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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT


- Galatians

by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs






Professor of New Testament Interpretation in the University of Chicago




ISBN 0 567 05029 7

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T. & T. Clark Ltd.

to my wife


whose fellowship of spirit in this task

has been constant



WHEN in 1896 I began work upon the Epistle to the Galatians with definite reference to the preparation of this Commentary, it was with a clear conviction that if I was to make any appreciable contribution to the understanding of the epistle, it would be by confining myself to a few of the several lines of study which an interpreter might properly and profitably undertake. I decided not to attempt an exhaustive study of the history of the interpretation of the epistle, or of the rabbinic writings and method of exegesis. Convinced that, despite all that had been done in the study of the vocabulary of the New Testament, much remained still to be done, and strongly inclined to expect that such study would aid materially in the recovery of the primary elements of the thought of the apostle Paul, persuaded also that such lexicographical work would prepare the way for a clearer perception of the course of thought of the epistle, I determined, while not wholly neglecting other lines of study, to give my chief attention, first, to a fresh historical study of the vocabulary of the letter, and then to an endeavour to trace its course of thought with exactness and to state it with clearness.

When the study of the religions of the Roman empire, commonly known as the mystery religions, came into prominence, I gave some study to them, with the result that I became convinced that the contribution which a thorough investigation of them would make to the interpretation of this epistle, would not justify the postponement of the publication of this work for the period of years which such investigation would require.

Meantime, a growing sense of the close relationship between the experiences of the early Christian church, as these are disclosed in the letter, and those through which Christianity of our own day is passing, had greatly increased my sense of the practical value of the letter to the church of to-day, and begotten a strong desire to make this clear to my readers.

Whether I have been justified in thus emphasising these three things, meanings of words, course of thought, relation of the problems discussed by the apostle to those of our own day, others must judge. The choice at any rate was deliberately made and has been persistently followed.

Of the lexicographical studies which were made in pursuance of this plan, one, which consumed many months and was extended over years, proved in character and bulk unsuited to be included in this volume, and was published separately under the title, Spirit, Soul and Flesh: The Usage of Πνεῦμα, Ψυχή and Σάρξ in Greek Writings and Translated Works from the Earliest Period to 180 A. D.; and of their Equivalents … in the Hebrew Old Testament. Chicago, 1918. The other studies of this character the publishers have graciously consented to include in this volume, the longer ones in an appendix at the end of the volume, the shorter ones scattered through it.

In the quarter of a century in which I have made this Commentary the chief centre of my work as a student of the New Testament, I have called to my assistance in the collection of material and to a certain extent in the study of it, a goodly number of those who have been studying in my classes, chiefly Fellows of the University of Chicago. To all such I wish to express my appreciation of their services. But I desire especially to mention Professor Arthur Wakefield Slaten, Ph.D., of the Young Men’s Christian Association College in Chicago, who for a period of nearly five years worked with me in almost daily fellowship, and to whom I am deeply indebted for his patient and skilful assistance, and Professor Benjamin Willard Robinson, Ph.D., of the Chicago Theological Seminary, who has generously read the proofs of the book, and made me many valuable suggestions. The list of others, authors whose books I have used, and colleagues whom I have consulted, is far too long to be printed here.

Ernest D. Burton.

July 1, 1920.



It is assumed that references to the books of the Bible and the O. T. Apocrypha, and to the classical and Jewish-Greek authors will be self-explanatory. The notation is that of the standard editions. In the references to Aristotle the figures first following the author’s name refer to the Paris edition of his works, those in parenthesis to page, column, and line of the Editio Borussica (Berlin). In the case of Josephus the figures preceding the parenthesis refer to the books and sections of the edition of B. Niese, 7 vols., Berlin, 1887-95, those in parenthesis to the chapter and sections indicated in Whiston’s English translation. In the case of Philo the figures before the parenthesis denote the sections of the edition of Cohn and Wendland, 6 vols., Berlin, 1896-1915, those in parenthesis the sections of the edition of Richter, to which also the notation of Yonge’s English translation correspond. For explanation of the abbreviations employed in the text critical notes and not found in this list the reader is referred to the section on the Text, pp. lxxiv ff., and to the works on Textual Criticism there listed. References to authors, both ancient and modern, supposed to be easily interpreted by reference to the Bibliography are not included in this list. The titles of works infrequently referred to are in general not included in the following list but are printed fully enough for identification when the works are mentioned.

AJT. = The American Journal of Theology.

Ambrst. = Ambrosiaster. Ca. 305 A. D. See Ltft., p. 232; DCB.

ARV. = The Holy Bible, Revised, American Standard Edition. New York, 1901.

Aug. = Aurelius Augustinus. Ca. 394. See Ltft., p. 232; DCB.

AV. = The Holy Bible. Authorised Version of 1611.

BDB. = Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon. Boston, 1906.

Beng. = Bengel. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

BGU. = Ägyptische Urkunden aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin: Griechische Urkunden I-IV. Berlin, 1895.

Boeckh, C. I. G. = Corpus Inscriptionum Grœcarum edidit Augustus Boeckius, Berlin, 1828-77.

Bl.-D. = Blass, F., Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch. Göttingen, 1896. Vierte völlig neugearbeitete Auflage, besorgt von Albert De Brunner, 1913.

BMT = Burton, Ernest De Witt, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek. Third edition. Chicago, 1898.

BSSF. = Burton, Ernest De Witt, Spirit, Soul, and Flesh. Chicago, 1918.

Butt. = Buttmann, A., A Grammar of the New Testament Greek. E. T. by J. H. Thayer. Andover, 1873.

Bous. = Bousset, Wilhelm. See Bibliography, p. lxxxvi.

Bous. Rel. d. Jud. = Bousset, W., Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter. Zweite Aufl. Berlin, 1906.

BW. = The Biblical World.

BZ. = Biblische Zeitschrift.

Cal. = Calov. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

Calv. = Calvin. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii, and S. and H., p. ciii.

Cf. = Confer, compare.

Ch.AP. = Charles, R. H., Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Oxford, 1913.

Chrys. = Joannes Chrysostomus. † 407. See Ltft., p. 228.

Cremer = Cremer, H., Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der neutestamentlichen Gräcität. Zehnte völlig durchgearbeitete Auflage herausgegeben von Julius Kögel. Gotha, 1911-15.

Cyr. = Cyril of Alexandria. † 444. See DCB.

Cyrhr = Cyril of Jerusalem. † 386. See DCB.

Dal.WJ. = Dalman, The Words of Jesus. Edinburgh, 1902.

Dam. = Joannes Damascenus. † ca. 756. See S. and H., p. c.; DCB.

DCB. = Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

De.BS. = Deissmann, Bible Studies. Edinburgh, 1901.

de W. = de Wette, M. L. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Dib. Gwt. = Dibelius, Die Geisterwelt im Glauben des Paulus. Göttingen, 1909.

Did. = Διδαχὴ τῶν δώδεκα Ἀποστόλων. Various editions.

Ell. = Ellicott, C. J. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Encyc. Bib. = Encyclopedia Biblica. Edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black. 4 vols. London, 1899-1903.

Epiph. = Epiphanius. † 404. See DCB.

Erasm. = Erasmus. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

Est. = Estius. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

E. T. = English translation.

Euthal. = Euthalius. 459. See Ltft., p. 230, and DCB.

Frit. = Fritzsche, K. F. A. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Gild. Syn. = Gildersleeve, Basil L., Syntax of Classical Greek from Homer to Demosthenes. 2 vols. New York, 1900, 1911.

GMT = Gildersleeve, Basil L., Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb. Revised and enlarged. Boston, 1889.

Grimm = Grimm, C. L. W., Lexicon Grœco-Latinum in Libros Novi Testamenti. (Based on the Clavis Novi Testamenti Philologica of C. G. Wilke.) Editio secunda, emendata et aucta. Leipzig, 1879.

Grot. = Grotius, Hugo. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

HDB = Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings. 5 vols Edinburgh and New York, 1898-1905.

Hier. = Eusebius Hieronymus (Jerome). † 420. See Ltft., p. 232, and DCB.

Hilg. = Hilgenfeld, Adolf. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Introd. = Introduction.

Iren. = Irenæus. † 190. See DCB.

JBL = The Journal of Biblical Literature.

Jelf = Jelf, W. E., A Grammar of the Greek Language. Fifth edition. Oxford, 1881.

JfpT. = Jahrbuch für protestantiscne Theologie.

Just. Mart. = Justin Martyr. Ca. 150.

Ka.AP. = Kautzsch, Emil, Apocryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments. 2 vols. Tübingen, 1900.

Kühner-Gerth = Kühner, Raphael, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischenSprache. Dritte Auflage in neuer Bearbeitung, besorgt von Bernhard Gerth. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1898, 1904.

L. & S. = Liddell, H. G., and Scott, R., Greek English Lexicon. Seventh edition revised. New York, 1882.

Ln. = Lachmann, C., Novum Testamentum Grœce et Latine. (Ed. major) 2 vols. Berlin, 1842, 1850.

Ltft. = Lightfoot, J. B. See Bibliography, p. lxxxv.

Luth. = Luther, M. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii, and S. and H., p. ciii.

Lxx = The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

M. and M. Voc. = Moulton, J. H., and Milligan, G., Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. 1914-.

Mcion. = Marcion. See DCB.

MGNTG. = Moulton, J. H., A Grammar of New Testament Greek. Vol. I. Prolegomena. Edinburgh, 1906.

Mey. = Meyer, H. A. W. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Moff. = Moffatt, Jas., Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament. Edinburgh and New York, 1911.

ms., mss. = manuscript, manuscripts.

Oecum. = Oecumenius. Tenth century. See Ltft., p. 234; S. and H., p. c.

Ols. = Olshausen, H. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

Or. = Origenes. † 253. See Ltft., p. 227, and DCB.

Pap. Amh. = The Amherst Papyri. 2 vols. Edited by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt. London 1900-1.

Pap. Gd. Cairo = Greek Papyri from the Cairo Museum. Edited by E. J. Goodspeed. Chicago, 1902.

Pap. Kar. = Papyri from Karanis. Edited by E. J. Goodspeed, in University of Chicago Studies in Classical Philology. Chicago, 1900.

Pap. Lond. = Greek Papyri in the British Museum. Vols. I, II, edited by F. G. Kenyon; vol. III, by F. G. Kenyon and H. I. Bell; vol. IV, by H. I. Bell. London, 1893-1910.

Pap. Oxyr. = The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Vols. I-VI, X-XIII, edited by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt; vols. VII-IX by A. S. Hunt. London 1898-1919.

Pap. Tebt. = The Tebtunis Papyri. Vol. I edited by B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, and J. G. Smyly; vol. II by B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, and E. J. Goodspeed. London, 1902-7.

Patr. Ap. = Apostolic Fathers.

Pclag. = Pelagius. Ca. 410. See Ltft., p. 233; S. and H., p. ci.; DCB.

Pollux, Onom. = Pollux, Julius, Onomasticon, various editions.

PRE. = Real-Encyclopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche. Dritte Auflage, herausgegeben von A. Hauck, 1896-1913.

Preusch. = Preuschen, Erwin, Vollständiges -Griechisch- Deutsches Handwörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur. Giessen, 1910.

PThR. = Princeton Theological Review.

q. v. = quod vide, which see.

Rad. = Radermacher, L., Neutestameniliche Grammatik. Tübingen, 1911.

Ram. = Ramsay, W. M. See Bibliography, p. lxxxvi. Also Introd., p. xxiv.

Rob. = Robertson, Archibald T., Grammar of the Greek New Testament. New York, 1914.

Rück;. = Rückert, Leopold Immanuel. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiv.

RV. = The Holy Bible, Revised. Oxford, N.T., 1881, O.T.1884.

S. and H. = Sanday, Wm., and Headlam, A. C. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Edinburgh and New York, 1895.

Schm. = Schmiedel, P. W.

Schr. = Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi. Vierte Auflage, 1901-9.

Sd. = Soden, Hermann Freiherr von, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1902-13. Handausgabe (Griechisches Neues Testament), 1913.

Seml. = Semler. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

Sief. = Sieffert, F. See Bibliography, p. lxxxv.

Sl.QN. = Slaten, Arthur Wakefield, Qualitative Nouns in the Pauline Epistles. Chicago, 1918.

Smith, DB = William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. Revised and edited by H. B. Hackett and Ezra Abbot. Boston, 1867.

SNT. = Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, herausgegeben von J. Weiss. Zweite Auflage. Göttingen, 1907-8.

Th.St.u.Krit. = Theologische Studien und Kritiken.

Tdf. = Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. Editio octava crit. maj. Leipzig, 1869-72.

Tert. = Tertullian. † ca. 223. See DCB.

Th. = Thayer, Joseph Henry, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament. New York, 1886. Rev. edition, 1889.

Thdrt. = Theodoretus. † ca. 458. See Ltft., p. 230; DCB.

Thphyl. = Theophylactus. Ca. 1077.

TR. = Textus Receptus, the Greek text of the New Testament as commonly accepted from 1516 till the modern critical period.

Tr. = Tregelles, Greek New Testament. London, 1857-79.

u. s. = ut supra, as above.

Vg. = Vulgate, text of the Latin Bible.

Victorin. = C. Marius Victorinus. Ca. 360 A. D. See Ltft., p. 231; DCB.

W. = Winer, G. B., Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms. Various editions and translations.

WM. = Eng. translation of the sixth edition of the preceding (1867) by W. F. Moulton. Third edition revised. Edinburgh, 1882.

WSchm. = Winer, G. B., Grammatik, etc., u.s. Achte Auflage neu bearbeitet von P. Schmiedel. Theil I. Göttingen, 1894.

Weizs. = Weizsäcker, C., Das apostolische Zeitalter. Zweite Aufl. Freiburg, i. B. 1892. Das Neue Testament, übersetzt von C. Weizsäcker.

Wetst. = Wetstein. See Bibliography, p. lxxxiii.

WH. = Westcott, B. F., and Hort, F. J. A., The New Testament in the original Greek. London, 1881. Vol. I, Text; vol. II, Introduction and Appendix.

Wies. = Wieseler, Karl. See Bibliography, p. lxxxv.

Ws. = Weiss, Bernhard. See Bibliography, p. lxxxviii.

ZhTh. = Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie.

ZntW. = Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

ZwTh. = Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie.

ZkWkL. = Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben.




Greek authors use the terms Κελτοί, Κέλται, and Γαλάται, Latin authors the similar terms Celtæ, Galatæ, and Galli, without clear discrimination.* In Polybius and Pausanias Κελτοί and Γαλάται are used synonymously, as in Greek writers generally Κέλται and Γαλάται are.† Thus Polybius though commonly using the name Κελτοί (see 3:40, 41, 60, 67-74; cf. 3:59) of the people whom he describes in 3:37 as occupying the country from Narbo to the Pyrenees, yet occasionally calls them Γαλάται (3. 40; cf. 3:3), and their country Γαλατία (3:59). In 3. 62, 65, he uses the adjective Γαλατικός. Similarly Pausanias 10:19 ff. uses Κελτοί and Γαλάται interchangeably of the Gauls who invaded Greece. Diodorus Siculus, 5. 32:1, however, distinguishes between the Γαλάται of the north and the Κέλται of the south.‡

On the question whether the names Κελτοί, Κέλται and Γαλάται were etymologically variant forms of the same name or of diverse origin, scholars have been divided, Niese, for example, identifying them,§ Contzen,|| Tarn,¶ and apparently most other modern philologists regarding them as of diverse origin. D’Arbois de Jubainville** apparently regards the words as etymologically distinct, but the people as ethnographically identical.

Related to this linguistic question, but not identical with it, is that of the nature of the tie uniting the various tribes which were grouped together under the terms Κέλται or Γαλάται or both. Was the basis of this grouping racial, the tribes being of ultimately common origin; or linguistic, tribes of perhaps different origin having come to speak related languages; or cultural, different races sharing in a common civilisation; or economic and military, the several tribes participating in a common migratory movement?* Related to this in turn is the question, whence and when these Celtic or Gallic peoples came into western Europe. All these questions pertain to a period long previous to that with which we are concerned, and lie outside the scope of an introduction to Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.

Of more immediate interest, however, are the eastward movements of the Gauls, which led to the ultimate settlement of a portion of the race in Asia Minor and the establishment of an eastern Gaul in which, or in an extension of which bearing its name, Paul was in process of time to preach the gospel and found churches. The stages of the process seem to have been as follows:

1. Under a chieftain whose name or title was Brennus the Gauls invaded Italy in B. C. 390 and captured Rome, although the capital itself resisted the siege successfully (Polyb. 2. 18). The attack upon Rome seems to have been a punitive expedition, and when it was completed and indemnity extorted from the Romans the invaders retired (Livy 5:34ff.; Polyb. 2. 19-21). Polybius calls these Gauls Γαλάται and Κελτοί (cf. 2:22 f.), their country Γαλατία.

2. A second Brennus, about 281 B. C., led another eastward movement which had as its object the finding of a new home for the overcrowded Gauls. Routed by the Ætolians at Delphi, the Gauls withdrew from Greece and, joining another detachment of the same general stream of eastward moving Celts, invaded Asia Minor (Livy 38:16).

Tarn, op. cit. pp. 439 ff. holds that the common treatment of the Gallic attack upon Delphi as constituting the invasion of Greece is incorrect. He regards the latter as part of a general home-seeking movement of the Gauls, of which the former was an incident. He bases his opinion upon the Koan decree of B. C. 278, which distinguishes between two divisions of the Gauls who invaded Greece, one of which attacked Delphi. Tarn admits, however, that the events were very early confused. The source for our knowledge of the details of these events is Pausanias, Bk. 10 passim, esp. 10:23 ff.

3. At first overrunning the whole peninsula, they were later, about 239 B.C., defeated by Attalus I, king of Pergamum. As a result of this defeat they were confined to a territory somewhat north and east of the centre, bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia, on the east by Pontus, on the south by Cappadocia and Lycaonia, and on the west by Phrygia, and traversed by the rivers Halys and Sangarius. In 189 B. C. this eastern Gaul, called by the Greeks Galatia, or Gallogræcia, shared the fate of the rest of Asia Minor and came under the power of the Romans, its status being that of a dependent kingdom (Strabo, 12.5:1).

4. In the latter half of the first century B. C. Galatia was materially increased in extent. On the death of Deiotarus, king of Galatia, about B. C. 40, Antony conferred the kingdom of Galatia with the eastern part of Paphlagonia, on Kastor, son-in-law of Deiotarus, and to Amyntas, secretary of the late Deiotarus, gave a new kingdom, comprising portions of Pisidia and Phrygia. A few years later, B. C. 36, Kastor died, and his Paphlagonian dominion was given to his brother, but his Galatian realm to Amyntas, who also retained his Phrygio-Pisidian dominion. In the same year he also received a part of Pamphylia. To unite these two separated territories, Galatia and Phrygio-Pisidia, Amyntas was given, also, Lycaonia, or a considerable portion of it. After the battle of Actium Augustus gave to Amyntas the country of Cilicia Tracheia.*

5. When in B. C. 25 Amyntas was killed in the war with the Homonades, his kingdom was converted into a Roman province, but the part of Pamphylia which had belonged to him was restored to that province, and Cilicia Tracheia was given to Archelaus. In B. C. 5 a large part of Paphlagonia was added to Galatia, and at some time before, or in, the reign of Claudius (41-54 A. D.), the territory of the Homonades.*

This situation gave rise to a double use of the term Γαλατία as applied to a territory in Asia Minor, the newer, official sense, not at once or wholly displacing the older, ethnographic sense. The former is found in the following passages from Pliny, Tacitus, and Ptolemy:

Pliny, Hist. Nat. 5. 146, 147 (42): Simul dicendum videtur et de Galatia, quæ superposita agros maiori ex parte Phrygiæ tenet caputque quondam eius Gordium. Qui partem eam insidere Gallorum Tolistobogi et Voturi et Ambitouti vocantur, qui Mæoniæ et Paphlagoniæ regionem Trogmi. Prætenditur Cappadocia a septentrione et solis ortu, cujus uberrimam partem occupavere Tectosages ac Toutobodiaci. Et gentes quidem hæ. Populi vero ac tetrarchiæ omnes numero CXCV. Oppida Tectosagum Ancyra, Trogmorum Tavium, Tolistobogiorum Pisinuus. Præter hos celebres Actalenses, Alassenses, Comenses, Didienses, Hierorenses, Lystreni, Neapolitani, Œandenses, Seleucenses, Sebasteni, Timoniacenses, Thebaseni. Attingit Galatia et Pamphyliæ Cabaliam et Milyas qui circa Barim sunt et Cyllanicum et Oroandicum Pisidiæ tractum, item Lycaoniæ partem Obizenen.

Tacitus, Hist. 2:9: Galatiam ac Pamphyliam provincias Calpurnio Asprenati regendas Galba permiserat.

Tacitus, Ann. 3:35: Igitur dimissis quibus senectus aut valetudo adversa erat, supplementum petivit. Et habiti per Galatiam Cappadociamque dilectus.

Ptolemy 5:4: Ἡ Γαλατία περιορίζεται

In Acts, chaps. 13, 14, it is related that Paul visited Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, and founded churches in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch (13:13, 14, 14:1, 6, 21-24). This journey and these churches were evidently in the province of Galatia, but in its southern portion, not in the part of the province which was known as Galatia before the days of Amyntas. There is no intimation that at this time Paul entered the northern portion of the province, and such an extension of his journey northward is practically excluded by Acts 14:23-26. If at any time he founded churches in this latter region, it was doubtless neither at this time, nor on what is commonly called his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23), but on the second, in the period referred to in Acts 16:6. Whether it is probable that churches were founded at this time will be considered later. What is important to point out here is that if there were Christian churches founded by Paul in the northern, more strictly Gallic portion of the province of Galatia, the letter to the Galatians can not have been addressed both to this group and to the churches of the southern, non-Gallic part of the province. For the letter itself, especially 3:1-3, 4:13ff., clearly implies that the churches addressed were all founded in the same period, on one general occasion; whereas the two groups of churches, if such there were, were founded one group on one journey, and the other on another, some years later. This being the case, if when Paul wrote his epistle there were churches in northern Galatia founded by him, these churches, being in Galatia in whatever sense the term was used, must have been included in the term “the churches of Galatia,” and the churches of southern Galatia excluded. But in that event, since these southern churches were located in Galatia in the larger, Roman, sense, Paul could not have been using the term in that sense, but in its older, narrower, ethnographic sense. In short, if there were any churches in northern Galatia when the letter was written, Paul’s letter was addressed to them only, and he used the term in the ethnographic sense.

On the other hand, if Paul used the term Galatia in the Roman sense as designating the province, then since it is certain that there were churches in the southern, non-Gallic portion of the province, these must have been included in the apostle’s phrase, “the churches of Galatia,” and, for the same reason that excluded these churches on the former hypothesis, the northern churches are now themselves excluded. Indeed, the latter could not on this hypothesis have existed when the letter was written; for, had they been in existence, they must have been included in the phrase, “the churches of Galatia,” but, on the other hand, could not have been included along with the churches of southern Galatia, because they were not founded on the same journey as the latter.

On the basis, therefore, of the Acts narrative, and the evidence of the letter that “the churches of Galatia” to which it was addressed constituted one group founded on the same general occasion, we must exclude any hypothesis that the letter was addressed to churches in both parts of the province, and make our choice between the two hypotheses: (a) that Paul founded churches in northern Galatia on his second missionary journey, and addressed the letter to them and them only, using the term Galatia in its older, ethnographic sense; and (b) that he founded no churches in northern Galatia, and that he addressed his letter to the churches of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and (Pisidian) Antioch, using the term Galatia in the political sense.

There is indeed a third possibility, viz., that he founded churches in northern Galatia on his second missionary journey, but that he wrote his letter before founding these churches, and addressed it to the only churches then existing in Galatia, those of the southern part of the province. But this hypothesis will not, in fact, require separate consideration, for the examination of the evidence for the other two will incidentally suffice to show its improbability.

It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to consider these two crucial questions, viz., what was Paul’s use of the term Galatia, and whether he founded churches in northern Galatia.

B. The History of Opinion

Before considering these questions, however, it will be well to sketch briefly the history of opinion on the matter of the location of the churches.

Ancient interpreters took it for granted without discussion that the churches were in the northern, Gallic, part of the province (cf. Zahn, Kom. p. 12), and this view has been adopted in modern times by Neander, Pflanzung u. Leitung, 1838; Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, 1851, and various later editions; Hilgenfeld, Einleitung, 1875; Farrar, St. Paul, 1880; Holsten, Evangelium des Paulus, 1880; H. J. Holtzmann, Einleitung, 1886; Schürer, Jahrb. für prot. Theol. vol. XVIII, 1892; Godet, Introduction, 1894; Jülicher, Einleitung, 18941, 19066; Chase in Expositor, Ser. IV, vols. VIII, IX; Mommsen, “Die Rechtsverhältnisse des Apostels Paulus,” in ZntW. 1901, p. 86; Schmiedel in Encyc. Bib. vol. II, cols. 1596-1616; Steinmann, Die Abfassungszeit des Galaterbriefs, 1906; Der Leserkreis des Galaterbriefs, 1908; Moffatt, Introduction, 1911; and by the following commentators on the epistle: Hilgenfeld, 1852; Wieseler, 1859; Meyer, 1841 and various later editions; Lightfoot, 1865 and various later editions; Ellicott, 1865; Alford, 18491, 18715; Sieffert, 18996; Findlay, in Exp. Grk. Test. 1910

The South-Galatian view was first proposed by J. J. Schmidt, rector of Ilfeld, whom J. D. Michaelis combated in his Einleitung4, 1788. (See Zahn, Einleit.2 I 130, E. T. p. 183, but for 1199 read 1788); then advocated more at length by Mynster in Einleitung in den Brief an die Galater in his Kleinere Schriften, 1825; by Böttger, Beiträge, 1837; and Thiersch, Die Kirche im apostolischen Zeitalter, 18521, 18793. It received fresh attention when Perrot advocated it in his De Galatia Provincia Romana, 1867, and since his day has been defended by Renan, St. Paul, 1869, and various later editions; Hausrath, Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte; by Ramsay, who has written voluminously in its defence (Church in the Roman Empire, 18931, 18954; Studia Biblia et Ecclesiastica, vol. IV, 1896; Historical Commentary on Galatians, 1900, and various essays, especially in The Expositor); Rendall, in The Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. IX; Gifford, in The Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. X; Clemen, “Die Adressaten des Galaterbriefs,” in ZwTh. XXXVII 396-423; also Paulus, vol. I, 1904; McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 1897; Askwith, The Epistle to the Galatians: Its Destination and Date, 1899; Bartlet, Apostolic Age, 1899; J. Weiss, art. “Kleinasien,” in PRE. vol. X; Bacon, Introd. to N. T. 1900; Woodhouse in Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 1592 ff.; Zahn, Einleitung2, 1900, E. T., 19091, 19172; Kommentar, 1905; Lake, The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911; Emmet, in The Readers’ Commentary, 1912.

Of the above discussions those of Lightfoot, Chase, Schmiedel, and Moffatt on the North-Galatian side, and those of Ramsay, Woodhouse, Zahn, Clemen, and Lake on the South-Galatian side, are most worthy of consultation.

From this sketch of the history of opinion, we return to consider the evidence on which a decision of the question must be based, and under the two heads named above.

C. Paul’s Use of the Term Γαλατία

1. The letter is addressed ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς Γαλατίας. It is apparently the habit of the apostle, in speaking of churches, either to name the individual church by the city in which it was located or by the person in whose house it met, or grouping them together, to follow the Roman political divisions, and to designate each group by the name of the Roman province in which it belonged. See, on the one hand, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1a, Romans 16:1, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19b, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2, the four latter being cases of a church in a house, the rest churches in a city; and, on the other hand, 2 Corinthians 8:1 (ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς Μακεδονίας) 1 Corinthians 16:19a, 2 Corinthians 1:1b.

Indeed, it seems to be Paul’s habit not simply in the designation of churches, but in general, to use the geographical terms that were officially recognised by the Roman Government. Thus he uses names of cities, Antioch, Ephesus, Troas, Thessalonica, Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Jerusalem, Rome, and of Roman provinces, Judæa, Syria, Cilicia, Asia, Macedonia, Achaia, but never Lycaonia, Pisidia, Mysia or Lydia.

It is indeed contended by Schm. (Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 1604), and by Sief. that some of these terms may be used by Paul in their popular ethnographic sense rather than in their strictly political sense. This is doubtless to be admitted, but the absence of any terms that are unambiguously ethnographic and non-political, and of any clear case of the employment of a term of double meaning in the non-political sense leaves little ground for this hypothesis.

To this uniform employment of Roman terms Judæa can not be cited as an exception. For throughout the period in which those letters of Paul were written in which he mentions Judæa (see 1 Thessalonians 2:14, Galatians 1:22 2 Corinthians 1:16, Romans 15:31), Judæa was a Roman province under procurators, and though it sustained in this period as in the years 6-41 A. D. a kind of dependence on the province of Syria (Schürer, Gesch. d. Jüd. V. 3, vol. I, p. 564, E. T. I ii 165) it was clearly recognised as a province under its own governor. See more fully in detached note on Judæa, pp. 435 f. Nor is it probable that Illyricum in Romans 15:19 is an exception. For in Paul’s day this term was the name of a Roman province, extending northwest along the Adriatic from the river Drilon to the Arsia (Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, I 24 f.; art. “Illyricum,” in Encyc. Bib. and HDB 1 vol. ed.) and to its border Paul may quite possibly have penetrated. The argument of Woodhouse in Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 2161, that μέχρι in Romans 15:19 must mean “into,” and that because we have no other evidence that Paul ever went into the province of Illyricum, we must assume that by Illyricum he meant Illyris Græca, that portion of Macedonia which adjoins Illyricum on the southeast, is, to say the least, inconclusive. For neither does μέχρι naturally mean “into,” nor is it explained why, if Paul meant Illyris, he should have written Ἰλλυριχόν; nor have we any more evidence that Paul went into or to Illyris Græca, than we have respecting Illyricum, this passage furnishing all that we possess in either case.

In 1 Corinthians 16:1, which is of peculiar interest because of its use of the very name with whose usage we are concerned, there is a reference to the collection of money for the Christians of Jerusalem, which is also spoken of in 2 Cor., chaps. 8, 9, and in Romans 15:26. From these passages it is clear that during the two years or so next preceding the writing of the Epistle to the Romans and Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem, he gave much attention to the gathering of gifts for the poor Christians of Jerusalem from among his Gentile churches. The Corinthian passages show that in the gathering of the funds he engaged the services of his fellow-missionaries, and Acts 20:4 suggests that in the transmission of the gifts to Jerusalem he associated with himself representatives of the churches from which the gifts came. Now it is significant that whenever in his epistles he speaks of this enterprise he uses the names of the provinces (see 2 Corinthians 8:1, 2 Corinthians 8:9:2, 2 Corinthians 8:4, Romans 15:26) and in such way as to imply that he made the province the unit and pitted the churches of one province against those of another in friendly rivalry. This suggests that Galatia in 1 Corinthians 16:1 is itself a province-name. It does not, indeed, exclude the possibility that in Galatia there were two groups of churches, those of southern Galatia and those of northern Galatia. But independently of that question, it has a bearing on the apostle’s usage of geographical terms, and in connection with 2 Corinthians 8:13-24, esp. 20, and Acts 20:4 it also favours the opinion that there was but one group of Galatian churches, viz., those of southern Galatia. And this in turn confirms the view that Paul’s use of terms is exclusively Roman. For the names mentioned in Acts 20:4, compared with 1 Corinthians 16:3, suggest that as he had gathered the money by provinces, so he selected the representatives of the churches who were to accompany him to Jerusalem on the same basis. In that case Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, and probably Luke himself, represented Macedonia. The absence of representatives from Achaia is strange, especially in view of 16:3; it has been suggested and is not improbable that the Corinthians, modifying the suggestion of Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:4, or possibly taking it in the sense which they had the discernment to recognise to be his real thought, designated Paul as their representative. Tychicus and Trophimus are the delegates from Asia, and Gaius and Timothy from Galatia. But as both these latter are from southern Galatia, northern Galatia is unrepresented, a situation not, indeed, impossible if the churches of Galatia in 1 Corinthians 16:1 means those of northern Galatia, or those of both northern and southern Galatia, but in either case improbable. Of the three hypotheses, then, (a) that “the churches of Galatia,” in 1 Corinthians 16:1 are the churches of northern Galatia, the name being used ethnographically; (b) that the term is used provincially, but the churches were of two groups, those of northern Galatia and those of southern Galatia, and (c) that the term is used provincially and the churches are those of southern Galatia, there being none in northern Galatia, the third is most consistent with the evidence. The first not only makes the use of the term different from that which is usual with Paul, but is at variance with the natural implication of Acts 20:4 by putting the churches in one region and the delegates in another. The second is open to the second of these objections and also finds in Corinthians a different use of the phrase and term from that which occurs in Galatians. The third is consistent with all the evidence.

The evidence of the Pauline epistles is, therefore, decidedly more favourable to a uniformly Roman use of geographical terms by the apostle and the view that by Galatia he means both in 1 Corinthians 16:1 and Galatians 1:2, the Roman province, than to a mixed usage such as is found, for example, in Acts.

This judgment is somewhat confirmed by 1 Peter 1:1. Galatia being there grouped along with Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, all of which are provinces, is itself presumably the name of a province, and there is a certain measure of probability that the author of this letter, who gives evidence of acquaintance with the ideas of the apostle Paul and probably knew of his letters, knew also what he meant by Galatia. But this argument is not very weighty.

It is still further somewhat confirmed by the facts respecting the usage of geographical terms in general. The extension of a name to cover a larger territory and to include territories formerly bearing other names is a common historical phenomenon. It occurs as the result of conquest, bestowal of territory by a superior power, or in the case of cities by growth and incorporation. Now the general proceeding in such cases is that it is precisely the name that is spread over a larger territory that loses its original narrower significance. The names of the absorbed territories remain as official or unofficial designations of subdivisions of the larger territory because they have received no new significance, while the territory whose name has been extended over the larger area either retains no distinctive name or acquires a new one. Thus, when the name France, which formerly designated a comparatively small area around Paris, was gradually extended over the whole kingdom of the Capetian kings, the original France came to be known as Île de France. When Brandenburg and Prussia (Borussia) came under the rule of a single king, and, the intervening territory being added, the name Prussia was extended to cover the whole kingdom, the original Prussia came to be known as East Prussia, and the intervening territory as West Prussia. As the names of cities, London, New York, Boston, Chicago, have been extended to include the suburbs, the latter have retained their names as official or unofficial designations, but the original territory has either had no distinctive name, or has acquired some new name. It can not, indeed, be affirmed that this is the invariable practice. Where changes in the extent of territory designated by a certain name are frequent and in both directions, involving now increase and now decrease, there is a natural tendency on the part of a later writer to continue to use the term in its original sense or to waver between the different senses without always conforming his usage exactly to that of the time of which he is at the moment speaking. See detached note on Ἰουδαία with its discussion of the usage of Josephus, pp. 435 f.

In respect to Galatia there was, from 189 B. C. to the time of Paul, for the most part, only extension of the term. For fuller details see pp. xix ff., and literature there referred to. From the year 25 B. C. to the time when Paul wrote, that is to say, for seventy-five years covering the whole period of his life, Γαλατία had been the official designation of a Roman province; that province had been in large part of unchanged extent, including both the territory within which the Gauls had been confined by Attalus, king of Pergamum, about 240 B. C. and the territory south of this, viz., Lycaonia, Pisidia, and part of Phrygia. During practically his whole lifetime, viz., from 5 B. C., it had included a part of Paphlagonia, also.

Yet these general considerations are obviously not decisive, and, in view of the evidence cited above on pages xx ff., showing that in the case of the term Γαλατία the more extended, political usage did not wholly supersede the older, narrower, ethnographic usage, they are of value only as somewhat confirming the probability that the wider and later usage was the common one.

It has been urged, indeed, and the contention has been supported by the weighty authority of Mommsen (op. cit. p. xxiv), that Paul could not have addressed the inhabitants of the cities of southern Galatia as Galatians, as he does the recipients of the letter in 3:1, but that the term necessarily designates inhabitants of Gallic Galatia. The argument perhaps assumes a greater difference between the populations of northern and southern Galatia respectively than actually existed. Both were doubtless of very much mixed blood, with Gallic elements in both regions. (See Rendall, “The Galatians of St. Paul,” in Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. IX, pp. 254 ff., esp. 256f.) Nor does it seem possible to name any other term which would be inclusive enough for his purpose. If the churches addressed were those of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, which he founded on his first missionary journey, he could not well address their members by any single term except Galatians.

D. Did Paul Found Churches in Northern Galatia?

For the discussion of this question there is, unfortunately, but little evidence in the epistles of Paul independent of his use of the term Galatia, and even such as there is, is of significance only in connection with the evidence of the Book of Acts.

1. Paul’s illness in Galatia

In Galatians 4:13 Paul says that he preached the gospel to the Galatians on the first occasion (τὸ πρότερον) because of a weakness of the flesh. Whatever the meaning of τὸ πρότερον (see more fully on 4:13), it is clear that the passage refers to the original evangelisation of the Galatians. That this occurred διʼἀσθένειαν signifies either that Paul was detained by illness in a country which he had intended merely to pass through, or that he was obliged for his health’s sake to visit a country which otherwise he would not have visited at that time, and that in either case he availed himself of the opportunity to deliver his Christian message to the inhabitants of the region. The latter part of the same verse with its reference to that in his flesh which was a trial to them implies that the illness was of a more or less repellent nature, and that, even if it occurred before he entered Galatia and was the occasion of his going there, it continued while he was there. If the churches to which he was writing were those of southern Galatia, the illness here referred to must have occurred in Pamphylia or at Pisidian Antioch on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:13, Acts 13:14). Ram. has made the suggestion that Paul contracted malarial fever in the coast lands of Pamphylia, and for this reason sought the highlands of southern Galatia instead of either continuing his work in Pamphylia or pushing on into Asia, as he had intended to do. It is perhaps equally possible that having gone to Pisidian Antioch with the intention of going to Asia and being detained there by illness, he abandoned for the time his plan of entering Asia, and turned eastward into the cities of Lycaonia.

If the churches were in northern Galatia he must have fallen ill at Pisidian Antioch on his second missionary journey or at some place in that vicinity, and been led to betake himself to northern Galatia; or having already, for some other reason, gone into northern Galatia from Antioch or Iconium, with the intention of passing through, he must have become ill there, and in either case must have used the period of his detention in preaching to the Galatians. The relation of his illness to the evidence of Acts will be discussed more fully below. Taken by itself it furnishes no ground of decision for either North-Galatian or South-Galatian view.

2. The evidence of Acts 16:6 and Acts 18:23

Incidental use has been made of Acts above to show that the churches addressed by Paul were either in southern Galatia or northern Galatia, not both. The Acts evidence must now be examined more fully.

In Acts 16:6 we read: διῆλθον δὲ τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν, κωλυθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος λαλῆσαι τόν λόγον ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ, ἐλθόντες δὲ κατὰ τὴν Μυσίαν ἐπείραζον εἰς τὴν Βιθυνίαν πορευθῆναι καὶ οὐκ εἴασεν αὐτοὺς τὸ πνεῦμα Ἰησοῦ.*

In v. 1a it is related that the travellers had visited Derbe and Lystra; vv. 1b-3 having related the story of the circumcision of Timothy, v. 4 states that they went on their way through the cities, v. 5 adding that the churches were strengthened in their faith and increased in number. Inasmuch as Paul’s plan, as set forth in 15:36, was to visit the brethren in the cities wherein he and Barnabas had previously preached, and as in 16:1 they were moving westward through the southern part of the province of Galatia, it is natural to suppose that “the cities” of v. 4 are Iconium and Antioch, and that “the churches” of v. 5 are the churches of those cities. A visit to Iconium is, indeed, almost implied in v. 2.†

The most obvious and, indeed, only natural explanation of the phrase τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν in v. 6 is that Φρυγίαν and Γαλατικήν are both adjectives and both limit χώραν. Geographical names ending in -ια were originally employed as adjectives, and their customary use as nouns with an article preceding is a reminiscence of their use as adjectives with χώρα. The presence of such an adjective with an article before it and the word χώρα after it almost of necessity marks the intervening word ending in -ια as an adjective and the joining of the words Φρυγίαν and Γαλατικήν by καί, with the article before the first one only, implies that the region designated by χώρα is one, Phrygian and Galatian. In what sense it is one, whether in that it was inhabited throughout by a mixed Phrygian-Galatian population, or that it was in one sense (e. g. ethnographically) Phrygian, and in another (e. g. politically) Galatian, or that it constituted one physiographic region, composed of two parts politically or ethnographically, Phrygian and Galatian respectively, is not decisively indicated. The unity which is implied may even be only that of the journey referred to, the two districts constituting one in the mind of the writer because they were traversed in a single journey.

The contention of Moff. Introd. p. 93, following Chase, op. cit. pp. 404 ff., that Φρυγίαν is a noun and χώραν is limited by Γαλατιχήν only, can not be supported by Acts 2:10, where Φρυγία is indeed substantively used, but is shown to be so used by the absence of χώρα; nor by Acts 18:23; for, though the words are the same as in 16:6, it is not certain that Φρυγίαν is a noun, nor if it is, can it be inferred that it is so also in 16:6, since it is the order of words alone that in 18:23 tends to establish the substantive character of Φρυγίαν, and that order is not found in 16:6; nor by Acts 19:21, διελθὼν τὴν Μαχεδονίαν χαὶ Ἀχαίαν, nor by 27:5, τὴν Κιλιχίαν χαὶ Παμφυλίαν; for, though these passages both illustrate the familiar fact that words in -ια may be used substantively, and show that, when two geographical terms are joined by καί and the article precedes the first only, the unity thus implied is not necessarily political or geographical, but may be only that of the itinerary, they carry no implication respecting the grammatical construction of such a phrase as that of 16:6. On the other hand, while Ltft. and Ram. are right in claiming a presumption in favour of the view that the country referred to is in some sense one, it is not of necessity the case that this one country is in one sense Phrygian and in another Galatian. See, e. g., Acts 17:18, τῶν Ἐπικουρίων καὶ Στοϊχῶν φιλοσοφῶν.* Such a meaning is indeed possible, but neither Ltft. nor Ram. have cited any examples of such a use of words. Chase, op. cit., states the grammatical principle quite correctly: “From the point of view of the writer they are invested with a kind of unity sufficiently defined by the context.” It is, indeed, surprisingly difficult to cite examples of phrases similar in structure to the phrases which Acts employs here and in 18:23. An examination of all the passages in which Josephus uses the words Ἰουδαία, Ἰδουμαία, Σαμαρία, Σαμαρίτις, Γαλιλαία, or Περαία, fails to discover a single example. The expression τῆς Ἰτουραίας καὶ Τραχωνίτιδος χώρας in Luke 3:1 has been appealed to on both sides, but apparently can not, for lack of exact knowledge of the political status of the region in Luke’s day, be counted as furnishing decisive evidence on either side. See Geo. Adam Smith in Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. IX, p. 231.

It remains then to ask what region in the vicinity of Antioch or Iconium capable of being described as in any sense Phrygian and Galatian also meets the further requirements of the context. The possible hypotheses may be conveniently presented by considering the various views of modern scholars.

The following writers suppose that the phrase refers to, or includes, northern Galatia, and that on the journey churches were founded in northern Galatia.

Ltft. takes Φρυγίαν and Γαλατικήν as adjectives both limiting χώραν and both used ethnographically. First translating the phrase, “the Phrygian and Galatian country” and interpreting it as designating “some region which might be said to belong either to Phrygia or Galatia, or the parts of each continuous to the other” (Com. p. 20), he presently translates it “the region of Phrygia and Galatia,” adding: “The country which was now evangelised might be called indifferently Phrygia or Galatia. It was, in fact, the land originally inhabited by Phrygians but subsequently occupied by Gauls” (Com. p. 22). The actual journey Ltft. supposes to have extended to Pessinus, Ancyra, and Tavium. The grammatical exegesis is sound, but neither the inference that the country referred to is in one sense Phrygian and in another sense Galatian, nor the specific contention that it was Phrygian in its original population and Galatian in its later, follows from the grammatical premise or from any other evidence. To establish Ltft.’s opinion it would be necessary to show from the context that the only Phrygian and Galatian country that meets the conditions of Acts 16:6 ff. is that to which he refers the phrase; or at least that no other so well meets the conditions. This is not the case, but on the contrary, his interpretation encounters a serious difficulty in v. 7, ἐλθόντες δὲ κατὰ τὴν Μυσίαν ἐπείραζον εἰς τὴν Βιθυνίαν πορευθῆναι. Taken together, the two verses represent the missionaries as turning back from Asia to pass through the Phrygian and Galatian country, and in the course of that journey reaching a point at which they were over against Mysia with Bithynia as an alternative destination. But a journey from Pisidian Antioch to Pessinus, Ancyra, and Tavium would at no point have brought the travellers “over against Mysia,” in the most probable sense of that phrase, viz., at a point where Mysia lay on a line at right angles with the direction in which they were travelling, nor in the possible sense of “opposite,” i. e., facing it. Even if “passed through the Phrygian and Galatian country” be supposed, as is very improbable, to refer to a journey into the Phrygian and Galatian country and out again in approximately the reverse direction, say from Antioch northeast to Tavium or Ancyra, and westward to Dorylaion or Nakoleia, they could not be said at any time to have come κατὰ Μυσίαν, since in the whole of the return journey they would have been facing Mysia, and at no point over against it. At Nakoleia, Dorylaion, or Kotiaion, e. g., they would have been κατὰ Βιθυνίαν, not κατὰ Μυσίαν. Nor can κατά* be taken in its occasional sense of “near,” since they would have been near Mysia only when they had practically passed Bithynia. Nor is it easy to adjust this interpretation to the statement of Galatians 4:13 considered above. Was northern Galatia a place to which a sick man would go from Pisidian Antioch for his health? Or if Paul is supposed to have been passing through northern Galatia and to have been detained there by illness, what was his destination? Is it likely that with Paul’s predilection for work in the centres of population he would have planned to pass through northern Galatia without preaching for the sake of reaching Paphlagonia or Pontus?

Chase (“The Galatia of the Acts” in Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. VIII, pp. 401-419), with whom, also, Wendt substantially agrees in the later editions of his Apostelgeschichte, interprets τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν as meaning “Phrygia and the Galatian region,” and finds the two districts thus referred to in the country between the cities of Lycaonia and Pisidia, which Paul was leaving behind, and Bithynia on the north. Between these cities of the south and Bithynia, Chase says “districts known as Phrygia and Galatia lie.” “Forbidden to turn westward, the travellers … bent their steps northward, passing along the road, it seems likely, which led through Phrygia to Nakoleia. At this point they turned aside and entered the Galatian district on the east. We may conjecture that they halted at Pessinus.” This interpretation again fails to do justice to κατὰ Μυσίαν. By shortening the journey eastward as compared with that proposed by Ltft., the difficulty is made somewhat less glaring, but not removed. To express the idea of Chase the author should have omitted the reference to the Galatian region in v. 6 and after v. 7 have inserted a statement to the effect that they entered Galatia and again returning passed by Mysia, etc. The view also encounters the difficulty that it finds no probable place for the illness which became the occasion of the preaching in Pessinus.

Sief. (Kom.6, pp. 9-17, esp. 15) interprets τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν of Acts 16:6 as designating the country northeast of Pisidian Antioch and supposes that the journey here spoken of probably passed to the west of the Sultan Dagh and brought the apostle to Pessinus via Kinnaborion and Ammorion. The churches of Galatia he would locate in Pessinus, Germa, and neighbouring places. Schm. (Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 1600, 1606 f.) and Moff. (Introd. pp. 92-95) adopt substantially the same view though with less specific definition of the route and location of the churches.

The following writers, differing in their interpretation of the geographical phrase, are agreed in the opinion that the passage does not refer to the founding of churches:

Ram. holds that the reference is to the western half of the southern portion of the province of Galatia, the region of Iconium and Antioch, being called Phrygian because ethnographically so, and Galatian because politically so. Church in the Roman Empire4, p. 77; St. Paul, pp. 180 f.; Stud. Bib. et Eccl. IV 56; on the diversity of interpretations advocated by Ram., see Schm. in Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 1598, 1601 f.

Apparently, indeed, the author of Acts has already narrated the passage through this country in v. 4. But Ram. explains vv. 4, 5 not as a continuation of the narrative, but as a (parenthetical) description of Paul’s procedure in the churches, the narrative being continued in v. 6, vv. 1-3 covering Derbe and Lystra, v. 6 Iconium and Antioch. The further objection to his view that the remainder of v. 6, “having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia,” naturally implies that at the beginning of their journey the travellers were already on the borders of Asia, Ram. seeks to obviate by supposing κωλυθέντες to be a participle of subsequent action, referring to an event which took place after the journey through the Phrygian and Galatian country. Later Greek, in particular the second half of Acts, seems to furnish examples of an aorist participle standing after the principal verb and denoting an action subsequent to that of the verb.* But κωλυθέντες does not seem to be an example of this rather rare usage. The most probable occurrences of it, in Acts at least, are of two classes: (a) Instances in which the participle follows closely upon the verb and expresses an action in close relation to the verb, approximating in force a participle of identical action. So, e. g., Acts 25:13, where Acts 23:35, Acts 24:23. In Acts 16:6, on the other hand, we have neither form. The sentence is short and uninvolved, but the action denoted by the participle, if subsequent to that of the verb, is not involved in it as purpose or result, but marks a distinctly new and important stage of the narrative.

When to these considerations it is added that the interpretation of κωλυθέντες as a participle of subsequent action involves taking vv. 4, 5 as parenthetical, and the first part of v. 6 as in effect a repetition of these vv., the weight of objection to the view as a whole compels its rejection. Taking vv. 4, 5 in their obvious sense as referring to a journey beyond Lystra, v. 6 as an addition to what has already been said, and the participle in what is in this connection its equally obvious force, viz., as expressing the cause of the action denoted by the verb, the whole passage is self-consistent and simple. Ram.’s view breaks down under an accumulation of improbabilities. The opinion expressed by Gifford (op. cit. p. 18) is that previously reached by the present writer, viz., that while the supposed grammatical usage is itself possible, and Ram.’s view can not be said to have “shipwrecked on the rock of Greek grammar” (as Chase affirms), the present passage can not be regarded as an example of that usage.

Gifford interpreting κατὰ τὴν Μυσίαν in v. 7 as meaning “over against Mysia,” i.e., at a point where the road to Mysia lay at right angles to the course which the travellers were up to that point pursuing, supposes the phrase τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν to designate the frontier of Phrygia and Galatia (apparently taking the latter term as the name of the province), and to refer to the country between Pisidian Antioch and the point at which the road to Troas branches from the road to Bithynia, probably Nakoleia. This view is similar to that of Chase as respects the route followed, differing, however, in that it does not assume a journey eastward to Pessinus and the founding of churches. The principal difficulty with Gifford’s suggestion is that a line drawn from Antioch to Nakoleia apparently lies so far from the Galatian border that the country through which one would pass would be much more naturally called simply Φρυγίαν. Yet it is, perhaps, possible that the road actually taken, for reasons unknown to us, passed so far to the east as to make this expression wholly natural.

Zahn prefers to take the article with Φρυγίαν only and to interpret the lack of the article with Γαλατικὴν χώραν as indicating that Paul and his companions only touched upon a part of the region so designated. This interpretation is manifestly untenable on grammatical grounds. The suggestion supposed to be conveyed could not be indicated by the omission of the article. As his second choice Zahn proposes the view that the article belongs to both nouns, and the whole phrase refers to territory which was partly in Phrygia and partly in Galatia, both terms being ethnographically understood. Such a journey starting from Antioch would, perhaps, include Amorion, Pessinus, Germa, and Nakoleia or Dorylaion. Einleitung, I 136; E. T. I 187 ff., esp. 189 fin.; Com., p. 16. See also Moff. Introd. pp. 92 f. Such an interpretation is grammatically sound and otherwise entirely unobjectionable. Rather better than Gifford’s, it accounts for the use of Γαλατικὴν χώραν in preference to Γαλατίαν, or Γαλατικὴν ἐπαρχείαν, which would naturally have been chosen if, as Gifford apparently supposes, the Acts writer was speaking of the province of Galatia.

As concerns the purpose and result of the journey, the evidence of Acts at least seems clearly on the side of the writers of this second group. The Acts narrative says nothing about founding churches in the region named in 16:6. Indeed the impression which the whole passage makes is that the writer knew of no evangelising, or at least of no prolonged or successful work, from the time when the missionaries left “the cities” (v. 4) till they arrived at Philippi in obedience to the vision received at Troas (v. 9). Forbidden to speak the word in Asia, turned back from Bithynia, passing by Mysia, only when they reach Troas do they find a way open to them. Certainly the author would scarcely have described the journey through the Phrygian and Galatian country in the brief language of vv. 6, 7a if he had known that at this time Paul founded a group of churches. This does not prove that no churches were founded, but it raises the question whether Zahn is not right in locating the journey much as Moff. Sief. and Schm. do, but in holding that no churches were founded. Before deciding this question, however, the evidence of Acts 18:23 must be considered.

This sentence reads: διερχόμενος καθεξῆς τὴν Γαλατικὴν χώραν καὶ Φρυγίαν, στηρίζων πάντας τοὺς μαθητάς.

Advocates of the North-Galatian theory generally interpret the phrase τὴν Γαλατικὴν χώραν καὶ Φρυγίαν as referring to the same territory called in 16:6 τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν, ascribing the difference in order to the different direction of approach, and looking upon the confirmation of the disciples as evidence that on the journey mentioned in 16:6 the apostle founded churches. It must be questioned whether either of these assumptions is sound. There is, indeed, a presumption in favour of the view that two phrases employing exactly the same terms (though in different order) and standing in the same author, use the individual terms in the same sense. But there is distinctly less probability that the two phrases as a whole mean the same thing, for the change of order may itself be significant. Nor is it probable that the difference in order is due simply to the difference in the direction of journey. For if, as we have maintained above, both Φρυγίαν and Γαλατικήν are adjectives limiting χώραν in 16:6, we should expect here τὴν Γαλατικὴν καὶ Φρυγίαν χώραν if the two expressions were intended to denote the same territory traversed in opposite directions.* The probability is therefore that Φρυγίαν is a noun. Γαλατικήν is, of course, clearly here, as in 16:6, an adjective. The unity indicated by the single article is presumably that of the journey only.

Where, then, are these two regions which were traversed in this one journey? V. 22 names Antioch of Syria as the point of departure. Chap. 19:1 names Ephesus as the point of arrival. Between these two extremes, Paul has passed through the Galatian country and Phrygia. Whether “the upper country”

It is against any view that finds in Acts 18:23 a second visit to the Galatian churches supposed to have been founded on the second journey (Acts 16:6) that while the Acts author definitely speaks of the churches founded in southern Galatia and elsewhere (14:23, 15:41, 16:5) here he speaks only of disciples (but cf. also 14:22). This, together with the absence of any mention of the founding of churches in 16:6 ff., favours the view of Zahn that while there were scattered disciples in this region (found or made on his previous journey) there were no churches. This evidence could, indeed, be set aside if there were strong opposing reasons. But the contrary is the case. All forms of the North-Galatian view with its hypothesis of churches in old Galatia labour under the disadvantage that its sole evidence for the existence of any churches in northern Galatia is found in two passages, both somewhat obscure, in a writer who, though doubtless in general trustworthy, is not always accurate. To create on the basis of such evidence a group of churches of Galatia, when we already have perfectly clear evidence of another group of churches which could be properly so called, and which fulfil all the conditions necessary to be met by the term as used by Paul, is of more than doubtful legitimacy.

It may be objected to Zahn’s view that it is strange that the term Γαλατικήν in Acts should refer to an entirely different region from that to which Paul refers in his term Γαλατία. But it is to be answered that Luke has apparently taken no pains to conform his use of geographical terms to that of Paul, and that in particular he gives no evidence of intending to furnish the background of the Epistle to the Galatians, never using the word “church” in connection with Γαλατική. On the other hand, the analogy of similar cases suggests the possibility if not the probability that when the name Γαλατία was extended to cover the Lycaonian, Pisidian, and Phrygian territory a new name, Γαλατιχὴ χώρα should have been coined to describe old Galatia. See above, xxviii.

It may also be said against Zahn’s view that it is incredible that Paul on his way to visit scattered disciples in western ethnographic Galatia should pass by southern Galatia without visiting the churches of that region; to which it may be answered that a motive similar to that ascribed to Paul in Acts 20:16, together with a desire to foster the Christian movement represented by scattered disciples in the Galatian country, may have led him to avoid the cities of southern Galatia. Of course it is also possible that the cities of southern Galatia were visited at this time, but that, as the Acts writer says nothing about the churches of Syria and Cilicia, though Paul must have passed through these regions, he for some unknown reason ignores the cities of southern Galatia though this journey included them. The omission of the second group is no more strange than that of the first.

We conclude, therefore, that so far as concerns Acts 16:6 ff. and 18:23 the interpretation which best satisfies all the evidence is that which supposes that the journey of Acts 16:6 ran a little east of north from Antioch, possibly passing around the Sultan Dagh and through Amorion and Pessinus, and that it was undertaken not for evangelisation but as a means of reaching some other territory in which the apostle expected to work, perhaps Bithynia. The point at which they were κατὰ τὴν Μυσίαν would be not Nakoleia or Kotiaion, but some point further east, perhaps Pessinus itself. Why this route was chosen rather than the apparently more direct route through Nakoleia and Dorylaion must be a matter wholly of conjecture. At Pessinus, of course, might have occurred the preaching because of sickness (Galatians 4:13), and the consequent founding of the Galatian churches. But there is no suggestion of this in the Acts narrative, and no presumption in favour of it. For the journey of Acts 18:23 there is no more probable route than that through the Cicilian Gates and via Tyana and Lake Tatta.

3. Some minor considerations derived from Paul’s Epistles

It remains to consider certain items of evidence that have in themselves little weight, but which have filled a more or less prominent place in previous discussions of the problem.

a. The epistle represents the people addressed as warmhearted, impulsive, and fickle. These characteristics have been pointed to as indicating their Gallic blood, and hence as tending to show that the churches were in northern Galatia. But warmheartedness and fickleness seem to have been equally characteristic of the Lycaonian people (with Act 14:8-18 cf. Acts 14:19, Acts 14:20), and the evidence of the letter is too general in character to enable us to draw any conclusion whatever from this evidence.

b. It has been said to be improbable that the scene between Peter and Paul depicted in Galatians 2:11-21 occurred before the second missionary journey, since in that case Paul must have proposed to Barnabas to accompany him on another journey after he had found him unstable on an important point. But if this incident of Galatians 2:11-21 is put after the second missionary journey, then Galatians, since it narrates the incident, must also itself be later than the second missionary journey. But if it was written on the third journey, since Galatians 4:13 implies that Paul had visited the Galatians but twice, these Galatians can not be those of southern Galatia, because on his third missionary journey he visited them for the third time. Hence, it is inferred, we must place this incident after the second journey, the letter on the third journey, and the churches in northern Galatia. In reply it is to be said that, aside from the indecisive character of the evidence of τὸ πρότερον (see on 4:13), this argument overlooks three possibilities that can not be ignored: (a) that the incident of Galatians 2:11-21 may have deterred Barnabas from accepting Paul’s proposal rather than Paul from making it; (b) that even if the incident occurred after the second journey, the letter may still have been written before the third journey, viz., at Antioch between the second and third journey, and just after the Antioch incident; (c) that the third journey may not have included a visit to the churches of southern Galatia, and hence the letter, even if written on the latter part of that journey, may have been preceded by only two visits to the churches of southern Galatia.

c. Inasmuch as Barnabas was with Paul on his first missionary journey when the churches of southern Galatia were founded, but did not accompany him on his second journey, and, hence, would not be known personally to the North-Galatian churches, if there were such, the fact that the letter mentions him without explanation or identification is somewhat in favour of the South-Galatian theory. But the fact can not be regarded as strong evidence. The letter does not imply that the readers knew him in person, and they might know him by name if he had never been among them.

d. The statement of Galatians 2:5 that Paul refused to yield to the pressure brought upon him in Jerusalem “that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” is understood by some to imply that at the time of the conference in Jerusalem he had already preached the gospel to the Galatians, hence that they were South-Galatians. But the “you” of this passage may mean the Gentiles in general, not the Galatians in particular.

e. The people of Lystra took Paul and Barnabas for gods (Acts 14:11). Paul says the Galatians received him as an angel of God (Galatians 4:14). But the parallel is not close enough to prove anything more than that the Galatians and Lycaonians were both warmhearted, impulsive people.

f. The allusion in Galatians 5:11 to the charge that Paul still preached circumcision seems an echo of the use made among the Galatians of his circumcision of Timothy. Now, as Timothy was a South-Galatian, it is particularly probable that the judaisers would use this fact against him in southern Galatia. True, but the story might easily be told in northern Galatia, though the event occurred in southern Galatia.

g. The “marks of the Lord Jesus,” Galatians 6:17, have been interpreted to refer to the scourging at Philippi, and the inference has been drawn that the letter was written on the second missionary journey, and that accordingly the churches were in southern Galatia, since at this time he had not yet been twice (4:13) in northern Galatia. But it is equally plausible (and equally inconclusive; cf. b above) to refer these marks to the experience referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:32 or 2 Corinthians 1:3, and to argue that the letter must belong to the third missionary journey and that the churches could not be in southern Galatia, since when Paul was at Ephesus he had on the South-Galatian theory been in southern Galatia three times.

h. It is said that Paul would not have gone into northern Galatia, where Greek was comparatively unknown. Jerome does, indeed, testify that the Gallic language was still spoken in this region three hundred years after Paul wrote. But the same passage characterises Greek as the common language of the Orient, and the use of Greek in inscriptions of Ancyra belonging to the time of Tiberius (Boeckh, C. I. G. 4011, 4039, cited by Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, I 369) indicates that the country was bilingual in Paul’s day also.

i. It is said that Paul would certainly have kept to the main highways, hence would not have passed through northern Galatia. This argument can apply only to the second missionary journey; for if on that journey he had founded churches in Pessinus, Ancyra, and Tavium these churches would themselves have furnished a sufficient reason for a subsequent journey into that region. The question, therefore, reduces itself to the inquiry whether under the circumstances indicated in Acts 16:6 and Galatians 4:13 Paul would have gone northeast into northern Galatia. This question has already been discussed at length.

