Paul (Παῦλος, the Greek form of the common Latin name Paulus), originally (see below) Saul (q.v.), the specially appointed "Apostle to the Gentiles." (In the following treatment of this important character, we endeavor to weave in the Scripture narrative whatever illustration may be gathered from modern researches and speculations.
I. Preliminary Inquiries. —
1. Original Authorities. Nearly all the authentic materials for the life of the apostle Paul are contained in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Pauline Epistles. Out of a comparison of these authorities the biographer has to construct his account of the really important period of the apostle's life. The early traditions of the Church appear to have left almost untouched the space of time for which we possess those sacred and abundant sources of knowledge; and they aim only at supplying a few particulars in the biography beyond the points at which the narrative of the Acts begins and terminates.
The inspired history and the Epistles lie side by side, and are to all appearance quite independent of one another. It was not the purpose of the historian to write a life of Paul, even as much as the received name of his book would seem to imply. The book called the Acts of the Apostles is an account of the beginnings of the kingdom of Christ on the earth. The large space which the apostle occupies in it is due to the important part which he bore in spreading that kingdom. As to the Epistles, nothing can be plainer than that they were written without reference to the history; and there is no attempt in the canon to combine them with it so as to form what we should call in modern phrase the apostle's "Life and Letters." What amount of agreement and what amount of discrepancy may be observed between these independent authorities is a question of the greatest interest and importance, and one upon which various opinions are entertained. The most adverse and extreme criticism is ably represented by Dr. Baur of Tubingen (Paulus der Apostel Jesu Christi [Stuttg. 1845]), who finds so much opposition between what he holds to be the few authentic Pauline Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles that he pronounces the history to be an interested fiction. But his criticism is the very caricature of captiousness. We have but to imagine it applied to any history and letters of acknowledged authenticity, and we feel irresistibly how arbitrary and unhistorical it is. Putting aside this extreme view, it is not to be denied that difficulties are to be met with in reconciling completely the Acts and the received Epistles of Paul. What the solutions of such difficulties may be, whether there are any direct contradictions, how far the apparent differences may be due to the purpose of the respective writers, by what arrangement all the facts presented to us may best be dovetailed together — these are the various questions which have given' so much occupation to the critics and expositors of Paul, and upon some of which it seems to be yet impossible to arrive at a decisive conclusion. We shall assume the Acts of the Apostles to be a genuine and authentic work of Luke. the companion of Paul, and shall speak of the Epistles at the places which we believe them to occupy in the history.
2. Name. — There can be no doubt that the apostle's name, as a Jew, was Saul; but when or how he received the Roman name Paul, which he bears in the Acts of the Apostles from Ac 13:9, which he uses in his Epistles, and by which he is called by Peter (2Pe 3:15), is unknown. It is quite probable that he had borne the name of Paul as a Roman citizen; and it is no objection to this view that then this name would have appeared first, and that of Saul later (Witsius, Meletem. Leid. p. 47). If it is not merely accidental that Luke first calls him Paul in the passage mentioned, the reason may be that the apostle then first commenced his public and separate ministry; and Paul, a Gentile name, was that which the apostle of the Gentiles always on in Church history (Baur, Paul. p. 93). Even if the Jews still used the old Jewish name, there was afterwards no occasion for Luke to mention it. The account of Jerome that Paul assumed this name upon the conversion by him of Sergius Paulus (Ac 13:7; comp. August. Confess. 8:4; Bengel and Olshausen, on Acts 13:9) is perhaps not a tradition, but a mere suggestion of that father himself, on the ground that the name Paul first appears in the passage following that account. Indeed, Baur (p. 93) would have us believe that this was the view of Luke himself, and that the whole account of the conversion of Sergius Paulus was built up to illustrate this change of name! But if there had been any connection between the two events, it would have been natural for the writer to indicate it (see Neander, p. 108). It is easy to suppose simply that, in becoming a Christian. according to the Eastern custom, SEE NAME, he assumed the name Paul, as one common among Greeks and Romans, and quite similar in sound to Saul (comp. Chrysost. and Theophyl. in Suicer, Thesaur. 2:648), perhaps with some reference to the etymological signification of the name (comp. 1Co 15:9; Paulus, Lat. small, little; comp. Gr. Παῦρος). Yet we should then expect that Luke would employ the name Paul from Ac 9:19 onward. (For another view, see Kuinol, Comment. ad loc.) SEE SERGIUS PAULUS.
II. Personal History. — We purpose under this head to gather together all the information given either directly or incidentally in the Acts and Epistles concerning the apostle's life, relegating to a subsequent head the various disputes that have been raised on some of them.
1. Youth and Early Career. — Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia (Ac 22:3, etc.), and was of Jewish descent, of the tribe of Benjamin (Php 3:5). From his father he inherited the rights of Roman citizenship, which had probably been earned by some of his ancestry through services rendered to the Roman state (Lardner, Works, 1:228, ed. 1788, 8vo; Grotius, ad Acta 22:28). The supposition that he enjoyed them in virtue of being a native of Tarsus is not well founded; for though that city had been created by Augustus an urbs libera (Dion. Chrysost. 2:36, ed. Reiske; Pliny, Hist. Nat. v. 27), it does not follow from this that all its natives enjoyed the privilege of Roman citizenship; and besides, from Ac 21:39 compared with Ac 22:24,27, it may be inferred that, as the chief captain knew Paul to be a native of Tarsus, and yet was not aware of his Roman citizenship, the latter of these was not necessarily associated with the former. From his receiving the name Saul it has been supposed that he was the first-born son of his parents, and that they had long desired and often asked for such a favor from God; that he was not their only child, however, appears from the mention made (Ac 23:16) of his "sister's son." Whether Andronicus, Junia, and Herodion, whom he terms, in the Epistle to the Romans (Ro 16:7,11), συγγενεῖς μου, were of the number of his blood relations, or only belonged to the same tribe with him, is a question on which learned men have taken different sides (comp. Lardner, Works, 6:235; Estius, Commn. ad loc.). (See below.)
At that time Tarsus was the rival of Athens and Alexandria as a place of learning and philosophical research (Strabo, 14:5); but to what extent the future "Apostle of the Gentiles" enjoyed the advantage of its schools we have no means of accurately determining. Attempts have been made to show from his writings that he was familiar with Greek literature. and Dr. Bentley has not hesitated to affirm that "as Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, so it is manifest from this chapter alone (Acts xxvii), if nothing else had been now extant, that Paul was a great master in all the learning of the Greeks" (Boyle Lectures, serm. 3, sub init.). An authority like that of Bentley in a question of Greek literature is not to be lightly set aside; yet on referring to the evidence in support of this opinion it will not be found to justify it. It must be allowed, however, that the mere circumstance of his having spent his early years in such a city as Tarsus could not but exert a very powerful influence on the mind of such a man as Paul, in the way of sharpening his faculties, refining his tastes, and enlarging the circle of his sympathies and affections. "If even to the meanest citizen," as Eichhorn remarks, "such a circumstance affords — unless he be by nature utterly unobservant — much information which otherwise he could not have obtained, and in consequence of this a certain activity of mind, how much greater may not its effect be supposed to have been on a great mind like that of Paul? To his birth and early residence in Tarsus may be traced the urbanity which the apostle at no time laid aside, and of which he was frequently a perfect model, many insinuating turns which he gives to his epistles, and a more skillful use of the Greek tongue than a Jew born and educated in Palestine could well have attained" (Einleit. ins N.T. 3:5). (See below.)
But whatever uncertainty may hang over the early studies of the apostle in the department of Greek learning, there can be no doubt that, being the son of a Pharisee, and destined, in all probability, from his infancy to the pursuits of a doctor of Jewish law, he would be carefully instructed from his earliest years in the elements of Rabbinical lore. It is probable also that at this time he acquired his skill in that handicraft trade by which in later years he frequently supported himself (Ac 17:3; 1Co 4:12, etc.). This trade is described by Luke as that of a σκηνοποιός, a word regarding the meaning of which there has been no small difference of opinion. (See below.) It does not follow that the family were in the necessitous condition which such manual labor commonly implies; for it was a wholesome custom among the Jews to teach every child some trade, though there might be little prospect of his depending upon it for his living. SEE HANDICRAFT.
When Paul made his defense before his countrymen at Jerusalem (Acts 22), he told them that, though born in Tarsus, he had been "brought up" (ἀνατεθραμμένος) in Jerusalem. He must, therefore, have been yet a boy when he was removed, in all probability for the sake of his education, to the Holy City of his fathers. We may imagine him arriving there perhaps at some age between ten and fifteen, already a Hellenist, speaking Greek and familiar with the Greek version of the Scriptures, possessing, besides the knowledge of his trade, the elements of Gentile learning — to be taught at Jerusalem "according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers." He learned, he says, "at the feet of Gamaliel." He who was to resist so stoutly the usurpations of the law had for his teacher one of the most eminent of all the doctors of the law. Gamaliel is supposed to be the person of that name who is celebrated in the writings of the Talmudists as one of the seven teachers to whom the title "Rabban" was given (Lightfoot, Horace Hebr. in Act. v. 34; Neander, Apostol. Zeitalter, p. 62; Otho, Lex. Rabbinico-Philippians s.v. Rabbi). Besides acquaintance with the Jewish law, and a sincere conviction of the supreme excellence of Judaism, Gamaliel appears to have possessed a singularly calm and judicious mind, and to have exercised a freedom of thought as well as pursued a range of study very unlike what was common among the party to which he belonged (Ac 5:34-39; comp. Neander, l.c.). How much the instructions and the example of such a teacher may have influenced the mind of Paul favorably we may imagine, but cannot affirm. SEE GAMALIEL. It is singular that on the occasion of his well-known intervention in the apostolical history the master's counsels of toleration are in marked contrast to the persecuting zeal so soon displayed by the pupil. The temper of Gamaliel himself was moderate and candid, and he was personally free from bigotry; but his teaching was that of the strictest of the Pharisees, and bore its natural fruit when lodged in the ardent and thoroughgoing nature of Saul. Other fruits, besides that of a zeal which persecuted the Church, may no doubt be referred to the time when Saul sat at the feet of Gamaliel. A thorough training in the Scriptures and in the traditions of the elders under an acute and accomplished master must have done much to exercise the mind of Saul, and to make him feel at home in the subjects in which he was afterwards to be so intensely interested. Nor are we at all bound to suppose that, because his zeal for the law was strong enough to set him upon persecuting the believers in Jesus, he had therefore experienced none of the doubts and struggles which, according to his subsequent testimony, it was the nature of the law to produce (see Romans 7). On the contrary, we can scarcely imagine these as absent from the spiritual life of Saul as he passed from boyhood to manhood. Earnest persecutors are, oftener than not, men who have been tormented by inward struggles and perplexities. The pupil of Gamaliel may have been crushing a multitude of conflicts in his own mind when he threw himself into the holy work of extirpating the new heresy. SEE MORAL SENSE.
Paul is introduced to our notice by the sacred historian for the first time in connection with the martyrdom of Stephen, in which transaction he was, if not an assistant, something more than a mere spectator. A.D. 29. He is described at this time (Ac 7:58) as "a young man" (νεανίας); but this term was employed with so much latitude by the Greeks that it is impossible from the mere use of it to determine whether the party to whom it was applied was under thirty, or between that and forty. The probability is that Paul must have reached the age of thirty at least; for otherwise it is not likely that he would have shared the counsels of the chief priests, or been intrusted by them with the entire responsibility of executing their designs against the followers of Jesus, as we know was the case (Ac 26:10,12). For such a task he showed a painful aptitude, and discharged it with a zeal which spared neither age nor sex (Ac 26:10-11). At that time the Church experienced the sudden expansion which was connected with the ordaining of the Seven appointed to serve tables, and with the special power and inspiration of Stephen. Among those who disputed with Stephen were some "of them of Cilicia." We naturally think of Saul as having been one of these, when we find him afterwards keeping the clothes of those suborned witnesses who, according to the law (De 17:7), were the first to cast stones at Stephenm "Saul," says the sacred writer, significantly, "was consenting unto his death." The angelic glory that shone from Stephen's face, and the divine truth of his words, failing to subdue the spirit of religious hatred now burning in Saul's breast, must have embittered and aggravated its rage. Saul was passing through a terrible crisis for a man of his nature. But he was not one to be moved from his stern purpose by the native refinement and tenderness which he must have been stifling within him. He was the most unwearied and unrelenting of persecutors. As for Saul, he made havoc of the Church, entering into every house (κατὰ τοὺς οἴκους, house by house), and haling men and women, committed them to prison" (Ac 8:3).
2. Conversion. — But while thus, in his ignorance and unbelief, he was seeking to be "injurious" to the cause of Christ, the great Author of Christianity was about to make him a distinguished trophy of its power, and one of the most devoted and successful of its advocates. The persecutor was to be converted. A.D. 30. What the nature of that conversion was we are now to observe.
Having undertaken to follow up the believers "unto strange cities," Saul naturally turned his thoughts to Damascus, expecting to find among the numerous Jewish residents of that populous city some adherents of "the way" (τῆς ὁδοῦ), and trusting, we must presume, to be allowed by the connivance of the governor to apprehend them. What befell him as he journeyed thither is related in detail three times in the Acts, first by the historian in his own person, then in the two addresses made by Paul at Jerusalem and before Agrippa. These three narratives are not repetitions of one another: there are differences between them which some critics choose to regard as irreconcilable. Considering that the same author is responsible for all the accounts, we gain nothing, of course, for the authenticity of their statements by bringing them into agreement; but it seems quite clear that the author himself could not have been conscious of any contradictions in the narratives. He can scarcely have had any motive for placing side by side inconsistent reports of Paul's conversion; and that he should have admitted inconsistencies on such a matter through mere carelessness is hardly credible. Of the three narratives, that of the historian himself must claim to be the most purely historical: Paul's subsequent accounts were likely to be affected by the purpose for which he introduced them. Luke's statement is to be read in Ac 9:3-19, where, however, the words, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks," included in the Vulgate and English version, ought to be omitted. The sudden light from heaven; the voice of Jesus speaking with authority to his persecutor; Saul struck to the ground, blinded, overcome; the three days' suspense; the coming of Ananias as a messenger of the Lord; and Saul's baptism — these were the leading features, in the eyes of the historian, of the great event, and in these we must look for the chief significance of the conversion.
Let us now compare the historical relation with those which we have in Paul's speeches (Ac 22; Ac 26). The reader will do well to consider each in its place. But we have here to deal with the bare fact of agreement or difference. With regard to the light, the speeches add to what Luke tells us that the phenomenon occurred at mid-day, and that the light shone round, and was visible to Saul's companions as well as to himself. The second speech says that at the shining of this light the whole company ("we all") fell to the ground. This is not contradicted by what is said (Ac 9:7), "The men which journeyed with him stood speechless," for there is no emphasis on "stood," nor is the standing antithetical to Saul's falling down. We have but to suppose the others rising before Saul, or standing still afterwards in greater perplexity, through not seeing or hearing what Saul saw and heard, to reconcile the narratives without forcing either. After the question, Why persecutest thou me?" the second speech adds, "It is hard for thee to kick against the goads." Then both the speeches supply a question and answer — "I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus (of Nazareth), whom thou persecutest." In the direction to go into Damascus and await orders there, the first speech agrees with Acts 9. But whereas according to that chapter the men with Saul "heard the voice," in the first speech it is said "they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." It seems reasonable to conclude from the two passages that the men actually heard sounds, but not, like Saul, an articulate voice. With regard to the visit of Ananias, there is no collision between the ninth chapter and the first speech, the latter only attributing additional words to Ananias. The second speech ceases to give details of the conversion after the words, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand on thy feet." Paul adds, from the mouth of Jesus, an exposition of the purpose for which he had appeared to him. It is easy to say that in ascribing these words to Jesus, Paul or his professed reporter is violating the order and sequence of the earlier accounts. But, if we bear in mind the nature and purpose of Paul's address before Agrippa, we shall surely not suppose that he is violating the strict truth, when he adds to the words which Jesus spoke to him at the moment of the light and the sound, without interposing any reference to a later occasion, that fuller exposition of the meaning of the crisis through which he was passing, which he was not to receive till afterwards. What Saul actually heard from Jesus on the way as he journeyed was afterwards interpreted, to the mind of Saul, into those definite expressions. For we must not forget that, whatever we hold as to the external nature of the phenomena we are considering, the whole transaction was essentially, in any case, a spiritual communication. That the Lord Jesus manifested himself as a living person to the man Saul, and spoke to him so that his very words could be understood, is the substantial fact declared to us. The purport of the three narratives is that an actual conversation took place between Saul and the Lord Jesus. It is remarkable that in none of them is Saul said to have seen Jesus. The grounds for believing that he did so are the two expressions of Ananias (Ac 9:17), "'The Lord Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way," and (Ac 22:14) ' That thou shouldest see the Just One," and the statement of Paul (1Co 15:8), "Last of all he was seen of me also." Comparing these passages with the narratives, we conclude either that Saul had an instantaneous vision of Jesus as the flash of light blinded him, or that the "seeing" was that apprehension of his presence which would go with a real conversation. How it was that Saul "saw" and "heard," we are quite unable to determine. That the light, and the sound or voice, were both different from any ordinary phenomena with which Saul and his companions were familiar, is unquestionably implied in the narrative. It is also implied that they were specially significant to Saul, and not to those with him. We gather therefore that there were real outward phenomena, through which Saul was made inwardly sensible of a presence revealed to him alone. (See below.) Externally, there was a flash of light. Spiritually, "the light of the Gospel of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God," shone upon Saul, and convicted the darkness of the heart which had shut out love and knew not the glory of the cross. Externally, Saul fell to the ground. Spiritually, he was prostrated by shame, when he knew whom he had been persecuting. Externally, sounds issued out of heaven. Spiritually, the Crucified said to Saul, with tender remonstrance, "I am Jesus. why persecutest thou me?" Whether audibly to his companions, or audibly to the Lord Jesus only, Saul confessed himself in the spirit the servant of him whose name he had hated. He gave himself up, without being able to see his way, to the disposal of him whom he now knew to have vindicated his claim over him by the very sacrifice which formerly he had despised. The Pharisee was converted, once for all, into a disciple of Jesus the Crucified.
The only mention in the Epistles of Paul of the outward phenomena attending his conversion is that in 1Co 15:8," Last of all he was seen of me also." But there is one important passage in which he speaks distinctly of his conversion itself. Dr. Baur (Paul. p. 64), with his readiness to find out discrepancies, insists that this passage represents quite a different process from that recorded in the Acts. It is manifestly not a repetition of what we have been reading and considering, but it in the most perfect harmony with it. In the Epistle to the Galatians (Ga 1:15-16) Paul has these words, "When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen" ... (ἀποκαλύψαι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐμοί). What words could express more exactly than these the spiritual experience which occurred to Saul on the way to Damascus? The manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God is clearly the main point in the narrative. This manifestation was brought about through a removal of the veils of prejudice and ignorance which blinded the eyes of Saul to a crucified Deliverer conquering through sacrifice. Whatever part the senses may have played in the transaction, the essence of it in any case must have been Saul's inward vision of a spiritual Lord close to his spirit, from whom he could not escape, whose every command he was henceforth to obey in the spirit.
It would be groundless to assume that the new convictions of that mid-day immediately cleared and settled themselves in Saul's mind. It is sufficient to say that he was then converted, or turned round. For a while. no doubt, his inward state was one of awe and expectation. He was "led by the hand" spiritually by his Master, as well as bodily by his companions. Thus entering Damascus as a servant of the Lord Jesus, he sought the house of one whom he had, perhaps, intended to persecute. Judas may have been known to his guest as a disciple of the Lord. Certainly the fame of Saul's coming had preceded him; and Ananias, "a devout man according to the law," but a believer in Jesus, when directed by the Lord to visit him, wonders at what he is told concerning the notorious persecutor. He obeys, however; and going to Saul in the name of the Lord Jesus, who had appeared to him in the way," he puts his hands on him that he may receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Thereupon Saul's eyes are immediately purged, and his sight is restored. "The same hour," says Paul (Ac 22:13), "I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see the Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." Every word in this address strikes some chord which we hear sounded again and again in Paul's Epistles. The new convert is not, as it is so common to say, converted from Judaism to Christianity of the God of the Jewish fathers chooses him. He is chosen to know God's will. That will is manifested in the Righteous One. Him Saul sees and hears, in order that he may be a witness of him to all men. The eternal will of the God of Abraham; that will revealed in a righteous Son of God; the testimony concerning him, a Gospel to mankind-these are the essentially Pauline principles which are declared in all the teaching of the apostle, and illustrated in all his actions.
3. Sojourn in Damascus and Arabia. — After the recovery of his sight, Saul received the external symbol of the washing away of his sins in baptism. He then broke his three days' fast, and was strengthened — an image, again, of the strengthening of his faint and hungering spirit through a participation in the divine life of the Church at Damascus. He was at once received into the fellowship of the disciples, and began without delay the work to which Ananias had designated him; and to the astonishment of all his hearers he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, declaring him to be the Son of God. This was the natural sequel to his conversion: he was to proclaim Jesus the Crucified, first to the Jews as their own Christ, afterwards to the world as the Son of the living God.
The narrative in the Acts tells us simply that he was occupied in this work, with increasing vigor, for "many days," up to the time when imminent danger drove him from Damascus. From the Epistle to the Galatians (Ga 1:17-18) we learn that the many days were at least a good part of "three years," and that Saul, not thinking it necessary to procure authority to preach from the apostles that were before him, went after his conversion into Arabia, and returned from thence to Damascus. We know nothing whatever of this visit to Arabia — to what district Saul went, how long he stayed, or for what purpose he went there. (Stanley suggests, Sin. and Pal. p. 50, that he may even have visited Mount Sinai.) From the antithetical way in which it is opposed to a visit to the apostles at Jerusalem, we infer that it took place before he deliberately committed himself to the task of proclaiming Jesus as the Christ; and also, with some probability, that he was seeking seclusion, in order that, by conferring "not with flesh and blood," but with the Lord in the Spirit, he might receive more deeply into his mind the commission given him at his conversion. That Saul did not spend the greater portion of the "three years" at Damascus seems probable, for these two reasons:
(1) that the anger of the Jews was not likely to have borne with two or three years of such a life as Saul's now was without coming to a crisis; and
(2) that the disciples at Jerusalem would not have been likely to mistrust Saul as they did if they had heard of him as preaching Jesus at Damascus for the same considerable period. We can hardly resist the conviction that the time was spent in private preparation, perhaps in receiving those remarkable disclosures which he afterwards called "my gospel" (2Ti 2:8), analogous to the corresponding period of the other apostles personal intercourse with the Lord. Thus we may venture to suppose he received that Gospel which afterwards he preached "by revelation" from Christ (Ga 1:12). Neander (l.c. sec. 121) and Anger (De Tempp. in Actis App. Ratione. p. 123) have endeavored to show that Paul went into Arabia to preach the Gospel; but the reasons they adduce have little weight (comp. Olshausen, on Acts 9:20-25).
Now that we have arrived at Saul's departure from Damascus, we are again upon historical ground (A.D. 33), and have the double evidence of Luke in the Acts (Ac 9:21 sq.) and of the apostle in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2Co 11:32). According to the former, the Jews lay in wait for Saul, intending to kill him, and watched the gates of the city that he might not escape from them. Knowing this, the disciples took him by night and let him down in a basket from the wall. According to Paul (2Co 11:32), it was the ethnarch under Aretas the king who watched for him, desiring to apprehend him. There is no difficulty in reconciling the two statements. We might similarly say that our Lord was put to death either by the Jews or by the Roman governor. There is more difficulty in ascertaining how an officer of king Aretas should be governing in Damascus, and why he should lend himself to the designs of the Jews. But we learn from secular history that the affairs of Damascus were, at the time, in such an unsettled state as to make the narrative not improbable. SEE ARETAS. Having escaped from Damascus, Saul betook himself to Jerusalem, and there "assayed to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple." In this natural but trying difficulty Saul was befriended by one whose name was henceforth closely associated with his. Barnabas became his sponsor to the apostles and Church at Jerusalem. assuring them-from some personal knowledge, we must presume-of the facts of Saul's conversion and subsequent behavior at Damascus. It is noticeable that the seeing and hearing are still the leading features in the conversion, and the name of Jesus in the preaching. Barnabas declared how "Saul had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how that he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus." Barnabas's introduction removed the fears of the apostles, and Paul "was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem." His Hellenistical education made him. like Stephen, a successful disputant against the "Grecians;" and it is not strange that the former persecutor was singled out from the other believers as the object of a murderous hostility. He was therefore again urged to flee; and by way of Caesarea took himself to his native city, Tarsus (Ac 9:26-30. In Ga 1:20, the order of the localities is not strictly observed).
In the Epistle to the Galatians (Ga 1:17-23) Paul adds certain particulars, in which only a perverse and captious criticism could see anything contradictory to the facts just related. He tells us that his motive for going up to Jerusalem rather than anywhere else was that he might see Peter; that he abode with him fifteen days; that the only apostles he saw were Peter and James the Lord's brother; and that afterwards he came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, remaining unknown by face, though well known for his conversion, to the churches in Judaea which were in Christ. Paul's object in referring to this connection of his with those who were apostles before him was to show that he had never accepted his apostleship as a commission from them. On this point the narrative in the Acts entirely agrees with Paul's own earnest asseverations in his Epistles. He received his commission from the Lord Jesus, and also mediately through Ananias. This commission included a special designation to preach Christ to the Gentiles. Upon the latter designation he did not act until circumstances opened the way for it. But he at once began to proclaim Jesus as the Christ to his own countrymen. Barnabas introduced him to the apostles, not as seeking their sanction, but as having seen and heard the Lord Jesus, and as having boldly spoken already in his name.
