The Pauline Writings


"Paul: Later Criticism," in Encyclopaedia Biblica (New York: Macmillan, 4 Vols., 1899-1903), Vol. 4, 3620-3638. The first part of this article, §§ 4-32 (pp. 3603-3620), was written by E. Hatch. Van Manen's contribution, outlining the views of the movement later known as "Dutch Radical Criticism," begins with § 33.

33. Transitional Views

From the first, both in Germany and elsewhere, the Tübingen criticism met with strong opposition as well as with cordial acceptance. The right wing, which protested against it on behalf of tradition, spared (and continues to spare) no effort to recover the invaded territory and to protect it, so far as may be, from further attack. The most powerful champion of this conservative attitude in recent years has been Th. Zahn, author of the Einleitung in das neue Testament (2 vols. 1897-99, 21900).

Those who were not so timid about breaking with traditional views or with opinions that had been judged to be no longer tenable, inclined, nevertheless, especially in recent years, to consider that Baur had gone to the extreme limit of criticism and to think that some retreat, along part of the line at least, from his "extravagances" was necessary. They did not shut their eyes to the great merits of the Tübingen school; but neither would they be blind to their faults and shortcomings which seemed to admit of being summed up in the single word "exaggeration." They called themselves by choice the critical school, and could appropriately enough be described as indeed "moderately" so. Those who have in recent years gone farthest in this reactionary direction (or, let us call it, retrogression) are, in practice, A. Jülicher in his Einleitung, in das NT, 1894, 19012, and, in theory, A. Harnack in the "Preface" (which is not to be confounded with the contents which follow) to his Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur (= ACL 2.1, 1897).

34. A New School

Later criticism, that may fairly enough be called "advanced," in the sense that its conclusions differ more than those of others from traditional opinion, starts from the same principles as the "critical school," though its opponents prefer such expressions for it as "scepticism," the "radical" or the "Dutch school," "hypercriticism," "uncriticism," or (as Jülicher has it recently) "pseudo-criticism." The way for it was prepared, not to speak of Evanson (1792), by Bruno Bauer, A. Pierson, S.A. Naber, and others.1

The Pauline question, however, was first brought forward in a strictly scientific form by A.D. Loman of Amsterdam in his Quaestiones Paulinae, published in Th.T in 1882, 1883, 1886. This broadly-based study, however, in the beginning still intimately connected with the writer's much discussed hypothesis of the symbolical character of the Gospel history and the person of Jesus, Loman did not live to complete. The portions published by him were the "Prolegomena" to a book on the principal epistles of Paul, in which the necessity for a revision of the foundations of our knowledge of the original Paulinism and the expediency, for this purpose, of starting from the Epistle to the Galatians are fully set forth (1882: 141-185; cf. 593-616); a first chapter in which the external evidence for and against the genuineness of that Epistle is exhaustively discussed (1882: 302-328, 452-487; 1883: 14-57; 1886: 42-55), and a second chapter in which the same question is considered in the light of the Canon (1886: 55-113; cf. 319-349, 387-406). At a later date an unfinished study, De Brief an de Galatiers, was posthumously added to these as Loman's Nalatenschap (1899). Meanwhile, various scholars — J.C. Matthes, J. van Loon, H.U. Meyboom, J.A. Bruins — had signified their agreement with him wholly or partially, and he was followed in the path of advancing criticism he had opened up, as regards the question of the sources of our knowledge of Paul, his life and his work, though without for a moment committing themselves to Loman's hypothesis respecting the gospel history, by Rudolf Steck of Bern, D.E.J. Volter of Amsterdam, and W.C. van Manen of Leyden.

Steck's well-written book Der Galaterbrief nach seiner Echtheit untersucht, nebst kritischen Bemerkungen aus den paulinischen Hauptbriefe was published in 1888; Völter's "Ein Votum zur Frage nach der Echtheit, Integrität u. Composition der vier palulinischen Hauptbriefe" was published in Th.T in 1889 (pp. 265-325), but still remains unfinished in its revised form Die Komposition der paulinischen Hauptbriefe: I. Der Römer u. Galaterbrief (1880). Van Manen, hesitatingly in 1886-87, but decidedly in 1888 as a contributer to Th.T and other periodicals, and subsequently in connection with his academical work, has participated largely in the present discussions.2

35. The New School's Relation to "Redaction" and "Interpolation" Hypotheses

The same critical principles of the "later criticism" — recently adopted also by Prof. W.B. Smith of Tulane University, New Orleans — have likewise been in some measure followed, however unconsciously in the main, by all those who at one time or another have sought, by postulating redactions, interpolations, and additions, to escape from the difficulties in the way of accepting the Pauline authorship of one or more of the principal epistles.

It will suffice to mention (i) with regard to all the four epistles: the view of J.H.A. Michelsen (ZTh.T, 1873: 421) that in these we have the original epistles of Paul published after his death with elucidations and notes; also conjectures by Straatman, Baljon (1884) and Sulze (Prot. Kirch. Ztg., 1888, 978-85).

(ii) So far as Romans is concerned, we have the conjecture of Semler, Baur, and others, that chaps. 15 and 16, wholly or in part, do not belong to the fourteen preceding chapters, and, according to many, are not from the hand of Paul; that of C.H. Weisse, that chaps. 9-11, of Straatman, that chaps. 12-14, do not belong to the original epistle; of Laurent (1866), that the epistle at a later date was furnished with a number of marginal glosses; of Renan, that it was issued by Paul in more than one form (e.g., 1-11+15:1-14 + part of 16); of Michelsen (Zh.T 1, 1886-7) that we have to distinguish five or six editions in the original text; of E. Spitta (1893) that it is a combination of two letters written by Paul at different times to the Christians of Rome, one before and one after his visit to that city.

(iii) With respect to 1 and 2 Corinthians, we have the conjecture of Semler (1776), E.J. Greve (1794), Weber (1798), C.H. Weisse (1855), Hausrath (1870), Michelsen (1873), Baljon (1884), 0. Pfleiderer (1887), W. Bruckner (1890), M. Krenkel (1890), P.W. Schmiedel (1892), J. Cramer (1893), A. Halmel (1894), J. Weiss (1894), H.J. Holtzmann (1894), H. Lisco (1896) that 2 Cor is made up of two or more pieces which originally did not belong to one another; of Lipsius (1873), Hagge (1876), Spitta (1893), Clemen (1894) that the same holds true of 1 Cor; and of Straatman (1863-5) and I.A. Bruins (1892) that both epistles contain a vast number of interpolations.

(iv) As regards Galatians, the same opinion has been held by Weisse, Sulze, Baljon (1889) and Cramer (1890) —the last two in their commentaries.

36. The Proposed Task of the New School

Yet, however obvious in all this be the unconscious preparation for and transition to the criticism spoken of in § 34, this last does not occupy itself with such conjectures as those just suggested, unless perhaps in special cases, and never with the definite object of escaping by such means from difficulties touching what is called the genuineness of the Epistles. It is ready to submit all such hypotheses to a candid examination, but does not value expedients whereby objections can be silenced temporarily. It does not start from the belief that the non plus ultra of critical emancipation has been realised by the Tübingen school; but neither does it think that that school went too far. For it, there is nothing a priori "too far" in this field; and it believes that criticism is ever in duty bound to criticise its own work and to repair its defects. It recognises no theoretical limit whatsoever that can reasonably be fixed. It ranks the critical labours of Baur and his school, notwithstanding all shortcomings and defects, far above those of older and less critically moulded scholars. It wishes nothing better than, mutatis mutandis, to continue the research pursued by the Tübingen school, and, standing on the shoulders of Baur and others, and thus presumably with the prospect of seeing clearer and farther, to advance another stage, as long a stage as possible, towards a real knowledge of Christian antiquity.