In view of all the extant evidence we conclude that the balance of probability is in favour of the South-Galatian view. The North-Galatian theory in the form advocated by Sief. Schm. and Moff. is not impossible. If in place of the incomplete and obscure, possibly inaccurate, language of Acts 16:6 and 18:23 we had clear and definite evidence, this evidence might prove the existence of North-Galatian churches founded by Paul before the writing of this letter. If so, this would, as indicated above, in turn prove that Paul’s letter was written to them. But the evidence as it stands is not sufficient to bear the weight of theory which this hypothesis involves, including, as it does, the very existence of churches of whose existence we have no direct or definite evidence. On the basis of the existing evidence the most probable view is that of Zahn, viz., that on his second missionary journey Paul passed through the western edge of old Galatia, there finding or making a few disciples, but founding no churches; and that his letter to the churches of Galatia was written not to the Galatians of this region, but to the churches of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch.


There is no evidence by which to determine with accuracy the time in Paul’s life at which he wrote his letter to the Galatians. All that can be done is to fix certain limits of time within which it was written.

1. It must obviously have been written after the events narrated in chaps. 1 and 2. Of these the conference at Jerusalem (2:1-10) is expressly said to have taken place fourteen years after the conversion of Paul, or more probably fourteen years after his previous visit to Jerusalem, which itself took place three years after his conversion.

2. The points of coincidence between this narrative and that of Acts, chap. 15, are so many and of such character as practically to establish the identity of the two events.* The Acts narrative places the conference “no little time” after the return of Paul and Barnabas to Antioch from their first missionary journey. We thus have a double dating of the event, that of Galatians 2:1, which locates it from fourteen to seventeen years after the conversion of Paul and that of the Acts narrative, which places it between the apostle’s first and second missionary journeys.

3. The visit of Peter to Antioch narrated in 2:11-14 presumably followed the conference in Jerusalem, and is naturally assigned to the period of Paul’s stay in Antioch referred to in Acts 15:35. Thus the earliest possible date for the writing of the letter is the latter portion of that period.

4. The phrase τὸ πρότερον in Galatians 4:13 has often been appealed to as decisive evidence that before writing this letter Paul had made two evangelistic journeys into Galatia. Taken alone the words do not seem with certainty to prove this (see note on τὸ πρότερον, pp. 239 ff.). But when the evidence of 4:16, 20 (q. v.; cf. 1:9, also) that Paul had communicated with the Galatians between the original preaching of the gospel to them (4:14) and the writing of the letter is taken into account, the simplest explanation of all the data is that Paul had made two visits to Galatia before writing the letter. On this supposition the letter must have been written not only after the visit of Peter to Antioch (Acts 15:35) but after the journey of Acts 16:1-5. Time must also be allowed for the apostle to have gone some distance from Galatia, for the visit of the judaising missionaries, for such success as they had achieved in their effort to win the Galatians to their conception of the way of salvation, and for the carrying of the news to Paul. See Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:7, Galatians 1:5:Galatians 1:7-12, and discussion under “Occasion and Purpose” below. As these conditions could scarcely have been fulfilled before the arrival of the apostle in Corinth as narrated in Acts 18:1, we may regard it as improbable that the letter was written before that event. On the North-Galatian view and the supposition that Paul had visited the churches twice before writing the letter, it must have been written after Acts 18:23.

5. The phrase οὕτως ταχέως in 1:6 shows that the letter was written at no long time after the conversion of the Galatians, but furnishes no ground of choice among dates which are on other grounds possible. See on 1:6.

6. If within the period of the apostle’s life after Acts 18:1 we seek to determine a more definite date, some weight must be given to such evidence as the relation between Galatians and Romans. The latter, presenting calmly and deliberately views similar in substance to those which the former expresses with the heat of controversy, was probably written after Galatians. Of somewhat similar character is the relation between Galatians and 1 and 2 Corinthians. The situation reflected in the latter, showing the representatives of the judaistic tendency opposing Paul’s work in Achaia, probably arose after the situation described in Galatians was created in Galatia, the judaisers presumably moving westward in their attack upon Paul’s work. But inasmuch as the letter was manifestly written while the situation that arose in Galatia was still acute, and not long after the visit of the judaisers, it is most probably to be assigned to a period before the coming of the judaisers to Corinth; in other words, not later than the early part of the apostle’s two years and three months in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-22). Yet this argument can not be strongly pressed. The missionaries to Galatia and Achaia were not at all certainly the same persons, and the delegation to Corinth may have gone there before the other group arrived in Galatia.

7. Some consideration is also due to the fact that the letters of the apostle taken together show that his controversy with his legalistic opponents made a deep impression on his thinking and, for some years at least, filled a large place in his thoughts. From 1 Corinthians to Colossians every letter shows at least some marks of this controversy, while of several of them it is the central theme. But in 1 and 2 Thessalonians we find no reference whatever to this matter. This fact creates a certain probability that Galatians was not written till after 1 and 2 Thessalonians. But the force of this argument is largely destroyed by the fact that the letters to the Thessalonians must have been written in any case after the conference at Jerusalem, and, therefore, after the judaistic controversy had come to fill a large place in the apostle’s thought.

But if, as is on the whole probable, Galatians was written after the arrival at Corinth on his second missionary journey, and before Romans on his third missionary journey, there are several places and times at which it may have been written, of which four are perhaps most worthy of consideration. If it was written to the churches of southern Galatia it may date from (1) Corinth in the period of Acts 18:1-17, and either before or after the writing of 1 Thessalonians, (2) Antioch in the period of Acts 18:22, Acts 18:23a, (3) Ephesus in the period covered by Acts, chap. 19, or (4) Macedonia or Achaia in the period covered by Acts 20:1-3.

Mynster (Einleitung in den Brief an die Galater, in Kleinere Schriften, 1825), Zahn (Einleitung in d. N. T.3, pp. 139-142, E. T. pp. 193 ff., esp. 196-199), Bacon (Introduction to the N. T., p. 58), and Rendall (Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. IX; Exp. Grk. Test., vol. III, p. 146) assign it to Corinth before the writing of 1 Thessalonians, thus making it the first of all the apostle’s letters. Renan (St. Paul, p. 313) and Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveller, pp. 189 ff.; Commentary, pp. 242 ff.) date it from Antioch in the period of Acts 18:23a, while Askwith (Epistle to the Galatians, chaps. VII, VIII) dates it from Macedonia after 2 Corinthians.

In favour of Antioch in the period of Acts 18:23 as against Corinth on the second missionary journey, it is to be said that information concerning affairs in Galatia (the efforts of the judaisers and their success with the Galatians) would more easily reach the apostle in Antioch of Syria than in Macedonia or Achaia. It has also been suggested by Ram. (Traveller, pp. 189 ff.) that the letter gives evidence that the apostle had full information of the state of affairs such as would not easily have been obtained by a letter, and implies, therefore, that he had received knowledge by a personal messenger. As such messenger no one would be more probable than Timothy, himself a Galatian. But Timothy was with Paul at Corinth for some time, as 1 and 2 Thessalonians show. Only then, towards the latter part of the Corinthian residence, could he have left Paul for Galatia, and in that case could have joined Paul at no more probable place than Antioch. Indeed, it is a very natural hypothesis that at or about the time when Paul left Corinth to go to Syria by water, he sent Timothy to go as far as Ephesus by water and thence through Asia Minor overland for the double purpose of visiting his home once more and of gathering information concerning the churches. In that case, whether originally expecting to go through to Antioch or to await Paul in Galatia, it would be natural for Timothy, when he learned the state of affairs in Galatia, to hasten forward to Antioch to inform Paul. The prominence of the incident at Antioch (2:11-21) would also be easily explained if the apostle wrote from Antioch, as also the fact that though writing to several churches, one of which was at Pisidian Antioch, he nevertheless speaks of Antioch in Syria simply as Antioch. To the possible objection that Paul would hardly have written to the Galatians from Syrian Antioch between his second and third missionary journeys, since he must have been on the point of going to Galatia himself, it is sufficient to answer that we have no means of knowing how long he was still to tarry at Antioch when he wrote, and that his conduct in relation to the church at Corinth (see esp. 2 Corinthians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 2:1) shows that he had a preference for dealing with such troubles as that which existed in Galatia by correspondence and messenger rather than by a personal visit.

But none of these reasons is very weighty. It must be confessed, moreover, that the supposition that the letter was written at Antioch to the churches of southern Galatia between the second and third missionary journeys does not comport well with what seems to be the most probable interpretation of Acts 18:23, viz., that the apostle passed by these churches on the third journey; cf. p. xl. If his effort to retain the loyalty of the churches to his gospel was successful he would certainly wish to confirm this result by a visit; if it was unsuccessful (unless, indeed, utterly and hopelessly so, in which case the letter would probably not have been preserved), he would certainly wish to attempt to accomplish by a visit what he had failed to achieve by his letter. If, indeed, Acts 18:23 can be so interpreted as to imply a journey through southern Galatia, then the expression “confirming all the disciples” would appropriately describe the purpose and effect of a visit following the letter, assumed to be successful, but in itself furnishes no strong evidence that the letter had been written.

The case for Antioch is, therefore, not very strong, and as against Ephesus on the third missionary journey, it is even less so than against Corinth on the second. Nor can τὸ πρότερον (4:13) be urged against Ephesus on the ground that at that time Paul would have been in Galatia three times, for, as shown above, it is not certain or even probable that the journey of Acts 18:23 included the churches of Galatia. If there is any weight in Ram.’s argument respecting the probability of Timothy bringing the apostle personal information, this applies almost equally well to Ephesus as the place of writing. For if Paul did not visit the churches of southern Galatia in the journey of Acts 18:23 he may very well have sent Timothy by that route, and have received Timothy’s report at Ephesus.

The arguments by which Askwith supports his contention in favour of Macedonia on the third missionary journey are not all equally forcible, but there is no strong counter argument, and this location of the letter very interestingly accounts for the language of Galatians 6:7, Galatians 6:8 and its parallelism with 2 Corinthians 9:6. Yet neither is this a decisive or strong argument for his view.

Apparently, therefore, we must remain contented without any strong reason for deciding whether the letter, if destined for the churches of southern Galatia, was written in the latter part of the apostle’s stay at Corinth on his second missionary journey, or at Antioch between the second and third journeys, or at Ephesus on the third journey, or still later on this journey, in Macedonia or Achaia. If there is any balance of probability it seems to be in favour of Ephesus.

On the supposition that the letter was written to churches in northern Galatia founded on the second missionary journey (Acts 16:6), and that the evidence of the epistle indicates that he had visited them a second time, the letter, as already pointed out, must have been written after Acts 18:23. On the other hand, his journeys after leaving Corinth at the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:3) are such as to make the writing of the letter after this latter time improbable, as is also the relation of Galatians to Romans. As between Ephesus and Macedonia, or between either of these and Achaia, there is little ground for choice. The argument of Ltft. that it must be placed after the Corinthian letters because of its close affinity to Romans is of little weight, especially in view of the fact that Romans was probably a circular letter and may have been composed some months before the Roman copy was sent from Corinth.

Continental scholars who hold the North-Galatian view generally place the letter at Ephesus. So Mey. Ws. Sief. Godet, Stein. Similarly Holtzmann places it on the journey to Ephesus, or soon after the arrival there, and Jülicher during the Ephesus ministry, but while on a missionary journey out from that city. Conybeare and Howson, and after them Ltft., argue for Corinth on the same journey; so also Salmon. On the whole, there is no more probable date for the letter than Ephesus on the third missionary journey, whether it was written to northern or southern Galatia.

Lake, Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, pp. 279 ff., identifying the visit to Jerusalem of Galatians 2:1-10 with that of Acts, chaps. 11 and 12, and denying that the τὸ πρότερον of 4:13 implies two visits to Galatia, places the writing of the letter before the Council at Jerusalem recorded in Acts, chap. 15. In this he agrees substantially with Emmet (Galatians, pp. XIV ff.), and Round (The Date of … Galatians), and, as concerns the identification of the visit of Galatians 2:1-10 with that of Acts 11:30, with Ram. and Weber. But against this identification the meaning and tense of ἐσπούδασα in 2:10 are strong if not decisive evidence (see ad loc.), while the many points of agreement between Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts, chap. 15, constitute on the whole decisive evidence for the reference of these two passages to the same event. See detached note, p. 117. It is indeed true that it is impossible to suppose that the account in Acts, chap. 15, is in all respects accurate if it refers to the incident of Galatians 2:1-10; but it is more probable that this narrative is inaccurate in its statement of the terms of the agreement, or in assigning them to this occasion, than that, if the incident of Acts 2:1-10 occurred on the occasion of the visit of Acts 11:30, and the agreement stated in Galatians 2:9, Galatians 2:10 was reached at that time, the whole question was reopened, and an event so like the former one occurred some two years later.

Turner, art. “Chronology” in HDB, vol. I, p. 424, col. a (cf. also Zahn, Kom. pp. 110 ff.), holds that the visit of Peter to Antioch (Galatians 2:11-14) preceded the events of Galatians 2:1-10. Identifying the conference of 2:1-10 with that of Acts, chap. 15, Turner also identifies the τινὲς Galatians 2:12 with the τινὲς κατελθόντες Acts 15:1. Ram. Traveller, pp. 158 ff.; Com. pp. 304 ff., making Galatians 2:1-10 refer to the visit narrated in Acts 11:30, leaves Galatians 2:11-14 in the position in relation to 2:1-10 in which it stands in Galatians. As indicated above he dates the letter in the period of Acts 18:23. The result in both cases is, without affecting the date of the letter, to place the Antioch incident at a longer interval before the writing of it than the more common view, which identifies Galatians 2:1 with Acts 15:3 and leaves the order of Gal. chap. 2 undisturbed. Zahn, agreeing with Ram. in identifying Galatians 2:1 with Acts 11:30 and with Turner in placing Galatians 2:11-14 before 2:1-10, puts the Antioch incident still further back, even before Paul’s first missionary journey, but still puts the writing of the letter as Ram. does, after Acts, chap. 15, viz., at Corinth, in the period of Acts 18:11. There is little or nothing to be said against the date to which these writers assign the letter, but quite as little to be said in favour of the position to which they assign the Antioch incident. The transposition of the parts of Gal. chap. 2, to which Turner and Zahn resort, is indeed not explicitly excluded by an ἔπειτα at the beginning of 2:11, but neither is there anything to support it in the language of the passage, while it does distinct violence to the psychological probabilities of the situation. As is pointed out in detail in the exegesis of the passage, the question which arose at Antioch is distinctly different from that which was discussed at Jerusalem, but one to which the ignoring of ultimate issues which characterised the Jerusalem conference, and the compromise in which it issued, was almost certain to give rise. The position, moreover, which Paul was driven to take at Antioch was definitely in advance of that which he took at Jerusalem, involving a virtual repudiation not of one statute of the law, but of all, and this not only for the Gentiles, but in principle for the Jews. The reversal of the order in which he has narrated the events is, therefore, an unwarranted violence to the record. It may, indeed, not unreasonably be said that the Antioch incident could scarcely have happened after the events of Acts, chap. 15, as narrated in that passage; for the question that apparently arose as a new issue at Antioch is already settled in decisions recorded in Acts, chap. 15. But in view of all the evidence, the solution of this difficulty lies neither in denying the general identity of the event of Galatians 2:1-10 with that of Acts, chap. 15, nor in putting Acts, chap. 15 after Galatians 2:1-11, but in recognising that the Acts narrative is inaccurate in its statement of the outcome of the conference, either colouring the decision actually reached, or ascribing to this time a decision reached on some other and, presumably, later occasion.

The view of McGiffert and Bartlet, adopted also by Emmet, that the two visits to Galatia implied in τὸ πρότερον of Galatians 4:13 are the outward and return parts of the journey through southern Galatia on the first missionary journey, on which is based the conclusion that the letter was written before the second missionary journey, is discussed on p. 241. McGiffert’s argument that if Paul had visited the Galatian churches since the conference of Acts, chap. 15, he would have had no occasion to give them the full account of it in Galatians 2:1-10, as of something of which they had not heard before, ignores the hint of the letter (1:9, 4:18) that he had already discussed the matter with them, and the possibility, not to say probability, that the acute situation which existed when he wrote the letter called for a fresh statement of the matter, and probably a fuller one than he had previously felt to be necessary.

The reduction of the above statements, which are expressed in terms of periods of the apostle’s life, to calendar dates involves the whole problem of the chronology of the apostle’s life. Without entering at length into this question, which lies outside the scope of this Introduction, it may suffice to point out that if, as seems to be proved by an inscription found at Delphi (see Report of the Palestine Exploration Fund, April, 1908; Deissmann, St. Paul, Appendix II; American Journal of Theology, XXI 299), Gallio became proconsul of Achaia in the summer of 51 A. D., we arrive at 50 or 51 as the date for the writing of Galatians in case it was written at Corinth on the second missionary journey. If it was written at Antioch between his first and second journeys, it falls into 51 or 52; if at Ephesus, on the third journey, in all probability into 52; if in Macedonia or at Corinth, on the third missionary journey, at some time in 54 or 55. If we identify the conference of Galatians 2:1-10 with that of Acts, chap. 15, assume, as is generally held, that Herod Agrippa I died in 44 A. D., and, on the ground of the position of the narrative of this event in Acts, assign the visit of Acts 11:30, Acts 12:25 to a date not later than about 46 A. D., it will follow that the first visit to Galatia (Acts, chaps. 13, 14) occurred not far from 46, and the second visit of Paul to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-10) not far from 48. This date is consistent with the apostle’s location of the event as occurring seventeen years after his conversion (see on 2:1), the resultant date of his conversion being about 31 a. d.

The argument for the later date (34 or 35) based on 1 Corinthians 11:32* falls to the ground with the recognition of the fact that the presence of the ethnarch of Aretas in Damascus does not imply that Damascus was in the dominion of Aretas. See on 1:17.


It is fortunate for the interpreter of the letter to the Galatians that while the location of the churches is in dispute and the time and place of writing can be determined, if at all, only by a balance of probabilities resting on indirect evidence, the question for whose answer these matters are of chief importance, can be decided with a good degree of certainty and on independent grounds. The previous relations of the writer and his readers, the circumstances that led to the writing of the letter, the purpose for which it was written, these appear with great clearness in the letter itself.

The Galatians to whom the letter was written were Gentile Christians, converted from heathenism (4:8), evidently under the preaching of Paul (1:8, 9, 4:13; cf. 3:1ff.). Paul’s first preaching to them was occasioned by illness on his part (4:13); intending to go in some other direction, he was led by illness to go to Galatia, or being on his way through Galatia and not intending to tarry there, he was led to do so by illness. He proclaimed to them Jesus Christ and him crucified, preaching that men could through faith in Jesus the Christ escape from the present evil age and attain the approval of God apart from works of law (3:1, 2). He imposed on his converts no Jewish ordinances, but taught a purely spiritual Christianity (3:2, 3, 4:8-11, 5:3, 4). The Galatians received him and his gospel with enthusiasm (4:12-15). They were baptised (3:27) and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, miracles wrought among them giving evidence of his presence (3:2-5). That Paul visited them a second time is made practically certain by the evidence of 1:9, 4:13, 20 (q. v;). Possibly before the second visit there had been false teachers among them (1:9), but if so the defection had not been serious (1:6, 5:7). More recently, however, a serious attempt had been made to draw them away from the gospel as Paul had preached it to them (1:7, 5:12). This new doctrine opposed to Paul’s was of a judaistic and legalistic type. Its advocates evidently endeavoured to win the Galatians to it by appealing to the promises to Abraham and his seed recorded in the Old Testament. Though the letter makes no definite quotation from the language of these teachers it is easily evident from the counter argument of the apostle in chapters 3 and 4 that they had taught the Galatians either that salvation was possible only to those who were, by blood or adoption, children of Abraham, or that the highest privileges belonged only to these. See especially 3:7, 9, 14, 4:21-31. They had laid chief stress upon circumcision, this being the initiatory rite by which a Gentile was adopted into the family of Abraham. Though they had cautiously abstained from endeavouring to impose upon the Galatians the whole Jewish law, or from pointing out that this was logically involved in what they demanded (5:3), they had induced them to adopt the Jewish feasts and fasts (4:10).

To these doctrinal elements of the controversy, themselves sufficient to arouse deep feeling and sharp antagonisms, there was added a personal element still more conducive to embitterment. The letter itself furnishes evidence, which is confirmed by 1 and 2 Corinthians, that the apostolic office or function was clearly recognised as one of great importance in the Christian community, and that the question who could legitimately claim it was one on which there was sharp difference of opinion. An apostle was much more than a local elder or itinerant missionary. He was a divinely commissioned founder of Christian churches, indeed, more, of the Christian church œcumenical. With their effort to keep the Christian movement within the Jewish church, including proselytes from other religions, the judaisers naturally associated the contention that the apostolate was limited to those who were appointed by Jesus or by those whom he appointed. With their denial of the distinctive doctrines of Paul they associated a denial of his right to teach them as an apostle. This denial seems to have taken the form of representing Paul as a renegade follower of the Twelve, a man who knew nothing of Christianity except what he had learned from the Twelve, and preached this in a perverted form. This appears from the nature of Paul’s defence of his independent authority as an apostle in the first two chapters of the letter, and indicates that with their theory of a limited apostolate the judaisers had associated the claim that the apostolic commission must proceed from the circle of the original Twelve. See detached note on Ἀπόστολος, pp. 363 ff.

This double attack of the judaisers upon the apostle and his doctrine and the attempt to convert the Galatians to their view was upon the point of succeeding when Paul learned of the state of affairs. The Galatians were already giving up the gospel which Paul had taught them (1:6); he feared that his labour on them was wasted (4:11); yet in a hopeful moment he was confident in the Lord that they would not be carried away (5:10).

Such is the situation that gave rise to the letter. In a sense Paul had a double purpose, partly to defend himself, partly to defend his gospel, but only in a sense. The defence of himself was forced on the apostle by the relation in which the question of his apostleship stood to the truth of his gospel. Considerable space is necessarily devoted in the first third of the letter to the personal matter, since it was of little use for the apostle to argue, and of no use to affirm, what constituted the true gospel, while his readers doubted his claim to be an authorised expounder of the gospel. Towards the end he carefully guards his doctrine from certain specious but false and mischievous inferences from it (5:13 ff.), and touches upon a few other minor matters. But the central purpose of the letter is to arrest the progress of the judaising propaganda with its perverted gospel of salvation through works of law, which the Galatians were on the very point of accepting, and to win them back to faith in Jesus Christ apart from works of law, the gospel which Paul himself had taught them.

Incidentally the letter affords us most important information which we can not suppose to have been any part of the apostle’s plan to transmit to us, but which is not on that account the less valuable. No other letter contains so full and objective a piece of autobiography as that which he has given us in the first two chapters of this letter. Informing as are 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians and Philippians, these chapters are even more so.

Not less valuable is the contribution of the letter to the history of the apostolic age. It carries us into the very heart of the controversy between the narrow, judaistic conception of the gospel, and that more enlightened, broader view of which Paul was the chief champion in the first age of the church. The story is told, indeed, in part in Acts, but as it was conceived years after the event; in the letter we have not so much an account of the controversy as a voice out of the conflict itself. The information is first-hand; the colours have the freshness and vividness of nature. Not least important for us to-day is the testimony which the letter bears to the limits of that controversy. A just interpretation of the second chapter shows most clearly not that Peter and Paul were in sharp antagonism to one another, representatives of opposing factions, but that, while they did not altogether agree in their conceptions of religious truth, and while Peter lacked the steadiness of vision necessary to make him stand firmly for the more liberal view, yet neither he nor even James directly opposed Paul’s view, or his claim to be an apostle of Christ. The opponents of Paul were certain “false brethren … who came in privily to spy out our liberty.” They had, indeed, influence enough with the Jerusalem apostles to lead the latter to urge Paul to pursue a compromising course; but when Paul refused, the pillar-apostles virtually took his side and gave to him hands of fellowship, recognising the legitimacy of his mission to the Gentiles.

Yet the recognition of the fact that there were really three parties to the controversy rather than two leaves its significance but little diminished and its bitterness unchanged. The sharpness of the apostle’s language both in Galatians and 2 Corinthians was doubtless called forth by at least an equal bitterness on the side of his opponents. The questions at issue were fundamental (see below, § V) and the discussion of them was no calm academic debate, but a veritable contest for large stakes between men of intense conviction and deep feeling. Nor was it significant for Galatia and Corinth and Jerusalem only, nor for that age alone. Had no one arisen in that age to espouse the view for which Paul contended, or had the controversy issued in a victory for the judaistic party, the whole history of Christianity must have been different from what it has been. Christianity would have been only a sect of Judaism, and as such would probably have been of relatively little force in the history of the world, or would even have been lost altogether, becoming reabsorbed into the community from which it came. The letter to the Galatians is a first-hand document from the heart of one of the most significant controversies in the history of religion.


The above statement of the occasion of the letter is sufficient to show that the controversy in which it played a part had to do with certain questions which were of fundamental importance for early Christianity. These questions did not first come to the surface in Galatia, but neither did they become prominent at the beginning of Paul’s career, nor were they all stated and discussed with equal explicitness. The one which came most clearly into the foreground and was probably also the first to be debated was whether Gentiles who, attracted by the message of the gospel, were disposed to accept it must be circumcised in order to be recognised as members of the Christian community and to participate in the salvation which the gospel brought to those who received it. To this question Galatians 3:1-3 shows clearly that Paul had, before beginning his evangelistic work in Galatia, returned a definitely negative answer. This epistle furnishes evidence which, though not explicit in its individual items, is on the whole sufficient to show that this position of the apostle was not at first strongly opposed by the Jerusalem church (see 1:24 and notes thereon). The statement of Galatians 1:23, Galatians 1:24 that when the churches of Judæa, heard of Paul’s work in Syria and Cilicia they glorified God in him, taken with the evidence that Paul’s convictions about the relation of his gospel to the Gentiles were formed very early in his career as a Christian, makes it probable that there was at first no strong sentiment in the Jerusalem church against recognising Gentiles who accepted the gospel message as members of the new fellowship and community. That presently, however, there arose a conflict of opinion on the subject was apparently due to two causes. On the one hand, there were added to the Christian community in Judæa certain men of strongly conservative tendencies who were convinced that Christianity ought to be built strictly on the basis of the Abrahamic covenant, and that the Christian sect ought to differ from other Jewish sects, in particular from the Pharisaic sect, only by the addition of the doctrine of the Messiahship of Jesus, and in no case by any subtraction from the doctrines or requirements of the Old Testament religion as currently interpreted. On the other hand, as the effects of the evangelistic activity of Paul became more manifest and better known to the church at Jerusalem, the real extent and serious nature of his departure from the views and practices now becoming current in the mother church doubtless became more evident. As a result of these two influences the question of the obligation of the Gentile Christians to be circumcised came to an issue in the incident narrated by Paul in Galatians 2:1-10. The debate which took place on that occasion was apparently limited to this one question of the circumcision of Gentile Christians. The Jerusalem apostles at first urging Paul to conform, at least in the case of Titus, to the views of the ultraconservative element, were at length persuaded to throw their influence on the side of Paul’s view, to give their approval to his way of winning the Gentiles to faith in Christ, and not to insist upon circumcision. See the commentary on this passage.

But the decision of this question speedily opened another one. In the Antioch church, in which there were both Jews and Gentiles, it became customary not only not to circumcise the Gentile members, but for Jews to eat with the Gentiles, doubtless also for Gentiles to eat with the Jews. It is true that our only explicit record is an account of what took place after Peter came to Antioch. Yet that he was responsible for the custom in which he at first participated is contrary to all probability. The table-fellowship at Antioch was clearly the product of Pauline liberalism, not of Petrine caution or compromise. On the relation of the narrative of Acts, chap. 10, to the matter, see pp. 116 f.

That the Gentiles with whom Jewish Christians were eating were not conforming to the laws of the Old Testament concerning food, and that the table-fellowship of the Jews with Gentiles involved violation of the Old Testament law by the Jews, also, is the clear implication of the whole narrative. It is not, indeed, impossible that the Jewish legalists in their zeal to “build a hedge about the law” had laid down a rule against association of Jews and Gentiles in general (cf. Acts 10:28). But that in the present case the requirement of the law, of which the more strenuous rule, in so far as it was observed or enforced, was an expansion by tradition, was distinctly in mind as the crux of the controversy is shown by several considerations. In the first place Paul speaks in Galatians 2:12 of Peter’s eating with the Gentiles, implying that the question at issue was one not only of association but of food. In the second place, Paul’s interpretation of Peter’s withdrawal from fellowship with the Gentiles as an attempt to compel the Gentiles to conform to Jewish custom (Galatians 2:14) implies that the fellowship could be resumed on condition that the Gentiles observed the Jewish law; which obviously would not be the case if those who came from James protested against fellowship between Jews and Gentiles in general, or even against table-fellowship in particular, without reference to whether it involved a disregard of the law of foods. In the third place, the apostle’s quick transition from the discussion of the matter of Jews and Gentiles eating together, in vv. 12-14, to that of the observance of law in vv. 15 ff., makes it evident that it was a statute of the law, not a tradition, the observance of which was at issue. Even the narrative in Acts, chap. 15, though manifestly not a wholly correct report of what took place in Jerusalem and having no direct reference to the Antioch incident, nevertheless shows how early the food law played a part in the question of the freedom of the Gentiles.

But if the food on the tables of the Gentiles was not restricted to that which the Levitical law permitted, then it is evident, first, that the Gentiles had generalised the decision respecting circumcision and concluded that no Jewish statutes were binding upon them, or at least had extended the principle to another group of statutes; and, second, what is even more significant, that the Jews had acted on the principle that the law which was not binding on the Gentiles was not binding on them.

These two new questions came to issue in the discussion between Peter and Paul at Antioch as narrated in 2:11 ff. And on this occasion Paul squarely took the position that the law of foods was not only not binding on Jewish Christians, but that they must not obey it under circumstances like those at Antioch, which made their observance of it a compulsion of the Gentiles to do the same.

By this contention Paul in effect denied the authority of the Old Testament statutes over either Jews or Gentiles, at least over those who accepted Jesus as the Son of God. That he did this not only in effect, but with recognition of the fact that this position on circumcision and foods carried with it the general principle, is indicated by his employment, both in his narrative of what he said to Peter and in his discussion of the question later in the epistle, of the general term “law.” This is also confirmed by the fact that in writing to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:12; cf. 10:23) he refused to make the authority of the law the basis of his stern reproof of sexual immorality. Though his principle, “All things are lawful,” was quoted in justification of gross immorality, he would not withdraw it, but reaffirmed it and rested his case against sexual crime solely on the Christian ground that all things are not expedient, and that by fornication the members of Christ become members of a harlot, i. e., enter into a relationship which destroys the Christian’s vital fellowship with Christ. To Paul it was not circumcision and foods, and festival days only that could not be enforced by law; nor ceremonies only; nothing could be insisted upon in the name of law.

Yet in rejecting the authority of the Old Testament statutes, Paul did not reject the teachings of the Old Testament in toto. While quoting from the Old Testament the dicta of that legalism which he emphatically rejects (3:10), he more frequently quotes from it sentiments which he heartily approves. But, more important, he affirms that the whole law is fulfilled in one word to which he gives his unqualified assent (5:14), a sentence which in view of his clear rejection of certain clear requirements of the law can only mean that he saw in the law, along with many statutes that were for him of no value, certain fundamental principles which he had come to regard as constituting the real essence and substance of the law. Thus Paul neither approves nor disapproves all that the Jewish church had canonised, but assumes towards it a discriminative attitude, finding much in it that is true and most valuable, but denying that being in the Old Testament of itself makes a teaching or command authoritative. This discriminative attitude towards the Old Testament, coupled with the apostle’s clear recognition of its value as a whole and his insistence, despite his dissent from many of its precepts, upon connecting the Christian religion historically with that of the Old Testament, is most significant. Though he has left us no definite statement to this effect, possibly never formulated the matter in this way in his own mind, he in effect accepted the principle that while each generation is the heir of all the ages, it is also the critic of all, and the arbiter of its own religion. His conduct implied that not what was held in the past, though it stood in sacred scriptures with an affirmation of its perpetual authority, was determinative for the conviction and conduct of living men, but that the criterion for belief and action was to be found in their own interpretation of human experience, their own experience and that of past generations as far as known to them. Religion is not then, for him, static, but fluid, in constant evolution under the influence of men’s understanding of the experience of the race.

This rejection of the authority of the Old Testament as such, coupled with the apostle’s kindred contention that the gospel was for all nations as they were, i. e., without entrance into the Jewish community or subjection to Jewish law, raised squarely the issue whether Christianity was to be a potentially universal religion or was to continue, as it was at first, a sect of Judaism, differing mainly by one doctrine from current Pharisaism. On this question Paul took clear issue with the conservative party among the believers in the Messiahship of Jesus. The inspiration of his mission was a vision of a church universal worshipping the one God and Father, and accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour—a church into which men should come from every nation and religion, not through the vestibule of Judaism and the acceptance of the law of Moses and the rites of the Old Testament, but straight from where they were and through the single and open door of faith in Jesus Christ. His opponents also believed in one God and in Jesus as his Messiah, but they could not consent or conceive that men should enter the Christian community except through an acceptance of Judaism, or that the Christian church should be anything else than a specific expression of the Jewish religious community.

But Paul brought the question of authority in religion to the front in another way also. When the conservative brethren at Jerusalem, whom Paul in his intensity of feeling denounces as false brethren, took up arms against his doctrine of the freedom of the Gentiles and his practical application of it to circumcision and foods, they found it necessary to deny his right to assume to be an expositor of Christianity, and to claim substantially that such authority was vested in those who had received it from Jesus while he was alive on earth. This affirmation Paul denied, claiming that he had an independent right to preach the gospel by virtue of the revelation of Jesus to him as the Son of God (1:1 ff. 11f.). Yet in claiming for himself this right to preach the gospel without hindrance or permission from the Twelve he conceded to them equally with himself the title of apostle (1:17), and the same right to preach within their sphere of action the convictions which they held (2:9). It is true, indeed, that he was severe in his denunciation of those who endeavoured to undo his own work (1:8), and was outspoken in his condemnation of those whom he regarded as false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13). But this is but the extreme affirmation of his own divinely conferred commission, and an evidence that zeal to make converts was not for him a necessary proof of a divine commission or a right spirit. It in no way contravenes what we are now affirming that what he claimed for himself, viz., a divine commission and a corresponding responsibility, he freely admitted might be possessed by other men who did not wholly agree with him. Sitting in council with them he neither consented to conform his own course of action or message to their practice nor demanded that they should conform theirs to his. The gospel of the circumcision and the gospel of the uncircumcision had certain elements in common, but they were by no means identical. Yet he claimed for himself the right and duty to preach his gospel, and admitted the right and duty of the other apostles to preach theirs.

Thus to his rejection of the authority of Old Testament statutes over the conduct of the men of his time, he added in effect the denial that there was any central doctrinal authority for the Christian community as a whole. Claiming the right to teach to the Gentiles a religion stripped of all legalism and reduced to a few religious and ethical principles, he conceded to his fellow-apostles the right to attempt to win the Jews to faith in Jesus while leaving them still in the practice of a strict legalism. That both parties alike had this right to preach according to their conviction, demanded that each should recognise the other’s right. Such recognition Paul freely granted to his fellow-apostles and claimed for himself. Thus without expounding in detail a doctrine of the seat of authority in religion, he in reality raised the whole question, and by implication took a very positive position, not against conference and consultation or consideration for the rights of others—these he insisted on—but against the authority of community or council, and in favour of the right of the individual to deliver the message he believes God has given him, and if he gives credible evidence of a real divine commission, to go forward with his work without interference.

But in connection with this principle of liberty in religion there arose in the mind of the apostle, as doubtless also in the minds both of his converts and his critics, further questions. What is the essence of true religion? How is moral character achieved? To men who had been wont to think of religion as authoritatively defined for them in certain sacred books, of morality as consisting in obedience to the statutes contained in these books, and of acceptance with God as conditioned upon such obedience and membership in the community whose uniting tie and basis of unity was a relation to the covenant recorded in the books, it was a serious question what became of religion and morality if there was no longer any authoritative book or any centralised ecclesiastical authority. Precisely this question Paul never states in these words, but with the question itself he deals explicitly and directly. Religion, he says in effect, is not conformity to statutes, or non-conformity, but a spiritual relation to God expressed in the word “faith,” and an ethical attitude towards man, summed up in the word “love” (Galatians 5:6). Morality, he affirms, is not achieved by keeping rules, but by living in fellowship with the Spirit of God and in consequent love towards men, issuing in conduct that makes for their welfare (5:16-23). Thus he makes religion personal rather than ecclesiastical, and morality a social relation grounded in religion. This is not a new doctrine. It had been announced by the prophets of Israel long before. It is the doctrine which the synoptic gospels tell us Jesus taught. But not even the teaching of Jesus had sufficed to make it the dominant thought of those who early joined the company of his followers, and it was a novelty, indeed, in the Græco-Roman world. It has never been accepted wholeheartedly by any considerable portion of the Christian church. It is not to-day the real creed of any great part of Christendom.

In this short epistle, written doubtless in haste and some heat, Paul has raised some of the most fundamental and far-reaching questions that can be raised in the field of religion. The positions which he took were in the main not those that were generally accepted in his day or have been accepted since. He was not the first to announce them, but as held by him they were mainly the product of his own experience and thinking. The writing of the Epistle to the Galatians was an epochal event in the history of religious thought. It is matter for profound regret that its vital contentions were so soon lost out of the consciousness of the Christian church.


The question of the genuineness of Galatians is not easily detached from the larger questions, how Christianity arose, whether there was an apostle Paul who was a factor in its origin, and if so whether he wrote any letters at all. It can not be settled by the comparison of this letter with some other letter which is accepted as certainly written by Paul. For there is no other letter which has any better claim to be regarded as his work than Galatians itself. But neither can it be best discussed without reference to the other letters. As has been shown in considering its occasion, the letter itself discloses, largely incidentally and without apparent effort or intention, a situation so complex, so vital, so self-consistent, so psychologically credible as to make it very improbable that it is a work of art cunningly framed to create the impression that a situation which existed only in the writer’s mind was an actual one. This fact is itself a strong reason for believing that the letter is a natural product of the situation which it reflects. Yet the question whether the letter was really written, as it professes to have been, by Paul, an early preacher of the Christian gospel and a founder of churches among the Gentiles, can best be dealt with in connection with the same question respecting some, at least, of the other letters which bear his name. For the real question is what hypothesis best accounts for all the data; more specifically whether the total evidence of the letters considered in relation to all other pertinent evidence renders it most probable that they are all genuine products of real situations, which they severally disclose, or that the whole group is manufactured, a work of art and literary device, or that while some are of the former kind, there are others whose qualities bring them under suspicion. Thus, in the same process, we select the genuine, if any such there are, and fix the standard by which to test the doubtful. In the attempt to select the documents of early Christianity which, furnishing first-hand and basic testimony respecting that period, should constitute the standard by which to assign the other books to their proper place, Galatians has always been included in the normative group by those who have found in the New Testament collection any books that were what they professed to be. On the other hand, its own claims to be from Paul and the claim of the church that it belonged to the first century have been denied only in connection with a general denial that we have any first-century Christian literature, or that there was any first-century apostle Paul. The reason for this is not far to seek. The situation out of which Galatians purports to spring and which it professes to reflect is a very definite and concrete one with strongly marked features. These features are largely repeated in certain other letters that also purport to come from Paul, with somewhat less close resemblance in still other letters bearing Paul’s name, and in the Book of Acts. No one book can without arbitrariness be assumed to be the standard by which to test all the rest. No single book can arbitrarily be excluded from consideration or postponed for secondary consideration. But if in the examination of all the books purporting to come from the first age of the church, it proves to be a difficult task to restore from them all a self-consistent account of the whole situation, then it is not an irrational but a reasonable course to inquire whether there is any group which unitedly reflects a situation which is self-consistent, psychologically possible, and in general not lacking in verisimilitude; and then in turn to make this group and the situation it discloses the point of departure for determining the relation of the rest to this situation. F. C. Baur and the Tübingen School may have been, probably were, somewhat arbitrary in limiting their normative group to Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans. But their error was not in including these four in this group, nor chiefly in beginning with these, but in that having begun with these, they excluded such other letters as 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon on insufficient grounds. For our present purpose we shall not go far wrong if with Baur we begin with the four letters that he accepted.

Beginning thus, we find that these four letters all claim to have been written by a Paul who describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ, and that they all present a clearly defined picture of him, which, however they differ among themselves in important features, is yet consistent in the total result, and singularly life-like. In respect to the region of his work, his relation to the other apostles and to parties in the church, his conception of Jesus and his attitude towards him, the outstanding elements of his religion, the characteristics of his mind and temper, they in part agree, in part supplement one another. Their differences are never greater than would be probable in the case of letters written by the same man in the same general period of his life but in different places and under different circumstances.

It is not necessary for the purpose of this argument to inquire whether every part of the Epistle to the Romans, as we possess it, was written by Paul, or how many epistles have been combined in our so-called 2 Corinthians, or whether the editor has added some lines of his own. The possibility of editorship including both arrangement and some additions does not materially affect the significance of the substantial and striking consistency and complementariness of the testimony of the several letters to the character and career of their author. Nor, as indicated above, is it necessary at this point to discuss the question whether 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, and Ephesians have equal claim to genuineness with the four which Baur and his school accepted. The course of action which the internal evidence of the letters and the history of criticism combine to make most practicable is that which is indicated above.

It is not strange, therefore, that from the second century to the present Galatians has been generally accepted as written by Paul and as constituting, therefore, a first-hand source of knowledge concerning his life, his controversies, and his convictions.

Consistently with the general practice of the time, and what we find to be the case in respect to other New Testament books, there is a considerable period after the writing of the letter in which we find traces, indeed, of its influence on other Christian writers but no explicit mention of it by the name either of the author or of the persons addressed.

There are certain coincidences of language between Galatians and 1 Peter, which some writers take to be evidence of a use of Galatians by the author of the

Petrine epistle. Von Soden (cited by Bigg, St. Peter and St. Jude,, in Int. Crit. Com. p. 20) finds such relationship between 1 Peter 1:4ff. and Galatians 3:23, Galatians 3:4:7; between 1 Peter 2:16 and Galatians 5:13; and between 1 Peter 3:6 and Galatians 4:24. O. D. Foster, The Literary Relations of the First Epistle of Peter, New Haven, 1913, finds a still longer list of coincidences, which he ascribes to dependence of 1 Peter on Galatians. If, as is probable, we should recognise a dependence of 1 Peter upon Romans (Sanday and Headlam, Com. on Romans, pp. LXXIV ff.) it is not improbable that the writer knew Galatians also. But the passages cited are not in themselves altogether conclusive evidence of such knowledge.

Probable reminiscences of the language of Galatians are found in Barn. 19:8: κοινωνήσεις ἐν πᾶσιν τῷ πλησίον σου (Galatians 6:6); Clem. Rom. 49:6: διὰ τὴν Galatians 1:4). Clearer parallels appear in Polyc. Philippians 3:2, Philippians 3:3: Παύλουὅς καὶ αὐτὸς ὑμῖν ἔγραψεν ἐπιστολάς, εἰς ἅς ἐὰν ἐγκύπτητε, δυνήσεσθε οἰκοδομεῖσθαι εἰς τὴν δοθεῖσαν ὑμῖν πίστιν, ἥτις ἐστὶ μήτηρ πάντων ὑμῶν (Galatians 4:26); Phil. 5:1, εἰδότες οὖν ὅτι θεὸς οὐ μυκτηρίζεται (Galatians 6:7; note the coincidence of the anarthrous θεός in both cases, and cf. com. l. c.); Phil. 12:2: qui credituri sunt in Dominum nostrum et Deum Jesum Christum et in ipsius patrem qui resuscitavit eum a mortuis (Galatians 1:1); Just. Mart. Dial. 95:1: ἐπικατάρατος γὰρ εἴρηται (sc. Μωυσῆς) πᾶς ὅς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά (Galatians 3:10; Lxx read: ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς λόγοις τοῦ νόμου τούτου ποιῆσαι αὐτούς). For other possible influences of the letters on early Christian literature, cf. Charteris, Canonicity, pp. 233 f.; Gregory, Canon and Text, pp. 201 f.; Moff. Introd. p. 107.

As early as about the middle of the second century there existed lists of the letters of Paul, in which Galatians is included.

From Tertullian, Adv. Marc. V, and from Epiph. Haer. XLII, we learn that Marcion accepted ten epistles of Paul, though somewhat modifying their text. These ten were Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Laodiceans (Ephesians?), Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. Both writers name them in the same order except that Epiphanius puts Philemon before Philippians. The agreement of a free-lance such as Marcion with the orthodox party is more significant of the state of early Christian opinion than would be its acceptance by either alone. Marcion’s reference to the Epistle to the Galatians is apparently the first extant mention of it by name.

The Muratorian Canon, which Gregory (op. cit., p. 129) dates about 170 a.d. and most others before 200 A. D. at latest (for different opinions see Jülicher, Einl.2, p. 146) includes Galatians among the epistles of Paul.

From about 175 A. D. quotations from the epistle with citation of it by name, or express quotation of its language are found.

Irenæus quotes Galatians 4:8, Galatians 4:9 expressly ascribing it to Paul (Haer. 3. 6:5), and 3:19, 4:4, 5, speaking of these passages as in the Epistle to the Galatians. (Haer. 3. 7:2, 16:3; 5. 21:1). See Charteris, op. cit., p. 235.

Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 3:16, says that “Paul writing to the Galatians says, τεκνία μου οὓς πάλιν ὠδίνω, ἄχρις οὗ μορφωθῇ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν” (Galatians 4:19).

Origen, Con. Celsum, v. 64, quotes Celsus as saying that men who differ widely among themselves, and in their quarrels inveigh most shamefully against one another, may all be heard saying, “The world is crucified to me and I to the world”: ἐμοὶ κόσμος ἐσταύρωται, κάγὼ τῷ κόσμῳ (Galatians 6:14).

From the end of the second century quotations from our epistle are frequent, and no question of its Pauline authorship was raised until the nineteenth century. Even since that time few scholars have doubted it.

To Bruno Bauer apparently belongs the distinction of being the first person to question the genuineness of Galatians.* In opposition to the well-known view of F. C. Baur and the Tübingen school that the chief factor in the production of the genuine literary remains of the apostolic age was the controversy between the judaistic party in the church and the opposing liberal tendency represented by Paul, and that Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans were the products on the Pauline side of this conflict, B. Bauer in his Kritik der paulinischen Briefe, Berlin, 1850-52, assigned practically all the books of the New Testament, including all the so-called letters of Paul, to the second century. But, like Evanson before him, Bauer found no followers.

In 1882 Professor A. D. Loman of Amsterdam began the publication of a series of Essays in Theologisch Tijdschrift under the title “Quæstiones Paulinæ,” in which, though recognising the existence of Paul, of whom we gain our most trustworthy knowledge in the “we-sections” of Acts, he maintained that we have no letters from Paul, and that all the letters accepted by Baur are in reality attempts to present an idealised Paul.

A. Pierson, who in 1878 had incidentally expressed doubts of the genuineness of the Epistle to the Galatians, in 1886 joined with S. A. Naber in a volume entitled, Verisimilia: Laceram conditionem Novi Testamenti exemplis illustrarunt et ab origine repetierunt. They explained all the New Testament books as the result of a Christian working-over of books produced originally by a liberal school of Jewish thought. The Pauline epistles in particular are the product of the editorial work of a certain Paulus Episcopus of the second century.

Rudolf Steck, in Der Galaterbrief nach seiner Echtheit untersucht, Berlin, 1888, maintains the historicity of the apostle Paul, but holds that like Jesus he wrote nothing. The four principal letters ascribed to Paul he maintains to have been written in the order: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, by the Pauline School, the last being based upon the earlier ones.

Van Manen at first vigorously opposed the views of Loman, but later himself advocated similar opinions. In his article “Paul,” in Encyc. Bib. vol. III, col. 3603 ff., he contends that “we possess no epistles of Paul” (col. 3631), “and various reasons lead us so far as the canonical text [of Galatians] is concerned to think of a Catholic adaptation of a letter previously read in the circle of the Marcionites, although we are no longer in a position to restore the older form” (col. 3627).

It is no longer necessary to discuss these views at length. They belong already to the history of opinion rather than to living issues. Outside the limited circle of the writers named above and a very few others* they have won no adherents either in England or America or on the Continent. The verdict of Germany as expressed by H. J. Holtzmann is accepted by scholars generally. “For ten years a determined effort was made by Holland and Switzerland to ascribe all of the epistles of Paul as not genuine to the second century. This attempt has found no support from German theology” (New World, June, 1894, p. 215).

The student who is interested may consult the works above referred to for the views of the writers themselves, and for criticism of their views: Zahn, ZkWkL., 1889, pp. 451-466; Gloel, Die jüngste Kritik des Galaterbriefes, Erlangen, 1890; Schmidt, Der Galaterbrief im Feuer der neuesten Kritik, Leipzig, 1892; Godet, Introduction to the Epistles of St. Paul, 1894, pp. 230 ff.; Knowling, Witness of the Epistles, London, 1892, chap. III; and Testimony of St. Paul to Christ, New York, 1905, Preface and Lectures I and III; Schmiedel, article, “Galatians,” in Encyc. Bib. vol. II, cols. 1617-1623; Clemen, Paulus, Giessen, 1904, vol. I, pp. 6-42; Lake, Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, London, 1911, chap. VII; cf. also literature referred to by Moff. Introd., p. 107, Knowling, and Schmiedel, op. cit.

Modern criticism as represented by scholars of all schools of thought, with the few exceptions noted, ratifies the tradition of centuries that the letter to the Galatians was written, as it claims to have been, by Paul, the Christian apostle of the first century. The internal evidence of the letter, with the vivid disclosure of a commanding personality and a tense and intensely interesting situation, and the correspondence of that situation with that which is reflected in the other literature professing to come from the same author and period, supplemented by the external evidence, rather meagre though it is, furnish no ground or occasion, indeed, for any other opinion.


I. Introduction. 1:1-10.

1. Salutation, including assertion of the writer’s apostolic authority 1:1-5.

2. Expression of indignant surprise at the threatened abandonment of his teaching by the Galatians, in which is disclosed the occasion of the letter 1:6-10.

II. Personal Portion of the Letter.

The general theme established by proving the apostle’s independence of all human authority and direct relation to Christ: 1:11-2:21.

1. Proposition: Paul received his gospel not from men, but immediately from God 1:11, 12.

2. Evidence substantiating the preceding assertion of his independence of human authority drawn from various periods of his life 1:13-2:21.

a. Evidence drawn from his life before his conversion 1:13, 14.

b. Evidence drawn from the circumstances of his conversion and his conduct immediately thereafter 1:15-17.

c. Evidence drawn from a visit to Jerusalem three years after his conversion 1:18-20.

d. Evidence drawn from the period of his stay in Syria and Cilicia 1:21-24.

e. Evidence drawn from his conduct on a visit to Jerusalem fourteen years after the preceding one 2:1-10.

f. Evidence drawn from his conduct in resisting Peter at Antioch 2:11-14.

g. Continuation and expansion of his address at Antioch so stated as to be for the Galatians, also an exposition of the gospel which he preached 2:15-21.

III. Refutatory Portion of the Letter.

The doctrine that men, both Jews and Gentiles, become acceptable to God through faith rather than by works of law, defended by refutation of the arguments of the judaisers, and chiefly by showing that the “heirs of Abraham” are such by faith, not by works of law. Chaps. 3, 4.

1. Appeal to the early Christian experience of the Galatians 3:1-5.

2. Argument from the faith of Abraham, refuting the contention of his opponents that only through conformity to law could men become “sons of Abraham” 3:6-9.

3. Counter argument, showing that those whose standing is fixed by law are by the logic of the legalists under the curse of the law 3:10-14.

4. Argument from the irrevocableness of a covenant and the priority of the covenant made with Abraham to the law, to the effect that the covenant is still in force 3:15-18.

5. Answer to the objection that the preceding argument leaves the law without a reason for being 3:19-22.

6. Characterisation of the condition under law and, in contrast with it, the condition since faith came: then we were held in custody under law; now we are all sons of God, heirs of the promise 3:23-29.

7. Continuation of the argument for the inferiority of the condition under law, with the use of the illustration of guardianship 4:1-7.

8. Description of the former condition of the Galatians as one of bondage to gods not really such, and exhortation to them not to return to that state 4:8-11.

9. Affectionate appeal to the Galatians to enter fully into their freedom from law, referring to their former enthusiastic reception of the apostle and affection for him 4:12-20.

10. A supplementary argument, based on an allegorical use of the story of the two sons of Abraham, and intended to convince the Galatians that they are joining the wrong branch of the family 4:21-31.

IV. Hortatory Portion of the Letter. 5:1-6:10

1. Exhortations directly connected with the doctrine of the letter 5:1-6:5.

a. Appeal to the Galatians to stand fast in their freedom in Christ 5:1-12.

b. Exhortation not to convert their liberty in Christ into an occasion for yielding to the impulse of the flesh 5:13-26.

c. Exhortation to restore those who fall, and to bear one another’s burdens 6:1-5.

2. Exhortations having a less direct relation to the principal subject of the epistle 6:6-10.

V. Conclusion of the Letter. 6:11-18

1. Final warning against the judaisers 6:11-16.

2. Appeal enforced by reference to his own sufferings 6:17.

3. Final benediction 6:18.


Accepting in general the principles of Westcott and Hort, the author of this commentary has diligently examined the available evidence for the text of Galatians in the light of those principles. The result has naturally been the acceptance for the most part of the Westcott and Hort text; yet in a few cases the evidence has seemed to require the adoption of a different reading from that preferred by those eminent scholars.

The evidence has been gained almost wholly from Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Grœce, ed. oct. crit. maj. Leipzig, 1872. Use has also been made of Souter, Novum Testamentum Grœce, Oxford, 1910, and, for the ms. H., of the reproductions of it by Omont, Robinson, and Lake. See below, p. lxxvi. The notation is that of Gregory as found in Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, Leipzig, 1908.

The epistle is found in whole or in part in twenty-one uncial manuscripts, being complete in sixteen of them. The five instances in which it is incomplete are noted in the following list:

א. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

A. Codex Alexandrinus. Fifth century. In British Museum, London. Edited by Woide, 1786; N. T. portion by Cowper, 1860; Hansell, 1864; in photographic facsimile, by E. Maunde Thompson, 1879; and again in photographic simile by F. G. Kenyon in 1909.

B. Codex Vaticanus. Fourth century. In Vatican Library, Rome. Photographic facsimile by Cozza-Luzi, 1889; and a second issued by the Hoepli publishing house, 1904.

C. Codex Ephrœmi Rescriptus. Fifth century. In National Library, Paris. As its name implies, it is a palimpsest, the text of the Syrian Father Ephrem being written over the original biblical text. New Testament portion edited by Tischendorf, 1843. Contains Galatians 1:21, ἔπειτα to the end, except that certain leaves are damaged on the edge, causing the loss of a few words. So e. g. ξῆλος or ξῆλοι, Galatians 5:20.

Dp. Codex Claromontanus. Sixth century. In National Library, Paris. Greek-Latin. Edited by Tischendorf, 1852.

Ep. Codex Sangermanensis. Ninth century. In Petrograd. Greek-Latin. A copy, not very good, of Codex Claromontanus. Hence not cited in the evidence.

F. Codex Augiensis. Ninth century. In Trinity College, Cambridge. Greek-Latin. Edited by Scrivener, 1859. Closely related to Codex Bœrnerianus. See Gregory, Textkritik, pp. 113 f.

Fa. Codex Parisiensis Coislinianus I. Seventh century. In National Library, Paris. Edited by Tischendorf in Mon. Sac. Ined. 1846. Contains Galatians 4:21, Galatians 4:22.

Gp. Codex Bœrnerianus. Ninth century. In Royal Library, Dresden. Greek-Latin. Edited by Matthæi, 1791; photographic reproduction issued by the Hiersemann publishing house, Leipzig, 1909.

H. Sixth century. The fragments of this ms. are scattered in six European libraries. The portion at Athos contains Galatians 1:1-4, Galatians 1:2:Galatians 1:14-17; that in the Imperial Library at Petrograd Galatians 1:4-10, Galatians 1:2:Galatians 1:9-14; that in the National Library in Paris Galatians 4:30. The portions known at that time were published by Tischendorf in Mon. Sac. Ined. Bd. VIII; Duchesne published the Athos and Paris fragments in Archives des Missons sc. et lit. Ser. III, vol. 3, pp. 420-429, Paris, 1876; and H. Omont published the entire ms. as then known (forty-one leaves) in Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit grec en onciales des épîtres de Saint Paul, conservé à la Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1889; which is republished in Notices et Extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale, vol. 33, pp. 145-192, Paris, 1890. From the offset on opposite leaves J. A. Robinson published sixteen pages of the ms., including Galatians 4:27-30, Galatians 5:6-10, in Texts and Studies, vol. III, No. 3, Cambridge, 1895. Kirsopp Lake reproduced the Athos fragments in facsimile and a transcribed text in Facsimiles of the Athos Fragment of Codex H of the Pauline Epistles, Oxford, 1905. The citations of the text in this commentary are made from the publications of Omont, Robinson, and Lake.

K. Codex Mosquensis. Ninth century. In Moscow.

L. Codex Angelicus. Ninth century. In Angelica Library in Rome.

Np. Codex Petropolitanus. Ninth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Contains Galatians 5:12.

P. Codex Porphyrianus. Ninth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Published by Tischendorf in Mon. Sac. Ined. Bd. V, 1865.

ψ. Eighth or ninth century. At the monastery of the Laura on Mt. Athos; unpublished. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 94; Kenyon, Textual Criticism of N. T. p. 120.

056. Tenth century. In National Library, Paris. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 296, No. 19, p. 1047.

062. Fourth or fifth century. In Damascus. Contains only Galatians 4:15. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 1047.

075. Tenth century. In National Library, Athens. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 309, No. 382, p. 1061.

0142. Tenth century. In Royal Library, Munich. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 267, No. 46, p. 1081.

0150. Tenth century. In Patmos. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 311, No. 413, p. 1081.

0151. Twelfth century. In Patmos. See Gregory, Textkritik, p. 311, Nos. 1 and 14, p. 1081.

The text of the last seven mss. was not available for use in the text-critical notes of this commentary.

Of the approximately six hundred cursive manuscripts which contain the epistle in whole or in part, almost all of them in whole, Tischendorf cites the evidence of sixty-six, manifestly, however, for the most part only when they sustain the readings of the more ancient authorities, and some of them only once or twice. These sixty-six are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5*, 6, 10, 31, 32, 33, 39, 42, 88, 93, 101, 102, 103, 104, 122, 181, 205, 206, 209, 216, 218, 234, 242, 263, 309, 314, 319, 322, 323, 326, 327, 328, 330, 336, 356, 4242, 429, 431, 436, 440, 442, 450, 460, 462, 463, 464, 479, 489, 605, 618, 642, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1924, 1927, 1944, 1955, 2125.

The readings for which Tischendorf cites these mss. are almost exclusively such as would be classed as pre-Syrian by Westcott and Hort. The attestation of the rival reading is in most cases either exclusively Syrian, or Western and Syrian. The pre-Syrian element is most clearly marked in the following six mss.:

31 (Tdf. 37) the so-called Leicester Codex. Fifteenth century. At Leicester, England. Described by J. Rendel Harris in The Origin of the Leicester Codex of the New Testament, London, 1887.

33 (Tdf. 17). Ninth or tenth century. In National Library, Paris. Called by Eichhorn “the queen of the cursives.” Cited by Tischendorf in Galatians more frequently than any other cursive. Contains the Prophets as well as Gospels, Acts, Cath. Epp. and Paul.

424 (Tdf. Paul 67). Eleventh century. In Vienna. It is in the corrections of the second hand (4242) that the pre-Syrian element especially appears. See Westcott and Hort, Introd. § 212, p. 155.

436 (Tdf. 80). Eleventh century. In the Vatican Library, Rome.

442 (Tdf. 73). Thirteenth century. In Upsala.

1908 (Tdf. 47). Eleventh century. In Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The estimate of the testimony of certain groups of manuscripts which one gains from a study of the text of Galatians is in general quite in accordance with the value which Westcott and Hort ascribe to these groups in the Pauline epistles in general.

In the following one hundred and two instances (which include, it is believed, all except those in which either the variation or its attestation is unimportant) א and B agree and are supported by various groups of other uncials: 1:4, 10, 16, 18, 24, 2:4, 5 (2)*, 6, 8, 9 (2), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 (3), 16 (4), 18, 3:1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17 (2), 19, 22, 23 (2), 24, 29 (2) 4:2, 4, 6 (2), 7 (2), 8 (2), 14, 15 (3), 17 (2), 18, 19, 21, 25, 26, 30 (2), 31, 5:1 (5), 4, 7 (2), 10 (2), 12, 13, 14 (2), 15, 17, 19, 20 (2), 21, 23 (2), 24, 25, 6:1 (2), 3, 8 (2), 9, 10, 12 (2), 13, 14 (2), 15, 16, 17. In 2:12 ἦλθεν, which is the reading of אBDFG 39, 442, is undoubtedly an error, though manifestly very ancient. In 6:12 transcriptional probability is against διώκωνται, the reading of אBD, but intrinsic probability is strongly in its favour. In nearly half the remaining instances internal evidence, chiefly transcriptional probability, is clearly on the side of the reading of אB; in a considerable number of cases the external attestation of the rival reading is so weak as to leave no room for doubt that the reading of אB is the original; in no case other than the two named is there any strong evidence for the reading opposed to that of אB.

א and B agree in supporting a reading unsupported by other uncials whose text is available in eight passages, viz., 3:7, 10, 14, 4:9, 18, 19, 5:21, 6:10. In 4:9 א and B stand quite alone. In 3:7 their reading is found also in early fathers, in 3:14 in two ancient versions, Syr. (psh.) and Aeth., but in no other Greek manuscript so far as noted. In the other passages their reading is supported by good cursives. Of the eight passages the אB reading is unquestionably correct in 6:10; almost unquestionably wrong in 4:18; in all the other instances it is accepted or given the preference by Westcott and Hort, and doubtless rightly, except in 4:9, where δουλεῦσαι seems clearly to be a corruption of the original text.

א and B are opposed to one another in forty-four instances. In sixteen of these א is accompanied by A and by either C or P or both, and B is accompanied by FG (once G only) or D, sometimes by both. The sixteen passages are 1:3, 11, 15, 17, 18; 2:6, 14, 20, 4:14, 23, 25, 28, 5:26, 6:2, 7, 13. Tried by internal evidence neither group can be said to be uniformly superior to the other. The reading of אA (C) (P) is preferred by Westcott and Hort in twelve of the sixteen instances; viz. in 1:3, 15, 17, 18, 2:6, 20, 4:23, 28, 5:26, 6:2, 7, 13. Their judgment seems open to question in reference to 1:15, 2:6, 4:28, but in the other nine cases there seems no reason for doubt.

