« PreviousContinue »
I testify of it, that its works are evil.
8. Go ye unto the feast: I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled.
9. And having said these things unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
But when his brethren were gone up unto the feast, then he went also up, not publicly, but as
in Secret. . ΙΙ.
The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said: Where is he?
And there was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him, some said: He is a good man; others said: Not so, but he leadeth the multitude astray.
13. Howbeit no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
το. Ως δε ανέβησαν οι αδελφοί αυτού εις την εορτήν, τότε και αυτός ανέβη, ου φανερώς, αλλά ως έν κρυπτο
Οι ούν Ιουδαίοι εζήτουν αυτόν εν τη εορτή, και έλεγον: Πού έστιν εκείνος;
12. Και γογγυσμός περί αυτού ήν πολύς εν τοις όχλοις, οι μεν έλεγον: "Ότι αγαθός εστιν: άλλοι δε έλεγον: Ού, αλλά πλανά τον όχλον.
13. Ουδείς μέντοι παρρησία ελάλει περί αυτού, διά τον φόβον τών Ιουδαίων.
In the fourth verse B has ζητεί αυτό. This is followed by the Sahidic and Bohairic versions. The other authorities have the reading ζητεί αυτός. In Verse eight, X, D, K, M, and I have ουκ αναβαίνω. This reading is adopted by the Vulgate, the Sinaitic palimpsest Syriac, the Curetonian Syriac, the Bohairic, Armenian and Ethiopian versions. Ούπω αναβαίνω is found in B, L, T, X, Γ, Δ, Λ, et al. It is also adopted by the Gothic, Sahidic and Peshitto versions.
It is long since we have heard the voice of John in the Gospel narrative. The lacuna extends from the discourse on the Eucharist in the synagogue of Capharnaum, about the paschal time in the month of March, up to the near approach of the Feast of Tabernacles in the month of October. The synoptists have given us the events of this period.
In the first verse of the chapter, John simply states that Jesus, withdrawing from the plots of his enemies in Judæa, dwelt in Galilee, but he says nothing of the Galilean campaign, but only resumes the narrative when Jesus is preparing to go up to Jerusalem. John wrote for the special object explained in our introduction, and it was to his purpose to omit much of the data which he knew had been transmitted by the synoptists.
When it was time for Jesus to die, he came forth, and offered himself up, but until that time he employed prudence, and took the ordinary precautions to avoid danger. He must form his school, and give his code to the world before he died, and this required that his life should be prolonged up to a certain fixed time.
The Feast of Tabernacles is described in Leviticus XXIII. 33-43. It began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, corresponding to our month of October, and lasted seven days. Then on the eighth day there was a closing festival, and all servile work was prohibited. During the seven days of the feast the Jews were commanded to dwell in booths, in commemoration of their exodus through the wilderness. What changes may have taken place in these observances in post-exilic times we are unable to determine.
During the days of this feast a vast concourse of Jews assembled in Jerusalem. The brethren of Jesus urge him to seize this opportunity to manifest himself publicly to the world. They argue very speciously, as though his line of conduct were in contradiction to his profession. He laid claim to be the Redeemer of the world, the Light of the world, the great Messiah who should occupy the eternal throne of David. Hence they argue that he must come out upon the public stage, and make men recognize him in his true character.
These men judged as men of the world judge; their thoughts were worldly thoughts. They could not understand the life of him who must be immolated, and rise again, before he would be proclaimed to the world. It is the old story; the world does not understand the life of Jesus, nor the lives of his true followers. Tell a man of this world that it is better to be poor than to be rich, and he will clutch his gold, and pity you as a silly fool or as a madman.
We do not realize how irreligious we have become, and how unreal the Gospel of Jesus Christ has grown in our daily lives. The mighty power of environment draws us irresistibly with it. Men all about us are active, and the goal of their activity is some part or factor of this world. To live among them, and to be unlike them requires a moral reserve fund which few possess. We mingle with the throng, become interested in its aims, and for the most part, go with it. As Coleridge says: “A far more consummate sanctity must that be which can mix freely and easily with the crowd, and condescend thoroughly to its ways, and not only remain pure as the sunbeam that pierces the foulest dungeon, but be also a source of light and moral health and renovation to all around it.” Our whole nature desires to live in a world that it can see, whose goods are present. The examples of others about us foster this tendency. It seems to be a part of our very selves, and that to divest ourselves of it, we should need to suffer death; and it is hard to die. We live on with the chill of spiritual death upon our souls, while our life and its energies flow out to this world. And our lives become paltry and narrow; noble impulses die within us, and the maelstrom of selfishness sucks us in, and engulfs us.
