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The Last Twelve Verses Of The Gospel According To S Mark by John William Burgon


(Promised at p.51.)

I PROCEED to fulfil the promise made at p.51. -- C. F. Matthaei (Nov. Test., 1788, vol. iii. p.269) states that in one of the MSS. at Moscow occurs the following |Scholion of Eusebius: -- kata Markon meta ten anastasin ou legetai ophthai tois mathetais.| On this, Griesbach remarks (Comm. Crit. ii.200), -- |quod scribere non potuisset si pericopam dubiam agnovisset:| the record in S. Mark xvi.14, being express, -- Husteron anakeimenois autois tois hendeka ephanerothe. The epigrammatic smartness of Griesbach's dictum has recommended it to Dr. Tregelles and others who look unfavourably on the conclusion of S. Mark's Gospel; and to this hour the Scholion of Matthaei remains unchallenged.

But to accept the proposed inference from it, is impossible. It ought to be obvious to every thoughtful person that problems of this class will not bear to be so handled. It is as if one were to apply the rigid mathematical method to the ordinary transactions of daily life, for which it is clearly unsuitable. Before we move a single step, however, we desire a few more particulars concerning this supposed evidence of Eusebius.

Accordingly, I invoked the good offices of my friend, the Rev. W. G. Penny, English Chaplain at Moscow, to obtain for me the entire context in which this |Scholion of Eusebius| occurs: little anticipating the trouble I was about to give him. His task would have been comparatively easy had I been able to furnish him (which I was not) with the exact designation of the Codex required. At last by sheer determination and the display of no small ability, he discovered the place, and sent me a tracing of the whole page: viz. fol.286 (the last ten words being overleaf) of Matthaei's |12,| (|Synod.139,|) our Evan.255.

It proves to be the concluding portion of Victor's Commentary, and to correspond with what is found at p.365 of Possinus, and p.446-7 of Cramer: except that after the words |apokuliseie ton lethon :· ,| and before the words |allos de phesin| [Possinus, line 12 from bottom: Cramer, line 3 from the top], is read as follows: --

scho^l' euse bioukata Markon; meta ten anastasin ou legetai ophthai

tois mathetais: kata Matthaion; meta ten anastasin tois

mathetais hophthe en te Galilaia :·

kata Ioannen; en aute te hemera tes anastaseos ton

thuron kakleismenon ho Iesous mesos ton matheton me

parontos tou Thoma este; kai meth' hemeras palin okto

sumparontos kai tou Thoma. meta tauta palin ephane

autois epi tes thalasses tes Tiberiados :·

kata Loukan; ophthe Kleopa sun to hetairo autou aute

te hemera tes anastaseos; kai palin hupostrepsasin eis

Hierousalem ophthe te aute hemera sunegmenon ton loipon

matheton; kai ophthe Simoni; kai palin exegagen autous

eis Bethanian kai dieste ap' auton.

But surely no one who considers the matter attentively, will conceive that he is warranted in drawing from this so serious an inference as that Eusebius disallowed the last Section of S. Mark's Gospel.

(1.) In the first place, we have already [suprà, p.44] heard Eusebius elaborately discuss the Section in question. That he allowed it, is therefore certain.

(2.) But next, this scholion eusebiou at the utmost can only be regarded as a general summary of what Eusebius has somewhere delivered concerning our Lord's appearances after His Resurrection. As it stands, it clearly is not the work of Eusebius.

(3.) And because I shall be reminded that such a statement cannot be accepted on my own mere ipso dixit,' I proceed to subjoin the original Scholion of which the preceding is evidently only an epitome. It is found in three of the Moscow MSS., (our Evan.239, 259, 237,) but without any Author's name: --

Deiknus de ho euangelistes, hoti meta ten anastasin ouketi sunechos autois sunen, legei, touto ede trito tois mathetais ophthe ho Kurios meta ten anastasin ou touto legon, hoti monon triton, alla ta tois allois paraleleimmena legon, touto ede pros tois allois triton ephanerothe tois mathe9tais. kata men gar ton Matthaion, ophthe autois en te Galilaia monon; kata de ton Ioannen, en aute te hemera tes anastaseos, ton thuron kekleismenon, mesos auton este, onton en Hierousalem, me parontos ekei Thoma. kai palin meth' hemeras okto, parontos kai tou Thoma, ophthe autois, ede kakleismenon ton thuron. meta tauta epi tes thalasses tes Tiberiados ephane autois, ou tois i?a? alla monois z. kata de Koukan ophthe Kleopa sun to hetairo autou, aute te hemera tes anastaseos. kai palin hupostrepsasin eis Hierousalem aute te hemera, sunegmenon ton matheton, ophthe Simoni. kai palin exagagon autous eis Bethanian, hote kai dieste analephtheis ap' auton; hos ek toutou paristasthai z. einai tas eis tous mathetas meta ten anastasin gegonuias optasias tou Soteros hemon Iesou Christou. mian men para to Matthaio, treis de para to Ioanne, kai treis to Louka homoios .

