The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

by Adolph (von) Harnack
translated and edited by James Moffatt
Second, enlarged and revised English edition;
London: Williams and Norgate / New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1908 (from the 2nd German edition)..
Theological Translation Library, volumes 19-20

Electronic edition prepared under the direction of Robert A. Kraft by a team of students at the University of Pennsylvania, including Amna Khawar, Francisco Lameiro, Virginia Wayland,  Moises Bassan, Harry Tolley, Chris Segal.

From the German, Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten (1902, revised 1906, 1915, and finally 1924)

[[in addition to the 1908 ET in electronic form, an updated version is being prepared which incorporates changes in the 4th German edition and other revisions by RAK for use in 2006 America; see the end of the TOC file for editing instructions and stages]]




To nascent Christianity the synagogues in the Diaspora meant more than the fontes persecutionum of Tertullian's complaint; they also formed the most important presupposition for the rise and growth of Christian communities throughout the empire. The network of the synagogues furnished the Christian propaganda with centres and courses for its development, and in this way the mission of the new religion, which was undertaken in the name of the God of Abraham and Moses, found a sphere already prepared for itself.

Surveys of the spread of Judaism at the opening of our period have been often made, most recently and with especial care by Schurer (Geschichte des judischen Volkes, Bd. III.'31 pp. 1-38; Eng. trans., II. ii. 220 f.). Here we are concerned with the following points:

(1) There were Jews in most of the Roman provinces, at any rate in all those which touched or adjoined the Mediterranean, to say nothing of the Black Sea; eastward also, beyond Syria, they were thickly massed in Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Media.\1 / [[2]]

\1 / The conversion of the royal family of Adiabene (on the Tigris, at the frontier of the Roman Empire and of Parthia) to Judaism, during the reign of Claudius, is a fact of special moment in the history of the spread of Judaism, and Josephus gives it due prominence. A striking parallel, a century and a half later, is afforded by the conversion of the royal house of Edessa to Christianity. Renan (Les Apotres, ch. xiv.) is not wrong when he remarks, in his own way, that "the royal family of Adiabene belongs to the history of Christianity." He does not mean to say, with Orosius (vii. 6) and Moses of Chorene (ii. 35), that they actually became Christians, but simply that "in embracing Judaism, they obeyed a sentiment which was destined to bring over the entire pagan world to Christianity."  A further and striking parallel to the efforts of Queen Helena of Adiabene (cp. Jos., Antiq., xx. 2 f. ; B.J., v. 2-4, v. 6. I, vi. 6. 3) is to be found in the charitable activity of Constantine's mother, Queen Helena, in Jerusalem. Possibly the latter took the Jewish queen as her model, for Helena of Adiabene's philanthropy was still remembered in Jerusalem and by Jews in general (cp. Eus., H.E., ii. 12, and the Talmudic tradition).-- Comprehensive evidence for the spread of Judaism throughout the empire lies in Philo {Legat. 36 and Place. 7), Acts (ii. 9 f.), and Josephus (Bell., ii. 16.4, vii. 3. 3; Apion, ii. 39). The statement of Josephus (οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκουμένης δῆμος μὴ μοῖραν ἡμετέραν ἔχων: "there is no people in the world which does not contain some part of us ") had been anticipated more than two centuries earlier by a Jewish Sibylline oracle (Sib. Orac., iii. 271 ; πᾶσα δὲ γαῖα σέθεν πλήρης καὶ πᾶσα θάλασσα: "every land and sea is filled with thee"). By 139-138 B.C. a decree for the protection of Jews had been issued by the Roman Senate to the kings of Egypt, Syria, Pergamum, Cappadocia and Parthia, as well as to Sampsame (Amisus ?), Sparta, Sicyon (in the Peloponnese), Delos, Samos, the town of Gortyna, Caria and Myndus, Halicarnassus and Cnidus, Cos and Rhodes, the province of Lycia together with Phaselis, Pamphilia with Side, the Phoenician town Aradus, Cyrene and Cyprus. By the time of Sulla, Strabo had written thus (according to Josephus, Antiq., xiv. 7. a): ες πσαν πόλιν δη παρεληλύθει, κα τόπον οκ στι ῥᾳδίως ερεν τς οκουμένης ς ο παραδέδεκται τοτο τ φλον μηδ’ πικρατεται π’ ατο ("They have now got into every city, and it is hard to find a spot on earth which has not admitted this tribe and come under their control"). For the intensive spread of Judaism Seneca's testimony (cited by Augustine, De Civil. Dei, vi. ll) is particularly instructive : cum interim usque eo sceleratissimae gentis consuetude valuit, ut per omnes iam terras recepta sit; victi victoribus leges dederunt ("Meantime the customs of this most accursed race have prevailed to such an extent that they are everywhere received. The conquered have imposed their laws on the conquerors"). Justin declares that "there are nations in which not one of your race [i.e. of the Jews] can be found" (στι τ θνη ν ος οδέπω οδες μν το γένους κησεν, Dial. 117), but the following claim that there were Christians in every nation shows that his statement is due to tendency.


(2) Their numbers were greatest in Syria,\2/ next to that in Egypt (in all the nomes as far as Upper Egypt),\3/ Rome, and the provinces of Asia Minor \4/. The extent to which they had [[3]] made their way into all the local conditions is made particularly clear by the evidence bearing on the sphere last named, where, as on the north coast of the Black Sea, Judaism also played some part in the blending of religions (e.g., the cult of "The most high God," and of the God called "Sabbatistes"). The same holds true of Syria, though the evidence here is not taken so plainly from direct testimony, but drawn indirectly from the historical presuppositions of Christian gnosticism.\5/ In Africa, along the coastline, from the proconsular province to Mauretania, Jews were numerous. \6/ At Lyons, in the time of Irenaeus, \7/ they do not seem to have abounded ; but in southern Gaul, as later sources indicate, their numbers cannot have been small, whilst in Spain, as is obvious from the resolutions of the synod of Elvira (c. 300 A.D.), they were both populous and powerful. Finally, we may assume that in Italy -- apart from Rome and Southern Italy, where they were widely spread -- they [[4]] were not exactly numerous under the early empire, although even in Upper Italy at that period individual synagogues were in existence. This feature was due to the history of Italian civilization, and it is corroborated by the fact that, beyond Rome and Southern Italy, early Jewish inscriptions are scanty and uncertain. "The Jews were the first to exemplify that kind of patriotism which the Parsees, the Armenians, and to some extent the modern Greeks were to display in later ages, viz. a patriotism of extraordinary warmth, but not attached to any one locality, a patriotism of traders who wandered up and down the world and everywhere hailed each other as brethren, a patriotism which aimed at forming not great, compact states but small, autonomous communities under the aegis of other states."\8/

\2/ The large number of Jews in Antioch is particularly striking.

\3/ For the diffusion of Jews in S. Arabia, cp. Philostorgius's important evidence (ff.E., iii. 4). The local population, he avers, οὐκ ὀλίγον πλῆθος Ἰουδαίων ἀναπέφυρται.

\4/ Philo, Legat. 33: ουδαοι καθκάστην πόλιν εσ παμπληθες, σίας τε κα Συρίας (''The Jews abound in every city of Asia and Syria "). The word “every” (ἑκάστην) is confirmed by a number of special testimonies, e.g. for Cilicia by Epiphanius (Har., xxx. Ii), who says of the "apostle" sent by the Jewish patriarch to collect the Jewish taxes in Cilicia: ς νελθν κεσε π κάστης πόλεως τς Κιλικίας τ πιδέκατα κτλ εἰσέπραττεν ("On his arrival there he proceeded to lift the tithes, etc., from every city in Cilicia "). On the spread of Judaism in Phrygia and the adjoining provinces (even into the districts of the interior), see Ramsay's two great works, The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, and The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, along with his essay in the Expositor (January 1902) on "The Jews in the Graeco-Asiatic Cities." Wherever any considerable number of inscriptions are found in these regions, some of them are always Jewish. The rôle played by the Jewish element in Pisidian Antioch is shown by Acts xiii.; see especially verses 44 and 50 (ο ουδαοι παρώτρυναν τς σεβομένας γυνακας τς ἐυσχήμονας κα τος πρώτους τς πόλεως).  And the significance of the Jewish element in Smyrna comes out conspicuously in the martyrdom of Polycarp and of Pionius; on the day of a Jewish festival the appearance of the streets was quite changed. '' The diffusion and importance of the Jews in Asia Minor are attested among other things by the attempt made during the reign of Augustus, by the Ionian cities, apparently after joint counsel, to compel their Jewish fellow-townsmen to abandon their faith or else to assume the full burdens of citizenship" (Mommsen, Rom. Gesch., v. pp. 489 f., Eng. trans. Provinces, ii. 163).

\5/ Cp. also the remarks of Epiphanius (Her., Ixxx. l) upon the cult of Παντοκπάτωρ.

\6/See Monceaux, "les colonies juives dans 1'Afrique romaine" (Res. des Eludes juives, 1902); and Leclerq, L'Afrique chretienne (1904), I. pp. 36 f. We have evidence for Jewish communities at Carthage, Naro, Hadrumetum, Utica, Hippo, Simittu, Volubilis, Cirta, Auzia, Sitifis, Caesarea, Tipasa, and Oea, etc.

\7/To all appearances, therefore, he knew no Jewish Christians at first hand.

\8/ Renan, Les Apostres (ch. xvi.).

(3) The exact number of Jews in the Diaspora can only be calculated roughly. Our information with regard to figures is as follows. Speaking of the Jews in Babylonia, Josephus declares there were "not a few myriads," or "innumerable myriads'" in that region.\9/ At Damascus, during the great war, he narrates (Bell. Jud., ii. 20. 2) how ten thousand Jews were massacred; elsewhere in the same book (vii. 8. 7) he writes "eighteen thousand.'" Of the five civic quarters of Alexandria, two were called "the Jewish" (according to Philo, In Flacc. 8), since they were mainly inhabited by Jews; in the other quarters Jews were also to be met with, and Philo (In Flacc. 6) reckons their total number in Egypt (as far as the borders of Ethiopia) to have been at least 100 myriads (=a million). In the time of Sulla the Jews of Cyrene, according to Strabo (cited by Josephus, Antiq., xiv. 7. 2), formed one of the four classes into which the population was divided, the others being citizens, peasants, and resident aliens. During the great rebellion in Trajan's reign they are said to have slaughtered 220,000 unbelievers in Cyrene (Dio Cassius, lxviii. 32), in revenge for which " many myriads " of their own number were put to death by Marcus Turbo (Eus., H.E., iv. 2). The Jewish revolt spread also to Cyprus, where 240,000 Gentiles are said to have [[5]] been murdered by them.\10/ As for the number of Jews in Rome, we have these two statements: first, that in B.C. 4 a Jewish embassy from Palestine to the metropolis was joined by 8000 local Jews (Joseph., Antiq., xvii. 2. 1; Bell., ii. 6. 1); and secondly, that in 19 A.D., when Tiberius banished the whole Jewish community from Rome, 4000 able-bodied Jews were deported to Sardinia. The latter statement merits especial attention, as it is handed down by Tacitus as well as Josephus.\11/ After the fall of Sejanus, when Tiberius revoked the edict (Philo, Legat. 24), the Jews at once made up their former numbers in Rome (Dio Cassias, Ix. 6, πλεονάσαντες αὖθις); the movement for their expulsion reappeared under Claudius in 49 A.D., but the enforcement of the order looked to be so risky that it was presently withdrawn and limited to a prohibition of religious gatherings.\12/ In Rome the Jews dwelt chiefly in [[6]] Trastevere ; but as Jewish churchyards have been discovered in various parts of the city, they were also to be met with in other quarters as well.

\9/Antiq., xv. 3. i, xi. 5. 2. According to Antiq., xii. 3. 4, Antiochus the Great deported 2000 families of Babylonian Jews to Phrygia anil Lydia.

\10/Dio Cassius (loc. cit.). The same author declares (Ixix. 14) that 580,000 Jews perished in Palestine during the rebellion of Barcochba.

\11/ There is a discrepancy between them. Whilst Josephus (Antiq., xviii. 3. 5) mentions only Jews, Tacitus {Annal., ii. 85) writes: "Actum et de sacris Aegyptiis Judaicisque pellendis factumque patrum consultum, ut quattuor milia libertini generis ea superstitione infecta, quis idonea aetas, in insulam Sardinian! veherentur, coercendis illic latrociniis et, si ob gravitatem caeli interissent, vile damnum ; ceteri cederent Italia, nisi certain ante diem profanes ritus exuissent"(" Measures were also adopted for the extermination of Egyptian and Jewish rites, and the Senate passed a decree that four thousand freedmen, able-bodied, who were tainted with that superstition, should be deported to the island of Sardinia to put a check upon the local brigands. Should the climate kill them 'twould be no great loss! As for the rest, they were to leave Italy unless they abjured their profane rites by a given day"). The expulsion is also described by Suetonius (Tiber. 36); "Externas caeremonias, Aegyptios Judaicosque ritus compescuit, coactis qui superstitione ea tenebantur religiosas vestes cum instrumento omni comburere. Judaeorum juventutem per speciem sacramenti in provincias gravioris caeli distribuit, reliquos gentis eiusdem vel similia sectantes urbe summovit, sub poena perpetuae servitutis nisi obtemperassent" ("Foreign religions, including the rites of Egyptians and Jews, he suppressed, forcing those who practised that superstition to burn their sacred vestments and all their utensils. He scattered the Jewish youth in provinces of an unhealthy climate, on the pretext of military service, whilst the rest of that race or of those who shared their practices were expelled from Rome, the penalty for disobedience being penal servitude for life").

\12/ The sources here are contradictory. Acts (xviii. 2), Suetonius (Claud. 25), and Orosius (vii. 6. 15) -- the last named appealing by mistake to Josephus, who says nothing about the incident -- all speak of a formal (and enforced) edict of expulsion, but Dio Cassius (Ix. 6) writes: τούς τε ουδαίους πλεονάσαντας αθις, στε χαλεπς ν νευ ταραχς π το χλου σφν τς πόλεως ερχθναι, οκ · ξήλασε μέν, τ δ δ πατρί βί χρωμένους κέλευσε μ συναθροίζεσθαι ("As the Jews had once more multiplied, so that it would have been difficult to remove them without a popular riot, he did not expel them, but simply prohibited any gatherings of those who held to their ancestral customs"). We have no business, in my opinion, to use Dio Cassius in order to set aside two such excellent witnesses as Luke and Suetonius. Nor is it a satisfactory expedient to suppose, with Schiirer (III. p. 32 ; cp. Eng. trans., II. ii. 237), that the government simply intended to expel the Jews. The edict must have been actually issued, although it was presently replaced by a prohibition of meetings, after the Jews had given a guarantee of good behaviour.

A glance at these numerical statements shows \13/ that only two possess any significance. The first is Philo's, that the Egyptian Jews amounted to quite a million. Philo's comparatively precise mode of expression (οκ ποδέουσι
κατν ο τν λεξάνδρειαν κα τν χώραν ουδᾶιοι κατοικοντες π το πρς Λιβύην καταβαθμο μέχρι τν ρίων Αθιοπίας: “The Jews resident in Alexandria and in the country from the descent to Libya back to the bounds of Ethiopia, do not fall short of a million"), taken together with the fact that registers for the purpose of taxation were accurately kept in Egypt, renders it probable that we have here to do with no fanciful number. Nor does the figure itself appear too high, when we consider that it includes the whole Jewish population of Alexandria. As the entire population of Egypt (under Vespasian) amounted to seven or eight millions, the Jews thus turn out to have formed a seventh or an eighth of the whole (somewhere about thirteen per cent.).\14/ Syria is the only province of the empire where we [[7]] must assume a higher percentage of Jews among the population;\15/ in all the other provinces their numbers were smaller.

\13/ I omit a series of figures given elsewhere by Josephus ; they are not of the slightest use.

\14/ See Mommsen, Rom. Gesch., v. p. 578 [Eng. trans., "Provinces of the Roman Empire," ii. p. 258], and Pietschmann in Pauly-Wissowa's Encyklop., i., col. 990 f. Beloch (Die Bevolkerung der griechisch-romischen Well, pp. 258 f.) questions the reckoning of Josephus (Bell., ii. 16. 4) that the population of Egypt under Nero amounted to seven and a half millions. He will not allow more than about five, though he adduces no conclusive argument against Josephus.  Still, as he also holds it an exaggeration to say, with Philo, that the Jews in Egypt were a million strong, he is not opposed to the hypothesis that Judaism in Egypt amounted to about 13 per cent. of the total population. Beloch reckons the population of Alexandria (including slaves) at about half a million. Of these, 200,000 would be Jews, as the Alexandrian Jews numbered about two-fifths of the whole.

\15/ Josephus, Bell., vii. 3. 3; (Τ ουδαίων γένος πολ μν κατ πσαν τν οκουμένην παρέσπαρται τος πιχωρίοις, πλεστον δ τ Συρί: "The Jewish race is thickly spread over the world among its inhabitants, but specially in Syria"). Beloch (pp. 242 f., 507) estimates the population of Syria under Augustus at about six millions, under Nero at about seven, whilst the free inhabitants of Antioch under Augustus numbered close on 300,000. As the percentage of Jews in Syria (and especially in Antioch) was larger than in Egypt (about 13 per cent.), certainly over a million Jews must be assumed for Syria under Nero.

The second passage of importance is the statement that Tiberius deported four thousand able-bodied Jews to Sardinia --  Jews, be it noted, not (as Tacitus declares) Egyptians and Jews, for the distinct evidence of Josephus on this point is corroborated by that of Suetonius (see above), who, after speaking at first of Jews and Egyptians, adds, by way of closer definition, "Judaeorum juventatem per speciem sacramenti in provincias gravioris caeli distribuit.'" Four thousand able-bodied men answers to a total of at least ten thousand human beings,\16/ and something like this represented the size of the contemporary Jewish community at Rome. Now, of course, this reckoning agrees but poorly with the other piece of information, viz., that twenty-three years earlier a Palestinian deputation had its ranks swelled by 8000 Roman Jews. Either Josephus has inserted the total number of Jews in this passage, or he is guilty of serious exaggeration. The most reliable estimate of the Roman population under Augustus (in B.C. 5) gives 320,000 male plebeians over ten years of age. As women were notoriously in a minority at Rome, this number represents about 600,000 inhabitants (excluding slaves),\17/ so that about 10,000 Jews \18/ would be equivalent to about one-sixtieth of the population.\19/ Tiberius could still risk the strong measure of expelling them ; but when [[8]] Claudius tried to repeat the experiment thirty years later, he was unable to carry it out.

\16/Taking for granted, as in the case of any immigrant population, that the number of men is very considerably larger than that of women, I allow 2000 boys and old men to 4000 able-bodied men, and assume about 4000 females.

\17/ See Beloch, pp. 292 f. His figure, 500,000, seems to me rather low.

\18/Renan (L'Antichrist, ch. i.) is inclined to estimate the number of the Roman Jews, including women and children, at from twenty to thirty thousand.

\19/ The total number, including foreigners and slaves, would amount to something between 800,000 and 900,000 (according to Beloch, 800,000 at the outside).

We can hardly suppose that the Jewish community at Rome continued to show any considerable increase after the great rebellions and wars under Vespasian, Titus, Trajan, and Hadrian, since the decimation of the Jews in many provinces of the empire must have reacted upon the Jewish community in the capital. Details on this point, however, are wanting.

If the Jews in Egypt amounted to about a million, those in Syria were still more numerous. Allowing about 700,000 Jews to Palestine -- and at this moment between 600,000 and 650,000 people live there; see Baedeker's Palestine, 1900, p. lvii. -- we are within the mark at all events when we reckon the Jews in the remaining districts of the empire (i.e., in Asia Minor, Greece, Cyrene, Rome, Italy, Gaul, Spain, etc.) at about one million and a half. In this way a grand total of about four or four and a half million Jews is reached. Now, it is an extremely surprising thing, a thing that seems at first to throw doubt upon any estimate whatsoever of the population, to say that while (according to Beloch) the population of the whole Roman empire under Augustus is reported to have amounted to nearly fifty-four millions, the Jews in the empire at that period must be reckoned at not less than four or four and a half millions. Even if one raises Belocli's figure to sixty millions, how can the Jews have represented seven per cent. of the total population? Either our calculation is wrong -- and mistakes are almost inevitable in a matter like this -- or the propaganda of Judaism was extremely successful in the provinces; for it is utterly impossible to explain the large total of Jews in the Diaspora by the mere fact of the fertility of Jewish families. We must assume, I imagine, that a very large number of pagans, and in particular of kindred Semites of the lower class, trooped over to the religion of Yahweh\20/ -- for the Jews of the Diaspora were genuine Jews only to a certain extent. Now if Judaism was actually so [[9]] vigorous throughout the empire as to embrace about seven percent. of the total population under Augustus,\21/one begins to realize its great influence and social importance. And in order to comprehend the propaganda and diffusion of Christianity, it is quite essential to understand that the religion under whose "shadow" it made its way out into the world, not merely contained elements of vital significance but had expanded till it embraced a considerable proportion of the world's population.

\20/ After the edict of Pius, which forbade in the most stringent terms the circumcision of any who had not been born in Judaism (cp. also the previous edict of Hadrian), regular secessions must have either ceased altogether or occuned extremely seldom ; cp. Orig., c. Cels; II. xiii.

\21/ In modern Germany the Jews number a little over one per cent of the population; in Austro-Hungary, four and two-thirds per cent.

Our survey would not be complete if we did not glance, however briefly, at the nature of the Jewish propaganda in the empire,\22/ for some part, at least, of her missionary zeal was inherited by Christianity from Judaism. As I shall have to refer to this Jewish mission wherever any means employed in the Christian propaganda are taken over from Judaism, I shall confine myself in the meantime to some general observations.