In seven instances אACP, and in two instances אAP (C being lacking), are accompanied also by DFG, and B stands opposed to them supported by good cursives (33, 4242), versions or fathers, but by no weighty uncial authority. These nine passages are 1:4, 12, 2:13, 16, 3:19, 21, 5:6, 6:11, 15. In five of these passages the B reading is probably the original. In 6:15 Westcott and Hort are clearly right in accepting the reading or B without alternative. In all the rest they give both readings, one in the text, the other in the margin, preferring the אAC reading in four of the passages.

In the remaining nineteen cases in which א and B are opposed to one another the division of evidence varies greatly. The B reading seems clearly preferable in 1:9, 3:13, 28 (εἷς ἐστὲ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ) 6:9, 17; the א reading in 4:3, 4:23

Bertheau, Carl, Einige Bemerkungen über die Stelle Galatians 2:0 und ihr Verhältniss zur Apostelgeschichte. Hamburg, 1854.

Holtzmann, H. J., Der Apostelconvent, in ZwTh., 1882, 1883.

Zimmer, Friedrich, Galaterbrief und Apostelgeschichte, 1887.

Hilgenfeld, A., Die neuesten Vertheidiger des Aposteldecrets, in ZwTh., 1891.

Dobschütz, Ernst von, Probleme des apostolischen Zeitalters. Leipzig, 1904.

Völter, D., Paulus und seine Briefe. Strassburg, 1905.

Kreyenbühl, J., Der Apostel Paulus und die Urgemeinde, in ZntW., 1907.

Bacon, B. W., Acts versus Galatians: The Crux of Apostolic History, in AJT., vol. XI, 1907.

For further references see p. xliv, and Lipsius, op. cit. sup.


Holsten, Carl, Zum Evangelium des Paulus u. Petrus. Rostock, 1848.

———, Das Evangelium des Paulus. Th. II. Berlin, 1898.

Sabatier, A., L’Apôtre Paul. Esquisse d’une Histoire de sa Pensée. Paris, 3d ed., 1870. E. T. by A. M. Hellier, London, 1891.

Pfleiderer, Otto, Der Paulinismus. Leipzig, 1873. E. T. by Edward Peters, London, 1877.

Cler, Samuel, La Notion de La Foi dans Saint Paul. Étude de Théologie Biblique. Alençon, 1886.

Gloel, Johannes, Der heilige Geist in der Heilsverkündigung des Paulus. Halle, 1888.

Everling, Otto, Die paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie. Göttingen, 1888.

Stevens, George Barker, The Pauline Theology. New York, 1892.

Grafe, Eduard, Die paulinische Lehre vom Gesetz nach den vier Hauptbriefen. Freiburg, 2te Aufl., 1893.

Kabisch, Richard, Die Eschatologie des Paulus. Göttingen, 1893.

Bruce, Alexander Balmain, St. Paul’s Conception of Christianity. Edinburgh and New York, 1894.

Teichmann, Ernst, Die paulinischen Vorstellungen von Auferstehung und Gericht und ihre Beziehung zur jüdischen Apokalyptik. Freiburg, 1896.

Somerville, David, St. Paul’s Conception of Christ. Edinburgh, 1897.

Simon, Theodore, Die Psychologie des Apostels Paulus. Göttingen, 1897.

Wernle, Paul, Der Christ und die Sünde bei Paulus. Freiburg, 1897.

Feine, Paul, Das gesetzesfreie Evangelium des Paulus. Leipzig, 1899.

Thackeray, Henry St. John, The Relation of St. Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought. London, 1900.

Mommsen, Theodor, Die Rechtsver hälinisse des Apostels Paulus, in ZntW., 1901.

Wernle, Paul, Die Anfänge unserer Religion. Tübingen, 1901.

Feine, Paul, Jesus Christus und Paulus. Leipzig, 1902.

Brückner, Martin, Die Entstehung der paulinischen Christologie. Strassburg, 1903.

Vos, Gerhardus, The Alleged Legalism in Paul’s Doctrine of Justification, in PThR., 1903.

Sokolowski, Emil, Die Begriffe Geist und Leben bei Paulus. Göttingen, 1903.

Kennedy, H. A. A., St. Paul’s Conception of the Last Things. New York, 1904.

Monteil, S. Essai sur la Christologie de Saint Paul. Paris, 1906.

Arnal, Jean, La Notion de l’Esprit, sa Genèse et son Évolution dans la Théologie Chrétienne. Paris, 1907.

DuBose, William Parcher, The Gospel according to St. Paul. New York, 1907.

Olschewski, Wilhelm, Die Wurzeln der paulinischen Christologie. Königsberg, 1909.

Macintosh, Douglas C., The Pragmatic Element in the Teaching of Paul, in AJT., vol. XIV, 1910.

Gardner, Percy, The Religious Experience of St. Paul. New York, 1911.

Dewick, E. C., Primitive Christian Eschatology. Cambridge, 1912.

Boysson, A. de, La Loi et la Foi. Paris, 1912.

Williams, E. J. Watson, A Plea for a Reconsideration of St. Paul’s Doctrine of Justification. London, 1912.

Wetter, Gillis Piton, Der Vergeltungsgedanke bei Paulus. Göttingen, 1912.

Rostron, S. Nowell, The Christology of St. Paul. London, 1912.

Westcott, F. B., St. Paul and Justification. London and New York, 1913.

Prat, F. La Théologie de Saint Paul. Paris, 1913. Contains bibliography.

Ramsay, W. M., The Teaching of Paul in Terms of the Present Day. London, 1913.

Hatch, William Henry Paine, The Pauline Idea of Faith in Its Relation to Jewish-Hellenistic Religion. Cambridge, 1917.

Morgan, W. The Religion and Theology of Paul. Edinburgh, 1917.

Ltft. Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions.

DCB. Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

E. T. English translation.

S. and H. Sanday, Wm., and Headlam, A. C.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Edinburgh and New York, 1895.

* Κελτοί: Hdt. 2:22; Xen. Hell. 7. 1:20; Pausan. 1:4; Polyb. 3. 60, etc. Κέλται: Strabo, 4. 1:1. Γαλάται: Pausan. 1:3, 4; Polyb. 2. 15. Celtæ: Cæsar B. G. 1:1. Galatæ: Cic. ad Att., VI 5:2; Tacit. Ann. 15:6. Galli: Cæsar B. G. 1:1. Various compounds occur both in Greek and Latin. Thus Κελτολίγυες: Strabo, 4. 6:2. Κελτοσκύθαι: Strabo, 1. 2:27; Ἑλληνογαλάται: Diod. Sic. 5. 32:5. Γαλλογραικοί, Γαλλογραικία: Strabo, 2. 5:21; 12. 5:1 (cited by Woodhouse, Encyc. Bib.). Gallogræcia: Livy 38:12; Gallogræci: Livy 38:17.

† Tarn, Antigonos Gonatas, p. 141, f. n. 11.

‡ Niese, art. “Galli” in Pauly-Wissowa, discounts this passage in Diodorus as late evidence. Tarn, op. cit. ibid., takes issue with Niese on this point, holding that Diodorus is here quoting Posidonius. Even so, however, the evidence would be later than Polybius.

§ Art. “Galli” in Pauly-Wissowa, init.

|| Die Wanderung der Kelten, Leipzig, 1861, p. 3.

¶ Op. cit., p. 141.

** “Les Celtes, les Galates, les Gaulois,” in Revue Archéologique, xxx 2 (1875), p. 4 ff.

* Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 124-128; 470-475; 490-492; McCulloch, art. “Celts” in Hastings. Dict. Rel. and Eth.

* Ramsay, Com. on Galatians, pp. 101, 109 ff.; Perrot, De Galatia Provincia Romana, cap. II, esp. pp. 42 f.

* Encyc. Bib. vol. II, col. 1591.

Boeckh, Corpus Inscriptionum Grœcarum edidit Augustus Boeckius, Berlin, 1828-77.

C. I. G. Corpus Inscriptionum Grœcarum

Cf. Confer, compare.

Sief. Sieffert, F. Galatien und seine ersten Christengemeinden, in Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie., vol. XLI, 1871.

ZntW. Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

Encyc. Bib. Encyclopedia Biblica. Edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black. 4 vols. London, 1899-1903.

ZwTh. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie.

Schm. Schmiedel, P. W.

H Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings. 5 vols Edinburgh and New York, 1898-1905.

* The above is the text adopted by Tdf. WH. al. διῆλθον is the reading of א A B C D 81, 440, 614, Revelation 20:0 Syr. (psh. harcl.) Sah. Boh. Aeth. Epiph. al. διελθόντες is the reading of HLP al. longe plu. Chr. Thdrt. Ltft. adopts the latter reading on the ground that the indicative is open to suspicion as an attempt to simplify the grammar of a sentence which is rendered awkward by the accumulation of participles. But it is not certain that the scribal mind did not work in the reverse way, and against this doubtful probability the strong preponderance of external evidence leaves no room for reasonable doubt. Ramsay’s adoption of διελθόντες in St. Paul, p. 195, after rejecting it in Church in the Rom. Emp.4 p. 484, looks suspiciously like controlling evidence by theory.

† Professor Chase, in Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. VIII, p. 408, contends that μὲν οὖν of v. 5 is correlative with δέ of v. 6, and that the paragraph properly begins with v. 5, or at least that there is a close connection between these two verses. But this contention can not be maintained. μὲν οὗν may introduce the concluding clause of a paragraph without reference to any δέ in the following sentence. See Th. under μέν, II 4. The instances which Chase himself cites, taken together, make against his view. Nothing, therefore, can be deduced from this either way. V. 6 may begin a new paragraph, as in RV., indeed, probably does so, and this v. may, so far as μὲν οὖν is concerned, be a repetition of preceding verses. But that the paragraph begins here does not prove that it is a repetition.

Moff. Moffatt, Jas., Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament. Edinburgh and New York, 1911.

Introd. Introduction.

* Ram.’s contention that the fact that these words are in the plural makes the example irrelevant and his demand for an instance with Φιλόσοφος in the singular are not convincing. A philosopher can not, indeed, be one half Epicurean and one half Stoic, but a group of philosophers may be so, and so, also, may a country be one half Phrygian and one half Galatian. An example of a collective singular noun with two adjectives would, indeed, be more pertinent, but a plural of persons is more like a singular geographical term than the singular of a personal name, which Ram. demands.

* On the use of κατά see L.&S. κατά B. I 3, and cf. Hdt. 1:76; Thuc. 6:65, 104; Acts 27:7, but also Blass on Acts 16:7 (cited by Ram., art. “Mysia” in HDB). On κατά, meaning “opposite,” “facing,” see Æsch. Theb. 505; Xen. Hell. 4:2. For the meaning “at” or “near” see Hdt. 3:54; Æsch. Theb. 528.

* BMT 145; cf. Gifford in Expositor, Ser. IV, vol. X (1894), pp. 17 ff.; and contra Rob. p. 861. For exx. of this usage additional to those cited in BMT, see Pind. Pyth. IV 189, ἐπαινήσας; Test. XII Patr. Reub. 3, 15, ἁψάμενος (cited by Gifford from Sanday); Clem. Alex. Protrept. (Cohortatio ad gentes), chap. 2: μίγνυται δράκων γενόμενος, ὃς ἧν ἐλεγχθείς (Migne. col. 76): “He makes his approach as a dragon, his identity being afterwards discovered”; Chronicon Paschale, pref. quoted by Routh, Reliquiœ Sacrœ, I 161, ἐπιτεθέντος. That the exx. of this usage are scattered over several centuries of time, some being earlier, some later than N. T., does not, perhaps, diminish their value.

* Matthew 24:45 shows, indeed, that Φρυγίαν may be an adjective limiting χώραν, despite its position. But such an order is apparently poetic or rhetorical and not likely to be found in a plain geographical statement. The examples cited by Ram. St. Paul, p. 211, are not really parallel cases. The first one is a case of distributive apposition, the general term preceding the noun and specific terms following it. The other passages are not examples of two adjectives limiting the same noun, one preceding the noun with the article, the other following it without the article, but of a series of proper adjectives, each preceded by an article and each denoting a different object, the noun being expressed with the first and supplied with the others.

* See detached note, p. 117; Weizs. Apost. Zeit.2, p. 168; E. T. I 199 ff.; McGiffert, Apostolic Age. p. 208; Ltft. Com. on Gal. pp. 123 ff., and other commentaries on Gal.; Wendt, Apostelgeschichte, cap. 15, in Meyer’s Kommentar, and other commentaries on Acts.

Mey. Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm, Kritisch-exegetisches Handbuch über den Brief an die Galater. Göttingen, 1841, in Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament, 1832-59. E. T., with bibliography, by Venables and Dickson. Edinburgh, 1873-85. Various later editions. See also under Sieffert, F. Galatien und seine ersten Christengemeinden, in Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie., vol. XLI, 1871.

Ws. Weiss, Bernhard, Die paulinischen Briefe und der Hebräerbrief im berichtigten Text. Leipzig, 1896.

* See Burton, Records and Letters of the Apostolic Age, pp. 204 f.

Just. Mart. Justin Martyr. Ca. 150.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Moff. Moffatt, Jas., Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament. Edinburgh and New York, 1911.

Introd. Introduction.

Epiph. Epiphanius. † 404. See Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

* Edward Evanson, an English deist previously a clergyman of the Church of England, in his work on the Dissonance of our Four Generally Received Evangelists, 1792, directing his criticism especially against the fourth gospel, denied also the genuineness of Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians, and expressed doubts about Philippians, Titus, and Philemon, but raised no question about Galatians. Cf. Sief. Kom. p. 26; Knowling, Testimony of St. Paul to Christ, p. 38. Steck, Galaterbrief, p. 4, seems to be in error in saying that Evanson embraced in his denial all the books of the New Testament with the possible exception of Luke. I have not myself seen Evanson.

Encyc. Bib. Encyclopedia Biblica. Edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black. 4 vols. London, 1899-1903.

* J. Friedrich, Die Unechtheit des Galaterbriefs, 1891; Kalthoff, Die Entstehung des Christenthums, 1904; Johnson, Antiqua Mater, 1887; Robertson, Pagan Christs. Cf. Knowling and Clemen, op. cit.

ZkWkL. Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben.

* But according to Gregory, Textkritik, p. 295, this ms. does not contain any part of Galatians.

Tdf. Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. Editio octava crit. maj. Leipzig, 1869-72.

424 424 (Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. Paul 67). Eleventh century. In Vienna. It is in the corrections of the second hand (424:2) that the pre-Syrian element especially appears. See Westcott and Hort, [Westcott, B. F., and Hort, F. J. A., The New Testament in the original Greek. London, 1881. Vol. I, Text; vol. II, Introduction and Appendix.] Introd. § 212, p. 155.

אԠא. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

B B. Codex Vaticanus. Fourth century. In Vatican Library, Rome. Photographic facsimile by Cozza-Luzi, 1889; and a second issued by the Hoepli publishing house, 1904.

* Figures in parentheses indicate the number of instances within the verse.

D D. Codex Claromontanus. Sixth century. In National Library, Paris. Greek-Latin. Edited by Tischendorf, 1852.

F F. Codex Augiensis. Ninth century. In Trinity College, Cambridge. Greek-Latin. Edited by Scrivener, 1859. Closely related to Codex Bærnerianus. See Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments, vol. II, Leipzig, 1902, pp. 113 f.

G G. Codex Bærnerianus. Ninth century. In Royal Library, Dresden. Greek-Latin. Edited by Matthæi, 1791; photographic reproduction issued by the Hiersemann publishing house, Leipzig, 1909.

442 442 (Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. 73). Thirteenth century. In Upsala.

A A. Codex Alexandrinus. Fifth century. In British Museum, London. Edited by Woide, 1786; N. T. portion by Cowper, 1860; Hansell, 1864; in photographic facsimile, by E. Maunde Thompson, 1879; and again in photographic simile by F. G. Kenyon in 1909.

C C. Codex Ephrœmi Rescriptus. Fifth century. In National Library, Paris. As its name implies, it is a palimpsest, the text of the Syrian Father Ephrem being written over the original biblical text. New Testament portion edited by Tischendorf, 1843. Contains Galatians 1:21, ἔπειτα to the end, except that certain leaves are damaged on the edge, causing the loss of a few words. So e. g. ξῆλος or ξῆλοι, Galatians 5:20.

P P. Codex Porphyrianus. Ninth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Published by Tischendorf in Mon. Sac. Ined. Bd. V, 1865.

33 33 (Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. 17). Ninth or tenth century. In National Library, Paris. Called by Eichhorn “the queen of the cursives.” Cited by Tischendorf in Galatians more frequently than any other cursive. Contains the Prophets as well as Gospels, Acts, Cath. Epp. and Paul.

K K. Codex Mosquensis. Ninth century. In Moscow.

* The intention has been in general to give the date of the first edition of each work listed and to indicate the existence of later editions when such were published. But as not all the works cited were at hand and as first editions were often inaccessible exactness of statement can not be guaranteed in every case. The Commentaries marked with a * are of exceptional interest or value.

H Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings. 5 vols Edinburgh and New York, 1898-1905.

* The Commentaries marked with a * are of exceptional interest or value.

S. and H. Sanday, Wm., and Headlam, A. C.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Edinburgh and New York, 1895.

E. T. English translation.

Th. Thayer, Joseph Henry, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament. New York, 1886. Rev. edition, 1889.

ZhTh. Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie.

Grimm Grimm, C. L. W., Lexicon Grœco-Latinum in Libros Novi Testamenti. (Based on the Clavis Novi Testamenti Philologica of C. G. Wilke.) Editio secunda, emendata et aucta. Leipzig, 1879.

Th.St.u.Kr. Theologische Studien und Kritiken.

JfpT. Jahrbuch für protestantiscne Theologie.

ZwTh. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie.

BW. The Biblical World.

AJT. The American Journal of Theology.

BZ. Biblische Zeitschrift.

ZntW. Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

PThR. Princeton Theological Review.

Important Words





I. Ἀπόστολος

II. Πατήρ as applied to God

III. Titles and Predicates of Jesus

IV. Ἐκκλησία

V. Ἕτερος and Ἄλλος

VI. Εὐαγγέλιον

VII. Χάρις

VIII. Εἰρήνη

IX. Αἰών and Αἰώνιος

X. Ἐνεστώς

XI. Ἀποκαλύπτω and Ἀποκάλυψις

XII. Ἰουδαία

XIII. Ἁμαπτία and Ἁμαρτάνω

XIV. Νόμος

XV. Δίκαιος, Δικαιοσύνμη, and Δικαιόω

XVI. Πίστις and Πιστεύω

XVII. Πνεῦμα and Σάρξ

XVIII. Δταθήκη

XIX. Σπέρματι and Σπέρμασιν

XX. Τὰ Στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου

XXI. Ἀγαπάω and Ἀγάπη



The word i. e., a boat in commission. In Dem. 252:7, 262:15, etc., * In a similar but more general sense, it occurs in the Lxx (A) and Aq. in 1 Kings 14:6: ἐγώ εἰμι Isaiah 18:2, but not elsewhere in the Greek O. T. In Jos. Ant. 17. 300 (11:1), Ltft. pp. 93 ff.


In the New Testament the term is used of persons only. Its general meaning, clearly seen in passages in which it is used in a non-technical sense, is “a delegate,” “a representative,” one commissioned by another to represent him in some way. Thus in 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25, it is used of persons delegated by a church to execute a commission.

In Hebrews 3:1 Jesus is spoken of as “the apostle and high priest In John 13:16 the word is used in such a way as almost to involve a definition of the word. “A servant is not greater than his master, nor a delegate


But in the majority of its occurrences in the New Testament the word is used of a class of persons in the Christian church, or among the followers of Jesus. The full expression was evidently 2 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 11:12, etc.). But for this full expression

The earliest references to the apostles of Christ (reckoned by the date of the writing in which they occur) are found in the Pauline epistles, and bear witness not only to Paul’s claim to be himself an apostle but to the existence of other members of the class, who were apostles before him (Galatians 1:17). In the effort to trace the development of the apostolate it will be well therefore to begin by inquiring as to the identity of these apostles before Paul.

1. The apostles before Paul.—(a) The Twelve and their earliest designation. In the number of those who were apostles before him, Paul evidently includes Peter, and in all probability John (Galatians 1:17-19, Galatians 2:9). In the gospels there are frequent references to twelve disciples of Jesus, whom Mt. once calls the twelve apostles and Lk. refers to as the apostles, but who are most frequently spoken of simply as the Twelve. Of this company Peter and John were members. These facts do not warrant the assumption that the Twelve and the apostles are identical, especially in view of the apparent distinction between them in 1 Corinthians 15:5, 1 Corinthians 15:7; but they suggest the wisdom of beginning with an inquiry concerning the Twelve, while avoiding any presupposition as to their precise relation to the apostles.

The expression “the Twelve,” οἱ δώδεχα, in 1 Corinthians 15:5, consisting simply of the numeral with prefixed article, taken in its context makes it evident that when the epistle was written this was a recognised title of a certain group who had been in his lifetime disciples of Jesus. This is made the more clear by the fact that, according at least to the third gospel and Acts, the company consisted at the time referred to, not of twelve, but of eleven persons. The existence of this company which Paul predicates for the time immediately after the resurrection, the gospels carry back into the lifetime of Jesus. All the four gospels frequently mention “the Twelve,” οἱ δώδεκα, with evident reference to a company of Jesus’ disciples (Mark 4:10, Mark 4:6:7, Mark 4:9:35, Mark 4:10:32, Mark 4:11:11, Mark 4:14:10, Mark 4:17, Mark 4:20, 43, Matthew 20:17 [text uncertain] 26:14, 47, Luke 8:1, Luke 8:9:1, Luke 8:12, Luke 8:18:31, Luke 8:22:3, Luke 8:47, John 6:67, John 6:70, John 6:71, John 6:20:24).

It should be observed, however, that all the references in Mt. and all those in Lk., except 8:1 and 9:12, are parallel to passages in Mk. and probably derived from that source. Mk. (3:14, 15), followed by the other synoptists, records the selection of these Twelve by Jesus, and Mt. and Mk. give the list of them by name (Mark 3:16-19, Matthew 10:2-4; cf. also Acts 1:13, Acts 1:14). That such a company existed not only in Paul’s day, when retrospectively at least it was referred to as the Twelve, but also in Jesus’ own day—on this point there is no reason to question the testimony of the gospels.

It is not so clear by what name this company was known in the lifetime of Jesus. In Mark 14:20 Jesus is said to have used the words, “one of the twelve,” but this may mean only one of the twelve then at table with him. John 6:70, “Have I not chosen you the twelve?” is also indecisive, especially in view of the late date of the fourth gospel. Yet in view of the evidence that this was a very early, probably the earliest now extant, name for the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, and of the probability that even in Jesus’ ministry there was some common title for the company, it is not unlikely that it was then known as “the Twelve.” The persistence of the name, even in the latest gospels, and its occurrence in Acts 6:2 show that it continued in use also to a late period in the apostolic age.

The phrase οἱ μαθηταί, frequent in all the gospels, probably often refers to the Twelve, but is not in itself restricted to them. The expression οἱ δώδεκα μαθηταί occurs in Mt. only (10:1, 11:1, 26:20), and is in all instances clearly a secondary form of expression, due to the editor, not to his sources.

(b) The application of the term “apostles” to the Twelve. Reference has been made above to the evidence that Peter and John, who were among the Twelve, were also counted by Paul among those who were apostles before him. Matthew 10:2 shows that when this passage of the first gospel took its present form, all the Twelve were accounted apostles. Yet this designation of the Twelve as apostles is rather infrequent in the gospels. It occurs, besides Matthew 10:2, in Mark 3:14 (on the text see below) 6:30, Luke 6:13, Luke 9:10, Luke 17:5, Luke 22:14, Luke 24:10 (perhaps also in Luke 11:49). Of these passages Matthew 10:2 only uses the expression οἱ δώδεκα Revelation 21:14, and in early Christian literature in the title of the Διδαχή. In Mt. it is clearly an editorial equivalent of οἱ δώδεκα μαθηταί in v. 1, which itself represents the simple οἱ δώδεκα of Mark 6:7.

In Luke 22:14 οἱ Mark 14:17. In 17:5 and 24:10 we have no source with which to compare the Lukan form of the passages, but in view of 22:14, the word Luke 9:10, however, the expression is taken over from Mark 6:30, which therefore attests the use of the term as a title of the Twelve as early as the date of the second gospel, subject only to the possibility of an early and now unattested corruption of the text. Only Mark 3:14 and Luke 6:13 ascribe this usage to Jesus.* The text of Mark 3:14 is open to some doubt. The words οὓς καὶ אBCΔ al., and on this evidence included in the text by WH. and set in the margin by RV., are rejected by Tdf. Tr. Ws. Sd. The words are evidently in Mk. a scribal addition from Luke 6:13, or in Lk. are taken over by the editor from Mk. In other words, we have here a single witness, either the second evangelist or the third. Whatever the date of this testimony it does not affirm that Jesus at this time gave to the Twelve the name apostles, and does not necessarily mean that he at any time conferred on them the title of apostles. If it is of late origin, it probably referred in the author’s mind to the bestowal of a title, but if early may have meant only that he was wont to speak of them as his messengers, using the term with descriptive rather than titular force.

According to Acts 1:21-26 there existed within the company of one hundred and twenty disciples of Jesus who gathered in Jerusalem after his death and resurrection, a smaller company having a distinct διακονία. This smaller company constituted not an indefinite group, but an organic body of definite number and function. The context leaves no room for doubt that it is the Twelve that are here referred to. Note the list of the Twelve in v. 13, the mention of Peter and Judas, vv. 15, 16, and the implication of a definite number, within the company of the one hundred and twenty, which is to be kept complete. This passage purports to represent the ideas of the Twelve themselves very soon after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Acts author by his use of the word “apostles” in vv. 2, 26 attaches these ideas to the apostolate. The divergence between the conditions here implied as those of the apostolate and those which the rest of the book shows to have been regarded by the author himself as necessary, makes it improbable that the passage has been essentially modified from the source. For example, these conditions would have excluded Paul from the apostleship. Yet the general point of view of the Acts author forbids us to suppose either that he denied that Paul was an apostle, or that it was his intention to bring into prominence the conflict between the early Christian and the Pauline definition of apostleship. The reasonable explanation of the existence of this narrative is that the Acts author took it over substantially unchanged from some earlier source. As concerns the historicity of this source, it might conceivably have been an anti-Pauline source written with the purpose of excluding Paul from the apostolate. But two things are against this. First, Luke was evidently unaware of any such anti-Pauline bias in his source; and secondly, the word apostle does not occur in the body of the passage, as would almost certainly have been the case if it had been written to bear a part in the controversy over the apostolate. It seems probable, therefore, that this passage, which undoubtedly reflects the idea held at some period of the apostolic age as to the function and status of the Twelve at the beginning of that age, does in fact convey to us the thought of a very early period.

But a part of the same evidence which points to the early existence and recognition of the Twelve as a definite group with a distinct διακονία indicates also that this group was not yet called the apostles. The Acts author, indeed, not only in this passage but throughout the first twelve chapters of Acts, assumes the identity of the Twelve and the apostles. But this identification belongs to the author, not to his sources. In the narrative of the selection of Matthias, the term apostle does not occur either in the speech of Peter or in the body of the narrative, but appears first in the statement of v. 26 that Matthias was numbered with the eleven apostles, the language of which is naturally referred to the Acts author rather than to an earlier source. While, therefore, the author of the source clearly conceived of “the Twelve” as constituting in this early period a definitely organised body, and the Acts author thought of them as the apostles, the evidence indicates that in the period of the events here recorded the Twelve were probably not as yet known as apostles.

In Galatians 1:19 Paul applies the term “apostles” to a company some of whom at least were included in the Twelve. It is improbable that Paul would have used the term as he does in this passage unless those whom he there calls apostles were also so designated in their own circle. That he speaks of them as having been apostles before him implies that before he entered on his career as an apostle they were already exercising the function by virtue of which he now called them apostles, most naturally also that they bore the name before that time. Paul is thus in agreement with the Acts author in Acts 1:26, in that he carries the apostolic function at least back to a very early period in the history of the Christian community.

If now we compare this evidence with that of Lk.-Acts each will perhaps be found to throw light upon the other. It is clear, from evidence cited above, that when the gospel of Lk. was written, all the Twelve were counted as apostles, and that they were supposed to have constituted the original company of the apostles. To say “the apostles” when speaking of the life of Jesus was, therefore, equivalent to saying “the Twelve.” From the usage of the third gospel that of the first twelve chapters of Acts differs only in that Matthias takes the place of Judas. With the latter portion of Acts, in which Paul and Barnabas also receive the title, we are not now concerned. What we have to note is that from the point of view of Lk.-Acts all the Twelve were apostles and had been such from the beginning. The apostle Paul also refers to certain of the Twelve as apostles, and though he does not definitely include all of them under the term, yet in the absence of any limitation of the title to a part of the Twelve, it is probable that he is in agreement with Luke on this point. The usage of Lk.-Acts in this respect would then be carried back to the date of Galatians at least, and by probable implication to a point a decade or two earlier, when Paul became an apostle. Further than this we can not go with confidence. It is not indeed impossible, in view of Mark 3:14 and the evidence of the early designation of the Twelve as apostles, that Jesus was wont to speak of the Twelve as his שׁליחים (messengers), or in Greek Mark 3:14 and Luke 6:13 may involve some antedating of the usage of a later period, we can not date the use of the term as a title applied pre-eminently or exclusively to the Twelve more definitely than between the middle of Jesus’ ministry and the middle of the century, and can not say whether it was first used as a Hebrew or as a Greek term.

There are, indeed, four possibilities which with their subdivisions become seven. First, the term “apostle” may have been applied first of all to the Twelve (i) by Jesus in his lifetime, (ii) after the death of Jesus, and in either case have been gradually extended to include other men of like function in the church. Secondly, the term may have first been applied to a company that included both the Twelve and others (e.g., the seventy) (i) in Jesus’ lifetime, (ii) after his death, in either case subsequent additions being made to the company. Thirdly, the term may have been first applied to a company within the Twelve (i) in Jesus’ lifetime, (ii) after his death, in either case the number being afterwards extended to include all the Twelve and some others also. Fourthly, the term may have been first applied after Jesus’ death to a company of influential men, partly of the Twelve, partly not, e. g., Peter, James, the Lord’s brother, and John, and afterwards been extended as on the previous supposition. Bearing in mind these hypotheses we may pass to consider—

(c) The extent of the company of apostles before Paul. The evidence already cited tends to show that though Paul had personal relations with only a few of the Twelve, perhaps only with Peter and John, yet the expression “apostles before me” would on his lips have included, potentially, all the Twelve. It remains to inquire whether it would have included any others.

Reference has already been made to the fact that, according to Acts 1:21-26, within the larger company of Jesus’ disciples, the Twelve constituted an organic body having a definite number and specific function. Eventual diminution of the number is potentially involved in the limitation (implied in the passage) of those from among whom vacancies may be filled; indeed this limitation implies the extinction of the body within a generation. But the passage makes no reference to such diminution, or to any possible increase of the number; it contemplates only the restoration and maintenance of the number which had been reduced by the treachery and death of Judas. That the Acts author by his v. 26 associates these ideas with the apostles indicates that he supposed that in the early apostolic age there were twelve apostles, no more, no less. But the passage can not be cited as evidence that the early apostolic age itself held this opinion; for aside from the editorial setting in vv. 2, 26 it certifies only that in that period it was believed that the number of the Twelve was to be preserved intact for the time being, and presumably as long as there were among those who fulfilled the conditions here laid down competent persons to fill the vacancies as they occurred. Nothing is implied as to the opinion of the Acts author on the question how many apostles there might come to be.

Paul’s inclusion of James among the apostles (Galatians 1:19) following closely upon the mention of those who were apostles before him (1:17) suggests, but does not necessarily imply, that James was an apostle before Paul was. It does, however, show that as early as when Paul wrote Galatians, probably at the time of the visit to Jerusalem to which he here refers, the apostolic body included others than the Twelve, i. e., the original eleven and Matthias. But we do not know whether James was added to the Twelve, as Matthias was, by being elected to fill a vacancy, and acquired the title of apostle by virtue of his membership in the Twelve, or whether he became an apostle without being numbered with the Twelve. It is, however, distinctly improbable that the apostles and the Twelve were at the time when James became an apostle mutually exclusive bodies. This was clearly not the case when Paul wrote, nor when Acts was written. We have no evidence that it was the case when James became an apostle.

1 Corinthians 9:3ff. indicates clearly the existence of a class of apostles which included on the one side Paul and doubtless also Barnabas, and on the other, certain unnamed persons, whose standing as apostles was, however, quite assured and undisturbed. It may be safely assumed that “the rest of the apostles” here spoken of included those to whom in Galatians 1:19 Paul refers as “those who were apostles before me.” The mention of Cephas can not be understood as excluding him from the group of apostles, and since this is so, neither can it be assumed that the brethren of the Lord are so excluded. Yet the most probable explanation of the somewhat peculiar enumeration in v. 5 is that the brethren of the Lord constituted as such a different group from the apostles (i. e., that not all of the brethren of the Lord were apostles, as certainly not all of the apostles were brethren of the Lord), but that they occupied a position in the church, of dignity, influence, and privilege, similar to that enjoyed by the apostles. If we seek an explanation of this withholding of the name “apostle” from those to whom practically the same position was accorded, it seems to be suggested by v. 1 compared with 15:5-7. V. 1, “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” suggests that to be a witness of the resurrection was now regarded as a condition of apostleship, as Acts 1:22 shows that it was esteemed a condition of inclusion in the company of the Twelve, while 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, mentioning specifically the epiphany to James, but none to his brothers, suggests that he alone of the brethren of Jesus enjoyed this privilege and distinction. If this is the correct explanation, the passage, though furnishing no specific names to add to the list of apostles before Paul, makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the limits of the apostolate on the non-Pauline side, suggesting that James was an apostle and his brethren not, though occupying a kindred position in the church, and that the reason for this discrimination was that he was a witness of the resurrection and they were not.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 manifestly requires careful consideration in connection with the question of the extent of the apostolate. It reads as follows:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles. And last of all as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also.

The phrase “all the apostles,” used in a series such as that in which the phrase occurs here, might refer to a group entirely distinct from those previously mentioned, yet most naturally designates the whole of a group in distinction from a portion previously mentioned. Such portion may be found either in the Twelve (so, Chrysostom, who found in the phrase a reference to a band of apostles, including the seventy), or in James. The prima facie view of the language would also be that the phrase refers either to all who were apostles at the time of the event narrated or to all who were such at the time of writing. The latter hypothesis is, however, in this case improbable. For (i) the meaning “all who are now apostles” implies a detachment of the thought from the narrative that is improbable both in itself and because it would involve the mental addition to an original number of apostles of those who had subsequently acquired the title, and (ii) the phrase would strictly include Paul himself, whom, therefore, since he certainly was not present at the time referred to, he must have tacitly excepted. That he means “all the apostles” in distinction from the Twelve, with the implication that the latter constituted a part of the former, is also improbable in view of the remoteness of the mention of the Twelve and the intervention of the mention of the five hundred brethren and of James. The improbability of this view is further increased by the absence of any other evidence that there was at that time any such larger group. If, then, we set aside the hypothesis that the phrase means those who are now apostles, and the supposed reference to the Twelve, and if we assume precision of expression on Paul’s part, we shall infer that he is speaking of a company which was composed of those who very soon after the death of Jesus were called apostles, and which included all such in contrast with James, who was only one of the company. In this case we shall conclude that James was at that time one of the apostles. But that Paul spoke with such precision of expression is, itself, by no means certain. Such a passage as 1 Corinthians 9:5, in which Paul speaks of “the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas,” warns us against treating his enumerations as if they were drawn up by a statistician or a logician. If, as is probable, he means by James the same person to whom he refers in Galatians 1:19, Galatians 2:9, to affirm that at the time referred to he was not an apostle, would be indeed to beg the question at issue, but it is at least true that we have no evidence outside this passage that he was such, and that this passage is not decisive evidence on this point. It seems necessary, therefore, to reckon with certain other possibilities. Having in mind that James was not an apostle at the time referred to, or thinking of the five hundred as not being apostles, Paul may have used the expression “all the apostles” with the emphasis on “apostles” rather than on “all.” Or, thinking of James as now an apostle, he may have been led half unconsciously to the use of a phrase including the word apostle to describe the next group, which, however, still meant all who were apostles at the time of the event referred to. Or without intention of comparison with any previously mentioned person or group, Paul, long accustomed to the term apostle, scarcely aware, indeed, of a time when the term was not in use, may have employed the expression “all the apostles” of all who were, at the time of the event referred to, members of the company which at the time of writing had long been known as the apostles. In itself the phrase would not tell us who these were. But in view of the other evidence we should naturally assume them to have been the Twelve, or rather, perhaps, the eleven. It may, indeed, be asked why, if the expression “all the apostles” is of identical content with “the Twelve” the apostle should have used the two instead of repeating the same phrase. A confident answer can not perhaps be given to this question, but instinctive desire for variety of expression combined with the intervention of the reference to the five hundred and to James may have been sufficient to lead him to say “to all the apostles,” rather than “again to the Twelve.”*

It seems impossible, therefore, to deduce from this passage any definite indication as to who constituted the apostles at the time of the epiphany which Paul here relates, or indeed that there was at that time any definite group of persons called apostles. Read in the light of the other evidence it distinctly implies the existence of a definite company of Jesus’ disciples, known at the time of this epiphany or not much later as the Twelve, and a definite company then or afterwards known as the apostles. This passage itself does not define the extent to which these two companies were identical, but leaves unanswered the question whether they were mutually exclusive, partly identical or wholly so. The last view is, on the whole, more consistent with all the evidence.

The reference to “false apostles” mentioned in 2 Cor. will require consideration at a later point. It is sufficient at this point to note that Paul’s attitude towards them renders it improbable that they were included in those whom he designates as having been apostles before him.

In Romans 16:7 mention is made of Adronicus and Junias as ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς

2. The apostleship of Paul.—With the conversion of Saul and his adoption for himself, or the ascription by others to him, of the title

Acts 13:1-3 relates that the company of prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch set apart two of their own number for a specific task, which though not sharply defined was apparently that of carrying the gospel into regions as yet unevangelised. There is a manifest parallel between this act and that of the one hundred and twenty in Jerusalem (Acts 1:15-26), and it is not improbable that in this event we have an important step in the creation of an apostolate not authorised from Jerusalem or by the Twelve. But as in the case of Matthias, so in the case of Barnabas and Saul, there is no assertion that the term “apostle” was applied at the time of appointment, but only a subsequent reference to them as apostles by the Acts author, and no distinct evidence that those who took part in the Antioch incident looked upon it at the time as having any important bearing on the development of an office or the definition of a term.

For direct evidence as to the origin of Paul’s assurance of his own apostleship and his conception of the functions of an apostle, we must depend upon his own letters. In 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25 he uses the term, with limitations, in the general sense of messenger or delegate. This evidence is valuable as showing what was for Paul the fundamental idea of the term, but it in no way obscures the fact that Paul applied the term to a certain limited number of persons, including himself and the Twelve, in a more specific sense. In the salutation of the Thessalonian letter (or letters if 2 Thes. be from Paul), he couples with his own name those of Silvanus and Timothy, and adds no title, but in 1 Thessalonians 2:6 he uses the term Galatians 1:1-3 he affirms his own apostleship with emphasis, and thereafter in the salutation of all the Pauline letters, except Phil. and Phm. the term Galatians 1:1 and its context also make it clear that Paul’s right to this title was disputed, and scarcely less so that the ground of objection was that the title and appointment had not been authorised in Jerusalem. To this his defence was not that he had been duly appointed, but that such appointment was unnecessary, and that he had never sought it, having received his apostleship by direct divine commission. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 Paul couples the assertion of his apostleship with the affirmation that he had seen Jesus our Lord, evidently referring to the post-resurrection vision spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:8. As therefore the Galatian passage suggests one element of the conditions of apostleship implied in Acts 1:21, Acts 1:22, so the Corinthian passage suggests another. It is not, indeed, perfectly clear whether he conceded that such a vision of the risen Jesus was a necessary condition of apostleship or, only since he fulfilled it, preferred simply to affirm the fact and so avoid controversy on this point. On the one side, the general type of his thought, his emphasis on the purely spiritual as against the physical in religion, would favour the view that he did not attach vital importance to his having seen Jesus.* But, on the other hand, the great significance which he evidently attached to this particular experience, and his apparently careful avoidance of the ascription of apostleship to other missionaries of Christianity, such as Timothy, Titus, and Apollos, point to the conclusion that he included ability to bear personal testimony to the resurrection among the conditions of apostleship. We may concede that his view would have been more thoroughly self-consistent if he had attached no importance to this condition; but it seems on the whole probable, nevertheless, that he did include it in the necessary qualifications of an apostle.

If this is the case it was implied in the view both of Paul and his opponents that the apostleship could not last many years since the supply of those who fulfilled this condition would inevitably be exhausted within a generation. But it is probable that this consideration was deprived of any importance by their expectation of the consummation of the age by the coming of the Lord. Cf. Matthew 19:28.

3. The false apostles.—The mention by Paul of those whom he, in 2 Corinthians 11:13, characterises as “false apostles [ψευδαπόστολοι], deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ,” though adding, of course, none to the list of those whom he accounted apostles, throws considerable light on the whole problem of the conception of apostleship held in the apostolic age. The letter which has been preserved to us in part in chaps. 10-13 of what is commonly known as 2 Cor. shows clearly that there had been in Corinth certain persons who, claiming themselves to be apostles of Christ, denied Paul’s right to that title. If 2 Corinthians 3:1 (written a little later) refers, as it probably does, to the same persons, it suggests that these persons brought with them letters of commendation, and that not improbably their claim to the apostleship was supported by these letters. We have no means of knowing whether these men had been elected, as Matthias was, to fill a vacancy in the original Twelve, or were an addition to the Twelve. In any case, Paul’s objection to their apostleship was not based on the method of their appointment, but on the spirit and purpose of the work they were doing. The expression “false apostles,” however, confirms what the evidence previously examined implies, that to be an apostle was a definite fact. In other words, while neither Paul nor, so far as we know, the Jerusalem Christians were insisting on the maintenance of the number twelve, the term apostle still conveyed a definite meaning; it was not applied indiscriminately to any preacher or missionary of the Christian message.

2 Corinthians 10:7 and 11:23 strongly suggest that among the qualifications which these persons affirmed that they possessed and Paul lacked was a certain relation to Christ. In all probability this was in part at least personal knowledge of him in his lifetime. This view is in some measure confirmed by 1 Corinthians 1:12 (ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ) and 9:1, if, as is probable, the former passage refers to the same persons, or at least to the same movement, as 2 Corinthians 10:7, 2 Corinthians 11:23, and if 1 Corinthians 9:1 conveys a veiled and passing allusion to that party, with which the apostle for some reason did not, in this letter, wish to deal openly.* Cf. on the general situation Weizs. Ap. Zeit. p. 299, E. T. I 354, and Sanday in Encyc. Bib. I 905.

The time when these men set up their claim to be apostles is indicated only by the mention of them in the letter of Paul which is embedded in what is known as 2 Cor. This would point to a date in the early fifties as the time when they were in Corinth. How much sooner they claimed or were given the title of apostle we have no means of knowing. Whether elected to fill a vacancy in the number of the Twelve or added to that number, they may have been accounted apostles in Jerusalem even before Paul acquired the title. His subsequent denial of the title to them, when he discovered the spirit in which they were working, does not exclude the possibility of his having at first accounted them apostles. Such evidence as there is, however, would suggest that these were relatively late additions to the company of those who bore the title of apostles.

In Revelation 2:2 reference is also had to false apostles in the church at Ephesus, men who call themselves apostles and are not. Whatever the point of view of this portion of the Apocalypse, and whatever the test by which the Ephesians tried them and discovered that they were false, the passage testifies to the fact that to be an apostle was something definite and desirable.

4. The usage of the latter part of Acts.—Reference has already been made to the usage of the word “apostle” in the first twelve chapters of Acts. It remains only to observe that while in chap. 14 Paul and Barnabas are spoken of as apostles, the word occurs elsewhere only in chaps. 15 and 16, and always in the phrase οἱ

5. Summary of New Testament usage.—These facts, respecting the usage of the word in the several N. T. books, suggest that the term was first used of a narrower circle, composed of the Twelve or including them and a limited number beside, then of a wider circle, and again in certain quarters of a narrower. They do not clearly indicate when the term was first applied to the Twelve except that it was at some time before the writing of Galatians. They do not show clearly whether the term was first applied to the Twelve only and afterwards to others, or whether it first arose as a title of a larger group including the Twelve. They suggest that while the Twelve were at first the eminent body among the followers of Jesus, and were known simply as the Twelve, the raising of James, and in a lesser measure of his brethren, to a place of influence in the Christian community only second, and in the case of James scarcely second, to that of the Twelve, gradually led to the partial displacement of the numerical term, the Twelve, by the more descriptive and honorific term “apostles.” Not improbably from the beginning, this term included all the Twelve, but also James. Eventually all who like these were regarded as founders of Christianity were called apostles. Cf. below on the function of the apostle. For this use of the term there was doubtless some preparation in earlier usage. This may have been furnished by the use of some such term as

If this hypothesis be accepted as probable, we should reconstruct the history of the use of the term “apostle” in what we call the apostolic age somewhat as follows: In the midst of his ministry Jesus gathered about him a company of twelve disciples who companied with him, learning from him as pupils, and sharing in his work as his representatives. The earliest name that we can discover for this company was “the Twelve,” a title which they not improbably bore even in Jesus’ lifetime. Assured by their visions of him after his death that he still lived, they were impelled to continue their organisation such as it was, and to fill the vacancy caused by the treachery and death of Judas. They conceived it to be their function to testify to the resurrection of Jesus and in general to transmit the message of Jesus’ life and teaching which they had received through their association with him. They were not ecclesiastical officers but bearers of a message. They continued for some time, precisely how long we can not tell, to be known as “the Twelve.” With them were early associated the brothers of Jesus, of whom James was especially prominent, and these grew in influence. James being a witness of the resurrection and a man of weight and influence, assumed functions quite like those of the Twelve. This fact gradually led to the adoption of the term “apostles,” which may or may not have already been applied to the Twelve, as the title of all who shared the functions of the Twelve.

Converted to an enthusiastic faith in Jesus by his Damascus vision, Paul felt himself called by God to become a preacher of the gospel message, as he conceived of it, to the Gentiles. This was for him a divine commission and he unhesitatingly appropriated to himself the title and function of an apostle of Christ, which he conceived himself to hold by direct divine authority, subject in no way to the control of those who were apostles before him.

When Paul had been at work for some years, there went out into the territory which he conceived to be his and into the churches which he had founded, certain men, perhaps by authorisation from Jerusalem, who denied Paul’s apostleship, apparently either on the ground that he had not been a personal companion of Jesus, or had not been commissioned from Jerusalem, or both, and no doubt claimed for themselves what they denied to him. These men Paul in turn denounced as false apostles.

It is clear that there had grown up two contrasted views of the conditions of apostleship, having much in common but sharply differentiated on certain points. Both parties were agreed that to be an apostle was something very definite, and, as will appear later, were not widely divided as to what the function of an apostle was. Of the existence of a loose sense of the term as applied to apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25 do not come into account here), either as the only meaning or parallel with a stricter sense, the books of N. T. give no evidence. The difference of opinion pertained chiefly to the conditions of apostleship. The party of Paul’s opponents probably held respecting the apostolate substantially the position which Acts 1:21, Acts 1:22 takes respecting the Twelve. An apostle must have known Jesus personally, must be able to bear witness to the resurrection, and must have been commissioned from Jerusalem. Paul denied the necessity of personal acquaintance with Jesus on earth, or of any commission whatever from men. On the basis of his Damascus vision he claimed to have seen Jesus and so to be a witness of the resurrection. Other conditions than this, he maintained, were purely spiritual, and apostleship came by unmediated divine commission.

How many of those who were eligible to apostleship under either of the two views eventually came to bear the name “apostle” it is impossible to state. We can definitely name only about twenty, but quite possibly it was given to all who having been sharers in the epiphanies of Jesus afterwards assumed positions of responsibility in the church, especially perhaps if they became itinerant preachers and founders of churches.

6. The function of an apostle.—For the interpretation of the epistles of Paul the question what he conceived to be the function of an apostle is of much more importance than the number of those to whom he conceived the title to be rightly applicable. Most of the evidence bearing on this point has been cited incidentally in the preceding sections, but may now be assembled and brought to bear on this phase of the subject.

In Mark 3:14, Mark 3:15 we read: καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ cf. Mark 9:38). Though this gospel was written long after the death of Jesus and when the Twelve had long been exercising a function largely created by conditions that arose after his death, and though the expression, “whom he also named apostles,” probably shows the influence of later thought, yet with the exception of this phrase the horizon of the passage is wholly that of Jesus’ lifetime, and there is in it no suggestion of any work to be done after Jesus’ death.* This fact is strong evidence that the substance of the passage comes from a very early date, and embodies the recollection of the Twelve of their original conception of their primitive function.

But though this original appointment suggested no function extending beyond the period of the personal presence of Jesus, his death resulted not in the dissolution of the group but in the taking on of a new function. Those who had been his chosen companions in his lifetime became the witnesses of his resurrection. See above on Acts 1:21-26. The insistence upon personal companionship with Jesus, as a condition of membership in the body in the new period of its history, was doubtless in part because of the relation between such companionship and ability to be a witness to the resurrection. But the inclusion of the phrase “from the baptism of John” indicates that the bearing of such testimony was not the full duty or the only function of the Twelve. They must also be able to testify to the deeds and words of Jesus before his death and even from the beginning of his public ministry, and carry forward his work as they only could do who knew him well. On the other hand witnessing to the resurrection was not an end in itself, but the means by which men were to be persuaded to accept him as Lord and Christ. The function of the apostle is therefore comprehensively the winning of men to faith in Jesus through the testimony to his resurrection, and building them up in such faith through the story of his life and teaching. There is thus a clear affinity between the thought of the two passages Mark 3:14 and Acts 1:21-26. The companionship with Jesus which in Mk. is a part of the purpose of the choice of the Twelve becomes in Acts a condition of membership in the body; and the function of the group, though new in that it includes and makes prominent the testimony to the resurrection, is in substance the same as that set forth in Mk. with only such modification as the death and subsequent epiphanies of Jesus, convincing them of his resurrection and messiahship, would naturally call for. Whether at the early period in which this conception of the function of the Twelve took shape they were already known as apostles, or, as suggested above, this name was only later applied to them, the passage in Acts shows that by the time of the writing of Acts the definition of function had become attached to the term “apostle,” and there is no special reason to question that this took place in the process by which the term apostle was carried over to the Twelve or to that larger company of which they were the major part.

Paul’s conception of the function of an apostle is conveyed by implication rather than by any express statement. The important passage 1 Corinthians 12:28 indicates the place of high importance which he attached to it, and shows that he regarded apostleship rather as a commission conferred by divine endowment than an ecclesiastical office to which one was appointed or elected by men (see also Galatians 1:1). That the function was local, τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ referring to the church at Corinth, or generically to any local church, can not be assumed in view of Paul’s use of ἐκκλησία in the larger sense in Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Philippians 3:6, Colossians 1:18, Colossians 1:24, and is against all other usage of the word Ephesians 4:11 the writer is thinking of the church at large. But neither of these passages gives a clear definition of the specific function of the apostle. The evidence that Paul regarded first-hand testimony to the resurrection as a part of the work of the apostle has already been discussed (cf. 2 above). That the preaching of the gospel was a part of it is clearly implied not only in such passages as Galatians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:17, Romans 1:1, but in practically all his references to his apostleship. But neither of apostleship in general nor of his own apostleship in particular would this have been an adequate definition. Not every preacher of the gospel was an apostle; nor was it given to Paul by virtue of his apostleship to preach the gospel without restriction. Limiting his own efforts to Gentile lands (Galatians 1:16, Galatians 1:2:8, Galatians 1:9) and within these lands to fields not already occupied by others, he disclaimed all intention of reproselytising to his own conception of Christianity converts already made by others (2 Corinthians 10:13, Romans 15:20), and equally denied the right of others to attempt to win his converts to their views (Galatians 1:8, Galatians 1:9, Galatians 1:5:12). We infer that according to Paul’s conception the work of an apostle of Christ was that of planting Christianity. Endowed by the vision of the risen Christ with ability to testify to the resurrection, commissioned by God, and his commission attested by the signs of an apostle, viz., ability to work miracles and success in the work of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:1, 1 Corinthians 9:2, 2 Corinthians 12:12), possessed of a message for which no man was his authority (Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:11, Galatians 1:12), it belonged to the apostle not to follow in the footsteps of others, nor to build along the lines determined by other men’s foundations, but himself to announce the gospel message, to found churches, and thus to fix the lines of the development of the new religion, or the new type of the Jewish religion. Disclaiming, indeed, lordship over the faith of his converts as against the working of the Spirit in their own hearts (2 Corinthians 1:24), yet in the assured conviction of his own apostleship and his own possession of the Spirit (1 Cor. chap. 2), Paul did not hesitate on the one side to reprove, exhort, and even to command the churches which he had founded (1 Thessalonians 4:2; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Corinthians 13:2, 2 Corinthians 13:10 et freq.), and, on the other, utterly to deny the right of others, whether true or false apostles, to assume such authority over these churches. To be an apostle of Christ was in Paul’s thought to be divinely commissioned to found churches of Christ and, by virtue of such commission, to be independent of human authority.* It was such a commission and the right and duty to exercise it among the Gentiles, thus practically determining the character of Gentile Christianity as far as his work and influence extended, that Paul steadfastly claimed for himself.

Lacking any correspondingly definite expression of the conception of apostleship held by the other apostles, we can not say to what extent they would have agreed with Paul’s definition of the function of an apostle. It is evident, however, that Paul’s conception is closely akin to that which underlies Acts 1:21-26, but that his is more sharply defined in respect to the independence of the apostle. It is evident, also, that precisely by reason of this peculiarity of Paul’s view, it was well adapted to give rise to controversy. A conception of a college of apostles would have called for corporate action in the achievement of a common task. But Paul’s individualism, his view that each apostle—he at least—had his own commission from God, and was responsible, therefore, to God and not to his fellow apostles, could scarcely fail to bring him into conflict with those who held the other conception. Paul’s solution of the problem of conflicting claims that in fact arose was, as Galatians 2:6-10 clearly shows, neither to deny the apostleship of the others and maintain his own only, nor to consent to submit mooted questions to a majority vote of a college of apostles, but to affirm the undiminished authority of each in his own field. The pillar apostles, on the other hand, without apparently denying his apostleship, did not at first recognise that it required them not to interfere with his work. Later, they conceded this in theory, but did not steadfastly conform to it in practice; while the more extreme members of the Jewish Christian party denied Paul’s apostleship altogether.

Itinerancy was evidently an incidental rather than a cardinal feature of the apostle’s work. The Twelve, according to Mark 3:14, were to go out from time to time. But Acts 1:11, Acts 1:12 makes no mention of itinerancy. The use of the phrase γυναῖκα περιάγειν in 1 Corinthians 9:5 suggests that the apostles generally and the brethren of the Lord were more or less itinerant, yet rather in the sense that they had frequent occasion to change their home than to be away from home. Paul, we know, was in “journeyings oft.” Having no family he may perhaps be said to have had no home. Manifestly, also, the witness to the resurrection must go where they are to whom the testimony is to be borne, and the founder of churches can not remain seated in one place. Yet prolonged residence in a given place might be necessary to the accomplishment of a given apostle’s task, and no definite limit could be set to the period of such residence. Like the modern missionary bishop, the apostle must be where his work called him, yet not necessarily always journeying. James the brother of our Lord was never, so far as our evidence shows, an itinerant preacher, nor does it seem probable that any one who, in the discharge of his function as a founder of Christianity, should find it expedient to take up permanent residence in a certain place, would on that account have been denied the title of apostle. Still less does the evidence of the N. T. permit us to suppose that itinerancy would of itself have entitled a preacher of the gospel to be called an apostle. Nor was the expression equivalent to “evangelist,” or to the modern term, “missionary.”


To the interpretation of the development of the apostolate and the usage of the word “apostle” hereinbefore set forth, the use of the word in the well-known passage in the Διδαχὴ τῶν δώδεκα Ἀποστόλων, chap. 11, seems at first sight to interpose an objection:

But concerning the prophets and apostles, so do ye according to the ordinance of the gospel. Let every apostle, when he comes to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, the second; and if he abide three days he is a false prophet. And when he departs let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he find shelter. But if he ask for money he is a false prophet.

The first injunction manifestly has reference to Matthew 10:40: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” And this reference in turn associates the apostle here spoken of with the Twelve. Yet, on the other hand it is quite impossible to suppose that the following injunctions were intended to apply to the Twelve or arose in a time when they could have been so understood. For surely the Twelve never sank to so low a level in the esteem of the church that it was deemed necessary to prohibit their remaining more than two days at utmost in any one church, or receiving anything more than the food necessary to sustain them to their next stopping place. Apparently, therefore, the passage comes from a time when the apostles as a class were still so connected in thought with the Twelve that the sentence which the gospel applies to them could be applied to the then existing class of apostles, but when the still living members of the class had so far degenerated as to be regarded with suspicion and treated with extreme caution. Those to whom the term is here applied are itinerant prophets, living off the churches, but prohibited from receiving any money or subsisting upon any church for more than two days at a time. Violation of these rules proves them false prophets, but apparently does not deprive them of the title “apostles.”

It should be borne in mind that this is the only extant passage in early Christian literature in which any such use of the term occurs. The term is found six times in Clem. Rom., once in so-called 2 Clement, 16 times in Ignatius, five times in the Epistle to Diognetus, five times in Hermas, and once in Barnabas (see Goodspeed, Index Patristicus). All of these instances are in line with the usage which from Acts we should infer prevailed in the latter portion of the apostolic age, most of them very clearly so. Clement of Rome, Barnabas, and Ignatius know of no apostles save the Twelve and Paul. In Clem. Rom. 47:4 Apollos is expressly distinguished from the apostles: “For ye were partisans of apostles and of a man approved in their sight.” Equally clear is the usage of 2 Clem. and Mart. Pol. The usage of Hermas is less clear and may perhaps be more nearly akin to that of the middle period of the apostolic age. He speaks once of forty apostles and teachers (Sim. 9. 15:4) and twice of apostles and teachers, without mentioning their number (Sim. 9. 16:5; 25:2). These preached the gospel to the whole world and having fallen asleep preached also to those that had fallen asleep before them. The apostles preached to the twelve tribes (Sim. 9. 17:1), in which phrase there is, perhaps, a reminiscence of the twelve apostles. Of apostles still living Hermas makes no mention. From Ep. ad Diogn. 11:1: “Having become a disciple of apostles I came forward as a teacher of the gentiles,” and the probability that this writing was produced not earlier than the third quarter of the second century, it might be inferred that the word is used of men of the second century. But the fact that, in the other instances in which it occurs in this fragment (11:3, 6; 12:5, 9), the word clearly has its usual reference to the great leaders of the church in the first century, makes it more likely that it has the same meaning here and that the writer intended to say that he accepted the teachings of the apostles, not that he knew them personally.

The usage of the Διδαχή remains therefore without parallel in the literature either of the first or of the second century. It is not, indeed, impossible that the persons here referred to were survivors of the company of five hundred witnesses of the resurrection whom Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:8, but they had certainly ceased to exercise the functions which in an earlier period were the characteristic marks of an apostle, and which afterwards were regarded retrospectively as the signs of an apostle. In no strict sense can the use of the word in the Διδαχή be regarded as the survival of a primitive usage. Of the three ideas, preaching the gospel, founding the church, itinerancy, it was the first and second, not the first and third, which entered into the earliest use of the term as a designation of a class in the Christian community; and of these the second was what constituted the distinctive mark of an apostle; itinerancy was apparently neither a constant nor a necessary feature of apostleship.

A more probable explanation of the usage found in the Διδαχή is that it is an offshoot, probably local and rather temporary, from the general stream of usage in both first and second centuries arising out of the conditions of which we catch a glimpse in 2 Cor., a degenerate use of the term arising from the degeneracy of the class to whom it was applied. The conflict over the apostleship, reflected in the Galatian and Corinthian letters, led on the Jewish-Christian side, possibly on the Gentile-Christian also, to the designation and sending out of men as apostles, first, probably, of those only who had known Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards, perhaps, when no more such remained, of others. The name apostle thus became the designation of a class of itinerant Christian prophets which, for reasons no longer known, in time so degenerated that strenuous rules were laid down to prevent their unduly annoying the churches. But this was, after all, a relatively sporadic use of the term.* The main stream of usage in Christian circles remained the same. It was still commonly used of the founders of the church, those men of the first generation, contemporaries of Jesus who put their stamp upon the new religious movement and had no successors.

* For other discussions of the subject see Lightfoot, Commentary on Galatians, pp. 92-101; Harnack, “Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel,” in Texte u. Untersuchungen, II 93-118; Hincks, “Limits of the Apostolate,” in JBL 1895, pp. 37-47; Haupt, Zum Verständnis des Apostolats; Monnier, La notion de l’apostolat.

* For exx. in inscriptions and papyri see Dittenberger, Sylloge, 153, and M. and M. Voc. s. v.; cf. also Nägeli, Wortschatz des Apostels Pauius, p. 23.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Ltft. Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions.

In both cases a journey is involved, the matter to be attended to a financial one, and the person who makes the journey does not simply bear a message, but in a larger way represents the church. This may, indeed, be accidental coincidence, rather than decisive indication of the constant usage of the word. Yet compare the Jewish use of the term, as stated above.

A similar idea of Christ is several times expressed in the Gospel of John, e.g., John 17:8: “This is life eternal to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

* The utterances of Luke 11:49 and John 13:16 are ascribed to Jesus, and in both cases the term

אԠא. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

B B. Codex Vaticanus. Fourth century. In Vatican Library, Rome. Photographic facsimile by Cozza-Luzi, 1889; and a second issued by the Hoepli publishing house, 1904.

C C. Codex Ephrœmi Rescriptus. Fifth century. In National Library, Paris. As its name implies, it is a palimpsest, the text of the Syrian Father Ephrem being written over the original biblical text. New Testament portion edited by Tischendorf, 1843. Contains Galatians 1:21, ἔπειτα to the end, except that certain leaves are damaged on the edge, causing the loss of a few words. So e. g. ξῆλος or ξῆλοι, Galatians 5:20.

