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by Johann Peter Lange
EPISTLE OF PAUL
J. P. LANGE, D.D., and the Rev. F. R. FAY
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN
J. F. HURST, D.D.
P. SCHAFF, D.D., and the Rev. M. B. RIDDLE
VOL. V. OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: CONTAINING THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION
The Epistle to the Romans is the Epistle of the Epistles, as the Gospel of John is the Gospel of the Gospels. It is the heart of the doctrinal portion of the New Testament. It presents in systematic order the fundamental truths of Christianity in their primitive purity, inexhaustible depth, all-conquering force, and never-failing comfort. It is the bulwark of the evangelical doctrines of sin and grace against the obscuration of the gospel, whether by judaizing bigotry or paganizing licentiousness. Addressed to the Christians at Rome, and unfolding to them the gospel as a spiritual power of God unto salvation far exceeding in effect, and outlasting in time, the temporal power of the Imperial City, it prophetically anticipates and positively overthrows every essential error of Romanism, and is to this day the best antidote against popery. No wonder that it was so highly prized by the Reformers. Luther, whom Coleridge regarded “the only fit commentator on Paul,” called the Romans “the chief part of the New Testament, and the purest gospel, well worthy to be committed to memory word for word by every Christian man, and to be pondered daily and enjoyed as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be too often nor too well read and considered, and the more it is understood, the better it tastes.” Those who have studied it most carefully, are most likely to fall in with the judgment of Coleridge, that it is “the most profound work in existence.”
But it is certainly also the most difficult book of the New Testament, unless we except the Gospel of John and the Revelation. Meyer, the ablest philological exegete of the age, humbly confesses, in the preface to the fourth edition of his commentary, to a growing sense of our inability to do justice to “the grandest, the boldest, and, in all its depths and heights, the most complete composition of the greatest apostle.” If St. Peter did not hesitate to state that there are “some things hard to be understood” in the Epistles of his “beloved brother Paul,” we need not be surprised that even such divines as occupy the same general platform widely differ in their interpretations. The Epistle to the Romans, more than any other, is a battle-field; and every chapter, especially the third, the fifth, the seventh, and the ninth, is contested ground. Not a few commentators deal with it as Procrustes dealt with his victims, in adapting them to the length of his iron bedstead—either stretching out or cutting off their legs. But after all, vast progress has been made, especially within the last fifty years, toward an impartial and thorough understanding of this wonderful production of a wonderful man.
Among the many noble contributions of German learning and industry to this end, Dr. Lange’s Commentary—which is here presented, with many additions, in an English dress—will occupy an honorable and useful position. It appeared first in 1865, and in a second edition in 1868, in a small but closely-printed volume of 289 pages, as part of his Bibelwerk. It is evidently the result of much earnest labor and profound research, and presents many new and striking views. These, however, are not always expressed with that clearness demanded by the practical common sense of the English reader; hence the difficult labor of translation has been occasionally supplemented by the delicate task of explanation.
Dr. Lange prepared the Exegetical and Doctrinal parts, the Rev. F. R. Fay, his son-in-law, and pastor at Crefeld, Prussia, the Homiletical sections.
The English edition is the result of the combined labor of the Rev. Dr. Hurst, the Rev. M. B. Riddle, and the General Editor. Dr. Hurst is responsible for the translation (which was an unusually difficult task), and for the valuable Homiletical selections from the best English sources. The General Editor and the Rev. M. B. Riddle, besides carefully comparing the translation with the original, prepared the text, with the Critical notes, and the additions to the Exegetical and Doctrinal sections. The initials indicate the authorship of the various additions in brackets, which increase the volume of the German edition nearly one half. Upon no other book, except Matthew and Genesis, has so much original labor been bestowed.
I am responsible for the General and Special Introduction, and the first six chapters (exclusive of the last few verses of Romans 6:0), which cover about one half of the volume. I examined nearly all the authorities quoted by Dr. Lange, from Chrysostom down to the latest editions of Tholuck and Meyer, and also the principal English commentators, as Stuart, Hodge, Alford, Wordsworth, Jowett, Forbes, &c., who are sublimely ignored by continental commentators, as if exegesis had never crossed the English Channel, much less the Atlantic Ocean. The length of some of my annotations (e.g., on Romans 1:3, , Romans 1:5) may be justified by the defects of the original, and the great importance of the topics for the English and American mind.
I had a strong desire to complete the work, and to incorporate the parts of a German Commentary on Romans which I prepared years ago in connection with my lectures as professor of theology, as well as the results of more recent studies. But a multiplicity of engagements, and a due regard for my health, compelled me to intrust the remaining chapters, together with my whole apparatus, including my notes in manuscript and a printed essay on the ninth chapter, to my friend, the Rev. M. B. Riddle. As an excellent German and Biblical scholar, and as editor of the Commentaries on Galatians and Colossians in the Biblework, Mr. Riddle has all the qualifications and experience, as well as that rare and noble enthusiasm which is indispensable for the successful completion of such a difficult and responsible task.
It is hoped that, by this combination of talent and labor, the Commentary on Romans has gained in variety, richness, and adaptation to the use of English students.
No. 5 Bible House, New York, April 20, 1869.
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL
As the Epistle to the Romans is the most important and prominent of the Pauline Epistles, we must here discuss first the general preliminary questions connected with the life, doctrine, and writings of the Apostle. This introduction, therefore, divides itself into a general and a special introduction. The first connects with the general introduction of the “Bible-Work” on Matthew [p. 20 ff. Am. ed.] for the New Testament, and on Genesis [p. 1 ff. Am. ed.] for the Old; the second corresponds with the introductions to our commentaries on the remaining Epistles of Paul.
I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL
§ 1. THE PAULINE PORTION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The apostolic activity of the great Apostle to the Gentiles was so comprehensive and fruitful, that the greater portion of the labors of the original twelve apostles was merged into the historical current of his work. It is only the Coptic Church, and a few other isolated Oriental sects, that, as a portion of the original apostolic territory, have continued isolated from Paul’s great field of labor. Since the second century, Paul’s peculiar type of teaching began indeed to give way more and more to the forms of ancient and mediæval Catholicism; though Catholicism cannot be termed Petrine in that sense, and much less in that degree, in which the Church of Rome claims to be built on Peter. Yet Paul’s spirit continued to exert its influence through the middle ages, not only in the heretical form of Paulicianism and other sects, but also in the orthodox type of Augustinism, until it broke forth from the innermost life of the Church as the chief organizing power of Evangelical Protestantism.1
As far as the Pauline portion of the New Testament is concerned, it constitutes not only the greatest part of the apostolic epistles, but also a large share of the entire New Testament; especially when we include both the writings of Luke and the Epistle to the Hebrews, which were evidently written under the influence of the Apostle of the Gentiles.
An eternal triumph of Christianity, an imperishable sign and pledge of its world-conquering power, lies in the fact that the greatest part of the Christian Church, the greatest portion of the New Testament, and the most powerful expression of Christian doctrine, proceeded from a man who, endowed with a lofty genius and a heroic energy of will, had cast all the enthusiasm of his youth into a fanatical hatred of Christianity, and who had made it the great object of his life to exterminate that religion from the face of the earth. With the conversion of Paul, the noblest prince of Pharisæism was changed from an arch-enemy of Christ, into his most active apostle and witness. This was a prelude to the world-historical change by which the eagle of the heathen power of Rome was converted from the work of a vulture that vexed the fold of Christ, into the service of a dove of peace for the nations of the earth. Saul became Paul. In this one word all the past triumphs of Christianity over its foes are embraced, and all its future triumphs are described in advance. To bend or to break—that is the question; to bend, like Paul, or to break, like Julian the Apostate. The cause of this wonderful power of conversion and of judgment lies in the universal triumph of Christ, against whom a Paul was not too great an enemy, nor a Julian too crafty a politician and emperor.
Concerning the signification of Paul in the New Testament, Calmet thus speaks in the introduction to his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans: “Post sacrosancta evangelia venerabile maxime ac ceterorum omnium pretiosissimum monumentum Pauli epistolœ habendœ sunt. Omnia in illis continentur, quœ formandis moribus, sive ad mysteria et religionem constituendam a Jesu Christo tradita sunt. Tamquam supplementum et interpretatio eorum, quœ Jesus Christus docuit, ac veluti alterum evangelium Jesu Christi e mortuis redivivi jure meritoque reputantur.” [H. Ewald, the great orientalist, commences his Commentary on the Pauline Epistles (Göttingen, 1857), with the following striking and truthful eulogy: “Considering these Epistles for themselves only, and apart from the general significance of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, we must still admit that, in the whole history of all centuries and of all nations, there is no other set of writings of similar extent, which, as creations of the fugitive moment, have proceeded from such severe troubles of the age, and such profound pains and sufferings of the author himself, and yet contain such an amount of healthfulness, serenity, and vigor of immortal genius, and touch with such clearness and certainty on the very highest truths of human aspiration and action. … The smallest as well as the greatest of these Epistles seem to have proceeded from the fleeting moments of this earthly life only to enchain all eternity; they were born of anxiety and bitterness of human strife, to set forth in brighter lustre and with higher certainty their superhuman grace and beauty. The divine assurance and firmness of the old prophets of Israel, the all-transcending glory and immediate spiritual presence of the Eternal King and Lord, who had just ascended to heaven, and all the art and culture of a ripe and wonderfully excited age, seem to have joined, as it were, in bringing forth the new creation of these Epistles of the times which were destined to last for all times.” Upon the whole, St. Paul is, perhaps, the most remarkable man, and his Epistles, next to the Gospels, the most important literary production of all ages. Dr. Wordsworth strongly recommends the reading of the Pauline Epistles in their chronological order, so as to accompany the Apostle, with the help of the Acts, in his missionary career from the call at Damascus to the martyrdom in Rome, and his development of Christian doctrine from the elementary truths of the Thessalonians to the farewell instructions of the Pastoral Letters. The reader will thus trace with growing delight this spiritual river of Paradise from its fountain-head, through Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, to Rome, diffusing purity and health, flowing onward in a majestic and ever-widening flood, fertilizing the banks, that they may bear the flowers and trees of Christian graces, and terminating at last in the ocean of eternity.—P. S.]
§ 2. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES. HISTORY OF HIS LIFE.2
The history of the life of the Apostle Paul divides itself, according to great crises, into the following periods: I. The time of his youthful development to his conversion; II. The time of his apostolic training, his impulsive and enthusiastic beginnings, and his purifying retreats; III. The period of the three great missionary journeys recounted in the Scriptures, down to his capture in Jerusalem, and his transportation from Cæsarea to Rome; IV. The termination of his career to his martyrdom.
A. The History of the Youth of Paul to his Conversion
Paul appears first before us at the place of execution of the protomartyr Stephen, under the Jewish name of Saul (שִׁאוּל), Acts 7:57. He is a young man, who pursues his studies in Jerusalem in the school of the conservative Pharisee, Gamaliel (Acts 22:3; comp. Acts 5:34); but in consequence of his fanatical enthusiasm for the Pharisaic law, which he identified with the ancestral faith (Philippians 3:5-6), he became, while a student, the most bitter persecutor and disturber of the youthful Church of Christ; for he considered that Church a fatal Jewish heresy, and one which, by virtue of the rights of zealots for the law, he designed to combat, and hoped utterly to destroy. Probably Moses. Phinehas, and Elijah were his imaginary prototypes; while he adjudged Christ to be the greatest of those false prophets against whom destruction was prophesied and appointed (Deuteronomy 18:20). From an accomplice who, being present at the execution of Stephen, took charge of the clothes belonging to his witnesses and executioners (Acts 7:58), he soon became a servant of the Sanhedrin3; and having become excited by the martyr-blood of Stephen, he not only continued the persecution, and scattered the congregation in Jerusalem, but, being clothed with extraordinary authority, he entered upon a journey to Damascus for the purpose of destroying the Christian congregation in that city. The Sanhedrin did not at that time possess authority over the life and death of the Jews (John 18:31), but it was nevertheless at liberty to exercise, in matters of religion, the Jewish authority to imprison, to scourge, and to arrange all the preliminaries of a trial for capital punishment. The execution of James the Just, as recounted by Josephus (in his Antiq. xx. 9, 1), explains the martyrdom of Stephen and the subsequent threats against Paul’s life (Acts 23:30), and shows that a tumultuous occasion could lead to the infliction of capital punishment. (On the laws of punishment, comp. Winer, art. Synedrium [ii. 551, and Smith, iii. 1136, art. Sanhedrim]).4
Saul had already taken the lead in Jerusalem in the work of incarcerating the Christians; but the apparent result of his efforts, which was only the wider promulgation of the gospel by means of the scattering of the congregation (Acts 8:4), exasperated him still more. Therefore he solicited those fatal letters of authority which directed him toward Damascus. A proof of the confidence reposed in the fiery zeal of the young Pharisaic student may be seen in the fact that the Council not only gave him full authority, but also an obedient escort. The enterprising youth designed to destroy the whole Christian flock in Damascus, and to drag back to Jerusalem even women, and all who were at his mercy.
But the Divine visitation came upon him when near Damascus. Saul, by a sudden miracle, became a Paul, as we are accustomed to say; the greatest and most dangerous of all the persecutors of the Christians (for he persecuted the Church in its infancy), was transformed into the greatest promulgator of Christianity in the world.
Paul was a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, and a native of Tarsus, the polished and venerable capital of Cilicia, situated on the river Cydnus, the home of the great naturalist, Dioscorides, and of other distinguished men, and the burial place of Emperor Julian the Apostate. Jerome (De viris illustrib. cap. v.) mentions the report that Paul had emigrated with his parents from Gishala, but he afterwards declares, in his commentary on Philemon, that it is a fable. As the stock of Levi became gloriously resplendent in John the Baptist, so, under the new dispensation, did Benjamin, the son of Rachel, receive higher honor than any other tribe save Judah, which had previously risen to the greatest glory. And the same mighty energy which the blessing of Jacob ascribed to the character of Benjamin (Genesis 49:27), and which was confirmed by later events (Judges 20:21), found its perfect expression in Paul. He was first a ravenous wolf in the midst of the flock that ate his prey in the morning; but in the evening he combined the strength of the wolf and the mildness of the lamb; and though he sprang like a wolf into the metropolitan cities of heathendom, his purpose was to “divide his spoil in the evening.” His parents appear to have been in good circumstances. They were “Roman” citizens, though not as inhabitants of the city of Tarsus (for that city had not then obtained its freedom), but by special conditions with which we are not acquainted. Notwithstanding their high social standing, they strictly adhered to the Jewish faith, and designed their son to be a Pharisaic Rabbi. According to Jewish custom he had learned a trade; he was a tent-maker (that is, a weaver of a kind of cloth which was applied to tent-making; σκηνοποιός, Acts 18:3). The great talents of Saul could be early developed in the schools of cultivated Tarsus, if we may suppose that the rigid Pharisaic sentiment of his parents (which, however, was often mollified in heathen cities far away from Palestine) permitted him to visit those schools. From Paul’s philosophic analysis of heathendom (Romans 1:2.), from his discourse at Athens (Acts 17:0), and from other similar expressions, we may very readily infer that his acquaintance with sentences of heathen philosophers and poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12 sq.), is not attributable to mere popular intercourse, but to reading and study. When in Jerusalem, he became familiarly acquainted with the Old Testament, rabbinical traditions and dialectics, and probably also with the doctrines of the Jewish Alexandrian school. It is probable that he found there some family connections; at least, he was subsequently supported very earnestly by a nephew (Acts 23:16). As King Saul of old is said to have gone forth to seek she-asses, but found a crown, so with the Apostle; but he took better care of his crown.
The conversion of Saul is one of the greatest miracles of the exalted Saviour—one of the greatest miracles of conversion in the kingdom of grace. The fact especially that the most earnest zealot for Pharisaic legalism become, by Divine appointment, the chief apostle of a free gospel and faith, and the most successful destroyer of Pharisæism in Judaism, and in the Christian Church through all ages, is without a parallel in history. True, some of the greatest opponents of Jesuitism have come out of Jesuit schools. Luther, the former monk, was the strongest antagonist of monastic righteousness; and Luther, the Augustinian, the strongest antagonist of intolerance, which St. Augustine unfortunately first established in theory in opposition to the Donatists; but not one of these contrasts reaches that miraculous transformation in which the glorified Christ, as with an ironical smile, changed the most formidable power of the enemy into His most victorious agency for conquest.
And yet this miracle, too, was conditioned by justice and truth. We must not ignore for the miraculous manifestation of Christ all connecting points of preparation in the unconscious spiritual life of Saul (as Baumgarten has again done). This would be as partial and untenable as the opposite extreme of rationalistic writers, who vainly attempt to explain his conversion by psychological antecedents and extraordinary natural phenomena (see Winer, Real-Wörterbuch, art. Paulus). The history declares positively that the glorified Christ appeared to him; and we cannot interpret it in any other light. But Paul’s own accounts show that the objective manifestation of Christ was mediated by a visionary or ecstatic elevation of Saul himself (Acts 9:7; Acts 22:9).
[The rationalistic interpretation, after having exploded in Germany, has been ingeniously renewed in France by E. Renan, Les Apótres, Paris, 1866, p. 181. There is a third view on the conversion of Paul, not mentioned by Dr. Lange—the mythical—which resolves the event into a purely subjective process in Paul’s own mind, and explains the supernatural light to be simply the symbolical expression of the certainty of the real spiritual presence of Christ in the Church and the believer. This view was ably defended by the late Dr. Baur, of Tübingen, in his work on Paul, 1847, p. 68. But after a renewed investigation of the subject, the celebrated historian arrived at the conclusion that the conversion of Paul was an enigma, which cannot be satisfactorily solved by any psychological or dialectical analysis. See the second and revised edition of his work on Christianity and the Christian Church in the first three centuries, which appeared shortly before his death, a. 1860, p. 45, and the second edition of his Paul, edited by Zeller, 1867. The character and apostolic life of Paul, and the very origin and continued existence of the Christian Church, is an inexplicable mystery without the miracle of the actual resurrection of our Saviour.—P. S.]
Observations.—1. On the splendor of the city of Tarsus in culture and institutions of learning, see Winer, article Tarsus. Also the particulars concerning Gamaliel, by the same author [and in Kitto’s and W. Smith’s Bible Dictionaries].
2. On the life of Paul in general, compare the article Paul in the various Bible dictionaries; the relevant chapters in Neander, Schaff , Thiersch, and Lange, on the Apostolic Age; the work, Die Biographien der Bibel, Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1838; and Reuss, Die Gesch. der heil. Schriften Neuen Testaments [4th ed., 1864], p. 45 ff., where a comprehensive catalogue of literature may be found. For particular references, see below.
3. The literary education of the Apostle has been much discussed. Comp. Niemeyer, Charakteristik der Bibel; Thalemann’s treatise, De eruditione Pauli Judaica non Grœca (and Winer, Real-Wörterbuch, ii. 213). The parents of Paul may have been prevented, by their religious prejudices, from sending their son to the brilliant Grecian schools in Tarsus; but it does not therefore follow that the vigorous mind of the youthful Paul did not become acquainted privately with the principles of Grecian learning. Possibly his parents may have sent him to Jerusalem for the very reason that they discovered in him a dangerous susceptibility for the charms of Grecian literature.—“Paul received a learned Jewish education in the school of the Pharisæan Rabbi, Gamaliel, not remaining an entire stranger to Greek literature, as his style, his dialectic method, his allusions to heathen religion and philosophy, and his occasional quotations from heathen poets show. Thus, a ‘Hebrew of the Hebrews,’ yet at the same time a native Hellenist and a Roman citizen, he combined in himself, so to speak, the three great nationalists of the ancient world, and was endowed with all the natural qualifications for a universal apostleship. He could argue with the Pharisees as a son of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, as a disciple of the renowned Gamaliel, surnamed ‘the Glory of the Law,’ and as one of the straitest of their sect. He could address the Greeks in their own beautiful tongue, and with the force of their strong logic. Clothed with the dignity and majesty of the Roman people, he could travel safely over the whole empire with the watchword: ‘Civis Romanus sum.’ ” From Ph. Schaff, History of Ancient Christianity, vol. i. p. 68. Comp. also Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, revised edition, first section of the Introduction: “His (Paul’s) natural character was ardent, energetic, uncompromising, and severe. How his extravagance and violence were subdued by the grace of God, is abundantly evident from the moderation, mildness, tenderness, and conciliation manifested in all his epistles. Absorbed in the one object of glorifying Christ, he was ready to submit to any thing, and to yield any thing necessary for this purpose. He no longer insisted that others should think and act just as he did. So that they obeyed Christ, he was satisfied; and he willingly conformed to their prejudices, and tolerated their errors, so far as the cause of truth and righteousness allowed. By his early education, by his miraculous conversion and inspiration, by his natural disposition, and by the abundant grace of God, was this Apostle fitted for his work, and sustained under his multiplied and arduous labors.”—P. S.]
4. On the chronology of the Apostle’s life, see Winer, Real-Wörterbuch, ii. p. 217; Wieseler, Chronology of the Apostolic Age [Göttingen, 1848; also the Chronological Chart in the American edition of Lange’s Commentary on Acts, and Alford’s Commentary on Acts , 5 th ed., 1865, [pp. 22–27.—P. S.] On the various suppositions concerning the time of Paul’s conversion, Winer, ii. p. 219.
5. On the conversion of the Apostle in particular, see the Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Romans 9:0 [p. 161, Am. ed.] The objectivity of the appearance of Christ is there justly maintained. But we should, in addition to it, make proper account of the element of a vision as the medium of the appearance of Christ. Here belongs also the treatise of C. P. Hofstede de Groot, Pauli conversio, prœcipuus theologiœ Paulinœ fons, Groningen, 1855. (“Itaque inveni principia gravissima tria, e quibus tota Pauli theologia est orta; primum mentis, Jesu vitam novam semper cogitantis, alterum animi, gratiam divinam constanter experti et sentientis, tertium vitœ, Christi ecclesiam perpetuo spectantis.”) Also the essay of Paret, The Testimony of the Apostle Paul concerning the Appearance of Christ, in the Jahrbücher für deutsche Theol., vol. iv., pt. 2. For a full list of literature, see Reuss, l. c., p. 51, and Winer, ii. p. 214.
B. The Preparation of Paul for the Apostolic Office, and his Apostolical Missionary Journeys to the time of his First Captivity in Rome
A man of such mighty genius, notwithstanding his apostolic call, was not qualified for an evangelist immediately after his conversion. His first zeal would have been too stormy, too powerful, and too much the outburst of immoderate excitement. After his first attempt in Damascus, he had to withdraw to Arabia for a quiet stay of about three years (Galatians 1:0)—a period over which a veil is drawn. He probably spent it, not in missionary labor, but to greater advantage in contemplative life, although he may have made some single missionary efforts during this time (see Lange’s History of the Apost. Age, ii. p. 124). After his first attempt in Jerusalem, also, where Barnabas introduced him to the apostles, Paul was again required to retire to private life. But this time he chose Cilicia, his native country. We may infer from his character that he did not remain absolutely passive, but that he occasionally testified of Christ; yet he did not engage in apostolic labors in their strictest sense.
Barnabas sent for him to come from Cilicia to Antioch, to coöperate with him in that newly-arisen metropolis of Gentile Christianity (Acts 11:25). Paul entered into the most intimate relations with the congregation of Gentile Christians living there, and the destination that he had received at his call to become the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15), now approached its fulfilment. But it was in accordance with the apostolic spirit that the Gentile Church should remain in perfect unity with the Jewish-Christian Church. This tendency toward unity was strengthened by the first mission of Paul to Jerusalem, in company with Barnabas (Acts 11:30). We may therefore consider this mission as the introduction to the apostolic labors of the Apostle; and since it also constitutes one of the strongest chronological links in his career, we will now speak of the chronological relations of his life.
We pass over, as unreliable points of connection, the government of Damascus by the Arabian king Aretas (Acts 9:0; 2 Corinthians 11:32), and the meeting of Paul with Aquila in Corinth, in consequence of the banishment of the latter from Rome by an edict of the Emperor Claudius (see Wieseler, Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters, p. 167, and p. 125). The safest date at the beginning of the apostolic career of Paul is the year of the death of Herod Agrippa, a. d. 44 (Joseph., De bello Jud. ii. 11, 6); and the safest one at the end of the same is the recall of the procurator Felix from Judea in the year 60. The execution of James the Elder took place shortly before the death of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:2). About the same time, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem as bearers of the collection taken at Antioch. If, according to the usual method, we reckon backward from this date, the year 44 (one year spent in Antioch, about one year in Jerusalem and Tarsus, three years in Arabia and Damascus), the conversion of Paul occurred about the year 39. Then, reckoning forward, let us fix the time of the Apostolic Council, under the supposition (which has been vainly contested)5 that the journey described in Acts 15:0 is identical with that of Galatians 2:0 (see my Gesch. des Apost. Zeitalters, i. 99), and that the fourteen years which Paul reckons as occurring previous to this journey are to be numbered from his conversion. This being the case, the Apostolic Council occurred about the year 53.6 The first missionary tour of the Apostle therefore took place between the years 44 or 45 and 52 or 53. The second and third were made between the years 53 and 59–60.
In reference to the more particular dates, compare the already mentioned work of Wieseler (whose parallel of Paul’s journey mentioned in Acts 18:22, with that in Galatians 2:0, does not seem to be warranted); the article Paul in Winer; G. W. Agardh, Von der Zeitrechnung der Lebensgeschichte des Apostels Paulus, etc., Stockholm, 1847. On the time of the ecstasy narrated in 2 Corinthians 12:7, compare my Apost. Zeitalter, ii. p. 8.
In regard to the credibility of the account of the Acts on the apostolic life of Paul, Schneckenburger maintained the hypothesis, that the author of that book converted the life of Paul from real historical materials into a parallel to the life of Peter. Baur has outdone this hypothesis, and endeavored to carry out the hypercritical notion that the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles is an unhistorical production, written for the purpose of bringing about a compromise between Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity. On this vain attempt to convert the history of the Acts into a myth, or rather a conscious fiction, compare Lechler, The Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Age, p. 6 ff.