4. Ministry at Antioch. — During this stay of Paul at Tarsus, which lasted several years, occupied doubtless with those elsewhere unrecorded labors to some of which he occasionally alludes (2Co 11:24-25), a movement was going on at Antioch which raised that city to an importance second only to that of Jerusalem itself in the early history of the Church. In the life of the apostle of the Gentiles Antioch claims a most conspicuous place. It was there that the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles first took root, and from thence that it was afterwards propagated. Its geographical position, its political and commercial importance, and the presence of a large and powerful Jewish element in its population, were the more obvious characteristics which adapted it for such a use. There came to Antioch, when the persecution which arose about Stephen scattered upon their different routes the disciples who had been assembled at Jerusalem, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, eager to tell all who would hear them the good news concerning the Lord Jesus. Until Antioch was reached, the word was spoken "to none but unto Jews only" (Ac 11:19). 'But here the Gentiles also (οἱ ῞Ελληνες) — not, as in the A.V., "the Grecians" — were among the hearers of the word. A great number believed; and when this was reported at Jerusalem, Barnabas was sent on a special mission to Antioch.
As the work grew under his hands, and "much people was added unto the Lord," Barnabas felt the need of help, and went himself to Tarsus to seek Saul. Possibly at Damascus, certainly at Jerusalem, he had been a witness of Saul's energy and devotedness, and skill in disputation. He had been drawn to him by the bond of a most brotherly affection. He therefore longed for him as a helper, and succeeded in bringing him to Antioch. There they labored together unremittingly for "a whole year," mixing with the constant assemblies of the believers, and "teaching much people." All this time, as Luke would give us to understand, Saul was subordinate to Barnabas. Until "Saul" became "Paul," we read of Barnabas and Saul" (Ac 11:30; Ac 12:25; Ac 13:2,7). Afterwards the order changes to "Paul and Barnabas." It seems reasonable to conclude that there was no marked peculiarity in the teaching of Saul during the Antioch period. He held and taught, in common with the other Jewish believers, the simple faith in Jesus the Christ, crucified and raised from the dead. Nor did he ever afterwards depart from the simplicity of this faith. But new circumstances stirred up new questions; and then it was to Saul of Tarsus that it was given to see, more clearly than any others saw, those new applications of the old truth, those deep and world-wide relations of it, with which his work was to be permanently associated. In the mean time, according to the usual method of the divine government, facts were silently growing, which were to suggest and occasion the future developments of faith and practice, and of these facts the most conspicuous was the unprecedented accession of Gentile proselytes at Antioch.
An opportunity soon occurred, of which Barnabas and Saul joyfully availed themselves, for proving the affection of these new disciples towards their brethren at Jerusalem, and for knitting the two communities together in the bonds of practical fellowship. A manifest impulse from the Holy Spirit began this work. There came "prophets" from Jerusalem to Antioch: "and there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world." The "prophets" who now arrived may have been the Simeon and Lucius and Manaen mentioned in 13:1, besides Agabus and others. The prediction of the dearth need not have been purposeless; it would naturally have a direct reference to the needs of the poorer brethren and the duty of the richer. It is obvious that the fulfillment followed closely upon the intimation of the coming famine. For the disciples at Antioch determined to send contributions immediately to Jerusalem; and the gift was conveyed to the elders of that Church by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. The time of this dearth is vaguely designated in the Acts as the reign of Claudius. It is ascertained from Josephus's history that a severe famine did actually prevail in Judaea, and especially at Jerusalem, at the very time fixed by the event recorded in Acts 12, the death of Herod Agrippa. This was in A.D. 44. SEE AGABUS.
It could not have been necessary for the mere safe conduct of the contribution that Barnabas and Saul should go in person to Jerusalem. We are bound to see in the relations between the Mother-Church and that of Antioch, of which this visit is illustrative, examples of the deep feeling of the necessity of union which dwelt in the heart of the early Church. The apostles did not go forth to teach a system, but to enlarge a body. The spirit which directed and furthered their labors was essentially the spirit of fellowship. By this spirit Saul of Tarsus was practically trained in strict cooperation with his elders in the Church. The habits which he learned now were to aid in guarding him at a later time from supposing that the independence which he was bound to claim should involve the slightest breach or loosening of the bonds of the universal brotherhood.
Having discharged their errand, Barnabas and Saul returned to Antioch, bringing with them another helper, John surnamed Mark, sister's son to Barnabas. The work of prophesying and teaching was resumed. Several of the oldest and most honored of the believers in Jesus were expounding the way of God and organizing the Church in that busy metropolis. Travelers were incessantly passing to and fro. Antioch was in constant communication with Cilicia, with Cyprus, with all the neighboring countries. The question must have forced itself upon hundreds of the "Christians" at Antioch, "What is the meaning of this faith of ours, of this baptism, of this incorporation, of this kingdom of the Son of God, for the world? The Gospel is not for Judaea alone: here are we called by it at Antioch. Is it meant to stop here?" The Church was pregnant with a great movement, and the time of her delivery was at hand. We forget the whole method of the divine work in the nurture of the Church if we ascribe to the impulses of the Holy Ghost any theatrical suddenness, and disconnect them from the thoughts which were brooding in the minds of the disciples. At every point we find both circumstances and inward reasonings preparing the crisis. Something of direct expectation seems to be implied in what is said of the leaders of the Church at Antioch, that they were "ministering to the Lord, and fasting," when the Holy Ghost spoke to them. Without doubt they knew it for a seal set upon previous surmises, when the voice came clearly to the general mind, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." That "work" was partially known already to the Christians of Antioch: who could be so fit for it as the two brothers in the faith and in mutual affection, the son of exhortation, and the highly accomplished and undaunted convert who had from the first been called "a chosen vessel, to bear the name of the Lord before the Gentiles, and kings, and the people of Israel?" When we look back, from the higher ground of Paul's apostolic activity, to the years that passed between his conversion and the first missionary journey, we cannot observe without reverence the patient humility with which Saul waited for his Master's time. He did not say for once only, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Obedience to Christ was thenceforth his ruling principle. Submitting, as he believed, to his Lord's direction, he was content to work for a long time as the subordinate colleague of his seniors in the faith. He was thus the better prepared, when the call came, to act with the authority which that call conferred upon him. He left Antioch, however, still the second to Barnabas. Everything was done with orderly gravity in the sending forth of the two missionaries. Their brethren, after fasting and prayer, laid their hands on them, and so they departed. A.D. 44.
5. First Missionary Journey. — Much must have been hidden from Barnabas and Saul as to the issues of the journey on which they embarked. But one thing was clear to them, that they were sent forth to speak the Word of God. They did not go in their own name or for their own purposes; they were instruments for uttering what the Eternal God himself was saying to men. We shall find in the history a perfectly definite representation of what Paul announced and taught as he journeyed from city to city. But the first characteristic feature of his teaching was the absolute conviction that he was only the bearer of a heavenly message. It is idle to discuss Paul's character or views without recognising this fact. We are compelled to think of him as of a man who was capable of cherishing such a conviction with perfect assurance. We are bound to bear in mind the unspeakable influence which that conviction must have exerted upon his nature. The writer of the Acts proceeds upon the same assumption. He tells us that as soon as Barnabas and Saul reached Cyprus, they began to "announce the Word of God."
The second fact to be observed is, that for the present they delivered their message in the synagogues of the Jews only. They trod the old path till they should be drawn out of it. But when they had gone through the island, from Salamis to Paphos, they were called upon to explain their doctrine to an eminent Gentile. Sergius Paulus, the proconsul. This Roman officer, like so many of his countrymen, had already come under the influence of Jewish teaching; but it was in the corrupt form of magical pretensions, which throve so luxuriantly upon the godless credulity of that age. A Jew, named Barjesus, or Elymas, a magus and false prophet, had attached himself to the governor, and had no doubt interested his mind, for he was an intelligent man, with what he had told him of the history and hopes of the Jews. SEE ELYMAS. Accordingly, when Sergius Paulus heard of the strange teachers who were announcing to the Jews the advent of their true Messiah, he wished to see them, and sent for them. The impostor, instinctively hating the apostles, and seeing his influence over the proconsul in danger of perishing, did what he could to withstand them. Then Saul, "who is also called Paul," denouncing Elymas in remarkable terms, declared against him God's sentence of temporary blindness. The blindness immediately fell upon him; and the proconsul, moved by the scene and persuaded by the teaching of the apostle, became a believer.
There is a singular parallelism in several points between the history of Paul and that of Peter in the Acts. Baur presents it in a highly effective form (Paul. p. 91 etc.), to support his theory of the composition of this book; and this is one of the services which he has incidentally rendered to the full understanding of the early history of the Church. Thus Paul's discomfiture of Elymas reminds us of Peter's denunciation of Simon Magus. The two incidents bring strongly before us one of the great adverse elements with which the Gospel had to contend in that age. Everywhere there were counterfeits of the spiritual powers which the apostles claimed and put forth. It was necessary for the preachers of Christ, not so much to prove themselves stronger than the magicians and soothsayers, as to guard against being confounded with them. One distinguishing mark of the true servants of the Spirit would be that of not trading upon their spiritual powers (Ac 8:20). Another would be that of shunning every sort of concealment and artifice, and courting the daylight of open truth. Paul's language to Elymas is studiously directed to the reproof of the tricks of the religious impostor. The apostle, full of the Holy Ghost, looked steadily on the deceiver, spoke in the name of a God of light and righteousness and straightforward ways, and put forth the power of that God for the vindication of truth against delusion. The punishment of Elymas was itself symbolical, and conveyed "teaching of the Lord." He had chosen to create a spiritual darkness around him; and now there fell upon him a mist and a darkness, and he went about seeking some one to lead him by the hand. If on reading this account we refer to Peter's reproof of Simon Magus, we shall be struck by the differences as well as the resemblance which we shall observe. But we shall undoubtedly gain a stronger impression of this part of the apostolic work, viz. the conflict to be waged between the Spirit of Christ and of the Church and the evil spirits of a dark superstition to which men were surrendering themselves as slaves. We shall feel the worth and power of that candid and open temper in which alone Paul would commend his cause; and in the conversion of Sergius Paulus we shall see an exemplary type of many victories to be won by truth over falsehood.
This point is made a special crisis in the history of the apostle by the writer of the Acts. Saul now becomes Paul, and begins to take precedence of Barnabas. Nothing is said to explain the change of name. No reader could resist the temptation of supposing that there must be some connection between Saul's new name and that of his distinguished Roman convert. But on reflection it does not seem probable that Paul would either have wished, or have consented, to change his own name for that of a distinguished convert. If we. put Sergius Paulus aside, we know that it was exceedingly common for Jews to bear, besides their own Jewish name, another borrowed from the country with which they had become connected (see Conybeare and Howson, 1:163, for full illustrations). Thus we have Simeon also named Niger, Barnabas also named Justus, John also named Marcus. There is no reason therefore why Saul should not have borne from infancy the other name of Paul. In that case he would be Saul among his own countrymen, Paulus among the Gentiles. We must understand Luke as wishing to mark strongly the transition point between Saul's activity among his own countrymen and his new labors as the apostle of the Gentiles, by calling him Saul only during the first, and Paul only afterwards. (See above.)
The conversion of Sergius Paulus may be said, perhaps, to mark the beginning of the work among the Gentiles; otherwise, it was not in Cyprus that any change took place in the method hitherto followed by Barnabas and Saul in preaching the Gospel. Their public addresses were as yet confined to the synagogues; but it was soon to be otherwise. From Paphos "Paul and his company" set sail for the mainland, and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. Here the heart of their companion John failed him, and he returned to Jerusalem, From Perga they traveled on to a place, obscure in secular history, but most memorable in the history of the kingdom of Christ — Antioch in Pisidia (q.v.). Here "they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and sat down." Small as the place was, it contained its colony of Jews, and with them proselytes who worshipped the God of the Jews. The degree to which the Jews had spread and settled themselves over the world, and the influence they had gained over the more respectable of their Gentile neighbors, and especially over the women of the better class, are facts difficult to appreciate justly, but are proved by undoubted evidence, and are very important for us to bear in mind. This Pisidian Antioch may have been more Jewish than most similar towns, but it was not more so than many of much greater size and importance. What took place here in the synagogue and in the city is interesting to us not only on account of its bearing on the history, but also because it represents more or less exactly what afterwards occurred in many other places. It cannot be without design that we have single but detailed examples given us in the Acts of the various kinds of addresses which Paul used to deliver in appealing to his different audiences. He had to address himself, in the course of his missionary labors, to Jews, knowing and receiving the Scriptures; to ignorant barbarians; to cultivated Greeks; to mobs enraged against him personally; to magistrates and kings. It is an inestimable help in studying the apostle and his work that we have specimens of the tone and the arguments he was accustomed to use in all these situations. These will be noticed in their places. In what he said at the synagogue in Antioch we recognize the type of the addresses in which he would introduce his message to his Jewish fellow-countrymen.
The apostles sat silent with the rest of the assembly, while the Law and the Prophets were read. They and their audience were united in reverence for the sacred books. Then the rulers of the synagogue sent to invite them, as strangers but brethren, to speak any word of exhortation which might be in them to the people. Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand, he spoke. (The speech is given in Ac 13:16-41.) The characteristics we observe in it are these: The speaker begins by acknowledging "the God of this people Israel." He ascribes to him the calling out of the nation and the conduct of its subsequent history. He touches on the chief points of that history up to the reign of David, whom he brings out into prominence. He then names JESUS as the promised Son of David. To convey some knowledge of Jesus to the minds of his hearers, he recounts the chief facts of the Gospel history; the preparatory preaching and baptism of John (of which the rumor had spread perhaps to Antioch); the condemnation of Jesus by the rulers "who knew neither him nor the prophets," and his resurrection. That Resurrection is declared to be the fulfillment of all God's promises of life, given to the fathers. Through Jesus, therefore, is now proclaimed by God himself the forgiveness of sins and full justification. The apostle concludes by drawing from the prophets a warning against unbelief. If this is an authentic example of Paul's preaching, it was impossible for Peter or John to start more exclusively from the Jewish covenant and promises than did the apostle of the Gentiles. How entirely this discourse resembles those of Peter and of Stephen in the earlier chapters of the Acts! There is only one specially Pauline touch in the whole-the words in ver. 39, "By Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." "Evidently foisted in," says Baur (p. 103), who thinks we are dealing with a mere fiction, to prevent the speech from appearing too Petrine, and to give it a slightly Pauline air." Certainly, it sounds like an echo of the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians. But is there therefore the slightest incongruity between this and the other parts of the address? Does not that "forgiveness of sins" which Peter and Paul proclaimed with the most perfect agreement connect itself naturally, in the thoughts of one exercised by the law as Saul of Tarsus had been, with justification not by the law but by grace? If we suppose that Saul had accepted just the faith which the older apostles held in Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of the Jews, crucified and raised from the dead according to the teaching of the prophets, and in the remission of sins through him confirmed by the gift of the Holy (host; and that he had also had those experiences, not known to the older apostles, of which we see the working in the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, this speech, in all its parts, is precisely what we might expect: this is the very teaching which the apostle of the Gentiles must have everywhere and always set forth, when he was speaking "God's Word" for the first time to an assembly of his fellow- countrymen.
The discourse thus epitomized produced a strong impression; and the hearers (not "the Gentiles," which the best MSS. omit) requested the apostles to repeat their message on the next Sabbath. During the week so much interest was excited by the teaching of the apostles that on the Sabbath-day "almost the whole city came together to hear the Word of God." It was this concern of the Gentiles which appears to have first alienated the minds of the Jews from what they had heard. They were filled with envy. They probably felt that there was a difference between those efforts to gain Gentile proselytes in which they had themselves been so successful and this new preaching of a Messiah in whom a justification which the law could not give was offered to men. The eagerness of the Gentiles to hear may have confirmed their instinctive apprehensions. The Jewish envy once roused became a power of deadly hostility to the Gospel; and these Jews at Antioch set themselves to oppose bitterly the words which Paul spoke. We have here, therefore, a new phase in the history of the Gospel. In these foreign countries it is not the cross or Nazareth which is most immediately repulsive to the Jews in the proclaiming of Jesus. It is the wound given to Jewish importance in the association of Gentiles with Jews as the receivers of the good tidings. If the Gentiles had been asked to become Jews, no offense would have been taken. But the proclamation of the Christ could not be thus governed and restrained. It overleaped, by its own force, these narrowing methods. It was felt to be addressed not to one nation only, but to mankind.
The new opposition brought out new action on the part of the apostles. Rejected by the Jews, they became bold and outspoken, and turned from them to the Gentiles. They remembered and declared what the prophets had foretold of the enlightening and deliverance of the whole world. In speaking to the Gentiles, therefore, they were simply fulfilling the promise of the Covenant. The gift, we observe, of which the Jews were depriving themselves, and which the Gentiles who believed were accepting, is described as "eternal life" (ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή). It was the life of which the risen Jesus was the fountain, which Peter and John had declared at Jerusalem, and of which all acts of healing were set forth as signs. This was now poured out largely upon the Gentiles. The Word of the Lord was published widely, and had much fruit. Henceforth Paul and Barnabas knew it to be their commission, not the less to present their message to Jews first, but in the absence of an adequate Jewish medium to deal directly with the Gentiles. But this expansion of the Gospel work brought with it new difficulties and dangers. At Antioch now, as in every city afterwards, the unbelieving Jews used their influence with their own adherents among the Gentiles, and especially the women of the higher class, to persuade the authorities or the populace to persecute the apostles, and to drive them from the place.
With their own spirits raised, and amid much enthusiasm of their disciples, Paul and Barnabas now traveled on to Iconium, where the occurrences at Antioch were repeated, and from thence to the Lycaonian country, which contained the cities Lystra and Derbe. Here they had to deal with uncivilized heathens. At Lystra the healing of a cripple took place, the narrative of which runs very parallel to the account of the similar act done by Peter and John at the gate of the Temple. The agreement becomes closer, if we insert here, with Lachmann, before "Stand upright on thy feet," the words, "I say unto thee in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." The parallel leads us to observe more distinctly that every messenger of Jesus Christ was a herald of life. The spiritual life-the ζωὴ αἰώνιος— which was of faith, is illustrated and expounded by the invigoration of impotent limbs. The same truth was to be conveyed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the heathens of Lycaonia. The act was received naturally by these pagans. They took the apostles for gods, calling Barnabas, who was of the more imposing presence, Zeus (Jupiter), and Paul, who was the chief speaker, Hermes (Mercurius). This mistake, followed up by the attempt to offer sacrifices to them, gives occasion to the recording of an address in which we see a type of what the apostles would say to an ignorant pagan audience. Appeals to the Scriptures, references to the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, would have been out of place. The apostles name the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all things therein: the God of the whole world, and all the nations in it. They declare themselves to be his messengers. They expatiate upon the tokens of himself which the Father of men had not withheld, in that he did them good, sending rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, the supporters of life and joy. They protest that in restoring the cripple they had only acted as instruments of the living God. They themselves' were not gods, but human beings of like passions with the Lycacinians. The living God was now manifesting himself more clearly to men, desiring that henceforth the nations should not walk in their own ways, but his. They therefore call upon the people to give up the vanities of idol worship, and to turn to the living God (comp. 1Th 1:9-10). In this address the name of Jesus does not occur. It is easy to understand that the apostles preached him as the Son of that living God to whom they bore witness, telling the people of his death and resurrection, and announcing his coming again.
Although the people of Lystra had been so ready to worship Paul and Barnabas, the repulse of their idolatrous instincts appears to have provoked them, and they allowed themselves to be persuaded into hostility by Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium, so that they attacked Paul with stones, and thought they had killed him. He recovered, however, as the disciples were standing round him, and went again into the city. The next day he left it with Barnabas, and went to Derbe, and thence they returned once more to Lystra, and so to Iconium and Antioch, renewing their exhortations to the disciples, bidding them not to think their trials strange, but to recognize them as the appointed door through which the kingdom of heaven, into which they were called, was to be entered. In order to establish the churches after their departure, they solemnly appointed "elders" in every city. Then they came down to the coast, and from Attalia they sailed home to Antioch in Syria, where they related the successes which had been granted to them, and especially the "opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles." Thus the First Missionary Journey ended.
6. Apostolic Council at Jerusalem (Ac 15; Ga 2). — Upon that missionary journey follows most naturally the next important scene which the historian sets before us-the council held at Jerusalem to determine the relations of Gentile believers to the law of Moses. A.D. 47. In following this portion of the history, we encounter. two of the greater questions which the biographer of Paul has to consider. One of these is historical. What were the relations between the apostle Paul and the twelve? The other is critical. How is Galatians 2 to be connected with the narrative of the Acts?
The relations of Paul and the twelve will best be set forth in the narrative. But we must explain here why we accept Paul's statements in the Galatian epistle as additional to the history in Acts 15. The first impression of any reader would be a supposition that the two writers might be referring to the same event. The one would at least bring the other to his mind. In both he reads of Paul and Barnabas going up to Jerusalem, reporting the Gospel preached to the uncircumcised, and discussing with the older apostles the terms to be imposed upon Gentile believers. In both the conclusion is announced that these believers should be entirely free from the necessity of circumcision. These are main points which the narratives have in common. On looking more closely into both, the second impression upon the reader's mind may possibly be that of a certain incompatibility between the two. Many joints and members of the transaction as given by Luke do not appear in the account of Paul. Others in one or two cases are substituted. Further, the visit to Jerusalem is the third mentioned in the Acts, after Saul's conversion; in Galatians, it is apparently mentioned as the second. Supposing this sense of incompatibility to remain, the reader will go on to inquire whether the visit to Jerusalem mentioned in Galatians coincides better with any other mentioned in the Acts as the second (11:30) or the fourth (18:22). He will, in all probability, conclude without hesitation that it does not. Another view will remain, that Paul refers to a visit not recorded in the Acts at all. This is a possible hypothesis; and it is recommended by the vigorous sense of Paley. But where are we to place the visit? The only possible place for it is some short time before the visit of ch. 15. But it can scarcely be denied that the language of ch. 15 decidedly implies that the visit there recorded was the first paid by Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem after their great success in preaching the Gospel among the Gentiles. We suppose the reader, therefore, to recur to his first impression. He will then have to ask himself, "Granting the considerable differences, are there after all any plain contradictions between the two narratives, taken to refer to the same occurrences?" The answer must be, "There are no plain contradictions." This, he will perceive, is a very weighty fact. When it is recognized, the resemblance first observed will return with renewed force to the mind. (The chronological question will be considered below.)
We proceed then to combine the two narratives. While Paul and Barnabas were staying at Antioch, "certain men from Judaea" came there and taught the brethren that it was necessary for the Gentile converts to be circumcised. This doctrine was vigorously opposed by the two apostles, and it was determined that the question should be referred to the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas themselves, and certain others, were selected for this mission. In Ga 2:2 Paul says that he went up "by revelation" (κατ᾿ ἀποκάλυψιν), so that we are to understand him as receiving a private intimation from the Divine Spirit, as well as a public commission from the Church at Antioch. On their way to Jerusalem, they announced to the brethren in Phoenicia and Samaria the conversion of the Gentiles; and the news was received with great joy. "When they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the Church, and by the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them" (Ac 15:4). Paul adds that he communicated his views "privately to them which were of reputation," through anxiety as to the success of his work (Ga 2:2). The apostles and the Church in general, it appears, would have raised no difficulties; but certain believers who had been Pharisees thought fit to maintain the same doctrine which had caused the disturbance at Antioch. In either place, Paul would not give way to such teaching for a single hour (Ga 2:5). It became necessary, therefore, that a formal decision should be reached upon the question. The apostles and elders came together, and there was much disputing. Arguments would be used on both sides; but when the persons of highest authority spoke, they appealed to what was stronger than arguments — the course of facts, through which the will of God had been manifestly shown. Peter, reminding his hearers that he himself had been first employed to open the door of faith to Gentiles, points out that God had himself bestowed on the uncircumcised that which was the seal of the highest calling and fellowship in Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost. "Why do you not acquiesce in this token of God's will? Why impose upon Gentile believers ordinances which we ourselves have found a heavy burden? Have not we Jews left off trusting in our law, to depend only on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?"-Then, carrying out the same appeal to the will of God as shown in facts, Barnabas and Paul relate to the silent multitude the wonders with which God had accompanied their preaching among the Gentiles. After they had done, James, with incomparable simplicity and wisdom, binds up the testimony of recent facts with the testimony of ancient prophecy, and gives a practical judgment upon the question.
The judgment was a decisive one. The injunction that the Gentiles should abstain from pollutions of idols and from fornication explained itself. The abstinence from things strangled and from blood is desired as a concession to the customs of the Jews who were to be found in every city, and for whom it was still right, when they had believed in Jesus Christ, to observe the law. Paul had completely gained his point. The older apostles, James, Ce'phas, and John, perceiving the grace which had been given him (his effectual apostleship), gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. At this point it is very important to observe precisely what was the matter at stake between the contending parties (comp. Prof. Jowett on "St. Paul and the Twelve," in St. Paul's Epistles, 1:417). Peter speaks of a heavy yoke; James of troubling the Gentile converts. But we are not to suppose that they mean merely the outward trouble of conforming to the law of Moses. That was not what Paul was protesting against. The case stood thus: Circumcision and the ordinances of the law were witnesses of a separation of the chosen race from other nations. The Jews were proud of that separation. But the Gospel of the Son of Man proclaimed that the time had come in which the separation was to be done away, and God's good- will manifested to all nations alike. It spoke of a union with God, through trust, which gave hope of a righteousness that the law had been powerless to produce. Therefore to insist upon Gentiles being circumcised would have been to deny the Gospel of Christ. If there was to be simply an enlarging of the separated nation by the receiving of individuals into it, then the other nations of the world remained as much on the outside of God's covenant as ever. Then there was no Gospel to mankind; no justification given to men. The loss, in such a case, would have been as much to the Jew as to the Gentile. Paul felt this the most strongly; but Peter also saw that if the Jewish believers were thrown back on the Jewish law, and gave up the free and absolute grace of God, the law became a mere burden, just as heavy to the Jew as it would be to the Gentile. The only hope for the Jew was in a Savior who must be the Savior of mankind. It implied therefore no difference of belief when it was agreed that Paul and Barnabas should go to the heathen, while James and Cephas and John undertook to be the apostles of the circumcision. Paul, wherever he went, was to preach "to the Jew first;" Peter was to preach to the Jews as free a Gospel, was to teach the admission of the Gentiles without circumcision as distinctly as Paul himself. The unity of the Church was to be preserved unbroken; and in order to nourish this unity the Gentiles were requested to remember their poorer brethren in Palestine (Ga 2:10). How zealously Paul cherished this beautiful testimony of the common brotherhood we have seen in part already (Ac 11:29-30), but it is yet to appear more strikingly.
