Church?s One Foundation, 62, 63). Of the highly wrought imagination of Mary Magdalene, he says: ?O divine power of love! Sacred moments, in which the passion of one whose senses were deceived gives us a resuscitated God!? See Renan, Life of Jesus, 21.
To this Romance-theory of Renan, we object that
(a) It involves an arbitrary and partial treatment of the Christian documents. The claim that one writer not only borrowed from others, but also interpolated ad libitum, is contradicted by the essential agreement of the manuscripts as quoted by the Fathers, and as now extant.
Renan, according to Mair, Christian Evidences, 153, dates Matthew at 84 AD; Mark at 76; Luke at 94; John at 125. These dates mark a considerable retreat from the advanced positions taken by Baur. Mair, in his chapter on Recent Reverses in Negative Criticism, attributes this result to the late discoveries with regard to the Epistle of Barnabas, Hippolytus?s Refutation of all Heresies, the Clementine Homilies, and Tatian?s Diatessaron: ?According to Baur and his immediate followers, we have less than one quarter of the New Testament belonging to the first century. According to Hilgenfeld, the present head of the Baur School, we have somewhat less than three-quarters belonging to the first century do, while substantially the same thing may be said with regard to Holzmann. According to Renan, we have distinctly more than three-quarters of the New Testament falling within the first century, and therefore within the apostolic age. This surely indicates a very decided and extraordinary retreat since the time of Baur?s grand assault, that is, within the last fifty years.? We may add that the concession of authorship within the apostolic age renders nugatory Renan?s hypothesis that the New Testament documents have been so enlarged by pious fraud that they cannot be accepted as trustworthy accounts of such events as miracles. The oral tradition itself had attained so fixed a form that the many manuscripts used by the Fathers were in substantial agreement in respect to these very events, and oral tradition in the East hands down without serious alteration much longer narratives than those of our gospels. The Pundita Ramabai can repeat, after the lapse of twenty years, portions of the Hindu sacred books exceeding in amount the whole contents of our Old Testament. Many cultivated men in Athens knew by heart all the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer. Memory and reverence alike kept the gospel narratives free from the corruption, which Renan supposes.
(b) It attributes to Christ and to the apostles an alternate fervor of romantic enthusiasm and a false pretense of miraculous power which are utterly
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