There was no doubt a gradual approach of the two sections of apostolic Christianity, in harmony with the first fundamental principle of the Word made flesh and the working of the spirit of the apostolic history. Conscious of the essential unity of faith and hope, the Gentile Church moved towards the Jewish Church, as the Jewish Church sought and found the Gentile Church. It is from this point of view that we must study Paul’s journeys to Jerusalem as they alternated with his missionary tours. Every new missionary journey to the heathen world was followed by a renewal of the bond of union with the parent society in Jerusalem; and the more deeply the Apostle penetrated the heathen world, and the more fully he kept the Gentile Church free from Jewish ordinances, the more decidedly did he afterward show, by his own conduct in Jerusalem, his respect for Jewish customs. Only those who are unable, like Paul, to distinguish between dogmatic and ethical rules, can find a contradiction in this fact, and especially in the diversity of requirements between Galatians 2:16 and Acts 15:20.
The farthest limit of the first missionary tour of the Apostle was Derbe, in Lycaonia, Asia Minor. The appointment of Barnabas and Saul in Antioch by the direction of the Holy Spirit, their ordination by the united act of the congregation and its leaders, the voyage to Cyprus, the triumph of Paul over the false prophet Bar-jesus, his change of name, the journey to Pamphylia, and the return of Mark, the apostolic attendant, the missionary address of the Apostle in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, the persecutions on the part of the Jews in Antioch and Iconia, Paul’s miracle at Lystra, and his success in Derbe: these are the prominent points of the first missionary tour. We must observe especially, 1, That the apostolic men at that time, as well as later, always directed their first attention to the Jews, and consequently entered the synagogue, although at Antioch, in Pisidia, an important crisis occurred in their zeal for Gentile missions (Acts 13:46); 2. that Paul, the younger messenger, appears more and more decidedly in the foreground; 3. that on their return the societies of converts were organized into fixed congregations, especially by the appointment of elders (Acts 14:23); 4. that the free spirit with which Paul carried on the missionary work among the Gentiles produced, in all probability, that reaction of the more rigid Jewish Christians which led to the first Apostolic Council, and Paul’s journey to Jerusalem in connection there-with; 5. that the enmity of the Jews against the preaching of the two men, especially of Paul, became more intense from his expulsion (in Antioch) to the attempt to stone him (in Iconium), and to his real stoning (in Lystra).
On the change of Paul’s name, various views have been advanced (see Winer, article Paul; Schaff, History of the Apost. Church, p. 226; comp. Com. on Romans 1:1). We are of the opinion that Saul, as a Roman citizen, was already in possession of a Roman name, but that, while at Cyprus, he was induced, not only by the friendship of Sergius Paulus, but especially by his antagonism to the false prophet who called himself Elymas the Sorcerer, the mighty magician, to term himself, as that man’s conqueror in the name of the Lord, Paul the small man (so far as David’s victory over Goliath had repeated itself here in a New Testament character); and particularly, also, because the Apostle, being now about to enter into active intercourse with the Grecian and Roman world, could travel more conveniently under a Roman name.
The second missionary journey passes over Asia Minor to Europe, and finds its farthest limit in Corinth. It is specially characterized by the following events: (1) The separation of Paul and Barnabas on account of Mark, and the beginning of a separate and independent mission of Paul, in which he was followed at first by Silas, and later by Timothy and Luke; (2) the tour of visitation into the earlier missionary field (Cyprus being passed over, and left to the care of Barnabas), which was changed into a new mission of colossal proportions; (3) the harmonization of the body of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians by means of the ethical principles established by the Church in Jerusalem (Acts 16:4); (4) the new stations: Cilicia (before the repeated visit of the elder stations), then Phrygia, Galatia, Troas; after this in Europe: Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth; also the persecutions, which varied in strength in proportion to the greater or less results of the preaching of the gospel; (5) the miraculous aid and manifestation of the Spirit, which led Paul to Europe (Acts 16:6-7; Acts 16:9); (6) the contrast between the ministrations of the Apostle in Athens and in Corinth; but we err if we suppose that Paul corrected his learned discourse in Athens by his exclusive preaching of the Cross in Corinth; (7) the meeting of Paul with Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth, which so greatly affected his subsequent mission; (8) the longer stay of the Apostle in Corinth, and the importunities of the Jews against him in the presence of the deputy, Gallio; (9) the new journey of the Apostle to Jerusalem for the accomplishment of a vow, during which he touches at Ephesus, and there makes preparation for his mission by leaving behind Aquila and Priscilla.
The third missionary tour is so far an enlargement of the second, as that Paul at this time makes Ephesus, in Asia Minor, his great object, which city he had been compelled to pass by in his journey, and which he could only touch at on his return. Apollos was his pioneer here, and the silversmith Demetrius became his principal opponent. His victory was, on the one hand, a triumph over the nocturnal magic of this city dedicated to Diana, the goddess of the Moon; and, on the other, over idolatry. This journey, which was at first supplementary in its design, assumed the character of a visitation; for Paul departed from Ephesus, and again visited the congregations in Macedonia and Greece. The supposition of a third missionary visit to the Corinthian church between the second and third missionary tours has been shown, in a variety of ways, to rest upon a misunderstanding (see my Apost. Age, i. p. 199). The third missionary journey is characterized by the more decided prominence of the missionary calculation and self-determination of the Apostle (see 1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians 1:15); by his miraculous works, especially in Ephesus and Troas (Acts 18:11; Acts 20:10); by the establishment of a metropolis of the church of Asia Minor, which was destined to become the home of John, and the maternal city of Christian speculation; by the founding of a larger association and Pauline school; and finally, by the decided premonition of his captivity which the Apostle felt, as he drew his missionary journey to a close, and entered upon his pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The performance of a Nazarite vow in Jerusalem (a step counselled by James) grew, from a measure of accommodation to the narrow views of the Jewish Christians, into an offence on the part of the Jews. It led to the persecution of the Apostle in Jerusalem, his abduction and imprisonment in Cæsarea, his appeal to the judgment-seat of Cæsar, and his transportation to Rome (in the year 62; according to Auger and Winer, in the spring of 61). From this captivity he was released (in the year 64), not only according to the testimony of tradition (Euseb., ii. Rom 22: λόγος ἔχει, Cyrill. Hieros., Hieronymus, etc.; see Winer), but also according to certain hints of the Scriptures, yet only, after a new journey for missions and visitation, to fall into a second imprisonment, and to suffer martyrdom under Nero.
Observations.—1. For a statement of relevant literature, see Reuss, 1. c., p. 54, 55, 56 sqq. [Smith, Dict. of the B., art. Paul, at the close, vol. iii. 763).
2. Ananias at Damascus, a predecessor of Barnabas for the introduction of Paul into the Church of Christ, as Stephen had been a predecessor of Paul himself.
3. Paul’s three years of instruction in the quiet solitude of Arabia, a counterpart and parallel to the three years of instruction spent by the twelve apostles in intercourse with the Lord. The latter was an external and historical communion; that of Paul was undoubtedly of a mysterious and internal character, and kindred to the great mysterious fact of his conversion. See my Apost. Age, ii. p. 123. [Schaff, H. of the Ap. Ch. p. 236; and Com. on Galatians 1:17.]
4. The development of the Apostle’s consciousness of his specific call to the Gentiles was gradual, and commensurate with the gradual definiteness of his call to the apostolic office in general. This may be seen from Acts 9:15; Acts 9:29; comp. Acts 22:21; Acts 13:46; Acts 19:9; Acts 28:17 sqq.; Galatians 2:0. But this call to the Gentiles did not exclude a purpose to convert the Jews; for not only must he first seek in the synagogues those heathen who were susceptible hearers of his message, especially the proselytes of the gate (Acts 13:48), but Paul also recognized the conversion of the Gentiles, apart from their personal salvation, as a means for the conversion of Israel (Romans 11:13-14). The gradual development of his apostolic knowledge by virtue of continued revelations and illuminations, was not precluded by the Apostle’s preparation, derived from a historical knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and of the life of Jesus, and by his great miraculous illumination when his call occurred.
5. On the person of Barnabas; on Cilicia, Antioch, Asia Minor, etc., see the relevant articles in the Biblical dictionaries. Also the introductions to the respective parts of this Commentary. On Antioch in particular, see my Apost. Age, ii. p. 158.
6. The reciprocal action between the three missionary journeys of the Apostle, and his pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the close of each of these journeys, are in themselves sufficient to overthrow as an untenable fiction Baur’s hypothesis above alluded to.
7. On the identity of the fact related in Gal. ii. with that narrated in Acts 15:0, see Reuss, p. 55, and Schaff’s History of the Apost. Church, p. 245 ff.
8. The relation of the apostolic deliberations in Acts 15:0 to the so-called Noachian commands, is also maintained by Reuss, 1. c., p. 56. See thereon my Apost. Age, ii. p. 184. Reuss maintains that Acts 15:21 avows the validity of the law for the Jewish Christians. But the absence of all dogmatic obligation in the same passage is very plain from the transactions of the apostolic council. Yet, as far as the national and ethical validity of the same is concerned, it was in perfect harmony with the apostolic spirit that the continuance of the law should not be violently abrogated. For the relevant literature, see Reuss, p. 56.
9. For a catalogue of the friends and followers of the Apostle, see the same, p. 58.
10. The Apostle’s missionary method and policy: (1) A prudent adjustment of his universal mission to the Gentile world, even to Rome, and the western limit of the Old World (Spain), to the primitive historical trunk of Christianity in Jerusalem—that is, the incorporation of the missionary spirit with the vital power of the Church. (2) Perception of the historical links for communicating the gospel to the world. Therefore he first turned hisattention to the Jews, and rose in their synagogues, but made full account of the prejudices of the Jews, and the receptibility of the heathen for Christianity. Therefore he embraced in his view, and also seized upon, the points of connection in the Gentile world (see his address at Athens on the inscription of an altar), and with equal clearness he discovered and opposed all real barriers to the truth (righteousness by works among the Jews; luxurious life in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:2; and the gloomy sorcery of superstition in Ephesus). (3) Most careful observance of Divine guidance to go forward or to hold back (Acts 16:6; Acts 16:9; Acts 25:10; Romans 1:13, etc.). (4) Careful consolidation of his missionary work, by instituting congregational offices, and the organization of congregations (Acts 14:22-23), and promoting the inner unity of the churches by their community of prayer and love (see especially the Epistle to the Philippians). (5) A comprehensive and free use of all chosen companions in faith for coöperation in the form of helpers, evangelists, messengers, and pioneers in a general sense. He is surrounded by his helpers; he sends them out upon new paths; he leaves them behind in churches already organized. That they may be strengthened and encouraged, the spirits of the gospel come and go in his presence, just as the messengers come and go at the court of a prince; he sets all the powers of faith in motion, in order to set all the world in motion. (6) He greatly advances the personal usefulness of himself and of his coadjutors, by his apostolical epistles. (7) The marvellous concentration, development, and elaboration of his doctrine in a manner adapted to the necessities of the congregations, and in perfect harmony with a most careful preservation of the fundamental character of his doctrine. The rock-like steadfastness and adherence to the doctrine of free grace, united with that most faithful development which is exhibited also in his style as a progressive creative power, producing a rich treasure of ἅπας λεγόμενα. (8) The supplementing of his burning activity by sacred retreats, when he sank even into the depths of visionary contemplation; likewise his union of apostolic consecration to the demand of the moment (see his Epistle to Philemon) with his all-embracing care for the whole Church and for its whole future.
11. On the three missionary tours and the life of the Apostle, and the particular events of the same, compare the Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, and the well-known works of Neander, Schaff, Thiersch, and Ewald, on the Apostolic Age, and the literature referred to by Reuss, p. 59 sqq.
C. The Second Imprisonment and the Martyrdom of Paul.
The second imprisonment has been lately discarded even by theologians who accept the authenticity of the Pastoral Epistles, such as Wieseler, Ebrard, Schaff, Thiersch (see my Apost. Age, ii. p. 374). Yet we still hold to the testimony of the old ecclesiastical tradition for the following reasons: (1) Because the Acts of the Apostles concludes at the time when the first imprisonment of Paul must have come to an end, without taking any cognizance of his death; (2) because the Apostle himself, about the end of this period, anticipated his deliverance (Philippians 2:24); (3) because the Pastoral Epistles—whose Pauline character cannot be doubted if we take into the account an advanced development of Christianity of some years’ duration—cannot be comprehended in the early career of Paul down to the year 64, without great violence; and the same in the case still more with the Apostle’s stay in Crete (Titus 1:0); (4) because the development of the germs of Ebionism and Judaizing Gnosticism, which are taken cognizance of in the Pastoral Epistles, is clearly indicated by the Epistles of the Apostle written some years earlier, during his imprisonment from 62 to 64, but had not gained the strength which they possessed at the time when the Pastoral Epistles were composed; (5) because the tradition of the Church distinguishes positively between the judicial execution of Peter and Paul, and the first great persecution of the Christians as a body under Nero; (6) the testimony of the Roman Clement (1 Cor. v.), that Paul came ἐπί τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως καὶ μαρτυεήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμενων, having been written in Rome, cannot refer to Rome, and supports the tradition, harmonizing with the purpose of the Apostle (Romans 15:24), that Paul visited Spain after his deliverance (comp. my Apost . Age, ii. p. 386).7
If we may judge from intimations in the Pastoral Epistles, Paul hastened, after his deliverance, first to Ephesus, where the Christian truth was threatened by the first development of Christian heresy. We cannot decide whether he was permitted to visit Jerusalem once more on this journey, as was anticipated by the Epistle to the Hebrews, and might be expected from the three visits of his earlier missionary tours. From Ephesus he went to Macedonia and Greece; then over Troas and Miletus to Crete. Afterwards he proceeded to Epirus, where he spent the winter in Nicopolis, and subsequently left Titus. He then directed his course westward, to the τέρμα τῆς δύσεως, where he was probably seized and taken a prisoner to Rome, before being able to found another permanent organization [in Spain].8 Meanwhile, Peter either came or was brought to Rome, and both suffered martyrdom there together (according to Clement of Rome, Irenæus, Tertullian, etc.; see the article Peter, in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopœdie). The Roman Church celebrates the death of Peter and Paul on the same day—the 29th of June.
[The views on the year of Paul’s martyrdom vary from 64 to 68. This question depends, of course, mainly on the question of the second captivity. Wieseler contends for the year 64, shortly before the great Neronian persecution (the only one properly authenticated by historical evidence), which broke out, according to Tacitus, Annal., xv. 44, in consequence of the configuration, July 19th, 64; but the general tradition of the Church connects Paul’s and Peter’s martyrdom with this persecution, which probably gave rise to several isolated executions afterwards. If we adopt the hypothesis of a second imprisonment, we may arrive at a more definite result by referring the ἡγούμενοι in the famous passage of Clemens Rom. (1 Corinthians 5:0, μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων, sub prœfectis martyrium subiens), either (with Hug, Intr. ii. 323, Hefele, Patres Apost., p. 61, 4th ed., and Döllinger) to Tigellinus and Nymphidius Sabinus, or (with Pearson) to Helius Cæsarianus and Polycletus, who in the last years of Nero, especially during his absence in Greece, a. d. 67, had charge of the government in Rome. In this case we get the year 67 or 68 for the martyrdom of Paul; and this agrees with the Catholic tradition based upon Eusebius and Jerome (who, in his Catal. Script., says most explicitly of Paul: “Hic ergo decimo quarto Neronis anno—i. e., a. d. 68—eodem die quo Petrus Romœ pro Christo capite truncatus sepultusque est, in Via Ostiensi). The Basilica of St. Paul, in commemoration of his martyrdom, now stands outside the walls of Rome (San Paolo fuori de’ muri), on the road to Ostia, and the Porta Ostiensis is called the gate of St. Paul. The traditional spot of his martyrdom, however, is a little distance from the Basilica, where there are three chapels, called The Three Fountains (Tre Fontane), in commemoration of the legend that three fresh fountains miraculously gushed forth from the blood of Paul’s head as it was cut off by the executioner, and leaped three times from the ground (“abscisso Pauli capite triplici saltu sese sustollente,” Acta Sanct., vol. vii., sub June 29th.) This legend is less credible than the beautiful legend connected with Peter’s death and perpetuated in the little church of Domine quo vadis, on the Appian Way. Comp., on Paul’s death and martyrdom, my History of the Apost. Church; Conybeare and Howson, vol. ii. 502 ff. (Lond. ed.); also Prudentius, Peristeph. Hymnus XII.; Bunsen, Beschreibung Roms, iii. p. 440; Alfred von Reumont, Geschichte der Stadt Rom (Berlin, 1867), vol. i. p. 374 f.—P. S.]
Observations.—1. On the treatises for and against the second captivity of Paul, see Winer, Real-Lexic., ii. p. 221, and Schaff, Hist. of the Apost. Church, § 87, pp. 328–343. The second captivity is also advocated by the work of L. Ruffet, Saint Paul; sa double captivité à Rome. Paris, 1860; and by Gams, Das Jahr des Martyrtodes der Apostel Petrus and Paulus, Regensburg, 1867. He puts the martyrdom of Peter in the year 65; that of Paul in the year 67. [Van Oosterzee (Com. on the Pastoral Epistles), Ewald (History of Israel, vol. vi., or Hist. of the Apost. Age, 2d ed. of 1858), Bleek (Introd. to the N. T., 1862), Huther (Com. on the Epp. to Timothy and Titus in Meyer’s Com., 3d ed. 1866), Conybeare and Howson, Alford, Ellicott, Wordsworth, and most of the English commentators on Paul, likewise favor the second Roman captivity. (Wordsworth, in the interest of Anglicanism, defends even Paul’s journey to Britain as well as to Spain). On the other hand, C. W. Otto (in his learned and astute work, Die historischen Verhältnisse der Pastoralbriefe, Lips. 1860), Niedner (Kirchengeschichte, 1866, p. 114), Meyer (Rom. p. 13 ff.), and again Wieseler (in his learned article on the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, in the last supplementary vol. of Herzog’s Encycl., 1866, vol. xxi. p. 276 ff.), oppose the hypothesis of a second Roman captivity of Paul. Adhuc sub judice lis est.—P. S.]
2. Further on the necessity of admitting a second captivity of Paul, see in the Bible-Work, The Pastoral Epistles, by Dr. Van Oosterzee, 2d ed., Introduction (Am. ed. vol. viii.), and my Apost. Zeitalter, ii. p. 386. Critical prejudices are often propagated, while the original motives and reasons are lost sight of, although such reasons, sprung, as they frequently are, from original misconceptions, have lost their apparent importance in the course of time. For example, the criticism against the second part of Zechariah has very clearly arisen from a misunderstanding. Thus many negations in the department of New Testament exegesis have arisen from some caprice of Schleiermacher, some fancy of De Wette, some rationalistic short-sightedness or some fixed idea of Baur, produced by the Hegelian theory of an officious construction of history.
[The question of the second Roman captivity of Paul is simply a historical problem, which has no doctrinal or ethical bearing, and which, in the absence of sufficient data, can never be solved with mathematical certainty. Those who, like Wieseler, Thiersch, Niedner, Otto, and others, hold fast to the Pauline origin of the Pastoral Epistles, lose nothing by denying a second captivity and trial; they save the whole extent of Paul’s known labors, and only compress them into a smaller number of years, thus intensifying rather than diminishing his activity. It must be admitted, however, that the hypothesis of a second captivity offers a considerable advantage in the defence and exposition of the Pastoral Epistles; for it is much more difficult to find a suitable place before than after the first Roman captivity of Paul for the composition of these epistles, and a number of historical facts therein assumed (such as a missionary journey of Paul to Crete, Titus 1:5; a visit to Troas, 2 Timothy 4:13; a pretty advanced state in the development of church organization, and of heresy, 1 Timothy 3-4), and to understand their farewell tone and general spirit, as compared with the earlier writings of the Apostle.—P. S.]
D. The Character of the Apostle
The character of the Apostle reflects itself in his work, as in his Epistles, and appears before us in the energetic and harmonious contrasts of a great apostolic spirit. He was as frank in his deep humility as the sincerest penitent (Philippians 3:6), and equally joyous in his acclamations over the all-prevailing faith unto salvation (2 Corinthians 12:10); steadfast in adherence to his convictions (Galatians 1:16), and at the same time cautious, considerate, and master of the finest and purest policy (Acts 23:6-7); full of enthusiasm, able to speak wondrously in tongues, and to rise to visionary and ecstatic states of mind (1 Corinthians 14:18; comp. my Apost. Zeitalter, i. p. 199 sqq.), and yet unwearied in active practical labors; speculative, profound, and at the same time a man of the people and a servant of the congregation; heroically strong and outspoken, and yet as tender and refined in feeling and taste as a virgin (comp. his Epistles to the Philippians and to Philemon); eagle-like in his universal view and work, but not less considerate in his regard and care for the smallest details; an imperious and commanding character, and yet the most dutiful servant of the Church; a cultivated rabbinical theologian, and at the same time a modest workman at a trade; burning in his love for the Lord and his brethren, and for this very reason overpowering in his moral indignation and rebuke of all that was opposed to the honor of his Master; a great Jew inflamed by a tragic sympathy with the Jewish people (Romans 9:2 ff., comp. 2 Corinthians 12:7), and nevertheless the most bitter opponent of all Pharisæism, old and new; of all the apostles the most hated, and yet the most beloved and popular; the most misinterpreted and misconceived (by Antinomians, Marcionites, Paulicians, etc.), and at the same time the most the studied and expounded. Thus Paul has developed the most magnificent life of a hero, whom the world could neither bend nor conquer, but whom Christ overcame with a miraculous glance of his glorious revelation. (Comp. Schaff’s Hist. of the Apost. Church, p. 441 f.)
Concerning the apostolic position of Paul, two points are to be observed in particular. First of all is the fact that he did not belong to the apostles of the first foundation of Christianity, but that he was charged with the apostolate of the first historical growth and expansion of Christianity into a universal character as the religion of the whole human race. He therefore has become, in an emphatic sense, the Apostle of evangelical reform in all succeeding periods of the Church. Secondly, the great opposition presented by the Pauline apostolate to all external legalism and stagnation in Christianity, is expressly declared in his call. He was not of the number of the historical disciples, witnesses, and chosen ones of the historical Christ; not a member of the apostolic college established by Christ during his pilgrimage on earth. Hurled down as an enemy by the risen Lord in a heavenly vision, he arose at once as a witness of faith and as one of the apostles, and received his apostolic authority only in heavenly voices from the Church (Acts 9:15); in his visions (Acts 22:21); in his commission from Antioch, the mother church of Gentile Christianity; in the living epistles which the Holy Spirit wrote in the form of vigorous churches of his planting (2 Corinthians 3:2 ff.); and in the decided recognition by the first apostles of the Lord (Acts 15:0; Galatians 2:0).
His apostolate remained doubtful to a great number of traditional Jewish Christians; the most rigid Jewish Christians rejected it, and persecuted him; and the later Ebionites loaded his memory with scorn, as an errorist and a heretic. The legalistic Christianity of the Middle Ages, while professing the highest respect for the name of Paul, has persecuted his doctrines as they have been exhibited in the principles of the Reformation, in the form of Jansenism, in the history of Port Royal, and in many other ways. Even in the Protestant evangelical Church there obtains a legalistic high-churchism, which, while it adheres to external legitimacy, traditionalism, and legalism, is opposed to the principles of Christianity, and especially to the apostolate and doctrine of Paul.
But, on the other hand, the antinomianism of all Christian ages has been based on a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of his doctrines. Amid these opposite extremes, there courses the mighty stream of pure blessings with which the Lord, by His Spirit, has sealed the testimony of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, and with which He will seal it to the end of time.
Thus Paul will still maintain his position with the other apostles in the Church of Christ. Yet we would not deny the measure of truth in the view of Schelling, that, as far as the prevailing type of the Church is concerned, the Petrine Church of the Middle Ages was followed by the Pauline Church of Protestantism, and that the perfection will hereafter appear in the Church of the Johannean type. It would be a great misunderstanding, however, to conceive of this type as a syncretism of Judaizing legalism and Pauline freedom. The higher synthesis of the genuine Petrine and the genuine Pauline theology can only be found in the deeper ideal development of the revelation of the law and the Spirit, as set forth by John.
Observations.—1. The natural disposition of the Apostle must be characterized as an even harmony of various temperaments and gifts in genial fulness and strength, and inspired by a heroic energy and vitality of soul. By virtue of this energetic vitality the same man could always remain consistent and true, and yet become all things to all men; he could stand and shine first in this and then in that pole of his wonderful endowments; at this moment in ecstasy, at the next as a practical man of action; now reminding us of the contemplativeness of a John, then of the fiery energy of a Peter; now musically lyrical in style, then acutely dialectical even to the subtlest distinctions; though possessing a tragical national sympathy for his people in his heart—the depth where his natural melancholy was reflected and transformed—he was as susceptible of joyous sentiments as a child, or rather as a man in Christ, in whom the freshest impulses of a sanguine temper were consecrated to God. And how powerful he was in holy indignation and wrath! If the Phlegmatic temperament consisted in cold indifference and dulness of spirit, Paul would be entirely free from it; but if we understand by it a natural disposition to perseverance, and tough tenacity, we must see that in this respect also he was richly endowed. His endowments reciprocally equalized and attempered themselves in his person as charismata, or gifts of the Spirit, as he himself desired (1 Corinthians 12:0) that all the various endowments should harmonize and concentrate in the Church.
