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THE NAMES OF CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS
Jesus called those who gathered round him “disciples” (μαθηταί); he called himself the “teacher”686686The saying addressed to the disciples in Matt. xxiii. 8 (ὑμεῖς μὴ κληθῆτε ῥαββεί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε) is very noticeable. One would expect μαθηταί instead of ἀδελφοί here; but the latter is quite appropriate, for Jesus is seeking to emphasize the equality of all his disciples and their obligation to love one another. It deserves notice, however, that the apostles were not termed “teachers,” or at least very rarely, with the exception of Paul. (this is historically certain), while those whom he had gathered addressed him as teacher,687687Parallel to this is the term ἐπιστάτης, which occurs more than once in Luke. and described themselves as disciples (just as the adherents of John the Baptist were also termed disciples of John). From this it follows that the relation of Jesus to his disciples during his lifetime was determined, not by the conception of Messiah, but by that of teacher. As yet the Messianic dignity of Jesus—only to be revealed at his return—remained a mystery of faith still dimly grasped. Jesus himself did not claim it openly until his entry into Jerusalem.
After the resurrection his disciples witnessed publicly and confidently to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, but they still continued to call themselves “disciples”—which proves how tenacious names are when once they have been affixed. The twelve confidants of Jesus were called “the twelve disciples” (or, “the twelve”).688688οἱ μαθηταί is not a term exclusively reserved for the twelve in the primitive age. All Christians were called by this name. The term ἡ μαθήτρια also occurs (cp. Acts ix. 36, and Gosp. Pet. 50). From Acts (cp. i., vi., ix., xi., xiii.-xvi., xviii., xxi.) we learn that although, strictly speaking, “disciples” 400had ceased to be applicable, it was retained by Christians for one or two decades as a designation of themselves, especially by the Christians of Palestine.689689In Acts xxi. 16 a certain Mnason is called ἀρχαῖος μαθητής, which implies perhaps that he is to be regarded as a personal disciple of Jesus, and at any rate that he was a disciple of the first generation. One also notes that, according to the source employed by Epiphanius (Hær., xxix. 7), μαθηταί was the name of the Christians who left Jerusalem for Pella. I should not admit that Luke is following an unjustifiable archaism in using the term μαθηταί so frequently in Acts. Paul never employed it, however, and gradually, one observes, the name of of οί μαθηταί (with the addition of τοῦ κυρίον) came to be exclusively applied to personal disciples of Jesus, i.e., in the first instance to the twelve, and thereafter to others, also,690690Is not a restriction of the idea voiced as early as Matt. x. 42 (ὃς ἂν ποτίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ποτήριον ψυχροῶ μόνον εἰς ὄνομα μαθητοῦ)? as in Papias, Irenæus, etc. In this way it became a title of honor for those who had themselves seen the Lord (and also for Palestinian Christians of the primitive age in general?), and who could therefore serve as evidence against heretics who subjected the person of Jesus to a docetic decomposition. Confessors and martyrs during the second and third centuries were also honored with this high title of “disciples of the Lord.” They too became, that is to say, personal disciples of the Lord. Inasmuch as they attached themselves to him by their confession and he to them (Matt. x. 32), they were promoted to the same rank as the primitive personal disciples of Jesus; they were as near the Lord in glory as were the latter to him during his earthly sojourn.691691During the period subsequent to Acts it is no longer possible, so far as I know, to prove the use of μαθηταί (without the addition of τοῦ κυρίον or Χριστοῦ) as a term used by all adherents of Jesus to designate themselves; that is, if we leave out of account, of course, all passages—and they are not altogether infrequent—in which the word is not technical. Even with the addition of τοῦ κυρίον, the term ceases to be a title for Christians in general by the second century.—One must not let oneself he misled by late apochryphal books, nor by the apologists of the second century. The latter often describe Christ as their teacher, and themselves (or Christians generally) as disciples, but this has no connection, or at best an extremely loose connection, with the primitive terminology. It is moulded, for apologetic reasons, upon the terminology of the philosophic schools, just as the apologists chose to talk about “dogmas” of the Christian teaching, and “theology” (see my Dogmensgeschichte, I.(3) pp. 482 f.; Eng. trans., ii. 176 f.). As everyone is aware, the apologists knew perfectly well that, strictly speaking, Christ was not a teacher, but rather lawgiver (νομοθέτης), law (νόμος), Logos (λόγος), Saviour (σωτήρ), and judge (κριτής), so that an expression like κυριακὴ διδασκαλία, or “the Lord's instructions” (apologists and Clem., Strom., VI. xv. 124, VI. xviii. 165, VII. x. 57, VII. xv. 90, VII. xviii. 165), is not to be adduced as a proof that the apologists considered Jesus to be really their teacher. Rather more weight would attach to διδαχή κυρίου (the title of the well-known early catechism), and passages like 1 Clem. xiii. 1 (τῶν λόγων τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ οὓς έλάλησεν διδάσκων = the word of the Lord Jesus which he spoke when teaching); Polyc. 2 (μνημονεύοντες ὧν εἶπεν ὁ κύριος διδάσκων = remembering what the Lord said as he taught); Ptolem., ad Flor. v. (ἡ διδασκαλία τοῦ σωτῆρος) and Apost. Constit., p. 25 (Texte u. Unters., ii., part 5—προορῶντας τοὺς λόγους τοῦ διδασκάλον ἡμῶν = the words of our teacher); p. 28 (ὅτε ᾔτησεν ὁ διδασκάλος τὸν ἄρτον = when the teacher asked for bread); p. 30 (προέλεγεν ὅτε ἐδίδασκεν = he foretold when he taught). But, apropos of these passages, we have to recollect that the Apostolic Constitutions is a work of fiction, which makes the apostles its spokesmen (thus it is that Jesus is termed ὁ διδάσκαλος in the original document underlying the Constitutions, i.e., the disciples call him by this name in the fabricated document). There are numerous passages to prove that martyrs and confessors were those, and those alone, to whom the predicate of “disciples of Jesus” was attached already, in the present age, since it was they who actually followed and imitated Jesus. Compare, e.g., Ignat., ad Ephes. i. (ἐλπίζω ἐπιτυχεῖν ἐν Ῥώμῃ θηριομαχῆσαι, ἵνα ἐπιτυχεῖν δυνηθῶ μαθητὴς εἶναι = my hope is to succeed in fighting with beasts at Rome, so that I may succeed in being a disciple); ad Rom. iv. ( τότε ἔσομαι μαθητὴς ἀληθὴς τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅτε οὐδὲ τὸ σῶμά μου ὅ κόσμος ὄψεται = then shall I be a true disciple of Christ, when the world no longer sees my body; ad Rom. v. (ἐν τοῖς ἀδικήμασιν αὐτῶν μάλλον μαθητεύομαι = through their misdeeds I became more a disciple than ever); Mart. Polyc. xvii. (τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεού προσκυνοῦμεν , τοὺς δὲ μάρτυρας ὡς μαθητὰς καὶ μιμητὰς τοῦ κυρίου ἀγαπῶμεν = we worship the Son of God, and love the martyrs as disciples and imitators of the Lord). When Novatian founded his puritan church, he seems to have tried to resuscitate the idea of every Christian being a disciple and imitator of Christ.401
The term “disciples” fell into disuse, because it no longer expressed the relationship in which Christians now found themselves placed. It meant at once too little and too much. Consequently other terms arose, although these did not in every instance become technical.
