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fathers, which are not written in the law of Moses."
XVII. [p. 259.] Acts xxiii. 8. "For the Sadducees say, that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both."
Joseph, de Bell. lib. ii. c. 8. sect. 14. "They (the Pharisees) believe every soul to be immortal, but that the soul of the good only passes into another body, and that the soul of the wicked is punished with eternal punishment." On the other hand (Antiq. lib. xviii. c. i. sect. 4.), " It is the opinion of the Sadducees, that souls perish with the bodies."
XVIII. [p. 268.] Acts v. 17. "Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and were filled with indignation." Saint Luke here intimates, that the high priest was a Sadducee; which is a character .one would not have expected to meet with in that station. This circumstance, remarkable as it is, was not however without examples.
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiii. c. 10. sect. 6, 7. "John Hyrcanus, high priest of the Jews, forsook the Pharisees upon a disgust, and joined himself to the party of the Sadducees." This high priest died one hundred and seven years before the Christian era.
Again, (Antiq. lib. xx. c. 8. sect. 1.), "This Ananus the younger, who, as we have said just how, had received the high-priesthood, was fierce and haughty in his behaviour, and, above all men, bold and daring, and, moreover, was of the sect of the Sadducees" This high priest lived little more than twenty years after the transaction in the Acts.
XIX. [p. 282.] Luke ix. 51. "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face. And they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. c. 5. sect. 1. "It was the custom of the Galileans, who went up to the holy city at the feasts, to travel through the country of Samaria. As they were in their journey, some inhabitants of the village called Ginaea, which lies on the borders of Samaria and the great plain, falling upon them, killed a great many of them."
XX. [p. 278.] John iv. 20. "Our fathers," said the Samaritan woman,
"worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 5. sect. 1. "Commanding them to meet him at mount Gerizzim, which is by them (the Samaritans) esteemed the most sacred of all mountains."
XXI. [p. 312.] Matt. xxvi. 3. "Then assembled together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas." That Caiaphas was high priest, and high priest throughout the presidentship of Pontius Pilate, and consequently at this time, appears from the following account:—He was made high priest by Valerius Gratus, predecessor of Pontius Pilate, and was removed from his office by Vitellius, president of Syria, after Pilate was sent away out of the province of Judea. Josephus relates the advancement of Caiaphas to the high-priesthood in this manner: "Gratus gave the high-priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus. He, having enjoyed this honour not above a year, was succeeded by Joseph, who is also called Caiaphas, * After this, Gratus went away for Rome, having been eleven years in Judea; and Pontius Pilate came thither as his successor." Of the removal of Caiaphas from his office, Josephus, likewise, afterwards informs us; and connects it with a circumstance which fixes the time to a date subsequent to the determination of Pilate's government—" Vitellius," he tells us," ordered Pilate to repair to Rome; and after that, went up himself to Jerusalem, and then gave directions concerning several matters. And having done these things, he took away the priesthood from the high priest Joseph, who is called Caiaphas." t
XXII. (Michaelis, c. xi. sect. 11.) Acts xxiii. 4. "And they that stood by, said, Revilest thou God's high priest i. Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest." Now, upon inquiry into the history of the age, it turns out, that Ananias, of whom this is spoken, was, in truth, not the high priest, though he was sitting in judgment in that assumed capacity. The case was, that he had formerly holden the office, and had been deposed ; that the person who succeeded him had been murdered; that another was not yet appointed to the station ; and that, during the vacancy, he had, of his own authority, taken upon
* Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 1. sect. 1. t Ibid. lib. xvii. c. 5. sect. 3.
himself the discharge of the office.* This singular situation of the high-priesthood took place during the interval between the death of Jonathan, who was murdered by order of Felix, and the accession of Ismael, who was invested with the high-priesthood by Agrippa; and precisely in this interval it happened that ^Saint Paul was apprehended, and brought before the Jewish council.
XXIII. [p. 323.] Matt . xxvi. 59. "Now the chief priests and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against him."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 15. sect. 3, 4. "Then might be seen the high priests themselves, with ashes on their heads, and their breasts naked.''
The agreement here consists in speaking of the high priests or chief priests (for the name in the original is the same), in the plural number, when, in strictness, there was only one high priest; which may be considered as a proof, that the evangelists were .habituated to the manner of speaking then in use, because they retain it when it is neither accurate nor just. For the sake of brevity, I have put down, from Josephus, only a single example of the application of this title in the plural number; but it is his usual style.