2. The rich literature in connection with Paul and his theology is enumerated in the bibliographical works of Walch (Bibl. Theol., iv. p. 662 sqq.); Winer (Handbuch der theol. Literatur, i. p. 252 ff., pp. 294, 567; Supplement, p. 39); Danz (Universalwörterbuch der theolog. Literatur, p. 740 ff.; Supplement, p. 30); in the well-known Introductions to the New Testament [by De Wette, Credner, Reuss, Bleek, Guericke, Davidson], as well as the appropriate commentaries. Besides, we must also compare the works on the Apostolic Age by Neander, Schaff, Thiersch, Lange, Lechler, Ritschl, Ewald; also the works [of Schmidt, Van Oosterzee, etc.] on the Biblical theology of the New Testament. Against Baur’s Apostle Paul [2d edition, by Zeller, 1867, in 2 vols.] is especially directed the work of Lechler, already referred to [also, in great part, Wieseler, on the Chronology of the Apost. Age]. Of the many practical works on the Apostle Paul, we may mention: Menken, Glances into the Life of the Apostle Paul and the First Christian Congregation (Bremen, 1828); Ad. Monod. The Apostle Paul, Five Sermons (2d ed., German, Elberfeld, 1858 [also in English]); Naumann, Paulus—The First Victories of Christianity (Leipzig); Besser, Paul (Leipzig, 1861); M. Kähler, Paul, the Servant and Messenger of Jesus of Nazareth (Halle, 1862); Oswald, The Missionary Work of Paul (2d ed., Stuttg., 1864); Hausrath (semi-rationalistic), The Apostle Paul (Heidelberg, 1865). The life of the great Apostle has also been illustrated by poems, songs, and dramas. [Of English works, besides those already mentioned, Paley’s Horœ Paulinœ, Lord Lyttleton on the Conversion of St. Paul, and James Smith’s Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (London, 1848), deserve special mention as illustrating particular points, and strongly corroborating the historical character of the Acts and the Epistles. The instructive and entertaining descriptive work of Conybeare and Howson is generally known in America as well as in England, and admirably adapted for the theological lay reader. Comp. also the literature at the close of the article Paul in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible.—P. S.]
§ 3. THE EPISTLE OF PAUL
A. Their Historical Order
If we except the Pastoral Letter of the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem about the year 53 , the two Epistles to the Thessalonians are the oldest New Testament epistles. They were written from Corinth in the year 54 or 55, not long after the establishment of the congregation, and in consequence of the chiliastic excitement of the same during the second missionary journey of the Apostle. The Epistle to the Galatians was written about 56–57, in Ephesus, during the third missionary journey. The two Epistles to the Corinthians were written by Paul from Ephesus and Macedonia, about the year 58; and soon afterwards, about the year 59, he composed the Epistle to the Romans, from Corinth. Between the years 62–64, if not a little earlier, the Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon were written; and toward the close of the first Roman captivity, the Epistle to the Philippians. A little later still, the Epistle to the Hebrews proceeded from the company of Paul, about contemporaneously with the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The First Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus must be assigned to the interval between the first and second captivity, 64–66. The last of the Pauline Epistles, the Second to Timothy, was written about the year 67. As to the untenableness of the hypothesis of a Third Epistle to the Corinthians, as well as of an Epistle to the Laodiceans, different from the Epistle to the Ephesians, comp. my Apost. Zeitalter, i. p. 205 [and Dr. Wing, in Com. on 2 Corinthians, p. 7.—P. S.].
Observations.—1. Compare the Introductions to the commentaries on the various Pauline Epistles.
2. Several critics (Schulz, Schneckenburger, Schott, Wiggers, Thiersch, Reuss, Meyer, Schenkel) are of the opinion that the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, and that to Philemon, were written during the captivity of Paul at Cæsarea. The principal argument is made to lie in the circumstances relating to the slave Onesimus, who ran away from his master. Onesimus, it is assumed, could more easily have escaped from Colosse to the neighboring Cæsarea, than to distant Rome. But why did not, then, Onesimus flee to some place which lay still nearer at hand? We could well imagine that a slave in Colosse would have a more decided disposition to escape to the world’s metropolis—the refuge of fortune-seekers and adventurers—than to Cæsarea. Besides, in a sea-voyage it makes little difference whether the distance be long or short. It is easier for a German fugitive to flee by sea to America, than by land to Spain. All remarks on the probably greater expenses of the voyage to Rome, and on the probably greater strictness in Rome, are as inconclusive as the principal argument. The other argument is derived from the following circumstance: If Tychicus, according to the usual supposition, had made the journey from Rome to Colosse with Onesimus, then the two travellers must first have arrived at Ephesus. But now the Apostle, in Ephesians 6:21, where he recommends Tychicus to the Ephesians, makes no mention of Onesimus, while the same Onesimus is mentioned and heartily recommended, Colossians 4:9. But the latter fact admits of a simple explanation. The poor Onesimus was at home in Colosse, and must now be received as a Christian by the congregation there. To this end he certainly needed the recommendation of the Apostle. But of what use could be the recommendation of the Colossian slave to the Ephesians church, for which he had no signification whatever? If we maintain that the Epistle to the Ephesians was an encyclical letter to those congregations of Asia Minor which were subsequently grouped definitely in a cycle, then the strange assumption that Onesimus must have been introduced to all the seven churches, will appear still more strange. In the first argument we miss all traces of the sea-breeze; in the second, all evidence of apostolic decorum. Moreover, it would be very difficult to prove that the way from Cæsarea must have led by Colosse to Ephesus, and not vice-versâ, if one will only remember the advantages of a sea-voyage. We will direct attention to only one of the reasons for the composition of the already-mentioned Epistles in Rome. The Apostle, before his imprisonment, Romans 1:10, had informed the Romans that he was just then about to come to them;—now, should he have forgotten this solemn promise in Cæsarea, under delusive hopes of a speedy deliverance, and engaged lodgings among the Colossians (Philemon 1:22)? But the chief argument, in our opinion, lies in the very advanced development of the churches of Asia Minor both in sin and righteousness, as it is reflected in those Epistles. Such a development presupposes at least a period of from three to four years.
B. Their Contents
Every Epistle of the Apostle bears the imprint of a historical occasion, by which the contents of the same are shaped.
The congregation at Thessalonica was misled, amid its persecutions, into a chiliastic excitement; hence the Epistles addressed to it partake of an eschatological character.
The Epistle to the Galatians is chiefly soteriological, or an exposition of the righteousness of faith, in opposition to the Judaistic righteousness of works, which was urged by the false Galatian teachers.
The Epistle to the Romans is also soteriological, but in view of the more general antagonism between grace and the righteousness of faith, to the general corruption which we observe in the mutual self-boasting of heathen Christians and Jewish Christians.
The Epistles to the Corinthians possess an ecclesiastical character, since the First Epistle indicates the true Church, with polemical reference to the disturbances and corruptions in the life of the congregation; while the Second establishes the true ministerial office, in apologetic self-defence against the attacks of his personal opponents.
The Epistles to the Colossians and to the Ephesians bear a decidedly christological impress; the former brings out chiefly the ante-mundane (preëxistent) and exclusive mediator-ship and glory of Christ, in opposition to the Colossian errorists; the latter establishes mainly His subsequent exaltation over all things, in opposition to dogmatic perversions and dissensions.
The Epistle to the Philippians has a christological-pastoral and prominently ethical character, in so far as the Apostle makes the, favorite congregation of Philippi his special co-worker in his apostolic office; and in order to make that congregation ethically complete, he holds up for its imitation the life of Christ.
The Epistle to Philemon is decidedly pastoral, with special reference to the care of souls.
Of the three Pastoral Epistles, properly so called, the First to Timothy, as well as that to Titus, were above all designed as the apostolic regulation for pastoral church government; and the Second Epistle to Timothy was prominently designed as the apostolic rule for the pastoral conduct and call.
Observations.—1. The specific fundamental thoughts that control every one of the Pauline Epistles (as of the Biblical works in general), are still very much neglected, to the injury of a truly organic, anatomical, synthetical and analytical exegesis. These writings are often not only treated as dead objects, but they are dissected in every direction, as if they were destitute of all organic structure.
2. Dr. Baur is not only frequently surprised when he finds a new Pauline Epistle containing something new, but he makes this point a means of suspicion.
C. Their Authenticity
On the verifications of the Pauline Epistles by the testimony of Church history, compare the passage in the New Testament, 2 Peter 3:15, and the testimonies of the Fathers, as Kirchhofer has collected them in his Quellensammlung for the history of the New Testament Canon, down to Jerome (Zürich, 1842), and as they have been treated in the introductory works of Credner, Reuss, Guericke, and others, as well as in the respective commentaries. On the apocryphal literature connected with the name of Paul, see Winer, ii. p. 222.
Among these pseudo-Pauline works, deserve especial mention the spurious correspondence between Paul and Seneca the philosopher, which is contained in the apocryphal collection of Fabricius, ii. p. 880 ff.; and an imaginary third Epistle of the Apostle to the Corinthians, composed as a substitute for one which was imagined to be lost (see my Apost. Zeitalter, i. p. 205), together with a spurious epistle of the Corinthians to Paul, which therefore proceeded from a misunderstanding (see De Wette, Einl., p. 271). The false conjecture of a special Epistle to the Laodiceans, on the ground of a misunderstanding of Colossians 4:16 (where we are to understand rather the Epistle to the Ephesians as intended also for Laodicea, the last of the Ephesian cycle of congregations), has given rise to a fictitious Epistle to the Laodiceans (see my Apost. Zeitalter, ii. p. 211). Certain critics have missed also another Epistle to the Philippians (De Wette, p. 271). Compare the article in Herzog’s Real-Encycloœdie, Pseudepigraphen des Neuen Testaments. The false Acts, which have been attributed to Paul, are: Acta Petri et Pauli; Acta Pauli et Theclœ. The Ebionites, moreover, have caricatured the portrait of the Apostle Paul in the most shameful manner, and stamped him with the likeness of a heresiarch (see Neander, Kirchengesch., 3d ed., i. 198).
Appendix.—The criticism of the school of Baur proceeds really on two pre-suppositions, with which the founder has alienated himself from the Christian standpoint, and surrendered himself fully to a pantheistic philosophy. Baur has evidently designed to compensate for his want of respect for the matter and spirit of revelation, by a superstitious yielding to the masters of science; and his success was facilitated by the fact that his great learning and subtle acuteness, or his mere scholarly attainments, have served to hide his far greater incapacity of judgment concerning the phenomena of actual life; and that gravity of his inquiry and method has blinded the readers to his frivolous undervaluing of the religious and even of the moral spirit of the Biblical writings. His superstitious veneration for the mere method and forms of science was already apparent in his Symbolik und Mythologie, which he wrote while yet a follower of Schleiermacher, in the years 1824–’25. To whom else than to him could it ever have occurred to divide such a historical work after the scheme of Schleiermacher’s Dogmatics, and to describe, first, “the pure and universal feeling of independence,” and then “the antithesis of sin and grace which enter into the religious consciousness?” Such a disciple of Schleiermacher, after he had become a follower of Hegel, must, with the same slavish superstition for science, and with the same want of perception of the peculiarity of the object, pervert, by his Ebionitic hypothesis, the evangelical and apostolic history, according to the Hegelian misconception of the development of life and history. Under such circumstances there could, of course, be no proper discrimination of the different conceptions of imperfection and perfection, nor any true appreciation of original and new historical principles and factors. But his yielding was only a partial one, so long as he was not fully immersed in the pantheistic view of Hegel; or rather, it appeared only partial so long as he did not, with Strauss and his school, apply this view to the evangelical history and its witnesses, in order to judge them upon the principle that miracles are impossible. In the end, his superstition, which he had transferred from Schleiermacher to Hegel, led him to the belief that his own science and school were infallible.
Such a spirit of scholastic superstition, which gradually arose to fanaticism, was naturally connected with a great want of practical common sense, and an incapacity of judgment concerning the real facts of life. We pass by the first indication of the same, the entire absence of faith; for “faith is not given to every man.” We do not speak, therefore, of a defect of religious, but of scientific and moral judgment.
As far as the scientific appreciation of objective facts is concerned, we ask once more: How can a scholar write a history of mythology and religion according to the classification of Schleiermacher’s Dogmatics? Further, how can a scholar, endowed with sound judgment, write a history of the Christian Gnosis, and make an unheard-of leap from the old Gnostics clear over the whole Middle Ages (Scholastics and Mystics), down to Jacob Bœhm, with a very superficial touch on Manichæism and on Augustine? How can one write a history of the doctrine of the atonement, which should have its point of departure in the Gnostic dualism, and its aim in the Hegelian system? If this can be accomplished, then truly can the history of the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as of the incarnation of God, be made to run out into the desert of Hegelian pantheism. If this be possible, then can one easily interpret historical deeds allegorically (the Epistle to Philemon, for example), and, on the other hand, explain literally what is really an allegorical composition (the Apocalypse).
The worst of all inadequacies are moral ones. It betrays a very perverted taste, when one can regard the Gnostics as a central force of development in the conflict between the Pauline and Johannean theology; and likewise, when one so far misconceives the old distinction between apocryphal and canonical writings as to think that a religious romance of later date, falsely called the Clementine Homilies, is made a proper standard for the adjudication of the Biblical writings. But it is worst of all to attribute to the Biblical books studied and intentional tendencies of human parties, and even crafty fabrications. In this respect, Baur and his school have far transcended even Strauss. This is a psychological phenomenon, which can only be saved from the charge of immorality by the largest stretch of charity, and the assumption of an excessive scholastic fanaticism in the treatment of difficult critical problems.
On these premises the value and probable fate of Baur’s criticism of the New Testament writings, which has spread like an avalanche in Eastern Switzerland, France, and Holland, is easily determined. This false system has arisen from a diseased, superstitious worship of modern philosophy and criticism, and developed into maturity. But it is doomed to utter destruction, since it has no root in the objective facts of revelation and of the kingdom of God, but is chiefly grounded in the pantheistic and abstract idealistic conceptions of modern culture. We do not say, in the sound culture itself. The only plausible occasion and excuse of this false system is the fact that the ideality and the universality of the historical Christ, together with His roots and ramifications throughout the whole human race, have not always been sufficiently appreciated in the orthodox theology of the Church. The beginning of a better appreciation does not certainly belong to the school of Baur, but only the heretical perversion and defacement of the same.9
§ 4. THE CHARACTER OF THE PAULINE EPISTLE.—HERMENEUTIC HINTS
According to Tholuck (Epistle to the Romans, p. 22), strength, fulness, and fire are the spiritual characteristics of the Apostle, and they are reflected in his style. He adduces two statements from the early Church concerning the Apostle’s manner of speech. The first is by St. Jerome, Epist. 48 ad Pammachium,10 c. Romans 13:0 : “Paulum proferam, quem quotiescumque lego, videor mihi non verba audire sed tonitrua. Videntur quidem verba simplicia, et quasi innocentis hominis ac rusticani, et qui nec facere nec declinare noverit insidias, sed quocunque respexeris, fulmina sunt. Hœret in causa; capit omne, quod tetigerit; tergum vertit, ut superet; fugam simulat, ut occidat. The second statement, from Chrysostom, De Sacerdotio, i. 4, 7, compares the Apostle to an iron wall, which surrounds, with his Epistles, the churches of the whole world; and to a noble military chieftain, who leads captive all modes of thought, and brings them into subjection to faith, etc. Tholuck adds, that Paul is lauded as a master of eloquence in a fragment of the heathen critic Longinus, though critics have declared the passage doubtful (see Hug, Einl. in’s N. T., ii. p. 334).
Tholuck then proceeds to say: “With these oratorical gifts there are connected also defects; namely, an excessive conciseness and pregnancy of expression, and carelessness in the formation of sentences, which produce those numerous anacolutha (?). This leads us to the hermeneutical question, which has an important doctrinal bearing, whether these peculiarities of form are at all detrimental to the clearness and definiteness of the thought. In this respect, no commentator has uttered more severe complaints against the Apostle than Rückert (comp. his Christliche Philosophie,* ii. p. 401, and the introduction to the first edition of his Commentary on the Romans).”11 Tholuck: very justly remarks against Rückert, that defects of style do not necessarily arise from obscurity of thought on the part of the author, “least of all with intuitive, and at the same time fervid characters. The thinking of Paul is intuitive, but coupled with acute penetration, which was refined and sharpened by rabbinical culture almost to the excess of subtlety; therefore, when there is a want of logical clearness in his writings, we must seek the cause partly in the overflow of his abundant ideas, and partly in the impatience of his vivacity.” We must distinguish, he says, difficulty from obscurity. But when Tholuck advances the opinion, that no writer of later times stands so near the Apostle in excellencies and defects as Hamann, we must hesitate to accept the conjunction. Paul’s obscurity proceeds from a fulness of vital energy, and is really only the result of a quick movement, of a clear profundity, and of a perfect originality; and must certainly be distinguished from the obscurity of a one-sided scholastic taste and defective and perverted style. Tholuck maintains the perfection of the Pauline thought, while he acknowledges an imperfection of expression.
Against this view, R. Rothe, of Heidelberg [died 1867], has raised his voice in his acute essay, New attempt to elucidate the Pauline passage, Romans 5:12-21. “According to Rothe, the apparent irregularity of Paul’s style arises solely from the depth and acuteness of his thoughts, from the carefully-wrought elaboration of his purpose, and from that preciseness of expression which, the more studied it is, the more easily it approaches abruptness.” Tholuck cites a similar expression of Baur (p. 24), but endorses, on the contrary, the view of Calvin: Quin potius singulari Dei providentia factum est, ut sub contemptibili verborum humilitate altissima hœc mysteria nobis traderentur, ut non humanœ eloquentiœ potentia, sed sola spiritus efficacia niteretur nostra fides. In favor of this interpretation, Tholuck makes use of the Apostle’s own declaration, 1 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:6. The second passage does not belong here at all, and the first has an ironical sound, and does not prove what Tholuck designs to establish by it.
In the treatment of this question the following points must be especially taken into consideration:
1. The New Testament idiom generally is now no longer regarded merely as the lowly “form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7), compared with the classic language; hence there is no more reason why the Pauline expression and style should be regarded in this light when compared with the classic method of composition; provided we do not apply here the standard of the taste and judgment of the world. The New Testament idiom in general is a pneumatic development or transformation of the Grecian language. The apostolic expression has thus the prerogative of its special peculiarity, conditioned by its new spiritual life. This peculiarity may be regarded in the main as the free commingling of Hebrew directness and Hellenic accommodation; or, in other words, as the primitive Christian style, whose characteristics are the highest simplicity and vivacity in conjunction with the highest penetration and consecration of soul.
2. Down to the present time the comprehension of the Biblical books has been essentially retarded by regarding them too little as original creations, and by inquiring too little into their fundamental thoughts. Several critics have applied to them the conception of ordinary book-making and book-writing, and even of book-patching—a conception which is utterly antagonistic to all understanding of the historical books of the Old Testament and of the New Testament Gospels, and which also prevents a proper comprehension of Biblical inspiration. We should conclude thus: The fundamental thought of the book is inspired by the Spirit of revelation, according to the measure of the degree of revelation in the Old Testament, and of the link of revelation in the New Testament; but all the single portions of the book are immediately inspired—that is, animated and controlled by its fundamental thought; therefore, also mediately inspired by the Spirit of revelation. But among the prevailing conceptions, the Rabbinical, lifeless, atomistic, scholastic view of the book, is reflected in the picture of the book. The dead conception casts its dark, spiritless shade upon the living object. So long, therefore, as we do not here apply the conception of single spiritual organisms, we cannot distinguish the whole from the parts, nor the parts from the whole. Most of our definitions, divisions, and anatomical dissections of Biblical books furnish the proof that our theology has not yet reached the scientific standpoint which Cuvier attained in natural science (palæontology); for he knew how to construct the whole figure of the animal from a single fossil bone. In support of this opinion, we need only to recall the opinions of Schleiermacher on the Epistle of James, De Wette’s view of the Epistle to the Ephesians, and Baur’s representation of the Epistle to the Romans, which he made to lie comprehended in chapters 9, 10, and 11. Rückert likewise professes to find in the Epistle to the Romans, and in other books, certain obscurities and confused statements—in which charges Fritzsche justly recognizes the obscurities of the critic himself. The acceptance of numerous digressions on the part of Paul is well known; and even Tholuck does not regard the Epistle to the Romans quite free from them.
As far as the organic unity of the Pauline Epistles is concerned, we would make the following statements as a guide.
(a.) Every Pauline Epistle has a clearly-defined fundamental idea which controls the entire contents of the Epistle.
(b.) This fundamental thought shapes not only the division, but also the introduction and conclusion, and even pervades all the slender threads.
(c.) The introduction is determined by the Apostle’s method, which seizes the appropriate point of connection with a congregation or a person, in order to develop the argument into its full proportions.
(d.) The introduction is followed throughout by a fundamental or didactic theme (proposition), which the Apostle proceeds dogmatically to elaborate.
(e.) This elaboration arrives at a final theme, from which the practical inferences are carefully drawn.
(f.) The conclusion corresponds so exactly to the fundamental thought of the Epistle, that it is reflected in all the single parts.
We shall illustrate these principles by presenting our analysis of the Epistle to the Romans. But we must first be allowed to make some observations on the remaining Pauline Epistles.12
The fundamental theme of the First Epistle to the Corinthians is a determination of the proper condition of a Christian congregation, as made one by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in opposition to the character and shades of partisanship; 1 Corinthians 1:9-12. The final theme is, accordingly, a recommendation of stability and of a sound growth in conscious hope; 1 Corinthians 15:58. In the first part of the execution Paul shows that he, with his fundamental preaching, would yet not have the church become Pauline in any sectarian or partisan sense; 1 Corinthians 1:13 to 1 Corinthians 4:20. He furnishes at the same time, in an apologetic form, a polemical argument against the partisan attachment to Apollo. The second part opposes the different forms of antinomianism that arose mainly from a misconception of the Pauline doctrine of freedom, 1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 11:1. (Disorderly marriages. Heathen tribunals. Whoredom. Mixed marriages. Meals made of idolatrous offerings. True and false freedom. Meat offered to idols.) In the third part those errors are discussed which prevailed chiefly among the Petrine Judaizing Christians, 1 Corinthians 11:2-14. (The dress of the synagogue in the congregation. Separatism at the communion. Jewish self-boasting, especially with regard to the gift of tongues.) The fourth part teaches the real resurrection in opposition to the spiritualism of the “Christ-Party” (οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, 1 Corinthians 1:12), 1 Corinthians 15:1-33. The final theme is a demand that the sentiment of unity become practical: a. In the collections for the Jewish Christians in Palestine, b. In the active sympathy with Paul’s labors among the Gentile Christians. c. In the proper recognition of the friends of Paul, Timothy, Apollos, Stephanas, etc. The point of connection in the introduction is the rich charismata or spiritual gifts of the congregation, placed in the light of grace, and of their necessary preservation until the coming of Christ. In the conclusion we find, together with abundant greetings of brotherly communion, an admonition to salute one another with a holy kiss, and an anathema pronounced against declension from the love of Christ; which, without doubt, applies to separatism or sectarianism, especially that of a spiritualistic character.
Having set forth, in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the true unity of a Christian congregation endowed with the gracious gifts of the Spirit, he portrays, in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, in form of self-defence, the proper official functions in relation to a congregation. The fundamental theme, 2 Corinthians 1:6-7. The unity of the Apostle with the congregation in all his official sufferings and joys with reference to the visit which he designed to make to them. The final theme is a demand that the congregation should be so built up by the Apostle’s word, that his visit to them might be a source of joy and not of sorrow, 2 Corinthians 12:19-21. 2 Corinthians 12:1. The Apostle’s official sufferings, 2 Corinthians 1:8—2 Corinthians 2:13. (His sufferings in Ephesus, and their prayers for him. His distress at being prevented from visiting the Corinthians forthwith to do them good. His affliction at the previous letter, an evidence of his love. Removal of the sorrow by the restoration of the penitent. His care for them.) 2. The Apostle’s official joys, 2 Corinthians 2:14—2 Corinthians 4:6. (His triumphs in Christ. His epistle of commendation, the Corinthian Church. The splendor of the New Testament office, and its glorious strength which supports the official incumbents themselves. The enjoyment which his office afforded.) 3. Official sufferings and joys in close conjunction, 2 Corinthians 4:7—2 Corinthians 7:16. (The life of the apostles in its contrasts. Their death the life of the Church. Their pilgrimage below, their home with the Lord. Their zeal in the love of Christ. Their condition in the new life. Their message of reconciliation. The conduct of the Apostle in his service of God should bless the Church by awakening and encouraging it to holiness. Certainly this should be the case, after the cheering report that the Apostle had received from Titus of the effect of his First Epistle.) 4. The common sufferings and joys of the office and the congregation, and their effect in creating sympathy and benevolence, 2 Corinthians 8:1—2 Corinthians 10:1. (The example of the Church in Macedonia. Official tenderness and prudence in suggesting and encouraging a collection, and in the institution of the diaconate. Encouragement and promises.) 5. The defence of the office in opposition to the charges made against it which threatened to sunder the office and the congregation, 2 Corinthians 10:2—2 Corinthians 12:18. (Prudence in the official or self-defence of the Apostle. The epistolary form is the expression of forbearance, but not of cowardice or inequality in conduct. Enforced expression of self-respect in contradistinction from vain self-praise. The liability of congregations to be misled by false apostles. The unselfishness of the Apostle in contrast with their selfishness. The painful self-defence that was wrung from him. His works and his weakness. His contemplation and ecstacies, and the thorn in his flesh. His signs and wonders in the midst of them. His self-denial and readiness to be offered for the Church. Also in the sending of Titus.)—The final theme, 2 Corinthians 12:19-20. The execution: a demand of the congregation that they be so equipped as not to need the painful exercise of his official discipline, 2 Corinthians 13:1-10. The introduction: the point of connection. Praise to God for a common comfort in a common sorrow. The conclusion: a reminder to reciprocal consolation in harmonious action.