(4.) Now, the chief thing deserving of attention here, -- the only thing in fact which I am concerned to point out, -- is the notable circumstance that the supposed dictum of Eusebius, -- (|quod scribere non potuisset si pericopam dubiam agnovisset,|) -- is no longer discoverable. To say that it has disappeared,' would be incorrect. In the original document it has no existence. In plain terms, the famous |scholion eusebiou| proves to be every way a figment. It is a worthless interpolation, thrust by some nameless scribe into his abridgement of a Scholion, of which Eusebius (as I shall presently show) cannot have been the Author.

(5.) I may as well point out why the person who wrote the longer Scholion says nothing about S. Mark's Gospel. It is because there was nothing for him to say.

He is enumerating our Lord's appearances to His Disciples after His Resurrection; and he discovers that these were exactly seven in number: one being peculiar to S. Matthew, -- three, to S. John, -- three, to S. Luke. But because, (as every one is aware), there exists no record of an appearance to the Disciples peculiar to S. Mark's Gospel, the Author of the Scholion is silent concerning S. Mark perforce. . . . . How so acute and accomplished a Critic as Matthaei can have overlooked all this: how he can have failed to recognise the identity of his longer and his shorter Scholion: how he came to say of the latter, |conjicias ergo Eusebium hunc totum locum repudiasse;| and, of the former, |ultimam partem Evangelii Marci videtur tollere :| lastly, how Tischendorf (1869) can write, -- |est enim ejusmodi ut ultimam partem evangelii Marci, de quo quaeritur, excludat :| -- I profess myself unable to understand.

(6.) The epitomizer however, missing the point of his Author, -- besides enumerating all the appearances of our Saviour which S. Luke anywhere records, -- is further convicted of having injudiciously invented the negative statement about S. Mark's Gospel which is occasioning us all this trouble.

(7.) And yet, by that unlucky sentence of his, he certainly did not mean what is commonly imagined. I am not concerned to defend him: but it is only fair to point out that, to suppose he intended to disallow the end of S. Mark's Gospel, is altogether to misapprehend the gist of his remarks, and to impute to him a purpose of which he clearly knew nothing. Note, how he throws his first two statements into a separate paragraph; contrasts, and evidently balances one against the other: thus, --

kata Markon, meta ten anastasin ou legetai ophthai, -- kata Matthaion meta ten anastasin ophthe, -- tois mathetais en te Galilaia.

Perfectly evident is it that the plena locutio' so to speak, of the Writer would have been somewhat as follows: --

[The first two Evangelists are engaged with our Saviour's appearance to His Disciples in Galilee: but] by S. Mark, He is not -- by S. Matthew, He is -- related to have been actually seen by them there.

[The other two Evangelists relate the appearances in Jerusalem: and] according to S. John, &c. &c.

According to S. Luke,' &c. &c.

(8.) And on passing the |Quaestiones ad Marinum| of Eusebius under review, I am constrained to admit that the Scholion before us is just such a clumsy bit of writing as an unskilful person might easily be betrayed into, who should attempt to exhibit in a few short sentences the substance of more than one tedious disquisition of this ancient Father . Its remote parentage would fully account for its being designated |scholion eusebiou,| all the same.

(9.) Least of all am I concerned to say anything more about the longer Scholion; seeing that S. Mark is not so much as mentioned in it. But I may as well point out that, as it stands, Eusebius cannot have been its Author: the proof being, that whereas the Scholion in question is a note on S. John xxi.12, (as Matthaei is careful to inform us,) -- its opening sentence is derived from Chrysostom's Commentary on that same verse in his 87^th Homily on S. John .

(10.) And thus, one by one, every imposing statement of the Critics is observed hopelessly to collapse as soon us it is questioned, and to vanish into thin air.

So much has been offered, only because of the deliberate pledge I gave in p.51. -- Never again, I undertake to say, will the |Scholion of Eusebius| which has cost my friend at Moscow, his Archimandrites, and me, so much trouble, be introduced into any discussion of the genuineness of the last Twelve Verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark. As the oversight of one (C. F. Matthaei) who was singularly accurate, and towards whom we must all feel as towards a Benefactor, let it be freely forgiven as well as loyally forgotten!

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