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and resurrection, as told in the four Gospels, was the chief theme of Paul's preaching."

With regard to our Lord's resurrection in particular, they prove that event to have been generally believed in by the Church in St Paul's time, and to have been from the first the basis of the apostle's preaching. They also imply the exercise of supernatural powers by the apostle himself,

“ Unto

maketh intercession for us”; and (9) His reign ; I Cor. i. 2, 3: the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours : Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”; Rom. xiv. 9: “For to this end Christ died, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” 11 Cor. xv.

1-4: “Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved ; I make known, I say, in what words I preached it unto you, if ye hold it fast, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures;" 1 Cor. xi. 23-26: "For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. In like manner also the cup,after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood : this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come Rom. vi. 8-11: “But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him ; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more ; death no more hath dominion over him. For the death that he died, he died unto sin once : but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus"; Rom. viii. 34: “Who is he that shall condemn? It is

Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us "; x. 9: “Because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved ”; xiv. 9: “For to this end Christ died, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living”; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but 'unto him who for their sakes died and rose again"; Gal. iii. 1:O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified ?"

2 1 Cor. xv. 1-4 (quoted above, note 1). vv. 12-17 : “Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised : and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God ; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ : whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised : and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain ; ye are yet in your sins”; Cor. iv.

14: Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you"; Rom. i. 4, 5: “Who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we received grace and apostleship, unto obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake" ; Rom. iv. 24 : “ But for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned,


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as a fact generally admitted and not likely to be called in question even by those who were opposed to him, and they show the existence in the Church of spiritual gifts on a large scale and with many well-defined variations, that were commonly regarded as the result of supernatural influence.2

We are thus in a great measure independent of the four Gospels for our knowledge of the original truths and principles of Christianity; and we have in the epistles a practical refutation of the mythical theories which would attribute the supernatural elements in our Gospels to the gradual growth of legend in the Church.

The evidence derived from the epistles is all the more valuable because it is indirect, the letters having manifestly been written without any such object in view. It has to be noted too that they are addressed to several independent communities far removed from one another. One of these communities (the Church in Rome) had received its Christianity from another source than the apostle, while in the two others (Corinth and Galatia) there were opponents

who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead"; Rom. vi. 4: “ We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life"; Gal. i. 1: Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither

ugh man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead").

1 Rom. xv. 18, 19: “For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Ghost; so that from Jerusalem, and round about even' unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ”; 2 Cor. xii. 11-13: “I am become foolish : ye compelled me; for I ought to have been commended of you : for in nothing was I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I am nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works.

For what is there wherein ye were made inferior to the rest of the churches, except it be that I myself was not a burden to you? forgive me this wrong Gal. iii. 5:

“He therefore that supplieth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?". It may be doubted whether the apostle is here alluding to himself, but at all events his mode of expression shows that he did not expect the supernatural facts referred to would for a moment be disputed.

2 1 Cor. xii-xiv.: " For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom ; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit : to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit ; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits : to another divers kinds of tongues ; and to another the interpretation of tongues : but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will. ...

to criticise his statements, as well as friends to sympathise with him. In these circumstances falsehood or error with reference to important matters of fact was extremely improbable. To this we may add that the letters are evidently the productions of a man whose sincerity is as great as his intellectual acuteness and sobriety of judgment, and who, from his early association with the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem, was in a position to know all that could be said against the alleged facts of Christianity.

Altogether, it is not too much to say that a study of these epistles leads inevitably to the conclusion that Paul's gospel had the same historical groundwork as the Gospel preached at the present day-that groundwork consisting of the same essential and well-attested facts regarding Christ's life and teaching as we find recorded in the four Gospels.

4. St. Paul's previous History. Regarding the previous life of the author, the following brief statement may suffice. Paul (originally called Saul) was born within a few years after our Lord's nativity, in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, a famous seat of classical learning. His father, though a Roman citizen, was of Hebrew descent, and brought up his son in the strictest observance of the Jewish law. Trained at Jerusalem under the renowned Pharisaic teacher Gamaliel, Saul became thoroughly versed in Rabbinical literature, and was equally distinguished for his learning and his zeal. He was among the earliest and fiercest persecutors of the Christians, whom he regarded as apostates from the religion of their fathers; and it was while he was on his way to Damascus in the execution of a warrant from the high priest that he was suddenly converted (about 37 A.D.) by the direct interposition of the risen Christ. From Him he received a special commission to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, and in His service he continued with unflinching courage and devotion, in spite of calumny and persecution, to the last hour of his life. After about eight years, spent partly in retirement, partly in preaching in Syria and Cilicia, he joined (about 44 A.D.) his old friend Barnabas, a liberal-minded apostle, at Antioch, which was soon to become the great centre of missionary enterprise for the early Church. In company with Barnabas, Paul made his first missionary journey (about 48 A.D.), through Cyprus and part of Asia Minor, and attended the Council at Jerusalem (about 50 A.D.), to advocate the cause of the Gentile converts in their struggle against the bigotry of their Jewish brethren. In the following year he started on his second and more extensive missionary tour, in the course of which, under the divine guidance, he crossed over to Europe, founding a number of Churches there, among others that of Thessalonica. He reached Corinth in 52 A.D., from which, as we shall presently see, he wrote the first of his epistles that have been preserved to us, namely I and 2 Thessalonians,





1. Authorship

THERE is ample external evidence to prove that this epistle was acknowledged to be a genuine writing of St Paul in the second quarter of the second century, 1 while expressions apparently borrowed from it are to be found in writings of a still earlier date.

The few critics, headed by Baur, who have called its genuineness in question, have done so on internal grounds, alleging against it both its likeness and its unlikeness to the other epistles of Paul. But its unlikeness is satisfactorily accounted for by the comparatively early date of its composition, and the very exceptional nature of the occasion on which it was written; while its likeness is largely due to the habit of repetition which is a marked characteristic of the apostle, and, in particular, to the germination, at this early period, of ideas more fully developed in his subsequent writings. Moreover, the resemblance between this and other writings of St Paul is often so subtle and minute—depending on the play of personal feeling and affection for his converts,4 or on

1 It is expressly quoted by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian; was acknowledged by Marcion; and has a place in the Muratorian Canon, and the Old Latin and Syriac Versions.

2 Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Ignatius, and Polycarp.

3 Compare, for example, v. 8: But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and

love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation,” with the description of the Christian panoply in Eph. vi. 13-17; also the apostle's allusion to his selfdenial in waiving his apostolic rights in ii. 5-9, with the fuller assertion of these rights in 1 Cor. ix., &c.

4 E.g. ii. 17-20 : “But we, brethren, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, en

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