History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7)
by Adolph Harnack
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

But Paulinism especially has had an immeasurable and blessed influence on the whole course of the history of dogma, an influence it could not have had, if the Pauline Epistles had not been received into the canon. Paulinism is a religious and Christocentric doctrine, more inward and more powerful than any other which has ever appeared in the Church. It stands in the clearest opposition to all merely natural moralism, all righteousness of works, all religious ceremonialism, all Christianity without Christ. It has therefore become the conscience of the Church, until the Catholic Church in Jansenism killed this her conscience. "The Pauline reactions describe the critical epochs of theology and the Church."[137] One might write a history of dogma as a history of the Pauline reactions in the Church, and in doing so would touch on all the turning points of the history. Marcion after the Apostolic Fathers; Irenaeus, Clement and Origen after the Apologists; Augustine after the Fathers of the Greek Church;[138] the great Reformers of the middle ages from Agobard to Wessel in the bosom of the mediaeval Church; Luther after the Scholastics; Jansenism after the council of Trent:—Everywhere it has been Paul, in these men, who produced the Reformation. Paulinism has proved to be a ferment in the history of dogma, a basis it has never been.[139] Just as it had that significance in Paul himself, with reference to Jewish Christianity, so it has continued to work through the history of the Church.

[Footnote 46: The Old Testament of itself alone could not have convinced the Graeco-Roman world. But the converse question might perhaps be raised as to what results the Gospel would have had in that world without its union with the Old Testament. The Gnostic Schools and the Marcionite Church are to some extent the answer. But would they ever have arisen without the presupposition of a Christian community which recognised the Old Testament?]

[Footnote 47: We here leave out of account learned attempts to expound Paulinism. Nor do we take any notice of certain truths regarding the relation of the Old Testament to the New, and regarding the Jewish religion, stated by the Antignostic church teachers, truths which are certainly very important, but have not been sufficiently utilised.]

[Footnote 48: There is indeed no single writing of the new Testament which does not betray the influence of the mode of thought and general conditions of the culture of the time which resulted from the Hellenising of the east: even the use of the Greek translation of the Old Testament attests this fact. Nay, we may go further, and say that the Gospel itself is historically unintelligible, so long as we compare it with an exclusive Judaism as yet unaffected by any foreign influence. But on the other hand, it is just as clear that, specifically, Hellenic ideas form the presuppositions neither for the Gospel itself, nor for the most important New Testament writings. It is a question rather as to a general spiritual atmosphere created by Hellenism, which above all strengthened the individual element, and with it the idea of completed personality, in itself living and responsible. On this foundation we meet with a religious mode of thought in the Gospel and the early Christian writings, which so far as it is at all dependent on an earlier mode of thought, is determined by the spirit of the Old Testament (Psalms and Prophets) and of Judaism. But it is already otherwise with the earliest Gentile Christian writings. The mode of thought here is so thoroughly determined by the Hellenic spirit that we seem to have entered a new world when we pass from the synoptists, Paul and John, to Clement, Barnabas, Justin or Valentinus. We may therefore say, especially in the frame-work of the history of dogma, that the Hellenic element has exercised an influence on the Gospel first on Gentile Christian soil, and by those who were Greek by birth, if only we reserve the general spiritual atmosphere above referred to. Even Paul is no exception; for in spite of the well-founded statements of Weizsaecker (Apostolic Age, vol. I. Book 11) and Heinrici (Das 2 Sendschreiben an die Korinthier, 1887, p. 578 ff), as to the Hellenism of Paul, it is certain that the Apostle's mode of religious thought, in the strict sense of the word, and therefore also the doctrinal formation peculiar to him, are but little determined by the Greek spirit. But it is to be specially noted that as a missionary and an Apologist he made use of Greek ideas (Epistles to the Romans and Corinthians). He was not afraid to put the Gospel into Greek modes of thought. To this extent we can already observe in him the beginning of the development which we can trace so clearly in the Gentile Church from Clement to Justin, and from Justin to Irenaeus.]

[Footnote 49: The complete universalism of salvation is given in the Pauline conception of Christianity. But this conception is singular. Because: (1) the Pauline universalism is based on a criticism of the Jewish religion as religion, including the Old Testament, which was not understood and therefore not received by Christendom in general. (2) Because Paul not only formulated no national anti-Judaism, but always recognised the prerogative of the people of Israel as a people. (3) Because his idea of the Gospel, with all his Greek culture, is independent of Hellenism in its deepest grounds. This peculiarity of the Pauline Gospel is the reason why little more could pass from it into the common consciousness of Christendom than the universalism of salvation, and why the later development of the Church cannot be explained from Paulinism. Baur, therefore, was quite right when he recognised that we must exhibit another and more powerful element in order to comprehend the post-Pauline formations. In the selection of this element, however, he has made a fundamental mistake, by introducing the narrow national Jewish Christianity, and he has also given much too great scope to Paulinism by wrongly conceiving it as Gentile Christian doctrine. One great difficulty for the historian of the early Church is that he cannot start from Paulinism, the plainest phenomenon of the Apostolic age, in seeking to explain the following development, that in fact the premises for this development are not at all capable of being indicated in the form of outlines, just because they were too general. But, on the other hand, the Pauline Theology, this theology of one who had been a Pharisee, is the strongest proof of the independent and universal power of the impression made by the Person of Jesus.]

[Footnote 50: In the main writings of the New Testament itself we have a twofold conception of the Spirit. According to the one he comes upon the believer fitfully, expresses himself in visible signs, deprives men of self-consciousness, and puts them beside themselves. According to the other, the spirit is a constant possession of the Christian, operates in him by enlightening the conscience and strengthening the character, and his fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, etc. (Gal. V. 22). Paul above all taught Christians to value these fruits of the spirit higher than all the other effects of his working. But he has not by any means produced a perfectly clear view on this point: for "he himself spoke with more tongues than they all." As yet "Spirit" lay within "Spirit." One felt in the spirit of sonship a completely new gift coming from God and recreating life, a miracle of God; further, this spirit also produced sudden exclamations—"Abba, Father;" and thus shewed himself in a way patent to the senses. For that very reason, the spirit of ecstasy and of miracle appeared identical with the spirit of sonship. (See Gunkel, Die Wirkungen d. h. Geistes nach der populaeren Anschauung der Apostol. Zeit. Goettingen, 1888).]

[Footnote 51: It may even be said here that the [Greek: athanasia (zoe aionios)], on the one hand, and the [Greek: ekklesia], on the other, have already appeared in place of the [Greek: Basileia tou theou], and that the idea of Messiah has been finally replaced by that of the Divine Teacher and of God manifest in the flesh.]

[Footnote 52: It is one of the merits of Bruno Bauer (Christus und die Caesaren, 1877), that he has appreciated the real significance of the Greek element in the Gentile Christianity which became the Catholic Church and doctrine, and that he has appreciated the influence of the Judaism of the Diaspora as a preparation for this Gentile Christianity. But these valuable contributions have unfortunately been deprived of their convincing power by a baseless criticism of the early Christian literature, to which Christ and Paul have fallen a sacrifice. Somewhat more cautious are the investigations of Havet in the fourth volume of Le Christianisme, 1884; Le Nouveau Testament. He has won great merit by the correct interpretation of the elements of Gentile Christianity developing themselves to catholicism, but his literary criticism is often unfortunately entirely abstract, reminding one of the criticism of Voltaire, and therefore his statements in detail are, as a rule, arbitrary and untenable. There is a school in Holland at the present time closely related to Bruno Bauer and Havet, which attempts to banish early Christianity from the world. Christ and Paul are creations of the second century: the history of Christianity begins with the passage of the first century into the second—a peculiar phenomenon on the soil of Hellenised Judaism in quest of a Messiah. This Judaism created Jesus Christ just as the later Greek religious philosophers created their Saviour (Apollonius, for example). The Marcionite Church produced Paul and the growing Catholic Church completed him. See the numerous treatises of Loman, the Verisimilia of Pierson and Naber (1886), and the anonymous English work "Antiqua Mater" (1887), also the works of Steck (see especially his Untersuchung ueber den Galaterbrief). Against these works see P.V. Schmidt's, "Der Galaterbrief," 1892. It requires a deep knowledge of the problems which the first two centuries of the Christian Church present, in order not to thrust aside as simply absurd these attempts, which as yet have failed to deal with the subject in a connected way. They have their strength in the difficulties and riddles which are contained in the history of the formation of the Catholic tradition in the second century. But the single circumstance that we are asked to regard as a forgery such a document as the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, appears to me, of itself, to be an unanswerable argument against the new hypotheses.]