The judgment of the Church was immediately recorded in a letter addressed to the Gentile brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. That this letter might carry greater authority, it was entrusted to "chosen men of the Jerusalem Church, Judas surnamed Barnabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren." The letter speaks affectionately of Barnabas and Paul (with the elder Church Barnabas still retained the precedence, 15:12, 25) as "men who have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." So Judas and Silas came down with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch, and comforted the Church there with their message, and when Judas returned "it pleased Silas to abide there still." It is usual to connect with this period of the history that rebuke of Peter which Paul records in Ga 2:11-14. The connection of subject makes it convenient to record the incident in this place, although it is possible that it took place before the meeting at Jerusalem, and perhaps most probable that it did not occur till later, when Paul returned from his long tour in Greece to Antioch (Ac 18:22-23). (The presence of Peter, and the growth of Jewish prejudice, are more easily accounted for, if we suppose Paul in the meanwhile to have left Antioch for a long time; and there was but a very short interval between the council at Jerusalem and his second missionary tour.) Peter was at Antioch, and had shown no scruple about "eating with the Gentiles," until "certain came from James." These Jerusalem Christians brought their Jewish exclusiveness with them, and Peter's weaker and more timid mood came upon him, and through fear of his stricter friends he too began to withdraw himself from his former free association with the Gentiles. Such an example had a dangerous weight, and Barnabas and the other Jews at Antioch were partly seduced by it. It was an occasion for the intrepid faithfulness of Paul. He did not conceal his anger at such weak dissembling, and he publicly remonstrated with his elder fellow-apostle. "If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Ga 2:14). Peter had abandoned the Jewish exclusiveness, and deliberately claimed common ground with the Gentile: why should he, by separating himself from the uncircumcised, require the Gentiles to qualify themselves for full communion by accepting circumcision? This "withstanding" of Peter was no opposition of Pauline to Petrine views; it was a faithful rebuke of blamable moral weakness.
7. Second Missionary Journey. — The most resolute courage, indeed, was required for the work to which Paul was now publicly pledged. He would not associate with himself in that work one who had already shown a want of constancy. This was the occasion of what must have been a most painful difference between him and his comrade in the faith and in past perils, Barnabas. After remaining a while at Antioch, Paul proposed to Barnabas to revisit the brethren in the countries of their former journey. Hereupon Barnabas desired that his nephew John Mark should go with them. But John had deserted them in Pamphylia, and Paul would not try him again. "And the contention was so sharp between them that they departed asunder one from the other; and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; and Paul chose Silas, and departed." A.D. 47. Silas. or Silvanus, now becomes a chief companion of the apostle. The two went together through Syria and Cilicia, visiting the churches, aid so came to Derbe and Lystra. Here they found Timotheus, who had become a disciple on the former visit of the apostle, and who so attracted the esteem and love of Paul that "he would have him go forth with him." Him Paul took and circumcised. If this fact had been omitted here and stated in another narrative, how utterly irreconcilable it would have been, in the eyes of some critics, with the history in the Acts! Paul and Silas were actually delivering the Jerusalem decree to all the churches they visited. They were no doubt triumphing in the freedom secured to the Gentiles. Yet at this very time our apostle had the wisdom and largeness of heart to consult the feelings of the Jews by circumcising Timothy. There were many Jews in those parts, who knew that Timothy's father was a Greek, his mother a Jewess. That Paul should have had, as a chief companion, one who was uncircumcised, would of itself have been a hinderance to him in preaching to Jews; but it would have been a still greater stumbling-block if that companion were half a Jew by birth, and had professed the Jewish faith. Therefore in this case Paul "became unto the Jews as a Jew that he might gain the Jews." Luke now steps rapidly over a considerable space of the apostle's life and labors. "They went throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia" (Ac 16:6). At this time Paul was founding "the churches of Galatia" (Ga 1:2). He himself gives us hints of the circumstances of his preaching in that region, of the reception he met with, and of the ardent though unstable character of the people, in the following words: "Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh (ὅτι δἰ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκός) I preached the Gospel unto you at the first (τὸ πρότερον), and my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of (ὁμακαρισμὸς ὑμῶν, q. d. your beautfication of me)? for I bear you record that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me" (4:13). It is not easy to decide as to the meaning of the words δἰ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκός. Undoubtedly their grammatical sense implies that "weakness of the flesh" — an illness — was the occasion of Paul's preaching in Galatia; and De Wette and Alford adhere to this interpretation, understanding Paul to have been detained by illness, when otherwise he would have gone rapidly through the country. On the other hand, the form and order of the words are not what we should have expected if the apostle meant to say this; and professor Jowett prefers to assume an inaccuracy of grammar, and to understand Paul as saying that it was in weakness of the flesh that he preached to the Galatians. In either case Paul must be referring to a more than ordinary pressure of that bodily infirmity of which he speaks elsewhere as detracting from the influence of his personal address. It is hopeless to attempt to determine positively what this infirmity was. But we may observe here (1) that Paul's sensitiveness may have led him to exaggerate this personal disadvantage; and (2) that, whatever it was, it allowed him to go through sufferings and hardships such as few ordinary men could bear. It certainly did not repel the Galatians; it appears rather to have excited their sympathy and warmed their affection towards the apostle. (See below.)
Paul at this time had not indulged the ambition of preaching his Gospel in Europe. His views were limited to the peninsula of Asia Minor. Having gone through Phrygia and Galatia, he intended to visit the western coast, SEE ASIA; but "they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the Word" there. Then, being on the borders of Mysia, they thought of going back to the north-east into Bithvnia; but again "the Spirit of Jesus (so the best MSS. read in Ac 16:6) suffered them not." So they passed by Mysia, and came down to Troas. A.D. 48. Here the Spirit of Jesus, having checked them on other sides, revealed to them in what direction they were to go. Paul saw in a vision a man of Macedonia, who besought him, saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us." The vision was at once accepted as a heavenly intimation; the help wanted by the Macedonians was believed to be the preaching of the Gospel. It is at this point that the historian, speaking of Paul's company, substitutes "we" for ' they." He says nothing of himself; we can only infer that Luke, to whatever country he belonged, became a companion of Paul at Troas. It is perhaps not too arbitrary a conjecture that the apostle, having recently suffered in health, derived benefit from the medical skill and attendance of" the beloved physician." The party, thus reinforced, immediately set sail from Troas, touched at Samothrace, then landed on the continent at Neapolis, and from thence journeyed to Philippi. They hastened to carry the "help" that had been asked to the first considerable city in Macedonia. Philippi was no inapt representative of the Western world. A Greek city, it had received a body of Roman settlers, and was politically a Colonia. We must not assume that to Saul of Tarsus, the Roman citizen, there was anything very novel or strange in the world to which he had now come. But the name of Greece must have represented very imposing ideas to the Oriental and the Jew; and we may silently imagine what it must have been to Paul to know that he was called to be the herald of his Master, the crucified Jesus, in the center of tie world's highest culture, and that he was now to begin his task. He began, however, with no flourish of trumpets, but as quietly as ever, and in the old way. There were a few Jews, if not many, at Philippi; and when the Sabbath came round, the apostolic company joined their countrymen at the place by the river-side where prayer was wont to be made (ου ἐνομίζετο προσευχὴ ειναι) el'vat, where was the usual proseucha or chapel which supplied the purpose of a synagogue). The narrative in this part is very graphic: "We sat down," says the writer (Ac 16:13), "and spoke to the women who had come together." Among these women was a proselyte from Thyatira (σεβομένη τὸν θεόν), named Lydia, a dealer in purple. As she listened "the Lord opened her heart" to attend to what Paul was saying. The first convert in Macedonia was but an Asiatic woman who already worshipped the God of the Jews; but she was a very earnest believer, and besought the apostle and his friends to honor her by staying in her house. They could not resist her urgency, and during their stay at Philippi they were the guests of Lydia (ver. 40).
But a proof was given before long that the preachers of Christ had come to grapple with the powers in the spiritual world to which heathenism was then doing homage. A female slave, who brought gain to her masters by her powers of prediction when she was in the possessed state, beset Paul and his company, following them as they went to the place of prayer, and crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who publish to you (or to us) the way of salvation." Paul was vexed by her cries, and addressing the spirit in the girl, he said, "I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." Comparing the confession of this "spirit of divination" with the analogous confessions made by evil spirits to our Lord, we see the same singular character of a true acknowledgment extorted as if by force, and rendered with a certain insolence which implied that the spirits, though subject, were not willingly subject. The cries of the slave-girl may have sounded like sneers, mimicking what she had heard from the apostles themselves, until Paul's exorcism, '"in the name of Jesus Christ," was seen to be effectual. Then he might be recognisea as in truth a servant of the Most High God, giving an example of the salvation which he brought, in the deliverance of this poor girl herself from the spirit which degraded her. SEE PYTHONESS.
But the girl's masters saw that now the hope of their gains was gone. Here at Philippi, as afterwards at Ephesus, the local trade in religion began to suffer from the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ, and an interested appeal was made to local and national feelings against the dangerous innovations of the Jewish strangers. Paul and Silas were dragged before the magistrates, the multitude clamoring loudly against them, upon the vague charge of "troubling the city," and introducing observances which were unlawful for Romans. If the magistrates had desired to act justly they might have doubted how they ought to deal with the charge. On the one hand Paul and Silas had abstained carefully, as the preachers of Christ always did, from disturbing public order, and had as yet violated no express law of the state. But on the other hand, the preaching of Jesus as King and Lord was unquestionably revolutionary, and aggressive upon the public religion in its effects; and the Roman law was decided, in general terms, against such innovations (see in Conybeare and Howson, 1:324). But the praetors or duumviri of Philippi were very unworthy representatives of the Roman magistracy. They yielded without inquiry to the clamor of the inhabitants, caused the clothes of Paul and Silas to be torn from them, and themselves to be beaten, and then committed them to prison. The jailer, having received their commands, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks." This cruel wrong was to be the occasion of a signal appearance of the God of righteousness and deliverance. It was to be seen which were the true servants of such a God, the magistrates or these strangers. In the night Paul and Silas, sore and sleepless, but putting their trust in God, prayed and sang praises so loudly that the other prisoners could hear them. Then suddenly the ground beneath them was shaken, the doors were opened, and every prisoner's bands were struck off (compare the similar openings of prison-doors in Ac 12:6-10; Ac 5:19). The jailer awoke and sprang up, saw with consternation that the prison-doors were open, and, concluding that the prisoners had all fled, drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul called to him loudly, "Do thyself no harm; we are all here." The jailer's fears were then changed to an overwhelming awe. What could this be? He called for lights, sprang in and fell trembling before the feet of Paul and Silas. Bringing them out from the inner dungeon, he exclaimed, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν ἵνα σωθῶ). They answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." And they went on to speak to him and to all in his house "the Word of the Lord." The kindness he now showed them reminds us of their miseries. He washed their wounds, took them into his own house, and spread a table before them. The same night he received baptism, "he and all his," and rejoiced in his new-found faith in God.
In the morning the magistrates, either having heard of what had happened, or having repented of their injustice, or having done all they meant to do by way of pacifying the multitude, sent word to the prison that the men might be let go. But legal justice was to be more clearly vindicated in the persons of these men, who had been charged with subverting public order. Paul denounced plainly the unlawful acts of the magistrates, informing them moreover that those whom they had beaten and imprisoned without trial were Roman citizens. "And now do they thrust us out privily? Nay, verily, but let them come themselves and fetch us out." The magistrates, in great alarm, saw the necessity of humbling themselves (" Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum, scelus verberari," Cicero, in Verrem, v. 66). SEE CITIZENSHIP. They came and begged them to leave the city. Paul and Silas consented to do so, and, after paying a visit to "the brethren" in the house of Lydia, they departed.
The Church thus founded at Philippi, as the firstfruits of the Gospel in Europe (save the nucleus already formed at Rome, Ac 2:10), was called, as we have seen, in the name of a spiritual deliverer, of a God of justice, and of an equal Lord of freemen and slaves. That a warm and generous feeling distinguished it from the first we learn from a testimony of Paul in the Epistle written long after to this Church. "In the beginning of the Gospel," as soon as he left them, they began to send him gifts, some of which reached him at Thessalonica, others afterwards (Php 4:15-16). Their partnership in the Gospel (κοινωνία εἰς εὐαγγέλιον) had gladdened the apostle from the first day (Php 1:5).
Leaving Luke, and perhaps Timothy for a short time, at Philippi, Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, and stopped again at Thessalonica. At this important city there was a synagogue of the Jews. True to his custom, Paul went in to them, and for three Sabbath-days proclaimed Jesus to be the Christ, as he would have done in a city of Judaea. As usual, the proselytes were those who heard him most gladly, and among them were many women of station, Again, as in Pisidian Antioch, the envy of the Jews was excited. They contrived to stir up the lower class of the city to tumultuous violence by representing the preachers of Christ as revolutionary disturbers, who had come to proclaim one Jesus as king instead of Caesar. The mob assaulted the house of Jason, with whom Paul and Silas were staying as guests, and, not finding them, dragged Jason himself and some other brethren before the magistrates. In this case the magistrates, we are told, and the people generally, were "troubled" by the rumors and accusations which they heard. But they seem to have acted wisely and justly, in taking security of Jason and the rest, and letting them go. After these signs of danger the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night.
The Epistles to the Thessalonians, written soon after the apostle's visit, contain more particulars of his work in founding that Church than we find in any other Epistle. The whole of these letters ought to be read for the information they thus supply. Paul speaks to the Thessalonian Christians as being mostly Gentiles. He reminds them that they had turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the (lead, "Jesus who delivers us from the coming wrath" (1Th 1:9-10). The apostle had evidently spoker much of the coming and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of that wrath which was already descending upon the Jews (2:16, 19, etc.). His message had had a wonderful power among them, because they had known it to be really the word of a God who also wrought in them, having had helps towards this conviction. in the zeal and disinterestedness and affection with which Paul (notwithstanding his recent shameful treatment at Philippi) proclaimed his Gospel among them (2:2, 8-13). He had purposely wrought with his own hands, even night and day, that his disinterestedness might be more apparent (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). He exhorted them not to be drawn away from patient industry by the hopes of the kingdom into which they were called, but to work quietly, and to cultivate purity and brotherly love (1Th 4:3,9,11). , Connecting these allusions with the preaching in the synagogue (Ac 17:3), we see clearly how the teaching of Paul turned upon the person of Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God, prophesied of in the Scriptures, suffering and dying, raised up and exalted to a kingdom, and about to appear as the Giver of light and life, to the destruction of his enemies and the saving of those who trusted in him. (See below.)
When Paul and Silas left Thessalonica they came to Beroea. Here they found the Jews more noble (εὐγενέστεροι) — more disposed to receive the news of a rejected and crucified Messiah, and to examine the Scriptures with candor, than those at Thessalonica had been. Accordingly they gained many converts, both Jews and Greeks; but the Jews of Thessalonica, hearing of it, sent emissaries to stir up the people, and it was thought best that Paul should himself leave the city, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. Some of" the brethren" went with Paul (probably by sea) as far as Athens, where they left him, carrying back a request to Silas and Timothy that they would speedily join him. He apparently did not like to preach alone, and intended to rest from his apostolic labor until they should rejoin him; but how could he refrain, with all that was going on at Athens round him? There he witnessed the most profuse idolatry side by side with the most pretentious philosophy. Either of these would have been enough to stimulate his spirit. To idolaters and philosophers he felt equally urged to proclaim his Master and the living God. So he went to his own countrymen and the proselytes in the synagogue and declared to them that the Messiah had come; but he also spoke, like another Socrates, with people in the market, and with the followers of the two great schools of philosophy, Epicureans and Stoics, naring to all Jesus and the Resurrection. The philosophers encountered him with a mixture of curiosity and contempt. The Epicurean, teaching himself to seek for tranquil enjoyment as the chief object of life, heard of One claiming to be the Lord of men, who had shown them the glory of dying to self, and had promised to those who fought the good fight bravely a nobler bliss than the comforts of life could yield. The Stoic, cultivating a stern and isolated moral independence, heard of One whose own righteousness was proved by submission to the Father in heaven, and who had promised to give his righteousness to those who trusted not in themselves, but in him. To all, the announcement of a Person was much stranger than the publishing of any theories would have been. So far as they thought the preacher anything but a silly trifler, he seemed to them, not a philosopher, but a "setter forth of strange gods" (ξένων δαιμονίων καταγγελεύς). But any one with a novelty was welcome to those who "spent their time in nothing else but either to hear or to tell some new thing." They brought him therefore to the Areopagus, that he might make a formal exposition of his doctrine to an assembled audience. SEE AREOPAGUS.
We are not to think here of the council or court, renowned in the oldest Athenian history, which took its name from Mars' Hill, but only of the elevated spot where the council met, not covered in, but arranged with benches and steps of stone, so as to form a convenient place for a public address. Here the apostle delivered that wonderful discourse reported in Ac 17:22-31, which seems as fresh and instructive for the intellect of the 19th century as it was for the intellect of the 1st. In this we have the Pauline Gospel as it addressed itself to the speculative mind of the cultivated Greeks. How the "report" was obtained by the writer of the history we have no means of knowing. Possibly we have it in notes written down before or after the delivery of this address by Paul himself. Short as it is, the form is as perfect as the matter is rich. The loftiness and breadth of the theology, the dignity and delicacy of the argument, the absence of self, the straightforward and reverent nature of the testimony delivered — all the characteristics so strikingly displayed in this speech — help us to understand what kind of a teacher had now appeared in the Grecian world. Paul, it is well understood, did not begin with calling the Athenians "too superstitious." "I perceive you," he said, "to be eminently religious" (εὐδαιμονεστέροι, see Conybeare and Howson, ad loc.). He had observed an altar inscribed Α᾿γνώστῳ θεῷ, "To an unknown God." It meant, no doubt, "To some unknown God." "I come," he said, "as the messenger of that unknown God." He then proceeded to speak of God in terms which were not altogether new to Grecian ears. They had heard of a God who had made the world and all things therein, and even of One who gave to all life, and breath, and all things. But they had never learned the next lesson which was now taught them. It was a special truth of the new dispensation that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him." SEE UNKNOWN GOD.
Comparing this with the teaching given to other audiences, we perceive that it laid hold of the deepest convictions which had ever been given to Greeks, while at the same time it encountered the strongest prejudices of Greeks. We see, as at Lystra, that an apostle of Christ had no need to refer to the Jewish Scriptures when he spoke to those who had not received them. He could speak to men as God's children, and subjects of God's educating discipline, and was only bringing them further tidings of him whom they had been always feeling after. He presented to them the Son of Man as acting in the power of him who had made all nations, and who was not far from any single man. He began to speak of him as risen from the dead, and of the power of a new life which was in him for men; but his audience would not hear of him who thus claimed their personal allegiance. Some mocked, others, more courteously, talked of hearing him again another time. The apostle gained but few converts at Athens, and he soon took his departure and came to Corinth. A.D. 49. SEE ATHENS.
Athens still retained its old intellectual predominance; but Corinth was the political and commercial capital of Greece. It was in places of living activity that Paul labored longest and most successfully, as formerly at Antioch, now at Corinth, and afterwards at Ephesus. The rapid spread of the Gospel was obviously promoted by the preaching of it in cities where men were continually coming and going; but, besides this consideration, we may be sure that the apostle escaped gladly from dull ignorance on the one side, and from philosophical dilettanteism on the other, to places in which the real business of the world was done. The Gospel, though unworldly, was yet a message to practical and inquiring men, and it had more affinity to work of any kind than to torpor or to intellectual frivolity. One proof of the wholesome agreement between the following of Christ and ordinary labor was given by Paul himself during his stay at Corinth. Here, as at Thessalonica, he chose to earn his own subsistence by working at his trade of tent-making. This trade brought him into close connection with two persons who became distinguished as believers in Christ, Aquila and Priscilla. They were Jews, and had lately left Rome in consequence of an edict of Claudius, SEE CLAUDIUS; and as they also were tent-makers, Paul "abode with them and wrought." Laboring thus on the six days, the apostle went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, and there by expounding the Scriptures sought to win both Jews and proselytes to the belief that Jesus was the Christ.
He was testifying with unusual effort and anxiety (συνείχετο τῷ λόγῳ), when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and joined him. We are left in some uncertainty as to what the movements of Silas and Timothy had been since they were with Paul at Bercea. From the statements in the Acts (Ac 17:15-16) that Paul, when he reached Athens, desired Silas and Timotheus to come to him with all speed, and waited for them there, compared with those in 1 Thessalonians (1Th 3:1-2), "When we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone, and sent Timotheus, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow-laborer in the Gospel of Christ, to establish you and to comfort you concerning your faith," Paley (Horoe Paulinae, 1 Thessalonians No. iv)
reasonably argues that Silas and Timothy had come to Athens, but had soon been despatched thence, Timothy to Thessalonica, and Silas to Philippi, or elsewhere. From Macedonia they came together, or about the same time, to Corinth, and their arrival was the occasion of the writing of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians.
This is the first extant example of that work by which the apostle Paul has served the Church of all ages in as eminent a degree as he labored at the founding of it in his lifetime. All commentators upon the New Testament have been accustomed to notice the points of coincidence between the history in the Acts and these Letters. Paley's Horoe Paulinae is famous as a special work upon this subject. But more recently important attempts have been made to estimate the Epistles of Paul more broadly, by considering them in their mutual order and relations, and in their bearing upon the question of the development of the writer's teaching. Such attempts must lead to a better understanding of the Epistles themselves, and to a finer appreciation of the apostle's nature and work. It is notorious that the order of the Epistles in the book of the N.T. is not their real, or chronological order. The mere placing of them in their true sequence throws considerable light upon the history; and happily the time of composition of the more important Epistles can be stated with sufficient certainty. The two Epistles to the Thessalonians belong — and these alone — to the present missionary journey. The Epistles to the Galatians, Romans, and Corinthians were written during the next journey. Those to Philemon, the Colossians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, and the Hebrews belong to the captivity at Rome. With regard to the Pastoral Epistles, there are considerable difficulties, which require to be discussed separately.
The First Epistle to the Thessalonians was probably written soon after Paul's arrival at Corinth, and before he turned from the Jews to the Gentiles. It was drawn from Paul by the arrival of Silas and Timothy. The largest portion of it consists of an impassioned recalling of the facts and feelings of the time when the apostle was personally with them. But we perceive gradually that those expectations which he had taught them to entertain of the appearing and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ had undergone some corruption. There were symptoms in the Thessalonian Church of a restlessness which speculated on the times and seasons of the future, and found present duties flat and unimportant. This evil tendency Paul seeks to correct, by reviving the first spirit of faith and hope and mutual fellowship, and by setting forth the appearing of Jesus Christ-not indeed as distant, but as the full shining of a day of which all believers in Christ were already children. The ethical characteristics apparent in this Letter, the degree in which Paul identified himself with his friends, the entire surrender of his existence to his calling as a preacher of Christ, his anxiety for the good fame and well-being of his converts, are the same which will reappear continually. SEE THESSALONIANS, FIRST EPISTLE TO THE.
What interval of time separated the Second Letter to the Thessalonians from the First we have no means of judging, except that the later one was certainly written before Paul's departure from Corinth. The Thessalonians had been disturbed by announcements that those convulsions of the world which all Christians were taught to associate with the coming of Christ were immediately impending. To meet these assertions, Paul delivers express predictions in a manner not usual with him elsewhere; and while reaffirming all he had ever taught the Thessalonians to believe respecting the early coming of the Savior and the blessedness of waiting patiently for it, he informs them that certain events, of which he had spoken to them, must run their course before the full manifestation of Jesus Christ could come to pass. At the end of this epistle Paul guards the Thessalonians against pretended letters from him, by telling them that every genuine letter, even if not written by his hand throughout, would have at least an autograph salutation at the close of it. SEE THESSALONIANS, SECOND EPISTLE TO.
We now return to the apostle's preaching at Corinth. When Silas and Timotheus came, he was testifying to the Jews with great earnestness, but with little success. So "when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook out his raiment," and said to them, in words of warning taken from their own prophets (Eze 33:4), "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean, and henceforth will go to the Gentiles." The experience of Pisidian Antioch was repeating itself. The apostle went, as he threatened, to the Gentiles, and began to preach in the house of a proselyte named Justus. Already one distinguished Jew had become a believer, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, mentioned (1Co 1:14) as baptized by the apostle himself: and many of the Gentile inhabitants were accepting the Gospel and receiving baptism. The envy and rage of the Jews were consequently excited in an unusual degree, and seem to have pressed upon the spirit of Paul. He was therefore encouraged by a vision of the Lord, who appeared to him by night, and said, "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee, to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city." Corinth was to be an important seat of the Church of Christ, distinguished, not only by the number of believers, but also by the variety and the fruitfulness of the teaching to be given there. At this time Paul himself stayed there for a year and six months, "teaching the Word of God among them." Corinth was the chief city of the province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul. During Paul's stay, we find the proconsular office held by Gallio, a brother of the philosopher Seneca. SEE GALLIO. Before him the apostle was summoned by his Jewish enemies, who hoped to bring the Roman authority to bear upon him as an innovator in religion. But Gallio perceived at once, before Paul could "open his mouth" to defend himself, that the movement was due to Jewish prejudice, and refused to go into the question. "If it be a question of words and names and of your law," he said to the Jews, speaking with the tolerance of a Roman magistrate, "look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters." Then a singular scene occurred. The Corinthian spectators, either favoring Paul, or actuated only by anger against the Jews, seized on the principal person of those who had brought the charge, and beat him before the judgment-seat. (See on the other hand Ewald, Geschichte, 6:463-466.) Gallio left these religious quarrels to settle themselves. The apostle therefore was not allowed to be "hurt," and remained some time longer at Corinth unmolested. SEE CORINTH.