That is not to be atttained, in the judgment of this school of critics, by a simple return to the old views, by accepting the opinions of those scholars who busied themselves with researches of this kind before Baur (in the first decades of the 19th century or in the last of the 18th), nor yet by adopting the traditional conceptions current at a still earlier period, whether amongst candid Protestants or thinking Roman Catholics. No error committed by a younger generation can ever make to be true anything in the opinions of an older generation which has once been discovered to have been false.

Still less does the criticism with which we are now dealing cherish hopes from any mediating policy of "give and take." It has found that it does not avail, in estimating the Tübingen theory, in one point or another, to plead "extenuating circumstances" in favour of tradition whether churchly or scientific, and to offer here or there an amendment on the sketch drawn by Baur (or others after him) of the state of schools and parties in Old Christianity, or to extend the number of the "indisputably genuine" epistles of Paul from four to six or seven (the "principal epistles" + Philippians, Philemon and 1 Thess), eight (+ 2 Thess or Col), nine (+ both 2 Thess and Col), ten (+ Eph), if not even augmented by genuine Pauline fragments in the Pastoral Epistles.

The defects of "tendency criticism" passed upon the NT writings and other documents of early Christianity which have come down to us, whether the criticism in which Baur led the way or that of others like Volkmar, Holsten, S. Davidson, Hatch (who followed Baur, while introducing into his criticism corrections more or less far-reaching), demand a more drastic course. It is needful to break not only with the dogma of the "principal epistles" in the order suggested by Baur and afterwards accepted by Hatch — Gal, 1 and 2 Cor, Rom — but also with the dogma of there being four epistles of Paul in any order with regard to the genuineness of which no question ought to be entertained. It was a great defect in the criticism of the Tübingen school that it set out from this assumption without thinking of justifying it. It can be urged in excuse that at the time no one doubted its justice; Evanson was forgotten and Bruno Bauer had not yet arisen; but none the less the defect cannot be regarded as other than serious. It has wrought much mischief and must be held responsible for the song of triumph now being prematurely uttered even by those whose opposition to criticism is by no means trenchant, the burden of which is, "Tübingen itself has alleged nothing against these epistles."

The latest school of advanced criticism has learned not to rejoice over this but to regret an unfinished piece of work that ought to have been taken in hand long ago and demands to be taken up now. It regrets that Baur and his followers should not have stopped to consider the origin of the "principal epistles." It holds that criticism should investigate not only those books which have been doubted for a longer or shorter period, but also even those that hitherto—it may even be, by every one—have been held to be beyond all doubt, whether they be canonical or uncanonical, sacred or profane. Criticism is not at liberty to set out from the genuineness—or the spuriousness—of any writing that is to be used as evidence in historical research as long as the necessary light has not been thrown upon it, and least of all may it do so after some or many writings of the same class have already been actually found to be pseudepigrapha.

It was and is in the highest degree a one-sided and arbitrary proceeding to go with Baur upon the assumption of the genuineness of the "principal epistles" as fully established, and in accordance with this to assume that Acts must take a subordinate place in comparison with them. It is not a priori established that Paul cannot be mistaken, at least as long as we do not know with certainty whether he and the writer of the epistles that have come down to us under his name are one and the same. The investigation of Acts must be carried on independentIy of that of the Epistles, just as that of the Epistles must be independent of that of Acts. This rule must be applied in the case of every epistle separately, as well as in connection with the other epistles which we have learned to recognise as belonging to the same group. The four "principal epistles" are not a fixed datum by which Acts and other Pauline writings can be tested unless one is previously able to prove their genuineness. This point has not been taken into account by the Tübingen school — greatly to their loss. As soon as it is observed, it becomes the task of criticism to subject to a strict examination the principal epistles one by one, from this point of view.

What, then, is the criterion which may be employed in this investigation? None of the so-called external evidences. These do not avail here, however valuable may be what they have to tell us often as to the opinion of antiquity concerning these writings. So much Baur and his followers had already long ago learned to recognise. The "critical school" had confessed it, even by the mouth of those among its adherents who had found themselves nearest to the thorough-going defenders of tradition. Where then must the determining consideration be looked for? In the direction where in such circumstances it is always wont to be found: in the so-called "internal" evidence. It is internal criticism that must speak the last, the so far as possible conclusive, word.

The demand seemed to many too hard, with regard to the "principal epistles." The Tübingen school and the "critical" school alike shrank from making it. The "progressive" criticism, which had meanwhile come into being, submitted to the inevitable. It addressed itself to the task imposed. To the question, "With what result?" the answer, unfortunately, cannot be said to be wholly unanimous. True, this is a disadvantage under which the opposing party labours no less than the other. There is no criticism in the judgments of which no trace can be found of what can be called a subjective side.

37. The New School's View of Acts

Viewed broadly, and with divergences in points of detail left out of account, what the recent criticism now described has to say regarding Acts is in substance as follows. The book professes to be a sequel to the third canonical gospel, designed in common with it to inform a certain Theophilus otherwise unknown to us, or in his person any recent convert to Christianity, more precisely with regard to the things in which he has been instructed (Acts 1:1-5; cf. Lk 1:1-4, 24:36-53). We find in it, in accordance with this, a by no means complete, yet at the same time (at least, in some measure) an orderly and continuous sketch of the fortunes of the disciples of Jesus after his resurrection and ascension; of their appearances in Jerusalem and elsewhere; and in particular, of the life and work of Peter, in the first part (Acts 1-12), and more fully and amply of the life and work of Paul, in the second part (13-28).

Even leaving aside any comparison with the Pauline epistles, we cannot regard the contents of Acts, viewed as a whole, and on their own merits, as a true and credible first-hand narrative of what had actually occurred, nor yet as the ripe fruit of earnest historical research — not even where, in favourable circumstances, the author might occasionally have been in a condition to give this. The book bears in part a legendary historical, in part an edifying and apologetical character. The writer's intention is to instruct Theophilus concerning the old Christian past, as that presented itself to his own mind after repeated examination, to increase the regard and affection of his readers for Christianity, and at the same time to show forth how from the first, although hated by the Jews, this religion met with encouragement on the part of the Romans. Of a "tendency" in the strict sense of the word, as understood by the Tübingen school, there is nothing to be seen. The book does not aim at the reconciliation of conflicting parties, Petrinists and Paulinists, nor yet at the exaltation of Paul or at casting his Jewish adversaries into the shade, or at placing him on a level with Peter.