[Footnote 53: It would be a fruitful task, though as yet it has not been undertaken, to examine how long visions, dreams and apocalypses, on the one hand, and the claim of speaking in the power and name of the Holy Spirit, on the other, played a role in the early Church; and further to shew how they nearly died out among the laity, but continued to live among the clergy and the monks, and how, even among the laity, there were again and again sporadic outbreaks of them. The material which the first three centuries present is very great. Only a few may be mentioned here: Ignat. ad. Rom. VII. 2; ad. Philad. VII; ad Eph. XX. 1, etc.; 1 Clem. LXIII. 2; Martyr. Polyc.; Acta Perpet. et Felic; Tertull de animo XLVII.; "Major paene vis hominum e visionibus deum discunt." Orig. c. Celsum. i. 46: [Greek: polloi hosperei akontes proseleluthasi christianismo, pneumatos tinos trepsantos ... kai phantasiosantos autous hupar e onar] (even Arnobius was ostensibly led to Christianity by a dream). Cyprian makes the most extensive use of dreams, visions, etc., in his letters, see for example Ep. XI. 3-5; XVI. 4 ("praeter nocturnas visiones per dies quoque impletur apud nos spiritu sancto puerorum innocens aetas, quae in ecstasi videt," etc.); XXXIX. 1; LXVI 10 (very interesting: "quamquam sciam somnia ridicula et visiones ineptas quibusdam videri, sed utique illis, qui malunt contra sacerdotes credere quam sacerdoti, sed nihil mirum, quando de Joseph fratres sui dixerunt: ecce somniator ille," etc.). One who took part in the baptismal controversy in the great Synod of Carthage writes, "secundum motum animi mei et spiritus sancti." The enthusiastic element was always evoked with special power in times of persecution, as the genuine African martyrdoms, from the second half of the third century, specially shew. Cf. especially the passio Jacobi, Mariani, etc. But where the enthusiasm was not convenient it was called, as in the case of the Montanists, daemonic. Even Constantine operated with dreams and visions of Christ (see his Vita).]

[Footnote 54: As to the first, the recently discovered "Teaching of the Apostles" in its first moral part, shews a great affinity with the moral philosophy which was set up by Alexandrian Jews and put before the Greek world as that which had been revealed: see Massebieau, L'enseignement des XII. Apotres, Paris, 1884, and in the Journal "Le Temoignage," 7 Febr. 1885. Usener, in his Preface to the Ges. Abhandl. Jacob Bernays', which he edited, 1885, p.v.f., has, independently of Massebieau, pointed out the relationship of chapters 1-5 of the "Teaching of the Apostles" with the Phocylidean poem (see Bernays' above work, p. 192 ff.). Later Taylor, "The teaching of the twelve Apostles", 1886, threw out the conjecture that the Didache had a Jewish foundation, and I reached the same conclusion independently of him: see my Treatise: Die Apostellehre und die judischen beiden Wege, 1886.]

[Footnote 55: It is well known that Judaism at the time of Christ embraced a great many different tendencies. Beside Pharisaic Judaism as the stem proper there was a motley mass of formations which resulted from the contact of Judaism with foreign ideas, customs, and institutions (even with Babylonian and Persian), and which attained importance for the development of the predominant church as well as for the formation of the so-called gnostic Christian communions. Hellenic elements found their way even into Pharisaic theology. Orthodox Judaism itself has marks which shew that no spiritual movement was able to escape the influence which proceeded from the victory of the Greeks over the east. Besides who would venture to exhibit definitely the origin and causes of that spiritualising of religions and that limitation of the moral standard of which we can find so many traces in the Alexandrian age? The nations who inhabited the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea had from the fourth century B.C. a common history and therefore had similar convictions. Who can decide what each of them acquired by its own exertions and what it obtained through interchange of opinions? But in proportion as we see this we must be on our guard against jumbling the phenomena together and effacing them. There is little meaning in calling a thing Hellenic, as that really formed an element in all the phenomena of the age. All our great political and ecclesiastical parties to-day are dependent on the ideas of 1789 and again on romantic ideas. It is just as easy to verify this as it is difficult to determine the measure and the manner of the influence for each group. And yet the understanding of it turns altogether on this point. To call Pharisaism or the Gospel or the old Jewish Christianity Hellenic is not paradox but confusion.]

[Footnote 56: The Acts of the Apostles is in this respect a most instructive book. It as well as the Gospel of Luke is a document of Gentile Christianity developing itself to Catholicism; Cf. Overbeck in his Commentar z Apostelgesch. But the comprehensive judgment of Havet in the work above mentioned (IV. p. 395) is correct: "L hellenisme tient assez peu de place dans le N.T. du moins l hellenisme voulu et reflechi. Ces livres sont ecrits en grec et leurs auteurs vivaient en pays grec, il y a donc eu chez eux infiltration des idees et des sentiments helleniques, quelquefois meme l imagination hellenique y a penetre comme dans le 3 evangile et dans les Actes. Dans son ensemble le N.T. garde le caractere d un livre hebraique. Le christianisme ne commence avoir une litterature et des doctrines vraiment helleniques qu au milieu du second siecle. Mais il y avait un judaisme celui d Alexandrie qui avait faite alliance avec l hellenisme avant meme qu il y eut des chretiens."]

[Footnote 57: The right of distinguishing (b) and (c) may be contested. But if we surrender this we therewith surrender the right to distinguish kernel and husk in the original proclamation of the Gospel. The dangers to which the attempt is exposed should not frighten us from it for it has its justification in the fact that the Gospel is neither doctrine nor law.]

[Footnote 58: Therewith are, doubtless, heavenly blessings bestowed in the present. Historical investigation has, notwithstanding, every reason for closely examining whether, and in how far, we may speak of a present for the Kingdom of God, in the sense of Jesus. But even if the question had to be answered in the negative, it would make little or no difference for the correct understanding of Jesus' preaching. The Gospel viewed in its kernel is independent of this question. It deals with the inner constitution and mood of the soul.]

[Footnote 59: The question whether, and in what degree, a man of himself can earn righteousness before God is one of those theoretic questions to which Jesus gave no answer. He fixed his attention on all the gradations of the moral and religious conduct of his countrymen as they were immediately presented to him, and found some prepared for entrance into the kingdom of God, not by a technical mode of outward preparation, but by hungering and thirsting for it, and at the same time unselfishly serving their brethren. Humility and love unfeigned were always the decisive marks of these prepared ones. They are to be satisfied with righteousness before God, that is, are to receive the blessed feeling that God is gracious to them as sinners, and accepts them as his children. Jesus, however, allows the popular distinction of sinners and righteous to remain, but exhibits its perverseness by calling sinners to him and by describing the opposition of the righteous to his Gospel as a mark of their godlessness and hardness of heart.]

[Footnote 60: The blessings of the kingdom were frequently represented by Jesus as a reward for work done. But this popular view is again broken through by reference to the fact that all reward is the gift of God's free grace.]

[Footnote 61: Some Critics—most recently Havet, Le Christianisme et ses origines, 1884. T. IV. p. 15 ff.—have called in question the fact that Jesus called himself Messiah. But this article of the Evangelic tradition seems to me to stand the test of the most minute investigation. But, in the case of Jesus, the consciousness of being the Messiah undoubtedly rested on the certainty of being the Son of God, therefore of knowing the Father and being constrained to proclaim that knowledge.]

[Footnote 62: We can gather with certainty from the Gospels that Jesus did not enter on his work with the announcement: Believe in me for I am the Messiah. On the contrary, he connected his work with the baptising movement of John, but carried that movement further, and thereby made the Baptist his forerunner (Mark I. 15: [Greek: peplerotai ho kairos kai engiken he basileia tou theou, metanoeite kai pisteuete en toi euaggelioi]). He was in no hurry to urge anything that went beyond that message, but gradually prepared, and cautiously required of his followers an advance beyond it. The goal to which he led them was to believe in him as Messiah without putting the usual political construction on the Messianic ideal.]

[Footnote 63: Even "Son of Man" probably means Messiah: we do not know whether Jesus had any special reason for favouring this designation which springs from Dan. VII. The objection to interpreting the word as Messiah really resolves itself into this, that the disciples (according to the Gospels) did not at once recognise him as Messiah. But that is explained by the contrast of his own peculiar idea of Messiah with the popular idea. The confession of him as Messiah was the keystone of their confidence in him, inasmuch as by that confession they separated themselves from old ideas.]

[Footnote 64: The distinction between the Father and the Son stands out just as plainly in the sayings of Jesus, as the complete obedient subordination of the Son to the Father. Even according to John's Gospel, Jesus finishes the work which the Father has given him, and is obedient in everything even unto death. He declares Matt. XIX. 17: [Greek: heis estin ho agathos]. Special notice should be given to Mark XIII. 32, (Matt. XXIV. 36). Behind the only manifested life of Jesus, later speculation has put a life in which he wrought, not in subordination and obedience, but in like independence and dignity with God. That goes beyond the utterances of Jesus even in the fourth Gospel. But it is no advance beyond these, especially in the religious view and speech of the time, when it is announced that the relation of the Father to the Son lies beyond time. It is not even improbable that the sayings in the fourth Gospel referring to this, have a basis in the preaching of Jesus himself.]

[Footnote 65: Paul knew that the designation of God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was the new Evangelic confession. Origen was the first among the Fathers (though before him Marcion) to recognise that the decisive advance beyond the Old Testament stage of religion, was given in the preaching of God as Father; see the exposition of the Lord's prayer in his treatise De oratione. No doubt the Old Testament, and the later Judaism knew the designation of God as Father; but it applied it to the Jewish nation, it did not attach the evangelic meaning to the name, and it did not allow itself in any way to be guided in its religion by this idea.]

[Footnote 66: See the farewell discourses in John, the fundamental ideas of which are, in my opinion, genuine, that is, proceed from Jesus.]

