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which could not well have been the case, had he merely incorporated the memoirs of others.
8. And again the notes will be found repeatedly to point out cases where the narrator takes up again (with his characteristic “ so then” or otherwise) the thread of history previously dropped (see e.g., and compare, xi. 16, i. 5: xi. 19, viii. 1-4: xxi. 8, vi. 5, viii. 5 ff. : xxii. 20, vii. 58, viii. 1, &c.).
9. Another interesting source of evidence on this head is pointed out by Mr. Smith, in his valuable work on the Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul. He has shewn that in the various narratives of sea voyages in this book, and in that of the stilling of the storm in the Gospel, Luke has, with remarkable consistency, shewn himself to be just so much acquainted with the phrases and habits of seamen, as a landsman well habituated to the sea, but himself no seaman, might be expected to be. To specify instances would be beyond my limits, besides that Mr. Smith’s very interesting and ingenious argument and illustrations would be spoiled by abridgment. I can only refer my reader to his work?.
10. To the same class belong the intimations, slight indeed but interesting, discoverable here and in the Gospel, in the descriptions of diseases, that the author was one well acquainted with them and with the technical language of the medical profession. Of this kind are Luke iv. 38; Acts xxviii. 8: see also Luke viii. 43, 44,-Acts iii. 7, xii. 23, xiii. 11, and compare Col. iv. 14.
11. It will be necessary to mention the various hypotheses which have substituted some other narrator for Luke in the parts of the Acts where the first person is used, or have merged his personality in that of some other companion of Paul: and, irrespective of the above arguments, to deal with them on their own merits. (a) Bleek and De Wette hold Timothy, and not Luke, to have been the companion of Paul and the narrator in the first person,—and Luke to have inserted those portions from a journal kept by Timotheus, and without alteration.
-But this is not consistent with ch. xx. 4, 5: where, when the companions of Paul have been named, and Timotheus among them, it is said, “ These having gone forward waited for us at Troas :” the escape from this objection attempted by making “ these” refer to Tychicus and Trophimus only, being, on all ordinary rules of construction, inadmissible. This reason is, to my mind, sufficient: those who wish to see others brought out, and the supports of the hypothesis (which are entirely negative and inferential) invalidated, may consult Dr. Davidson's Introduction to the N. T., vol. ii. pp. 9 ff.
(0) Silas was the narrator in the first person, and indeed the author
1 A second edition of Mr. Smith's book has appeared, enlarged with much interesting detail.
of the latter part of the book beginning with xv. 13 (30 ?), in the form of personal memoirs, which then were worked up. This hypothesis, which has not any thing resembling evidence to support it, is sufficiently refuted by the way in which the mention of Silas is introduced ch. xv. 22 (included by the hypothesis in his own work) as being a 'chief man among the brethren. If it be answered that this notice of him was inserted by Luke,—Is it, I would ask, likely, that an author who was at no more pains in his work than to leave the first person standing in the narrative of another which he used, would have added to the mention of new individuals notices of this kind ?
(c) More ingenious, and admitting of more plausible defence, is the hypothesis, which identifies Luke himself with Silas. The latest and ablest vindication of this view is contained in an article by the Author of the literary history of the New Test. in Kitto's Journal of Sacred Lit. for Oct. 1850. The chief arguments by which he supports it are these :
(1) “The author of the Acts appears, in the early part of his history, to have been well acquainted with the acts and sayings of Peter, as he was afterwards with those of Paul. Now the only persons whom this description would fit, are Silvanus (or Silas), and Mark (see 1 Pet. v. 12, 13). That Mark did not after Acts xv. travel with Paul, we know: but Silas did, and from that time we find greater precision in the narrative as regards the history of that Apostle.”
But to this it may be answered,—that the difference between the kind of acquaintance which the historian possesses with Peter and his sayings and doings, and that with Paul and his history, is very observable even to a cursory reader. Nowhere in the first part of the book does he use the first person: and nowhere, although the testimony has plainly come in many parts from the authority of an eye-witness, does the narrator himself appear as the eye-witness. In fact, all that the above argument insists on, is easily and naturally satisfied, by the long and intimate companionship of Luke and Silvanus as fellow-travellers with Paul, during which time Luke may have gathered, if Silvanus must be considered as his authority, all that we now find in the former parts of our history.