The Jews, in the first instance, gave their renegade compatriots special names of their own, in particular “Nazarenes,” “Galileans,” and perhaps also “Poor” (though it is probably quite correct to take this as a self-designation of Jewish Christians, since “Ebionim” in the Old Testament is a term of respect). But these titles really did not prevail except in small circles. “Nazarenes” alone enjoyed and for long retained a somewhat extensive circulation.692692The first disciples of Jesus were called Galileans (cp. Acts i. 11, ii. 7), which primarily was a geographical term to denote their origin, but was also intended to heap scorn on the disciples as semi-pagans. The name rarely became a technical term, however. Epictetus once employed it for Christians (Arrian, Diss., IV. vii. 6). Then Julian resurrected it (Greg. Naz., Orat. iv.: καινοτομεῖ ὁ Ἰουλιανὸς περὶ τὴν προσηyορίαν, Γαλιλαίους ἀντὶ Χριστιανῶν ὀνομάσας τε καὶ καλεῖσθαι νομοθετήσας . . . . ὄνομα [Γαλιλαῖοι] τῶν οὐκ εἰωθότων) and employed it as a tern of abuse, although in this as in other points he was only following in the footsteps of Maximinus Daza, or of his officer Theoteknus, an opponent of Christianity (if this Theoteknus is to be identified with Daza's officer), who (according to the Acta Theodoti Ancyrani, c. xxxi.) dubbed Theodotus πμοστάτης τῶν Γαλιλαίων, or “the ringleader of the Galileans.” These Acta, however, are subsequent to Julian. We may assume that the Christians were already called “Galileans” in the anti-Christian writings which Daza caused to be circulated. The Philopatris of pseudo-Lucian, where “Galileans” also occurs, has nothing whatever to do with our present purpose; it is merely a late Byzantine forgery. With the description of Christians as “Galileans,” however, we may compare the title of “Phrygians” given to the Montanists.—The name “Ebionites” (or poor) is not quite obvious. Possibly the Christian believers got this name from their Jewish opponents simply because they were poor, and accepted the designation. More probably, however, the Palestinian Christians called themselves by this name on the basis of the Old Testament. Recently, Hilgenfeld has followed the church-fathers, Tertullian, Epiphanius (Hær., xxx. 18), etc., in holding that the Ebionites must be traced back to a certain Ebion who founded the sect; Dalman also advocates this derivation. Technically, the Christians were never described as “the poor” throughout the empire; the passage in Minuc., Octav. xxxvi., is not evidence enough to establish such a theory. The term “Nazarenes” or “Nazoreans” (a Jewish title for all Jewish Christians, according to Jerome, Ep. cxii. 13, and a common Persian and Mohammedan title for Christians in general) occurs first of all in Acts xxiv. 5, where Paul is described by Tertullian the orator as πρωτοστάτης τής τῶν Ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως. As Jesus himself is called ὁ Ναζωραῖος in the gospels, there seems to be no doubt that his adherents were so named by their opponents; it is surprising, though not unexampled. The very designation of Jesus as ὁ Ναζωραῖος is admittedly a problem. Did the title come really from Ναζαρέτ (Ναζαρά) the town? Furthermore, Matt. ii. 23 presents a real difficulty. And finally, Epiphanius knows a pre-Christian sect of Jewish Nazarenes (Hær. xviii.; their pre-Christian origin is repeated in ch. xxix. 6) in Galaaditis, Basanitis, and other trans-Jordanic districts. They had distinctive traits of their own, and Epiphanius (Hær. xxix.) distinguishes them from the Jewish Christian sect of the same name as well as from the Nasireans (cp. Hær., xxix. 5), observing (between xx. and xxi., at the conclusion of his first book) that all Christians were at first called Nazoreans by the Jews. Epiphanius concludes by informing us that before Christians got their name at Antioch, they were for a short while called “Jessæans,” which he connects with the Therapeutæ of Philo. Epiphanius is known to have fallen into the greatest confusion over the primitive sects, as is plain from this very passage. We might therefore pass by his pre-Christian Nazarenes without more ado, were it not for the difficulty connected with ὁ Ναζωραῖος as a title of Jesus (and “Nazarenes” as a title for his adherents). This has long been felt by scholars, and W. B. Smith, in a lecture at St. Louis (reprinted in The Monist, Jan. 1905, pp. 25-45), has recently tried to clear up the problem by means of a daring hypothesis. He conjectures that Jesus had nothing to do with Nazareth, in fact that this town was simply invented and maintained by Christians, on the basis of a wrong interpretation of Ναζωραῖος. Ὁ Ναζωραῖος is to be understood as a title equivalent to “Nazar-ja” (God is guardian), in the sense of ὁ σωτήρ = Jesus, etc. This is not the place to examine the hypothesis; it will be a welcome find for the “historical religion” school. An unsolved problem undoubtedly there is; but probably, despite Epiphanius and Smith, the traditional explanation may answer all purposes, the more so as the pre-Christian Nazarenes had nothing that reminds us of the early Christians. Epiphanius says that they were Jews, lived like Jews (with circumcision, the Sabbath, festivals, rejecting fate and astronomy), acknowledged the fathers from Adam to Moses (Joshua), but rejected the Pentateuch (!!). Moses, they held, did receive a law, but not the law as known to the Jews. They observed the law part from all its sacrificial injunctions, and ate no flesh, holding that the books of, Moses had been falsified. Such is the extent of Epiphanius' knowledge. Are we really to believe that there was a pre-Christian Jewish sect across the Jordan, called Nazarenes, who rejected sacrifice and the eating of flesh? And, supposing this were credible, what could be the connection between them and Jesus, since their sole characteristic, noted by Epiphanius, viz., the rejection of sacrifice and flesh, does not apply to Jesus and the primitive Christians? Is it not more likely that Epiphanius, who simply says the “report” of them had reached him, was wrong in giving the name of Nazarenes to gnostic Jewish Christians, about whom he was imperfectly informed, or to some pre-Christian Jewish sect which lived across the Jordan? Or is there some confusion here between Nazirites and Nazarenes?402
The Christians called themselves “God's people,” “Israel in spirit (κατὰ πνεῦμα),” “the seed of Abraham,” “the chosen people,” “the twelve tribes,” “the elect,” “the servants of God,” 403“believers,” “saints,” “brethren,” and the “church of God.”693693So far as I know, no title was ever derived from the name of “Jesus” in the primitive days of Christianity.—On the question whether Christians adopted the name of “Friends” as a technical title, see the first Excursus at the close of this chapter. Of these names the first seven (and others of a similar character) never became technical terms taken singly, but, so to speak, collectively. They show how the new community felt itself to be heir to all the promises and privileges of the Jewish nation. At the same time, “the elect”694694Cp. Minuc. Felix, xi. “Elect” is opposed to οἱ πολλοί. Hence the latter is applied by Papias to false Christians (Eus., H.E., iii. 39), and by Heracleon the gnostic, on the other hand, to ordinary Christians (Clem., Strom. IV. ix. 73). and “the servants of God”695695Cp. the New Testament, and especially the “Shepherd” of Hermas. came very near being technical expressions.