[Footnote 67: The historian cannot regard a miracle as a sure given historical event: for in doing so he destroys the mode of consideration on which all historical investigation rests. Every individual miracle remains historically quite doubtful, and a summation of things doubtful never leads to certainty. But should the historian, notwithstanding, be convinced that Jesus Christ did extraordinary things, in the strict sense miraculous things, then, from the unique impression he has obtained of this person, he infers the possession by him of supernatural power. This conclusion itself belongs to the province of religious faith: though there has seldom been a strong faith which would not have drawn it. Moreover, the healing miracles of Jesus are the only ones that come into consideration in a strict historical examination. These certainly cannot be eliminated from the historical accounts without utterly destroying them. But how unfit are they of themselves, after 1800 years, to secure any special importance to him to whom they are attributed, unless that importance was already established apart from them. That he could do with himself what he would, that he created a new thing without overturning the old, that he won men to himself by announcing the Father, that he inspired without fanaticism, set up a kingdom without politics, set men free from the world without asceticism, was a teacher without theology, at a time of fanaticism and politics, asceticism and theology, is the great miracle of his person, and that he who preached the Sermon on the Mount declared himself in respect of his life and death, to be the Redeemer and Judge of the world, is the offence and foolishness which mock all reason.]

[Footnote 68: See Mark X. 45.—That Jesus at the celebration of the first Lord's supper described his death as a sacrifice which he should offer for the forgiveness of sin, is clear from the account of Paul. From that account it appears to be certain, that Jesus gave expression to the idea of the necessity and saving significance of his death for the forgiveness of sins, in a symbolical ordinance (based on the conclusion of the covenant, Exod. XXIV. 3 ff., perhaps, as Paul presupposes, on the Passover), in order that His disciples by repeating it in accordance with the will of Jesus, might be the more deeply impressed by it. Certain observations based on John VI., on the supper prayer in the Didache, nay, even on the report of Mark, and supported at the same time by features of the earliest practice in which it had the character of a real meal, and the earliest theory of the supper, which viewed it as a communication of eternal life and an anticipation of the future existence, have for years made me doubt very much whether the Pauline account and the Pauline conception of it, were really either the oldest, or the universal and therefore only one. I have been strengthened in this suspicion by the profound and remarkable investigation of Spitta (z. Gesch. u. Litt. d. Urchristenthums: Die urchristl. Traditionen ue. den Urspr. u. Sinnd. Abendmahls, 1893). He sees in the supper as not instituted, but celebrated by Jesus, the festival of the Messianic meal, the anticipated triumph over death, the expression of the perfection of the Messianic work, the symbolic representation of the filling of believers with the powers of the Messianic kingdom and life. The reference to the Passover and the death of Christ was attached to it later, though it is true very soon. How much is thereby explained that was hitherto obscure—critical, historical, and dogmatico-historical questions—cannot at all be stated briefly. And yet I hesitate to give a full recognition to Spitta's exposition: the words 1 Cor. XI. 23: [Greek: ego gar parelabon apo tou kuriou, ho kai paredoka humin k.t.l.] are too strong for me. Cf. besides, Weizsaecker's investigation in "The Apostolic Age." Lobstein, La doctrine de la s. cene. 1889. A. Harnack i.d. Texten u. Unters. VII. 2. p. 139 ff. Schuerer, Theol. Lit. Ztg. 1891, p. 29 ff. Juelicher Abhandl. f Weizsaecker, 1892, p. 215 ff.]

[Footnote 69: With regard to the eschatology, no one can say in detail what proceeds from Jesus, and what from the disciples. What has been said in the text does not claim to be certain, but only probable. The most important, and at the same time the most certain point, is that Jesus made the definitive fate of the individual depend on faith, humility and love. There are no passages in the Gospel which conflict with the impression that Jesus reserved day and hour to God, and wrought in faith and patience as long as for him it was day.]

[Footnote 70: He did not impose on every one, or desire from every one even the outward following of himself: see Mark V. 18-19. The "imitation of Jesus", in the strict sense of the word, did not play any noteworthy role either in the Apostolic or in the old Catholic period.]

[Footnote 71: It is asserted by well-informed investigators, and may be inferred from the Gospels (Mark XII. 32-34; Luke X. 27, 28), perhaps also from the Jewish original of the Didache, that some representatives of Pharisaism, beside the pedantic treatment of the law, attempted to concentrate it on the fundamental moral commandments. Consequently, in Palestinian and Alexandrian Judaism at the time of Christ, in virtue of the prophetic word and the Thora, influenced also, perhaps, by the Greek spirit which everywhere gave the stimulus to inwardness, the path was indicated in which the future development of religion was to follow. Jesus entered fully into the view of the law thus attempted, which comprehended it as a whole and traced it back to the disposition. But he freed it from the contradiction that adhered to it, (because, in spite of and alongside the tendency to a deeper perception, men still persisted in deducing righteousness from a punctilious observance of numerous particular commandments, because in so doing they became self-satisfied, that is, irreligious, and because in belonging to Abraham they thought they had a claim of right on God). For all that, so far as a historical understanding of the activity of Jesus is at all possible, it is to be obtained from the soil of Pharisaism, as the Pharisees were those who cherished and developed the Messianic expectations, and because, along with their care for the Thora, they sought also to preserve, in their own way, the prophetic inheritance. If everything does not deceive us, there were already contained in the Pharisaic theology of the age, speculations which were fitted to modify considerably the narrow view of history, and to prepare for universalism. The very men who tithed mint, anise and cummin, who kept their cups and dishes outwardly clean, who, hedging round the Thora, attempted to hedge round the people, spoke also of the sum total of the law. They made room in their theology for new ideas which are partly to be described as advances, and on the other hand, they have already pondered the question even in relation to the law, whether submission to its main contents was not sufficient for being numbered among the people of the covenant (see Renan: Paul). In particular the whole sacrificial system, which Jesus also essentially ignored, was therewith thrust into the background. Baldensperger (Selbstbewusstsein Jesu. p. 46) justly says. "There lie before us definite marks that the certainty of the nearness of God in the Temple (from the time of the Maccabees) begins to waver, and the efficacy of the temple institutions to be called in question. Its recent desecration by the Romans, appears to the author of the Psalms of Solomon (II. 2) as a kind of Divine requital for the sons of Israel, themselves having been guilty of so grossly profaning the sacrificial gifts. Enoch calls the shewbread of the second Temple polluted and unclean. There had crept in among the pious a feeling of the insufficiency of their worship, and from this side the Essenic schism will certainly represent only the open outbreak of a disease which had already begun to gnaw secretly at the religious life of the nation": see here the excellent explanations of the origin of Essenism in Lucius (Essenism 75 ff. 109 ff.) The spread of Judaism in the world, the secularization and apostacy of the priestly caste, the desecration of the Temple, the building of the Temple at Leontopolis, the perception brought about by the spiritualising of religion in the empire of Alexander the Great, that no blood of beast can be a means of reconciling God—all these circumstances must have been absolutely dangerous and fatal, both to the local centralisation of worship, and to the statutory sacrificial system. The proclamation of Jesus (and of Stephen) as to the overthrow of the Temple, is therefore no absolutely new thing, nor is the fact that Judaism fell back upon the law and the Messianic hope, a mere result of the destruction of the Temple. This change was rather prepared by the inner development. Whatever point in the preaching of Jesus we may fix on, we shall find, that—apart from the writings of the Prophets and the Psalms, which originated in the Greek Maccabean periods—parallels can be found only in Pharisaism, but at the same time that the sharpest contrasts must issue from it. Talmudic Judaism is not in every respect the genuine continuance of Pharisaic Judaism, but a product of the decay which attests that the rejection of Jesus by the spiritual leaders of the people had deprived the nation, and even the Virtuosi of Religion of their best part (see for this the expositions of Kuenen "Judaismus und Christenthum", in his (Hibbert) lectures on national religions and world religions). The ever recurring attempts to deduce the origin of Christianity from Hellenism, or even from the Roman Greek culture, are there also rightly, briefly and tersely rejected. Also the hypotheses, which either entirely eliminate the person of Jesus or make him an Essene, or subordinate him to the person of Paul, may be regarded as definitively settled. Those who think they can ascertain the origin of Christian religion from the origin of Christian Theology will, indeed, always think of Hellenism: Paul will eclipse the person of Jesus with those who believe that a religion for the world must be born with a universalistic doctrine. Finally, Essenism will continue in authority with those who see in the position of indifference which Jesus took to the Temple worship, the main thing, and who, besides, create for themselves an "Essenism of their own finding." Hellenism, and also Essenism, can of course indicate to the historian some of the conditions by which the appearance of Jesus was prepared and rendered possible; but they explain only the possibility, not the reality of the appearance. But this with its historically not deducible power is the decisive thing. If some one has recently said that "the historical speciality of the person of Jesus" is not the main thing in Christianity, he has thereby betrayed that he does not know how a religion that is worthy of the name is founded, propagated, and maintained. For the latest attempt to put the Gospel in a historical connection with Buddhism (Seydel, Das Ev von Jesus in seinen Verhaeltnissen zur Buddha-Sage, 1882: likewise, Die Buddha-Legende und das Leben Jesu, 1884), see, Oldenburg, Theol. Lit-Z'g 1882. Col. 415 f. 1884. 185 f. However much necessarily remains obscure to us in the ministry of Jesus when we seek to place it in a historical connection,—what is known is sufficient to confirm the judgment that his preaching developed a germ in the religion of Israel (see the Psalms) which was finally guarded and in many respects developed by the Pharisees, but which languished and died under their guardianship. The power of development which Jesus imported to it was not a power which he himself had to borrow from without; but doctrine and speculation were as far from him as ecstasy and visions. On the other hand, we must remember we do not know the history of Jesus up to his public entrance on his ministry, and that therefore we do not know whether in his native province he had any connection with Greeks.]

