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 § 24. The Miracle of Pentecost and the Birthday of the Christian Church. a.d. 30.


Kai; ejplhvsqhsan pavnte" pneuvmato" aJgivou, kai; h[rxanto lalei'n eJtevrai" glwvssai", Kaqw;" to; pneu'ma ejdivdou ajpofqevggesqai aujtoi'" —Acts 2:4


"The first Pentecost which the disciples celebrated after the ascension of our Saviour, is, next to the appearance of the Son of God on earth, the most significant event. It is the starting-point of the apostolic church and of that new spiritual life in humanity which proceeded from Him, and which since has been spreading and working, and will continue to work until the whole humanity is transformed into the image of Christ."—Neander (Geschichte der  Pflanzung und Leitung der christlichen Kirche durch die Apostel., I. 3, 4).



I. Sources: Acts 2:1-47. Comp. 1 Cor. 12 and 14. See Commentaries on the Acts by Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Lechler, Hackett, Alexander, Gloag, Alford, Wordsworth, Plumptre Jacobson, Howson and Spence, etc., and on the Corinthians by Billroth, Kling, Stanley, Heinrici, Edwards, Godet, Ellicott.

II. Special treatises o the Pentecostal Miracle and the Gift of Tongues (glossolalia) by Herder (Die Gabe der Sprachen, Riga, 1794) Hase (in Winer's "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftl. Theol." 1827), Bleek in "Studien und Kritiken" for 1829 and 1830), Baur in the "Tübinger Zeitschrift für Theol." for 1830 and 1831, and in the "Studien und Krit." 1838), Schneckenburger (in his Beiträge zur Einleitung in das N. T. 1832), Bäumlein (1834), Dav. Schulz (1836), Zinsler (1847), Zeller (Acts of the Apostles, I. 171, of the E. translation by J. Dare), Böhm (Irvingite, Reden mit Zungen und Weissagen, Berlin, 1848), Rossteuscher (Irvingite, Gabe der Sprachen im apost. Zeitalter, Marburg, 1855), Ad. Hilgenfeld (Glossolalie, Leipz. 1850), Maier (Glossolalie des apost. Zeitalters, 1855), Wieseler (in "Stud. u. Krit." 1838 and 1860), Schenkel (art. Zungenreden in his "Bibel-Lex." V. 732), Van Hengel (De gave der talen, Leiden, 1864), Plumptre (art. Gift of Tongues in Smith's, "B. D." IV. 3305, Am. ed.), Delitzsch (art. Pfingsten in Riehm's "H. B. A." 1880, p. 1184); K. Schmidt (in Herzog, 2d ed., xvii., 570 sqq.).

Comp. also Neander (I. 1), Lange (II. 13), Ewald (VI. 106), Thiersch (p. 65, 3d ed.), Schaff (191 and 469), Farrar (St. Paul, ch. V. vol. I. 83).


The ascension of Christ to heaven was followed ten days afterwards by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon earth and the birth of the Christian Church. The Pentecostal event was the necessary result of the Passover event. It could never have taken place without the preceding resurrection and ascension. It was the first act of the mediatorial reign of the exalted Redeemer in heaven, and the beginning of an unbroken series of manifestations in fulfilment of his promise to be with his people "alway, even unto the end of the world." For his ascension was only a withdrawal of his visible local presence, and the beginning of his spiritual omnipresence in the church which is "his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." The Easter miracle and the Pentecostal miracle are continued and verified by the daily moral miracles of regeneration and sanctification throughout Christendom.

We have but one authentic account of that epoch-making event, in the second chapter of Acts, but in the parting addresses of our Lord to his disciples the promise of the Paraclete who should lead them into the whole truth is very prominent,251 and the entire history of the apostolic church is illuminated and heated by the Pentecostal fire.252

Pentecost, i.e. the fiftieth day after the Passover-Sabbath,253 was a feast of joy and gladness, in the loveliest season of the year, and attracted a very large number of visitors to Jerusalem from foreign lands.254  It was one of the three great annual festivals of the Jews in which all the males were required to appear before the Lord. Passover was the first, and the feast of Tabernacles the third. Pentecost lasted one day, but the foreign Jews, after the period of the captivity, prolonged it to two days. It was the "feast of harvest," or "of the first fruits," and also (according to rabbinical tradition) the anniversary celebration of the Sinaitic legislation, which is supposed to have taken place on the fiftieth day after the Exodus from the land of bondage.255

This festival was admirably adapted for the opening event in the history of the apostolic church. It pointed typically to the first Christian harvest, and the establishment of the new theocracy in Christ; as the sacrifice of the paschal lamb and the exodus from Egypt foreshadowed the redemption of the world by the crucifixion of the Lamb of God. On no other day could the effusion of the Spirit of the exalted Redeemer produce such rich results and become at once so widely known. We may trace to this day not only the origin of the mother church at Jerusalem, but also the conversion of visitors from other cities, as Damascus, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome, who on their return would carry the glad tidings to their distant homes. For the strangers enumerated by Luke as witnesses of the great event, represented nearly all the countries in which Christianity was planted by the labors of the apostles.256

The Pentecost in the year of the Resurrection was the last Jewish (i.e. typical) and the first Christian Pentecost. It became the spiritual harvest feast of redemption from sin, and the birthday of the visible kingdom of Christ on earth. It marks the beginning of the dispensation of the Spirit, the third era in the history of the revelation of the triune God. On this day the Holy Spirit, who had hitherto wrought only sporadically and transiently, took up his permanent abode in mankind as the Spirit of truth and holiness, with the fulness of saving grace, to apply that grace thenceforth to believers, and to reveal and glorify Christ in their hearts, as Christ had revealed and glorified the Father.

While the apostles and disciples, about one hundred and twenty (ten times twelve) in number, no doubt mostly Galilaeans,257 were assembled before the morning devotions of the festal day, and were waiting in prayer for the fulfilment of the promise, the exalted Saviour sent from his heavenly throne the Holy Spirit upon them, and founded his church upon earth. The Sinaitic legislation was accompanied by "thunder and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, and all the people that was in the camp trembled."258  The church of the new covenant war, ushered into existence with startling signs which filled the spectators with wonder and fear. It is quite natural, as Neander remarks, that "the greatest miracle in the inner life of mankind should have been accompanied by extraordinary outward phenomena as sensible indications of its presence." A supernatural sound resembling that of a rushing mighty wind,259 came down from heaven and filled the whole house in which they were assembled; and tongues like flames of fire, distributed themselves among them, alighting for a while on each head.260  It is not said that these phenomena were really wind and fire, they are only compared to these elements,261 as the form which the Holy Spirit assumed at the baptism of Christ is compared to a dove.262  The tongues of flame were gleaming, but neither burning nor consuming; they appeared and disappeared like electric sparks or meteoric flashes. But these audible and visible signs were appropriate symbols of the purifying, enlightening, and quickening power of the Divine Spirit, and announced a new spiritual creation. The form of tongues referred to the glossolalia, and the apostolic eloquence as a gift of inspiration.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." This is the real inward miracle, the main fact, the central idea of the Pentecostal narrative. To the apostles it was their baptism, confirmation, and ordination, all in one, for they received no other.263  To them it was the great inspiration which enabled them hereafter to be authoritative teachers of the gospel by tongue and pen. Not that it superseded subsequent growth in knowledge, or special revelations on particular points (as Peter receive at Joppa, and Paul on several occasions); but they were endowed with such an understanding of Christ's words and plan of salvation as they never had before. What was dark and mysterious became now clear and full of meaning to them. The Spirit revealed to them the person and work of the Redeemer in the light of his resurrection and exaltation, and took full possession of their mind and heart. They were raised, as it were, to the mount of transfiguration, and saw Moses and Elijah and Jesus above them, face to face, swimming in heavenly light. They had now but one desire to gratify, but one object to live for, namely, to be witnesses of Christ and instruments of the salvation of their fellow-men, that they too might become partakers of their "inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven."264

But the communication of the Holy Spirit was not confined to the Twelve. It extended to the brethren of the Lord, the mother of Jesus, the pious women who had attended his ministry, and the whole brotherhood of a hundred and twenty souls who were assembled in that chamber.265  They were "all" filled with the Spirit, and all spoke with tongues;266 and Peter saw in the event the promised outpouring of the Spirit upon "all flesh," sons and daughters, young men and old men, servants and handmaidens.267  It is characteristic that in this spring season of the church the women were sitting with the men, not in a separate court as in the temple, nor divided by a partition as in the synagogue and the decayed churches of the East to this day, but in the same room as equal sharers in the spiritual blessings. The beginning was a prophetic anticipation of the end, and a manifestation of the universal priesthood and brotherhood of believers in Christ, in whom all are one, whether Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or female.268

This new spiritual life, illuminated, controlled, and directed by the Holy Spirit, manifested itself first in the speaking with tongues towards God, and then in the prophetic testimony towards the people. The former consisted of rapturous prayers and anthems of praise, the latter of sober teaching and exhortation. From the Mount of Transfiguration the disciples, like their Master, descended to the valley below to heal the sick and to call sinners to repentance.

The mysterious gift of tongues, or glossolalia, appears here for the first time, but became, with other extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, a frequent phenomenon in the apostolic churches, especially at Corinth, and is fully described by Paul. The distribution of the flaming tongues to each of the disciples caused the speaking with tongues. A new experience expresses itself always in appropriate language. The supernatural experience of the disciples broke through the confines of ordinary speech and burst out in ecstatic language of praise and thanksgiving to God for the great works he did among them.269  It was the Spirit himself who gave them utterance and played on their tongues, as on new tuned harps, unearthly melodies of praise. The glossolalia was here, as in all cases where it is mentioned, an act of worship and adoration, not an act of teaching and instruction, which followed afterwards in the sermon of Peter. It was the first Te Deum of the new-born church. It expressed itself in unusual, poetic, dithyrambic style and with a peculiar musical intonation. It was intelligible only to those who were in sympathy with the speaker; while unbelievers scoffingly ascribed it to madness or excess of wine. Nevertheless it served as a significant sign to all and arrested their attention to the presence of a supernatural power.270

So far we may say that the Pentecostal glossolalia was the same as that in the household of Cornelius in Caesarea after his conversion, which may be called a Gentile Pentecost,271 as that of the twelve disciples of John the Baptist at Ephesus, where it appears in connection with prophesying,272 and as that in the Christian congregation at Corinth.273

But at its first appearance the speaking with tongues differed in its effect upon the hearers by coming home to them at once in their own mother-tongues; while in Corinth it required an interpretation to be understood. The foreign spectators, at least a number of them, believed that the unlettered Galilaeans spoke intelligibly in the different dialects represented on the occasion.274  We must therefore suppose either that the speakers themselves, were endowed, at least temporarily, and for the particular purpose of proving their divine mission, with the gift of foreign languages not learned by them before, or that the Holy Spirit who distributed the tongues acted also as interpreter of the tongues, and applied the utterances of the speakers to the susceptible among the hearers.

The former is the most natural interpretation of Luke's language. Nevertheless I suggest the other alternative as preferable, for the following reasons: 1. The temporary endowment with a supernatural knowledge of foreign languages involves nearly all the difficulties of a permanent endowment, which is now generally abandoned, as going far beyond the data of the New Testament and known facts of the early spread of the gospel. 2. The speaking with tongues began before the spectators arrived, that is before there was any motive for the employment of foreign languages.275  3. The intervening agency of the Spirit harmonizes the three accounts of Luke, and Luke and Paul, or the Pentecostal and the Corinthian glossolalia; the only difference remaining is that in Corinth the interpretation of tongues was made by men in audible speech,276 in Jerusalem by the Holy Spirit in inward illumination and application. 4. The Holy Spirit was certainly at work among the hearers as well as the speakers, and brought about the conversion of three thousand on that memorable day. If he applied and made effective the sermon of Peter, why not also the preceding doxologies and benedictions?  5. Peter makes no allusion to foreign languages, nor does the prophecy of Joel which he quotes. 6. This view best explains the opposite effect upon the spectators. They did by no means all understand the miracle, but the mockers, like those at Corinth,277 thought the disciples were out of their right mind and talked not intelligible words in their native dialects, but unintelligible nonsense. The speaking in a foreign language could not have been a proof of drunkenness. It may be objected to this view that it implies a mistake on the part of the hearers who traced the use of their mother-tongues directly to the speakers; but the mistake referred not to the fact itself, but only to the mode. It was the same Spirit who inspired the tongues of the speakers and the hearts of the susceptible hearers, and raised both above the ordinary level of consciousness.

Whichever view we take of this peculiar feature of the Pentecostal glossolalia, in this diversified application to the cosmopolitan multitude of spectators, it was a symbolical anticipation and prophetic announcement of the universalness of the Christian religion, which was to be proclaimed in all the languages of the earth and to unite all nations in one kingdom of Christ. The humility and love of the church united what the pride and hatred of Babel had scattered. In this sense we may say that the Pentecostal harmony of tongues was the counterpart of the BabyIonian confusion of tongues..278

The speaking with tongues was followed by the sermon of Peter; the act of devotion, by an act of teaching; the rapturous language of the soul in converse with God, by the sober words of ordinary self-possession for the benefit of the people.

While the assembled multitude wondered at this miracle with widely various emotions, St. Peter, the Rock-man, appeared in the name of all the disciples, and addressed them with remarkable clearness and force, probably in his own vernacular Aramaic, which would be most familiar to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, possibly in Greek, which would be better understood by the foreign visitors.279  He humbly condescended to refute the charge of intoxication by reminding them of the early hour of the day, when even drunkards are sober, and explained from the prophecies of Joel and the sixteenth Psalm of David the meaning of the supernatural phenomenon, as the work of that Jesus of Nazareth, whom the Jews had crucified, but who was by word and deed, by his resurrection from the dead, his exaltation to the right hand of God, and the effusion of the Holy Ghost, accredited as the promised Messiah, according to the express prediction of the Scripture. Then he called upon his hearers to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, as the founder and head of the heavenly kingdom, that even they, though they had crucified him, the Lord and the Messiah, might receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, whose wonderful workings they saw and heard in the disciples.

This was the first independent testimony of the apostles, the first Christian sermon: simple, unadorned, but full of Scripture truth, natural, suitable, pointed, and more effective than any other sermon has been since, though fraught with learning and burning with eloquence. It resulted in the conversion and baptism of three thousand persons, gathered as first-fruits into the garners of the church.

In these first-fruits of the glorified Redeemer, and in this founding of the new economy of Spirit and gospel, instead of the old theocracy of letter and law, the typical meaning of the Jewish Pentecost was gloriously fulfilled. But this birth-day of the Christian church is in its turn only the beginning, the type and pledge, of a still greater spiritual harvest and a universal feast of thanksgiving, when, in the full sense of the prophecy of Joel, the Holy Spirit shall be poured out on all flesh, when all the sons and daughters of men shall walk in his light, and God shall be praised with new tongues of fire for the completion of his wonderful work of redeeming love.




I. Glossolalia.—The Gift of Tongues is the most difficult feature of the Pentecostal miracle. Our only direct source of information is in Acts 2, but the gift itself is mentioned in two other passages, 10:46 and 19:6, in the concluding section of Mark 16 (of disputed genuineness), and fully described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. There can be no doubt as to the existence of that gift in the apostolic age, and if we had only either the account of Pentecost, or only the account of Paul, we would not hesitate to decide as to its nature, but the difficulty is in harmonizing the two.

