CHAPTER XVII SOME SECULAR INTERESTS

It is evident from what has been already said that Luke was a man of some contacts with culture. Jerome found proof of this in his omission of the Semitic word "hosanna" and called him inter omnes evangelistas Graeci sermonis eruditissimus and attributed it to his profession as a doctor. J. H. Moulton found proof of it in his use of the potential optative and wrote, "We are left then with Luke as the only littérateur among the authors of New Testament books." Others have found the same distinction in the formality of his preface; still others in his references to contemporary history. The Book of Acts seemed even more secular both in subject matter and in style. In the fifth century it needed defense as having religious value. To many of Chrysostom's contemporaries it was either unknown or so clear and straightforward as to make a poor basis for the theological treatment then prevailing in homiletic gymnastics. Jerome admits that the Acts of the Apostles seems to sound like bare history (nudam sonare videntur historiam), but claims that, since its writer is Luke "whose praise is in the Gospel," all his words alike are medicine for the sick soul. The language of both volumes is, Jerome admits, "more elegant and smacks of secular eloquence, and employs Greek quotations rather than Hebrew." His quotations of the poets, as we have said, perhaps do not go beyond the category of familiar quotations, nor do his proverbs, "Physician heal thyself" and "It is hard for thee to kick against the goad," but like

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