WH. Westcott, B. F., and Hort, F. J. A., The New Testament in the original Greek. London, 1881. Vol. I, Text; vol. II, Introduction and Appendix.

RV. The Holy Bible, Revised Oxford, N.T., 1881, O.T.1884.

Tdf. Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. Editio octava crit. maj. Leipzig, 1869-72.

Tr. Tregelles, Greek New Testament. London, 1857-79.

Ws. Weiss, Bernhard, Die paulinischen Briefe und der Hebräerbrief im berichtigten Text. Leipzig, 1896.

Sd. Soden, Hermann Freiherr von, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1902-13. Handausgabe (Griechisches Neues Testament), 1913.

* It is a tempting suggestion made by Valckenarius and cited by Heinrici in Mey. Kom. 8te Aufl., that for πᾶσιν we should read πάλιν; but in the absence of any external evidence the interpreter can scarcely avail himself of this way of escape.

* Cf. Hincks, “Limits of the Apostolate,” in JBL. 1895, pp. 37-47.

Cf. Confer, compare.

The assertion frequently made (see, e. g., Robinson in HDB, art. “Apostle,” and Robertson and Plummer on 1 Corinthians 12:28) that the expression “false apostles” implies that the number of the apostles was indefinite is inaccurate and misleading. The expression shows only that there was difference of opinion as to who were apostles. It suggests no indefiniteness as to what it was to be an apostle, but quite the contrary, for had the term been of quite indefinite meaning (signifying, e. g., only itinerant preacher), Paul would have had no motive to refuse it to the emissaries from Jerusalem, or, it may be added, to claim it for himself. Nor does the term of itself exclude definiteness of number; since an agreement, e. g., that there could be but twelve apostles, would only have given acuteness to the question who were the genuine, who the spurious. Cf. the case of delegates to a political convention. Probably on neither side was the number definitely restricted, but the expression “false apostles” would not of itself prove this.

* It is not improbable that in 2 Corinthians 5:16 also there is an allusion to the same emphasis of Paul’s opponents on personal knowledge of Jesus; in which case, however, the apostle’s phrase ἐγνώκαμεν κατὰ σάρκα Χριστον must be taken as a general expression inclusive of estimation of Christ on any basis of the physical and external, which estimation he now abjures, whatever may have been, in fact or according to the accusation of his opponents, the case in the past.

Weizs. Weizsäcker, C., Das apostolische Zeitalter. Zweite Aufl. Freiburg, i. B. 1892. Das Neue Testament, übersetzt von C. Weizsäcker.

E. T. English translation.

Encyc. Bib. Encyclopedia Biblica. Edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black. 4 vols. London, 1899-1903.

* This is the implication of the present tenses,

* The work of the apostles as a whole might be defined (cf. Haupt, Zum Verständnis des Apostolats im N. T., p. 135) as the founding of the church. But since this is the work of no single man, one could not from Paul’s point of view give this as the definition of the function of the apostle (sing.) without the addition of a limiting phrase defining the scope and territory within which the individual apostle was divinely commissioned to act. Yet neither, from Paul’s point of view, was the founding of the church committed to any body of men to be achieved by them as a body. Whether it be due to the difference of judgment between himself and others whose apostleship he was nevertheless unwilling to deny, or to inherent individualism, the apostle held at any rate that to him was given his task and to the others theirs, which each was to accomplish, with recognition of the other’s rights and duties, but not co-operatively as a duty laid on them all jointly.

* Cf.. the usage prevailing at about the same time in Jewish circles, mentioned under I above.


The antecedents of the N. T. designation of God as Father are found, on the one side, in an ancient usage of the Greek world, and on the other in the religious thinking of the Hebrews.


As early as Homer Zeus is designated as πατὴρ Theb. 512; Aristoph. Achar. 225; Pind. Pyth. 4:41; Soph. Trach. 275: ὁ τῶν ἁπάντων Ζεῦς πατὴρ Ὀλύμπιος. On the question whether this title marked him as the progenitor of the race of gods and men, or emphasised his authority and watch-care over them, see Zinzow, “Ζεὺς πατήρ und θεός, ” in ZkWkL., 1882, pp. 189 f. Diod. Sic. 5. 72:2 says of him, πατέρα διὰ τὴν φροντίδα καὶ τὴν εὔνοιαν τὴν εἰς ἅπαντας, ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὸ δοκεῖν ὥσπερ Cf. also Plut. Apoph. reg. 15. Jos. Ant. 4. 262 (8:24) speaks rather under the influence of his contact with the Greek world than of his Hebrew training when he calls God πατὴρ τοῦ παντός.


The O. T. writers speak of God as Father of men rather rarely, yet often enough to make it clear that they employed the term not in any literal or physical sense, or to designate a relation of God to all men, but to ascribe to him ethical relations to certain men or to a certain people analogous to those which a human father sustains to his sons. The relation which is in mind is sometimes authority, but especially love and watch-care. See Deuteronomy 32:6, Isaiah 63:16, Jeremiah 3:4, Jeremiah 3:19, Jeremiah 31:9, Malachi 1:6, 2 Samuel 7:14, 1 Chronicles 17:13; cf. Deuteronomy 14:1, Hosea 11:1, Psalms 2:7. The reference to creation in Malachi 2:10 is quite exceptional, but even here it is to be noticed that it is creation, not begetting or descent—hence, not fatherhood in a physical sense. In Psalms 2:7 the term “beget” is used, but it is evidently like the word “son” itself, employed in a purely figurative sense denoting an ethical or representative relationship. When God is said to be the Father of Israel, this affirmation is wholly religious, designating God’s choice of the nation, and his love for it, and watch-care over it (Deuteronomy 32:4-14), and the designation of him as Father of the King of Israel or of the coming Messiah has the same significance. In the few instances in which it is used of individuals, Psalms 68:5, Psalms 103:13, it clearly refers to his compassionate love and care.


In the later Jewish writers the term retains the same general significance in reference to the nation, present or future (Tob. 13:4, Wisd. 11:10 Jub. 1:24, 25; cf. 2:20). Clear instances of the designation of God as Father of the Messiah do not seem to occur; for Test. XII Patr. Jude 1:24:2 speaks of God not as Father of the Messiah, but as the Holy Father (see also Leviticus 18:6), and Leviticus 17:2 employs the term only by way of comparison; the Ps. Sol. (17:38) designate the Lord as the King, not the Father of the Messiah. On the other hand, the designation of God as the Father of the pious individual or individuals appears more frequently than in the canonical writings. Cf. esp. Wisd. 2:16-18: “He (the righteous) vaunteth that God is his father. Let us see if his word be true and let us try what shall befall him in the end of his life. For if the righteous man is God’s son, he will uphold him, and he will deliver him out of the hands of his adversaries.” See also Sir. 23:1, 4, Ps. Sol. 17:27, and Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 432 ff.


These facts make it evident that the N. T. teachers and writers found the term ready to their hands both in the thought and vocabulary of the Greek world and especially in their inheritance from their Hebrew ancestry; in the former as a designation of God’s relationship to men in general and, in the latter, of his attitude towards those who were the especial objects of his love and approval. Its range of uses and the variety of the forms which the expression takes in N. T. is such as to make it necessary to give attention to these before considering the precise content of the term in the N. T. books.


The term πατήρ is used in N. T. with reference to God:

1. Without the article and without other appellative so joined with it as to constitute with it a compound appellative.

(a) In the vocative (or nominative used as a vocative), alone: Luke 11:2, Luke 22:42, Luke 23:46, John 11:41, John 11:12:27, John 11:28, John 11:17:1, John 11:5, John 11:11, John 11:21, John 11:24, John 11:25; with other appellatives in apposition with it: Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21a; with adjective or possessive limitations: Matthew 26:39, Matthew 26:42.

(b) In the predicate or in dependent construction with qualitative force: John 1:14, John 5:18, John 8:41 (with τὸν θεόν in apposition), 42, 2 Corinthians 6:18.

2. With the article, but without other appellative so joined with it as to constitute with it a compound appellative.

(a) Absolutely and without appositive: Matthew 11:26, Matthew 11:27, Matthew 11:24:36, Matthew 11:28:19, Mark 13:32, Mark 14:36, Luk 10:21b, 22b, c, John 1:18, John 1:3:35, John 1:4:21, John 1:28, and freq. in Jn. Acts 1:4, Acts 1:7, Acts 1:2:33, Romans 6:4, Romans 8:15.

(b) Limited by a genitive referring to Jesus, as in the phrases, “my father,” “his father,” “thy father”: Matthew 7:21, Matthew 7:10:32, 33, Matthew 7:11:27, Matthew 7:12:50, Matthew 7:20:23, Matthew 7:25:34, Matthew 7:26:29, 53, Mark 8:38, Luke 2:49, Luke 10:22a, John 5:17, John 5:8:19, John 5:10:25, John 5:29, and freq. in Mt. and Jn.

(c) Limited by a genitive referring to men: Matthew 6:8, Matthew 6:15, Matthew 6:10:20, Matthew 6:29, Matthew 6:13:43, Luke 6:36, Luke 6:12:30, Luke 6:32; no exx. in Jn.

(d) Limited by a participle or prepositional phrase: Luke 11:13, John 6:44, John 6:57, John 6:8:16, John 6:18, John 6:12:49.

(e) Limited by a genitive referring to Jesus, and an adjective, participle, or prepositional phrase: Matthew 7:21, Matthew 7:10:32, 33, Matthew 7:12:50, Matthew 7:15:13, Matthew 7:16:17, Matthew 7:18:10, Matthew 7:14, Matthew 7:19, 35.

(f) Limited by a genitive referring to men, and an adjective, participle, or prepositional phrase: Matthew 5:16, Matthew 5:45, Matthew 5:48, Matthew 5:6:1, Matthew 5:4, Matthew 5:8, Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:14, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 5:26, Matthew 5:32, Matthew 5:7:11, Mark 11:25.

3. Joined with θεός to form a compound appellative.

(a) The two words standing without connective and neither word having the article: not found in the gospels or Acts; frequent in the Pauline epistles, and occasional in the general epistles: Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Ephesians 6:23, Philippians 1:2, Philippians 2:11, Colossians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4 Philemon 1:3, 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:17, 2 John 1:3, Jude 1:1.

(b) The two words being joined by καί and the phrase preceded by the article, giving the expression ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατήρ; not found in the gospels or Acts; not infrequent in Paul: Romans 15:6, ἵναδοξάζητε τὸν θεὸν καὶ πατέρα τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 1 Corinthians 15:24, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Galatians 1:4, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 5:20, Philippians 4:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:3:11, 13, James 1:27, 1 Peter 1:3, Revelation 1:6.

4. In some eight or ten passages the words πατήρ and θεός are associated in other ways which are slight modifications of those already named. In five of them some uncertainty of text affects the question what form the original text contains. In Colossians 1:3, Colossians 3:17, there occurs the phrase τῷ θεῷ πατρί. In Colossians 1:12, א31 read τῷ θεῷ πατρί, FG θεῷ τῷ πατρί, but the evidence is on the whole against the insertion of θεῷ. In John 6:27 and Ephesians 1:17θεός and ὁ πατήρ do not constitute a compound appellative, but stand in apposition, the relation being such as we commonly express in English by the word “namely.” In John 8:41θεός stands in similar relation with εἶς πατήρ, and in 1 Corinthians 8:6πατήρ is in apposition with εἶς θεός. In Ephesians 4:6 we have εἶς θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ πάντων, which is simply the common form 3 b, with the numeral εἶς replacing the definite article. In Matthew 6:8θεὸςπατήρ is found in א*B Sah., but most authorities omit ὁ θεός. It is bracketed by WH. Other editors do not admit it even to the margin. In 2 Thessalonians 2:16θεὸςπατήρ is read by most authorities. The ὁ before θεός is omitted by BD*K 33 and bracketed by WH. Before πατήρ it is doubtless genuine, though generally omitted by the Syrian authorities. Apparently we have here an expression unique in N. T.

Aside, therefore, from the four cases of distinctly detached apposition, the two cases of τῷ θεῷ πατρί (Colossians 1:3, Colossians 3:17), the one case of [ὁ] θεὸςπατήρ (2 Thessalonians 2:16), the one instance of εἶς θεὸς καὶ πατήρ (Ephesians 4:6), all the instances of θεός and πατήρ used together for which there is good textual evidence, have either the form θεὸς πατήρ (without article or connective) or ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατήρ (with both article and connective).

The first of these forms (see 3 a above) occurs in the genitive or dative only; in nineteen out of the twenty-one instances after a preposition, and in the two remaining cases (Philippians 2:11 and 1 Peter 1:2) after a prepositional phrase. In nine of the twenty-one instances it is limited by ἡμῶν, the list of nine being almost identical with those which belong to the certainly genuine Pauline letters (1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2 Philemon 1:3, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, but cf. contra Galatians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:1). In no instance in this group is the compound appellative followed by a genitive referring to Christ.

The second form (3 b above) is found in all cases except the vocative. In five of the fourteen it is followed by ἡμῶν; in six by a genitive referring to Jesus, in three there is no genitive limitation. In three instances it occurs after a preposition or prepositional adverb.

It thus appears that either form may be used in prepositional constructions, but that there is a decided preference for the shorter form after prepositions. Either form may be used in the genitive or dative, but only the longer form occurs in the nominative or accusative. Either form may be limited by ἡμῶν or be used without limitation, but only the longer form is limited by a genitive referring to Christ.

These facts show that the difference between the two expressions is one neither of meaning nor of definiteness, but only of the situations in which each is preferably used. In accounting for the omission of the article before θεοῦ πατρός it is to be borne in mind (1) that neither θεός nor πατήρ exhibit any special use of the article, the assertions commonly made to the contrary being without good basis, as is also the implication of Rob. p. 795, that θεός and ὁ θεός are used without distinction; the regular designation of God is ὁ θεός, * and the omission of the article indicates that the term is qualitative, or much more rarely indefinite, or comes under some other general rule for the use of nouns without the article; (2) that it is not due to the presence or absence of a limiting genitive; (3) that some compound names show a tendency to omit the article more freely than the single terms which compose the compound; this is true both of such names as Σίμων Πέτρος, composed of two proper names and of those like Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, which are in part appellative; it is apparently true of θεὸς πατήρ, since this expression is almost invariably anarthrous; (4) that prepositional phrases of a formulary or qualitative character tend to omit the article before the noun. This tendency is illustrated by ἐν κυρίῳ and ἐν Χριστῷ. It is apparently the combined influence of these two latter tendencies that gives rise to the expression Cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, James 1:27.

The fact of most importance for the interpreter is that the omission of the article with the compound appellative does not affect the meaning of the expression.

In reference to the question whether πατρός in Galatians 1:1 and other passages in which no genitive is added designates God as Father of men or of Christ, it should be noticed: (i) The latter conception is several times unequivocally expressed in Paul (Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:3) and is, therefore, not intrinsically improbable here. (ii) Yet in the Pauline epistles, when πατήρ, referring to God is joined by καί to a name of Christ, πατήρ prevailingly if not invariably designates God as Father of men. In nine instances out of sixteen, viz., in Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2 Philemon 1:3, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 3:11 ἡμῶν is expressed; in three cases—1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4— it is probably to be supplied in thought from the context; the probability is strong that in the remaining four cases—Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 6:23, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, in which no genitive is expressed, that which is to be supplied in thought is ἤμῶν. (iii) In the eight instances in the Pauline epistles in which πατήρ is used of God without genitive limitation and is not joined by καί to the name of Jesus (Romans 8:15, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:24, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 1:17, Philippians 2:11, Colossians 3:17), there are several in which πατήρ unequivocally designates the relation of God to men; none in which it certainly designates God as Father of Christ, though several of them are usually so interpreted (esp. 1 Corinthians 15:24, Philippians 2:11, Colossians 3:17). These facts make it clear that πατήρ as a title of God is prevailingly used by Paul (it is otherwise in John) to designate the relation of God to men; and especially that when θεὸς πατήρ and κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός are joined, the antithesis in thought is not that of the relation of Father and Son to one another, but of their respective relations to men. See Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, etc., esp. 1 Corinthians 8:6. (iv) At the same time it must be remembered that in the two passages in which Paul specially discusses the relation of believers to God as sons of the Father he implies a causal relation between such sonship and the possession of the spirit of God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4-7, Romans 8:15-17). It is therefore contrary to the apostle’s thought to draw a line of sharp distinction between the fatherhood of God to Christ and his fatherhood to men, and it may be that when πατήρ is used without genitive limitation, the emphasis is on God’s fatherly attitude without specific reference to the persons to whom it is manifested.

When ἡμῶν, limiting πατρός after a preposition, is followed by καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, as in Galatians 1:3, it is grammatically possible that κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ should be joined by καί to ἡμῶν and along with it limit πατρός, rather than, like πατρός, be governed by the preposition. That this is not in fact the case, but that καί joins κυρίου to θεοῦ πατρός and is with it governed by and of Jesus Christ, is nowhere unambiguously expressed in the Pauline letters; the second genitive καὶ κυρίου occurs only when θεο. πατρ. is itself in the genitive. (ii) Though there is in the undoubtedly doubtedly genuine letters of Paul no so perfectly clear example as that in 2 Thessalonians 1:1, ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ, where ἡμῶν limiting πατρί is followed not by κύρ. Ἰης. Χρ. in the genitive but by a dative, yet such other examples as Galatians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:11, where the structure of the sentence removes all syntactical ambiguity, show that it was the apostle’s usual habit to associate the titles designating God and Christ together after a preposition, not to join the latter with ἡμῶν referring to men.

On the question whether when the form ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατήρ is followed by ἡμῶν (Galatians 1:4, Philippians 4:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:3:11, 13) the genitive limits both θεός and πατήρ or πατήρ only, translators and interpreters are divided. Vulg. renders it uniformly by the ambiguous phrase “deus et pater noster.” Weisz. usually reads, “Gott unser Vater, ” entirely ignoring the καί (in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “unser Gott und Vater”). Sief. reads, “Gott der auch unser Vater ist, ” expressly rejecting the translation “unser Gott und Vater.Ell., followed by Alf., makes ἡμῶν limit πατήρ only, translating, “God and our Father.” Segond reads, “notre Dieu et Père”; RV. “our God and Father.” The last is undoubtedly correct; the arguments advanced for restricting the limitation of ἡμῶν to πατήρ are quite inconclusive. The statement of Alford (citing Ell., whom he misunderstands) that πατήρ is regularly anarthrous is an error; πατήρ, whether referring to man or to God, shows the regular use of the article; and the argument that ὁ θεός is naturally used absolutely is of little weight in view of Paul’s not infrequent use of ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν (1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Thessalonians 2:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:3:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:12), and ὁ θεός μου (Romans 1:8, Philippians 1:3, Philippians 4:19). Nor is the appeal made by Sief. to the phrase θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, etc.) of any weight, first because, the phrase being different, it is by no means certain that the relation of ἡμῶν is the same, and, second, because the probability is, as shown above, that θεοῦ πατρός is itself a compound name, the whole of which, as a unity including both elements, is limited in thought by ἡμῶν. Two nouns joined by καί and having the article before the first only are always closely connected in thought, either as common predicates of one individual, or as individuals constituting in some sense a unity. Even in the latter case, when the objects are distinct, and only closely joined in thought, a genitive, standing after either or before them both, commonly limits both. See Luke 14:21, Philippians 1:7, Philippians 1:25, Philippians 1:2:17, Ephesians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:3:7, 2 Peter 1:10. Much more probably, therefore, would this be the case when the two nouns evidently designate the same person. The only fact that could suggest a restriction of the relation of a genitive after two such nouns to the second would be its manifest unsuitableness to limit the first.

Somewhat similar reasoning leads us to the conclusion that τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ when standing after ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατήρ (Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:31) is to be understood as limiting both nouns. The expression “God of our Lord Jesus” does not, indeed, occur in Paul (cf. Mark 15:34, Matthew 27:46, John 20:17), but it can not be inferred from this fact that Paul could not limit the compound appellative “God and Father” by a genitive referring to Jesus Christ, for neither does Paul use the phrase “Father of our Lord Jesus.”


1.James 1:17 stands quite alone in N. T. in its use of the term Father to designate God’s relation to the heavenly bodies.

2. The conception that God is Father of all men is rarely expressed by N. T. writers. That he maintains to all men, and even to the lower animals, that attitude of love and watch-care which the term father expresses, is indeed explicitly affirmed. But even Matthew 5:45 and Luke 6:35, Luke 6:36 do not directly designate God as Father of all, but only of those who, as disciples of Jesus, are evidently looked upon as objects of divine approval. Nor is God called Father of all in Hebrews 12:7-9, for the “we” of this passage apparently includes only Christians, or at most Jews and Christians. Only in Ephesians 4:6, with which Ephesians 3:15 is seemingly in agreement in thought, does God seem definitely to be called Father of all, and even here it is not quite certain that “all” includes other than Christians. While, therefore, it may be properly said that the N. T. writers believe in the universal fatherliness of God, because they ascribe to him a relationship to all men which may naturally be included under that term, yet from the point of view of the N. T. use of words, the doctrine that God is the Father of all is definitely expressed, if at all, only in the Epistle to the Ephesians. Nor is this fact without significance; for it shows that the conception of God as Father so emphasised the ethical elements of fatherhood and in particular that of fellowship grounded in approval, that the N. T. writers were indisposed to use the term when the element of approval was not felt to be present.

3. The designation of God as Father of all who believe in Jesus is frequent in all parts of N. T. See examples under A. 2 c, f; 3 a, b above. While emphasising, especially when used in addressing God, the conception of his love and watch-care in which men may safely trust, yet by its all but universal restriction to use in relation to believers, and by the clear limitation of the correlative term “sons of God” to those who are like God (Matthew 5:45) or who are led by his Spirit (Romans 8:14-16), it is evident that the term carries with it the idea not only of benevolent love such as God has for the world (John 3:16) and as men are bidden to have for their enemies, but also such friendship and fellowship as is characteristic of the normal relation between a father and his children.

4. The designation of God as the Father of Jesus is, except in the fourth gospel, much less frequent in N. T. than the characterisation of him as Father of believers, yet it is found often enough to show that it is a familiar thought to the N. T. writers. It is found four times in the Pauline epistles (Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:2), is ascribed by the synoptic gospels to Jesus (see A. 2 b above), occurs very frequently in Jn., once in Heb. (1:5, where it is expressly based upon the O. T. passage concerning the Son of David), in 1Pe_2 Jn. and Rev. In 1 Jn., as in the Gospel of John, ὁ πατήρ absolute frequently occurs in antithesis with ὁ υἱός, suggesting that the reference is to God as Father of Christ.

N. T. usage in general evidently has a twofold basis, on the one side in the conviction attested by the synoptic gospels that as Jesus could speak to other men of God as “your Father,” so he could also think and speak of him as “my Father,” and on the other, in that the ascription to him of messiahship carried with it the designation of God as his Father in the sense in which God was the Father of the Messiah (cf. esp. Hebrews 1:5). These two conceptions have, indeed, a common root in the conception of God’s love and watch-care over those whom he approves, but the differentiation of the two ideas would probably be more present to early Christian thought than their common root. A comparison of the several books of N. T., with remembrance of the order of their development and of that of their sources, especially of the synoptists and the fourth gospel, indicates that the two conceptions developed in the order named, the conception of the fatherhood of God as pertaining to Jesus in a unique sense or degree gradually gaining ascendancy over the earlier idea that God is Father of all whom he approves, but even in its latest forms never wholly losing sight of the basal idea of fatherhood as consisting essentially in love. That “the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things that he himself doeth,” is still in the fourth gospel the fundamental element of fatherhood.

In respect to the thought of Paul in particular, it is to be noted (a) that he used the same form of expression in reference to Jesus as in respect to Christians, viz., “God and Father of us,” “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”; (b) that he expressly associated together the sonship of men by virtue of which they call God their Father and the sonship of Jesus, making the possession of the Spirit of the Son the ground or the consequence of the possession of the spirit of sonship (Romans 8:14-16, Galatians 4:4-7); but (c) that he did not apparently join the two together in the expression, “the God and Father of us and of the Lord Jesus Christ”; (d) that though employing the expression “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and once (2 Corinthians 11:31) “the God and Father of the Lord Jesus,” he never used either “God of our Lord Jesus,” or “Father of our Lord Jesus” alone; and (e) that he never enters into an exposition of the conception of the fatherhood of God in relation to Christ, and in particular never associates it with any statement respecting the origin of Jesus. From these facts it seems necessary to infer that, in common with the Jewish writers of the late pre-Christian period and with early Christian thought, Paul understood the divine fatherhood in a purely ethical sense, and associated it closely with the conception of the godhead (θειότης) itself, so that though one may say “our God,” or “the Father,” it is more congenial to say “our God and Father.” This conception of fatherhood holds in respect to God as the Father of Jesus also, and, indeed, especially in respect to him, God sustaining towards him in a pre-eminent degree those ethical relations which are expressed by the term Father, but having no relation to him as Father which can be thought of apart from the fact that he is God.

On the correlative idea of Jesus as “Son of God,” see below on The Titles and Predicates of Jesus, V.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Bous. Bousset, Wilhelm, in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1907. 2te Aufl., 1908.

אԠא. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

F F. Codex Augiensis. Ninth century. In Trinity College, Cambridge. Greek-Latin. Edited by Scrivener, 1859. Closely related to Codex Bærnerianus. See Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments, vol. II, Leipzig, 1902, pp. 113 f.

G G. Codex Bærnerianus. Ninth century. In Royal Library, Dresden. Greek-Latin. Edited by Matthæi, 1791; photographic reproduction issued by the Hiersemann publishing house, Leipzig, 1909.

B B. Codex Vaticanus. Fourth century. In Vatican Library, Rome. Photographic facsimile by Cozza-Luzi, 1889; and a second issued by the Hoepli publishing house, 1904.

WH. Westcott, B. F., and Hort, F. J. A., The New Testament in the original Greek. London, 1881. Vol. I, Text; vol. II, Introduction and Appendix.

D D. Codex Claromontanus. Sixth century. In National Library, Paris. Greek-Latin. Edited by Tischendorf, 1852.

K K. Codex Mosquensis. Ninth century. In Moscow.

Rob. Robertson, Archibald T., Grammar of the Greek New Testament. New York, 1914.

* The English use of “Lord” and “God” interestingly reverses the Greek use of κύριος and θεός in N. T. The Greek regularly says ὁ θεός, but in using κύριος of God usually employs it without the article. In English, on the other hand, we say “the Lord,” but “God” (without the article). The usual Greek for “the Lord God” is κύριοςοεός. Cf. Sl. Qn.

Sief. Sieffert, F. Galatien und seine ersten Christengemeinden, in Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie., vol. XLI, 1871.

Ell. Ellicott, Charles John, A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1854. Various subsequent editions.

RV. The Holy Bible, Revised Oxford, N.T., 1881, O.T.1884.


Occurring in the Pauline Epistles


The following names and phrases are applied to Jesus in the Pauline epistles, as titles or predicates. For purposes of comparison instances occurring elsewhere in N. T. are indicated in the lists.*

1. Ἰησοῦς. (a) Without the article: Romans 3:26, Romans 3:10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, 2 Corinthians 4:5b, 2 Corinthians 4:11a, 2 Corinthians 4:14b, Philippians 2:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:14a (not elsewhere in Paul); Matthew 14:1, Matthew 14:20:30, Matthew 14:21:1, Matthew 14:12, Matthew 14:26:51, Mark 1:9, Luke 2:52, Luke 2:3:21, Luke 2:23, Luke 2:4:1, John 1:47, John 1:48, etc. Acts 1:16, Acts 5:30, etc. Hebrews 2:9, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 6:20, etc.; 1 John 2:22, 1 John 2:5:1, 1 John 2:5, Revelation 1:9, Revelation 12:17, etc.; not found in pastoral epistles, or 1 and 2 Pet. Jas. or Jude.

(b) With the article: Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 4:10a, b, 2 Corinthians 4:11b, Galatians 6:17, Ephesians 4:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:14b (only instances in Paul); Matthew 2:1, Mark 1:14, Luke 4:8, John 1:36, et freq., in all the gospels; Acts 1:11, Acts 1:14, etc.; 1 John 4:3; not in pastoral epistles, Heb_1 and 2Pe_2 and 3 Jn. Jude or Rev.

2. Χριστός. (a) Without the article: Romans 5:6, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:6:4, Romans 5:8, Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:10, et freq., in Paul, esp. in the phrase ἐν Χριστῷ, e. g.: Galatians 1:22, Galatians 2:17, etc.; rare in other parts of N. T., except 1 Pet. See Matthew 26:68 (voc.) Mark 9:41, Luke 23:2, John 1:41, John 9:22, Acts 2:36, Hebrews 3:6, Hebrews 3:9:11, 24, 1 Peter 1:11, 1 Peter 1:2:21, 1 Peter 1:3:18, 1 Peter 1:4:1. 1 Peter 1:14, 1 Peter 1:5:10, 1 Peter 1:14.

(b) With the article: Romans 7:4, Romans 7:8:35, Romans 7:9:3, Romans 7:5, Romans 7:14:18, Romans 7:15:3, Romans 7:7, Romans 7:19, Romans 7:16:16, 1 Corinthians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 1:6:15b, 1 Corinthians 1:9:12, 1 Corinthians 1:10:4, 1 Corinthians 1:16 bis 11:3 bis 12:12, 15:15, 22, 23b, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 1:2:14, 2 Corinthians 1:3:4, 2 Corinthians 1:4:4, 2 Corinthians 1:5:10, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:9:18, 2 Corinthians 1:10:1, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:11:2, 2 Corinthians 1:3 (txt. unc.) 12:9, Galatians 1:7, Galatians 6:2, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:12, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:2:5, Ephesians 1:13b, Ephesians 1:3:4, Ephesians 1:8, Ephesians 1:4:12, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:5:2, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 1:23, 24, 25, 29, Ephesians 1:6:5, Philippians 1:15, Philippians 1:17 (txt. unc.) 27, 3:7, 18, Colossians 1:7, Colossians 1:24, Colossians 1:2:11, Colossians 1:17, Colossians 1:3:1, Colossians 1:3, Colossians 1:4, Colossians 1:13 (txt. unc.) 15, 16 (txt. unc.) 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (not elsewhere in Paul); less freq. in other parts of N. T. See Matthew 1:17, Matthew 11:2, Matthew 16:20, Matthew 23:10, Mark 8:29, Luke 4:41, John 7:41, John 11:27, John 20:31, Acts 2:31, Acts 2:8:5, Acts 2:9:22, Acts 2:17:8, Acts 2:18:5, Acts 2:28, Acts 2:26:63, 1 Timothy 5:11, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 3:5:5, Hebrews 3:6:1, Hebrews 3:9:14, 28, Hebrews 3:11:26, 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Peter 4:5:1, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 2:5:1, 2 John 1:9, 20:8; after ἐν in 2 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:12, Ephesians 1:20 only.

Χριστός, meaning “the Messiah,” but not as a title or affirmed predicate of Jesus is found in Matthew 2:4, Matthew 2:22:42, Matthew 24:5, Matthew 2:23, Matthew 26:63, Mark 12:35, Mark 13:21, Luke 3:15, Luke 3:20:41, Luke 3:22:67, Luke 3:23:35, 39, Luke 3:24:26, 46, John 1:20, John 1:25, John 1:3:28, John 1:4:29, John 1:7:26, John 1:27, John 1:31, John 1:42, John 1:10:24, John 1:12:34.

In a few passages ὁ χριστός is applied to Jesus, with the addition of unusual titles or limitations. Thus: ὁ χριστὸςβασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ, Mark 15:32; ὁ χριστὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, Luke 9:20; ὁ χριστὸς αὐτοῦ, Acts 3:18, Acts 4:26, Acts 11:15.

3. Κύριος. (a) Without the article: Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 7:22b, 1 Corinthians 10:25 bis 10:21 bis, etc. It is rather infrequent in Paul, except in the phrase ἐν κυρίῳ: Romans 16:8, Romans 16:11, Romans 16:12, Romans 16:13, Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 7:22a, 1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 2:12, Galatians 5:10; a complete list is difficult to give because of the difficulty of deciding in all cases whether the reference is to God or Christ. It is rare in other parts of N. T. (Acts 2:36) except in the gospels as a title of respectful address (Matthew 8:2, Matthew 8:6, Matthew 8:8, etc.).

(b) With the article: 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 4:6:13, 1 Corinthians 4:14, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 4:7:10, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 4:9:5, 1 Corinthians 4:11:26, 27, Galatians 1:19. Mark 11:3 and its repetition in Matthew 21:3 are apparently the only cases in these gospels, but instances are much more frequent in Lk. Acts, and Jn.: Luke 7:13, Luke 7:19, Luke 7:10:1, Luke 7:39, Luke 7:41, Luke 7:11:39, Luke 7:12:42a, Luke 7:13:15, Luke 7:17:5, Luke 7:6, Luke 7:18:6, Luke 7:19:8, Luke 7:31, Luke 7:34, Luke 7:22:61, Luke 7:24:34, John 4:1, John 4:6:23, John 4:11:2, John 4:20:2, John 4:18, John 4:20, John 4:25, John 4:21:7, John 4:12, Acts 5:14; Acts 9:1Acts 9:1; Act 9:10a, 11, 15, 17, 27, 28, 35, 42, 11:16, 21b, 13:12, 14:23, 22:10b, 26:15b.

4. Ἰησοῦς Χριστός. (a) Without the article preceding: Romans 1:6, Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 3:11, Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:12 et freq. in Paul, Acts, the pastoral and general epistles; occurs also Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:13:8, Hebrews 10:21, Hebrews 10:1:1, Hebrews 10:2, Hebrews 10:5, Matthew 1:1, Matthew 16:21 (txt. unc.) Mark 1:1 John 17:3; John 17:3. In Matthew 1:16, Matthew 27:17, Matthew 1:22, occurs Ἰησοῦςλεγόμενος χριστός. In Acts 3:6, Acts 4:10 we have Ἰησοῦς ΧριστὸςΝαζωραῖος.

(b) With the article, in Matthew 1:18 only. See 5 b below.

5. Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς (a) Without the article: Romans 6:3, Romans 6:8:11b, 34, Romans 6:15:10, 2 Corinthians 1:1 (txt. unc.) Galatians 4:14, Ephesians 1:1, Ephesians 2:20, Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:8, Colossians 1:1, Colossians 4:12, esp. freq. in the phrase ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ; Romans 3:24, Romans 3:6:11, Romans 3:8:1, Romans 3:2, Romans 3:15:17, Romans 3:16:3, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:4, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 1 Corinthians 1:4:15, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 1:16:24, Galatians 2:4, Galatians 2:3:26, 28, Galatians 2:5:6, Ephesians 1:1b, Ephesians 1:2:6, Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 1:3:6, Ephesians 1:21, Philippians 1:1b, Philippians 1:26, Philippians 1:2:5, Philippians 1:3:3, Philippians 1:14, Philippians 1:4:7, Philippians 1:19, Philippians 1:21, Colossians 1:4, 1 Thessalonians 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:5:18; found also in the pastoral epistles and Acts, but in no other books. In Romans 1:1, Romans 1:2:16, Romans 1:5:17, Romans 1:15:5, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:14, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:21 the mss. vary between Ἰησοῦ Χρ. and Χρ. Ἰησοῦ.

(b) With the article preceding: Galatians 5:24 (cf. ad loc.) Ephesians 3:1 only. In Acts 5:42, Acts 5:18:5, Acts 5:28 τὸν χριστόν is predicate; Matthew 1:18 should probably read, τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

6. Κύριος Ἰησοῦς. (a) Without the article: Romans 14:14, Philippians 2:19, Colossians 3:17, 1 Thessalonians 4:1, Acts 7:59, Revelation 22:20 only. In Romans 10:9 and Philippians 2:11, probably also in 1 Corinthians 12:3b, κύριος is predicate.

(b) With the article preceding: 1 Corinthians 5:5 (txt. unc.) 11:23, 16:23, 2 Corinthians 4:14a, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:15, 1 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Thessalonians 2:4:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (txt. unc.): 2 Timothy 4:22 (some texts); Philemon 1:5; freq. also in Acts (8:16, 11:20, 15:11, 16:31 etc.) but not found in other books with conclusive ms. evidence.

7. Ἰησοῦςκύριος ἡμῶν: Romans 4:24, 1 Corinthians 9:1; or in transposed order: ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς: 1 Corinthians 5:4a, b (txt. unc.) 2 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 1 Thessalonians 2:3:11, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:12a; outside of Paul in 2 Peter 1:2, Ἰησοῦςκύριος ἡμῶν, and Hebrews 13:20, ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς only.

8. κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός and other phrases containing these three terms. (a) κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός without the article: Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 1 Corinthians 1:8:6, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Ephesians 6:23, Philippians 1:2, Philippians 1:3:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:12b, Philemon 1:3; outside the Pauline letters, in James 1:1 only.

(b) With the article: Romans 13:14 (txt. unc.) 1 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 13:3, Philippians 4:23, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, Philemon 1:25; outside of Paul in Acts 11:17, Acts 28:31, Acts 22:21, with vv. ll. in the last case.

(c) In transposed order without the article: Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς κύριος: 2 Corinthians 4:5.

(d) With the article repeated: ὁ χριστὸς Ἰησοῦςκύριος: Colossians 2:6.

(e) Ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστός: Romans 5:1, Romans 5:11, Romans 5:15:6, 30, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 1:15:57, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Galatians 6:14, Galatians 6:18, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 1:5:20, Ephesians 1:6:24, Colossians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:5:9, 23, 28, 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:3:18; also 1 Timothy 6:3, 1 Timothy 6:14, Acts 15:26, Acts 20:21 (txt. unc.) James 2:1, 1 Peter 1:1, 2 Peter 1:8, 2 Peter 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16, Jude 1:4, Jude 1:17, Jude 1:21.

(f) Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸςκύριος ἡμῶν: Romans 1:4, Romans 1:5:21, Romans 1:7:25, 1 Corinthians 1:9, also Jude 1:25.

(g) Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦςκύριος ἡμῶν. (i) Without the article before Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς: Romans 6:23, Romans 6:8:39, 1 Corinthians 15:31, 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:2; with μοῦ instead of ἡμῶν: Philippians 3:8; (ii) With the article before Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς: Ephesians 3:11.

9. Υἱὸς θεοῦ, or υἱός with a pronoun referring to God: (a) Without the article with either word: Romans 1:4 (only instance in Paul); also in Matthew 14:33, Matthew 14:27:43, 54, Mark 1:1 (txt. unc.) 15:39, Luke 1:35, John 19:7, Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5, Hebrews 5:5.

(b) Υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ: Matthew 4:3, Matthew 4:6, Matthew 4:8:29 (voc.) 27:40, Mark 5:7 (voc.) Luke 4:3, Luke 4:9, Luke 4:8:28 (voc.) John 10:36 (txt. unc.); some of these are in conditional clauses.

(c) With the article before υἱός: ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, or ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, ἐαυτοῦ, μοῦ, or ἴδιος, αὐτοῦ etc., referring to God: Romans 1:3, Romans 1:9, Romans 1:5:10, Romans 1:8:3, Romans 1:29, Romans 1:32, Galatians 1:16, Galatians 1:2:20, Galatians 1:4:4, Galatians 1:6, Ephesians 4:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (no other examples in Paul); Matthew 2:15, Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5, Mark 1:11, Mark 3:11, Mark 9:7, Luke 3:22, Luke 4:41, Luke 9:35, John 1:34, John 1:49, John 1:3:18, John 1:5:25, John 1:9:35 (txt. unc.) 11:4, Acts 9:20, Hebrews 6:6, Hebrews 6:7:3, Hebrews 6:10:29, 2 Peter 1:17, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:4:10, 1 John 3:15, 1 John 3:5:5, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 3:10 bis 11, 12b, 13, 20a.

(d) With the article and other titles accompanying: ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς χριστὸςκύριος ἡμῶν. 1 Corinthians 1:9; ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱὸς Ἰησοῦς Χριστός: 2 Corinthians 1:19; ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός: 1 John 1:3, 1 John 1:3:23, 1 John 1:5:20b; ὁ χριστὸςυἱὸς τοῦ ζῶντος θεοῦ: Matthew 16:16 (cf. Mark 14:61, Matthew 26:63); ὁ χριστὸςυἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ: John 11:27, John 11:20:31; Ἰησοῦςυἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ: Hebrews 4:14; Ἰησοῦςυἱὸς αὐτοῦ: 1 John 1:7; ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦμονογενής: 1 John 4:9. Cf. 2 John 1:3, Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸςυἱὸς τοῦ πατρός.

10. In the Pauline epistles σωτήρ is applied to Jesus in Philippians 3:20, yet here not precisely as a title. Cf. Luke 2:11, John 4:42, Acts 5:31, Acts 5:13:23, 1 John 4:14. As a title of Jesus ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς is found in 2 Timothy 1:10; Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦςσωτὴρ ἡμῶν in Titus 1:4; Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸςσωτὴρ ἡμῶν in Titus 3:6; ὁ θεὸς καὶ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς in Titus 2:13; ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καὶ σωτὴρ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός in 2 Peter 1:1; ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ σωτὴρ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός in 2 Peter 1:11, 2 Peter 1:3:18; without ἡμῶν in 2 Peter 2:20.

11. θεός. The passages to be considered here are: Romans 9:5, Hebrews 1:8, John 1:1, John 1:18, 1 John 5:20. Cf. also Philippians 2:6.


Ἰησοῦς is a personal name, the Grecised form of the Hebrew name Joshua, יִהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ, which etymologically means “saviour.” To what extent this etymological sense of the word lingered in the use of the name itself in N. T. times, there is no definite indication. In Paul there is no trace of it, and elsewhere in N. T. in Matthew 1:21 only. Probably it was usually as little in mind as is the meaning of the word Theodore at the present day.



Χριστός is the Greek representative of the Hebrew מָשִּׁיחַ, “anointed.” The Hebrew word is applied in the literal sense to the high priest in Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 4:5, Leviticus 4:16. As a substantive sometimes in the expression “the anointed of Yahweh,” it is applied to the King of Israel: 1 Samuel 2:10, 1 Samuel 2:35, 1 Samuel 2:12:3, 1 Samuel 2:5, Ps. 18:51, Lamentations 4:20, Habakkuk 3:13. It is used of Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1. From its usage with reference to the King of Israel, perhaps under the influence of a messianic interpretation of Psalms 2:2, and Daniel 9:25f., it came to be employed as a title, eventually the most common and distinctive title, of the expected king and deliverer of Israel. But as the idea of a personal Messiah is not always associated with what may be broadly called the messianic hope (see Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:2 , p. 255), so the term Χριστός is not always present when the expected deliverer is spoken of. See, e. g., Test. XII Patr. Reub. 6:7-12; Leviticus 8:14, Leviticus 18:1ff. Jude 1:1-3, Daniel 5:10, Daniel 5:11. Among the earliest instances of its use as a distinctive messianic title are 1 Enoch 48:10, 52:4. Charles, Book of Enoch, ad loc., says these are the earliest cases. Nearly contemporaneous and more significant is Ps. Sol. 17:35b, 36: “And a righteous king and taught of God is he that reigneth over them. And there shall be no iniquity in his days in their midst, for all shall be holy, and their King is Messiah, Lord (Χριστὸς κύριος).” The whole psalm is a most instructive reflection of the ideas of religion, and especially of the Messiah and the messianic deliverance which were held by the Pharisees in the last pre-Christian century. See also 18:6, 8, and on the whole subject Schr., § 29; E. T. II, ii, pp. 129 ff.; Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:2, pp. 255 ff.


The evidence of N. T. leaves no room for doubt that the titular use of the term illustrated in Ps. Sol., in which it denotes an ideal expected character as distinguished from an identified historical person, had become common by the early part of the first Christian century, as it also shows even more clearly that early in the history of the Christian movement it was used as a descriptive title or personal name of Jesus.

As respects the degree of identification of the character designated by the term with the person Jesus, there are five uses of the term in N. T., in the first four of which it stands alone without other appellatives; in the fifth it is used with other titles of Jesus.

1. It designates “the Messiah” without identification of any person as such: Matthew 2:4, Matthew 22:42, Mark 12:35, Luke 2:26, Luke 24:25, John 7:26, John 7:27, John 7:31, John 7:41, John 7:42, Acts 2:31, Acts 17:3a.

2. It is used as the predicate of a proposition, the subject of which is affirmed to be the Messiah, the identification lying, however, not in the term but being effected by the proposition itself; or in a question, it is asked whether one is to be identified with the Christ. Most frequently the subject of the affirmation or question is Jesus (Mark 8:29, Mark 14:61, Matthew 16:16, Matthew 26:63, Luke 9:20, Luke 23:2, John 7:41, John 10:24, John 11:27, John 17:3b, Acts 17:3b, Acts 18:5), but occasionally others (Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:23, Luke 3:15). For qualitative effect the article may be omitted: Acts 2:36.

3. It designates “the Messiah” as such, but with implied identification of the Messiah with Jesus; in other words, refers to Jesus, but to him specifically as the Christ: Matthew 1:17, Matthew 11:2, Matthew 23:10, Acts 8:5, Romans 7:4, Romans 7:9:3, Romans 7:5, Romans 7:14:18, Romans 7:15:7, Romans 7:19, Romans 7:16:16, 1 Corinthians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 1:17 (txt. unc.) 9:12, 10:16 bis 12:12, 15:15, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 1:2:12, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:3:4, 2 Corinthians 1:4:4, 2 Corinthians 1:5:10, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:9:13, 2 Corinthians 1:10:1, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:11:2, 2 Corinthians 1:12:9, Galatians 1:7, Galatians 6:2, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:12, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:2:5, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 1:3:4, Ephesians 1:8, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 1:4:12, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:5:2, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 1:23, 24, 25, 29, Philippians 1:15, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 1:3:7, Philippians 1:18, etc.

4. It becomes a title or name of Jesus without discernible emphasis upon his messiahship, though this is perhaps usually in the background of the thought: Romans 5:6, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:6:4, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:8:9, Romans 5:10, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:9:1, Romans 5:10:4, Romans 5:6, Romans 5:7, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:15:8, Romans 5:18, Romans 5:20, 29, Romans 5:16:5, 1 Corinthians 1:12, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 1:2:16, 1 Corinthians 1:3:1, 1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 1:4:1, 1 Corinthians 1:10 bis 5:7, 6:15a, 7:22, 8:11, 12, 9:21, 11:1, 12:27, 15:3, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23a, 2 Corinthians 1:21, 2 Corinthians 1:2:10, 2 Corinthians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 1:17, 2 Corinthians 1:3:3, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:4:6, 2 Corinthians 1:5:17, 2 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 1:19, 2 Corinthians 1:20 bis 6:15, 8:23, 10:7 bis 11:10, 13, 23, 12:2, 10, 19, 13:3 (?) Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:10, Galatians 1:22, Galatians 1:2:4, Galatians 1:16, Galatians 1:17, Galatians 1:20, Galatians 1:21, Galatians 1:3:13, Galatians 1:16, Galatians 1:24, 27, 29, Galatians 1:4:19, Galatians 1:5:1, Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:4, Hebrews 3:6, Hebrews 3:9:11, 24.

The line of distinction between the two classes of cases, 3 and 4, can not be clearly drawn. Broadly speaking, the instances in which the article is present in the Greek belong under 3, those in which it is absent under 4. But instances without the article may belong under 3, the article being omitted to give the word qualitative force. See, e. g., 1 Corinthians 1:23 (cf. RV. margin); so, perhaps, 1 Corinthians 2:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:16, and probably Mark 9:41. It is possible also that in some cases the article is prefixed, as it is also to Ἰησοῦς or any proper name, without emphasising the titular significance. It is clear, however, that the word is often used purely as a proper name and that this fact is usually marked by the omission of the article. No examples of this usage of Χριστός alone, without the article (on Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, see below), occur in the gospels, except perhaps in Mark 9:41. Though the Pauline letters show clearly that it was current before the gospels were written, the gospel writers do not, with the one possible exception, impute it to the evangelic period or themselves employ it.

5. It occurs in combination with other titles of Jesus, forming with them compound appellatives. See I 4, 5, 8 above, and below.

In the epistles of Paul, which in time of writing precede all, or all but one, of the other N. T. books, we find the use of the term with reference to Jesus fully developed, and taken for granted. This is true even of the earliest letters. Paul’s common titles for Jesus are “the Christ,” “Christ,” “the Lord Jesus Christ,” and “our Lord Jesus Christ.” Indeed, he finds no occasion to affirm that Jesus is the Christ, nor does he, outside of two or three passages of somewhat doubtful interpretation (see, e. g., 2 Corinthians 10:14; cf. Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:12), ever use the term in its primary sense of “the (unidentified) Christ.” The major portion of the post-Pauline epistles exhibit substantially the same usage, but with a somewhat marked tendency to prefer the longer, compound titles. These facts show that comparatively early in the apostolic age the use of the term as a title or name of Jesus was already well established.

From the gospels and Acts we are able to see in part how this usage arose and was developed. Though undoubtedly written after the letters of Paul, and in many passages reflecting the usage of the period in which they arose (so, e. g., clearly in Matthew 1:1 and Mark 1:1; see also Matthew 11:2, Matthew 23:10), they show clear traces of an earlier usage and thought. The gospel of Mk. represents Jesus as gathering his earliest disciples without asserting that he was the Christ or eliciting from them any acknowledgment of him as such. The first assertion of the messiahship was at Cæsarea Philippi, but the confession there made he charges them not to publish (8:29, 30), and it is not again referred to except incidentally in conversation between Jesus and his disciples (9:41), and by implication in the words of Bartimæus, till the trial of Jesus, when in response to the challenge of the high priest he openly declares that he is the Christ (Mark 14:61, Mark 14:62). The discussion of the lordship of the Messiah in 12:35ff. pertains to the Messiah as such, not to Jesus. This primitive tradition is somewhat modified in the other synoptic gospels, yet not so as materially to obscure it.

The fourth gospel represents the question whether Jesus was the Christ as playing a much larger and earlier part in the relation of Jesus to the Jewish people than the synoptic gospels imply. In this, as in other respects, the gospel has doubtless been affected by the distance between the events narrated and the writing of the book, and by the special purpose of the book as defined in 20:31; but even in this gospel, there is an entire absence of the Pauline usages of Χριστός and ὁ χριστός, and Ἰησοῦς Χριστός occurs but once (17:3) in narrative or discourse, the personal name Jesus being the one commonly used. Even in editorial passages Χριστός never occurs, ὁ χριστός but once (20:31), and then not as a title but as a predicate, and Ἰησοῦς Χριστός but once (1:17). The longer compound titles do not occur at all.

The book of Acts, on the other hand, furnishes examples of all the Pauline usages, the instances of the compound names being most frequent. The writer even represents Peter, at the beginning of the apostolic age, as commonly using the expression “Jesus Christ” and once “the Lord Jesus Christ.” If this is historically correct, there must have been a very rapid development of usage immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is probable, however, that the author is here, to some extent, carrying back to the beginning of the apostolic age the usage of a later time. Acts 2:36 ascribes to Peter the view that by the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus God made him both Lord and Christ. If this means that the messiahship dates from the resurrection, this is a different conception from that which is implied in the third gospel, viz.: that it belonged to his public ministry (3:15ff. 9:20), if not even dating from his birth (2:11, 26). In the mind of the writer it may perhaps mean that what he was previously in purpose and by right he now became in fact and power (cf. Romans 1:4), or that he now became Lord as well as Christ.

The whole evidence points, therefore, to the conclusion that beginning with the use of “the Christ” as the name of the expected but as yet unidentified coming king (a usage in existence among the Jews before the appearance of Jesus) it was in his lifetime first questioned whether Jesus was the Christ, then affirmed by his disciples that he was; then with the birth of the conviction that Jesus was risen from the dead, reaffirmed with new confidence, and that out of this conviction, perhaps in part before Paul’s day, but probably in larger part under his influence, there arose a variety of titles for Jesus, embodying this faith. These usages once developed were carried back to a very limited extent into the gospel record and to a greater extent into the narrative of the early apostolic age, yet not so as wholly to obscure the underlying and more primitive usage.

But it still remains to inquire precisely what it meant in the first century to apply to Jesus or to any one else the term “Christ,” not in its literal sense, “anointed,” or as a mere proper name, but as a significant title. What did the early Christians mean when they affirmed that Jesus was the Christ? In particular how did this assertion differ from what they meant when they spoke of him as “Lord,” or “Son of God”?

There is singularly little direct evidence to answer this question. The very familiarity of the term apparently made even indirect definition unnecessary. Yet such evidence as there is is sufficient to make it clear that as a descriptive title the word meant “deliverer,” “saviour,” with the added implication of divine appointment. Both elements of this meaning arise, of course, not from the etymology of the word, but from its employment to designate the looked-for King of Israel, concerning whom men’s chief thought was that he, sent by God, would deliver Israel. The element of divine appointment is specially suggested in Acts 2:36: “Him hath God made both Lord and Christ.” But the word “Christ” complementary to the term “Lord” probably describes Jesus as Saviour. In the absence of any direct definition of the word in Paul’s writings there is no more significant clue to the thought for which the term stands in his mind than the class of words with which he employs the expression ὁ χριστός, which, as pointed out above, is not a proper name but a significant title. It is important, therefore, to observe that he all but uniformly employs τοῦ χριστοῦ in preference to Χριστοῦ and even to other designations of Jesus after terms of soteriological significance. Thus he uses τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ χριστοῦ eight times (1 Thessalonians 3:2, Galatians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 9:12, 2 Corinthians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 9:13, 2 Corinthians 10:14, Romans 15:19, Philippians 1:27) and only in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 employs any other designation of Jesus after εὐγγέλιον. After σταυρός he uses τοῦ χριστοῦ in 1 Corinthians 1:17, Galatians 6:12 (?) Philippians 3:18, and only once any other name or title of Jesus (Galatians 6:14; but see also Colossians 1:20). See also αἱ θλίψεις τοῦ χριστοῦ in Colossians 1:24; and τὰ παθήματα τοῦ κριστοῦ in 2 Corinthians 1:5. After αἶμα or σῶμα, referring to his death τοῦ κριστοῦ is used in 1 Corinthians 10:16 bis Ephesians 2:13, Romans 7:4; but also τοῦ κυρῖου in 1 Corinthians 11:27. After Romans 8:35, 2 Corinthians 5:14, Ephesians 3:19, and no instance of Χριστοῦ or other genitive referring to Jesus (yet cf. Galatians 2:20). Not all the instances of τοῦ χριστοῦ are clearly of this type; but the Pauline usage, as a whole, strongly suggests that by ὁ χριστός Paul meant “the Christ” in the sense of “the Deliverer,” “the Saviour.” Note, also, the rarity of σωτήρ as a title of Jesus in his vocabulary. Philippians 3:20 is the only instance in the certainly genuine letters, though it is frequent in the pastoral epistles.

From what the Christ was expected to deliver men—on this the thought of men undoubtedly varied greatly. When in Luke 3:15 it is said, “All men were in expectation and mused in their hearts whether John was the Christ,” the meaning is doubtless that men were wondering whether John would be the national political deliverer for whom the nation was looking. In the trial scene in the synoptic gospels, the meaning of the term is probably similar.

Such passages as 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Galatians 3:13, Romans 5:9 show that in its negative aspect the salvation which the Christ brought to men was a deliverance from the condemnation of sin and the divine wrath against sinners. Yet it clearly had also its positive side, including both future glory (Romans 5:2, Romans 5:11) and in the present life divine approval and the achievement of character. See, e. g., Romans 1:16, Romans 1:17, Romans 1:3:Romans 1:21-24, Romans 1:5:Romans 1:1-11 chap. 8, Galatians 5:19-24, Philippians 3:8-14.

It is the manifest intention of the fourth gospel to attach its doctrine of Jesus as the Christ to the Jewish idea of the Messiah (note its interpretation of the word “Christ” as the equivalent of the Hebrew “Messiah,” 1:41), and to claim for Jesus the fulfilment of that idea to the full. Yet it is scarcely less evident that the idea of the Christ which the fourth evangelist desired his readers to accept and hold had little in common with the Jewish idea of a political deliverer of the nation, except the bare idea of deliverance. See 20:21, “that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.” See also 4:42 where “the Saviour of the world” represents “the Christ” of v. 29. The author has attached his conception to its historical Jewish basis; he has retained the old term, but has so purged it of its political, and even of its apocalyptic, significance, and given it a purely religious meaning, that “the Christ” is in his thought chiefly a deliverer from death and from that which is the cause of death. “I am come that they may have life” represents the dominant point of view of the book, and “life” is a fundamentally ethical conception.



In classical Greek writers the substantive κύριος designates a person who has control over another person or thing, or persons or things, either by right of divinity, as in the case of the gods, or by right of ownership, as in the case of a master and his slave; or of position, as of a husband to his household, or of office, as in the case of a guardian or trustee.


In the Lxx this same word κύριος occurs hundreds of times, being employed as a translation of some twenty different Hebrew words and phrases. The two that are most important for our purpose are אֲדון, lord, and יהוה, Yahweh, the great majority of the occurrences of κὐριος being translations of one or the other of these. אָדון means “owner,” “master,” “lord,” and is applied in various senses: to a man as the owner of property or as the master of a slave; to the husband as lord of the wife; to a prince as lord of the land; and even to God himself (Joshua 3:13). Applied to God, however, it usually takes the form אֲדנָי. The general tendency of the Lxx is to omit the article before κύριος when it translates יהוה.


In N. T. three elements enter into the meaning of the word: (i) ownership, (ii) right of service, (iii) right of obedience. Its correlative term is δοῦλος, “slave,” or διάκονος, or οἰκέτης, “servant,” most commonly the first. See Matthew 10:24, Matthew 10:25, Matthew 10:18:27, Matthew 24:45-50, Matthew 10:25:19, Luke 12:42-47, Luke 14:21-23, John 13:16, John 15:20. The slave belongs to his master, owes him service and obedience. These three ideas are not, indeed, always equally prominent in the usage either of κύριος or δοῦλος, and in individual instances some one of them may altogether fall away. See, e. g., 2 Corinthians 4:5, where δοῦλος carries with it the idea of service only, being used by hyperbole for οἰκέτης or διάκονος. These conceptions are, however, the usual elements of the relation referred to by these words. κύριος then means:

1. The master of a slave in the ordinary human relation, or the owner of other property: Matthew 10:24, Matthew 10:25, Matthew 10:15:27, Matthew 10:18:25, Matthew 10:27, Matthew 10:31, Matthew 10:20:8, Matthew 10:21:40, Mark 13:35, Galatians 4:1, Ephesians 6:9.

In parables the meaning of the term is in itself the same as above; although the relation symbolised is, of course, one of an ethical and religious character: Matthew 24:42, Matthew 24:45, Matthew 24:46, Matthew 24:48, Matthew 24:50, Matthew 24:25:18, Matthew 24:19, Matthew 24:20, Matthew 24:21, Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:23 bis 24, 26.

2. One who has rightful control of an institution, to whom it belongs, being, as it were, his property: Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, κύριος τοῦ σαββάτου.

3. Like the English “Mister” (Master) and the modern Greek κύριος, it is used as a term of polite address, expressing greater or less reverence, and implying greater or less authority according to circumstances; sometimes equivalent to “Rabbi” or “Master”:

(a) addressed to a father by his son: Matthew 21:29.

(b) addressed to a Roman governor by his subjects: Matthew 27:63.

(c) addressed to Jesus by his disciples, and by the people: Matthew 17:15, Matthew 18:21, Mark 7:2.

4. In the plural it is a generic term for deities, or for rulers, human and divine: Matthew 6:24, 1 Corinthians 8:5.

5. As a name for or title of God it represents the O. T. יהוה or אֲדנָי and varies in the precise thought which it conveys from a religious term distinctly expressive of the sovereignty of God to a proper name not sharply distinguished from the word θεός: Matthew 1:20; Matthew 1:22Matthew 1:22; Matthew 1:24Matthew 1:24; Matthew 2:13Matthew 2:13; Matthew 2:15Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:19Matthew 2:19; Matthew 3:3Matthew 3:3; Matthew 4:7Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10Matthew 4:10; Matthew 5:33Matthew 5:33; Matthew 11:25Matthew 11:25; Matthew 21:9Matthew 21:9; Matthew 21:42Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:27Matthew 22:27; Matthew 22:44Matthew 22:44a, Matthew 23:39, Matthew 27:10, Matthew 28:2, Mark 1:3, Mark 5:19 (?) 11:9, 12:11, 29, 30, 36, 13:20, Luke 1:6; Luke 1:9Luke 1:9; Luke 1:11Luke 1:11; Luke 1:15-17Luke 1:15-17; Luke 1:25Luke 1:25; Luke 1:28Luke 1:28; Luke 1:38Luke 1:38; Luke 1:45-46Luke 1:45-46; Luke 1:53Luke 1:53; Luke 1:66Luke 1:66; Luke 1:68Luke 1:68; Luke 1:76Luke 1:76; Luke 2:9Luke 2:9a, b, Luke 2:15, Luke 2:22, Luke 2:23a, b, Luke 2:24, Luke 2:39, Luke 2:3:4, Luke 2:4:8, Luke 2:12, Luke 2:18, Luke 2:19, Luke 2:5:17, Luke 2:10:21, Luke 2:27, Luke 2:13:35, Luke 2:19:8, Luke 2:20:37, Luke 2:42, John 1:23, John 1:12:13, John 1:33a, b, Acts 1:24, Acts 1:2:20, Acts 1:21, Acts 1:25, 34a, 39, Acts 1:3:22, Acts 1:4:26, 29, Acts 1:5:9, Acts 1:19, Acts 1:7:31, 33, 49, Acts 1:8:26, 39, Acts 1:10:33, Acts 1:11:21, Acts 1:12:7, Acts 1:11, Acts 1:17, Acts 1:23, Acts 1:15:17, Acts 1:18, Romans 4:8, Romans 4:9:28, 29, Romans 4:10:13, Romans 4:16, Romans 4:11:3, 34, Romans 4:12:19, Romans 4:14:11, Romans 4:15:11, 1 Corinthians 1:31 (?) 2:16, 3:20, 10:9, 22 (?) 26, 16:10 (?) 2 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Corinthians 6:8:21, 2 Corinthians 6:10:17 (?) 12:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (?) 2 Timothy 2:19a, b. Of these passages the following are most significant as indicating the meaning which the term bore in the N. T. period as applied to God: Matthew 4:7, Matthew 4:10, Matthew 4:11:25, Matthew 4:22:37, Mark 12:29, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:21, Luke 10:27. It is worthy of note that in the Pauline epistles the word is used of God chiefly in quotations from the O. T., the words θεός and πατής being the apostle’s favourite titles for God, and κύριος being more commonly a title of Jesus. See especially 1 Corinthians 8:5, 1 Corinthians 8:6.