(1) The terms employed for the strange tongues are "new tongues" (kainai; glw'ssai, Mark 16:17, where Christ promises the gift), "other tongues," differing from ordinary tongues (e{terai gl. Acts 2:4, but nowhere else), "kinds" or "diversities of tongues" (gevnh glwssw'n, 1 Cor. 12:28), or simply, "tongues" (glw'ssai, 1 Cor. 14:22), and in the singular, "tongue" (glw'ssa, 14:2, 13, 19 27, in which passages the E. V. inserts the interpolation "unknown tongue"). To speak in tongues is called glwvssai" or glwvssh/ lalei'n (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27). Paul uses also the phrase to "pray with the tongue" (proseuvcesqai glwvssh/), as equivalent to "praying and singing with the spirit" (Proseuvcesqai and yavllein tw'/ pneuvmati, and as distinct from proseuvcesqai and yavllein tw'/ noi>v, 1 Cor. 14:14, 15). The plural and the term "diversities" of tongues, as well as the distinction between tongues of "angels" and tongues of "men" (1 Cor. 13:1) point to different manifestations (speaking, praying, singing), according to the individuality, education, and mood of the speaker, but not to various foreign languages, which are excluded by Paul's description.

The term tongue has been differently explained.

(a) Wieseler (and Van Hengel): the organ of speech, used as a passive instrument; speaking with the tongue alone, inarticulately, and in a low whisper. But this does not explain the plural, nor the terms "new" and "other" tongues; the organ of speech remaining the same.

(b) Bleek: rare, provincial, archaic, poetic words, or glosses (whence our "glossary"). But this technical meaning of glw'ssai occurs only in classical writers (as Aristotle, Plutarch, etc.) and among grammarians, not in Hellenistic Greek, and the interpretation does not suit the singular glw'ssa and glwvssh/ lalei'n, as glw'ssa could only mean a single gloss.

(c) Most commentators: language or dialect (diavlekto", comp. Acts 1:19; 2:6, 8; 21:40; 26:14). This is the correct view. "Tongue" is an abridgment for "new tongue" (which was the original term, Mark 16:17). It does not necessarily mean one of the known languages of the earth, but may mean a peculiar handling of the vernacular dialect of the speaker, or a new spiritual language never known before, a language of immediate inspiration in a state of ecstasy. The "tongues" were individual varieties of this language of inspiration.

(2) The glossolalia in the Corinthian church, with which that at Caesarea in Acts 10:46, and that at Ephesus, 19:6, are evidently identical, we know very well from the description of Paul. It occurred in the first glow of enthusiasm after conversion and continued for some time. It was not a speaking in foreign languages, which would have been entirely useless in a devotional meeting of converts, but a speaking in a language differing from all known languages, and required an interpreter to be intelligible to foreigners. It had nothing to do with the spread of the gospel, although it may, like other devotional acts, have become a means of conversion to susceptible unbelievers if such were present. It was an act of self-devotion, an act of thanksgiving, praying, and singing, within the Christian congregation, by individuals who were wholly absorbed in communion with God, and gave utterance to their rapturous feelings in broken, abrupt, rhapsodic, unintelligible words. It was emotional rather than intellectual, the language of the excited imagination, not of cool reflection. It was the language of the spirit (pneu'ma) or of ecstasy, as distinct from the language of the understanding (nou'"). We might almost illustrate the difference by a comparison of the style of the Apocalypse which was conceived ejn pneuvmati (Apoc. 1:10) with that of the Gospel of John, which was written ejn noi>v. The speaker in tongues was in a state of spiritual intoxication, if we may use this term, analogous to the poetic "frenzy" described by Shakespeare and Goethe. His tongue was a lyre on which the divine Spirit played celestial tunes. He was unconscious or only half conscious, and scarcely knew whether he was, "in the body or out of the body." No one could understand this unpremeditated religious rhapsody unless he was in a similar trance. To an unbelieving outsider it sounded like a barbarous tongue, like the uncertain sound of a trumpet, like the raving of a maniac (1 Cor. 14:23), or the incoherent talk of a drunken man (Acts 2:13, 15). "He that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not to men, but to God; for no one understandeth; and in the spirit he speaketh mysteries; but he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and encouragement, and comfort. He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Cor. 14:2-4; comp. 26-33).

The Corinthians evidently overrated the glossolalia, as a showy display of divine power; but it was more ornamental than useful, and vanished away with the bridal season of the church. It is a mark of the great wisdom of Paul who was himself a master in the glossolalia (1 Cor. 14:18), that he assigned to it a subordinate and transient position, restrained its exercise, demanded an interpretation of it, and gave the preference to the gifts of permanent usefulness in which God displays his goodness and love for the general benefit. Speaking with tongues is good, but prophesying and teaching in intelligible speech for the edification of the congregation is better, and love to God and men in active exercise is best of all (1 Cor. 13).

We do not know how long the glossolalia, as thus described by Paul, continued. It passed away gradually with the other extraordinary or strictly supernatural gifts of the apostolic age. It is not mentioned in the Pastoral, nor in the Catholic Epistles. We have but a few allusions to it at the close of the second century. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 1. v. c. 6, § 1) speaks of "many brethren" whom he heard in the church having the gift of prophecy and of speaking in "diverse tongues" (Pantodapai'" glwvssai"), bringing the hidden things of men (Ta; kpuvfia tw'n ajnqpwvpwn) to light and expounding the mysteries of God (tav musthvria tou' qeou'). It is not clear whether by the term "diverse," which does not elsewhere occur, he means a speaking in foreign languages, or in diversities of tongues altogether peculiar, like those meant by Paul. The latter is more probable. Irenaeus himself had to learn the language of Gaul. Tertullian (Adv. Marc. V. 8; comp. De Anima, c. 9) obscurely speaks of the spiritual gifts, including the gift of tongues, as being still manifest among the Montanists to whom he belonged. At the time of Chrysostom it had entirely disappeared; at least he accounts for the obscurity of the gift from our ignorance of the fact. From that time on the glossolalia was usually misunderstood as a miraculous and permanent gift of foreign languages for missionary purposes. But the whole history of missions furnishes no clear example of such a gift for such a purpose.

Analogous phenomena, of an inferior kind, and not miraculous, yet serving as illustrations, either by approximation or as counterfeits, reappeared from time to time in seasons of special religious excitement, as among the Camisards and the prophets of the Cevennes in France, among the early Quakers and Methodists, the Mormons, the Readers ("Läsare") in Sweden in 1841 to 1843, in the Irish revivals of 1859, and especially in the "Catholic Apostolic Church," commonly called Irvingites, from 1831 to 1833, and even to this day. See Ed. Irving's articles on Gifts of the Holy Ghost called Supernatural, in his "Works," vol. V., p. 509, etc.; Mrs. Oliphant's Life of Irving, vol. II.; the descriptions quoted in my Hist. Ap. Ch. § 55, p. 198; and from friend and foe in Stanley's Com. on Corinth., p. 252, 4th ed.; also Plumptre in Smith's, "Bible Dict.," IV. 3311, Am. ed. The Irvingites who have written on the subject (Thiersch, Böhm, and Rossteuscher) make a marked distinction between the Pentecostal glossolalia in foreign languages and the Corinthian glossolalia in devotional meetings; and it is the latter only which they compare to their own experience. Several years ago I witnessed this phenomenon in an Irvingite congregation in New York; the words were broken, ejaculatory and unintelligible, but uttered in abnormal, startling, impressive sounds, in a state of apparent unconsciousness and rapture, and without any control over the tongue, which was seized as it were by a foreign power. A friend and colleague (Dr. Briggs), who witnessed it in 1879 in the principal Irvingite church at London, received the same impression.

(3) The Pentecostal glossolalia cannot have been essentially different from the Corinthian: it was likewise an ecstatic act of worship, of thanksgiving and praise for the great deeds of God in Christ, a dialogue of the soul with God. It was the purest and the highest utterance of the jubilant enthusiasm of the new-born church of Christ in the possession of the Holy Spirit. It began before the spectators arrived (comp. Acts 2:4 and 6), and was followed by a missionary discourse of Peter in plain, ordinary language. Luke mentions the same gift twice again (Luke 10 and 19) evidently as an act of devotion, and not of teaching.

Nevertheless, according to the evident meaning of Luke's narrative, the Pentecostal glossolalia differed from the Corinthian not only by its intensity, but also by coming home to the hearers then present in their own vernacular dialects, without the medium of a human interpreter. Hence the term "different" tongues, which Paul does not use, nor Luke in any other passage; hence the astonishment of the foreigners at hearing each his own peculiar idiom from the lips of those unlettered Galileans. It is this heteroglossolalia, as I may term it, which causes the chief difficulty. I will give the various views which either deny, or shift, or intensify, or try to explain this foreign element.

(a) The rationalistic interpretation cuts the Gordian knot by denying the miracle, as a mistake of the narrator or of the early Christian tradition. Even Meyer surrenders the heteroglossolalia, as far as it differs from the Corinthian glossolalia, as an unhistorical tradition which originated in a mistake, because he considers the sudden communication of the facility of speaking foreign languages as "logically impossible, and psychologically and morally inconceivable" (Com. on Acts 2:4, 4th ed.). But Luke, the companion of Paul, must have been familiar with the glossolalia in the apostolic churches, and in the two other passages where he mentions it he evidently means the same phenomenon as that described by Paul.

(b) The heteroglossolalia was a mistake of the hearers (a Hörwunder), who in the state of extraordinary excitement and profound sympathy imagined that they heard their own language from the disciples; while Luke simply narrates their impression without correcting it. This view was mentioned (though not adopted) by Gregory of Nyssa, and held by Pseudo-Cyprian, the venerable Bede, Erasmus, Schneckenburger and others. If the pentecostal language was the Hellenistic dialect, it could, with its composite character, its Hebraisms and Latinisms, the more easily produce such an effect when spoken by persons stirred in the inmost depth of their hearts and lifted out of themselves. St. Xavier is said to have made himself understood by the Hindoos without knowing their language, and St. Bernard, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Vincent Ferrer were able, by the spiritual power of their eloquence, to kindle the enthusiasm and sway the passions of multitudes who were ignorant of their language. Olshausen and Bäumlein call to aid the phenomena of magnetism and somnambulism, by which people are brought into mysterious rapport.

(c) The glossolalia was speaking in archaic, poetic glosses, with an admixture of foreign words. This view, learnedly defended by Bleek (1829), and adopted with modifications by Baur (1838), has already been mentioned above (p. 233), as inconsistent with Hellenistic usage, and the natural meaning of Luke.

(d) The mystical explanation regards the Pentecostal Gift of Tongues in some way as a counterpart of the Confusion of Tongues, either as a temporary restoration of the original language of Paradise, or as a prophetic anticipation of the language of heaven in which all languages are united. This theory, which is more deep than clear, turns the heteroglossolalia into a homoglossolalia, and puts the miracle into the language itself and its temporary restoration or anticipation. Schelling calls the Pentecostal miracle "Babel reversed" (das umgekehrte Babel), and says: "Dem Ereigniss der Sprachenverwirrung lässt sich in der ganzen Folge der religiösen Geschichte nur Eines an die Seite stellen, die momentan wiederhergestellte Spracheinheit (oJmoglwssiva) am Pfingstfeste, mit dem das Christenthum, bestimmt das ganze Menschengeschlecht durch die Erkenntniss des Einen wahren Gottes wieder zur Einheit zu verknüpfen, seinen grossen Weg beginnt." (Einl. in d. Philos. der Mythologie, p. 109). A similar view was defended by Billroth (in his Com. on 1 Cor. 14, p. 177), who suggests that the primitive language combined elements of the different derived languages, so that each listener heard fragments of his own. Lange (II. 38) sees here the normal language of the inner spiritual life which unites the redeemed, and which runs through all ages of the church as the leaven of languages, regenerating, transforming, and consecrating them to sacred uses, but he assumes also, like Olshausen, a sympathetic rapport between speakers and hearers. Delitzsch (l.c. p. 1186) says: "Die apostolische Verkündigung erging damals in einer Sprache des Geistes, welche das Gegenbild der in Babel zerschellten Einen Menschheitssprache war und von allen ohne Unterschied der Sprachen gleichmässig verstanden wurde. Wie das weisse Licht alle Farben aus sich erschliesst, so fiel die geistgewirkte Apostelsprache wie in prismatischer Brechung verständlich in aller Ohren und ergreifend in aller Herzen. Es war ein Vorspiel der Einigung, in welcher die von Babel datirende Veruneinigung sich aufheben wird. Dem Sivan-Tag des steinernen Buchstabens trat ein Sivan-Tag des lebendigmachenden Geistes entgegen. Es war der Geburtstag der Kirche, der Geistesgemeinde im Unterschiede von der altestamentlichen Volksgemeinde; darum nennt Chrysostomus in einer Pfingsthomilie die Pentekoste die Metropole der Feste." Ewald's view (VI. 116 sqq.) is likewise mystical, but original and expressed with his usual confidence. He calls the glossolalia an "Auflallen und Aufjauchzen der Christlichen Begeisterung, ein stürmisches Hervorbrechen aller der verborgenen Gefühle und Gedanken in ihrer vollsten Unmittelbarkeit und Gewalt." He says that on the day of Pentecost the most unusual expressions and synonyms of different languages (as ajbbav oJ pathvr, Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15, and mara;n ajqav 1 Cor. 16:22), with reminiscences of words of Christ as resounding from heaven, commingled in the vortex of a new language of the Spirit, and gave utterance to the exuberant joy of the young Christianity in stammering hymns of praise never heard before or since except in the weaker manifestations of the same gift in the Corinthian and other apostolic churches.

(e) The Pentecostal glossolalia was a permanent endowment of the apostles with a miraculous knowledge of all those foreign languages in which they were to preach the gospel. As they were sent to preach to all nations, they were gifted with the tongues of all nations. This theory was first clearly brought out by the fathers in the fourth and fifth centuries, long after the gift of tongues had disappeared, and was held by most of the older divines, though with different modifications, but is now abandoned by nearly all Protestant commentators except Bishop Wordsworth, who defends it with patristic quotations. Chrysostom supposed that each disciple was assigned the particular language which he needed for his evangelistic work (Hom. on Acts 2). Augustine went much further, saying (De Civ. Dei, XVIII. c. 49): "Every one of them spoke in the tongues of all nations; thus signifying that the unity of the catholic church would embrace all nations, and would in like manner speak in all tongues." Some confined the number of languages to the number of foreign nations and countries mentioned by Luke (Chrysostom), others extended it to 70 or 72 (Augustine and Epiphanius), or 75, after the number of the sons of Noah (Gen. 10), or even to 120 (Pacianus), after the number of the disciples present. Baronius mentions these opinions in Annal. ad Ann. 34, vol. I. 197. The feast of languages in the Roman Propaganda perpetuates this theory, but turns the moral miracle of spiritual enthusiasm into a mechanical miracle of acquired learning in unknown tongues. Were all the speakers to speak at once, as on the day of Pentecost, it would be a more than Babylonian confusion of tongues.

