cavriti qeou' eivmi; o{ eijmi, kai; hJ cavri" auvtou' hJ eij" ejme; ouj kenh; ejgenhvqÀh, ajlla; perissovteron aujtw'n pavntwn ejkopivasa, ojuk ejgw; de;, ajlla; hJ cavri" tou' qeou' su;n ejmoiv.—1 Cor. 15:10.


Cristo;"  jIhsou'" h\lqen eij" to;n kovsmon aJmartwlou;" sw'sai, w}n prw'tov" eijmi ejgwv.—1 Tim. 1:15.


"Paul’s mind was naturally and perfectly adapted to take up into itself and to develop the free, universal, and absolute principle of Christianity."—Dr. Baur (Paul, II. 281, English translation).


"Did St. Paul’s life end with his own life?  May we not rather believe that in a sense higher than Chrysostom ever dreamt of [when he gave him the glorious name of ’the Heart of the world’], the pulses of that mighty heart are still the pulses of the world’s life, still beat in these later ages with even greater force than ever?"—Dean Stanley (Sermons and Essays on the Apostolic Age. p. 166).


 § 29. Sources and Literature on St. Paul and his Work.


I. Sources.


1. The authentic sources:

The Epistles of Paul, and the Acts of the Apostles 9:1–30 and 13 to 28. Of the Epistles of Paul the four most important Galatians, Romans, two Corinthians—are universally acknowledged as genuine even by the most exacting critics; the Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, and Ephesians are admitted by nearly all critics; the Pastoral Epistles, especially First Timothy, and Titus, are more or less disputed, but even they bear the stamp of Paul’s genius.

On the coincidences between the Acts and the Epistles see the section on the Acts. Comp. also § 22, pp. 213 sqq.


2. The legendary and apocryphal sources:

Acta Pauli et Theclae, edition in Greek by E. Grabe (from a Bodleian MS. in Spicileg. SS. PP., Oxon. 1698, tom. I. pp. 95–128; republished by Jones, 1726), and by Tischendorf (from three Paris MSS, in Acta Apost. Apocrypha, Lips. 1851); in Syriac, with an English version by W. Wright (in Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, Lond. 1871); Engl. transl. by Alex. Walker (in Clark’s "Ante-Nicene Christian Library," vol. XVI. 279 sqq.). Comp. C. Schlau: Die Acten des Paulus und der Thecla und die ältere Thecla-Legende, Leipz. 1877.

The Acts of Paul and Thecla strongly advocate celibacy. They are probably of Gnostic origin and based on some local tradition. They were originally written, according to Tertullian (De Bapt. cap. 17, comp. Jerome, Catal. cap. 7), by a presbyter in Asia "out of love to Paul," and in support of the heretical opinion that women have the right to preach and to baptize after the example of Thecla; hence the author was deposed. The book was afterwards purged of its most obnoxious features and extensively used in the Catholic church. (See the patristic quotations in Tischendorf’s Prolegomena, p. xxiv.) Thecla is represented as a noble virgin of Iconium, in Lycaonia, who was betrothed to Thamyris, converted by Paul in her seventeenth year, consecrated herself to perpetual virginity, was persecuted, carried to the stake, and thrown before wild beasts, but miraculously delivered, and died 90 years old at Seleucia. In the Greek church she is celebrated as the first female martyr. Paul is described at the beginning of this book (Tischend. p. 41) as "little in stature, bald-headed, bow-legged, well-built (or vigorous), with knitted eye-brows, rather long-nosed, full of grace, appearing now as a man, and now having the face of an angel." From this description Renan has borrowed in part his fancy-sketch of Paul’s personal appearance.

Acta Pauli (Pravxei" Pauvlou¼, used by Origen and ranked by Eusebiu" with the Antilegomena »or novqa rather). They are, like the Acta Petri (Pravxei", or Perivodoi Pevtrou), a Gnostic reconstruction of the canonical Acts and ascribed to the authorship of St. Linus. Preserved only in fragments.

Acta Petri et Pauli. A Catholic adaptation of an Ebionite work. The Greek and Latin text was published first in a complete form by Thilo, Halle, 1837-’38, the Greek by Tischendorf (who collated six MSS.) in his Acta Apost. Apoc. 1851, 1–39; English transl. by Walker in "Ante-Nicene Libr., " XVI. 256 sqq. This book records the arrival of Paul in Rome, his meeting with Peter and Simon Magus, their trial before the tribunal of Nero, and the martyrdom of Peter by crucifixion, and of Paul by decapitation. The legend of Domine quo vadis is here recorded of Peter, and the story of Perpetua is interwoven with the martyrdom of Paul.

The pseudo-Clementine Homilies, of the middle of the second century or later, give a malignant Judaizing caricature of Paul under the disguise of Simon Magus (in part at least), and misrepresent him as an antinomian arch-heretic; while Peter, the proper hero of this romance, is glorified as the apostle of pure, primitive Christianity.

The Correspondence of Paul and Seneca, mentioned by Jerome (De vir. ill. c. 12) and Augustin (Ep. ad Maced. 153, al. 54), and often copied, though with many variations, edited by Fabricius, Cod. Apocr. N. T., and in several editions of Seneca. It consists of eight letters of Seneca and six of Paul. They are very poor in thought and style, full of errors of chronology and history, and undoubtedly a forgery. They arose from the correspondence of the moral maxims of Seneca with those of Paul, which is more apparent than real, and from the desire to recommend the Stoic philosopher to the esteem of the Christians, or to recommend Christianity to the students of Seneca and the Stoic philosophy. Paul was protected at Corinth by Seneca’s brother, Gallio (Acts 18:12–16), and might have become acquainted with the philosopher who committed suicide at Rome in 65, but there is no trace of such acquaintance. Comp. Amédée Fleury: Saint-Paul et Sénèque (Paris, 1853, 2 vols.); C. Aubertin: Étude critique sur les rapports supposé entre Sénèque et Saint-Paul (Par. 1887); F. C. Baur: Seneca und Paulus, 1858 and 1876; Reuss: art. Seneca in Herzog, vol. XIV. 273 sqq.; Lightfoot: Excursus in Com. on Philippians, pp 268–331; art. Paul and Seneca, in "Westminster Review," Lond. 1880, pp. 309 sqq.


II. Biographical and Critical.


Bishop Pearson (d. 1686): Annales Paulini. Lond. 1688. In the various editions of his works, and also separately: Annals of St. Paul, transl. with geographical and critical notes. Cambridge, 1825.

Lord Lyttleton (d. 1773): The Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul. 3d ed. Lond. 1747. Apologetic as an argument for the truth of Christianity from the personal experience of the author.

Archdeacon William Paley (d. 1805): Horae Paulinae: or The Truth of the Scripture History of Paul evinced by a comparison of the Epistles which bear his name, with the Acts of the Apostles and with one another. Lond. 1790 (and subsequent editions). Still valuable for apologetic purposes.

J. Hemsen: Der Apostel Paulus. Gött. 1830.

Carl Schrader: Der Apostel Paulus. Leipz. 1830-’36. 5 Parts. Rationalistic.

F. Chr. Baur (d. 1860): Paulus, der Apostel Jesu Christi. Tüb. 1845, second ed. by E. Zeller, Leipzig, 1866-’67, in 2 vols. Transl. into English by Allan Menzies. Lond. (Williams & Norgate) 1873 and ’75, 2 vols. This work of the great leader of the philosophico-critical reconstruction of the Apostolic Age (we may call him the modern Marcion) was preceded by several special treatises on the Christ-Party in Corinth (1831), on the Pastoral Epistles (1835), on the Epistle to the Romans (1836), and a Latin programme on Stephen’s address before the Sanhedrin (1829). It marks an epoch in the literature on Paul and opened new avenues of research. It is the standard work of the Tübingen school of critics.

Conybeare and Howson: The Life and Epistles of St. Paul. Lond. 1853, 2 vols., and N. York, 1854; 2d ed. Lond. 1856, and later editions; also an abridgment in one vol. A very useful and popular work, especially on the geography of Paul’s travels. Comp. also Dean Howson: Character of St. Paul (Lond. 1862; 2d ed. 1864); Scenes from the Life of St. Paul (1867); Metaphors of St. Paul (1868); The Companions of St. Paul (1871). Most of these books were republished in America.

Ad. Monod (d. 1856): Saint Paul. Six sermons. See his Sermons, Paris, 1860, vol. II. 121–296. The same in German and English.

W. F. Besser: Paulus. Leipz. 1861. English transl. by F. Bultmann, with Introduction by J. S. Howson. Lond. and N. York, 1864.

F. Bungener: St. Paul, sa vie, son oeuvre et ses épitres. Paris, 1865.

A. Hausrath: Der Apostel Paulus. Heidelb. 1865; 2d ed. 1872. Comp. also his N. T. liche Zeitgeschichte, Part III.

M. Krenkel: Paulus, der Apostel der Heiden. Leipz. 1869.

Ernest Renan: Saint Paul. Paris, 1869. Transl. from the French by J. Lockwood, N. York, 1869. Very fresh and entertaining, but full ,of fancies and errors.

Thomas Lewin (author of "Fasti Sacri") The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, new ed. Lond. and N. York, 1875, 2 vols. A magnificent work of many years’ labor, with 370 illustrations.

Canon F. W. Farrar: The Life and Work of St. Paul. Lond. and N. York, 1879, 2 vols. Learned and eloquent.

W. M. Taylor: Paul as a Missionary. N. York, 1881.

As biographies, the works of Conybeare and Howson, Lewin, and Farrar are the most complete and instructive.

Also the respective sections in the Histories of the Ap. Age by Neander, Lechler, Thiersch, Lange, Schaff (226–347 and 634–640), Pressensé.


III. Chronological.


Thomas Lewin: Fasti Sacri, a Key to the Chronology of the New Testament.  London, 1865. Chronological Tables from b.c. 70 to a.d. 70.

Wieseler: Chronologie des apostolischen Zeitalters. Göttingen, 1848.


IV. Doctrinal and Exegetical.


L. Usteri: Entwicklung des Paulinischen Lehrbegriffs. Zürich, 1824, 6th ed. 1851.

A. P. Dähne: Entwicklung des Paulinischen Lehrbegriffs. Halle, 1835.

Baur: Paulus. See above.

R. A. Lipsius: Die Paulinische Rechtfertigungslehre. Leipz. 1853.

C. Holsten: Zum Evangelium des Paulus und des Petrus. Rostock, 1868. This book, contains: 1. An essay on the Christusvision des Paulus und die Genesis des paulinischen Evangeliums, which had previously appeared in Hilgenfeld’s "Zeitschrift," 1861, but is here enlarged by a reply to Beyschlag; 2. Die Messiasvision des Petrus (new); 3. An analysis of the Epistle to the Galatians (1859); 4. A discussion of the meaning of savrx in Paul’s system (1855). By the same: Das Evangelium des Paulus. Part I. Berlin, 1880.

TH. Simar (R. C.): Die Theologie des heil. Paulus. Freiberg, 1864.

Ernesti: Die Ethik des Ap. Paulus. Braunschweig, 1868; 3d ed. 1880.

R. Schmidt: Die Christologie des Ap. Paulus. Gött., 1870.

Matthew Arnold: St. Paul and Protestantism. Lond. 1870; 3d ed. 1875.

William I. Irons (Episcop.): Christianity as taught by St. Paul. Eight Bampton Lectures for 1870. Oxf. and Lond. 1871; 2d ed. 1876.

A. Sabatier: L’apôtre Paul. Esquisse d’une histoire de sa pensée. Strasb. and Paris, 1870.

Otto Pfleiderer (Prof. in Berlin): Der Paulinismus. Leipzig, 1873. Follows Baur and Holsten in developing the doctrinal system of Paul from his conversion. English translation by E. Peters. Lond. 1877, 2 vols. Lectures on the Influence of the Apostle Paul on the Development of Christianity (The Hibbert Lectures). Trsl. by J. Fr. Smith. Lond. and N. Y. 1885. Also his Urchristenthum, 1887.

C. Weizsäcker: D. Apost. Zeitalter (1886), pp. 68–355.

Fr. Bethge: Die Paulinischen Reden der Apostelgesch. Göttingen, 1887.


V. Commentaries.


The Commentators on Paul’s Epistles (in whole or in part) are so numerous that we can only mention some of the most important:

1. On all the Pauline Epp.: Calvin, Beza, Estius (b.c.), Corn. A Lapide (R. C.), Grotius, Wetstein, Bengel, Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Lange (Am. ed. enlarged), Ewald, Von Hofmann, Reuss (French), Alford, Wordsworth, Speaker’s Com., Ellicott (Pop. Com.), Schaff (Pop. Com., vol. III. 1882). Compare also P. J. Gloag: Introduction to the Pauline Epistles. Edinburgh, 1874.

2. On single Epp.: Romans by Tholuck (5th ed. 1856), Fritzsche (3 vols. in Latin), Reiche, Rückert, Philippi (3d ed. 1866, English transl. by Banks, 1878-’79, 2 vols.), Mos. Stuart, Turner, Hodge, Forbes, Jowett, Shedd (1879), Godet (L’épitre aux Romains, 1879 and 1880, 2 vols).—Corinthians by Neander, Osiander, Hodge, Stanley, Heinrici, Edwards, Godet, Ellicott.—Galatians by Luther, Winer, Wieseler, Hilgenfeld, Holsten, Jowett, Eadie, Ellicott, Lightfoot.—Ephesians by Harless, Matthies, Stier, Hodge, Eadie, Ellicott, J. L. Davies.—Other minor Epp. explained by Bleek (Col., Philemon, and Eph.), Koch (Thess.), van Hengel (Phil.), Eadie (Col.), Ellicott (Phil., Col., Thess., Philem.), Lightfoot (Phil, Col., Philemon).—Pastoral Epp. by Matthies, Mack (R. C.), Beck (ed. Lindenmeyer, 1879), Holtzmann (1880), Fairbairn, Ellicott, Weiss (1886), Knoke (1887), Kölling (1887).

3. The Commentaries on the second part of Acts by De Wette, Meyer, Baumgarten, Alexander, Hackett, Lechler, Gloag, Plumptre, Jacobson, Lumby, Howson and Spence.


 § 30. Paul before his Conversion.


His Natural Outfit.


We now approach the apostle of the Gentiles who decided the victory of Christianity as a universal religion, who labored more, both in word and deed, than all his colleagues, and who stands out, in lonely grandeur, the most remarkable and influential character in history. His youth as well as his closing years are involved in obscurity, save that he began a persecutor and ended a martyr, but the midday of his life is better known than that of any other apostle, and is replete with burning thoughts and noble deeds that can never die, and gather strength with the progress of the gospel from age to age and country to country.

Saul or Paul341 was of strictly Jewish parentage, but was born, a few years after Christ,342 in the renowned Grecian commercial and literary city of Tarsus, in the province of Cilicia, and inherited the rights of a Roman citizen. He received a learned Jewish education at Jerusalem in the school of the Pharisean Rabbi, Gamaliel, a grandson of Hillel, not remaining an entire stranger to Greek literature, as his style, his dialectic method, his allusions to heathen religion and philosophy, and his occasional quotations from heathen poets show. Thus, a "Hebrew of the Hebrews,"343 yet at the same time a native Hellenist, and a Roman citizen, be combined in himself, so to speak, the three great nationalities of the ancient world, and was endowed with all the natural qualifications for a universal apostleship. He could argue with the Pharisees as a son of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, and as a disciple of the renowned Gamaliel, surnamed "the Glory of the Law." He could address the Greeks in their own beautiful tongue and with the convincing force of their logic. Clothed with the dignity and majesty of the Roman people, he could travel safely over the whole empire with the proud watchword: Civis Romanus sum.

This providential outfit for his future work made him for a while the most dangerous enemy of Christianity, but after his conversion its most useful promoter. The weapons of destruction were turned into weapons of construction. The engine was reversed, and the direction changed; but it remained the same engine, and its power was increased under the new inspiration.

The intellectual and moral endowment of Saul was of the highest order. The sharpest thinking was blended with the tenderest feeling, the deepest mind with the strongest will. He had Semitic fervor, Greek versatility, and Roman energy. Whatever he was, he was with his whole soul. He was totus in illis, a man of one idea and of one purpose, first as a Jew, then as a Christian. His nature was martial and heroic. Fear was unknown to him—except the fear of God, which made him fearless of man. When yet a youth, he had risen to high eminence; and had he remained a Jew, he might have become a greater Rabbi than even Hillel or Gamaliel, as he surpassed them both in original genius and fertility of thought.

Paul was the only scholar among the apostles. He never displays his learning, considering it of no account as compared with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, for whom he suffered the loss of all things,344 but he could not conceal it, and turned it to the best use after his conversion. Peter and John had natural genius, but no scholastic education; Paul had both, and thus became the founder of Christian theology and philosophy.


His Education.


His training was thoroughly Jewish, rooted and grounded in the Scriptures of the Old Covenant, and those traditions of the elders which culminated in the Talmud.345  He knew the Hebrew and Greek Bible almost by heart. In his argumentative epistles, when addressing Jewish converts, he quotes from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, the Psalms, now literally, now freely, sometimes ingeniously combining several passages or verbal reminiscences, or reading between the lines in a manner which betrays the profound student and master of the hidden depths of the word of God, and throws a flood of light on obscure passages.346  He was quite familiar with the typical and allegorical methods of interpretation; and he occasionally and incidentally uses Scriptural arguments, or illustrations rather, which strike a sober scholar as far-fetched and fanciful, though they were quite conclusive to a Jewish reader.347  But he never bases a truth on such an illustration without an independent argument; he never indulges in the exegetical impositions and frivolities of those "letter-worshipping Rabbis who prided themselves on suspending dogmatic mountains by textual hairs." Through the revelation of Christ, the Old Testament, instead of losing itself in the desert of the Talmud or the labyrinth of the Kabbala, became to him a book of life, full of types and promises of the great facts and truths of the gospel salvation. In Abraham he saw the father of the faithful, in Habakkuk a preacher of justification by faith, in the paschal lamb a type of Christ slain for the sins of the world, in the passage of Israel through the Red Sea a prefigurement of Christian baptism, and in the manna of the wilderness a type of the bread of life in the Lord’s Supper.

The Hellenic culture of Paul is a matter of dispute, denied by some, unduly exalted by others. He no doubt acquired in the home of his boyhood and early manhood348 a knowledge of the Greek language, for Tarsus was at that time the seat of one of the three universities of the Roman empire, surpassing in some respects even Athens and Alexandria, and furnished tutors to the imperial family. His teacher, Gamaliel, was comparatively free from the rabbinical abhorrence and contempt of heathen literature. After his conversion he devoted his life to the salvation of the heathen, and lived for years at Tarsus, Ephesus, Corinth, and other cities of Greece, and became a Greek to the Greeks in order to save them. It is scarcely conceivable that a man of universal human sympathies, and so wide awake to the deepest problems of thought, as he, should have under such circumstances taken no notice of the vast treasures of Greek philosophy, poetry, and history. He would certainly do what we expect every missionary to China or India to do from love to the race which he is to benefit, and from a desire to extend his usefulness. Paul very aptly, though only incidentally, quotes three times from Greek poets, not only a proverbial maxim from Menander,349 and a hexameter from Epimenides,350 which may have passed into common use, but also a half-hexameter with a connecting particle, which he must have read in the tedious astronomical poem of his countryman, Aratus (about b.c. 270), or in the sublime hymn of Cleanthes to Jupiter, in both of which the passage occurs.351  He borrows some of his favorite metaphors from the Grecian games; he disputed with Greek philosophers of different schools and addressed them from the Areopagus with consummate wisdom and adaptation to the situation; some suppose that he alludes even to the terminology of the Stoic philosophy when he speaks of the "rudiments" or "elements of the world."352  He handles the Greek language, not indeed with classical purity and elegance, yet with an almost creative vigor, transforming it into an obedient organ of new ideas, and pressing into his service the oxymoron, the paronomasia, the litotes, and other rhetorical figures.353  Yet all this does by no means prove a regular study or extensive knowledge of Greek literature, but is due in part to native genius. His more than Attic urbanity and gentlemanly refinement which breathe in his Epistles to Philemon and the Philippians, must be traced to the influence of Christianity rather than his intercourse with accomplished Greeks. His Hellenic learning seems to have been only casual, incidental, and altogether subordinate to his great aim. In this respect he differed widely from the learned Josephus, who affected Attic purity of style, and from Philo, who allowed the revealed truth of the Mosaic religion to be controlled, obscured, and perverted by Hellenic philosophy. Philo idealized and explained away the Old Testament by allegorical impositions which he substituted for grammatical expositions; Paul spiritualized the Old Testament and drew out its deepest meaning. Philo’s Judaism evaporated in speculative abstractions, Paul’s Judaism was elevated and transformed into Christian realities.


His Zeal for Judaism.


Saul was a Pharisee of the strictest sect, not indeed of the hypocritical type, so witheringly rebuked by our Saviour, but of the honest, truth-loving and truth-seeking sort, like that of Nicodemus and Gamaliel. His very fanaticism in persecution arose from the intensity of his conviction and his zeal for the religion of his fathers. He persecuted in ignorance, and that diminished, though it did not abolish, his guilt. He probably never saw or heard Jesus until he appeared to him at Damascus. He may have been at Tarsus at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection.354  But with his Pharisaic education he regarded Jesus of Nazareth, like his teachers, as a false Messiah, a rebel, a blasphemer, who was justly condemned to death. And he acted according to his conviction. He took the most prominent part in the persecution of Stephen and delighted in his death. Not satisfied with this, he procured from the Sanhedrin, which had the oversight of all the synagogues and disciplinary punishments for offences against the law, full power to persecute and arrest the scattered disciples. Thus armed, he set out for Damascus, the capital of Syria, which numbered many synagogues. He was determined to exterminate the dangerous sect from the face of the earth, for the glory of God. But the height of his opposition was the beginning of his devotion to Christianity.


His External Relations and Personal Appearance.


On the subordinate questions of Paul’s external condition and relations we have no certain information. Being a Roman citizen, he belonged to the respectable class of society, but must have been poor; for he depended for support on a trade which he learned in accordance with rabbinical custom; it was the trade of tent-making, very common in Cilicia, and not profitable except in large cities.355

He had a sister living at Jerusalem whose son was instrumental in saving his life.356

He was probably never married. Some suppose that he was a widower. Jewish and rabbinical custom, the completeness of his moral character, his ideal conception of marriage as reflecting the mystical union of Christ with his church, his exhortations to conjugal, parental, and filial duties, seem to point to experimental knowledge of domestic life. But as a Christian missionary moving from place to place, and exposed to all sorts of hardship and persecution, he felt it his duty to abide alone.357 He sacrificed the blessings of home and family to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.358

His "bodily presence was weak, and his speech contemptible" (of no value), in the superficial judgment of the Corinthians, who missed the rhetorical ornaments, yet could not help admitting that his "letters were weighty and strong."359  Some of the greatest men have been small in size, and some of the purest souls forbidding in body. Socrates was the homeliest, and yet the wisest of Greeks. Neander, a converted Jew, like Paul, was short, feeble, and strikingly odd in his whole appearance, but a rare humility, benignity, and heavenly aspiration beamed from his face beneath his dark and bushy eyebrows. So we may well imagine that the expression of Paul’s countenance was highly intellectual and spiritual, and that he looked "sometimes like a man and sometimes like an angel."360

He was afflicted with a mysterious, painful, recurrent, and repulsive physical infirmity, which he calls a "thorn in the flesh, " and which acted as a check upon spiritual pride and self-exultation over his abundance of revelations.361  He bore the heavenly treasure in an earthly vessel and his strength was made perfect in weakness.362  But all the more must we admire the moral heroism which turned weakness itself into an element of strength, and despite pain and trouble and persecution carried the gospel salvation triumphantly from Damascus to Rome.


 § 31. The Conversion of Paul.


Eujdovkhsen oJ qeo" ... ajpokaluvyai to;n uiJo;n aujtou' ejn ejmoi;, iJna eujaggelivzwmai aujto;n ejn toi'" ej[qnesin   Gal. 1:15, 16.


The conversion of Paul marks not only a turning-point in his personal history, but also an important epoch in the history of the apostolic church, and consequently in the history of mankind. It was the most fruitful event since the miracle of Pentecost, and secured the universal victory of Christianity.

The transformation of the most dangerous persecutor into the most successful promoter of Christianity is nothing less than a miracle of divine grace. It rests on the greater miracle of the resurrection of Christ. Both are inseparably connected; without the resurrection the conversion would have been impossible, and on the other hand the conversion of such a man and with such results is one of the strongest proofs of the resurrection.