The N. T. follows the general usage of the Greek O. T. in that the word κὐριος applied to God is usually without the article in Greek (as in English the word “God” is anarthrous). But both in the Greek O. T. and in N. T. the article is sometimes prefixed. So clearly in Genesis 12:8, Genesis 18:17, Genesis 39:23, Exodus 12:42, Exodus 13:12, Exodus 14:25, Exodus 15:1, Exodus 16:23, Exodus 31:15, Leviticus 1:2, Leviticus 2:1, Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 5:15, etc. Matthew 5:33, Luke 1:6, Luke 1:9, Luke 1:28, Luke 1:2:15, Luke 1:23b, Acts 2:25, Acts 4:26, Acts 7:33, Acts 15:17, Romans 15:11. In the letters of Paul there is a number of passages in which it is difficult to say whether the reference is to God or Christ.

6. As applied to Jesus (in addition to the instances falling under 3), it is sometimes used in a theocratic sense, ascribing to him supreme authority over men and the world of heavenly existences, subject only to that of God the Father: Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 7:22, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11, etc.

On the question what was the precise content of the term so used, and in particular whether it was identical in meaning with the term κύριος as applied to God the following facts have a bearing:

(a) יהוה, which, as stated above, is represented in the Lxx and in N. T. by κύριος, is never used with possessive suffixes. The expressions, “my Yahweh,” “our Yahweh,” never occur in O. T. But κύριος applied to Jesus is often accompanied by ἡμῶν. This suggests that κὐριος as used of Jesus corresponds rather to אֲדֹנָי than to יהוה. See (c) below.

(b) The expression יהוה אֱלהים is often applied in O. T. to God, as the Greek equivalent κύριοςθεός is in the Lxx and N. T.; but the latter is never used of Jesus.

(c) In N. T. Psa_110 is so quoted (Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34) as to apply the term יהוה to God, אֲדֹנָי to Jesus.

(d) In the Lxx יהוה is usually translated by κύριος without the article.

In N. T. this usage is generally followed, but, as indicated in 5 above, not invariably. For Jesus the regular term is ὁ κυριος, subject to the usual rules for the omission of the article.*

(e) The title κύριος was in the apostolic age beginning to be applied to the Roman emperors. In Acts 25:26 Festus speaks of Nero as ὁ κύριος. The term probably expressed supreme political authority. But, whatever its significance, it originated too late (Augustus and Tiberius refused it) to have marked influence on the early stages of the development of the term as a title of Jesus. See Dal. WJ. pp. 324 ff.

(f) The title κύριος as applied to Jesus, probably did not originate in Greek or in Hebrew. Even Paul took it over from the Aramaic, as appears in his use of the expression Maran atha. But Mar or Maran is a general term for lord, master, ruler; not a specifically religious term at all. See Case, “Κύριος as a Title for Christ,” in JBL. 1907, pp. 151-161, especially p. 156. Cf. MacNeill, The Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 70 ff.

These facts indicate that κύριος, as applied to Jesus in N. T., is not, even in its highest sense, a term of nature or of identification with Yahweh, but of relationship (to men and the world).

What the precise relationship expressed by the term is, is indicated by the following facts:

(i) The distinctive Christian confession is that Jesus is κύριος: Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:5.

(ii) κύριος and οἰκέτης or δοῦλος are used as correlative terms: 1 Corinthians 7:21-24, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Romans 14:4; cf. Luke 6:46, Colossians 3:24. Cf. also the apostle’s designation of himself as a slave of Christ: Romans 1:1.

(iii) Despite the general practice stated in 5 and 6 (d) above, the lordship which is attributed to Christ, especially by Paul, is not sharply discriminated from that which is ascribed to God. The language which is used of God is to such an extent used also of Jesus that there are several passages in which it is impossible to determine with certainty whether the reference is to God or Jesus, and several in which the only choice is between assuming an application to God of the title usually employed of Jesus, or an ascription to Jesus of offices or titles generally ascribed to God. See, e. g., Romans 14:5-9, where in v. 6 the word κύριος is without the article, suggesting the reference to God, but in v. 8 has the article, suggesting reference to Christ, which is confirmed by v. 9; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, where κύριος is without the article and refers to God in the O. T. quotation of v. 16, in v. 17a has the article, in 17b, 18 is without it;* 2 Thessalonians 2:16, where κύριος is used with the article, and Philippians 4:9, where instead we have θεός; also 1 Corinthians 10:15-22. With Rom 10:12-15 cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2; also with 1Th 5:2 cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; and with 1Co 2:16 cf. Romans 11:34.

(iv) The lordship which Jesus exercises since his resurrection is conceived of as delegated rather than original, having been bestowed by God after the death of Jesus on the cross. Yet on the other hand, Jesus possessed a lordship before the worlds were created, and was himself the agent of creation. The exaltation, therefore, to the present lordship is in part a restoration of a power temporarily laid aside. And while the present lordship is again, when it has accomplished its purpose, to give place to a supreme and unrivalled sovereignty of God the Father, yet during the period of its exercise, which is to extend beyond the coming of the Lord in the clouds, it is without limit in its authority over men, and extends even to “things in heaven” and “things under the earth.” See 1 Corinthians 8:5, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Php 2:9-10 cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, Colossians 1:15-18.

While, therefore, the sentence, “Jesus is Lord,” which the apostle Paul several times quotes as the distinctively Christian confession (Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11), was doubtless of variable content, according to the period in which it was used and the person uttering it, and while it does not in any case mean, “Jesus is God,” being an assertion of function and authority rather than of nature, yet at its highest it ascribes to Jesus a lordship which is strictly theocratic in character. To accept him as Lord in this highest sense of the expression is to bow the will to him as God. This highest theocratic use of the term as applied to Jesus is most fully developed in the Pauline letters. The impression thus given that Christian thought is chiefly indebted to him for the development of the idea is confirmed by an examination of the gospels and Acts, the total evidence indicating that the term as applied to Jesus gradually acquired greater depth and significance, rising from a title of ordinary respect to a theocratic sense, but reaching the latter well within the lifetime of Paul.

In the gospel of Mk., the evangelist, though showing that he himself fully believed in the messianic or theocratic lordship of Jesus, and representing Jesus as having in somewhat veiled language claimed this for himself, yet does not represent Jesus’ disciples as ever calling him Lord, or any of the people as doing so in any sense other than Sir or Master. The gospels of Mt. and Lk. modify this representation of the situation in Jesus’ lifetime, yet on the whole in such a way as to make it clear that they are therein influenced chiefly by the usage of the later time in which they are writing. Particularly significant are the eschatological passages, Matthew 7:22 and 25:37, 44, in which Jesus, in his office of judge, at the last day, is addressed as Lord. In Acts the expression ὁ κύριος is frequently used in narrative passages as a name of Jesus, sometimes of the historic person, much more frequently of the risen and heavenly Jesus. Most significant is Acts 2:36, which ascribes to Peter at the beginning of the apostolic age the words, “Him hath God made both Lord and Christ,” the implication being that this is achieved by his resurrection and exaltation. The association with the word “Christ” indicates that the word “Lord” is used in an exalted sense, probably exceeding the meaning of the word as addressed to Jesus in any passage in the third gospel. This, in a measure, confirms the evidence, derived from a comparison of the synoptic gospels, that the recognition of Jesus as Lord in the lofty sense of this passage arose first in the apostolic age and indicates that it was at first associated with him only as risen and exalted.

The usage of the fourth gospel is in essential features identical with that of Lk. and Acts, differing only in the greater frequency of the use of the word as a term of address to Jesus and in a clearer ascription of the term in a theocratic sense to the risen Jesus.

The total evidence tends, therefore, to indicate that the conception of Jesus as master or rabbi had its origin in Jesus’ own lifetime and in his own teaching, but that the application of the term to Jesus in its higher senses is of later origin. The theocratic sense, so clearly and fully developed in Paul, is ascribed to the earlier apostolic age in John 20:28, Acts 2:36, and to Jesus in Matthew 7:22, Matthew 7:25:37, 44. But the evidence as a whole points to the conclusion that (with the possible exception of Acts 2:36) all these passages, as well as Luke 1:43 and 2:11, were modified by the usage of the Pauline period and that the higher, theocratic sense had its origin in the apostolic age, perhaps with Peter, more probably with Paul. Cf. Böhlig, “Zum Begriff Kyrios bei Paulus,” in ZntW., 1913, pp. 23-37.



In O. T. the term, “son of God,” בִּן אֱלֹהים, with which may be included also the plural, “sons of God,” &בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים, and “my son,” בְּנִי (when the possessive refers to God), is used in three different ways:

1. It is applied in the plural to angels, probably marking them as superhuman and like God in their mode of being: Job 1:6: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord.” See also Job 2:1, Job 38:7, Psalms 89:6, Genesis 6:4. Of similar force is Daniel 3:25 (92).

2. It is applied in the singular to the nation of Israel, marking it as chosen of God and brought into especially close relation with him, analogous to that of a son to his father: Exodus 4:22, Exodus 4:23: “Thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith Yahweh, Israel is my son, my first-born, and I have said unto thee, Let my son go.” See also Deuteronomy 14:1, Deuteronomy 32:6, Deuteronomy 14:18, Jeremiah 31:9, Jeremiah 31:19 (20), Hosea 11:1: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” It is used also in the plural of the children of Israel: Hosea 1:10: “Where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”

3. It is applied to the king of Israel, marking him as not only chosen of God and brought into specially close relation to him, but also as exercising authority as the representative of God: 2 Samuel 7:14: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” See also Psalms 2:7, 89:26-27, 1 Chronicles 17:13, 1 Chronicles 17:14, 1 Chronicles 17:22:10.

The Hebrew phrase in all these latter cases is not definite or individualising, nor, on the other hand, indefinite, but qualitative.


The usage of υἱὸς θεοῦ in the Lxx corresponds substantially to that of בִּנֵי אֱלֹהִים in the Heb. O. T. It is noticeable, however, that the singular is never used with the article, but always as a qualitative expression without the article, and that the plural is definite only in Genesis 6:4.

The term υἱὸς θεοῦ occurs not infrequently in the O. T. Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha of the pre-Christian period, designating one who is the object of divine love and care. It occurs most frequently in Wisd. Sol. See 2:18: “If the righteous man is God’s son (υἱὸς θεοῦ) he will uphold him.” The plural is used in 5:5: “How was he numbered among sons of God, and how is his lot among saints?” So also in 9:7, 12:19, 21, 16:10, 26, 18:4. In 18:13 the singular is used, as in Hosea 11:1, of the people as a whole. The singular is also found in Sir. 4:10, but with special reference to an individual: “So shalt thou be as a son of the Most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth.” See also Jth. 9:4, 13 (plur.); 3 Mac. 6:28 (plur.); Ps. Sol. 17:30: “For he shall know them that they are all sons of their God,” υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσιν αὐτῶν πάντες. Cf. detached note on Πατήρ as applied to God, p. 385.

The messianic use of the term in Jewish literature first appears in the latter part of the first Christian century, in 4 Ezr.,* in 7:28, 29 (though the phrase is of doubtful genuineness in 7:28, and Gunkel questions it in 29 also; cf. Gunkel in Ka.AP., and Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:2, p. 261 f.); 13:32, 37, 52 14:9. This book being definitely dated by internal evidence for the year 81 A. D., these passages are of capital importance. It is significant that (as Bousset remarks) the Jewish passages in which the term “Son of God” is used of the Messiah are those in which he is represented as in conflict with the people and kings of the earth. This conception obviously suggests Psa_2 as the source of the idea, but as obviously suggests that there is little connection between the Jewish and N. T. use of the term; since the latter has entirely different associations and suggestions.

Apparently, therefore, we must seek not in Jewish but in Christian circles themselves the origin of the Christian usage of the title as applied to Jesus, or in so far as it has a basis in older usage must find this either (a) in the O. T. passages in which the king of Israel is called God’s son, or (b) in those broader, more general, uses of the term in the O. T., which are themselves the basis of the application of the term to the king of Israel. It will appear from the examination of N. T. usage itself, on the one side, that these basal O. T. usages are familiar elements of Christian thought, and, on the other, that the application of the term to Christians in general is closely associated with its application in emphatic measure to Jesus.

One link of connection between Jewish and Christian usage must, however, be mentioned. The term “Christ” was in common use among the Jews as a title of the expected king and deliverer before the Christian era, and was early taken over by the Christians as a title of him whom they accounted to be this expected deliverer, viz., Jesus. Whether the usage was so associated with Psa_2 that it involved a tacit reference to that psalm or not, it would certainly suggest it to many. And since in that psalm the one who is called the “Anointed” is also called “my son,” that is, God’s son, there was furnished in this way a possible basis for the application of the term “Son of God” to the Messiah by either Jews or Christians. It is doubtful, however, whether the Christian usage of the term was actually arrived at in this way. For, though the term “Son of God” was applied to the Messiah by Jews of the latter part of the first Christian century, there is no evidence that this usage was common either in the days of Jesus or in the lifetime of Paul that is sufficient to justify our assuming it as the basis for the interpretation of the Christian usage.*


The characterisation of a king as a son of God or of a particular god, was a wide-spread usage of the ancient world, but was not of uniform meaning. Dal.WJ. pp. 272 f., says: “When Asshurbanipal in his Annals … calls himself ‘an offspring of Asshur and Bilit,’ this means no more than a being destined from birth to the royal power. The kings of Egypt, on the contrary, were reckoned to be real ‘descendants of the god Ra.’ … The royal style of old Egypt was continued by the Ptolemies. … Roman emperors also boasted frequently of divine progenitors. Sextus Pompeius called himself the son of Neptune; Domitian the son of Minerva; Caligula and Hadrian deemed themselves to be earthly manifestations of Zeus.”

The Roman worship of rulers began with Julius Cæsar. Enthusiasm over his achievements led to the erection of statues which listed him among the deities. This was at first pure flattery taken seriously by no one. But with his assassination extravagant adulation crystallised into religious conviction. In the minds of the common people he became a god. In deference to this belief the senate conferred upon him the title Divus (deified) and ordered a temple erected for his worship. His successor, Augustus, disclaimed divine honours during his lifetime, but was deified immediately after his death. From that time on till the fall of the empire in the fifth century nearly every emperor was deified. Later, however, the honour lost much of its religious character and became largely a formality. Other members of the imperial family also were deified. The deification of a deceased emperor was accomplished by a formal vote of the senate, and was celebrated by appropriate ceremonies. See H. F. Burton, “The Worship of the Roman Emperors,” in Biblical World, August, 1912, from which the above statements are condensed. Cf. also Case, Evolution of Early Christianity, chap. VII. The title “son of God,” as applied to the Roman emperor of the first Christian century, was not, however, a characterisation of the emperor himself as divine, or of divine origin, but referred to the fact that his predecessor had been deified at death. See the inscription quoted by De.BS. p. 131, ὁ δᾶμος ὑπὲρ τᾶς αὐτοκράτορος Καίσαρος Θεοῦ υἱοῦ Σεβαστοῦ σωτηρίας Θεοῖς ἱλαστήριον, and that transcribed by Hogarth in Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1887, p. 358, in which the emperor apparently speaks of his imperial father as ὁ θεὸς πατήρ μου. Cf. also De.BS. pp. 166 ff. It is improbable, therefore, that this usage had any important influence on the Christian usage by which the term υἱὸς θεοῦ or ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ was applied to Jesus, still less, of course, on the use of the plural, υἱοὶ θεοῦ, as applied to believers in Christ. There is, indeed, a possible, not to say probable, parallelism in the apostle’s mind between the language in Romans 1:4, τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦἐξ


1. Pauline usage.—Investigation of the use of the term by N. T. writers and teachers necessarily begins with that of Paul’s epistles, since it is only in the light of their evidence that it is possible to judge how much of the usage of the gospels is of pre-Pauline origin. The clue to the meaning of the expression in Galatians 1:16 is probably to be found in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6. Both passages seem to refer to the experience by which Paul abandoned Pharisaic Judaism to become a follower of Jesus the Christ; both refer to a process or act of divine revelation by which Paul gained a new conception of Jesus; it is reasonable, therefore, to take 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, in which Jesus is described as the image of God, and it is said that God shined in the apostle’s heart to give the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, as indicating the principal emphasis of the expression, “his Son,” in Galatians 1:16, and so to understand the term as referring especially to the resemblance of the Son to the Father.

In Romans 8:3ff. the post-resurrection Christ is identified with the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God, and in the same context is called God’s own Son. It is hazardous to press the fact of this connection, both because there is a considerable interval between the two expressions, and because the expression “his own Son” is used in speaking of the sending of Christ into the world, while the other expressions are used of the post-incarnate Christ. It is probably safer, therefore, to interpret this passage by comparison with Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all,” where the Son (incarnate) is evidently thought of as the special object of divine love, and with Romans 5:10, which, in the light of Romans 5:8, evidently emphasises the same aspect of the sonship.

In Galatians 4:4 which apparently conceives of Christ as the Son of God before the incarnation, a different phase of sonship is made prominent. The purpose of his sending the Son is said to be that we might receive the spirit of adoption. And it is added that “because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Two things are important here—first, that the apostle passes without jar from the idea of the pre-incarnate Son to that of the post-incarnate Son; and, second, that the aspect of the sonship which is emphasised is that of the filial spirit—the recognition of the divine fatherhood, in other words, intimacy of moral fellowship, which, belonging to Christ, becomes ours through the impartation of his Spirit to us. This connects the passage again with Romans 8:9ff., where the Spirit of Christ is identified with Christ and the Spirit of God. But it also recalls Romans 8:14, Romans 8:29, which make it clear that Paul used the term “son of God” to designate one who is in moral fellowship with God, governed by his Spirit, doing his will, like him in character, and that he applied the term in this sense both to Christ as the Son of God and to men as sons of God. These two uses, therefore, were related, but in two ways. In Galatians 4:4 God sends the Spirit of his Son into the hearts of men who are, and because they are, sons; in Romans 8:14 it is implied that men become sons by the possession of the Spirit of God, which elsewhere Paul identifies with the Spirit of his Son. For the evidence that the expression, “born of a woman,” in Galatians 4:4 can not be interpreted as referring to the virgin birth or as implying that, by virtue of divine procreation he is Son of God in a genealogical sense, see com. ad loc.

In 1 Corinthians 15:28 it is noticeable that the expression “Son of God” is used of the post-incarnate Son, that it is made equivalent by the context to Christ (v. 23), and that the whole context emphasises the idea of the exercise of power on behalf of God; yet it is, perhaps, also not without significance that it is only when he comes to speak of the surrender of power that the term “Son” is used. The term is therefore clearly employed in its theocratic sense—denoting one who, though subordinate to God, exercises for God power over all things.

In Colossians 1:13-17, the expression “of his love” at once makes it clear that the expression is used in its affectional sense. With this, however, is closely associated in v. 15 the idea of moral likeness and in v. 17 that of vice-regal power. It is perhaps too much to say that the two latter ideas, as well as the first, are contained in the expression “his Son,” but it is noteworthy that they follow in easy sequence upon it as if suggested by it.

Romans 1:3-4 may be paraphrased as follows: “As a corporeally conditioned being, born Son of David (Messiah in the Jewish sense of the term or as predicted in the O. T.); as a holy and spiritually existent being, constituted Son of God with power (nearly equivalent to heavenly Messiah and Lord) by the resurrection from the dead.” Thus the sonship with power, as contrasted with the sonship of his earthly life (cf. Philippians 2:7), is based on moral likeness to God (note the word holiness) but consists essentially in the possession and exercise of theocratic power, that is, lordship over men and the world as God’s representative. Note the immediately following words, “Jesus Christ our Lord,” and cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Philippians 2:9-11. Thus the two members of the parallelism express respectively the messiahship on its earthly and its heavenly side; in its pre-resurrection and its post-resurrection aspect.

We may then summarise the uses of the term by Paul as follows:

(a) The ethico-religious sense. In this sense Paul uses the term both of Christ and of men, though clearly assigning it to Jesus in unique measure, and in some cases basing the sonship of men on their possession of the Spirit of the Son.

(i) The affectional sense, denoting one who is the object of divine love: Galatians 3:26, Galatians 3:4:4, Galatians 3:6, Galatians 3:7, Romans 5:10, Romans 5:8:3, Romans 5:19 (cf. 21), 32, Colossians 1:13.

(ii) The moral sense, denoting one who is morally like God, being led by his Spirit, doing his will; as applied to Christ, consequently a revelation of God: Galatians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:9, Romans 8:14ff., Romans 8:29.

(iii) With these two ideas Paul associates the idea of freedom, such as belongs to a son as distinguished from a slave: Galatians 4:7, Romans 8:14-17.

(b) The official and theocratic sense, denoting one who exercises divine power for God; applied to Christ only: 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 15:28, 2 Corinthians 1:19, Romans 1:3, Romans 1:4, Romans 1:9.

Not all of these assignments are equally certain, and there is doubtless some blending of the different conceptions. But there are enough unambiguous cases under each head to justify the classification.

The official sense being applied to Christ only, it is natural that the two expressions “Christ” and “Son of God” approximate and to a certain extent blend in meaning. Through the union of the idea of the theocratic Son with that of the pre-existence of the Christ and with that of his resurrection and post-mundane power, there issues for Paul the thought of (i) the Son as the one Lord through whom the worlds came into being (1 Corinthians 8:6); (ii) the Son who, having laid aside his divine power on earth, lived under the law and died on the cross for men (Romans 8:32); (iii) the Son, who, exalted to the right hand of God (Romans 8:34; cf. Philippians 2:11) is again Lord of all till he surrender all things to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Yet it is important to observe that, in Paul at least, each term retained its own fundamental meaning, Χριστός as an official term and the bearer of the inherited messianic idea as modified in Christian thought, υἱὸς [τοῦ] θεοῦ as a fundamentally ethical and religious term, connoting a certain moral and religious relation to God.

2. Usage of the synoptic gospels and Acts.—The instances of the term “son of God” that occur in the synoptic gospels and Acts may be best considered in the following groups:

(a) Those in which the expression “sons of God,” υἱοὶ θεοῦ, designates those who are like God in moral character: Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:45, Luke 6:35; cf. Romans 8:14.

(b) One passage in which it designates those who are like God in that their mode of existence is supramundane: Luke 20:36; cf. Job 1:6.

(c) Those which record the personal religious experiences of Jesus, and use the term in the singular referring to him. Thus in the baptism, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22: “Thou art my beloved Son” (ὁ υἱός μουMatthew 3:17: “This is my beloved Son”; in the transfiguration, Mark 9:7, Matthew 17:5: “This is my beloved Son” (ὁ υἱός μουLuke 9:35: “This is my son, the chosen” (ὁ υἱός μουἐκλεληγμένος); in the temptation, Matthew 4:3, Matthew 4:6, Luke 4:3, Luke 4:9: “If thou art Son of God” (εἰ υἱὸς εἵ τοῦ θεοῦ). The context, esp. in the narrative of the baptism, but scarcely less clearly in the other accounts, emphasises the affectional sense of the term, the conception of the Son as object of the love and confidence of God. The use of the article, lacking in the narrative of the temptation, but present in all the other passages cited, designates Jesus as the one who was in an exceptional or unique degree the object of the divine approving love. This uniqueness doubtless suggests unique responsibility, and so conveys an intimation of the official or theocratic sense. But neither this fact nor the probability that in the apostolic age, when the theocratic sense was the common possession of Christian thought, it was understood chiefly in that sense, can conceal the fundamentally ethical sense of the term in these passages.

(d) The passages in which the demoniacs address Jesus as the Son of God, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, υἱὲ τοῦ θεοῦ, τοῦ Ὑψίστου: Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41, Matthew 8:29, Mark 5:7, Luke 8:29. There can be no doubt that in the passages as they stand, the expression is to be taken in a theocratic sense, probably nearly equivalent to “the Christ” in the Jewish sense. But several considerations combine to raise a doubt whether the original tradition which underlay the gospel record represented the demoniacs as calling Jesus the Son of God in this sense if, indeed, in any sense. Lexicographical evidence makes it doubtful, to say the least, whether “the Son of God” was in the life of Jesus in current use in an official sense. The gospel record makes it improbable that Jesus was in the beginning of his ministry recognised as the Christ; and the comparison of the statements of the several gospels shows such a tendency on the part of the evangelists to add such statements to the testimony of their sources as makes it probable that they are all, in fact, the product of the process of gospel-making. The cries of the demoniacs which tradition recorded, the evangelists, influenced by the thought of their own day, interpreted as affirmations of his divine sonship in a sense closely akin to messiahship.

(e) The records of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Here, also, the term which the evangelists report to have been used in the question of the high priest to Jesus (Mark 14:61, Matthew 26:63, Luke 22:67, Luke 22:70) was doubtless understood by the gospel writers in a theocratic sense and nearly though not quite equivalent to “the Christ,” which in Mt. and Mk. it follows immediately, and in Lk. in a separate question. But it is probable that, as in the preceding group and still more clearly in Matthew 16:16 (see below), the words are an epexegetic addition of the evangelists. In Matthew 27:40, Matthew 27:43 the term emphasises the ethical, affectional sense, yet is probably official also. It is, however, clearly an editorial expansion of the source. The words are not found in either Mk. or Lk., and though the parallelism of Matthew 27:40 with Luke 23:35 suggests that Mk. originally had a similar expression, it does not imply that that expression contained the term “Son of God.” The omission of the article before υἱός gives the phrase qualitative force. In Mark 15:39 and the parallel Matthew 27:54, the expression, looked upon as an utterance of a Roman officer, would naturally be taken in its non-Jewish sense, “a son of a god,” implying, perhaps, kingly authority, since such a title was usually employed of kings, but directly expressive of divine origin. In the thought of the evangelist it may have borne the ethical or the official meaning.

(f) In Matthew 16:16, “the Son of the living God” (ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος) is an unmistakable epexegetic addition to the Mk. source, which has only ὁ χριστός. The phrase is evidently theocratic. To Matthew 14:33 there is no parallel in either Mk. or Lk.: the verse is doubtless, like Matthew 27:40, Matthew 27:42, an editorial addition. The article is lacking, the omission giving to the expression a qualitative force. There is nothing to indicate clearly whether it is ethical or official. In Mark 1:1, υἱοῦ θεοῦ standing in the title of the gospel or of its opening section is manifestly editorial, whether proceeding from the original evangelist or an early scribe. In either case it is undoubtedly theocratic (cf. Romans 1:4, John 20:31). The absence of the article is due to the titular character of the whole expression, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God.”

(g) In Mark 13:32 and in its parallel in Matthew 24:36, and in Matthew 11:27 and its parallel Luke 10:22, Jesus uses the expression “the Son,” ὁ υἱός, in antithesis to “the Father,” ὁ πατήρ. The latter term clearly refers to God, and the former, without doubt, to Jesus himself. In itself the term bears its ethical sense, designating the one who is in closest fellowship and intimacy with God. Yet in Matthew 11:27, Luke 10:22 especially, the uniqueness of the sonship is so strongly emphasised as inevitably to suggest an official and theocratic sense, though clearly in the spiritual realm. The passage testifies to the early date at which this conception of Jesus’ divine sonship was accepted by the church, but by its limitation of fellowship with God to those whom the Son admits to this privilege, in contradistinction to the synoptic teaching in Mark 3:35, Matthew 5:8, and, indeed, the immediate context, Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, it raises the question whether it is not the product of the same type of Christian thought of which the fourth gospel gives so abundant evidence, rather than a reflection of the earliest thought of the church or of Jesus’ own thought.

(h) In the infancy narrative of Lk. the expression “Son of God,” or its equivalent, occurs three times. The phrase in 1:32 is υἱὸς Ὑψίστου, in 1:35 υἱὸς θεοῦ, and in 3:38 [υἱὸς] τοῦ θεοῦ. In the last-named passage the use and meaning of the term are quite exceptional. At the end of the genealogical line which traces the ancestry of Jesus backward, Seth is said to be son of Adam, and Adam son of God. The basis and content of the sonship is the fact that, as each preceding member of the line owed his existence to his immediate ancestor, so Adam owed his existence not to any man but directly to God.* It is improbable that the author meant to push the parallel so far as to ascribe to God a physical or biological paternity, such as that which Greek and Roman mythology sometimes ascribed to its gods, and quite certain that the term “son of God” as applied to Adam conveyed no implication respecting his nature. The first man is not other than man. In Luke 1:32 υἱὸς Ὑψίστου, used qualitatively, seems obviously to have the theocratic sense, but as the immediate context shows, with a distinctly Jewish colouring, akin to that which in Romans 1:3, Romans 1:4 is expressed not by υἱὸς θεοῦ but by ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυείδ, and suggesting an influence of 2 Samuel 7:14. The term is evidently nearly equal to Χριστός. Cf. Luke 2:11, Luke 2:26. In 1:35 the meaning of the term is extremely difficult to determine with accuracy. Between the passage as it stands, including v. 34, and 3:38, there is a certain parallelism in that, as there Adam had no earthly father and owed his existence to the immediate activity of God, so here Jesus is represented as begotten without a human father and as owing his conception to the special exercise of divine power. But it can not perhaps be inferred that the content of the term is in both cases the same; it is possible that in 1:35 the writer thinks of this exceptional manner of Jesus’ conception as differentiating him in nature from other men. If so, and if he thought that such differentiation of nature necessarily resulted from the exceptional relation of God to his conception, he has, of course, reasoned differently here from 3:38. If Adam, with no human parents, can be the product of divine creative power, yet as fully human as any other man, it can not be inferred as a matter of necessity that Jesus, with one human parent, becomes other or more than human, because the human paternity is replaced by divine creative power. Nor should it be overlooked that in no other passage of N. T. is divine sonship represented either as a biological fact or as physically conditioned. Of the impartation of the divine nature through a physical or biological process, or otherwise than in a purely spiritual and religious sense, or of its association with physical birth, there is no trace. From this point of view, therefore, the presumption is against the interpretation which would impute to the author the thought that by virtue of the exceptional condition of his conception Jesus was of divine or semi-divine nature.† Yet the context makes it improbable that the term here means no more than in 3:38, and the immediate association of the word ἅγιος, “holy,” with the term υἱὸς θεοῦ, “son of God,” and the parallel use of the expression πνεῦμα ἅγιον suggests that the term “Son of God” is here used in the ethical sense. Begotten of a mother overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, the child is holy: generated by the power of God the Highest, he is son of God. This is also favoured by the anarthrous use of almost all the terms in the sentence, suggesting a qualitative and ethical emphasis on them all. In that case, while the usage of the term is the familiar one which is found also in Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:45, and in Romans 8:14, the passage is exceptional in that Jesus’ divine sonship, ethically defined, is implied to result from, or to be associated causally with, the exceptional fact respecting his conception, viz., the replacement of human paternity by divine power. And if this be correct, then it appears that whereas the sonship with power is in Romans 1:4 carried back to the resurrection (its original possession, however, in 1 Corinthians 8:6 to the beginning of creation), and whereas in Mark 1:11, the ethical sonship with theocratic implications is associated with the baptism of Jesus, the present passage associates its origin with the conception of Jesus in his mother’s womb under the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

(i) In Acts the term occurs in 9:20 only. It is used here with reference to the exalted Jesus, doubtless in the theocratic sense.

3. Usage of the Johannine writings. —The term occurs more frequently in the fourth gospel than in the synoptic gospels, but the usage is less diverse. The title “the Son of God,” as applied to Jesus, is, as in Paul and the synoptists, fundamentally ethical, marking him as in intimate fellowship with God, and the object of his love (1:18, 5:19, 20). This is also the meaning of the term μονογενής, which refers not so much (if at all) to the generation of Jesus (cf. 1:1, 14) as to the uniqueness of his relation to God, describing him as possessing the love which a father has for his only son; cf. 3:16, 18, and for the meaning of the term 1:14, 18. But it should be observed that the expression μονογενὴς παρὰ πατρός in 1:14 is not a predicate or title of Jesus, but a qualitative expression used by way of comparison, “glory as of an only begotten (son, sent forth) from a father (to represent him)”; and that in 1:18 we should probably read μονογενὴς θεός, and interpret μονογενής as standing for μονογενὴς υἱός, with θεός in definitive apposition. But on the basis of its ethical sense the term is also theocratic, characterising Jesus as the representative and revelation of God (1:14, 13, 3:17, 35, 5:22, 23, 26, 10:34). In 1:36 and in 1:49 there is probably an approximation to the idea of the Christ, and that in the Jewish or early Christian sense, as in 11:27 and 20:31 there is a manifest association, but not identification, of the term with the historically inherited idea of the Messiah. Here, as in Matthew 16:16, the confession of Jesus as the Christ is naturally supplemented by the term “Son of God,” not as a mere repetition, but as a term of additional and richer significance. In the gospel generally the term is thoroughly spiritualised, the Son being thought of as the revelation of the character and will of the Father (1:18, 10:38, etc.), and the functions which are ascribed to him being in no way political or military (as they are in Ps. Sol. 17; cf. Acts 1:6), but purely spiritual (3:16, 36, 6:39, 8:36). Even the judgment which is ascribed to the Son (5:22) is not primarily thought of as future or external, but as present and self-executing (3:18); his great work is the impartation of eternal life as an immediate possession (3:36, 5:21, 24, 25), and the conception of a future resurrection of righteous and wicked (5:28) is a secondary element unassimilated with the prevalent view of the book.

In the prologue the Christ, in his pre-existent state, is called the Word, ὁ λόγος. But in 1:18 the Word is identified with the only begotten (Son) and 3:17, 10:36 are most naturally interpreted as applying the term “Son” to him in his pre-existent state. There is at least no intimation that the Word becomes the Son by the incarnation. In 14:13 and 20:31, on the other hand, “the Son” is a title of the risen Christ. Most commonly, however, it refers to Jesus in his earthly life (1:34, 49, 3:36, 5:19-26, 6:39, 8:36, 10:36, 11:4, 27, 17:1). In 19:7 the Jews are said to have affirmed that he ought to die “because he made himself Son of God” (υἱὸς θεοῦ), the only instance of the qualitative use of the term in this gospel, as in 5:18, they sought to kill him because he “called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” These passages probably imply that in the view of the writer the Jews understood the term as he himself did, and, on the other hand, that for him it expressed the possession on Jesus’ part of full though delegated divine authority (1:18, 5:22-27, 10:30, 14:9). This carries back into the earthly life of Jesus, and expresses more emphatically and explicitly what Paul affirmed of him as the risen and exalted Son.

In the fourth gospel the term “son of God” or “sons of God,” υἱὸς θεοῦ or υἱοὶ θεοῦ, as a title of believers, is displaced (1:12, 11:52) by τέκνα θεοῦ, which Paul also uses as a synonym of υἱοὶ θεοῦ (Romans 8:14, Romans 8:16, Romans 8:17). The exclusion of υἱοὶ θεοῦ from Jn. is generally, and probably correctly, ascribed to the writer’s desire to distinguish more sharply between Jesus and his followers than would seem to be done by using υἱοὶ θεοῦ of them.

In no book of N. T. does the term “Son of God” occur as frequently in proportion to its length as in 1 Jn. In 3:8, 5:5, 10a, 12, 13, 20a we have ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ; in 4:10, 5:9, 10b, 11 ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ; in 1:3, 3:23, 5:20b ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός; in 1:7 Ἰησοῦςυἱὸς αὐτοῦ; in 4:9 ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦμονογενής; in 2:22, 23 bis 24, 4:14, 5:12 bis ὁ υἱὸς, in every case except those in 5:12 in antithesis with ὁ πατήρ. In 2 John 1:3 occurs the expression Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸςυἱὸς τοῦ πατρός, and in v. 9 ὁ υἱός in antithesis with ὁ πατήρ. The term is anarthrous in either epistle. It is clear from the use of the term in its various forms that there are those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God, and the term is, perhaps in part by reason of the controversy over it, thoroughly familiar and needs no definition. In themselves, these letters do not clearly indicate precisely what phase of its meaning is chiefly in mind, but read in the light of the clearer passages of the fourth gospel, they leave no doubt that it bears here the same general meaning as there, and that by the title, “the Son of God,” Jesus is described as being the unique revelation and representative of God. The constant designation of God as the Father, alongside of the term “Son” applied to Jesus, emphasises the intimacy of relation between them and the representative character of the Son. A comparison of 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:15 with 5:1 illustrates the familiar approximation of the term to “the Christ,” but even the latter term has evidently largely left behind its Jewish messianic associations, and the functions of the Son of God are spiritual and universal. See 1:3, 7, 3:8, 4:10 (cf. 2:2) 14.

As in the fourth gospel, the children of God are called in the epistle τέκνα θεοῦ, not υἱοὶ θεοῦ (1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 3:5:2).

In Rev. the “Son of God,” ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, is found in 2:18 only. It manifestly refers to the exalted Jesus, but what phase of its meaning is emphasised, the context does not show. In 21:7 it is said of him that overcometh that he shall be to God a son, υἱὸς, the expression clearly designating the victor as the object of God’s approving love.

4. Usage of the other N. T. books.—The phrase “Son of God” does not occur in the pastoral epistles, nor in any of the general epistles except 1 and 2 Jn.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews great emphasis is laid upon the pre-existence of Jesus, and upon his post-resurrection exaltation and authority. In the former period powers above those of the angels are ascribed to him, even the word God, θεός, being used of him. In the latter all things are put in subjection to him. In both these periods he is spoken of as Son of God, and this term is, moreover, expressive of his exaltation. Yet in the period of his sufferings, also, he was Son. In all the instances in which the term is used of Jesus, it is apparently to be taken in an official or theocratic sense and for the writer evidently far surpasses in content the term “Christ.” What is conveyed respecting nature is by implication of the context only. See 1:2, 5, 8, 3:6, 4:14, 5:5, 8, 6:6, 7:3, 10:29. But the term is also used of believers (12:5-8), with emphasis upon the fact that as a father God chastens those whom he receives as sons.

5. Summary.—From the whole history of the usage of the term in N. T., it appears that the basis of that usage is in the use of the term in a purely ethical and religious sense, in which it is applied in O. T. to the nation of Israel and in Wisd. Sol. and Ps. Sol. to the pious individual, designating him as the object of divine love and approval.

In their portrayal of Jesus’ religious experiences the oldest evangelic sources use the term with the article, marking its application to him in unique degree to express his consciousness of exceptionally intimate fellowship with God and divine approval, with probable suggestion of the consequent duty and responsibility resting upon him. These documents furnish the best basis we possess for determining Jesus’ own use of the term and conception of himself which he expressed by it. It is impossible to trace with accuracy and certainty the connection between the representation of Jesus’ consciousness which underlies the usage of the synoptic gospels and the Pauline usage. But it is clear that the latter also, whether under the influence of the type of Christian thought that is reflected in the synoptists or independently, like the synoptists, takes its starting-point from the general religious use of the term and, alongside of the use of the term in the plural to designate pious men, applies it in a unique degree, and with consequent heightening but without essential change of meaning, to Jesus. On the other hand, through association of the term with “the Christ” and with the doctrine of the pre-existence of Jesus as the Word of God and the Lord, through whom God exercised creative power, it came to be in the Pauline letters the bearer of the most exalted conception of Jesus held by the early church, surpassed only in that respect by the term θεός itself. Yet it is to be observed that in no passage of N. T. does it take on a clearly physical or biological sense, implying that Jesus was, by reason of exceptional facts respecting his paternity, of divine nature; nor is it, apart from any such facts, ever in the strict sense a term of nature. True to this extent to its O. T. ancestry, it is always a term descriptive of the religious and ethical relationship between God and Christ, and of the function of Jesus in the field of relationship between God and man.

Into the difficult question in how many of the passages named above in 1 11 (p. 394) θεός is used of Jesus and what sense the term bears when applied to him or to the λόγος, who became flesh (John 1:1, John 1:14), it is not necessary to enter here, since the word is not so used in Galatians. On the question whether Paul so uses the term, the reader should consult S. and H. on Romans 9:5 and the literature there referred to. On the other passages see esp. Westcott on Hebrews 1:8 and 1 John 5:20.

The discussion of σωτήρ also lies outside the scope of this work, since it is not found in Galatians.

* Cf. Middleton, Use of the Article in Greek, edited by H.G. Rose, Appendix II (by Rose), “A Table showing the various Appellations of our blessed Lord.” etc.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Bous. Bousset, Wilhelm, in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1907. 2te Aufl., 1908.

Schr. Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi. Vierte Auflage, 1901-9.

E. T. English translation.

RV. The Holy Bible, Revised Oxford, N.T., 1881, O.T.1884.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

* As a title or name simply it has the article, as a rule. See, e. g., Luke 10:1, Luke 10:17:5, Luke 10:6, Romans 1:4, Romans 1:5:1, Romans 1:11, Galatians 1:19, Galatians 6:14. When the article is omitted the noun is (a) qualitative: Acts 2:36, Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 7:22b, 1 Corinthians 7:25 bis 10:21; (b) vocative: Acts 1:6; (c) used in a fixed adverbial phrase, especially έν κυρίῳ: 1 Corinthians 7:22, 1 Corinthians 7:39, 1 Corinthians 7:9:1, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Galatians 5:10, etc., though particularly in reference to this phrase is it difficult to determine with certainty whether the term refers to Christ or to God; or (d) joined by καί to a phrase, especially θεὸς πατήρ, which either itself has the article or is definite without it. See detached note on Πατήρ as applied to God, p. 386.

* WH. suggest that κυρίου in v. 7 is a primitive error for κύριον, “dominant,” a reading which would relieve the difficulty of interpretation and would obviously tempt to change to the more familiar κυρίου, but which one hesitates to adopt because of the rarity of the word κύριος as an adjective, it being found nowhere else in N. T.

ZntW. Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft.

* The words “and my Son” in 1 Enoch 105:2 are in all probability an interpolation, if, indeed, the whole passage is not. Cf. Charles, in Ch. AP. ad loc.; Dal.WJ. p. 269. Beer, in Ka.AP., seems to accept the verse as genuine.

Ka. Kautzsch, Emil, Apocryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments. 2 vols. Tübingen, 1900.

* Cf. the words of Chrysostom quoted by Alford ad loc.: “For even the cross which was a stumbling-block to the Jews was not so much so as the failure to require obedience to the ancestral laws. For when they attacked Stephen they said not that he was worshipping the Crucified but that he was speaking against the law and the holy place.”

Dal. Dalman, The Words of Jesus. Edinburgh, 1902.

De. Deissmann, Bible Studies. Edinburgh, 1901.

* Cf. the statement of Philo, Opif. Mund. 140:3 (49): ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἡμετέρα γένεσις ἐξ s. v.

II. In O. T. the assembly of Israel is sometimes called עֵדָה, sometimes קָהָל. The latter corresponds approximately in etymological meaning and usage to the Greek ἐκκλησία; the former, cognate with the verb יָ֖עד, “to appoint,” signifies primarily an assembly met by appointment. In usage the two words are nearly synonymous, as an examination of the respective articles in BDB. will show. Both have their most frequent use in reference to the people of Israel, either as gathered in assembly, or as constituting a community. But while the company of the Israel of the Exodus is usually called עֵדָה (Numbers 27:17, Numbers 31:16, Joshua 22:16, Joshua 22:17; BDB. speak of it as a term. tech. in this sense in P), sometimes also קָהָל (Exodus 16:3, Leviticus 4:21, Leviticus 16:33, Numbers 16:3, etc.), עֵרָה practically disappears from Chr. Ezr. and Neh. (occurring but once, 2 Chronicles 5:6), and the community of Israel is called קָהָל (2 Chronicles 31:18, Ezra 2:64, Nehemiah 7:66, etc.).

III. In the Pentateuch, where both words occur frequently, the Lxx translate both by συναγωγή down to and including Deuteronomy 5:22. From this point on, with few exceptions, ἐκκλησία regularly stands for קָהָל, συναγωγή for עֵרָה. This holds also of 2 Chronicles 5:6, where the עֵרָה יִשְׂרָאֵל, but represented as assembled together, is translated συναγωγὴ Ἰσραήλ.

IV. In the Apocrypha both words occur in both senses, but while ἐκκλησία is used only of Israel and more frequently than συναγωγή of the community as such, συναγωγή is used also of other companies, even of “sinners,” and occurs also in the sense of a collection of material things, as of money, or of water. ἐκκλησία never occurs in the plural. συναγωγαί (plur.) occurs once, Sir. 24:23, but the Syriac, which has the sing., indicates that the Hebrew read קָהָל, having reference to the Jewish community, the house of Jacob, and that the Lxx have substituted for this idea that of the “synagogues” of the dispersion. In Ps. Sol. neither word occurs of the Jewish community as a whole. συναγωγή occurs three times (10:8, 17:18, 48), in the plural of the congregations (or synagogues) of Israel; in the one instance of the singular (17:50) it also refers to Israel, but is probably used in a literal sense, “a gathering together.” The one instance of ἐκκλησία (10:7) stands in parallelism with συναγωγαί and apparently expresses qualitatively what the other term expresses concretely.

V. These examples, though few in number, indicate what N. T. itself makes far more clear, that by the end of the pre-Christian period the local Jewish congregations—“synagogues,” by this time widely developed both in the dispersion and in Palestine (see Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 197 f.)— were universally known as συναγωγαί and the term ἐκκλησία, formerly used by preference for the Jewish assembly or community, had fallen into disuse. There is perhaps no more probable explanation of this shift of usage than that the common use of ἐκκλησία in the Greek-speaking world to designate a civil assembly (cf. Acts 19:39) led the Jews as they spread through that world and established their local congregations to prefer what had previously been the less used term, συναγωγή.

On the other hand, when, in the same regions in which these Jewish συναγωγαί existed, the Christians established their own assemblies they, finding it more necessary to distinguish these from the Jewish congregations than from the civil assemblies, with which they were much less likely to be confused, chose the term ἐκκλησία, which the Jews had discarded.

If this be the correct explanation of the distinction between συναγωγή and ἐκκλησία in N. T., it suggests, also, that the use of the term in reference to the Christian church arose first on Gentile soil, and with reference to the local congregations, but that the development of the ecumenical meaning was the easier because of the usage of קָהָל with reference to Israel as the covenant people of God, and the representation of this term in the Lxx by ἐκκλησία. This is in a measure confirmed by the use of the term in Paul’s letters. In all those that precede Col. it is used in a large preponderance of instances in the local sense (1 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:2:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:4:17, 1 Corinthians 1:6:4, 1 Corinthians 1:7:17, 1 Corinthians 1:11:16, 1 Corinthians 1:14:33, 34, 1 Corinthians 1:16:1, 1 Corinthians 1:19, 2 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:8:1, 2 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 1:19, 2 Corinthians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 1:11:8, 28, 2 Corinthians 1:12:13, Romans 16:1, Romans 16:4, Romans 16:5, Romans 16:16, Romans 16:23, Philippians 4:15, Philemon 1:2). In 1 Corinthians 11:18, 1 Corinthians 11:14:19, 1 Corinthians 11:28, 35 ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ is a qualitative phrase meaning “in assembly,” “publicly.” For another instance of qualitative usage see 1 Corinthians 14:4. In 1 Corinthians 14:5, 1 Corinthians 14:12, 1 Corinthians 14:23 it is local but perhaps used generically. The latter is probably the case in 12:28. In Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 10:32, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Philippians 3:6, however, we find ἡ ἐκκλησία used not of a local church but of the whole body of Christians. In Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 10:32, 1 Corinthians 15:9 there are added the words τοῦ θεοῦ, and in Galatians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Philippians 3:6 the reference is to the Christian community which Paul persecuted before his conversion. That he does not mean the local church in Jerusalem, but the body of Christian believers as such, is indicated by the fact that the persecution extended beyond Jerusalem, by the addition of τοῦ θεοῦ, by the absence of any local designation (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:11:16, 2 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:14) and especially by the use of precisely the same phrase ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ in 1 Corinthians 10:32, where a reference to the church at Jerusalem is impossible, and to any local church improbable. The facts as a whole show that when he wrote Gal. and 1 Cor., Paul had not only learned to think of each local Christian body as ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ in that particular place, but had also already formed the notion of the entire body of believers in Christ as constituting the קָהָל of God, ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ, and that though he used the expression but rarely, it was that which came most naturally to his lips when he was speaking of his persecution of the Christians. In Philemon 1:2 ἐκκλησία is used in the local sense. In Col. there are two instances of the local sense (4:15, 16), but also two perfectly clear instances of the œcumenical sense (1:18, 24). In Eph. the œcumenical sense only is found (1:22, 3:10, 21, 5:23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32). In Tit. (3:5, 15, 5:16) it is apparently used in the local sense, but in 3:15 qualitatively and in 5:16 generically taken. In Acts it is prevailingly local (5:11, 8:1, 3, 11:22, 26, 12:1, 5, 13:1, 14:23, 27, 15:3, 4, 22, 41, 16:5, 18:22, 20:17), but there is a trace of the larger sense in 9:31, and perhaps in 20:28. In 19:32, 41 it is used in the Greek sense of an assembly, a company of people, and in 19:39 of a civil assembly in particular. In 7:38, like עֵדָה, but also occasionally קָהָל, in the Pentateuch, it is used of the congregation of Israel in the wilderness. Hebrews 2:12 is a quotation from the Lxx of Psalms 22:22 (23), and the term is apparently qualitative. In 12:23, though translated by EV. “the … church,” it signifies simply “an assembly.” In Jam_3 Jn. and Rev. it is used in the local sense exclusively. In Matthew 16:18 it is used in the œcumenical sense, in 18:17 in the local sense, generically taken.

Both uses of ἐκκλησία are thus in evidence from an early period, but the local sense, for which there was a basis in the Jewish use of this term in translation of קָהָל, and especially in the current Greek usage, is undoubtedly primary. On the other hand, the fact that Paul’s earlier letters preceding Rom. are all addressed to a church or group of churches, while from Rom. on the word ἐκκλησία does not appear in the salutation, does not warrant the inference that in framing the idea of the œcumenical he had abandoned that of the local church, for though the Christian community in Rome is nowhere in the epistle spoken of as constituting a church, this may very well be due to the fact that it was not organised as a single community, and in Phil. Phm. and Col. the apostle still uses ἐκκλησία of the local body.

Nor can there be imported into the word, on the basis of its etymology, the thought that the church is “called out” from the world and separated from it. For however congenial to N. T. thought it is to think of the church in this way (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), the substitution of an etymological sense for that of current usage is foreign to Paul’s habit of mind.

BDB. Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon. Boston, 1906.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Bous. Bousset, Wilhelm, in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1907. 2te Aufl., 1908.


In his Historical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, p. 262, Ramsay maintains that “when the two words are pointedly contrasted with one another, ἓτερος means ‘a second,’ ‘another of the same kind’ … while ἄλλος implies difference of kind.” In defence of this doctrine Ram. cites Hom. Il. XIII 64; XXI 22; Thuc. 2.40:2f.; Plato, Protag. 329D-330D, and Aristot. Polit. 2. 5:2 (1263 a:9). The Homeric passages are indecisive, Ram. really begging the question when he assumes that because ὄρνεον ἄλλο probably refers to a bird of a different species, and ἴχθυες ἄλλοι to fishes of a different species, it is this difference of species rather than individual non-identity within the class of birds and fishes that is indicated by the word ἄλλος. Similarly indecisive are the passages from Thucydides and Aristotle. The passages from Plato illustrate the otherwise well-known fact that ἄλλος may be used to express not simply non-identity but qualitative difference; but also prove that ἓτερος and ἄλλος standing in close connection may be synonymous. See also Eur. Or. 345 ff.: τίνα γὰρ ἔτι πάρος οἶκον ἄλλον ἓτερον | ἢ τὸν Cf. also Aristot. Metaph. 4. 3:1 (1014 a29f.): μηκέτʼ εἰς ἄλλας φωνὰς ἑτέρας τῷ εἴδει αὐτῶν, “no longer (divisible) into other vocables of a different kind (lit. different in their kind).” Cf. l. 33, where the same idea is expressed by μηκέτι εἰς ἄλλα εἴδει διαφέροντα.

Of the important evidence of the Lxx and N. T. Ram. takes no account. The former (including that of both canonical and apocryphal books) shows that broadly speaking the two words are synonymous. Both words are used much more frequently in the enumerative sense, meaning “an additional one,” than in the differentiative sense, meaning “(another) of a different kind.” But both are used in both senses, and in six instances of pairs of passages, otherwise practically identical, ἓτερος is used in one member of the pair, and ἄλλος in its parallel. Cf. Genesis 8:10 and 41:3; Exodus 8:10 and 20:3; 1 Samuel 10:9 and Ezekiel 11:19; Deuteronomy 24:2 and 1 Samuel 10:6; Leviticus 6:11 and 1 Samuel 28:8, Genesis 19:12 and Judges 11:34. On the other hand, in so far as there is a distinction between the two words ἄλλος is enumerative and ἓτερος differentiative. It is of little significance that the preponderance of enumerative over differentiative cases is slightly greater in the case of ἄλλος (9 to 1) than in that of ἒτερος (8 to 1). More decisive is the use of ἄλλος in Job 37:22 and Daniel 4:7 [10], and the regular employment of θεοὶ ἓτεροι for “strange gods,” whose worship is forbidden. The very prohibition or reprobation of such worship excludes the thought that they were conceived of as other gods of the same class as Yahweh, and marks them as foreign, different. See Deuteronomy 5:7, Deuteronomy 5:6:14, Deuteronomy 5:8:19, Deuteronomy 5:11:16, Deuteronomy 5:28, Joshua 23:16, Joshua 24:2, Judges 2:12, etc.

The situation in N. T. is much the same. The near approach of the words to identity of meaning is illustrated in Matthew 16:14, 1 Corinthians 12:10 and in Mark 4:5-9, Matthew 13:5-8, compared with Luke 8:6-8. Galatians 1:19 shows the use of ἓτερος in the additional or enumerative sense. But its characteristic meaning appears in Matthew 6:24, Luke 14:31 (cf. John 14:16) 23:40, Acts 23:6, Hebrews 7:11, Hebrews 7:13, and esp. in Mark 16:12, Luke 9:29, 2 Corinthians 11:4. In some of these passages ἄλλος might perhaps have been used, but no such instances actually occur in N. T. Most instructive 1 Corinthians 15:39-41, in which both words occur in apparently similar senses. Yet this also illustrates the real difference between the two words. ἄλλος is used in the subject when simply enumerating the various kinds of flesh; ἓτερος in predicate to affirm that they are different. This passage is specially significant for our present purpose, because it shows how Paul distinguished the terms. Taken with the other evidence, it leaves no room for doubt that for Paul ἓτερος suggested difference of kind more distinctly than did ἄλλος and that the latter, in contrast with ἓτερος, signified simply numerical non-identity. Cf. Rob. pp. 747 ff.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Rob. Robertson, Archibald T., Grammar of the Greek New Testament. New York, 1914.


The word εὐαγγέλιον is found in Greek writers from Homer down, bearing in extant exx. from the classical period the sense “reward for good news.” In the Lxx it is used in the plural in this sense (2 Samuel 4:10, 2 Samuel 18:22), once at least (in the Swete text) in the sense “good news” (2 Samuel 18:25), in which sense it appears also in later Greek writers. Cf. Frame on 1 Thessalonians 1:5 and reff. given there. In N. T. it is used only in the singular, only in the sense “good news,” and only with reference to the good news of salvation as announced by Jesus, or (and especially) as achieved through him. Its usage is so preponderatingly Pauline (in the Pauline letters sixty times, of which ten instances are in Eph_2 Thes. and the pastorals; in 1 Pet. and Rev. each once; in Mk. seven times; in Mt. four, in Acts two, in Lk. not at all) as to suggest that the Christian use of the term probably originated with Paul.

I. It is most frequently used in a doctrinal sense, signifying the great body of teaching concerning salvation which constituted the apostle’s message (Romans 1:16) and which because it came to him from God by revelation of Jesus Christ to him (1 Thessalonians 2:4, Galatians 1:11, Galatians 1:12) he called “the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 11:7, Romans 15:16), or “the gospel of the Christ” (Galatians 1:7, 2 Corinthians 9:13, Philippians 1:27), sometimes also “my (or our) gospel” (1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 4:3, Romans 2:16 [16:25]; cf. Galatians 1:11, Galatians 2:2), but most frequently simply “the gospel” (Galatians 2:5, Galatians 2:14, Romans 1:16, Romans 10:16, etc.). It has a similar doctrinal sense in Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 3:6, Ephesians 6:15, Acts 15:7, Acts 15:20:24, 1 Peter 4:17, Revelation 14:6 So also, but with special reference to the message of the kingdom as announced by Jesus, in Mark 1:14, Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:9:35; perhaps also Mark 13:10, Matthew 24:14.

II. In a few instances the term is used with special reference to certain historic events which, having soteriological significance, are themselves a part of the good news. So in 1 Corinthians 15:1. This is more clearly the sense in 2 Timothy 2:8, and is perhaps the meaning in Mark 14:9. The clearest instance is in Mark 1:1. But even here (unless the verse is a title added by a later hand; see Menzies, The Earliest Gospel, ad loc.; Swete, ad loc.) it does not denote the book, but the series of events and teachings that from the point of view of the writer constitute the good news.

III. The term is also employed by metonymy in a practical sense. The message requires to be proclaimed and is accordingly not infrequently conceived of objectively as a thing requiring service, so that the word denotes the gospel-work, the whole task of making the message known and securing its acceptance. In this sense Paul calls it “a gospel of God” (Romans 1:1), or “the gospel of his Son,” or “of the Christ” (1 Thessalonians 3:2, Romans 1:9, Romans 1:15:19, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 2:9:12, 2 Corinthians 10:14), or “the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14b, 1 Corinthians 9:23, 2 Corinthians 8:18, Philippians 2:22, Philippians 4:3, Philemon 1:13). It is in this sense probably that the word is used in Mark 8:35, Mark 8:10:29; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:23.

It should be observed, however, that these three uses can not be sharply distinguished. They differ only in the emphasis that is laid on different aspects of one conception rather than by sharp discrimination of meaning.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Cf. Confer, compare.


I. Χάρις, a word of the same root as χαίρω and χαρά, is used in Greek writers from Homer down to the present day. It is very frequent in classical authors and has a wide range of usage, including “gracefulness,” “attractiveness,” the quality of giving pleasure (so in Homer, Hesiod, Thucydides, et al.), “graciousness,” “kindness,” “good-will towards another” (so in Hesiod, Thucydides, Æschylus, Sophocles), or “an act of kindness” (so from Homer down); and the effect of kindness, viz., “thanks” (so, very often, from Homer down), or of grace, viz., “pleasure,” “gratification” (Pindar, Euripides, et al.). From this last-named usage there arose, also, the use of χάριν with the force of a preposition, meaning “for the sake of,” “because of.”

II. In the Lxx χάρις is the usual translation of חֵן (as ἔλεος is of הֶסֶד). Like the Greek term in its classical usage, חִן signifies “gracefulness,” “elegance” (Proverbs 22:11, Proverbs 31:30), but much more frequently “favour,” “approval,” and, usually in the phrases which have no exact parallel in the classical usage of χάρις, מָצָא חֵן, “to find favour,” and נָתֵן חֵן “to cause to obtain favour.” In itself the term has no religious significance, being used of the obtaining of the approval both of men (Genesis 30:27, Genesis 39:21) and of God (Exodus 33:12f. 2 Samuel 15:25). The meanings of χάρις not expressed by the Hebrew חֵן are rather rare in the Lxx and other Jewish-Greek writers.

III. In N. T., while retaining nearly all the classical usages, it takes on, under the influence of Christian thought, and especially in Paul, certain distinctly new shades of meaning. Its uses are:

1. As in classical Greek and the Lxx: gracefulness, attractiveness: Luke 4:22, τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος.

2. As in classical Greek and the Lxx: kindly disposition, favourable attitude towards another, approval: Luke 2:52: προέκοπτενχάριτι παρὰ θεῷ καὶ Luke 1:30, Acts 7:46): δοῦναι χάριν, “to cause to obtain favour” (Acts 7:10; though in James 4:6, apparently under the influence of Christian thought, a different interpretation is put upon the same phrase as quoted from Proverbs 3:34); and ἔχειν χάριν (Acts 2:47), not in the sense which this phrase usually has in classic writers, “to have gratitude,” but as the equivalent of the Heb. מָצָא הֵן, a meaning found, however, in Plut. Deuteronomy 7:0; Deuteronomy 7:7Deuteronomy 7:7. Favour or kindness of a given type may be individualised, giving rise to the expression, ἡ χάρις αὓτη (2 Corinthians 8:6), meaning “this sort of kindness” (to your fellow-Christians), and πᾶσα χάρις (2 Corinthians 9:8), meaning “every form of (divine) favour.”

3. As in classical Greek and Apocr. but not in the Lxx, and rare in N. T.: kindly feeling because of benefit received, thanks: Luke 6:32, Luke 6:33, Luke 6:34, 1 Timothy 1:12.

4. As in classical Greek and Apocr. but not often in the Lxx: an expression of kindness, a benefit: 2 Corinthians 1:15; or bounty: 1 Corinthians 16:3.

5. In a sense found neither in classical Greek nor in the Lxx, but apparently first occurring in N. T.* and especially frequent in Paul: “favour towards men contrary to their desert.” This usage is illustrated in the employment of κατὰ χάριν and κατὰ ὀφείλημα to express directly antithetical conceptions (see Romans 4:4, Romans 4:16); in accordance with it also ἔργα νόμου (on man’s part) and χάρις (on God’s part) are mutually exclusive as possible grounds of acceptance with God (Romans 3:21-24, Romans 3:6:14, Romans 3:15, Romans 3:11:5, Romans 3:6, Galatians 5:4). Grace in this sense is attributed only (a) to God in his relations to sinful men (Romans 3:21-24, Romans 3:5:15, 1 Corinthians 15:10, Ephesians 1:6, Ephesians 1:7), and (b) to Christ (Acts 15:11, Romans 5:15, 1 Corinthians 16:23 and frequently in benedictions), inasmuch as the gracious attitude of God towards men is also that of Christ (2Co 8:9 cf. Romans 5:8 with Galatians 2:20), and it is in the work, especially the death, of Jesus that the divine grace is manifested (Romans 3:24, Romans 5:2, Ephesians 1:6, Ephesians 1:7). It is the basis of the whole work of salvation, characterising and underlying God’s action in the gift of Christ for men (Romans 5:6; cf. 2), in the justification of believers (Romans 3:24), in the blessings bestowed on believers (1 Corinthians 1:4, Philippians 1:7), and consummating the whole work (Romans 5:2, Romans 5:10). It is not possible to determine in every case in which the grace of God or of Christ is spoken of whether this special aspect of it as manifested to the sinful and undeserving is distinctly present to the mind or not. But the prominence of this thought in the thinking of the apostle Paul makes it almost certain that in his benedictions he thinks of grace as specifically divine favour to the sinner, manifested in Christ.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

* In I Enoch (Giz.) 5:7 (8) the word is used apparently as a synonym of ἓλεος (cf. 5:6), and with reference to those who have been sinful. But it is not clear that the fact of their sin and non-desert is in mind in the use of the word, and in any case, since the Greek is, according to Charles, not earlier than the eighth century, the passage throws no light on the pre-Christian or early Christian use of the Greek word.