[Footnote 72: See the brilliant investigations of Weizsaecker (Apost. Zeitalter. p. 36) as to the earliest significant names, self-designations, of the disciples. The twelve were in the first place "[Greek: mathetai]," (disciples and family-circle of Jesus, see also the significance of James and the brethren of Jesus), then witnesses of the resurrection and therefore Apostles; very soon there appeared beside them, even in Jerusalem, Prophets and Teachers.]

[Footnote 73: The Christian preaching is very pregnantly described in Acts XXVIII. 31. as [Greek: kerussein ten Basileian tou Theou, kai didaskein ta peri tou Iesou Christou].]

[Footnote 74: On the spirit of God (of Christ) see note, p. 50. The earliest Christians felt the influence of the spirit as one coming on them from without.]

[Footnote 75: It cannot be directly proved that Jesus instituted baptism, for Matth. XXVIII. 19, is not a saying of the Lord. The reasons for this assertion are: (1) It is only a later stage of the tradition that represents the risen Christ as delivering speeches and giving commandments. Paul knows nothing of it. (2) The Trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus and has not the authority in the Apostolic age which it must have had if it had descended from Jesus himself. On the other hand, Paul knows of no other way of receiving the Gentiles into the Christian communities than by baptism, and it is highly probable that in the time of Paul all Jewish Christians were also baptised. We may perhaps assume that the practice of baptism was continued in consequence of Jesus' recognition of John the Baptist and his baptism, even after John himself had been removed. According to John IV. 2, Jesus himself baptised not, but his disciples under his superintendence. It is possible only with the help of tradition to trace back to Jesus a "Sacrament of Baptism," or an obligation to it ex necessitate salutis, though it is credible that tradition is correct here. Baptism in the Apostolic age was [Greek: eis aphesin hamartion], and indeed [Greek: eis to onoma christou] (1 Cor. I. 13; Acts XIX. 5). We cannot make out when the formula, [Greek: eis to onoma tou patros, kai tou huiou, kai tou hagiou pneumatos], emerged. The formula [Greek: eis to onoma] expresses that the person baptised is put into a relation of dependence on him into whose name he is baptised. Paul has given baptism a relation to the death of Christ, or justly inferred it from the [Greek: eis aphesin hamartion]. The descent of the spirit on the baptised very soon ceased to be regarded as the necessary and immediate result of baptism; yet Paul, and probably his contemporaries also, considered the grace of baptism and the communication of the spirit to be inseparably united. See Scholten. Die Taufformel. 1885. Holtzman, Die Taufe im N.T. Ztsch. f. wiss. Theol. 1879.]

[Footnote 76: The designation of the Christian community as [Greek: ekklesia] originates perhaps with Paul, though that is by no means certain; see as to this "name of honour," Sohm, Kirchenrecht, Vol. I. p. 16 ff. The words of the Lord, Matt. XVI. 18; XVIII. 17, belong to a later period. According to Gal. I. 22, [Greek: tais en christo] is added to the [Greek: tais ekklesiais tes Ioudaias]. The independence of every individual Christian in, and before God is strongly insisted on in the Epistles of Paul, and in the Epistle of Peter, and in the Christian portions of Revelations: [Greek: epoiesen hemas basileian, hiereis toi theo kai patri autou].]

[Footnote 77: Jesus is regarded with adoring reverence as Messiah and Lord, that is, these are regarded as the names which his Father has given him. Christians are those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. I. 2): every creature must bow before him and confess him as Lord (Phil. II. 9): see Deissmann on the N.T. formula "in Christo Jesu."]

[Footnote 78: The confession of Father, Son and Spirit is therefore the unfolding of the belief that Jesus is the Christ: but there was no intention of expressing by this confession the essential equality of the three persons, or even the similar relation of the Christian to them. On the contrary, the Father, in it, is regarded as the God and Father over all, the Son as revealer, redeemer and Lord, the Spirit as a possession, principle of the new supernatural life and of holiness. From the Epistles of Paul we perceive that the Formula Father, Son and Spirit could not yet have been customary, especially in Baptism. But it was approaching (2 Cor. XIII. 13).]

[Footnote 79: The Christological utterances which are found in the New Testament writings, so far as they explain and paraphrase the confession of Jesus as the Christ and the Lord, may be almost entirely deduced from one or other of the four points mentioned in the text. But we must at the same time insist that these declarations were meant to be explanations of the confession that "Jesus is the Lord," which of course included the recognition that Jesus by the resurrection became a heavenly being (see Weizsaecker in above mentioned work, p. 110) The solemn protestation of Paul, 1 Cor. XII. 3 [Greek: dio gnorizo humin hoti oudeis en pneumati theou lalon legei ANATHEMA IESOUS, kai oudeis dunatai eipein KURIOS IESOUS ei me en pneumati hagio] (cf. Rom. X. 9), shews that he who acknowledged Jesus as the Lord, and accordingly believed in the resurrection of Jesus, was regarded as a full-born Christian. It undoubtedly excludes from the Apostolic age the independent authority of any christological dogma besides that confession and the worship of Christ connected with it. It is worth notice, however, that those early Christian men who recognised Christianity as the vanquishing of the Old Testament religion (Paul, the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, John) all held that Christ was a being who had come down from heaven.]

[Footnote 80: Compare in their fundamental features the common declarations about the saving value of the death of Christ in Paul, in the Johannine writings, in 1st Peter, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in the Christian portions of the book of Revelation: [Greek: to agaponti hemas kai lusanti hemas ek ton hamartion en toi haimati autou, auto he doxa]: Compare the reference to Isaiah LIII. and the Passover lamb: the utterances about the "lamb" generally in the early writings: see Westcott, The Epistles of John, p. 34 f.: The idea of the blood of Christ in the New Testament.]

[Footnote 81: This of course could not take place otherwise than by reflecting on its significance. But a dislocation was already completed as soon as it was isolated and separated from the whole of Jesus, or even from his future activity. Reflection on the meaning or the causes of particular facts might easily, in virtue of that isolation, issue in entirely new conceptions.]

[Footnote 82: See the discriminating statements of Weizsaecker, "Apostolic Age", p. 1 f., especially as to the significance of Peter as first witness of the resurrection. Cf. 1 Cor. XV. 5 with Luke XXIV. 34: also the fragment of the "Gospel of Peter" which unfortunately breaks off at the point where one expects the appearance of the Lord to Peter.]

[Footnote 83: It is often said that Christianity rests on the belief in the resurrection of Christ. This may be correct, if it is first declared who this Jesus Christ is, and what his life signifies. But when it appears as a naked report to which one must above all submit, and when in addition, as often happens, it is supplemented by the assertion that the resurrection of Christ is the most certain fact in the history of the world, one does not know whether he should marvel more at its thoughtlessness or its unbelief. We do not need to have faith in a fact, and that which requires religious belief, that is, trust in God, can never be a fact which would hold good apart from that belief. The historical question and the question of faith must therefore be clearly distinguished here. The following points are historically certain: (1) That none of Christ's opponents saw him after his death. (2) That the disciples were convinced that they had seen him soon after his death. (3) That the succession and number of those appearances can no longer be ascertained with certainty. (4) That the disciples and Paul were conscious of having seen Christ not in the crucified earthly body, but in heavenly glory—even the later incredible accounts of the appearances of Christ, which strongly emphasise the reality of the body, speak at the same time of such a body as can pass through closed doors, which certainly is not an earthly body. (5) That Paul does not compare the manifestation of Christ given to him with any of his later visions, but, on the other hand, describes it in the words (Gal. I. 15): [Greek: hote eudokesen ho theos apokalupsai ton huion autou en emoi], and yet puts it on a level with the appearances which the earlier Apostles had seen. But, as even the empty grave on the third day can by no means be regarded as a certain historical fact, because it appears united in the accounts with manifest legendary features, and further because it is directly excluded by the way in which Paul has portrayed the resurrection 1 Cor. XV. it follows: (1) That every conception which represents the resurrection of Christ as a simple reanimation of his mortal body, is far from the original conception, and (2) that the question generally as to whether Jesus has risen, can have no existence for any one who looks at it apart from the contents and worth of the Person of Jesus. For the mere fact that friends and adherents of Jesus were convinced that they had seen him, especially when they themselves explain that he appeared to them in heavenly glory, gives, to those who are in earnest about fixing historical facts not the least cause for the assumption that Jesus did not continue in the grave.