From the usage and vocabulary of Paul, Acts, and later writings,696696Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff is perhaps right in adducing also Min. Felix, xiv. , where Cæcilius calls Octavius “pistorum praecipuus et postremus philosophus” (“chief of believers and lowest of philosophers”). “Pistores” here does not mean “millers,” but is equivalent to πιστῶν. The pagan in Macarius Magnes (III. xvii.) also calls Christians ἡ τῶν πιστῶν φρατρία. From Celsus also one may conclude that the term πιστοί was technical (Orig., c. Cels., I. ix.). The pagans employed it as an opprobrious name for their opponents, though the Christians wore it as a name of honor; they were people of mere “belief” instead of people of intelligence and knowledge, i.e., people who were not only credulous but also believed what was absurd (see Lucian's verdict on the Christians in Proteus Peregrinus).—In Noricum an inscription has been found, dating from the fourth century (C.I.L., vol. iii. Supplem. Pars Poster., No. 13,529), which describes a woman as “Christiana fidelis,” i.e., probably as a baptized Christian. “Fidelis” in the Canon of Elvira means baptized Christian, and “Christianus” means catechumen. The name of “Pistus” was afterwards a favourite name among Christians: two bishops of this name were at the Council of Nicæa. The opposite of “fidelis” was “paganus” (see below). it follows that believers” (πιστοί) was a technical 404term. In assuming the name of “believers” (which originated, we may conjecture, on the soil of Gentile Christianity), Christians felt that the decisive and cardinal thing in their religion was the message which had made them what they were, a message which was nothing else than the preaching of the one God, of his son Jesus Christ, and of the life to come.
The three characteristic titles, however, are those of “saints,” “brethren,” and “the church of God,” all of which hang together. The abandonment of the term “disciples” for these self-chosen titles697697They are the usual expressions in Paul, but he was by no means the first to employ them; on the contrary, he must have taken them over from the Jewish Christian communities in Palestine. At the same time they acquired a deeper content in his teaching. In my opinion, it is impossible to maintain the view (which some would derive from the New Testament) that the Christians at Jerusalem were called “the saints,” κατ᾽ ἐδοχήν, and it is equally erroneous to conjecture that the Christianity of the apostolic and post-apostolic ages embraced a special and inner circle of people to whom the title of “saints” was exclusively applied. This cannot be made out, either from 1 Tim. v. 10, or from Heb. xiii. 24, or from Did. iv. 2, or from any other passage, although there was at a very early period a circle of ascetics, i.e., of Christians who, in this sense, were especially “holy.” The expression “the holy apostles” in Eph. iii. 5 is extremely surprising; I do not think it likely that Paul used such a phrase.—The earliest attribute of the word “church,” be it noted, was “holy”; cp. the collection of passages in Hahn-Harnack's Bibliothek der Symbole (3), p. 388, and also the expressions “holy people” (ἔθνος ἅγιον, λαὸς ἅγιος), “holy priesthood.” marks the most significant advance made by those who believed in Jesus (cp. Weizsäcker, op. cit., pp. 36 f.; Eng. trans., i. pp. 43 f.). They took the name of “saints,” because they were sanctified by God and for God through the holy Spirit sent by Jesus, and because they were conscious of being truly holy and partakers in the future glory despite all the sins that 405daily clung to them.698698The actual and sensible guarantee of holiness lay in the holy media, the “charismata,” and the power of expelling demons. The latter possessed not merely a real but a personal character of their own. For the former, see 1 Cor . vii. 14: ἡγίασται ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ ἄπιστος ἐν τῇ γυναικί, καὶ ἡγίασται ἡ γυνὴ ἡ ἅπιστος ἡν τῷ ἀδελφῷ· ἐπεί ἄρα τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν ἀκάθαρτά ἐστιν, νῦν δὲ ἅγιά ἐστιν. It remains the technical term applied by Christians to one another till after the middle of the second century (cp. Clem. Rom., Hermas, the Didachê, etc.); thereafter it gradually disappears,699699But Gregory Thaumaturgus still calls Christians in general “the saints,” in the seventh of his canons. as Christians had no longer the courage to call themselves “saints,” after all that had happened. Besides, what really distinguished Christians from one another by this time was the difference between the clergy and the laity (or the leaders and the led), so that the name “saints” became quite obliterated; it was only recalled in hard times of persecution. In its place, “holy orders” arose (martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and finally—during the third century—the bishops), while “holy media” (sacraments), whose fitful influence covered Christians who were personally unholy, assumed still greater prominence than in the first century. People were no longer conscious of being personally holy;700700The church formed by Novatian in the middle of the third century called itself “the pure” (καθαροί), but we cannot tell whether this title was an original formation or the resuscitation of an older name. I do not enter into the question of the names taken by separate Christian sects and circles (such as the Gnostics, the Spiritualists, etc.). but then they had holy martyrs, holy ascetics, holy priests, holy ordinances, holy writings, and a holy doctrine.