Εἰρήνη is one of those N. T. words which show clearly the influence both of the classical sense of the term and of the Hebrew word of which it became the recognised representative.

I. In classical writers εἰρήνη means “a state of harmony,” “freedom from, or cessation of, war or strife”: Hom. Il. II 797: αἰεί τοι μύθοι φίλοι ἄκριτοί εἰσιν, ὡς ποτʼ ἐπʼ εἰρήνης· πόλεμος δʼ Cyr. 3 2:12, Cf. Hell. 7. 1:27; Plato, Rep. 465B: εἰρήνην πρὸς

II. The Hebrew שָׁלום, on the other hand, has as its fundamental idea “soundness,” “prosperity,” “well-being,” and acquires the sense of harmony between persons or nations, freedom from strife and war, only as a secondary meaning, and apparently because such freedom from strife is conceived of as a necessary condition of well-being. Its range of meaning in O. T. is as follows:

1. Well-being, welfare, prosperity.

(a) In general, well-being, welfare: 1 Samuel 25:6: “Peace be both unto thee, and peace be to thy house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.” See also 1 Samuel 17:18, 1 Samuel 17:22, Psalms 29:11, Psalms 122:6, Psalms 29:7; so the Aramaic שׁלָם in the salutation of a letter: Ezra 4:17, Ezra 5:7, Dan. 3:31 (4:1) 6:25 (26), and in the modern Hebrew salutation, shalom elekem, “Good morning.”

(b) Specifically, safety: 2 Samuel 3:21, 2 Samuel 3:23, Isaiah 38:17.

(c) Specifically, prosperity, success: 2 Samuel 11:7, Psalms 73:3.

2. Harmony, freedom from or cessation of war or strife: Joshua 9:15: “And Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live.” See also Leviticus 26:6, Deuteronomy 20:10, Deuteronomy 20:11, Judges 4:17. In the positive sense of friendship: Psalms 41:10. Of reconciliation between God and man in the turning away of the divine anger: Psalms 85:8, Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 57:19. The subjective sense of “tranquillity,” “quietness of mind,” is perhaps less certainly vouched for, but is probably found in such passages as Genesis 15:15, Exodus 18:23, Ps. 4:9, Psalms 37:37, Isaiah 32:17, Jeremiah 30:5.

III. The N. T. usage of εἰρήνη follows that of the O. T. שָׁלים more closely than that of the classical εἰρήνη; it distinctly includes the meaning, “tranquillity of mind.” Its range of meaning and use is as follows:

1. Harmony, absence of strife.

(a) Between nations or between man and man: Matthew 10:34: μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἧλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γήν. οὐκ ἧλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην Luke 14:32, Acts 7:26, Hebrews 12:14, etc.

(b) Reconciliation between God and man: Ephesians 2:17.

2. Prosperity, well-being, safety.

(a) In general, with reference to external conditions or without exclusive reference to spiritual conditions, especially in salutations: 1 Corinthians 16:11: προπέμψατε δὲ αὐτὸν ἐν εἰρήνη. See also Matthew 10:13, Luke 11:21, Acts 16:36, James 2:16.

(b) Specifically, spiritual well-being, that state into which men are brought by the grace and mercy of God in delivering them from the evil of sin, nearly equivalent to salvation in the broad sense: Romans 8:6: τὸ δὲ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος ζωὴ καὶ εἰρήνη. See also Romans 16:20, Ephesians 6:15.

3. Tranquillity of mind, which comes from the assurance of being reconciled with God and under his loving care: John 14:27: εἰρήνην John 16:33, Romans 5:1, Romans 15:33, Philippians 4:7, Colossians 3:13.

The occurrences of the word in the apostolic salutations fall almost of necessity, by the fact that they are in salutations, under the second general sense, and by the association with the term “grace,” as well as the evidently religious character of the whole course of thought, under the second subdivision.


In discussing the New Testament usage of the word αἰών it is necessary to distinguish among the influences affecting it (a) classical usage of αἰών, (b) O. T. usage of עולָם, with the union of these two in the Lxx and the Jewish-Greek writers, and (c) the idea of the two ages; this was of relatively late origin, but whether it was born on Greek or Semitic soil is not wholly clear.


The Greek αἰών is connected by etymologists with αἰεί, âyu, Lat. œvum, Germ. ewig, Eng. aye. It occurs in three senses:

1. Lifetime, life. So in Homer, Pindar, Herodotus, the tragedians, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle. See Æsch. Eumen. 315, Andr. 1215, or “a generation,” Æsch. Theb. 744; in Dem. 295:2 ὁ μέλλων αἰὠν apparently means “posterity,” though possibly it falls under the next meaning. In an inscription of 37 A. D. (Dittenberger, Sylloge2, 364:9) it means “age” (of human history).

2. An indefinitely long time; sometimes with an adjective, μακρός, Supp. 574, 582; Ag. 554; Aristot. Mund. 5 (397 a31).

3. In philosophic language, “time without limit,” “eternity”; so notably in Plato, Tim. 37C-38, τὸν αἰῶνα, “forever”; and Aristot. Cael. 1. 9:15 (279 a23ff.), where αἰών, meaning lifetime of a man, and αἰών, denoting the period of existence of the universe, are associated.


The etymology of this term affords no safe guidance in determining the meaning. In usage it signifies “a period of indefinite duration, time without limits, except such as are set by the context or the nature of the thing spoken of.” Cremer, accepting its relation etymologically to עָלַם, “to hide,” defines it as “a time whose end or beginning escapes perception.” It is used with reference to:

1. Past time stretching indefinitely backward, as in Genesis 6:4, “the mighty men of old”: Joshua 24:2, Psalms 93:2, Proverbs 8:28, etc.

2. Much more frequently, time stretching indefinitely forward, with no limit except that which is set by the author’s thought of the nature of the thing of which he is speaking: Deuteronomy 15:17: “He shall be thy servant for ever”; 2 Samuel 12:10: “The sword shall not depart from thy house for ever”; Psalms 29:10: “The Lord sitteth as king for ever.” It is probably not correct to say that in such passages as Deuteronomy 15:17 and 1 Samuel 1:22 the word denotes a lifetime, or that in Psalms 29:10 it signifies eternity. The extent of the forward look depends upon the author’s thought about the nature of the thing spoken of, but the meaning of the word remains the same, “time bounded by no known or discernible limit.”

To emphasise the idea of the length of the time the plural is sometimes used: 1 Kings 8:13: “I have surely built thee a house of habitation, a place for thee to dwell in for ever” (עוֹלָמִים), Psalms 61:5, Psalms 145:13, Isaiah 26:4.


In the Lxx αἰών, though occasionally used to translate עַו and other words of nearly the same significance as עוֹלָם, is in so large a proportion of its occurrences the translation of the latter that its usage is practically identical with that of this word.

1. It occurs in prepositional phrases meaning “from of old,” such as Psa_118 [119]52, Jeremiah 2:20), 1 Chronicles 16:36), ἐξ αἰῶνος (Proverbs 8:21), πρὸ αἰῶνος (Psa_73 [74]12), πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων (Psa_54 [55]:20).

2. It stands in prepositional phrases, meaning “for ever,” i. e., for the indefinite future, such as εἰς αἰῶνα (1 Chronicles 16:15); εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος (Psa_18 [19]10); εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (Deuteronomy 15:17 et freq.); εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος (Psa_144 [145]1); εἰς τοὺς αἰώνας τῶν αἰώνῳν (Psa_83 [84]5); ἕως αἰῶνος (1 Samuel 1:22); ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος (Joshua 4:7); ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων (Lxx Daniel 7:18); διʼ αἰῶνος (Deuteronomy 5:29, Isaiah 60:21).

3. It is used without prepositions, meaning “an indefinitely long time,” either (a) in the past, ἡμέρας αἰῶνος (Deuteronomy 32:7); νεκροὺς αἰῶνος (Psa_142 [143]3); γενεὰ αἰῶνος (Isaiah 51:9); λαὸς αἰῶνος (Ezekiel 26:20); or (b) in the future, βασιλεύων τὸν αἰῶνα (Exodus 15:18); see also Isaiah 25:2, Psa_65 [66]7, 144 [145]13; Lxx Daniel 5:4, though in the last-named example τοῦ αἰῶνος may mean “of the world.” In Ecclesiastes 3:11, τὸν αἰῶνα ἔδωκεν ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν, it seems to stand by metonymy for “the conception of eternity,” or “the ability to conceive of eternity.”

4. Quite exceptional is Psa_89 [90]8, in which αἰών has its classical meaning, “lifetime”; cf. v. 9.


Speculation as to the future history of the world and the beginnings of the idea that world-history can be divided into periods of fixed length appear as early as the book of Daniel, and in Ethiopic Enoch (Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 278 ff.), but the clear evidence of a definitely framed doctrine of the two ages, עוֹלַמִים, this age and the age to come, does not appear among Jewish writers before the last pre-Christian century. In the Greek fragments of the Ethiopic Enoch there are several phrases (some of them new) illustrating the familiar meanings of αἰών, “a long, undefined period” (9:4, 10:3, 5, 14:5, 21:10, 22:11, 27:3). But in 16:1, ὁ αἰὼνμέγας τελεσθήσεται, a passage assigned by Charles to the second century b. c. and dated about 170, there appears the thought of an age of limited extent, which is further defined as lasting ten thousand years. Cf. 18:16, 21:6. The phraseology reminds one of the Stoic notion of the great conflagration, itself related to Platonic influence. Cf. Bous., op. cit., p. 568. If the translation correctly represents the Hebrew original, we may perhaps discover in this passage both the first occurrence of the idea in Semitic literature and the clue to its appearance in Hebrew thought. If, further, αἰών here stands for עוֹלָם, we have the earliest traceable instance of this word in this sense. In the Slavonic Enoch, said by Charles to have been written 1-50 A. D., occur the expressions, “the great æon,” “the endless æon,” over against which is set the present æon of woes (61:2, 65:7, 8, 66:6, cited by Bous., op. cit., p. 280). To the famous teacher Hillel, a contemporary of Herod the Great, are ascribed the words: “He who acquires for himself the words of the law acquires for himself the life of the age to come” (Pirke Aboth ii. 7, cited by Dal.WJ., p. 150). But the authenticity of the ascription is doubted by some. The earliest rabbinic witness to the use of the two phrases “this age” and “the age to come” is Yokhanan ben Zakkai, who flourished about 80 A. D. (Dal.WJ., loc. cit.). These passages give no indication of the boundary-line between the two ages. The age to come would seem to be the life after death. Similar ideas appear also in 4 Esd. (81 A. D.). In this latter book “this age” and “the coming, endless age” are clearly distinguished. See 4:2, 27, 6:9, 7:12, 29-31, 47, 112f. 8:1f., 52. In 7:113 the day of judgment is said to be the boundary-line between the two ages. In 6:7-10 it seems to be implied that the new age begins with and includes the period of Israel’s dominion, or the messianic times. But in 7:29 the new age begins after the days of the Messiah. This seems to indicate that the variation of view on this point found in later Jewish writings antedated 4 Esd., and this, in turn, suggests that the idea of the two ages had been for some time prevalent in Jewish thought.

On the other hand, there is reason to doubt whether this conception was wide-spread before the Christian era or early in the Christian period. Ps. Sol. (ca. 60 B.C.) use αἰών frequently in the familiar sense of the Lxx (see 2:38, 41, 3:13, 15, 8:7, 31, 9:20, 11:8, 9, 15:15), adding the expression εἰς αἰῶνας (8:31) and showing a special fondness for the phrase εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ ἕτι, but never use the word in reference to the two ages. Philo uses αἰών not infrequently for the period of a man’s life. See Ebriet. 195 (47); Sobr. 24 (5); Abr. 271 (46). He employs it in the usual sense of an indefinitely long time, in the phrase not elsewhere observed, μέχρι τοῦ παντὸς αἰῶνος. See Cher. 2 (1); Quod deus sit 2 (1). In Mut. nom. 12 (2) ἐν τῷ καθʼ ἡμᾶς αἰῶνι means “in the present age,” the present period of the world’s existence, in contrast with the eternity before the world came into being, which is described as πρὸ αἰῶνος. In Prœm. et pæn. 37 (6) occurs the expression τὸν ἔμπροσθεν αἰῶνα, meaning the earlier part of a man’s life, the part preceding the experience under consideration. Cf. also Sacr. Caini et Abel 76 (21). But there is apparently no trace of the antithesis between this age and the coming age. Concerning the various forms which the doctrine took and the different definitions of what belonged to each age, see Dal.WJ. pp. 147 ff.; Schr. pp. 544 ff., E. T., ii 177-79; Charles, art. “Eschatology of the Apocryphal and Apocalyptic Literature” in HDB I 741 ff., and Hebrew, Jewish, and Christian Eschatology, 2 chaps. V-VIII.


The result of these different usages appears in the New Testament in the existence of three senses of the term, for the most part clearly distinguishable from one another.

1. An indefinitely long period, a period without assignable limits. This sense is found, as in the Lxx, chiefly in prepositional phrases, which, expressing with varying emphasis the idea of indefinite or unending continuance, are translated by the word “forever,” or with a negative “never.” The simplest and most frequent of these expressions is εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, which occurs in N. T. 27 times: Matthew 21:19, Mark 3:29, Mark 11:14, etc.. There are but two instances in Paul: 1 Corinthians 8:13, 2 Corinthians 9:9. For contemporary exx. of this phrase and of εἰς αἰῶνα, see M. and M. Voc. s. v. The intensive εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας occurs six or eight times: Luke 1:33, Romans 1:25, Romans 1:9:5, Romans 1:11:36, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Hebrews 13:8. The still stronger form, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, found but once in the Lxx, is a well-established idiom in N. T., occurring two or three times in the Pauline epistles: Romans 16:27 (?) Galatians 1:5, Philippians 4:20, twice in the pastorals 1 Timothy 1:17, 2 Timothy 4:18, and 11 times in Rev. Other slightly variant forms also occur in single instances. The expressions referring to past time are less frequent, but by no means lacking: Acts 3:21, Acts 3:15:18, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:9, Ephesians 3:11, Colossians 1:26, Jude 1:25. The great variety of prepositional phrases employing this word in the Lxx, Apoc., and N. T. is extraordinary.

2. One of the two great periods of the world’s history, distinguished as ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος and ὁ αἰὼνμέλλων or ὁ ἐρχόμενος: Matthew 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 16:8, Luke 18:30. The boundary-line between the two ages is doubtless for N. T. writers generally the future coming of Christ. Mt. specifically indicates that ἡ συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος, the consummation of the age, doubtless of the then present age, is at the coming of Christ for judgment, Matthew 13:39, Matthew 13:40, Matthew 13:49, Matthew 13:24:3, Matthew 13:28:20.

3. In the plural, world, universe. This meaning is, perhaps, not established beyond all doubt, but it seems nearly certain that it must be assumed for Hebrews 1:2 and 11:3; cf. Wisd. 13:9, 14:6, 18:4 and Jos. Ant. 1:272 (18:6).

From the point of view of the date of the literature, the Pauline epistles furnish the first evidence for the acceptance by Christians of the idea of the two ages. The expression “this age,” ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος, occurs seven times in the unquestionably genuine epistles: Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 1:20, 1 Corinthians 2:6 (bis) 8, 3:18, 2 Corinthians 4:4. In Galatians 1:4 there occurs also the expression “the present evil age,” ὁ αἰὼνἐνεστὼς πονηρός. Only in Ephesians, among the epistles ascribed to Paul, do the two expressions, “this age,” “the coming age,” occur together (1:21). In 2:7 we have “the coming ages.” In the pastoral epistles, 1 Timothy 6:17, 2 Timothy 4:10, Titus 2:12, we find the expression “the present age,” ὁ νῦν αἰών.

In the eight passages first named the emphasis of the apostle’s thought is upon the ethical characteristics of the present age. Note esp. 1 Corinthians 1:20 (where he uses “world,” κόσμος, as a synonym for “this age”); Romans 12:2, Galatians 1:4. The distinctly apocalyptic passages, however, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Thessalonians 4:5:23, 1 Corinthians 15:23 (cf. Philippians 1:6), leave no doubt that Paul held the doctrine of Ephesians 1:21 respecting the two ages, and that 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, whether from his pen or not, is substantially in accordance with his thinking. His thought about the character of the age to come, and the extent to which the apocalyptic ideas associated with it pervaded Paul’s thinking, may be gathered from such passages as 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 chaps. 4, 5, 1 Corinthians 15:23-28, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 1:10, Philippians 1:2:16.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 shows that the apostle believed himself to have the authority of Jesus for his expectation of the apocalyptic coming of the Lord. But it does not follow from this, nor is it probable, that Paul was the first in the Christian church to hold this view, and that it passed from him to the Jewish Christian body. The absence of any indication of any controversy over the matter, such as arose over other points on which he held views different from those of his predecessors in the Christian community, and the evidence of the early chapters of Acts that the primitive church already accepted the doctrine, make it much more probable that the apostle found the doctrine already in the church, and that if ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου refers, as many interpreters, ancient and modern (cf. Frame ad loc.), hold, to a revelation-experience of the apostle, this experience confirmed or amplified a view already held. If, as is more probable, it is, with Frame et al., to be understood as referring to an uttered word of Jesus, it shows, indeed, that the apostle himself supposed his inheritance of thought on this point to have had its ultimate origin in the teaching of Jesus himself. The latter view is, as is well known, confirmed by the testimony of the gospels as they stand, but not so certainly by their older sources. The latter leave it at least doubtful whether Jesus accepted the two-age eschatology or used its phraseology. The expression, “the consummation of the age,” which Matthew 13:29, Matthew 13:40, Matthew 13:49, Matthew 13:24:3 and 28:20 ascribe to Jesus, is found in this gospel only. In 24:3 it is manifestly an editorial addition to the source (Mk. and Lk. agree in reporting the question in a simpler form without this phrase), and this fact, together with its occurrence nowhere else in the N. T. (cf., however, Hebrews 9:26) makes it probable that in the other passages also it is an interpretative gloss of the editor, reflecting the thought of his time as to what Jesus held, but not traceable to any early source. The situation is similar in respect to all the passages in which Jesus is represented as speaking of the coming age in contrast to the present age (Matthew 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 18:30; Luk 20:34b, cf. Luke 16:8). Only in Mark 10:30 does the oldest source attest this expression as coming from Jesus, and here the absence of this phraseology from Mt. (19:29), whose predilection for the idea of the two ages would have tended to prevent his omitting it while taking over the rest of the passage, makes it highly probable that it was lacking in the original form of Mk., and that it owes its presence in Lk. (18:30) to the same impulse or influence that accounts for it in Luke 20:34f. In that case its presence in Mk. is due to the influence of the other gospels upon the original Mk., of which there is considerable evidence. Cf. Burton, Some Principles of Literary Criticism, p. 25; Sharman, The Teaching of Jesus about the Future, pp. 57, 93, 95, 256.

In Mark 4:19 the absence of the word “this” makes it improbable that there was here, at least in the original form of the expression, any reference to the two ages. Cf. Luke 8:14.

The phrases “this age” and “the coming age” do not occur in Acts, nor are they found in the fourth gospel. Both these books bear evidence in other ways of being influenced by eschatological ideas similar to those of Paul, and implicitly, too, by the conception of the two ages, but it is not probable that here, any more than in the synoptic gospels, these conceptions are traceable to Jesus.

It is in any case, however, clear that the two-age eschatology was for Paul not a product of his own thinking, but an inheritance accepted on what he believed to be the authority of Jesus. That it was shared by practically all N. T. writers, even by the author of the fourth gospel to a certain extent, appears from the passages quoted above from the synoptists, and from such passages as John 6:39, John 6:40, James 5:7, James 5:8, 1 Peter 1:5, 2 Peter 3:4, 1 John 2:18, Jude 1:18, Revelation 1:3.


The adjective αἰώνιος is found first in Plato. From Plato down to N. T. times it is used, with no apparent change in meaning, in the sense, “enduring for an indefinitely long time,” “perpetual,” “eternal,” referring both to the past and (perhaps throughout its history, certainly in N. T., rather more frequently) to the future. For classical usage see Plato, Rep. 363D; Legg. X 904A; post-classical, e. g., Diod. Sic. 1. 1:5. Cf. the statement of M. and M. Voc.: “In general the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view, whether the horizon be at an infinite distance … or whether it lies no farther than the span of a Cæsar’s life.”

The Lxx translates by means of it only עוֹלָם and cognates, modifying διαθήκη (Genesis 17:7, 1 Chronicles 16:17), νόμιμος (Exodus 27:21, Numbers 10:8), etc. The phrase ζωὴ αἰώνιος, so frequent in N. T., occurs first in Daniel 12:2. The Apocrypha show no noteworthy deviation from previous usage. ζωὴ αἰώνιος occurs in 4 Mac. 15:3, Ps. Sol. 3:16 (12). A similar phrase, αἰώνιος

In N. T. the phrase ζωὴ αἰώνιος occurs 43 times. In Jn. and 1 Jn., in Acts, and in Gal. (6:8) the adjective is used in this phrase exclusively. The feminine αἰωνία is found 2 Thessalonians 2:16, Hebrews 9:12. Its force is, as everywhere else in ancient Greek, purely temporal and quantitative. Cf. M. and M. Voc. s. v. The qualitative conception sometimes ascribed to it lies wholly in the noun ζωή, with which it is joined. It has no association with ὁ αἰὼν οὕτος or ὀ μέλλων αἰών. It came into existence before these terms were in use, and its kinship of meaning is not with them, but with the αἰών of Plato, meaning “for ever.” See also in N. T., Mark 3:29.*

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Cremer Cremer, H., Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der neutestamentlichen Gräcität. Zehnte völlig durchgearbeitete Auflage herausgegeben von Julius Kögel. Gotha, 1911-15.

Bous. Bousset, Wilhelm, in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1907. 2te Aufl., 1908.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Dal. Dalman, The Words of Jesus. Edinburgh, 1902.

Schr. Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi. Vierte Auflage, 1901-9.

E. T. English translation.

H Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings. 5 vols Edinburgh and New York, 1898-1905.

M. and M. Moulton, J. H., and Milligan, G., Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. 1914-.

* The first, and apparently the only occurrence of αιώνιος in a meaning other than that given, which is known to present-day lexicographers, is in Herodian (238 A.D.) 3. 8:18, where he refers to the ludi sœculares given by Severus in the words: αἰωνίους δε αὐτὰς ἐκάλουν οἱ τότε,


Ἐνεστώς is the perf. part. of ἐνίστημι, which in the pres. mid. means “to impend,” “to threaten,” “to begin,” in the aor. act. “impended,” “threatened,” “begun,” but in the perf. with the proper force of a perfect of existing state (BMT 75, 154), “to have begun,” “to be present.” Examples of this use of the perf. appear especially in the participles ἐνεστώς and ἐνεστηκώς.

Thus, in classical writers: Æschin. 2:58, ἔτι τοῦ πολεμοῦ τοῦ πρὸς Φίλιππον ὑμῖν ἐνεστηκότος. Aristot. Rhet. 1. 9:14 (1366 b23), κατὰ τὸν ἐνεστῶτα καιρόν. In the grammarians, ὁ ἐνεστὼς χρόνος signifies “the present tense.” See also Xen. Hell. 2. 1:6, τῶν ἐνεστηκότων πραγμάτων. Polyb. 1. 18:38 1. 60:75 2. 26:3.

The usage of the Jewish Greek writers is the same. See 1 Esdr. 9:6, 1 Mac. 12:44, 2 Malachi 3:17, 6:9, 12:3. The participle is used in this sense only in O. T. Apocr. It does not occur in the Lxx (can. bks.).

In N. T. the participle has but one meaning, “present.” See Romans 8:38, 1 Corinthians 3:22, in both of which it stands in antithesis with μέλλοντα; 1 Corinthians 7:26, 2 Thessalonians 2:2, Hebrews 9:9. The translation of RV. in 1 Corinthians 7:26, “that is upon us,” and 2 Thessalonians 2:2, “is just at hand,” is in both cases evasive of the real meaning, as is the comment of Robertson and Plummer on 1 Cor. ad loc. See Frame on Thes. ad loc. See also Ep. Barn. 1:7: τὰ παρεληλυθότα, καὶ τὰ ἐνεστῶτα, καὶ τῶν μελλόντων δοὺς

In Galatians 1:5 τοῦ αἰῶνος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος undoubtedly refers to what is more commonly called ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος; for “present” is the only clearly established sense of the word ἐνεστώς, and the apostle’s twice-repeated antithesis between ἐνεστῶτα and μέλλοντα (Romans 8:38, 1 Corinthians 3:22), together with the use of the word μέλλων in connection with αἰών to designate the future age, apparently a recognised and current usage (Matthew 12:32, Ephesians 1:21, Hebrews 6:5), makes it especially difficult to give to ἐνεστώς in connection with αἰών any other sense than its usual one, “present.”

B Burton, Ernest De Witt, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek. Third edition. Chicago, 1898.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

RV. The Holy Bible, Revised Oxford, N.T., 1881, O.T.1884.


A comparison of the N. T. instances of the words Matthew 10:26, Mark 4:22. Both are used of the revelation of divine righteousness in the gospel: Romans 1:17, Romans 3:21. Both are used of the manifesting of Christ at his second coming, yet neither frequently: Luke 17:30 (only instance of Colossians 3:4, 1 Peter 5:4, 1 John 2:28, 1 John 3:2. Both are used of the revelation of the mystery of Christ: Ephesians 3:5, Romans 16:26. In general, however, the distinction between the two words is maintained.

Φανερόω throws emphasis on the fact that that which is manifested is objectively clear, open to perception. It is thus suitably used of an open and public announcement, disclosure, or exhibition: 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 2:4:10, 2 Corinthians 2:11, Ephesians 5:13.

Ἀποκαλύπτω, on the other hand, refers primarily to the removal of what conceals, an uncovering, and in some cases the choice of the word seems to be due to the thought of a previous concealment. But for some reason Romans 8:18, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 14:30, Ephesians 3:5.

This distinction is illustrated even in some passages in which the words seem at first sight to be used interchangeably. Thus in Romans 1:17 Paul, using a present tense and by this fact and the context indicating that he is speaking of what is constantly taking place as the result of the preaching of the gospel, writes δικαιοσύνη γὰρ ἐν αὐτῷ i. e., men are coming to perceive the divine way of righteousness. But in 3:21, speaking, as the use of the perfect tense and the context show, of a fact once for all made clear, he writes νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται. The distinction between

Especially significant in its bearing on the interpretation of Galatians 1:16 is the comparison of 1 Corinthians 2:10 (see also Ephesians 3:4, Ephesians 3:5). in which 2 Corinthians 4:10, 2 Corinthians 4:11, in which φανερόω is employed. In 1 Corinthians 2:10 a revelation through the Spirit is spoken of, and in Ephesians 3:5 in the spirit: the latter phrase probably means in the realm of spirit, i. e., of the mind of the prophet, thus emphasising the subjective character of the revelation. In 2 Corinthians 4:10, 2 Corinthians 4:11, on the other hand, the reference is evidently not to the perception in the minds of those to whom the disclosure was made, but to the disclosure itself. In harmony with this distinction between the two words is the fact that φανερόω is several times used in speaking of the appearance of Christ in the flesh (John 2:11, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 9:26, 1 John 1:2 (bis) 3:5, 3, 1 Peter 1:20); three times of his appearance after the resurrection (John 21:1 [bis] 14, and four times of his future coming (Colossians 3:4, 1 Peter 5:4, 1 John 2:28, 1 John 3:2), while Luke 17:30; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7) of the third. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 of the appearance of the man of sin, but probably here with reference to the disclosure and perception of his true character. The total evidence leaves no room for doubt that the presumption is strongly in favour of the view that

Ἀποκάλυψις occurs first, so far as observed, in the Lxx: 1 Samuel 20:30 (the only instance in can. bks.); see also Sir. 11:27, 22:22, 42:1. In general it corresponds in meaning to

N. T. usage of

1. An appearance or manifestation of a person, a coming, or coming to view; used of the coming of Christ, nearly equivalent to ἐπιφάνεια: 1 Corinthians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 1:4:13.

2. A disclosure of a person or thing such that its true character can be perceived: Luke 2:32, Romans 2:5, Romans 8:19, Romans 16:25.

3. A divine revelation or disclosure of a person in his true character, of truth, or of the divine will, made to a particular individual, and as such necessarily involving the perception of that which is revealed; by metonymy, that which is revealed: 1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:26, 2 Corinthians 12:1, 2 Corinthians 12:7, Galatians 1:12, Galatians 2:2, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 3:3, Revelation 1:1. In the first group the emphasis is upon the objective appearance of the person; in the second on the disclosure of a person or truth, the revelation of him or it in its true character; in the third on the divine source of the revelation and its perception by the individual to whom it was made. Cf. Milligan, Com. on Thes. pp. 149 f.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Cf. Confer, compare.


The precise extent of the territory covered by the word Judæa is difficult to determine. Ἰουδαία is the feminine form of the adjective Ἰουδαῖος (derived from Hebrew יהוּדָה). Like other similar adjectives, Γαλιλαία, Συρία, etc., it designates a country, χώρα (see Mark 1:5; Jos. Ant. 11:4 [1:2]) being omitted. The country designated by it was of variable extent. In the Lxx, as the translation of יהוָּדה used in a territorial sense (1 Samuel 23:3), it denotes the territory ruled by David or that of the southern kingdom (2 Chronicles 11:5). In 1 and 2 Mac. it designates substantially the same territory, as inhabited by the Jews of the Maccabæan period (1 Mac. 3:24, Malachi 3:5:18, Malachi 3:9:50, Malachi 3:10:38; cf. v. 30; 11:20, 34, 2 Malachi 1:11, 11:5). The military successes of the Maccabees extended the territory under their dominion, probably in part at least, with a corresponding extension of the term Judæa. Herod the Great ruled over all the territory on both sides of the Jordan from the desert to the Mediterranean, to Phœnicia and Syria on the north, and to Idumæa (inclusive) on the south. His title was king of Judæa. But whether the whole of the territory ruled by him was included under the term Judæa is not wholly clear. On Herod’s death Augustus, substantially confirming Herod’s will except as to the title given Archelaus, assigned to him Idumæa, Judæa, and Samaria, with the title of Ethnarch (Jos. Bell. 2. 93 f. [6:3]). When, ten years later, Archelaus was removed, his territory was made a Roman province and placed under a procurator (Jos. Bell. 2. 117 [8:1]), who apparently bore the title, “Procurator of Judæa” (Luke 3:1; cf. Jos. Bell. 2. 169 [9:2]). From 41 to 44 A. D. Herod Agrippa I again ruled, with the title of king, over all the territory which had previously belonged to his grandfather, Herod the Great (Jos. Bell. 2. 215 [11:5]; Ant. 18. 252 [7:2], 19. 274 [5:1]). On the death of Herod Agrippa I his kingdom again came under Roman procurators with the title “Procurator of Judæa” (Ant. 19. 363 [9:2]), and this condition of affairs continued until 53 A. D., when Ituræa, Trachonitis, etc., subsequently increased also by a portion of the former tetrarchy of Herod Antipas, was given to Herod Agrippa II (Jos. Ant. 20. 158 f. [8:4]). Josephus speaks of Cuspius Fadus as procurator (ἔπαρχος) of Judæa “and of the entire kingdom” (Ant. 19. 363 [9:2]), rather suggesting that Judæa was not the name of the whole territory. But cf. Ant. 20. 97 (5:1). Also in speaking of the addition to the kingdom of Agrippa I he speaks of the country of his grandfather Herod as Judæa and Samaria (Ant. 19. 274 [5:1]). And in Bell. 3. 35-58 (3:1-5), speaking of the period just preceding the Roman War, he divides the whole country of the Jews into Galilee, Peræa, Samaria, and Judæa. Yet, having in Bell. 2. 247 f. (12:8) stated that Felix had been made procurator of Samaria, Galilee, and Peræa, and in 2. 252 f. (13:2) that certain toparchies in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee were given to Agrippa, he adds that over the rest of Judæa he made Felix procurator. Cf. also Jos. Bell. 2. 265 (13:6). Similarly in Acts Luke seems commonly to use Judæa in the narrower sense (Acts 1:8, Acts 8:1, Acts 9:31, Acts 11:1), in 12:19 and 21:10 even excluding by implication Cæsarea, which was the residence of the procurator of Judæa. Only in 2:9, 10:37, 26:20, 28:21 is a larger sense, inclusive of Samaria and Galilee, probable. Matthew 19:1 on the other hand (cf. contra Mark 10:1) bears witness to the inclusion of Peræa under the term Judæa. While, therefore, under the influence of the numerous political changes which Palestine underwent in the last century B. C. and the first century A. D., the term Judæa was probably used in at least three different senses: (a) the territory south of Samaria and west of the Jordan, (b) the Roman province, which, as in the days of Pilate, e. g., included Samaria and Idumæa, (c) the kingdom of Herod the Great, and after him of Agrippa I, yet alike in the O. T., Apocr., N. T., and Josephus, the first, with some vagueness as to exact extent, remains the prevalent usage. Whether Paul, under the influence of his predilection for the Roman usage of geographical terms, employed it in 1 Thessalonians 2:14, Galatians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 1:16, Romans 15:31 in its Roman sense, or as Josephus usually does, in its narrowest sense, must for lack of decisive evidence remain uncertain. It is worthy of note, however, that all these letters were written in the period of the procuratorships that followed the death of Herod Agrippa I, and all the passages are explicable as referring to the Roman province of Judæa.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Cf. Confer, compare.



Ἀμαρτία and ἁμαρτάνω are derived etymologically from α and μέρος, the primary significance of the verb being therefore “to have no part in,” but more commonly in usage, “to miss the mark,” “to fail to attain.” In a physical sense it is used in Hom. Il. V. 287, of a spear missing the mark, and in other similar applications in Æschylus, Sophocles, and Antipho. So also from Homer down in such derived senses as “to fail of one’s purpose,” “to lose,” “to neglect.” But it had also acquired as early as Homer and retained throughout the classical period a distinctly ethical sense, “to do wrong, to err, to sin.” See numerous exx. in L.&S.

The noun ἁμαρτία first appears in Æschylus and ἁμάρτημα in his contemporary Sophocles. Neither word seems to have been employed in a physical sense, but both are used of non-moral defects and of sin in the strictly ethical sense. By its termination ἁμαρτία would naturally mean the quality of an act or person, “defectiveness,” “sinfulness.” In the former of these senses it is found in Plato, Legg. I 627D, ἔνεχαὀρθότητος τε χαὶ ἁμαρτίας νόμων ἤτις ἐστι φύσει, “in the interest of the right and wrong of law, whatever it is by nature.” Legg. II 668C: σχολῆ τήν γε ὀρθότητα τῆς βουλήσεωςκαὶ ἁμαρτίαν αὐτοῦ διαγνώσεται: “He will scarcely be able to discern the rightness or wrongness of its intention” (sc. of a musical or poetic composition). For the latter, more ethical sense, see Plato, Legg. II 660C: λοιδορεῖν γὰρ πράγματα Ag. 1198, παλαιὰς τῶνδε ἁμαρτίας δόμων, “ancient crimes of this house.” Antipho 127:35: οὐ τῆ ἑκυτοῦ ἁμαρτίᾳCf. Dem. 248:25: ἔστω δʼ Aristotle’s Theory of Poetry and Fine Art2, pp. 311 ff.; Kendall in Classical Review, XXV, 195-7. For interesting exx. from the papyri, see M. and M. Voc. sub ἁμαρτάνω.

II. HEBREW USAGE OF &חָטָא חֲטָאָה AND חִטָּאת

These Hebrew words, the common originals of ἁμαρτάνω and ἁμαρτία in the Lxx, have etymologically the same meaning as the Greek terms, viz., “to miss (the mark),” “a missing (of the mark).” The verb is occasionally used (in Kal and Hiph.) in this original sense: Job 5:24, Proverbs 19:2; but far more frequently in an ethical sense, “to sin”; occasionally against man: Genesis 42:22, 1 Samuel 19:4, 1 Samuel 19:5, but in the great majority of cases, expressly or by implication, against God: Genesis 20:6, Exodus 32:33, Ecclesiastes 7:20 et freq. Of the modified senses of the various conjugations it is unnecessary to speak. The nouns are always used in an ethical sense, signifying:

1. An act of sin: (a) proprie: Deuteronomy 21:22, Psalms 51:9, Micah 6:7, Hosea 4:8 et freq.; possibly in 1 Kings 8:25, 2 Chronicles 6:26, Ezekiel 18:24, Psalms 51:5 in the sense of “the committing of sin”; but cf. Ezekiel 18:21, Ezekiel 18:28, which seem to show that even repentance was thought of as the turning from deeds committed or which might be committed rather than expressly as the abandonment of a course of action in progress. (b) With special reference to responsibility and consequent guilt: Deuteronomy 15:9, Deuteronomy 24:15, Deuteronomy 15:16, Genesis 18:20, Numbers 16:26; (c) With special reference to the penalty or consequence of sin: Leviticus 20:20, Leviticus 24:15, Isaiah 53:12.Zechariah 14:19.

2. (הַטְא not so used.) A sin offering: Leviticus 7:37, 2 Chronicles 29:21, 2 Chronicles 29:23, 2 Chronicles 29:24.


In the Lxx (can. bks.) ἁμαρτάνω is found about 170 times, being in all but 21 of these a translation of תָטָה in one or another of its conjugations. Its meaning is practically identical with the usual ethical sense of the Hebrew original; that the latter is often translated also by

Of the nearly 500 instances of ἁμαρτία in the Lxx about four-fifths are translations of חֵטִא or חַטָּאת, and the word has the same variety of meaning as the Hebrew terms, except that a sin offering is expressed by περὶ Leviticus 9:2, Leviticus 9:3, Leviticus 9:7, Leviticus 9:10, Leviticus 9:15, Leviticus 9:22, etc.


The usage of the Apocr. is in general similar to that of the Lxx (can. bks.). The words are always ethical. ἁμαρτάνω is frequently used in speaking of sin against God (1 Esd. 1:24, 6:15, Jdth. 5:20, 2 Mac. 7:18), or in his sight (Susan. 23), sometimes against men (Sir. 7:7, Ep. Jer_14), and occasionally against one’s own soul (Sir. 19:4, cf. Tob. 12:10); yet it is doubtless thought of as related to God as the supreme power whose authority it contravenes and who will punish it.

Ἁμαρτία is used most frequently of deeds of sin, commonly in the plural (Tob. 3:3, 5, Sir. 2:11, etc.), sometimes in the singular in the same sense (Tob. 3:14, 4:21) or qualitatively (Sir. 10:13, 19:8), occasionally collectively (Tob. 12:9, 1 Ezra 7:8). In a few passages it means “the doing of sin,” rather than the deed, Sir. 8:5, 21:2, but esp. 25:24, 46:7. It apparently does not occur in the sense of “sinfulness.”

Under the influence of the developing legalism of this period the conception of sin among the Palestinians in general tended to become legalistic, and sin to be regarded as the violation of commandments (Tob. 3:1-5, 4:5 Jub. 15:34, 21:4-22, chap. 50; Toy, Judaism and Christianity, pp. 205 ff.; Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 145 ff., Ch.AP., II 9).

Atonement for sins is thought of as achieved by sacrifice (Jub. 6:2, 34:18), or by compensatory, meritorious deeds, especially almsgiving (Tob. 4:9-11, 12:8, 9). Of attempt to define in more explicit ethical terms what it is that makes sin sinful there is little trace.

On the other hand, there appears in this period an effort, of which there is little trace in O. T., to discover the origin of sin. Among the Palestinians there arises the doctrine of the evil impulse. According to Ryssel, quoted in Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 462 f., it is to be found as early as Sir. (21:11 a); clearly in 4 Esd. (3:20ff. 4:30, 7:48, 92, 8:53, 14:34), the Pirke Aboth (IV 1) and then frequently in the rabbinic literature. As interpreted, no doubt correctly, by Porter (“The Yeçer Hara” in Biblical and Semitic Studies by Members of the Faculty of Yale University, pp. 93-111) and Bous. (op. cit., p. 465) this impulse has its seat in the soul, not in the body of men. The Palestinians never found the seat of moral evil in matter. Philo, affected by Greek thought, especially by Plato, wavers in his opinion, sometimes seeming to find the cause of sin in the materiality of the body, sometimes tracing it to the work of demons in the creation of man, sometimes to man’s free choice of pleasure. Adam and Eve were originally morally indifferent, as is every infant of their posterity, but made choice of evil. The individual man is a free moral agent, tempted to sin by his body but able to choose the life of the spirit. See Siegfried, Philo von Alexandria, pp. 242 ff. A noteworthy element of Philo’s doctrine is that intention is of equal importance with fulfilment, yet does not become guilty until it is fulfilled (Quod. det. pot. 96-99 [26]). See BSSF. p. 163. Sir. once traces the sin of the race to Eve (25:24), and 2 Bar. once intimates the same (47:42), but the common doctrine of 2 Bar. (17:2, 54:15, etc.) and of 4 Esd. (3:21, 4:30, 7:116 ff.) is that the sin of men began with Adam, and that death is its consequence, yet this is not conceived of as excluding the moral responsibility of the individual (2 Bar. 54:15, 19). The connection which the Ethiopic Enoch finds between the sin of men and that of the fallen angels is an exceptional view. The transmutation of the serpent of Gen., chap. 3, into Satan and the tracing of the beginnings of human sin to the devil begin as early as the first half of the first century B. C. (Wisd. Sol. 2:24). On the whole subject see the full and informing discussion in Bous., op. cit., pp. 459-70.


In N. T. both verb and noun are used in the ethical sense only. The influence of the etymology of the word is to be seen in the fact that there is still in some cases clearly, probably always in fact, in the background of the conception the idea of a standard to which action ought to but does not conform. The standard is usually conceived of as set by God (Romans 3:23; cf. 1:23-32, esp. 32), rarely by the civil power (Acts 25:8).

The nouns ἁμαρτία and ἁμάρτημα are also always ethical. ἁμάρτημα, which occurs only in Mark 3:28, Mark 3:29, Romans 3:25, 1 Corinthians 6:13 [2 Peter 1:9], is always, in accordance with its termination, an act of sin. ἁμαρτία, which occurs much more frequently, is never used in its strictly abstract sense, “sinfulness,” but, formally defined, has two usages:

1. The committing of sin, the doing of that which is not in accordance with the will of God, equivalent to τὸ peccatio, as distinguished from peccatum: Romans 6:1: ἐπιμένωμεν τῆ ἁμαρτίᾳ; see also Romans 5:12, Romans 5:13, Romans 5:20, Romans 5:21, Romans 5:6:2, Romans 5:6b, Romans 5:13, Romans 5:14, Romans 5:16, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:18, Romans 5:20, 22, 23 (?); most of the instances in chap. 7; 8:2, 3a, c, 1 Corinthians 15:36, 2 Corinthians 5:21a, Galatians 2:17, John 8:46, John 16:9, Hebrews 4:15. The word is never used in this sense in the synoptic gospels, or Acts, and is mainly confined to Paul and John. In this sense it is frequently personified, or semi-personified, being spoken of as one would speak of a person—a demon or Satan (see, e.g., Romans 6:12: μὴ οὗν βασιλευέτωἁμαρτία ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑμῶν σώματιμηδὲ παριστάνετε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶντῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ), or as a force having existence independent of the sinner;* see esp. Romans 5:12, Romans 5:13, Romans 5:7:5, Romans 5:20.

Romans 5:12-21 shows that Paul applied the term both to the violation of known law (cf. Romans 1:18ff.) and to conduct of the same character produced, where there was no law, under the impelling influence of the hereditary tendency derived from Adam. To the former only Paul apparently applies such terms as παράπτωμα and παράβασις (see Romans 5:14ff. Galatians 3:19); cf. the discriminating discussion by E. P. Gould, “Paul’s Doctrine of Sin,” in Baptist Review, 1880, pp. 216-235.

2. Sin committed, the deed as distinguished from the doing of it—peccatum.

(a) Generically, when no reference is had to specific forms of sin: Matthew 1:21: σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ Mark 2:5: Matthew 12:31. So also in John 8:34a (b ?), 46, 15:22, 24, 19:11, 20:23, Acts 2:38 (and always in Acts except 7:60) Romans 4:7, Romans 4:8, Romans 4:8:3b, Romans 4:10, Romans 4:11:27, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Corinthians 15:17, 2 Corinthians 11:7, Hebrews 1:3, and generally in this epistle; 1 John 1:9, and generally in this epistle. It is used in this sense, in the singular and without the article, qualitatively (meaning, however, not sinfulness, but having the quality of sin) in Romans 14:23, 1 John 5:17, James 4:17.

(b) Specifically, when reference is had to a particular deed or a particular kind of sinful deed: Matthew 12:31: πᾶσα ἁμαρτία χαὶ βλασφημία Acts 7:60.

(c) Collectively, the singular for the plural: John 1:29: ἴδεRomans 3:9, Romans 3:20.

(d) By metonymy, for a sin-bearer: 2 Corinthians 5:21: τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁαρτίαν ἐποίησεν.

It is obvious that the distinction between 1 and 2, having reference to a difference not in content but only in point of view, may easily reach a vanishing point. Thus the context of 1 John 3:5 shows that “to take away sins” means to cause them to cease to be done; in other words, it is the doing of sin that is to cease, but the writer has in thought objectified the deeds and spoken of them as things to be removed. So also in John 8:24, to “die in your sins,” is probably synonymous with to “die in your sin,” in 8:21, the meaning in both cases being to die while still sinning; though it is possible that the plural phrase means to “die in the condemnation caused by your sins.” Cf. also Romans 6:10, Romans 7:5, and the exx. cited under חָטָה, 1 (a).

As concerns the material content of ἁμαρτία. there was evidently room for wide difference of opinion among those who used the term. Unlike such words as πορνεία, χλοπή, and φόνος, which in themselves describe the external character of the deeds to which they refer, and φθόνος and ὀργή, which describe an inward disposition, cf. above on Philo). He included both external and internal acts under the category of sins (see esp. Mark 7:21), and demanded deeds as well as disposition (Matthew 7:24-27). He did not find his standard of what was right and wrong in the statutes of the law, but in some more ultimate criterion. Yet he does not expressly state any single principle of sin to which all sins may be reduced. We may roughly classify the acts and dispositions which he reproved and evidently included under the term sin as (a) sins of the flesh and the sensual mind: fornication, adultery, encouragement of sensual thought. (b) Sins of conduct or attitude towards other men: theft, covetousness, hatred, lack of compassion, unwillingness to forgive. (c) Attitude towards truth: refusal to accept truth when it is presented, captious demand for evidence, hypocrisy, and profession without deeds. (d) Attitude towards God: ingratitude, unwillingness to trust him.

Remembering that Jesus summed up all righteous action under the single term “love,” and observing that in all the things which he calls sin there is an element of selfishness, in the sense of grasping things for one’s self regardless of the welfare of others, or excessive self-assertion, this may be understood to be the characteristic quality of sin, viz., isolation of one’s self from the world in which one lives, refusal to live in reciprocally beneficial relations to the community of which one is an integral part. But Jesus does not himself explicitly state the matter thus. So far as the gospels report, he seems rather immediately to have recognised certain acts as sin and to have assumed that his hearers’ consciences would give concurrent judgment.

In his writings the apostle Paul emphasised the internal, yet not to the exclusion of the external. Under the conception of sin he included outward acts and inward thoughts and feelings: on the one side murder, fornication, drunkenness, and on the other envy, malice, jealousies, wraths, etc.

In Rom., chap. 7, he seems to indicate that while he was yet a Pharisee there was the beginning of the perception that the law extended its dominion to the feelings as well as to outward deeds, and that wrong feelings as well as wrong outward acts were sin. The commandment “Thou shalt not covet,” which in his Pharisaic days brought dormant sin to life was a prohibition not of action but of desire. Yet the clear perception of the spiritual character of the law and the transfer of emphasis in the conception both of righteousness and sin from the external deeds to the internal attitudes of heart and the principle of love apparently came only with his conversion.

Yet he nowhere clearly indicates that even after his conversion he worked out for the generic idea of sin a definition corresponding to that which he found for righteousness in the idea of love. For while in Romans 1:18ff. he finds the ground of divine condemnation of sin in the suppression of truth possessed, yet this is probably not to be taken as a definition of sin, but as the basis of guilt. James 4:17 similarly makes conduct not in accordance with one’s knowledge of good to be sin, but does not affirm the converse, and hence does not thereby define sin.

The gospel of John takes fundamentally the same position as the synoptists and Paul. Instead of defining sin, it assumes that its character is known, and puts especial emphasis on rejection of the light, especially as manifested in failure to believe in Jesus, and finds in such rejection the ground of the divine judgment (3:19, 9:41, 15:22, 16:9).

The statement of 1 John 3:4 must be understood in view of the fact that it is part of the author’s polemic against the Antinomians, who justified their unrighteousness on the ground that they were not under law; yet, in view of the whole character of the letter, the law here referred to must be understood, not in the legalistic sense of the term, but as denoting the divine will in general.

Of the origin of sin and the relation of its origin to personal responsibility, there is no direct discussion in the synoptic gospels, but there are one or two passages which have an important bearing on Jesus’ thought on the subject. These gospels record him as speaking of Satan or the devil as tempting men to sin (Mark 1:13, Matthew 13:19, Matthew 13:38) and of men as exerting a like influence on one another (Mark 8:33). He speaks of physical conditions also as being the occasion of sin. But he never ascribes to any of these influences compelling power. Indeed, in Mark 7:14-23, discussing the question of what defiles a man morally, he expressly finds the cause of sin, both internal and external in the man himself, the heart. It is of special importance to note that he does not say either that outward acts prove the heart (that is, as the context shows, the inner self, which is the source of action) to be sinful, as if its character were already fixed (e.g., by heredity) and could only manifest itself, or that inward conditions determine the outward, but that from the heart proceed evil thoughts, and that these defile the man. He thus makes the man the generator of his own character and deeds. Whatever he may have thought of heredity or of physical forces as related to sin, they were not, according to this passage, the causes of it.

Paul, agreeing in large measure with 4 Esd. and 2 Bar., makes sin a racial matter, beginning with Adam, and passing down to his descendants, both before and after the coming of law, not being imputed, however, where there is no law (Romans 5:12ff.). In the individual, also, sin has its two stages corresponding to the two stages of the experience of the race (after Adam). It is first a dormant force (presumably hereditary and from Adam), then on the coming of the commandment becomes an active force and an actual practice (Romans 7:8-13), as in the race it issued in transgression (Galatians 3:19). In his representation of responsibility for sin the apostle is apparently not quite uniform. Consistent in his view that there is guilt only where law is, he seems in Romans 5:13, Romans 5:14 to imply that it exists only where there is explicit published law, but in 1:18-2:16 clearly holds that suppression of truth, violation of law, however revealed, involves guilt. So, also, death is in Romans 5:13, Romans 5:14 traced, not to the sin which being against law is imputed, but to the primal sin of Adam, shared by his descendants, but not imputed to the individual descendant who was not under law. On the other hand, in Romans 7:8-13, its cause is found in the conscious disobedience of known commandments. Personal responsibility is even more explicitly set forth without reference to heredity in 1:18, 2:6, the basis of condemnation being, as pointed out above, in the suppression of truth and action contrary to it.

In this conception of sin as a force dormant in the individual until the coming of the commandment (Romans 7:8-13), the thought of the apostle approximates the rabbinic idea of the evil impulse (yeçer hara). Yet the Pauline ἁμαρτία differs from the yeçer hara in that the latter designates not the doing of sin, but a force operative in the conscious life and impelling one to evil conduct, while with Paul ἁμαρτία is primarily the doing of sin, and when used by metonymy denotes the impulse, tendency, or habit which is dormant till roused to life by the commandment. Nor is sin identified with the yeçer hara in James 1:15, where if ἐπιθυμία denotes the evil impulse it is expressly distinguished from sin, being made the cause of it.

The fourth gospel, like the synoptists, connects sin with the devil; but as clearly insists upon personal responsibility, and finds the ground of condemnation, which is death, in resistance to light possessed. See above, P. 442.

Similar is the doctrine of James except that the evil impulse, ἐπιθυμία, furnishes the force that tends to sin. But the fatalistic view is expressly rejected, personal responsibility affirmed and grounded in the possession of knowledge of the good. As in other N. T. writers death is the penalty of sin. See James 1:12-15, James 4:17.

In all these writers, therefore, sin is non-conformity to the divine standard of character and conduct, and, whatever the influence contributing to it, involves individual guilt, whenever its non-conformity to the standard of right is perceived by the wrong-doer.

L.&S. Liddell, H. G., and Scott, R., Greek English Lexicon. Seventh edition revised. New York, 1882.

Cf. Confer, compare.

M. and M. Moulton, J. H., and Milligan, G., Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. 1914-.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Bous. Bousset, Wilhelm, in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments. Göttingen, 1907. 2te Aufl., 1908.

Ch. Charles, R. H., Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Oxford, 1913.

B Burton, Ernest De Witt, Spirit, Soul, and Flesh. Chicago, 1918.

* The opinion of Dib. Gwt. pp. 114-124, that Paul sometimes not simply rhetorically personifies but actually personalises sin, thinking of it as a demon, is scarcely justified by the evidence. Dib. himself holds that he more frequently uses the word in a non-personalised sense, and that it is not possible always to draw with certainty the line between image and actuality.



Νόμος (from νέμω) means properly “that which is distributed, apportioned, appointed.”

From this primary meaning to the meaning which it came later to have, “law” very much in the present, technical sense of the English word, “statute,” “ordinance,” or “a body or code of statutes,” the development of νόμος has not as yet been traced with sufficient fulness and exactness to make assured statements possible. The lexicons are all deficient at this point. The following outline, however, is believed to give an approximately correct representation of classical usage. The word first appears in Greek literature in Hesiod. From Hesiod down to N. T. times at least, the general idea underlying all its uses in extant non-biblical literature seems to be that of the expression of the thought or will of one mind or group of minds intended or tending to control the thought or action of others. Where it first appears in Hesiod, it may perhaps best be defined as an established way of doing things which seems imposed upon men or animals by some necessity outside of themselves, this necessity being in most, if not in all cases, referred to the will of the gods (Hes. Theog. 66, 417; Op. 276, 388). It is distinguished from δίκη, on the one hand, in that it is not necessarily moral—in fact, νόμος may be quite opposed to δίχη, Hes. Op. 276—and, on the other, from ἤθος, probably by the greater fixity and necessity attaching to it. In later authors two distinguishable senses appear. On the one hand, there is found a laxer usage, sometimes closely approaching, though probably never quite arriving at, the meaning “custom, convention.” See Pind. Isth. 2. 55; Pind. ap. Hdt. 3:38; Hdt. 4:39; Aristot. Eth. Nic. 1 3:2 (1094 b 16). On the other hand, it means what we most commonly mean by “law,” i.e., a rule of action prescribed by authority. In this general sense:

1. It may refer to a single rule, the authority issuing it and enforcing it (a) being conceived of as divine (cf. Æsch. Eum. 448; Soph. Trach. 1177; in the plur. Soph. Ant. 453); or (b) conceived to be of human origin (Pind. Nem.10:51). In the plural the word is used of a collection or code of laws, obtaining in a state (Aristot. Rhet. 2:23 [1398 b 8ff.]); so especially of Solon’s laws at Athens; Draco’s laws were called by the older name, θέμιστες.

2. In the singular collectively, it may denote a written civil code, νόμος ἲδιος, or a body of unwritten principles, νόμος χοινός, equivalent to δίχαιον, the principles being chiefly ethical and common to all men: Aristot. Rhet. 1 10:3 (1368 b 7ff.) Rhet. ad Alex. 1 (2) (1421 b, 35ff.). According to L. V. Schmidt, Die Ethik der alten Griechen, p. 202, the sharp distinction of ἔθη “customs,” from νόμος “law,” does not appear until post-classical times, e. g., Polyb. 6. 47:1. φύσις is at times distinguished from νόμος (Plato, Prot. 337D: “For by nature like is akin to like, whereas law is the tyrant of mankind, and often compels us to do many things that are against nature”; Aristot. Eth. Nic. I 3:2 [1094 b 18]); at other times it is made the basis of νόμος, e.g., by the Stoics. But the term νὁμος φύσεως did not, either in the Stoics’ usage (cf. F. C. French, The Concept of Law in Ethics, chap. I, § 4, pp. 6 ff.) or in that of other writers (e.g., Plato, Tim. 83E, where it probably means simply “demands of nature”) mean to the ancient mind what “law of nature” means in modern scientific terminology, a formula expressing the observed regular recurrence of an event or a sequence of events in nature. The meaning, “musical mode or strain,” “a kind of ode,” in which νόμος is also found, is easily derivable from the etymological ground meaning of the word. It is, in fact, merely an application of this meaning to music. It seems never to have had any appreciable influence upon νόμος meaning “law.”


תּוֹרָה (cf. הוֹרָה “to point out the way”) means primarily “direction” given to another. It is of frequent occurrence in O. T., signifying:

1. Direction, instruction concerning a specific matter, such as offerings, etc., (a) an oral direction or decision, as of priest or judge: Deuteronomy 17:11, Jeremiah 18:18 (cf. Micah 3:11, and Driver, Joel and Amos, p. 230, in Cambridge Bible for Schools). (b) A formulated rule or statute, concerning a specific matter: Leviticus 6:9: “This is the law of the burnt offering.” See also Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 14:7, Numbers 5:29, et freq. in Lev. and Nu. In 2 Kings 17:9, quite exceptionally in the sense “custom,” “manner.”

2. Ethical and religious instruction: (a) In general, the instruction or advice of parent, prophet, or sage: Proverbs 6:20: “My son, keep the commandment of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” See also Psalms 78:1, Proverbs 4:2, Proverbs 13:14. (b) Specifically the will of God announced by a prophet; reference being had not to a code or definitely formulated body of statutes, but to the will of God in general, as defined by the context. Hence, the revealed will of God: Micah 4:2: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.” See also Exodus 13:9, Exodus 13:16:4, 28, Psalms 40:8 (9), Zechariah 7:12, Isaiah 1:10, Isaiah 2:3, Isaiah 5:24, Isaiah 42:24, etc. Jeremiah 6:19, Lamentations 2:9.

3. A definitely formulated body of statutes, or ordinances, whether ethical, religious, or civil, but in general in accordance with the Hebrew conception of the origin of the law, conceived of as divinely authorised: (a) The substance and content of such law; used especially of the law of Moses in whole or in part: Deuteronomy 1:5 (and elsewhere in Deut.), of the body of ethical and religious instructions, contained in that book; Exodus 24:12, the law written on tables of stone; Joshua 8:31, 2 Kings 14:6, 2 Kings 23:25, the law of Moses; 1 Chronicles 22:12, Psalms 78:5, Psalms 78:10, Daniel 9:10, et freq. (b) The book containing the law: Nehemiah 8:2, Nehemiah 8:8. In 1 Kings 2:3, 2 Chronicles 23:18, also, the reference is in a sense to the book, but still to its content, its requirements, not to the material book—and these passages therefore belong under (a) rather than here.


Νόμος, used by the Lxx by far most frequently for תּורָה, but also occasionally for &#הֻקָּהֽ הקֹ דָת, etc., differs very slightly in force and usage from תּוֹרָה, chiefly in that it is employed somewhat more frequently of a specific statute, and occasionally as the translation of דָת for the civil law of a heathen nation or the royal decree of a heathen king: Ezra 7:26: νόμον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ νόμον τοῦ βασιλέως. Esther 1:19, κατὰ τοὺς νόμους Μήδων καὶ Περσῶν. Esther 1:20, ὁ νόμοςὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως.


Νόμος in the Apocr. and Pseudepig. differs from הורָה in the Hebrew, and νόμος in the Lxx, chiefly in that on the one side the meaning “direction,” “instruction,” is disappearing, the word tending to denote more constantly a definitely formulated statute or code, and on the other in that this latter conception is in the process of being generalised into that of law in the abstract, i. e., apart from the question of the particular form of its expression. Usage may be formulated as follows:

1. A formulated statute or decree, whether ethical, religious, or civil. 1 Mac. 2:22, τὸν νόμον τοῦ βασιλέως. 10:37: πορευέσθωσαν τοῖς νόμοις αὐτῶν. 13:3, Wisd. 9:5: ἐν συνέσει κρίσεως καὶ νόμου. 2 Mac. 2:22, Malachi 3:1, etc. It is a peculiarity of the style of 2 Mac. that it commonly uses the term νόμοι (pl.) to denote that body of statutes and instruction which elsewhere in O. T. and N. T. is usually called תּוֹרָה, νόμος (sing.).

2. Ethical and religious instruction. This sense, so frequently expressed by תּוֹרָה, is rarely expressed by νόμος in the Apocr. In Sir. 44:19: “Abraham kept the law of the Most High,” “law” means in general “will,” unless the passage involves an anachronism or the conception (found in the later Jewish writings) of the law as antedating Moses. In Wisd. 6:18 νόμοι apparently means “precepts” or “instructions” of Wisdom. But it is evident that in this period νόμος is surrendering the general meaning “instruction” and coming to denote something more formal and fixed.

3. A formulated body of statutes, ordinances, or instructions. Used with reference to: (a) The law of Israel, usually spoken of as “the law of Moses,” the “law of the Most High,” or, simply, “the law.” (i) The content of the law, usually its rules and precepts: 1 Esd. 1:33, ἐν τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου. 5:51, ὡς ἐπιτέτακται ἐν τῷ νόμῳ. 8:3, Tob. 1:3 (א) Wisd. 16:6 Sir. prol. (bis) 2:16, 9:15, 1 Mac. 1:49, 52, 56, 57, Malachi 1:2 Malachi 1:4, Malachi 1:2:2, Malachi 1:3, Ps. Sol. 14:1 et freq. In Sir. it is sometimes used with special reference to the ethical contents of the law in distinction from its ceremonial prescriptions: Sir. 35:1: ὁ συντηρῶν νόμον πλεονάζει. 32:15: ὁ ζητῶν νόμον ἐμπλησθήσεται αὐτοῦ. See also 32:24. In 2 Mac. 2:18, 10:26, it refers especially to the promises of the law. (ii) The book containing the law: 1 Esd. 9:39, 40a, 46; Sir. prol. ter. (b) With primary reference still to the divine law given to Israel, νόμος is used with emphasis upon its authoritative character as law, rather than on the form of its embodiment in the law of Moses, and thus approximates the conception of (divine) law as such, without reference to the specific form in which it has been expressed. It is difficult or impossible, especially by reason of the laxity in the use of the article in the Apocrypha, to draw a sharp line of distinction between the instances that belong here and those which fall under 3 a (i). But there can be no doubt that some of the instances in Wisd. and Sir. of νόμος without the article, belong here. Wisd. 2:12, 6:4, Sir. 19:20: ἐν πάσσοφίᾳ ποίησις νόμου, see also v. 24. This general sense of the term is especially clear when with descriptive epithets added it is used qualitatively; thus in Sir. 45:5, νόμος ζωῆς καὶ ἐπιστήμης, “a law of life and knowledge.”

