The New Testament




Name. Description. Origin. Transmission of the text.

Canon of the new testament.

The formation of the new testament canon (a.d. 100-200). The witness of the new testament to itself: the first collections. The principle of canonicity. The formation of the tetramorph, or fourfold gospel. The Pauline epistles. The remaining books. The idea of a new testament. The period of discussion (A.D. 220-367). The period of fixation (A.D. 367-405). Subsequent history of the new testament canon. The new testament canon in our time. The criterion of inspiration. Brief history of the textual criticism. Resources of textual criticism. Method followed.

Contents of the new testaments. History. Doctrines.

Doctrines not specifically christian. Specifically christian doctrines.

The Four Gospels.

1. St. Matthew

Canonicity of the gospel of St. Matthew. Authenticity of the first gospel. The language of the gospel. General character of the gospel. Quotation from the old testament. Analogy to the gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke. Plan and contents of the first Gospel. Jesus as Messias. Date and place of composition. Historic value of the first gospel. Regarding the Autenticity of the Gospel of St. Matthew.

2. St. Mark. Gospel of Saint Mark.

Authorship. Original language, vocabulary, and style. State of text and integrity. Place and date of composition. Destination and purpose. Relation to Matthew and Luke.

3. Gospel of Saint Luke.

Authenticity of the gospel. Integrity of the gospel. Purpose and contents. Sources of the gospel; synoptic problem. Saint Luke’s accuracy. Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene. Who spoke the magniftcat? The census of Quirinius. Saint Luke and Josephus. Regarding the autenticity of the Gospel of Luke.

4. St. John the evangelist.

New testament accounts. The alleged presbyter John. The later accounts of John. Feasts of St. John. St. John in christian art.

Gospel of St. John.

Contents and scheme of the gospel. Distinctive peculiarities. Authorship. Direct Historical Proof. Indirect external evidence. The testimony of the gospel itself. Circumstances of the composition. Critical questions concerning the text. Historical genuineness. Object and importance.

Acts of the Apostles

Content. The origin of the church. Division of book. Object. Authenticity. Objections against the authenticity. Date of composition. Texts of the acts. Conclusion.

Catholic Epistles

Epistle of St. James.

Author and genuineness. Tradition as to canonicity. Analysis and contents of the epistle. Occasion and object. To whom addressed. Style. Time and place of composition.

Epistles of Saint Peter.

First Epistle Authenticity. Recipients of the epistle; occasion and object. Place and date of composition. Analysis. Second Epistle. Authenticity.

Epistles of Saint John.

Authenticity. Canonicity. Integrity. Author. Time and place. Destination and purpose. Argument. Second epistle. Third epistle.

Epistle of St. Jude.

The Author and the authenticity of the Epistle. Jude in the books of the new testament. Tradition as to the genuineness and the canonicity of the epistle. Difficulties arising from the text. The relation of Jude to the second epistle of St. Peter. Vocabulary and style. Analysis of the epistle. Occasion and Object. To Whom Addressed. Date and place of composition.

Epistles of Apostle Paul.

St. Paul. Preliminary questions. Apocryphal acts of St. Paul. Chronology. Life and work of Paul. Physical and moral portrait of St. Paul. Theology of St. Paul. Paul and Christ. The root idea of St. Paul's theology. Humanity without christ. The person of the redeemer. The objective redemption as the work of Christ. The subjective redemption. Moral doctrine. Eschatology.

Epistle to the Romans.

The Roman church and St. Paul. Character, contents, and arrangement of the epistle. Authenticity. Integrity. Date and circumstances of composition. Historical importance. Theological contents: faith and works. Paul and James.

Epistles to the Corinthians.

St. Paul founds the church at Corinth. Authenticity of the Epistles. The first Epistle. Importance of the first epistle. Divisions of the First Epistle. Its teaching. The second epistle. Organization of the church at Corinth as exhibited in the two Epistles.

Epistle to the Galatians.

The north and the south galatian theories. The kind of people addressed. Why written. Contents of the Epistle. Importance of the Epistle. Date of the epistle. Difficulties of Galatians.

Epistle to the Ephesians.

Analysis of the epistle. Special characteristics. Object. To whom addressed. Date and place of composition; occasion. Relation to other books of the New Testament. Difficulties arising from the form and doctrines Tradition.

Epistle to Philippians — missing

Epistle to the Colossians.

Readers addressed. Why written. Contents. Second part. Authenticity of the epistle. Objections. Style. Christology. Errors dealt with. Similarity to ephesians.

Epistles to the Thessalonians.

The church of Thessalonica. First epistle. Authenticity. Canonicity. Time and place. Occasion. Contents. Second epistle. Authenticity. Canonicity.

Epistles to Timothy and Titus, (The pastorals).

Sts. Timothy and Titus. Epistles to Timothy and Titus — authenticity. Objection from the absence of Pauline vocabulary. Objection from the use of particles. Objection from Hapax Legomena. Objection from style. Objection from the advanced state of church organization. Objection. Objection from the errors condemned. Miscellaneous objections.


The Epistle to Philemon.

Epistle to the Hebrews.

Argument. Doctrinal contents. Language and style. Distinctive characteristics. Readers to whom it was addressed. Author. Circumstances of the composition. Importance.


Authenticity. Arguments against its authenticity. The revelation compared with the fourth Gospel. Time and place. Patmos. Contents. The seven churches. The book with the seven seals. The devine drama. Purpose of the book. Structure of the book and its literary composition. Interpretation.

The Apostolic Fathers.


Apocrypha of jewish origin. Jewish Revelations. Legendary Apocrypha of Jewish Origin. Apocryphal psalms and prayers. Jewish philosophy. Apocrypha of jewish origin with christian accretions. Apocrypha of Christian origin. Apocryphal gospels. Apocryphal gospels of Christian origin. Judaistic and Heretical Gospels. Pilate literature and other apocrypha concerning christ. Apocryphal acts of the apostles. Gnostic Acts of the Apostles. Christian Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. Quasi-Apostolic Acts. Apocryphal doctrinal works Apocryphal epistles. Christian apocryphal revelations. The Apocrypha and the church.

Historical Figures, Religious movements.

Augustus. Herod the great. Pontius Pilate. Archelaus. Antipas. Agrippa I. Agrippa II. Nero. Domitian. Flavius Josephus. Pharisees. Sadducees. Gnosticism. Origin. Doctrines. Cosmogony. Sophia-Myth. Soteriology. Eschatology. Doctrine of the primeval man. The Barbelo. Rites. Schools of gnosticism. The syrian school. The hellenistic or alexandrian school. The dualistic school. The antinomian school. Literature. Refutation of gnosticism. Conclusion.




Testament come from testamentum, the word by which the Latin ecclesiastical writers translated the Greek diatheke. With the profane authors this latter term means always, one passage of Aristophanes perhaps excepted, the legal disposition a man makes of his goods for after his death. However, at an early date, the Alexandrian translators of the Scripture, known as the Septuagint, employed the word as the equivalent of the Hebrew berith, which means a pact, an alliance, more especially the alliance of Yahweh with Israel. In St. Paul (1Cor. 11:25) Jesus Christ uses the words "new covenent"[new testament] as meaning the alliance established by Himself between God and the world, and this is called "new" as opposed to that of which Moses was the mediator. Later on, the name of testament was given to the collection of sacred texts containing the history and the doctrine of the two alliances; here again and for the same reason we meet the distinction between the Old and New Testaments. In this meaning the expression Old Testament (he palaia diatheke) is found for the first time in Melito of Sardis, towards the year 170. There are reasons for thinking that at this date the corresponding word "testamentum" was already in use amongst the Latins. In any case it was common in the time of Tertullian (c. A.D. 160-225).



The New Testament, as usually received in the Christian Churches, is made up of twenty-seven different books attributed to eight different authors, six of whom are numbered among the Apostles (Matthew, John, Paul, James, Peter, Jude) and two among their immediate disciples (Mark, Luke). If we consider only the contents and the literary form of these writings they may be divided into historical books (Gospels and Acts), didactic books (Epistles), a prophetical book (Revelation). Before the name of the New Testament had come into use the writers of the latter half of the second century used to say "Gospel and Apostolic writings" or simply "the Gospel and the Apostle," meaning the Apostle St. Paul. The Gospels are subdivided into two groups, those which are commonly called synoptic (Matthew, Mark, Luke), because their narratives are parallel, and the fourth Gospel (that of St. John), which to a certain extent completes the first three. They relate to the life and personal teaching of Jesus Christ. The Acts of the Apostles, as is sufficiently indicated by the title, relates the preaching and the labors of the Apostles. It narrates the foundation of the Churches of Palestine and Syria only; in it mention is made of Peter, John, James, Paul, and Barnabas; afterwards, the author devotes sixteen chapters out of the twenty-eight to the missions of St. Paul to the Greco-Romans. There are thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, and perhaps fourteen, if, with the Council of Carthage (A.D. 397), we consider him the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. They are, with the exception of this last-mentioned, addressed to particular Churches (Rom.; 1, 2 Cor.; Gal.; Ephes.; Philip.; Colos.; 1,2 Thess.) or to individuals (1,2 Tim.; Tit.; Philem.). The seven Epistles that follow (James; 1,2 Peter; 1,2,3 John; Jude) are called "Catholic," because most of them are addressed to the faithful in general. Revelation, [Apocalypse] addressed to the seven Churches of Asia Minor (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea) resembles in some ways a collective letter. It contains a vision which St. John had at Patmos concerning the interior state of the above-mentioned communities, the struggle of the Church under percecution by the pagans, and the final destiny of the New Jerusalem.



The New Testament was not written all at once. The books that compose it appeared one after another in the space of fifty years, i.e. in the second half of the first century. Written in different and distant countries and addressed to particular Churches, they took some time to spread throughout the whole of Christendom, and a much longer time to become accepted. The unification of the canon was not accomplished without much controversy. Still it can be said that from the third century, or perhaps earlier, the existence of all the books that to-day form our New Testament was everywhere known, although they were not all universally admitted, at least as certainly canonical. However, uniformity existed in the East from the fourth century after the Council at Carthage. In early times the questions of canonicity and authenticity were not discussed separately and independently of each other, the latter being readily brought forward as a reason for the former; but in the fourth century, the canonicity was held, especially by St. Jerome, on account of ecclesiastical prescription and, by the fact, the authenticity of the contested books became of miner importance. In the West we have to come down to the sixteenth century to hear the question repeated, whether the Epistle to the Hebrews was written by St. Paul, or the Epistles called catholic were in reality composed by the Apostles whose names they bear. Some Humanists, as Erasmus and Cardinal Cajetan, revived the objections based on St. Jerome based on the style of these writings. To this Luther added the inadmissibility of the doctrine, as regards the Epistle of St. James. However, it was practically the Lutherans alone who sought to diminish the traditional Canon, which the early Church had determined in the fourth century and even earlier.

It was reserved to modern times, especially to our own days, to dispute and deny the truth of the opinion received from the ancients concerning the origin of the books of the New Testament. This doubt and the negation regarding the authors had their primary cause in the religious incredulity of the eighteenth century. These witnesses to the truth of a religion no longer believed were inconvenient, if it was true that they had seen and heard what they related. Little time was needed to find, in analyzing them, indications of a later origin. The conclusions of the Tubingen school, which brought down to the second century, the compositions of all the New Testament except four Epistles of St. Paul (Rom.; Gal.; 1,2 Cor.), was very common thirty or forty years ago, in so-called critical circles. When the crisis of militant incredulity had passed, the problem of the New Testament began to be examined more calmly, and especially more methodically. From the critical studies of the past half century we may draw the following conclusion, which is now in its general outlines admitted by all: It was a mistake to have attributed the origin of Christian literature to a later date; these texts, on the whole, date back to the second half of the first century; consequently they are the work of a generation that counted a good number of direct witnesses of the life of Jesus Christ. From stage to stage, from Strauss to Renan, from Renan to Reuss, Weizsäcker, Holtzmann, J¨licher, Weiss, and from these to Zahn, Harnack, criticism has just retraced its steps over the distance it had so inconsiderately covered under the guidance of the Christian Baur. To-day it is admitted that the first Gospels were written about the year 70. The Acts can hardly be said to be later; Harnack even thinks they were composed nearer to the year 60 than to the year 70. The Epistles of St. Paul remain beyond all dispute, except those to the Ephesians and to the Hebrews, and the pastoral Epistles, about which doubts still exist. In like manner there are many who contest the Catholic Epistles; but even if the Second Epistle of Peter is delayed till towards the year 120 or 130, the Epistle of St. James is put by several at the very beginning of Christian literature, between the years 40 and 50, the earliest Epistles of St. Paul about 52 till 58.

At present the brunt of the battle rages around the writings called Johannine (the fourth Gospel, the three Epistles of John, and the Revelation). Were these texts written by the Apostle John, son of Zebedee, or by John the presbyter of Ephesus whom Papias mentions? There is nothing to oblige us to endorse the conclusions of radical criticisms on this subject. On the contrary, the strong testimony of tradition attributes these writings to the Apostle St. John, nor is it weakened at all by internal criteria, provided we do not lose sight of the character of the fourth Gospel — called by Clement of Alexandria "a spiritual gospel," as compared with the three others, which he styled "corporal." Theologically, we must take into consideration some modern ecclesiastical documents. These decisions uphold the Johannine and Apostolic origin of the fourth Gospel. Whatever may be the issue of these controversies, a Christian will be, and that in virtue of his principles, in exceptionally favourable circumstances for accepting the just exigencies of criticism. If it be ever established that 2 Peter belongs to a kind of literature then common, namely the pseudepigraph, its canonicity will not on that account be compromised. Inspiration and authenticity are distinct and even separable, when no dogmatic question is involved in their union.

The question of the origin of the New Testament includes yet another literary problem, concerning the Gospels especially. Are these writings independent of one another? If one of the Evangelists did utilize the work of his predecessors how are we to suppose it happened? Was it Matthew who used Mark or vice versa? After thirty years of constant study, the question has been answered only by conjectures. Amongst these must be included the documentary theory itself, even in the form in which it is now commonly admitted, that of the "two sources." The starting-point of this theory, namely the priority of Mark and the use made of him by Matthew and Luke, although it has become a dogma in criticism for many, cannot be said to be more than a hypothesis. However disconcerting this may be, it is none the less true. None of the proposed solutions has been approved of by all scholars who are really competent in the matter, because all these solutions, while answering some of the difficulties, leave almost as many unanswered. If then we must be content with hypothesis, we ought at least to prefer the most satisfactory. The analysis of the text seems to agree fairly well with the hypothesis of two sources — Mark and Q. (i.e. Quelle, the non-Marcan document); but a conservative critic will adopt it only in so far as it is not incompatible with such data of tradition concerning the origin of the Gospels as are certain or worthy of respect.

These data may be resumed a follows.

The Gospels are really the work of those to whom they have been always attributed, although this attribution may perhaps be explained by a more or less mediate authorship. Thus, the Apostle St. Matthew, having written in Aramaic, did not himself put into Greek the canonical Gospel which has come down to us under his name. However, the fact of his being considered the author of this Gospel necessarily supposes that between the original Aramaic and the Greek text there is, at least, a substantial conformity. The original text of St. Matthew is certainly prior to the ruin of Jerusalem, there are even reasons for dating it earlier than the Epistles of St. Paul and consequently about the year 50. We know nothing definite of the date of its being rendered into Greek.

Everything seems to indicate the date of the composition of St. Mark as about the time of St. Peter's death, consequently between 60 and 70.

St. Luke tells us expressly that before him "many took in hand to set forth in order" the Gospel. What then was the date of his own work? About the year 70. It is to be remembered that we must not expect from the ancients the precision of our modern chronology.

The Johannine writings belong to the end of the first century, from the year 90 to 100 (approximately); except perhaps the Revelation, which some modern critics date from about the end of the reign of Nero, A.D. 68.

Transmission of the text.

No book of ancient times has come down to us exactly as it left the hands of its author — all have been in some way altered. The material conditions under which a book was spread before the invention of printing (1440), the little care of the copyists, correctors, and glossators for the text, so different from the desire of accuracy exhibited to-day, explain sufficiently the divergences we find between various manuscripts of the same work. To these causes may be added, in regard to the Scriptures, exegetical difficulties and dogmatical controversies. To exempt the scared writings from ordinary conditions a very special providence would have been necessary, and it has not been the will of God to exercise this providence. More than 150,000 different readings have been found in the older witnesses to the text of the New Testament — which in itself is a proof that Scriptures are not the only, nor the principal, means of revelation. In the concrete order of the present economy God had only to prevent any such alteration of the sacred texts as would put the Church in the moral necessity of announcing with certainty as the word of God what in reality was only a human utterance. Let us say, however, from the start, that the substantial tenor of the sacred text has not been altered, not withstanding the uncertainty which hangs over some more or less long and more or less important historical or dogmatical passages. Moreover — and this is very important — these alterations are not irremediable; we can at least very often, by studying the variants of the texts, eliminate the defective readings and thus re-establish the primitive text. This is the object of textual criticism.


Canon of the new testament.

The Christian New Testament does not differ, as regards the books contained, from that of all Christian bodies at present. Like the Old Testament, the New has its deuterocanonical books and portions of books, their canonicity having formerly been a subject of some controversy in the Church. These are for the entire books: the Epistle to the Hebrews, that of James, the Second of St. Peter, the Second and Third of John, Jude, and Revelation; giving seven in all as the number of the New Testament contested books. The formerly disputed passages are three: the closing section of St. Mark's Gospel 16:9-20 about the apparitions of Christ after the Resurrection; the verses in Luke about the bloody sweat of Jesus 22:43, 44; the Pericope Adulteræ, or narrative of the woman taken in adultery, St. John 7:53-8:11.

The formation of the new testament canon (a.d. 100-200).

The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the fourth century.

The witness of the new testament to itself: the first collections.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15, 16, supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul's Epistles; St. John's Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church, or of a strong self-witness to Divine inspiration. Nearly all the New Testament writings were evoked by particular occasions, or addressed to particular destinations. But we may well presume that each of the leading Churches — Antioch, Thessalonica, Alexandria, Corinth, Rome — sought by exchanging with other Christian communities to add to its special treasure, and have publicly read in its religious assemblies all Apostolic writings which came under its knowledge. It was doubtless in this way that the collections grew, and reached completeness within certain limits, but a considerable number of years must have elapsed (and that counting from the composition of the latest book) before all the widely separated Churches of early Christendom possessed the new sacred literature in full. And this want of an organized distribution, secondarily to the absence of an early fixation of the Canon, left room for variations and doubts which lasted far into the centuries. But evidence will presently be given that from days touching on those of the last Apostles there were two well defined bodies of sacred writings of the New Testament, which constituted the firm, irreducible, universal minimum, and the nucleus of its complete Canon: these were the Four Gospels, as the Church now has them, and thirteen Epistles of St. Paul — the Evangelium and the Apostolicum.

The principle of canonicity.

Before entering into the historical proof for this primitive emergence of a compact, nucleative Canon, it is pertinent to briefly examine this problem: During the formative period what principle operated in the selection of the New Testament writings and their recognition as Divine? — Theologians are divided on this point. This view that Apostolicity was the test of the inspiration during the building up of the New Testament Canon, is favoured by the many instances where the early Fathers base the authority of a book on its Apostolic origin, and by the truth that the definitive placing of the contested books on the New Testament catalogue coincided with their general acceptance as of Apostolic authorship. Moreover, the advocates of this hypothesis point out that the Apostles' office corresponded with that of the Prophets of the Old Law, inferring that as inspiration was attached to the munus propheticum so the Apostles were aided by Divine inspiration whenever in the exercise of their calling they either spoke or wrote. Positive arguments are deduced from the New Testament to establish that a permanent prophetical charisma was enjoyed by the Apostles through a special indwelling of the Holy Ghost, beginning with Pentecost: Matth. 10:19, 20; Acts 15:28; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Cor.13:3; 1 Thess. 2:13, are cited. The opponents of this theory allege against it that the Gospels of Mark and of Luke and Acts were not the work of Apostles (however, tradition connects the Second Gospel with St. Peter's preaching and St. Luke's with St. Paul's); that books current under an Apostle's name in the Early Church, such as the Epistle of Barnabas and the Revelation of St. Peter, were nevertheless excluded from canonical rank, while on the other hand Origen and St. Dionysius of Alexandria in the case of Revelation, and St. Jerome in the case of 2 and 3 John, although questioning the Apostolic authorship of these works, unhesitatingly received them as Sacred Scriptures. An objection of a speculative kind is derived from the very nature of inspiration ad scribendum, which seems to demand a specific impulse from the Holy Ghost in each case, and preclude the theory that it could be possessed as a permanent gift, or charisma. The weight of Christian theological opinion is deservedly against mere Apostolicity as a sufficient criterion of inspiration. The adverse view has been taken by Franzelin (De Divinâ Traditione et Scripturâ, 1882), Schmid (De Inspirationis Bibliorum Vi et Ratione, 1885), Crets (De Divinâ Bibliorum Inspiratione, 1886), Leitner (Die prophetische Inspiration, 1895 — a monograph), Pesch (De Inspiratione Sacræ, 1906). These authors (some of whom treat the matter more speculatively than historically) admit that Apostolicity is a positive and partial touchstone of inspiration, but emphatically deny that it was exclusive, in the sense that all non-Apostolic works were by that very fact barred from the sacred Canon of the New Testament They hold to doctrinal tradition as the true criterion.

Christian champions of Apostolicity as a criterion are: Ubaldi (Introductio in Sacram Scripturam, 2, 1876); Schanz (in Theologische Quartalschrift, 1885, pp. 666 sqq., and A Christian Apology, 2, tr. 1891); Székely (Hermeneutica Biblica, 1902). Recently Professor Batiffol, while rejecting the claims of these latter advocates, has enunciated a theory regarding the principle that presided over the formation of the New Testament Canon which challenges attention and perhaps marks a new stage in the controversy. According to Monsignor Batiffol, the Gospel (i.e. the words and commandments of Jesus Christ) bore with it its own sacredness and authority from the very beginning. This Gospel was announced to the world at large, by the Apostles and Apostolic disciples of Christ, and this message, whether spoken or written, whether taking the form of an evangelic narrative or epistle, was holy and supreme by the fact of containing the Word of Our Lord. Accordingly, for the primitive Church, evangelical character was the test of Scriptural sacredness. But to guarantee this character it was necessary that a book should be known as composed by the official witnesses and organs of the Evangel; hence the need to certify the Apostolic authorship, or at least sanction, of a work purporting to contain the Gospel of Christ. In Batiffol's view the Judaic notion of inspiration did not at first enter into the selection of the Christian Scriptures. In fact, for the earliest Christians the Gospel of Christ, in the wide sense above noted, was not to be classified with, because transcending, the Old Testament It was not until about the middle of the second century that under the rubric of Scripture the New Testament writings were assimilated to the Old; the authority of the New Testament as the Word preceded and produced its authority as a New Scripture. (Revue Biblique, 1903, 226 sqq.) Monsignor Batiffol's hypothesis has this in common with the views of other recent students of the New Testament Canon, that the idea of a new body of sacred writings became clearer in the Early Church as the faithful advanced in a knowledge of the Faith. But it should be remembered that the inspired character of the New Testament is a Christian dogma, and must therefore in some way have been revealed to, and taught by, Apostles. — Assuming that Apostolic authorship is a positive criterion of inspiration, two inspired Epistles of St. Paul have been lost. This appears from 1 Cor. 5:9, sqq.; 2 Cor. 2:4-5.


The formation of the tetramorph, or fourfold gospel.

Irenæus, in his work "Against Heresies" (A.D. 182-88), testifies to the existence of a Tetramorph, or Quadriform Gospel, given by the Word and unified by one Spirit; to repudiate this Gospel or any part of it, as did the Alogi and Marcionites, was to sin against revelation and the Spirit of God. The saintly Doctor of Lyons explicitly states the names of the four Elements of this Gospel, and repeatedly cites all the Evangelists in a manner parallel to his citations from the Old Testament From the testimony of St. Irenæus alone there can be no reasonable doubt that the Canon of the Gospel was inalterably fixed in the Catholic Church by the last quarter of the second century. Proofs might be multiplied that our canonical Gospels were then universally recognized in the Church, to the exclusion of any pretended Evangels. The magisterial statement of Irenæus may be corroborated by the very ancient catalogue known as the Muratorian Canon, and St. Hippolytus, representing Roman tradition; by Tertullian in Africa, by Clement in Alexandria; the works of the Gnostic Valentinus, and the Syrian Tatian's Diatessaron, a blending together of the Evangelists' writings, presuppose the authority enjoyed by the fourfold Gospel towards the middle of the second century. To this period or a little earlier belongs the pseduo-Clementine epistle in which we find, for the first time after 2 Peter, 3:16, the word Scripture applied to a New Testament book. But it is needless in the present article to array the full force of these and other witnesses, since even rationalistic scholars like Harnack admit the canonicity of the quadriform Gospel between the years 140-175.

But against Harnack we are able to trace the Tetramorph as a sacred collection back to a more remote period. The apocryphal Gospel of St. Peter, dating from about 150, is based on our canonical Evangelists. So with the very ancient Gospel of the Hebrews and Egyptians. St. Justin Martyr (130-63) in his Apology refers to certain "memoirs of the Apostles, which are called gospels," and which "are read in Christian assemblies together with the writings of the Prophets." The identity of these "memoirs" with our Gospels is established by the certain traces of three, if not all, of them scattered through St. Justin's works; it was not yet the age of explicit quotations. Marcion, the heretic refuted by Justin in a lost polemic, as we know from Tertullian, instituted a criticism of Gospels bearing the names of the Apostles and disciples of the Apostles, and a little earlier (c. 120) Basilides, the Alexandrian leader of a Gnostic sect, wrote a commentary on "the Gospel" which is known by the allusions to it in the Fathers to have comprised the writings of the Four Evangelists.

In our backward search we have come to the sub-Apostolic age, and its important witnesses are divided into Asian, Alexandrian, and Roman:

St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and St. Polycarp, of Smyrna, had been disciples of Apostles; they wrote their epistles in the first decade of the second century (100-110). The employ Matthew, Luke, and John. In St. Ignatius we find the first instance of the consecrated term "it is written" applied to a Gospel (Ad Philad. 8:2). Both these Fathers show not only a personal acquaintance with "the Gospel" and the thirteen Pauline Epistles, but they suppose that their readers are so familiar with them that it would be superfluous to name them. Papias, Bishop of Phrygian Hierapolis, according to Irenæus a disciple of St. John, wrote about A.D. 125. Describing the origin of St. Mark's Gospel, he speaks of Hebrew (Aramaic) Logia, or Sayings of Christ, composed by St. Matthew, which there is reason to believe formed the basis of the canonical Gospel of that name, though the greater part of Christian writers identify them with the Gospel. As we have only a few fragments of Papias, preserved by Eusebius, it cannot be alleged that he is silent about other parts of the New Testament.

The so-called Epistle of Barnabas, of uncertain origin, but of highest antiquity, cites a passage from the First Gospel under the formula "it is written." The Didache, or Teaching of the Apostles, an uncanonical work dating from c. 110, implies that "the Gospel" was already a well-known and definite collection.

St. Clement, Bishop of Rome, and disciple of St. Paul, addressed his Letter to the Corinthian Church c. A.D. 97, and, although it cites no Evangelist explicitly, this epistle contains combinations of texts taken from the three synoptic Gospels, especially from St. Matthew. That Clement does not allude to the Fourth Gospel is quite natural, as it was not composed till about that time.

Thus the patristic testimonies have brought us step by step to a Divine inviolable fourfold Gospel existing in the closing years of the Apostolic Era. Just how the Tetramorph was welded into unity and given to the Church, is a matter of conjecture. But, as Zahn observes, there is good reason to believe that the tradition handed down by Papias, of the approval of St. Mark's Gospel by St. John the Evangelist, reveals that either the latter himself of a college of his disciples added the Fourth Gospel to the Synoptics, and made the group into the compact and unalterable "Gospel," the one in four, whose existence and authority left their clear impress upon all subsequent ecclesiastical literature, and find their conscious formulation in the language of Irenæus.


The Pauline epistles.

Parallel to the chain of evidence we have traced for the canonical standing of the Gospels extends one for the thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, forming the other half of the irreducible kernel of the complete New Testament canon. All the authorities cited for the Gospel Canon show acquaintance with, and recognize, the sacred quality of these letters. St. Irenæus, as acknowledged by the Harnackian critics, employs all the Pauline writings, except the short Philemon, as sacred and canonical. The Muratorian Canon, contemporary with Irenæus, gives the complete list of the thirteen, which, it should be remembered, does not include Hebrews. The heretical Basilides and his disciples quote from this Pauline group in general. The copious extracts from Marcion's works scattered through Irenæus and Tertullian show that he was acquainted with the thirteen as in ecclesiastical use, and selected his Apostolikon of six from them. The testimony of Polycarp and Ignatius is again capital in this case. Eight of St. Paul's writings are cited by Polycarp; St. Ignatius of Antioch ranked the Apostles above the Prophets, and must therefore have allowed the written compositions of the former at least an equal rank with those of the latter ("Ad Philadelphios," 5). St. Clement of Rome refers to Corinthians as at the head "of the Evangel"; the Muratorian Canon gives the same honour to 1 Corinthians, so that we may rightfully draw the inference, with Dr. Zahn, that as early as Clement's day St. Paul's Epistles had been collected and formed into a group with a fixed order. Zahn has pointed out confirmatory signs of this in the manner in which Sts. Ignatius and Polycarp employ these Epistles. The tendency of the evidence is to establish the hypothesis that the important Church of Corinth was the first to form a complete collection of St. Paul's writings.


The remaining books.

In this formative period the Epistle to the Hebrews did not obtain a firm footing in the Canon of the Universal Church. At Rome it was not yet recognized as canonical, as shown by the Muratorian catalogue of Roman origin; Irenæus probably cites it, but makes no reference to a Pauline origin. Yet it was known at Rome as early as St. Clement, as the latter's epistle attests. The Alexandrian Church admitted it as the work of St. Paul, and canonical. The Montanists favoured it, and the aptness with which 6:4-8, lent itself to the Montanist and Novatianist rigour was doubtless one reason why it was suspect in the West. Also during this period the excess over the minimal Canon composed of the Gospels and thirteen epistles varied. The seven Catholic Epistles (James, Jude, 1 and 2 Peter, and the three of John) had not yet been brought into a special group, and, with the possible exception of the three of St. John, remained isolated units, depending for their canonical strength on variable circumstances. But towards the end of the second century the canonical minimum was enlarged and, besides the Gospels and Pauline Epistles, unalterably embraced Acts 1 Peter, 1 John (to which 2 and 3 John were probably attached), and Revelation. Thus Hebrews, James, Jude, and 2 Peter remained hovering outside the precincts of universal canonicity, and the controversy about them and the subsequently disputed Revelation form the larger part of the remaining history of the Canon of the New Testament However, at the beginning of the third century the New Testament was formed in the sense that the content of its main divisions, what may be called its essence, was sharply defined and universally received, while all the secondary books were recognized in some Churches. A singular exception to the universality of the above-described substance of the New Testament was the Canon of the primitive East Syrian Church, which did not contain any of the Catholic Epistles or Revelation.


The idea of a new testament.

The question of the principle that dominated the practical canonization of the New Testament Scriptures has already been discussed under (b). The faithful must have had from the beginning some realization that in the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists they had acquired a new body of Divine Scriptures, a New written Testament destined to stand side by side with the Old. That the Gospel and Epistles were the written Word of God, was fully realized as soon as the fixed collections were formed; but to seize the relation of this new treasure to the old was possible only when the faithful acquired a better knowledge of the faith. In this connection Zahn observes with much truth that the rise of Montanism, with its false prophets, who claimed for their written productions — the self-styled Testament of the Paraclete — the authority of revelation, around the Christian Church to a fuller sense that the age of revelation had expired with the last of the Apostles, and that the circle of sacred Scripture is not extensible beyond the legacy of the Apostolic Era. Montanism began in 156; a generation later, in the works of Irenæus, we discover the firmly-rooted idea of two Testaments, with the same Spirit operating in both. For Tertullian (c. 200) the body of the New Scripture is an instrumentum on at least an equal footing and in the same specific class as the instrumentum formed by the Law and the Prophets. Clement of Alexandria was the first to apply the word "Testament" to the sacred library of the New Dispensation. A kindred external influence is to be added to Montanism: the need of setting up a barrier, between the genuine inspired literature and the flood of pseudo-Apostolic apocrypha, gave an additional impulse to the idea of a New Testament Canon, and later contributed not a little to the demarcation of its fixed limits.

The period of discussion (A.D. 220-367).

In this stage of the historical development of the Canon of the New Testament we encounter for the first time a consciousness reflected in certain ecclesiastical writers, of the differences between the sacred collections in divers sections of Christendom. This variation is witnessed to, and the discussion stimulated by, two of the most learned men of Christian antiquity, Origen, and Eusebius of Cæsarea, the ecclesiastical historian. A glance at the Canon as exhibited in the authorities of the African, or Carthaginian, Church, will complete our brief survey of this period of diversity and discussion:

Origen and his school.

Origen's travels gave him exception opportunities to know the traditions of widely separated portions of the Church and made him very conversant with the discrepant attitudes toward certain parts of the New Testament He divided books with Biblical claims into three classes:

those universally received;

those whose Apostolicity was questions;

apocryphal works.

In the first class, the Homologoumena, stood the Gospels, the thirteen Pauline Epistles, Acts, Revelation, 1 Peter, and 1 John. The contested writings were Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James, Jude, Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and probably the Gospel of the Hebrews. Personally, Origen accepted all of these as Divinely inspired, though viewing contrary opinions with toleration. Origen's authority seems to have given to Hebrews and the disputed Catholic Epistles a firm place in the Alexandrian Canon, their tenure there having been previously insecure, judging from the exegetical work of Clement, and the list in the Codex Claromontanus, which is assigned by competent scholars to an early Alexandrian origin.



Eusebius, Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, was one of Origen's most eminent disciples, a man of wide erudition. In imitation of his master he divided religious literature into three classes:

Homologoumena, or compositions universally received as sacred, the Four Gospels, thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, Hebrews, Acts, 1 Peter, 1 John, and Revelation. There is some inconsistency in his classification; for instance, though ranking Hebrews with the books of universal reception, he elsewhere admits it is disputed.

The second category is composed of the Antilegomena, or contested writings; these in turn are of the superior and inferior sort. The better ones are the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John; these, like Origen, Eusebius wished to be admitted to the Canon, but was forced to record their uncertain status; the Antilegomena of the inferior sort were Barnabas, the Didache, Gospel of the Hebrews, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd, the Revelation of Peter.

All the rest are spurious (notha).

Eusebius diverged from his Alexandrian master in personally rejecting Revelation as an un-Biblical, though compelled to acknowledge its almost universal acceptance. Whence came this unfavourable view of the closing volume of the Christian Testament? — Zahn attributes it to the influence of Lucian of Samosata, one of the founders of the Antioch school of exegesis, and with whose disciples Eusebius had been associated. Lucian himself had acquired his education at Edessa, the metropolis of Eastern Syria, which had, as already remarked, a singularly curtailed Canon. (comments on St. John clysostom)Luician is known to have edited the Scriptures at Antioch, and is supposed to have introduced there the shorter New Testament which later St. John Chrysostom and his followers employed — one in which Revelation 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude had no place. It is known that Theodore of Mopsuestia rejected all the Catholic Epistles. In St. John Chrysostom's ample expositions of the Scriptures there is not a single clear trace of the Revelation, which he seems to implicitly exclude the four smaller Epistles — 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude — from the number of the canonical books. Lucian, then, according to Zahn, would have compromised between the Syriac Canon and the Canon of Origen by admitting the three longer Catholic Epistles and keeping out Revelation. But after allowing fully for the prestige of the founder of the Antioch school, it is difficult to grant that his personal authority could have sufficed to strike such an important work as Revelation from the Canon of a notable Church, where it had previously been received. It is more probable that a reaction against the abuse of the Johannine Revelation by the Montanists and Chiliasts — Asia Minor being the nursery of both these errors — led to the elimination of a book whose authority had perhaps been previously suspected. Indeed it is quite reasonable to suppose that its early exclusion from the East Syrian Church was an outer wave of the extreme reactionist movement of the Aloges — also of Asia Minor — who branded Revelation and all the Johannine writings as the work of the heretic Cerinthus. Whatever may have been all the influences ruling the personal Canon of Eusebius, he chose Lucian's text for the fifty copies of the Bible which he furnished to the Church of Constantinople at the order of his imperial patron Constantine; and he incorporated all the Catholic Epistles, but excluded Revelation. The latter remained for more than a century banished from the sacred collections as current in Antioch and Constantinople. However, this book kept a minority of Asiatic suffrages, and, as both Lucian and Eusebius had been tainted with Arianism, the approbation of Revelation, opposed by them, finally came to be looked upon as a sign of orthodoxy. Eusebius was the first to call attention to important variations in the text of the Gospels, viz., the presence in some copies and the absence in others of the final paragraph of Mark, the passage of the Adulterous Woman, and the Bloody Sweat.


The African Church

St. Cyprian, whose Scriptural Canon certainly reflects the contents of the first Latin Bible, received all the books of the New Testament except Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, and Jude; however, there was already a strong inclination in his environment to admit 2 Peter as authentic. Jude had been recognized by Tertullian, but, strangely, it had lost its position in the African Church, probably owing to its citation of the apocryphal Henoch. Cyprian's testimony to the non-canonicity of Hebrews and James is confirmed by Commodian, another African writer of the period. A very important witness is the document known as Mommsen's Canon, a manuscript of the tenth century, but whose original has been ascertained to date from West Africa about the year 360. It is a formal catalogue of the sacred books, unmutilated in the New Testament portion, and proves that at its time the books universally acknowledged in the influential Church of Carthage were almost identical with those received by Cyprian a century before. Hebrews, James, and Jude are entirely wanting. The three Epistles of St. John and 2 Peter appear, but after each stands the note una sola, added by an almost contemporary hand, and evidently in protest against the reception of these Antilegomena, which, presumably, had found a place in the official list recently, but whose right to be there was seriously questioned.

The period of fixation (A.D. 367-405).


St. Athanasius.

While the influence of Athanasius on the Canon of the Old Testament was negative and exclusive, in that of the New Testament it was trenchantly constructive. In his "Epistola Festalis" (A.D. 367) the illustrious Bishop of Alexandria ranks all of Origen's New Testament Antilegomena, which are identical with the deuteros, boldly inside the Canon, without noticing any of the scruples about them. Thenceforward they were formally and firmly fixed in the Alexandrian Canon. And it is significant of the general trend of ecclesiastical authority that not only were works which formerly enjoyed high standing at broad-minded Alexandria — the Revelation of Peter and the Acts of Paul — involved by Athanasius with the apocrypha, but even some that Origen had regarded as inspired — Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache — were ruthlessly shut out under the same damnatory title.

The roman church, the synod under Damasus, and St. Jerome.

The Muratorian Canon or Fragment, composed in the Roman Church in the last quarter of the second century, is silent about Hebrews, James, 2 Peter; 1 Peter, indeed, is not mentioned, but must have been omitted by an oversight, since it was universally received at the time. There is evidence that this restricted Canon obtained not only in the African Church, with slight modifications, as we have seen, but also at Rome and in the West generally until the close of the fourth century. The same ancient authority witnesses to the very favourable and perhaps canonical standing enjoyed at Rome by the Revelation of Peter and the Shepherd of Hermas. In the middle decades of the fourth century the increased intercourse and exchange of views between the Orient and the Occident led to a better mutual acquaintance regarding Biblical canons and the correction of the catalogue of the Latin Church. It is a singular fact that while the East, mainly through St. Jerome's pen, exerted a disturbing and negative influence on Western opinion regarding the Old Testament, the same influence, through probably the same chief intermediary, made for the completeness and integrity of the New Testament Canon. The West began to realize that the ancient Apostolic Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch, indeed the whole Orient, for more than two centuries had acknowledged Hebrews and James as inspired writings of Apostles, while the venerable Alexandrian Church, supported by the prestige of Athanasius, and the powerful Patriarchate of Constantinople, with the scholarship of Eusebius behind its judgment, had canonized all the disputed Epistles. St. Jerome, a rising light in the Church, though but a simple priest, was summoned by Pope Damasus from the East, where he was pursuing sacred lore, to assist at an eclectic, but not ecumenical, synod at Rome in the year 382. Neither the general council at Constantinople of the preceding year nor that of Nice (365) had considered the question of the Canon. This Roman synod must have devoted itself specially to the matter. The result of its deliberations, presided over, no doubt, by the energetic Damasus himself, has been preserved in the document called "Decretum Gelasii de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris," a compilation partly of the sixth century, but containing much material dating from the two preceding ones. The Damasan catalogue presents the complete and perfect Canon which has been that of the Church Universal ever since. The New Testament portion bears the marks of Jerome's views. St. Jerome, always prepossessed in favour of Oriental positions in matters Biblical, exerted then a happy influence in regard to the New Testament; if he attempted to place any Eastern restriction upon the Canon of the Old Testament his effort failed of any effect. The title of the decree — "Nunc vero de scripturis divinis agendum est quid universalis Christian a recipiat ecclesia, et quid vitare debeat" — proves that the council drew up a list of apocryphal as well as authentic Scriptures. The Shepherd and the false Revelation of Peter now received their final blow. "Rome had spoken, and the nations of the West had heard" (Zahn). The works of the Latin Fathers of the period — Jerome, Hilary of Poitiers, Lucifer of Sardina, Philaster of Brescia — manifest the changed attitude toward Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter, and 3 John.


Fixation in the African and Gallican Churches.

It was some little time before the African Church perfectly adjusted its New Testament to the Damasan Canon. Optatus of Mileve (370-85) does not used Hebrews. St. Augustine, while himself receiving the integral Canon, acknowledged that many contested this Epistle. But in the Synod of Hippo (393) the great Doctor's view prevailed, and the correct Canon was adopted. However, it is evident that it found many opponents in Africa, since three councils there at brief intervals — Hippo, Carthage, in 393; Third of Carthage in 397; Carthage in 419 — found it necessary to formulate catalogues. The introduction of Hebrews was an especial crux, and a reflection of this is found in the first Carthage list, where the much vexed Epistle, though styled of St. Paul, is still numbered separately from the time-consecrated group of thirteen. The catalogues of Hippo and Carthage are identical with the Christian Canon of the present. In Gaul some doubts lingered for a time, as we find Pope Innocent 1, in 405, sending a list of the Sacred Books to one of its bishops, Exsuperius of Toulouse.

So at the close of the first decade of the fifth century the entire Western Church was in possession of the full Canon of the New Testament In the East, where, with the exception of the Edessene Syrian Church, approximate completeness had long obtained without the aid of formal enactments, opinions were still somewhat divided on the Revelation. But for the Catholic Church as a whole the content of the New Testament was definitely fixed, and the discussion closed.

The final process of this Canon's development had been twofold: positive, in the permanent consecration of several writings which had long hovered on the line between canonical and apocryphal; and negative, by the definite elimination of certain privileged apocrypha that had enjoyed here and there a canonical or quasi-canonical standing. In the reception of the disputed books a growing conviction of Apostolic authorship had much to do, but the ultimate criterion had been their recognition as inspired by a great and ancient division of the Catholic Church. Thus, like Origen, St. Jerome adduces the testimony of the ancients and ecclesiastical usage in pleading the cause of the Epistle to the Hebrews (De Viris Illustribus, 59). There is no sign that the Western Church ever positively repudiated any of the New Testament deuteros; not admitted from the beginning, these had slowly advanced towards a complete acceptance there. On the other hand, the apparently formal exclusion of Revelation from the sacred catalogue of certain Greek Churches was a transient phase, and supposes its primitive reception. Greek Christianity everywhere, from about the beginning of the sixth century, practically had a complete and pure New Testament Canon.

Subsequent history of the new testament canon.

To the protestant reformation.

The New Testament in its canonical aspect has little history between the first years of the fifth and the early part of the sixteenth century. As was natural in ages when ecclesiastical authority had not reached its modern centralization, there were sporadic divergences from the common teaching and tradition. There was no diffused contestation of any book, but here and there attempts by individuals to add something to the received collection. In several ancient Latin manuscripts the spurious Epistle to the Laodiceans is found among the canonical letters, and, in a few instances, the apocryphal 3 Corinthians. The last trace of any Western contradiction within the Church to the Canon of the New Testament reveals a curious transplantation of Oriental doubts concerning the Revelation. An act of the Synod of Toledo, held in 633, states that many contest the authority of that book, and orders it to be read in the churches under pain of excommunication. The opposition in all probability came from the Visigoths, who had recently been converted from Arianism. The Gothic Bible had been made under Oriental auspices at a time when there was still much hostility to Revelation in the East.


The new testament canon in our time.

The Orthodox Russian and other branches of the Eastern Orthodox Church have a New Testament identical with the Roman Catholic. In Syria the Nestorians possess a Canon almost identical with the final one of the ancient East Syrians; they exclude the four smaller Catholic Epistles and Revelation. The Monophysites receive all the book. The Armenians have one apocryphal letter to the Corinthians and two from the same. The Coptic-Arabic Church include with the canonical Scriptures the Apostolic Constitutions and the Clementine Epistles. The Ethiopic New Testament also contains the so-called "Apostolic Constitutions."

As for Protestantism, the Anglicans and Calvinists always kept the entire New Testament But for over a century the followers of Luther excluded Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, and even went further than their master by rejecting the three remaining deuterocanonicals, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John. The trend of the seventeenth century Lutheran theologians was to class all these writings as of doubtful, or at least inferior, authority. But gradually the German Protestants familiarized themselves with the idea that the difference between the contested books of the New Testament and the rest was one of degree of certainty as to origin rather than of instrinsic character. The full recognition of these books by the Calvinists and Anglicans made it much more difficult for the Lutherans to exclude the New Testament deuteros than those of the Old. One of their writers of the seventeenth century allowed only a theoretic difference between the two classes, and in 1700 Bossuet could say that all Christians and Protestants agreed on the New Testament Canon. The only trace of opposition now remaining in German Protestant Bibles is in the order, Hebrews, coming with James, Jude, and Revelation at the end; the first not being included with the Pauline writings, while James and Jude are not ranked with the Catholic Epistles.


The criterion of inspiration.

Even those Christian theologians who defend Apostolicity as a test for the inspiration of the New Testament (see above) admit that it is not exclusive of another criterion, viz., Christian tradition as manifested in the universal reception of compositions as Divinely inspired, or the ordinary teaching of the Church, or the infallible pronouncements of ecumenical councils. This external guarantee is the sufficient, universal, and ordinary proof of inspiration. The unique quality of the Sacred Books is a revealed dogma. Moreover, by its very nature inspiration eludes human observation and is not self-evident, being essentially superphysical and supernatural. Its sole absolute criterion, therefore, is the Holy inspiring Spirit, witnessing decisively to Itself, not in the subjective experience of individual souls, as Calvin maintained, neither in the doctrinal and spiritual tenor of Holy Writ itself, according to Luther, but through the constituted organ and custodian of Its revelations, the Church. All other evidences fall short of the certainty and finality necessary to compel the absolute assent of faith.



Brief history of the textual criticism.

The ancients were aware of the variant readings in the text and in the versions of the New Testament; Origen, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine particularly insisted on this state of things. In every age and in diverse places efforts were made to remedy the evil; in Africa, in the time of St. Cyprian (250); in the East by means of the works of Origen (200-54); then by those of Lucian at Antioch and Hesychius at Alexandria, in the beginning of the fourth century. Later on (383) St. Jerome revised the Latin version with the aid of what he considered to be the best copies of the Greek text. Between 400 and 450 Rabbula of Edessa did the same thing for the Syriac version. In the thirteenth century the universities, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans undertook to correct the Latin text. In the fifteenth century printing lessened, although it did not completely suppress, the diversity of readings, because it spread the same type of text, viz., that which the Hellenists of the Renaissance got from the Byzantine scholars, who came in numbers of Italy, Germany, and France, after the capture of Constantinople. This text, after having been revised by Erasmus, Robert Estienne, and Théodore de Bèze, finally, in 1633, became the Elzeverian edition, which was to bear the name of the "received text." In remained the ne varietur text of the New Testament for Protestants up to the nineteenth century. The British and Foreign Bible Society continued to spread it until 1904. All the official Protestant versions depended on this test of Byzantine origin up to the revision of the Authorized Version of the Anglican Church, which took place in 1881.

The Roman Catholics on their side followed the official edition of the Latin Vulgate (which is in substance the revised version of St. Jerome), published in 1592 by order of Clement 8, and called on that account the Clementine Bible. Thus it can be said that, during two centuries at least, the New Testament was read in the West in two different forms. Which of the two was the more exact? According as the ancient manuscripts of the text were discovered and edited, the critics remarked and noted the differences these manuscripts presented, and also the divergences between them and the commonly received Greek text as well as the Latin Vulgate. The work of comparison and criticism that became urgent was begun, and for almost two centuries has been conducted with diligence and method by many scholars, amongst whom the following deserve a special mention: Mill (1707), Bentley (1720), Bengel (1734), Wetstein (1751), Semler (1765), Griesbach (1774), Hug (1809), Scholz (1830), both Christians, Lachmann (1842), Tregelles (1857), Tischendorf (1869), Westcott and Hort, Abbé Martin (1883), and at present B. Weiss, H. Von Soden, R.C. Gregory.


Resources of textual criticism.

Never was it as easy as it is in our own days to see, consult, and control the most ancient documents concerning the New Testament. Gathered from almost everywhere they are to be found in the libraries of our big cities (Rome, Paris, London, Saint Petersburg, Cambridge, etc.), where they can be visited and consulted by everyone. These documents are the manuscripts of the Greek text, the old versions and the works of ecclesiastical or other writers who have cited the New Testament. This collection of documents, daily increasing in number, has been called the apparatus criticus. To facilitate the use of the codices of the text and versions they have been classed and denominated by means of letters of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin alphabets. Von Soden introduced another notation, which essentially consists in the distribution of all the manuscripts into three groups designated respectively by the three Greek letters d (i.e. diatheke, the manuscripts containing the Gospels and something else as well), e (i.e. euaggelia, the manuscripts containing the Gospels only), a (i.e. apostolos, the manuscripts containing the Acts and the Epistles. In each series the manuscripts are numbered according to their age.

(1) Manuscripts of the Text

More than 4000 have been already catalogued and partly studied, only the minority of which contain the whole New Testament. Twenty of these texts are prior to the eighth century, a dozen are of the sixth century, five of the fifth century, and two of the fourth. On account of the number and antiquity of these documents the text of the New Testament is better established than that of our Greek and Latin classics, except Virgil, which, from a critical point of view, is almost in the same conditions. The most celebrated of these manuscripts are:

B Vaticanus, d 1, Rome, fourth cent.;

Sinaiticus, d 2, Saint Petersburg, fourth cent.;

C Ephræmus rescriptus, d 3, Paris, fifth cent.;

A Alexandrinus, d 4, London, fifth cent.;

D Cantabrigiensis (or Codex Bezæ) d 5, Cambridge, sixth cent.;

D 2 Claromontanus, a 1026, Paris, sixth cent.;

Laurensis, d 6, Mount Athos, eighth-ninth cent.;

E Basilcensis, e 55, Bâle, eighth cent.

To these copies of the text on parchment a dozen fragments on papyrus, found in Egypt, most of which go back to the fourth century, one even to the third century, must be added. (Dead Sea Scrolls?).

(2) Ancient Versions

Several are derived from original texts prior to the most ancient Greek manuscripts. These versions are, following the order of their age, Latin, Syriac, Egyptian, Armenian, Ethiopian, Gothic, and Georgian. The first three, especially the Latin and the Syriac, are of the greatest importance.

Latin version — Up to about the end of the fourth century, it was diffused in the West (Proconsular Africa, Rome, Northern Italy, and especially at Milan, in Gaul, and in Spain) in slightly different forms. The best known of these is that of St. Augustine called the "Itala," the sources of which go as far back as the second century. In 383 St. Jerome revised the Italic type after the Greek manuscripts, the best of which did not differ much from the text represented by the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. It was this revision, altered here and there by readings from the primitive Latin version and a few other more recent variants, that prevailed in the west from the sixth century under the name of Vulgate.

Syriac Version — Three primitive types are represented by the Diatessaron of Tatian (second cent.), the palimpset of Sinai, called the Lewis codex from the name of the lady who found it (third cent., perhaps from the end of the second), and the Codex of Cureton (third cent.). The Syriac Version of this primitive epoch that still survives contains only the Gospels. Later, in the fifth century, it was revised after the Greek text. The most widespread of these revisions, which became almost the official version, is called the Pesittâ (Peshitto, simple, vulgate); the others are called Philoxenian (sixth cent.), Heraclean (seventh cent.), and Syro-Palestinian (sixth cent.).

Egyptian Version — The best known type is that called Boharic (used in the Delta from Alexandria to Memphis) and also Coptic from the generic name Copt, which is a corruption of the Greek aiguptos Egyptian. It is the version of Lower Egypt and dates from the fifth century. A greater interest is attached to the version of Upper Egypt, called the Sahidic, or Theban, which is a work of the third century, perhaps even of the second. Unfortunately it is only incompletely known as yet.

These ancient versions will be considered precise and firm witnesses of the Greek text of the first three centuries only when we have critical editions of them; for they themselves are represented by copies that differ from one another. The work has been undertaken and is already fairly advanced. The primitive Latin version had been already reconstituted by the Benedictine D. Sabatier ("Bibliorum Sacorum latinæ versiones antiquæ seu Vetus Italica," Reims, 1743, 3 vols."); the work has been taken up again and completed in the English collection "Old-Latin Biblical Texts" (1883-1911), still in course of publication. The critical edition of the Latin Vulgate published at Oxford by the Anglicans Wordsworth and White, from 1889 to 1905, gives the Gospels and the Acts. The "Diatessaron" of Tatian is known to us by the Arabic version edited by 1888 by Mgr. Ciasea, and by the Armenian version of a commentary of St. Ephraem (which is founded on the Syriac of Tatian) translated into Latin, in 1876, by the Mechitarists Auchar and Moesinger. The publications of H. Von Soden have contributed to make the work of Tatian better known. Mrs. A. S. Lewis has just published a comparative edition of the Syriac palimpset of Sinai (1910); this had been already done by F.C. Burkitt for the Cureton codex, in 1904. There exists also a critical edition of the Peshitto by G. H. Gwilliam (1901). As regards the Egyptian versions of the Gospels, the edition of G. Horner (1901-1911, 5 vols.) has put them at the disposition of all those who read Coptic and Sahidic. The English translation, that accompanies them, is meant for a wider circle of readers.

(3) Citations of Ecclesiastical Authors

The text of the whole New Testament could be constituted by putting together all the citations found in the Fathers. It would be particularly easy for the Gospels and the important Epistles of St. Paul. From a purely critical point of view, the text of the Fathers of the first three centuries is particularly important, especially Irenæus, Justin, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and later on Ephraem, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom, Jerome, and Augustine. Here again a preliminary step must be taken by the critic. Before pronouncing that a Father read and quoted the New Testament in this or that way, we must first be sure that the text as in its present form had not been harmonized with the reading commonly received at the time and in the country where the Father's works were edited (in print or in manuscripts). The editions of Berlin for the Greek Fathers and of Vienna for the Latin Fathers, and especially the monographs on the citations of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (Oxford Society for Historical Theology, 1905), in St. Justin (Bousset, 1891), in Tertullian (Ronsch, 1871), in Clement of Alexandria (Barnard, 1899), in St. Cyprian (von Sodon, 1909), in Origen (Hautsch, 1909), in St. Ephraem (Burkett, 1901), in Marcion (Zahn, 1890), are a valuable help in this work.


Method followed.

The different readings attested for the same word were first noted, then they were classed according to their causes; involuntary variants: lapsus, homoioteleuton, itacismus, scriptio continua; voluntary variants, harmonizing of the texts, exegesis, dogmatical controversies, liturgical adaptations. This however was only an accumulation of matter for critical discussion.

At first, the process employed was that called individual examination. This consists in examining each case by itself, and it nearly always had as result that the reading found in most documents was considered the right one. In a few cases only the greater antiquity of certain readings prevailed over numerical superiority. Yet one witness might be right rather than a hundred others, who often depend on common sources. Even the oldest text we have, if not itself the original, may be corrupt, or derived from an unfaithful reproduction. To avoid as far as possible these occasions of error, critics were not long before giving preference to the quality rather than to the number of the documents. The guarantees of the fidelity of a copy are known by the history of the intermediate ones connecting it with the original, that is by its genealogy. The genealogical process was brought into vogue especially by two great Cambridge scholars, Westcott and Hort. By dividing the texts, versions, and Patristic citations into families, they arrived at the following conclusions:

(a) The documents of the New Testament are grouped in three families that may be called Alexandrian, Syrian, and Western. None of these is entirely free from alterations.

The text called Western, best represented by D, is the most altered although it was widely spread in the second and third centuries, not only in the West (primitive Latin Version, St. Irenæ St. Hippolitus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian), but also in the East (primitive Syriac Version, Tatian, and even Clement of Alexandria). However, we find in it a certain number of original readings which it alone has preserved.

The Alexandrian text is the best, this was the received text in Egypt and, to a certain extent, in Palestine. It is to be found, but adulterated in C (at least as regards the Gospels). It is more pure in the Bohaïric Version and in St. Cyril of Alexandria. The current Alexandrian text however is not primitive. It appears to be a sub-type derived from an older and better preserved text which we have almost pure in B and N. It is this text that Westcott and Hort call neutral, because it has been kept, not absolutely, but much more than all the others, free from the deforming influences which have systematically created the different types of text. The neutral text which is superior to all the others, although not perfect, is attested by Origen. Before him we have no positive testimony, but historical analogies and especially the data of internal criticism show that it must be primitive.

Between the Western text and the Alexandria text is the place of the Syrian, which was that used at Antioch in Cappadocia and at Constantinople in the time of St. John Chrysostom. It is the result of a methodical "confluence" of the Western text with that received in Egypt and Palestine towards the middle of the third century. The Syrian text must have been edited between the years 250 and 350. This type has no value for the reconstruction of the original text, as all the readings which are peculiar to it are simply alterations. As regards the Gospels, the Syrian text is found in A and E, F, G, H, K, and also in most of the Peschitto manuscripts, Armenian Version, and especially in St. John Chrysostom. The "received text" is the modern descendant of this Syrian text.

(b) The Latin Vulgate cannot be classed in any of these groups. It evidently depends on an eclectic text. St. Jerome revised a western text with a neutral text and another not yet determined. The whole was contaminated, before or after him, by the Syrian text. What is certain is that his revision brought the Latin version perceptibly nearer to the neutral text, that is to say to the best. As to the received text which was compiled without any really scientific method, it should be put completely aside. It differs in nearly 8000 places from the text found in the Vaticanus, which is the best text known.

(c) We must not confound a received text with the traditional text. A received text is a determined type of text used in some particular place, but never current in the whole Church. The traditional text is that which has in its favour the constant testimony of the entire Christian tradition. Considering the substance of the text, it can be said that every Church has the traditional text, for no Church was ever deprived of the substance of the Scripture (in as far as it preserved the integrity of the Canon); but, as regards textual criticism of which the object is to recover the ipsissima verba of the original, there is no text now existing which can be rightly called "traditional." The original text is still to be established, and that is what the editions called critical have been trying to effect for the last century.

(d) After more than a century's work are there still many doubtful readings? According to Westcott and Hort seven-eighths of the text, that is 7000 verses out of 8000, are to be considered definitely established. Still more, critical discussions can even now solve most of the contested cases, so that no serious doubts exist except concerning about one-sixtieth of the contents of the New Testament. Perhaps even the number of passages of which the authenticity has not yet had a sufficient critical demonstration does not exceed twelve, at least as regards substantial alterations. We must not forget, however, that the Cambridge critics do not include in this calculation certain longer passages considered by them as not authentic, namely the end of St. Mark (16:9-20) and the episode of the adulteress (John 8:1-11).

(3) These conclusions of the editors of the Cambridge text have in general been accepted by the majority of scholars. Those who have written since them, for the past thirty years, B. Weiss, H. Von Soden, R. C. Gregory, have indeed proposed different classifications; but in reality they scarcely differ in their conclusions. Only in two points do they differ from Westcott and Hort. These latter have according to them given too much importance to the text of the Vaticanus and not enough to the text called Western. As regards the last-mentioned, modern discoveries have made it better known and show that it is not to be overmuch depreciated.



Contents of the new testaments.

The New Testament is the principal and almost the only source of the early history of Christianity in the first century. All the "Lives of Jesus Christ" have been composed from the Gospels. The history of the Apostles, as narrated by Renan, Farrar, Fouard, Weizsäcker, and Le Camus, is based on the Acts and the Epistles. The "Theologies of the New Testament," of which so many have been written during the nineteenth century, are a proof that we can with canonical texts build up a compact and fairly complete doctrinal system. But what is the worth of these narrations and syntheses? In what measure do they bring us in contact with the actual facts? It is the question of the historical value of the New Testament which today preoccupies higher criticism.



Everybody agrees that the first three Gospels reflect the beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and his work current among Christians during the last quarter of the first century, that is to say at a distance of forty or fifty years from the events. Few ancient historians were in such favourable conditions. The biographies of the Cæsars (Suetonius and Tacitus) were not in a better position to get exact information. All are forced to admit, moreover, that in the Epistles of St. Paul we come into immediate contact with the mind of the most influential propagator of Christianity, and that a quarter of a century after the Ascension. The faith of the Apostle represents the form of Christian thought most victorious and most widespread in the Greco-Roman world. The writings of St. John introduce us to the troubles of the Churches after the fall of the Synagogue and the first encounter of Christianity with the violence of pagan Rome; his Gospel expresses, to say the least, the Christian attitude of that period towards Christ. The Acts inform us, at all events, what was thought in Syria and Palestine towards the year 65 of the foundation of the Church; they lay before our eyes a traveller's diary which allows us to follow St. Paul from day to day during the ten best years of his missions.

Must our knowledge stop here? Do the earliest monuments of Christian literature belong to the class of writings called "memoirs," and reveal only the impressions and the judgments of their authors? Not a single critic (meaning those who are esteemed as such) has yet ventured to underrate thus the historical worth of the New Testament taken as a whole. The ancients did not even raise the question, so evident did it seem to them that these texts narrated faithfully the history of early Christianity. What aroused the distrust of modern critics was the fancied discovery that these writings although sincere were none the less biased. Composed, as was said, by believers and for believers or, at all events, in favour of the Faith, they aim much more at rendering credible the life and teaching of Jesus than at simply relating what He did and preached. And then they say these texts contain irreconcilable contradictions which testify to uncertainty and variety in the tradition taken up by them at different stages of its development.

(1) It is agreed that the authors of the New Testament were sincere. Were they deceived? If so the writing of truthful history should, apparently, be given up altogether. They were near the events: all eye-witnesses or depending immediately on eye-witnesses. In their view the first condition to be allowed to "testify" on Gospel history was to have seen the Lord, especially the risen Lord (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:11; 11:23; 1 John 1:1-4; Luke 1:1-4). These witnesses guarantee matters easy to observe and at the same time of supreme importance to their readers. The latter must have controlled assertions claiming to impose an obligation of faith and attended with considerable practical consequences; all the more so as this control was easy, since the matters were in question that had taken place in public and not "in a corner," as St. Paul says (Acts 26:26; 2:22; 3:13-14). Besides, what reasonable hope was there to get books accepted which contained an altered form of the tradition familiar from the teaching of the Churches for more than thirty years, and cherished with all the affection that was borne to Jesus Christ in person? In this sentiment we must seek the final reason for the tenacity of ecclesiastical traditions. Finally, these texts control each other mutually. Written in different circumstances, with varying preoccupations, why do the agree in substance? For history only knows one Christ and one Gospel; and this history is based on the New Testament. Objective reality alone accounts for this agreement.

It is true that these same texts present a multitude of differences in details, but the variety and uncertainty to which that may give rise does not weaken the stability of the whole from a historical point of view. Moreover, that this is compatible with the inspiration and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures. The causes of these apparent contradictions have been long since pointed out: viz., fragmentary narratives of the same events abruptly put side by side; different perspectives of the same object according as one takes a front or a side view; different expressions to mean the same thing; adaptation, not alteration, of the subject-matter according to the circumstances a feature brought into relief; documents or traditions not agreeing on all points, and which nevertheless the sacred writer has related, without claiming to guarantee them in everything or decide the question of their divergence, These are not subtelties or subterfuges invented to excuse as far as possible our Evangelists. Similar observations would be made about profane authors if there was anything to be gained by doing so. Try for example to harmonize Tacitus with himself in "Historiae," 5:4, and 5:9. But Herodotus, Polybius, Tacitus, Livy did not narrate the history of a God come to earth to make men submit their whole life to His word. It is under the influence of naturalistic prejudice that some people easily, and as it were a priori, are opposed to the testimony of the Biblical authors. Have not modern discoveries come to show that St. Luke is a more exact historian than Flavius Josephus? It is true that the authors of the New Testament were all Christians, but to be truthful must we be indifferent towards the facts we relate? Love does not necessarily make us blind or untruthful, on the contrary it can allow us to penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of our subjects. In any case, hate exposes the historian to a greater danger of partiality; and is it possible to be without love or hate towards Christianity?

(2) These being the conditions, if the New Testament has handed on to us a counterfeit of history, the falsification must have come about at an early date, and be assignable neither to the insincerity nor the incompetence of its authors. It is the early Christian tradition on which they depend that becomes suspected in its vital sources, as if it had been formed under influences of religious instincts, which irrevocably doomed it to be mythical, legendary, or, again, idealistic, as the symbolists put it. What it transmitted to us was not so much the historical figures of Christ (in the modern acceptation of the term) as His prophetic image. The Jesus of the New Testament had become such as He might or ought to have been imagined to be by one who saw in Him the Messias. It is, doubtless, from the saying of Isaiah, "Behold a virgin shall conceive," that the belief in the supernatural conception of Jesus springs — a belief which is definitely formulated in the narratives of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Such is the explanation current amongst unbelievers of to-day, and amongst an ever-increasing number of liberal Protestants. It is notoriously that of Harnack.

Avowedly or no, this way of explaining the formation of Gospel tradition has been put forward principally to account for the supernatural element with which the New Testament is permeated: the objectivity of this element is refused recognition for reasons of a philosophical order, anterior to any criticism of the text. The starting-point of this explanation is a merely speculative prejudice. To the objection that the positions of Strauss became untenable the day that critics began to admit that the New Testament was a work of the first century, and therefore a witness closely following on the events, Harnack answers that twenty years or even less suffice for the formation of legends. As regards the abstract possibility of the formation of a legend that may be, but it still remain to be proved that it is possible that a legend should be formed, still more, that it should win acceptance, in the same concrete conditions as the Gospel narrative. How is it that the apocrypha never succeeded in forcing their way into the might current that bore the canonical writings to all the Churches, and got them accepted? Why were the oldest known to us not composed till at least a century after the events?

Furthermore, if the Gospel narrative is really an exegetical creation based on the Old Testament prophecies, how are we to explain its being what it is? There is no reference in it to texts of which the Messianic nature is patent and accepted by the Jewish schools. It is strange that the "legend" of the Magi come from the East at the summons of a star to adore the infant Jesus should have left aside completely the star of Jacob (Num. 24:17) and the famous passage in Isaiah, 9:6-8. On the other hand, texts are appealed to of which the Messianism is not obvious, and which do not seem to have been commonly interpreted (then, at least) by the Jews in the same way as by the Christians. This is exactly the case with St. Matthew 2:15, 18, 23, and perhaps 1:23. The Evangelists represent Jesus as the popular preacher, par excellence, the orator of the crowd in town and country; they show Him to us whip in hand, and they out into His mouth words more stinging still addressed to the Pharisees. According to St. John (7:28, 37; 12:44), He "cries out" even in the Temple. Can that trait in his physiognomy be readily explained by Isaiah, 42:2, who had foretold of the servant of Yahweh: "He shall not cry nor have respect to person, neither shall his voice be heard abroad"? Again, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb . . . and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp" (Isaiah 11:6-8) would have afforded material for a charming idyl, but the Evangelists have left that realism to the apocrypha and to the Millenarians. What passage of the Prophets or even of the Jewish Revelation, inspired the first generation of Christians with the fundamental doctrine of the transitory character of the Law; and above all, with the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple? Once one admits the initial step in this theory, he is logically led to leave nothing standing in the Gospel narrative, not even the crucifixion of Jesus, nor His existence itself. Solomon Reinach actually pretends that the Passion story is merely a commentary on Psalm 21, while Arthur Drews denies the very existence of Jesus Christ.

Another factor which contributed to the alleged distortion of the Gospel story was the necessity imposed on primitive Christianity of altering, if it were to last, the conception of the Kingdom of God preached by Jesus in person. On His lips, it is said, the Gospel was merely a cry of "Sauve qui peut" addressed to the world which He believed to be about to end. Such was also the persuasion of the first Christian generation. But soon it was perceived that they had to do with a world which was to last, and the teaching of the Master had to be adapted to the new condition of things. This adaptation was not achieved without much violence, done, unconsciously, it is true, to historical reality, for the need was felt of deriving from the Gospel all the ecclesiastical institutions of a more recent date. Such is the eschatological explanation propagated particularly by J. Weiss, Schweitzer, Loisy; and favorably received by Pragmatists.

It is true that it was only later that the disciples understood the significance of certain words and acts of the Master. But to try and explain all the Gospel story was the retrospect of the second Christian generation is like trying to balance a pyramid on its apex. Indeed the hypothesis, in its general application, implies a state of mind hard to reconcile with the calmness and sincerity which is readily admitted in the Evangelists and St. Paul. As for the starting-point of the theory, namely, that Christ was the dupe of an illusion about the imminent destruction of the world, it has no foundation in the text, even for one who regards Christ as a mere man, except by distinguishing two kinds of discourses (and that on the strength of the theory itself), those that are traced back to Jesus, and those that have been attributed to Him afterwards. This is what is called a vicious circle. Finally, it is false that the second Christian generation was prepossessed by the idea of tracing, per fas et nefas, everything — institutions and doctrines — back to Jesus in person. The first generation itself decided more than once questions of the highest importance by referring not to Jesus but to the Holy Spirit and to the authority of the Apostles. This was especially the case with the Apostolic conference at Jerusalem (Acts, 15), in which it was to be decided in what concrete observances the Gospel was to take the place of the Law. St. Paul distinguishes expressly the doctrines or the institutions that he promulgates in virtue of his Apostolic authority, from the teachings that tradition traced back to Christ (1 Cor. 7:10, 12, 25).

Again it is to be presumed that if Christian tradition had been formed under the alleged influence, and that, with such historical freedom, there would remain less apparent contradictions. The trouble take by apologists to harmonize the texts of the New Testament is well known. If the appellation "Son of God" points out a new attitude of the Christian conscience towards Jesus Christ, why has it not simply replaced that of "Son of Man"? The survival of the Gospels of this latter expression, close by in the same texts with its equivalent (which alone showed clearly the actual faith of the Church, could only be an encumbrance; nay more, it remained as a telltale indication of the change that came afterwards. It will be said perhaps that the evolution of popular beliefs, coming about instinctively and little by little, has nothing to do with the exigencies of a rational logic, and therefore has not coherence. Granted, but it must not be forgotten that, on the whole, the literature of the New Testament is a thoughtful, reasoned, and even apologetic work. Our adversaries can all the less deny it this character, as, according to them, the authors of the New Testament are "tendentious," that is to say, inclined more than is right to give a bias to things so as to make them acceptable.



Doctrines not specifically christian.

Christianity being the normal continuation of Judaism, the New Testament must needs inherit from the Old Testament a certain number of religious doctrines concerning God, His worship the original destinies of the world, and especially of men, the moral law, spirits, etc. Although these beliefs are not specifically Christian, the New Testament develops and perfects them.

The attributes of God, particularly His spirituality, His immensity, His goodness, and above all His fatherhood are insisted on more fully.

The moral law is restored to its primitive perfection in what regards the unity and perpetuity of marriage, respect for God's name, forgiveness of injuries, and in general the duties towards one's neighbours; the guilt of the simple desire of a thing forbidden by the Law is clearly set forth; external works (prayer, almsgiving, fasting, sacrifice) really derive their worth from the dispositions of the heart that accompany them.

The Messianic hope is purified from the temporal and material elements with which it had become enveloped.

The retributions of the world to come and the resurrection of the body are specified more clearly.

Specifically christian doctrines.

Other doctrines, specifically Christian, are not added on to Judaism to develop, but rather to supersede it. In reality, between the New and Old Testaments there is a direct but not revolutionary succession as a superficial observer might be inclined to believe; just as in living beings, the imperfect state of yesterday must give way before the perfection of to-day although the one has normally prepared the other. If the mystery of the Trinity and the spiritual character of the Messianic Kingdom are ranked among the peculiarly Christian dogmas, it is because the Old Testament was of itself insufficient to establish the doctrine of the New Testament on this subject; and still more because, at the time of Jesus, the opinions current among the Jews went decidedly in the opposite direction.

The Divine life common to the Three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in the Unity of one and the same Nature is the mystery of the Trinity, obscurely typified or outlined in the Old Testament.

The Messias promised by the Prophets has come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who was not only a man powerful in word and work, but the true God Himself, the Word made man, born of a virgin, crucified under Pontius Pilate, but risen from the dead and now exalted to the right hand of His Father.

It was by an ignominious death on the Cross, and not by power and glory, that Jesus Christ redeemed the world from sin, death, and the anger of God; He is the Redeemer of all men (Gentiles as well as Jews) and He united them to Himself all without distinction.

The Mosaic Law (rites and political theocracy) having been given only to the Jewish people, and that for a time, must disappear, as the figure before the reality. To these practices powerless in themselves Christ substitutes rites really sanctifying, especially baptism, eucharist, and penance. However the new economy is to such a degree a religion in spirit and truth, that, absolutely speaking, man can be saved, in the absence of all exterior means, by submitting himself fully to God by the faith and love of the Redeemer.

Before Christ's coming, men had been treated by God as slaves or children under age are treated, but with the Gospel begins a law of love and liberty written first of all in the heart; this law does not consist merely in the letter which forbids, commands, or condemns; it is also, and chiefly, an interior grace which disposes the heart to do the will of God.

The Kingdom of God preached and established by Jesus Christ, though it exists already visibly in the Church, will not be perfected until the end of the world (of which no one knows the day or the hour), when He will come Himself in power and majesty to render to each one according to his works. In the meantime, the Church assisted by the Holy Spirit, governed by the Apostles and their successors under the authority of Peter, teaches and propagates the Gospel even to the ends of the earth.

Love of our neighbour is raised to the height of the love of God, because the Gospel makes us see God and Christ in all men since they are, or ought to be, His mystical members. When necessary, this love must be carried as far as the sacrifice of self. Such is Christ's commandment.

Natural morality in the Gospel is raised to a higher sphere by the counsels of perfection (poverty and chastity), which may be summed up as the positive renouncement of the material goods of this life, in so far as they hinder our being completely given up to the service of God.

Eternal life, which shall not be fully realized until after the resurrection of the body, consists in the possession of God, seen face to faces, and of Jesus Christ.

Such are the fundamental points of Christian dogma, as expressly taught in the New Testament. They are not found collected together in any of the Canonical books, but were written throughout a period extending from the middle of the first century to the beginning of the second; and, consequently, the history of the way in which they were expressed at different times can be reconstructed. These texts never could, and were never meant to, dispense with the oral tradition which preceded them. Without this perpetual commentary they would not always have been understood and frequently would have been misunderstood.


The Four Gospels.

1. St. Matthew

Apostle and evangelist. The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, B D, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original. Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matthew 9:9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke 6:15, and Mark 3:18), and again in the eighth place (Matthew 10:3, and Acts 1:13). The man designated in Matthew 9:9, as "sitting in the custom house," and "named Matthew" is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark 2:14, and Luke 5:27, as "sitting at the receipt of custom." The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matthew 9:9, would indicate this. The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as "Shaoul" and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, "gift of Iaveh," was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name. Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: "I came not to call the just, but sinners." No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts 1:10 and 1:14).

Of Matthew's subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria. According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled "Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto" and published by Bonnet, "Acta apostolorum apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this "Martyrium S. Matthæi," which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century. There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est." Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the "Evangelia apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: "De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris," supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the "Protoevangelium" of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century. The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on 21 September, and the Greek Church on 16 November. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.

Canonicity of the gospel of St. Matthew.

The earliest Christian communities looked upon the books of the Old Testament as Sacred Scripture, and read them at their religious assemblies. That the Gospels, which contained the words of Christ and the narrative of His life, soon enjoyed the same authority as the Old Testament, is made clear by Hegesippus (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 4, 22:3), who tells us that in every city the Christians were faithful to the teachings of the law, the prophets, and the Lord. A book was acknowledged as canonical when the Church regarded it as Apostolic, and had it read at her assemblies. Hence, to establish the canonicity of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we must investigate primitive Christian tradition for the use that was made of this document, and for indications proving that it was regarded as Scripture in the same manner as the Books of the Old Testament.

The first traces that we find of it are not indubitable, because post-Apostolic writers quoted the texts with a certain freedom, and principally because it is difficult to say whether the passages thus quoted were taken from oral tradition or from a written Gospel. The first Christian document whose date can be fixed with comparative certainty (95-98), is the Epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians. It contains sayings of the Lord which closely resemble those recorded in the First Gospel (Clement 16:17 = Matt. 11:29; Clem. 24:5= Matt. 13:3), but it is possible that they are derived from Apostolic preaching, as, in chapter 13:2, we find a mixture of sentences from Matthew, Luke, and an unknown source. Again, we note a similar commingling of Evangelical texts elsewhere in the same Epistle of Clement, in the Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles, in the Epistle of Polycarp, and in Clement of Alexandria. Whether these these texts were thus combined in oral tradition or emanated from a collection of Christ's utterances, we are unable to say.

The Epistles of St. Ignatius (martyred 110-17) contain no literal quotation from the Holy Books; nevertheless, St. Ignatius borrowed expressions and some sentences from Matthew ("Ad Polyc." 2:2 = Matt. 10:16; "Eph." 14:2 = Matt. 12:33, etc.). In his "Epistle to the Philadelphians" (5:12), he speaks of the Gospel in which he takes refuge as in the Flesh of Jesus; consequently, he had an evangelical collection which he regarded as Sacred Writ, and we cannot doubt that the Gospel of St. Matthew formed part of it.

In the Epistle of Polycarp (110-17), we find various passages from St. Matthew quoted literally (12:3 = Matt. 5:44; 7:2 = Matt. 26:41, etc.).

The Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles (Didache) contains sixty-six passages that recall the Gospel of Matthew; some of them are literal quotations (8:2 = Matt. 6:7-13; 7:1 = Matt. 28:19; 11:7 = Matt. 12:31, etc.).

In the so-called Epistle of Barnabas (117-30), we find a passage from St. Matthew (22:14), introduced by the scriptural formula, os gegraptai, which proves that the author considered the Gospel of Matthew equal in point of authority to the writings of the Old Testament.

The "Shepherd of Hermas" has several passages which bear close resemblance to passages of Matthew, but not a single literal quotation from it.

In his "Dialogue" (99:8), St. Justin quotes, almost literally, the prayer of Christ in the Garden of Olives, in Matthew, 26:39,40.

A great number of passages in the writings of St. Justin recall the Gospel of Matthew, and prove that he ranked it among the Memoirs of the Apostles which, he said, were called Gospels (1 Apol. 66), were read in the services of the Church (ibid., @i), and were consequently regarded as Scripture.

In his "Legatio pro christianis," 12:11, Athenagoras (117) quotes almost literally sentences taken from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:44).

Theophilus of Antioch (Ad Autol. 3, 13-14) quotes a passage from Matthew (5:28, 32), and, according to St. Jerome (In Matt. Prol.), wrote a commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew.

We find in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs — -drawn up, according to some critics, about the middle of the second century — -numerous passages that closely resemble the Gospel of Matthew (Test. Gad 5:3; 6:6; 5:7 = Matt. 18:15, 35; Test. Jos. 1:5, 6 = Matt. 25:35, 36, etc.), but Dr. Charles maintains that the Testaments were written in Hebrew in the first century before Jesus Christ, and translated into Greek towards the middle of the same century. In this event, the Gospel of Matthew would depend upon the Testaments and not the Testaments upon the Gospel. The question is not yet settled, but it seems to us that there is a greater probability that the Testaments, at least in their Greek version, are of later date than the Gospel of Matthew, they certainly received numerous Christian additions.

The Greek text of the Clementine Homilies contains some quotations from Matthew (Hom. 3:52 = Matt. 15:13); in Hom. 18:15, the quotation from Matt. 13:35, is literal.

Passages which suggest the Gospel of Matthew might be quoted from heretical writings of the second century and from apocryphal gospels — the Gospel of Peter, the Protoevangelium of James, etc., in which the narratives, to a considerable extent, are derived from the Gospel of Matthew.

Tatian incorporated the Gospel of Matthew in his "Diatesseron"; we shall quote below the testimonies of Papias and St. Irenæus. For the latter, the Gospel of Matthew, from which he quotes numerous passages, was one of the four that constituted the quadriform Gospel dominated by a single spirit.

Tertullian (Adv. Marc. 4:2) asserts, that the "Instrumentum evangelicum" was composed by the Apostles, and mentions Matthew as the author of a Gospel (De carne Christi, 12).

Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 3:13) speaks of the four Gospels that have been transmitted, and quotes over three hundred passages from the Gospel of Matthew, which he introduces by the formula, en de to kata Maththaion euaggelio or by phesin ho kurios.

It is unnecessary to pursue our inquiry further. About the middle of the third century, the Gospel of Matthew was received by the whole Christian Church as a Divinely inspired document, and consequently as canonical. The testimony of Origen ("In Matt." quoted by Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3, 25:4), of Eusebius (op. cit. 3, 14:5; 25:1), and of St. Jerome ("De Viris 3," 3, "Prolog. in Matt.") are explicit in this repsect. It might be added that this Gospel is found in the most ancient versions: Old Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian. Finally, it stands at the head of the Books of the New Testament in the Canon of the Council of Laodicea (363) and in that of St. Athanasius (326-73), and very probably it was in the last part of the Muratorian Canon. Furthermore, the canonicity of the Gospel of St. Matthew is accepted by the entire Christian world.


Authenticity of the first gospel.

The question of authenticity assumes an altogether special aspect in regard to the First Gospel. The early Christian writers assert that St. Matthew wrote a Gospel in Hebrew; this Hebrew Gospel has, however, entirely disappeared, and the Gospel which we have, and from which ecclesiastical writers borrow quotations as coming from the Gospel of Matthew, is in Greek. What connection is there between this Hebrew Gospel and this Greek Gospel, both of which tradition ascribes to St. Matthew? Such is the problem that presents itself for solution. Let us first examine the facts.

Testimony of tradition.

According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 39:16), Papias said that Matthew collected (synetaxato; or, according to two manuscripts, synegraphato, composed) ta logia (the oracles or maxims of Jesus) in the Hebrew (Aramaic) language, and that each one translated them as best he could.

Three questions arise in regard to this testimony of Papias on Matthew: (1) What does the word logia signify? Does it mean only detached sentences or sentences incorporated in a narrative, that is to say, a Gospel such as that of St. Matthew? Among classical writers, logion, the diminutive of logos, signifies the "answer of oracles," a "prophecy"; in the Septuagint and in Philo, "oracles of God" (ta deka logia, the Ten Commandments). It sometimes has a broader meaning and seems to include both facts and sayings. In the New Testament the signification of the word logion is doubtful, and if, strictly speaking, it may be claimed to indicate teachings and narratives, the meaning "oracles" is the more natural. However, writers contemporary with Papias — e. g. St. Clement of Rome (Ad Cor. 53), St. Irenæus (Adv. Hær. 1, 8:2), Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 1, 392), and Origen (De Princip. 4:11) — have used it to designate facts and savings. The work of Papias was entitled "Exposition of the Oracles" [logion] of the Lord," and it also contained narratives (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3, 39:9). On the other hand, speaking of the Gospel of Mark, Papias says that this Evangelist wrote all that Christ had said and done, but adds that he established no connection between the Lord's sayings (suntaxin ton kuriakon logion). We may believe that here logion comprises all that Christ said and did. Nevertheless, it would seem that, if the two passages on Mark and Matthew followed each other in Papias as in Eusebius, the author intended to emphasize a difference between them, by implying that Mark recorded the Lord's words and deeds and Matthew chronicled His discourses. The question is still unsolved; it is, however, possible that, in Papias, the term logia means deeds and teachings.

(2) Second, does Papias refer to oral or written translations of Matthew, when he says that each one translated the sayings "as best he could"? As there is nowhere any allusion to numerous Greek translations of the Logia of Matthew, it is probable that Papias speaks here of the oral translations made at Christian meetings, similar to the extemporaneous translations of the Old Testament made in the synagogues. This would explain why Papias mentions that each one (each reader) translated "as best he could."

(3) Finally, were the Logia of Matthew and the Gospel to which ecclesiastical writers refer written in Hebrew or Aramaic? Both hypotheses are held. Papias says that Matthew wrote the Logia in the Hebrew (Hebraidi) language; St. Irenæus and Eusebius maintain that he wrote his gospel for the Hebrews in their national language, and the same assertion is found in several writers. Matthew would, therefore, seem to have written in modernized Hebrew, the language then used by the scribes for teaching. But, in the time of Christ, the national language of the Jews was Aramaic, and when, in the New Testament, there is mention of the Hebrew language (Hebrais dialektos), it is Aramaic that is implied. Hence, the aforesaid writers may allude to the Aramaic and not to the Hebrew. Besides, as they assert, the Apostle Matthew wrote his Gospel to help popular teaching. To be understood by his readers who spoke Aramaic, he would have had to reproduce the original catechesis in this language, and it cannot be imagined why, or for whom, he should have taken the trouble to write it in Hebrew, when it would have had to be translated thence into Aramaic for use in religious services. Moreover, Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 24:6) tells us that the Gospel of Matthew was a reproduction of his preaching, and this we know, was in Aramaic. An investigation of the Semitic idioms observed in the Gospel does not permit us to conclude as to whether the original was in Hebrew or Aramaic, as the two languages are so closely related. Besides, it must be home in mind that the greater part of these Semitisms simply reproduce colloquial Greek and are not of Hebrew or Aramaic origin. However, we believe the second hypothesis to be the more probable, viz., that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Aramaic.

Let us now recall the testimony of the other ecclesiastical writers on the Gospel of St. Matthew. St. Irenæus (Adv. Haer. 3, 10:2) affirms that Matthew published among the Hebrews a Gospel which he wrote in their own language. Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 5, 10:3) says that, in India, Pantænus found the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in the Hebrew language, the Apostle Bartholomew having left it there. Again, in his "Hist. eccl." (6:25, 3:4), Eusebius tells us that Origen, in his first book on the Gospel of St. Matthew, states that he has learned from tradition that the First Gospel was written by Matthew, who, having composed it in Hebrew, published it for the converts from Judaism. According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 24:6), Matthew preached first to the Hebrews and, when obliged to go to other countries, gave them his Gospel written in his native tongue. St. Jerome has repeatedly declared that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew ("Ad Damasum," 20; "Ad Hedib." 4), but says that it is not known with certainty who translated it into Greek. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, etc., and all the commentators of the Middle Ages repeat that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew. Erasmus was the first to express doubts on this subject: "It does not seem probable to me that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, since no one testifies that he has seen any trace of such a volume." This is not accurate, as St. Jerome uses Matthew's Hebrew text several times to solve difficulties of interpretation, which proves that he had it at hand. Pantænus also had it, as, according to St. Jerome ("De Viris 3." 36), he brought it back to Alexandria. However, the testimony of Pantænus is only second-hand, and that of Jerome remains rather ambiguous, since in neither case is it positively known that the writer did not mistake the Gospel according to the Hebrews (written of course in Hebrew) for the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew. However all ecclesiastical writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and, by quoting the Greek Gospel and ascribing it to Matthew, thereby affirm it to be a translation of the Hebrew Gospel.

Examination of the greek gospel of St. Matthew.

Our chief object is to ascertain whether the characteristics of the Greek Gospel indicate that it is a translation from the Aramaic, or that it is an original document; but, that we may not have to revert to the peculiarities of the Gospel of Matthew, we shall here treat them in full.


The language of the gospel.

St. Matthew used about 1475 words, 137 of which are apax legomena (words used by him alone of all the New Testament writers). Of these latter 76 are classical; 21 are found in the Septuagint; 15 (battologein biastes, eunouchizein etc.) were introduced for the first time by Matthew, or at least he was the first writer in whom they were discovered; 8 words (aphedon, gamizein, etc.) were employed for the first time by Matthew and Mark, and 15 others (ekchunesthai, epiousios, etc.) by Matthew and another New Testament writer. It is probable that, at the time of the Evangelist, all these words were in current use. Matthew's Gospel contains many peculiar expressions which help to give decided colour to his style. Thus, he employs thirty-four times the expression basileia ton ouranon; this is never found in Mark and Luke, who, in parallel passages, replace it by basileia tou theou, which also occurs four times in Matthew. We must likewise note the expressions: ho pater ho epouranions, ho en tois ouranois, sunteleia tou alonos, sunairein logon, eipein ti kata tinos, mechri tes semeron, poiesai os, osper, en ekeino to kairo, egeiresthai apo, etc. The same terms often recur: tote (90 times), apo tote, kai idou etc. He adopts the Greek form Ierisiluma for Jerusalem, and not Ierousaleu, which he uses but once. He has a predilection for the preposition apo, using it even when Mark and Luke use ek, and for the expression uios David. Moreover, Matthew is fond of repeating a phrase or a special construction several times within quite a short interval (cf. 2:1-13, and 19; 4:12-18, and 5:2; 8:2-3 and 28; 9:26 and 31; 13:44, 45, and 47, etc.). Quotations from the Old Testament are variously introduced, as: outos, kathos gegraptai, ina, or opos, plerothe to rethen uto Kuriou dia tou prophetou, etc. These peculiarities of language, especially the repetition of the same words and expressions, would indicate that the Greek Gospel was an original rather than a translation, and this is confirmed by the paronomasiæ (battologein, polulogia; kophontai kai ophontai, etc.), which ought not to have been found in the Aramaic, by the employment of the genitive absolute, and, above all, by the linking of clauses through the use of men . . . oe, a construction that is peculiarly Greek. However, let us observe that these various characteristics prove merely that the writer was thoroughly conversant with his language, and that he translated his text rather freely. Besides, these same characteristics are noticeable in Christ's sayings, as well as in the narratives, and, as these utterances were made in Aramaic, they were consequently translated; thus, the construction men . . . de (except in one instance) and all the examples of paronomasia occur in discourses of Christ. The fact that the genitive absolute is used mainly in the narrative portions, only denotes that the latter were more freely translated; besides, Hebrew possesses an analogous grammatical construction. On the other hand, a fair number of Hebraisms are noticed in Matthew's Gospel (ouk eginosken auten, omologesei en emoi, el exestin, ti emin kai soi, etc.), which favour the belief that the original was Aramaic. Still, it remains to be proved that these Hebraisms are not colloquial Greek expressions.


General character of the gospel.

Distinct unity of plan, an artificial arrangement of subject-matter, and a simple, easy style — much purer than that of Mark — suggest an original rather than a translation. When the First Gospel is compared with books translated from the Hebrew, such as those of the Septuagint, a marked difference is at once apparent. The original Hebrew shines through every line of the latter, whereas, in the First Gospel Hebraisms are comparatively rare, and are merely such as might be looked for in a book written by a Jew and reproducing Jewish teaching. However, these observations are not conclusive in favour of a Greek original. In the first place, the unity of style that prevails throughout the book, would rather prove that we have a translation. It is certain that a good portion of the matter existed first in Aramaic — at all events, the sayings of Christ, and thus almost three-quarters of the Gospel. Consequently, these at least the Greek writer has translated. And, since no difference in language and style can be detected between the sayings of Christ and the narratives that are claimed to have been composed in Greek, it would seem that these latter are also translated from the Aramaic. This conclusion is based on the fact that they are of the same origin as the discourses. The unity of plan and the artificial arrangement of subject-matter could as well have been made in Matthew's Aramaic as in the Greek document; the fine Greek construction, the lapidary style, the elegance and good order claimed as characteristic of the Gospel, are largely a matter of opinion, the proof being that critics do not agree on this question. Although the phraseology is not more Hebraic than in the other Gospels, still it not much less so. To sum up, from the literary examination of the Greek Gospel no certain conclusion can be drawn against the existence of a Hebrew Gospel of which our First Gospel would be a translation; and inversely, this examination does not prove the Greek Gospel to be a translation of an Aramaic original.


Quotation from the old testament.