History is therefore at first unable to bring any succour to faith here. However firm may have been the faith of the disciples in the appearances of Jesus in their midst, and it was firm, to believe in appearances which others have had is a frivolity which is always revenged by rising doubts. But history is still of service to faith; it limits its scope and therewith shews the province to which it belongs. The question which history leaves to faith is this: Was Jesus Christ swallowed up of death, or did he pass through suffering and the cross to glory, that is, to life, power and honour. The disciples would have been convinced of that in the sense in which Jesus meant them to understand it, though they had not seen him in glory (a consciousness of this is found in Luke XXIV. 26 [Greek: ouchi tauta edei pathein ton christon kai eiselthein eis ten doxan autou], and Joh. XX. 29 [Greek: hoti eorakas me pepisteukas, makarioi hoi me idontes kai pisteusantas]) and we might probably add, that no appearances of the Lord could permanently have convinced them of his life, if they had not possessed in their hearts the impression of his Person. Faith in the eternal life of Christ and in our own eternal life is not the condition of becoming a disciple of Jesus, but is the final confession of discipleship. Faith has by no means to do with the knowledge of the form in which Jesus lives, but only with the conviction that he is the living Lord. The determination of the form was immediately dependent on the most varied general ideas of the future life, resurrection, restoration, and glorification of the body, which were current at the time. The idea of the rising again of the body of Jesus appeared comparatively early, because it was this hope which animated wide circles of pious people for their own future. Faith in Jesus, the living Lord, in spite of the death on the cross, cannot be generated by proofs of reason or authority, but only to-day in the same way as Paul has confessed of himself [Greek: hote eudokesen ho theos apokalupssai ton huion autou en emoi]. The conviction of having seen the Lord was no doubt of the greatest importance for the disciples and made them Evangelists, but what they saw cannot at first help us. It can only then obtain significance for us when we have gained that confidence in the Lord which Peter has expressed in Mark VIII. 29. The Christian even to-day confesses with Paul [Greek: ei en te zoe taute en christo elpikotes esmen monon, eleeisteroi panton anthropon esmen]. He believes in a future life for himself with God because he believes that Christ lives. That is the peculiarity and paradox of Christian faith. But these are not convictions that can be common and matter of course to a deep feeling and earnest thinking being standing amid nature and death, but can only be possessed by those who live with their whole hearts and minds in God, and even they need the prayer, I believe, help thou mine unbelief. To act as if faith in eternal life and in the living Christ was the simplest thing in the world, or a dogma to which one has just to submit, is irreligious. The whole question about the resurrection of Christ, its mode and its significance, has thereby been so thoroughly confused in later Christendom, that we are in the habit of considering eternal life as certain, even apart from Christ. That, at any rate, is not Christian. It is Christian to pray that God would give the Spirit to make us strong to overcome the feelings and the doubts of nature and create belief in an eternal life through the experience of dying to live. Where this faith obtained in this way exists, it has always been supported by the conviction that the Man lives who brought life and immortality to light. To hold fast this faith is the goal of life, for only what we consciously strive for is in this matter our own. What we think we possess is very soon lost.]

[Footnote 84: Weizsaecker (Apostolic Age, p. 73) says very justly: "The rising of Judaism against believers put them on their own feet. They saw themselves for the first time persecuted in the name of the law, and therewith for the first time it must have become clear to them, that in reality the law was no longer the same to them as to the others. Their hope is the coming kingdom of heaven, in which it is not the law, but their Master from whom they expect salvation. Everything connected with salvation is in him. But we should not investigate the conditions of the faith of that early period, as though the question had been laid before the Apostles whether they could have part in the Kingdom of heaven without circumcision, or whether it could be obtained by faith in Jesus, with or without the observance of the law. Such questions had no existence for them either practically or as questions of the school. But though they were Jews, and the law which even their Master had not abolished, was for them a matter of course, that did not exclude a change of inner position towards it, through faith in their Master and hope of the Kingdom. There is an inner freedom which can grow up alongside of all the constraints of birth, custom, prejudice, and piety. But this only comes into consciousness, when a demand is made on it which wounds it, or when it is assailed on account of an inference drawn not by its own consciousness, but only by its opponents."]

[Footnote 85: Only one of these four tendencies—the Pauline, with the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Johannine writings which are related to Paulinism—has seen in the Gospel the establishment of a new religion. The rest identified it with Judaism made perfect, or with the Old Testament religion rightly understood. But Paul, in connecting Christianity with the promise given to Abraham, passing thus beyond the law, that is, beyond the actual Old Testament religion, has not only given it a historical foundation, but also claimed for the Father of the Jewish nation a unique significance for Christianity. As to the tendencies named 1 and 2, see Book I. chap. 6.]

[Footnote 86: It is clear from Gal. II. 11 ff. that Peter then and for long before occupied in principle the stand-point of Paul: see the judicious remarks of Weizsaecker in the book mentioned above, p. 75 f.]

[Footnote 87: These four tendencies were represented in the Apostolic age by those who had been born and trained in Judaism, and they were collectively transplanted into Greek territory. But we cannot be sure that the third of the above tendencies found intelligent and independent representatives in this domain, as there is no certain evidence of it. Only one who had really been subject to it, and therefore understood it, could venture on a criticism of the Old Testament religion. Still, it may be noted that the majority of non-Jewish converts in the Apostolic age, had probably come to know the Old Testament beforehand—not always the Jewish religion, (see Havet, Le Christianisme, T. IV. p. 120: "Je ne sais s'il y est entre, du vivant de Paul, un seul paien: je veux dire un homme, qui ne connut pas deja, avant d'y entrer, le judaisme et la Bible"). These indications will shew how mistaken and misleading it is to express the different tendencies in the Apostolic age and the period closely following by the designations "Jewish Christianity-Gentile Christianity." Short watchwords are so little appropriate here that one might even with some justice reverse the usual conception, and maintain that what is usually understood by Gentile Christianity (criticism of the Old Testament religion) was possible only within Judaism, while that which is frequently called Jewish Christianity is rather a conception which must have readily suggested itself to born Gentiles superficially acquainted with the Old Testament.]

[Footnote 88: The first edition of this volume could not appeal to Weizsaecker's work, Das Apostolische Zeitalter der Christlichen Kirche, 1886, (second edition translated in this series). The author is now in the happy position of being able to refer the readers of his imperfect sketch to this excellent presentation, the strength of which lies in the delineation of Paulinism in its relation to the early Church, and to early Christian theology (p. 79-172). The truth of Weizsaecker's expositions of the inner relations (p. 85 f.), is but little affected by his assumptions concerning the outer relations, which I cannot everywhere regard as just. The work of Weizsaecker as a whole is, in my opinion, the most important work on Church history we have received since Ritschl's "Entstehung der alt-katholischen Kirche." (2 Aufl. 1857.)]

[Footnote 89: Kabisch, Die Eschatologie des Paulus, 1893, has shewn how strongly the eschatology of Paul was influenced by the later Pharisaic Judaism. He has also called attention to the close connection between Paul's doctrine of sin and the fall, and that of the Rabbis.]

[Footnote 90: Some of the Church Fathers (see Socr. H. E. III. 16) have attributed to Paul an accurate knowledge of Greek literature and philosophy: but that cannot be proved. The references of Heinrici (2 Kor.-Brief. p. 537-604) are worthy of our best thanks; but no certain judgment can be formed about the measure of the Apostles' Greek culture, so long as we do not know how great was the extent of spiritual ideas which were already precipitated in the speech of the time.]

[Footnote 91: The epistle to the Hebrews and the first epistle of Peter, as well as the Pastoral epistles belong to the Pauline circle; they are of the greatest value because they shew that certain fundamental features of Pauline theology took effect afterwards in an original way, or received independent parallels, and because they prove that the cosmic Christology of Paul made the greatest impression and was continued. In Christology, the epistle to the Ephesians in particular, leads directly from Paul to the pneumatic Christology of the post-apostolic period. Its non-genuineness is by no means certain to me.]

[Footnote 92: In the Ztschr. fuer Theol und Kirche, II. p. 189 ff. I have discussed the relation of the prologue of the fourth Gospel to the whole work and endeavoured to prove the following: "The prologue of the Gospel is not the key to its comprehension. It begins with a well-known great object, the Logos, re-adapts and transforms it—implicitly opposing false Christologies—in order to substitute for it Jesus Christ, the [Greek: monogenes theos], or in order to unveil it as this Jesus Christ. The idea of the Logos is allowed to fall from the moment that this takes place." The author continues to narrate of Jesus only with the view of establishing the belief that he is the Messiah, the son of God. This faith has for its main article the recognition that Jesus is descended from God and from heaven; but the author is far from endeavouring to work out this recognition from cosmological, philosophical considerations. According to the Evangelist, Jesus proves himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, in virtue of his self-testimony, and because he has brought a full knowledge of God and of life—purely supernatural divine blessings (Cf. besides, and partly in opposition, Holtzmann, i.d. Ztschr. f. wissensch. Theol. 1893). The author's peculiar world of theological ideas, is not, however, so entirely isolated in the early Christian literature as appears on the first impression. If, as is probable, the Ignatian Epistles are independent of the Gospel of John, further, the Supper prayer in the Didache, finally, certain mystic theological phrases in the Epistle of Barnabas, in the second epistle of Clement, and in Hermas, a complex of Theologoumena may be put together, which reaches back to the primitive period of the Church, and may be conceived as the general ground for the theology of John. This complex has on its side a close connection with the final development of the Jewish Hagiographic literature under Greek influence.]

[Footnote 93: The Jewish religion, especially since the (relative) close of the canon, had become more and more a religion of the Book.]

