Early Church Fathers
7 In the mss. this clause of v. 27, with the following comment, ora pwz, k. t. l. is set in the midst of the comment on v. 29: viz. before the sentence which (in the old text) also begins with ora pwj. It is certainly misplaced there. See note 5.-Diairousi to paqoj seems to refer to the mention of Herod and Pontius Pilate.
8 o epitreyaj, o kai egkalwn kai eij peraj agagwn. The meaning seems to be, that though permitting, He calls to account, and though holding men responsible, yet brought it to pass. The modern text omits o kai erkalwn, and adds eirgasw at the end.
9 to auto legein thn dunamin kai boulhn. i. e. "hand" means "power," and "hand" (or, power) and "purpose," or, "will" here make one notion, "Thy will which is also power," for to Thee to will is to prevail: not two notions, for we do not say that power determines, but only the will.-The Edd. however, adopt from E. rhn xeira for to auto, which spoils the sense. "By the hand he means the power and the purpose."-Below, b.c. have oti rh xeiri dietatten (A. omits the clause), we retain from E. F. D. diepratten.-Oecum. "The hand and the counsel mean the same thing: for where there is power, there is no need of counsel. What Thou didst order from the beginning is done."
10 Here the mss. insert, $On exisaj, fhsin. #Ora pwj, k. t. l. "Observe how, even in prayer, they circumstantially describe the Passion, and refer all to God" etc. And then: "Observe how they ask all," etc. See note 2.-Here for the latter ora or oraj pwj of the old text, E. has eidej pwj.
11 Edd. kai eij parrhsian pleiona aleifwn, as the conclusion of the preceding sentence before the (omitted) text. "And anointing them (as wrestlers) unto greater boldness." Then, "For since it was the beginning (of their work), they besought also a sensible sign in order that they might be believed (proj to pisteuqhnai autouj, but after this, etc.). Great was the encouragement they thus received from their prayer. And with good reason they crave the grace of signs, for they had no other means," etc.
12 'Epei tote cenwj gegonen. Kai gar ote estaurwqh, esaleuqh h gh. Edd. 'Epi de tou swthriou paqouj cenwj kai para fusin gegone: kai gar tote pasa esaleuqh h gh. "But at the Passion of our Saviour it happened in an unusual manner and preternaturally: for then all the earth was shaken." Instead of the next sentence, "And the Lord Himself," etc. E. has, "to the intent the power of Him that was crucified should everywhere be known, and that the Sufferer was God, and not simply man. But further: although it was a token of wrath, yet was it of His wrath against the adversaries," etc., but Edd. follow the old text here.
13 A. b.c. omit the text: D. F. Edd. insert from v. 33, 34. "And great grace was upon them all, neither was there any among them that lacked:" E. "And with great power, etc. and great grace," etc. Tou pragmatoj h dunamij, i. e. of the having all things common, as below, p. 163. C. has pneumatoj, which Saville adopts.
14 The innovator, mistaking the meaning of to deuteron (viz the reference to ch. ii. 44), has, Saying above (v. 32), Neither said any of them, etc., and here (v. 34), "Neither was there any among them that lacked." So Edd.
15 The strong expressions of Chrys. concerning the community of goods at Jerusalem are quite different from the guarded and limiting statements of most modern commentators who seem bent upon showing that it was only a case of remarkable liberality, e.g. Hackett in loco: "Common in the use of their property, not necessarily in their possession of it." Our author's statements agree better with the New Test. notices on the subject. The main facts are these. (1) There was a real and general community of property. The statements in Acts on this point are clear and strong: kai elxon apanta koina (ii. 44); They were selling and distributing their real and personal property-ta kthmata kai taj uparceij (ii. 45). Nor did any one say that anything of his possessions was his own, all hn autoij apanta koina, (iv. 32); "As many as (osoi) were possessors of lands or houses," sold them, brought the money and distribution was made to the needs of each (iv. 34, 35). This is more than distinguished liberality or mere prevailing willingness to give. (2) This peculiar phenomenon was connected with the habit of living together as a group or family, on the part of the Jerusalem Christians (i. 13; ii. 42-44). It was an evidence that they were peculiarly one in heart and soul, that no mere. her of this closely-knit community was allowed to suffer while others could supply him (iv. 32-34). (3) The arrangement was purely voluntary. There was no law or demand in the case. Ananias and Sapphira (v. 1-11) were not punished for contributing to the common treasury only a part of the price of the land but as verse 4 clearly shows, for falsely presenting it as the whole. Yet the fact that they wished to have it thought that they had brought all seems to show that to bring all was customary and expected. (4) This community of goods was both local and temporary. It seems to have been confined to Jerusalem. There is no allusion to it in the Epistles. It sprang out of the ardor of brotherly love in the early years of the Christian community at Jerusalem and in view of the special needs of many of its members. The special poverty of the church at Jerusalem which made contributions from other churches necessary, may have resulted in part, as Meyer suggests, from the working of this plan. (5) The custom can hardly be explained apart from the expectation of the nearness of the Parousia. In the Thessalonian church all labor for self-support was upon the point of ceasing for the same reason. 1 Thess. iii, 10, sq.-G.