It is claimed that most of the quotations from the Old Testament are borrowed from the Septuagint, and that this fact proves that the Gospel of Matthew was composed in Greek. The first proposition is not accurate, and, even if it were, it would not necessitate this conclusion. Let us examine the facts. As established by Stanton ("The Gospels as Historical Documents," 2, Cambridge, 1909, p. 342), the quotations from the Old Testament in the First Gospel are divided into two classes. In the first are ranged all those quotations the object of which is to show that the prophecies have been realized in the events of the life of Jesus. They are introduced by the words: "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet," or other similar expressions. The quotations of this class do not in general correspond exactly with any particular text. Three among them (2:15; 8:17; 27:9, 10) are borrowed from the Hebrew; five (2:18; 4:15, 16; 12:18-21; 13:35; 21:4, 5) bear points of resemblance to the Septuagint, but were not borrowed from that version. In the answer of the chief priests and scribes to Herod (2:6), the text of the Old Testament is slightly modified, without, however, conforming either to the Hebrew or the Septuagint. The Prophet Micheas writes (5:2): "And thou Bethlehem, Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda"; whereas Matthew says (2:6): "And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda." A single quotation of this first class (3:3) conforms to the Septuagint, and another (1:23) is almost conformable. These quotations are to be referred to the first Evangelist himself, and relate to facts, principally to the birth of Jesus (1:2), then to the mission of John the Baptist, the preaching of the Gospel by Jesus in Galilee, the miracles of Jesus, etc. It is surprising that the narratives of the Passion and the Resurrection of Our Lord, the fulfilment of the very clear and numerous prophecies of the Old Testament, should never be brought into relation with these prophecies. Many critics, e. g. Burkitt and Stanton, think that the quotations of the first class are borrowed from a collection of Messianic passages, Stanton being of opinion that they were accompanied by the event that constituted their realization. This "catena of fulfilments of prophecy," as he calls it, existed originally in Aramaic, but whether the author of the First Gospel had a Greek translation of it is uncertain. The second class of quotations from the Old Testament is chiefly composed of those repeated either by the Lord or by His interrogators. Except in two passages, they are introduced by one of the formula: "It is written"; "As it is written"; "Have you not read?" "Moses said." Where Matthew alone quotes the Lord's words, the quotation is sometimes borrowed from the Septuagint (5:21 a, 27, 38), or, again, it is a free translation which we are unable to refer to any definite text (5:21 b, 23, 43). In those Passages where Matthew runs parallel with Mark and Luke or with either of them, all the quotations save one (11:10) are taken almost literally from the Septuagint.


Analogy to the gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke.

From a first comparison of the Gospel of Matthew with the two other Synoptic Gospels we find

that 330 verses are peculiar to it alone; that it has between 330 and 370 in common with both the others, from 170 to 180 with Mark's, and from 230 to 240 with Luke's;

that in like parts the same ideas are expressed sometimes in identical and sometimes in different terms; that Matthew and Mark most frequently use the same expressions, Matthew seldom agreeing with Luke against Mark. The divergence in their use of the same expressions is in the number of a noun or the use of two different tenses of the same verb. The construction of sentences is at times identical and at others different.

That the order of narrative is, with certain exceptions which we shall later indicate, almost the same in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

These facts indicate that the three Synoptists are not independent of one another. They borrow their subject-matter from the same oral source or else from the same written documents. To declare oneself upon this alternative, it would be necessary to treat the synoptic question, and on this critics have not vet agreed. We shall, therefore, restrict ourselves to what concerns the Gospel of St. Matthew. From a second comparison of this Gospel with Mark and Luke we ascertain:

that Mark is to be found almost complete in Matthew, with certain divergences which we shall note;

that Matthew records many of our Lord's discourses in common with Luke;

that Matthew has special passages which are unknown to Mark and Luke.

Let us examine these three points in detail, in an endeavour to learn how the Gospel of Matthew was composed.

(a) Analogy to Mark

Mark is found complete in Matthew, with the exception of numerous slight omissions and the following pericopes: Mark 1:23-28, 35-39; 4:26-29; 7:32-36; 8:22-26; 9:39, 40; 12:41-44. In all, 31 verses are omitted.

The general order is identical except that, in chapters 5-13, Matthew groups facts of the same nature and savings conveying the same ideas. Thus, in Matt. 8:1-15, we have three miracles that are separated in Mark; in Matthew, 8:23 and 9:9, there are gathered together incidents otherwise arranged in Mark, etc. Matthew places sentences in a different environment from that given them by Mark. For instance, in chapter 5:15, Matthew inserts a verse occurring in Mark 4:21, that should have been placed after 13:23, etc.

In Matthew the narrative is usually shorter because he suppresses a great number of details. Thus, in Mark, we read: "And the wind ceased: and there was made a great calm," whereas in Matthew the first part of the sentence is omitted. All unnecessary particulars are dispensed with, such as the numerous picturesque features and indications of time, place, and number, in which Mark's narrative abounds.

Sometimes, however, Matthew is the more detailed. Thus, in chapter 12:22-45, he gives more of Christ's discourse than we find in Mark 3:20-30, and has in addition a dialogue between Jesus and the scribes. In chapter 13, Matthew dwells at greater length than Mark 4, upon the object of the parables, and introduces those of the cockle and the leaven, neither of which Mark records. Moreover, Our Lord's apocalyptic discourse is much longer in Matthew 24-25 (97 verses), than in Mark 13 (37 verses).

Changes of terms or divergences in the mode of expression are extremely frequent. Thus, Matthew often uses eutheos, when Mark has euthus; men . . . de, instead of kai, as in Mark, etc.; the aorist instead of the imperfect employed by Mark. He avoids double negatives and the construction of the participle with eimi; his style is more correct and less harsh than that of Mark; he resolves Mark's compound verbs, and replaces by terms in current use the rather unusual expressions introduced by Mark, etc.

He is free from the lack of precision which, to a slight extent, characterizes Mark. Thus, Matthew says "the tetrarch" and not "the king" as Mark does, in speaking of Herod Antipas; "on the third day" instead.of "in three days." At times the changes are more important. Instead of "Levi, son of Alpheus," he says: "a man named Matthew"; he mentions two demoniacs and two blind persons, whereas Mark mentions only one of each, etc.

Matthew extenuates or omits everything which, in Mark, might be construed in a sense derogatory to the Person of Christ or unfavourable to the disciples. Thus, in speaking of Jesus, he suppresses the following phrases: "And looking round about on them with anger" (Mark 3:5); "And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is beside himself" (Mark 3:21), etc. Speaking of the disciples, he does not say, like Mark, that "they understood not the word, and they were afraid to ask him" (9:3 1; cf. 8:17, 18); or that the disciples were in a state of profound amazement, because "they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded" (6:52), etc. He likewise omits whatever might shock his readers, as the saying of the Lord recorded by Mark: "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (2:27). Omissions or alterations of this kind are very numerous. It must, however, be remarked that between Matthew and Mark there are many points of resemblance in the construction of sentences (Matt. 9:6 Mark 2:10; Matt. 26:47 = Mark 14:43, etc.); in their mode of expression, often unusual. and in short phrases (Matt. 9:16 = Mark 2:21; Matt. 16:28 Mark 9:1: Matt. 20:25 = Mark 10:42); in some pericopes, narratives, or discourses, where the greater part of the terms are identical (Matt. 4:18-22 Mark 1:16-20; Matt. 2636-38 = Mark 14:32-34; Matt. 9:5, 6 = Mark 2:9-11), etc.

(b) Analogy to Luke

A comparison of Matthew and Luke reveals that they have but one narrative in common, viz., the cure of the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:5-13 = Luke 7:1-10). The additional matter common to these Evangelists, consists of the discourses and sayings of Christ. In Matthew His discourses are usually gathered together, whereas in Luke they are more frequently scattered. Nevertheless, Matthew and Luke have in common the following discourses: the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7 the Sermon in the Plain, Luke, 6); the Lord's exhortation to His disciples whom He sends forth on a mission (Matt. 10:19-20, 26-33 = Luke 12:11-12, 2-9); the discourse on John the Baptist (Matt. 11 = Luke 7); the discourse on the Last Judgment (Matt. 24 Luke, 17). Moreover, these two Evangelists possess in common a large number of detached sentences, e. g., Matt. 3:7b-19, 12 = Luke 3:7b-9, 17; Matt. 4:3-11 = Luke 4:3-13; Matt. 9:37, 38 = Luke 10:2; Matt. 12, 43-45 = Luke, 11, 24-26 etc. (cf. Rushbrooke, "Synopticon," pp. 134-70). However, in these parallel passages of Matthew and Luke there are numerous differences of expression, and even some divergences in ideas or in the manner of their presentation. It is only necessary to recall the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12 = Luke 6:20b-25): in Matthew there are eight beatitudes, whereas in Luke there are only four, which, while approximating to Matthew's In point of conception, differ from them in general form and expression. In addition to having in common parts that Mark has not, Matthew and Luke sometimes agree against Mark in parallel narratives. There have been counted 240 passages wherein Matthew and Luke harmonize with each other, but disagree with Mark in the way of presenting events, and particularly in the use of the same terms and the same grammatical emendations. Matthew and Luke omit the very pericopes that occur in Mark.

(c) Parts peculiar to Matthew

These are numerous, as Matthew has 330 verses that are distinctly his own. Sometimes long passages occur, such as those recording the Nativity and early Childhood (1:2), the cure of the two blind men and one dumb man (9:27-34), the death of Judas (27:3-10), the guard placed at the Sepulchre (27:62-66), the imposture of the chief priests (28:11-15), the apparition of Jesus in Galilee (28:16-20), a great portion of the Sermon on the Mount (5:17-37; 6:1-8; 7:12-23), parables (13:24-30; 35-53; 25:1-13), the Last Judgment (25:31-46), etc., and sometimes detached sentences, as in 23:3, 28, 33; 27:25, etc. (cf. Rushbrooke, "Synopticon," pp.171-97). Those passages in which Matthew reminds us that facts in the life of Jesus are the fulfilment of the prophecies, are likewise noted as peculiar to him, but of this we have already spoken.

These various considerations have given rise to a great number of hypotheses, varying in detail, but agreeing fundamentally. According to the majority of present critics — H. Holtzmann, Wendt, Jülicher, Wernle, von Soden, Wellhausen, Harnack, B. Weiss, Nicolardot, W. Allen, Montefiore, Plummer, and Stanton — the author of the First Gospel used two documents: the Gospel of Mark in its present or in an earlier form, and a collection of discourses or sayings, which is designated by the letter Q. The repetitions occurring in Matthew (5:29, 30 = 18:8, 9; 5:32; 19:9; 10:22a = 24:9b; 12:39b = 16:4a, etc.) may be explained by the fact that two sources furnished the writer with material for his Gospel. Furthermore, Matthew used documents of his own. In this hypothesis the Greek Gospel is supposed to be original. and not the translation of a complete Aramaic Gospel. It is admitted that the collection of sayings was originally Aramaic, but it is disputed whether the Evangelist had it in this form or in that of a Greek translation. Critics also differ regarding the manner in which Matthew used the sources. Some would have it that Matthew the Apostle was not the author of the First Gospel, but merely the collector of the sayings of Christ mentioned by Papias. "However," says Jülicher, "the author's individuality is so strikingly evident in his style and tendencies that it is impossible to consider the Gospel a mere compilation." Most critics are of a like opinion. Endeavours have been made to reconcile the information furnished by tradition with the facts resulting from the study of the Gospel as follows: Matthew was known to have collected in Aramaic the sayings of Christ, and, on the other hand, there existed at the beginning of the second century a Gospel containing the narratives found in Mark and the sayings gathered by Matthew in Aramaic. It is held that the Greek Gospel ascribed to Matthew is a translation of it, made by him or by other translators whose names it was later attempted to ascertain.

To safeguard tradition further, while taking into consideration the facts we have already noted, it might be supposed that the three Synoptists worked upon the same catechesis, either oral or written and originally in Aramaic, and that they had detached portions of this catechesis, varying in literary condition. The divergences may be explained first by this latter fact, and then by the hypothesis of different translations and by each Evangelist's peculiar method of treating the subject-matter, Matthew and Luke especially having adapted it to the purpose of their Gospel. There is nothing to prevent the supposition that Matthew worked on the Aramaic catechesis; the literary emendations of Mark's text by Matthew may have been due to the translator, who was more conversant with Greek than was the popular preacher who furnished the catechesis reproduced by Mark. In reality, the only difficulty lies in explaining the similarity of style between Matthew and Mark. First of all, we may observe that the points of resemblance are less numerous than they are said to be. As we have seen, they are very rare in the narratives at all events, much more so than in the discourses of Christ. Why, then, should we not suppose that the three Synoptists, depending upon the same Aramaic catechesis, sometimes agreed in rendering similar Aramaic expressions in the same Greek words? It is also possible to suppose that sayings of Christ, which in the three Synoptic Gospels (or in two of them) differed only in a few expressions, were unified by copyists or other persons. To us it seems probable that Matthew's Greek translator used Mark's Greek Gospel, especially for Christ's discourses. Luke, also, may have similarly utilized Matthew's Greek Gospel in rendering the discourses of Christ. Finally, even though we should suppose that Matthew were the author only of the Logia, the full scope of which we do not know, and that a part of his Greek Gospel is derived from that of Mark, we would still have a right to ascribe this First Gospel to Matthew as its principal author.

Other hypotheses have been put forth. In Zahn's opinion, Matthew wrote a complete Gospel in Aramaic; Mark was familiar with this document, which he used while abridging it. Matthew's Greek translator utilized Mark, but only for form, whereas Luke depended upon Mark and secondary sources, but was not acquainted with Matthew. According to Belser, Matthew first wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, a Greek translation of it being made in 59-60, and Mark depended on Matthew's Aramaic document and Peter's preaching. Luke made use of Mark, of Matthew (both in Aramaic and Greek), and also of oral tradition. According to Camerlynck and Coppieters, the First Gospel in its present form was composed either by Matthew or some other Apostolic writer long before the end of the first century, by combining the Aramaic work of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.


Plan and contents of the first Gospel.

The author did not wish to compose a biography of Christ, but to demonstrate, by recording His words and the deeds of His life, that He was the Messias, the Head and Founder of the Kingdom of God, and the promulgator of its laws. One can scarcely fail to recognize that, except in a few parts (e.g. the Childhood and the Passion), the arrangement of events and of discourses is artificial. Matthew usually combines facts and precepts of a like nature. Whatever the reason, he favours groups of three (thirty-eight of which may be counted) — three divisions in the genealogy of Jesus (1:17), three temptations (4:1-11), three examples of justice (6:1-18), three cures (8:1-15), three parables of the seed (13:1-32), three denials of Peter (26:69-75), etc.; of five (these are less numerous) — five long discourses (5-7:27; 10; 13:1-52; 18; 24-25), ending with the same formula (Kai egeneto, ote etelesen ho Iesous), five examples of the fulfilment of the law (5:21-48), etc.; and of seven — seven parables (13), seven maledictions (23), seven brethren (22:25), etc. The First Gospel can be very naturally divided as follows:



The genealogy of Jesus, the prediction of His Birth, the Magi, the Flight into Egypt, the Massacre of the Innocents, the return to Nazareth, and the life there.

The public ministry of Jesus.

This may be divided into three parts, according to the place where He exercised it.

In Galilee.

(a) Preparation for the public ministry of Jesus (3:1 to 4:11)

John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus, the Temptation, the return to Galilee.

(b) The preaching of the Kingdom of God (4:17 to 18:35)

(1) the preparation of the Kingdom by the preaching of penance, the call of the disciples, and numerous cures (4:17-25), the promulgation of the code of the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount (5:50-7:29);

(2) the propagation of the Kingdom in Galilee (8:50-18:35). He groups together:

the deeds by which Jesus established that He was the Messias and the King of the Kingdom: various cures, the calming of the tempest, missionary journeys through the land, the calling of the Twelve Apostles, the principles that should guide them in their missionary travels (8:50-10:42);

various teachings of Jesus called forth by circumstances: John's message and the Lord's answer, Christ's confutation of the false charges of the Pharisees, the departure and return of the unclean spirit (11:50-12:50);

finally, the parables of the Kingdom, of which Jesus makes known and explains the end (13:3-52).

(3) Matthew then relates the different events that terminate the preaching in Galilee: Christ's visit to Nazareth (13:53-58), the multiplication of the loaves, the walking on the lake, discussions with the Pharisees concerning legal purifications, the confession of Peter at Cæsarea, the Transfiguration of Jesus, prophecy regarding the Passion and Resurrection, and teachings on scandal, fraternal correction, and the forgiveness of injuries (14:50-18:35).


Outside Galilee or the way to Jerusalem.

Jesus leaves Galilee and goes beyond the Jordan; He discusses divorce with the Pharisees; answers the rich young man, and teaches self-denial and the danger of wealth; explains by the parable of the labourers how the elect will be called; replies to the indiscreet question of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, and cures two blind men of Jericho.


In Jerusalem.

Jesus makes a triumphal entry into Jerusalem; He curses the barren fig tree and enters into a dispute with the chief priests and the Pharisees who ask Him by what authority He has banished the sellers from the Temple, and answers them by the parables of the two sons, the murderous husbandmen, and the marriage of the king's son. New questions are put to Jesus concerning the tribute, the resurrection of the dead, and the greatest commandment. Jesus anathematizes the scribes and Pharisees and foretells the events that will precede and accompany the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world.


The passion and the resurrection of Jesus.

Events are now hurrying to a close. The Sanhedrin plots for the death of Jesus, a woman anoints the feet of the Lord, and Judas betrays his Master. Jesus eats the pasch with His disciples and institutes the Eucharist. In the Garden of Olives, He enters upon His agony and offers up the sacrifice of His life. He is arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter denies Christ; Judas hangs himself. Jesus is condemned to death by Pilate and crucified; He is buried, and a guard is placed at the Sepulchre (26:50-27:66).

Jesus rises the third day and appears first to the holy women at Jerusalem, then in Galilee to His disciples, whom He sends forth to propagate throughout the world the Kingdom of God.

Object and doctrinal teaching of the first gospel.

Immediately after the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, Peter preached that Jesus, crucified and risen, was the Messias, the Saviour of the World, and proved this assertion by relating the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord. This was the first Apostolic teaching, and was repeated by the other preachers of the Gospel, of whom tradition tells us that Matthew was one. This Evangelist proclaimed the Gospel to the Hebrews and, before his departure from Jerusalem, wrote in his mother tongue the Gospel that he had preached. Hence the aim of the Evangelist was primarily apologetic. He wished to demonstrate to his readers, whether these were converts or still unbelieving Jews, that in Jesus the ancient prophecies had been realized in their entirety. This thesis includes three principal ideas:

Jesus is the Messias, and the kingdom He inaugurates is the Messianic kingdom foretold by the prophets;

because of their sins, the Jews, as a nation, shall have no part in this kingdom

the Gospel will be announced to all nations, and all are called to salvation.

Jesus as Messias.

St. Matthew has shown that in Jesus all the ancient prophesies on the Messias were fulfilled. He was the Emmanuel, born of a Virgin Mother (1:22, 23), announced by Isaiah (7:14); He was born at Bethlehem (2:6), as had been predicted by Micheas (5:2), He went to Egypt and was recalled thence (2:15) as foretold by Osee (11:1). According to the prediction of Isaiah (40:3), He was heralded by a precursor, John the Baptist (3:50 sqq.); He cured all the sick (8:16 so.), that the Prophecy of Isaiah (53:4) might be fulfilled; and in all His actions He was indeed the same of whom this prophet had spoken (13:50). His teaching in parables (13:3) was conformable to what Isaiah had said (6:9). Finally, He suffered, and the entire drama of His Passion and Death was a fulfilment of the prophecies of Scripture (Isaiah 53:3-12; Ps. 21:13-22). Jesus proclaimed Himself the Messias by His approbation of Peter's confession (16:16-17) and by His answer to the high priest (26:63-64). St. Matthew also endeavours to show that the Kingdom inaugurated by Jesus Christ is the Messianic Kingdom. From the beginning of His public life, Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (4:17); in the Sermon on the Mount He promulgates the charter of this kingdom, and in parables He speaks of its nature and conditions. In His answer to the envoys of John the Baptist Jesus specifically declares that the Messianic Kingdom, foretold by the Prophets, has come to pass, and He describes its characteristics: "The blind see, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them." It was in these terms, that Isaiah had described the future kingdom (35:5-6; loci, 1). St. Matthew records a very formal expression of the Lord concerning the coming of the Kingdom: "But if I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you" (12:28). Moreover, Jesus could call Himself the Messias only inasmuch as the Kingdom of God had come.


Exclusion of Jews from messianic kingdom.

The Jews as a nation were rejected because of their sins, and were to have no part in the Kingdom of Heaven. This rejection had been several times predicted by the prophets, and St. Matthew shows that it was because of its incredulity that Israel was excluded from the Kingdom, he dwells on all the events in which the increasing obduracy of the Jewish nation is conspicuous, manifested first in the princes and then in the hatred of the people who beseech Pilate to put Jesus to death. Thus the Jewish nation itself was accountable for its exclusion from the Messianic kingdom.


Universal proclamation of the gospel.

That the pagans were called to salvation instead of the Jews, Jesus declared explicitly to the unbelieving Israelites: "Therefore I say to you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof" (21:43); "He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man. And the field is the world" (13:37-38). "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come" (24:14). Finally, appearing to His Apostles in Galilee, Jesus gives them this supreme command: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations" (28:18-19). These last words of Christ are the summary of the First Gospel. Efforts have been made to maintain that these words of Jesus, commanding that all nations be evangelized, were not authentic, but in a subsequent paragraph we shall prove that all the Lord's sayings, recorded in the First Gospel, proceed from the teaching of Jesus.


Destination of the gospel.

The ecclesiastical writers Papias, St. Irenæus, Origen, Eusebius, and St. Jerome, whose testimony has been given above, agree in declaring that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel for the Jews. Everything in this Gospel proves, that the writer addresses himself to Jewish readers. He does not explain Jewish customs and usages to them, as do the other Evangelists for their Greek and Latin readers, and he assumes that they are acquainted with Palestine, since, unlike St. Luke he mentions places without giving any indication of their topographical position. It is true that the Hebrew words, Emmanuel, Golgotha, Eloi, are translated, but it is likely that these translations were inserted when the Aramaic text was reproduced in Greek. St. Matthew chronicles those discourses of Christ that would interest the Jews and leave a favourable impression upon them. The law is not to be destroyed, but fulfilled (5:17). He emphasizes more strongly than either St. Mark or St. Luke the false interpretations of the law given by the scribes and Pharisees, the hypocrisy and even the vices of the latter, all of which could be of interest to Jewish readers only. According to certain critics, St. Irenæus (Fragment 29) said that Matthew wrote to convert the Jews by proving to them that Christ was the Son of David. This interpretation is badly founded. Moreover, Origen (In Matt. 1) categorically asserts that this Gospel was published for Jews converted to the Faith. Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 24) is also explicit on this point, and St. Jerome, summarizing tradition, teaches us that St. Matthew published his Gospel in Judea and in the Hebrew language, principally for those among the Jews who believed in Jesus, and did not observe even the shadow of the Law, the truth of the Gospel having replaced it (In Matt. Prol.). Subsequent ecclesiastical writers and Christian exegetes have taught that St. Matthew wrote for the converted Jews. "However," says Zahn, "the apologetical and polemical character of the book, as well as the choice of language, make it extremely probable that Matthew wished his book to be read primarily by the Jews who were not yet Christians. It was suited to Jewish Christians who were still exposed to Jewish influence, and also to Jews who still resisted the Gospel."


Date and place of composition.

Ancient ecclesiastical writers are at variance as to the date of the composition of the First Gospel. Eusebius (in his Chronicle), Theophylact, and Euthymius Zigabenus are of opinion that the Gospel of Matthew was written eight years, and Nicephorus Callistus fifteen years, after Christ's Ascension ¾ i. e. about A.D. 38-45. According to Eusebius, Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew when he left Palestine. Now, following a certain tradition (admittedly not too reliable), the Apostles separated twelve years after the Ascension, hence the Gospel would have been written about the year 40-42, but following Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 5:2), it is possible to fix the definitive departure of the Apostles about the year 60, in which event the writing of the Gospel would have taken place about the year 60-68. St Irenæus is somewhat more exact concerning the date of the First Gospel, as he says: "Matthew produced his Gospel when Peter and Paul were evangelizing and founding the Church of Rome, consequently about the years 64-67." However, this text presents difficulties of interpretation which render its meaning uncertain and prevent us from deducing any positive conclusion.

In our day opinion is rather divided. Christian critics, in general, favour the years 40-45, although some (e. g. Patrizi) go back to 36-39 or (e. g. Aberle) to 37. Belser assigns 41-42; Conély, 40-50; Schafer, 50-51; Hug, Reuschl, Schanz, and Rose, 60-67. This last opinion is founded on the combined testimonies of St. Irenæus and Eusebius, and on the remark inserted parenthetically in the discourse of Jesus in chapter 24:15 "When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place". Here the author interrupts the sentence and invites the reader to take heed of what follows, viz.: "Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains." As there would have been no occasion for a like warning had the destruction of Jerusalem already taken place, Matthew must have written his Gospel before the year 70 (about 65-70 according to Batiffol). Protestant and Liberalistic critics also are greatly at variance as regards the time of the composition of the First Gospel. Zahn sets the date about 61-66, and Godet about 60-66; Keim, Meyer, Holtzmann (in his earlier writings), Beyschlag, and Maclean, before 70, Bartiet about 68-69; W. Allen and Plummer, about 65-75; Hilgenfeld and Holtzmann (in his later writings), soon after 70; B. Weiss and Harnack, about 70-75; Renan, later than 85, Réville, between 69 and 96, Jülicher, in 81-96, Montefiore, about 90-100, Volkmar, in 110; Baur, about 130-34. The following are some of the arguments advanced to prove that the First Gospel was written several years after the Fall of Jerusalem. When Jesus prophesies to His Apostles that they will be delivered up to the councils, scourged in the synagogues, brought before governors and kings for His sake; that they will give testimony of Him, will for Him be hated and driven from city to city (10, 17-23) and when He commissions them to teach all nations and make them His disciples, His words intimate, it is claimed, the lapse of many years, the establishment of the Christian Church in distant parts, and its cruel persecution by the Jews and even by Roman emperors and governors. Moreover, certain sayings of the Lord — such as: "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church" (11:18), "If he [thy brother] will not hear them: tell the Church" (18:10) — carry us to a time when the Christian Church was already constituted, a time that could not have been much earlier than the year 100. The fact is, that what was predicted by Our Lord, when He announced future events and established the charter and foundations of His Church, is converted into reality and made coexistent with the writing of the First Gospel. Hence, to give these arguments a probatory value it would be necessary either to deny Christ's knowledge of the future or to maintain that the teachings embodied in the First Gospel were not authentic.


Historic value of the first gospel.

Of the narratives.

Apart from the narratives of the Childhood of Jesus, the cure of the two blind men, the tribute money, and a few incidents connected with the Passion and Resurrection, all the others recorded by St. Matthew are found in both the other Synoptists, with one exception (8:5-13) which occurs only in St. Luke. Critics agree m declaring that, regarded as a whole, the events of the life of Jesus recorded in the Synoptic Gospels are historic. For us, these facts are historic even in detail, our criterion of truth being the same for the aggregate and the details. The Gospel of St. Mark is acknowledged to be of great historic value because it reproduces the preaching of St. Peter. But, for almost all the events of the Gospel, the information given by St. Mark is found in St. Matthew, while such as are peculiar to the latter are of the same nature as events recorded by St. Mark, and resemble them so closely that it is hard to understand why they should not be historic, since they also are derived from the primitive catechesis. It may be further observed that the narratives of St. Matthew are never contradictory to the events made known to us by profane documents, and that they give a very accurate account of the moral and religious ideas, the manners and customs of the Jewish people of that time. In his recent work, "The Synoptic Gospels" (London, 1909), Montefiore, a Jewish critic, does full justice to St. Matthew on these different points. Finally all the objections that could possibly have been raised against their veracity vanish, if we but keep in mind the standpoint of the author, and what he wished to demonstrate. The comments we are about to make concerning the Lord's utterances are also applicable to the Gospel narratives.

Of the discourses.

The greater part of Christ's short sayings are found in the three Synoptic Gospels and consequently spring from the early catechesis. His long discourses, recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke, also formed part of an authentic catechesis, and critics in general are agreed in acknowledging their historic value. There are, however some who maintain that the Evangelist modified his documents to adapt them to the faith professed in Christian communities at the time when he wrote his Gospel. They also claim that, even prior to the composition of the Gospels, Christian faith had altered Apostolic reminiscences. Let us first of all observe that these objections would have no weight whatever, unless we were to concede that the First Gospel was not written by St. Matthew. And even assuming the same point of view as our adversaries, who think that our Synoptic Gospels depend upon anterior sources, we maintain that these changes, whether attributable to the Evangelists or to their sources (i. e. the faith of the early Christians), could not have been effected.

The alterations claimed to have been introduced into Christ's teachings could not have been made by the Evangelists themselves. We know that the latter selected their subject-matter and disposed of it each in his own way, and with a special end in view, but this matter was the same for all three, at least for the whole contents of the pericopes, and was taken from the original catechesis, which was already sufficiently well established not to admit of the introduction into it of new ideas and unknown facts. Again, all the doctrines which are claimed to be foreign to the teachings of Jesus are found in the three Synoptists, and are so much a part of the very framework of each Gospel that their removal would mean the destruction of the order of the narrative. Under these conditions, that there might be a substantial change in the doctrines taught by Christ, it would be necessary to suppose a previous understanding among the three Evangelists, which seems to us impossible, as Matthew and Luke at least appear to have worked independently of each other and it is in their Gospels that Christ's longest discourses are found. These doctrines, which were already embodied in the sources used by the three Synoptists, could not have resulted from the deliberations and opinions of the earliest Christians. First of all, between the death of Christ and the initial drawing up of the oral catechesis, there was not sufficient time for originating, and subsequently enjoining upon the Christian conscience, ideas diametrically opposed to those said to have been exclusively taught by Jesus Christ. For example, let us take the doctrines claimed, above all others, to have been altered by the belief of the first Christians, namely that Jesus Christ had called all nations to salvation. It is said that the Lord restricted His mission to Israel, and that all those texts wherein He teaches that the Gospel should be preached throughout the entire world originated with the early Christians and especially with Paul. Now, in the first place, these universalist doctrines could not have sprung up among the Apostles. They and the primitive Christians were Jews of poorly developed intelligence, of very narrow outlook, and were moreover imbued with particularist ideas. From the Gospels and Acts it is easy to see that these men were totally unacquainted with universalist ideas, which had to be urged upon them, and which, even then, they were slow to accept. Moreover, how could this first Christian generation, who, we are told, believed that Christ's Second Coming was close at hand, have originated these passages proclaiming that before this event took place the Gospel should be preached to all nations? These doctrines do not emanate from St. Paul and his disciples. Long before St. Paul could have exercised any influence whatever over the Christian conscience, the Evangelical sources containing these precepts had already been composed. The Apostle of the Gentiles was the special propagator of these doctrines, but he was not their creator. Enlightened by the Holy Spirit, he understood that the ancient prophecies had been realized in the Person of Jesus and that the doctrines taught by Christ were identical with those revealed by the Scriptures.

Finally, by considering as a whole the ideas constituting the basis of the earliest Christian writings, we ascertain that these doctrines, taught by the prophets, and accentuated by the life and words of Christ, form the framework of the Gospels and the basis of Pauline preaching. They are, as it were, a kind of fasces which it would be impossible to unbind, and into which no new idea could be inserted without destroying its strength and unity. In the prophecies, the Gospels the Pauline Epistles, and the first Christian writings an intimate correlation joins all together, Jesus Christ Himself being the centre and the common bond. What one has said of Him, the others reiterate, and never do we hear an isolated or a discordant voice. If Jesus taught doctrines contrary or foreign to those which the Evangelists placed upon His lips, then He becomes an inexplicable phenomenon, because, in the matter of ideas, He is in contradiction to the society in which He moved, and must be ranked with the least intelligent sections among the Jewish people. We are justified, therefore, in concluding that the discourses of Christ, recorded in the First Gospel and reproducing the Apostolic catechesis, are authentic. We my however, again observe that, his aim being chiefly apologetic, Matthew selected and presented the events of Christ's life anti also these discourses in a way that would lead up to the conclusive proof which he wished to give of the Messiahship of Jesus. Still the Evangelist neither substantially altered the original catechesis nor invented doctrines foreign to the teaching of Jesus. His action bore upon details or form, but not upon the basis of words and deeds.

Regarding the Autenticity of the Gospel of St. Matthew.

In view of the universal and constant agreement of the Church, as shown by the testimony of the Fathers, the inscription of Gospel codices, most ancient versions of the Sacred Books and lists handed down by the Holy Fathers, ecclesiastical writers and councils of the Church, and finally by liturgical usage in the Eastern and Western Church, it may and should be held that Matthew, an Apostle of Christ, is really the author of the Gospel that goes by his name. The belief that Matthew preceded the other Evangelists in writing, and that the first Gospel was written in the native language of the Jews then in Palestine, is to be considered as based on Tradition.

The preparation of this original text was not deferred until after the destruction of Jerusalem, so that the prophecies it contains about this might be written after the event; nor is the alleged uncertain and much disputed testimony of Irenaeus convincing enough to do away with the opinion most conformed to Tradition, that their preparation was finished even before the coming of Paul to Rome. The opinion of certain Modernists is untenable, viz., that Matthew did not in a proper and strict sense compose the Gospel, as it has come down to us, but only a collection of some words and sayings of Christ, which, according to them, another anonymous author used as sources.

The fact that the Fathers and all ecclesiastical writers, and even the Church itself from the very beginning, have used as canonical the Greek text of the Gospel known as St. Matthew's, not even excepting those who have expressly handed down that the Apostle Matthew wrote in his native tongue, proves for certain that this very Greek Gospel is identical in substance with the Gospel written by the same Apostle in his native language. Although the author of the first Gospel has the dogmatic and apologetic purpose of proving to the Jews that Jesus is the Messias foretold by the prophets and born of the house of David, and although he is not always chronological in arranging the facts or sayings which he records, his narration is not to be regarded as lacking truth. Nor can it be said that his accounts of the deeds and utterances of Christ have been altered and adapted by the influence of the prophecies of the Old Testament and the conditions of the growing Church, and that they do not therefore conform to historical truth. Notably unfounded are the opinions of those who cast doubt on the historical value of the first two chapters, treating of the genealogy and infancy of Christ, or on certain passages of much weight for certain dogmas, such as those which concern the primacy of Peter (16:17-19), the form of baptism given to the Apostles with their universal missions (28:19-20), the Apostles' profession of faith in Christ (14:33), and others of this character specially emphasized by Matthew.

2. St. Mark.

(Greek Markos, Latin Marcus).

It is assumed in this article that the individual referred to in Acts as John Mark (12:12, 25; 15:37), John (13:5, 13), Mark (15:39), is identical with the Mark mentioned by St. Paul (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim 4:11; Philem. 24) and by St. Peter (1 Peter 5:13). Their identity is not questioned by any ancient writer of note, while it is strongly suggested, on the one hand by the fact that Mark of the Pauline Epistles was the cousin (ho anepsios) of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), to whom Mark of Acts seems to have been bound by some special tie (Acts, 15:37-39); on the other by the probability that the Mark, whom St. Peter calls his son (1 Peter, 5:13), is no other than the son of Mary, the Apostle's old friend in Jerusalem (Acts, 21, 12). To the Jewish name John was added the Roman pronomen Marcus, and by the latter he was commonly known to the readers of Acts (15:37, ton kaloumenon Markon) and of the Epistles. Mark's mother was a prominent member of the infant Church at Jerusalem; it was to her house that Peter turned on his release from prison; the house was approached by a porch (pulon), there was a slave girl (paidiske), probably the portress, to open the door, and the house was a meeting-place for the brethren, "many" of whom were praying there the night St. Peter arrived from prison (Acts 12:12-13).

When, on the occasion of the famine of A.D. 45-46, Barnabas and Saul had completed their ministration in Jerusalem, they took Mark with them on their return to Antioch (Act 5, 12:25). Not long after, when they started on St. Paul's first Apostolic journey, they had Mark with them as some sort of assistant (hupereten, Acts, 13, 5); but the vagueness and variety of meaning of the Greek term makes it uncertain in what precise capacity he acted. Neither selected by the Holy Spirit, nor delegated by the Church of Antioch, as were Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:2-4), he was probably taken by the Apostles as one who could be of general help. The context of Acts 13:5, suggests that he helped even in preaching the Word. When Paul and Barnabas resolved to push on from Perga into central Asia Minor, Mark, departed from them, if indeed he had not already done so at Paphos, and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). What his reasons were for turning back, we cannot say with certainty; Acts 15:38, seems to suggest that he feared the toil. At any rate, the incident was not forgotten by St. Paul, who refused on account of it to take Mark with him on the second Apostolic journey. This refusal led to the separation of Paul and Barnabas, and the latter, taking Mark with him, sailed to Cyprus (Acts 15:37-40). At this point (A.D. 49-50) we lose sight of Mark in Acts, and we meet him no more in the New Testament, till he appears some ten years afterwards as the fellow-worker of St. Paul, and in the company of St. Peter, at Rome.

St. Paul, writing to the Colossians during his first Roman imprisonment (A.D. 59-61), says: "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, touching whom you have received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him" (Col. 4:10). At the time this was written, Mark was evidently in Rome, but had some intention of visiting Asia Minor. About the same time St. Paul sends greetings to Philemon from Mark, whom he names among his fellow-workers (sunergoi, Philem. 24). The Evangelist's intention of visiting Asia Minor was probably carried out, for St. Paul, writing shortly before his death to Timothy at Ephesus, bids him pick up Mark and bring him with him to Rome, adding "for he is profitable to me for the ministry" (2 Tim. 4:11). If Mark came to Rome at this time, he was probably there when St. Paul was martyred. Turning to 1 Peter 5:13, we read: "The Church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you, and (so doth) Mark my son" (Markos, o huios aou). This letter was addressed to various Churches of Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1), and we may conclude that Mark was known to them. Hence, though he had refused to penetrate into Asia Minor with Paul and Barnabas, St. Paul makes it probable, and St. Peter certain, that he went afterwards, and the fact that St. Peter sends Mark's greeting to a number of Churches implies that he must have been widely known there. In calling Mark his "son," Peter may possibly imply that he had baptized him, though in that case teknon might be expected rather than huios (cf. 1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:2, 18; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2:1; Tit. 1:4; Philem. 10). The term need not be taken to imply more than affectionate regard for a younger man, who had long ago sat at Peter's feet in Jerusalem, and whose mother had been the Apostle's friend (Acts, 12:12). As to the Babylon from which Peter writers, and in which Mark is present with him, there can be no reasonable doubt that it is Rome. The view of St. Jerome: "St. Peter also mentions this Mark in his First Epistle, while referring figuratively to Rome under the title of Babylon", is supported by all the early Father who refer to the subject. It may be said to have been questioned for the first time by Erasmus, whom a number of Protestant writers then followed, that they might the more readily deny the Roman connection of St. Peter. Thus, we find Mark in Rome with St. Peter at a time when he was widely known to the Churches of Asia Minor. If we suppose him, as we may, to have gone to Asia Minor after the date of the Epistle to the Colossians, remained there for some time, and returned to Rome before 1 Peter was written, the Petrine and Pauline references to the Evangelist are quite intelligible and consistent.

When we turn to tradition, Papias (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3:39) asserts not later than A.D. 130, on the authority of an "elder," that Mark had been the interpreter (hermeneutes) of Peter, and wrote down accurately, though not in order, the teaching of Peter. A widespread, if somewhat late, tradition represents St. Mark as the founder of the Church of Alexandria. Though strangely enough Clement and Origen make no reference to the saint's connection with their city, it is attested by Eusebius (op. cit.2, 16:24), by St. Jerome, by the Apostolic Constitutions (7:46), by Epiphanius ("Haer;." 51:6) and by many later authorities. The "Martyrologium Romanum" (25 April) records: "At Alexandria the anniversary of Blessed Mark the Evangelist . . . at Alexandria of St. Anianus Bishop, the disciple of Blessed Mark and his successor in the episcopate, who fell asleep in the Lord." The date at which Mark came to Alexandria is uncertain. The Chronicle of Eusebius assigns it to the first years of Claudius (A.D. 41-4), and later on states that St. Mark's first successor, Anianus, succeeded to the See of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (61-2). This would make Mark Bishop of Alexandria for a period of about twenty years. This is not impossible, if we might suppose in accordance with some early evidence that St. Peter came to Rome in A.D. 42, Mark perhaps accompanying him. But Acts raise considerable difficulties. On the assumption that the founder of the Church of Alexandria was identical with the companion of Paul and Barnabas, we find him at Jerusalem and Antioch about A.D. 46 (Acts 12:25), in Salamis about 47 (Acts, 13:5), at Antioch again about 49 or 50 (Acts, 15:37-39), and when he quitted Antioch, on the separation of Paul and Barnabas, it was not to Alexandria but to Cyprus that he turned (Acts, 15:39). There is nothing indeed to prove absolutely that all this is inconsistent with his being Bishop of Alexandria at the time, but seeing that the chronology of the Apostolic age is admittedly uncertain, and that we have no earlier authority than Eusebius for the date of the foundation of the Alexandrian Church, we may perhaps conclude with more probability that it was founded somewhat later. There is abundance of time between A.D. 50 and 60, a period during which the New Testament is silent in regard to St. Mark, for his activity in Egypt.

In the preface to his Gospel in manuscripts of the Vulgate, Mark is represented as having been a Jewish priest: "Mark the Evangelist, who exercised the priestly office in Israel, a Levite by race." Early authorities, however, are silent upon the point, and it is perhaps only an inference from his relation to Barnabas the Levite (Acts 4:36). Papias (in Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3:39) says, on the authority of "the elder," that Mark neither heard the Lord nor followed Him (oute gar ekouse tou kurion oute parekoluthesen auto), and the same statement is made in the Dialogue of Adamantius (fourth century, Leipzig, 1901, p. 8), by Eusebius ("Demonst. Evang." 3:5), by St. Jerome ("In Matth."), by St. Augustine ("De Consens. Evang."), and is suggested by the Muratorian Fragment. Later tradition, however, makes Mark one of the seventy-two disciples, and St. Epiphanius ("Hær," 51:6) says he was one of those who withdrew from Christ (John 6:67). The later tradition can have no weight against the earlier evidence, but the statement that Mark neither heard the Lord nor followed Him need not be pressed too strictly, nor force us to believe that he never saw Christ. Many indeed are of opinion that the young man who fled naked from Gethsemane (Mark 14:51) was Mark himself. Early in the third century Hippolytus ("Philosophumena" 7:30) refers to Mark as ho kolobodaktulos, i.e. "stump-fingered" or "mutilated in the finger(s)," and later authorities allude to the same defect. Various explanations of the epithet have been suggested: that Mark, after he embraced Christianity, cut off his thumb to unfit himself for the Jewish priesthood; that his fingers were naturally stumpy; that some defect in his toes is alluded to; that the epithet is to be regarded as metaphorical, and means "deserted" (cf. Acts 13:13).

The date of Mark's death is uncertain. St. Jerome assigns it to the eighth year of Nero (62-63) (Mortuus est octavo Neronis anno et sepultus Alexandriæ), but this is probably only an inference from the statement of Eusebius ("Hist. eccl." 2: 24), that in that year Anianus succeeded St. Mark in the See of Alexandria. Certainly, if St. Mark was alive when 2 Timothy was written (2 Tim. 4:11), he cannot have died in 61-62. Nor does Eusebius say he did; the historian may merely mean that St. Mark then resigned his see, and left Alexandria to join Peter and Paul at Rome. As to the manner of his death, the "Acts" of Mark give the saint the glory of martyrdom, and say that he died while being dragged through the streets of Alexandria; so too the Paschal Chronicle. But we have no evidence earlier than the fourth century that the saint was martyred. This earlier silence, however, is not at all decisive against the truth of the later traditions. For the saint's alleged connection with Aquileia, see "Acta SS." 11, pp. 346-7, and for the removal of his body from Alexandria to Venice and his cultus there, ibid. pp. 352-8. In Christian literature and art St. Mark is symbolically represented by a lion. The Greek and Latin churches celebrate his feast on 25 April and also on 27 September.


Gospel of Saint Mark.

The Second Gospel, like the other two Synoptics, deals chiefly with the Galilean ministry of Christ, and the events of the last week at Jerusalem. In a brief introduction, the ministry of the Precursor and the immediate preparation of Christ for His official work by His Baptism and temptation are touched upon (1:1-13); then follows the body of the Gospel, dealing with the public ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus (1:14-16:8); and lastly the work in its present form gives a summary account of some appearances of the risen Lord, and ends with a reference to the Ascension and the universal preaching of the Gospel (16: 9-20). The body of the Gospel falls naturally into three divisions: the ministry in Galilee and adjoining districts: Phoenicia, Decapolis, and the country north towards Cæarea Philippi (1:14-9:49); the ministry in Judea and (kai peran, with B, Aleph, C*, L, Psi, in 10:50) Peræ, and the journey to Jerusalem (10:50-11:10); the events of the last week at Jerusalem (11:11-16:8).

Beginning with the public ministry (Acts, 1:22; 10:37), St. Mark passes in silence over the preliminary events recorded by the other Synoptists: the conception and birth of the Baptist, the genealogy, conception, and birth of Jesus, the coming of the Magi, etc. He is much more concerned with Christ's acts than with His discourses, only two of these being given at any considerable length (4:3-32; 13:5-37). The miracles are narrated most graphically and thrown into great prominence, almost a fourth of the entire Gospel (in the Vulg. 164 verses out of 677) being devoted to them, and there seems to be a desire to impress the readers from the outset with Christ's almighty power and dominion over all nature. The very first chapter records three miracles: the casting out of an unclean spirit, the cure of Peter's mother-in-law, and the healing of a leper, besides alluding summarily to many others (1: 32-34); and, of the eighteen miracles recorded altogether in the Gospel, all but three (9:16-28; 10:46-52; 11:12-14) occur in the first eight chapters. Only two of these miracles (7:31-37; 8:22-26) are peculiar to Mark, but, in regard to nearly all, there are graphic touches and minute details not found in the other Synoptics. Of the parables proper Mark has only four: the sower (4:3-9), the seed growing secretly (4:26-29), the mustard seed (4:30-32), and the wicked husbandman (12:1-9); the second of these is wanting in the other Gospels. Special attention is paid throughout to the human feelings and emotions of Christ, and to the effect produced by His miracles upon the crowd. The weaknesses of the Apostles are far more apparent than in the parallel narratives of Matt. and Luke, this being, probably due to the graphic and candid discourses of Peter, upon which tradition represents Mark as relying.

The repeated notes of time and place (e.g. 1, 14, 19, 20, 21, 29, 32, 35) seem to show that the Evangelist meant to arrange in chronological order at least a number of the events which he records. Occasionally the note of time is wanting (e.g. 1:40; 3:50; 4:50; 10:1, 2, 13) or vague (e.g. 2:1, 23; 4: 35), and in such cases he may of course depart from the order of events. But the very fact that in some instances he speaks thus vaguely and indefinitely makes it all the more necessary to take his definite notes of time and sequence in other cases as indicating chronological order. We are here confronted, however, with the testimony of Papias, who quotes an elder (presbyter), with whom he apparently agrees, as saying that Mark did not write in order: "And the elder said this also: Mark, having become interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately everything that he remembered, without, however, recording in order what was either said or done by Christ. For neither did he hear the Lord, nor did he follow Him, but afterwards, as I said, (he attended) Peter, who adapted his instructions to the needs (of his hearers), but had no design of giving a connected account of the Lord's oracles [v. l. "words"]. So then Mark made no mistake [Schmiedel, "committed no fault"], while he thus wrote down some things (enia as he remembered them; for he made it his one care not to omit anything that he had heard, or set down any false statement therein" (Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 3:39). Some indeed have understood this famous passage to mean merely that Mark did not write a literary work, but simply a string of notes connected in the simplest fashion (cf. Swete, "The Gospel acc. to Mark," pp. 60-61). The present writer, however, is convinced that what Papias and the elder deny to our Gospel is chronological order, since for no other order would it have been necessary that Mark should have heard or followed Christ. But the passage need not be understood to mean more than that Mark occasionally departs from chronological order, a thing we are quite prepared to admit. What Papias and the elder considered to be the true order we cannot say; they can hardly have fancied it to be represented in the First Gospel, which so evidently groups (e.g. 8-9), nor, it would seem, in the Third, since Luke, like Mark, had not been a disciple of Christ. It may well be that, belonging as they did to Asia Minor, they had the Gospel of St. John and its chronology in mind. At any rate, their judgment upon the Second Gospel, even if be just, does not prevent us from holding that Mark, to some extent, arranges the events of Christ's like in chronological order.



All early tradition connects the Second Gospel with two names, those of St. Mark and St. Peter, Mark being held to have written what Peter had preached. We have just seen that this was the view of Papias and the elder to whom he refers. Papias wrote not later than about A.D. 130, so that the testimony of the elder probably brings us back to the first century, and shows the Second Gospel known in Asia Minor and attributed to St. Mark at that early time. So Irenæus says: "Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself also handed down to us in writing what was preached by Peter" ("Adv. Hær." 3, 1; ibid. 10:6). St. Clement of Alexandria, relying on the authority of "the elder presbyters," tells us that, when Peter had publicly preached in Rome, many of those who heard him exhorted Mark, as one who had long followed Peter and remembered what he had said, to write it down, and that Mark "composed the Gospel and gave it to those who had asked for it" (Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 6:14). Origen says (ibid. 6:25) that Mark wrote as Peter directed him (os Petros huphegesato auto), and Eusebius himself reports the tradition that Peter approved or authorized Mark's work ("Hist. Eccl." 2:15). To these early Eastern witnesses may be added, from the West, the author of the Muratorian Fragment, which in its first line almost certainly refers to Mark's presence at Peter's discourses and his composition of the Gospel accordingly (Quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit); Tertullian, who states: "The Gospel which Mark published (edidit is affirmed to be Peter's, whose interpreter Mark was" ("Contra Marc." 4, 5); St. Jerome, who in one place says that Mark wrote a short Gospel at the request of the brethren at Rome, and that Peter authorized it to be read in the Churches ("De Vir. 3." 8), and in another that Mark's Gospel was composed, Peter narrating and Mark writing (Petro narrante et illo scribente — "Ad Hedib." ep. 120). In every one of these ancient authorities Mark is regarded as the writer of the Gospel, which is looked upon at the same time as having Apostolic authority, because substantially at least it had come from St. Peter. In the light of this traditional connexion of he Gospel with St. Peter, there can be no doubt that it is to it St. Justin Martyr, writing in the middle of the second century, refers ("Dial." 106), when he sags that Christ gave the title of "Boanerges" to the sons of Zebedee (a fact mentioned in the New Testament only in Mark 3:17), and that this is written in the "memoirs" of Peter (en tois apopnemaneumasin autou — after he had just named Peter). Though St. Justin does not name Mark as the writer of the memoirs, the fact that his disciple Tatian used our present Mark, including even the last twelve verses, in the composition of the "Diatessaron," makes it practically certain that St. Justin knew our present Second Gospel, and like the other Fathers connected it with St. Peter.

If, then, a consistent and widespread early tradition is to count for anything, St. Mark wrote a work based upon St. Peter's preaching. It is absurd to seek to destroy the force of this tradition by suggesting that all the subsequent authorities relied upon Papias, who may have been deceived. Apart from the utter improbability that Papias, who had spoken with many disciples of the Apostles, could have been deceived on such a question, the fact that Irenæus seems to place the composition of Mark's work after Peter's death, while Origen and other represent the Apostle as approving of it, shows that all do not draw from the same source. Moreover, Clement of Alexandria mentions as his source, not any single authority, but "the elders from the beginning" (ton anekathen presbuteron — Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 6:14). The only question, then, that can be raised with any shadow of reason, is whether St. Mark's work was identical with our present Second Gospel, and on this there is no room for doubt. Early Christian literature knows no trace of an Urmarkus different from our present Gospel, and it is impossible that a work giving the Prince of the Apostles' account of Christ's words and deeds could have disappeared utterly, without leaving any trace behind. Nor can it be said that the original Mark has been worked up into our present Second Gospel, for then, St. Mark not being the actual writer of the present work and its substance being due to St. Peter, there would have been no reason to attribute it to Mark, and it would undoubtedly have been known in the Church, not by the title it bears, but as the "Gospel according to Peter."

Internal evidence strongly confirms the view that our present Second Gospel is the work referred to by Papias. That work, as has been seen, was based on Peter's discourses. Now we learn from Acts (1:21-22; 10:37-41) that Peter's preaching dealt chiefly with the public life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. So our present Mark, confining itself to the same limits, omitting all reference to Christ's birth and private life, such as is found in the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke, and commencing with the preaching of the Baptist, ends with Christ's Resurrection and Ascension. Again (1) the graphic and vivid touches peculiar to our present Second Gospel, its minute notes in regard to (2) persons, (3) places, (4) times, and (5) numbers, point to an eyewitness like Peter as the source of the writer's information. Thus we are told (1) how Jesus took Peter's mother-in-law by the hand and raised her up (1:31), how with anger He looked round about on His critics (3:5), how He took little children into His arms and blessed them and laid His hands upon them (9:35; 10:16), how those who carried the paralytic uncovered the roof (2:3-4), how Christ commanded that the multitude should sit down upon the green grass, and how they sat down in companies, in hundred and in fifties (6:39-40); (2) how James and John left their father in the boat with the hired servants (1:20), how they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John (1:29), how the blind man at Jericho was the son of Timeus (10:46), how Simon of Cyrene was the father of Alexander and Rufus (15:21); (3) how there was no room even about the door of the house where Jesus was (2:2), how Jesus sat in the sea and all the multitude was by the sea on the land (4:1), how Jesus was in the stern of the boat asleep on the pillow (4:38); (4) how on the evening of the Sabbath, when the sun had set, the sick were brought to be cured (1:32), how in the morning, long before day, Christ rose up (1:35), how He was crucified at the third hour (15:25), how the women came to the tomb very early, when the sun had risen (16:2); (5) how the paralytic was carried by four (2:3), how the swine were about two thousand in number (5:13), how Christ began to send forth the Apostles, two and two (6:7). This mass of information which is wanting in the other Synoptics, and of which the above instances are only a sample, proved beyond doubt that the writer of the Second Gospel must have drawn from some independent source, and that this source must have been an eyewitness. And when we reflect that incidents connected with Peter, such as the cure of his mother-in-law and his three denials, are told with special details in this Gospel; that the accounts of the raising to life of the daughter of Jaïrus, of the Transfiguration, and of the Agony in the Garden, three occasions on which only Peter and James and John were present, show special signs of first-hand knowledge (cf. Swete, op. cit., p. 44) such as might be expected in the work of a disciple of Peter (Matthew and Luke may also have relied upon the Petrine tradition for their accounts of these events, but naturally Peter's disciple would be more intimately acquainted with the tradition); finally, when we remember that, though the Second Gospel records with special fullness Peter's three denials, it alone among the Gospels omit all reference to the promise or bestowal upon him of the primacy (cf. Matt. 16:18-19 Luke 22:32; John 21:15-17), we are led to conclude that the eyewitness to whom St. Mark was indebted for his special information was St. Peter himself, and that our present Second Gospel, like Mark's work referred to by Papias, is based upon Peter's discourse. This internal evidence, if it does not actually prove the traditional view regarding the Petrine origin of the Second Gospel, is altogether consistent with it and tends strongly to confirm it.

Original language, vocabulary, and style.

It has always been the common opinion that the Second Gospel was written in Greek, and there is no solid reason to doubt the correctness of this view. We learn from Juvenal (Sat. 3, 60 sq.; 6, 187 sqq.) and Martial (Epig. 14, 58) that Greek was very widely spoken at Rome in the first century. Various influences were at work to spread the language in the capital of the Empire. "Indeed, there was a double tendency which embraced at once classes at both ends of the social scale. On the one hand among slaves and the trading classes there were swarms of Greek and Greek-speaking Orientals. On the other hand in the higher ranks it was the fashion to speak Greek; children were taught it by Greek nurses; and in after life the use of it was carried to the pitch of affectation" (Sanday and Headlam, "Romans," p. 53). We know, too, that it was in Greek St. Paul wrote to the Romans, and from Rome St. Clement wrote to the Church of Corinth in the same language. It is true that some cursive Greek manuscripts of the tenth century or later speak of the Second Gospel as written in Latin (egrathe Romaisti en Rome, but scant and late evidence like this, which is probably only a deduction from the fact that the Gospel was written at Rome, can be allowed on weight. Equally improbable seems the view of Blass (Philol. of the Gosp. 196 sqq.) that the Gospel was originally written in Aramaic. The arguments advanced by Blass (cf. also Allen in "Expositor," 6th series, 1, 436 sqq.) merely show at most that Mark may have thought in Aramaic; and naturally his simple, colloquial Greek discloses much of the native Aramaic tinge. Blass indeed urges that the various readings in the manuscripts of Mark, and the variations in Patristic quotations from the Gospel, are relics of different translations of an Aramaic original, but the instances he adduces in support of this are quite inconclusive. An Aramaic original is absolutely incompatible with the testimony of Papias, who evidently contrasts the work of Peter's interpreter with the Aramaic work of Matthew. It is incompatible, too, with the testimony of all the other Fathers, who represent the Gospel as written by Peter's interpreter for the Christians of Rome.

The vocabulary of the Second Gospel embraces 1330 distinct words, of which 60 are proper names. Eighty words, exclusive of proper names, are not found elsewhere in the New Testament; this, however, is a small number in comparison with more than 250 peculiar words found in the Gospel of St. Luke. Of St. Mark's words, 150 are shared only by the other two Synoptists; 15 are shared only by St. John (Gospel); and 12 others by one or other of the Synoptists and St. John. Though the words found but once in the New Testament (apax legomena) are not relatively numerous in the Second Gospel, they are often remarkable; we meet with words rare in later Greek such as (eiten, paidiothen, with colloquialisms like (kenturion, xestes, spekoulator), and with transliterations such as korban, taleitha koum, ephphatha, rabbounei (cf. Swete, op. cit., p. 47). Of the words peculiar to St. Mark about one-fourth are non-classical, while among those peculiar to St. Matthew or to St. Luke the proportion of non-classical words is only about one-seventh (cf. Hawkins, "Hor. Synopt." 171). On the whole, the vocabulary of the Second Gospel points to the writer as a foreigner who was well acquainted with colloquial Greek, but a comparative stranger to the literary use of the language.

St. Mark's style is clear, direct, terse, and picturesque, if at times a little harsh. He makes very frequent use of participles, is fond of the historical present, of direct narration, of double negatives, of the copious use of adverbs to define and emphasize his expressions. He varies his tenses very freely, sometimes to bring out different shades of meaning (7:35; 15:44), sometimes apparently to give life to a dialogue (9:34; 11:27). The style is often most compressed, a great deal being conveyed in very few words (1:13, 27; 12:38-40), yet at other times adverbs and synonyms and even repetitions are used to heighten the impression and lend colour to the picture. Clauses are generally strung together in the simplest way by kai; de is not used half as frequently as in Matthew or Luke; while oun occurs only five times in the entire Gospel. Latinisms are met with more frequently than in the other Gospels, but this does not prove that Mark wrote in Latin or even understood the language. It proves merely that he was familiar with the common Greek of the Roman Empire, which freely adopted Latin words and, to some extent, Latin phraseology (cf. Blass, "Philol. of the Gosp." 211 sq.), Indeed such familiarity with what we may call Roman Greek strongly confirms the traditional view that Mark was an "interpreter" who spent some time at Rome.

State of text and integrity.

The text of the Second Gospel, as indeed of all the Gospels, is excellently attested. It is contained in all the primary unical manuscripts, C, however, not having the text complete, in all the more important later unicals, in the great mass of cursives; in all the ancient versions: Latin (both Vet. It., in its best manuscripts, and Vulg.), Syriac (Pesh., Curet., Sin., Harcl., Palest.), Coptic (Memph. and Theb.), Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic; and it is largely attested by Patristic quotations. Some textual problems, however, still remain, e.g. whether Gerasenon or Gergesenon is to be read in 5:50, eporei or epoiei in 6:20, and whether the difficult autou, attested by B, Aleph, A, L, or autes is to be read in 6:20. But the great textual problem of the Gospel concerns the genuineness of the last twelve verses. Three conclusions of the Gospel are known: the long conclusion, as in our Bibles, containing verses 9-20, the short one ending with verse 8 (ephoboumto gar), and an intermediate form which (with some slight variations) runs as follows: "And they immediately made known all that had been commanded to those about Peter. And after this, Jesus Himself appeared to them, and through them sent forth from East to West the holy and incorruptible proclamation of the eternal salvation." Now this third form may be dismissed at once. Four unical manuscripts, dating from the seventh to the ninth century, give it, indeed, after 26:9, but each of them also makes reference to the longer ending as an alternative (for particulars cf. Swete, op. cit., pp. 105-107). It stands also in the margin of the cursive Manuscript 274, in the margin of the Harclean Syriac and of two manuscripts of the Memphitic version; and in a few manuscripts of the Ethiopic it stands between verse 8 and the ordinary conclusion. Only one authority, the Old Latin k, gives it alone (in a very corrupt rendering), without any reference to the longer form. Such evidence, especially when compared with that for the other two endings, can have no weight, and in fac0t, no scholar regards this intermediate conclusion as having any titles to acceptance.

We may pass on, then, to consider how the case stands between the long conclusion and the short, i.e. between accepting 16:9-20, as a genuine portion of the original Gospel, or making the original end with 16:8. In favour of the short ending Eusebius ("Quaest. ad Marin.") is appealed to as saying that an apologist might get rid of any difficulty arising from a comparison of Matt. 28:50, with Mark 16:9, in regard to the hour of Christ's Resurrection, by pointing out that the passage in Mark beginning with verse 9 is not contained in all the manuscripts of the Gospel. The historian then goes on himself to say that in nearly all the manuscripts of Mark, at least, in the accurate ones (schedon en apasi tois antigraphois . . . ta goun akribe, the Gospel ends with 16:8. It is true, Eusebius gives a second reply which the apologist might make, and which supposes the genuineness of the disputed passage, and he says that this latter reply might be made by one "who did not dare to set aside anything whatever that was found in any way in the Gospel writing." But the whole passage shows clearly enough that Eusebius was inclined to reject everything after 16:8. It is commonly held, too, that he did not apply his canons to the disputed verses, thereby showing clearly that he did not regard them as a portion of the original text. St. Jerome also says in one place ("Ad. Hedib.") that the passage was wanting in nearly all Greek manuscripts (omnibus Græciæ libris poene hoc capitulum in fine non habentibus), but he quotes it elsewhere ("Comment. on Matt."; "Ad Hedib."), and, as we know, he incorporated it in the Vulgate. It is quite clear that the whole passage, where Jerome makes the statement about the disputed verses being absent from Greek manuscripts, is borrowed almost verbatim from Eusebius, and it may be doubted whether his statement really adds any independent weight to the statement of Eusebius. It seems most likely also that Victor of Antioch, the first commentator of the Second Gospel, regarded 16:8, as the conclusion. If we add to this that the Gospel ends with 16:, in the two oldest Greek manuscripts, B and Aleph, in the Sin. Syriac and in a few Ethiopic manuscripts, and that the cursive Manuscript 22 and some Armenian manuscripts indicate doubt as to whether the true ending is at verse 8 or verse 20, we have mentioned all the evidence that can be adduced in favour of the short conclusion. The external evidence in favour of the long, or ordinary, conclusion is exceedingly strong. The passage stands in all the great unicals except B and Aleph — in A, C, (D), E, F, G, H, K, M, (N), S, U, V, X, Gamma, Delta, (Pi, Sigma), Omega, Beth — in all the cursives, in all the Latin manuscripts (O.L. and Vulg.) except k, in all the Syriac versions except the Sinaitic (in the Pesh., Curet., Harcl., Palest.), in the Coptic, Gothic, and most manuscripts of the Armenian. It is cited or alluded to, in the fourth century, by Aphraates, the Syriac Table of Canons, Macarius Magnes, Didymus, the Syriac Acts of the Apostles, Leontius, Pseudo-Ephraem, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Ambrose, Augustine, and Chrysostom; in the third century, by Hippolytus, Vincentius, the "Acts of Pilate," the "Apostolic Constitutions," and probably by Celsus; in the second, by Irenæus most explicitly as the end of Mark's Gospel ("In fine autem evangelii ait Marcus et quidem dominus Jesus," etc. — Mark 16:19), by Tatian in the "Diatessaron," and most probably by Justin ("Apol. 1," 45) and Hermas (Pastor 9, 25:2). Moreover, in the fourth century certainly, and probably in the third, the passage was used in the Liturgy of the Greek Church, sufficient evidence that no doubt whatever was entertained as to its genuineness. Thus, if the authenticity of the passage were to be judged by external evidence alone, there could hardly be any doubt about it.

Much has been made of the silence of some third and fourth century Father, their silence being interpreted to mean that they either did not know the passage or rejected it. Thus Tertullian, SS. Cyprian, Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Cyril of Alexandria are appealed to. In the case of Tertullian and Cyprian there is room for some doubt, as they might naturally enough to be expected to have quoted or alluded to Mark, xvi, 16, if they received it; but the passage can hardly have been unknown to Athanasius (298-373), since it was received by Didymus (309-394), his contemporary in Alexandria (P.G. XXXIX, 687), nor to Basil, seeing it was received by his younger brother Gregory of Nyssa (P.G. XXXXVI, 652), nor to Gregory of Nazianzus, since it was known to his younger brother Cæsarius (P.G. XXXVIII, 1178); and as to Cyril of Alexandria, he actually quotes it from Nestorius (P.G. LXXVI, 85). The only serious difficulties are created by its omission in B and Aleph and by the statements of Eusebius and Jerome. But Tischendorf proved to demonstration (Proleg., p. 20:50 sqq.) that the two famous manuscripts are not here two independent witnesses, because the scribe of B copies the leaf in Aleph on which our passage stands. Moreover, in both manuscripts, the scribe, though concluding with verse 8, betrays knowledge that something more followed either in his archetype or in other manuscripts, for in B, contrary to his custom, he leaves more than a column vacant after verse 8, and in Aleph verse 8 is followed by an elaborate arabesque, such as is met with nowhere else in the whole manuscript, showing that the scribe was aware of the existence of some conclusion which he meant deliberately to exclude (cf. Cornely, "Introd." 3:96-99; Salmon, "Introd." 144-48). Thus both manuscripts bear witness to the existence of a conclusion following after verse 8, which they omit. Whether B and Aleph are two of the fifty manuscripts which Constantine commissioned Eusebius to have copies for his new capital we cannot be sure; but at all events they were written at a time when the authority of Eusebius was paramount in Biblical criticism, and probably their authority is but the authority of Eusebius. The real difficulty, therefore, against the passage, from external evidence, is reduced to what Eusebius and St. Jerome say about its omission in so many Greek manuscripts, and these, as Eusebius says, the accurate ones. But whatever be the explanation of this omission, it must be remembered that, as we have seen above, the disputed verses were widely known and received long before the time of Eusebius. Dean Burgon, while contending for the genuineness of the verses, suggested that the omission might have come about as follows. One of the ancient church lessons ended with Mark, 16:8, and Burgon suggested that the telos, which would stand at the end of such lesson, may have misled some scribe who had before him a copy of the Four Gospels in which Mark stood last, and from which the last leaf, containing the disputed verses, was missing. Given one such defective copy, and supposing it fell into the hands of ignorant scribes, the error might easily be spread. Others have suggested that the omission is probably to be traced to Alexandria. That Church ended the Lenten fast and commenced the celebration of Easter at midnight, contrary to the custom of most Churches, which waited for cock-crow (cf. Dionysius of Alexandria in P.G. X, 1272 sq.). Now Mark 16:9: "But he rising early," etc., might easily be taken to favour the practice of the other Churches, and it is suggested that the Alexandrians may have omitted verse 9 and what follows from their lectionaries, and from these the omission might pass on into manuscripts of the Gospel. Whether there be any force in these suggestions, they point at any rate to ways in which it was possible that the passage, though genuine, should have been absent from a number of manuscripts in the time of Eusebius; while, on the other and, if the verses were not written by St. Mar, it is extremely hard to understand how they could have been so widely received in the second century as to be accepted by Tatian and Irenæus, and probably by Justin and Hermas, and find a place in the Old Latin and Syriac Versions.

When we turn to the internal evidence, the number, and still more the character, of the peculiarities is certainly striking. The following words or phrases occur nowhere else in the Gospel: prote sabbaton (v. 9), not found again in the New Testament, instead of te[s] mia[s] [ton] sabbaton (v. 2), ekeinos used absolutely (10, 11, 20), poreuomai (10, 12, 15), theaomai (11, 14), apisteo (11, 16), meta tauta and eteros (12), parakoloutheo and en to onomati (17), ho kurios (19, 20), pantachou, sunergeo, bebaioo, epakoloutheo (20). Instead of the usual connexion by kai and an occasional de, we have meta de tauta (12), husteron [de] (14), ho men oun (19), ekeinoi de (20). Then it is urged that the subject of verse 9 has not been mentioned immediately before; that Mary Magdalen seems now to be introduced for the first time, though in fact she has been mentioned three times in the preceding sixteen verses; that no reference is made to an appearance of the Lord in Galilee, though this was to be expected in view of the message of verse 7. Comparatively little importance attached to the last three points, for the subject of verse 9 is sufficiently obvious from the context; the reference to Magdalen as the woman out of whom Christ had cast seven devils is explicable here, as showing the loving mercy of the Lord to one who before had been so wretched; and the mention of an appearance in Galilee was hardly necessary. the important thing being to prove, as this passage does, that Christ was really risen from the dead, and that His Apostles, almost against their wills, were forced to believe the fact. But, even when this is said, the cumulative force of the evidence against the Marcan origin of the passage is considerable. Some explanation indeed can be offered of nearly every point (cf. Knabenbauer, "Comm. in Marc." 445-47), but it is the fact that in the short space of twelve verse so many points require explanation that constitutes the strength of the evidence. There is nothing strange about the use, in a passage like this, of many words rare with he author. Only in the last character is apisteo used by St. Luke also (Luke 24:11, 41), eteros is used only once in St. John's Gospel (19:37), and parakoloutheo is used only once by St. Luke (1:3). Besides, in other passages St. Mark uses many words that are not found in the Gospel outside the particular passage. In the ten verses, Mark 4:20-29, the writer has found fourteen words (fifteen, if phanerousthai of 16:12, be not Marcan) which occur nowhere else in the Gospel. But, as was said, it is the combination of so many peculiar features, not only of vocabulary, but of matter and construction, that leaves room for doubt as to the Marcan authorship of the verses.

In weighing the internal evidence, however, account must be take of the improbability of the Evangelist's concluding with verse 8. Apart from the unlikelihood of his ending with the participle gar, he could never deliberately close his account of the "good news" (1:50) with the note of terror ascribed in 16:8, to some of Christ's followers. Nor could an Evangelist, especially a disciple of St. Peter, willingly conclude his Gospel without mentioning some appearance of the risen Lord (Acts, 1:22; 10:37-41). If, then, Mark concluded with verse 8, it must have been because he died or was interrupted before he could write more. But tradition points to his living on after the Gospel was completed, since it represents him as bringing the work with him to Egypt or as handing it over to the Roman Christians who had asked for it. Nor is it easy to understand how, if he lived on, he could have been so interrupted as to be effectually prevented from adding, sooner or later, even a short conclusion. Not many minutes would have been needed to write such a passage as 16:9-20, and even if it was his desire, as Zahn without reason suggests (Introd. 2, 479), to add some considerable portions to the work, it is still inconceivable how he could have either circulated it himself or allowed his friends to circulate it without providing it with at least a temporary and provisional conclusion. In every hypothesis, then, 16:8, seems an impossible ending, and we are forced to conclude either that the true ending is lost or that we have it in the disputed verses. Now, it is not easy to see how it could have been lost. Zahn affirms that it has never been established nor made probable that even a single complete sentence of the New Testament has disappeared altogether from the text transmitted by the Church (Introd. 2, 477). In the present case, if the true ending were lost during Mark's lifetime, the question at once occurs: Why did he not replace it? And it is difficult to understand how it could have been lost after his death, for before then, unless he died within a few days from the completion of the Gospel, it must have been copied, and it is most unlikely that the same verses could have disappeared from several copies.

It will be seen from this survey of the question that there is no justification for the confident statement of Zahn that "It may be regarded as one of the most certain of critical conclusions, that the words ephobounto gar, 16:8, are the last words in the book which were written by the author himself" (Introd. 2, 467). Whatever be the fact, it is not at all certain that Mark did not write the disputed verses. It may be that he did not; that they are from the pen of some other inspired writer, and were appended to the Gospel in the first century or the beginning of the second. An Armenian manuscript, written in A.D. 986, ascribes them to a presbyter named Ariston, who may be the same with the presbyter Aristion, mentioned by Papias as a contemporary of St. John in Asia. Christians are not bound to hold that the verses were written by St. Mark. But they are canonical Scripture, for the Council of Trent (Sess. 4), in defining that all the parts of the Sacred Books are to be received as sacred and canonical, had especially in view the disputed parts of the Gospels, of which this conclusion of Mark is one (cf. Theiner, "Acta gen. Conc. Trid." 1, 71 sq.). Hence, whoever wrote the verses, they are inspired, and must be received as such by every Christian.

Place and date of composition.

It is certain that the Gospel was written at Rome. St. Chrysostom indeed speaks of Egypt as the place of composition ("Hom. 1, on Matt." 3), but he probably misunderstood Eusebius, who says that Mark was sent to Egypt and preached there the Gospel which he had written ("Hist. Eccl." 2:16). Some few modern scholars have adopted the suggestion of Richard Simon ("Hist. crit. du Texte du N.T." 1689, 107) that the Evangelist may have published both a Roman and an Egyptian edition of the Gospel. But this view is sufficiently refuted by the silence of the Alexandrian Fathers. Other opinions, such as that the Gospel was written in Asia Minor or at Syrian Antioch, are not deserving of any consideration.

The date of the Gospel is uncertain. The external evidence is not decisive, and the internal does not assist very much. St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Tertullian, and St. Jerome signify that it was written before St. Peter's death. The subscription of many of the later unical and cursive manuscripts states that it was written in the tenth or twelfth year after the Ascension (A.D. 38-40). The "Paschal Chronicle" assigns it to A.D. 40, and the "Chronicle" of Eusebius to the third year of Claudius (A.D. 43). Possibly these early dates may be only a deduction from the tradition that Peter came to Rome in the second year of Claudius, A.D. 42 (cf. Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 2:14; Jer., "De Vir. 3." 1). St. Irenæus, on the other hand, seems to place the composition of the Gospel after the death of Peter and Paul (meta de ten touton exodon — "Adv. Hær." 3, 1). Papias, too, asserting that Mark wrote according to his recollection of Peter's discourses, has been taken to imply that Peter was dead. This, however, does not necessarily follow from the words of Papias, for Peter might have been absent from Rome. Besides, Clement of Alexandria (Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 6:14) seems to say that Peter was alive and in Rome at the time Mark wrote, though he gave the Evangelist no help in his work. There is left, therefore, the testimony of St. Irenæus against that of all the other early witnesses; and it is an interesting fact that most present-day Rationalist and Protestant scholars prefer to follow Irenæus and accept the later date for Mark's Gospel, though they reject almost unanimously the saint's testimony, given in the same context and supported by all antiquity, in favour of the priority of Matthew's Gospel to Mark's. Various attempts have been made to explain the passage in Irenæus so as to bring him into agreement with the other early authorities, but to the present writer they appear unsuccessful if the existing text must be regarded as correct. It seems much more reasonable, however, to believe that Irenæus was mistaken than that all the other authorities are in error, and hence the external evidence would show that Mark wrote before Peter's death (A.D. 64 or 67).

From internal evidence we can conclude that the Gospel was written before A.D. 70, for there is no allusion to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, such as might naturally be expected in view of the prediction in 13:2, if that event had already taken place. On the other hand, if 16:20: "But they going forth preached everywhere," be from St. Mark's pen, the Gospel cannot well have been written before the close of the first Apostolic journey of St. Paul (A.D. 49 or 50), for it is seen from Acts, 14:26; 15:3, that only then had the conversion of the Gentiles begun on any large scale. Of course it is possible that previous to this the Apostles had preached far and wide among the dispersed Jews, but, on the whole, it seems more probable that the last verse of the Gospel, occurring in a work intended for European readers, cannot have been written before St. Paul's arrival in Europe (A.D. 50-51). Taking the external and internal evidence together, we may conclude that the date of the Gospel probably lies somewhere between A.D. 50 and 67.

Destination and purpose.

Tradition represents the Gospel as written primarily for Roman Christians (see above, 2), and internal evidence, if it does not quite prove the truth of this view, is altogether in accord with it. The language and customs of the Jews are supposed to be unknown to at least some of the readers. Hence terms like Boanerges (3:17), korban (7:11), ephphatha (7:34) are interpreted; Jewish customs are explained to illustrate the narrative (7:3-4; 14:12); the situation of the Mount of Olives in relation to the Temple is pointed out (13:3); the genealogy of Christ is omitted; and the Old Testament is quoted only once (1:2-3; 15:28, is omitted by B, Aleph, A, C, D, X). Moreover, the evidence, as far as it goes, points to Roman readers. Pilate and his office are supposed to be known (15:50 — cf. Matt. 27:2; Luke 3:50); other coins are reduced to their value in Roman money (12:42); Simon of Cyrene is said to be the father of Alexander and Rufus (15:21), a fact of no importance in itself, but mentioned probably because Rufus was known to the Roman Christians (Rom. 16:13); finally, Latinisms, or uses of vulgar Greek, such as must have been particularly common in a cosmopolitan city like Rome, occur more frequently than in the other Gospels (5:9, 15; 6:37; 15:39, 44; etc.).

The Second Gospel has no such statement of its purpose as is found in the Third and Fourth (Luke 1:1-3; John 20:31). The Tübingen critics long regarded it as a "Tendency" writing, composed for the purpose of mediating between and reconciling the Petrine and Pauline parties in the early Church. Other Rationalists have seen in it an attempt to allay the disappointment of Christians at the delay of Christ's Coming, and have held that its object was to set forth the Lord's earthly life in such a manner as to show that apart from His glorious return He had sufficiently attested the Messianic character of His mission. But there is no need to have recourse to Rationalists to learn the purpose of the Gospel. The Fathers witness that it was written to put into permanent form for the Roman Church the discourses of St. Peter, nor is there reason to doubt this. And the Gospel itself shows clearly enough that Mark meant, by the selection he made from Peter's discourses, to prove to the Roman Christians, and still more perhaps to those who might think of becoming Christians, that Jesus was the Almighty Son of God. To this end, instead of quoting prophecy, as Matthew does to prove that Jesus was the Messias, he sets forth in graphic language Christ's power over all nature, as evidenced by His miracles. The dominant note of the whole Gospel is sounded in the very first verse: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God" (the words "Son of God" are removed from the text by Westcott and Hort, but quite improperly — cf. Knabenb., "Comm. in Marc." 23), and the Evangelist's main purpose throughout seems to be to prove the truth of this title and of the centurion's verdict: "Indeed this man was (the) son of God" (15:39).

Relation to Matthew and Luke.

The three Synoptic Gospels cover to a large extent the same ground. Mark, however, has nothing corresponding to the first two chapters of Matthew or the first two of Luke, very little to represent most of the long discourses of Christ in Matthew, and perhaps nothing quite parallel to the long section in Luke 9:51-28:14. On the other hand, he has very little that is not found in either or both of the other two Synoptists, the amount of matter that is peculiar to the Second Gospel, if it were all put together, amounting only to less than sixty verses. In the arrangement of the common matter the three Gospels differ very considerably up to the point where Herod Antipas is said to have heard of the fame of Jesus (Matt. 13:58; Mark 4:13; Luke 9:6). From this point onward the order of events is practically the same in all three, except that Matthew (26:10) seems to say that Jesus cleansed the Temple the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and cursed the fig tree only on the following day, while Mark assigns both events to the following day, and places the cursing of the fig tree before the cleansing of the Temple; and while Matthew seems to say that the effect of the curse and the astonishment of the disciples thereat followed immediately. Mark says that it was only on the following day the disciples saw that the tree was withered from the roots (Matt. 21:12-20; Mark 11:11-21). It is often said, too, that Luke departs from Mark's arrangement in placing the disclosure of the traitor after the institution of the Blessed Eucharist, but it, as seems certain, the traitor was referred to many times during the Supper, this difference may be more apparent than real (Mark 14:18-24; Luke 22:19-23). And not only is there this considerable agreement as to subject-matter and arrangement, but in many passages, some of considerable length, there is such coincidence of words and phrases that it is impossible to believe the accounts to be wholly independent. On the other hand, side by side with this coincidence, there is strange and frequently recurring divergence. "Let any passage common to the three Synoptists be put to the test. The phenomena presented will be much as follows: first, perhaps, we shall have three, five, or more words identical; then as many wholly distinct; then two clauses or more expressed in the same words, but differing in order; then a clause contained in one or two, and not in the third; then several words identical; then a clause or two not only wholly distinct, but apparently inconsistent; and so forth; with recurrences of the same arbitrary and anomalous alterations, coincidences, and transpositions.

The question then arises, how are we to explain this very remarkable relation of the three Gospels to each other, and, in particular, for our present purpose, how are we to explain the relation of Mark of the other two? At the outset may be put aside, in the writer's opinion, the theory of the common dependence of the three Gospels upon oral tradition, for, except in a very modified form, it is incapable by itself alone of explaining all the phenomena to be accounted for. It seems impossible that an oral tradition could account for the extraordinary similarity between, e.g. Mark 2:10-11, and its parallels. Literary dependence or connexion of some kind must be admitted, and the questions is, what is the nature of that dependence or connexion? Does Mark depend upon Matthew, or upon both Matthew and Luke, or was it prior to and utilized in both, or are all three, perhaps, connected through their common dependence upon earlier documents or through a combination of some of these causes? In reply, it is to be noted, in the first place, that all early tradition represents St. Matthew's Gospel as the first written; and this must be understood of our present Matthew, for Eusebius, with the work of Papias before him, had no doubt whatever that it was our present Matthew which Papias held to have been written in Hebrew (Aramaic). The order of the Gospels, according to the Fathers and early writers who refer to the subject, was Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Clement of Alexandria is alone in signifying that Luke wrote before Mark (Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 6:14, in P.G., XX, 552), and not a single ancient writer held that Mark wrote before Matthew. St. Augustine, assuming the priority of Matthew, attempted to account for the relations of the first two Gospels by holding that the second is a compendium of the first (Matthæum secutus tanquam pedisequus et breviator — "De Consens. Evang." 1, 2). But, as soon as the serious study of the Synoptic Problem began, it was seen that this view could not explain the facts, and it was abandoned. The dependence of Mark's Gospel upon Matthew's however, though not after the manner of a compendium, is still strenuously advocated. Zahn holds that the Second Gospel is dependent on the Aramaic Matthew as well as upon Peter's discourses for its matter, and, to some extent, for its order; and that the Greek Matthew is in turn dependent upon Mark for its phraseology. So, too, Besler ("Einleitung in das N.T." 1889) and Bonaccorsi ("I tre primi Vangeli," 1904). It will be seen at once that this view is in accordance with tradition in regard to the priority of Matthew, and it also explains the similarities in the first two Gospels. Its chief weakness seems to the present writer to lie in its inability to explain some of Mark's omissions. It is very hard to see, for instance, why, if St. Mark had the First Gospel before him, he omitted all reference to the cure of the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:5-13). This miracle, by reason of its relation to a Roman officer, ought to have had very special interest for Roman readers, and it is extremely difficult to account for its omission by St. Mark, if he had St. Matthew's Gospel before him. Again, St. Matthew relates that when, after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus had come to the disciples, walking on water, those who were in the boat "came and adored him, saying: Indeed Thou art [the] Son of God" (Matt. 14:33). Now, Mark's report of the incident is: "And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased; and they were exceedingly amazed within themselves: for they understood not concerning the loaves, but their heart was blinded" (Mark 6:51-52). Thus Mark makes no reference to the adoration, nor to the striking confession of the disciples that Jesus was [the] Son of God. How can we account for this, if he had Matthew's report before him? Once more, Matthew relates that, on the occasion of Peter's confession of Christ near Cæsarea Philippi, Peter said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). But Mark's report of this magnificent confession is merely: "Peter answering said to him: Thou art the Christ" (Mark 8:29). It appears impossible to account for the omission here of the words: "the Son of the living God," words which make the special glory of this confession, if Mark made use of the First Gospel. It would seem, therefore, that the view which makes the Second Gospel dependent upon the First is not satisfactory.

The prevailing view at the present among Protestant scholars and not a few Chrisitans, in America and England as well as in Germany, is that St. Mark's Gospel is prior to St. Matthew's, and used in it as well as in St. Luke's. Thus Gigot writes: "The Gospel according to Mark was written first and utilized by the other two Synoptics" ("The New York Review," Sept.-Dec. 1907). So too Bacon, Yale Divinity School: "It appears that the narrative material of Matthew is simply that of Mark transferred to form a framework for the masses of discourse" . . . "We find here positive proof of dependence by our Matthew on our Mark" (Introd. to the N.T. 1905, 186-89). Allen, art. "Matthew" in "The International Critical Commentary," speaks of the priority of the Second to the other two Synoptic Gospels as "the one solid result of literary criticism"; and Burkitt in "The Gospel History" (1907), 37, writes: "We are bound to conclude that Mark contains the whole of a document which Matthew and Luke have independently used, and, further, that Mark contains very little else beside. This conclusion is extremely important; it is the one solid contribution made by the scholarship of the nineteenth century towards the solution of the Synoptic Problem." See also Hawkins, "Horæ Synopt." (1899), 122; Salmond in Hast., "Dict. of the Bible," 3, 261; Plummer, "Gospel of Matthew" (1909), p. 11; Stanton, "The Gospels as Historical Documents" (1909), 30-37; Jackson, "Cambridge Biblical Essays" (1909), 455.

Yet, notwithstanding the wide acceptance this theory has gained, it may be doubted whether it can enable us to explain all the phenomena of the first two, Gospels; Orr, "The Resurrection of Jesus" (1908), 61-72, does not think it can, nor does Zahn (Introd. 2, 601-17), some of whose arguments against it have not yet been grappled with. It offers indeed a ready explanation of the similarities in language between the two Gospels, but so does Zahn's theory of the dependence of the Greek Matthew upon Mark. It helps also to explain the order of the two Gospels, and to account for certain omissions in Matthew (cf. especially Allen, op. cit., pp. 31-34). But it leaves many differences unexplained. Why, for instance, should Matthew, if he had Mark's Gospel before him, omit reference to the singular fact recorded by Mark that Christ in the desert was with the wild beasts (Mark 1:13)? Why should he omit (Matt. 4:17) from Mark's summary of Christ's first preaching, "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15), the very important words "Believe in the Gospel," which were so appropriate to the occasion? Why should he (4:21) omit oligon and tautologically add "two brothers" to Mark 1:19, or fail (4:22) to mention "the hired servants" with whom the sons of Zebedee left their father in the boat (Mark 1:20), especially since, as Zahn remarks, the mention would have helped to save their desertion of their father from the appearance of being unfilial. Why, again, should he omit 8:28-34, the curious fact that though the Gadarene demoniac after his cure wished to follow in the company of Jesus, he was not permitted, but told to go home and announce to his friends what great things the Lord had done for him (Mark 5:18-19). How is it that Matthew has no reference to the widow's mite and Christ's touching comment thereon (Mark 12:41-44) nor to the number of the swine (Matt. 8:3-34; Mark 5:13), nor to the disagreement of the witnesses who appeared against Christ? (Matt. 26:60; Mark 14:56, 59).

It is surely strange too, if he had Mark's Gospel before him, that he should seem to represent so differently the time of the women's visit to the tomb, the situation of the angel that appeared to them and the purpose for which they came (Matt. 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6). Again, even when we admit that Matthew is grouping in chapters 8-9, it is hard to see any satisfactory reason why, if he had Mark's Gospel before him, he should so deal with the Marcan account of Christ's earliest recorded miracles as not only to omit the first altogether, but to make the third and second with Mark respectively the first and third with himself (Matt. 8:1 15; Mark 1:23-31; 40-45). Allen indeed. (op. cit., p. 15-16) attempts an explanation of this strange omission and inversion in the eighth chapter of Matthew, but it is not convincing. For other difficulties see Zahn, "Introd." 2:616-617. On the whole, then, it appears premature to regard this theory of the priority of Mark as finally established, especially when we bear in mind that it is opposed to all the early evidence of the priority of Matthew. The question is still sub judice, and notwithstanding the immense labour bestowed upon it, further patient inquiry is needed.

It may possibly be that the solution of the peculiar relations between Matthew and Mark is to be found neither in the dependence of both upon oral tradition nor in the dependence of either upon the other, but in the use by one or both of previous documents. If we may suppose, and Luke 1:50, gives ground for the supposition, that Matthew had access to a document written probably in Aramaic, embodying the Petrine tradition, he may have combined with it one or more other documents, containing chiefly Christ's discourses, to form his Aramaic Gospel. But the same Petrine tradition, perhaps in a Greek form, might have been known to Mark also; for the early authorities hardly oblige us to hold that he made no use of pre-existing documents. Papias (apud Eus., "H.E." 3, 39; P.G. XX, 297) speaks of him as writing down some things as he remembered them, and if Clement of Alexandria (ap. Eus., "H.E." 6, 14; P.G. XX, 552) represents the Romans as thinking that he could write everything from memory, it does not at all follow that he did. Let us suppose, then, that Matthew embodied the Petrine tradition in his Aramaic Gospel, and that Mark afterwards used it or rather a Greek form of it somewhat different, combining with it reminiscences of Peter's discourses. If, in addition to this, we suppose the Greek translator of Matthew to have made use of our present Mark for his phraseology, we have quite a possible means of accounting for the similarities and dissimilarities of our first two Gospels, and we are free at the same time to accept the traditional view in regard to the priority of Matthew. Luke might then be held to have used our present Mark or perhaps an earlier form of the Petrine tradition, combining with it a source or sources which it does not belong to the present article to consider.

Of course the existence of early documents, such as are here supposed, cannot be directly proved, unless the spade should chance to disclose them; but it is not at all improbable. It is reasonable to think that not many years elapsed after Christ's death before attempts were made to put into written form some account of His words and works. Luke tells us that many such attempts had been made before he wrote; and it needs no effort to believe that the Petrine form of the Gospel had been committed to writing before the Apostles separated; that it disappeared afterwards would not be wonderful, seeing that it was embodied in the Gospels. It is hardly necessary to add that the use of earlier documents by an inspired writer is quite intelligible. Grace does not dispense with nature nor, as a rule, inspiration with ordinary, natural means. The writer of the Second Book of Machabees states distinctly that his book is an abridgment of an earlier work (2 Mach. 2:24, 27), and St. Luke tells us that before undertaking to write his Gospel he had inquired diligently into all things from the beginning (Luke 1:50).

There is no reason, therefore, why Christians should be timid about admitting, if necessary, the dependence of the inspired evangelists upon earlier documents, and, in view of the difficulties against the other theories, it is well to bear this possibility in mind in attempting to account for the puzzling relations of Mark to the other two synoptists.


3. Gospel of Saint Luke.

The name Lucas (Luke) is probably an abbreviation from Lucanus, like Annas from Ananus, Apollos from Apollonius, Artemas from Artemidorus, Demas from Demetrius, etc. (Schanz, "Evang. des heiligen Lucas," 1, 2; Lightfoot on "Col." 4:14; Plummer, "St. Luke," introd.) The word Lucas seems to have been unknown before the Christian Era; but Lucanus is common in inscriptions, and is found at the beginning and end of the Gospel in some Old Latin manuscripts (ibid.). It is generally held that St. Luke was a native of Antioch. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 3, 4:6) has: Loukas de to men genos on ton ap Antiocheias, ten episteuen iatros, ta pleista suggegonos to Paulo, kai rots laipois de ou parergos ton apostolon homilnkos — "Lucas vero domo Antiochenus, arte medicus, qui et cum Paulo diu conjunctissime vixit, et cum reliquis Apostolis studiose versatus est." Eusebius has a clearer statement in his "Quæstiones Evangelicæ," 4, 1:270: ho de Loukas to men genos apo tes Boomenes Antiocheias en — "Luke was by birth a native of the renowned Antioch" (Schmiedel, "Encyc. Bib."). Spitta, Schmiedel, and Harnack think this is a quotation from Julius Africanus (first half of the third century). In Codex Bezæ (D) Luke is introduced by a "we" as early as Acts, 11:28; and, though this is not a correct reading, it represents a very ancient tradition. The writer of Acts took a special interest in Antioch and was well acquainted with it (Acts 11:19-27; 13:1; 14:18-25, 15:22-35; 18:22). We are told the locality of only one deacon, "Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch," 6:5; and it has been pointed out by Plummer that, out of eight writers who describe scribe the Russian campaign of 1812, only two, who were Scottish, mention that the Russian general, Barclay de Tolly, was of Scottish extraction. These considerations seem to exclude the conjecture of Renan and Ramsay that St. Luke was a native of Philippi.