Of the substantial unity of the work there can be no question. We have not here any loose aggregation of fragments derived from various sources. Still less, however, can we fail to recognise that older authorities have been used in its composition. Amongst these are prominent two books which we may appropriately call "Acts of Paul," and "Acts of Peter." From the first is derived in the main what we now read in 1:23 (D), 4:36-37, 6:1-15, 7:51-8:3, 9:1-30, 11:19-30, and chaps. 13-28; from the second, more particularly, much of chaps. 1-12. The Acts of Paul, the first and older of the two books, included mainly a sketch of the life and work of Paul, according to the ideas of those Christians who placed him high, and who, as compared with others, deserve to be called progressive. With this was worked in — but not incorporated without change (useless the corrections which can still be traced are to be laid to the account of the author of Acts) — a journey narrative, very possibly the work of Luke the companion of Paul. See 11:27 (D), 16:10-17, 20:5-15, 21:1-18, 27:1-28:16. The Acts of Peter, written in view of the Acts of Paul just described, was an attempt to allow more justice to be done to tradition and more light to be thrown upon Peter.

Perhaps the author of the entire work, as we now know it, in addition to oral tradition, had still other means of information at his disposal (such as Flavius Josephus) and borrowed here and there a detail, but certainly not much, from the Pauline epistles. Alternately free and fettered in relation to his authorities, the author sometimes used their language, yet, as a rule, employed his own. He followed in their footsteps for the most part, yet frequently went his own way, transposing and correcting, supplementing and abridging what he had found in others. To ascertain the details of the process in every case is no longer possible. On the chief points, a fuller discussion will be found in W.C. van Manen, Paulus: I. De Handelingen der Apostelen, 1890.

The spirit in which Luke set about his work is that of budding Catholicism, which has room alike for "Paul" and for "Peter," and does not shrink from bringing to the notice of the faithful a writing — the Acts of Paul just referred to — devoted to the commemoration and glorification of the "apostle of the heretics," as Tertullian still called him, albeit clothed in a new dress whereby at the same time reverent homage is rendered to the tradition of the ancients.

Luke's true name remains unknown. His home was probably in Rome; but perhaps it may have been somewhere in Asia Minor. He flourished about the second quarter of the second century. There is no necessity for doubting the correctness of the representation that he is one and the same with the author of the third Gospel.

In the days when the contents of sacred books were held exempt from criticism, the historical value of Acts was much overrated; more receently under the influence of Tübingen criticism it has been unduly depreciated. It is entitled to recognition in so far as it is a rich source of information as to how the Christianity of the first 30 or 35 years after the crucifixion was spoken about, estimated, and taught in influential circles in the years c. 130-150 A.D. It is entitled to recognition also, in so far as we are still in a position to trace, in what has been taken over with or without alteration from older works, how it was that men of that period thought about implied, or expressly mentioned, persons, things, and relations. In estimating the value of details, it is incumbent on us, so far as possible, to distinguish between the original historical datum, the valuable substance of a trustworthy tradition, and the one-fold, two-fold, threefold, or it may be manifold clothing with which this has been invested by later views and opinions, and in too many cases, unfortunately, concealed by them, in such a manner that it is not always possible, even for the keenest eye, to discriminate as could be wished between truth and fiction.

38. The Pauline Epistles

With respect to the canonical Pauline epistles, the later criticism here under consideration has learned to recognise that there are none of them by Paul: neither fourteen, nor thirteen, nor nine or ten, nor seven or eight, nor yet even the four so long universally regarded as unassailable. They are all, without distinction, pseudepigrapha (this, of course, not implying the least depreciation of their contents). The history of criticism, the breaking up of the group which began as early as 1520, already pointed in this direction. No distinction can any longer be allowed between "principal epistles" and minor or deutero-Pauline ones. The separation is purely arbitrary, with no foundation in the nature of the things here dealt with. The group — not to speak of Hebrews at present — when compared with the Johannine epistles, with those of James, Jude, Ignatius, Clement, with the gospel of Matthew, or the martyrdom of Polycarp, bears obvious marks of a certain unity — of having originated in one circle, at one time, in one environment; but not of unity of authorship, even if a term of years — were it even ten or twenty — be allowed.

It is impossible, on any reasonable principle, to separate one or more pieces from the rest. One could immediately with equal right pronounce an opposite judgment and condemn Romans or Corinthians, compared with the rest, as under suspicion. Every partition is arbitrary. However one may divide them, there will always remain (within the limits of each group, and on a comparison of the contents of any two or three assumed classes), apart from corrections of subordinate importance, clearly visible traces of agreement and of divergence —even on a careful examination of the famous four: Rom, 1 and 2 Cor, Gal. There is no less distinction in language, style, religious or ethical contents between 1 and 2 Cor on the one hand, and Rom and Gal on the other, than there is between Rom and Phil, Col and Phlm. On the contrary, in the last two cases the agreement is undeniably greater.

Tradition does not assert the Pauline origin of the "principal epistles" more loudly than it does that of the pastoral or of the "minor" epistles. External evidences plead at least as strongly, or, to speak more accurately, just as weakly, for the latter as for the former. The internal (evidences) point just as strongly in the case of Rom, 1 and 2 Cor, and Gal, as they do elsewhere to the one conclusion that they are not the work of Paul. This deliverance rests mainly on the following considerations, each of them a conclusion resulting from independent yet intimately connected researches.

39. The Form of the Writings

The "principal epistles," like all the rest of the group, present themselves to us as epistles; but this is not their real character in the ordinary and literary meaning of the word. They are not letters originally intended for definite persons, despatched to these, and afterwards by publication made the common property of all. On the contrary, they were, from the first, books: treatises for instruction, and especially for edification, written in the form of letters in a tone of authority as from the pen of Paul and other men of note who belonged to his entourage — 1 Cor by Paul and Sosthenes, 1 and 2 Cor by Paul and Timothy, Gal (at least in the exordium) by Paul and all the brethren who were with him; so also Phil, Col and Philem, by Paul and Timothy, 1 and 2 Thess by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. The object is to make it appear as if these persons were still living at the time of composition of the writings, though in point of fact, they belonged to an earlier generation. Their "epistles" accordingly, even in the circle of their first readers, gave themselves out as voices from the past. They were from the outset intended to exert an influence in as wide a circle as possible; more particularly, to be read aloud at the religious meetings for the edification of the church, or to serve as a standard for doctrine and morals.

Hence it comes that, among other consequences, we never come upon any trace in tradition of the impression which the supposed letters of Paul may have made — though, of course, each of them must, if genuine, have produced its own impression upon the Christians at Rome, at Corinth, in Galatia; and the same can be said of all the other canonical epistles of Paul. Hence, also, the surprising and otherwise unaccountable features in the addresses of the epistles: "to all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints" (Rom 1:7); "to the church of God which is at Corinth, them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in all places, theirs and ours" (1 Cor 1:2); "to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints in the whole of Achaia" (2 Cor 1:1); "to the churches of Galatia" (Gal 1:2). The artificial character of the epistolary form comes further to light with special clearness when we direct our attention to the composition of the writings. In such manner real letters are never written.

(i) In a very special degree does this hold true no doubt of 2 Corinthians. Many scholars, belonging in other respects to very different schools, have been convinced for more than a century and have sought to persuade others that this epistle was not written at one gush or even at intervals; that it consists of an aggregation of fragments which had not originally the same destination.