Closely bound up with the name of “saints” was that of “brethren” (and “sisters”), the former denoting the Christians' relationship to God and to the future life (or βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ, the kingdom of God), the latter the new relationship in which they felt themselves placed towards their fellow-men, and, above all, towards their fellow-believers (cp. also the not infrequent title of “brethren in the Lord”). After Paul, this title became so common that the pagans soon grew familiar with it, ridiculing and besmirching it, but unable, for all that, to evade the impression which it made. For the term did correspond to the conduct of Christians.701701See the opinions of pagans quoted by the apologists, especially Tertull., Apo1. xxxix., and Minuc., Octav., ix., xxxi., with Lucian's Prot. Peregrinus. Tertullian avers that pagans were amazed at the brotherliness of Christians: “See how they love one another!”—In pagan guilds the name of “brother” is also found, but so far as I am aware, it is not common. From Acts xxii. 5, xxviii. 21, we must infer that the Jews also called each other “brethren,” but the title cannot have had the significance for them that it possessed for Christians. Furthermore, as Jewish teachers call their pupils “children” (or “sons” and “daughters”), and are called by them in turn “father,” these appellations also occur very frequently in the relationship between the Christian apostles and teachers and their pupils (cp. the numerous passages in Paul, Barnabas, etc.). They termed themselves a brotherhood 406(ἀδελφόης; cp. 1 Pet. ii. 17, v. 9, etc.) as well as brethren (ἀδελφοί), and to realize how fixed and frequent was the title, to realize how truly it answered to their life and conduct,702702Details on this point, as well as on the import of this fact for the Christian mission, in Book II. Chap. III. one has only to study, not merely the New Testament writings (where Jesus himself employed it and laid great emphasis upon it703703Cp. Matt. xxiii. 8 (see above, p. 399), and xii. 48, where Jesus says of the disciples, ἰδοὺ ἡ μητήρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου. Thus they are not merely brethren, but his brethren. This was familiar to Paul (cp. Rom. viii. 29, πρωτότοκος ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς), but afterwards it became rare, though Tertullian does call the flesh “the sister of Christ” (de Resurr. ix., cp. de Carne, vii.).), but Clemens Romanus, the Didachê, and the writings of the apologists.704704Apologists of a Stoic cast, like Tertullian (Apol. xxxix.), did not confine the name of “brethren” to their fellow-believers, but extended it to all men “Fratres etiam vestri sumus, lure naturae matris unius” (“We are your brethren also in virtue of our common mother Nature”). Yet even the name of “the brethren,” though it outlived that of “the saints,” lapsed after the close705705It still occurs, though rarely, in the third century; cp., e.g., Hippolytus in the Philosophumena, and the Acta Pionii, ix. Theoretically, of course, the name still survived for a considerable time; cp., e.g., Lactant., Div. Inst., v. 15: “Nec alia causa est cur nobis invicem fratrum nomen impertiamus, nisi quia pares esse nos credimus” [p. 168]; August., Ep. xxiii. 1: “Non te latet praeceptum esse nobis divinitus, ut etiam eis qui negant se fratres nostros esse dicamus, fratres nostri estis.” of the third century; or rather, it was only ecclesiastics who really continued to call each other “brethren,”706706By the third century, however, they had also begun to style each other “dominus.” and when a priest gave the title of “brother” to a layman, it denoted a special mark of honor.707707Eusebius describes, with great delight, how the thrice-blessed emperor addressed the bishops and Christian people, in his numerous writings, as ἀδελφοὶ καὶ συνθεράποντες (Vita Const., iii. 24). “Brethren” (“fratres”) survived only in 407sermons, but confessors were at liberty to address ecclesiastics and even bishops by this title (cp. Cypr., Ep. liii.).708708The gradual restriction of “brethren” to the clergy and the confessors is the surest index of the growing organization and privileges of the churches.
Since Christians in the apostolic age felt themselves to be “saints” and “brethren,” and, in this sense, to be the true Israel and at the same time God's new creation,709709On the titles of “a new people” and “a third race,” see Book II. Chap. VI. they required a solemn title to bring out their complete and divinely appointed character and unity. As “brotherhood” (ἀδελφότης, see above) was too one-sided, the name they chose was that of “church” or “the church of God” (ἐκκλησία, ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ). This was a masterly stroke. It was the work,710710Paul evidently found it in circulation; the Christian communities in Jerusalem and Judea already styled themselves ἐκκλησίαι (Gal. i. 22). Jesus did not coin the term; for it is only put into his lips in Matt. xvi. 18 and xviii. 17, both of which passages are more than suspect from a critical standpoint (see Holtzmann, ad loc.); moreover, all we know of his preaching well-nigh excludes the possibility that he entertained any idea of creating a special ἐκκλησία (so Matt. xvi. 18), or that he ever had in view the existence of a number of ἐκκλησίαι (so Matt. xviii. 17). not of Paul, nor even of.Jesus, but of the Palestinian communities, which must have described themselves as קָהָל. Originally, it was beyond question a collective term;711711This may be inferred from the Pauline usage of the term itself, apart from the fact that the particular application of all such terms is invariably later than their general meaning. In Acts xii. 1, Christians are first described as οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας it was the most solemn expression of the Jews for their worship712712קהל (usually rendered ἐκκλησία in LXX.) denotes the community in relation to God, and consequently is more sacred than the profaner עֵדָה regularly translated by συναγωγή in the LXX.). The acceptance of ἐκκλησία is thus intelligible for the same reason as that of “Israel,” “seed of Abraham,” etc. Among the Jews, ἐκκλησία lagged far behind συναγωγή in practical use, and this was all in favour of the Christians and their adoption of the term. as a collective body, and as such it was taken over by the Christians. But ere long it was applied to the individual communities, and then again to the general meeting for worship. Thanks to this many-sided usage, together with its religious colouring (“the church called by God”) and the possibilities of personification which it offered, the conception and the term alike rapidly came to the front.713713Connected with the term ἐκκλησία is the term ὁ λαός, which frequently occurs as a contrast to τὰ ἔθνη. It also has, of course, Old Testament associations of its own. 408Its acquisition rendered the capture of the term “synagogue”714714On the employment of this term by Christians, see my note on Herm., Mand. xi. It was not nervously eschewed, but it never became technical, except in one or two cases. On the other hand, it is said of the Jewish Christians in Epiph., Hær., xxx. 18, “They have presbyters and heads of synagogues. They call their church a synagogue and not a church; they are proud of no name but Christ's” (πρεσβυτέρους οὗτοι ἔχουσι καί ἀρχισυναγώγους· συναγωγὴν δὲ οὗτοι καλοῦσι τὴν ἑαντῶν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ οὐχὶ ἐκκλησίαν· τῷ Χριστῷ δὲ ὀνόματι μόνον σεμνύνονται). Still, one may doubt if the Jewish Christians really forswore the name קהל (ἐκκλησία); that they called their gatherings and places of meeting συναγωγαί, may be admitted. a superfluity, and, once the inner cleavage had taken place, the very neglect of the latter title served to distinguish Christians sharply from Judaism and its religious gatherings even in terminology. From the outset, the Gentile Christians learned to think of the new religion as a “church” and as “churches.” This did not originally involve an element of authority, but such an element lies hidden from the first in any spiritual magnitude which puts itself forward as at once an ideal and an actual fellowship of men. It possesses regulations and traditions of its own, special functions and forms of organization, and these become authoritative; withal, it supports the individual and at the same time guarantees to him the content of its testimony. Thus, as early as 1 Tim. iii. 15 we read: οἶκος θεοῦ, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία θεοῦ ζῶντσς, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας. “Ecclesia mater” frequently occurs in the literature of the second century. Most important of all, however, was the fact that ἐκκλησία was conceived of, in the first instance, not simply as an earthly but as a heavenly and transcendental entity.715715The ecclesia is in heaven, created before the world, the Eve of the heavenly Adam, the Bride of Christ, and in a certain sense Christ himself. These Pauline ideas were never lost sight of. In Hermas, in apias, in Second Clement, in Clement of Alexandria, etc., they recur. Tertullian writes (de Pænit. x.): “In uno et altero Christus est, ecclesia vero Christus. ergo cum te ad fratrum genua protendis, Christum contrectas, Christum exoras” (“In a company of one or two Christ is, but the Church is Christ. Hence, when you throw yourself at your brother's knee, you touch Christ with your embrace, you address your entreaties to Christ”). He who belonged to the ἐκκλησία ceased to have the rights of a citizen on earth;716716The self-designation of Christians as “strangers and sojourners” became almost technical in the first century (cp. the epistles of Paul, 1 Peter, and Hebrews), while παροικία (with παροικεῖν = to sojourn) became actually a technical term for the individual community in the world (cp. also Herm., Simil. I., on this). instead of these he acquired all assured citizenship in heaven. This transcendental meaning of the term still retained 409vigour and vitality during the second century, but in the course of the third it dropped more and more into the rear.717717Till far down into the third century (cp. the usage of Cyprian) the word “secta” was employed by Christians quite ingenuously to denote their fellowship. It was not technical, of course, but a wholly neutral term.
