Saint Paul, also called Saul in Hebrew (Acts 7-13), was a leader of the early Christian movement and was instrumental in its spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. He was born in Tarsus of Cilicia in Anatolia probably between AD 1 and 10. Thirteen New Testament letters have been attributed to him, many of which show him adjusting Jewish ideas and traditions to new circumstances and measuring Old Testament laws by their relevance to Jesus Christ. The Book of Acts presents him as the apostle to the Gentiles and the most prominent early Christian leader next to Saint Peter.
Paul was born a Jew and trained to be a Pharisee, that is, a learned and strict observer of religious law. The New Testament records how he actively tried to suppress the early Christian movement through persecution (Gal. 1:13-14) until he was converted to Christianity by a visionary encounter with the risen Jesus while on the road to Damascus about AD 36 (Gal. 1:15-16; Acts 9:1-31; 22; 26). Because of this vision, Paul held that he, too, had met Jesus and was therefore qualified to be called an Apostle (1 Cor. 9:1). After being instructed and receiving Christian baptism in Damascus, Paul went to "Arabia" (probably the desert of Transjordan) for a short time; he then returned to Damascus for 3 years until he was driven out to Tarsus, probably in 40. Several years later Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch in Syria (Acts 11), where they ministered together for a year.
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The different accounts of Paul's visit to Jerusalem to settle the controversy over how much of the Jewish Law Gentile Christians were required to keep (Gal. 2; Acts 15) have never been fully reconciled. Years later (c.58), Paul brought a collection to Jerusalem for the city's poor Christians (Acts 21), but he was arrested. After 2 years in prison he used his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to the emperor and was sent to Rome for trial. The Book of Acts ends with Paul under house arrest (c.63), still preaching about Jesus. Clement of Rome and Eusebius of Caesarea report that Paul was eventually acquitted and traveled to Spain but was arrested again and martyred in Rome under Nero, c.67. Feast day: June 29 (with Saint Peter).
Anthony J. Saldarini
Beker, J. Christian, Paul the Apostle (1980); Bornkamm, Gunther, Paul, trans. by D. M. G. Stalker (1971); Davies, W. D., Paul and Rabbinic Judaism, 2d ed. (1955); Fitzmeyer, J. A., Pauline Theology (1967); Grant, Michael, Saint Paul (1976); Gunther, John J., Paul (1972); Jewett, Robert, Christian Tolerance: Paul's Message for the Modern World (1982); Keck, Leander E., Paul and His Letters, 2d rev. ed. (1988); Meeks, Wayne A., The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (1982; repr. 1984); Pollock, John C., The Apostle (1969); Ridderbos, H. M., Paul (1975); Sandmel, Samuel, The Genius of Paul (1958); Wiles, M. F., The Divine Apostle (1967).
Paul, (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also given to him in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as "Saul" would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south-east of Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the wealth of its inhabitants. Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria, the only others that then existed.
Here Saul was born, and here he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his native city could afford. His father was of the straitest sect of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being, from his youth up, "touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless" (Phil. 3:6). We read of his sister and his sister's son (Acts 23:16), and of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11, 12). Though a Jew, his father was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not informed. "It might be bought, or won by distinguished service to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events, his son was freeborn.
It was a valuable privilege, and one that was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in which his father might have been expected to desire him to make use of it." Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to follow was that of a merchant. "But it was decided that . . . he should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher, and a lawyer all in one." According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from goats' hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in Tarsus. His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with which the rabbis exercised themselves.
During these years of diligent study he lived "in all good conscience," unstained by the vices of that great city. After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord. Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion, and the rise of the new sect of the "Nazarenes." For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent part. He was at this time probably a member of the great Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate Christianity.
But the object of this persecution also failed. "They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days, during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter." But the crisis of his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground, a voice sounding in his ears, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the stricken persecutor, "Who art thou, Lord?" he said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest" (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11). Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church (9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently changed. Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of "Sinai in Arabia," for the purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the marvellous revelation that had been made to him. "A veil of thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life, absolutely nothing is known. 'Immediately,' says St. Paul, 'I went away into Arabia.'
The historian passes over the incident [comp. Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11: 38, 39]. It is a mysterious pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle's history, a breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his active missionary life." Coming back, after three years, to Damascus, he began to preach the gospel "boldly in the name of Jesus" (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor. 11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts 9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus (Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became the scene of great Christian activity.
There the gospel gained a firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas (q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for "a whole year" became the scene of his labours, which were crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first time, were called "Christians" (Acts 11:26). The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give effect to the Master's command: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the south-west. Here at Paphos, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul.
The missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6 or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first address of which we have any record (13:16-51; comp. 10:30-43), Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders in every city to watch over the churches which had been gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which they had set out.
After remaining "a long time", probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15) decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies, accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing with them the decree of the council. After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: "Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do." Mark proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met.
Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honour of Barnabas, and sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim.4:11). Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia. But he longed to enter into "regions beyond," and still went forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4: 13, 14). Bithynia, a populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the north-western coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8).
Of this long journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13). As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and heard him cry, "Come over, and help us" (Acts 16:9). Paul recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea.
Leaving this province, Paul passed into Achaia, "the paradise of genius and renown." He reached Athens, but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a half, labouring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having "saluted the church" there, and kept the feast, he left for Antioch, where he abode "some time" (Acts 18:20-23).
He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land in the "upper coasts" (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor, and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labour. "This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean. It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations; and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire, so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
It was a city of vast wealth, and it was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its theatres and race-course being world-wide" (Stalker's Life of St. Paul). Here a "great door and effectual" was opened to the apostle. His fellow-labourers aided him in his work, carrying the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they could reach. Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made was in danger (see DEMETRIUS), organized a riot against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2 Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in Macedonia.
Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia, visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior, to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in the spring of A.D. 58. While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple.
Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod's praetorium (Acts 23:35). "Paul was not kept in close confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus, where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence. It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the harvest of experience. . . . During these two years he wrote nothing; it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress" (Stalker's Life of St. Paul).
At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in the governorship of Palestine by Porcius Festus, before whom the apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded, and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one Julius, a centurion of the "Augustan cohort." After a long and perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to occupy his own hired he was permitted to occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody. This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity of preaching the gospel to many of them during these "two whole years," and with the blessed result of spreading among the imperial guards, and even in Caesar's household, an interest in the truth (Phil. 1:13).
His rooms were resorted to by many anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30, 31), and thus his imprisonment "turned rather to the furtherance of the gospel," and his "hired house" became the centre of a gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews. This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against him. Once more he set out on his missionary labours, probably visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the Christians.
A fierce persecution now broke out against the Christians. Paul was siezed, and once more conveyed to Rome a prisoner. During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. "There can be little doubt that he appered again at Nero's bar, and this time the charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more startling illustration of the irony of human life than this scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner's dock stood the best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labours for the good of men and the glory of God.
The trial ended: Paul was condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the headsman's axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the apostle of the world rolled down in the dust" (probably A.D. 66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.
(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)
I. PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS
A. Apocryphal Acts of St. Paul
Professor Schmidt has published a photographic copy, a transcription, a German translation, and a commentary of a Coptic papyrus composed of about 2000 fragments, which he has classified, juxtaposed, and deciphered at a cost of infinite labour ("Acta Pauli aus der Heidelberger koptischen Papyrushandschrift Nr. 1", Leipzig, 1904, and "Zusatze" etc., Leipzig, 1905). Most critics, whether Catholic (Duchesne, Bardenhewer, Ehrhard etc.), or Protestant (Zahn, Harnack, Corssen etc.), believe that these are real "Acta Pauli", although the text edited by Schmidt, with its very numerous gaps, represents but a small portion of the original work. This discovery modified the generally accepted ideas concerning the origin, contents, and value of these apocryphal Acts, and warrants the conclusion that three ancient compositions which have reached us formed an integral part of the "Acta Pauli" viz. the "Acta Pauli et Theclae", of which the best edition is that of Lipsius, ("Acta Apostolorum apocrypha", Leipzig, 1891, 235-72), a "Martyrium Pauli" preserved in Greek and a fragment of which also exists in Latin (op. cit., 104-17), and a letter from the Corinthians to Paul with the latter's reply, the Armenian text of which was preserved (cf. Zahn, "Gesch. des neutest. Kanons", II, 592-611), and the Latin discovered by Berger in 1891 (d. Harnack, "Die apokryphen Briefe des Paulus an die Laodicener und Korinther", Bonn, 1905). With great sagacity Zahn anticipated this result with regard to the last two documents, and the manner in which St. Jerome speaks of the periodoi Pauli et Theclae (De viris ill., vii) might have permitted the same surmise with regard to the first.
Another consequence of Schmidt's discovery is no less interesting. Lipsius maintained -- and this was hitherto the common opinion -- that besides the Catholic "Acts" there formerly existed Gnostic "Acts of Paul", but now everything tends to prove that the latter never existed. In fact Origen quotes the "Acta Pauli" twice as an estimable writing ("In Joann.", xx, 12; "De princip.", II, i, 3); Eusebius (Hist. eccl., III, iii, 5; XXV, 4) places them among the books in dispute, such as the "Shepherd" of Hermas, the "Apocalypse of Peter", the "Epistle of Barnabas", and the "Teaching of the Apostles". The stichometry of the "Codex Claromontanus" (photograph in Vigouroux, "Dict. de la Bible", II, 147) places them after the canonical books. Tertullian and St. Jerome, while pointing out the legendary character of this writing, do not attack its orthodoxy. The precise purpose of St. Paul's correspondence with the Corinthians which formed part of the "Acts", was to oppose the Gnostics, Simon and Cleobius. But there is no reason to admit the existence of heretical "Acts" which have since been hopelessly lost, for all the details given by ancient authors are verified in the "Acts" which have been recovered or tally well with them.
The following is the explanation of the confusion: The Manicheans and Priscillianists had circulated a collection of five apocryphal "Acts", four of which were tainted with heresy, and the fifth were the "Acts of Paul". The "Acta Pauli", owing to this unfortunate association, are suspected of heterodoxy by the more recent authors such as Philastrius (De haeres., 88) and Photius (Cod., 114). Tertullian (De baptismo, 17) and St. Jerome (De vir. ill., vii) denounce the fabulous character of the apocryphal "Acts" of Paul, and this severe judgment is amply confirmed by the examination of the fragments published by Schmidt. It is a purely imaginative work in which improbability vies with absurdity. The author, who was acquainted with the canonical Acts of the Apostles, locates the scene in the places really visited by St. Paul (Antioch, Iconium, Myra, Perge, Sidon, Tyre, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Rome), but for the rest he gives his fancy free rein. His chronology is absolutely impossible. Of the sixty-five persons he names, very few are known and the part played by these is irreconcilable with the statements of the canonical "Acts". Briefly, if the canonical "Acts" are true the apocryphal "Acts" are false. This, however, does not imply that none of the details have historical foundation, but they must be confirmed by an independent authority.
If we admit according to the almost unanimous opinion of exegetes that Acts 15 and Galatians 2:1-10, relate to the same fact it will be seen that an interval of seventeen years - or at least sixteen, counting incomplete years as accomplished - elapsed between the conversion of Paul and the Apostolic council, for Paul visited Jerusalem three years after his conversion (Galatians 1:18) and returned after fourteen years for the meeting held with regard to legal observances (Galatians 2:1: "Epeita dia dekatessaron eton"). It is true that some authors include the three years prior to the first visit in the total of fourteen, but this explanation seems forced. On the other hand, twelve or thirteen years elapsed between the Apostolic council and the end of the captivity, for the captivity lasted nearly five years (more than two years at Caesarea, Acts 24:27, six months travelling, including the sojourn at Malta, and two years at Rome, Acts 28:30); the third mission lasted not less than four years and a half (three of which were spent at Ephesus, Acts 20:31, and one between the departure from Ephesus and the arrival at Jerusalem, 1 Corinthians 16:8; Acts 20:16, and six months at the very least for the journey to Galatia, Acts 18:23); while the second mission lasted not less than three years (eighteen months for Corinth, Acts 18:11, and the remainder for the evangelization of Galatia, Macedonia, and Athens, Acts 15:36-17:34). Thus from the conversion to the end of the first captivity we have a total of about twenty-nine years. Now if we could find a fixed point that is a synchronism between a fact in the life of Paul and a certainly dated event in profane history, it would be easy to reconstruct the Pauline chronology. Unfortunately this much wished-for mark has not yet been indicated with certainty, despite the numerous attempts made by scholars, especially in recent times. It is of interest to note even the abortive attempts, because the discovery of an inscription or of a coin may any day transform an approximate date into an absolutely fixed point. These are
the meeting of Paul with Sergius Paulus, Proconsul of Cyprus, about the year 46 (Acts 13:7) the meeting at Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla, who had been expelled from Rome, about 51 (Acts 18:2) the meeting with Gallio, Proconsul of Achaia, about 53 (Acts 18:12) the address of Paul before the Governor Felix and his wife Drusilla about 58 (Acts 24:24).
All these events, as far as they may be assigned approximate dates, agree with the Apostle's general chronology but give no precise results. Three synchronisms, however, appear to afford a firmer basis:
(1) The occupation of Damascus by the ethnarch of King Aretas and the escape of the Apostle three years after his conversion (2 Corinthians 11:32-33; Acts 9:23-26). -- Damascene coins bearing the effigy of Tiberius to the year 34 are extant, proving that at that time the city belonged to the Romans. It is impossible to assume that Aretas had received it as a gift from Tiberius, for the latter, especially in his last years, was hostile to the King of the Nabataeans whom Vitellius, Governor of Syria, was ordered to attack (Joseph., "Ant.", XVIII, v, 13); neither could Aretas have possessed himself of it by force for, besides the unlikelihood of a direct aggression against the Romans, the expedition of Vitellius was at first directed not against Damascus but against Petra. It has therefore been somewhat plausibly conjectured that Caligula, subject as he was to such whims, had ceded it to him at the time of his accession (10 March, 37). As a matter of fact nothing is known of imperial coins of Damascus dating from either Caligula or Claudius. According to this hypothesis St. Paul's conversion was not prior to 34, nor his escape from Damascus and his first visit to Jerusalem, to 37.
(2) Death of Agrippa, famine in Judea, mission of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to bring thither the alms from the Church of Antioch (Acts 11:27-12:25). -- Agrippa died shortly after the Pasch (Acts 12:3, 12:19), when he was celebrating in Caesarea solemn festivals in honour of Claudius's recent return from Britain, in the third year of his reign, which had begun in 41 (Josephus, "Ant.", XIX, vii, 2). These combined facts bring us to the year 44, and it is precisely in this year that Orosius (Hist., vii, 6) places the great famine which desolated Judea. Josephus mentions it somewhat later, under the procurator Tiberius Alexander (about 46), but it is well known that the whole of Claudius's reign was characterized by poor harvests (Suet., "Claudius", 18) and a general famine was usually preceded by a more or less prolonged period of scarcity. It is also possible that the relief sent in anticipation of the famine foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:28-29) preceded the appearance of the scourge or coincided with the first symptoms of want. On the other hand, the synchronism between the death of Herod and the mission of Paul can only be approximate, for although the two facts are closely connected in the Acts, the account of the death of Agrippa may be a mere episode intended to shed light on the situation of the Church of Jerusalem about the time of the arrival of the delegates from Antioch. In any case, 45 seems to be the most satisfactory date.
