Early Church Fathers
1 Paul's prompt summoning of the unbelieving Jews was due as Chrys. reminds us, to his desire to conciliate them and thus to prevent the rise of new obstacles to the progress of the gospel. The apostle might naturally suppose that the Jews of Jerusalem, who were bent upon destroying him, had lodged information against him with their brethren at Rome and that his appearance as a prisoner might still further excite their prejudice and opposition. This view of Paul's action removes the objection that he could not have given attention to the Jews before making the acquaintance of the Christian church (Zeller). He had, however, made their acquaintance; the brethren had gone out to meet him on his approach to the city and he had probably spent the most of the three days referred to in their company. Zeller has objected still more zealously to Paul's statement. "I have done nothing against this people or the customs of the fathers." Paul's meaning, however, is, that he had never sought the destruction or subversion of the Jewish law and customs, but had ever labored in the line of the Messianic fulfilment of them. Meyer fitly says: "His antagonism to the law was directed against justification by the Law."
2 viz. by saying only antilegontwn twn 'Ioud., whereas they had shown the utmost malignity against him, accusing him of crimes which they could not prove, and "saying that he was not fit to live:" but he is so forbearing, that though he might have turned all this against them, he sinks the mention of it, etc.
3 Ti dh ta meta tauta; For the answer to this question, see the Recapitulation.-The remainder of the Exposition had fallen into extreme confusion, in consequence of the original redactor's having read the notes in the order 2, 4, 6: 1, 3, 5: 7: and this is followed by another series of trajections. The restoration of the true order here, and in the numerous cases of the like kind in the former homilies, was no easy matter; but being effected, it speaks for itself. Later scribes (of the old text) have altered a few words here and there: but the framer of the mod. text has endeavored to make it read smoothly. in point of grammar, little regarding the sense and coherence of the whole.
4 Kai tosauth h periousia, i. e. not only the Jews could prove nothing against him, but the Romans also, to whom they delivered him, after strict and repeated examinations, found nothing in him worthy of death. So ex abundanti, enough and more than enough, was his innocence established. Mod. text adds thj eleuqeriaj.
5 This clause to deicai oti Pwmaioij paredwkan desmion is wanting in A. C. In the next clause. deon ekeinouj katadikasai, "whereas, had I been guilty, those, the Jews at Jerusalem, ought to have condemned me, instead of that, `they delivered me prisoner to the Romans,0' and the consequence was, that `I was compelled to appeal unto Caesar.0'" But this clause being followed by e, mod. text connects thus: touj de katadikasai deon ekeinouj, deon kathgorhsai: but whereas these (the Jews at Rome) ought to have condemned those (the Jews at Jerusalem), ought to have accused them, they rather apologize for them, etc.
6 deon ekeinwn kathgorhsai: apologountai di wn kathgorousin autwn. We restore it thus, apologountai: di wn apologountai, kathgorousin autwn. And in (b), Touto men gar auto for-autou. "This very thing," i. e. their neither sending letters concerning him to Rome, nor coming themselves; "if they had been confident of their cause (eqarroun), kan touto epoihsan, they would at any rate have sent letters concerning him, if they did not come themselves. wste mh dunhqhnai sunarpasai me, Erasmus, who here makes his version from the old text, ita ne possent me simul rapere. The mod. text "for if they had been confident, they would at least have done this and come together, wste auton sunarpasai, ut ipsum secum attraherent." (Ben.) It does not appear what me has to do here, unless the words, defectively reported, are put in St. Paul's mouth: "if," he might say, "they were confident, they would have done this, so that I should not be able sunarpasai." The expression sunarpasai (sc. to zhtoumenon) is a term of logic, "to seize to one's self as proved some point which is yet in debate and not granted by the opponent:" therefore a petitio principii. Above, p. 321, we had sunarpagh in the sense of "jumping hastily to a conclusion." Later authors also use it in the sense, "to suppress." See above, p. 209, note 5. Here, "they would at any rate have written letters concerning him (or, me), that so he (or, I) might not be able to have it all his (or, my) own way:" to beg the point in dispute, and run off with his own justification.-allwj te kai elqein wknhsan, "especially as they shrunk from coming: kai to pollakij epixei-risai edeican, A., epixhrai edeisan." Read kai tw p. epixeirhsai "by their repeated attempts (to slay him?)" edeican oti ouk eqarroun, or oti edeisan. Mod. text. "But now, not being confident they shrunk from coming; especially as by their frequent attempting, they showed that they were not confident."