[Footnote 94: Examples of both in the New Testament are numerous. See, above all, Matt. I. 11. Even the belief that Jesus was born of a Virgin sprang from Isaiah VII. 14. It cannot, however, be proved to be in the writings of Paul (the two genealogies in Matt. and Luke directly exclude it: according to Dillmann, Jahrb. f. protest. Theol. p. 192 ff. Luke I. 34, 35 would be the addition of a redactor); but it must have arisen very early, as the Gentile Christians of the second century would seem to have unanimously confessed it (see the Romish Symbol, Ignatius, Aristides, Justin, etc.) For the rest, it was long before theologians recognised in the Virgin birth of Jesus more than fulfilment of a prophecy, viz., a fact of salvation. The conjecture of Usener, that the idea of the birth from a Virgin is a heathen myth which was received by the Christians, contradicts the entire earliest development of Christian tradition which is free from heathen myths, so far as these had not already been received by wide circles of Jews, (above all, certain Babylonian and Persian Myths), which in the case of that idea is not demonstrable. Besides, it is in point of method not permissible to stray so far when we have near at hand such a complete explanation as Isaiah VII. 14. Those who suppose that the reality of the Virgin birth must be held fast, must assume that a misunderstood prophecy has been here fulfilled (on the true meaning of the passage see Dillmann (Jesajas, 5 Aufl. p. 69): "of the birth by a Virgin (i.e., of one who at the birth was still a Virgin.) the Hebrew text says nothing ... Immanuel as beginning and representative of the new generation, from which one should finally take possession of the king's throne"). The application of an unhistorical local method in the exposition of the Old Testament—Haggada and Rabbinic allegorism—may be found in many passages of Paul (see, e.g., Gal. III. 16, 19; IV. 22-31; 1 Cor. IX. 9; X. 4; XI. 10; Rom. IV. etc.).]

[Footnote 95: The proof of this may be found in the quotations in early Christian writings from the Apocalypses of Enoch, Ezra, Eldad and Modad, the assumption of Moses and other Jewish Apocalypses unknown to us. They were regarded as Divine revelations beside the Old Testament; see the proofs of their frequent and long continued use in Schuerer's "History of the Jewish people in the time of our Lord." But the Christians in receiving these Jewish Apocalypses did not leave them intact, but adapted them with greater or less Christian additions (see Ezra, Enoch, Ascension of Isaiah). Even the Apocalypse of John is, as Vischer (Texte u. Unters. 3 altchristl. lit. Gesch. Bd. II. H. 4) has shown, a Jewish Apocalypse adapted to a Christian meaning. But in this activity, and in the production of little Apocalyptic prophetic sayings and articles (see in the Epistle to the Ephesians, and in those of Barnabas and Clement) the Christian labour here in the earliest period seems to have exhausted itself. At least we do not know with certainty of any great Apocalyptic writing of an original kind proceeding from Christian circles. Even the Apocalypse of Peter which, thanks to the discovery of Bouriant, we now know better, is not a completely original work as contrasted with the Jewish Apocalypses.]

[Footnote 96: The Gospel reliance on the Lamb who was slain, very significantly pervades the Revelation of John, that is, its Christian parts. Even the Apocalypse of Peter shews Jesus Christ as the comfort of believers and as the Revealer of the future. In it (v. 3,) Christ says; "Then will God come to those who believe on me, those who hunger and thirst and mourn, etc."]

[Footnote 97: These words were written before the Apocalypse of Peter was discovered. That Apocalypse confirms what is said in the text. Moreover, its delineation of Paradise and blessedness are not wanting in poetic charm and power. In its delineation of Hell, which prepares the way for Dante's Hell, the author is scared by no terror.]

[Footnote 98: These ideas, however, encircled the earliest Christendom as with a wall of fire, and preserved it from a too early contact with the world.]

[Footnote 99: An accurate examination of the eschatological sayings of Jesus in the synoptists shews that much foreign matter is mixed with them (see Weiffenbach, Der Wiederkunftsgedanke Jesu, 1875). That the tradition here was very uncertain because influenced by the Jewish Apocalyptic, is shewn by the one fact that Papias (in Iren. V. 33) quotes as words of the Lord which had been handed down by the disciples, a group of sayings which we find in the Apocalypse of Baruch, about the amazing fruitfulness of the earth during the time of the Messianic Kingdom.]

[Footnote 100: We may here call attention to an interesting remark of Goethe. Among his Apophthegms (no. 537) is the following: "Apocrypha: It would be important to collect what is historically known about these books, and to shew that these very Apocryphal writings with which the communities of the first centuries of our era were flooded, were the real cause why Christianity at no moment of political or Church history could stand forth in all her beauty and purity." A historian would not express himself in this way, but yet there lies at the root of this remark a true historical insight.]

[Footnote 101: See Schuerer, History of the Jewish people. Div. II. vol. II. p. 160 f., yet the remarks of the Jew Trypho in the dialogue of Justin shew that the notions of a pre-existent Messiah were by no means very widely spread in Judaism. (See also Orig. c. Cels. I. 49: "A Jew would not at all admit that any Prophet had said, the Son of God will come: they avoided this designation and used instead the saying: the anointed of God will come"). The Apocalyptists and Rabbis attributed pre-existence, that is, a heavenly origin to many sacred things and persons, such as the Patriarchs, Moses, the Tabernacle, the Temple vessels, the city of Jerusalem. That the true Temple and the real Jerusalem were with God in heaven and would come down from heaven at the appointed time, must have been a very wide-spread idea, especially at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and even earlier than that (see Gal. IV. 26; Rev. XXI. 2; Heb. XII. 22). In the Assumption of Moses (c. 1) Moses says of himself: Dominus invenit me, qui ab initio orbis terrarum praeparatus sum, ut sim arbiter ([Greek: mesites]) testamenti illius ([Greek: tes diathekes autou]). In the Midrasch Bereschith rabba VIII. 2. we read, "R. Simeon ben Lakisch says, 'The law was in existence 2000 years before the creation of the world.'" In the Jewish treatise [Greek: Proseuche Ioseph], which Origen has several times quoted, Jacob says of himself (ap. Orig. tom. II. in Joann. C. 25. Opp. IV. 84): "[Greek: ho gar lalon pros humas, ego Iakob kai Isrel, angelos theou eimi ego kai pneuma archikon kai Abraam kai Isaak proektisthesan pro pantos ergou, ego de Iakob ... ego protogonos pantos zoos zooumenou hupo theou]." These examples could easily be increased. The Jewish speculations about Angels and Mediators, which at the time of Christ grew very luxuriantly among the Scribes and Apocalyptists, and endangered the purity and vitality of the Old Testament idea of God, were also very important for the development of Christian dogmatics. But neither these speculations, nor the notions of heavenly Archetypes, nor of pre-existence, are to be referred to Hellenic influence. This may have co-operated here and there, but the rise of these speculations in Judaism is not to be explained by it; they rather exhibit the Oriental stamp. But, of course, the stage in the development of the nations had now been reached, in which the creations of Oriental fancy and Mythology could be fused with the ideal conceptions of Hellenic philosophy.]

[Footnote 102: The conception of heavenly ideals of precious earthly things followed from the first naive method of speculation we have mentioned, that of a pre-existence of persons from the last. If the world was created for the sake of the people of Israel, and the Apocalyptists expressly taught that, then it follows, that in the thought of God Israel was older than the world. The idea of a kind of pre-existence of the people of Israel follows from this. We can still see this process of thought very plainly in the shepherd of Hermas, who expressly declares that the world was created for the sake of the Church. In consequence of this he maintains that the Church was very old, and was created before the foundation of the world. See Vis. I. 2. 4; II. 4. 1 [Greek: Diati oun presbutera] (scil.) [Greek: he ekklesia: Hoti, phesin, panton prote ektisthe dia touto presbutera, kai dia tauten ho kosmos katertisthe]. But in order to estimate aright the bearing of these speculations, we must observe that, according to them, the precious things and persons, so far as they are now really manifested, were never conceived as endowed with a double nature. No hint is given of such an assumption; the sensible appearance was rather conceived as a mere wrapping which was necessary only to its becoming visible, or, conversely, the pre-existence or the archetype was no longer thought of in presence of the historical appearance of the object. That pneumatic form of existence was not set forth in accordance with the analogy of existence verified by sense, but was left in suspense. The idea of "existence" here could run through all the stages which, according to the Mythology and Meta-physic of the time, lay between what we now call "valid," and the most concrete being. He who nowadays undertakes to justify the notion of pre-existence, will find himself in a very different situation from these earlier times, as he will no longer be able to count on shifting conceptions of existence. See Appendix I. at the end of this Vol. for a fuller discussion of the idea of pre-existence.]

[Footnote 103: It must be observed here that Palestinian Judaism, without any apparent influence from Alexandria, though not independently of the Greek spirit, had already created a multitude of intermediate beings between God and the world, avowing thereby that the idea of God had become stiff and rigid. "Its original aim was simply to help the God of Judaism in his need." Among these intermediate beings should be specially mentioned the Memra of God (see also the Shechina and the Metatron).]

[Footnote 104: See Justin Dial. 48. fin: Justin certainly is not favourably disposed towards those who regard Christ as a "man among men," but he knows that there are such people.]