(3) Replacing of Felix by Festus two years after the arrest to Paul (Acts 24:27). -- Until recently chronologists commonly fixed this important event, in the year 60-61. Harnack, 0. Holtzmann, and McGiffert suggest advancing it four or five years for the following reasons:
(1) In his "Chronicon", Eusebius places the arrival of Festus in the second year of Nero (October, 55-October, 56, or if, as is asserted, Eusebius makes the reigns of the emperors begin with the September after their accession, September, 56-September, 57). But it must be borne in mind that the chroniclers being always obliged to give definite dates, were likely to guess at them, and it may be that Eusebius for lack of definite information divided into two equal parts the entire duration of the government of Felix and Festus.
(2) Josephus states (Ant., XX, viii, 9) that Felix having been recalled to Rome and accused by the Jews to Nero, owed his safety only to his brother Pallas who was then high in favour. But according to Tacitus (Annal., XIII, xiv-xv), Pallas was dismissed shortly before Britannicus celebrated his fourteenth anniversary, that is, in January, 55. These two statements are irreconcilable; for if Pallas was dismissed three months after Nero's accession (13 October, 54) he could not have been at the summit of his power when his brother Felix, recalled from Palestine at the command of Nero about the time of Pentecost, arrived at Rome.
Possibly Pallas, who after his dismissal retained his wealth and a portion of his influence, since he stipulated that his administration should not be subjected to an investigation, was able to be of assistance to his brother until 62 when Nero, to obtain possession of his goods, Nero had him poisoned. The advocates of a later date bring forward the following reasons:
(1) Two years before the recall of Felix, Paul reminded him that he had been for many years judge over the Jewish nation (Acts 24:10-27). This can scarcely mean less than six or seven years, and as, according to Josephus who agrees with Tacitus, Felix was named procurator of Judea in 52, the beginning of the captivity would fall in 58 or 59. It is true that the argument loses its strength if it be admitted with several critics that Felix before being procurator had held a subordinate position in Palestine.
(2) Josephus (Ant., XX, viii, 5-8) places under Nero everything that pertains to the government of Felix, and although this long series of events does not necessarily require many years it is evident that Josephus regarded the government of Felix as coinciding for the most part with the reign of Nero, which began on 13 October, 54.
In fixing as follows the chief dates in the life of Paul all certain or probable data seem to be satisfactorily taken into account: Conversion, 35; first visit to Jerusalem, 37; sojourn at Tarsus, 37-43; apostolate at Antioch, 43-44; second visit to Jerusalem, 44 or 45; first mission, 45-49; third visit to Jerusalem, 49 or 50; second mission, 50-53; (1 and 2 Thessalonians), 52; fourth visit to Jerusalem, 53; third mission, 53-57; (1 and 2 Corinthians; Galatians), 56; (Romans), 57; fifth visit to Jerusalem, arrest, 57; arrival of Festus, departure for Rome, 59; captivity at Rome, 60-62; (Philemon; Colossians; Ephesians; Philippians), 61; second period of activity, 62-66; (1 Timothy; Titus), second arrest, 66; (2 Timothy), martyrdom, 67. (See Turner, "Chronology of the New Testament" in Hastings, "Dict. of the Bible" Hönicke, "Die Chronologie des Lebens des Ap. Paulus", Leipzig, 1903.
II. LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL
A. Birth and Education
From St. Paul himself we know that he was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 21:39), of a father who was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:26-28; cf. 16:37), of a family in which piety was hereditary (2 Timothy 1:3) and which was much attached to Pharisaic traditions and observances (Philippians 3:5-6). St. Jerome relates, on what ground is not known, that his parents were natives of Gischala, a small town of Galilee and that they brought him to Tarsus when Gischala was captured by the Romans ("De vir. ill.", v; "In epist. ad Phil.", 23). This last detail is certainly an anachronism, but the Galilean origin of the family is not at all improbable.
As he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin he was given at the time of his circumcision the name of Saul, which must have been common in that tribe in memory of the first king of the Jews (Philippians 3:5). As a Roman citizen he also bore the Latin name of Paul. It was quite usual for the Jews of that time to have two names, one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek, between which there was often a certain assonance and which were joined together exactly in the manner made use of by St. Luke (Acts 13:9: Saulos ho kai Paulos). See on this point Deissmann, "Bible Studies" (Edinburgh, 1903, 313-17.) It was natural that in inaugurating his apostolate among the Gentiles Paul should have adopted his Roman name, especially as the name Saul had a ludicrous meaning in Greek. As every respectable Jew had to teach his son a trade, young Saul learned how to make tents (Acts 18:3) or rather to make the mohair of which tents were made (cf. Lewin, "Life of St. Paul", I, London, 1874, 8-9). He was still very young when sent to Jerusalem to receive his education at the school of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Possibly some of his family resided in the holy city; later there is mention of the presence of one of his sisters whose son saved his life (Acts 23:16).
From that time it is absolutely impossible to follow him until he takes an active part in the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts 7:58-60; 22:20). He was then qualified as a young man (neanias), but this was very elastic appellation and might be applied to a man between twenty and forty.
B. Conversion and early Labours
We read in the Acts of the Apostles three accounts of the conversion of St. Paul (9:1-19; 22:3-21; 26:9-23) presenting some slight differences, which it is not difficult to harmonize and which do not affect the basis of the narrative, which is perfectly identical in substance. See J. Massie, "The Conversion of St. Paul" in "The Expositor", 3rd series, X, 1889, 241-62. Sabatier, agreeing with most independent critics, has well said (L'Apotre Paul, 1896, 42):
These differences cannot in any way alter the reality of the fact; their bearing on the narrative is extremely remote; they do not deal even with the circumstances accompanying the miracle but with the subjective impressions which the companions of St. Paul received of these circumstances. . . . To base a denial of the historical character of the account upon these differences would seem therefore a violent and arbitrary proceeding.
All efforts hitherto made to explain without a miracle the apparition of Jesus to Paul have failed. Naturalistic explanations are reduced to two: either Paul believed that he really saw Christ, but was the victim of an hallucination, or he believed that he saw Him only through a spiritual vision, which tradition, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, later erroneously materialized. Renan explained everything by hallucination due to disease brought on by a combination of moral causes such as doubt, remorse, fear, and of physical causes such as ophthalmia, fatigue, fever, the sudden transition from the torrid desert to the fresh gardens of Damascus, perhaps a sudden storm accompanied by lightning and thunder. All this combined, according to Renan's theory, to produce a cerebral commotion, a passing delirium which Paul took in good faith for an apparition of the risen Christ.
The other partisans of a natural explanation while avoiding the word hallucination, eventually fall back on the system of Renan which they merely endeavour to render a little less complicated. Thus Holsten, for whom the vision of Christ is only the conclusion of a series of syllogisms by which Paul persuaded himself that Christ was truly risen. So also Pfleiderer, who however, causes the imagination to play a more influential part:
An excitable, nervous temperament; a soul that had been violently agitated and torn by the most terrible doubts; a most vivid phantasy, occupied with the awful scenes of persecution on the one hand and on the other by the ideal image of the celestial Christ; in addition the nearness of Damascus with the urgency of a decision, the lonely stillness, the scorching and blinding heat of the desert -- in fact everything combined to produce one of those ecstatic states in which the soul believes that it sees those images and conceptions which violently agitate it as if they were phenomena proceeding from the outward world (Lectures on the influence of the Apostle Paul on the development of Christianity, 1897, 43).
We have quoted Pfleiderer's words at length because his "psychological" explanation is considered the best ever devised. It will readily be seen that it is insufficient and as much opposed to the account in the Acts as to the express testimony of St. Paul himself.
Paul is certain of having "seen" Christ as did the other Apostles (1 Corinthians 9:1); he declares that Christ "appeared" to him (1 Corinthians 15:8) as He appeared to Peter, to James, to the Twelve, after His Resurrection.
He knows that his conversion is not the fruit of his reasoning or thoughts, but an unforeseen, sudden, startling change, due to all-powerful grace (Galatians 1:12-15; 1 Corinthians 15:10).
He is wrongly credited with doubts, perplexities, fears, remorse, before his conversion. He was halted by Christ when his fury was at its height (Acts 9:1-2); it was "through zeal" that he persecuted the Church (Philippians 3:6), and he obtained mercy because he had acted "ignorantly in unbelief" (1 Timothy 1:13).
All explanations, psychological or otherwise, are worthless in face of these definite assertions, for all suppose that it was Paul's faith in Christ which engendered the vision, whereas according to the concordant testimony of the Acts and the Epistles it was the actual vision of Christ which engendered faith. After his conversion, his baptism, and his miraculous cure Paul set about preaching to the Jews (Acts 9:19-20). He afterwards withdrew to Arabia -- probably to the region south of Damascus (Galatians 1:17), doubtless less to preach than to meditate on the Scriptures. On his return to Damascus the intrigues of the Jews forced him to flee by night (2 Corinthians 11:32-33; Acts 9:23-25). He went to Jerusalem to see Peter (Galatians 1:18), but remained only fifteen days, for the snares of the Greeks threatened his life. He then left for Tarsus and is lost to sight for five or six years (Acts 9:29-30; Galatians 1:21). Barnabas went in search of him and brought him to Antioch where for a year they worked together and their apostolate was most fruitful (Acts 11:25-26). Together also they were sent to Jerusalem to carry alms to the brethren on the occasion of the famine predicted by Agabus (Acts 11:27-30). They do not seem to have found the Apostles there; these had been scattered by the persecution of Herod.
C. Apostolic Career of Paul
This period of twelve years (45-57) was the most active and fruitful of his life. It comprises three great Apostolic expeditions of which Antioch was in each instance the starting-point and which invariably ended in a visit to Jerusalem.
(1) First mission (Acts 13:1-14:27)
Set apart by command of the Holy Ghost for the special evangelization of the Gentiles, Barnabas and Saul embark for Cyprus, preach in the synagogue of Salamina, cross the island from east to west doubtless following the southern coast, and reach Paphos, the residence of the proconsul Sergius Paulus, where a sudden change takes place. After the conversion of the Roman proconsul, Saul, suddenly become Paul, is invariably mentioned before Barnabas by St. Luke and manifestly assumes the leadership of the mission which Barnabas has hitherto directed.
The results of this change are soon evident. Paul, doubtless concluding that Cyprus, the natural dependency of Syria and Cilicia, would embrace the faith of Christ when these two countries should be Christian, chose Asia Minor as the field of his apostolate and sailed for Perge in Pamphylia, eighth miles above the mouth of the Cestrus. It was then that John Mark, cousin of Barnabas, dismayed perhaps by the daring projects of the Apostle, abandoned the expedition and returned to Jerusalem, while Paul and Barnabas laboured alone among the rough mountains of Pisidia, which were infested by brigands and crossed by frightful precipices. Their destination was the Roman colony of Antioch, situated a seven day's journey from Perge. Here Paul spoke on the vocation of Israel and the providential sending of the Messias, a discourse which St. Luke reproduces in substance as an example of his preaching in the synagogues (Acts 13:16-41). The sojourn of the two missionaries in Antioch was long enough for the word of the Lord to be published throughout the whole country (Acts 13:49). When by their intrigues the Jews had obtained against them a decree of banishment, they went to Iconium, three or four days distant, where they met with the same persecution from the Jews and the same eager welcome from the Gentiles. The hostility of the Jews forced them to take refuge in the Roman colony of Lystra, eighteen miles distant. Here the Jews from Antioch and Iconium laid snares for Paul and having stoned him left him for dead, but again he succeeded in escaping and this time sought refuge in Derbe, situated about forty miles away on the frontier of the Province of Galatia. Their circuit completed, the missionaries retraced their steps in order to visit their neophytes, ordained priests in each Church founded by them at such great cost, and thus reached Perge where they halted to preach the Gospel, perhaps while awaiting an opportunity to embark for Attalia, a port twelve miles distant. On their return to Antioch in Syria after an absence of at least three years, they were received with transports of joy and thanksgiving, for God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
The problem of the status of the Gentiles in the Church now made itself felt with all its acuteness. Some Judeo-Christians coming down from Jerusalem claimed that the Gentiles must be submitted to circumcision and treated as the Jews treated proselytes. Against this Paul and Barnabas protested and it was decided that a meeting should be held at Jerusalem in order to solve the question. At this assembly Paul and Barnabas represented the community of Antioch. Peter pleaded the freedom of the Gentiles; James upheld him, at the same time demanding that the Gentiles should abstain from certain things which especially shocked the Jews.
It was decided, first, that the Gentiles were exempt from the Mosaic law. Secondly, that those of Syria and Cilicia must abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Thirdly, that this injunction was laid upon them, not in virtue of the Mosaic law, but in the name of the Holy Ghost. This meant the complete triumph of Paul's ideas. The restriction imposed on the Gentile converts of Syria and Cilicia did not concern his Churches, and Titus, his companion, was not compelled to be circumcised, despite the loud protests of the Judaizers (Galatians 2:3-4). Here it is to be assumed that Galatians 2 and Acts 15 relate to the same fact, for the actors are the same, Paul and Barnabas on the one hand, Peter and James on the other; the discussion is the same, the question of the circumcision of the Gentiles; the scenes are the same, Antioch and Jerusalem; the date is the same, about A.D. 50; and the result is the same, Paul's victory over the Judaizers. However, the decision of Jerusalem did not do away with all difficulties. The question did not concern only the Gentiles, and while exempting them from the Mosaic law, it was not declared that it would not have been counted meritorious and more perfect for them to observe it, as the decree seemed to liken them to Jewish proselytes of the second class. Furthermore the Judeo-Christians, not having been included in the verdict, were still free to consider themselves bound to the observance of the law. This was the origin of the dispute which shortly afterwards arose at Antioch between Peter and Paul. The latter taught openly that the law was abolished for the Jews themselves. Peter did not think otherwise, but he considered it wise to avoid giving offence to the Judaizers and to refrain from eating with the Gentiles who did not observe all the prescriptions of the law. As he thus morally influenced the Gentiles to live as the Jews did, Paul demonstrated to him that this dissimulation or opportuneness prepared the way for future misunderstandings and conflicts and even then had regrettable consequences. His manner of relating this incident leaves no room for doubt that Peter was persuaded by his arguments (Galatians 2:11-20).