(ii) 1 Corinthians allows us to see no less clearly that there underlie the finished epistle as known to us several greater or smaller treatises, having such subjects as the following: parties and divisions in the church (1:10-3:23), the authority of the apostles (4), unchasity (5-6), married and unmarried life (7), the eating of that which his been offered to idols (8:1-11:2), the veiling of women (11:2-15), love feasts (11:17-34), spiritual gifts (12-14), the resurrection (15), a collection for the saints (16:1-4) — other passages being introduced relating to the superiority of the preaching of the cross above the wisdom of this world (1:18-31), the spirit in which Paul had laboured (2:1-16), circumcised and uncircumcised, bond and free (7:18-24), the apostolic service (9), Christian love (13).

(iii) With regard to Romans, it is even more obvious that the author accomplished his task with the help of writings, perhaps older "epistles," treatises, sayings handed down, whether orally or in writing — although we must admit, as in the case of so many other books, both older and more recent, that we are not in a position to indicate with any detail what has been borrowed from this source and what from that, or what has been derived from no previous source whatever, and is the exclusive property of the author, editor, or adapter.

(iv) With Galatians the case is in some respects different, and various reasons lead us, so far as the canonical text is concerned, to think of a catholic adaption of a letter previously read in the circle of the Marcionites, although we are no longer in a position to restore the older form. We have in view the employment of such words as Peter (Petrus) alongside of Cephas (Kêfas), of the two forms of the name of Jerusalem (Ierosoluma alongside of Ierousalêm), the presence of discrepant views (as in 3:7, 29 and 3:16) of Abraham's seed; the zeal against circumcision in 5:2-4, 6:12-13 alongside of the frank recognition that it is of no significance (5:6, 6:15) — the cases in which the ancients charged Marcion with having falsified the text, though the textual criticism of modern times has found it necessary to invert the accusation.

There are to be detected, accordingly, in the composition of the "principal epistles" phenomena which, whatever be the exact explanation arrived at in each case, all point at least to a peculiarity in the manner of origin of these writings which one is not accustomed to find, and which indeed is hardly conceivable, in ordinary letters.

40. The Contents: Paulinism

The contents of the epistles, no less than the results of an attentive consideration of their form, lead to the conclusion that the "principal epistles" cannot be the work of the apostle Paul.

(i) Is it likely that Paul, a man of authority and recognised as such at the time, would have written to the Christians at Rome — men who were personally unknown to him — what, on the assumption of the genuineness of the epistle, we must infer he did write? That he would have taken so exalted a tone, whilst at the same time forcing himself to all kinds of shifts in writing to his spiritual children at Corinth and in Galatia? One cannot form to oneself any intelligible conception of his attitude either to the one or to the other; nor yet of mutual relations of the parties and schools which we must conceive to have been present and to some extent in violent conflict with one another if Paul really thought and said about them what we find in the "principal epistles."

(ii) Even if we set all this aside, however, the doctrinal and religious-ethical contents betoken a development in Christian life and thought of such magnitude and depth as Paul could not possibly have reached within a few years after the crucifixion. so large an experience, so great a widening of the field of vision, so high a degree of spiritual power as would have been required for this it is impossible to attribute to him within so limited a time.

It does not avail as a way of escape from this difficulty to assume, as some do, a slow development in the case of Paul whereby it becomes conceivable that when he wrote the "principal epistles" he had reached a height which he had not yet attained fourteen or twenty years previously. There is no evidence of any such slow development as is thus assumed. It exists only in the imagination of exegetes who perceive the necessity of some expedient to remove difficulties that are felt though not acknowledged. Moreover, the texts speak too plainly in a diametrically opposite sense. It is only necessary to read the narrative of Paul's conversion as given by himself according to Gal 1:0-16 in order to see this. The bigoted zealot for the law who persecuted the infant church to the death did not first of all attach himself to those who professed the new religion in order to become by little and little a reformer of their ideas and intuitions. On the contrary, on the very instant that he had suddenly been brought to a breach with his Jewish past, he publicly and at once came forward with all that was specially great and new in his preaching. The gospel he preached was one which he had received directly. It was not the glad tidings of the Messiah, the long expected One, who was to come to bless his people Israel; it was the preachng of a new divine revelation, and this not communicated to him through or by man, but immediately from above, from God himself, God's Son revealed in him. With this revelation was at the same time given to him the clear insight and the call to go forth as a preacher to the Gentiles.

(iii) Underlying the principal epistles there is, amongst other things, a definite spiritual tendency, an inherited type of doctrine (Rom 6:17) — let us say the older Paulinism — with which the supposed readers had long been familiar. They are wont to follow it, now in childlike simplicity, now with eager enthusiasm, or to assail it, not seldom obstinately, with all sorts of weapons and from various sides. Some have already got beyond this and look upon Paulinism more is if it were a past stage, a surmounted point of view. One might designate them technically as Hyperpaulinists. They are met with especially amongst Paul's opponents at Corinth according to 1 and 2 Cor. Others remain in the rear or have returned to the old the Jewish or Jewish-Christian view which had preceded Paulinism. They are the Judaisers against whom above all others the Galatians are warned and armed. Both are groups which one can hardly imagine to oneself as subsisting, at least in the strength here supposed, during the lifetime of Paul. Plainly Paul is not a contemporary, but a figure of the past. He is the object or, if you will, the central point of all their zeal and all their efforts.

(iv) Paulinism itself, as it is held up and defended in the "principal epistles," apart from diversities in the elaboration of details by the various writers, is nothing more or less than the fruit of a thorough-going reformation of the older form of Christianity. Before it could be reached the original expectations of the first disciples of Jesus had to be wholly or partly given up. The conception of Jesus as the Messiah in the old Jewish meaning of the word had to give place to more spiritual conception of the Christ the Son of God; the old divine revelation given in the sacred writings of Israel had to make way for the newer revelation vouchsafed immediately by God, in dreams and visions., by day and by night, and through the mediation, if mediation it can be called, of the Holy Ghost; the law had to yield to the gospel. For these things time — no little time — was needed, even in days of high spiritual tension such as must have been those in which the first Christians lived and in which many are so ready to take refuge in order to be able to think it possible that the "principal epistles," with their highly varied contents could have been written so soon after the death of Jesus as the theory of Pauline authorship compels us to assume.

(v) Writers and readers, as we infer front the contents, live in the midst of problems which — most of them at all events — when carefully considered are seen not to belong to the first twenty or thirty years after the death of Jesus. We refer to questions as to the proper relation between law and gospel, justification by faith or by works, election and reprobation, Christ according to the flesh and Christ according to the Spirit, this Jesus or another, the value of circumcision, the use of clean or unclean things, sacrificial flesh, common flesh and other ordinary foods and drinks, the Sabbath and other holy days, revelations and visions, the married and the unmarried condition, the authority of the apostles, the marks of true apostleship and a multitude of others.

We must not be taken in by superficial appearances. Though Paul is represented as speaking, in reality he himself and his fellow apostles alike are no longer alive. Everywhere there is a retrospective tone. It is always possible to look back upon them and upon the work they achieved.