During the course of the second century the term ἐκκλησία acquired the attribute of “catholic” (in addition to that of “holy”). This predicate does not contain anything which implies a secularisation of the church, for “catholic” originally meant Christendom as a whole in contrast to individual churches (ἐκκληία καθολική = πᾶσα ἡ ἐκκλησία). The conception of “all the churches” is thus identical with that of “the church in general.” But a certain dogmatic element did exist from the very outset in the conception of the general church, as the idea was that this church had been diffused by the apostles over all the earth. Hence it was believed that only what existed everywhere throughout the church could be true, and at the same time absolutely true, so that the conceptions of “all Christendom,” “Christianity spread over all the earth,” and “the true church,” came to be regarded at a pretty early period as identical. In this way the term “catholic” acquired a pregnant meaning, and one which in the end was both dogmatic and political. As this was not innate but an innovation, it is not unsuitable to speak of pre-catholic and catholic Christianity. The term “catholic church” occurs first of all in Ignatius (Smyrn., viii. 2: ὅπου ἂν φανῇ ὁ ἐπίσκοπος, ἐκεῖ τὸ τλῆθος ἔστω· ὥσπερ ὅπου ἂν ᾖ Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς, ἐκεῖ ἡ καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία), who writes “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; just as wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic church.” Here, however, the words do not yet denote a new conception of the church, in which it is represented as an empirical and authoritative society. In Mart. Polyc. Inscr., xvi. 2, xix. 2, the word is probably an interpolation (“catholic” being here equivalent to “orthodox”: ἡ ἐν Σμύρνῃ καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία). From Iren., iii. 15. 2 (“Valentiniani eos qui sunt ab ecclesia ‘communes' et ‘ecclesiasticos' dicunt” = “The Valentinians called those who 410belong to the Church by the name of ‘communes' and ‘ecclesiastici'”) it follows that the orthodox Christians were called “catholics” and “ecclesiastics” at the period of the Valentinian heresy.718718Ἐκκλησιαστικοί, however, was also a term for orthodox Christians as opposed to heretics during the third century. This is plain from the writings of Origen; cp. Hom. in Luc. XVI., vol. v. p. 143 (“ego quia opto esse ecclesiasticus et non ab haeresiarcha aliquo, sed a Christi vocabulo nuncupari”), Hom. in Jesaiam VII., vol. xiii. p. 291, Hom. in Ezech. II. 2, vol. xiv. p. 34 (“dicor ecclesiasticus”), Hom. in Ezech. III. 4, vol. xiv. p. 47 (“ecclesiastici,” as opposed to Valentinians and the followers of Basilides), Hom. in Ezech. VI. 8, vol. xiv. p. 90 (cp. 120), etc. Irenæus himself does not employ the term; but the thing is there (cp. i. 10. 2; ii. 9. 1, etc.; similarly Serapion in Euseb., H.E., v. 19, πᾶσα ἡ ἐν κόσμῳ ἀδελιφότης). After the Mart. Polyc. the term “catholic,” as a description of the orthodox and visible church, occurs in the Muratorian fragment (where “catholica” stands without “ecclesia” at all, as is frequently the case in later years throughout the West), in an anonymous anti-Montanist writer (Eus., H.E., v. 16. 9), in Tertullian (e.g., de Præscript., xxvi., xxx.; adv. Marc., iv. 4, iii. 22), in Clem. Alex (Strom., vii. 17, 106 f.), in Hippolytus (Philos., ix. 12), in Mart. Pionii (2. 9. 13. 19), in Pope Cornelius (Cypr., Epist. xlix. 2), and in Cyprian. The expression “catholica traditio” occurs in Tertullian (de Monog. ii.), “fides catholica” in Cyprian (Ep. xxv.), κανών καθολικός in Mart. Polyc. (Mosq. ad fin.), and Cyprian (Ep. lxx. 1), and “catholica fides et religio” in Mart. Pionii (18). Elsewhere the word appears in different connections throughout the early Christian literature. In the Western symbols the addition of “catholica” crept in at a comparatively late period, i.e., not before the third century. In the early Roman symbol it does not occur.
We now come to the name “Christians,” which became the cardinal title of the faith. The Roman authorities certainly employed it from the days of Trajan downwards (cp. Pliny and the rescripts, the “cognitiones de Christianis”), and probably even forty or fifty years earlier (1 Pet. iv. 16; Tacitus), whilst it was by this name that the adherents of the new religion were known among the common people (Tacitus; cp. also the well known passage in Suetonius).411
Luke has told us where this name arose. After describing the foundation of the (Gentile Christian) church at Antioch, he proceeds (xi. 26): χρηματίσαι τρώτως ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τοὺς μαθητὰς Χριστιανούς [Χρηστιανούς ]. It is needless to suppose that the name was given immediately after the establishment of the church, but neither need we assume that any considerable interval elapsed between the one fact and the other.719719In my opinion, the doubts cast by Baur and Lipsius upon this statement of the book of Acts are not of serious weight. Adjectival formations in -ιανος are no doubt Latin, and indeed late Latin, formations (in Kühner-Blass's grammar they are not so much as noticed); but even in the first century they must have permeated the Greek vernacular by means of ordinary intercourse. In the New Testament itself, we find Ἡρωδιανοί (Mark iii. 6, xii. 13, Matt. xx. 16), Justin writes Μαρκιανοί, Οὐαλεντινιανοί, Βασιλιδιανοί, Σατορνιλιανοί (Dial. xxxv.), and similar formations are of frequent occurrence subsequently. If one wishes to be very circumspect, one may conjecture that the name was first coined by the Roman magistrates in Antioch, and then passed into currency among the common people. The Christians themselves hesitated for long to use the name; this, however, is far from surprising, and therefore it cannot be brought forward as an argument against the early origin of the term. Luke does not tell us who gave the name, but he indicates it clearly enough.720720The reason why he did not speak out clearly was perhaps because the pagan origin of the name was already felt by him to be a drawback. But it is not necessary to assume this. It was not the Christians (otherwise he would not have written χρηματίσαι for they simply could not have given it to themselves. The essentially inexact nature of the verbal form precludes any such idea. And for the same reason it could not have originated with the Jews. It was among the pagans that the title arose, among pagans who heard that a lean called “Christ” [Chrestus] was the lord and master of the new sect. Accordingly they struck out721721Possibly they intended the name originally to be written “Chrestus” (not “Christus”), an error which was widely spread among opponents of Christianity during the second century; cp. Justin's Apol., I. iv., Theophil., ad Autol., I. i., Tert., Apol. iii., Lact., Instit., iv. 7. 5, with Suetonius, Claud. 