(2) Second mission (Acts 15:36-18:22)
The beginning of the second mission was marked by a rather sharp discussion concerning Mark, whom St. Paul this time refused to accept as travelling companion. Consequently Barnabas set out with Mark for Cyprus and Paul chose Silas or Silvanus, a Roman citizen like himself, and an influential member of the Church of Jerusalem, and sent by it to Antioch to deliver the decrees of the Apostolic council. The two missionaries first went from Antioch to Tarsus, stopping on the way in order to promulgate the decisions of the Council of Jerusalem; then they went from Tarsus to Derbe, through the Cilician Gates, the defiles of Tarsus, and the plains of Lycaonia. The visitation of the Churches founded during his first mission passed without notable incidents except the choice of Timothy, whom the Apostle while in Lystra persuaded to accompany him, and whom he caused to be circumcised in order to facilitate his access to the Jews who were numerous in those places.
It was probably at Antioch of Pisidia, although the Acts do not mention that city, that the itinerary of the mission was altered by the intervention of the Holy Ghost. Paul thought to enter the Province of Asia by the valley of Meander which separated it by only three day's journey, but they passed through Phrygia and the country of Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word of God in Asia (Acts 16:6). These words (ten phrygian kai Galatiken choran) are variously interpreted, according as we take them to mean the Galatians of the north or of the south (see GALATIANS). Whatever the hypothesis, the missionaries had to travel northwards in that portion of Galatia properly so called of which Pessinonte was the capital, and the only question is as to whether or not they preached there. They did not intend to do so, but as is known the evangelization of the Galatians was due to an accident, namely the illness of Paul (Galatians 4:13); this fits very well for Galatians in the north. In any case the missionaries having reached the upper part of Mysia (kata Mysian), attempted to enter the rich Province of Bithynia, which lay before them, but the Holy Ghost prevented them (Acts 16:7). Therefore, passing through Mysia without stopping to preach (parelthontes) they reached Alexandria of Troas, where God's will was again made known to them in the vision of a Macedonian who called them to come and help his country (Acts 16:9-10). Paul continued to follow on European soil the method of preaching he had employed from the beginning. As far as possible he concentrated his efforts in a metropolis from which the Faith would spread to cities of second rank and to the country districts. Wherever there was a synagogue he first took his stand there and preached to the Jews and proselytes who would consent to listen to him. When the rupture with the Jews was irreparable, which always happened sooner or later, he founded a new Church with his neophytes as a nucleus. He remained in the same city until persecution, generally aroused by the intrigues of the Jews, forced him to retire. There were, however, variations of this plan. At Philippi, where there was no synagogue, the first preaching took place in the uncovered oratory called the proseuche, which the Gentiles made a reason for stirring up the persecution. Paul and Silas, charged with disturbing public order, were beaten with rods, imprisoned, and finally exiled. But at Thessalonica and Berea, whither they successively repaired after leaving Philippi, things turned out almost as they had planned.
The apostolate of Athens was quite exceptional. Here there was no question of Jews or synagogue, Paul, contrary to his custom, was alone (1 Thessalonians 3:1), and he delivered before the areopagus a specially framed discourse, a synopsis of which has been preserved by Acts 17:23-31 as a specimen of its kind. He seems to have left the city of his own accord, without being forced to do so by persecution. The mission to Corinth on the other hand may be considered typical. Paul preached in the synagogue every Sabbath day, and when the violent opposition of the Jews denied him entrance there he withdrew to an adjoining house which was the property of a proselyte named Titus Justus. He carried on his apostolate in this manner for eighteen months, while the Jews vainly stormed against him; he was able to withstand them owing to the impartial, if not actually favourable, attitude of the proconsul, Gallio. Finally he decided to go to Jerusalem in fulfillment of a vow made perhaps in a moment of danger. From Jerusalem, according to his custom, he returned to Antioch. The two Epistles to the Thessalonians were written during the early months of his sojourn at Corinth. For occasion, circumstances, and analysis of these letters see THESSALONIANS.
(3) Third mission (Acts 18:23-21:26)
Paul's destination in his third journey was obviously Ephesus. There Aquila and Priscilla were awaiting him, he had promised the Ephesians to return and evangelize them if it were the will of God (Acts 18:19-21), and the Holy Ghost no longer opposed his entry into Asia. Therefore, after a brief rest at Antioch he went through the countries of Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23) and passing through "the upper regions" of Central Asia he reached Ephesus (19:1). His method remained the same. In order to earn his living and not be a burden to the faithful he toiled every day for many hours at making tents, but this did not prevent him from preaching the Gospel. As usual he began with the synagogue where he succeeded in remaining for three months. At the end of this time he taught every day in a classroom placed at his disposal by a certain Tyrannus "from the fifth hour to the tenth" (from eleven in the morning till four in the afternoon), according to the interesting addition of the "Codex Bezae" (Acts 19:9). This lasted two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord (Acts 19:20).
Naturally there were trials to be endured and obstacles to be overcome. Some of these obstacles arose from the jealousy of the Jews, who vainly endeavoured to imitate Paul's exorcisms, others from the superstition of the pagans, which was especially rife at Ephesus. So effectually did he triumph over it, however, that books of superstition were burned to the value of 50,000 pieces of silver (each piece about a day's wage). This time the persecution was due to the Gentiles and inspired by a motive of self-interest. The progress of Christianity having ruined the sale of the little facsimiles of the temple of Diana and statuettes of the goddess, which devout pilgrims had been wont to purchase, a certain Demetrius, at the head of the guild of silversmiths, stirred up the crowd against Paul. The scene which then transpired in the theatre is described by St. Luke with memorable vividness and pathos (Acts 19:23-40). The Apostle had to yield to the storm. After a stay at Ephesus of two years and a half, perhaps more (Acts 20:31: trietian), he departed for Macedonia and thence for Corinth, where he spent the winter. It was his intention in the following spring to go by sea to Jerusalem, doubtless for the Pasch; but learning that the Jews had planned his destruction, he did not wish, by going to sea, to afford them an opportunity to attempt his life. Therefore he returned by way of Macedonia. Numerous disciples divided into two groups, accompanied him or awaited him at Troas. These were Sopater of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia, and finally Luke, the historian of the Acts, who gives us minutely all the stages of the voyage: Philippi, Troas, Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Miletus, Cos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, Caesarea, Jerusalem.
Three more remarkable facts should be noted in passing. At Troas Paul resuscitated the young Eutychus, who had fallen from a third-story window while Paul was preaching late into the night. At Miletus he pronounced before the ancients of Ephesus the touching farewell discourse which drew many tears (Acts 20:18-38). At Caesarea the Holy Ghost by the mouth of Agabus, predicted his coming arrest, but did not dissuade him from going to Jerusalem. St. Paul's four great Epistles were written during this third mission: the first to the Corinthians from Ephesus, about the time of the Pasch prior to his departure from that city; the second to the Corinthians from Macedonia, during the summer or autumn of the same year; that to the Romans from Corinth, in the following spring; the date of the Epistle to the Galatians is disputed. On the many questions occasioned by the despatch and the language of these letters, or the situation assumed either on the side of the Apostle or his correspondents, see EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS; EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS; EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
D. Captivity (Acts 21:27-28:31)
Falsely accused by the Jews of having brought Gentiles into the Temple, Paul was ill-treated by the populace and led in chains to the fortress Antonia by the tribune Lysias. The latter having learned that the Jews had conspired treacherously to slay the prisoner sent him under strong escort to Caesarea, which was the residence of the procurator Felix. Paul had little difficulty in confounding his accusers, but as he refused to purchase his liberty. Felix kept him in chains for two years and even left him in prison in order to please the Jews, until the arrival of his successor, Festus. The new governor wished to send the prisoner to Jerusalem there to be tried in the presence of his accusers; but Paul, who was acquainted with the snares of his enemies, appealed to Caesar. Thenceforth his cause could be tried only at Rome. This first period of captivity is characterized by five discourses of the Apostle: The first was delivered in Hebrew on the steps of the Antonia before the threatening crowd; herein Paul relates his conversion and vocation to the Apostolate, but he was interrupted by the hostile shouts of the multitude (Acts 22:1-22). In the second, delivered the next day, before the Sanhedrin assembled at the command of Lysias, the Apostle skillfully embroiled the Pharisees with the Sadducees and no accusation could be brought. In the third, Paul, answering his accuser Tertullus in the presence of the Governor Felix, makes known the facts which had been distorted and proves his innocence (Acts 24:10-21). The fourth discourse is merely an explanatory summary of the Christian Faith delivered before Felix and his wife Drusilla (Acts 24:24-25). The fifth, pronounced before the Governor Festus, King Agrippa, and his wife Berenice, again relates the history of Paul's conversion, and is left unfinished owing to the sarcastic interruptions of the governor and the embarrassed attitude of the king (Acts 26).
The journey of the captive Paul from Caesarea to Rome is described by St. Luke with an exactness and vividness of colours which leave nothing to be desired. For commentaries see Smith, "Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul" (1866); Ramsay, "St. Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen" (London, 1908). The centurion Julius had shipped Paul and his fellow-prisoners on a merchant vessel on board which Luke and Aristarchus were able to take passage. As the season was advanced the voyage was slow and difficult. They skirted the coasts of Syria, Cilicia, and Pamphylia. At Myra in Lycia the prisoners were transferred to an Alexandrian vessel bound for Italy, but the winds being persistently contrary a place in Crete called Goodhavens was reached with great difficulty and Paul advised that they should spend the winter there, but his advice was not followed, and the vessel driven by the tempest drifted aimlessly for fourteen whole days, being finally wrecked on the coast of Malta. The three months during which navigation was considered most dangerous were spent there, but with the first days of spring all haste was made to resume the voyage. Paul must have reached Rome some time in March. "He remained two whole years in his own hired lodging . . . preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, without prohibition" (Acts 28:30-31). With these words the Acts of the Apostles conclude.
There is no doubt that Paul's trial terminated in a sentence of acquittal, for
the report of the Governor Festus was certainly favourable as well as that of the centurion. The Jews seem to have abandoned their charge since their co-religionists in Rome were not informed of it (Acts 28:21). The course of the proceedings led Paul to hope for a release, of which he sometimes speaks as of a certainty (Philippians 1:25; 2:24; Philemon 22). The pastorals, if they are authentic, assume a period of activity for Paul subsequent to his captivity. The same conclusion is drawn from the hypothesis that they are not authentic, for all agree that the author was well acquainted with the life of the Apostle. It is the almost unanimous opinion that the so-called Epistles of the captivity were sent from Rome. Some authors have attempted to prove that St. Paul wrote them during his detention at Caesarea, but they have found few to agree with them. The Epistles to the Colossians, the Ephesians, and Philemon were despatched together and by the same messenger, Tychicus. It is a matter of controversy whether the Epistle to the Philippians was prior or subsequent to these, and the question has not been answered by decisive arguments (see EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS; EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS; EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS; EPISTLE TO PHILEMON).
E. Last Years
This period is wrapped in deep obscurity for, lacking the account of the Acts, we have no guide save an often uncertain tradition and the brief references of the Pastoral epistles. Paul had long cherished the desire to go to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28) and there is no evidence that he was led to change his plan. When towards the end of his captivity he announces his coming to Philemon (22) and to the Philippians (2:23-24), he does not seem to regard this visit as immediate since he promises the Philippians to send them a messenger as soon as he learns the issue of his trial; he therefore plans another journey before his return to the East. Finally, not to mention the later testimony of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret, the well-known text of St. Clement of Rome, the witness of the "Muratorian Canon", and of the "Acta Pauli" render probable Paul's journey to Spain. In any case he can not have remained there long, for he was in haste to revisit his Churches in the East. He may have returned from Spain through southern Gaul if it was thither, as some Fathers have thought, and not to Galatia, that Crescens was sent later (2 Timothy 4:10). We may readily believe that he afterwards kept the promise made to his friend Philemon and that on this occasion he visited the churches of the valley of Lycus, Laodicea, Colossus, and Hierapolis.
The itinerary now becomes very uncertain, but the following facts seem indicated by the Pastorals: Paul remained in Crete exactly long enough to found there new churches, the care and organization of which he confided to his fellow-worker Titus (Titus 1:5). He then went to Ephesus, and besought Timothy, who was already there, to remain until his return while he proceeded to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). On this occasion he paid his promised visit to the Philippians (Philippians 2:24), and naturally also saw the Thessalonians. The letter to Titus and the First Epistle to Timothy must date from this period; they seem to have been written about the same time and shortly after the departure from Ephesus. The question is whether they were sent from Macedonia or, which seems more probable, from Corinth. The Apostle instructs Titus to join him at Nicopolis of Epirus where he intends to spend the winter (Titus 3:12). In the following spring he must have carried out his plan to return to Asia (1 Timothy 3:14-15). Here occurred the obscure episode of his arrest, which probably took place at Troas; this would explain his having left with Carpus a cloak and books which he needed (2 Timothy 4:13). He was taken from there to Ephesus, capital of the Province of Asia, where he was deserted by all those on whom he thought he could rely (2 Timothy 1:15). Being sent to Rome for trial he left Trophimus sick at Miletus, and Erastus, another of his companions, remained at Corinth, for what reason is not clear (2 Timothy 4:20). When Paul wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy from Rome he felt that all human hope was lost (4:6); he begs his disciple to rejoin him as quickly as possible, for he is alone with Luke. We do not know if Timothy was able to reach Rome before the death of the Apostle.
Ancient tradition makes it possible to establish the following points:
Paul suffered martyrdom near Rome at a place called Aquae Salviae (now Tre Fontane), somewhat east of the Ostian Way, about two miles from the splendid Basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura which marks his burial place. The martyrdom took place towards the end of the reign of Nero, in the twelfth year (St. Epiphanius), the thirteenth (Euthalius), or the fourteenth (St. Jerome). According to the most common opinion, Paul suffered in the same year and on the same day as Peter; several Latin Fathers contend that it was on the same day but not in the same year; the oldest witness, St. Dionysius the Corinthian, says only kata ton auton kairon, which may be translated "at the same time" or "about the same time". From time immemorial the solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul has been celebrated on 29 June, which is the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.
Formerly the pope, after having pontificated in the Basilica of St. Peter, went with his attendants to that of St. Paul, but the distance between the two basilicas (about five miles) rendered the double ceremony too exhausting, especially at that season of the year. Thus arose the prevailing custom of transferring to the next day (30 June) the Commemoration of St. Paul. The feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January) is of comparatively recent origin. There is reason for believing that the day was first observed to mark the translation of the relics of St. Paul at Rome, for so it appears in the Hieronymian Martyrology. It is unknown to the Greek Church (Dowden, "The Church Year and Kalendar", Cambridge, 1910, 69; cf. Duchesne, "Origines du culte chrétien", Paris, 1898, 265-72; McClure, "Christian Worship", London, 1903, 277-81).
F. Physical and Moral Portrait of St. Paul
We know from Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VII, 18) that even in his time there existed paintings representing Christ and the Apostles Peter and Paul. Paul's features have been preserved in three ancient monuments:
A diptych which dates from not later than the fourth century (Lewin, "The Life and Epistles of St. Paul", 1874, frontispiece of Vol. I and Vol. II, 210). A large medallion found in the cemetery of Domitilla, representing the Apostles Peter and Paul (Op. cit., II, 411). A glass dish in the British Museum, depicting the same Apostles (Farrara, "Life and Work of St. Paul", 1891, 896).