Paul has planted, another has watered (1 Cor 3:6). He as a wise master-builder has laid the foundation; another has built thereupon (3:10). He himself is not to come again (4:18). He and his fellow-apostles have already "been made a spectacle unto the world, both to angels and to men;" God has "set them forth as men doomed to death, lowest and last" — i.e., given them the appearance of being persons of the lowest sort (4:9). Their fight has been fought, their sufferings endured. It is already possible to judge as to the share of each in the great work. Paul, to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection "last of all," "the least of the apostles," has "labored more abundantly than they all" (15:8-10); he has run his course in the appointed way (9:26f), a follower of Christ, even as others may be followers of himself (11:1), whose walk in the world can readily stand comparison with that of others, even the most highly placed in Christian circles (2 Cor 1:12, 11:5, 12:11), who has been ever victorious, whom God has always led in triumph, making manifest the savour of his knowledge by him in every place; "unto God a sweet savour of Christ," by his coming forward testifying, as in the sight of God, of the sacrifice made by Christ in his death; sufficient for all things (2:14-16); a pattern of long-suffering, patience, and perseverance, who had more to endure than any other man (4:8-10, 6:4-5, 7:5, 11:23-27), an ideal form whose sufferings have accrued to the benefit of others and been a source of comfort to many (4:10-11, 1:4-7).

(vi) A special kind of Christian gnosis, a wisdom that far transcends the simplicity of the first disciples and their absorption with Messianic expectations, haunts and occupies many of the more highly-developed minds (1 Cor 1:17-31, 2:6, 16, and elsewhere). In Rom 9-11 the rejection of Israel is spoken of in a manner that cannot be thought to have been possible before the fall of the Jewish state in 70 A.D. The church is already conceived of as exposed to bloody persecutions, whereas, during Paul's lifetime, so far as is known to us, no such had as yet arisen (Rom 5:3-5, 8:17-39, 12:12, 14; 2 Cor 1:3-7); she has undoubtedly been in existence for more than a few years merely, as is usually assumed, and indeed requires to be assumed, on the assumption of the genuineness of the epistles.

The church has already, from being in a state of spiritual poverty, come to be rich (1 Cor 1:5). Originally in no position to sound the depths, consisting of a company of but little developed persons, the majority of its members, though still in a certain sense "carnal," are able to follow profound discussions on questions so difficult as those of speaking with tongues, prophecy, or the resurrection (1 Cor 12-15). There are already "perfect" ones who can be spoken to about the matters of the higher wisdom; spiritual ones who can digest strong nourishment; understanding ones who have knowledge (2:6-16, 3:1-3, 10:15). The church is in possession of their traditions (11:23, 15:3): epistles of Paul which presented a picture of him different from the current tradition received from those he had associated with him (2 Cor 1:13, 10:10). There is an ordered church life to the followng of which the members are held bound. There are fixed and definite customs and usages — such as regular collections of charitable gifts (2 Cor 9:13) or the setting apart, when required, of persons whose names were in good repute, and who had been chosen, by the laying on of hands (8:18f).

In a word, the church has existed not for a few years merely. The historical background of the epistles, even of the principal epistles, is a later age. The Christianity therein professed, presupposed, and avowed, in a number of its details does not admit of being explained by reference to the period preceding the date of Paul's captivity or even that of his death in 64 A.D. Everything points to later days — at least the close of the first or the beginning of the second century.3

41. Paul's Life and Work: Negative Results

To the question as to the bearing of the conclusions of criticism upon our knowledge of the life and activity of Paul the answer must frankly be that in the first instance the result is of a purely negative character. In truth, this is common to all the results of criticism when seriously applied. Criticism must always begin by pulling down everything that has no solid or enduring foundation.

Thus all the representations formerly current — alike in Roman Catholic and Protestant circles — particularly during the nineteenth century — regarding the life and work of Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ, of the Lord, of the Gentiles, must be set aside, in so far as they rest upon the illusory belief that we can implicitly rely on what we read in Acts and the 13 (14) epistles of Paul, or in the epistles alone whether in their entirety or in a restricted group of them. These representations are very many and — let it be added in passing — very various and discrepant in character: far from showing any resemblance to one another, they exhibit the most inconsistent proportions and features. But, however different they were, they all of them have disappeared; they rested upon a foundation not of solid rock, but of shifting sand.

So, too, with all those surveys of Paulinism, the "ideas," the "theology," the "system" of Paul, set forth in accordance with the voice of tradition, as derived from a careful study of the contents of Acts and the epistles, whether taken in their entirety or curtailed or limited to the "principal epistles" alone. Irrevocably passed away, never more to be employed for their original purpose, are such sketches, whether on a large or on a smaller scale, whether large or narrow in their scope, sketches among which are many highly important studies, especially within the last fifty years. Henceforward, they possess only a historical interest as examples of the scientific work of an older school. They do not and could not give any faithful image or just account of the life and teaching of Paul, the right foundation being wanting.

This, however, does not mean, as some would have us believe, that the later criticism has driven history from the lists, banished Paul from the world of realities, and robbed us even of the scanty light which a somewhat older criticism had allowed us, to drive away the darkness as to the past of early Christianity. These are impossibilities. No serious critic has ever attempted them or sought to obscure any light that really shone. The question was and is simply this: what is it that can be truly called history? Where does the light shine? To see that one has been mistaken in one's manner of apprehending the past is not a loss but a gain. It is always better, safer, and more profitable, to know that one does not know, than to go on building on a basis that is imaginary.

42. Positive Results: Foundations

The results of criticism, even of the most relentless criticism, thus appear to be after all not purely negative. Though at first sight they may, and indeed must, seem to be negative, they are not less positive in contents and tendency. The ultimate task of criticism is to build up, to diffuse light, to being to men's knowledge the things that have really happened. As regards Paul's life and work, now that the foundations have been changed, it teaches us in many respects to judge in another sense than we have been accustomed to do. Far from banishing his personality beyond the pale of history, criticism seeks to place him and his labours in the juster light of a better knowledge. For this it is unable any longer in all simplicity to hold by the canonical Acts and epistles, or even to the epistles solely, or yet to a selection of them. The conclusion it has to reckon with is this: (a) That we possess no epistles of Paul; that the writings which bear his name are pseudepigrapha containing seemingly historical data from the life and labours of the apostle, which nevertheless must not be accepted as correct without closer examination, and are probably, at least for the most part, borrowed from Acts of Paul which also underlie our canonical book of Acts (supra § 37). (b) Still less does the Acts of the Apostles give us, however incompletely, an absolutly historical narrative of Paul's career; what it gives is a variety of narratives concerning him, differing in their dates and also in respect of the influences under which they were written. Historical criticism must, as far lies in its power, learn to estimate the value of what has come down to us through both channels, Acts and the epistles, to compare them, to arrange them and bring them into consistent and orderly connection. On these conditions and with the help of these materials, the attempt may be made to frame some living conception of the life and work of the apostle, and of the manner in which the figure of the apostle was repeatedly recast in forms which superceded one another in rapid succession.

Towards this important work little more than first essays have hitherto been made. The harvest promises to be plentiful; but the labourers are too few. We must, for the time being, content ourselves with indicating briefly what seem to be the main conclusions.