7 Needless difficulties have been found in v. 22. It is said that the Jews speak as if they had heard of the Christian Church at Rome, which some years before is represented by Paul's Epistle to the Romans as large and flourishing (Rom. i. 8), only from hearsay, and that Luke must have represented them as so speaking in order to represent Paul as the founder of the Roman Church. For the reserve of the Jews, however, plausible and sufficient reasons can be given, if the fact that they say no more than they do requires explanation. To us it does not seem to require any. The Jews do not state that they know nothing concerning the Roman Christians. They speak of the "sect" in general, but do not say that they know of it only by hearsay. They simply state one thing which they know, not how they know it, nor that it is all that they know. This statement served their purpose to commit themselves in no way against Paul concerning whom they had received no official information from Jerusalem (v. 21) as also the purpose to encourage Paul to explain himself and defend his cause fully and frankly to them.-G. B. S.
8 i. e. "You say, He is accused of preaching everywhere against the Law-but of what do ye accuse him? what have you heard him say? Not a word of the kind did he speak. They did but see him in the Temple, xxi. 27, and straightway stirred up all the people against him."
9 all' ekeinoj ouketi. A., ekeinwn. Cat., ekeino. Mod. text all' entauqa men outwj, kei de ouketi. !Allwj de kai-. He makes this an argument against those who affirmed the Holy Ghost to be a created Angel. There are many places where an Angel speaks in the name of the Lord, and what the Angel says, is the Lord's saying. But in speaking of such a communication, one would not say, Well spake the Angel, but, Well spake the Lord. So here, if the Spirit were but an Angel, St. Paul would not have said, "Well spake the Holy Spirit: he would have said, Well spake the Lord. Hence the clause all' ekeinoj or ekeino (sc. to Pn.) ouketi means, "But not so the Spirit," i. e. What has been said of the case of an Angel speaking in the name of the Lord, does not apply here: the Holy Spirit speaks in His own name. The sense is obscured by the insertion of the clause kalwj eipe, f., to Pn. to #A. (which we omit) before all' ekeinoj ouketi.
10 Here follows another series of trajections: the parts, as it seems, having been transcribed from the notes in this order, 5, 3, 1: 6, 4, 2: 7, 9: 8, 10. Mod. text inserts here: "But Paul," it says, "dwelt two whole years in his own hired house." So without superfluity was he, rather so did he imitate his Master in all things, since he had even his dwelling furnished him, not from the labors of others, but from his own working: for the words, "in his own hired house," signify this. But that the Lord also did not possess a house, hear Him saying to the man who had not rightly said, "I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest: The foxes" said He "have holes, and the birds of the air have nests: but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." Thus did He from His own self teach that we should possess nothing, nor be exceedingly attached to things of this life. "And he received," it says, "all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God." See him speaking nothing of the things of sense; nothing concerning the present things, but all concerning the kingdom of God." And below after b, in place of c-g, the same has: "But he does this, and tells not what things came afterwards, deeming it would be superfluous for those who would take in hand the things he had written, and who would learn from these how to add on to the narration: for what the things were which went before, such doubtless he found these which came after. Hear too what he says, writing after these things (?) to the Romans, "Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you."
11 The report is very defective, but the meaning in general is this: See how his desire of coming to Rome is accomplished, but not in the way which he proposed. Hence in (h) we do not hesitate to supply the negative which is omitted in the mss. and the printed text. 'Oraj pwj OU panta proewra.
1 Field counts this as the first Homily: but it seemed needless to disturb the usual numeration.
2 It is remarkable that the conclusions of Chrys. should harmonize so well with the results of modern scholarship in regard to the order of the Pauline epistles. Except in assigning the Epistle to the Hebrews to Paul and in apparently interposing a considerable period between Philemon and Colossians, his statements may be taken as giving the best conclusions of criticism.-G. B. S.
3 "Or `Angel,0' i.e. Malachi; who was so called from the expression Mal. i. 1 (LXX. dia xei/oj aggelou. autou cf. E. V. in margin `by the hand of Malachi0'), cf. 2 Esdr. 1. 40."
