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it involves, and which, in my judgment, would overthrow the inference, even were it more stable than can now appear to the reader who has entered upon the investigation without prepossession.

1. The hypothesis of three Passovers in our Lord's Ministry presents no record of the feasts of Tabernacles and Dedication in the first year, nor of the Passover and the Pentecost in the second. Now it is allowed, on all hands, that the reference of our Lord, when at the Tabernacles, to the miracle at Bethesda, (see John vii. 19-23), plainly shows that he had not been at Jerusalem since that miracle: we have therefore the Tabernacles, the Passover, and the Pentecost, in succession, (to pass by the feast of Dedication), at which, on this hypothesis, our Lord did not go up to Jerusalem. This fact seems to me sufficient to decide against the hypothesis in question, since an inference from the position of the sixth chapter in the Gospel of John is all that supports that hypothesis. To be absent from the three great national festivals of a whole year, was not to fulfil the Law, or to teach men so.-See p. xxviii.

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As respects the Passover, this objection would be allowed to be peculiarly strong; but it has been urged in reply, that John vii. 1, which clearly belongs to the record in the preceding chapter, assigns the reason why our Lord, after the miracle of the Five Thousand, continued in Galilee, viz. that the Jews were seeking to kill him. It assigns, however, no reason for his not going up to the Passover, or to the following Pentecost; nor for his not having gone to the preceding Tabernacles. He went at the following Tabernacles; with caution, it is true, for he went up unattended, and at the middle of the festival; but he did go up. Nay, though at the Tabernacles, the Jews, under the impulse of sudden indignation, had taken up stones to stone him, he went again at the following Dedication, when few but the people of Jerusalem would be on the spot. In fact, the presence of the Roman Governor at the festivals, rendered them the proper periods for our Lord to exercise his mission at Jerusalem; and on the bipaschal hypothesis, we know that he went to each that occurred during his Ministry.

2. The opinion that John vi. 4 refers to a Passover preceding that at which our Lord was crucified, involves the supposition that all the transactions which are recorded as following the miracle of the Five Thousand, in at least the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, occurred before those which are recorded in the seventh and following chapters of John. Now

(1) This renders it impossible to account for the silence of Matthew respecting the feast of Tabernacles which we know that our Lord actually attended; nor can I discover any subsequent place in his Gospel where so remarkable a visit could have occurred.-It may be thought that his silence

respecting the first Passover, which all must place between the 11th and 12th verses of the fourth chapter of his Gospel, so far corresponds as to lessen this difficulty; but it is obvious that, as respects the exercise of our Lord's Ministry, St. Matthew and St. Mark commence their records with what took place after the Imprisonment of the Baptist; for which, indeed, our Lord himself waited before he began his proclamation in Galilee of the approach of the kingdom of heaven, and his public call to repentance. The Apostle's silence as to what took place before that epoch, affords no reason for his silence as to the remarkable transactions at the Feast of Tabernacles, and even as to our Lord's going to Jerusalem to attend it, if, as the tripaschal hypothesis supposes, they occurred while he was regularly attending our Lord's Ministry, and at a period in which his records have every appearance of being a connected series. And

(2) This supposition requires us to admit that the events recorded in the former part of the ninth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, occurred twelve months before our Lord's setting out for Jerusalem to complete his great work, as recorded in the 51st verse of the same chapter; and that, of course, three great festivals occurred in the interval.-See Diss. II. Sect. iv.

3. In the seventh and following chapters of John, we have a full record of the transactions at the Feast of Tabernacles. According to the tripaschal hypothesis, this feast occurred in the second year of our Lord's Ministry, and after all the great events which had succeeded the Imprisonment of John, onwards to, at least, the miracle of the Five Thousand; after, therefore, the appointment and mission of the Twelve, and the most public part of our Lord's Ministry in Galilee. In the course of this period, we know that multitudes had flocked around our Lord, from Jerusalem and Judæa, among other parts, Matt. iv. 25; that Pharisees and Doctors of the Law attended him, from every town of Judæa and from Jerusalem, Luke v. 17; that, at a later period, shortly after the miracle of the Five Thousand, there came to watch him, Pharisees and Scribes from Jerusalem, Matt. xv. 1; and that, soon after, ver. 30, great multitudes came together to our Lord, when he again miraculously fed the people, to the number of four thousand men besides women and children. After all these stupendous works, public and striking, of which a brief record is given by the first three Evangelists, the tripaschal hypothesis requires us to suppose (1) That our Lord himself refers the Chief Priests and Rulers, John vii. 23, to a single miracle which he had wrought a year and half before at Jerusalem; and, still more, (2) That his brethren urged him to go into Judæa, that his disciples also might see his miracles, on the plea that he had been doing things in secret and had not shown himself to the world. Certainly we must not rest too much on expressions arising from the captious

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feelings of unreasonable unbelief; but even unbelief itself, not urged on by personal malignity, could scarcely have been thus perverse and absurd.