We do not gather from the subsequent Epistles to the Corinthians many details of the founding of the Church at Corinth. The main body of the believers consisted of Gentiles ("Ye know that ye were Gentiles," 1Co 12:2). But, partly from the number who had been proselytes, partly from the mixture of Jews, it had so far a Jewish character that Paul could speak of "our fathers" as having been under the cloud (1Co 10:1). The tendency to intellectual display, and the traffic of Sophists in philosophical theories, which prevailed at Corinth, made the apostle more than usually anxious to be independent in his life and simple in bearing his testimony. He wrought for his living, that he might not appear to be taking fees of his pupils (1Co 9:18); and he put the person of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, in the place of all doctrines (1Co 2:1-5; 1Co 15:3-4). What gave infinite significance to his simple statements was the nature of the Christ who had been crucified, and his relation to men. Concerning these mysteries Paul had uttered a wisdom, not of the world, but of God, which had commended itself chiefly to the humble and simple. Of these God had chosen and called not a few "into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ the Lord of men" (1Co 2:6-7; 1Co 1:2,7,9).
Having been the instrument of accomplishing this work, Paul took his departure for Jerusalem, wishing to attend a festival there. A.D. 51. Before leaving Greece, he cut off his hair at Cenchrea, in fulfillment of a vow (Ac 18:18. The act may be that of Aquila, but the historian certainly seems to be speaking not of him, but of Paul). We are not told where or why he had made the vow; and there is considerable difficulty in reconciling this act with the received customs of the Jews. SEE VOW. A passage in Josephus, if rightly understood (War, 2:15, 1), mentions a vow which included, besides a sacrifice, the cutting of the hair and the beginning of an abstinence from wine thirty days before the sacrifice. If Paul's was such a vow, he was going to offer up a sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem, and the "shearing of his head" was a preliminary to the sacrifice. The principle of the vow, whatever it was, must have been the same as that of the Nazaritish vow, which Paul afterwards countenanced at Jerusalem. There is therefore no difficulty in supposing him to have followed in this instance, for some reason not explained to us, a custom of his countrymen. — When he sailed from the Isthmus, Aquila and Priscilla went with him as far as Ephesus. Paul paid a visit to the synagogue at Ephesus, but would not stay. He was anxious to be at Jerusalem for the approaching feast, but he promised, God willing, to return to them again. Leaving Ephesus, he sailed to Casarea, and from thence went up to Jerusalem, and "saluted the Church." It is argued (Wieseler, p. 48-50), from considerations founded on the suspension of navigation during the winter months, that the festival was probably the Pentecost. From Jerusalem, almost immediately, the apostle went down to Antioch, thus returning to the same place from which he had started with Silas.
8. Third Missionary Journey, including the Stay at Ephesus (Ac 18:23-21:17). — Without inventing facts or discussions for which we have no authority, we may connect with this short visit of Paul to Jerusalem a very serious raising of the whole question, What was to be the relation of the new kingdom of Christ to the law and covenant of the Jews? Such a Church as that at Corinth, with its affiliated communities, composed chiefly of Gentile members, appeared likely to overshadow by its importance the Mother-Church in Judaea. The jealousy of the more Judaical believers, not extinguished by the decision of the council at Jerusalem, began now to show itself everywhere in the form of an active and intriguing party-spirit. This disastrous movement could not indeed alienate the heart of Paul from the law or the calling or the people of his fathers — his antagonism is never directed against these; but it drew him into the great conflict of the next period of his life, and must have been a sore trial to the intense loyalty of his nature. To vindicate the freedom, as regarded the Jewish law, of believers in Christ — but to do this for the very sake of maintaining the unity of the Church — was to be the earnest labor of the apostle for some years. In thus laboring he was carrying out completely the principles laid down by the elder apostles at Jerusalem; and may we not believe that, in deep sorrow at appearing, even, to disparage the law and the covenant, he was the more anxious to prove his fellowship in spirit with the Church in Judaea, by "remembering the poor," as "James, Cephas, and John" had desired that he would? (Ga 2:10). The prominence given, during the journeys upon which we are now entering, to the collection to be made among his churches for the benefit of the poor at Jerusalem, seems to indicate such an anxiety. The great Epistles which belong to this period — those to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans-show how the "Judaizing" question exercised at this time the apostle's mind.
Paul "spent some time" at Antioch, and during this stay, as we are inclined to believe, his collision with Peter (Ga 2:11-14), of which we have spoken above, took place. When he left Antioch, he "went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples," and giving directions concerning the collection for the saints (1Co 16:1). A.D. 51. It is probable that the Epistle to the Galatians was written soon after this visit. SEE GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO. When he was with them he had found the Christian communities infested by Judaizing teachers. He had "told them the truth" (Ga 4:16), he had warned them against the deadly tendencies of Jewish exclusiveness, and had reaffirmed the simple Gospel, concerning Jesus Christ the Son of God, which he had preached to them on his first visit (τὸ πρότερον, Ga 4:13). But after he left them the Judaizing doctrine raised its head again. The only course left to its advocates was to assail openly the authority of Paul; and this they did. They represented him as having derived his commission from the older apostles, and as therefore acting disloyally if he opposed the views ascribed to Peter and James. The fickle minds of the Galatian Christians were influenced by these hardy assertions; and the apostle heard, when he had come down to Ephesus, that his work in Galatia was nearly undone, and his converts were partially seduced from the true faith in Christ. He therefore wrote the Epistle to remonstrate with them-an Epistle full of indignation, of warning, of direct and impassioned teaching. He recalls to their minds the Gospel which he had preached among them, and asserts in solemn and even awful language its absolute truth (Ga 1:8-9). He declares that he had received it directly from Jesus Christ the Lord, and that his position towards the other apostles had always been that, not of a pupil, but of an independent fellow- laborer. He sets before them Jesus the Crucified, the Son of God, as the fulfillment of the promise made to the fathers, and as the pledge and giver of freedom to men. He declares that in him, and by the power of the Spirit of sonship sent down through him, men have inherited the rights of adult sons of God; that the condition represented by the law was the inferior and preparatory stage of boyhood. He then, most earnestly and tenderly, impresses upon the Galatians the responsibilities of their fellowship with Christ the Crucified, urging them to fruitfulness in all the graces of their spiritual calling, and especially to brotherly consideration and unity.
This Letter was, in all probability, sent from Ephesus. This was the goal of the apostle's journeyings through Asia Minor. He came down upon Ephesus from the upper districts (τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη) of Phrygia. What Antioch was for "the region of Syria and Cilicia," what Corinth was for Greece, what Rome was, we may add, for Italy and the West — that Ephesus was for the important province called Asia. Indeed, with reference to the spread of the Church Catholic, Ephesus occupied the central position of all. This was the meeting-place of Jew, of Greek, of Roman, and of Oriental. Accordingly the apostle of the Gentiles was to stay a long time here, that he might found a strong Church, which should be a kind of Mother Church to Christian communities in the neighboring cities of Asia. SEE EPHESUS.
A new element in the preparation of the world for the kingdom of Christ presents itself at the beginning of the apostle's work at Ephesus. He finds there certain disciples (τινὰς μαθητάς) — about twelve in number — of whom he is led to inquire, "Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed? They answered, No, we did not even hear of there being a Holy Ghost. Unto what then, asked Paul, were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on him who was coming after him, that is, on Jesus. Hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy" (Ac 19:1-7). — It is obvious to compare this incident with the apostolic act of Peter and John in Samaria, and to see in it an assertion of the full apostolic dignity of Paul. But besides this bearing of it, we see in it indications which suggest more than they distinctly express, as to the spiritual movements of that age. These twelve disciples are mentioned immediately after Apollos, who also had been at Ephesus just before Paul's arrival, and who had taught diligently concerning Jesus (τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ι᾿ησοῦ), knowing only the baptism of John. But Apollos was of Alexandria, trained in the intelligent and inquiring study of the Hebrew Scriptures, which had been fostered by the Greek culture of that capital. We are led to suppose therefore that a knowledge of the baptism of John and of the ministry of Jesus had spread widely, and had been received with favor by some of those who knew the Scriptures most thoroughly, before the message concerning the exaltation of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Ghost had been received. What the exact belief of Apollos and these twelve "disciples" was concerning the character and work of Jesus, we have no means of knowing; but we gather that it was wanting in a recognition of the full lordship of Jesus and of the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Pentecostal faith was communicated to Apollos by Aquila and Priscilla, to the other disciples of the Baptist by Paul.
The apostle now entered upon his usual work. He went into the synagogue, and for three months he spoke openly, disputing and persuading concerning "the kingdom of God." At the end of that time the obstinacy and opposition of some of the Jews led him to give up frequenting the synagogue, and he established the believers as a separate society, meeting "in the school of Tyrannus." This continued (so closely as not to allow any considerable absence of Paul) for two years. During this time occurred the triumph over magical arts, and the great disturbance raised by the silversmiths who made shrines for Artemis; also the writing of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
"God wrought special miracles" (δυνάμεις οὐ τὰς τυχούσας), we are told, "by the hands of Paul." "It is evident that the arts of sorcery and magic — all those arts which betoken the belief in the presence of a spirit, but not of a Holy Spirit — were flourishing here in great luxuriance. Everything in the history of the Old or New Testament would suggest the thought that the exhibitions of Divine power took a more startling form where superstitions grounded mainly on the reverence for diabolical power were prevalent; that they were the proclamations of a beneficent and orderly government, which had been manifested to counteract and overcome one that was irregular and malevolent" (Maurice, Unity of the New Testament, p. 515). The powers of the new kingdom took a form more nearly resembling the wonders of the kingdom of darkness than was usually adopted, when handkerchiefs and aprons from the body of Paul (like the shadow of Peter, Ac 5:15), were allowed to be used for the healing of the sick and the casting out of daemons. But it was to be clearly seen that all was done by the healing power of the Lord Jesus himself. Certain Jews, and among them the seven sons of one Sceva (not unlike Simon Magus in Samaria), fancied that the effect was due to a magic formula, an ἐπῳδή. They therefore attempted to exorcise, by saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." But the evil spirit, having a voice given to it, cried out, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?" And the man who was possessed fell furiously upon the exorcists and drove them forth. The result of this testimony was that fear fell upon all the inhabitants of Ephesus, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. The impression produced bore striking practical fruits. The city was well known for its Ε᾿φέσια γράμματα, forms of incantation, which were sold at a high price. Many of those who had these books brought them together and burned them before all men, and when the cost of them was computed it was found to be 50,000 drachme =$8850. "So mightily grew the word of the Lord, and prevailed." While Paul was at Ephesus his communications with the Church in Achaia were not altogether suspended. There is no good reason, however, to believe that a personal visit to Corinth was made by him, nor any lost letter sent, of which there is no mention in the Acts. (See below.) The first of the extant epistles to that place, however, dates at this time. Whether the First Epistle to the Corinthians was written before or after the tumult excited by Demetrius cannot be positively asserted. He makes an allusion in that Epistle to "a battle with wild beasts" fought at Ephesus (ἐθηριομάχησα ἐν Ε᾿φέσῳ, 1Co 15:32), which it is usual to understand figuratively, and which is by many connected with that tumult. But such a connection is arbitrary, and without much reason. As it would seem from Ac 20:1, that Paul departed immediately after the tumult, it is probable that the Epistle was written before, though not long before, the raising of this disturbance. Here then, while the apostle is so earnestly occupied with the teaching of believers and inquirers at Ephesus and from the neighboring parts of "Asia," we find him throwing all his heart and soul into the concerns of the Church at Corinth.
There were two external inducements for writing this Epistle.
(1.) Paul had received information from members of Chloe's household (ἐδηλώθη μοι ὑπὸ τῶν Χλόης, 1:11) concerning the state of the Church at Corinth.
(2.) That Church had written him a letter, of which the bearers were Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, to ask his judgment upon various points which were submitted to him (7:1; 16:17). He had learned that there were divisions in the Church; that parties had been formed which took the names of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephas, and of Christ (1:11, 12); and also that moral and social irregularities had begun to prevail, of which the most conspicuous and scandalous example was that a believer had taken his father's wife, without being publicly condemned by the Church (5:1; 6:7; 11:17-22; 14:33-40). To these evils we must add one doctrinal error, of those who said "that there was no resurrection of the dead" (15:12). It is probable that the teaching of Apollos the Alexandrian, which had been characteristic and highly successful (Ac 18:27-28), had been the first occasion of the "divisions" in the Church. We may take it for granted that his adherents did not form themselves into a party until he had left Corinth, and therefore that he had been some time with Paul at Ephesus. But after he was gone, the special Alexandrian features of his teaching were remembered by those who had delighted to hear him. Their Grecian intellect was captivated by his broader and more spiritual interpretation of the Jewish Scriptures. The connection which he taught them to perceive between the revelation made to Hebrew rulers and prophets and the wisdom by which other nations, and especially their own, had been enlightened, dwelt in their minds. That which especially occupied the Apollos school must have been a philosophy of the Scriptures. It was the tendency of this party which seemed to the apostle particularly dangerous among the Greeks. He hardly seems to refer specially in his letter to the other parties, but we can scarcely doubt that in what he says about "the wisdom which the Greeks sought" (1:22), he is referring not only to the general tendency of the Greek mind, but to that tendency as it had been caught and influenced by the teaching of Apollos. It gives him an occasion of delivering his most characteristic testimony. He recognises wisdom, but it is the wisdom of God; and that wisdom was not only a Σοφία or a Λόγος through which God had always spoken to all men; it had been perfectly manifested in Jesus the Crucified. Christ crucified was both the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. To receive him required a spiritual discernment unlike the wisdom of the great men of the world; a discernment given by the Holy Spirit of God, and manifesting itself in sympathy with humiliation and in love.
For a detailed description of the Epistles the reader is referred to the special articles upon each. But it belongs to the history of Paul to notice the personal characteristics which appear in them. We must not omit to observe therefore, in this Epistle, how loyally the apostle represents Jesus Christ the Crucified as the Lord of men, the Head of the body with many members, the Centre of Unity, the Bond of men to the Father. We should mark at the same time how invariably he connects the Power of the Spirit with the name of the Lord Jesus. He meets all the evils of the Corinthian Church-the intellectual pride, the party spirit, the loose morality, the disregard of decency and order, the false belief about the resurrection-by recalling their thoughts to the person of Christ and to the Spirit of God as the Breath of a common life to the whole body.
We observe also here, more than elsewhere, the tact, universally recognised and admired, with which the apostle discusses the practical problems brought before him. The various questions relating to marriage (ch. 7), the difficulty about meats offered to idols (ch. 8, 10), the behavior proper for women (ch. 11, 14), the use of the gifts of prophesying and speaking with tongues (ch. 14), are made examples of a treatment which may be applied to all such questions. We see them all discussed with reference to first principles; the object, in every practical conclusion, being to guard and assert some permanent principle. We see Paul no less a lover of order and subordination than of freedom. We see him claiming for himself, and prescribing to others, great variety of conduct in varying circumstances, but under the strict obligation of being always true to Christ, and always seeking the highest good of men. Such a character, so steadfast in motive and aim, so versatile in action, it would be difficult indeed to find elsewhere in history.
What Paul here tells us of his own doings and movements refers chiefly to the nature of his preaching at Corinth (ch. 1, 2); to the hardships and dangers of the apostolic life (4:9-13); to his cherished custom of working for his own living (ch. 9); to the direct revelations he had received (11:23; 15:8); and to his present plans (ch. 16). He bids the Corinthians raise a collection for the Church at Jerusalem by laying by something on the first day of the week, as he had directed the churches in Galatia to do. He says that he shall tarry at Ephesus till Pentecost, and then set out on a journey towards Corinth through Macedonia, so as perhaps to spend the winter with them. He expresses his joy at the coming of Stephanas and his companions, and commends them to the respect of the Church. SEE CORINTHIANS, FIRST EPISTLE TO.
Having despatched this Epistle, he stayed on at Ephesus, where "a great door and effectual was opened to him, and there were many adversaries." The affairs of the Church at Corinth continued to be an object of the gravest anxiety to him, and to give him occupation at Ephesus: but it may be most convenient to put off the further notice of these till we come to the time when the Second Epistle was written. We have now no information as to the work of Paul at Ephesus until that tumult occurred which is described in Ac 19:24-41. The whole narrative may be read there. We learn that "this Paul" had been so successful, not only in Ephesus, but "almost throughout all Asia," in turning people from the worship of gods made with hands, that the craft of silversmiths, who made little shrines for Artemis, were alarmed for their manufacture. — They raised a great tumult. and not being able, apparently, to find Paul, laid hands on two of his companions and dragged them into the theater. Paul himself, not willing that his friends should suffer in his place, wished to go in among the people; but the disciples, supported by the urgent request of certain magistrates called Asiarchs, dissuaded him from his purpose. The account of the proceedings of the mob is highly graphic, and the address with which the town-clerk finally quiets the people is worthy of a discreet and experienced magistrate. His statement that "these men are neither robbers of churches nor yet blasphemers of your goddess" is an incidental testimony to the temperance of the apostle and his friends in their attacks on the popular idolatry. But Paul is only personally concerned in this tumult in so far as it proves the deep impression which his teaching had made at Ephesus, and the daily danger in which he lived.
Paul had been anxious to depart from Ephesus, and this interruption of the work which had kept him there determined himn to stay no longer. He set out therefore for Macedonia, and proceeded first to Troas (2Co 2:12), where he might have preached the Gospel with good hope of success. But a restless anxiety to obtain tidings concerning the Church at Corinth urged him on, and he advanced into Macedonia, where he met Titus, who brought him the news for which he was thirsting. The receipt of this intelligence drew from him a letter, the Second to the Corinthians, which reveals to us what manner of man Paul was when the fountains of his heart were stirred to their inmost depths. How the agitation which expresses itself in every sentence of this letter was excited is one of the most interesting questions we have to consider. Every reader may perceive that, on passing from the First Epistle to the Second, the scene is almost entirely changed. In the First, the faults and difficulties of the Corinthian Church are before us. The apostle writes of these, with spirit indeed and emotion, as he always does, but without passion or disturbance. He calmly asserts his own authority over the Church, and threatens to deal severely with offenders. In the Second, he writes as one whose personal relations with those whom he addresses have undergone a most painful shock. The acute pain given by former tidings, the comfort yielded by the account which Titus brought, the vexation of a sensitive mind at the necessity of self-assertion, contend together for utterance. What had occasioned this excitement?
We have seen that Timothy had been sent from Ephesus to Macedonia and Corinth. He had rejoined Paul when he wrote this Second Epistle; for he is associated with him in the salutation (2Co 1:1). We have no account, either in the Acts or in the Epistles, of this journey of Timothy, and some have thought it probable that he never reached Corinth. Let us suppose, however, that he arrived there soon after the First Epistle, conveyed by Stephanlas and others, had been received by the Corinthian Church. He found that a movement had arisen in the heart of that Church which threw (let us suppose) the case of the incestuous person (1Co 5:1-5) into the shade. This was a deliberate and sustained attack upon the apostolic authority and personal integrity of the apostle of the Gentiles. The party-spirit which, before the writing of the First Epistle, had been content with underrating the powers of Paul compared with those of Apollos, and with protesting against the laxity of his doctrine of freedom, had been fanned into a flame by the arrival of some person or persons who came from the Judaean Church, armed with letters of commendation, and who openly questioned the commission of him whom they proclaimed to be a self-constituted apostle (2Co 3:1; 2Co 11:4,12-15). As the spirit of opposition and detraction grew strong, the tongue of some member of the Church (more probably a Corinthian than the stranger himself) seems to have been loosed. He scoffed at Paul's courage and constancy, pointing to his delay in coming to Corinth, and making light of his threats (2Co 1:17,23). He demanded proofs of his apostleship (2Co 12:11-12). He derided the weakness of his personal presence and the simplicity of his speech (2Co 10:10). He even threw out insinuations touching the personal honesty and self devotion of Paul (2Co 1:12; 2Co 12:17-18). When some such attack was made openly upon the apostle, the Church had not immediately called the offender to account; the better spirit of the believers being cowed, apparently, by the confidence and assumed authority of the assailants of Paul. A report of this melancholy state of things was brought to the apostle by Timothy or by others; and we can imagine how it must have wounded his sensitive and most affectionate nature, and also how critical the juncture must have seemed to him for the whole Western Church. He immediately sent off Titus to Corinth, with a verbal message reenforcing his former letter with the sharpest rebukes (see 1Co 4:18-21), using the authority which had been denied, and threatening to enforce it speedily by his personal presence (2Co 2:2-3; 2Co 7:8). As soon as the messenger was gone — how natural a trait!-he began to repent of having sent him. He must have hated the appearance of claiming homage to himself; his heart must have been sore at the requital of his love; he must have felt the deepest anxiety as to the issue of the struggle. We can well believe him therefore when he speaks of what he had suffered: "Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears" (2Co 2:4); "I had no rest in my spirit" (2Co 2:13); "Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears" (2Co 7:5). It appears that he could not bring himself to hasten to Corinth so rapidly as he had intended (2Co 1:15-16); he would wait till he heard news which might make his visit a happy instead of a painful one (2Co 2:1). When he had reached Macedonia, Titus, as we have seen, met him with such reassuring tidings. The offender had been rebuked by the Church, and had made submission (2Co 2:6-7); the old spirit of love and reverence towards Paul had been awakened, and had poured itself forth in warm expressions of shame and grief and penitence. The cloud was now dispelled; fear and pain gave place to hope and tenderness and thankfulness. But even now the apostle would not start at once for Corinth. He may have had important work to do in Macedonia. But another letter would smooth the way still more effectually for his personal visit; and he accordingly wrote the Second Epistle, and sent it by the hands of Titus and two other brethren to Corinth.
When the Epistle is read in the light of the circumstances we have supposed, the symptoms it displays of a highly wrought personal sensitiveness, and of a kind of ebb and flow of emotion, are as intelligible as they are noble and beautiful. Nothing but a temporary interruption of mutual regard could have made the joy of sympathy so deep and fresh. If he had been the object of a personal attack, how natural for the apostle to write as he does in 2Co 2:5-10. In 2Co 7:12, "he that suffered wrong" is Paul himself. All his protestations relating to his apostolic work, and his solemn appeals to God and Christ, are in place; and we enter into his feelings as he asserts his own sincerity and the openness of the truth which he taught in the Gospel (ch. 3, 4). We see what sustained him in his self-assertion; he knew that he did not preach himself, but Christ Jesus the Lord. His own weakness became an argument to him, which he could use to others also, of the power of God working in him. Knowing his own fellowship with Christ, and that this fellowship was the right of other men too, he would be persuasive or severe, as the cause of Christ and the good of men might require (ch. 4, 5). If he was appearing to set himself up against the churches in Judaea, he was the more anxious that the collection which he was making for the benefit of those churches should prove his sympathy with them by its largeness. Again he would recur to the maintenance of his own authority as an apostle of Christ against those who impeached it. He would make it understood that spiritual views, spiritual powers, were real; that if he knew no man after the flesh, and did not war after the flesh, he was not the less able for the building up of the Church (ch. 10). He would ask them to excuse his anxious jealousy, his folly and excitement, while he gloried in the practical proofs of his apostolic commission, and in the infirmities which made the power of God more manifest; and he would plead with them earnestly that they would give him no occasion to find fault or to correct them (ch. 11, 12, 13).
The hypothesis upon which we have interpreted this Epistle is not precisely that which is most commonly received. According to the more common view, the offender is the incestuous person of 1 Corinthians 5, and the message which proved so sharp but wholesome a medicine was simply the First Epistle. But this view does not account so satisfactorily for the whole tone of the Epistle, and for the particular expressions relating to the offender; nor does it find places so consistently for the missions of Timothy and Titus. It does not seem likely that Paul would have treated the sin of the man who took his father's wife as an offense against himself, nor that he would have spoken of it by preference as a wrong (ἀδικία) done to another (supposed to be the father). The view we have adopted is said, in DeWette's Exegetisches Handbuch, to have been held, in whole oi in part, by Bleek, Credner, Olshausen, and Neander. More recently it has been advocated with great force by Ewald, in his Sendschreiben des A. P. p. 223-232. The ordinary account is retained by Stanley, Alford, and Davidson, and with some hesitation by Conybeare and Howson. SEE CORINTHIANS, SECOND EPISTLE TO.
The particular nature of this Epistle, as an appeal to facts in favor of his own apostolic authority, leads to the mention of many interesting features of Paul's life. His summary, in 11:23-28, of the hardships and dangers through which he had gone, may probably be referred, as above suggested, to the period of his first labors at Tarsus. Of the particular facts stated in the following words, "Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep" — we know only of one, the beating by the magistrates at Philippi, from the Acts. The daily burden of "the care of all the churches" seems to imply a wide and constant range of communication, by visits, messengers, and letters, of which we have found it reasonable to assume examples in his intercourse with the Church of Corinth. The mention of "visions and revelations of the Lord," and of the "thorn (or rather stake) in the flesh," side by side, is peculiarly characteristic both of the mind and of the experiences of Paul. As an instance of the visions, he alludes to a trance which had befallen him fourteen years before, in which he had been caught up into paradise, and had heard unspeakable words. Whether this vision may be identified with any that is recorded in the Acts must depend on chronological considerations; but the very expressions of Paul in this place would rather lead us not to think of an occasion in which words that could be reported
were spoken. We observe that he speaks with the deepest reverence of the privilege thus granted to him; but he distinctly declines to ground anything upon it as regards other men. Let them judge him, he says, not by any such pretensions, but by facts which were cognizable to them (12:1-6). He would not, even inwardly with himself, glory in visions and revelations without remembering how the Lord had guarded him from being puffed up by them. A stake in the flesh (σκόλοψ τῇ σαρκί) was given him, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure. The different interpretations which have prevailed of this σκόλοψ have a certain historical significance.
(1) Roman Catholic divines have inclined to understand by it strong sensual temptation.
(2) Luther and his followers take it to mean temptation to unbelief. But neither of these would be "infirmities" in which Paul could "glory."