4 Our author rightly attaches much importance to the time and occasion of writing as bearing upon the meaning of the epistles. The earliest epistles-those to the Thessalonians-relate to Paul's missionary labors and are but a continuation of the apostle's preaching. They might almost be called samples of his sermons. The group which falls next in order (Gal., 1 and 2 Cor., and Rom.) comprehends the great doctrinal discussions of the problems of law and grace, and reflects the conflict of the Apostle to the Gentiles with the Judaizing tendency in all its phases. This group is most important for the study of the Pauline theology. The third group-the epistles of the (first) imprisonment-Col Philem., Eph. and Phil.-besides containing a wonderful fulness and richness of Christian thought, exhibits to us the rise and spread of Gnostic heresies,-the introduction of heathen philosophical ideas which were destined to exert a mighty influence upon the theology, religion and life of the church for centuries. The last group-the Pastoral epistles-has a peculiar private and personal character from being addressed to individuals. They have a special value, for all who hold their genuineness, from being the latest Christian counsels of "Paul the aged."-G. B. S.
5 The "learning" of the Apostle Paul has been greatly exaggerated on both sides. It has been customary to overestimate it. He has been described as learned in Greek literature. The quotation of a few words from Aratus (Acts xvii. 28) and the use of two (probably) proverbial sayings which have been traced to Menander and Epimenides (1 Cor. xv. 33; Titus i. 12) furnish too slender support for this opinion. (vid. Meyer in locis). It is said that Paul had abundant opportunity to become acquainted with the Greek literature in Tarsus. But he left Tarsus at an early age and all the prejudices of his family would disincline him to the study of Heathen literature. His connection with Gamaliel and the style of his epistles alike show that his education was predominantly Jewish and Rabbinic. He was learned after the manner of the strictest Pharisees and from his residence in Tarsus and extended travel had acquired a good writing and speaking knowledge of the Greek language. Chrys. is uniformly inclined, however, to depreciate the culture of Paul. This springs from a desire to emphasize the greatness of his influence and power as compared with his attainments. The apostle's confession that he is an idiwthj tw-logw (2 Cor. xi. 6), means only that he was unskilled in eloquence and is to be taken as his own modest estimate of himself in that particular. Moreover it is immediately qualified by all ou th gnwsei which is entirely inconsistent with the idea that he was rude or illiterate in general, or that he considered himself to be so.-G. B. S.
1 In every one of his Epistles prefixes (Savile).
2 This expression is significant as showing the confidence of Chrys, in the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews. It need hardly be said that the reason for the omission of the Apostle's name is purely fanciful and that the non-Pauline character of the Epistle is almost demonstrable.-G. B. S.
3 Or, "not in one way only."
4 oikonomiaj, viz. the concealment of His glory in the Incarnation.
5 It is noticeable that in the New Testament the apostles call the body of believers "saints," but never apply this term to themselves or to one another. In later times the body of believers returned the compliment and fixed the term as a title upon the Apostles, New Testament writers, Church Fathers, and a large number of Christians more or less distinguished for learning or piety. Most Christians find the title more appropriate to the two first classes than to the two last.-G. B. S.
6 Which the Fathers teach to be a type of Christ upon the Cross. See on Tert. Apol. c. 30, p. 70. Oxf. Tr.
7 Supposed to be a vague recollection of St. Luke viii. 10, or of Acts xix. 10.
8 The expression has also another important bearing upon a question much debated by modern scholars, viz.: was the Roman Church predominantly Jewish or Gentile? The Pauline usage is strongly in favor of understanding by the words tae qnh Gentiles as opposed to Jews. If this is correct the expression together with en oij este would seem decisive as showing the predominantly Gentile character of the Roman Christian community.-G. B. S.
9 See St. Basil de Spiritu Sancto, c. 2, 4. and 5. St. Chrysostom is arguing against the Arian abuse of 1 Cor. viii. 6, as he does on the passage itself.
1 diaqesewj, see Ernesti Lex. Technol. in v.
2 Four mss. didaskaliaj, a father's mode of Teaching. S. khdemoniaj.
3 One Ms. adds, if Christ hath given him this care, and