16 eiz poson iouywn ariqmon sunteinei; The word here used perplexed the scribes of later times when it had become obsolete, and N. has ioulwn, B. iouggwn, C. oggwn (sic), only A. ex cart. iougwn. The innovator substitutes migadwn and suntelei. The meaning is, At what number of juga is our city assessed to the imperial tributes? Justinian Novell. xvii. c. 8. prescribes that the imperial praktorej, exactores, shall be compelled to insert in their returns (apoxai) the exact quantity "of zygocephala or juga or jugalia or whatever else be the term used in different localities:" to poson twn zugokefalwn h io ugwn h iougaliwn, h opwj dhpote an auta kata xwpan kaloien. See Du Fresne Gloss. s. vv. It seems that each holding of land was rated or assessed at so many juga or yokes of oxen; moreover the term jugum is equivalent to a measure of land, as Varro remarks that land is measured in some places by juga, in others by jugera.
17 i. e. People now are more afraid of this (the cenobiticals way of life, than they are of launching into the sea of this world's temptations: whereas if we had made trial of this, we should boldly venture upon the practice so happily adopted by the first Christians. (tou pragmatoj as above, p. 73, note 3.)
18 'Ean odw probainwmen. B. unnecessarily inserts taurh, which Ben. adopts. "Si hac via progrediamur." 9Odw probainein (or odw badizein) is a common phrase in St. Chrys. Applied to persons, it means "to be fairly started and getting on:" to things, "to be in train," as in Hom. i. odw kai ta alla proubainen, "the rest would follow in course."
1 Chrys, evidently regards the death of Ananias and Sapphira as a miracle wrought by Peter (so Meyer). All that the narrative states is that Peter disclosed the sin of Ananias and foretold the fate of his wife (Lechler). The middle position seems preferable: Peter acted as the instrument of God, the agent of the divine retribution. His will acted in conscious harmony with the divine purpose of which it was the organ (so Gloag).-G. B. S.
2 Ei oudeij etolma kollasqai antoij t. apost. For ei, which is the reading of A., and seems to be the true reading, b.c. N. have h. The passage is corrupt, but the sense may be restored by inserting the words of the sacred text as above: i. e. To them, the Apostles, none durst join himself, but believers were the more added to the Lord, etc. Then o gar Petroj k. t. l. falls into its natural place as the comment on Petrou kan h skia. But with the other reading, h, the sense may be completed as below, p. 78, viz. "or, no man durst," etc., [so that they were allowed to remain undisturbed in Solomon's porch.] The modern text, after "the people magnified them," substitutes: Eikotwj: kai gar o P. k. t. l. "With reason. For indeed Peter was henceforth terrible, inflicting punishment, exposing even the thoughts of the mind: to whom also they gave more heed by reason of the miracle," etc.
3 The modern text inserts here: "But not so Ananias: he secretes a part of the price of the field which he sold: wherefore also he is punished as one who did not manage his business rightly, and who was convicted of stealing what was his own."
4 Edd. from E., omitting this and the following sentence, insert v. 14, 15, and below, John xiv. 12, both of which are wanting in the old text.
5 Edd. from E. "But not only for this reason, but because, being exceedingly humane and beneficent, they succored some with money, some with healing of their bodies. Why hath Satan filled thine heart? Peter," etc.
6 E. Edd. "therefore both in the case of the man himself,and in that of the wife, he makes the judgment terrible."
7 Our author touches upon the difficulty which has so often been found in this narrative on account of the apparent disproportion of the penalty to the offence. But it is to be remembered that: (1) The narrative presents the sin as the most heinous-lying to God-trying to deceive the Holy Spirit whose organs the Apostles were. It was a deliberate conspiracy for this purpose. (2) These persons were members of the church who professed to possess and should have possessed the Holy Spirit. Instead they had been overcome by a Satanic principle which here makes its manifestation in pride and hypocrisy. The selfishness of the deed is the more grievous because of the great piety and sacrifice of the act which was counterfeited. Pride is the greater evil, the higher the virtue which it simulates. (3) Such a retributive miracle, besides being just in itself, may have been specially necessary in this early stage of the church's life to warn against deception and fraud and to emphasize the principles of honor in the early church. "So terrible was this judgment in order to guard the first operations of the Holy Spirit" (Neander).-G. B. S.