St. Luke was not a Jew. He is separated by St. Paul from those of the circumcision (Col. 4:14), and his style proves that he was a Greek. Hence he cannot be identified with Lucius the prophet of Acts, 13:1, nor with Lucius of Rom. 16:21, who was cognatus of St. Paul. From this and the prologue of the Gospel it follows that Epiphanius errs when he calls him one of the Seventy Disciples; nor was he the companion of Cleophas in the journey to Emmaus after the Resurrection (as stated by Theophylact and the Greek Menol.). St. Luke had a great knowledge of the Septuagint and of things Jewish, which he acquired either as a Jewish proselyte (St. Jerome) or after he became a Christian, through his close intercourse with the Apostles and disciples. Besides Greek, he had many opportunities of acquiring Aramaic in his native Antioch, the capital of Syria. He was a physician by profession, and St. Paul calls him "the most dear physician" (Col. 4:14). This avocation implied a liberal education, and his medical training is evidenced by his choice of medical language. Plummer suggests that he may have studied medicine at the famous school of Tarsus, the rival of Alexandria and Athens, and possibly met St. Paul there. From his intimate knowledge of the eastern Mediterranean, it has been conjectured that he had lengthened experience as a doctor on board ship. He travailed a good deal, and sends greetings to the Colossians, which seems to indicate that he had visited them.

St. Luke first appears in the Acts at Troas (16:8 sqq.), where he meets St. Paul, and, after the vision, crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist, landing at Neapolis and going on to Philippi, "being assured that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them" (note especially the transition into first person plural at verse 10). He was, therefore, already an Evangelist. He was present at the conversion of Lydia and her companions, and lodged in her house. He, together with St. Paul and his companions, was recognized by the pythonical spirit: "This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who preach unto you the way of salvation" (verse 17). He beheld Paul and Silas arrested, dragged before the Roman magistrates, charged with disturbing the city, "being Jews," beaten with rods and thrown into prison. Luke and Timothy escaped, probably because they did not look like Jews (Timothy's father was a gentile). When Paul departed from Philippi, Luke was left behind, in all probability to carry on the work of Evangelist. At Thessalonica the Apostle received highly appreciated pecuniary aid from Philippi (Phil. 4:15, 16), doubtless through the good offices of St. Luke. It is not unlikely that the latter remained at Philippi all the time that St. Paul was preaching at Athens and Corinth, and while he was travelling to Jerusalem and back to Ephesus, and during the three years that the Apostle was engaged at Ephesus. When St. Paul revisited Macedonia, he again met St. Luke at Philippi, and there wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthians.

St. Jerome thinks it is most likely that St. Luke is "the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches" (2 Cor. 8:18), and that he was one of the bearers of the letter to Corinth. Shortly afterwards, when St. Paul returned from Greece, St. Luke accompanied him from Philippi to Troas, and with him made the long coasting voyage described in Acts, 20. He went up to Jerusalem, was present at the uproar, saw the attack on the Apostle, and heard him speaking "in the Hebrew tongue" from the steps outside the fortress Antonia to the silenced crowd. Then he witnessed the infuriated Jews, in their impotent rage, rending their garments, yelling, and flinging dust into the air. We may be sure that he was a constant visitor to St. Paul during the two years of the latter's imprisonment at Cæarea. In that period he might well become acquainted with the circumstances of the death of Herod Agrippa I, who had died there eaten up by worms" (skolekobrotos), and he was likely to be better informed on the subject than Josephus. Ample opportunities were given him, 'having diligently attained to all things from the beginning," concerning the Gospel and early Acts, to write in order what had been delivered by those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" (Luke 1, 2:3). It is held by many writers that the Gospel was written during this time, Ramsay is of opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was then composed, and that St. Luke had a considerable share in it. When Paul appealed to Cæsar, Luke and Aristarchus accompanied him from Cæsarea, and were with him during the stormy voyage from Crete to Malta. Thence they went on to Rome, where, during the two years that St. Paul was kept in prison, St. Luke was frequently at his side, though not continuously, as he is not mentioned in the greetings of the Epistle to the Philippians (Lightfoot, "Phil." 35). He was present when the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon were written, and is mentioned in the salutations given in two of them: "Luke the most dear physician, saluteth you" (Col. 4:14); "There salute thee . . . Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow labourers" (Philem. 24). St. Jerome holds that it was during these two years Acts was written.

We have no information about St. Luke during the interval between St. Paul's two Roman imprisonments, but he must have met several of the Apostles and disciples during his various journeys. He stood beside St. Paul in his last imprisonment; for the Apostle, writing for the last time to Timothy, says: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. . . . Make haste to come to me quickly. For Demas hath left me, loving this world. . . . Only Luke is with me" (2 Tim. 4:7-11). It is worthy of note that, in the three places where he is mentioned in the Epistles (Col. 4:14; Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11) he is named with St. Mark (cf. Col. 4:10), the other Evangelist who was not an Apostle (Plummer), and it is clear from his Gospel that he was well acquainted with the Gospel according to St. Mark; and in the Acts he knows all the details of St. Peter's delivery — what happened at the house of St. Mark's mother, and the name of the girl who ran to the outer door when St. Peter knocked. He must have frequently met St. Peter, and may have assisted him to draw up his First Epistle in Greek, which affords many reminiscences of Luke's style. After St. Paul's martyrdom practically all that is known about him is contained in the ancient "Prefatio vel Argumentum Lucæ," dating back to Julius Africanus, who was born about A.D. 165. This states that he was unmarried, that he wrote the Gospel, in Achaia, and that he died at the age of seventy-four in Bithynia (probably a copyist's error for Boeotia), filled with the Holy Ghost. Epiphanius has it that he preached in Dalmatia (where there is a tradition to that effect), Gallia (Galatia?), Italy, and Macedonia. As an Evangelist, he must have suffered much for the Faith, but it is controverted whether he actually died a martyr's death. St. Jerome writes of him (De Vir. 3, 8). "Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vigesimo Constantii anno, ossa ejus cum reliquiis Andreæ Apostoli translata sunt [de Achaia?]." St. Luke its always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil 2, A.D. 980. A picture of the Virgin in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, is ascribed to him, and can he traced to A.D. 847 It is probably a copy of that mentioned by Theodore Lector, in the sixth century. This writer states that the Empress Eudoxia found a picture of the Mother of God. at Jerusalem, which she sent to Constantinople. As Plummer observes. it is certain that St. Luke was an artist, at least to the extent that his graphic descriptions of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Shepherds. Presentation, the Shepherd and lost sheep, etc., have become the inspiring and favourite themes of Christian painters.

St. Luke is one of the most extensive writers of the New Testament. His Gospel is considerably longer than St. Matthew's, his two books are about as long as St. Paul's fourteen Epistles: and Acts exceeds in length the Seven Christian Epistles and the Revelation. The style of the Gospel is superior to any N. T. writing except Hebrews. Renan says (Les Evangiles, 13) that it is the most literary of tile Gospels. St. Luke is a painter in words. "The author of the Third Gospel and of the Acts is the most versatile of all New Testament writers. He can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch. . . He is Hebraistic in describing Hebrew society and Greek when describing Greek society" (Plummer, introd.). His great command of Greek is shown by the richness of his vocabulary and the freedom of his constructions.

Authenticity of the gospel.

Internal evidence.

The internal evidence may be briefly summarized as follows:

The author of Acts was a companion of Saint Paul, namely, Saint Luke; and

the author of Acts was the author of the Gospel.

The arguments are given at length by Plummer, "St. Luke" in "Int. Crit. Com." (4th ed., Edinburgh, 1901); Harnack, "Luke the Physician" (London, 1907); "The Acts of the Apostles" (London, 1909); etc.

(1) The Author of Acts was a companion of Saint Paul, namely, Saint Luke

There is nothing more certain in Biblical criticism than this proposition. The writer of the "we" sections claims to be a companion of St. Paul. The "we" begins at Acts, 16:10, and continues to 16:17 (the action is at Philippi). It reappears at 20:5 (Philippi), and continues to 21:18 (Jerusalem). It reappears again at the departure for Rome, 27:1 (Gr. text), and continues to the end of the book.

Plummer argues that these sections are by the same author as the rest of the Acts:

from the natural way in which they fit in;

from references to them in other parts; and

from the identity of style.

The change of person seems natural and true to the narrative, but there is no change of language. The characteristic expressions of the writer run through the whole book, and are as frequent in the "we" as in the other sections. There is no change of style perceptible. Harnack (Luke the Physician, 40) makes an exhaustive examination of every word and phrase in the first of the "we" sections (16:10-17), and shows how frequent they are in the rest of the Acts and the Gospel, when compared with the other Gospels. His manner of dealing with the first word (hos) will indicate his method: "This temporal hos is never found in St. Matthew and St. Mark, but it occurs forty-eight times in St. Luke (Gospel and Acts), and that in all parts of the work." When he comes to the end of his study of this section he is able to write: "After this demonstration those who declare that this passage was derived from a source, and so was not composed by the author of the whole work, take up a most difficult position. What may we suppose the author to have left unaltered in the source? Only the 'we'. For, in fact, nothing else remains. In regard to vocabulary, syntax, and style, he must have transformed everything else into his own language. As such a procedure is absolutely unimaginable, we are simply left to infer that the author is here himself speaking." He even thinks it improbable, on account of the uniformity of style, that the author was copying from a diary of his own, made at an earlier period. After this, Harnack proceeds to deal with the remaining "we" sections, with like results. But it is not alone in vocabulary, syntax and style, that this uniformity is manifest. In "The Acts of the Apostles," Harnack devotes many pages to a detailed consideration of the manner in which chronological data, and terms dealing with lands, nations, cities, and houses, are employed throughout the Acts, as well as the mode of dealing with persons and miracles, and he everywhere shows that the unity of authorship cannot be denied except by those who ignore the facts. This same conclusion is corroborated by the recurrence of medical language in all parts of the Acts and the Gospel.

That the companion of St. Paul who wrote the Acts was St. Luke is the unanimous voice of antiquity. His choice of medical language proves that the author was a physician. Westein, in his preface to the Gospel ("Novum Test. Græcum," Amsterdam, 1741, 643), states that there are clear indications of his medical profession throughout St. Luke's writings; and in the course of his commentary he points out several technical expressions common to the Evangelist and the medical writings of Galen. These were brought together by the Bollandists ("Acta SS." 18 Oct.). In the "Gentleman's Magazine" for June, 1841, a paper appeared on the medical language of St. Luke. To the instances given in that article, Plummer and Harnack add several others; but the great book on the subject is Hobart "The Medical Language of St. Luke" (Dublin, 1882). Hobart works right through the Gospel and Acts and points out numerous words and phrases identical with those employed by such medical writers as Hippocrates, Arctæus, Galen, and Dioscorides. A few are found in Aristotle, but he was a doctor's son. The words and phrases cited are either peculiar to the Third Gospel and Acts, or are more frequent than in other New Testament writings. The argument is cumulative, and does not give way with its weakest strands. When doubtful cases and expressions common to the Septuagint, are set aside, a large number remain that seem quite unassailable. Harnack (Luke the Physician! 13) says: "It is as good as certain from the subject-matter, and more especially from the style, of this great work that the author was a physician by profession. Of course, in making such a statement one still exposes oneself to the scorn of the critics, and yet the arguments which are alleged in its support are simply convincing. . . . Those, however, who have studied it [Hobart's book] carefully, will, I think, find it impossible to escape the conclusion that the question here is not one of merely accidental linguistic coloring, but that this great historical work was composed by a writer who was either a physician or was quite intimately acquainted with medical language and science. And, indeed, this conclusion holds good not only for the 'we' sections, but for the whole book." Harnack gives the subject special treatment in an appendix of twenty-two pages. Hawkins and Zahn come to the same conclusion. The latter observes (Einl. 2, 427): "Hobart has proved for everyone who can appreciate proof that the author of the Lucan work was a man practised in the scientific language of Greek medicine — in short, a Greek physician" (quoted by Harnack, op. cit.).

In this connection, Plummer, though he speaks more cautiously of Hobart's argument, is practically in agreement with these writers. He says that when Hobart's list has been well sifted a considerable number of words remains. " The argument," he goes on to say "is cumulative. Any two or three instances of coincidence with medical writers may be explained as mere coincidences; but the large number of coincidences renders their explanation unsatisfactory for all of them, especially where the word is either rare in the 70, or not found there at all" (64). In "The Expositor" (Nov. 1909, 385 sqq.), Mayor says of Harnack's two above-cited works: "He has in opposition to the Tübingen school of critics, successfully vindicated for St. Luke the authorship of the two canonical books ascribed to him, and has further proved that, with some few omissions, they may be accepted as trustworthy documents. . . . I am glad to see that the English translator . . . has now been converted by Harnack's argument, founded in part, as he himself confesses, on the researches of English scholars, especially Dr. Hobart, Sir W. M. Ramsay, and Sir John Hawkins." There is a striking resemblance between the prologue of the Gospel and a preface written by Dioscorides, a medical writer who studied at Tarsus in the first century. The words with which Hippocrates begins his treatise "On Ancient Medicine" should be noted in this connection: 'Okosoi epecheiresan peri ietrikes legein he graphein, K. T. L. (Plummer, 4). When all these considerations are fully taken into account, they prove that the companion of St. Paul who wrote the Acts (and the Gospel) was a physician. Now, we learn from St. Paul that he had such a companion. Writing to the Colossians (4:11), he says: "Luke, the most dear physician, saluteth you." He was, therefore, with St. Paul when he wrote to the Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians; and also when he wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy. From the manner in which he is spoken of, a long period of intercourse is implied.

(2) The Author of Acts was the Author of the Gospel.

"This position," says Plummer, "is so generally admitted by critics of all schools that not much time need be spent in discussing it." Harnack may be said to be the latest prominent convert to this view, to which he gives elaborate support in the two books above mentioned. He claims to have shown that the earlier critics went hopelessly astray, and that the traditional view is the right one. This opinion is fast gaining ground even amongst ultra critics, and Harnack declares that the others hold out because there exists a disposition amongst them to ignore the facts that tell against them, and he speaks of "the truly pitiful history of the criticism of the Acts." Only the briefest summary of the arguments can be given here. The Gospel and Acts are both dedicated to Theophilus and the author of the latter work claims to be the author of the former (Acts, 1:50 ). The style and arrangement of both are so much alike that the supposition that one was written by a forger in imitation of the other is absolutely excluded. The required power of literary analysis was then unknown, and, if it were possible, we know of no writer of that age who had the wonderful skill necessary to produce such an imitation. It is to postulate a literary miracle, says Plummer, to suppose that one of the books was a forgery written in Imitation of the other. Such an idea would not have occurred to anyone; and, if it had, he could not have carried it out with such marvellous success. If we take a few chapters of the Gospel and note down the special, peculiar, and characteristic words, phrases and constructions, and then open the Acts at random, we shall find the same literary peculiarities constantly recurring. Or, if we begin with the Acts, and proceed conversely, the same results will follow. In addition to similarity, there are parallels of description, arrangement, and points of view, and the recurrence of medical language, in both books, has been mentioned under the previous heading.

We should naturally expect that the long intercourse between St. Paul and St. Luke would mutually influence their vocabulary, and their writings show that this was really the case. Hawkins (Horæ Synopticæ) and Bebb (Hast., "Dict. of the Bible," s. v. "Luke, Gospel of") state that there are 32 words found only in St. Matt. and St. Paul; 22 in St. Mark and St. Paul; 21 in St. John and St. Paul; while there are 101 found only in St. Luke and St. Paul. Of the characteristic words and phrases which mark the three Synoptic Gospels a little more than half are common to St. Matt. and St. Paul, less than half to St. Mark and St. Paul and two-thirds to St. Luke and St. Paul. Several writers have given examples of parallelism between the Gospel and the Pauline Epistles. Among the most striking are those given by Plummer (44). The same author gives long lists of words and expressions found in the Gospel and Acts and in St. Paul, and nowhere else in the New Testament. But more than this, Eager in "The Expositor" (July and August, 1894), in his attempt to prove that St. Luke was the author of Hebrews, has drawn attention to the remarkable fact that the Lucan influence on the language of St. Paul is much more marked in those Epistles where we know that St. Luke was his constant companion. Summing up, he observes: "There is in fact sufficient ground for believing that these books. Colossians, 2 Corinthians, the Pastoral Epistles, First (and to a lesser extent Second) Peter, possess a Lucan character." When all these points are taken into consideration, they afford convincing proof that the author of the Gospel and Acts was St. Luke, the beloved physician, the companion of St. Paul, and this is fully borne out by the external evidence.

External evidence.

The proof in favour of the unity of authorship, derived from the internal character of the two books, is strengthened when taken in connection with the external evidence. Every ancient testimony for the authenticity of Acts tells equally in favour of the Gospel; and every passage for the Lucan authorship of the Gospel gives a like support to the authenticity of Acts. Besides, in many places of the early Fathers both books are ascribed to St. Luke. The external evidence can be touched upon here only in the briefest manner. For external evidence in favour of Acts.

The many passages in St. Jerome, Eusebius, and Origen, ascribing the books to St. Luke, are important not only as testifying to the belief of their own, but also of earlier times. St. Jerome and Origen were great travellers, and all three were omniverous readers. They had access to practically the whole Christian literature of preceding centuries; but they nowhere hint that the authorship of the Gospel (and Acts) was ever called in question. This, taken by itself, would be a stronger argument than can be adduced for the majority of classical works. But we have much earlier testimony. Clement of Alexandria was probably born at Athens about A.D. 150. He travelled much and had for instructors in the Faith an Ionian, an Italian, a Syrian, an Egyptian, an Assyrian, and a Hebrew in Palestine. "And these men, preserving the true tradition of the blessed teaching directly from Peter and James, John and Paul, the holy Apostles, son receiving it from father, came by God's providence even unto us, to deposit among us those seeds [of truth] which were derived from their ancestors and the Apostles." (Strom. 1, 1:11: cf. Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." 5:11). He holds that St. Luke's Gospel was written before that of St. Mark, and he uses the four Gospels just as any modern Christian writer. Tertullian was born at Carthage, lived some time in Rome, and then returned to Carthage. His quotations from the Gospels, when brought together by Rönsch, cover two hundred pages. He attacks Marcion for mutilating St. Luke's Gospel. and writes: " I say then that among them, and not only among the Apostolic Churches, but among all the Churches which are united with them in Christian fellowship, the Gospel of Luke, which we earnestly defend, has been maintained from its first publication" (Adv. Marc. 4, 5).

The testimony of St. Irenæus is of special importance. He was born in Asia Minor, where he heard St. Polycarp give his reminiscences of St. John the Apostle, and in his numerous writings he frequently mentions other disciples of the Apostles. He was priest in Lyons during the persecution in 177, and was the bearer of the letter of the confessors to Rome. His bishop, Pothinus, whom be succeeded, was ninety years of age when he gained the crown of martyrdom in 177, and must have been born while some of the Apostles and very many of their hearers were still living. St. Irenæus, who was born about A.D. 130 (some say much earlier), is, therefore, a witness for the early tradition of Asia Minor, Rome, and Gaul. He quotes the Gospels just as any modern bishop would do, he calls them Scripture, believes even in their verbal inspiration; shows how congruous it is that there are four and only four Gospels; and says that Luke, who begins with the priesthood and sacrifice of Zachary, is the calf. When we compare his quotations with those of Clement of Alexandria, variant readings of text present themselves. There was already established an Alexandrian type of text different from that used in the West. The Gospels had been copied and recopied so often, that, through errors of copying, etc., distinct families of text had time to establish themselves. The Gospels were so widespread that they became known to pagans. Celsus in his attack on the Christian religion was acquainted with the genealogy in St. Luke's Gospel, and his quotations show the same phenomena of variant readings.

The next witness, St. Justin Martyr, shows the position of honour the Gospels held in the Church, in the early portion of the century. Justin was born in Palestine about A.D. 105, and converted in 132-135. In his "Apology" he speaks of the memoirs of the Lord which are called Gospels, and which were written by Apostles (Matthew, John) and disciples of the Apostles (Mark, Luke). In connection with the disciples of the Apostles he cites the verses of St. Luke on the Sweat of Blood, and he has numerous quotations from all four. Westcott shows that there is no trace in Justin of the use of any written document on the life of Christ except our Gospels. "He [Justin] tells us that Christ was descended from Abraham through Jacob, Judah, Phares, Jesse, David — that the Angel Gabriel was sent to announce His birth to the Virgin Mary — that it was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah . . . that His parents went thither [to Bethlehem] in consequence of an enrolment under Cyrinius — that as they could not find a lodging in the village they lodged in a cave close by it, where Christ was born, and laid by Mary in a manger," etc. (Westcott, "Canon," 104). There is a constant intermixture in Justin's quotations of the narratives of St. Matthew and St. Luke. As usual in apologetical works, such as the apologies of Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, and Eusebius, he does not name his sources because he was addressing outsiders. He states, however, that the memoirs which were called Gospels were read in the churches on Sunday along with the writings of the Prophets, in other words, they were placed on an equal rank with the Old Testament. In the "Dialogue," 105, we have a passage peculiar to St. Luke. "Jesus as He gave up His Spirit upon the Cross said, Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit' [Luke 23:46], even as I learned from the Memoirs of this fact also." These Gospels which were read every Sunday must be the same as our four, which soon after, in the time of Irenæus, were in such long established honour, and regarded by him as inspired by the Holy Ghost. We never hear, says Salmon, of any revolution dethroning one set of Gospels and replacing them by another; so we may be sure that the Gospels honoured by the Church in Justin's day were the same as those to which the same respect was paid in the days of Irenæus, not many years after. This conclusion is strengthened not only by the nature of Justin's quotations, but by the evidence afforded by his pupil Tatian, the Assyrian, who lived a long time with him in Rome, and afterwards compiled his harmony of the Gospels, his famous "Diatessaron," in Syriac, from our four Gospels. He had travelled a great deal, and the fact that he uses only those shows that they alone were recognized by St. Justin and the Catholic Church between 130-150. This takes us back to the time when many of the hearers of the Apostles and Evangelists were still alive; for it is held by many scholars that St. Luke lived till towards the end of the first century.

Irenæus, Clement, Tatian, Justin, etc., were in as good a position for forming a judgment on the authenticity of the Gospels as we are of knowing who were the authors of Scott's novels, Macaulay's essays, Dickens's early novels, Longfellow's poems, no. xc of "Tracts for the Times" etc. But the argument does not end here. Many of the heretics who flourished from the beginning of the second century till A.D. 150 admitted St. Luke's Gospel as authoritative. This proves that it had acquired an unassailable position long before these heretics broke away from the Church. The Apocryphal Gospel of Peter, about A.D. 150, makes use of our Gospels. About the same time the Gospels, together with their titles, were translated into Latin; and here, again, we meet the phenomena of variant readings, to be found in Clement, Irenæus, Old Syriac, Justin, and Celsus, pointing to a long period of previous copying. Finally, we may ask, if the author of the two books were not St. Luke, who was he?

Harnack (Luke the Physician, 2) holds that as the Gospel begins with a prologue addressed to an individual (Theophilus) it must, of necessity, have contained in its title the name of its author. How can we explain, if St. Luke were not the author, that the name of the real, and truly great, writer came to be completely buried in oblivion, to make room for the name of such a comparatively obscure disciple as St. Luke? Apart from his connection, as supposed author, with the Third Gospel and Acts, was no more prominent than Aristarchus and Epaphras; and he is mentioned only in three places in the whole of the New Testament. If a false name were substituted for the true author, some more prominent individual would have been selected.

Integrity of the gospel.

Marcion rejected the first two chapters and some shorter passages of the gospel, and it was at one time maintained by rationalstic writers that his was the original Gospel of which ours is a later expansion. This is now universally rejected by scholars. St. Irenæus, Tertullian, and Epiphanius charged him with mutilating the Gospel; and it is known that the reasons for his rejection of those portions were doctrinal. He cut out the account of the infancy and the genealogy, because he denied the human birth of Christ. As he rejected the Old Testament all reference to it had to be excluded. That the parts rejected by Marcion belong to the Gospel is clear from their unity of style with the remainder of the book. The characteristics of St. Luke's style run through the whole work, but are more frequent in the first two chapters than anywhere else; and they are present in the other portions omitted by Marcion. No writer in those days was capable of successfully forging such additions. The first two chapters, etc., are contained in all the manuscripts and versions, and were known to Justin Martyr and other competent witnesses On the authenticity of the verses on the Bloody Sweat.

Purpose and contents.

The Gospel was written, as is gathered from the prologue (1:1-4), for the purpose of giving Theophilus (and others like him) increased confidence in the unshakable firmness of the Christian truths in which he had been instructed, or "catechized" — the latter word being used, according to Harnack, in its technical sense. The Gospel naturally falls into four divisions:

Gospel of the infancy, roughly covered by the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary (ch. 2:1);

ministry in Galilee, from the preaching of John the Baptist (3:1, to 9:50);

journeyings towards Jerusalem (9:51-19:27);

Holy Week: preaching in and near Jerusalem, Passion, and Resurrection (19:28, to end of 24).

We owe a great deal to the industry of St. Luke. Out of twenty miracles which he records six are not found in the other Gospels: draught of fishes, widow of Naim's son, man with dropsy, ten lepers, Malchus's ear, spirit of infirmity. He alone has the following eighteen parables: good Samaritan, friend at midnight, rich fool, servants watching, two debtors, barren fig-tree, chief seats, great supper, rash builder, rash king, lost groat, prodigal son, unjust steward, rich man and Lazarus, unprofitable servants, unjust judge, Pharisee and publican, pounds. The account of the journeys towards Jerusalem (9:51-19:27) is found only in St. Luke; and he gives special prominence to the duty of prayer.

Sources of the gospel; synoptic problem.

The best information as to his sources is given by St. Luke, in the beginning of his Gospel. As many had written accounts as they heard them from "eyewitnesses and ministers of the word," it seemed good to him also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write an ordered narrative. He had two sources of information, then, eyewitnesses (including Apostles) and written documents taken down from the words of eyewitnesses. The accuracy of these documents he was in a position to test by his knowledge of the character of the writers, and by comparing them with the actual words of the Apostles and other eyewitnesses.

That he used written documents seems evident on comparing his Gospel with the other two Synoptic Gospels, Matthew and Mark. All three frequently agree even in minute details, but in other respects there is often a remarkable divergence, and to explain these phenomena is the Synoptic Problem. St. Matthew and St. Luke alone give an account of the infancy of Christ, both accounts are independent. But when they begin the public preaching they describe it in the same way, here agreeing with St. Mark. When St. Mark ends, the two others again diverge. They agree in the main both in matter and arrangement within the limits covered by St. Mark, whose order they generally follow. Frequently all agree in the order of the narrative, but, where two agree, Mark and Luke agree against the order of Matthew, or Mark and Matthew agree against the order of Luke; Mark is always in the majority, and it is not proved that the other two ever agree against the order followed by him. Within the limits of the ground covered by St. Mark, the two other Gospels have several sections in common not found in St. Mark, consisting for the most part of discourses, and there is a closer resemblance between them than between any two Gospels where the three go over the same ground. The whole of St. Mark is practically contained in the other two. St. Matthew and St. Luke have large sections peculiar to themselves, such as the different accounts of the infancy, and the journeys towards Jerusalem in St. Luke. The parallel records have remarkable verbal coincidences. Sometimes the Greek phrases are identical, sometimes but slightly different, and again more divergent. There are various theories to explain the fact of the matter and language common to the Evangelists. Some hold that it is due to the oral teaching of the Apostles, which soon became stereotyped from constant repetition. Others hold that it is due to written sources, taken down from such teaching. Others, again, strongly maintain that Matthew and Luke used Mark or a written source extremely like it. In that case, we have evidence how very closely they kept to the original. The agreement between the discourses given by St. Luke and St. Matthew is accounted for, by some authors, by saying that both embodied the discourses of Christ that had been collected and originally written in Aramaic by St. Matthew. The long narratives of St. Luke not found in these two documents are, it is said, accounted for by his employment of what he knew to be other reliable sources, either oral or written. (The question is concisely but clearly stated by Peake "A Critical Introduction to the New Testament," London, 1909, 101. Several other works on the subject are given in the literature at the end of this article.)

Saint Luke’s accuracy.

Very few writers have ever had their accuracy put to such a severe test as St. Luke, on account of the wide field covered by his writings, and the consequent liability (humanly speaking) of making mistakes; and on account of the fierce attacks to which he has been subjected.

It was the fashion, during the nineteenth century, with German rationalists and their imitators, to ridicule the "blunders" of Luke, but that is all being rapidly changed by the recent progress of archæological research. Harnack does not hesitate to say that these attacks were shameful, and calculated to bring discredit, not on the Evangelist, but upon his critics, and Ramsay is but voicing the opinion of the best modern scholars when he calls St. Luke a great and accurate historian. Very few have done so much as this latter writer, in his numerous works and in his articles in "The Expositor," to vindicate the extreme accuracy of St. Luke. Wherever archæology has afforded the means of testing St. Luke's statements, they have been found to be correct; and this gives confidence that he is equally reliable where no such corroboration is as yet available. For some of the details see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, where a very full bibliography is given.

For the sake of illustration, one or two examples may here be given:

(1) Sergius Paulus, Proconsul in Cyprus

St. Luke says, Acts, 13, that when St. Paul visited Cyprus (in the reign of Claudius) Sergius Paulus was proconsul (anthupatos) there. Grotius asserted that this was an abuse of language, on the part of the natives, who wished to flatter the governor by calling him proconsul, instead of proprætor (antistrategos), which he really was; and that St. Luke used the popular appellation. Even Baronius (Annales, ad Ann. 46) supposed that, though Cyprus was only a prætorian province, it was honoured by being ruled by the proconsul of Cilicia, who must have been Sergius Paulus. But this is all a mistake. Cato captured Cyprus, Cicero was proconsul of Cilicia and Cyprus in 52 B.C.; Mark Antony gave the island to Cleopatra; Augustus made it a prætorian province in 27 B.C., but in 22 B.C. he transferred it to the senate, and it became again a proconsular province. This latter fact is not stated by Strabo, but it is mentioned by Dion Cassius (53). In Hadrian's time it was once more under a proprætor, while under Severus it was again administered by a proconsul. There can be no doubt that in the reign of Claudius, when St. Paul visited it, Cyprus was under a proconsul (anthupatos), as stated by St. Luke. Numerous coins have been discovered in Cyprus, bearing the head and name of Claudius on one side, and the names of the proconsuls of Cyprus on the other. A woodcut engraving of one is given in Conybeare and Howson's "St. Paul," at the end of chapter 5. On the reverse it has: EPI KOMINOU PROKAU ANTHUPATOU: KUPRION — "Money of the Cyprians under Cominius Proclus, Proconsul." The head of Claudius (with his name) is figured on the other side. General Cesnola discovered a long inscription on a pedestal of white marble, at Solvi, in the north of the island, having the words: EPI PAULOU ANTHUPATOU — "Under Paulus Proconsul." Lightfoot, Zochler, Ramsay, Knabenbauer, Zahn, and Vigouroux hold that this was the actual (Sergius) Paulus of Acts 13:7.

(2) The Politarchs in Thessalonica

An excellent example of St. Luke's accuracy is afforded by his statement that rulers of Thessalonica were called "politarchs" (politarchai — Acts 17:6, 8). The word is not found in the Greek classics; but there is a large stone in the British Museum, which was found in an arch in Thessalonica, containing an inscription which is supposed to date from the time of Vespasian. Here we find the word used by St. Luke together with the names of several such politarchs, among them being names identical with some of St. Paul's converts: Sopater, Gaius, Secundus. Burton in "American Journal of Theology" (July, 1898) has drawn attention to seventeen inscriptions proving the existence of politarchs in ancient times. Thirteen were found in Macedonia, and five were discovered in Thessalonica, dating from the middle of the first to the end of the second century.

(3) Knowledge of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe

The geographical, municipal, and political knowledge of St. Luke, when speaking of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, is fully borne out by recent research.

(4) Knowledge of Philippian customs

He is equally sure when speaking of Philippi, a Roman colony, where the duum viri were called "prætors" (strategoi—Acts 16:20, 35), a lofty title which duum viri assumed in Capua and elsewhere, as we learn from Cicero and Horace (Sat. 1, 5:34). They also had lictors (rabsouchoi), after the manner of real prætors.

(5) References to Ephesus, Athens, and Corinth

His references to Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, are altogether in keeping with everything that is now known of these cities. Take a single instance: "In Ephesus St. Paul taught in the school of Tyrannus, in the city of Socrates he discussed moral questions in the market-place. How incongruous it would seem if the methods were transposed! But the narrative never makes a false step amid all the many details as the scene changes from city to city; and that is the conclusive proof that it is a picture of real life" (Ramsay, op. cit. 238). St. Luke mentions (Acts, 18:2) that when St. Paul was at Corinth the Jews had been recently expelled from Rome by Claudius, and this is confirmed by a chance statement of Suetonius. He tells us (ibid. 12) that Gallio was then proconsul in Corinth (the capital of the Roman province of Achaia). There is no direct evidence that he was proconsul in Achaia, but his brother Seneca writes that Gallio caught a fever there, and went on a voyage for his health. The description of the riot at Ephesus (Acts 19) brings together, in the space of eighteen verses, an extraordinary amount of knowledge of the city, that is fully corroborated by numerous inscriptions, and representations on coins, medals, etc., recently discovered. There are allusions to the temple of Diana (one of the seven wonders of the world), to the fact that Ephesus gloried in being her temple-sweeper her caretaker (neokoros), to the theatre as the place of assembly for the people, to the town clerk (grammateus), to the Asiarchs, to sacrilegious (ierosuloi), to proconsular sessions, artificers, etc. The ecclesia (the usual word in Ephesus for the assembly of the people) and the grammateus or town-clerk (the title of a high official frequent on Ephesian coins) completely puzzled Cornelius a Lapide, Baronius, and other commentators, who imagined the ecclesia meant a synagogue, etc.

(6) The Shipwreck

The account of the voyage and shipwreck described in Acts (27:27) is regarded by competent authorities on nautical matters as a marvellous instance of accurate description. Blass (Acta Apostolorum, 186) says: "Extrema duo capita habent descriptionem clarissimam itineris maritimi quod Paulus in Italiam fecit: quæ descriptio ab homine harum rerum perito judicata est monumentum omnium pretiosissimum, quæ rei navalis ex tote antiquitate nobis relicta est. 5. Breusing, 'Die Nautik der Alten' (Bremen, 1886)." See also Knowling " The Acts of the Apostles" in "Exp. Gr. Test." (London, 1900).

Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.

Gfrorrer, B. Bauer, Hilgenfeld, Keim, and Holtzmann assert that St. Luke perpetrated a gross chronological blunder of sixty years by making Lysanias, the son of Ptolemy, who lived 36 B.C., and was put to death by Mark Antony, tetrarch of Abilene when John the Baptist began to preach (3:50). Strauss says: "He [Luke] makes rule, 30 years after the birth of Christ, a certain Lysanias, who had certainly been slain 30 years previous to that birth — a slight error of 60 years." On the face of it, it is highly improbable that such a careful writer as St. Luke would have gone out of his way to run the risk of making such a blunder, for the mere purpose of helping to fix the date of the public ministry. Fortunately, we have a complete refutation supplied by Schürer, a writer by no means over friendly to St. Luke, as we shall see when treating of the Census of Quirinius. Ptolemy Mennæus was King of the Itureans (whose kingdom embraced the Lebanon and plain of Massyas with the capital Chalcis, between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon) from 85-40 B.C. His territories extended on the east towards Damascus, and on the south embraced Panias, and part, at least, of Galilee. Lysanias the older succeeded his father Ptolemy about 40 B.C. (Josephus, " Ant." 14, 12:3; "Bell Jud." 1, 13:1), and is styled by Dion Cassius "King of the Itureans" (49, 32). After reigning about four or five years he was put to death by Mark Antony, at the instigation of Cleopatra, who received a large portion of his territory (Josephus, "Ant." 15, 4:1; " Bel. Jud." 1, 22:3; Dion Cassius, op. cit.).

As the latter and Porphyry call him "king," it is doubtful whether the coins bearing the superscription "Lysanias tetrarch and high priest" belong to him, for there were one or more later princes called Lysanias. After his death his kingdom was gradually divided up into at least four districts, and the three principal ones were certainly not called after him. A certain Zenodorus took on lease the possessions of Lysanias, 23 B.C., but Trachonitis was soon taken from him and given to Herod. On the death of Zenodorus in 20 B.C., Ulatha and Panias, the territories over which he ruled, were given by Augustus to Herod. This is called the tetrarchy of Zenodorus by Dion Cassius. "It seems therefore that Zenodorus, after the death of Lysanias, had received on rent a portion of his territory from Cleopatra, and that after Cleopatra's death this 'rented' domain, subject to tribute, was continued to him with the title of tetrarch" (Schürer, 1, 2 app. 333:1). Mention is made on a monument, at Heliopolis, of "Zenodorus, son of the tetrarch Lysanias." It has been generally supposed that this is the Zenodorus just mentioned, but it is uncertain whether the first Lysanias was ever called tetrarch. It is proved from the inscriptions that there was a genealogical connection between the families of Lysanias and Zenodorus, and the same name may have been often repeated in the family. Coins for 32, 30, and 25 B.C., belonging to our Zenodorus, have the superscription, "Zenodorus tetrarch and high priest.' After the death of Herod the Great a portion of the tetrarchy of Zenodorus went to Herod's son, Philip (Jos., "Ant." 17, 11:4), referred to by St. Luke, "Philip being tetrarch of Iturea" (Luke 3:1).

Another tetrarchy sliced off from the dominions of Zenodorus lay to the east between Chalcis and Damascus, and went by the name of Abila or Abilene. Abila is frequently spoken of by Josephus as a tetrarchy, and in "Ant." 18, 6:10, he calls it the "tetrarchy of Lysanias." Claudius, in A.D. 41, conferred "Abila of Lysanias" on Agrippa 1 (Ant. 19, 5:1). In a. D. 53, Agrippa 2 obtained Abila, "which last had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias" (Ant. 20, 7:1). "From these passages we see that the tetrarchy of Abila had belonged previously to A.D. 37 to a certain Lysanias, and seeing that Josephus nowhere previously makes any mention of another Lysanias, except the contemporary of Anthony and Cleopatra, 40-36 B.C. . . . criticism has endeavoured in various ways to show that there had not afterwards been any other, and that the tetrarchy of Abilene had its name from the older Lysanias. But this is impossible" (Schürer, 337). Lysanias 1 inherited the Iturean empire of his father Ptolemy, of which Abila was but a small and very obscure portion. Calchis in Coele-Syria was the capital of his kingdom, not Abila in Abilene. He reigned only about four years and was a comparatively obscure individual when compared with his father Ptolemy, or his successor Zenodorus, both of whom reigned many years. There is no reason why any portion of his kingdom should have been called after his name rather than theirs, and it is highly improbable that Josephus speaks of Abilene as called after him seventy years after his death. As Lysanias 1 was king over the whole region, one small portion of it could not be called his tetrarchy or kingdom, as is done by Josephus (Bel. Jud. 2, 12:8). "It must therefore be assumed as certain that at a later date the district of Abilene had been severed from the kingdom of Calchis, and had been governed by a younger Lysanias as tetrarch" (Schürer, 337). The existence of such a late Lysanias is shown by an inscription found at Abila, containing the statement that a certain Nymphaios, the freedman of Lysanias, built a street and erected a temple in the time of the "August Emperors." Augusti (Sebastoi) in the plural was never used before the death of Augustus, A.D. 14. The first contemporary Sebastoi were Tiberius and his mother Livia, i.e. at a time fifty years after the first Lysanias. An inscription at Heliopolis, in the same region, makes it probable that there were several princes of this name. "The Evangelist Luke is thoroughly correct when he assumes (3:1) that in the fifteenth year of Tiberius there was a Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene" (Schürer, op. cit., where full literature is given; Vigouroux, op. cit.).

Who spoke the magniftcat?

Lately an attempt has been made to ascribe the Magnificat to Elizabeth instead of to the Blessed Virgin. All the early Fathers, all the Greek manuscripts, all the versions, all the Latin manuscripts (except three) have the reading in Luke 1:46: Kai eipen Mariam — Et ait Maria [And Mary said]: Magnificat anima mea Dominum, etc. Three Old Latin manuscripts (the earliest dating from the end of the fourth cent.), a, b, l (called rhe by Westcott and Hort), have Et ait Elisabeth. These tend to such close agreement that their combined evidence is single rather than threefold. They are full of gross blunders and palpable corruptions, and the attempt to pit their evidence against the many thousands of Greek, Latin, and other manuscripts, is anything but scientific. If the evidence were reversed, Christians would be held up to ridicule if they ascribed the Magnificat to Mary. The three manuscripts gain little or no support from the internal evidence of the passage. The Magnificat is a cento from the song of Anna (1 Kings, 2), the Psalms, and other places of the Old Testament. If it were spoken by Elizabeth it is remarkable that the portion of Anna's song that was most applicable to her is omitted: "The barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened." See, on this subject, Emmet in "The Expositor" (Dec. 1909); Bernard, ibid. (March, 1907); and the exhaustive works of two Christian writers: Ladeuze, "Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique" (Louvain, Oct. 1903); Bardenhewer, "Maria Verkündigung" (Freiburg, 1905).

The census of Quirinius.

No portion of the New Testament has been so fiercely attacked as Luke 2:1-5. Schürer has brought together, under six heads, a formidable array of all the objections that can he urged against it. There is not space to refute them here; but Ramsay in his "Was Christ born in Bethlehem?" has shown that they all fall to the ground: —

(1) St. Luke does not assert that a census took place all over the Roman Empire before the death of Herod, but that a decision emanated from Augustus that regular census were to be made. Whether they were carried out in general, or not, was no concern of St. Luke's. If history does not prove the existence of such a decree it certainly proves nothing against it. It was thought for a long time that the system of Indictions was inaugurated under the early Roman emperors, it is now known that they owe their origin to Constantine the Great (the first taking place fifteen years after his victory of 312), and this in spite of the fact that history knew nothing of the matter. Kenyon holds that it is very probable that Pope Damasus ordered the Vulgate to be regarded as the only authoritative edition of the Latin Bible; but it would be difficult to Prove it historically. If "history knows nothing" of the census in Palestine before 4 B.C. neither did it know anything of the fact that under the Romans in Egypt regular personal census were held every fourteen years, at least from A.D. 20 till the time of Constantine. Many of these census papers have been discovered, and they were called apograthai, the name used by St. Luke. They were made without any reference to property or taxation. The head of the household gave his name and age, the name and age of his wife, children, and slaves. He mentioned how many were included in the previous census, and how many born since that time. Valuation returns were made every year. The fourteen years' cycle did not originate in Egypt (they had a different system before 19 B.C.), but most probably owed its origin to Augustus, 8 B.C., the fourteenth year of his tribunitia potestas, which was a great year in Rome, and is called the year I in some inscriptions. Apart from St. Luke and Josephus, history is equally ignorant of the second enrolling in Palestine, A.D. 6. So many discoveries about ancient times, concerning which history has been silent, have been made during the last thirty years that it is surprising modern authors should brush aside a statement of St. Luke's, a respectable first-century writer, with a mere appeal to the silence of history on the matter.

(2) The first census in Palestine, as described by St. Luke, was not made according to Roman, but Jewish, methods. St. Luke, who travelled so much, could not be ignorant of the Roman system, and his description deliberately excludes it. The Romans did not run counter to the feelings of provincials more than they could help. Jews, who were proud of being able to prove their descent, would have no objection to the enrolling described in Luke, ii. Schürer's arguments are vitiated throughout by the supposition that the census mentioned by St. Luke could be made only for taxation purposes. His discussion of imperial taxation learned but beside the mark (cf. the practice in Egypt). It was to the advantage of Augustus to know the number of possible enemies in Palestine, in case of revolt.

(3) King Herod was not as independent as he is described for controversial purposes. A few years before Herod's death Augustus wrote to him. Josephus, "Ant." 16, 9:3, has: "Cæsar [Augustus] . . . grew very angry, and wrote to Herod sharply. The sum of his epistle was this, that whereas of old he used him as a friend, he should now use him as his subject." It was after this that Herod was asked to number his people. That some such enrolling took place we gather from a passing remark of Josephus, "Ant." 17, 2:4, "Accordingly, when all the people of the Jews gave assurance of their good will to Cæsar [Augustus], and to the king's [Herod's] government, these very men [the Pharisees] did not swear, being above six thousand." The best scholars think they were asked to swear allegiance to Augustus.

(4) It is said there was no room for Quirinius, in Syria, before the death of Herod in 4 B.C. C. Sentius Saturninus was governor there from 9-6 B.C.; and Quintilius Varus, from 6 B.C. till after the death of Herod. But in turbulent provinces there were sometimes times two Roman officials of equal standing. In the time of Caligula the administration of Africa was divided in such a way that the military power, with the foreign policy, was under the control of the lieutenant of the emperor, who could be called a hegemon (as in St. Luke), while the internal affairs were under the ordinary proconsul. The same position was held by Vespasian when he conducted the war in Palestine, which belonged to the province of Syria — a province governed by an officer of equal rank. Josephus speaks of Volumnius as being Kaisaros hegemon, together with C. Sentius Saturninus, in Syria (9-6 B.C.): "There was a hearing before Saturninus and Volumnius, who were then the presidents of Syria" (Ant.16, 9:1). He is called procurator in "Bel. Jud." 1, 27:1, 2. Corbulo commanded the armies of Syria against the Parthians, while Quadratus and Gallus were successively governors of Syria. Though Josephus speaks of Gallus, he knows nothing of Corbulo; but he was there nevertheless (Mommsen, "Röm. Gesch." V, 382). A similar position to that of Corbulo must have been held by Quirinius for a few years between 7 and 4 B.C.

The best treatment of the subject is that by Ramsay "Was Christ Born in Bethlehem?" See also the valuable essays of two Christian writers: Marucchi in "2 Bessarione" (Rome, 1897); Bour, "L'lnscription de Quirinius et le Recensement de S. Luc" (Rome, 1897). Vigouroux, "Le N. T. et les Découvertes Modernes" (Paris, 1890), has a good deal of useful information. It has been suggested that Quirinius is a copyist's error for Quintilius (Varus).

Saint Luke and Josephus.

The attempt to prove that St. Luke used Josephus (but inaccurately) has completely broken down. Belser successfully refutes Krenkel in "Theol. Quartalschrift," 1895, 1896. The differences can be explained only on the supposition of entire independence. The resemblances are sufficiently accounted for by the use of the Septuagint and the common literary Greek of the time by both. See Bebb and Headlam in Hast., "Dict. of the Bible," s. vv. "Luke, Gospel of" and "Acts of the Apostles," respectively. Schürer (Zeit. für W. Th. 1876) brushes aside the opinion that St. Luke read Josephus. When Acts is compared with the Septuagint and Josephus, there is convincing evidence that Josephus was not the source from which the writer of Acts derived his knowledge of Jewish history. There are numerous verbal and other coincidences with the Septuagint (Cross in "Expository Times," 11, 5:38, against Schmiedel and the exploded author of "Sup. Religion"). St. Luke did not get his names from Josephus, as contended by this last writer, thereby making the whole history a concoction. Wright in his "Some New Test. Problems" gives the names of fifty persons mentioned in St. Luke's Gospel. Thirty-two are common to the other two Synoptics, and therefore not taken from Josephus. Only five of the remaining eighteen are found in him, namely, Augustus Cæsar, Tiberius, Lysanias, Quirinius, and Annas. As Annas is always called Ananus in Josephus, the name was evidently not taken from him. This is corroborated by the way the Gospel speaks of Caiphas. St. Luke's employment of the other four names shows no connection with the Jewish historian. The mention of numerous countries, cities, and islands in Acts shows complete independence of the latter writer. St. Luke's preface bears a much closer resemblance to those of Greek medical writers than to that of Josephus. The absurdity of concluding that St. Luke must necessarily be wrong when not in agreement with Josephus is apparent when we remember the frequent contradictions and blunders in the latter writer.

Regarding the autenticity of the Gospel of Luke.

Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, and Luke the assistant and companion of Paul, are really the authors of the Gospels respectively attributed to them is clear from Tradition, the testimonies of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, by quotations in their writings, the usage of early heretics, by versions of the New Testament in the most ancient and common manuscripts, and by intrinsic evidence in the text of the Sacred Books. The reasons adduced by some critics against Mark's authorship of the last twelve versicles of his Gospel (16:9-20) do not prove that these versicles are not inspired or canonical, or that Mark is not their author. It is not lawful to doubt of the inspiration and canonicity of the narratives of Luke on the infancy of Christ (1-2), on the apparition of the Angel and of the bloody sweat (22:43-44); nor can it be proved that these narratives do not belong to the genuine Gospel of Luke.

The very few exceptional documents attributing the Magnificat to Elizabeth and not to the Blessed Virgin should not prevail against the testimony of nearly all the codices of the original Greek and of the versions, the interpretation required by the context, the mind of the Virgin herself, and the constant tradition of the Church.

It is according to most ancient and constant tradition that after Matthew, Mark wrote his Gospel second and Luke third; though it may be held that the second and third Gospels were composed before the Greek version of the first Gospel. It is not lawful to put the date of the Gospels of Mark and Luke as late as the destruction of Jerusalem or after the siege had begun. The Gospel of Luke preceded his Acts of the Apostles, and was therefore composed before the end of the Roman imprisonment, when the Acts was finished (Acts 28:30-31). In view of Tradition and of internal evidence it cannot be doubted that Mark wrote according to the preaching of Peter, and Luke according to that of Paul, and that both had at their disposal other trustworthy sources, oral or written.


4. St. John the evangelist.

New testament accounts.

John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the Greater. In the Gospels the two brothers are often called after their father "the sons of Zebedee" and received from Christ the honourable title of Boanerges, i.e. "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). Originally they were fishermen and fished with their father in the Lake of Genesareth. According to the usual and entirely probable explanation they became, however, for a time disciples of John the Baptist, and were called by Christ from the circle of John's followers, together with Peter and Andrew, to become His disciples (John 1:35-42). The first disciples returned with their new Master from the Jordan to Galilee and apparently both John and the others remained for some time with Jesus (cf. John 2:12, 22; 4:2, 8, 27 sqq.). Yet after the second return from Judea, John and his companions went back again to their trade of fishing until he and they were called by Christ to definitive discipleship (Matt. 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20). In the lists of the Apostles John has the second place (Acts, 1:13), the third (Mark3:17), and the fourth (Matt. 10:3; Luke 6:14), yet always after James with the exception of a few passages (Luke 8:51; 9:28 in the Greek text; Acts1:13).

From James being thus placed first, the conclusion is drawn that John was the younger of the two brothers. In any case John had a prominent position in the Apostolic body. Peter, James, and he were the only witnesses of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:37), of the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1), and of the Agony in Gethsemani (Matt. 26:37). Only he and Peter were sent into the city to make the preparation for the Last Supper (Luke 22:8). At the Supper itself his place was next to Christ on Whose breast he leaned (John 13:23, 25). According to the general interpretation John was also that "other disciple" who with Peter followed Christ after the arrest into the palace of the high-priest (John 28:15). John alone remained near his beloved Master at the foot of the Cross on Calvary with the Mother of Jesus and the pious women, and took the desolate Mother into his care as the last legacy of Christ (John 19:25-27). After the Resurrection John with Peter was the first of the disciples to hasten to the grave and he was the first to believe that Christ had truly risen (John 20:2-10). When later Christ appeared at the Lake of Genesareth John was also the first of the seven disciples present who recognized his Master standing on the shore (John 21:7). The Fourth Evangelist has shown us most clearly how close the relationship was in which he always stood to his Lord and Master by the title with which he is accustomed to indicate himself without giving his name: "the disciple whom Jesus loved." After Christ's Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, John took, together with Peter, a prominent part in the founding and guidance of the Church. We see him in the company of Peter at the healing of the lame man in the Temple (Acts 3:1 sqq.). With Peter he is also thrown into prison (Acts 4:3). Again, we find him with the prince of the Apostles visiting the newly converted in Samaria (Acts 8:14).

We have no positive information concerning the duration of this activity in Palestine. Apparently John in common with the other Apostles remained some twelve years in this first field of labour, until the persecution of Herod Agrippa I led to the scattering of the Apostles through the various provinces of the Roman Empire (Acts 12:1-17). Notwithstanding the opinion to the contrary of many writers, it does not appear improbable that John then went for the first time to Asia Minor and exercised his Apostolic office in various provinces there. In any case a Christian community was already in existence at Ephesus before Paul's first labours there (cf. "the brethren," Acts 28:27, in addition to Priscilla and Aquila), and it is easy to connect a sojourn of John in these provinces with the fact that the Holy Ghost did not permit the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey to proclaim the Gospel in Asia, Mysia, and Bithynia (Acts 16:6 sq.). There is just as little against such an acceptation in the later account in Acts of St. Paul's third missionary journey. But in any case such a sojourn by John in Asia in this first period was neither long nor uninterrupted. He returned with the other disciples to Jerusalem for the Apostolic Council (about A.D. 51). St. Paul in opposing his enemies in Galatia names John explicitly along with Peter and James the Less as a "pillar of the Church," and refers to the recognition which his Apostolic preaching of a Gospel free from the law received from these three, the most prominent men of the old Mother-Church at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:9). When Paul came again to Jerusalem after the second and after the third journey (Acts18:22; 21:17 sq.) he seems no longer to have met John there. Some wish to draw the conclusion from this that John left Palestine between the years 52 and 55.

Of the other New-Testament writings, it is only from the three Epistles of John and the Revelation that anything further is learned concerning the person of the Apostle. We may be permitted here to take as proven the unity of the author of these three writings handed down under the name of John and his identity with the Evangelist. Both the Epistles and the Revelation, however, presuppose that their author John belonged to the multitude of personal eyewitnesses of the life and work of Christ (cf. especially 1 John 1:1-5; 4:14), that he had lived for a long time in Asia Minor, was thoroughly acquainted with the conditions existing in the various Christian communities there, and that he had a position of authority recognized by all Christian communities as leader of this part of the Church. Moreover, the Revelation tells us that its author was on the island of Patmos "for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus," when he was honoured with the heavenly Revelation contained in the Revelation (Apoc. 1:9).


The alleged presbyter John.

The author of the Second and Third Epistles of John designates himself in the superscription of each by the name (ho presbyteros), "the ancient," "the old." Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, also uses the same name to designate the "Presbyter John" as in addition to Aristion, his particular authority, directly after he has named the presbyters Andrew, Peter, Philip, Thomas, James, John, and Matthew (in Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3, 39:4). Eusebius was the first to draw, on account of these words of Papias, the distinction between a Presbyter John and the Apostle John, and this distinction was also spread in Western Europe by St. Jerome on the authority of Eusebius. The opinion of Eusebius has been frequently revived by modern writers, chiefly to support the denial of the Apostolic origin of the Fourth Gospel. The distinction, however, has no historical basis. First, the testimony of Eusebius in this matter is not worthy of belief. He contradicts himself, as in his "Chronicle" he expressly calls the Apostle John the teacher of Papias ("ad annum Abrah 2114"), as does Jerome also in Ep. 75, "Ad Theodoram," 3, and in "De viris illustribus," 18. Eusebius was also influenced by his erroneous doctrinal opinions as he denied the Apostolic origin of the Revelation and ascribed this writing to an author differing from St. John but of the same name. St. Irenaeus also positively designates the Apostle and Evangelist John as the teacher of Papias, and neither he nor any other writer before Eusebius had any idea of a second John in Asia (Adv. haer. 5, 33:4). In what Papias himself says the connection plainly shows that in this passage by the word presbyters only Apostles can be understood. If John is mentioned twice the explanation lies in the peculiar relationship in which Papias stood to this, his most eminent teacher. By inquiring of others he had learned some things indirectly from John, just as he had from the other Apostles referred to. In addition he had received information concerning the teachings and acts of Jesus directly, without the intervention of others, from the still living "Presbyter John," as he also had from Aristion. Thus the teaching of Papias casts absolutely no doubt upon what the New-Testament writings presuppose and expressly mention concerning the residence of the Evangelist John in Asia.

The later accounts of John.

The Christian writers of the second and third centuries testify to us as a tradition universally recognized and doubted by no one that the Apostle and Evangelist John lived in Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century and from Ephesus had guided the Churches of that province. In his "Dialogue with Tryphon" (Chapter 81) St. Justin Martyr refers to "John, one of the Apostles of Christ" as a witness who had lived "with us," that is, at Ephesus. St. Irenæus speaks in very many places of the Apostle John and his residence in Asia and expressly declares that he wrote his Gospel at Ephesus (Adv. haer. 3, 1:1), and that he had lived there until the reign of Trajan (loc. Cit. 2, 22:5). With Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 13:1) and others we are obliged to place the Apostle's banishment to Patmos in the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96). Previous to this, according to Tertullian's testimony (De praescript. 36), John had been thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil before the Porta Latina at Rome without suffering injury. After Domitian's death the Apostle returned to Ephesus during the reign of Trajan, and at Ephesus he died about A.D. 100 at a great age. Tradition reports many beautiful traits of the last years of his life: that he refused to remain under the same roof with Cerinthus (Irenaeus "Ad. haer." 3, 3:4); his touching anxiety about a youth who had become a robber (Clemens Alex., "Quis dives salvetur," 42); his constantly repeated words of exhortation at the end of his life, "Little children, love one another" (Jerome, "Comm. in ep. ad. Gal." 6:10). On the other hand the stories told in the apocryphal Acts of John, which appeared as early as the second century, are unhistorical invention.

Feasts of St. John.

St. John is commemorated on 27 December, which he originally shared with St. James the Greater. At Rome the feast was reserved to St. John alone at an early date, though both names are found in the Carthage Calendar, the Hieronymian Martyrology, and the Gallican liturgical books. The "departure" or "assumption" of the Apostle is noted in the Menology of Constantinople and the Calendar of Naples (26 September), which seems to have been regarded as the date of his death. The feast of St. John before the Latin Gate, supposed to commemorate the dedication of the church near the Porta Latina, is first mentioned in the Sacramentary of Adrian 1 (772-95).

St. John in christian art.

Early Christian art usually represents St. John with an eagle, symbolizing the heights to which he rises in the first chapter of his Gospel. The chalice as symbolic of St. John, which, according to some authorities, was not adopted until the thirteenth century, is sometimes interpreted with reference to the Last Supper, again as connected with the legend according to which St. John was handed a cup of poisoned wine, from which, at his blessing, the poison rose in the shape of a serpent. Perhaps the most natural explanation is to be found in the words of Christ to John and James "My chalice indeed you shall drink" (Matthew 20:23).


Gospel of St. John.

Contents and scheme of the gospel.

According to the traditional order, the Gospel of St. John occupies the last place among the four canonical Gospels. Although in many of the ancient copies this Gospel was, on account of the Apostolic dignity of the author inserted immediately after or even before the Gospel of St. Matthew, the position it occupies today was from the beginning the most usual and the most approved. As regards its contents, the Gospel of St. John is a narrative of the life of Jesus from His baptism to His Resurrection and His manifestation of Himself in the midst of His disciples. The chronicle falls naturally into four sections:

the prologue (1:1-18), containing what is in a sense a brief epitome of the whole Gospel in the doctrine of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word;

the first part (1:19-12:50), which recounts the public life of Jesus from His baptism to the eve of His Passion,

the second part (13-21:23), which relates the history of the Passion and Resurrection of the Saviour;

a short epilogue (21:23-25), referring to the great mass of the Saviour's words and works which are not recorded in the Gospel.

When we come to consider the arrangement of matter by the Evangelist, we find that it follows the historical order of events, as is evident from the above analysis. But the author displays in addition a special concern to determine exactly the time of the occurrence and the connection of the various events fitted into this chronological framework. This is apparent at the very beginning of his narrative when, as though in a diary he chronicles the circumstances attendant on the beginning of the Saviour's public ministry, with four successive definite indications of the time (1:29, 35, 43, 2:1). He lays special emphasis on the first miracles: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee" (2:11), and "This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee" (4:54). Finally, he refers repeatedly throughout to the great religious and national festivals of the Jews for the purpose of indicating the exact historical sequence of the facts related (2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2; 10:22; 12:1, 13:1).

All the early and the majority of modern exegetes are quite justified, therefore, in taking this strictly chronological arrangement of the events as the basis of their commentaries. The divergent views of a few modern scholars are without objective support either in the text of the Gospel or in the history of its exegesis.

Distinctive peculiarities.

The Fourth Gospel is written in Greek, and even a superficial study of it is sufficient to reveal many peculiarities, which give the narrative a distinctive character. Especially characteristic is the vocabulary and diction. His vocabulary is, it is true, less rich in peculiar expressions than that of Paul or of Luke: he uses in all about ninety words not found in any other hagiographer. More numerous are the expressions which are used more frequently by John than by the other sacred writers. Moreover, in comparison with the other books of the New Testament, the narrative of St. John contains a very considerable portion of those words and expressions which might be called the common vocabulary of the Four Evangelists.

What is even more distinctive than the vocabulary is the grammatical use of particles, pronouns, prepositions, verbs, etc., in the Gospel of St. John. It is also distinguished by many peculiarities of style, — asyndeta, reduplications, repetitions, etc. On the whole, the Evangelist reveals a close intimacy with the Hellenistic speech of the first century of our era. which receives at his hands in certain expressions a Hebrew turn. His literary style is deservedly lauded for its noble, natural, and not inartistic simplicity. He combines in harmonious fashion the rustic speech of the Synoptics with the urban phraseology of St. Paul.

What first attracts our attention in the subject matter of the Gospel is the confinement of the narrative to the chronicling of events which took place in Judea and Jerusalem. Of the Saviour's labours in Galilee John relates but a few events, without dwelling on details, and of these events only two — the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (6:1-16), and the sea-voyage (6:17-21) — are already related in the Synoptic Gospels.

A second limitation of material is seen in the selection of his subject-matter, for compared with the other Evangelists, John chronicles but few miracles and devotes his attention less to the works than to the discourses of Jesus. In most cases the events form, as it were, but a frame for the words, conversation, and teaching of the Saviour and His disputations with His adversaries. In fact it is the controversies with the Sanhedrists at Jerusalem which seem especially to claim the attention of the Evangelist. On such occasions John's interest, both in the narration of the circumstances and in the recording of the discourses and conversation of the Saviour, is a highly theological one. With justice, therefore, was John conceded even in the earliest ages of Christianity, the honorary title of the ''theologian'' of the Evangelists. There are, in particular, certain great truths, to which he constantly reverts in his Gospel and which may be regarded as his governing ideas, special mention should be made of such expressions as the Light of the World, the Truth, the Life, the Resurrection, etc. Not infrequently these or other phrases are found in pithy, gnomic form at the beginning of a colloquy or discourse of the Saviour, and frequently recur, as a leitmotif, at intervals during the discourse (e. g. 6:35, 48, 51, 58; 10:7, 9; 15:1, 5; 17:1, 5; etc.).

In a far higher degree than in the Synoptics, the whole narrative of the Fourth Gospel centres round the Person of the Redeemer. From his very opening sentences John turns his gaze to the inmost recesses of eternity, to the Divine Word in the bosom of the Father. He never tires of portraying the dignity and glory of the Eternal Word Who vouchsafed to take up His abode among men that, while receiving the revelation of His Divine Majesty, we might also participate in the fullness of His grace and truth. As evidence of the Divinity of the Saviour the author chronicles some of the great wonders by which Christ revealed His glory, but he is far more intent on leading us to a deeper understanding of Christ's Divinity and majesty by a consideration of His words, discourses, and teaching, and to impress upon our minds the far more glorious marvels of His Divine Love.


If we except the heretics mentioned by Irenaeus (Adv. haer. 3, 11:9) and Epiphanius (Haer. 51:3), the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel was scarcely ever seriously questioned until the end of the eighteenth century. Evanson (1792) and Bretschneider (1820) were the first to run counter to tradition in the question of the authorship, and, since David Friedrich Strauss (1834-40) adopted Bretschneider's views and the members of the Tübingen School, in the wake of Ferdinand Christian Baur, denied the authenticity of this Gospel, the majority of the critics outside the Catholic Church have denied that the Fourth Gospel was authentic. On the admission of many critics, their chief reason lies in the fact that John has too clearly and emphatically made the true Divinity of the Redeemer, in the strict metaphysical sense, the centre of his narrative. However, even Harnack has had to admit that, though denying the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel, he has sought in vain for any satisfactory solution of the Johannine problem: "Again and again have I attempted to solve the problem with various possible theories, but they led me into still greater difficulties, and even developed into contradictions." ("Gesch. der altchristl. Lit." 1, pt. 2, Leipzig, 1897, p. 678.)

A short examination of the arguments bearing on the solution of the problem of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel will enable the reader to form an independent judgment.


Direct Historical Proof.

If, as is demanded by the character of the historical question, we first consult the historical testimony of the past, we discover the universally admitted fact that, from the eighteenth century back to at least the third, the Apostle John was accepted without question as the author of the Fourth Gospel. In the examination of evidence therefore, we may begin with the third century, and thence proceed back to the time of the Apostles.

The ancient manuscripts and translations of the Gospel constitute the first group of evidence. In the titles, tables of contents, signatures, which are usually added to the text of the separate Gospels, John is in every case and without the faintest indication of doubt named as the author of this Gospel. The earliest of the extant manuscripts, it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century, but the perfect unanimity of all the codices proves to every critic that the prototypes of these manuscripts, at a much earlier date, must have contained the same indications of authorship. Similar is the testimony of the Gospel translations, of which the Syrian, Coptic, and Old Latin extend back in their earliest forms to the second century.

The evidence given by the early ecclesiastical authors, whose reference to questions of authorship is but incidental, agrees with that of the above mentioned sources. St. Dionysius of Alexandria (264-5), it is true, sought for a different author for the Revelation, owing to the special difficulties which were being then urged by the Millennarianists in Egypt; but he always took for granted as an undoubted fact that the Apostle John was the author of the Fourth Gospel. Equally clear is the testimony of Origen (d. 254). He knew from the tradition of the Church that John was the last of the Evangelists to compose his Gospel (Eusebius, " Hist. eccl." 6, 25:6), and at least a great portion of his commentary on the Gospel of St. John, in which he everywhere makes clear his conviction of the Apostolic origin of the work has come down to us. Origen's teacher, Clement of Alexandria (d. before 215-6), relates as " the tradition of the old presbyters," that the Apostle John, the last of the Evangelists, "filled with the Holy Ghost, had written a spiritual Gospel" (Eusebius, op. cit. 6, 14:7).

Of still greater importance is the testimony of St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (d. about 202), linked immediately with the Apostolic Age as he is, through his teacher Polycarp, the disciple of the Apostle John. The native country of Irenaeus (Asia Minor) and the scene of his subsequent ministry (Gaul) render him a witness of the Faith in both the Eastern and the Western Church. He cites in his writings at least one hundred verses from the Fourth Gospel, often with the remark, "as John, the disciple of the Lord, says." In speaking of the composition of the Four Gospels, he says of the last: " Later John, the disciple of the Lord who rested on His breast, also wrote a Gospel, while he was residing at Ephesus in Asia" (Adv. Haer. 3:1, n. 2). As here, so also in the other texts it is clear that by "John, the disciple of the Lord," he means none other than the Apostle John.

We find that the same conviction concerning the authorship of the Fourth Gospel is expressed at greater length in the Roman Church, about 170, by the writer of the Muratorian Fragment (lines 9-34). Bishop Theophilus of Antioch in Syria (before 181) also cites the beginning of the Fourth Gospel as the words of John (Ad Autolycum 2:22). Finally, according to the testimony of a Vatican manuscript (Codex Regin Sueci seu Alexandrinus, 14), Bishop Papias of Hierapolis in Phrygia, an immediate disciple of the Apostle John, included in his great exegetical work an account of the composition of the Gospel by St. John during which he had been employed as scribe by the Apostle.

It is scarcely necessary to repeat that, in the passages referred to, Papias and the other ancient writers have in mind but one John, namely the Apostle and Evangelist, and not some other Presbyter John, to be distinguished from the Apostle.

Indirect external evidence.

In addition to the direct and express testimony, the first Christian centuries testify indirectly in various ways to the Johannine origin of the Fourth Gospel. Among this indirect evidence the most prominent place must be assigned to the numerous citations of texts from the Gospel which demonstrate its existence and the recognition of its claim to form a portion of the canonical writings of the New Testament, as early as the beginning of the second century. St. Ignatius of Antioch, who died under Trajan (98-117), reveals in the quotations, allusions, and theological views found in his Epistles, an intimate acquaintance with the Fourth Gospel. In the writings of the majority of the other Apostolic Fathers, also, a like acquaintance with this Gospel can scarcely be disputed, especially in the case of Polycarp, the "Martyrium of Polycarp," the "Epistle to Diognetus," and the "Pastor" of Hermas (cf. the list of quotations and allusions in F. X. Funk's edition of the Apostolic Fathers).

In speaking of St. Papias, Eusebius says (Hist. Eccl. 3, 39:17) that he used in his work passages from the First Epistle of St. John. But this Epistle necessarily presupposes the existence of the Gospel, of which it is in a way the introduction or companion work. Furthermore, St. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 5, 32:2) cites a sentence of the "presbyters" which contains a quotation from John 14:2, and, according to the opinion of those entitled to speak as critics, St. Papias must be placed in the front rank of the presbyters.

Of the second-century apologists, St. Justin (d. about 166), in an especial manner, indicates by his doctrine of the Logos, and in many passages of his apologies the existence of the Fourth Gospel. His disciple Tatian, in the chronological scheme of his "Diatessaron," follows the order of the Fourth Gospel, the prologue of which he employs as the introduction to his work. In his "Apology" also he cites a text from the Gospel.

Like Tatian, who apostatized about 172 and joined the Gnostic sect of the Encratites, several other heretics of the second century also supply indirect testimony concerning the Fourth Gospel. Basilides appeals to John 1:8, and 2:4. Valentine seeks support for his theories of the ons in expressions taken from John; his pupil Heracleon composed, about 160, a commentary on the Fourth Gospel, while Ptolemy, another of his followers, gives an explanation of the prologue of the Evangelist. Marcion preserves a portion of the canonical text of the Gospel of St. John (13:4-15; 34:15, 19) in his own apocryphal gospel. The Montanists deduce their doctrine of the Paraclete mainly from John, 15-16. Similarly in his "True Discourse" (about 178) the pagan philosopher Celsus bases some of his statements on passages of the Fourth Gospel.

On the other hand, indirect testimony concerning this Gospel is also supplied by the oldest ecclesiastical liturgies and the monuments of early Christian art. As to the former, we find from the very beginning texts from the Fourth Gospel used in all parts of the Church, and not infrequently with special predilection. Again, to take one example, the raising of Lazarus depicted in the Catacombs forms, as it were, a monumental commentary on the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of St. John.


The testimony of the gospel itself.

The Gospel itself also furnishes an entirely intelligible solution of the question of authorship.

(1) The general character of the work

In the first place from the general character of the work we are enabled to draw some inferences regarding its author. To judge from the language, the author was a Palestinian Jew, who was well acquainted with the Hellenic Greek of the upper classes. He also displays an accurate knowledge of the geographical and social conditions of Palestine even in his slightest incidental references. He must have enjoyed personal intercourse with the Saviour and must even have belonged to the circle of his intimate friends. The very style of his chronicle shows the writer to have been an eyewitness of most of the events. Concerning the Apostles John and James the author shows a thoroughly characteristic reserve. He never mentions their names, although he gives those of most of the Apostles, and once only, and then quite incidentally, speaks of "the sons of Zebedee" (21:2). On several occasions, when treating of incidents in which the Apostle John was concerned, he seems intentionally to avoid mentioning his name (John 1:37-40; 18:15, 16; cf. 20:3-10). He speaks of John the precursor nine times without giving him the title of "the Baptist," as the other Evangelists invariably do to distinguish him from the Apostle. All these indications point clearly to the conclusion that the Apostle John must have been the author of the Fourth Gospel.

(2) The express testimony of the author

Still clearer grounds for this view are to be found in the express testimony of the author. Having mentioned in his account of the Crucifixion that the disciple whom Jesus loved stood beneath the Cross beside the mother of Jesus (John 19:26 sqq.), he adds, after telling of the Death of Christ and the opening of His side, the solemn assurance: "And he that saw it hath given testimony; and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe" (19:35). According to the admission of all John himself is the "disciple whom the Lord loved." His testimony is contained in the Gospel which for many consecutive years he has announced by word of mouth and which he now sets down in writing for the instruction of the faithful. He assures us, not merely that this testimony is true, but that he was a personal witness of its truth. In this manner he identifies himself with the disciple beloved of the Lord who alone could give such testimony from intimate knowledge. Similarly the author repeats this testimony at the end of his Gospel. After again referring to the disciple whom Jesus loved, he immediately adds the words: "This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true" (John 21:24). As the next verse shows, his testimony refers not merely to the events just recorded but to the whole Gospel. It is more in accordance with the text and the general style of the Evangelist to regard these final words as the author's own composition, should we prefer, however, to regard this verse as the addition of the first reader and disciple of the Apostle, the text constitutes the earliest and most venerable evidence of the Johannine origin of the Fourth Gospel.

(3) Comparison of the Gospel to the Johannine epistles

Finally we can obtain evidence Concerning the author from the Gospel itself, by comparing his work with the three Epistles, which have retained their place among the Catholic Epistles as the writings of the Apostle John. We may here take for granted as a fact admitted by the majority of the critics, that these Epistles are the work of the same writer, and that the author was identical with the author of the Gospel. In fact the arguments based on the unity of style and language, on the uniform Johannine teaching, on the testimony of Christian antiquity, render any reasonable doubt of the common authorship impossible. At the beginning of the Second and Third Epistles the author styles himself simply "the presbyter" - evidently the title of honour by which he was commonly known among the Christian community. On the other hand, in his First Epistle, he emphasizes repeatedly and with great earnestness the feet that he was an eyewitness of the facts concerning the life of Christ to which he (in his Gospel) had borne testimony among the Christians: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the word of life: for the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us: that which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you" (1 John 1:1-3; cf. 4:14). This "presbyter" who finds it sufficient to use such an honorary title without qualification as his proper name, and was likewise an eye- and earwitness of the incidents of the Saviour's life, can be none other than the Presbyter John mentioned by Papias, who can in turn be none other than John the Apostle.

We can therefore, maintain with the utmost certainty that John the Apostle, the favourite disciple of Jesus, was really the author of the Fourth Gospel.

Circumstances of the composition.

Passing over the intimate circumstances with which early legend has clothed the composition of the Fourth Gospel, we shall discuss briefly the time and place of composition, and the first readers of the Gospel.

As to the date of its composition we possess no certain historical information. According to the general opinion, the Gospel is to be referred to the last decade of the first century, or to be still more precise, to 96 or one of the succeeding years. The grounds for this opinion are briefly as follows:

the Fourth Gospel was composed after the three Synoptics;

it was written after the death of Peter, since the last chapter - especially 21:18-19 presupposes the death of the Prince of the Apostles;

it was also written after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, for the Evangelist's references to the Jews (cf. particularly 11:18; 18:1; 19:41) seem to indicate that the end of the city and of the people as a nation is already come;

the text of 21:23, appears to imply that John was already far advanced in years when he wrote the Gospel;

those who denied the Divinity of Christ, the very point to which St. John devotes special attention throughout his Gospel, began to disseminate their heresy about the end of the first century;

finally, we have direct evidence concerning the date of composition. The so-called "Monarchian Prologue" to the Fourth Gospel, which was probably written about the year 200 or a little later, says concerning the date of the appearance of the Gospel: "He [sc. the Apostle John] wrote this Gospel in the Province of Asia, after he had composed the Revelation on the Island of Patmos." The banishment of John to Patmos occurred in the last year of Domitian's reign (i.e. about 95). A few months before his death (18 September, 96), the emperor had discontinued the persecution of the Christians and recalled the exiles (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 3, 20, nn. 5-7). This evidence would therefore refer the composition of the Gospel to A.D. 96 or one of the years immediately following.

The place of composition was, according to the above-mentioned prologue, the province of Asia. Still more precise is the statement of St. Irenaeus, who tells us that John wrote his Gospel "at Ephesus in Asia" (Adv. haer. 3, 1:2). All the other early references are in agreement with these statements.

The first readers of the Gospel were the Christians of the second and third generations in Asia Minor. There was no need of initiating them into the elements of the Faith; consequently John must have aimed rather at confirming against the attacks of its opponents the Faith handed down by their parents.

Critical questions concerning the text.

As regards the text of the Gospel, the critics take special exception to three passages, 5:3-4; 7:53-8:11; and 21.


John 5:3-4

The fifth chapter tells of the cure of the paralytic at the pool of Bethsaida in Jerusalem. According to the Vulgate the text of the second part of verse three and verse four runs as follows: " . . . waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond, and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under." But these words are wanting in the three oldest manuscripts, the Codex Vaticanus (B), Codex Sinaiticus (aleph), and Codex Bez (D), in the original text of the palimpsest of St. Ephraem (C), in the Syrian translation of Cureton, as well as in the Coptic and Sahidic translations, in some minuscules, in three manuscripts of the Itala, in four of the Vulgate, and in some Armenian manuscripts. Other copies append to the words a critical sign which indicates a doubt as to their authenticity. The passage is therefore regarded by the majority of modern critics, including the Christian exegetes, Schegg, Schanz, Belser, etc., as a later addition by Papias or some other disciple of the Apostle.

Other exegetes, e.g. Corluy, Comely, Knabenbauer, and Murillo, defend the authenticity of the passage urging in its favour important internal and external evidence. In the first place the words are found in the Codex Alexandrinus (A), the emended Codex Ephraemi (C), in almost all minuscule manuscripts, in six manuscripts of the Itala, in most of the Bodices of the Vulgate, including the best, in the Syrian Peshito, in the Syrian translation of Philoxenus (with a critical mark), in the Persian, Arabic, and Slavonic translations, and in some manuscripts of the Armenian text. More important is the fact that, even before the date of our present bodices, the words were found by many of the Greek and Latin Fathers in the text of the Gospel. This is clear from Tertullian [De bapt. 1(before 202)], Didymus of Alexandria [De Trin. 2, 14 (about 381)], St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine [Sermo 15 (al. 12), De verbis Evangelii S. Joannis), although the last-mentioned, in his tractate on the Gospel of St. John, omits the passage.

The context of the narrative seems necessarily to presuppose the presence of the words. The subsequent answer of the sick man (v. 7), "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me," could scarcely be intelligible without verse 4, and the Evangelist is not accustomed to omit such necessary information from his text. Thus both sides have good grounds for their opinions, and no final decision on the question, from the standpoint of the textual critic, seems possible.


John 7:53-8:11

This passage contains the story of the adulteress. The external critical evidence seems in this ease to give still clearer decision against the authenticity of this passage. It is wanting in the four earliest manuscripts (B, A, C, and aleph) and many others, while in many copies it is admitted only with the critical mark, indicative of doubtful authenticity. Nor is it found in the Syrian translation of Cureton, in the Sinaiticus, the Gothic translation, in most codices of the Peshito, or of the Coptic and Armenian translations, or finally in the oldest manuscripts of the Itala. None of the Greek Fathers have treated the incident in their commentaries, and, among Latin writers, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Hilary appear to have no knowledge of this pericope.

Notwithstanding the weight of the external evidence of these important authorities, it is possible to adduce still more important testimony in favour of the authenticity of the passage. As for the manuscripts, we know on the authority of St. Jerome that the incident "was contained in many Greek and Latin codices" (Contra Pelagium 2:17), a testimony supported today by the Codex Bez of Canterbury (D) and many others. The authenticity of the passage is also favoured by the Vulgate, by the Ethiopians Arabic, and Slavonic translations, and by many manuscripts of the Itala and of the Armenian and Syrian text. Of the commentaries of the Greek Fathers, the books of Origen dealing with this portion of the Gospel are no longer extant; only a portion of the commentary of St. Cyril of Alexandria has reached us, while the homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Fourth Gospel must be considered a treatment of selected passages rather than of the whole text. Among the Latin Fathers, Sts. Ambrose and Augustine included the pericope in their text, and seek an explanation of its omission from other manuscripts in the fact that the incident might easily give rise to offense (cf. especially Augustine, " De coniugiis adulteris," 2, 7). It is thus much easier to explain the omission of the incident from many copies than the addition of such a passage in so many ancient versions in all parts of the Church. It is furthermore admitted by the critics that the style and mode of presentation have not the slightest trace of apocryphal origin, but reveal throughout the hand of a true master. Too much importance should not be attached to variations of vocabulary, which may be found on comparing this passage with the rest of the Gospel, since the correct reading of the text is in many places doubtful, and any such differences of language may be easily harmonized with the strongly individual style of the Evangelist.

John 21

Concerning the last chapter of the Gospel a few remarks will suffice. The last two verses of the twentieth chapter indicate clearly indeed that the Evangelist intended to terminate his work here: "Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name " (20:30 sq.). But the sole conclusion that can be deduced from this is that the twenty-first chapter was afterwards added and is therefore to be regarded as an appendix to the Gospel. Evidence has yet to be produced to show that it was not the Evangelist, but another, who wrote this appendix. The opinion is at present fairly general, even among critics, that the vocabulary, style, and the mode of presentation as a whole, together with the subject-matter of the passage reveal the common authorship of this chapter and the preceding portions of the Fourth Gospel.

Historical genuineness.

Objections Raised against the Historical Character of the Fourth Gospel

The historical genuineness of the Fourth Gospel is at the present time almost universally denied outside the Christian Church. Since David Friedrich Strauss and Ferdinand Christian Baur this denial has been postulated in advance in most of the critical inquiries into the Gospels and the life of Jesus. Influenced by this prevailing tendency, Alfred Loisy also reached the point where he openly denied the historicity of the Fourth Gospel; in his opinion the author desired, not to write a history, but to clothe in symbolical garb his religious ideas and theological speculations.

The writings of Loisy and their rationalistic prototypes, especially those of the German critics, have influenced many later exegetes, who while wishing to maintain the Christian standpoint in general, concede only a very limited measure of historical genuineness to the Fourth Gospel. Among this class are included those who acknowledge as historical the main outlines of the Evangelist's narrative, but see in many individual portions only symbolical embellishments. Others hold with H. J. Holtzmann that we must recognize in the Gospel a mixture of the subjective, theological speculations of the author and the objective, personal recollections of his intercourse with Christ, without any possibility of our distinguishing by sure criteria these different elements. That such a hypothesis precludes any further question as to the historical genuineness of the Johannine narrative, is evident, and is indeed candidly admitted by the representatives of these views.

On examining the grounds for this denial or limitation of the historical genuineness of John we find that they are drawn by the critics almost exclusively from the relation of the Fourth Gospel to the Synoptic narrative. On comparison three points of contrast are discovered: (1) with respect to the events which are related; (2) in regard to the mode of presentation; and (3) in the doctrine which is contained in the narrative.

(1) The events related

As regards the events related, the great contrast between John and the Synoptists in the choice and arrangement of materials is especially accentuated. The latter show us the Saviour almost exclusively in Galilee, labouring among the common people: John, on the other hand, devotes himself chiefly to chronicling Christ's work in Judea, and His conflicts with the Sanhedrists at Jerusalem. An easy solution of this first difficulty is found in the special circumstances attending the composition of the Fourth Gospel. John may - in fact must - have assumed that the Synoptic narrative was known to his readers at the end of the first century. The interest and spiritual needs of these readers demanded primarily that he supplement the evangelical story in such a manner as to lead to a deeper knowledge of the Person and Divinity of the Saviour, against which the first heresies of Cerinthus, the Ebionites, and the Nicolaites were being already disseminated in Christian communities. But it was chiefly in His discussions with the Scribes and Pharisees at Jerusalem that Christ had spoken of His Person and Divinity. In his Gospel, therefore John made it his primary purpose to set down the sublime teachings of Our Saviour, to safeguard the Faith of the Christians against the attacks of the heretics. When we come to consider the individual events in the narrative, three points in particular are brought forward:

the duration of Christ's public ministry extends in the Fourth Gospel over at least two years, probably indeed over three years, and some months. However, the Synoptic account of the public life of Jesus can by no means be confined within the narrow space of one year, as some modern critics contend. The three earliest Evangelists also suppose the space of at least two years and some months.

The purification of the Temple is referred by John to the beginning of the Saviour's ministry, while the Synoptists narrate it at the close. But it is by no means proven that this purification occurred but once. The critics bring forward not a single objective reason why we should not hold that the incident, under the circumstances related in the Synoptics, as well as those of the Fourth Gospel, had its historical place at the beginning and at the end of the public life of Jesus.

Notwithstanding all the objections brought forward, John is in agreement with the Synoptists as to the date of the Last Supper. It occurred on Thursday, the thirteenth day of Nisan, and the Crucifixion took place on Friday, the fourteenth. The fact that according to John, Christ held the Supper with His Apostles on Thursday, while, according to the Synoptists, the Jews ate the paschal lamb on Friday, is not irreconcilable with the above statement. The most probable solution of the question lies in the legitimate and widespread custom, according to which, when the fifteenth of Nisan fell on the Sabbath, as it did in the year of the Crucifixion, the paschal lamb was killed in the evening hours of the thirteenth of Nisan and the paschal feast celebrated on this or the following evening, to avoid all infringement of the strict sabbatic rest.

(2) The mode of presentation

As regards the mode of presentation, it is especially insisted that the great sublimity of the Fourth Gospel is difficult to reconcile with the homely simplicity of the Synoptics. This objection, however, entirely disregards the great differences in the circumstances under which the Gospels were written. For the Christians of the third generation in Asia living in the midst of flourishing schools, the Fourth Evangelist was forced to adopt an entirely different style from that employed by his predecessors in writing for the newly-converted Jews and pagans of the earlier period.

Another difficulty raised is the fact that the peculiar Johannine style is found not only in the narrative portions of the Gospel, but also in the discourses of Jesus and in the words of the Baptist and other personages. But we must remember that all the discourses and colloquies had to be translated from Aramaic into Greek, and in this process received from the author their distinctive unity of style. Besides in the Gospel, the intention is by no means to give a verbatim report of every sentence and expression of a discourse, a sermon, or a disputation. The leading ideas alone are set forth in exact accordance with the sense, and, in this manner, also, they come to reflect the style of the Evangelist. Finally, the disciple surely received from his Master many of the distinctive metaphors and expressions which imprint on the Gospel its peculiar character.

(3) The doctrinal content

The difference in doctrinal content lies only in the external forms and does not extend to the truths themselves. A satisfactory explanation of the dogmatic character of John's narrative, as compared with the stress laid on the moral side of the discourses of Jesus by the Synoptists, is to be found in the character of his first readers, to which reference has already been repeatedly made. To the same cause, also, must be ascribed the further difference between the Gospels namely, why John makes his teaching centre around the Person of Jesus, while the Synoptics bring into relief rather the Kingdom of God. At the end of the first century there was no need for the Evangelist to repeat the lessons concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, already amply treated by his predecessors. His was the especial task to emphasize, in opposition to the heretics, the fundamental truth of the Divinity of the Founder of this Kingdom, and by chronicling those words and works of the Redeemer in which He Himself had revealed the majesty of His glory, to lead the faithful to a more profound knowledge of this truth.

It is superfluous to say that in the teaching itself, especially regarding the Person of the Redeemer, there is not the slightest contradiction between John and the Synoptists. The critics themselves have to admit that even in the Synoptic Gospels Christ, when He speaks of His relations with the Father, assumes the solemn "Johannine" mode of speech. It will be sufficient to recall the impressive words: "And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him" (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22).

(4) Positive Evidence for the Historical Genuineness of the Gospel

The reasons urged against the genuineness of the Fourth Gospel are devoid of all conclusive force. On the other hand, its genuineness is vouched for by the whole character of the narrative. From the very beginning the events are portrayed with the precision of an eyewitness; the most minute subsidiary circumstances are mentioned; not the least suggestion can be found that the author had any other object in mind than the chronicling of the strict historical truth. A perusal of the passages describing the call of the first disciples (1:35-51), the Marriage at Cana (2:1-11), the conversation with the Samaritan woman (4:3-42), the healing of the man born blind (9:1-41), the raising of Lazarus (11:1-47), is sufficient to convince one that such a chronicle must necessarily lead the readers into error, if the events which are described be otherwise than true in the historical sense.

To this must be added the express assertion made repeatedly by the Evangelist that he speaks the truth and claims for his words unqualified belief (9:35; 20:30 sq.; 21:24; 1 John, 1:1-4). To reject these assurances is to label the Evangelist a worthless impostor, and to make of his Gospel an unsolvable historical and psychological enigma.

And finally, the verdict of the entire Christian past has certainly a distinct claim to consideration in this question, since the Fourth Gospel has always been unhesitatingly accepted as one of the chief and historically credible sources of our knowledge of the life of Jesus Christ.

Object and importance.

The intention of the Evangelist in composing the Gospel is expressed in the words which we have already quoted: "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (20:31). He wished also by his work to confirm the faith of the disciples in the Messianic character and the Divinity of Christ. To attain his object, he selected principally those discourses and colloquies of Jesus in which the self-revelation of the Redeemer laid clearest emphasis on the Divine Majesty of His Being. In this manner John wished to secure the faithful against the temptations of the false learning by means of which the heretics might prejudice the purity of their faith. Towards the narrative of the earlier Evangelists John's attitude was that of one who sought to fill out the story of the words and works of the Saviour, while endeavouring to secure certain incidents from misinterpretation. His Gospel thus forms a glorious conclusion of the joyous message of the Eternal Word. For all time it remains for the Church the most sublime testimony of her faith in the Son of God, the radiant lamp of truth for her doctrine, the never-ceasing source of loving zeal in her devotion to her Master, Who loves her even to the end.



Acts of the Apostles.

In the accepted order of the books of the New Testament the fifth book is called The Acts of the Apostles (praxeis Apostolon). Some have thought that the title of the book was affixed by the author himself. This is the opinion of Cornely in his "Introduction to the Books of the New Testament" (second edition, page 315). It seems far more probable, however, that the name was subsequently attached to the book just as the headings of the several Gospels were affixed to them. In fact, the name, Acts of the Apostles, does not precisely convey the idea of the contents of the book; and such a title would scarcely be given to the work by the author himself.


The book does not contain the Acts of all the Apostles, neither does it contain all the acts of any Apostle. It opens with a brief notice of the forty days succeeding the Resurrection of Christ during which He appeared to the Apostles, "speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God." The promise of the Holy Ghost and the Ascension of Christ are then briefly recorded. St. Peter advises that a successor be chosen in the place of Judas Iscariot, and Matthias is chosen by lot. On Pentecost the Holy Ghost descends on the Apostles, and confers on them the gift of tongues. To the wondering witnesses St. Peter explains the great miracle, proving that it is the power of Jesus Christ that is operating. By that great discourse many were converted to the religion of Christ and were baptized, "and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls." This was the beginning of the Judeo-Christian Church. "And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved." Peter and John heal a man, lame from his mother's womb, at the door of the Temple which is called Beautiful. The people are filled with wonder and amazement at the miracle and run together unto Peter and John in the portico that was called Solomon's. Peter again preaches Jesus Christ, asserting that by faith in the name of Jesus the lame man had been made strong. "And many of them that heard the word believed," and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. But now "the priests, and the prefect of the Temple and the Sadducees came upon them, being sorely troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in prison unto the morrow." On the morrow Peter and John are summoned before rulers, elders, and scribes, among whom were present Annas, the High-Priest, Caiphas, and as many as were of the kindred of the High-Priest. And when they had set Peter and John in the midst they inquired: "By what power, or in want name have ye done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, answering gave utterance to one of the most sublime professions of the Christian faith ever made by man: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in this name doth this man stand here before you whole. He [Jesus] is the stone which was set at naught by you the builders, which was made the head of the corner [Isaiah 28:16; Matt. 21:42]. And in no other is there salvation: For neither is there any other name under Heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved." The members of the council were brought face to face with the most positive evidence of the truth of the Christian religion. They command the two Apostles to go aside out of the council, and then they confer among themselves, saying "What shall we do with these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been wrought through them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it." Here is one of the splendid instances of that great cumulus of evidence upon which the certitude of the Christian Faith rests. A bitterly hostile council of the chief Jews of Jerusalem is obliged to declare that a notable miracle had been wrought, which it cannot deny, and which is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem.

With dreadful malice the council attempts to restrain the great movement of Christianity. They threaten the Apostles, and charge them not to speak at all or teach in the name of Jesus; Peter and John contemn the threat, calling upon the council to judge whether it be right to hearken unto the council rather than unto God. The members of the council could not inflict punishment upon the two Apostles, on account of the people, who glorified God on account of the great miracle. Peter and John, being freed from custody, return to the other Apostles. They all give glory to God and pray for boldness to speak the word of God. After the prayer the place shakes, and they are filled with the Holy Ghost.

The fervour of the Christians at that epoch was very great. They were of one heart and soul; they had all things in common. As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and delivered the price to the Apostles, and this money was distributed as anyone had need. But a certain Ananias, with Saphira his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price, the wife being accessory to the deed. St. Peter is inspired by the Holy Ghost to know the deception, and rebukes Ananias for the lie to the Holy Ghost. At the rebuke the man falls dead. Saphira, coming up afterwards, and knowing nothing of the death of her husband, is interrogated by St. Peter regarding the transaction. She also keeps back a part of the price, and lyingly asserts that the full price has been brought to the Apostles. St. Peter rebukes her, and she also falls dead at his words. The multitude saw in the death of Ananias and Saphira God's punishment, and great fear came upon all. This miracle of God's punishment of sin also confirmed the faith of those that believed and drew disciples to them. At this stage of the life of the Church miracles were necessary to attest the truth of her teaching, and the power of miracles was abundantly bestowed upon the Apostles. These miracles are not reviewed in detail in Acts, but it is stated: "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people" (Acts 5:12). Multitudes both of men and women were added to the Christian community. The people of Jerusalem carried out the sick and laid them on beds and couches in the streets that the shadow of St. Peter might fall on them. They brought the sick from the cities round about Jerusalem, and every one was healed.