Ibid. [p. 871.] Luke iii. 1. "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John." There is a passage in Josephus very nearly parallel to this, and which may at least serve to vindicate the evangelist from objection, with respect to his giving the title of high priest specifically to two persons at the same time: "Quadratus sent two others of the most powerful men of the Jews, as also the high priests Jonathan and Ananias." t That Annas was a person in an eminent station, and possessed an authority coordinate with, or next to, that of the high priest properly so called, may be inferred from Saint John's Gospel, which, in the history of Christ's crucifixion, relates that " the soldiers led him away to Annas first." % And this might be noticed as an example of undesigned coincidence in the. two evangel.sts.
Again, [p. 870.] Acts iv. 6. Annas is called the high priest, though Caiaphas was in the office of the high-priesthood. In like
•Joseph. Antiq. 1. xx. c. 5. sect. 2.; c. 6. ■ect. 2 ; c. 9. sect 2. t De Bell. lib. ix. c. 12. sect. 0. X Chap, xviii. 13.
manner, m Josephus,* " Joseph, the son of Gorion, and the high priest Ananus, were chosen to be supreme governors of all things in the city." Yet Ananus, though here called the high priest Ananus, was not then in the office of the high-priesthood. The truth is, there is an indeterminateness in the use of this title in the Gospel: sometimes it is applied exclusively to the person who held the office at the time ; sometimes to one or two more, who probably shared with him some of the powers or functions of the office; and, sometimes, to such of the priests as were eminent by their station or character; t and there is the very same indeterminateness in Josephus.
XXIV. [p. 347.] John xix. 19,20. "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross/' That such was the custom of the Romans on these occasions, appears from passages of Suetonius and Dio Cassius: "Patrem fainilias —canibus objecit, cum hoc titulo, Impie: locutus parmularius." Suet. Domit. cap. x. And in Dio Cassius we have the following: "Having led him through the midst of the court or assembly, with a writing signifying the cause of his death, and afterwards crucifying him." Book liv.
Ibid. "And it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin." That it was also usual about this time, in Jerusalem, to set up advertisements in different languages, is gathered from the account which Josephus gives of an expostulatory message , from Titus to the Jews, when the city was almost in his hands; in which he says, Did ye not erect pillars with inscriptions on them, t« the Greek and in our language, "Let no one pass beyond these bounds 1"
XXV. [p. 352.] Matt, xxvii. 26. "When he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified."
The following passages occur in Josephus:
"Being beaten, they were crucified opposite to the citadel." %
"Whom, having first scourged with whips, he crucified." §
"He was burnt alive, having been first beaten" ||
To which may be added one from Livy, lib. xi. c. 5. "Productique omnes, virgisqum catsi, ac securi percussi."
A modern example may illustrate the use we make of this instance. The preceding of a capital execution by the corporal punishment of the sufferer, is a practice unknown
• Lib. ii. c 20. sect. 3. t Mark. xiv. 53.
in England, bat retained, in some instances at least, as appears by the late execution of a regicide; in Sweden. This circumstance, therefore, in the account of an English execution, purporting to come from an English writer, would not only bring a suspicion upon the truth of the account, but would, in a considerable degree, impeach its pretensions of having been written by the author whose name it bore. Whereas the same circumstance, in the account of a Swedish execution, would verify the account, and support the authenticity of the book in which it was found; or, at least, would prove that the author, whoever he was, possessed the information, and the knowledge which he ought to possess.
XXVI. [p. 353.] John xix. 16. "And they took Jesus, and led him away; and he, bearing his cross, went forth."
Plutarch, De 113 qui serd puniuntur, p. 554: a. Paris, 1624. "Every kind of wickedness produces its own particular torment, just as «very malefactor, when he is brought forth to execution, carries his own cross"
XXVII. John xix. 32. "Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him."
Constantine abolished the punishment of the cross; in commending which edict, a heathen writer notices this very circumstance of breahing the legs: " Eo pius, ut etiam vetus veterrimumque supplicium, patibulum, et cmiribus suffringendis, primus removerit." Aur. Vict. Ces. cap. xli.
XXVIII. [p. 457.] Acts iii. 1. "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple, at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xv. c. 7. sect. 8. "Twice every day, in the morning and at the ninth hour, the priests perform their duty at the altar."
XXIX. [p. 462.] Acts xv. 21. "For Moses, of old time, hath, in every city, them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day.
Joseph, contra Ap. 1, ii. "He CMoses) gave us the law, the most excellent of all institutions; nor did he appoint that it should be heard once only, or twice, or often, but that laying aside all other works, we should meet together every week to hear it read, and gain a perfect understanding of it."
XXX. [p. 465.] Acts xxi. 23. "We have four men, which have a vow on them; them take, and purify thyself with them, that they may shave their heads.''
Joseph, de Bell. 1. xi. c. 15. "It is customary for those who have been afflicted with some distemper, or have laboured under any other difficulties, to made a vow thirty days before they offer sacrifices, to abstain from wine, and shave the hair of their heads"
Acts xxi. 24. "Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads."