(2) “Luke and Silvanus (Silas) are nowhere mentioned together. Luke is never mentioned in the Acts : Silas is never coupled with Luke in the addresses or salutations of the Epistles. And the two names, Silvanus (from silva, a wood) and Lucanus (from lucus, a grove) are so cognate that they might well be the appellations of one and the same person.”
2 I do not notice in the text the untenablenes of the author's hypothesis that Silvanus accompanied Peter from Jerusalem into the East, and became the bearer of his first Epistle to the Christians of Asia Minor, before the commencement of his own connexion with Paul : i.e. before the gospel had ever been preached to many of those addressed by Peter, which it had already been,- see 1 Pet. i. 12, 25. This extraordinary hypothesis is not necessary to his theory of the identity of Luke and Silas : indeed that theory is better without it, as then the silence of the Acts on Peter's proceedings after Acts xii. is accountable, which on that hypothesis it would not be.
This ingenious argument, if well weighed, will be found to have but little force. As to Luke not being named in the Acts, the fact itself goes for nothing. If it have any weight, it would be at first sight against the hypothesis. That one who was careful to insert an explanatory notice respecting one so well known as “ Saul, who is also called Paul,” should take no notice at all of the fact hereafter likely to occasion so much confusion,—that he who was named Silas in the history, was known by Paul, and mentioned in his Epistles, as Lucas,-is hardly probable. But let us observe the occasions on which Silvanus and Lucas have been mentioned by Paul. In 1 Thess. i. 1, and 2 Thess. i. 1, we have Silvanus joined with Paul and Timotheus. In 2 Cor. i. 19, we have an allusion to the preaching of Christ at Corinth by Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus. Accordingly in Acts xviii. 5, we find that Silas and Timotheus came from Macedonia and joined Paul at Corinth: this occurring in a part of the history when (I am speaking according to the ordinary and prima facie inference, from the disuse of the first person since xvi. 17) the author was absent from Paul. Now let us turn to Col. iv. 14, Philem. 243. These Epistles belong to a time when we know by the latter chapters of the Acts, that the writer of the history was with Paul. Accordingly I find Lucas mentioned in both places. So far at least is in remarkable accordance with the common view that Silas and Lucas were not one, but two persons, and that the latter was the author of the Acts, and not the former.-It may be said that Paul called the same person Lucas whom he had previously called Silvanus : and this may be supported by his variations between Peter and Cephas. But (1) I conceive that the case of Peter was too exceptional an one (both names having apparently been given him and used by our Lord Himself) to found an analogy upon; and (2) Peter's names are forms of the same meaning in two different languages, not words of similar meaning in the same language.
But the principal argument in my mind against this hypothesis (over and above that from ch. xv. 22) is, that it would introduce unaccountable confusion into the form and expression of a history, which on the common view is lucid and accountable enough. Imagine Silas to be the speaker in ch. xvi., and Luke to be merged in Silas. Then 'we' from ver. 10 to ver. 18, means, Silas and Timotheus. In ver. 19, it would be natural to desert the first person, in order to express what happened to Paul and Silas, and not to Timotheus. The same specification of Paul and Silas might, for the same reason, be continued during the stay at
3 I omit at present 2 Tim. iv. 11.
Philippi, i. e. to the end of that chapter. But is it conceivable, that the 'we' should not be resumed when the journey begins again ch. xvii. 1,
that it should not be used ch. xviii. 11, seeing that from 2 Cor. i. 19 it was Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus, who were preaching during that time at Corinth-in fact, that it should never be resumed till ch. xx. 5, at the very place (Philippi) where it was dropped before ?