25, and Tacitus (see below). But this conjecture is not necessary, although pagans had a pretty common proper name in “Chrestus” (but no “Christus”), and they may have thought from the very first that a man of this name was the founder of the sect. the name of “Christians,” as though “Christ” were a proper name, just as they spoke of “Herodiani,” “Marciani,” etc.722722“Christians” therefore simply means adherents of a man called Christ. Cp. Aristides, Apol. ii.: οἱ Χριστιανοὶ γενεαλογοῦνται ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Eusebius (Demonstr., i. 5) gives another explanation of the name: “The friends of God under the old covenant are called χριστοί as we are called Χριστιανοί.” Which is, of course, erroneous. Justin (Dial. lxiii.) writes: καὶ ὅτι τοῖς εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύουσιν, ὡς οὖσι μιᾷ ψυχῇ ἐν μιᾷ συναγωγῇ καὶ μιᾷ έκκλησία, ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ὡς θυγατρί, τῇ ἐκκληστίᾳ τῇ ἐξ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ γενομένη καὶ μετασχούσῃ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ—Χριστιανοὶ γὰρ πάντες καλούμεθα—[εἴρηται], ὁμοίως φανερῶς οἱ λόγοι κηρύσσωοι, κ.τ.λ. (“The word of God addresses those who believe in him as being of one soul, in one assembly, and in one church, as to a daughter, to the church born of his name and partaking of his name—for we are all called Christians: so the words proclaim,” etc.). Trypho answers (clxiv.): ἔστω ὑμῖν, τῶν ἐξ ἐθνῶν, κύριος καὶ Χριστὸς καὶ θεὸς γνωριζόμενος, ὡς αἱ γραφαὶ σημαίνουσιν, οἵτινες καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ Χριστιανοὶ καλεῖσθαι πάντες ἐσχήκατε· ἡμεῖς δὲ, τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καὶ αὐτὸν τοῦτον ποιήσαντος λατρευταὶ ὄντες, οὐ δεόμεθα τῆς ὁμολογίας αὐτοῦ οὐδὲ τῆς προσκυνήσεως (“Let him be recognised by you Gentiles who have been all called Christians from his name, as Lord and Christ and God; but we, who are servants of the God who made this Christ, do not need to confess him or to worship him”). Origen, Hom. in Luc. XVI., vol. v. p. 143: “Opto a Christi vocabulo nuncupari et habere nomen quod benedicitur super terram, et cupio tam opere quam sensu et esse et dici Christianus” (I wish to be called by the name of Christ and to have the name which is blessed over the earth. I long to be and to be called a Christian, in spirit and in deed). At first, of 412course, Christians did not adopt the title. It does not occur in Paul or anywhere in the New Testament as a designation applied by Christians to themselves, for in the only two passages7237231 Pet. iv. 16 μή τις ὑμῶν πασχέτω ὡς φονεὺς ἢ κλέπτης . . . . εἰ δὲ ὡς Χριστιανός, referring obviously to official tituli criminum. In Acts xxvi. 28 Agrippa observes, ἐν ὀλίγῳ με πείθεις Χριστιανὸν ποιῆσαι. where it does occur it is quoted from the lips of an opponent, and even in the apostolic fathers (so-called) we look for it in vain. The sole exception is Ignatius,724724He employs it even as an adjective (Χριστιανή τροφή = Christian food), and coins the new term Χριστιανισμός (Magn. x., Rom. iii., Philad. vi.). who employs it quite frequently a fact which serves admirably to corroborate the narrative of Acts, for Ignatius belonged to Antioch725725Luke, too, was probably an Antiochene by birth (cp. the Argumentum to his gospel, and also Eusebius), so that in this way he knew the origin of the name. Thus the name not only originated in Antioch, but, so far as we know, it was there that it first became employed by Christians as a title. By the days of Trajau the Christians of Asia Minor had probably been in possession of this title for a considerable period, but its general vogue cannot he dated earlier than the close of Hadrian's reign or that of Pius. Tertullian, however, employs it as if it had been given by the Christians to themselves.726726Apol. iii.: “Quid novi, si aliqua disciplina de magistro cognomentum sectatoribus suis inducit? nonne philosophi de autoribus suis nuncupantur Platonici, Epicurei, Pythagorici?” (“Is there anything novel in a sect drawing a name for its adherents from its master? Are not philosophers called after the founder of their philosophies—Platonists, Epicureans, and Pythagoreans?”)413
A word in closing on the well-known passage from Tacitus (Anal., xv. 44). It is certain that the persecution mentioned here was really a persecution of Christians (and not of Jews), the only doubtful point being whether the use of “Christiani” (“quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat”) is not a hysteron proteron. Yet even this doubt seems to me unjustified, If Christians were called by this name in Antioch about 40-45 A.D., there is no obvious reason why the name should not have been known in Rome by 64 A.D., even although the Christians did not spread it themselves, but were only followed by it as by their shadow. Nor does Tacitus (or his source) aver that the name was used by Christians for their own party: he says the very opposite; it was the people who thus described them. Hitherto, however, the statement of Tacitus has appeared rather unintelligible, for he begins by ascribing the appellation of “Christians” to the common people, and then goes on to relate that the “autor nominis,” or author of the name, was Christ, in which case the common people did a very obvious and natural thing when they called Christ's followers “Christians.” Why, then, does Tacitus single out the appellation of “Christian” as a popular epithet? This is an enigma which I once proposed to solve by supposing that the populace gave the title to Christians in an obscene or opprobrious sense. I bethought myself of “crista,” or of the term “panchristarii,” which (so far as I know) occurs only once in Arnobius, ii. 38 “Quid fullones, lanarios, phrygiones, cocos, panchristarios, muliones, lenones, lanios, meretrices (What of the fullers, wool-workers, embroiderers, cooks, confectioners, muleteers, pimps, butchers, prostitutes)?” Tacitus, we might conjecture, meant to suggest this meaning, while at the same time he explained the real origin of the term in question. But this hypothesis was unstable, and in my judgment the enigma has now been solved by means of a fresh collation of the Tacitus MS. (see G. Andresen, Wochenschr. f. klass. Philologie, 1902, No. 28, col. 780 f.), which shows, as I am convinced from the facsimile, that the original reading was “Chrestianos,” and that this was subsequently 414corrected (though “Christus” and not “Chrestus” is the term employed ad loc.). This clears up the whole matter. The populace, as Tacitus says, called this sect “Chrestiani,” while he himself is better informed (like Pliny, who also writes “Christian”), and silently corrects the mistake in the spelling of the names, by accurately designating its author (actor nominis) as “Christus.” Blass had anticipated this solution by a conjecture of his own in the passage under discussion, and the event has proved that he was correct. The only point which remains to be noticed is the surprising tense of “appellabat.” Why did not Tacitus write “appellat,” we may ask? Was it because he wished to indicate that everyone nowadays was well aware of the origin of the name?727727Lietzmann (Gött. Gel. Anzeig., No. 6, 1905, p. 488), thinks that this interpretation is too ingenious. “Tacitus simply means to say that Nero punished the so-called Christians ‘qui per flagitia invisi erant,' but, in his usual style, he links this to another clause, so that the tense of the ‘erant' is taken over into an inappropriate connection with the ‘appellabat.' Whereupon follows, quite appropriately, an historical remark on the origin and nature of the sect in question.” But are we to suppose that the collocation of this “inappropriate” tense with the change from Christiani to Christus is accidental?