43. The Historical Paul

Paul was the somewhat younger contemporary of Peter and other disciples of Jesus, and probably a Jew by birth, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia. At first his attitude towards the disciples was one of hostility. Later, originally a tentmaker by calling, he cast in his lot with the followers of Jesus, and, in the service of the higher truth revealed through them, spent the remainder of a life of vicissitude as a wandering preacher. In the course of his travels he visited various lands: Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy. Tradition adds to the list a journey to Spain, then back to the East again, and once more westwards till at last his career ended in martyrdom in Rome. With regard to his journeys, we can in strictness speak with reasonable certainty and with some detail only of one great journey which he undertook towards the end of his life: from Troas to Philippi, back to Troas, Assos, Mitylene, Samos, Miletus, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, Caesarea, Jerusalem, back to Caesarea, Sidon, Myra, Fair Havens, Melita, Syracuse, Rhegium, Puteoli, Rome (Acts 17:10-17, 20:5-15, 21:1-18, 27:1-28:16).

Perhaps at an earlier date he had been one of the first who, along with others of Cyprus and Cyrene, proclaimed to Jews and Gentiles outside of Palestine the principles and the hopes of the disciples of Jesus (Acts 11:19f). Possibly, indeed probably, we may infer further details of the same sort from what Luke and the authors of the epistles have borrowed from the "Acts of Paul," as to the places visited by Paul, and the measure of his success in each; in which of them he met with opposition, in which with indifference; what particular discouragements and adventures he encountered; such facts as that he seldom or never came into contact with the disciples in Palestine; that even after years had passed he was still practically a stranger to the brethren dwelling in Jerusalem; that on a visit there he but narrowly escaped suffering the penalty of death on a charge of contempt for the temple, which would show in how bad odour he had long been with many.

As regards all these details, however, we have no certain knowledge. The Acts of Paul, so far as known to us, already contained both truth and fiction. In no case did it claim to give in any sense a complete account of the doings and sufferings of the apostle in the years of his preaching activity. The principal source which underlies it, the journey narrative, the so-called "We-source," is exceedingly scanty in its information. It says not much more, apart from what has been already indicated about the great Troas-Philippi-Troas-Rome journey, than that Paul, sometimes alone, sometimes in company with others, visited many regions, and preached in all of them for at least some days, in some cases for a longer period.

It does not appear that Paul's ideas differed widely from those of the other "disciples," or that he had emancipated himself from Judaism or had outgrown the law more than they. Rather do one or two expressions of the writer of the journey narrative tend to justify the supposition that, in his circle, there was as yet no idea of any breach with Judaism. At any rate, the writer gives his dates by the Jewish calendar and speaks of "the days of unleavened bread" (Acts 20:6), i.e., after the passover, and of "the fast" (27:9), i.e., the great day of atonement in the end of September. He is a "disciple" among the "disciples." What he preaches is substantially nothing else than what their mind and heart are full of, "the things concerning Jesus" (ta peri tou Iësou).

It may be that Paul's journeyings, his protracted sojourn outside of Palestine, his intercourse in foreign parts with converted Jews and former heathen, may have emancipated him (as it did so many other Jews of the dispersion), without his knowing it, more or less —perhaps in essence completely — from circumcision and other Jewish religious duties, customs, and rites. But even so he had not broken with these. He had, like all the other disciples, remained in his own consciousness a Jew, a faithful attender of temple or synagogue, only in this one thing distinguished from the children of Abraham, that he held and preached "the things concerning Jesus," and in connection with this devoted himself specially to a strict life and the promotion of mutual love. What afterwards became "Paulinism," "the theology of Paul," was not yet. Still less does it ever transpire that Paul was a writer of epistles of any importance; least of all, of epistles so extensive and weighty as those now met with in the Canon. So also there is no word, nor any trace, of any essential difference as regards faith and life between him and other disciples. He is and remains their spiritual kinsman; their "brother," although moving in freedom and living for the most part in another circle.4

44. The Legendary Paul

It is true that the picture of Paul drawn by later times differs utterly in more or fewer of its details from the original. Legend has made itself master of his person. The simple truth has been mixed up with invention; Paul has become the hero of an admiring band of the more highly developed Christians; the centre, at the same time, of a great movement in the line of the development of the faith and expectations of the first disciples; the father of Paulinism — that system which at first wholly unnoticed by the majority, or treated with scorn and contempt, soon met with general appreciation, and finally found world-wide fame, however at all times imperfectly understood

It is difficult, or almost impossible, to indicate with distinctness how far Paul himself, by his personal influence and testimony, gave occasion for the formation of that which afterwards came to be associated with his name, and which thenceforward for centuries — indeed inseparably for all time, it might seem — has continued to be so conjoined, though very probably, if not certainly, it had another origin. We find ourselves here confronted with a question involving a problem similar to that relating to the connection between John, originally a simple fisherman of Gililee, one of the first disciples of Jesus, and John the Divine, the father of the illustrious Johannine school which speaks to us in the Fourth Gospel and in the three epistles bearing his name.

45. Paul in Acts of Paul

The following seems certain: Paul, of whom so little in detail is known, the artisan-preacher. who travelled so widely for the advancement and diffusion of those principles which, once he had embraced them, he held so dear, was portrayed in a no longer extant work which can most suitably be named after him "Acts of Paul," based partly on legend, partly on a trustworthy tradition to which the well-known journey-narrative may be reckoned. There he comes before us, now enveloped in clouds and now standing out in clear light; now a man among men, and now an ideal figure who is admired but not understood. At once the younger contemporary of the first disciples, and yet as it seems already reverentially placed at a distance apart from them; a "disciple" like them, yet exercising his immediate activity far outside their circle; full of quite other thoughts; in a special sense guided by the Holy Spirit; a "Christian" who bows the knee before the Son of God and is entrusted with "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:14); in the main, perhaps, so far as his wanderings and outward fortunes are concerned, drawn from the life, yet at the same time, even in that case, in such a manner that the reader at every point is conscious of inaccuracy and exaggeration, and finds himself compelled to withhold his assent where he comes across what is manifestly legendary.

So in the story of Paul's conversion, his seeing of Jesus in heaven, his hearing of Jesus' voice, his receiving of a mandate from him (Acts 22:21, 26:16-18); the word to Aanias that he is to be instructed by Jesus himself and filled with the Holy Ghost (9:16-17); the representation of Paul as receiving visions and revelations (22:17-21, 16:9f, 18:9f, 27:23); the record of how he was wont to be led by the Holy Spirit (13:4, 16:6f., 19:21, 20:22, 21:4,10-12); the description of his controversy with Elymas Barjesus, whom he vanquishes and punishes with blindness (13:6-12); the healing of the lame man at Lystra and the deification that followed (14:8-18); the vision of the man of Maacedonia at Troas (16:9); the casting out of the evil spirit at Philippi (16:16-18); the liberation from prison at the same place (16:25-34); the imparting of the Ho1y Ghost to disciples of the old school at Ephesus by the laying on of hands (19:1-7); the cures there wrought and castings out of evil spirits (19:11f.); the vengeance of the evil spirit who recognises indeed the superiority of Paul, but not that of other men (19:15); the giving up and burning of precious books at Ephesus (19:19); perhaps also the affair of Eutychus at Troas (20:7-12), and the details respecting Paul's sojourn at Malta (28:1-10).5

We are here already a good distance along the road upon which a younger generation, full of admiration for its great men, yet not too historically accurate, is moving, setting itself to describe the lives of Peter, Paul, Thomas, John, and others, in the so-called apocryphal Acts, or, more particularly (Gnostic), "circuits" (Periodoi).