We have also the concordant descriptions of the "Acta Pauli et Theelae", of Pseudo-Lucian in Philopatris, of Malalas (Chronogr., x), and of Nicephorus (Hist. eccl., III, 37).
Paul was short of stature; the Pseudo-Chrysostom calls him "the man of three cubits" (anthropos tripechys); he was broad-shouldered, somewhat bald, with slightly aquiline nose, closely-knit eyebrows, thick, greyish beard, fair complexion, and a pleasing and affable manner. He was afflicted with a malady which is difficult to diagnose (cf. Menzies, "St. Paul's Infirmity" in the Expository Times", July and Sept., 1904), but despite this painful and humiliating infirmity (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Galatians 4:13-14) and although his bearing was not impressive (2 Corinthians 10:10), Paul must undoubtedly have been possessed of great physical strength to have sustained so long such superhuman labours (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). Pseudo-Chrysostom, "In princip. apostol. Petrum et Paulum" (in P. G., LIX, 494-95), considers that he died at the age of sixty-eight after having served the Lord for thirty-five years. The moral portrait is more difficult to draw because it is full of contrasts. Its elements will be found: in Lewin, op. cit., II, xi, 410-35 (Paul's Person and Character); in Farrar, op. cit., Appendix, Excursus I; and especially in Newman, "Sermons preached on Various Occasions", vii, viii.
III. THEOLOGY OF ST. PAUL
A. Paul and Christ
This question has passed through two distinct phases. According to the principal followers of the Tübingen School, the Apostle had but a vague knowledge of the life and teaching of the historical Christ and even disdained such knowledge as inferior and useless. Their only support is the misinterpreted text: "Et si cognovimus secundum carnem Christum, sed nunc jam novimus" (2 Corinthians 5:16). The opposition noted in this text is not between the historical and the glorified Christ, but between the Messias such as the unbelieving Jews represented Him, such perhaps as he was preached by certain Judaizers, and the Messias as He manifested Himself in His death and Resurrection, as He had been confessed by the converted Paul. It is neither admissible nor probable that Paul would be uninterested in the life and preaching of Him, Whom he loved passionately, Whom he constantly held up for the imitation of his neophytes, and Whose spirit he boasted of having. It is incredible that he would not question on this subject eyewitnesses, such as Barnabas, Silas, or the future historians of Christ, Sts. Mark and Luke, with whom he was so long associated. Careful examination of this subject has brought out the three following conclusions concerning which there is now general agreement:
There are in St. Paul more allusions to the life and teachings of Christ than would be suspected at first sight, and the casual way in which they are made shows that the Apostle knew more on the subject than he had the occasion, or the wish to tell. These allusions are more frequent in St. Paul than the Gospels. From Apostolic times there existed a catechesis, treating among other things the life and teachings of Christ, and as all neophytes were supposed to possess a copy it was not necessary to refer thereto save occasionally and in passing.
The second phase of the question is closely connected with the first. The same theologians, who maintain that Paul was indifferent to the earthly life and teaching of Christ, deliberately exaggerate his originality and influence. According to them Paul was the creator of theology, the founder of the Church, the preacher of asceticism, the defender of the sacraments and of the ecclesiastical system, the opponent of the religion of love and liberty which Christ came to announce to the world. If, to do him honour, he is called the second founder of Christianity, this must be a degenerate and altered Christianity since it was at least partially opposed to the primitive Christianity. Paul is thus made responsible for every antipathy to modern thought in traditional Christianity.
This is to a great extent the origin of the "Back to Christ" movement, the strange wanderings of which we are now witnessing. The chief reason for returning to Christ is to escape Paul, the originator of dogma, the theologian of the faith. The cry "Zuruck zu Jesu" which has resounded in Germany for thirty years, is inspired by the ulterior motive, "Los von Paulus". The problem is: Was Paul's relation to Christ that of a disciple to his master? or was he absolutely autodidactic, independent alike of the Gospel of Christ and the preaching of the Twelve? It must be admitted that most of the papers published shed little light on the subject. However, the discussions have not been useless, for they have shown that the most characteristic Pauline doctrines, such as justifying faith, the redeeming death of Christ, the universality of salvation, are in accord with the writings of the first Apostles, from which they were derived. Julicher in particular has pointed out that Paul's Christology, which is more exalted than that of his companions in the apostolate, was never the object of controversy, and that Paul was not conscious of being singular in this respect from the other heralds of the Gospel. Cf. Morgan, "Back to Christ" in "Dict. of Christ and the Gospels", I, 61-67; Sanday, "Paul", loc. cit., II, 886-92; Feine, "Jesus Christus und Paulus" (1902); Goguel, "L'apôtre Paul et Jésus-Christ" (Paris, 1904); Julicher, "Paulus und Jesus" (1907).
B. The Root Idea of St. Paul's Theology
Several modern authors consider that theodicy is at the base, centre, and summit of Pauline theology. "The apostle's doctrine is theocentric, not in reality anthropocentric. What is styled his 'metaphysics' holds for Paul the immediate and sovereign fact of the universe; God, as he conceives Him, is all in all to his reason and heart alike" (Findlay in Hastings, "Dict. of the Bible", III, 718). Stevens begins the exposition of his "Pauline Theology" with a chapter entitled "The doctrine of God". Sabatier (L'apotre Paul, 1896, 297) also considers that "the last word of Pauline theology is: "God all in all", and he makes the idea of God the crown of Paul's theological edifice. But these authors have not reflected that though the idea of God occupies so large a place in the teaching of the Apostle, whose thought is deeply religious like that of all his compatriots, it is not characteristic of him, nor does it distinguish him from his companions in the apostolate nor even from contemporary Jews.
Many modern Protestant theologians, especially among the more or less faithful followers of the Tübingen School, maintain that Paul's doctrine is "anthropocentric", that it starts from his conception of man's inability to fulfill the law of God without the help of grace to such an extent that he is a slave of sin and must wage war against the flesh. But if this be the genesis of Paul's idea it is astonishing that he enunciates it only in one chapter (Romans 7), the sense of which is controverted, so that if this chapter had not been written, or it had been lost, we would have no means of recovering the key to his teaching. However, most modern theologians now agree that St. Paul's doctrine is Christocentric, that it is at base a soteriology, not from a subjective standpoint, according to the ancient prejudice of the founders of Protestantism who made justification by faith the quintessence of Paulinism, but from the objective standpoint, embracing in a wide synthesis the person and work of the Redeemer. This may be proved empirically by the statement that everything in St. Paul converges towards Jesus Christ, so much so, that abstracting from Jesus Christ it becomes, whether taken collectively or in detail, absolutely incomprehensible. This is proved also by demonstrating that what Paul calls his Gospel is the salvation of all men through Christ and in Christ. This is the standpoint of the following rapid analysis:
C. Humanity without Christ
The first three chapters of the Epistle to the Romans shows us human nature wholly under the dominion of sin. Neither Gentiles nor Jews had withstood the torrent of evil. The Mosaic Law was a futile barrier because it prescribed good without importing the strength to do it. The Apostle arrives at this mournful conclusion: "There is no distinction [between Jew and Gentile]; for all have sinned, and do need the glory of God" (Romans 3:22-23). He subsequently leads us back to the historical cause of this disorder: "By one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). This man is obviously Adam, the sin which he brought into the world is not only his personal sin, but a predominating sin which entered into all men and left in them the seed of death: "All sinned when Adam sinned; all sinned in and with his sin" (Stevens, "Pauline Theology", 129).
It remains to be seen how original sin, which is our lot by natural generation, manifests itself outwardly and becomes the source of actual sins. This Paul teaches us in chapter 7, where describing the contest between the Law assisted by reason and human nature weakened by the flesh and the tendency to evil, he represents nature as inevitably vanquished: "For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man: But I see another law in my members fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin" (Romans 7:22-23). This does not mean that the organism, the material substratus, is evil in itself, as some theologians of the Tübingen School have claimed, for the flesh of Christ, which was like unto ours, was exempt from sin, and the Apostle wishes that our bodies, which are destined to rise again, be preserved free from stain. The relation between sin and the flesh is neither inherent nor necessary; it is accidental, determined by an historical fact, and capable of disappearing through the intervention of the Holy Ghost, but it is none the less true that it is not in our power to overcome it unaided and that fallen man had need of a Saviour.
Yet God did not abandon sinful man. He continued to manifest Himself through this visible world (Romans 1:19-20), through the light of a conscience (Romans 2:14-15), and finally through His ever active and paternally benevolent Providence (Acts 14:16; 17:26). Furthermore, in His untiring mercy, He "will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). This will is necessarily subsequent to original sin since it concerns man as he is at present. According to His merciful designs God leads man step by step to salvation. To the Patriarchs, and especially to Abraham, He gave his free and generous promise, confirmed by oath (Romans 4:13-20; Galatians 3:15-18), which anticipated the Gospel. To Moses He gave His Law, the observation of which should be a means of salvation (Romans 7:10; 10:5), and which, even when violated, as it was in reality, was no less a guide leading to Christ (Galatians 3:24) and an instrument of mercy in the hands of God. The Law was a mere interlude until such time as humanity should be ripe for a complete revelation (Galatians 3:19; Romans 5:20), and thus provoked the Divine wrath (Romans 4:15). But good will arise from the excess of evil and "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe" (Galatians 3:22). This would be fulfilled in the "fullness of the time" (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10), that is, at the time set by God for the execution of His merciful designs, when man's helplessness should have been well manifested. Then "God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: that he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Galatians 4:4).
D. The Person of the Redeemer
Nearly all statements relating to the person of Jesus Christ bear either directly or indirectly on His role as a Saviour. With St. Paul Christology is a function of soteriology. However broad these outlines, they show us the faithful image of Christ in His pre-existence, in His historical existence and in His glorified life (see F. Prat, "Théologie de Saint Paul").
(1) Christ in His pre-existence
(a) Christ is of an order superior to all created beings (Ephesians 1:21); He is the Creator and Preserver of the World (Colossians 1:16-17); all is by Him, in Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16).
(b) Christ is the image of the invisible Father (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15); He is the Son of God, but unlike other sons is so in an incommunicable manner; He is the Son, the own Son, the well-Beloved, and this He has always been (2 Corinthians 1:19; Romans 8:3, 8:32; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:6; etc.).
(c) Christ is the object of the doxologies reserved for God (2 Timothy 4:18; Romans 16:27); He is prayed to as the equal of the Father (2 Corinthians 12:8-9; Romans 10:12; 1 Corinthians 1:2); gifts are asked of Him which it is in the power of God alone to grant, namely grace, mercy, salvation (Romans 1:7; 16:20; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 16:23; etc. before Him every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:10), as every head inclines in adoration of the majesty of the Most High.
(d) Christ possesses all the Divine attributes; He is eternal, since He is the "first born of every creature" and exists before all ages (Colossians 1:15-17); He is immutable, since He exists "in the form of God" (Philippians 2:6); He is omnipotent, since He has the power to bring forth being from nothingness (Colossians 1:16); He is immense, since He fills all things with His plenitude (Ephesians 4:10; Colossians 2:10); He is infinite since "the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him" (Colossians 2:9). All that is the special property of the God belongs of right to Him; the judgment seat of God is the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10); the Gospel of God is the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:1, 1:9, 15:16, 15:19, etc.); the Church of God is the Church of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2 and Romans 16:16 sqq.); the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Christ (Ephesians 5:5), the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9 sqq.).
(e) Christ is the one Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6); He is identified with Jehovah of the Old Covenant (1 Corinthians 10:4, 10:9; Romans 10:13; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:16; 9:21); He is the God who has purchased the Church with his own blood" (Acts 20:28); He is our "great God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13); He is the "God over all things" (Romans 9:5), effacing by His infinite transcendency the sum and substance of created things.
(2) Jesus Christ as Man
The other aspect of the figure of Christ is drawn with no less firm a hand. Jesus Christ is the second Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49); "the mediator of God and men" (1 Timothy 2:5), and as such He must necessarily be man (anthropos Christos Iesous). So He is the descendant of the Patriarchs (Romans 9:5; Galatians 3:16), He is "of the seed of David, according to the flesh)" (Romans 1:3), "born of a woman" (Galatians 4:4), like all men; finally, He is known as a man by His appearance, which is exactly similar to that of men (Philippians 2:7), save for sin, which He did not and could not know (2 Corinthians 5:21). When St. Paul says that "God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3), he does not mean to deny the reality of Christ's flesh, but excludes only sinful flesh.
Nowhere does the Apostle explain how the union of the Divine and the human natures is accomplished in Christ, being content to affirm that He who was "in the form of God" took "the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:6-7), or he states the Incarnation in this laconic formula: "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally" (Colossians 2:9). What we see clearly is that there is in Christ a single Person to whom are attributed, often in the same sentence, qualities proper to the Divine and the human nature, to the pre-existence, the historical existence, and the glorified life (Colossians 1:15-19; Philippians 2:5-11; etc.). The theological explanation of the mystery has given rise to numerous errors. Denial was made of one of the natures, either the human (Docetism), or the Divine (Arianism), or the two natures were considered to be united in a purely accidental manner so as to produce two persons (Nestorianism), or the two natures were merged into one (Monophysitism), or on pretext of uniting them in one person the heretics mutilated either the human nature (Apollinarianism), or the Divine, according to the strange modern heresy known as Kenosis.
The last-mentioned requires a brief treatment, as it is based on a saying of St. Paul "Being in the form of God . . . emptied himself (ekenosen eauton, hence kenosis) taking the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:6-7). Contrary to the common opinion, Luther applied these words not to the Word, but to Christ, the Incarnate Word. Moreover he understood the communicatio idiomatus as a real possession by each of the two natures of the attributes of the other. According to this the human nature of Christ would possess the Divine attributes of ubiquity, omniscience, and omnipotence. There are two systems among Lutheran theologians, one asserting that the human nature of Christ was voluntarily stripped of these attributes (kenosis), the other that they were hidden during His mortal existence (krypsis).
In modern times the doctrine of Kenosis, while still restricted to Lutheran theology, has completely changed its opinions. Starting with the philosophical idea that "personality" is identified with "consciousness", it is maintained that where there is only one person there can be only one consciousness; but since the consciousness of Christ was truly human consciousness, the Divine consciousness must of necessity have ceased to exist or act in Him. According to Thomasius, the theorist of the system, the Son of God was stripped, not after the Incarnation, as Luther asserted, but by the very fact of the Incarnation, and what rendered possible the union of the Logos with the humanity was the faculty possessed by the Divinity to limit itself both as to being and activity. The other partisans of the system express themselves in a similar manner. Gess, for instance, says that in Jesus Christ the Divine ego is changed into the human ego. When it is objected that God is immutable, that He can neither cease to be, nor limit Himself, nor transform Himself, they reply that this reasoning is on metaphysical hypotheses and concepts without reality. (For the various forms of Kenosis see Bruce, "The Humiliation of Christ", p. 136.)