One name still falls to be considered, a name which of course never became really technical, but was (so to speak) semi-technical; I mean that of στρατιώτης Χριστοὺ (miles Christi, a soldier of Christ).728728Since the first edition of the present work appeared, I have treated this subject at greater length in my little book upon Militia Christi; the Christian Religion and the Military Profession during the First Three Centuries (1905). With Paul this metaphor had already become so common that it was employed in the most diverse ways; compare the great descriptions in 2 Cor. x. 3-6 (στρατευόμεθα—τὰ ὅπλα τῆς στρατείας—πρὸς καθαίρεσιν ὀχυρωμάτων—λογισμοὺς καθαιροῦντες—αἰχμαλωτίζοντες), and the elaborate sketch in Ephes. vi. 10-18, with 1 Thess. v. 8 and 1 Cor. ix. 7, xi. 8; note also how Paul describes his fellow prisoners as “fellow-captives” (Rom. xvi. 7; Col. iv. 10; Philemon 23), and his fellow-workers as “fellow-soldiers” (Phil. ii. 25; Philemon 2). We come across the same figure again in the pastoral epistles (1 Tim. i. 18: ἵνα στρατεύῃ τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν; 2 Tim. ii. 3 f.: συνκακοπάθησον ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης Ἰ. Χ. οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ 415βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ. ἐὰν δὲ ἀθλήσῃ τίς, οὐ στεφανοῦται ἐὰν μὴ νομίμως ἀθλήση; 2 Tim. iii. 6:, αἰχμαλωτίζοντες γυναικάρια). Two military principles were held as fixed, even within the first century, for apostles and missionaries. (1) They had the right to be supported by others (their converts or churches). (2) They must not engage in civil pursuits. Thereafter the figure never lost currency,729729Cp., e.g., Ignat., ad Polyc. vi. (a passage in which the technical Latinisms are also very remarkable): ἀρέσκετε ᾧ στρατεύεσθε, ἀφ᾽ οὗ καὶ τὰ ὀψώνια κομίσεσθε· μήτις ὑμῶν δεσέρτωρ εὑρεθῇ· τὸ βάπτισμα ὑμῶν μενέτω ὡς ὅπλα, ἡ πίστις ὡς περικεφαλαία, ἡ ἀγάπη ὡς δόρυ, ἡ ύπομονὴ ὡς πανοπλία· τὰ δεπόσιτα ὑμῶν τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν, ἵνα τὰ ἀκκεπτα ὑμῶν ἄξια κομίσησθε (“Please him for whom ye fight, and from whom ye shall receive your pay. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism abide as your shield, your faith as a helmet, your love as a spear, your patience as a panoply. Let your actions be your deposit, that ye may receive your due assets”); cp. also ad Smyrn. i. (ἵνα ἄρῃ σύσσημον εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, “that he might raise an ensign to all eternity”). becoming so naturalized,730730Clemens Romanus's work is extremely characteristic in this light, even by the end of the first century. He not only employs military figures (e.g., xxi.: μή λιποτακτεῖν ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ = we are not to be deserters from his will; cp. xxviii.: τῶν αὐτομολούντων ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ = running away from him), but (xxxvii.) presents the Roman military service as a model and type for Christians: στρατευσώμεθα οὖν, ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, μετὰ πάσης ἐκτενείας ἐν τοῖς αμώμοις προστάγμασιν αὐτοῦ· κατανοήοωμεν τοὺς στρατευομένους τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ἡμῶν· πῶς εὐτάκτως, πῶς εὐείκτως, πῶς ὑποτεταγμένως ἐπιτελοῦσιν τὰ διατασσόμενα· οὐ πάντες εἰσὶν ἔπαρχοι οὐδὲ χιλίαρχοι οὐδὲ ἐκατόνταρχοι οὐδὲ πεντακόνταρχοι οὐδὲ τὸ καθεξῆς, ἀλλ᾽ ἕκαστος ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ τάγματι τὰ ἐπιτασσόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων ἐπιτελεῖ (“Let us then enlist, brethren, in his flawless ordinances with entire earnestness. Let us mark those who enlist under our commanders, how orderly, how readily, how obediently, they carry out their injunctions; all of them are not prefects or captains over a hundred men, or over fifty, or so forth, but every man in his proper rank carries out the orders of the king and the commanders”). among the Latins especially (as a title for the martyrs pre-eminently, but also for Christians' in general), that “soldiers of Christ” (milites Christi) almost became a technical term with them for Christians; cp. the writings of Tertullian, and particularly the correspondence of Cyprian—where hardly one letter fails to describe Christians as “soldiers of God” (milites dei), or “soldiers of Christ” (milites Christi), and where Christ is also called the “imperator” of Christians.731731Cp. Ep. xv. 1 (to the martyrs and confessors): “Nam cum omnes milites Christi custodire oportet praecepta imperatoris sui [so Lact., Instit., vi. 8 and vii. 27], tunc vos magis praeceptis eius obtemperare plus convenit” (“For while it behoves all the soldiers of Christ to observe the instructions of their commander, it is the more fitting that you should obey his instructions”). The expression “camp of Christ” (castra Christi) is particularly common in Cyprian; cp. also Ep. liv. 1 for the expression “unitas sacramenti” in connection with the military figure. Cp. pseudo-Augustine (Aug., Opp. v., App. p. 150): “Milites Christi sumus et stipendium ab ipso donativumque percepimus” (“We are Christ's soldiers, and from him we have received our pay and presents”).—I need not say that the Christian's warfare was invariably figurative in primitive Christianity (in sharp contrast to Islam), It was left to Tertullian, in his Apology, to play with the idea that Christians might conceivably take up arms in certain circumstances against the Romans, like the Parthians and Marcomanni; yet even he merely toyed with the idea, for he knew perfectly well, as indeed he expressly declares, that Christians were not allowed to kill (occidere), but only to let themselves be killed (occidi). The preference shown for this figure by 416Christians of the West, and their incorporation of it in definite representations, may be explained by their more aggressive and at the same time thoroughly practical temper. The currency lent to the figure was reinforced by the fact that “sacramentum” in the West (i.e., any μυστήριον or mystery, and also anything sacred) was an extremely common term, while baptism in particular, or the solemn vow taken at baptism, was also designated a “sacramentum.” Being a military term (= the military oath), it made all Western Christians feel that they must be soldiers of Christ, owing to their sacrament, and the probability is, as has been recently shown (by Zahn, Neue kirchl. Zeitschrift, 1899, pp. 28 f.), that this usage explains the description of the pagans as “pagani.” It can be demonstrated that the latter term was already in use (during the early years of Valentinian 1; cp. Theodos., Cod. xvi. 2. 18) long before the development of Christianity had gone so far as to enable all non-Christians to be termed “villagers”; hence the title must rather be taken in the sense of “civilians” (for which there is outside evidence) as opposed to “milites” or soldiers. Non-Christians are people who have not taken the oath of service to God or Christ, and who consequently have no part in the sacrament (“Sacramentum ignorantes,” Lactant.)