(3) It is almost the unanimous opinion of modern divines and the authority of the ancient fathers on the whole is in favor of it-that the σκόλοψ represents some vexatious bodily. infirmity (see especially Stanley, ad loc.). It is plainly what Paul refers to in Ga 4:14: "My temptation in my flesh ye despised not nor rejected." This infirmity distressed him so much that he besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from him. But the Lord answered, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." We are to understand therefore the affliction as remaining; but Paul is more than resigned under it, he even glories in it as a means of displaying more purely the power of Christ in him. That we are to understand the apostle,, in accordance with this passage, as laboring under some degree of ill-health, is clear enough. But we must remember that his constitution was at least strong enough, as a matter of fact. to carry him through the hardships and anxieties and toils which he himself describes to us, and to sustain the pressure of the imprisonment at Caesarea and in Rome. SEE THORN IN THE FLESH.
After writing this Epistle, Paul traveled through Macedonia (A.D. 54), perhaps to the borders of Illyricum (Ro 15:19), and then carried out the intention of which he had spoken so often, and arrived himself at Corinth. The narrative in the Acts tells us that "when he had gone over those parts (Macedonia), and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, and there abode three months" (Ac 20:2-3). A.D. 55. There is only one incident which we can connect with this visit to Greece, but that is a very important one — the writing of another great Epistle, addressed to the Church at Rome. That this was written at this time from Corinth appears from passages in the Epistle itself, and has never been doubted.
It would be unreasonable to suppose that Paul was insensible to the mighty associations which connected themselves with the name of Rome. The seat of the imperial government to which Jerusalem itself, with the rest of the world, was then subject, must have been a grand object to the thoughts of the apostle from his infancy upward. He was himself a citizen of Rome; he had come repeatedly under the jurisdiction of Roman magistrates; he had enjoyed the benefits of the equity of the Roman law, and the justice of Roman administration. And, besides its universal supremacy, Rome was the natural head of the Gentile world, as Jerusalem was the head of the Jewish world. In this august city Paul had many friends and brethren. Romans who had traveled into Greece and Asia, strangers from Greece and Asia who had gone to settle at Rome, had heard of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of heaven from Paul himself or from other preachers of Christ, and had formed themselves into a community, of which a good report had gone forth throughout the Christian world. We are not surprised therefore to hear that the apostle was very anxious to visit Rome. It was his fixed intention to go to Rome, and from Rome to extend his journeys as far as Spain (Ro 15:24,28). He would thus bear his testimony both in the capital and to the extremities of the Western or Gentile world. For the present he could not go on from Corinth to Rome, because he was drawn by a special errand to Jerusalem — where indeed he was likely enough to meet with dangers and delays (Ro 15:25-32). But from Jerusalem he proposed to turn towards Rome. In the meanwhile he would write them a letter from Corinth.
The letter is a substitute for the personal visit which he had longed "for many years" to pay; and, as he would have made the visit, so now he writes the letter, because he is the apostle of the Gentiles. Of this office, to speak in common language, Paul was proud. All the labors and dangers of it he would willingly encounter; and he would also jealously maintain its dignity and its powers. He held it of Christ, and Christ's commission should not be dishonored. He represents himself grandly as a priest, appointed to offer up the faith of the Gentile world as a sacrifice to God (Ro 15:16). He then proceeds to speak with pride of the extent and independence of his apostolic labors. It is in harmony with this language that he should address the Roman Church as consisting mainly of Gentiles: but we find that he speaks to them as to persons deeply interested in Jewish questions. To the Church thus composed, the apostle of the Gentiles writes to declare and commend the Gospel which he everywhere preaches. That Gospel was invariably the announcement of Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Lord of men, who was made man, died, and was raised again, and whom his heralds present to the faith and obedience of mankind. Such a κήρυγμα might be variously commended to different hearers. In speaking to the Roman Church, Paul represents the chief value of it as consisting in the fact that, through it, the righteousness of God, as a righteousness not for God only, but also for men, was revealed. It is natural to ask what led him to choose and dwell upon this aspect of his proclamation of Jesus Christ. The following answers suggest themselves:
(1.) As he looked upon the condition of the Gentile world, with that coup d'ail which the writing of a letter to the Roman Church was likely to suggest, he was struck by the awful wickedness, the utter dissolution of moral ties, which has made that age infamous. His own terrible summary (Ro 1:21-32) is well known to be confirmed by other contemporary evidence. The profligacy which we shudder to read of was constantly under Paul's eye, especially at Corinth. Along with the evil he saw also the beginnings of God's judgment upon it. He saw the miseries and disasters, begun and impending, which proved that God in heaven would not tolerate the unrighteousness of men.
(2.) As he looked upon the condition of the Jewish people, he saw them claiming an exclusive righteousness, which, however, had manifestly no power to preserve them from being really unrighteous.
(3.) Might not the thought also occur to him, as a Roman citizen, that the empire which was now falling to pieces through unrighteousness had been built up by righteousness, by that love of order and that acknowledgment of rights which were the great endowment of the Roman people? Whether we lay any stress upon this or not, it seems clear that to one contemplating the world from Paul's point of view, no thought would be so naturally suggested as that of the need of the true Righteousness for the two divisions of mankind. How he expounds that God's own righteousness was shown, in Jesus Christ, to be a righteousness which men might trust in — sinners though they were — and by trusting in it submit to it, and so receive it as to show forth the fruits of it in their own lives; how he declares the union of men with Christ as subsisting in the divine idea and as realized by the power of the Spirit may be seen in the Epistle itself. The remarkable exposition contained in ch. 9, 10, 11 illustrates the personal character of Paul, by showing the intense love for his nation which he retained through all his struggles with unbelieving Jews and Judaizing Christians, and by what hopes he reconciled himself to the thought of their unbelief and their punishment. Having spoken of this subject, he goes on to exhibit in practical counsels the same love of Christian unity, moderation, and gentleness, the same respect for social order, the same tenderness for weak consciences, and the same expectation of the Lord's coming and confidence in the future which appear more or less strongly in all his letters. SEE ROMANS, EPISTLE TO.
Before his departure from Corinth, Paul was joined again by Luke, as we infer from the change in the narrative from the third to the first person. We have already seen that he was bent on making a journey to Jerusalem, for a special purpose and within a limited time. With this view he was intending to go by sea to Syria. But he was made aware of some plot of the Jews for his destruction, to be carried out through this voyage; and he determined to evade their malice by changing his route. Several brethren were associated with him in this expedition, the bearers, no doubt, of the collections made in all the churches for the poor at Jerusalem. These were sent on by sea, and probably the money with them, to Troas, where they were to await Paul. He, accompanied by Luke, went northwards through Macedonia. The style of an eyewitness again becomes manifest. "From Philippi," says the writer, "we sailed away after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days, where we abode seven days." The marks of dime throughout this journey have given occasion to much chronological and geographical discussion, which brings before the reader's mind the difficulties and uncertainties of travel in that age, and leaves the precise determination of the dates of this history a matter for reasonable conjecture rather than for positive statement. But no question is raised as to the times mentioned which need detain us in the course of the narrative. During the stay at Troas there was a meeting on the first day of the week "to break bread," and Paul was discoursing earnestly and at length with the brethren. He was to depart the next morning, and midnight found them listening to his earnest speech, with many lights burning in the upper chamber in which they had met, and making the atmosphere oppressive. A youth named Eutychus was sitting in the window, and was gradually overpowered by sleep, so that at last he fell into the street or court from the third story, and was taken up dead. The meeting was interrupted by this accident, and Paul went down and fell upon him and embraced him, saying, "Be not disturbed, his life is in him." His friends then appear to have taken charge of him, while Paul went up again, first presided at the breaking of bread, afterwards took a meal, and continued conversing until daybreak, and so departed.
While the vessel which conveyed the rest of the party sailed from Troas to Assos, Paul gained some time by making the journey by land. At Assos he went on board again. Coasting along by Mitylene, Chios, Samos, and Trogyllium, they arrived at Miletus. The apostle was thus passing by the chief Church in Asia; but if he had gone to Ephesus he might have arrived at Jerusalem too late for the Pentecost, at which festival he had set his heart upon being present. At Miletus, however, there was time to send to Ephesus; and the elders of the Church were invited to come down to him there. This meeting is made the occasion for recording another characteristic and representative address of Paul (Ac 20:18-35). This spoken address to the elders of the Ephesian Church may be ranked with the Epistles, and throws the same kind of light upon Paul's apostolical relations to the churches. Like several of the Epistles, it is in great part an appeal to their memories of him and of his work. He refers to his labors in "serving the Lord" among them, and to the dangers he incurred from the plots of the Jews, and asserts emphatically the unreserve with which he had taught them. He then nlentions a fact which will come before us again presently, that he was receiving inspired warnings, as he advanced from city to city, of the bonds and afflictions awaiting him at Jerusalem. It is interesting to observe that the apostle felt it to be his duty to press on in spite of these warnings. Having formed his plan on good grounds and in the sight of God, he did not see, in dangers which might even touch his life, however clearly set before him, reasons for changing it. Other arguments might move him from a fixed purpose — not dangers. His one guiding principle was to discharge the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. Speaking to his present audience as to those whom he was seeing for the last time, he proceeds to exhort them with unusual earnestness and tenderness, and expresses in conclusion that anxiety as to practical industry and liberality which has been increasingly occupying his mind. In terms strongly resembling the language of the Epistles to the Thessalonians and Corinthians, he pleads his own example, and entreats them to follow it, in "laboring for the support of the weak." "And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all: and they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship." This is the kind of narrative in which some learned men think they can detect the signs of a moderately clever fiction.
The course of the voyage from Miletus was by Cos and Rhodes to Patara, and from Patara in another vessel past Cyprus to Tyre. Here Paul and his company spent seven days; and there were disciples "who said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem." Again there was a sorrowful parting: "They all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city; and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed." From Tyre they sailed to Ptolemais, where they spent one day, and from Ptolemais proceeded, apparently by land, to Caesarea. In this place was settled Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven, and he became the host of Paul and his friends. Philip had four unmarried daughters, who "prophesied," and who repeated, no doubt, the warnings already heard. Caesarea was within an easy journey of Jerusalem, and Paul may have thought it prudent not to be too long in Jerusalem before the festival; otherwise it might seem strange that, after the former haste, they now "tarried many days" at Caesarea. During this interval the prophet Agabus (Ac 11:28) came down from Jerusalem, and crowned the previous intimations of danger with a prediction expressively delivered. It would seem as if the approaching imprisonment were intended to be conspicuous in the eyes of the Church, as an agency for the accomplishment of God's designs. At this stage a final effort was made to dissuade Paul from going up to Jerusalem, by the Christians of Caesarea, and by his travelling companions. But "Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done." So, after a while, they went up to Jerusalem, and were gladly received by the brethren. This is Paul's fifth and last visit to Jerusalem.
9. First Imprisonment. —
(1.) Arrest at Jerusalem (A.D. 55). He who was thus conducted into Jerusalem by a company of anxious friends had become by this time a man of considerable fame among his countrymen. He was widely known as one who had taught with pre-eminent boldness that a way into God's favor was opened to the Gentiles, and that this wan did not lie through the door of the Jewish law. He had moreover actually founded numerous and important communities, composed of Jews and Gentiles together, which stood simply on the name of Jesus Christ, apart from circumcision and the observance of the law. He had thus roused against himself the bitter enmity of that unfathomable Jewish pride which was almost as strong in some of those who had professed the faith of Jesus as in their unconverted brethren. This enmity had for years been vexing both the body and the spirit of the apostle. He had no rest from its persecutions; and his joy in proclaiming the free grace of God to the world was mixed with a constant sorrow that in so doing he was held to be disloyal to the calling of his fathers. He was now approaching a crisis in the long struggle, and the shadow of it had been made to rest upon his mind throughout his journey to Jerusalem. He came "ready to die for the name of the Lord Jesus," but he came expressly to prove himself a faithful Jew, and this purpose emerges at every point of the history.
Luke does not mention (except incidentally. Ac 24:17) the contributions brought by Paul and his companions for the poor at Jerusalem. But it is to be assumed that their first act was to deliver these funds into the proper hands. This might be done at the interview which took place on the following day with "James and all the elders." As on former occasions, the believers at Jerusalem could not but glorify God for what they heard; but they had been alarmed by the prevalent feeling concerning Paul. They said to him, "Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law; and they are informed of thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs." This report, as James and the elders assume, was not a true one; it was a perversion of Paul's real teaching, which did not, in fact, differ from theirs. In order to dispel such rumors, they ask him to do publicly an act of homage to the law and its observances. They had four men who were under the Nazaritish vow. The completion of this vow involved (Nu 6:13-21) a considerable expense for the offerings to be presented in the Temple; and it was a meritorious act to provide these offerings for the poorer Nazarites. Paul was requested to put himself under the yow with those other four, and to supply the cost of their offerings. He at once accepted the proposal, and on the next day, having performed some ceremony which implied the adoption of the vow, he went into the Temple. announcing that the due offerings for each Nazarite were about to be presented and the period of the vow terminated. It appears that the whole process undertaken by Paul required seven days to complete it. Towards the end of this time certain Jews from "Asia," who had come up for the Pentecostal feast, and who had a personal knowledge both of Paul himself and of his companion Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, saw Paul in the Temple. They immediately set upon him, and stirred up the people against him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help: this is the man that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place; and further brought Greeks also into the Temple, and hath polluted this holy place." The latter charge had no more truth in it than the first: it was only suggested by their having seen Trophimus with him, not in the Temple, but in the city. They raised, however, a great commotion: Paul was dragged out of the Temple, of which the doors were immediately shut, and the people, having him in their hands, were proposing to kill him. But tidings were soon carried to the commander of the force which was serving as a garrison in Jerusalem, that "all Jerusalem was in an uproar;" and he, taking with him soldiers and centurions, hastened to the scene of the tumult. Paul was rescued from the violence of the multitude by the Roman officer, who made him his own prisoner, causing him to be chained to two soldiers, and then proceeded to inquire who he was and what he had done. The inquiry only elicited confused outcries, and the "chief captain" seems to have imagined that the apostle might perhaps be a certain Egyptian pretender who had recently stirred up a considerable rising of the people, apparently the same impostor mentioned by Josephus (Ant. 20:7, 6; War, 2:13, 5). The account in the Acts (21:34-40) tells us with graphic touches how Paul obtained leave and opportunity to address the people in a discourse which is related at length.
This discourse was spoken in Hebrew — that is, in the native dialect of the country — and was on that account listened to with the more attention. It is described by Paul himself, in his opening words, as his "defense," addressed to his brethren and fathers. It is in this light that it ought to be regarded. As we have seen, the desire which occupied the apostle's mind at this time was that of vindicating his message and work as those of a faithful Jew. The discourse spoken to the angry people at Jerusalem is his own justification of himself. He adopts the historical method, after which all the recorded appeals to Jewish audiences are framed. He is a servant of facts. He had been from the first a zealous Israelite like his hearers. He had changed his course because the God of his fathers had turned him from one path into another. It is thus that he is led into a narrative of his conversion. We have already noticed the differences, in the statement of bare facts, between this narrative and that of the 9th chapter. The business of the student, in this place, is to see how far the purpose of the apostle will account for whatever is special to this address. That purpose explains the detailed reference to his rigorously Jewish education, and to his history before his conversion. It gives point to the announcement that it was by a direct operation from without upon his spirit, and not by the gradual influence of other minds upon his, that his course was changed. Incidentally we may see a reason for the admission that his companions "heard not the voice of him that spake to me" in the fact that some of them, not believing in Jesus with their former leader, may have been living at Jerusalem, and possibly present among the audience. In this speech the apostle is glad to mention, what we were not told before, that the Ananias who interpreted the will of the Lord to him more fully at Damascus was "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there," and that he made his communication in the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see the Righteous One, and hear a voice out of his mouth; for thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." Having thus claimed, according to his wont, the character of a simple instrument and witness, Paul goes on to describe another revelation of which we read nothing elsewhere. He had been accused of being an enemy to the Temple. He relates that after the visit to Damascus he went up again to Jerusalem, and was praying once in the Temple itself, till he fell into a trance. Then he saw the Lord, and was bidden to leave Jerusalem quickly, because the people there would not receive his testimony concerning Jesus. His own impulse was to stay at Jerusalem, and he pleaded with the Lord that there it was well known how he had persecuted those of whom he was now one-implying, it would appear, that at Jerusalem his testimony was likely to be more impressive and irresistible than elsewhere; but the Lord answered with a simple command, "Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." Until this hated word, of a mission to the Gentiles, had been spoken, the Jews had listened to the speaker. They could bear the name of the Nazarene, though they despised it; but the thought of that free declaration of God's grace to the Gentiles, of which Paul was known to be the herald, stung them to fury. Jewish pride was in that generation becoming hardened and embittered to the utmost; and this was the enemy which Paul had come to encounter in its stronghold. "Away with such a fellow from the earth." the multitude now shouted; "it is not fit that he should live." The Roman commander, seeing the tumult that arose, but not understanding the language 'of the speech, might well conclude that Paul had committed some heinous offense; and, carrying him off, he gave orders that he should be forced by scourging to confess his crime. Again the apostle took advantage of his Roman citizenship to protect himself from such an outrage. To the rights of that citizenship he, a free-born Roman, had a better title than the chief captain himself; and if he had chosen to assert it before, he might have saved himself from the indignity of being manacled.
The Roman officer was bound to protect a citizens and to suppress tumult; but it was also a part of his policy to treat with deference the religion and the customs of the country. Paul's present history is the resultant of these two principles. The chief captain set him free from bonds, but on the next day called together the chief priests and the Sanhedrim, and brought Paul as a prisoner before them. We need not suppose that this was a regular legal proceeding: it was probably an experiment of policy and courtesy. If, on the one hand, the commandant of the garrison had no power to convoke the Sanhedrim, on the other hand he would not give up a Roman citizen to their judgment. As it was, the affair ended in confusion, and with no semblance of a judicial termination. The incidents selected by Luke from the history of this meeting form striking points in the biography of, Paul, but they are not easy to understand. The difficulties arising here, not out of a comparison of two independent narratives, but out of a single narrative which must at least have appeared consistent and intelligible to the writer himself, are a warning to the student not to draw unfavorable inferences from all apparent discrepancies. Paul appears to have been put upon his defense, and with the peculiar habit, mentioned elsewhere also (Ac 13:9), of looking steadily when about to speak (ἀτενίσας), he began to say, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience (or, to give the force of πεπολίτευμαι, I have lived a conscientiously loyal life) unto God, until this day." Here the high-priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. With a fearless indignation, Paul exclaimed, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?" The bystanders said, "Revilest thou God's high-priest?" Paul answered, "I knew not, brethren, that he was the high-priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." The evidence furnished by this admission of Paul's respect both for the law and for the high-priesthood was probably the reason for relating the outburst which it followed. Whether the writer thought that outburst culpable or not does not appear. St. Jerome (contra Pelag. iii, quoted by Baur) draws an unfavorable contrast between the vehemence of the apostle and the meekness of his Master; and he is followed by many critics, as, among others, De Wette and Alford. But it is to be remembered that He who was led as a lamb to the slaughter was the same who spoke of "whited sepulchres," and exclaimed, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how shall ye escape the damnation of hell?" It is by no means certain, therefore, that Paul would have been a truer follower of Jesus if he had held his tongue under Ananias's lawless outrage. But what does his answer mean? How was it possible for him not to know that he who spoke was the high- priest? Why should he have been less willing to rebuke an iniquitous high- priest than any other member of the Sanhedrim, "sitting to judge him after the law?" These are difficult questions to answer. It is possible that Ananias was personally unknown to Paul; or that the high-priest was not distinguished by dress or place from the other members of the Sanhedrim. The least objectionable solution seems to be that for some reason or other- either because of some defect in his eyesight, or if some obstruction or confusion, or temporary inadvertance — he did not at the moment recognize the rank of the person who ordered him to be smitten; and that he wished to correct the impression which he saw was made upon some of the audience by his threatening protest, and therefore took advantage of the fact that he really did not know the speaker to be the high-priest, to explain the deference he felt to be due to the person holding that office. That Paul's language cannot have been a mere apology for a sudden outburst of passion is clear from his own direct assertion that he did not at the time know whom he was addressing, and is confirmed by the apparently prophetic impulse under which he spoke. SEE ANANIAS, 13.
The next incident which Luke records seems to some, who cannot think of the apostle as remaining still a Jew, to cast a shadow upon his rectitude. He perceived, we are told, that the council was divided into two parties, the Sadducees and Pharisees, and therefore he cried out, "Men and brethren, I
am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." This declaration, whether so intended or not, had the effect of stirring up the party spirit of the assembly to such a degree that a fierce dissension arose, and some of the Pharisees actually took Paul's side, saying, "We find no evil in this man: suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?" — Those who impugn the authenticity of the Acts point triumphantly to this scene as an utterly impossible one; others consider that the apostle is to be blamed for using a disingenuous artifice. But it is not so clear that Paul was using an artifice at all, at least for his own interest in identifying himself as he did with the professions of the Pharisees. He had not come to Jerusalem to escape out of the way of danger, nor was the course he took on this occasion the safest he could have chosen. Two objects, we must remember, were dearer to him than his life: (1) to testify of Him whom God had raised from the dead, and (2) to prove that in so doing he was a faithful Israelite. He may well have thought that both these objects might be promoted by an appeal to the nobler professions of the Pharisees. The creed of the Pharisee, as distinguished from that of the Sadducee, was unquestionably the creed of Paul. His belief in Jesus seemed to him to supply the ground and fulfillment of that creed. He wished to lead his brother Pharisees into a deeper and more living apprehension of their own faith.
Whether such a result was in any degree attained we do not know: the immediate consequence of the dissension which occurred in the assembly was that Paul was like to be torn in pieces, and was carried off by the Roman soldiers. In the night he had a vision, as at Corinth (Ac 18:9-10) and on the voyage to Rome (Ac 27:23-24), of the Lord standing by him, and encouraging him. 'Be of good cheer, Paul," said his Master; "for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." It was not safety that the apostle longed for, but opportunity to bear witness of Christ.
Probably the factious support which Paul had gained by his manner of bearing witness in the council died away as soon as the meeting was dissolved. On the next day a conspiracy was formed, which the historian relates with a singular fullness of details. More than forty of the Jews bound themselves under a vow neither to eat nor to drink until they had killed Paul. Their plan was to persuade the Roman commandant to send down Paul once more to the council, and then to set upon him by the way and kill him. This conspiracy became known in some way to a nephew of Paul. his sister's son, who was allowed to see his uncle and inform him of it, and by his desire was taken to the captain, who was thus put on his guard against the plot. This discovery baffled the conspirators, and it is to be presumed that they obtained some dispensation from their vow. The consequence to Paul was that he was hurried away from Jerusalem. The chief captain, Claudius Lysias, determined to send him to Caesarea, to Felix, the governor or procurator of Judaea. He therefore put him in charge of a strong guard of soldiers, who took him by night as far as Antipatris. Thence a smaller detachment conveyed him to Caesarea, where they delivered up their prisoner into the hands of the governor, together with a letter, in which Claudius Lysias explained to Felix his reason for sending Paul, and announced that his accusers would follow. Felix, Luke tells us, with that particularity which marks this portion of his narrative, asked of what province the prisoner, was; and being told that he was of Cilicia, he promised to give him a hearing when his accusers should come. In the mean time he ordered him to be guarded — chained, probably, to a soldier — in the government-house, which had been the palace of Herod the Great.
(2.) Detention at Caesarea. — Paul was henceforth, to the end of the period embraced in the Acts, if not to the end of his life, in Roman custody. This custody was in fact a protection to him, without which he would have fallen a victim to the animosity of the Jews. He seems to have been treated throughout with humanity and consideration. His own attitude towards Roman magistrates was invariably that of a respectful but independent citizen; and while his franchise secured him from open injustice, his character and conduct could not fail to win him the good-will of those into whose hands he came. The governor before whom he was now to be tried, according to Tacitus and Josephus, was a mean and dissolute tyrant. SEE FELIX. "Per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem jus regium servili ingenio exercuit" (Tacitus, Hist. v. 9). But these characteristics, except perhaps the servile ingenium, do not appear in our history. The orator or counsel retained by the Jews, and brought down by Ananias and the elders, when they arrived in the course of five days at Caesarea, begins the proceedings of the trial professionally by complimenting the governor. The charge he goes on to set forth against Paul shows precisely the light in which he was regarded by the fanatical Jews. He is a pestilent fellow (λοιμός); he stirs up divisions among the Jews throughout the world; he is a ringleader of the sect (αἱρέσεως) of the Nazarenes. His last offense had been an attempt to profane the Temple. Paul met the charge in his usual manner. He was glad that his judge had been for some years governor of a Jewish province; "because it is in thy power to ascertain that, not more than twelve days since, I came up to Jerusalem to worship." The emphasis is upon his coming up to worship. He denied positively the charges of stirring up strife and of profaning the Temple. But he admitted that "after the way (τὴν ὁδόν) which they call a sect, or a heresy" so he worshipped the God of his fathers, believing all things written in the law and in the prophets. Again he gave prominence to the hope of a resurrection, which he held, as he said, in common with his accusers. His loyalty to the faith of his fathers he had shown by coming up to Jerusalem expressly to bring alms for his nation and offerings, and by undertaking the ceremonies of purification in the Temple. What fault, then, could any Jew possibly find in him? — The apostle's answer was straightforward and complete. He had not violated the law of his fathers; he was still a true and loyal Israelite. Felix, it appears, knew a good deal about "the way" (τῆς ὁδοῦ), as well as about the customs of the Jews, and was probably satisfied that Paul's account was a true one. He made an excuse for putting off the matter, and gave orders that the prisoner should be treated with indulgence, and that his friends should be allowed free access to him. After a while Felix heard him again. His wife, Drusilla, was a Jewess, and they were both curious to hear the eminent preacher of the new faith in Christ. But Paul was not a man to entertain an idle curiosity. He began to reason concerning righteousness, temperance, and the coming judgment, in a manner which alarmed Felix, and caused him to put an end to the conference. He frequently saw him afterwards, however, and allowed him to understand that a bribe would procure his release. But Paul would not resort to this method of escape, and he remained in custody until Felix left the province. The unprincipled governor had good reason to seek to ingratiate himself with the Jews; and to please them he handed over Paul, as an untried prisoner, to his successor Festus.