The argument from the similarity of silva and lucus is too unsubstantial to deserve serious attention. And that built on the assumption that the author of the third Gospel and the Acts must have held a place of greater honour than we find assigned to Lucas, is purely arbitrary and sufficiently answered by observing that he is ranked with Marcus, apparently his fellow-Evangelist, in Philem. 24. Rather would it seem probable, that the men of word and action, in those times of the living energy of the Spirit, would take the highest place; and that the work of securing to future generations the word of God would not be fully honoured, till from necessity, it became duly valued.
12. I shall now endeavour to sketch out the personal history of the author of the Acts, as far as it can be gathered, during the events which he relates.
The first direct intimation of his being in the company of St. Paul, occurs ch. xvi. 10, at Troas, when Paul was endeavouring (looking for a ship) to sail into Macedonia. Now at this time, Paul had been apparently detained in Galatia by sickness, and had just passed through (preaching as he went, see ch. xviii. 23) that country and Phrygia. It is hardly probable that he had visited Colossæ, as it lay far out of his route, but he may, in the then uncertainty of his destination, have done so. (See Col. ii. 1 and note.) I say this, because it is remarkable that in sending Luke's salutation to the Colossians (Col. iv. 14), he calls him “ the beloved physician.” This designation might recall to their minds the relation in which Luke had stood to Paul when in their country; or more probably may have been an effusion of the warm heart of Paul, on recollection of the services rendered to him on that journey by his loving care. At all events such a designation, occurring in such a place, is not inconsistent with the idea that Luke about that time became St. Paul's companion on account of the weak state of his health. Further to establish this is impossible: but what follows is not inconsistent with it. We find him in the Apostle's company no further than to Philippi, the object perhaps of his attendance on him having been then fulfilled “.
13. If we seek for any trace of previous connexion between Luke and St. Paul, we find nothing but the very slightest hint, and that perhaps hardly to be taken as such. In ch. xiv. 21 we read, that Paul, after the
4 He may have been put in charge with the church at Philippi ; but the conjecture is not very probable.
stoning at Lystra, departed with Barnabas to Derbe, and returned through Lystra and Iconium and Antioch (in Pisidia) confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to remain in the faith, " and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” This we may be, as commonly understood, spoken by the writer as a Christian, and of all Christians : but it may also be indicative of the writer's presence: and I cannot help connecting it with the tradition that Luke was a native of Antiochs: though Antioch in Syria is there meant. Certainly, in the account (ch. xiii.) of the events at Antioch in Pisidia, there is remarkable particularity. Paul's speech is fully reported : the account of its effect vv. 44-49 given with much earnestness of feeling :—and one little notice is added after the departure of Paul and Barnabas, ver. 52, which looks very like the testimony of one who was left behind at Antioch. Whether this may have been the place of Luke's own conversion, we know not; but a peculiar interest evidently hangs about this preaching at Antioch in the mind of the narrator, be he who he may: and Mark had departed, who might have supplied the Cyprian events (see ver. 13).
14. After the second junction with Paul and his company, ch. xx. 5, we find him remaining with the Apostle to the end of our history. It would not be necessary to suppose this second attachment to him to have had the same occasion as the first. That which weakness of body at first made advisable, affection may subsequently have renewed. And we have reason to believe that this was really the case. Not only the epithet “beloved,” Col. iv. 14, but the fact, that very late in the life of the Apostle (see Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles), when “all in Asia were turned away from him” (2 Tim. i. 15), and Demas, Crescens, and Titus had for various reasons left him, the faithful Luke still remained (2 Tim. iv. 11), bespeaks an ardent and steady attachment to the person of him who in all probability was his father in the faith.
15. Of the subsequent history and death of Luke nothing is known.
1. The principal enquiry respecting the sources of the narrative in the Acts relates to the first part as far as ch. xii. After that, the history follows the Apostle Paul, of whom its writer was subsequently the con
s That the two places of that name would thus be confounded, is nothing surprising to those who are familiar with tradition. The usual ground assigned for this idea, viz. the mention of Lucius (of Cyrene) as being at Antioch, ch. xi. 1, is certainly far from satisfactory.