8 Edd. from E. "Now if, their sin being inexcusable, he had not inflicted such punishment on them both, what contempt of God would thence have arisen! And that this was the reason, is evident from the fact, that he did not immediately," etc.
9 E. Edd. "There will be none to war upon us: just as, if we be put asunder one from another, on the contrary all will set upon us. Hence it was that they henceforth were of good courage, and with boldness attacked," etc.
10 Eukairon kai apo thj Palaiaj deicai to xalepon thj epiorkiaj thmeron. Meaning perhaps that this had occurred in one of the Scripture Lessons for the day. Below, Kaqaper gar drepanon opouper an empesh ouk an kaq eauto anelkusqeih monon, alla kai apotemnomenhj thj kefalhj. So A. B. N. Savil. and C., which last however has apo for apotemnomenhj. Hales ap. Sav. suggests, that apotemn. thj kef. ought to be rejected: it is better however to supply eij traxhlon before empesh as in the translation. The meaning is explained in Serm. ad. Pop. Antioch. xv. t. ii. 158. D. "A flying sword, one might manage to escape from, drepanhn de eij ton traxhlon empesousan kai anti sxoiniou genomenhn, oudeij an diafugoi, but from a sickle darted round the neck and catching it as a halter would, there can be no escape." Hence it appears that the innovator has quite mistaken the Author's meaning. He reads, Kaqaper gar drepanon eij traxhlon empeson ouk an kaq eauto anelkusqeih, menei de pwj eti kai apotemnomenhj thj kefalhj: i. e. "having cut off one head, it still remains, that it may cut off more:" which is irrelevant to the matter in hand, viz. how. to drepanoeidej denotes to afukton thj timwriaj. Of the Edd. Savile alone retains the old and genuine reading. Montf. strangely remarks, "Savilianam lectionem esse Morelliana quam sequimur obscuriorem."
1 Oecumenius has in part preserved the true reading, t. e. diegerqeij, kinhqeij, epi toij ginomenoij [text omitted] sfodroteron autoij epitiqetai. A. b.c. Cat. t. e., dihgerqh, kinhqeij epi toij gen. <\dq_Kai eq. autouj en t. d.<\|dq_ Nun sfodr. autoij epitiqentai. And again after praouj esesqai,-Kai sfodr. epitiqentai (Cat. epitiqetai): eqento autouj, f., en t. d. Aggeloj de k. t. l.-E. D. F. Edd. "Nothing more reckless than wickedness, nothing more audacious. Having learned by experience the courage of these men, from the attempts they had made before, they nevertheless attempt, and again come to the attack. What means it, `And having risen up, the high-priest and they that were with him?0' He was roused, it says, being excited at what had taken place. `And laid their hands on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison.0' Now they assault them more vigorously: but did not forthwith, etc. And whence is it manifest that they assaulted them more vigorously? From their putting them in the common prison. Again they are involved in danger, and again they experience succor from God. And in what manner, hear from what follows."
2 Oti outw mallon h ekeinwj episteuqhsan: outw kai ouk an epi to erwthsai hlqon, ouk an eterwj episteusan. If it be meant that the Apostles were more believed because the miracle itself was not seen, than they would have been if the Angel had brought them out in open day, this may be understood in a sense which St. Chrys. expresses elsewhere, viz. with reference to the nature of faith: "in the latter case there could have been no room for doubt; people would have been forced to acknowledge the claims of the Apostles." Thus Hom. vi. in 1 Cor. "Put the case that Christ should come this moment with all the Angels, reveal Himself as God, and all be subject unto Him: would not the heathen believe? But will this be counted unto the heathen for faith? No: this were no faith; for a compulsory power from without-the visible appearance-would have effected this. There is no free choice in the matter: ouk esti to pragma proairesewj." But then the next sentence ought to be, Ekeinwj gar oud an epi to er. hlqon: ei de oux outwj, ouk an eterwj ep., or to that effect.-Perhaps, however, the meaning is rather: "It was so plain to common sense that a miracle must have been wrought, that had the Angel brought them out in the sight of all men (outw), they could not have been more believed than they had a right to be as the case was (ekeinwj). Had the miracle been performed openly (outw), people would have had no occasion even to ask, How is this? And they who, as it was, were not brought to ask such a question, would certainly not have believed under any other circumstances. So in the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar, when he sees the Holy Men praising God in the furnace, is brought to ask in amazement, Did we not cast three men, etc.: but these priests are so hardened, that instead of asking as they ought to have done, How came ye out? they only ask, as if nothing had happened. Did we not straitly charge you, etc. And observe, they have no excuse for their wilful apathy: for they have had a full report of the circumstances from the officers: the prison shut, the guards at their posts." If this be the meaning, we must replace ouk an or oud an in the sentence oti outw mallon k. t. l. But the text is too corrupt to be restored by any simple emendation.-Edd. "Because in this way, etc. especially as they would hot have been brought to ask the question, nor yet in another case would they themselves have believed;" allwj te kai oti ouk an, and oute mhn eterwj an kai autoi episteusan.