I might offer several other considerations which present to my mind weighty objections against the hypothesis of three Passovers: but as they respect a particular arrangement of the records-that of Lieberkühn-which might not be deemed essential to it, I will not adduce them; though a change on that arrangement would involve other and perhaps greater difficulties. I must not, however, omit one consideration, which depends solely upon the referring of the miracle of the Five Thousand to a period of at least thirteen months previous to our Lord's Crucifixion. It appears to me a forcible one; but it requires for the perception of its force, the habit of observing the phraseology of the Gospels and the gradual development of our Lord's Messiahship. If those who follow this investigation do not perceive its force, they may pass it by. It is as follows:

4. The tenor of one part of our Lord's discourse in the synagogue at Capernaum, which he delivered the day after the miracle of the Five Thousand, (recorded by St. John alone, ch. vi.,) and also certain expressions in it, much better suit the time when his death was approaching, than they do a period when a large proportion of his Ministry still remained—a period preceding by seven or eight months even the Feast of Tabernacles recorded in John's Gospel. The passage I refer to is in ver. 43-59, in which the correspondence is peculiarly strong with the words employed by our Lord in instituting the rite commemorative of his death, the night before his Crucifixion, and must surely be allowed to suit best the period when his death was near at hand. The same suitableness appears to me clear, in relation to the remaining part of the chapter following the above; and especially to ver. 70 and 71, where the treachery of Judas is distinctly adverted to by our Lord, and it is added by the Evangelist, that he was about to deliver him up', εμελλεν παραδιδοναι αυτον. If it be supposed that John might have used this expression, even if above half of the. Ministry of Christ yet remained, can it be further supposed that our Lord would thus address the Twelve-' And one of you is a false accuser',—at a period when thirteen months still remained for Judas to associate freely with him and the Apostles, in public and in private, in the scenes of labour, and in the hours of retirement and rest?*-If I had not the guidance of the words in John vi. 4, yet, considering the train of events as recorded

In this chapter, the Apostles are specifically mentioned three times as the Twelve: Mr. Mardon has noticed that, though Matthew employs this designation nine times, Mark ten, and Luke seven, John never employs it in the first ten chapters, this sixth excepted. This is another corroborative phenomenon.

by the other Gospels, and the internal evidence of the chapter itself, I should place the record near the period of the Crucifixion. With that guidance, I can place it no where else.

SECT. VI. The Ministry of hrist included Two Passovers only.

As one Passover certainly intervened between the Baptism of our Lord and the Imprisonment of John, and the Crucifixion occurred at another; and as it has now been shown that the hypothesis of three Passovers in our Lord's Ministry is untenable, as had before been shown respecting the hypothesis of four Passovers; it may now be considered as established, that there were only two Passovers in the Ministry of Christ.

In maintaining this, the bipaschal hypothesis, I hold it in that form which receives the established reading of John vi. 4; and, of course, refer the miracle of the Five Thousand to the period when our Lord's death was near at hand. Whatever arrangement requires that miracle to be, in chronological position, before the Feast of Tabernacles, recorded in John vii., and of course to change the text in John vi. 4, I regard it as liable to the most serious of the objections against the tripaschal hypothesis, and, on account of the alteration it requires in the text of John vi. 4, as decidedly less tenable than the tripaschal.

Though, as already stated, I came to the conclusion which Vossius advocated, altogether independently of the argument and opinion of that learned and judicious critic, and framed my arrangement solely on the evidence of the Gospels themselves, I have great satisfaction in the accordance of his reasoning and conclusion with my own. (See p. xvi.) It also is reasonable to conclude that it accords with the view of those of the Ancient Writers of the first four centuries, who considered the Gospel of John in connection with one or more of the others, and who, whatever the duration they assigned to the Ministry of Christ, referred the events following the Imprisonment of John to the year preceding the Crucifixion -See p. xix.

It has been shown, that the prophecy of Daniel respecting the Seventy Weeks, presents no obstacle to the bipaschal hypothesis.-See p. xxv.

Also that the assertion of the Jews respecting the building of the Temple, presents no obstacle to it.-See p. xxvi.

And that the Parable of the Barren Fig-tree does not present any.-See p. xxii.

It has further been shown, that St. John's record respecting the miracle of the Five Thousand and our Lord's subsequent discourse, is in the most suitable position in his Gospel,-though not in its chronological position,

as decided by reference to the other Evangelists, and by the date which he has himself assigned to the record. See p. xxxv.

There is therefore no obstacle to the full force of the following considerations :

1. Admitting that our Lord's Ministry included two Passovers only, we have records of his attendance, for the all-important purposes of it, at each of the festivals which occurred during it. This is surely a capital advantage. See pp. xvi. and xxviii.

2. The bipaschal duration of our Lord's Ministry could alone be derived from the records of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke.-See

p. xx. 3. It has been shown to be strictly accordant with the Gospel of St. John.-See p. xxxii. and xxxviii.

4. It was certainly the opinion of those who lived nearest to the time of Christ, which at least proves that there was no authentic tradition opposing it. See p. xvii.

I hope it is not presumptuous, after the foregoing statements, to sayIt is now proved that OUR LORD'S MINISTRY INCLUDED TWO PASSOVERS ONLY-the Miracle of the Five Thousand being wrought when the Crucifixion-Passover was approaching.

It is a great advantage to go to the arrangement of the Gospel records, with a distinct conviction of some leading points. The two on which I

rest are,

1. That we have records of every festival that occurred in the Ministry of Christ and

:

2. That the miracle of the Five Thousand occurred when the time of his Crucifixion was not far distant.

Some other data, however, are required to determine the due position of many of the recorded facts of this, the most important period of human history; and when these data have been stated, in the Second Dissertation, and some explanatory circumstances presented in the Third, the reasons of the subordinate arrangements will be given in the Fourth Dissertation, and the objections which lie against them will be considered.

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