi. 10, xiii. 14 fol.

9) Collected, with a critical commentary, by R. Handmann in Texte wnd Untersuchungen, v. 3, 1888, entitled Das Hebräer Evangelium.

10) Mark v. 22; Luke viii. 41.

11) Mark x. 46.

12) xxiv. 48.

13) xxv. 5.

14) xxviii. 18-20.

15) x. 17 fol.

16) xvii. 27.

17) xxvii. 11-24 and 58.

18) See pp. 212, 283.

19) xxviii. 19 fol.

20) In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

21) Is. vii. 14.

22) Note verses 5, 15, 17, 23 in chapter ii. alone.

23) See § 23, 3.

24) xxi. 1-11.

25) i. 1-17.

26) xiii. 25-28.

27) xiii. 39.

28) xxiv. 11 fol.

29) 2, Thess. ii. 8.

30) x. 5, 6 (xv. 24).

31) xxiv. 20; cf. Mark xiii. 18.

32) xiv. 28-32,

33) Cf. Mark. xiv.

34) Verses 24-26.

35) xxii. 34-40.

36) vii. 12.

37) xxii, 1-14,

38) Luke xviii. 9 fol.

39) xxviii. 19.

40) xiii.

41) Chap. x.

42) Chap. xxiii.

43) Chaps. xxiv. and xxv.

44) Chaps. viii. and ix.

45) E.g., vii. 28, xxvi. 1.

46) For instance, λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησους, xviii. 22; ἀπεκρίθησαν δὲ αἱ φρόνιμοι λέγουσαι, xxv. 9.

47) τότε, ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ.

48) xxi. 2-5.

49) xxvii. 3-10.

50) Chaps. xiv. xvi. and xvii.