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The Quest of the Historical Jesus

* XIX *


W. Wrede. Das Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien. Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Verstandnis des Markusevangelinms. (The Messianic Secret in the Gospels. Forming a contribution also to the understanding of the Gospel of Mark.) Gottingen, 1901. 286 pp.

Albert Schweitzer. Das Messianitats- und Leidensgeheimnis. Eine Skizze des Lebens Jesu. (The Secret of the Messiahship and the Passion. A Sketch of the Life of Jesus.) Tubingen and Leipzig, 1901. 109 pp.

THE COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE WORK OF WREDE [1] AND THE "SKETCH of the Life of Jesus" is not more surprising in regard to the time of their appearance than in regard to the character of their contents. They appeared upon the self-same day, their titles are almost identical, and their agreement in the criticism of the modern historical conception of the life of Jssus extends sometimes to the very phraseology. And yet they are written from quite different standpoints, one from the point of view of literary criticism, the other from that of the historical recognition of eschatology. It seems to be the fate of the Marcan hypothesis that at the decisive periods its problems should always be attacked simultaneously and independently from the literary and the historical sides, and the results declared in two different forms which corroborate each other. So it was in the case of Weisse and Wilke; so it is again now, when, retaining the assumption of the priority of Mark, the historicity of the hitherto accepted view of the life of Jesus, based upon the Marcan narrative, is called in question.

[1] William Wrede, bom in 1859 at Bucfcen in Hanover, was Professor at Breslau. (He died in 1907).

Wrede names as his real predecessors on the same lines Bruno Bauer, Volkmar, and the Dutch writer Hoekstra ("De Christologie van het canonieke Marcus-Evangelie, vergeleken met die van de beide andere synoptische Evangelien," Theol. Tijdischrift, v, 1871). .

In a certain limited degree the work of Ernest Havet (Le Christianisme et ses origines) has a claim to be classed in the same category. His scepticism refers principally to the entry into Jerusalem and the story of the passion.


The meaning of that is that the literary and the eschatological view, which have hitherto been marching parallel, on either flank, to the advance of modern theology, have now united their forces, brought theology to a halt, surrounded it, and compelled it to give battle.

That in the last three or four years so much has been written in which this enveloping movement has been ignored does not alter the real position of modern historical theology in the least. The fact is deserving of notice that during this period the study of the subject has not made a step in advance, but has kept moving to and fro upon the old lines with wearisome iteration, and has thrown itself with excessive zeal into the work of popularisation, simply because it was incapable of advancing.

And even if it professes gratitude to Wrede for the very interesting historical point which he has brought into the discussion, and is also willing to admit that thoroughgoing eschatology has advanced the solution of many problems, these are mere demonstrations which are quite inadequate to raise the blockade of modern theology by the allied forces. Supposing that only a half-nay, only a third-of the critical arguments which are common to Wrede and the "Sketch of the Life of Jesus" are sound, then the modern historical view of the history is wholly ruined.

The reader of Wrede's book cannot help feeling that here no quarter is given; and any one who goes carefully through the present writer's "Sketch" must come to see that between the modern historical and the eschatological Life of Jesus no compromise is possible.

Thoroughgoing scepticism and thoroughgoing eschatology may, in their union, either destroy, or be destroyed by modern historical theology; but they cannot combine with it and enable it to advance, any more than they can be advanced by it.

We are confronted with a decisive issue. As with Strauss's "Life of Jesus," so with the surprising agreement in the critical basis of these two schools-we are not here considering the respective solutions which they offer-there has entered into the domain of the theology of the day a force with which it cannot possibly ally itself. Its whole territory is threatened. It must either reconquer it step by step or else surrender it. It has no longer the right to advance a single assertion until it has taken up a definite position in regard to the fundamental questions raised by the new criticism.

Modern historical theology is no doubt still far from recognising this. It is warned that the dyke is letting in water and sends a couple of masons to repair the leak; as if the leak did not mean that the whole masonry is undermined, and must be rebuilt from the foundation.

To vary the metaphor, theology comes home to find the broker's marks


on all the furniture and goes on as before quite comfortably, ignoring the fact it will lose everything if it does not pay its debts.

The critical objections which Wrede and the "Sketch" agree in bringing against the modern treatment of the subject are as follows.

In order to find in Mark the Life of Jesus of which it is in search modern theology is obliged to read between the lines a whole host of things, and those often the most important, and then to foist them upon the text by means of psychological conjecture. It is determined to find evidence in Mark of a development of Jesus, a development of the disciples, and a development of the outer circumstances; and professes in so doing to be only reproducing the views and indications of the Evangelist. In reality, however, there is not a word of all this in the Evangelist, and when his interpreters are asked what are the hints and indications on which they base their assertions they have nothing to offer save argumenta e silentio.

Mark knows nothing of any development in Jesus, he knows nothing of any paedagogic considerations which are supposed to have determined the conduct of Jesus towards the disciples and the people; he knows nothing of any conflict in the mind of Jesus between a spiritual and a popular, political Messianic ideal; he does not know, either, that in this respect there was any difference between the view of Jesus and that of the people; he knows nothing of the idea that the use of the ass at the triumphal entry symbolised a non-political Messiahship; he knows nothing of the idea that the question about the Messiah's being the Son of David had something to do with this alternative between political and non-political; he does not know, either, that Jesus explained the secret of the passion to the disciples, nor that they had any understanding of it; he only knows that from first to last they were in all respects equally wanting in understanding; he does not know that the first period was a period of success and the second a period of failure; he represents the Pharisees and Herodians as (from iii. 6 onwards) resolved upon the death of Jesus, while the people, down to the very last day when He preached in the temple, are enthusiastically loyal to Him.

All these things of which the Evangelist says nothing-and they are the foundations of the modern view-should first be proved, if proved they can be; they ought not to be simply read into the text as something self-evident. For it is just those things which appear so self-evident to the prevailing critical temper which are in reality the least evident of all.

Another hitherto self-evident point-the "historical kernel" which it has been customary to extract from the narratives-must be given up, until it is proved, if it is capable of proof, that we can and ought to distinguish between the kernel and the husk. We may take all that is


reported as either historical or unhistorical, but, in respect of the definite predictions of the passion, death, and resurrection, we ought to give up taking the reference to the passion as historical and letting the rest go; we may accept the idea of the atoning death, or we may reject it, but we ought not to ascribe to Jesus a feeble, anaemic version of this idea, while setting down to the account of the Pauline theology the interpretation of the passion which we actually find in Mark.

Whatever the results obtained by the aid of the historical kernel, the method pursued is the same; "it is detached from its context and transformed into something different." "It finally comes to this," says Wrede, "that each critic retains whatever portion of the traditional sayings can be fitted into his construction of the facts and his conception of historical possibility and rejects the rest." The psychological explanation of motive, and the psychological connexion of the events and actions which such critics have proposed to find in Mark, simply do not exist. That being so, nothing is to be made out of his account by the application of a priori psychology. A vast quantity of treasures of scholarship and erudition, of art and artifice, which the Marcan hypothesis has gathered into its storehouse in the two generations of its existence to aid it in constructing its life of Jesus has become worthless, and can be of no further service to true historical research. Theology has been simplified. What would become of it if that did not happen every hundred years or so? And the simplification was badly needed, for no one since Strauss had cleared away its impedimenta.

Thoroughgoing scepticism and thoroughgoing eschatology, between them, are compelling theology to read the Marcan text again with simplicity of mind. The simplicity consists in dispensing with the connecting links which it has been accustomed to discover between the sections of the narrative (pericopes), in looking at each one separately, and recognising that it is difficult to pass from one to the other. <> The material with which it has hitherto been usual to solder the sections together into a life of Jesus will not stand the temperature test. Exposed to the cold air of critical scepticism it cracks; when the furnace of eschatology is heated to a certain point the solderings melt. In both cases the sections all fall apart.

Formerly it was possible to book through-tickets at the supplementary-psychological-knowledge office which enabled those travelling in the interests of Life-of-Jesus construction to use express trains, thus avoiding the inconvenience of having to stop at every little station, change, and run the risk of missing their connexion. This ticket office is now closed. There is a station at the end of each section of the narrative, and the connexlons are not guaranteed.

The fact is, it is not simply that there is no very obvious psychological connexion between the sections; in almost every case there is a positive


break in the connexion. And there is a great deal in the Marcan narrative which is inexplicable and even self-contradictory.

In their statement of the problems raised by this want of connexion Wrede and the "Sketch" are in the most exact agreement. That these difficulties are not artificially constructed has been shown by our survey of the history of the attempts to write the Life of Jesus, in the course of which these problems emerge one after another, after Bruno Bauer had by anticipation grasped them all in their complexity.

How do the demoniacs know that Jesus is the Son of God? Why does the blind man at Jericho address Him as the Son of David, when no one else knows His Messianic dignity? How was it that these occurrences did not give a new direction to the thoughts of the people in regard to Jesus? How did the Messianic entry come about? How was it possible without provoking the interference of the Roman garrison of occupation? Why is it as completely ignored in the subsequent controversies as if it had never taken place? Why was it not brought up at the trial of Jesus? "The Messianic acclamation at the entry into Jerusalem," says Wrede, "is in Mark quite an isolated incident. It has no sequel, neither is there any preparation for it beforehand."

Why does Jesus in Mark iv. 10-12 speak of the parabolic form of discourse as designed to conceal the mystery of the Kingdom of God, whereas the explanation which He proceeds to give to the disciples has nothing mysterious about it? What is the mystery of the Kingdom of God? Why does Jesus forbid His miracles to be made known even in cases where there is no apparent purpose for the prohibition? Why is His Messiahship a secret and yet no secret, since it is known, not only to the disciples, but to the demoniacs, the blind man at Jericho, the multitude at Jerusalem-which must, as Bruno Bauer expresses it, "have fallen from heaven"-and to the High Priest?

Why does Jesus first reveal His Messiahship to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi, not at the moment when He sends them forth to preach? How does Peter know without having been told by Jesus that the Messiahship belongs to his Master? Why must it remain a secret until the "resurrection"? Why does Jesus indicate His Messiahship only by the title Son of Man? And why is it that this title is so far from prominent in primitive Christian theology?

What is the meaning of the statement that Jesus at Jerusalem discovered a difficulty in the fact that the Messiah was described as at once David's son and David's Lord? How are we to explain the fact that Jesus had to open the eyes of the people to the greatness of the Baptist's office, subsequently to the mission of the Twelve, and to enlighten the disciples themselves in regard to it during the descent from the mount of transfiguration? Why should this be described in Matt. xi. 14 and 15


as a mystery difficult to grasp ("If ye can receive it" . . . "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear")? What is the meaning of the saying that he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the Baptist? Does the Baptist, then, not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? How is the Kingdom of Heaven subjected to violence since the days of the Baptist? Who are the violent? What is the Baptist intended to understand from the answer of Jesus?

What importance was attached to the miracles by Jesus Himself? What office must they have caused the people to attribute to Him? Why is the discourse at the sending out of the Twelve filled with predictions of persecutions which experience had given no reason to anticipate, and which did not, as a matter of fact, occur? What is the meaning of the saying in Matt. x. 23 about the imminent coming of the Son of Man, seeing that the disciples after all returned to Jesus without its being fulfilled? Why does Jesus leave the people just when His work among them is most successful, and journey northwards? Why had He, immediately after the sending forth of the Twelve, manifested a desire to withdraw Himself from the multitude who were longing for salvation?

How does the multitude mentioned in Mark viii. 34 suddenly appear at Caesarea Philippi? Why is its presence no longer implied in Mark ix. 30? How could Jesus possibly have travelled unrecognised through Galilee, and how could He have avoided being thronged in Capernaum although He stayed at "the house"?

How came He so suddenly to speak to His disciples of His suffering and dying and rising again, without, moreover, explaining to them either the natural or the moral "wherefore"? "There is no trace of any attempt on the part of Jesus," says Wrede, "to break this strange thought gradually to His disciples . . . the prediction is always flung down before the disciples without preparation, it is, in fact, a characteristic feature of these sayings that all attempt to aid the understanding of the disciples is lacking."

Did Jesus journey to Jerusalem with the purpose of working there, or of dying there? How comes it that in Mark x. 39, He holds out to the sons of Zebedee the prospect of drinking His cup and being baptized with His baptism? And how can He, after speaking so decidedly of the necessity of His death, think it possible in Gethsemane that the cup might yet pass from Him? Who are the undefined "many," for whom, according to Mark x. 45 and xiv. 24, His death shall serve as a ransom? [1]

[1] These and the following questions are raised more especially in the Sketch of the Life of Jesus.


How came it that Jesus alone was arrested? Why were no witness called at His trial to testify that He had given Himself out to be the Messiah? How is it that on the morning after His arrest the temper of the multitude seems to be completely changed, so that no one stirs a finger to help Him?

In what form does Jesus conceive the resurrection, which He promises to His disciples, to be combined with the coming on the clouds of heaven to which He points His judge? In what relation do these predictions stand to the prospect held out at the time of the sending forth of the Twelve, but not realized, of the immediate appearance of the Son of Man?

What is the meaning of the further prediction on the way to Gethsemane (Mark xiv. 28) that after His resurrection He will go before the disciples into Galilee? How is the other version of this saying (Mark xvi. 7) to be explained, according to which it means, as spoken by the angel, that the disciples are to journey to Galilee to have their first meeting with the risen Jesus there, whereas, on the lips of Jesus, it betokened that, just as now as a sufferer He was going before them from Galilee to Jerusalem, so, after His resurrection, He would go before them from Jerusalem to Galilee? And what was to happen there?

These problems were covered up by the naturalistic psychology as by a light snow-drift. The snow has melted, and they now stand out from the narratives like black points of rock. It is no longer allowable to avoid these questions, or to solve them, each by itself, by softening them down and giving them an interpretation by which the reported facts acquire a quite different significance from that which they bear for the Evangelist. Either the Marcan text as it stands is historical, and therefore to be retained, or it is not, and then it should be given up. What is really unhistorical is any softening down of the wording, and the meaning which it naturally bears.

The sceptical and eschatological schools, however, go still farther in company. If the connexion in Mark is really no connexion, it is important to try to discover whether any principle can be discovered in this want of connexion. Can any order be brought into the chaos? To this the answer is in the affirmative.

The complete want of connexion, with all its self-contradictions, is ultimately due to the fact that two representations of the life of Jesus, or, to speak more accurately, of His public ministry, are here crushed into one; a natural and a deliberately supernatural representation. A dogmatic element has intruded itself into the description of this Life-something which has no concern with the events which form the outward course of that Life. This dogmatic element is the Messianic secret of Jesus and all the secrets and concealments which go along with it.


Hence the irrational and self-contradictory features of the presentation of Jesus, out of which a rational psychology can make only something which is unhistorical and does violence to the text, since it must necessarily get rid of the constant want of connexion and self-contradiction which belongs to the essence of the narrative, and portray a Jesus who was the Messiah, not one who at once was and was not Messiah as the Evangelist depicts Him. When rational psychology conceives Him as one who was Messiah, but not in the sense expected by the people, that is a concession to the self-contradictions of the Marcan representation; which, however, does justice neither to the text nor to the history which it records, since the Gospel does not contain the faintest hint that the contradiction was of this nature.

Up to this point-up to the complete reconstruction of the system which runs through the disconnectedness, and the tracing back of the dogmatic element to the Messianic secret-there extends a close agreement between thoroughgoing scepticism and thoroughgoing eschatology. The critical arguments are identical, the construction is analogous and based on the same principle. The defenders of the modern psychological view cannot, therefore, play off one school against the other, as one of them proposed to do, but must deal with them both at once. They differ only when they explain whence the system that runs through the disconnectedness comes. Here the ways divide, as Bauer saw long ago. The inconsistency between the public life of Jesus and His Messianic claim lies either in the nature of the Jewish Messianic conception, or in the representation of the Evangelist. There is, on the one hand, the eschatological solution, which at one stroke raises the Marcan account as it stands, with all its disconnectedness and inconsistencies, into genuine history; and there is, on the other hand, the literary solution, which regards the incongruous dogmatic element as interpolated by the earliest Evangelist into the tradition and therefore strikes out the Messianic claim altogether from the historical Life of Jesus. Tertium non datur.

But in some respects it really hardly matters which of the two "solutions" one adopts. They are both merely wooden towers erected upon the solid main building of the consentient critical induction which offers the enigmas detailed above to modern historical theology. It is interesting in this connexion that Wrede's scepticism is just as constructive as the eschatological outline of the Life of Jesus in the "Sketch."

Bruno Bauer chose the literary solution because he thought that we had no evidence for an eschatological expectation existing in the time of Christ. Wrede, though he follows Johannes Weiss in assuming the existence of a Jewish eschatological Messianic expectation, finds in the Gospel only the Christian conception of the Messiah. "If Jesus," he thinks, "really knew Himself to be the Messiah and designated Himself


as such, the genuine tradition is so closely interwoven with later accretions that it is not easy to recognise it." In any case, Jesus cannot, according to Wrede, have spoken of His Messianic Coming in the way which the Synoptists report. The Messiahship of Jesus, as we find it in the Gospels, is a product of Early Christian theology correcting history according to its own conceptions.

It is therefore necessary to distinguish in Mark between the reported events which constitute the outward course of the history of Jesus, and the dogmatic idea which claims to lay down the lines of its inward course. The principle of division is found in the contradictions.

The recorded events form, according to Wrede, the following picture. Jesus came forward as a teacher, [1] first and principally in Galilee. He was surrounded by a company of disciples, went about with them, and gave them instruction. To some of them He accorded a special confidence. A larger multitude sometimes attached itself to Him, in addition to the disciples. He is fond of discoursing in parables. Besides the teaching there are the miracles. These make a stir, and He is thronged by the multitudes. He gives special attention to the cases of demoniacs. He is in such close touch with the people that He does not hesitate to associate even with publicans and sinners. Towards the Law He takes up an attitude of some freedom. He encounters the opposition of the Pharisees and the Jewish authorities. They set traps for Him and endeavour to bring about His fall. Finally they succeed, when He ventures to show Himself not only on Judaean soil, but in Jerusalem. He remains passive and is condemned to death. The Roman administration supports the Jewish authorities.

"The texture of the Marcan narrative as we know it," continues Wrede, "is not complete until to the warp of these general historical notions there is added a strong weft of ideas of a dogmatic character, the substance of which is that "Jesus, the bearer of a special office to which He was appointed by God," becomes "a higher, superhuman being." If this is the case, however, then "the motives of His conduct are not derived from human characteristics, human aims and necessities." "The one motive which runs throughout is rather a Divine decree which lies beyond human understanding. This He seeks to fulfil alike in His actions and His sufferings. The teaching of Jesus is accordingly supernatural." On this assumption the want of understanding of the disciples to whom He communicates, without commentary, unconnected portions of this supernatural knowledge becomes natural and explicable. The people are, moreover, essentially "non-receptive of revelation."