4. By metonymy νόμος denotes a force or custom which, being put forth is a guide of action, has the effect of law: Wisd. 2:11; cf. 14:16.

It is especially important to observe that תּוֹרָה in Heb. and νόμος in the Lxx and Apocr. denote law in the imperative sense; it is the address of one will to another demanding obedience. It is not a mere statement of usage or custom. It is not the formula in accordance with which certain things customarily or invariably happen. It is a command, instruction, a body of teaching or demands to which obedience is required. Cf. Classical Usage, p. 444, fin.


In N. T., as in classical writers, O. T., and Apocr., νόμος is employed in the imperative, not in the declarative sense. It is not the formula expressing a general fact, but a principle, or statute, or body of instruction, which calls for obedience. Any exceptions to this statement are due simply to a lax use of the word as the equivalent of γραφή or to conscious metonymy. The conception that law proceeds from God so pervades N. T. that the word νόμος itself conveys the thought of divine law unless the context gives it a more general reference. Especially by reason of the extensive and varied use of the term by the apostle Paul in his controversial writings, its usage is much more complex than in the O. T. books.

To understand its development it is necessary to have in mind the points at issue in the controversy in which Jesus and, even more explicitly, Paul, were involved through their opposition to Pharisaic ideas of righteousness and law.

The common reference of the term among the Jews was, of course, to the legislative system ascribed to Moses. This was par eminenceνόμος. On the basis of this system Pharisaism had erected what at least tended to become a rigid external legalism, according to which God demanded obedience to statutes, and approved or disapproved men according as they rendered or failed to render such obedience.* Ethical principles and motives were in large measure lost sight of, not character, but deeds of obedience to statutes, counted as assets in the counting-room of the Great Accountant. The Gentile did not obey, he did not even know, the statutes of the law; he had therefore no standing before God; the publican did not conform to the statutes as Pharisaism interpreted them; therefore he was accursed. This rigid legalism was indeed tempered in one respect, viz., by the ascription to God of favouritism towards the Jew as the son of Abraham, whose covenant relation to God was sealed by the rite of circumcision,* a qualification however, which served only more completely to de-ethicalise the law. Over against this legalism reached by an exclusive emphasis on statutes, both Jesus and Paul discover in the law certain fundamental ethical principles, and declare that in them the law consists, and that by the subjection of the life to them men become the objects of divine approval (Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:40, Galatians 5:14: ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ. Romans 13:8: ὁ γὰρ

But the controversies of Paul also forced him to meet his opponents more nearly on their own ground and to employ the word “law” with yet other shades of discrimination of meaning. The Pharisaic doctrine of God’s partiality for the Jew rested upon an interpretation of the covenant with Abraham according to which God had made certain promises to the seed of Abraham. Instead of directly controverting the Pharisaic definition, which the legalistic language of O. T. rendered somewhat difficult, Paul at times, and to a certain extent, takes the Pharisaic opponent on his own ground and attacks his conception of law through an attack upon his notion of the covenant. Respecting this he maintains first that it was not legalistic, but ethical, essentially a covenant not of circumcision and with the circumcised seed of Abraham, but of faith and with those that entered into relation with God through faith. This is the substance of his contention in Galatians 3:6-9, where the expression “sons of Abraham” is practically equivalent to participators in the Abrahamic covenant. Again he contends that this covenant of faith was not set aside by the law that came in through Moses, but that it remained in force through the whole period of the law, conditioning the law, so that, whatever function the law had, man’s relation to God was never determined by law alone viewed as the expression of a legalistic system. This is his contention in Galatians 3:17. In this argument Paul does not deny but rather admits that the law, if viewed by itself and in detachment from the ethicalism of the covenant that preceded it and properly conditioned it, and from the ethicalism that underlay its very statutes themselves, was legalistic, a body of statutes demanding obedience and denouncing penalties on all who failed fully to obey them; he could himself speak of the law in this sense (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:11). What he denied was that the law so understood was ever intended to constitute the whole and sole basis on which man stood before God and was judged by him. But it will be evident that while Paul’s essential view remains unchanged, the precise meaning of the term as used by him varies not only according as he is viewing the law as the embodiment of ethical principles or as a code of statutes, but also according as, while bearing in mind its character as a code of statutes, he thinks of it in distinction from or as combined with and conditioned by the ethicalism of the covenant.

If now it be borne in mind that Paul also maintained that the law as a system of statutes ceased to be in force when Christ came, we may perhaps aid ourselves to grasp the apostle’s thought by the following diagram:






c d






h ————— i



m n

Let abcd represent the covenant with Abraham, never abrogated, interpreted by Paul as essentially ethical in character and permanent. Let klmn represent the same covenant as the Pharisee interpreted it, making it the basis of a permanent favouritism of God towards Israel. Let ef and gh together represent the law that came in through Moses; ef its statutes, gh its underlying ethical principles. The statutes according to Paul are in force from Moses to Christ; the ethical principles are of permanent validity. Cf. also Matthew 5:18. But it is not always pertinent to make these distinctions.

If, then, Paul is speaking in simple, historical fashion without reference to the controversies that had gathered around the term “law” and compelled discrimination between its different phases and aspects, or if in the midst of such controversy he desires to speak of that objective thing which both he and his opponents had in mind, however much they differed in their interpretation of its significance, then he ignores all the distinctions indicated by ef and gh or the relation of these to bc or lm, and means by the law simply the system that came in through Moses. This is clearly the case in Romans 2:18, κατηχούμενος ἐκ τοῦ νόμου. So also in Romans 2:12, ὅσοι ἐν νόμῳ ἥμαρτον, except that he is here speaking qualitatively of such a system as that of Moses, a concrete objection expressive of the will of God as such.

But Romans 2:12-16 shows clearly that alongside of this conception of law Paul held also another which differed from this precisely in that it lacked the idea of expression in a concrete objective system. The teaching of this passage is of prime importance for the understanding of Paul’s conception of law and his use of the term. In v. 12 Paul classifies sinful men (those previously described in v. 8 as οἱ ἐξ ἐριθίας καὶ i. e., possess a knowledge of God’s will, though not in concrete objective form as the Jews have it. It does not indeed follow that the term νόμος as used in the expression ἑαυτοῖς εἰσὶν νόμος signifies specifically a law not in objective form. Indeed it is more probable that the word νόμος in this phrase is broad enough to cover any revelation of God’s will, whether definitely promulgated or not. For in the connection of v. 13, οὐ γὰρ οἱ ef and gh, but also eliminates from the meaning of the term all thought of the form in which the will of God is made known to men.

But it is of capital importance to observe that when Paul is thus speaking of divine law in the most general sense, he affirms that the doers of law are justified before God, Romans 2:13. Nor can it be affirmed that this is a purely theoretical statement of which there are and can be no examples. For not only is there no hint of hypothetical character in the categorical statement of the verse, but the impossibility of joining v. 16, ἐνἡμέρᾳ κρίνειθεός, etc., with v. 15 compels the recognition of vv. 14, 15 as a parenthesis and the connection of v. 16 with v. 13, whereby the definitely objective and unhypothetical character of the assertion is clearly established. This view of the passage is moreover confirmed by the self-consistency which the argument thus acquires, and by the perfectly objective character of the statement to the same effect in vv. 6-11, in which the apostle clearly affirms that God will judge men according to the motive and conduct of their lives, and to those who by patient continuance in good work seek for glory and honour and incorruption, will render eternal life, and to every one that doeth good, glory and honour and peace. This is substantially the doctrine of the prophets, that God approves and saves those who work righteousness, whose purpose it is to do God’s will. (Cf. detached note on Δίκαιος, etc., Isa_4, p. 462.)

But the apostle does not always speak thus inclusively of both elements of the law, or so ignore the distinction between them. Indeed oftener than otherwise he seems to have clearly before him the distinction between the specific statutory requirements of the law and its ethical principles; yet he can apply the term νόμος to either the one or the other. Thus if he is speaking, as the exigencies of controversy often compelled him to speak, of the law as a body of statutes, distinct alike from the covenant, abc, which preceded them and ran parallel to them, and from the element of ethical principle, gh, which underlay and ran through them, a legalistic system which constituted not the whole of that régime under which by divine appointment the Jew lived from Moses to Christ, but an element of it, then he calls this, ef, the law, and means by νόμος a purely legalistic system. This is most clearly the case in such passages as Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:11: ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσὶν ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά. ὅτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ θεῷ δῆλον, etc. That in this and other like passages Paul is not using νόμος in the same sense as in Romans 2:12-16 is evident because in the one he expressly affirms that no one is justified by works of law and as clearly implies that the reason is that law demands an absolutely complete and full obedience to its demands, such as no man in fact renders, while the other implies that they and they only are accepted of God who are doers of law, thereby distinctly implying that in the actual judgment of God men are approved for doing the things that are required by the law. The explanation of the difference lies in a difference in the meanings of the term “law,” of which the passages themselves furnish the evidence. In the passage in Gal. Paul is speaking not of law in its totality and actuality as the revealed will of God, as is seen in that he sets the law in antithesis to other declarations of scripture which he evidently accepts as expressing the will of God (3:12), but of the legalistic element in O. T., isolated and set off by itself, that element which if it were expressive of the whole will of God would be simply a sentence of universal condemnation. In the other passage, on the contrary, he is speaking of the revealed will of God as a whole, whether expressed in O. T. as a whole or revealed in the conscience of the Gentile, but in which in either case God is disclosed not as judging without mercy, condemning every one in whom is found any shortcoming or transgression, but as approving him who does good, who with patient continuance in well-doing seeks for glory and honour and incorruption, and condemning those who work that which is evil, who disobey the truth and obey iniquity (Romans 2:6-11). Of law in the sense which is gained by isolating the purely legalistic element of O. T. and speaking of it by itself, Paul can say very different things from that which he says of the law as the will of God broadly and justly understood.

It is of great importance for the understanding of Paul to recognise that law in the legalistic sense was an actual, not a merely hypothetical existence, yet that it was never alone and by itself the basis of God’s action towards men. There never was a period of pure legalism except in the erroneous thoughts of men. Might not one argue in somewhat the same way about the law of war? Had he maintained that this legalistic element thus isolated in fact before the coming of Christ held full sway in God’s government of the world, unqualified by covenant or ethical principle, he would have predicated for this period an absolute legalism, which would have pronounced sentence of condemnation on every man who in any respect failed to fulfil all the commands of the law. It might even seem that he does this in Galatians 3:10-12. But against this are the reasons already urged: first, that in this very passage he cites O. T. as teaching the precise contrary of this legalism, making faith the basis of acceptance with God (Galatians 3:11); and second, that in Romans 2:6-16, he likewise clearly makes the basis of divine acceptance, not legalistic—a perfect conformity to all the things written in the book of the law—but ethical, character as shown in purpose and conduct. And when we examine his language in the passage in Gal., we find that he does not say that God deals with men on the basis of such legalism, or that law so understood actually held unqualified sway, but only that law in that sense in which it can be set over against the other teaching of scripture, pronounces such sentence. It is necessary, therefore, to understand him as here isolating law in thought and affirming of it that which is true of it as a legal system pure and simple, but not affirming that it constituted the total basis of God’s relation to men.

Had Paul qualified this absolute legalism by the Pharisaic notion of God’s covenant (that is, if separating ef both from bc and from gh, he had combined it with lm and called this the law), he would have used the term practically as the Pharisee used it, and if he had believed this to represent God’s actual attitude to men, he would have held the Pharisaic doctrine. He does indeed show that he is familiar with this notion of law, and in speaking of the Jewish position, notably in Romans 2:17, he comes so near to using the term in this sense that we should not seriously misrepresent his thought if we should take the term as representing this Pharisaic thought. Yet even here it is perhaps best to suppose that Paul was using the term in a sense which represented for him a reality, viz., as referring to the law as an actual historic régime. Cf. 2 (a), p. 455.

But Paul did not always emphasise the purely legalistic element when he resolved law into its elements. In truth, it was rather the element of ethical principle than that of formulated statute, gh rather than ef, that represented for Paul the true will of God, the real νόμος. And when he was free from the stress of controversy which compelled him to shape his use of terms in large part by that of his opponents, he could use the word with exclusive emphasis upon the ethical principles of the law. This he clearly does in Gal. v. 5:14: ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται, ἐν τῷ Romans 13:8: ὁ γὰρ gh in the diagram, is isolated and treated as constituting the law. And this meaning once clearly established by such passages as those cited is then seen to satisfy best the requirements of the context of not a few other passages.* See 2 (d), p. 458.

It might seem that this meaning of the word is identical with that assigned above to Romans 2:14, ἑαυτοῖς εἰσὶν νόμος. Nor is it needful to suppose that the law as spoken of in the two classes of passages is of different content. The elements of the concept are, however, different in the two cases. The distinction which Romans 2:14 makes is (a) that between law objectively promulgated, and law, whether objectively promulgated or not, νόμος in τὰ μὴ νόμον ἔχοντα signifying a law thus objectively promulgated and νόμος in ἑαυτοῖς εἰσὶν νόμος, denoting a disclosure of the divine will without reference to whether it is so promulgated or not. In Gal. v. 5:14 the distinction that is in mind is (b) that between statutes and ethical principles, and ὁ νόμος means the law inclusive of ethical principles, and exclusive of statutes (save as these are involved in the principles). These two distinctions are by no means equivalent; for, while a law not definitely promulgated can not easily be thought of as consisting in statutes, yet it is not impossible that the law which men create for themselves or which their conduct reflects should take the form of rules rather than principles, and it is by no means impossible that a law definitely and formally promulgated should be expressed in principles, or reduced to a single principle, rather than in a multiplicity of specific statutes. Indeed it is of a law definitely promulgated that Paul seems to be speaking in Gal. v. 5:14 and 6:2. Moreover, the two passages differ in this, that, while in Romans 2:14 distinction (b) is not at all present to the mind, and distinction (a) furnishes the solution of the paradox of the sentence, in Gal. v. 5:14 on the other hand, distinction (a) is alien to the thought of the passage (though it is in fact a definitely promulgated law of which the apostle is speaking), and distinction (b) is distinctly present, and ὁ … νόμος denotes law as consisting of ethical principles, not law as consisting of statutory rules.

For the formulation of a complete exhibit of N. T. usage account must also be taken of the fact that most, if not all, of these various senses of the word may be used either specifically with reference to the law in question, this definiteness of reference being usually indicated by the article, or without the article, qualitatively, the thing referred to being often the same historic fact that would be denoted by ὁ νόμος, but the word describing it not as the law, but as a law or as law, having the qualities for which the term stands.* Such an exhibit must also include certain less frequent senses of the word not specifically mentioned above.

The arrangement of meanings in the following tabulation is in the main that which is suggested by genetic relations. The first meaning, though of comparatively infrequent occurrence in N. T., is probably closer to the original sense, both of the Greek νόμος and of the Hebrew תּוֹרָה, than those which follow. But it is the second meaning that is the real starting-point of N. T., and especially of Pauline, usage. To Paul ὁ νόμος was, save in exceptional cases, the revealed will of God, and the primary reference of the term was to the revelation of that will in O. T.

1. A single statute or principle, ethical, religious, or civil (cf. Pind. Nem. 10:51; Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 6:9, etc.): Romans 7:2b, Romans 7:3, Hebrews 8:10, Hebrews 10:16.

2. Divine law, the revealed will of God in general, or a body of statutes, ordinances, or instructions expressing that will. Under this head fall the great majority of all the N. T. instances of the word. But for the purposes of the interpreter, and for reasons indicated above, it is necessary to recognise four specific modifications of the general sense above stated.

(a) Divine law, expression of the divine will, viewed as a concrete fact, or as a historic régime of which such expression is the characteristic feature. The expression may be mandatory, or condemnatory, or approbatory, since will may be expressed in any of these ways. In this use the term is colourless as concerns the distinction between general principles and specific statutes, and as respects the qualification of the statutory system by any other elements of divine revelation; it refers simply to divine revelation as a concrete, historic fact without further definition of it.

Most frequently it is the law of O. T., or more specifically, the Mosaic code that is referred to, and this reference is indicated by the prefixing of the article designating the well-known or previously mentioned law. So in Matthew 11:13: πάντες οἱ προφῆται καὶνόμος ἕως Ἰωάννου ἐπροφήτευσαν. 12:5, 22:36, 23:23, Luke 2:22, Luke 2:24, Luke 2:27, Luke 2:39, Luke 2:10:26, Luke 2:16:16, John 1:17: ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωυσέως ἐδόθη. 7:19a, b, 23, 49, 8 [5], 17, Acts 6:13, Acts 6:7:53, Acts 6:15:5, 18:13, 21:20, 24, 28, 22:3, Acts 6:12, Acts 23:3, Romans 2:18, Romans 2:20, Romans 2:23b, Romans 2:3:19a, b, Romans 2:4:16, 1 Corinthians 9:8, 1 Corinthians 9:9, 1 Corinthians 9:14:34, Hebrews 7:5, Hebrews 7:19, Hebrews 7:28a, b, Hebrews 7:9:19, Hebrews 7:22, Hebrews 7:10:1. When the reference to the O. T. law is indicated by the addition of Μωυσέως or Κυρίου the article is sometimes omitted. See Luke 2:23 (cf. Acts 13:49, which, however, probably falls under (c); Hebrews 10:28).

When the law viewed simply as a concrete fact or historic régime is spoken of qualitatively so that while the thing chiefly or even exclusively in mind is the O. T. law, yet it is thought of not specifically as the O. T. system but simply in its character as law (historically or concretely viewed), the article is regularly omitted: Hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 7:16, Hebrews 7:8:4, Hebrews 7:10:8.* Naturally examples of this usage occur in close connection with instances with the article. It is this sense of νόμος, concrete, objective expression of the will of God, qualitatively thought of, that underlies both clauses of Romans 2:12: ὅσοι γὰρ *

But the context of 2:12, 14 in which of those who are described as νόμον μὴ ἔχοντες it is immediately affirmed, ἑαυτοῖς εἰσὶν νόμος, shows clearly that Paul could also use the term νόμος without including the idea of concrete, objective expression, as in a code. Hence we recognise a second specific sense of νόμος denoting divine law:

(b) Divine law in general, the will of God made known to men, but without reference to the manner of its expression, inclusive therefore of law as a historic régime, and of any other less objective forms of expression of the divine will.

As in the preceding usage, so here also the term may be used with the article and be definite, or without the article, and in that case be qualitative or indefinite: Romans 2:13: οὐ γὰρ οἱ Cf. p. 451. The qualitative force of the term without the article can be expressed in English by translating: “For not the law-hearers …. but the law-doers, etc.” Here belongs also, as indicated above, Romans 2:14d: ἑαυτοῖς ἐισὶν νόμος. In 2:14b: τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιοῦσιν, it is impossible to tell with certainty whether τοῦ νόμου means the concrete historic law (of the Jew), the requirements of which the Gentile meets, though ignorant of the fact that they are so required, or more generally the law of God, without reference to the form of its presentation. In τὸ ἔργον τοῦ νόμου, v. 15, the latter is quite clearly the meaning, and from this it may perhaps be inferred that the meaning is the same in v. 14b.

Since meaning (b) is simply (a) with the elimination of the idea of concrete, objective promulgation, it is easy to pass from the one sense to the other, and sometimes difficult to decide in which sense the term is employed. This is the case in Romans 2:25a, b, Romans 2:26, Romans 2:27a, b. Yet it is probable that in all these cases the term represented in the apostle’s mind the more generalised conception, and so that these instances fall under (b).

The extreme of generalisation of the conception of the law of God is represented in Romans 3:27, διὰ ποίου νόμου, and though in the answer to this question, Romans 9:31, where νόμον δικαιοσύνης signifies a law through which righteousness could be achieved, but the word conveys no intimation pro or con respecting definite promulgation of such a law in a concrete system.

The two preceding usages, differing by the inclusion or exclusion in the concept of the idea of concrete, historic expression, are alike in that both ignore the distinction between general ethical principle and specific statutes. From these we pass then to the two uses to which this latter idea is of fundamental importance, and which are distinguished from one another precisely in that one emphasises statutes and the other principle. The first of these reflects most strongly the influence of Pharisaic thought, of which Paul’s defence of his own conception compelled him to take account.

(c) Divine law viewed as a purely legalistic system made up of statutes on the basis of obedience or disobedience to which it justifies or condemns men as matter of debt without grace; the law detached in thought and distinguished from all other elements or aspects of divine revelation, whether it be the ethical principle that underlay it, or the covenant that preceded it and qualified it, or the ethicalism that is demanded by the facts concerning the law written in the heart of the Gentile. All the instances of the word in this sense occur in the Pauline epistles. The occasion for such a use of the word by Paul was, as pointed out above, in the controversies in which he was engaged. The possibility of its occurrence, as representing a reality and not merely an idea, lies in the fact that there are in the O. T. certain passages which taken by themselves and strictly interpreted are expressive of pure legalism. The apostle might perhaps have challenged the strictly legalistic interpretation of such passages as Deuteronomy 27:26, which he quotes in Galatians 3:10: “Cursed is everyone who continueth not in all the things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” He chose rather, admitting and even insisting upon the strictly legalistic meaning of these passages, to take, in effect, the position that such legalism was but one element of the revelation of the divine will, citing against it the Abrahamic covenant (Galatians 3:15ff.) and the utterance of prophecy (Galatians 3:12) and the psalmist (Romans 4:6ff.).

Used with the article (occasionally with other defining qualifications), the word in this sense refers to the legalistic element in the O. T., or to the O. T. or any part of it, looked at as Paul’s opponents looked at it, as through and through legalistic. Without the article it is qualitative, designating law as such legalistically understood, usually no doubt with special thought of the legalism of the O. T. or of later Judaism, yet without strict or exclusive reference to these.

That instances of the word in this legalistic sense should occur in close connection with other usages, and that it is sometimes difficult to determine with certainty the meaning in adjacent instances, is not strange, since the entity referred to is in any case in part or in whole the same, and many assertions could be made of law in more than one sense of the word. Especially is it the case that the definite and the qualitative uses occur in close connection. The following list avoids a confusing minuteness of classification by citing all the examples of the legalistic sense without further subdivision: Acts 13:39, Rom 3:20a, b, 3:21a, 28, 4:13, 14, 15a, b, 5:13a, b, 20, 6:14, 15, 7:4, 5, 6, 7a, b, c, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 8:2b, 3, 10:4, 5, 1Co 9:20a, b, c, d (cf. also ἄνομος in v. 21) 15:56, Gal 2:16a, b, c, 19a, b, 21, 3:2, 5, 10a, b, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21a, b, c, 23, 24, 4:4, 5, 21a, b, 5:3, 4, 18, Ephesians 2:15, Philippians 3:5, Philippians 3:6, Philippians 3:9, 1 Timothy 1:8, 1 Timothy 1:9. Of this list a few examples will suffice to illustrate the usage: Galatians 3:10: ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἒργων νόμου εἰσὶν ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν. 3:11: ὅτι ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ θεῷ δῆλον. Romans 3:21: νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται. 10:4 τέλος γὰρ νόμου Χριστὸς εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι.

But as pointed out above, p. 448, the legalistic use of νόμος is for the apostle Paul a case of adaptation, and the meaning which is congenial to his own thought is almost the exact opposite viz.:

(d) Divine law conceived of as reduced to the ethical principle which constitutes its permanent element and essential demand, the perception of which deprives the statutes as such of authority—law as centralised and summed up in love.*

This use of the word is by no means exclusively Pauline. It is found also in the gospels and in Jas. When the reference is to the O. T. law looked at as embodying the great ethical principle, to which it is indeed reducible, or to the law of God inclusively viewed, without reference to the mode of its expression, the word is used with the article. When the law is qualitatively viewed, the word is without the article.

This is clearly the sense of ὁ νόμος in Matthew 7:12: οὗτος γάρ ἐστιννόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται. The addition of the words καὶ οἱ προφῆται makes it evident that it is the law of God as expressed in O. T. that is specially in mind. See also Matthew 22:40. Not less certainly is this the meaning in Matthew 5:17, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17, if these words come from Jesus, since it is beyond question clear that Jesus regarded many statutes of the law as invalid or no longer valid, and only the central ethical principle of the law as of perpetual force. Galatians 5:14, ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται, ἐν τῷ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σοῦ ὡς σεαυτόν, and Romans 13:8, Romans 13:10 are clear vouchers for this usage in Paul, and clear expressions of his view of the fundamental meaning of the law. In both cases it is the law of God with special reference to its expression in O. T. that is in mind. It is difficult to say with certainty whether Romans 7:22, Romans 7:23b, Romans 7:25a, Galatians 5:23, Galatians 6:2 should be classed here or regarded as examples of the more general sense indicated under (b). Here also belong probably all of the instances in Jas.: 1:25, 2:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 4:11.*

3. By a metonymy due to the prominence given by the Jews to the law of O. T. ὁ νόμος designates the books that contain the law even when they are thought of without special reference to the law which they contain, but simply as scripture. Hence ὁ νόμος [καὶ οἱ προφῆται] becomes a name either for the books of Moses or for the scriptures in general without restriction either to the books of Moses or to the mandatory portions of other books: Luke 24:44, John 1:45, John 10:34, John 12:34, John 15:25, Acts 13:15, Acts 24:14, Acts 28:23, Romans 3:21b.

4. By elimination of the idea of the divine authority of law, which indeed is not intrinsic in the word, but an acquired element of its meaning as usually employed in both O. T. and N. T., νόμος comes to mean law as such without reference to its source or authority. The thing actually spoken of may be Jewish or Roman law, or law without discrimination, but in any case without thought of its character as divine or human. It may be spoken of generically or definitely with the article, or qualitatively or indefinitely without it: John 7:51, John 7:8:17, John 7:18:31, John 7:19:7a, b, Acts 18:15, Acts 23:29, Acts 25:8, Romans 7:1a, b, Romans 7:7:2a, 1 Timothy 1:9.

5. By metonymy, a force or tendency which, tending to produce action of a certain kind, has the effect of law, may itself be called νόμος: Romans 7:21; Rom 7:23a, c, 25b, 8:2a.*

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

אԠא. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

Cf. Confer, compare.

* It must, of course, be recognised that different views prevailed among Jewish, and even among Pharisaic thinkers, as is illustrated, e. g., in the more strenuous legalism of the book of Jubilees, and the more liberal views of the almost precisely contemporary Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. See Ch.AP. II 294. Besides that extreme type of legalism which Paul opposed, other views were held then and later, some of them closely approximating certain aspects of Paul’s own thought. But the evidence seems to indicate that the view against which Paul contended was very influential in his day, and it is in any case that with which in our effort to understand N. T. usage we are chiefly concerned. Cf. Bous. Rel. d. Jude 1:0; Jude 1:2Jude 1:2, pp. 136-150, esp. p. 145: “Was wir von Hillel und Schammai und ihren beiderseitigen Schulen wissen, das stimmt ganz zu dem Bilde das wir von den Schriftgelehrten und Pharisäern zu machen gewohnt sind.”

* The nature of the position which Paul was combating appears in the fact that the stress of his argument in Rom., chap. 2 (esp. vv. 17-29), is against the thought that the Jew, just because he is a Jew, possessed of the law and circumcised, is secure of God’s favour. Only as an appendix does he in 3:9-20, in answer to the contention of him who might set up the claim of sinlessness, declare that there is in fact no one who can successfully make such a claim.

* That the line of discrimination between law to be fulfilled and law not to be obeyed is between the ethical principle and the statutes as such, not between ethical and ceremonial statutes, is shown by Paul’s bold application of his principle in 1 Corinthians 6:12 (cf. also 10:23), where he refuses to condemn even unchastity on the ground that it is unlawful, but strenuously condemns it because it destroys one’s fellowship with Christ.

* See Slaten, “The Qualitative Use of Νόμος in the Pauline Epistles” in AJT. 1919, pp. 213-217, and SlQN. pp. 35-40.

If any reader approaches such a tabulation of usage with a presumption in favour of unding, in Paul at least, but one meaning of the word, rather than a variety of meanings, such presumption ought to be overthrown by an examination of the passages already discussed. See, e. g., Romans 3:21, Romans 3:7:23, Romans 3:8:2, Romans 3:3, Romans 3:4, in each of which Paul clearly sets law over against law. Or compare Romans 2:13 with Romans 3:20 and Galatians 2:16, in which formally contradictory assertions are made about law. Or, again, compare Romans 6:14, Romans 7:4 and Galatians 2:19 v. 1 with Romans 8:4 and Gal. v. 12, 14, which disclose a similar antithesis of statement concerning law, which can be resolved only by recognising that Paul uses the term νόμος in different, if not even antithetical, senses.

* It might seem as if these and the previously cited examples from Heb. properly belong under (c), “law viewed as a purely legalistic system,” since the author evidently has specially in mind the sacrificial and ritual elements of the law. and in 7:16 characterises it as a law of carnal commandment. But since there is in this epistle no antithesis between different conceptions of law, such as is so clearly marked in Paul, it is gratuitous to assign to the author of Heb. those specialised meanings which are demanded in the case of Paul; it is truer to the point of view of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews to assign all these instances to the category of law viewed simply as a concrete historic régime.


It would be easy to judge that Romans 5:13: ἅχρι νόμου, 5:20: νόμος παρεισῆλθεν, should be classed here on the ground that these passages clearly refer to the law as a concrete historic fact. That they do refer to the concrete historic fact is undoubtedly true, but not to it simply as such. A careful study of the context makes it clear that the apostle is thinking not of the whole institution of law, inclusive of all the elements of the system, and of this whole simply as a historical fact, but only of the legalistic element and aspect of the system, of law isolated from all other elements of divine revelation and set over against these other elements. These instances, therefore, belong not here but under (c).

Similarly Galatians 3:17 might seem to demand classification under the historic sense. For while it is evident that in Gal., chap. 3, generally, it is the law legalistically interpreted that Paul is contending against, yet in 3:17 the expression “which came four hundred and thirty years afterwards” seems to give to the word “law” to which it is attached an unequivocally historical sense. Yet it is also to be recognised that in his assertion that the law does not annul the covenant it is the displacing of the covenant by the principle of legalism that he is contending against. So that while it may be said that what he affirms both in the participial phrase and in the negative predicate οὐκ

It is noticeable that the use of νόμος in the concrete historic sense, frequent in other parts of the N. T. is infrequent in Paul. It was a natural result of the controversies in which Paul was engaged and in connection with which he had chief occasion to use the term that when he spoke of the law or of law it was with some special aspect of the law in mind —either that which his own thought emphasised or that which his opponents made prominent.

It is important to observe that this use of the term does not designate law without concrete historic expression, as the law of conscience or of the mind; concrete historic expression is not denied of the thing referred to, but is eliminated from the definition. The relation of (a) and (b) is illustrated, not by the categories, “black horse” and “not-black horse,” but by “black horse” and “horse.”

* Conformity to this principle fulfils law, but even this is, in Paul’s view, the result not of obedience to it in a strict and legal sense of the word “obedience,” but of an impulse and power from within, begotten and maintained by the Spirit, by the indwelling Christ. But this element of the apostle’s thought does not strictly belong to his idea of law. Strictly defined, law as here conceived is the will of God comprehended in a single principle. That the principle is love, and that fulfilment of it is achieved by the indwelling Spirit rather than by “obedience” are both synthetic, not analytic judgments.

* In James 2:10, James 2:11, while mentioning specific commands, the author as clearly affirms the unity of the whole law and in v. 8 finds this unity in the principle of love. By his characterisation of the law in 1:25, 2:12 as a law of liberty he emphasises the principle that the law is not only centralised in one principle but even so must address itself not to the man from without but be operative from within, being written on the heart.

* It might seem that τοῦ νόμου τῆς ἁμαρτίας καὶ τοῦ θανάτου of Romans 8:2b must by the connection and the similarity of phraseology refer back to νόμῳ Romans 7:25, and so be assigned here instead of to 2 (c); or else 7:25 and with it 7:21, 23a, c. be assigned to 2 (c). It is undoubtedly true that the fuller phrase in 8:2b does refer to the shorter one in 7:25; but a careful study of the passage will lead to the conclusion that this reference does not involve identification of the things referred to. Speaking in 7:21, 23, 26 of that force for evil which in v. 17 and 20 he calls ἁμαρτία, and designating it as a νόμος because it stands opposed to the νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ (vv. 21, 22), with such a turn of words as the apostle delights in he substitutes for it in 8:2b its companion in bringing failure and defeat, the law in its legalistic sense. If as is possible, we take τοῦ νόμου τῆς ἁμαρτίας καὶ θανάτου as designating the same thing spoken of in 7:28b, then the change in the reference of νόμος will come in between vv. 2 and 3; for τοῦ νομου in v. 3 must evidently mean the law in the proper sense of the term, that which is spoken of in the first part of chap. 7.


Few words of the N. T. vocabulary have been more frequently or more thoroughly discussed than those of this group. There remains little ground for dispute concerning their fundamental meaning. Yet on some points of great importance for the understanding of this epistle and the Pauline thought in general interpreters are not wholly agreed. It seems necessary, therefore, to undertake a fresh investigation of the whole subject.


A. Δίκαιος is fundamentally a forensic or court term in the sense that it denotes conformity to a standard or norm (δίκη) not conceived of as defined in the word itself. It differs thus from Od. XVIII 413; Bacchyl. 10 [11], 123; Thuc. 3. 40:3; Plato, Gorg. 507B; Aristot. Eth. Nic. 5. 1:1f. [1129 a 3, 7]), or in the more specific sense, “just” (Hes. Op. 270ff.; Hero(n)das 2:36: γνώμη δικαίᾳ κρίσιν διαιτᾶτε. Deuteronomy 12:1), rendering to each what he has the right to claim. τὸ δίκαιον signifies, “that which is right (in general)” (Hdt. 1:39 7:137; Æsch. Prom. 187; Aristot. Eth. Nic. 5. 1:1 [1129 a5]) or “that which is due from one man to another” (Thuc. 3. 54:1; Dem. 572:14), and this either as one’s duty, one’s rights, or one’s (penal) deserts. Though in the older Greek literature (Hom. Od. VI 120) to be δίκαιος included also the discharge of obligations to the gods and τὸ δίκαιον was conceived of as having the sanction of divine authority, yet especially in the later classical writers its predominant reference is to the mutual relations of men, and the conception of divine sanction is by no means constantly present. Least of all are the gods themselves spoken of as δίκαιοι or their conduct and character conceived of as the standard of human conduct. Though δίκαιος is frequently used in a non-moral sense even here there is usually a reference to a standard outside the thing itself, or a demand requiring to be satisfied, as when the word means, “exact” (applied to numbers), fitting, suitable, genuine (Hdt. 2:149; Xen. Mem. 4 4:5; Æsch. Ag. 1604; Luc. Hist. conscr. 39).

B. Δικαιοσύνη is: 1. The character of the δίκαιος and that usually in the narrower sense of justice: Hdt. 1:98 7:52; Aristot. Rhet. 1. 9:7 (1366 b9): ἔστι δὲ δικαιοσύνη μὲν cf. Eth. N. 5. 1:14 (1129 b25ff.). 2. The business of a judge: Plato, Gorg. 464B, C.

C. Δικαιόω is used in two chief senses: 1. To deem right, to think fit, etc.: Hdt. 1:89; Thuc. 1. 140:1; Soph. Ph. 781. 2. To do one justice, and chiefly in malam partem, to condemn, to punish: Thuc. 3:40:4; Plut. Cal Maj. 21:4; Dion. Cass. 48. 46:4; Polyb. 3. 31:9. Cremer (p. 319) in an approximately exhaustive examination of the usage of the word in classical and other non-biblical Greek writers found no instance of the use of the term with a personal object in the sense “to make righteous.”


Like the Greek δίκαιος the Hebrew words from the root צדק are (so far as the evidence enables us to judge) fundamentally forensic in sense, expressing agreement with a standard or norm, not conceived of as defined in the word itself. Whether when the term first passed from the presumably original physical sense (of which, however, there is no clear trace in extant Hebrew usage), the norm was conceived to be furnished by the objective ]standard of the object itself, or by the idea of God or of man (Kautzsch), or as seems “more probable by the demand of the circumstances of a given case (Cremer) does not materially affect the meaning of the word as used in O. T. Actual extant usage may be classified as follows:

A. צֶדֶק signifies:

1. Conformity to an existing standard, which though conventionally established creates an obligation to conform to it: Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:15, etc.

2. Righteousness, action which is what it ought to be, and this in any degree, whether conceived of as absolutely such as it ought to be, or approximately so, or spoken of qualitatively without reference to the degree of conformity: Psalms 18:24, Psalms 45:7, Ecclesiastes 3:16, Ecclesiastes 7:15, Isaiah 1:21, Isaiah 32:1, Isaiah 59:4, etc.

3. Righteousness in relation to others, justice, the rendering to each of that which is due, either that which he has the right to claim, or that which he deserves; esp. justice in judging: Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 1:16, Job 31:6, Ecclesiastes 5:7, Isaiah 11:4, Jeremiah 11:20.

4. Specifically of God’s righteousness in distinguishing between the righteous and the wicked, rendering punishment to the latter and giving deliverance to the former. The conception underlying this use of the term is that a righteous God must distinguish in his dealings between the wicked man, who neither fears God nor deals justly with men, and the righteous man, who though he be not perfect but is indeed often confessedly a sinner, yet relatively speaking lives uprightly and trusts in God. The righteousness of God in this aspect of it involving the deliverance of the upright is often spoken of in parallelism with salvation, but without losing sight of the basis of such salvation in the discriminating righteousness of God: Psalms 7:17, Psalms 35:24-28, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 45:8a, Isaiah 41:13, Isaiah 51:5. With the same underlying conception the righteousness of the ones that are saved is spoken of: Isaiah 62:1, Isaiah 62:2; yet here, also, without converting צֶדֶק into a mere synonym for salvation. The uprightness of the people, their loyalty to God is still expressed in the term.*

B. צִדָקָה is used with substantially the same range of meaning as צֶרַק, only lacking instances of the first sense. The second usage, 2, is llustrated in Deuteronomy 6:25, Deuteronomy 6:9:4, 2 Samuel 22:21, etc. In Genesis 15:6 there is obvious reference to the requirement of God, and צ‍ signifies that conduct or attitude of mind which God desires, and which renders man acceptable to him. The forensic sense of the term is, therefore, especially clear here, throwing into the background the usual moral content of the term. Usage 3 is illustrated in Jeremiah 22:3, Ezekiel 45:9; usage 4 in Psalms 36:7 (6), 11 (10), 51:16 (14), Isaiah 45:8b, Isaiah 51:6, Isaiah 45:8, Isaiah 56:1, Micah 7:9. For its application to the saved see Isaiah 48:18, Isaiah 54:17. In one passage only is the term used, with an apparent forgetfulness of the conception of discriminating righteousness, to denote acceptance by God and consequent deliverance (Psalms 69:27). There are also a few passages in which it is apparently used of a just cause, a being in the right in a given case. Cf 1. under צַדִּיק and see 1 Kings 8:32, 2 Chronicles 6:23.

C. צַדִּיק (applied to persons only, except in Deuteronomy 4:8) signifies:

1. With a formal and purely forensic rather than moral sense, in the right in a particular case or in an assertion: Exodus 23:8, Proverbs 18:17, Isaiah 41:26. Yet this sense can not always be sharply distinguished from 3 below. See Deuteronomy 25:1, Proverbs 17:15, Proverbs 17:26, Proverbs 17:18:5.

2. Innocent, free from guilt in a particular matter: Genesis 20:4.

3. Righteous, in moral conduct and character, what one ought to be, whether absolutely and perfectly so: Psalms 145:17, Ecclesiastes 7:20; or in a more general sense of those who are upright in purpose and life: Genesis 6:9, Psalms 1:5, Psalms 14:5, Psalms 64:10, Proverbs 21:26. In Deuteronomy 4:8 it is applied to the law as inculcating righteousness.

4. Just, rendering to one what is due, especially in punishing the wicked: Psalms 7:8, Psalms 7:10 (9, 11), Jeremiah 12:1, Lamentations 1:18.

These terms are, therefore, much more distinctly than the corresponding Greek terms, δίκαιος and δικαιοσύνη, religious terms. They are applied to God himself, and though this use is probably not the earliest, it has certainly profoundly affected the terms as applied to men. See Psalms 7:8, Psalms 7:10 (9, 11), 89:14, 96:13, 97:2, 6, Jeremiah 11:20, Ezra 9:15, Hosea 14:9, Zephaniah 3:5. The righteous man owes duties to God as well as to his fellow men: Psalms 18:20-24, Isaiah 51:1, Isaiah 51:7; and the obligations of righteousness are imposed by divine authority: Genesis 18:19, Deuteronomy 16:18-20, Isaiah 5:16, Psalms 119:7, Psalms 119:75, etc. It is a natural result of this difference that the conception of justice, that which one owes to another and which that other can claim, as compared with righteousness, that which is required by morality or divine authority, is much less prominent than in the Greek use of δίκαιος and its cognates. Indeed it is not entirely clear that to the Hebrews the distinction existed at all. Justice is to them perhaps simply righteousness as manifested in particular relations, especially in judging.

D. In צָרַֽק the legal and formal sense which appears in צַּדִּיק predominates, though not, it would seem, to the entire exclusion of a moral-forensic sense. Cf. Kautzsch, op. cit. pp. 15-17.

In the Kal conj. it means:

1. To be in the right in a given case or in one’s assertion: Genesis 38:26, Job 9:15, Job 33:12.

2. To carry one’s case, to prevail: Job 9:2, Job 11:2, Job 25:4, Job 40:8, Psalms 143:2, Isaiah 43:9, Isaiah 43:26.

3. To be righteous, צַדִּיק in the moral sense (this use Cremer denies): Job 35:7, Psalms 19:10 (9).

The Niphal occurs in Daniel 8:14 only, where it means, to be put to rights, to be made such as it should be.

The Piel means, to declare or show one in the right (Job 32:2, Job 33:32), to show one, or cause one to appear, righteous, but relatively, not absolutely: Jeremiah 3:11, Ezekiel 16:51, Ezekiel 16:52.

In the Hiphil the meanings are:

1. To do one justice: 2 Samuel 15:4, Psalms 82:8.

2. To declare one to be in the right, to cause one to carry one’s case, to give judgment for one; when used of one accused, it means to acquit: Exodus 23:7, Deuteronomy 25:1, 1 Kings 8:32, 2 Chronicles 6:23, Job 27:5, Proverbs 17:15, Isaiah 5:23, Isaiah 50:8.

3. To give one standing, to cause one to be accepted: Isaiah 53:11, Daniel 12:3. While it can not perhaps be categorically denied that in these two passages the Hiphil is a moral-causative term, meaning “to make righteous” (the Lxx read

In the Hithpael the meaning is, to clear one’s self, to cause one’s self to appear in the right: Genesis 44:16.


In the Lxx the terms δίκαιος, δικαιοσύνη, and δικαιόω stand as the regular representatives of &#צַרִיק צֶדֶק צְדָקָה, and צָדַק, and though other Hebrew words are occasionally rendered by δίκαιος, etc., and words of the צדק group are sometimes rendered by other Greek words than δίκαιος, etc., the correspondence is nevertheless very close.*

A. Δίκαιος. The analysis given above for צַדִּיק may stand for δίκαιος save that there must be added as a meaning applied to things (weights and measures), conforming to the accepted standard (cf. צֶדֶק, I), and as a meaning of the neuter, generally used substantively (representing &צֶדֶק מִשְׁלָּט, etc.) right, just, that which is one’s due, justice: Deuteronomy 16:20, Proverbs 18:5, Proverbs 29:26.

B. Δικκιοσύνη. The analysis of צֶדָקָה may stand for δικαιοσύνη, the usage 1 under צֶדֶק disappearing through the use of δίκαιος to represent it in the passages which belong there.

C. Δικαιόω is used to render צָדַק, the Piel and Hiphil of the latter corresponding to the active of the former, and the Kal to the passive (or to δίκαιός εἰμι, or δίκαιος φαίνομαι). In all the examples cited under II D above, except Daniel 8:14, the Hebrew word is represented in the Lxx by some word of the δίκαιος group.


A. Δίκαιος. In the Apocryphal books δίκαιος is used as in the Lxx except that there are apparently no examples of the meanings, “in the right” (unless in Susan. 53), “innocent.” The meaning, “righteous,” applied both to persons, God and men, and to actions, occurs in Tob. 3:2, 14:9 Wisd. 2:10, 3:1, Sir. 10:23, 2 Mac. 9:12; the meaning “just,” applied to God in Wisd. 12:15, to men in Tob. 14:9 (?); to judgment in 2 Mac. 9:18. The use of the neuter in the sense “just,” that which is right, one’s rights, or one’s (penal) deserts is specially frequent; 1 Mac. 7:12, 11:33, 2 Mac. 11:14, 13:23, Wis. 14:30.

In Ps. Sol. δίκαιος applied to men designates the upright who in general are on God’s side, and who are approved of God; they are not the sinless, but like the צַדְּקִים of the prophets those who observe the law of God, and trust in him as distinguished from the sinner: 2:38, 3:4-8, 9:4, 15:3, etc. This is its use, also, in the Ethiopic Enoch so far as the Greek text is extant: 1:1, 2, 8, 10:17, 22:9, 25:4, 27:3 (Giz) 10:3 (Syn). The word is not used of God in Enoch; in Ps. Sol. it is applied to God and his judgments to designate him as righteously discriminating between the righteous and the sinner (2:12, 19, 36; cf. v. 38; 5:1, 8:8, 9:4, 10:6), and to the Messiah in a similar sense (17:35).

B Δικαιοσύνη in the Apocryphal books has all the usages of the same word in the Lxx, except that there are no perfectly clear instances of the meaning, “justice.” Possible instances are 1 Mac. 2:29, Wisd. 9:3, Sir. 45:26. When used in the sense of (human) “right conduct” it is with an even clearer implication than is common in the canonical books that it is righteousness which makes men acceptable to God, and this righteousness is conceived of in a more external, legalistic way than in the prophets: Tob. 12:9, 14:11, Wisd. 1:15. There are clear instances of the term applied to God to denote his righteousness in discriminating between the righteous and the wicked among men, whether in punishing the wicked or in saving the righteous: Wisd. 5:18, 12:16, Sir. 16:22, Bar. 1:15, 2:6, 18.* It is worthy of notice that in the book of Wisdom, also, and in 1 Mac. the term is used with such special emphasis upon the conception that righteousness (i. e. of men) is the basis of acceptance with God and consequent salvation as to be almost the equivalent of “acceptance with God,” “condition of salvation”: Wisd. 14:7, 15:3, 1 Mac. 2:52. Specially significant is Wisd. 15:2: τὸ γὰρ ἐπίστασθαί σε ὁλόκληρος δικαιοσύνη, καὶ εἰδέναι σου τὸ χράτος ῥίζα Genesis 15:6 in his conception of what constitutes righteousness, but not in his definition of the concept itself. To the prophets generally, it is right living towards God and men that makes men acceptable to God; to Tob. right living, especially almsgiving; to the writer of Genesis 15:6 it is faith; to the author of Wisd. 15:3 knowledge of God. But to all of them that which makes men acceptable to God is by virtue of that fact righteousness, διχαιοσύνη. In Ps. Sol. δικαιοσύνη is used in two senses corresponding to those of δίκαιος. The righteousness of men is their good conduct which makes them acceptable to God and the objects of his salvation: 1:2, 5:20, 9:9, 14:1. The righteousness of God is manifest in his discrimination between the righteous and the wicked, not indeed in punishing without mercy all wrong-doing, but in saving the saints, the δίκαιοι, and in punishing the sinner: 2:16, Psa_8 and 9. Of the same nature is the righteousness of the Messiah, 17:28, 31, 42, 45, though including, also, personal freedom from sin: 17:41. The usage of Enoch corresponds to the first of the two senses just named: 10:16, 18, 12:4, 13:10, 14:1, 32:3.

C Δικαιόω is used in Tob. in the passive with the sense, “to be rightly assigned, to belong.” In Sir. it means: (1) “to do justice to,” and this with reference to the sinner in the sense, “to punish”: Sir. 42:2; (2) “to recognise or declare to be right or righteous,” δίκαιυς; Sir. 7:5, 10:29, 13:22. It occurs most frequently in the passive: Sir. 18:2; and of sinners, in the sense, “to be acquitted, to be declared innocent”: Sir. 9:12, 23:11, 26:29, 34 (31):5; once in the sense “to be accepted” (of God), apparently with the idea of forgiveness rather than acquittal, yet not with exclusive reference to the negative side. δίκαιόω does not appear in the book of Enoch. In Ps. Sol. it is used exclusively in the sense, “to recognise as just or righteous,” and with reference to men’s recognition of the righteousness of God and his judgments: 2:16, 3:3, 5, 4:9, 8:7, 27, 31, 9:3. It occurs twice in Test. XII Patr.: in Sim. 6:1 in the sense, “to acquit”; in Daniel 3:3, meaning, “to justify, to deem right.”


From this general survey of Greek and Hebrew usage certain facts appear which may properly be summarised before taking up N. T. usage.

1. Both the Greek and Hebrew words, and all the terms of each group are in general, and in Jewish usage with increasing clearness, forensic terms, in the sense that they imply a comparison with some standard; the verb in particular in a large proportion of cases expressing a judgment concerning such conformity, not signifying the bringing of a person or thing into it.

2. In Hebrew usage and the Greek usage of Semitic writers the terms are prevailingly moral as well as forensic; i. e., the standard is ethical, not merely conventional or legal. The acts by virtue of which a man is esteemed righteous are acts which are conceived of as having moral character. The terms are therefore prevailingly moral-forensic. Formally defined, righteousness is that which conforms to the true or recognised standard of conduct or meets the divine demand. Materially defined, it consists in certain acts or in a certain moral state believed to be good.

3. Alike in respect to its formal definition and in respect to the material content of the conception there is a variation in different periods and among various writers. (a) There is great difference in the clearness with which the standard is conceived of as being set by God, or divinely sanctioned. Among the Greeks this sense of divine requirement was in general feeble.

In O. T. צֶרֶק sometimes denotes conformity to a standard primarily conventional, and only secondarily fixed by divine authority. In many other cases the conception of a divine sanction, though probably not wholly absent, is thrown into the shade by emphasis upon the material content of righteousness. In other cases, however, in O. T. and later Jewish writings, notably such as Genesis 15:6, Job 9:2, Deuteronomy 6:25, Deuteronomy 24:13, Psalms 71:2, Wisd. 15:3, Tob. 13:6 Ps. Song of Solomon 1:2, the conception of righteousness as required by God and as constituting the ground of acceptance with him is clearly present, so that the term approaches the formal sense, “acceptance with God.” In general, it is clear that in the latter part of the pre-Christian period, at least, the conception of divine requirement is always included in that of righteousness, and δικαιοσύνη used in reference to men signifies either that conduct and character which satisfy God’s requirement and make one acceptable to him, or more abstractly, acceptance with him. (b) In respect, also, to the material content of righteousness conceptions vary. The Greek definition of the content of δικαιοσύνη would differ greatly from the Hebrew, the former, e. g., emphasising justice more than the latter. Among the Hebrews, also, there is no little variation; sometimes the emphasis is laid on right, equitable conduct towards men, sometimes on mercy and almsgiving, sometimes on the strict observance of rites and ceremonies, sometimes on a trustful, reverential attitude towards God. This variation simply reflects the difference in the conceptions of what was required by God and acceptable to him, as held in different ages and by different men.

4. The Jews (it was otherwise with the Greeks) prevailingly ascribed righteousness to God, both in the general sense that he did what was right, and specifically in the sense that he discriminated, in his attitude towards men and in his dealing with them, between the righteous and the wicked. Moreover, while freely recognising the sinfulness of “the righteous,” they did, in fact—this is specially true of the writers of Isa. 40-66, many of the canonical Psalms, such as Ps. 65, 71, 85, and 143, and of Ps. Sol.— rely not alone on the mercy of God for salvation, but on his righteousness. So far is this appeal to God’s righteousness carried that in numerous passages in Isa. 40-66 and the Psalms, God’s righteousness, sometimes even the righteousness of the saints, is equivalent in the content of the thing referred to (not in the definition of the conception itself) to salvation. In Psalms 71:2 “thy righteousness” apparently signifies, “acceptance with thee and consequent salvation by thee.” This usage of the word does not appear in the latest pre-Christian books; but the conception of divine and human righteousness which underlies it is unmistakably present and strongly predominant.

5. With rare and doubtful exceptions the verbs δικαιόω and צָרַק are not moral-causative but judicial and forensic in force. It is especially clear that in Jewish-Greek usage δικαιόω is purely, or all but purely, a moral-forensic term (note the usage of the Apocr. and of Ps. Sol.), being used prevailingly in the sense “to recognise or declare as δίκαιος” either positively, “to recognise as righteous” (Sir. 18:2 Ps. Sol. u. s. IV C), or in the negative and restricted sense, “to acquit” (Sir. 23:14, 26:29), or in a more general sense, “to accept,” with the implication of forgiveness (Sir. 18:22).


A Δίκαιος in N. T. is clearly a moral-forensic term, meaning, in general, conforming to the true standard, meeting the ethical requirements under which one is placed. In the main it follows closely the usage of the Lxx and later Jewish writings, but as applied to men emphasises even more than O. T. the conception of divine requirement, fulfilment of which renders one acceptable to God, and as applied to God has even more exclusive reference to the righteousness of his dealings with men. Cf. the usage of Ps. Sol. Its uses may be classified as follows:

1. (a) Of persons: Upright, righteous in conduct or purpose, satisfying the ethical requirements of God and so acceptable to him. Usually employed qualitatively without reference to the degree of conformity to the standard, or denoting approximate conformity: Matthew 5:45, Matthew 5:10:41, Matthew 5:13:17, Matthew 5:43, 49, Matthew 5:23:28, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 5:25:37, Matthew 5:46, Luke 1:6, Luke 1:17, Luke 1:2:25, Luke 1:14:14, Luke 1:15:7, Luke 1:18:9, Luke 1:20:20, Luke 1:23:50, Acts 10:22, Acts 24:15, Romans 5:7, 1 Timothy 1:9, Hebrews 10:38, Hebrews 12:23, James 5:16, 1 Peter 3:12, 1 Peter 3:4:18, 2 Peter 2:7, 2 Peter 2:8, Revelation 22:11. In Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32, Acts 3:14, Acts 7:52, Acts 22:14, Romans 3:10, James 5:6, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:1, 1 John 3:7b the righteousness referred to is evidently conceived of as perfect, fully satisfying the divine requirement. In Matthew 23:35, Matthew 27:19, Luke 23:47, the negative element, innocence, is emphasised.

(b) Of action: Right, such as it ought to be, conforming to the moral requirement of God: Luke 12:57, Acts 4:19, Ephesians 6:1, Philippians 1:7, 2 Peter 1:13. In Romans 7:12 the commandment of God is spoken of as δίκαιος, i. e., requiring what is right. In 1 John 3:12 the works of Abel are said to be righteous, apparently emphasising their acceptableness to God.

2. In the cases named above there is a varying emphasis upon the forensic element, acceptable to God, neither the moral nor the forensic element being wholly absent, but the former predominating. In certain other passages the forensic element so clearly predominates that the term approximates or even reaches the sense, acceptable to God, yet always with the implication that such acceptance rests upon some fact of moral significance. Romans 1:17, Romans 2:13, Romans 5:19, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 11:4, 1 John 3:7a.

3. Righteous, satisfying the requirements of a true ethical standard in dealing with others. Used in this sense especially of God, not, however, as rendering to each his deserts without mercy,* but as discriminating between righteous and wicked, and treating each in accordance with his character: John 17:25, Romans 3:26, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 John 1:9, Revelation 16:5; with a like meaning used of God’s judgments: 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 15:3, 16:7, 19:2; of the judgment of Christ: John 5:30; and of men, in the sense, right in discriminating according to the facts: John 7:24; of the action of men affecting others, it means, right, that which one ought to do in relation to others: Matthew 20:4, Philippians 4:8, Colossians 4:1. In these three passages it is possible that δίκαιος means, just, i. e., what others have a right to claim. But there is no clear evidence that δίκαιος ever has this sense in biblical Greek. The meaning as given above is therefore more probable.

B. The usage of δικαιοσύνη corresponds quite closely to that of δίκαιος, the word denoting, in general, the character or position of one who is δὶκαιος. Neither the moral nor the forensic element can be lost sight of.

1. Conduct and character which satisfy the ethical requirements of God, and so render one acceptable to him. As in the case of δίκαιος, so the noun also may be used simply qualitatively, or with reference to an approximate conformity, or of an ideal, perfect fulfilment of divine requirements: Matthew 3:15, Matthew 3:5:6, Matthew 3:10, 20, Matthew 3:6:1, 33(?) 21:32, Luke 1:75, John 16:8, John 16:10, Acts 10:35, Acts 13:10, Acts 24:25, Romans 6:13, Romans 6:16, Romans 6:18, Romans 6:19, Romans 6:20, Romans 6:8:10, Romans 6:10:5, Romans 6:14:17, 2 Corinthians 6:7, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 6:9:9, 2 Corinthians 6:10, 2 Corinthians 6:11:15, Ephesians 4:24, Ephesians 5:9, Ephesians 6:14, Philippians 1:11, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 3:16, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 1:9, Hebrews 5:13, Hebrews 7:2, Hebrews 11:33, Hebrews 12:11, James 1:20, James 1:3:18, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 2:3:14, 2 Peter 2:5, 2 Peter 2:21, 2 Peter 2:3:13, 1 John 2:29, 1 John 2:3:7, 1 John 2:10, 1 John 2:22:11.

2. Acceptance with God. With a stronger emphasis upon the forensic element, δικαιοσύνη sometimes approaches or even reaches the sense, acceptance with God, or ground of acceptance with God. The question at issue between Paul and his opponents was in what way or on what ground men became acceptable to God, he maintaining that it was faith that rendered men acceptable to God, they that it was certain inheritances and deeds comprehended under the term, “works of law,” or “law.” This discussion gave rise to such terms as “righteousness by faith,” and “righteousness by law,” in which just by reason of the fact that the question at issue was what made men acceptable to God, the term “righteousness” was necessarily without emphasis on this or that condition of acceptance. In another direction, also, the emphasis on the forensic element modified in some cases the meaning of the term. In Jewish thought acceptance with God involved for one who has sinned provision respecting the sins of the past. And since, according to Paul, “all have sinned and are destitute of the divine approval,” forgiveness is included in righteousness, either distinctly and explicitly, or by implication. Thus the present sense differs from the preceding in two respects, viz., in that the term itself lays less emphasis on the conduct and character which form the basis of acceptance with God, and that it more distinctly includes forgiveness. Romans 4:3, Romans 4:5, Romans 4:6, Romans 4:9, Romans 4:11, Romans 4:13, Romans 4:22, Romans 4:5:17, Romans 4:21, Romans 4:9:30, 31, Romans 4:10:4, Romans 4:6, Romans 4:10, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Galatians 2:21, Galatians 2:3:6, Galatians 2:21, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 2:23, Hebrews 11:7. On Galatians 5:5 and Philippians 3:9, which may with almost equal propriety be assigned to this or to the preceding class, see below, p. 471.

These passages differ somewhat among themselves in the degree of the emphasis upon the forensic element and of the consequent subordination of the moral element, so much so, indeed, that they might even seem to fall into two distinct classes. Thus, in Romans 4:11, in σφραγίδα τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῆς πίστεως, a seal attesting the fact of acceptance with God through faith, and still more in 5:17, in the expression οἱ τὴν περισσείαν τῆς χάριτος καὶ [τῆς δωρεᾶς] τῆς δικαιοσύνης λαμβάνοντες it seems clear that the noun is purely forensic, expressing in itself simply the fact of acceptance, πίστεως indicating the ground of acceptance. On the other hand, in Romans 4:5: λογίζεταιπίστις αὐτοῦ εἰς δικαιοσύνην (cf. 4:3), faith being spoken of as reckoned for, as the equivalent of, righteousness, the latter might be thought to include the conception of right conduct which makes one acceptable to God, not in the sense that πίστις itself constituted such conduct, but in the sense that it was accounted equivalent to such conduct, acceptable in lieu of it, the very point of the expression lying in the fact that faith was accounted equivalent to something that could not be directly predicated of it. On the other hand, it may be maintained that in Romans 4:13: οὐ γὰρ διὰ νόμουἐπαγγελίαRomans 4:1-6. For while this passage expressly affirms that God’s acceptance of Abraham was not on grounds of merit, ὀφείλημα, that is, not on a commercial, bookkeeping basis, by which God demanded and Abraham rendered a quantitatively complete satisfaction of the divine claims, yet it by no means follows that in evaluating Abraham’s faith at righteousness, God reckoned it as something else than it was. It meets the requirements of the passage and it better accords with the apostle’s strenuous insistence upon the conformity of God’s judgments with reality (Romans 2:1-16, esp. vv. 2, 6) to suppose that the thought which underlies his language here is that faith is really acceptable to God, qualitatively a satisfaction of his requirements, the attitude towards God which he desires men to sustain. Yet it does not follow, nor is it on the whole probable, that in these verses Paul means by the word δικαιοσύνη right conduct, with the emphasis on the moral element. The atmosphere of the whole passage is so distinctly forensic that it is better to suppose that the word δικαιοσύνη itself is employed in a predominantly forensic sense, meaning, “basis of acceptance with God,” and that while there is no implication that the accounting of faith as righteousness involved an element of fiction, yet neither is there any direct reference to the moral quality of faith.* It is the value which God gave to Abraham’s faith of which the apostle is speaking; what it was in that faith that warranted such a valuation is not here the prominent thought.

In Philippians 3:6, Philippians 3:9 δικαιοσύνηἐν νόμῳ, ἐκ νόμου is such righteousness as is attainable in the sphere of law, and from (obedience to) law. It is, in fact, as the context implies, so insufficient as to be worthless, no true righteousness at all. The moral and forensic elements are so conjoined in this passage that it is difficult to assign the instances decisively to this head or the preceding. The moral—or at least the active—element seems to predominate in v. 6, the forensic (but without exclusion of the moral) in v. 9.