! They are mere “pagani.”732732For the interpretation of paganus as “pagan” we cannot appeal to Tertull., de Corona, xi. (perpetiendum pro deo, quod aeque fides pagana condixit = for God we must endure what even civic loyalty has also borne; apud Jesum tam miles est paganus fidelis, quam paganus est miles fidelis = with Jesus the faithful citizen is a soldier, just as the faithful soldier is a citizen; cp. de Pallio, iv.), for “fides pagana” here means, not pagan faith or loyalty (as one might suppose), but the duty of faith in those who do not belong to the military profession, i.e., in those who ate civilians. The subsequent discussion makes this clear, and it also shows that “paganus” was commonly used to mean “civilian.” In fact, this connotation can be proved from seven passages in Tacitus. It passed from the military language into that of ordinary people in the course of the first two centuries. The ordinary interpretation of the term (= villagers) rests on the authority of Ulphilas (so still, Schubert, Lehrbuch d. Kirchengeschichte, I. p. 477), who has similarly coined the term “heathen” (from pagus), and also on the later Latin church-fathers, who explain “pagani” as “villagers” (cp., e.g., Orosius, adv. Paganes, præf. c. 9: “Pagani alieni a civitate dei ex locorum agrestium conpitis et pagis pagani vocantur”). Wilh. Schulze, however (cp. Berliner Akad. Sitzungsberichte, 1905, July 6), holds that the term “heathen” in Orosius has nothing to do with “heathen,” but is a loan-word (ἔθνος), which was pronounced also ἕθνος, as the Coptic and Armenian transliteration shows. Even were this derivation shown to be incorrect, neither Ulphilas nor any of the later Latin fathers could fix the original meaning of “paganus.” None of them knew its original sense. About 300 A.D.—to leave out the inscription in C.I.L., x. 2,7112—the non-Christian religions could not as yet be designated as “peasant” or “rural” religions. All doubts would have been set at rest if the address of Commodian's so-called Carmen Apologeticum had run “adversus paganes” (as Gennadius, de Vir. Inlust. 15, suggests), but unfortunately the only extant manuscript lacks any title.—The military figure originated (prior to the inferences drawn from the term “sacramentum” in the West) in the great struggle which every Christian had to wage against Satan and the demons (Eph. vi. 12: οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη πρὸς αἷμα καἰ σάρκα, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τάς ἀρχάς, πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας, πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορους τοῦ σκότους τούτου, πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις). Once the state assumed a hostile attitude towards Christians, the figure of the military calling and conflict naturally arose also in this connection. God looks down, says Cyprian (Ep. lxxvi. 4), upon his troops: “Gazing down on us amid the conflict of his Name, he approves those who are willing, aids the fighters, crowns the conquerors,” etc. (“In congressione nominis sui desuper spectans volentes conprobat, adiuvat dimicantes, vincentes coronat,” etc.). Nor are detailed descriptions of the military figure awanting; cp., e.g., the seventy-seventh letter addressed to Cyprian (ch. ii.): “Tu tuba canens dei milites, caelestibus armis instructos, ad congressionis proelium excitasti et in acie prima, spiritali gladio diabolum interfecisti, agmina quoque fratrum hinc et inde verbis tuis composuisti, ut invidiae inimico undique tenderentur et cadavera ipsius publici hostis et nervi concisi calcarentur” (“As a sounding trumpet, thou hast roused the soldiers of God, equipped with heavenly armour, for the shock of battle, and in the forefront thou hast slain the devil with the sword of the Spirit; on this side and on that thou hast marshalled the lines of the brethren by thy words, so that snares might be laid in all directions for the foe, the sinews of the common enemy be severed, and carcases trodden under foot”). The African Acts of the Martyrs are full of military expressions and metaphors; see, e.g., the Acta Saturnini et Dativi, xv. (Ruinart, Acta Mart., p. 420). It is impossible to prove, as it is inherently unlikely, that the “milites” of Mithra exercised any influence upon the Christian conceptions of Christianity as a conflict. These “milites” of Mithra were simply one of the seven stages of Mithraism, and we must never regard as direct borrowings from a pagan cult ideas which were spread all over the church at a primitive period of its existence. On the other hand, it is likely that Christians in the Roman army desired the same treatment and consideration which was enjoyed by adherents of Mithra in the same position. Hence the action of the soldier described by Tertullian in the de Corona.—The above-mentioned essay of Schulze is now printed in the Sitzungsberichte d. Preuss. Akad. d. Wiss., 1905, pp. 726 f., 747 f. (“Greek Loan-Words in Gothic”). He acknowledges (i.) that “pagani” cannot have been adopted by Christians in order to describe “pagans” as people dwelling in the country; (ii.) he proves carefully and conclusively that the term “heathen” in Ulphilas has nothing to do with heathen, but is a loan-word (ἔθνος). Non-Christians were originally called “pagani” as “sacramentum ignorantes” (Lactant., v. 1), or because they were “far from the city of God” (“longe sunt a civitate dei,” Cassiod., in Cant., vii. 11; cp. Schulze, p. 751). Attention has also been called of late to several inscriptions with the word “paganicum” (cp. Compt. rendus de l'acad. des Inscr. et Belles Lett., 1905, May-June, pp. 296 f.). The scope and the meaning of the word are rather obscure (“une sorte de chapelle rurale”? A building in the country devoted to public purposes? Or has the reference to the country even here become obliterated?).417
Pagans in part caught up the names of Christians as they 418heard them on the latter's lips,733733Celsus, for instance, speaks of the church as “the great church” (to distinguish it from the smaller Christian sects). but of course they used most commonly the title which they had coined themselves, viz., that of “Christians.” Alongside of this we find nicknames and sobriquets like “Galileans,” “ass-worshippers” (Tert., Apol. xvi., cp. Minut.), “magicians” (Acta Theclæ, Tertull.), “Third race,” “filth” (copria, cp. Commod., Carm. Apolog. 612, Lact., v. 1. 27), “sarmenticii” and “semi-axii” (stake-bound, faggot circled; Tert., Apol. i.).734734212
Closely bound up with the “names” of Christians is the discussion of the question whether individual Christians got new names as Christians, or how Christians stood with regard to ordinary pagan names during the first three centuries. The answer to this will be found in the second Excursus appended to the present chapter.419
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