At this point, as we shall hereafter see, the history of Paul comes into its closest contact with external chronology. Festus, like Felix, has a place in secular history, and he bears a much better character. Upon his arrival in the province he went up without delay from Caesarea to Jerusalem, and the leading Jews seized the opportunity of asking that Paul might be brought up there for trial, intending to assassinate him by the way. But Festus would not comply with their request. He invited them to follow him on is speedy return to Caesarea, and a trial took place there, closely resembling that before Felix. Festus saw clearly enough that Paul had committed no offense against the law, but he was anxious at the tame time, if he could, to please the Jews, "They had certain questions against him," Festus says to Agrippa, "of their own superstition (or religion), and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And being puzzled for my part as to such inquiries, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem to be tried there." This proposal, not a very likely one to be accepted, was the occasion of Paul's appeal to Caesar. In dignified and independent language he claimed his rights as a Roman citizen. We can scarcely doubt that the prospect of being forwarded by this means to Rome, the goal of all his desires, presented itself to him and drew him onwards, as he virtually protested against the indecision and impotence of the provincial governor, and exclaimed, "I appeal unto Caesar." Having heard this appeal, Festus consulted with his assessors, found that there was no impediment in the way of its prosecution, and then replied, "Hast thou appealed to Caesar? To Caesar thou shalt go." Properly speaking, an appeal was made from the sentence of an inferior court to the jurisdiction of a higher. But in Paul's case no sentence had been pronounced. We must understand, therefore, by his appeal, a demand to be tried by the imperial court, and we must suppose that a Roman citizen had the right of electing whether he would be tried in the province or at Rome. SEE APPEAL.
The appeal having been allowed, Festus reflected that he must send with the prisoner a report of "the crimes laid against him." But he found that it was no easy matter to put the complaints of the Jews in a form which would be intelligible at Rome. He therefore took advantage of an opportunity which offered itself in a few days to seek some help in the matter. The Jewish prince Agrippa arrived with his sister Berenice on a visit to the new governor. To him Festus communicated his perplexity, together with an account of what had occurred before him in the case. Agrippa, who must have known something of the sect of the Nazarenes, and had probably heard of Paul himself, expressed a desire to hear him speak. The apostle therefore was now called upon to bear the name of his Master "before Gentiles and kings." The audience which assembled to hear him was the most dignified which he had yet addressed, and the state and ceremony of the scene proved that he was regarded as no vulgar criminal. Festus, when Paul had been brought into the council-chamber, explained to Agrippa and the rest of the company the difficulty in which he found himself, and then expressly referred the matter to the better knowledge of the Jewish king. Paul, therefore, was to give an account of himself to Agrippa; and when he had received from him a courteous permission to begin, he stretched forth his hand and made his defense.
In this discourse (Acts 26) we have the second explanation from Paul himself of the manner in which he had been led, through his conversion, to serve the Lord Jesus instead of persecuting his disciples; and the third narrative of the conversion itself. Speaking to Agrippa as to one thoroughly versed in the customs and questions prevailing among the Jews, Paul appeals to the well-known Jewish and even Pharisaical strictness of his youth and early manhood. He reminds the king of the great hope which sustained continually the worship of the Jewish nation — the hope of a deliverer, promised by God himself, who should be a conqueror of death. He had been led to see that this promise was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth; he proclaimed his resurrection to be the pledge of a new and immortal life. What was there in this of disloyalty to the traditions of his fathers? Did his countrymen disbelieve in this Jesus as the Messiah? So had he once disbelieved in him; and had thought it his duty to be earnest in hostility against his name. But his eyes had been opened: he would tell how and when. The story of the conversion is modified in this address, as we might fairly expect it to be. We have seen that there is no absolute contradiction between the statements of this and the other narratives. The main points — the light, the prostration, the voice from heaven, the instructions from Jesus — are found in all three. But in this account, the words "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest" are followed by a fuller explanation, as if then spoken by the Lord, of what the work of the apostle was to be. The other accounts defer this explanation to a subsequent occasion. But when we consider how fully the mysterious communication made at the moment of the conversion included what was afterwards conveyed, through Ananias and in other ways, to the mind of Paul; and how needless it was for Paul, in his present address before Agrippa, to mark the stages by which the whole lesson was taught, it seems merely captious to base upon the method of this account a charge of disagreement between the different parts of this history. They bear, on the contrary, a striking mark of genuineness in the degree in which they approach contradiction without reaching it. It is most natural that a story told on different occasions should be told differently; and if in such a case we find no contradiction as to the facts, we gain all the firmer impression of the substantial truth of the story. The particulars added to the former accounts by the present narrative are, that the words of Jesus were spoken in Hebrew, and that the first question to Saul was followed by the saying, "It is hard for thee to kick against the goads." (This saying is omitted by the best authorities in the 9th chapter.) The language of the commission which Paul says he received from Jesus deserves close study, and will be found to bear a striking resemblance to a passage in Colossians (Col 1:12-14). The ideas of light, redemption, forgiveness, inheritance, and faith in Christ, belong characteristically to the Gospel which Paul preached among the Gentiles, Not less striking is it to observe the older terms in which he describes to Agrippa his obedience to the heavenly vision. He had made it his business, he says, to proclaim to all men "that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance" — words such as John the Baptist uttered, but not less truly Pauline. He finally reiterates that the testimony on account of which the Jews sought to kill him was in exact agreement with Moses and the prophets. They had taught men to expect that the Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people and to the Gentiles. Of such a Messiah Saul was the servant and preacher.
At this point Festus began to apprehend what seemed to him a manifest absurdity. He interrupted the apostle discourteously, but with a compliment contained iii his loud remonstrance: "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." The phrase τὰ πολλὰ γράμματα may possibly have been suggested by the allusion to Moses and the prophets; but it probably refers to the books with which Paul had been supplied, and which he was known to study during his imprisonment. As a biographical hint, this phrase is not to be overlooked. "I am not' mad, most noble Festus," replied Paul; "but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." Then, with an appeal of mingled dignity and solicitude, he turns to the king. He was sure the king understood him. "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." The answer of Agrippa can hardly have been the serious and encouraging remark of our English version. Literally rendered, it appears to be, You are briefly persuading me to become a Christian; and it is generally supposed to have been spoken ironically. It rather signifies, You are slightly (ἐν ὀλίγῳ) successful. "I would to God," is Paul's earnest answer, "that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether (καὶ ἐν ὀλίγῳ καὶ ἐν πολλῷ) such as I am, except these bonds." He was wearing a chain upon the hand he held up in addressing them. With this prayer, it appears, the conference ended. Festus and the king, and their companions, consulted together, and came to the conclusion that the accused was guilty of nothing that deserved death or imprisonment. Agrippa's final answer to the inquiry of Festus was, "This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar."
(3.) Voyage to Rome. — No formal trial of Paul had yet taken place. It appears from Ac 28:18 that he knew how favorable the judgment of the provincial government was likely to be. But the vehement opposition of the Jews, together with his desire to be conveyed to Rome, might well induce him to claim a trial before the imperial court. After a while arrangements were made to carry "Paul and certain other prisoners," in the custody of a centurion named Julius, into Italy; and among the company, whether by favor or from any other reason, we find the historian of the Acts. The narrative of this voyage is accordingly minute and circumstantial in a degree which has excited much attention. The nautical and geographical details of Luke's account have been submitted to an apparently thorough investigation by several competent critics, especially by Mr. Smith, of Jordanhill, in an important treatise devoted to the subject, and by Mr. Howson. The result of this investigation has been that several errors in the received version have been corrected, that the course of the voyage has been laid down to a very minute degree with great certainty, and that the account in the Acts is shown to be written by an accurate eye- witness, not himself a professional seaman, but well acquainted with nautical matters. We shall hasten lightly over this voyage, referring the reader to the works above mentioned, and to the articles on the names of places and the nautical terms which occur in the narrative. SEE SHIPWRECK.
The centurion and his prisoners, among whom Aristarchus (Col 4:10) is named, embarked at Caesarea on board a ship of Adramyttium, and set sail for the coast of Asia. On the next day they touched at Sidon, and Julius began a course of kindly and respectful treatment by allowing Paul to go on shore to visit his friends. The westerly winds, still usual at the time of year (late in the summer), compelled the vessel to run northwards under the lee of Cyprus. Off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia they would find northerly winds, which enabled them to reach Myra in Lycia. Here the voyagers were put on board another ship, which had come from Alexandria and was bound for Italy. In this vessel they worked slowly to windward, keeping near the coast of Asia Minor, till they came over against Cnidus. The wind being still contrary, the only course now was to run southwards, under the lee of Crete, passing the headland of Salmone. They then gained the advantage of a weather shore, and worked along the coast of Crete as far as Cape Matala, near which they took refuge in a harbor called Fair Havens, identified with one bearing the same name to this day.
It now became a serious question what course should be taken. It was late in the year for the navigation of those days. The fast of the day of expiation (Le 23:27-29), answering to the autumnal equinox, was past, and Paul gave it as his advice that they should winter where they were. But the master and the owner of the ship were willing to run the risk of seeking a more commodious harbor, and the centurion followed their judgment. It was resolved, with the concurrence of the majority, to make for a harbor called Phoenix, sheltered from the south-west winds, as well as from the northwest. (The phrase βλέποντα κατὰ λίβα is rendered either "looking down the south-vest [Smith and Alford], or "looking towards the south- west," when observed from the sea and towards the land enclosing it [Howson].) SEE PHOENICE. A change of wind occurred which favored the plan, and by the aid of a light breeze from the south they were sailing towards Phoenix (now Lutro), when a violent north-east wind, SEE EUROCLYDON came down from the land (κατ᾿ αὐτῆς, scil. Κρήτης), caught the vessel, and compelled them to let her drive before the wind. In this course they arrived under the lee of a small island called Clauda, about twenty miles from Crete, where they took advantage of comparatively smooth water to get the boat on board, and to undergird, or frap, the ship. There was a fear lest they should be driven upon the Syrtis on the coast of Africa, and they therefore "lowered the gear," or sent down upon deck the gear connected with the fair-weather sails, and stood out to sea "with storm-sails set and on the starboard tack" (Smith). The bad weather continued, and the ship was lightened on the next day of her way-freight, on the third of her loose furniture and tackling. For many days neither sun nor stars were visible to steer by, the storm was violent, and all began to despair of safety. The general discouragement was aggravated by the abstinence caused by the difficulty of preparing food, and the spoiling of it; and in order to raise the spirits of the whole company, Paul stood forth one morning to relate a vision which had occurred to him in the night. An angel of the God "whose he was and whom he served" had appeared to him and said, "Fear not, Paul: thou must be brought before Caesar; and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." At the same time he predicted that the vessel would be cast upon an island and be lost.
This shipwreck was to happen speedily. On the fourteenth night, as they were drifting through the sea, SEE ADRIA, about midnight, the sailors perceived indications, probably the roar of breakers, that land was near. Their suspicion was confirmed by soundings. They therefore cast four anchors out of the stern, and waited anxiously for daylight. After a while the sailors lowered the boat with the professed purpose of laying out anchors from the bow, but intending to desert the ship, which was in imminent danger of being dashed to pieces. Paul, aware of their intention, informed the centurion and the soldiers of it, who took care, by cutting the ropes of the boat, to prevent its being carried out. He then addressed himself to the task of encouraging the whole company, assuring them that their lives would be preserved, and exhorting them to refresh themselves quietly after their long abstinence with a good meal. He set the example himself, taking bread, giving thanks to God, and beginning to eat in presence of them all. After a general meal, in which there were two hundred and seventy-six persons to partake, they further lightened the ship by casting overboard the cargo (τὸν σῖτον, the "wheat" with which the vessel was laden). When the light of the dawn revealed the land, they did not recognize it, but they discovered a creek with a smooth beach, and determined to run the ship aground in it. So they cut away the anchors, unloosed the rudder-paddles, raised the foresail to the wind, and made for the beach. When they came close to it they found a narrow channel between the land on one side, which proved to be an islet, and the shore; and at this point, where the "two seas met," they succeeded in driving the fore part of the vessel fast into the clayey beach. The stern began at once to go to pieces under the action of the breakers; but escape was now within reach. The soldiers suggested to their commander that the prisoners should be effectually prevented from gaining their liberty by being killed; but the centurion, desiring to save Paul, stopped this proposition, and gave orders that those who could swim should cast themselves first into the sea and get to land, and that the rest should follow with the aid of such spars as might be available. By this creditable combination of humanity and discipline the deliverance was made as complete as Paul's assurances had predicted it would be.
The land on which they had been cast was found to belong to Malta. SEE MALTA. The very point of the stranding is made out with great probability by Mr. Smith. The inhabitants of the island received the wet and exhausted voyagers with no ordinary kindness, and immediately lighted a fire to warm them. This particular kindness is recorded on account of a curious incident connected with it. The apostle was helping to make the fire, and had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, when a viper came out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand they believed him to be poisoned by the bite, and said among themselves, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Vengeance suffers not to live." But when they saw no harm come of it, they changed their minds and said he was a god. This circumstance, as well as the honor in which he was held by Julius, would account for Paul being invited with some others to stay at the house of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius. By him they were courteously entertained for three days. The father of Publius happened to be ill of fever and dysentery, and was cured by Paul; and when this was known many other sick persons were brought to him and were cured. So there was a pleasant interchange of kindness and benefits. The people of the island showed the apostle and his company much honor, and when they were about to leave loaded them with such things as they would want. The Roman soldiers would carry with them to Rome a deepened impression of the character and the powers of the kingdom of which Paul was the herald.
After a three months' stay in Malta the soldiers and their prisoners left in an Alexandrian ship for Italy. A.D. 56. They touched at Syracuse, where they stayed three days, and at Rhegium, from which place they were carried with a fair wind to Puteoli, where they left their ship and the sea. At Puteoli they found "brethren," for it was an important place, and especially a chief port for the traffic between Alexandria and Rome; and by these brethren they were exhorted to stay awhile with them. Permission seems to have been granted by the centurion; and while they were spending seven days at Puteoli news of the apostle's arrival was sent on to Rome. The Christians at Rome, on their part, sent forth some of their number, who met Paul at Appii Forum and Tres Tabernae; and on this first introduction to the Church at Rome the apostle felt that his long desire was fulfilled at last. "He thanked God and took courage."
(4.) Confinement at Rome. — On their arrival at Rome the centurion doubtless delivered up his prisoners into the proper custody, that of the praetorian prefect. Paul was at once treated with special consideration, and was allowed to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him. He was not released from this galling annoyance of being constantly chained to a keeper; but every indulgence compatible with this necessary restraint was readily allowed him. He was now therefore free "to preach the Gospel to them that were at Rome also;" and proceeded without delay to act upon his rule — "to the Jew first." He invited the chief persons among the Jews to come to him, and explained to them that though he was brought to Rome to answer charges made against him by the Jews in Palestine, he had really done nothing disloyal to his nation or the law, nor desired to be considered as hostile to his fellow-countrymen. On the contrary, he was in custody for maintaining that "the hope of Israel" had been fulfilled. The Roman Jews replied that they had received no tidings to his prejudice. The sect of which he had implied he was a member they knew to be everywhere spoken against; but they were willing to hear what he had to say. It has been thought strange that such an attitude should be taken towards the faith of Christ by the Jews at Rome, where a flourishing branch of the Church had existed for some years; and an argument has been drawn from this representation against the authenticity of the Acts. But it may be accounted for without violence from what we know and may probably conjecture.
(1.) The Church at Rome consisted mainly of Gentiles, although it must be supposed that they had previously been for the most part Jewish proselytes.
(2.) The real Jews at Rome had been persecuted and sometimes entirely banished, and their unsettled state may have checked the contact and collision which would have been otherwise likely.
(3.) Paul was possibly known by name to the Roman Jews, and curiosity may have persuaded them to listen to him.
Even if he were not known to them, yet here, as in other places, his courteous bearing and strong expressions of adhesion to the faith of his fathers would win a hearing from them. A day was therefore appointed, on which a large number came expressly to hear him expound his belief; and from morning till evening he bore witness to the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets. So the apostle of the Gentiles had not yet unlearned the original apostolic method. The hope of Israel was still his subject. But, as of old, the reception of his message by the Jews was not favorable. They were slow of heart to believe at Rome as at Pisidian Antioch. The judgment pronounced by Isaiah had come, Paul testified, upon the people. They had made themselves blind and deaf and gross of heart. The Gospel must be proclaimed to the Gentiles, among whom it would find a better welcome. He turned therefore again to the Gentiles, and for two years he dwelt in his own hired house, and received all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
These are the last words of the Acts. This history of the planting of the kingdom of Christ in the world brings us down to the time when the Gospel was openly proclaimed by the great apostle in the Gentile capital, and stops short of the mighty convulsion which was shortly to pronounce that kingdom established as the divine commonwealth for all men. The work of Paul belonged to the preparatory period. He was not to live through the time when the Son of Man calme in the destruction of the Holy City and Temple, and in the throes of the New Age. The most significant part of his work was accomplished when in the Imperial City he had declared his Gospel, "to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." But his career is not abruptly closed. Before he himself fades out of our sight in the twilight of ecclesiastical tradition, we have letters written by himself, which contribute some particulars to his external biography, and give us a far more precious insight into his convictions and sympathies.
10. Subsequent History. —
(1.) Later Epistles. — We might naturally expect that Paul, tied down to one spot at Rome, and yet free to speak and write to whom he pleased, would pour out in letters his love and anxiety for distant churches. It has hence been supposed by some that the author of the extant Epistles wrote very many which are not extant. But of this there is not a particle of evidence; nor were the circumstances of Paul after all very favorable for extended epistolary correspondence. It is difficult enough to connect in our minds the writing of the known Epistles with the external conditions of a human life; to think of Paul, with his incessant chain and soldier, sitting down to write or dictate, and producing for the world an inspired epistle. But it is almost more difficult to imagine the Christian communities of these days, samples of the population of Macedonia or Asia Minor, receiving and reading such letters. Yet the letters were actually written; and they must of necessity be accepted as representing the kind of communications which marked the intercourse of the apostle and his fellow-Christians. When he wrote, he wrote out of the fullness of his heart; and the ideas on which he dwelt were those of his daily and hourly thoughts. To that imprisonment to which Luke has introduced us the imprisonment which lasted for such a tedious time, although tempered by much indulgence — belongs certainly the noble group of Letters to Philemon, to the Colossians, to the Ephesians, and to the Philippians, and probably also that peculiar one, the Letter to the Hebrew Christians. The first three of these were written at one time and sent by the same messengers. Whether that to the Philippians was written before or after these we cannot determine; but the tone of it seems to imply that a crisis was approaching, and therefore it is commonly regarded as the latest of the four.
Paul had not himself founded the Church at Colossae. But during his imprisonment at Rome he had for an associate — he calls him a "fellow- prisoner" (Phm 1:23) — a chief teacher of the Colossian Church named Epaphras. He had thus become deeply interested in the condition of that Church. It happened that at the same time a slave named Onesimus came within the reach of Paul's teaching, and was converted into a zealous and useful Christian. This Onesimus had run away from his master; and his master was a Christian of Colossae. Paul determined to send back Onesimus to his master; and with him he determined also to send his old companion Tychicus (Ac 20:4), as a messenger to the Church at Colossee and to neighboring churches. This was the occasion of the letter to Philemon, which commended Onesimus, in language of singular tenderness and delicacy, as a faithful and beloved brother, to his injured master; and also of the two letters to the Colossians and Ephesians. That to the Colossians, being drawn forth by the most special circumstances, may be reasonably supposed to have been written first. It was intended to guard the Church at Colossse from false teaching, which the apostle knew to be infesting it. For the characteristics of this Epistle we must refer to the special article. The end of it (Col 4:7-18) names several friends who were with Paul at Rome, as Aristarchus, Marcus (Mark), Epaphras, Luke, and Demas. SEE COLOSSIANS, EPISTLE TO THE. For the writing of the Epistle to the Ephesians there seems to have been no more special occasion than that Tychicus was passing through Ephesus. The highest characteristic which these two Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians have in common is that of a presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ, fuller and clearer than we find in previous writings, as the Head of creation and of mankind. All things created through Christ, all things coherent in him, all things reconciled to the Father by him, the eternal purpose to restore and complete all things in him — such are the ideas which grew richer and more distinct in the mind of the apostle as he meditated on the Gospel which he had been preaching, and the truths implied in it. In the Epistle to the Colossians this divine Headship of Christ is maintained as the safeguard against the fancies which filled the heavens with secondary divinities, and which laid down rules for an artificial sanctity of men upon the earth. In the Epistle to the Ephesians the eternity and universality of God's redeeming purpose in Christ, and the gathering of men unto him as his members, are set forth as gloriously revealed in the Gospel. In both, the application of the truth concerning Christ as the Image of God and the Head of men to the common relations of human life is dwelt upon in detail. SEE EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO THE.
The Epistle to the Philippians resembles the Second to the Corinthians in the effusion of personal feeling, but differs from it in the absence of all soreness. The Christians at Philippi had regarded the apostle with love and reverence from the beginning, and had given him many proofs of their affection. They had now sent him a contribution towards his maintenance at Rome, such as we must suppose him to have received from time to time for the expenses of "his own hired house." The bearer of this contribution was Epaphroditus, an ardent friend and fellow-laborer of Paul, who had fallen sick on the journey or at Rome (Php 2:27). The Epistle was written to be conveyed by Epaphroditus on his return, and to express the joy with which Paul had received the kindness of the Philippians. He dwells therefore upon their fellowship in the work of spreading the Gospel, a work in which he was even now laboring, and scarcely with less effect on account of his bonds. His imprisonment had made him known, and had given him fruitful opportunities of declaring his Gospel among the imperial guard (1:13), and even in the household of the Caesar (4:22). He professes his undiminished sense of the glory of following Christ, and his expectation of an approaching time in which the Lord Jesus should be revealed from heaven as a deliverer. There is a gracious tone running through this Epistle, expressive of humility, devotion, kindness, delight in all things fair and good, to which the favorable circumstances under which it was written gave a natural occasion, and which helps us to understand the kind of ripening which had taken place in the spirit of the writer. SEE PHILIPPIANS, EPISTLE TO THE.
To the close of this imprisonment apparently also belongs the Epistle to the Hebrews (q.v.).
(2.) Last Labors and Martyrdom. — In both these last Epistles Paul expresses a confident hope that before long he may be able to visit the persons addressed in person (Php 1:25, οιδα, κ. τ. 50·; 2:24, πέποιθα, κ. τ. λ.; Heb 13:19, ἵνα τάχιον, κ. τ. λ.; 23, ὄψομαι ὑμᾶς). Whether this hope were fulfilled or not belongs to a question which now presents itself to us, and which has been the occasion of much controversy. According to the general opinion, the apostle was liberated from his imprisonment and left Rome soon after the writing of the letter to the Philippians, spent some time in visits to Greece, Asia Minor, and Spain, returned again as a prisoner to Rome, and was put to death there. In opposition to this view it is maintained by some that he was never liberated, but was put to death at Rome at an earlier period than is commonly supposed. The arguments adduced in favor of the common view are: (1) the hopes expressed by Paul of visiting Philippi (already named) and Colossae (Phm 1:22); (2) a number of allusions in the Pastoral Epistles, and their general character; and (3) the testimony of ecclesiastical tradition. The arguments in favor of the single imprisonment appear to be wholly negative, and to aim simply at showing that there is no proof of a liberation or departure from Rome. It is contended that Paul's expectations were not always realized, and that the passages from Philemon and Philippians are effectually neutralized by Ac 20:25, "I know that ye all (at Ephesus) shall see my face no more;" inasmuch as the supporters of the ordinary view hold that Paul went again to Ephesus. This is a fair answer, but inconsistent, inasmuch as it assumes the certainty of Paul's expectations, which this theory had just denied. The argument from the Pastoral Epistles is met most simply by a denial of their genuineness. The tradition of ecclesiastical antiquity is affirmed to have no real weight.
The decision must turn mainly upon the view taken of the Pastoral Epistles. It is true that there are many critics, including Wieseler and Dr. Davidson, who admit the genuineness of these Epistles, and yet, by referring 1 Timothy and Titus to an earlier period, and by strained explanations of the allusions in 2 Timothy, get rid of the evidence they are generally understood to give in favor of a second imprisonment. The voyages required by the two former Epistles, and the writing of them, are placed within the three years spent chiefly at Ephesus (Ac 20:31). But the hypothesis of voyages during that period not recorded by Luke is just as arbitrary as that of a release from Rome, which is objected to expressly because it is arbitrary; and such a distribution of the Pastoral Epistles is shown by overwhelming evidence to be untenable. The whole question is discussed in a masterly and decisive manner by Alford in his Prolegomena to the Pastoral Epistles. If, however, these Epistles are not accepted as genuine, the main ground for the belief in a second imprisonment is cut away. For a special consideration of the Epistles, let the reader refer to the aticles on SEE TIMOTHY and SEE TITUS.
The difficulties which have induced such critics as De Wette and Ewald to reject these Epistles are not inconsiderable, and will force themselves upon the attention of the careful student of Paul. But they are overpowered by the much greater difficulties attending any hypothesis which assumes these Epistles to be spurious. We are obliged therefore to recognize the modifications of Paul's style, the developments in the history of the Church, and the movements of various persons, which have appeared suspicious in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, as nevertheless historically true. And then, without encroaching on the domain of conjecture, we draw the following conclusions:
(1) Paul must have left Rome, and visited Asia Minor and Greece; for he says to Timothy (1Ti 1:3), "I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I was setting out for Macedonia." After being once at Ephesus, he was purposing to go there again (1Ti 4:13), and he spent a considerable time at Ephesus (2Ti 1:18).