"It is these motifs and not those which are inherently historical which

[1] It would perhaps be more historical to say "as a prophet."


give movement and direction to the Marcan narrative. It is they that give the general colour. On them naturally depends the main interest, it is to them that the thought of the writer is really directed. The consequence is that the general picture offered by the Gospel is not an historical representation of the Life of Jesus. Only some faded remnants of such an impression have been taken over into a supra-historical religious view. In this sense the Gospel of Mark belongs to the history of dogma."

The two conceptions of the Life of Jesus, the natural and the supernatural, are brought, not without inconsistencies, into a kind of harmony by means of the idea of intentional secrecy. The Messiahship of Jesus is concealed in His life as in a closed dark lantern, which, however, is not quite closed-otherwise one could not see that it was there-and allows a few bright beams to escape.

The idea of a secret which must remain a secret until the resurrection of Jesus could only arise at a time when nothing was known of a Messianic claim of Jesus during His life upon earth: that is to say, at a time when the Messiahship of Jesus was thought of as beginning with the resurrection. But that is a weighty piece of indirect historical evidence that Jesus did not really profess to be the Messiah at all.

The positive fact which is to be inferred from this is that the appearances of the risen Jesus produced a sudden revolution in His disciples' conception of Him. "The resurrection" is for Wrede the real Messianic event in the Life of Jesus.

Who is responsible, then, for introducing this singular feature, so destructive of the real historical connexion, into the life of Jesus, which was in reality that of a teacher? It is quite impossible, Wrede argues, that the idea of the Messianic secret is the invention of Mark. "A thing like that is not done by a single individual. It must, therefore, have been a view which was current in certain circles, and was held by a considerable number, though not necessarily perhaps by a very great number of persons. To say this is not to deny that Mark had a share and perhaps a considerable share in the creation of the view which he sets forth . . . the motifs themselves are doubtless not, in part at least, peculiar to the Evangelist, but the concrete embodiment of them is certainly his own work; and to this extent we may speak of a special Marcan point of view which manifests itself here and there. Where the line is to be drawn between what is traditional and what is individual cannot always be determined even by a careful examination directed to this end. We must leave it commingled, as we find it."

The Marcan narrative has therefore arisen from the impulse to give a Messianic form to the earthly life of Jesus. This impulse was, however, restrained by the impression and tradition of the non-Messianic char-


acter of the life of Jesus, which were still strong and vivid, and it was therefore not able wholly to recast the material, but could only bore its way into it and force it apart, as the roots of the bramble disintegrate a rock. In the Gospel literature which arose on the basis of Mark the Messianic secret becomes gradually of more subordinate importance and the life of Jesus more Messianic in character, until in the Fourth Gospel He openly comes before the people with Messianic claims.

In estimating the value of this construction we must not attach too much importance to its a priori assumptions and difficulties. In this respect Wrede's position is much more precarious than that of his precursor Bruno Bauer. According to the latter the interpolation of the Messianic secret is the personal, absolutely original act of the Evangelist. Wrede thinks of it as a collective act, representing the new conception as moulded by the tradition before it was fixed by the Evangelist. That is very much more difficult to carry through. Tradition alters its materials in a different way from that in which we find them altered in Mark. Tradition transforms from without. Mark's way of drawing secret threads of a different material through the texture of the tradition, without otherwise altering it, is purely literary, and could only be the work of an individual person.

A creative tradition would have carried out the theory of the Messianic secret in the life of Jesus much more boldly and logically, that is to say, at once more arbitrarily and more consistently.

The only alternative is to distinguish two stages of tradition in early Christianity, a naive, freely-working, earlier stage, and a more artificial later stage confined to a smaller circle of a more literary character. Wrede does, as a matter of fact, propose to find in Mark traces of a simpler and bolder transformation which, leaving aside the Messianic secret, makes Jesus an openly-professed Messiah, and is therefore of a distinct origin from the conception of the secret Christ. To this tradition may belong, he thinks, the entry into Jerusalem and the confession before the High Priest, since these narratives "naively" imply an openly avowed Messiahship.

The word "naively" is out of place here; a really naive tradition which intended to represent the entry of Jesus as Messianic would have done so in quite a different way from Mark, and would not have stultified itself so curiously as we find done even in Matthew, where the Galilaean Passover pilgrims, after the "Messianic entry," answer the question of the people of Jerusalem as to who it was whom they were acclaiming, with the words "This is the Prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galileo" (Matt. xxi. 11).

The tradition, too, which makes Jesus acknowledge His Messiahstiip


before His judges is not "naive" in Wrede's sense, for, if it were, it would not represent the High Priest's knowledge of Jesus' Messiahship as something so extraordinary and peculiar to himself that he can cite witnesses only for the saying about the Temple, not with reference to Jesus' Messianic claim, and bases his condemnation only on the fact that Jesus in answer to his question acknowledges Himself as Messiah - and Jesus does so, it should be remarked, as in other passages, with an appeal to a future justification of His claim. The confession before the council is therefore anything but a "naive representation of an openly avowed Messiahship."

The Messianic statements in these two passages present precisely the same remarkable character as in all the other cases to which Wrede draws attention. We have not here to do with a different tradition, with a clear Messianic light streaming in through the window-pane, but, just as elsewhere, with the rays of a dark lantern. The real point is that Wrede cannot bring these two passages within the lines of the theory of secrecy, and practically admits this by assuming the existence of a second and rather divergent line of tradition. What concerns us is to note that this theory does not suffice to explain the two facts in question, the knowledge of Jesus' Messiahship shown by the Galilaean Passover pilgrims at the time of the entry into Jerusalem, and the knowledge of the High Priest at His trial.

We can only touch on the question whether any one who wished to date back in some way or other the Messiahship into the life of Jesus could not have done it much more simply by making Jesus give His closest followers some hints regarding it. Why does the re-moulder of the history, instead of doing that, have recourse to a supernatural knowledge on the part of the demoniacs and the disciples? For Wrede rightly remarks, as Bruno Bauer and the "Sketch" also do, that the incident of Caesarea Philippi, as represented by Mark, involves a miracle, since Jesus does not, as is generally supposed, reveal His Messiahship to Peter; it is Peter who reveals it to Jesus (Mark viii. 29). This fact, however, makes nonsense of the whole theory about the disciples' want of understanding. It will not therefore fit into the concealment theory, and Wrede, as a matter of fact, feels obliged to give up that theory as regards this incident. "This scene," he remarks, "can hardly have been created by Mark himself." It also, therefore, belongs to another tradition.

Here, then, is a third Messianic fact which cannot be brought within the lines of Wrede's "literary" theory of the Messianic secret. And these three facts are precisely the most important of all: Peter's confession, the Entry into Jerusalem, and the High Priest's knowledge of Jesus' Messiahship! In each case Wrede finds himself obliged to refer these to


tradition instead of to the literary conception of Mark. [1] This tradition undermines his literary hypothesis, for the conception of a tradition always involves the possibility of genuine historical elements.

How greatly this inescapable intrusion of tradition weakens the theory of the literary interpolation of the Messiahship into the history, becomes evident when we consider the story of the passion. The representation that Jesus was publicly put to death as Messiah because He had publicly acknowledged Himself to be so, must, like the High Priest's knowledge of His claim, be referred to the other tradition which has nothing to do with the Messianic secret, but boldly antedates the Messiahship without employing any finesse of that kind. But that strongly tends to confirm the historicity of this tradition, and throws the burden of proof upon those who deny it. It is wholly independent of the hypothesis of secrecy, and in fact directly opposed to it. If, on the other hand, in spite of all the difficulties, the representation that Jesus was condemned to death on account of His Messianic claims is dragged by main force into the theory of secrecy, the question arises: What interest had the persons who set up the literary theory of secrecy, in representing Jesus as having been openly put to death as Messiah and in consequence of His Messianic claims? And the answer is: "None whatever: quite the contrary." For in doing so the theory of secrecy stultifies itself. As though one were to develop a photographic plate with painful care and, just when one had finished, fling open the shutters, so, on this hypothesis, the natural Messianic light suddenly shines into the room which ought to be lighted only by the rays of the dark lantern.

Here, therefore, the theory of secrecy abandoned the method which it had hitherto followed in regard to the traditional material. For if Jesus was not condemned and crucified at Jerusalem as Messiah, a tradition must have existed which preserved the truth about the last conflicts, and the motives of the condemnation. This is supposed to have been here completely set aside by the theory of the secret Messiahship, which, instead of drawing its delicate threads through the older tradition, has simply substituted its own representation of events. But in that case why not do away with the remainder of the public ministry? why not at least get rid of the public appearance at Jerusalem? How can the crudeness of method shown in the case of the passion be harmonised

[1] The difficulties which the incident at Caesarea Philippi places in the way of Wrede's construction may be realised by placing two of his statements side oy side. P. 101: "From this it is evident that this incident contains no element which cannot be easily understood on the basis of Mark's ideas." P. 238: "But in another aspect this incident stands in direct contradiction to the Marcan view of the disciples. It is inconsistent with their general 'want of understanding,' and can therefore hardly have been created by Mark himself."


with the skilful conservatism towards the non-Messianic tradition which it is obvious that the "Marcan circle" has scrupulously observed elsewhere?

If according to the original tradition, of which Wrede admits the existence, Jesus went to Jerusalem not to die, but to work there, the dogmatic view, according to which He went to Jerusalem to die, must have struck out the whole account of His sojourn in Jerusalem and His death in order to put something else in its place. What we now read in the Gospels concerning those last days in Jerusalem cannot be derived from the original tradition, for one who came to work, and, according to Wrede "to work with decisive effect," would not have cast all His preaching into the form of obscure parables of judgment and minatory discourses. That is a style of speech which could be adopted only by one who was determined to force his adversaries to put him to death. Therefore the narrative of the last days of Jesus must be, from beginning to end, a creation of the dogmatic idea. And, as a matter of fact, Wrede, here in agreement with Weisse, "sees grounds for asserting that the sojourn at Jerusalem is presented to us in the Gospels in a very much abridged and weakened version." That is a euphemistic expression, for if it was really the dogmatic idea which was responsible for representing Jesus as being condemned as Messiah, it is not a mere case of "abridging and weakening down," but of displacing the tradition in favour of a new one.

But if Jesus was not condemned as Messiah, on what grounds was He condemned? And, again, what interest had those whose concern was to make the Messiahship a secret of His earthly life, in making Him die as Messiah, contrary to the received tradition? And what interest could the tradition have had in falsifying history in that way? Even admitting that the prediction of the passion to the disciples is of a dogmatic character, and is to be regarded as a creation of primitive Christian theology, the historic fact that He died would have been a sufficient fulfilment of those sayings. That He was publicly condemned and crucified as Messiah has nothing to do with the fulfilment of those predictions, and goes far beyond it.

To take a more general point: what interest had primitive theology ln dating back the Messiahship of Jesus to the time of His earthly ministry? None whatever. Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded by primitive Christianity. The discourses in Acts show an equal indifference, since in them also Jesus first becomes the Messiah by virtue of His exaltation. To date the Messiahship earlier was not an undertaking which offered any advantage to primitive theology, in fact it would only have raised difficulties for it, since it involved the hypothesis of a dual Messiahship, one of earthly


humiliation and one of future glory. The fact is, if one reads through the early literature one becomes aware that so long as theology had an eschatological orientation and was dominated by the expectation of the Parousia the question of how Jesus of Nazareth "had been" the Messiah not only did not exist, but was impossible. Primitive theology is simply a theology of the future, with no interest in history! It was only with the decline of eschatological interest and the change in the orientation of Christianity which was connected therewith that an interest in the life of Jesus and the "historical Messiahship" arose.

That is to say, the Gnostics, who were the first to assert the Messiahship of the historical Jesus, and who were obliged to assert it precisely because they denied the eschatological conceptions, forced this view upon the theology of the Early Church, and compelled it to create in the Logos Christology an un-Gnostic mould in which to cast the speculative conception of the historical Messiahship of Jesus; and that is what we find in the Fourth Gospel. Prior to the anti-Gnostic controversies we find in the early Christian literature no conscious dating back of the Messiahship of Jesus to His earthly life, and no theological interest at work upon the dogmatic recasting of His history. [1] It is therefore difficult to suppose that the Messianic secret in Mark, that is to say, in the very earliest tradition, was derived from primitive theology. The assertion of the Messiahship of Jesus was wholly independent of the latter. The instinct which led Bruno Bauer to explain the Messianic secret as the literary invention of Mark himself was therefore quite correct. Once suppose that tradition and primitive theology have anything to do with the matter, and the theory of the interpolation of the Messiahship into the history becomes almost impossible to carry through. But Wrede's greatness consists precisely in the fact that he was compelled by his acute perception of the significance of the critical data to set aside the purely literary version of the hypothesis and make Mark, so to speak, the instrument of the literary realisation of the ideas of a definite intellectual circle within the sphere of primitive theology.

The positive difficulty which confronts the sceptical theory is to explain how the Messianic beliefs of the first generation arose, if Jesus, throughout His life, was for all, even for the disciples, merely a "teacher," and gave even His intimates no hint of the dignity which He claimed for Himself. It is difficult to eliminate the Messiahship from the "Life of Jesus," especially from the narrative of the passion; it is more difficult still, as Keim saw long ago, to bring it back again after its

[1] The question of the attitude of pre-Origenic theology towards the historic Jesus, and of the influence exercised by dogma upon the evangelical tradition regarding Jesus in the course of the first two centuries, is certainly deserving of a detailed examination.


elimination from the "Life" into the theology of the primitive Church. In Wrede's acute and logical thinking this difficulty seems to leap to light.

Since the Messianic secret in Mark is always connected with the resurrection, the date at which the Messianic belief of the disciples arose must be the resurrection of Jesus. "But the idea of dating the Messiahship from the resurrection is certainly not a thought of Jesus, but of the primitive Church. It presupposes the Church's experience of the appearance of the risen Jesus."

The psychologist will say that the "resurrection experiences," however they may be conceived, are only intelligible as based upon the expectation of the resurrection, and this again as based on references of Jesus to the resurrection. But leaving psychology aside, let us accept the resurrection experiences of the disciples as a pure psychological miracle. Even so, how can the appearances of the risen Jesus have suggested to the disciples the idea that Jesus, the crucified teacher, was the Messiah? Apart from any expectations, how can this conclusion have resulted for them from the mere "fact of the resurrection"? The fact of the appearance did not by any means imply it. In certain circles, indeed, according to Mark vi. 14-16, in the very highest quarters, the resurrection of the Baptist was believed in; but that did not make John the Baptist the Messiah. The inexplicable thing is that, according to Wrede, the disciples began at once to assert confidently and unanimously that He was the Messiah and would before long appear in glory.

But how did the appearance of the risen Jesus suddenly become for them a proof of His Messiahship and the basis of their eschatology? That Wrede fails to explain, and so makes this "event" an "historical" miracle which in reality is harder to believe than the supernatural event.

Any one who holds "historical" miracles to be just as impossible as any other kind, even when they occur in a critical and sceptical work, will be forced to the conclusion that the Messianic eschatological significance attached to the "resurrection experience" by the disciples implies some kind of Messianic eschatological references on the part of the historical Jesus which gave to the "resurrection" its Messianic eschatological significance. Here Wrede himself, though without admitting it, postulates some Messianic hints on the part of Jesus, since he conceives the judgment of the disciples upon the resurrection to have been not analytical, but synthetic, inasmuch as they add something to it, and that, indeed, the main thing, which was not implied in the conception of the event as such.

Here again the merit of Wrede's contribution to criticism consists in the fact that he takes the position as it is and does not try to improve it artificially. Bruno Bauer and others supposed that the belief in the


Messiahship of Jesus had slowly solidified out of a kind of gaseous state or had been forced into primitive theology by the literary invention of Mark. Wrede, however, feels himself obliged to base it upon an historical fact, and, moreover, the same historical fact which is pointed to by the sayings in the Synoptics and the Pauline theology. But in so doing he creates an almost insurmountable difficulty for his hypothesis.

We can only briefly refer to the question what form the accounts of the resurrection must have taken if the historic fact which underlay them was the first surprised apprehension and recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus on the part of the disciples. The Messianic teaching would necessarily in that case have been somehow or other put into the mouth of the risen Jesus. It is, however, completely absent, because it was already contained in the teaching of Jesus during His earthly life. The theory of Messianic secrecy must therefore have re-moulded not merely the story of the passion, but also that of the resurrection, removing the revelation of the Messiahship to the disciples from the latter in order to insert it into the public ministry!

Wrede, moreover, will only take account of the Marcan text as it stands, not of the historical possibility that the "futuristic Messiahship" which meets us in the mysterious utterances of Jesus goes back in some form to a sound tradition. Further he does not take the eschatological character of the teaching of Jesus into his calculations, but works on the false assumption that he can analyse the Marcan text in and by itself and so discover the principle on which it is composed. He carries out experiments on the law of crystallisation of the narrative material in this Gospel, but instead of doing so in the natural and historical atmosphere he does it in an atmosphere artificially neutralised, which contains no trace of contemporary conceptions. [1] Consequently the conclusion based on the sum of his observations has in it something arbi-

[1] Certain of the conceptions with which Wrede operates are simply not in accordance with the text, because he gives them a different significance from that which they have in the narrative. Thus, for example, he always takes the "resurrection," when it occurs in the mouth of Jesus, as a reference to that resurrection which as an historical fact became a matter of apprehended experience to the apostles. But Jesus speaks without any distinction of His resurrection and of His Parousia. The conception of the resurrection, therefore, if one is to arrive at it inductively from the Marcan text, is most closely bound up with the Parousia. The Evangelist would thus seem to have made Jesus predict a different kind of resurrection from that which actually happened. The resurrection, according to the Marcan text, is an eschatological event, and has no reference whatever to Wrede's "historical resurrection." Further, if their resurrection experience was the first and fundamental point in the Messianic enlightenment of the disciples, why did they only begin to proclaim it some weeks later? This is a problem which was long ago recognised by Reimarus, and which is not solved by merely assuming that the disciples were afraid.


trary. Everything which conflicts with the rational construction of the course of the history is referred directly to the theory of the concealment of the Messianic secret. But in the carrying out of that theory a number of self-contradictions, without which it could not subsist, must be recognised and noted.

Thus, for example, all the prohibitions, [1] whatever they may refer to, even including the command not to make known His miracles, are referred to the same category as the injunction not to reveal the Messianic secret. But what justification is there for that? It presupposes that according to Mark the miracles could be taken as proofs of the Messiahship, an idea of which there is no hint whatever in Mark. "The miracles," Wrede argues, "are certainly used by the earliest Christians as evidence of the nature and significance of Christ. ... I need hardly point to the fact that Mark, not less than Matthew, Luke, and John, must have held the opinion that the miracles of Jesus encountered a wide-spread and ardent Messianic expectation."