3 Here the mss. insert v. 21-23, inconveniently; for it interrupts the connection. Chrys. here deviates from his usual method, not following the narrative point by point, but reflecting first upon the conduct of the priests. Of course it is to be understood, that the whole text, at least to v. 28, had been first read out.
4 In the mss. this comment is placed before v. 24.
5 Here A. b.c. N. insert v. 29 omitted above by the two first. The following sentence, omitted here by D. E. F. and inserted after v. 31, is there repeated by A. b.c.
6 E. Edd. "Observe the excess of their wickedness. When they ought to have been struck with alarm at what they heard, here they are cut (to the heart), and take counsel in their temerity (bouleuontai eikh) to slay (them)." The innovator did not perceive the reference to ii. 37 in oi alloi "tauta akousantej katenughsan."
7 E. and Edd. "`Having brought them forth.0' He does not himself bring them away, but lets them go: that in this way also their intrepidity might be known; which also they showed, in that by night they entered into the temple and taught." In the following sentence perhaps the purport of what St. Chrys. said was, that "if, as the priests supposed, the guards had let them out, the guards themselves would have absconded, and the Apostles would not have stood in the temple, but would have escaped." Ei ge peisqentej may have been said of the guards, "if they had been bribed or otherwise induced to let them out;" but all the mss. have ei ge p. echlqon, in the sense, "supposing, which is not likely, that the Apostles had been induced to come forth at the request of the guards." Savile gives this clause to the latter part, beginning as E. and Edd. with mallon de ei eceb. for kai ei eceb. "Supposing they had been induced to come out, or rather if those had put them out:" Ben. refers it to what precedes; "they would have fled, if they had come out at their request: nay, if those had put them out," etc.
8 The meaning of the council's statement: "Ye intend to bring this man's blood upon us" (28) probably is: You would cause an insurrection against us and thus be avenged for the crucifixion of Jesus (Meyer): others take it to mean: You would carry the idea that we had murdered an innocent man in crucifying Jesus (Hackett). The strong language of Peter in reply (29) which seems to imply: We cannot help consequences; we must obey God in our preaching and healing, favors the former view. The confusion of the text of Chrys. here (see note in loco) makes his view on this point uncertain.-G. B.S.
9 fonikaj loipon boulontai deicai taj proaireseij twn 'Ioudaiwn. As the latter part of the sentence, wj ou di' alhqeian tauta poiountwn all' amunasqai boulomenwn, seems inapplicable to the Jews, and to be meant for the Apostles, it may be conjectured that the true reading is twn Apostolwn: "that the Apostles were bent upon having blood." But all the mss. have twn 'Ioudaiwn, and the sense so far is satisfactory: viz. They want to make it appear now indeed what bloody-minded men the Jews are: now, not when Christ was crucified.
10 The modern text: "So artlessly did they preach the Gospel of life. But when he says, `He hath exalted,0' he states for what purpose, namely, `to give repentance0' he adds, `to Israel, and remission of sins.0' But, it will be said, these things seemed incredible. How say you? And why not rather credible. seeing that neither rulers," etc.
11 Here begins a second recapitulation or rather gleaning, partly of matter not touched upon before, partly of further remarks on what has been said.- 9Wj eudokimountej egguj twn profhtwn emellon istasqai: This relates to v. 13-16, as the reason why they were "filled with indignation." The innovator (E. F. D. Edd.) not perceiving this, alters wj eudokimountej to h wj eudokimountaj, which he joins to the former sentence, "How else could any one have persuaded them than (by treating them) as persons in high repute?" and adds, "And mark their malignity: they set on them the Sadducees who were most sore on the subject of the Resurrection: but they got nothing by their wickedness. But perchance," etc.
12 St. Chrysostom frequently contends against the common excuse, "We cannot attain to the holiness of the first Christians, because there are no miracles now." Thus, he urges, Hom. in Matt. xlvi., that it was not their miracles that made the saints, both of the Old and of the New Testament, great and admirable, but their virtues: without which, no miracles would have availed for themselves or others: that if they wrought miracles, it was after they, by their noble qualities and admirable lives had attracted the Divine grace: for miracles proceed from a holy life, and this is also their goal: only he that lives a holy life receives this grace; and he that receives it, receives it only that he may amend the life of others ...Let no man therefore wait for miracles. It afflicts the evil spirit when he is expelled from the body, much more when he sees the soul set free from sin: for in this lies Satan's great power, and to destroy this, Christ died. In expelling this from thyself, thou hast performed a miracle greater than all miracles. This is not my doctrine; it is the doctrine of the Apostle Paul. 1 Cor. xii. 31, the "more excellent way" is not miracles, but Charity, the root of all good. If we practise this we need no miracles; and if we practise not from miracles we shall get no good.