(2) He paid a visit to Crete, and left Titus to organize churches there (Tit 1:5). He was intending to spend a winter at one of the places named Nicopolis (Tit 3:12).
(3) He traveled by Miletus (2Ti 4:20), Troas (2Ti 4:13), where he left a cloak or case, and some books, and Corinth (2Ti 4:20).
(4) He is a prisoner at Rome, "suffering unto bonds as an evil-doer" (2Ti 2:9), and expecting to be soon condemned to death (2Ti 4:6). At this time he felt deserted and solitary, having only Luke of his old associates to keep him company; and he was very anxious that Timothy should come to him without delay from Ephesus, and bring Mark with him (2Ti 1:15; 2Ti 4:9-12,16).
These facts may be amplified by probable additions from conjecture and tradition. There are strong reasons for placing the three Epistles at as advanced a date as possible, and not far from one another. The peculiarities of style and diction by which these are distinguished from all his former epistles, the affectionate anxieties of an old man, and the glances frequently thrown back on earlier times and scenes, the disposition to be hortatory rather than speculative, the references to a more complete and settled organization of the Church, the signs of a condition tending to moral corruption, and resembling that described in the apocalyptic letters to the Seven Churches — would incline us to adopt the latest date which has been suggested for the death of Paul, so as to interpose as much time as possible between the Pastoral Epistles and the former group. Now the earliest authorities for the date of Paul's death are Eusebius and Jerome, who place it, the one (Chronic. Ann. 2083) in the thirteenth, the other (Cat. Script. Eccl. Paulus") in the fourteenth year of Nero. These dates would allow some seven or eight years between the first imprisonment and the second. During these years, according to the general belief of the early Church, Paul accomplished his old design (Ro 15:28) and visited Spain. Ewald, who denies the genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles, and with it the journeyings in Greece and Asia Minor, believes that Paul was liberated and paid this visit to Spain (Geschichte, 6:621, 631,632); yielding upon this point to the testimony of tradition. The first writer quoted in support of the journey to Spain is one whose evidence would indeed be irresistible if the language in which it is expressed were less obscure. Clement of Rome, in a hortatory and rather rhetorical passage (Ep. 1 ad Cor. c. 5), refers to Paul as an example of patience, and mentions that he preached ἔν το τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ δύσει, and that before his martyrdom he went ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως. It is probable, but can hardly be said to be certain, that by this expression, "the goal of the west," Clement was describing Spain, or some country yet more to the west. The next testimony labors under a somewhat similar difficulty from the imperfection of the text, but it at least names unambiguously a "profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis." This is from Muratori's Fragment on the Canon (Routh, Rel. Sac. 4:1-12). (See the passage quoted and discussed in Wieseler, Chron. d. apost. Zeitalt. p. 536, etc., or Alford, 3:93.) Afterwards Chrysostom says simply, Μετὰ τὸ γένεσθαι ἐν ῾Ρωμῇ, πάλιν εἰς τὴν Σπανίαν ἀπῆλθεν (on 2Ti 4:20); and Jerome speaks of Paul as set free by Nero, that he might preach the Gospel of Christ "in Occidentis quoque partibus" (Cat. Script. Eccl. "Paulus"). Against these assertions nothing is produced, except the absence of allusions to a journey to Spain in passages from some of the fathers where such allusions might more or less be expected. Dr. Davidson (Introd. to the New Test. 3:15, 84) gives a long list of critics who believe in Paul's release from the first imprisonment. Wieseler (p. 521) mentions some of these, with references, and adds some of the more eminent German critics who believe with him in but one imprisonment. These include Schrader, Hemsen, Winer, and Baur. The only English name of any weight to be added to this list is that of Dr. Davidson. (See further below.)
We conclude, then, that after a wearing imprisonment of two years or more at Rome, Paul was set free, and spent some years in various journeyings eastwards and westwards. Towards the close of this time he pours out the warnings of his less vigorous but still brave and faithful spirit in the letters to Timothy and Titus. The first to Timothy and that to Titus were evidently written at very nearly the same time. After these were written, he was apprehended again and sent to Rome. As an eminent Christian teacher Paul was now in a far more dangerous position than when he was first brought to Rome. The Christians had been exposed to popular odium by the false charge of being concerned in the great Neronian conflagration of the city, and had been subjected to a most cruel persecution. The apostle appears now to have been treated, not as an honorable state-prisoner, but as a felon (2Ti 2:9). But he was at least allowed to write this second letter to his "dearly beloved son" Timothy; and though he expresses a confident expectation of his speedy death, he yet thought it sufficiently probable that it might be delayed for some time, to warrant him in urging Timothy to come to him from Ephesus. Meanwhile, though he felt his isolation, he was not in the least daunted by his danger. He was more than ready to die (4:6), and had a sustaining experience of not being deserted by his Lord. Once already, in this second imprisonment, he had appeared before the authorities; and "the Lord then stood by him and strengthened him," and gave him a favorable opportunity for the one thing always nearest to his heart, the public declaration of his Gospel.
This epistle, surely no unworthy utterance at such an age and in such an hour even of a Paul, brings us, it may well be presumed, close to the end of his life. For what remains, we have the concurrent testimony of ecclesiastical antiquity that he was beheaded at Rome, about the same time that Peter was crucified there. The earliest allusion to the death of Paul is in that sentence from Clemens Romanus, already quoted: "Having gone to the boundary of the West, and testified before rulers, so he departed out of the world" (ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθὼν καὶ μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμενων, οὕτως ἀπηλλάγη τοῦ κόσμου), which just fails of giving us any particulars upon which we can conclusively rely. The next authorities are those quoted by Eusebius in his Hist. Eccl. 2:25. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth (A.D. 170), says that Peter and Paul went to Italy and taught there together, and suffered martyrdom about the same time. This, like most of the statements relating to the death of Paul, is mixed up with the tradition, with which we are not here immediately concerned, of the work of Peter at Rome. Caius of Rome, supposed to be writing within the 2d century, names the grave of Peter on the Vatican, and that of Paul on the Ostian Way. Eusebius himself entirely adopts the tradition that Paul was beheaded under Nero at Rome. Among other early testimonies, we have that of Tertullian, who says (De Praescr. Haeret. 36) that at Rome "Petrus passioni Dominicas adequatur, Paulus Johannis [the Baptist] exitu coronatur;" and that of Jerome (Cat. Scr. "Paulus"), "Hic ergo 14to Neronis anno (eodem die quo Petrus) Romae pro Christo capite truncatus sepultusque est, in via Ostiensi." It would be useless to enumerate further testimonies of what is undisputed.
It would also be beyond the scope of this article to attempt to exhibit the traces of Paul's apostolic work in the history of the Church. But there is one indication, so exceptional as to deserve special mention, which shows that the difficulty of understanding the Gospel of Paul and of reconciling it with a true Judaism was very early felt. This is in the apocryphal work called the Clementines (τὰ Κλημέντια), supposed to be written before the end of the 2d century. These curious compositions contain direct assaults (for though the name is not given, the references are plain and undisguised)
upon the authority and the character of Paul. Peter is represented as the true apostle, of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, and Paul as ὁ ἐχθρὸς ἄνθοωπος, who opposes Peter and James. The portions of the Clementines which illustrate the writer's view of Paul will be found in Stanley's Corinthians (Introd. to 2 Cor.); and an account of the whole work, with references to the treatises of Schliemann and Baur, in Gieseler, Eccl. Hist. i, § 58.
III. Special Investigations. — We propose here briefly to take up the various disputed points above referred to, the discussion of which, in their respective connections, would have interrupted the narrative.
1. On the chronology of Paul's life, see the following works: Pearson, Annales Paulini, in his Posthum. Op. (Lond. 1688, and separately at Halle, 1719); Hottinger, Pentas dissertat. Bibl. Chromn p. 305 sq.; Vogel, in Gabler's Journal f: auserl. theol. Lit. 1:229 sq.; Haselaar, De nonnullis Act. Apost. et Epp. Paul. ad hist. P. pertinent. locis (L. B. 1806); Hug, Einleit. 2:263; SUskind, in Bengel's A rchiv, 1:156 sq., 297 sq.; Schmidt, in Keil's Analekt. III, 1:128 sq.; Schrader, Paculus, vol. i; Schott, Erorterung wichtiger chronol. Puncte in d. Lebensgesch. d. P. (Jena, 1832);- Anger, De tempor. in Actis. (Leips. 1833); Wurm, in the Tiibing. Zeitschr. fur Theol. 1833; Wieseler, Chronologie des apostol. Zeitalters (Getting. 1848); Conybeare and Howson, Life and Letters of St. Paul (Lond. 1850); Davidson, Introd. to the New Test. (ibid.) vol. ii; Lewin, Elements of Early Christ. Chron.; Browne, Ordo Sceclorum. The fundamental points on which this chronology depends are his joining the Christian Church (Kuchler, De Anno quo P. ad Sac. Christ. Conver. est, Leips. 1828), and his journey to Jerusalem. It is of course utterly impossible to determine the year of Paul's birth. According to an old tradition (Orat. de Petro et Paulo in Chrysost. Opp. ed. Bened. 8:10), it falls in the second year after Christ. Schrader places it in the fourteenth year after Christ. It is easier to determine the time of his joining the Church than of his visit to Jerusalem (comp. Ac 9:22 sq. with 2Co 11:32). But two difficulties arise: first, we are not certain whether this open act of allegiance to Christianity took place during the first or second stay of Paul, after his conversion, at Damascus (Ga 1:17; the latter seems probable, according to Ac 9:26); and, second, the year in which an ethnarch of the Arabian king Aretas ruled in Damascus affords no satisfactory ground for chronology. (Yet see Neander, Pfanz. 1:127 sq.). It is even urged that the Arabian ethnarch was present only as a private man (Anger, p. 181); but this is improbable in view of the expressions used by Paul (2Co 11:32). We must, however, be content to give up the hope of using this as a safe starting- point for Paul's chronology. SEE ARETAS. We have, however, the death of king Agrippa (Acts 12), and the arrival of the procurator Porcius Festus in his province of Judaea (Ac 24:27), as the two extreme points between which the active missionary life of Paul lies. Now we know certainly that king Agrippa died in the year 44, and the arrival of Festus may be fixed with high probability in the summer of the year 55. SEE FESTUS. But with regard to the details of the events which occurred between these periods the widest diversity of opinion exists, even among the ablest investigators, on grounds which we cannot here set forth. SEE CHRONOLOGY. The chronological arrangement which seems, on the whole, the most probable, is given under the head ACTS SEE ACTS (q.v.).
2. On the family of Paul, Jerome remarks that Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and the town of Gischala, in Judaea (comp. Γίσχαλα, a small city in Galilee: Joseph. War, 2:20, 6; 4:1, 1; Life, 10:38; and Reland, Palaest. p. 813), and, when this town was taken by the Romans, he emigrated with his parents to Tarsus, in Cilicia. But this is plainly contradicted by Ac 22:3, where Paul speaks of himself as a native of Tarsus; nor is it easy to see how Gischala could have been taken by the Romans during Paul's childhood, so that residents judged it prudent to emigrate. A story of the Ebionites (Epiphan. Haer. 30, 16:25) tells us that Paul was by birth a heathen, but became a Jew in Jerusalem, in order to obtain the high-priest's daughter in marriage! It is not certainly known how Paul's father obtained the right of Roman citizenship (see Becker, Romans Alterthumsk. II, 1:89 sq.; Cellar. Dissertat. 2:710 sq.; Deyling, Observat. 3:388 sq.; Arntzen, Diss. de civitate Pauli, Traj. ad Rhen. 1725). Either some ancestor, perhaps the father of Paul himself, had obtained it by great service to the state (Grotius, ad loc.; Cellarius, ut sup. p. 726 sq.), or he had purchased it (Gronov. Ad Joseph. Decr.pro Jud. p. 42; Deyling, ut sup. p. 393 sq.). The supposition that the whole city of Tarsus received the right from Augustus is without ground (comp. Bengel, on Acts 16:27). SEE TARSUS. If the reading υἱὸς Φαρισαίου, "son of a Pharisee,"' in Ac 23:6, were correct, we might infer that only Paul's father had belonged to this sect; but if, with the best manuscripts, we read, υἱὸς Φαρισαίου, "son of Pharisees," it would imply that his ancestors had been Pharisees for several or many generations; and perhaps that they had been reckoned among the most aristocratic of the Jews. We know nothing further of Paul's family, save that he had a sister and a nephew, the latter living in Jerusalem (Ac 23:16), and that he was not himself married (1Co 7:7; comp. 9:5; and see Schmid, De Apostolis Uxoratis, p. 80 sq., where also the account of Clemens Alexand. in Euseb. 3:30, is examined; esp. see Usher, Prolegom. in Ignat. c. 17; Append. to 2d vol. Patres Apost. ed. Coteler. Cleric. p. 226 sq.). The tradition affirms that Paul led with him for some time as a companion the young woman Thecla, of Iconium, whom he had converted (Menolog. Graec. 1:66).
3. As to Paul's trade, on the word "tent-maker" (σκηνοποιός) we may refer to the Lexicons, to Bertholdt (v. 2698 sq.), and Schurtzfleisch (De Paullo σκηνοποιῷ, Leips. 1699). Luther makes it "carpet-maker;" Morus (in Act. 18:3) and others, "maker of mats or mattresses;" Michaelis (Einl. ins N.T. § 216) and Hanlemn (inl. ins NV. T. 3:301), "tool-maker;" Chrysostom and others, "worker in leather" (=σκυτοτόμος ); Hug (Introd. p. 505, Fosdick's transl.) and Eichhorn (Einl. ins N.T. 3:8), "maker of tent- cloth;" but most critics agree with our translators in rendering it "tent- maker" (comp. Kuinol, Dindorf, Rosenmüller, Olshausen, Schleusner). Shepherds. travelers, and others used small tents of cloth or leather as a protection against the weather, especially at night. The manufacture of them was a flourishing and profitable employment. SEE TENT. Paul accordingly preferred, when opportunity offered, to support himself by laboring at this trade, rather than to live upon the gifts of the Church (Ac 18:3; 1Co 4:12; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). There was a goat's-hair cloth called Cilicium, manufactured in Cilicia, and largely used for tents. Paul's trade was probably that of making tents of this haircloth.
4. As to Paul's education, there was a flourishing Greek academy in Tarsus, and the residents were respected in other countries fortheir cultivation. Whether and how far this circumstance influenced Paul while young cannot be determined; probably he was yet very young when he went to Jerusalem, and obtained his facility in the use of the Greek language and his Hellenistic education rather by his travels among the Greeks than in his native city. It is not in itself probable that he attended a Greek school in Tarsus, nor can it be proved from his writings. He shows in them rather the learning of a Jewish rabbi, for which position he had been educated (Ga 1:14), and the logical training of a Pharisee (Ammon, Opuscula, p. 63 sq.), supported by a remarkable natural endowment; and the few quotations from Greek poets which are found in his epistles and speeches (see Jerome, on Isaiah 1), as in 1Co 15:33; Ac 17:28 (see Progr. by Benner [Giess. 1753], on Tit 1:12; Schickendanz, De trib. a Paullo profanor. scriptis allegatis [Servest. 1764]; Von Seclen, Meditt. Exeg. 2:312 sq.; Hoffmann, De Paullo Apost. Scriptor. prof. allegante [Tub. 1770]), might have been picked up in the course of his travels, as they are merely general, and perhaps proverbial, sentences. So as regards the few words quoted from Aratus, we need not suppose, with Tholuck, that the apostle had read him, although this is not very improbable (Neander, 1:111); nor must we forget that Paul seems to indicate (Ga 6:11) that it was not easy for him to write in Greek letters (see Thalemann, De EFIuditione Panlli Judaica non Griceca [Leips. 1769]; Michaelis, Einl. 1:162 sq.; Henke, on Paley, lorae Paulinoe, p. 469 sq. On the contrary side, Strom bach, De Eruditione Paulli [Leips. 1708]; Schramm, De stupenda Eruditione Paulli [Herborn, 1710]; Miller, in the Biblioth. Lubec. v. 104 sq.). The active mind of the apostle did not remain ignorant even of the philosophical speculations of the day. But by the philosophy of Paul (see Zobel, De Paullo philosopho [Altdorf, 1701]; Feller, De Patho philosopho plane divino [Viteb. 1740]; Bieck, De Pauli philosophia, in Heumann's Act. Philos. 13:124 sq.) is not meant a formal system or scientific view, but simply that his mind had a philosophical turn. In the same manner the acquaintance he betrays occasionally with the Roman law does not at all pass beyond the miost common legal relations, and cannot be called jurisprudence (Kirchmaier, Dejurisprudentia Paullina [Viteb. 1730]; Westenburg, Opusc. Academ. ed. Piittmann [Leips. 1794]; Stryck, De jurisprud. Paul. [Halle, 1705]; Freiesleben, De jurisprud. Paul. [Leips. 1840]). The style of Paul's Epistles shows that he had acquired a real facility in expressing himself in Greek; and the Greek coloring which appears through all the Hebraisms of his style excludes the supposition that he conceived his letters in Hebrew (Arameean). Translations from the Hebrew by a foreign hand, and that, as it is urged in excess of learned trifling, an unskilled one would read quite otherwise. The Greek style of Paul rises even at times to eloquence (Hug, Einleit. 2:285), although he may have seemed to the Greeks "rude in speech" (2Co 11:6), and a better Pauline system of rhetoric could easily be derived from his works than Baur suggests (Halle, 1782, 2:8; see Kirchmaier, De P. Eloquentia [Viteb. 1695]; Baden, De Eloquent. Pauli [Havn. 1786]; Tzschirner, Observat. Pauli epistol. scriptoris ingenium concernentes [Viteb. 1800], 3:4; Hoffmann, De stilo Pauli [Tubing. 1757]). Paul not only talked Greek in the ordinary intercourse of life, but was able to make extemporaneous speeches in Greek (Ac 21:37; Ac 17:22 sq.). Nor can there be any doubt of the acquaintance of the apostle with Latin, and his ability to speak it (see Ehrhardt, De Latinitate Pauli [Silus. 1755]. 2:4). But perhaps his idiomatic facility in the Greek had failed him, and led to his employment of an amanuensis. Extravagant claims have often been made on the apostle's behalf as to his classical education, based upon slender evidence. This evidence consists (1) of a few supposed references, in the discourse alluded to by Dr. Bentley, to certain dogmas of the Greek philosophers; but even supposing the apostle to have had these in his eye, it will not follow that he must have studied the writings in which these dogmas were unfolded and defended, because he might have learned enough of them to guide him to such referenced, as by the supposition he makes in that discourse, from those controversial encounters with "the philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics" which we are told he had in the market-place of Athens, previous to the delivery of his oration on the Areopagus; (2) of three quotations made by him from Greek poets: one from the Phoenomena (ver. 5), of his countryman Aratus (Ac 17:28), one from a lost play of Menander (1Co 15:33), and one from Epimenides (Tit 1:12), all of which, however, bear the general character of gnomes or proverbs, and might consequently find their way to the apostle merely as a part of the current coin of popular conversation, without his having once visited the treasury whence they were originally drawn; and (3) of certain similarities of idea and expression between some passages of the apostle and some that are found in classic authors (Horne, Introd. 4:343); but none of which are of such a nature as to necessitate the conclusion that the coincidence is more than purely accidental. SEE EDUCATION.
5. On the conversion of Paul there are various views (see Lyttleton, Observ. on the Convers. of Paul [Lond. 1747], and Kuinol, Comment. 4:329 sq.). The older view, and the prevailing one still in England and America, which interprets the accounts literally, and supposes a visible manifestation of Jesus, is brought forward by Miller (De Je u a Paullo Viso [Gott. 1778]). But the prevailing current of German opinion, under rationalistic influence, has for a long time been to explain away the supernatural elements in this narrative, either by referring them to the imagination of Paul and his followers, working on natural events (see Ammon, De repentina Sauli ad doctr. Christi conversione [Erl. 1792], also in his Opusc. Theol. 1 sq.; Eichhorn, Biblioth. der bibl. Lit. vi sq.; Greiling, in Henke's Mus. 3:226 sq.; Schulz, in Heinrich's Beitr. z. Beford. d. theol. Wiss. 1:47 sq.; Bengel, Observ. de Pauli ad rem Christ. conver. [Tubing. 1819], 2:4 [this work takes, however, a middle course, and shows more than usual regard for the narrative]; Planck, Gesch. der ersten Periode d. Christen, 2:90 sq. But Neander [i. 116] and Olshausen [on Acts 9:1] return partially to the old view), or reject the narrative entirely as a relation of actual facts (so Bretschneider, Land. der Dogmatik, 1:325 sq., who considers all as a vision; Baur, p. 63 sq., who makes the account a fable, framed out of Paul's internal experience, by his defenders, as an offset to Peter's vision, Ac 10:11).
The apologetic bearing of Saul's conversion, according to the obvious meaning of the Scripture narrative, upon the question of the supernatural origin of Christianity is too obvious not to have rendered the subject a field of fierce debate among the contending parties. The Christian Church, as a whole, has ever appealed to this remarkable event as furnishing irresistible evidence of the truth of the crowning miracle of the Gospel, the resurrection of our Lord. Upon this one fact, the "conversion and apostleship of Paul," a well-known author (Lyttleton) has consented to lay the whole stress of the argument. Was Paul an impostor, or an enthusiast, or deceived by others? Let us weigh the probabilities. This is not the case of a rude Galilasan peasant, whose untutored perceptions might be supposed incapable of distinguishing between natural and miraculous phenomena; but of a man of acute and discriminating intellect, well versed in Jewish learning, and not unacquainted with classic lore; and so far from being predisposed towards the Christian cause, or even, like his master Gamaliel, content to remain neutral, or to leave the event to a higher power, animated by sentiments of the bitterest hostility to Christ and to Christ's followers. His most cherished associations, his temporal prospects, alike pointed to his continuance in the Jewish faith. His subsequent course furnishes no evidence of any change of mind. His convictions and his zeal know no abatement, and at length he seals his ministry with a martyr's death. If we examine his extant letters, we find in them not a trace of the credulous or the enthusiastic or the fanatical temperament, which might explain the phenomenon. According to the ordinary motives of human action, Paul's conversion is, if the facts were not as stated, unaccountable.
Feeling the force of this, the modern opponents of the supernatural have retreated from the position of the elder deists, and, admitting that Paul believed that he saw and heard the risen Savior, have attempted to explain the matter either on a combination of natural and psychological grounds, or on the latter purely. The very excess of Paul's antichristian zeal paved the way to his conversion. It brought him into contact with the Christians, and thus made him acquainted with the arguments for and against the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah. Was the scandal of the cross decisive against this claim? An impartial examination of the prophets would prove that the idea of a suffering Messiah was familiar to them. To himself as a Pharisee the idea of a resurrection from the dead would present no difficulties. The patience and joy with which the Christians encountered suffering must have produced a deep impression upon him. Thus a state of doubt and hesitation would naturally succeed to that of unreasoning prejudice. Might not the death of Christ, shameful as it appeared, be really, as the Christians considered it, God's ordinance for the salvation of the world? If his resurrection were but a fact, it would turn the scale. The more this thought fixed itself in Paul's mind, the more, in the agony of suspense to which it would give rise, would he long for some convincing proof of what he had come to hope might be true. On that memorable journey the crisis took place. As he was vainly endeavoring, by redoubled efforts against the Christian faith, to stifle the remonstrances of conscience and the growth of conviction, either a sudden thunder-storm which overtook him (Ammon), or his own excited imagination without any external cause aiding (Baur, Holsten), so affected the nerves of vision and hearing that an appearance or phantasm of the risen Savior, uttering words of reproach and admonition, figured itself on his retina, and produced the effects recorded.
Such is the latest form of the rationalistic theory on this subject. To us it appears wholly inadequate to support the conclusion intended, viz. that no external manifestation of Christ took place. We can but briefly touch upon its inherent improbabilities. That Paul fully believed that the transaction had an existence external to himself is plain, not merely from his own references to it (Ac 22:6-10), but from his unhesitating claim to be an apostle of Christ, in no wise inferior to those who had seen the Savior in his humiliation (1Co 9:1). Now it was the special qualification for the apostolic office that the holder of it should have beheld the Lord in his glorified body, so as to be able to testify to the fact of his resurrection. (See especially Ac 1:22, and the addresses of Peter in ch. ii and iii of that book.) As certainly, therefore, as Paul claimed to be an apostle, so certainly was it his conviction that, like his colleagues, he had had ocular demonstration of our Lord's resurrection: on no other ground could he have asserted a coordinate rank and authority. Still, it is no doubt possible that he might have mistaken vision for reality; or at least that Luke, the historian, might have confounded the two. But, in fact, both writers exhibit a perfect consciousness of the difference between them. Peter's "vision" (Acts 10) is expressly described as such (ver. 3); and that the distinction was familiar to the historian is proved by his observation in the account of the same apostle's miraculous deliverance, that he "wist not that it was true which was done by the angel, but thought he saw a vision." We are told that it was in a "vision" that Christ appeared to Ananias (Ac 9:10), and to Paul himself on subsequent occasions (Ac 18:9; Ac 22:17). The apostle speaks in various passages of his Epistles of a state of ecstatic trance, as not unfrequent with him; and in such cases whether he was "in the body or out of the body" he could not tell; a description which presents a strong contrast to the positive matter-of-fact style which the apostle uses in describing what took place on the journey to Damascus.