The bold attack of Stephen—the forerunner of Paul—upon the hard, stiff-necked Judaism which had crucified the Messiah, provoked a determined and systematic attempt on the part of the Sanhedrin to crucify Jesus again by destroying his church. In this struggle for life and death Saul the Pharisee, the bravest and strongest of the rising rabbis, was the willing and accepted leader.

After the martyrdom of Stephen and the dispersion of the congregation of Jerusalem, he proceeded to Damascus in suit of the fugitive disciples of Jesus, as a commissioner of the Sanhedrin, a sort of inquisitor-general, with full authority and determination to stamp out the Christian rebellion, and to bring all the apostates he could find, whether they were men or women, in chains to the holy city to be condemned by the chief priests.

Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world, known in the days of Abraham, and bursts upon the traveller like a vision of paradise amidst a burning and barren wilderness of sand; it is watered by the never-failing rivers Abana and Pharpar (which Naaman of old preferred to all the waters of Israel), and embosomed in luxuriant gardens of flowers and groves of tropical fruit trees; hence glorified by Eastern poets as "the Eye of the Desert."

But a far higher vision than this earthly paradise was in store for Saul as he approached the city. A supernatural light from heaven, brighter than the Syrian sun, suddenly flashed around him at midday, and Jesus of Nazareth, whom he persecuted in his humble disciples, appeared to him in his glory as the exalted Messiah, asking him in the Hebrew tongue: "Shaûl, Shaûl, why persecutest thou Me?363  It was a question both of rebuke and of love, and it melted his heart. He fell prostrate to the ground. He saw and heard, he trembled and obeyed, he believed and rejoiced. As he rose from the earth he saw no man. Like a helpless child, blinded by the dazzling light, he was led to Damascus, and after three days of blindness and fasting he was cured and baptized—not by Peter or James or John, but—by one of the humble disciples whom he had come to destroy. The haughty, self-righteous, intolerant, raging Pharisee was changed into an humble, penitent, grateful, loving servant of Jesus. He threw away self-righteousness, learning, influence, power, prospects, and cast in his lot with a small, despised sect at the risk of his life. If there ever was an honest, unselfish, radical, and effective change of conviction and conduct, it was that of Saul of Tarsus. He became, by a creative act of the Holy Spirit, a "new creature in Christ Jesus."364

We have three full accounts of this event in the Acts, one from Luke, two from Paul himself, with slight variations in detail, which only confirm the essential harmony.365  Paul also alludes to it five or six times in his Epistles.366  In all these passages he represents the change as an act brought about by a direct intervention of Jesus, who revealed himself in his glory from heaven, and struck conviction into his mind like lightning at midnight. He compares it to the creative act of God when He commanded the light to shine out of darkness.367  He lays great stress on the fact that he was converted and called to the apostolate directly by Christ, without any human agency; that he learned his gospel of free and universal grace by revelation, and not from the older apostles, whom he did not even see till three years after his call.368

The conversion, indeed, was not a moral compulsion, but included the responsibility of assent or dissent. God converts nobody by force or by magic. He made man free, and acts upon him as a moral being. Paul might have "disobeyed the heavenly vision."369  He might have "kicked against the goads," though it was "hard" (not impossible) to do so.370  These words imply some psychological preparation, some doubt and misgiving as to his course, some moral conflict between the flesh and the spirit, which he himself described twenty years afterwards from personal experience, and which issues in the cry of despair: "O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"371  On his journey from Jerusalem to Damascus, which takes a full week on foot or horseback—the distance being about 140 miles—as he was passing, in the solitude of his own thoughts, through Samaria, Galilee, and across Mount Hermon, he had ample time for reflection, and we may well imagine how the shining face of the martyr Stephen, as he stood like a holy angel before the Sanhedrin, and as in the last moment he prayed for his murderers, was haunting him like a ghost and warning him to stop his mad career.

Yet we must not overrate this preparation or anticipate his riper experience in the three days that intervened between his conversion and his baptism, and during the three years of quiet meditation in Arabia. He was no doubt longing for truth and for righteousness, but there was a thick veil over his mental eye which could only be taken away by a hand from without; access to his heart was barred by an iron door of prejudice which had to be broken in by Jesus himself. On his way to Damascus he was "yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord," and thinking he was doing "God service;" he was, to use his own language, "beyond measure" persecuting the church of God and endeavoring to destroy it, "being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of his fathers" than many of his age, when "it pleased God to reveal his Son in him." Moreover it is only in the light of faith that we see the midnight darkness of our sin, and it is only beneath the cross of Christ that we feel the whole crushing weight of guilt and the unfathomable depth of God’s redeeming love. No amount of subjective thought and reflection could have brought about that radical change in so short a time. It was the objective appearance of Jesus that effected it.

This appearance implied the resurrection and the ascension, and this was the irresistible evidence of His Messiahship, God’s own seal of approval upon the work of Jesus. And the resurrection again shed a new light upon His death on the cross, disclosing it as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, as the means of procuring pardon and peace consistent with the claims of divine justice. What a revelation!  That same Jesus of Nazareth whom he hated and persecuted as a false prophet justly crucified between two robbers, stood before Saul as the risen, ascended, and glorified Messiah!  And instead of crushing the persecutor as he deserved, He pardoned him and called him to be His witness before Jews and Gentiles! This revelation was enough for an orthodox Jew waiting for the hope of Israel to make him a Christian, and enough for a Jew of such force of character to make him an earnest and determined Christian. The logic of his intellect and the energy of his will required that he should love and promote the new faith with the same enthusiasm with which he had hated and persecuted it; for hatred is but inverted love, and the intensity of love and hatred depends on the strength of affection and the ardor of temper.

With all the suddenness and radicalness of the transformation there is nevertheless a bond of unity between Saul the Pharisee and Paul the Christian. It was the same person with the same end in view, but in opposite directions. We must remember that he was not a worldly, indifferent, cold-blooded man, but an intensely religious man. While persecuting the church, he was "blameless" as touching the righteousness of the law.372  He resembled the rich youth who had observed the commandments, yet lacked the one things needful, and of whom Mark says that Jesus "loved him."373  He was not converted from infidelity to faith, but from a lower faith to a purer faith, from the religion of Moses to the religion of Christ, from the theology of the law to the theology of the gospel. How shall a sinner be justified before the tribunal of a holy God?  That was with him the question of questions before as well as after his conversion; not a scholastic question merely, but even far more a moral and religious question. For righteousness, to the Hebrew mind, is conformity to the will of God as expressed in his revealed law, and implies life eternal as its reward. The honest and earnest pursuit of righteousness is the connecting link between the two periods of Paul’s life. First he labored to secure it by works of the law, then obedience of faith. What he had sought in vain by his fanatical zeal for the traditions of Judaism, he found gratuitously and at once by trust in the cross of Christ: pardon and peace with God. By the discipline of the Mosaic law as a tutor he was led beyond its restraints and prepared for manhood and freedom. Through the law he died to the law that he might live unto God. His old self, with its lusts, was crucified with Christ, so that henceforth he lived no longer himself, but Christ lived in him.374  He was mystically identified with his Saviour and had no separate existence from him. The whole of Christianity, the whole of life, was summed up to him in the one word: Christ. He determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins, and risen again for our justification.375

His experience of justification by faith, his free pardon and acceptance by Christ were to him the strongest stimulus to gratitude and consecration. His great sin of persecution, like Peter’s denial, was overruled for his own good: the remembrance of it kept him humble, guarded him against temptation, and intensified his zeal and devotion. "I am the least of the apostles," he said in unfeigned humility  that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."376  This confession contains, in epitome, the whole meaning of his life and work.

The idea of justification by the free grace of God in Christ through a living faith which makes Christ and his merits our own and leads to consecration and holiness, is the central idea of Paul’s Epistles. His whole theology, doctrinal, ethical, and practical, lies, like a germ, in his conversion; but it was actually developed by a sharp conflict with Judaizing teachers who continued to trust in the law for righteousness and salvation, and thus virtually frustrated the grace of God and made Christ’s death unnecessary and fruitless.

Although Paul broke radically with Judaism and opposed the Pharisaical notion of legal righteousness at every step and with all his might, he was far from opposing the Old Testament or the Jewish people. Herein he shows his great wisdom and moderation, and his infinite superiority over Marcion and other ultra- and pseudo-Pauline reformers. He now expounded the Scriptures as a direct preparation for the gospel, the law as a schoolmaster leading to Christ, Abraham as the father of the faithful. And as to his countrymen after the flesh, he loved them more than ever before. Filled with the amazing love of Christ who had pardoned him, "the chief of sinners," he was ready for the greatest possible sacrifice if thereby he might save them. His startling language in the ninth chapter of the Romans is not rhetorical exaggeration, but the genuine expression of that heroic self-denial and devotion which animated Moses, and which culminated in the sacrifice of the eternal Son of God on the cross of Calvary.377

Paul’s conversion was at the same time his call to the apostleship, not indeed to a place among the Twelve (for the vacancy of Judas was filled), but to the independent apostleship of the Gentiles.378  Then followed an uninterrupted activity of more than a quarter of a century, which for interest and for permanent and ever-growing usefulness has no parallel in the annals of history, and affords an unanswerable proof of the sincerity of his conversion and the truth of Christianity.379


Analogous Conversions.


God deals with men according to their peculiar character and condition. As in Elijah’s vision on Mount Horeb, God appears now in the mighty rushing wind that uproots the trees, now in the earthquake that rends the rocks, now in the consuming fire, now in the still small voice. Some are suddenly converted, and can remember the place and hour; others are gradually and imperceptibly changed in spirit and conduct; still others grow up unconsciously in the Christian faith from the mother’s knee and the baptismal font. The stronger the will the more force it requires to overcome the resistance, and the more thorough and lasting is the change. Of all sudden and radical conversions that of Saul was the most sudden and the most radical. In several respects it stands quite alone, as the man himself and his work. Yet there are faint analogies in history. The divines who most sympathized with his spirit and system of doctrine, passed through a similar experience, and were much aided by his example and writings. Among these Augustin, Calvin, and Luther are the most conspicuous.

St. Augustin, the son of a pious mother and a heathen father, was led astray into error and vice and wandered for years through the labyrinth of heresy and scepticism, but his heart was restless and homesick after God. At last, when he attained to the thirty-third year of his life (Sept., 386), the fermentation of his soul culminated in a garden near Milan, far away from his African home, when the Spirit of God, through the combined agencies of the unceasing prayers of Monica, the sermons of Ambrose, the example of St. Anthony, the study of Cicero and Plato, of Isaiah and Paul, brought about a change not indeed as wonderful—for no visible appearance of Christ was vouchsafed to him—but as sincere and lasting as that of the apostle. As he was lying in the dust of repentance and wrestling with God in prayer for deliverance, be suddenly heard a sweet voice as from heaven, calling out again and again: ’Take and read, take and read!"  He opened the holy book and read the exhortation of Paul: "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." It was a voice of God; he obeyed it, he completely changed his course of life, and became the greatest and most useful teacher of his age.

Of Calvin’s conversion we know very little, but he himself characterizes it as a sudden change (subita conversio) from papal superstition to the evangelical faith. In this respect it resembles that of Paul rather than Augustin. He was no sceptic, no heretic, no immoral man, but as far as we know, a pious Romanist until the brighter life of the Reformation burst on his mind from the Holy Scriptures and showed him a more excellent way. "Only one haven of salvation is left for our souls," he says, "and that is the mercy of God in Christ. We are saved by grace—not by our merits, not by our works." He consulted not with flesh and blood, and burned the bridge after him. He renounced all prospects of a brilliant career, and exposed himself to the danger of persecution and death. He exhorted and strengthened the timid Protestants of France, usually closing with the words of Paul  If God be for us, who can be against us?"  He prepared in Paris a flaming address on reform, which was ordered to be burned; he escaped from persecution in a basket from a window, like Paul at Damascus, and wandered for two years as a fugitive evangelist from place to place until he found his sphere of labor in Geneva. With his conversion was born his Pauline theology, which sprang from his brain like Minerva from the head of Jupiter. Paul never had a more logical and theological commentator than John Calvin.380

But the most Paul-like man in history is the leader of the German Reformation, who combined in almost equal proportion depth of mind, strength of will, tenderness of heart, and a fiery vehemence of temper, and was the most powerful herald of evangelical freedom; though inferior to Augustin and Calvin (not to say Paul) in self-discipline, consistency, and symmetry of character.381 Luther’s commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, though not a grammatical or logical exposition, is a fresh reproduction and republication of the Epistle against the self-righteousness, and bondage of the papacy. Luther’s first conversion took place in his twenty-first year (1505), when, as a student of law at Erfurt, on his return from a visit to his parents, he was so frightened by a fearful thunder-storm and flashes of lightning that he exclaimed: "Help, dear St. Anna, I will become a monk!"  But that conversion, although it has often been compared with that of the apostle, had nothing to do with his Paulinism and Protestantism; it made him a pious Catholic, it induced him to flee from the world to the retreat of a convent for the salvation of his soul. And he became one of the most humble, obedient, and self-denying of monks, as Paul was one of the most earnest and zealous of Pharisees. "If ever a monk got to heaven by monkery," says Luther, "I ought to have gotten there." But the more he sought righteousness and peace by ascetic self denial and penal exercises, the more painfully he felt the weight of sin and the wrath of God, although unable to mention to his confessor any particular transgression. The discipline of the law drove him to the brink of despair, when by the kind interposition of Staupitz he was directed away from himself to the cross of Christ, as the only source of pardon and peace, and found, by implicit faith in His all-sufficient merits, that righteousness which he had vainly sought in his own strength.382  This, his second conversion, as we may call it, which occurred several years later (1508), and gradually rather than suddenly, made him an evangelical freeman in Christ and prepared him for the great conflict with Romanism, which began in earnest with the nailing of the ninety-nine theses against the traffic in indulgences (1517). The intervening years may be compared to Paul’s sojourn in Arabia and the subordinate labors preceding his first great missionary tour.


False Explanations.


Various attempts have been made by ancient heretics and modern rationalists to explain Paul’s conversion in a purely natural way, but they have utterly failed, and by their failure they indirectly confirm the true view as given by the apostle himself and as held in all ages by the Christian church.383

1. The Theory of Fraud.—The heretical and malignant faction of the Judaizers was disposed to attribute Paul’s conversion to selfish motives, or to the influence of evil spirits.

The Ebionites spread the lie that Paul was of heathen parents, fell in love with the daughter of the high priest in Jerusalem, became a proselyte and submitted to circumcision in order to secure her, but failing in his purpose, he took revenge and attacked the circumcision, the sabbath, and the whole Mosaic law.384

In the pseudo-Clementine Homilies, which represent a speculative form of the Judaizing heresy, Paul is assailed under the disguise of Simon Magus, the arch-heretic, who struggled antinomian heathenism into the church. The manifestation of Christ was either a manifestation of his wrath, or a deliberate lie.385

2. The Rationalistic Theory of Thunder and Lightning.—It attributes the conversion to physical causes, namely, a violent storm and the delirium of a burning Syrian fever, in which Paul superstitiously mistook the thunder for the voice of God and the lightning for a heavenly vision.386 But the record says nothing about thunderstorm and fever, and both combined could not produce such an effect upon any sensible man, much less upon the history of the world. Who ever heard the thunder speak in Hebrew or in any other articulate language? And had not Paul and Luke eyes and ears and common sense, as well as we, to distinguish an ordinary phenomenon of nature from a supernatural vision?

3. The Vision-Hypothesis resolves the conversion into a natural psychological process and into an honest self-delusion. It is the favorite theory of modern rationalists, who scorn all other explanations, and profess the highest respect for the intellectual and moral purity and greatness of Paul.387 It is certainly more rational and creditable than the second hypothesis, because it ascribes the mighty change not to outward and accidental phenomena which pass away, but to internal causes. It assumes that an intellectual and moral fermentation was going on for some time in the mind of Paul, and resulted at last, by logical necessity, in an entire change of conviction and conduct, without any supernatural influence, the very possibility of which is denied as being inconsistent with the continuity of natural development. The miracle in this case was simply the mythical and symbolical reflection of the commanding presence of Jesus in the thoughts of the apostle.

That Paul saw a vision, he says himself, but he meant, of course, a real, objective, personal appearance of Christ from heaven, which was visible to his eyes and audible to his ears, and at the same time a revelation to his mind through the medium of the senses.388  The inner spiritual manifestation389 was more important than the external, but both combined produced conviction. The vision-theory turns the appearance of Christ into a purely subjective imagination, which the apostle mistook for an objective fact.390

It is incredible that a man of sound, clear, and keen mind as that of Paul undoubtedly was, should have made such a radical and far reaching blunder as to confound subjective reflections with an objective appearance of Jesus whom he persecuted, and to ascribe solely to an act of divine mercy what he must have known to be the result of his own thoughts, if he thought at all.

The advocates of this theory throw the appearances of the risen Lord to the older disciples, the later visions of Peter, Philip, and John in the Apocalypse, into the same category of subjective illusions in the high tide of nervous excitement and religious enthusiasm. It is plausibly maintained that Paul was an enthusiast, fond of visions and revelations,391 and that he justifies a doubt concerning the realness of the resurrection itself by putting all the appearances of the risen Christ on the same level with his own, although several years elapsed between those of Jerusalem and Galilee, and that on the way to Damascus.

But this, the only possible argument for the vision-hypothesis, is entirely untenable. When Paul says: "Last of all, as unto an untimely offspring, Christ appeared to me also," he draws a clear line of distinction between the personal appearances of Christ and his own later visions, and closes the former with the one vouchsafed to him at his conversion.392 Once, and once only, he claims to have seen the Lord in visible form and to have heard his voice; last, indeed, and out of due time, yet as truly and really as the older apostles. The only difference is that they saw the risen Saviour still abiding on earth, while he saw the ascended Saviour coming down from heaven, as we may expect him to appear to all men on the last day. It is the greatness of that vision which leads him to dwell on his personal unworthiness as "the least of the apostles and not worthy to be called an apostle, because he persecuted the church of God." He uses the realness of Christ’s resurrection as the basis for his wonderful discussion of the future resurrection of believers, which would lose all its force if Christ had not actually been raised from the dead.393

Moreover his conversion coincided with his call to the apostleship. If the former was a delusion, the latter must also have been a delusion. He emphasizes his direct call to the apostleship of the Gentiles by the personal appearance of Christ without any human intervention, in opposition to his Judaizing adversaries who tried to undermine his authority.394

The whole assumption of a long and deep inward preparation, both intellectual and moral, for a change, is without any evidence, and cannot set aside the fact that Paul was, according to his repeated confession, at that time violently persecuting Christianity in its followers. His conversion can be far less explained from antecedent causes, surrounding circumstances, and personal motives than that of any other disciple. While the older apostles were devoted friends of Jesus, Paul was his enemy, bent at the very time of the great change on an errand of cruel persecution, and therefore in a state of mind most unlikely to give birth to a vision so fatal to his present object and his future career. How could a fanatical persecutor of Christianity, "breathing threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord," stultify and contradict himself by an imaginative conceit which tended to the building up of that very religion which he was laboring to destroy!395

But supposing (with Renan) that his mind was temporarily upset in the delirium of feverish excitement, he certainly soon recovered health and reason, and had every opportunity to correct his error; he was intimate with the murderers of Jesus, who could have produced tangible evidence against the resurrection if it had never occurred; and after a long pause of quiet reflection he went to Jerusalem, spent a fortnight with Peter, and could learn from him and from James, the brother of Christ, their experience, and compare it with his own. Everything in this case is against the mythical and legendary theory which requires a change of environment and the lapse of years for the formation of poetic fancies and fictions.

Finally, the whole life-work of Paul, from his conversion at Damascus to his martyrdom in Rome, is the best possible argument against this hypothesis and for the realness of his conversion, as an act of divine grace. "By their fruits ye shall know them." How could such an effective change proceed from an empty dream?  Can an illusion change the current of history?  By joining the Christian sect Paul sacrificed everything, at last life itself, to the service of Christ. He never wavered in his conviction of the truth as revealed to him, and by his faith in this revelation he has become a benediction to all ages.

The vision-hypothesis denies objective miracles, but ascribes miracles to subjective imaginations, and makes a he more effect ive and beneficial than the truth.

All rationalistic and natural interpretations of the conversion of Paul turn out to be irrational and unnatural; the supernatural interpretation of Paul himself, after all, is the most rational and natural.


Remarkable Concessions.


Dr. Baur, the master-spirit of skeptical criticism and the founder of the "Tübingen School," felt constrained, shortly before his death (1860), to abandon the vision-hypothesis and to admit that "no psychological or dialectical analysis can explore the inner mystery of the act in which God revealed his Son in Paul (keine, weder psychologische noch dialektische Analyse kann das innere Geheimniss des Actes erforschen, in welchem Gott seinen Sohn in ihm enthülte). In the same connection he says that in, "the sudden transformation of Paul from the most violent adversary of Christianity into its most determined herald" he could see "nothing short of a miracle (Wunder);" and adds that "this miracle appears all the greater when we remember that in this revulsion of his consciousness he broke through the barriers of Judaism and rose out of its particularism into the universalism of Christianity."396  This frank confession is creditable to the head and heart of the late Tübingen critic, but is fatal to his whole anti-supernaturalistic theory of history. Si falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. If we admit the miracle in one case, the door is opened for all other miracles which rest on equally strong evidence.

The late Dr. Keim, an independent pupil of Baur, admits at least spiritual manifestations of the ascended Christ from heaven, and urges in favor of the objective reality of the Christophanies as reported by Paul, 1 Cor. 15:3 sqq., "the whole character of Paul, his sharp understanding which was not weakened by his enthusiasm, the careful, cautious, measured, simple form of his statement, above all the favorable total impression of his narrative and the mighty echo of it in the unanimous, uncontradicted faith of primitive Christendom."397

Dr. Schenkel, of Heidelberg, in his latest stage of development, says that Paul, with full justice, put his Christophany on a par with the Christophanies of the older apostles; that all these Christophanies are not simply the result of psychological processes, but "remain in many respects psychologically inconceivable," and point back to the historic background of the person of Jesus; that Paul was not an ordinary visionary, but carefully distinguished the Christophany at Damascus from his later visions; that he retained the full possession of his rational mind even in the moments of the highest exaltation; that his conversion was not the sudden effect of nervous excitement, but brought about by the influence of the divine Providence which quietly prepared his soul for the reception of Christ; and that the appearance of Christ vouchsafed to him was "no dream, but reality."398

Professor Reuss, of Strasburg, likewise an independent critic of the liberal school, comes to the same conclusion as Baur, that the conversion of Paul, if not an absolute miracle, is at least an unsolved psychological problem. He says: "La conversion de Paul, après tout ce qui en a été dit de notre temps, reste toujours, si ce n’est un miracle absolu, dans le sens traditionnel de ce mot (c’est-à-dire un événement qui arrête ou change violemment le cours naturel des choses, un effet sans autre cause que l’intervention arbitraire et immédiate de Dieu), du moins un problème psychologique aujourd’hui insoluble. L’explication dite naturelle, qu’elle fasse intervenir un orage on qu’elle se retranche dans le domaine des hallucinations ... ne nous donne pas la clef de cette crise elle-même, qui a décidé la métamorphose du pharisien en chrétien."399

Canon Farrar says (I. 195): "One fact remains upon any hypothesis and that is, that the conversion of St. Paul was in the highest sense of the word a miracle, and one of which the spiritual consequences have affected every subsequent age of the history of mankind."


 § 32. The Work of Paul.


"He who can part from country and from kin,
And scorn delights, and tread the thorny way,

A heavenly crown, through toil and pain, to win—
He who reviled can tender love repay,
And buffeted, for bitter foes can pray—

He who, upspringing at his Captain’s call,
Fights the good fight, and when at last the day
Of fiery trial comes, can nobly fall—

Such were a saint—or more—and such the holy Paul!"



The conversion of Paul was a great intellectual and moral revolution, yet without destroying his identity. His noble gifts and attainments remained, but were purged of Selfish motives, inspired by a new principle, and consecrated to a divine end. The love of Christ who saved him, was now his all-absorbing passion, and no sacrifice was too great to manifest his gratitude to Him. The architect of ruin became an architect of the temple of God. The same vigor, depth and acuteness of mind, but illuminated by the Holy Spirit; the same strong temper and burning zeal, but cleansed, subdued and controlled by wisdom and moderation; the same energy and boldness, but coupled with gentleness and meekness; and, added to all this, as crowning gifts of grace, a love and humility, a tenderness and delicacy of feeling such as are rarely, if ever, found in a character so proud, manly and heroic. The little Epistle to Philemon reveals a perfect Christian gentleman, a nobleman of nature, doubly ennobled by grace. The thirteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians could only be conceived by a mind that had ascended on the mystic ladder of faith to the throbbing heart of the God of love; yet without inspiration even Paul could not have penned that seraphic description of the virtue which beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, which never faileth, but will last for ever the greatest in the triad of celestial graces: faith, hope, love.