Joseph. Antiq. 1. xix. c 6. "He (Herod Agrippa) coming to Jerusalem, offered up sacrifices of thanksgiving, and omitted nothing that was prescribed by the law. For which reason he also ordered a good number of Nazarites to be shaved" We here find that it was an act of piety amongst the Jews, to defray for those who were under the Nazaritic vow the expenses which attended its completion; and that the phrase was, "that they might be shaved." The custom and the expression are both remarkable, and both in close conformity with the Scripture account.
XXXI. [p. 474.] 2 Cor. xi. 24. "Of the Jews, five times received I forty stripes save one"
Joseph. Antiq. iv. c. 8. sect. 21. "He that acts contrary hereto, let him receive forty stripes, wanting one, from the public officer."
The coincidence here is singular, because the law allowed forty stripes:—" Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed." Deut. xxv. 3. It proves that the author of the Epistle to the Corinthians was guided, not by books, but by facts; because his statement agrees with the actual custom, even when that custom deviated from the written law, and from what he must have learnt by consulting the Jewish code, as set forth in the Old Testament.
XXXII. [p. 490.] Luke iii. 12. "Then came also publicans to be baptized." From this quotation, as well as from the history of Levi or Matthew (Luke v. 29), and of Zaccheus (Luke xix. 2.), it appears, that the publicans or tax-gatherers were, frequently at least, if not always, Jews: which, as the country was then under a Roman government, and the taxes were paid to the Romans, was a circumstance not to be expected. That it was the truth however of the case, appears from a short passage of Josephus.
De Bell. lib. ii. c. 14. sect. 45. "But, Floras not restraining these practices by his authority, the chief men of the Jews, among whom was Jokn the publican, not knowing well what course to take, wait upon Floras, and give him eight talents of silver to stop the building."
XXXIII. [p. 496.] Acts xxii. 25. "And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful .for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned 1"
"Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum; scelus verberari." Cic. in Verr.
"Caedebatur virgis, in medio foro Messanae, civis Romanus, Judices; cfim interea nullus gemitus, nulla vox alia, istius miseri inter dolorem crepitumque plagarum audiebatur, nisi haec, Civis Romaiius sum"
XXXIV. [p. 513.] Acts xxii. 27. "Then the chief captain came, and said unto him (Paul), Tell me, Art thou a Roman 1 He said. Yea." The circumstance here to be noticed is, that a Jew was a Roman citizen.
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiv. c. 10. sect. 13. "Lucius Lentulus, the consul, declared, I have dismissed from the service the Jewish Roman citizens, who observe the rites of the Jewish religion atEphesus."
Acts xxii. 28. "And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom."
Dio Cassius, lib. lx. "This privilege, which had been bought formerly at a great price, became so cheap, that it was commonly said, a man might be made a Roman .citizen'for a few pieces of broken glass."
XXXV. [p. 521.] Acts xxviii. 16. "And when we came to Rome, the centurion 'delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that hept him"
With which join ver. 20. "For the hope of Israel, I am bound with Mis chain."
"Quemadmodum eadem catejia et custodiam et militem copulat; sic ista, quee tam dissimilia sunt, pariter incedunt." Seneca, Ep. v.
"Proconsul ajstimare solet, utriim in carcerem recipienda sit persona, an militi tradenda." Ulpian. 1. i. sect. De Custod. et Exhib. Reor.
In the confinement of Agrippa by the order of Tiberius, Antonia managed, that the centurion who presided over the guards, and the soldier to whom Agrippa was to be bound, might be men of mild character. (Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 7. sect. 5.) After the accession of Caligula, Agrippa also, like Paul, was suffered to dwell, yet as a prisoner, in his own house.
XXXVI. [p. 531.] Acts xxvii. 1. "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul, and certain
other prisoners, unto oue named Julius.* Since not only Paul, but certain other prisoners, were sent by the same ship into Italy, the text must be considered as carrying with it an intimation, that the sending of persons from Judea to be tried at Rome, was an ordinary practice. That in truth it was so, is made out by a variety of examples which the writings of Josephus furnish; and, amongst others, by the following, which comes near both to the time and the subject of the instance in the Acts. "Felix, for some slight offence, bound and sent to Rome several priests of his acquaintance, and very good and honest men, to answer for themselves to Caesar." Joseph, in Vic sect. 3.
XXXVII. [p. 539.] Acts xi. 27. "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch; and there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world (or all the country); which came to pass in the days of Claudius Casar."
Joseph. Antiq. 1. xx. c. 4. sect. 2. "Tn their time (i. e. about the fifth or sixth year of Claudius) a great dearth happened in Judea."