13 tauta thj anastasewj pistotera. E. omits this, and inserts aphggeilan upostreyantej aper eidon. "They reported on their return just what they had seen:" so Edd. except Savile, who retains the reading of E. and adds to it as above (from N.)
14 eqnesi tosoutoij omilwn uper metastasewj politeiaj monhj.
15 Edd. "And why," you will ask, "is poverty thought a thing to be fled from!" Why, because other good things are, in the judgment of many, things to be fled from, not because they are to be deprecated, but because hard of attainment.
16 The Epigram is preserved in the Palatine Anthology, 7. 676.
Douloj 'Epikthtoj genomhn, kai swmati phroj,
kai penian \Iroj, kai filoj aqanatoij.
But our mss. except E., for \Iroj have ieroj, "sacred."
17 Something is wanting in the old text to complete the sense: the matter in the brackets is supplied from E. D. F. Below, the same have: "to swear not at all: a haven, that one be not drowned by the storm bursting. For though wrath, though (sense of) insult, though passion boil over, yea though anything, be what it may, the soul is in security, so that it will not even utter aught that should not be spoken: for one has laid himself," etc.
18 Diarrhcwmen ta sxoinia: en eukolia katasthswmen eautouj: pashj aporiaj apallagwmen kai thj satanikhj pagidoj. i. e. "The cords of this snare are, the ties of worldly business in the possession or pursuit of wealth: there is a condition, as was said above, in which it is full easy not to swear; let us bring ourselves into that condition: all that makes us say, `We cannot help swearing,0' (pashj aporiaj), let us have done with it, and break loose from the snare of the devil." The exhortation connects both parts of the "Morale"-the commendation of voluntary poverty, and the invective against swearing. In the modern text (E. F. D. Edd.) this is lost sight of: it reads: diarr. ta sx. kai en euk. katasthsomen (al. -swmen) pashj fulakhj: apallagwmen thj sat. pag. "Let us hurst the cords, and we shall bring ourselves into a facility of all watchfulness: let us break loose," etc.
1 In the Clementine Recogn. i. 65, Gamaliel is spoken of as having been early a Christian in secret. Lucian the Presbyter a.d. 415, writes an account of the discovery in consequence of a vision in which Gamaliel himself appeared to him, of the reliques of St. Stephen, together with those of Nicodemus and Gamaliel. See note on St. Augustin Comm. on St. John, p. 1048. Photius, Cod. 171, p. 199 read in a work of Eustratius how Gamaliel was baptized by St. Peter and St. John. (According to the Jewish tradition, Wolf. Bibl. Hebr. ii. 882. he died President of the Sanhedrim, eighteen years after the fall of Jerusalem.)
2 The modern text: "As if he had said, Forbear; and it these men came together of themselves, nothing will hinder them also to be overthrown." C. reads hmaj, "What to hinder us?" Catena, as above.
3 oute gar ellhnisti dielegonto. So A. b.c. N. but Cat. outoi, and E. D. F. add 9Ebraioi ontej. "For these used the Greek language, being Hebrews." There is no need to adopt this reading: the comment seems to belong to the words, against the Hebrews: viz. "they murmured against them, seeing they were overlooked, etc., for neither could these Hebrews converse with them in the Greek language."
4 ara (Cat. ora) kai ekeinoi plhreij pistewj hsan (E. D. F. add uoj kai ecelecanto). ina mh ta auta k. t. l. The meaning seems to be: "If Stephen was a man full of faith, so were the others: (they were careful to choose only such,): in order that," etc.
5 Omitted in the old text: supplied by E.-Below, E. omits, "for, saith the Scripture, in the mouth of two witnesses:" and amplifies the rest, adding, "even a third, superabundantly: both showing how well he himself speaks, and leading them away from their sanguinary purpose."
6 Edd. from E. "Saying this, he speaks nothing blasphemous against Christ, but what he most wishes, he effects. `If,0' says he, `it be of men, it will come to naught.0' Here he seems to me to put it to them by way of syllogism, and to say: Consequently, since it has not come to naught, it is not of man. `Lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.0' This he said to check them," etc.-Below, alla to ergon touto dhloi, might be rendered, "but he is declaring this work" (viz. "if this work be of men," etc.): the modern text, to gar ergon touto edhlou.