In John this Messianic significance of the miracles is certainly assumed; but then the really eschatological view of things has here fallen into the background. It seems indeed as if genuine eschatology excluded the Messianic interpretation of the miracles. In Matthew the miracles of Jesus have nothing whatever to do with the proof of the Messiahship, but, as is evident from the saying about Chorazin and Bethsaida, Matt. xi. 20-24, are only an exhibition of mercy intended to awaken repentance, or, according to Matt. xii. 28, an indication of the nearness of the Kingdom of God. They have as little to do with the Messianic office as in the Acts of the Apostles. [2] In Mark, from first to last, there is not a single syllable to suggest that the miracles have a Messianic significance. Even admitting the possibility that the "miracles of Jesus encountered an ardent Messianic expectation," that does not necessarily imply a Messianic significance in them. To justify that conclusion requires the pre-supposition that the Messiah was expected to be some

[1] P. 33 ff. The prohibitions in Mark i. 43 and 44, v. 43, vii. 36, and viii. 26 are put on the same footing with the really Messianic prohibitions in viii. 30 and ix. 9, with which may be associated also the imposition of silence upon the demoniacs who recognise his Messiahship in Mark i. 34 and iii. 12.

[2] The narrative in Matt. xiv. 22-33, according to which the disciples, after seeing Jesus walk upon the sea, hail Him on His coming into the boat as the Son of God, and the description of the deeds of Jesus as "deeds of Christ," in the introduction to the Baptist's question in Matt. xi. 2, do not cancel the old theory even in Matthew, because the Synoptists, differing therein from the fourth Evangelist, do not represent the demand for a sign as a demand for a Messianic sign, nor the cures wrought by Jesus as Messianic proofs of power. The action of the demons in crying out upon Jesus as the son of God betokens their recognition of Him; it has nothing to do wlth the miracles of healing as such.


kind of an earthly man who should do miracles. This is presupposed by Wrede, by Bruno Bauer, and by modern theology in general but it has not been proved, and it is at variance with eschatology, which pictured the Messiah to itself as a heavenly being in a world which was already being transformed into something supra-mundane.

The assumption that the clue to the explanation of the command not to make known the miracles is to be found in the necessity of guarding the secret of the Messiahship is, therefore, not justified. The miracles are connected with the Kingdom and the nearness of the Kingdom, not with the Messiah. But Wrede is obliged to refer everything to the Messianic secret, because he leaves the preaching of the Kingdom out of account.

The same process is repeated in the discussion of the veiling of the mystery of the Kingdom of God in the parables of Mark iv. The mystery of the Kingdom is for Wrede the secret of Jesus' Messiahship. "We have learned in the meantime," he says, "that one main element in this mystery is that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. If Jesus, according to Mark, conceals his Messiahship, we are justified in interpreting the musthrion thV basileiaV tou qeou in the light of this fact."

That is one of the weakest points in Wrede's whole theory. Where is there any hint of this in these parables? And why should the secret of the Kingdom of God contain within it as one of its principal features the secret of the Messiahship of Jesus?

"Mark's account of Jesus' parabolic teaching," he concludes, "is completely unhistorical," because it is directly opposed to the essential nature of the parables. The ultimate reason, according to Wrede, why this whole view of the parables arose, was simply "because the general opinion was already in existence that Jesus had revealed Himself to the disciples, but concealed Himself from the multitude."

Instead of simply admitting that we are unable to discover what the mystery of the Kingdom in Mark iv. is, any more than we can understand why it must be veiled, and numbering it among the unsolved problems of Jesus' preaching of the Kingdom, Wrede forces this chapter inside the lines of his theory of the veiled Messiahship.

The desire of Jesus to be alone, too, and remain unrecognised (Mark vii. 24, and ix. 30 ff.) is supposed to have some kind of connexion with Messiahship. He even brings the multitude, which in Mark x. 47 ff. rebukes the blind beggar at Jericho who cried out to Jesus, into the service of his theory . . . on the ground that the beggar had addressed Him as Son of David. But all the narrative says is that they told him to hold his peace-to cease making an outcry-not that they did so because of his addressing Jesus as "Son of David."

In an equally arbitrary fashion the surprising introduction of the


"multitude" in Mark viii. 34, after the incident of Caesarea Philippi, is dragged into the theory of secrecy. [1] Wrede does not feel the possibility or impossibility of the sudden appearance of the multitude in this locality as an historical problem, any more than he grasps the sudden withdrawal of Jesus from His public ministry as primarily an historical question. Mark is for him a writer who is to be judged from a pathological point of view, a writer who, dominated by the fixed idea of introducing everywhere the Messianic secret of Jesus, is always creating mysterious and unintelligible situations, even when these do not directly serve the interests of his theory, and who in some of his descriptions, writes in a rather "fairy-tale" style. When all is said, his treatment of the history scarcely differs from that of the fourth Evangelist.

The absence of historical prepossessions which Wrede skilfully assumes in his examination of the connexion in Mark is not really complete. He is bound to refer everything inexplicable to the principle of the concealment of the Messiahship, which is the only principle that he recognises in the dogmatic stratum of the narrative, and is consequently obliged to deny the historicity of such passages, whereas in reality the veiling of the Messiahship is only involved in a few places and is there indicated in clear and simple words. He is unwilling to recognise that there is a second, wider circle of mystery which has to do, not with Jesus' Messiahship, but with His preaching of the Kingdom, with the mystery of the Kingdom of God in the wider sense, and that within this second circle there lie a number of historical problems, above all the mission of the Twelve and the inexplicable abandonment of public activity on the part of Jesus which followed soon afterwards. His mistake consists in endeavouring by violent methods to subsume the more general, the mystery of the Kingdom of God, under the more special, the mystery of the Messiahship, instead of inserting the latter as the smaller circle, within the wider, the secret of the Kingdom of God.

As he does not deal with the teaching of Jesus, he has no occasion to take account of the secret of the Kingdom of God. That is the more remarkable because corresponding to one fundamental idea of the Messianic secret there is a parallel, more general dogmatic conception in Jesus' preaching of the Kingdom. For if Jesus in Matt. x. gives the disciples nothing to take with them on their mission but predictions of Peering; if at the very beginning of His ministry He closes the Beatitudes with a blessing upon the persecuted; if in Mark viii. 34 ff. He Warns the people that they will have to choose between life and life, aetween death and death; if, in short, from the first, He loses no opportunity of preaching about suffering and following Him in His suffer-

[1] For further examples of the pressing of the theory to its utmost limits see Wrede, p. 134 ff.


ings; that is just as much a matter of dogma as His own sufferings and predictions of sufferings. For in both cases the necessity of suffering, the necessity of facing death, is not "a necessity of the historical situation," not a necessity which arises out of the circumstances; it is an assertion put forth without empirical basis, a prophecy of storm while the sky is blue, since neither Jesus nor the people to whom He spoke were undergoing any persecution; and when His fate overtook Him not even the disciples were involved in it. It is distinctly remarkable that, except for a few meagre references, the enigmatic character of Jesus' constant predictions of suffering has not been discussed in the Life-of-Jesus literature. [1]

What has now to be done, therefore, is, in contradistinction to Wrede, to make a critical examination of the dogmatic element in the life of Jesus on the assumption that the atmosphere of the time was saturated with eschatology, that is, to keep in even closer touch with the facts than Wrede does, and moreover, to proceed, not from the particular to the general, but from the general to the particular, carefully considering whether the dogmatic element is not precisely the historical element. For, after all, why should not Jesus think in terms of doctrine, and make history in action, just as well as a poor Evangelist can do it on paper, under the pressure of the theological interests of the primitive community.

Once again, however, we must repeat that the critical analysis and the assertion of a system running through the disorder are the same in the eschatological as in the sceptical hypothesis, only that in the eschatological analysis a number of problems come more clearly to light. The two constructions are related like the bones and cartilage of the body. The general structure is the same, only that in the case of the one a solid substance, lime, is distributed even in the minutest portions, giving it firmness and solidity, while in the other case this is lacking. This reinforcing substance is the eschatological world-view.

How is it to be explained that Wrede, in spite of the eschatological school, in spite of Johannes Weiss, could, in critically investigating the connecting principle of the life of Jesus, simply leave eschatology out of account? The blame rests with the eschatological school itself, for it applied the eschatological explanation only to the preaching of Jesus, and not even to the whole of this, but only to the Messianic secret, instead of using it also to throw light upon the whole public work of Jesus, the connexion and want of connexion between the events. It repre-

[1] It is always assumed as self-evident that Jesus is speaking of the sufferings a persecutions which would take place after His death, or that the Evangelist, in making Him speak in this way, is thinking of these later persecutions. There is no hint of that in the text.


sented Jesus as thinking and speaking eschatologically in some of the most important passages of His teaching, but for the rest gave as uneschatological a presentation of His life as modern historical theology had done. The teaching of Jesus and the history of Jesus were set in different keys. Instead of destroying the modern-historical scheme of the life of Jesus, or subjecting it to a rigorous examination, and thereby undertaking the performance of a highly valuable service to criticism, the eschatological theory confined itself within the limits of New Testament Theology, and left it to Wrede to reveal one after another by a laborious purely critical method the difficulties which from its point of view it might have grasped historically at a single glance. It inevitably follows that Wrede is unjust to Johannes Weiss and Johannes Weiss towards Wrede. [1]

It is quite inexplicable that the eschatological school, with its clear perception of the eschatological element in the preaching of the Kingdom of God, did not also hit upon the thought of the "dogmatic" element in the history of Jesus. Eschatology is simply "dogmatic history"-history as moulded by theological beliefs-which breaks in upon the natural course of history and abrogates it. Is it not even a priori the only conceivable view that the conduct of one who looked forward to His Messianic "Parousia" in the near future should be determined, not by the natural course of events, but by that expectation? The chaotic confusion of the narratives ought to have suggested the thought that the events had been thrown into this confusion by the volcanic force of an incalculable personality, not by some kind of carelessness or freak of the tradition.

A very little consideration suffices to show that there is something quite incomprehensible in the public ministry of Jesus taken as a whole. According to Mark it lasted less than a year, for since he speaks of only one Passover-journey we may conclude that no other Passover fell within the period of Jesus' activity as a teacher. If it is proposed to

[1] That the eschatological school showed a certain timidity in drawing the consequences of its recognition of the character of the preaching of Jesus and examining the tradition from the eschatological standpoint can be seen from Johannes Weiss's work, "The Earliest Gospel" (Das alteste Evangelium), Gottingen, 1903, 414 pp. Ingenious and interesting as this work is in detail, one is surprised to find the author of the "Preaching of Jesus" here endeavouring to distinguish between Mark and "Ur-Markus," to point to examples of Pauline influence, to exhibit clearly the "tendencies" which guided, respectively, the original Evangelist and the redactor-all this as if he did not possess in his eschatological view of the preaching of Jesus a dominant conception which gives him a clue to quite a different psychology from that which he actually applies. Against Wrede he brings forward many arguments which are worthy of attention, but he can hardly be said to have refuted him, because it is impossible for Weiss to treat the question in the exact form in which it was raised by Wrede.


assume that He allowed a Passover to go by without going up to Jerusalem, His adversaries, who took Him to task about hand-washings and about rubbing the ears of corn on the Sabbath, would certainly have made a most serious matter of this, and we should have to suppose that the Evangelist for some reason or other thought fit to suppress the fact. That is to say, the burden of proof lies upon those who assert a longer duration for the ministry of Jesus.

Until they have succeeded in proving it, we may assume something like the following course of events. Jesus, in going up to a Passover came in contact with the movement initiated by John the Baptist in Judaea, and, after the lapse of a little time-if we bring into the reckoning the forty days' sojourn in the wilderness mentioned in Mark i. 13, a few weeks later-appeared in Galilee proclaiming the near approach of the Kingdom of God. According to Mark He had known Himself since His baptism to be the Messiah, but from the historical point of view that does not matter, since history is concerned with the first announcement of the Messiahship, not with inward psychological processes. [1]

This work of preaching the Kingdom was continued until the sending forth of the Twelve; that is to say, at the most for a few weeks. Perhaps in the saying "the harvest is great but the labourers are few," with which Jesus closes His work prior to sending forth the disciples, there lies an allusion to the actual state of the natural fields. The flocking of the people to Him after the Mission of the Twelve, when a great multitude thronged about Him for several days during His journey along the northern shore of the lake, can be more naturally explained if the harvest had just been brought in.

However that may be, it is certain that Jesus, in the midst of His initial success, left Galilee, journeyed northwards, and only resumed His work as a teacher in Judaea on the way to Jerusalem! Of His "public ministry," therefore, a large section falls out, being cancelled by a period of inexplicable concealment; it dwindles to a few weeks of preaching here and there in Galilee and the few days of His sojourn in Jerusalem. [2]

[1] Wrede certainly goes too far in asserting that even in Mark's version the experience at the baptism is conceived as an open miracle, perceptible to others. The way in which the revelations to the prophets are recounted in the Old Testament does not make in favour of this. Otherwise we should have to suppose that the Evangelist described the incident as a miracle which took place in the presence of a multitude without perceiving that in this case the Messianic secret was a secret no longer. If so, the story of the baptism stands on the same footing as the story of the Messianic entry: it is a revelation of the Messiahship which has absolutely no results.

[2] The statement of Mark that Jesus, coming out of the north, appeared for a moment again in Decapolis and Capernaum, and then started off to the north once more (Mark vii. 31-viii. 27), may here provisionally be left out of account since it stands in relation with the twofold account of the feeding of the multitude. So too the enigmatic appearance and disappearance of the people (Mark viii. 34-ix. 30) may here be passed over. These statements make no difference to the fact that Jesus really broke off his work in Galilee shortly after the Mission of the Twelve, since they imply at most a quite transient contact with the people.


But in that case the public life of Jesus becomes practically unintelligible. The explanation that His cause in Galilee was lost, and that He was obliged to flee, has not the slightest foundation in the text. [1] That was recognised even by Keim, the inventor of the successful and unsucessful periods in the life of Jesus, as is shown by his suggestion that the Evangelists had intentionally removed the traces of failure from the decisive period which led up to the northern journey. The controversy over the washing of hands in Mark vii. 1-23, to which appeal is always made, is really a defeat for the Pharisees. The theory of the "desertion of the Galilaeans," which appears with more or less artistic variations in all modern Lives of Jesus, owes its existence not to any other confirmatory fact, but simply to the circumstance that Mark makes the simple statement: "And Jesus departed and went into the region of Tyre" (vii. 24) without offering any explanation of this decision.

The only conclusion which the text warrants is that Mark mentioned no reason because he knew of none. The decision of Jesus did not rest upon the recorded facts, since it ignores these, but upon considerations lying outside the history. His life at this period was dominated by a "dogmatic idea" which rendered Him indifferent to all else . . . even to the happy and successful work as a teacher which was opening before Him. How could Jesus the "teacher" abandon at that moment a people so anxious to learn and so eager for salvation? His action suggests a doubt-whether He really felt Himself to be a "teacher." If all the controversial discourses and sayings and answers to questions, which were so to speak wrung from Him, were subtracted from the sum of His utterances, how much of the didactic preaching of Jesus would be left over?

But even the supposed didactic preaching is not really that of a "teacher," since the purpose of His parables was, according to Mark iv. 10-12, not to reveal, but to conceal, and of the Kingdom of God He spoke only in parables (Mark iv. 34).

Perhaps, however, we are not justified in extending the theory of concealment, simply because it is mentioned in connexion with the first parable, to all the parables which He ever spoke, for it is never men-

[1] On the theory of the successful and unsuccessful periods in the work of Jesus see the "Sketch," p. 3 ff., "The four Pre-suppositions of the Modern Historical Solution."


tioned again. It could hardly indeed be applied to the parables with a moral, like that, for instance, of the pearl of great price. It is equally inapplicable to the parables of coming judgment uttered at Jerusalem in which He explicitly exhorts the people to be prepared and watchful in view of the coming of judgment and of the Kingdom. But here too it is deserving of notice that Jesus, whenever He desires to make known anything further concerning the Kingdom of God than just its near approach, seems to be confined, as it were by a higher law, to the parabolic form of discourse. It is as though, for reasons which we cannot grasp, His teaching lay under certain limitations. It appears as a kind of accessory aspect of His vocation. Thus it was possible for Him to give up His work as a teacher even at the moment when it promised the greatest success.

Accordingly the fact of His always speaking in parables and of His taking this inexplicable resolution both point back to a mysterious presupposition which greatly reduces the importance of Jesus' work as a teacher.

One reason for this limitation is distinctly stated in Mark iv. 10-12, viz. predestination! Jesus knows that the truth which He offers is exclusively for those who have been definitely chosen, that the general and public announcement of His message could only thwart the plans of God, since the chosen are already winning their salvation from God. Only the phrase, "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand" and its variants belong to the public preaching. And this, therefore, is the only message which He commits to His disciples when sending them forth. What this repentance, supplementary to the law, the special ethic of the interval before the coming of the Kingdom (Interimesethik) is, in its positive acceptation, He explains in the Sermon on the Mount. But all that goes beyond that simple phrase must be publicly presented only in parables, in order that those only, who are shown to possess predestination by having the initial knowledge which enables them to understand the parables, may receive a more advanced knowledge, which is imparted to them in a measure corresponding to their original degree ot knowledge: "Unto him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath" (Mark iv. 24-25).

The predestinarian view goes along with the eschatology. It is pushed to its utmost consequences in the closing incident of the parable of the marriage of the King's son (Matt. xxii. 1-14) where the man who, in response to a publicly issued invitation, sits down at the table of the King, but is recognised from his appearance as not called, is thrown out into perdition. "Many are called but few are chosen."

The ethical idea of salvation and the predestinarian limitation of acceptance to the elect are constantly in conflict in the mind of Jesus. In


one case, however. He finds relief in the thought of predestination. When the rich young man turned away, not having strength to give up his possessions for the sake of following Jesus as he had been commanded to do, Jesus and His disciples were forced to draw the conclusion that he, like other rich men, was lost, and could not enter into the Kingdom of God. But immediately afterwards Jesus makes the suggestion, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible" (Mark x. 17-27). That is, He will not give up the hope that the young man, in spite of appearances, which are against him, will be found to have belonged to the Kingdom of God, solely in virtue of the secret all-powerful will of God. Of a "conversion" of the young man there is no question.

In the Beatitudes, on the other hand, the argument is reversed; the predestination is inferred from its outward manifestation. It may seem to us inconceivable, but they are really predestinarian in form. Blessed are the poor in spirit! Blessed are the meek! Blessed are the peacemakers!-that does not mean that by virtue of their being poor in spirit, meek, peace-loving, they deserve the Kingdom. Jesus does not intend the saying as an injunction or exhortation, but as a simple statement of fact: in their being poor in spirit, in their meekness, in their love of peace, it is made manifest that they are predestined to the Kingdom. By the possession of these qualities they are marked as belonging to it. In the case of others (Matt. v. 10-12) the predestination to the Kingdom is made manifest by the persecutions which befall them in this world. These are the light of the world, which already shines among men for the glory of God (Matt. v. 14-15).

The kingdom cannot be "earned"; what happens is that men are called to it, and show themselves to be called to it. On careful examination it appears that the idea of reward in the sayings of Jesus is not really an idea of reward, because it is relieved against a background of predestination. For the present it is sufficient to note the fact that the eschatologico-predestinarian view brings a mysterious element of dogma not merely into the teaching, but also into the public ministry of Jesus.

To take another point, what is the mystery of the Kingdom of God? It must consist of something more than merely its near approach, and something of extreme importance; otherwise Jesus would be here indulging in mere mystery-mongering. The saying about the candle which he puts upon the stand, in order that what was hidden may be revealed to those who have ears to hear, implies that He is making a tremendous revelation to those who understand the parables about the growth of the seed. The mystery must therefore contain the explanation why the Kingdom must now come, and how men are to know how near it is. For the general fact that it is very near had already been openly proclaimed


both by the Baptist and by Jesus. The mystery, therefore, must consist of something more than that.

In these parables it is not the idea of development, but of the apparent absence of causation which occupies the foremost place. The description aims at suggesting the question, how, and by what power incomparably great and glorious results can be infallibly produced by an insignificant fact without human aid. A man sowed seed. Much of it was lost, but the little that fell into good ground brought forth a harvest-thirty, sixty, an hundredfold-which left no trace of the loss in the sowing. How did that come about?

A man sows seed and does not trouble any further about it-cannot indeed do anything to help it, but he knows that after a definite time the glorious harvest which arises out of the seed will stand before him. By what power is that effected?

An extremely minute grain of mustard seed is planted in the earth and there necessarily arises out of it a great bush, which cannot certainly have been contained in the grain of seed. How was that?

What the parables emphasise is, therefore, so to speak, the in itself negative, inadequate, character of the initial fact, upon which, as by a miracle, there follows in the appointed time, through the power of God, some great thing. They lay stress not upon the natural, but upon the miraculous character of such occurrences.

But what is the initial fact of the parables? It is the sowing.

It is not said that by the man who sows the seed Jesus means Himself. The man has no importance. In the parable of the mustard seed he is not even mentioned. All that is asserted is that the initial fact is already present, as certainly present as the time of the sowing is past at the moment when Jesus speaks. That being so, the Kingdom of God must follow as certainly as harvest follows seed-sowing. As a man believes in the harvest, without being able to explain it, simply because the seed has been sown; so with the same absolute confidence he may believe in the Kingdom of God.

And the initial fact which is symbolised? Jesus can only mean a fact which was actually in existence-the movement of repentance evoked by the Baptist and now intensified by His own preaching. That necessarily involves the bringing in of the Kingdom by the power of God; as man's sowing necessitates the giving of the harvest by the same Infinite Power. Any one who knows this sees with different eyes the corn growing in the fields and the harvest ripening, for he sees the one fact in the other, and awaits along with the earthly harvest the heavenly, the revelation of the Kingdom of God.

If we look into the thought more closely we see that the coming of the Kingdom of God is not only symbolically or analogically/but also


really and temporally connected with the harvest. The harvest ripening upon earth is the last! With it comes also the Kingdom of God which brings in the new age. When the reapers are sent into the fields, the Lord in Heaven will cause His harvest to be reaped by the holy angels.

If the three parables of Mark iv. contain the mystery of the Kingdom of God, and are therefore capable of being summed up in a single formula this can be nothing else than the joyful exhortation: "Ye who have eyes to see, read, in the harvest which is ripening upon earth, what is being prepared in heaven!" The eager eschatological hope was to regard the natural process as the last of its kind, and to see in it a special significance in view of the event of which it was to give the signal.

The analogical and temporal parallelism becomes complete if we assume that the movement initiated by the Baptist began in the spring, and notice that Jesus, according to Matt. ix. 37 and 38, before sending out the disciples to make a speedy proclamation of the nearness of the Kingdom of God, uttered the remarkable saying about the rich harvest. It seems like a final expression of the thought contained in the parables about the seed and its promise, and finds its most natural explanation in the supposition that the harvest was actually at hand.

Whatever may be thought of this attempt to divine historically the secret of the Kingdom of God, there is one thing that cannot be got away from, viz. that the initial fact to which Jesus points, under the figure of the sowing, is somehow or other connected with the eschatological preaching of repentance, which had been begun by the Baptist.

That may be the more confidently asserted because Jesus in another mysterious saying describes the days of the Baptist as a time which makes preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of God. "From the days of John the Baptist," He says in Matt. xi. 12, "even until now, the Kingdom of Heaven is subjected to violence, and the violent wrest it to themselves." The saying has nothing to do with the entering of individuals into the Kingdom; it simply asserts, that since the coming of the Baptist a certain number of persons are engaged in forcing on and compelling the coming of the Kingdom. Jesus' expectation of the Kingdom is an expectation based upon a fact which exercises an active influence upon the Kingdom of God. It was not He, and not the Baptist who "were working at the coming of the Kingdom"; it is the host of penitents which is wringing it from God, so that it may now come at any moment.

The eschatological insight of Johannes Weiss made an end of the modern view that Jesus founded the Kingdom. It did away with all activity, as exercised upon the Kingdom of God, and made the part of Jesus purely a waiting one. Now the activity comes back into the preaching of the Kingdom, but this time eschatologically conditioned. The


secret of the Kingdom of God which Jesus unveils in the parables about confident expectation in Mark iv., and declares in so many words in the eulogy on the Baptist (Matt. xi.), amounts to this, that in the movement to which the Baptist gave the first impulse, and which still continued, there was an initial fact which was drawing after it the coming of the Kingdom, in a fashion which was miraculous, unintelligible, but unfailingly certain, since the sufficient cause for it lay in the power and purpose of God.

It should be observed that Jesus in these parables, as well as in the related saying at the sending forth of the Twelve, uses the formula, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark iv. 23 and Matt. xi. 15) thereby signifying that in this utterance there lies concealed a supernatural knowledge concerning the plans of God, which only those who have ears to hear-that is, the foreordained-can detect. For others these sayings are unintelligible.

If this genuinely "historical" interpretation of the mystery of the Kingdom of God is correct, Jesus must have expected the coming of the Kingdom at harvest time. And that is just what He did expect. It is for that reason that He sends out His disciples to make known in Israel, as speedily as may be, what is about to happen. That in this He is actuated by a dogmatic idea, becomes clear when we notice that, according to Mark, the mission of the Twelve followed immediately on the rejection at Nazareth. The unreceptiveness of the Nazarenes had made no impression upon Him; He was only astonished at their unbelief (Mark vi. 6). This passage is often interpreted to mean that He was astonished to find His miracle-working power fail Him. There is no hint of that in the text. What He is astonished at is, that in His native town there were so few believers, that is, elect, knowing as He does that the Kingdom of God may appear at any moment. But that fact makes no difference whatever to the nearness of the coming of the Kingdom.

The Evangelist, therefore, places the rejection at Nazareth and the mission of the Twelve side by side, simply because he found them in this temporal connexion in the tradition. If he had been working by "association of ideas," he would not have arrived at this order. The want of connexion, the impossibility of applying any natural explanation, is just what is historical, because the course of the history was determined, not by outward events, but by the decisions of Jesus, and these were determined by dogmatic, eschatoiogical considerations.

To how great an extent this was the case in regard to the mission of the Twelve is clearly seen from the "charge" which Jesus gave them. He tells them in plain words (Matt. x. 23), that He does not expect to see them back in the present age. The Parousia of the Son of Man,


which is logically and temporally identical with the dawn of the Kingdom will take place before they shall have completed a hasty journey through the cities of Israel to announce it. That the words mean this and nothing else, that they ought not to be in any way weakened down, should be sufficiently evident. This is the form in which Jesus reveals to them the secret of the Kingdom of God. A few days later, He utters the saying about the violent who, since the days of John the Baptist, are forcing on the coming of the Kingdom.

It is equally clear, and here the dogmatic considerations which guided the resolutions of Jesus become still more prominent, that this prediction was not fulfilled. The disciples returned to Him; and the appearing of the Son of Man had not taken place. The actual history disavowed the dogmatic history on which the action of Jesus had been based. An event of supernatural history which must take place, and must take place at that particular point of time, failed to come about. That was for Jesus, who lived wholly in the dogmatic history, the first "historical" occurrence, the central event which closed the former period of His activity and gave the coming period a new character. To this extent modern theology is justified when it distinguishes two periods in the Life of Jesus; an earlier, in which He is surrounded by the people, a later in which He is "deserted" by them, and travels about with the Twelve only. It is a sound observation that the two periods are sharply distinguished by the attitude of Jesus. To explain this difference of attitude, which they thought themselves bound to account for on natural historical grounds, theologians of the modern historical school invented the theory of growing opposition and waning support. Weisse, no doubt, had expressed himself in direct opposition to this theory. [1] Keim, who gave it its place in theology, was aware that in setting it up he was going against the plain sense of the texts. Later writers lost this consciousness, just as in the first and third Gospel the significance of the Messianic secret in Mark gradually faded away; they imagined that they could find the basis of fact for the theory in the texts, and did not realise that they only believed in the desertion of the multitude and the "flights and retirements" of Jesus because they could not otherwise explain historically the alteration in His conduct, His withdrawal from public work, and His resolve to die.

The thoroughgoing eschatoiogical school makes better work of it.

[1] Weisse found that there was no hint in the sources of the desertion of the people, since according to these, Jesus was opposed only by the Pharisees, not by the people. The abandonment of the Galilaean work, and the departure to Jerusalem, must, he thought, have been due to some unrecorded fact which revealed to Jesus that the time had come to act in this way. Perhaps, he adds, it was the waning of Jesus' miracle-working power which caused the change in His attitude, since it is remarkable that He performed no further miracles during His sojourn at Jerusalem.


They recognise in the non-occurrence of the Parousia promised in Matt x. 23, the "historic fact," in the estimation of Jesus, which in some way determined the alteration in His plans, and His attitude towards the multitude.

The whole history of "Christianity" down to the present day, that is to say, the real inner history of it, is based on the delay of the Parousia, the non-occurrence of the Parousia, the abandonment of eschatology, the progress and completion of the "de-eschatologising" of religion which has been connected therewith. It should be noted that the non-fulfilment of Matt. x. 23 is the first postponement of the Parousia. We have therefore here the first significant date in the "history of Christianity"; it gives to the work of Jesus a new direction, otherwise in explicable.

Here we recognise also why the Marcan hypothesis, in constructing its view of the Life of Jesus, found itself obliged to have recourse more and more to the help of modern psychology, and thus necessarily became more and more unhistorical. The fact which alone makes possible an understanding of the whole, is lacking in this Gospel. Without Matt. x. and xi. everything remains enigmatic. For this reason Bruno Bauer and Wrede are in their own way the only consistent representatives of the Marcan hypothesis from the point of view of historical criticism, when they arrive at the result that the Marcan account is inherently unintelligible. Keim, with his strong sense of historical reality, rightly felt that the plan of the Life of Jesus should not be constructed exclusively on the basis of Mark.

The recognition that Mark alone gives an inadequate basis, is more important than any "Ur-Markus" theories, for which it is impossible to discover a literary foundation, or find an historical use. A simple induction from the "facts" takes us beyond Mark. In the discourse-material of Matthew, which the modern-historical school thought they could sift in here and there, wherever there seemed to be room for it, there lie hidden certain facts-facts which never happened, but are all the more important for that. -

Why Mark describes the events and discourses in the neighbourhood of the mission of the Twelve with such careful authentication is a literary question which the historical study of the life of Jesus may leave open; the more so since, even as a literary question, it is insoluble.

The prediction of the Parousia of the Son of Man is not the only one which remained unfulfilled. There is the prediction of sufferings which is connected with it. To put it more acurately, the prediction of the appearing of the Son of Man in Matt. x. 23 runs up into a prediction of sufferings, which, working up to a climax, forms the remainder of the


discourse at the sending forth of the disciples. This prediction of sufferings has as little to do with objective history as the prediction of the Parousia. Consequently, none of the Lives of Jesus, which follow the lines of a natural psychology, from Weisse down to Oskar Holtzmann, can make anything of it. [1] They either strike it out, or transfer it to the last "gloomy epoch" of the life of Jesus, regard it as an unintelligible anticipation, or put it down to the account of "primitive theology," which serves as a scrap-heap for everything for which they cannot find a place in the "historical life of Jesus."

In the texts it is quite evident that Jesus is not speaking of sufferings after His death, but of sufferings which will befall them as soon as they have gone forth from Him. The death of Jesus is not here pre-supposed, but only the Parousia of the Son of Man, and it is implied that this will occur just after these sufferings and bring them to a close. If the theology of the primitive Church had remoulded the tradition, as is always being asserted, it would have made Jesus give His followers directions for their conduct after His death. That we do not find anything of this kind is the best proof that there can be no question of a remoulding of the Life of Jesus by primitive theology. How easy it would have been for the Early Church to scatter here and there through the discourses of Jesus directions which were only to be applied after His death! But the simple fact is that it did not do so.

The sufferings of which the prospect is held out at the sending forth are doubly, trebly, nay four times over, unhistorical. In the first place-and this is the only point which modern historical theology has noticed-because there is not a shadow of a suggestion in the outward cir- cumstances of anything which could form a natural occasion for such predictions of, and exhortations relating to, sufferings. In the second place-and this has been overlooked by modern theology because it had already declared them to be unhistorical in its own characteristic fashion, viz, by striking them out-because they were not fulfilled. In the third place-and this has not entered into the mind of modern theology at all-because these sayings were spoken in the closest connexion with the promise of the Parousia and are placed in the closest connexion with that event. In the fourth place, because the description of that which is to befall the disciples is quite without any basis in experience, A time of general dissension will begin, in which brothers will rise up sgainst brothers, and fathers against sons and children against their Parents to cause them to be put to death (Matt. x. 21). And the disciples Mall be hated of all men for His name's sake." Let them strive to hold

[1] The most logical attitude in regard to it is Bousset's, who proposes to treat the mission and everything connected with it as a "confused and unintelligible" tradition.


out to the "end," that is, to the coming of the Son of Man, in order that they may be saved (Matt. x. 22).

But why should they suddenly be hated and persecuted for the name of Jesus, seeing that this name played no part whatever in their preaching? That is simply inconceivable. The relation of Jesus to the Son of Man, the fact, that is to say, that it is He who is to be manifested as Son of Man, must therefore in some way or other become known in the interval; not, however, through the disciples, but by some other means of revelation. A kind of supernatural illumination will suddenly make known all that Jesus has been keeping secret regarding the Kingdom of God and His position in the Kingdom. This illumination will arise as suddenly and without preparation as the spirit of strife.

And as a matter of fact Jesus predicts to the disciples in the same discourse that to their own surprise a supernatural wisdom will suddenly speak from their lips, so that it will be not they but the Spirit of God who will answer the great ones of the earth. As the Spirit is for Jesus and early Christian theology something concrete which is to descend upon the elect among mankind only in consequence of a definite event-the outpouring of the Spirit which, according to the prophecy of Joel, should precede the day of judgment-Jesus must have anticipated that this would occur during the absence of the disciples, in the midst of the time of strife and confusion.

To put it differently; the whole of the discourse at the sending forth of the Twelve, taken in the clear sense of the words, is a prediction of the events of the "time of the end," events which are immediately at hand, in which the supernatural eschatological course of history will break through into the natural course. The expectation of sufferings is therefore doctrinal and unhistorical, as is, precisely in the same way, the expectation of the pouring forth of the Spirit uttered at the same time. The Parousia of the Son of Man is to be preceded according to the Messianic dogma by a time of strife and confusion-as it were, the birth-throes of the Messiah-and the outpouring of the Spirit. It should be noticed that according to Joel ii. and iii. the outpouring of the Spirit, along with the miraculous signs, forms the prelude to the judgment; and also, that in the same context, Joel iii. 13, the judgment is described as the harvest-day of God. [1] Here we have a remarkable parallel to the

[1] Joel iii. 13, "Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe!" In the Apocalypse of John, too, the Last Judgment is described as the heavenly harvest: "Thrust in thy sickle and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped" (Rev. xiv. 15 and 16).

The most remarkable parallel to the discourse at the sending forth of the disciples is offered by the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch: "Behold, the days come, when the time of the world shall be ripe, and the harvest of the sowing of the good and of the evil shall come, when the Almighty shall bring upon the earth and upon its inhabitants and upon their rulers confusion of spirit and terror that makes the heart stand still; and they shall hate one another and provoke one another to war; and the despised shall have power over them of reputation, and the mean shall exalt themselves over them that are highly esteemed. And the many shall be at the mercy of the few . . . and all who shall be saved and shall escape the before-mentioned (dangers) . . . shall be given into the hands of my servant, the Messiah. (Cap. lxx. 2, 3, 9. Following the translation of E. Kautzsch.)

The connexion between the ideas of harvest and of judgment was therefore one of the stock features of the apocalyptic writings. And as the Apocalypse of Baruch dates from the period about A.D. 70, it may be assumed that this association of ideas was also current in the Jewish apocalyptic of the time of Jesus. Here is a basis for understanding the secret of the Kingdom of God in the parables of sowing and reaping historically and in accordance with the ideas of the time. What Jesus did was to make known to those who understood Him that the coming earthly harvest was the last, and was also the token of the coming heavenly harvest. The eschatological interpretation is immensely strengthened by these parallels.


saying about the harvest in Matt. ix. 38, which forms the introduction to the discourse at the sending forth of the disciples.

There is only one point in which the predicted course of eschatological events is incomplete: the appearance of Elias is not mentioned.

Jesus could not prophesy to the disciples the Parousia of the Son of Man without pointing them, at the same time, to the pre-eschatological events which must first occur. He must open to them a part of the secret of the Kingdom of God, viz. the nearness of the harvest, that they might not be taken by surprise and caused to doubt by these events.

Thus this discourse is historical as a whole and down to the smallest detail precisely because, according to the view of modern theology, it must be judged unhistorical. It is, in fact, full of eschatological dogma. Jesus had no need to instruct the disciples as to what they were to teach; for they had only to utter a cry. But concerning the events which should supervene, it was necessary that He should give them information. Therefore the discourse does not consist of instruction, but of predictions of sufferings and of the Parousia.

That being so, we may judge with what right the modern psychological theology dismisses the great Matthaean discourses off-hand as mere "composite structures." Just let any one try to show how the Evangelist when he was racking his brains over the task of making a "discourse at the sending forth of the disciples," half by the method of piecing it together out of traditional sayings and "primitive theology," and half by inventing it, lighted on the curious idea of making Jesus speak entirely of inopportune and unpractical matters; and of then going on to provide the evidence that they never happened.

The foretelling of the sufferings that belong to the eschatological distress is part and parcel of the preaching of the approach of the King-


dom of God, it embodies the secret of the Kingdom. It is for that reason that the thought of suffering appears at the end of the Beatitudes and in the closing petition of the Lord's Prayer. For the peirasmoV which is there in view is not an individual psychological temptation, but the general eschatological time of tribulation, from which God is besought to exempt those who pray so earnestly for the coming of the Kingdom and not to expose them to that tribulation by way of putting them to the test.

There followed neither the sufferings, nor the outpouring of the Spirit, nor the Parousia of the Son of Man. The disciples returned safe and sound and full of a proud satisfaction; for one promise had been realised-the power which had been given them over the demons.

But from the moment when they rejoined Him, all His thoughts and efforts were devoted to getting rid of the people in order to be alone with them (Mark vi. 30-33). Previously, during their absence. He had, almost in open speech, taught the multitude concerning the Baptist concerning that which was to precede the coming of the Kingdom, and concerning the judgment which should come upon the impenitent, even upon whole towns of them (Matt. xi. 20-24), because, in spite of the miracles which they had witnessed, they had not recognised the day of grace and diligently used it for repentance. At the same time He had rejoiced before them over all those whom God had enlightened that they might see what was going forward; and had called them to His side (Matt. xi. 25-30).

And now suddenly, the moment the disciples return, His one thought is to get away from the people. They, however, follow Him and overtake Him on the shores of the lake. He puts the Jordan between Himself and them by crossing to Bethsaida. They also come to Bethsaida. He returns to Capernaum. They do the same. Since in Galilee it is impossible for Him to be alone, and He absolutely must be alone, He "slips away" to the north. Once more modern theology was right: He really does flee; not, however, from hostile Scribes, but from the people, who dog His footsteps in order to await in His company the appearing of the Kingdom of God and of the Son of Man-to await it in vain. [1]

In Strauss's first Life of Jesus the question is thrown out whether,

[1] With what right does modern critical theology tear apart even the discourse in Matt. xi. in order to make the "cry of jubilation" into the cry with which Jesus saluted the return of His disciples, and to find lodgment for the woes upon Chorazin and Bethsaida somewhere else in an appropriately gloomy context? Is not all this apparently disconnected material held together by an inner bond of connexion-the secret of the Kingdom of God which is imminently impending over Jesus and the people? Or, is Jesus expected to preach like one who has a thesis to maintain and seeks about for the most logical arrangement? Does not a certain lack of orderly connexion belong to the very idea of prophetic speech?


in view of Matt. x. 23, Jesus did not think of His Parousia as a transformation which should take place during His lifetime. Ghillany bases his work on this possibility as on an established historical fact. Dalman takes this hypothesis to be the necessary correlative of the interpretation of the self-designation Son of Man on the basis of Daniel and the Apocalypses.

If Jesus, he argues, designated Himself in this futuristic sense as the Son of Man who comes from Heaven, He must have assumed that He would first be transported thither. "A man who had died or been rapt away from the earth might perhaps be brought into the world again in this way, or one who had never been on earth might so descend thither." But as this conception of transformation and removal seems to Dalman untenable in the case of Jesus, he treats it as a reductio ad absurdum of the eschatological interpretation of the title.

But why? If Jesus as a man walking in a natural body upon earth, predicts to His disciples the Parousia of the Son of Man in the immediate future, with the secret conviction that He Himself was to be revealed as the Son of Man, He must have made precisely this assumption that He would first be supernaturally removed and transformed. He thought of Himself as any one must who believes in the immediate coming of the last things, as living in two different conditions: the present, and the future condition into which He is to be transferred at the coming of the new supernatural world. We learn later that the disciples on the way up to Jerusalem were entirely possessed by the thought of what they should be when this transformation took place. They contend as to who shall have the highest position (Mark ix. 33); James and John wish Jesus to promise them in advance the thrones on His right hand and on His left (Mark x. 35-37).

He, moreover, does not rebuke them for indulging such thoughts, but only tells them how much, in the present age, of service, humiliation, and suffering is necessary to constitute a claim to such places in the future age, and that it does not in the last resort belong to Him to allot the places on His left and on His right, but that they shall be given to those for whom they are prepared; therefore, perhaps not to any of the disciples (Mark x. 40). At this point, therefore, the knowledge and will of Jesus are thwarted and limited by the predestinarianism which is bound up with eschatology.

It is quite mistaken, however, to speak as modern theology does, of the "service" here required as belonging to the "new ethic of the Kingdom of God." There is for Jesus no ethic of the Kingdom of God, for in the Kingdom of God all natural relationships, even, for example, the distinction of sex (Mark xii. 25 and 26), are abolished. Temptation and sin no longer exist. All is "reign," a "reign" which has gradations


-Jesus speaks of the "least in the Kingdom of God"-according as it has been determined in each individual case from all eternity, and according as each by his self-humiliation and refusal to rule in the present age has proved his fitness for bearing rule in the future Kingdom.

For the loftier stations, however, it is necesasry to have proved oneself in persecution and suffering. Accordingly, Jesus asks the sons of Zebedee whether, since they claim these thrones on His right hand and on His left, they feel themselves strong enough to drink of His cup and be baptized with His baptism (Mark x. 38). To serve, to humble oneself, to incur persecution and death, belong to "the ethic of the interim" just as much as does penitence. They are indeed only a higher form of penitence.

A vivid eschatological expectation is therefore impossible to conceive apart from the idea of a metamorphosis. The resurrection is only a special case of this metamorphosis, the form in which the new condition of things is realised in the case of those who are already dead. The resurrection, the metamorphosis, and the Parousia of the Son of Man take place simultaneously, and are one and the same act. [1] It is therefore quite indifferent whether a man loses his life shortly before the Parousia in order to "find his life," if that is what is ordained for him; that signifies only that he will undergo the eschatological metamorphosis with the dead instead of with the living.

The Pauline eschatology recognises both conceptions side by side, in such a way, however, that the resurrection is subordinated to the metamorphosis. "Behold, I shew you a mystery," he says in 1 Cor. xv. 51 ff.; "we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The apostle himself desires to be one of those who live to experience the metamorphosis and to be clothed with the heavenly mode of existence (2 Cor. v. 1 ft.). The metamorphosis, however, and the resurrection are, for those who are "in Christ," connected with a being caught up into the clouds of heaven (1 Thess. iv. 15 ft.). Therefore Paul also makes one and the same event of the metamorphosis, resurrection, and translation.

In seeking clues to the eschatology of Jesus, scholars have passed over the eschatology which lies closest to it, that of Paul. But why? Is it not

[1] If, therefore, Jesus at a later point predicted to His disciples His resurrection, He means by that, not a single isolated act, but a complex occurrence consisting of His metamorphosis, translation to heaven, and Parousia as the Son of Man. And with this is associated the general eschatological resurrection of the dead. It is, therefore, one and the same thing whether He speaks of His resurrection or of His coming on the clouds of heaven.


identical with that of Jesus, at least in so far that both are "Jewish eschatology"? Did not Reimarus long ago declare that the eschatology of the primitive Christian community was identical with the Jewish, and only went beyond it in claiming a definite knowledge on a single point which was unessential to the nature and course of the expected events, in knowing, that is, who the Son of Man should be? That Christians drew no distinction between their own eschatology and the Jewish is evident from the whole character of the earlier apocalyptic literature, and not least from the Apocalypse of John! After all, what alteration did the belief that Jesus was the Son of Man who was to be revealed make in the general scheme of the course of apocalyptic events?

From the Rabbinic literature little help is to be derived towards the understanding of the world of thought in which Jesus lived, and His view of His own Person. The latest researches may be said to have made that clear. A few moral maxims, a few halting parables-that is all that can be produced in the way of parallels. Even the conception which is there suggested of the hidden coming and work of the Messiah is of little importance. We find the same ideas in the mouth of Trypho in Justin's dialogue, and that makes their Jewish character doubtful. That Jesus of Nazareth knew Himself to be the Son of Man who was to be revealed is for us the great fact of His self-consciousness, which is not to be further explained, whether there had been any kind of preparation for it in contemporary theology or not.

The self-consciousness of Jesus cannot in fact be illustrated or explained; all that can be explained is the eschatological view, in which the Man who possessed that self-consciousness saw reflected in advance the coming events, both those of a more general character, and those which especially related to Himself. [1]

The eschatology of Jesus can therefore only be interpreted by the aid of the curiously intermittent Jewish apocalyptic literature of the period between Daniel and the Bar-Cochba rising. What else, indeed, are the Synoptic Gospels, the Pauline letters, the Christian apocalypses than products of Jewish apocalyptic, belonging, moreover, to its greatest and most nourishing period? Historically regarded, the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul are simply the culminating manifestations of Jewish apocalyptic thought. The usual representation is the exact converse of the truth. Writers describe Jewish eschatology in order to illustrate the ideas of Jesus. But what is this "Jewish eschatology" after all? It is an escha-

[1] The title of Baldensperger's book, The Self-consciousness of Jesus in the Light of the Messianic Hopes of His Time, really contains a promise which is impossible of fulfilment. The contemporary "Messianic hopes" can only explain the hopes of Jesus so far as they corresponded thereto, not His view of His own Person, in which He is absolutely original.


tology with a great gap in it, because the culminating period, with the documents which relate to it, has been left out. The true historian will describe the eschatology of the Baptist, of Jesus, and of Paul in order to explain Jewish eschatology. It is nothing less than a misfortune for the science of New Testament Theology that no real attempt has hitherto been made to write the history of Jewish eschatology as it really was-that is, with the inclusion of the Baptist, of Jesus, and of Paul. [1]

All this has had to be said in order to justify the apparently self-evident assertion that Mark, Matthew, and Paul are the best sources for the Jewish eschatology of the time of Jesus. They represent a phase which even in detail is self-explanatory, of that Jewish apocalyptic hope which manifested itself from time to time. We are, therefore, justified in first reconstructing the Jewish apocalyptic of the time independently out of these documents, that is to say, in bringing the details of the discourses of Jesus into an eschatological system, and then on the basis of this system endeavouring to explain the apparently disconnected events in the history of His public life.

The lines of connection which run backwards towards the Psalms of Solomon, Enoch, and Daniel, and forwards towards the apocalypses of Baruch and Enoch, are extremely important for the understanding of certain general conceptions. On the other hand, it is impossible to over-emphasise the uniqueness of the point of view from which the eschatology of the time of the Baptist, of Jesus, and of Paul presents itself to us.

In the first place, men feel themselves so close to the coming events that they only see what lies nearest to them, the imaginative development of detail entirely ceases. In the second place, it appears to us as though seen, so to speak, from within, passed through the medium of powerful minds like those of the Baptist and Jesus. That is why it is so great and simple. On the other hand, a certain complication arises from the fact that it now intersects actual history. All these are original features of it, which are not found in the Jewish apocalyptic writings of the preceding and following periods, and that is why these documents give us so little help in regard to the characteristic detail of the eschatology of Jesus and His contemporaries.

A further point to be noticed is that the eschatology of the time of Jesus shows the influence of the eschatology of the ancient prophets in a way which is not paralleled either before or after. Compare the

[1] Even Baldensperger's book. Die messianisch-apokalyptischen Hoffnungen des Judentums (1903), passes at a stride from the Psalms of Solomon to Fourth Ezra. The coming volume is to deal with the eschatology of Jesus. That is a "theological," but not an historical division of the material. The second volume should properly come in the middle of the first.


Synoptic eschatology with that of the Psalms of Solomon. In place of the legal righteousness, which, since the return from the exile, had formed the link of connexion between the present and the future, we find the prophetic ethic, the demand for a general repentance, even in the case of the Baptist. In the Apocalypses of Baruch and Ezra we see, especially in the theological character of the latter, the persistent traces of this ethical deepening of apocalyptic.

But even in individual conceptions the apocalyptic of the Baptist, and of the period which he introduces, reaches back to the eschatology of the prophetic writings. The pouring forth of the spirit, and the figure of Elias, who comes again to earth, play a great role in it. The difficulty is indeed, consciously felt of combining the two eschatologies, and bringing the prophetic within the Danielic. How, it is asked, can the Son of David be at the same time the Danielic Son-of-Man Messiah, at once David's son and David's Lord?

It is inadequate to speak of a synthesis of the two eschatologies. What has happened is nothing less than the remoulding, the elevation, of the Daniel-Enoch apocalyptic by the spirit and conceptions belonging to the ancient prophetic hope.

A great simplification and deepening of eschatology begins to show itself even in the Psalms of Solomon. The conception of righteousness which the writer applies is, in spite of its legal aspect, of an ethical, prophetic character. It is an eschatology associated with great historical events, the eschatology of a Pharisaism which is fighting for a cause, and has therefore a certain inward greatness. [1] Between the Psalms of Solomon and the appearance of the Baptist there lies the decadence of Pharisaism. At this point there suddenly appears an eschatological movement detached from Pharisaism, which was declining into an external legalism, a movement resting on a basis of its own, and thoroughly penetrated with the spirit of the ancient prophets.

The ultimate differentia of this eschatology is that it was not, like the other apocalyptic movements, called into existence by historical events. The Apocalypse of Daniel was called forth by the religious oppression of Antiochus; [2] the Psalms of Solomon by the civil strife

[1] The fact that in the Psalms of Solomon the Messiah is designated by the ancient prophetic name of the Son of David is significant of the rising influence of the ancient prophetic literature. This designation has nothing whatever to do with a political ideal of a kingly Messiah. This Davidic King and his Kingdom are, in their character and the manner of their coming, every whit as supernatural as the Son of Man and His coming. The same historical fact was read into both Daniel and the prophets.

[2] Enoch is an offshoot of the Danielic apocalyptic writings. The earliest portion, the Apocalypse of the Ten Weeks, is independent of Daniel and of contemporary origin. The Similitudes (capp. xxxvii.-lxix.), which, with their description of the Judgment of the Son of Man, are so important in connexion with the thoughts of Jesus, may be placed in 80-70 B.C. They do not presuppose the taking of Jerusalem by Pompey.


at Jerusalem and the first appearance of the Roman power under Pompey; [l] Fourth Ezra and Baruch by the destruction of Jerusalem. [2] The apocalyptic movement in the time of Jesus is not connected with any historical event. It cannot be said, as Bruno Bauer rightly perceived that we know anything about the Messianic expectations of the Jewish people at that time. [3] On the contrary, the indifference shown by the Roman administration towards the movement proves that the Romans knew nothing of a condition of great and general Messianic excitement among the Jewish people. The conduct of the Pharisaic party also, and the indifference of the great mass of the people, show that there can have been no question at that time of a national movement. What is really remarkable about this wave of apocalyptic enthusiasm is the fact that it was called forth not by external events, but solely by the appearance of two great personalities, and subsides with their disappearance, without leaving among the people generally any trace, except a feeling of hatred towards the new sect.

The Baptist and Jesus are not, therefore, borne upon the current of a general eschatological movement. The period offers no events calculated to give an impulse to eschatological enthusiasm. They themselves set the times in motion by acting, by creating eschatological facts. It is this mighty creative force which constitutes the difficulty in grasping historically the eschatology of Jesus and the Baptist. Instead of literary artifice speaking out of a distant imaginary past, there now enter into the field of eschatology men, living, acting men. It was the only time when that ever happened in Jewish eschatology.

There is silence all around. The Baptist appears, and cries: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws

[1] The Psalms of Solomon are therefore a decade later than the Similitudes.

[2] The Apocalypse of Baruch seems to have been composed not very long after the Fall of Jerusalem. Fourth Ezra is twenty to thirty years later.

[3] The Psalms of Solomon form the last document of Jewish eschatology before the coming of the Baptist. For almost a hundred years, from 60 B.C. until A.D. 30, we have no information regarding eschatological movements! And do the Psalms of Solomon really point to a deep eschatological movement at the time of the taking of Jerusalem by Pompey? Hardly, I think. It is to be noticed in studying the times of Jesus that the surrounding circumstances have no eschatological character. The Fall of Jerusalem marks the next turning-point in the history ot apocalyptic hope, as Baruch and Fourth Ezra show.


Himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes Him. Instead of bringing in the eschatological conditions, He has destroyed them. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.

These considerations regarding the distinctive character of the Synoptic eschatology were necessary in order to explain the significance of the sending forth of the disciples and the discourse which Jesus uttered upon that occasion. Jesus' purpose is to set in motion the eschatological development of history, to let loose the final woes, the confusion and strife, from which shall issue the Parousia, and so to introduce the supra-mundane phase of the eschatological drama. That is His task, for which He has authority here below. That is why He says in the same discourse, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth; I am not come to send peace, but a sword" (Matt. x. 34).

It was with a view to this initial movement that He chose His disciples. They are not His helpers in the work of teaching; we never see them in that capacity, and He did not prepare them to carry on that work after His death. The very fact that He chooses just twelve shows that it is a dogmatic idea which He has in mind. He chooses them as those who are destined to hurl the firebrand into the world, and are afterwards, as those who have been the comrades of the unrecognised Messiah, before He came to His Kingdom, to be His associates in ruling and judging it. [1]

But what was to be the fate of the future Son of Man during the Messianic woes of the last times? It appears as if it was appointed for

[1] Jesus promises them expressly that at the appearing of the Son of Man they shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. xix. 28). It is to their part in the judgment that belong also the authority to bind and to loose which He entrusts to them-first to Peter personally (Matt. xvi. 19) and afterwards to all the Twelve (Matt. xviii. 18)-in such a way, too, that their present decisions will be somehow or other binding at the Judgment. Or does the "upon earth" refer only to the fact that the Messianic Last Judgment will be held on earth? "I give unto thee the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. xvi. 19). Why should these words not be historical? Is it because in the same context Jesus speaks of the "church" which He will found upon the Rock-disciple? But if one has once got a clear idea from Paul, 2 Clement, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Shepherd of Hermans, what the pre-existing "church" was which was to appear in the last times, it will no longer appear impossible that Jesus might have spoken of the church against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. Of course, if the passage is given an uneschatological reference to the Church as we know it, it loses all real meaning and becomes a treasure-trove to the Roman Catholic exegete, and a terror to the Protestant.


Him to share the persecution and the suffering. He says that those wh shall be saved must take their cross and follow Him (Matt. x. 38), that His followers must be willing to lose their lives for His sake, and that only those who in this time of terror confess their allegiance to Him shall be confessed by Him before His heavenly Father (Matt. x. 32). Similarly, in the last of the Beatitudes, He had pronounced those blessed who were despised and persecuted for His sake (Matt. v. 11, 12). As the future bearer of the supreme rule He must go through the deepest humiliation. There is danger that His followers may doubt Him. Therefore, the last words of His message to the Baptist, just at the time when He had sent forth the Twelve, is, "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me" (Matt. xi. 6).

If He makes a point of familiarising others with the thought that in the time of tribulation they may even lose their lives. He must have recognised that this possibility was still more strongly present in His own case. It is possible that in the enigmatic saying about the disciples fasting "when the bridegroom is taken away from them" (Mark ii. 20), there is a hint of what Jesus expected. In that case suffering, death, and resurrection must have been closely united in the Messianic consciousness from the first. So much, however, is certain, viz. that the thought of suffering formed part, at the time of the sending forth the disciples, of the mystery of the Kingdom of God and of the Messiahship of Jesus, and that in the form that Jesus and all the elect were to be brought low in the peirasmoV at the time of the death-struggle against the evil world-power which would arise against them; brought down, it might be, even to death. It mattered as little in His own case as in that of others whether at the time of the Parousia He should be one of those who should be metamorphosed, or one who had died and risen again. The question arises, however, how this self-consciousness of Jesus could remain concealed. It is true the miracles had nothing to do with the Messiahship, since no one expected the Messiah to come as an earthly miracle-worker in the present age. On the contrary, it would have been the greatest of miracles if any one had recognised the Messiah in an earthly miracle-worker. How far the cries of the demoniacs who addressed Him as Messiah were intelligible by the people must remain an open question. What is clear is that His Messiahship did not become known in this way even to His disciples.

And yet in all His speech and action the Messianic consciousness shines forth. One might, indeed, speak of the acts of His Messianic consciousness. The Beatitudes, nay, the whole of the Sermon on the Mount, with the authoritative "I" for ever breaking through, bear witness to the high dignity which He ascribed to Himself. Did not this "I" set the people thinking?


What must they have thought when, at the close of this discourse, He spoke of people who, at the Day of Judgment, would call upon Him as Lord, and appeal to the works that they had done in His name, and who yet were destined to be rejected because He would not recognise them (Matt. vii. 21-23)?

What must they have thought of Him when He pronounced those blessed who were persecuted and despised for His sake (Matt. v. 11, 12)? By what authority did this man forgive sins (Mark ii. 5 ff.)?

In the discourse at the sending forth of the disciples the "I" is still more prominent. He demands of men that in the trials to come they shall confess Him, that they shall love Him more than father or mother, bear their cross after Him, and follow Him to the death, since it is only for such that He can entreat His Heavenly Father (Matt. x. 32 ff.). Admitting that the expression "Heavenly Father" contained no riddle for the listening disciples, since He had taught them to pray "Our Father which art in Heaven," we have still to ask who was He whose yea or nay should prevail with God to determine the fate of men at the Judgment?

And yet they found it hard, nay impossible, to think of Him as Messiah. They guessed Him to be a prophet; some thought of Elias, some of John the Baptist risen from the dead, as appears clearly from the answer of the disciples at Caesarea Philippi. [1] The Messiah was a supernatural personality who was to appear in the last times, and who was not expected upon earth before that.

At this point a difficulty presents itself. How could Jesus be Elias for the people? Did they not hold John the Baptist to be Elias? Not in the least! Jesus was the first and the only person who attributed this office to him. And, moreover, He declares it to the people as something mysterious, difficult to understand-"If ye can receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. xi. 14, 15). In making this revelation He is communicating to them a piece of supernatural knowledge, opening up a part of the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Therefore He uses the same formula of emphasis as when making known in parables the mystery of the Kingdom of God (Mark iv.).

The disciples were not with Him at this time, and therefore did not learn what was the role of John the Baptist. When a little later, in de-

[1] That he could be taken for the Baptist risen from the dead shows how short a time before the death of the Baptist His ministry had begun. He only became known, as the Baptist's question shows, at the time of the mission of the disciples; Herod first heard of Him after the death of the Baptist. Had he known anything of Jesus beforehand, it would have been impossible for him suddenly to identify Him with the Baptist risen from the dead. This elementary consideration has been overlooked in all calculations of the length of the public ministry of Jesus.


scending from the mount of transfiguration He predicted to the three who formed the inner circle of His followers the resurrection of the Son of Man, they came to Him with difficulties about the rising from the dead-how could this be possible when, according to the Pharisees and Scribes, Elias must first come?-whereupon Jesus explains to them that the preacher of repentance whom Herod had put to death had been Elias (Mark ix. 11-13).

Why did not the people take the Baptist to be Elias? In the first place no doubt because he did not describe himself as such. In the next place because he did no miracle! He was only a natural man without any evidence of supernatural power, only a prophet. In the third place, and that was the decisive point, he had himself pointed forward to the coming of Elias. He who was to come, he whom he preached, was not the Messiah, but Elias.

He describes him, not as a supernatural personality, not as a judge, not as one who will be manifested at the unveiling of the heavenly world, but as one who in his work shall resemble himself, only much greater-one who, like himself, baptizes, though with the Holy Spirit. Had it ever been represented as the work of the Messiah to baptize?

Before the Last Judgment, so it was inferred from Joel, the great outpouring of the spirit was to take place; before the Last Judgment, so taught Malachi, Elias was to corns. Until these events had occurred the manifestation of the Son of Man was not to be looked for. Men's thoughts were fixed, therefore, not on the Messiah, but upon Elias and the outpouring of the Spirit. [1] The Baptist in his preaching combines both ideas, and predicts the coming of the Great One who shall "baptize with the Holy Spirit," i.e. who brings about the outpouring of the Spirit. His own preaching was only designed to secure that at His coming that Great One should find a community sanctified and prepared to receive the Spirit.

When he heard in the prison of one who did great wonders and signs, he desired to learn with certainty whether this was "he who was to come." If this question is taken as referring to the Messiahship the whole narrative loses its meaning, and it upsets the theory of the Messianic secret, since in this case at least one person had become aware, independently, of the office which belonged to Jesus, not to mention all the ineptitudes involved in making the Baptist here speak in doubt and confusion. Moreover, on this false interpretation of the question the point of Jesus' discourse is lost, for in this case it is not clear why he says to the people afterwards, "If ye can receive it, John himself is Elias." This revelation presupposes that Jesus and the people, who had

[1] That had been rightly remarked by Colani. Later, however, theology lost sign of the fact because it did not know how to make any historical use of it.


heard the question which had been addressed to Him, also gave it its only natural meaning, referring it to Jesus as the bearer of the office of Elias.

That even the first Evangelist gives the episode a Messianic setting by introducing it with the words "When John heard in the prison of the works of the Christ" does not alter the facts of the body of the narrative. The sequel directly contradicts the introduction. And this interpretation fully explains the evasive answer of Jesus, in which exegesis has always recognised a certain reserve without ever being able to make it intelligible why Jesus did not simply send him the message, "Yes, I am he"-whereto, however, according to modern theology, He would have needed to add, "but another kind of Messiah from him whom you expect.

The fact was, the Baptist had put Him in an extremely difficult position. He could not answer that He was Elias if He held Himself to be the Messiah; on the other hand He could not, and would not, disclose to him, and still less to the messengers and the listening multitude, the secret of His Messiahship. Therefore He sends this obscure message, which only contains a confirmation of the facts which John had already heard and closes with a warning, come what may, not to be offended in Him. Of this the Baptist was to make what he could.

It mattered, in fact, little how John understood the message. The time was much more advanced than he supposed; the hammer of the world's clock had risen to strike the last hour. All that he needed to know was that he had no cause to doubt.

In revealing to the people the true office of the Baptist, Jesus unveiled to them almost the whole mystery of the Kingdom of God, and nearly disclosed the secret of His Messiahship. For if Elias was already present, was not the coming of the Kingdom close at hand? And if John was Elias, who was Jesus? . . . There could only be one answer; the Messiah. But this seemed impossible, because Messiah was expected as a supernatural personality. The eulogy on the Baptist is, historically regarded, identical in content with the prediction of the Parousia in the discourse at the sending forth of the disciples. For after the coming of Elias there must follow immediately the judgment and the other events belonging to the last time. Now we can understand why in the enumeration of the events of the last time in the discourse to the Twelve the coming of Elias is not mentioned.


Elias was to do: and yet Jesus makes him Elias, simply because He expected His own manifestation as Son of Man, and before that it was necessary that Elias must first have come. And even when John was dead Jesus still told the disciples that in him Elias had come, although the death of Elias was not contemplated in the eschatological doctrine and was in fact unthinkable. But Jesus must somehow drag or force the eschatological events into the framework of the actual occurrences.

Thus the conception of the "dogmatic element" in the narrative widens in an unsuspected fashion. And even what before seemed natural becomes on a closer examination doctrinal. The Baptist is made into Elias solely by the force of Jesus' Messianic consciousness.

A short time afterwards, immediately upon the return of the disciples, He spoke and acted before their eyes in a way which presupposed the Messianic secret. The people had been dogging his steps; at a lonely spot on the shores of the lake they surrounded Him, and He "taught them about many things" (Mark vi. 30-34). The day was drawing to a close, but they held closely to Him without troubling about food. In the evening, before sending them away, He fed them.

Weisse, long ago, had constantly emphasised the fact that the feeding of the multitude was one of the greatest historical problems, because this narrative, like that of the transfiguration, is very firmly riveted to its historical setting and, therefore, imperatively demands explanation. How is the historical element in it to be got at? Certainly not by seeking to explain the apparently miraculous in it on natural lines, by representing that at the bidding of Jesus people brought out the baskets of provisions which they had been concealing, and, thus importing into the tradition a natural fact which, so far from being hinted at in the narrative, is actually excluded by it.

Our solution is that the whole is historical, except the closing remark that they were all filled. Jesus distributed the provisions which He and His disciples had with them among the multitude so that each received a very little, after He had first offered thanks. The significance lies in the giving of thanks and in the fact that they had received from Him consecrated food. Because He is the future Messiah, this meal becomes without their knowledge the Messianic feast. With the morsel of bread which He gives His disciples to distribute to the people He consecrates them as partakers in the coming Messianic feast, and gives them the guarantee that they, who had shared His table in the time of His obscurity, would also share it in the time of His glory. In the prayer He gave thanks not only for the food, but also for the coming Kingdom and all its blessings. It is the counterpart of the Lord's prayer, where He so strangely inserts the petition for daily bread between the petitions tor the coming of the Kingdom and for deliverance from the peirasmoV.


The feeding of the multitude was more than a love-feast, a fellowship-meal. It was from the point of view of Jesus a sacrament of salvation.

We never realise sufficiently that in a period when the judgment and the glory were expected as close at hand, one thought arising out of this expectation must have acquired special prominence-how, namely, in the present time a man could obtain a guarantee of coming scatheless through the judgment, of being saved and received into the Kingdom, of being signed and sealed for deliverance amid the coming trial, as the Chosen People in Egypt had a sign revealed to them from God by means of which they might be manifest as those who were to be spared. But once we do realise this, we can understand why the thought of signing and sealing runs through the whole of the apocalyptic literature. It is found as early as the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. There, God is making preparation for judgment. The day of visitation of the city is at hand. But first the Lord calls unto "the man clothed with linen who had the writer's ink-horn by his side" and said unto him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." Only after that does He give command to those who are charged with the judgment to begin, adding, "But come not near any man upon whom is the mark" (Ezek. ix. 4 and 6).

In the fifteenth of the Psalms of Solomon, [1] the last eschatological writing before the movement initiated by the Baptist, it is expressly said in the description of the judgment that "the saints of God bear a sign upon them which saves them."

In the Pauline theology very striking prominence is given to the thought of being sealed unto salvation. The apostle is conscious of bearing about with him in his body "the marks of Jesus" (Gal. vi. 17), the "dying" of Jesus (2 Cor. iv. 10). This sign is received in baptism, since it is a baptism "into the death of Christ"; in this act the recipient is in a certain sense really buried with Him, and thenceforth walks among Men as one who belongs, even here below, to risen humanity (Rom. vi. 1 ff.). Baptism is the seal, the earnest of the spirit, the pledge of that which is to come (2 Cor. i. 22; Eph. i. 13, 14, iv. 30).

This conception of baptism as a "salvation" in view of that which was to come goes down through the whole of ancient theology. Its preaching might really be summed up in the words, "Keep your baptism holy and without blemish."

In the Shepherd of Hermas even the spirits of the men of the past must receive "the seal, which is the water" in order that they may "bear the name of God upon them." That is why the tower is built over the

[1] Psal. Sol. xv. 8.


water, and the stones which are brought up out of the deep are rolled through the water (Vis. iii. and Sim. ix. 16).

In the Apocalypse of John the thought of the sealing stands prominently in the foreground. The locusts receive power to hurt those only who have not the seal of God on their foreheads (Rev. ix. 4, 5). The beast (Rev. xiii. 16 ff.) compels men to bear his mark; only those who will not accept it are to reign with Christ (Rev. xx. 4), The chosen hundred and forty-four thousand bear the name of God and the name of the Lamb upon their foreheads (Rev. xiv. 1).

"Assurance of salvation" in a time of eschatological expectation demanded some kind of security for the future of which the earnest could be possessed in the present. And with this the pre-destinarian thought of election was in complete accord. If we find the thought of being sealed unto salvation previously in the Psalms of Solomon, and subsequently in the same signification in Paul, in the Apocalypse of John, and down to the Shepherd of Hermas, it may be assumed in advance that it will be found in some form or other in the so strongly eschatological teaching of Jesus and the Baptist.

It may be said, indeed, to dominate completely the eschatological preaching of the Baptist, for this preaching does not confine itself to the declaration of the nearness of the Kingdom, and the demand for repentance, but leads up to an act to which it gives a special reference in relation to the forgiveness of sins and the outpouring of the spirit. It is a mistake to regard baptism with water as a "symbolic act" in the modern sense, and make the Baptist decry his own wares by saying, "I baptize only with water, but the other can baptize with the Holy Spirit." He is not contrasting the two baptisms, but connecting them-he who is baptized by him has the certainty that he will share in the outpouring of the Spirit which shall precede the judgment, and at the judgment shall receive forgiveness of sins, as one who is signed with the mark of repentance. The object of being baptized by him is to secure baptism with the Spirit later. The forgiveness of sins associated with baptism is proleptic, it is to be realised at the judgment. The Baptist himself did not forgive sin. [1] If he had done so, how could such offence have been taken when Jesus claimed for Himself the right to forgive sins in the present (Mark ii. 10)?

The baptism of John was therefore an eschatological sacrament point-

[1] That the baptism of John was essentially an act which gave a claim to something future may be seen from the fact that Jesus speaks of His sufferings and death as a special baptism, and asks the sons of Zebedee whether they are willing, for the sake of gaining the thrones on His right hand and His left, to undergo this baptism. If the baptism of John had had no real sacramental significance it would unintelligible that Jesus should use this metaphor.


ing forward to the pouring forth of the spirit and to the judgment, a provision for "salvation." Hence the wrath of the Baptist when he saw Pharisees and Sadducees crowding to his baptism: "Ye generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth now fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. iii. 7, 8). By the reception of baptism, that is, they are saved from the judgment.

As a cleansing unto salvation it is a divine institution, a revealed means of grace. That is why the question of Jesus, whether the baptism of John was from heaven or from men, placed the Scribes at Jerusalem in so awkward a dilemma (Mark xi. 30).

The authority of Jesus, however, goes farther than that of the Baptist. As the Messiah who is to come He can give even here below to those who gather about Him a right to partake in the Messianic feast, by this distribution of food to them; only, they do not know what is happening to them and He cannot solve the riddle for them. The supper at the Lake of Gennesareth was a veiled eschatological sacrament. Neither the disciples nor the multitude understood what was happening, since they did not know who He was who thus made them His guests. [1] This meal

[1] The thought of the Messianic feast is found in Isaiah lv. 1 ff. and lxv. 12 ff. It is very strongly marked in Isa. xxv. 6-8, a passage which perhaps dates from the time of Alexander the Great, "and Jahweh of Hosts will prepare upon this mountain for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things prepared with marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. He shall destroy, in this mountain, among all peoples, the veil which has veiled all peoples and the covering which has covered all nations. He shall destroy death for ever, and the Lord Jahweh shall wipe away the tears from off all faces; and the reproach of His people shall disappear from the earth." (The German follows Kautzsch's translation.)

In Enoch xxiv. and xxv. the conception of the Messianic feast is connected with that of the tree of life which shall offer its fruits to the elect upon the mountain of the King. Similarly in the Testament of Levi, cap. xviii. 11.

The decisive passage is in Enoch lxii. 14. After the Parousia of the Son of Man, and after the Judgment, the elect who have been saved "shall eat with the Son of Man, shall sit down and rise up with Him to all eternity."

Jesus' references to the Messianic feast are therefore not merely images, but point to a reality. In Matt. viii. 11 and 12 He prophesies that many shall come from the East and from the West to sit at meat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Matt. xxii. 1-14 the Messianic feast is pictured as a royal marriage, in Matt. xxv. 1-13 as a marriage feast.

The Apocalypse is dominated by the thought of the feast in all its forms. In Rev. ii. 7 it appears in connexion with the thought of the tree of life; in ii. 17 it is pictured as a feeding with manna; in iii. 21 it is the feast which the Lord will celebrate with His followers; in vii. 16, 17 there is an allusion to the Lamb who shall feed His own so that they shall no more hunger or thirst; chapter xix. describes the marriage feast of the Lamb.

The Messianic feast therefore played a dominant part in the conception of blessedness from Enoch to the Apocalypse of John. From this we can estimate what sacramental significance a guarantee of taking part in that feast must have had. The meaning of the celebration was obvious in itself, and was made manifest in the conduct of it. The sacramental effect was wholly independent of the apprehension and comprehension of the recipient. Therefore, in this also the meal at the lake-side was a true sacrament.


must have been transformed by tradition into a miracle, a result which may have been in part due to the references to the wonders of the Messianic feast which were doubtless contained in the prayers, not to speak of the eschatological enthusiasm which then prevailed universally. Did not the disciples believe that on the same evening, when they had been commanded to take Jesus into their ship at the mouth of the Jordan to which point He had walked along the shore-did they not believe that they saw Him come walking towards them upon the waves of the sea? The impulse to the introduction of the miraculous into the narrative came from the unintelligible element with which the men who surrounded Jesus were at this time confronted. [1]

The Last Supper at Jerusalem had the same sacramental significance as that at the lake. Towards the end of the meal Jesus, after giving thanks, distributes the bread and wine. This had as little to do with the satisfaction of hunger as the distribution to the Galilaean believers. The act of Jesus is an end in itself, and the significance of the celebration consists in the fact that it is He Himself who makes the distribution. In Jerusalem, however, they understood what was meant, and He explained it to them explicitly by telling them that He would drink no more of the fruit of the vine until He drank it new in the Kingdom of God. The mysterious images which He used at the time of the distribution concerning the atoning significance of His death do not touch the essence of the celebration, they are only discourses accompanying it.

On this interpretation, therefore, we may think of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as from the first eschatological sacraments in the eschatological movement which later detached itself from Judaism under the name of Christianity. That explains why we find them both in Paul and in the earliest theology as sacramental acts, not as symbolic ceremonies, and find them dominating the whole Christian doctrine. Apart from the assumption of the eschatological sacraments, we can only make the history of dogma begin with a "fall" from the earlier purer theology into the sacramental magical, without being able to adduce a single syllable in support of the idea that after the death of Jesus Baptism and the Lord's Supper existed even for an hour as symbolical actions-Paul, indeed, makes this supposition wholly impossible.

