Page images

John xx. 17.


Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not ; for I am not yet Jerusalem. ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say

20 Mη μоv άπтOV. Mr. Chandler would translate this, "Embrace me not, hold me not." And he produces many examples from Homer, Xenophon, and Euripides, Hec. ver. 339. avai μητρος, embrace thy mother. ̓Αναβέβηκα he would translate as a present tense, as it must mean, he says, John iii. 13. when Christ had certainly not ascended. He quotes Homer also in the first Iliad, ver. 37. for the similar use of another compound from the same primitive verb, ός Χρύσην ἀμφιβέβηκας: he would then join this, not with the preceding, but with the following sentence; and the whole sense will be, "Hold me not; for I am not yet going to ascend to my Father: but go unto my brethren, and say unto them, I do ascend (for I shall shortly ascend) unto my Father and your Father, unto my God and your God."

He brings many instances of the present tense (as avabáivo
here) being used to signify what is shortly to be done.

Vogelius has here a very ingenious conjecture of μη ου πτοου,
be not afraid, for μn μov anтov, touch me not. This approaches
so near to the traces of the letters, and, besides, so resembles
the first address of Christ to the women in Matthew, and of
the angel to the women in Matthew and Mark,
"Fear ye not,
be not affrighted;" that, if it were supported by any manu-
script authority, I should willingly adopt it. But the sacred
text should not be altered on conjecture only.

Bowyer, in his Conjectures, proposes μn pov áæтov. No;
(I am not the gardener, as you suppose ;) touch me. And for
this he quotes Paulus Bauldrius, in Neoceri Bibliotheca. But
it seems to me too researched a reading, and inconsistent with
Mary's previous recognition of Christ, in the appellation of

Koecher observes, that Michaelis proposes to make it an interrogation," Do you not touch me?" as inviting that test of his real appearance. Kypke, in his Observ. (he says) explains the passage as a prohibition of adoration until after his ascension.

On the whole, I continue to adhere to Chandler's explanation, to which I would add, that dμpibébŋkas is explained by the Pseudo Didymus, as περιβέβηκας υπερμαχεις, clearly giving it a present signification, and shewing that the other compounds of the same verb are used in the same manner. Thus too the preterpluperfect tense of the simple verb is used by Homer to denote merely past time, as equivalent to the aorist of other verbs, d' ovλvμñóvde bebŋkɛi, Il. á. 221. which the same scholiast interprets by areλnλuel, Topεún. Aristophanes has βεβήκως περι σκυμνοις, which the scholiast explains by ὑπερμάχων σκυμνοῖς.

St. John has a similar form of another compound of Baivo, used for the present tense, chap. v. ver. 24. dλλà_μeтabébŋкev ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωήν. Some of the Latin MSS. in this place translate μɛrabébŋkev by transit; and some Greek MSS. of inferior note and modern date, feeling a supposed incongruity, read μɛrabhoerai, as thinking the future more consistent with the rest of the context.

Homer has Bébŋkɛ, or Bibŋkel, in the sense of a simple, present, or past, and that in a connection, which so marks it, six or seven times, and never otherwise.-Dr. Lawrence's Remarks on Scripture, p. 73-75.


Job.xx.14. unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and Jerusalem. to my God and your God.

John xx. 18.







Mary Magdalene, when going to inform the Disciples that
Christ had risen, meets again with Salome, and the other
Mary-Christ appears to the three Women.

MATT. xxviii. 9, 10. JOHN XX. 18.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples" that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see



The Soldiers who had fled from the Sepulchre, report to
the High Priests the Resurrection of Christ.

MATT. xxviii. 11-15.

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept ".

21 That Mary Magdalene rejoined her two friends when Christ appeared to them, seems to be most probable, from comparing, Matt. xxviii. 9. with John xx. 18. Dr. Townson translates St. Matthew's words, they were going to tell [to report] to the disciples; and St. John, Mary Magdalene cometh to tell [to report] to the disciples. He speaks of her, not as arrived among them, but on her way to them.

It may be made probable too by the behaviour of the women. Mary would have told them, if she thus rejoined them, that Christ had actually appeared to her; and they would have been thereby prepared to meet him, with that composure which they seem to have done. Immediately on seeing him, they embraced his feet, and worshipped him. When the others saw him, they did not know him, and were terrified. This conduct appears to be the result of some preparatory disclosure.

22 The absurdity and folly of this story are admirably displayed in Mr. West's treatise. No complaint was made against the soldiers-no punishment inflicted on the disciples-no alarm had been given when the poor dispirited disciples came to roll away the stone, and break the seal, and profane the sepulchre-all the sixty soldiers, and their commander, were with one accord asleep, although at the same time the penalty of sleep was death; and the noise of rolling away the stone could not awake even one of the party. And this overpowering



And if this come to the Governor's ears, we will per- Jerusalem. suade him, and secure you.

So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.


The second party of Women from Galilee, who had bought
their Spices on the Evening previous to the Sabbath,
having had a longer way to come to the Sepulchre, arrive
after the departure of the others, and find the Stone
rolled away.


Lu. xxiv. 1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre ", bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.


And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. sleep had seized them when they had been placed here for one night only, for the special purpose of securing the very tomb which was thus profaned! But it was in this instance, as it is in the general conduct of men. Reasoning, which would disgrace an idiot, or an infant, in the common occurrences of life, is amply sufficient to excuse us to ourselves, for denying or disbelieving the solemn truths of Christianity.