The most powerful sect among the Jews at this epoch were the Sadducees. They were especially opposed to the Christian religion on account of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. The cardinal truth of the Apostles' teaching was: Life Everlasting through Jesus, Who was crucified for our sins, and Who is risen from the dead. The High-Priest Annas favored the Sadducees, and his son Ananus. who afterwards became High-Priest, was a Sadducee (Josephus, Antiq. 20, 8). These fierce sectaries made with Annas and Caiphas common cause against the Apostles of Christ, and cast them again into prison. The Acts leaves us in no doubt as to the motive that inspired the High-Priest and the sectaries: "They were filled with jealousy." The religious leaders of the Old Law saw their influence with the people waning before the power which worked in the Apostles of Christ. An angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought the Apostles out, and bade them go and preach in the Temple. The council of the Jews, not finding Peter and John in the prison, and learning of their miraculous deliverance, are much perplexed. On information that they are teaching In the Temple, they send and take them, but without violence fearing the people. It is evident throughout that the common people are disposed to follow the Apostles; the opposition comes from the priests and the classes, most of the latter being Sadducees. The council accuses the Apostles that, contrary to its former injunction not to teach in Christ's name, they had filled Jerusalem with Christ's teaching. Peter's defence is that they must obey God rather than men. He then boldly reiterates the doctrine of the Redemption and of the Resurrection. The council is minded to kill the Apostles. At this point Gamaliel, a Pharisee, a doctor of the Jewish law, held in honour of all the people, arises in the council in defence of the Apostles. He cites precedents to prove that, if the New Teaching be of men, it will be overthrown; and if it be of God, it will be impossible to overthrow it. Gamaliel's counsel prevails, and the council calls the Apostles, beats them, and lets them go, charging them not to speak in the name of Jesus. But the Apostles departed, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the Name. And every day, in the Temple and privately they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus the Christ.

A murmuring having arisen of the Grecian Jews, that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration, the Apostles, deeming it unworthy that they should forsake the word of God and serve tables, appoint seven deacons to minister. Chief among the deacons was Stephen, a man full of the Holy Spirit. He wrought great signs and wonders among the people. The anti-Christian Jews endeavour to resist him, but are not able to withstand the wisdom and the spirit by which he speaks. They suborn witnesses to testify that he has spoken against Moses and the Temple. Stephen is seized and brought into the council. False witnesses testify that they have heard Stephen say that "this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered to us." All who sat in the council saw Stephen's face, as it had been the face of an angel. He makes a defence, in which he reviews the chief events in the first covenant, and its relation to the New Law. They rush upon Stephen, drag him out of the city, and stone him to death. And he kneels down and prays: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge," and dies. Beginning with the martyrdom of Stephen, a great persecution arose against the Church at Jerusalem; all were scattered abroad throughout Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles. The leader of the persecution was Saul, afterwards to become the great St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles. The deacon Philip first preaches in Samaria with great fruit. Like all the preachers of the first days of the Church, Philip confirms his preaching by great miracles. Peter and John go up to Samaria and confirm the converts whom Philip had made. Philip, commanded by an angel, goes down the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, and on the way converts and baptizes the eunuch of Candace Queen of Ethiopia. Philip is thence transported by Divine power to Azotus and preaches to all the coast cities until be comes to Cæsarea.

Saul, breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, sets out for Damascus to apprehend any Christians whom he may find there. As he draws near to Damascus, the Lord Jesus speaks to him out of the heavens and converts him. St. Paul is baptized by Ananias at Damascus, and straightway for some days abides there, preaching in the synagogues that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He withdraws into Arabia; again returns to Damascus; and after three years be goes up to Jerusalem. At Jerusalem Paul is at first distrusted by the disciples of Jesus; but after Barnabas narrates to them Paul's marvellous conversion, they receive Paul, and he preaches boldly in the name of Jesus, disputing especially against the Grecian Jews. They plot to kill him; but the Christians bring Paul down to Cæsarea, and send him forth to Tarsus, his native city.

At this epoch Acts describes the Church in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee as "at peace, being builded up, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and by the strength of the Holy Ghost it was multiplied." Peter now goes throughout all parts comforting the faithful. At Lydda he heals the palsied Æneas; and at Joppa he raises the pious widow Tabitha (Greek, Dorcas) from the dead. These miracles still more confirm the faith in Jesus Christ. At Joppa Peter has the great vision of the sheet let down from Heaven containing all manner of animals, of which he, being in a trance, is commanded to kill and eat. Peter refuses, on the ground that he cannot eat that which is common and unclean. Whereupon it is made known to him from God, that God has cleansed what was before to the Jew unclean. This great vision, revealed three times, was the manifestation of the will of Heaven that the ritual law of the Jews should cease; and that henceforth salvation should be offered without distinction to Jew and Gentile. The meaning of the vision is unfolded to Peter, when he is commanded by an angel to go to Cæsarea, to the Gentile centurion Cornelius, whose messengers were even then come to fetch him. He goes, and hears from Cornelius also the centurion's own vision. He preaches to him and to all assembled; the Holy Ghost descends upon them, and Peter commands that they be baptized. Returning to Jerusalem, the Jews contend with Peter that he has gone in to men uncircumcised, and eaten with them. He expounds to them his vision at Joppa, and also the vision of Cornelius, wherein the latter was commanded by an angel to send and fetch Peter from Joppa, that he might receive from Peter the Gospel. The Jews acquiesce, glorifying God, and declaring that "unto the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life." Those who had been scattered abroad from Jerusalem at the time of Stephen's martyrdom had travailed as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch preaching Christ; but they preached to none save the Jews. The calling of the Gentiles was not yet understood by them. But now some converts from Cyprus and Cyrene come up to Antioch, and preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. A great number believe, and turn to the Lord. The report of the work at Antioch comes to the ears of the Church in Jerusalem; and they send Barnabas, "a good man full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," to them. He takes Paul from Tarsus, and they both dwell at Antioch a whole year, and teach many people. The disciples of Christ are called Christians first at Antioch.

The rest of Acts narrates the persecution of the Christians by Herod Agrippa; the mission of Paul and Barnabas from Antioch by the Holy Ghost, to preach to the Gentile nations; the labours of Paul and Barnabas in Cyprus and in Asia Minor, their return to Antioch; the dissension at Antioch concerning circumcision; the journey of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, the decision of the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, the separation of Paul from Barnabas, in whose stead he takes Silas, or Silvanus; Paul's visit to his Asiatic Churches, his foundation of the Church at Philippi; Paul's sufferings for Jesus Christ; Paul's visit to Athens, his foundation of the churches of Corinth and of Ephesus; Paul's return to Jerusalem, his persecution by the Jews; Paul's imprisonment at Cæsarea; Paul's appeal to Cæsar, his voyage to Rome; the shipwreck; Paul's arrival at Rome, and the manner of his life there. We see therefore that a more proper title of this book would be "The Beginnings of the Christian Religion." It is an artistic whole, the fullest history which we possess of the manner in which the Church developed.

The origin of the church.

In Acts we see the fulfilment of Christ's promises. In Acts 1:8, Jesus had declared that the Apostles should receive power when the Holy Ghost should come upon them, and should be His witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. In John 14:12, Jesus had declared: "He that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do, and greater works than these shall he do. Because I go to the Father." In these passages is found the key-note of the origin of the Church. The Church developed according to the plan conceived by Christ. There is, assuredly, in the narration evidence of the working out of a great plan; for the reason that the writer records the working out of the great design of Christ, conceived in infinite wisdom, and executed by omnipotent power. There is throughout a well-defined, systematic order of narration, an exactness and fullness of detail. After the calling of the first twelve Apostles, there is no event in the history of the Church so important as Paul's conversion and commission to teach in Christ's name. Up to Paul's conversion, the inspired historian of the Acts has given us a condensed statement of the growth of the Church among the Jews. Peter and John are prominent in the work. But the great message is now to issue forth from the confines of Judaism; all flesh is to see the salvation of God; and St. Paul is to be the great instrument in preaching Christ to the Gentiles. In the development of the Christian Church Paul wrought more than all the other Apostles; and therefore in Acts St. Paul stands forth, the prominent agent of God in the conversion of the world. His appointment as the Apostle of the Gentiles does not prevent him from preaching to the Jews, but his richest fruits are gathered from the Gentiles. He fills proconsular Asia, Macedonia, Greece, and Rome with the Gospel of Christ; and the greater part of Acts is devoted exclusively to recording his work.

Division of book.

In the Acts there are no divisions of the narration contemplated by the author. It is open to us to divide the work as we deem fit. The nature of the history therein recorded easily suggests a greater division of Acts into two parts:

The beginning and propagation of the Christian religion among the Jews (1-9);

The beginning and propagation of the Christian religion among the Gentiles (10-28). St. Peter plays the chief role in the first part; St. Paul, in the second part.


The Acts of the Apostles must not be believed to be an isolated writing, but rather an integral part in a well-ordered series. Acts presupposes its readers to know the Gospels; it continues the Gospel narrative. The Four Evangelists close with the account of the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ. St. Mark is the only one who essays to give any of the subsequent history, and he condenses his account into one brief sentence: "And they went forth and preached everywhere: the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed" (Mark 36:20). Now the Acts of the Apostles takes up the narrative here and records succinctly the mighty events which were wrought by the Holy Ghost through chosen human agents. It is a condensed record of the fulfilment of the promises of Jesus Christ. The Evangelists record Christ's promises which He made to the disciples, regarding the establishment of the Church and its mission (Matt. 16:15-20); the gift of the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:49; John 14:16-17); the calling of the gentiles (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47). Acts records the fulfilment. The history begins at Jerusalem and ends at Rome. With divine simplicity Acts shows us the growth of the religion of Christ among the nations. The distinction between Jew and Gentile is abolished by the revelation to St. Peter; Paul is called to devote himself specially to the Gentile ministry, the Holy Ghost works signs in confirmation of the doctrines of Christ; men suffer and die, but the Church grows; and thus the whole world sees the Salvation of God. Nowhere in Holy Writ is the action of the Holy Ghost in the Church so forcibly set forth as in the Acts. He fills the Apostles with knowledge and power on Pentecost; they speak as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak; the Holy Ghost bids Philip the deacon go to the eunuch of Candace; the same Spirit catches up Philip, after the baptism of the eunuch, and brings him to Azotus; the Holy Ghost tells Peter to go to Cornelius; when Peter preaches to Cornelius and his family the Holy Ghost falls on them all; the Holy Ghost directly commands that Paul and Barnabas be set apart for the Gentile ministry; the Holy Ghost forbids Paul and Silas to preach in Asia; constantly, by the laying on of the Apostles' hands, the Holy Ghost comes upon the faithful; Paul is directed by the Holy Ghost in everything; the Holy Ghost foretells to him that bonds and afflictions await him in every city; when Agabus prophesies Paul's martyrdom, he says: "Thus saith the Holy Ghost: 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles' ." Acts declares that on the Gentiles the grace of the Holy Ghost is poured out; in the splendid description of St. Stephen's martyrdom he is declared full of the Holy Ghost; when Peter makes his defense before rulers, elders, and scribes, he is filled with the Holy Ghost; often it is declared that the Apostles are filled with the Holy Ghost; Philip is chosen as a deacon because be is full of faith and the Holy Ghost; when Ananias is sent to Paul at Damascus he declares that he is sent that Paul may receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost; Jesus Christ is declared to be anointed with the Holy Ghost; Barnabas is declared to be full of the Holy Ghost; the men of Samaria receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of Peter and John. This history shows the real nature of the Christian religion; its members are baptized in the Holy Ghost, and are upheld by His power. The source in the Church of infallible truth in teaching, of grace, and of the power that resists the gates of Hell is the Holy Ghost. By the power of the Spirit the Apostles established the Church in the great centres of the world: Jerusalem, Antioch Cyprus, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Philippi, Thessalonica, Beræa, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome. From these centres the message went to the surrounding lands. We see in the Acts the realization of Christ's promises just before his Ascension: "But ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." In the New Testament Acts forms a necessary connecting-link between the Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul. It gives the necessary information concerning the conversion of St. Paul and his apostolate, and also concerning the formation of the great Churches to which St. Paul wrote his Epistles.


The authenticity of the Acts of the Apostles is proved be intrinsic evidence; it is attested by the concordant voice of tradition. The unity of style of Acts and its artistic completeness compel us to receive the book as the work of one author. Such an effect could never arise from the piecing together bits of writings of different authors. The writer writes as an eyewitness and compaction of Paul. The passages 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1; 28:16 are called the We passages. In these the writer uniformly employs the first person plural, closely identifying himself with St. Paul. This excludes the theory that Acts is the work of a redactor. As Renan has well said, such use of the pronoun is incompatible with any theory of redaction. We know from many proofs that Luke was the companion and fellow-labourer of Paul. Writing to the Colossians, in his salutation Paul associates with himself, "Luke, the beloved physician" (4:14). In 2 Tim. 4:11 Paul declares: "Only Luke is with me." To Philemon (24) Paul calls Luke his fellow-worker. Now in this article, we may suppose the Lucan authorship of the third Gospel as proved. The writer of Acts in his opening sentence implicitly declares himself to be the author of the third Gospel. He addresses his work to Theophilus, the addressee of the third Gospel; he mentions his former work and in substance makes known his intention of continuing the history which, in his former treatise, he had brought up to the day when the Lord Jesus was received up. There is an identity of style between Acts and the third Gospel. An examination of the original Greek texts of the third Gospel and of the Acts reveals that there is in them a remarkable identity of manner of thinking and of writing. There is in both the same tender regard for the Gentiles, the same respect for the Roman Empire, the same treatment of the Jewish rites, the same broad conception that the Gospel is for all men. In forms of expression the third Gospel and the Acts reveal an identity of authorship. Many of the expressions usual in both works occur but rarely in the rest of the New Testament; other expressions are found nowhere else save in the third Gospel and in the Acts. If one will compare the following expressions in the Greek, he will be persuaded that both works are of the same author:

Luke 1:1-Acts 15:24-25;

Luke 15:13-Acts, 1, 5, 27, 14, 19, 11;

Luke 1, 20, 80-Acts, 1:2, 22, 2:29, 7:45;

Luke 5:34-Acts, 2:27, 4:27, 30;

Luke 23:5-Acts 10:7;

Luke 1:9-Acts, I, 17;

Luke 12:56, 21:35-Acts 17:26.

The last-cited parallel expression, to prosopon tes ges, is employed only in the third Gospel and in Acts. The evidence of the Lucan authorship of Acts is cumulative. The intrinsic evidence is corroborated by the testimonies of many witnesses. It must be granted that in the Apostolic Fathers we find but faint allusions to the Acts of the Apostles. The Fathers of that age wrote but little; and the injury of time has robbed us of much of what was written. The Gospels were more prominent in the teachings of that day and they consequently have a more abundant witness. The canon of Muratori contains the canon of Scriptures of the Church of Rome in the second century. Of Acts it declares: "But the Acts of all the Apostles are written in one book, which for the excellent Theophilus Luke wrote, because he was an eyewitness of all." In "'The Doctrine of Addai," which contains the ancient tradition of the Church of Edessa, the Acts of the Apostles are declared to be a part of the Holy Scriptures (Doctrine of Addai, ed. Phillips, 1876, 46). The twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth chapters of St. Irenæus's third book "Against Heresies" are based upon the Acts of the Apostles. Irenæus convincingly defends the Lucan authorship of the third Gospel and Acts, declaring: "But that this Luke was inseparable from Paul, and was his fellow-labourer in the Gospel, he himself clearly evinces, not as a matter of boasting, but as bound to do so, by the truth itself. . . And all the remaining facts of his courses with Paul, he recounts. . . As Luke was present at all these occurrences, he carefully noted them down in writing, so that he cannot be convicted of falsehood or boastfulness, etc." Irenæus unites in himself the witness of the Christian Church of the East and the West of the second century. He continues unchanged the teaching of the Apostolic Fathers. In his treatise "On Fasting" Tertullian accepts Acts as Holy Scripture, and calls them the "Commentary of Luke." In his treatise "On Prescription against Heretics," 22, Tertullian is strong in asserting the canonicity of Acts: "And assuredly, God fulfilled his promise, since it is proved in the Acts of the Apostles that the Holy Ghost did come down. Now they who reject that Scripture can neither belong to the Holy Ghost, seeing that they cannot acknowledge that the Holy Ghost has been sent as yet to the disciples, nor can they presume to be a church themselves, who positively have no means of proving when, and with what infant-nursings this body was established." Again, in chapter 23 of the same treatise, he issues a challenge to those who reject Acts: "I may say here to those who reject the Acts of the Apostles: It is first necessary that you show us who this Paul was; both what he was before he became an Apostle, and how he became an Apostle" etc. Clement of Alexandria is a clear witness. In "Stromata," 5:11, he declares: "Most instructively, therefore, says Paul in the Acts of the Apostles: 'The God that made the world, and all things in it, being the Lord of Heaven and of earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands' " etc. (Acts 17:24, 25). Again, in chapter 12, he states: "As Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, relates that Paul said: 'Men of Athens, 1 perceive that in all things, ye are greatly superstitious' ." In Hom. 13, on Genesis, 2, Origen asserts the Lucan authorship of Acts as a truth that all the world accepted. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 3, 25) places Acts among ta homologoumena, the books of which no one has doubted. The authenticity of Acts is so well proved that even the sceptical Renan was forced to declare: "A thing beyond all doubt is that the Acts have the same author as the third Gospel, and are a continuation of the same. One finds no necessity to prove this fact, which has never seriously been denied. The prefaces of the two writings, the dedication of both the one and the other to Theophilus, the perfect resemblance of ideas and manner of expression furnish a convincing demonstration of the fact" (Les Apôtres, Introd., p. 10). Again he says: "The third Gospel and the Acts form a well-ordered work, written with reflection and even with art, written by the same hand, and with a definite plan. The two works taken together form a whole, having the same style, presenting the same characteristic expressions, and citing the Scripture in the same manner" (ibid. p. 11).

Objections against the authenticity.

Nevertheless this well-proved truth has been contradicted. Baur, Schwanbeck, De Wette, Davidson, Mayerhoff, Schleiermacher, Bleek, Krenkel, and others have opposed the authenticity of the Acts. An objection is drawn from the discrepancy between Acts 9:19-28 and Gal. 1:17, 19. In the Epistle to the Galatians 1:17, 18, St. Paul declares that, immediately after his conversion, he went away into Arabia, and again returned to Damascus. "Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas." In Acts no mention is made of St. Paul's journey into Arabia; and the journey to Jerusalem is placed immediately after the notice of Paul's preaching in the synagogues. Hilgenfeld, Wendt, Weizäcker, Weiss, and others allege here a contradiction between the writer of the Acts and St. Paul. Their charge is vain: There is here verified what is the usual fact when two inspired writers narrate synchronistic events. No writer of either Testament had in mind to write a complete history. Out of the great mass of words and deeds they grouped together those things which they deemed best for their scope. They always concur on the great lines of the doctrines and the main facts; they differ in that one omits certain things which another relates. The writers of the New Testament wrote with the conviction that the world had already received the message by oral communication. Not all could have a manuscript of the written word, but all heard the voice of those who preached Christ. The intense activity of the first teachers of the New Law made it a living reality in every land. The few writings which were produced were considered as supplementary to the greater economy of preaching. Hence we find notable omissions in all the writers of the New Testament; and every writer has some things proper to himself. In the present instance the writer of Acts has omitted St Paul's journey into Arabia and sojourn there. The evidence of the omission is in the text itself. In Acts 9:19, the writer speaks of St. Paul's sojourn in Damascus as covering a period of "certain days." This is the indefinite description of a relatively short space of time. In Acts 9:23, he connects the next event narrated with the foregoing by declaring that it came to pass "after many days were fulfilled." It is evident that some series of events must have had place between the "certain days" of the nineteenth verse, and the "many days" of the twenty-third verse; these events are Paul's journey into Arabia, his sojourn there, and his return to Damascus. Another objection is urged from 1 Thess. 3:1, 2, compared with Acts 17:14, 15, and 18:5. In Acts 17:14, 15, Paul leaves Timothy and Silas at Beræa, with a commandment to come to him at Athens. In Acts 18:5, Timothy and Silas come out of Macedonia to Paul at Corinth. But in 1 Thess. 3:1, 2, Timothy is sent by Paul out of Athens to Thessalonica, and no mention is made of Silas. We must appeal to the principle that when a writer omits one or more members in a series of events he does not thereby contradict another writer who may narrate the thing omitted. Timothy and Silas came down from Beræa to Paul at Athens. In his zeal for the Macedonian churches, Paul sent Timothy back from Athens to Thessalonica, and Silas to some other part of Macedonia. When they return out of Macedonia they come to Paul at Corinth. Acts has omitted their coming to Athens and their return to Macedonia. In Acts many things are condensed into a narrow compass. Thus, to the Galatian ministry of Paul, which must have lasted a considerable time, Acts devotes the one sentence: "They passed through the region of Phrygia and Galatia" (Acts 16:6). The fourth journey of Paul to Jerusalem in described in one verse (Acts 18:22). The objection is urged that, from Acts 16:12, it is evident that the author of the Acts was with Paul in the foundation of the Church at Philippi. Therefore, they say that, since Luke was at Rome with Paul when he wrote thence to the Philippians, had Luke been the author of Acts, Paul would have associated Luke with himself in his salutation to the Philippians in the letter which he wrote them. On the contrary, we find in it no mention of Luke; but Timothy is associated with Paul in the salutation. This is a mere negative argument, and of no avail. The apostolic men of that day neither sought nor gave vain personal recognition in their work. St. Paul wrote to the Romans without ever mentioning St. Peter. There was no struggle for place or fame among those men. It may hare been that, though Luke was with St. Paul at Philippi, Timothy was the better known to that Church. Again, at the moment of St. Paul's writing Luke may have been absent from Paul.

The rationalists allege that there is an error in the discourse of Gamaliel (Acts 5:36). Gamaliel refers to the insurrection of Theodas as a thing that had happened before the days of the Apostles, whereas Josephus (Antiq. 20, 5:1) places the rebellion of Theodas under Fadus, fourteen years after the date of the speech of Gamaliel. Here, as elsewhere, the adversaries of Holy Scriptures presuppose every writer who disagrees with the Holy Scriptures to be right. Every one who has examined Josephus must be struck by his carelessness and inaccuracy. He wrote mainly from memory, and often contradicts himself. In the present instance some suppose that he has confused the insurrection of Theodas with that of a certain Mathias, of whom he speaks in Antiq. 17, 6:4. Theodas is a contraction of Theodoros, and is identical in signification with the Hebrew name Mathias, both names signifying, "Gift of God." This is the opinion of Corluy in Vigouroux, "Dictionnaire de la Bible." Against Corluy's opinion it may rightly be objected that Gamaliel clearly intimates that the author of the insurrection of which he speaks was not actuated by holy motives. He speaks of him as a seditious man, who misled his followers, "giving himself out to be somebody." But Josephus describes Mathias as a most eloquent interpreter of the Jewish law, a man beloved by the people, whose lectures those who were studious of virtue frequented. Moreover, he incited the young men to pull down the golden eagle which the impious Herod had erected in the Temple of God. Certainly such an act was pleasing to God, not the act of an impostor. The argument of Gamaliel is based on the fact that Theodas claimed to be something which he was not. The character of Theodas as given by Josephus, 20, 5:1, accords with the implied character of the Theodas of Acts. Were it not for the discrepancy of dates, the two testimonies would be in perfect accord. It seems far more probable, therefore, that both writers speak of the same man, and that Josephus has erroneously placed his epoch about thirty years too late. Of course it is possible that there may have been two Theodases of similar character: one of the days of Herod the Great, whom Josephus does not name, but who is mentioned by Gamaliel; and one in the days of Cuspius Fadus the procurator of Judea, whose insurrection Josephus records. There must have been many of such character in the days of Herod the Great, for Josephus, speaking of that epoch, declares that "at this time there were ten thousand other disorders in Judæa which were like tumults" (Antiq. 17, 10:4).

It is urged that the three accounts of the conversion of St Paul (Acts 9:7; 12:9; 16:14) do not agree. In Acts 9:7, the author declares that "the men that journeyed with Paul stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man." In 22:9, Paul declares: "And they that were with me beheld indeed the light; but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me." In 26:14, Paul declares that they all fell to the earth, which seems to contradict the first statement, that they " stood speechless." This is purely a question of circumstantial detail, of very minor moment. There are many solutions of this difficulty. Supported by many precedents, we may hold that in the several narrations of the same event inspiration does not compel an absolute agreement in mere extrinsic details which in nowise affects the substance of the narration. In all the Bible, where the same event is several times narrated by the same writer, or narrated by several writers, there is some slight divergency, as it is natural there should be with those who spoke and wrote from memory. Divine inspiration covers the substance of the narration. For those who insist that divine inspiration extends also to these minor details there are valid solutions. Pape and others give to the eistekeisan the sense of an emphatic einai, and thus it could be rendered: "The men that journeyed with him became speechless," thus agreeing with 26:14. Moreover, the three accounts can be placed in agreement by supposing that the several accounts contemplate the event at different moments of its course. All saw a great light; all heard a sound from Heaven. They fell on their faces in fear; and then, arising, stood still and speechless, while Paul conversed with Jesus, whose articulate voice he alone heard. In Acts 9:7, the marginal reading of the Revised Edition of Oxford should be accepted: "hearing the sound." The Greek is akoyontes tes phones. When the writer speaks of the articulate voice of Christ, which Paul alone heard, he employs the phrase outer phrase, ekousan phonen. Thus the same term, phone, by a different grammatical construction, may signify the inarticulate sound of the voice which all heard and the articulate voice which Paul alone heard.

It is urged that Acts, 16:6 and 18:23 represent Paul as merely passing through Galatia, whereas the Epistle to the Galatians gives evidence of Paul's longer sojourn in Galatia. Cornely and others answer this difficulty by supposing that St. Paul employs the term Galatia in the administrative sense, as a province, which comprised Galatia proper, Lycaonia, Pisidia, Isauria, and a great part of Phrygia; whereas St. Luke employs the term to denote Galatia proper. But we are not limited to this explanation; St. Luke in Acts often severely condenses his narrative. He devotes but one verse (18:22) to Paul's fourth journey to Jerusalem; he condenses his narrative of St. Paul's two years of imprisonment at Cæsarea into a few lines. Thus he may also have judged good for his scope to pass over in one sentence Paul's Galatian ministry.

Date of composition.

As regards the date of the Book of Acts, we may at most assign a probable date for the completion of the book. It is recognized by all that Acts ends abruptly. The author devotes but two verses to the two years which Paul spent at Rome. These two years were in a certain sense uneventful. Paul dwelt peaceably at Rome, and preached the kingdom of God to all who went in unto him. It seems probable that during this peaceful epoch St. Luke composed the Book of Acts and terminated it abruptly at the end of the two years, as some unrecorded vicissitude carried him out into other events. The date of the completion of Acts is therefore dependent on the date of St. Paul's Roman captivity. Writers are quite concordant in placing the date of Paul's coming to Rome in the year 62; hence the year 64 is the most probable date for the Acts.

Texts of the acts.

In the Græco-Latin codices D and E of Acts, we find a text widely differing from that of the other codices, and from the received text. By Sanday and Headlam (Romans, p. 21) this is called the delta text; by Blass (Acta Apostolorum, p. 24) it is called the beta text. The famous Latin Codex now at Stockholm, from its size called the Codex Gigas, also in the main represents this text. Dr. Bornemann (Acta Apost.) endeavoured to prove that the aforesaid text was Luke's original, but his theory has not been received. Dr. Blass (Acta Apost., p. 7) endeavours to prove that Luke wrote first a rough draft of Acts, and that this is preserved in D and E. Luke revised this rough draft, and sent it to Theophilus; and this revised copy he supposes to be the original of our received text. Belser, Nestle, Zoeckler, and others have adopted his theory. The theory is, however, rejected by the greater number. It seems far more probable that D and E contain a recension, wherein the copyists have added, paraphrased, and changed things in the text, according to that tendency which prevailed up to the second half of the second century of the Christian era.


The author of the Acts of the Apostles is Luke the Evangelist, as is clear from Tradition, internal evidence in the Acts themselves and in their relation to the third Gospel (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2). The unity of their authorship can be proved critically by their language, style and plan of narrative, and by their unity of scope and doctrine. The occasional substitution of the first person plural for the third person so far from impairing, only establishes more strongly their unity of composition and authenticity. The relations of Luke with the chief founders of the Church in Palestine, and with Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles; his industry and diligence as an eyewitness and in examining witnesses; the remarkable agreement of the Acts of the Apostles with the Epistles of Paul and with the more genuine historical records, all go to show that Luke had at his command most trustworthy sources, and that he used them in such a manner as to make his work historically authoritative. This authority is not diminished by the difficulties alleged against the supernatural facts he records, by his manner of condensing statements, by apparent disagreements with profane or Biblical history, or by apparent inconsistencies with his own or with other scriptural writings.


Catholic Epistles

Epistle of St. James.

Author and genuineness.

The author is commonly identified with the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem. Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; he exactly, and he alone, fulfils the conditions required in the writer of the Epistle. External evidence begins at a comparatively late date. Some coincidences, or analogies, exist between the Epistle and the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome, the Pastor Hermas, St. Justin, St. Irenæus; see Mienertz, "Der Jacobusbrief," Freiburg im Br. 1905, p. 55 sqq.). The literary relation between the Epistle of James and the Epistle to the Romans is doubtful. Its later recognition in the Church, especially in the West, must be explained by the fact that it was written for Jewish Christians, and therefore not widely circulated among the Gentile Churches. From the middle of the third century, ecclesiastical authors cite the Epistle as written by St. James, the brother of the Lord. See the testimonies in the section following. The greater number of the Fathers in the Western Church identify the author with James the Apostle. In the Eastern Church, however, the authority of Eusebius and St. Epiphanius may explain some ecclesiastical doubts about the Apostolic origin of the Epistle, and consequently about its canonicity.

Tradition as to canonicity.

In the first centuries of the Church the authenticity of the Epistle was doubted by some, and amongst others by Theodore of Mopsuestia; it is therefore deuterocanonical. It is wanting in the Muratorian Canon, and because of the silence of several of the Western Churches regarding it, Eusebius classes it amongst the Antilegomena or contested writings (Hist. eccl. 3:25; 2:23); St. Jerome gives the like information (De vir. 3. 2), but adds that with time its authenticity became universally admitted. In the sixteenth century its inspired nature was contested by Erasmus and Cajetan; Luther strongly repudiated the Epistle as "a letter of straw," and "unworthy of the apostolic Spirit," and this solely for dogmatic reasons, and owing to his preconceived notions, for the epistle refutes his heretical doctrine that Faith alone is necessary for salvation. The Council of Trent dogmatically defined the Epistle of St. James to be canonical. As the solution of this question of the history of the canonicity of the Epistle depends chiefly on the testimony of the ancient Fathers, it remains to be seen whether it is quoted by them as Scripture. (a) In the Latin Church it was known by St. Clement of Rome (before A.D. 100), the Pastor Hermas (about A.D. 150), St. Irenæus (125?-202?, 208), Tertullian (d. about 240), St. Hilary (d. 366), St. Philaster (d. 385), St. Ambrose (d. 397), Pope Damasus (in the canon of about A.D. 382), St. Jerome (346-420), Rufinus (d. 410), St. Augustine (430), and its canonicity is unquestioned by them. (b) In the Greek Church, Clement of Alexandria (d. 217), Origen (d. 254), St. Athanasius (d. 373), St. Dionysius the Areopagite (about A.D. 500), etc., considered it undoubtedly as a sacred writing. (c) In the Syrian Church, the Peshito, although omitting the minor Catholic Epistles, gives that of St. James; St. Ephraem uses it frequently in his writings. Moreover, the most notorius heretics of Syria recognised it as genuine. Thus we find that Nestorius ranked it in the Canon of Sacred Books, and James of Edessa adduces the testimony of James, v, 14. The Epistle is found in the Coptic, Sahidic, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Armenian versions. Although, therefore, the canonicity of the Epistle of St. James was questioned by a few during the first centuries, there are to be found from the very earliest ages, in different parts of the Church, numerous testimonies in favour of its canonicity. From the end of the third century its acceptance as inspired, and as the work of St. James, has been universal, as clearly appears from the various lists of the Sacred Books drawn up since the fourth century.

Analysis and contents of the epistle.

The subjects treated of in the Epistle are many and various; moreover, St. James not infrequently, whilst elucidating a certain point, passes abruptly to another, and presently resumes once more his former argument; hence it is difficult to give a precise division of the Epistle. It is doubtful whether the sacred writer intended any systematic arrangement of subject; indeed, it is more probable that he did not, for in the Hebrew Sapiential Books of the Old Testament, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, to which the present Epistle may in many ways be likened, the order in which the moral sentences stand does not seem to suggest any connection between them. It will therefore be more expedient to give a simple enumeration of the subjects treated in the Epistle:

Inscription (1:1);

persecutions are to be borne with patience and joy (2-4);

wisdom must be asked of God with confidence (5-8);

humility is recommended (9-11);

God is not the author of evil but of good (12-18);

we must be slow to anger (19-21);

not faith only, but also good works are necessary (22-27).

Against respect of persons (2:1-13);

another exhortation to good works (14-26).

Against the evils of the tongue (3:1-12);

against envy and discord, 13-18.

Against wars and contentions (4:1-3);

against the spirit of this world and pride (4-10);

against detraction (11-13a);

against vain confidence in worldly things (13b-16).

Against the rich that oppress the poor (5:1-6);

exhortation to patience in the time of oppression (7-11), and to avoid swearing (12);

of the anointing of the sick (13-15);

of prayer (16);

we must have at heart the conversion of sinners (19-20).

This enumeration shows that St. James inculcates especially: patience and perseverance in adversity, temptations, and persecutions; the necessity of good works, mercy, and charity. For the question of apparent opposition between St. James and St. Paul with regard to "faith and works".

Occasion and object.


St. James seems to have been moved to write his Epistle on witnessing that the first fervour of the Jewish Christians had grown cold, and that, owing to various causes, both external and internal, a certain spirit of discouragement had declared itself amongst them. (1) External Causes.-The new Christian converts found themselves at first the object of the indifference only of their fellow townsfolk, the greater number of whom still remained in unbelief; but this attitude very soon changed to one of hostility and even persecution. These early converts, belonging as they mostly did to the poorer classes, found themselves oppressed by the wealthy unbelievers; some were refused employment, others were denied their wages (5:4); at other times they were mercilessly dragged before the tribunals (2:6); they were persecuted in the synagogues, and were, besides, reduced to extreme want and even starvation (2:15-17). (2) Internal Causes.-In the midst of these trials the faith of many began to languish (2:14, 20, 26), and the evil ways they had abandoned at their conversion were gradually indulged in once more. Thus it came to pass that the poor were despised in the sacred assemblies (2:1-9); there were breaches of brotherly charity (2:7); some arrogated to themselves the office of teacher who were unfitted (3:1-13); many were guilty of detraction and other sins of the tongue (3:1-12; 4:11-13); there were contentions and lawsuits (4:1-2); some indulged in swearing (5:12); others neglected assiduous prayer (5:13, 17-18); pride and vainglory were yielded to (4:6-10); even some of the sacred rites seem to have been overlooked (5:14-16). Such were the evils that the Epistle sought to remedy.



St. James wrote his Epistle for a moral purpose, and addressed his co-religionists as their pastor, in his quality of Bishop of Jerusalem, in order: (1) to exhort them to constancy in the faith in spite of the persecutions and trials they were undergoing, and to give them comfort in their tribulations; (2) to correct the abuses and extirpate the evils amongst them, by urging them to make their conduct conformable to their faith, and by earnestly reminding them that faith alone would not save them unless they added good works.

To whom addressed.

St. James wrote his Epistle for the Jewish Christians outside Palestine, who, for the greater part, were poor and oppressed. This we gather with certitude from the inscription (1:50), and from various indications in the text.

A. The words, 1:50, "to the twelve tribes" can mean the whole Jewish nation; but the words following, "which are scattered abroad," designate clearly the Jews of the Dispersion. The Jews in Palestine, surrounded by Gentiles, were not considered as "scattered abroad." That he addressed the Jewish Christians only becomes evident by the fact that the author styles himself "the servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ," and by this title he indicates clearly that he writes to the disciples of Christ only.

B. That the readers were Jewish appears still more evidently from the Epistle itself. St. James takes for granted that those whom he addressed were well versed in the writings of the Old Testament. Moreover, he calls them not only his "brethren," which name taken by itself does not remove all doubt, but he so clearly shows them to be Christians that it is incomprehensible how any critics understand unconverted Jews to be the "brethren" to whom the Epistle was written. Thus in 1:18, he writes to those whom God "of his own will hath begotten by the word of truth, that they might be some beginning of his creature"; in 2:50, he admonishes them as follows: "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with respect to persons"; in 2:7, he refers to them when he writes of "the good name [of Christ] that is invoked upon you"; in 5:7, they are to be patient "until the coming of the Lord"; etc. Further proof is afforded by the date of composition.

C. The context does not reveal who were the particular Jewish converts, to whom the Epistle was addressed. We gather, however, that St. James appeals to certain Christians, labouring under the stress of particular circumstances, in order to warn them against special perils; no one will easily admit that the vices against which he inveighs and the errors which he condemns were to be met with in each and every community of Jewish converts. Therefore the conclusion that he addressed some particular Churches forces itself upon our minds. As, according to the most probable opinion, the Epistle was not written later than about A.D. 50, we may conclude that it was written to some of the Churches of Syria or of another country not far distant from Jerusalem.


The style is sententious, figurative, often poetical, and may be compared to that of the Prophetical and Sapiential Books of the Old Testament. It is rapid, betrays emotion, and is not wanting in those vehement outbursts of feeling customary with the writers of that period, and which so powerfully set the force of the argument before the reader. It has already been noticed that the different sentences of the Epistle may be divided into hemistichs of parallel meaning; this is quite in keeping with the distinctly Hebraic style of the whole Epistle; it is a well known fact that the classical period is not found in Hebrew, but that the short members of a proposition are continually in juxtaposition.

Time and place of composition.


The Epistle was probably written about A.D. 47. The reference to the persecutions (2:6) is in the present tense, and indicates a stage of suffering which has not yet receded into the past of history. Now, in A.D. 44 the Churches of Judea were exposed to the persecution inflicted by Herod Agrippa, in which James, the son of Zebedee, was murdered (Acts 12:1 sqq.). Moreover, the author could not have written after the Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 51), where James acted as president, without some allusion to his decision unanimously accepted (Acts 15:4 sqq.). Another indication also derived from indirect internal evidence, is an allusion to the hungry and naked poor (of Jerusalem, ii, 15 sqq.); they suffered probably from the famine foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:28-30), and usually identified with one mentioned by Josephus (Antiq. 20, 2:5), A.D. 45.


Place of Composition

The Epistle was probably written by St. James in Jerusalem; this we may conclude from the study of the life of the author, and this opinion finds favour with nearly all its critics.


Epistles of Saint Peter.

These two epistles will be treated under the following heads: 1. Authenticity; 2. Recipients, occasion, and object; 3. Date and place of composition; 4. Analysis.

First Epistle


The authenticity, universally admitted by the primitive Church, has been denied within the past century by Protestant or Rationalist critics (Baur and the Tubingen School, Von Soden, Harnack, Jülicher, Hilgenfeld, and others), but it cannot seriously be questioned. It is well established by extrinsic and instrinsic arguments.

(1) Extrinsic arguments

(a) in writings of the first and second centuries, e.g., Justin's letter to the Churches of Lyons and Vienne, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Papias, Polycarp, Clement of Rome, the "Didache," the "Pastor" of Hermas, and others. The Second Epistle of St. Peter, admitted to be very ancient even by those who question its authenticity, alludes to an earlier Epistle written by the Apostle (3:50). The letter therefore existed very early and was considered very authoritative. (b) Tradition is also unanimous for St. Peter's authorship. In the second and third centuries we have much explicit testimony to this effect. Clement and Origen at Alexandria, Tertullian and Cyprian in Africa, the Peshitto in Syria, Irenaeus in Gaul, the ancient Itala and Hippolytus at Rome all agree in attributing it to Peter, as do also the heretics, Basilides and Theodore of Byzantium. (c) All the collections or lists of the New Testament mention it as St. Peter's; the Muratorian Canon, which alone is at variance with this common tradition, is obscure and bears evident marks of textual corruption, and the subsequent restoration suggested by Zahn, which seems much more probable, is clearly favourable to the authenticity. Moreover Eusebius of Caesarea does not hesitate to place it among the undisputed Scriptures.

(2) Intrinsic arguments

Examination of the Epistle in itself is wholly favourable to its authenticity; the author calls himself Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ (1:50); Mark, who, according to the Acts of the Apostles, had such close relations with Peter, is called by the author "my son" (5:13); the author is represented as the immediate disciple of Jesus Christ (1:50; 5:9, 11-14); he exercises from Rome a universal jurisdiction over the whole Church (5:50). The numerous places in which he would appear to be the immediate witness of the life of Christ (1:8; 2:21-24; 5:1), as well as the similarity between his ideas and the teaching of the Gospels, are eloquently in favour of the Apostolic author (cf. Jacquier, 251). Finally, some authors consider that the Epistle and the sermons of St. Peter related in the Acts show an analogy in basis and form which proves a common origin. However, it is probable if not certain that the Apostle made use of an interpreter, especially of Sylvanus; St. Jerome says: "the two Epistles attributed to St. Peter differ in style, character, and the construction of the words, which proves that according to the exigencies of the moment St. Peter made use of different interpreters" (Ep. 120 ad Hedib.). Peter himself seems to insinuate this: Dia Silouanou houmin . . . egrapha (5:12), and the final verses (12-14) seem to have been added by the Apostle himself. Without denying that Peter was able to use and speak Greek, some authors consider that he could not write it in the almost classic manner of this Epistle. Nevertheless it is impossible to determine exactly the share of Sylvanus; it is not improbable that he wrote it according to the directions of the Apostle, inserting the ideas and exhortations suggested by him.

Objections: (a) The relation between the First Epistle of Peter and the Epistles of Paul, especially Romans and Ephesians, does not prove, as has been claimed (Jülicher), that the Epistle was written by a disciple of Paul. This relation, which has been much exaggerated by some critics, does not prove a literary dependence nor prevent this Epistle from possessing a characteristic originality in ideas and form. The resemblance is readily explained if we admit that Peter employed Sylvanus as interpreter, for the latter had been a companion of Paul, and would consequently have felt the influence of his doctrine and manner of speaking. Moreover, Peter and Sylvanus were at Rome, where the letter was written, and they would naturally have become acquainted with the Epistles to the Romans and the Ephesians, written some months before and intended, at least in part, for the same readers. (b) It has been claimed that the Epistle presupposes an official and general persecution in the Roman Empire and betokens a state of things corresponding to the reign of Vespasian, or even that of Domitian or Trajan, but the data it gives are too indefinite to conclude that it refers to one of these persecutions rather than to that of Nero; besides, some authors consider that the Epistle does not al all suppose an official persecution, the allusions being readily explained by the countless difficulties and annoyances to which Jews and pagans subjected the Christians.


Recipients of the epistle; occasion and object.

It was written to the faithful of "Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1:50). Were these Christians converted Jews, dispersed among the Gentiles (1:50), as was held by Origen, Didymus of Alexandria, etc., and is still maintained by Weiss and Kuhl, or were they in great part of pagan origin? The latter is by far the more common and the better opinion (1:14; 2:9-10; 3:6; 4:3). The argument based on 1:7, proves nothing, while the words "to the strangers dispersed through Pontus" should not be taken in the literal sense of Jews in exile, but in the metaphorical sense of the people of God, Christians, living in exile on earth, far from their true country. The opinions of authors admitting the authenticity are divided with regard to the historical circumstances which occasioned the Epistle, some believing that it was written immediately after Nero's decree proscribing the Christian religion, in which case the difficulties to which Peter alludes do not consist merely of the calumnies and vexations of the people, but also include the judicial pursuit and condemnation of Christians (4:14-16; 5:12; 2:23; 3:18), while 4:12, may be an allusion to the burning of Rome which was the occasion of Nero's decree. This is the opinion of Hug, Gloire, Batiffol, Neander, Grimm, Ewald, Allard, Weiss, Callewaert, etc., while others date the Epistle from the eve of that decree (Jacquier, Brassac, Fillion, etc.). The Epistle, they say, having been written from Rome, where the persecution must have raged in all its horror, we naturally look for clear and indisputable indications of it, but the general theme of the epistle is that the Christians should give no occasion to the charges of the infidels, but that by their exemplary life they should induce them to glorify God (2:12, 15; 3:9, 16; 4:4); besides, the way of speaking is generally hypothetical (1:6; 3:13-14; 4:14), there being no question of judges, tribunals, prison, tortures, or confiscation. The Christians have to suffer, not from authority, but from the people among whom they lived.

The Apostle Peter wrote to the Christians of Asia to confirm them in the Faith, to console them amid their tribulations, and to indicate to them the line of conduct to follow in suffering (5:2). Except for the more dogmatic introduction (1:3-12) and a few short instructions strewn throughout the letter and intended to support moral exhortations, the Epistle is hortatory and practical. Only an absurd a priori argument could permit the Tubingen critics to assert that it had a dogmatic object and was written by a second-century forger with the intention of attributing to Peter the doctrines of Paul.


Place and date of composition.

The critics who have denied Peter's sojourn at Rome must necessarily deny that the letter was written from there, but the great majority of critics, with all Christian antiquity, agree that it was written at Rome itself, designated by the metaphorical name Babylon (5:13). This interpretation has been accepted from the most remote times, and indeed no other metaphor could so well describe the city of Rome, rich and luxurious as it was, and given over to the worship of false gods and every species of immorality. Both cities had caused trouble to the people of God, Babylon to the Jews, and Rome to the Christians. Moreover this metaphor was in use among the early Christians (cf. Apoc. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21). Finally, tradition has not brought us the faintest memory of any sojourn of Peter at Babylon. The opinions of critics who deny the authenticity of the Epistle range from A.D. 80 to A.D. 160 as the date, but as there is not the slightest doubt of its authenticity they have no basis for their argument. Equally diverse opinions are found among the authors who admit the authenticity, ranging from the year A.D. 45 to that accepted as that of the death of Peter. The most probable opinion is that which places it about the end of the year 63 or the beginning of 64; and St. Peter having suffered martyrdom at Rome in 64 (67?) the Epistle could not be subsequent to that date; besides, it assumes that the persecution of Nero, which began about the end of 64, had not yet broken out (see above). On the other hand the author frequently alludes to the Epistle to the Ephesians, making use of its very words and expressions; consequently the Epistle could not be prior to 63, since the Epistle to the Ephesians was written at the end of Paul's first captivity at Rome (61-63).



The Epistle as a whole being but a succession of general ideas without close connection, there can be not strict plan of analysis. It is divided as follows: the introduction contains, besides the address (superscription and salutation, 1:7), thanksgiving to God for the excellence of the salvation and regeneration to which He has deigned to call the Christians (3-12). This part is dogmatic and serves as a basis for all the moral exhortations in the body of the Epistle. The body of the Epistle may be divided into three section: (a) exhortation to a truly Christian life (1:13-2:10), wherein Peter successively exhorts his readers to holiness in general (13-21), to fraternal charity in particular (1:22-2:1), to love and desire of the true doctrine; thus they shall be living stones in the spiritual house of which Christ is the cornerstone, they shall be the royal priesthood and the chosen people of the Lord (2-10). (b) Rules of conduct for Christians living among pagans, especially in time of persecution (2:11-5:19). Let their conduct be such that the infidels themselves shall be edified and cease to speak evil of the Christians (11-12). This general principle is applied in detail in the exhortations relating to obedience to civil rulers (13-17), the duties of slaves to their masters (18-25), the mutual duties of husband and wife (3:1-7). With regard to those who, not having the same faith, calumniate and persecute the Christians, the latter should return good for evil, according to the example of Christ, who though innocent suffered for us, and who preached the Gospel not only to the living, but also to the spirits that were in prison (8-22). The Apostle concludes by repeating his exhortation to sanctity in general (4:1-6), to charity (7-11), to patience and joy in suffering for Christ (12-19). (c) Some special recommendations follow (51-11): let the ancients be careful to feed the flock entrusted to their keeping (1-4); let the faithful be subject to their pastor (5a); let all observe humility among themselves (5b); let them be sober and watchful, trusting the Lord (6-11).

In the epilogue the Apostle himself declares that he has employed Sylvanus to write the letter and affirms that the Divine grace possessed by his readers is the true grace (12); he addresses to them the salutations of the Church in Rome and those of Mark (13), and gives them his Apostolic blessing.

Second Epistle.


In the present state of the controversy over the authenticity it may be affirmed that it is solidly probable, though it is difficult to prove with certainty.

(1) Extrinsic arguments

(a) In the first two centuries there is not in the Apostolic Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers, if we except Theophilus of Antioch (180), a single quotation properly so called from this Epistle; at most there are some more or less probable allusions in their writings, e.g., the First Epistle of St. Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, the "Didache," St. Ignatius, the Epistle of Barnabas, the "Pastor" of Hermas, the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, the Dialogue of St. Justin with Trypho, St. Irenaeus, the Clementine "Recognitions," the "Acts of Peter," etc. The Epistle formed part of the ancient Itala, but is not in the Syriac. This proves that the Second Epistle of Peter existed and even had a certain amount of authority. But it is impossible to bring forward with certainty a single explicit testimony in favour of this authenticity. The Muratorian Canon presents a mutilated text of 1 Peter, and Zahin's suggested restoration, which seems very probable, leaves only a doubt with regard to the authenticity of the Second Epistle.

(b) In the Western Church there is not explicit testimony in favour of the canonicity and Apostolicity of this Epistle until the middle of the fourth century. Tertullian and Cyprian do not mention it, and Mommsen's Canon (360) still bears traces of the uncertainty among the Churches of the West in this respect. The Eastern Church gave earlier testimony in its behalf. According to Eusebius and Photius, Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) commented on it, but he seems not to have ranked it with the first. It is found in the two great Egyptian versions (Sahidic and Bohairic). It is probable that Firmilian of Caesarea used it and ascribed it to St. Peter, as Methodius of Olympus did explicitly. Eusebius of Caesarea (340), while personally accepting 2 Peter as authentic and canonical, nevertheless classes it among the disputed works (antilegomena), at the same time affirming that it was known by most Christians and studied by a large number with the other Scriptures. In the Church of Antioch and Syria at that period it was regarded as of doubtful authenticity. St. John Chrysostom does not speak of it, and it is omitted by the Peshitto. That the Epistle formerly accepted in that Church (Theophilus of Antiocy) was not yet included in the canon was probably due to dogmatic reasons.

(c) In the second half of the fourth century these doubts rapidly disappeared in the Churches of the East owing to the authority of Eusebius of Caesarea and the fifty copies of the Scriptures distributed by command of Constantine the Great. Didymus of Alexandria, St. Athanasius, St. Epiphanius, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory Nazianzen, the Canon of Laodicea, all regard the letter as authentic. The addition to the text of Didymus, according to which it was the work of a forger, seems to be the error of a copyist. So in the West relations with the East and the authority of St. Jerome finally brought about the admission of its authenticity. It was admitted to the Vulgate, and the synod convoked by Pope Damasus in 382 expressly attributes it to St. Peter.

(2) Intrinsic arguments

If tradition does not appear to furnish an apodictic argument in favour of the authenticity, an examination of the Epistle itself does. The author calls himself Simon Peter, servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ (1:1), witness of the glorious transfiguration of Christ (1:16-18); he recalls the prediction of His death which Christ made to him (1:14); he calls the Apostle Paul his brother, i.e., his colleague in the Apostolate (3:15); and he identifies himself with the author of the First Epistle. Therefore the author must necessarily be St. Peter himself or some one who wrote under his name, but nothing in the Epistle forces us to believe the latter. On the other hand there are several indications of its authenticity: the author shows himself to be a Jew, of ardent character, such as the New Testament portrays St. Peter, while a comparison with the ideas, words, and expressions of the First Epistle affords a further argument in favour of the identify of the author. Such, at least, is the opinion of several critics.

In examining the difficulties raised against the authenticity of the Epistle, the following facts should be remembered: (a) This Epistle has been wrongly accused of being imbued with Hellenism, from which it is even farther removed than the writings of Luke and the Epistles of Paul. (b) Likewise the false doctrines which it opposes are not the full-blown Gnosticism of the second century, but the budding Gnosticism as opposed by St. Paul. (c) The difference which some authors claim to find between the doctrine of the two Epistles probes nothing against the authenticity; some others have even maintained that comparison of the doctrines furnishes a new argument in favour of the author's identify. Doubtless there exist undeniable differences, but is an author obliged to confine himself within the same circle of ideas? (d) The difference of style which critics have discovered between the two Epistles is an argument requiring too delicate handling to supply a certain conclusion, and here again some others have drawn from a similarity of style an argument in favour of a unity of authorship. Admitting that the manner of speaking is not the same in both Epistles, there is, nevertheless, not the slightest difficulty, if it be true as St. Jerome has said, that in the composition of the Epistles St. Peter made use of different interpreters. (e) It is also incorrect to say that this Epistle supposes the Epistle of St. Paul to have been already collected (3:15-16), for the author does not say that he knew all the Epistles of St. Paul. That he should have regarded Paul's letters as inspired forms a difficulty only to those who do not admit the possibility of a revelation made to Peter on this point. Some authors have also wrongly contested the unity of the Epistle, some claiming that it consists of two distinct epistles, the second beginning with ch. iii, others maintaining that the 2:1-3:2, has been interpolated. Recently M. Ladeuze (Revue Biblique, 1905) has advanced an hypothesis which seems to end numerous difficulties: by an involuntary error of a copyist or by accidental transposition of the leaves of the codex on which the Epistle was written, one of the parts of the Epistle was transposed, and according to the order of sections the letter should be restored as follows: 1:2-3a; 3:1-16; 2:3b-22; 3:17-18. The hypothesis seems very probable.

Relations of 2 Peter with the Epistle of Jude.

This Epistle has so much in common with that of Jude that the author of one must have had the other before him. There is no agreement on the question of priority, but the most credited opinion is that Peter depends on Jude (q.v.).


Recipients, occasion, and object

It is believed that this Epistle, like the First, was sent to the Christians of Asia Minor, the majority of whom were converted Gentiles (3:1-2; 2:11-12; etc.). False teachers (2:50), heretics and deceivers (3:3), of corrupt morals (2:50) and denying the Second Advent of Christ and the end of the world, sought to corrupt the faith and the conduct of the Christians of Asia Minor. Peter wrote to excite them to the practice of virtue and chiefly to turn them away from the errors and bad example of the false teachers.


Date and place of composition

While those who reject the authenticity of the Epistle place it about 150, the advocates of its authenticity maintain that it was written after 63-4, the date of the First Epistle, and before 64-5, the date believed to be that of the death of St. Peter (1:14). Like the First, it was written at Rome.



In the exordium the Apostle, after the inscription and salutation (1:1-2), recalls the magnificent gifts bestowed by Jesus Christ on the faithful; he exhorts them to the practice of virtue and all the more earnestly that he is convinced that his death is approaching (3-15). In the body of the Epistle (1:16-3:13) the author brings forward the dogma of the second coming of Christ, which he proves, recalling His glorious transfiguration and the prediction of the Prophets (1:16-21). Then he inveighs against the false teachers and condemns their life and doctrines: (a) They shall undergo Divine chastisement, in proof of which the Apostle recalls the punishment inflicted on the rebel angels, on the contemporaries of Noe, on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (2:1-11). (b) He describes the immoral life of the false teachers, their impurity and sensuality, their avarice and duplicity (12-22). (c) He refutes their doctrine, showing that they are wrong in rejecting the second coming of Christ and the end of the world (3:1-4), for the Judge shall certainly come and that unexpectedly; even as the ancient world perished by the waters of the flood so the present world shall perish by fire and be replaced by a new world (5-7). Then follows the moral conclusion: let us live holily, if we desire to be ready for the coming of the Judge (8-13); let us employ the time given us to work out our salvation, even as Paul taught in his Epistles which the false teachers abuse (14-17). Verse 18 consists of the epilogue and doxology.


Epistles of Saint John.


A. External evidence

The very brevity of this letter (105 verses divided into five chapters) and the lateness of its composition might lead us to suspect no traces thereof in the Apostolic Fathers. Such traces there are, some unquestionable. St. Polycarp (A.D. 110-117, according to Harnack, whose chronology we shall follow in this article) wrote to the Philippians: "For whosoever confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh is Antichrist" (c. 6; Funk, "Patres Apostolici," 1, 304). Here is an evident trace of 1 John 4:2-3; so evident that Harnack deems this witness of Polycarp conclusive proof that the first Epistle and, consequently, the Gospel of John were written toward the end of the reign of Trajan, i.e. not later than A.D. 117 (cf. Chronologie der Altchristlichen Litteratur, 1, 658). It is true that Polycarp does not name John nor quote word for word; the Apostolic Fathers cite from memory and are not wont to name the inspired writer whom they cite. The argument from Polycarp's use of 1 John is strengthened by the fact that he was, according to Irenæus, the disciple of St. John. The distinctively Johannine phrase "come in the Flesh" (en sarki eleluthota) is also used by the Epistle of Barnabas (5:10; Funk, op. cit. 1:53), which was written about A.D. 130. We have it on the authority of Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 5:20) that this First Epistle of John was cited by Papias, a disciple of John and fellow of Polycarp (A.D. 145-160). Irenæus (A.D. 181-189) not only cites 1 John 2:18, and 5:50 but attributes the citation to John the Lord's disciple ("Adv. Haer." 3, 16; Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 5:8). The Muratorian Canon (A.D. 195-205) tells the story of the writing of John's Gospel consequent upon a revelation made to the Apostle Andrew, and adds: "What wonder, then, that John so often in his letters gives us details of his Gospel and says of himself, etc." — here 1 John 1:50, is quoted. St. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 190-203) quotes 5:3, with his usual indubitable accuracy, and expressly assigns the words to John ("Pædag." 3:11; Kirch. Comm., ed. 1, p. 281). Tertullian (A.D. 194-221, according to Sunday) tells us that John, in his Epistle, brands as Antichrist those who deny that Christ is come in the flesh (De Præscrip. 33), and clearly attributes to "John the author of the Revelation" several passages of the First Epistle (cf. "Adv. Marc." 3:8, and 5:16, in P. L. 2:359 and 543; "Adv. Gnost." 12, in P. L. 2:169; "Adv. Prax." 15, in P. L. 2:196).

B. Internal evidence

So striking is the internal evidence in favour of common authorship of the Gospel and First Epistle of John, as to be almost universally admitted. It cannot be by accident that in both documents we find the ever-recurring and most distinctive words light, darkness, truth, life, and love; the strictly Johannine phrases "to walk in the light," "to be of the truth," "to be of the devil," "to be of the world," "to overcome the world," etc. Only such erratic and sceptical critics as Holtzmann and Schmiedel deny the forcefulness of this argument from internal evidence; they conclude that the two documents come from the same school, not from the same hand.


The foregoing citations, the fact that there never was any controversy or doubt among the Fathers in the matter of the canonicity of the First Epistle of John, the existence of this document in all the ancient translations of the New Testament and in the great uncial manuscripts (Sinaitic, Alexandrian, etc.) — these are arguments of overwhelming cumulative force to establish the acceptance of this letter by the primitive Church as canonical Scripture, and to prove that the inclusion of the First Epistle of John in the Canon of Trent was only a conciliar acceptance of an existing fact — the feet that the letter had always been among the Homologoumena of Holy Writ.


The only part of the letter concerning the authenticity and canonicity whereof there is serious question is the famous passage of the three witnesses: "And there are three who give testimony (in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth): the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7-8). Throughout the past three hundred years, effort has been wade to expunge from our Clementine Vulgate edition of canonical Scripture the words that are bracketed. Let us examine the facts of the case.

A. Greek Manuscripts

The disputed part is found in no uncial Greek manuscripts and in only four rather recent cursives — one of the fifteenth and three of the sixteenth century. No Greek epistolary manuscript contains the passage.

B. Versions

No Syriac manuscript of any family — Peshito, Philoxenian, or Harklean — has the three witnesses; and their presence in the printed Syriac Gospels is due to translation from the Vulgate. So too, the Coptic manuscripts — both Sahidic and Bohairic — have no trace of the disputed part, nor have the Ethiopic manuscripts which represent Greek influence through the medium of Coptic. The Armenian manuscripts, which favour the reading of the Vulgate, are admitted to represent a Latin influence which dates from the twelfth century; early Armenian manuscripts are against the Latin reading. Of the Itala or Old Latin manuscripts, only two have our present reading of the three witnesses: Codex Monacensis (q) of the sixth or seventh century; and the Speculum (m), an eighth or ninth century manuscript which gives many quotations from the New Testament. Even the Vulgate, in the majority of its earliest manuscripts, is without the passage in question. Witnesses to the canonicity are: the Bible of Theodulph (eighth century) in the National Library of Paris; Codex Cavensis (ninth century), the best representative of the Spanish type of text: Toletanus (tenth century); and the majority of Vulgate manuscripts after the twelfth century. There was some dispute as to the canonicity of the three witnesses as early as the sixth century: for the preface to the Catholic Epistles in Codex Fuldensis (A.D. 541-546) complains about the omission of this passage from some of the Latin versions.

C. The Fathers

(1) Greek Fathers, until the twelfth century, seem one and all to have had no knowledge of the three witnesses as canonical Scripture. At times they cite verses 8 and 9 and omit the disputed portions of verses 7 and 8. The Fourth Lateran (A.D. 1215), in its decree against Abbot Joachim quotes the disputed passage with the remark "sicut in quibusdam codicibus invenitur." Thereafter, we find the Greek Fathers making use of the text as canonical. (2) The Syriac Fathers never use the text. (3) The Armenian Fathers do not use it before the twelfth century. (4) The Latin Fathers make much earlier use of the text as canonical Scripture. St. Cyprian (third century) seems undoubtedly to have had it in mind, when he quotes John, 10:30, and adds: "Et iterum de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto scriptum est — Et hi tres unum sunt" (De Unitate Ecclesiæ, 6). Clear also is the witness of St. Fulgentius (sixth century, "Responsio contra Arianos" in P. L. 115:224), who refers to the above witness of St. Cyprian. In fact, outside of St. Augustine, the Fathers of the African Church are to be grouped with St. Cyprian in favour of the canonicity of the passage. The silence of the great and voluminous St. Augustine and the variation in form of the text in the African Church are admitted facts that militate against the canonicity of the three witnesses. St. Jerome (fourth century) does not seem to know the text. After the sixth century, the disputed passage is more and more in use among the Latin Fathers; and, by the twelfth century, is commonly cited as canonical Scripture.

D. Ecclesiastical Documents

Trent's is the first certain ecumenical decree, whereby the Church established the Canon of Scripture. We cannot say that the decree of Trent on the Canon necessarily included the three witnesses. For in the preliminary discussions signs that led up to the canonizing of "the entire books with all their parts, as these have been wont to be read in the Christian Church and are contained in the old Latin Vulgate," there was no reference whatsoever to this special part; it is certain that the text of the three witnesses has "been wont to be read in the Christian Church and is contained in the old Latin Vulgate." The Christian theologian must take into account more than textual criticism; to him the authentic decisions of all church Congregations are guiding signs in the use of the Sacred Scripture, which the Church and only the Church has given to him as the Word of God.


It was of chief moment to determine that this letter is authentic, i.e., belongs to the Apostolic age is Apostolic in its source, and is trustworthy. Among those who admit the authenticity and canonicity of the letter, some hold that its sacred writer was not John the Apostle but John the Presbyter. We have traced the tradition of the Apostolic origin of the letter back to the time of St. Irenæus. Harnack and his followers admit that Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp, assigns the authorship to St. John the Apostle; but have the hardihood to throw over all tradition, to accuse Irenæus of error in this matter, to cling to the doubtful witness of Papias, and to be utterly regardless of the patent fact that throughout three centuries no other ecclesiastical writer knows anything at all of this John the Presbyter. The doubtful witness of Papias is saved for us by Eusebius ("Hist. eccl." 3:39, Funk, "Patres Apostolici," 1, p. 350): "And if any one came my way who had been a follower of the elders, I enquired the sayings of the elders — what had Andrew, or what had Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas or James, or what John (he ti Ioannes) or Matthew or any one else of the disciples of the Lord; and what were Aristion and John the elder, the disciples of the Lord, saying?" (a te Apistion kai ho presbuteros Ioannes, oi tou kuriou mathetai legousin). Harnack insists that Eusebius read his sources thoroughly; and, on the authority of Eusebius and of Papias, postulates the existence of a disciple of the Lord named John the Elder, who was distinct from John the Apostle; and to this fictitious John the Elder assigns all the Johannine writings. With all Christian authors, we consider that either Eusebius alone, or Papias and Eusebius, erred, and that Irenæus and the rest of the Fathers were right, in fact we lay the blame at the door of Eusebius.

Eusebius is here a special pleader. He opposes the millennium. Wrongly fancying that the Revelation favours the Chiliasts, he assigns it to this John the Elder and tries to rob the work of its Apostolic authority, the clumsiness of expression of Papias gives occasion to Eusebius in proof of the existence of two disciples of the Lord named John. To be sure, Papias mentions two Johns — one among the Apostles, the other in a clause with Aristion. Both are called elders; and elders here (presbuteroi) are admitted by Eusebius to be Apostles, since he admits that Papias got information from those who had met the Apostles (substituting ton apostolon for ton presbuteron). Hence it is that Papias, in joining John with Aristion, speaks of John the Elder and not of Aristion the Elder; Aristion was not an elder or Apostle. The reason for joining the Aristion with John at all is that they were both witnesses of the present to Papias, whereas all the Apostles were witnesses of the past generation. Note that the second aorist (eipen) is used in regard to the group of witnesses of the past generation, since there is question of what they had said, whereas the present (legousin) is used in regard to the witnesses of the present generation, i.e. Aristion and John the Elder, since the question is what they are now saying. The Apostle John was alive in the time of Papias. He and he alone can be the elder of whom Papias speaks. How is it, then, that Papias mentions John twice? Hausleiter conjectures that the phrase he ti Ioannes is a gloss (Theol. Litteraturblatt, 1896). It is likelier that the repetition of the name of John is due to the clumsiness of expression of Papias. He does not mention all the Apostles, but only seven; though he undoubtedly means them all. His mention of John is quite natural in view of the relation in which he stood to that Apostle. After mention of the group that were gone, he names the two from whom he now receives indirect information of the Lord's teaching; these two are the disciple Aristion and John the Apostle.

Time and place.

Irenæus tells us the letter was written by St. John during his stay in Asia (Adv. Hær. 3:1). Nothing certain can be determined in this matter. The arguments are probable in favour of Ephesus and also for the last few years of the first century.

Destination and purpose.

The form is that of an encyclical letter. Its destination is clearly the churches which St. John evangelized, he speaks to his "little children," "beloved," "brethren," and is affectionate and fatherly throughout the entire letter. The purpose is identical with the purpose of the Fourth Gospel — that his children may believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that believing may have life eternal in His name (1 John, 5:13; John, 31).


A logical analysis of the letter would be a mistake. The thought is built up not analytically but synthetically. After a brief introduction, St. John works up the thought that God is Light (1:5); so, too, should we walk in the light (1:7), keep from sin (1:6-2:6), observe the new commandment of love (2:7), since he that loves is in the light and he that hates is in darkness (2:8-3). Then follows the second leading Johannine thought that God is Love (3-5:12). Love means that we are sons of God (3:1-4); Divine sonship means that we are not in sin (3:4-13), that we love one another (3:13-44), that we believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God (4:5-6); for it was love that impelled God to give us His only on (4:7-5:12). The conclusion (5:13-end) tells the reader that the purpose of the letter is to inculcate faith in Jesus Christ, since this faith is life eternal. In this conclusion as well as in other parts of the letter, the same salient and leading Johannine thoughts recur to defy analysis. John had two or three things to say; he said these two or three things over and over again in ever varying form.

Second epistle.

These thirteen verses are directed against the same Docetic errors and germs of Gnosticism which St. John strives to uproot in his Gospel and First Epistle. Harnack and some others, who admit the canonicity of the Second and Third Epistles, assign them to the authorship of John the Elder; we have shown that this John the Elder never existed. The authenticity of this second letter is attested by very early Fathers. St. Polycarp ("Phil." 7:1; Funk, "Patres Apostolici," 1:304) cites rather 2 John, 7, than 1 John, 4. St. Irenæus expressly quotes 2 John, 10, as the words of "John the Disciple of the Lord." The Muratorian Canon speaks of two Epistles of John. St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of the larger Epistle of John; and, as a consequence, knows at least two. Origen hears witness to the two shorter letters, which "both together do not contain a hundred lines" and are not admitted by all to be authentic. The canonicity of these two letters was long disputed. Eusebius puts them among the Antilegomena. They are not found in the Peshito. The Canon of the Western Church includes them after the fourth century; although only Trent's decree set the question of their canonicity beyond the dispute of such men as Cajetan. The Canon of the Eastern Church, outside that of Antioch, includes them after the fourth century. The style and manner of the second letter are very like to those of the first. The destination of the letter has been much disputed. The opening words are variously interpreted — "The ancient to the lady Elect, and her children" (ho presbuteros eklekte kuria kai tois teknois autes). We have seen that the elder means the Apostle. Who is the lady elect? Is she the elect Kyria? The lady Eklekte? A lady named Eklekte Kyria? A lady elect, whose name is omitted? A Church? All these interpretations are defended. We consider, with St. Jerome, that the letter is addressed to a particular church, which St. John urges on to faith in Jesus Christ, to the avoidance of heretics, to love. This interpretation best fits in with the ending to the letter — "The children of thy sister Elect salute thee."

Third epistle.

Fourteen verses addressed to Gaius, a private individual. This Gaius seems to have been not an ecclesiastic but a layman of means. He is praised by John for his hospitality to visiting brethren (verses 2-9). The Apostle then goes on: "I had written perhaps to the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, doth not receive us" (verse 9). This Diotrephes may have been the bishop of the Church. He is found fault with roundly, and Demetrius is set up for an example. This short letter, "twin sister," as St. Jerome called it, to the second of John's letters, is entirely a personal affair. No doctrine is discussed. The lesson of hospitality, especially of care for the preachers of the Gospel is insisted on. The earliest certain recognition of this letter as Apostolic is by St. Denis of Alexandria (third century). Eusebius refers to the letters called "the second and third of John, whether these chance to belong to the evangelist or to someone else with a name like to his" ("Hist. eccl." 3:25; Schwartz, 2:1, p. 250). The canonicity of the letter has already been treated. The greeting and ending of this letter are internal evidence of composition by the author of the previous Johannine letter. The simple and affectionate style, the firmness of the rebuke of Diotrephes are strictly Johannine. Nothing certain is known as to time and place of writing; but it is generally supposed that the two small letters were written by John towards the end of his long life and in Ephesus.


Epistle of St. Jude.

The Author and the authenticity of the Epistle.

Jude in the books of the new testament.

In the address of the Epistle the author styles himself "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James." "Servant of Jesus Christ" means "apostolic minister or labourer." "Brother of James" denotes him as the brother of James kat exochen who was well-known to the Hebrew Christians to whom the Epistle of St. Jude was written. This James is to be identified with the Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; 21:18), spoken of by St. Paul as "the brother of the Lord" (Gal. 1:19), who was the author of the Catholic Epistle of St. James. and is regarded amongst Christian interpreters as the Apostle James the son of Alpheus (St. James the Less). This last identification, however, is not evident, nor, from a critical point of view, does it seem beyond all doubt. Most Christian commentators identify Jude with the "Judas Jacobi" ("Jude, the brother of James" in the D.V.) of Luke6:16, and Acts 1:13 — also called Thaddeus (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18) — referring the expression to the fact that his brother James was better known than himself in the primitive Church. This view is strongly confirmed by the title "the brother of James," by which Jude designates himself in the address of his Epistle. If this identification is proved, it is clear that Jude, the author of the Epistle, was reckoned among the Twelve Apostles. This opinion is most highly probable. Beyond this we find no further information concerning Jude in the New Testament, except that the "brethren of the Lord," among whom Jude was included, were known to the Galatians and the Corinthians; also that several of them were married, and that they did not fully believe in Christ till after the Resurrection (1 Cor. 9:5; Gal. 1:10; John 7:3-5; Acts 1:14). From a fact of Hegesippus told by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3:19, 20, 22) we learn that Jude was "said to have been the brother of the Lord according to the flesh," and that two of his grandsons lived till the reign of Trajan.


Tradition as to the genuineness and the canonicity of the epistle.

The Epistle of Jude is one of the so-called antilegomena; but, although its canonicity has been questioned in several Churches, its genuineness has never been denied. The brevity of the Epistle, the coincidences between it and 2 Peter, and the supposed quotation from apocryphal books, created a prejudice against it which was gradually overcome. The history of its acceptance by the Church is briefly as follows:

Some coincidences or analogies exist between Jude and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers — between Barnabas 2:10, and Jude, 3:4; Clemens Romanus, Ep. 20:12; 65:2, and Jude, 25; Ep. ad Polyc. 3:2; 4:2, and Jude, 3. 20, Mart. Polyc. 20, and Jude, 24 sq. It is possible, though not certain, that the passages here noted were suggested by the text of Jude. The similarity between "Didache" 2:7 and Jude, 22 sq., does not seem to be accidental, whilst in Athenagoras (about A.D. 177), "Leg." 24, and in Theophilus of Antioch (d. about 183), "Ad Autol." 2:15, there is a clear reference to Jude, 6 and 13 respectively.

The earliest positive reference to the Epistle occurs in the Muratorian Fragment, "Epistola sane Judæ et superscriptæ Joannis duae in Catholica [scil. Ecclesia] habentur." The Epistle was thus recognized as canonical and Apostolic (for it is Jude the Apostle who is here meant) in the Roman Church about 170. At the end of the second century it was also accepted as canonical and Apostolic by the Church of Alexandria (Clement of Alexandria, "Pæd." 3:8, followed by Origen), and by the African Church of Carthage (Tertullian). At the beginning of the third century the Epistle was universally accepted except in the primitive East Syrian Church, where none of the Catholic Epistles were recognized, nor the Revelation.

This remarkably wide acceptance, representing as it does the voice of ancient tradition, testifies to the canonicity and the genuineness of Jude. During the third and fourth centuries doubt and suspicion, based on internal evidence (especially on the supposed quotation from the Book of Henoch and the "Assumption of Moses"), arose in several Churches. However the prejudice created against the deuterocanonical Jude was soon overcome, so that the Epistle was universally accepted in the Western Church at the very beginning of the fifth century.

In the Eastern Church Eusebius of Cæsarea (260-340) placed Jude among the antilegomena or the "disputed books, which are nevertheless known and accepted by the greater number" (Hist. Eccl. 2:23; 3:25); he incorporated all the Catholic Epistles in the fifty copies of the Bible which at the command of Constantine, he wrote for the Church of Constantinople. St. Athanasius (d. 387) and St. Epiphanius (d. 403) placed Jude among the canonical and Apostolic writings. Junilius and Paul of Nisibis in Constantinople (513) held it as mediæ auctoritatis. However, in the sixth century the Greek Church everywhere considered Jude as canonical.

The recognition of Jude in the Syriac Church is not clear. In Western Syria we find no trace of Jude in the fifth century. In Eastern Syria the Epistle is wanting in the oldest Syriac version, the Peshito, but it is accepted in the Philoxenian (508) and Heracleon (616) versions. Except among the Syriac Nestorians, there is no trace of any ecclesiastical contradiction from the beginning of the sixth century.


Difficulties arising from the text.

The wording of verse 17 — which some critics have taken as an evidence that the Epistle was written in the second century — does not imply that the recipients of the Epistle had, in a period that was past, received oral instructions from all the Apostles, nor does it imply that Jude himself was not an Apostle. The text ton apostolon implies only that several of the Apostles had predicted to the readers that such "mockers" as are described by the writer would assail the Faith; it is not separation in time, but distance of place, that leads Jude to refer to the scattered Apostles as a body. Nor does he exclude himself from this body, he only declares that he was not one of those prophesying Apostles. The author of 2 Peter, who often ranks himself among the Apostles, uses a similar expression ton apostolon humon (3:2), and certainly does not mean to imply that he himself was not an Apostle.

Many Protestant scholars have maintained that the false teachers denounced in Jude are Gnostics of the second century. But, as Bigg rightly says: "It is not really a tenable view" (op. cit. infra). St. Jude does not give any details about the errors denounced in this short letter any more than does St. Peter, and there is no ground for identifying the false teachers with any of the Gnostic sects known to us. There is nothing in the references made to false doctrines that obliges us to look beyond the Apostolic times.

The use made of apocryphal writings, even if proved, is not an argument against the Apostolicity of the Epistle; at most it could only invalidate its canonicity and inspiration. Verse 9, which contains the reference concerning the body of Moses, was supposed by Didymus ("Enarr. in Epist. Judæ" in P.G. 39:1811 sqq.), Clement of Alexandria (Adumbr. in Ep. Judæ), and Origen (De Princ. 3, 2:1), to have been taken from the "Assumption of Moses," which is unquestionably anterior to the Epistle of Jude. Jude may possibly have learned the story of the contest from Jewish tradition. But, at any rate, it is evident that Jude does not quote the "Assumption" as a written authority, and still less as a canonical book.

As regards the prophecy of vv. 14 sq., many Christians scholars admit it to be a loose and abbreviated citation from the apocryphal Book of Henoch, 1:1, 9, which existed a century before St. Jude wrote. But here again St. Jude does not quote Henoch as a canonical book. There is nothing strange, as Plumptre remarks (op. cit. infra, 88), in Jude making use of books not included in the Hebrew Canon of the Old Testament, "as furnishing illustrations that gave point and force to his counsels. The false teachers, against whom he wrote, were characterized largely by their fondness for Jewish fables, and the allusive references to books with which they were familiar, were therefore of the nature of an argumentum ad hominem. He fought them, as it were, with their own weapons." He merely intends to remind his readers of what they know. He does not affirm or teach the literary origin of the apocryphal book, such is not his intention. He simply makes use of the general knowledge it conveys, just as the mention of the dispute between Michael and the Devil is but an allusion to what is assumed as being known to the readers. By no means, therefore, does either of the passages offer any difficulty against the canonicity of the Epistle, or against the Christian doctrine of inspiration.


The relation of Jude to the second epistle of St. Peter.

The resemblance as to thought and language between Jude and 2 Peter, 2, is quite sufficient to make it certain that one of the two writers borrowed from the other: the hypothesis that both writers borrowed from a common document must be put aside, as having no support whatsoever. The question remains: Which of the two Epistles was the earlier? The priority of 2 Peter, as well as the priority of Jude, has found strong advocates, and much has been written about this intricate question. The following arguments, however, lead to the conclusion that the Epistle of Jude was the earlier of the two:

It is not uncommon for St. Peter to throw a light on the more obscure passages of the Epistle of Jude, or to interpret the more difficult passages. At one time he puts them in a shorter form or uses more general terms; at another, while adducing in general the same arguments, he adds a new one or omits one or another used in Jude. This shows that St. Peter had probably read the Epistle of St. Jude. Compare especially 2 Peter, 2:12, with Jude, 10.

This may also be confirmed not only by 2 Peter, 1:17, compared with Jude, 13 — where St. Peter doubles Jude's comparison and puts more strength into it, whilst Jude has more similitudes — but also by comparing the style of both, for, whereas the style of Jude is always the same, that of St. Peter differs somewhat from his usual way of writing, and the reasons for this change seem to be the matter he writes about and the influence of the Epistle of St. Jude.

Finally, is more probable that St. Peter has embodied in his work the text of Jude's Epistle than that Jude should have included in his writing only a part of St. Peter's Epistle. If Jude wrote later than Peter and found the same state of things, why did he omit the remaining questions, e.g. the doubts about the parousiæ? Or why should he, in order to combat the same heretics, give only a summary of St. Peter's Epistle, omitting entirely the strongest arguments?


Vocabulary and style.

The vocabulary of Jude proves that the author was a Jew, saturated with the Old Testament, using Hebraisms, yet acquainted with the koine dialektos — the "common dialect." Thirteen words found in Jude do not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. Some words of the new Christian dialect appear in Jude as well as in the Pauline Epistles, but literary affinity or direct quotation cannot be proved. The style, although sometimes poetical, always evinces the severe and authoritative tone of a man of Apostolic rank, held in high honour.

Analysis of the epistle.


Address and good wishes (vv. 1-2), occasion and purpose of the Epistle (3-4).


First part

He inveighs against the pseudo-teachers; describes their life and errors (5-16). They will be severely punished, as is evident from the severe punishment of the unbelieving Israelites in the desert (5), of the wicked angels (6), and of the inhabitants of Sodom (7). He mentions their wicked teaching and life (8), and opposes the modesty of Michael the Archangel (9) to their pride (10). He foretells for the heretics the punishment of Cain, Balaam, and the sons of Core, for they have imitated their errors (11-3). Enoch has already prophesied the judgment of God upon them (14-6).

Second part

He exhorts the faithful (17-23). They must remember the teaching of the Apostles, by whom they had been warned of the coming of such heretics (17-19). They must maintain the Faith, keep themselves in the love of God, and wait for life everlasting (20-21). What their behaviour should he towards Christians that have in any way fallen away (22-23)



A most beautiful doxology (24-25).

Occasion and Object.


The Epistle was occasioned by the spread of the dogmatico-moral errors amongst the Hebrew Christians; pseudo-doctors "are secretly entered in," who abuse Christian liberty to give themselves over to intemperance; moreover "denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (4).


Jude's intention was to caution his readers, the Hebrew Christians, against such depraved teaching, and to exhort them to keep faithfully the teaching of the Apostles.

To Whom Addressed.

The dedicatory address runs as follows: tois en Theo patri hegapemenois kai Iesou Christo teteremenois kletois (to them that are beloved in God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called). Which are the kletoi, or "called," becomes manifest from the context. They are not all the Christians of the whole Christian world, but those of a particular Church (vv. 3, 4, 17, 22). Several commentators think that St. Jude's Epistle was addressed to the same churches of Asia Minor to which St. Peter's Epistle was written. This opinion, according to these commentators, is to be held because in both Epistles the same errors are condemned, and also because Jude (v. 17) appears to have known 2 Peter, and shows that the prophecy of the Prince of the Apostles has been verified. But we have already proved that the second argument is of no value (see above 1:4); as for the first, there are two objections:

the errors condemned in the Epistle of St. Jude and in 2 Peter may have spread in countries outside Asia Minor;

we find in Jude several reasons for believing that the Epistle was addressed, not to the Gentile Christians of Asia Minor, but to the Hebrew Christians of Palestine or of a neighbouring country.

Date and place of composition.

It is difficult to state the exact time at which St. Jude wrote his Epistle. But the doctrines against which he inveighs, and the looseness of morals or the so-called antinomismus, seem to indicate the end of the Apostolic age. Jude seems on the other hand to have written before A.D. 70; otherwise in vv. 5-7 he would have spoken of the destruction of Jerusalem. In those verses St. Jude mentions the different punishments of prevaricators, and therefore in this exhortation to Hebrew Christians he could not have passed over in silence so dire a calamity. Moreover we have shown that the Epistle of St. Jude was written before 2 Peter, which latter was probably written A.D. 64 (65). Therefore St. Jude must have written shortly before 64 (65).

Here we can only guess, but we prefer the opinion that the Epistle was written in Palestine, and probably in Jerusalem.


Epistles of Apostle Paul.

St. Paul.

Preliminary questions.

Apocryphal acts of St. Paul.

Professor Schmidt has published a photographic copy, a transcription, a German translation, and a commentary of a Coptic papyrus composed of about 2000 fragments, which he has classified, juxtaposed, and deciphered at a cost of infinite labour ("Acta Pauli aus der Heidelberger koptischen Papyrushandschrift Nr. 1," Leipzig, 1904, and "Zusatze" etc., Leipzig, 1905). Most critics, whether Christian (Duchesne, Bardenhewer, Ehrhard etc.), or Protestant (Zahn, Harnack, Corssen etc.), believe that these are real "Acta Pauli," although the text edited by Schmidt, with its very numerous gaps, represents but a small portion of the original work. This discovery modified the generally accepted ideas concerning the origin, contents, and value of these apocryphal Acts, and warrants the conclusion that three ancient compositions which have reached us formed an integral part of the "Acta Pauli" viz. the "Acta Pauli et Theclae," of which the best edition is that of Lipsius, ("Acta Apostolorum apocrypha," Leipzig, 1891, 235-72), a "Martyrium Pauli" preserved in Greek and a fragment of which also exists in Latin (op.. cit. 104-17), and a letter from the Corinthians to Paul with the latter's reply, the Armenian text of which was preserved (cf. Zahn, "Gesch. des neutest. Kanons," 2, 592-611), and the Latin discovered by Berger in 1891 (d. Harnack, "Die apokryphen Briefe des Paulus an die Laodicener und Korinther," Bonn, 1905). With great sagacity Zahn anticipated this result with regard to the last two documents, and the manner in which St. Jerome speaks of the periodoi Pauli et Theclae (De viris 59:7) might have permitted the same surmise with regard to the first.

Another consequence of Schmidt's discovery is no less interesting. Lipsius maintained — and this was hitherto the common opinion — that besides the Christian "Acts" there formerly existed Gnostic "Acts of Paul," but now everything tends to prove that the latter never existed. In fact Origen quotes the "Acta Pauli" twice as an estimable writing ("In Joann." 20:12; "De princip." 2, 1:3); Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3, 3:5; 25:4) places them among the books in dispute, such as the "Shepherd" of Hermas, the "Revelation of Peter," the "Epistle of Barnabas," and the "Teaching of the Apostles." The stichometry of the "Codex Claromontanus" (photograph in Vigouroux, "Dict. de la Bible," 2, 147) places them after the canonical books. Tertullian and St. Jerome, while pointing out the legendary character of this writing, do not attack its orthodoxy. The precise purpose of St. Paul's correspondence with the Corinthians which formed part of the "Acts," was to oppose the Gnostics, Simon and Cleobius. But there is no reason to admit the existence of heretical "Acts" which have since been hopelessly lost, for all the details given by ancient authors are verified in the "Acts" which have been recovered or tally well with them. The following is the explanation of the confusion: The Manicheans and Priscillianists had circulated a collection of five apocryphal "Acts," four of which were tainted with heresy, and the fifth were the "Acts of Paul." The "Acta Pauli" owing to this unfortunate association are suspected of heterodoxy by the more recent authors such as Philastrius (De haeres. 88) and Photius (Cod. 114). Tertullian (De baptismo, 17) and St. Jerome (De vir. 99:7) denounce the fabulous character of the apocryphal "Acts" of Paul, and this severe judgment is amply confirmed by the examination of the fragments published by Schmidt. It is a purely imaginative work in which improbability vies with absurdity. The author, who was acquainted with the canonical Acts of the Apostles, locates the scene in the places really visited by St. Paul (Antioch, Iconium, Myra, Perge, Sidon, Tyre, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Rome), but for the rest he gives his fancy free rein. His chronology is absolutely impossible. Of the sixty-five persons he names, very few are known and the part played by these is irreconcilable with the statements of the canonical "Acts." Briefly, if the canonical "Acts" are true the apocryphal "Acts" are false. This, however, does not imply that none of the details have historical foundation, but they must be confirmed by an independent authority.



If we admit according to the almost unanimous opinion of exegetes that Acts 15, and Gal. 2:1-10, relate to the same fact it will be seen that an interval of seventeen years-or at least sixteen, counting incomplete years as accomplished-elapsed between the conversion of Paul and the Apostolic council, for Paul visited Jerusalem three years after his conversion (Gal. 1:18) and returned after fourteen years for the meeting held with regard to legal observances (Gal. 2:1: "Epeita dia dekatessaron eton"). It is true that some authors include the three years prior to the first visit in the total of fourteen, but this explanation seems forced. On the other hand, twelve or thirteen years elapsed between the Apostolic council and the end of the captivity, for the captivity lasted nearly five years (more than two years at Caesarea, Acts, 24, 27, six months travelling, including the sojourn at Malta, and two years at Rome, Acts 38:30); the third mission lasted not less than four years and a half (three of which were spent at Ephesus, Acts, 20:31, and one between the departure from Ephesus and the arrival at Jerusalem, 1 Cor. 16:8; Acts 20:16, and six months at the very least for the journey to Galatia, Acts 18:23); while the second mission lasted not less than three years (eighteen months for Corinth, Acts 18:11, and the remainder for the evangelization of Galatia, Macedonia, and Athens, Acts, 15:36-17:34). Thus from the conversion to the end of the first captivity we have a total of about twenty-nine years. Now if we could find a fixed point that is a synchronism between a fact in the life of Paul and a certainly dated event in profane history, it would be easy to reconstruct the Pauline chronology. Unfortunately this much wished-for mark has not yet been indicated with certainty, despite the numerous attempts made by scholars, especially in recent times. It is of interest to note even the abortive attempts, because the discovery of an inscription or of a coin may any day transform an approximate date into an absolutely fixed point. These are the meeting of Paul with Sergius Paulus, Proconsul of Cyprus, about the year 46 (Acts 8:7), the meeting at Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla, who had been expelled from Rome, about 51 (Acts 18:2), the meeting with Gallio, Proconsul of Achaia, about 53 (Acts 28:12), the address of Paul before the Governor Felix and his wife Drusilla about 58 (Acts 24:24). All these events, as far as they may be assigned approximate dates, agree with the Apostle's general chronology but give no precise results. Three synchronisms, however, appear to afford a firmer basis:

(1) The occupation of Damascus by the ethnarch of King Aretas and the escape of the Apostle three years after his conversion (2 Cor. 11:32-33; Acts 9:23-26). — Damascene coins bearing the effigy of Tiberius to the year 34 are extant, proving that at that time the city belonged to the Romans. It is impossible to assume that Aretas had received it as a gift from Tiberius, for the latter, especially in his last years, was hostile to the King of the Nabataeans whom Vitellius, Governor of Syria, was ordered to attack (Joseph., "Ant." 18: 5:13); neither could Aretas have possessed himself of it by force for, besides the unlikelihood of a direct aggression against the Romans, the expedition of Vitellius was at first directed not against Damascus but against Petra. It has therefore been somewhat plausibly conjectured that Caligula, subject as he was to such whims, had ceded it to him at the time of his accession (10 March, 37). As a matter of fact nothing is known of imperial coins of Damascus dating from either Caligula or Claudius. According to this hypothesis St. Paul's conversion was not prior to 34, nor his escape from Damascus and his first visit to Jerusalem, to 37.

(2) Death of Agrippa, famine in Judea, mission of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to bring thither the alms from the Church of Antioch (Acts 11:27 – 12:25). — Agrippa died shortly after the Pasch (Acts 12:3, 19), when he was celebrating in Caesarea solemn festivals in honour of Claudius's recent return from Britain, in the third year of his reign, which had begun in 41(Josephus, "Ant." 19:7:2). These combined facts bring us to the year 44, and it is precisely in this year that Orosius (Hist. 7:6) places the great famine which desolated Judea. Josephus mentions it somewhat later, under the procurator Tiberius Alexander (about 46), but it is well known that the whole of Claudius's reign was characterized by poor harvests (Suet., "Claudius," 18) and a general famine was usually preceded by a more or less prolonged period of scarcity. It is also possible that the relief sent in anticipation of the famine foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:28, 29) preceded the appearance of the scourge or coincided with the first symptoms of want. On the other hand, the synchronism between the death of Herod and the mission of Paul can only be approximate, for although the two facts are closely connected in the Acts, the account of the death of Agrippa may be a mere episode intended to shed light on the situation of the Church of Jerusalem about the time of the arrival of the delegates from Antioch. In any case, 45 seems to be the most satisfactory date.

(3) Replacing of Felix by Festus two years after the arrest to Paul (Acts 24:27). — Until recently chronologists commonly fixed this important event, in the year 60-61. Harnack, 0. Holtzmann, and McGiffert suggest advancing it four or five years for the following reasons: (1) In his "Chronicon," Eusebius places the arrival of Festus in the second year of Nero (October, 55-October, 56, or if, as is asserted, Eusebius makes the reigns of the emperors begin with the September after their accession, September, 56-September, 57). But it must be borne in mind that the chroniclers being always obliged to give definite dates, were likely to guess at them, and it may be that Eusebius for lack of definite information divided into two equal parts the entire duration of the government of Felix and Festus. (2) Josephus states (Ant. 20, 8:9) that Felix having been recalled to Rome and accused by the Jews to Nero, owed his safety only to his brother Pallas who was then high in favour. But according to Tacitus (Annal. 13:14-15), Palles was dismissed shortly before Britannicus celebrated his fourteenth anniversary, that is, in January, 55. These two statements are irreconcilable; for if Pallas was dismissed three months after Nero's accession (13 October, 54) he could not have been at the summit of his power when his brother Felix, recalled from Palestine at the command of Nero about the time of Pentecost, arrived at Rome. Possibly Pallas, who after his dismissal retained his wealth and a portion of his influence, since he stipulated that his administration should not be subjected to an investigation, was able to be of assistance to his brother until 62 when Nero, to obtain possession of his goods, Nero had him poisoned.