\22/Compare, on this point, Schurer's description, op, cit., III. pp. 102 f. [Eng.trans., II. ii. 126 f.].

It is surprising that a religion which raised so stout a wall of partition between itself and all other religions, and which in practice and prospects alike was bound up so closely with its nation, should have possessed a missionary impulse\23/of such vigour and attained so large a measure of success. This is not ultimately to be explained by any craving for power or ambition ; it is a proof \24/ that Judaism, as a religion, was already blossoming out by some inward transformation and becoming across between a national religion and a world-religion (confession of faith and a church). Proudly the Jew felt that he had something to say and bring to the world, which concerned all men, viz., The one and only spiritual God, creator of heaven and earth, [[10]] with his holy moral late. It was owing to the consciousness of this (Rom. ii. 19 f.) that he felt missions to be a duty. The Jewish propaganda throughout the empire was primarily the proclamation of the one and only God, of his moral law, and of his judgment; to this everything else became secondary. The object in many cases might be pure proselytism (Matt. xxiii. 15), but Judaism was quite in earnest in overthrowing dumb idols and inducing pagans to recognize their creator and judge, for in this the honour of the God of Israel was concerned.

\23/The duty and the hopefulness of missions are brought out in the earliest Jewish Sibylline books. Almost the whole of the literature of Alexandrian Judaism has an apologetic bent and the instinct of propaganda.

\24 /Cp. Bousset's Die Religion desJudentums im neutest, Zeitalter 1903), especially the sections on "The Theologians, the Church and the Laity, Women, Confession (Faith and Dogma), the Synagogue as an Institute of Salvation" (pp. 139-184), and the large section devoted to " The Faith of the Individual and Theology." If a popular religion passes into a confession of faith and a church, individual faith with all its reach and strain also comes into view together with the church. For the propaganda of Judaism in the pagan world, cp. pp. 77.

It is in this light that one must judge a phenomenon which is misunderstood so long as we explain it by means of specious analogies -- I mean, the different degrees and phases of proselytism. In other religions, variations of this kind usually proceed from an endeavour to render the moral precepts imposed by the religion somewhat easier for the proselyte. In Judaism this tendency never prevailed, at least never outright. On the contrary, the moral demand remained unlowered.  -- As the recognition of God was considered the cardinal point, Judaism was in a position to depreciate the claims of the cultus and of ceremonies, and the different kinds of Jewish proselytism were almost entirely due to the different degrees in which the ceremonial precepts of the Law were observed. The fine generosity of such an attitude was, of course, facilitated by the fact that a man who let even his little finger be grasped by this religion, thereby became a Jew.\25/ Again, strictly speaking, even a born Jew was only a proselyte so soon as he left the soil of Palestine, since thereby he parted with the sacrificial system; besides, he was unable in a foreign country to fulfil, or at least to fulfil satisfactorily, many other precepts of the Law.\26/For generations there had been a gradual neutralising of the sacrificial system proceeding apace within the inner life of Judaism -- even among the Pharisees; and this coincided with an historical situation which obliged by far the greater number of the adherents of the religion to live amid conditions which had made them [[11]] strangers for a long period to the sacrificial system. In this way they were also rendered accessible on every side of their spiritual nature to foreign cults and philosophies, and thus there originated Persian and Graeco-Jewish religious alloys, several of whose phenomena threatened even the monotheistic belief. The destruction of the temple by the Romans really destroyed nothing; it may be viewed as an incident organic to the history of Jewish religion. When pious people held God's ways at that crisis were incomprehensible, they were but deluding themselves.

\25/ If he did not, his son did.

\26/ Circumcision, of course, was always a troublesome wall of partition. Born Jews, as a rule, laid the greatest stress upon it, while pagans submitted to the operation with extreme reluctance.

For a long while the popular opinion throughout the empire was that the Jews worshipped God without images, and that they had no temple. Now, although both of these "atheistic" features might appear to the rude populace even more offensive and despicable than circumcision, Sabbath observance, the prohibition of swine's flesh, etc., nevertheless they made a deep impression upon wide circles of educated people.\27/ Thanks to these traits, together with its monotheism -- for which the age was beginning to be ripe\28/ -- Judaism seemed as if it were elevated to the rank of philosophy, and inasmuch as it still continued to be a religion, it exhibited a type of mental and spiritual life which was superior to anything of the kind.\29/ At bottom, there was nothing artificial in a Philo or in a Josephus exhibiting Judaism as the philosophic religion, for this kind of apologetic corresponded to the actual situation in which they found themselves \30/; it was as the revealed and also the philosophic [[12]] religion, equipped with "the oldest book in the world,"that Judaism developed her great propaganda.\31/ The account given by Josephus (Bell., vii. 3. 3) of the situation at Antioch, viz., that "the Jews continued to attract a large number of the Greeks to their services, making them in a sense part of themselves" -- this holds true of the Jewish mission in general.\32/ The adhesion of Greeks and Romans to Judaism ranged over the entire gamut of possible degrees, from the superstitious adoption of certain rites up to complete identification. " God-fearing" pagans constituted the majority; proselytes (i.e., people who were actually Jews, obliged to keep the whole Law), there is no doubt, were comparatively few in number.\33/ Immersion was more indispensable than even circumcision as a condition of entrance.\34/

\27/ This rigid exclusiveness in a religion naturally repelled the majority and excited frank resentment; it was somewhat of a paradox, and cannot fail to have been felt as obdurately inhuman as well as insolent. Anti-Semitism can be plainly traced within the Roman empire from 100 B.C. onwards ; in the first century A.D. it steadily increased, discharging itself in outbursts of fearful persecution.

\28/ It was ripe also for the idea of an individual recompense in the future life, as an outcome of the heightened valuation of individual morality in this life, and for the idea of a judgment passed on the individual thereafter.

\29/ E.g., especially to the idealistic schools of popular philosophy. Cp. Wendland, Philo und die stoisch-kynische Diatribe (1895).

\30/ Cp. Friedlander's Geschichte der judischen Apologetik als Vorgeschichte des Christentzims, 1903. On the heights of its apologetic, the Jewish religion represented itself as the idealist philosophy based on revelation (the sacred book), i.e.,materially as ideological rationalism, and formally as supra-rationalism ; it was the"most satisfying" form of religion, retaining a vitality, a precision, and a certainty in its conception of God such as no cognate form of religious philosophy could preserve, while at the same time the overwhelming number and the definite character of its '' prophecies " quelled every doubt.

\31/ " As a philosophical religion Judaism may have attracted one or two cultured individuals, but it was as a religious and social community with a life of its own that it won the masses." So Axenfeld, on p. 15 of his study (mentioned below on p. 16). Yet even as a religious fellowship with a life of its own, Judaism made a philosophic impression -- and that upon the uneducated as well as upon the educated. I agree with Axenfeld, however, that the Jewish propaganda owed its success not to the literary activity of individual Hellenistic Jews, but to the assimilating power of the communities with their religious life, their strict maintenance of convictions, their recognition of their own interests and their satisfaction of a national pride, as evidenced in their demand for proselytes to glorify Jehovah.

\32/ The keenness of Jewish propaganda throughout the empire during the first century -- "the age in which the Christian preaching began its course is the age in which the Jewish propaganda reached the acme of its efforts " -- is also clear from the introduction of the Jewish week and Sabbath throughout the empire; cp. Schiirer, "Die siebentagige Woche im Gebrauch der christlichen Kirche der ersten Jahrhunderte " {Zeits. f. die neut. Wiss., 1905, 40 f.). Many pagans celebrated the Sabbath, just as Jews today observe Sunday.

\33 /See Eus., H. E., i. 7, for the extent to which proselytes became fused among those who were Jews by birth.

\34/It must not be forgotten that even in the Diaspora there was exclusiveness and ' fanaticism. The first persecution of Christians was set afoot by synagogues of the Diaspora in Jerusalem ; Saul was a fanatic Jew of the Diaspora.

While all this was of the utmost importance for the Christian mission which came afterwards, at least equal moment attaches to one vital omission in the Jewish missionary preaching: viz., that no Gentile, in the first generation at least, could become a [[13]] real son of Abraham. His rank before God remained inferior. Thus it also remained very doubtful how far any proselyte -- to say nothing of the " God-fearing " -- had a share in the glorious promises of the future. The religion which repairs this omission will drive Judaism from the field.\35/ When it proclaims this message in its fulness, that the last will be first, that freedom from the Law is the normal and higher life, and that the observance of the Law, even at its best, is a thing to be tolerated and no more, it will win thousands where the previous missionary preaching won but hundreds.\36/ Yet the propaganda of Judaism did not succeed simply by its high inward worth; the profession of Judaism also conferred great social and political advantages upon its adherents. Compare Schurer''s sketch (pp. cit., III' pp. 56-90; Eng. trans., II ii. 243 f.) of the [[14]] internal organization of Jewish communities in the Diaspora, of their civil position, and of their civic "isopolity,"\37/ and it will be seen how advantageous it was to belong to a Jewish community within the Roman empire. No doubt there were circumstances under which a Jew had to endure ridicule and disdain, but this injustice was compensated by the ample privileges enjoyed by those who adhered to this religio licita. If in addition one possessed the freedom of a city (which it was not difficult to procure) or even Roman citizenship, one occupied a more secure and favourable position than the majority of one''s fellow-citizens. No wonder, then, that Christians threatened to apostatize to Judaism during a persecution,\38/ or that separation from the synagogues had also serious economic consequences for Jews who had become Christians.\39/

\35/ I know of no reliable inquiries into the decline and fall of Jewish missions in the empire after the second destruction of the temple. It seems to me unquestionable that Judaism henceforth slackened her tie with Hellenism, in order to drop it altogether as time went on, and that the literature of Hellenistic Judaism suddenly became very slender, destined ere long to disappear entirely. But whether we are to see in all this merely the inner stiffening of Judaism, or other causes to boot (e.g., the growing rivalry of Christianity), is a question which I do not venture to decide. On the repudiation of Hellenism by Palestinian Judaism even prior to the first destruction of the temple, see below (p. 16).

\36/ A notable parallel from history to the preaching of Paul in its relation to Jewish preaching, is to be found in Luther's declaration, that the truly perfect man was not a monk, but a Christian living in his daily calling. Luther also explained that the last (those engaged in daily business) were the first. -- The above sketch has been contradicted by Friedlander (in Dr. Bloch's Oesterr. Wochenschrift, Zentralorgan f. d. ys. Interessen des Judentums, 1902, Nos. 49 f.), who asserts that proselytes ranked entirely the same as full-blooded Jews. But Friedlander himself confines this liberal attitude towards proselytes to the Judaism of the Greek Diaspora ; he refers it to the influence of Hellenism, and supports it simply by Philo (and John the Baptist). Note also that Philo usually holds Jewish pride of birth to be vain, if a man is wicked ; in that case, a Jew is far inferior to a man of pagan birth. With this limitation of Friedlander's, no objection can be taken to the thesis in question. I myself go still further ; for there is no doubt that even before the rise of Christianity the Jews of the Diaspora allegorised the ceremonial Law, and that this paved the way for the Gentile church's freedom from the Law. Only, the question is (i.) whether the strict Judaism of Palestine, in its obscure origins, was really affected by these softening tendencies, (ii.) whether it did not exercise an increasingly strong influence upon Judaism even in the Diaspora, and (iii.) whether the Judaism of the Diaspora actually renounced all the privileges of its birth. On the two latter points, I should answer in the negative (even with regard to Philo); on the first, however, my reply would be in the affirmative.

\37/' The Jewish communities in the Diaspora also formed small states inside the state or city; one has only to recollect the civil jurisdiction which they exercised, even to the extent of criminal procedure. As late as the third century we possess, with reference to Palestine, Origen's account (Ep. ad Afric., xiv.) of the power of the Ethnarch (or patriarch), which was so great "that he differed in no whit from royalty"; "legal proceedings also took place privately as enjoined by the Law, and several people were condemned to death, not in open court and yet with the cognizance of the authorities." Similar occurrences would take place in the Diaspora. The age of Hadrian and Pius did bring about a terrible retrograde movement; but afterwards, part of the lost ground was again recovered.

\38/ Proofs of this are not forthcoming, however, in any number.

\39/ Owing to their religious and national characteristics, as well as to the fact that they enjoyed legal recognition throughout the empire, the Jews stood out conspicuously from amongst all the other nations included in the Roman state. This comes out most forcibly in the fact that they were even entitled "The Second race." We shall afterwards show that Christians were called the Third race, since Jews already ranked thus as the Second.

One thing further. All religions which made their way into the empire along the channels of intercourse and trade were primarily religions of the city, and remained such for a considerable period. It cannot be said that Judaism in the Diaspora was entirely a city-religion; indeed the reverse holds true of one or two large provinces. Yet in the main it continued to be a city-religion, and we hear little about Jews who were settled on the land.

So long as the temple stood, and contributions were paid in to it, this formed a link between the Jews of the Diaspora and [[15]] Palestine.\40/ Afterwards, a rabbinical board took the place of the priestly college at Jerusalem, which understood how still to raise and use these contributions. The board was presided over by the patriarch, and the contributions were gathered by "apostles'" whom he sent out.\41/ They appear also to have had additional duties to perform (on which see below).

\40/ Messengers and letters also passed, which kept the tie between Jerusalem and the Jewish church of the Gentiles fresh and close. A good example occurs at the close of Acts.

\41/ On the patriarch, see Schiirer, III.(3), pp. 77 f. [Eng. trans., II. ii. 270]. From Vopisc. Saturn. 8 we know that the patriarch himself went also in person to the Diaspora, so far as Egypt is concerned. On the "apostles," see Book III. ch. i. (2).

To the Jewish mission which preceded it, the Christian mission was indebted, in the first place, for a field tilled all over the empire; in the second place, for religious communities already formed everywhere in the towns; thirdly, for what Axenfeld calls " the help of materials'" furnished by the preliminary knowledge of the Old Testament, in addition to catechetical and liturgical materials which could be employed without much alteration; fourthly, for the habit of regular worship and a control of private life ; fifthly, for an impressive apologetic on behalf of monotheism, historical teleology, and ethics; and finally, for the feeling that self-diffusion was a duty. The amount of this debt is so large, that one might venture to claim the Christian mission as a continuation of the Jewish propaganda. " Judaism,'' said Renan, " was robbed of its due reward by a generation of fanatics, and it was prevented from gathering in the harvest which it had prepared.'"

The extent to which Judaism was prepared for the gospel may also be judged by means of the syncretism into which it had developed. The development was along no mere side-issues. The transformation of a national into a universal religion may take place in two ways: either by the national religion being reduced to great central principles, or by its assimilation of a wealth of new elements from other religions. Both processes developed simultaneously in Judaism.\42/ But the former is the [[16]] more important of the two, as a preparation for Christianity. This is to be deduced especially from that great scene preserved for us by Mark xii. 28-34 -- in its simplicity of spirit, the greatest memorial we possess of the history of religion at the epoch of its vital change.\43/ " A scribe asked Jesus, What is the first of all the commandments ? Jesus replied, The first is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind, and all thy strength. The second is : Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no commandment greater than these. And the scribe said to him. True, O teacher; thou hast rightly said that he is one, and that beside him there is none else, and that to love him with all the heart, and all the understanding and all the strength, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, is far above all holocausts and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered intelligently, he said: "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.'"

\42/ For "syncretism," see especially the last chapter in Bousset's volume (pp. 448-493). Syncretism melted each of the older elements within the religion of Judaism, and introduced a wealth of entirely new elements. But nothing decomposed the claim that Judaism was the true religion, or the conviction that in " Moses " all truth lay.

\43/ The nearest approach to it is to be found in the missionary speech put into Paul's mouth on the hill of Mars.

With regard to the attitude of Palestinian Judaism towards the mission-idea (i.e., universalism and the duty of systematic propaganda), the state of matters during the age of Christ and the apostles is such as to permit pleadings upon both sides of the question.\44/ Previous to that age, there had been two periods which were essentially opposite in tendency. The older, resting upon the second Isaiah, gave vivid expression, even within Palestine itself, to the universalism of the Jewish religion as well as to a religious ethic which rose almost to the pitch of humanitarianism. This is represented in a number of the psalms, in the book of Jonah, and in the Wisdom-literature. The pious are fully conscious that Yahweh rules over the nation and over all mankind, that he is the God of each individual, and that he requires nothing but reverence. Hence their hope for the [[17]] ultimate conversion of all the heathen. They will have kings and people alike to bow before Yahweh and to praise him. Their desire is that Yahweh's name be known everywhere among the heathen, and his glory (in the sense of conversion to him) spread far and wide. With the age of the Maccabees, however, an opposite tendency set in. Apocalyptic was keener upon the downfall of the heathen than upon their conversion, and the exclusive tendencies of Judaism again assert themselves, in the struggle to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the nation. " One of the most important results which flowed from the outrageous policy of Antiochus was that it discredited for all time to come the idea of a Judaism free from any limitation whatsoever, and that it either made pro-Hellenism, in the sense of Jason and Alcimus, impossible for Palestine and the Diaspora alike, or else exposed it to sharp correction whenever it should raise its head" (Axenfeld, p. 28). Now, in the age of Christ and the apostles, these two waves, the progressive and the nationalist, are beating each other back. Pharisaism itself appears to be torn in twain. In some psalms and manuals, as well as in the 13th Blessing of the Schmone Esre, universalism still breaks out. " Hillel, the most famous representative of Jewish Biblical learning, was accustomed, with his pupils, to pay special attention to the propaganda of religion. ' Love men and draw them to the Law' is one of his traditional maxims'" (Pirke Aboth, 1. 12). Gamaliel, Paul's teacher, is also to be ranked among the propagandists. It was not impossible, however, to be both exclusive and in favour of the propaganda, for the conditions of the mission were sharpened into the demand that the entire Law should be kept. If I mistake not, Jesus was primarily at issue with this kind of Pharisaism in Jerusalem. Now the keener became the opposition within Palestine to the foreign dominion, and the nearer the great catastrophe came, the more strenuous grew the reaction against all that was foreign, as well as the idea that whatever was un-Jewish would perish in the judgment. Not long before the destruction of Jerusalem, in all probability, the controversy between the schools of Hillel and Shammai ended in a complete victory for the latter. Shammai was not indeed an opponent of the mission in [[18]] principle, but he subjected it to the most rigorous conditions. The eighteen rules which were laid down included, among other things, the prohibition against learning Greek, and that against accepting presents from pagans for the temple. Intercourse with pagans was confined within the strictest of regulations, and had to be given up as a whole. This opened the way for the Judaism of the Talmud and the Mishna. The Judaism of the Diaspora followed the same course of development, though not till some time afterwards.\45/

\44/ Cp. Bertholet, Die Stellung der Israel Uen und Judea sit den Fremden (1890); Schlirer, III.(3), pp. 125 f.); Bousset, op. cit., 82 f.; Axenfeld, "Die judische Propaganda als Vorlauferin der urchristlichen Mission," in the Missionswiss. Studien (Festschrift fiir Warneck), 1904, pp. l-80

\45/ Axenfeld remarks very truly (pp. 8 f.) that "the history of the Jewish propaganda is to be explained by the constant strain between the demand that the heathen should be included and the dread which this excited. The Judaism which felt the impulse of propaganda resembled an invading host, whose offensive movements are continually being hampered by considerations arising from the need of keeping in close touch with their basis of operations." But it seems to me an artificial and theological reflection, when the same scholar lays supreme weight on the fact that the Jewish propaganda had no "consciousness of a vocation," and that, in contrast to the Christian mission, it simply proclaimed its God zealously from the consciousness of an innate religious preeminence, devoid of humility and obedience. I have tried in vain to find an atom of truth in this thesis, with its resultant defence of the historicity of Matthew xxviii. 19. It is of course admitted on all hands that Christian missionary zeal was bound subsequently to be intensified by the belief that Jesus had directly enjoined it.





It is only in a series of headings, as it were, that I would summarize the external conditions which either made it possible for Christianity to spread rapidly and widely during the imperial age, or actually promoted its advance. One of the most important has been mentioned in the previous chapter, viz., the spread of Judaism, which anticipated and prepared the way for that of Christianity. Besides this, the following considerations\1/ are especially to be noted : --

\1/ The number of works at our disposal for such a survey is legion. One of the most recent is Gruppe's Kulturgeschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit (2 vols., 1903, 1904).

(1) The Hellenizing of the East and (in part also) of the West, which had gone on steadily since Alexander the Great: or, the comparative unity of language and ideas which this Hellenizing had produced. Not until the close of the second century CE does this Hellenizing process appear to have exhausted itself,\2/ [[20]] while in the fourth century, when the seat of empire was shifted to the East, the movement acquired a still further impetus in several important directions. As Christianity allied itself very quickly though incompletely to the speech and spirit of Hellenism, it was in a position to avail itself of a great deal in the success of the latter. In return it furthered the advance of Hellenism and put a check to its retreat.

\2/ I know no investigations as to the precise period when the advance of Hellenism, more particularly of the Greek language, subsided and ceased at Rome and throughout the West. From my limited knowledge of the subject, I should incline to make the close of the second century the limit. Marcus Aurelius still wrote his confessions in Greek, but no indication of a similar kind can be discovered later. In the West, Greek was checked by the deterioration of culture as well as by the circumstances of the situation; the tidal wave grows shallower as it spreads. During the third century Rome began to shed off Greek, and in the course of the fourth century she became once more a purely Latin city. So too with the Western provinces as far as they had assimilated the Greek element; so with Southern Italy and Gaul even, though the process took longer in these regions. During the second century people could still make themselves understood apparently by means of Greek, in any of the larger Western cities; by the third century, a stranger who did not know Latin was sometimes in difficulties, though not often; by the fourth, no traveller in the West could dispense with Latin any longer, and it was only in Southern Gaul and Lower Italy that Greek sufficed.