The fundamental theme of the Epistle to the Galatians is the solemn establishment of the Pauline gospel for the Galatian Church, in view of its departure from the same, by a conditional anathema pronounced against those who preach a heterogeneous gospel, Galatians 1:6-9. The admonition made in the final theme corresponds to this—Galatians 5:1—to stand fast in the liberty, and not to be entangled again in the yoke of legal justification. Development of the fundamental theme. The Apostle proves the worth of his gospel: 1. By his divine apostolic call and independence, Galatians 1:10-24. Galatians 1:2. By the recognition of the congregation at Jerusalem, and of the “pillar” apostles, Galatians 2:1-10 Galatians 2:3. By the yielding of Peter to his evangelical principle, Galatians 2:11-21. Galatians 2:4. By the personal experience of the Galatians, Galatians 3:1 to Galatians 5:5. By the character of the Old Testament itself, namely, by the relation between Abraham with the promise, and Moses with the law, Galatians 3:6-24. Galatians 3:6. By the proof that the law, as a schoolmaster, has been abrogated by the coming of Christ, Galatians 3:25—Galatians 4:7. Paul then makes an application of these arguments: 1. To the aberration of the Galatians, Galatians 4:8-16. Galatians 4:2.To the false teachers, Galatians 4:17-18. Galatians 4:3. To himself, and his disturbed relation to them, Galatians 4:19-20. Galatians 4:4. His address to the sticklers for the law, and his conviction of them by the law, Galatians 4:21-27. Galatians 4:5. His address to the brethren in the faith. Reference to the contradiction between the bond and the free, Galatians 4:28-31.—Development of the final theme: Stand fast in the liberty of Christ, a. The consequences of legal circumcision maintained as a doctrinal principle, Galatians 5:2-13. b. Warning of a misconception and abuse of freedom. The law, in its truth, is transformed into the law of love and of the Spirit, Galatians 5:14-21. c. The evidence of the life in the Spirit as the law of freedom, in the practice of the virtues of love, humility, meekness, etc., for the restoration of true conduct by all. The antagonism between sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit, Galatians 5:25—Galatians 6:11. The conclusion, Galatians 6:11-18 : A reminder of his grief which expressed itself also in a repeated warning, preaching of the cross, and a conditional invocation of blessing. Reference to the last word, Galatians 6:17. Appeal to their spirit, Galatians 6:18. There is no need of showing how perfectly the short exordium—where the point of connection significantly disappears or is clothed in the expression of surprise, Galatians 6:6—corresponds to the whole epistle.
The Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians represent the absolute unity in Christ, to which all the faithful, and with them all humanity and the world, are called. Their difference, however, consists in this: the Epistle to the Colossians derives this unity from the fact that Christ is the principle, the ἀρχή, of all life, as well of creation as of resurrection; and this is done in opposition to the Colossian errorists who, with Christ, would also honor the angels as vital agents and mediators, and who constructed a dualistic antagonism between spirit and matter. The Epistle to the Ephesians, on the other hand, represents Christ as the τέλος, the glorified head, in whom all things are comprehended after the eternal purpose of God. Accordingly, these Epistles, though possessing great external resemblance, yet stand in an internal harmonious contrast, as the Alpha and Omega in Christ, which is highly adapted to explain the relation of the elementary points of agreement and disagreement among the synoptical evangelists.
The Epistle to the Colossians institutes as its fundamental theme, the truth: Christ, as the image of God, is the ἀρχή, the πρωτότοκος, the author both of the first creation and of the second—the resurrection, Colossians 1:15-18. To this the final theme corresponds: Having risen with Christ, look forward toward the heavenly riches in the glorified Christ, Colossians 3:1-2. Development of the fundamental theme: In Christ there is all fulness. Absolute reconciliation, even of the heathen, for the evangelization of whom the Apostle suffers and labors, being deeply concerned that they might become one in Christ. Consequently, he warns them against false teachers who make divisions between Christ and the angels, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, spirit and body, and who, by a false spirituality, fall into carnal lusts, Colossians 1:19—Colossians 2:23. The final theme: Looking for the unity with the heavenly Christ in expectation of the revelation of his future glory. Inferences: Laying aside of fleshly lust. Unity in the life of the new man. The virtues of the life in Christ. Sanctification of the domestic life, of a home to the unity in Christ. Communion of prayer, also with the Apostle and his work. The proper course toward the world in accordance with this prayer, Colossians 3:1—Colossians 4:6. Conclusion: Sending of Tychicus. Recommendation of Onesimus. Greetings. Occasion of community of life with the Ephesian circle, Colossians 4:7-18. The conclusion as well as the introduction is also here in full accordance with the fundamental thought. The connecting point of the introduction lies in Colossians 1:4-5, together with the praise of Epaphras and the invocation of blessing, as well as the common thanksgiving for the redemption which has established a new standpoint.
The fundamental theme of the Epistle to the Ephesians represents the risen and glorified Christ as the object eternally appointed, and openly declared such by the calling of the faithful, and as the head of the congregation for the comprehension and unity of all things, Ephesians 1:20-23 (a truth designed to console and cheer the Church of Asia Minor). To this the final theme corresponds, Ephesians 4:1-6. The unifying power of Christ declared in the fundamental theme has shown itself: (a.) In the heathen becoming with the Jews one household of God. (b.) It exhibits itself in the joy with which Paul, in conformity with the manifestation of the eternal mystery of their election, invites them to the gospel salvation and suffers for them. It should, therefore, manifest itself also in the joy and hope of the Ephesians. Accordingly, the Ephesians, Ephesians 4:1-6, should preserve the unity of the Spirit (a.) The gracious gifts of the individual, as an assigned endowment, is a bond of unity and not a ground of separation, Ephesians 4:7-10. (b.) The official organism is appointed to train up all to the perfect manhood of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-16. (c.) This unity requires the separation from the heathen sinful lusts by the renewal of the life, Ephesians 4:17—Ephesians 5:14. (1. Proper conduct toward every man, truth, meekness, justice, chastity of speech, spirituality, freedom from passion, kindness and philanthropy, love. 2. Avoiding of heathen vices.) (d.) It demands prudence, redemption of the time, caution, and a zeal which does not come from exciting stimulants, but by spiritual songs and thanksgiving, Ephesians 5:15-20. (e.) It demands reciprocal submission and a sacred harmony of domestic life, Ephesians 5:21—Ephesians 6:9. (f.) It demands watchfulness, energy, equipment, self-defence, and war against the kingdom of Satan, Ephesians 6:10-17. On the other hand, the advancement of the kingdom of God in all saints and in the work of the Apostle by prayer and intercession, Ephesians 6:18-20. The conclusion characterizes this sermon on Christian unity as a message for solace and encouragement by Tychicus, in connection with the sufferings of the Apostle. And in the same sense must we understand the magnificent doxology of the introduction, with its invocation of blessings.
In the Epistle to the Philippians the difference between the didactic and parenetic word appears but slightly, since the entire Epistle is pervaded by the feeling of the personal community of the Apostle with the Church at Philippi. Nevertheless, even here it may be observed. In the words, Philippians 1:8-11, he speaks of his heart’s desire that his dear Church should become perfect in every respect unto the day of Christ; that it might abound more and more, be purified, and be filled unto the glory of God. To this the final theme corresponds, Philippians 4:1. The call: that they might continue to be his joy and crown in the Lord. The fundamental thought, the principal theme, discloses itself first in the communication of his experience at Rome, and of his state of mind in consequence thereof, because he designed that the Philippians, by virtue of their wider unity with him, should avail themselves of it in their own experience, Philippians 1:12-30. Then he exhorts them to improve their unity by means of the humility of every individual, in imitation of the example of the humble self-humiliation of Christ—a passage which gives this Epistle a specifically christological character, though it is viewed in its ethical aspect and bearing, Philippians 2:1-11. Next to humility, the Church should increase its inner spiritual tension and efforts, Philippians 2:12-16, stimulate the members to rejoice with him,—for which purpose he will also send Timothy to them, as he sends Epaphroditus, Philippians 2:17—Philippians 3:1. But then, too, the experience which he had made in Rome concerning the opposition of the Judaizers (Philippians 1:15) causes him to warn them decidedly,—after the intimation of Philippians 1:28,—against their plots, with reference to his own relation to them, Philippians 3:2-6. Then follows the declaration how far he had left the legalism of these opponents behind in his knowledge of Christ, his faith in justification by free grace, and his struggle after perfection, unto the resurrection of the dead and the life in heaven; in which respect they, too, should be his companions against the enemies of the cross of Christ, Philippians 3:7-21. The explication of the final word indicates pointedly to that which the Apostle had occasion to censure. A disagreement between Evodias and Syntyche must be removed; elements of oppression, bitterness, anxiety, and division must disappear; the members must be like the Apostle in continual striving after what is good, Philippians 4:2-9. With this reminder the Apostle also connects a high recognition of the Church’s Christian life of love, which it had shown, now as before, by contributing to his support—a privilege which he, in his keen sense of independence, granted to no other congregation, Philippians 4:10-20. The conclusion corresponds, with his invocation of blessing (Philippians 4:19), to the. fundamental thought, and with his greeting, to the key-note, of the Epistle. The connecting point is found in Philippians 4:6.
The Epistles to the Thessalonians.—The First Epistle is pervaded by the fundamental thought: The Lord will come speedily; the Second, by the thought: The Lord will not yet come speedily. Both of these are in accordance with the truth; because, in the first part, the question is concerning the coming of the Lord in his dynamic rule in a religious sense; and in the second part, concerning the coming of the Lord in a definite historical and chronological sense.
The theoretical theme of the First Epistle is contained in the words, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, etc.). Accordingly, the whole of Christianity, particularly that of the Thessalonians, is eschatological: a waiting for the coming of the Son of God from heaven, as the Saviour from future wrath. (a.) The labors of Paul among them have corresponded to this waiting, and their conduct amid the persecutions of the times should also correspond to it, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16. (b.) The Apostle has been careful of the condition and steadfastness of the Church, as he was so soon separated from it. His propositions to visit them again. The sending of Timothy. He has been encouraged by the account of Timothy, 1 Thessalonians 2:17— 1 Thessalonians 3:13. (c.) Admonition of the true course of conduct in that expectation (the true “saints of the last day”). No polygamy, or lust of the flesh; no separation; no excited wandering about, instead of quiet labor, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12. (d.) Instruction concerning the relation of those who are asleep to the coming of the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. (e.) The question after the times and seasons. Answer: As a thief in the night, Romans 5:1-3. The practical theme: Watch, 1 Thessalonians 5:4. Development: According to your spiritual nature; your daily life; your calling; your relation to Christ. Inferences: 1 Thessalonians 5:5-21. Conclusion: The invocation of blessing in harmony with the fundamental thoughts, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Connecting point of the introduction. The Thessalonians are successors of the apostles and of the Lord by the joy of their faith, according to their hope amid many tribulations, 1 Thessalonians 1:3-6.
In the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians the fundamental thought appears: that the judgment of the Lord upon the world will first be matured—in consequence of the persecution of the Christians; and the worthiness of the faithful must be assured before the Lord will come for the execution of the final judgment and for the redemption of his children, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8. (a.) Fuller declaration as to how the maturing of the judgment is connected with the maturing of the faithful, 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12. (b.) Warning against chiliastic delusions, as if the day of the Lord were at hand in a chronological sense, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2. (c.) How the whole development of unbelief and apostasy must precede the appearance of Antichrist (comp. Matthew 24:24; the Revelation), 2 Thessalonians 2:3-14. The final word, 2 Thessalonians 2:15 : Steadfastness, according to his instructions. Inferences: Prayer for the mission of the gospel; love and patience, discipline, industry, beneficence, and stability. The handwriting of Paul himself as a warning against chiliastic delusions. The connecting point of the introduction: The endurance of the Thessalonians in their faith, in the midst of the persecutions, 2 Thessalonians 1:4.
The Pastoral Epistles constitute, so far a parallel to the Epistles to the Corinthians, as that the First Epistle to Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus, teach, according to the analogy of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, how the congregation should be officially watched, directed, and further developed. In the Second Epistle to Timothy, on the contrary, Paul, in anticipation of his martyrdom, instructs his pupil to become, in his official work, his spiritual successor, and thus to reproduce the life-picture of the apostolic office which is portrayed in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians.
The theme of the First Epistle to Timothy is the renewed scriptural transmission of the Divine commission which the Apostle received when he was called to establish the real life of faith and of the Church, to Timothy, his substitute in Ephesus for that special sphere, 1 Timothy 1:18. According to the measure of this commission he expresses a wish in the greeting that he might possess a rich measure of grace, 1 Timothy 1:1-2. Accordingly, he should remain in Ephesus and watch over and protect the pure doctrine against Judaistic errors and the germs of Gnosticism. The object of the preservation of orthodoxy was the edification of the Church in piety and pure love. The pure doctrine should maintain a pure heart, a pure conscience, and a pure faith, 1 Timothy 1:5. The immediate occasion was chiefly the Judaizing Christian zealots for the law. Therefore the Apostle characterizes his relation to the law. If he lays great stress on the fact that he, too, had once been a blasphemer and a persecutor, he at the same time gives his true estimate of that zeal for the latter, and declares how he has been led beyond it, by the mercy of God, to become an example of faith, whose defence he now gives over by letter to Timothy. This official call is a call (a.) to conflict, because the apostates oppose the faithful, 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 1:20. (b.) To the demand for universal love and intercession for all sorts and conditions of men (in opposition to Jewish particularism), 1 Timothy 2:1-7. (c.) To the furtherance of universal custom, according to which the women should not dare to announce themselves as (Judaizing) prophetesses, 1 Timothy 2:8-15. (d.) To the promotion of the true organization of the congregation. 1. The bishop, or, which is the same thing, the presbyter and his house. 2. The deacon and the deaconess. 3. The management of the house of God in general, according to its divine nature, 1 Timothy 3:0. (e.) For the settlement and fighting of the germs of error which might ripen in the future. Gnostic errors and principles, 1 Timothy 4:1-11. (f.) For the self-guidance of the ecclesiastical officer, 1 Timothy 4:12-16. (g.) For the proper conduct toward every one, especially according to the distinction of old and young with reference to the service of the congregation (the men, women, and widows). Special direction on the treatment of the widows in general, especially on the employment of the old widows for the good of the congregation. Special direction on the proper treatment and distinction of the elders, as well as on the proper prudence at the appointment and ordination for offices. Care over his own deportment and health (1 Timothy 5:24-25, is said with reference to the trial, 1 Timothy 5:22). Care of the servants in the Church, 1 Timothy 5:1 to 1 Timothy 6:2. The final statement, 1 Timothy 4:3-5. Inferences: Doctrinal disputes, and their worldly motive, 1 Timothy 4:5-10. Renewed inculcation of the command (commission), Romans 4:12; 1 Timothy 4:16. Concluding word, 1 Timothy 6:17-21.
The Epistle to Titus. The commission which the Apostle gave to Titus for Crete, is differently expressed from that given to Timothy for Ephesus. His chief task was the appointment of presbyters in the single congregations, together with a further development of the Church at Crete, Titus 1:5. Accordingly, the Apostle describes first of all the requisites of elders, with reference, no doubt, to the new experiences at Crete, and also the intrusion of Judaizing seducers, Titus 1:6-16. Then the proper care of the congregation, and pastoral work of Titus, with reference to special relations, ages, and classes of society, Titus 2:1-15. Finally, the guidance of Christian Cretans into proper conduct, especially in regard to the avoiding of a disturbing, quarrelsome, and passionate spirit with reference to the goodness of God in Christ, Titus 3:1-7. The Apostle confirms this direction by his final theme, Titus 3:8. It is in accordance with his statement of the requisites of the presbyters, Titus 1:9-10, that he forbids him from meddling with the scholastic controversies of the errorists, especially the legalists; and admonishes him first to deal practically with sectarian men, and then to avoid them,Titus 1:9-11. The concluding word: The sending of Tychicus, special appointments, and greetings. The introduction is an expression of the Apostle’s authority, and of the authorization of Titus.
The Second Epistle to Timothy was designed, as has been already said, to conduct Timothy further into his official life, so that he, as the favorite spiritual son of the Apostle, might enter into the footsteps of the latter after his departure from this world. This is expressed by the fundamental thought, 2 Timothy 1:6-8. The Apostle strengthens this fundamental thought, first, (a.) By God’s call to be saved, 2 Timothy 1:9-10. (b.) By his own call to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, 2 Timothy 1:11-12. (c.) By Timothy’s relation as a scholar to him, 2 Timothy 1:13-14. (d.) By reference to the unfaithful and the true, 2 Timothy 1:15-18. He then develops the fundamental thoughts, (a.) He must be strengthened by faithful co-workers, 2 Timothy 2:1-2. (b.) His readiness to suffer, and his endurance, after the example of Paul in imitation of Christ, 2 Timothy 2:3-13. (c.) Shunning the spirit of controversy. The injurious fruits of the same must be perceived (Hymenæus, Philetus); and oppositions and distinctions in God’s house must be rightly understood. Timothy must avoid impure persons, and all lusts and fruitless scholastic controversies; he must honor, instruct, and restrain in the proper spirit, 2 Timothy 2:14-26. The Apostle exhibits, finally, the fundamental thought by contrasting the future condition of the errorists and that of the apostolic disciple. The latter shall stand fast in the tradition of Paul—that is, in the New Testament, and in the Holy Scriptures—that is, the Old Testament, 2 Timothy 3:0. The final proposition, 2 Timothy 4:1-2, is a solemn transfer of his commission to the beloved disciple. Exposition: The future of the errorists and of the errors requires true apostolic men. Timothy must stand firm in the critical times, because his teacher is about to depart, 2 Timothy 4:3-9. But Timothy must soon come to him, since he is almost isolated. Account of his condition, 2 Timothy 4:9-18. Concluding word, invocation of blessings, supplements, and greetings. The introduction is in harmony with the Epistle; an expression of intimate relationship between the teacher and the disciple, and of reliance on the inner call of the latter. As a legacy in anticipation of early death, the Second Epistle to Timothy is related to the Second Epistle of Peter.
The single portions of the Epistle to Philemon group themselves about the recommendation that Onesimus be received again, Philemon 1:10-12. The preceding parts are chiefly introductory to this central point; the subsequent verses are the amplification. The conclusion, like the introduction, refers to the call of Paul and the congregation at Colosse.
The directness of the Apostle, which is peculiar to him as a religious and also as a truly Hebrew genius, may be regarded as resulting from an intuitive state of mind; yet, in this respect, he stands below the festive contemplation of John, for the reason that he, being endowed with greater energy, exhibits a more fervent zeal and a more practical turn. The style of John reminds us, therefore, of the most spiritual poesy; that of Paul, on the other hand, of the most fiery eloquence. The culture of the latter conforms to this view. Already in the school of the rabbis he had learned the rabbinical, reflective form of thought—a system of dialectics which proceeds by questions, objections, and answers, and by deductions ad absurdum from the history of theocracy. But by his intercourse with the Greeks he had also learned the Grecian method of reasoning, which meets us, for example, in 1 Corinthians 15:0. His own manner of expression was, however, modified by two elements, which must be taken into proper account, if one would get rid of the unfounded prejudice concerning the alleged burdened periods and obscure abruptness of the Apostle.
The first element is the liturgical, which arose in part from devotional reminiscences, and in part from prayerful attitudes of unusual depth, and from a lofty, adoring condition of his heart. The liturgical form frequently transcends the historical and dialectical structure of the periods, and this, too, in consequence of that continuity of devotional feeling which moves through a succession of rhythmic pauses. We may refer to Psalms 107, 136 as specimens.
The most important form of this character is the long sentence at the beginning of the Epistle to the Ephesians 1:3-14, which has often been misjudged by the Grecian standard, and caused so many glosses. We read it liturgically as follows:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (things) in Christ:
According as He hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world:
That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself:
According to the good pleasure of his will—to the praise of the glory, of his grace—
Wherein (in which grace) He hath made us accepted (called) in the Beloved:
In whom (the Beloved) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins:
According to the riches of his grace (—justification—);
Wherein (in which grace) He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence (—the glorification on the intellectual side—);
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure—
Which (good pleasure) He hath purposed in himself, in the dispensation of the fulness of times (epochs, καιροί):
That He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which (all things) are in heaven, and which (all things) are on earth, even in Him:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ:
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:
In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise (—which was effective also in the Old Testament promise—):
Which is the earnest of our inheritance (—the common inheritance of God’s people—) until the redemption (full liberation) of the purchased possession (—from among the Jews and Gentiles—):
Unto the praise of his glory!
In the exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, we shall make the observation that the difficulty in its concluding words can only be solved by viewing them as a liturgical form (already indicated in our statement of its contents); just as the difficulty in Romans 9:5 can only be explained by the assumption of a liturgical reminiscence.
In the place of the burdened periods, therefore, we substitute lyrical expressions which are liturgically simple, and in place of most of the supposed anacolutha, vital and vigorous brevities. As the former arose from the religious school and sentiment of the Apostle, so the latter came from his fervid vivacity and his rapid, ecstatic feeling in the midst of his daily work. In the preceding doxology we must supply a brief statement in place of an apparent want of connection (Romans 9:13). Such abridged sentences are especially noticeable in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where, Romans 2:28-29, the expressions Ἰουδαῖος and περιτομή have to be repeated. Therefore, with Cocceius, in Romans 5:12, we simply take the ἐλάβουμεν from Romans 5:11, and put it into Romans 5:12, in order to explain the much-discussed anacoluthon (διὰ τουτο ἐλάβομεν); whereby it is to be observed that Paul used the word λαμβάνειν emphatically in the sense of a personal, moral appropriation, to which the ἐφ’ ᾧ πάντες ἥμαρτον in Romans 5:12 corresponds.
We can, in the main, only repeat here the characteristics already referred to. As far as the Apostle’s method of representation is concerned, the peculiar feature of the so-called Pauline rhetoric must be found in the union of the strictest methodical progress of thought with the richest concrete expression; the union of a wonderful, intuitive depth with the most versatile dialectics, of an exalted contemplation with the most mighty practical tendency, of the most comprehensive view with the most minute observation, of a flight of diction often lyrical and festive with the severest didactic distinctions, of the most original power of creating language (vid. the ἅπαξ λεγόμενα of the Apostle) with the most felicitous use of conventional expressions.
On the style of Paul much has been written, from St. Jerome down to C. L. Baur’s Rhetorica Paulina, 1782, and later works. Comp. the literature in Guericke, Isagogik, p. 289 [p. 278 of the 3d ed., 1868.—P. S.]; Reuss, p. 64; Schaff, History of the Apost. Church, § 153, p. 611 ff., and Bern. Alb. Lasonder, Disquisitio de Linguœ Paulinœ Idiomate, Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1866.
§ 5. THE PAULINE THEOLOGY
The doctrinal system of the Pauline writings, as to its traditional or retrospective side, is connected with the system of James through that of Peter; and, as to its universal and prospective side, with the doctrinal type of John through the Epistle to the Hebrews. We must maintain at the outset, on the one hand, the essential identity of the Pauline doctrine with that of all the apostles (against the view of Baur and the Tübingen School); and, on the other hand, the most marked peculiarity of the Pauline manner of contemplation and form of expression. We agree with Neander that Paul gives us a more fully developed system of theology than any other apostle; but we confine this to the form merely. For, as regards the matter of thought, John evidently represents the perfection of New Testament theology.
The peculiar character of Paulinism has been diversely construed. We find it in the idea that Christ, as the Son of God and Saviour of the world, who finished His historical work by His atoning death and glorious resurrection, is the absolutely new man, and, as such, the principle of a new spiritual creation in man (καινὴ κτίσις); that He is, retrospectively, or in His relation to the past, the principle of the election of the faithful as it began to be actualized in the creation of the world, in their appointment to salvation, and in their holy calling; and that He is, prospectively, or in His relation to the future, the principle of a new justification before God, of a new law of the soul, of a new life, of a new humanity, which, in and with Him, died because of the universal guilt of the old race, but which, being reconciled to God by the atoning death of Christ, rose with Him to a new and heavenly life.13
Note.—It is utterly foolish to assign to Paul, as some have done, a middle position between the recognition of the Old Testament—with the Jewish apostles—and the Gnostic Marcion. Paul, in his own way, is just as much a believer in the Old Testament as James (comp. Romans 4:0, Galatians 3:0, and other passages). Only his special calling was the apostleship to the Gentiles, with its antithesis to Pharisæism and to the letter of the law, as well as with its principle of the perfect freedom of the gospel in Christ. Christ was, to the Apostle, the religious law—the law of the Spirit. The external law was to him, in a religious relation, only a pedagogic or educational symbol, and was ethically limited by the religious principle—Christ. For this reason he spiritualized the Old Testament word (Galatians 3:24), the Jewish theology, and even the Jewish rabbinical dialectics, and converted them into an instrument of Christian doctrine and instruction. He did the same thing with the fundamental forms of Grecian and Roman culture (see Acts 17:0; Romans 13:1 ff.)
§ 6. THE LITERATURE ON THE EPISTLES AND ON THE THEOLOGY OF PAUL
Comprehensive lists of the literature in question are given at the close of § 2 (p. 14). The works on New Testament theology, and on the doctrines and writings of the apostles, by Lutterbeck (The New Testament Systems), by Neander, Schaff, Messner, Lechler, and others, belong in this place. [Among English works of this class, Thos. D. Bernard, The Progress of Doctrine in the N. T. (Bampton Lectures for 1864), 2d ed. Lond., 1866, is especially deserving of notice.—P. S.] Then come the prominent writings on the Pauline system in particular, by Meyer, Usteri, Hemsen, Schrader, Dähne, and relatively Köstlin (The System of the Gospel, and the Epistles of John, and kindred New Testament Systems). Baur, The Apostle Paul [2d edition, by Zeller, 1867]. Also, Ewald, The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, Translated and Explained, Göttingen, 1857. Simar, The Theology of St. Paul, Freiburg, 1864 (Roman Catholic). Next come the works on the Acts of the Apostles, especially the Commentary by Lechler and Gerock [translated for the Am. ed. of this “Biblework,” with additions by Charles F. Schaeffer]. The treatises on Paul and his theology, in a broad and narrow sense, are extremely numerous. We may mention Scharling, De Paulo Apostolo, ejusque adversariis, commentatio, Havniæ, 1836; Tischendorf, Doctrina Pauli de vi mortis Christi satisfactoria, Lips., 1837; Räbiger De Christologia Paulina contra Baurium, Vratislav., 1846; Holsten, On the Word σάρξ, Rostock, 1855; Hebart, The Natural Theology of the Apostle Paul, Nürnberg, 1860; Lipsius, The Pauline Doctrine of Justification, etc., portrayed according to the four chief Epistles of the Apostle, Leipzig, 1853; Lamping, Pauli de prœdestinatione decreta, Leuwarden, 1857; Beyschlag, On the Christology of Paul; Bleek, Lectures on the Colossians, etc. Berlin, 1865. [Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, Lond. and New York, 1853, etc., 2 vols, (three rival editions published in America, two of the popular abridgment in 1 vol., 1869); Bungener, St. Paul, sa vie, son œuvre et ses épîtres, Paris, 1867; H. F. L. Ernesti, The Ethics of the Apostle Paul, Braunschweig, 1868 (154 pp.).—P. S.]