The advocates of a later date bring forward the following reasons: (1) Two years before the recall of Felix, Paul reminded him that he had been for many years judge over the Jewish nation (Acts 24:10-27). This can scarcely mean less than six or seven years, and as, according to Josephus who agrees with Tacitus, Felix was named procurator of Judea in 52, the beginning of the captivity would fall in 58 or 59. It is true that the argument loses its strength if it be admitted with several critics that Felix before being procurator had held a subordinate position in Palestine. (2) Josephus (Ant. 20, 8:5-8) places under Nero everything that pertains to the government of Felix, and although this long series of events does not necessarily require many years it is evident that Josephus regarded the government of Felix as coinciding for the most part with the reign of Nero, which began on 13 October, 54. In fixing as follows the chief dates in the life of Paul all certain or probable data seem to be satisfactorily taken into account: Conversion, 35; first visit to Jerusalem, 37; sojourn at Tarsus, 37-43; apostolate at Antioch, 43-44; second visit to Jerusalem, 44 or 45; first mission, 45-49; third visit to Jerusalem, 49 or 50; second mission, 50-53; (1 and 2 Thessalonians), 52; fourth visit to Jerusalem, 53; third mission, 53-57; (1 and 2 Corinthians; Galatians), 56; (Romans), 57; fifth visit to Jerusalem, arrest, 57; arrival of Festus, departure for Rome, 59; captivity at Rome, 60-62; (Philemon; Colossians; Ephesians; Philippians), 61; second period of activity, 62-66; (1 Timothy; Titus), second arrest, 66; (2 Timothy), martyrdom, 67.

Life and work of Paul.

Birth and education

From St. Paul himself we know that he was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 21:39), of a father who was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:26-28; 16:37), of a family in which piety was hereditary (2 Tim. 1:3) and which was much attached to Pharisaic traditions and observances (Phil. 3:5-6). St. Jerome relates, on what ground is not known, that his parents were natives of Gischala, a small town of Galilee and that they brought him to Tarsus when Gischala was captured by the Romans ("De vir. 59," 5; "In epist. ad Phil." 23). This last detail is certainly an anachronism, but the Galilean origin of the family is not at all improbable. As he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin he was given at the time of his circumcision the name of Saul, which must have been common in that tribe in memory of the first king of the Jews (Phil. 3:5). As a Roman citizen he also bore the Latin name of Paul. It was quite usual for the Jews of that time to have two names, one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek, between which there was often a certain assonance and which were joined together exactly in the manner made use of by St. Luke (Acts 13:9; Saulos ho kai Paulos). See on this point Deissmann, "Bible Studies" (Edinburgh, 1903, 313-17.) It was natural that in inaugurating his apostolate among the Gentiles Paul should have adopted his Roman name, especially as the name Saul had a ludicrous meaning in Greek. As every respectable Jew had to teach his son a trade, young Saul learned how to make tents (Acts 18:3) or rather to make the mohair of which tents were made (cf. Lewin, "Life of St. Paul," I, London, 1874, 8-9). He was still very young when sent to Jerusalem to receive his education at the school of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Possibly some of his family resided in the holy city; later there is mention of the presence of one of his sisters whose son saved his life (Acts 23:16). From that time it is absolutely impossible to follow him until he takes an active part in the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts 7:58-60; 22:20). He was then qualified as a young man (neanias), but this was very elastic appellation and might be applied to a man between twenty and forty.


Conversion and early Labours

We read in the Acts of the Apostles three accounts of the conversion of St. Paul (9:1-19; 22:3-21; 26:9-23) presenting some slight differences, which it is not difficult to harmonize and which do not affect the basis of the narrative, which is perfectly identical in substance. Sabatier agreeing with most independent critics, has well said (L'Apotre Paul, 1896, 42): These differences cannot in any way alter the reality of the fact; their bearing on the narrative is extremely remote; they do not deal even with the circumstances accompanying the miracle but with the subjective impressions which the companions of St. Paul received of these circumstances. . . . To base a denial of the historical character of the account upon these differences would seem therefore a violent and arbitrary proceeding." All efforts hitherto made to explain without a miracle the apparition of Jesus to Paul have failed. Naturalistic explanations are reduced to two: either Paul believed that he really saw Christ, but was the victim of an hallucination, or he believed that he saw Him only through a spiritual vision, which tradition, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, later erroneously materialized. Renan explained everything by hallucination due to disease brought on by a combination of moral causes such as doubt, remorse, fear, and of physical causes such as ophthalmia, fatigue, fever, the sudden transition from the torrid desert to the fresh gardens of Damascus, perhaps a sudden storm accompanied by lightning and thunder. All this combined, according to Renan's theory, to produce a cerebral commotion, a passing delirium which Paul took in good faith for an apparition of the risen Christ.

The other partisans of a natural explanation while avoiding the word hallucination, eventually fall back on the system of Renan which they merely endeavour to render a little less complicated. Thus Holsten, for whom the vision of Christ is only the conclusion of a series of syllogisms by which Paul persuaded himself that Christ was truly risen. So also Pfleiderer, who however, causes the imagination to play a more influential part: "An excitable, nervous temperament; a soul that had been violently agitated and torn by the most terrible doubts; a most vivid phantasy, occupied with the awful scenes of persecution on the one hand and on the other by the ideal image of the celestial Christ; in addition the nearness of Damascus with the urgency of a decision, the lonely stillness, the scorching and blinding heat of the desert — in fact everything combined to produce one of those ecstatic states in which the soul believes that it sees those images and conceptions which violently agitate it as if they were phenomena proceeding from the outward world" (Lectures on the influence of the Apostle Paul on the development of Christianity, 1897, 43). We have quoted Pfleiderer's words at length because his "psychological" explanation is considered the best ever devised. It will readily be seen that it is insufficient and as much opposed to the account in the Acts as to the express testimony of St. Paul himself. (1) Paul is certain of having "seen" Christ as did the other Apostles (1 Cor. 9:1); he declares that Christ "appeared" to him (1 Cor. 15:8) as He appeared to Peter, to James, to the Twelve, after His Resurrection. (2) He knows that his conversion is not the fruit of his reasoning or thoughts, but an unforeseen, sudden, startling change, due to all-powerful grace (Gal. 1:12-15; 1 Cor. 15:10). (3) He is wrongly credited with doubts, perplexities, fears, remorse, before his conversion. He was halted by Christ when his fury was at its height (Acts 9:1-2); it was "through zeal" that he persecuted the Church (Phil. 3:6), and he obtained mercy because he had acted "ignorantly in unbelief" (1 Tim. 1:13). All explanations, psychological or otherwise, are worthless in face of these definite assertions, for all suppose that it was Paul's faith in Christ which engendered the vision, whereas according to the concordant testimony of the Acts and the Epistles it was the actual vision of Christ which engendered faith.

After his conversion, his baptism, and his miraculous cure Paul set about preaching to the Jews (Acts 9:19-20). He afterwards withdrew to Arabia — probably to the region south of Damascus (Gal. 1:7), doubtless less to preach than to meditate on the Scriptures. On his return to Damascus the intrigues of the Jews forced him to flee by night (2 Cor. 11:32-33; Acts 9:23-25). He went to Jerusalem to see Peter (Gal. 1:18), but remained only fifteen days, for the snares of the Greeks threatened his life. He then left for Tarsus and is lost to sight for five or six years (Acts 9:29-30; Gal. 1:21). Barnabas went in search of him and brought him to Antioch where for a year they worked together and their apostolate was most fruitful (Acts 11:25-26). Together also they were sent to Jerusalem to carry alms to the brethren on the occasion of the famine predicted by Agabus (Acts 11:27-30). They do not seem to have found the Apostles there; these had been scattered by the persecution of Herod.


Apostolic career of Paul

This period of twelve years (45-57) was the most active and fruitful of his life. It comprises three great Apostolic expeditions of which Antioch was in each instance the starting-point and which invariably ended in a visit to Jerusalem.

(1) First mission (Acts, 8:1-14:27)

Set apart by command of the Holy Ghost for the special evangelization of the Gentiles, Barnabas and Saul embark for Cyprus, preach in the synagogue of Salamina, cross the island from east to west doubtless following the southern coast, and reach Paphos, the residence of the proconsul Sergius Paulus, where a sudden change takes place. After the conversion of the Roman proconsul, Saul, suddenly become Paul, is invariably mentioned before Barnabas by St. Luke and manifestly assumes the leadership of the mission which Barnabas has hitherto directed. The results of this change are soon evident. Paul, doubtless concluding that Cyprus, the natural dependency of Syria and Cilicia, would embrace the faith of Christ when these two countries should be Christian, chose Asia Minor as the field of his apostolate and sailed for Perge in Pamphylia, eighth miles above the mouth of the Cestrus. It was then that John Mark, cousin of Barnabas, dismayed perhaps by the daring projects of the Apostle, abandoned the expedition and returned to Jerusalem, while Paul and Barnabas laboured alone among the rough mountains of Pisidia, which were infested by brigands and crossed by frightful precipices. Their destination was the Roman colony of Antioch, situated a seven day's journey from Perge. Here Paul spoke on the vocation of Israel and the providential sending of the Messias, a discourse which St. Luke reproduces in substance as an example of his preaching in the synagogues (Acts 13:16-41). The sojourn of the two missionaries in Antioch was long enough for the word of the Lord to be published throughout the whole country (Acts 13:49). When by their intrigues the Jews had obtained against them a decree of banishment, they went to Iconium, three or four days distant, where they met with the same persecution from the Jews and the same eager welcome from the Gentiles. The hostility of the Jews forced them to take refuge in the Roman colony of Lystra, eighteen miles distant. Here the Jews from Antioch and Iconium laid snares for Paul and having stoned him left him for dead, but again he succeeded in escaping and this time sought refuge in Derbe, situated about forty miles away on the frontier of the Province of Galatia. Their circuit completed, the missionaries retraced their steps in order to visit their neophytes, ordained priests in each Church founded by them at such great cost, and thus reached Perge where they halted to preach the Gospel, perhaps while awaiting an opportunity to embark for Attalia, a port twelve miles distant. On their return to Antioch in Syria after an absence of at least three years, they were received with transports of joy and thanksgiving, for God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

The problem of the status of the Gentiles in the Church now made itself felt with all its acuteness. Some Judeo-Christians coming down from Jerusalem claimed that the Gentiles must be submitted to circumcision and treated as the Jews treated proselytes. Against this Paul and Barnabas protested and it was decided that a meeting should be held at Jerusalem in order to solve the question. At this assembly Paul and Barnabas represented the community of Antioch. Peter pleaded the freedom of the Gentiles; James upheld him, at the same time demanding that the Gentiles should abstain from certain things which especially shocked the Jews. It was decided, first, that the Gentiles were exempt from the Mosaic law. Secondly, that those of Syria and Cilicia must abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Thirdly, that this injunction was laid upon them, not in virtue of the Mosaic law, but in the name of the Holy Ghost. This meant the complete triumph of Paul's ideas. The restriction imposed on the Gentile converts of Syria and Cilicia did not concern his Churches, and Titus, his companion, was not compelled to be circumcised, despite the loud protests of the Judaizers (Gal. 2:3-4). Here it is to be assumed that Gal. 2, and Acts, 15, relate to the same fact, for the actors are the same, Paul and Barnabas on the one hand, Peter and James on the other; the discussion is the same, the question of the circumcision of the Gentiles; the scenes are the same, Antioch and Jerusalem; the date is the same, about A.D. 50; and the result is the same, Paul's victory over the Judaizers. However, the decision of Jerusalem did not do away with all difficulties. The question did not concern only the Gentiles, and while exempting them from the Mosaic law, it was not declared that it would not have been counted meritorious and more perfect for them to observe it, as the decree seemed to liken them to Jewish proselytes of the second class. Furthermore the Judeo-Christians, not having been included in the verdict, were still free to consider themselves bound to the observance of the law. This was the origin of the dispute which shortly afterwards arose at Antioch between Peter and Paul. The latter taught openly that the law was abolished for the Jews themselves. Peter did not think otherwise, but he considered it wise to avoid giving offence to the Judaizers and to refrain from eating with the Gentiles who did not observe all the prescriptions of the law. As he thus morally influenced the Gentiles to live as the Jews did, Paul demonstrated to him that this dissimulation or opportuneness prepared the way for future misunderstandings and conflicts and even then had regrettable consequences. His manner of relating this incident leaves no room for doubt that Peter was persuaded by his arguments (Gal. 2:11-20).

(2) Second mission (Acts 15:36-18:22)

The beginning of the second mission was marked by a rather sharp discussion concerning Mark, whom St. Paul this time refused to accept as travelling companion. Consequently Barnabas set out with Mark for Cyprus and Paul chose Silas or Silvanus, a Roman citizen like himself, and an influential member of the Church of Jerusalem, and sent by it to Antioch to deliver the decrees of the Apostolic council. The two missionaries first went from Antioch to Tarsus, stopping on the way in order to promulgate the decisions of the Council of Jerusalem; then they went from Tarsus to Derbe, through the Cilician Gates, the defiles of Tarsus, and the plains of Lycaonia. The visitation of the Churches founded during his first mission passed without notable incidents except the choice of Timothy, whom the Apostle while in Lystra persuaded to accompany him, and whom he caused to be circumcised in order to facilitate his access to the Jews who were numerous in those places. It was probably at Antioch of Pisidia, although the Acts do not mention that city, that the itinerary of the mission was altered by the intervention of the Holy Ghost. Paul thought to enter the Province of Asia by the valley of Meander which separated it by only three day's journey, but they passed through Phrygia and the country of Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word of God in Asia (Acts 16:6). These words (ten phrygian kai Galatiken choran) are variously interpreted, according as we take them to mean the Galatians of the north or of the south. Whatever the hypothesis, the missionaries had to travel northwards in that portion of Galatia properly so called of which Pessinonte was the capital, and the only question is as to whether or not they preached there. They did not intend to do so, but as is known the evangelization of the Galatians was due to an accident, namely the illness of Paul (Gal. 4:13); this fits very well for Galatians in the north. In any case the missionaries having reached the Upper part of Mysia (kata Mysian), attempted to enter the rich Province of Bithynia, which lay before them, but the Holy Ghost prevented them (Acts 16:7). Therefore, passing through Mysia without stopping to preach (parelthontes) they reached Alexandria of Troas, where God's will was again made known to them in the vision of a Macedonian who called them to come and help his country (Acts 16:9-10).

Paul continued to follow on European soil the method of preaching he had employed from the beginning. As far as possible he concentrated his efforts in a metropolis from which the Faith would spread to cities of second rank and to the country districts. Wherever there was a synagogue he first took his stand there and preached to the Jews and proselytes who would consent to listen to him. When the rupture with the Jews was irreparable which always happened sooner or later, he founded a new Church with his neophytes as a nucleus. He remained in the same city until persecution, generally aroused by the intrigues of the Jews, forced him to retire. There were, however, variations of this plan. At Philippi, where there was no synagogue, the first preaching took place in the uncovered oratory called the proseuche, which the Gentiles made a reason for stirring up the persecution. Paul and Silas, charged with disturbing public order, were beaten with rods, imprisoned, and finally exiled. But at Thessalonica and Berea, whither they successively repaired after leaving Philippi, things turned out almost as they had planned. The apostolate of Athens was quite exceptional. Here there was no question of Jews or synagogue, Paul, contrary to his custom, was alone (1 Thess. 3:1), and he delivered before the areopagus a specially framed discourse, a synopsis of which has been preserved by the Acts (17:23-31) as a specimen of its kind. He seems to have left the city of his own accord, without being forced to do so by persecution. The mission to Corinth on the other hand may be considered typical. Paul preached in the synagogue every Sabbath day, and when the violent opposition of the Jews denied him entrance there he withdrew to an adjoining house which was the property of a proselyte named Titus Justus. He carried on his apostolate in this manner for eighteen months, while the Jews vainly stormed against him; he was able to withstand them owing to the impartial, if not actually favourable, attitude of the proconsul, Gallio. Finally he decided to go to Jerusalem in fulfillment of a vow made perhaps in a moment of danger. From Jerusalem, according to his custom, he returned to Antioch. The two Epistles to the Thessalonians were written during the early months of his sojourn at Corinth.

(3) Third mission (Acts 18:23-21:26)

Paul's destination in his third journey was obviously Ephesus. There Aquila and Priscilla were awaiting him, he had promised the Ephesians to return and evangelize them if it were the will of God (Acts 18:19-21), and the Holy Ghost no longer opposed his entry into Asia. Therefore, after a brief rest at Antioch he went through the countries of Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23) and passing through "the upper regions" of Central Asia he reached Ephesus (19:1). His method remained the same. In order to earn his living and not be a burden to the faithful he toiled every day for many hours at making tents, but this did not prevent him from preaching the Gospel. As usual he began with the synagogue where he succeeded in remaining for three months. At the end of this time he taught every day in a classroom placed at his disposal by a certain Tyrannus "from the fifth hour to the tenth" (from eleven in the morning till four in the afternoon), according to the interesting addition of the "Codex Bezae" (Acts 19:9). This lasted two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord (Acts 19:20).

Naturally there were trials to be endured and obstacles to be overcome. Some of these obstacles arose from the jealousy of the Jews, who vainly endeavoured to imitate Paul's exorcisms, others from the superstition of the pagans, which was especially rife at Ephesus. So effectually did he triumph over it, however, that books of superstition were burned to the value of 50,000 pieces of silver (each piece about a day's wage). This time the persecution was due to the Gentiles and inspired by a motive of self-interest. The progress of Christianity having ruined the sale of the little facsimiles of the temple of Diana and statuettes of the goddess, which devout pilgrims had been wont to purchase, a certain Demetrius, at the head of the guild of silversmiths, stirred up the crowd against Paul. The scene which then transpired in the theatre is described by St. Luke with memorable vividness and pathos (Acts 19:23-40). The Apostle had to yield to the storm. After a stay at Ephesus of two years and a half, perhaps more (Acts 20:31: trietian), he departed for Macedonia and thence for Corinth, where he spent the winter. It was his intention in the following spring to go by sea to Jerusalem, doubtless for the Pasch; but learning that the Jews had planned his destruction, he did not wish, by going to sea, to afford them an opportunity to attempt his life. Therefore he returned by way of Macedonia. Numerous disciples divided into two groups, accompanied him or awaited him at Troas. These were Sopater of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia, and finally Luke, the historian of the Acts, who gives us minutely all the stages of the voyage: Philippi, Troas, Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Miletus, Cos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, Caesarea, Jerusalem. Three more remarkable facts should be noted in passing. At Troas Paul resuscitated the young Eutychus, who had fallen from a third-story window while Paul was preaching late into the night. At Miletus he pronounced before the ancients of Ephesus the touching farewell discourse which drew many tears (Acts 20:18-38). A Caesarea the Holy Ghost by the mouth of Agabus, predicted his coming arrest, but did not dissuade him from going to Jerusalem.

St. Paul's four great Epistles were written during this third mission: the first to the Corinthians from Ephesus, about the time of the Pasch prior to his departure from that city; the second to the Corinthians from Macedonia, during the summer or autumn of the same year; that to the Romans from Corinth, in the following spring; the date of the Epistle to the Galatians is disputed. On the many questions occasioned by the despatch and the language of these letters, or the situation assumed either on the side of the Apostle or his correspondents.


Captivity (acts 21:27-31).

Falsely accused by the Jews of having brought Gentiles into the Temple, Paul was ill-treated by the populace and led in chains to the fortress Antonia by the tribune Lysias. The latter having learned that the Jews had conspired treacherously to slay the prisoner sent him under strong escort to Caesarea, which was the residence of the procurator Felix. Paul had little difficulty in confounding his accusers, but as he refused to purchase his liberty Felix kept him in chains for two years and even left him in prison in order to please the Jews, until the arrival of his successor, Festus. The new governor wished to send the prisoner to Jerusalem there to be tried in the presence of his accusers; but Paul, who was acquainted with the snares of his enemies, appealed to Caesar. Thenceforth his cause could be tried only at Rome. This first period of captivity is characterized by five discourses of the Apostle: The first was delivered in Hebrew on the steps of the Antonia before the threatening crowd; herein Paul relates his conversion and vocation to the Apostolate, but he was interrupted by the hostile shouts of the multitude (Acts 22:1-22). In the second, delivered the next day, before the Sanhedrin assembled at the command of Lysias, the Apostle skillfully embroiled the Pharisees with the Sadducees and no accusation could be brought. In the third, Paul, answering his accuser Tertullus in the presence of the Governor Felix, makes known the facts which had been distorted and proves his innocence (Acts 24:10-21). The fourth discourse is merely an explanatory summary of the Christian Faith delivered before Felix and his wife Drusilla (Acts 24:24-25). The fifth, pronounced before the Governor Festus, King Agrippa, and his wife Berenice, again relates the history of Paul's conversion, and is left unfinished owing to the sarcastic interruptions of the governor and the embarrassed attitude of the king (Acts 26).

The journey of the captive Paul from Caesarea to Rome is described by St. Luke with an exactness and vividness of colours which leave nothing to be desired. For commentaries see Smith, "Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul" (1866); Ramsay, "St. Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen" (London, 1908). The centurion Julius had shipped Paul and his fellow-prisoners on a merchant vessel on board which Luke and Aristarchus were able to take passage. As the season was advanced the voyage was slow and difficult. They skirted the coasts of Syria, Cilicia, and Pamphylia. At Myra in Lycia the prisoners were transferred to an Alexandrian vessel bound for Italy, but the winds being persistently contrary a place in Crete called Goodhavens was reached with great difficulty and Paul advised that they should spend the winter there, but his advice was not followed, and the vessel driven by the tempest drifted aimlessly for fourteen whole days, being finally wrecked on the coast of Malta. The three months during which navigation was considered most dangerous were spent there, but with the first days of spring all haste was made to resume the voyage. Paul must have reached Rome some time in March. "He remained two whole years in his own hired lodging . . . preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, without prohibition" (Acts 28:30-31). With these words the Acts of the Apostles conclude.

There is no doubt that Paul's trial terminated in a sentence of acquittal, for (1) the report of the Governor Festus was certainly favourable as well as that of the centurion. (2) The Jews seem to have abandoned their charge since their co-religionists in Rome were not informed of it (Acts 28:21). (3) The course of the proceedings led Paul to hope for a release, of which he sometimes speaks as of a certainty (Phil. 1:25; 2:24; Philem. 22). (4) The pastorals if they are authentic assume a period of activity for Paul subsequent to his captivity. The same conclusion is drawn from the hypothesis that they are not authentic, for all agree that the author was well acquainted with the life of the Apostle. It is the almost unanimous opinion that the so-called Epistles of the captivity were sent from Rome. Some authors have attempted to prove that St. Paul wrote them during his detention at Caesarea, but they have found few to agree with them. The Epistles to the Colossians, the Ephesians, and Philemon were despatched together and by the same messenger, Tychicus. It is a matter of controversy whether the Epistle to the Philippians was prior or subsequent to these, and the question has not been answered by decisive arguments.

Last years.

This period is wrapped in deep obscurity for, lacking the account of the Acts, we have no guide save an often uncertain tradition and the brief references of the Pastoral epistles. Paul had long cherished the desire to go to Spain (Rom. 15:24, 28) and there is no evidence that he was led to change his plan. When towards the end of his captivity he announces his coming to Philemon (22) and to the Philippians (2:23-24), he does not seem to regard this visit as immediate since he promises the Philippians to send them a messenger as soon as he learns the issue of his trial; he therefore plans another journey before his return to the East. Finally, not to mention the later testimony of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret, the well-known text of St. Clement of Rome, the witness of the "Muratorian Canon," and of the "Acta Pauli" render probable Paul's journey to Spain. In any case he can not have remained there long, for he was in haste to revisit his Churches in the East. He may have returned from Spain through southern Gaul if it was thither, as some Fathers have thought, and not to Galatia, that Crescens was sent later (2 Tim. 4:10). We may readily believe that he afterwards kept the promise made to his friend Philemon and that on this occasion he visited the churches of the valley of Lycus, Laodicea, Colossus, and Hierapolis.

The itinerary now becomes very uncertain, but the following facts seem indicated by the Pastorals: Paul remained in Crete exactly long enough to found there new churches, the care and organization of which he confided to his fellow-worker Titus (Tit. 1:5). He then went to Ephesus, and besought Timothy, who was already there, to remain until his return while he proceeded to Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:3). On this occasion he paid his promised visit to the Philippians (Phil. 2:24), and naturally also saw the Thessalonians. The letter to Titus and the First Epistle to Timothy must date from this period; they seem to have been written about the same time and shortly after the departure from Ephesus. The question is whether they were sent from Macedonia or, which seems more probable, from Corinth. The Apostle instructs Titus to join him at Nicopolis of Epirus where he intends to spend the winter (Titus 3:12). In the following spring he must have carried out his plan to return to Asia (1 Tim. 3:14-15). Here occurred the obscure episode of his arrest, which probably took place at Troas; this would explain his having left with Carpus a cloak and books which he needed (2 Tim. 4:13). He was taken from there to Ephesus, capital of the Province of Asia, where he was deserted by all those on whom he thought he could rely (2 Tim. 1:15). Being sent to Rome for trial he left Trophimus sick at Miletus, and Erastus, another of his companions, remained at Corinth, for what reason is not clear (2 Tim. 4:20). When Paul wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy from Rome he felt that all human hope was lost (4: 6).; he begs his disciple to rejoin him as quickly as possible, for he is alone with Luke. We do not know if Timothy was able to reach Rome before the death of the Apostle.

Ancient tradition makes it possible to establish the following points: (1) Paul suffered martyrdom near Rome at a place called Aquae Salviae (now Tre Fontane), somewhat east of the Ostian Way, about two miles from the splendid Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura which marks his burial place. (2) The martyrdom took place towards the end of the reign of Nero, in the twelfth year (St. Epiphanius), the thirteenth (Euthalius), or the fourteenth (St. Jerome). (3) According to the most common opinion, Paul suffered in the same year and on the same day as Peter; several Latin Fathers contend that it was on the same day but not in the same year; the oldest witness, St. Dionysius the Corinthian, says only kata ton auton kairon, which may be translated "at the same time" or "about the same time." (4) From time immemorial the solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul has been celebrated on 29 June, which is the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics. Formerly the pope, after having pontificated in the Basilica of St. Peter, went with his attendants to that of St. Paul, but the distance between the two basilicas (about five miles) rendered the double ceremony too exhausting, especially at that season of the year. Thus arose the prevailing custom of transferring to the next day (30 June) the Commemoration of St. Paul. The feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January) is of comparatively recent origin. There is reason for believing that the day was first observed to mark the translation of the relics of St. Paul at Rome, for so it appears in the Hieronymian Martyrology. It is unknown to the Greek Church (Dowden, "The Church Year and Kalendar," Cambridge, 1910, 69; cf. Duchesne, "Origines du culte chrétien," Paris, 1898, 265-72; McClure, "Christian Worship," London, 1903, 277-81).


Physical and moral portrait of St. Paul.

We know from Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 7:18) that even in his time there existed paintings representing Christ and the Apostles Peter and Paul. Paul's features have been preserved in three ancient monuments: (1) A diptych which dates from not later than the fourth century (Lewin, "The Life and Epistles of St. Paul," 1874, frontispiece of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, 210). (2) A large medallion found in the cemetery of Domitilla, representing the Apostles Peter and Paul (Op. cit. 2:411). (3) A glass dish in the British Museum, depicting the same Apostles (Farrara, "Life and Work of St. Paul," 1891, 896). We have also the concordant descriptions of the "Acta Pauli et Theelae," of Pseudo-Lucian in Philopatris, of Malalas (Chronogr. 10), and of Nicephorus (Hist. eccl. 3:37). Paul was short of stature; the Pseudo-Chrysostom calls him "the man of three cubits" (anthropos tripechys); he was broad-shouldered, somewhat bald, with slightly aquiline nose, closely-knit eyebrows, thick, greyish beard, fair complexion, and a pleasing and affable manner. He was afflicted with a malady which is difficult to diagnose (cf. Menzies, "St. Paul's Infirmity" in the Expository Times," July and Sept. 1904), but despite this painful and humiliating infirmity (2 Cor. 12:7-9; Gal. 4:13-14) and although his bearing was not impressive (2 Cor. 10:10), Paul must undoubtedly have been possessed of great physical strength to have sustained so long such superhuman labours (2 Cor. 11:23-29). Pseudo-Chrysostom, "In princip. apostol. Petrum et Paulum" (in P.G. 59:494-95), considers that he died at the age of sixty-eight after having served the Lord for thirty-five years.

The moral portrait is more difficult to draw because it is full of contrasts. Its elements will be found: in Lewin, op. cit. 2:11:410-35 (Paul's Person and Character); in Farrar, Op, cit., Appendix, Excursus I; and especially in Newman, "Sermons preached on Various Occasions," 7-8.

Theology of St. Paul.

Paul and Christ.

This question has passed through two distinct phases. According to the principal followers of the Tübingen School, the Apostle had but a vague knowledge of the life and teaching of the historical Christ and even disdained such knowledge as inferior and useless. Their only support is the misinterpreted text: "Et si cognovimus secundum carnem Christum, sed nunc jam novimus" (2 Cor. 5:16). The opposition noted in this text is not between the historical and the glorified Christ, but between the Messias such as the unbelieving Jews represented Him, such perhaps as he was preached by certain Judaizers, and the Messias as He manifested Himself in His death and Resurrection, as He had been confessed by the converted Paul. It is neither admissible nor probable that Paul would be uninterested in the life and preaching of Him, Whom he loved passionately, Whom he constantly held up for the imitation of his neophytes, and Whose spirit he boasted of having. It is incredible that he would not question on this subject eyewitnesses, such as Barnabas, Silas, or the future historians of Christ, Sts. Mark and Luke, with whom he was so long associated. Careful examination of this subject has brought out the three following conclusions concerning which there is now general agreement: (1) There are in St. Paul more allusions to the life and teachings of Christ than would be suspected at first sight, and the casual way in which they are made shows that the Apostle knew more on the subject than he had the occasion, or the wish to tell. (2) These allusions are more frequent in St. Paul than the Gospels. (3) From Apostolic times there existed a catechesis, treating among other things the life and teachings of Christ, and as all neophytes were supposed to possess a copy it was not necessary to refer thereto save occasionally and in passing.

The second phase of the question is closely connected with the first. The same theologians, who maintain that Paul was indifferent to the earthly life and teaching of Christ, deliberately exaggerate his originality and influence. According to them Paul was the creator of theology, the founder of the Church, the preacher of asceticism, the defender of the sacraments and of the ecclesiastical system, the opponent of the religion of love and liberty which Christ came to announce to the world. If, to do him honour, he is called the second founder of Christianity, this must be a degenerate and altered Christianity since it was at least partially opposed to the primitive Christianity. Paul is thus made responsible for every antipathy to modern thought in traditional Christianity. This is to a great extent the origin of the "Back to Christ" movement, the strange wanderings of which we are now witnessing. The chief reason for returning to Christ is to escape Paul, the originator of dogma, the theologian of the faith. The cry "Zuruck zu Jesu" which has resounded in Germany for thirty years, is inspired by the ulterior motive, "Los von Paulus." The problem is: Was Paul's relation to Christ that of a disciple to his master? or was he absolutely autodidactic, independent alike of the Gospel of Christ and the preaching of the Twelve? It must be admitted that most of the papers published shed little light on the subject. However, the discussions have not been useless, for they have shown that the most characteristic Pauline doctrines, such as justifying faith, the redeeming death of Christ, the universality of salvation, are in accord with the writings of the first Apostles, from which they were derived. Julicher in particular has pointed out that Paul's Christology, which is more exalted than that of his companions in the apostolate, was never the object of controversy, and that Paul was not conscious of being singular in this respect from the other heralds of the Gospel. Cf. Morgan, "Back to Christ" in "Dict. of Christ and the Gospels," I, 61-67; Sanday, "Paul," loc. cit., II, 886-92; Feine, "Jesus Christus und Paulus" (1902); Goguel, "L'apôtre Paul et Jésus-Christ" (Paris, 1904); Julicher, "Paulus und Jesus" (1907).


The root idea of St. Paul's theology.

Several modern authors consider that theodicy is at the base, centre, and summit of Pauline theology. "The apostle's doctrine is theocentric, not in reality anthropocentric. What is styled his 'metaphysics' holds for Paul the immediate and sovereign fact of the universe; God, as he conceives Him, is all in all to his reason and heart alike" (Findlay in Hastings, "Dict. of the Bible," 3:718). Stevens begins the exposition of his "Pauline Theology" with a chapter entitled "The doctrine of God." Sabatier (L'apotre Paul, 1896, 297) also considers that "the last word of Pauline theology is: "God all in all," and he makes the idea of God the crown of Paul's theological edifice. But these authors have not reflected that though the idea of God occupies so large a place in the teaching of the Apostle, whose thought is deeply religious like that of all his compatriots, it is not characteristic of him, nor does it distinguish him from his companions in the apostolate nor even from contemporary Jews. Many modern Protestant theologians, especially among the more or less faithful followers of the Tübingen School, maintain that Paul's doctrine is "anthropocentric," that it starts from his conception of man's inability to fulfill the law of God without the help of grace to such an extent that he is a slave of sin and must wage war against the flesh. But if this be the genesis of Paul's idea it is astonishing that he enunciates it only in one chapter (Rom. 7), the sense of which is controverted, so that if this chapter had not been written, or it had been lost, we would have no means of recovering the key to his teaching. However, most modern theologians now agree that St. Paul's doctrine is Christocentric, that it is at base a soteriology, not from a subjective standpoint, according to the ancient prejudice of the founders of Protestantism who made justification by faith the quintessence of Paulinism, but from the objective standpoint, embracing in a wide synthesis the person and work of the Redeemer. This may be proved empirically by the statement that everything in St. Paul converges towards Jesus Christ, so much so, that abstracting from Jesus Christ it becomes, whether taken collectively or in detail, absolutely incomprehensible. This is proved also by demonstrating that what Paul calls his Gospel is the salvation of all men through Christ and in Christ. This is the standpoint of the following rapid analysis:


Humanity without christ.

The first three chapters of the Epistle to the Romans shows us human nature wholly under the dominion of sin. Neither Gentiles nor Jews had withstood the torrent of evil. The Mosaic Law was a futile barrier because it prescribed good without importing the strength to do it. The Apostle arrives at this mournful conclusion: "There is no distinction [between Jew and Gentile]; for all have sinned, and do need the glory of God" (Rom. 3:22-23). He subsequently leads us back to the historical cause of this disorder: "By one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12). This man is obviously Adam, the sin which he brought into the world is not only his personal sin, but a predominating sin which entered into all men and left in them the seed of death: "All sinned when Adam sinned; all sinned in and with his sin" (Stevens, "Pauline Theology," 129). It remains to be seen how original sin which is our lot by natural generation, manifests itself outwardly and becomes the source of actual sins. This Paul teaches us in chap. vii, where describing the contest between the Law assisted by reason and human nature weakened by the flesh and the tendency to evil, he represents nature as inevitably vanquished: "For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man: But I see another law in my members fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin" (Rom. 7:22-23). This does not mean that the organism, the material substratus, is evil in itself, as some theologians of the Tübingen School have claimed, for the flesh of Christ, which was like unto ours, was exempt from sin, and the Apostle wishes that our bodies, which are destined to rise again, be preserved free from stain. The relation between sin and the flesh is neither inherent nor necessary; it is accidental, determined by an historical fact, and capable of disappearing through the intervention of the Holy Ghost, but it is none the less true that it is not in our power to overcome it unaided and that fallen man had need of a Saviour.

Yet God did not abandon sinful man. He continued to manifest Himself through this visible world (Rom. 1:19-20), through the light of a conscience (Rom. 2:14-15), and finally through His ever active and paternally benevolent Providence (Acts 14:16; 27:26). Furthermore, in His untiring mercy, He "will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). This will is necessarily subsequent to original sin since it concerns man as he is at present. According to His merciful designs God leads man step by step to salvation. To the Patriarchs, and especially to Abraham, He gave his free and generous promise, confirmed by oath (Rom. 4:13-20; Gal. 3:15-18), which anticipated the Gospel. To Moses He gave His Law, the observation of which should be a means of salvation (Rom. 7:10; 10:5), and which, even when violated, as it was in reality, was no less a guide leading to Christ (Gal. 3:24) and an instrument of mercy in the hands of God. The Law was a mere interlude until such time as humanity should be ripe for a complete revelation (Gal.3:19; Rom. 5:20), and thus provoked the Divine wrath (Rom. 4:15). But good will arise from the excess of evil and "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe" (Gal. 3:22). This would be fulfilled in the "fullness of the time" (Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10), that is, at the time set by God for the execution of His merciful designs, when man's helplessness should have been well manifested. Then "God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: that he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. 4:4).


The person of the redeemer.

Nearly all statements relating to the person of Jesus Christ bear either directly or indirectly on His role as a Saviour. With St. Paul Christology is a function of soteriology. However broad these outlines, they show us the faithful image of Christ in His pre-existence, in His historical existence and in His glorified life.

(1) Christ in His pre-existence

(a) Christ is of an order superior to all created beings (Eph. 1:21); He is the Creator and Preserver of the World (Col. 1:16-17); all is by Him, in Him , and for Him (Col. 1:16). (b) Christ is the image of the invisible Father (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15); He is the Son of God, but unlike other sons is so in an incommunicable manner; He is the Son, the own Son, the well-Beloved, and this He has always been (2 Cor. 1:19; Rom. 8:3, 32; Col. 1:13; Eph. 16; etc.). (c) Christ is the object of the doxologies reserved for God (2 Tim. 4:18; Rom. 16:27); He is prayed to as the equal of the Father (2 Cor. 12:8-9; Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 1:2); gifts are asked of Him which it is in the power of God alone to grant, namely grace, mercy, salvation (Rom. 1:7; 16:20; 1 Cor. 1:3; 16: 23; etc. before Him every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Phil. 2:10), as every head inclines in adoration of the majesty of the Most High. (d) Christ possesses all the Divine attributes; He is eternal, since He is the "first born of every creature" and exists before all ages (Col. 1:15, 17); He is immutable, since He exists "in the form of God" (Phil. 2:6); He is omnipotent, since He has the power to bring forth being from nothingness (Col. 1:16); He is immense, since He fills all things with His plenitude (Eph. 4:10; Col. 2:10); He is infinite since "the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him" (Col. 2:9). All that is the special property of the God belongs of right to Him; the judgment seat of God is the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10); the Gospel of God is the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:1, 9; 15:16, 19, etc.); the Church of God is the Church of Christ (1 Cor. 1:2 and Rom. 16:16 sqq.); the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Christ (Eph. 5:, 5), the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9 sqq). (e) Christ is the one Lord (1 Cor. 8:6); He is identified with Jehovah of the Old Covenant (1 Cor. 10: 4, 9; Rom. 10:13; cf. 1 Cor. 2:16; 9:21); He is the God who has purchased the church with his own blood" (Acts 20:28); He is our "great God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2:13); He is the "God over all things" (Rom. 10:5), effacing by His infinite transcendency the sum and substance of created things.

(2) Jesus Christ as Man

The other aspect of the figure of Christ is drawn with no less firm a hand. Jesus Christ is the second Adam (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:45-49); "the mediator of God and men" (1 Tim. 2:5), and as such He must necessarily be man (anthropos Christos Iesous). So He is the descendant of the Patriarchs (Rom. 9:5; Gal. 3:16), He is "of the seed of David, according to the flesh)" (Rom. 1:3), "born of a woman" (Gal. 5:4), like all men; finally, He is known as a man by His appearance, which is exactly similar to that of men (Phil. 2:7), save for sin, which He did not and could not know (2 Cor. 5:21). When St. Paul says that "God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3), he does not mean to deny the reality of Christ's flesh, but excludes only sinful flesh.

Nowhere does the Apostle explain how the union of the Divine and the human natures is accomplished in Christ, being content to affirm that He who was "in the form of God' took "the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:6-7), or he states the Incarnation in this laconic formula: "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally" (Col. 2:9). What we see clearly is that there is in Christ a single Person to whom are attributed, often in the same sentence, qualities proper to the Divine and the human nature, to the pre-existence, the historical existence, and the glorified life (Col. 1:15-19; Phil. 2:5-11; etc.). The theological explanation of the mystery has given rise to numerous errors. Denial was made of one of the natures, either the human (Docetism), or the Divine (Arianism), or the two natures were considered to be united in a purely accidental manner so as to produce two persons (Nestorianism), or the two natures were merged into one (Monophysitism), or on pretext of uniting them in one person the heretics mutilated either the human nature (Apollinarianism), or the Divine, according to the strange modern heresy known as Kenosis.

The last-mentioned requires a brief treatment, as it is based on a saying of St. Paul "Being in the form of God . . . emptied himself (ekenosen eauton, hence kenosis) taking the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:6-7). Contrary to the common opinion, Luther applied these words not to the Word, but to Christ, the Incarnate Word. Moreover he understood the communicatio idiomatus as a real possession by each of the two natures of the attributes of the other. According to this the human nature of Christ would possess the Divine attributes of ubiquity, omniscience, and omnipotence. There are two systems among Lutheran theologians, one asserting that the human nature of Christ was voluntarily stripped of these attributes (kenosis), the other that they were hidden during His mortal existence (krypsis). In modern times the doctrine of Kenosis, while still restricted to Lutheran theology, has completely changed its opinions. Starting with the philosophical idea that "personality" is identified with "consciousness," it is maintained that where there is only one person there can be only one consciousness; but since the consciousness of Christ was Christ was a truly human consciousness, the Divine consciousness must of necessity have ceased to exist or act in Him. According to Thomasius, the theorist of the system, the Son of God was stripped, not after the asserted, but by the very fact of the Incarnation, and what rendered possible the union of the Logos with the humanity was the faculty possessed by the Divinity to limit itself both as to being and activity. The other partisans of the system express themselves in a similar manner. Gess, for instance, says that in Jesus Christ the Divine ego is changed into the human ego. When it is objected that God is immutable, that He can neither cease to be, nor limit Himself, nor transform Himself, they reply that this reasoning is on metaphysical hypotheses and concepts without reality.

All these systems are merely variations of Monophysitism. Unconsciously they assume that there is in Christ but a single nature as there is but a single person. According to the Christian doctrine, on the contrary, the union of the two natures in a single person involves no change in the Divine nature and need involve no physical change of the human nature of Christ. Without doubt Christ is the Son and is morally entitled even as man to the goods of His Father, 14. the immediate vision of God, eternal beatitude, the state of glory. He is temporarily deprived of a portion of these goods in order that he may fulfill His mission as Redeemer. This is the abasement, the annihilation, of which St. Paul speaks, but it is a totally different thing from the Kenosis as described above.


The objective redemption as the work of Christ.

We have seen that fallen man being unable to arise again unaided, God in His mercy sent His Son to save him. It is an elementary and often repeated doctrine of St. Paul that Jesus Christ saves us through the Cross, that we are "justified by His blood," that "we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Rom. 5:9-10). What endowed the blood of Christ, His death, His Cross, with this redeeming virtue? Paul never answers this question directly, but he shows us the drama of Calvary under three aspects, which there is danger in separating and which are better understood when compared: (a) at one time the death of Christ is a sacrifice intended, like the sacrifice of the Old Law, to expiate sin and propitiate God. Cf. Sanday and Headlam, "Romans," 91-94, "The death of Christ considered as a sacrifice." "It is impossible from this passage (Rom. 3:25) to get rid of the double idea: (1) of a sacrifice; (2) of a sacrifice which is propitiatory . . . Quite apart from this passage it is not difficult to prove that these two ideas of sacrifice and propitiation lie at the root of the teaching not only of St. Paul but of the new Testament generally." The double danger of this idea is, first to wish to apply to the sacrifice of Christ all the mode of action, real or supposed, of the imperfect sacrifices of the Old Law; and second, to believe that God is appeased by a sort of magical effect, in virtue of this sacrifice, whereas on the contrary it was He Who took the initiative of mercy, instituted the sacrifice of Calvary, and endowed it with its expiatory value. (b) At another time the death of Christ is represented as a redemption, the payment of a ransom, as the result of which man was delivered from all his past servitude (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23 [times egorasthete]; Gal. 3:13; 4:5 [ina tous hypo nomon exagorase]; Rom. 3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:7, 14; Col. 1:14 [apolytrosis]; 1 Tim. 2:6 [antilytron]; etc.) This idea, correct as it is, may have inconveniences if isolated or exaggerated. By carrying it beyond what was written, some of the Fathers put forth the strange suggestion of a ransom paid by Christ to the demon who held us in bondage. Another mistake is to regard the death of Christ as having a value in itself, independent of Christ Who offered it and God Who accepted it for the remission of our sins.

(c) Often, too, Christ seems to substitute Himself for us in order to undergo in our stead the chastisement for sin. He suffers physical death to save us from the moral death of sin and preserve us from eternal death. This idea of substitution appealed so strongly to Lutheran theologians that they admitted quantitative equality between the sufferings really endured by Christ and the penalties deserved by our sins. They even maintained that Jesus underwent the penalty of loss (of the vision of God) and the malediction of the Father. These are the extravagances which have cast so much discredit on the theory of subsitution. It has been rightly said that the transfer of a chastisement from one person to another is an injustice and a contradiction, for the chastisement is inseparable from the fault and an undeserved chastisement is no longer a chastisement. Besides, St. Paul never said that Christ died in our stead (anti), but only that he died for us (hyper) because of our sins.

In reality the three standpoints considered above are but three aspects of the Redemption which, far from excluding one another, should harmonize and combine, modifying if necessary all the other aspects of the problem. In the following text St. Paul assembles these various aspects with several others. We are "justified freely by his grace, through the Redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his [hidden] justice, for the remission of former sins, through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that of himself may be [known as] just, and the justifier of him, who is in the faith of Jesus Christ" (Rom. 3:24-26). Herein are designated the part of God, of Christ, and of man: (1) God takes the initiative; it is He who offers His Son; He intends to manifest His justice, but is moved thereto by mercy. It is therefore incorrect or more or less inadequate to say that God was angry with the human race and that He was only appeased by the death of His Son. (2) Christ is our Redemption (apolytrosis), He is the instrument of expiation or propitiation (ilasterion), and is such by His Sacrifice (en to autou aimati), which does not resemble those ofirrational animals; it dervies its value from Christ, who offers it for us to His Father through obedience and love (Phil. 2:8; Gal. 2:20). (3) Man is not merely passive in the drama of his salvation; he must understand the lesson which God teaches, and appropriate by faith the fruit of the Redemption.


The subjective redemption.

Christ having once died and risen, the Redemption is completed in law and in principle for the whole human race. Each man makes it his own in fact and in act by faith and baptism which, by uniting him with Christ, causes him to participate in His Divine life. Faith, according to St. Paul, is composed of several elements; it is the submission of the intellect to the word of God, the trusting abandonment of the believer to the Saviour Who promises him assistance; it is also an act of obedience by which man accepts the Divine will. Such an act has a moral value, for it "gives glory to God" (Rom. 4:20) in the measure in which it recognizes its own helplessness. That is why "Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice" (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6). The spiritual children of Abraham are likewise "justified by faith, without the works of the law" (Rom. 3:28; cf. Gal. 2:16). Hence it follows: (1) That justice is granted by God in consideration of faith. (2) That, neverthelss, faith is not equivalent to justice, since man is justified "by grace" (Rom. 4:6). (3) That the justice freely granted to man becomes his property and is inherent in him. Protestants formerly asserted that the justice of Christ is imputed to us, but now they are generally agreed that this argument is unscriptural and lacks the guaranty of Paul; but some, loth to base justification on a good work (ergon), deny a moral value to faith and claim that justification is but a forensic judgment of God which alters absolutely nothing in the justified sinner. But this theory is untenable; for: (1) even admitting that "to justify" signifies "to pronounce just," it is absurd to suppose that God really pronounces just anyone who is not already so or who is not rendered so by the declaration itself. (2) Justification is inseparable from sanctification, for the latter is "a justification of life" (Rom. 5:18) and every "just man liveth by faith" (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11). (3) By faith and baptism we die to the "old man," our former selves; now this is impossible without beginning to live as the new man, who "according to God, is created in justice and holiness" (Rom. 6:3-5; Eph. 4:24; 1 Cor. 1:30; 6:11). We may, therefore, establish a distinction in definition and concept between justification and sanctification, but we can neither separate them nor regard them as separate.


Moral doctrine.

A remarkable characteristic of Paulinism is that it connects morality with the subjective redemption or justification. This is especially striking in chap. 6, of the Epistle to the Romans. In baptism "our old man is crucified with [Christ] that, the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer" (Rom. 6:6). Our incorporation with the mystical Christ is not only a transformation and a metamorphosis, but a real reaction, the production of a new being, subject to new laws and consequently to new duties. To understand the extent of our obligations it is enough for us to know ourselves as Christians and to reflect on the various relations which result from our supernatural birth: that of sonship to God the Father, of consecration to the Holy Ghost, of mystical identity with our Saviour Jesus Christ, of brotherly union with the other members of Christ. But this is not all. Paul says to the neophytes: "Thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but have obeyed from the heart unto that form of doctrine, into which you have been delivered. . . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting" (Rom. 6:17, 22). By the act of faith and by baptism, its seal, the Christian freely makes himself the servant of God and the soldier of Christ. God's will, which he accepts in advance in the measure in which it shall be manifested, becomes thenceforth his rule of conduct. Thus Paul's moral code rests on the one hand on the positive will of God made known by Christ, promulgated by the Apostles, and virtually accepted by the neophyte in his first act of faith, and on the other, in baptismal regeneration and the new relations which it produces. All Paul's commands and recommendations are merely applications of these principles.



(1) The graphic description of the Pauline parousia (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10) has nearly all its main points in Christ's great eschatological discourse (Matt 24; Mark 13, Luke 21). A common characteristic of all these passages is the apparent nearness of the parousia. Paul does not assert that the coming of the Saviour is at hand. In each of the five epistles, wherein he expresses the desire and the hope to witness in person the return of Christ, he at the same time considers the probability of the contrary hypothesis, proving that he had neither revelation nor certainty on the point. He knows only that the day of the lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief (1 Thess. 5:2-3), and he counsels the neophytes to make themselves ready without neglecting the duties of their state of life (2 Thess. 3:6-12). Although the coming of Christ will be sudden, it will be heralded by three signs: general apostasy (2 Thess. 2:3), the appearance of Antichrist (2:3-12), and the conversion of the Jews (Rom. 11:26). A particular circumstance of St. Paul's preaching is that the just who shall be living at Christ's second advent will pass to glorious immortality without dying [1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51 (Greek text); 2 Cor. 5:2-5].

(2) Owing to the doubts of the Corinthians Paul treats the resurrection of the just at some length. He does not ignore the resurrection of the sinners, which he affirmed before the Governor Felix (Acts 24:15), but he does not concern himself with it in his Epistles. When he says that "the dead who are in Christ shall rise first" (proton, 1 Thess. 4:16, Greek) this "first" offsets, not another resurrection of the dead, but the glorious transformation of the living. In like manner "the evil" of which he speaks (tou telos, 1 Cor. 15:24) is not the end of the resurrection, but of the present world and the beginning of a new order of things. All the arguments which he advances in behalf of the resurrection may be reduced to three: the mystical union of the Christian with Christ, the presence within us of the Spirit of Holiness, the interior and supernatural conviction of the faithful and the Apostles. It is evident that these arguments deal only with the glorious resurrection of the just. In short, the resurrection of the wicked does not come within his theological horizon. What is the condition of the souls of the just between death and resurrection? These souls enjoy the presence of Christ (2 Cor. 5:8); their lot is enviable (Phil. 1:23); hence it is impossible that they should be without life, activity, or consciousness.

(3) The judgment according to St. Paul as according to the Synoptics, is closely connected with the parousia and the resurrection. They are the three acts of the same drama which constitute the Day of the Lord (1 Cor. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16). "For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10).

Two conclusions are derived from this text:

(1) The judgment shall be universal, neither the good nor the wicked shall escape (Rom. 14:10-12), nor even the angels (1 Cor. 6:3); all who are brought to trial must account for the use of their liberty.

(2) The judgment shall be according to works: this is a truth frequently reiterated by St. Paul, concerning sinners (2 Cor. 11:15), the just (2 Tim. 4:14), and men in general (Rom. 2:6-9). Many Protestants marvel at this and claim that in St. Paul this doctrine is a survival of his rabbinical education (Pfleiderer), or that he could not make it harmonize with his doctrine of gratuitous justification (Reuss), or that the reward will be in proportion to the act, as the harvest is in proportion to the sowing, but that it will not be because of or with a view to the act (Weiss). These authors lose sight of the fact that St. Paul distinguishes between two justifications, the first necessarily gratuitous since man was then incapable of meriting it (Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:16), the second in conformity to his works (Rom. 2:6: kata ta erga), since man, when adorned with sanctifying grace, is capable of merit as the sinner is of demerit. Hence the celestial recompense is "a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render" (2 Tim. 4:8) to whomsoever has legitimately gained it.

Briefly, St. Paul's eschatology is not so distinctive as it has been made to appear. Perhaps its most original characteristic is the continuity between the present and the future of the just, between grace and glory, between salvation begun and salvation consummated. A large number of terms, redemption, justification, salvation, kingdom, glory and especially life, are common to the two states, or rather to the two phases of the same existence linked by charity which "never falleth away."

Epistle to the Romans.

This subject will be treated under the following heads: 1. The Roman Church and St. Paul; 2. Character, Contents, and Arrangement of the Epistle; 3. Authenticity; 4. Integrity; 5. Date and Circumstances of Composition; 6. Historical Importance; 7, Theological Contents: Faith and Works (Paul and James).

The Roman church and St. Paul.

Among the Epistles of the New Testament which bear the name of the Apostle Paul, that written to the Roman Church occupies the first place in the manuscripts which have come down to us, although in very early times the order was probably otherwise. The Epistle is intended to serve as an introduction to a community with which the author, though he has not founded it, desires to form connexions (1:10-15; 15:22-29). For years his thoughts have been directed towards Rome (15:23). The Church there had not been recently established; but its faith had already become known everywhere (1:8) and it is represented as a firmly established and comparatively old institution, which Paul regards with reverence. Concerning its foundation, unfortunately, the Epistle to the Romans gives us no information. To interpret this silence as decisive against its foundation by Peter is inadmissible. It cannot indeed be ascertained with complete certainty when Peter first came to Rome; there may have been Christians in the capital before any Apostle set foot there, but it is simply inconceivable that this Church should have attained to such firm faith and such a high standard of religious life without one of the prominent authorities of nascent Christianity having laid its foundation and directed its growth. This Church did not owe its Faith solely to some unknown members of the primitive Christian community who chanced to come to Rome. Its Christianity was, as the Epistle tells us, free from the Law; this conviction Paul certainly shared with the majority of the community, and his wish is simply to deepen this conviction. This condition is entirely incomprehensible if the Roman Church traced its origin only to some Jewish Christian of the community in Jerusalem, for we know how far the fight for freedom was from being ended about A.D. 50. Nor can the foundation of the Roman Church be traced to the Gentile Christian Churches, who named Paul their Apostle; their own establishment was too recent, and Paul would have worded his Epistle otherwise, if the community addressed were even mediately indebted to his apostolate. The complete silence as to St. Peter is most easily explained by supposing that he was then absent from Rome; Paul may well have been aware of this fact, for the community was not entirely foreign to him. An epistle like the present would hardly have been sent while the Prince of the Apostles was in Rome and the reference to the ruler (12:8) would then be difficult to explain. Paul probably supposes that during the months between the composition and the arrival of the Epistle, the community would be more or less thrown on its own resources. This does not however indicate a want of organization in the Roman community; such organization existed in every Church founded by Paul, and its existence in Rome can be demonstrated from this very Epistle.

The inquiry into the condition of the community is important for the understanding of the Epistle. Complete unanimity concerning the elements forming the community has not yet been attained. Baur and others (especially, at the present day, Theodore Zahn) regard the Roman community as chiefly Jewish Christian, pointing to 6:15-17; 7:1-6; 8:15. But the great majority of exegetes incline to the opposite view, basing their contention, not only on individual texts, but also on the general character of the Epistle. At the very beginning Paul introduces himself as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Assuredly, 1:5, cannot be applied to all mankind, for Paul certainly wished to express something more than that the Romans belonged to the human race; in corroboration of this view we may point to 1:13, where the writer declares that he had long meditated coming to Rome that he might have some fruit there as among the other "Gentiles." He then continues: "To the Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, I am a debtor; so (as much as is in me) I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are at Rome" (1:14 sq.); he names himself the Apostle of the Gentiles (11:13), and cites his call to the apostolate of the Gentiles as the justification for his Epistle and his language (15:16-18). These considerations eliminate all doubt as to the extraction of the Roman Christians. The address and application in 11:13 sqq., likewise presuppose a great majority of Gentile Christians, while 6:1 sqq., shows an effort to familiarize the Gentile Christians with the dealings of God towards the Jews. The whole character of the composition forces one to the conclusion that the Apostle supposes a Gentile majority in the Christian community, and that in Rome as elsewhere the statement about the fewness of the elect (from among the Jews) finds application (11:5-7; cf. 15:4).

However, the Roman community was not without a Jewish Christian element, probably an important section. Such passages as 4:1 (Abraham, our father according to the flesh; 8:1 (I speak to them that know the law); 7:4; 8:2, 15, etc., can scarcely be explained otherwise than by supposing the existence of a Jewish Christian section of the community. On the other hand, it must be remembered that Paul was out and out a Jew, and that his whole training accustomed him to adopt the standpoint of the Law–the more so as the revelation of the Old Testament is in the last instance the basis of the New Testament, and Paul regards Christianity as the heir of God's promises, as the true "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16). St. Paul often adopts this same standpoint in the Epistle to the Galatians–an Epistle undoubtedly addressed to Christians who are on the point of submitting to circumcision. Even if the Epistle to the Romans repeatedly addresses (e. g. 2:17) Jews, we may deduce nothing from this fact concerning the composition of the community, since Paul is dealing, not with the Jewish Christians, but with the Jews still subject to the Law and not yet freed by the grace of Christ. The Apostle wishes to show the rôle and efficacy of the Law–what it cannot and should not–and what it was meant to effect.

Character, contents, and arrangement of the epistle.

The chief portion of this Epistle to the Romans (1-9) is evidently a theological discussion. It would however be inaccurate to regard it not as a real letter, but as a literary epistle. It must be considered as a personal communication to a special community, and, like that sent to the Corinthians or the cognate Epistle to the Galatians, must be judged according to the concrete position and the concrete conditions of that community. What the Apostle says, he says with a view to his readers in the Roman community and his own relations to them.

Language and style reveal the writer of the Epistle to the Corinthians and the Galatians. Its emphatic agreement with the latter in subject-matter is also unmistakable. The difference in the parties addressed and between the circumstances, however, impresses on either Epistle its distinctive stamp. The Epistle to the Galatians is a polemical work, and is composed in a polemical spirit with the object of averting an imminent evil; the Epistle to the Romans is written in a time of quiet peace, and directed to a Church with which the author desires to enter into closer relations. We thus miss in the latter those details and references to earlier experiences and occurrences, with which the former Epistle is so instinct. Not that Romans is a purely abstract theological treatise; even here Paul, with his whole fiery and vigorous personality, throws himself into his subject, sets before himself his opponent, and argues with him. This characteristic of the Apostle is clearly seen. Hence arise unevenness and harshness in language and expression noticeable in the other Epistles. This does not prevent the Epistle as a whole from revealing an elaborately thought out plan, which often extends to the smallest details in magnificent arrangement and expression. We might recall the exordium, to which, in thought and to some extent in language, the great concluding doxology corresponds, while the two sections of the first part deal quite appropriately with the impressive words on the certainty of salvation and on God's exercise of providence and wisdom (8:31-39; 11:33-36).

The immediate external occasion for the composition of the Epistle is given by the author himself; he wishes to announce his arrival to the community and to prepare them for the event. The real object of this comprehensive work, and the necessity for a theological Epistle are not thought out. The supposition that St. Paul desired to give the Romans a proof of his intellectual gifts (1:11; 15:29) is excluded by its pettiness. We must therefore conclude that the reason for the Epistle is to be sought in the conditions of the Roman community. The earliest interpreters (Ambrosiaster, Augustine, Theodoret) and a great number of later exegetes see the occasion for the Epistle in the conflict concerning Judaistic ideas, some supposing an antagonism between the Gentile and Jewish Christians (Hug, Delitzsch) and others the existence of some typically Jewish errors or at least of an outspoken anti-Paulinism This view does not accord with the character of the Epistle: of errors and division in the Church the author makes no mention, nor was there any difference of opinion concerning the fundamental conception of Christianity between Paul and the Roman Church. The polemics in the Epistle are directed, not against the Jewish Christians, but against unbelieving Judaism. It is true that there are certain contrasts in the community: we hear of the strong and the weak; of those who have acquired the complete understanding and use of Christian freedom, and who emphasize and exercise it perhaps regardlessly; we hear of others who have not yet attained to the full possession of freedom. These contrasts are as little based on the standpoint of the Law and a false dogmatic outlook as the "weak" of 1 Corinthians. Paul would otherwise not have treated them with the mild consideration which he employs and demands of the strong (14:5-10; 14:15-15:7). In judging there was always a danger, and mistakes had occurred (14:13: "Let us not therefore judge one another any more"). According to the nature of the mistake divisions might easily gain a footing; from what direction these were to be expected, is not declared by the Apostle, but the cases of Corinth and Galatia indicate it sufficiently. And even though Paul had no reason to anticipate the gross Jewish errors, it sufficed for him that divisions destroyed the unanimity of the community, rendered his labours more difficult, made co-operation with Rome impossible, and seriously impaired the community itself. He therefore desires to send beforehand this earnest exhortation (16:17 sq.), and does all he can to dispel the misconception that he despised and fought against Israel and the Law. That there was good ground for these fears, he learned from experience in Jerusalem during his last visit (Acts, 21:20-1).

From this twofold consideration the object of Romans may be determined. The exhortations to charity and unity (12 sqq.) have the same purpose as those addressed to the weak and the strong. In both cases there is the vigorous reference to the single foundation of the faith, the unmerited call to grace, with which man can correspond only by humble and steadfast faith working in charity, and also the most express, though not obtrusive exhortation to complete unity in charity and faith. For Paul these considerations are the best means of securing the confidence of the whole community and its assistance in his future activities. The thoughts which he here expresses are those which ever guide him, and we can easily understand how they must have forced themselves upon his attention when he resolved to seek a new, great field of activity in the West. They correspond to his desire to secure the co-operation of the Roman community, and especially with the state and needs of the Church. They were the best intellectual gifty that the Apostle could offer; thereby he set the Church on the right path, created internal solidity, and shed light on the darkness of the doubts which certainly must have overcast the souls of the contemplative Christians in face of the attitude of incredulity which characterized the Chosen People.

Introduction and Reason for writing the Epistle arising from the obligations of his calling and plans (1:1-15): (1) The Theoretic Part (1:16-11:36). Main Proposition: The Gospel, in whose service Paul stands, is the power of God and works justification in every man who believes (1:16-17). This proposition is discussed and proved (1:18-8:39), and then defended in the light of the history of the Chosen People (9:1-11:36).

(a) The justice of God is acquired only through faith in Christ (1:18-8:39). (1) The proof of the necessity of justifying grace through faith (1:18-4:25): without faith there is no justice, proved from the case of the pagans (1:18-32) and the Jews (2:1-3:20); (b) justice is acquired through faith in and redemption by Christ (the Gospel 3:21-31). Holy Writ supplies the proof: Abraham's faith (4:1-25). (2) The greatness and blessing of justification through faith (5:1-8:39), reconciliation with God through Christ, and certain hope of eternal salvation (5:1-11). This is illustrated by contrasting the sin of Adam and its consequences for all mankind, which were not removed by the Law, with the superabundant fruits of redemption merited by Christ (5:12-21). Conclusion: Redemption by Christ (communicated to the individual through baptism) requires death to sin and life with Christ (6:1-23). To accomplish this the Law is ineffectual, for by the death of Christ it has lost its binding power (7:1-6), and, although holy and good in itself, it possesses only educative and not sanctifying power, and is thus impotent in man's dire combat against sinful nature (7:7-25). In contrast to this impotence, communion with Christ imparts freedom from sin and from death (8:1-11), establishes the Divine kinship, and raises mankind above all earthly trouble to the certain hope of an indescribable happiness (8:12-39).

(b) Defence of the first part from the history of the people of Israel (9:1-11:36). The consoling certainty of salvation may appear threatened by the rejection or obduracy of Israel. How could God forget His promises and reject the people so favoured? The Apostle must thus explain the providence of God. He begins with a touching survey of God's deeds of love and power towards the Chosen People proceeding then to prove that God's promise has not failed. For (1) God acts within His right when He grants grace according to His free pleasure, since God's promises did not apply to Israel according to the flesh, as early history shows (Isaac and Ismael, Jacob and Esau) (9:1-13); God's word to Moses and His conduct towards Pharao call into requisition this right (9:14-17)); God's position (as Creator and Lord) is the basis of this right (9:19-24); God's express prophecy announced through the Prophets, the exercise of this right towards Jews and pagans (9:24-29); (2) God's attitude was in a certain sense demanded by the foolish reliance of Israel on its origin and justification in the Law (9:30-10:4) and by its refusal of and disobedience to the message of faith announced everywhere among the Jews (10:5-21); (3) In this is revealed the wisdom and goodness of God, for: Israel's rejection is not complete; a chosen number have attained to the faith (11:1-10); (4) Israel's unbelief is the salvation of the pagan world, and likewise a solemn exhortation to fidelity in the faith (11:11- 22); (5) Israel's rejection is not irrevocable. The people will find mercy and salvation (11:23-32). Thence the praise of the wisdom and the inscrutable providence of God (11:33-36).

(2) The Practical Part (12:1-15:13).–(a) The general exhortation to the faithful service of God and the avoidance of the spirit of the world (12:1-2). (b) Admonition to unity and charity (modest, active charity), peacefulness, and love of enemies (12:3-21). (c) Obligations towards superiors: fundamental establishment and practical proof (13:1-7). Conclusion: A second inculcation of the commandment of love (13:8-10) and an incitement to zeal in view of the proximity of salvation (13:11-14). (d) Toleration and forbearance between the strong and the weak (treated with special application to the Roman community) on account of the importance and practical significance of the question; it falls under (b): (1) fundamental criticism of the standpoint of both classes (14:1-12); (2) practical inferences for both (14:13- 15:6); (3) establishment through the example of Christ and the intentions of God (15:7-13). Conclusion: Defence of the Epistle: (1) in view of Paul's calling; (2) in view of his intended relations with the community (15:22-23); (3) recommendations, greetings (warning), doxology (16:1-27).


Is the Epistle to the Romans a work of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul? Undoubtedly it has the same authorship as the Epistles to the Corinthians and the Epistle to the Galatians; consequently, if the authenticity of these be proved, that of Romans is likewise established. We shall however treat the question quite independently. The external evidence of the authorship of Romans is uncommonly strong. Even though no direct testimony as to the authorship is forthcoming before Marcion and Irenæus, still the oldest writings betray an acquaintance with the Epistle. One might with some degree of probability include the First Epistle of St. Peter in the series of testimonies: concerning the relation between Romans and the Epistle of St. James we shall speak below. Precise information is furnished by Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, and Justin: Marcion admitted Romans into his canon, and the earliest Gnostics were acquainted with it.

The internal evidence is equally convincing. Modern critics (van Manen and others) have indeed asserted that no attempt was ever made to prove its authenticity; they have even gone further, and declared the Epistle an invention of the second century. Evanson (1792) first attempted to maintain this view; he was followed by Br. Bauer (1852, 1877), and later by Loman, Steck, van Manen (1891, 1903), and others. A less negative standpoint was adopted by Pierson-Naber, Michelsen, Völter, etc., who regarded Romans as the result of repeated revisions of genuine Pauline fragments, e. g., that one genuine Epistle, interpolated five times and combined finally with an Epistle to the Ephesians, gave rise to Romans (Völter). These critics find their ground for denying the authenticity of the Epistle in the following considerations: Romans is a theological treatise rather than an epistle; the beginning and conclusion do not correspond; the addresses cannot be determined with certainty; despite a certain unity of thought and style, there are perceptible traces of compilation and discordance, difficult transitions, periods, connexions of ideas, which reveal the work of the reviser; the second part (9-12) abandons the subject of the first (justification by faith), and introduces an entirely foreign idea; there is much that cannot be the composition of St. Paul (the texts dealing with the rejection of Israel lead one to the period after the destruction of Jerusalem; the Christians of Rome appear as Pauline Christians; the conception of freedom from the law, of sin and justification, of life in Christ, etc., are signs of a later development); finally there are, according to Van Manen, traces of second-century Gnosticism in the Epistle.

We have here a classical example of the arbitrariness of this type of critics. They first declare all the writings of the first and of the early second century forgeries, and, having thus destroyed all the sources, construct a purely subjective picture of the period, and revise the sources accordingly.

That the Epistle to the Romans was written at least before the last decades of the first century is established; even by external evidence taken alone; consequently all theories advocating a later origin are thereby exploded. The treatment of a scientific (theological) problem in an epistle can constitute a difficulty only for such as are unacquainted with the literature of the age. Doubts as to the untiy of the Epistle vanish of themselves on a closer examination. The introduction is most closely connected with the theme (1, 4, 5, 8, 12, etc.); the same is true of the conclusion. An analysis of the Epistle reveals incontestably the coherence of the first and second parts; from chapter 9 an answer is given to a question which has obtruded itself in the earlier portion. In this fact Chr. Baur sees the important point of the whole Epistle. Besides, the interrelation between the parts finds express mention (9:30-32; 10:3-6; 11:6; 11:20-23; etc.). The author's attitude towards Israel will be treated below (6). The rejection of the Chosen People could have become abundantly clear to the author after the uniform experiences of a wide missionary activity extending over more than ten years. The unevennesses and difficulty of the language show at most that the text has not been perfectly preserved. Much becomes clear when we remember the personality of St. Paul and his custom of dictating his Epistles.

Were the Epistle a forgery, the expressions concerning the person and views of the author would be inexplicable and completely enigmatic. Who in the second century would have made St. Paul declare that he had not founded the Roman community, that previously he had had no connexion with it, since at a very early date the same Apostle becomes with St. Peter its co-founder? How could a man of the second century have conceived the idea of attributing to St. Paul the intention of paying merely a passing visit to Rome, when (as would have been palpable to every reader of Acts 28:30-31) the Apostle had worked there for two successive years? The Acts could not have supplied the suggestion, since it merely says: "I must see Rome also" (19:21). Of Paul's plan of proceeding thence to Spain, the author of Acts says nothing; in recording the nocturnal apparition of the Lord to St. Paul, mention is made only of his giving testimony at Rome (Acts 23:11). The arrival at Rome is recorded with the words: "And so we went to [the wished for] Rome" (Acts 28:14). Acts closes with a reference to Paul's residence and activity in Rome, without even hinting at anything further. Again, it would have occurred to a forger to mention Peter also in a forged Epistle to the Romans, even though it were only in a greeting or a reference to the foundation of the Church. Other arguments could be drawn from the concluding chapters. Whoever studies Romans closely will be convinced that here the true Paul speaks, and will acknowledge that "the authenticity of the Epistle to the Romans can be contested only by those who venture to banish the personality of Paul from the pages of history" (Jülicher).


Apart from individual uncertain texts, which occur also in the other Epistles and call for the attention of the textual investigator, the last two chapters have given rise to some doubts among critics. Not only did Marcion omit 16:25-27, but, as Origen-Rufinus express it, "cuncta dissecuit" from 14:23. Concerning the interpretation of these words there is indeed no agreement, for while the majority of exegetes see in them the complete rejection of the two concluding chapters, others translate "dissecuit" as "disintegrated," which is more in accordance with the Latin expression. Under Chr. Baur's leadership, the Tübingen School has rejected both chapters; others have inclined to the theory of the disintegration work of Marcion.

Against chapter 15 no reasonable doubt can be maintained. Verses 1-13 follow as a natural conclusion from ch. 14. The general extent of the consideration recommended in ch. 14 is in the highest degree Pauline. Furthermore 15:7-13 are so clearly connected with the theme of the Epistle that they are on this ground also quite beyond suspicion. Though Christ is called the "minister of the circumcision" in 15:8, this is in entire agreement with all that the Gospels say of Him and His mission, and with what St. Paul himself always declares elsewhere. Thus also, according to the Epistle, salvation is offered first to Israel conformably to Divine Providence (1:16); and the writer of 9:3-5, could also write 15:8.

The personal remarks and information (15:14-33) are in entire agreement with the opening of the Epistle, both in thought and tone. His travelling plans and his personal uneasiness concerning his reception in Jerusalem are, as already indicated, sure proofs of the genuineness of the verses. The objection to ch. 15 has thus found little acceptance; of it "not a sentence may be referred to a forger" (Jülicher).

Stronger objections are urged against ch. 14. In the first place the concluding doxology is not universally recognized as genuine. The MSS. indeed afford some grounds for doubt, although only a negligibly small number of witnesses have with Marcion ignored the whole doxology. The old MSS., in other respects regarded as authoritative, insert it at the end of 14; some have it after both 14 and 16. In view of this uncertainty and of some expressions not found elsewhere in the writings of St. Paul (e. g. the only wise God, the scriptures of the prophets), the doxology has been declared a later addition (H. J. Holtzmann, Jülicher, and others), a very unlikely view in the face of the almost unexceptional testimony, especially since the thought is most closely connected with the opening of Romans, without however bvetraying any dependence in its language. The fullness of the expression corresponds completely with the solemnity of the whole Epistle. The high-spirited temperament of the author powerfully shows itself on repeated occasions. The object with which the Apostle writes the Epistle, and the circumstances under which it is written, offer a perfect explanation of both attitude and tone. The addresses, the impending journey to Jerusalem, with its problematic outcome (St. Paul speaks later of his anxiety in connexion therewith–Acts 20:22), the acceptance of his propaganda at Rome, on which, according to his own admission, his Apostolic future so much depended–all these were factors which must have combined once more at the conclusion of such an Epistle to issue in these impressively solemn thoughts. In view of this consideration, the removal of the doxology would resemble the extraction of the most precious stone in a jewel-case.

The critical references to 16:1- 24, of to-day are concerned less with their Pauline origin than with the inclusion in Romans. The doubt entertained regarding them is of a twofold character. In the first place it has been considered difficult to explain how the Apostle had so many personal friends in Rome (which he had not yet visited), as is indicated by the series of greetings in this chapter; one must suppose a real tide of emigration from the Eastern Pauline communities to Rome, and that within the few years which the Apostle had devoted to his missions to the Gentiles. Certain names occasion especial doubt: Epenetus, the "first fruits of Asia," one would not expect to see in Rome; Aquila and Prisca, who according to 1 Corinthians have assembled about them a household community in Ephesus, are represented as having a little later a similar community in Rome. Further, it is surprising that the Apostle in an Epistle to Rome, should emphasize the services of these friends. But the chief objection is that this last chapter gives the Epistle a new character; it must have been written, not as an introduction, but as a warning to the community. One does not write in so stern and authoritative a tone as that displayed in 16:17-20, to an unknown community; and the words "I would" (16:19) are not in keeping with the restraint evinced by St. Paul elsewhere in the Epistle. In consequence of these considerations numerous critics have, with David Schulz (1829), separated all or the greater portion of chapter 16 from the Epistle to the Romans (without however denying the Pauline authorship), and declared it an Epistle to the Ephesians–whether a complete epistle or only a portion of such is not determined. Verses 17-20 are not ascribed by some critics to the Epistle to the Ephesians; other critics are more liberal, and refer ch. 9-11 or 12-14 to the imaginary Epistle.

We agree with the result of criticism in holding as certain that 16 belongs to St. Paul. Not only the language, but also the names render its Pauline origin certain. For the greater part the names are not of those who played any role in the history of primitive Christianity or in legend, so that there was no reason for bringing them into connexion with St. Paul. Certainly the idea could not have occurred to anyone in the second century, not merely to name the unknown Andronicus and Junias as Apostles, but to assign them a prominent position among the Apostles, and to place them on an eminence above St. Paul as having been in Christ before him. These considerations are supplemented by external evidence. Finally, the situation exhibited by historical research is precisely that of the Epistle to the Romans, as is almost unanimously admitted.

The "division hypothesis" encounters a great difficulty in the MSS. Deissmann endeavoured to explain the fusion of the two Epistles (Roman and Ephesian) on the supposition of collections of epistles existing among the ancients (duplicate-books of the sender and collections of originals of the receivers). Even if a possible explanation be thus obtained, its application to the present case is hedged in with improbabilities; the assumption of an Epistle consisting merely of greetings is open to grave suspicion, and, if one supposes this chapter to be the remnant of a lost epistle, this hypothesis merely creates fresh problems.

While St. Paul's wide circle of friends in Rome at first awakens surprise, it raises no insuperable difficulty. We should not attempt to base our decision on the names alone; the Roman names prove nothing in favor of Rome, and the Greek still less against Rome. Names like Narcissus, Junias, Rufus, especially Aristobulus and Herodian remind one of Rome rather than Asia Minor, although some persons with these names may have settled in the latter place. But what of the "emigration to Rome"? The very critics who find therein a difficulty must be well aware of the great stream of Orientals which flowed to the capital even under Emperor Augustus (Jülicher). Why should not the Christians have followed this movement? For the second century the historical fact is certain; how many Eastern names do we not find in Rome (Polycarp, Justin, Marcion, Tatian, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and others)? Again for years Paul had turned his mind towards Rome (15:23; 1:13). Would not his friends have known of this and would he not have discussed it with Aquila and Prisca who were from Rome? Besides, it is highly probable that the emigration was not entirely the result of chance, but took place in accordance with the views and perhaps to some extent at the suggestion of the Apostle; for nothing is more likely than that his friends hurried before him to prepare the way. Three years later indeed he is met by "the brethren" on his arrival in Rome (Acts 28:15). The long delay was not the fault of St. Paul and had not, by any means, been foreseen by him.

The emphasizing of the services of his friends is easy to understand in an Epistle to the Romans; if only a portion of the restless charity and self-sacrificing zeal of the Apostle for the Gentiles becomes known in Rome, his active helpers may feel assured of a kind reception in the great community of Gentile Christians. The exhortation in 16:17-20, is indeed delivered in a solemn and almost severe tone, but in the case of St. Paul we are accustomed to sudden and sharp transitions of this kind. One feels that the writer has become suddenly affected with a deep anxiety, which in a moment gets the upper hand. And why should not St. Paul remember the well-known submissiveness of the Roman Church? Still less open to objection is the "I would" (16:19), since the Greek often means in the writings of St. Paul merely "I wish." The position of verse 4 between the greetings is unusual, but would not be more intelligible in an Epistle to the Ephesians than in the Epistle to the Romans.

Date and circumstances of composition.

The contents of the Epistle show that the author has acquired a ripe experience in the apostolate. Paul believes his task in the East to be practically finished; he has preached the Faith as far as Illyricum, probably to the boundaries of the province (15:18- 24); he is about to bring back to Palestine the alms contributed in Galatia, Achaia, and Macedonia (15:25-28; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor.8:1-9, 15; Acts 20:3-4; 24:17). The time of composition is thus exactly determined; the Epistle was written at the end of the third missionary journey, which brought the Apostle back from Ephesus finally to Corinth. The mention of the Christian Phebe of Cenchræ (16:1) and the greeting on the part of his host Caius (16:23) very likely the one whom Paul had baptized (1 Cor. 1:14) – conduct us to Corinth, where the Epistle was written shortly before Paul's departure for Macedonia. Its composition at the port of Cenchræ would be possible only on the supposition that the Apostle had made a long stay there; the Epistle is too elaborate and evinces too much intellectual labour for one to suppose that it was written at an intermediate station.

The year of composition can only be decided approximately. According to Acts 24:27, St. Paul's imprisonment in Cæsarea lasted two full years until the removal of the procurator Felix. The year of this change lies between 58 and 61. At the earliest 58, because Felix was already many years in office at the beginning of Paul's imprisonment (Acts, 24:10); Felix scarcely came to Judea before 52, and less than four or five years cannot well be called "many." At the latest 61, although this date is very improbable, as Festus, the successor of Felix, died in 62 after an eventful administration. Accordingly the arrival of St. Paul in Jerusalem and the composition of the Epistle to the Romans, which occurred in the preceding few months, must be referred to the years 56-59, or better 57-58. The chronology of St. Paul's missionary activity does not exclude the suggestion of the years 56-57, since the Apostle began his third missionary journey perhaps as early as 52-53 (Gallio, proconsul of Achaia – Acts 18:12-17 – was, according to an inscription in Delphi, probably in office about 52).

Historical importance.

The Epistle gives us important information concerning the Roman Church and St. Paul's early relations with it. We may recall the dangers and strained relations and the various groupings of the community referred to in 16:5, 14, 15, and perhaps in 16:10-11. That Paul's gaze was turned towards Rome for years, and that Rome was to be merely a stopping place on his way to Spain, we learn only from this Epistle. Did he ever reach Spain? All tradition affords only one useful piece of information on this point: "he went to the extremest west" (Clement of Rome 6:7); the Muratorian Fragment, 38 sq., is not sufficiently clear.

An interesting conception of the apostolate is contained in the words: "But now having no more place in these countries" (15:23). Paul thus limited his task to laying the foundation of the Gospel in large centres, leaving to others the development of the communities. The meaning of the words "unto Illyricum" (15:19) will always remain uncertain. Probably the Apostle had at this period not yet crossed the borders of the province. Whether the remark in Titus 3:12, concerning a proposed rersidence during the winter in Nicopolis (the Illyrian town is meant), is to be connected with a missionary journey, must remain unsettled.

The Epistle is instructive for its revelation of the personal feelings of the Apostle of the Gentiles towards his fellow-Jews. Some have tried to represent these feelings as hard to explain and contradictory. But a true conception of the great Apostle renders every word intelligible. On the one hand he maintains in this Epistle the position of faith and grace as distinct from the Law, and, addressing a people who appealed to their natural lineage and their observance of the Law to establish a supposed right (to salvation), he insists unswervingly on the Divine election to grace. But Paul emphasizes not less firmly that, according to God's word, Israel is first called to salvation (1:16; 2:10), explicitly proclaiming the preference shown to it (2:1-2; 9:4-5–the Divine promises, Divine sonship, the Covenant and the Law, and, greatest privilege of all, the origin of the Messias, the true God, in Israel according to the flesh–15:8). Paul willingly recognizes the zeal of the people for the things of God, although their zeal is misdirected (9:31 sq.; 10:2).

Such being his feelings towards the Chosen People, it is not surprising that Paul's heart is filled with bitter grief at the blindness of the Jews, that he besieges God with prayer, that he is guided throughout his life of self- sacrificing apostolic labours by the hope that thereby his brethren may be won for the Faith (9:1-2; 10:1; 11:13-14), that he would be prepared–were it possible–to forego in his own case the happiness of union with Christ, if by such a renunciation he could secure for his brethren a place in the heart of the Saviour.

These utterances can offer a stumbling-block only to those who do not understand St. Paul, who cannot fathom the depths of his apostolic charity. If we study closely the character of the Apostle, realize the fervour of his feelings, the warmth of his love and devotion to Christ's work and Person, we shall recognize how spontaneously these feelings flow from such a heart, how natural they are to such a noble, unselfish nature. The mere recognition and confidence Paul won fromn the Gentiles in the course of his apostolate, the more bitter must have been the thought that Israel refused to understand its God, stood aloof peevish and hostile, and in its hatred and blindness even persecuted the Messias in His Church and opposed as far as possible the work of His Apostles. These were the hardest things for love to bear, they explain the abrupt, determined break with and the ruthless warfare against the destructive spirit of unbelief, when Paul sees that he can protect the Church of Christ in no other way. Hence he has no toleration for insistence on the practice of the Law within the Christian fold, since such insistence is in the last analysis the spirit of Judaism, which is incompatible with the spirit of Christ and the Divine election to grace, for such assistance would by practice of the law supplement or set a seal on Faith. But from the same apostolic love springs also the truly practical spirit of consideration which Paul preaches and exercises (1 Cor. 9:20-22), and which he demands from others everywhere, so long as the Gospel is not thereby jeopardized. One can easily understand how such a man can at one moment become inflamed with bitter resentment and holy anger, showing no indulgence when his life's work is threatened, and can later in a peaceful hour forget all, recognizing in the offender only a misguided brother, whose fault arises, not from malice, but from ignorance. In a soul which loves deeply and keenly one might expect the co-existence of such contrasts; they spring from a single root, a powerful, zealous, all-compelling charity–that certainty of St. Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Theological contents: faith and works.

The theological importance of the Epistle to the Romans has in its treatment of the great fundamental problem of justification; other important questions (e. g., original sin 5:12-21) are treated in connextion with and from the standpoint of justification. In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul had already defended his teaching against the attacks of the extreme Jewish Christians; in contrast with the Epistle to the Galatians, this to the Romans was not evoked by the excitement of a polemical warfare. The discussion of the question in it is deeper and wider. The fundamental doctrine which Paul proclaims to all desirous of salvation is as follows: In the case of all men the call to the Messianic salvation is absolutely dependent on the free election of God; no merit or ability of the individual, neither inclusion among the descendants of Abraham nor the practice of the Law, gives a title to this grace. God zealously watches over the recognition of this truth; hence the emphasizing of faith (1:16 sq.; 2:32, 24-30; 4:2 sqq. 13-25; 5:1, etc.); hence the stress laid upon the redemptory act of Christ, which benefits us, the enemies of God (2:24 sq.; 4:24 sq.; 5:6-10, 15-21; 7:25; 8:29 sqq.); we owe our whole salvation and the inalienable certainty of salvation to the propitiatory and sanctifying power of the Blood of Christ (8:35-39).

From this standpoint the second part (9-11) describes the action of Divine providence, which is more than once revealed under the Old Dispensation, and which alone corresponds with the grandeur and sovereign authority of God. Hence the irresponsive attitude of Israel becomes intelligible; the Jews blocked their own path by considereing themselves entitled to claim the Messianic Kingdom on the grounds of their personal justice. In view of this repugnant spirit, God was compelled to leave Israel to its own resources, until it should stretch out its hand after the merciful love of its Creator; then would the hour of salvation also strike for the People of the Covenant (9:30 sqq.; 10:3-21; 11:32).

Securing of Salvation. To the question how man obtains salvation, St. Paul has but one answer: not by natural powers, not by works of the Law, but by faith and indeed by faith without the works of the Law (3:28). At the very beginning of the Epistle Paul refers to the complete failure of natural powers (1:18-32), and repeatedly returns to this idea but he lays the greatest emphasis on the inadequacy of the Law. From the Jews this statement met with serious opposition. What does the Apostle mean then when he preaches the necessity of faith?

Faith is for St. Paul often nothing else than the Gospel, i. e., the whole economy of salvation in Christ (Gal. 1:23; 3:23, 25, etc.); often it is the teaching of faith, the proclamation of the faith, and the life of faith (Rom. 1:5; 12:6; 16:26; Gal. 3:2; Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:23; 11:15; 13:5; Acts 13:8; 14:21; 16:5). That according to all these conceptions salvation comes only by faith without the works of the Law, needs no demonstration. But to what faith was Abraham indebted for his justification? (4:3, 9, 13-22; Gal. 3:6). Abraham had to believe the word of God, that is hold it for certain. In the case of the Christian the same faith is demanded: "to believe that we shall live also together with Christ: knowing that Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more" (6:8-9); "If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (10:9). This faith is undeniably belief on the authority of God (dogmatic faith). The same conception of faith underlies all the exhortations to submit ourselves in faith to God; submission presupposes the conviction of faith (1:5; 6:16-19; 10:16; 15:18).

The faith described in the Epistle to the Romans, as elsewhere in St. Paul's writings and in the New Testament in general, is furthermore a trusting faith, e. g., in the case of Abraham, whose trust is specially extolled (4:17- 21; cf. 3:3, unbelief and the fidelity of God). So far is this confidence in God's fidelity from excluding dogmatic faith that it is based undeniably on it alone and unconditionally requires it. Without the unswerving acceptance of certain truths (e. g., the Messiahship, the Divinity of Christ, the redemptory character of Christ's death, the Resurrection, etc.), there is for St. Paul, as he never fails to make clear in his Epistles, no Christianity. Therefore, justifying faith comprises dogmatic faith as well as hope. Again, it would never have occurred to St. Paul to conceive baptism as other than necessary for salvation: Romans itself offers the surest guarantee that baptism and faith, viewed of course from different standpoints, are alike necessary for justification (6:3; Gal. 3:26 sq.). The turning away from sin is also necessary for justification. Paul cannot proclaim sufficiently the incompatibility of sin and the Divine sonship. If the Christian must avoid sin, those who seek salvation must also turn aside from it. While St. Paul never speaks in his Epistle of penance and contrition, these constitute so self-evident a condition that they do not call for any special mention. Besides, chapters 1-3 are only a grand exposition of the truth that sin separates us from God. For the nature of justification it is immaterial whether Paul is displaying before the eyes of the Christian the consequences of sin, or is making sentiments of contrition and a change to a Christian mode of life a necessary preliminary condition for the obtaining of grace. What sentiments he requires, he describes in the words: "For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision; but faith, which worketh by charity" (Gal. 5:6). It is merely a repetition of the sentence when the Apostle, after proclaiming freedom in Christ, seeks to remove the misconception that the condition of Christian freedom might endure anything and become synonymous with liberty to sin (Gal. 5:13-21; cf. Rom. 12:1 sq.; 13:12 sqq.; 8:12 sqq.; 11:20 sqq.).

We thus see what Paul would have us understand by justifying faith. If he does not always describe it from every standpoint as in the present instance, but designates it as dogmatic or trusting faith, the reason is easily understood. He has no intention of describing all the stages along the road to justification; he is so far from desiring to give a strict definition of its nature, that he wishes merely to indicate the fundamental condition on the part of man. This condition is, from the standpoint of the supernatural character of justification, not so much the feeling of contrition or the performance of penitential works as the trusting acceptance of the promise of God. When a person has once taken this first step, all the rest, if he be consistent, follows of itself. To regard justifying faith as the work or outcome of natural man and to attribute grace to this work, is to misunderstand the Apostle. The free submission which lies in faith prepares the soul for the reception of grace. Provided that the teaching of St. Paul be studied in the context in which it is found in the Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians, it cannot be misunderstood. If, however, Paul in both Epistles forestalls an unjustified practical consequence that might be drawn therefrom, this is a proof of his deep knowledge of mankind, but in no way a limitation of his doctrine. The faith which justifies without the works of the Law and the Christian freedom from the Law continue unimpaired. The possibility of error would be afforded if one were to withdraw the words of the Apostle from their context; even shibboleths for libertinism might be extracted in that case from his teaching. This leads us to the well-known sentence in the Epistle of St. James concerning faith without works (2:20, 24). Was this written in premeditated opposition to St. Paul?

Paul and James.

Two questions must be distinguished in our inquiry: (1) Is there an historical connexion between the statements in the Epistles? (2) How are the antitheses to be explained? Are they premeditated or not?

(1) The possibility of a direct reference in the Epistle of St. James to St. Paul (this hypothesis alone is tenable) depends on the question of the priority of the Epistle. For scholars (e. g., Neander, Beyschlag, Th. Zahn, Belser, Canerlynck, etc.) who hold that the Epistle of St. James was written before A.D. 50, the question is settled. But the grounds for the assigning of this date to the Epistle are not entirely convincing, since the Epistle fits in better with the conditions of the succeeding decades. An extreme attitude is adopted by many modern critics (e. g., Chr. Baur, Hilgenfeld, H. J. Hultzmann, von Soden, Jülicher), who assign the Epistle to the second century–a scarcely intelligible position in view of the historical conditions. If the Epistle of St. James were composed shortly after the year 60, it might, in view of the lively intercourse among the Christians, have been influenced by the misunderstood views of the teachings of St. Paul, and James may have combated the misused formula of St. Paul. The almost verbal connexion in the passages might thus be accounted for.

(2) Does there exist any real opposition between Paul and James? This question is answered in the affirmative in many quarters to-day. Paul, it is asserted, taught justification through faith without works, while James simply denied St. Paul's teaching (Rom. 3:28), and seeks a different explanation for the chief passage quoted by St. Paul (Gen. 15:6) concerning the faith of Abraham (Jülicher and others). But does James really treat of justification in the same sense as St. Paul? Their formulation of the question is different from the outset. James speaks of true justice before God, which, he declares, consists not alone in a firm faith, but in a faith supported and enlivened by works (especially of charity). Without works faith is useless and dead (2:17, 20). James addresses himself to readers who are already within the fold, but who may not lead a moral life and may appeal in justification of their conduct to the word of faith. To those who adopt this attitude, James can only answer: "But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (1:25). Throughout his Epistle James aims at attaining the translation of faith to life and works; in speaking of a faith that worketh by charity (Gal. 5:6), Paul really teaches exactly the same as James.