(2) The world-empire of Rome and the political unity which it secured for the nations bordering on the Mediterranean; the comparative unity secured by this world-state for the methods and conditions of outward existence, and also the comparative stability of social life. Throughout many provinces of the East, people felt the emperor really stood for peace, after all the dreadful storms and wars; they hailed his law as a shelter and a safeguard.\3/ Furthermore, the earthly monarchy of the world; was a fact which at once favoured the conception of the heavenly monarchy and conditioned the origin of a catholic or universal church.

\3/ After Melito, Origen (c. Celsum 2.30) correctly estimated the significance of this for the Christian propaganda. "In the days of Jesus, righteousness arose and fulness of peace; it began with his birth. God prepared the nations for his teaching, by causing the Roman emperor to rule over all the world; there was no longer to be a plurality of kingdoms, else would the nations have been strangers to one another, and so the apostles would have found it harder to carry out the task laid on them by Jesus, when he said, 'Go and teach all nations.' It is well known that the birth of Jesus took place in the reign of Augustus, who fused and federated the numerous peoples upon earth into a single empire. A plurality of kingdoms would have been an obstacle to the spread of the doctrine of Jesus throughout all the world, not merely for the reasons already mentioned, but also because the nations would in that event have been obliged to go to war in defence of their native lands. .... How, then, could this doctrine of peace, which does not even permit vengeance upon an enemy, have prevailed throughout the world, had not the circumstances of the world passed everywhere into a milder phase at the advent of Jesus?"

(3) The exceptional facilities, growth, and security of international traffic:\4/ the admirable roads; the blending of different nationalities;\5/ the interchange of wares and of ideas; the [[21]] personal intercourse ; the ubiquitous merchant and soldier -- one may add, the ubiquitous professor, who was to be encountered from Antioch to Cadiz, from Alexandria to Bordeaux. The church thus found the way paved for expansion: the means were prepared; and the population of the large towns was as heterogeneous and devoid of a past as could be desired.

\4/ Cp. Stephan in Raumer's Histor, Taschenbuch (1868), pp. 1f., and Zahn's Weltverkehr und Kirche wahrend der drei ersten Jahrhunderte (1877). That one Phrygian merchant voyaged to Rome (according to the inscription on a tomb) no fewer than seventy-two times in the course of his life, is itself a fact which must never be lost sight of.

\5/ It is surprising to notice this blending of nationalities, whenever any inscription bears a considerable number of names (soldiers, pages, martyrs, etc.), and at the same time mentions their origin.

(4) The practical and theoretical conviction of the essential unity of mankind, and of human rights and duties, which was produced, or at any rate intensfied, by the fact of the "orbis Romanus" [Roman world] on the one side and the development of philosophy upon the other, and confirmed by the truly enlightened system of Roman jurisprudence, particularly between Nerva and Alexander Severus. On all essential questions the church had no reason to oppose, but rather to assent to, Roman law, that grandest and most durable product of the empire.\6/

\6/ At this point (in order to illustrate these four paragraphs) Renan's well-known summary may be cited {Les Apotres, ch. xvi.): " The unity of the empire was the essential presupposition of any comprehensive proselytizing movement which should transcend the limits of nationality. In the fourth century the empire realised this: it became Christian; it perceived that Christianity was the religion which it had matured involuntarily; it recognized in Christianity the religion whose limits were the same as its own, the religion which was identified with itself and capable of infusing new life into its being. The church, for her part, became thoroughly Roman, and to this day has remained a survival of the old Roman empire. Had anyone told Paul that Claudius was his main coadjutor, had anyone told Claudius that this Jew, starting from Antioch, was preparing the ground for the most enduring part of the imperial system, both Paul and Claudius would have been mightily astonished. Nevertheless both sayings would have been true."

(5) The decomposition of ancient society into a democracy: the gradual equalizing of the "cives Romani" [Roman citizens] and the provincials, of the Greeks and the barbarians; the comparative equalizing of classes in society; the elevation of the slave-class -- in short, a soil prepared for the growth of new formations by the decomposition of the old.

(6) The religious policy of Rome, which furthered the interchange of religions by its toleration, hardly presenting any obstacles to their natural increase or transformation or decay, although it would not stand any practical expression of contempt for the ceremonial of the State-religion. The liberty guaranteed [[22]] by Rome's religious policy on all other points was an ample compensation for the rough check imposed on the spread of Christianity by her vindication of the State-religion.

(7) The existence of associations, as well as of municipal and provincial organizations. In several respects the former had prepared the soil for the reception of Christianity, whilst in some cases they probably served as a shelter for it. The latter actually suggested the most important forms of organization in the church, and thus saved her the onerous task of first devising such forms and then requiring to commend them.

(8) The irruption of the Syrian and Persian religions into the empire, dating especially from the reign of Antoninus Pius. These had certain traits in common with Christianity, and although the spread of the church was at first handicapped by them, any such loss was amply made up for by the new religious cravings which they stirred within the minds of men -- cravings which could not finally be satisfied apart from Christianity.

(9) The decline of the exact sciences, a phenomenon due to the democratic tendency of society and the simultaneous popularizing of knowledge, as well as to other unknown causes: also the rising vogue of a mystical philosophy of religion with a craving for some form of revelation and a thirst for miracle.

All these outward conditions (of which the two latter might have been previously included among the inward) brought about a great revolution in the whole of human existence under the empire, a revolution which must have been highly conducive to the spread of the Christian religion. The narrow world had become a wide world; the rent world had become a unity; the barbarian world had become Greek and Roman: one empire, one universal language, one civilization, a common development towards monotheism, and a common yearning for saviors! \7/

\7/ As Uhlhorn remarks very truly {Die christliche Liebesthatigkeit in der alten Kirche, 1882, p. 37; Eng. trans. pp. 40-42): "From the time of the emperors onwards a new influence made itself felt, and unless we notice this influence, we cannot understand the first centuries of the early Christian church, we cannot understand its rapid extension and its relatively rapid triumph. .... Had the stream of new life issuing from Christ encountered ancient life when the latter was still unbroken, it would have recoiled impotent from the shock. But ancient life had by this time begun to break up; its solid foundations had begun to weaken; and, besides, the Christian stream fell in with a previous and cognate [[23]] current of Jewish opinion. In the Roman empire there had already appeared a universalism foreign to the ancient world. Nationalities had been effaced. The idea of universal humanity had disengaged itself from that of nationality. The Stoics had passed the word that all men were equal, and had spoken of brotherhood as well as of the duties of man towards man. Hitherto despised, the lower classes had asserted their position. The treatment of slaves became milder. If Cato had compared them to cattle, Pliny sees in them his 'serving friends.' The position of the artizan improved, and freedmen worked their way up, for the guilds provided them not simply with a centre of social life, but also with the means of bettering their social position. Women, hitherto without any legal rights, received such in increasing numbers. Children were looked after. The distribution of grain, originally a political institution and nothing more, became a sort of poor-relief system, and we meet with a growing number of generous deeds, gifts, and endowments, which already exhibit a more humane spirit," etc.




In subsequent sections of this book we shall notice a series of the more important inner conditions which determined the universal spread of the Christian religion. It was by preaching to the poor, the burdened, and the outcast, by the preaching and practice of love, that Christianity turned the stony, sterile world into a fruitful field for the church. Where no other religion could sow and reap, this religion was enabled to scatter its seed and to secure a harvest.

The condition, however, which determined more than anything else the propaganda of the religion, lay in the general religious situation during the imperial age. It is impossible to attempt here to depict that situation, and unluckily we cannot refer to any standard work which does justice to such a colossal undertaking, despite the admirable studies and sketches (such as those of Tzschirner, Friedlander, Boissier, Reville, and Wissowa)\1/ which we possess. This being so, we must content ourselves with throwing out a few hints along two main lines.

\1/ Add the sketch of the history of Greek religion by Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (Jahrb. des Freien deutschen Hochstifts, 1904).

(1) In spite of the inner evolution of polytheism towards monotheism, the relations between Christianity and paganism simply meant the opposition of monotheism and polytheism -- of polytheism, too, in the first instance, as political religion (the imperial cultus). Here Christianity and paganism were absolutely opposed. The former burned what the latter adored, and the latter burned Christians as guilty of high treason. [[25]] Christian apologists and martyrs were perfectly right in often ignoring every other topic when they opened their lips, and in reducing everything to this simple alternative.

Judaism shared with Christianity this attitude towards polytheism. But then, Judaism was a national religion; hence its monotheism was widely tolerated simply because it was largely unintelligible. Furthermore, it usually evaded any conflict with the State authorities, and it did not make martyrdom obligatory. That a man had to become a Jew in order to be a monotheist, was utterly absurd: it degraded the creator of heaven and earth to the level of a national god. Besides, if he was a national god, he was not the only one. No doubt, up and down the empire there were whispers about the atheism of the Jews, thanks to their lack of images; but the charge was never levelled in real earnest -- or rather, opinion was in such a state of oscillation that the usual political result obtained: in dubio pro reo.

It was otherwise with Christianity. Here the polytheists could have no hesitation: deprived of any basis in a nation or a State, destitute alike of images and temples, Christianity was simple atheism. The contrast between polytheism and monotheism was in this field clear and keen. From the second century onwards, the conflict between these two forms of religion was waged by Christianity and not by Judaism. The former was aggressive, while as a rule the latter had really ceased to fight at all -- it devoted itself to capturing proselytes.

From the very outset it was no hopeless struggle. When Christianity came upon the scene, the polytheism of the State religion was not yet eradicated, indeed, nor was it eradicated for some time to come; \2/ but there were ample forces at hand which were already compassing its ruin. It had survived the critical epoch during which the republic had changed into a dual control and a monarchy; but as for the fresh swarm of religions which were invading and displacing it, polytheism could no more exorcise them with the magic wand of the imperial cultus than it could dissolve them under the rays of a protean cultus of the sun, which sought to bring everything [[26]] within its sweep. Nevertheless polytheism would still have been destined to a long career, had it not been attacked secretly or openly by the forces of general knowledge, philosophy, and ethics; had it not also been saddled with arrears of mythology which excited ridicule and resentment. Statesmen, poets, and philosophers might disregard all this, since each of these groups devised some method of preserving their continuity with the past. But once the common people realized it, or were made to realize it, the conclusion they drew in such cases was ruthless. The onset against deities feathered and scaly, deities adulterous and infested with vice, and on the other hand against idols of wood and stone, formed the most impressive and effective factor in Christian preaching for wide circles, circles which in all ranks of society down to the lowest classes (where indeed they were most numerous) had, owing to experience and circumstances, reached a point at which the burning denunciations of the abomination of idolatry could not fail to arrest them and bring them over to monotheism. The very position of polytheism as the State religion was in favour of the Christian propaganda. Religion faced religion; but whilst the one was new and living, the other was old -- that is, with the exception of the imperial cultus, in which once more it gathered up its forces. No one could tell exactly what had come over it. Was it merely equivalent to what was lawful in politics? Or did it represent the vast, complicated mass of religiones licitae throughout the empire? Who could say?

\2/ Successful attempts to revive it were not awanting; see under (2) in this section.

(2) This, however, is to touch on merely one side of the matter. The religious situation in the imperial age, with the tendencies it cherished and the formations it produced -- all this was complicated in the extreme. Weighty as were the simple antitheses of "monotheism versus polytheism" and "strict morality versus laxity and vice,” these cannot be taken as a complete summary of the whole position. The posture of affairs throughout the empire is no more adequately described by the term " polytheism'' than is Christianity, as it was then preached, by the bare term " monotheism." It was not a case of vice and virtue simply facing one another. Here, in fact, we must enter into some detail and definition. [[27]]

Anyone who considers that the domination of the inner life over external empiricism and politics is an illusion and perversion, must date the disintegration of the ancient world from Socrates and Plato. Here the two tempers stand apart!  On the other hand, anyone who regards this domination as the supreme advance of man, is not obliged to accompany its development down as far as Neo-Platonism. 'He will not, indeed, be unaware that, even to the last, in the time of Augustine, genuine advances were made along this line, but he will allow that they were gained at great expense -- too great expense. This erroneous development began when introspection commenced to despise and neglect its correlative in natural science, and to woo mysticism, theurgy, astrology, or magic. For more than a century previous to the Christian era, this had been going on. At the threshold of the transition stands Posidonius, like a second Janus. Looking in one direction, he favours a rational idealism; but, in another, he combines this with irrational and mystic elements. The sad thing is that these elements had to be devised and employed in order to express new emotional values which his rational idealism could not manage to guarantee, because it lay spellbound and impotent in intellectualism. Language itself declined to fix the value of anything which was not intellectual by nature. Hence the 'Υπερνοητόν’ emerged, a conception which continued to attract and appropriate what ever was mythical and preposterous, allowing it to pass in unchallenged. Myth now ceased to be a mere symbol. It became the organic means of expression for those higher needs of sentiment and religion whose real nature was a closed book to thinkers of the day. On this line of development, Posidonius was followed by Philo.

The inevitable result of all this was a relapse to lower levels; but it was a relapse which, as usual, bore all the signs of an innovation. The signs pointed to life, but the innovation was ominous. For, while the older mythology had been either naive or political, dwelling in the world of ceremony, the new mythology became a confession: it was philosophical, or pseudo-philosophical, and to this it owed its sway over the mind, beguiling the human spirit until it gradually succeeded in [[28]] destroying the sense of reality and in crippling the proper functions of all the senses within man. His eyes grew dim, his ears could hear no longer. At the same time, these untoward effects were accompanied by a revival and resuscitation of the religious feeling -- as a result of the philosophical development. This took place about the close of the first century. Ere long it permeated all classes in society, and it appears to have increased with every decade subsequently to the middle of the second century. This came out in two ways, on the principle of that dual development in which a religious upheaval always manifests itself. The first was a series of not unsuccessful attempts to revivify and inculcate the old religions, by carefully observing traditional customs, and by restoring the sites of the oracles and the places of worship. Such attempts, however, were partly superficial and artificial. They offered no strong or clear expression for the new religious cravings of the age. And Christianity held entirely aloof from all this restoration of religion. They came into contact merely to collide -- this pair of alien magnitudes; neither understood the other, and each was driven to compass the extermination of its rival (see above).

The second way in which the resuscitation of religion came about, however, was far more potent. Ever since Alexander the Great and his successors, ever since Augustus in a later age, the nations upon whose development the advance of humanity depended had been living under new auspices. The great revolution in the external conditions of their existence has been already emphasized; but corresponding to this, and partly in consequence of it, a revolution took place in the inner world of religion, which was due in some degree to the blending of religions, but preeminently to the progress of culture and to man's experience inward and outward. No period can be specified at which this blending process commenced among the nations lying between Egypt and the Euphrates, the Tigris, or Persia;\3/ for, so far as we are in a position to trace back their history, their religions were, like themselves, exposed to constant [[29]] interchange, whilst their religious theories were a matter of give and take. But now the Greek world fell to be added, with all the store of knowledge and ideas which it had gained by dint of ardent, willing toil, a world lying open to any contribution from the East, and in its turn subjecting every element of Eastern origin to the test of its own lore and speculation.

\3/ It is still a moot point of controversy whether India had any share in this, and if so to what extent; some connection with India, however, does seem probable.

The results already produced by the interchange of Oriental religions, including that of Israel, were technically termed, a century ago, " the Oriental philosophy of religion," a term which denoted the broad complex of ritual and theory connected with the respective cults, their religious ideas, and also scientific speculations such as those of astronomy or of any other branch of knowledge which was elevated into the province of religion. All this was as indefinite as the title which was meant to comprehend it, nor even at present have we made any great progress in this field of research.\4/ Still, we have a more definite grasp of the complex itself; and -- although it seems paradoxical to say so -- this is a result which we owe chiefly to Christian gnosticism. Nowhere else are these vague and various conceptions worked out for us so clearly and coherently.

\4/ The origin of the separate elements, in particular, is frequently obscure -- whether Indian, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Asiatic, etc.

In what follows I shall attempt to bring out the salient features of this "Orientalism." Naturally it was no rigid entity. At every facet it presented elements and ideas of the most varied hue. The general characteristic was this that people still retained or renewed their belief in sections of the traditional mythology presented in realistic form. To these they did attach ideas. It is not possible, as a rule, to ascertain in every case at what point and to what extent such ideas overflowed and overpowered the realistic element in any given symbol -- a fact which makes our knowledge of " Orientalism " look extremely defective ; for what is the use of fixing down a piece of mythology to some definite period and circle, if we cannot be sure of its exact value ? Was it held literally? Was it transformed into an idea? Was it taken metaphorically? Was it the creed of unenlightened piety? Was it merely ornamental? And what [[30]] was its meaning? Theological or cosmological? Ethical or historical? Did it embody some event in the remote past, or something still in existence, or something only to be realized in the future? Or did these various meanings and values flow in and out of one another? And was the myth in question felt to be some sacred, undefined magnitude, something that could unite with every conceivable coefficient, serving as the starting point for any interpretation whatsoever that one chose to put before the world ? This last question is to be answered, I think, in the affirmative, nor must we forget that in one and the same circle the most diverse coefficients were simultaneously attached to any piece of mythology.

Further, we must not lose sight of the varied origin of the myths. The earliest spring from the primitive view of nature, in which the clouds were in conflict with the light and the night devoured the sun, whilst thunderstorms were the most awful revelation of the deity. Or they arose from the dream-world of the soul, from that separation of soul and body suggested by the dream, and from the cult of the human soul. The next stratum may have arisen out of ancient historical reminiscences, fantastically exaggerated and elevated into something supernatural. Then came the precipitate of primitive attempts at " science" which had gone no further, viz., observations of heaven and earth, leading to the knowledge of certain regular sequences, which were bound up with religious conceptions. All this the soul of man informed with life, endowing it with the powers of human consciousness. It was upon this stratum that the great Oriental religions rose, as we know them in history, with their special mythologies and ritual theories. Then came another stratum, namely, religion in its abstract development and alliance with a robust philosophic culture. One half of it was apologetic, and the other critical. Yet even there myths still took shape. Finally, the last stratum was laid down, viz., the glaciation of ancient imaginative fancies and religions produced by a new conception of the universe, which the circumstances and experience of mankind had set in motion. Under the pressure of this, all existing materials were fused together, elements that lay far apart were solidified into a unity, and all previous constructions [[31]] were shattered, while the surface of the movement was covered by broken fragments thrown out in a broad moraine, in which the debris of all earlier strata were to be found. This is the meaning of "syncretism". Viewed from a distance, it looks like a unity, though the unity seems heterogeneous. The forces which have shaped it do not meet the eye. What one really sees is the ancient element in its composition ; the new lies buried under all that catches the eye upon the surface.

This new element consisted in the political and social experience, and in speculations of the inner life. It would appear that even before the period of its contact with the Greek spirit, "Orientalism" had reached this stage; but one of the most unfortunate gaps in our knowledge of the history of religion is our inability to determine to what extent "Orientalism " had developed on its own lines, independent of this Greek spirit. We must be content to ascertain what actually took place, viz., the rise of new ideas and emotions which meet us on the soil of Hellenism -- that Hellenism which, with its philosophy of a matured Platonism and its development of the ancient mysteries, coalesced with Orientalism.\5/ These new features\6/ are somewhat as follows: --

\5/ The convergence of these lines of development in the various nations of antiquity during the age of Hellenism is among the best established facts of history. Contemporary ideas of a cognate or similar nature were not simply the result of mutual interaction, but also of an independent development along parallel lines. This makes it difficult, and indeed impossible in many cases, to decide on which branch any given growth sprang up. The similarity of the development on parallel lines embraced not only the ideas, but frequently their very method of expression and the form under which they were conceived. The bounds of human fancy in this province are narrower than is commonly supposed.

\6/Cp. further the essay of Loofs on "The Crisis of Christianity in the Second Century" {Deutschevang, Blatter, 1904, Heft 7), which depicts the problem occasioned by the meeting of Christianity and syncretism. Also, the penetrating remarks of WernIe in his Anfangen unserer Religion (2nd ed., 1904 ; Eng. trans., The Beginnings of Christianity, in this library).

(1) There is the sharp division between the soul (or spirit) and the body : the more or less exclusive importance attached to the spirit, and the notion that the spirit comes from some other, upper world and is either possessed or capable of life eternal: also the individualism involved in all this.

(2) There is the sharp division between God and the world, with [[32]] the subversion of the naive idea that they formed a homogeneous unity.

(3) In consequence of these distinctions we have the sublimation of the Godhead, "via negationis et eminentiae." The Godhead now becomes for the first time incomprehensible and indescribable; yet it is also great and good. Furthermore, it is the basis of all things; but the ultimate basis, which is simply posited yet cannot be actually grasped.

(4) As a further result of these distinctions and of the exclusive importance attached to the spirit, we have the depreciation of the world, the contention that it were better never to have existed, that it was the result of a blunder, and that it was a prison or at best a penitentiary for the spirit.

(5) There is the conviction that the connection with the flesh (" that soiled robe ") depreciated and stained the spirit; in fact, that the latter would inevitably be ruined unless the connection were broken or its influence counteracted.

(6) There is the yearning for redemption, as a redemption from the world, the flesh, mortality, and death.

(7) There is the conviction that all redemption is redemption to life eternal, and that it is dependent on knowledge and expiation: that only the soul that knows (knows itself, the Godhead, and the nature and value of being) and is pure (i.e., purged from sin) can be saved.