In Galatians 5:5 the use of the words ἐλπίδα and Romans 2:13, Romans 2:16. Yet inasmuch as such future justification is itself based not on faith, even conceived of as qualitatively righteous, but on the achieved character of the justified person, exclusive emphasis on the forensic element is improbable. The righteousness which is hoped for is ethical-forensic, with the forensic element distinctly but not exclusively in mind, and, by the very fact that it is hoped for, still in the future.

Probably altogether similar is the meaning of τὴν [δικαιοσύνην] διὰ πίστεως Χρίστοῦ and τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει of Philippians 3:9, Philippians 3:10. These phrases also refer to the future and the context emphasises both ethical and forensic elements in such way as to make it impossible to exclude either from these phrases or to determine with certainty on which the emphasis lies. Concerning Romans 1:17, Romans 1:3:21, Romans 1:22, Romans 1:10:3, which are closely related to the passages already considered, but yet constitute a group by themselves, see 4 below.

3. Out of the fundamental meaning of the term (1, above) there arises through its use in reference to relations to others, the more specific sense: righteousness in dealing with others in accordance with their conduct and character. The term is used in this sense exclusively of God (and Christ). In Acts 7:31, Revelation 19:11, the discrimination between the righteous and the wicked, issuing in the punishment of the latter and the salvation of the former is in mind. (cf. also Romans 2:5, δικαιοκρισία, and 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:6). In Romans 3:5, Romans 3:25, Romans 3:26 the necessity that the righteous God shall manifest his disapproval of sin is emphasised. In 2 Peter 1:1 δικαιοσύνη τοῦ θεοῦ denotes the impartial righteousness of God manifested in the salvation of Gentiles as well as of Jews.

4. Inasmuch as the way of acceptance with God is prescribed and provided by God (being bestowed not on grounds of merit but on condition of faith), such acceptance with him may be called God’s righteousness, δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ, the genitive denoting source: Romans 1:17, Romans 1:3:21, Romans 1:22, Romans 1:10:3. This usage is most closely related to the O. T. usage in Isa. and Ps. (see exx. under Isa_4, also under IV, B). But the thought of Paul, so far as expressed, differs in two respects from that of his predecessors, the prophets and psalmists. (a) While the prophet finds in the righteousness of God, which discriminates between the righteous and the wicked, the basis of salvation for the righteous, and so associates the two that the same term seems at times to express both, or at least to express one with a distinct implication of its basis in the other, Paul rarely so conjoins the divine discriminating righteousness with human salvation. This conception (expressed in N. T. in 1 John 1:9; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:6, Romans 2:5) the apostle leaves behind not by denying but simply by ignoring it; to him the divine righteousness is brought under suspicion not so much by failure to save as by a neglect to punish sin (see Romans 3:25, Romans 3:26 and 3 above). (b) The salvation of men is with Paul grounded in the grace of God. Though affirming that the final judgment of God will be on the basis of conduct and character (Romans 2:13-16; cf. Galatians 5:5 and discussion of it above), and regarding faith as itself satisfying God’s fundamental requirement (see B. 2 above, p. 469), he yet clearly maintains that justification is the gracious acceptance of sinners on the ground of faith. These two peculiarities of the Pauline thought, which are evidently but the opposite sides of one fact, find their occasion, or the occasion of their expression, in two related facts: (1) He was opposing the Pharisaic legalism which, being a distortion and corruption of the prophetic doctrine that the righteous God accepts and approves righteous men, could only be met by an emphasis upon the divine grace in salvation which threw quite into the background the conception of the divine righteousness as the basis of salvation. Even when the apostle adopts for a moment the prophetic point of view, emphasising the discriminating righteousness of God (Rom., chap. 2) it is for the sake of insisting that this righteousness will bring about the punishment of impenitent Israel. (2) Closely connected with this is the fact that the apostle held a stricter and more consistent, though less legalistic, view of sin than did those Pharisees and Pharisaic Christians whose views he was opposing. While recognising with the prophets the discrimination of men into two classes, the righteous and the wicked, and maintaining that God approves and accepts the former, he yet maintained, also, that there were none who, being perfectly righteous, could be accepted on grounds of personal merit. The righteousness of God, therefore, in its purely forensic aspect and apart from grace, could not of itself bring salvation to any. While, therefore, it is a tempting position to take, that δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ in Romans 1:17, etc., is the personal righteousness of God conceived of as the basis of salvation, as in Isaiah 56:1, etc., yet this position is not sustained either by the context of the passages in question or by the general position of Paul concerning the relation of divine righteousness and human salvation, or by the history of the usage of the word in the period between Isaiah and Paul.

C Δικαιόω in N. T. signifies, to recognise, declare, accept as δίκαιος. It is a moral-forensic term, and this not only in that this is the force of δικαιος as taken up into the verb, but, also, in that the verb itself (like

1. To recognise or declare one to be (in the proper ethical sense) δίκαιος. (a) Negatively: to declare or to show to be innocent: Luke 10:29, 1 Corinthians 4:4. (b) Positively: to recognise or declare to be right or righteous, such declaration or acceptance involving no element of grace or pardon: Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:29, Luke 7:35, Luke 7:16:15, Romans 3:4, 1 Timothy 3:16.

2. With a greater emphasis upon the forensic element in the meaning of δίκαιος (acceptable to God), the verb means, to recognise as acceptable (to God), to accept; in the passive, to be accepted (by God). As in the instances of the corresponding sense of δικαιοσύνη, the ground of acceptance is not implied in the word itself and in many passages is the very point under discussion. It is, however, always evident that the term refers to a judgment broadly and fundamentally moral; the underlying sense of δίκαιος is still moral-forensic, not simply legal-forensic save in Romans 6:7, where Paul draws an illustration from the purely legal realm. We may recognise six sub-classes of passages in which the word occurs with the sense above indicated: (a) Those in which a positive ground of acceptance is spoken of and this ground is certain deeds or conduct, there being no implication that the justification spoken of involves pardon for sin or grace: Matthew 12:37, Romans 2:13, James 2:21, James 2:24, James 2:25. (b) Those in which a positive ground is spoken of, but this ground is either faith or works of law, the latter being declared to be inadequate. In these passages there is no reference to pardon as an element of justification, and the justification is indicated to be an act of grace only by the implication conveyed in ἐκ πίστεως, οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου, etc. The explicit mention of positive ground of justification in the passages which deny the possibility of justification on the grounds named, ἔργα νόμου, shows that the term is not merely negative, meaning simply, to pardon: Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28, Romans 3:30, Romans 3:4:2, Romans 3:5:1, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 2:17, Galatians 2:3:8, Galatians 2:11, 24, Galatians 2:5:4. (c) Those in which the word is used with no limitation save that of a direct object; the force of the word is apparently the same as in the passages under (b): Romans 3:26, Romans 3:8:30, 33. (d) In Romans 3:24, Romans 3:4:5, Romans 3:5:9, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 3:7 there is a distinct recognition that the acceptance referred to involves an element of pardon and grace; those who are accepted not being in personal character δίκαιος, but ἄδικος and ὑπόδικος. It should be observed, however, that in some of the passages under (b) this is only a little more remotely implied, that no sharp line of discrimination can be drawn between the two classes, and that the verb itself retains in both cases the same meaning. (e) In Romans 6:7 the context demands the meaning, to declare free or set free, the penalty having been suffered. In this case the unrighteousness of the person is presumed, but there is no element of grace or pardon, the release being based on the suffering of the penalty. Though this instance is quite exceptional, it serves to show how broad is the meaning of the word. In itself it contains no assertion concerning the character of the person, and no implication of pardon. These are conveyed, when conveyed at all, by the context. (f) In two passages, Luke 18:14, Acts 13:39, the emphasis upon the negative element of pardon is so strong as almost to give to the word the meaning, to pardon.* These are instances of a semi-metonymy, by which the term which denotes the whole of the act is used with chief or exclusive reference to a part of it which is involved in every ordinary case of the whole as applied to wrong-doers. The reduction of Paul’s term, δικαιόω, to a purely negative sense, “to pardon,” is definitely excluded by the evidence. Over against these two passages, neither of them in Paul’s epistles, and neither of them quite certainly referring exclusively to pardon, there is the decisive evidence of the passages in which a positive ground of justification, ἔργα νόμου, is mentioned and its adequacy denied. See under (a) above. For the context makes it clear that works of law are thought of as inadequate not to secure the forgiveness of admitted sinners, but to win approval on ground of merit, which would leave no occasion for forgiveness. The argument of Romans 1:18-20, as of Galatians 3:10ff. is to the effect, not that men who seek justification on a legalistic basis fail of forgiveness for their sins, but that failing to meet God’s requirements, and being held responsible for that failure, they are in need of forgiveness, and must be accepted, if at all, on grounds of grace. Forgiveness is an element of the justification which men obtain through faith, by grace; but is not included in the justification which they (vainly) seek by works of law. It can not therefore exhaust the meaning of the term.

Of the abundant literature the following monographs and articles may be cited: Kautzsch, Dic Derivate des Stammes צדק im alttest. Sprachgebrauch. Tübingen, 1881; Cremer, Biblischtheologisches Wörterbuch der neutest. Gräcität10, pp. 296-330; Morison, Critical Exposition of the Third Chapter of … Romans, pp. 163-207; Stevens, Wm. A., “On the Forensic Meaning of Δικαιοσύνη, ” in AJT. 1897, pp. 443-450; Davies, “The Righteousness of God in St. Paul,” in JThSt. II 198-206; Drummond, Jas., “On the Meaning of ‘Righteousness of God’ in the Theology of St. Paul.” in Hibbert Journal, 1902-3, pp. 83-95; Ropes, “Righteousness and ‘the Righteousness of God’ in the O. T. and in St. Paul,” in JBL. 1903, Pt. II, pp. 211-227; Skinner, art. “Righteousness” (O. T.) in HDB.; Stevens, Geo. B. art. “Righteousness” (N. T.) in HDB.; Addis, art. “Righteousness” in Encyc. Bib.; Sanday and Headlam, The Epistle to the Romans, pp. 24-39.

Cremer Cremer, H., Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der neutestamentlichen Gräcität. Zehnte völlig durchgearbeitete Auflage herausgegeben von Julius Kögel. Gotha, 1911-15.

* Ropes, JBL. 1903, Pt. II, p. 219, holds that in Second Isaiah the ground of the vindication of Israel, by virtue of which the righteousness of God is salvation, is not in Israel’s character or suffering, but lies rather in Jahweh himself, who for his own name has redeemed his servant whom he knew, chose, and loved.” Ropes calls this a profounder view than that of the psalmists, which finds the basis in the moral excellence and conscious piety of the worshipper. This is partly true respecting Isa., but only partly, and it is not the view which controls Paul, as Rom., chaps. 1, 2, show; Romans 8:30 is apparently the nearest approximation to an expression of it.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

* On the noteworthy exceptions, cf. Ryle and James. The Psalms of Solomon, note on 16:15; Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, pp. 49 f.

* In chaps. 4, 5 of Bar. a “righteousness which comes from God” is spoken of, reminding one of Isaiah 54:17, Romans 3:21 and esp. Philippians 3:9. But the post-Christian date of these portions of Bar. must be borne in mind.

u. s. ut supra, as above.

* It is worthy of notice that neither in O. T. nor in N. T. is righteousness conceived of as excluding mercy; it forbids treating a man worse than he deserves but not better.

* V. 7 indicates that in such acceptance of him who believes there is involved forgiveness of past sins. But this, though it confirms the judgment that the apostle’s thought is moving on the forensic plane, is, as compared with the idea of positive acceptance, only incidental, not the key to the central point of view of the passage.

* To these might perhaps be added Romans 4:5: τὸν δικαιοῦντα τὸν



A. Πίστις, used in Greek writers from Hesiod down, is employed in two distinct senses, the active and the passive, the latter the more frequent.

1. The active sense: faith, confidence, trust.

(a) As exercised towards another: Soph. O. C. 950; Plato, Phaed. 275A.

(b) As enjoyed by one, exercised towards him by others; hence credit, trust in the commercial or legal sense: Dem. 962:5; Polyb. 8. 21:3; Plut. Cic. 41:3: καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτῆςΚικέρων ἐν πίστει κληρονόμος

(c) In an intellectual sense with reference to a proposition: conviction, confident belief; in Plato it is distinguished from ἐπιστήμη, knowledge, in that the latter implies the actuality of the thing believed, while πίστις affirms only subjective certainty (Plato, Rep. 601E); in Aristotle from δόξα, opinion (Anim. 3, 3:8 [428 a20], which, however, it is said to follow; for though δόξα may be true or false, it is impossible not to believe those things which one thinks). In the religious realm, πίστις denotes general belief in the existence and power of the gods, not personal faith and confidence in them: Plato, Legg. XII 966D.

(d) By metonymy, probably connected with (b): that with which one is entrusted, an office, as the expression or result of the confidence reposed in one: Polyb. 5. 41:2.

2. The passive sense: trustworthiness, faithfulness, or the pledge or assurance of it.

(a) Personal fidelity, faithfulness: Hdt. 8:105; Xen. An. 1. 6:3; Aristot. Mor. Magn. II II:5 (1208 b24); Polyb. 1, 43:3.

(b) Pledge or promise of good faith, assurance of fidelity: Hdt. 3:74 Thuc. 5. 30:3; Xen. Cyr. 7. 1:44.

(c) Token of a compact, guarantee: Soph. O. C. 1632; Æsch. Fr. 394 (290).

(d) Evidence, proof, as presented in court: Polyb. 3. 100:3; or in argument: Aristot. Rhet. 3. 13:2 (1414 a35).

B. Πιστεύω, found in Greek writers from Æschylus down, is used in a sense corresponding to the active sense of πίστις:

1. To believe, to trust.

(a) To trust, to put confidence in, to rely upon, whether of persons or things; the object is in the dat.: Eur. Or. 1103: Xen. An. 3. 1:29 5. 2:9; Thuc. 5. 112:2.

(b) In an intellectual sense, to believe a person, or his word or statement. The name of the person, or the noun denoting his word, is in the dat., the word expressing the content of his statement in the acc.: Soph. El.886; Plato, Phaed. 88C; Æsch. Pers. 800; Eur. Hel. 710. Followed also by an inf. with subj. acc.: Plato, Gorg. 524A. Since believing one’s word and putting confidence in one are in experience closely related, a sharp discrimination can not always be made between (a) and (b).

2. To entrust, to commit, with the acc. of the thing committed and dat. of the person to whom it is entrusted: Xen. Mem. 4. 4:17.

II. HEBREW USAGE OF &#הֶאֱמִין אֱמוּנָה אֵמוּן, AND אֱמֶת

A. אֱמוּנָה in O. T. The primary sense of the root אמן is, apparently, to be firm, lasting, enduring. This sense appears in a few uses of the noun.

1. Steadiness, stability.

(a) Of physical things, steadiness, firmness: Exodus 17:15.

(b) Of institutions, stability: Isaiah 33:6: “And there shall be stability in thy times.”

2. In a moral sense, steadfastness, faithfulness.

(a) In judgment or statement, fidelity to the facts, or in conduct, to one’s statements, especially to one’s promises; faithfulness, honesty in judgment: Psalms 33:4: “For the word of the Lord is right, and all his work is done in faithfulness”; Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly (with faithfulness) are his delight”; Hosea 2:22: “I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness”; Isaiah 11:5: “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” See also Psalms 36:6, Psalms 40:11 (10), 88:12 (11), 89:2 (1), 3 (2), 6 (5), 9 (8), 25 (24), 34 (32), 50 (49), 92:4 (2), 96:13, 98:3, 100:5, 119:30, 75, 86, 90, 138, 143:1, Proverbs 12:17, Jeremiah 5:1, Jeremiah 5:3, Jeremiah 5:7:28, Jeremiah 5:9:2, Lamentations 3:23.

(b) Fidelity to one’s obligations or official duties; conscientiousness, honesty in dealing: 2 Kings 12:15: “Moreover they reckoned not with the men into whose hands they delivered the money to give to them that did the work; for they dealt faithfully.” See also 1 Samuel 26:23, 2 Chronicles 19:9, 2 Chronicles 31:12, 2 Chronicles 34:12.

(c) In a more strictly religious sense, steadfast adherence to God: Habakkuk 2:4: “But the righteous shall live by his faithfulness.”

3. A trust, an office: 1 Chronicles 9:22, 1 Chronicles 9:26, 1 Chronicles 9:31, 2 Chronicles 31:15, 2 Chronicles 31:18.

B. אֵמוּן and אֱמֶת (the latter much more frequent in O. T. than the former) have substantially the same range of meanings as אֱמוּנָה, except that neither of them seems to have been used in a physical sense. אֵמוּן (Deuteronomy 32:20, Isaiah 26:3, Proverbs 13:17, etc.) is rendered by πίστις in the Lxx in Deuteronomy 32:20 only. אֱמֶת is translated by πίστις in Proverbs 3:3, Proverbs 14:22, Proverbs 15:27 (16:6) Jer_35 (28):9, 39 (32):41, 40 (33):6. In nearly ninety instances it is rendered by

C. הֶאֱמִין in O. T. means:

1. To stand still, to be steady: Job 39:24, of a horse.

2. To believe a statement, or a person making a statement.

(a) Proprie, without clear implication of anything else than this: 1 Kings 10:7: “I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it.” See also Genesis 45:26, 2 Chronicles 9:6 Proverbs 14:15, Job 9:16, Job 15:22, Job 29:24, Jeremiah 12:6, Jeremiah 40:14, Lamentations 4:12.

(b) To believe a statement, or a person making a statement, or, with reference to a fact, to accept its evidence, with an implication of conduct corresponding thereto, especially a corresponding trust in the person who speaks or to whom the fact or statement pertains; usually with ל, but occasionally with ב: Genesis 15:6: “And he believed (in?) Yahweh, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” See also Exodus 4:1, Exodus 4:5, Exodus 4:8, Exodus 4:9, 1 Samuel 27:12, 2 Chronicles 32:15, Psalms 78:32, Psalms 106:12, Psalms 78:24, Habakkuk 1:5, Isaiah 7:9, Isaiah 53:1, Jeremiah 12:6.

3. With a personal object, or an object treated as personal, when there is no specific reference to a statement made, to trust, to put confidence in; usually with ב.

(a) Proprie: Deuteronomy 1:32: “In this thing ye did not believe (in?) Yahweh your God.” See also Job 4:18, Job 4:15:15, 31, 39:12, Micah 7:5, Judges 11:20.

(b) With the idea of trust there is sometimes associated that of recognition of one’s character or standing; used with reference to Yahweh, his prophets and his commandments: Exodus 14:31: “And the people feared Yahweh and they believed in Yahweh, and in his servant Moses.” See also Exodus 19:9, Psalms 119:66, 2 Chronicles 20:20. Used with reference to God the emphasis is sometimes clearly upon the element of trust, confidence, reliance: Numbers 14:11, Psalms 27:13, Psalms 78:22, Psalms 116:10, Isaiah 28:16, Daniel 6:24. Some of these, perhaps, belong under (a). In other cases the emphasis is almost as clearly on the recognition of authority and character, which calls for obedience: Numbers 20:12, Deuteronomy 9:23, 2 Kings 17:14, John 3:5, Isaiah 43:10.

4. To have assurance of: Deuteronomy 28:66, Job 24:22.


A. Πίστις represents אֱמונָה in all the phases of its meaning except the first, “steadiness,” “stability.” Though occasionally used to translate other words, e. g., אֵמוּן, the meanings of which are closely similar to those of אֱמוּנָה, the analysis of the meanings of the latter word may, with the omission of 1, stand also for πίστις.

B. Πιστεύω is the regular representative in the Lxx of הֶאֱמִין in the Hebrew, though the latter is rendered by ἐμπιστεύω in Deuteronomy 1:32, Judges 11:20, 2 Chronicles 20:20; by καταπιστεύω in Micah 7:5, and by the passive of πείθω in Proverbs 26:25. The meanings of πιστεύω are the same as those of the Hebrew verb, with the probable exception of the physical sense, to stand still. For though the Lxx have πιστεύω, in Job 39:24 it is not clear what sense they intended to give the words, and the passage is not sufficient evidence that the Greek word had the physical sense. The usual construction with πιστεύω in the Lxx is a dat. of the person or thing believed or trusted (representing both ל and ב after the Hebrew verb). See Genesis 15:6, Genesis 45:26, 1 John 3:5, etc. Other constructions, such as ἐν with the dat. (Psa_77 (78)22 Jeremiah 12:6, Daniel 6:23), ὅτι with a clause (Job 9:16, Job 15:31), and the infinitive (Job 15:22, Psa_26 (27)13) are rare.


A. Πίστις. The usage of the noun in these books shows clearly the influence of the Greek usage as distinguished from the Hebrew. It means:

1. In the passive sense: faithfulness, truthfulness, sincerity: Wisd. 3:14, Sir. 15:15, 40:12, 41:16, 46:15, 1 Mac. 10:27, 37, 14:35, 3 Malachi 3:3. In 4 Mac. 15:24, 16:22, 17:2 the passive meaning seems more probable, though the active sense is in all cases possible.

2. In the active sense: faith, confidence.

(a) Towards God: Sir. 1:26 (27), 49:10, though in both these cases the passive meaning is possible.

(b) Between men, credit: Sir. 22:23, 27:16, 37:26.

3. A pledge of faith or friendship: 3 Malachi 3:10; cf. Jos. Ant. 20. 62 (3:2).

B. Πιστεύω means:

1. To believe a statement, or a person making a statement.

(a) Proprie, without clear implication that anything else is involved: 1 Esd. 4:28, Tob. 2:14, 5:2 (5), 10:8 (5), 14:4 (5) bis Sir. 19:15 Dan. Susan. 41, 1 Mac. 10:46.

(b) To believe, with implication of the assumption of the corresponding attitude of trust or adherence; the following are possible instances: Sir. 13:11, 1 Mac. 1:30 (A).

2. To trust, to put confidence in.

(a) Proprie: Wisd. 16:26 (dat.) 18:6, Sir. 2:6, 8, 10, 13, 11:21, 12:10, 35 (32):23, 36:31 (28) Dan. Susan. 53 Lxx (pass.) 1 Mac. 7:7, 2 Malachi 3:12.

(b) To put confidence in and to accept, yielding allegiance to: Jdth. 14:10 (dat.) Wisd. 12:2 (ἐπί with acc.).

3. Absolutely: to be confident, to be at ease: Sir. 35 (32)21.

4. To entrust (dat. and acc.): Wisd. 14:5, 1 Mac. 8:16, 2 Mac. 3:22.


Πίστις and πιστεύω, as used in N. T., clearly show the influence alike of the Greek usage of the words and of the Hebrew thought of which they became the vehicle. The words are Greek, the roots of the thought are mainly in the experience and writings of the Hebrew prophets and psalmists. Yet in important respects the usage of the N. T. has moved away from that of both lines of its ancestry.

Thus while πίστις in the Lxx and Apocr. is almost exclusively passive in sense, and in classical writers apparently about as often passive as active, in N. T. it is in a large proportion of cases active, signifying not “faithfulness,” but “faith.”

Again, while in the Greek writers the terms are prevailingly intellectual or ethical, i. e., are used of an intellectual or moral attitude, in either case in a sphere other than that of religion, and in Jewish-Greek (following in this the Hebrew) prevailingly ethical, in N. T. πίστις is employed almost exclusively in the religious realm, and πιστεύω prevailingly so. Πιστεύω is indeed used of an acceptance of a proposition of religious significance without any corresponding moral act or attitude (see 1, (b), under πιστεύω), but such a use of πίστις is very rare. See below, πἰστις, II 1. While always including or involving acceptance of truth, that which is called πίστις in N. T. carries with it also the volitional action which such acceptance calls for. See Matthew 9:28, Matthew 9:29, Mark 11:22-24, Romans 10:9ff. 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31. It is true that in certain instances such as Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:3 the emphasis is so laid upon the apprehension and acceptance of truth rather than upon the corresponding volitional action, as to seem to imply that volitional action (except as involved in the will to believe) is not strictly speaking included in faith. But it is clear from the remainder of the chapter that the writer intends to apply the term πίστις only to a belief which exerts a determinative influence on conduct. If, therefore, volitional action is not strictly included in the term πίστις it is involved in the act itself. In James 2:14-22, it is true also that πίστις is used of a purely intellectual holding of a religious proposition. But this usage is quite exceptional in N. T., and, moreover, the whole argument of this passage is aimed at showing that such faith is futile, and the usage of the rest of the letter indicates that in this passage the writer is merely adopting the verbal usage of another whose views he does not hold, and whose usage of words is different from his own usual employment of them.

Once again, while in the Lxx (representing הֶאֱמִין) and Apocr., πιστεύω, followed by words referring to God or persons or things representing God, is often used to express the attitude of the religious man, and while this use of the word furnishes the principal basis or point of attachment for the development of N. T. usage, it becomes much more frequent and important in N. T. than in O. T. In short, both πίστις and πιστεύω are in N. T. prevailingly religious rather than intellectual or ethical terms, πίστις is active rather than passive, and both are employed with much greater frequency than in preceding literature, either Greek or Hebrew.

These facts are to such an extent characteristic of N. T. as a whole that while its several portions exhibit considerable difference in their emphasis upon the different elements or aspects of faith, yet these differences do not necessitate a separate lexicographical treatment for the different writers.

The prominence of the verb and the fact that πίστις is active, so that the idea expressed by it is more definitely expressed by the verb with its various limitations, make it expedient that the verb should precede the noun.

A. Πιστεύω has the following meanings:

1. To accept as true, to believe a proposition, or a person making a statement. The thing believed is expressed by an accusative, or by a clause introduced by ὅτι; once by an infinitive with subject accusative (Acts 15:11); once by a dative (Acts 24:14); once by εἰς with the accusative (1Jn 5:10c); the name of the person making the statement, or the impersonal thing which is thought of as bearing testimony, is in the dative (Matthew 21:25, Matthew 21:32, John 5:46, etc.), very rarely with a preposition (Mark 1:15, Luke 24:25); the verb is sometimes used absolutely when the context indicates what limitation is intended.

(a) The thing believed may be any fact of every-day life: John 9:18, 1 Corinthians 11:18; even a thing wholly false: 2 Thessalonians 2:11: εἰς τὸ πιστεῦσαι αὐτοὺς τῷ ψεύδει.

(b) It may be a proposition of religious significance, the verb designating a merely intellectual assent to it, without implying (the context may even exclude) any corresponding moral attitude. This is most clearly so in James 2:19: καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια πιστεύουσιν καὶ φρίσσουσιν. Other probable examples are: Matthew 24:23, Matthew 24:26, Mark 13:21 (16:13, 14) John 2:22, John 2:3:12, John 2:4:21, John 2:8:45, 46, Acts 8:13, Acts 15:11, Acts 26:27, Romans 6:8, Romans 6:13:7, 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 1 John 4:1.

(c) But in the great majority of cases the thing believed is a proposition pertaining to God or Christ, the person believed is God or Christ, or some one bringing the divine message; and it is more or less clearly implied that the belief itself is accompanied by the conduct corresponding thereto, especially by a corresponding trust in the person who is believed, or to whom the statement pertains: John 5:24: ὁ τὸν λόγον μου Matthew 8:13, Matthew 8:9:28, Matthew 8:21:22, Matthew 8:25, Matthew 8:32, Mark 1:15 (ἐν) 5:36, 9:23, 24, 11:23, 24, 15:32, Luke 1:45, Luke 1:8:12, Luke 1:13, Luke 1:50, Luke 1:20:5, Luke 1:22:67, Luke 1:24:25, John 1:50 (51), 4:48, 50, 5:24, 38, 44, 46, 47, 6:30, 69, 8:24, 10:25, 26, 37, 38, 11:15, 26b, 27, 40, 42, 12:38, 39, 13:19, 14:10, 11, 29, 16:27, 30, 31, 17:8, 21, 19:35, 20:8, 25, 29, 31, Acts 4:4, Acts 8:12, Acts 13:41, Acts 24:14, Acts 27:25, Romans 4:5, Romans 4:17, Romans 4:18, Romans 4:10:9, Romans 4:16, 2 Corinthians 4:13, Galatians 3:6, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, James 2:23, Hebrews 11:6, 1 John 3:23; 1 John 3:231 John 3:23; John 5:1John 5:1; John 5:5John 5:5; Joh 5:10b, c.

2. To trust, to put confidence in, to commit one’s self to; usually with the added idea of recognition of the character or standing of the one trusted and allegiance to him. The object, which is always a word referring to Christ (except in Joh 12:44c—even here implied, not expressed—14:1, Acts 16:34, Romans 4:24, Romans 9:33) is most commonly introduced by the preposition εἰς, but sometimes by ἐπί with dat. or acc., and is in a few cases expressed by a simple dative. The verb in this sense is not infrequently used absolutely, the context supplying the object and construction. In John 14:1, Romans 9:33, Romans 9:10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, 2 Timothy 1:12, Titus 3:8, Hebrews 4:3, the idea of trust is probably prominent, perhaps to the exclusion of any other. Usually that of acceptance and adherence is in the foreground: Galatians 2:16: καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαμεν. Matthew 18:6, Matthew 27:42, Mark 9:42, John 1:12, John 1:2:11, John 1:23, John 1:3:16, John 1:18 (bis) 36, 4:39, 6:29, 30, 35, 36, 40, 7:5, 31, 38, 39, 43, 8:24, 30, 31, 9:35, 36, 38, 10:42, 11:25, 26a, 45, 48, 12:11, 36, 37, 42, 44, 46, 14:12, 16:9, 17:20, Acts 9:42, Acts 9:10:43, Acts 9:11:17, Acts 9:14:23, Acts 9:16:31, Acts 9:34, Acts 9:18:8, Acts 9:19:4, Acts 9:22:19, Romans 10:14, Philippians 1:29, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Timothy 1:3:16, 1 Peter 1:8, 1 John 5:10a, 1 John 5:13.

The construction πιστεύω εἰς, which is found in all the passages cited under 2, except Matthew 27:42, Acts 9:42, Acts 11:17, Acts 16:31, Acts 22:19, Romans 4:24, Romans 4:9:33, Romans 4:10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, 1 Timothy 1:16 (ἐπί) John 6:30, John 8:31, Acts 16:34, Acts 18:3a (dat.) John 6:36, John 6:9:38, 1 Timothy 3:16 (absolutely), appears for the first time in N. T. The rarity of the construction in the synoptic gospels and Acts (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Acts 10:43, Acts 14:23, Acts 19:4), its appearance in Paul and Acts alongside of the Lxx construction πιστεύω ἐπί with approximately equal frequency, and its entire displacement of the latter usage in the Johannine writings, suggest the probability that it first came into literary use in the Christian (perhaps Pauline) circles of the apostolic age, as being more exactly expressive of the Christian feeling respecting the relation of the believer to Christ, especially in its aspect of acceptance and adherence, than any previously current phraseology. It may have been previously used colloquially, or have been coined colloquially in Christian circles. It is used with an impersonal object in 1Jn 5:10c only.

3. To have faith, referring to Christian faith as such without emphasis upon any special aspect of it: Romans 1:16: δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστὶν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι. See also Mark 9:42, Acts 2:44, Acts 4:32, Acts 5:14 (?) 11:21, 13:12, 39, 48, 14:1, 15:5, 7, 17:12, 34, 18:8b, 27, 19:2, 18, 21:20, 25, Romans 3:22, Romans 3:4:11, Romans 3:10:4, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:13:11, Romans 3:15:13, 1 Corinthians 1:21, 1 Corinthians 1:3:5, 1 Corinthians 1:14:22, 1 Corinthians 1:15:2, 1 Corinthians 1:11, Galatians 3:22, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 1:19, 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:2:10, 13, 1 Peter 2:7, Jude 1:5.

4. To have confidence, to be bold: Romans 14:2: ὄς μὲν πιστεύει φαγεῖν πάντα. The basis of this confidence is indicated by v. 1 to be Christian faith; yet the verb here apparently means simply, to have confidence, the allusion to πίστις in the Christian sense lying not in the verb, but in its power to recall the πίστις of v. 1.

5. To entrust (followed by acc. and dat., or in the passive by acc.): John 2:24: αὐτὸς δὲ Ἰησοῦς οὐκ ἐπίστευεν αὑτὸν αὐτοῖς. See also Luke 16:11, Romans 3:2, 1 Corinthians 9:17, Galatians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Timothy 1:11, Titus 1:3.

B. Πίστις has the following senses:

I. The passive sense: faithfulness, fidelity to one’s promises or obligations.

1. Proprie, of the fidelity of God to his promises, or of the faithfulness of men to one another: Matthew 23:23, Romans 3:3, Galatians 5:22, Titus 2:10.

2. Evidence, assurance: Acts 17:31.

II. The active sense: faith, belief, trust.

1. Belief of a proposition, or of a person, intellectual assent simply as such: James 2:14-26.

2. Belief of the truth concerning, and corresponding trust in, a person including or involving the attitude of will and conduct which such belief calls for, especially the committal of one’s self to him to whom the truth pertains. The object of faith in this sense is in N. T. almost always explicitly or by implication God or Christ; rarely the truth or a truth.

(a) Apprehension and acceptance of the truth concerning God or Christ with the emphasis on this intellectual element: Hebrews 11:3: πίστει νοοῦμεν κατηρτίσασθαι τοὺς αἰῶνας ῥήματι θεοῦ. Cf. v. 1.

(b) Belief in the power and willingness of God, as revealed in the pre-Christian period, to bless, help, and save, and a corresponding trust and obedience; used of the faith of Abraham: Romans 4:9, Romans 4:11, Romans 4:12, Romans 4:13, Romans 4:19, Romans 4:20, Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 11:9, Hebrews 11:17; of that of other O. T. characters: Hebrews 4:2, Hebrews 4:11:4, Hebrews 4:5, Hebrews 4:7 (bis) 11, 13, 20-39.

(c) Of essentially the same type is the faith in God which Jesus, in the synoptic gospels, enjoins his disciples to exercise: Mark 11:22: ἔχετε πίστιν θεοῦ. See also Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Luke 17:5, Luke 17:6, Luke 17:18:8; and that which is spoken of in James 1:3, James 1:6.

(d) Belief in the power and willingness of Jesus to do a certain thing, heal the sick, deliver from peril, forgive sins, accompanied by a committal of one’s self to him in reference to the matter in question: Matthew 9:29: κατὰ τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν γενηθήτω ὑμῖν. Cf. v. 28: πιστεύετε ὅτι δύναμαι τοῦτο ποιῆσαι; see also Matthew 8:10, Matthew 8:9:2, Matthew 8:22, Matthew 8:15:28, Mark 2:5, Mark 4:40, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 5:20, Luke 5:7:9, 50, Luke 5:8:25, 48, Luke 5:17:19, Luke 5:18:42. Closely akin to this is the faith in the name of the risen Jesus, which secured the healing of the sick, Acts 3:16, Acts 14:9. In James 5:15 it is not clear whether the faith referred to is thought of as faith in God or in Christ.

(e) The acceptance of the gospel message concerning Jesus Christ, and the committal of one’s self for salvation to him or to God as revealed in him. Such faith is often spoken of specifically as faith in Jesus Christ, less often as faith in or towards God, very frequently simply as faith, or the faith, its specifically Christian character as based upon the Christian revelation and involving acceptance of the gospel message being implied in the context.

The large number of cases which fall under this head divide themselves into several classes, differing, however, only in the greater or less clearness with which the nature and object of the faith is expressed, or in the emphasis upon one or another phase of it.

(i) Those in which the object of the faith is distinctly expressed by an objective genitive or prepositional phrase. The article is sometimes prefixed and the faith is definitely identified as the faith in Christ Jesus or towards God: Acts 20:21: τὴν εἰς θεὸν μετάνοιαν καὶ πίστιν εἰς τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν. See also Acts 24:24, Ephesians 1:15, Ephesians 3:12, Colossians 1:4, Colossians 1:2:5, Colossians 1:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, James 2:1, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 14:12. Sometimes it is omitted, giving the phrase a qualitative force: Romans 3:22, Romans 3:26, Galatians 2:16 (bis) 3:22, Philippians 3:9a, Hebrews 6:1 (πίστεως ἐπὶ θεόν). Occasionally the noun is without the article, but the qualifying phrase is preceded by an article agreeing with πίστις, giving the sense, “faith,” or “a faith which is,” etc. So in Galatians 2:20, Acts 26:18, 1 Timothy 3:13, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:15.

(ii) Those in which πίστις is accompanied by a subjective genitive or equivalent phrase indicating by whom the faith is exercised. The article is in this case almost invariably present. The object of the faith is usually indicated, more or less definitely, by the context, but occasionally directly expressed, such cases falling at the same time under the preceding head: Luke 22:32, Romans 1:8, Romans 1:12, 1 Corinthians 2:5, 1 Corinthians 2:15:14, 17, 2 Corinthians 1:24a, 2 Corinthians 10:15, Philippians 2:17, Colossians 1:4, Colossians 1:2:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Thessalonians 1:3:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Timothy 2:18, Philemon 1:5, Philemon 1:6, Hebrews 13:7, James 1:3, 1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 1:5, 1 John 5:4, Jude 1:20, Revelation 2:19, Revelation 13:10. Without the article: Titus 1:1.

(iii) Those in which, though there is neither objective nor subjective limitation, the distinctly Christian character of the faith is clearly implied in the context. The article sometimes occurs marking the faith either as that just previously spoken of, as in Romans 3:30b, 2 Corinthians 1:24b, Philippians 3:9b, or as that referred to in the accompanying phrase, as in Galatians 1:23, or, most frequently, as the well-known (Christian) faith, as in Galatians 6:10. For other examples with the article, see Acts 6:7 (πολύς τε ὄχλος τῶν ἱερέων ὑπήκουον τῇ πίστει) Acts 13:8, Acts 14:22, Acts 15:9, Acts 16:5, Romans 3:31, Romans 3:10:8, Romans 3:17 (the article is possibly generic in this case) 11:20, 1 Corinthians 16:13, 2 Corinthians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Galatians 1:23, Galatians 1:3:14, Galatians 1:23, 25, Ephesians 3:17, Ephesians 4:18, Ephesians 6:16, Philippians 1:25, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:23, Colossians 1:2:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 2 Thessalonians 3:2, 1 Timothy 1:19b, 1 Timothy 1:3:9, 1 Timothy 1:4:1, 1 Timothy 1:6, 1 Timothy 1:5:8, 1 Timothy 1:12, 1 Timothy 1:6:10, 1 Timothy 1:12, 21, 2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 1:2:18, 2 Timothy 1:3:8, 2 Timothy 1:10, 2 Timothy 1:4:7, Titus 1:13, Titus 2:2, Hebrews 12:2, 1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 5:9, Jude 1:3. Cf. also Ephesians 4:5.* When the article is omitted the noun has a qualitative force, as in Acts 11:24, Acts 14:27, Romans 1:5, Romans 1:17 (ter) 5:1, 9:30, 32, 10:6, 16:26, 2 Corinthians 8:7, Galatians 3:2, Galatians 3:5, Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:9, Galatians 3:24, Galatians 3:5:5, Galatians 3:6, Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 2:6:23, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:4, 1 Timothy 1:5, 1 Timothy 1:14, 1 Timothy 1:19a, 1 Timothy 1:2:7, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:4:12, 1 Timothy 1:6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22, Titus 1:4, Titus 2:10, Titus 3:15, Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 1:5, 2 Peter 1:1.

(iv) Those which refer to Christian faith as a belief in the power and willingness of God to work through men in the gifts of the Spirit; used both definitely and qualitatively: Romans 12:3, Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 12:13:2, 1 Corinthians 12:13.

(v) Those which speak of Christian faith with special reference to the element of reliance upon God for acceptance with him apart from works of law and merit, and its consequent power to free one from the scruples of legalism or asceticism; used both definitely and qualitatively: Romans 14:1, Romans 14:22, Romans 14:23 (bis) 1 Timothy 4:6 (?).

(f) Faith without reference to the distinction between faith in God as revealed in the O. T. period and faith as the acceptance of the gospel message; the term thus signifies faith as the attitude towards God of the man who accepts and believes whatever accredits itself to him as from God, and commits himself in trustfulness and obedience to God, whether towards God as known in the O. T. period or as revealed in Christ. In the nature of the case the word in these instances is qualitative and hence without the article or accompanied by the generic article. See Romans 3:27, Romans 3:28, Romans 3:30, Romans 3:4:14, Romans 3:16a, Romans 3:9:30, 32, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:12, Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 6:10:38, 39, Hebrews 6:11:6, James 2:5. In Rom 1:17c, Galatians 3:11, though the quotation is from O. T. and אֱמוּנָה of the original meant “faithfulness,” Paul evidently takes πίστις in the active sense—an interpretation which is not wholly without basis in the O. T. passage, since נֱמיּנָה there denotes a steadfast adherence to God which implies faith in the active sense as an essential element of the experience. In Romans 4:16b ἐκ πίστεως Ἀβραάμ means “of an Abrahamic faith,” i. e., possessing a faith which like that of Abraham was exercised outside of the regime of law.

Two elements of the apostle Paul’s conception of faith are worthy of special attention. On the one hand, he conceived of faith in Christ as issuing in a vital fellowship of the believer with Christ, by which Christ becomes the compelling and controlling force in the believer’s moral life (Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:6). On the other hand, he laid great stress upon the essential identity of such faith in God as existed in the O. T. period and the Christian type of faith. The doctrine of faith in Christ is defended by an appeal to the faith of Abraham, and the permanence and continuity of the principle of faith as the determinative element of God’s demand upon men urgently maintained. The union of these two elements in his idea of Christian faith, viz., its higher possibilities and normal destiny, and its essential identity with the more primitive faith of an older period is an important fact for the understanding of his thought.

Neither idea, however, is peculiar to Paul. The former permeates the fourth gospel, though usually expressed in terminology other than that of Paul. The latter appears in almost all parts of N. T. According to the synoptic gospels Jesus teaches men to believe in God and invites them to have faith in him, apparently assuming that the production of the one faith will generate the other, and, indeed, expressly affirming that he that receives him receives him that sent him (Mark 9:37). The fourth gospel expresses the same thought more explicitly in terms of faith (12:44) and reiterates it in other forms. In the Epistle to the Hebrews Christians are exhorted to maintain their faith in Christ by O. T. examples of faith in God.

It is involved, implicitly if not explicitly, in this recognition of the essential identity of pre-Christian and Christian faith that while all faith has of necessity an intellectual element, the intellectual content of faith is not a fixed quantity. Faith may differ in different persons and in the same person at different times. It is capable of development and of waning, and this both in respect to the content of the truth apprehended and in respect to the intensity or firmness with which it is exercised. See Matthew 15:28, Luke 7:9, Luke 7:17:5, Luke 7:4, Luke 7:22:36, Acts 6:5, Acts 14:22, Acts 16:5, Romans 1:17, Romans 1:4:19, Romans 1:20, Romans 1:12:6, 1 Corinthians 13:2, 2 Corinthians 8:7, 10:65, Philippians 1:25, Colossians 1:23, Colossians 1:2:5, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 5:12, 1 Timothy 6:10, James 2:5, James 2:22.

To what extent Paul influenced early Christian usage of the words πιστεὐω and πίστις and the idea of faith associated with them; to what extent he was himself influenced by earlier Christian thought, is not easy to determine with accuracy. In the synoptic gospels, aside from a single instance which by its exceptional use of Pauline phraseology (Matthew 18:6; the phrase πιστεύω εἰς in Mark 9:42 is in all probability not original, but a harmonistic addition from Matthew 18:6, and in the latter an editorial modification of the source), betrays an influence of the Pauline usage, the conception of faith is simple and relatively elementary. On the one hand, it includes the idea of trust in God frequently expressed in O. T. by בָטַח and in the Lxx by πέποιθα and ἐλπίζω, and, on the other hand, that of confidence in the willingness and ability of Jesus to do certain things, usually to heal sickness or rescue from danger, rarely to forgive sins. It is never so used as to imply that faith in Jesus necessarily involved any formal definition of his person or mission; it is not, for example, employed in relation to Peter’s confession of the messiahship of Jesus (Mark 8:29 and parallels).

When the early church accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and confession that he was Lord and Christ became the keynote of the new religious movement that attached itself to his name, both the volitional and the doctrinal element of faith (cf. under πιστεύω, 1(c) and 2) became more definite and more prominent. Yet the simple use of the word “faith” continued (Acts 3:16), and it is not possible to determine from the early chapters of Acts precisely to what extent confession of Jesus in explicit doctrinal terms became associated with the word πίστις. The noun is infrequent, and the verb occurs almost wholly in narrative passages, which doubtless reflect the usage of the period when Acts was written rather than of that of the events.

There can be little doubt that it was largely to Paul that the Christian movement owed that strong emphasis on faith, and the prominence of the word in the Christian vocabulary which is reflected in N. T. as a whole. Clearly the emphasis on “faith” and “works of law” as antithetical conceptions is mainly due to him. That Jesus was, like Paul after him, a non-legalist, the evidence seems clearly to prove. But there is no reason to think that he developed a sharp antithesis between law and faith. The early church believed in Jesus as the Christ, but it was not, for the most part at least, consciously anti-legalistic, and it apparently did not occur to the early apostles to set faith and works or faith and law in antithesis to one another. To Paul, also, we doubtless owe the conception of faith as creating a mystical union with Christ, which appears in his letters, and of the influence of which the post-Pauline literature gives evidence. In this case as in so many others, Paul was a most important factor in the creation of the Christian vocabulary, not by inventing words, but by making them the bearers of his new thought or emphasis.

See the excellent discussion in W. H. P. Hatch, “The Pauline Idea of Faith,” in Harvard Theological Studies, II, Cambridge, 1917.

* This treatment of classical usage is mainly based on Cremer.

Cyr. Cyril of Alexandria. † 444. See Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Cf. Confer, compare.

* In certain of these cases by a semi-metonymy, faith, as the central principle of Christianity and the determinative factor of the Christian life, stands almost for Christianity itself, without, however, wholly losing its own proper meaning of (active) faith. See 1 Timothy 1:19b, 1 Timothy 1:3:9, 1 Timothy 1:4:6, 1 Timothy 1:5:8, 1 Timothy 1:6:10, 21, 2 Timothy 3:8, Titus 1:13, Titus 2:2, Jude 1:3. Out of this usage there undoubtedly grew in time the use of πίστις to denote Christianity and in particular the beliefs of Christianity. But it is doubtful whether this stage of development is reached in N. T. Galatians 1:23, 2 Timothy 4:7, sometimes regarded as examples of this usage, are certainly not such, and are not even to be classed with those cited above. πίστις in these two passages has its proper and usual N. T. sense of (active) faith in Christ.

These anarthrous cases form a transition from those in which the reference is distinctly to the belief of the gospel and faith in Christ, or in God as revealed in Christ, to those in which (see f. below) faith is spoken of without reference to the extent of the revelation and without distinction between its O. T. type and its N. T. form. Respecting some of the passages cited above, e. g., Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:9, it may fairly be questioned on which side of the line they belong. That the line of distinction can not be sharply drawn and that N. T. writers easily pass from one conception to the other is a result and evidence of the fact that faith, whether directed towards the God revealed in O. T. or towards Christ or God as revealed in the gospel, if conceived of as always essentially the same in character.



A. Πνεῦμα appears first among Greek writers in Æschylus. Its meanings in writers down to and including Aristotle are “wind,” “air,” “breath,” “life.” The meaning “spirit” does not appear. Xenophanes is said by Diogenes Laertius, IX 2. 3 (19), to have been the first to say that the soul, ψυχή, is πνεῦμα, but the context shows that by this statement Xenophanes did not mean that the soul is (immaterial) spirit, but rather, as against the views of his predecessors that the soul lives after death as a shade, he affirms that everything that comes into being is also subject to extinction, and that the soul is but breath or air. To Anaximenes, a contemporary of Xenophanes, Plutarch, Plac. Philippians 1:0; Philippians 1:3Philippians 1:3, ascribes the words: οἶονψυχή, φησιν, ἡ ἡμετέρα op. cit., says that he thinks of πνεῦμα as that which connects the soul with the surrounding air, which is itself thought of as more or less soul or spirit. Epicharmus speaks of earth (i. e., the body) as going to earth in death, and of πνεῦμα as going above. Yet no pre-Aristotelian writer apparently uses πνεῦμα as an individualising term or as the equivalent of soul. From Xenophanes down to N. T. times ψυχή, soul, is an individual and functional term whose definition was not in that of which it was composed but in its functions; it is the seat of life, feeling, thought. πνεῦμα, on the other hand, is a term of substance, defined not by its functions, which are very variable, but by its qualities. Cf. the terms “knife” and “steel,” “sword” and “bronze.” Aristotle distinguishes between in-born air, σύμφυτον πνεῦμα, and air which is inhaled from without. But he also speaks of πνεῦμα in a sense which he expressly distinguishes from πνεῦμα meaning the air of which wind is composed, and apparently, also, from the σύμφυτον πνεῦμα, describing it as the substance which is in both plants and animals, and permeates all, διὰ παντὸς διήκει, and is both living and generative, Mund. 4 (394 b. 10f.). Thus in ancient writers πνεῦμα is neither the soul nor God, but a substance identical with or akin to air, but possessing, according to some writers, intelligence, according to others being the substance of which the soul is composed, and to others a sort of soul-stuff or world-stuff, the basis of all life, if not of all existence.

In post-classical Greek writers, the principal meanings of πνεῦμα, in order of frequency, are “wind,” “life,” “air.” The meaning “breath” drops out, or is absorbed in the meaning “life.” In one passage in Dionysius Halicarnassensis (Antiq. 1:31) the word is used of a demon, perhaps under Hebrew influence. The Stoics made much use of the term πνεῦμα. Chrysippus affirmed that the ultimate reality was πνεῦμα moving itself (Stob. Ecl. i. 17:4) and the Stoics generally held this monistic view. Their πνεῦμα has both material and “spiritual” qualities. Affirming that the soul is σῶμα, by which the Stoics meant not only that it was real but that it possessed physical qualities, and, on the other hand, that it is πνεῦμα (Zeno calls it πνεῦμα ἔνθερμον; and Chrysippus, according to Galen, σύμφυτον ἡμῖν συνεχὲς παντὶ τῷ σώματι διῆκον), they indicate both that the πνεῦμα has intellectual qualities and that the soul itself has physical qualities. The πνεῦμα, of which the soul is composed, is σῶμα, but is permeated with λόγος, and the organs of sense-perception are called πνεύματα νοερά, the πνεῦμα extending from the governing part of the soul to the organs of sense-perception. Posidonius was, so far as we know, first among the Greeks to say that God was πνεῦμα, to which he added νοερὸν καὶ πυρῶδες. Two hundred years before Posidonius, Menander used the phrase πνεῦμα θεῖον in a way to show that some of his contemporaries ascribed to it the control of human affairs, but how far it was individualised and personalised does not appear, and it remains that with rare if any exception, πνεῦμα is to the end of the first Christian century still a term of substance, not of functions, and a name not of God or the human soul, but of the substance of which both are composed, a refined and ethereal substance, yet still a substance and not yet thought of as immaterial. Akin to this, but probably to be distinguished from it, is πνεῦμα as a permeating principle or force. Aristotle’s language leaves it uncertain whether in his day it was thought of as extending to all existence or to animate things only. Plutarch discusses the distinction between the souls of men and irrational animals, the principle of growth in plants, and the force of cohesion in stones, but does not call either of the latter πνεῦμα. Galen, in the second century, calls the power of cohesion ἔκτικον πνεῦμα, and finally Sextus Empiricus, in the third century, groups all these things together under the common term πνεῦμα.

The use of similar language in Philo shows that this terminology was already in use in the first century. In this century, in which the N. T. arose and, as will presently appear, πνεῦμα was in very common use among Christians, it occurs rather rarely in extant Greek literature, but is found in Plutarch, Cornutus, Epictetus, and Dio Chrysostom. It has the following four senses: “wind,” “air,” “breath,” “the medium or bearer of psychic energy” (nervous fluid). The most notable fact here is the almost total absence of the meaning “spirit.”

B. The term in Hebrew which corresponds most nearly to πνεῦμα in Greek is רוחַ. It bears three meanings, which, in order of frequency, are: “spirit,” “wind,” “breath.” The genetic order is probably “wind,” “spirit,” “breath.” As spirit it denotes the Spirit of God, the spirit of man, and an evil spirit or demon. רוּחַ is also probably originally a term of substance, and retained throughout the O. T. period a trace of this meaning in the clinging to it of a quantitative sense, as is illustrated in Elisha’s request for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). But by an early development of meaning רוּחַ came to be used of the Spirit of God, as that through which the power of God was manifested (Genesis 1:2), and in the later period as the power of God operative in the ethical and religious life of the people (Isaiah 61:1, Psalms 51:13 [11]). In O. T. it was also used of the spirit of man, first probably meaning “strength,” “courage,” “anger,” etc. (Judges 8:3, Proverbs 18:14), then the seat of these and other qualities, and finally the seat of mentality, though this last usage is late and rare (Job 20:3). Alike, therefore, in the starting point and in the general range of usage there is a large measure of parallelism between the Hebrew רוּחַ and the Greek πνεῦμα, which made it inevitable that the latter should become the translation and recognised representative of the former. But there is also a marked difference between the usage of the two words, especially in the fact that the Hebrews so much earlier associated the term with God, making it, however, not a predicate of God (the O. T. never says God is רוּחַ), but an individualising name for an expression or manifestation of God.

C. In Jewish-Greek literature, including Greek works by Jewish authors, down to 100 A. D., whether translations of Semitic originals or originally composed in Greek, πνεῦμα bears three meanings, in order of frequency, as follows: “spirit,” “wind,” “breath.” As “spirit” the term denotes the Spirit of God, the spirit of man, and superhuman beings both good and evil. Genetic relations can scarcely be spoken of, usages being inherited rather than developed. In the Lxx we find for the first time the expression πνεῦμα θεοῦ (Genesis 1:2, Genesis 41:38) and πνεῦμα ἅγιον (Psalms 50:11 [51]), the latter a translation of the Hebrew רוּחֲ קֹדֶשׁ, probably modelled on the πνεῦμα θεῖον which Menander’s usage proves to have existed among the Greeks and which itself occurs occasionally in the Lxx (Job 27:3, Job 33:4). The entire usage in Jewish-Greek shows far more influence of the Hebrew view than of Greek thought.

D. N. T. usage of πνεῦμα, like that of other Jewish-Greek literature, is strongly influenced by the ideas which come from O. T., which it follows much more closely than it does that of Greek writers in general. Yet it also shows, especially in Paul, peculiarities of its own, which were probably in the main not derived from outside but developed within the circle of Christian thought. Of the characteristics of N. T. usage which differentiate it from non-Jewish-Greek, and to a certain extent from all previous usage, the following are the most important: (a) πνεῦμα is no longer prevailingly a substantial term, as in Greek writers, but, with few exceptions, individualising as in Jewish-Greek, following the Hebrew. (b) Its most frequent use is with reference to the Spirit of God. For this there is only the slightest precedent in the non-Jewish Greek writers. N. T., especially Pauline, usage shows a marked advance even on Jewish-Greek. (c) The relation of πνεῦμα to ψυχή is almost wholly new, having only partial precedent in Philo. Whereas in Greek writers generally ψυχή is the term which definitely conveyed the idea of life and mentality, and πνεῦμα is a term of substance, in itself conveying no idea of mentality, and ranging all the way from “wind” or “air” to an extremely refined substance of which God and the soul are composed, and while in the nearly contemporaneous Hermetic literature πνεῦμα is definitely graded below ψυχή in the scale of being, πνεῦμα in N. T. assumes a position of definite superiority to the ψυχή. This is due not to the degradation of ψυχή, but to the elevation of πνεῦμα. The former is still, as in the Greek usage generally, the general term for the seat of life, feeling, thought, and will. But πνεῦμα, having now become an individualised term and as such a name both for the soul of man and the Spirit of God, is used as the seat of the moral and religious life of man. (d) πνεῦμα is now used as a generic term for incorporeal beings, including in Paul those who have heavenly bodies. For this usage there is no exact previous parallel, though it has its basis in the application of the term πνεῦμα to God and to the demons. A product of this usage and the preceding, or at least related to them, is the antithesis here formed for the first time between ψυχικός and πνευματικός, which in Paul is applied to bodies, designating them as suitable, on the one hand, to a ψυχή, a soul in an ordinary material body, and on the other to a πνεῦμα, i. e., a soul no longer embodied in the ordinary sense (1 Corinthians 15:44f.); but also to men in a religious sense, distinguishing one who has not and one who has the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14f.). The latter usage appears also in Jude, v. 19. (f) There is a clear distinction between the work of the Spirit of God in producing the so-called χαρίσματα, such as tongues, prophecy, etc., and the operation of the same spirit in producing ethical results, and a depreciation of the former as compared with the latter. This appears first in Paul, and is perhaps original with him. See Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes, pp. 62-97, esp. 77 ff.

The meanings of πνεῦμα in N. T. arranged in the order of their probable genetic relationships are as follows:

I. Wind: John 3:8a: τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ καὶ τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ Hebrews 1:7.

II. Breath, breath of life: 2 Thessalonians 2:8: καὶ τότε Revelation 11:11, Revelation 13:15.

III. Spirit: an incorporeal, sentient, intelligent, willing being, or the element by virtue of which a being is sentient, intelligent, etc.

A. Embodied, viz., human spirit, that element of a living man by virtue of which he lives, feels, perceives, and wills; variously viewed:

1. As the seat of life, or that in man which constitutes him a living being. Luke 8:55: καὶ ἐπέστρεψεν τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς, καὶ Matthew 27:50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30, Acts 7:59, James 2:26.

2. As the seat of emotion and will, especially of the moral and religious life, including thought as concerned with religion: Mark 14:38: γρηγορεῖτε καὶ προσεύχεσθε, ἵνα μὴ ἕλθητε εἰς πειρασμόν· τὸ μὲν πνεῦμα πρόθυμονδὲ σὰρξ Matthew 26:41, Mark 8:12, Luke 1:47, John 4:23, John 4:24b, John 4:11:33, John 4:13:21, Acts 17:16, Acts 18:25, Acts 19:21, Acts 20:22, Romans 1:9, Romans 1:2:29, Romans 1:7:6, Romans 1:8:16, Romans 1:12:11, 1 Corinthians 4:21, 1 Corinthians 4:7:34, 1 Corinthians 4:16:18, 2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 2:7:1, 2 Corinthians 2:13, Galatians 6:1, Galatians 6:8, Galatians 6:18, Ephesians 4:23, Philippians 4:23, 2 Timothy 4:22, Philemon 1:25, James 4:5, 2 Peter 3:4. It sometimes seems to denote the human spirit as permeated with or dominated by the divine Spirit, either ethically (John 3:6b), or ecstatically (1 Corinthians 14:14, 1 Corinthians 14:15, 1 Corinthians 14:16).

3. As the seat of consciousness and intelligence: 1 Corinthians 2:11: τίς γὰρ οἶδεν Matthew 5:3, Mark 2:8, Luke 1:80.

4. Generically, without reference to these distinctions: Romans 8:10: εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, τὸ μὲν σῶμα νεκρὸν διὰ ἁμαρτίαν, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζωὴ διὰ δικαιοσύνην. See also 1 Corinthians 5:3, 1 Corinthians 5:4, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 2:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 4:12, Hebrews 12:9 (?) Revelation 22:8.

B. Unembodied or disembodied spirit: more exactly, a sentient, intelligent, volitional being whose mode of life is not conditioned by a body in the ordinary sense of the term; used of various beings so conceived, the specific reference being indicated by limitations of the word or by the context; thus of:

1. The Spirit of God, viewed as:

(a) The cause of extraordinary phenomena in human experience, such as prophecy, tongues, healings, etc.: 1 Corinthians 12:4: διαιρέσεις δὲ χαρισμάτων εἰσίν, τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα. See also Matthew 10:20, Matthew 10:12:18, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 10:31, Matthew 10:32, Matthew 10:22:43, Mark 3:29, Mark 12:36, Mark 13:11, Luke 1:15, Luke 1:17, Luke 1:41, Luke 1:67, Luke 1:2:25, Luke 1:26, Luke 1:27, Luke 1:4:18, Luke 1:10:21, Luke 1:12:10, Luke 1:12, John 7:39 (bis) 20:22, Acts 1:5, Acts 1:8, Acts 1:16, Acts 1:2:4, Acts 1:17, Acts 1:18, 33, 38, Acts 1:4:8, Acts 1:25, 31, Acts 1:5:3, Acts 1:9, 32, Acts 1:7:51, 55, Acts 1:8:15, Acts 1:17, Acts 1:18, Acts 1:19, 29, Acts 1:9:17, Acts 1:10:19, 44, 45, 47, Acts 1:11:12, Acts 1:15, Acts 1:16, 28, Acts 1:13:2, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:9, 52, Acts 1:15:8, 28, Acts 1:16:6, Acts 1:19:2, Acts 1:8, Acts 1:20:23, 28, Acts 1:21:4, Acts 1:11, Acts 28:25, Romans 15:19, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 2:12b, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 2:7:40, 1 Corinthians 2:12:3, 1 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Corinthians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 2:14:2, Galatians 3:2, Galatians 3:3, Galatians 3:5, Ephesians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:19, 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 2:4, Hebrews 2:3:7, Hebrews 2:9:8, Hebrews 2:10:15, 2 Peter 1:21, 1 John 4:2a, 1 John 4:6a, Revelation 1:10, Revelation 1:2:7, Revelation 1:11, Revelation 1:17, 29, Revelation 1:3:6, Revelation 1:12, 22, Revelation 1:4:2, Revelation 1:14:13, Revelation 1:17:3, Revelation 21:10. In Acts 16:7, 1 Peter 1:11, Revelation 19:10 (?), the Spirit in this sense is identified with that of the risen Jesus.

(b) Active in an extraordinary way in the conception of a child: Matthew 1:18: εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου. See also Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:35.

(c) Operative in the human spirit for the production of ethical results: Romans 8:4: ἵνα τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ νόμου πληρωθῆ ἐν ἡμῖν τοῖς μὴ κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦσιν Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 3:5, John 3:6a, John 3:8b, John 3:14:17, John 3:26, John 3:15:26, John 3:16:13, Acts 9:31, Romans 5:5, Romans 5:8:2, Romans 5:5, Romans 5:6, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:13, Romans 5:14, Romans 5:15b, Romans 5:16a, 23, 26, 27, Romans 5:9:1, Romans 5:14:17, Romans 5:15:13, Romans 5:16, 30, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:3:16, 1 Corinthians 2:6:11, 19, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 1:3:3, 2 Corinthians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 1:17,