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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS.....to wit.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twelfth day of January, A. D. 1831, 'in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Gray and Bowen, of the said District, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit :
" A Harmony of the Gospels, on the Plan proposed by Lant Carpenter, LL. D.”
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned”; and also to an act, entitled, “ An Act, supplementary to an Act entitled · An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned'; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
JNO. W. DAVIS,
BS 2560 P3
DR. CARPENTER, in his “ Introduction to the Geography of the New Testament,” has explained his plan for a Harmony of the Four Gospels, giving directions for the construction of such a Harmony, which have been observed in the arrangement of the following pages.
According to prevailing views on the subject, represented in the Harmony of Archbishop Newcome, the ministry of our Lord, beginning with his baptism, comprehended four Passovers, or extended through something more than three years ; and in settling the succession of events, recorded by the first three evangelists, the order of Luke deserves a general prefer
Dr. Carpenter understands the length of the ministry to have somewhat exceeded one year, including but two Passovers; and prefers the order of Matthew, where it differs from that of Mark and Luke.
These questions open an argument of great extent. A few general statements relating to it are all that would here be in place.
The early writers of the church, who have alluded to this subject, are understood to have been almost unanimously of the opinion maintained by Dr. Carpenter. Authorities to this point may be seen in Mann de Veris Annis Christi Natali et Emortuali. Dissert. 24, cap. 120.; Marsh's Michaelis, Vol. III. Part 11. p. 63; and Sir Isaac Newton's Observations on Daniel, Part I. chapter 11. Irenæus indeed, in the second century, is an exception, extending the ministry to nearly twenty years, and maintaining his opinion from Luke 111. 23, John VII. 57.
Eusebius, in the fourth century, was, as far as appears, the first to start the theory of four Passovers, though he understood the events recorded by the first three evangelists, from the commencement of our Lord's preaching, to have been included within one year.
The phenomena of the Gospels themselves may seem to favor the opinion, which limits the ministry of Jesus to a year and some months. Matthew, Mark, and Luke mention but one Passover ; viz. that at which he was crucified. John (11. 23.) distinctly mentions another. By the advocates of the theory of four Passovers, he is understood to speak of yet two others; viz. in v. 1, and vi. 4. He says, (v. 1.) “ There was a feast of the Jews ;” not defining what feast. For any evidence afforded by the verse, or, apparently, from any other source, it is quite as likely to have been a Pentecost. That it has been supposed to have been a Passover, is perhaps owing to the article being prefixed in some copies to the word rendered feast; the feast, by eminence, being interpreted to be no other than the Passover. But if the various reading were a good one, it would sustain no satisfactory argument of the kind, and the weight of authorities, in this case, is with the text of the common edition.
To reconcile John vı. 4, with that opinion of Christian antiquity, which included but two Passovers in the ministry, different methods have been proposed. Dr. Priestley thought the words, to naoza, the Passover, to be an interpolation, and this not only on conjecture, but on the ground, that ancient writers, who were in search of such texts, do not appear to have found the words in their copies. Bishop Pearce conceived the whole verse to be spurious, arguing that it breaks the continuity of the narrative, that nothing in the chapter has relation to any feast, and that John would hardly have repeated an explanation which he had already given. (11. 13.) The strong objection to these solutions of the difficulty is, that they resort to unauthorized alterations of the text.
The method of Dr. Carpenter may appear not only free from objection, but demanded by all the circumstances of the
The Gospel of John, apparently consisting, as it has been long observed to do, of distinct sections, each of which has its date,* there would be the less danger of mistake in a single deviation from a chronological arrangement of the series of these sections. The narrative in John vi. 1-21, has such a close resemblance to that in Matthew xiv. 13, 32, that it seems almost impossible to doubt that both evangelists are recording the same succession of events. These events are said by John (vi. 4.) to have occurred when a Passover was nigh, and by Matthew they are placed in a closely connected history of transactions immediately preceding the last Passover, viz. that of the crucifixion; transactions, which might occupy about a
; month. It seems therefore to be not without good grounds, that Dr. Carpenter, making, as usual, the two passages parallel, recommends, that, to arrange the sections of John in the order of time, the third section, composed of the sixth chapter, be placed between the fifth and sixth, which are divided at chapter xi. 54 – 55. The references in vi. 4, and xi. 55, are then to the same Passover, and John is found to speak of only two. This argument is strengthened by the consideration of the great difficulty there is in supposing so striking a miracle as that of the feeding of the five thousand to have been wrought before our Lord's presence at the Feast of Tabernacles. (John vir. 2–6.)
Upon the question, which evangelist is to be followed in settling the chronological succession of events, the first obvious thought is, that Matthew and John, apostles of Jesus, and eyewitnesses of the later events, at least, which they record, are more likely to have intended to observe the order of time, than Mark and Luke, who were not his apostles, and do not appear to have been his attendants. Nor does the force of this remark seem to be abated by Luke's declaration (1. 3.) of his purpose to write yafetñs, in order ; for the word means only
* The first section comprehending chapters 1 — 1v. (dated 11. 13.); the second, chapter v. (v. 1.); the third, chapter vi. (vi. 4.); the fourth, chapters VII — x. 21. (v11. 2.); the fifth, chapter x. 22. — X1. 54. (x. 22.); the sixth, chapters xi. 55. - XX1. (X1. 55.)
methodically, in distinction from less carefully digested accounts, by no means necessarily implying, that the method which he undertook to pursue was that of time. Moreover, except in the case of John vi. which has been explained above, the order of this evangelist is not inconsistent with that of Matthew. . So that the plan proposed offers the great advantage of adopting, for the chronological order of events in a Harmony, the order in which they are recorded by both of the only evangelists, who are known to have had opportunity to record from their own observation.
Proceeding on these principles, Dr. Carpenter places (pp. 2025 of this volume) the first Passover, recorded by John, with the previous connected events, next subsequent (John 1. 32, 33.) to the baptism of Jesus, recorded by the first three evangelists. After the baptism and temptation, Matthew relates nothing till (iv. 12.) the departure of Jesus into Galilee, on hearing of the imprisonment of John the Baptist. Now that John the Baptist was not in prison at the time of the transactions recorded in the third and fourth chapters of John's Gospel, appears from John 111. 24, and iv. 1. This portion of John's Gospel, then, is to be placed before the departure into Galilee. Again, this departure seems to have been subsequent to the Feast of Tabernacles; because, after the miracles with which Jesus astonished." all Galilee” (Matthew iv. 23, 24.) on his arrival there, his brethren could have had no pretext for speaking of his proceeding “in secret,” as they are represented to have done at the time of that feast in John vii. 4; besides that we have no means of accounting for Matthew's omitting to mention that Jesus went to a Feast of Tabernacles, had this occurred after Matthew takes up so minutely, at iv. 12, the history of his public ministry. Accordingly, before Matthew's account of this departure, Dr. Carpenter has placed John's mention of the Feast of Tabernacles, vii. 2; and as from that point the narrative of John appears unbroken as far as x. 21, and there is nothing to object to the arrangement, the extract from John is continued to that point. (pp. 26–39.) The period herein accounted for, besides the Feast of Tabernacles,