Homiletic and Ascetic Literature on the Epistles of Paul.—Bengel, Periphrasis of the 14 Epp. of Paul; Schalch, Practical Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles, in Sermons, Schaff hausen, 1839; Stier, Discourses of the Apostles, 2 parts, Leipzig, 1829 and 1830; Thiess, The Journey from Jerusalem to Damascus; Gallery of Pauline Sermons, Schleswig, 1841; Couard, Sermons on the Conversion of the Apostle Paul, Berlin, 1833; Blunt, The Life of the Apostle Paul, 24 Treatises, translated from the English, Meissen, 1861. Comp. also the serial sermons on the pericopes, or Scripture lessons, many of which are selected from the Epistles of Paul. Among these we may mention the collections of Harms, L. Hofacker, Kapf, Mynster, Ranke, Stier, Nitzsch, Deichert, etc. Finally, we must remember the Repertories by Brandt, Lisco, Schaller, and others.
II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION.—THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS
§ 1. ROME, AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
As the light and darkness of Judaism was centralized in Jerusalem, the theocratic city of God (the holy city, the murderer of the prophets), so was heathen Rome, the humanitarian metropolis of the world, the centre of all the elements of light and darkness prevalent in the heathen world; and so did Christian Rome become the centre of all the elements of vital light, and of all the antichristian darkness in the Christian Church. Hence Rome, like Jerusalem, does not only possess a unique historical significance, but is a universal picture operative through all ages. Christian Rome, especially, stands forth as a shining ideal of the nations, which is turned into an idol of magical strength to those who are subject to its rule.
The old heathen Rome, as the residence and centre of the universal Roman monarchy, came, as Hegel says, like the destroying tragical Fate upon the glory of the ancient world. But the same Rome which, as the unconscious instrument, executed the Divine judgments upon all the centres of ancient civilization, became also the spiritual heiress, the emporium and centre of all the secular culture of antiquity, and the preliminary condition and basis for the universal development of the congregation of Christ into the Catholic Church.
Rome was the end of the old heathen world, and for this reason it became the beginning, the universal home and point of departure of the new Catholic Christian world—a Janus temple on a large scale. It was Rome’s appointed mission to effect the union of the Gentile and Jewish churches, the union of theocratic faith and humanitarian culture, the union of the Christian East and West, the union of the old civilized nations and the wandering barbarians; and (in historical reflection of the pedagogic Mosaism of the Old Testament (Galatians 3:0) to carry on the pedagogic, legal, and symbolical office of training the nations of young Christian catechumens into a ripe age of faith.
But as the Roman genius was unable to thoroughly appropriate and reproduce the ancient culture, especially in its Grecian glory, so was it unable to comprehend Christianity in all its fundamental depth, and to give it ecclesiastical shape and form. Its calling was, to popularize the old literary treasures, as well as the treasures of Christian faith, according to the necessity of the barbarians, and to adjust them to their dawning intellect. As soon as Rome had succeeded in bringing its pupils to a point of maturity, its status of culture was surpassed, in a secular sense, by the revival of Grecian letters [in the fifteenth century], and in a spiritual sense, by the evangelical confession [in the sixteenth]. Rome, however, has never recognized its bounds, nor the limits of its endowment and mission. In the same proportion in which it has been eclipsed, it has resisted every progressive movement with the fanaticism of contracted egotism, and has thus incurred the judgment of history.
Rome appears first within the horizon of the Old Testament apocalyptic prophecies as a dismal picture of the future, in the prophet Daniel, Romans 7:7 ff. The fourth beast of Daniel’s vision—notwithstanding all modern objections—can only be the universal Roman monarchy. This is evident certainly from the fact, among others, that the third universal monarchy, the Macedonian (Daniel, Romans 7:8), is marked by the same symbolical number four; apart from the consideration that the portrayed antichristianity, Romans 7:0, is eschatological, while the antichristianity of Romans 8:9 can only be a typical prelude—the antitheocracy of Antiochus Epiphanes. And as Rome appears first in the Bible in a prophetic light, so does it appear last in a prophetic light, in the Apocalypse (Romans 17). There, it destroys every thing as the instrument of judgment; here, it is destroyed as an object of judgment. The first historical connection of Israel with Rome was a friendly one, 1 Maccabees 8, 12. In the apocryphal period, Judea was made a dependence of Rome by Pompey; and the same man laid the foundation of the Jewish colony in Rome, which, though in a pitiable condition, yet had the high and universal mission to mediate the transition of Christianity from Jerusalem and Antioch to Rome (see Acts 28:0).
Comp. the article Rom in Winer’s Real-Lexicon, in Zeller’s Biblischem Wörterbuch (Römer, Römerbrief, Rom), and in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopädie. Special works on Rome have been written by Piranesi, Platner, Bunsen, Gerhard, Canina, Becker,
Fournier, Gregorovius, etc. Special evangelical essays: Chantepie de la Saussaye, Trois Sermons sur Rome, Leyder, 1855; Schröder, Aus 14 Tagen in Rom, Elberfeld, 1861. [Alfred von Reumont, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, Berlin, 1867 sqq., 3 large vols.; a learned, able and interesting work, by one who resided many years in Rome, and had every facility for his task.—P. S.]
§ 2. THE ROMAN CONGREGATION
The first beginnings of the congregation of Roman Christians cannot be historically determined. The primitive Christian tradition has placed the first existence of the Church, or, at any rate, the first preaching of Christ in Rome, even as far back as the days of the earthly life of Christ. It is said that the wonderful career of Jesus in Judea was first made known by rumors, then by various eye-witnesses, and then by Barnabas (see Clemens Rom., Recognit. Romans 1:6 sqq.)14
This old Christian legend is closely followed by the Romish ecclesiastical tradition, according to which the Apostle Peter founded the church of Rome. Peter is said to have gone to Rome in the second year of Claudius (a. d. 42) for the overthrow of Simon Magus, and to have resided twenty-five years in Rome as the first bishop of the church established there by him.15
The grounds against this tradition are well known: (1) When Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, about the year 59, Peter was not yet in Rome, and had never been there (comp. Acts 19:21; Romans 15:20 f.; 2 Corinthians 10:16). [For it was the principle and practice of Paul not to interfere with the labors of the Jewish apostles, or to build on another man’s foundation.—P. S.] (2). When Paul, according to the Acts of the Apostles, came to Rome, about the year 62, he found no trace of Peter there. (3) There was likewise no trace of Peter in Rome when he wrote from that city his Second Epistle to Timothy, which we must safely assign to his second captivity—about the year 66. On the contrary, we find (4) Peter still in Jerusalem at the time of the Apostolic Council, about the year 53 . We meet him, (5) still later, in Antioch, according to Galatians 2:0—about the year 55. And latest, (6) in Babylon (in Assyria), where he wrote his First Epistle to the Christians of Asia Minor.16
But the Second Epistle of Peter, composed in anticipation of his approaching death, seems to have been written from a prison, and that a prison in Rome; and the ecclesiastical tradition of Dionysius of Corinth (Euseb., Histor. Eccl., ii. 25), which affirms that Peter died a martyr in Rome simultaneously with Paul, cannot be set aside by any weighty arguments. Yet Meyer makes the excellent remark, that the Epistle to the Romans—which implies the impossibility of Peter’s presence in Rome before it was written—is a fact which destroys the historical foundation of the Papacy, so far as it pretends to rest on that Apostle’s establishment and episcopal government of that church.
The tradition which transfers the Roman church back to the days of Jesus, has been carried out to an extreme in several fictions.17
Yet there is an element of truth at its root, viz., the fact that the Messianic hope of the Jews in Rome was early excited, perhaps during the earthly life of Jesus, by a historical knowledge of His appearance; for among any considerable number of Jews there were pious individuals waiting for the Messiah’s coming. “It is now admitted on all hands,” says Tholuck, “that the seeds of the gospel could be brought to Rome by the Jews who were present at the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:10), and by the Jewish Christians who were scattered in different directions after the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Such an early period is substantiated by the mention of such Christian teachers in Rome as had been converted before Paul (Romans 16:7); by what the Apostle says of the wide-spread renown of the Church (Romans 1:8), and its wide extent, since they met together in various places of the metropolis, Romans 16:5; Romans 14:15; and finally by the probability that, in consequence of the great influx of foreigners to Rome, Christians from a distance were early found among the number.”
The Jewish population in Rome was one of the larger colonies, like those in Assyria, Babylon, Alexandria, etc. Its parent stock were the Jewish slaves that had been brought by Pompey to Rome. It increased from the beginning by Jewish travellers, and afterwards by numerous proselytes. The enslaved Jews had, for the most part, received their freedom under Augustus.18
The Emperor Tiberius (Sueton., Tib. 36; Joseph., Antiq. xviii. 3, 5), and subsequently Claudius, drove them from the city (Acts 18:2; Sueton., Claud. 25); but they soon returned in great numbers, and dwelt under the rule of later emperors, although severely oppressed by taxes (Sueton., Domit. 12), and, in part, miserably poor (Juvenal, iii. 14; vi. 542). “Under the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Nero, there were Jews even in the imperial household; and Poppæa, Nero’s wife, was herself attached to the Jewish faith. So great was the number of Jews in Rome, that the Jewish embassy sent to Augustus after the death of Herod, was joined by eight thousand Jews in Rome (Joseph., Antiq. xvii. 11, 1).” (Tholuck.) On the celebrated mysterious word of Suetonius concerning a decree of the Emperor Claudius in the year Rom 52: “Judœos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit,” comp. Neander, Kirchengesch. i. p. 52.19
At the time when the Apostle wrote his Epistle to the Romans, there were in Rome many converts who openly professed Christ (Romans 1:0), and met for worship in several houses (Romans 16:0). [The congregation, moreover, must have already existed several years before 58, since Paul “these many years” (ἀπὸ πολλῶν ἐτῶν, Romans 15:23, comp. Romans 15:22; Romans 1:13) had a desire to visit them, and since he mentions, among the Christian teachers in Rome, such as had been converted before him, Romans 16:7.—P. S.] The stock of this Christian community was no doubt of Jewish descent (Romans 4:1); but the Gentile Christian element also was considerable (Romans 11:13 ff., Romans 11:25), as we may expect in view of the large number of Jewish proselytes in Rome. We may safely assume that the Church was just as much founded by Gentile Christians from Antioch, as by Jewish Christians who witnessed the first Pentecost at Jerusalem. We learn, moreover, from Romans 16:0, that the most prominent members of the Church were adherents of Paul. And there is every probability that Paul, in a comprehensive church policy, had prepared the way for the proper founding and organization of a united congregation in Rome, as in Ephesus, by previously sending out faithful disciples—Aquila and his wife Priscilla. As these were his pioneers in Ephesus, so were they in Rome. Says Meyer [on Rom., p. 21, 4th ed.]: “As Paul had been so eminently successful in Greece, it was very natural that apostolic men from his school should bear evangelic truth further westward, to the metropolis of heathendom. The banishment of the Jews from Rome under Claudius (Sueton., Claud. 25; Acts 18:2) was a special occasion made use of by Providence for that end. Fugitives to neighboring Greece became Christians, and disciples of Paul; and, after their return to Rome, were heralds of Christianity, and took part in organizing a congregation. This is historically proved by the example of Aquila and Priscilla, who, when Jews, emigrated to Corinth, lived there over a year and a half in the company of Paul, and subsequently appeared as teachers in Rome and occupants of a house where the Roman congregation assembled (Romans 16:3). Probably other individuals mentioned in Romans 16:0 were led by God in a similar way; but it is certain that Aquila and Priscilla occupied a most important position among the founders of the congregation; for among the many teachers whom Paul greets in Romans 16:0, he presents his first greeting to them, and this, too, with such flattering commendation, as he bestows upon none of the rest.”
The much-disputed question concerning the national and religious constituents of the Roman Church is intimately connected with the question as to the occasion and aim of the Epistle to the Romans.
In discussing this point, we must start with certain clear distinctions. The difference between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians must not be confounded with the difference between non-Pauline and Pauline Christians. Aquila and Priscilla, for example, were Jewish Christians, but they belonged decidedly to the school of Paul. On the contrary, there were in the Galatian congregation Gentile Christians who permitted themselves to be estranged from the Apostle Paul by the Judaizing party spirit. Likewise, those weak brethren or Jewish Christians who were entangled in legalistic anxiety (ἀσθενεῖς), must be distinguished from the false brethren, or heretical Ebionites, who gradually come into view; and so must we distinguish, among the Gentile Christians, those who were genuine disciples of Paul from those who proudly advocated an antinomian freedom of conscience. Even among the rigidly legalistic Christians there arose very early an antagonism between the adherents of Pharisaic legality and Essenic holiness.
It is clear, not only from historical relations, but also from the present Epistle, that the national Jewish element in the Roman Church must have been very important, and that it constituted the first basis of the Church; see Romans 2:17 ff; Romans 4:1 ff; Romans 7:4 ff.
At the same time, however, the Gentile Christian element in the Roman Church had become very strong, and was perhaps predominant. This we must infer from the historical relation. “Christianity, which took root first among the Jews, found an easier entrance in Rome among the heathen, because, in Rome, the popular heathen religion had already incurred the contempt of both the cultivated and ignorant classes (see Gieseler, Ch. Hist., i. § 11–14); therefore the inclination to Monotheism was very common, and the multitude of those who came over to the Jewish faith was very large (Juvenal, Satyr. x. 96 ff.; Tacit., Ann. xv. 44; Hist. v. 5; Seneca in Augustine, De Civ. Dei, vii. 11; Joseph., Antiq. 18, 3, 5). But how much more must this liberal religion, so elevated above all the bonds of a repulsive legal rigorism, as it was preached by Aquilas and other Pauline teachers, receive attention and support at the hands of those Romans who were discontented with heathendom.” (Meyer.) That this was really the fact in the Roman church, is evinced by the many appeals addressed to the Gentile Christian portion, Romans 1:5-6; Romans 1:13; Romans 11:13 ff.
Both elements in the Church must have been strong, as appears from the fact that the Apostle places together, throughout the Epistle, Jews and Gentiles, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, in order to bring them into union and harmony, as, from a different fundamental thought, he did in the Epistle to the Ephesians. In the greetings and introduction we find Jewish and Gentile Christians spoken of with equal regard. The theme of the Epistle, Romans 1:14-17, expressly applies the gospel alike to Jews and Greeks. In the exposition of the unrighteousness of the human race, the Gentiles and Jews are placed together in the light of searching truth, Romans 1:18; Romans 3:20. Likewise, justification by faith is applied in the most positive manner to Jews as well as Gentiles, Romans 3:21 to Romans 5:11. Also the participation in the death of Adam and in the new life in Christ, Romans 5:12 to Romans 8:39. So, likewise, the two economies of judgment and mercy in the history of the world, Romans 9-11. Even in the exhortation the distinction again appears; the weak in faith and the free; the severe and the scornful; the weak and the stong, Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:7; yet here the other opposition between the non-Pauline and the Pauline Christians is also taken into account.
Though we cannot say with absolute certainty that the Gentile Christian portion of the Roman church was predominant, yet it is plain that the Pauline type did predominate in such a measure that the Apostle looked upon the church, in spirit, as his church. If we look at the single congregations in private houses, which the Apostle greets in Romans 16:0, we find Aquila and Priscilla at the head of the first mentioned, which was probably the most prominent; and these were Jewish Christians, and yet decidedly Pauline. Likewise the warm and friendly terms with which he greets the most of the others, prove that he could regard them as his spiritual companions in the strictest sense of the word. This can be seen here and there from the contents of the Epistle. As the Apostle regarded himself, with justice, in the most specific sense, as the chosen Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 1:5—a consciousness which, according to Galatians 2:0, involved neither a conflict with the apostles of the Jews, nor a neglect by Paul of the Jewish synagogues), he must have looked very early to the Roman metropolis as a sphere of labor designed for him. Accordingly, he designed at a very early period to establish a mission in Rome (Acts 19:21; Romans 1:13). He also made timely preparations for the execution of this design by sending in advance his friends Aquila and Priscilla, and many other companions—among them the deaconess Phœbe, of Corinth—to Rome. For this very reason he could depart, with regard to the Romans, from his usual practice of making his personal apostolic labor precede a written communication. This time he could send an epistle first, and write to the Roman Christians τολμηροτέρως (Romans 15:15) without being embarassed by the thought that he was entering upon a foreign field of labor (Romans 15:20). Nevertheless, that delicacy with which he regarded the rights and independence of others, especially of believers, induced him to characterize his visit to Rome merely as a journey through that city to Spain. He could expect, with tolerable certainty, that Rome would be his principal station; but in case the prevailing peculiarities of the church should prevent this, he could not be denied in Rome the rights of Christian hospitality, by the aid of which he could proceed further. But the Judaizing element in the church was not important nor far advanced, as appears from the fact that he found it necessary only to oppose legalistic anxiety in reference to fast-days and the eating of food—not arrogant Judaistic dogmas.
The congregation being composed of Jewish and Gentile Christians, it could easily occur that the theological opinions at one time leaned to one side, and then to another.
According to Paley, Henke, Koppe, Krehl, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Thiersch, the Jewish Christian element predominated in the church; and Baur, favoring his well-known Ebionitic hypothesis, has attributed to the church a mild form of Ebionism.20 For an extended refutation of this view, which is sustained by a distortion of different passages, see Tholuck’s Romans, p. 3 ff. Meyer, in his introduction, passes lightly over the attacks of Baur. We have no right to judge the character of the congregation at the time of Paul by the Judaizing tendencies which subsequently gained the ascendency there in conformity with the constitutional proclivity of the Roman nationality. And even in the second century the Roman church, as such, cannot be charged with Ebionism (see Tholuck, p. 7).
According to Neander, Rückert, De Wette, Olshausen, and Meyer, the Gentile Christian element was predominant. But even Meyer confounds this view with the preponderance of Pauline Christianity in Rome. We must discriminate thus: The Gentile Christian element was strong, but the Pauline element was evidently preponderant. This was also the case still later, when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Philippians during his captivity in Rome, although here, as elsewhere in the churches after the year 60, the Jewish element increased in strength (Philippians 1:0). Subsequently, the short stay of Peter in Rome, as well as the larger elective affinity between Jewish Christianity and the Roman nationality, gradually weakened the Pauline type, and, in fine, obscured it.
If there had been already a large number of Jewish Christians in Rome, how could the chiefs of the Jews speak to the Apostle when he came to Rome just as they did, according to Acts 28:11; Acts 28:22? Their answer was plainly evasive, in which they adhere to two points: that no writing of complaint against Paul had been sent to them from Jerusalem; and that the Christians were everywhere opposed by the Jews as a sect. Baur and Zeller have endeavored to derive from this apparent “contradiction” between the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans, a decisive proof of the unhistorical character of the Acts. For a refutation of this argument, see Kling, Studien und Kritiken for 1837, p. 301 ff.; Tholuck, Comment., p. 10 ff.; Meyer, p. 20; my Apost. Zeitalter, i. p. 106, and others.
[The argument of the late Dr. Baur, and Zeller (his son-in-law), is this: The flourishing condition of the Christian Church at Rome, as described in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 1:8; Romans 1:11-12; Romans 15:1; Romans 15:14-15; Romans 16:19), is irreconcilable with the tone used by the leading Roman Jews (οἱ πρῶτοι τῶν Ἰουδαίων) in their answer to Paul, Acts 28:21-22, where they plead ignorance of the antecedents of the Apostle, and contemptuously characterize the Christian religion as a sect (αἵρεσις) which met everywhere with contradiction (πανταχοῦ ); consequently the author of the Acts must have misrepresented the real state of things in the interest of his doctrinal design, which was to effect a compromise between the Jewish Christian or Petrine, and the Gentile Christian or Pauline sections of the Church, by bringing Paul down to the Petrine or Jewish Christian standpoint, and by liberalizing Peter, and making both meet halfway. But, in the first place, the author of the Acts (which were certainly not written before 63 or 64—i.e., six or seven years after the Romans) must have known the Epistle to the Romans, and felt the contradiction, if there was any, as well as we, the more so as he himself had previously mentioned the existence of the Christian congregation in Rome (Acts 28:15). Hence, the apparent contradiction, far from exposing a wilful perversion of history, only proves the simplicity and veracity of the narrative, and tends, like so many similar instances, to confirm rather than to weaken our faith. (2) The very manner in which the Jews speak of Christianity as a sect everywhere spoken against, implies its general spread at that time, and so far corroborates the statement of Paul. (3) The Jews did not say that they had never heard of Paul at all (which would be inconsistent with their own statement concerning the contradiction raised everywhere against Christianity), but only that they had received no (official) information from Palestine which affected his moral character, or was unfavorable to him personally (τι περί σοῦ πονηρόν). And this was no doubt true; for the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem could have no reason to send official communication to the Jewish community in Rome concerning the case of Paul, before he had appealed to the tribunal of Cæsar, and after this appeal they could not well anticipate the arrival of the Apostle in Rome, as he left Cæsarea soon after the appeal, at an advanced season of the year, shortly before the mare clausum (comp. Acts 25:12-13; Acts 27:1; Acts 27:9), and, in all probability, before his enemies could even make out the necessary official papers. (4) We must not forget the diplomatic and evasive character of the answer of the Jews, who, as prudent men, were reluctant to commit themselves unnecessarily before the trial, in view of the imperial court and authority, and the complicated difficulties of the case. The leaders of the Jews appeared on this occasion in an official capacity, and very properly (from their own standpoint) observed an official reserve.—P. S.]
§ 3. THE CERTIFICATION OF THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. ITS AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans belongs to the most indisputable books of the New Testament
Its authenticity is certified in the strongest manner by the unanimous testimony of the ancient Church, by the harmony of its contents with the historical character of Paul, by its internal weight, and its great influence upon the Church. Even the criticism of Baur, which rejects the most of the New Testament books, acknowledges the authenticity of this Epistle (with the exception of the last two chapters), besides the Epistles to the Corinthians and that to the Galatians. But here, as elsewhere, the testimony of this criticism is not of much account. Significant allusions to the Epistle can be found in the (first) epistle of Clement of Rome; in Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, etc. Marcion, the Gnostic, acknowledged it. A decided testimony in favor of this Epistle is rendered by the three great witnesses of the Church and of the New Testament in its principal parts—Irenæus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria. Origen wrote a commentary on this Epistle. Even the fact that the Judaizing sects rejected it, speaks indirectly in its favor; they hated the Pauline doctrine contained in it.21
On the other hand, the integrity of the Epistle has been variously opposed. Marcion rejected Romans 15:16 on doctrinal grounds. Heumann, in his exposition of the New Testament, maintains that the Epistle closed, as a first epistle, with Romans 11:0, and that the subsequent part is a new work of Paul. Semler wrote: De duplici adpendice Epistolœ Pauli ad Romanos. According to Paulus of Heidelberg, Romans 15:0 is a special epistle to the enlightened Christians in Rome; Romans 16:0 is a special writing to the officers. Diverse, and, in fact, very strange conjectures have been advanced by Schulz and Schott on Romans 16:0 J. C. Chr. Schmidt denied the genuineness of the doxology, Romans 16:25-27, because it is wanting in Codex F. etc.; because it is erased in other codices; and because, in Codex J., and in almost all the Minuscule MSS., it stands after Romans 14:23. Reiche supposes that the public reading of the Epistle should only extend to Romans 14:23, because what follows is of less practical importance, and for this reason the former part has been concluded by the doxology, which subsequently was made to conclude the whole Epistle. It would have been more appropriate to reason: Since the public reading was often concluded with Romans 14:23, the doxology was transferred from the end of the whole Epistle to this place. This would explain the fact that it is to be found, in later codices, after Romans 14:23. Baur, in his treatise on the Purpose and Occasion of the Epistle to the Romans, declares Romans 15:16 of the Epistle to be ungenuine. Certainly these chapters interfere with the application of his Ebionitic hypothesis to the condition of the Roman church. He was refuted by Kling in the Studien und Kritiken (1837, No. 2), and by Olshausen (1838, No. 4). Even the circumstance that the pseudo-Clementine Homilies seem to present a different picture of the Roman Church was made by Baur a decisive argument against the authenticity of the last two chapters of the Epistle!
As far as the language of the Epistle is concerned, many Roman Catholic theologians have made use of the note of the Syrian scholiast on the Peshito: Paul wrote his epistle in Roman, in order to assert that it was originally written in Latin. Grotius, and others, with good reason, have understood the word Roman in the wider sense, as applied to the Greek language. “The Greek composition,” says Meyer, “corresponds perfectly not only to the Hellenic culture of the Apostle himself, but also to the linguistic relations of Rome (see Credner, Einl. ii., p. 383 ff.), and to the analogy of the remaining early Christian literature directed to Rome (Ignatius, Justin, Irenæus, Hippolytus, and others).” Bolten and Berthold assert that the Epistle was originally written in the Aramæan language. For further information, see Meyer, Reiche, and others, especially also the Introductions to the New Testament.22
§ 4. OCCASION, PURPOSE, AND CONTENTS OF THE EPISTLE
The origin of the Epistle to the Romans must be traced to the close connection between the call and consciousness of Paul as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and Rome as the great metropolis of the Gentile world. But the contents of the Epistle are determined by the fact that a church made up of both Jewish and Gentile Christians already existed in Rome, and that he had long ago prepared the way for his personal labors in Rome, and further west, by sending out his missionary assistants and companions. His Epistle starts with this preparation as a preliminary reflexion of his personal labors; that is, as the promulgation of the gospel both in its theocratic purpose and in its universal constitution. In other words, he exhibits the gospel in its eminent fitness to comprehend Jews and Gentiles in a common necessity of salvation, and to build them up, on the common ground of salvation, into a community of faith which would combine in perfect harmony both a theocratic purpose and a universal spirit.
