the anachronisms of style and description in Thackeray?s ?Henry Esmond,? which, in spite of the author?s special studies and his determination to exclude all words and phrases that had originated in his own century, was marred by historical errors that Macaulay, in his most remiss moments, would hardly have made. James Russell Lowell told Thackeray that ?different to? was not a century old. ?Hang it, no!? replied Thackeray. In view of this failure, on the part of an author of great literary skill, to construct a story purporting to be written a century before his time and that could stand the test of historical criticism, we may well regard the success of our gospels in standing such tests as a practical demonstration that they were written in, and not after, the apostolic age. See Alexander, Christ and Christianity, 27-37; Blunt, Scriptural Coincidences, 244-354.

(c) The genuineness of the fourth gospel is confirmed by the fact that Tatian (155-170), the Assyrian, a disciple of Justin, repeatedly quoted it without naming the author, and composed a Harmony of our four gospels which he named the Diatessaron; while Basilides (130) and Valentinus (150), the Gnostics, both quote from it.

The skeptical work entitled ?Supernatural Religion? said in 1874: ?No one seems to have seen Tatian?s Harmony, probably for the very simple reason that there was no such work? and ?There is no evidence whatever connecting Tatian?s Gospel with those of our Canon.? In 1876, however, there was published in a Latin form in Venice the Commentary of Ephraem Syrus on Tatian, and the commencement of it was: ?In the beginning was the Word? ( <430101>John 1:1). In 1888, the Diatessaron itself was published in Rome in the form of an Arabic translation made in the eleventh century from the Syriac. J. Rendel Harris. in Contemp. Rev., 1893:800 sq., says that the recovery of Tatian?s Diatessaron has indefinitely postponed the literary funeral of St. John. Advanced critics, he intimates, are so called, because they run ahead of the facts they discuss. The gospels must have been well established in the Christian church when Tatian undertook to combine them. Mrs. A.S. Lewis, in SS Times, Jan. 23, 1904 ? ?The gospels were translated into Syriac before AD 160. It follows that the Greek document from which they were translated was older still, and since the one includes the gospel of St. John, so did the other.? Hemphill, Literature of the Second Century, 183-231, gives the birth of Tatian about 120, and the date of his Diatessaron as 172 AD

The difference in style between the Revelation and the gospel of John is due to the fact that the Revelation was written during John?s exile in Patmos, under Nero, in 67 or 68, soon after John had left Palestine and

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment