Commentary on the Gospel of Luke by F.W. Farrar

Frederic William Farrar [1831-1903], The Gospel According to Luke with Maps, Notes and IntroductionThis is another of the Cambridge Bible for Schools series, a commentary on the Gospel of Luke by F.W. Farrar. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

Frederic William Farrar [1831-1903], The Gospel According to Luke with Maps, Notes and Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1888. Hbk. pp.392. [Click to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

  1. The Gospels
  2. Life of St John
  3. Authenticity of the Gospel
  4. Characteristics of the Gospel
  5. Analysis of the Gospel; Chief Uncial MSS. of the Gospels; The Herods

II. Text and Notes

III. Excursus I-VII

IV. Index

Introduction, Chapter 1

The word Gospel is the Saxon translation of the Greek Euangelion. In early Greek (e.g. in Homer) this word meant the reward given to one who brought good tidings. In Attic Greek it also meant a sacrifice for good tidings but was always used in the plural euangelia. In later Greek, as in Plutarch and Lucian, euangeli’on meant the good news actually delivered. Among all Greek-speaking Christians the word was naturally adopted to describe the best and gladdest tidings ever delivered to the human race, the good news of the Kingdom of God. In the address of the Angel to the shepherds we find the words “I bring you good tidings of great joy,” where the verb used is euangelizomai. From this Greek word are derived the French Evangile, the Italian Evangelio, the Portuguese Evangelio, &c. Naturally the word which signified “good news” soon came to be used as the title of the books which contained the history of that good news….

A Cadbury Selection from JBL

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ecently I was reading through John Nolland’s commentary on the Gospel of Luke when I came across the following passage.

A number of scholars have attempted to support Lukan authorship on the basis of a claim that the medical background of the author was evident in his writing. The argument takes its rise from the study of Hobart (The Medical Language of St. Luke) published in 1882. Hobart compared the language and style of Luke with that of ancient medical writing in Greek and found many similarities. The argument is not finally persuasive because Hobart focused on the distinctiveness of Luke over against Mark but failed to take any benchmarks from other literature of the period of a nonmedical nature. What distinguishes Luke from Mark is a use of language that is slightly more literary. As Cadbury has demonstrated (The Style and Literary Method of Luke, 50-51; ]BL 52 [1933] 55-65), we may find the same sort of language use in the LXX, in the works of ancient Greek veterinarians, and indeed we should expect to find it in any reasonably large body of literature written by a well-educated Greek writer with some modest literary pretension for what he IS wanting. Luke’s writing is certainly consistent with experience as a physician, but it cannot be claimed that only a physician would write as Luke does.{1}

I found it interesting that Nolland, writing in 1989 cited an article by H.J. Cadbury written in 1933. Reading on I found many other references to articles by Cadbury, which made me think that it might be a good idea to make these articles more widely available. I contacted the Director of SBL Press at the Society of Biblical Literature who was enthusiastic about the idea. The librarians at Tyndale House, Dr. Williams’s Library and Heythrop College also gave their willing assistance in providing photocopies and scans. Thanks to all of them I can now make the complete of collection H.J. Cadbury articles from the Journal of Biblical Literature available for free download in PDF.

H.J. Cadbury Collection

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “The basis of early Christian antimilitarism,” Journal of Biblical Literature 37.1-2 (Mar.-June 1918): 66-94.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “The relative pronouns in Acts and elsewhere,” Journal of Biblical Literature 42.3-4 (1923): 150-157.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Lexical notes on Luke-Acts. I,” Journal of Biblical Literature 44.3-4 (1925): 214-227.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Lexical notes on Luke-Acts. II, Recent arguments for medical language,” Journal of Biblical Literature 45.1-2 (1926): 190-209.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Lexical notes on Luke-Acts. III, Luke’s interest in lodging,” Journal of Biblical Literature 45.3-4 (1926): 305-322.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “The odor of the spirit at Pentecost,” Journal of Biblical Literature 47.3-4 (1928): 237-256.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Lexical notes on Luke-Acts. 4, On direct quotation, with some uses of oti and ei,” Journal of Biblical Literature 48.3-4 (1929): 412-425.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Erastus of Corinth,” Journal of Biblical Literature 50.2 (1931): 42-58.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Lexical notes on Luke-Acts. 5, Luke and the horse-doctors,” Journal of Biblical Literature 52.1 (1933): 55-65.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “The Macellum of Corinth,” Journal of Biblical Literature 53.2 (1934): 134-141.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Motives of biblical scholarship,” Journal of Biblical Literature 56.1 (1937): 1-16.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “The meaning of John 20:23, Matthew 16:19, and Matthew 18:18,” Journal of Biblical Literature 58.3 (1939): 251-254.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “A proper name for Dives,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81.4 (Dec. 1962): 399-402.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Some Lukan expressions of time,” Journal of Biblical Literature 82.3 (Sept. 1963): 272-278.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Gospel study and our image of early Christianity,” Journal of Biblical Literature 83.2 (June 1964): 139-145.

Henry Joel Cadbury [1883-1974], “Name for Dives,” Journal of Biblical Literature 84.1 (March 1965): 73.

More articles from the Journal of Biblical Literature can be found here.

{1] John Nolland, “Luke 1-9:20,” Word Biblical Commentary,Vol. 35a. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1989. pp.xxxvi-xxxvii.

ICC Gospel of Luke Online

The following public domain Commentary on the Gospel of Luke is now available for free download in PDF:

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], A Critical and Exegetical on the Gospel According to S. Luke, 4th edition. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1913. Hbk. pp.592.

Commentary on the Gospel of Luke

Introduction

The Author

As in the case of the other Gospels, the author is not named in the book itself. But two things may be regarded as practically certain, and a third as highly probable in itself and much more probable than any other hypothesis. (i.) The author of the Third Gospel is the author of the Acts. (ii.) The author of the Acts was a companion of S. Paul. (iii.) This companion was S. Luke.

(i.) The Author of the Third Gospel is the Author of the Acts.

This position is so generally admitted by critics of all schools that not much time need be spent in discussing it. Both books are dedicated to Theophilus. The later book refers to the former. The language and style and arrangement of the two books are so similar, and this similarity is found to exist in such a multitude of details (many of which are very minute), that the hypothesis of careful imitation by a different writer is absolutely excluded. The idea of minute literary analysis with a view to discover peculiarities and preferences in language was an idea foreign to the writers of the first two centuries; and no known writer of that age gives evidence of the immense skill which would be necessary in order to employ the results of such an analysis for the production of an elaborate imitation. To suppose that the author of the Acts carefully imitated the Third Gospel, in order that his work might be attributed to the Evangelist, or that the Evangelist carefully imitated the Acts, in order that his Gospel might be attributed to the author of the Acts, is to postulate a literary miracle. Such an idea would not have occurred to any one; and if it had, he would not have been able to execute it with such triumphant success as is conspicuous here. Anyone who will underline in a few chapters of the Third Gospel the phrases, words, and constructions which are specially frequent in the book, and then underline the same phrases, words, and constructions wherever they occur in the Acts, will soon have a strong conviction respecting the identity of authorship. The converse process will lead to a similar result. Moreover, the expressions which can be marked in this way by no means exhaust the points of similarity between the two books. There are parallels of description; e.g. about angelic appearances(comp. Lk. i. 11 with Acts xii. 7; Lk. i. 38 with Acts i. 11 and x. 7; Lk. ii. 9 and xxiv. 4 with Acts i. 10 and x. 30); and about other matters (comp. Lk. i. 39 with Acts i. 15; Lk. ii. 39 with Acts xiii. 29; Lk. iii. 8 with Acts xxvi. 20; Lk. xx. 1 with Acts iv. 1; Lk. xxi. 18 with Acts xxvii. 34; Lk. xxi. 35 with Acts xvii. 26; Lk. xxiii. 2 with Acts xxiv. 2-5 ; Lk. xxiii. 5 with Acts x. 37; Lk. xxiv. 27 with Acts viii. 35).1 And there are parallels of arrangement. The main portion of the Gospel has three marked divisions: The Ministry in Galilee (iii. 1-ix. 50), between Galilee and Jerusalem (ix. 51-xix. 28), and in Jerusalem (xix. 29-xxiv. u).And the main portion of the Acts has three marked divisions: Hebraic (ii.-v.), Transitional (vi.-xii.), and Gentile (xiii.-xxviii.).In the one case the movement is from Galilee through Samaria, etc. to Jerusalem : in the other from Jerusalem through Samaria, etc. to Rome. And in both cases there is an introduction connecting the main narrative with what precedes.

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