It was natural that Paul, in view of his call to the Gentile world, should, very early in his career, look to the metropolis of Rome as his great aim. He longed and strove to go to Rome, Romans 15:23; Romans 1:11. The order of his apostolic labors required him first to exercise his apostolic office in the East, Romans 15:19; Acts 19:21. Accordingly, his three Oriental missionary journeys had to be undertaken first, though in them he gradually approached the West; and besides, after each of these missionary tours, he had to secure the connection of his work with the metropolis at Jerusalem by a return to this city; but, in addition to all this, he experienced many vexatious annoyances, and therefore he could well speak of the great hindrances to the execution of his design (Romans 1:13; Romans 15:22). Since it was his purpose, after his third missionary journey, to proceed from Jerusalem to Rome, his arrest in Jerusalem and imprisonment in Cæsarea contributed to carry out this design, although it was for a time a new obstacle in his way; and his appeal to Cæsar (Acts 25:10) was not only a requirement of necessity, but a great step toward the consummation of his wishes. But in Rome, too, there had arisen a hindrance in the establishment of an important society of Christians without his coöperation. He removed this hindrance in a threefold way. First, by sending his spiritual friends, Aquila and Priscilla, in advance to Rome, in order to prepare a place of abode for him; secondly, by his letter; thirdly, by the extension of his missionary purpose to Spain; so that, at all events, he might visit the congregation in Rome without doing violence to his apostolic principle (Romans 15:20). His imprisonment set aside the last difficulty, since it even compelled him to stay two years in Rome; although he did not give up his plan of going further to Spain.
The occasion and purpose of the Epistle to the Romans has been very much and very differently discussed both by commentators and in special treatises.23
“The dogmatic exposition of earlier times,” says Tholuck, “which was not at all interested in inquiring after the real historical purposes, mostly identified the aim and the argument of the Biblical books; in that which the Divine Spirit directed the writer to record, there lay the purpose for Christendom in all ages. The historical exposition of modern times seeks, by comparing the contents with the historical situation from which the writings arose, to disclose the nearest purpose to the original readers, although some writers of the rationalistic school put external cause in the place of the internal, and contented themselves with merely accidental causes, such as the good opportunity to send a letter to Rome by the departure of Phœbe, the Corinthian deaconess; the sight of the Adriatic sea from the high coast of Illyria, and the desire thereby awakened to go to Rome (Paulus of Heidelberg).”
The further account by Tholuck, however, does not fully harmonize with the assumption that earlier writers had in view only a doctrinal occasion, while the more recent commentation start from an historical one.24
As far as the historical (more properly defined, special dogmatico-historical) occasions are concerned, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, Bullinger, and Bucer have ascribed to the Epistle a polemical attitude against the Jewish Christians (Pellican likewise, though only in the way of caution); and in modern times, Eichhorn, Schmid, Baur, Schwegler, Zeller, Köstlin, Lutterbeck, Dietlein, and Thiersch have, with many modifications, regarded the Epistle chiefly as a rectification of Jewish and Judaistic principles.
Chrysostom and Theodoret would find, on the contrary, in the Epistle decided polemic references to Gentile Christian Antinomian errors such as we find among the Marcionites, Valentinians, and Manichæans.
But those are nearer right who suppose that the Epistle was designed for the conciliatory counteraction both of Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian perversions. This view has been defended especially by Melanchthon, Du Pin, Hug, and Bertholdt. Melanchthon says: “It can be seen that Paul wrote this Epistle from this cause: that the Jews would appropriate to themselves redemption and eternal life by their own righteousness through the works of the law; and again, the heathen insisted that the Jews were cast off for having rejected Christ.”
In opposition to the historical (or better, the special dogmatico-historical) view concerning the occasion of the Epistle, we find the theory of a dogmatic, or, more properly, a universal dogmatico-historical occasion. When the Apostle Paul, in this view, without special references to particular embarrassments in the Roman church, would give to this church an outline of the first elements of the whole gospel—according to his conception of it—he did it under the steady conviction of his universal calling as the special Apostle to the Gentiles, who must extend his labors to the specific city of the Gentiles. On this side belong Luther’s Preface to his Commentary on the Romans, Heidegger’s Enchiridion, p. 535, Tholuck, in the earlier editions of his Commentary, Olshausen, Rückert, Reiche, Köllner, Glöckler, and Philippi. On the different modifications of this view, see Schott, p. 17. That of Olshausen is the most clearly defined. “We can affirm,” says he [Commentary on the Romans, Introduction, § 5, p. 58, Germ, ed.], “that the Epistle to the Romans contains, so to say, a Pauline system of divinity, since all the essential topics to which the Apostle Paul, in his treatment of the gospel, is accustomed to give special prominence, are here developed at length.” Philippi: “The Epistle was designed to take the place of the personal preaching of Paul in Rome; therefore it contains a connected doctrinal statement of the specifically Pauline gospel, such as no other contains.”
Schott declares: “I must oppose decidedly, with Baur, all these views.” Yet his protest differs from that of Baur. By his supposition concerning the Ebionitism of the Roman church, Baur was misled to the monstrous conclusion, that the theme of the Epistle to the Romans first appears positively in the section from Romans 9-11 (in direct opposition to Tholuck, who, in his former editions, would find in the same part only a historical corollary). “The ever-increasing number of the Gentile Christians received by Paul must have so far excited the pretensions of the Judaists, that even the reception of the heathen, on condition of circumcision, was no more acceptable to them, and the reception of the heathen was regarded by them as an usurpation, so long as Israel was not converted.” Schott controverts the opinion that “the cause and object of the Epistle must be determined from its entire contents,” and confines himself to the introductory remarks of the Apostle concerning the purpose and cause of his Epistle. The result of his inquiry into the Proœmium is the following: a As Paul sets out to proclaim his gospel for the Gentiles to the nations of the West, he designs to visit the Christian congregation at Rome, and to enter into a closer personal relation to it by reciprocal acquaintance, with a view to make this congregation of the metropolis of the West a solid base of operation for his Gentile mission work, which was now to begin in the West.” But that understanding with the Roman church could be reached in no other way than by “a full exposition of the nature and character of his apostolic office, and the principles by which he was governed in his conduct.” Schott finds, therefore, in the Epistle, “not an exposition of the Pauline theory of Christianity, but a description and vindication of the Pauline system of missionary labors.
We object to this view, on the whole, that it puts the historical motive and the doctrinal in a strong contrast which is untenable. Then in particular:
1. The distinction between the East and the West, by which the former is described as the sphere of Jewish Christianity, and the latter, on the other hand, is the sphere in which the Apostle’s purely Gentile Christian labors began (p. 102 ff.).
2. The supposition that the Apostle desired, in his Epistle, to lay before the church in Rome a complete apologetic programme of his missionary policy, in order to gain their recognition, and thereby find in them a point of support; but not to proclaim to the church in Rome the gospel as he understood it.
3. He would place the church in Rome, by means of his admonitions, in such a condition that it could become a basis for his Western missionary labors; but he did not intend that Rome itself should be his final object, but merely serve as a point of support for his labors in the West, above all in Spain.
It is above all things improper to separate the historical and the doctrinal cause, or to bring them into opposition. The Apostle to the Gentiles was under no obligation to legitimatize himself before the Roman church concerning his missionary labors in the West; yet, according to the principle of Apostolic order, he had to justify himself when he wrote to the Romans τολμηροτέρως (which certainly does not mean by way of defence, but, with more than usual boldness), and proclaimed to them the gospel. Plainly, the first fundamental thought of the Epistle is this: The call of the Apostle to the Gentiles is a call for Rome, and therefore the Apostle had long made the city of Rome his object. But the second fundamental thought, which limits the first, is the idea of apostolic regulation. The Apostle cannot lay claim to the church as exclusively his own, since it had already long existed without his coöperation. Therefore he describes his anticipated journey as one to the heathen West—to Spain, the limit of the Western pagan world—in which he designs that Rome should furnish him a hospitable stay. Nevertheless, the Apostle was filled with the confidence that he could venture to address Rome as his church, and assuredly as the church in which he had to perfect the universal union of Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity, of Jerusalem and Antioch. Accordingly, he unfolds the religious and moral strength of his gospel, as fully adapted to save Jews and Greeks, and therefore to unite them, since, with the same evidence, it (a.) makes Jews and Gentiles sinners alike; (b.) presents salvation in Christ with equal certainty to both; (c.) leads both from the same death to the new life, as the elect; (d.) makes plain their mutual dependence in the same divine economy of salvation (Romans 9-11); (e.) the gospel proves itself to be a power of sanctification for Jews and Gentiles, which can make both capable of being reciprocally sympathetic, and of setting them free from their Jewish and pagan prejudices (Romans 12 ff.). By these combined considerations the Apostle furnishes to the Christians in Rome a real and practical proof that he, as the universal Apostle to the Gentiles, was also called to be indirectly the Apostle of Israel (Romans 11:13-14), and of the unity of the Jewish and Gentile Christians; and that Rome, the universal church of Gentile Christians, was called, as such, to become the union church of Jewish and Gentile Christians. And this is to be brought about by the strength of the universal gospel, which unites all the elect, and which, after first announcing it by letter, he hopes soon to present orally, so as to make Rome the point of departure for this universal Christian Church.
The matter stands, therefore, thus: The Apostle, who began his labors as the Apostle to the Jews (Acts 9:22; Acts 9:28), and who was afterwards in a special sense the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21; Galatians 2:0), now enters upon the third stage of his activity as the Apostle to all nations, and devotes his attention to the development of a union Church, which should embrace in one Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.
§ 5. PLACE AND TIME OF THE COMPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE
It is a very general opinion, and one sustained by various indications, that the Apostle wrote the Epistle to the Romans from Corinth, during his stay there, while on his third missionary journey.
According to Romans 15:25 ff., the Apostle, when he wrote this Epistle, was about to depart for Jerusalem in charge of the collection from Macedonia and Achaia. But he brought this collection to an end in Corinth, when on his third missionary tour, according to 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 9:0. This combination refers to the last three months’ stay of the Apostle in Achaia (Acts 20:2), and especially in Corinth; since this city was the metropolis of the church of Achaia, and the Apostle desired to tarry here, according to 1 Corinthians 16:1-7; 2Co 9:4; 2 Corinthians 12:20; 2 Corinthians 13:2. It is also in favor of Corinth, that the Apostle sent the Epistle by the deaconess Phœbe from the Corinthian seaport Cenchreæ (Romans 16:1-2); that he greets the Roman Christians for his host, Gaius (Romans 16:23), whom we may identify with the Corinthian Gaius (1 Corinthians 1:14); and also for Erastus, the treasurer of the city, who, according to 2 Timothy 4:20 (comp. Acts 19:22), had his home in Corinth. Dr. Paulus has no ground whatever for arguing from Romans 15:19, that the Epistle was written in a city of Illyria. Meyer justly supposes that the Epistle was written before the Apostle—who first had the purpose of travelling directly from Achaia to Syria and Jerusalem—was compelled by Jewish persecution to return through Macedonia (see Acts 20:3); for he mentions, chap Romans 15:25-31, nothing of this important matter.
The time of the composition of the Epistle was therefore about the year 59 after Christ. The notice, Acts 28:21, which seems to imply that the Roman Jews knew nothing of an Epistle of Paul to Rome, by no means justifies the inference (drawn by Tobler) that the Epistle was written at a later time; comp. against this Flatt and Meyer.
The Epistle was dictated by Paul to Tertius, an assistant (Romans 16:22). “The cause why Paul did not write his Epistles with his own hand, is not to be found in his want of practice in writing Greek,—which has no support whatever,—but in the apostolic condition, when others were ready to aid him.” Meyer. See Galatians 6:11, and the note of the Bible-Work in loc.
§ 6. The Meaning and Import of the Epistle to the Romans
Olshausen divides the Pauline Epistles into three classes: First, dogmatical didactic Epistles, then practical didactic Epistles, and finally, friendly expressions of his heart. This division is untenable, as appears from the fact that he includes the profound christological Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, together with the Epistles to the Philippians and to Philemon, in the class of “letters of friendship.” It is also very insufficient to say that the Epistle to the Romans belongs to the dogmatic didactic class. Olshausen remarks correctly, that the Epistle to the Romans is most nearly related to that to the Galatians; yet he does not go quite to the point, when he says: “Both Epistles treat of the relation of law and gospel; but while, in Romans, this relation is viewed altogether objectively, the Epistle to the Galatians, on the contrary, is altogether polemical against the Judaizing Christians. Besides, the Epistle to the Galatians is limited solely to this relation, and treats of the same more briefly than is the case in the Epistle to the Romans. In the Epistle to the Romans, on the other hand, the relation of the law and gospel is developed didactically, and scientifically in the strict sense of the word,” etc.
We have already remarked that the two Epistles are to be distinguished as specifically soteriological in the narrower sense of the word; but as the Epistle to the Romans describes justification by faith in Christ in antagonism with universal human depravity, the Epistle to the Galatians, on the contrary, is directed against false justification from the works of the law. At the same time, the Epistle to the Romans is constructed on a broader basis than that to the Galatians, since it deals both with heathenism and Judaism. The Epistle purposes to show, that neither the Gentiles were saved by God’s revelation in nature and in the conscience, nor the Jews by the written law of the Old Testament; and he extends human depravity and the counteracting redemption through three stages of development in the most universal and exhaustive contemplation, to which an equally comprehensive practical application must correspond.
Although the Epistle to the Romans belongs, in the chronological order, in the middle of the Pauline Epistles, yet its primacy has been recognized in manifest opposition to the alleged primacy of the Roman Bishop. The Epistle to the Romans, in its Pauline type, opposes, by its doctrine of justification by faith without the works of the law, the system of Rome; so that even to-day it can be regarded as an Epistle especially directed “to the Romans.”
The early Church, in its disposition of the New Testament canon, especially the so-called “Apostolos [as distinct from the “Gospel”], placed the Epistle to the Romans, because of its importance, and with regard, at the same time, to the high standing of the Roman congregation, at the head of the Pauline Epistles. Still more did the Reformation bring it into its proper light. “It was,” says Tholuck, “from the fundamental truth developed in the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, that the Reformation took its start in its opposition to the Judaism which had crept into the Christian Church. Thus the doctrine of justification by faith became its dogmatic centre. Hence the importance attached to this Epistle by the Protestant Church. The exposition of this Epistle was Melanchthon’s favorite course of lectures, which he repeated again and again almost without interruption; and, as Demosthenes did with Thucydides, he twice transcribed this Epistle with his own hand, in order to impress it more deeply on his memory (Strobel, Literaturgeschichte der Loci Melanchthon’s, p. 13). Since he here found a development of the chief articles of the Christian faith, he based on the Epistle to the Romans the first doctrinal system of the renovated Church, Melanchthon’s Loci Communes, 1521. Henceforth the Epistle was regarded as a compendium of Biblical dogmatics, and under this point of view, Olshausen also advises to begin exegetical studies with the same. But following the succession of thought from Romans 1:11, we would rather find in it a Christian Philosophy of Universal History (comp. Baur, Paulus, p. 657).” By the latter construction, however, the christological ἀρχή, as well as the eschatological τέλος, would receive too little attention. The soteriology is certainly pictured forth with its opposite, ponerology, in the most comprehensive way; and both heathendom and Judaism are described under a point of view which comprehends them both. Olshausen is of the opinion that Luther commented only on the Epistle to the Galatians, because the relation between the law and the gospel are treated exclusively in it, and because he would avoid discussion on the mysterious doctrine of predestination (Romans 9 ff.). But Luther certainly expressed himself pointedly enough elsewhere on predestination. [De servo arbitrio, against Erasmus.] The Epistle to the Galatians lay nearer to his purpose, because this Epistle brings out the doctrine of justification by faith in the strongest and clearest contrast to the false justification by works. From Luther’s own preface to the Epistle to the Romans we learn how highly he appreciated that Epistle. On the importance of the Epistle for the Church in its inclination to legalism, and in its relation to the personal experience of Paul, and on its difficulties, see Olshausen, p. 54 ff.
[S. T. Coleridge, in his Table-Talk (June 15, 1833), calls St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans “the most profound work in existence,” and says: “The only fit commentator on Paul was Luther—not by any means such a gentleman as the Apostle, but almost as great a genius.”—P. S.]
§ 7. THE CONTENTS AND DIVISION
A. The Contents
The Epistle to the Romans—in its sixteen chapters the most comprehensive of the Pauline Epistles—unites most intimately the character of a dogmatic epistle of instruction with the character of an ecclesiastical address in a specific, personal relation. Proceeding from the standpoint of his apostleship to the Gentiles, and after a satisfactory conclusion of his apostolic labors in the East, the Apostle designs to prepare the Christian church in Rome to be the centre and starting-point of labors reaching to the farthest West (Spain). His work in the West should be universal, not merely as it united the West and East in Christ, but also as it constituted in Rome the peculiar type for the united church of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. The Apostle to the heathen is, in his consciousness, perfectly ripened into the apostle for the nations; and in this sense he intends to clothe the church at Rome with the prestige of a church of the nations, which he might regard as of his own institution, and make use of as the home of his universal activity.
To this purpose, the change of the Roman church from uncertain authority into a fixed institution of Pauline authority, corresponds the universal soteriological doctrine of the Epistle, as related to the universal ecclesiastical call of Paul. All men, viewed under the antagonism of Jews and heathen, are, in consequence of the prostitution of the living Divine glory, regarded as sinners, destitute of righteousness and merit before God; and all men have a common mercy-seat for pardon in Christ; all should pass from the old life of death in sin, or in the flesh and under the law, to the new life in Christ, in the spirit and in liberty; all were included under the judgment of unbelief, and all should experience Divine compassion. On this dogmatic foundation the church at Rome should be completely based; and in accordance therewith, it should regulate its internal relation between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, as well as its external relation to the world; but it must also, in accordance with this principle, perceive that its call as the central city of the Western Church can only be actualized by first acknowledging the call of Paul, and committing itself to him, as a point of departure in his universal work.
This Epistle has a unique character in relation to the Apostle, since he wrote it to a church which he had not established, and had not even once visited. But the anomalous character of this fact may be thus explained: The church was, on one hand, still perfectly vacant from all apostolical authority, and it was thus far not yet fully organized as a church; and, on the other hand, it was not only naturally related to the Apostle to the Gentiles as the church of the world’s metropolis, but had been long previously visited by him in spirit, and was accordingly taken possession of by his pupils and assistants as his sphere of labor (see Romans 16:0). The case was similar with the Epistle to the Colossians, though the Apostle may be regarded as the indirect founder of this church (by Epaphras).
In its dogmatic aspect, the Epistle to the Romans possesses a decidedly soteriological character. As to its form, it resembles, in its cautious tone, the Epistle to the Galatians; for the Apostle probes the former church, and asks whether it be already his church? and of the latter, he asks whether it still be his church? (Romans 15:15-16; Galatians 4:19-20).
[The Epistle to the Romans, and that to the Galatians, treat of the same theme, viz., justification by free grace through faith in Christ, or rather, the deeper and broader doctrine of a personal life-union of the believer with Christ; but the latter is apologetic and polemic against the Judaizing pseudo-apostles, who labored to undermine Paul’s authority, and to enforce the yoke of legalism upon a church of his own planting; while the former, written to strangers, opposes no particular class of men, but only the corrupt tendencies of the human heart. Both supplement each other, and constitute the grand charter of evangelical freedom in Christ.—P. S.]
The Epistle to the Romans has this in common with the Epistle to the Ephesians, that it shows how salvation in Christ transforms Gentiles and Jews into one Church of God; but in the Epistle to the Ephesians he establishes this unity on the christological principle, while in the Epistle to the Romans, it is effected by the soteriology. The relation of the Romans to the Colossians is similar to the one just described. [But with this difference, that the christological element prevails in the Epistle to the Colossians, the ecclesiological in that to the Ephesians.—P. S.]
In its ecclesiastical and practical character the Epistle to the Romans resembles those to the Corinthians. But in the former case the Apostle has yet to establish an authority and institution, while in the latter he has to maintain them.
In the section from Romans 9-11, this Epistle approaches the eschatological contents of the Epistles to the Thessalonians. The greetings in Romans 16:0 remind us of the Epistle to the Philippians; the practical portion reminds us of the Pastoral Epistles.
In this Epistle the idea of piety or of righteousness, as a living worship of God, is peculiarly prominent; perhaps produced by the decided predominance of the practical element in the Roman conception of cultus. The fall of man commenced with the great peccatum omissimis: Men, regardless of the natural revelation of God, forsook the living worship and praise of God (Romans 1:21). Therefore the development of corruption among the heathen is shown in an external symbolism, which more and more sinks into a mythical idolatry, and results in a growing perversion and decay of morals (Romans 1:22-32); but among the Jews, in the fearful caricature into which even its religious zeal is turned by its fleshly fanaticism (Romans 2:17-24). Therefore is salvation for faith represented by the mercy-seat in the Holy of Holies (Romans 3:25), and faith is a priestly free access to grace (Romans 5:2), which converts the whole subsequent life of the Christian into a song of praise (Romans 5:3-11). Therefore the crown of the new life is a revelation of the glory of the children of God, which is guaranteed by the spirit of prayer on the part of the faithful (Romans 8:0). Therefore, finally, must the economically limited judgment of God on Israel, and the whole economy of salvation in reference to the dark history of the world, contribute to the glory of God (Romans 11:36). The new life is consequently represented as the direct contrast to the fall of man. As the living service of God ceased with the latter, so now is the true spiritual service of God restored in the lives of Christians, since they dedicate their bodies as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1 ff.). The temporal authority (Romans 13:1 ff.) stands in a subservient (Romans 13:4) and liturgical (Romans 13:6) relation to the living divine service of Christians. In its great moral significance, which also requires a moral and free recognition Romans 13:5), it is unconsciously subject to the highest aim and goal of human history—the glory of God through Christ. The Church must be conformed to this glory; it must be an instrument for the object that all nations should praise God (Romans 15:11). The Epistle is directed to this end: it is a priestly work to make the heathen an acceptable offering of God (Romans 15:16). It finally corresponds to this conception of the kingdom of God as a restored and real worship, that the Apostle concludes with a liturgical doxology, in which faith in the promises and announcements of the gospel responds to the living God of revelation with an eternal Amen (Romans 16:25-27)—a passage which may be explained by a comparison with 1 Corinthians 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:15; Revelation 4:10.
The church at Rome must, therefore, in accordance with its call, become a focus for the restoration of the living, real, and universal worship of God by the nations, as the institution of Paul, the universal Apostle of the nations. It must become the point of departure of the Church of the Western nations, in the sense in which the word catholic had been originally used; that is, in harmony with the religious and moral necessities of humanity, in harmony with the moral significance and mission of the state, in harmony with the free as well as with the anxious consciences of the faithful on the basis of justification by faith without the works of the law.
B. The Arrangement
THE INTRODUCTION AND FUNDAMENTAL THEME
The apostolate of Paul appointed for the glory of the name of God by means of the gospel of Christ, and of the revelation of the justice of God for faith throughout the whole world, among Jews and Gentiles, Romans 1:1-17.
1st Section.—The inscription and greeting. The Apostle; his call; his apostolic office; his greeting of the saints in Rome, Romans 1:1-7.
2d Section.—The point of connection. The fame of the faith of the Christians at Rome in all the world; and his desire and purpose to come to them to announce the gospel to them, Romans 1:8-15.
3d Section.—The fundamental theme. The joyful readiness of the Apostle to proclaim the gospel of Christ, since it is the power of God to save Jews and Gentiles—as a revelation of the justice of God by and for faith, Romans 1:16-17.
The doctrine of righteousness by faith, as the restoration of the true worship of God, Romans 1:18–Romans 11:0
Sin and grace in their first antagonism. The real appearance of corruption and salvation. Righteousness by faith. The wrath of God on all injustice of men; that is, the actual corruption of the world in its growth for death hastened by the judgment of God; and the antagonistic justification of sinners by the propitiation or pardon in Christ, through faith, Romans 1:18 to Romans 5:11.
1st Section.—The beginning of all real corruption in the world, and of the Gentiles in particular, and God’s judgment on the same; the neglect of the general revelation of God by the creation, in the omission of the real worship of God by praise and thanksgiving, Romans 1:18-21.
2d Section.—The development of heathen corruption under the judicial abandonment on God’s side (the withdrawal of His Spirit). From symbolism to the worship of images and beasts; from theoretical to practical corruption; from natural sins to unnatural and abominable ones, to the development of all vices and crimes, to the demoniacal lust for sin, and to evil maxims themselves, Romans 1:22-32.
3d Section.—Transition from the corruption of the Gentiles to the corruption of the Jews. The genuine Jews. The higher universal antagonism above the antagonism of heathendom and Judaism: striving and opposing men. The universality of corruption, and, with the universality of guilt, the worst corruption: judging the neighbor. The guilt of this uncharitable judgment is intensified by the continuance of a general antagonism of pious, striving men, and of stiff-necked enemies of the truth throughout the world, within the general corruption, over against the righteous and impartial government of God; this, too, by virtue of the continuance of God’s general legislation in the conscience. The revelation of the antagonism of Gentiles true to the law, and of Jews who despised the law on the day of the proclamation of the gospel, Romans 2:1-16.
4th Section.—The real Jews. The increased corruption of the Jew in his false zeal for the law (a counterpart of the corruption of the heathen in his symbolism). The fanatical and wicked method of the Jews in handling the law with legal pride, and of corrupting it by false application and unfaithfulness, an occasion for defaming the name of God among the heathen, Romans 2:17-24.
5th Section.—The use of circumcision: an adjustment of the need of salvation by the knowledge of sin. The circumcision which becomes the foreskin, and the foreskin which becomes circumcision; or, the external Jew can possibly become an internal Gentile, while the external Gentile can become an internal Jew. It is not the dead possession of the law, but fidelity to the law, that is of use. It does not produce a pride of the law, but knowledge of sin—that is of the necessity of salvation. The advantage of circumcision consists herein: that to the Jews are committed those declarations of God, that law, by which all men are represented under the penalty of sin. Sin represented as acknowledged guilt over against the law, Romans 2:25 to Romans 3:20.
6th Section.—The revelation of God’s righteousness without the law by faith in Christ, for all sinners without distinction, by the representation of Christ as the Mediator (Propitiator); the righteousness of God as justifying righteousness, Romans 3:21-26.
7th Section.—The abrogation of the vain glory (or self-praise) of man by the law of faith. Justification by faith without the works of the law. First proof from experience: God is the God of the heathen as well as of the Jews; which fact is shown by the faith of the Gentiles, as well as by the true renewal of the law by faith, Romans 3:27-31.