Saul converted became at once Paul the missionary. Being saved himself, he made it his life-work to save others. "Straight way" he proclaimed Christ in the synagogues, and confounded the Jews of Damascus, proving that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of God.400  But this was only a preparatory testimony in the fervor of the first love. The appearance of Christ, and the travails of his soul during the three days and nights of prayer and fasting, when he experienced nothing less than a spiritual death and a spiritual resurrection, had so shaken his physical and mental frame that he felt the need of protracted repose away from the noise and turmoil of the world. Besides there must have been great danger threatening his life as soon as the astounding news of his conversion became known at Jerusalem. He therefore went to the desert of Arabia and spent there three years,401 not in missionary labor (as Chrysostom thought), but chiefly in prayer, meditation and the study of the Hebrew Scriptures in the light of their fulfilment through the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth. This retreat took the place of the three years’ preparation of the Twelve in the school of Christ. Possibly he may have gone as far as Mount Sinai, among the wild children of Hagar and Ishmael.402 On that pulpit of the great lawgiver of Israel, and in view of the surrounding panorama of death and desolation which reflects the terrible majesty of Jehovah, as no other spot on earth, he could listen with Elijah to the thunder and earthquake, and the still small voice, and could study the contrast between the killing letter and the life-giving spirit, between the ministration of death and the ministration of righteousness.403 The desert, like the ocean, has its grandeur and sublimity, and leaves the meditating mind alone with God and eternity.

"Paul was a unique man for a unique task."404 His task was twofold: practical and theoretical. He preached the gospel of free and universal grace from Damascus to Rome, and secured its triumph in the Roman empire, which means the civilized world of that age. At the same time he built up the church from within by the exposition and defence of the gospel in his Epistles. He descended to the humblest details of ecclesiastical administration and discipline, and mounted to the sublimest heights of theological speculation. Here we have only to do with his missionary activity; leaving his theoretical work to be considered in another chapter.

Let us first glance at his missionary spirit and policy.

His inspiring motive was love to Christ and to his fellow-men. "The love of Christ," he says, "constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died: and He died for all that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again." He regarded himself as a bondman and ambassador of Christ, entreating men to be reconciled to God. Animated by this spirit, he became "as a Jew to the Jews, as a Gentile to the Gentiles, all things to all men that by all means he might save some."

He made Antioch, the capital of Syria and the mother church of Gentile Christendom, his point of departure for, and return from, his missionary journeys, and at the same time he kept up his connection with Jerusalem, the mother church of Jewish Christendom. Although an independent apostle of Christ, he accepted a solemn commission from Antioch for his first great missionary tour. He followed the current of history, commerce, and civilization, from East to West, from Asia to Europe, from Syria to Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and perhaps as far as Spain.405  In the larger and more influential cities, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, he resided a considerable time. From these salient points he sent the gospel by his pupils and fellow-laborers into the surrounding towns and villages. But he always avoided collision with other apostles, and sought new fields of labor where Christ was not known before, that he might not build on any other man’s foundation. This is true independence and missionary courtesy, which is so often, alas! violated by missionary societies inspired by sectarian rather than Christian zeal.

His chief mission was to the Gentiles, without excluding the Jews, according to the message of Christ delivered through Ananias: "Thou shalt bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." Considering that the Jews had a prior claim in time to the gospel,406 and that the synagogues in heathen cities were pioneer stations for Christian missions, he very naturally addressed himself first to the Jews and proselytes, taking up the regular lessons of the Old Testament Scriptures, and demonstrating their fulfilment in Jesus of Nazareth. But almost uniformly he found the half-Jews, or "proselytes of the gate," more open to the gospel than his own brethren; they were honest and earnest seekers of the true religion, and formed the natural bridge to the pure heathen, and the nucleus of his congregations, which were generally composed of converts from both religions.

In noble self-denial he earned his subsistence with his own hands, as a tent-maker, that he might not be burthensome to his congregations (mostly belonging to the lower classes), that he might preserve his independence, stop the mouths of his enemies, and testify his gratitude to the infinite mercy of the Lord, who had called him from his headlong, fanatical career of persecution to the office of an apostle of free grace. He never collected money for himself, but for the poor Jewish Christians in Palestine. Only as an exception did he receive gifts from his converts at Philippi, who were peculiarly dear to him. Yet he repeatedly enjoins upon the churches to care for the liberal temporal support of their teachers who break to them the bread of eternal life. The Saviour of the world a carpenter! the greatest preacher of the gospel a tent-maker!

Of the innumerable difficulties, dangers, and sufferings which he encountered with Jews, heathens, and false brethren, we can hardly form an adequate idea; for the book of Acts is only a summary record. He supplements it incidentally. "Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Three times was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren: in labor and toil, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, the anxious care for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak?  Who is offended, and I burn not?"407  Thus he wrote reluctantly to the Corinthians, in self-vindication against his calumniators, in the year 57, before his longest and hardest trial in the prisons of Caesarea and Rome, and at least seven years before his martyrdom. He was "pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not in despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed."408  His whole public career was a continuous warfare. He represents the church militant, or "marching and conquering Christianity." He was "unus versus mundum," in a far higher sense than this has been said of Athanasius the Great when confronted with the Arian heresy and the imperial heathenism of Julian the Apostate.

Yet he was never unhappy, but full of joy and peace. He exhorted the Philippians from his prison in Rome: "Rejoice in the Lord alway; again I will say, Rejoice." In all his conflicts with foes from without and foes from within Paul was "more than conqueror" through the grace of God which was sufficient for him. "For I am persuaded," he writes to the Romans in the strain of a sublime ode of triumph, "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."409  And his dying word is an assurance of victory: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not only to me, but also to all them that have loved his appearing."410


 § 33. Paul’s Missionary Labors.


The public life of Paul, from the third year after his conversion to his martyrdom, a.d. 40–64, embraces a quarter of a century, three great missionary campaigns with minor expeditions, five visits to Jerusalem, and at least four years of captivity in Caesarea and Rome. Some extend it to a.d. 67 or 68. It may be divided into five or six periods, as follows:

1. a.d. 40–44. The period of preparatory labors in Syria and his native Cilicia, partly alone, partly in connection with Barnabas, his senior fellow-apostle among the Gentiles.

On his return from the Arabian retreat Paul began his public ministry in earnest at Damascus, preaching Christ on the very spot where he had been converted and called. His testimony enraged the Jews, who stirred up the deputy of the king of Arabia against him, but he was saved for future usefulness and let down by the brethren in a basket through a window in the wall of the city.411  Three years after his conversion he went up to Jerusalem to make the acquaintance of Peter and spent a fortnight with him. Besides him he saw James the brother of the Lord. Barnabas introduced him to the disciples, who at first were afraid of him, but when they heard of his marvellous conversion they "glorified God" that their persecutor was now preaching the faith he had once been laboring to destroy.412  He did not come to learn the gospel, having received it already by revelation, nor to be confirmed or ordained, having been called "not from men, or through man, but through Jesus Christ." Yet his interview with Peter and James, though barely mentioned, must have been fraught with the deepest interest. Peter, kind-hearted and generous as he was, would naturally receive him with joy and thanksgiving. He had himself once denied the Lord—not malignantly but from weakness—as Paul had persecuted the disciples—ignorantly in unbelief. Both had been mercifully pardoned, both had seen the Lord, both were called to the highest dignity, both could say from the bottom of the heart: "Lord thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." No doubt they would exchange their experiences and confirm each other in their common faith.

It was probably on this visit that Paul received in a vision in the temple the express command of the Lord to go quickly unto the Gentiles.413  Had he stayed longer at the seat of the Sanhedrin, he would undoubtedly have met the fate of the martyr Stephen.

He visited Jerusalem a second time during the famine under Claudius, in the year 44, accompanied by Barnabas, on a benevolent mission, bearing a collection of the Christians at Antioch for the relief of the brethren in Judaea.414  On that occasion he probably saw none of the apostles on account of the persecution in which James was beheaded, and Peter imprisoned.

The greater part of these four years was spent in missionary work at Tarsus and Antioch.

2. a.d. 45–50. First missionary journey. In the year 45 Paul entered upon the first great missionary journey, in company with Barnabas and Mark, by the direction of the Holy Spirit through the prophets of the congregation at Antioch. He traversed the island of Cyprus and several provinces of Asia Minor. The conversion of the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, at Paphos; the rebuke and punishment of the Jewish sorcerer, Elymas; the marked success of the gospel in Pisidia, and the bitter opposition of the unbelieving Jews; the miraculous healing of a cripple at Lystra; the idolatrous worship there offered to Paul and Barnabas by the superstitious heathen, and its sudden change into hatred against them as enemies of the gods; the stoning of the missionaries, their escape from death, and their successful return to Antioch, are the leading incidents of this tour, which is fully described in Acts 13 and 14.

This period closes with the important apostolic conference at Jerusalem, a.d. 50, which will require separate consideration in the next section.

3. From a.d. 51–54. Second missionary journey. After the council at Jerusalem and the temporary adjustment of the difference between the Jewish and Gentile branches of the church, Paul undertook, in the year 51, a second great journey, which decided the Christianization of Greece. He took Silas for his companion. Having first visited his old churches, he proceeded, with the help of Silas and the young convert, Timothy, to establish new ones through the provinces of Phrygia and Galatia, where, notwithstanding his bodily infirmity, he was received with open arms like an angel of God.

From Troas, a few miles south of the Homeric Troy and the entrance to the Hellespont, he crossed over to Greece in answer to the Macedonian cry:  "Come over and help us!"  He preached the gospel with great success, first in Philippi, where he converted the purple dealer, Lydia, and the jailor, and was imprisoned with Silas, but miraculously delivered and honorably released; then in Thessalonica, where he was persecuted by the Jews, but left a flourishing church; in Beraea, where the converts showed exemplary zeal in searching the Scriptures. In Athens, the metropolis of classical literature, he reasoned with Stoic and Epicurean philosophers, and unveiled to them on Mars’ Hill (Areopagus), with consummate tact and wisdom, though without much immediate success, the "unknown God," to whom the Athenians, in their superstitious anxiety to do justice to all possible divinities, had unconsciously erected an altar, and Jesus Christ, through whom God will judge the world in righteousness.415  In Corinth, the commercial bridge between the East and the West, a flourishing centre of wealth and culture, but also a sink of vice and corruption, the apostle spent eighteen months, and under almost insurmountable difficulties he built up a church, which exhibited all the virtues and all the faults of the Grecian character under the influence of the gospel, and which he honored with two of his most important Epistles.416

In the spring of 54 he returned by way of Ephesus, Caesarea, and Jerusalem to Antioch.

During this period he composed the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, which are the earliest of his literary remains excepting his missionary addresses preserved in the Acts.

4. a.d. 54–58. Third missionary tour. Towards the close of the year 54 Paul went to Ephesus, and in this renowned capital of proconsular Asia and of the worship of Diana, he fixed for three years the centre of his missionary work. He then revisited his churches in Macedonia and Achaia, and remained three months more in Corinth and the vicinity.

During this period he wrote the great doctrinal Epistles to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans, which mark the height of his activity and usefulness.

5. a.d. 58–63. The period of his two imprisonments, with the intervening winter voyage from Caesarea to Rome. In the spring of 58 he journeyed, for the fifth and last time, to Jerusalem, by way of Philippi, Troas, Miletus (where he delivered his affecting valedictory to the Ephesian presbyter-bishops), Tyre, and Caesarea, to carry again to the poor brethren in Judaea a contribution from the Christians of Greece, and by this token of gratitude and love to cement the two branches of the apostolic church more firmly together.

But some fanatical Jews, who bitterly bated him as an apostate and a seducer of the people, raised an uproar against him at Pentecost; charged him with profaning the temple, because he had taken into it an uncircumcised Greek, Trophimus; dragged him out of the sanctuary, lest they should defile it with blood, and would undoubtedly have killed him had not Claudius Lysias, the Roman tribune, who lived near by, come promptly with his soldiers to the spot. This officer rescued Paul, out of respect for his Roman citizenship, from the fury of the mob, set him the next day before the Sanhedrin, and after a tumultuous and fruitless session of the council, and the discovery of a plot against his life, sent him, with a strong military guard and a certificate of innocence, to the procurator Felix in Caesarea.

Here the apostle was confined two whole years (58–60), awaiting his trial before the Sanhedrin, uncondemned, occasionally speaking before Felix, apparently treated with comparative mildness, visited by the Christians, and in some way not known to us promoting the kingdom of God.417

After the accession of the new and better procurator, Festus, who is known to have succeeded Felix in the year 60, Paul, as a Roman citizen, appealed to the tribunal of Caesar and thus opened the way to the fulfilment of his long-cherished desire to preach the Saviour of the world in the metropolis of the world. Having once more testified his innocence, and spoken for Christ in a masterly defence before Festus, King Herod Agrippa II. (the last of the Herods), his sister Bernice, and the most distinguished men of Caesarea, he was sent in the autumn of the year 60 to the emperor. He had a stormy voyage and suffered shipwreck, which detained him over winter at Malta. The voyage is described with singular minuteness and nautical accuracy by Luke as an eye-witness. In the month of March of the year 61, the apostle, with a few faithful companions, reached Rome, a prisoner of Christ, and yet freer and mightier than the emperor on the throne. It was the seventh year of Nero’s reign, when he had already shown his infamous character by the murder of Agrippina, his mother, in the previous year, and other acts of cruelty.

In Rome Paul spent at least two years till the spring of 63, in easy confinement, awaiting the decision of his case, and surrounded by friends and fellow-laborers "in his own hired dwelling." He preached the gospel to the soldiers of the imperial body-guard, who attended him; sent letters and messages to his distant churches in Asia Minor and Greece; watched over all their spiritual affairs, and completed in bonds his apostolic fidelity to the Lord and his church.418

In the Roman prison he wrote the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon.

6. a.d. 63 and 64. With the second year of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome the account of Luke breaks off, rather abruptly, yet appropriately and grandly. Paul’s arrival in Rome secured the triumph of Christianity. In this sense it was true, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est."  And he who spoke at Rome is not dead; he is still "preaching (everywhere) the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all boldness, none forbidding him."419

But what became of him after the termination of those two years in the spring of 63?  What was the result of the trial so long delayed?  Was he condemned to death? or was he released by Nero’s tribunal, and thus permitted to labor for another season?  This question is still unsettled among scholars. A vague tradition says that Paul was acquitted of the charge of the Sanhedrin, and after travelling again in the East, perhaps also into Spain, was a second time imprisoned in Rome and condemned to death. The assumption of a second Roman captivity relieves certain difficulties in the Pastoral Epistles; for they seem to require a short period of freedom between the first and a second Roman captivity, and a visit to the East,420 which is not recorded in the Acts, but which the apostle contemplated in case of his release.421  A visit to Spain, which he intended, is possible, though less probable.422  If he was set at liberty, it must have been before the terrible persecution in July, 64, which would not have spared the great leader of the Christian sect. It is a remarkable coincidence that just about the close of the second year of Paul’s confinement, the celebrated Jewish historian, Josephus, then in his 27th year, came to Rome (after a tempestuous voyage and shipwreck), and effected through the influence of Poppaea (the wife of Nero and a half proselyte of Judaism) the release of certain Jewish priests who had been sent to Rome by Felix as prisoners.423  It is not impossible that Paul may have reaped the benefit of a general release of Jewish prisoners.

The martyrdom of Paul under Nero is established by the unanimous testimony of antiquity. As a Roman citizen, he was not crucified, like Peter, but put to death by the sword.424  The scene of his martyrdom is laid by tradition about three miles from Rome, near the Ostian way, on a green spot, formerly called Aquae Salviae, afterwards Tre Fontane, from the three fountains which are said to have miraculously gushed forth from the blood of the apostolic martyr. His relics were ultimately removed to the basilica of San Paolo-fuori-le-Mura, built by Theodosius and Valentinian in 388, and recently reconstructed. He lies outside of Rome, Peter inside. His memory is celebrated, together with that of Peter, on the 29th and 30th of June.425  As to the year of his death, the views vary from a.d. 64 to 69. The difference of the place and manner of his martyrdom suggests that he was condemned by a regular judicial trial, either shortly before, or more probably a year or two after the horrible wholesale massacre of Christians on the Vatican hill, in which his Roman citizenship would not have been regarded. If he was released in the spring of 63, he had a year and a half for another visit to the East and to Spain before the outbreak of the Neronian persecution (after July, 64); but tradition favors a later date. Prudentius separates the martyrdom of Peter from that of Paul by one year. After that persecution the Christians were everywhere exposed to danger.426

Assuming the release of Paul and another visit to the East, we must locate the First Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus between the first and second Roman captivity, and the Second Epistle to Timothy in the second captivity. The last was evidently written in the certain view of approaching martyrdom; it is the affectionate farewell of the aged apostle to his beloved Timothy, and his last will and testament to the militant church below in the bright prospect of the unfading crown in the church triumphant above.427

Thus ended the earthly course of this great teacher of nations, this apostle of victorious faith, of evangelical freedom, of Christian progress. It was the heroic career of a spiritual conqueror of immortal souls for Christ, converting them from the service of sin and Satan to the service of the living God, from the bondage of the law to the freedom of the gospel, and leading them to the fountain of life eternal. He labored more abundantly than all the other apostles; and yet, in sincere humility, he considered himself "the least of the apostles," and "not meet to be called an apostle," because he persecuted the church of God; a few years later he confessed: "I am less than the least of all saints," and shortly before his death: "I am the chief of sinners."428  His humility grew as he experienced God’s mercy and ripened for heaven. Paul passed a stranger and pilgrim through this world, hardly observed by the mighty and the wise of his age. And yet how infinitely more noble, beneficial, and enduring was his life and work than the dazzling march of military conquerors, who, prompted by ambitions absorbed millions of treasure and myriads of lives, only to die at last in a drunken fit at Babylon, or of a broken heart on the rocks of St. Helena!  Their empires have long since crumbled into dust, but St. Paul still remains one of the foremost benefactors of the human race, and the pulses of his mighty heart are beating with stronger force than ever throughout the Christian world.


Note on the Second Roman Captivity of Paul.


The question of a second Roman captivity of Paul is a purely historical and critical problem, and has no doctrinal or ethical bearing, except that it facilitates the defence of the genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles. The best scholars are still divided on the subject. Neander, Gieseler, Bleek, Ewald, Lange, Sabatier, Godet, also Renan (Saint Paul, p. 560, and L’Antechrist, p. 106), and nearly all English biographers and commentators, as Alford, Wordsworth, Howson, Lewin, Farrar, Plumptre, Ellicott, Lightfoot, defend the second captivity, and thus prolong the labors of Paul for a few years. On the other hand not only radical and skeptical critics, as Baur, Zeller, Schenkel, Reuss, Holtzmann, and all who reject the Pastoral Epistles (except Renan), but also conservative exegetes and historians, as Niedner, Thiersch, Meyer, Wieseler, Ebrard, Otto, Beck, Pressensé, deny the second captivity. I have discussed the problem at length in my Hist. of the Apost. Church, § 87, pp. 328–347, and spin in my annotations to Lange on Romans, pp. 10–12. I will restate the chief arguments in favor of a second captivity, partly in rectification of my former opinion.

1. The main argument are the Pastoral Epistles, if genuine, as I hold them to be, notwithstanding all the objections of the opponents from De Wette (1826) and Baur (1835) to Renan (1873) and Holtzmann (1880). It is, indeed, not impossible to assign them to any known period in Paul’s life before his captivity, as during his three years’ sojourn in Ephesus (54–57), or his eighteen months’ sojourn in Corinth (52–53), but it is very difficult to do so. The Epistles presuppose journeys of the apostle not mentioned in Acts, and belong apparently to an advanced period in his life, as well as in the history of truth and error in the apostolic church.

2. The release of Timothy from a captivity in Italy, probably in Rome, to which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews 13:23 alludes, may have some connection with the release of Paul, who had probably a share in the inspiration, if not in the composition, of that remarkable production.

3. The oldest post-apostolic witness is Clement of Rome, who wrote about 95:, Paul ... having come to the limit of the West (ejpi; to; tevrma th'" duvsew" ejlqwn) and borne witness before the magistrates (marturhvsa" epi; tw'n hJgoumevnwn, which others translate, "having suffered martyrdom under the rulers"), departed from the world and went to the holy place, having furnished the sublimest model of endurance" (Ad Corinth. c. 5). Considering that Clement wrote in Rome, the most natural interpretation of tevrma th'" duvsew", "the extreme west," is Spain or Britain; and as Paul intended to carry the gospel to Spain, one would first think of that country, which was in constant commercial intercourse with Rome, and had produced distinguished statesmen and writers like Seneca and Lucan. Strabo (II. 1) calls the pillars of Hercules pevrata th'" oijkoumevnh"; and Velleius Paterc. calls Spain "extremus nostri orbis terminus." See Lightfoot, St. Clement, p. 50. But the inference is weakened by the absence of any trace or tradition of Paul’s visit to Spain.429  Still less can he have suffered martyrdom there, as the logical order of the words would imply. And as Clement wrote to the Corinthians, he may, from their geographical standpoint, have called the Roman capital the end of the West. At all events the passage is rhetorical (it speaks of seven imprisonments, eJptavki" desma; forevsa"), and proves nothing for further labors in the East.430

4. An incomplete passage in the fragmentary Muratorian canon (about a.d. 170): "Sed profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis ..." seems to imply a journey of Paul to Spain, which Luke has omitted; but this is merely a conjecture, as the verb has to be supplied. Comp., however, Westcott, The Canon of the N. Test., p. 189, and Append. C., p. 467, and Renan, L’Antechrist, p. 106 sq.

5. Eusebius (d. 310) first clearly asserts that "there is a tradition (lovgo" e[cei) that the apostle, after his defence, again set forth to the ministry of his preaching and having entered a second time the same city [Rome], was perfected by his martyrdom before him [Nero]." Hist. Eccl. II. 22 (comp. ch. 25). But the force of this testimony is weakened first by its late date; secondly, by the vague expression lovgo" e[cei, "it is said," and the absence of any reference to older authorities (usually quoted by Eusebius); thirdly, by his misunderstanding of 2 Tim. 4:16, 17, which he explains in the same connection of a deliverance from the first imprisonment (as if ajpologiva were identical with aijcmalwsiva); and lastly by his chronological mistake as to the time of the first imprisonment which, in his "Chronicle," he misdates a.d. 58, that is, three years before the actual arrival of Paul in Rome. On the other hand he puts the conflagration of Rome two years too late, a.d. 66, instead of 64, and the Neronian persecution, and the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, in the year 70.

6. Jerome (d. 419): "Paul was dismissed by Nero that he might preach Christ’s gospel also in the regions of the West (in Occidentis quoque partibus). De Vir. ill. sub Paulus. This echoes the tevrma th'" duvsew" of Clement. Chrysostom (d. 407), Theodoret, and other fathers assert that Paul went to Spain (Rom. 15:28), but without adducing any proof.

These post-apostolic testimonies, taken together, make it very probable, but not historically certain, that Paul was released after the spring of 63, and enjoyed an Indian summer of missionary work before his Martyrdom. The only remaining monuments, as well as the best proof, of this concluding work are the Pastoral Epistles, if we admit them to be genuine. To my mind the historical difficulties of the Pastoral Epistles are an argument for rather than against their Pauline origin. For why should a forger invent difficulties when he might so easily have fitted his fictions in the frame of the situation known from the Acts and the other Pauline Epistles?  The linguistic and other objections are by no means insurmountable, and are overborne by the evidence of the Pauline spirit which animates these last productions of his pen.


 § 34. The Synod of Jerusalem, and the Compromise between Jewish and Gentile Christianity.




I. Acts 15, and Gal. 2, and the Commentaries thereon.

II. Besides the general literature already noticed (in §§ 20 and 29), compare the following special discussions on the Conference of the Apostles, which tend to rectify the extreme view of Baur (Paulus, ch. V.) and Overbeck (in the fourth edition of De Wette’s Com. on Acts) on the conflict between Acts 15 and Gal. 2, or between Petrinism and Paulinism, and to establish the true historic view of their essential unity in diversity.

Bishop Lightfoot: St. Paul and the Three, in Com. on Galat., London, 1866 (second ed.), pp. 283–355. The ablest critical discussion of the problem in the English language.