In the Holy Scriptures the brethren of the Lord are mentioned in Matt. XII. 46, XIII. 55; Mark III. 31, VI. 3; Luke VIII. 20; John II. 12, VII. 5; Acts I. 14; II. Cor. IX. 5. According to SS. Matthew and Mark, they were named James, Joseph or Joses, Simeon, and Jude; and these same Evangelists speak also of Jesus' sisters, though they are not designated by name (Matt. XIII. 55; Mark VI. 3.). St. Matthew designates one of the holy women who stood at the foot of the cross as Mary, the mother of James and Joses (Matt. XXVII. 56.). St. Mark XV. 40, declares her the mother of James the Less and of Joses. St. Luke, XXIV. 10, mentions her as the mother of James. In all the lists of the Apostles three names are invariably grouped, James of Alphæus, Jude of James, and Simeon. In Matthew and Mark Jude is called Thaddæus or Lebbæus. That the relationship indicated by
(8) Gosp. III
John VII. 1-13 the genitive του Ιακώβου is that of brother is proven by the fact that in the opening verse of his Epistle, Jude declares himself to be the brother of James. Though by such genitive paternity is usually signified, the great fame of James justified its use in these instances to indicate collateral kinship of the first degree.
Flavius Josephus, Ant. XXIX. I, declares that about the year 62 “James, the brother of him who is called the Christ, was put to death.” Eusebius relates the testimony of Hegesippus that “ James the brother of the Lord was first bishop of Jerusalem, and that he was slain by the Jews" (H. E. II. 23.). Hegesippus collected his data about the year 162.
In the Fourth Book of his History, chap. XXII., Eusebius on the authority af Hegesippus declares that “after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as our Lord had for the same reason, Simeon, the son of Cleophas our Lord's uncle, was appointed the second bishop, whom all proposed as the cousin of our Lord.”
The manner in which these persons are mentioned by Hegesippus clearly evinces that the term brother was applied to cousins. There is no evidence, however, to prove that James and Simeon were brothers.
In speaking of Jude, Eusebius, H. E. III. 20, affirms that he was called the brother of the Lord. Had he been so in the strict sense, it would be without sense to speak of such an appellation in such manner. It is evident that the writer conveys by this statement that the common usage was to give Jude an appellation which was not to be taken in the strict
The Apocryphal Gospel of James, and the Apocryphal Gospel of Peter affirm that the brethren of Jesus were sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage with Melcha or Escha. Tertullian's opinion is very obscure: Jerome believes that he opposed the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God.
Clement of Alexandria (Migne, Patrol. G. IX. 731-734,) declares that Jude was the son of Joseph. He seems to follow here the Apocryphal Gospels.
Origen (In Matt. XIII. 55; In Luke Hom. VII.; In Joan. I. 6) affirms that the brethren of Jesus are the sons of Joseph.
Origen is very pronounced in asserting the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Jesus. In a fragment of his Seventh Homily on Luke preserved for us in the translation of St. Jerome, after forcibly condemning the heresy of those who say that Mary was repudiated by St. Joseph, he concludes: “Moreover they who say that Mary had carnal intercourse after the birth of Christ can not prove what they say. For they who are called the sons of Joseph were not born of Mary; neither is there any Scripture which affirms it."
St. Hilary (Comment. in Matt. I. 3-4) inveighs bitterly against the impious and perverse men who respect not Mary's perpetual virginity. He declares that the persons said by these to be Mary's children, are children of St. Joseph by a former marriage.
In the formula of faith employed at Antioch in the second century, and in the exposition of the Apostles' Creed given by St. Athanasius, Mary is called keltrap évos.
Toward the end of the fourth century, many in extolling virginity, set too low an estimate on the sanctity of marriage. St. Jerome himself was drawn into this excess. A reaction soon set in, and to rehabilitate marriage, men pretended that the Mother of God had been the mother of a family. St. Epiphanius (Adv. Hæres. LXXVIII. 1.) attributes this error to Apollinaris. The error passed into Arabia and was accepted by the Antidicomarianites, a sect which had formed out of an attempt to oppose the Collyridians, who gave an excessive worship to Mary. In the East, Epiphanius took up the defense of the perpetual virginity of Mary, while Jerome refuted Helvidius at Rome in his treatise "De Perpetua Virginitate Mariæ adversus Helvidium,” which remains the classic work on the subject.
A few years later a Roman monk named Jovinian strove again to defend Helvidius' thesis. From Bethlehem Jerome wrote against him. St. Ambrose also refuted him. Jovinian was condemned in a synod of bishops at Milan. Pope Siricius ratified the condemnation, and excommunicated Jovinian. The following year a council at Capua condemned Bonosus, a bishop of Sardica, in Illyria, for the same errors.