7 Meyer finds in the expression of Gamaliel (38, 39): "if it be of men-ean h ec anqrwpwn" and "if it is of God-ei de ek qeou estin" an indication that he leaned to the latter opinion. While this distinction is grammatically valid it can scarcely be justified as intentional. Gamaliel, although tolerant toward Christianity, as the Pharisaic party in general were at this time, was not a Christian in secret, but an orthodox Jew. His advice was politic even from a Jewish point of view. He saw, as the more bitter party did not, that this sort of opposition would only serve to rouse all the energy and perseverance of the Christian disciples and thus indirectly tend to the increase and spread of their doctrines among the people.-G. B. S.
8 E. F. D. and Edd. (except Savile) add, mallon de mononouxi toiauta dikaiologoumenoj troj autouj apoteinetai. "Or rather he all but with just remonstrance thus expostulates with them: "Ye were persuaded," etc. Below, 'Ekei tetrakosioi, ekei tetrakisxilioi: kai wde k. t. l. But the mention of the four thousand, here referred to the second instance (Judas of Galilee), is in fact derived from the case of the Egyptian, ch. xxi. 38, being the third instance which "he might have cited." Accordingly the modern text substitutes, "There four hundred stood up, and after this a great multitude."
9 E. and Edd. omit the following sentence, substituting the first two clauses of v. 40 and after "the character of the man," add, "wherefore also they desist from their purpose of killing the Apostles. and having only scourged they dismiss them."
10 Standing here by itself, this last clause of v, 7 is quite out of its place. It is best explained as marking the conclusion of the text v. 1-7 here again read out. In the old text it is followed by the comment, 'Ekeino gar to genoj edokei timiwteron einai: as if "this description of people" meant the priests: and then, "And there arose," it says, "a murmuring," v. 1. We have restored the comment to its proper place.-The innovator adds as comment on v. 7: Touto ainittomenou esti kai deiknuntoj oti af' wn o kata Xristou fanatoj eskeuasfh, polloi apo toutwn pisteuousin. "This is by way of hint, to show that of those very persons, by whose machinations the sentence of death against Christ was procured, of those same many believe. "There arose," it says, "a murmuring," etc. And so Edd.
11 The murmuring arose from the "Hellenists" who are not mentioned by Chrys. (probably because of a defect of the text). These Hellenists are distinguished from the "Hebrews" and were probably Greek-speaking Jews resident in Jerusalem who had become Christians and who are here distinguished by their language from the great mass of the Jewish Christians who spoke the vernacular.-G. B. S.
12 The neglect here referred to was doubtless, as Chrys. says, unintentional (vs. Meyer) and arose from the increasing difficulties of administering the affairs of so large a society as the Christian community at Jerusalem had now become, on the plan of a common treasury. The narrative gives the impression that the complaint was not unfounded. It is not unlikely that the natural jealousy between the Greek and Palestinian Jews may have sharpened the sense of neglect. This is the first record of dissension in the Christian Church. We may note thus early the conditions which tended to develop a Jewish and a Gentile party in the church; the germs of dissenting sects of Ebionites and Gnostics which developed into so many dangerous and harmful forms in the apostolic, and especially in the post-apostolic age.-G. B. S.
13 9Qraj ta ecw diadexomena ta esw; E. omits this and so Edd. The antithesis here seems to be, not, as before, of evils from without and from within the Church; but of the concerns of the body and of the soul.
14 E. D. F. Morel. Ben. omit this sentence, and go on with, "Now when Matthias," etc. Savile: "And a very good decision this is. And they present seven, not now twelve, full," etc.
15 'Epeidh gar eidon ton arxonta kai didaskalon toiauta apofhnamenon, apo twn ergwn loipon thn peiran elambanon. Meaning, perhaps, that these priests, acting upon the counsel of Gamaliel, put the question to the test of facts and experience, and learned that it was of God.-In the next sentence, a covert censure seems to be implied: q. d. "Would it be so now? Would there not be parties and factions in the choosing of the men? Would not the Bishop's overture be rejected, were he to propose a plan for ridding himself of the like distracting demands upon his time?