But what of the argument of James and his appeal to Abraham? "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God" (2:21-23). Paul, like James, appealed to the same Abraham–both rightly from their individual standpoints. With entire right could Paul declare that Abraham owed his justice, not to circumcision, but to his faith; with complete right could James appeal to Abraham's act of obedience and assert that faith accompanied it and by it faith was completed. And if James applies to this act the phrase: "It was reputed to him to justice," he is quite entitled to do so, since Abraham's obedience is rewarded with a new and glorious promise of God (Gen. 22:16 sqq.).

It is clear from the whole passage that James does not use the word "justify," in the sense in which Paul speaks of the first justification, but in the sense of an increasing justification (cf. Rom. 2:13; Apoc. 22:11), as corresponds to the object or the Epistle. Of any contradiction between the Epistle to the Romans and that of St. James, therefore, there can be no question.

Finally, there is a difference in the use of the term faith. In the passage in question, James uses the term in a narrow sense. As shown by the reference to the faith of the demons (2:19), nothing more is here meant by faith than a firm conviction and undoubting acceptance, which is shared even by the damned, and has therefore in itself no moral value. Such a faith would never have been termed by St. Paul a justifying faith. That throughout the whole course of the Epistle of St. James St. Paul's doctrine of justification is never called into question, and that St. Paul on his side shows nowhere the least opposition to St. James, calls for no further proof. The fundamental conceptions and the whole treatment in the two Epistles exclude all views to the contrary.


Epistles to the Corinthians.

St. Paul founds the church at Corinth.

St. Paul's first visit to Europe is graphically described by St. Luke (Acts 16-28). When he reached Troas, at the northwest corner of Asia Minor, on his second great missionary journey in company with Timothy and Silvanus, or Silas (who was a "prophet" and had the confidence of The Twelve), he met St. Luke, probably for the first time. At Troas he had a vision of "a man of Macedonia standing and beseeching him, and saying: Pass over in to Macedonia and help us." In response to this appeal he proceeded to Philippi in Macedonia, where he made many converts, but was cruelly beaten with rods according to the Roman custom. After comforting the brethren he travelled southward to Thessalonica, where some of the Jews "believed, and of those that served God, and of the Gentiles a great multitude, and of noble women not a few. But the Jews, moved with envy, and taking unto them some wicked men of the vulgar sort set the city in an uproar. . . And they stirred up the people and the rulers of the city hearing these things. But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Ber£a. Who, when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews, and many of them believed, and of honourable women that were Gentiles and of men not a few." But unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica came to Ber£a "stirring up and troubling the multitude." "And immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go to the sea; but Silas and Timothy remained there. And they that conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens" — then reduced to the position of an old university town. At Athens he preached his famous philosophical discourse in the Areopagus. Only a few were converted, amongst these being St. Dionysius the Areopagite. Some of his frivolous hearers mocked him. Others said that that was enough for the present; they would listen to more another time.

He appears to have been very disappointed with Athens He did not visit it again, and it is never mentioned in his letters. The disappointed and solitary Apostle left Athens and travelled westwards, a distance of forty-five miles, to Corinth, then the capital of Greece. The fearful scourging at Philippi coming not very long after he had been stoned and left for dead at Lystra, together with his ill-treatment by the Jews, as described in 2 Cor., must have greatly weakened him. As we are not to suppose that he, any more than his Master, was miraculously saved from pain and its effects, it was with physical pain, nervousness, and misgiving that the lonely Apostle entered this great pagan city, that had a bad name for profligacy throughout the Roman world. To act the Corinthian was synonymous with leading a loose life. Corinth, which had been destroyed by the Romans, was re-established as a colony by Julius Cesar 46 B.C., and made the capital of the Roman Province of Achaia by Augustus. It was built on the southern extremity of the isthmus connecting the mainland with the Morea, and was on the great line of traffic between East and West. Its two magnificent harbours, one at each side of the isthmus, were crowded with shipping and were the scenes of constant bustle and activity. Corinth was filled with Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Egyptians, and Jews, many of the last having lately come from Rome on account of their expulsion by Claudius; and its streets were thronged by tens of thousands of slaves. Crowds, too, came from all parts every four years to be present at the Isthmian games. On the summit of the hill to the south of the city was the infamous temple of Venus, with its thousand female devotees dedicated to a life of shame.

It was to this centre of traffic, excitement, wealth, and vice that St. Paul came, probably about the end of A.D. 51; and here he spent upwards of eighteen months of his Apostolic career. He took up his residence with two Christian Jews, Aquila and his wife Priscilla (refugees from Rome), because they were of the same trade as himself. Like all Jews he had learnt a trade in his youth, and in their house he supported himself by working at this trade, viz., that of tentmaker, as he had determined not to receive any support from the money-loving Corinthians. He began by preaching in the synagogue every Sabbath; "and he persuaded the Jews and the Greeks ." Of this period he says that he was with them "in weakness, and fear, and much trembling." The ill-usage he had received was still fresh in his memory, as, writing a month or two later to the Thessalonians, he recalls how he had been "shamefully treated at Philippi." But when he was joined by Silas and Timothy, who brought him pecuniary aid from Macedonia, he became more bold and confident, and "was earnest in testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But they gainsaying and blaspheming, he shook his garments and said to them: "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." He then began to preach in the house of Titus Justus, adjoining the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, and his family, and several of the Corinthians were converted and baptized. Amongst these were Caius, Stephanas, and his household, and the house of Fortunatus and Achaicus, "the firstfruits of Achaia" (1 Cor. 1:14-16, 16:15). The growing opposition of the Jews, however, and the wicked state of the city had a depressing influence upon him; but "the Lord said to Paul in the night, by a vision: Do not fear, but speak; and hold not thy peace, because I am with thee; and no man shall set upon thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city. And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching among them the word of God" (Acts 18:9-11). Many were converted; some of them noble, wealthy, and learned, but the great majority neither learned, nor powerful, nor noble (1 Cor. 1:26). During this long period the Faith was planted not only in Corinth but in other portions of Achaia, especially in Cenchreæ, the eastern port. At length the unbelieving Jews, seeing the ever-increasing crowd of Christians frequenting the house of Titus Justus, next door to their synagogue, became furious, and rose up with one accord and dragged St. Paul before the newly-appointed Proconsul of Achaia, Gallio, the brother of Seneca (A.D. 54). Gallio, perceiving that it was a question of religion, refused to listen to them. The crowd, seeing this and supposing that it was a dispute between Greeks and Jews, fell upon the ring-leader of the latter (Sosthenes, who succeeded Crispus as ruler of the synagogue) and gave him a sound beating in the very sight of the judgment seat; but Gallio pretended not to notice. His treatment must have cowed the Jews, and St. Paul "stayed yet many days." Cornely is of opinion that at this time he made his journey as far as Illyricum, and that his first visit to them "in sorrow" was when he returned. Others with greater probability place it later. St Paul, at last taking leave of the brethren, travelled as far as Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila. Leaving them there he went on to Jerusalem and came back by Antioch, Galatia, and Phrygia, where he confirmed all the disciples. After having thus traversed the "upper coasts" he returned to Ephesus, which he made his head-quarters for nearly three years. It was towards the end of that period that the First Epistle was written.

Authenticity of the Epistles.

Little need be said on this point. The historical and internal evidence that they were written by St. Paul is so overwhelmingly strong that their authenticity has been frankly admitted by every distinguished writer of the most advanced critical schools. They were contained in the first collections of St. Paul's Epistles, and were quoted as Scripture by early Christian writers. They were referred to as authorities by the early heretics and translated into many languages in the middle of the second century. The unique personality of St. Paul is impressed upon their every page. Baur, the rationalistic founder of the Tübingen School, and his followers, held the two to the Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans to be unassailable. One or two hypercritical writers, of little weight, brought some futile objections against them; but these were scarcely meant to be taken seriously; they were refuted and brushed aside by such an ultra writer as Kuenen. Schmiedel, one of the most advanced modem critics, says (Hand-Kommentar, Leipzig, 1893, p. 51) that unless better arguments can be adduced against them the two Epistles must be acknowledged to be genuine writings of St. Paul. The Second Epistle was known from the very earliest times. There is a trace of it in that portion of "The Ascension of Isaiah" which dates back to the first century (Knowling, "The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ," p. 58; Charles, "The Ascension of Isaiah ," pp. 34, 150). It was known to St Polycarp, to the writerof the Epistle to Diognetus, to Athenagoras, Theophilus, the heretics Basilides and Marcion. In the second half of the second century it was so widely used that it is unnecessary to give quotations.


The first Epistle.

During the years that St. Paul was at Ephesus he must have frequently heard from Corinth, as it was distant only 250 miles, and people were constantly passing to and fro. A ship sailing at the rate of four miles an hour would cover the distance in three days, though on one unpropitious occasion it took Cicero over a fortnight (Ep. 6:8, 9). By degrees the news reached Ephesus that some of the Corinthians were drifting back into their former vices. Alford and others infer from the words of 2 Cor. 12:20, 21; 13:1, "Behold this is the third time that I come to you," that he made a flying visit to check these abuses. Others suppose that this coming meant by letter. Be this as it may, it is generally held that he wrote them a brief note (now lost) telling them "not to associate with fornicators," asking them to make collection for the poor brethren at Jerusalem, and giving them an account of his intention of visiting them before going on to Macedonia, and of returning to them again from that place. News which he heard later from the household of Chloe and others made him change his plan, and for this he was accused by his enemies of want of steadiness of purpose (2 Cor. 1:17). The accounts which he received caused him great anxiety. Abuses, bickerings, and party strife had grown up amongst them. The party cries were: "I am of Paul; I am of Apollo [Apollos]; I am of Cephas; I am of Christ." These parties, in all likelihood, originated as follows: During St. Paul's circular tour from Ephesus to Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Phrygia, and back to Ephesus, "a certain Jew, named Apollo, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, one mighty in the scriptures, and being fervent in spirit, spoke, and taught diligently the things that are of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John." Priscilla and Aquila fully instructed him in the Christian Faith. In accordance with his desire he received letters of recommendation to the disciples at Corinth. "Who, when he was come, helped them very much who had believed. For with much vigor he convinced the Jews openly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 18:27, 28). He remained at Corinth about two years, but, being unwilling to be made the centre of strife, he joined St. Paul at Ephesus. From the inspired words of St. Luke, no mean judge, we may take it that in learning and eloquence Apollo was on a par with the greatest of his contemporaries, and that in intellectual powers he was not inferior to Jews like Josephus and Philo. He is likely to have known the latter, who was a prominent member of the Jewish community in his native city of Alexandria, and had died only fourteen years before; and his deep interest in Holy Scripture would certainly have led him to study the works of Philo. The eloquence of Apollo, and his powerful applications of the Old Testament to the Messias, captivated the intellectual Greeks, especially the more educated. That, they thought, was true wisdom. They began to make invidious comparisons between him and St. Paul who on account of his experience at Athens, had purposely confined himself to what we should call solid catechetical instruction. The Greeks dearly loved to belong to some particular school of philosophy; so the admirers of Apollo laid claim to a deeper perception of wisdom and boasted that they belonged to the Christian school of the great Alexandrian preacher. The majority, on the other hand, prided themselves on their intimate connection with their Apostle. It was not zeal for the honour of their teachers that really prompted either of these parties, but a spirit of pride which made them seek to put themselves above their fellows, and prevented them from humbly thanking God for the grace of being Christians. About this time there came from the East some who had possibly heard St. Peter preach. These regarded the others as their spiritual inferiors; they themselves belonged to Cephas, the Prince of the Apostles. Commentators are of opinion that this party spirit did not go so deep as to constitute formal schism or heresy. They all met together for prayer and the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries; but there were hot disputes and many breaches of fraternal charity. The Fathers mention only three parties; but the text obviously implies that there was another party the members of which said, "I am of Christ." This view is now held by several Christians, and by many non-Christians. What was the nature of this party it is difficult to determine. It has been suggested that a few of those who were specially endowed with spiritual gifts, or charismata, boasted that they were above the others, as they were in direct communication with Christ. Another explanation is that they had seen Christ in the flesh, or that they claimed to follow His example in their reverence for the Law of Moses. At any rate, the statement, "I am of Christ," seemed to make Christ a mere party name, and to imply that the others were not Christians in the genuine and perfect sense of the word.

St. Paul, hearing of this state of things, sent Timothy together with Erastus (probably the "treasurer of the city" of Corinth - Rom. 16:23) round by Macedonia, to put things in order. Soon after they left, Stephanas and other delegates came with a letter from the Corinthians. This letter contained some self-glorification and requested the Apostle to give a solution to several serious difficulties which they proposed to him; but it made no mention of their shortcomings. By this time he had become fully aware of the grave state of affairs amongst them. Besides party strife, some made light of sins of impurity. One man had gone to the extent of marrying his stepmother, his father being still alive, a crime unheard of amongst the pagans. So far were they from showing horror that they treated him in a friendly manner and allowed him to be present at their meetings. As matters were too pressing to wait for the arrival of Timothy, St. Paul at once wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians and sent it by Titus about Easter A.D. 57.


Importance of the first epistle.

This is generally regarded as the greatest of the writings of St. Paul by reason of the magnificence and beauty of its style and the variety and importance of its contents. So splendid is its style that it has given rise to the conjecture that St. Paul took lessons in oratory at Ephesus; but this is highly improbable. St. Paul's was not the type of eloquence to be moulded by mechanical rules; his was the kind of genius that produces literature on which rules of rhetoric are based. If the Corinthians were impressed by the eloquence of Apollo, they could not help feeling, when they heard and read this Epistle, that here was an author capable of bearing comparison not only with Apollo, but with the best that they could boast in Greek literature, of which they were so justly proud. Scholars of all schools are loud in its praise. The striking similes, figures of speech, and telling sentences of the Epistle have passed into the literatures of the world. Plummer, in Smith's "Dict. of the Bible," says that chapters 13 and 15 are among the most sublime passages, not only in the Bible, but in all literature.

But this Epistle is great not only for its style but also for the variety and importance of its doctrinal teaching. In no other Epistle does St. Paul treat of so many different subjects; and the doctrines which are touched upon (in many eases only incidentally) are important as showing what he and Silvanus, a disciple and trusted delegate of the older Apostles, taught the early Christians. In some of his letters he had to defend his Apostolate and the freedom of Christians from the Law of Moses against heretical teachers; but be never had to defend himself against his bitterest enemies, the judaizers, for his teaching on Christ and the principal points of doctrine contained in these two Epistles, the obvious reason being that his teaching must have been in perfect harmony with that of The Twelve. He distinctly states in ch. 15:11, "For whether I, or they [The Twelve Apostles], so we preach, and so you have believed."


Divisions of the First Epistle.

Instead of giving a formal summary of the contents of the Epistle, it may be more useful to give the teaching of the Apostle, in his own words, classified under various heads, following, in general, the order of the Creed. With regard to arrangement, it may be stated, in passing, that the Epistle is divided into two parts. In the first six chapters he rebukes them for their faults and corrects abuses: (1) He shows the absurdity of their divisions and bickerings; (2) deals with the scandalous case of incest; (3) their lawsuits before pagans; and (4) the want of sufficient horror of impurity in some of them. In the second part (the remaining ten chapters) he solves the difficulties which they proposed to him and lays down various regulations for their conduct. He deals with questions relating to (1) marriage, (2) virginity, (3) the use of things offered to idols, (4) proper decorum in church and the celebration of the Eucharist, (5) spiritual gifts, or Charismata, (6) the Resurrection, (7) the collections for the poor of Jerusalem.

Its teaching.

God the Father (passim)

"Yet there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by him" (8:6). Compare 2 Cor. 13:13: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost be with you all." (Bengel, quoted by Bernard, calls this an egregium testimonium to the Blessed Trinity.)

Jesus Christ

(1) "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (1:3). "You are called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1:9). "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1:24). "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory, which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory" (2:7-8). "But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God" (6:11 — see also 1:2, 4, 7, 9 13; 3:5, 11; 6:11; 12:4-6). (2) "The word of the cross to them that are saved is the power of God" (1:18). "We preach Christ crucified, unto them that are called Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1:23, 24). "But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and justice, and sanctification and redemption" (1:30). "For I judged myself not to know any thing among you, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (2:3). "For Christ our pasch is sacrificed" (5:7). "For you are bought with a great price" (6:20 - cf. 1:13, 17; 7:23; 8:11-12.) (3) The following passage probably contains fragments of an early creed: "The gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received. . . . For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures: and that he was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven. Then was he seen by more than five hundred brethren at once: of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time" (15:1-8). "Have not I seen Christ Jesus our Lord?" (9:1). "And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (15:14). "But now Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep" (15:20 - cf. 6:14). (4) "Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1:7). "That the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (5:5). "He that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge not before the time; until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise from God" (4:4, 5).

The Holy Ghost

"Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but the same God" (12:4-6). "But to us God hath revealed them, by his Spirit. The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God . . . the things that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God" (2:10-11 — cf. 2:12-14, 16). "Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (3:16). "But you are washed, but you are sanctified . . . in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God" (6:11). "Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? . . . Glorify and bear God in your body" (6:19, 20). "But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will" (12:11). "For in one Spirit were we all baptized unto one body" (12:13). "Yet by the Spirit he speaketh mysteries" (14:2).

The Holy Church "The head of every man is Christ" (11:3).


"Is Christ divided?" (1:13). "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment" (1:10). He devotes four chapters to the reprehension of their divisions, which did not really amount to anything constituting formal schism or heresy. They met in common for prayer and the participation of the Blessed Eucharist. "Know you not that you [the Christian body] are the temple of God . . . but if any man violate the temple of God [by pulling it to pieces], him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are" (3:16, 17). "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free" (12:12, 13). [Here follows the allegory of the body and its members, 12:14-25.] "Now you are the body of Christ, and members of member" (12:27). "And God hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets . . . Are all apostles?" (12:28-31). "For God is not the God of dissension, but of peace: as also I teach in all the Churches of the saints" (14:33). "I have sent you Timothy, who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord, who will put you in mind of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus: as I teach everywhere in every church" (4:17). "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the church of God" (11:16). "The gospel which I preached to you . . . and wherein you stand; by which also you are [being] saved, if you hold fast after the manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain" (15:1-2). "For whether I, or they [The Twelve Apostles], so we preach, and so you have believed" (15:11). "The churches of Asia salute you" (16:19).

Old Testament Types

"Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction" (10:11).


"What will you? shall I come to you with a rod; or in charity, and in the spirit of meekness?" (4:21). "Now concerning the collections. . . . as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye also" (16:1).

Power of excommunication

"I indeed, absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him that hath so done. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved" (5:3-5).

Jews and pagans exempt from Church's jurisdiction

"For what have I to do to judge them that are without . . . For them that are without, God will judge" (5:12, 13).


"For the temple of God is holy, which you are" (3:17). "Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ" (6:15). "Your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost . . . Glorify and bear God in your body" (6:19, 20 — cf. 6:11, etc.).


"God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it" (10:13). "Grace be to you . . . " (1:3). "But by the grace of God, I am what I am; and his grace in me hath not been void, but I have laboured more abundantly than all they: yet not I, but the grace of God with me" (15:10).

Virtuous life necessary for salvation

"Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate . . . nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, . . . shall possess the kingdom of God" (6:9-10). This, like a dominant note, rings clear through all the Epistles of St. Paul as in the teaching of his Divine Master. "But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway" (9:27). "Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall" (10:12). "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable; always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (15:58). "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, do manfully, and be strengthened" (16:13). "Do all to the glory of God" (10:31). "Be without offence to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, and to the church of God" (10:32). "Be ye followers of me as I am of Christ" (11:1).

Resurrection of the body and life everlasting

"For God hath raised up the Lord, and he will raise us up also by his power" (6:14). "And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." "For star differeth from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory." "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again." "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible." "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known" (13:12).


"Were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (1:13). "I baptized also the household of Stephanus" (1:16). "For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body" (12:13). "But you are washed [apelousasthe] but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God" (6:11).


"The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? . . . But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils . . . You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of devils" (10:16-21). "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body . . . In like manner also the chalice; etc. . . . Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. . . . For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" (11:23-29). On the words of consecration see the two able articles by Dr. A.R. Eagar in "The Expositor," March and April, 1908.


Its use. Marriage good, but celibacy better. — The marriage of divorced persons forbidden. — Second marriage allowed to Christians; but single state preferable for those who have the gift from God. (7:1-8.) Pauline Dispensation: a Christian is not bound to remain single if his pagan partner is unwilling to live with him (7:12-15).

Virginity. It is not wrong to marry; but preferable to remain single — St. Paul's example — "He that giveth his virgin in marriage doth well; and he that giveth her not doth better (7:25-40).

Principles of moral theology

In ch. 7; and following chapters St. Paul solves several difficult cases of conscience, some of them of a very delicate nature, falling under what we should now call the tractatus de sexto (sc. præcepto decalogi). He would, doubtless, have preferred to be free from the necessity of having to enter into such disagreeable subjects; but as the welfare of souls required it, he felt it incumbent upon him, as part of his Apostolic office, to deal with the matter. It is in the same spirit that pastors of souls have acted ever since. If so many difficulties arose in a few years in one town, it was inevitable that numerous complicated cases should occur in the course of centuries amongst peoples belonging to every degree of barbarism and civilization; and to these questions the Church was rightly expected to give a helpful answer; hence the growth of moral theology.

The second epistle.

The Second Epistle was written a few months after the First, in which St. Paul had stated that he intended to go round by Macedonia. He set out on this journey sooner than he had anticipated, on account of the disturbance at Ephesus caused by Demetrius and the votaries of Diana of the Ephesians. He travelled northwards as far as Troas, and after waiting some time for Titus, whom he expected to meet on his way back from Corinth, whither he had carried the First Epistle, he set sail for Macedonia and went on to Philippi. Here he met Titus and Timothy. The news that Titus brought him from Corinth was for the most part of a cheering character. The great majority were loyal to their Apostle. They were sorry for their faults; they had obeyed his injunctions regarding the public sinner, and the man himself had deeply repented. We hear no more of the parties of Paul, Apollo, and Cephas, though the letter appears to contain one reference to the fourth party. His friends, who had expected a visit from himself, were deeply grieved at his not coming as he had promised; a few who were his enemies, probably judaizers, sought to take advantage of this to undermine his authority by discovering in this a clear proof of fickleness of mind and instability of purpose; they said that his unwillingness to receive support betrayed want of affection; that he used threatening language when at a safe distance, but was in fact a coward who was mild and conciliating when present; that they were foolish to let themselves be led by one who made the rather enormous pretension to be an Apostle of Christ, when he was nothing of the kind, and was in reality, both naturally and supernaturally, inferior to men they could name. This news filled the soul of St. Paul with the deepest emotion. He purposely delayed in Macedonia, and sent them this Epistle to prepare them better for his coming and to counteract the evil influence of his opponents. It was sent by Titus and two others, one of whom, it is almost certain, was St. Luke. The circumstances under which the Epistle was written can be best gathered from the text itself. We can easily imagine the effect produced when it was read for the first time to the assembled Christians at Corinth, by Titus, or in the sonorous tones of the Evangelist St. Luke. The news that their great Apostle had sent them another letter rapidly spread through the city; the previous one had been such a masterly production that all were eager to listen to this. The great bulk of the expectant congregation were his enthusiastic admirers, but a few came to criticize, especially one man, a Jew, who had recently arrived with letters of recommendation, and was endeavouring to supplant St. Paul. He said he was an Apostle (not of The Twelve, but of the kind mentioned in the Didache). He was a man of dignified presence, as he spoke slightingly of St. Paul's insignificant appearance. He was skilled in philosophy and polished in speech, and he insinuated that St. Paul was wanting in both. He knew little or nothing of St. Paul except by hearsay, as he accused him of want of determination, of cowardice, and unworthy motives, things belied by every fact of St. Paul s history. The latter might terrify others by letters, but he would not frighten him. This man comes to the assembly expecting to be attacked and prepared to attack in turn. As the letter is being read, ever and anon small dark clouds appear on the horizon; but when, in the second part, the Epistle has quieted down into a calm exhortation to almsgiving, this man is congratulating himself on his easy escape, and is already picking holes in what he has heard. Then, suddenly as upon the army of Sisara, the storm breaks upon him; lightnings strike, thunder upbraids. He is beaten down by the deluge, and his influence is swept out of existence by the irresistible torrent. At any rate, he is never heard of again. These two Epistles as effectively destroyed St. Paul's opponents at Corinth, as the Epistle to the Galatians annihilated the judaizers in Asia Minor.



This Epistle, though not written with the same degree of care and polish as the First, is more varied and spontaneous in style. Erasmus says that it would take all the ingenuity of a skilled rhetorician to explain the multitude of its strophes and figures. It was written with great emotion and intensity of feeling, and some of its sudden outbursts reach the highest levels of eloquence. It gives a deeper insight than any other of his writings into the character and personal history of St. Paul. With Cornely, we may call it his "Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ," a fact which makes it one of the most interesting of the writings of the New Testament. Erasmus described it as follows: "Now it bubbles up as a limpid fountain; soon it rushes down as a roaring torrent carrying all before it; then it flows peacefully and gently along. Now it widens out as into a broad and tranquil lake. Yonder it gets lost to view, and suddenly reappears in quite a different direction, when it is seen meandering and winding along, now deflecting to the right, now to the left; then making a wider loop and occasionally doubling back upon itself.


Divisions of the epistle

It consists of three parts. In the first of these (chapters 1-7, incl.), after (1) introduction, (2) the Apostle shows that his change of plan is not due to lightness of purpose but for the good of the people, and his teaching not mutable; (3) he did not wish to come again in sorrow. The repentant sinner, the cause of his sorrow, to be now reconciled. (4) His great affection for them. (5) He does not require, like others, letters of recommendation. They, as Christians, are his commendatory letters. (6) He writes with authority, not on account of arrogance, but because of the greatness of the ministry with which he was entrusted, as compared with the ministry of Moses. Those who refuse to listen have the veil over their hearts, like the carnal Jews. (7) He endeavours to please Christ Who showed His love by dying for all, and will reward His servants. (8) Moving exhortation.

The second part (chapters 8-9) relates to the collections for the poor Christians at Jerusalem. (1) He praises the Macedonians for their ready generosity in giving out of their poverty. He exhorts the Corinthians to follow their example in imitation of Christ Who, being rich, became poor for our sakes. (2) He sends Titus and two others to make the collections and to remove all grounds of calumny that he was enriching himself. (3) He has boasted of them in Macedonia that they began before others. (4) A man shall reap in proportion as he sows. God loves the cheerful giver and is able to repay. Giving not only relieves the poor brethren but causes thanksgiving to God and prayers for benefactors.

The third part (last four chapters) is directed against the pseudo-Apostles. (1) He is bold towards some who think he acts from worldly motives. He has powerful arms from God for humbling such and punishing their disobedience. Some say he terrifies by letters which are weighty and strong; but has bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." Let such a one understand that such as he is in his Epistle, so will he be when present. (2) He will not pretend, as they do, to be greater than he is, nor wilt he exalt himself by other men's labours. (3) He asks pardon for talking like a worldly-minded man. It is to counteract the influence of the pseudo-Apostles. He jealously guards the Corinthians lest they be deceived as Eve was by the serpent. (4) If the new-comers brought them anything better in the way of religion, he could understand their submission to their dictatorship. (5) He is not inferior to those superlative Apostles. If his speech is rude, his knowledge is not. He humbled himself amongst them, and did not exact support in order to gain them. The false Apostles profess a like disinterestedness; but they are deceitful workmen transforming themselves into Apostles of Jesus Christ. And no wonder: for Satan transformed himself into an angel of light, and they imitate their master. They make false insinuations against the Apostle. (6) He, too, will glory a little (speaking like a foolish worldly person, in order to confound them). They boast of natural advantages. He is not inferior to them in any; but he far surpasses them in his sufferings for the propagation of the Gospel, in his supernatural gifts, and in the miraculous proofs of his Apostleship at Corinth, "in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds." The Corinthians have all that other Churches had except the burden of his support. He asks them to pardon him that injury. Neither he nor Titus nor any other of his friends over-reached them. He writes thus lest he should come again in sorrow. He threatens the unrepentant.


Unity of the second epistle.

Whilst the Pauline authorship is universally acknowledged, the same cannot be said for its unity. Some critics hold that it consists of two Epistles, or portion of Epistles, by St. Paul; that the first nine chapters belong to one Epistle, and the last four to another. As these two sections are held to have been written by St. Paul, there appears to be nothing in this view that can be said to be in opposition to the Christian doctrine of inspiration. But the hypothesis is very far from being proved. Nay more, on account of the arguments that can be alleged against it, it can scarcely be regarded as probable. The principal objection against the unity of the Epistle is the difference of tone in the two sections. This is well stated and answered by the Christian scholar Hug ("Introduction," tr. by Wait, London, 1827 p. 392): "It is moreover objected how different is the tone of the first part, mild, amiable, affectionate, whereas the third part is severe, vehement, and irrespectively castigatory. But who on this account would divide Demosthenes' oration De Coronâ into two parts, because in the more general defence placidity and circumspection predominate while on the other hand, in abashing and chastising the accuser, in the parallel between him and Æschines, words of bitter irony gush out impetuously and fall like rain in a storm." This argument is referred to with approval by Meyer, Cornely, and Jacquier. Others save explained the difference of tone by supposing that when the first nine chapters were finished fresh news of a disagreeable kind arrived from Corinth, and that this led St. Paul to add the last four chapters. In the same way the parenthetical section (6:14, 7:2), which seems to have been inserted as an afterthought, can be explained. It was added, according to Bernard, to prevent a misconception of the expression used in 6:11, 13, "our heart is enlarged . . . be you also enlarged," which in the O. T. had the bad meaning of being too free with infidels. St. Paul's manner of writing has also to be taken into account. In this, as in his other Epistles he speaks as a preacher who now addresses one portion of his congregation, now another, as if they were the only persons present, and that without fear of being misunderstood. Dr. Bernard thinks that the difference of tone can be sufficiently accounted for on the supposition that the letter was written at different sittings, and that the writer was in a different mood owing to ill-health or other circumstances. The other objections brought against the unity of the Epistle are ably refuted by the same author, whose argument may be briefly summarized as follows: the last section, it is said, begins very abruptly, and is loosely connected with the previous one by the particle de. But there are several other instances in the Epistles of St. Paul where transition is made in precisely the same way. On the last part, it is objected, people in open rebellion are denounced, whereas that is not the case in the first portion. Still, there is clear reference in the first section to persons who accused him of being fickle, arrogant, brave at a distance, etc. One of the strongest arguments against the integrity is that there are several verses in the first nine chapters, which seem to presuppose an equal number of passages in the second, and the contention is that the last section is a portion of an earlier Epistle. But on closer examination of each passage this connection is seen to be only apparent. On the other hand, there are at least as many passages in the last part which clearly and unmistakably look back to and presuppose verses in the first. It is remarkable, moreover, that the only extant fragments of the supposed two Epistles should fit so well. It has also been urged that the First Epistle is not "painful" enough to account for statements in the Second. But a close examination of 1:11, 14; 2:6; 3:1-4, 18; 4:8-10, 18, 19; 5, etc., of the First Epistle, will show that this objection is quite unfounded. The linguistic unity between the two portions of the Epistle is very great; and many examples can be given to show that the two sections were always integral portions of one whole. The evidence afforded by early manuscripts, translations, and quotations points strongly in the same direction.

Organization of the church at Corinth as exhibited in the two Epistles.

There is nothing in either Epistle which enables us to say what was the precise nature of the organization of the Church at Corinth. In 1 Cor. 12:28, we read: "And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that [the gift of] miracles; then the graces [charismata] of healings, helps, governments [or wise counsels], kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. Are all apostles? . . . Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing?" From the whole context it is clear that this passage is nothing else than an enumeration of extraordinary gifts, and that it has no bearing whatsoever on church government. The word apostle is probably used here in its broad sense, not as meaning the Apostles of Jesus Christ, but the apostles of the Church. If it is meant to include the former, then the reference is not to their ruling power, but to their supernatural gifts, upon which the whole argument turns. St. Paul thanked God that he spoke with all their tongues Barnabas is called an apostle (Acts 14:4, 13). In 2 Cor. 8:23, St. Paul calls his messengers "the apostles of the churches." (Compare Rom. 16:7; Apoc. 2:2.) The Didache, or "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," which is probably a work of the first century, has the statement that if an apostle remains till the third day claiming support, he is to be regarded as a false prophet. It also says that every true teacher and true prophet is worthy of his support; and it gives one of the rules for detecting a false prophet. "Prophets and doctors" are referred to in Acts 13:50. It is extremely probable that St. Paul had organized the Church at Corinth during his long stay there as carefully as he had previously done in Galatia ("and when they had ordained to them priests in every church" – Acts 14:22) and in Ephesus "wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops" – Acts 20:7, 28). We have these statements on the authority of the author of the Acts, now admitted, even by Harnack, to be St. Luke, the companion of the Apostle. St. Paul had spent six or eight times as long at Corinth as he had at Philippi, yet we find him writing to the latter place: "Paul and Timothy . . . to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1 — cf. 1 Thess. 5:12). The principal office of the bishops and deacons was, according to the Didache, to consecrate the Blessed Eucharist. It is only by accident, as it were, on account of abuses, that St. Paul speaks, in the First Epistle, of the form of consecration used at Corinth, and which is substantially the same as that given in the Gospels. Had the abuses not arisen, it seems clear that he would not have referred to the Eucharist. He says nothing of it in the Second Epistle. In that case there would not be wanting those who would have loudly asserted that the Corinthians "knew nothing of it," and, by implication, that the Apostle's mind had not yet developed to that extent. But as he speaks so clearly we may take it as certain, too, that the ministers of the Eucharist were the same as in other places. There is no evidence that it was ever consecrated without a bishop or priest. These, with the deacons, were the regular ministers in each place, under the immediate jurisdiction of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. From all this we may conclude that the Church in Achaia was as regularly organized as the earlier Churches of Galatia, Ephesus, and the neighbouring Province of Macedonia, or as in the Church of Crete (Tit. 1:5). There were "bishops" (which word certainly meant priests and perhaps also our modern bishops) and deacons. Later on, Timothy, and Titus, and others were appointed over these "bishops," priests, and deacons, and were monarchical bishops in the modern sense of the word. Other such bishops succeeded the Apostles.


Epistle to the Galatians.

In the course of centuries, gallic tribes, related to those that invaded Italy and sacked Rome, wandered east through Illyricum and Pannonia. At length they penetrated through Macedonia (279 B.C.), and assembled in great numbers under a prince entitled Brennus, for the purpose of invading Greece and plundering the rich temple of Delphi. The leaders disagreed and the host soon divided, one portion, under Brennus, marching south on Delphi: the other division, under Leonorius and Luterius, turned eastward and overran Thrace, the country round Byzantium. Shortly afterwards they were joined by the small remnants of the army of Brennus, who was repulsed by the Greeks, and killed himself in despair. In 278 B.C. 20,000 Gauls, under Leonorius, Luterius, and fifteen other chieftains, crossed over to Asia Minor, in two divisions. On reuniting they assisted Nicomedes 1, King of Bithynia, to defeat his younger brother; and as a reward for their services he gave them a large tract of country, in the heart of Asia Minor, henceforward to be known as Galatia.

The Galatians consisted of three tribes:

the Tolistboboii, on the west, with Pessinus as their chief town;

the Tectosages, in the centre, with their capital Ancyra; and

the Trocmi, on the east, round their chief town Tavium.

Each tribal territory was divided into four cantons or tetrarchies. Each of the twelve tetrarchs had under him a judge and a general. A council of the nation consisting of the tetararchs and three hundred senators was periodically held at a place called Drynemeton, twenty miles southwest of Ancyra.

That these people were Gauls (and not Germans as has sometimes been suggested) is proved by the testimony of Greek and Latin writers, by their retention of the Gallic language till the fifth century, and by their personal and place names. A tribe in the west of Gaul in the time of Caesar (Bell. Gall. 6:24) was called Tectosages. In Tolistoboii we have the root of the word Toulouse, and in Boii the well known Gallic tribe. Brennus probably meant prince; and Strabo says he was called Prausus, which in Celtic means terrible. Luterius is the same as the Celtic Lucterius, and there was a British saint called Leonorius. Other names of chieftains are of undoubted Gallic origin, e.g. Belgius, Achichorius, Gaezatio-Diastus. Brogoris (same root as Brogitarus, Allobroges), Bitovitus, Eposognatus (compare Caesar's Boduognatus, etc.), Combolomarus (Caesar has Virdomarus, Indutionmarus), Adiorix, Albiorix, Ateporix (like Caresar's Dumnorix, ambbiorix, Vercingetorix), Brogitarus, Deiotarus, etc. Place names are of a similar character, e.g. Drynemeton, the "temple of the oaks" or The Temple, from nemed, "temple" (compare Augustonemetum in Auvergene, and Vernemeton, "the great temple," near Bordeaux), Eccobriga, Rosologiacum, Teutobodiacum, etc. (For a detailed discussion of the question see Lightfoot's "Galatians," dissertation 1, 4th ed., London, 1874, 235.)

As soon as these Gauls, or Galatians, had gained a firm footing in the country assigned to them, they began to send out marauding expeditions in all directions. They became the terror of their neighbours, and levied contributions on the whole of Asia Minor west of the Taurus. They fought with varying success against Antiochus, King of Syria, who was called Soter from his having saved his country from them. At length Attlaus I, King of Pergamun, a friend of the Romans, drove them back and confined them to Galatia about 235-232 B.C. After this many of them became mercenary soldiers; and in the great battle of Magnesia, 180 B.C., a body of such Galatian troops fought against the Romans, on the side of Antiochus the Great, King of Syria. He was utterly defeated by the Romans, under Scipio Asiaticus, and lost 50,000 of his men. Next year the Consul Manlius entered Galatia, and defeated the Galatians in two battles graphically described by Livy 38:16. These events are referred to in 1 Mach. 8. On account of ill-treatment received at the hands of Mithradates 1 King of Pontus, the Galatians took the side of Pompey in the Mitradatic wars (64 B.C.). As a reward for their services, Deiotarus, their chief tetrarch, received the title of king, and his dominions were greatly extended. Henceword the Galatians were under the protection of the Romans, and were involved in all the troubles of the civil wars that followed. They supported Pompey against Julius Caesar at the battle of Pharsalia (48 B.C.). Amyntas, their last king was set up by Mark Antony, 39 B.C. His kingdom finally included not only Galatia Proper but also the great plains to the south, together with parts of Lyesonia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Phrygia, i.e. the country containing the towns Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Amyntas went to Actium, 31 B.C., to support Mark Antony; but like many others he went over, at the critical moment, to the side of Octavianus, afterwards called Augustus. Augustus confirmed him in his kingdom, which he retained until he was slain in ambush, 25 B.C. After the death of Amyntas, Augustus made this kingdom into the Roman province of Galatia, so that this province had ben in existence more than 75 years when St. Paul wrote to the Galatians.

The north and the south galatian theories.

St. Paul addresses his letter to the churches of Galatia (Gal. 1:2) and calls them Galatians (Gal. 3:1); and in 1 Cor. 6:1, he speaks of the collections which he ordered to be made in the churches of Galatia. But there are two theories as to the meaning of these terms. It is the opinion of Lipsius, Lightfoot, Davidson, Chase, Findlay, etc., that the Epistle was addressed to the people of Galatia Proper, situated in the centre of Asia Minor, towards the north (North Galatian Theory). Others, such as Renan, Perrot, Weizsacker, Hausrath, Zahn, Pfleiderer, Gifford, Rendell, Holtzmann, Clemen, Ramsay, Cornely, Page, Knowling, etc., hold that it was addressed to the southern portion of the Roman province of Galatia, containing Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, which were visited by Saints Paul and Barnabas, during their first missionary journey (South Galatian Theory).

Lightfoot was the chief upholder of the North-Galatian theory; but a great deal has become known about the geography of Asia Minor since he wrote in the eighteenth century, and the South-Galatian Theory has proportionately gained ground. A German Christian professor, Stinmann (Der Liserkreis des Galaterbriefes), has, however, recently (1908) given Lightfoot his strong support, though it must be admitted that he has done little more than emphasize and expand the arguments of Chase. The great coryphaeus of the South-Galatian theory is Prof. Sire W.M. Ramsay. The following is a brief summary of the principal arguments on both sides.

(1) The fact that the Galatians were being changed so soon to another gospel is taken by Lightfoot as evidence of the characteristic fickleness of the Gauls. Ramsay replies that tenacity in matters of religion has ever been characteristic of the Celts. Besides, it is precarious to argue from the political mobility of the Gauls, in the time of Caesar, to the religious inconsistency of Galatians, whose ancestors left the West four hundred years before. The Galatians received St. Paul as an angel from heaven (Gal. 4:14). Lightfoot sees in this enthusiastic reception proof of Celtic fickleness of character. In the same way it may be proved that the 5000 converted by St. Peter at Jerusalem, and, in fact, that, nearly all the converts of St. Paul were Celts. Acts (13-14) gives sufficient indications of fickleness in South Galatia. To take but one instance: at Lystra the multitude could scarcely be restrained from sacrificing to St. Paul; shortly afterwards they stoned him and left him for dead.

(2) St. Paul warns the Galatians not to abuse their liberty from the obligations of the Law of Moses, by following the works of the flesh. He then gives a long catalogue of vices. From this Lightfoot selects two (methai, komoi) as evidently pointing to Celtic failings. Against this it may be urged that St. Paul, writing to the Romans (13:13), exhorts them to avoid these two very vices. St. Paul, in giving such an enumeratio here and elsewhere, evidently does not intend to paint the peculiar failings of any race, but simply to reprobate the works of the flesh, of the carnal or lower man; "they who do such things shall not obtain the kindgom of God" (Gal. v. 21).

(3) Witchcraft is also mentioned in this list. The extravagant devotion of Deiotarus, says Lightfoot, "fully bears out the character ascribed to the parent race." But the Emperor Tiberius and many officials in the empire were ardent devotees of augury. Sorcery is coupled by St. Paul with idolatry, and it was its habitual ally not only amongst the Gauls but throughout the pagan world.

(4) Lightfoot says that the Galatians were drawn to Jewish observances; and he takes this as evidence of the innate Celtic propensity to external ceremonial, "appealing rather to the senses and passions than the heart and mind." This so-called racial characteristic may be questioned, and it is a well-known fact that the whole of the aboriginal inhabitants of Asia Minor were given over heart and soul to gross pagan cermonial. We do not gather from the Epistle that the Galatians were naturally attracted to Jewish ceremonies. They were only puzzled or rather dazed (3:1) by the specious arguments of the Judaizers, who endeavoured to persuade them that they were not as perfect Christians as if they adopted circumcision and the Law of Moses.

(5) On the South-Galatian theory it is supposed that the Epistle was written soon after St. Paul's second visit to Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, etc. (Act 16). Lightfoot makes use of a strong argument against this early date. He shows, by a detailed examination, that the Epistle bears a close resemblance, both in argument and language, to parts of the Epistle to the Romans. This he thinks can be accounted for only on the supposition that both were written about the same time, and, therefore, several years later than the date required for the South-Galatian view. To this date required for the South-Galatian view. To this Rendell (Expositor's Greek Test., London, 1903.p. 144) replies that the coincidence is not due to any similarity in the circumstances of the two communities. "Still less can the identity of language be fairly urged to prove an approximation of the two epistles. For these fundamental truths formed without doubt the staple of the Apostle's teaching throughout the years of continuous transition from Jewish to Christian doctrine, and his language in regard to them could not fail to become in some measure stereotyped."

(6) The controversy has raged most fiercely round the two verses in Acts 16:6 and 28:23, the only places where there is any reference to Galatia in Acts: "And they went through the Phrygian and Galatian region" (ten phrygian kai Galatiken choran); "he departed and went through the Galatian region and Phrygia" (or "Phrygian") (ten Galatiken choran kai phyrgian).

Lightfoot held that Galatia Proper was meant in the second. Other supporters of the North-Galatian theory think that the countries of North Galatia and Phrygia are meant in both cases. Their opponents, relying on the expression of contemporary writers, maintain that South Galatia was intended in both places. The former also interpret the second part of 16:6 (Greek text) as meaning that the travellers went through Phrygia and Galatia after they had passed through South Galatia, because they were forbidden to preach in Asia. Ramsey, on the other hand, maintains that after they had passed through the portion of Phrygia which had been added to the southern part of the province of Galatia (and which could be called indifferently Galatian or Phrygian) they passed to the north because they were forbidden to preach in Asia. He holds that the order of the verbs in the passage is in the order of time, and he gives examples of similar use of the aorist participle (St. Paul The Traveller, London, 1900, pp. 9, 211, 212).

The arguments on both sides are too technical to be given in a short article. The reader may be referred to the following: North-Galatian: Chase, "Expositor," Dec. 1893. p.401, May, 1894, p.331; Steinmann, "Der Leserkreis des Galaterbriefes" (Münster, 1908), p. 191. On the South-Galatian side: Ramsey, "Expositor," Jan. 1894, p. 42, Feb., p. 137, Apr., p. 288, "St. Paul The Traveller," etc; Knowling, "Acts of the Apostles," Additional note to ch. 18 (Expositor's Greek Test., London, 1900, p. 399); Gifford, "Expositor," July, 1894, p. 1.

(7) The Galatian churches were evidently important ones. On the North-Galatian theory, St. Luke dismissed their conversion in a single sentence: "They went through the Phrygian and Galatian region" (Acts 16:6). This is strange, as his plan throughout is to give an account of the establishment of Christianity by St. Paul in each new region. Lightfoot fully admits the force of this, but tries to evade it by asking the question: "Can it be that the historian gladly drew a veil over the infancy of a church which swerved so soon and so widely from the purity of the Gospel?" But the subsequent failings of the Corinthians did not prevent St. Luke from giving an account of their conversion. Besides, the Galatians had not swerved so widely from the purity of the Gospel. The arguments of the judaizers made some of them waver, but they had not accepted circumcision; and this Epistle confirmed them in the Faith, so that a few years later St. Paul writes of them to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:1): "Now concerning the collections that are made for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye also." It was long after the time that St. Paul could thus confidently command the Galatians that Acts was written.

(8) St. Paul makes no mention of this collection in our Epistle. According to the North-Galatian theory, the Epistle was written several years before the collection was made. In Acts 20:4, etc., a list is given of those who carried the collections to Jerusalem. There are representatives from South Galatia, Achaia, Macedonia, and Asia; but there is no deputy from North Galatia — from the towns of Jerusalem on occasion, the majority probably meeting at Corinth, St. Paul, St. Luke, and Sopater of Berea (probably representing Philippi and Achaia; Aristarchus and Secundus of Macedonia; Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy of Lystra (S. Galatia); and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. There is not a word about anybody from North Galatia, the most probable reason being that St. Paul had never been there. (9) St. Paul, the Roman citizen, invariably employs the names of the roman provincces, such as Achaia, Macedonia, Asia; and it is not probable that he departed from this practice in his use of "Galatia." The people of South Galatia could with propriety be styled Galatians. Two of the towns, Antioch and Lystra, were Roman colonies; and the other two boasted of the Roman names, Claudio-Iconium, and Claudio-Derbe. "Galatians" was an honourable title when applied to them; but they would be insulted if they were called Phrygians or Lycaonians. All admit that St. Peter named the Roman provinces when he wrote "to the elect strangers dispersed throught Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1 Pet. 1:1).

(10) The manner in which St. Paul mentions St. Barnabas in the Epistle indicates that the latter was known to those for whom the Epistle was primarily intended. St. Barnabas had visited South Galatia with St. Paul (Acts 13-14), but he was unknown in North Galatia.

(11) St. Paul states (2:5) that the reason for his course of action at Jerusalem was that the truth of the gospel might continue with the Galatians. This seems to imply that they were already converted. He had visited the southern part of the Galatian province before the council, but not northern. The view favoured above receives confirmation from a consideration, as appended, of the persons addressed.

The kind of people addressed.

The country of South Galatia answers the conditions of the Epistle admirably; but this cannot be said of North Galatia. From the Epistle we gather that the majority were Gentile converts, that many were probably Jewish proselytes from their acquaintance with the Old Testament, that Jews who persecuted them from the first were living amongst them; that St. Paul had visited them twice, and that the few Judaziers appeared amongst them only after his last visit. We know from Acts 3:14 (and early history), that Jews were settled in South Galatia. During the first missionary journey unbelieving Jews made their presence felt everywhere. As soon as Paul and Barnabas returned to Syrian Antioch, some Jewish converts came from Judea and taught that the circumcision was necessary for them, and went up to the council, where it was decreed that circumcision and the Law of Moses were not necessary for the Gentiles; but nothing was determined as to the attitude of Jewish converts regarding them, following the example of St. James, though it was implied in the decree that they were matters of indifference. This was shown, soon after, by St. Peter's eating with the Gentiles. On his withdrawing from them, and when many others followed his example, St. Paul publicly vindicated the equality of the Gentile Christians. The majority agreed; but there must have been "false brethren" amongst them (Gal. 2:4) who were Christians only in name, and who hated St. Paul. Some of these, in all probability, followed him to South Galatia, soon after his second visit. But they could no longer teach the necessity of circumcision, as the Apostolic decrees had been already delivered there by St. Paul (Acts 16:4). These decrees are not mentioned in the Epistle by the Judaizers, the advisability of the Galatians accepting circumcision and the Law of Moses, for their greater perfection. On the other hand, there is no evidence that there were any Jews settled at this time in North Galatia. It was not the kind of country to attract them. The Gauls were a dominant class, living in castles, and leading a half pastoral, half nomadic life, and speaking their own Gallic language. The country was very sparsley populated by the subjugated agricultural inhabitants. During the long winter the ground was covered with snow; in summer the heat was intense and the ground parched; and one might travel many miles without meeting a human being. There was some fertile tracts; but the greater part was either poor pasture land, or barren undulating hilly ground. The bulk of the inhabitants in the few towns were not Gauls. Trade was small, and that mainly in wool. A decree of Augustus in favour of Jews was supposed to be framed for those at Ancyra, in Galatia. It is now known that it was addressed to quite a different region.

Why written.

The Epistle was written to conteract the influence of a few Judaizers who had come amongst the Galatians, and were endeavouring to persuade them that in order to be perfect Christians it was necessary to be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses. Their arguments were sufficiently specious to puzzle the Galatians, and their object was likely to gain the approval of unbelieving Jews. They said what St. Paul taught was good as far as it went; but that he had not taught the full perfection of Christianity. And this was not surprising, as he was not one of the great Apostles who had been taught by Christ Himself, and received their commission from Him. Whatever St. Paul knew he learned from others, and he had received his commission to preach not from Christ, but from men at Antioch (Acts 13). Circumcision and the Law, it is true, were not necessary to salvation; but they were essential to the full perfection of Christianity. This was proved by the example of St. James, of the other Apostles, and of the first disciples, at Jerusalem. On this very point this Paul, the Apostle, placed himself in direct opposition to Cephas, the Prince of the Apostles, at Antioch. His own action in circumcising Timothy showed what he expected of a personal companion, and he was now probably teaching the good of circumcision in other places. These statements puzzles the Galatians, and made them waver. They felt aggrieved that he had left them, as they thought, in an inferior position; they began to observe Jewish festivals, but they had not yet accepted circumcision. The Apostle refutes these arguments so effectively that the question never again arose. Henceforth his enemies confined themselves to personal attacks.

Contents of the Epistle.

The six chapters naturally fall into three divisions, consisting of two chapters each.

In the first two chapters, after the general introduction, he shows that he is an Apostle not from men, nor through the teaching of any man, but from Christ; and the gospel he taught is in harmony with the teaching of the great Apostles, who gave him the right hand of fellowship.

He next (3:4) shows the inefficacy of circumcision and the Law, and that we owe our redemption to Christ alone. He appeals to the experience of the Galatian converts, and brings forward proofs from Scripture.

He exhorts them (5, 6) not to abuse their freedom from the Law to indulge in crimes, "for they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God." It is not for love of them he admonishes, that the Judaizers wish the Galatians to be circumcised. If there is virtue in the mere cutting of the flesh, the inference from the argument is that the Judaizers could become still more perfect by making themselves eunuchs — mutilating themselves like the priests of Cybele. He writes the epilogue in large letters with his own hand.

Importance of the Epistle.

As it is admitted on all hands that St. Paul wrote the Epistle, and as its authenticity has never been seriously called in question, it is important not only for its biographical data and direct teaching, but also for the teaching implies in it as being known at the time. He claims, at least indirectly, to have worked miracles amongst the Galatians, and that they received the Holy Ghost (3:5), almost in the words of St. Luke as to the events at Iconium (Acts 14:3). It is the Christian doctrine that faith is a gratuitous gift of God; but is is the teaching of the Church, as it is of St. Paul, that the faith that is of any avail is "faith that worketh by charity" (Gal. v. 6); and he states most emphatically that a good life is necessary for salvation; for, after enumeration the works of the flesh, he writes (5:21), "Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall obtain the kingdom of God." In 6:8, he writes: "For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh, also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting." The same teaching is found in others of his Epistles, and is in perfect agreement with St. James: "For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). The Epistle implies that the Galatians were well acquainted with the doctrines of the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, Incarnation, Redemption, Baptism, Grace, etc. As he had never to defend his teaching to these points against Judaizers, and as the Epistle is so early, it is clear that his teaching was identical with that of the Twelve, and did not, even in appearance, lend itself to attack.

Date of the epistle.

Marcion asserted that it was the first of St. Paul's Epistles. Prof. Sir W. Ramsay (Expositor, Aug. 1895, etc.) and a Christian professor, Dr. Valentin Weber (see below), maintain that it was written from Antioch, before the council (A.D. 49-50). Weber's arguments are very plausible, but not quite convincing. There is a good summary of them in a review by Gayford, "Journal of Theological Studies," July, 1902. The two visits to Galatia are the double journey to Derbe and back. This solution is offered to obviate apparent discrepancies between Gal. 2, and Acts 15.

Cornel and the majority of the upholders of the South-Galatian theory suppose, with much greater probability, that it was written about A.D. 53, 54.

Those who defend the North-Galatian theory place it as late as A.D. 57 or 58.

Difficulties of Galatians.

"I went up . . . and communicated to them the gospel . . . lest perhaps I should run, or had run in vain." This does not imply any doubt about the truth of his teaching, but he wanted to neutralize the oppostion of the Judaizers by proving he was at one one with the others.

The following have the appearance of being ironical: "I communicated . . . to them who seemed to be some thing" (2:2); But of them who seemed to be something . . . for to me they that seemed to be something added to nothing" (2:6): "But contrawise . . . James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars." Here we have three expressions tois dokousin in verse 2; ton dokounton einai ti, and oi dokountes in verse 6; and oi dokountes styloi einai in verse 9. Non-Christian scholars agree with St. John Chrystostom that there is nothing ironical in the original context. As the verbs are in the present tense, the translations should be: "those who are in repute"; "who are (rightly) regarded as pillars." It is better to understand, with Rendall, that two classes of persons are meant: first, the leading men at Jerusalem; secondly, the three apostles. St. Paul's argument was to show that his teaching had the approval of the great men. St. James is mentioned first because the Judaizers made the greatest use of his name and example. "But of them who are in repute (what they were some time, it is nothing to me. God accepteth not the person of man)," verse 6. St. Augustine is almost alone in his interpretation that it made no matter to St. Paul that the Apostles were once poor ignorant men. Others hold that St. Paul was referring to the privilege of being personal disciples of our Lord. He said that did not alter the fact of his Apostolate, as God does not regard the person of men. Most probably this verse does not refer to the Apostles at all; and Cornerly supposes that St. Paul is speaking of the elevated position held by the presbyters at the council, and insists that it did not derogate from his Apostolate.

"I withstood Cephas." — "But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was blamed [kategnosmenos, perf. part. — not, "to be blamed," as in the Vulgate]. For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were done, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of circumcision. And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews consented, so that Barnabas also was led by them into that dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: if thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (2:11-14).

Here St. Peter was found fault with probably by the Greek converts. He did not withdraw on account of bodily fear, says St. John Chrystostom; but as his special mission was at this time to the Jews, he was afraid of shocking them who were still weak in the Faith. His ususal manner of acting, to which he was led by his vision many years previously, shows that his exceptional withdrawal was not due to any error of doctrine. He had motives like those which induced St. Paul to circumcise Timothy, etc.; and there is no proof that in acting upon them he committed the slightest sin. Those who came from James probably came for no evil purpose; nor does it follow they were sent by him. The Apostles in their letter (Acts 15:24) say: "Forasmuch as we have heard, that some going out from us have troubled you . . . to whom we gave no commandment." We need not suppose that St. Peter foresaw the effect of his example. The whole thing must have taken some time. St. Paul did not at first object. It was only when he saw the result that he spoke. The silence of St. Peter shows that he must have agreed with St. Paul; and, indeed, the argument to the Galatians required that this was the case. St. Peter's exalted position is indicated by the manner in which St. Paul says (1:18) that he went to behold Peter, as people go to view some remarkable sight; and by the fact that in spite of the preaching of St. Paul and Barnabas for a long time at Antioch, his mere withdrawal was sufficient to draw all after him, and in a manner compel the Gentiles to be circumcised. In the expression "when I saw that they walked not uprightly," they does not necessarily include St. Peter. The incident is not mentioned in the Acts, as it was only transitory. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 1:12) says that St. Clement of Alexandria, in the fifth book of the Hypotyposeis (Outlines), asserts that this Cephas was not the Apostle, but one of the seventy disciples. Clement here has few followers.

A very spirited controversy was carried on between St. Jerome and St. Augustine about the interpretation of this passage. In his "Commentary on the Galatians," St. Jerome, following earlier writers such as Origen and St. Chrysostom, supposed that the matter was arranged beforehand between St. Peter and St. Paul. They agreed that St. Peter should withdraw and that St. Paul should publicly reprehend him, for the instruction of all. Hence St. Paul says that he withstood him in appearance (kata prosopon). Otherwise, says St. Jerome, with what face could St. Paul, who became all things to all men, who became a Jew that he might gain the Jews, who circumcised Timothy, who shaved his head, and was ready to offer sacrifice at Jerusalem, blame St. Peter for acting in a similar manner? St. Augustine, laying stress on the words "when I saw that they walked not uprightly," etc., maintained that such an interpretation would be subversive of the truth of Holy Scripture. But against this it may be said that it is not so very clear that St. Peter was included in this sentence. The whole controversy can be read in the first volume of the Venetian edition of St. Jerome's works, Epp. 56, 67, 104, 105, 112, 115, 116.

Apparent Discrepancies between the Epistle and Acts. — (1) St. Paul says that three years after his conversion (after having visited Arabia and returned to Damascus) he went up to Jerusalem (1:17, 18) Acts states that after his baptism "he was with the disciples that were at Damascus, for some days" (9:19). "He immediately began to preach in the synagogues" (9:20). "He increased more in strength, and confounded the Jews" (9:22). "And when many days were passed, the Jews consulted together to kill him" (9:23); he then escaped and went to Jerusalem. These accounts here are not contradictory, as has been sometimes objected; but were written from different points of view and for different purposes. The time for the visit to Arabia may be placed between Acts 9:22-23; or between "some days" and "many days." St. Luke's "many days" (hemerai ikanai) may mean as much as three years. The adjective ikanos is a favourite one with St. Luke, and is used by him with great elasticity, but generally in the sense of largeness, e.g. "a widow: and a great multitude of the city" (Luke 7:12); "there met him a certain man who had a devil now a very long time" (Luke 8:27); "a herd of many swine feeding" (Luke 8:32); "and he was abroad for a long time" (Luke 20:9); "for a long time, he had bewitched them" (Acts 8:11). See also Acts 14:3, 21 (Greek text); 18:18, 19:19, 26; 20:37.

(2) We read in Acts 9:27, that St. Barnabas took St. Paul "to the apostles." St. Paul states (Gal. 1:19) that on this occasion, besides St. Peter, "other of the apostles I saw one, saving James the brother of the Lord." Those who find a contradiction here are hard to satisfy. St. Luke employs the word Apostles sometimes in a broader, sometimes in a narrower sense. Here it meant the Apostles who happened to be at Jerusalem (Peter and James), or the assembly over which they presided. The objection can be pressed with any force only against those who deny that St. James was an Apostle in any of the senses used by St. Luke.


Epistle to the Ephesians.

Analysis of the epistle.

The letter which, in the manuscripts containing the Epistles of St. Paul, bears the title "To the Ephesians" comprises two parts distinctly separated by a doxology (Eph. 3:20 sq.). The address, in which the Apostle mentions himself only, is not followed by a prologue; in fact, the entire dogmatic part develops the idea which is usually the subject of the prologue in the letters of St. Paul. In a long sentence that reads like a hymn (Eph. 1:3-14), Paul praises God for the blessings which He has bestowed upon all the faithful in accordance with the eternal plan of His will, the sublime plan by which all are to be united under one head, Christ, a plan which, although heretofore secret and mysterious, is now made manifest to believers. Those to whom the Epistle is addressed, having received the Gospel, have, in their turn, been made participants of these blessings, and the Apostle, having recently learned of their conversion and their faith, assures them that he ceases not to give thanks to Heaven for the same (Eph. 1:15-16) and that, above all, he prays for them. The explanation of this prayer, of its object and motives, constitutes the remainder of the dogmatic part (cf. Eph. 3:1, 14). Paul asks God that his readers may have a complete knowledge of the hope of their calling, that they may be fully aware both of the riches of their inheritance and the greatness of the Divine power which guarantees the inheritance. This Divine power manifests itself first in Christ, Whom it raised from the dead and Whom it exalted in glory above all creatures and established head of the Church, which is His body. Next, this power and goodness of God was evidenced in the readers, whom it rescued from their sins and raised and exalted with Christ. But it shone forth, above all, in the establishment of a community of salvation welcoming within its fold both Jews and Gentiles without distinction, the Death of Christ having broken down the middle wall of partition, i.e. the Law, and both sections of the human race having thus been reconciled to God so as thenceforth to form but one body, one house, one temple, of which the apostles and Christian prophets are the foundation and Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone. (Eph. 1:16-2:20.) Paul, as his readers must have heard, was the minister chosen to preach to the Gentiles of this sublime mystery of God, hidden from all eternity and not revealed even to the angels, according to which the Gentiles are made coheirs with the Jews, constitute a part of the same body, and are joint partakers in the same promises (Eph. 3:1-13). Deeply imbued with this mystery, the Apostle implores the Father to lead his readers to the perfection of the Christian state and the complete knowledge of Divine charity (Eph. 3:14-19), continuing the same prayer with which he had begun (Eph. 1:16 sq.).

Having praised God anew in the solemn doxology (Eph. 3:20 sq.), Paul passes on to the moral part of his letter. His exhortations, which he bases more than is his wont on dogmatic considerations, all revert to that of chapter iv, verse 1, wherein he entreats his readers to show themselves in all things worthy of their vocation. First of all, they must labour to preserve the unity described by the author in the first three chapters and here again brought into prominence: One Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. There is, of course, a diversity of ministries, but the respective offices of apostles, prophets, etc. have all been instituted by the same Christ exalted in glory and all tend to the perfection of the society of saints in Christ (Eph. 4:2-16). From these great social duties, Paul proceeds to the consideration of individual ones. He contrasts the Christian life that his readers are to lead, with their pagan life, insisting above all on the avoidance of two vices, immodesty and covetousness (Eph. 4:17-5:3). Then, in treating of family life, he wells on the duties of husbands and wives, whose union he likens to that of Christ with His Church, and the duties of children and servants (5:21-6:9). In order to fulfil these duties and to combat adverse powers, the readers must put on the armour of God (6:10-20).

The Epistle closes with a short epilogue (6:21-24), wherein the Apostle tells his correspondents that he has sent Tychicus to give them news of him and that he wishes them peace, charity, and grace.

Special characteristics.

This letter like all of those written by St. Paul, contains hapax legomena, about seventy-five words which are not found in the Apostle's other writings; however, it were a mistake to make this fact the basis of an argument against Pauline authenticity. Of these works nine occur in quotations from the Old Testament and others belong to current language or else designate things which Paul elsewhere had had no occasion to mention. Others, again, are derived from roots used by the Apostle and besides, in comparing these hapax legomena one with another, it is impossible to recognize in them a characteristic vocabulary that would reveal a distinct personality. (Cf. Brunet, De l'authenticité de l'épître aux Ephésiens; preuves philologiques," Lyons 1897; Nägeli, "Der Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus," Göttingen, 1905.)

This Epistle, even more than that to the Colossians, is remarkable for the length of its periods. The first three chapters contain hardly more than three sentences and these are overladen with relative or participial causes that are simply strung together, frequently without being connected by the logical particles that occur so frequently in St. Paul. Each particular clause is itself encumbered with numerous prepositional modifiers (especially with en and syn) of which it is difficult to state the exact meaning. Often, too, several synonyms are in juxtaposition and in very many cases a noun has an explanatory genitive, the sense of which differs but very slightly from that of the noun itself. For all of these reasons the language of the Epistle, heavy, diffuse, and languid, seems very different from the dialectical, animated, and vigorous style of the Apostle's uncontested letters. It is important to note that in the moral part of the Epistle these peculiarities of style do not appear and hence they would seem to depend more on the matter treated than on the author himself; in fact, even in the dogmatic expositions in the great Epistles, St Paul's language is frequently involved (cf. Rom. 2:13 sq; 4:16 sq; 5:12 sq.; etc.). Moreover, it must be observed that all these peculiarities spring from the same cause: They all indicate a certain redundancy of ideas surging in upon a deep and tranquil meditation on a sublime subject, the various aspects of which simultaneously appear to the author's mind and evoke his admiration. Hence also the lyric tone that pervades the first three chapters, which constitute a series of praises, benedictions, thanksgivings, and prayers. A sort of rhythmic composition has been pointed out in chapter 1 (cf. T. Innitzer, "Der 'Hymnus' im Eph. 1:3-14" in "Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie," 1904, 612 sq.), and in chapter iii traces of liturgical hymnology have been observed (Eph. 3:20), but they are no more striking than in 1 Cor. and are not to be compared with the liturgical language of 1 Clement.

The doctrines on justification, the Law, faith, the flesh, etc., that are characteristic of the great Pauline Epistles, are not totally lacking in the Epistle to the Ephesians, being recognizable in chapter 2 (1-16). However, the writer's subject does not lead him to develop these particular doctrines. On the other hand, he clearly indicates, especially in chapter i, the supreme place which, in the order of nature and grace, is allotted to Christ, the author and centre of creation, the point towards which all things converge, the source of all grace, etc. Although, in his great Epistles, St. Paul sometimes touches upon these doctrines (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6; 15:45 sq.; 2 Cor. 5:18 sq.), they constitute the special object of his letter to the Colossians, where he develops them to a much greater extent than in that to the Ephesians. In fact this Epistle treats more of the Church than of Christ. (On the doctrine of the Church in the Epistle to the Ephesians see Méritan in "Revue biblique," 1898, pp. 343 sq., and W. H. Griffith Thomas in the "Expositor," Oct. 1906, pp. 318 sq.) The work church no longer means, as is usual in the great Epistles of St. Paul, some local church or other, but the one universal Church, and organic whole uniting all Christians in one body of which Christ is the head. Here we find the systematized development of elements insinuated from time to time in the letters to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans. The author who has declared that there is now neither Jew nor Greek but that all are one in Jesus (Gal. 3:28); that in each Christian the life of Christ is made manifest (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 4:11 sq.); that all are led by the Spirit of God and of Christ (Rom. 8:9-14); that each one of the faithful has Christ for head (1 Cor. 11:3), could, by combining these elements, easily come to consider all Christians as forming but one body (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27), animated by one spirit (Eph. 4:4), a single body having Christ for head. To this body the Gentiles belong by the same right as the Jews. Undoubtedly this mysterious dispensation of Providence was, according to the Epistle to the Ephesians, made manifest to all the Apostles, a declaration which, moreover, the Epistle to the Galatians does not contradict (Gal. 2:3-9); however, this revelation remains, as it were, the special gift of St. Paul (Eph. 3:3-8), The right of pagans seems to be no longer questioned, which is easily understood at the close of the Apostle's life. At the death of Christ the wall of separation was broken down (cf. Gal. 3:13), and all have since had access to the Father in the same spirit. They do not meet on the Jewish ground of the abolished Law but on Christian ground, in the edifice founded directly on Christ. The Church being thus constituted, the author contemplates it just as it appears to him. Besides, if in the extension of the Church he beholds the realization of the eternal decree by which all men have been predestined to the same salvation, he is not obliged to repeat the religious history of mankind in the way he had occasion to describe it in the Epistle to the Romans; neither is he constrained to explore the historical privileges of the Jews, to which he nevertheless alludes (Eph. 2:12) nor to connect the new economy to the old nor indeed to introduce, at least into the dogmatical exposition, the sins of the pagans, whom he is satisfied to accuse of having lacked intimate communion with God (Eph. 2:12). For the time being all these points are not the main subject of meditation. It is rather the recent, positive fact of the union of all men in the Church, the body of Christ, that he brings into prominence; the Apostle contemplates Christ Himself in His actual influence over this body and over each of its members; hence it is only occasionally that he recalls the redemptive power of Christ's Death. (Eph. 1:7; 2:5-6) From heaven, where He has been exalted, Christ bestows His gifts on all the faithful without distinction, commanding, however, that in His Church certain offices be held for the common welfare. The hierarchical terms used so constantly later on (episkopoi, presbyteroi, diakonoi) are not met with here. The apostles and prophets, always mentioned together, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, play a like part, being the founders of the Church (Eph. 2:20). Thus placed on an equality with the prophets, the apostles are not the chosen Twelve but, as indicated in the letters of St. Paul, those who have seen Christ and been commissioned by Him to preach His Gospel. It is for the same purpose that the prophets in the Epistle to the Ephesians used the charisma, or spiritual gifts described in 1 Cor. 12-14. The evangelists, who are not noticed in Eph. 2:20, or 3:5, are inferior in dignity to the apostles and prophets in connection with whom they are, nevertheless, mentioned (Eph. 4:11). In his first letters St. Paul had no occasion to allude to them, but they belong to the Apostolic age, as at a later epoch they are never referred to. Finally the "pastors and doctors" (A. V. pastors and teachers), who are clearly distinguished (Eph. 4:11) from the apostles and prophets, founders of the churches, seem to be those local authorities already indicated in 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Cor. 16:15 sq.; Act, 20:28. While the attention given to these different ministers forms a distinctive note in the Epistle to the Ephesians, we cannot therefore admit (with Klöpper, for example) that the author is preoccupied with the hierarchy as such. The unity of the Church, a point that he clearly emphasizes, is not so much the juridical unity of an organized society as the vital unity that binds all the members of the body to its head, the glorified Christ. Nor is it true that the author already predicts centuries of future existence for this Church (Klopper) as, properly speaking, the ages to come, referred to in the Epistle to the Ephesians (2:7) are to come in the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. 2:6). On the other hand we know that St. Paul's hope of soon witnessing Christ's second coming kept constantly diminishing, and therefore, in the latter years of his life, he might well define (Eph. 5:22 sq.) the laws of Christian marriage, which at an earlier period (1 Cor. 7:37 sq.) he regarded only in the light of the approaching advent of Christ.

The exposition that we have given of the doctrines proper to the Epistle to the Ephesians has been so made as to show that none of these doctrines taken separately contradicts the theology of the great Pauline Epistles and that each one individually can be connected with certain elements disseminated in these Epistles. It is nevertheless true that, taken in its entirety, this letter to the Ephesians constitutes a new doctrinal system, the Pauline authenticity of which can only be critically defended by pointing out the circumstances in consequence of which the Apostle was able thus to develop his first theology and profoundly to modify his manner of setting it forth. Naturally this leads us first of all to try to ascertain the object of the letter to the Ephesians.



It has been said that St. Paul combated immoral doctrines and an antinomian propaganda that especially endangered those to whom the letters were addressed (Pfleiderer), but this hypothesis would not explain the dogmatic part of the Epistle, and even in the hortatory part nothing betokens polemical preoccupation. All the warnings administered are called forth by the pagan origin of the readers, and when the author addresses his prayers to Heaven in their behalf (Eph. 1:17 sqq; 3:14. sqq.) he does not mention any particular peril from which he would have God deliver their Christian life. Klopper thought that the author had Judeo-Christians in view, still denying converted pagans their full right in the Church, and Jacquier gives this as an additional motive. Others have said that the Gentile-Christians of the Epistle had to be reminded of the privileges of the Jews. But not one word in the letter, even in the section containing exhortations to unity (Eph. 4:2 sq), reveals the existence of any antagonism among those to whom the Apostle writes, and there is no question of the reproduction or re-establishment of unity. The author never addresses himself to any save converted pagans, and all his considerations tend solely to provide them with a full knowledge of the blessings which, despite their pagan origin, they have acquired in Christ and of the greatness of the love that God has shown them. If, in chapter 3, St. Paul speaks of his personal Apostleship, it is not by way of defending it against attacks but of expressing all his gratitude for having been called, in spite of his unworthiness, to announce the great mystery of which he had sung the praises. Briefly, nothing in the letter allows us to suspect that it responds to any special need on the part of those to whom it is addressed, nor that they, on their side, had given the author any particular occasion for writing it. In so far as either its dogmatic or moral part is concerned, it might have been addressed to any churches whatever founded in the pagan world.


To whom addressed.

To whom, then, was the Epistle addressed? This question has evoked a variety of answers. There are critics who maintain the traditional opinion that the Epistle was written to the Ephesians exclusively (Danko, Cornely), but the greater number consider it in the light of a circular letter. Some maintain that it was addressed to Ephesus and the churches of which this city was, so to speak, the metropolis (Michelis, Harless, and Henle), while others hold that it was sent to the Seven Churches of the Revelation (H. Holtzmann) or to the circle of Christian communities within and around Colossae and Laodicea (Godet, Haupt, Zahn, and Belser); or again to the faithful of Asia Minor (B. Weiss) or to all the Gentile-Christian Churches (Von Soden). The question can only be solved by comparing the Epistle with the knowledge possessed of the life and literary activity of the Apostle. Those who deny the authenticity of the letter must certainly grant that the Pseudo-Paul (1: 1) was careful to conform to literary and historical probabilities, and if not, since the letter vouchsafes no direct indication as to the correspondents whom he supposed the Apostle to be addressing, it would be idle to imagine who they were.

The words en Epheso, in the first verse of the Epistle, do not belong to the primitive text. St. Basil attests that, even in his day, they were not met with in the ancient MSS.; in fact they are missing from the Codices B and Aleph (first hand). Moreover, the examination of the Epistle does not warrant the belief that it was addressed to the church in which the Apostle had sojourned longest. When St. Paul writes to one of his churches, he constantly alludes to his former relations with them, but here there is nothing personal, no greeting, no special recommendation, no allusion to the author's past. Paul is unacquainted with his correspondents, although he has heard them spoken of (Eph. 1:15), and they have heard of him (Eph. 3:2; cf. 4:21). When addressing himself to any particular church, even be it at the time still a stranger to him as, for instance, Rome or Colossae, the Apostle always assumes a personal tone; hence the abstract and general manner in which he treats his subject from the beginning to the end of the Epistle to the Ephesians can best be accounted for by beholding in this Epistle a circular letter to a group of churches still unknown to Paul. Bur this explanation, founded on the encyclical character of the Epistle, loses its value if the Church of Ephesus is numbered among those addressed; for, during his three years' sojourn in this city, the Apostle had had frequent intercourse with the neighbouring Christian communities, and in this case he would have had Ephesus especially in view, just as in wring to all the faithful of Achaia (2 Cor. 1:1) it was chiefly to the Church of Corinth that he addressed himself.

Nevertheless, it was to a rather restricted circle of Christian communities that Paul sent this letter, as Tychicus was to visit them all and bring news of him (Eph. 6:21 sq.), which fact precludes the idea of all the churches of Asia Minor or of all the Gentile-Christian churches. Moreover, since Tychicus was bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians and that to the Ephesians at one and the same time (Col. 4:7 sq.), those to whom the latter was addressed could not have been far from Colossae, and we have every reason to suppose them in Asia Minor. However, we do not believe that the Epistle in question was addressed to the churches immediately surrounding Colossae, as the perils which threatened the faith of the Colossians virtually endangered that of the neighbouring communities, and wherefore, then, two letter differing in tone and object? Having had no personal intercourse with the Colossians, the Apostle would have been satisfied to address to them and their Christian neighbours an encyclical letter embodying all the matter treated in both Epistles. Hence it behooves us to seek elsewhere in Asia Minor, towards the year 60, a rather limited group of churches still unknown to St. Paul. Now, in the course of his three journeys, Paul had traversed all parts of Asia Minor except the northern provinces along the Black Sea, territory which he did not reach prior to his captivity. Nevertheless, the First Epistle of St. Peter shows us that the Faith had already penetrated these regions; hence, with the historical data at our disposal, it is in this vicinity that it seems most reasonable to seek those to whom the Epistle was addressed. These Christians must have been named in the authentic text of the inscription of this Epistle, as they are in all of St. Paul's letters. Now, whenever the substantive participle appears in one of these inscriptions, it serves the sole purpose of introducing the mention of locality. We are therefore authorized to believe that, in the address of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 1:1: tois hagiois ousin kai pistois en Christo Iesou), this participle, so difficult to understand in the received text, originally preceded the designation of the place inhabited by the readers. One might assume that the line containing this designation was omitted owing to some distraction on the part of the first copyist; however, it would then be necessary to admit that the mention of locality, now in question, occurred in the midst of qualifying adjectives applied by the Apostle to his readers (hagiois tois ousin . . . . . pistois), and this is something that is never verified in the letters of St. Paul. Hence we may suppose that, in this address, the indication of place was corrupted rather than omitted, and this paves the way for conjectural restorations. We ourselves have proposed the following: tois hagiois tois ousin kat Irin tois en Christo Iesou. (Ladeuze in Revue biblique, 1902, pp 573 sq.) Grammatically, this phrase corresponds perfectly with the Apostle's style (cf. Gal. 1:22; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1) and palaeographically, if transcribed in ancient capitals, it readily accounts for the corruption that has certainly been produced in the text. The Epistle to the Ephesians was, therefore, written to distant churches, located perhaps in various provinces [Pontus, Galatia, Polemonium (the kingdom of Polemon)] and, for this reason, requiring to be designated by the general term, but all situated along the River Iris.

These churches of the north-east of Asia Minor played rather an obscure part in the first century. When the first collection of the Apostle's letters was made, a collection on which the entire textual tradition of these letters depends (cf. Zahn, Geschichte des N. T. Kanons, 1, 2, p. 829), it was Ephesus that furnished the copy of this Epistle, having obtained it when Tychicus landed at that port, thence to set out for Colossae and in the direction of Pontus, and in this copy the text of the address had already been corrupted. Having come from Ephesus, this letter quickly passed for one to the Ephesians, the more so as there was no other written by the Apostle to the most celebrated of churches. This explains why, from the beginning, all except Marcion, even those who did not read the words en Epheso in the first verse (Origen, Tertullian), look upon this letter as an Epistle to the Ephesians, and why in all MSS., it is transcribed under this title.


Date and place of composition; occasion.

Like the Epistles to the Colossians, to the Philippians, and to Philemon, that to the Ephesians was written during the leisure hours of one of the Apostle's imprisonments (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20), when he had but little reason to resort to the services of a disciple to write in his name (De Wette, Ewald, and Renan). Lisco (Vincula Sanctorum, Berlin, 1900) is the only one nowadays who claims that these letters antedate the great captivity of St. Paul, maintaining that the Apostle must have written them while a prisoner in Ephesus in 57 and prior to those which he sent to the Corinthians and Romans. But we are not acquainted with any of the details of this captivity at Ephesus. Moreover, the doctrine set forth in the letters in question belongs to an epoch subsequent to the composition of the Epistle to the Romans (58); hence they were not written previously to the captivity in Caesarea (58-60). On the other hand, they are anterior to the first persecution, to which the author makes no allusion when describing the armour and combats of the faithful; wherefore they cannot be assigned to the last captivity. It consequently remains for them to be ascribed to a period between 58 and 63, but whether they were produced in Caesarea or in Rome (61-63) is still a much mooted question. The information gleaned here and there is very vague and the arguments brought forward are very doubtful. However, the freedom allowed Paul, and the evangelical activity he displays at the time of writing these letters, would seem more in keeping with his captivity in Rome (Acts 28:17-31) than in Caesarea (Acts 23:sq.). One thing, however, is certain, once the authenticity of the Epistles to the Colossians and to the Ephesians is admitted, and that is that they were written at the same time. They both show fundamentally and formally a very close connection of which we shall speak later on. Tychicus was appointed to convey both Epistles to those to whom they were respectively addressed and to fulfil the same mission in behalf of them (Col. 4:7 sq; Eph. 6:21 sq.). Verse 16 of chapter 4 of Colossians does not seem to allude to the letter to the Ephisians, which would need to have been written first; besides, the Epistle here mentioned is scarcely an encyclical, the context leading us to look upon it as a special letter of the same nature as that sent to the Colossians. If, moreover, Paul knew that, before reaching Colossae, Tychicus would deliver the Epistle to the Ephesians to the Christians at Laodicea, there was no reason why he should insert greetings for the Laodiceans in his Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:15). It is more probable that the Epistle to the Ephesians was written in the second place. It would be less easy to understand why, in repeating to the Colossians the same exhortations that he had made to the Ephesians, for instance, on remarriage (Eph. 5:22 sqq.), the author should have completely suppressed the sublime dogmatic considerations upon which these exhortations had been based. Moreover we believe with Godet that: It is more natural to think that, of these two mutually complemental letters, the one provoked by a positive request and a definite need [Col.] came first, and that the other [Eph.] was due to the greater solicitude evoked by the composition of the former."

How, then, admitting that St. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians, shall we explain the origin of this document? The Apostle, who was captive at Rome, was informed by Epaphras of the dogmatic and moral errors that had come to light in Colossae and the neighbouring cities, in churches of which he was not the founder. He also learned that he had been censured for not bringing to the perfection of Christianity those whom he had once converted, and for not taking sufficient interest in churches that had sprung up side by side with his own, although without his personal intervention (Col. 1:28-2:5). At the same time that Paul received the news concerning Colossae, and its surroundings, he also heard (Eph. 1:15) that in a distant part of Asia Minor Christian communities had been brought to the Faith, perhaps by evangelists (Eph. 4:11). Impressed by the accusations made against him, Paul took advantage of the departure of Tychicus for Colossae, to enter into communication with those Christians who had heard of him (Eph. 3:2) and to address them a letter in which he had to limit himself to general considerations on Christianity, but he wished to prove his Apostolic solicitude for them by making them realize not only the dignity of their Christian vocation, but the oneness of the Church of God and the intimate union by which all the faithful, no matter what their history, are constituted a single body of which Christ is the head.


If one would only remember to whom the Epistle was addressed and on what occasion it was written, the objections raised against its Pauline authenticity could be readily answered.


Relation to other books of the New Testament.

The letter to the Ephesians bears some resemblance to the Epistle to the Hebrews and the writings of St. Luke and St. John, in point of ideas and mode of expression, but no such resemblance is traceable in the great Pauline Epistles. Of course one of the Apostle's writings might have been utilized in these later documents but these similarities are too vague to establish a literary relationship. During the four years intervening between the Epistle to the Romans and that to the Ephesians, St. Paul had changed his headquarters and his line of work, and we behold him at Rome and Caesarea connected with new Christian centres. It is, therefore, easy to understand why his style should savour of the Christian language used in these later books, when we recall that their object has so much in common with the matter treated in the Epistle to the Ephesians. Whatever may now and then have been said on the subject, the same phenomenon is noticeable in the Epistle to the Colossians. If, indeed, the Epistle to the Ephesians agrees with the Acts in more instances than does the Epistle to the Colossians, it is because the two former have one identical object, namely, the constitution of the Church by the calling of the Jews and Gentiles.

The relationship between the Epistle to the Ephesians and 1 Peter is much closer. The letter to the Ephesians, unlike most of the Pauline Epistles, does not begin with an act of thanksgiving but with a hymn similar, even in its wording, to that which opens 1 Peter. Besides, both letters agree in certain typical expressions and in the description of the duties of the domestic life, which terminates in both with the same exhortation to combat the devil. With the majority of critics, we maintain the relationship between these letters to be literary. But 1 Peter was written last and consequently depends on the Epistle to the Ephesians; for instance, it alludes already to the persecution, at least as impending. Sylvanus, the Apostle's faithful companion, was St. Peter's secretary (1 Peter 5:12), and it is but natural that he should make use of a letter, recently written by St. Paul, on questions analogous to those which he himself had to treat, especially as according to us, those addressed in both of these Epistles are, for the greater part, identical (cf. 1 Peter 1:1).

The attacks made upon the authenticity of the Epistle to the Ephesians have been based mainly on its similarity to the Epistle to the Colossians, although some have maintained that the latter depends upon the former (Mayerhoff). In the opinion of Hitzig and Holtzmann, a forger living early in the second century and already imbued with Gnosticism used an authentic letter, written by Paul to the Colossians against the Judeo-Christians of the Apostolic Age, in composing the Epistle to the Ephesians, in conformity to which he himself subsequently revised the letter to the Colossians, giving it the form it has in the canon. De Wette and Ewald looked upon the Epistle to the Ephesians as a verbose amplification of the uncontroversial parts of the letter to the Colossians. However, it is only necessary to read first one of these documents and then the other, in order to see how exaggerated is this view. Von Soden finds a great difference between the two letters but nevertheless holds that several sections of the Epistle to the Ephesians are but a servile paraphrase of passages from the letter to the Colossians (Eph. 3:1-9 and Col. 1:23-27; Eph. 5:21-6:9 and Col. 3:18-4:1) and that still more frequently the later author follows a purely mechanical process by taking a single verse from the letter to the Colossians and using it to introduce and conclude, and serve as a frame, so to speak, for a statement of his own. Thus, he maintains that in Eph. 4:25-31, the first words of verse 8 of Col. 3, have served as an introduction (Eph. 4:25) and the last words of the same verse as a conclusion (Eph. 4:31). Evidently such methods could not be attributed to the Apostle himself. But, neither are we justified in ascribing them to the author of the Epistle to the Ephesians. For instance, the duties of husband and wife are well set forth in Col. 3:18-19, but in these verses there is no comparison whatever between Christian marriage and that union of Christ with His Church such as characterizes the same exhortation in Eph. 5:22 sq.; consequently, it would be very arbitrary to maintain the latter text to be a vulgar paraphrase of the former. In comparing the texts quoted, the phenomenon of framing, to which von Soden called attention, can be verified in a single passage (Eph. 4:2-16, where verse 2 resembles Col. 3:12 sq and where verses 15, 16, are like Col. 11:19). In fact, throughout his entire exposition, the author of the Epistle to the Ephesians is constantly repeating ideas and even particular expressions that occur in the letter to the Colossians, and yet neither a servile imitation nor any one of the well-known offences to which plagiarists are liable, can be proved against him.

Moreover, it is chiefly in their hortatory part that these two letters are so remarkably alike and this is only natural if, at intervals of a few days or hours, the same author had to remind two distinct circles of readers of the same common duties of the Christian life. In the dogmatic part of these two Epistles there is a change of subject, treated with a different intention and in another tone. In the one instance we have a hymn running through three chapters and celebrating the call of both Jews and Gentiles and the union of all in the Church of Christ; and in the other, an exposition of Christ's dignity and of the adequacy of the means He vouchsafes us for the obtaining of our salvation, as also thanksgiving and especially prayers for those readers who are liable to misunderstand this doctrine. However, these two objects, Christ and the Church, are closely akin. Besides, if in his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul reproduces the ideas set forth in that to the Colossians, it is certainly less astonishing than to find a like phenomenon in the Epistles to the Galatians and to the Romans, as it is very natural that the characteristic expressions used by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Colossians should appear in the letter to the Ephesians, since both were written at the same time. In fact it has been remarked that he is prone to repeat typical expressions he has one coined (cf. Zahn, Einleitung, 1, p. 363 sq.). Briefly, we conclude with Sabatier that: "These two letters come to us from one and the same author who, when writing the one, had the other in mind and, when composing the second, had not forgotten the first." The vague allusions made in the Epistle to the Ephesians to some of the doctrinal questions treated in the Epistle to the Colossians, can be accounted for in this manner, even though these questions were never proposed by those to whom the former Epistle was addressed.


Difficulties arising from the form and doctrines

The denial of the Pauline authenticity of the Epistle to the Ephesians is based on the special characteristics of the Epistle from the viewpoint of style as well as of doctrine, and, while differing from those of the great Pauline Epistles, these characteristics although more marked, resemble those of the letter to the Colossians. But we have already dwelt upon them at sufficient length.

The circumstances under which the Apostle must have written the Epistle to the Ephesians seem to account for the development of the doctrine and the remarkable change of style. During his two years' captivity in Caesarea, Paul could not exercise his Apostolic functions, and in Rome, although allowed more liberty, he could not preach the Gospel outside of the house in which he was held prisoner. Hence he must have made up for his want of external activity by a more profound meditation on "his Gospel." The theology of justification, of the Law, and of the conditions essential to salvation, he had already brought to perfection, having systematized it in the Epistle to the Romans and, although keeping it in view, he did not require to develop it any further. In his Epistle to the Romans (8-11, 16, 25-27) he had come to the investigation of the eternal counsels of Providence concerning the salvation of men and had expounded, as it were, a philosophy of the religious history of mankind of which Christ was the centre, as indeed He had always been the central object of St. Paul's faith. Thus, it was on Christ Himself that the solitary meditations of the Apostle were concentrated; in the quiet of his prison he was to develop, by dint of personal intellectual labour and with the aid of new revelations, this first revelation received when "it pleased God to reveal His Son in him." He was, moreover, urged by the news brought him from time to time by some of his disciples, as, for instance, by Epaphras, that, in certain churches, errors were being propagated which tended to lessen the role and the dignity of Christ, by setting up against Him other intermediaries in the work of salvation. On the other hand, separated from the faithful and having no longer to travel constantly from one church to another, the Apostle was able to embrace in one sweeping glance all the Christians scattered throughout the world. While he resided in the centre of the immense Roman Empire which, in its unity, comprised the world, it was the one universal Church of Christ, the fulfilment of the mysterious decrees revealed to him, the Church in which it had been his privilege to bring together Jews and pagans, that presented itself to him for contemplation.

These subjects of habitual meditation are naturally introduced in the letters that he had to write at that time. To the Colossians he speaks of Christ's dignity; to the Ephesians, and we have seen why, of the unity of the Church. But in these Epistles, Paul addresses those who are unknown to him; he no longer needs, as in preceding letters, to combat theories which undermined the very foundation of the work and to refute enemies who, in their hatred, attacked him personally. Accordingly, there is no further occasion to use the serried argumentation with which he not only overthrew the arguments of his adversaries but turned them to the latters' confusion. There is more question of setting forth the sublime considerations with which he is filled than of discussions. Then, ideas so crowd upon him that his pen is overtaxed; his sentences teem with synonyms and qualifying epithets and keep taking on new propositions, thus losing the sharpness and vigour of controversy and assuming the ample proportions of a hymn of adoration. Hence we can understand why, in these letters, Paul's style grows dull and sluggish and why the literary composition differs so widely from that of the first Epistles. When writing to the Colossians he at least had one particular church to deal with and certain errors to refute, whereas, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, he addressed himself at one and the same time to a group of unknown churches of which he had received but vague information. There was nothing concrete in this and the Apostle was left entirely to himself and to his own meditations. This is the reason why the special characteristics already indicated in the Epistle to the Colossians appear even more pronounced in that to the Ephesians, particularly in the dogmatic part.



If we thus keep in mind the circumstances under which Paul wrote both of these letters, their peculiar character seems no obstacle to their Pauline authenticity. Therefore, the testimony which, in their inscriptions (Col. 1:1; Eph. 1:1), they themselves render to this authenticity and the very ancient tradition which unanimously attributes them to the Apostle preserve all their force. From the traditional viewpoint the Epistle to the Ephesians is in the same class as the best attested letters of St. Paul. Used in the First Epistle of St. Peter, in the Epistle of St. Polycarp, in the works of St. Justin, perhaps in the Didache and 1 Clement, it appears to have been already well known towards the end of the first century. Marcion and St. Irenaeus ascribe it to St. Paul and it seems that St. Ignatius, when writing to the Ephesians, had already made use of it as Pauline. It is also to be noted that if the authenticity of this Epistle has been denied by most of the liberal critics since Schleiermacher's day, it is nevertheless conceded by many modern critics, Protestants among them, and held at least as probable by Harnack and Julicher. In fact the day seems to be approaching when the whole world will recognize as the work of St. Paul, this Epistle to the Ephesians, of which St. John Chrysostom admired the sublime sentences and doctrines: noematon meste . . . . . . . hypselon kai dogmaton.


Epistle to Philippians — missing


Epistle to the Colossians.