All these systems are merely variations of Monophysitism. Unconsciously they assume that there is in Christ but a single nature as there is but a single person. According to the Catholic doctrine, on the contrary, the union of the two natures in a single person involves no change in the Divine nature and need involve no physical change of the human nature of Christ. Without doubt Christ is the Son and is morally entitled even as man to the goods of His Father, viz. the immediate vision of God, eternal beatitude, the state of glory. He is temporarily deprived of a portion of these goods in order that he may fulfill His mission as Redeemer. This is the abasement, the annihilation, of which St. Paul speaks, but it is a totally different thing from the Kenosis as described above.
E. The Objective Redemption as the Work of Christ
We have seen that fallen man being unable to arise again unaided, God in His mercy sent His Son to save him. It is an elementary and often repeated doctrine of St. Paul that Jesus Christ saves us through the Cross, that we are "justified by His blood", that "we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Romans 5:9-10). What endowed the blood of Christ, His death, His Cross, with this redeeming virtue? Paul never answers this question directly, but he shows us the drama of Calvary under three aspects, which there is danger in separating and which are better understood when compared:
(a) at one time the death of Christ is a sacrifice intended, like the sacrifice of the Old Law, to expiate sin and propitiate God. Cf. Sanday and Headlam, "Romans", 91-94, "The death of Christ considered as a sacrifice". "It is impossible from this passage (Romans 3:25) to get rid of the double idea: (1) of a sacrifice; (2) of a sacrifice which is propitiatory . . . Quite apart from this passage it is not difficult to prove that these two ideas of sacrifice and propitiation lie at the root of the teaching not only of St. Paul but of the New Testament generally." The double danger of this idea is, first to wish to apply to the sacrifice of Christ all the mode of action, real or supposed, of the imperfect sacrifices of the Old Law; and second, to believe that God is appeased by a sort of magical effect, in virtue of this sacrifice, whereas on the contrary it was He Who took the initiative of mercy, instituted the sacrifice of Calvary, and endowed it with its expiatory value.
(b) At another time the death of Christ is represented as a redemption, the payment of a ransom, as the result of which man was delivered from all his past servitude (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23 [times egorasthete]; Galatians 3:13; 4:5 [ina tous hypo nomon exagorase]; Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Colossians 1:14 [apolytrosis]; 1 Timothy 2:6 [antilytron]; etc.) This idea, correct as it is, may have inconveniences if isolated or exaggerated. By carrying it beyond what was written, some of the Fathers put forth the strange suggestion of a ransom paid by Christ to the demon who held us in bondage. Another mistake is to regard the death of Christ as having a value in itself, independent of Christ Who offered it and God Who accepted it for the remission of our sins.
(c) Often, too, Christ seems to substitute Himself for us in order to undergo in our stead the chastisement for sin. He suffers physical death to save us from the moral death of sin and preserve us from eternal death. This idea of substitution appealed so strongly to Lutheran theologians that they admitted quantitative equality between the sufferings really endured by Christ and the penalties deserved by our sins. They even maintained that Jesus underwent the penalty of loss (of the vision of God) and the malediction of the Father. These are the extravagances which have cast so much discredit on the theory of subsitution. It has been rightly said that the transfer of a chastisement from one person to another is an injustice and a contradiction, for the chastisement is inseparable from the fault and an undeserved chastisement is no longer a chastisement. Besides, St. Paul never said that Christ died in our stead (anti), but only that he died for us (hyper) because of our sins.
In reality the three standpoints considered above are but three aspects of the Redemption which, far from excluding one another, should harmonize and combine, modifying if necessary all the other aspects of the problem. In the following text St. Paul assembles these various aspects with several others. We are "justified freely by his grace, through the Redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his [hidden] justice, for the remission of former sins, through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that of himself may be [known as] just, and the justifier of him, who is in the faith of Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:24-26). Herein are designated the part of God, of Christ, and of man:
God takes the initiative; it is He who offers His Son; He intends to manifest His justice, but is moved thereto by mercy. It is therefore incorrect or more or less inadequate to say that God was angry with the human race and that He was only appeased by the death of His Son. Christ is our Redemption (apolytrosis), He is the instrument of expiation or propitiation (ilasterion), and is such by His Sacrifice (en to autou aimati), which does not resemble those of irrational animals; it derives its value from Christ, who offers it for us to His Father through obedience and love (Philippians 2:8; Galatians 2:20). Man is not merely passive in the drama of his salvation; he must understand the lesson which God teaches, and appropriate by faith the fruit of the Redemption.
F. The Subjective Redemption
Christ having once died and risen, the Redemption is completed in law and in principle for the whole human race. Each man makes it his own in fact and in act by faith and baptism which, by uniting him with Christ, causes him to participate in His Divine life. Faith, according to St. Paul, is composed of several elements; it is the submission of the intellect to the word of God, the trusting abandonment of the believer to the Saviour Who promises him assistance; it is also an act of obedience by which man accepts the Divine will. Such an act has a moral value, for it "gives glory to God" (Romans 4:20) in the measure in which it recognizes its own helplessness. That is why "Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice" (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6). The spiritual children of Abraham are likewise "justified by faith, without the works of the law" (Romans 3:28; cf. Galatians 2:16). Hence it follows:
That justice is granted by God in consideration of faith. That, nevertheless, faith is not equivalent to justice, since man is justified "by grace" (Romans 4:6). That the justice freely granted to man becomes his property and is inherent in him.
Protestants formerly asserted that the justice of Christ is imputed to us, but now they are generally agreed that this argument is unscriptural and lacks the guaranty of Paul; but some, loth to base justification on a good work (ergon), deny a moral value to faith and claim that justification is but a forensic judgment of God which alters absolutely nothing in the justified sinner. But this theory is untenable, for:
even admitting that "to justify" signifies "to pronounce just", it is absurd to suppose that God really pronounces just anyone who is not already so or who is not rendered so by the declaration itself. Justification is inseparable from sanctification, for the latter is "a justification of life" (Romans 5:18) and every "just man liveth by faith" (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11).
By faith and baptism we die to the "old man", our former selves; now this is impossible without beginning to live as the new man, who "according to God, is created in justice and holiness" (Romans 6:3-5; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11). We may, therefore, establish a distinction in definition and concept between justification and sanctification, but we can neither separate them nor regard them as separate.
G. Moral Doctrine
A remarkable characteristic of Paulinism is that it connects morality with the subjective redemption or justification. This is especially striking in chapter 6 of the Epistle to the Romans. In baptism "our old man is crucified with [Christ] that, the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer" (Romans 6:6). Our incorporation with the mystical Christ is not only a transformation and a metamorphosis, but a real reaction, the production of a new being, subject to new laws and consequently to new duties. To understand the extent of our obligations it is enough for us to know ourselves as Christians and to reflect on the various relations which result from our supernatural birth: that of sonship to God the Father, of consecration to the Holy Ghost, of mystical identity with our Saviour Jesus Christ, of brotherly union with the other members of Christ. But this is not all. Paul says to the neophytes:
"Thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but have obeyed from the heart unto that form of doctrine, into which you have been delivered. . . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting (Romans 6:17, 22).
By the act of faith and by baptism, its seal, the Christian freely makes himself the servant of God and the soldier of Christ. God's will, which he accepts in advance in the measure in which it shall be manifested, becomes thenceforth his rule of conduct. Thus Paul's moral code rests on the one hand on the positive will of God made known by Christ, promulgated by the Apostles, and virtually accepted by the neophyte in his first act of faith, and on the other, in baptismal regeneration and the new relations which it produces. All Paul's commands and recommendations are merely applications of these principles.
(1) The graphic description of the Pauline parousia (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) has nearly all its main points in Christ's great eschatological discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). A common characteristic of all these passages is the apparent nearness of the parousia. Paul does not assert that the coming of the Saviour is at hand. In each of the five epistles, wherein he expresses the desire and the hope to witness in person the return of Christ, he at the same time considers the probability of the contrary hypothesis, proving that he had neither revelation nor certainty on the point. He knows only that the day of the lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3), and he counsels the neophytes to make themselves ready without neglecting the duties of their state of life (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12). Although the coming of Christ will be sudden, it will be heralded by three signs:
general apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the appearance of Antichrist (2:3-12), and the conversion of the Jews (Romans 11:26).
A particular circumstance of St. Paul's preaching is that the just who shall be living at Christ's second advent will pass to glorious immortality without dying [1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51 (Greek text); 2 Corinthians 5:2-5].
(2) Owing to the doubts of the Corinthians Paul treats the resurrection of the just at some length. He does not ignore the resurrection of the sinners, which he affirmed before the Governor Felix (Acts 24:15), but he does not concern himself with it in his Epistles. When he says that "the dead who are in Christ shall rise first" (proton, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Greek) this "first" offsets, not another resurrection of the dead, but the glorious transformation of the living. In like manner "the evil" of which he speaks (tou telos, 1 Corinthians 15:24) is not the end of the resurrection, but of the present world and the beginning of a new order of things. All the arguments which he advances in behalf of the resurrection may be reduced to three: the mystical union of the Christian with Christ, the presence within us of the Spirit of Holiness, the interior and supernatural conviction of the faithful and the Apostles. It is evident that these arguments deal only with the glorious resurrection of the just. In short, the resurrection of the wicked does not come within his theological horizon. What is the condition of the souls of the just between death and resurrection? These souls enjoy the presence of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8); their lot is enviable (Philippians 1:23); hence it is impossible that they should be without life, activity, or consciousness.
(3) The judgment according to St. Paul as according to the Synoptics, is closely connected with the parousia and the resurrection. They are the three acts of the same drama which constitute the Day of the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:6, 10; 2:16). "For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Two conclusions are derived from this text:
(1) The judgment shall be universal, neither the good nor the wicked shall escape (Romans 14:10-12), nor even the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3); all who are brought to trial must account for the use of their liberty.
(2) The judgment shall be according to works: this is a truth frequently reiterated by St. Paul, concerning sinners (2 Corinthians 11:15), the just (2 Timothy 4:14), and men in general (Romans 2:6-9). Many Protestants marvel at this and claim that in St. Paul this doctrine is a survival of his rabbinical education (Pfleiderer), or that he could not make it harmonize with his doctrine of gratuitous justification (Reuss), or that the reward will be in proportion to the act, as the harvest is in proportion to the sowing, but that it will not be because of or with a view to the act (Weiss). These authors lose sight of the fact that St. Paul distinguishes between two justifications, the first necessarily gratuitous since man was then incapable of meriting it (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16), the second in conformity to his works (Romans 2:6: kata ta erga), since man, when adorned with sanctifying grace, is capable of merit as the sinner is of demerit. Hence the celestial recompense is "a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render" (2 Timothy 4:8) to whomsoever has legitimately gained it.
Briefly, St. Paul's eschatology is not so distinctive as it has been made to appear. Perhaps its most original characteristic is the continuity between the present and the future of the just, between grace and glory, between salvation begun and salvation consummated. A large number of terms, redemption, justification, salvation, kingdom, glory and especially life, are common to the two states, or rather to the two phases of the same existence linked by charity which "never falleth away".
Publication information Written by F. Prat. Transcribed by Donald J. Boon. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
The actual founder of the Christian Church as opposed to Judaism; born before 10 C.E.; died after 63. The records containing the views and opinions of the opponents of Paul and Paulinism are no longer in existence; and the history of the early Church has been colored by the writers of the second century, who were anxious to suppress or smooth over the controversies of the preceding period, as is shown in the Acts of the Apostles and also by the fact that the Epistles ascribed to Paul, as has been proved by modern critics, are partly spurious (Galatians, Ephesians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and others) and partly interpolated.
Not a Hebrew Scholar; a Hellenist.
Saul (whose Roman cognomen was Paul; see Acts xiii. 9) was born of Jewish parents in the first decade of the common era at Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts ix. 11, xxi. 39, xxii. 3). The claim in Rom. xi. 1 and Phil. iii. 5 that he was of the tribe of Benjamin, suggested by the similarity of his name with that of the first Israelitish king, is, if the passages are genuine, a false one, no tribal lists or pedigrees of this kind having been in existence at that time (see Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." i. 7, 5; Pes. 62b; M. Sachs, "Beiträge zur Sprach- und Alterthumsforschung," 1852, ii. 157). Nor is there any indication in Paul's writings or arguments that he had received the rabbinical training ascribed to him by Christian writers, ancient and modern; least of all could he have acted or written as he did had he been, as is alleged (Acts xxii. 3), the disciple of Gamaliel I., the mild Hillelite. His quotations from Scripture, which are all taken, directly or from memory, from the Greek version, betray no familiarity with the original Hebrew text. The Hellenistic literature, such as the Book of Wisdom and other Apocrypha, as well as Philo (see Hausrath, "Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte," ii. 18-27; Siegfried, "Philo von Alexandria," 1875, pp. 304-310; Jowett, "Commentary on the Thessalonians and Galatians," i. 363-417), was the sole source for his eschatological and theological system. Notwithstanding the emphatic statement, in Phil. iii. 5, that he was "a Hebrew of the Hebrews"-a rather unusual term, which seems to refer to his nationalistic training and conduct (comp. Acts xxi. 40, xxii. 2), since his Jewish birth is stated in the preceding words "of the stock of Israel"-he was, if any of the Epistles that bear his name are really his, entirely a Hellenist in thought and sentiment. As such he was imbued with the notion that "the whole creation groaneth" for liberation from "the prison-house of the body," from this earthly existence, which, because of its pollution by sin and death, is intrinsically evil (Gal. i. 4; Rom. v. 12, vii. 23-24, viii. 22; I Cor. vii. 31; II Cor. v. 2, 4; comp. Philo, "De Allegoriis Legum," iii. 75; idem, "De Vita Mosis," iii. 17; idem, "De Ebrietate," § 26; and Wisdom ii.24). As a Hellenist, also, he distinguished between an earthly and a heavenly Adam (I Cor. xv. 45-49; comp. Philo, "De Allegoriis Legum," i. 12), and, accordingly, between the lower psychic. life and the higher spiritual life attained only by asceticism (Rom. xii. 1; I Cor. vii. 1-31, ix. 27, xv. 50; comp. Philo, "De Profugis," § 17; and elsewhere). His whole state of mind shows the influence of the theosophic or Gnostic lore of Alexandria, especially the Hermes literature recently brought to light by Reizenstein in his important work "Poimandres," 1904 (see Index, s. v. "Paulus," "Briefe des Paulus," and "Philo"); hence his strange belief in supernatural powers (Reizenstein, l.c. pp. 77, 287), in fatalism, in "speaking in tongues" (I Cor. xii.-xiv.; comp. Reizenstein, l.c. p. 58; Dieterich, "Abraxas," pp. 5 et seq.; Weinel, "Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister," 1899, pp. 72 et seq.; I Cor. xv. 8; II Cor. xii. 1-6; Eph. iii. 3), and in mysteries or sacraments (Rom. xvi. 25; Col. i. 26, ii. 2, iv. 3; Eph. i. 9, iii. 4, vi. 19)-a term borrowed solely from heathen rites.