R. A. Lipsius: Apostelconvent, in Schenkel’s Bibel-Lexikon, I. (1869), pp. 194–207. A clear and sharp statement of eight apparent contradictions between Acts 15 and Gal. 2. He admits, however, some elements of truth in the account of Acts, which he uses to supplement the account of Paul. Schenkel, in his Christusbild der Apostel, 1879, p. 38, goes further, and says, in opposition to Overbeck, who regards the account of Acts as a Tendenz- Roman, or partisan fiction: "The narrative of Paul is certainly trustworthy, but one-sided, which was unavoidable, considering his personal apologetic aim, and passes by in silence what is foreign to that aim. The narrative of Acts follows oral and written traditions which were already influenced by later views and prejudices, and it is for this reason unreliable in part, yet by no means a conscious fiction."

Otto Pfleiderer: Der Paulinismus. Leipzig, 1873, pp. 278 sqq. and 500 sqq. He tones down the differences to innocent inaccuracies of the Acts, and rejects the idea of "intentional invention."

C. Weizsäcker (successor of Dr. Baur in Tübingen, but partly dissenting from him): Das Apostelconcil in the "Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie" for 1873, pp. 191–246. And his essay on Paulus und die Gemeinde in Korinth, ibid., 1876, pp. 603–653. In the last article he concludes (p. 652) that the real opponents of Paul, in Corinth as well as in Galatia, were not the primitive apostles (as asserted by Baur, Schwegler, etc.), but a set of fanatics who abused the authority of Peter and the name of Christ, and imitated the agitation of Jewish proselytizers, as described by Roman writers.

K. Schmidt: Der Apostel-Konvent, in Herzog and Plitt, R. E. I. (1877), 575–584. Conservative.

Theod. Keim: Aus dem Urchristenthum. Zürich, 1879, Der Apostelkonvent, pp. 64–89. (Comp. Hilgenfeld’s review in the "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftl. Theologie," 1879, pp. 100f sqq.)  One of the last efforts of the author of the Leben Jesu von Nazara. Keim goes a step further than Weizsäcker, strongly maintains the public as well as the private character of the apostolic agreement, and admits the circumcision of Timothy as a fact. He also entirely rejects the view of Baur, Weizsäcker, and Overbeck that the author of Acts derived his information from the Ep. to the Galatians, and perverted it for his irenic purpose.

F. W. Farrar: The Life and Work of Paul (Lond., 1879), chs. XXII.-XXIII. (I. 398–454).

Wilibald Grimm: Der Apostelconvent, in the "Theol. Studien und Kritiken" (Gotha), for 1880, pp. 405–432. A critical discussion in the right direction. The exegetical essay of Wetzel on Gal. 2:14, 21, in the same periodical, pp. 433 sqq., bears in part on the same subject.

F. Godet: Com. on the Ep. to the Romans, vol. I. (1879), pp. 3742, English translation. Able and sound.

Karl Wieseler: Zur Gesch. der N. T.lichen Schrift und des Urchristenthums. Leipzig, 1880, pp. 1–53, on the Corinthian parties and their relation to the errorists in the Galatians and the Nicolaitans in the Apocalypse. Learned, acute, and conservative.

Comp. above § 22, pp. 213 sqq.; my Hist. of the Apost. Church, §§ 67–70, pp. 245–260; and Excursus on the Controversy between Peter and Paul, in my Com. on the Galat. 2:11–14.


The question of circumcision, or of the terms of admission of the Gentiles to the Christian church, was a burning question of the apostolic age. It involved the wider question of the binding authority of the Mosaic law, yea, the whole relation of Christianity to Judaism. For circumcision was in the synagogue what baptism is in the church, a divinely appointed sign and seal of the covenant of man with God, with all its privileges and responsibilities, and bound the circumcised person to obey the whole law on pain of forfeiting the blessing promised. Upon the decision of this question depended the peace of the church within, and the success of the gospel without. With circumcision, as a necessary condition of church membership, Christianity would forever have been confined to the Jewish race with a small minority of proselytes of the gate, or half-Christians while the abrogation of circumcision and the declaration of the supremacy and sufficiency of faith in Christ ensured the conversion of the heathen and the catholicity of Christianity. The progress of Paul’s mission among the Gentiles forced the question to a solution and resulted in a grand act of emancipation, yet not without great struggle and temporary reactions.

All the Christians of the first generation were converts from Judaism or heathenism. It could not be expected that they should suddenly lose the influence of opposite kinds of religious training and blend at once in unity. Hence the difference between Jewish and Gentile Christianity throughout the apostolic age, more or less visible in all departments of ecclesiastical life, in missions, doctrine, worship, and government. At the head of the one division stood Peter, the apostle of the circumcision; at the head of the other, Paul, to whom was intrusted the apostleship of the uncircumcision. In another form the same difference even yet appears between the different branches of Christendom. The Catholic church is Jewish-Christian or Petrine in its character; the Evangelical church is Gentile or Pauline. And the individual members of these bodies lean to one or the other of these leading types. Where-ever there is life and motion in a denomination or sect, there will be at least two tendencies of thought and action—whether they be called old and new school, or high church and low church, or by any other party name. In like manner there is no free government without parties. It is only stagnant waters that never run and overflow, and corpses that never move.

The relation between these two fundamental forms of apostolic Christianity is in general that of authority and freedom, law and gospel, the conservative and the progressive, the objective and the subjective. These antithetic elements are not of necessity mutually exclusive. They are mutually complemental, and for perfect life they must co-exist and co-operate. But in reality they often run to extremes, and then of course fall into irreconcilable contradiction. Exclusive Jewish Christianity sinks into Ebionism; exclusive Gentile Christianity into Gnosticism. And these heresies were by no means confined to the apostolic and post-apostolic ages; pseudo-Petrine and pseudo-Pauline errors, in ever-varying phases, run more or less throughout the whole history of the church.

The Jewish converts at first very naturally adhered as closely as possible to the sacred traditions of their fathers. They could not believe that the religion of the Old Testament, revealed by God himself, should pass away. They indeed regarded Jesus as the Saviour of Gentiles as well as Jews; but they thought Judaism the necessary introduction to Christianity, circumcision and the observance of the whole Mosaic law the sole condition of an interest in the Messianic salvation. And, offensive as Judaism was, rather than attractive, to the heathen, this principle would have utterly precluded the conversion of the mass of the Gentile world.431  The apostles themselves were at first trammelled by this Judaistic prejudice, till taught better by the special revelation to Peter before the conversion of Cornelius.432

But even after the baptism of the uncircumcised centurion, and Peter’s defence of it before the church of Jerusalem, the old leaven still wrought in some Jewish Christians who had formerly belonged to the rigid and exclusive sect of the Pharisees.433  They came from Judaea to Antioch, and taught the converts of Paul and Barnabas: "Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." They no doubt appealed to the Pentateuch, the universal Jewish tradition, the circumcision of Christ, and the practice of the Jewish apostles, and created a serious disturbance. These ex-Pharisees were the same whom Paul, in the heat of controversy, more severely calls "false brethren insidiously or stealthily foisted in," who intruded themselves into the Christian brotherhood as spies and enemies of Christian liberty.434  He clearly distinguishes them not only from the apostles, but also from the great majority of the brethren in Judaea who sincerely rejoiced in his conversion and glorified God for it.435  They were a small, but very active and zealous minority, and full of intrigue. They compassed sea and land to make one proselyte. They were baptized with water, but not with the Holy Spirit. They were Christians in name, but narrow-minded and narrow-hearted Jews in fact. They were scrupulous, pedantic, slavish formalists, ritualists, and traditionalists of the malignant type. Circumcision of the flesh was to them of more importance than circumcision of the heart, or at all events an indispensable condition of salvation.436  Such men could, of course, not understand and appreciate Paul, but hated and feared him as a dangerous radical and rebel. Envy and jealousy mixed with their religious prejudice. They got alarmed at the rapid progress of the gospel among the unclean Gentiles who threatened to soil the purity of the church. They could not close their eyes to the fact that the power was fast passing from Jerusalem to Antioch, and from the Jews to the Gentiles, but instead of yielding to the course of Providence, they determined to resist it in the name of order and orthodoxy, and to keep the regulation of missionary operations and the settlement of the terms of church membership in their own hands at Jerusalem, the holy centre of Christendom and the expected residence of the Messiah on his return.

Whoever has studied the twenty-third chapter of Matthew and the pages of church history, and knows human nature, will understand perfectly this class of extra-pious and extra-orthodox fanatics, whose race is not dead yet and not likely to die out. They serve, however, the good purpose of involuntarily promoting the cause of evangelical liberty.

The agitation of these Judaizing partisans and zealots brought the Christian church, twenty years after its founding, to the brink of a split which would have seriously impeded its progress and endangered its final success.


The Conferences in Jerusalem.


To avert this calamity and to settle this irrepressible conflict, the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch resolved to hold a private and a public conference at Jerusalem. Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas as commissioners to represent the Gentile converts. Paul, fully aware of the gravity of the crisis, obeyed at the same time an inner and higher impulse.437  He also took with him Titus, a native Greek, as a living specimen of what the Spirit of God could accomplish without circumcision. The conference was held a.d. 50 or 51 (fourteen years after Paul’s conversion). It was the first and in some respects the most important council or synod held in the history of Christendom, though differing widely from the councils of later times. It is placed in the middle of the book of Acts as the connecting link between the two sections of the apostolic church and the two epochs of its missionary history.

The object of the Jerusalem consultation was twofold: first, to settle the personal relation between the Jewish and Gentile apostles, and to divide their field of labor; secondly, to decide the question of circumcision, and to define the relation between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. On the first point (as we learn from Paul) it effected a complete and final, on the second point (as we learn from Luke) a partial and temporary settlement. In the nature of the case the public conference in which the whole church took part, was preceded and accompanied by private consultations of the apostles.438

1. Apostolic Recognition. The pillars of the Jewish Church, James, Peter, and John439—whatever their views may have been before—were fully convinced by the logic of events in which they recognized the hand of Providence that Paul as well as Barnabas by the extraordinary success of his labors had proven himself to be divinely called to the apostolate of the Gentiles. They took no exception and made no addition to his gospel. On the contrary, when they saw that God who gave grace and strength to Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision, gave grace and strength to Paul also for the conversion of the uncircumcision, they extended to him and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, with the understanding that they would divide as far as practicable the large field of labor, and that Paul should manifest his brotherly love and cement the union by aiding in the support of the poor, often persecuted and famine-stricken brethren of Judaea. This service of charity he had cheerfully done before, and as cheerfully and faithfully did afterward by raising collections among his Greek congregations and carrying the money in person to Jerusalem.440  Such is the unequivocal testimony of the fraternal understanding among the apostles from the mouth of Paul himself. And the letter of the council officially recognizes this by mentioning "beloved" Barnabas441 and Paul, as "men who have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." This double testimony of the unity of the apostolic church is quite conclusive against the modern invention of an irreconcilable antagonism between Paul and Peter.442

2. As regards the question of circumcision and the status of the Gentile Christians, there was a sharp conflict of opinions in open debate, under the very shadow of the inspired apostles.443  There was strong conviction and feeling on both sides, plausible arguments were urged, charges and countercharges made, invidious inferences drawn, fatal consequences threatened. But the Holy Spirit was also present, as he is with every meeting of disciples who come together in the name of Christ, and overruled the infirmities of human nature which will crop out in every ecclesiastical assembly.

The circumcision of Titus, as a test case, was of course strongly demanded by the Pharisaical legalists, but as strongly resisted by Paul, and not enforced.444  To yield here even for a moment would have been fatal to the cause of Christian liberty, and would have implied a wholesale circumcision of the Gentile converts, which was impossible.

But how could Paul consistently afterwards circumcise Timothy?445  The answer is that he circumcised Timothy as a Jew, not as a Gentile, and that he did it as a voluntary act of expediency, for the purpose of making Timothy more useful among the Jews, who had a claim on him as the son of a Jewish mother, and would not have allowed him to teach in a synagogue without this token of membership; while in the case of Titus, a pure Greek, circumcision was demanded as a principle and as a condition of justification and salvation. Paul was inflexible in resisting the demands of false brethren, but always willing to accommodate himself to weak brethren, and to become as a Jew to the Jews and as a Gentile to the Gentiles in order to save them both.446  In genuine Christian freedom he cared nothing for circumcision or uncircumcision as a mere rite or external condition, and as compared with the keeping of the commandments of God and the new creature in Christ.447

In the debate Peter, of course, as the oecumenical chief of the Jewish apostles, although at that time no more a resident of Jerusalem, took a leading part, and made a noble speech which accords entirely with his previous experience and practice in the house of Cornelius, and with his subsequent endorsement of Paul’s doctrine.448  He was no logician, no rabbinical scholar, but he had admirable good sense and practical tact, and quickly perceived the true line of progress and duty. He spoke in a tone of personal and moral authority, but not of official primacy.449  He protested against imposing upon the neck of the Gentile disciples the unbearable yoke of the ceremonial law, and laid down, as clearly as Paul, the fundamental principle that "Jews as well as Gentiles are saved only by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."450

After this bold speech, which created a profound silence in the assembly, Barnabas and Paul reported, as the best practical argument, the signal miracles which God had wrought among the Gentiles through their instrumentality.

The last and weightiest speaker was James, the brother of the Lord, the local head of the Jewish Christian church and bishop of Jerusalem, who as such seems to have presided over the council. He represented as it were the extreme right wing of the Jewish church bordering close on the Judaizing faction. It was through his influence chiefly no doubt that the Pharisees were converted who created this disturbance. In a very characteristic speech he endorsed the sentiments of Symeon—he preferred to call Peter by his Jewish name—concerning the conversion of the Gentiles as being in accordance with ancient prophecy and divine fore-ordination; but he proposed a compromise to the effect that while the Gentile disciples should not be troubled with circumcision, they should yet be exhorted to abstain from certain practices which were particularly offensive to pious Jews, namely, from eating meat offered to idols, from tasting blood, or food of strangled animals, and from every form of carnal uncleanness. As to the Jewish Christians, they knew their duty from the law, and would be expected to continue in their time-honored habits.

The address of James differs considerably from that of Peter, and meant restriction as well as freedom, but after all it conceded the main point at issue—salvation without circumcision. The address entirely accords in spirit and language with his own epistle, which represents the gospel as law, though "the perfect law of freedom," with his later conduct toward Paul in advising him to assume the vow of the Nazarites and thus to contradict the prejudices of the myriads of converted Jews, and with the Jewish Christian tradition which represents him as the model of an ascetic saint equally revered by devout Jews and Christians, as the "Rampart of the People" (Obliam), and the intercessor of Israel who prayed in the temple without ceasing for its conversion and for the aversion of the impending doom.451  He had more the spirit of an ancient prophet or of John the Baptist than the spirit of Jesus (in whom he did not believe till after the resurrection), but for this very reason he had most authority over the Jewish Christians, and could reconcile the majority of them to the progressive spirit of Paul.

The compromise of James was adopted and embodied in the following brief and fraternal pastoral letter to the Gentile churches. It is the oldest literary document of the apostolic age and bears the marks of the style of James:452

"The apostles and the elder brethren453 unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greeting: Forasmuch as we have heard, that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no commandment, it seemed good unto us, having come to be of one accord, to choose out men and send them unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also shall tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that ye abstain from meats sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you. Farewell."454

The decree was delivered by four special messengers, two representing the church at Antioch, Barnabas and Paul, and two from Jerusalem, Judas Barsabbas and Silas (or Silvanus), and read to the Syrian and Cilician churches which were agitated by the controversy.455  The restrictions remained in full force at least eight years, since James reminded Paul of them on his last visit to Jerusalem in 58.456  The Jewish Christians observed them no doubt with few exceptions till the downfall of idolatry,457 and the Oriental church even to this day abstains from blood and things strangled; but the Western church never held itself bound to this part of the decree, or soon abandoned some of its restrictions.

Thus by moderation and mutual concession in the spirit of peace and brotherly love a burning controversy was settled, and a split happily avoided.


Analysis of the Decree.


The decree of the council was a compromise and had two aspects: it was emancipatory, and restrictive.

(1.) It was a decree of emancipation of the Gentile disciples from circumcision and the bondage of the ceremonial law. This was the chief point in dispute, and so far the decree was liberal and progressive. It settled the question of principle once and forever. Paul had triumphed. Hereafter the Judaizing doctrine of the necessity of circumcision for salvation was a heresy, a false gospel, or a perversion of the true gospel, and is denounced as such by Paul in the Galatians.

(2.) The decree was restrictive and conservative on questions of expediency and comparative indifference to the Gentile Christians. Under this aspect it was a wise and necessary measure for the apostolic age, especially in the East, where the Jewish element prevailed, but not intended for universal and permanent use. In Western churches, as already remarked, it was gradually abandoned, as we learn from Augustine. It imposed upon the Gentile Christians abstinence from meat offered to idols, from blood, and from things strangled (as fowls and other animals caught in snares). The last two points amounted to the same thing. These three restrictions had a good foundation in the Jewish abhorrence of idolatry, and every thing connected with it, and in the Levitical prohibition.458  Without them the churches in Judaea would not have agreed to the compact. But it was almost impossible to carry them out in mixed or in purely Gentile congregations; for it would have compelled the Gentile Christians to give up social intercourse with their unconverted kindred and friends, and to keep separate slaughter-houses, like the Jews, who from fear of contamination with idolatrous associations never bought meat at the public markets. Paul takes a more liberal view of this matter—herein no doubt dissenting somewhat from James—namely, that the eating of meat sacrificed to idols was in itself indifferent, in view of the vanity of idols; nevertheless he likewise commands the Corinthians to abstain from such meat out of regard for tender and weak consciences, and lays down the golden rule: "All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but his neighbor’s good."459

It seems strange to a modern reader that with these ceremonial prohibitions should be connected the strictly moral prohibition of fornication.460  But it must be remembered that the heathen conscience as to sexual intercourse was exceedingly lax, and looked upon it as a matter of indifference, like eating and drinking, and as sinful only in case of adultery where the rights of a husband are invaded. No heathen moralist, not even Socrates, or Plato, or Cicero, condemned fornication absolutely. It was sanctioned by the worship of Aphrodite at Corinth and Paphos, and practised to her honor by a host of harlot-priestesses!  Idolatry or spiritual whoredom is almost inseparable from bodily pollution. In the case of Solomon polytheism and polygamy went hand in hand. Hence the author of the Apocalypse also closely connects the eating of meat offered to idols with fornication, and denounces them together.461  Paul had to struggle against this laxity in the Corinthian congregation, and condemns all carnal uncleanness as a violation and profanation of the temple of God.462  In this absolute prohibition of sexual impurity we have a striking evidence of the regenerating and sanctifying influence of Christianity. Even the ascetic excesses of the post-apostolic writers who denounced the second marriage as "decent adultery" (eujpreph;" moiceiva), and glorified celibacy as a higher and better state than honorable wedlock, command our respect, as a wholesome and necessary reaction against the opposite excesses of heathen licentiousness.

So far then as the Gentile Christians were concerned the question was settled.

The status of the Jewish Christians was no subject of controversy, and hence the decree is silent about them. They were expected to continue in their ancestral traditions and customs as far as they were at all consistent with loyalty to Christ. They needed no instruction as to their duty, "for," said James, in his address to the Council, "Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."463  And eight years afterwards he and his elders intimated to Paul that even he, as a Jew, was expected to observe the ceremonial law, and that the exemption was only meant for the Gentiles.464

But just here was a point where the decree was deficient. It went far enough for the temporary emergency, and as far as the Jewish church was willing to go, but not far enough for the cause of Christian union and Christian liberty in its legitimate development.




1. The Apostolic Conference at Jerusalem.—This has been one of the chief battle-fields of modern historical criticism. The controversy of circumcision has been fought over again in German, French, Dutch, and English books and essays, and the result is a clearer insight both into the difference and into the harmony of the apostolic church.

We have two accounts of the Conference, one from Paul in the second chapter of the Galatians, and one from his faithful companion, Luke, in Acts 15. For it is now almost universally admitted that they refer to the same event. They must be combined to make up a full history. The Epistle to the Galatians is the true key to the position, the Archimedian pou' stw'.

The accounts agree as to the contending parties—Jerusalem and Antioch—the leaders on both sides, the topic of controversy, the sharp conflict, and the peaceful result.

But in other respects they differ considerably and supplement each other. Paul, in a polemic vindication of his independent apostolic authority against his Judaizing antagonists in Galatia, a few years after the Council (about 56), dwells chiefly on his personal understanding with the other apostles and their recognition of his authority, but he expressly hints also at public conferences, which could not be avoided; for it was a controversy between the churches, and an agreement concluded by the leading apostles on both sides was of general authority, even if it was disregarded by a heretical party. Luke, on the other hand, writing after the lapse of at least thirteen years (about 63) a calm and objective history of the primitive church, gives (probably from Jerusalem and Antioch documents, but certainly not from Paul’s Epistles) the official action of the public assembly, with an abridgment of the preceding debates, without excluding private conferences; on the contrary he rather includes them; for he reports in Acts 15:5, that Paul and Barnabas "were received by the church and the apostles and elders and declared all things that God had done with them," before he gives an account of the public consultation, ver. 6. In all assemblies, ecclesiastical and political, the more important business is prepared and matured by Committees in private conference for public discussion and action; and there is no reason why the council in Jerusalem should have made an exception. The difference of aim then explains, in part at least, the omissions and minor variations of the two accounts, which we have endeavored to adjust in this section.

The ultra- and pseudo-Pauline hypercriticism of the Tübingen school in several discussions (by Baur, Schwegler, Zeller, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Holsten, Overbeck, Lipsius, Hausrath, and Wittichen) has greatly exaggerated these differences, and used Paul’s terse polemic allusions as a lever for the overthrow of the credibility of the Acts. But a more conservative critical reaction has recently taken place, partly in the same school (as indicated in the literature above), which tends to harmonize the two accounts and to vindicate the essential consensus of Petrinism and Paulinism.

2. The Circumcision of Titus.—We hold with most commentators that Titus was not circumcised. This is the natural sense of the difficult and much disputed passage, Gal. 2:3–5, no matter whether we take dev in 2:4 in the explanatory sense (nempe, and that), or in the usual adversative sense (autem, sed, but). In the former case the sentence is regular, in the latter it is broken, or designedly incomplete, and implies perhaps a slight censure of the other apostles, who may have first recommended the circumcision of Titus as a measure of prudence and conciliation out of regard to conservative scruples, but desisted from it on the strong remonstrance of Paul. If we press the hjnagkavsqh compelled, in 2:3, such an inference might easily be drawn, but there was in Paul’s mind a conflict between the duty of frankness and the duty of courtesy to his older colleagues. So Dr. Lightfoot accounts for the broken grammar of the sentence, "which was wrecked on the hidden rock of the counsels of the apostles of the circumcision."

Quite another view was taken by Tertullian (Adv. Marc., V. 3), and recently by Renan (ch. III. p. 89) and Farrar (I. 415), namely, that Titus voluntarily submitted to circumcision for the sake of peace, either in spite of the remonstrance of Paul, or rather with his reluctant consent. Paul seems to say that Titus was not circumcised, but implies that he was. This view is based on the omission of oi\" oujdev in 2:5. The passage then would have to be supplemented in this way: "But not even Titus was compelled to be circumcised, but [he submitted to circumcision voluntarily] on account of the stealthily introduced false brethren, to whom we yielded by way of submission for an hour [i.e., temporarily]." Renan thus explains the meaning: "If Titus was circumcised, it is not because he was forced, but on account of the false brethren, to whom we might yield for a moment without submitting ourselves in principle." He thinks that pro" w{ran is opposed to the following diameivnh/. In other words, Paul stooped to conquer. He yielded for a moment by a stretch of charity or a stroke of policy, in order to save Titus from violence, or to bring his case properly before the Council and to achieve a permanent victory of principle. But this view is entirely inconsistent not only with the frankness and firmness of Paul on a question of principle, with the gravity of the crisis, with the uncompromising tone of the Epistle to the Galatians, but also with the addresses of Peter and James, and with the decree of the council. If Titus was really circumcised, Paul would have said so, and explained his relation to the fact. Moreover, the testimony of Irenaeus and Tertullian against oi|" oujdev must give way to the authority of the best uncials (a B A C, etc) and versions in favor of these words. The omission can be better explained from carelessness or dogmatic prejudice rather than the insertion.


 § 35. The Conservative Reaction, and the Liberal Victory—

Peter and Paul at Antioch.


The Jerusalem compromise, like every other compromise, was liable to a double construction, and had in it the seed of future troubles. It was an armistice rather than a final settlement. Principles must and will work themselves out, and the one or the other must triumph.