One of the four Captivity Epistles written by St. Paul during his first imprisonment in Rome — the other three being Ephesians, Philemon and Philippians. That they were written in prison is stated in the Epistles themselves. The writer mentions his "chain" and his "bonds" (Eph. 6:20, Coloss. 4:3; 18; Philip. 1:7, 13, 17); he names his fellow prisoners (Coloss. 4:10; Philem. 23) he calls himself a prisoner (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; Philem. 9): "Paul an old man, and now a prisoner." It was supposed by some that these letters were written during the two years' captivity at Cæsarea; but it is now generally acknowledged (by all who admit their authenticity) that they were written during the years immediately following in Rome, during the time that "Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him . . . And he remained two whole years in his own hired lodging; and he received all that came in to him" (Acts 28:16-30). As St. Paul had appealed to the emperor, he was handed over, to await his trial, to the prefect of the Prætorian Guard, who was at that time probably the famous Burrhus, the friend of Seneca. He allowed the Apostle to live near the imperial palace in what was known as custodia militaris, his right wrist being connected day and night, by means of a chain, to the left arm of a soldier, who was relieved at regular intervals (Conybeare, Howson, Lewin). It was in such circumstances that these Epistles were written, some time between A.D. 61 and 63. It cannot be objected that there is no mention in them of the earthquake spoken of by Tacitus and Eusebius as having destroyed Laodicea; for there is no evidence that its effects reached Colossæ, and Eusebius fixes the date later than these letters. Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon were written and dispatched at one and the same time, while Philippians was composed at a somewhat different period of the captivity. The first three are an very closely connected. Tychicus is the messenger in Eph. 6:21 and Coloss. 4:7, 8, 9. In the latter he is accompanied by Onesimus, in whose favour the Epistle to Philemon was written. In both Colossians and Philemon greetings are sent from Aristarchus, Mark, Epaphras, Luke, and Demas and there is the closest literary affinity between Ephesians and Colossians.

Readers addressed.

Three cities are mentioned in Colossians, Colossæ (1:2), Laodicea, and Hierapolis (4:13.) These were situated about 120 miles east from Ephesus in Phrygia, in Western Asia Minor, Colossæ and Laodicea being on the banks of the Lycus, a tributary of the Mæander. All three were within two or three hours' walk from one another. Sir William Ramsay has shown that these towns lay altogether outside the routes followed by St. Paul in his missionary journeys; and it is inferred from Coloss. 1:4-8 and 2:1, that they were never visited by the Apostle himself. The great majority of the Colossian Christians appear to have been Gentile converts of Greek and Phrygian extraction (1:26-27; 2:13), though it is probable that there was a small proportion of Jews living amongst them, as it is known that there were many scattered over the surrounding districts (Josephus, Ant. 12, 3:4, and Lightfoot).

Why written.

Colossians was written as a warning against certain false teachers, about whom St. Paul had probably heard from Epaphras, his "fellow-prisoner" and the founder of the Church of the Colossians. The most diverse opinions have been held regarding these seducers. They were called philosophers by Tertullian, Epicureans by St. Clement of Alexandria, Jews by Eichhorn, heathen followers of Pythagoras by Grotius. They have also been called Chaldean magicians, Judaizing Christians, Essenes, Ebionites, Cabbalists, Gnostics, or varying combinations of all these. The main outlines of their errors are, however, stated with sufficient clearness in the Epistle, which contains a two fold refutation of them: first, by a direct statement of the true doctrine on Christ, by which the very foundations of their erroneous teaching are shown to be baseless; and secondly, by a direct polemic in which is laid bare the hollowness of what they put forth under the specious name of "philosophy." Here, philosophy in general is not condemned, but only the philosophy of those false teachers (Hort, Jud. Chr. 118). This was not "according to Christ," but according to the "tradition of men," and was in keeping only with the very alphabet of worldly speculation (kata ta stoicheia tou kosmou — see Gal. 4:3). Josephus and Philo apply the word "philosophy" to Jewish teaching, and there can be no doubt that it was applied so in Coloss. 2; some of its details are given in 16-23: (1) The false teachers wished to introduce the observance of Sabbaths, new moons, and other such days. (2) They forbade the eating and drinking and even the very tasting and touching of certain things. (3) Under the false pretence of humility they inculcated the worship (threskeia) of angels, whom they regarded as equal or superior to Christ. The best modern commentators, Christian and non-Christian agree with St. Jerome that all these errors were of Jewish origin. The Essenes held the most exaggerated ideas on Sabbath observance and external purism, and they appear to have employed the names of the angels for magical purposes (Bel. Jud. 2, 7:2-13, Lightfoot, Col. and Dissertations). Many scholars are of opinion that the "elements of this world" (stoicheia tou kosmou) mean elemental spirits; as, at that time, many Jews held that all material things had special angels. In the Book of Henoch and the Book of Jubilees we read of angels of the stars, seasons months, days of the year, heat, cold, frost, hail, winds, clouds etc. Abbott (Eph. and Coloss. p. 248) says that "the term properly used of the elements ruled by these spirits might readily be applied to the spirits themselves, especially as there was no other convenient term." At any rate angels play an important part in most of early apocryphal books of the Jews, e.g. in the two books just mentioned, the Book of the Secrets of Henoch, the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, etc.

It may be noted in passing, that the words of the Epistle against the superstitious worship of angels cannot be taken as condemning the Christian invocation of angels. Dr. T.K. Abbott, a candid non-Christian scholar, has a very pertinent passage which bears on this point (Eph. and Coloss. p. 268): "Zonaras . . . says there was an ancient heresy of some who said that we should not call on Christ for help or access to God, but on the angels. . . . This latter view, however, would place Christ high above the angels, and therefore cannot have been that of Colossians, who required to be taught the superiority of Christ." The objection sometimes brought from a passage of Theodoret on the Council of Laodicea, is clearly and completely refuted by Estius (Comm. in Coloss. 2, 18). Another difficulty may be mentioned in connection with this portion of the Epistle. The statement that the vain philosophy was in accordance with "the tradition of men" is not any disparagement of Apostolic traditions, of which St. Paul himself speaks as follows: "Therefore brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our Epistle" (2 Thess. 2:14). "Now I praise you, brethren that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2. — See also 2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Cor. 7:17; 11:23; 14:33; 2 Cor. 1:18; Cal. 1:8; Coloss. 2:6, 7; 2 Tim. 1:13, 14; 2:2; 3:14; 2 John 1:12; 3 John, 13). Finally, the very last verse, dealing with the errors (2:23) is considered one of the most difficult passages in the whole of the Scriptures. "Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in superstition and humility, and not sparing the body; not in any honour to the filling of the flesh." The last words of this verse have given rise to a multitude of the most conflicting interpretations. They have been taken as a condemnation of bodily mortification, and as an exhortation to it. Modern commentators devote much space to an enumeration of the many opinions and to an exhaustive study of these words without any satisfactory result. There can be little doubt that the opinion of Hort, Haupt, and Peake (Exp. Greek Test. 535) is the right one, viz. that the correct reading of this verse became irrevocably lost, in transcription, in very early times.


The Epistle consists of two parts the first two chapters being dogmatico-polemical and the last two practical or moral. In the first part the writer shows the absurdity of the errors by a direct statement of the supereminent dignity of Christ, by Whose blood we have the redemption of sins. He is the perfect image of the invisible God, begotten before all creatures. By Him and for Him were created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, spiritual as well as material, and by Him are all things upheld. He is the Head of the Church and He has reconciled all things through the blood of His cross, and the Colossians "also he hath reconciled . . . through death." St. Paul, as the Apostle of the Gentiles and a prisoner for their sakes, exhorts them to hold fast to Christ in Whom the plenitude of the Godhead dwells, and not to allow themselves under the plausible name of philosophy, to be re-enslaved by Jewish traditions based on the Law of Moses, which was but the shadow of which Christ was the reality and which was abrogated by His coming. They are not to listen to vain and rudimentary speculations of the false teachers, nor are they to suffer themselves to be deluded by a specious plea of humility to put angels or demons on a level with Christ, the creator of all, the master of angels, and conqueror of demons.


Second part.

In this portion of the Epistle St. Paul draws some practical lessons from the foregoing teaching. He appeals to them that as they are risen with Christ they should mind the things that are above; put off the old man and put on the new. In Christ there is to be neither Gentile nor Jew, barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. The duties of wives and husbands, children and servants are next given. He recommends constant prayer and thanksgiving, and tells them to walk with wisdom towards them that are without, letting their speech be always in grace seasoned with salt, that they may know how to answer every man. After the final greeting the Apostle ends with: "The salutation of Paul with my own hand. Be mindful of my bands. Grace be with you. Amen."

Authenticity of the epistle.

The external evidence for the Epistle is so strong that even Davidson has gone to the extent of saying that "it was unanimously attested in ancient times." Considering its brevity, controversial character, and the local and ephemeral nature of the errors dealt with, it is surprising how frequently it was used by early writers. There are traces of it in some of the Apostolic Fathers and it was known to the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas, to St. Polycarp, and Theophilus of Antioch. It was quoted by Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, etc. From the Muratorian Fragment and early versions it is evident that it was contained in the very first collections of St. Paul's Epistles. It was used as Scripture early in the second century, by Marcion, the Valentinians, and by other heretics mentioned in the "Philosophoumena"; and they would not have accepted it had it originated among their opponents after they broke away from the Church.

The Epistle claims to have been written by St. Paul, and the internal evidence shows close connection with Philippians (von Soden) and Philemon, which are admitted to be genuine letters of St. Paul. Renan concedes that it presents several traits which are opposed to the hypothesis of its being a forgery, and of this number is its connection with the Epistle to Philemon. It has to be noted, too, that the moral portion of the Epistle, consisting of the last two chapters has the closest affinity with similar portions of other Epistles, while the whole admirably fits in with the known details of St. Paul's life, and throws considerable light upon them.


As the historical evidence is much stronger than that for the majority of classical writings, it may be asked why its genuineness was ever called in question. It was never doubted until 1838, when Meyerhoff, followed by others, began to raise objections against it. It will be convenient to deal with these objections under the following four heads: (1) Style; (2) Christology; (3) Errors dealt with; and (4) Similarity to Ephesians.



(a) In general, on comparing the Epistle with Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, it will be seen that the style, especially in the earlier part, is heavy and complicated. It contains no sudden questions, no crushing dilemmas, no vehement outbursts of sweeping Pauline eloquence. Some of the sentences are long and involved, and though the whole is set forth in a lofty and noble strain, the presentment is uniform and not quite in the manner, say, of Galatians. Hence it is objected that it could not have been written by St. Paul. But all this can be very naturally explained when it is borne in mind that the Epistle was written after several years of monotonous confinement, when Christianity had taken firm root, when the old type of Judaizer had become extinct and St. Paul's position securely established. His advancing years also should be taken into account. It is unfair, moreover, to compare this Epistle, or but parts of it, with only certain portions of one or two of the earlier ones. There are long and involved sentences scattered throughout Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians, and the generally admitted Epistle to the Philippians. It has also to be observed that many of the old Pauline expressions and methods of reasoning are most naturally and inextricably interwoven with the very tissue and substance of the Epistle. Ample proofs for all these statements and others throughout this article, are given in works mentioned in the bibliography. Dr. Sanday has voiced the opinion of fair-minded critics when he says that nobody can view the Epistle as a whole, without being impressed by its unbreakable unify and genuine Pauline character.

(b) Many of St. Paul's favourite expressions are wanting. From eight to a dozen words not unfrequently used by him in earlier writings are absent from this short Epistle and about a dozen connecting particles, which he employs elsewhere, are also missing. One or two instances will show how such objections may readily be solved, with the aid of a concordance. The words dikaios, soteria and soteria are not found in the Epistle. Therefore, etc. — But dikaios is wanting both in 1 Cor. and 1 Thess.; nomos is not contained either in 1 Cor. or Gal.; nomos is not found at all in 1 Thess. or 2 Cor. In the same way (with regard to connecting particles) ara, which is not in this Epistle, is not found either in Philipp or the first hundred verses of 1 Cor., a space much longer than the whole of the Epistle; ara oun, which is frequent in Romans, is not met with in 1 and 2 Cor. and only once in Gal.

(c) It is objected that the Epistle contains many strange words, nowhere else used by St. Paul. That, however, is precisely what we should expect in an Epistle of St. Paul. Every Epistle written by him contains many words employed by him nowhere else. Alford gives a list of thirty-two apax legomena in this Epistle, and of these eighteen occur in the second chapter, where the errors are dealt with. The same thing occurs in the earlier Epistles, where the Apostle is speaking of new subjects or peculiar errors, and there apax legomena most abound. This Epistle does not show more than the ordinary proportion of new words and in this respect compares favourably with the genuine 2 Cor. Furthermore, the compound words found in the Epistle have their analogues in similar passages of the authentic Epistle to the Romans. It would be most absurd to bind down to a narrow and set vocabulary a writer of such intellectual vigour and literary versatility as St. Paul. The vocabulary of all writers changes with time, place, and subject-matter. Salmon, Mahaffy, and others have pointed out that similar changes of vocabulary occur in the writings of Xenophon, who was a traveller like St. Paul. Compare the earlier and later letters of Lord Acton (edited by Abbot Gasquet) or of Cardinal Newman.



It has objected that the exalted idea of Christ presented in the Epistle could not have been written by St. Paul. In answer to this it will be sufficient to quote the following passage from the genuine Epistle to the Philippians: "Who [Christ Jesus] being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant" (2:6-7, etc. See Romans 1:3, 4; Gr. Text 8:3; 1 Cor. 7:6; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 4:6, etc.). That the Christology of the Epistle does not differ in any essential point from that of St. Paul's other Epistles is seen from an impartial study of these latter. The subject has been scientifically worked out by Père Rose (Rev. bibl. 1903), M. Lépin (Jésus Messie, 341), Sanday (Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, lect. vii, Oxford, 1905), Knowling (The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ, London, 1905), Lacey (The Historic Christ, London 1905), etc. Nor can the words (1:24): I . . . "fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the church," present any difficulty when it is remembered that he had just said that Christ had reconciled all through the blood of His cross, and that the correct meaning of antanaplero ta hysteremata ton thlipseon tou Christou en te sarki mou hyper tou somatos autou, ho estin he ekklesia is: "I am filling up those Christian sufferings that remain for me to endure for the sake of the Church of Christ," etc. Compare 2 Cor. 1:5, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us" (ta pathemata tou Christou).


Errors dealt with.

The objection under this heading need not detain us long. Some years ago it was frequently asserted that the errors combated in this Epistle were Gnostic errors of the second century, and that the Epistle was therefore written many years after St. Paul's death. But this opinion is now considered, even by the most advanced critics, as exploded and antiquated. Nobody can read the writings of these Gnostics without becoming convinced that terms employed by them were used in a quite different sense from that attached to them in the Epistle. Baur himself appears to have had considerable misgivings on the point. The errors of Judaic Gnosticism, condemned in the Epistle, were quite embryonic when compared with the full-blown Greek Gnosticism of the second century.


Similarity to ephesians.

The principal objection to the Epistle is its great similarity to Ephesians. Davidson stated that out of 155 verses in the latter Epistle 78 were identical with Colossians. De Wette held that Ephesians was but a verbose amplification of Colossians. Baur thought Ephesians the superior letter, and Renan asked how can we suppose the Apostle spending his time in making a bald transcription of himself. But as Dr. Salmon pointed out, an Apostle might write a circular letter, that is, he might send to different places letters couched in identical words. Many theories have been elaborated to explain these undoubted resemblances. Ewald maintained that the substance was St. Paul's, while the composition was left to Timothy. Weiss and Hitzig had recourse to a theory of interpolations. But the theory that has gained the greatest amount of notoriety is that of H.J. Holtzmann. In his "Kritik der Epheser und Kolosser-Briefe" (1872) he instituted a most elaborate and exhaustive comparison between the two Epistles. He took a number of passages which seemed to prove the priority of Ephesians and an equal number which were just as conclusive that Colossians was the earlier. The natural conclusion would be that all these similarities were due to the same author writing and dispatching these Epistles at one and the same time. But Holtzmann's explanation was quite different. He supposed that St. Paul wrote a short epistle to the Colossians. From the study of this epistle a later writer composed the Epistle to the Ephesians. Then taking St. Paul's short Epistle to the Colossians he made interpolations and additions to it from his own composition to the Ephesians and thus built up our present Epistle to the Ephesians, and that with such success that the thing was never suspected until the nineteenth century. This intricate and complicated theory did not gain a single adherent, even amongst the most advanced critical school. Hilgenfeld rejected it in 1873; but its best refutation is von Soden's detailed criticism of 1885. He held that only about eight verses could be regarded as interpolations. Sanday in Smith's "Dict. of the Bible" (I, 625) pointed out that von Soden's lines of demarcation were purely imaginary, and Pfleiderer showed the inconsistency involved in his rejection of these verses. The results of these criticisms and of further study convinced von Soden, in 1891, that the whole Epistle was genuine, with the exception of a single verse — a verse now generally held to be genuine. In 1894 Jülicher stated that the best solution was to admit the authenticity of both Epistles, though he speaks more hesitatingly in "Encyc. Bibl." 1889. J. Weiss made an abortive attempt to resuscitate Holtzmann's moribund theory in 1900.

Whilst Holtzmann's facts are incontestable, and only go to prove the community of authorship, his explanation (in which he seems to have lost faith) is rejected by scholars as artificial and unreal. It affords no explanation of many things connected with these Epistles. It does not explain how the early Christians allowed a genuine letter of St. Paul to become completely lost without trace or mention, for the sake of two forgeries of much later date. Each Epistle, taken by itself, shows such unity and connection of argument and language, that if the other were not in existence no one would have suspected the slightest degree of interpolation. The parts rejected as interpolations break the unity of argument and flow of ideas. Why should a forger, capable of writing the bulk of both Epistles, take the trouble to interpolate verses and half of his own production from one Epistle into the other, and that in quite a different connection? Besides, as Principal Salmond observes, there is not a dull sameness of style in both Epistles. Ephesians is round, full, rhythmical; Colossians more pointed, logical and concise. Ephesians has several references to the Old Testament; Colossians only one. There are different new words in each, and there are whole passages in the one and nothing like them found in the other.

The expressions supposed to have come from Colossians occur quite naturally in Ephesians, but by no means in the same context and connection, and vice versa. As Holtzmann's hypothesis has completely broken down, his study of the Epistles shows such close relationship between them that there can be only one other possible explanation: that both are the genuine writings of one man, and that man was St. Paul. Paley, who wrote his "Horæ Paulinæ" in 1790, set forth this side of the argument long before these objections were thought of; and the fact that he can still be quoted, without qualification, in this connection, is the best proof of the futility of all such objections. He says (Horæ Paulinæ, London, 1790, 215):

Whoever writes two letters or discourses nearly upon the same subject and at no great distance of time but without any express recollection of what he had written before will find himself repeating some sentences in the very order of the words in which he had already used them; but he will more frequently find himself employing some principal terms, with the order inadvertently changed, or with the order disturbed by the intermixture of other words and phrases expressive of ideas rising up at the time, or in many instances repeating not single words, nor yet whole sentences, but parts and fragments of sentences. Of all these varieties the examination of our two epistles will furnish plain examples, and I should rely on this class of instances more than on the last, because although an impostor might transcribe into a forgery entire sentences and phrases, yet the dislocation of words, the partial recollection of phrases and sentences, the intermixture of new terms and new ideas with terms and ideas before used, which will appear in the examples that follow, and which are the natural products of writing produced under the circumstances in which these epistles are represented to have been composed — would not, I think, have occurred to the invention of a forger, nor, if they had occurred would they have been so easily executed. This studied variation was a refinement in forgery which I believe did not exist, or if we can suppose it to have been practised in the instances adduced below, why, it may be asked, was not the same art exercised upon those which we have collected in the preceding class?

He then goes on to illustrate all these points by numerous examples taken from all parts of these Epistles.


Epistles to the Thessalonians.

Two of the canonical Epistles of St. Paul. This article will treat the Church of Thessalonica, the authenticity, canonicity, time and place of writing, occasion, and contents of the two Epistles to that Church.

The church of Thessalonica.

After Paul and Silas had, during the Apostle's second missionary journey, left Philippi, they proceeded to Thessalonica (Thessalonike, the modern Saloniki), perhaps because there was in the city a synagogue of the Jews (Acts 17:2). Thessalonica was the capital of the Roman Province of Macedonia; it was a free city, ruled by a popular assembly (cf. Acts 17:5, eis ton demon) and magistrates (cf. verse 6, epi tous politarchas). St. Paul at once began to preach the Gospel to the Jews and proselytes. For three successive sabbaths he explained the Scriptures in the synagogue, opening up the way and gradually leading his hearers to the tremendous truth that there was need the Christ should die and rise again from the dead, and that Jesus whom Paul preached was in very truth this Christ. Some of the Jews believed and took sides with Paul and Silas.

It would seem that Paul stayed in the city some time thereafter, for, according to the reading of Codex Bezæ (fifth century), and the Vulgate and Coptic Versions (Acts 17:4), he converted a large number not only of proselytes (ton te sebomenon) but of Gentile Greeks (kai Hellenon). In the first place, it is unlikely that a large number of these latter were won over to the Faith during the three weeks devoted to the synagogues; for Paul did manual labour night and day, so as not to be burdensome to his converts (1 Thess. 2:9). Secondly, these converts from idolatry (1 Thess. 1:9) would scarcely have become, after so brief an apostolate, a "pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia" (1 Thess. 1:7). Thirdly, the Church of Philippi sent alms twice to Paul at Thessalonica (Phil. 4:16), a fact which seems to indicate that his sojourn there was longer than three weeks.

Be this as it may, the signal success of Paul's apostolate among Jews, proselytes, and Hellenes together with the conversion of "not a few noble ladies" (Acts 17:4), aroused the Jews to a fury of envy; they gathered together a mob of idlers from the agora and set the whole city in tumult; they beset the home of Jason, found the Apostle away, dragged his host to the tribunal of the politarchs and charged him with harbouring traitors, men who set Jesus up as king in place of Cæsar. That night the brethren made good the escape of their teacher to Berea. There the Gospel of Paul met with a much more enthusiastic reception than that accorded to it by the synagogue of Thessalonica. The Jews of that city drove Paul to Berea and there, too, stirred up the mob against him. He left Silas and Timothy to complete his work and went to Athens (Acts 17:1-15).

First epistle.


(1) External Evidence

(a) II Thessalonians. The strongest external evidence in favour of the authenticity of 1 Thessalonians is 2 Thessalonians which, whatsoever be its date of composition, is the very earliest document that clearly presupposes 1 Thessalonians to have been written by Paul.

(b) Manuscripts. The evidence of manuscripts alone is such as to set the authenticity of this letter beyond all doubt; it is in the Greek text of the Codex Sinaiticus (fourth century), Cod. Vaticanus (fourth century), and Cod. Alexandrinus (fifth century); it is in the Old Latin and Syriac Versions, which trace its authenticity down to the middle of the second century.

(c) The Apostolic Fathers give evidence of very early use of the Epistle as Sacred Scripture. St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. A.D. 110-17, according to the chronology of Harnack which we shall follow in this article), in "Eph." 10:1, probably uses the adialeiptos proseuchesthai, "pray without ceasing," of 1 Thess. 5:17; and undoubtedly had in mind 1 Thess. 2:4, when writing to the Romans (2:1) the distinctly Pauline thought of ou thelo hymas anthropareskein alla theo, "I will that ye please not man but God." Because St. Ignatius, as the other Apostolic Fathers, cites from memory, without the exactness of later Fathers and without ever mentioning the name of the sacred writer quoted, Dr. Inge, the Lady Margaret professor of divinity in the University of Cambridge, says: "The evidence that Ignatius knew 1 Thessalonians is almost nil" (cf. "The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers," Oxford, 1905, p. 74). Against such scepticism, the clear use of St. Paul by the Apostolic Fathers is of no avail. Harnack, who cannot be accused of overmuch credulity, thinks that St. Ignatius of Antioch possessed a collection of the Pauline Epistles; and that by the year 117, St. Polycarp of Smyrna had a complete collection (eine ganze Sammlung) thereof before him and veritably lived therein (cf. Chronologie der altchristlichen Litteratur 1:249, note 2). In the "Pastor" of Hermas (A.D. 140), we find the phrase of I Thess. 5:13, "Be at peace among yourselves" (eireneuete en heautois) several times, used almost as it occurs in the Alexandrian and Vatican Codices (cf. Hermas, "Simil." 8, 7:2; "Vis." 3, 6:3; 3:9, 2:10; 3, 12:3).

The Apologetic Fathers are clear and to the point. St Irenæus (A.D. 181-9) cites 1 Thess. 5:23, expressly attributing the words to the Apostle's First Epistle to the Thessalonians ("Contra haereses," V, 6:1 in P.G. VIII, 1138), and 1 Thess. 5:3, as the saying of the Apostle (ibid. V, 30:2 in P.G. VII, 1205). Tertullian quotes at length passages from each of the five chapters of 1 Thess. to prove his thesis of the resurrection of the body ("Liber de resurrectione carnis," 24, in P. L. 2, 874) and uses the Epistle against Marcion ("Adv. Marcionem," 5, 15 in P. L. 2, 541). St Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 190-210) very often cites this brief letter — cf. "Pædagogus," 1, 5:19 (Stählin's ed. 1, 101) and "Stromata," 1, 1:6 (Stählin's ed. 2, 5) for 1 Thess. 2:5-7; "Stromata," 2, 11:4, 4:12 (Stählin's ed. 2, 138 and 286), for an allusion to 1 Thess. 4:3, and an accurate citation of six verses (3-8) of the same chapter; "Pædagogus," 2:9, 3:12, 4:22 (Stählin's ed. I, 206 and 288, and P.G. 8, 1352) for the appeal to almost every verse of 1 Thess. 5, i. e. verses 5, 8, 13, 15, 19, 22; "Stromata," 1, 11 (Stählin's ed. 2, 34) for a quotation from the same chapter. So strong is the external evidence in favour of the authenticity of 1 Thess. as to convince all scholars save only those who, on account of internal evidence, deny to Paul the authenticity of all his Epistles.

(2) Internal Evidence

In 1 Thessalonians all the main Pauline doctrines are taught — the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1:10; 4:14; 5:10); His Divinity and Sonship of the living God (1:9-10); the resurrection of our bodies (4:15-18), the mediatorship of Christ (5:10); the call of the nations to the Kingdom of Christ, which is the Church (2:12), sanctification by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (4:8). The plain and direct style, the writer's affectionate concern for his spiritual children, his impatience of Judaizers, the preponderance of personal over doctrinal statements, the frank and honest self-revelation of the writer — all these distinctly Pauline characteristics argue strongly for the authenticity of this letter.

Baur, the prime mover of neo-Tübingen ideas, was the first to wave aside recklessly all external evidence and seriously to attack the authenticity of 1 Thess. from internal evidence (cf. "Der Apostel Paulus," ed. 2, 2, 94). He was followed by Nowack, "Der Ursprung des Christentums" (Leipzig, 1857), 2, 313; Volkmar, "Mose, Prophezie und Himmelfahrt" (Leipzig, 1867), 114; and Van der Vries, "De beiden brieven aan de Thessalonicensen" (Leyden, 1865). The reasons which impel Baur and his followers are trivial.

The lack of doctrine makes the letter unworthy of Paul. We have noted that the main heads of Paul's teaching are included in this short letter. Moreover, the letter is a most touching revelation of the great heart of St. Paul and as such alone is befitting the outspoken Apostle.

The Epistle is a clumsy forgery. The author has worked up his story from Acts. Paul could not have written 2:14-16. It is far-fetched to compare the woes inflicted by the Jews upon the Church of Thessalonica with the ills they wrought upon the Church of Judea. It is un-Pauline to set Jewish Christians up as an example to Gentile converts (Baur, op. cit. 482). These purely subjective objections are worthless. The Apostle was too broadminded to be tied down to the narrow ideas of Baur. True, in his later letters — to the Romans end Corinthians and Galatians, for instance — we might not look for the juxtaposition of Jewish with Gentile Christians; but the Judaizers were not so troublesome to Paul when he wrote to the Thessalonians as when he wrote to the Romans.

The expression ephthase de ep autous he orge eis telos, "the wrath hath come upon them unto the end" (2:16), naturally refers to the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) as an accomplished punishment of the Jews for killing the Lord Jesus. This is an unwarranted assumption. The phrase eis telos is indefinite; it has no definite article nor any defining qualificative; it modifies ephthase and refers to no definite end either accomplished or to be accomplished. St. Paul indefinitely but surely sees the oncoming end, reads the easily legible writing on the wall, and interprets that writing: "The wrath [of God] hath come upon them even unto making an end of them." (4) Baur (op. cit. 485) finds the eschatology of the Epistle un-Pauline. In the Epistles to the Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, for instance, there is no diving into the future, nothing said of the Parousia, or second coming of Jesus. But the reason is clear — those to whom Paul wrote his great and later Epistles had not the eschatological difficulties of the Thessalonians to meet. He adapted his letters to the wants of those to whom he wrote. The very fact that the apprehension of an immediate Parousia us not mentioned in the later letters would have prevented a forger from palming off as Pauline such an unusual topic.


The two Epistles to the Thessalonians are included among the canonical books accepted by the church. These two Epistles are listed in the Muratorian Fragment (A.D. 195-205), in the canons of St. Athanasius of Alexandria (A.D. 373), of the Third Council of Carthage (A.D. 397), in which Saint Augustine took part, of St. Epiphanius (A.D. 403), of Innocent 1 (A.D. 405), and of Gelasius (A.D. 492). In fact there can be no reason whatsoever to doubt the canonicity of either letter.

Time and place.

The textus receptus, at the end of the two Epistles, gives a subscription stating that they were written from Athens (egraphe apo Athenon); and this same subscription is contained in the great uncial codices A, B2, K2, L2 ─ that is, Alexandrinus (fourth century), Vaticanus (fifth century corrector), Mosquensis, and Angelicus (both of the ninth century); it is likewise translated in important Latin, Syriac and Coptic manuscripts. None the less, there can be no doubt but that the letters were written during Paul's first stay in Corinth. Timothy had been sent to Thessalonica by Paul from Athens (1 Thess. 3:2). Hence some Fathers inferred that, on this mission, Timothy brought along 1 Thess. The inference is wrong. As Rendel Harris says in "The Expositor" (1898), 174, Paul may have sent another letter from Athens by Timothy to the Thessalonians. He cannot have sent 1 Thessalonians from there by him. Paul clearly states that Timothy had returned from Thessalonica before the writing of 1 Thessalonians. (cf. 3:6). Whither did he return? 1 Thessalonians does not state. Acts 18:5, supplies answer. When Timothy returned from Macedonia with Silas to Paul, the Apostle was at Corinth. The news brought him by Timothy was the occasion of 1 Thessalonians. Moreover, in the greeting with which each letter begins, the names of Paul, Silvanus (i.e. Silas), and Timothy are grouped together; and we know that the three were together at Corinth (Acts 28:5) during Paul's first visit to that city (cf. also 2 Cor. 1:19). We have no proof that they were ever elsewhere together. 1 Thess., then, was written during the eighteen months Paul stayed. at Corinth, i.e. in the year 48 or 49, according to the chronology of Harnack, "Chronologie der altchristlichen Litteratur" (Leipzig, 1897), 1, 717; in the year 53 or 54 according to the commonly received scheme of Pauline chronology. Both letters are generally considered to be the earliest extant writings of St. Paul. Some few now deem it proved that Paul wrote to the South Galatians even before he wrote to the Thessalonians, cf. Zahn, "Einleitung in das Neue Testament" Leipzig, 1897), 1, 138.



Having arrived at Athens, Paul at once set himself to convert the Jews, proselytes and Gentiles of that city. Among the latter he met with unusually small success. The Epicureans and Stoics for the most part rated him as a talkative lounger in the agora and either berated him with ridicule upon the Hill of Ares or waved him aside (Acts 17:16-32). Meanwhile he trembled for the Church of Thessalonica. So long as he had been there, only the Jews strove to set his work at naught; now in his absence, the Gentiles joined the Jews (1 Thess. 2:14), and made a vigorous onslaught upon the faith of his children. Paul yearned mightily to see their face once more. In his intense affection and concern, he breaks away from his wonted first plural: "We willed to have come to you, even I, Paul, and that once and again; but Satan hindered us" (2:18). The hindrance wrought by Satan was probably a security against his return given by Jason and some friends (Acts 17:9). Being unable to follow the yearnings of his heart, Paul sent Timothy to save the flock from the ravening wolves (1 Thess. 2:2). The Acts make no mention of this legation of Timothy from Athens to Thessalonica. Not long after, Paul left for Corinth (Acts 18:1). Thither Timothy, who returned from Thessalonica, brought back an eyewitness's testimony as to the conditions of the faithful of that city. Rendel Harris, in "The Expositor" (1898), 167, thinks that the Thessalonians sent Paul a letter by Timothy and, to make good his theory, appeals to 1 Thess. 1:2, 5; 2:1-13; 3:3-6. There may be some ground for such conjecture in "We also" (kai hemeis) of 1, 2:13; "Also 1" (kago) of 1, 3:5, and in "you have a good remembrance of us always" (echete mneian hemon agaphen) of 1, 3:6. Be this as it may, whether by letter or by word of mouth, Timothy fully informed Paul of the needs of the Christian community at Thessalonica; and these needs were the occasion of the first Epistle to that community.



No other letter of Paul to a Church is so free and easy and epistolary as is this letter; it defies strict doctrinal analysis, and is far more personal than doctrinal. Merely for the sake of some division, we may consider chapters 1 and 3 as personal, chapters 4 and 5 as doctrinal.

Personal part — a missionary's free outpouring of a noble heart's yearnings. He is filled with joy at hearing how they stand fast by the faith which he preached to them (1:2, 8); fondly talks about his labours and about his stay with them (1:9-2:12); thanks God for the way they received from him the word of God (2:13-16); delicately hints at his apprehensions for them, by telling how at Athens he yearned to see them, how he sent Timothy in his stead, how relieved he now is as Timothy's message has brought him peace of mind (2:17-3:10). Then follows a brief and beautiful prayer which sums up the yearnings of the great soul of the Apostle (3:11-13).

Doctrinal part. With this prayer ends what is meant to be free and epistolary. Now follows as little phrase of transition — "For the rest, therefore, brethren" — and a thoroughly Pauline and direct exhortation upon how they "ought to walk and to please God" by purity (4:1-8), brotherly love (4:9-10), and peaceful toil (verse 11). The peace of everyday toil had been disturbed by a fanatical lethargy due to the supposed oncoming Parousia. Hence the eschatological passage that follows. The brethren who have died will have part in the Second Coming just as they that are now alive (verses 12-17); the time of the Parousia is uncertain, so that watch-fullness and not lethargy are needed (5:1-11). The letter ends with a series of pithy and pointed exhortations to respect for their religious teachers, and to the other virtues that make up the glory of Christian life (5:12-22); the Apostolic benediction and salutation, a request for prayers and the charge that the letter be read in public (verses 23-28).


Second epistle.



(1) External Evidence

Manuscript evidence is the same for 2 Thessalonians as for 1 Thessalonians; so, too, the evidence of the ancient versions. The Apostolic and Apologetic Fathers are more clearly in favour of 2 Thess. than of 1 Thess. St. Ignatius, in Rom. 10:3, cites a phrase of 2 Thess. 3:5, eis ten hypomonen tou Christou, "in the patience of Christ." St. Polycarp (11:3) refers the letter expressly to Paul, although, by a slip of the memory, he takes it that the Apostle glories (2 Thess. 1:4) in another Macedonian Church, that of the Philippians; elsewhere (11:1) Polycarp uses 2 Thess. 3:15. St. Justin (about A.D. 150), in "Dialog." 32 (P.G., VI, 544), seems to have in mind the eschatological language of this letter. Besides it is set down as Pauline in the Canon of Marcion (about A.D. 140).

(2) Internal Evidence

The literary dependence of 2 Thessalonians on 1 Thessalonians cannot be gainsaid. The writer of the former must have written the latter, and that too not very long thereafter. 2 Thess. 2:15, and 3:6, are to be explained by 1 Thess. 4:1-8 and 11. The style of the two letters is admittedly identical; the prayers (1, 3:11, 5:23; 2, 2:16, 3:16), greetings (1, 1:1; 2, 1:1-2) thanks (1, 1:2; 2, 1:3), and transitions (1, 4:1; 2, 3:1) are remarkably alike in form. Two-thirds of 2 Thess. is like to 1 Thess. in vocabulary and style. Moreover, the structure of the Epistle, its subject-matter, and its affectionate outbursts of prayer for the recipients and of exhortation are all decidedly Pauline characteristics. The argument from internal evidence is so strong as to have won over such critics as Harnack (Chronologie 1:238) and Jülicher (Einleitung, 40). Schmiedel, Holtzmann, Weizacker, and others deny the force of this argument from internal evidence. Its very similarity to 1 Thess. in vocabulary and style is made to militate against the authenticity of 2 Thess.; the letter is too Pauline; the author was a clever forger, who, some sixty years later, took up 1 Thess. and worked it over. There has been no motive assigned for such a forgery; no proof given that any post-Apostolic writer was so cunning as to palm off thus letter as a Pauline imitation.

Eschatology of Paul. The chief objection is that the eschatology of 2 Thess. contradicts that of 1 Thess.: the letter is in this un-Pauline. In 1 Thess. 4:14-5:3, the writer says the Parousia is imminent; in 2 Thess. 2:2-12, 3:11, the writer sets the Parousia a long time off. Non-Christian who hold the Pauline authorship of the two letters generally admit that Paul predicted the second coming would be within his own lifetime and deem that the signs narrated in 2 Thess. 2, as preludes to that coming do not imply a long interval nor that Paul expected to die before these signs occurred. Christians insist that Paul cannot have said the Parousia would be during his lifetime. Had he said so he would have erred; the inspired word of God would err; the error would be that of the Holy Spirit more than of Paul. True, the Douay Version seems to imply that the Parousia is at hand: "Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we always be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:16). The Vulgate is no clearer: "Nos, qui vivimus, qui residui sumus " etc. (4:15-17). The original text solves the difficulty: hemeis oi zontes oi paraleipomenoi, ama syn autois arpagesometha. Here the Hellenistic syntax parallels the Attic. The sentence is conditional. The two participles present stand for two futures preceded by ei; the participles have the place of a protasis. The translation is: "We, if we be alive — if we be left — [on earth], shall be taken up" etc. A similar construction is used by Paul in 1 Cor. 11:29 (cf. Moulton "Grammar of New Testament Greek," Edinburgh, 1906, I, 230). St. Paul is here no more definite about the time of the Parousia than he was in 1 Thess. 5:2, when he wrote "that the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night." There is in St. Paul's eschatology the very same indefiniteness about the lime of the Parousia that there is in the eschatological sayings of Jesus as related in the Synoptics (Matt. 24:5-45; Mark 13:7-37; Luke 21:20-36). "Of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). In the deposit of faith given by the Father to the Son, to be given by the Son to the Church, the time of the Parousia was not contained. We readily admit that St. Paul did not know the time of the Parousia; we cannot admit that he knew it wrong and wrote it wrong as the inspired Word of God and a part of the deposit of faith.

As for the further objection that the apocalyptic character of 2:2-12, is post-Pauline and dependent upon so late a composition as the Revelation of John (A.D. 93-96) or, worse still upon the Nero redivivus story (Tacitus "Hist." II, 8), we answer that this assertion is entirely gratuitous. St. Paul got his apocalyptic ideas from the very same source as John, that is either from revelation to himself or from the Old Testament or from tradition. Most of the details of his apocalyptic description of the Parousia are given in other Revelations (1 John 2:18; Matt. 24:24; Luke 21:8; Mark 13:22; Deut. 13:1-5; Ezech. 38-39; Dan. 7-9, 11-12, etc.). The man of sin, Antichrist, Belial, the well-nigh complete triumph of evil just before the end of time, the almost general apostasy, the portents, and other items are features familiar to Old-Testament and New-Testament apocalyptic writings.



The canonicity of 2 Thessalonians has been treated together with that of 1 Thessalonians.

Time and place.

2 Thessalonians was written at Corinth not long after 1 Thessalonians, for both Timothy and Silas are still with Paul (1:50), and the silence of the Acts shows that, once Paul left Corinth, Silas was not again his companion in the ministry. There seem to be allusions in 3:2, to the troublous stay of a year and a half at Corinth (Acts 18); in 2:14, to the letter quite recently written to the Thessalonians; and in 3:7-9, to the ministry of Paul among them as not long passed.



The eschatology of 1 Thessalonians had been misunderstood by the Thessalonians; they took it, the day of the Lord was at hand (2:2); they were overwrought by the exaggerations of some meddlers and perhaps by a forged letter which purported to have come from Paul (2:2; 3:17). Moreover the disorderly conduct of some (3:6, 11) gave the Apostle no little concern; this concern he showed by the letter.



The three chapters into which the letter is now divided, aptly analyze the thought. In the first chapter are a greeting, thanksgiving for the faith and love of the Thessalonians, and an assurance of Divine recompense to them and to their persecutors. In the second chapter is the main thought of the letter — the eschatology. Certain signs are detailed which must precede the Parousia. Until these signs appear, there is no reason for terror or taking leave of their senses. The third chapter is the usual Pauline request for prayers, a charge to avoid the disorderly, a truly Pauline allusion to the example he set them, and the final identification of the letter by a greeting written with his own hand.


Epistles to Timothy and Titus,

(The pastorals).

Sts. Timothy and Titus.

Saints Timothy and Titus were two of the most beloved and trusted disciples of St. Paul, whom they accompanied in many of his journeys. Timothy is mentioned in Acts 16:50; 17:14, 15, 50; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Cor. 1:1, 19; Phil. 1:50; 2:19; Col. 1:50; 1 Thess. 1:50; 3:2, 6; 2 Thess. 1:50; 1 Tim. 1:2, 18; 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:2; Philem. 1:50; Heb. 13:23; and Titus in 2 Cor. 2:13; 7:6, 13, 14; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18; Gal. 2:1, 3; 2 Tim. 4:10; Tit. 1:4.

St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus," Apoc. 2:1-17. According to the ancient Roman martyrology he died Bishop of Ephesus. The Bollandists (24 Jan.) give two lives of St. Timothy, one ascribed to Polycrates (an early Bishop of Ephesus, and a contemporary of St. Irenæus) and the other by Metaphrastes, which is merely an expansion of the former. The first states that during the Neronian persecution St. John arrived at Ephesus, where he lived with St. Timothy until he was exiled to Patmos under Domitian. Timothy, who was unmarried, continued Bishop of Ephesus until, when he was over eighty years of age, he was mortally beaten by the pagans. According to early tradition Titus continued after St. Paul's death as Archbishop of Crete, and died there when he was over ninety.

Epistles to Timothy and Titus — authenticity.

The remainder of this article will be devoted to the important question of authenticity, which would really require a volume for discussion. Christians know from the universal tradition and infallible teaching of the Church that these Epistles are inspired, and from this follows their Pauline authorship as they all claim to have been written by the Apostle. There was no real doubt on this question until the beginning of the nineteenth century; but since that time they have been most bitterly attacked by German and other writers. Their objections are principally based on internal evidence and the alleged difficulty of finding a place for them in the lifetime of St. Paul.


Objection from the absence of Pauline vocabulary.

Moffatt, a representative writer of this school, writes (Ency. Bib. 4): "Favourite Pauline phrases and words are totally wanting. . . . The extent and significance of this change in vocabulary cannot adequately be explained even when one assigns the fullest possible weight to such factors as change of amanuensis, situation or topic, lapse of time, literary fertility, or senile weakness." Let us examine this writer's list of favourite Pauline words of the absence of which so very much is made:

Adikos (unjust). — This is found in Rom. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:1-9, but not in any of the other Pauline epistles, admitted to be genuine by this writer. If its absence be fatal to the Pastorals, why not also to 1 and 2 Thess. 2 Cor., Gal., Philip., Col., and Philem.? Moreover, the noun adikia is found in the Pastorals, 2 Tim. 2:19.

Akatharsia (uncleanness) does not occur in 1 Cor., Phil. 2 Thess., and Philem. If that does not tell against these Epistles why is it quoted against the Pastorals?

Ouiothesia (adoption). — This word is three times in Rom., once in Gal., but it does not occur at all in 1 and 2 Cor. 1 and 2 Thess., Phil., Col., and Philem. Why its omission should be used against the Pastorals is not easy to understand.

Patre hemon (Our Father). — Two expressions, God "our Father" and God "the Father" are found in St. Paul's Epistles. The former is frequent in his earlier Epistles, viz., seven times in Thess., while the latter expression is not used. But in Romans "God our Father" appears but once, and "the Father" once. In 1 Cor. we read God "our Father" once, and "the Father" twice; and the same has to be said of 2 Cor. In Gal. we have "our Father" once and "the Father" three times. In Phil. the former occurs twice and the latter once; in Col. the former only once, and the latter three times. "The Father" occurs once in each of the Pastoral Epistles, and from the above it is evident that it is just as characteristic of St. Paul as "our Father," which is found but once in each of the Epistles to the Romans, 1 and 2 Cor., Gal., and Col., and it would be absurd to conclude from this that all the remaining chapters were spurious.

Diatheke (covenant) occurs twice in Rom., once in 1 Cor., twice in 2 Cor., thrice in Gal., and not at all in 1 and 2 Thess., Phil., Col., and Philem., admitted to be genuine by Moffatt.

Apokalyptein (reveal), a word not found in 2 Cor. 1 Thess., Col., and Philem., and only once in Phil.

Eleutheros (free), is not in 1 and 2 Thess. 2 Cor., Phil., and Philem., so it is no test of Pauline authorship. Its compounds are not met in 1 and 2 Thess., Phil., Col., or Philem., and, with the exception of Gal., in the others sparingly.

Energein (to be operative) is seen but once in each of Rom., Phil., Col,, 1 and 2 Thess.; and no one would conclude from its absence from the remaining portions of these Epistles, which are longer than the Pastorals, that they were not written by St. Paul.

Katergazesthai (perform), though several times in Rom. and 2 Cor., and once in 1 Cor. and in Phil. is wanting in 1 and 2 Thess., Gal., Col., and Philem., which are genuine without it.

Kauchasthai (boast), only once in Phil., and in 2 Thess., and not at all in 1 Thess., Coloss., and Philem.

Moria (folly) is five times in 1 Cor., and nowhere else in St. Paul's Epistles.

But we need not weary the reader by going through the entire list. We have carefully examined every word with the like results. With perhaps a single exception, every word is absent from several of St. Paul's genuine Epistles, and the exceptional word occurs but once in some of them. The examination shows that this list does not afford the slightest argument against the Pastorals, and that St. Paul wrote a great deal without using such words. The compilation of such lists is likely to leave an erroneous impression on the mind of the unguarded reader. By a similar process, with the aid of a concordance, it could be proved that every Epistle of St. Paul has an appearance of spuriousness. It could be shown that Galatians, for instance, does not contain many words that are found in some of the other Epistles. A method of reasoning which leads to such erroneous conclusions should be discredited; and when writers make very positive statements on the strength of such misleading lists in order to get rid of whole books of Scripture, their other assertions should not be readily taken for granted.


Objection from the use of particles.

Certain particles and prepositions are wanting. Jülicher in his "Introd. to the New Test." p. 181, writes: "The fact that brings conviction [against the Pastorals] is that many words which were indispensable to Paul are absent from the Pastoral Epistles, e.g. ara, dio, dioti." But, as Jacquier points out, nothing can be concluded from the absence of particles, because St. Paul's employment of them is not uniform, and several of them are not found in his unquestioned Epistles. Dr. Headlam, an Anglican writer, pointed out in a paper read at the Church Congress, in 1904, that ara occurs twenty-six times in the four Epistles of the second group, only three times in all the others, but not at all in Col., Phil., or Philem. Dio occurs eighteen times in Rom., Gal. and Cor., but not at all in Col. or 2 Thess. The word disti does not occur in 2 Thess. 2 Cor., Eph., Col., or Philem. We find that epeita does not appear at all in Rom. 2 Cor., Phil., Col. 2 Thess., and Philem., nor eti in 1 Thess., Col., and Philem. It is unnecessary to go through the entire catalogue usually given by opponents, for the same phenomenon is discovered throughout. Particles were required in the argumentative portions of St. Paul's Epistles, but they are used very sparingly in the practical parts, which resemble the Pastorals. Their employment, too, depended greatly on the character of the amanuensis.

Objection from Hapax Legomena.

The great objection to the Pastorals is the admittedly large number of hapax legomena found in them. Workman (Expository Times 7:418) taking the term "hapax legomenon" to mean any word used in a particular Epistle and not again occurring in the New Testament, found from Grimm-Thayer's "Lexicon" the following numbers of hapax legomena: Rom. 113; 1 Cor. 110; 2 Cor. 99; Gal. 34; Eph. 43; Phil. 41; Col. 38; 1 Thess. 23; 2 Thess. 11; Philem. 5:1; Tim. 82; 2 Tim. 53; Titus 33. The numbers have to he somewhat reduced as they contain words from variant readings. These figures would suggest to most people, as they did to Dean Farrar, that the number of peculiar words in the Pastorals does not call for any special explanation. Mr. Workman, however, thinks that for scientific purposes the proportionate length of the Epistles should he taken into account. He calculated the average number of hapax legomena occurring on a page of Westcott and Hort's text with the following results: 2 Thessalonians 3-6, Philemon 4, Galatians 4.1, 1 Thessalonians 4.2, Romans 4.3, 1 Corinthians 4.6, Ephesians 4.9, 2 Corinthians 6.10, Colossians 6-3, Philippians 6-8, 2 Timothy 11, Titus and 1 Timothy 13. The proportion of hapax legomena in the Pastorals is large, but when compared with Phil., it is not larger than that between 2 Cor, and 2 Thess. It has to be noted that these increase in the order of time.

Workman gives a two-fold explanation. First, a writer as he advances in life uses more strange words and involved constructions, as is seen on comparing Carlyle's "Latter-Day Pamphlets" and his "Heroes and Hero-Worship." Secondly, the number of unusual words in any author is a variable quantity. He has found the average number of hapax legomena per page of Irving's one-volume edition of Shakespeare's plays to be as follows: "Love's Labour Lost" 7.6, "Comedy of Errors" 4.5, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" 3.4, "Romeo and Juliet" 5.7, "Henry 6, pt. 3" 3.5, "Taming of the Shrew" 5.1, "Midsummer Night's Dream" 6.8, "Richard 2" 4.6, "Richard 3" 4.4, "King John" 5.4, "Merchant of Venice" 5.6, "Henry 4, pt. 1" 9.3, "pt. 2" 8, "Henry 5" 8.3, "Merry Wives of Windsor" 6.9, "Much Ado About Nothing" 4.7, "As You Like It" 6.4, "Twelfth Night" 7.5, "All's Well" 6.9, "Julius Cæsar" 3.4, "Measure for Measure" 7, "Troilus and Cressida" 10.1, "Macbeth" 9.7, "Othello" 7.3, "Anthony and Cleopatra" 7.4, "Coriolanus" 6.8, "King Lear" 9.7, "Timon" 6.2, "Cymbeline" 6.7, "The Tempest" 9.3, "Titus Andronicus" 4.9, "Winter's Tale" 8, "Hamlet" 10.4, "Henry 8" 4.3, "Pericles" 5.2. For a similar argument on Dante see Butler's "Paradise," 11. The totals of hapax legomena for some of the plays are: "Julius Cæsar" 93, "Comedy of Errors" 88, "Macbeth" 245, "Othello" 264, "King Lear" 358, "Cymbeline" 252, "Hamlet" 426, "The Merchant of Venice" 148. This scrutiny of the words peculiar to each play throws light on another difficulty in the Pastorals, viz, the recurrence of such expressions as "a faithful saying," "sound words," etc. "Moon-calf" occurs five times in "The Tempest," and nowhere else; "pulpit" six times in one scene of "Julius Cæsar" and never elsewhere; "hovel" five times in "King Lear"; "mountaineer" four times in "Cymbeline," etc. Compare, "God forbid," me genoito of Gal., Rom., once in 1 Cor. — not in the other Epistles of St. Paul. "Sound words" was used by Philo before St. Paul, in whom it may be due to intercourse with St. Luke.

Mr. Workman has overlooked one point in his very useful article. The hapax legomena are not evenly distributed over the Epistles; they occur in groups. Thus, more than half of those in Col. are found in the second chapter, where a new subject is dealt with. This is as high a proportion as in any chapter of the Pastorals. Something similar is observable in 2 Cor., Thess., etc. Over sixty out of the seventy-five hapax legomena in 1 Tim. occur in forty-four verses, where the words, for the most part, naturally arise out of the new subjects treated of. The remaining two-thirds of the Epistle have as few hapax legomena as any other portion of St. Paul's writings. Compounds of phil-, oiko-, didask-, often objected to, are also found in his other Epistles.

The "Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles" was discussed in "The Church Quarterly" in October, 1906, and January, 1907. In the first the writer pointed out that the anti-Pauline hypothesis presented more difficulties than the Pauline; and in the second he made a detailed examination of the hapax legomena. Seventy-three of these are found in the Septuagint, of which St. Paul was a diligent student, and any of them might just as well have been used by him as by an imitator. Ten of the remainder are suggested by Septuagint words, e. g. anexikakos 2 Tim. 2:24, anexikakia Wisd. 2:9; antithesis 1 Tim. 6:20, antithetos Job 32:3; authentein 1 Tim. 2:12, authentes Wisd. 12:6; genealogia 1 Tim. 1:4, Tit. 3:9; geneealogein 1 Par. 5:1; paroinos 1 Tim.3:3, Tit. 1:7, paroinein Is. 41:12, etc. Twenty-eight of the words now left are found in the classics, and thirteen more in Aristotle and Polybius. Strabo, born in 66 B. C., enables us to eliminate graodes. All these words formed part of the Greek language current up to St. Paul's time and as well known to him as to anybody at the end of the first century. Any word used by an author contemporary with St. Paul may reasonably be supposed to have been as well known to himself as to a subsequent imitator. In this way we may deduct eight of the remaining words, which are common to the Pastorals and Philo, an elder contemporary of St. Paul. In dealing with the fifty remaining words we must recall the obvious fact that a new subject requires a new vocabulary. If this be neglected, it would be easy to prove that Plato did not write the Timæus. Organization and the conduct of practical life, etc., cannot be dealt with in the same words in which points of doctrine are discussed. This fairly accounts for eight words, such as xenodochein, oikodespotein, teknogonein, philandros, heterodidaskalein, etc., used by the author. His detestation of the errorists doubtless called forth kenophonia, logomachein, logomachia, metaiologia, metaiologos, several of which were probably coined for the occasion. The element of pure chance in language accounts for "parchments," "cloak," and "stomach": he had no occasion to speak about such things previously, nor of a pagan "prophet." Seven of the remaining words are dealt with on the modest principle that words formed from composition or derivation from admittedly Pauline words may more reasonably be supposed to come from St. Paul himself than from a purely hypothetical imitator, e.g. airetikos, adj., Tit. 3:10; airesis, 1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; dioktes, 1 Tim. 1:13; diokein, Rom. 12:14, etc.; episoreuein, 2 Tim. 4:3; soreuein epi Rom. 12:20; 70, etc. Five other words are derived from Biblical words and would as easily have occurred to St. Paul as to a later writer. The remaining words, about twenty, are disposed of separately.

Epiphaneia instead of parousia, for the second coming of Christ, is not against the Pastorals, because St. Paul's usage in this matter is not uniform. We have he memera kyriou in 1 Thess. 5:2, 1 Cor. 1:8; 5:5; he apokalypsis in 2 Thess. 1:17; and he epiphaneia tes parousias autou in 2 Thess. 2:8. Lilley ("Pastoral Epistles," Edinburgh, 1901, p. 48) states that out of the 897 words contained in the Pastorals 726 are common to them and the other books of the New Testament, and two-thirds of the entire vocabulary are found in the other Epistles of St. Paul; and this is the proportion of common words found in Galatians and Romans. The same writer, in his complete list of 171 hapax legomena in the Pastorals, points out that 113 of these are classical words, that is, belonging to the vocabulary of one well acquainted with Greek; and it is not surprising that so many are found in these Epistles which were addressed to two disciples well educated in the Greek language. Another point much insisted upon by objectors is a certain limited literary or verbal affinity connecting the Pastorals with Luke and Acts and therefore, it is asserted, pointing to a late date. But in reality this connexion is in their favour, as there is a strong tendency of modern criticism to acknowledge the Lucan authorship of these two books, and Harnack has written two volumes to prove it. He has now added a third to show that they were written by St. Luke before A.D. 64. When the Pastorals were written, St. Luke was the constant companion of St. Paul, and may have acted as his amanuensis. This intercourse would doubtless have influenced St. Paul's vocabulary, and would account for such expressions as agathoergein of 1 Tim. 6:18, agathopoein of Luke 6:9, agathourgein, contracted from agathoergein, Acts 14:17. St. Paul has ergazomeno to agathon Rom. 2:10. — From all that has been said, it is not surprising that Thayer, in his translation of Grimm's "Lexicon," wrote: "The monumental misjudgments committed by some who have made questions of authorship turn on vocabulary alone, will deter students, it is to be hoped, from misusing the lists exhibiting the peculiarities of the several books."


Objection from style.

"The comparative absence of rugged fervour, the smoother flow, the heaping up of words, all point to another sign-manual than that of Paul" (Ency. Bib.) — Precisely the same thing could be urged against some of St. Paul's other Epistles, and against large sections of the remainder. All critics admit that large portions of the Pastorals are so much like St. Paul's writings that they actually maintain that they are taken from fragments of genuine letters of the Apostle (now lost). Various discordant attempts have been made to separate these portions from the rest, but with so little success that Jülicher confesses that the thing is impossible. On the other hand, it is the general opinion of the best scholars that all three Epistles are from the pen of one and the same writer. That being the case, and it being impossible to deny that portions indistinguishable from the rest are by St. Paul, it follows that the early and universal tradition ascribing the whole of them to the Apostle is correct.

As we pass from one to another of the four groups of St. Paul's Epistles: (1) Thessalonians, (2) Galatians, Corinthians, Romans; (3) Captivity Epistles; (4) Pastorals we observe considerable differences of style side by side with very marked and characteristic resemblances, and that is precisely what we find in the case of the Pastorals. There are some striking points of connexion between them and Phil., the Epistle probably nearest to them in date; but there are many resemblances in vocabulary, style, and ideas connecting them with portions of all the other Epistles, especially with the practical parts. There are, for instance, forty-two passages connecting I Tim. with the earlier Epistles. The terms are nearly identical, but display an amount of liberty denoting the working of the same independent mind, not a conscious imitation. The Pastorals show throughout the same marks of originality as are found in all the writings of the Apostle. There are similar anacolutha, incomplete sentences, play on words, long drawn periods, like comparisons, etc. The Pastorals are altogether practical, and therefore do not show the rugged fervour of style confined, for the most part, to the controversial and argumentative portions of his large epistles. It may be well to note, in this connexion, that Van Steenkiste, professor at the Catholic Seminary of Bruges, asserted, as long ago as 1876, that the inspiration of the Pastorals and their Pauline authorship would be sufficiently safeguarded if we accepted the view that they were written in the name and with the authority of the Apostle by one of his companions, say St. Luke, to whom he distinctly explained what had to be written, or to whom he gave a written summary of the points to be developed, and that when the letters were finished, St. Paul read them through, approved them, and signed them. This, he thinks, was the way in which "Hebrews" also, was written (S. Pauli Epistolæ, 2: 283).


Objection from the advanced state of church organization.

The seven, St. Stephen, Philip, etc., were set aside for their ministry by the Apostles by prayer and the laying on of hands. Immediately after this we read that they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and preached with great success (Acts 6:7). From St. Luke's usual method we may conclude that a similar ceremony was employed by the Apostles on other occasions when men were set aside to be deacons, presbyters, or bishops. We read of presbyters with the Apostles at an early date in Jerusalem (Acts 15:2) and according to the earliest tradition, St. James the Less was appointed bishop there on the dispersion of the Apostles, and succeeded by his cousin Simeon in A.D. 62. Sts. Paul and Barnabas ordained priests in every church at Derbe, Lystra, Antioch of Pisidia, etc. (Acts 14:22). Bishops and priests, or presbyters, are mentioned in St. Paul's speech at Miletus (Acts 20:28). In his first Epistle (1 Thess. 5:12) St. Paul speaks of rulers who were over them in the Lord, — see also Rom. 12:8; "governments" are referred to in 1 Cor. 12:28, and "Pastors" in Eph. 4:11. St. Paul wrote "to all the saints in Christ Jesus, who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:50.

In Rom. 12:6-8, 1 Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:11, St. Paul is not giving a list of offices in the Church, but of charismatic gifts. Those who were endowed with supernatural and transitory charismata were subject to the Apostles and presumably to their delegates. Side by side with the possessors of such gifts we read of "rulers," "governors," "pastors," and in other places of "bishops," "priests," and "deacons." These, we may lawfully assume, were appointed under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost by the Apostles, by prayer and laying on of hands. Amongst these so appointed before A.D. 64 there were certainly ordained deacons, priests, and possibly bishops also. If so they had bishop's orders, but the limits of their jurisdiction were not as yet, perhaps, very clearly defined, and depended altogether on the will of the Apostles. it is assuredly in the highest degree likely that the Apostles, towards the end of their lives and as the Church extended more and more, ordained and delegated others to appoint such priests and deacons as they had been in the habit of appointing themselves. The earliest tradition shows that such a thing took place in Rome by A.D. 67; and there is nothing more advanced than this in the Pastorals. Timothy and Titus were consecrated delegates to rule with Apostolic authority and appoint deacons, priests, and bishops (probably synonymous in these Epistles).

But a further objection is raised as follows: "The distinctive element, however, i. e. the prominence assigned to Timothy and Titus is intelligible only on the supposition that the author had specially in view the ulterior end of vindicating the evangelic succession of contemporary episcopi and other office bearers where this was liable for various reasons to be challenged. . . . The craving (visible in Clem. Rom.) for continuity of succession as a guarantee of authority in doctrine (and therefore in discipline) underlies the efforts of this Paulinist to show that Timothy and Titus were genuine heirs of Paul" (Ency. Bib. 4). — If this craving is visible in St. Clement of Rome, who was a disciple of the Apostles there and wrote less than thirty years after their death, it is surely more likely that he was maintaining an organization established by them than that he was defending one of which they were ignorant. If these Epistles were written against people who challenged the authority of bishops and priests about A.D. 100, why is it that these opponents did not cry out against forgeries written to confute themselves? But of all this there is not the slightest shred of evidence.



No room for them in the life-time of St. Paul. — The writer in the "Ency. Bib." is never tired of accusing the defenders of the Epistles of making gratuitous assumptions, though he allows himself considerable liberty in that respect throughout his article. It is a gratuitous assertion, for example, to state that St. Paul was put to death at the end of the first Roman captivity, A.D. 63 or 64. Christianity was not yet declared a reliqio illicita, and according to Roman law there was nothing deserving of death against him. He was arrested to save him from the Jewish mob in Jerusalem. The Jews did not appear against him during the two years he was kept in prison. Agrippa said he could have been delivered had he not appealed to Cæsar, so there was no real charge against him when he was brought before the emperor's or his representative's tribunal. The Epistles written during this Roman captivity show that he expected to be soon released (Philem. 22; Phil. 2:24). Lightfoot, Harnack, and others, from the wards of Clem. Rom. and the Muratorian Fragment, think that he was not only released, but that he actually carried out his design of visiting Spain. During the years from 63-67 there was ample time to visit Crete and other places and write 1 Tim. and Titus. 2 Tim. was written from his second Roman prison soon before his death.


Objection from the errors condemned.

It is said that the errors referred to in the Pastorals did not exist in St. Paul's time, though the most advanced critics (Ency. Bib.) have now abandoned the theory (maintained with great confidence in the nineteenth century) that the Epistles were written against Marcion and other Gnostics about the middle of the second century. It is now conceded that they were known to Sts. Ignatius and Polycarp, and therefore written not later than the end of the first century or early part of the second. It requires a keen critical sense to detect at that time the existence of errors at the time of Ignatius, the seeds of which did not exist thirty or forty years earlier or of which St. Paul could not have foreseen the development. "The environment is marked by incipient phases of what afterwards blossomed out into the Gnosticism of the second century" (Ency. Bib.): — but the incipient phases of Gnosticism are now placed by competent scholars at a much earlier date than that indicated by this writer. No known system of Gnosticism corresponds with the errors mentioned in the Pastorals; in reply to this, however, it is said that the "errors are not given in detail to avoid undue anachronisms" (ibid.). Sometimes opponents of the authenticity unfairly attack the actual contents, but here the Epistles are condemned for "contents" which they do not contain. An amusing instance of the precariousness of the subjective method is seen in this same article (Ency. Bib.). The writer arguing against the Epistles on the subject of greetings says that "Philemon is the one private note of Paul extant." We are suddenly brought up, however, by a note (editorial?) within square brackets: "compare, however, Philemon." On turning to Philemon we find van Manen asserting, with equal confidence, that the Apostle had nothing whatsoever to do with that Epistle, and he supports his statement by the same kind of subjective arguments and assertions that we find running through the article on Timothy and Titus. He even throws out the absurd suggestion that Philemon was based on the letter of Pliny, which is given in full by Lightfoot in his edition of Philemon.

Hort in his "Judaistic Christianity" (London, 1898), 130-48, does not believe that the errors of the Pastorals had any connexion with Gnosticism, and he gives a very full reply to the objection with which we are dealing. With Weiss he clears the ground by making some important distinctions:

(1) We must distinguish prophecies about future false teachers which imply that germs, to say the least, of the future evils are already perceptible (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5, 4:3) from warnings about the present;

(2) The perversities of individuals like Alexander, Hymenæus, and Philetus must not be taken as direct evidence of a general stream of false teaching;

(3) Non-Christian teachers, the corrupters of Christian belief, must not be confounded with misguided Christians.

The errors which St. Paul easily foresaw would arise amongst false Christians and pagans cannot be urged against the Epistles as if they had already arisen. Hort makes out a good case that there is not the smallest trace of Gnosticism in the existing errors amongst the Ephesian and Cretan Christians, which are treated more as trivialities than serious errors. "The duty laid on Timothy and Titus is not that of refuting deadly errors, but of keeping themselves clear, and warning others to keep clear of mischievous trivialities usurping the office of religion." He shows that all these errors have evident marks of Judaistic origin. The fact that St. Irenæus, Hegesippus, and others used the words of the Pastorals against the Gnostics of the second century is no proof that Gnosticism was in the mind of their author. Words of Scripture have been employed to confute heretics in every age. This, he says, is true of the expressions pseudonymos gnosis, aphthartos, aion, epiphaneia, which have to be taken in their ordinary sense. "There is not the faintest sign that such words have any reference to what we call Gnostic terms."

Hort takes genealogiai in much the same sense in which it was employed by Polybius IX, 2:1, and Diodorus Siculus IV, 1, to mean stories, legends, myths of the founders of states. "Several of these early historians, or 'logographers' are known to have written books of this kind entitled Genealogiai, Genealogika (e. g. Hecatæus, Acusilanus, Simonides the Younger, who bore the title ho Genealogos, as did also Pherecydes)" (p. 136). Philo included under to genealogikon all primitive human history in the Pentateuch. A fortiori this term could be applied by St. Paul to the rank growth of legend respecting the Patriarchs, etc., such as we find in the "Book of Jubilees" and in the "Haggada." This was condemned by him as trashy and unwholesome. The other contemporary errors are of a like Jewish character. Hort takes antithesis tes pseudonymou gnoseos to refer to the casuistry of the scribes such as we find in the "Halacha," just as the mythoi, and genealogiai designate frivolities such as are contained in the Haggada.

But is it not possible that these (antitheseis tes pseudonymou gnoseos) refer to the system of interpretation developed later in the Kabbala, of which a convenient description is given in Gigot's "General Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures," p. 411? He who followed only the literal meaning of the text of the Hebrew Bible had no real knowledge, or gnosis, of the deep mysteries contained in the letters and words of Scripture. By notarikon words were constructed from the initials of several, or sentences formed by using the letters of a word as initials of words. By ghematria the numerical values of letters were used, and words of equal numerical value were substituted for each other and new combinations formed. By themura the alphabet was divided into two equal parts, and the letters of one half on being substituted for the corresponding letters of the other half, in the text, brought out the hidden sense of the Scripture. These systems date back to time immemorial. They were borrowed from the Jews by the Gnostics of the second century, and were known to some of the early Fathers, and were probably in use before Apostolic times. Now antithesis may mean not only opposition or contrast, but also the change or transposition of letters. In this way antithesis tes pseudonymou gnoseos would mean the falsely-called knowledge which consists in the interchange of letters just referred to.

Again, we read: "The mischievous feature about them was their presence within the churches and their combination of plausible errors with apparent, even ostentatious, fidelity to principles of the faith — a trouble elsewhere reflected Acts XX. 29f, in connexion with the Ephesian church towards the end of the first century" (Ency. Bib.). We do not admit that Acts XX, was written towards the end of the first century. The best scholars hold it was written by St. Luke long before; and so the critics of the Epistles, having without proof dated the composition of a genuine early New-Testament book at the end of the first century, on the strength of that performance endeavour to discredit three whole books of Scripture.


Miscellaneous objections.

We bring together under this heading a number of objections that are found scattered in the text, foot-notes, sub-foot-notes, of the article in the "Ency. Bib."

(1) "The concern to keep the widow class under the bishop's control is thoroughly sub-apostolic (cp. Ign. ad Polycarp. 4. 5) ." — That would not prove that it was not Apostolic as well. On reading the only passage referring to widows (1 Tim. 5) we get a totally different impression from the one conveyed here. The great aim of the writer of the Epistle appears to be to prevent widows from becoming a burden on the Church, and to point out the duty of their relatives to support them. Thirty years before the death of St. Paul the Seven were appointed to look after the poor widows of Jerusalem; and it is absurd to suppose that during all that time no regulations were made as to who should receive support, and who not. Some few of those who were "widows indeed" probably held offices like deaconesses, of whom we read in Rom. 16:1, and who were doubtless under the direction of the Apostles and other ecclesiastical authorities. The supposition that nothing was "done in order," but that everything was allowed to go at random, has no support in St. Paul's earlier Epistles.

(2) "The curious antipathy of the writer to second marriages on the part of the presbyters, episcopi, diaconi, and widows (cherai) is quite un-Pauline, but corresponds to the more general feeling prevalent in the second century throughout the churches." — That state of feeling throughout the churches in the second century should make an objector pause. Its Apostolic origin is its best explanation, and there is nothing whatsoever to show that it was un-Pauline. It was St. Paul who wrote as follows at a much earlier date (1 Cor. 7): "I would that all men were even as myself: . . . But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I . . . But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things of the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided . . . He that giveth his virgin in marriage, doth well; and he that giveth her not, doth better." It would be rash to suppose that St. Paul, who wrote thus to the Corinthians, in general, could not shortly before his death require that those who were to take the place of the Apostles and hold the highest offices in the Church should not have been married more than once.

(3) "The distinctive element, however, i. e. the prominence assigned to Timothy and Titus, is intelligible only on the supposition that the author had specially in view the ulterior end of vindicating the legitimate evangelic succession of contemporary episcopi and other office-bearers in provinces where this was liable for various reasons to be challenged" (in the beginning of the second century). — Thousands have read these Epistles, from their very first appearance until now, without such a conclusion suggesting itself to them. If this objection means anything it means that the Apostles could not assign prominent positions to any of their disciples or delegates; which runs counter to what we read of Timothy and Titus in the earlier Epistles of St. Paul.

(4) "The prominence given to 'teaching' qualities shows that one danger of the contemporary churches lay largely in the vagaries of unauthorized teachers (Did. 16). The author's cure is simple: Better let the episcopus himself teach! Better let those in authority be responsible for the instruction of the ordinary members! Evidently teaching was not originally or usually (1 Tim. 5:17) a function of presbyters, but abuses had led by this time, as the Didache proves, to a need of combining teaching with organised church authority." — What a lot of meaning is read into half a dozen words of these Epistles! In the very first Epistle that St. Paul wrote we read: "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: That you esteem them more abundantly in charity, for their work's sake" (1 Thess. 5:12-13). The capacity for teaching was a gift, probably a natural one working through God's grace for the good of the Church, and there was no reason why the Apostle, who attached so much importance to teaching when speaking of his own work, should not require that those who were selected to rule the Churches and carry on his work should be endowed with the aptitude for teaching. In Eph. 4:11, we find that the same persons were "pastors and doctors." The writer who makes this objection does not admit that real bishops and priests existed in Apostolic times; so this is what his assertion implies: When the Apostles died there were no bishops and priests. After some time they originated somewhere and somehow, and spread all over the Church. During a considerable time they did not teach. Then they began to monopolize teaching, and the practice spread everywhere, and finally the Pastorals were written to confirm this state of affairs, which had no sanction from the Apostles, though these bishops thought otherwise. And all this happened before St. Ignatius wrote, in a short period of thirty or forty years, a length of time spanned say from 1870 or 1880 till 1912 — a rapid state of development indeed, which has no documentary evidence to support it, and which must have taken place, for the most part, under the very eyes of the Apostles St. John and St. Philip, and of Timothy, Titus, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and other disciples of the Apostles. The early Christians had more respect for Apostolic traditions than that.

(5) "Baptism is almost a sacrament of salvation (Tit. 3:5)." — It is quite a sacrament of salvation, not only here, but in the teaching of Christ, in the Acts, and in St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Colossians, and in 1 Pet. 3:21.

(6) "Faith is tending to become more than ever fides quœ creditur." — But it appears as fides qua creditur in 1 Tim. 1:2, 4, 5, 14; 2:7, 15; 3:9, 13; 4:6, 12; 6:11; 2 Tim. 1:5, 13; 2:18, 22; 3:10, 15; Tit. 2:2, etc., while it is used in the earlier Epistles not only subjectively but also objectively. See pistis in Preuschen, "Handwörterbuch zum griech. N. Testament." Faith is fides quœ creditur only nine times out of thirty-three passages where pistis occurs in the Pastorals.

(7) "The church to this unmystical author is no longer the bride or the body of Christ but God's building or rather familia dei, quite in the neo-Christian style." There are several genuine Epistles of St. Paul in which the Church is neither called the body nor the bride of Christ, and in calling it a building he was only following his Master who said: "On this rock I will build my Church." The idea of a spiritual building is quite Pauline. "For we know, if our earthly house of this habitation be dissolved, that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven" (2 Cor. 5:1); "And I have so preached this gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation" (Rom. 15:20); "For if I build up again the things which I have destroyed, I make myself a prevaricator" (Gal. 2:18); "Let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Gal. 6:10); "You are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: in whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the Spirit" (Eph. 2:19-22); "You are God's building. According to the grace of God that is given to me as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation. . . . Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Cor. 3:9-17; compare 1 Pet. 2:5; "Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house"; and 1 Pet. 4:17: "For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God?") There is a development in St. Paul's use of the comparisons body and bride, which is exactly paralleled by his use of the words building and temple. They are applied first to individuals, then to communities and finally to the whole Church.

(8) "Items of the creed, now rapidly crystallizing in Rome and Asia Minor, are conveyed partly in hymnal fragments which like those in the Revelation of John, sprang from the cultus of the churches." There are fragments of the Creed in 1 Cor., and there were hymns in use several years before St. Paul's death. He wrote to the Colossians (3:16): "Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles" (cf. Eph. 5:19). The objections from the "Faithful Sayings" are fully answered in James, "The Genuineness of the Pastorals" (London, 1906), 132-6.

(9) "No possible circumstances could make Paul oblivious (through three separate letters) of God's fatherhood, of the believing man's union with Jesus, of the power and witness of the Spirit, or of reconciliation." These doctrines are not quite forgotten: 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:6; 2 Tim. 1:2, 9; 2:13; Tit. 1:4; 3:4, 5, 7. There was no necessity to dwell upon them as he was writing to disciples well acquainted with his teaching, and the purpose of the Epistles was to meet new problems. Besides, this objection could be brought against large portions of the genuine Epistles.

There are several other objections but they are so flimsy that they cannot present any difficulty. What Sanday wrote in 1896 in his "Inspiration" (London) is still true: "It may be asserted without fear of contradiction that nothing really un-Pauline has been proved in any of the disputed epistles."

The Pauline authorship of the Pastorals was never doubted by Christians in early times. Eusebius, with his complete knowledge of early Christian literature, states that they were among the books universally recognized in the Church ta para pasin homologoumena ("Hist. eccl." 2:22, 3:3; "Præp. evang." 2, 14:7; 16:3). They are found in the early Latin and Syriac Versions. St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of them (Strom. 2, 3), and Tertullian expresses his astonishment that they were rejected by Marcion (Adv. Marcion, 5:21), and says they were written by St. Paul to Timothy and Titus; evidently their rejection was a thing hitherto unheard of. They are ascribed to St. Paul in the Muratorian Fragment, and Theophilus of Antioch (about 181) quotes from them and calls them the "Divine word" (theios logos). The Martyrs of Vienne and Lyons (about 180) were acquainted with them; and their bishop, Pothinus, who was born about A.D. 87 and martyred in 177 at the age of ninety, takes us back to a very early date. His successor, St. Irenæus, who was born in Asia Minor and had heard St. Polycarp preach, makes frequent use of the Epistles and quotes them as St. Paul's. He was arguing against heretics, so there could be no doubt on either side. The Epistles were also admitted by Heracleon (about 165), Hegesippus (about 170), St. Justin Martyr, and the writer of the "Second Epistle of Clement" (about 140). In the short letter which St: Polycarp wrote (about 117) he shows that he was thoroughly acquainted with them. Polycarp was born only a few years after the death of Saints Peter and Paul, and as Timothy and Titus, according to the most ancient traditions, lived to be very old, he was their contemporary for many years. He was Bishop of Smyrna. only forty miles from Ephesus, where Timothy resided. St. Ignatius, the second successor of St. Peter at Antioch, was acquainted with Apostles and disciples of the Apostles, and shows his knowledge of the Epistles in the letters which he wrote about A.D. 110. Critics now admit that Ignatius and Polycarp knew the Pastorals (von Soden in Holtzmann's "Hand-Kommentar," 3:155; "Ency. Bib." 4); and there is a very strong probability that they were known also to Clement of Rome, when he wrote to the Corinthians about A.D. 96.

In judging of the early evidence it should be borne in mind that all three Epistles claim to be by St. Paul. So when an early writer shows his familiarity with them, quotes them as authoritative and as evidently well known to his readers, it may be taken as a proof not only of the existence and widespread knowledge of the Epistles, but that the writer took them for what they claim to be, genuine Epistles of St. Paul; and if the writer lived in the time of Apostles, of Apostolic men, of disciples of Apostles, and of Timothy and Titus (as did Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement) we may be sure that he was correct in doing so. The evidence of these writers is, however, very unceremoniously brushed aside. The heretic Marcion, about A.D. 150, is held to be of much more weight than all of them put together. "Marcion's omission of the pastorals from his canon tells heavily against their origin as preserved in tradition. Philemon was accepted by him, though far more of a private note than any of the pastorals; and the presence of elements antagonistic to his own views need not have made him exclude them, since he could have easily excised these passages in this as in other cases" (Ency. Bib. 4). Marcion rejected the whole of the Old Testament, all the Gospels except St. Luke's, which he grossly mutilated, and all the rest of the New Testament, except ten Epistles of St. Paul, texts of which he changed to suit his purposes. Philemon escaped on account of its brevity and contents. If he crossed out all that was objectionable to him in the Pastorals there would be little left worth preserving. Again, the testimony of all these early writers is regarded as of no more value than the opinion of Aristotle on the authorship of the Homeric poems (ibid.). But in the one case we have the chain of evidence going back to the times of the writer, of his disciples, and of the persons addressed; while Aristotle lived several hundred years after the time of Homer. "The early Christian attitude towards 'Hebrews' is abundant evidence of how loose that judgment [on authorship] could be" (ibid.). The extreme care and hesitancy, in some quarters, about admitting the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews (q. v.) when contrasted with the universal and undoubting acceptance of the Pastorals tells strongly in favour of the latter.



A citizen of Colossae, to whom St. Paul addressed a private letter, unique in the New Testament, which bears his name. As appears from this epistle, Philemon was his dear and intimate friend (verses 1, 13, 17, 22), and had been converted most probably by him (verse 19) during his long residence at Ephesus (Acts 19, 26; cf. 18, 19), as St. Paul himself had not visited Colossae (Col. 2:1). Rich and noble, he possessed slaves; his house was a place of meeting and worship for the Colossian converts (verse 2); he was kind, helpful, and charitable (verses 5,7), providing hospitality for his fellow Christians (verse 22). St. Paul calls him his fellow labourer (synergos, verse 1), so that he must have been earnest in his work for the Gospel, perhaps first at Ephesus and afterwards at Colossae. It is not plain whether he was ordained or not. Tradition represents him as Bishop of Colossae (Const. Apost. 6:46), and the Menaia of 22 November speak of him as a holy apostle who, in company with Appia, Archippus, and Onesimus had been martyred at Colossae during the first general persecution in the reign of Nero. In the address of the letter two other Christian converts, Appia and Archippus (Col. 4:17) are mentioned; it is generally believed that Appia was Philemon's wife and Archippus their son. St. Paul, dealing exclusively in his letter with the domestic matter of a fugitive slave, Onesimus, regarded them both as deeply interested. Archippus, according to Col. 4:17, was a minister in the Lord, and held a sacred office in the Church of Colossae or in the neighbouring Church of Laodicaea.

The Epistle to Philemon.

External testimony to the Pauline authorship is considerable and evident, although the brevity and private character of the Epistle did not favour its use and public recognition. The heretic Marcion accepted it in his "Apostolicon" (Tertullian, "Adv. Marcion," 5:21); Origen quotes it expressly as Pauline ("Hom. 19; "In Jerem." 2:1; "Comment in Matt." Tract. 33, 34); and it is named in the Muratorian Fragment as well as contained in the Syriac and old Latin Versions. Eusebius includes Philemon among the homologoumena, or books universally undisputed and received as sacred. St. Chrysostom and St. Jerome, in the prefaces to their commentaries on the Epistle, defend it against some objections which have neither historical nor critical value. The vocabulary (epignosis, paraklesis tacha), the phraseology, and the style are unmistakably and thoroughly Pauline, and the whole Epistle claims to have been written by St. Paul. It has been objected, however, that it contains some words nowhere else used by Paul (anapempein, apotinein, achrmstos, epitassein, xenia, oninasthai, prosopheilein). But every epistle of St. Paul contains a number of apax legomena employed nowhere else, and the vocabulary of all authors changes more or less with time, place, and especially subject matter. Are we not allowed to expect the same from St. Paul, an author of exceptional spiritual vitality and mental vigour? Renan voiced the common opinion of the critics when he wrote: "St. Paul alone, it would seem, could have written this little masterpiece" (St. Paul, p. 11).

It is one of the four Captivity Epistles composed by St. Paul during his first imprisonment in Rome. Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians are closely connected, so that the general opinion is that they were written and despatched at the same time, between A.D. 61-63. Some scholars assign the composition to Caesarea (Acts 23-26, A.D. 59-60), but both tradition and internal evidence are in favour of Rome. Onesimus, most likely only one of many slaves of Philemon, fled away and, apparently before his flight, defrauded his master, and ran away to Rome, finding his way to the hired lodging where Paul was suffered to dwell by himself and to receive all that came to him (Acts 28:16, 30). It is very possible he may have seen Paul, when he accompanied his master to Ephesus. Onesimus became the spiritual son of St. Paul (verses 9, 10), who would have retained him with himself, that in the new and higher sphere of Christian service he should render the service which his master could not personally perform. But Philemon had a prior claim; Onesimus, as a Christian, was obliged to make restitution. According to the law, the master of a runaway slave might treat him exactly as he pleased. When retaken, the slave was usually branded on the forehead, maimed, or forced to fight with wild beasts. Paul asks pardon for the offender, and with a rare tact and utmost delicacy requests his master to receive him kindly as himself. He does not ask expressly that Philemon should emancipate his slave-brother, but "the word emancipation seems to be trembling on his lips, and yet he does not once utter it" (Lightfoot, "Colossians and Philemon," London, 1892, 389). We do not know the result of St. Paul's request, but that it was granted seems to be implied in subsequent ecclesiastical tradition, which represents Onesimus as Bishop of Beraea (Constit. Apost. 7:46).

This short letter, written to an individual friend, has the same divisions as the longer letters: (a) the introduction (verses 1-7); (b) the body of the Epistle or the request (verses 8-22); (c) the epilogue (verses 23-25).

1. Introduction (1-7)

The introduction contains (1) the salutation or address: Paul, "prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy" greets Philemon (verse 1), Appia, Archippus, and the Church in their house (verse 2), wishing them grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 3); (2) the thanksgiving for Philemon's faith and love (verses 4-6), which gives great joy and consolation to the Apostle (verse 7).

2. Body of the Epistle

The request and appeal on behalf of the slave Onesimus. Though he could enjoin Philemon to do with Onesimus that which is convenient (verse 8), for Christian love's sake, Paul "an aged man and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ" (verse 9) beseeches him for his son Onesimus whom he had begotten in his bonds (verse 10). Once he was not what his name implies (helpful); now, however, he is profitable to both (verse 11). Paul sends him again and asks Philemon to receive him as his own heart (verse 12). He was desirous of retaining Onesimus with himself that he might minister to him in his imprisonment, as Philemon himself would gladly have done (verse 13), but he was unwilling to do anything without Philemon's decision, desiring that his kindness should not be as it were "of necessity but voluntary" (verse 14). Perhaps, in the purpose of Providence, he was separated from thee for a time that thou mightest have him for ever (verse 15), no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a better servant and a beloved Christian brother (verse 16). If, therefore, thou regardest me as a partner in faith, receive him as myself (verse 17). If he has wronged thee in any way, or is in they debt, place that to my account (verse 18). I have signed this promise of repayment with my own hand, not to say to thee that besides (thy remitting the debt) thou owest me thine own self (verse 19). Yea, brother, let me have profit from thee (sou onaimen) in the Lord, refresh my heart in the Lord (verse 20). Having confidence in thine obedience, I have written to thee, knowing that thou wilt do more than I say (verse 21). But at the same time, receive me also and prepare a lodging for me: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you (verse 22).

3. Epilogue (23-25)

The epilogue contains (1) salutations from all persons named in Col. 4:10-14 (verses 23-24), and (2) a final benediction (verse 25). This short, tender, graceful, and kindly Epistle has often been compared to a beautiful letter of the Younger Pliny (Ep. 9:21) asking his friend Sabinian to forgive an offending freedman. As Lightfoot (Colossians and Philemon, 383 sq.) says: "If purity of diction be excepted, there will hardly be any difference of opinion in awarding the palm to the Christian apostle."

Slavery was universal in all ancient nations and the very economic basis of the old civilization. Slaves were employed not only in all the forms of manual and industrial labour, but also in many functions which required artistic skill, intelligence, and culture; such as especially the case in both the Greek and the Roman society. Their number was much greater than that of the free citizens. In the Greek civilization the slave was in better conditions than in the Roman; but even according to Greek law and usage, the slave was in a complete subjection to the will of his master, possessing no rights, even that of marriage. St. Paul, as a Jew, had little of pagan conception of slavery; the Bible and the Jewish civilization led him already into a happier and more humane world. The bible mitigated slavery and enacted a humanitarian legislation respecting the manumission of slaves; but the Christian conscience of the Apostle alone explains his attitude towards Onesimus and slavery. One the one hand, St. Paul accepted slavery as an established fact, a deeply-rooted social institution which he did not attempt to abolish all at once and suddenly; moreover, if the Christian religion should have attempted violently to destroy pagan slavery, the assault would have exposed the Roman empire to a servile insurrection, the Church to the hostility of the imperial power, and the slaves to awful reprisals. On the other hand, if St. Paul does not denounce the abstract and inherent wrong of complete slavery (if that question presented itself to his mind, he did not express it), he knew and appreciated its actual abuses and evil possibilities and he addressed himself to the regulations and the betterment of existing conditions. He inculcated forbearance to slaves as well as obedience to masters (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22; 4:1; Philem. 8-12, 15, 17; 1 Tim. 6:1; Tit. 2:9). He taught that the Christian slave is the Lord's freedman (1 Cor. 7:22), and vigorously proclaimed the complete spiritual equality of slave and freeman, the universal, fatherly love of God, and the Christian brotherhood of men:

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28; cf. Col. 3:10- 11)

These fundamental Christian principles were the leaven which slowly and steadily spread throughout the whole empire. They curtailed the abuses of slavery and finally destroyed it (Vincent, "Philippians and Philemon," Cambridge, 1902, 167).


Epistle to the Hebrews.

This will be considered under eight headings: (1) Argument; (2) Doctrinal Contents; (3) Language and Style; (4) Distinctive Characteristics; (5) Readers to Whom it was Addressed; (6) Author; (7) Circumstances of the Composition; (8) Importance.



In the Oldest Greek manuscripts the Epistle to the Hebrews (pros Hebraious) follows the other letters to the Churches and precedes the pastoral letters. In the later Greek codices, and in the Syriac and Latin codices as well, it holds the last place among the Epistles of St. Paul; this usage is also followed by the textus receptus, the modern Greek and Latin editions of the text, the Douay and Revised Versions, and the other modern translations.

Omitting the introduction with which the letters of St. Paul usually begin, the Epistle opens with the solemn announcement of the superiority of the New Testament Revelation by the Son over Old Testament Revelation by the prophets (Heb. 1:1-4). It then proves and explains from the Scriptures the superiority of this New Covenant over the Old by the comparison of the Son with the angels as mediators of the Old Covenant (1:5-2:18), with Moses and Josue as the founders of the Old Covenant (3:1-4:16), and, finally, by opposing the high-priesthood of Christ after the order of Melchisedech to the Levitical priesthood after the order of Aaron (5:1-10:18). Even in this mainly doctrinal part the dogmatic statements are repeatedly interrupted by practical exhortations. These are mostly admonitions to hold fast to the Christian Faith, and warnings against relapse into the Mosaic worship. In the second, chiefly hortatory, part of the Epistle, the exhortations to steadfastness in the Faith (10:19-12:13), and to a Christian life according to the Faith (12:14-13:17), are repeated in an elaborated form, and the Epistle closes with some personal remarks and the Apostolic salutation (13:18-25).

Doctrinal contents.

The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and His Divine mediatorial office. In regard to the Person of the Saviour the author expresses himself as clearly concerning the true Divine nature of Christ as concerning Christ's human nature, and his Christology has been justly called Johannine. Christ, raised above Moses, above the angels, and above all created beings, is the brightness of the glory of the Father, the express image of His Divine nature, the eternal and unchangeable, true Son of God, Who upholdeth all things by the word of His power (1:1-4). He desired, however, to take on a human nature and to become in all things like unto us human beings, sin alone excepted, in order to pay man's debt of sin by His passion and death (2:9-18; 4:15, etc.). By suffering death He gained for Himself the eternal glory which He now also enjoys in His most holy humanity on His throne at the right hand of the Father (1:3; 2:9; 8:1; 12:2, etc.). There He now exercises forever His priestly office of mediator as our Advocate with the Father (7:24 sq.).

This doctrine of the priestly office of Christ forms the chief subject-matter of the Christological argument and the highest proof of the pre-eminence of the New Covenant over the Old. The person of the High-priest after the order of Melchisedech, His sacrifice, and its effects are opposed, in an exhaustive comparison, to the Old Testament institutions. The Epistle lays special emphasis on the spiritual power and effectiveness of Christ's sacrifice, which have brought to Israel, as to all mankind, atonement and salvation that are complete and sufficient for all time, and which have given to us a share in the eternal inheritance of the Messianic promises (1:3; 9:9-15, etc.). In the admonitory conclusions from these doctrines at the end we find a clear reference to the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Christian altar, of which those are not permitted to partake who still wish to serve the Tabernacle and to follow the Mosaic Law (13:9 sq.).

In the Christological expositions of the letter other doctrines are treated more or less fully. Special emphasis is laid on the setting aside of the Old Covenant, its incompleteness and weakness, its typical and preparatory relation to the time of the Messianic salvation that is realized in the New Covenant (7:18 sq.; 8:15; 10:1, etc.). In the same manner the letter refers at times to the four last things, the resurrection, the judgment, eternal punishment, and heavenly bliss (6:2, 7 sq.; 9:27, etc.). If we compare the doctrinal content of this letter with that of the other epistles of St. Paul, a difference in the manner of treatment, it is true, is noticeable in some respects. At the same time, there appears a marked agreement in the views, even in regard to characteristic points of Pauline doctrine (cf. J. Belser, "Einleitung" 2nd ed. 571-73). The explanation of the differences lies in the special character of the letter and in the circumstances of its composition.

Language and style.

Even in the first centuries commentators noticed the striking purity of language and elegance of Greek style that characterized the Epistle to the Hebrews (Clement of Alexandria in Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." 6:14, n.2-4; Origen, ibid. 6:25, n. 11-14). This observation is confirmed by later authorities. In fact the author of the Epistle shows great familiarity with the rules of the Greek literary language of his age. Of all the New Testament authors he has the best style. His writing may even be included among those examples of artistic Greek prose whose rhythm recalls the parallelism of Hebrew poetry (cf. Fr. Blass, "[Barnabas] Brief an die Hebraer." Text with indications of the rhythm, Halle, 1903). As regards language, the letter is a treasure-house of expressions characteristic of the individuality of the writer. As many as 168 terms have been counted which appear in no other part of the New Testament, among them ten words found neither in Biblical or classical Greek, and forty words also which are not found in the Septuagint. One noticeable peculiarity is the preference of the author for compound words (cf. E. Jacquier, "Histoire des livres du N.T." 1, Paris, 1903, 457-71; Idem in Vig., "Dict. de la Bible" 3:530-38). A comparison of the letter as regards language and style with the other writings of St. Paul confirms in general the opinion of Origen that every competent judge must recognize a great difference between them (in Eusebius,"Hist. Eccl." 6:25, n. 11).