There is throughout Paul's writings an irrational or pathological element which could not but repel the disciples of the Rabbis. Possibly his pessimistic mood was the result of his physical condition; for he suffered from an illness which affected both body and mind. He speaks of it as "a thorn in the flesh," and as a heavy stroke by "a messenger of Satan" (II Cor. xii. 7), which often caused him to realize his utter helplessness, and made him an object of pity and horror (Gal. iv. 13). It was, as Krenkel ("Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte und Briefe des Apostels Paulus," 1890, pp. 47-125) has convincingly shown, epilepsy, called by the Greeks "the holy disease," which frequently put him into a state of ecstasy, a frame of mind that may have greatly impressed some of his Gentile hearers, but could not but frighten away and estrange from him the Jew, whose God is above all the God of reason (comp. II Cor. v. 13; x. 10; xi. 1, 16; xii. 6). The conception of a new faith, half pagan and half Jewish, such as Paul preached, and susceptibility to its influences, were altogether foreign to the nature of Jewish life and thought. For Judaism, religion is the hallowing of this life by the fulfilment of its manifold duties (see Judaism): Paul shrank from life as the domain of Satan and all his hosts of evil; he longed for redemption by the deadening of all desires for life, and strove for another world which he sawin his ecstatic visions. The following description of Paul is preserved in "Acta Pauli et Theclæ," an apocryphal book which has been proved to be older and in some respects of greater historic value than the canonical Acts of the Apostles (see Conybeare, "Apollonius' Apology and Acts, and Other Monuments of Early Christianity," pp. 49-88, London, 1894): "A man of moderate stature, with crisp [scanty] hair, crooked legs, blue eyes, large knit brows, and long nose, at times looking like a man, at times like an angel, Paul came forward and preached to the men of Iconium: 'Blessed are they that keep themselves chaste [unmarried]; for they shall be called the temple of God. Blessed are they that mortify their bodies and souls; for unto them speaketh God. Blessed are they that despise the world; for they shall be pleasing to God. Blessed be the souls and bodies of virgins; for they shall receive the reward of their chastity.'"
It was by such preaching that "he ensnared the souls of young men and maidens, enjoining them to remain single "(Conybeare, l.c. pp. 62, 63, 67; comp. ib. pp. 24-25; Gal. iii. 38; I Cor. vii. 34-36; Matt. xix. 12; Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12).
Whatever the physiological or psychological analysis of Paul's temperament may be, his conception of life was not Jewish. Nor can his unparalleled animosity and hostility to Judaism as voiced in the Epistles be accounted for except upon the assumption that, while born a Jew, he was never in sympathy or in touch with the doctrines of the rabbinical schools. For even his Jewish teachings came to him through Hellenistic channels, as is indicated by the great emphasis laid upon "the day of the divine wrath" (Rom. i. 18; ii. 5, 8; iii. 5; iv. 15; v. 9; ix. 22; xii. 19; I Thess. i. 10; Col. iii. 6; comp. Sibyllines, iii. 309 et seq., 332; iv. 159, 161 et seq.; and elsewhere), as well as by his ethical monitions, which are rather inconsistently taken over from Jewish codes of law for proselytes, the Didache and Didascalia. It is quite natural, then, that not only the Jews (Acts xxi. 21), but also the Judæo-Christians, regarded Paul as an "apostate from the Law" (see Eusebius, l.c. iii. 27; Irenæus, "Adversus Hæreses," i. 26, 2; Origen, "Contra Celsum," v. 65; Clement of Rome, "Recognitiones," i. 70. 73).
To judge from those Epistles that have all the traits of genuineness and give a true insight into his nature, Paul was of a fiery temper, impulsive and impassioned in the extreme, of ever-changing moods, now exulting in boundless joy and now sorely depressed and gloomy. Effusive and excessive alike in his love and in his hatred, in his blessing and in his cursing, he possessed a marvelous power over men; and he had unbounded confidence in himself. He speaks or writes as a man who is conscious of a great providential mission, as the servant and herald of a high and unique cause. The philosopher and the Jew will greatly differ from him with regard to every argument and view of his; but both will admit that he is a mighty battler for truth, and that his view of life, of man, and of God is a profoundly serious one. The entire conception of religion has certainly been deepened by him, because his mental grasp was wide and comprehensive, and his thinking bold, aggressive, searching, and at the same time systematic. Indeed, he molded the thought and the belief of all Christendom.
Jewish Proselytism and Paul.
Before the authenticity of the story of the so-called conversion of Paul is investigated, it seems proper to consider from the Jewish point of view this question: Why did Paul find it necessary to create a new system of faith for the admission of the Gentiles, in view of the fact that the Synagogue had well-nigh two centuries before opened its door to them and, with the help of the Hellenistic literature, had made a successful propaganda, as even the Gospels testify? (Matt. xxiii. 15; see Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., iii. 102-135, 420-483; J. Bernays, "Gesammelte Abhandlungen," 1885, i. 192-282, ii. 71-80; Bertholet, "Die Stellung der Israeliten und Juden zu den Fremden," 1896, pp. 257-302.) Bertholet (l.c. pp. 303-334; but see Schürer, l.c. i. 126) and others, in order that they may reserve the claim of universality for Christianity, deny the existence of uncircumcised proselytes in Judaism, and misconstrue plain Talmudic and other statements referring to God-fearing Gentiles (Bertholet, l.c. pp. 338-339); whereas the very doctrine of Paul concerning the universal faith of Abraham (Rom. iv. 3-18) rests upon the traditional interpretation of Gen. xii. 3 (see Kuenen, "Prophets and Prophecy in Israel," pp. 379, 457) and upon the traditional view which made Abraham the prototype of a missionary bringing the heathen world under the wings of the Shekinah (Gen. R. xxxix., with reference to Gen. xii. 5; see Abraham; Judaism; Proselyte). As a matter of fact, only the Jewish propaganda work along the Mediterranean Sea made it possible for Paul and his associates to establish Christianity among the Gentiles, as is expressly recorded in the Acts (x. 2; xiii. 16, 26, 43, 50; xvi. 14; xvii. 4, 17; xviii. 7); and it is exactly from such synagogue manuals for proselytes as the Didache and the Didascalia that the ethical teachings in the Epistles of Paul and of Peter were derived (see Seeberg, "Der Katechismus der Urchristenheit," 1903, pp. 1-44).
The answer is supplied by the fact that Jewish proselytism had the Jewish nation as its basis, as the names "ger" and "ger toshab" for "proselyte" indicate. The proselyte on whom the Abrahamic rite was not performed remained an outsider. It was, therefore, highly important for Paul that those who became converted to the Church should rank equally with its other members and that every mark of distinction between Jew and Gentile should be wiped out in the new state of existence in which the Christians lived in anticipation. The predominating point of view of the Synagogue was the political and social one; that of the Church, the eschatological one. May such as do not bear the seal of Abraham's covenant upon their flesh or do not fulfil the whole Law be admitted into the congregation of the saints waiting for the world of resurrection? This was the question at issue between the disciples of Jesus and those of Paul; the former adhering to the view of the Essenes, which was also that of Jesus; the latter taking an independent position that started not from the Jewish but from the non-Jewish standpoint. Paul fashioned a Christ of his own, a church of his own, and a system of belief of his own; and because there were many mythological and Gnostic elements in his theology which appealed more to the non-Jew than to the Jew, he won the heathen world to his belief.
In the foreground of all of Paul's teaching stands his peculiar vision of Christ, to which he constantly refers as his only claim and title to apostleship (I Cor. ix. 1, xv. 8; II Cor. xii. 1-7; Phil. iii. 9; Gal. i. 1, 12, 16, on which see below). The other apostles saw Jesus in the flesh; Paul saw him when, in a state of entrancement, he was carried into paradise to the third heaven, where he heard "unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (II Cor. xii. 2-4). Evidently this picture of Christ must have occupied a prominent place in his mind before, just as Meṭaṭron (Mithra) and Akteriel did in the minds of Jewish mystics (see Angelology; Merkabah). To him the Messiah was the son of God in a metaphysical sense, "the image of God" (II Cor. iv. 4; Col. i. 15), "the heavenly Adam" (I Cor. xv. 49; similar to the Philonic or cabalistic Adam Ḳadmon), the mediator between God and the world (I Cor. viii. 6), "the first-born of all creation, for by him were all things created" (Col. i. 15-17), identical also with the Holy Spirit manifested in Israel's history (I Cor. x. 4; II Cor. iii. 17; comp. Wisdom x. 1.-xii. 1; Philo, "De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiari Soleat," § 30; see also Jew. Encyc. x. 183b, s.v. Preexistence of the Messiah).
It is, however, chiefly as "the king of glory" (I Cor. ii. 8), as ruler of the powers of light and life eternal, that Christ is to manifest his cosmic power. He has to annihilate Satan or Belial, the ruler of this world of darkness and death, with all his hosts of evil, physical and moral (I Cor. xv. 24-26). Paul's "gnosis" (I Cor. viii. 1, 7; II Cor. ii. 14; I Tim. vi. 20) is a revival of Persian dualism, which makes of all existence, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, a battle between light and darkness (I Thess. v. 4-5; Eph. v. 8-13; Col. i. 13), between flesh and spirit (I Cor. xv. 48; Rom. viii. 6-9), between corruption and life everlasting (I Cor. xv. 50, 53). The object of the Church is to obtain for its members the spirit, the glory, and the life of Christ, its "head," and to liberate them from the servitude of and allegiance to the flesh and the powers of earth. In order to become participants in the salvation that had come and the resurrection that was nigh, the saints were to cast off the works of darkness and to put on the armor of light, the breastplate of love, and the helmet of hope (Rom. xiii. 12; II Cor. x. 4; Eph. vi. 11. I Thess. v. 8; comp. Wisdom v. 17-18; Isa. lix. 17; "the weapons of light of the people of Israel," Pesiḳ, R. 33 [ed. Buber, p. 154]; Targ. Yer. to Ex. xxxiii. 4; "the men of the shields" ["ba'ale teresin"], a name for high-ranking Gnostics, Ber. 27b; also "the vestiture of light" in Mandæan lore, "Jahrbuch für Protestantische Theologie," xviii. 575-576).
The Crucified Messiah.
How then can this world of perdition and evil, of sin and death, be overcome, and the true life be attained instead? This question, which, according to a Talmudic legend (Tamid 32a), Alexander the Great put to the wise men of the South, was apparently the one uppermost also in the mind of Paul (see Kabisch,"Die Eschatologie des Paulus," 1893); and in the form of a vision of the crucified Christ the answer came to him to "die in order to live." This vision, seen in his ecstatic state, was to him more than a mere reality: it was the pledge ("'erabon" of the resurrection and the life of which he was in quest. Having seen "the first-born of the resurrection" (I Cor. xv. 20-24; the Messiah is called "the first-born" also in Midr. Teh. to Ps. lxxxix. 28, and in Ex. R. xix. 7), he felt certain of the new life which all "the sons of light" were to share. No sooner had the idea taken hold of him that the world of resurrection, or "the kingdom of God," had come, or would come with the speedy reappearance of the Messiah, than he would invest with higher powers "the elect ones" who were to participate in that life of the spirit. There can be no sin or sensual passion in a world in which the spirit rules. Nor is there need of any law in a realm where men live as angels (comp. "The dead is free from all obligations of the Law," Shab. 30a, 151b; Niddah 61b). To bring back the state of paradise and to undo the sin of Adam, the work of the serpent, which brought death into the world-this seems to have been the dream of Paul. The baptism of the Church, to which sinners and saints, women and men, Jews and Gentiles, were alike invited, suggested to him the putting off of the earthly Adam and the putting on of the heavenly Adam (Rom. vi.). He was certain that by the very power of their faith, which performed all the wonders of the spirit in the Church (I Cor. xii., xv.), would the believers in Christ at the time of his reappearance be also miraculously lifted to the clouds and transformed into spiritual bodies for the life of the resurrection (I Thess. iv.; I Cor. xv.; Rom. viii.). These are the elements of Paul's theology-a system of belief which endeavored to unite all men, but at the expense of sound reason and common sense.
There is possibly a historical kernel to the story related in the Acts (vii. 58-ix. 1-31, xxii. 3-21, xxvi. 10-19), that, while on the road to Damascus, commissioned with the task of exterminating the Christian movement antagonistic to the Temple and the Law (ib. vi. 13), Paul had a vision in which Jesus appeared to him, saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (comp. I Sam. xxvi. 18); that in consequence of this vision he became, with the aid of Ananais, one of the Christian seers, "a chosen vessel unto me [Christ], to bear my name before the Gentiles." According to the Acts (vii. 58; ix. 2; xxii. 5; xxv. 1, 10-12), Paul was a young man charged by the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem with the execution of Stephen and the seizure of the disciples of Jesus. The statement, however (ib. xxii. 8-9), that, being a zealous observer of the law of the Fathers, "he persecuted the Church unto death," could have been made only at a time when it was no longer known what a wide difference existed between the Sadducean high priests and elders, who had a vital interest in quelling the Christian movement, and the Pharisees, who had no reason for condemning to death either Jesusor Stephen. In fact, it is derived from the Epistle to the Galatians (i. 13-14), the spuriousness of which has been shown by Bruno Baur, Steck, and most convincingly by Friedrich Maehliss ("Die Unechtheit des Galaterbriefs," 1891). The same is the case with Phil. iii. 5. Acts xxii. 17-18 speaks of another vision which Paul had while in the Temple, in which Jesus told him to depart from Jerusalem and go with his gospel to the Gentiles. Evidently Paul entertained long before his vision those notions of the Son of God which he afterward expressed; but the identification of his Gnostic Christ with the crucified Jesus of the church he had formerly antagonized was possibly the result of a mental paroxysm experienced in the form of visions.
Barnabas and Other Hellenists.
Whether the Hellenists in Jerusalem, at the head of whom stood Stephen, Philip, and others named in Acts vii. 1-5, exerted an influence upon Paul, can not be ascertained: that Barnabas, who was a native of Cyprus, did, may be assumed with certainty. He was Paul's older companion, apparently of a more imposing stature (Acts xiv. 12); and, according to ib. ix. 27, he introduced Paul to the apostles and induced him (xi. 25) to cooperate with him in the church of Antioch. The two traveled together as collectors of charity for the poor of the Jerusalem church (ib. xi. 30, xv. 2; see Apostle), and as preachers of the gospel (ib. xiii. 3, 7, 13, 14, 43, 46, 50; xiv. 14, 20; xv. 2, 12, 22, 35), Paul soon becoming the more powerful preacher. Finally, on account of dissensions, probably of a far more serious nature than stated either in Acts xv. 36-39 or Gal. ii. 13, they separated. That both Paul and Barnabas held views different from those of the other apostles may be learned from I Cor. ix. 6. Paul's relation to Apollos also was apparently that of a younger colaborer to an older and more learned one (I Cor. i. 10, iii. 5-23, xvi. 12).