Luke also moves in the same direction, but with this difference, that his Paul, under the influence of the current in which his spiritual life is lived, stands nearer again to Peter, yet in such a manner that it is still more impossible to present before one's mind an image of anything recorded of him among the often discrepant and mutualtv conflicting details, not a few of which are manifestly incorrect (see Van Manen, Paulus, 1, 164-176).

The writer of the Acts of Paul never shows any acquaintance with epistles of Paul, however much one might expect the opposite when his way of thinking is taken into account. On the contrary, the "historical details" in the epistles, or at least a good part of them, appear themselves to be taken from the Acts of Paul, since they are not always in agreement with what Luke relates in his second book, although they are manifestly speaking of the same things. Luke must have modified, rearranged, supplemented, perhaps also in some cases more accurately preserved, what he and the writers of the epistles had read in the book consulted by them, a work lost to us, or, if you will, surviving in a kind of second edition as the Acts of the Apostles. In this lost Acts of Paul, Paul had become (in contrast to what, even by the admission of the journey narrative, he really was) the hero of a reforming movement, the exponent of wholly new principles in the circle of those who wrought for the emancipation of Christianity from the bonds of Judaism and its development into a universal religion.

46. The Home of Paulinism

Where that circle, under the patronage of "Paul," must be looked for cannot be said with certainty. Probably it was in Syria, more particularly in Antioch; yet it may have been somewhere in Asia Minor. We may be practically certain, at all events, that it was not in Palestine; it was in an environment where no obstruction was in the first instance encountered from the Jews or, perhaps still worse, from the "disciples" too closely resembling them; where men as friends of gnosis, of speculation, and of mysticism, probably under the influence of Greek and, more especially, Alexandrian philosophy, had learned to cease to regard themselves as bound by tradition, and felt themselves free to extend their flight in every direction. To avail ourselves of a somewhat later expression: it was among the heretics. The epistles first came to be placed on the list among the gnostics. The oldest witnesses to their existence, as Meyer and other critics with a somewhat wonderful unanimity, have been declaring for more than half a century, are Basilides, Valentinus, Heracleon. Marcion is the first in whom, as we learn from Tertullian, traces are to be found of an authoritative group of epistles of Paul. Tertullian still calls him hereticorum apostolus (Adv. Mar. 3.5) and (addressing Marcion) apostolus vester (1.15).

47. Paulinism of the Epistles

Whencesoever coming, however, the Paulinism of the lost Acts of Paul and of our best authority for that way of thinking, our canonical epistles of Paul, is not the "theology," the "system," of the historical Paul, although it ultimately came to be, and in most quarters still is, identified with it. It is the later development of a school, or, if the expression is preferred, of a circle, of progressive believers who named themselves after Paul and placed themselves as it were under his aegis. The epistles explain this movement from different sides, apart from what some of them, by incorporating and working up older materials, tell us in addition as to its historical development and the varying contents of its doctrines.

(i) Romans, with its account of what the gospel, regarded as a religious doctrine, is (1:18-11:36), and of what those who profess it are exhorted to (12:1-15:13), throws a striking light upon what Paulinism is, both dogmatically and ethically, for the Christian faith and life.

(ii) 1 Corinthians shows in a special way how deeply and in what sense Palinism has at heart the practice of the Christian life, as regards, for example, parties and disputes within the church (1:10-3:23), the valid authority in it (4), purity of morals (5 and 6:12-20), the judging of matters of dispute between Christians (6:1-11), their mutual relations, such as those of the circumcised and the uncircumcised, of bondmen and freemen (7:18-24); the married and the unmarried life (rest of 7), the eating of food offered to idols ((8-11:1), the veiling of women (11:2-15 [16]), the love feasts (11:17-34), spiritual gifts (12-14), and the collection for the saints (16:1-4), along with which only one subject of a more doctrinal nature is treated: the resurrection (15).

(iii) 2 Corinthians gives above all else the impression how the person and work of "Paul" in the circle addressed, or, rather, throughout the Christian world, had to be defended and glorified (1:3-7:16; 10-13:10) and, in a passage introduced between its two main portions, how the manifestation of mutual love, by the gathering of collections for the saints, must not be neglected (8-9).

(iv) Galatians gives us an earnest agument on behalf of "Paul" and the view of Christianity set forth by him, particularly his doctrine of justifiction by faith, not by the works of the law; as also for the necessity for a complete breach with Judaism.

(v) In Ephesians it is the edification of "Pauline" Christians that comes most into prominence. So also in Philippians, although here we have also a bitter attack on the apostle's enemies, and, in close connection with this, a glorification of his person and work (3:1-4:1). In Colossians, along with edification and exhortation, the doctrinal significance of Christ is expatiated upon (1:13-22, 2:11-15); also that of "Paul" (1:23-2:5); and an earnest warning is given against doctrinal errors (2:6-23).

(vi) In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, respectively, the condition of those who have fallen asleep (1 Thess 4:13-18) and the exact time of the parousia (5:1-11), on the one hand, and the things which may yet have to precede that event (2 Thess 2:1-12), on the other, are discussed.

(vii) The Pastoral Epistles occupy themselves chiefly with the various affairs of the churches within "Pauline" circles; Philemon with the relations which ought to subsist between slaves and their masters in the same circles.

Here we have varietv enough, and many historical traits which, once arranged in proper order, can supply us with a conception of what "Paul," through all the vicissitudes of earnest opposition and equally earnest support among Christians, finally became — first in narrower, anon in wider circles, and at last in the whole catholic world — the apostle (o Apostolos), the equal of Peter, or, strictly speaking, his superior.

48. History of Paulinism

At the outset we find "Paul" standing outside the circle of the Catholic church just coming into being, but held in honour by Marcion and his followers. Already, however, Luke, in virtue of the right he exercises of curtailing, expanding, modifying aught that may not suit his purpose in the material he has derived from other sources, has in Acts given "Paul" a position of pre-eminence. Older fragments, whether of the nature of "acts" or of the nature of "epistles," that had passed into circulation under Paul's name were, in whole or in part, taken up into writings on a larger scale, and remodelled into what are now our canonical "Epistles of Paul." A Justin can still, it would seem, pass him over, although spiritually Justin stands very close to Paul and shows acquaintance with him. Irenaeus in his turn has no difficulty in using the Pauline group of Epistles, at least twelve of the thirteen — Philemon is not spoken of, nor is there as yet any word of Hebrews — as canonical, although not from predilection for their contents, but simply because he wishes to vanquish his great enemies, the gnostics, with their own weapons. That in doing so he frequently failed to understand "Paul" is clearly manifest (see Werner, Der Paulinismus des Irenaeus, 1889). Tertullian advances along the path opened by Irenaeus. Without really having much heart for the Paul of the Pauline Epistles, he brings out the "apostle of the heretics" against the heretics, though, as regards "history," he holds to the older view that Christianity owed its diffusion among the nations to the activity of the Twelve. In association with these in their solitary greatness no one deserves for a moment to be mentioned, not even the historical Paul, unless, indeed, as their somewhat younger contemporary, posterior apostolus, who might be regarded as having sat at their feet (Adv. Marc. 4.2, 5.2; see van Manen, Paulus, 2, 262-276). In the so-called Muratorian Canon, among the authoritative writings of the NT, thirteen epistles of Paul are enumerated. Apollonius, about the year 210, brings it against the Montanist Themiso as a particularly serious charge that some forty years previously he had ventured to write an epistle in imitation of the apostle (mimoumenos ton Apostolon; i.e., Paul: Eusebius, EH 5.18.5). In truth, from that time onwards, in orthodox circles no one doubted any longer the high authority of "Paul" the assumed writer of the thirteen (fourteen) epistles. It was only with regard to Hebrews that a few continued to hesitate for some time longer.