[Footnote 105: The miraculous genesis of Christ in the Virgin by the Holy Spirit and the real pre-existence are of course mutually exclusive. At a later period, it is true, it became necessary to unite them in thought.]

[Footnote 106: There is the less need for treating this more fully here, as no New Testament Christology has become the direct starting-point of later doctrinal developments. The Gentile Christians had transmitted to them, as a unanimous doctrine, the message that Christ is the Lord who is to be worshipped, and that one must think of him as the Judge of the living and the dead, that is, [Greek: hos peri theou]. But it certainly could not fail to be of importance for the result that already many of the earliest Christian writers, and therefore even Paul, perceived in Jesus a spiritual being come down from heaven ([Greek: pneuma]) who was [Greek: en morphe theou], and whose real act of love consisted in his very descent.]

[Footnote 107: The creation of the New Testament canon first paved the way for putting an end, though only in part, to the production of Evangelic "facts" within the Church. For Hermas (Sim. IX. 16) can relate that the Apostles also descended to the under world and there preached. Others report the same of John the Baptist. Origen in his homily on 1 Kings XXVII. says that Moses, Samuel and all the Prophets descended to Hades and there preached. A series of facts of Evangelic history which have no parallel in the accounts of our Synoptists, and are certainly legendary, may be put together from the epistle of Barnabas, Justin, the second epistle of Clement, Papias, the Gospel to the Hebrews, and the Gospel to the Egyptians. But the synoptic reports themselves, especially in the articles for which we have only a solitary witness, shew an extensive legendary material, and even in the Gospel of John, the free production of facts cannot be mistaken. Of what a curious nature some of these were, and that they are by no means to be entirely explained from the Old Testament, as for example, Justin's account of the ass on which Christ rode into Jerusalem, having been bound to a vine, is shewn by the very old fragment in one source of the Apostolic constitutions (Texte u. Unters II. 5. p. 28 ff.); [Greek: hote etpsen ho didaskalos ton arton kai to poterion kai eulogesen auta legon touto esti to soma mou kai to haima, ouk epetrepse tautais] (the women) [Greek: sustenai hemin ... Martha eipen dia Mariam, hoti eiden auten meidiosan. Maria eipen ouketi egelasa]. Narratives such as those of Christ's descent to Hell and ascent to heaven, which arose comparatively late, though still at the close of the first century (see Book I. Chap 3) sprang out of short formulae containing an antithesis (death and resurrection, first advent in lowliness, second advent in glory: descensus de coelo, ascensus in c[oe]lum; ascensus in coelum, descensus ad inferna) which appeared to be required by Old Testament predictions, and were commended by their naturalness. Just as it is still, in the same way naively inferred: if Christ rose bodily he must also have ascended bodily (visibly?) into heaven.]

[Footnote 108: The Sibylline Oracles, composed by Jews, from 160 B.C. to 189 A.D. are specially instructive here: See the Editions of Friedlieb. 1852; Alexandre, 1869; Rzach, 1891. Delaunay, Moines et Sibylles dans l'antiquite judeo-grecque, 1874. Schuerer in the work mentioned above. The writings of Josephus also yield rich booty, especially his apology for Judaism in the two books against Apion. But it must be noted that there were Jews, enlightened by Hellenism, who were still very zealous in their observance of the law. "Philo urges most earnestly to the observance of the law in opposition to that party which drew the extreme inferences of the allegoristic method, and put aside the outer legality as something not essential for the spiritual life. Philo thinks that by an exact observance of these ceremonies on their material side, one will also come to know better their symbolical meaning" (Siegfried, Philo, p. 157).]

[Footnote 109: Direct evidence is certainly almost entirely wanting here, but the indirect speaks all the more emphatically: see Sec. 3, Supplements 1, 2.]

[Footnote 110: The Jewish propaganda, though by no means effaced, gave way very distinctly to the Christian from the middle of the second century. But from this time we find few more traces of an enlightened Hellenistic Judaism. Moreover, the Messianic expectation also seems to have somewhat given way to occupation with the law. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as other Jewish terms certainly played a great role in Gentile and Gnostic magical formulae of the third century, as may be seen, e.g., from many passages in Origen c. Celsum.]

[Footnote 111: The prerogative of Israel was for all that clung to; Israel remains the chosen people.]

[Footnote 112: The brilliant investigations of Bernays, however, have shewn how many-sided that philosophy of religion was. The proofs of asceticism in this Hellenistic Judaism are especially of great interest for the history of dogma (See Theophrastus' treatise on piety). In the eighth Epistle of Heraclitus, composed by a Hellenistic Jew in the first century, it is said (Bernays, p. 182). "So long a time before, O Hermodorus, saw thee that Sibyl, and even then thou wert" [Greek: eide se pro posoutou aionos, Ermodore he Sibulla ekeine, kai tote estha]. Even here then the notion is expressed that foreknowledge and predestination invest the known and the determined with a kind of existence. Of great importance is the fact that even before Philo, the idea of the wisdom of God creating the world and passing over to men had been hypostatised in Alexandrian Judaism (see Sirach, Baruch, the wisdom of Solomon, Enoch, nay, even the book of Proverbs). But so long as the deutero-canonical Old Testament, and also the Alexandrine and Apocalyptic literature continue in the sad condition in which they are at present, we can form no certain judgment and draw no decided conclusions on the subject. When will the scholar appear who will at length throw light on these writings, and therewith on the section of inner Jewish history most interesting to the Christian theologian? As yet we have only a most thankworthy preliminary study in Schuerer's great work, and beside it particular or dilettante attempts which hardly shew what the problem really is, far less solve it. What disclosures even the fourth book of the Maccabees alone yields for the connection of the Old Testament with Hellenism!]

[Footnote 113: "So far as the sensible world is a work of the Logos, it is called [Greek: neoteros huios] (quod deus immut. 6. I.277), or according to Prov. VIII. 22, an offspring of God and wisdom: [Greek: he de paradexamene to tou theou sperma telesphorois odisi ton monon kai agapeton aistheton huion apekuese ton de ton kosmon] (de ebriet 8 I. 361 f). So far as the Logos is High Priest his relation to the world is symbolically expressed by the garment of the High Priest, to which exegesis the play on the word [Greek: kosmos], as meaning both ornament and world, lent its aid." This speculation (see Siegfried. Philo, 235) is of special importance; for it shews how closely the ideas [Greek: cosmos] and [Greek: logos] were connected.]

[Footnote 114: Of all the Greek Philosophers of the second century, Plutarch of Chaeronea, died c. 125 A.D., and Numenius of Apamea, second half of the second century, approach nearest to Philo; but the latter of the two was undoubtedly familiar with Jewish philosophy, specially with Philo, and probably also with Christian writings.]

[Footnote 115: As to the way in which Philo (see also 4 Maccab. V. 24) learned to connect the Stoic ethics with the authority of the Torah, as was also done by the Palestinian Midrash, and represented the Torah as the foundation of the world, and therewith as the law of nature: see Siegfried, Philo, p. 156.]

[Footnote 116: Philo by his exhortations to seek the blessed life, has by no means broken with the intellectualism of the Greek philosophy, he has only gone beyond it. The way of knowledge and speculation is to him also the way of religion and morality. But his formal principle is supernatural and leads to a supernatural knowledge which finally passes over into sight.]

[Footnote 117: But everything was now ready for this synthesis so that it could be, and immediately was, completed by Christian philosophers.]

[Footnote 118: We cannot discover Philo's influence in the writings of Paul. But here again we must remember that the scripture learning of Palestinian teachers developed speculations which appear closely related to the Alexandrian, and partly are so, but yet cannot be deduced from them. The element common to them must, for the present at least, be deduced from the harmony of conditions in which the different nations of the East were at that time placed, a harmony which we cannot exactly measure.]

[Footnote 119: The conception of God's relation to the world as given in the fourth Gospel is not Philonic. The Logos doctrine there is therefore essentially not that of Philo (against Kuenen and others. See p. 93).]

[Footnote 120: Siegfried (Philo. p. 160-197) has presented in detail Philo's allegorical interpretation of scripture, his hermeneutic principles and their application. Without an exact knowledge of these principles we cannot understand the Scripture expositions of the Fathers, and therefore also cannot do them justice.]

[Footnote 121: See Siegfried, Philo. p. 176. Yet, as a rule, the method of isolating and adapting passages of scripture, and the method of unlimited combination were sufficient.]

[Footnote 122: Numerous examples of this may be found in the epistle of Barnabas (see c. 4-9), and in the dialogue of Justin with Trypho (here they are objects of controversy, see cc. 71-73, 120), but also in many other Christian writings, (e.g., Clem. ad. Cor. VIII. 3; XVII. 6; XXIII. 3, 4; XXVI. 5; XLVI. 2; 2 Clem. XIII. 2). These Christian additions were long retained in the Latin Bible, (see also Lactantius and other Latins: Pseudo-Cyprian de aleat. 2 etc.), the most celebrated of them is the addition "a ligno" to "dominus regnavit" in Psalm XCVI., see Credner, Beitraege II. The treatment of the Old Testament in the epistle of Barnabas is specially instructive, and exhibits the greatest formal agreement with that of Philo. We may close here with the words in which Siegfried sums up his judgment on Philo. "No Jewish writer has contributed so much as Philo to the breaking up of particularism, and the dissolution of Judaism. The history of his people, though he believed in it literally, was in its main points a didactic allegoric poem for enabling him to inculcate the doctrine that man attains the vision of God by mortification of the flesh. The law was regarded by him as the best guide to this, but it had lost its exclusive value, as it was admitted to be possible to reach the goal without it, and it had, besides, its aim outside itself. The God of Philo was no longer the old living God of Israel, but an imaginary being who, to obtain power over the world, needed a Logos by whom the palladium of Israel, the unity of God, was taken a prey. So Israel lost everything which had hitherto characterised her."]