A liberal construction of the spirit of the decree seemed to demand full communion of the Jewish Christians with their uncircumcised Gentile brethren, even at the Lord’s table, in the weekly or daily agapae, on the basis of the common saving faith in Christ, their common Lord and Saviour. But a strict construction of the letter stopped with the recognition of the general Christian character of the Gentile converts, and guarded against ecclesiastical amalgamation on the ground of the continued obligation of the Jewish converts to obey the ceremonial law, including the observance of circumcision, of the Sabbath and new moons, and the various regulations about clean and unclean meats, which virtually forbid social intercourse with unclean Gentiles.465

The conservative view was orthodox, and must not be confounded with the Judaizing heresy which demanded circumcision from the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and made it a term of church membership and a condition of salvation. This doctrine had been condemned once for all by the Jerusalem agreement, and was held hereafter only by the malignant pharisaical faction of the Judaizers.

The church of Jerusalem, being composed entirely of Jewish converts, would naturally take the conservative view; while the church of Antioch, where the Gentile element prevailed, would as naturally prefer the liberal interpretation, which had the certain prospect of ultimate success. James, who perhaps never went outside of Palestine, far from denying the Christian character of the Gentile converts, would yet keep them at a respectful distance; while Peter, with his impulsive, generous nature, and in keeping with his more general vocation, carried out in practice the conviction he had so boldly professed in Jerusalem, and on a visit to Antioch, shortly after the Jerusalem Council (a.d. 51), openly and habitually communed at table with the Gentile brethren.466  He had already once before eaten in the house of the uncircumcised Cornelius at Caesarea, seeing that "God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him."467

But when some delegates of James468 arrived from Jerusalem and remonstrated with him for his conduct, he timidly withdrew from fellowship with the uncircumcised followers of Christ, and thus virtually disowned them. He unwittingly again denied his Lord from the fear of man, but this time in the persons of his Gentile disciples. The inconsistency is characteristic of his impulsive temper, which made him timid or bold according to the nature of the momentary impression. It is not stated whether these delegates simply carried out the instructions of James or went beyond them. The former is more probable from what we know of him, and explains more easily the conduct of Peter, who would scarcely have been influenced by casual and unofficial visitors. They were perhaps officers in the congregation of Jerusalem; at all events men of weight, not Pharisees exactly, yet extremely conservative and cautious, and afraid of miscellaneous company, which might endanger the purity and orthodoxy of the venerable mother church of Christendom. They did, of course, not demand the circumcision of the Gentile Christians, for this would have been in direct opposition to the synodical decree, but they no doubt reminded Peter of the understanding of the Jerusalem compact concerning the duty of Jewish Christians, which he above all others should scrupulously keep. They represented to him that his conduct was at least very hasty and premature, and calculated to hinder the conversion of the Jewish nation, which was still the object of their dearest hopes and most fervent prayers. The pressure must have been very strong, for even Barnabas, who had stood side by side with Paul at Jerusalem in the defence of the rights of the Gentile Christians, was intimidated and carried away by the example of the chief of the apostles.

The subsequent separation of Paul from Barnabas and Mark, which the author of Acts frankly relates, was no doubt partly connected with this manifestation of human weakness.469

The sin of Peter roused the fiery temper of Paul, and called upon him a sharper rebuke than he had received from his Master. A mere look of pity from Jesus was enough to call forth bitter tears of repentance. Paul was not Jesus. He may have been too severe in the manner of his remonstrance, but he knew Peter better than we, and was right in the matter of dispute, and after all more moderate than some of the greatest and best men have been in personal controversy. Forsaken by the prince of the apostles and by his own faithful ally in the Gentile mission, he felt that nothing but unflinching courage could save the sinking ship of freedom. A vital principle was at stake, and the Christian standing of the Gentile converts must be maintained at all hazards, now or never, if the world was to be saved and Christianity was not to shrink into a narrow corner as a Jewish sect. Whatever might do in Jerusalem, where there was scarcely a heathen convert, this open affront to brethren in Christ could not be tolerated for a moment at Antioch in the church which was of his own planting and full of Hellenists and Gentiles. A public scandal must be publicly corrected. And so Paul confronted Peter and charged him with downright hypocrisy in the face of the whole congregation. He exposed his misconduct by his terse reasoning, to which Peter could make no reply.470  "If thou," he said to him in substance, "who art a Jew by nationality and training, art eating with the Gentiles in disregard of the ceremonial prohibition, why art thou now, by the moral force of thy example as the chief of the Twelve, constraining the Gentile converts to Judaize or to conform to the ceremonial restraints of the elementary religion?  We who are Jews by birth and not gross sinners like the heathen, know that justification comes not from works of the law, but from faith in Christ. It may be objected that by seeking gratuitous justification instead of legal justification, we make Christ a promoter of sin.471  Away with this monstrous and blasphemous conclusion!  On the contrary, there is sin in returning to the law for justification after we have abandoned it for faith in Christ. I myself stand convicted of transgression if I build up again (as thou doest now) the very law which I pulled down (as thou didst before), and thus condemn my former conduct. For the law itself taught me to exchange it for Christ, to whom it points as its end. Through the Mosaic law as a tutor leading me beyond itself to freedom in Christ, I died to the Mosaic law in order that I might live a new life of obedience and gratitude to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer my old self that lives, but it is Christ that lives in me; and the new life of Christ which I now live in this body after my conversion, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if the observance of the law of Moses or any other human work could justify and save, there was no good cause of Christ’s death his atoning sacrifice on the cross was needless and fruitless."

From such a conclusion Peter’s soul shrank back in horror. He never dreamed of denying the necessity and efficacy of the death of Christ for the remission of sins. He and Barnabas stood between two fires on that trying occasion. As Jews they seemed to be bound by the restrictions of the Jerusalem compromise on which the messengers of James insisted; but by trying to please the Jews they offended the Gentiles, and by going back to Jewish exclusiveness they did violence to their better convictions, and felt condemned by their own conscience.472  They no doubt returned to their more liberal practice.

The alienation of the apostles was merely temporary. They were too noble and too holy to entertain resentment. Paul makes honorable mention afterwards of Peter and Barnabas, and also of Mark, who was a connecting link between the three.473  Peter in his Epistles endorses the teaching of the "beloved brother Paul," and commends the wisdom of his Epistles, in one of which his own conduct is so severely rebuked, but significantly adds that there are some "things in them hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."474

The scene of Antioch belongs to these things which have been often misunderstood and perverted by prejudice and ignorance in the interest both of heresy and orthodoxy. The memory of it was perpetuated by the tradition which divided the church at Antioch into two parishes with two bishops, Evodius and Ignatius, the one instituted by Peter, the other by Paul. Celsus, Porphyry, and modern enemies of Christianity have used it as an argument against the moral character and inspiration of the apostles. The conduct of Paul left a feeling of intense bitterness and resentment in the Jewish party which manifested itself even a hundred years later in a violent attack of the pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions upon Paul, under the disguise of Simon Magus. The conduct of both apostles was so unaccountable to Catholic taste that some of the fathers substituted an unknown Cephas for Peter;475 while others resolved the scene into a hypocritical farce gotten up by the apostles themselves for dramatic effect upon the ignorant congregation.476

The truth of history requires us to sacrifice the orthodox fiction of moral perfection in the apostolic church. But we gain more than we lose. The apostles themselves never claimed, but expressly disowned such perfection.477  They carried the heavenly treasure in earthen vessels, and thus brought it nearer to us. The infirmities of holy men are frankly revealed in the Bible for our encouragement as well as for our humiliation. The bold attack of Paul teaches the right and duty of protest even against the highest ecclesiastical authority, when Christian truth and principle are endangered; the quiet submission of Peter commends him to our esteem for his humility and meekness in proportion to his high standing as the chief among the pillar-apostles; the conduct of both explodes the Romish fiction of papal supremacy and infallibility; and the whole scene typically foreshadows the grand historical conflict between Petrine Catholicism and Pauline Protestantism, which, we trust, will end at last in a grand Johannean reconciliation.

Peter and Paul, as far as we know, never met afterwards till they both shed their blood for the testimony of Jesus in the capital of the world.

The fearless remonstrance of Paul had probably a moderating effect upon James and his elders, but did not alter their practice in Jerusalem.478  Still less did it silence the extreme Judaizing faction; on the contrary, it enraged them. They were defeated, but not convinced, and fought again with greater bitterness than ever. They organized a countermission, and followed Paul into almost every field of his labor, especially to Corinth and Galatia. They were a thorn, if not the thorn, in his flesh. He has them in view in all his Epistles except those to the Thessalonians and to Philemon. We cannot understand his Epistles in their proper historical sense without this fact. The false apostles were perhaps those very Pharisees who caused the original trouble, at all events men of like spirit. They boasted of their personal acquaintance with the Lord in the days of his flesh, and with the primitive apostles; hence Paul calls these "false apostles" sarcastically "super-eminent" or "over-extra-apostles."479  They attacked his apostolate as irregular and spurious, and his gospel as radical and revolutionary. They boldly told his Gentile converts that the, must submit to circumcision and keep the ceremonial law; in other words, that they must be Jews as well as Christians in order to insure salvation, or at all events to occupy a position of pre-eminence over and above mere proselytes of the gate in the outer court. They appealed, without foundation, to James and Peter and to Christ himself, and abused their name and authority for their narrow sectarian purposes, just as the Bible itself is made responsible for all sorts of heresies and vagaries. They seduced many of the impulsive and changeable Galatians, who had all the characteristics of the Keltic race. They split the congregation in Corinth into several parties and caused the apostle the deepest anxiety. In Colossae, and the churches of Phrygia and Asia, legalism assumed the milder form of Essenic mysticism and asceticism. In the Roman church the legalists were weak brethren rather than false brethren, and no personal enemies of Paul, who treats them much more mildly than the Galatian errorists.

This bigoted and most persistent Judaizing reaction was overruled for good. It drew out from the master mind of Paul the most complete and most profound vindication and exposition of the doctrines of sin and grace. Without the intrigues and machinations of these legalists and ritualists we should not have the invaluable Epistles to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans. Where error abounded, truth has still more abounded.

At last the victory was won. The terrible persecution under Nero, and the still more terrible destruction of Jerusalem, buried the circumcision controversy in the Christian church. The ceremonial law, which before Christ was "alive but not life-giving," and which from Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem was "dying but not deadly," became after that destruction "dead and deadly."480  The Judaizing heresy was indeed continued outside of the Catholic church by the sect of the Ebionites during the second century; and in the church itself the spirit of formalism and bigotry assumed new shapes by substituting Christian rites and ceremonies for the typical shadows of the Mosaic dispensation. But whenever and wherever this tendency manifests itself we have the best antidote in the Epistles of Paul.


 § 36. Christianity in Rome.


I. On the general, social, and moral condition of Rome under the Emperors:

Ludwig Friedländer: Sittengeschichte Roms. Leipzig, 1862, 5th ed. revised and enlarged, 1881, 3 vols.

Rod. Lanciani: Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries. Boston, 1889 (with 100 illustrations).


II. On the Jews in Rome and the allusions of Roman Writers to Them:

Renan: Les Apôtres, 287–293; Merivale: History of the Romans, VI., 203 sqq.; Friedländer: l.c. III., 505 sqq.; Hausrath: Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte, III., 383–392 (2d ed.); Schürer: Lehrbuch der Neutestamentlichen Zeitgeschichte, pp. 624 sq., and Die Gemeindeverfassung der Juden in Rom in der Kaiserzeit, Leipz., 1879; Huidekoper: Judaism at Rome, 1876. Also John Gill: Notices of the Jews and their Country by the Classic Writers of Antiquity. 2d ed. London, 1872. On Jewish Roman inscriptions see Garrucci (several articles in Italian since 1862), von Engeström (in a Swedish work, Upsala, 1876), and Schürer (1879).

III. On the Christian Congregation in Rome:

The Histories of the Apostolic Age (see pp. 189 sqq.); the Introductions to the Commentaries on Romans (mentioned p. 281), and a number of critical essays on the origin and composition of the Church of Rome and the aim of the Epistle to the Romans, by Baur (Ueber Zweck und Veranlassung des Römerbriefs, 1836; reproduced in his Paul, I., 346 sqq., Engl. transl.), Beyschlag (Das geschichtliche Problem des Römerbriefs in the "Studien und Kritiken" for 1867), Hilgenfeld (Einleitung in das N. T., 1875, pp. 302 sqq.), C. Weizsäcker (Ueber die älteste römische Christengemeinde, 1876, and his Apost. Zeitalter, 1886, pp. 415–467).

W. Mangold: Der Römerbrief und seine gesch. Voraussetzungen, Marburg, 1884. Defends the Jewish origin and character of the Roman church (against Weizsäcker).

Rud. Seyerlen: Entstehung und erste Schicksale der Christengemeinde in Rom. Tübingen, 1874.

Adolf Harnack: Christianity and Christians at the Court of the Roman Emperors before the Time of Constantine. In the "Princeton Review," N. York, 1878, pp. 239–280.

J. Spencer Northcote and W. R. Brownlow (R. C.): Roma Sotterranea, new ed., London, 1879, vol. I., pp. 78–91. Based upon Caval. de Rossi’s large Italian work under the same title (Roma, 1864–1877, in three vols. fol.). Both important for the remains of early Roman Christianity in the Catacombs.

Formby: Ancient Rome and its Connect. with the Chr. Rel. Lond., 1880.

Keim: Rom. u. das Christenthum. Berlin, 1881.


[MAP INSET] From "Roma Sotteranea," by Northcote and Brownlow.


The City of Rome.


The city of Rome was to the Roman empire what Paris is to France, what London to Great Britain: the ruling head and the beating heart. It had even a more cosmopolitan character than these modern cities. It was the world in miniature, "orbis in urbe." Rome had conquered nearly all the nationalities of the then civilized world, and drew its population from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South. All languages, religious, and customs of the conquered provinces found a home there. Half the inhabitants spoke Greek, and the natives complained of the preponderance of this foreign tongue, which, since Alexander’s conquest, had become the language of the Orient and of the civilized world.481  The palace of the emperor was the chief centre of Oriental and Greek life. Large numbers of the foreigners were freedmen, who generally took the family name of their masters. Many of them became very wealthy, even millionnaires. The rich freedman was in that age the type of the vulgar, impudent, bragging upstart. According to Tacitus, "all things vile and shameful" were sure to flow from all quarters of the empire into Rome as a common sewer. But the same is true of the best elements: the richest products of nature, the rarest treasures of art, were collected there; the enterprising and ambitious youths, the men of genius, learning, and every useful craft found in Rome the widest field and the richest reward for their talents.

With Augustus began the period of expensive building. In his long reign of peace and prosperity he changed the city of bricks into a city of marble. It extended in narrow and irregular streets on both banks of the Tiber, covered the now desolate and feverish Campagna to the base of the Albanian hills, and stretched its arms by land and by sea to the ends of the earth. It was then (as in its ruins it is even now) the most instructive and interesting city in the world. Poets, orators, and historians were lavish in the praises of the urbs aeterna,


"qua nihil posis visere majus."482


The estimates of the population of imperial Rome are guesswork, and vary from one to four millions. But in all probability it amounted under Augustus to more than a million, and increased rapidly under the following emperors till it received a check by the fearful epidemic of 79, which for many days demanded ten thousand victims a day.483  Afterwards the city grew again and reached the height of its splendor under Hadrian and the Antonines.484


The Jews in Rome.


The number of Jews in Rome during the apostolic age is estimated at twenty or thirty thousand souls.485  They all spoke Hellenistic Greek with a strong Hebrew accent. They had, as far as we know, seven synagogues and three cemeteries, with Greek and a few Latin inscriptions, sometimes with Greek words in Latin letters, or Latin words with Greek letters.486  They inhabited the fourteenth region, beyond the Tiber (Trastevere), at the base of the Janiculum, probably also the island of the Tiber, and part of the left bank towards the Circus Maximus and the Palatine hill, in the neighborhood of the present Ghetto or Jewry. They were mostly descendants of slaves and captives of Pompey, Cassius, and Antony. They dealt then, as now, in old clothing and broken ware, or rose from poverty to wealth and prominence as bankers, physicians, astrologers, and fortunetellers. Not a few found their way to the court. Alityrus, a Jewish actor, enjoyed the highest favor of Nero. Thallus, a Samaritan and freedman of Tiberius, was able to lend a million denarii to the Jewish king, Herod Agrippa.487  The relations between the Herods and the Julian and Claudian emperors were very intimate.

The strange manners and institutions of the Jews, as circumcision, Sabbath observance, abstinence from pork and meat sacrificed to the gods whom they abhorred as evil spirits, excited the mingled amazement, contempt, and ridicule of the Roman historians and satirists. Whatever was sacred to the heathen was profane to the Jews.488  They were regarded as enemies of the human race. But this, after all, was a superficial judgment. The Jews had also their friends. Their indomitable industry and persistency, their sobriety, earnestness, fidelity and benevolence, their strict obedience to law, their disregard of death in war, their unshaken trust in God, their hope of a glorious future of humanity, the simplicity and purity of their worship, the sublimity and majesty of the idea of one omnipotent, holy, and merciful God, made a deep impression upon thoughtful and serious persons, and especially upon females (who escaped the odium of circumcision). Hence the large number of proselytes in Rome and elsewhere. Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, as well as Josephus, testify that many Romans abstained from all business on the Sabbath, fasted and prayed, burned lamps, studied the Mosaic law, and sent tribute to the temple of Jerusalem. Even the Empress Poppaea was inclined to Judaism after her own fashion, and showed great favor to Josephus, who calls her "devout" or "God-fearing" (though she was a cruel and shameless woman).489  Seneca, who detested the Jews (calling them sceleratissima gens), was constrained to say that this conquered race gave laws to their conquerors.490

The Jews were twice expelled from Rome under Tiberius and Claudius, but soon returned to their transtiberine quarter, and continued to enjoy the privileges of a religio licita, which were granted to them by heathen emperors, but were afterwards denied them by Christian popes.491

When Paul arrived in Rome he invited the rulers of the synagogues to a conference, that he might show them his good will and give them the first offer of the gospel, but they replied to his explanations with shrewd reservation, and affected to know nothing of Christianity, except that it was a sect everywhere spoken against. Their best policy was evidently to ignore it as much as possible. Yet a large number came to hear the apostle on an appointed day, and some believed, while the majority, as usual, rejected his testimony.492


Christianity in Rome.


From this peculiar people came the first converts to a religion which proved more than a match for the power of Rome. The Jews were only an army of defense, the Christians an army of conquest, though under the despised banner of the cross.

The precise origin of the church of Rome is involved in impenetrable mystery. We are informed of the beginnings of the church of Jerusalem and most of the churches of Paul, but we do not know who first preached the gospel at Rome. Christianity with its missionary enthusiasm for the conversion of the world must have found a home in the capital of the world at a very early day, before the apostles left Palestine. The congregation at Antioch grew up from emigrant and fugitive disciples of Jerusalem before it was consolidated and fully organized by Barnabas and Paul.

It is not impossible, though by no means demonstrable, that the first tidings of the gospel were brought to Rome soon after the birthday of the church by witnesses of the pentecostal miracle in Jerusalem, among whom were "sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes."493  In this case Peter, the preacher of the pentecostal sermon, may be said to have had an indirect agency in the founding of the church of Rome, which claims him as the rock on which it is built, although the tradition of his early visit (42) and twenty or twenty-five years’ residence there is a long exploded fable.494  Paul greets among the brethren in Rome some kinsmen who had been converted before him, i.e., before 37.495  Several names in the list of Roman brethren to whom he sends greetings are found in the Jewish cemetery on the Appian Way among the freedmen of the Empress Livia. Christians from Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece must have come to the capital for various reasons, either as visitors or settlers.


The Edict of Claudius.


The first historic trace of Christianity in Rome we have in a notice of the heathen historian Suetonius, confirmed by Luke, that Claudius, about a.d. 52, banished the Jews from Rome because of their insurrectionary disposition and commotion under the instigation of "Chrestus" (misspelt for "Christus").496

This commotion in all probability refers to Messianic controversies between Jews and Christians who were not yet clearly distinguished at that time. The preaching, of Christ, the true King of Israel, would naturally produce a great commotion among the Jews, as it did at Antioch, in Pisidia, in Lystra, Thessalonica, and Beraea; and the ignorant heathen magistrates would as naturally infer that Christ was a political pretender and aspirant to an earthly throne. The Jews who rejected the true Messiah looked all the more eagerly for an imaginary Messiah that would break the yoke of Rome and restore the theocracy of David in Jerusalem. Their carnal millennarianism affected even some Christians, and Paul found it necessary to warn them against rebellion and revolution. Among those expelled by the edict of Claudius were Aquila and Priscilla, the hospitable friends of Paul, who were probably converted before they met him in Corinth.497

The Jews, however, soon returned, and the Jewish Christians also, but both under a cloud of suspicion. To this fact Tacitus may refer when he says that the Christian superstition which had been suppressed for a time (by the edict of Claudius) broke out again (under Nero, who ascended the throne in 54).


Paul’s Epistle.


In the early part of Nero’s reign (54–68) the Roman congregation was already well known throughout Christendom, had several meeting places and a considerable number of teachers.498  It was in view of this fact, and in prophetic anticipation of its future importance, that Paul addressed to it from Corinth his most important doctrinal Epistle (a.d. 58), which was to prepare the way for his long desired personal visit. On his journey to Rome three years later he found Christians at Puteoli (the modern Puzzuolo at the bay of Naples), who desired him to tarry with them seven days.499  Some thirty or forty miles from the city, at Appii Forum and Tres Tabernae (The Three Taverns), he was met by Roman brethren anxious to see the writer of that marvellous letter, and derived much comfort from this token of affectionate regard.500


Paul in Rome.


His arrival in Rome, early in the year 61, which two years later was probably followed by that of Peter, naturally gave a great impulse to the growth of the congregation. He brought with him, as he had promised, "the fulness of the blessing of Christ." His very bonds were overruled for the progress of the gospel, which he was left free to preach under military guard in his own dwelling.501  He had with him during the whole or a part of the first Roman captivity his faithful pupils and companions: Luke, "the beloved physician" and historian; Timothy, the dearest of his spiritual sons; John Mark, who had deserted him on his first missionary tour, but joined him at Rome and mediated between him and Peter; one Jesus, who is called Justus, a Jewish Christian, who remained faithful to him; Aristarchus, his fellow-prisoner from Thessalonica; Tychicus from Ephesus; Epaphras and Onesimus from Colossae; Epaphroditus from Philippi; Demas, Pudens, Linus, Eubulus, and others who are honorably mentioned in the Epistles of the captivity.502  They formed a noble band of evangelists and aided the aged apostle in his labors at Rome and abroad. On the other hand his enemies of the Judaizing party were stimulated to counter-activity, and preached Christ from envy and jealousy; but in noble self-denial Paul rose above petty sectarianism, and sincerely rejoiced from his lofty standpoint if only Christ was proclaimed and his kingdom promoted. While he fearlessly vindicated Christian freedom against Christian legalism in the Epistle to the Galatians, he preferred even a poor contracted Christianity to the heathenism which abounded in Rome.503

The number which were converted through these various agencies, though disappearing in the heathen masses of the metropolis, and no doubt much smaller than the twenty thousand Jews, must have been considerable, for Tacitus speaks of a "vast multitude" of Christians that perished in the Neronian persecution in 64; and Clement, referring to the same persecution, likewise mentions a "vast multitude of the elect," who were contemporary with Paul and Peter, and who, "through many indignities and tortures, became a most noble example among ourselves" (that is, the Roman Christians).504


Composition and Consolidation of the Roman Church.


The composition of the church of Rome has been a matter of much learned controversy and speculation. It no doubt was, like most congregations outside of Palestine, of a mixed character, with a preponderance of the Gentile over the Jewish element, but it is impossible to estimate the numerical strength and the precise relation which the two elements sustained to each other.505

We have no reason to suppose that it was at once fully organized and consolidated into one community. The Christians were scattered all over the immense city, and held their devotional meetings in different localities. The Jewish and the Gentile converts may have formed distinct communities, or rather two sections of one Christian community.

Paul and Peter, if they met together in Rome (after 63), would naturally, in accordance with the Jerusalem compact, divide the field of supervision between them as far as practicable, and at the same time promote union and harmony. This may be the truth which underlies the early and general tradition that they were the joint founders of the Roman church. No doubt their presence and martyrdom cemented the Jewish and Gentile sections. But the final consolidation into one organic corporation was probably not effected till after the destruction of Jerusalem.