8th Section.—Second proof of the righteousness by faith: from the Scriptures, and this from the history of the faith of Abraham, the ancestor of the Jews themselves. Abraham is the father of faith to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, because he had been justified in the foreskin as a heathen, and because he had received circumcision as a seal of justification by faith. David is also a witness of righteousness by faith. Abraham in his faith in the word of the personal God of revelation, and especially in the promise of Isaac, a type of all believers in the miracle of the resurrection of Christ, Romans 4:0.
9th Section.—The fruit of justification. Peace with God and the development of new life to the fulfilment of Christian hope. The new worship of God by the Christians. They have free access to grace in the Most Holy. Therefore they boast of their hope in the glory of God; and glory even in the afflictions they suffer, by which this hope is perfected. The love of God in Christ as the guaranty of the realization of Christian hope. Christ’s death our reconciliation: Christ’s life our blessedness. Its bloom: the joyous glorying that God is our God, chap Romans 5:1-11.
Sin and grace in their second antagonism (as in their second power), according to their operations in human nature and in nature generally. The sinful corruption of the world proceeding from Adam and made the common inheritance of man; and the life of Christ as the internal vital principle of the new birth for new life in single believers, in all humanity, and in the whole created world. The principle of death in sin, and the principle of the new life; as well as the glorification of all nature in righteousness, Romans 5:12 to Romans 8:39.
1st Section.—The sin of Adam as the mighty principle of death, and the grace of God in Christ as the mightier principle of the new life in individual human nature, and in whole humanity. The law as the medium of the completed consciousness of sin and guilt, Romans 5:12-21.
2d Section.—Call to the new life in grace. The contradiction between sin and grace. The vocation of the Christians to new life, since they, by baptism in the death of Christ, are changed from the sphere of sin and death into the sphere of righteousness and life, Romans 6:1-11.
3d Section.—The essential emancipation and actual departure of Christians from the service of sin unto death into the service of righteousness unto life, by virtue of the death of Christ. Believers should live in the consciousness that they are dead to sin, Romans 6:12-23.
4th Section.—The essential transfer and actual transition of Christians from the service of the letter under the law to the service of the Spirit under grace, by virtue of the death of Christ. Believers should live in the consciousness that they (by the law) are dead to the law, Romans 7:1-6.
5th Section.—The law in its holy appointment to lead over, by the feeling of death, to new life in grace. The development of the law from the exterior to the internal. The experience of Paul a life-picture of the battle under the law as the transition from the old life in the law to the new life in faith, Romans 7:7-25.
6th Section.—The Christian life, or life in Christ as the new life according to the law of the Spirit, as walking in the Spirit. The fulfilment and exaltation of the law to be the law of the Spirit in Christ. The law of the Spirit as principle of the new life of adoption, and of the exaltation of the faithful and of humanity to the liberation and glorification of the creature, to the new world of life in love, Romans 8:0.
a. The Spirit as the Mediator of the atonement and witness of adoption, Romans 8:1-16.
b. The Spirit a surety of the inheritance of future glory. (1) The subjective certainty of future perfection, or the spiritualization and glorification of Christian life, Romans 817–27. (2) The objective certainty of future perfection in glory, Romans 8:28-39.
Sin and grace in their third antagonism (in their third power). The hardness of heart and the economical judgment on hardness of heart (the historical curse on sin), and the turning of the judgment to the rescue by the power of Divine sympathy at the progress of universal history. The historical development of sin to the execution of the judgment, and the revelation of salvation in demonstration of mercy. The intimate connection of God’s acts of judgment and rescue; the latter being conditioned by the former, Romans 9-11.
1st Section.—The dark mystery of the judgment of God in Israel, and its solution, Romans 9:0.
a. The painful contrast of the misery of the Jews in opposition to the portrayed happiness of the Christians, who, for the most part, came from the Gentiles. The sorrow of the Apostle at the evident failure of the destiny of his people, Romans 9:1-5.
b. The ecstasy of the Apostle in the thought that the promise of God would nevertheless hold good for Israel. The proofs therefor, Romans 9:6-33.
2d Section.—More decided explanation of the mysterious fact: The unbelief of Israel. The faith of the Gentiles, already foretold in the Old Testament, Romans 10:0.
a. The fact is no fatalistic destiny, Romans 10:1-2.
b. It rests rather on the antagonism between the self-righteousness as the supposed righteousness from the law, and the righteousness which is by faith, Romans 10:3-5.
c. The righteousness by faith, although proceeding from Israel, is nevertheless, according to Old Testament prophecy, accessible to all men because of its nature. Proof: The unbelief of the Jews as well as the faith of the heathen is foretold already in the Old Testament, Romans 10:6-21.
3d Section.—The concluding gracious solution of the mystery, or the turning of judgment to the rescue of Israel. The judgment of God on Israel is not a judgment of reprobation. God’s economy of salvation in His Providence over the chosen of Israel and of the multitude—Jews and Gentiles—over the intertwining of judgment and rescue, by which all Israel should come, through the fulness of the Gentiles, to faith and happiness. The universality of judgment and compassion. Doxology, Romans 11:0.
a. Israel is not rejected; the elect (the kernel) are saved, Romans 11:1-6.
b. The hardening of the hearts of the remainder becomes a condition for the conversion of the Gentiles, Romans 11:7-11.
c. On the other hand, the conversion of the Gentiles became also a means for the conversion of Israel, Romans 11:11-18.
d. The fact itself is a conditional one. The Gentiles can yet individually become unbelieving, and the Jews, on the other hand, believing, Romans 11:19-24.
e. The last word, or the mystery of Divine Providence in its economy of salvation. All will contribute to the glory of God, Romans 11:25-36.
The practical theme: The vocation of the Roman Christians, on the ground of their accomplished salvation or of the mercy of God (which will be extended to all) to represent the living worship of God in the consummation of the real burnt offering, and to constitute a universal Christian church-life for the realization of the call of all nations to praise and glorify God; so that they may also acknowledge and maintain the universal call of the Apostle. The recommendation of his companions, assistants, and friends, in the sending of his greetings to them for the purpose of the true development of the Church, and as a counterpart, his warning against Judaizing or paganizing errorists. Greetings, invocation of blessings, Romans 12:1 to Romans 16:27.
The call of the Roman Christians to a universal Christian deportment, Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:13.
1st Section.—The practical theme, Romans 12:1-2. The proper conduct of the Christians toward the community of the brethren for the establishment of a harmonious church life, Romans 12:1-8.
2d Section.—The true conduct of the Christians in all personal relations. For their own life, toward the brethren, toward everybody, and even toward enemies, Romans 12:9-21.
3d Section.—Christian universalism (Roman Catholicism in Paul’s sense) in the proper conduct toward those in authority (the heathen state), which also possesses an official and liturgical service in the household of God. The object and aim of government, Romans 13:1-6.
4th Section.—Proper conduct toward the world in general. Legal fellowship with the world. The recognition of the rights of the world in the justice and also in the strength of the love of our neighbor. The separation from the ungodly nature of the old world (the dark character of heathendom). The universality and its sanctification by the true, separation, Romans 13:7-14.
5th Section.—The true practice of the living worship of God in the management and adjustment of the differences between the weak or perplexed (the slaves of the law) and the strong (inclined to disregard, and Antinomian transgression in freedom). The Christian universality of social life (to take and give no offence), Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:4.
a. Reciprocal regard, forbearance, and recognition between the weak and the strong. Special warning against giving offence to the weak, Romans 14:1-13.
b. Of giving offence, and despising forbearance to the weak, Romans 14:13-16.
c. Reciprocal edification in self-denial after the example of Christ, Romans 15:2-4.
6th Section.—Admonition to the harmony of all the members of the congregation to the praise of God on the ground of the grace of God, in which Christ has accepted Jews and Gentiles. Reference to the vocation of all nations to praise God even according to the Old Testament, and encouragement of the Roman Christians to an unbounded hope in this relation, in agreement with their call, Romans 15:5-13.
The call of the Apostle to a universal apostleship, and his consequent relation to the Roman church, as the point of departure for the universal apostleship in the West, Romans 15:14-33.
a. The Apostle declares, almost apologizingly, that his writing to the Romans was the result of his call to make the heathen in priestly operation an acceptable offering to God; and he gives information on the general completion of his work in the East (to Illyria), and the results of the same, Romans 15:14-19.
b. His principle not to invade the sphere of others (a conduct opposite to that of all sect-makers). The consequent impediment to come directly to Rome, where Christian congregations already existed. Nevertheless, his desire to labor for them, which was in harmony with his call. His hesitation not being completely removed, he describes his anticipated visit to Rome as a temporary stay for the better prosecution of his journey through Rome to Spain; that is, to the limits of the West, without doubt in expectation that the church will welcome him and commit itself to his direction, Romans 15:20-24.
c. His last hindrance from his journey to Rome. The mention of the collections, a proof of his love to the believing Israelites, an expression of the proper conduct of Gentile Christians to Jewish Christians. Another announcement of his journey through Rome and of his visit in the spirit of apostolical refinement. Foreboding reference to the animosity of the unfaithful in Judæa, and a request for prayer that he might be permitted to accomplish, his purpose of coming to them, Romans 15:23-33.
The recommendation of his predecessors, companions, and assistants, in a succession of greetings, united with a warning against separatistic heretics (Jews and Gentiles), who could hinder and even destroy Rome’s destiny and his apostolic mission. Yet the God of peace will shortly bruise Satan under their feet. Invocation of blessing, Romans 16:1-20.
a. The deaconess Phœbe, Romans 16:1-2.
b. The greetings, Romans 16:3-16. The warning, and the invocation of blessing, Romans 16:17-20.
The greetings of the Pauline circle to the church at Rome, and the invocation of blessings by Paul himself. His doxological sealing of the gospel of the justifying grace of God in Christ for all nations, Romans 16:21-27.
a. The greetings.
b. The doxological sealing of the gospel for eternity in accordance with the fundamental devotional thought of his Epistle. The Amen of the Church through Christ, on the response to the gospel of Christ, Romans 16:25-27.
Now to Him that is of power (in the gospel) to stablish you
According to my gospel, etc.
According to the revelation of the mystery, etc.
According to the commandment of the everlasting God.
To God only wise,
Be glory through Jesus Christ
For ever! Amen!
APPENDIX.—TABLE OF PERICOPES, OR SCRIPTURE LESSONS FOR THE YEAR, IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
4th Sunday after Trinity
(Visitation of Mary.)
1st Sunday after Epiphany
6th Sunday after Trinity
2d Sunday after Epiphany
7th Sunday after Trinity
3d Sunday after Epiphany
8th Sunday after Trinity
4th Sunday after Epiphany
27th Sunday after Trinity
§ 8. LITERATURE ON THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS.25
See the foregoing catalogues of Pauline literature in general. Also the catalogues in Lilienthal’s Bibl. Archivarius, p. 247 ff., where there is a rich catalogue of the older works on single passages of the Epistle; Fuhrmann’s Handbuch der theol. Literatur, ii. p. 326; Winer, Handbuch der theol. Literatur, vol. i. p. 255 ff.; ii. p. 121; Supplement, p. 39; Danz, in his Universalwörterbuch der theol. Literatur, p. 346, and in the supplementary number, p. 93, who gives an extensive catalogue of literature, not only to the entire Epistle, but on single divisions and chapters; Guericke, Neu-testamentliche Isagogik [3d ed., 1868, pp. 276 and 309]; Reuss [History of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, 4th ed., 1864, p. 93]; Reiche [Commentary on the Romans, 1833, vol. i.] p. 95 ff. [Comp. the catalogue of English works on all the Epistles, and on the separate portions of the same, in Darling, Cyclopœdia Bibliographica (subject: Holy Scriptures), London, 1859.]
Commentaries.—Tholuck enumerates, p. 26 ff., as expositors:26
1. Among the Church fathers: Origen [27251, only in the mutilated Latin version of Rufinus, Orig. Opera, ed. Delarue, tom. iv.—P. S.], Chrysostom [†405, Homil. xxxii. in ep. ad Rom. Opera, ed. Bened. tom, ix., an English translation in the Oxford Library of the Fathers, vols, vii., 1841], Theodoret [† 457, Comment, in ep. ad Rom.], Theodore of Mopsvestia [† 429, Fragments, collected by Fried. Fritzsche, in Theod. Mops, in N. T. Comm., 1847], Theophylact [eleventh century], (Œkumenius [tenth century], Greek scholiast of the Moskow Codd. in Matthœi [and in J. A. Cramer’s Catenœ in S. Pauli ep. ad Rom., Oxon. 1844]. Among the Latin fathers: Augustine [†430],† Pelagius,28 Hilarius (the Ambrosiaster).29
2. Expositors of the Middle Ages: Herveus [middle of the twelfth century], Hugo of St. Victor [†1141], Abælard [†1142], Thomas Aquinas [†1274, ignorant of Greek, but very profound and acute].
3. Roman Catholic expositors since the Reformation: Erasmus [†1536], W. Este [†1613], a number of Jesuit expositors, among whom Ben. Justinian , Cornelius a Lapide [1614, 14th ed., Lugd. 1683], Calmet [†1757], are prominent. For later ones, see below.
4. Protestant expositors down to the beginning of the seventeenth century:
a. Reformed (Calvinistic) commentators: Calvin [new ed., Halle, 1831], “a model of simple and precise exposition” (German translation by E. W. Krummacher and L. Bender, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1837),30 Beza [4th ed., 1598], Zwingli [Opera, tom, iii.], Pellicanus, Bullinger , Bucer , Aretius , Pareus , Piscator .
b. Lutherans: Luther (his celebrated Preface to the Epistle to the Romans), Melanchthon (Annotationes, 1522; Commentarii, 1532),31 Bugenhagen, Brenz, Camerarius, Hunnius, Balduin.
5. Protestant expositors to the middle of the eighteenth century:
Reformed: Drusius [†1612], De Dieu [†1642], Heinsius [†1655], the two Capellus, Hammond , Clericus , Cocceius [†1669], (very prominent).
Lutherans of the seventeenth century: Erasmus Schmid [†1637], Calixtus [Posthumous Lectures, 1664], Calovius [†1688, author of the Biblia Illustrata, 1672, against Grotius], Spener [†1705], Christ. Wolf [Curœ Phililogicœ et Criticœ, 1732], Bengel’s Gnomon N. T. (1742); “on account of its great worth, lately edited several times, both in the original Latin, and in German and English translations.”)32
Arminians: Grotius [Annotationes in Nov. Test., 1645], Limborch [†1712], Turretine , (numbered by Tholuck in this school; though perhaps unjustly), “Wetstein (in his edition of the Greek Testament, with parallel passagess from the classical authors, 1751).
Socinians: Crell [†1633], Schlichting [†1661], Przipzov.
6. Evangelical expositors, from the middle of the eighteenth century down to the present time:
Period of transition: Heumann [†1764], Mosheim [†1770], Joh. Benj. Carpzov (“the fourth of this name,” 1758), Morus [†1794], Christian Schmid [†1774]; above all, Semler . Koppe [3d ed., 1824] also belongs here.
Latest period: Tholuck (1st ed., 1824),† Flatt , Stenersen (Danish, 1829), Klee [Roman Catholic, 1830], Benecke , Rückert [2d ed., 1839], Paulus, Moses Stuart [Andover, Mass., 1832], Charles Hodge [Princeton, New Jersey, 1835], Reiche , Köllner , Glöckler , Olshausen [2d ed., 1840, English translation, Edinburgh and New York, 1860], De Wette [4th ed., 1847], Stengel [Roman Catholic, 1836], Fritzsche [3 vols., in Latin, 1836–’43, very thorough and critical], H. A. W. Meyer,34 Oltramare (French), Nielsen (Danish, in German by Michelsen), , Baumgarten-Crusius , Reithmayer [Roman Catholic, Regensb., 1845], A. L. G. Krehl [Leipzig, 1849], Adalb. Maier (Roman Catholic), Philippi [a strict Lutheran, 1848, 2d ed., revised, 1856; 3d ed., 1867].
On the merits of the most important later commentators, see Tholuck, pp. 32, 33.—[Fritzsche and Meyer are the best philological commentators; De Wette excels in power of condensation and good taste; Tholuck, Olshausen, Philippi, and Hodge in doctrinal exposition.—P. S.]
This catalogue may be enlarged, among others, by the following commentaries: Bisping (Rom. Cath.), Der Brief an die Römer, 2d ed., Münster; Beelen (Rom. Cath.), Commentarius in Ep. St. Pauli ad Romanos, Lovani, 1854; Vinke, De Brief van den Apostel Paulus an den Romainen, 2d ed., Utrecht, 1860; Mehring, Der Brief Pauli an die Römer, Stettin, 1859; Schott, Der Römerbrief, seincm Endzweck und Gedankengang nach ausgelegt, Erlangen, 1858; Van Hengel, Interpretatio Epistolœ Pauli ad Romanos, Leyden und Leipzig, 1 vol. 1854; 2d vol., 1859; Haldane, Auslegung des Briefes an die Römer, mit Bemerkungen über die Commentare Macknight’s, Stuart’s, und Tholuck’s, from the English, Hamburg, 1839–’43; Umbreit, Der Brief an die Römer, auf dem Grunde des Alten Testaments ausgelegt, Gotha, 1856. [H. Ewald, Die Sendschreiben des Ap. Paulus übers. und erkl., Gött. 1857.—P. S.]
Theological-Exegetical Monographs on the Epistle to the Romans.—See Reuss, p. 95; Jäger, Der Lehrgehalt des Römerbriefs, Tüb. 1834; Winzer, Adnotatt. ad loca quœdam Epist. P. ad Rom., Leipzig, 1835; E. G. Bengel, Romans 2:11-16, Tüb.; Michelsen, De Pauli ad Rom. Ep. duobus primis capitibus, Lübeck, 1835; Matthias, The Third Chapter of Romans, Cassel, 1857; Seyler, Dissert. Exeg. in Ep. P. ad Rom., c. IV., Halle, 1824; Greef on Romans 5:1-11, Amsterd., 1855; R. Rothe, Neuer Versuch einer Auslegung der paulinischen Stelle, Röm. Romans 5:12-21, Wittenberg, 1836; Mangold, Exeget. Versuch über Röm. Romans 5:11-21, Erfurt, 1841; Käuffer, Examinatur novissima Bretschneideri de loco Romans 5:12 sententia, Dresden, 1834; Hugenholtz, Disp. de Cap. 6. Ep. P. ad Rom., Utrecht, 1821; Kohlbrügge, Das siebente Kap., etc., Leyden, 1840; Fischer, Ad loc. Romans 8:18-34, Wittenberg, 1806; Grimm, De vocabulo κτίσις. Romans 8:19 commentatio, Leipzig, 1812; Reiche, De natura gemebunda, Romans 8:19, Göttingen, 1830-’32; Gadolin, Romans 8:28-30, Helsingfors, 1834; Beck, Versuch einer pneumatisch-hermeneutischen Entwickelung des 9. Kap., Stuttgart, 1839; Ranfft, Deutliche Erklärung des 9.-11. Kap. der Epistel Pauli an die Römer, Leipzig, 1750; E. Krummacher, Das Dogma von der Gnadenwahl (nebst Auslegung des 9.–11. Kap.), Duisburg, 1856; on the same chapters, Steudel, in the Tübinger Zeitschrift, 1836, i.; Baur, in the same, iii.; Haussert, in Pelt’s Mitarbeiten, 1838, iii.; Meyer, in the same; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, i. p. 212 [in the 2d edition, vol. i. p. 238 ff.—P. S.]; Borger, De parte Epist. ad Romanos parœnetica, Leyden, 1840; Phil. Schaff, Das neunte Kapitel des Römerbriefs übersetzt und erklärt, Mercersburg, 1852 (in Schaff’s Kirchenfreund, vol. v. p. 378 ff., and p. 414 ff.); Wangemann, Der Brief an die Römer nach Wortlaut und Gedankengang, Berlin, 1866; [W. Mangold, Der Römerbrief, und die Anfänge der Römischen Gemeinde, Marburg, 1866. A valuable critical essay. For a very large number of English essays and sermons on special chapters and verses of the Epistle to the Romans, see James Darling’s Cyclopœdia Bibliographica, Lond. 1859, pp. 1263–1313.—P. S.]
Practical Commentaries and Homiletical Literature.35—Among these we mention the works on the Romans by Anton (1746), Spener (new ed., by Schott, 1839), Storr (1823), Kraussold (1830), Geissler (1831), Lossius (1836), Kohlbrügge (1839), Roos (new ed., 1860), Winkel (1850), Diedrich (1856), Besser (Bibelstunden, vol. vii., 1861); the Bible-Works of Gerlach, Lisco, Calw., and Bunsen (vol. viii., 1863); Heubner’s Practical Exposition of the N. T.; Ortloph, Epistle to the Romans, Erlangen, 1865–’66.
[This list of commentaries on the Romans, by Drs. Tholuck and Lange, is almost exclusively Continental, and must be supplied by Anglo-American works, of which only three are mentioned by Dr. Tholuck—the commentaries of Hammond, Stuart, and Hodge. Comp. Darling’s Cyclopœdia Bibliographica, London, 1859, p. 1236 ff. We notice the most important:
I. General English commentaries on the whole Bible: Matthew Poole (Synopsis Criticorum, etc., 4 vols. in 5 fol., Lond. 1669–’76, and Francof. ad M. 1712, 5 vols. f.; Annotations upon the Holy Bible, 4th ed., 1700, new ed., Lond. 1840, reprinted by R. Carter in N. Y.); Patrick, Lowth, Arnold, Whitby, and Lowman (Critical Commentary and Paraphrase on the Old and New Testaments, and the Apocrypha, a new ed., Philad. 1844, in 4 vols.); M. Henry (in many editions of 3, 4, and 6 vols., the most original, interesting, and edifying among the popular and practical commentators); John Gill (first ed., Lond. 1763, in 9 vols., full of rabbinical learning and ultra-Calvinism); Thos. Scott (several editions, in 6 vols. or less); A. Clarke (new ed., Lond. 1844, in 6 vols.); D’Oyly and R. Mant (Lond. 1845; gives the comments of the Anglican bishops and divines); Comprehensive Commentary (compiled from Henry and Scott, and other sources, by W. Jenks, Philad. 1855, in 5 vols.).
II. Commentaries on the New Testament, including the Epistle to the Romans: H. Hammond (4th ed., Lond. 1675); D. Whitby (4th ed., Lond. 1718, and often since); W. Burkitt (Lond. 1704, and often since; very good for practical and homiletical use); P. Doddridge (Family Expositor, Lond. 1739, in 7 vols., and often); Albert Barnes (Notes Explanatory and Practical, New York and Lond. 1850, and often, 11 vols., prepared for Sunday-school teachers, and circulated in many thousands of copies); S. T. Bloomfield (The Greek Testament, with Notes Critical, Philological, and Exegetical, first published in 1829, 9th ed., Lond. 1855); H. Alford (Greek Testament, with a critically revised text, a digest of various readings, marginal references to verbal and idiomatic usage, prolegomena, and a critical and exegetical commentary; first published in 1849, 5th ed., Lond. 1865, in 4 vols.; in the 5th edition, the Codex Sinaiticus has been collated. Dean Alford follows in the track of Tischendorf as to the text, and De Wette and Meyer in the exposition, yet with independent judgment, good taste, and reverent spirit); Webster and Wilkinson (N. Test. Gr., with brief grammatical and exegetical Notes, Oxon., 1851, in 2 vols.); Chr. Wordsworth (canon of Westminster, high-Anglican, patristic, devout, and genial, but given to excessive typologizing and allegorizing, and avoiding critical difficulties: Greek Testament, with Notes, 1st ed., Lond. 1856; 4th ed., Lond. 1866, in 2 large vols.). Of these English commentators the American editor has especially compared the latest editions of Alford and Words-worth. Ellicott, who is more critical than either, has not yet reached the Romans.
III. Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul: W. Paley (Horœ Paulinœ, or the truth of the Scripture history of St. Paul evinced by a comparison of the Epistles which bear his name with the Acts of the Apostles, and with one another, in many editions); John Fell (A Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the Epistles of St. Paul, 3d ed., Lond. 1703); John Locke (A Paraphrase and Notes on the Galatians, Corinthians, Romans, and Ephesians, Lond. 1742, and in Locke’s Works); G. Benson (Lond. 1752–’56, 2 vols.); James Macknight (A new literal translation, from the original Greek of all the apostolical Epistles, with a commentary, etc., Lond. 1795, and other editions of 1, 4, or 6 vols.); T. W; Peile (Annotations on the Apostolical Epistles, Lond. 1848–52, 4 vols.); Abp. Sumner (Apostolical Preaching considered in an Examination of St. Paul’s Epistles, 9th ed., Lond. 1845); Conybeare and Howson (Life and Epistles of St. Paul, Lond. 1852, reprinted in New York in several editions); B. Jowett (The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians, Romans, with critical notes and dissertations, Lond. 1855); Vaughan (The Epistles of St. Paul, for English Readers, Lond. 1864).
IV. Special commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans: A. Willet (Hexapla: that is, a sixfold commentarie upon the most divine epistle of the holy Apostle St. Paul to the Romans, etc., Lond. 1620); Bp. Terrot (Lond. 1828); R. Anderson (3d ed., Lond. 1837); Bp. Parry (Lond. 1832); Moses Stuart (Congregationalist, 1st ed., Andover, 1832; 2d ed., 1835, 6th ed., Lond. 1857); Charles Hodge (O. S. Presbyterian, 1st ed., Philad. 1835, new edition, enlarged and revised, 1866); Thomas Chalmers (Lectures on the Epistle to the Romans, Glasgow, 1837, 4 vols. 12mo.); R. Haldane (new ed., Lond. 1842, in 3 vols.); Abp. Sumner (A Practical Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans and 1 Corinthians, Lond. 1843); W. Walford (Curœ Romanœ, Lond. 1846); W. W. Ewbank (Commentary, etc., Lond. 1850–’51, 2 vols.); S. H. Turner (Episcopalian, The Epistle to the Romans, in Greek and English; with an analysis and exegetical commentary, New York, 1853); Robt. Knight (A Critical Commentary, etc., Lond. 1854); E. Purdue (Dublin, 1855); A. A. Livermore (Boston, 1855); John Cumming (Sabbath Evening Readings on the Romans, Lond. 1857); John Brown (Analytical Exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, Edinb. 1857); James Ford (St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, illustrated from Divines of the Church of England, Lond. 1862); John Forbes, LL. D. (Analytical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, tracing the train of thought by the aid of Parallelism, Edinb. 1868). The work of Forbes is based upon the discovery that Parallelism is not confined to the poetry of the Bible, but extends also to many portions of its prose. It is not a full commentary, but an illustration of those passages alone which Parallelism seems to place in a new and clearer light.—P. S.]