Distinctive characteristics.

Among other peculiarities we should mention: The absence of the customary form of the Pauline letters. The usual opening with the Apostolic greeting and blessing is entirely lacking; nor is there any clear evidence of the epistolary character of the writing until the brief conclusion is reached (13:18-25). On this account some have preferred to regard the letter rather as a homily, but this is plainly incorrect. According to the statement of the author it is an admonition and exhortation (logos tes karakleseos, 13:22), which, above all, presupposes a well-defined situation of an actually existing individual Church.

The method of citing from the Old Testament. The author in his instruction, demonstration, and exhortation draws largely from the copious treasures of the Old Testament. All the citations follow the text of the Septuagint even where this varies from the Masoretic text, unless the citation is freely rendered according to the sense and without verbal exactness (examples 1:6; 12:20; 13:5). In the other Pauline letters, it is true, quotations from the Old Testament generally follow the Greek translation even when the text varies, but the Apostle at times corrects the Septuagint by the Hebrew, and at other times, when the two do not agree, keeps closer to the Hebrew.

In regard to the formula with which the citations are introduced, it is worthy of note that the expression "It is written," so commonly used in the New Testament, occurs only once in the Epistle to the Hebrews (10:7). In this Epistle the words of Scripture are generally given as the utterance of God, at times also of Christ or the Holy Spirit.

Readers to whom it was addressed.

According to the superscription, the letter is addressed to "Hebrews." The contents of the letter define more exactly this general designation. Not all Israelites are meant, but only those who have accepted the faith in Christ.

Furthermore, the letter could hardly have been addressed to all Jewish Christians in general. It presupposes a particular community, with which both the writer of the letter and his companion Timothy have had close relations (13:18-24), which has preserved its faith in severe persecutions, and has distinguished itself by works of charity (10:32-35), which is situated in a definite locality, whither the author hopes soon to come (13:19-23).

The place itself may also be inferred from the content with sufficient probability. For although many modern commentators incline either to Italy (on account of 13:24), or to Alexandria (on account of the reference to a letter of Paul to the Alexandrians in the Muratorian Canon and for other reasons), or leave the question undecided, yet the entire letter is best suited to the members of the Jewish Christian Church of Jerusalem. What is decisive above all for this question is the fact that the author presupposes in the readers not only an exact knowledge of the Levitical worship and all its peculiar customs, but, furthermore, regards the present observance of this worship as the special danger to the Christian faith of those addressed. His words (cf. particularly 10:1 sq.) may, if necessary, perhaps permit of another interpretation, but they indicate Jerusalem with the highest probability as the Church for which the letter is intended. There alone the Levitical worship was known to all by the daily offering of sacrifices and the great celebrations of the Day of Atonement and of other feast-days. There alone this worship was continuously maintained according to the ordinances of the Law until the destruction of the city in the year 70.


Even in the earliest centuries the question as to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews was much discussed and was variously answered. The most important points to be considered in answering the inquiry are the following:

In the East the writing was unanimously regarded as a letter of St. Paul. Eusebius gives the earliest testimonies of the Church of Alexandria in reporting the words of a "blessed presbyter" (Pantaenus?), as well as those of Clement and Origen (Hist. Eccl. 6:14, n. 2-4; 25, n. 11-14). Clement explains the contrast in language and style by saying that the Epistle was written originally in Hebrew and was then translated by Luke into Greek. Origen, on the other hand, distinguishes between the thoughts of the letter and the grammatical form; the former, according to the testimony of "the ancients" (oi archaioi andres), is from St. Paul; the latter is the work of an unknown writer, Clement of Rome according to some, Luke, or another pupil of the Apostle, according to others. In like manner the letter was regarded as Pauline by the various Churches of the East: Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Cappadocia, Mesopotamia, etc. (cf. the different testimonies in B. F. Westcott, "The Epistle to the Hebrews," London, 1906, pp. 62-72). It was not until after the appearance of Arius that the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews was disputed by some Orientals and Greeks.

In Western Europe the First Epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians shows acquaintance with the text of the writing (chs. 9, 12, 17, 36, 45), apparently also the "Pastor" of Hermas (Vis. 2:3, n.2; Sim. 1:1 sq.). Hippolytus and Irenaeus also knew the letter but they do not seem to have regarded it as a work of the Apostle (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." 26; Photius, Cod. 121, 232; St. Jerome, "De viris 99." 59). Eusebius also mentions the Roman presbyter Caius as an advocate of the opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not the writing of the Apostle, and he adds that some other Romans, up to his own day, were also of the same opinion (Hist. Eccl. 6:20, n.3). In fact the letter is not found in the Muratorian Canon; St. Cyprian also mentions only seven letters of St. Paul to the Churches (De exhort. mart. 11), and Tertullian calls Barnabas the author (De pudic. 20). Up to the fourth century the Pauline origin of the letter was regarded as doubtful by other Churches of Western Europe. As the reason for this Philastrius gives the misuse made of the letter by the Novatians (Haer. 89), and the doubts of the presbyter Caius seem likewise to have arisen from the attitude assumed towards the letter by the Montanists (Photius, Cod. 48; F. Kaulen, "Einleitung in die Hl. Schrift Alten und Neuen Testaments," 5th ed., Freiburg, 1905, 3: 211).

After the fourth century these doubts as to the Apostolic origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews gradually became less marked in Western Europe. While the Council of Carthage of the year 397, in the wording of its decree, still made a distinction between Pauli Apostoli epistoloe tredecim (thirteen epistles of Paul the Apostle) and eiusdem ad Hebroeos una (one of his to the Hebrews) (H. Denzinger, "Enchiridion," 10th ed., Freiburg, 1908, n. 92, old n. 49), the Roman Synod of 382 under Pope Damasus enumerates without distinction epistoloe Pauli numero quatuordecim (epistles of Paul fourteen in number), including in this number the Epistle to the Hebrews (Denzinger, 10th ed., n. 84). In this form also the conviction of the Church later found permanent expression. Cardinal Cajetan (1529) and Erasmus were the first to revive the old doubts, while at the same time Luther and the other Reformers denied the Pauline origin of the letter.

(a) The content of the letter bears plainly the stamp of genuine Pauline ideas. In this regard it suffices to refer to the statements above concerning the doctrinal contents of the Epistle.

(b) The language and style vary in many particulars from the grammatical form of the other letters of Paul, as in sufficiently shown above.

(c) the distinctive characteristics of the Epistle (4) favour more the opinion that the form in which it is cast is not the work of the author of the other Apostolic letters.

From what has been said it follows that the most probable solution of the question as to the author is that up to the present time the opinion of Origen has not been superseded by a better one. It is, consequently, necessary to accept that in the Epistle to the Hebrews the actual author is to be distinguished from the writer. No valid reason has been produced against Paul as the originator of the ideas and the entire contents of the letter; the belief of the early Church held throughout with entire correctness to this Apostolic origin of the Epistle.

The writer, the one to whom the letter owes its form, had apparently been a pupil of the Apostle. It is not possible now, however, to settle his personality on account of the lack of any definite tradition and of any decisive proof in the letter itself. Ancient and modern writers mention various pupils of the Apostle, especially Luke, Clement of Rome, Apollo, lately also Priscilla and Aquila.

Circumstances of the composition.

An examination both of the letter itself and of the earliest testimonies of tradition, in reference to the circumstances of its composition, leads to the following conclusions:

(1) The place of composition was Italy (13:24), and more precisely Rome (inscription at end of the Codex Alexandrinus), where Paul was during his first imprisonment (61-63).

(2) The date of its production should certainly be placed before the destruction of Jerusalem (70), and previous to the outbreak of the Jewish War (67), but after the death of James, Bishop of Jerusalem (62). According to ch. 13:19, 23, the Apostle was no longer a prisoner. The most probable date for its composition is, therefore, the second half of the year 63 or the beginning of 64, as Paul after his release from imprisonment probably soon undertook the missionary journey "as far as the boundaries of Western Europe" (St. Clement of Rome, "1 Epistle to the Corinthians," 5, n. 7), that is to Spain.

(3) The reason for its composition is probably to be found in the conditions existing in the Jewish Christian Church at Jerusalem. The faith of the Church might fall into great danger through continued persecution by the Jews, who had put James, the head of the community to a violent death. Precisely at this period the services in the temple were celebrated with great pomp, as under Albinus (62-64) the magnificent building was completed, while the Christian community had to struggle with extreme poverty. The national movement which began shortly before the outbreak of the last Jewish war would increase the danger. These circumstances might lead the Apostle to write the letter.

(4) The Apostle himself declares the aim of his writing to be the consolation and encouragement of the faithful (13:22). The argument and context of the letter show that Paul wished especially to exhort to steadfastness in the Christian Faith and to warn against the danger of apostasy to the Mosaic worship.


The chief importance of the Epistle is in its content of theological teaching. It is, in complete agreement with the other letters of St. Paul, a glorious testimony to the faith of the Apostolic time; above all it testifies to the true Divinity of Jesus Christ, to His heavenly priesthood, and the atoning power of His death.



Apocalypse, from the verb apokalypto, to reveal, is the name given to the last book in the Bible. It is also called the Book of Revelation. Although a Christian work, the Apocalypse belongs to a class of literature dealing with eschatological subjects and much in vogue among the Jews of the first century before, and after, Christ.


The author of the Apocalypse calls himself John. "John to the seven churches which are in Asia" (Ap. 1:4). And again, "I, John, your brother and your partner in tribulation . . . was in the island which called Patmos, for the word of God" (1:9). The Seer does not further specify his personality. But from tradition we know that the Seer the Apocalypse was John the Apostle the son of Zebedee, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus. At the end of the second century the Apocalypse was acknowledged by the historical representatives of the principal churches as the genuine work of John the Apostle. In Asia, Melito, Bishop of Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, acknowledged the Revelation of John and wrote a commentary on it (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4:26). In Gaul, Irenaeus firmly believes in its Divine and Apostolic authority (Adversus Haer. 5:30). In Africa, Tertullian frequently quotes Revelation without apparent misgivings as to its authenticity (C. Marcion 3:14, 25). In Italy, Bishop Hippolytus assigns it to the Apostle St. John, and the Muratorian Fragment (a document about the beginning of the third century) enumerates it along with the other canonical writings, adding, it is true, apocryphal Apocalypse of St. Peter, but with the clause, quam quidam ex nostris in ecclesia legi nolunt. The Vetus Itala, moreover, the standard Latin version in Italy and Africa during the third century, contained the Apocalypse. In Egypt, Clement and Origen believed without hesitation in its Joannine authorship. They were both scholars and men of critical judgment. Their opinion is all the more valuable as they had no sympathy with the millennial teaching of the book. They contented themselves with an allegorical interpretation of certain passages but never ventured to impugn its authority. Approaching more closely the apostolic age we have the testimony of St. Justin Martyr, about the middle of the second century. From Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 4, 18:8), as well as from his dialogue with the Jew, Tryphon (c. 81), held in Ephesus, the residence of the apostle, we know that he admitted the authenticity of the Apocalypse. Another witness of about the same time is Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, a place not far from Ephesus. If he himself had not been a hearer of St. John, he certainly was personally acquainted with several of his disciples (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3:39). His evidence however is but indirect. Andreas, Bishop of Caesarea, in the prologue to his commentary on the Apocalypse, informs us that Papias admitted its inspired character. From the Apocalypse undoubtedly Papias derived his ideas of the millennium, on which account Eusebius decries his authority, declaring him to have been a man of limited understanding. The apostolic writings which are extant furnish no evidence for the authenticity of the book.

Arguments against its authenticity.

The Alogi, about A.D. 200, a sect so called because of their rejection of the logos-doctrine, denied the authenticity of the Revelation, assigning it to Cerinthus (Epiphanius, Ll, ff, 33; cf. Iren., Adv. Haer. 3, 11:9). Caius, a presbyter in Rome, of about the same time, holds a similar opinion. Eusebius quotes his words taken from his Disputation: "But Cerinthus by means of revelations which he pretended were written by a great Apostle falsely pretended to wonderful things, asserting that after the resurrection there would be an earthly kingdom" (Hist. Eccl. 3:28). The most formidable antagonist of the authority of the Revelation is Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, disciple of Origen. He is not opposed to the supposition that Cerinthus is the writer of the Revelation. "For," he says, "this is the doctrine of Cerinthus, that there will be an earthly reign of Christ, and as he was a lover of the body he dreamed that he would revel in the gratification of the sensual appetite." He himself did not adopt the view that Cerinthus was the writer. He regarded the Revelation as the work of an inspired man but not of an Apostle (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 7:25). During the fourth and fifth centuries the tendency to exclude the Revelation from the list of sacred books continued to increase in the Syro-Palestinian churches. Eusebius expresses no definite opinion. He contents himself with the statement: "The Revelation is by some accepted among the canonical books but by others rejected" (Hist. Eccl. 3:25). St. Cyril of Jerusalem does not name it among the canonical books (Catech. 4:33-36); nor does it occur on the list of the Synod of Laodicea, or on that of Gregory of Nazianzus. Perhaps the most telling argument against the apostolic authorship of the book is its omission from the Peshito, the Syrian Vulgate. But although the authorities giving evidence against the authenticity of the Revelation deserve full consideration they cannot annul or impair the older and unanimous testimony of the churches. The opinion of its opponents, moreover, was not free from bias. From the manner in which Dionysius argued the question, it is evident that he thought the book dangerous as occasioning crude and sensual notions concerning the resurrection. In the West the Church persevered in its tradition of apostolic authorship. St. Jerome alone seemed to have been influenced by the doubts of the East.

The revelation compared with the fourth Gospel.

The relation between the Revelation and the Fourth Gospel has been discussed by authors, both ancient and modern. Some affirm and others deny their mutual resemblance. The learned Alexandrine Bishop, Dionysius, drew up in his time a list of differences to which modern authors have had little to add. He begins by observing that whereas the Gospel is anonymous, the writer of the Revelation prefixes his name, John. He next points out how the characteristic terminology of the Fourth Gospel, so essential to the Joannine doctrine, is absent in the Revelation. The terms, "life," "light," "grace," "truth," do not occur in the latter. Nor did the crudeness of diction on the part of the Revelation escape him. The Greek of the Gospel he pronounces correct as to grammar, and he even gives its author credit for a certain elegance of style. But the language of the Revelation appeared to him barbarous and disfigured by solecisms. He, therefore inclines to ascribe the works to different authors (Hist. Eccl. 7:25). The upholders of a common authorship reply that these differences may be accounted for by bearing in mind the peculiar nature and aim of each work. The Revelation contains visions and revelations. In conformity with other books of the same kind, e.g. the Book of Daniel, the Seer prefixed his name to his work. The Gospel on the other hand is written in the form of an historical record. In the Bible, works of that kind do not bear the signature of their authors. So also as regards the absence of Joannine terminology in the Revelation. The object of the Gospel is to prove that Jesus is the life and the light of the world, the fullness of truth and grace. But in the Revelation Jesus is the conqueror of Satan and his kingdom. The defects of grammar in the Revelation are conceded. Some of them are quite obvious. Let the reader but notice the habit of the author to add an apposition in the nominative to a word in an oblique case; e.g. 3:12; 14:12; 20:2. It further contains some Hebrew idioms: e.g. the Hebrew word equivalent to erchomenos, "the one that is to come," instead of esomenos, 1:8. But it should be borne in mind that when the Apostle first came to Ephesus he was, probably wholly ignorant of the Greek tongue. The comparative purity and smoothness of diction in the Gospel may be adequately accounted for by the plausible conjecture that its literary composition was not the work of St. John but of one of his pupils. The defenders of the identity of authorship further appeal to the striking fact that in both works Jesus is called the Lamb and the Word. The idea of the lamb making atonement for sin by its blood is taken from Isaiah, 53. Throughout the Revelation the portraiture of Jesus is that of the lamb. Through the shedding of its blood it has opened the book with seven seals and has triumphed over Satan. In the Gospel Jesus is pointed out by the Baptist as the "Lamb of God . . . him who taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Some of the circumstances of His death resemble the rite observed in the eating of the paschal lamb, the symbol of redemption. His crucifixion takes place on the selfsame day on which the Passover was eaten (John 18:28). Whilst hanging on the cross. His executioners did not break the bones in His body, that the prophecy might be fulfilled: "no bone in it shall be broken" (John 19:36). The name Logos, "Word," is quite peculiar to the Revelation, Gospel and first Epistle of St. John. The first sentence of the Gospel is, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The first epistle of St. John begins, "That which was from the beginning which we have heard . . . of the word of life." So also in the Revelation, "And his name is called the Word of God" (19:13).

Time and place.

The Seer himself testifies that the visions he is about to narrate were seen by him whilst in Patmos. "1 John . . . was in the island which is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus" (1:9). Patmos is one of the group of small islands close to the coast of Asia Minor, about twelve geographical miles from Ephesus. Tradition, as Eusebius tells us, has handed down that John was banished to Patmos in the reign of Domitian for the sake of his testimony of God's word (Hist. Eccl. 3:18). He obviously refers to the passage "for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus" (1:9). It is true that the more probable meaning of this phrase is, "in order to hear the word of God," etc., and not "banished because of the word of God'', etc., (cf. 1:2). But it was quite natural that the Seer should have regarded his banishment to Patmos as prearranged by Divine Providence that in the solitude of the island he might hear God's word. The tradition recorded by Eusebius finds confirmation in the words of the Seer describing himself as "a brother and partaker in tribulation'' (1:9). Irenaeus places the Seer's exile in Patmos at the end of Domitian's reign. " Paene sub nostro saeculo ad finem Domitiani imperii" (Adv. Haer. 5. 4). The Emperor Domitian reigned A.D. 81-96. In all matters of Joannine tradition Irenaeus deserves exceptional credit. His lifetime bordered upon the Apostolic age and his master, St. Polycarp, had been among the disciples of St. John. Eusebius, chronicling the statement of Irenaeus without any misgivings, adds as the year of the Seer's exile the fourteenth of Domitian's reign. St. Jerome also, without reserve or hesitation, follows the same tradition. "Quarto decimo anno, secundam post Neronem persecutionem movente Domitiano, in Patmos insulam relegatus, scripsit Apocalypsim" (Ex libro de Script. Eccl). Against the united testimony of these three witnesses of tradition the statement of Epiphanius placing the Seer's banishment in the reign of Claudius, A.D. 41-54, appears exceedingly improbable (Haer. 51:12-33).


A small volcanic island in the Ægean Sea, off the coast of Asia Minor, to the south of Samos and west of Miletus, in lat. 37° 20' N. and long. 26° 35' E. Its length is about ten miles, its breadth six miles, and its coast line thirty seven miles. The highest point is Hagios Elias (Mt. St. Elias) rising to over 1050 feet. The island was formerly covered with luxuriant palm groves, which won it the name of Palmosa; of these groves there remains but a clump in the valley called "The Saint's Garden." The ancient capital occupied the northern (Ruvali) isthmus. The modern town of Patmos lies in the middle part of the island. Above it towers the battlements of St. John's Monastery, founded in 1088 by St. Christobulus. The Island of Patmos is famous in history as the place of St. John's exile: "1, John . . . was in the island, which is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus" (Apoc. 1:9); there according to general belief the Beloved Disciple wrote the Revelation, the imagery of which was in part inspired by the scenery of the island. The spot where St. John was favoured with his revelations is pointed out as a cave on the slope of the hill, half way between the shore and the modern town of Patmos.



The seven churches.

The revelation made by Jesus the Messias to John. Salutation prefatory to the seven Epistles, wishing the churches the grace and the peace of God and Jesus.

The portrait is taken from Daniel 10 and Henoch 46. Cf. the phrases, "one like the son of man" (Apocalpyse 1:13, Daniel 10:16 and 7:13); "girded with gold" (Revelation 1:13; Daniel 10:5); "eyes like flames of fire" (Revelation 1:14; Daniel 10:6); "a voice like that of a multitude" (Revelation 1:15; Daniel 10:6); "I fell down like one senseless" (Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:9); "and he touched me" (Revelation 1:17, Daniel 10:18); "hair white like wool" (Revelation 1:14; Daniel 7:9; Henoch 46:1).

The Churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The Epistles are short exhortations to the Christians to remain steadfast in their faith, to beware of false apostles and to abstain from fornication and from meat offered to idols.

The book with the seven seals.

Chapters 4 and 5. The vision of God enthroned upon the Cherubim. The throne is surrounded by twenty-four elders. In the right hand of God is a scroll sealed with seven seals. In the midst of the Cherubim and the elders the Seer beholds a lamb, "agnus tamquam occisus," having on its throat the scar of the gash by which it was slain. The Seer weeps because no one either in heaven or on earth can break the seals. He is comforted on hearing that the lamb was worthy to do so because of the redemption it had wrought by its blood. The portrait of the throne is taken from Ezechiel 1. Compare in both accounts the description of the four beasts. They resemble a lion an ox, a man, and an eagle. Their bodies are full of eyes (cf. Ap. 4:8; and Ez. 10:12). The twenty-four elders were probably suggested by the twenty-four courses of priests ministering in the Temple. The lamb slain for the sins of mankind is from Isaiah 53.

Chapters 6 and 7. The seven seals and the numbering of the Saints. At the opening of four seals, four horses appear. Their colour is white, black, red, and sallow, or green (chloros, piebald), They signify conquest, slaughter, dearth and death. The vision is taken from Zach. 6:1-8. At the opening of the fifth seal the Seer beholds the martyrs that were slain and hears their prayers for the final triumph. At the opening of the sixth seal the predestined to glory are numbered and marked. The Seer beholds them divided into two classes. First, 144,000 Jews, 12,000 of every tribe. Then a numberless multitude chosen from all nations and tongues.

Chapters 8 and 9. The seventh seal. After the interval of about half an hour, the seventh seal is broken; seven angels issue forth, each one holding a trumpet. The sounding of the first four trumpets causes a partial destruction of the elements of nature. One-third of the earth is burned, as also one-third of the trees and all the grass. One-third of the sea becomes blood (cf. Ex. 7:17). One-third of the rivers is turned into water of wormwood. One-third of the sun, moon, and stars is obscured, causing one-third of the day to be dark (cf. Ex. 10:21). At the sounding of the fifth trumpet locusts ascend from the abyss. Their work is to torment men for five months, They are specially charged not to touch the grass. Their shape is that of horses (Joel 2:4) their teeth like those of lions (Joel 1:6), their hair like the hair of women. They have the tails of scorpions where with to chastise man. The command over them is held by the Angel of the Abyss, named Abaddon, the destroyer. At the sound of the sixth trumpet the four angels chained at the Euphrates are let loose. They lead forth an army of horsemen. By the fire which the horses spit out and by their tails which are like serpents, one-third of mankind is killed. After the sixth trumpet there are two digressions. (1) The angel standing on the land and the sea. He swears that at the sound of the seventh trumpet the mystery will be completed. He hands to the Seer a little book. When eaten by him it is found sweet to taste, but bitter when once devoured. Taken from Ezech. 2:8; 3:3. (2) The contamination of the court of the Temple by the heathens. It lasts three and a half years. Taken from Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:7-11. During that time two witnesses are sent to preach in Jerusalem. They are the two olive-trees foretold by Zach. 4:3,11. At the end of their mission they are slain by the beast. They are raised to life after three and a half days (= years). The seventh trumpet is now sounded, the nations are judged and the kingdom of Christ is established.

The devine drama.

First Act. Chapters 12-14. The lamb, the woman, and her seed; and opposed to them, the dragon, the beast from the sea, and the beast from the land. The main idea is taken from Gen. 3:15. "I will put enmities between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and thy seed and her seed." The woman is arrayed in heavenly splendour; a crown of twelve stars on her head and the sun and the moon under her feet (cf. Gen. 37:9, 10). She is in travail. Her first- born is destined to rule all the nation (Ps. 2:8-9). She herself, and her other seed, are persecuted for three and a half years by the great dragon who tries to kill them. The great dragon is Satan (Gen. 3:1). He is cast out of heaven. With his tail he drags after him one-third of the stars. Taken from Dan. 8:10. The fallen stars are the fallen angels. The beast from the sea is in great part taken from Daniel's description of the four beasts. It arises from the sea (Dan. 7:3); has seven heads marked all over with blasphemies. It had also ten horns, like the fourth beast of Daniel (7:7); it resembled a leopard, the third beast of Daniel (7:6), it had feet like a bear, the second beast of Daniel (7:5); and teeth like a lion, the first beast of Daniel (7:4). The great dragon gives full power unto the beast, whereupon all the world worship it (viz. those whose names are not contained in the book of the lamb). The followers of the beast have its mark on their head and hand. The beast from the land has two horns like a ram. Its power lies in its art of deceiving by means of tokens and miracles. Throughout the remainder of the book it is called the false prophet. Its office is to assist the beast from the sea, and to induce men to adore its image. The first act of the drama concludes with a promise of victory over the beast by the lamb of God.

Second Act. Chapters 15-16. The seven vials. They are the seven plagues preceding the destruction of the great city, Babylon. They were for the greater part suggested by the Egyptian plagues. The first vial is poured out on the earth. Men and beasts are smitten with ulcers (Ex. 9. 9-10). The second and third vial upon the seas and rivers. They become blood (Ex. 7:17-21). The fourth vial upon the sun. It burns men to death. The fifth vial upon the throne of the beast. It causes great darkness (Ex. 10:11-29). The sixth vial upon the Euphrates. Its waters are dried up and form a passage for the kings of the East (Ex. 14). The seventh upon the air. Storm and earthquake destroy Babylon.

Third Act. Chapters 17-18. The great harlot. She is seated upon the scarlet beast with the seven heads and ten horns. She is robed in scarlet and decked with gold. On her head is written: Mystery, Babylon the great. The kings of the earth commit fornication with her. But the day of her visitation has come. She is made a desolate place, the habitation of unclean animals (Ls. 13:21-22). Her fall is lamented by the rulers and merchants of the earth.

Fourth Act. Chapters 19-20. The victory over the beast and the great dragon. A knight appears mounted on a white horse. His name is "The word of God." He defeats the beast and the false prophet. They are cast alive in the pool of fire. Their defeat is followed by the first resurrection and the reign of Christ for a thousand years. The martyrs rise to life and partake with Christ in glory and happiness. During these thousand years the great dragon is held in chains. At their completion he is once more set at large to torment the earth. He deceives the nations Gog and Magog. These two names are taken from Ezech., chaps. 28 and 39, where however Gog is the king of Magog. At last he also is east for all eternity in the pool of fire. Hereupon the general judgement and the resurrection take place.

Fifth Act. Chapters 21-22. The new Jerusalem (cf. Ezechiel 40-48). God dwells in the midst of His saints who enjoy complete happiness. The new Jerusalem is the spouse of the lamb. The names of the Twelve Tribes and the Twelve Apostles are written on its gates. God and the lamb are the sanctuary in this new city.

Epilogue. Verses 18-21. The prophecy of the book is soon to be fulfilled. The Seer warns the reader not to add anything to it or take away from it under pain of forfeiting his share in the heavenly city.

Purpose of the book.

From this cursory perusal of the book, it is evident that the Seer was influenced by the prophecies of Daniel more than by any other book. Daniel was written with the object of comforting the Jews under the cruel persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. The Seer in the Revelation had a similar purpose. The Christians were fiercely persecuted in the reign of Domitian. The danger of apostasy was great. False prophets went about, trying to seduce the people to conform to the heathen practices and to take part in the Caesar-worship. The Seer urges his Christians to remain true to their faith and to bear their troubles with fortitude. He encourages them with the promise of an ample and speedy reward. He assures them that Christ s triumphant coming is at hand. Both in the beginning and at the end of his book the Seer is most emphatic in telling his people that the hour of victory is nigh. He begins, saying: "Blessed is he that . . . keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand" (1:3). He closes his visions with the pathetic words: "He that giveth testimony of these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." With the coming of Christ the woes of the Christians will be avenged. Their oppressors will be given up to the judgment and the everlasting torments. The martyrs that have fallen will be raised to life, that they may share the pleasures of Christ's kingdom, the millennium. Yet this is but a prelude to the everlasting beatitude which follows after the general resurrection. It is an article of faith that Christ will return at the end of time to judge the living and the dead. But the time of His second advent is unknown. "But of that day and hour no one knoweth, no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone" (Matt. 24:36). It would appear, and is so held by many that the Christians of the Apostolic age expected that Christ would return during their own lifetime or generation. This seems to be the more obvious meaning of several passages both in the Epistles and Gospels (cf. John 21:21-23, Thess. 4:13-18). The Christians of Asia Minor and the Seer with them, appear to have shared this fallacious expectation. Their mistaken hope, however, did not affect the soundness of their belief in the essential part of the dogma. Their views of a millennial period of corporal happiness were equally erroneous. The Church has wholly cast aside the doctrine of a millennium previous to the resurrection. St. Augustine has perhaps more than any one else helped to free the Church from all crude fancies as regards its pleasures. He explained the millennium allegorically and applied it to the Church of Christ on earth. With the foundation of the Church the millennium began. The first resurrection is the spiritual resurrection of the soul from sin (De Civ. Dei Lib. 20). Thus the number 1,000 is to be taken indefinitely.

Structure of the book and its literary composition.

The subject-matter of the Revelation required a threefold division.

The first part comprises the seven exhortatory letters.

The leading idea in the second part is the wisdom of Christ. It is symbolized by the book with seven seals. In it are written the eternal decrees of God touching the end of the world, and the final victory of good over evil. No one except Jesus, the lamb slain for the sins of the world, is worthy to break the seals and read its contents.

The third part describes the power of Christ over Satan and his kingdom. The lamb defeats the dragon and the beast. This idea is developed in a drama of five acts. In five successive scenes we see before us the struggle, the fall of Babylon the harlot, the victory, and final beatitude.

The third part is not only the most important, but also the most successful from a literary point of view. The drama of the lamb contains several beautiful thoughts of lasting value. The lamb, symbolizing gentleness and purity, conquers the beast, the personification of lust and cruelty. The harlot signifies idolatry. The fornication which the rulers and the nations of the earth commit with her signifies the worship they pay to the images of Caesar and the tokens of his power. The second part is inferior in literary beauty. It contains much that is taken from the Old Testament, and it is full of extravagant imagery. The Seer shows a fanciful taste for all that is weird and grotesque. He delights in portraying locusts with hair like that of women and horses with tails like serpents. There are occasional passages revealing a sense of literary beauty. God removes the curtain of the firmament as a scribe rolls up his scrolls. The stars fall from the heavens like figs from the fig-tree shaken by the storm (6:12-14). On the whole, however the Seer shows more love for Oriental splendour than the appreciation of true beauty.


It would be alike wearisome and useless to enumerate even the more prominent applications made of the Revelation. Racial hatred and religious rancour have at all times found in its vision much suitable and gratifying matter. Such persons as Mohammed, the Pope, Napoleon, etc., have in turn been identified with the beast and the harlot. To the "reformers" particularly the Revelation was an inexhaustible quarry where to dig for invectives that they might hurl then against the Roman hierarchy. The seven hills of Rome, the scarlet robes of the cardinals, and the unfortunate abuses of the papal court made the application easy and tempting. Owing to the patient and strenuous research of scholars, the interpretation of the Revelation has been transferred to a field free from the odium theologicum. But then the meaning of the Seer is determined by the rules of common exegesis. Apart from the resurrection, the millennium, and the plagues preceding the final consummation, they see in his visions references to the leading events of his time. Their method of interpretation may be called historic as compared with the theological and political application of former ages. The key to the mysteries of the book they find in 17:8-14. For thus says the Seer: "Let here the mind that hath understanding give heed."

The beast from the sea that had received plenitude of power from the dragon, or Satan, is the Roman Empire, or rather, Caesar, its supreme representative. The token of the beast with which its servants are marked is the image of the emperor on the coins of the realm. This seems to be the obvious meaning of the passage, that all business transactions, all buying and selling were impossible to them that had not the mark of the beast (Ap. 13. 17). Against this interpretation it is objected that the Jews at the time of Christ had no scruple in handling money on which the image of Caesar was stamped (Matt. 22:15-22). But it should be borne in mind that the horror of the Jews for the imperial images was principally due to the policy of Caligula. He confiscated several of their synagogues, changing them into heathen temples by placing his statue in them. He even sought to erect an image of himself in the Temple of Jerusalem (Jos. Ant. 18, 8:2).

The seven heads of the beast are seven emperors. Five of them the Seer says are fallen. They are Augustus Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. The year of Nero's death is A.D. 68. The Seer goes on to say "One is," namely Vespasian, A.D. 70-79. He is the sixth emperor. The seventh, we are told by the Seer, "is not yet come. But when he comes his reign will be short." Titus is meant, who reigned but two years (79-81). The eighth emperor is Domitian (81-96). Of him the Seer has something very peculiar to say. He is identified with the beast. He is described as the one that "was and is not and shall come up out of the bottomless pit" (17:8). In verse 11 it is added: "And the beast which was and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction." All this sounds like oracular language. But the clue to its solution is furnished by a popular belief largely spread at the time. The death of Nero had been witnessed by few. Chiefly in the East a notion had taken hold of the mind of the people that Nero was still alive. Gentiles, Jews, and Christians were under the illusion that he was hiding himself, and as was commonly thought, he had gone over to the Parthians, the most troublesome foes of the empire. From there they expected him to return at the head of a mighty army to avenge himself on his enemies. The existence of this fanciful belief is a well-attested historic fact. Tacitus speaks of it: "Achaia atque Asia falso exterrit velut Nero adventaret, vario super ejus exitu rumore eoque pluribus vivere eum fingentibus credentibusque" (Hist. 2:8). So also Dio Chrysostomus: kai nyn (about A.D. 100) eti pantes epithymousi zen oi de pleistoi kai oiontai (Orat. 21, 10; cf. Suet., "Vit. Caes." s.v. Nero, 57, and the Sibyliine Oracles, 5:28-33). Thus the contemporaries of the Seer believed Nero to be alive and expected his return. The Seer either shared their belief or utilized it for his own purpose. Nero had made a name for himself by his cruelty and licentiousness. The Christians in particular had reason to dread him. Under him the first persecution took place. The second occurred under Domitian. But unlike the previous one, it was not confined to Italy, but spread throughout the provinces. Many Christians were put to death, many were banished (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3, 17-19). In this way the Seer was led to regard Domitian as a second Nero, "Nero redivivus." Hence he described him as "the one that was, that is not, and that is to return." Hence also he counts him as the eighth and at the same time makes him one of the preceding seven, viz. the fifth, Nero. The identification of the two emperors suggested itself all the more readily since even pagan authors called Domitian a second Nero (calvus Nero, Juvenal. 4, 38). The popular belief concerning Nero's death and return seems to be referred to also in the passage (13:3): "And I saw one of its heads as it were slain to death: and its death's wound was healed."

The ten horns are commonly explained as the vassal rulers under the supremacy of Rome. They are described as kings (basileis), here to be taken in a wider sense, that they are not real kings, but received power to rule with the beast. Their power, moreover, is but for one hour, signifying its short duration and instability (17:17). The Seer has marked the beast with the number 666. His purpose was that by this number people may know it. He that has understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. A human number, i.e. intelligible by the common rules of investigation. We have here an instance of Jewish gematria. Its object is to conceal a name by substituting for it a cipher of equal numerical value to the letters composing it. For a long time interpreters tried to decipher the number 666 by means of the Greek alphabet, e.g. Irenæus, "Adv. Haer." 5, 33. Their efforts have yielded no satisfactory result. Better success has been obtained by using the Hebrew alphabet. Many scholars have come to the conclusion that Nero is meant. For when the name "Nero Caesar" is spelled with Hebrew letters, it yields the cipher 666.

The second beast, that from the land, the pseudoprophet whose office was to assist the beast from the sea, probably signifies the work of seduction carried on by apostate Christians. They endeavoured to make their fellow Christians adopt the heathen practices and submit themselves to the cultus of the Caesar. They are not unlikely the Nicolaitans of the seven Epistles. For they are there compared to Balaam and Jezabel seducing the Israelites to idolatry and fornication. The woman in travail is a personification of the synagogue or the church. Her first-born is Christ, her other seed is the community of the faithful.

In this interpretation, of which we have given a summary, there are two difficulties:

In the enumeration of he emperors three are passed over, viz. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. But this omission may be explained by the shortness of their reigns. Each one of the three reigned but a few months.

Tradition assigns the Revelation to the reign of Domitian. But according to the computation given above, the Seer himself assigns his work to the reign of Vespasian. For if this computation be correct, Vespasian is the emperor whom he designates as "the one that is." To this objection, however, it may be answered that it was the custom of apocalyptic writers, e.g., of Daniel, Enoch, and the Sibylline books, to cast their visions into the form of prophecies and give them the appearance of being the work of an earlier date. No literary fraud was thereby intended. It was merely a peculiar style of writing adopted as suiting their subject. The Seer of the Revelation follows this practice. Though actually banished to Patmos in the reign of Domitian, after the destruction of Jerusalem, he wrote as if he had been there and seen his visions in the reign of Vespasian when the temple perhaps yet existed. Cf. 2:1, 2.

We cannot conclude without mentioning the theory advanced by the German scholar Vischer. He holds the Revelation to have been originally a purely Jewish composition, and to have been changed into a Christian work by the insertion of those sections that deal with Christian subjects. From a doctrinal point of view, we think, it cannot be objected to. There are other instances where inspired writers have availed themselves of non-canonical literature. Intrinsically considered it is not improbable. The Revelation abounds in passages which bear no specific Christian character but, on the contrary, show a decidedly Jewish complexion. Yet on the whole the theory is but a conjecture.

The Apostolic Fathers.

Christian writers of the first and second centuries who are known, or are considered, to have had personal relations with some of the Apostles, or to have been so influenced by them that their writings may be held as echoes of genuine Apostolic teaching. Though restricted by some to those who were actually disciples of the Apostles, the term applies by extension to certain writers who were previously believed to have been such, and virtually embraces all the remains of primitive Christian literature antedating the great apologies of the second century, and forming the link of tradition that binds these latter writings to those of the New Testament.

The name was apparently unknown in Christian literature before the end of the seventeenth century. The term Apostolic, however, was commonly used to qualify Churches, persons, writings, etc. from the early second century, when St. Ignatius, in the exordium of his Epistle to the Trallians, saluted their Church "after the Apostolic manner." In 1672 Jean Baptiste Cotelier (Cotelerius) published his "SS. Patrum qui temporibus apostolicis floruerunt opera," which title was abbreviated to "Bibliotheca Patrum Apostolicorum" by L. J. Ittig in his edition (Leipzig, 1699) of the same writings. Since then the term has been universally used.

The list of Fathers included under this title has varied, literary criticism having removed some who were formerly considered as second-century writers, while the publication (Constantinople, 1883) of the Didache has added one to the list. Chief in importance are the three first-century Bishops: St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Polycarp of Smyrna, of whose intimate personal relations with the Apostles there is no doubt. Clement, Bishop of Rome and third successor of St. Peter in the Papacy, "had seen the blessed Apostles [Peter and Paul] and had been conversant with them" (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3, 3:3). Ignatius was the second successor of St. Peter in the See of Antioch (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3:36) and during his life in that centre of Christian activity may have met with others of the Apostolic band. An accepted tradition, substantiated by the similarity of Ignatius's thought with the ideas of the Johannine writings, declares him a disciple of St. John. Polycarp was "instructed by Apostles" (Irenaeus, op. cit. 3, 3:4) and had been a disciple of St. John (Eusebius, op. cit. 3:36; 5:20) whose contemporary he was for nearly twenty years.

Besides these, whose rank as Apostolic Fathers in the strictest sense is undisputed, there are two first-century writers whose place with them is generally conceded: the author of the Didache and the author of the "Epistle of Barnabas." The former affirms that his teaching is that of the Apostles, and his work, perhaps the earliest extant piece of uninspired Christian literature, gives colour to his claim; the latter, even if he be not the Apostle and companion of St. Paul, is held by many to have written during the last decade of the first century, and may have come under direct Apostolic influence, though his Epistle does not clearly suggest it.

By extension of the term to comprise the extant extra-canonical literature of the sub-Apostolic age, it is made to include the "Shepherd" of Hermas, the New Testament prophet, who was believed to be the one referred to by St. Paul (Rom. 16:14), but whom a safer tradition makes a brother of Pope Pius 1 (c. 140-150); the meagre fragments of the "Expositions of the Discourses of the Lord," by Papias, who may have been a disciple of St. John (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 5, 331-334), though more probably he received his teaching at second hand from a "presbyter" of that name (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3:39); the "Letter to Diognetus," the unknown author of which affirms his discipleship with the Apostles, but his claim must be taken in the broad sense of conformity in spirit and teaching. In addition to these there were formerly included apocryphal writings of some of the above Fathers, the "Constitutions" and "Canons of the Apostles" and the works accredited to Dionysius the Areopagite, who, though himself a disciple of the Apostles, was not the author of the works bearing his name. Though generally rejected, the homily of Pseudo-Clement (Epistola secunda Clementis) is by some considered as being as worthy of a place among the Apostolic Fathers, as is its contemporary, the "Shepherd" of Hermas.

The period of time covered by these writings extends from the last two decades of the first century for the Didache (80-100), Clement (c. 97), and probably Pseudo-Barnabas (96-98), through the first half of the second century, the approximate chronology being Ignatius, 110-117; Polycarp, 110-120; Hermas, in its present form, c.150; Papias, c.150. Geographically, Rome is represented by Clement and Hermas; Polycarp wrote from Smyrna, whence also Ignatius sent four of the seven epistles which he wrote on his way from Antioch through Asia Minor; Papias was Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia; the Didache was written in Egypt or Syria; the letter of Barnabas in Alexandria.

The writings of the Apostolic Fathers are generally epistolary in form, after the fashion of the canonical Epistles, and were written, for the greater part, not for the purpose of instructing Christians at large, but for the guidance of individuals or local churches in some passing need. Happily, the writers so amplified their theme that they combine to give a precious picture of the Christian community in the age which follows the death of St. John. Thus Clement, in paternal solicitude for the Churches committed to his care, endeavours to heal a dissension at Corinth and insists on the principles of unity and submission to authority, as best conducive to peace; Ignatius, fervent in his gratitude to the Churches which solaced him on his way to martyrdom, sends back letters of recognition, filled with admonitions against the prevailing heresy and highly spiritual exhortations to keep unity of faith in submission to the bishops; Polycarp, in forwarding Ignatian letters to Philippi, sends, as requested, a simple letter of advice and encouragement. The letter of Pseudo-Barnabas and that to Diognetus, the one polemical, the other apologetic in tone, while retaining the same form, seem to have in view a wider circle of readers. The other three are in the form of treatises: the Didache, a manual of moral and liturgical instruction; the "Shepherd," a book of edification, apocalyptic in form, is an allegorical representation of the Church, the faults of her children and their need of penance; the "Expositions" of Papias, an exegetical commentary on the Gospels.

Written under such circumstances, the works of the Apostolic Fathers are not characterized by systematic expositions of doctrine or brilliancy of style. "Diognetus" alone evidences literary skill and refinement. Ignatius stands out in relief by his striking personality and depth of view. Each writes for his present purpose, with a view primarily to the actual needs of his auditors, but, in the exuberance of primitive charity and enthusiasm, his heart pours out its message of fidelity to the glorious Apostolic heritage, of encouragement in present difficulties, of solicitude for the future with its threatening dangers. The dominant tone is that of fervent devotion to the brethren in the Faith, revealing the depth and breadth of the zeal which was imparted to the writers by the Apostles. The letters of the three bishops, together with the Didache, voice sincerest praise of the Apostles, whose memory the writers hold in deep filial devotion; but their recognition of the unapproachable superiority of their masters is equally well borne out by the absence in their letters of that distinctly inspired tone that marks the Apostles' writings. More abrupt, however, is the transition between the unpretentious style of the Apostolic Fathers and the scientific form of the treatises of the Fathers of the subsequent periods. The fervent piety, the afterglow of the day of Apostolic spirituality, was not to be found again in such fullness and simplicity. Letters breathing such sympathy and solicitude were held in high esteem by the early Christians and by some were given an authority little inferior to that of the Scriptures. The Epistle of Clement was read in the Sunday assemblies at Corinth during the second century and later (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3:16; 4:23); the letter of Barnabas was similarly honoured at Alexandria; Hermas was popular throughout Christendom, but particularly in the West. Clement of Alexandria quoted the Didache as "Scripture." Some of the Apostolic Fathers are found in the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament at the end of the canonical writings: Clement was first made known through the "Codex Alexandrinus"; similarly, Hermas and Pseudo-Barnabas are appended to the canonical books in the "Codex Sinaiticus." Standing between the New Testament era and the literary efflorescence of the late second century, these writers represent the original elements of Christian tradition. They make no pretension to treat of Christian doctrine and practice in a complete and scholarly manner and cannot, therefore, be expected to answer all the problems concerning Christian origins. Their silence on any point does not imply their ignorance of it, much less its denial; nor do their assertions tell all that might be known. The dogmatic value of their teaching is, however, of the highest order, considering the high antiquity of the documents and the competence of the authors to transmit the purest Apostolic doctrine. This fact did not receive its due appreciation even during the period of medieval theological activity. The increased enthusiasm for positive theology which marked the seventeenth century centred attention on the Apostolic Fathers; since then they have been the eagerly-questioned witnesses to the beliefs and practice of the Church during the first half of the second century. Their teaching is based on the Scriptures, i.e. the Old Testament, and on the words of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. The authority of the latter was decisive. Though the New Testament canon was not yet, to judge from these writings, definitively fixed, it is significant that with the exception of the Third Epistle of St. John and possibly that of St. Paul to Philemon, every book of the New Testament is quoted or alluded to more or less clearly by one or another of the Apostolic Fathers, while the citations from the "apocrypha." are extremely rare. Of equal authority with the written word is that of oral tradition (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3:39; 1 Clem. 7), to which must be traced certain citations of the "Sayings" of Our Lord and the Apostles not found in the Scriptures.

Meagre as they necessarily are in their testimony, the Apostolic Fathers bear witness to the faith of Christians in the chief mysteries of the Divine Unity and Trinity. The Trinitarian formula occurs frequently. If the Divinity of the Holy Ghost is but once obscurely alluded to in Hermas, it must be remembered that the Church was as yet undisturbed by anti-Trinitarian heresies. The dominant error of the period was Docetism, and its refutation furnishes these writers with an occasion to deal at greater length with the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the Redeemer of whom men stood in need. Ignatius unhesitatingly calls Him God (Trall. 7; Eph. 1, and passim). The soteriology of the Epistles to the Hebrews forms the basis of their teaching. Jesus Christ is our high-priest (1 Clem. 36-64) in whose suffering and death is our redemption (Ignat., Eph. 1, Magnes. 9; Barnab. 5). Diog. 9); whose blood is our ransom (1 Clem. 12-21). The fruits of Redemption, while not scientifically treated, are in a general way the destruction of death or of sin, the gift to man of immortal life, and the knowledge of God (Barnab. 4-5, 7: 14; Did. 16:1 Clem. 24-25; Hermas, Simil. 5:6). Justification is received by faith and by works as well; and so clearly is the efficacy of good works insisted upon that it is futile to represent the Apostolic Fathers as failing to comprehend the pertinent teaching of St. Paul. The points of view of both St. Paul and St. James are cited and considered complementary (1 Clem. 31, 33, 35; Ignat. to Polyc. 6). Good works are insisted on by Hermas (Vis. 3:1 Simil. 5:3), and Barnabas proclaims (c. 19) their necessity for salvation. The Church, the "Christian " Church, as Ignatius for the first time calls it (Smyrn. 8), takes the place of the chosen people; is the mystical body of Christ, the faithful being the members thereof, united by oneness of faith and hope, and by a charity which prompts to mutual assistance. This unity is secured by the hierarchical organization of the ministry and the due submission of inferiors to authority. On this point the teaching of the Apostolic Fathers seems to stand for a marked development in advance of the practice of the Apostolic period. But it is to be noted that the familiar tone in which episcopal authority is treated precludes the possibility of its being a novelty. The Didache may yet deal with "prophets," "Apostles," and itinerant missionaries (10-11, 13-14), but this is not a stage in development. It is anomalous, outside the current of development. Clement and Ignatius present the hierarchy, organized and complete, with its orders of bishops, priests, and deacons, ministers of the Eucharistic liturgy and administrators of temporalities. Clement's Epistle is the philosophy of "Apostolicity," and its corollary, episcopal succession. Ignatius gives in abundance practical illustrations of what Clement sets forth in principle. For Ignatius the bishop is the centre of unity (Eph. 4), the authority whom all must obey as they would God, in whose place the bishop rules (Ignat. to Polyc. 6; Magnes. 6:13; Smyrn. 8:11; Trail. 12); for unity with and submission to the bishop is the only security of faith. Supreme in the Church is he who holds the seat of St. Peter at Rome. The intervention of Clement in the affairs of Corinth and the language of Ignatius in speaking of the Church of Rome in the exordium of his Epistle to the Romans must be understood in the light of Christ's charge to St. Peter. One rounds out the other. The deepest reverence for the memory of St. Peter is visible in the writings of Clement and Ignatius. They couple his name with that of St. Paul, and this effectually disproves the antagonism between these two Apostles which the Tübingen theory postulated in tracing the pretended development of a united church from the discordant Petrine and Pauline factions. Among the sacraments alluded to is Baptism, to which Ignatius refers (Polyc. 2; Smyrn. 8), and of which Hermas speaks as the necessary way of entrance to the Church and to salvation (Vis. 3:3, 5; Simil. 9:16), the way from death to life (Simil. 8:6), while the Didache deals with it liturgically (7). The Eucharist is mentioned in the Didache (14) and by Ignatius, who uses the term to signify the "flesh of Our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Smyrn. 7; Eph. 20; Philad. 4). Penance is the theme of Hermas, and is urged as a necessary and a possible recourse for him who sins once after baptism (Vis. 3:7; Simil. 8:6, 8, 9, I1). The Didache refers to a confession of sins (5:14) as does Barnabas (19). An exposition of the dogmatic teaching of individual Fathers will be found under their respective names.

The Apostolic Fathers, as a group, are found in no one manuscript. The literary history of each will be found in connection with the individual studies. The first edition was that of Cotelerius, above referred to (Paris, 1672). It contained Barnabas, Clement, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp. A reprint (Antwerp, 1698-1700; Amsterdam, 1724), by Jean Leclerc (Clericus), contained much additional matter. The latest editions are those of the Anglican Bishop, J.B. Lightfoot, "The Apostolic Fathers" (5 vols., London, 1889-1890); abbreviated edition, Lightfoot-Harmer, London, 1 vol. 1893; Gebhardt, Harnack, and Zahn, "Patrum Apostolicorum Opera" (Leipzig, 1901); and F. X. von Funk, "Patres Apostolici" (2d ed., Tübingen, 1901), in all of which abundant reference will be found to the literature of the two preceding centuries. The last named work first appeared (Tübingen, vol. 1, 1878, 1887; vol. 2, 1881) as a fifth edition of Hefele's "Opera Patr. Apostolicorum" (Tübingen, 1839; 4th ed. 1855) enriched with notes (critical, exegetical, historical), prolegomena, indexes, and a Latin version. The second edition meets all just demands of a critical presentation of these ancient and important writings, and in its introduction and notes offers the best Christian treatise on the subject.




The scope of this article takes in those compositions which profess to have been written either by Biblical personages or men in intimate relations with them. Such known works as the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache (Teaching) of the Twelve Apostles, and the Apostolic Canons and Constitutions, though formerly apocryphal, really belong to patristic literature, and are considered independently. It has been deemed better to classify the Biblical apocrypha according to their origin, instead of following the misleading division of the apocrypha of the Old and New Testaments. Broadly speaking, the apocrypha of Jewish origin are coextensive with what are styled of the Old Testament, and those of Christian origin with the apocrypha of the New Testament. The subject will be treated as follows:

1. Apocrypha of Jewish origin

Jewish Revelations

Legendary Apocrypha of Jewish Origin

Apocryphal Psalms and Prayers

Jewish Philosophy

2. Apocrypha of Jewish origin with Christian accretions

3. Apocrypha of Christian origin

Apocryphal Gospels

Pilate literature and other apocrypha concerning Christ

Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles

Apocryphal doctrinal works

Apocryphal Epistles

Apocryphal Revelations

4. The Apocrypha and the Church

Etymologically, the derivation of Apocrypha is very simple, being from the Greek apokryphos, hidden, and corresponding to the neuter plural of the adjective. The use of the singular, "Apocryphon," is both legitimate and convenient, when referring to a single work. When we would attempt to seize the literary sense attaching to the word, the task is not so easy. It has been employed in various ways by early patristic writers, who have sometimes entirely lost sight of the etymology. Thus it has the connotation "uncanonical" with some of them. St. Jerome evidently applied the term to all quasi-scriptural books which in his estimation lay outside the canon of the Bible, and the Protestant Reformers, following Jerome's catalogue of Old Testament Scriptures — one which was at once erroneous and singular among the Fathers of the Church — applied the title Apocrypha to the excess of the Christian canon of the Old Testament over that of the Jews. Naturally, Christians refuse to admit such a denomination, and we employ "deuterocanonical" to designate this literature, which non-Christians conventionally and improperly know as the "Apocrypha."

The original and proper sense of the term apocryphal as applied to the pretended sacred books was early obscured. But a clue to it may be recognized in the so-called Fourth Book of Esdras, which relates that Estrus (Era) by divine inspiration composed ninety-four books. Of these, twenty-four were restorations of the sacred literature of the Israelites which had perished in the Captivity; they were to be published openly, but the remaining were to be guarded in secret for the exclusive use of the wise (cf. Dan. 9:4, 9, where the prophet is bidden to shut up and seal an inspired book until an appointed time). Accordingly it may be accepted as highly probable that in its original meaning an apocryphal writing had no unfavorable import, but simply denoted a composition which claimed a sacred origin, and was supposed to have been hidden for generations, either absolutely, awaiting the due time of its revelation, or relatively, inasmuch as knowledge of it was confined to a limited esoteric circle. However, the name Apocrypha soon came to have an unfavourable signification which it still retains, comporting both want of genuineness and canonicity. These are the negative aspects of the modern application of the name; on its positive side it is properly employed only of a well defined class of literature, putting forth scriptural or quasi-scriptural pretensions, and which originated in part among the Hebrews during the two centuries preceding Christ and for a space after, and in part among Christians, both orthodox and heterodox, in the early centuries of our era.


Apocrypha of jewish origin.

Ancient literature, especially in the Orient, used methods much more free and elastic than those permitted by our modern and Occidental culture. Pseudographic composition was in vogue among the Jews in the two centuries before Christ and for some time later. The attribution of a great name of the distant past to a book by its real author, who thus effaced his own personality, was, in some cases at least, a mere literary fiction which deceived no one except the ignorant. This holds good for the so-called "Wisdom of Solomon," written in Greek and belonging to the Church's sacred canon. In other cases, where the assumed name did not stand as a symbol of a type of a certain kind of literature, the intention was not without a degree of at least objective literary dishonesty.


Jewish Revelations.

The most important and valuable of the extant Jewish apocrypha are those which have a large apocalyptic element; that is, which profess to contain visions and revelations of the unseen world and the Messianic future. Jewish apocalyptic literature is a theme which deserves and has increasingly received the attention of all interested in the development of the religious thought of Israel, that body of concepts and tendencies in which are fixed the roots of the great doctrinal principles of Christianity itself, just as its Divine Founder took His temporal generation from the stock of orthodox Judaism. The Jewish Revelations furnish the completing links in the progress of Jewish theology and fill what would otherwise be a gap, though a small one, between the advanced stage marked by the deuterocanonical books and its full maturity in the time of Our Lord; a maturity so relatively perfect that Jesus could suppose as existing in the popular consciousness, without teaching de novo, the doctrines of future retribution, the resurrection of the body, and the existence, nature, and office of angels. Jewish apocalyptic writing is an attempt to supply the place of prophecy, which had been dead for centuries, and it has its roots in the sacred oracles of Israel. Hebrew prophecy on its human side had its springs, its occasions, and immediate objects in the present; the prophets were inspired men who found matter for comfort as well as rebuke and warning in the actual conditions of Israel's theocratic life. But when ages had elapsed, and the glowing Messianic promises of the prophets had not been realized; when the Jewish people had chafed, not through two or three, but many generations, under the bitter yoke of foreign masters or the constantly repeated pressure of heathen states, reflecting and fervent spirits, finding no hope in the actual order of things, looked away from earth and fixed their vision on another and ideal world where God's justice would reign unthwarted, to the everlasting glory of Israel both as a nation and in its faithful individuals, and unto the utter destruction and endless torment of the Gentile oppressors and the unrighteous. Apocalyptic literature was both a message of comfort and an effort to solve the problems of the sufferings of the just and the apparent hopelessness of a fulfilment of the prophecies of Israel's sovereignty on earth. But the inevitable consequence of the apocalyptic distrust of everything present was its assumption of the guise of the remote and classic past; in other words, its pseudonymous character. Naturally basing itself upon the Pentateuch and the Prophets, it clothed itself fictitiously with the authority of a patriarch or prophet who was made to reveal the transcendent future. But in their effort to adjust this future to the history that lay within their ken the apocalyptic writers unfolded also a philosophy of the origin and progress of mundane things. A wider view of world-politics and a comprehensive cosmological speculation are among the distinctive traits of Jewish apocalyptic. The Book of Daniel is the one book of the Old Testament to which the non-inspired Revelations bear the closest affinity, and it evidently furnished ideas to several of the latter. An apocalyptic element existing in the prophets, in Zacharias (1-6), in Tobias (Tobias 13), can be traced back to the visions of Ezechiel which form the prototype of apocalyptic; all this had its influence upon the new literature. Messianism of course plays an important part in apocalyptic eschatology and the idea of the Messias in certain books received a very high development. But even when it is transcendent and mystic it is intensely, almost fanatically, national, and surrounded by fanciful and often extravagant accessories. It lacks the universal outlook of some of the prophets, especially the Deutero-Isaiah, and is far from having a uniform and consistent physiognomy. Sometimes the Messianic realm is placed upon the transfigured earth, centering in a new Jerusalem; in other works it is lifted into the Heavens; in some books the Messias is wanting or is apparently merely human, while the Parables of Henoch with their pre-existent Messias mark the highest point of development of the Messianic concept to be found in the whole range of Hebrew literature.

(a) The Book of Henoch (Ethiopic), See the separate article under this title.

(b) Assumption of Moses

Origen, "De Principiis," III, 2:1, names the Assumption of Moses — Analepsis Mouseos — as the book cited by the Epistle of Jude, 9, where there is an allusion to a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses. Aside from a few other brief references in patristic literature, nothing more was known of this apocryphon until the Latin manuscript containing a long portion of it was discovered by Ceriani in the Ambrosian Library, at Milan, and published by him in 1861. Its identity with the ancient work is established by a quotation from the latter in the Acts of the Nicene Council. The book purports to be a series of predictions delivered in written form to the safe-keeping of Josue (Joshua) by Moses when the latter, in view of his approaching death, appointed Josue as his successor. The ostensible purpose of these deliverances is to confirm the Mosaic laws and the admonitions in Deuteronomy. The entire history of Israel is outlined. In a vehement and glowing style the book delineates under its prophetic guise the impiety of Israel's Hasmonean rulers and Sadducean priests. The historical allusions come down to the reign of an insolent monarch who is plainly Herod the Great, and a powerful ruler who shall come from the West and subjugate the people — a reference to the punitive expedition of Quintilius Varus, 4 B.C. But the Messias will intervene and execute Divine wrath upon the enemies of the nation, and a cataclysm of nature, which is depicted with truly apocalyptic sublimity, will forerun the beginning of the new era. Strangely there is no mention of a resurrection or a judgment of individuals. The book then returns to the doings of Moses and Josue. The manuscript breaks off abruptly at chapter 12, and the portion cited by Jude must have belonged to the lost conclusion. This Revelation has with solid reasons been assigned to the early years after Herod's death, between 4 B.C. and A.D. 10. It is evident that neither of Herod's sons, Philip and Antipas, had yet reigned thirty-four years, since the writer, hazarding a prediction that proved false, says that the sons should enjoy shorter reigns than their father. Thus the latest possible date of composition is fixed at A.D. 30. The author was a Jew, and in all likelihood a Palestinian one. He belonged neither to the Pharisees of the type of Christ's epoch, nor to the Sadducees, since he excoriates both alike. He must have been either a Zealot, that is an ultra-Nationalist and Messianist, or a fervid Essene. He wrote in Hebrew or Aramaic. The Latin text is translated from a Greek version.

(c) Book of the Secrets of Henoch (Slavonic Henoch)

In 1892 attention was called to Slavonic manuscripts which on examination proved to contain another Henoch book differing entirely from the Ethiopic compilation. "The Book of the Secrets of Henoch" contains passages which satisfy allusions of Origen to which there is nothing corresponding in the Ethiopic Henoch. The same may be said about citations in the "Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs." Internal evidence shows that the new Henoch was composed by an Alexandrian Jew about the beginning of our Era, and in Greek. The work is sharply marked off from the older book by the absence of a Messias and the want of reference to a resurrection of the dead. It mingles many bizarre details concerning the celestial realm, the angels, and stars, with advanced ideas on man's destiny, moral excellence, and the punishment of sin. The patriarch is taken up through the seven heavens to the very throne of the Eternal. Some of the details throw interesting light on various obscure allusions in the Bible, such as the superimposed heavens, the presence of evil powers "in heavenly places," Ezechiel's strange creatures full of eyes.

(d) Fourth Book of Esdras

The personage serving as the screen of the real author of this book is Esdras (Ezra), the priest-scribe and leader among the Israelites who returned from Babylonia, to Jerusalem. The fact that two canonical books are associated with his name, together with a genuine literary power, a profoundly religious spirit pervading Fourth Esdras, and some Messianic points of contact with the Gospels combined to win for it an acceptance among Christians unequalled by any other apocryphon. Both Greek and Latin Fathers cite it as prophetical, while some, as Ambrose, were ardent admirers of it. Jerome alone is positively unfavourable. Notwithstanding this widespread reverence for it in early times, it is a remarkable fact that the book never got a foothold in the canon or liturgy of the Church. Nevertheless, all through the Middle Ages it maintained an intermediate position between canonical and merely human compositions, and even after the Council of Trent, together with Third Esdras, was placed in the appendix to the official edition of the Vulgate. Besides the original Greek text, which has not survived, the book has appeared in Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions. The first and last two chapters of the Latin translation do not exist in the Oriental ones and have been added by a Christian hand. And yet there need be no hesitation in relegating the Fourth Book of Esdras to the ranks of the apocrypha. Not to insist on the allusion to the Book of Daniel in 12:11, the date given in the first version (3:1) is erroneous, and the whole tenor and character of the work places it in the age of apocalyptic literature. The dominant critical dating assigns it to a Jew writing in the reign of Domitian, A.D. 81-96. Certainly it was composed some time before A.D. 218, since it is expressly quoted by Clement of Alexandria. The original text, 3-14, is of one piece and the work of a single author. The motive of the book is the problem lying heavily upon Jewish patriots after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. The outlook was most dark and the national life seemed utterly extinguished. In consequence, a sad and anxious spirit pervades the work, and the writer, using the guise of Esdras lamenting over the ruin of the first city and temple, insistently seeks to penetrate the reasons of God's apparent abandonment of His people and the non-fulfilment of His promises. The author would learn the future of his nation. His interest is centered in the latter; the universalism of the book is attenuated. The Revelation is composed of seven visions. The Messianism of Fourth Esdras suffers from the discouragement of the era and is influenced by the changed conditions produced by the advent of Christianity. Its Messias is mortal, and his reign merely one of happiness upon earth. Likewise the eschatology labours with two conflicting elements: the redemption of all Israel and the small number of the elect. All mankind sinned with Adam. The Fourth Book of Esdras is sometimes called by non-Christians Second Esdras, as they apply the Hebrew form, Ezra, to the canonical books.

(e) Revelation of Baruch

For a long time a Latin fragment, chapters 78-87, of this pseudograph had been known. In 1866 a complete Syriac text was discovered by Monsignor Ceriani, whose researches in the Ambrosian Library of Milan have so enriched the field of ancient literature. The Syriac is a translation from the Greek; the original was written in Hebrew. There is a close relation between this Revelation and that of Fourth Esdras, but critics are divided over the question, which has influenced the other. The probabilities favour the hypothesis that the Baruch apocryphon is an imitation of that of Esdras and therefore later. The approximate dates assigned to it range between A.D. 50 and 117. The "Revelation of Baruch" is a somewhat artificial production, without the originality and force of Fourth Esdras. It deals in part with the same problems, viz., the sufferings of the theocratic people, and their ultimate triumph over their oppressors. When certain passages are freed from evident Christian interpolations, its Messianism in general is earthly, but in the latter part of the book the Messias's realm tends unmistakably towards a more spiritual conception. As in Fourth Esdras, sin is traced to the disobedience of Adam. Greater importance is attached to the law than in the related composition, and the points of contact with the New Testament are more striking. The author was a Pharisee, but one who, while adopting a distinctly Jewish view, was probably acquainted with the Christian Scriptures and freely laid them under contribution. Some recent students of the "Revelation of Baruch" have seen in it a composite work, but the majority of critics hold with better reason to its unity. The book is lengthy. It speaks in the person of Baruch, the secretary of Jeremias. It opens with a palpable error of chronology. Baruch announces the doom of the city and temple of Jerusalem of the Babylonian epoch. However, not the Chaldeans, but angels, will bring about the destruction. Another and pre-existent Holy City is reserved by God, since the world cannot exist without a Jerusalem. The artificiality and tediousness of the Revelation are redeemed by a singular breadth of view and elevation of doctrine, with the limitation noted.

(f) The Revelation of Abraham

The Revelation of Abraham has recently been translated from Slavonic into German. It relates the circumstances of Abraham's conversions and the visions thereupon accorded him. His guide in the a celestial realms is Jael, an angel distinct from God, but possessing divine powers in certain regards. The work has affinities with Fourth Esdras and the "Revelation of Baruch." The origin of evil is explained by man's free will. The Elect, or Messias, will gather the dispersed tribes, but God alone will punish the enemies of Israel. Particularism and the transcendence of the last cosmic stage are the notes of this Revelation. Its data, however, are so vague that it is impossible to fix the time of its composition.

(g) The Revelation of Daniel

The Revelation of Daniel is the work of a Persian Jew of the twelfth century, and is unique in foretelling two Messiases: one, the son of Joseph (Christ), whose career ends in his failure and death; the other the son of David, who will liberate Israel and reign on earth gloriously.


Legendary Apocrypha of Jewish Origin.

(a) Book of Jubilees or Little Genesis

Epiphanius, Jerome, and others quote a work under the title "The Jubilees" or "The Little Genesis." St. Jerome testifies that the original was in Hebrew. It is cited by Byzantine authors down to the twelfth century. After that we hear no more of it until it was found in an Ethiopic manuscript in the last century. A considerable Latin fragment has also been recovered. The Book of the Jubilees is the narrative of Genesis amplified and embellished by a Jew of the Pharisee period. It professes to be a revelation given to Moses by the "Angel of the Face." There is a very systematic chronology according to the years, weeks of years, and jubilees. A patriarchal origin is ascribed to the great Jewish feasts. The angelology is highly developed, but the writer disbelieved in the resurrection of the body. The observance of the Law is insisted on. It is hard to fix either the date or the religious circle in which the work arose. Jerusalem and the Temple still stood, and the Book of Henoch is quoted. As for the lowest date, the book is employed by the Jewish portion of the "Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs." Estimates vary between 135 B.C. and A.D. 60. Among the lost Jewish apocrypha, the one worthy of special notice here is;

(b) The Book of Jannes and Mambres

2 Timothy 3:8, applies these names to the Egyptian magicians who reproduced some of the wonders wrought by Moses. The names are not found in the Old Testament. Origen remarks that St. Paul does not quote "from public writings but from a sacred book which is called Jannes and Mambres." The names were known to Pliny, and figure in the Talmudic traditions. Recently R. James in the "Journal of Theological Studies," 1901, 2, 572-577, claims to have found a fragment of this lost apocryphon in Latin and Old English versions.

(c) Third Book of Esdras

This is also styled by non-Christians the First Book of Esdras, since they give to the first canonical Esdrine writing the Hebrew form Ezra. Third Esdras is one of the three uncanonical books appended to the official edition of the Vulgate. It exists in two of the oldest codices of the Septuagint, viz., Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, where it precedes the canonical Esdras. The same is true of manuscripts of the Old Latin and other versions. Third Esdras enjoyed exceptional favour in the early ages of the Church, being quoted as Scripture with implicit faith by the leading Greek and Latin Fathers. St. Jerome, however, the great minimizer of sacred literature, rejected it as apocryphal, and thenceforward its standing was impaired. The book in fact is made up for the most part of materials taken from the inspired books of Paralipomenon, Esdras, and Nehemias, put together, however, in great chronological confusion. We must suppose that it was subsequent to the above Scriptures, since it was evidently composed in Greek and by an Alexandrian Jew. The only original part of the work is chapters 3-5:6. This recounts a contest between three young Hebrews of the bodyguard of King Darius, each striving to formulate the wisest saying. The victory is awarded to Zorobabel (Zerubbabel), who defends Truth as the strongest force, and the audience shouts: "Great is Truth and powerful above all things!" (Magna est veritas et proevalebit.) The date of composition is not ascertainable except within very wide limits. These are on one side c. 300 B.C., the latest time assigned to Paralipomenon-Esdras-Nehemias, and on the other, c. A.D. 100, the era of Josephus, who employed Third Esdras. There is greater likelihood that the composition took place before our Era.

(d) Third Book of Machabees

Third Book of Machabees is the title given to a short narrative which is found in the Alexandrine codex of the Septuagint version and various private manuscripts. It gives an account of an attempted desecration of the Temple at Jerusalem by the Egyptian king, Ptolemy 4 (Philopator) after his victory over Antiochus the Great at Raphia, 217 B.C., and the miraculous frustration of his endeavour to wreak vengeance upon the Egyptian Jews through a massacre with elephants. This apocryphon abounds in absurdities and psychological impossibilities, and is a very weak piece of fiction written in Greek by an Alexandrian Jew, and probably designed to encourage its countrymen in the midst of persecutions. It rests on no ascertainable historical fact, but apparently is an extravagant and varying version of the occurrence related by Josephus, "Against Apion," 51, 5. The date cannot be determined. Since the book shows acquaintance with the Greek additions to Daniel, it cannot be earlier than the first century B.C., and could scarcely have found such favour among Christians if composed later than the first century after Christ. The Syrian Church was the first to give it a friendly reception, presumably on the strength of its mention in the Apostolic Constitutions. Later, Third Machabees was admitted into the canon of the Greek Church, but seems never to have been known to the Latins.

Apocryphal psalms and prayers.

(a) Psalms of Solomon

This is a collection of eighteen psalms composed in Hebrew, and, as is commonly agreed, by a Pharisee of Palestine, about the time of Pompey's capture of Jerusalem, 63 B.C. The collection makes no pretensions to authorship by Solomon, and therefore is not, strictly speaking, apocryphal. The name of the wise king became associated with it later and doubtless was the means of preserving it. The spirit of these psalms is one of great moral earnestness and righteousness, but it is the righteousness of the Pharisees, consisting in the observance of the legal traditions and ceremonial law. The Hasmonean dynasty and the Sadducees are denounced. A Messianic deliverer is looked for, but he is to be merely human. He will reign by holiness and justice, and not by the sword. Free will and the resurrection are taught. The Psalms of Solomon are of value in illustrating the religious views and attitudes of the Pharisees in the age of Our Lord. The manuscripts of the Septuagint contain at the end of the canonical Psalter a short psalm (151), which, however, is "outside the number," i.e. of the Psalms. Its title reads: "This psalm was written by David himself in addition to the number, when he had fought with Goliath." It is based on various passages in the Old Testament, and there is no evidence that it was ever written in Hebrew.

(b) Prayer of Manasses (Manasseh)

A beautiful Penitential prayer put in the mouth of Manasses, King of Juda, who carried idolatrous abominations so far. The composition is based on II Paralipomenon 33:11-13, which states that Manasses was carried captive to Babylon and there repented; while the same source (18) refers to his prayer as recorded in certain chronicles which are lost. Learned opinion differs as to whether the prayer which has come down to us was written in Hebrew or Greek. Several ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint contain it as an appendix to the Psalter. It is also incorporated in the ancient so-called Apostolic Constitutions. In editions of the Vulgate antedating the Council of Trent it was placed after the books of Paralipomenon. The Clementine Vulgate relegated it to the appendix, where it is still to be found in reprints of the standard text. The prayer breathes a Christian spirit, and it is not entirely certain that it is really of Jewish origin.


Jewish philosophy.

(a) Fourth Book of Machabees

This is a short philosophical treatise on the supremacy of pious reason, that is reason regulated by divine law, which for the author is the Mosaic Law. In setting up reason as the master of human passion, the author was distinctly influenced by Stoic philosophy. >From it also he derived his four cardinal virtues: prudence, righteousness (or justice), fortitude, temperance; phronesis, dikaiosyne, andreia, sophrosyne, and it was through Fourth Machabees that this category was appropriated by early Christian ascetical writers. The second part of the book exhibits the sufferings of Eleazar and the seven Machabean brothers as examples of the dominion of pious reason. The aim of the Hellenistic Jewish author was to inculcate devotion to the Law. He is unknown. The work was erroneously ascribed to Josephus by Eusebius and others. It appears to have been produced before the fall of Jerusalem, but its date is a matter of conjecture.


Apocrypha of jewish origin with christian accretions.

(a) Sibylline Oracles

See the separate article under this title.

(b) Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. This is an extensive pseudograph, consisting of;

narrations in which each of the twelve sons of Jacob relates his life, embellished by Midrashic expansions of the Biblical data

exhortations by each patriarch to the practice of virtues, or the shunning of vices illustrated in his life

apocalyptic portions concerning the future of the twelve tribes, and the Messianic times

The body of the work is undoubtedly Judaic, but there are many interpolations of an unmistakably Christian origin, presenting in their ensemble a fairly full Christology, but one suspected of Docetism. Recent students of the Testaments assign with much probability the Jewish groundwork to the Hasmonean period, within the limits 135-63 B.C. Portions which extol the tribes of Levi and Juda are interpreted as an apology for the Hasmonean pontiff-kings. The remaining ten tribes are supposed to be yet in existence, and are urged to be faithful to the representatives of the priestly and royal power. In this defence of the Machabean dynasty, and by a writer with Pharisaic tendencies, probably a priest, the Testaments are unique in Jewish literature. True, there are passages in which the sacerdotal caste and the ruling tribes are unsparingly denounced, but these are evidently later insertions. The eschatology is rather advanced. The Messias is to spring from the tribe of Levi (elsewhere, however, from Juda); he is to be the eternal High-Priest — a unique feature of the book — as well as the civil ruler of the nation. During his reign sin will gradually cease. The gates of paradise are to be opened and the Israelites and converted Gentiles will dwell there and eat of the tree of life. The Messianic kingdom is therefore to be an eternal one on earth, therein agreeing with the Ethiopic Henoch. The Testaments exist complete in Greek, Armenian, Latin, and Slavonic versions. Aramaic and Syriac fragments are preserved.

(c) The Ascension of Isaiah

The Ascension of Isaiah consists of two parts:

The Martyrdom of Isaiah, in which it is told that the prophet was sawn in two by the order of the wicked King Manasses.

The Ascension proper.

This purports to be the description by Isaiah of a vision in which he was rapt up through the seven heavens to the presence of the Trinity, and beheld the descent of the Son, "the Beloved," on His mission of redemption. He changes his form in passing through the inferior celestial circles. The prophet then sees the glorified Beloved reascending. The Martyrdom is a Jewish work, saving some rather large interpolations. The rest is by Christian hands or perhaps a single writer, who united his Revelation with the Martyrdom. There are tokens that the Christian element is a product of Gnosticism, and that our work is the same with that much in favour among several heretical sects under the name of the "Anabaticon," or "Ascension of Isaiah." The Jewish portion is thought to have appeared in the first century of our era; the remainder, in the middle of the second. Justin, Tertullian, and Origen seem to have been acquainted with the Martyrdom; Sts. Jerome and Epiphanius are the earliest witnesses for the Ascension proper. The apocryphon exists in Greek, Ethiopic, and Slavonic manuscripts.

(d) Minor Jewish-Christian Apocrypha

Space will permit only an enumeration of unimportant specimens of apocryphal literature, extant in whole or part, and consisting of

Jewish originals recast or freely interpolated by Christians, viz., the "Revelations of Elias" (Elijah), "Sophonias" (Zephaniah), the "Paralipomenon of Baruch"; and

Christian compositions whose material was supplied by Jewish sources; the so-called "Revelation of Moses," the "Revelation of Esdras," the "Testament of Abraham," the "Testament of the Three Patriarchs," the "Prayer of Joseph," the "Prayer of Aseneth," the "Marriage of Aseneth," (the wife of Joseph)

Probably with this second class are to be included the "Testaments of Job" and "Zacharias," the "Adam Books," the "Book of Creation," the "Story of Aphikia" (the wife of Jesus Sirach). These works as a rule appeared in the East, and in many cases show Gnostic tendencies. Further information about some of them will be found at the end of articles on the above personages.


Apocrypha of Christian origin.

The term Christian here is used in a comprehensive sense and embraces works produced both by Christians and heretics; the latter are chiefly members of the various branches or schools of Gnosticism, which flourished in the second and third centuries. The Christian apocryphal writings in general imitate the books of the New Testament and therefore, with a few exceptions, fall under the description of Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelations.


Apocryphal gospels.

The term apocryphal in connection with special Gospels must be understood as bearing no more unfavourable an import than "uncanonical." This applies to the Gospel of the Hebrews and in a less degree to that of the Egyptians, which in the main seem to have been either embodiments of primitive tradition, or a mere recasting of canonical Gospels with a few variations and amplifications. It is true, all the extant specimens of the apocryphal Gospels take the inspired evangelical documents as their starting-point. But the genuine Gospels are silent about long stretches of the life of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Joseph. Frequently they give but a tantalizing glimpse of some episode on which we would fain be more fully informed. This reserve of the Evangelists did not satisfy the pardonable curiosity of many Christians eager for details, and the severe and dignified simplicity of their narrative left unappeased imaginations seeking the sensational and the marvellous. When, therefore, enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended Gospels full of romantic fables and fantastic and striking details, their fabrications were eagerly read and largely accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Christians and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no other motive than that of a pious fraud, being sometimes moved by a real though misguided zeal, as witness the author of the Pseudo-Matthew: Amor Christi est cui satisfecimus. But the heretical apocryphists, while gratifying curiosity, composed spurious Gospels in order to trace backward their beliefs and peculiarities to Christ Himself. The Church and the Fathers were hostile even towards the narratives of orthodox authorship. It was not until the Middle Ages, when their true origin was forgotten even by most of the learned, that these apocryphal stories began to enter largely into sacred legends, such as the "Aurea Sacra," into miracle plays, Christian art, and poetry. A comparison of the least extravagant of these productions with the real Gospels reveals the chasm separating them. Though worthless historically, the apocryphal Gospels help us to better understand the religious conditions of the second and third centuries, and they are also of no little value as early witnesses of the canonicity of the writings of the four Evangelists. The quasi-evangelistic compositions concerning Christ which make no pretensions to be Gospels will be treated elsewhere. They are all of orthodox origin.


Apocryphal gospels of Christian origin.

The Protoevangelium Jacobi, or Infancy Gospel of James

It purports to have been written by "James the brother of the Lord," i.e. the Apostle James the Less. It is based on the canonical Gospels which it expands with legendary and imaginative elements, which are sometimes puerile or fantastic. The birth, education, and marriage of the Blessed Virgin are described in the first eleven chapters and these are the source of various traditions current among the faithful. They are of value in indicating the veneration paid to Mary at a very early age. For instance it is the "Protoevangelium" which first tells that Mary was the miraculous offspring of Joachim and Anna, previously childless; that when three years old the child was taken to the Temple and dedicated to its service, in fulfilment of her parents' vow. When Mary was twelve Joseph is chosen by the high-priest as her spouse in obedience to a miraculous sign — a dove coming out of his rod and resting on his head. The nativity is embellished in an unrestrained manner. Critics find that the "Protoevangelium" is a composite into which two or three documents enter. It was known to Origen under the name of the "Book of James." There are signs in St. Justin's works that he was acquainted with it, or at least with a parallel tradition. The work, therefore, has been ascribed to the second century. Portions of it show a familiarity with Jewish customs, and critics have surmised that the groundwork was composed by a Jewish-Christian. The "Protoevangelium" exists in ancient Greek and Syriac recensions. There are also Armenian and Latin translations.

Gospel of St. Matthew

This is a Latin composition of the fourth or fifth century. It pretends to have been written by St. Matthew and translated by St. Jerome. Pseudo-Matthew is in large part parallel to the "Protoevangelium Jacobi," being based on the latter or its sources. It differs in some particulars always in the direction of the more marvellous. Some of its data have replaced in popular belief parallel ones of the older pseudograph. Such is the age of fourteen in which Mary was betrothed to Joseph. A narrative of the flight into Egypt is adorned with poetic wonders. The dragons, lions, and other wild beasts of the desert adore the infant Jesus. At His word the palm-trees bow their heads that the Holy Family may pluck their fruit. The idols of Egypt are shattered when the Divine Child enters the land. The "Gospel of the Nativity of Mary" is a recast of the Pseudo-Matthew, but reaches only to the birth of Jesus. It is extant in a Latin manuscript of the tenth century.

Arabic Gospel of the Infancy

The Arabic is a translation of a lost Syriac original. The work is a compilation and refers expressly to the "Book of Joseph Caiphas, the High-Priest," the "Gospel of the Infancy," and the "Perfect Gospel." Some of its stories are derived from the Thomas Gospel, and others from a recension of the apocryphal Matthew. However there are miracles, said to have occurred in Egypt, not found related in any other Gospel, spurious or genuine, among them the healings of leprosy through the water in which Jesus had been washed, and the cures effected through the garments He had worn. These have become familiar in pious legend. So also has the episode of the robbers Titus and Dumachus, into whose hands the Holy Family fell. Titus bribes Dumachus not to molest them; the Infant foretells that thirty years thence the thieves will be crucified with Him, Titus on His right and Dumachus on His left and that the former will accompany Him into paradise. The apocryphon abounds in allusions to characters in the real Gospels. Lipsius opines that the work as we have it is a Christian retouching of a Gnostic compilation. It is impossible to ascertain its date, but it was probably composed before the Mohammedan era. It is very popular with the Syrian Nestorians. An originally Arabic "History of Joseph the Carpenter" is published in Tischendorf's collection of apocrypha. It describes St. Joseph's death, related by Our Lord to His disciples. It is a tasteless and bombastic effort, and seems to date from about the fourth century.

Gospel of Gamaliel

Dr. A. Baumstark in the Revue Biblique (April, 1906, 253 sqq.), has given this name to a collection of Coptic fragments of a homogeneous character, which were supposed by another Coptic scholar, Reveillout, to form a portion of the "Gospel of the Twelve Apostles" (q.v. inf.). These fragments have been referred to a single Gospel also by Lacau, in "Fragments d'apocryphes coptes de la bibliothèque nationale" (Cairo, 1904). The narrative is in close dependence on St. John's Gospel. The author did not pose seriously as an evangelist, since he explicitly quotes from the fourth canonical Gospel. He places the relation in the mouth of Gamaliel of Acts 5:34. Baumstark assigns it to the fifth century. The writer was evidently influenced by the "Acta Pilati."

The Transitus Mariæ or Evangelium Joannis

The Transitus Mariæ or Evangelium Joannis, which is written in the name of St. John the Apostle, and describes the death of Mary, enjoyed a wide popularity, as is attested by the various recensions in different languages which exist. The Greek has the superscription: "The Account of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God." One of the Latin versions is prefaced by a spurious letter of Melito, Bishop of Sardis, explaining that the object of the work was to counteract a heretical composition of the same title and subject. There is a basis of truth in this statement as our apocryphon betrays tokens of being a Gnostic writing worked over in an orthodox interest. A "Transitus Mariæ" is numbered among the apocrypha by the official list of the "Decretum of Gelasius" of the fifth or sixth century. It is problematic, however, whether this is to be identified with our recast Transitus or not. Critics assign the latter to the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century. The relation of the Transitus to the tradition of Mary's Assumption has not yet been adequately examined. However, there is warrant for saying that while the tradition existed substantially in portions of the Church at an early period, and thus prepared the way for the acceptance of mythical amplifications, still its later form and details were considerably influenced by the Transitus and kindred writings. Certainly the homilies of St. John Damascene, "In Dormitionem Mariæ," reveal evidence of this influence, e.g. the second homily, 12 - 14. Going further back, the "Encomium" of Modestus, Bishop of Jerusalem, in the seventh century (P.G. 136, 3311), and the Pseudo-Dionysius of the fifth (De divinis nominibus, 3), probably suppose an acquaintance with apocryphal narratives of the Death and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. These narratives have a common groundwork, though varying considerably in minor circumstances. The Apostles are preternaturally transported from different quarters of the globe to the Virgin's deathbed, those who had died being resuscitated for the purpose. The "Departure" takes place at Jerusalem, though the Greek version places Mary first at Bethlehem. A Jew who ventures to touch the sacred body instantly loses both hands, which are restored through the mediation of the Apostles. Christ accompanied by a train of angels comes down to receive His mother's soul. The Apostles bear the body to Gethsemani and deposit it in a tomb, whence it is taken up alive to Heaven.


Judaistic and Heretical Gospels.

Gospel according to the Hebrews

Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, and St. Epiphanius speak of a "Gospel according to the Hebrews" which was the sole one in use among the Palestinian Judeo-Christians, otherwise known as the Nazarenes. Jerome translated it from the Aramaic into Greek. It was evidently very ancient, and several of the above mentioned writers associate it with St. Matthew's Gospel, which it seems to have replaced in the Jewish-Christian community at an early date. The relation between the Gospel according to the Hebrews and our canonical Matthew Gospel is a matter of controversy. The surviving fragments prove that there were close literal resemblances. Harnack asserts that the Hebrew Gospel was entirely independent, the tradition it contained being parallel to that of Matthew. Zahn, while excluding any dependence on our Greek canonical Matthew, maintains one on the primitive Matthew, according to which its general contents were derived from the latter. This Gospel seems to have been read as canonical in some non-Palestinian churches; the Fathers who are acquainted with it refer to it with a certain amount of respect. Twenty-four fragments have been preserved by ecclesiastical writers. These indicate that it had a number of sections in common with the Synoptics, but also various narratives and sayings of Jesus, not found in the canonical Gospels. The surviving specimens lack the simplicity and dignity of the inspired writings; some even savour of the grotesque. We are warranted in saying that while this extra-canonical material probably has as its starting-point primitive tradition, it has been disfigured in the interests of a Judaizing Church.

Gospel According to the Egyptians

It is by this title that Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius describe an uncanonical work, which evidently was circulated in Egypt. All agree that it was employed by heretical sects — for the most part Gnostics. The scanty citations which have been preserved in the Fathers indicate a tendency towards the Encratite condemnation of marriage, and a pantheistic Gnosticism. The Gospel according to the Egyptians did not replace the canonical records in the Alexandrian Church, as Harnack would have us believe, but it seems to have enjoyed a certain popularity in the country districts among the Coptic natives. It could scarcely have been composed later than the middle of the second century and it is not at all impossible that it retouched some primitive material not represented in the canonical Gospels.

Gospel of St. Peter

The existence of an apocryphal composition bearing this name in Christian antiquity had long been known by references to it in certain early patristic writers who intimate that it originated or was current among Christians of Docetic views. Much additional light has been thrown on this document by the discovery of a long fragment of it at Akhmîn in Upper Egypt, in the winter of 1886-87, by the French Archæological Mission. It is in Greek and written on a parchment codex at a date somewhere between the sixth and ninth century. The fragment narrates part of the Passion, the Burial, and Resurrection. It betrays a dependence, in some instances literal, on the four inspired Gospels, and is therefore a valuable additional testimony to their early acceptance. While the apocryphon has many points of contact with the genuine Gospels, it diverges curiously from them in details, and bears evidence of having treated them with much freedom. No marked heretical notes are found in the recovered fragment, but there are passages which are easily susceptible of a heterodox meaning. One of the few extra-canonical passages which may contain an authentic tradition is that which describes Christ as placed in mockery upon a throne by His tormentors. Pseudo-Peter is intermediate in character between the genuine Evangels and the purely legendary apocrypha. Its composition must be assigned to the first quarter or the middle of the second century of the Christian era. C. Schmidt thinks he has found traces of what is perhaps a second Gospel of Peter in some ancient papyri (Schmidt, Sitzungsberichte der königlichen preuss. Akademie zu Berlin, 1895; cf. Bardenhewer, Geschichte 1, 397, 399).

Gospel of St. Philip

Only one or two quotations remain of the Gospel of St. Philip mentioned by Epiphanius and Leontius of Byzantium; but these are enough to prove its Gnostic colouring.

Gospel of St. Thomas

There are two Greek and two Latin redactions of it, differing much from one another. A Syriac translation is also found. A Gospel of Thomas was known to many Fathers. The earliest to mention it is St. Hippolytus (155-235), who informs us that it was in use among the Naasenes, a sect of Syrian Gnostics, and cites a sentence which does not appear in our extant text. Origen relegates it to the heretical writings. St. Cyril of Jerusalem says it was employed by the Manichæans; Eusebius rejects it as heretical and spurious. It is clear that the original Pseudo-Thomas was of heterodox origin, and that it dates from the second century; the citations of Hippolytus establish that it was palpably Gnostic in tenor. But in the extant Thomas Gospel there is no formal or manifest Gnosticism. The prototype was evidently expurgated by a Christian hand, who, however, did not succeed in eradicating all traces of its original taint. The apocryphon in all its present forms extravagantly magnifies the Divine aspect of the boy Jesus. In bold contrast to the Infancy narrative of St. Luke, where the Divinity is almost effaced, the author makes the Child a miracle-worker and intellectual prodigy, and in harmony with Docetism, leaves scarcely more than the appearance of humanity in Him. This pseudo-Gospel is unique among the apocrypha, inasmuch as it describes a part of the hidden life of Our Lord between the ages of five and twelve. But there is much that is fantastic and offensive in the pictures of the exploits of the boy Jesus. His youthful miracles are worked at times out of mere childish fancy, as when He formed clay pigeons, and at a clap of His hands they flew away as living birds; sometimes, from beneficence; but again from a kind of harsh retribution.

Gospel of St. Bartholomew

The so-called Decretum of Gelasius classes the Gospel of St. Bartholomew among the apocrypha. The earliest allusion to it is in St. Jerome's works. Recently scholars have brought to light fragments of it in old Coptic manuscripts. One of these Orientalists, Baumstark, would place its composition in the first part of the fourth century. A Gospel of Matthias is mentioned by Origen and Eusebius among the heretical literature along with the Peter and Thomas Gospels. Hippolytus states that the Basilidean Gnostics appealed to a "secret discourse" communicated to them by the Apostle Matthias who had received instruction privately from the Lord. Clement of Alexandria, who was credulous concerning apocryphal literature, quotes with respect several times the "Tradition of Matthias."

Gospel of the Twelve Apostles

A Gospel of the Twelve Apostles was known to Origen (third century). Other patristic notices give rise to some uncertainty whether the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles of antiquity was really distinct from that of the Hebrews. The greater probabilities oppose their identity. Recently the claim has been made by M. Reveillout, a Coptic scholar, that the lost Gospel has been in a considerable measure recovered in several Coptic fragments, all of which, he asserts, belong to the same document. But this position has been successfully combated by Dr. Baumstark in the in the "Revue Biblique" (April, 1906, 245 sqq.), who will allow at most a probability that certain brief sections appertain to a Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, written originally in Greek and current among Gnostic Ebionites as early as the second century. There exists a late and entirely orthodox Syriac "Gospel of the Twelve Apostles," published by J. Rendel Harris (Cambridge, 1900).

Other Gospels

It is enough to note the existence of other pseudo-Gospels, of which very little is known beside the names. There was a Gospel of St. Andrew, probably identical with the Gnostic "Acts of Andrew" (q.v., inf.); a Gospel of Barnabas, a Gospel of Thaddeus, a Gospel of Eve, and even one of Judas Iscariot, the last in use among the Gnostic sect of Cainites, and which glorified the traitor.


Pilate literature and other apocrypha concerning christ.

While Christianity was struggling against the forces of Roman paganism, there was a natural tendency to dwell upon the part which a representative of the Roman Empire played in the supreme events of Our Lord's life, and to shape the testimony of Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea, even at the cost of exaggeration and amplification, into a weapon of apologetic defence, making that official bear witness to the miracles, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ. Hence arose a considerable apocryphal Pilate literature, of which the Gospel of Gamaliel really forms a part, and like this latter apocryphon, it is characterized by exaggerating Pilate's weak defence of Jesus into strong sympathy and practical belief in His divinity.

Report of Pilate to the Emperor.

In the apocryphal Acts of Peter and Paul there is embodied a letter purporting to have been sent by Pontius Pilate to the Emperor Claudius. This briefly relates the f