In any case the adoption of the baptism of John in Christian practice cannot be explained except on the assumption that it was the sacrament

[1] Weisse rightly remarks that the task of the historian in dealing with Mark must consist in explaining how such "myths" could be accepted by a chronicler who stood so relatively near the events as our Mark does.


of the eschatological community, a revealed means of securing "salvation" which was not altered in the slightest by the Messiahship of Jesus. How else could we explain the fact that baptism, without any commandment of Jesus, and without Jesus' ever having baptized, was taken over, as a matter of course, into Christianity, and was given a special reference to the receiving of the Spirit?

It is no use proposing to explain it as having been instituted as a symbolical repetition of the baptism of Jesus, thought of as "an anointing to the Messiahship." There is not a single passage in ancient theology to support such a theory. And we may point also to the fact that Paul never refers to the baptism of Jesus in explaining the character of Christian baptism, never, in fact, makes any distinct reference to it. And how could baptism, if it had been a symbolical repetition of the baptism of Jesus, ever nave acquired this magic-sacramental sense of "salvation"?

Nothing shows more clearly than the dual character of ancient baptism, which makes it the guarantee both of the reception of the Spirit and of deliverance from the judgment, that it is nothing else than the eschatological baptism of John with a single difference. Baptism with water and baptism with the Spirit are now connected not only logically, but also in point of time, seeing that since the day of Pentecost the period of the outpouring of the Spirit is present. The two portions of the eschatological sacrament which in the Baptist's preaching were distinguished in point of time-because he did not expect the outpouring of the Spirit until some future period-are now brought together, since one eschatological condition-the baptism with the Spirit-is now present. The "Christianising" of baptism consisted in this and in nothing else; though Paul carried it a stage farther when he formed the conception of baptism as a mystic partaking in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Thus the thoroughgoing eschatological interpretation of the Life of Jesus puts into the hands of those who are reconstructing the history of dogma in the earliest times an explanation of the conception of the sacraments, of which they had been able hitherto only to note the presence as an x of which the origin was undiscoverable, and for which they possessed no equation by which it could be evaluated. If Christianity as the religion of historically revealed mysteries was able to lay hold upon Hellenism and overcome it, the reason of this was that it was already in its purely eschatological beginnings a religion of sacraments, a religion of eschatological sacraments, since Jesus had recognised a Divine institution in the baptism of John, and had Himself performed a sacramental action in the distribution of food at the Lake of Gennesareth and at the Last Supper.

This being so, the feeding of the multitude also belongs to the dogmatic


element in the history. But no one had previously recognised it as what it really was, an indirect disclosure of the Messianic secret, just as no one had understood the full significance of Jesus' description of the Baptist as Elias.

But how does Peter at Caesarea Philippi know the secret of his Master? What he there declares is not a conviction which had gradually dawned on him, and slowly grown through various stages of probability and certainty.

The real character of this incident has been interpreted with remarkable penetration by Wrede. The incident itself, he says, is to be understood in quite as supernatural a fashion in Mark as in Matthew. But on the other hand one does not receive the impression that the writer intends to represent the confession as a merit or a discovery of Peter. "For according to the text of Mark, Jesus shows no trace of joy or surprise at this confession. His only answer consists of the command to say nothing about His Messiahship." Keim, whom Wrede quotes, had received a similar impression from the Marcan account, and had supposed that Jesus had actually found the confession of Peter inopportune.

How is all this to be explained-the supernatural knowledge of Peter and the rather curt fashion in which Jesus receives his declaration?

It might be worth while to put the story of the transfiguration side by side with the incident at Caesarea Philippi, since there the Divine Sonship of Jesus is "a second time" revealed to the "three," Peter, James, and John, and the revelation is made supernaturally by a voice from heaven. It is rather striking that Mark does not seem to be conscious that he is reporting something which the disciples knew already. At the beginning of the actual transfiguration Peter still addresses Jesus simply as Rabbi (Mark ix. 5). And what does it mean when Jesus, during the descent from the mountain, forbids them to speak to any man concerning that which they have seen until after the resurrection of the Son of Man? That would exclude even the other disciples who knew only the secret of His Messiahship. But why should they not be told of the Divine confirmation of that which Peter had declared at Caesarea Philippi and Jesus had "admitted"?

What has the transfiguration to do with the resurrection of the dead? And why are the thoughts of the disciples suddenly busied, not with what they have seen, not with the fact that the Son of Man shall rise from the dead, but simply with the possibility of the rising from the dead, the difficulty being that Elias was not yet present? Those who see in the transfiguration a projection backwards of the Pauline theology into the Gospel history do not realise what are the principal points and difficulties of the narrative. The problem lies in the conversation during


the descent. Against the Messiahship of Jesus, against His rising from the dead, they have only one objection to suggest: Elias had not yet come.

We see here, in the first place, the importance of the revelation which Jesus had made to the people in declaring to them the secret that the Baptist is Elias. From the standpoint of the eschatological expectation no one could recognise Elias in the Baptist, unless he knew of the Messiahship of Jesus. And no one could believe in the Messiahship and "resurrection" of Jesus, that is, in His Parousia, without presupposing that Elias had in some way or other already come. This was therefore the primary difficulty of the disciples, the stumbling-block which Jesus must remove for them by making the same revelation concerning the Baptist to them as to the people. It is also once more abundantly clear that expectation was directed at that time primarily to the coming of Elias. [1] But since the whole eschatological movement arose out of the Baptist's preaching, the natural conclusion is that by "him who was to come after" and baptize with the Holy Spirit John meant, not the Messiah, but Elias.

But if the non-appearance of Elias was the primary difficulty of the disciples in connexion with the Messiahship of Jesus and all that it implied, why does it only strike the "three," and moreover, all three of them together, now, and not at Caesarea Philippi? [2] How could Peter there have declared it and here be still labouring with the rest over the difficulty which stood in the way of his own declaration? To make the narrative coherent, the transfiguration, as being a revelation of the Messiahship, ought to precede the incident at Caesarea Philippi. Now let us look at the connexion in which it actually occurs. It falls in that inexplicable section Mark viii. 34-ix. 30 in which the multitude suddenly appears in the company of Jesus who is sojourning in a Gentile district, only to disappear again, equally enigmatically, afterwards, when He sets out for Galilee, instead of accompanying Him back to their own country.

In this section everything points to the situation during the days at Bethsaida after the return of the disciples from their mission. Jesus is surrounded by the people, while what He desires is to be alone with His immediate followers. The disciples make use of the healing powers which He had bestowed upon them when sending them forth, and have the experience of finding that they are not in all cases adequate (Mark ix. 14-29). The mountain to which He takes the "three" is not a mountain

[1] It is to be noticed that the cry of Jesus from the cross, "Eli, Eli," was immediately interpreted by the bystanders as referring to Elias.

[2] From this difficulty we can see, too, how impossible it was for any of them to have "arrived gradually at the knowledge of the Messiahship of Jesus."


in the north, or as some have suggested, an imaginary mountain of the Evangelist, but the same to which Jesus went up to pray and to be alone on the evening of the feeding of the multitude (Mark vi. 46 and ix. 2). The house to which He goes after His return from the transfiguration is therefore to be placed at Bethsaida.

Another thing which points to a sojourn at Bethsaida after the feeding of the multitude is the story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark viii. 22-26).

The circumstances, therefore, which we have to presuppose are that Jesus is surrounded and thronged by the people at Bethsaida. In order to be alone He once more puts the Jordan between Himself and the multitude, and goes with the "three" to the mountain where He had prayed after the feeding of the five thousand. This is the only way in which we can understand how the people failed to follow Him, and He was able really to carry out His plan.

But how could this story be torn out of its natural context and its scene removed to Caesarea Philippi, where il is both on external and internal grounds impossible? What we need to notice is the Marcan account of the events which followed the sending forth of the disciples. We have two stories of the feeding of the multitude with a crossing of the lake after each (Mark vi. 31-56, Mark viii. 1-22), two stories of Jesus going away towards the north with the same motive, that of being alone and unrecognised. The first time, after the controversy about the washing of hands, His course is directed towards Tyre (Mark vii. 24-30), the second time, after the demand for a sign, he goes into the district of Caesarea Philippi (Mark viii. 27). The scene of the controversy about the washing of hands is some locality in the plain of Gennesareth (Mark vi. 53 ff.); Dalmanutha is named as the place where the sign was demanded (Mark viii. 10 ff.).

The most natural conclusion is to identify the two cases of feeding the multitude, and the two journeys northwards. In that case we should have in the section Mark vi. 31-ix. 30, two sets of narratives worked into one another, both recounting how Jesus, after the disciples came back to Him, went with them from Capernaum to the northern shore of the lake, was there surprised by the multitude, and after the meal which He gave them, crossed the Jordan by boat to Bethsaida, stayed there for a while, and then returned again by ship to the country of Gennesareth, and was there again overtaken and surrounded by the people; then after some controversial encounters with the Scribes, who at the report of His miracles had come down from Jerusalem (Mark vii. 1), left Galilee and again went northwards. [1]

The seams at the joining of the narratives can be recognised in Mark

[l] For the hypothesis of the two sets of narratives which have been worked into one another, see the "Sketch of the Life of Jesus," 1901, p. 52 ff., "After the Mission of the Disciples. Literary and historical problems." A theory resting on the same principle was lately worked out in detail by Johannes Weiss, Das alteste Evangelium (The Earliest Gospel), 1903, p. 205 ff.


vii. 31, where Jesus is suddenly transferred from the north to Decapolis, and in the saying in Mark viii. 14 ff., which makes explicit reference to the two miracles of feeding the multitude. Whether the Evangelist himself worked these two sets of narratives together, or whether he found them already united, cannot be determined, and is not of any direct historical interest. The disorder is in any case so complete that we cannot fully reconstruct each of the separate sets of narratives.

The external reasons why the narratives of Mark viii. 34-ix. 30, of which the scene is on the northern shore of the lake, are placed in this way after the incident of Caesarea Philippi are not difficult to grasp. The section contains an impressive discourse to the people on following Jesus in His sufferings, crucifixion, and death (Mark viii. 34-ix. 1). For this reason the whole series of scenes is attached to the revelation, of the secret of the suffering of the Son of Man; and the redactor did not stop to think how the people could suddenly appear, and as suddenly disappear again. The statement, too, "He called the people with the disciples" (Mark viii. 34), helped to mislead him into inserting the section at this point, although this very remark points to the circumstances of the time just after the return of the disciples, when Jesus was sometimes alone with the disciples, and sometimes calls the eager multitude about Him.

The whole scene belongs, therefore, to the days which He spent at Bethsaida, and originally followed immediately upon the crossing of the lake, after the feeding of the multitude. It was after Jesus had been six days surrounded by the people, not six days after the revelation at Caesarea Philippi, that the "transfiguration" took place (Mark ix. 2). On this assumption, all the difficulties of the incident at Caesarea Philippi are cleared up in a moment; there is no longer anything strange in the fact that Peter declares to Jesus who He really is, while Jesus appears neither surprised nor especially rejoiced at the insight of His disciple. The transfiguration had, in fact, been the revelation of the secret of the Messiahship to the three who constituted the inner circle of the disciples. [1] And Jesus had not Himself revealed it to them; what had happened was, that in a state of rapture common to them all, in which they

[1] It is typical of the constant agreement of the critical conclusions in thoroughgoing scepticism and thoroughgoing eschatology that Wrede also observes: "The transfiguration and Peter's confession are closely connected in content" (p. 123). He also clearly perceives the inconsistency in the fact that Peter at Caesarea Philippi gives evidence of possessing a knowledge which he and his fellow-disciples do not show elsewhere (p. 119), but the fact that it is Peter, not Jesus, who reveals the Messianic secret, constitutes a very serious difficulty for Wrede's readirg of the facts, since this assumes Jesus to have been the revealer of it.


had seen the Master in a glorious transfiguration, they had seen Him talking with Moses and Elias and had heard a voice from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him."

We must always make a fresh effort to realise to ourselves, that Jesus and His immediate followers were, at that time, in an enthusiastic state of intense eschatological expectation. We must picture them among the people, who were filled with penitence for their sins, and with faith in the Kingdom, hourly expecting the coming of the Kingdom, and the revelation of Jesus as the Son of Man, seeing in the eager multitude itself a sign that their reckoning of the time was correct; thus the psychological conditions were present for a common ecstatic experience such as is described in the account of the transfiguration.

In this ecstasy the "three" heard the voice from heaven saying who He was. Therefore, the Matthaean report, according to which Jesus praises Simon "because flesh and blood have not revealed it to him, but the Father who is in heaven," is not really at variance with the briefer Marcan account, since it rightly indicates the source of Peter's knowledge.

Nevertheless Jesus was astonished. For Peter here disregarded the command given during the descent from the mount of transfiguration. He had "betrayed" to the Twelve Jesus' consciousness of His Messiahship. One receives the impression that Jesus did not put the question to the disciples in order to reveal Himself to them as Messiah, and that by the impulsive speech of Peter, upon whose silence He had counted because of His command, and to whom He had not specially addressed the question. He was forced to take a different line of action in regard to the Twelve from what He had intended. It is probable that He had never had the intention of revealing the secret of His Messiahship to the disciples. Otherwise He would not have kept it from them at the time of their mission, when He did not expect them to return before the Parousia. Even at the transfiguration the "three" do not learn it from His lips, but in a state of ecstasy, an ecstasy which He shared with them. At Caesarea Philippi it is not He, but Peter, who reveals His Messiahship. We may say, therefore, that Jesus did not voluntarily give up His Messianic secret; it was wrung from Him by the pressure of events.

However that may be, from Caesarea Philippi onwards it was known to the other disciples through Peter; what Jesus Himself revealed to them, was the secret of his sufferings.

Pfleiderer and Wrede were quite right in pointing to the clear and definite predictions of the suffering, death, and resurrection as the historically inexplicable element in our reports, since the necessity of Jesus' death, by which modern theology endeavours to make His resolve and His predictions intelligible, is not a necessity which arises out of


the historical course of events. There was not present any natural ground for such a resolve on the part of Jesus. Had He returned to Galilee, He would immediately have had the multitudes flocking after Him again.

In order to make the historical possibility of the resolve to suffer and the prediction of the sufferings in some measure intelligible, modern theology has to ignore the prediction of the resurrection which is bound up with them, for this is "dogmatic." That is, however, not permissible. We must, as Wrede insists, take the words as they are, and must not even indulge in ingenious explanations of the "three days." Therefore, the resolve to suffer and to die are dogmatic; therefore, according to him, they are unhistorical, and only to be explained by a literary hypothesis.

But the thoroughgoing eschatological school says they are dogmatic, and therefore historical; because they find their explanation in eschatological conceptions.

Wrede held that the Messianic conception implied in the Marcan narrative is not the Jewish Messianic conception, just because of the thought of suffering and death which it involves. No stress must be laid on the fact that in Fourth Ezra vii. 29 the Christ dies and rises again, because His death takes place at the end of the Messianic Kingdom. [1] The Jewish Messiah is essentially a glorious being who shall appear in the last time. True, but the case in which the Messiah should be present, prior to the Parousia, should cause the final tribulations to come upon the earth, and should Himself undergo them, does not arise in the Jewish eschatology as described from without. It first arises with the self-consciousness of Jesus. Therefore, the Jewish conception of the Messiah has no information to give us upon this point.

In order to understand Jesus' resolve to suffer, we must first recognise that the mystery of this suffering is involved in the mystery of the Kingdom of God, since the Kingdom cannot come until the peirasmoV has taken place. This certainty of suffering is quite independent of the historic circumstances, as the beatitude on the persecuted in the sermon on the mount, and the predictions in the discourse at the sending forth of the Twelve, clearly show. Jesus' prediction of His own sufferings at Caesarea Philippi is precisely as unintelligible, precisely as dogmatic, and therefore precisely as historical as the prediction to the disciples at the time of their mission. The "must be" of the sufferings is the same-the coming of the Kingdom, and of the Parousia, which are dependent upon the peirasmoV having first taken place.

[1] "After these years shall my Son, the Christ, die, together with all who have the breath of men. Then shall the Age be changed into the primeval silence; seven dys, as at the first beginning so that no man shall be left. After seven days shall the Age, which now sleeps, awake, and perishability shall itself perish."


In the first period Jesus' thoughts concerning His own sufferings were included in the more general thought 01 the sufferings which formed part of the mystery of the Kingdom of God. The exhortations to hold steadfastly to Him in the time of trial, and not to lose faith in Him certainly tended to suggest that He thought of Himself as the central point amid these conflicts and confusions, and reckoned on the possibility of His own death as much as on that of others. Upon this point nothing more definite can be said, since the mystery of Jesus' own sufferings does not detach itself from the mystery of the sufferings connected with the Kingdom of God until after the Messianic secret is made known at Caesarea Philippi. What is certain is that, for Him, suffering was always associated with the Messianic secret, since He placed His Parousia at the end of the pre-Messianic tribulations in which He was to have His part.

The suffering, death, and resurrection of which the secret was revealed at Caesarea Philippi are not therefore in themselves new or surprising. [1] The novelty lies in the form in which they are conceived. The tribulation, so far as Jesus is concerned, is now connected with an historic event: He will go to Jerusalem, there to suffer death at the hands of the authorities.

For the future, however, He no longer speaks of the general tribulation which He is to bring upon the earth, nor of the sufferings which await His followers, nor of the sufferings in which they must rally round Him. In the predictions of the passion there is no word of that;

[1] Difficult problems are involved in the prediction of the resurrection in Mark xiv. 28. Jesus there promises His disciples that He will "go before them" into Galilee. That cannot mean that He will go alone into Galilee before them, and that they shall there meet with Him, their risen Master; what He contemplates is that He shall return with them, at their head, from Jerusalem to Galilee. Was it that the manifestation of the Son of Man and of the Judgment should take place there? So much is clear: the saying, far from directing the disciples to go away to Galilee, chains them to Jerusalem, there to await Him who should lead them home. It should not therefore be claimed as supporting the tradition of the Galilaean appearances.

We find it "corrected" by the saying of the "young man" at the grave, who gays to the women, "Go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him as He said unto you."

Here then the idea of following in point of time is foisted upon the words "he goeth before you," whereas in the original the word has a purely local sense, corresponding to the cai hn proagwn autouV o IhsouV in Mark x. 32.

But the correction is itself meaningless since the visions took place in Jerusalem. We have therefore in this passage a more detailed indication of the way in which Jesus thought of the events subsequent to His Resurrection. The interpretation of this unfulfilled saying is, however, wholly impossible for us: it was net less so for the earliest tradition, as is shown by the attempt to give it a meaning by the "correction."


at Jerusalem there is no word of that. This thought disappears once for all.

In the secret of His passion which Jesus reveals to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi the pre-Messianic tribulation is for others set aside, abolished, concentrated upon Himself alone, and that in the form that they are fulfilled in His own passion and death at Jerusalem. That was the new conviction that had dawned upon Him. He must suffer for others . . . that the Kingdom might come.