Christ! I am Christ’s! and let the name suffice you;
Aye, for me, too, He greatly hath sufficed;
Lo, with no winning words I would entice you;
Paul has no honor and no friend but Christ.
Yes, without cheer of sister or of daughter—
Yes, without stay of father or of son,
Lone on the land, and homeless on the water,
Pass I in patience till the work be done.
Yet, not in solitude, if Christ anear me
Waketh Him workers for the great employ;
Oh, not in solitude, if souls that hear me
Catch from my joyance the surprise of joy.
Hearts I have won of sister or of brother,
Quick on the earth or hidden in the sod;
Lo, every heart awaiteth me, another
Friend in the blameless family of God.
Yea, thro’ life, death, thro’ sorrow and thro’ sinning,
He shall suffice me, for He hath sufficed;
Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,
Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ.
From a poem by Frederic W. H. Myers, 1868.]
[Dr. Lange (Das Apostol. Zeitalter, vol. ii. p. 649) adopts substantially the ingenious view, first suggested by Joachim Floris, and recently more fully developed by the great philosopher Schelling, and favored by eminent German divines, such as Neander, Ullmann, Thiersch, that the three representative apostles, Peter, Paul, and John, are the types of three successive ages of Christianity: Peter the apostle of law and Catholicism, Paul the apostle of freedom and Protestantism, John the apostle of love and the church of the future which is to harmonize authority and freedom, unity and variety. Schelling, a day before his death, at Ragatz, Switzerland, Aug. 1854, in a very interesting conversation with the writer of this note, emphatically affirmed his unshaken belief in this view, to which he had given repeated and profound reflection. It is certainly no mere accident that Catholicism professes to be founded on Peter, while Protestantism has at all times mainly appealed to Paul, the apostle of faith, of freedom, of independence, and of progress. Even the antagonism of Protestantism and Romanism has its typical antecedent in the temporary collision of Paul and Peter at Antioch, and the earnest protest of Paul against any compromise with judaizing principles or customs. The idea of Schelling furnishes a fruitful hint for a comprehensive evangelical Catholic philosophy of Church history. But it must be wisely defined and qualified, and, as Lange intimates, it holds good only with regard to the elements of truth, and not to the extremes, contradictions, and defects, in the various historical types of Christianity. For in the Epistles of Peter there is not the faintest trace of hierarchical pretension and judaizing legalism and ritualism; on the contrary, a striking substantial agreement with the system of Paul. Nor do we find, on the other hand, that Paul gives the least countenance to that unhistorical and unchurchly individualism and one-sided intellectualism into which much of the our modern Protestantism has degenerated. It must also be admitted, that in no age or section of Christianity was the spirit of any of the three leading apostles entirely wanting. There were truly evangelical men and tendencies at work in the bosom of mediæval Catholicism, and they are not wholly extinct even in the Roman church of the present day; while the tendency to legalism, formality, intolerance, and exclusivism may be found also in the bosom of Protestantism; and the lovely, harmonizing spirit of John is alive more or less among true believers in all sections of Christendom. So in a similar way the law and the promise, the sacerdotal office and the prophetic spirit, accompanied the Old Testament dispensation through the stages of its development to John the Baptist, the immediate forerunner of the first advent of Christ Comp. below, p. 13, and Schaff’s History of the Apost. Church, pp. 674–678.—P. S.]
In the following section I have borrowed considerably from my own article on Paul, in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopædie [vol. xi. 1859, pp. 239–269,—P. S.]; but I have enlarged it according to necessity. Compare also respective sections in the works of Neander, Schaff, Lange, Thiersch, on the History of the Apostolic Church (Schaff, pp. 239–347), and Conybeare and Howson: The Life and Epistles of St. Paul. London, 1853, republished in New York.
[The proper spelling is not Sanhedrim, but Sanhedrin (Talm. סַנְהֵדְרִין, formed from συνέδριον), but there is no uniformity in this even among scholars.—P. S.]
[The reader will meet in this and all other parts of Dr. Lange’s Commentary very frequent references to Winer’s Biblical Dictionary (Biblisches Realörterbuch zum Handgebrauch für Studirende, etc., 3d ed. Leipsic, 1848, 2 vols.), which is justly prized in Germany as a masterwork of ripe scholarship and critical accuracy. The English and American student who has no access to it, may in nearly all such cases profitably consult the same articles in W. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, large edition, London and Boston, 1863, 3 vols.; large American edition, with many improvements and additions, by Prof. H. B. Hackett and Ezra Abbot, New York, 1868 ff., to be completed in 4 vols.; and the superb third edition of Kitto’s Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, prepared by W. Lindsay Alexander, D.D., etc., London, 1865, 3 vols. These English works, being the result of the combined labor of many contributors, have less unity and symmetry than that of Winer, but are more extensive and embody the latest information (especially Hackett and Abbot’s edition of Smith unabridged, now in course of preparation and publication, with the help of a number of American scholars). A new German Dictionary of the Bible has been recently commenced with a considerable array of collaborators by Schenkel of Heidelberg, and will represent the liberal, semi-rationalistic school of German theology.—P. S.]
[By Wieseler who, in his very learned and able chronology of the Apostolic Age, identifies the visit mentioned, Galatians 2:1, with the fourth journey of Paul to Jerusalem mentioned Acts 18:21-22. He has defended his view in an Excursus to his Commentary to the. Galatians, p. 552 ff. Compare against his view and in favor of the identity of the journey of Galatians 2:1 with that to the Apostolic Council, Acts 15:0, my History of the Apost. Church, p. 245 ff.; and the Commentary on Galatians 2:1.—P. S.]
[The chronologists of the Apostolic Church differ in the date of the Council of Jerusalem from 47–53. Winer, De Wette. Wieseler, Schaff, and Alford, put it in 50 or 51; Olshausen, Meyer, Ewald, in 52.—P. S.]
[The passage of Clement of Rome, which has given rise to different interpretations, must be translation thus: “Paul … having come to the limit (ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα, not: before the highest tribunal, ὑπὸ τὸ τέρμα) of the West, and having died a martyr under the rulers (others: having borne witness before the rulers), he departed from the world and went to the holy place, having furnished the sublimest model of endurance.” The dispute about the true reading in the passage (somewhat obliterated)—ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα or ὑπὸ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως—is now settled in favor of ἐπί by the testimony of Professors Jacobson and Tischendorf, who have carefully re-examined the only extant and defective MS. of the Clementine Epistle to the Corinthians in the British Museum. See Jacobson, Patres Apost. in loc. (Oxon., new ed., 1863), and Tischendorf, Appendix codicum celeb. Sin. Vat. Alex., etc., Lips. 1867. This sets aside Wieseler’s interpretation of τέρμα—supreme power, highest tribunal of the West (i.e., the Emperor of Rome), into which I myself was betrayed in my History of the Apostolic Church, p. 342 (Am. ed.), and which I now retract. Although τέρμα in itself may mean supreme power, it can hardly do so in connection with the geographical term δύσις. At all events ἐπί τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως must here be rendered: to the limit of the West; and this, in the mouth of Clement who wrote from Rome, points more naturally, though by no means necessarily, to Spain (or Gaul or Britain) than to Rome, especially in view of the fact that Paul intended to visit Spain, Romans 15:24 ff. Clement therefore may be quoted with tolerably good reason as the first witness to the ancient tradition (first clearly stated by Eusebius, H. E. ii. Rom 25: λόγος ἕχει, etc.) of a second Roman captivity of Paul; for before his first captivity there is no room for a journey to Spain.—P. S.]
(There is not the slightest historical trace of the labors of Paul in Spain, much less in Britain. The early tradition of his journey to Spain is inferred from Clement’s τέρμα τῆς δύσεως, and seems to be obscurely implied in the mutilated Muratori fragment on the Canon; but it may have originated in a premature conclusion from the Apostle’s desire to visit that country, Romans 15:24; Romans 15:28. Nevertheless such a journey, which was certainly intended, may have been executed, and rendered comparatively fruitless by difficulties thrown in his way, or by a speedy return. Ewald (Apost. Zeitalter, 2d ed., 1858, p. 631) suggests that Paul, on hearing in Spain of the terrors of the Neronian persecution, hastened of his own accord back to Rome to bear testimony to Christ, and being seized there, was again brought to trial and condemned to death in 65. Howson (The Life and Letters of St. Paul, 2:460 ff., 482 ff.; Lond. ed.), in following and extending the combinations of Neander, assumes that Paul, after his liberation in 63, first visited the East (Philemon 1:22; Philippians 2:21), then Spain by an unknown route, after about two years again returned to the East (Ephesus, Macedonia, Crete), was arrested at Nicopolis, forwarded to Rome for a second trial, probably on the charge of having inst gated the Roman Christians to their supposed act of incendiarism (?) which caused the terrible persecution in 64, and suffered martyrdom early in June, 68, shortly before the death of Nero.—P. S.]
[This appendix is condensed in the translation, with unessential omissions. In the preface to the second edition, and in self-defence against Schenkel, Dr. Lange supports this severe judgment by a number of quotations from Baur’s work on Paul, which it is unnecessary to insert here. Baur and the Tübingen School are not likely ever to acquire the importance which they enjoyed in Germany for a brief period. This school is simply a modern phase of Gnosticism (ψευδώνυμος γνῶσις, 1 Timothy 6:20), and, like the Gnosticism of the second century, it has been overruled for a good purpose, in stirring up the Church to a deeper investigation and defence of the primitive records of Christianity, which have already come out triumphant, with new gains of knowledge, of this as of every other trial. I say this with all due respect for the genius and learning of Baur, and the value of his masterly historical criticism, where it does not touch matters of faith which he did not understand (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).—P. S.]
[The original Psammachiam, even in the second edition, is evidently a double error of the printer; the one is borrowed from Tholuck, l. c. Pammachius was a Roman senator and friend of Jerome.—P. S.]
[In this presumptuous disposition to criticise St. Paul, Rückert has found an English imitator in Professor Jowett, who thinks it necessary to qualify what he considers to he a blind and undiscriminating admiration of the apostle, and who misrepresents him as a confused, though profound thinker, who uttered himself “in broken words and hesitating forms of speech, with no beauty or comeliness of style.” But such paradoxical views are quite isolated, especially in England and America, and are not likely to unsettle the established estimate which Christendom, Greek, Latin, and Evangelical, has set upon the great apostle of the Gentiles for these eighteen hundred years.—P. S.]
The harmonious fundamental thoughts of the Epistles everywhere result from a combination of the fundamental and final themes in connection with the introduction and conclusion.
Comp. my Apost. Age, ii. p. 586, and Lechler’s review of the different representations of the Pauline system, in his work on the Apost. and Post-Apost. Age, p. 18.
 [The Barnabas spoken of by Pseudo-Clemens, Recogn., l. i. c. 7, is called a Hebrew by birth, and one of the disciples of Jesus, sent by Him to the West to announce the glad tidings. But this and other pseudo-Clementine legends are of no historical value whatever. It is certain, however, that the Jews of Rome were represented on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2:10), and it is highly probable that they brought the first report of Christianity to Rome, possibly as converts, and in this case forming the nucleus of a Jewish Christian congregation. See below.—P. S.]
On the gradual rise of this legend, see Wieseler, Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters, p. 552 ff.; and Schaff, History of the Apost. Church, § 93, p. 362 ff. The historical value of this tradition has been given up, even by some Roman Catholic writers [e.g., Hug, Feilmoser, Klee, and others mentioned by Tholuck in his Comm. on the Romans, p. 1, who do not, like Baur, deny that Peter was ever at Rome, but only that he founded the church of Rome.—P. S.] But, on the other hand, there are Protestant divines, such as Bertholdt, Mynster, and Thiersch (The Church in the. Apost. Age, 1852, p. 97), who have endeavored to sustain it, and it is easy to see why the Romanists of the present day return to the support of the legend (see Hagemann, Die römische Kirche, Freib., p. 658 ff.).
On the untenability of the hypothesis that Babylon means Rome, see my Apost. Zeitalter, ii. p. 380.
See Neander, Kirchengeschichte, i. p. 51. Tertullian’s legend of the Emperor Tiberius. [Tert., Apolog. c. Romans 5:0 : Tiberius, cuius tempore nomen Christianum in sæculum introivit, adnunciata sibi ex Syria Palestina, quæ illic veritatem ipsius divinitatis revelaverant, detulit ad Senatum cum prærogativa suffragii sui. Senatus, quia non ipse probaverat, respuit, Cæsar in sententia mansit, comminatus periculum accusatoribus Christianorum. In Romans 21, Tertullian traces the knowledge of Tiberius to a report of Pontius Pilate, and adds that even the emperors would have believed in Christ, if either emperors were not necessary for the world, or if Christians could be emperors. Eusebius, H. E. ii. 2, translates the former passage of Tertullian. Before him, Justin Martyr, Apol. i. c. 35 and 48, spoke of acts of Pilate on the last days of Christ. Comp. the Gospel of Nicodemus, and Epiphan. Hær. L. c. i.—P. S.]
 Philo, Leg. ad Caj. On their dwelling-place in the Regio transtibering, comp. Winer, art. Rom.
 [The edict of Claudius de pellendis Judæis, mentioned by Suetonius, Claud. c. 25, and in Acts 18:2 (comp. Dion Cassius, Hist. Rom. lx. 6), is usually understood to embrace the (Jewish) Christians as well as the Jews, on the ground that Chrestus is a corrupt spelling for Christus, and that tumultuantes refers to the controversies excited by the introduction of Christianity. To this may be objected, (1) that Suetonius (whom Pliny, Epist. x. 95, calls virum eruditissimum) must have known the name of Christ as well as Tacitus (Annal. xv. 44), and Pliny (x. 96); for he called His disciples Christiani (Nero, c. 16); (2) that an internal religious controversy of the Jews would require inter se after tumultuantes; and (3) that such a controversy would hardly have justified an edict of expulsion. Hence Meyer (ad Acts 18:2) and Wieseler (Chronology of the Apost. Age, p. 122, and art. Römerbrief, in Herzog’s Encyclop., vol. xx. p. 585) understand by Chrestus a Jew who stirred up a political rebellion in Rome during the reign of Claudius. But I prefer the usual opinion, for the following reasons: (1) There is no trace of such a character, who must have been a false Messiah, and could hardly have remained unknown; (2) the use of the vulgar misnomer Chrestus (Χρηστός), for Christus, is established by the testimony of Tertullian (Ad nat. i. 3; Apol. c. Romans 3:0 : “Sed et cum perperam Chrestianus pronunciatur a vobis—nam nec nominis certa est notitia penes vos—de suavitate vel benignitate compositum est”), and Lactantius (Inst. div. iv. Romans 7:0 : … “propter ignorantium errorem, qui cum immutata litera Chrestum solent dicere”). But it seems that the law of Claudius was not rigorously executed, from apprehension of bad effects in view of the large number of the Jews; and that only the public assemblies were closed. This is stated by Dion Cassius, lx. 6, who probably refers to the same edict, as Lehmann and Wieseler, assume (τούς τε ̓Ιουδαίος πλεονάσαντας αὖθις, ὥστε χαλεπῶς ἄν ἅνευ ταραχῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ ὅχλου σφῶν τῆς πόλεως εἰρχθῆναι, οὐκ ἐξήλασε μέν, τῷ δὲ δὴ πατρίῳ νόμῳ βίῳ χρωμένους ἐκέλευσε μὴ συναθροίζεσθαι), unless we assign this decree (with Meyer and Lechler, ad Acts 18:2) to an earlier date. At all events, the edict, if it applied to the Christians at all, can only have had a temporary effect; for we find, a few years afterwards, a large Christian congregation at Rome, composed of converts from the Jews and Gentiles, as is evident from the Epistle to the, Romans, from the return of Aquila and Priscilla (Romans 16:3), from Acts 18:17 ff., and from Tacitus’s account of the Neronian persecution in July, 64. Claudius issued several edicts concerning the Jews, first favorable ones in the year 42, mentioned by Josephus, Antiq. xix, 5, 2, 3; then the edict of expulsion, A. D. 52 (Sueton., Claud. 25; Acts 18:2), with which probably the one mentioned by Dion Cassius, xl. 6, is identical. The silence of Josephus concerning the latter edict is the more easily explained from the fact that, like the contemporary edict de mathematicis Italia pellendis (noticed by Tacitus, Annal. xii. 52), it was never fully executed, or else speedily recalled.—P. S.]
 [The same view as to the preponderance of the Jewish element has been ably defended since by W. Mangold, Der Römerbrief und die Anfänge der Röm. Gemeinde, 1866, p. 35 ff.; but he justly denies the hypothesis of Baur, that the Jewish Christians in Rome were Ebionites. Schott, on the contrary, differs from Baur and Mangold in assuming that the Epistle to the Romans was mainly intended for Gentile Christians. All three agree as to the aim and object of the Epistle, which was to justify Paul’s apostolate to the Gentiles, by explaining the peculiar features of his doctrine and removing the objections to it, and thus to prepare the way not only for a personal visit to Rome, but also for a new missionary activity in the West, with Rome as the centre (comp. Mangold, l. c. p. 141). But Mangold objects to Schott that such a justification was unnecessary for Gentile Christians, and hence he presupposes Jewish Christiana.—P. S]
 More recently, the Englishman Evanson, in his book on the Discrepancies of the Four Gospels, has incidentally attacked the genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans, with trifling remarks unworthy of refutation; besides him, Bruno Bauer [a half-cracked pseudo-critic of Berlin, not to be confounded with the far superior Dr. Ferdinand Christian Baur of Tübingen.—P. S.]
[On the general use of the Greek language in the age of the apostles, within the limits of the Roman Empire, comp. especially the learned work of Dr. Alexander Roberts, Discussions on the Gospels, Cambridge and London, 2d ed. 1864, pp. 1–316. Dr. Roberts endeavors to prove, from the undeniable facts of the New Testament, that even in Palestine, at the time of Christ, Greek was the common language of public intercourse, and that Christ and the apostles spoke for the most part in Greek, and only now and then in Aramaic. If this be so, we have, in the Gospels, not a translation, but the original words of our Saviour as He spoke them to the people and to the Twelve.—P. S.]
 Among the essays on this subject are those by Christ. Fried. Schmid (Tübinger Weinachisprogramm, 1834, De Paulinæ ad Romanos Epistolæ consilio et argumento); by Baur (Zweck und Veranlassung des Römerbriefs, in the Tübinger Zeitschrift, 1836, No. 3), and his followers (see Tholuck, p. 16); by Olshausen (in the Studien und Kritiken, 1838, p. 953); by Huther (Zweck und Inhalt der zwölf ersten Kapitel des Römerbriefs, 1846); and Theod. Schott (Der Römerbrief, seinem Endzweck und Gedankengang noch ausgelegt, Erlangen, 1858).—[Since then appeared D. Wilhelm Mangold, The Epistle to the Romans, and the Beginnings of the Roman Congregation: A critical Investigation, Marburg, 1866, pp. 183; and W. Beyschlag, The Historical Problem of the Epistle to the Romans, in the Studien und Kritiken for 1867, pp. 627–665. The views of the late Dr. Baur on the Aim and Occasion of the Epistle to the Romans, were first published at Tübingen, 1836, and substantially reproduced in his work on Paul, 1845, p. 332 ff., as well as in his Church History of the first three Centuries, 2d ed., 1860, p. 62 ff.; but in this last work, and in the second edition of the monograph on St. Paul (1867), he moderates the alleged antagonism of the Jewish Christians at Rome against Paul, and no more insists on the opinion that chapters ix.–xi. constitute the doctrinal essence of the whole Epistle, to which the rest was made to serve merely as an introduction and an application. It must be admitted that Dr. Baur, by striking critical combinations, broke a new field of investigation concerning the character and condition of the primitive Christians in Rome, and the aim and occasion of the Epistle to the Romans. Theodor Schott, of Erlangen, agreeing with Baur as to the central significance of Romans 9:10, , Romans 9:11, but differing from his untenable assumption of the preponderance of the Jewish element in the Roman congregation, represents the Epistle as an apology of the Gentile apostolate of Paul before Gentile Christians of the Pauline school. But these did not need any such apology. Mangold, in the able treatise just referred to, substantially renews the view of Baur as to the essentially Jewish Christian character of the Church of Rome, and the importance of Romans 9-11, but he moderates its supposed antagonism to Paul. Baur, Schott, and Mangold agree in giving the Epistle an apologetic aim, viz., the defence of Paul’s apostolate of the Gentiles (Die Rechtfertigung des paulinischen Heidenapostolats). In this, Beyschlag differs from them, and, without denying this apologetic aim, he yet subordinates it (with Tholuck, Olshausen, De Wette, and others) to the general dogmatic aim of a systematic exhibition of the gospel salvation to a prevailingly Gentile Christian congregation in the metropolis of the world. In doing this, however, the Apostle had evidently his eye mainly upon the settlement of the difficult problem touching the relation of God’s ancient people to the recently-engrafted Gentile world on the broad basis of God’s infinite wisdom and mercy in the unfolding of His plan of redemption. Thus, Romans 9-11 receive their proper position as an outline of a philosophy of church history, instead of being merely regarded as a parenthetical section. Compare Dr. Lange’s views in the text. The English commentators do not trouble themselves much with this introductory question.—P. S.]
 [There were attempts at historical exegesis among the Greek fathers of the Antiochian school, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and among a few Latin fathers such as Jerome, Pseudo-Ambrosius, and Pelagius; on the other hand, with some of the modern commentators the doctrinal and practical element predominates.—P. S.]
[In the original, this section is § 7, and precedes the one on the Contents and Division.—P. S.]
 [The dates and editions are added by the American editor.]
[St. Augustine has only commented on the first seven verses of the Epistle to the Romans, in his Inchoata expositio ep. ad Rom. Opera, ed. Boned., tom. iii. p. 926 sqq., and on some select passages, in expos, quarundam propositionum ex ep. ad Romans , 1. c., p. 903 sqq. It is a remarkable fact that Augustine, who, of all the fathers, came nearest the Protestant evangelical doctrines of sin and grace as taught by St. Paul, held essentially the Roman Catholic view of justification as being identical with sanctification, while his antagonist, Pelagius, like the Reformers, explained Paul’s justification as a forensic act that consists in the remission of sins. Comp. my History of the Christian Church, vol. iii. p. 812, 845. In his anti-Pelagian writings, Augustine makes frequent use of the Epistle to the Romans, and the other Pauline Epistles, which contributed much to his conversion. But he was a profound theologian rather than a learned commentator, and had a very imperfect knowledge of the Greek, and no knowledge whatever of the Hebrew. Upon the whole, the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians in their true genius and import remained a sealed book to the Church at large till the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The sense of the Scriptures unfolds itself gradually to the mind of the Church, and every book has its age in which its peculiar power is felt in the life, and brought out in the knowledge and exposition of congenial divines more clearly and forcibly than ever before.—P. S.]
[The commentary of the heretical Pelagius on the Pauline Epistles is brief and superficial, but betrays no mean talent for plain, popular, and practical common-sense exposition of the Scriptures. By a singular irony of history, the commentaries, together with some other writings of Pelagius in which he develops his heretical system (the Epistola ad Demetriadem, and his libellus fidei addressed to Pope Innocent I.), have been preserved as supposed works of his bitter antagonist, St. Jerome (in the eleventh tome of Vallarsi’s edition; comp. my Church Hist., iii. p. 791 and p. 985). The commentaries, however, have undergone some emendations by the hand of Cassiodorus (comp. Cass., De institut. divin. liter., l. 8).—P. S.]
 [The commentary of Ambrosiaster, so called, or Pseudo-Ambrosius, on the Pauline Epistles, is incorporated in the works of Ambrose, and is generally ascribed to a Roman deacon, Hilary, of the fourth century (about 380). Augustine refers to it twice under this name, Contra duas Epp. Pelag. Romans 4:7, Opera, x. p. 472. Ambrosiaster exhibits some talent for historical exposition (like Pelagius), but is obscure and inconsistent. Upon the whole the patristic exegesis was not grammatical and historical, but dogmatical and practical.—P. S.]
 [English translation of Calvin on the Romans, by Christoprer Rosdell, F. Sibson, and John Owen. Edinb. Calvin Transl. Soc., 1844 and 1849.—P. S.]
[Meyer (Preface to the 4th ed. of his Com.) calls Melanchthon’s “Enarratio” of 1556, “his ripest exegetical fruit.” The “Commentaries” of Melanchthon appeared also in 1540, and in a new edition by Nickel in 1861. Lange, following Tholuck, refers to older editions.—P. S.]
[Tholuck. (p. 31) says of Bengel’s Gnomon, that it was prepared with the devotion of an enthusiastic lover, whose searching eye noticed and admired even the most unseemly feature of the beloved, and carried out with a precision which weighed even the smallest particle.—P. S.]
 [The first edition of Tholuck’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, which appeared in 1824, when the author was but twenty-five years of age, created quite an epoch in the exegetical literature of Germany, by breaking the way for a return to a reverent treatment of the New Testament as the revealed word of God, and by reopening the exegetical treasures of the fathers and reformers. In the subsequent editions it has been repeatedly rewritten and gained in ripe scholarship. The last edition is the fifth, Halle, 1856. Between the first and the fifth edition, about forty commentaries on the same Epistle have made their appearance. An English translation of Tholuck by the Rev. Robert Menzies was published in London, 1842, 2 vols.; but this is superseded by the later editions of the original.—P. S.]
 [Fourth edition, 1865, improved and enlarged (by thirty pages). Dr. Lange has used the third, which appeared in 1859. The American editor has throughout compared the last edition of this important work.—P. S.]
[We have omitted or abridged the German titles of these books.—P. S.]
the Fifth Week after Easter