16 alla twn presbuterwn estin h oikonomia, interrogatively (so in Conc. Quinisext. Can. xvi., see below), but in the Edd. this is put affirmatively; Ben. Sed presbyterorum erat oeconomia. Atqui nullus adhuc erat episcopus. Erasm. Sed presbyterorum est hoec dispensatio, tametsi nullus adhuc esset episco pus." But to say that the oikonomia, i.e. stewardship and management of Church funds (in Chrysostom's time). was vested in the presbyters, would be contrary to facts. Therefore we take it interrogatively: the answer not expressed, being, "No: it belongs to the Bishops." Perhaps, however, the passage may be restored thus; 'Alla twn presbuterwn; 'Alla twn episkopwn (or Oude twn presb.) estin h oik. Kaitoi k. t. l. "Well, was it that of presbyters? Nay, this stewardship belongs to Bishops. (Or, No, neither does it belong to presbyters.) And yet," etc.-The following sentence, #Ofen oute diakonwn oute presbuterwn oimai (Cat. om.) to onoma einai dhlon kai faneron, as the text stands, might seem to mean, "Whence I think that neither of deacons nor of presbyters is the name clearly sad manifestly expressed:" i.e. "there is no express and clear mention in this narrative either of deacons or of presbyters: and I account for this circumstance by the fact, that there were no Bishops." Ben. Unde puto nec diaconorum nec presbyterorum tunc fuisse nomen admissum nec manifestum. But transposing oimai and einai, or indeed even as the words stand, we get the sense expressed in the translation, which is more suitable. So Erasmus: Unde neque diaconorum neque presbyterorum nomen esse opinor quod clarum ac manifestum. St. Chrys. says, "Their appellation and office is neither deacons nor presbyters: they were ordained upon a special emergency."-It seems to have been commonly held in earlier times, that Acts vi. 1-6 is the history of the first institution of the Diaconate. Thus the Council of Nicocaesarea ordains (a.d. 314) that in each city, however large, the number of deacons according to the Canon ought to be seven, and for proof appeals to this history, peisqhsh de apo thj biblou twn pracewn. In the third century, Cornelius Ep. ad Fab. ap. Eus. H. E. vi. 43 states, that the clergy of Rome consisted of one Bishop, forty-six presbyters, seven deacons, etc. (Accordingly St. Jerome, Ep. 146 al. 101 ad Evang. remarks: Diaconos paucitas honorabiles facit. Comp. Sozomen. vii. 19.) But the rule which assigned to each Bishop seven deacons, neither more nor less, was not always followed in large cities, as appears even from the Canon above cited: how greatly that number was exceeded in later times, may be seen in the Novellae of Justinian, when it is enacted (iii. c. 1.) that the number of deacons in the metropolitan Church at Constantinople should be a hundred. The Council or Councils commonly called the fifth and sixth General (Conc. Quinisextum, or Trullanum,) held under the same Emperor, a.d. 692, sanctioned this departure from the earlier rule, in the following Canon (xvi). "Whereas the Book of Acts relates that seven deacons were appointed by the Apostles, and the Council of Neocaesarea in its Canons determines that "The number of deacons in each city," etc. (as above): we, having applied the sense of the Fathers to the Apostolic text, find that the said history relates not to the deacons who minister in the mysteries, but to the service of tables, etc.: the history in the Acts being as follows, "And in those days," etc. (Acts vi. 1-6.) The doctor of the Church, John Chrysostom, expounding the same, thus speaks: "It is a subject for wonder §neither deacons nor presbyters is their designation," (as above.) Hereupon therefore do we also publish, that the aforesaid seven deacons be not taken to mean those which minister in the mysteries, as in the doctrine above rehearsed: but that these are they which were charged with the service of the common need of the people then gathered together; albeit herein these be unto us a pattern of humane and diligent attendance on them that be in necessity.
17 There is no sufficient ground to doubt that this narrative describes the formation of the diaconate which we find existing later in the apostolic age (Phil. i. 1; 1 Tim. iii. 8-12). Although the word diakonoj does not here occur, we have the corresponding verb diakonein and abstract noun diakonia (1, 2). The chief grounds of this opinion are: (1) the substantial identity of the duties here described and those of the later diaconate; (2) the almost universal testimony of patristic tradition to their identity: (3) the continuance for centuries of the number seven in the diaconate of churches (like that at Rome) where more than seven would naturally be required, out of deference to the apostolic mode. See Lightfoot, Com. on Philippians, pp. 187-9.-G. B. S.
18 kai touto, wsper to khrugmq, outwj hnueto:-touto, the "serving of tables" itself: outwj, by this arrangement. Ta gar pleiw tautaij hnuon: the more time the Apostles had for prayer, the better for the Church: so much depended on their prayers. Therefore the plan was every way beneficial: outw ta pneumatika epelegonto, (Erasm. adnumerabantur, Ben. praeferebantur, but the meaning is, "they chose to themselves,") outw kai apodhmiaj estellonto, outwj enexeirisuhsan outoi ton logon: "by this arrangement, the Apostles were free to give their undivided attention to spiritual matters; to leave Jerusalem, if need were, on journeys to distant places: by this arrangement, in short, the Word was their proper charge-not secular matters, such as Bishops are now burdened with, in addition to their proper duties," Comp. note 1, p. 90. He adds: The writer, indeed, does not say all this, nor extol the devotion with which the Apostles gave themselves up to their work, and how beneficial the arrangement proved: but it is said, "It is not reason," etc. Moses had set the example in this regard: and in token of their concern for the poor, observe the charge which they afterwards gave to Paul and Barnabas, to "remember the poor."
19 Pwj de prohgon toutouj; 'Ehsteuon. Edd. from E., "But how they also brought these forward, learn thou. They fasted, they continued in prayer. This ought also to be done now."-As there is no mention of fasting in Acts vi. 1-6 perhaps this refers to 'the history xiii. 2, 3 of the mission of Paul and Barnabas, to which he has just alluded.-Below, kai tauth de qaumastoj hn a f. The clause to which this refers is misplaced in the old text, viz. before the sentence, "In Jerusalem," etc. where E. and Edd. restore the proper clause of v. 7 kai eplhquneto, k. t. l. The connection is: "The Apostles desired seven men full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom:" and such was Stephen, "a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost:" such doubtless were the others likewise; (supra, p. 88) certainly Philip was eminent in this regard, for [besides the history of his preaching at Samaria, ch. viii.] he is afterwards conspicuous in the history as Philip the Evangelist.
20 kai meizona telhsai patein h boulestai: so all our mss. Erasm. "Et majora voluisse pati, vel velle." Ben. Et majora velle pati." But the meaning is, "To be ready to suffer greater wrongs than an enemy chooses to inflict:" alluding to Matt. v. 39-41 Comp. Hom. xviii. in Matt. p. 238. D. to kai parasxein eauton eij to paqein kakwj: ...to kai pleon parasxein h ekeinoj bouletai o poihsaj. If for boulestai we read bouletai, the sense is clearer: h boulestai, "than that he should wish it," is somewhat abrupt.
21 Ou dunatai eipein auton kakwj: kai dedoikaj mhpwj ouk hn, fhsin, toioutoj. Here and in the following sentences we seem to have a string of apothegms from heathen moralists: ta ecwqen eirhmena, as he says below. But in this sentence the text appears to be corrupt, and the mss. lend no real assistance for the reading adopted by Edd. from E. F. D. is only meant for restoration: viz. "Therefore, when any would compel thee to speak evil of some person (kakhgorhsai tina, Sav. marg. apextwj proj tina exein) say to him, `I cannot speak evil of him: for I fear lest perchance he were not (hn, Sav. eih) such.0'"-A. as usual in cases of difficulty, omits the passage as unintelligible. Whether fhsin denotes a citation or an interlocution, and whether hn is the first or the third person, must be left doubtful; but the words might be rendered, "Lest perchance I, says he, (i.e. the person attacked), be not such." Below, mh entuxhj kata toutou tw Qew is strangely rendered by Erasm. Ne in hoc cum Deo pugnes: "Lest herein thou fight against God."
22 oti exoi ti twn allwn twn adiaforwn. E. D. F. Edd. diaferon "something about him, better than other men." Below, for ennohsanta gar "for when one has considered," Edd. have ennohsantaj de kai, "but when you consider also:" i. e. "but if the case be not so," etc. In fact something is wanting: for the case here supposed is that the charge is true: the person has been guilty of some immorality, which the other publicly exposes.
23 ta legomena sunagomen, b.c. N. omiting ecwqen, which Sav. supplies. A. E. D. F. Ben. ta ecwqen eirhmena legomen.-Below, for kaqwj ta eqnh (fhsin) poihsate, which is not found in Scripture, E. Edd. have, Ouxi kai oi eqnikoi to auto poiousin; Matt. v. 47.
24 Touto men oun auto kakon, fhsin. Auto men oun touto kalon to mh kat acian paqein. Morel. from E. kakon for kalon: which supposes it to be put interrogatively: "this thing itself an evil, say you?"-The philosopher, whose apothegm is here referred to, is Socrates: of whom Diog. Laert. in Vit. relates: "His wife having said, Thou art unjustly put to death: sn de, efh, dikaiwj eboulou; wouldst thou rather it were justly?" But Xenophon, in Apol. relates a similar answer made to Apollodorus, "a simple-minded but affectionate disciple of Socrates. This, said he, O Socrates, is what hurts me most, that I see thee unjustly put to death. And he, stroking the head of his disciple, replied: And wouldest thou, my friend, rather see me justly than unjustly put to death?" Down. ap. Sav.
25 We supply this from the modern text, which, however, has ton oux outwj; But ekeinon is better, as this will account for the omission. Our mss. have: touj dikaiwj apotanontaj, h ekeinon kai taumazeij