It is clear then that both Luke and Paul, far from placing all supernatural communications in the same category, drew a distinction, well-known and acknowledged, between a mere vision, or rapture, and an external manifestation; and, therefore, if they had regarded that appearance of Christ which issued in the conversion of the latter as an instance of vision merely, they would have described it as such. The hypothesis, therefore, that they were unable to distinguish the one from the other falls to the ground. Not less ungrounded, as far as the evidence is concerned, is the "psychological" explanation. There is no trace in the history of any intercourse between Paul and Christians of a friendly nature previous to his conversion. Neither is there any evidence of a growing struggle in his own mind between prejudice and conviction as to the truth of Christianity. His mental and moral conflicts were wholly of a legal character (Romans 7). Is it credible that if, as the theory supposes, such a struggle had been going on he would have continued, as he did, in his career of persecution to the last moment? Moreover, is it agreeable to experience that a change, not merely of view but of heart, so vast as to be called by Paul himself a "new creation," should have been wrought by the unaided exercise of the natural powers? The theory sinks under an accumulation of inherent improbabilities. There remains only the other alternative, that Paul really beheld the risen Savior piercing the clouds of heaven as he will do at the last day, and visible in his glorified body. Nor can we fail to perceive the divine wisdom in this extraordinary conversion. Natures like Paul's can only be transformed, if at all, suddenly and with a mighty shock: a lightning stroke of conviction must fuse the hard metal; or, to vary the image, the veil that was upon his heart must be split from without, if the light of heaven was to visit the darkened chamber.
6. Evangelistic Labor. — Paul's personal efforts for the spread of the Gospel consisted chiefly in oral preaching, enforced with eloquence of the heart. He did not usually occupy himself with baptism (1Co 1:14 sq.), but left this ceremony to his companions and attendants (οἱ διακονοῦντες αὐτῷ, Ac 19:22; οἱ συνεργοὶ αὐτοῦ, Ro 16:21; Php 2:25; Phm 1:24), of whom he gradually collected a considerable number (Ac 20:4; Phm 1:24), and used them as emissaries (Ac 19:22; Ac 17:14; 1Co 4:17; Php 2:25; 1Th 3:2). After he parted with Barnabas and Mark (Ac 15:37 sq.) he numbered among them especially Silas (comp. Ac 15:40), Timothy (Ac 16:1 sq.), Luke the physician, Titus, Demas, Erastus, and Epaphroditus. He first came in contact with the original apostles of Jesus and the Mother-Church in Jerusalem through Barnabas (Ac 9:27), but he renewed his acquaintance with them by frequent tarrying in that city (Ac 15:4; Ga 2; Ac 21:18). In his fundamental view of the invalidity of the Mosaic law for Christians, Paul disagreed with some of the apostles, and on this ground had at one time a dispute with Peter at Antioch (Ga 2:11 sq.; see Bockel, De controversia inter Paul. et Petr. Leips. 1817, and Winer, Comment. ad loc.), and continued always to be an object of suspicion to the Jerusalem Christians (Ac 21:21). But this did not prevent him from making collections wherever he could in behalf of the poor Christians in Jerusalem and Judaea (Ro 15:25 sq.; 1Co 16; 2Co 8 sq.; Ga 2:10; Ac 24:17). He extended his apostolic labors from Syria to the north and north-west (Ro 15:19), where he could not fear to disturb the sphere of work of others (2Co 10:16; Ro 15:20); but even there he was not, it seems, altogether unaffected by the authorities of the Church in Palestine (1Co 1:12; 1Co 3:22). His whole life was a struggle against adversaries as wily as they were unwearying (Scharling, De Paullo ejusq. adversariis, Havn. 1836). Not only did the Jews in Palestine and elsewhere persecute their former companion with the whole weight of their national and religious hatred (Ac 9:23; Ac 13:50; Ac 14:5 sq.; 17:5; 18:12;
21:27 sq.; 23:12), but even within the Christian Church itself, openly and secretly, Judaizing Christians and philosophizing Christians opposed him; and while Paul was defending Christian freedom against the stiff legality of the former, he was compelled to rescue the historical basis of Christianity from the errors of the latter. Like other great teachers, too, he was forced sometimes to meet misunderstanding of his own instructions (1Co 15:10; 1Co 8:9). Although Paul saw the necessary end of the Jewish ritual, yet, in dealing with the weak, he was no bigoted opponent of it (9:19, 20); he not only had Timothy circumcised (Ac 16:3), but himself fulfilled a Jewish vow (21:24 sq.; SEE NAZARITE, and Lakemacher, Observ. 6:364 sq.). Only where Jewish prejudices pressed in with bold demands, and threatened serious trouble, did he manifest severity (Ga 2:4 sq.). On the other hand, his opponents left nothing untried to diminish his apostolical authority, descending even to slander (2 Corinthians 1; comp. 10). They had even forged letters under Paul's name (2Th 2:2; see Neander, 1:281). Thus his life was really a series of continuous strife and danger (2Co 11:23 sq.).
7. Visits to Corinth. — From several passages of 2 Corinthians (2:1; 12:14, 21; 13:1, 2) it has appeared to many that before the writing of that epistle Paul had twice visited Corinth, and that one of these visits had been after the Church there had fallen into an evil state. The words (2Co 12:14) τρίτον τοῦτο ἑτοίμως ἔχω ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς are usually explained as meaning only, "I am a third time prepared to come," and in accordance with this it is thought that τρἰτον τοῦτο ἔρχομαι (2Co 13:1) may be rendered "This third time I am purposing to come to you;" so that it is not of a third visit, but simply of a third purpose to visit that Paul speaks. Against this the following arguments are urged:
(1) That though ἔρχομαι may signify "I am coming" in the sense of "purposing to come," the whole phrase τρίτον τοῦτο ἔρχομαι cannot be rendered "this is the third time I have purposed to come to you;" as De Wette remarks (Erklhirung, ad loc.), it is only when the purpose is close on its accomplishment, not of an earlier purpose, that ἔρχομαι can be so used. But in this case the ἔρχομαι does not refer to any previous purpose; that is implied only in the τρίτον: so that the instance fairly comes under the usage of the pres. for the determined fut. (Kruiger, Griech. Sprachl. 1:148, 149; Winer, Gr. Gr. p. 281). Moreover, we have the apostle's own epexegesis of his usus loquendi in the parallel passage, showing that τοῦτο denoted the intention or readiness (ἑτοίμως) only.
(2) The contrast of τρίτον in 13:1 with δεύτερον in ver. 2 leads to the conclusion that it is of a third visit, and not of a third purpose to visit, that Paul is writing; he had told them formerly when he was present with them the second time, and now when absent, in announcing a third visit, he tells them again, etc. Some render, as in the A.V., ὠς παρών by as if present, so as to make the apostle intimate that he had not been oftener than once before at Corinth; but it is very doubtful if ὡς is ever used to express the supposition of a case which does not exist (1Co 5:3 is not a case in point, for there the case supposed actually did exist), and, moreover, as it is connected here as well with ἀπών as with παρών, if we translate it "as if," the whole clause will read thus, "I tell you beforehand, as if I were present the second time, and were now absent," etc., which is of course as inadmissible on the ground of sense as the rendering in the A.V. is on critical grounds. If, however, as is far more natural, we construe τὸ δεύτερον with παρών immediately preceding, rather than with either of the verbs in the beginning of the verse, and render as one present the second time," we have a direct argument (in harmony with all the other passages which speak of his determination as if already a fact) that there had been but one previous visit to Corinth, namely, that during which the Church was planted.
(3) In 12:14 the apostle intimates his being ready to go to Corinth in connection with his resolution not to be burdensome to the Christians there. Now, inasmuch as it was not Paul's purpose to visit them that could impose any burden on them, but his actual presence with them, it is said that there seems no fitness in such a connection in his telling them of his mere repeated purpose to visit them; in order to make congruity out of this, we must regard him as saying, "I was not burdensome to you when with you before, and now I have a third time formed a purpose to visit you; but when I make out this visit, I will not be burdensome to you any more than at first, though it be a thrice purposed visit." Accordingly it is claimed that to find all this in the few words he utters is to attribute to the apostle a somewhat improbable breviloquence. Nevertheless, nothing could be more natural than the phraseology here, on the supposition that the second intended visit had not taken place. The purpose still remained, and the visit was looked upon as certain; when it did occur, Paul hoped not to be a burden to his hosts. And if we construe (as we may properly do, despite Alford's subjective emendation) the τρίτον here also with its nearer verb ἔχω, we have again a positive statement of a third preparation only to make the visits. The reason why the apostle is so emphatic on this point is that his enemies had charged him with fickleness respecting it (1:17), and had even questioned it altogether (1Co 4:18). See in favor of this intermediate visit, Bleek (Stud. u. Krit. 1830; Einleit. p. 393) and others; against it, Davidson (Introd. 2:213 sq.) and Lange (Apost. Zeitalter, 1:199 sq.).
On the other hand we have the following arguments:
(1) In 2Co 1:15-16, the apostle speaks of a second benefit as to be anticipated by the Corinthians from his visiting them; from which it is argued that he could only have been there once before, else would he have used consistent language, and spoken of a third benefit, and not a second only. To escape from this difficulty various expedients have been devised, such as taking δευτέραν χάριν here for a double benefit (διπλῆν χαράν, Bleek and Neander, after Chrysostom and Theodoret), and supposing the term of the apostle's residence at Corinth (Ac 18:1-11) divided into two parts, in the interval between which he had made a short excursion fron Corinth and back again, so that in one sense he had twice before visited that city, and, in another sense, had only once before visited it. But these are violent expedients, manifestly devised for maintaining a previous hypothesis. The only tenable solution that will save the supposed visit seems to be that proposed by Meyer, who takes the expression (δευτέρα χάρις) in connection with the return from Macedonia (πάλιν ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς); the apostle determines to visit them first before going to Macedonia, and thereby secure to them a double benefit by going thence to Macedonia, and returning to them from Macedonia in place of going to the latter place first (so also Alford, ad loc.). But it is very harsh thus to refer the πρότερον, "before" (whether construed with the actual coming, ἐλθεῖν, or with the simple purpose, ἐβουλόμην), to the journey into Macedonia, which had not yet been spoken of; it clearly designates something prior to the time of writing, namely, the design of an earlier and second visit that should bring an additional conferment of spiritual gifts. It may therefore be fairly set off against whatever force there may be thought to remain in the first of the above arguments on the other side. There was a third intention of a second visit.
(2) Those who suppose this second visit already made are greatly perplexed where to locate it: they generally fix upon some presumed interval in the apostle's three years' stay at Ephesus. Now it should be noted that this is not only a pure hypothesis, without a word to sustain it in the direct history covering this very period, but Paul's time is stated to have been exclusively employed in the labors at Ephesus, both by his own explicit statement respecting the whole three years (Ac 20:31, "by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day"), and also by Luke's nearly as strong language concerning the first two years ("disputing daily in the school of Tyrannus; and this continued by the space of two years," Ac 19:9-10), during which, if at all, the supposed trip to Corinth occurred. There is certainly no room for it in the narrative there.
(3) If such a visit were made, how comes it that neither in the Acts nor in Paul's letters are there any positive and definite notices of it or of its results? It is altogether unsafe to found so palpable a historical conclusion upon these few, slight, and ambiguous expressions. A treatise has been written by Muller, De Tribus Pauli Itin. (Basle, 1831). SEE CORINTHIANS.
8. Paul's imprisonment at Rome is represented as a lax one (Ac 28:16,23,30), but still imprisonment; for by the words "in his own hired house" (ver. 30), Luke cannot mean a life at freedom, or he must have mentioned Paul's liberation before. Bottger (Beitrage, etc., pt. 2) would prove, by reference to the judicial customs of the Romans, and on the supposition that the letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon were written in Caesarea, that Paul was confined but a few days in Rome. But the artificial argument which he uses will not satisfy any one who desires a firm historical ground for his belief. (See remarks in reply by Olshausen and Neander, Gesch. d. Pflanz. 1:428.) But it is puzzling that Luke, giving so particularly the period of two years, says nothing of what Paul did after the two years. Did he end this work at their close? This seems probable, although the Acts was certainly written after the Gospel, according to Ac 1:1 (see Hug, Einleit. 2:262 sq.). The apostolic history is completed by the tradition in Abdias (Hist. Apost. 2:6 sq.), which makes Paul's imprisonment end with his execution. But since the 4th century the prevailing tradition has been that Paul was at that time released, and made several apostolic journeys afterwards (Niceph. 2:34), especially one to Spain (Cyril. of Jerus. Catech. c. 17; Jerome, in Jes. 11:14; see Weller, De verosim. P. in Hisp. martyrio [Argent. 1787]; comp. against this view Spier, Diss. qua testimonia patrum de Pauli itinere Hisp. labefactantur [Viteb. 1740]; Hist. Crit. de Hisp. P. itinere ;
Harenburg, Otia Gandershem. p. 161 sq.), or even farther (Theodoret, in Psalm cxvi), as into Britain (Minter, Stud. u. Krit. 1833, 1:55); and at last was again implisoned in Rome, and put to death at the same time with Peter (Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. 2:22, 25; comp. Acta Petri et Pauli, Gr. ed. Thilo [Hal. 1838]). The oldest tradition of Paul's release, and the only one worthy of any attention, is that in Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 2:22; comp. Danz, Pr. de loco Euseb. H. E. 2:21 [Jena, 1816]). But he simply mentions it as a report (λόγος ἔχει), and the confirmation which he draws from the Second Epistle to Timothy would lead us to suppose that those who originated this report had derived, as the moderns have, the idea of a second imprisonment of Paul from that epistle. But no such stress should be laid upon the First Epistle of Clemens Romanus to the Corinthians, as has been given it, for example, by Neander (1:653 sq.) and Bohl (p. 95 sq.; comp. Baur, ut sup. p. 150; Schenkel, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1841, p. 56 sq.; yet see Neander, 1:454). It is mainly the peculiar difficulty of referring this Second Epistle to Timothy to any point in the known life of the apostle which has led to the supposition of a second imprisonment. This argument has been urged with great acuteness by Neander (1:453 sq.). The following authors have opposed the idea of a second imprisonment of Paul: Oldendorp, in D. Brem. u. Verdenzsch. Biblioth. 3:1027 sq.; Schmidt, Einleit. ins N.T. p. 198 sq.; Eichhorn, Einzleit. 3:364 sq.; Wolf, De altera P. ap. captivitacte (Leips. 1819), 2:8; Schrader, Paulus, 1:227 sq.; Goschen, in Hemsen, p. 736 sq.; Schenkel, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1841, 1:53 sq.; Baur, Paul. p. 229 sq.; Niedner, Kirchengesch. p. 104 sq.; De Wette. Einleit. 2:220 sq. On the other hand, in favor of the journey, see Heyrdenreich, Bearbeit. d. Pastoralbr. 2:6 sq.; Mynster, Kleine theol. Schrift. p. 291 sq.; Neander, ut sup.; Bohl, Abfass. der Briefe an Tim. u. Titus p. 81 sq.; Schott, Erorterung, p. 116 sq.; Wurm, in the Tubing, Zeitschr. 1853, 1:82 sq.; Guericke, Einleit. ins N.T. p. 338 sq.; Walch, Biblioth. Theol. 3:455. Others are cited above.
9. Personal Appearance and Character. — All testimony; his own included (2Co 10:10), leads to the conclusion that in outward appearance the apostle had nothing to command admiration or respect. His figure was diminutive, his eyesight defective (comp. Ac 23:5; Ga 4:15), and his speech such as produced little effect. An ancient writer adds that he was bald, and had a hooked nose like an eagle's beak. The combination of these features presents such a figure as one may often see among the Jews of our own day, especially in the humbler class of them. Such pictorial representations of the apostle as have come down to us in paintings and mosaics agree in the main with this, though they give more of power and dignity to the apostle's countenance than this would lead us to expect. They are the early pictures and mosaics described by Mrs. Jameson, and passages from Malalas, Nicephorus, and the apocryphal Acta Pauli et Theclae (concerning which see also Conybeare and Howson, 1:197). They all agree in ascribing to the apostle a short stature, a long face with high forehead, an aquiline nose, close and prominent eyebrows. Other characteristics mentioned are baldness, gray eyes, a clear complexion, and a winning expression. According to Hug, the apostle's temperament was sanguine; but as Tholuck, with better reason, says (Stud. u. Krit. loc. cit.), sanguine-bilious. On his person, we have only an untrustworthy tradition (in the Dialog. Philophatris, c. 12, and Malalas, Chron. x, p. 257, Bonn). Too much stress must not be laid upon the allusions in the Epistles (1Co 15:9; 2Co 10:10; see Bengel, on Acts 13:9; Tholuck, op. cit. p. 381). It is probable, however, that the general appearance of Paul did not correspond well with his greatness of mind and heart. But a strong, healthy body he must have had, to endure such journeys and hardships (2Co 11:23 sq.), and he seems to have had great mental energy and endurance (comp. Ac 20:7; 2Co 11:28), but could not undergo much bodily toil (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8).
Of his mental temperament and character Paul is himself the best painter. His speeches and letters convey to us, as we read them, the truest impressions of those qualities which helped to make him the great apostle. We perceive the warmth and ardor of his nature, his deeply affectionate disposition, the tenderness of his sense of honor, the courtesy and personal dignity of his bearing, his perfect fearlessness, his heroic endurance; we perceive the rare combination of subtlety, tenacity, and versatility in his intellect; we perceive also a practical wisdom which we should have associated with a cooler temperament, and a tolerance which is seldom united with such impetuous convictions. When he first comes before our view in the history, we see a man of intense energy, firm decision, iron resolution, and uncompromising zeal; and these qualities, tempered by purer religious feeling, guided by higher knowledge, and modified by experience, continue to characterize him so long as he appears upon the stage of life. His natural mental endowments were of the highest order. He had great breadth of view, great clearness of apprehension, a capacity of firmly grasping principles, the power of arranging his thoughts in their proper logical order, and the ability to utter them in forcible and fitting words. The dialectician predominates in his writings; but he could also play the orator after no mean fashion; and there are passages in his epistles which could have come only from the pen of one who had in him the faculties of the poet. In his moral development everything is great and noble. To honesty of purpose and sincerity of speech, he added humility and self-distrust, generous regard for the welfare of others, a tender sympathy with those he loved, and a philanthropy that embraced the race; while the absence of everything mean, mercenary, or selfish, and a noble devotedness, at whatever cost, to the interests of a great cause, combine to shed around a character, in other respects so beautiful, traits of sublimity and grandeur. We feel that here is a man at once to be admired and loved-a teacher at whose feet one might sit with unhesitating docility-a friend on whose bosom one might lean with confidence and affection. The vigorous intellect and the large heart which belonged to him by nature would have brought him distinction under any circumstances; but his highest claim to honor is derived from his having, under the constraining power of the love of Christ, consecrated himself, body, soul, and spirit, to the service of God in promoting the best interests of men. In this respect he stands foremost among the Church's heroes and the benefactors of the race. The principle which harmonized all these endowments and directed them to a practical end was, beyond dispute, a knowledge of Jesus Christ in the Divine Spirit. Personal allegiance to Christ as to a living Master, with a growing insight into the relation of Christ to each man and to the world, carried the apostle forward on a straight course through every vicissitude of personal fortunes and amid the various habits of thought which he had to encounter. The conviction that he had been entrusted with a Gospel concerning a Lord and Deliverer of men was what sustained and purified his love for his own people, while it created in him such a love for mankind that he only knew himself as the servant of others for Christ's sake.
A remarkable attempt has recently been made by Prof. Jowett, in his Commentary on some of the Epistles, to qualify what he considers to be the blind and undiscriminating admiration of Paul, by representing him as having been, with all his excellences, a man "whose appearance and discourse made an impression of feebleness," "out of harmony with life and nature," a confused thinker, uttering himself "in broken words and hesitating forms of speech, with no beauty or comeliness of style," and so undecided in his Christian belief that he was preaching, in the fourteenth year after his conversion, a Gospel concerning Christ which he himself, in four years more, confessed to have been carnal. In these paradoxical views, however, Prof. Jowett stands almost alone; the result of the freest, as of the most reverent, of the numerous recent studies of St. Paul and his works (among which Prof. Jowett's own Commentary is one of the most interesting) having been only to add an independent tribute to the ancient admiration of Christendom. Those who judge Paul as they would judge any other remarkable man confess him unanimously to have been "one of the greatest spirits of all time;" while those who believe him to have been appointed by the Lord of mankind, and inspired by the Holy Ghost, to do a work in the world of almost unequalled importance, are lost in wonder as they study the gifts with which he was endowed for that work, and the sustained devotion with which he gave himself to it. On the intellectual and moral character of Paul, see Niemeyer, Charakter, 1:206 sq. , Hug, Einleit. 2:283 sq.; Hartmann. in Scherer's Schriftforsch. 1:1 sq.; Journ.f. Pred. 28:298 sq.; Palmer, Paulus u. Gamaliel, ein Beitrag zur altesten Christengesch. (Giess. 1806); Olshausen, Bibl. Comment. III, 1:11 sq.
10. Apocryphal Writings. — In addition to the letters usually given as Paul's, a farged correspondence between him and the philosopher Seneca (six letters of the apostle and eight of Seneca, comp. Jerome, Viri Illustr. 11; August. Ep. 153) is printed in Fabricius (Apocryph. 2:880 sq.). That it is not genuine, see his Biblioth. Lat. 2:9; Apocryph. N.T. 3:710 sq. The whole tradition of intimacy between Paul and Seneca has perhaps grown by conjecture out of Ac 18:12 (see Schmidt, Einleit. ins N.T. p. 268 sq.). Yet it has found a defender in Gelpe (Defamiliaritate quae Paulo c. Seneca intercessione traditur verisimillima [Leips. 1812]), who is answered by Eckhard (in Miscell. Leips. 9:90 sq.), in an attempt to show that Seneca was a firm heathen and opponent of Christianity. On other writings attributed to Paul, see Fabricius, Apocryph. 2:918, 943 sq.; 3:667 sq.; and B. Elsing, De Pseudepigraphis P. Apost. (Leips. 1707). Zeltner (Fragment.
Pauli quond. perversi ἀθεόπνευστον [Altdorf, 1713]) thinks he has discovered in the Talmud a Hebrew form of prayer composed by Paul before his conversion. Tischendorf has published the "editio princeps" of the apocryphal "Apocalypsis Pauli" in his Apocalypses Apocryphm (Lips. 1866). Several other ancient apocryphal productions are ascribed to Paul, most of which are now lost. Among them were "the Acts of Paul," or "the Preaching of Paul;" this appears to have formed the conclusion of the so- called "Preaching of Peter," and dates probably from about the middle of the 2d century. The Acts of Paul and Thecla, the Epistles of Paul to Seneca, with those of Seneca to Paul, and the Epistle to the Laodiceans, were translated by Mr. Jer. Jones, in his work On the Canon. A good translation of the apocryphal epistles to the Corinthians will be found in Whiston's Authentic Records. See Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biog. 3:147. SEE APOCRYPHA.
III. Literature. — This is very copious, as the subject is more or less handled in nearly all the Introductions and Commentaries on the New Test., as well as in many treatises on Scripture history and theology in general, and in numerous articles in religious periodicals. The most important special treatises have been mentioned in the preceding discussion; we name below only such recent works of considerable extent as relate exclusively to the apostle. For others see Danz, Worterbuch, s.v.; Darling, Cyclopcedia, col. 1870 sq.; Malcom, Theological Index, s.v.; Reuss, Gesch. d. hil. Sclhrift, § 58 sq.; Volbeding, Index Programmatum, p. 77 sq.
1. On Paul's Life in general: Menken, Blicke in d. Leb n, etc. (Brem. 1828, 8vo); Schafer, Paulus der Apostel (Leips. 1874, 8vo); Hemsen, Der Ap. Paulus (G6tt. 1830, 8vo); Schrader, Der Ap. Paulus (Leips. 1830-36, 5 vols. 8vo); Scharling, De Paulo Apost. (Hafn. 1836, 8vo); Hessel, Leben Paul. (Leips. 1837, 8vo); Tate, Continuous Hist. (in new ed. of Paley's lorce l'aulince, Lond. 1840, 8vo); Blunt, Hist. of St. Paul (new ed. ibid. 1858, 2 vols. 12mo); Tholuck, Life and Writings of Paul (transl. in the Biblical Cabinet, Edinb. 1859, 12mo); Hausrath, Der Ap. Paulus (Heidelb. 1865, 8vo); Vidal, St. Paul, sa Vie et ses (Euvres (Paris, 1865, 2 vols. 8vo); Baur, Paulus der Apostel (2d ed. Leips. 1866, 8vo); Binney, Paul's Life and Ministry (Lond. 1866, 12mo); Howson, Scenes in the Life of St. Paul (ibid. 1866, 8vo); Bungener, Vie, OEuvres, et Epitres de St. Paul (Paris, 1867, 8vo); Krenkel, Paulus der Apostel (Leips. 1869, 8vo); Renan, Vie de Saint Paul (Paris, 1869, 8vo); Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of Mst. Paul (3d ed. Lond. 1870, 8vo); Neveux, Vie de St. Pal (Palis, 1870, 8vo); Rivington, Paul the Apostle (Lond. 1874, 8vo); Lewin, Life and Letters of St. Paul (new ed. ibid. 1874, 2 vols. 4to).
2. On Paul's doctrines as a whole: Meyer, Entwickelung d. Paul. Lehrbegs isf (Altona, 1801, 8vo); Dahne, idem (Halle, 1835, 8vo); Usteri, idem (6th ed. Zur. 1851, 8vo); Rabiger (against Baur), De Christologia Paulina (Vratisl. 1852, 8vo); Lipsius, Die Pauliaische Rechtfertigungslehre (Leips. 1853, 8vo); Whately, Essays on St. Paul's Writings (8th ed. Lond. and Andover, 1865, 8vo); Irons, Christianity as tanght by St. Paul ("Bampton Lecture for 1870," 2d ed. Lond. 1876, 8vo); Pfleiderer, Der Panlinismus (Leips. 1873, 8vo).
3. On special points relating to Paul: Saville, Introduction of Christianity (by Paul) into Britain (Lond. 1861, 8vo); Howson, Character of St. Paul ("Hulsean Lectures for 1862," ibid. 1864, 8vo; N.Y. 1873, 12mo, new ed.); Lasonder, De linguce Paulinoe idiomate (Tr. ad Rb. 1866. 8vo); Marcken, Paulus und Petrus in Antiochien (Leips. 1866, 8vo); Smith, Voyage of St. Paul (3d ed. Lond. 1866, 12mo); Howson, Metaphors of St. Paul (ibid. 1868, 8vo); the same, Companions of St. Paul (ibid. 1871, 8vo).