Such a stupendous miracle as is here supposed might be justified by the far-reaching importance of that creative epoch, but it is without a parallel and surrounded by insuperable difficulties. The theory ignores the fact that the glossolalia began before the spectators arrived, that is, before there was any necessity of using foreign languages. It isolates the Pentecostal glossolalia and brings Luke into conflict with Paul and with himself; for in all other cases the gift of tongues appears, as already remarked, not as a missionary agency, but as an exercise of devotion. It implies that all the one hundred disciples present, including the women—for a tongue as of fire "sat upon each of them"—were called to be traveling evangelists. A miracle of that kind was superfluous (a Luxuswunder); for since the conquest of Alexander the Great the Greek language was so generally understood throughout the Roman empire that the apostles scarcely needed any other—unless it was Latin and their native Aramaean—for evangelistic purposes; and the Greek was used in fact by all the writers of the New Testament, even by James of Jerusalem, and in a way which shows that they had learnt it like other people, by early training and practice. Moreover there is no trace of such a miraculous knowledge, nor any such use of it after Pentecost.280  On the contrary, we must infer that Paul did not understand the Lycaonian dialect (Acts 14:11-14), and we learn from early ecclesiastical tradition that Peter used Mark as an interpreter (eJrmhneuv" or eJrmhneuthv", interpres, according to Papias, Irenaeus, and Tertullian). God does not supersede by miracle the learning of foreign languages and other kinds of knowledge which can be attained by the ordinary use of our mental faculties and opportunities.

(f) It was a temporary speaking in foreign languages confined to the day of Pentecost and passing away with the flame-like tongues. The exception was justified by the object, namely, to attest the divine mission of the apostles and to foreshadow the universalness of the gospel. This view is taken by most modern commentators who accept the account of Luke, as Olshausen (who combines with it the theory b), Baumgarten, Thiersch, Rossteuscher, Lechler, Hackett, Gloag, Plumptre (in his Com. on Acts), and myself (in H. Ap. Ch.), and accords best with the plain sense of the narrative. But it likewise makes an essential distinction between the Pentecostal and the Corinthian glossolalia, which is extremely improbable. A temporary endowment with the knowledge of foreign languages unknown before is as great if not a greater miracle than a permanent endowment, and was just as superfluous at that time in Jerusalem as afterwards at Corinth; for the missionary sermon of Peter, which was in one language only, was intelligible to all.

(g) The Pentecostal glossolalia was essentially the same as the Corinthian glossolalia, namely, an act of worship, and not of teaching; with only a slight difference in the medium of interpretation: it was at once internally interpreted and applied by the Holy Spirit himself to those hearers who believed and were converted, to each in his own vernacular dialect; while in Corinth the interpretation was made either by the speaker in tongues, or by one endowed with the gift of interpretation.

I can find no authority for this theory, and therefore suggest it with modesty, but it seems to me to avoid most of the difficulties of the other theories, and it brings Luke into harmony with himself and with Paul. It is certain that the Holy Spirit moved the hearts of the hearers as well as the tongues of the speakers on that first day of the new creation in Christ. In a natural form the Pentecostal heteroglossolalia is continued in the preaching of the gospel in all tongues, and in more than three hundred translations of the Bible.


II. False interpretations of the Pentecostal miracle.

(1) The older rationalistic interpretation resolves the wind into a thunderstorm or a hurricane surcharged with electricity, the tongues of fire into flashes of lightning falling into the assembly, or electric sparks from a sultry atmosphere, and the glossolalia into a praying of each in his own vernacular, instead of the sacred old Hebrew, or assumes that some of the disciples knew several foreign dialects before and used them on the occasion. So Paulus, Thiess, Schulthess, Kuinöl, Schrader, Fritzsche, substantially also Renan, who dwells on the violence of Oriental thunderstorms, but explains the glossolalia differently according to analogous phenomena of later times. This view makes the wonder of the spectators and hearers at such an ordinary occurrence a miracle. It robs them of common sense, or charges dishonesty on the narrator. It is entirely inapplicable to the glossolalia in Corinth, which must certainly be admitted as an historical phenomenon of frequent occurrence in the apostolic church. It is contradicted by the comparative w{sper and wJseiv of the narrative, which distinguishes the sound from ordinary wind and the tongues of flame from ordinary fire; just as the words, "like a dove," to which all the Gospels compare the appearance of the Holy Spirit at Christ's baptism, indicate that no real dove is intended.

(2) The modern rationalistic or mythical theory resolves the miracle into a subjective vision which was mistaken by the early Christians for an objective external fact. The glossolalia of Pentecost (not that in Corinth, which is acknowledged as historical) symbolizes the true idea of the universalness of the gospel and the Messianic unification of languages and nationalities (eij\" lao;" Kurivou kai; glw'ssa miva  as the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs expresses it). It is an imitation of the rabbinical fiction (found already in Philo) that the Sinaitic legislation was proclaimed through the bath-kol, the echo of the voice of God, to all nations in the seventy languages of the world. So Zeller (Contents and Origin of the Acts, I. 203-205), who thinks that the whole pentecostal fact, if it occurred at all. "must have been distorted beyond recognition in our record." But his chief argument is: "the impossibility and incredibility of miracles," which he declares (p. 175, note) to be "an axiom" of the historian; thus acknowledging the negative presupposition or philosophical prejudice which underlies his historical criticism. We hold, on the contrary, that the historian must accept the facts as he finds them, and if he cannot explain them satisfactorily from natural causes or subjective illusions, he must trace them to supernatural forces. Now the Christian church, which is certainly a most palpable and undeniable fact, must have originated in a certain place, at a certain time, and in a certain manner, and we can imagine no more appropriate and satisfactory account of its origin than that given by Luke. Baur and Zeller think it impossible that three thousand persons should have been converted in one day and in one place. They forget that the majority of the hearers were no skeptics, but believers in a supernatural revelation, and needed only to be convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah. Ewald says against Zeller, without naming him (VI. 119)  "Nothing can be more perverse than to deny the historical truth of the event related in Acts 2." We hold with Rothe (Vorlesungen über Kirchengeschichte I. 33) that the Pentecostal event was a real miracle ("ein eigentliches Wunder"), which the Holy Spirit wrought on the disciples and which endowed them with the power to perform miracles (according to the promise, Mark 16:17, 18). Without these miraculous powers Christianity could not have taken hold on the world as it then stood. The Christian church itself, with its daily experiences of regeneration and conversion at home and in heathen lands, is the best living and omnipresent proof of its supernatural origin.


III. Time and Place, of Pentecost. Did it occur on a Lord's Day (the eighth after Easter), or on a Jewish Sabbath?  In a private house, or in the temple ?  We decide for the Lord's Day, and for a private house. But opinions are much divided, and the arguments almost equally balanced.

(1) The choice of the day in the week depends partly on the interpretation of "the morrow after the (Passover) Sabbath" from which the fiftieth day was to be counted, according to the legislative prescription in Lev. 23:11, 15, 16—namely, whether it was the morrow following the first day of the Passover, i.e. the 16th of Nisan, or the day after the regular Sabbath in the Passover week; partly on the date of Christ's crucifixion, which took place on a Friday, namely, whether this was the 14th or 15th of Nisan. If we assume that the Friday of Christ's death was the 14th of Nisan, then the 15th was a Sabbath, and Pentecost in that year fall on a Sunday; but if the Friday of the crucifixion was the 15th of Nisan (as I hold myself, see § 16, p. 133), then Pentecost fell on a Jewish Sabbath (so Wieseler, who fixes it on Saturday, May 27, a.d. 30), unless we count from the end of the 16th of Nisan (as Wordsworth and Plumptre do, who put Pentecost on a Sunday). But if we take the "Sabbath" in Lev. 23 in the usual sense of the weekly Sabbath (as the Sadducees and Karaites did), then the Jewish Pentecost fell always on a Sunday. At all events the Christian church has uniformly observed Whit-Sunday on the eighth Lord's Day after Easter, adhering in this case, as well as in the festivals of the resurrection (Sunday) and of the ascension (Thursday), to the old tradition as to the day of the week when the event occurred. This view would furnish an additional reason for the substitution of Sunday, as the day of the Lord's resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit, for the Jewish Sabbath. Wordsworth: "Thus the first day of the week has been consecrated to all the three Persons of the ever-blessed and undivided Trinity; and the blessings of Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification are commemorated on the Christian Sunday." Wieseler assumes, without good reason, that the ancient church deliberately changed the day from opposition to the Jewish Sabbath; but the celebration of Pentecost together with that of the Resurrection seems to be as old as the Christian church and has its precedent in the example of Paul, Acts 18:21; 20:16.—Lightfoot (Horae Hebr. in Acta Ap. 2:1; Opera II. 692) counts Pentecost from the 16th of Nisan, but nevertheless puts the first Christian Pentecost on a Sunday by an unusual and questionable interpretation of Acts 2:1 ejn tw'/ sunplhrou'sqai th;n hJmevran th'" Penthkosth'", which he makes to mean "when the day of Pentecost was fully gone," instead of "was fully come." But whether Pentecost fell on a Jewish Sabbath or on a Lord's Day, the coincidence in either case was significant.

(2) As to the place, Luke calls it simply a "house" (oi\ko", Acts 2:2), which can hardly mean the temple (not mentioned till 2:46). It was probably the same "upper room" or chamber which he had mentioned in the preceding chapter, as the well known usual meeting place of the, disciples after the ascension, to; uJperw'/on ...ou| h\san katamevnonte", 1:13). So Neander, Meyer, Ewald, Wordsworth, Plumptre, Farrar, and others. Perhaps it was the same chamber in which our Lord partook of the Paschal Supper with them (Mark 14:14, 15; Matt. 26:28). Tradition locates both events in the "Coenaculum," a room in an irregular building called "David's Tomb," which lies outside of Zion Gate some distance from Mt. Moriah. (See William M. Thomson, The Land and the Book, new ed. 1880, vol. I. p. 535 sq.). But Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. XVI. 4) states that the apartment where the Holy Spirit descended was afterwards converted into a church. The uppermost room under the flat roof of Oriental houses. (uJperw'/on, [}liYh) as often used as a place of devotion (comp. Acts 20:8). But as a private house could not possibly hold so great a multitude, we must suppose that Peter addressed the people in the street from the roof or from the outer staircase.

Many of the older divines, as also Olshausen, Baumgarten, Wieseler, Lange, Thiersch (and myself in first ed. of Ap. Ch., p. 194), locate the Pentecostal scene in the temple, or rather in one of the thirty side buildings around it, which Josephus calls "houses" (oi[kou") in his description of Solomon's temple (Ant. VIII. 3, 2), or in Solomon's porch, which remained from the first temple, and where the disciples assembled afterwards (Acts 5:12, comp. 3:11). In favor of this view may be said, that it better agrees with the custom of the apostles (Luke 24:53; Acts 2:46; 5:12, 42), with the time of the miracle (the morning hour of prayer), and with the assembling of a large multitude of at least three thousand hearers, and also that it seems to give additional solemnity to the event when it took place in the symbolical and typical sanctuary of the old dispensation. But it is difficult to conceive that the hostile Jews should have allowed the poor disciples to occupy one of those temple buildings and not interfered with the scene. In the dispensation of the Spirit which now began, the meanest dwelling, and the body of the humblest Christian becomes a temple of God. Comp. John 4:24.


IV. Effects of the Day of Pentecost. From Farrar's Life and Work of St. Paul (I. 93): "That this first Pentecost marked an eternal moment in the destiny of mankind, no reader of history will surely deny. Undoubtedly in every age since then the sons of God have, to an extent unknown before, been taught by the Spirit of God. Undoubtedly since then, to an extent unrealized before, we may know that the Spirit of Christ dwelleth in us. Undoubtedly we may enjoy a nearer sense of union with God in Christ than was accorded to the saints of the Old Dispensation, and a thankful certainty that we see the days which kings and prophets desired to see and did not see them, and hear the truths which they desired to hear and did not hear them. And this New Dispensation began henceforth in all its fulness. It was no exclusive consecration to a separated priesthood, no isolated endowment of a narrow apostolate. It was the consecration of a whole church—its men, its women, its children—to be all of them 'a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people;' it was an endowment, of which the full free offer was meant ultimately to be extended to all mankind. Each one of that hundred and twenty was not the exceptional recipient of a blessing and witness of a revelation, but the forerunner and representative of myriads more. And this miracle was not merely transient, but is continuously renewed. It is not a rushing sound and gleaming light, seen perhaps for a moment, but it is a living energy and an unceasing inspiration. It is not a visible symbol to a gathered handful of human souls in the upper room of a Jewish house, but a vivifying wind which shall henceforth breathe in all ages of the world's history; a tide of light which is rolling, and shall roll, from shore to shore until the earth is fall of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."


 § 25. The Church of Jerusalem and the Labors of Peter.


Su; ei| Pevtro", kai; ejpi; tauvth/ pevtra/ oikodomhvsw mou th;n ejkklhsivan, kai; puvlai a{/dou ouj katiscuvsousin aujth'".—Matt. 16:18.




I. Genuine sources: Acts 2 to 12; Gal. 2; and two Epistles of Peter.

Comp. the Commentaries on Acts, and the Petrine Epistles.

Among the commentators of Peter's Epp. I mention Archbishop Leighton (in many editions, not critical, but devout and spiritual), Steiger (1832, translated by Fairbairn, 1836), John Brown (1849, 2 vols.), Wiesinger (1856 and 1862, in Olshausen's Com.), Schott (1861 and 1863), De Wette (3d ed. by Brückner, 1865), Huther (in Meyer's Com., 4th ed. 1877), Fronmüller (in Lange's Bibelwerk, transl. by Mombert, 1867), Alford (3d ed. 1864), John Lillie (ed. by Schaff, 1869), Demarest (Cath. Epp 1879), Mason and Plumptre (in Ellicott's Com., 1879), Plumptre (in the "Cambridge Bible," 1879, with a very full introduction, pp. 1-83), Salmond (in Schaff's Pop. Com. 1883). Comp. also the corresponding sections in the works on the Apostolic Age mentioned in §20, and my H. Ap. Ch. pp. 348-377.


II. Apocryphal sources: Eujaggevlion kata; Pevtron of Ebionite origin, Khvrugma Pevtrou , Pravxei" Pevtrou,  jApokavluyi" Pevtrou, Perivodoi Pevtrou (Itinerarium Petri), Pravxei" tw'n aJgivwn ajpostovlwn Pevtrou kai; Pauvlou (Acta Petri et Pauli). See Tischendorf's Acta Apost. Apocr  1-39, and Hilgenfeld's Novum Testamentum extra canonem receptum (1866), IV. 52 sqq. The Pseudo-Clementine "Homilies" are a glorification of Peter at the expense of Paul; the, "Recognitions" are a Catholic recension and modification of the "Homilies." The pseudo-Clementine literature will be noticed in the second Period.


III. Special works on Peter:

E. Th. Mayerhoff: Historisch-Kritische Einleitung in die Petrinischen Schriften. Hamb. 1835.

Windischmann (R. C.): Vindiciae Petrinae. Ratisb. 1836.

Stenglein (R. C.): Ueber den 25 jahrigen Aufenthalt des heil. Petrus in Rom. In the "Tübinger Theol. Quartalschrift," 1840.

J. Ellendorf: 1st Petrus in Rom und Bishof der römischen Gemeinde gewesen?  Darmstadt, 1841. Transl. in the "Bibliotheca Sacra," Andover, 1858, No. 3. The author, a liberal R. Cath., comes to the conclusion that Peter's presence in Rome can never be proven.

Carlo Passaglia (Jesuit): De Praerogativis Beati Petri, Apostolorum Principis. Ratisbon, 1850.

Thomas W. Allies (R. C.): St. Peter, his Name and his Office as set forth in Holy Scripture. London, 1852. Based upon the preceding work of Father Passaglia.

Bernh. Weiss: Der Petrinische Lehrbegriff. Berlin, 1855. Comp. his Bibl. Theol. des N. T, 3d ed. 1880, and his essay, Die petrinische Frage in "Studien und Kritiken," 1865, pp. 619-657, 1866, pp. 255-308, and 1873, pp. 539-546.