This consolidation was chiefly the work of Clement, who appears as the first presiding presbyter of the one Roman church. He was admirably qualified to act as mediator between the disciples of Peter and Paul, being himself influenced by both, though more by Paul. His Epistle to the Corinthians combines the distinctive features of the Epistles of Paul, Peter, and James, and has been called "a typical document, reflecting the comprehensive principles and large sympathies which had been impressed upon the united church of Rome."506

In the second century we see no more traces of a twofold community. But outside of the orthodox church, the heretical schools, both Jewish and Gentile, found likewise au early home in this rendezvous of the world. The fable of Simon Magus in Rome reflects this fact. Valentinus, Marcion, Praxeas, Theodotus, Sabellius, and other arch-heretics taught there. In heathen Rome, Christian heresies and sects enjoyed a toleration which was afterwards denied them by Christian Rome, until, in 1870, it became the capital of united Italy, against the protest of the pope.




The language of the Roman church at that time was the Greek, and continued to be down to the third century. In that language Paul wrote to Rome and from Rome; the names of the converts mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of the Romans, and of the early bishops, are mostly Greek; all the early literature of the Roman church was Greek; even the so-called Apostles’ Creed, in the form held by the church of Rome, was originally Greek. The first Latin version of the Bible was not made for Rome, but for the provinces, especially for North Africa. The Greeks and Greek speaking Orientals were at that time the most intelligent, enterprising, and energetic people among the middle classes in Rome. "The successful tradesmen, the skilled artisans, the confidential servants and retainers of noble houses—almost all the activity and enterprise of the common people, whether for good or for evil, were Greek."507


Social Condition.


The great majority of the Christians in Rome, even down to the close of the second century, belonged to the lower ranks of society. They were artisans, freedmen, slaves. The proud Roman aristocracy of wealth, power, and knowledge despised the gospel as a vulgar superstition. The contemporary writers ignored it, or mentioned it only incidentally and with evident contempt. The Christian spirit and the old Roman spirit were sharply and irreconcilably antagonistic, and sooner or later had to meet in deadly conflict.

But, as in Athens and Corinth, so there were in Rome also a few honorable exceptions.

Paul mentions his success in the praetorian guard and in the imperial household.508

It is possible, though not probable, that Paul became passingly acquainted with the Stoic philosopher, Annaeus Seneca, the teacher of Nero and friend of Burrus; for he certainly knew his brother, Annaeus Gallio, proconsul at Corinth, then at Rome, and had probably official relations with Burrus, as prefect of the praetorian guard, to which he was committed as prisoner; but the story of the conversion of Seneca, as well as his correspondence with Paul, are no doubt pious fictions, and, if true, would be no credit to Christianity, since Seneca, like Lord Bacon, denied his high moral principles by his avarice and meanness.509

Pomponia Graecina, the wife of Aulus Plautius, the conqueror of Britain, who was arraigned for "foreign superstition" about the year 57 or 58 (though pronounced innocent by her husband), and led a life of continual sorrow till her death in 83, was probably the first Christian lady of the Roman nobility, the predecessor of the ascetic Paula and Eustochium, the companions of Jerome.510  Claudia and Pudens, from whom Paul sends greetings (2 Tim. 4:21), have, by an ingenious conjecture, been identified with the couple of that name, who are respectfully mentioned by Martial in his epigrams; but this is doubtful.511  A generation later two cousins of the Emperor Domitian (81–96), T. Flavius Clemens, consul (in 95), and his wife, Flavia Domitilla, were accused of "atheism, " that is, of Christianity, and condemned, the husband to death, the wife to exile (a.d. 96).512  Recent excavations in the catacomb of Domitilla, near that of Callistus, establish the fact that an entire branch of the Flavian family had embraced the Christian faith. Such a change was wrought within fifty or sixty years after Christianity had entered Rome.513



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

341  "Paul" (Little) is merely the Hellenized or Latinized form for his Hebrew name "Saul" (Desired), and has nothing whatever to do either with his own conversion, or with the conversion of Sergius Paulus of Cyprus. There are many similar instances of double names among the Jews of that time, as Hillel and Pollio, Cephas and Peter, John and Mark, Barsabbas and Justus, Simeon and Niger, Silas and Silvanus. Paul may have received his Latin name in early youth in Tarsus, as a Roman citizen; Paulus being the cognomen of several distinguished Roman families, as the gens AEmilia, Fabia, Julia, Sergia. He used it in his intercourse with the Gentiles and in all his Epistles. See Hist. Apost. Ch., p. 226, and my annotations to Lange on Romans 1:1, pp. 57 and 58.

342  When Paul wrote to Philemon, a.d. 63, he was an aged man (presbuvth", Phil. 9), that is, about or above sixty. According to Hippocrates a man was called presbuvth" from forty-nine to fifty-six, and after thatgevrwn, senes. In a friendly letter to a younger friend and pupil the expression must not be pressed. Walter Scott speaks of himself as "an old grey man" at fifty-five. Paul was still a "youth" (neaniva", Acts 7:58) at the stoning of Stephen, which probably took place in 37; and although this term is likewise vaguely used, yet as he was then already clothed with a most important mission by the Sanhedrin, he must have been about or over thirty years of age. Philo extends the limits of neaniva" from twenty-one to twenty-eight, Xenophon to forty. Comp. Lightfoot on Philemon, v. 9 (p. 405), and Farrar, I., 13, 14.

343  Phil. 3:5. A Hebrew by descent and education, though a Hellenist or Jew of the dispersion by birth, Acts 22:3. Probably his parents were Palestinians. This would explain the erroneous tradition preserved by Jerome (De vir. ill. c. 5), that Paul was born at Giscala in Galilee (now El-Jish), and after the capture of the place by the Romans emigrated with his parents to Tarsus. But the capture did not take place till a.d. 67

344  Comp. the sublime passage, Phil. 3:8-10, and 1 Cor. 2:1, 2.

345  Gal. 4:14: "I made progress in Judaism beyond many of mine own age in my nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers."

346  Scripture references and allusions abound in the Galatians, Romans, and Corinthians, but are wanting in the Thessalonians, Colossians, and Philemon, and in his address to the heathen hearers at Athens, whom he referred to their own poets rather than to Moses and the prophets.

347  As the reasoning from the singular or rather collective spevrma(zera)in Gal. 3:16, the allegorical interpretation of Hagar and Sarah, 4:22 sqq., and the rock in the wilderness, 1 Cor. 10:1-4. See the commentaries.

348  Comp. Gal. 1:21; Acts 9:30; 11:25.

349  1 Cor. 15:33. fqeivrousin h[qh crhsta; oJmilivai kakaiv.

"Evil associations corrupt good manners."

350  Tit. 1:12. KrhÀte" ajei; yeuÀstai, kaka; qhriva, gastevre" ajrgaiv.

"Cretans are liars alway, bad beasts, and indolent gluttons."

As Epimenides was himself a Cretan, this contemptuous depreciation of his countrymen gave rise to the syllogistic puzzle: "Epimenides calls the Cretans liars; Epimenides was a Cretan: therefore Epimenides was a liar: therefore the Cretans were not liars: therefore Epimenides was not a liar," etc.

351  Acts 17:28. TouÀ [poetic for touvtou] ga;r kai; gevno" ejsmevn.

" For we are also His (God’s) offspring."

The passage occurs literally in the Phoenomena of Aratus, v. 5, in the following connection:

...." We all greatly need Zeus,

For we are his offspring; full of grace, he grants men

Tokens of favor ....


The Stoic poet, Cleanthes (Hymn. in Jovem, 5) uses the same expression in an address to Jupiter:  jEk souÀ ga;r gevno" ejsmevn, and in the Golden Poem, qeiÀon ga;r gevno" ejsti; brotoiÀsin. We may also quote a parallel passage of Pindar, Nem. VI., which has been overlooked by commentators:

}En ajndrwÀn, e}n qewÀn gevno", ejk miaÀ" de; pnevomen matro;" ajmfovteroi.

" One race of men and gods, from one mother breathe we all."

It is evident, however, that all these passages were understood by their heathen authors in a materialistic and pantheistic sense, which would make nature or the earth the mother of gods and men. Paul in his masterly address to the Athenians, without endorsing the error, recognizes the element of truth in pantheism, viz., the divine origin of man and the immanence of God in the world and in humanity.

352  ta; stoiceiÀa touÀ kovsmou, Gal. 4:3, 9. So Hilgenfeld, Einleitung, p. 223. Thiersch assumes (p. 112) that Paul was familiar with the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle, and that his dialectics is classical rather than rabbinical; but this is scarcely correct. In Romans 5:16, 18, he uses the word dikaivwma in the Aristotelian sense of legal adjustment (Rechtsausgleichung). See Eth. Nicom. v. 10, and Rothe’s monograph on Rom. 5:12-21. Baur compares Paul’s style with that of Thucydides.

353  Farrar, I. 629 sq., counts "upwards of fifty specimens of thirty Greek rhetorical figures in St. Paul," which certainly disprove the assertion of Renan that Paul could never have received even elementary lessons in grammar and rhetoric at Tarsus.

354  Cor. 9:1 refers to the vision of Christ at Damascus. In 2 Cor. 5:16: though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more,"the particles eij kaiv (quamquam, even though, wenn auch) seem to chronicle a fact, as distinct from kai; eij (etiam si, even if, selbst wenn), which puts an hypothesis; but the stress lies on the difference between an external, carnal knowledge of Christ in his humility and earthly relations or a superficial acquaintance from hearsay, and a spiritual, experimental knowledge of Christ in his glory. Farrar (I. 73 sqq.), reasons that if Paul had really known and heard Jesus, he would have been converted at once.

355  He is called a tent-maker, skhnopoiov", Acts 18:3. Tents were mostly made of the coarse hair of the Cilician goat (Kilivkio" travgo", which also denotes a coarse man), and needed by shepherds, travellers, sailors, and soldiers. The same material was also used for mantelets, shoes, and beds. The Cilician origin of this article is perpetuated in the Latin cilicium and the French cilice, which means hair-cloth. Gamaliel is the author of the maxim that " learning of any kind unaccompanied by a trade ends in nothing and leads to sin."

356  Acts 23:16.

357  In 1 Cor. 9:5 (written in 57) he claims the right to lead a married life, like Peter and the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord; but in 1 Cor. 7:7, 8 he gives for himself in his peculiar position the preference to single life. Clement of Alexandria, Erasmus, and others supposed that he was married, and understood Syzyge, in Phil. 4:3, to be his wife. Ewald regards him as a widower who lost his wife before his conversion (VI. 341). So also Farrar (I. 80) who infers from 1 Cor. 7:8 that Paul classed himself with widowers: "I say, therefore, to the unmarried [to widowers, for whom there is no special Greek word] and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I." He lays stress on the fact that the Jews in all ages attached great importance to marriage as a moral duty (Gen. 1:28), and preferred early marriage; he also maintains (I. 169) that Paul, being a member of the Sanhedrin (as he gave his vote for the condemnation of the Christiana, Acts26:10), must have had, according to the Gemara, a family of his own. Renan fancies (ch. VI.) that Paul contracted a more than spiritual union with sister Lydia at Philippi, and addressed her in Phil. 4:3 as his suvzuge gnhvsie, that is, as his true co-worker or partner (conjux), since it is not likely that he would have omitted her when he mentioned, in the preceding verse, two deaconesses otherwise unknown, Euodia and Syntyche. The word suvzugo",as a noun, may be either masculine or feminine, and may either mean generally an associate, a co-worker ("yoke -fellow" in the E. V.), or be a proper name. Several persons have been suggested, Epaphroditus, Timothy, Silas, Luke. But Paul probably means a man, named Suvzugo"and plays upon the word: "Yokefellow by name and yoke-fellow in deed." Comp. a similar paronomasia in Philem. 10, 11jOnhvsimon, i.e., Helpful,-a[crhston, eu[crhston, unprofitable, profitable). See the notes of Meyer and Lange (Braune and Hackett) on these passages.

358  This sublime loneliness of Paul is well expressed in a poem, Saint Paul, by Frederic W. H. Myers (1868), from which we may be permitted to quote a few lines:


"Christ! I am Christ’s! and let the name suffice you;
Aye, for me, too, He greatly hath sufficed;

 Lo, with no winning words I would entice you;
Paul has no honor and no friend but Christ.


" Yes, without cheer of sister or of daughter—
Yes, w ithout stay of father or of son,

 Lone on the land, and homeless on the water,
Pass I in patience till the work be done.


"Yet not in solitude, if Christ anear me
Waketh Him workers for the great employ;

 Oh, not in solitude, if souls that hear me
Catch from my joyance the surprise of joy.


 Hearts I have won of sister or of brother,
Quick on the earth or hidden in the sod

 Lo, every heart awaiteth me, another
Friend in the blameless family of God."


359  2 Cor. 10:10 hJ parousiva touÀ swvmato" ajsqenh;" , kai; oJ lovgo" ejxouqenhmevno", or, as Cod. B. reads, ejxoudenhmevno", which has the same meaning. Comp. 10:1, where he speaks of his " lowly" personal appearance among the Corinthians (kata;provswpon tapeinov"). He was little, compared with Barnabas (Acts 14:12).

360  This is from the tradition preserved in the apocryphal Acts of Thecla. See the description quoted above, p. 282. Other ancient descriptions of Paul in the Philopatris of pseudo-Lucian (of the second, but more probably of the fourth century), Malala of Antioch (sixth century), and Nicephorus (fifteenth century), represent Paul as little in stature, bald, with a prominent aquiline nose, gray hair and thick beard, bright grayish eyes, somewhat bent and stooping, yet pleasant and graceful. See these descriptions in Lewin’s St. Paul, II. 412. The oldest extant portraiture of Paul, probably from the close of the first or beginning of the second century, was found on a large bronze medallion in the cemetery of Domitilla (one of the Flavian family), and is preserved in the Vatican library. It presents Paul on the left and Peter on the right. Both are far from handsome, but full of character; Paul is the homelier of the two, with apparently diseased eyes, open mouth, bald head and short thick beard, but thoughtful, solemn, and dignified. See a cut in Lewin, II. 211. Chrysostom calls Paul the three-cubit man (oJ trivphcu" a[nqrwpo", Serm. in Pet. et Paul.). Luther imagined: "St. Paulus war ein armes, dürres Männlein, wie Magister Philippus "(Melanchthon). A poetic description by J. H. Newman see in Farrar I. 220, and in Plumptre on Acts, Appendix, with another (of his own). Renan (Les Apôtres, pp. 169 sqq.) gives, partly from Paul’s Epistles, partly from apocryphal sources, the following striking picture of the apostle: His behavior was winning, his manners excellent, his letters reveal a man of genius and lofty aspirations, though the style is incorrect. Never did a correspondence display rarer courtesies, tenderer shades, more amiable modesty and reserve. Once or twice we are wounded by his sarcasm (Gal. 5: 12; Phil. 3:2). But what rapture! What fulness of charming words! What originality! His exterior did not correspond to the greatness of his soul. He was ugly, short, stout, plump, of small head, bald, pale, his face covered with a thick beard, an eagle nose, piercing eyes, dark eyebrows. His speech, embarrassed, faulty, gave a poor idea of his eloquence. With rare tact he turned his external defects to advantage. The Jewish race produces types of the highest beauty and of the most complete homeliness (des types de la plus grande beauté et de la plus complète laideur); but the Jewish homeliness is quite unique. The strange faces which provoke laughter at first sight, assume when intellectually enlivened, a peculiar expression of intense brilliancy and majesty (une sorte d’éclat profond et de majesté).

361  2 Cor. 12:7-9; Gal. 4:13-15. Comp. also 1 Thess. 2:18; 1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 1:8, 9; 4:10. Of the many conjectures only three: sick headache, acute ophthalmia, epilepsy, seem to answer the allusions of Paul which are dark to us at such a distance of time, while they were clear to his personal friends. Tertullian and Jerome, according to an ancient tradition, favor headache; Lewin, Farrar, and many others, sore eyes, dating the inflammation from the dazzling light which shone around him at Damascus (Acts 9:3, 17, 18; Comp. 22:13; 23:3, 5; Gal. 4:15); Ewald and Lightfoot, epilepsy, with illustration from the life of King Alfred (Mohammed would be even more to the point). Other conjectures of external, or spiritual trials (persecution, carnal temptations, bad temper, doubt, despondency, blasphemous suggestions of the devil, etc.) are ruled out by a strict exegesis of the two chief passages in 2 Cor. 12 and Gal. 4, which point to a physical malady. See an Excursus on Paul’s thorn in the flesh in my Commentary on Gal. 4:13-15 (Pop. Com. vol. III.).

362  2 Cor. 4:7; 12:9, 10.

363  Acts 9:4, the Hebrew form Saouvl, Saouvl, is used instead of the usual GreekSauÀlo", 9:8, 11, 22, 24, etc.

364  2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15.

365  Acts 9, 22, 26. These accounts are by no means mere repetitions, but modifications and adaptations of the same story to the audience under apologetic conditions, and bring out each some interesting feature called forth by the occasion. This has been well shown by Dean Howson in Excursus C on Acts 26, in his and Canon Spence’s Commentary on Acts. The discrepancies of the accounts are easily reconciled. They refer chiefly to the effect upon the companions of Paul who saw the light, but not the person of Christ, and heard a voice, but could not understand the words. The vision was not for them any more than the appearance of the risen Lord was for the soldiers who watched the grave. They were probably members of the Levitical temple guard, who were to bind and drag the Christian prisoners to Jerusalem.

366  Gal. 1:15, 16; 1 Cor. 15:8, 9; 9:1; 2 Cor. 4:6; Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim 1:12-14.

367  2 Cor. 4:6.

368  Gal. 1:1, 11, 12, 15-18.

369  This is implied in his words to King Agrippa, Acts 26:19.

370  Acts 26:14. Christ said to him: sklhrovn soi pro;" kevntra laktivzein. This is a proverbial expression used by Greek writers of refractory oxen in the plough when urged by a sharp-pointed instrument of the driver. The ox may and often does resist, but by doing so he only increases his pain. Resistance is possible, but worse than useless.

371  Rom. 7:7-25. This remarkable section describes the psychological progress of the human heart to Christ from the heathen state of carnal security, when sin is dead because unknown, through the Jewish state of legal conflict, when sin, roused by the stimulus of the divine command, springs into life, and the higher and nobler nature of man strives in vain to overcome this fearful monster, until at last the free grace of God in Christ gains the victory. Some of the profoundest divines-Augustin, Luther, Calvin-transfer this conflict into the regenerate state; but this is described in the eighth chapter which ends in an exulting song of triumph.

372  Phil 3:6, kata; dikaisuvnh th;n ejn novmw/ genovmeno" a[mempto".

373  Mark 10:21.

374  In his address to Peter at Antioch, Gal. 2:11-21, he gives an account of his experience and his gospel, as contrasted with the gospel of the Judaizers. Comp. Gal. 3:24; 5:24; 6:14; Rom. 7:6-13; Col. 2:20

375  1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14; Rom. 4:24, 25.

376  1 Cor. 15:9, 10; comp. Eph. 3:8: "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given;"1 Tim. 1:15, 16: "to save sinners of whom I am chief," etc.

377  Rom. 9:2, 3; comp. Ex. 32:31, 32.

378  Paul never numbers himself with the Twelve. He distinguishes himself from the apostles of the circumcision, as the apostle of the uncircumcision, but of equal authority with them. Gal. 2:7-9. We have no intimation that the election of Matthias (Acts 1:26) was a mistake of the hasty Peter; it was ratified by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit immediately following.

379   On the testimony of Paul to Christianity see above § 22. I will add some good remarks of Farrar, I. 202: "It is impossible," he says, "to exaggerate the importance of St. Paul’s conversion as one of the evidences of Christianity .... To what does he testify respecting Jesus? To almost every single primary important fact respecting his incarnation, life, sufferings, betrayal, last supper, trial, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and heavenly exaltation .... The events on which the apostle relied in proof of Christ’s divinity, had taken place in the full blaze of contemporary knowledge. He had not to deal with uncertainties of criticism or assaults on authenticity. He could question, not ancient documents, but living men; he could analyze, not fragmentary records, but existing evidence. He had thousands of means close at hand whereby to test the reality or unreality of the Resurrection in which, up to this time, he had so passionately and contemptuously disbelieved. In accepting this half-crushed and wholly execrated faith he had everything in the world to lose-he had nothing conceivable to gain; and yet, in spite of all-overwhelmed by a conviction he felt to be irresistible—Saul, the Pharisee, became a witness of the resurrection, a preacher of the cross."

380  See my History of the Creeds of Christendom, I. 426 sqq.

381  This is fully recognized by Renan, who, however, has little sympathy either with the apostle or the reformer, and fancies that the theology of both is antiquated. "That historical character," he says, "which upon the whole bears most analogy to St. Paul, is Luther. In both there is the same violence in language, the same passion, the same energy, the same noble independence, the same frantic attachment to a thesis embraced as the absolute truth." St. Paul, ch. XXII. at the close. And his last note in this book is this: "The work which resembles most in spirit the Epistle to the Galatians is Luther’s De Captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae."

382  For particulars of his inner conflicts during his Erfurt period, see Köstlin’s Martin Luther (1875), I. 40 sqq. and 61 sqq.

383   Comp. the section on the Resurrection of Christ, pp. 172 sqq.

384   Reported by Epiphanius, Haer XXX. 16 (ed. Oehler, tom. I. 268 sq.).

385   In the Clem. Hom., XVII., ch. 19 (p. 351, ed. Dressel), Simon Peter says to Simon Magus: "If, then, our Jesus appeared to you in a vision (di j oJravmato" oJfqeiv" made himself known to you, and conversed with you, it is as one who is enraged with an adversary (wJ" ajntikeimevnw/ ojrgizovmeno"). And this is the reason why it was through visions and dreams (di j oJramavtwn kai; ejnupnivwn), or through revelations that, were from without (h] kai; di j ajpokaluvyewn e[zwqen oujsw'n) that He spoke to you. But can any one be rendered fit for instruction through apparitions? (di j ojtasivan) .... And how are we to believe your word, when you tell us that He appeared to you? And how did He appear to you, when you entertain opinions contrary to His teaching? But if you have seen and were taught by Him, and became His apostle for a single hour, proclaim His utterances, interpret His sayings, love His apostles, contend not with me who companied with Him. For you stand now in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the church (sterea;n pevtran, qemevlion ejkklhsiva", comp. Matt. 16:18). If you were not opposed to me, you would not accuse me, and revile the truth proclaimed by me, in order that I may not be believed when I state what I myself have heard with my own ears from the Lord, as if I were evidently a person that was condemned and had not stood the test [according to the true reading restored by Lagarde, ajdokivmou o[nto" instead of ejudokimou'nto",’in good repute’]. But if you say that I am ’condemned’ (eij kategnwsmevnon me levgei", comp. Gal. 2:11), you bring an accusation against God, who revealed the Christ to me, and you inveigh against Him who pronounced me blessed on account of the revelation (Matt. 16:17). But if you really wish to be a co-worker, in the cause of truth, learn first of all from us what we have learned from Him, and, becoming a disciple of the truth, become a fellow-worker with me."

The allusions to Paul’s Christ-vision and his collision with Peter at Antioch are unmistakable, and form the chief argument for Baur’s identification of Simon Magus with Paul. But it is perhaps only an incidental sneer. Simon represents all anti-Jewish heresies, as Peter represents all truths.

386  This theory was proposed by the so-called "vulgar" or deistic rationalists (as distinct from the more recent speculative or pantheistic rationalists), and has been revived and rhetorically embellished by Renan in Les Apôtres (ch. X., pp. 175 sqq.). "Every step to Damascus," says the distinguished French Academicien, "excited in Paul bitter repentance; the shameful task of the hangman was intolerable to him; he felt as if he was kicking against the goads; the fatigue of travel added to his depression; a malignant fever suddenly seized him; the blood rushed to the head; the mind was filled with a picture of midnight darkness broken by lightning flashes; it is probable that one of those sudden storms of Mount Hermon broke out which are unequalled for vehemence, and to the Jew the thunder was the voice of God, the lightning the fire of God. Certain it is that by a fearful stroke the persecutor was thrown on the ground and deprived of his senses; in his feverish delirium he mistook the lightning for a heavenly vision, the voice of thunder for a voice from heaven; inflamed eyes, the beginning of ophthalmia, aided the delusion. Vehement natures suddenly pass from one extreme to another; moments decide for the whole life; dogmatism is the only thing which remains. So Paul changed the object of his fanaticism; by his boldness, his energy, his determination he saved Christianity, which otherwise would have died like Essenism, without leaving a trace of its memory. He is the founder of independent Protestantism. He represents le christianisme conquérant et voyageur. Jesus never dreamed of such disciples; yet it is they who will keep his work alive and secure it eternity." In this work, and more fully in his St. Paul, Renan gives a picture of the great apostle which is as strange a mixture of truth and error, and nearly as incoherent and fanciful, as his romance of Jesus in the Vie de Jésus.