His Missionary Travels.
According to Acts xiii., xiv., xvii-xviii. (see Jew. Encyc. ix. 252-254, s.v. New Testament), Paul began working along the traditional Jewish line of proselytizing in the various synagogues where the proselytes of the gate and the Jews met; and only because he failed to win the Jews to his views, encountering strong opposition and persecution from them, did he turn to the Gentile world after he had agreed at a convention with the apostles at Jerusalem to admit the Gentiles into the Church only as proselytes of the gate, that is, after their acceptance of the Noachian laws (Acts xv. 1-31). This presentation of Paul's work is, however, incompatible with the attitude toward the Jews and the Law taken by him in the Epistles. Nor can any historical value be attached to the statement in Gal. ii. 1-10 that, by an agreement with the seeming pillars of the Church, the work was divided between Peter and Paul, the "gospel of circumcision" being committed to the one, and the "gospel of uncircumcision" to the other; as the bitter and often ferocious attacks against both the Jews and the apostles of the Judæo-Christian Church (in Phil. iii. 2 he calls them "dogs") would then have been uncalled for and unpardonable. In reality Paul had little more than the name of apostle in common with the actual disciples of Jesus. His field of work was chiefly, if not exclusively, among the Gentiles; he looked for a virgin soil wherein to sow the seeds of the gospel; and he succeeded in establishing throughout Greece, Macedonia, and Asia Minor churches in which there were "neither Jews nor Gentiles," but Christians who addressed each other as "brethren" or "saints." Regarding his great missionary journeys as described in the Acts after older documents, see Jew. Encyc. l.c. pp. 252-254. As to the chronology, much reliance can not be placed either on Gal. i. 17-ii. 3 or on the Acts with its contradictory statements.
From II Cor. xi. 24-32 (comp. ib. vi. 4; I Cor. iv. 11) it may be learned that his missionary work was beset with uncommon hardships. He labored hard day and night as a tent-maker for a livelihood (Acts xviii. 3; I Thess ii. 9; II Thess, iii. 8; I Cor. iv. 12, ix. 6-18). He says (II Cor. ix.) that more frequently than any other apostle he was imprisoned, punished with stripes, and in peril of death on land and sea; five times he received the thirtynine stripes in the synagogue, obviously for some public transgression of the Law (Deut. xxv. 3); three times was he beaten with rods, probably by the city magistrates (comp. Acts xvi. 22); once he was stoned by the people; and thrice he suffered shipwreck, being in the water a night and a day. In Damascus he was imprisoned by King Aretas at the instigation, not of the Jews, as is stated by modern historians, but of the Jerusalem authorities; and he escaped through being let down in a basket from a window (II Cor. xi. 24-32; comp. Acts xxvii. 41). He was besides this constantly troubled with his disease, which often made him "groan" for deliverance (I Thess. ii. 2, 19-iii. 1; II Cor. i. 8-10, iv. 7-v. 5, xii. 7; Gal. iv. 14).
Corinth and Ephesus, the two great centers of commerce, with their strangely mixed and turbulent as well as immoral population, offered to Paul a large field for his missionary work; and, because the Jews there were few and had little influence, he had free scope and ample opportunity to build up a church according to his plans. He was greatly aided therein by the Roman protection which he enjoyed (Acts xviii. 12-17, xix. 35-40). Yet as long as the church at Jerusalem was in his way he found little comfort and satisfaction in his achievements, though he proudly recounted the successes which marked his journeys throughout the lands. It was to Rome that his efforts gravitated. Not Athens, whose wisdom he decried as "folly" (I Cor. i. 17-24), but Rome's imperial city, whose administrative system he had learned to admire, attracted and fascinated his mind by its world-wide horizon and power. Consciously or unconsciously, he worked for a church with its world-center in Rome instead of in Jerusalem. A prisoner in the years 61-63 (Phil. i. 7, 16), and probably also a martyr at Rome, he laid the foundation of the world-dominion of pagan Christianity. (For futher biographical details, which form the subject of much dispute among Christians, but are of no special interest for Jewish readers, see the article "Paul" in Hauck,"Real-Encyc.," in Hastings, "Dict. Bible," and similar works.)
Paul's Church versus the Synagogue.
In order to understand fully the organization and scope of the Church as mapped out by Paul in his Epistles, a comparison thereof with the organization and the work of the Synagogue, including the Essene community, seems quite proper. Each Jewish community when organized as a congregation possessed in, or together with, its synagogue an institution (1) for common worship, (2) for the instruction of young and old in the Torah, and (3) for systematic charity and benevolence. This threefold work was as a rule placed in charge of men of high social standing, prominent both in learning and in piety. The degree of knowledge and of scrupulousness in the observance of the Torah determined the rank of the members of the Synagogue. Among the members of the Essene brotherhood every-day life with its common meals came under special rules of sanctity, as did their prayers and their charities as well as their visits to the sick, the Holy Spirit being especially invoked by them as a divine factor, preparing them also for the Messianic kingdom of which they lived in expectation (see Essenes). The Christian Church, in adopting the name and form of the Essene Church (Εκκλησία; see Congregation), lent to both the bath (see Baptism) and the communion meals (see Agape) a new character.
Influence of the Greek Mysteries.
Paul, the Hellenist, however, knowingly or unknowingly, seems to have taken the heathen cult associations as his pattern while introducing new features into the Church (see Anrich, "Das Antike Mysterienwesen in Seinem Einfluss auf das Christenthum," 1894; Wobbermin, "Religionsgeschichtliche Studien zur Frage der Beeinflussung des Urchristenthums Durch das Antike Mysterienwesen," 1896, p. 153; Hatch, "Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church," 1890, pp. 281-296; Cumont, "Die Mysterien des Mithra, Deutsch von Gehrich," 1903, pp. 101, 118-119; Anz, "Ursprung des Gnosticismus," 1897, pp. 98-107; Reizenstein and Kabisch, l.c.). To him baptism is no longer a symbolic rite suggestive of purification or regeneration, as in Jewish and Judæo-Christian circles (see Baptism), but a mystic rite by which the person that enters the water and emerges again undergoes an actual transformation, dying with Christ to the world of flesh and sin, and rising with him to the world of the spirit, the new life of the resurrection (Rom. vi. 1-10).
Still more is the partaking of the bread and the wine of the communion meal, the so-called "Lord's Supper," rendered the means of a mystic union with Christ, "a participation in his blood and body," exactly as was the Mithraic meal a real participation in the blood and body of Mithra (see Cumont, l.c.). To Paul, the Holy Spirit itself is not an ethical but a magic power that works sanctification and salvation. It is a mystic substance permeating the Church as a dynamic force, rendering all the members saints, and pouring forth its graces in the various gifts, such as those of prophesying, speaking in tongues, and interpreting voices, and others displayed in teaching and in the administration of charity and similar Church functions (Rom. xii. 4-8; I Cor. xii., xiv.; see Kabisch, l.c. pp. 261-281). The Church forms "the body of Christ" not in a figurative sense, but through the same mystic actuality as that by which the participants of heathen cults become, through their mysteries or sacraments, parts of their deities. Such is the expressed view of Paul when he contrasts the "table of Christ" with the "table of the demons" (I Cor. x. 20-21). While Paul borrows from the Jewish propaganda literature, especially the Sibyllines, the idea of the divine wrath striking especially those that commit the capital sins of idolatry and incest (fornication) and acts of violence or fraudulence (Rom. i. 18-32; I Thess. iv. 5), and while he accordingly wishes the heathen to turn from their idols to God, with desire of being saved by His son (I Thess. i. 9-10), his Church has by no means the moral perfection of the human race for its aim and end, as has Judaism. Salvation alone, that is, redemption from a world of perdition and sin, the attainment of a life of incorruption, is the object; yet this is the privilege only of those chosen and predestined "to be conformed to the image of His [God's] son" (Rom. viii. 28-30). It is accordingly not personal merit nor the greater moral effort that secures salvation, but some arbitrary act of divine grace which justifies one class of men and condemns the other (ib. ix.). It is not righteousness, nor even faith-in the Jewish sense of perfect trust in the all-loving and all-forgiving God and Father-which leads to salvation, but faith in the atoning power of Christ's death, which in some mystic or judicial manner justifies the undeserving (Rom. iii. 22, iv., v.; comp. Faith; for the mystic conception of faith, πίστις, in Hellenism alongside of gnosis, see Reizenstein, l.c. pp. 158-159).
The Mystery of the Cross.
Heathen as is the conception of a church securing a mystic union with the Deity by means of sacramental rites, equally pagan is Paul's conception of the crucifixion of Jesus. While he accepts the Judæo-Christian view of the atoning power of the death of Jesus as the suffering Messiah (Rom. iii. 25, viii. 3), the crucifixion of Jesus as the son of God assumes for him at the very beginning the character of a mystery revealed to him, "a stumbling-block to the Jews and folly to the Greeks" (I Cor. i. 23-ii. 2, ii. 7-10). It is to him a cosmic act by which God becomes reconciled to Himself. God sent "his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh" in order to have His wrath appeased by his death. "He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up," so that by his blood all men might be saved (Rom. v. 8; viii. 3, 32). To a Jewish mind trained by rabbinical acumen this is not pure monotheistic, but mythological, thinking. Paul's "Son of God" is, far more than the Logos of Philo, an infringement of the absolute unity of God. While the predicate "God" applied to him in Titus ii. 13 may be put to the account of Paul's school rather than to his own, throughout all the Epistles a share in the divinity is ascribed to Jesus in such a manner as to detract from the glory of God. He is, or is expected to be, called upon as"the Lord" (I Cor. i. 2; Rom. x. 13; Phil. ii. 10-11). Only the pagan idea of the "man-God" or "the second God," the world's artificer, and "son of God" (in Plato, in the Hermes-Tot literature as shown by Reizenstein, l.c.), or the idea of a king of light descending to Hades, as in the Mandæan-Babylonian literature (Brandt, "Die Mandäische Religion," 1889, pp. 151-156), could have suggested to Paul the conception of a God who surrenders the riches of divinity and descends to the poverty of earthly life in order to become a savior of the human race (I Cor. xv. 28, with ref. to Ps. viii. 6-7; Phil. ii. 6-10). Only from Alexandrian Gnosticism, or, as Reizenstein (l.c. pp. 25-26; comp. pp. 278, 285) convincingly shows, only from pagan pantheism, could he have derived the idea of the "pleroma," "the fulness" of the Godhead dwelling in Christ as the head of all principality and power, as him who is before all things and in whom all things consist (Col. i. 15-19, ii. 9).
Paul's Opposition to the Law.
Paul's attitude toward the Law was by no means hostile from the beginning or on principle, as the interpolated Epistle to the Romans and the spurious one to the Galatians represent it. Neither is it the legalistic (nomistic) character of Pharisaic Judaism which he militates against, as Jesus in the Gospels is represented as doing; nor was he prompted by the desire to discriminate between the ceremonial and the moral laws in order to accentuate the spiritual side of religion. Still less was he prompted by that allegorizing method of which Philo ("De Migratione Abrahami," § 16) speaks as having led many to the disregard of certain ceremonial laws, such as circumcision (M. Friedländer, "Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Christenthums," pp. 149, 163, Vienna, 1894). All such interpretations fail to account for Paul's denunciation of all law, moral as well as ceremonial, as an intrinsic evil (Hausrath, "Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte," 2d ed., iii. 14). According to his arguments (Rom. iii. 20, iv. 15, vii-viii.), it is the Law that begets sin and works wrath, because without the Law there is no transgression. "I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet" (ib. vii. 7). He has no faith in the moral power of man: "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing" (ib. vii. 18). What he is aiming at is that state in which the sinfulness of the flesh is entirely overcome by the spirit of Christ who is "the end of the Law" (ib. x. 4), because he is the beginning of the resurrection. For Paul, to be a member of the Church meant to be above the Law, and to serve in the newness of the spirit under a higher law (ib. vii. 4-6, 25). For in Christ, that is, by the acceptance of the belief that with him the world of resurrection has begun, man has become "a new creature: the old things are passed away . . . all things have become new" (II Cor. v. 17). For Paul, the world is doomed: it is flesh beset by sin and altogether of the evil one; hence home, family life, worldly wisdom, all earthly enjoyment are of no account, as they belong to a world which passes away (I Cor. vii. 31). Having at first only the heathen in view, Paul claims the members of the Church for Christ; hence their bodies must be consecrated to him and not given to fornication (ib. vi. 15). In fact, they ought to live in celibacy; and only on account of Satan's temptation to lust are they allowed to marry (ib. vi. 18-vii. 8). As regards eating and drinking, especially of offerings to idols, which were prohibited to the proselyte of the gate by the early Christians as well as by the Jews (comp. Acts xv. 29), Paul takes the singular position that the Gnostics, those who possess the higher knowledge ("gnosis"; I Cor. viii. 1, xiii. 2, xiv. 6; II Cor. iv. 6; comp. Reizenstein, l.c. p. 158), are "the strong ones" who care not for clean and unclean things and similar ritualistic distinctions (Rom. xiv. 1-23; I Cor. viii. 1-13). Only those that are "weak in faith" do care; and their scruples should be heeded by the others. The Gnostic principle enunciated by Porphyrius ("De Abstinentia," i. 42), "Food that enters the body can as little defile free man as any impurity cast into the sea can contaminate the ocean, the deep fountain of purity" (comp. Matt. xv. 11), has in Paul's system an eschatological character: "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. xiv. 17; comp. Ber. 17a; Jew. Encyc, v. 218, s.v. Eschatology). As he stated in I Cor. ix. 20-22: "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
The original attitude of Paul to the Law was accordingly not that of opposition as represented in Romans and especially in Galatians, but that of a claimed transcendency. He desired "the strong ones" to do without the Law as "schoolmaster" (Gal. iii. 24). The Law made men servants: Christ rendered them "sons of God." That is, their nature was transformed into an angelic, if not altogether divine, one (Rom. viii. 14-29; I Cor. vi. 1-3).
Law for the Proselyte.