Thos. Greenwood: Cathedra Petri. Lond., vol. I. 1859, chs. I and II. pp. 1-50.

Perrone (R. C.): S. Pietro in Roma. Rome, 1864.

C. Holsten (of the Tübingen School): Zum Evangelium des Paulus und des Petrus. Rostock, 1868.

R. A. Lipsius: Die Quellen der röm. Petrussage. Kiel, 1872. By the same: Chronologie der röm  Bischöfe. Kiel, 1869. Lipsius examines carefully the heretical sources of the Roman Peter-legend, and regards it as a fiction from beginning to end. A summary of his view is given by

Samuel M. Jackson: Lipsius on the Roman Peter-Legend. In the "Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review" (N. York) for 1876, pp. 265 sqq.

G. Volkmar: Die römische Papstmythe. Zürich, 1873.

A. Hilgenfeld: Petrus in Rom und Johannes in Kleinasien. In his "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theol." for 1872. Also his Einleitung in das N. T., 1875, pp. 618 sqq.

W. Krafft: Petrus in Rom. Bonn, 1877. In the "Theol. Arbeiten des rhein. wissenschaftl. Predigervereins, " III. 185-193.

Joh. Friedrich (Old Cath.): Zur ältesten Gesch. des Primates in der Kirche. Bonn, 1879.

William M. Taylor: Peter the Apostle. N. York, 1879.


The congregation of Jerusalem became the mother church of Jewish Christianity, and thus of all Christendom. It grew both inwardly and outwardly under the personal direction of the apostles, chiefly of Peter, to whom the Lord had early assigned a peculiar prominence in the work of building his visible church on earth. The apostles were assisted by a number of presbyters, and seven deacons or persons appointed to care for the poor and the sick. But the Spirit moved in the whole congregation, bound to no particular office. The preaching of the gospel, the working of miracles in the name of Jesus, and the attractive power of a holy walk in faith and love, were the instruments of progress. The number of the Christians, or, as they at first called themselves, disciples, believers, brethren, saints, soon rose to five thousand. They continued steadfastly under the instruction and in the fellowship of the apostles, in the daily worship of God and celebration of the holy Supper with their agapae or love-feasts. They felt themselves to be one family of God, members of one body under one head, Jesus Christ; and this fraternal unity expressed itself even in a voluntary community of goods—an anticipation, as it were, of an ideal state at the end of history, but without binding force upon any other congregation. They adhered as closely to the temple worship and the Jewish observances as the new life admitted and as long as there was any hope of the conversion of Israel as a nation. They went daily to the temple to teach, as their Master had done, but held their devotional meetings in private houses.281

The addresses of Peter to the people and the Sanhedrin282 are remarkable for their natural simplicity and adaptation. They are full of fire and vigor, yet full of wisdom and persuasion, and always to the point. More practical and effective sermons were never preached. They are testimonies of an eye-witness so timid a few weeks before, and now so bold and ready at any moment to suffer and die for the cause. They are an expansion of his confession that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God, the Saviour. He preached no subtle theological doctrines, but a few great facts and truths: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, already known to his hearers for his mighty signs and wonders, his exaltation to the right hand of Almighty God, the descent and power of the Holy Spirit, the fulfilment of prophecy, the approaching judgment and glorious restitution of all things, the paramount importance of  conversion and faith in Jesus as the only name whereby we can be saved. There breathes in them an air of serene joy and certain triumph.

We can form no clear conception of this bridal season of the Christian church when no dust of earth soiled her shining garments, when she was wholly absorbed in the contemplation and love of her divine Lord, when he smiled down upon her from his throne in heaven, and added daily to the number of the saved. It was a continued Pentecost, it was paradise restored. "They did take their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people."283

Yet even in this primitive apostolic community inward corruption early appeared, and with it also the severity of discipline and self-purification, in the terrible sentence of Peter on the hypocritical Ananias and Sapphira.

At first Christianity found favor with the people. Soon, however, it had to encounter the same persecution as its divine founder had undergone, but only, as before, to transform it into a blessing and a means of growth.

The persecution was begun by the skeptical sect of the Sadducees, who took offence at the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ, the centre of all the apostolic preaching.

When Stephen, one of the seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem, a man full of faith and zeal, the forerunner of the apostle Paul, boldly assailed the perverse and obstinate spirit of Judaism, and declared the approaching downfall of the Mosaic economy, the Pharisees made common cause with the Sadducees against the gospel. Thus began the emancipation of Christianity from the temple-worship of Judaism, with which it had till then remained at least outwardly connected. Stephen himself was falsely accused of blaspheming Moses, and after a remarkable address in his own defence, he was stoned by a mob (a.d. 37), and thus became the worthy leader of the sacred host of martyrs, whose blood was thenceforth to fertilize the soil of the church. From the blood of his martyrdom soon sprang the great apostle of the Gentiles, now his bitterest persecutor, and an eye-witness of his heroism and of the glory of Christ in his dying face.284

The stoning of Stephen was the signal for a general persecution, and thus at the same time for the spread of Christianity over all Palestine and the region around. And it was soon followed by the conversion of Cornelius of Caesarea, which opened the door for the mission to the Gentiles. In this important event Peter likewise was the prominent actor.

After some seven years of repose the church at Jerusalem suffered a new persecution under king Herod Agrippa (a.d. 44). James the elder, the brother of John, was beheaded. Peter was imprisoned and condemned to the same fate; but he was miraculously liberated, and then forsook Jerusalem, leaving the church to the care of James the "brother of the Lord." Eusebius, Jerome, and the Roman Catholic historians assume that he went at that early period to Rome, at least on a temporary visit, if not for permanent residence. But the book of Acts (12:17) says only: "He departed, and went into another place." The indefiniteness of this expression, in connection with a remark of Paul. 1 Cor. 9:5, is best explained on the supposition that he had hereafter no settled home, but led the life of a travelling missionary like most of the apostles.


The Later Labors of Peter.


Afterwards we find Peter again in Jerusalem at the apostolic council (a.d. 50);285 then at Antioch (51); where he came into temporary collision with Paul;286 then upon missionary tours, accompanied by his wife (57);287 perhaps among the dispersed Jews in Babylon or in Asia Minor, to whom he addressed his epistles.288  Of a residence of Peter in Rome the New Testament contains no trace, unless, as the church fathers and many modern expositors think, Rome is intended by the mystic "Babylon" mentioned in 1 Pet. 5:13 (as in the Apocalypse), but others think of Babylon on the Euphrates, and still others of Babylon on the Nile (near the present Cairo, according to the Coptic tradition). The entire silence of the Acts of the Apostles 28, respecting Peter, as well as the silence of Paul in his epistle to the Romans, and the epistles written from Rome during his imprisonment there, in which Peter is not once named in the salutations, is decisive proof that he was absent from that city during most of the time between the years 58 and 63. A casual visit before 58 is possible, but extremely doubtful, in view of the fact that Paul labored independently and never built on the foundation of others;289 hence he would probably not have written his epistle to the Romans at all, certainly not without some allusion to Peter if he had been in any proper sense the founder of the church of Rome. After the year 63 we have no data from the New Testament, as the Acts close with that year, and the interpretation of "Babylon" at the end of the first Epistle of Peter is doubtful, though probably meant for Rome. The martyrdom of Peter by crucifixion was predicted by our Lord, John 21:18, 19, but no place is mentioned.

We conclude then that Peter's presence in Rome before 63 is made extremely doubtful, if not impossible, by the silence of Luke and Paul, when speaking of Rome and writing from Rome, and that His presence after 63 can neither be proved nor disproved from the New Testament, and must be decided by post-biblical testimonies.

It is the uniform tradition of the eastern and western churches that Peter preached the gospel in Rome, and suffered martyrdom there in the Neronian persecution. So say more or less clearly, yet not without admixture of error, Clement of Rome (who mentions the martyrdom, but not the place), at the close of the first century; Ignatius of Antioch (indistinctly), Dionysius of Corinth, Irenaeus of Lyons, Caius of Rome, in the second century; Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hippolytus, Tertullian, in the third; Lactantius, Eusebius, Jerome, and others, in the fourth. To these patristic testimonies may be added the apocryphal testimonies of the pseudo-Petrine and pseudo-Clementine fictions, which somehow connect Peter's name with the founding of the churches of Antioch, Alexandria, Corinth, and Rome. However these testimonies from various men and countries may differ in particular circumstances, they can only be accounted for on the supposition of some fact at the bottom; for they were previous to any use or abuse of this, tradition for heretical or for orthodox and hierarchical purposes. The chief error of the witnesses from Dionysius and Irenaeus onward is that Peter is associated with Paul as "founder" of the church of Rome; but this may be explained from the very probable fact that some of the "strangers from Rome" who witnessed the Pentecostal miracle and heard the sermon of Peter, as also some disciples who were scattered abroad by the persecution after the martyrdom of Stephen, carried the seed of the gospel to Rome, and that these converts of Peter became the real founders of the Jewish-Christian congregation in the metropolis. Thus the indirect agency of Peter was naturally changed into a direct agency by tradition which forgot the names of the pupils in the glorification of the teacher.

The time of Peter's arrival in Rome, and the length of his residence there, cannot possibly be ascertained. The above mentioned silence of the Acts and of Paul's Epistles allows him only a short period of labor there, after 63. The Roman tradition of a twenty or twenty-five years' episcopate of Peter in Rome is unquestionably a colossal chronological mistake.290  Nor can we fix the year of his martyrdom, except that it must have taken place after July, 64, when the Neronian persecution broke out (according to Tacitus). It is variously assigned to every year between 64 and 69. We shall return to it again below, and in connection with the martyrdom of Paul, with which it is associated in tradition.291


 § 26. The Peter of History and the Peter of Fiction.


No character in the New Testament is brought before us in such life-like colors, with all his virtues and faults, as that of Peter. He was frank and transparent, and always gave himself as he was, without any reserve.

We may distinguish three stages in his development. In the Gospels, the human nature of Simon appears most prominent the Acts unfold the divine mission of Peter in the founding of the church, with a temporary relapse at Antioch (recorded by Paul); in his Epistles we see the complete triumph of divine grace. He was the strongest and the weakest of the Twelve. He had all the excellences and all the defects of a sanguine temperament. He was kind-hearted, quick, ardent, hopeful, impulsive, changeable, and apt to run from one extreme to another. He received from Christ the highest praise and the severest censure. He was the first to confess him as the Messiah of God, for which he received his new name of Peter, in prophetic anticipation of his commanding position in church history; but he was also the first to dissuade him from entering the path of the cross to the crown, for which he brought upon himself the rebuke, "Get thee behind me, Satan." The rock of the church had become a rock of offence and a stumbling-block. He protested, in presumptive modesty, when Christ would wash his feet; and then, suddenly changing his mind, he wished not his feet only, but his hands and head to be washed. He cut off the ear of Malchus in carnal zeal for his Master; and in a few minutes afterwards he forsook him and fled. He solemnly promised to be faithful to Christ, though all should forsake him; and yet in the same night he betrayed him thrice. He was the first to cast off the Jewish prejudices against the unclean heathen and to fraternize with the Gentile converts at Caesarea and at Antioch; and he was the first to withdraw from them in cowardly fear of the narrow-minded Judaizers from Jerusalem, for which inconsistency he had to submit to a humiliating rebuke of Paul.292

But Peter was as quick in returning to his right position as in turning away from it. He most sincerely loved the Lord from the start and had no rest nor peace till he found forgiveness. With all his weakness he was a noble, generous soul, and of the greatest service in the church. God overruled his very sins and inconsistencies for his humiliation and spiritual progress. And in his Epistles we find the mature result of the work of purification, a spirit most humble, meek, gentle, tender, loving, and lovely. Almost every word and incident in the gospel history connected with Peter left its impress upon his Epistles in the way of humble or thankful reminiscence and allusion. His new name, "Rock," appears simply as a "stone" among other living stones in the temple of God, built upon Christ, "the chief corner-stone."293  His charge to his fellow-presbyters is the same which Christ gave to him after the resurrection, that they should be faithful "shepherds of the flock" under Christ, the chief "shepherd and bishop of their souls."294  The record of his denial of Christ is as prominent in all the four Gospels, as Paul's persecution of the church is in the Acts, and it is most prominent—as it would seem under his own direction—in the Gospel of his pupil and "interpreter" Mark, which alone mentions the two cock-crows, thus doubling the guilt of the denial,295 and which records Christ's words of censure ("Satan"), but omits Christ's praise ("Rock").296  Peter made as little effort to conceal his great sin, as Paul. It served as a thorn in his flesh, and the remembrance kept him near the cross; while his recovery from the fall was a standing proof of the power and mercy of Christ and a perpetual call to gratitude. To the Christian Church the double story of Peter's denial and recovery has been ever since an unfailing source of warning and comfort. Having turned again to his Lord, who prayed for him that his personal faith fail not, he is still strengthening the brethren.297

As to his official position in the church, Peter stood from the beginning at the head of the Jewish apostles, not in a partisan sense, but in a large-hearted spirit of moderation and comprehension. He never was a narrow, contracted, exclusive sectarian. After the vision at Joppa and the conversion of Cornelius he promptly changed his inherited view of the necessity of circumcision, and openly professed the change at Jerusalem, proclaiming the broad principle "that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him;" and "that Jews and Gentiles alike are saved only through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."298  He continued to be the head of the Jewish Christian church at large, and Paul himself represents him as the first among the three "pillar"-apostles of the circumcision299  But he stood mediating between James, who represented the right wing of conservatism, and Paul, who commanded the left wing of the apostolic army. And this is precisely the position which Peter occupies in his Epistles, which reproduce to a great extent the teaching of both Paul and James, and have therefore the character of a doctrinal Irenicum; as the Acts are a historical Irenicum, without violation of truth or fact.


The Peter of Fiction.


No character of the Bible, we may say, no personage in all history, has been so much magnified, misrepresented and misused for doctrinal and hierarchical ends as the plain fisherman of Galilee who stands at the head of the apostolic college. Among the women of the Bible the Virgin Mary has undergone a similar transformation for purposes of devotion, and raised to the dignity of the queen of heaven. Peter as the Vicar of Christ, and Mary as the mother of Christ, have in this idealized shape become and are still the ruling powers in the polity and worship of the largest branch of Christendom.

In both cases the work of fiction began among the Judaizing heretical sects of the second and third centuries, but was modified and carried forward by the Catholic, especially the Roman church, in the third and fourth centuries.

1. The Peter of the Ebionite fiction. The historical basis is Peter's encounter with Simon Magus in Samaria,300 Paul's rebuke of Peter at Antioch,301 and the intense distrust and dislike of the Judaizing party to Paul.302  These three undoubted facts, together with a singular confusion of Simon Magus with an old Sabine deity, Semo Sancus, in Rome,303 furnished the material and prompted the motive to religious tendency—novels written about and after the middle of the second century by ingenious semi-Gnostic Ebionites, either anonymously or under the fictitious name of Clement of Rome, the reputed successor of Peter.304  In these productions Simon Peter appears as the great apostle of truth in conflict with Simon Magus, the pseudo-apostle of falsehood, the father of all heresies, the Samaritan possessed by a demon; and Peter follows him step by step from Caesarea Stratonis to Tyre, Sidon, Berytus, Antioch, and Rome, and before the tribunal of Nero, disputing with him, and refuting his errors, until at last the impostor, in the daring act of mocking Christ's ascension to heaven, meets a miserable end.