For our knowledge of Paulinism the thirteen epistles are of inestimable value. They are, when thus regarded, no less important than they were when they were considered — all of them, or some of them — as unimpeachable witnesses for the life and activities, especially the Christian thoughts and feelings, of the historical Paul, the only slightly younger contemporary of Peter and other original disciples of Jesus.

49. "Post-Pauline" Epistles

In a complete study of Paulinism there come into consideration also Hebrews, 1 Peter, James, and other writings which breathe more or less the same spirit, or, as the case may be, take a polemical attitude towards it. (i) Hebrews, as being the expression of an interesting variation from the older Paulinism; a doctrinal treatise, rich in earnest exhortations, given forth as a "word of exhortation" (logos tês paraklëseôs, 13:22) in the form of an Epistle of Paul, though not bearing his name. (ii) 1 Peter, as being a remarkable evidence of attachment to "Pau1" among people who know that the group of letters associated with his name is closed, although they desire to bear witness in his spirit; in point of fact, a letter of consolation written for those who stand exposed to persecution and suffering. (iii) James, as an instance of seriously-meant imitation of a Pauline epistle, written by someone who had misunderstood and was speaking to controvert Paul's view of the connection between faith and works (2:14-26).

50. Apocryphal Epistles, Acts. etc.

On the other hand, there is a great deal that must be regarded as the product of a later time, and, however closely associated with the name of Paul, as lying beyond the scope of the present article.

(i) Epistle to the Laodiceans — Antiquity knew of such an epistle, alongside of the epistle ad Alexandrinos, mentioned in the Muratorian Canon (63-65) with the words added, Pauli nomine fictae ad haeresem Marcionis ("feigned in the name of Paul to the use of the heresy of Marcion"). This epistle to the Laodiceans mentioned also in Jerome (Vir. 111.5, and elsewhere) was very probably our Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, just as that to the Alexandrians was probably our Epistle to the Hebrews, or, it may be, a Marcionite redaction of it.

Another Epistle of Paul to the Laodicians occures in many Latin MSS of the NT, and in old printed editions of the NT: (e.g.,) in Luther's Bible (Worms, 1529); in the Dutch of 1560 by L.D.K.—probably Leendert der Kinderen... The writing is composed of NT words of "Paul," probably to meet the demand for an epistle to the Laodicians raised by Col 4:16, and actually dating from the fifth, perhaps even from the fourth century.

(ii) An Epistle from the Corinthians to Paul and the apostle's answer (= 3 Cor) which is brought into connection with the epistle named in 1 Cor 5:9, were included in the Syrian Bible in the days of Aphraates and Ephraim, and centuries afterwards were still found in that of the Armenians. They occur also in a MS of the Latin Bible dating from the fifteen century and have been repeatedly printed, the best edition being that of Aucher (Armenian and English Grammar, 1819, p. 183). An English translation will be found in Stanley, Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 593 (Hatch). There are German and French translations in Rinck (1823) and Berger (1891). They appear to belong to the third century and are conjectured to have been written against the Bardesanites, originally in Greek or Syriac, perhaps as portions of the Acta Pauli.

(iii) Fourteen epistles of Paul and Seneca are given in a number of later MSS, first named and cited by Jerome (VT, 12), although hardly by that time read by very many... Their genuineness is not for a moment to be thought of.

(iv) Other special writings of a later date relating to Paul are found — apart from the Ebionite Acts of the Apostles already alluded to, mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. 30.16), and the Acta Pauli = Paulon praceis (also lost) mentioned by Origen, perhaps identical with the work called Pauli Pradicatio in Pseudo-Cyprian — in the Acts of Peter and Paul; the Acts of Paul and Thecla; the Apocalypse of Paul; and Anabatikon Paulou, mentioned in Epiphanius (see 2 Cor 12:4).

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1 By Bruno Bauer in his three volumes entitled Kritik der paulinischen Briefe (1850-52), and again after a silence of many years in his Christus und die Caesaren (1877; see especially pp. 371-387); by A. Pearson in De Bergrede en andere synoptische fragmenten (1878; pp. 98-110); by him and Naber in their Versimillia (1886); by others in dissertations and discourses on various public occasions in Holland of which some account is to be found in JPT (1883), 593-618; (1884), 562f; (1886), 418-444 (Dutch: W.C. van Manen, Het Nieuwe Testament sedert, 1859, and 1886, pp. 89-126, 225-227, 265).

2 To such an extent indeed as would justify him in saying without immodesty quorum pars magna fui. See especially his Paulus in three parts: De Handelingen der Apostelen (Acts), 1890; De brief an de Romeinen, 1891; De brieven aan de Korinthiers, 1896; followed by a condensed summary of the results arrived at in his Handleidung voor de Oudchristelyke letterkunde, 1990. For a somewhat fuller survey of the earlier history of this criticism and of the reception it met with in the learned world the reader may consult his articles entitled "A Wave of Hypercriticism," in Exp.T 9 (1898), 205-211, 257-259, 314-319.

3 Necessary limitations of space do not allow of fuller elucidations here. The reader who wishes to do real justice to the view here taken of the question as to the genuineness of Paul's epistles will not stop at the short sketch given here, but will consult the following works among others: (a) On the subject as a whole, Loman, "Quaestiones Paulinae," in Th.T (1882), 141-185; cf. 593-616, (1886), 55-113; cf. 319-349 and 387-406; Steck, Galaterbrief, 1-23, 152-386. (b) On Rom and Cor, Van Manen, Paulus, 2 and 3. (c) On Gal, Steck, Galaterbrief; cf. Loman, Th.T (1882), 302-328, 452-487; (1886), 42-55; and Loman's Nalatenschap (1899); (d) for a general survey of the entire Pauline group, Van Manen, Handleiding, iii, 30-63.

4 For doubting, as is done by E. Johnson, the formerly anonymous writer of Antiqua Mater (1887), the historical existence of Paul and his activity as an itinerant preacher outside the limits of Palestine, there is no reason. Such doubt has no support in any ancient document, nor in anything in the journey-narrative in itself considered, ought to be regarded as improbable; on the other hand, it is sufficiently refuted by the universality of the tradition among all parties regarding Paul's life and work (cf. Van Manen, Paulus, 1, 192-200).

5 For a fuller list see Van Manen, Paulus, 1, 176-192.

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Copyright © Institute for Higher Critical Studies, 1996

Darrell J. Doughty
Institute for Higher Critical Studies
Drew University, Madison, NJ, 07940