faith that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah.? See Carpenter, Mental Physiology, 362; Grote, Plato, 1:249.
We object to the Myth theory of Strauss, that
(a) The time between the death of Christ and the publication of the gospels was far too short for the growth and consolidation of such mythical histories. Myths, on the contrary, as the Indian, Greek, Roman and Scandinavian instances bear witness, are the slow growth of centuries.
(b) The first century was not a century when such formation of myths was possible. Instead of being a credulous and imaginative age, it was an age of historical inquiry and of Sadduceeism in matters of religion.
Horace, in Odes 1:34 and 3:6, denounces the neglect and squalor of the heathen temples, and Juvenal, Satire 2:150, says that ? Esse aliquid manes et subterranea regna Nec pueri credunt .? Arnold of Rugby: ?The idea of men writing mythic histories between the times of Livy and of Tacitus, and of St. Paul mistaking them for realities!? Pilate?s skeptical inquiry, ?What is truth?? ( <431838>John 18:38), better represented the age. ?The mythical age is past when an idea is presented abstractly ? apart from narrative.? The Jewish sect of the Sadducees shows that the rationalistic spirit was not confined to Greeks or Romans. The question of John the Baptist, <401103>Matthew 11:3 ? ?Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another?? and our Lord?s answered, <401104>Matthew 11:4, 5 ? ?Go and tell John the thing which ye hear and see: the blind receive their sight? the dead are raised up.? show that the Jews expected miracles to be wrought by the Messiah; yet <431041>John 10:41 ? ?John indeed did no sign? shows also no irresistible inclination to invest popular teachers with miraculous powers; see B.G. Robinson, Christian Evidences, 22; Westcott, Com. on <431041> John 10:41; Rogers, Superhuman Origin of the Bible, 61; Cox, Miracles, 50.
(c) The gospels cannot be a mythical outgrowth of Jewish ideas and expectations, because, in their main features, they run directly counter to these ideas and expectations. The sullen and exclusive nationalism of the Jews could not have given rise to a gospel for all nations, nor could their expectations of a temporal monarch have led to the story of a suffering Messiah.
The Old Testament Apocrypha shows how narrow was the outlook of the Jews. 2 Esdras 6:55, 56 says the Almighty has made the world ?for our sakes?; other peoples, though they ?also come from Adam,? to the Eternal
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