In the pseudo-Clementine Homilies the name of Simon represents among other heresies also the free gospel of Paul, who is assailed as a false apostle and hated rebel against the authority of the Mosaic law. The same charges which the Judaizers brought against Paul, are here brought by Peter against Simon Magus, especially the assertion that one may be saved by grace alone. His boasted vision of Christ by which he professed to have been converted, is traced to a deceptive vision of the devil. The very words of Paul against Peter at Antioch, that he was "self-condemned" (Gal. 2:11), are quoted as an accusation against God. In one word, Simon Magus is, in part at least, a malignant Judaizing caricature of the apostle of the Gentiles.

2. The Peter of the Papacy. The orthodox version of the Peter-legend, as we find it partly in patristic notices of Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, and Eusebius, partly in apocryphal productions,305 retains the general story of a conflict of Peter with Simon Magus in Antioch and Rome, but extracts from it its anti-Pauline poison, associates Paul at the end of his life with Peter as the joint, though secondary, founder of the Roman church, and honors both with the martyr's crown in the Neronian persecution on the same day (the 29th of June), and in the same year or a year apart, but in different localities and in a different manner.306  Peter was crucified like his Master (though head-downwards 307), either on the hill of Janiculum (where the church S. Pietro in Montorio stands), or more probably on the Vatican hill (the scene of the Neronian circus and persecution);308 Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded on the Ostian way at the Three Fountains (Tre Fontane), outside of the city. They even walked together a part of the Appian way to the place of execution. Caius (or Gaius), a Roman presbyter at the close of the second century, pointed to their monuments or trophies309 on the Vatican, and in the via Ostia. The solemn burial of the remains of Peter in the catacombs of San Sebastiano, and of Paul on the Via Ostia, took place June 29, 258, according to the Kalendarium of the Roman church from the time of Liberius. A hundred years later the remains of Peter were permanently transferred to the Basilica of St. Peter on the Vatican, those of St. Paul to the Basilica of St. Paul (San Paolo fuori le mura) outside of the Porta Ostiensis (now Porta San Paolo).310

The tradition of a twenty-five years' episcopate in Rome (preceded by a seven years' episcopate in Antioch) cannot be traced beyond the fourth century (Jerome), and arose, as already remarked, from chronological miscalculations in connection with the questionable statement of Justin Martyr concerning the arrival of Simon Magus in Rome under the reign of Claudius (41-54). The "Catalogus Liberianus," the oldest list of popes (supposed to have been written before 366), extends the pontificate of Peter to 25 years, 1 month, 9 days, and puts his death on June 29, 65 (during the consulate of Nerva and Vestinus), which would date his arrival in Rome back to a.d. 40. Eusebius, in his Greek Chronicle as far as it is preserved, does not fix the number of years, but says, in his Church History, that Peter came to Rome in the reign of Claudius to preach against the pestilential errors of Simon Magus.311  The Armenian translation of his Chronicle mentions "twenty" years;312 Jerome, in his translation or paraphrase rather, "twenty-five" years, assuming, without warrant, that Peter left Jerusalem for Antioch and Rome in the second year of Claudius (42; but Acts 12:17 would rather point to the year 44), and died in the fourteenth or last year of Nero (68).313  Among modern Roman Catholic historians there is no agreement as to the year of Peter's martyrdom: Baronius puts it in 69;314 Pagi and Alban Butler in 65; Möhler, Gams, and Alzog indefinitely between 66 and 68. In all these cases it must be assumed that the Neronian persecution was continued or renewed after 64, of which we have no historical evidence. It must also be assumed that Peter was conspicuously absent from his flock during most of the time, to superintend the churches in Asia Minor and in Syria, to preside at the Council of Jerusalem, to meet with Paul in Antioch, to travel about with his wife, and that he made very little impression there till 58, and even till 63, when Paul, writing to and from Rome, still entirely ignores him. Thus a chronological error is made to overrule stubborn facts. The famous saying that "no pope shall see the (twenty-five) years of Peter," which had hitherto almost the force of law, has been falsified by the thirty-two years' reign of the first infallible pope) Pius IX., who ruled from 1846 to 1878.


Note. — On the Claims of the Papacy.


On this tradition and on the indisputable preëminence of Peter in the Gospels and the Acts, especially the words of Christ to him after the great confession (Matt. 16:18), is built the colossal fabric of the papacy with all its amazing pretensions to be the legitimate succession of a permanent primacy of honor and supremacy of jurisdiction in the church of Christ, and—since 1870—with the additional claim of papal infallibility in all official utterances, doctrinal or moral. The validity of this claim requires three premises:

1. The presence of Peter in Rome. This may be admitted as an historical fact, and I for my part cannot believe it possible that such a rock-firm and world-wide structure as the papacy could rest on the sand of mere fraud and error. It is the underlying fact which gives to fiction its vitality, and error is dangerous in proportion to the amount of truth which it embodies. But the fact of Peter's presence in Rome, whether of one year or twenty-five, cannot be of such fundamental importance as the papacy assumes it to be: otherwise we would certainly have some allusion to it in the New Testament. Moreover, if Peter was in Rome, so was Paul, and shared with him on equal terms the apostolic supervision of the Roman congregation, as is very evident from his Epistle to the Romans.

2. The transferability of Peter's preëminence on a successor. This is derived by inference from the words of Christ: "Thou art Rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."315  This passage, recorded only by Matthew, is the exegetical rock of Romanism, and more frequently quoted by popes and papists than any other passage of the Scriptures. But admitting the obvious reference of petra to Peter, the significance of this prophetic name evidently refers to the peculiar mission of Peter in laying the foundation of the church once and for all time to come. He fulfilled it on the day of Pentecost and in the conversion of Cornelius; and in this pioneer work Peter can have no successor any more than St. Paul in the conversion of the Gentiles, and John in the consolidation of the two branches of the apostolic church.

3. The actual transfer of this prerogative of Peter—not upon the bishops of Jerusalem, or Antioch, where he undoubtedly resided—but upon the bishop of Rome, where he cannot be proven to have been from the New Testament. Of such a transfer history knows absolutely nothing. Clement, bishop of Rome, who first, about a.d. 95, makes mention of Peter's martyrdom, and Ignatius of Antioch, who a few years later alludes to Peter and Paul as exhorting the Romans, have not a word to say about the transfer. The very chronology and succession of the first popes is uncertain.

If the claims of the papacy cannot be proven from what we know of the historical Peter, there are, on the other hand, several undoubted facts in the real history of Peter which bear heavily upon those claims, namely:

1. That Peter was married, Matt. 8:14, took his wife with him on his missionary tours, 1 Cor. 9:5, and, according to a possible interpretation of the "coëlect" (sister), mentions her in 1 Pet. 5:13. Patristic tradition ascribes to him children, or at least a daughter (Petronilla). His wife is said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome before him. What right have the popes, in view of this example, to forbid clerical marriage?  We pass by the equally striking contrast between the poverty of Peter, who had no silver nor gold (Acts 3:6) and the gorgeous display of the triple-crowned papacy in the middle ages and down to the recent collapse of the temporal power.

2. That in the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-11), Peter appears simply as the first speaker and debater, not as president and judge (James presided), and assumes no special prerogative, least of all an infallibility of judgment. According to the Vatican theory the whole question of circumcision ought to have been submitted to Peter rather than to a Council, and the decision ought to have gone out from him rather than from "the apostles and elders, brethren" (or "the elder brethren," 15:23).

3. That Peter was openly rebuked for inconsistency by a younger apostle at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14). Peter's conduct on that occasion is irreconcilable with his infallibility as to discipline; Paul's conduct is irreconcilable with Peter's alleged supremacy; and the whole scene, though perfectly plain, is so inconvenient to Roman and Romanizing views, that it has been variously distorted by patristic and Jesuit commentators, even into a theatrical farce gotten up by the apostles for the more effectual refutation of the Judaizers!

4. That, while the greatest of popes, from Leo I. down to Leo XIII. never cease to speak of their authority over all the bishops and all the churches, Peter, in his speeches in the Acts, never does so. And his Epistles, far from assuming any superiority over his "fellow-elders" and over "the clergy" (by which he means the Christian people), breathe the spirit of the sincerest humility and contain a prophetic warning against the besetting sins of the papacy, filthy avarice and lordly ambition (1 Pet. 5:1-3). Love of money and love of power are twin-sisters, and either of them is "a root of all evil."

It is certainly very significant that the weaknesses even more than the virtues of the natural Peter—his boldness and presumption, his dread of the cross, his love for secular glory, his carnal zeal, his use of the sword, his sleepiness in Gethsemane—are faithfully reproduced in the history of the papacy; while the addresses and epistles of the converted and inspired Peter contain the most emphatic protest against the hierarchical pretensions and worldly vices of the papacy, and enjoin truly evangelical principles—the general priesthood and royalty of believers, apostolic poverty before the rich temple, obedience to God rather than man, yet with proper regard for the civil authorities, honorable marriage, condemnation of mental reservation in Ananias and Sapphira, and of simony in Simon Magus, liberal appreciation of heathen piety in Cornelius, opposition to the yoke of legal bondage, salvation in no other name but that of Jesus Christ.


 § 27. James the Brother of the Lord.


JH pivsti" cwri;" e[rgwn nekrav ejstin.—James 2:26




I. Genuine sources: Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12. Comp. James "the brother of the Lord," Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19.

The Epistle of James.

II. Post-apostolic: Josephus: Ant. XX. 9, 1.—Hegesippus in Euseb. Hist. Ecc. II. ch. 23.—Jerome: Catal. vir. ill. c. 2, under "Jacobus." Epiphanius, Haer. XXIX. 4; XXX. 16; LXXVIII. 13 sq.

III. Apocryphal: Protevangelium Jacobi, ed. in Greek by Tischendorf, in "Evangelia Apocrypha," pp. 1-49, comp. the Prolegg. pp. xii-xxv. James is honorably mentioned in several other apocryphal Gospels.—Epiphanius, Haer. XXX. 16, alludes to an Ebionite and strongly anti-Pauline book, the Ascents of James ( jAnabaqmoi;  jIakwvbou), descriptions of his ascension to heaven, which are lost.—The Liturgy of James, ed. by W. Trollope, Edinb. 1848. Composed in the third century, after the Council of Nicaea (as it contains the terms oJmoouvsio" and qeotovko"), but resting on some older traditions. It was intended for the church of Jerusalem, which is styled "the mother of all churches." It is still used once a year on the festival of St. James, Oct. 23, in the Greek Church at Jerusalem. (See vol. II. 527 sqq.)


Exegetical and Doctrinal.


Commentaries on the Epistle of James by Herder (1775), Storr (1784), Gebser (1828), Schneckenburger (1832), Theile (1833), Kern (1838), De Wette (1849, 3d ed. by Brückner, 1865), Cellerier (1850), Wiesinger (in Olshausen's Com., 1854), Stier (1845), Huther and Beyschlag (in Meyer's Com., 1858, 4th ed. 1882), Lange and Van Oosterzee (in Lange's Bibelwerk, 1862, Engl. transl. enlarged by Mombert, 1867), Alford, Wordsworth, Bassett (1876, ascribes the Ep. to James of Zebedee), Plumptre (in the Cambridge series, 1878), Punchard (in Ellicott's Com. 1878), Erdmann (1882), GLOAG (1883).

Woldemar G. Schmidt: Der Lehrgehalt des Jakobusbriefes. Leipzig, 1869.

W. Beyschlag: Der Jacobusbrief als urchristliches Geschichtsdenkmal. In the "Stud. u. Kritiken," 1874, No. 1, pp. 105-166. See his Com.

Comp. also the expositions of the doctrinal type of James in Neander, Schmid, Schaff, Weiss (pp. 176-194, third ed.).


Historical and Critical.


Blom: De toi'" ajdelqoi'" et tai'" ajdelfai'" Kurivou. Leyden, 1839. (I have not seen this tract, which advocates the brother-theory. Lightfoot says of it: "Blom gives the most satisfactory statement of the patristic authorities, and Schaff discusses the scriptural arguments most carefully.")

Schaff: Jakobus Alphäi, und Jakobus der Bruder des Herrn. Berlin, 1842 (101 pages).

Mill: The Accounts of our Lord's Brethren in the New Test. vindicated. Cambridge, 1843. (Advocates the cousin-theory of the Latin church.)

Lightfoot: The Brethren of the Lord. Excursus in his Com. on Galatians. Lond. 2d ed. 1866, pp. 247-282. (The ablest defence of the step-brother-theory of the Greek Church.)

H. Holtzmann: Jakobus der Gerechte und seine Namensbrüder, in Hilgenfeld's "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftl. Theol." Leipz. 1880, No. 2.


Next to Peter, who was the oecumenical leader of Jewish Christianity, stands James, the brother, of the Lord (also called by post-apostolic writers "James the Just," and "Bishop of Jerusalem"), as the local head of the oldest church and the leader of the most conservative portion of Jewish Christianity. He seems to have taken the place of James the son of Zebedee, after his martyrdom, a.d. 44. He became, with Peter and John, one of the three "pillars" of the church of the circumcision. And after the departure of Peter from Jerusalem James presided over the mother church of Christendom until his death. Though not one of the Twelve, he enjoyed, owing to his relationship to our Lord and his commanding piety, almost apostolic authority, especially in Judaea and among the Jewish converts.316  On one occasion even Peter yielded to his influence or that of his representatives, and was misled into his uncharitable conduct towards the Gentile brethren.317

James was not a believer before the resurrection of our Lord. He was the oldest of the four "brethren" (James, Joseph, Judas, Simon), of whom John reports with touching sadness: "Even his brethren did not believe in him."318  It was one of the early and constant trials of our Lord in the days of his nomination that he was without honor among his fellow-townsmen, yea, "among his own kin, and in his own house."319  James was no doubt imbued with the temporal and carnal Messianic misconceptions of the Jews, and impatient at the delay and unworldliness of his divine brother. Hence the taunting and almost disrespectful language: "Depart hence and go into Judaea .... If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world." The crucifixion could only deepen his doubt and sadness.

But a special personal appearance of the risen Lord brought about his conversion, as also that of his brothers, who after the resurrection appear in the company of the apostles.320  This turning-point in his life is briefly but significantly alluded to by Paul, who himself was converted by a personal appearance of Christ.321  It is more fully reported in an interesting fragment of the, "Gospel according to the Hebrews" (one of the oldest and least fabulous of the apocryphal Gospels), which shows the sincerity and earnestness of James even before his conversion.322  He had sworn, we are here told, "that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein the Lord had drunk the cup [of his passion]323 until he should see him rising from the dead." The Lord appeared to him and communed with him, giving bread to James the Just and saying: "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from them that sleep."

In the Acts and in the Epistle to the Galatians, James appears as the most conservative of the Jewish converts, at the head of the extreme right wing; yet recognizing Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles, giving him the right hand of fellowship, as Paul himself reports, and unwilling to impose upon the Gentile Christians the yoke of circumcision. He must therefore not be identified with the heretical Judaizers (the forerunners of the Ebionites), who hated and opposed Paul, and made circumcision a condition of justification and church membership. He presided at the Council of Jerusalem and proposed the compromise which saved a split in the church. He probably prepared the synodical letter which agrees with his style and has the same greeting formula peculiar to him.324

He was an honest, conscientious, eminently practical, conciliatory Jewish Christian saint, the right man in the right place and at the right time, although contracted in his mental vision as in his local sphere of labor.