(8) There is the certainty that the redemption of the soul as a return to God is effected through a series of stages, just as the soul once upon a time departed from God by stages, till it ended in the present vale of tears. All instruction upon redemption is therefore instruction upon " the return and road'" to God. The consummation of redemption is simply a graduated ascent.

(9) There is the belief (naturally a wavering belief) that the anticipated redemption or redeemer was already present, needing only to be sought out: present, that is, either in some ancient creed which simply required to be placed in a proper light, or in one of the mysteries which had only to be made more generally accessible, or in some personality whose power and commands had to be followed, or even in the spirit, if only it would turn inward on itself. [[33]]

(10) There is the conviction that whilst knowledge is indispensable to all the media of redemption, it cannot be adequate; on the contrary, they must ultimately furnish and transmit an actual power divine. It is the " initiation" (the mystery or sacrament) which is combined with the impartation of knowledge, by which alone the spirit is subdued, by which it is actually redeemed and delivered from the bondage of mortality and sin by means of mystic rapture.

(11) There is the prevalent, indeed the fundamental opinion that knowledge of the universe, religion, and the strict management of the individual's conduct, must form a compact unity; they must constitute an independent unity, which has nothing whatever to do with the State, society, the family, or one's daily calling, and must therefore maintain an attitude of negation (i.e. in the sense of asceticism) towards all these spheres.

The soul, God, knowledge, expiation, asceticism, redemption, eternal life, with individualism and with humanity substituted for nationality -- these were the sublime thoughts which were living and operative, partly as the precipitate of deep inward and outward movements, partly as the outcome of great souls and their toil, partly as one result of the sublimation of all cults which took place during the imperial age. Wherever vital religion existed, it was in this circle of thought and experience that it drew breath. The actual number of those who lived within the circle is a matter of no moment. " All men have not faith." And the history of religion, so far as it is really a history of vital religion, runs always in a very narrow groove.

The remarkable thing is the number of different guises in which such thoughts were circulating. Like all religious accounts of the universe which aim at reconciling monistic and dualistic theories, they required a large apparatus for their intrinsic needs; but the tendency was to elaborate this still further, partly in order to provide accommodation for whatever might be time-honoured or of any service, partly because isolated details had an appearance of weakness which made people hope to achieve their end by dint of accumulation. Owing to the heterogeneous character of their apparatus, these syncretistic [[34]] formations seem often to be totally incongruous. But this is a superficial estimate. A glance at their motives and aims reveals the presence of a unity, and indeed of simplicity, which is truly remarkable. The final motives, in fact, are simple and powerful, inasmuch as they have sprung from simple but powerful experiences of the inner life, and it was due to them that the development of religion advanced, so far as any such advance took place apart from Christianity.

Christianity had to settle with this "syncretism'" or final form of Hellenism. But we can see at once how inadequate it would be to describe the contrast between Christianity and" paganism" simply as the contrast between monotheism and polytheism. No doubt, any form of syncretism was perfectly capable of blending with polytheism; the one even demanded and could not but intensify the other. To explain the origin of the world and also to describe the soul's " return," the " apparatus " of the system required aeons, intermediate beings, semi-gods, and deliverers; the highest deity was not the highest or most perfect, if it stood by itself. Yet all this way of thinking was monotheistic at bottom; it elevated the highest God to the position of primal God, high above all gods, linking the soul to this primal God and to him alone (not to any subordinate deities).\7/ Polytheism was relegated to a lower level [[35]] from the supremacy which once it had enjoyed. Further, as soon as Christianity itself began to be reflective, it took an interest in this " syncretism,'" borrowing ideas from it, and using them, in fact, to promote its own development. Christianity was not originally syncretistic itself, for Jesus Christ did not belong to this circle of ideas, and it was his disciples who were responsible for the primitive shaping of Christianity. But whenever Christianity came to formulate ideas of God, Jesus, sin, redemption, and life, it drew upon the materials acquired in the general process of religious evolution, availing itself of all the forms which these had taken.

\7/ The difference between the Christian God and the God of syncretistic Hellenism is put by the pagan (Porphyry) in Macarius Magnes, iv. 20, with admirable lucidity : τὸ μέντοι περὶ πῆς μοναρχίας τοῦ μόνου θεοῦ καὶ τῆς πολυαρχίας τῶν σεβομένων θεῶν διαρρήδην ζητήσωμεν, ὧν οὐκ οἶδας οὐδὲ τῆς μοναρχίας τὸν λόγον ἀφηγήσασθαι.  Μονάρχης γάρ ἐστὶν οὐχ μόνος ὤν ἀλλ μόνος ἄρχων · ἄρχει δὁμοφύλων δηλαδὴ καὶ ὁμοίων, οἷον Ἁδριανὸς βασιλεὺς μονάρχης γέγονεν, οὐχ ὅτι μόνς ἦν οὐδὅτι βοῶν καὶ προβάτων ἦρχεν, ὧν ἄρχουσι ποιμένες βουκόλοι, ἀλλὅτι ἀνθρώπων ἐβασίλευσε τῶν ὁμογενῶν τὴν αὐτὴν φύοιν ἐχόντων · ὡσαύτως θεὸς οὐκ ἂν μονάρχης κυρίως ὲκλήθη, εἰ μὴ θεῶν ἦρχε.  τοῦτο γὰρ ἔπρεπε τῷ θείῳ μεγέθει καὶ τῷ οὐρανίῳ καὶ πολλῷ ἀξιώματι (" Let us, however, proceed to inquire explicitly about the monarchy of the one God alone and the joint-rule of those deities who are worshipped, but of whom, as of divine monarchy, you cannot give any account. A monarch is not one who is alone but one who rules alone, ruling subjects of kindred nature like himself -- such as the emperor Hadrian, for example, who was a monarch not because he stood alone or because he ruled sheep and cattle, which are commanded by shepherds and herdsmen, hut because he was king over human beings whose nature was like his own. Even so, it would not have been accurate to term God a monarch, if he did not rule over gods. For such a position befitted the dignity of God and the high honour of heaven "). Here the contrast between the Christian and the Greek monarchianism is clearly denned. Only, it should be added that many philosophic Christians (even in the second century) did not share this severely monotheistic idea of God; in fact, as early as the first century we come across modifications of it. Tertullian (in adv. Prax, iii.), even in recapitulating the view of God which passed for orthodox at that period, comes dangerously near to Porphyry in the remark : "Nullam dico dominationem ita unius esse, ita singularem, ita monarchiam, ut non etiam per alias proxima's personas administretur, quas ipsa prospexerit officiates sibi" ("No dominion, I hold, belongs to any one person in such a way, or is in such a sense singular, or in such a sense a monarchy, as not also to be administered through other persons who are closely related to it, and with whom it has provided itself as its officials "). The school of Origen went still further in their reception of syncretistic monotheism, and the movement was not checked until the Nicene creed came with its irrational doctrine of the Trinity, causing the Logos and the Spirit to be conceived as persons within the Godhead. But although the pagan monarchical idea was routed on this field, it had already entrenched itself in the doctrine of angels. The latter, as indeed Porphyry (iv. 20) observed, is thoroughly Hellenic, since it let in polytheism through a back-door. In iv. 23 Porphyry tries to show Christians that as their scriptures taught a plurality of gods, they consequently contained the conception of God's monarchy which the Greeks taught. He refers to Exod. xxii. 28, Jerem. vii. 6, Deut. xii. 30, Josh. xxiv. 14, I Cor. viii. 5.

Christian preaching thus found itself confronted with the old polytheism at its height in the imperial cultus, and with this syncretism which represented the final stage of Hellenism. These constituted the inner conditions under which the young religion carried on its mission. From its opposition to polytheism it drew that power of antithesis and exclusiveness which is a force at once needed and intensified by any independent religion. In syncretism, again, i.e., in all that as a rule deserved the title of " religion " in contemporary life, it possessed unconsciously a secret ally. All it had to do with syncretism was to cleanse and simplify -- and complicate -- it.




It is impossible to answer the question of Jesus' relation to the universal mission, without a critical study of the evangelic records. The gospels were written in an age when the mission was already in full swing, and they consequently refer it to direct injunction of Jesus. But they enable us, for all that, to recognise the actual state of matters.

Jesus addressed his gospel -- his message of God's imminent kingdom and of judgment, of God's fatherly providence, of repentance, holiness, and love -- to his fellow-countrymen. He preached only to Jews. Not a syllable shows that he detached this message from its national soil, or set aside the traditional religion as of no value. Upon the contrary, his preaching could be taken as the most powerful corroboration of that religion. He did not attach himself to any of the numerous "liberal" or syncretistic Jewish conventicles or schools. He did not accept their ideas. Rather he took his stand upon the soil of Jewish rights, i.e., of the piety maintained by Pharisaism. But he showed that while the Pharisees preserved what was good in religion, they were perverting it none the less, and that the perversion amounted to the most heinous of sins. Jesus waged war against the selfish, self-righteous temper in which many of the Pharisees fulfilled and practised their piety -- a temper, at bottom, both loveless and godless. This protest already involved a break with the national religion, for the Pharisaic position passed for that of the nation; indeed, it represented the national religion. But Jesus went further. He traversed the claim that the descendants of Abraham, in virtue of their descent, [[37]] were sure of salvation, and based the idea of divine sonship exclusively upon repentance, humility, faith, and love. In so doing, he disentangled religion from its national setting. Men, not Jews, were to be its adherents. Then, as it became plainer than ever that the Jewish people as a whole, and through their representatives, were spurning his message, he announced with increasing emphasis that a judgment was coming upon "the children of the kingdom" and prophesied, as his forerunner had done already, that the table of his Father would not lack for guests, but that a crowd would pour in, morning, noon, and night, from the highways and the hedges. Finally, he predicted the rejection of the nation and the overthrow of the temple, but these were not to involve the downfall of his work; on the contrary, he saw in them, as in his own passion, the condition of his work's completion.

Such is the "universalism" of the preaching of Jesus. No other kind of universalism can be proved for him, and consequently he cannot have given any command upon the mission to the wide world. The gospels contain such a command, but it is easy to show that it is neither genuine nor a part of the primitive tradition. It would introduce an entirely strange feature into the preaching of Jesus, and at the same time render many of his genuine sayings unintelligible or empty. One might even argue that the universal mission was an inevitable issue of the religion and spirit of Jesus, and that its origin, not 'only apart from any direct word of Jesus, but in verbal contradiction to several of his sayings, is really a stronger testimony to the method, the strength, and the spirit of his preaching than if it were the outcome of a deliberate command. By the fruit we know the tree; but we must not look for the fruit in the root. With regard to the way in which he worked and gathered disciples, the distinctiveness of his person and his preaching comes out very clearly. He sought to found no sector school. He laid down no rules for outward adhesion to himself. His aim was to bring men to God and to prepare them for God's kingdom. He chose disciples, indeed, giving them special instruction and a share in his work; but even here there were no regulations. There were an inner circle of three, [[38]] an outer circle of twelve, and beyond that a few dozen men and women who accompanied him. In addition to that, he had intimate friends who remained in their homes and at their work. Wherever he went, he wakened or found children of God throughout the country. No rule or regulation bound them together. They simply sought and shared the supreme boon which came home to each and all, viz., the kingdom of their Father and of the individual soul. In the practice of this kind of mission Jesus has had but one follower, and he did not arise till a thousand years afterwards. He was St Francis of Assisi.

If we leave out of account the words put by our first evangelist into the lips of the risen Jesus (Matt. xxviii. 19 f.), with the similar expressions which occur in the unauthentic appendix to the second gospel (Mark xvi. 15, 20), and if we further set aside the story of the wise men from the East, as well as one or two Old Testament quotations which our first evangelist has woven into his tale (cp. Matt. iv. 13 f., xii. 18), we must admit that Mark and Matthew have almost consistently withstood the temptation to introduce the Gentile mission into the words and deeds of Jesus. Jesus called sinners to himself, ate with tax-gatherers, attacked the Pharisees and their legal observance, made everything turn upon mercy and justice, and predicted the downfall of the temple -- such is the universalism of Mark and Matthew. The very choice and commission of the twelve is described without any mention of a mission to the world (Mark iii. 13 f., vi. 7 f., and Matt. x. 1 f.). In fact, Matthew expressly limits their mission to Palestine. "Go not on the road of the Gentiles, and enter no city of the Samaritans ; rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel " (Matt. x. 5, 6). And so in x. 23 : " Ye shall not have covered the cities of Israel, before the Son of man comes."\1/ The story of the Syro-Phoenician [[39]] woman is almost of greater significance. Neither evangelist leaves it open to question that this incident represented an exceptional case for Jesus;\2/and the exception proves the rule.

\1/ This verse precludes the hypothesis that the speech of Jesus referred merely to a provisional mission. If the saying is genuine, the Gentile mission cannot have lain within the horizon of Jesus. -- There is no need to take the ἡγεμόνες and βασιλεῖς of Matt. x. 18, Mark xiii. 9 as pagans, and Matthew's addition (omitted by Mark) of καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν to the words εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς can hardly be understood except as a supplement in the sense of xxviii. 19 f. Though Mark (vi. 7 f. ; cp. Luke ix. I f.) omits the limitation of the mission to Palestine and the Jewish people, he does not venture to assign the mission any universal scope. " Mark never says it in so many words, nor does he lay any stress upon it; but it is self-evident that he regards the mission of Jesus as confined to the Jews " (Wellhausen on Mark vii 29).

\2/ According to Matthew (xv. 24), Jesus distinctly says, " I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The πρῶτον of Mark vii. 27 is not to be pressed, as it is by many editors.

In Mark this section on the Syro-Phoenician woman is the only passage where the missionary efforts of Jesus appear positively restricted to the Jewish people in Palestine. Matthew, however, contains not merely the address on the disciples' mission, but a further saying (xix. 28), to the effect that the twelve are one day to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. No word here of the Gentile mission.\3/

Only twice does Mark make Jesus allude to the gospel being preached in future throughout the world: in the eschatological address (xiii. 10, " The gospel must first be preached to all the nations," i.e., before the end arrives), and in the story of the anointing at Bethany (xiv. 9), where we read: " Wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what this woman hath done shall be also told, in memory of her." The former passage puts into the life of Jesus an historical theologoumenon, which is hardly original. The latter excites strong suspicion, not with regard to what precedes it, but in connection with the saying of Jesus in verses 8-9. It is a hysteron proteron, and moreover the solemn assurance is striking. Some obscure controversy must underlie the words -- a controversy which turned upon the preceding scene not only when it happened, but at a still later date. Was it ever suspected ? \4/ [[40]]

\3/ Here we may also include the saying; " Pray that your flight occur not on the Sabbath " (Matt. xxiv. 20). Note further that the parable of the two sons (Malt. xxi. 28 f.) does not refer to Jews and Gentiles. The labourers in the vineyard (Matt. xx. I f.) are not to be taken as Gentiles -- not, at any rate, as the evangelist tells the story. Nor are Gentiles to be thought of even in xxii. 9.

\4/ I leave out of account the section on the wicked husbandmen, as it says nothing about the Gentile mission either in Mark's version (xii. I f.), or in Matthew's (xxi. 33 f.). The words of Matt. xxi. 43 ("God's kingdom shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof") do not refer to the Gentiles; it is the "nation" as opposed to the official Israel, Mark on purpose speaks merely of "others," to whom the vineyard is to be given. "On purpose," I say, for we may see from this very allegory, which can hardly have been spoken by Jesus himself (see Julicher's Gleicknissreden ii. pp. 405 f., though I would not commit myself on the point), how determined Mark was to keep the Gentile mission apart from the gospel, and how consistently Matthew retains the setting of the latter within the Jewish nation. The parable invited the evangelists to represent Jesus making some allusion to the Gentile mission, but both of them resisted the invitation (see further, Luke xx. 9 f.). Wellhausen (on Matt. xxi. 43) also observes: "By the phrase "another nation' we may understand that Jewish, not simply Gentile, Christians were so meant; for ἔθνος is characterised ethically, not nationally."

These two sayings are also given in Matthew \5/ (xxiv. 14, xxvi. 13), who preserves a further saying which has the Gentile world in view, yet whose prophetic manner arouses no suspicion of its authenticity. In viii. 11 we read: "I tell you, many shall come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out." Why should not Jesus have said this? Even among the words of John the Baptist (iii. 9) do we not read: "Think not to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father; for I tell you, God is able to raise up children for Abraham out of these stones " ?

\5/  We may disregard the sayings in v. 13-14 ("Ye are the salt of the earth," "Ye are the light of the world"), as well as the fact that in Mark alone (xi. 17) πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (a citation from Isa. lvi. 7) is added to the words: "My house shall be a house of prayer." The addition "emphasizes not the universality of the house of prayer, but simply the idea of the house of prayer " (Wellhausen).

We conclude, then, that both evangelists refrain from inserting any allusion to the Gentile mission into the framework of the public preaching of Jesus, apart from the eschatological address and the somewhat venturesome expression which occurs in the story of the anointing at Bethany. But while Matthew delimits the activity of Jesus positively and precisely, Mark adopts what we may term a neutral position, though for all that he does not suppress the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman.

All this throws into more brilliant relief than ever the words of the risen Jesus in Matt. xxviii. 19 f. Matthew must have been fully conscious of the disparity between these words and the earlier words of Jesus; nay, more, he must have deliberately chosen to give expression to that disparity.\6/ At the time when [[41]] our gospels were written, a Lord and Saviour who had confined his preaching to the Jewish people without even issuing a single command to prosecute the universal mission, was an utter impossibility. If no such command had been issued before his death, it must have been imparted by him as the glorified One.

\6/ Unless xxviii. 19 f. is a later addition to the gospel. It is impossible to be certain on this point. There is a certain subtlety, of which one would fain believe the evangelist was incapable, in keeping his Gentile Christian readers, as it were, upon the rack with sayings which confined the gospel to Israel, just in order to let them off in the closing paragraph. Nor are the former sayings presented in such a way as to suggest that they were afterwards to be taken back. On the other hand, we must observe that the first evangelist opens with the story of the wise men from the East (though even this section admits of a strictly Jewish Christian interpretation), that he includes viii. II, that he shows his interest in the people who sat in darkness (iv. 13 f.), that he describes Jesus (xii. 21) as One in whose name the Gentiles trust, that he contemplates the preaching of the gospel to all the Gentiles in the eschatological speech and in the story of the anointing at Bethany, and that no positive proofs can be adduced for regarding xxviii. 19 f. as an interpolation. It is advisable, then, to credit the writer with a remarkable historical sense, which made him adhere almost invariably to the traditional framework of Christ's preaching, in order to break it open at the very close of his work. Mark's method of procedure was more simple: he excluded the missionary question altogether ; at least that is the only explanation of his attitude.

The conclusion, therefore, must be that Jesus never issued such a command at all, but that this version of his life was due to the historical developments of a later age, the words being appropriately put into the mouth of the risen Lord. Paul, too, knew nothing of such a general command.\7/

\7/ It is impossible and quite useless to argue with those who see nothing but an inadmissible bias in the refusal to accept traditions about Jesus eating and drinking and instructing his disciples after death.

Luke's standpoint, as a reporter of the words of Jesus, does not differ from that of the two previous evangelists, a fact which is perhaps most significant of all. He has delicately coloured the introductory history with universalism, \8/ while at the close, like Matthew, he makes the risen Jesus issue the command to preach the gospel to all nations. \9/ But in his treatment of the intervening material he follows Mark; that is, he preserves no sayings which expressly confine the activity of Jesus to the Jewish nation, \10/ but, on the other hand, he gives neither word nor incident which describes that activity as universal, \11/ [[42]] and at no point does he deliberately correct the existing tradition.\12/

\8/ Cp. i. 32 ("Son of the Highest"), ii. 10, 11 ("joy to all people," "Saviour"), ii. 14 ("gloria in excelsis"), ii. 32 ("a light to lighten the Gentiles "), and also (iii. 23 f.) the genealogy of Jesus traced back to Adam.

\9/ xxiv. 47, also Acts i. 8 : "Ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judsea and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth."

\10/ An indirect allusion to the limitation of his mission might be found in xxii. 30 =Matt. xix. 28 (cp. p. 41), but this meaning need not be read into it.

\11/ All sorts of unconvincing attempts have been made to drag this in; e.g., at Peter's take of fish (v. I f.), at the Samaritan stories (x. 33 f., xvii. 16), and at the parable of the prodigal son (xv, II f. ; cp. Julicher's Gleichn., ii. pp. 333 f,). Even the stories of the despatch of the apostles (vi. 13 f.) and the remarkable commission of the seventy (x. I f.) do not by any means represent the Gentile mission. It is by a harmless hysteron proteron that the twelve are now and then described by Luke as "the apostles." The programme of the speech at Nazareth (iv. 26-27) is here of primary importance, but even in it the universalism of Jesus does not seem to rise above that of the prophets. With regard to xxi. 24= Mark xiii. 10= Matt. xxiv. 14, we may say that Luke was quite the most careful of all those who attempted with fine feeling to reproduce the prophet's style. He never mentions the necessity of the gospel being preached throughout all the world before the end arrives, but writes: ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἔθνων ("till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled "). As for the Samaritan stories, it does not seem as if Luke here had any ulterior tendency of an historical and religious character in his mind, such as is evident in John iv.

\12/ The story of the Syro-Phosnician woman, which stands between the two stories of miraculous feeding in Mark and Matthew, was probably quite unknown to Luke. Its omission was not deliberate. If he knew it, his omission would have to be regarded as a conscious correction of the earlier tradition.