387  So Strauss (Leben Jesu, § 138, in connection with the resurrection of Christ), Baur (with much more seriousness and force, in his Paul, P. I., ch. 3) and the whole Tübingen School, Holsten, Hilgenfeld, Lipsius, Pfleiderer, Hausrath, and the author of Supernatural Religion (III. 498 sqq.). Baur at last gave up the theory as a failure (1860, see below). But Holsten revived and defended it very elaborately and ingeniously in his essay on the Christusvision des Paulus, in Hilgenfeld’s "Zeitschrift" for 1861. W. Beyschlag (of Halle) very ably refuted it in an article: Die Bekehrung des Paulus mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Erklärungsversuche von Baur und Holsten, in the "Studien und Kritiken" for 1864, pp. 197-264. Then Holsten came out with an enlarged edition of his essay in book form, Zum Evang. des Paulus und des Petrus, 1868, with a long reply to Beyschlag. Pfleiderer repeated the vision-theory in his Hibbert Lectures (1885).

Some English writers have also written on Paul’s conversion in opposition to this modern vision-theory, namely, R. Macpherson: The Ressurection of Jesus Christ (against Strauss), Edinb., 1867, Lect. XIII., pp. 316-360; Geo. P. Fisher: Supernatural Origin of Christianity, N. York, new ed. 1877, pp. 459-470, comp. his essay on "St. Paul" inDiscussions in History and Theology, N.Y. 1880, pp. 487-511; A. B. Bruce (of Glasgow): Paul’s Conversion and the Pauline Gospel, in the "Presbyt Review" for Oct. 1880 (against Pfleiderer, whose work on Paulinism Bruce calls "an exegetical justification and a philosophical dissipation of the Reformed interpretation of the Pauline system of doctrine").

388  He describes it as an oujravnio" ojptasiva Acts 26:19, and says that he saw Christ, that Christ was seen by him, 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8. So the vision of the women at the tomb of the risen Lord is called an ojptasiva tw'n ajggevlwn, Luke 24:23. But even Peter, who was less critical than Paul, well knew how to distinguish between an actual occurrence (an ajlhqw'" genovmenon) and a merely subjective vision (a o{rama) Acts 12:9. Objective visions are divine revelations through the senses; subjective visions are hallucinations and deceptions.

389  Gal. 1:16, ajpokaluvyai tovn uiJo;n aujtou' ejn ejmoiv, within me, in my inmost soul and consciousness.

390  Baur was disposed to charge this confusion upon the author of the Acts and to claim for Paul a more correct conception of the Christophany, as being a purely inner event or "a spiritual manifestation of Christ to his deeper self-consciousness" (Gal. 1:16, ejn ejmoiv); but this is inconsistent with Paul’s own language in 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8. Holsten admits that, without a full conviction of the objective, reality of the Christophany, Paul could never have come to the conclusion that the crucified was raised to new life by the almighty power of God. He states the case from his standpoint clearly in these words (p. 65): "Der glaube des Paulus an Jesus als den Christus war folge dessen, dass auch ihm Christus erschienen war, (1 Cor. 15:8).Diese vision war für das bewusstsein des Paulus das schauen einer objectiv-wirklichen, himmlischen gestalt, die aus ihrer transcendenten unsichtbarkeit sich ihm zur erscheinung gebracht habe. Aus der wirklichkeit dieser gesehauten gestalt, in welcher er den gekreuzigtenJesus erkannte, folgerte auch er, dass der kreuzestote zu neuem leben von der allmacht Gottes auferweckt worden, aus der gewissheit der auferweckung aber, dass dieser von den toten auferweckte der sohn Gottes und der Messias sei. Wie also an der wirklichkeit der auferweckung dem Paulus die ganze wahrheit seines evangelium hängt (vgl. 1 Cor. 15, 12 f.), so ist es die, vision des auferweckten, mit welcher ihm die wahrheit des messias-glaubens aufging, und der umschwung seines bewusstseins sich vollendete.

"Diese vision war für Paulus der eingriff einer fremden transcendenten macht in sein geistesleben. Die historische kritik aber unter der herrschaft des gesetzes der immanenten entwicklung des menschlichen geistes aus innerweltlichen causalitäten muss die vision als einen immanenten, psychogischen akt seines eigenen geistes zu begreifen suchen. Ihr liegt damit eine ihrer schwiezigsten aufgaben vor, eine so schwierige, dass ein meister der historischen kritik, der zugleich so tief in das wesen des paulinischen geistes eingedrungen ist, als Baur, noch eben erklärt hat, dass keine, weder psychologische, noch dialektische analyse das innere geheimnis des aktes erforschen könne, in welchem Gott seinen sohn dem Paulus enthüllte.’Und doch darf sich die kritik von dem versuch, dies geheimnis zu erforschen, nicht abschrecken, lassen. Denn diese vision ist einer der entscheidendsten punkte für ein geschichtliches begreifen des urchristentums. In ihrer genesis ist der keim des paulinischen evangelium gegeben. So lange der schein nicht aufgehoben ist, dass die empfängnis dieses keims als die wirkung einer transcendenten kraft erfolgt sei, besteht über dem empfangenen fort und fort der schein des transcendenten. Und die kritik am wenigsten darf sich damit beruhigen, dass eine transcendenz, eine objectivität, wie sie von ihren gegnern für diese vision gefordert wird, von der selbstgewissheit des modernen geistes verworfen sei. Denn diese selbstgewissheit kann ihre wahrheit nur behaupten, solange und soweit ihre kategorieen als das gesetz der wirklichkeit nachgewiesen sind."Dr. Pfleiderer moves in the same line with Holsten, and eliminates the supernatural, but it is due to him to say that he admits the purely hypothetical character of this speculative theory, and lays great stress on the moral as well as the logical and dialectical process in Paul’s mind, "Darum war,"he says (Paulinismus, p. 16)."der Prozess der Bekehrung nichts weniger, als eine kalte Denkoperation; es war vielmehr der tiefsittliche Gehorsamsakt eines zarten Gewissens gegen die sich unwiderstehlich aufdrängende höhere Wahrheit (daher ihm auch der Glaube eine uJpakohvist), ein Akt grossartiger Selbstverleugnung, der Hingabe des alten Menschen und seiner ganzen religiösen Welt in den Tod, um fortan keinen Ruhm, ja kein Leben mehr zu haben, als in Christo, dem Gekreuzigten. Das ist ja der Grundton, den wir aus allen Briefen des Apostels heraustönen hören, wo immer er sein persönliches Verhältniss zum Kreuz Christi schildert; es ist nie bloss ein Verhältniss objectiver Theorie, sondern immer zugleich und wesentlich das der subjectiven Verbundenheit des innersten Gemüths mit dem Gekreuzigten, eine mystische Gemeinschaft mit dem Kreuzestod und mit dem Auferstehungsleben Christi."

391  Comp. 2 Cor. 12:2; Acts 18:9; 22:17. Some of these modern critics suppose that he was epileptic, like Mohammed and Swedenborg, and therefore all the more open to imaginary visions.

392  1 Cor. 15:8: e[scaton de; pavntwn, wJsperei; tw/À ejktrwvmati, w[fqh kajmoiv. Meyer justly remarks in loc.: e[scatonschliesst die Reihe leibhaftiger Erscheinungen ab, und scheidet damit diese von späteren visionären oder sonst apokalyptischen."Similarly Godet (Com. sur l’épitre aux Romains, 1879, I. 17) "Paul clôt l’énumeration des apparitions de Jésus ressuscité aux apôtres par celle qui lui a été accordée à lui-méme; il lui attribue donc la méme réalité qu’à celles-là, et il la distingue ainsi d’une manière tranchée de toutes les visions dont il fut plus tard honoré et que mentionnent le livre des Actes, et les épitres."

393  1 Cor 15:12 sqq. Dean Stanley compares this discussion to the Phaedo of Plato and the Tusculan Disputations of Cicero, but it is far more profound and assuring. Heathen philosophy can at best prove only the possibility and probability, but not the certainty, of a future life. Moreover the idea of immortality has no comfort, but terror rather, except for those who believe in Christ, who is "the Resurrection and the Life."

394  Gal. 1:16; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:10, 14.

395  Acts 9:2; comp. Gal. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:9; Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim. 1:13

396  See Baur’s Church History of the First Three Centuries, Tübingen, 2d ed. p. 45; English translation by Allan Menzies, London, 1878, vol. I. 47.

397  Geschichte Jesu von Nazara. Zürich, 1872, vol. III. 532.

398  Das Christusbild der Apostel. Leipzig, 1879, pp. 57 sq.

399  Les Épitres pauliniennes. Paris, 1878, vol. I. p. 11.

400  The eujqew"of Acts 9:20 compels us to put this short testimony during the few days (hJmejra" tinav") which he spent with the disciples at Damascus, before his departure to Arabia. About three years afterwards (or after "many days,"hJmevrai iJkanaiv, were fulfilled, Acts 9:23), he returned to Damascus to renew his testimony (Gal. 1:17).

401  Gal. 1:17, 18. In the Acts (9:23) this journey is ignored because it belonged not to the public, but private and inner life of Paul.

402  Comp. Gal. 4:25, where "Arabia" means the Sinaitic Peninsula.

403  2 Cor. 3:6-9.

404  Thus Godet sums up his life (Romans, Introd. I. 59). He thinks that Paul was neither the substitute of Judas, nor of James the son of Zebedee, but a substitute for a converted Israel, the man who had, single-handed, to execute the task which properly fell to his whole nation; and hence the hour of his call was precisely that when the blood of the two martyrs, Stephen and James, sealed the hardening of Israel and decided its rejection.

405  "Westward the course of empire takes its way." This famous line of Bishop Berkeley, the philosopher, express a general law of history both civil and religious. Clement of Rome says that Paul came on his missionary tour "to the extreme west" (ejpi; to; tevrma th'" duvsew"), which means either Rome or Spain, whither the apostle intended to go (Rom. 15:24, 28). Some English historians (Ussher, Stillingfleet, etc.) would extend Paul’s travels to Gaul and Britain, but of this there is no trace either in the New Test., or in the early tradition. See below.

406  Rom. 1:16, "to the Jews first," not on the ground of a superior merit (the Jews, as a people, were most unworthy and ungrateful), but on the ground of God’s promise and the historical order (Rom. 15:8).

407  2 Cor. 11:24-29.

408  2 Cor. 4:8, 9.

409  Rom. 8:31-39.

410  2 Tim. 4:6-8. We may add here the somewhat panegyric passage of Clement of Rome, who apparently exalts Paul above Peter, Ep. ad Corinth. c. 5: "Let as set before our eyes the good Apostles. Peter, who on account of unrighteous jealousy endured not one or two, but many toils, and thus having borne his testimony (marturhvsa", or, suffered martyrdom), went to his appointed place of glory. By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the price of patient endurance. After having been seven times in bonds, driven into exile, stoned, and after having preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the boundary of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the magistrates, he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having become the greatest example of patient endurance."

411  Acts 9:23-25; comp. 2 Cor. 11:32, 33. The window of escape is still shown in Damascus, as is also the street called Straight, the house of Judas, and the house of Ananias. But these local traditions are uncertain.

412  Gal. 1:18-24; Comp. Acts 9:26, 27.

413  Acts 22:17-21. It is remarkable that in his prayer he confessed his sin against "Stephen the martyr;" thus making public reparation for a public sin in the city where it was committed.

414  Acts 11:28-30; 12:25.

415  "Paul left Athens," says Farrar (I. 550 sq.), "a despised and lonely man. And yet his visit was not in vain .... He founded no church at Athens, but there-it may be under the fostering charge of the converted Areopagite-a church grew up. In the next century it furnished to the cause of Christianity its martyr bishops and its eloquent apologists (Publius, Quadratus, Aristides, Athenagoras). In the third century it flourished in peace and purity. In the fourth century it was represented at Nicaea, and the noble rhetoric of the two great Christian friends, St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzus, was trained in its Christian schools. Nor were many centuries to elapse ere, unable to confront the pierced hands which held a wooden cross, its myriads of deities had fled into the dimness of outworn creeds, and its tutelary goddess, in spite of the flashing eyes which Homer had commemorated, and the mighty spear which had been moulded out of the trophies of Marathon, resigned her maiden chamber to the honour of that meek Galilaean maiden who had lived under the roof of the carpenter at Nazareth-the virgin mother of the Lord." Yet Athens was one of the last cities in the Roman empire which abandoned idolatry, and it never took a prominent position in church history. Its religion was the worship of ancient Greek genius rather than that of Christ. "Il est been moins disciple de Jésus et de saint Paul que de Plutarque et de Julien," says Renan, St. Paul, p. 208. His chapter on Paul in Athens is very interesting.

416  In Corinth Paul wrote that fearful, yet truthful description of pagan depravity in Rom. 1:18 sqq. The city was proverbially corrupt, so that korinqiavzomai means to practise whoredom, and korinqiasthv", a whoremonger. The great temple of Venus on the acropolis had more than a thousand courtezans devoted to the service of lust. With good reason Bengel calls a church of God in Corinth a "laetum et ingens paradoxon (in 1 Cor. 1:2). See the lively description of Renan, St. Paul, ch. VIII. pp. 211 sqq

417  Weiss (Bibl. Theol. des N. T., 3d ed. p. 202) is inclined to assign the composition of the Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians to the period of the imprisonment at Caesarea. So also Thiersch, Reuss, Schenkel, Meyer, Zöckler, Hausrath. See Meyer Com. on Eph. (5th ed. by Woldemar Schmidt, 1878, p. 18), and on the other side, Neander, Wieseler, and Lightfoot (Philippians, 3d ed. 1873, p. 29), who date all the Epistles of the captivity from Rome.

418  Acts 28:30, 31. Comp. the Epistles of the captivity.

419  Bengel remarks on Acts 28:31 "Paulus Romae, apex evangelii, Actorum finis: quae Lucas alioqui (2 Tim. 4:11)facile potuisset ad exitum Pauli perducere. Hierosolymis cœpit: Romae desinit." The abruptness of the close seems not to be accidental, for, as Lightfoot remarks (Com. on Philippians, p. 3, note), there is a striking parallelism between the Acts and the Gospel of Luke in their beginning and ending, and there could be no fitter termination of the narrative, since it is the realization of that promise of the universal spread of the gospel which is the starting-point of the Acts.

420  Namely, to Ephesus 1 Tim. 1:3; 2 Tim. 4:13, 20; to Crete, Tit. 1:5 and to Nicopolis, Tit. 3:12.

421  Phil. 1:25; 2:24; Philem. 22. These passages, however, are not conclusive, for the Apostle claims no infallibility in personal matters and plans; he was wavering between the expectation and desire of speedy martyrdom and further labors for the brethren, Phil. 1:20-23; 2:17. He may have been foiled in his contemplated visit to Philippi and Colosse.

422  Rom. 15:24, 28. Renan denies a visit to the Orient, but thinks that the last labors of Paul were spent in Spain or Gaul, and that he died in Rome by the sword, a.d. 64 or later (L’Antechrist, 106, 190). Dr. Plumptre (in the Introduction to his Com. on Luke, and in an Appendix to his Com. on Acts) ingeniously conjectures some connection between Luke, Paul’s companion, and the famous poet, M. Annaeus Lucanus (the author of the Pharsalia, and a nephew of Seneca), who was a native of Corduba (Cordova) in Spain, and on this basis he accounts for the favorable conduct of J. Annaeus Gallic (Seneca’s brother) toward Paul at Corinth, the early tradition of a friendship between Paul and Seneca, and Paul’s journey to Spain. Rather fanciful.

423  Jos. Vita, c. 3. Comp. Plumptre, l.c.

424  Tertullian (De praescr. haeret. c. 36): "Romae Petrus passioni Dominica adaequatur, Paulus Joannis [Baptistae]exitu coronatur."

425  Comp. § 26, pp. 250, 257-259.

426  Ewald (VI. 631) conjectures that Paul, on hearing of the Neronian persecution, hastened back to Rome of his own accord, to bear testimony to Christ, and being seized there, was again brought to trial and condemned to death, a.d. 65. Ewald assumes an intervening visit to Spain, but not to the East.

427  2 Tim. 4:6-8. Bengel calls this Epistle testamentum Pauli et cycnes cantio.

428  1 Cor. 15:9 (a.d. 57); Eph. 3:8 (a.d. 62); 1 Tim. 3:15 (a.d. 63 or 64?)

429  A Latin inscription in Spain, which records the success of Nero in extirpating the new superstition, Gruter, Inscript., p. 238, is now commonly abandoned as spurious.

430  I must here correct an error into which I have fallen with Dr. Wieseler, in my Hist. of the Ap. Ch., p. 342, by reading uJpo; to; tevrma and interpreting it "before the highest tribunal of the West."ejpiv is the reading of the Cod. Alex. (though defectively written), as I have convinced myself by an inspection of the Codex in the British Museum in 1869, in the presence of Mr. Holmes and the late Dr. Tregelles. The preposition stands at the end of line 17, fol. 159b, second col., in the IVth vol. of the Codex, and is written in smaller letters from want of space, but by the original hand. The same reading is confirmed by the newly discovered MS. of Bryennios.

431  "Circumcision," says Renan (St. Paul, ch. III. p. 67)."was, for adults, a painful ceremony, one not without danger, and disagreeable to the last degree. It was one of the reasons which prevented the Jews from moving freely about among other people, and set them apart as a caste by themselves. At the baths and gymnasiums, those important parts of the ancient cities, circumcision exposed the Jew to all sorts of affronts. Every time that the attention of the Greeks and Romans was directed to this subject, outbursts of jestings followed. The Jews were very sensitive in this regard, and avenged themselves by cruel reprisals. Several of them, in order to escape the ridicule, and washing to pass themselves off for Greeks, strove to efface the original mark by a surgical operation of which Celsus has preserved us the details. As to the converts who accepted this initiation ceremony, they had only one course to pursue, and that was to hide themselves in order to escape sarcastic taunts. Never did a man of the world place himself in such a position; and this is doubtless the reason why conversions to Judaism were much more numerous among women than among men, the former not being put, at the very outset, to a test, in every respect repulsive and shocking. We have many examples of Jewesses married to heathens, but not a single one of a Jew married to a heathen woman."

432  Acts 10 and 11.

433  Acts 15:1, 5:tine;" tw'n ajpo; th'" aiJrevsew" twÀn Farisaivwn pepisteukovte" .

434  Gal. 2:4: pareivsaktoi (comp. pareisavxousin in 2 Pet. 2:1) yeudavdelfoi oi{tine" pareishÀlqon(who came in sideways, or crept in, sneaked in; comp. Jude 4, pareisevdusan) kataskoph'sai th;n ejleuqerivan hJmw'n h}n e[comen ejn Cristw/'  jIhsou', i{na hJma'" katadoulwvsousin. The emissaries of these Pharisaical Judaizers are ironically called "super-extra-apostles,"uJperlivan ajpovstoloi, 2 Cor. 11:5; 12:11. For these are not the real apostles (as Baur and his followers maintained in flat contradiction to the connection of 2 Cor. 10 to 12), but identical with the "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ,"2 Cor. 11:13. Baur’s monstrous misinterpretation has been completely refuted by Weizsäcker (on Paul and the Congregation of Corinth, l.c. p. 640), Keim, Klöpper, Wieseler, and Grimm (l.c. 432). Comp. also Godet, l.c. pp. 49 sq.

435  Gal. 1:22-24.

436  To what ridiculous extent some Jewish rabbis of the rigid school of Shammai carried the overestimate of circumcision, may be seen from the following deliverances quoted by Farrar (I. 401): "So great is circumcision that but for it the Holy One, blessed be He, would not have created the world; for it is said (Jer. 33:25), ’But for my covenant [circumcision] I would not have made day and night, and the ordinance of heaven and earth.’" "Abraham was not called ’perfect’ till he was circumcised."

437  Paul mentions the subjective motive, Luke the objective call. Both usually unite in important trusts. But Baur and Lipsius make this one of the irreconcilable contradictions!

438  Luke reports the former and hints at the latter (comp. Acts 5 and 6) Paul reports the private understanding and hints at the public conference, saying (Gal. 2:2): "I laid (ajneqevmhn) before them [the brethren of Jerusalem] the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before them who were of repute (or, before those in authority),"i.e., the pillar-apostles of the circumcision, James, Cephas, and John, comp. Acts 2:9. Dr. Baur who denies the public conference, mistranslates kat j ijdivan de; toiÀ'" dokouÀsin  und zwar wandte ich mich speciell (specially) an die vorzugsweise Geltenden,"so that toi'" dokou'sin would be the same as the preceding aujtoi'"  (Paul, ch. V. p. 117, in the English translation, I. 122). But this would have been more naturally expressed by toi'" dokouÀsin ejn aujtoi''" and kat j ijdivan, as Grimm, the lexicographer of the N. T., remarks against Baur (l.c., p. 412), does not mean "specially" at all, but privatim, seorsum, "apart," "in private," as in Mark 4:34, and kat j ijdivan eijpei'n, Diod. I. 21.

439  1. The order in which they are named by Paul is significant: James first, as the bishop of Jerusalem and the most conservative, John last, as the most liberal of the Jewish apostles. There is no irony in the term oij doko'Ànte" and oij stuÀloi, certainly not at the expense of the apostles who were pillars in fact as well as in name and repute. If there is any irony in Gal 2:6, oJpoi'oiv pote h\san, oujdevn moi diafevrei, it is directed against the Judaizers who overestimated the Jewish apostles to the disparagement of Paul. Even Keim (l.c., p. 74) takes this view: "Endlich mag man aufhören, von ironischer Bitterkeit des Paulus gegenüber den Geltenden zu reden: denn wer gleich nachher den Bundesschluss mit den ’Säulen’feierlich und befriedigt registrirt, der hat seine Abweisung der menschlichen Autoritäten in v. 6 nicht dem Andenken der Apostel gewidmet, sondern dem notorischen Uebermuth der judenchristlichen Parteigänger in Galatien."

440  Gal. 2:7-10; comp. Acts 11:30; 24:17; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8 and 9; Rom. 15:25-27.

441  Barnabas, as the older disciple, still retained precedence in the Jewish church, and hence is named first. A later forger would have reversed the order.

442  Dr. Plumptre remarks against the Tübingen critics (on Acts 15:7): "Of all doctrines as to the development of the Christian church, that which sees in Peter, James, and John the leaders of a Judaizing anti-Pauline party is, perhaps, the most baseless and fantastic. The fact that their names were unscrupulously used by that party, both in their lifetime and, as the pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions show, after their death, cannot outweigh their own deliberate words and acts."

443  This is very evident from the indignant tone of Paul against the Judaizers, and from the remark in Acts 15:6: pollhÀ" suzhthvsew" genomevnh", comp. Acts 15:2: genomevnh" stavsew"(factious party spirit, insurrection, Luke 23:19; Mark 15:7) kaiv zhthvsew" oujk ojlivgh". Such strong terms show that Luke by no means casts the veil of charity over the differences in the apostolic church.

444  Gal. 2:3-5. See the note below.

445  Acts 16:3. The silence of Luke concerning the non-circumcision of Titus has been distorted by the Tübingen critics into a wilful suppression of fact, and the mention of the circumcision of Timothy into a fiction to subserve the catholic unification of Petrinism and Paulinism. What a designing and calculating man this anonymous author of the Acts must have been, and yet not shrewd enough to conceal his literary fraud or to make it more plausible by adapting it to the account in the Galatians, and by mentioning the full understanding between the apostles themselves! The book of Acts is no more a full history of the church or of the apostles than the Gospels are full biographies of Christ.

446  Comp. Rom. 14 and 15; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Acts 21:23-26.

447  Gal. 5:6; 6:15; 1 Cor. 7:19. Dr. Plumptre’s remarks on the last passage are to the point: "Often those who regard some ceremony as unimportant magnify the very disregard of it into a necessary virtue. The apostle carefully guards against that by expressing the nothingness of both circumcision and uncircumcision (Rom. 2:25; Gal. 5:6; 6:15). The circumicision of Timothy, and the refusal to circumcise Titus by St. Paul himself, are illustrations at once of the application of the truth here enforced, and of the apostle’s scrupulous adherence to the principles of his own teaching. To have refused to circumcise Timothy would have attached some value to noncircumcision. To have circumcised Titus would have attached some value to circumcision."