From an incidental remark of Paul we may infer that James, like Peter and the other brothers of the Lord, was married.325

The mission of James was evidently to stand in the breach between the synagogue and the church, and to lead the disciples of Moses gently to Christ. He was the only man that could do it in that critical time of the approaching judgment of the holy city. As long as there was any hope of a conversion of the Jews as a nation, he prayed for it and made the transition as easy as possible. When that hope vanished his mission was fulfilled.

According to Josephus he was, at the instigation of the younger Ananus, the high priest, of the sect of the Sadducees, whom he calls "the most unmerciful of all the Jews in the execution of judgment," stoned to death with some others, as "breakers of the law," i.e. Christians, in the interval between the procuratorship of Festus and that of Albinus, that is, in the year 63. The Jewish historian adds that this act of injustice created great indignation among those most devoted to the law (the Pharisees), and that they induced Albinus and King Agrippa to depose Ananus (a son of the Annas mentioned in Luke 3:2; John 18:13). He thus furnishes an impartial testimony to the high standing of James even among the Jews.326

Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian historian about a.d. 170, puts the martyrdom a few years later, shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (69).327  He relates that James was first thrown down from the pinnacle of the temple by the Jews and then stoned to death. His last prayer was an echo of that of his brother and Lord on the cross: "God, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

The dramatic account of James by Hegesippus328 is an overdrawn picture from the middle of the second century, colored by Judaizing traits which may have been derived from the "Ascents of James" and other apocryphal sources. He turns James into a Jewish priest and Nazirite saint (comp. his advice to Paul, Acts 21:23, 24), who drank no wine, ate no flesh, never shaved, nor took a bath, and wore only linen. But the biblical James is Pharisaic and legalistic rather than Essenic and ascetic. In the pseudo-Clementine writings, he is raised even above Peter as the head of the holy church of the Hebrews, as "the lord and bishop of bishops," as "the prince of priests." According to tradition, mentioned by Epiphanius. James, like St. John at Ephesus, wore the high-priestly petalon, or golden plate on the forehead, with the inscription: "Holiness to the Lord" (Ex. 28:36). And in the Liturgy of St. James, the brother of Jesus is raised to the dignity of "the brother of the very God" (ajdelfovqeo"). Legends gather around the memory of great men, and reveal the deep impression they made upon their friends and followers. The character which shines through these James-legends is that of a loyal, zealous, devout, consistent Hebrew Christian, who by his personal purity and holiness secured the reverence and affection of all around him.

But we must carefully distinguish between the Jewish-Christian, yet orthodox, overestimate of James in the Eastern church, as we find it in the fragments of Hegesippus and in the Liturgy of St. James, and the heretical perversion of James into an enemy of Paul and the gospel of freedom, as he appears in apocryphal fictions. We have here the same phenomenon as in the case of Peter and Paul. Every leading apostle has his apocryphal shadow and caricature both in the primitive church and in the modern critical reconstruction of its history. The name and authority of James was abused by the Judaizing party in undermining the work of Paul, notwithstanding the fraternal agreement of the two at Jerusalem.329  The Ebionites in the second century continued this malignant assault upon the memory of Paul under cover of the honored names of James and Peter; while a certain class of modern critics (though usually from the opposite ultra- or pseudo-Pauline point of view) endeavor to prove the same antagonism from the Epistle of James (as far as they admit it to be genuine at all).330

The Epistle in our canon, which purports to be written by "James, a bond-servant of God and of Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes of the dispersion," though not generally acknowledged at the time of Eusebius and Jerome, has strong internal evidence of genuineness. It precisely suits the character and position of the historical James as we know him from Paul and the Acts, and differs widely from the apocryphal James of the Ebionite fictions.331  It hails undoubtedly from Jerusalem, the theocratic metropolis, amid the scenery of Palestine. The Christian communities appear not as churches, but as synagogues, consisting mostly of poor people, oppressed and persecuted by the rich and powerful Jews. There is no trace of Gentile Christians or of any controversy between them and the Jewish Christians. The Epistle was perhaps a companion to the original Gospel of Matthew for the Hebrews, as the first Epistle of John was such a companion to his Gospel. It is probably the oldest of the epistles of the New Testament.332  It represents, at all events, the earliest and meagerest, yet an eminently practical and necessary type of Christianity, with prophetic earnestness, proverbial sententiousness, great freshness, and in fine Greek. It is not dogmatic but ethical. It has a strong resemblance to the addresses of John the Baptist and the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, and also to the book of Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon.333  It never attacks the Jews directly, but still less St. Paul, at least not his genuine doctrine. It characteristically calls the gospel the "perfect law of liberty,"334 thus connecting it very closely with the Mosaic dispensation, yet raising it by implication far above the imperfect law of bondage. The author has very little to say about Christ and the deeper mysteries of redemption, but evidently presupposes a knowledge of the gospel history, and reverently calls Christ "the Lord of glory," and himself humbly his "bond-servant."335  He represents religion throughout in its practical aspect as an exhibition of faith by good works. He undoubtedly differs widely from Paul, yet does not contradict, but supplements him, and fills an important place in the Christian system of truth which comprehends all types of genuine piety. There are multitudes of sincere, earnest, and faithful Christian workers who never rise above the level of James to the sublime heights of Paul or John. The Christian church would never have given to the Epistle of James a place in the canon if she had felt that it was irreconcilable with the doctrine of Paul. Even the Lutheran church did not follow her great leader in his unfavorable judgment, but still retains James among the canonical books.

After the martyrdom of James he was succeeded by Symeon, a son of Clopas and a cousin of Jesus (and of James). He continued to guide the church at Jerusalem till the reign of Trajan, when he died a martyr at the great age of a hundred and twenty years.336  The next thirteen bishops of Jerusalem, who came, however, in rapid succession, were likewise of Jewish descent.

Throughout this period the church of Jerusalem preserved its strongly Israelitish type, but joined with it "the genuine knowledge of Christ," and stood in communion with the Catholic church, from which the Ebionites, as heretical Jewish Christians, were excluded. After the line of the fifteen circumcised bishops had run out, and Jerusalem was a second time laid waste under Hadrian, the mass of the Jewish Christians gradually merged in the orthodox Greek Church.




I. James and the Brothers of the Lord. - There are three, perhaps four, eminent persons in the New Testament bearing the name of James (abridged from Jacob, which from patriarchal memories was a more common name among the Jews than any other except Symeon or Simon, and Joseph or Joses):

1. James (the son) of Zebedee, the brother of John and one of the three favorite apostles, the proto-martyr among the Twelve (beheaded a.d. 44, see Acts 12:2), as his brother John was the survivor of all the apostles. They were called the "sons of thunder."

2. James (the son) of Alphaeus, who was likewise one of the Twelve, and is mentioned in the four apostle-catalogues, Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:10; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13.

3. James the Little, Mark 15:40 (oJ mikrov", not, "the Less," as in the E. V.), probably so called from his small stature (as Zacchaeus, Luke 19:3), the son of a certain Mary and brother of Joseph, Matt. 27:56 (Maria hJ tou'  jIakwvbou kai;  jIwsh;f mhvthr ); Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1; Luke 24:10. He is usually identified with James the son of Alphaeus, on the assumption that his mother Mary was the wife of Clopas, mentioned John 19:25, and that Clopas was the same person as Alphaeus. But this identification is at least very problematical.

4. James, simply so called, as the most distinguished after the early death of James the Elder, or with the honorable epithet Brother of the Lord (oJ ajdelfo;" tou' Kurivou), and among post-apostolic writers, the Just, also Bishop of Jerusalem. The title connects him at once with the four brothers and the unnamed sisters of our Lord, who are repeatedly mentioned in the Gospels, and he as the first among them. Hence the complicated question of the nature of this relationship. Although I have fully discussed this intricate subject nearly forty years ago (1842) in the German essay above mentioned, and then again in my annotations to Lange on Matthew (Am. ed. 1864, pp. 256-260), I will briefly sum up once more the chief points with reference to the most recent discussions (of Lightfoot and Renan).

There are three theories on James and the brothers of Jesus. I would call them the brother-theory, the half-brother-theory, and the cousin-theory. Bishop Lightfoot (and Canon Farrar) calls them after their chief advocates, the Helvidian (an invidious designation), the Epiphanian, and the Hieronymian theories. The first is now confined to Protestants, the second is the Greek, the third the Roman view.

(1) The brother-theory takes the term ajdelfoiv the usual sense, and regards the brothers as younger children of Joseph and Mary, consequently as full brothers of Jesus in the eyes of the law and the opinion of the people, though really only half-brothers, in view of his supernatural conception. This is exegetically the most natural view and favored by the meaning of ajdelfov" (especially when used as a standing designation), the constant companionship of these brethren with Mary (John 2:12; Matt. 12:46; 13:55), and by the obvious meaning of Matt. 1:25 (oujk ejgivnwsken aujth;n eJw" ou},  comp. 1:18 privn h] sunelqei'n aujtouv") and Luke 2:7 (prwtovtoko"), as explained from the standpoint of the evangelists, who used these terms in full view of the subsequent history of Mary and Jesus. The only serious objection to it is of a doctrinal and ethical nature, viz., the assumed perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord and Saviour, and the committal of her at the cross to John rather than her own sons and daughters (John 19:25). If it were not for these two obstacles the brother-theory would probably be adopted by every fair and honest exegete. The first of these objections dates from the post-apostolic ascetic overestimate of virginity, and cannot have been felt by Matthew and Luke, else they would have avoided those ambiguous terms just noticed. The second difficulty presses also on the other two theories, only in a less degree. It must therefore be solved on other grounds, namely, the profound spiritual sympathy and congeniality of John with Jesus and Mary, which rose above carnal relationships, the probable cousinship of John (based upon the proper interpretation of the same passage, John 19:25), and the unbelief of the real brethren at the time of the committal.

This theory was held by Tertullian (whom Jerome summarily disposes of as not being a, "homo ecclesiae," i.e. a schismatic), defended by Helvidius at Rome about 380 (violently attacked as a heretic by Jerome), and by several individuals and sects opposed to the incipient worship of the Virgin Mary; and recently by the majority of German Protestant exegetes since Herder, such as Stier, De Wette, Meyer, Weiss, Ewald, Wieseler, Keim, also by Dean Alford, and Canon Farrar (Life of Christ, I. 97 sq.). I advocated the same theory in my German tract, but admitted afterwards in my Hist. of Ap. Ch., p. 378, that I did not give sufficient weight to the second theory.

(2) The half-brother-theory regards the brethren and sisters of Jesus as children of Joseph by a former wife, consequently as no blood-relations at all, but so designated simply as Joseph was called the father of Jesus, by an exceptional use of the term adapted to the exceptional fact of the miraculous incarnation. This has the dogmatic advantage of saving the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord and Saviour; it lessens the moral difficulty implied in John 19:25; and it has a strong traditional support in the apocryphal Gospels and in the Eastern church. It also would seem to explain more easily the patronizing tone in which the brethren speak to our Lord in John 7:3, 4. But it does not so naturally account for the constant companionship of these brethren with Mary; it assumes a former marriage of Joseph nowhere alluded to in the Gospels, and makes Joseph an old man and protector rather than husband of Mary; and finally it is not free from suspicion of an ascetic bias, as being the first step towards the dogma of the perpetual virginity. To these objections may be added, with Farrar, that if the brethren had been elder sons of Joseph, Jesus would not have been regarded as legal heir of the throne of David (Matt. 1:16; Luke 1:27; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rev. 22:16).

This theory is found first in the apocryphal writings of James (the Protevangelium Jacobi, the Ascents of James, etc.), and then among the leading Greek fathers (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Cyril of Alexandria); it is embodied in the Greek, Syrian, and Coptic services, which assign different dates to the commemoration of James the son of Alphaeus (Oct. 9), and of James the Lord's brother (Oct. 23). It may therefore be called the theory of the Eastern church. It was also held by some Latin fathers before Jerome (Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose), and has recently been ably advocated by Bishop Lightfoot (l.c.), followed by Dr. Plumptre (in the introduction to his Com. on the Ep. of James).

(3) The cousin-theory regards the brethren as more distant relatives, namely, as children of Mary, the wife of Alphaeus and sister of the Virgin Mary, and identifies James, the brother of the Lord, with James the son of Alphaeus and James the Little, thus making him (as well as also Simon and Jude) an apostle. The exceptive eij mhv, Gal. 1:19 (but I saw only James), does not prove this, but rather excludes James from the apostles proper (comp. eij mhv in Gal. 2:16; Luke 4:26, 27).

This theory was first advanced by Jerome in 383, in a youthful polemic tract against Helvidius, without any traditional support,337 but with the professed dogmatic and ascetic aim to save the virginity of both Mary and Joseph, and to reduce their marriage relation to a merely nominal and barren connection. In his later writings, however, after his residence in Palestine, he treats the question with less confidence (see Lightfoot, p. 253). By his authority and the still greater weight of St. Augustin, who at first (394) wavered between the second and third theories, but afterwards adopted that of Jerome, it became the established theory of the Latin church and was embodied in the Western services, which acknowledge only two saints by the name of James. But it is the least tenable of all and must be abandoned, chiefly for the following reasons:

(a) It contradicts the natural meaning of the word "brother," when the New Testament has the proper term for cousin Col. 4:10, comp. also suggenhv" Luke 2:44; 21:16; Mark 6:4, etc.), and the obvious sense of the passages where the brothers and sisters of Jesus appear as members of the holy family.

(b) It assumes that two sisters had the same name, Mary, which is extremely improbable.

(c) It assumes the identity of Clopas and Alphaeus, which is equally doubtful; for jAlfai'o" is a Hebrew name (jlpy), while Klwpa'", like Kleovpa", Luke 24:18, is an abbreviation of the Greek Kleovpatro", as Antipas is contracted from Antipatros.(d) It is absolutely irreconcilable with the fact that the brethren of Jesus, James among them, were before the resurrection unbelievers, John 7:5, and consequently none of them could have been an apostle, as this theory assumes of two or three.

Renan's theory.—I notice, in conclusion, an original combination of the second and third theories by Renan, who discusses the question of the brothers and cousins of Jesus in an appendix to his Les évangiles, 537-540. He assumes four Jameses, and distinguishes the son of Alphaeus from the son of Clopas. He holds that Joseph was twice married, and that Jesus had several older brothers and cousins as follows:

1. Children of Joseph from the first marriage, and older brothers of Jesus:

a. James, the brother of the Lord, or Just, or Obliam. his is the one mentioned Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12; 1 Cor. 15:7; Acts 12:17, etc.; James 1:1 Jude 1:1, and in Josephus and Hegesippus.

b. Jude, mentioned Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Jude 1:1; Hegesippus in Eusebius' Hist. Eccl. III. 19, 20, 32. From him were descended those two grandsons, bishops of different churches, who were presented to the emperor Domitian as descendants of David and relations of Jesus. Hegesippus in Euseb. III. 19, 20, 32

c. Other sons and daughters unknown. Matt. 13:56; Mark 6:3; 1 Cor. 9:5.

2. Children of Joseph (?) from the marriage with Mary:

3. Children of Clopas, and cousins of Jesus, probably from the father's side, since Clopas, according to Hegesippus, was a brother of Joseph, and may have married also a woman by the name of Mary (John 19:25).

a. James the Little (oJ mikrov"), so called to distinguish him from his older cousin of that name. Mentioned Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; 16:1; Luke 24:10; otherwise unknown.

b. Joses, Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40, 47, but erroneously (?) numbered among the brothers of Jesus: Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; otherwise unknown.

c. Symeon, the second bishop of Jerusalem (Hegesippus in Eus. III. 11, 22, 32; IV. 5, 22), also erroneously (?) put among the brothers of Jesus by Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3.

d. Perhaps other sons and daughters unknown.