This change was due to the non-fulfillment of the promises made in the discourse at the sending forth of the Twelve. He had thought then to let loose the final tribulation and so compel the coming of the Kingdom. And the cataclysm had not occurred. He had expected it also after the return of the disciples. In Bethsaida, in speaking to the multitude which He had consecrated by the foretaste of the Messianic feast, as also to the disciples at the time of their mission. He had turned their thoughts to things to come and had adjured them to be prepared to suffer with Him, to give up their lives, not to be ashamed of Him in His humiliation, since otherwise the Son of Man would be ashamed of them when He came in glory (Mark viii. 34-ix. 1) [1]

In leaving Galilee He abandoned the hope that the final tribulation would begin of itself. If it delays, that means that there is still something to be done, and yet another of the violent must lay violent hands upon the Kingdom of God. The movement of repentance had not been sufficient. When, in accordance with His commission, by sending forth the disciples with their message, he hurled the fire-brand which should kindle the fiery trials of the Last Time, the flame went out. He had not succeeded in sending the sword on earth and stirring up the conflict. And until the time of trial had come, the coming of the Kingdom and His own manifestation as Son of Man were impossible.

That meant-not that the Kingdom was not near at hand-but that God had appointed otherwise in regard to the time of trial. He had heard the Lord's Prayer in which Jesus and His followers prayed for the coming of the Kingdom-and at the same time, for deliverance from the polloi for whom Jesus dies are those predestined to the Kingdom, since His death must at last compel the Coming of the Kingdom. [1]

This thought Jesus found in the prophecies of Isaiah, which spoke of the suffering Servant of the Lord. The mysterious description of Him who in His humiliation was despised and misunderstood, who, nevertheless bears the guilt of others and afterwards is made manifest in what He has done for them, points, He feels, to Himself.

And since He found it there set down that He must suffer unrecognised, and that those for whom He suffered should doubt Him, His suffering should, nay must, remain a mystery. In that case those who doubted Him would not bring condemnation [1] upon themselves. He no

[1] Weisse and Bruno Bauer had long ago pointed out how curious it was that Jesus in the sayings about His sufferings spoke of "many" instead of speaking of "His own" or "the believers." Weisse found in the words the thought that Jesus died for the nation as a whole; Bruno Bauer that the "for many" in the words of Jesus was derived from the view of the later theology of the Christian community. This explanation is certainly wrong, for so soon as the words of Jesus come into any kind of contact with early theology the "many" disappear to give place to the "believers." In the Pauline words of institution the form is: My body for you (1 Cor. xi. 24).

Johannes Weiss follows in the footsteps of Weisse when he interprets the "many" as the nation (Die Predigt Jesu vom Reiche Gottes, 2nd ed., 1909, p. 201). He gives however, quite a false turn to this interpretation by arguing that the "many" cannot include the disciples, since they "who in faith and penitence have received the tidings of the Kingdom of God no longer need a special means of deliverance such as this." They are the chosen, to them the Kingdom is assured. But a ransom, a special means of salvation, is needful for the mass of the people, who in their blindness have incurred the guilt of rejecting the Messiah. For this grave sin, which is, nevertheless, to some extent excused as due to ignorance, there is a unique atoning sacrifice, the death of the Messiah.

This theory is based on a distinction of which there is no hint in the teaching ot Jesus; and it takes no account of the predestinarianism which is an integral part ot eschatology, and which, in fact, dominated the thoughts of Jesus. The Lord is conscious that He dies only for the elect. For others His death can avail nothing, not even their own repentance. Moreover, He does not die in orcier that this one or that one may come into the Kingdom of God; He provides the atonement in order that the Kingdom itself may come. Until the Kingdom comes even the elect cannot possess it.


longer needs to adjure them for their own sakes to be faithful to Him and to stand by Him even amid reproach and humiliation; He can calmly predict to His disciples that they shall all be offended in Him and shall flee (Mark xiv. 26, 27); He can tell Peter, who boasts that he will die with Him, that before the dawn he shall deny Him thrice (Mark xiv. 29-31); all that is so set down in the Scripture. They must doubt Him. But now they shall not lose their blessedness, for He bears all sins and transgressions. That, too, is buried in the atonement which He offers.

Therefore, also, there is no need for them to understand His secret. He spoke of it to them without any explanation. It is sufficient that they should know why He goes up to Jerusalem. They, on their part, are thinking only of the coming transformation of all things, as their conversation shows. The prospect which He has opened up to them is clear enough; the only thing that they do not understand is why He must first die at Jerusalem. The first time that Peter ventured to speak to Him about it, He had turned on him w^h cruel harshness, had almost cursed him (Mark viii. 32, 33) ; from that time forward they no longer dared to ask Him anything about it. The new thought of His own passion has its basis therefore in the authority with which Jesus was armed to bring about the beginning of the final tribulation. Ethically regarded, His taking the suffering upon Himself is an act of mercy and compassion towards those who would otherwise have had to bear these tribulations, and perhaps would not have stood the test. Historically regarded, the thought of His sufferings involves the same lofty treatment both of history and eschatology as was manifested in the identification of the Baptist with Elias. For now He identifies His condemnation and execution, which are to take place on natural lines, with the predicted pre-Messianic tribulations. This imperious forcing of eschatology into history is also its destruction; its assertion and abandonment at the same time.

Towards Passover, therefore, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, solely in order to die there. [1] "It is," says Wrede, "beyond question the opinion of Mark that Jesus went to Jerusalem because He had decided to die; that is obvious even from the details of the story." It is therefore a mistake to speak of Jesus as "teaching" in Jerusalem. He has no intention of doing so. As a prophet He foretells in veiled parabolic form the offence which must come (Mark xii. 1-12), exhorts men to watch for the Parousia, pictures the nature of the judgment which the Son of

[1] One might use it as a principle of division by which to classify the lives of Jesus, whether they make Him go to Jerusalem to work or to die. Here as in so many other places Weisse's clearness of perception is surprising. Jesus' journey was according to him a pilgrimage to death, not to the Passover.


Man shall hold, and, for the rest, thinks only how He can so provoke the Pharisees and the rulers that they will be compelled to get rid of Him. That is why He violently cleanses the Temple, and attacks the Pharisees, in the presence of the people, with passionate invective.

From the revelation at Caesarea Philippi onward, all that belongs to the history of Jesus, in the strict sense, are the events which lead up to His death; or, to put it more accurately, the events in which He Himself is the sole actor. The other things which happen, the questions which are laid before Him for decision, the episodic incidents which occur in those days, have nothing to do with the real "Life of Jesus," since they contribute nothing to the decisive issue, but merely form the anecdotic fringes of the real outward and inward event, the deliberate bringing down of death upon Himself.

It is in truth surprising that He succeeded in transforming into history this resolve which had its roots in dogma, and really dying alone. Is it not almost unintelligible that His disciples were not involved in His fate? Not even the disciple who smote with the sword was arrested along with Him (Mark xiv. 47); Peter, recognised in the courtyard of the High Priest's house as one who had been with Jesus the Nazarene, is allowed to go free.

For a moment indeed, Jesus believes that the "three" are destined to share His fate, not from any outward necessity, but because they had professed themselves able to suffer the last extremities with Him. The sons of Zebedee, when He asked them whether, in order to sit at His right hand and His left, they are prepared to drink His cup and be baptized with His baptism, had declared that they were, and thereupon He had predicted that they should do so (Mark x. 38, 39). Peter again had that very night, in spite of the warning of Jesus, sworn that he would go even unto death with Him (Mark xiv. 30, 31). Hence He is conscious of a higher possibility that these three are to go through the trial with Him. He takes them with Him to Gethsemane and bids them remain near Him and watch with Him. And since they do not perceive the danger of the hour. He adjures them to watch and pray. They are to pray that they may not have to pass through the trial (ina mh elqhte eiV peirasmon) since, though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. Amid His own sore distress He is anxious about them and their capacity to share His trial as they had declared their willingness to do. [1]

Here also it is once more made clear that for Jesus the necessity of His death is grounded in dogma, not in external historical facts. Above the dogmatic eschatological necessity, however, there stands the omnipotence of God, which is bound by no limitations. As Jesus in the Lord's

[1] "That ye enter not into temptation" is the content of the prayer that they are to offer while watching with Him.


Prayer had taught His followers to pray for deliverance from the peirasmoV, and as in His fears for the three He bids them pray for the same thing, so now He Himself prays for deliverance, even in this last moment when He knows that the armed band which is coming to arrest Him is already on the way. Literal history does not exist for Him, only the will of God; and this is exalted even above eschatological necessity.

But how did this exact agreement between the fate of Jesus and His predictions come about? Why did the authorities strike at Him only, not at His whole following, not even at the disciples?

He was arrested and condemned on account of His Messianic claims. But how did the High Priest know that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah? And why does he put the accusation as a direct question without calling witnesses in support of it? Why was the attempt first made to bring up a saying about the Temple which could be interpreted as blasphemy in order to condemn Him on this ground (Mark xiv. 57-59)? Before that again, as is evident from Mark's account, they had brought up a whole crowd of witnesses in the hope of securing evidence sufficient to justify His condemnation; and the attempt had not succeeded.

It was only after all these attempts had failed that the High Priest brought his accusation concerning the Messianic claim, and he did so without citing the three necessary witnesses. Why so? Because he had not got them. The condemnation of Jesus depended on His own admission. That was why they had endeavoured to convict Him upon other charges. [1]

This wholly unintelligible feature of the trial confirms what is evident also from the discourses and attitude of Jesus at Jerusalem, viz. that He had not been held by the multitude to be the Messiah, that the idea of His making such claims had not for a moment occurred to them-lay in fact for them quite beyond the range of possibility. Therefore He cannot have made a Messianic entry.

According to Havet, Brandt, Wellhausen, Dalman, and Wrede the ovation at the entry had no Messianic character whatever. It is wholly mistaken, as Wrede quite rightly remarks, to represent matters as if the Messianic ovation was forced upon Jesus-that He accepted it with inner repugnance and in silent passivity. For that would involve the supposition that the people had for a moment regarded Him as Mes-

[1] As long ago as 1880, H. W. Bleby (The Trial of Jesus considered as a Judicial Act) had emphasised this circumstance as significant. The injustice in the trial of Jesus consisted, according to him, in the fact that He was condemned on His own admission without any witnesses being called. Dalman, it is true, will not admit that this technical error was very serious.

But the really important point is not whether the condemnation was legal or not; it is the significant fact that the High Priest called no witnesses. Why did he not call any? This question was obscured by Bleby and Dalman by other problems.


siah and then afterwards had shown themselves as completely without any suspicion of His Messiahship as though they had in the interval drunk of the waters of Lethe. The exact opposite is true: Jesus Himself made the preparations for the Messianic entry. Its Messianic features were due to His arrangements. He made a point of riding upon the ass, not because He was weary, but because He desired that the Messianic prophecy of Zech. ix. 9 should be secretly fulfilled.

The entry is therefore a Messianic act on the part of Jesus, an action in which His consciousness of His office breaks through, as it did at the sending forth of the disciples, in the explanation that the Baptist was Elias, and in the feeding of the multitude. But others can have had no suspicion of the Messianic significance of that which was going on before their eyes. The entry into Jerusalem was therefore Messianic for Jesus, but not Messianic for the people.

But what was He for the people? Here Wrede's theory that He was a teacher again refutes itself. In the triumphal entry there is more than the ovation offered to a teacher. The jubilations have reference to "Him who is to come"; it is to Him that the acclamations are offered and because of Him that the people rejoice in the nearness of the Kingdom, as in Mark, the cries of jubilation show; for here, as Dalman rightly remarks, there is actually no mention of the Messiah.

Jesus therefore made His entry into Jerusalem as the Prophet, as Elias. That is confirmed by Matthew (xxi. 11), although Matthew gives a Messianic colouring to the entry itself by bringing in the acclamation in which He was designated the Son of David, just as, conversely, he reports the Baptist's question rightly, and introduces it wrongly, by making the Baptist hear of the "works of the Christ."

Was Mark conscious, one wonders, that it was not a Messianic entry that he was reporting? We do not know. It is not inherently impossible that, as Wrede asserts, "he had no real view concerning the historical life of Jesus," did not know whether Jesus was recognised as Messiah, and took no interest in the question from an historical point of view. Fortunately for us! For that is why he simply hands on tradition and does not write a Life of Jesus.

The Marcan hypothesis went astray in conceiving this Gospel as a Life of Jesus written with either complete or partial historical consciousness, and interpreting it on these lines, on the sole ground that it only brings in the name Son of Man twice prior to the incident at Caesarea Philippi. The Life of Jesus cannot be arrived at by following the arrangement of a single Gospel, but only on the basis of the tradition which is preserved more or less faithfully in the earliest pair of Synoptic Gospels.

Questions of literary priority, indeed literary questions in general, have in the last resort, as Keim remarked long ago, nothing to do with


the gaining of a clear idea of the course of events, since the Evangelists had not themselves a clear idea of it before their minds; it can only be arrived at hypothetically by an experimental reconstruction based on the necessary inner connexion of the incidents.

But who could possibly have had in early times a clear conception of the Life of Jesus? Even its most critical moments were totally unintelligible to the disciples who had themselves shared in the experiences, and who were the only sources for the tradition. They were simply swept through these events by the momentum of the purpose of Jesus. That is why the tradition is incoherent. The reality had been incoherent too, since it was only the secret Messianic self-consciousness of Jesus which created alike the events and their connexion. Every Life of Jesus remains therefore a reconstruction on the basis of a more or less accurate insight into the nature of the dynamic self-consciousness of Jesus which created the history.

The people, whatever Mark may have thought, did not offer Jesus a Messianic ovation at all; it was He who, in the conviction that they were wholly unable to recognise it, played with His Messianic self-consciousness before their eyes, just as He did at the time after tha sending forth of the disciples, when, as now, He thought the end at hand. It was in the same way, too, that He closed the invective against the Pharisees with the words "I say unto you, ye shall see me no more until ye shall say. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. xxiii. 39). This saying implies His Parousia.

Similarly He is playing with His secret in that crucial question regarding the Messiahship in Mark xii. 35-37. There is no question of dissociating the Davidic Sonship from the Messiahship. [1] He asks only how can the Christ in virtue of His descent from David be, as his son, inferior to David, and yet be addressed by David in the Psalm as his Lord? The answer is; by reason of the metamorphosis and Parousia in which natural relationships are abolished and the scion of David's line who is the predestined Son of Man shall take possession of His unique glory.

Far from rejecting the Davidic Sonship in this saying, Jesus, on the contrary, presupposes His possession of it. That raises the question whether He did not really during His lifetime regard Himself as a descendant of David and whether He was not regarded as such. Paul, who otherwise shows no interest in the earthly phase of the existence of the Lord, certainly implies His descent from David.

The blind man at Jericho, too, cries out to the Nazarene prophet as "Son of David" (Mark x. 47). But in doing so he does not mean to

[1] That would have been to utter a heresy which would alone have sufficed to secure His condemnation. It would certainly have been brought up as a charge against Him.


address Jesus as Messiah, for afterwards, when he is brought to Him he simply calls Him "Rabbi" (Mark x. 51) And the people thought nothing further about what he had said. When the expectant people bid him keep silence they do not do so because the expression Son of David offends them, but because his clamour annoys them. Jesus, however, was struck by this cry, stood still and caused him, as he was standing timidly behind the eager multitude, to be brought to Him. It is possible, of course, that this address is a mere mistake in the tradition, the same tradition which unsuspectingly brought in the expression Son of Man at the wrong place.

So much, however, is certain: the people were not made aware of the Messiahship of Jesus by the cry of the blind man any more than by the outcries of the demoniacs. The entry into Jerusalem was not a Messianic ovation. All that history is concerned with is that this fact should be admitted on all hands. Except Jesus and the disciples, therefore, no one knew the secret of His Messiahship even in those days at Jerusalem. But the High Priest suddenly showed himself in possession of it. How? Through the betrayal of Judas.

For a hundred and fifty years the question has been historically discussed why Judas betrayed his Master. That the main question for history was what he betrayed was suspected by few and they touched on it only in a timid kind of way-indeed the problems of the trial of Jesus may be said to have been non-existent for criticism.

The traitorous act of Judas cannot have consisted in informing the Sanhedrin where Jesus was to be found at a suitable place for an arrest. They could have had that information more cheaply by causing Jesus to be watched by spies. But Mark expressly says that Judas when he betrayed Jesus did not yet know of a favourable opportunity for the arrest, but was seeking such an opportunity. Mark xiv. 10, 11, "And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him."

In the betrayal, therefore, there were two points, a more general and a more special: the general fact by which he gave Jesus into their power, and the undertaking to let them know of the next opportunity when they could arrest Him quietly, without publicity. The betrayal by which he brought his Master to death, in consequence of which the rulers decided upon the arrest, knowing that their cause was safe in any case, was the betrayal of the Messianic secret. Jesus died because two of His disciples had broken His command of silence: Peter when he made known the secret of the Messiahship to the Twelve at Caesarea Philippi; Judas Iscariot by communicating it to the High Priest. But the difficulty was that Judas was the sole witness. Therefore the betrayal was useless so


far as the actual trial was concerned unless Jesus admitted the charge. So they first tried to secure His condemnation on other grounds, and only when these attempts broke down did the High Priest put, in the form of a question, the charge in support of which he could have brought no witnesses.

But Jesus immediately admitted it, and strengthened the admission by an allusion to His Parousia in the near future as Son of Man.

The betrayal and the trial can only be rightly understood when it is realised that the public knew nothing whatever of the secret of the Messiahship. [1]

It is the same in regard to the scene in the presence of Pilate. The people on that morning knew nothing of the trial of Jesus, but came to Pilate with the sole object of asking the release of a prisoner, as was the custom at the feast (Mark xv. 6-8). The idea then occurs to Pilate, who was just about to hand over, willingly enough, this troublesome fellow and prophet to the priestly faction, to play off the people against the priests and work on the multitude to petition for the release of Jesus. In this way he would have secured himself on both sides. He would have condemned Jesus to please the priests, and after condemning Him would have released Him to please the people. The priests are greatly embarrassed by the presence of the multitude. They had done everything so quickly and quietly that they might well have hoped to get Jesus crucified before any one knew what was happening or had had time to wonder at His non-appearance in the Temple.

The priests therefore go among the people and induce them not to agree to the Procurator's proposal. How? By telling them why He was condemned, by revealing to them the Messianic secret. That makes Him at once from a prophet worthy of honour into a deluded enthusiast and blasphemer. That was the explanation of the "fickleness" of the Jeru- salem mob which is always so eloquently described, without any evidence for it except this single inexplicable case.

At midday of the same day-it was the 14th Nisan, and in the evening the Paschal lamb would be eaten-Jesus cried aloud and expired. He had chosen to remain fully conscious to the last.

[1] When it is assumed that the Messianic claims of Jesus were generally known during those last days at Jerusalem there is a temptation to explain the absence of witnesses in regard to them by supposing that they were too much a matter of common knowledge to require evidence. But in that case why should the High Priest not have fulfilled the prescribed formalities? Why make such efforts first to establish a different charge? Thus the obscure and unintelligible procedure at the trial of Jesus becomes in the end the clearest proof that the public knew nothing of the Messiahship of Jesus.

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