XXXVIII. [p. 555.] Acts xviii. 1, 2. "Because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome,"
Suet. Claud, c. xxv. "Judseos, impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes, Roma expulit."
XXXIX. [p. 664.] Acts v. 37. " After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him."
Joseph, de Bell. 1. vii. "He (viz. the person who in another place is called, by Josephus, Judas the Galilean or Judas of Galilee) persuaded not a few not to enrol themselves, when Cyrenius the censor was sent into Judea."
XL. [p. 942.] Acts xxi. 38. "Art not thou that Egyptian which, before these days, madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?"
Joseph, de Bell. 1. ii. c. 13. sect. 5. "But the Egyptian false prophet brought a yet heavier disaster upon the Jews; for this impostor, coming into the country, and gaining the reputation of a prophet, gathered together thirty thousand men, who were deceived by him. Having brought them round out of the wilderness, up to the mount of Olives, he intended from thence to make his attack upon Jerusalem; but Felix, coming suddenly upon him with the Roman soldiers, prevented the attack."—A great number, or (as it should rather be rendered) the greatest part of those that were with him, were either slain or taken prisoners.
In these two passages, the designation of this impostor, an " Egyptian," without the proper name; " the wilderness ;" his escape, though his followers were destroyed; the time of the transaction, in the presidentship of Felix, which could not be any long time before the words in Luke are supposed to have been spoken; are circumstances of close correspondency. There is one, and only one, point of disagreement, and that is, in the number of his followers, which in the Acts are called four thousand, and by Josephus thirty thousand: but, beside that the names of numbers, more than any other words, are liable to the errors of transcribers, we are, in the present instance, under the less concern to reconcile the evangelist with Josephus, as Josephus is not, in this point, consistent with himself. For whereas, in the passage here quoted, he calls the number thirty thousand, and tells us that the greatest part, or a great number (according as his words are rendered) of those that were with him, were destroyed; in his Antiquities, he represents four hundred to have been killed upon this occasion, and two hundred taken prisoners :* which certainly was not the "greatest part," nor " a great part," nor " a great number," out of thirty thousand. It is probable also, that Lysias and Josephus spoke of the expedition in its different stages: Lysias, of those who followed the Egyptian out of Jerusalem: Josephus, of all who were collected about him afterwards, from different quarters.
XLT. (Lardner's Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, vol. iii. p. 21.) Acts xvii. 22. "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious; for, as I passed by and beheld your devotions, / found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOB. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
Diogenes Laertitts, who wrote about the year 210, in his history of Epimenides, who is supposed to have flourished nearly six hundred years before Christ, relates of him the following story: that, being invited to Athens for the purpose, he delivered the city from a pestilence in this manner;—
* Lib. -xx. c. 7. sect. 6.
"Taking several sheep, some black, others white, he had them up to the Areopagus, and then let them go where they would, and gave orders to those who followed them, wherever any of them should lie down, to sacrifice it to the god to whom it belonged; and so the plague ceased.—Hence," says the historian, " it has come to pass, that to \ this present time, may be found in the boroughs of the Athenians Anonymous altars; a memorial of the expiation then made."* These altars, it may be presumed, were called anonymous, because there was not the name of any particular deity inscribed upon them.
Pausanias, who wrote before the end of the second century, in his description of Athens, having mentioned an altar of Ju-., piter Olympius, adds, "And nigh unto it is an altar of unknown gods."f And in another place, he speaks '' of altars of gods called unknown." %
Philostratus, who wrote in the beginning of the third century, records it as an observation of Apollonius Tyanaeus, " That it was wise to speak well of all the gods, especially at Athens, where altars of unknown demo7is were erected.'' §
The author of the dialogue Philopatris, by many supposed to have been Lucian, who wrote about the year 170, by others some anonymous Heathen writer of the fourth century, makes Critias swear by the unknown god of Athens; and, near the end of the dialogue, has these words, " But let us find out the unknown god at Athens, and, stretching our hands to heaven, offer to him our praises and thanksgivings."||
This is a very curious and a very important coincidence. It appears beyond controversy, that altars with this inscription were existing at Athens, at the time when Saint Paul is alleged to have been there. it seems also (which is very worthy of observation), that this inscription was peculiar to the Athenians. There is no evidence that there were altars inscribed "to the unknown god" in any other country. Supposing the history of Saint Paul to have been a fable, how is it possible that such a writer as the author of the Acts of the Apostles was, should hit upon a circumstance so extraordinary, and introduce it by an allu
* In Epimenide, 1. i. segm. 110. + Paus. 1. v. p. 4J2. t Ibid. 1. i. p. 4. I Philos. Apoll. Tyan. 1. vi. c. 3. || Lucian. in Philop. tom. ii. Graev. p. 7C7. 780.