448  Acts 15:7-11; comp. Acts 10: 28 sqq.; 1 Pet. 1:12; 5:12; 2 Pet. 3:15, 16. The style of Peter is distinctly recognizable, as in the epithet of God, oJ kardiognwvsth, Acts 15:8, comp. Acts 1:24. Such minute coincidences go to strengthen the documentary trustworthiness of the Acts.

449  Like the Popes, who do not attend synods at Jerusalem or elsewhere and make speeches, but expect all doctrinal controversies to be referred to them for their final and infallible decision.

450  Acts15:11: thÀ" cavrito" tou' kurivou jIhsou' pisteuvomen swqhnvai, kaq j o}n tropon kajkeinoi (the heathen). Comp. Rom. 10:12, 13.

451  Comp. Acts15:13-21; 21:18-25; James 1:25; 2:12; and the account of Hegesippus quoted in § 27, p. 274.

452  The Gentile form of greeting, caivrein, Acts 15:23, occurs again in James 1:1, but nowhere else in the New Testament, except in the letter of the heathen, Claudius Lysias (Acts 23:26); the usual form being cavri" kai; eijrhvnh. This is likewise one of those incidental coincidences and verifications which are beyond the ken of a forger.

453  According to the oldest reading, oiJ ajpovstoloi kai; oiJ presbuvteroi ajdelfoiv, which may also be rendered: "the apostles, and the presbyters, brethren;" comp. Acts 15:22. The omission of ajdelfoiv in some MSS. may be due to the later practice, which excluded the laity from synodical deliberations.

454  Acts 15:23-29.

455  Acts 16:4

456  Acts 21:15. Comp. also Rev. 2:14, 20. But why does Paul never refer to this synodical decree? Because he could take a knowledge of it for granted, or more probably because he did not like altogether its restrictions, which were used by the illiberal constructionists against him and against Peter at Antioch (Gal. 2:12). Weizsäcker and Grimm (l.c., p. 423) admit the historic character of some such compromise, but transfer it to a later period (Acts 21:25), as a proposition made by James of a modus vivendi with Gentile converts, and arbitrarily charge the Acts with an anachronism. But the consultation must have come to a result, the result embodied in a formal action, and the action communicated to the disturbed churches.

457  Justin Martyr, about the middle of the second century, considered the eating of eijdwlovquta as bad as idolatry. Dial. c. Tryph. Jud. 35

458  Ex. 34:,15; Lev. 17:7 sqq.; Deut. 12:23 sqq. The reason assigned for the prohibition of the taste of blood is that "the life of the flesh is in the blood," and the pouring out of blood is the means of "the atonement for the soul" (Lev. 17:11). The prohibition of blood as food was traced back to the time of Noah, Gen. 9:4, and seems to have been included in the seven "Noachian commandments" so-called, which were imposed upon the proselytes of the gate, although the Talmud nowhere specifies them very clearly. The Moslems likewise abhor the tasting of blood. But the Greeks and Romans regarded it as a delicacy. It was a stretch of liberality on the part of the Jews that pork was not included among the forbidden articles of food. Bentley proposed to read in Acts 15:20 porkeiva (frompovrko", porcus) for porneiva, but without a shadow of evidence.

459  1 Cor. 8:7-13; 10:23-33; Rom. 14:2, 21; 1 Tim. 4:4.

460  The word porvneia, without addition, must be taken in its usual sense, and cannot mean illegitimate marriages alone, which were forbidden to the Jews, Ex. 34; Lev. 18, although it may include them

461  Apoc. 2:14, 20.

462  1 Cor. 6:13-20; comp. 1 Cor. 5:9; 1 Thess. 4:4, 5; Eph. 5:3, 5; Col. 3:5. What a contrast between these passages and the sentence of Micio in Terence.

"Non es flagitium, mihi crede, adulescentulum
 Scortari, neque potare
."—Adelph. i. 2. 21, 22. (Ed. Fleckeisen p. 290.)

To which, however, Demea (his more virtuous married brother) replies:

"Pro Juppiter, tu homo adigis me ad insaniam.
 Non est flagitium facere haec adulescentulum
?"—Adelph. i. 2. 31, 32

463  Acts 15:21; comp. Acts 13:15; 2 Cor. 3:14, 15.

464  Acts 21:20-25. Irenaeus understood the decree in this sense (Adv. Haer III. 12, 15: "Hi qui circa Jacobum apostoli gentibus quidem libere agere permittebant; ipsi vero ... perseverabant in pristinis observationibus ... religiose agebant circadispositionem legis quae est secundum Mosem."Pfleiderer (l.c. 284) takes a similar view on this point, which is often overlooked, and yet most important for the proper understanding of the subsequent reaction. He says: "Die Judenchristen betreffend, wurde dabei stillschweigend als selbstverständliche Voraussetzung angenommen, dass bei diesen Alles beim Alten bleibe, dass also aus der Gesetzesfreiheit der Heidenchristen keierlei Consequenzen für die Abrogation des Gesetzes unter den Judenchristen zu ziehen seien; auf dieser Voraussetzung beruhte die Beschränkung der älteren Apostel auf die Wirksamkeit bei den Juden (da eine Ueberschreitung dieser Schranke ohne Verletzung des Gesetzes nicht möglich war); auf dieser Voraussetzung beruhte die Sendung der Leute von Jakobus aus Jerusalem nach Antiochia und beruhte der Einfluss derselben auf Petrus, dessen vorhergegangenes freieres Verhalten dadurch als eine Ausnahme von der Regel gekennzeichnet wird."

465  Without intending any censure, we may illustrate the position of the strict constructionists of the school of St. James by similar examples of conscientious and scrupulous exclusiveness. Roman Catholics know no church but their own, and refuse all religious fellowship with non Catholics; yet many of them will admit the action of divine grace and the possibility of salvation outside of the limits of the papacy. Some Lutherans maintain the principle: "Lutheran pulpits for Lutheran ministers only; Lutheran altars for Lutheran communicants only." Luther himself refused at Marburg the hand of fellowship to Zwingli, who was certainly a Christian, and agreed with him in fourteen out of fifteen articles of doctrine. High church Anglicans recognize no valid ministry without episcopal ordination; close communion Baptists admit no valid baptism but by immersion; and yet the Episcopalians do not deny the Christian character of non-Episcopalians, nor the Baptists the Christian character of Pedo-Baptists, while they would refuse to sit with them at the Lord’s table. There are psalm-singing Presbyterians who would not even worship, and much less commune, with other Presbyterians who sing what they call "uninspired" hymns. In all these cases, whether consistently or not, a distinction is made between Christian fellowship and church fellowship. With reference to all these and other forms of exclusiveness we would say in the spirit of Paul: "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision" (viewed as a mere sign) "availeth anything, nor uncircumcision," neither Catholicism nor Protestantism, neither Lutheranism nor Calvinism, neither Calvinism nor Arminianism, neither episcopacy nor presbytery, neither immersion nor pouring nor sprinkling, nor any other accidental distinction of birth and outward condition, but "a new creature, faith working through love, and the keeping of the commandments of God."Gal. 5:6; 6:15; 1 Cor. 7:19.

466  The imperfect sunhvsqien meta; tw'n ejqnw'n, Gal. 2:12, indicates habit he used to eat with the uncircumcised Christians. This is the best proof from the pen of Paul himself that Peter agreed with him in principle and even in his usual practice. The eating refers, in all probability, not only to common meals, but also to the primitive love-feasts (agapae) and the holy communion, where brotherly recognition and fellowship is consummated and scaled.

467  Acts 10:27-29, 34, 35; 11:3: "thou wentest in to men uncircumcised and didst eat with them."

468  tine;" ajpo; jIakwvbou, Gal, 2:12, seems to imply that they were sent by James (comp. Matt. 26:47; Mark 5:25; John 3:2), and not simply disciples of James or members of his congregation, which would be expressed by tine;" tw'n ajpo; jIakwvbou. See Grimm, l.c., p. 427.

469  There are not a few examples of successful intimidations of strong and bold men. Luther was so frightened at the prospect of a split of the holy Catholic church, in an interview with the papal legate, Carl von Miltitz, at Altenburg in January, 1519, that he promised to write and did write a most humiliating letter of submission to the Pope, and a warning to the German people against secession. But the irrepressible conflict soon broke out again at the Leipzig disputation in June, 1519.

470  Gal 2:14-21. We take this section to be a brief outline of Paul’s address to Peter; but the historical narrative imperceptibly passes into doctrinal reflections suggested by the occasion and adapted to the case of the Galatians. In the third chapter it naturally expands into a direct attack on the Galatians.

471  Paul draws, in the form of a question, a false conclusion of the Judaizing opponents from correct premises of his own, and rejects the conclusion with his usual formula of abhorrence, mh; gevnoito, as in Rom. 6:2.

472  Gal. 2:11, Peter stood self-condemned and condemned by the Gentiles, kategnwsmevno" h\n, not " blameworthy," or " was to be blamed"(E. V.).

473  Comp. 1 Cor. 9:5, 6; 15:5; Col. 4:10; Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11.

474  1 Pet. 5:12; 2 Pet. 3:15, 16.

475  So Clement of Alexandria, and other fathers, also the Jesuit Harduin.

476  This monstrous perversion of Scripture was advocated even by such fathers as Origen, Jerome, and Chrysostom. It gave rise to a controversy between Jerome and Augustin, who from a superior moral sense protested against it, and prevailed.

477  Comp. 2 Cor, 4:7; Phil. 3:12; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8; 2:2.

478  Comp. Acts 21:17-20.

479  The E. V. translates uJperlivan ajpovstoloi, 2 Cor. 11:5, "the very chiefest apostles," Plumptre better, "those apostles-extraordinary." They are identical with the yeudapovstoloi, 11:13, and not with the pillar-apostles of the circumcision, Gal. 2:9; see above, p. 334, note 1.

480  Augustin thus distinguishes three periods in the Mosaic law: 1, lex viva, sed non vivifica; 2, l. moribunda, sed non mortifera; 3, l. mortua et mortifera.

481  Friedländer, I. 372 sqq.

482  See some of these eulogistic descriptions in Friedländer, I. 9, who says that the elements which produced this overwhelming impression were "the enormous, ever changing turmoil of a population from all lands, the confusing and intoxicating commotion of a truly cosmopolitan intercourse, the number and magnificence of public parks and buildings, and the immeasurable extent of the city." Of the Campagna he says, p. 10: "Wo sich jetzt eine ruinenerfüllte Einöde gegen das Albanesergebirge hinerstreckt, über der Fieberluft brütet, war damals eine durchaus gesunde, überall angebaute, von Leben wimmelden Strassen durchschnittene Ebene."See Strabo, v. 3, 12

483  Friedländer, I. 54 sqq., by a combination of certain data, comes to the conclusion that Rome numbered under Augustus (A. U. 749) 668,600 people, exclusive of slaves, and 70 or 80 years later from one and a half to two millions.

484  Friedländer, I. 11: "In dem halben Jahrhundert von Vespasian bis Hadrian erreichte Rom seinen höchsten Glanz, wenn auch unter den Antoninen und später noch vieles zu seiner Verschönerimg geschehen ist."

485  By Renan, L’Antechrist, p. 7; Friedländer, I. 310, 372; and Harnack, l.c., p. 253. But Hausrath, l.c., III. 384, assumes 40,000 Jews in Rome under Augustus, 60,000 under Tiberius. We know from Josephus that 8,000 Roman Jews accompanied a deputation of King Herod to Augustus (Ant. XVII. 11, 1), and that 4,000 Jews were banished by Tiberius to the mines of Sardinia (XVIII. 3, 5; comp. Tacitus, Ann. II. 85). But these data do not justify a very definite calculation.

486  Friedländer, III. 510: "Die Inschrift sind überwiegend griechisch, allerdings zum Theil bis zur Unverständlichkeit jargonartig; daneben finden sich lateinische, aber keine hebräischen."See also Garrucci, Cimiterio in vigna Rondanini, and the inscriptions (mostly Greek, some Latin) copied and published by Schürer, Die Gemeindeverfassung der Juden, etc., pp. 33 sqq.

487  Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 6,4. Comp. Harnack, l.c., p. 254.

488  Tacitus, Hist. V. 4: "Profana illic omnia quae apud nos sacra; rursum concessa apud illos quae nobis incesta."Comp. his whole description of the Jews, which is a strange compound of truth and falsehood.

489  "Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Otho, was the fairest woman of her time, and with the charms of beauty she combined the address of an accomplished intriguer. Among the dissolute women of imperial Rome she stands preëminent. Originally united to Rufius Crispinus, she allowed herself to be seduced by Otho, and obtained a divorce in order to marry him. Introduced by this new connection to the intimacy of Nero, she soon aimed at a higher elevation. But her husband was jealous and vigilant, and she herself knew how to allure the young emperor by alternate advances and retreats, till, in the violence of his passion, he put his friend out of the way by dismissing him to the government of Lusitania. Poppaea suffered Otho to depart without a sigh. She profited by his absence to make herself more than ever indispensable to her paramour, and aimed, with little disguise, at releasing herself from her union and supplanting Octavia, by divorce or even death." Merivale, Hist. of the Romans, VI. 97. Nero accidentally kicked Poppaea to death when in a state of pregnancy (65), and pronounced her eulogy from the rostrum. The senate decreed divine honors to her. Comp. Tac. Ann. XIII. 45, 46; XVI. 6; Suet., Nero, 35.

490  "Victi victoribus leges dederunt."Quoted by Augustin (De Civit. Dei, VI. 11) from a lost work, De Superstitionibus. This word received a singular illustration a few years after Seneca’s death, when Berenice, the daughter of King Agrippa, who had heard the story of Paul’s conversion at Caesarea (Acts 25:13, 23), became the acknowledged mistress first of Vespasianus and then of his son Titus, and presided in the palace of the Caesars. Titus promised to marry her, but was obliged, by the pressure of public opinion, to dismiss the incestuous adulteress. "Dimisit invitus invitam." Sueton. Tit., c. 7; Tacit. Hist., II. 81.

491  The history of the Roman Ghetto (the word is derived from [Dg:, caedo, to cut down, comp. Isa. 10:33; 14:12; 15:2; Jer. 48:25, 27, etc., presents a curious and sad chapter in the annals of the papacy. The fanatical Pope Paul IV. (1555-’59) caused it to be walled in and shut out from all intercourse with the Christian world, declaring in the bull Cum nimis: "It is most absurd and unsuitable that the Jews, whose own crime has plunged them into everlasting slavery, under the plea that Christian magnanimity allows them, should presume to dwell and mix with Christians, not bearing any mark of distinction, and should have Christian servants, yea even buy houses." Sixtus V. treated the Jews kindly on the plea that they were "the family from which Christ came;" but his successors, Clement VIII., Clement XI., and Innocent XIII., forbade them all trade except that in old clothes, rags, and iron. Gregory XIII. (1572-’85), who rejoiced over the massacre of St. Bartholomew, forced the Jews to hear a sermon every week, and on every Sabbath police agents were sent to the Ghetto to drive men, women, and children into the church with scourges, and to lash them if they paid no attention! This custom was only abolished by Pius IX., who revoked all the oppressive laws against the Jews. For this and other interesting information about the Ghetto see Augustus J. C. Hare, Walks in Rome, 1873, 165 sqq., and a pamphlet of Dr. Philip, a Protestant missionary among the Jews in Rome, On the Ghetto, Rome, 1874.

492  Acts 28:17-29.

493  Acts 2:10:oiJ ejpidhmou'ntes JRwmaiÀoi, jIoudaiÀoi te kai; proshvlutoi . Sojourners are strangers (comp. 17:21, oiJ epidhmou'nte" zevnoi), as distinct from inhabitants (katoikou'nte", 7:48; 9:22; Luke 13:4). Among the Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem who disputed with Stephen were Libertini, i.e., emancipated Roman Jews, descendants of those whom Pompey had carried captive to Rome, Acts 6:9.

494  Given up even by Roman Catholic historians in Germany, but still confidently reasserted by Drs. Northcote and Brownlow, l.c. I.,p. 79, who naively state that Peter went to Rome with Cornelius and the Italian band in 42. Comp. on this subject §26, pp. 254 sqq.

495  Rom. 16:7, "Salute Andronicus and Junias (or Junia), my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners who ... have been in Christ before me." If Junias is masculine, it must be a contraction from Junianus, as Lucas from Lucanus. But Chrysostom, Grotius, Reiche, and others take it as a female, either the wife or sister of Andronicus.

496  Sueton., Claud., c. 25: "Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit." The Romans often confounded Christus (the Anointed) andChrestus (from crhstov", useful, good), and called the Christians crhstianoiv, Chrestiani. Compare the French form chrétien. Justin Martyr uses this etymological error as an argument against the persecution of the Christians for the sake of their name. Apol. I.,c. 4 (I. p. 10, ed. Otto): Cristianoi; ei\nai kathgorouvmeqa, to; de; crhsto;n miseiÀ'sqai ouj divkaion. He knew, however, the true origin of the name of Christ, I.c. 12:  jIhsou'" Cristov", ajf j ou\ kai; to; Cristianoi; ejponomavzesqai ejschvkamen. Tertullian says that the name Christus was almost invariably mispronounced Chrestus bythe heathen. Apol., c. 3; Ad Nat., I.3. This mistake continued to be made down to the fourth century, Lactantius, Instit. Div., IV. 7, and is found also in Latin inscriptions. Renan derives the name Christianus from the Latin (like Herodian, Matt. 22:16, Pompejani, Caesareani), as the derivation from the Greek would require Crivsteio" (Les âpotres, p. 234). Lightfoot denies this, and refers to Sardiano;", Trallianov"(Philippians, p.16, note 1); but Renan would regard these nouns as Latinisms like jAsianov" (Acts 20:4, Strabo, etc.). Antioch, where the name originated (Acts 11:26), had long before been Romanized and was famous for its love of nicknames. Renan thinks that the term originated with the Roman authority as an appellation de police. The other two passages of the N.T. in which it occurs, Acts 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16, seem to imply contempt and dislike, and so it is used by Tacitus and Suetonius. But what was originally meant by the heathen to be a name of derision has become the name of the highest honor. For what can be nobler and better than to be a true Christian, that is, a follower of Christ. It is a remarkable fact that the name " Jesuit,"which was not in use till the sixteenth century, has become, by the misconduct of the order which claimed it, a term of reproach even in Roman Catholic countries; while the term " Christian"embraces proverbially all that is noble, and good, and Christ-like.

497  Acts 18:2; Rom. 16:3. An unconverted Jew would not have taken the apostle under his roof and into partnership. The appellation .jIoudai'o" often signifies merely the nationality (comp. Gal. 2:13-15). The name Aquila, i.e., Eagle, Adler, is still common among Jews, like other high sounding animal names (Leo, Leopardus, Löwe, Löwenherz, Löwenstein, etc.). The Greek jAkuvla" was a transliteration of the Latin, and is probably slightly altered in Onkelos, the traditional author of one of the Targums, whom the learned Emmanuel Deutsch identifies with Aquila (jAkuvla",  slyq[ in the Talmud), the Greek translator of the Old Testament, a convert to Judaism in the reign of Hadrian, and supposed nephew of the emperor. Liter. Remains (N. York, 1874), pp. 337-340. The name of his wife, Priscilla (the diminutive form of Prisca), " probably indicates a connection with the gens of the Prisci, who appear in the earliest stages of Roman history, and supplied a long series of praetors and consuls." Plumptre on Acts, 18:2.

498  Rom. 1:8; 16:5, 14, 15, 19.

499  Acts 28:13. Puteoli was, next after Ostia, the chief harbor of Western Italy and the customary port for the Alexandrian grain ships; hence the residence of a large number of Jewish and other Oriental merchants and sailors. The whole population turned out when the grain fleet from Alexandria arrived. Sixteen pillars still remain of the mole on which St. Paul landed. See Friedländer, II. 129 sq.; III. 511, and Howson and Spence on Acts 28:13.

500  Acts 28:15. The Forum of Appius (the probable builder of the famous road called after him) is denounced by Horace as a wretched town "filled with sailors and scoundrel tavern-keepers." Tres Tabernae was a town of more importance, mentioned in Cicero’s letters, and probably located on the junction of the road from Antium with the Via Appia, near the modern Cisterna. The distances from Rome southward are given in the Antonine Itinerary as follows: "to Aricia, 16 miles; to Tres Tabernae, 17 miles; to Appii Forum, 10 miles."

501  Phil. 1:12-15; Acts 28:30.

502  Col. 4:7-14; Eph. 6:21; Philem. 24; Phil. 2:25-30; 4:18; comp. also 2 Tim. 4:10-12.

503  Phil. 1:15-18. Comp. Lightfoot in loc.

504  Ad Cor., ch. 6. The polu; plhÀqo" ejklektw'n corresponds precisely to the "ingens multitudo"of Tacitus, Ann. XV. 44.

505  Comp. my Hist. Ap. Ch., p. 296 sqq. Dr. Baur attempted to revolutionize the traditional opinion of the preponderance of the Gentile element, and to prove that the Roman church consisted almost exclusively of Jewish converts, and that the Epistle to the Romans is a defense of Pauline universalism against Petrine particularism. He was followed by Schwegler, Reuss, Mangold, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Holsten, Holtzmann., and also to some extent by Thiersch and Sabatier. But he was opposed by Olshausen, Tholuck, Philippi, De Wette, Meyer, Schott, Hofmann, in favor of the other view. Beyschlag proposed a compromise to the effect that the majority, in conformity with Paul’s express statements, were Gentile Christians, but mostly ex-proselytes, and hence shared Judaizing convictions. This view has been approved by Schürer and Schultz. Among the latest and ablest discussions are those of Weizsäcker and Godet, who oppose the views both of Baur and Beyschlag. The original nucleus was no doubt Jewish, but the Gentile element soon outgrew it, as is evident from the Epistle itself, from the last chapter of Acts, from the Neronian persecution, and other facts. Paul had a right to regard the Roman congregation as belonging to his own field of labor. The Judaizing tendency was not wanting, as we see from the 14th and 15th chapters, and from allusions in the Philippians and Second Timothy, but it had not the character of a bitter personal antagonism to Paul, as in Galatia, although in the second century we find also a malignant type of Ebionism in Rome, where all heretics congregated.

506  Lightfoot, Galat., p. 323.

507  Lightfoot, l.c., p. 20. See especially the investigations of Caspari, in his Quellen zur Geschichte des Taufsymbols, vol. III. (1875), 267-466. According to Friedländer, I. 142, 481, Greek was the favorite language at the imperial court, and among lovers.

508  Phil. 1:13; 4: 22. The praitwvrion embraces the officers as well as the soldiers of the imperial regiments; oiJ ek th'" kaivsaro" oijkiva"  may include high functionaries and courtiers as well as slaves and freedmen, but the latter is more probable. The twenty names of the earlier converts mentioned in Rom. 16 coincide largely with those in the Columbaria of the imperial household on the Appian way. Comp. Lightfoot, Philipp., p. 169 sqq., Plumptre, Excursus to his Com. on Acts, and Harnack, l.c., pp. 258 sq. Harnack makes it appear that the two trusty servants of the Roman church, Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Bito, mentioned in the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, c. 63, belonged to the household of the emperor Claudius.

509  See above, § 29, p. 279, especially the essay of Lightfoot quoted there. Harnack (l.c., p. 260) and Friedländer regard the acquaintance of Paul with Seneca as very improbable, Plumptre as probable. An epitaph from the third century was found in Ostia which reads: D M. M. Anneo. Paulo. Petro. M. Anneus. Paulus. Filio. Carissimo. See De Rossi in the Bullet. di archeol. christ., 1867, pp. 6 sq., and Renan, L’Antechrist, p. 12. Seneca belonged to the gens Annaea. But all that the inscription can be made to prove is that a Christian member of the gens Annaea in the third century bore the name of "Paul," and called his son "Paulus Petrus," a combination familiar to Christiana, but unknown to the heathen. Comp, Friedländer, III. 535.

510  Here Christianity has been inferred from the vague description of Tacitus, Ann. XIII. 32. See Friedländer III. 534; Lightfoot, p. 21; Northcote and Brownlow, I. 82 sq. Harnack, p. 263. The inference is confirmed by the discovery of the gravestone of a Pomponius Graecinus and other members of the same family, in the very ancient crypt of Lucina, near the catacomb of St. Callistus. De Rossi conjectures that Lucina was the Christian name of Pomponia Graecina. But Renan doubts this, L’Antech., p. 4, note 2.

511  Plumptre, l.c. Martial, a spaniard by birth, came to Rome a.d. 66.

512  Sueton., Domit. 15; Dion Cass., 67, 14; Euseb., H. E. III. 18.

513  De Rossi, Bullett. for 1865, 1874 and 1875; Lightfoot, St. Clement of Rome, Append., 257 sq., Harnack, 266-269.