II. The description of James by Hegesippus (from Eusebius, H. E. II. 23)." Hegesippus also, who flourished nearest the days of the apostles, gives (in the fifth book of his Memorials) this most accurate account of him:

" 'Now James, the brother of the Lord, who (as there are many of this name) was surnamed the Just by all (oJ ajdelfov" tou' Kurivou  jIavkwbo" oJ ojnomasqei;" uJpo; pavntwn divkaio"), from the Lord's time even to our own, received the government of the church with (or from) the apostles [metav, in conjunction with, or according to another reading, para; tw'n ajpostovlwn, which would more clearly distinguish him from the apostles]. This man [ou|to" not this apostle] was consecrated from his mother's womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, and abstained from animal food. No razor came upon his head, he never anointed himself with oil, and never used a bath [probably the luxury of the Roman bath, with its sudatorium, frigidarium, etc., but not excluding the usual ablutions practised by all devout Jews]. He alone was allowed to enter the sanctuary [not the holy of holies, but the court of priests]. He wore no woolen, but linen garments only. He was in the habit of entering the temple alone, and was often found upon his bended knees, and interceding for the forgiveness of the people; so that his knees became as hard as a camel's, on account of his constant supplication and kneeling before God. And indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just [Zaddik] and Oblias [divkaio" kai; wjbliva", probably a corruption of the Hebrew Ophel am, Tower of the People], which signifies justice and the bulwark of the people (perioch; tou' laou'); as the prophets declare concerning him. Some of the seven sects of the people, mentioned by me above in my Memoirs, used to ask him what was the door, [probably the estimate or doctrine] of Jesus? and he answered that he was the Saviour. And of these some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the aforesaid sects did not believe either a resurrection, or that he was coming to give to every one according to his works; as many, however, as did believe, did so on account of James. And when many of the rulers also believed, there arose a tumult among the Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees, saying that the whole people were in danger of looking for Jesus as the Messiah. They came therefore together, and said to James: We entreat thee, restrain the people, who are led astray after Jesus, as though he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all that are coming to the feast of the Passover rightly concerning Jesus; for we all have confidence in thee. For we and all the people bear thee testimony that thou art just, and art no respecter of persons. Persuade therefore the people not to be led astray by Jesus, for we and all the people have great confidence in thee. Stand therefore upon the pinnacle of the temple, that thou mayest be conspicuous on high, and thy words may be easily heard by all the people; for all the tribes have come together on account of the Passover, with some of the Gentiles also. The aforesaid Scribes and Pharisees, therefore, placed James upon the pinnacle of the temple, and cried out to him: "O thou just man, whom we ought all to believe, since the people are led astray after Jesus that was crucified, declare to us what is the door of Jesus that was crucified." And he answered with a loud voice: "Why do ye ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man?  He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of the great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of heaven." And as many were confirmed, and gloried in this testimony of James, and said:, "Hosanna to the Son of David," these same priests and Pharisees said to one another: "We have done badly in affording such testimony to Jesus, but let us go up and cast him down, that they may dread to believe in him." And they cried out: "Ho, ho, the Just himself is deceived." And they fulfilled that which is written in Isaiah, "Let us take away the Just, because he is offensive to us; wherefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings." [Comp. Is. 3:10.]

And going up, they cast down the just man, saying to one another: "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him, as he did not die immediately when cast down; but turning round, he knelt down, saying:, I entreat thee, O Lord God and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Thus they were stoning him, when one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, a son of the Rechabites, spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet (Jer. 35:2), cried out, saying: "Cease, what are you doing?  The Just is praying for you." And one of them, a fuller, beat out the brains of the Just with the club that he used to beat out clothes. Thus he suffered martyrdom, and they buried him on the spot where his tombstone is still remaining, by the temple. He became a faithful witness, both to the Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ. Immediately after this, Vespasian invaded and took Judaea.' "

"Such," adds Eusebius, "is the more ample testimony of Hegesippus, in which he fully coincides with Clement. So admirable a man indeed was James, and so celebrated among all for his justice, that even the wiser part of the Jews were of opinion that this was the cause of the immediate siege of Jerusalem, which happened to them for no other reason than the crime against him. Josephus also has not hesitated to superadd this testimony in his works: 'These things,' says he, 'happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was the brother of him that is called Christ and whom the Jews had slain, notwithstanding his preeminent justice.' The same writer also relates his death, in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, in the following words,' " etc.

Then Eusebius gives the account of Josephus.


 § 28. Preparation for the Mission to the Gentiles.


The planting of the church among the Gentiles is mainly the work of Paul; but Providence prepared the way for it by several steps, before this apostle entered upon his sublime mission.

1. By the conversion of those half-Gentiles and bitter enemies of the Jews, the Samaritans, under the preaching and baptism of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven deacons of Jerusalem, and under the confirming instruction of the apostles Peter and John. The gospel found ready entrance into Samaria, as had been prophetically hinted by the Lord in the conversation at Jacob's well.338  But there we meet also the first heretical perversion of Christianity by Simon Magus, whose hypocrisy and attempt to degrade the gift of the Holy Spirit received from Peter a terrible rebuke. (Hence the term simony, for sordid traffic in church offices and dignities.)  This encounter of the prince of the apostles with the arch-heretic was regarded in the ancient church, and fancifully represented, as typifying the relation of ecclesiastical orthodoxy to deceptive heresy.

2. Somewhat later (between 37 and 40) occurred the conversion of the noble centurion, Cornelius of Caesarea, a pious proselyte of the gate, whom Peter, in consequence of a special revelation, received into the communion of the Christian church directly by baptism, without circumcision. This bold step the apostle had to vindicate to the strict Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, who thought circumcision a condition of salvation, and Judaism the only way to Christianity. Thus Peter laid the foundation also of the Gentile-Christian church. The event marked a revolution in Peter's mind, and his emancipation from the narrow prejudices of Judaism.339

3. Still more important was the rise, at about the same time, of the church at Antioch the capital of Syria. This congregation formed under the influence of the Hellenist Barnabas of Cyprus and Paul of Tarsus, seems to have consisted from the first of converted heathens and Jews. It thus became the mother of Gentile Christendom, as Jerusalem was the mother and centre of Jewish. In Antioch, too, the name "Christian" first appeared, which was soon everywhere adopted, as well denoting the nature and mission as the followers of Christ, the divine-human prophet, priest, and king.340

The other and older designations were disciples (of Christ the only Master), believers (in Christ as their Saviour), brethren (as members of the same family of the redeemed, bound together by a love which springs not from earth and will never cease), and saints (as those who are purified and consecrated to the service of God and called to perfect holiness).



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

251  John 14:6, 26; 15:26; 16:7. The preparatory communication of the Spirit is related in John 20:22.

252  Comp. especially the classical chapters on the gifts of the Spirit, 1 Cor. 12, 13, and 14, and Rom. 12.

253  The Greek name hJ penthkosthv (hJmevra) is used (like quinquagesima) as a substantive, Tob. 2:1; 2 Macc. 12:32; Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:3, and by Josephus, Ant. III. 10, 6, etc. It survives not only in all the Romanic languages, but also in the German Pfingsten. The English Whit-Sunday is usually derived from the white garments of the candidates for baptism worn on that day (hence Dominica alba); others connect it with wit, the gift of wisdom from above. The Hebrew names of the festival are ry[iq;h' gj', eJorth; qerismou', the feast of harvest (Ex. 23:16),  !yrIWBKh' !wOy and hJmevra tw'n nevwn, day of the first fruits (Num. 28:26), t/[;buv gj', eJorth; eJbdomavdwn, aJgiva eJpta; eJbdomavdwn, festival of (seven) weeks, as the harvest continued for seven weeks (Deut. 16:9, 10; Lev. 23:15; Tob. 2:1). It began directly after the Passover with the offering of the first sheaf of the barley-harvest, and ended at Pentecost with the offering of the first two loaves from the wheat-harvest.

254  Josephus speaks of "many tens of thousands being gathered together about the temple" on Pentecost, Ant. xiv. 13, 4; comp. xvii. 10, 2; Bell Jud. II. 3, 1. The Passover, of course, was more numerously attended by Jews from Palestine; but distant foreigners were often prevented by the dangers of travel in the early spring. Paul twice went to Jerusalem on Pentecost, Acts 18:21; 20:16. Many Passover pilgrims would naturally remain till the second festival.

255  Hence called the feast of the joy of the Law (hr;/Th' tj'im]vi). The date of Sinaitic legislation is based on a comparison of Ex. 12:2 with 19:1 (comp. my Hist. of the Ap. Ch., p. 192, note 5). The legislation on Pentecost, Deut. 16:9-12, represents it as a feast of rejoicing, and concludes with a reference to the bondage in Egypt and the commandments of Jehovah. Otherwise there is no allusion in the Bible, nor in Philo nor Josephus, to the historical significance of Pentecost. But there was a Jewish custom which Schöttgen (Hor. Heb. in Acts 2:1) traces to apostolic times, of spending the night before Pentecost in thanksgiving to God for the gift of the law. In the present Jewish observance the commemoration of the Sinaitic legislation is made prominent. Some Jews "adorn their houses with flowers and wear wreaths on their heads, with the declared purpose of testifying their joy in the possession of the Law."

256  The list of nations, Acts 2:8-11, gives a bird's eye view of the Roman empire from the East and North southward and westward as far as Rome, and then again eastward to Arabia. Cyprus and Greece are omitted. There were Christians in Damascus before the conversion of Paul (9:2), and a large congregation at Rome long before he wrote his Epistle (Rom. 1:8).

257  Acts 1:15; 2:7. Ten times the number of tribes of Israel. These were, however, not all the disciples; Paul mentions five hundred brethren to whom the risen Lord appeared at once, 1 Cor. 15:6.

258  Exod. 19:16; comp. Hebr. 12:18, 19.

259  h|co" w{sper feromevnh" pnoh'" biaiva", ein Getöse wie von einem dahinfahrenden heftigen Wehen (Meyer). The term feromevnh, borne on, is the same which Peter uses of the inspiration of the prophets, 2 Pet. 1:21.

260  diamerizovmenai glw'ssai wJsei; purov", Acts2:3, are not parted or " cloven"tongues (E. V.)—resembling the fork-like shape of the episcopal mitre—but distributed tongues, spreading from one to another. This is the meaning of diamerivzein, in ver. 45; Luke 22:17; 23:34; John 19:24; Matt. 27:35. The distributive idea explains the change of number in ver. 3, glw'ssaiejkavqisen, i.e., one tongue sat on each disciple.

261  Hence w{sper and wJseiv. John Lightfoot: "Sonus ventus vehementis, sed absque vento; sic etiam linguae igneae, sed absque igne."

262  Luke 3:22 (wJ" peristeravn); Matt. 3:10 (wJsei;); Mark 1:10; John 1:32. The Rabbinical comment on Gen. 1:2 makes the same comparison, that " the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters like a dove," and Milton sings (Parad, Lost, i. 20):

" With mighty wings outspread

Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss."

263  They were baptized with water by John; but Christian baptism was first administered by them on the day of Pentecost. Christ himself did not baptize, John 4:2.

264  1 Pet. 1:3, 4.

265  Comp. Acts 1:13, 14.

266  Acts 2:3: "it (a tongue of fire) sat upon each of them."

267  Acts 2:3, 4, 17, 18.

268  Gal. 3:28.

269  ta; megalei'a tou' Qeou', Acts 2: 11; comp. the same term Luke 1:69, and the megaluvnein to;n qeovn, Acts 10:46.

270  Comp. 1 Cor. 14:22.

271  Acts 10:46.

272  Acts 19:6.

273  1 Cor. 12 and 14.

274  Acts 2:8:e{kasto" th/' ijdiva/ dialektw/ hJmw'n ejn h|/ ejgennhvqhmen. Comp. 2:11:ajkouvomen lalouvntwn aujtw'n tai'" hJmetevrai" glwvssai" ta; megalei'a tou' qeou'..

275  Comp. Acts 2:4, and 6.

276  1 Cor. 14:5, 13, 27, 28; comp. 1 Cor. 12:10, 30.

277  Comp. 1 Cor. 14:23.

278  Grotius (in loc.): "Paena linguarum dispersit homines, donum linguarum dispersos in unum populum collegit." See note on Glossolalia (p.17).

279  The former is the usual view, the latter is maintained by Stanley, Plumptre, and Farrar. Paul addressed the excited multitude in Jerusalem in the Hebrew tongue, which commanded greater silence, Acts 22:2. This implies that they would not have understood him in Greek as well, or listened as attentively.

280  What may be claimed for St. Bernard, St. Vincent Ferrer, and St. Francis Xavier is not a miraculous heteroglossolalia, but an eloquence so ardent, earnest, and intense, that the rude nations which they addressed in Latin or Spanish imagined they heard them in their mother tongue. St. Bernard (d. 1153) fired the Germans in Latin to the second crusade, and made a greater impression on them by his very appearance than the translation of the same speech by his interpreter. See Neander, Der heil. Bernhard, p. 338 (2d ed.). Alban Butler (Lives of the Saints, sub April 5) reports of St. Vincent Ferrer (died 1419) "Spondanus and many others say, the saint was honored with the gift of tongues, and that, preaching in his own, he was understood by men of different languages; which is also affirmed by Lanzano, who says, that Greeks, Germans, Sardes, Hungarians, and people of other nations, declared they understood every word he spoke, though he preached in Latin, or in his mother-tongue, as spoken at Valentia." This account clearly implies that Ferrer did not understand Greek, German, and Hungarian. As to Francis Xavier (d. 1552), Alban Butler says (sub Dec. 3) that the gift of tongues was "a transient favor," and that he learned the Malabar tongue and the Japanese "by unwearied application;" from which we may infer that his impression upon the heathen was independent of the language, Not one of these saints claimed the gift of tongues or other miraculous powers, but only their disciples or later writers.

281  Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:42.

282  Acts 2:14 sqq.; 3:12 sqq.; 5:29 sqq.; 10:34 sqq.; 11:5 sqq.; 15:7 sqq.

283  Acts 2: 46, 47. Renan says, with reference to this period (Les apotres, ch. v.), that in no literary work does the word "joy" so often occur as in the New Testament, and quotes 1 Thess 1:6; 5:16; Rom. 14:17; 15:13; Gal. 5:22; Phil. 1:25; 3:1; 4:4; 1 John 1:4. Many other passages might be added.

284  On Stephen comp. Thiersch: De Stephani protomartyris oratione commentatio exegetica, Marb. 1849; Baur: Paul, ch. II.; my Hist. of the Apost. Church, pp. 211 sqq.; and the commentaries of Mover, Lechler, Hackett, Wordsworth, Plumptre, Howson and Spence, on Acts, chs. 6 and 7.

285 a.d. 50: Acts 15.

286  Gal. 2:11 sqq.

287  1 Cor. 9:5.

288  1 Pet. 1:1.

289  Rom. 15:20; 2 Cor. 10:16.

290  Alzog (§ 48), and other modern Roman church historians try to reconcile the tradition with the silence of the Scripture by assuming two visits of Peter to Rome with a great interval.