Only in admitting the heathen into his church did he follow the traditional Jewish practise of emphasizing at the initiation of proselytes "the law of God," consisting in "Love thy neighbor as thyself," taken from Lev. xix. 18 (Rom. xiii. 8-10 contains no allusion to Jesus' teaching). Also in the mode of preparing the proselyte-by specifying to him the mandatory and prohibitive commandments in the form of a catalogue of virtues or duties and a catalogue of sins, making him promise to practise the former, and, in the form of a "widdui" (confession of sins), to avoid the latter-Paul and his school followed, in common with all the other apostles, the traditional custom, as may be learned from I Thess. iv. 1-10; Col. iii. 5-14; Rom. i: 29 (comp. J. Rendel Harris, "The Teaching of the Apostles," 1887, pp. 82-84; Gal. v. 13-23, copied from Rom. l.c.; so also Eph. ii.-vi.; I Peter ii-iii.; I John iii.-iv.; Heb. xiii.; see Seeberg, "Der Katechismus der Urchristenheit," 1903, pp. 9-22, and Didache). A comparison of the "Didascalia"with Paul's various admonitions in the Epistles likewise shows how much he was indebted to Essene teachings (See Jew. Encyc. iv. 588-590, s.v. Didascalia, where it is shown in a number of instances that the priority rests with the Jewish "Didascalia" and not, as is generally believed, with Paul). Also "turning from darkness to light" (I Thess. v. 4-9; Rom. xiii. 12; Eph. v. 7-11; and elsewhere) is an expression borrowed from Jewish usage in regard to proselytes who "come over from the falsehood of idolatry to the truth of monotheism" (see Philo, "De Monarchia." i. 7; idem, "De Pœnitentia," §§ 1-2; comp. "Epistle of Barnabas," xix. 1-xx. 1). It is rather difficult to reconcile these moral injunctions with the Pauline notion that, since law begets sin, there should be no law ruling the members of the Church. It appears, however, that Paul used frequently the Gnostic term τέλειος= "perfect," "mature" (I Thess. v. 4, 10; Phil. iii. 12, 15; I Cor. ii. 6, xiii. 12 et seq., xiv. 20; Eph. iv. 13; Col. i. 28). This term, taken from Grecian mysteries (see Light-foot, "Epistles to the Colossians," ad loc.), and used also in Wisdom iv. 13, ix. 6, suggested an asceticism which in some circles of saints led to the unsexing of man for the sake of fleeing from lust (Wisdom iii. 13-14; Philo, "De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiatur," § 48; Matt. xix. 12; see Conybeare, l.c. p. 24). For Paul, then, the Christian's aim was to be mature and ready for the day when all would be "caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" and be with Him forever (I Thess. iv. 16-17). To be with Christ, "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead," is to become so "complete" as to be above the rule of heavenly bodies, above the "tradition of men," above statutes regarding circumcision, meat and drink, holy days, new moon, and Sabbath, all of which are but "a shadow of the things to come"; it is to be dead to the world and all things of the earth, to mortify the members of the flesh, to "put off the old man" with his deeds and passions, and put on the new man who is ever renewed for the highest knowledge of God (gnosis), so that there is "neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all" (Col. ii. 9-iii. 11; comp. I Cor. v. 7: "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump").
Conflict with Judaism and the Law.
Far then from making antagonism to the Law the starting-point of his apostolic activity, as under the influence of the Epistle to the Romans is assumed by almost all Christian theologians, except the so-called Dutch school of critics (see Cheyne and Black, "Encyc. Bibl." s.v. "Paul and Romans, Epistle to the"), there is intrinsic evidence that Paul's hostile attitude to both the Law and the Jews was the result of his conflicts with the latter and with the other apostles. There is no bitter hostility or antagonism to the Law noticeable in I Thessalonians (ii. 14b-16 is a late interpolation referring to the destruction of the Temple), Colossians, I Corinthians (xv. 56 is obviously interpolated), or II Corinthians (where iii. 6-iv. 4, on closer analysis, also proves to be a late addition disturbing the context); and so little opposition to the Law does Paul show in those epistles first addressed to the Gentiles, that in I Cor. xiv. 21 he quotes as the "law"-that is, Torah in the sense of Revelation-a passage from Isa. xxviii. 11; whereas he avoids the term "law" (νόμος) elsewhere, declaring all statutes to be worthless human teaching (Col. ii. 22).
Antinomianism and Jew-Hatred.
His antinomian theology is chiefly set forth in the Epistle to the Romans, many parts of which, however, are the product of the second-century Church with its fierce hatred of the Jew, e.g., such passages as ii. 21-24, charging the Jews with theft, adultery, sacrilege, and blasphemy, or ix. 22 and xi. 28 (comp. iii. 2). The underlying motive of Paul-the tearing down of the partition-wall between Jew and Gentile-is best expressed in Eph. ii. 14-22, where it is declared that the latter are no longer "gerim" and "toshabim" (A. V. "strangers" and "foreigners"), but "fellow citizens with the saints" of the Church and fully equal members "of the household of God." In order to accomplish his purpose, he argues that just as little as the heathen escapes the wrath of God, owing to the horrible sins he is urged to commit by his clinging to his idols, so little can the Jew escape by his Law, because "the law worketh sin and wrath" (Rom. iv. 15). Instead, indeed, of removing the germ of death brought into the world by Adam, the Law was given only to increase sin and to make all the greater the need of divine mercy which was to come through Christ, the new Adam (ib. v. 15-20). By further twisting the Biblical words taken from Gen. xv. 6, which he interprets as signifying that Abraham's faith became a saving power to him, and from Gen. xvii. 5, which he takes as signifying that Abraham was to be the father of the Gentiles instead of nations, he argues that the saving grace of God lies in faith (that is, blind belief) and not in the works of the Law. And so he declares faith in Jesus' atoning death to be the means of justification and salvation, and not the Law, which demands servitude, whereas the spirit of Christ makes men children of God (Rom. iv.-viii.). The Pauline Jew-hatred was ever more intensified (see ib. ix.-xi., and comp. ix. 31)-which is clear evidence of a later origin-and culminates in Gal. iii., where, besides the repetition of the argument from Gen. xv. 6 and xvii. 5, the Law is declared, with reference to Deut. xxviii. 26 and Hab. ii. 4 (comp. Rom. i. 17), to be a curse from which the crucified Christ-himself "a curse" according to the Law (Deut. xxi. 23; probably an argument taken up from controversies with the Jews)-was to redeem the believer. Another sophistic argument against the Law, furnished in Gal. iii. 19-24, and often repeated in the second century (Heb. ii. 2; Acts vii. 38, 53; Aristides, "Apologia," xiv. 4), is that the Law was received by Moses as mediator from the angels-a quaint notion based upon Deut. xxxiii. 2, LXX.; comp. Josephus, "Ant." xv. 5, § 3-and that it is not the law of God, which is a life-giving law of righteousness. Furthermore the laws of the Jews and the idolatrous practises of the heathen are placed equally low as mere servitude of" the weak and beggarly elements" (="planets"; Gal. iv. 8-11), whereas those that have put on Christ by baptism have risen above alldistinctions of race, of class, and of sex, and have become children of God and heirs of Abraham (ib. iii. 26-29; what is meant by the words" There shall be neither male nor female" in verse 28 may be learned from Gal. v. 12, where eunuchism is advised; see B. Weiss's note ad loc.).
The Old Testament and the New.
The Pauline school writing under Paul's name, but scarcely Paul himself, worked out the theory, based upon Jer. xxxi. 30-31, that the Church of Christ represents the new covenant (see Covenant; New Testament) in place of the old (Rom. xi. 27; Gal. iv. 24; Heb. viii. 6-13, ix. 15-x. 17; and, following these passages, I Cor. xi. 23-28). Similarly the interpolator of II Cor. iii. 6-iv. 4, in connection with ib. iii. 3, contrasts the Old Testament with the New: the former by the letter of the Law offering but damnation and death because "the veil of Moses" is upon it, preventing God's glory from being seen; the latter being the life-giving spirit offering righteousness, that is, justification, and the light of the knowledge (gnosis) of the glory of God as reflected in the face of Jesus Christ. It is superfluous to state that this Gnostic conception of the spirit has nothing to do with the sound religious principle often quoted from I Cor. iii. 6: "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." The privilege of seeing God's glory as Moses did face to face through a bright mirror held out in I Cor. xiii. 12 (comp. Suk. 45b; Lev. R. i. 14) to the saints in the future is claimed in II Cor. iii. 18 and iv. 4 as a power in the actual possession of the Christian believer. The highest hope of man is regarded as realized by the writer, who looks forward to the heavenly habitation as a release from the earthly tabernacle (II Cor. v. 1-8).
Spurious Writings Ascribed to Paul.
This unhealthy view of life maintained by Paul and his immediate followers was, however, changed by the Church the moment her organization extended over the world. Some epistles were written in the name of Paul with the view of establishing more friendly relations to society and government than Paul and the early Christians had maintained. While Paul warns his church-members not to bring matters of dispute before "the unjust," by which term he means the Gentiles (I Cor. vi. 1; comp. Jew. Encyc. iv. 590), these very heathen powers of Rome are elsewhere praised as the ministers of God and His avengers of wrong (Rom. xiii. 1-7); and while in I Cor. xi. 5 women are permitted to prophesy and to pray aloud in the church provided they have their heads covered, a later chapter, obviously interpolated, states, "Let your women keep silence in the churches" (ib. xiv. 34). So celibacy (ib. vii. 1-8) is declared to be the preferable state, and marriage is allowed only for the sake of preventing fornication (Eph. v. 21-33), while, on the other hand, elsewhere marriage is enjoined and declared to be a mystery or sacrament symbolizing the relation of the Church as the bride to Christ as the bridegroom (see Bride).
A still greater change in the attitude toward the Law may be noticed in the so-called pastoral epistles. Here the Law is declared to be good as a preventive of wrong-doing (I Tim. i. 8-10), marriage is enjoined, and woman's salvation is declared to consist only in the performance of her maternal duty (ib. ii. 12, 15), while asceticism and celibacy are condemned (ib. iv. 3). So all social relations are regulated in a worldly spirit, and are no longer treated, as in Paul's genuine epistles, in the spirit of otherworldliness (ib. ii.-vi.; II Tim. ii. 4-6; Titus. ii.-iii.; comp. Didascalia).
Whether in collecting alms for the poor of the church on Sundays (I Cor. xvi. 2) Paul instituted a custom or simply followed one of the early Christians is not clear; from the "We" source in Acts xx. 7 it appears, however, that the church-members used to assemble for their communion meal in memory of the risen Christ, the Lord's Supper, on the first day of the week-probably because they held the light created on that day to symbolize the light of the Savior that had risen for them (see the literature in Schürer," Die Siebentägige Woche," in "Zeitschrift für Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft," 1905, pp. 1-2). Little value can be attached to the story in Acts xviii. 18 that Paul brought a Nazarite sacrifice in the Temple, since for him the blood of Christ was the only sacrifice to be recognized. Only at a later time, when Pauline and Judean Christianity were merged, was account again taken, contrary to the Pauline system, of the Mosaic law regarding sacrifice and the priesthood; and so the Epistle to the Hebrews was written with the view of representing Jesus as "the high priest after the order of Melchizedek" who atoned for the sins of the world by his own blood (Heb. iv. 14-v. 10, vii.-xiii.). However, the name of Paul, connected with the epistle by Church tradition, was not attached to it in writing, as was the case with the other epistles.
Paul and Paulinism.
How far, after a careful analysis discriminating between what is genuine in Paul's writings and what is spurious and interpolated, he may yet be regarded as "the great religious genius" or the "great organizer" of the Christian Church, can not be a matter for discussion here. Still the credit belongs to him of having brought the teachings of the monotheistic truth and the ethics of Judaism, however mixed up with heathen Gnosticism and asceticism, home to the pagan world in a form which appealed most forcibly to an age eager for a God in human shape and for some means of atonement in the midst of a general consciousness of sin and moral corruption. Different from Simon Magus, his contemporary, with whom he was at times maliciously identified by his opponents, and in whose Gnostic system sensuousness and profanity predominated, Paul with his austerity made Jewish holiness his watch word; and he aimed after all, like any other Jew, at the establishment of the kingdom of God, to whom also his Christ subordinated himself, delivering up the kingdom to the Father when his task of redemption was complete, in order that God might be all in all (I Cor. xv. 28). He was an instrument in the hand of Divine Providence to win the heathen nations for Israel's God of righteousness.
His System of Faith.
On the other hand, he construed a system of faithwhich was at the very outset most radically in conflict with the spirit of Judaism: (1) He substituted for the natural, childlike faith of man in God as the ever-present Helper in all trouble, such as the Old Testament represents it everywhere, a blind, artificial faith prescribed and imposed from without and which is accounted as a meritorious act. (2) He robbed human life of its healthy impulses, the human soul of its faith in its own regenerating powers, of its belief in its own self and in its inherent tendencies to goodness, by declaring Sin to be, from the days of Adam, the all-conquering power of evil ingrained in the flesh, working everlasting doom; the deadly exhalation of Satan, the prince of this world, from whose grasp only Jesus, the resurrected Christ, the prince of the other world, was able to save man. (3) In endeavoring to liberate man from the yoke of the Law, he was led to substitute for the views and hopes maintained by the apocalyptic writers the Christian dogma with its terrors of damnation and hell for the unbeliever, holding out no hope whatsoever for those who would not accept his Christ as savior, and finding the human race divided between the saved and the lost (Rom. ii. 12; I Cor. i. 18; II Cor. ii. 15, iv. 3; II Thess. ii. 10). (4) In declaring the Law to be the begetter of sin and damnation and in putting grace or faith in its place, he ignored the great truth that duty, the divine "command," alone renders life holy; that upon the law of right-cousness all ethics, individual or social, rest. (5) In condemning, furthermore, all human wisdom, reason, and common sense as "folly," and in appealing only to faith and vision, he opened wide the door to all kinds of mysticism and superstition. (6) Moreover, in place of the love greatly extolled in the panegyric in I Cor. xiii.-a chapter which strangely interrupts the connection between ch. xii. and xiv.-Paul instilled into the Church, by his words of condemnation of the Jews as "vessels of wrath fitted for destruction" (Rom. ix. 22; II Cor. iii. 9, iv. 3), the venom of hatred which rendered the earth unbearable for God's priest-people. Probably Paul is not responsible for these outbursts of fanaticism; but Paulinism is. It finally led to that systematic defamation and profanation of the Old Testament and its God by Marcion and his followers which ended in a Gnosticism so depraved and so shocking as to bring about a reaction in the Church in favor of the Old Testament against the Pauline antinomianism. Protestantism revived Pauline views and notions; and with these a biased opinion of Judaism and its Law took possession of Christian writers, and prevails even to the present (comp., e.g., Weber, "Jüdische Theologie," 1897, where Judaism is presented throughout simply as "Nomismus"; Schürer's description of the life of the Jew "under the law" in his "Gesch." 3d ed., ii. 464-496; Bousset, "Religion des Judenthums in Neu-Testamentlichen Zeitalter," 1903, p. 107; and the more popular works by Harnack and others; and see also Schechter in "J. Q. R." iii. 754-766; Abrahams, "Prof. Schürer on Life Under the Jewish Law," ib. xi. 626; and Schreiner, "Die Jüngsten Urtheile über das Judenthum," 1902, pp. 26-34). For other Pauline doctrines see Atonement; Body in Jewish Theology; Faith; Sin, Original.
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.
Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl. s.v. Paul, where the main literature is given; Eschelbacher, Das Judenthum und das Wesen des Christenthums, Berlin, 1905; Grätz, Gesch. 4th ed., iii. 413-425; Moritz Loewy, Die Paulinische Lehre vom Gesetz, in Monatsschrift, 1903-4; Claude Monteflore, Rabbinic Judaism and the Epistles of Paul, in J. Q. R. xiii. 161.K.
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