23 The reasons which have induced West, Townson, Cranfield, Doddridge, Horsley, Newcome, Gleig, Pilkington, and I believe every writer since the time of West, to conclude that two parties of women came to the sepulchre at different times, have been already noticed. At present let us inquire, according to this hypothesis, when the second company arrived at the tomb; whether between the two visits of Mary Magdalene to it, or after the second. For the following reasons, their arrival seems rightly placed after she left the sepulchre the second time: It is certain that no one was there earlier than she was, and therefore they who did accompany her, but made a distinct visit thither, and, as the case requires, neither saw her nor her friends, nor was seen by them, must have come during her absence. Her first absence was when she ran to tell Peter and John but then she left the other Mary and Salome behind; who went into the sepulchre, and saw and heard the angel. When they were fled away, came the two apostles; and these were followed by Mary Magdalene returning. The time, therefore, between the departure of the other Mary and Salome from the sepulchre, and the coming of John and Peter to it, seems too short an interval for the arrival and departure of the other women in such manner, that both parties might keep clear of all sight of each other. And the more we prolong this interval, the less probable we make it that Mary Magdalenc, after she had seen the Lord, should have rejoined her two friends, when he showed himself to them also. And yet it appears so much the sense of St. Matthew, and I think of St. John, that she was with them, that it is a point by which we ought to abide, unless there are cogent reasons to the contrary. As I am not aware of any such, I espouse the opinion which seems the most likely, that Mary was gone the second time from the sepulchre, before Joanna and her company got to it.

Lu. xxiv. 3.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Jerusalem. Lord Jesus.








Two Angels appear to them also, assuring them that Christ
was risen, and reminding them of his foretelling this fact.
LUKE Xxiv. 4- -9.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed
thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining

And, as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

And they remembered his words,

And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest ".

24 A great difficulty has been found in this passage of St.
Luke xxiv. 9, 10. by those commentators who consider the 10th
verse to be explanatory of the preceding verse.
The five verses
preceding the ninth give an account of the appearance and
speech of the angels to the women of whom St. Luke has been
speaking. The ninth informs us that these women came and
reported all "these things" to the apostles, and all the disciples.
The tenth is supposed to be explanatory of the ninth; and
therefore that the women named in it had been at the sepulchre
together, had there seen the vision of the angels, and then had
come as one company to the apostles and all the disciples.

On a larger view however of this history, another construc-
tion may be judged necessary.

Gerhard (a), Benson (b), Macknight (c), Lardner (d), Pilkington (e), and Doddridge (f), have all concluded that "these things are to be taken distributively; that Mary Magdalene reported some things, and the other women reported the rest. They believe that though St. Luke has, in the tenth verse, put the whole account of what the women related together, that the Evangelist refers to that which was related by Mary Magdalene, as well as by the second party of women.

The evidences of the resurrection, then, which the women could produce, were these:

1. The appearance of the angel to Mary the mother of Josesof two to Mary Magdalene-of Christ to Mary Magdalene-bis second appearance to the women-the two angels who stood by the women, when they had been in the tomb, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

It will be observed, from this statement, that each of the women had something different to relate. The expression of St. Luke, "these things," must be referred to the various collected reports they had all brought. The expression therefore in the ninth verse, απήγγειλαν ταῦτα πάντα, must refer to

Lu. xxiv.10.

Mar. xvi.10.


Mary Magdalene unites her testimony to that of the Gali-
lean Women.

[blocks in formation]

And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

Lu. xxiv.10. and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with him, which told these things unto the apostles.



Lu. xxiv.12.


The Apostles are still incredulous.
MARK XVI. 11. LUKE Xxiv. 11.

And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and
had been seen of her, believed not.

And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.


Peter goes again to the Sepulchre.


Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves.

the report of Joanna, whose account he had been immediately
relating, and αἱ ἔλεγον—ταῦτα, to the whole company.See
this point discussed at length by Townson, Cranfield, &c.

(a) Harmon. Histor. Evangel. de Resurrectione Christi, cap. i. p.
240, col. 1, &c. (b) Summary View of the Evidences of Christ's Re-
surrection, Lond. 1745. 8vo. p. 25. (c) Harmony of the Four Gospels,
sect. 150, p. 663, second edition. (d) Observations on Macknight,
4to. p. 44. (e) Notes, p. 61. (f) In loc.

25 I have not discussed the question whether the 16th of Mark, after ver. 9, is genuine. It is certainly omitted in many manuscripts of great authority, or it is marked with an asterisk, or separated from the preceding part of the Gospel. It relates nothing inconsistent with the accounts of the other Evangelists, and appears to have been drawn up as an epitome of the various appearances of our Lord.

Mr. Cranfield has laboured much to prove that this verse refers to the first visit of St. Peter mentioned by St. John. Dr. Townson, on the contrary, has defended the present order of St. Luke, and concludes that the Evangelist here relates the second visit of St. Peter to the sepulchre, when our Lord manifested himself to him. It is certain that Christ appeared to Peter about this time; for when the two disciples came from Emmaus to the other disciples, this very circumstance was the subject of their conversation. This fact is further confirmed by St. Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 5. He was afterwards seen by the other apostles.


« PreviousContinue »