[Footnote 123: Proofs in Friedlaender, Sittengeschichte, vol. 3.]

[Footnote 124: See the chapter on belief in immortality in Friedlaender. Sittengesch. Roms. Bde. 3. Among the numerous mysteries known to us, that of Mythras deserves special consideration. From the middle of the second century the Church Fathers saw in it, above all, the caricature of the Church. The worship of Mithras had its redeemer, its mediator, hierarchy, sacrifice, baptism and sacred meal. The ideas of expiation, immortality, and the Redeemer God, were very vividly present in this cult, which of course, in later times, borrowed much from Christianity: see the accounts of Marquardt, Reville, and the Essay of Sayous, Le Taurobole in the Rev. de l'Hist. des Religions, 1887, where the earliest literature is also utilised. The worship of Mithras in the third century became the most powerful rival of Christianity. In connection with this should be specially noted the cult of AEsculapius, the God who helps the body and the soul; see my essay "Medicinisches aus der aeltesten Kirchengeschichte," 1892. p. 93 ff.]

[Footnote 125: Hence the wide prevalence of the cult of AEsculapius.]

[Footnote 126: Dominus in certain circumstances means more than deus; see Tertull. Apol. It signifies more than Soter: see Irenaeus I. 1. 3: [Greek: ton sotera legousin, oude gar kurion onomazein auton thelousin—kurios] and [Greek: despotes] are almost synonymous. See Philo. Quis. rer. div. heres. 6: [Greek: sunonuma tauta einai legetai].]

[Footnote 127: We must give special attention here to the variability and elasticity of the concept [Greek: theos], and indeed among the cultured as well as the uncultured (Orig. prolegg. in Psalm, in Pitra, Anal. T. II. p. 437, according to a Stoic source; [Greek: kat' allon de tropon legesthai theon zoion athanaton logikon opoudaion, hoste pasan asteian psychen theon huparchein, kan periechetai, allos de legesthai theon to kath' auto on zoion athanaton hos ta en anthropois periechomenas psychas me huparchein theous]). They still regarded the Gods as passionless, blessed men living for ever. The idea therefore of a [Greek: theopoiesis], and on the other hand, the idea of the appearance of the Gods in human form presented no difficulty (see Acts XIV. 11; XXVIII. 6). But philosophic speculation—the Platonic, as well as in yet greater measure the Stoic, and in the greatest measure of all the Cynic—had led to the recognition of something divine in man's spirit ([Greek: pneuma, nous]). Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations frequently speaks of the God who dwells in us. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VI. 14. 113) says: [Greek: houtos dunamin labousa kuriaken he psyche meletai einai theos, kakon men ouden allo plen agnoias einai nomizousa.] In Bernays' Heraclitian Epistles, pp. 37 f. 135 f., will be found a valuable exposition of the Stoic (Heraclitian) thesis and its history, that men are Gods. See Norden, Beitraege zur Gesch. d. griech. Philos. Jahrb. f. klass Philol. XIX. Suppl. Bd. p. 373 ff., about the Cynic Philosopher who, contemplating the life and activity of man ([Greek: kataskopos]), becomes its [Greek: episkopos], and further [Greek: kurios, angelos theou, theos en anthropois]. The passages which he adduces are of importance for the history of dogma in a twofold respect. (1) They present remarkable parallels to Christology (one even finds the designations, [Greek: kurios, angelos, kataskopos, episkopos, theos] associated with the philosophers as with Christ, e.g., in Justin; nay, the Cynics and Neoplatonics speak of [Greek: episkopoi daimones]); cf. also the remarkable narrative in Laertius VI. 102, concerning the Cynic Menedemus; [Greek: houtos, katha phesin Hippobotos, eis tosos ton terateias elasen, hoste Erinuos analabon schema perieiei, legon episkopos aphichthai ex Haidou ton hamartomenon, hopos palin kation tasta apangelloi tois ekei, daimosin.] (2) They also explain how the ecclesiastical [Greek: episkopoi] came to be so highly prized, inasmuch as these also were from a very early period regarded as mediators between God and man, and considered as [Greek: en anthropois theoi]. There were not a few who in the first and second centuries, appeared with the claim to be regarded as a God or an organ inspired and chosen by God (Simon Magus [cf. the manner of his treatment in Hippol. Philos. VI. 8: see also Clem. Hom. II. 27], Apollonius of Tyana (?), see further Tacitus Hist. II. 51: "Mariccus.... iamque adsertor Galliarum et deus, nomen id sibi indiderat"; here belongs also the gradually developing worship of the Emperor: "dominus ac deus noster." cf. Augustus, Inscription of the year 25; 24 B.C. in Egypt [where the Ptolemies were for long described as Gods] [Greek: Huper Kaisaros Autokrattoros theou] (Zeitschrift fur Aegypt. Sprache. XXXI Bd. p. 3). Domitian: [Greek: theos Adrianos], Kaibel Inscr. Gr. 829. 1053. [Greek: theos Seoueros Eusebes]. 1061—the Antinouscult with its prophets. See also Josephus on Herod Agrippa. Antiq. XIX 8. 2. (Euseb. H. E. II. 10). The flatterers said to him, [Greek: theon prosagoreuontes; ei kai mechri nun hos anthropon ephobethemen, alla tounteuthen kreittona se thnetes tes phuseos homologoumen.] Herod himself, Sec. 7, says to his friends in his sickness: [Greek: ho theos humin ego ede katastrephein epitattomai ton bion ... ho kletheis athanatos huph' hemon ede thanein apagomai]). On the other hand, we must mention the worship of the founder in some philosophic schools, especially among the Epicureans Epictetus says (Moral. 15), Diogenes and Heraclitus and those like them are justly called Gods. Very instructive in this connection are the reproaches of the heathen against the Christians, and of Christian partisans against one another with regard to the almost divine veneration of their teachers. Lucian (Peregr. II) reproaches the Christians in Syria for having regarded Peregrinus as a God and a new Socrates. The heathen in Smyrna, after the burning of Polycarp, feared that the Christians would begin to pay him divine honours (Euseb. H. E. IV. 15 41). Caecilius in Minucius Felix speaks of divine honours being paid by Christians to priests (Octav. IX. 10). The Antimontanist (Euseb. H. E. V. 18. 6) asserts that the Montanists worship their prophet and Alexander the Confessor as divine. The opponents of the Roman Adoptians (Euseb. H. E. V. 28) reproach them with praying to Galen. There are many passages in which the Gnostics are reproached with paying Divine honours to the heads of their schools, and for many Gnostic schools (the Carpocratians, for example) the reproach seems to have been just. All this is extremely instructive. The genius, the hero, the founder of a new school who promises to shew the certain way to the vita beata, the emperor, the philosopher (numerous Stoic passages might be noted here) finally, man, in so far as he is inhabited by [Greek: nous]—could all somehow be considered as [Greek: theoi], so elastic was this concept. All these instances of Apotheosis in no way endangered the Monotheism which had been developed from the mixture of Gods and from philosophy; for the one supreme Godhead can unfold his inexhaustible essence in a variety of existences, which, while his creatures as to their origin, are parts of his essence as to their contents. This Monotheism does not yet exactly disclaim its Polytheistic origin. The Christian, Hermas, says to his Mistress (Vis. I 1. 7) [Greek: ou pantote se hos thean hegesamen], and the author of the Epistle of Diognetus writes (X. 6), [Greek: tauta tois epideomenois choregon], (i.e., the rich man) [Greek: theos ginetai ton lambanonton]. That the concept [Greek: theos] was again used only of one God, was due to the fact that one now started from the definition "qui vitam aeternam habet," and again from the definition "qui est super omnia et originem nescit." From the latter followed the absolute unity of God, from the former a plurality of Gods. Both could be so harmonised (see Tertull. adv. Prax. and Novat. de Trinit.) that one could assume that the God, qui est super omnia, might allow his monarchy to be administered by several persons, and might dispense the gift of immortality and with it a relative divinity.]

[Footnote 128: See the so-called Neopythagorean philosophers and the so-called forerunners of Neoplatonism (Cf. Bigg, The Platonists of Alexandria, p. 250, as to Numenius). Unfortunately, we have as yet no sufficient investigation of the question what influence, if any, the Jewish Alexandrian Philosophy of religion had on the development of Greek philosophy in the second and third centuries. The answering of the question would be of the greatest importance. But at present it cannot even be said whether the Jewish philosophy of religion had any influence on the genesis of Neoplatonism. On the relation of Neoplatonism to Christianity and their mutual approximation, see the excellent account in Tzschirner, Fall des Heidenthums, pp. 574-618. Cf. also Reville, La Religion a Rome, 1886.]

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11     Next Part
Home - Random Browse