291  For particulars see my H. Ap. Ch. pp. 362-372. The presence of Peter in Rome was the universal belief of Christendom till the Reformation, and is so still in the Roman Catholic communion. It was denied first in the interest of orthodox Protestantism against Romanism by U. Velenus (1520), M. Flacius (1554), Blondel (1641), Salmasius (1645), and especially by Fr. Spanheim (Da ficta Profectione Petri in urbem Romam, Lugd. B. 1679); more recently in the interest of historical criticism by Baur (in special essays, 1831 and 1836, and in his work on Paul, ch. IX.), K. Hase (1862, doubtful in the 10th ed. of his Kirchengesch. 1877, p. 34), Mayerhoff, De Wette, Greenwood (1856), Lipsius (1869), Volkmar (1873), Zeller (1876). Volkmar denies even the martyrdom of Paul, and fancies that he died quietly in a villa near Rome. Zeller (in Hilgenfeld's "Zeitschrift," for 1876, p. 46 sq.) was disposed to substitute "James" for the defective name "Peter" in the testimony of Clemens Rom., Ad Cor. c. 5, but this is now set aside by the edition of Bryennios from a more complete manuscript, which clearly reads Pevtro" o{" in full. On the other hand the presence and martyrdom of Peter in Rome is affirmed not only by all the Roman Catholic, but also by many eminent Protestant historians and critics, as Bleek, Credner, Olshausen, Gieseler, Neander, Niedner, Rothe, Thiersch, Krafft, Ewald, Plumptre, and even by Hilgenfeld, who justly remarks (Einleitung in das N. T. 1875 p. 624): "Man kann ein guter Protestant sein, wenn man den Märtyrertod des Petrus in Rom festhält." Renan (in an appendix to his L'Antechrist, 551 sqq.) likewise asserts that Peter came to Rome, though not before 63, and was among the victims of the Neronian persecution in 64, whom Tacitus describes as crucibus affixi. He understands "Babylon,"1 Pet. 5:13, of Rome, according to the secret style of the Christians of those days.

In February, 1872, after the downfall of the temporal power of the papacy, a disputation was held in Rome between Protestant ministers (Gavazzi, Sciarelli, and Ribetto) and Roman divines (Guidi, and Canon Fabiani) on Peter's presence in that city; the former denying, the latter affirming it. The disputation was published in several languages, and although destitute of critical value, it derives a sort of historical significance from the place where it was held, within a short distance from the residence of Pius IX., the first infallible pope. See Racconto autentico della disputa, etc., Roma, 1872; Authentic report of the Discussion held in Rome, February 9 and 10, 1872, between Catholic Priests and Evangelical Ministers, concerning the Coming of St. Peter to Rome. Translated by William Arthur, London, 1872; and Römische Disputation zwischen Katholiken und Protestanten über die These: War Petrus in Rom? Nach den stenographischen Berichten. Deutsche Ausg. Münster, 1872. Comp. the review of Lipsius in the "Jahrbücher für Protest. Theologie," 1876, Heft 4.

292  The old legend of Peter's flight from the Mamertine prison in Rome, which seems to antedate the hierarchical glorification of Peter, would prove that his "consistent inconsistency" overtook him once more at the close of his life. A few days before his execution, it is said, he bribed the jailor and escaped from prison, but when he reached a spot outside the Porta San Sebastiano, now marked by a chapel, the Lord appeared to him with a cross, and Peter asked in surprise: "Lord, whither goest thou (Domine quo vadis)?"Jesus replied: "I go to Rome to be crucified again (venio Romam iterum crucifigi)." The disciple returned deeply humbled, and delivered himself to the jailor to be crucified head-downwards. The footprint of the Lord is still shown (or was shown in 1841, when I saw it) in the little chapel called "Domine quo vadis," and a rude fresco on the wall represents the encounter. The legend is first alluded to by Origen (quoting from the Pravxei" Pauvlou orPevtrou, the words of the Saviour: [Anwqen mevllw staurwqh'nai, see Opera IV. 332, and Hilgenfeld, l.c. IV. 72), then fully told in the apocryphal Acts of Peter and Paul, c. 82 (Tischendorf, l.c. p. 36, where Peter asks, Kuvrie, pou' poreuvh/; and the Lord answers: ejn Rwvmh/ ajpevrcomai staurwqh'nai), and by Ambrose in Sermo de basilicis non tradendis haereticis contra Auxentium (quoted by Lipsius, Petrus-Sage, p. 134 sq.).

293  1 Pet. 2:4-8. A striking instance of the impression of Christ's word without a trace of boastfulness and assumption of authority.

294  1 Pet. 5:2; 2:25; comp. John 21:15-17.

295  Mark 14:72. "And straightway the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word how that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice (comp.14:30); and when he thought thereon he wept."

296  Comp. Mark 8:27-33 with Matt. 16:13-23. The omission of the famous passage, "Thou art Rock," etc., can only be satisfactorily explained from the humility of Peter. An enemy or rival might have omitted them, but Mark was his faithful pupil, and would have mentioned them had he followed his own impulse, or had he been a papist.

297  Luke 22:31, 32, spoken in view of the approaching denial. This is the proper meaning of the passage which has been distorted by the Vatican Council into an argument for papal infallibility. Such application would logically imply also that every pope must deny Christ, and be converted in order to strengthen the brethren.

298  Acts 10:34, 35; 15:11.

299  Gal. 2:8, 9; comp. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:5.

300  Acts 8:9-24. It is quite probable that in the description of the heretics in his second Epistle, Peter had in mind Simon Magus. Plumptre (l.c. p. 44) sees in the "great swelling words of vanity,"2 Pet. 2:18, an allusion to Simon's boast that he was "the Great Power of God" (Acts 8:9, 10), and in the words "having eyes full of an adulteress,"etc. 2 Pet. 2:12-14, an allusion to Helena, the mistress of Simon, who is said to have accompanied him.

301  Gal. 2:11-14.

302  This is clear from the Epistles of Paul, especially the Galatians and Corinthians, and from Acts 21.

303  Justin Martyr (Apol. l.c. 26 and 56) reports that Simon Magus went to Rome under Claudius and received divine honors there, as was shown by a statue erected to him on an island in the Tiber. Such a statue was actually discovered in 1574, but with the inscription Semoni Sanco Deo Fidio sacrum, [not Simoni Deo sancto]. With reference to this supposed worship, Simon boasts in the pseudo-Clementine Recogn. II. 9: "Adorabor ut deus, publicis divins donabor honoribus, ita ut simulacrum mihi statuentes tanquam deum colant et adarent."

304  The chief of these productions are the twenty Greek pseudo-Clementine Homilies, which are based upon the older Khvrugma Pevtrou and other Jewish-Christian documents. See the ed. of Dressel: Clementis Romani quae feruntur Homilae viginti nunc prinum integrae, Gött. 1853 (429 pages), and of De Lagarde, Clementina, 1865. The Clementine literature has been thoroughly investigated by Baur, Hilgenfeld, Ritschl, Schliemann, Uhlhorn, Volkmar, and Lipsius. See a brief résumé in Baur's Kirchengesch. vol. I. 85-94. Baur first tried to prove the identity of Simon Magus with Paul, in his essay on the Christuspartei in der Korinthischen Gemeinde, Tübingen, 1831. But Simon is a more comprehensive representative of all anti-Jewish and Gnostic heresies, especially that of Marcion. If he were meant to represent Paul alone, the author would not have retained the historic features from Acts 8, which are entirely irreconcilable with Paul's well known history.

305  Such as the lost Khvrugma Pevtrou ejn JRwvmh/, and the Praedicatio Pauli (probably one book), used by Clement of Alexandria; the Syriac Sermon of Peter in Rome (in Curston's "Ancient Syriac Doc.," Lond. 1864); the Acta Pauli, used by Origen and Eusebius; the Acts of Peter and Paul, of a later date, published by Thilo and Tischendorf. The last book has a conciliatory tendency, like the canonical Acts. Comp. Lipsius, l.c. pp. 47 sqq., and the fragments collected by Hilgenfeld, l.c. IV. 52 sqq.

306  The month is given in the Acta Petri et Pauli at the close: jEteleiwvqhsan oiJ a{gioi e[ndoxoi ajpovstoloi Pevtro" kai; Pau'lo" mhni; jIounivw/. kq. But different MSS. give July second or eighth. See Tischendorf, l. c. p. 39. According to Prudentius (Hymn. 12) the two apostles suffered on the same day, but a year apart:

"Unus utrumque dies, pleno tamen innovatus anno,

 Vidit superba morte laureatum."

307  A bishop of the Vatican Council used this as an argument for papal absolutism and infallibility, inasmuch as Peter's head supported his body, and not the body the head!

308  Baronius, Ad Ann. 69 (in Theiner's ed. vol. I. 594 sq.) reconciles this difference by making the Janiculum and the Vatican one hill extending to the Milvian bridge.

309  tropai'a, Euseb. H. E. II. 25.

310  See Lipsius, l.c. pp. 96 sqq., and his Chronologie der röm. Päpste, pp. 49 sqq.

311  Hist. Eccl. II. 14. His statement is merely an inference from Justin Martyrs story about Simon Magus, which he quotes in ch. 13. But Justin M. says nothing about Simon Peter in that connection.

312  "Petrus apostolus, cum primum Antiochenam ecclesiam fundasset, Romanorum urbem proficiscitur, ibique evangelium praedicat, et commoratur illic antistes ecclesiae annis viginti."

313  Chr., ad ann. 44: "Petrus ... cum primum Antiochenam ecclesiam fundasset, Romam proficiscitur, ubi evangelium praedicans 25 annis ejusdem urbis episcopus perseverat."InDe viris illustr. cap. I, Jerome omits Antioch and says: "Simon Petrus ... secundo Claudii imperatoris anno, ad expugnandum Simonem Magum, Romam pergit, ibique, viginti quinque annis Cathedram Sacerdotatem tenuit, usque ad ultimum annum Neronis, id est, decimum quartum. A quo et affixus cruci, martyrio coronatus est, capite ad terram verso, et in sublime pedibus elevatis: asserens se indignum qui sic crucifigeretur ut Dominus suus.

314  Annal. ad ann. 69. Tom. I. 590, comp. I. 272, ed. Theiner.

315  Some Protestant writers press, in Matt. 16:18, the distinction between Pevtro":, stone, and pevtra, rock, which disappears in the translations, but this does not apply to the Aramaic Cepha, which was used by Christ, Comp. John 1:42; Gal. 2:9; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5 (and which, by the way, has analogies not only in Semitic but also in Aryan languages, as the Sanskrit kap-ala, the Greek kef-alhv, the Latin cap-ut, the German Kopf and Gipfel). On the interpretation of the famous passage in Matthew, see my annotations to Lange on Matthew, pp. 293 sqq., and my H. Ap. Ch., pp. 351 sqq.

316  On his relation to the Twelve and to Jesus, see the first note at the end of this section.

317  Gal. 2:12.

318  Mark 6:3; Matt. 13:55; John 7:5.

319  Mark 6:4; Matt. 13:57; Luke 4:24; John 4:44.

320  Acts 1:13; comp. 1 Cor. 9:5.

321  1 Cor. 15:7: e[peita w[fqh jIakwbw/.

322  The fragment is preserved by Jerome, De vir. ill. cap. 2. Comp. Hilgenfeld, Nov. Test. extra can. rec. IV. 17 and 29; and Nicholson, The Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879), pp. 63 sqq.

323  I follow here with Credner and Lightfoot the reading Dominus forDomini, corresponding to the Greek translation, which reads oJ kuvrio",and with the context, which points to the Lord's death rather than the Lord's Supper as the starting-point of the vow. See Lightfoot, Ep. to the Gal., p. 266. If we read "hora qu biberat calicem Domini,"the author of the Gospel of the Hebrews must have assumed either that James was one with James of Alphaeus, or that the Lord's Supper was not confined to the twelve apostles. Neither of these is probable. James is immediately afterwards called " the Just."Gregory of Tours (Histor. Francorum, I. 21), relating this story, adds, in accordance with the Greek tradition: "Hic est Jacobus Justus, quem fratrem Domini nuncupant, pro eo quod Josephi fuerit filius ex alia uxore progenitus."See Nicholson, p.

324  "Greeting,"caivrein, Acts 15:23, and James 1:1, instead of the specific Christian cavri" kai; eijrhvnh.

325  1 Cor. 9:5.

326  Josephus calls James "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ"(to;n ajdelfo;n jIhsou' tou' legomevnou Cristou', jIakwbo" o[noma aujtw'/ ), but these words an regarded by some critics (Lardner, Credner, and others) as a Christian interpolation.

327  Neander, Ewald, and Renan give the preference to the date of Josephus. But according to the pseudo-Clementine literature James survived Peter.

328  See below, Note II.

329  Gal. 2:12. How far the unnamed messengers of James from Jerusalem, who intimidated Peter and Barnabas at Antioch, acted under authority from James, does not appear; but it is certain from 2:9, as well as from the Acts, that James recognized the peculiar divine grace and success of Paul and Barnabas in the conversion of the Gentiles; he could therefore not without gross inconsistency make common cause with his adversaries.

330  Even Luther, in an unguarded moment (1524), called the epistle of James an "epistle of straw," because he could not harmonize it with Paul's doctrine of justification by faith.

331  Ewald (vi. 608) remarks that it is just such a letter as we may expect from the centre of Christianity in that period, when most Christians were poor and oppressed by rich Jews.

332  The date of composition is as yet an unsolved problem, and critics vary between a.d. 45 and 62. Schneckenburger, Neander, Thiersch, Huther, Hofmann, Weiss, and Beyschlag, and among English divines, Alford, Bassett (who, however, wrongly vindicates the Epistle to James the son of Zebedee), and Plumptre assign it a very early date before the Council of Jerusalem (50) and the circumcision controversy, to which there is no allusion. On the other hand Lardner, De Wette, Wiesinger, Lange, Ewald, and also those commentators who see in the Epistle a polemical reference to Paul and his teaching, bring it down to 62. At all events, it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been noticed by a later writer. The Tübingen school (Baur, Schwegler, Hilgenfeld) deny its genuineness and assign it to a.d. 80 or 90. Renan admits the genuineness of the Epistles of James and Jude, as counter-manifestoes of Jewish Christianity against Paulinism, and accounts for the good Greek style by the aid of a Greek secretary.

333  See the lists of parallel passages in Plumptre, pp. 7-9 and 33.

334  James 1:25. oJ parakuvya" eij" novmon tevleion to;n thÀ" ejleuqeriva".

335  James 2:1 e[cete th;n pivstin tou' kupivou hJmw'n JIhsou' Cristou' th'" dovxh" inscription, 1:1, the Lord Jesus Christ is associated with God.

336  Hegesippus apud Euseb. H. E. III., 11<cbr>, 22</cbr>, 32; IV., 5, 22. Const. Apost. VII. 46. Hegesippus assumes that Clopas, the father of Symeon, was, I brother of Joseph and an uncle of Jesus. He never calls Symeon "brother of the Lord," but only James and Jude (II. 23; III. 20).

337  The passage quoted from Papias Maria Cleophae sive Alphaei uxor, quae fuit mater Jacobi episcopi et apostoli,"is taken from Jerome and belongs not to the sub-apostolic Papias of Hierapolis (as has been supposed even by Mill and Wordsworth), but to a mediaeval Papias, the writer of an Elementarium or Dictionary in the 11th century. See Lightfoot, p. 265 sq.

338  Acts 8; comp. John 4.

339  Acts 10 and 11. The account which Peter gave to the brethren at Jerusalem was not a mere repetition of the facts related in Acts 10, but an apologetic adaptation to the peculiar wants of the audience. This has been well shown by Dean Howson in his Commentary on those two chapters (in Schaff's Internat. Com. vol. II.). Comp. my Hist. of Ap. Ch. 217 sqq.

340  Acts, 11:26 comp. 26:28, and 1 Pet. 4:16

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