In this connection the fourth gospel need not be considered at all. After the Gentile mission, which had been undertaken with such ample results during the first two Christian generations, the fourth gospel expands the horizon of Christ's preaching and even of John the Baptist's ; corresponding to this, it makes the Jews a reprobate people from the very outset, despite the historical remark in iv. 22. Even setting aside the prologue, we at once come upon (i. 29) the words put into the mouth of the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." And, as a whole, the gospel is saturated with statements of a directly universalistic character. Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and God so loved the world that he sent him. We may add passages like those upon the "other sheep" and the one flock (x. l6). But the most significant thing of all is that this gospel makes Greeks ask after Jesus (xii. 20 f), the latter furnishing a formal explanation of the reasons why he could not satisfy the Greeks as yet. He must first of all die. It is as the exalted One that he will first succeed in drawing all men to himself. We can feel here the pressure of a serious problem.

It would be misleading to introduce here any sketch of the preaching of Jesus, or even of its essential principles,\13/ for it never became the missionary preaching of the later period even to the Jews. It was the basis of that preaching, for the gospels were written down in order to serve as a means of evangelization; but the mission preaching was occupied with the messiahship of Jesus, his speedy return, and his establishment of God's kingdom (if Jews were to be met), or with the unity of God, creation, the Son of God, and judgment (if Gentiles were to be reached). Alongside of this the words of Jesus of course exercised a silent and effective mission of their own, whilst the historical picture furnished by the gospels, [[43]] together with faith in the exalted Christ, exerted a powerful influence over catechumens and believers.

\13/ Cp. my lectures on What is Christianity?

Rightly and wisely, people no longer noticed the local and temporal traits either in this historical sketch or in these sayings. They found there a vital love of God and men, which may be described as implicit universalism; a discounting of everything external (position, personality, sex, outward worship, etc.), which made irresistibly for inwardness of character; and a protest against the entire doctrines of "the ancients," which gradually rendered antiquity valueless. \14/ One of the greatest revolutions in the history of religion was initiated in this way -- initiated and effected, moreover, without any revolution! All that Jesus Christ promulgated was the overthrow of the temple, and the judgment impending upon the nation and its leaders. He shattered Judaism, and brought out the kernel of the religion of Israel. Thereby -- i.e., by his preaching of God as the Father, and by his own death -- he founded the universal religion, which at the same time was the religion of the Son.

\14/ On "The Attitude of Jesus towards the Old Testament," see the conclusive tractate by E. Klostermann (1904) under this title. No one who grasps this attitude upon the part of Jesus will make unhistorical assertions upon the "world-mission."




"CHRISTI mors potentior erat quam vita.'" The death of Christ was more effective than his life; it failed to shatter faith in him as one sent by God, and hence the conviction of his resurrection arose. He was still the Messiah, his disciples held -- for there was no alternative now between this and the rejection of his claims. As Messiah, he could not be held of death. He must be alive; he must soon return in glory. The disciples became chosen members of his kingdom, witnesses and apostles. They testified not only to his preaching and his death, but to his resurrection, for they had seen him and received his spirit. They became new men. A current of divine life seized them, and a new fire was burning in their hearts. Fear, doubt, cowardice -- all this was swept away. The duty and the right of preaching this Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ pressed upon them with irresistible power. How could they keep silence when they knew that the new age of the world was come, and that God had already begun the redemption of his people? An old tradition (Acts i.-ii.) relates that the preaching of the disciples began in
Jerusalem on the fifty-first day after the crucifixion. We have no reason to doubt so definite a statement. They must have returned from Galilee to Jerusalem and gathered together there -- a change which suggests that they wished to work openly, in the very midst of the Jewish community. They remained there for some years \1/ -- for a period of twelve years indeed, according to [[45]] one early account \2/ ignored by the book of Acts (cp., however, xii. 17) -- they would undertake mission tours in the vicinity; the choice of James, who did not belong to the twelve, as president of the church at Jerusalem, \3/ tells in favour of this conclusion, whilst the evidence for it lies in Acts, and above all in 1 Cor. ix. 5.

\1/ We may perhaps assume that they wished to be on the very spot when the Lord returned and the heavenly Jerusalem descended. It is remarkable how Galilee falls into the background : we hear nothing about it.

\2/ This early account (in the preaching of Peter, cited by Clem., Strom., vi. 5. 43) is of course untrustworthy ; it pretends to know a word spoken by the Lord to his disciples, which ran thus: "After twelve years, go out into the world, lest any should say, we have not heard" (μετὰ ιβἔτη ἐξέλθετε εἰς τὸν κόσμον, μή τις εἴπῃ · οὐκ ἠκούσαμεν).  But although the basis of the statement is apologetic and untrue, it may be right about the twelve years, for in the Acta Petri cum Simone, 5, and in Apollonius (in Eus., H.E., v. 18. 14), the word (here also a word of the Lord) runs that the apostles were to remain for twelve years at Jerusalem, without any mention of the exodus εἰς τὸν κόσμον. Here, too, the "word of the Lord" lacks all support, but surely the fact of the disciples remaining for twelve years in Jerusalem can hardly have been invented. Twelve (or eleven) years after the resurrection is a period which is also fixed by other sources (see von Dobschutz in Texte u. Unters., XI. i. p. 53 f.); indeed it underlies the later calculation of the year when Peter died (30+12+25=67 A.D).The statement of the pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (i.43, ix.29), that the apostles remained seven years in Jerusalem, stands by itself.

\3/ Acts assumes that during the opening years the apostles superintended the church in Jerusalem ; all of a sudden (xii. 17) James appears as the president.

The gospel was at first preached to the Jews exclusively. The church of Jerusalem was founded ; presently churches in Judaea (1 Thess. ii. 14, αί κκλησίαι το θεο αί οσαι ν τῇ Ἰουδαί; Gal. i. 22, μην γνοούμενος τ προσώπ τας κκλησίαις τς ουδαίας τας ν Χριστ), Galilee, Samaria (Acts i. 8, viii.1 f, ix. 31, xv. 3), and on the seacoast (Acts ix. 32 f.) followed. \4/ The initial relationship of these churches to Judaism is not quite clear. As a matter of fact, so far from being clear, it is full of inconsistencies. On the one hand, the narrative of Acts (see iii. f.), which describes the Jerusalem church as [[46]] exposed to spasmodic persecutions almost from the start, is corroborated by the evidence of Paul (1 Thess. ii. 14., τι τ ατ πάθετε κα μες π τν δίων συμφυλετν καθς κα ατο [i.e. the churches in Judaea] πτν ουδαίων), so that it seems untenable to hold with some Jewish scholars that originally, and indeed for whole decades, peace reigned between the Christians and the Jews.\5/ On the other hand, it is certain that peace and toleration also prevailed, that the churches remained unmolested for a considerable length of time (Acts ix. 31, κκλησία καθ’ λης τς ουδαίας καΓαλιλαίας κα Σαμαρίας εχεν ερήνην), and that several Christians were highly thought of by their Jewish brethren.\6/ By their strict observance of the law and their devoted attachment to the temple,\7/ they fulfilled a Jew's principal duty, and since it was in the future that they expected Jesus as their Messiah -- his first advent having been no more than a preliminary step -- this feature might be overlooked, as an idiosyncrasy, by those who were inclined to think well of them for their strict observance of the law. \8/ At least [[47]] this is the only way in which we can picture to ourselves the state of matters. The more zealous of their Jewish compatriots can have had really nothing but praise for the general Christian hope of the Messiah's sure and speedy advent. Doubtless it was in their view a grievous error for Christians to believe that they already knew the person of the future Messiah. But the crucifixion seemed to have torn up this belief by the roots, so that every zealous Jew could anticipate the speedy collapse of " the offence," while the Messianic ardour would survive. As for the Jewish authorities, they could afford to watch the progress of events, contenting themselves with a general surveillance. Meantime, however, the whole movement was confined to the lower classes.\9/ [[48]]

\4/ The parallel mission of Simon Magus in Samaria maybe mentioned here in passing. It had important results locally, but it failed in its attempt to turn the Christian movement to account. The details are for the most part obscure; it is clear, however, that Simon held himself to be a religious founder (copying Jesus in this?), and that subsequently a Hellenistic theosophy or gnosis was associated with his religion. Christians treated the movement from the very outset with unabated abhorrence. There must have been, at some early period, a time when the movement proved a real temptation for the early church : to what extent, however, we cannot tell. Did Simon contemplate any fusion? (Acts viii. And later sources).

\5/ Cp. Joël's Blicke in die Religionsgeschichte (Part II., 1883). The course of events in the Palestinian mission may be made out from Matt. x. 17 f. : παραδώσουσιν μς ες συνέδρια κα ν τας συναγωγας ατν μαστιγώσουσιν μς . . . . παραδώσει δὲ ἀδελφδς ἀδελφδν εἰς θάνατον κα πατὴρ τέκνον καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς κα θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς . . . . ταν δ διώκωσιν μς ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ, φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν.

\6/ Hegesippus (in Eus., H.E., ii. 22) relates this of James. No doubt his account is far from lucid, but the repute of James among the Jews may be safely inferred from it.

\7/ Cp. Acts xxi. 20, where the Christians of Jerusalem address Paul thus: θεωρες, δελφέ, πόσαι μυριάδες εσν ν τος ουδαίοις τν πεπιστευκότων, κα πάντες ζηλωτα το νόμου πάρχουσιν.  This passage at once elucidates and confirms the main point of Hegesippus' account of James. From one very ancient tradition (in a prologue to Mark's gospel, c, 200 A.D.), that when Mark became a Christian he cut off his thumbs in order to escape serving as a priest, we may infer that many a Christian Jew of the priestly class in Jerusalem still continued to discharge priestly functions in those primitive days.

\8/ As Weizsacker justly remarks (Apost. Zeitalter (2), p. 38 ; Eng. trans., i. 46 f.): " The primitive Christians held fast to the faith and polity of their nation. They had no desire to be renegades, nor was it possible to regard them as such. Even if they did not maintain the whole cultus, this did not endanger their allegiance, for Judaism tolerated not merely great latitude in doctrinal views, but also a partial observance of the cultus -- as is sufficiently proved by the contemporary case of the Essenes. The Christians did not lay themselves open to the charge of violating the law. They assumed no aggressive attitude. That they appeared before the local courts as well as before the Sanhedrim, the supreme national council, tallies with the fact that, on the whole, they remained Jews. It is in itself quite conceivable (cp. Matt. x. 17) that .... individual Christians should have been prosecuted, but discharged on the score of insufficient evidence, or that this discharge was accompanied by some punishment. . . . The whole position of Jewish Christians within the Jewish commonwealth precludes the idea that they made a practice of establishing a special synagogue for themselves on Jewish soil, or avowedly formed congregations beside the existing synagogues. As the synagogue was a regular institution of the Jewish community, such a course of action would have been equivalent to a complete desertion of all national associations and obligations whatsoever, and would therefore have resembled a revolt. The only question is, whether the existence of synagogues for foreigners in Jerusalem gave them a pretext for setting up an independent one there. It is our Acts that mentions this in a passage which is beyond suspicion ; it speaks (vi. 9) about the synagogue of the Libertini, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia who disputed with Stephen. It is not quite clear whether we are to think here of a single synagogue embracing all these people, or of several -- and if so, how many. The second alternative is favoured by this consideration, that the foreigners who, according to this account, assembled in meeting-places of their own throughout Jerusalem, proceeded on the basis of their nationality. In that case one might conjecture that the Christians, as natives of Galilee (Acts i. n, ii. 7), took up a similar position. Yet it cannot be proved that the name was applied to them. From Acts xxiv. 5 we must assume that they were known rather by the name of ' Nazarenes,' and as this title probably described the origin, not of the body, but of its founder, its character was different. .... But even if the Christians had, like the Libertini, formed a synagogue of Galileans in Jerusalem, this would not throw much light upon the organization of their society, for we know nothing at all about the aims or regulations under which the various nationalities organized themselves into separate synagogues. And in regard to the question as a whole, we must not overlook the fact that in our sources the term synagogue is never applied to Christians."

\9/ Cp. what is said of Gamaliel, Acts v. 34 f. For the lower classes, see John vii. 48, 49: μή τις κ τν ρχόντων πίστευσεν ες ατν κ τν Φαρισαίων; λλ χλος οτος μ γινώσκων τν νόμον πάρατοί εσιν. Yet Acts (vi, 7) brings out the fact that priests (a great crowd of them—πολὺς ὄχλος—it is alleged), no less than Pharisees (xv. 5), also joined the movement.

But no sooner did the Gentile mission, with its lack of restrictions (from the Jewish point of view) or laxity of restrictions, become an open fact, than this period of toleration, or of spasmodic and not very violent reactions on the part of Judaism, had to cease. Severe reprisals followed. Yet the Gentile mission at first drove a wedge into the little company of Christians themselves; it prompted those who disapproved of it to retire closer to their non-Christian brethren. The apostle Paul had to complain of and to contend with a double opposition. He was persecuted by Jewish Christians who were zealous for the law, no less than by the Jews (so 1 Thess. ii. 15 f., κδιώξάντες ἡμᾶς . . . . κωλύοντες μς τος θνεσιν λαλσαι, να σωθσιν) ; the latter had really nothing whatever to do with the Gentile mission, but evidently they did not by any means look on with folded arms.

It is not quite clear how the Gentile mission arose. Certainly Paul was not the first missionary to the Gentiles.\10/ But a priori considerations and the details of the evidence alike may justify us in concluding that while the transition to the Gentile mission was gradual, it was carried out with irresistible energy. Here, too, the whole ground had been prepared already, by the inner condition of Judaism, i.e., by the process of decomposition within Judaism which made for universalism, as well as by the graduated system of the proselytes. To this we have already alluded in the first chapter. [[49]]

\10/ Paul never claims in his letters to have been absolutely the pioneer of the Gentile mission. Had it been so, he certainly would not have failed to mention it. Gal. i. 16 merely says that the apostle understood already that his conversion meant a commission to the Gentiles; it does not say that this commission was something entirely new. Nor need it be concluded that Paul started on this Gentile mission immediately; the object of the revelation of God's Son (Ἱνα εὐαγγελίζωμαι αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν) may have been only disclosed to him by degrees. All we are to understand is that after his conversion he needed no further conflict of the inner man in order to undertake the Gentile mission. Nevertheless, it is certain that Paul remains the Gentile missionary. It was he who really established the duty and the right of Gentile missions ; it was he who raised the movement out of its tentative beginnings into a mission that embraced all the world.

According to Acts vi. 7 f.,\11/ the primitive Christian community n Jerusalem was composed of two elements, one consisting of Palestinian Hebrews, and the other of Jews from the dispersion (Ἑλληνισταί). \12/ A cleavage occurred between both at an early stage, which led to the appointment of seven guardians of the poor, belonging to the second of these groups and bearing Greek names. Within this group of men, whom we may consider on the whole to have been fairly enlightened, i.e., less strict than others in literal observance of the law,\13/ Stephen rose to special prominence. The charge brought against him before the Sanhedrim was to the effect that he went on uttering blasphemous language against " the holy place " and the law, by affirming that Jesus was to destroy the temple and alter the customs enjoined by Moses. This charge Acts describes as false; but, as the speech of Stephen proves, it was well founded so far as it went, the falsehood consisting merely in the conscious purpose [[50]] attributed to the words in question. Stephen did not attack the temple and the law in order to dispute their divine origin, but he did affirm the limited period of these institutions. In this way he did set himself in opposition to the popular Judaism of his time, but hardly in opposition to all that was Jewish. It is beyond doubt that within Judaism itself, especially throughout the Diaspora, tendencies were already abroad by which the temple-cultus, \14/ and primarily its element of bloody sacrifices, was regarded as unessential and even of doubtful validity. Besides, it is equally certain that in many a Jewish circle, for external and internal reasons, the outward observance of the law was not considered of any great value; it was more or less eclipsed by the moral law. Consequently it is quite conceivable, historically and psychologically, that a Jew of the Diaspora who had been won over to Christianity should associate the supreme and exclusive moral considerations urged by the new faith \15/ with the feelings he had already learned to cherish, viz., that the temple and the ceremonial law were relatively useless; it is also conceivable that he should draw the natural inference -- Jesus the Messiah will abolish the temple-cultus and alter the ceremonial law. Observe the future tense. Acts seems here to give an extremely literal report. Stephen did not urge any changes -- these were to be effected by Jesus, when he returned as Messiah. All Stephen did was to announce them by way of prophecy, thus implying that the existing arrangements wore valueless. He did not urge the Gentile mission; but by his words and death he helped to set it up.

\11/ To the author of Acts, the transition from the Jewish to the Gentile mission, with the consequent rejection of Judaism, was a fact of the utmost importance; indeed one may say that he made the description of this transition the main object of his book. This is proved by the framework of the first fifteen chapters, and by the conclusion of the work in xxviii. 23-28 (verses 30-31 being a postscript). After quoting from Isa. vi. 9, 10 -- a prophecy which cancels Judaism, and which the author sees to be now fulfilled -- he proceeds to make Paul address the Jews as follows : γνωστὸν οὖν ἔστω ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπεστάλη τοῦτο τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ · αὐτοὶ καὶ ἀκούσονται.  This is to affirm, as explicitly as possible, that the gospel has been given, not to Jews, but to the nations at large. The above account of the work of the Gentile mission rests upon Acts, in so far as I consider its statements trustworthy. The author was a Paulinist, but he found much simpler grounds for Christian universalism than did Paul; or rather, he needed no grounds for it at all -- the gospel being in itself universal -- although he does not ignore the fact that at the outset it was preached to none but Jews, and that the Gentile mission was long in developing. The internal divisions of Christianity, moreover, are scarcely noticed.

\12/ Acts vi. 5 (Νικόλαον προσήλυτον) shows that there were also Christians in Jerusalem who had been previously proselytes. The addition of Ἀντιοχέα betrays the author's special interest in this city.

\13/ See Weizsacker, Apost. Zeitalter (2), pp. 51 f. ; Eng. trans., i. 62 f. Naturally they were "good" Jews, otherwise they would never have settled at Jerusalem ; but we may assume that these synagogues of the Libertini (Romans), the Cyrenians, the Alexandrians, the Ciliciana and Asiatics (Acts vi. 9), embraced Hellenistic Jews as well, who had mitigated the Jewish religion with their Hellenistic culture. Upon the other hand, they also included exclusive fanatics, who were responsible for the first outburst against Christianity. Palestinian Judaism (i.e., the Sanhedrim) sided with them. The earliest Christian persecution thus appears as a quarrel and cleavage among the Diaspora Jews at Jerusalem.

\14/ Particularly when it had been profaned over and over again by a secularized priesthood.

\15/ At this point it may be also recalled that Jesus himself foretold the overthrow of the temple. With Weizsacker (op. cit., p. 53; Eng. Trans., i. 65) I consider that saying of our Lord is genuine. It became the starting-point of an inner development in his disciples which finally led up to the Gentile mission. Cp. Wellhausen's commentary on the synoptic gospels for a discussion of the saying's significance.

When Stephen was stoned, he died, like Huss, for a cause whose issues he probably did not foresee. It is not surprising that he was stoned, for orthodox Judaism could least afford to tolerate this kind of believer in Jesus. His adherents were also [[51]] persecuted -- the grave peril of the little company of Christians being thus revealed in a flash. All except the apostles (Acts viii. 1) had to leave Jerusalem. Evidently the latter had not yet declared themselves as a body on the side of Stephen in the matter of his indictment.\16/ The scattered Christians went abroad throughout Judeea and Samaria; nolens volens they acted as missionaries, i.e., as apostles (Acts viii. 4). The most important of them was Philip, the guardian of the poor, who preached in Samaria and along the seaboard; there is a long account of how he convinced and baptized an Ethiopian officer, a eunuch (Acts viii. 26 f.). This is perfectly intelligible. The man was not a Jew. He belonged to the “God-fearing class” (φοβούμενος τὸν θεόν).  Besides, even if he had been circumcised, he could not have become a Jew. Thus, when this semi-proselyte, this eunuch, was brought into the Christian church, it meant that one stout barrier had fallen.

\16/ This seems to me an extremely important fact, which at the same time corroborates the historical accuracy of Acts at this point. Evidently the Christians at this period were persecuted with certain exceptions ; none were disturbed whose devotion to the temple and the law was unimpeachable, and these still included Peter and the rest of the apostles. Acts makes it perfectly plain that it was only at a later, though not much later, period that Peter took his first step outside strict Judaism. Weizsacker's reading of the incident is different (op. cit., pp. 60 f. ; Eng. trans., i. 75). He holds that the first step was taken at this period ; but otherwise he is right in saying that "it is obvious that nothing was so likely to create and strengthen this conviction (viz., that the future, the salvation to be obtained in the kingdom itself, could no longer rest upon the obligations of the law) as Pharisaic attacks prompted by the view that faith in Jesus and his kingdom was prejudicial to the inviolable duration of the law, and to belief in its power of securing salvation. The persecution, therefore, liberated the Christian faith ; it was the means by which it came to know itself. And in this sense it was not without its fruits in the primitive church."

Still, a single case is not decisive, and even the second case of this kind, that of Peter baptizing the "God-fearing" (φοβούμενος) Cornelius at Caesarea, cannot have had at that early period the palmary importance which the author of Acts attaches to it. \17/ [[52]] So long as it was a question of proselytes, even of proselytes in the widest sense of the term, there was always one standpoint from which the strictest Jewish Christian himself could reconcile his mind to their admission : he could regard the proselytes thus admitted as adherents of the Christian community in the wider sense of the term, i.e., as proselytes still.

\17/ At least the importance did not lie in the direction in which the author of Acts looked to find it. Still, the case was one of great moment in this sense, that it forced Peter to side at last with that theory and practice which had hitherto (see the note above) been followed by none save the friends of Stephen (excluding the primitive apostles). The conversion of the Caesarean officer led Peter, and with Peter a section of the church at Jerusalem, considerably further. It must be admitted, however, that the whole passage makes one suspect its historical character. Luke has treated it with a circumstantial detail which we miss elsewhere in his work ; he was persuaded that it marked the great turning-point of the mission.

The next step, a much more decisive one, was taken at Antioch, again upon the initiative of the scattered adherents of Stephen (Acts xi. 19 f.), who had reached Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch on their missionary wanderings. The majority of them confined themselves strictly to the Jewish mission. But some, who were natives of Cyprus and Crete, \18/ preached also to [[53]] the Greeks \19/ in Antioch with excellent results. They were the first missionaries to the heathen; they founded the first Gentile church, that of Antioch. In this work they were joined by Barnabas and Paul (Acts xi. 28 f.), who soon became the real leading spirits in the movement. \20/

\18/  No names are given in the second passage, but afterwards (xiii. l) Barnabas the Cypriote, Simeon Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, and Saul are mentioned as prophets and teachers at Antioch. As Barnabas and Saul did not reach Antioch until after the founding of the church (cp. xi. 22 f.), we may probably recognize in the other three persons the founders of the church, and consequently the first missionaries to the heathen. But Barnabas must be mentioned first of all among the originators of the Gentile mission. He must have reached the broader outlook independently, as indeed is plain from Paul's relations with him. A Cypriote Levite, he belonged from the very beginning to the church of Jerusalem (perhaps he was a follower of Jesus ; cp. Clem., Strom., II. 20 ; Eus., H.E., i. 12 ; Clem. Rom. Horn., i. 9), in which an act of voluntary sacrifice won for him a high position (Acts iv. 36 f.). He certainly acted as an intermediary between Paul and the primitive apostles, so long as such services were necessary (Acts ix. 27), just as he went between Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts xi. 22 f.). On what is called the " first mission-tour" of Paul, he was almost the leading figure (Acts xiii.-xiv.). But his devotion to the Gentile mission seems to have affected his early prestige at Jerusalem ; he was suspected, and, like Paul, he had to justify his conduct (Acts xv., Gal. ii.). In the trying situation which ensued at Antioch, he fell under Peter's influence and failed to stand the test (so Paul says, at least, in Gal. ii. 13, but what would have been "hypocrisy" to Paul need not have been so in the case of Barnabas). His cooperation with Paul in mission-work now ceases (Acts also makes them separate owing to .a misunderstanding; but, on this view, xv. 36 f., they disagreed upon the question of Mark as a coadjutor). Barnabas goes with Mark to Cyprus. When Paul wrote I Corinthians and Galatians, Barnabas was still active as a missionary, and his name was familiar to the Corinthians (cp. i Cor. ix. 6). That Paul narrates to the Galatians with such exact chronology the "hypocrisy" of Barnabas, shows how the apostle could not forget the crisis when the Gentile mission was at stake, but it does not imply that Paul still felt himself at variance with Barnabas. The narrative simply mentions him in order to bring out sharply the magnitude of the disaster occasioned by Peter's pusillanimous conduct. The carefully chosen expression (καὶ Βαρνάβας συναπήχθη) shows that he was carried away half irresolutely. I Cor. i. 9 proves that Paul still recognized him as an apostle of Christ, and spoke of him as such in the churches (cp. also Col. iv. 10, which indicates clearly that Barnabas was also known to the Asiatic Christians as an important figure). But a hearty relationship between the two cannot have been ever restored, in spite of the great experiences they had shared for so long. Paul's silence in his epistles and the silence of Acts (after ch. xv.) are eloquent on this point. In the matter of the Gentile mission, however, Barnabas must be ranked next to Paul; in fact we may suspect, as the very sources permit us to do, that the services of Barnabas as a peacemaker amid the troubles and suspicions of the mother church at Jerusalem were much more important than even the extant narratives disclose. Perhaps we have a writing of Barnabas -- not the so-called "Epistle of Barnabas," but the Epistle to the Hebrews. The external evidence for his authorship is not weak, but it is not adequate, and the internal evidence tells against him. Did he go from Cyprus to work at Alexandria, as the pseudo-Clementine Homilies make out (i.-ii.)?

\19/ So Acts x. 20, reading Ἕλληνες, not Ἑλληνίσται.  It is not surprising that the Gentile Christian mission began in Antioch. It was only in the international, levelling society of a great city that such a movement could originate, or rather propagate itself, so far as it was not hampered by any new restriction in the sphere of principle. Most probably those early missionaries were nut so hampered. It is very remarkable that there is no word of any opposition between Jewish and Gentile Christians at Antioch. The local Jewish Christians, scattered and cosmopolitan as they were, must have joined the new community of Christians, who were free from the law, without more ado. It was the Jerusalem church which first introduced dissension at Antioch (cp. Acts xv. i, Gal. ii. 11-13).

\20/ All allusions to Antioch, direct or indirect, in the book of Acts are specially noticeable, for the tradition that Luke was a physician of Antioch deserves credence. In ch. vi., and in what immediately follows, there is a distinct line of reference to Antioch.

The converted Greeks in Antioch, Syria, arid Cilicia (to which , Barnabas and Paul presently extended their mission), during this initial period were by no means drawn wholly from those who had been "God-fearing'' (φοβούμενοι) already, although this may have been the origin of a large number. \21/ At any rate a church was founded at Antioch which consisted for the most part of uncircumcised persons, and which now undertook the mission to the Gentiles (Acts xiii. 1 f.). For this church the [[54]] designation of Χριστιανοί (" Christians," Acts xi. 26) came into vogue, a name coined by their heathen opponents. This title is itself a proof that the new community in Antioch stood out in bold relief from Judaism. \22/

\21/ Cp. Havet, Le christianisme, vol. iv. p. 102 : "Je ne sais s'il y est entre, du vivant de Paul, un seui paien, je veux dire un homme qui ne connut pas deja, avant d'y entrer. Ie judaisme et la Bible." This is no doubt an exaggeration, but substantially it is accurate.

\22/ Details on the name of "Christian" in Book III. The theological vocabulary of Gentile Christianity, so far as it needed one, must also have arisen in Antioch.

The Gentile Christian churches of Syria and Cilicia did not observe the law, yet they were conscious of being the people of God in the fullest sense of the term, and were mindful to keep in touch with the mother church of Jerusalem, as well as to be recognized by her. \23/ The majority of these cosmopolitan converts were quite content with the assurance that God had already moved the prophets to proclaim the uselessness of sacrifice, \24/ so that all the ceremonial part of the law was to be allegorically interpreted and understood in some moral sense. \25/ This was also the view originally held by the other Gentile Christian communities which, like that of Rome, were founded by unknown missionaries.

\23/ Cp. the narrative of Acts xi. 29 f., xii. 25, regarding a collection which the recently founded church at Antioch sent to Jerusalem during the famine under Claudius. This was the famine in which Queen Helena of Adiabene gave much generous aid to the poor Jews of Jerusalem.

\24/ With regard to the sacrificial system, the right of abandoning the literal meaning had been clearly made out, as that system had already become antiquated and depreciated in the eyes of large sections of people. The rest of the law followed as a matter of course.

\25/ The post-apostolic literature shows with particular clearness that this was the popular view taken by the Gentile Christians ; so that it must have maintained its vogue, despite the wide and powerful divergences of Paul's own teaching.

The apostle Paul, however, could not settle his position towards the law with such simplicity. For him no part of the law had been depreciated in value by any noiseless, disintegrating influence of time or circumstances; on the contrary, the law remained valid and operative in all its provisions. It could not be abrogated save by him who had ordained it -- i.e., by God himself. Nor could even God abolish it save by affirming at the same time its rights -- i.e., he must abolish it just by providing for its fulfilment. And this was what actually took place. By the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's Son, upon the cross, the law was at once fulfilled and abolished. Whether all this reflection and speculation was secondary and [[55]] derivative (resulting from the possession of the Spirit and the new life which the apostle felt within himself), or primary (resulting from the assurance that his sins were forgiven), or whether these two sources coalesced, is a question which need not occupy us here. The point is, that Paul was convinced that the death and resurrection of Christ had inaugurated the new age. "The future is already present, the Spirit reigns.'" Hereby he firmly and unhesitatingly recognized the gospel to be the new level of religion, just as he also felt himself to be a new creature. The new religious level was the level of the Spirit and regeneration, of grace and faith, of peace and liberty; below and behind it lay everything old, including all the earlier revelations of God, since these were religions pertaining to the state of sin. This it was which enabled Paul, Jew and Pharisee as he was, to venture upon the great conception with which he laid the basis of any sound philosophy of religion and of the whole science of comparative religion, viz., the collocation of the "natural"' knowledge of God possessed by man (i.e., all that had developed in man under the sway of conscience) with the law of the chosen people (Rom. 1 f.). Both, Paul held, were revelations of God, though in different ways and of different values; both represented what had been hitherto the supreme possession of mankind. Yet both had proved inadequate; they had aggravated sin, and had ended in death.

Now a new religion was in force. This meant that the Gentile mission was not a possibility but a duty, whilst freedom from the law was not a concession but the distinctive and blissful form which the gospel assumed for men. Its essence consisted in the fact that it was not law in any sense of the term, but grace and a free gift. The Christian who had been born a Jew might have himself circumcised and keep the law -- which would imply that he considered the Jewish nation had still some valid part to play \26/ in the world-wide plan of God. But even so, there was nothing in the law to secure the bliss [[56]] of the Jewish Christian; and as for the Gentile Christian, he was not allowed either to practice circumcision or to keep the law. In his case, such conduct would have meant that Christ had died in vain.

\26/ However, as Christians of Jewish birth had, in Paul's view, to live and eat side by side with Gentile Christians, the observance of the law was broken down at one very vital point. It was only Paul's belief in the nearness of the advent that may have prevented him from reflecting further on this problem.

Thus it was that Paul preached the crucified Christ to the Gentiles, and not only established the principle of the Gentile mission, but made it a reality. The work of his predecessors, when measured by his convictions, was loose and questionable; it seemed to reach the same end as he did, but it was not entirely just to the law or to the gospel. Paul wrecked the religion of Israel on the cross of Christ, in the very endeavour to comprehend it with a greater reverence and stricter obedience than his predecessors. The day of Israel, he declared, had now expired. He honoured the Jewish Christian community at Jerusalem, the source of so much antagonism to himself, with a respect which is almost inconceivable ; but he made it perfectly clear that "the times of the Gentiles" had arrived, and that if any Jewish Christian churches did not unite with the Gentile Christian churches to form the one " church of God,"" they forfeited by this exclusiveness their very right to existence. Paul's conception of religion and of religious history was extremely simple, if one looks at its kernel, for it was based upon one fact. It cannot be reduced to a brief formula without being distorted into a platitude. It is never vital except in the shape of a paradox. In place of the particular forms of expression which Paul introduced, and by means of which he made the conception valid and secure for himself, it was possible that others might arise, as was the case in the very next generation with the author of Hebrews and with the anonymous genius who composed the Johannine writings. From that time onwards many other teachers came forward to find fresh bases for the Pauline gospel (e.g., Marcion and Clement of Alexandria, to name a couple of very different writers from the second century). But what they transformed was not the fruit and kernel of Paulinism. Essentially they were quite at one with the apostle. For it is the great prerogative of the historian in a later age to be able to recognize an essential unity where argument and proofs are widely different.

Historically, Paul the Pharisee dethroned the people and the [[57]] religion of Israel; \27/ he tore the gospel from its Jewish soil and rooted it in the soil of humanity. \28/ No wonder that the full reaction of Judaism against the gospel now commenced -- a reaction on the part of Jews and Jewish Christians alike. The hostility of the Jews appears on every page of Acts, from chap. xii. onwards, and it can be traced by the aid even of the evangelic narratives, \29/ whose sources go back to the period preceding A.D. 65. The Jews now sought to extirpate the Palestinian churches and to silence the Christian missionaries. They hampered every step of Paul's work among the Gentiles; they cursed Christians and Christ in their synagogues; they stirred up the masses and the authorities in every country against him ; systematically and officially they scattered broadcast horrible charges against the Christians, which played an important part (ὑμεῖς τῆς κατὰ τοῦ δικαίου καὶ ἡμῶν τῶν ἀπἐκείνου κακῆς προλήψεως αἴτιοι) in the persecutions as early as the reign of Trajan; they started calumnies against Jesus; \30/ they [[58]] provided heathen opponents of Christianity with literary ammunition ; unless the evidence is misleading, they instigated the Neronic outburst against the Christians; and as a rule, whenever bloody persecutions are afoot in later days, the Jews are either in the background or the foreground (the synagogues being dubbed by Tertullian "fontes persecutionum"). By a sort of instinct they felt that Gentile Christianity, though apparently it was no concern of theirs, was their peculiar foe. This course of action on the part of the Jews was inevitable. They merely accelerated a process which implied the complete [[59]] liberation of the new religion from the old, and which prevented Judaism from solving the problem which she had already faced, the problem of her metamorphosis into a religion for the world. In this sense there was something satisfactory about the Jewish opposition. It helped both religions to make the mutual breach complete, whilst it also deepened in the minds of Gentile Christians -- at a time when this still needed to be deepened -- the assurance that their religion did represent a new creation, and that they were no mere class of people admitted into some lower rank, but were themselves the new People of God, who had succeeded to the old. \31/ [[60]]

\27/ Little wonder that Jews of a later day declared he was a pagan in disguise: cp. Epiph. Haer., xxx. 16: κα το Παύλου κατηγοροντες οκ ασχύνονται πιπλάστοις τισ τς τν ψευδαποστόλων ατν κακουργίας κα πλάνης λόγοις πεποιημένοις.  Ταρσέα μν ατόν, ς ατς μολογε κα οκ ρνεται, λέγοντες ξ λλήνων δ ατν ποτίθενται, λαβόντες τν προφάσιν κ το τόπου δι τ φιλάληθες πατο ηθν, τι, Ταρσεύς εμι, οκ σήμου πόλεως πολίτης. ετα φάσκουσιν ατν εναι λληνα κα λληνίδος μητρς κα λληνος πατρς παδα, ναβεβηκέναι δ ες εροσόλυμα κα χρόνον κε μεμενηκέναι πιτεθυμηκέναι δ θυγατέρα το ερέως πρς γάμον γαγέσθαι κα τούτου νεκα προσήλυτον γενέσθαι κα περιτμηθναι, εἶτα μὴ λαβόντα τὴν κόρην ργίσθαι κα κατ περιτομς γεγραφέναι κα κατ σαββάτου κα νομοθεσίας. (" Nor are they ashamed to accuse Paul with false charges concocted by the villainy and fraud of these false apostles. While a native of Tarsus (as he himself frankly admits) they avow that he was born of Greek parentage, taking as their pretext for this assertion the passage in which Paul's love of truth leads him to declare, ' I am of Tarsus, a citizen of no mean city.' Whereupon they allege that he was the son of a Greek father and a Greek mother; that he went up to Jerusalem, where he resided for some time; that he resolved to marry the daughter of the high priest, and consequently became a proselyte and got circumcised ; and that on failing to win the girl, he vented his anger in writing against circumcision and the sabbath and the Mosaic legislation ").

\28/ No one has stated the issues of this transplanting more sublimely than Luke in his narrative of the birth of Jesus (Luke ii.), especially in the words which he puts into the mouth of the angel and the angels.

\29/Cp. the speeches of Jesus when he sent out the disciples on their missions, and also the great eschatological discourse in the synoptic gospels.

\30/ Justin (Dial, xvii. ; cp. cviii., cxvii.), after making out that the Jews were responsible for the calumnies against the Christians, observes that the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem despatched νδρας κλεκτος π ερουσαλμ ες πσαν τν γν, λέγοντας αρεσιν θεον Χριστιανν πεφηνέναι, καταλέγοντας τατα, περ καθμν ο γνοοντες μς πάντες λέγουσιν, στε ο μόνον αντος δικίας ατιοι πάρχετε, λλ κα τος λλοις πασιν πλς νθρώποις ("Chosen men from Jerusalem into every land, declaring that a. godless sect of Christians had appeared, and uttering everything that those who are ignorant of us say unanimously against us. So that you are the cause not only of your own unrighteousness, but also of that of all other men"). Cp. cxvii. : το υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ὄνομα βεβηλωθναι κατ πσαν τν γν καβλασφημεσθαι ο ρχιερες το λαο μν κα διδάσκαλοι εργάσαντο ("The name of the Son of God have the chief priests of your nation and your teachers caused to be profaned throughout all the earth and to be blasphemed"). Also cviii. : νδρας χειροντονήσαντες κλεκτος ες πσαν τν οκουμένην πέμψατε, κηρύσσοντας τι ἅιρεσις τις θεος κα νομος γήγερται πησο τινος Γαλιλαίου πλάνου, ν σταυρωσάντων μν ο μαθητα ατο π το μνήματος νυκτός . . . . πλανσι τος νθρώπους λέγοντες γηγέρθαι ατν κ νεκρν κα ες ορανν νεληλυθέναι, κατειπόντες δεδιδαχέναι κα τατα περ κατ τν μολογούντων Χριστν κα διδάσκαλον κα υἱὸν θεο εναι παντ γένει νθρώπων θεα κα νομα κα νόσια λέγετε ("You have sent chosen and appointed men into all the world to proclaim that ' a godless and lawless sect has arisen from a certain Jesus, a Galilean impostor, whom we crucified ; his disciples, however, stole him by night from the tomb .... and now deceive people by asserting that he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.' You accuse him of having taught the godless, lawless, and unholy doctrines which you bring forward against those who acknowledge him to be Christ, a teacher from God, and the Son of God"). For the cursing of Christians in the synagogues, cp. Dial. xvi. (also the words οὐκ ἐξουσίας ἔχετε αὐτόχειρες γενέσθαι ἡμῶν διὰ τοὺς νῦν ἐπικρατοῦντας, ὁσάκις δὲ ἂν ἐδύνητε, καὶ τοῦτο ἐπαάξατε= “You have no power of yourselves to lay hands on us, thanks to your overlords [i.e., the Romans], but you have done so whenever you could"), xlvii., xciii., xcv.-xcvi., cviii., cxvii., cxxxvii., where Juslin declares that the rulers of the synagogue arranged for the cursing of Christians μετὰ τὴν προσευχὴν (after prayers) during the course of public worship (the pagan proselytes of Judaism being even more hostile to Christians than the Jews themselves, cxxii.); Jerome on Isa. lii. 2; Epiph., Har., xxix. 9; Apol., I. x., xxxi. (Jewish Christians fearfully persecuted by Jews during the Barcochba war); Tert., ad Nat., I. xiv. : et credidit vulgus Judaeo ; quod enim aliud genus semmarium est infamiae nostrae? ("The crowd believed the Jew. In what other set of people lies the seedplot of calumny against us?"); adv. Marc., iii. 23; adv. Jud., xiii. : ab illis enim incepit infamia (" They started the calumny "); Scorp. x.: synagogae Judaeorum fontes perseculionum; Iren. IV. xxi. 3: ecclesia insidias et persecutiones a Judaeis patitur; IV. xxviii. 3 : Judaei interfectores domini .... apostolos interficientes et persequentes ecclesiam. Origen repeatedly testifies to the fact that the Jews were the originators of the calumnies against Christians ; cp. passages like Horn. I. on Ps. xxxvi. (t. 12, p. 54, ed. Lomm.): etiam nunc Judaei non moventur adversus gentiles, adversus eos, qui idola colunt et deum blasphemant, et illos non oderunt nee indignantur adversus eos; adversus Christiano vero insatiabili odio feruntur ("The Jews even now are not angry at the heathen who worship idols and blaspheme God ; they do not hate them, but they attack Christians with insatiable hatred " ; cp. also p. 135). By far the most important notice is that preserved by Eusebius (on Isa. xviii. I f.), although its source is unfortunately unknown -- at any rate it did not come from Justin. It runs as follows : ερομεν ν τος τν παλαιν συγγράμμασιν, ς ο τν ερουσαλμ οκοντες το τν ουδαίων θνους ερες καπρεσβύτεροι γράμματα διαχαράξαντες ες πάντα διεπέμψαντο τ θνη τος πανταχο ουδαίοις διαβάλλοντες τν Χριστο διδασκαλίαν ς αρεσιν καινὴν κα λλοτρίαν τοῦ θεο, παρήγγελλόν τε διπιστολν μ παραδέξασθαι ατήν . . . . ο τε πόστολοι ατν πιστολς βιβλίνας κομιζόμενοι . . . . ἀπανταχο γς διέτρεχον, τν περ το σωτρος μν νδιαβάλλοντες λόγον.  ποστόλους δ εσέτι καὶ νν θος στν ουδαίοις νομάζειν τος γκύκλια γράμματα παρ τν ρχόντων ατν πικομιζομένονς ("In the writings of the ancients we find that the priests and elders of the Jewish people resident at Jerusalem drew up and dispatched written instructions for the Jews throughout every country, slandering the doctrine of Christ as a newfangled heresy which was alien to God, and charging them by means of letters not to accept it. .... Their apostles also, conveying formal letters .... swarmed everywhere on earth, calumniating the gospel of our Savior. And even at the present day it is still the custom of the Jews to give the name of ' apostle ' to those who convey encyclical epistles from their rulers"). According to this passage Paul would be an "apostle" before he became an apostle, and the question might be raised whether the former capacity did not contribute in some way to the feeling he had, on becoming a Christian, that he was thereby called immediately to be an apostle of Christ.

\31/ In this connection one must also note the Christian use of ἔθνη ("gentes," "Gentiles"). In the Old Testament the ἔθνη are opposed to the people of Israel (which was also reckoned, as was natural under the circumstances, among the "peoples"), so that it was quite easy for a Jew to describe other religions by simply saying that they were religions of the ἔθνη.  Consequently ἔθνη had acquired among the Jews, long before the Christian era, a sense which roughly coincided with that of our word "pagans" or "heathen." Paul was therefore unable to allow any Christian of non-Jewish extraction to be still ranked among the ἔθνη, nor would it seem that Paul was alone in this contention. Such a convert once belonged to the ἔθνη, but not now (cp., e.g., I Cor. xii. 2: οἴδατε ὅτι ὅτε ἔθνη ἦτε πρός τὰ εἴδωλα . . . . ἤγεσθε, "ye know that when ye were Gentiles, ye were led away to idols”); now he belongs to the true Israel, or to the new People. It is plain that while this did not originally imply an actual change of nationality, it must have stimulated the cosmopolitan feeling among Christians, as well as the consciousness that even politically they occupied a distinctive position, when they were thus contrasted with all the ἔθνη on the one hand, and on the other were thought of as the new People of the world, who repudiated all connection with the Jews. We need hardly add that Christians were still described as members of the ἔθνη, in cases where the relationship caused no misunderstanding, and where it was purely a question of non-Jewish descent.

But the Jewish Christians also entered the arena. They issued from Jerusalem a demand that the church at Antioch should be circumcised, and the result of this demand was the so-called apostolic council. We possess two accounts of this (Gal. ii. and Acts xv.). Each leaves much to be desired, and it is hardly possible to harmonize them both. Paul's account is not so much written down as flung down pell-mell; such is the vigour with which it seeks to emphasize the final result, that its abrupt sentences render the various intermediate stages either invisible or indistinct. The other account, unless we are deceived, has thrown the ultimate issue of the council into utter confusion by the irrelevant introduction of what transpired at a later period. Even for other reasons, this account excites suspicion. Still we can see plainly that Peter, John, and James recognized the work of Paul, that they gave him no injunctions as to his missionary labours, and that they chose still to confine themselves to the Jewish mission. Paul did not at once succeed in uniting Jewish and Gentile Christians in a single fellowship of life and worship ; it was merely the principle of this fellowship that gained the day, and even this principle -- an agreement which in itself was naturally unstable and shortlived -- could be ignored by wide circles of Jewish Christians. Nevertheless much ground had been won. The stipulation itself ensured that, as did even more the developments to which it led. The [[61]] Jewish Christians split up. How they could still continue to hold together (in Jerusalem and elsewhere) for years to come, is an insoluble riddle. One section persisted in doing everything they could to persecute Paul and his work with ardent enmity: to crush him was their aim. In this they certainly were actuated by some honest convictions, which Paul was naturally incapable of understanding. To the very last, indeed, he made concessions to these "zealots for the law "within the boundaries of Palestine; but outside Palestine he repudiated them so soon as they tried to win over Gentiles to their own form of Christianity. The other section, including Peter and probably the rest of the primitive apostles, commenced before long to advance beyond the agreement, though in a somewhat hesitating and tentative fashion : outside Palestine they began to hold intercourse with the Gentile Christians, and to lead the Jewish Christians also in this direction. These tentative endeavours culminated in a new agreement, which now made a real fellowship possible for both parties. The condition was that the Gentile Christians were to abstain from flesh offered to idols, from tasting blood and things strangled, and from fornication. Henceforth Peter, probably with one or two others of the primitive apostles, took part in the Gentile mission. The last barrier had collapsed. \32/ If we marvel at the greatness of Paul, we should not marvel less at the primitive apostles, who for the gospel's sake entered on a career which the Lord and Master, with whom they had eaten. and drunk, had never taught them.

\32/ We may conjecture that originally there were also Jewish Christian communities in the Diaspora (not simply a Jewish Christian set inside Gentile Christian communities), and that they were not confined even to the provinces bordering on Palestine. But in Asia Minor, or wherever else such Jewish Christian communities existed, they must have been absorbed at a relatively early period by the Gentile Christian or Pauline communities. The communities of Smyrna and Philadelphia about 93 A.D. (cp. Rev. ii.-iii.) seem to have been composed mainly of converted Jews, but they are leagued with an association of the other communities, just as if they were Gentile Christians.

By adopting an intercourse with Gentile Christians, this Jewish Christianity did away with itself, and in the second period of his labours Peter ceased to be a "Jewish Christian." \33/. [[62]] He became a Greek. Still, two Jewish Christian parties continued to exist. One of these held by the agreement of the apostolic council; it gave the Gentile Christians its blessing, but held aloof from them in actual life. The other persisted in fighting the Gentile Church as a false church. Neither party counts in the subsequent history of the church, owing to their numerical weakness. According to Justin (Apol., I. liii.), who must have known the facts, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish nation " with few exceptions" (πλὴν ὀλίγων τινῶν). In the Diaspora, apart from Syria and Egypt, Jewish Christians were hardly to be met with; \34/ there the Gentile Christians felt themselves [[63]] supreme, in fact they were almost masters of the field. \35/ This did not last, however, beyond 180 A.D., when the Catholic church put Jewish Christians upon her roll of heretics. They were thus paid back in their own coin by Gentile Christianity; the heretics turned their former judges into heretics.

\33/ Cp. Pseudo-Clem., Hom, XI. xvi.: ἔὰν ἀλλόφυλος τὸν νόμος πράξῃ, Ἰουδαῖός ἐστιν, μὴ πράξας δὲ Ἰουδαῖος Ἕλλην ("If one of other nation observe the law, he is a Jew ; the Jew who does not observe it is a Greek"). His labours in the mission-field must have brought him to tlie side of Paul (cp. Clem. Rom., v.), else his repute in the Gentile Christian church would be inexplicable; but we have no detailed information on this point. Incidentally we hear of him being at Antioch (Gal. ii.). It is also likely, to judge from First Corinthians, that on his travels he reached Corinth shortly after the local church had been founded, but it is by a mere chance that we learn this. After Acts xii. Luke loses all interest in Peter's missionary efforts ; why, we cannot quite make out. But if he laboured among Jewish Christians in a broad spirit, and yet did not emancipate them outright from the customs of Judaism, we can understand how the Gentile Christian tradition took no particular interest in his movements. Still, there must have been one epoch in his life when he consented heart and soul to the principles of Gentile Christianity; and it may be conjectured that this took place as early as the time of his residence at Corinth, not at the subsequent period of his sojourn in Rome. (He stayed for some months at Rome, before he was crucified. This we learn from an ancient piece of evidence which has been strangely overlooked. Porphyry, in Macarius Magnes (iii. 22), writes: " Peter is narrated to have been crucified, after pasturing the lambs for several months" (ἱστορεῖται μήδὀλίγους μῆνας βοσκήσας τὰ προβάτια Πέτρος ἐσταυρῶσθαι).  This passage must refer to his residence at Rome, and its testimony is all the more weighty, as Porphyry himself lived for a long while in Rome and had close dealings with the local Christianity. If the pagan cited in Macarius was not Porphyry himself, then he has reproduced him.) At the same time it must be understood that we are not in a position to explain how Peter came to be ranked first of all alongside of Paul (as in Clement and Ignatius) and then above him. The fact that our First Peter in the New Testament was attributed to him involves difficulties which are scarcely fewer than those occasioned by the hypothesis that he actually wrote the epistle.

\34/ Individual efforts of propaganda were not, however, awanting. Such include the origins of the pseudo-Clementine literature, Symmachus and his literary efforts towards the close of the second century, and also that Elkesaite Alcibiades of Apamea in Syria, who went to Rome and is mentioned by Hippolytus in the Philosophumena. The syncretism of gnostic Jewish Christianity, to which all these phenomena belong, entitled it to expect a better hearing in the pagan world than the stricter form of the Christian faith. But it would lead us too far afield from our present purpose to go into details.

\35/ The turn of affairs is seen in Justin's Dial, xlvii. Gentile Christians for a long while ceased to lay down any fresh conditions, but they deliberated whether they could recognize Jewish Christians as Christian brethren, and if so, to what extent. They acted in this matter with considerable rigour.

Before long the relations of Jewish Christians to their kinsmen the Jews also took a turn for the worse -- that is, so far as actual relations existed between them at all. It was the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple which seems to have provoked the final crisis, and led to a complete breach between the two parties. \36/ No Christian, even supposing he were a simple Jewish Christian, could view the catastrophe which befell the Jewish state, with its capital and sanctuary, as anything else than the just punishment of the nation for having crucified the Messiah. Strictly speaking, he ceased from that moment to be a Jew; for a Jew who accepted the downfall of his state and temple as a divine dispensation, thereby committed national suicide. Undoubtedly the catastrophe decimated the exclusive Jewish Christianity of Palestine and drove a considerable number either back into Judaism or forward into the Catholic church. Yet how illogical human feelings can be, when they are linked to a powerful tradition! There were Jewish Christians still, who remained after the fall of Jerusalem just where they had stood before; evidently they bewailed the fall of the temple, and yet they saw in its fall a merited punishment. Did they, we ask, or did they not, venture to desire the rebuilding of the temple? We can easily understand how such people proved a double offence to their fellow-countrymen, the genuine Jews. Indeed they were always falling between two fires, for the Jews persecuted them with bitter hatred,\37/ while the Gentile church [[64]] censured them as heretics -- i.e., as non-Christians. They are dubbed indifferently by Jerome, who knew them personally, \38/ "semi-Judaei" and "semi-Christiani.'" And Jerome was right. They-were really "semis'"; they were "half" this or that, although they followed the course of life which Jesus had himself observed. Crushed by the letter of Jesus, they died a lingering death.

\36/ We do not know when Jewish Christians broke off, or were forced to break off, from all connection with the synagogues ; we can only conjecture that if such connections lasted till about 70 A.D., they ceased then.

\37/ Epiphanius (xxix. 9): ο μόνον ο τν ουδαίων παδες πρς τούτους κέκτηνται μσος, λλ νιστάμενοι ωθεν κα μέσης μέρας κα περ τν σπέραν, τρίς τς μέρας, τε εχς πιτελοσιν ν τας αὐτὼν συναγωγας παρνται ατος κα ναθεματίζουσι φάσκοντες τι ·  πικαταράσαι θες τος Ναζωραίους.  καὶ γρ τούτοις περισσότερον νέχουσι, δι τ π ουδαίων ατος ντας ησον κηρύσσειν εναι Χριστόν, περ στν ναντίον πρς τος τι ουδαίους τος Χριστὸν μ δεξαμένους ("Not merely are they visited with hatred at the hands of Jewish children, but rising at dawn, at noon, and eventide, when they perform their orisons in their synagogues, the Jews curse them and anathematize them, crying ' God curse the Nazarenes !' For, indeed, they are assailed all the more bitterly because, being themselves of Jewish origin, they proclaim Jesus to be the Messiah -- in opposition to the other Jews who reject Christ").

\38/ Epiphanius (loc. cit.) says of them : ουδαοι μλλον κα οδν τερον · πάνυ δ οτοι χθρο τος ουδαίοις πάρχουσιν (" They are Jews more than anything else, and yet they are detested by the Jews").

There is hardly any fact which deserves to be turned over and thought over so much as this, that the religion of Jesus has never been able to root itself in Jewish or even Semitic soil \39/. Certainly there must have been, and certainly there must be still, some clement in this religion which is allied to the greater freedom of the Greek spirit. In one sense Christianity has really remained Greek down to the present day. The forms it acquired on Greek soil have been modified, but they have never been laid aside within the church at large, not even within Protestantism itself. And what an ordeal this religion under-went in the tender days of its childhood! "Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred unto a land that I will show thee, and I will make of thee a great nation." Islam rose in Arabia and has remained upon the whole an Arabic religion; the strength of its youth was also the strength of its manhood. Christianity, almost immediately after it arose, was dislodged from the nation to which it belonged; and thus from the very outset it was forced to learn how to distinguish between the kernel and the husk. \40/

\39/ The Syrians are a certain exception to this rule ; yet how markedly was the Syrian church Grecized, even although it retained its native language !

\40/ The gospel allied itself, in a specially intimate way, to Hellenism, but not exclusively, during the period of which we are speaking; on the contrary, the greatest stress was laid still, as by Paul of old, upon the fact that all peoples were called, and the gospel accepted by members of all nations. Certainly the Greeks ranked as primi inter pares, and the esteem in which they were held was bound to increase just as tradition came to be emphasized, since it was neither possible nor permissible as yet to trace back the latter to the Jews (from the middle of the sec6nd century onwards, the appeal of tradition to the church of Jerusalem was not to a Jewish, but to a Greek church). In this sense, even the Latins felt themselves secondary as compared with the Greeks, but it was not long before the Roman church understood how to make up for this disadvantage. In the Easter controversy, about the year 190 A.D., certain rivalries between the Greeks and Latins emerged for the first time ; but such differences were provincial, not national, for the Roman church at that period was still predominantly Greek.

Paul is only responsible in part for the sharp anti-Judaism [[65]] which developed within the very earliest phases of Gentile Christianity. Though he held that the day of the Jews (πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ἐναντίων, 1 Thess. ii. 15) was past and gone, yet he neither could nor would believe in a final repudiation of God's people; on that point his last word is said in Rom. xi. 25, 29: -- ο θελω μς γνοεν τ μυστήριον τοτο, τι πώρωσις π μέρους τ σραλ γέγονεν χρις ο τ πλήρωμα τν θνν εσέλθ, κα οτως πς σραλ σωθήσεται . . μεταμέλητα γρ τ χαρίσματα κα κλσις το θεο. In this sense Paul remained a Jewish Christian to the end. The duality of mankind (Jews and “nations”) remained, in a way, intact, despite the one church of God which embraced them both. This church did not abrogate the special promises made to the Jews.

But this standpoint remained a Pauline idiosyncrasy. When people had recourse, as the large majority of Christians had, simply to the allegorical method in order to emancipate themselves from the letter, and even from the contents, of Old Testament religion, the Pauline view had no attraction for them ; in fact it was quite inadmissible, since the legitimacy of the allegorical conception, and inferentially the legitimacy of the Gentile church in general, was called in question, if the Pauline view held good at any single point. \41/ If the people of Israel retained a single privilege, if a single special promise still had any meaning whatsoever, if even one letter had still to remain in force -- how could the whole of the Old Testament be spiritualized ? How could it all be transferred to another people? The result of this mental attitude was the conviction that the Jewish [[66]] people was now rejected: it was Ishmael, not Isaac; Esau, not Jacob. Yet even this verdict did not go far enough. If the spiritual meaning of the Old Testament is the correct one, and the literal false, then (it was argued) the former was correct from the very first, since what was false yesterday cannot be true today. Now the Jewish people from the first persisted in adhering to the literal interpretation, practicing circumcision, offering bloody sacrifices, and observing the regulations concerning food; consequently they were always in error, an error which shows that they never were the chosen people. The chosen people throughout was the Christian people, which always existed in a sort of latent condition (the younger brother being really the elder), though it only came to light at first with Christ. From the outset the Jewish people had lost the promise; indeed it was a question whether it had ever been meant for them at all.  In any case the literal interpretation of God's revealed will proved that the people had been forsaken by God and had fallen under the sway of the devil. As this was quite clear, the final step had now to be taken, the final sentence had now to be pronounced: the Old Testament, from cover to cover, has nothing whatever to do with the Jews. Illegally and insolently the Jews had seized upon it; they had confiscated it, and tried to claim it as their own property. They had falsified it by their expositions and even by corrections and omissions. Every Christian must therefore deny them the possession of the Old Testament. It would be a sin for Christians to say, " This book belongs to us and to the Jews.'1'' No; the book belonged from the outset, as it belongs now and evermore, to none but Christians, \42/ whilst Jews are the worst, the most godless and God-forsaken, of all nations upon earth, \43/ the devil's own people, Satan's synagogue, [[67]] a fellowship of hypocrites.\44/ They are stamped by their crucifixion of the Lord.\45/ God has now brought them to an open ruin, before the eyes of all the world; their temple is burnt, their city destroyed, their commonwealth shattered, their people scattered -- never again is Jerusalem to be frequented. \46/ It may be questioned, therefore, whether God still desires this people to be converted at all, and whether he who essays to win a single Jew is not thereby interfering unlawfully with his punishment. But the fact is, this people will not move; so that by their obstinacy and hostility to Christ, they relieve Christians from having to answer such a question.

\41/ As the post-apostolic literature shows, there were wide circles in which Paul's doctrine of the law and the old covenant was never understood, and consequently was never accepted.

\42/ It was an inconvenient fact that the book had not been taken from the Jews, who still kept and used it; but pseudo-Justin (Cohort, xiii.) gets over this by explaining that the Jews' retention of the Old Testament was providential. They preserved the Old Testament, so that it might afford a refutation of the pagan opponents who objected to Christianity on account of its forgeries {i.e., the prophecies). In his Dialogue, Justin, however, charges the Jews with falsifying the Old Testament in an anti-Christian sense. His proofs are quite flimsy.

\43/ Justin, for example, looks on the Jews not more but less favourably than on the heathen (cp. Apol., I. xxxvii., xxxix., xliii-xliv., xlvii., liii., lx.). The more friendly attitude of Aristides (Apol. xiv.) is exceptional.

\44/ Cp. Rev. ii. 9, iii. 9, Did. viii., and the treatment of the Jews in the Fourth Gospel and the Gospel of Peter. Barnabas (ix. 4) declares that a wicked angel had seduced them from the very first. In 2 Clem. ii. 3, the Jews are called οἱ δοκοῦντες ἔχειν θεόν (" they that seem to have God"); similarly in the Preaching of Peter (Clem., Strom., vi. 5. 41): ἐκεῖνοι μόνοι οἰόμενοι τὸν θεὸν γιγνώσκειν οὐκ ἐπίστανυαι ("They suppose they alone know God, but they do not understand him").

\45/ Pilate was more and more exonerated.

\46/ Cp. Tertull, Apol. xxi. : dispersi, palabundi et soli et caeli sui extorres vagantur per orbem sine homine, sine deo rege, quibus nee advenarum iure terram patriam saltim vestigio salutare conceditur ("Scattered, wanderers, exiles from their own land and clime, they roam through the world without a human or a divine king, without so much as a stranger's right to set foot even in their native land ").

This was the attitude consistently adopted by the Gentile church towards Judaism. Their instinct of self-preservation and their method of justifying their own appropriation of the Old Testament, chimed in with the ancient antipathy felt by the Greeks and Romans to the Jews. Still, \47/ it was not everyone who ventured to draw the final conclusions of the epistle of Barnabas (iv. 6. f., xiv. 1 f.). Most people admitted vaguely that in earlier days a special relation existed between God and his people, though at the same time all the Old Testament promises were referred even by them to Christian people. While Barnabas held the literal observance of the law to prove a seduction of the devil to which the Jewish people had succumbed, \48/ [[68]] the majority regarded circumcision as a sign appointed by God; \49/ they recognized that the literal observance of the law was designed and enjoined by God for the time being, although they held that no righteousness ever emanated from it. Still even they held that the spiritual sense was the one true meaning, which by a fault of their own the Jews had misunderstood ; they considered that the burden of the ceremonial law was an educational necessity, to meet the stubbornness and idolatrous tendencies of the nation (being, in fact, a safeguard of monotheism) ; and, finally, they interpreted the sign of circumcision in such a way that it appeared no longer as a favour, but rather as a mark of the judgment to be executed on Israel. \50/

\47/ For what follows see my Lehrbuch der Dogniengeschiclite, I.<3), pp. 168 f. [Eng. trans., i. 291 f.].

\48/ Cp. Barn. ix. f. The attitude of Barnabas to the Old Testament is radically misunderstood if one imagines that his expositions in vi.-x. can be passed over as the result of oddity and caprice, or set aside as destitute of any moment or method. Not a sentence in this section lacks method, and consequently there is no caprice at all. The strictly spiritual conception of God in Barnabas, and the conviction that all (Jewish) ceremonies are of the devil, made his expositions of Scripture a matter of course ; so far from being mere ingenious fancies to this author's mind, they were essential to him, unless the Old Testament was to be utterly abandoned. For example, the whole authority of the Old Testament would have collapsed for Barnabas, unless he had succeeded in finding some fresh interpretation of the statement that Abraham circumcised his servants. This he manages to do by combining it with another passage from Genesis ; he then discovers in the narrative, not circumcision at all, but a prophecy of the crucified Christ (ix.).

\49/ Barn. ix. 6: ἀλλἐρεῖς· καὶ μὴν περιτέτμηται λαὸς εἰς σφραγῖδα ("But thou wilt say, this people hath been certainly circumcised for a seal"). This remark is put into the mouth of an ordinary Gentile Christian ; the author himself does not agree with it.

\50/ Cp. Justin's Dial. xvi., xviii., xx., xxx., xl.-xlvi. He lays down these three findings side by side: (l) that the ceremonial laws were an educational measure on the part of God to counteract the stubbornness of the people, who were prone to apostatize; (2) that, as in the case of circumcision, they were meant to differentiate the people in view of the future judgment which was to be executed according to divine appointment; and (3) finally, that the Jewish worship enacted by the ceremonial law exhibited the peculiar depravity and iniquity of the people. Justin, however, viewed the decalogue as the natural law of reason, and therefore as definitely distinct from the ceremonial law.

Israel thus became literally a church which had been at all times the inferior or the Satanic church. Even in point of time the " older'" people really did not precede the " younger," for the latter was more ancient, and the " new " law was the original law. Nor had the patriarchs, prophets, and men of God, who had been counted worthy to receive God's word, anything in common inwardly with the Jewish people; they were God's [[69]] elect who distinguished themselves by a holy conduct corresponding to their election, and they must be regarded as the fathers and forerunners of the latent Christian people. \51/ No satisfactory answer is given by any of these early Christian writings to the question, How is it that, if these men must not on any account be regarded as Jews, they nevertheless appeared entirely or almost entirely within the Jewish nation? Possibly the idea was that God in his mercy meant to bring this wickedest of the nations to the knowledge of the truth by employing the most effective agencies at his command; but even this suggestion comes to nothing.

\50/ This is the prevailing view of all the sub-apostolic writers. Christians are the true Israel; hence theirs are all the honourable titles of the people of Israel. They are the twelve tribes (cp. Jas. i. l), and thus Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the fathers of Christians (a conception on which no doubt whatever existed in the Gentile church, and which is not to be traced back simply to Paul); the men of God in the Old Testament were Christians (cp. Ignat., ad Magn., viii. 2, οἱ προφῆται κατὰ Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἔζησαν, "the prophets lived according to Christ Jesus"). But it is to be noted that a considerable section of Christians, viz., them majority of the so-called gnostics and the Marcionites, repudiated the Old Testament along with Judaism (a repudiation to which the epistle of Barnabas approximates very closely, but which it avoids by means of its resolute re-interpretation of the literal sense). These people appear to be the consistent party, yet they were really nothing of the kind ; to cut ofif the Old Testament meant that another historical basis must be sought afresh for Christianity, and such a basis could not be found except in some other religion or in another system of worship. Marcion made the significant attempt to abandon the Old Testament and work exclusively with the doctrine and mythology of Paulinism ; but the attempt was isolated, and it proved a failure.

Such an injustice as that done by the Gentile church to Judaism is almost unprecedented in the annals of history. The Gentile church stripped it of everything; she took away its sacred book; herself but a transformation of Judaism, she cut off all connection with the parent religion. The daughter first robbed her mother, and then repudiated her! But, one may ask, is this view really correct? Undoubtedly it is, to some extent, and it is perhaps impossible to force anyone to give it up. But viewed from a higher standpoint, the facts acquire a different complexion. By their rejection of Jesus, the Jewish people disowned their calling and dealt the death-blow to their own existence; their place was taken by Christians as the new People, who appropriated the whole tradition of Judaism, giving [[70]] a fresh interpretation to any unserviceable materials in it, or else allowing them to drop. As a matter of fact, the settlement was not even sudden or unexpected; what was unexpected was simply the particular form which the settlement assumed. All that Gentile Christianity did was to complete a process which had in fact commenced long ago within Judaism itself, viz., the process by which the Jewish religion was being inwardly emancipated and transformed into a religion for the world.

About 140 A.D. the transition of Christianity to the "Gentiles," with its emancipation from Judaism, was complete.\52/ It was only learned opponents among the Greeks and the Jews themselves, who still reminded Christians that, strictly speaking, they mast be Jews. After the fall of Jerusalem there was no longer any Jewish counter-mission, apart from a few local efforts;\53/ on the contrary, Christians established themselves in the strongholds hitherto held by Jewish propaganda and Jewish proselytes. Japhet occupied the tents of Shem,\54/ and Shem had to retire.

\52/ Forty years later Irenaeus was therefore in a position to treat the Old Testament and its real religion with much greater freedom, for by that time Christians had almost ceased to feel that their possession of the Old Testament was seriously disturbed by Judaism. Thus Irenaeus was able even to repeat the admission that the literal observance of the Old Testament in earlier days was right and holy. The Fathers of the ancient Catholic church, who followed him, went still further: on one side they approximated again to Paulinism; but at the same time, on every possible point, they moved still further away from the apostle than the earlier generations had done, since they understood his anti-legalism even less, and had also to defend the Old Testament against the gnostics. Their candid recognition of a literal sense in the Old Testament was due to the secure consciousness of their own position over against Judaism, but it was the result even more of their growing passion for the laws and institutions of the Old Testament cultus.

\53/ Attempts of the Jews to seduce Christians into apostasy are mentioned in literature, but not very often ; cp. Serapion's account quoted by Eusebius (H.E. vi. 12), and Acta Pionii (xiii., with a Jewish criticism of Christ as a suicide and a sorcerer).

\54/ The half-finished, hybrid products of Jewish propaganda throughout the empire were transmuted into independent and attractive forms of religion, far surpassing the synagogues. It was only natural that the former had at once to enter into the keenest conflict with the latter.

One thing, however, remained an enigma. Why had Jesus appeared among the Jews, instead of among the "nations"? \55/ [[71]] This was a vexing problem. The Fourth Gospel (see above, p. 42), it is important to observe, describes certain Greeks as longing to see Jesus (xii. 20 f.), and the words put into the mouth of Jesus on that occasion \56/ are intended to explain why the Saviour did not undertake the Gentile mission. The same evangelist makes Jesus say with the utmost explicitness (x. 16), "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold ; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice." He himself is to bring them. The mission which his disciples carry out, is thus his mission; it is just as if he drew them himself. \57/ Indeed his own power is still to work in them, as he is to send them the Holy Spirit to lead them into all the truth, communicating to them a wisdom which had hitherto lain unrevealed.

\55/ That Jesus himself converted many people ἐν τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ is asserted only by a comparatively late and unauthentic remark in Josephus.

\56/'' The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Verily, verily, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it abides by itself alone; but if it die it bears much fruit. .... A voice then came from heaven, 'I have glorified, and I will glorify it again.'.... Jesus said, 'This voice has come, not for my sake but for yours; now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Yet when Ι am lifted tip from the earth, I will draw all men to myself,' "

\57/ Naturally, there was not entire and universal satisfaction with this explanation. Even legend did not venture in those early days to change the locale of Jesus to the midst of paganism, but already Magi from the East were made to come to the child Jesus and worship him, after a star had announced his birth to all the world (Matt. ii.); angels at the birth of Jesus announced tidings of great joy to "all peoples" (Luke ii.); and when that star appeared, says Ignatius (ad Eph., xix.), its appearance certified that '' All sorcery was dissolved and every wicked spell vanished, ignorance was overthrown and the old kingdom was destroyed, when God appeared in human guise unto newness of eternal life. Then that which had been prepared within God's counsels began to take effect. Thence were all things perturbed, because the abolition of death was being undertaken” (λύετο πσα μαγεία, κα πς δεσμς φανίζετο κακίας, γνοια καθρετο, παλαι βασιλεία διεφθείρετο, θεο νθρωπίνως φανερουμένου ες καινότητα ϊδίου ζως · ρχν δ λάμβανεν τ παρ θε πηρτισμένον.  νθεν τ πάντα συνεκινετο δι τ μελετσθαι θανάτου κατάλυσιν).  The Christians of Edessa were still more venturesome. They declared in the third century that Jesus had corresponded with their king Abgar, and cured him. Eusebius (H.E., i. ad fin.) thought this tale of great importance ; it seemed to him a sort of substitute for any direct work of Jesus among pagans.

One consequence of this attitude of mind was that the twelve were regarded as a sort of personal multiplication of Christ himself, while the Kerugma (or outline and essence of Christian preaching) came to include the dispatch of the twelve into all the world -- i.e., to include the Gentile mission as a command of [[72]] Jesus himself. Compare the Apology of Aristides (ii.); Just., Apol., I. xxxix.; Ascens. Isaiae, iii. 13 f. (where the coming of the twelve disciples belongs to the fundamental facts of the gospel); Iren., Fragm. 29; \58/ Tertull., Apol. xxi., adv. Marc. III. xxii. (habes et apostolorum opus praedicatum); Hippol., de Antichr. 61 ; Orig., c. Cels., III. xxviii.; Acta Joh. (ed. Zahn, p. 246: " the God who chose us to be apostles of the heathen, who sent us out into the world, who showed himself by the apostles"); Serapion in Eus., H.E., vi. 12. \59/ Details on this conception of the primitive apostles will be found in Book III.

\58/ Harvey II. p. 494 : οτος [ χριστὸς] ν τ καρδί τς γς, ν χώματι κρυβες κα τριημέρμέγιστον δένδρον γεννηθες, ξέτεινε τος αυτο κλάδους ες τ πέρατα τς γς. ἐκ τούτου προκύψαντες ο ιβἀπόστολοι, κλάδοι ραοι, κα εθαλες γενηθέντες σκέπη γγενήθησαν τος θνεσιν, ς πετεινος ορανο, φν κλάδων σκεπασθέντες ο πάντες, ς ρνεα π καλιν συνελθόντα μετέλαβον τς ξ ατν προερχομένης δωδίμου κα πουρανίον τροφς=“Within the heart of the earth, hidden in the tomb, he became in three days the greatest of all trees [Iren. Had previously compared Christ to the seed of corn in Luke xiii. 19], and stretched out his branches to the ends of the earth. His outstretched branches, waxing ripe and fresh, even the twelve apostles, became a shelter for the birds of heaven, even for the nations. By these branches all were shadowed, like birds gathered in a nest, and partook of the food and heavenly nourishment which came forth from them."

\59/ This idea suggests one of the motives which prompted people to devise tales of apostolic missions.




1. BEFORE his last journey to Jerusalem Paul wrote from Corinth to Rome (Rom. xv. 19 f.): "From Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ; yea, making it my aim so to preach the gospel not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation. Wherefore also I was hindered these many times from coming to you; but now, having no more any place in these regions, and having these many years a longing to come unto you, I will come whenever I go to Spain. For I hope to see you on my journey and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first in some measure I shall have been satisfied with your company."

The preaching of the gospel within the Greek world is now complete (for this is what the words " even unto Illyria " imply); the Latin world now begins.\1/ Paul thus identifies his own missionary preaching along a narrow line from Jerusalem to Illyria with the preaching of the gospel to the entire Eastern hemisphere -- a conception which is only intelligible upon the supposition that the certainty of the world's near end made no other kind of mission possible than one which thus hastily covered the world's area. The fundamental idea is that the gospel has to be preached everywhere during the short remaining space of [[74]] the present world-age, \2/ while at the same time this is only feasible by means of mission-tours across the world. The fire it is assumed, will spread right and left spontaneously from the line of flame.\3/

\1/Egypt could not be passed over, for the Greek world without Egypt would hive been incomplete. But Paul never alludes to Egypt either here or elsewhere. He must have known that other missionaries were labouring there ; or, did he regard Egypt, like John (Afoc. xi. 8), as a land which was so hateful to God that nothing could be hoped from it ?

\2/ The idea recurs in the gospels (Mark xiii. 10). Was Paul the first to conceive it and to give it currency?

\3/ Cp. I Thess. i. 8 ; Rom. i. 8 ; Co), i. 6.

This idea, that the world must be traversed, was apparently conceived by the apostle on his so-called " second'" missionary tour. \4/ Naturally he viewed it as a divine injunction, for it is in this sense that we must interpret the difficult passage in Acts xvi. 6-8. If Paul had undertaken this second tour with the aim of reaching the Hellenistic districts on the coast of Asia Minor, and if he had become conscious in the course of his work that he was also called to be an apostle to the Greeks, then on the western border of Phrygia this consciousness passed into the sense of a still higher duty. He is not merely the apostle of the barbarians (Syrians, Cilicians, Lycaonians), not merely the apostle even of barbarians and Greeks, but the apostle of the world. He is commissioned to bear the gospel right to the western limits of the Roman empire; that is, he must fill up the gaps left by the missionaries in their efforts to cover the whole ground. Hence he turns aside on the frontier of Phrygia, neither westwards (to Asia) nor northward (to Bithynia), as one might expect and as he originally planned to do, but northwest. Even Mysia he only hurries through. The decision to pass by Asia and Bithynia meant that he was undertaking a mission to Macedonia, Achaia, and beyond that to the West.

\4/ Not earlier. The whole of the so-called " first" mission-tour is inexplicable if Paul already had this idea in his mind. Wendt is quite right in saying (on Acts xiii. 13) that Paul at this period was merely conscious of being an apostle to the barbarians; not to the Greeks. Otherwise, the choice of a mission-field in S.W. Asia Minor is unintelligible.

Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens, Corinth -- or, to put it more accurately, from Paul's standpoint, Macedonia and Achaia -- heard the gospel. But why did he remain for eighteen months in Corinth? Why did he not travel on at once to Rome, and thence to the far West? Why did he interpolate a fresh tour, at this point, to Asia Minor, residing no less than [[75]] three years at Ephesus ? The answer is obvious. While he had Rome and the West in his mind, the first time he reached Corinth (Rom. i. 13), circumstances fortunately proved too strong for any attempt to realize this ambitious scheme. If I understand the situation aright, there were three considerations which had to be borne in mind. First of all, Paul neither would nor could lose touch with the two mother-churches in Jerusalem and Antioch. This made him return upon his tracks on two occasions. In the second place, he felt irresistibly bound to build up the churches which he had founded, instead of leaving them in the lurch after a few weeks. The duty of organizing and of working on a small scale prevailed over the visionary and alleged duty of hurrying over the world with the gospel; the latter duty might well have lurking in it a grain of personal ambition. Finally, it was plain that no one had raised the standard of the gospel in the great province which he had been obliged to pass by, i.e., in Western Asia Minor, the kernel of the Hellenic world. Paul had certainly assumed that other agents would preach the word of God here. But his hope was disappointed. On his first return journey (from Corinth to Jerusalem) he was content to leave behind him at Ephesus the distinguished missionary Prisca with her husband Aquila; but when he came back on his so-called " third'" journey, he found not only the small beginnings of a Christian community, but disciples of John, whose mission he could not afford to ignore. The local sphere proved so rich and fertile that he felt obliged to take up residence at Ephesus. Here it was that he pursued the task of that spiritual settlement between Hellenism and Christianity which he had begun at Corinth. The first epistle to the Corinthians is evidence of this relationship. At Antioch no such adjustment was possible, for Antioch was simply a large Greek colony; it was Greek only in the sense in which Calcutta is English.

Paul, however, had not abandoned his scheme for covering the world with the gospel. The realization of it was only deferred in the sense in which the return of Christ was deferred. Probably he would have remained still longer at Ephesus (in the neighborhood of which, as well as throughout the district, new [[76]] churches had sprung up) and come into closer touch with Hellenism, had he not been disturbed by news from Corinth and finally driven out of the city by a small riot.

Paul's labours made Ephesus the third capital of Christianity, its distinctively Greek capital. For a while it looked as if Ephesus was actually destined to be the final headquarters of the faith. But already a rival was emerging in the far West, which was to eclipse the Asiatic metropolis. This was Rome, the fourth city of Christianity, destined ere long to be the first.

When he left Ephesus to journey through Macedonia and Achaia, he again became the itinerant apostle, and once more the unforgotten idea of traversing the wide world got possession of his mind. From Corinth he wrote to Rome the words with which this chapter opened -- words which lose something of their hyperbolic air when we think of the extraordinary success already won by the apostle in Macedonia and Achaia, in Asia and Phrygia. He had the feeling that, despite the poor results in Athens, he had conquered the Hellenic world. Conscious of this religious and intellectual triumph, he deemed his task within that sphere already done.

Nor did God need him now in Rome or throughout Italy. There the gospel had been already preached, and a great church had been organized by unknown missionaries. The faith of this church was " heard of through the whole world." Spain alone remained, for the adjacent Gaul and Africa could be reached along this line of work. Spain is selected, instead of Gaul or Africa, because the apostle's idea was to run a transversal line right across the empire. So Clement of Rome rightly understood him (i. 5), in words which almost sound like those of the apostle himself: " Seven times imprisoned, exiled, stoned, having preached in the east and in the west, a teacher of righteousness to the whole world even to the furthest limit of the west."

Did he manage this ? Not in the first instance, at any rate. He had again to return to the far East, and the gloomy forebodings with which he travelled to Jerusalem were realized. When he did reach Rome, a year or two later, it was as a prisoner. But if he could no longer work as he desired to do, his activities were undiminished, in the shape of preaching at Rome, writing [[77]] letters to churches far away, and holding intercourse with friends from the East.

When he was beheaded in the summer of 64 A.D., he had fully discharged his obligations to the peoples of the world. He was the apostle κατἐξοχήν -- par excellence.  To barbarians, Greeks, and Latins he had brought the gospel. But his greatness does not lie in the mere fact that he penetrated as a missionary to Illyria, Rome, and probably Spain as well; it lies in the manner in which he trained his fellow-workers and organized, as well as created, his churches. Though all that was profoundly Hellenic remained obscure to him, yet he rooted Christianity permanently in Hellenic soil. He was not the only one to do so, but it was his ideas alone which proved anew ferment within Hellenism, as the gnostics, Irenaeus, Origen, and Augustine especially show. So far as there ever was an original Christian Hellenism, it was under Pauline influences. Paul lived on in his epistles. They are not merely records of his personality and work -- though even in this light few writings in the world are to be compared to them -- but, as the profound outcome of a vital personal religion and an unheard-of inner conflict, they are also perennial springs of religious power. Every age has understood them in its own way. None has yet exhausted them. Even in their periods of depreciation they have been singularly influential.

Of the four centres of Christianity during the first century -- Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome -- one alone was the work of Paul, and even Ephesus did not remain as loyal to its founder as might have been expected. As the "father'" of his churches he fell into the background everywhere; in fact he was displaced, and displaced by the development of mediocrity, of that "natural" piety which gets on quite well by itself. Neither his strength nor his weakness was transmitted to his churches. In this sense Paul remained an isolated personality, but he always was the teacher of Christendom, and this he became more than ever as the years went by.

2. His legacy, apart from his epistles, was his churches. He designated them indeed as his "epistles." Neither his vocation (as a restless, pioneering missionary), nor his temperament, nor his religious genius (as an ecstatic enthusiast and a somewhat exclusive [[78]] theologian) seemed to fit him for the work of organization ; nevertheless he knew better than anyone else how to found and build up churches (cp. Weinel, Paulus als kirchlicher Organisator, 1899). Recognizing the supreme fruits of the Spirit in faith, love, hope, and all the allied virtues, bringing the outbursts of enthusiasm into the service of edification, subordinating the individual to the larger organism, claiming the natural conditions of social life, for all their defects and worldliness, as divine arrangements, he overcame the dangers of fanaticism and created churches which could live in the world without being of the world. But organization never became for Paul an end in itself or a means to worldly aggrandizement. Such was by no means his intention. "The aims of his ecclesiastical labours were unity in brotherly love and the reign of God in the heart of man, not the rule of savants or priests over the laity." In his theology and in his controversy with the Judaists he seems often to be like an inquisitor or a fanatical scribe, and he has been accused of inoculating the church with the virus of theological narrowness and heresy-mongering. But in reality the only confession he recognised, besides that of the living God, was the confession of " Christ the Lord," and towards the close of his life he testified that he would tolerate any doctrine which occupied that ground. The spirit of Christ, liberty, love -- to these supreme levels, in spite of his temperament and education, he won his own way, and it was on these high levels that he sought to place his churches.

3. There was a great disparity between him and his coadjutors. Among the more independent, Barnabas, Silas (Silvanus), Prisca and Aquila, and Apollos deserve mention. Of Barnabas we have already spoken (pp. 52 {.). Silas, the prophet of the Jerusalemite church, took his place beside Paul, and held a position during the so-called "second" missionary tour like that of Barnabas during the " first." Perhaps the fact that Paul took him as a companion was a fresh assurance for the church of Jerusalem. But, so far as we can see (cp. 2 Cor. i. 19), no discord marred their intercourse. Silas shared with him the work of founding the churches in Macedonia and Achaia. There after he disappears entirely from the life of Paul and the Acts [[79]] of the Apostles, to reappear, we are surprised to find, as an author at the conclusion of the epistle to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, which was inspired by Peter (for such is in all probability the meaning of v. 12: διὰ Σιλουανοῦ ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαι, διὀλίγων ἔγραψα).  This abrupt reference to him, which stands quite by itself, must remain an enigma. Prisca and Aquila, the wife and husband (or rather, Prisca the missionary, with her husband Aquila), who were exiled from Rome to Corinth during the reign of Claudius, had the closest relation to Paul of all the independent workers in the mission. They cooperated with him at Corinth; they prepared the way for him at Ephesus, where Prisca showed her Christian intelligence by winning over Apollos, the Alexandrian disciple of John, to Christ; they once saved the apostle's life; and, on returning to Rome, they carried on the work upon Paul's lines (cp. my study in the Sitzungsberichte der Berliner AJfademie, Jan. 11, 1900). There is much to be said for the hypothesis that Hebrews was their composition, whether from the pen of Prisca or of Aquila (cp. my essay in the Zeitschrift fur die neutest. Wissenschqft, vol. i. pp. 1 f.. 1900). Apollos, the Alexandrian, worked independently in the field which Paul had planted at Corinth. Paul only refers to him in First Corinthians, but invariably with respect and affection; he was well aware that the Corinthians attributed a certain rivalry and coolness to himself and Apollos. At the same time it may be questioned whether the work of this able colleague, whom he had not personally chosen, was thoroughly congenial to him. The abrupt reference in Tit. iii. 18 unfortunately does not tell us anything beyond the fact that their subsequent intercourse was unimpaired.

Among the missionaries whom Paul himself secured or trained, Timothy occupies the foremost place. We learn a good deal about him, and his personality was so important even to the author of Acts that his origin and selection for this office are described (xvi. 1). Still, we cannot form any clear idea of this, the most loyal of Paul's younger coadjutors, probably because he leant so heavily on the apostle. After Paul's death at Rome he carried on his work there, having been with him in the capital, and thus came into touch with the local church. He [[80]] was for a time in prison, and survived to the reign of Domitian (Heb. xiii. 23). -- Mark, who belonged to the primitive church of Jerusalem, Titus, and Luke the physician, are to be singled out among the other missionaries of the second class. With regard to Mark, whom Paul did not take with him on his so-called “second” tour, but who later on is found in his company (Philemon 24, Col. iv. 10, 2 Tim. iv. 11), it is just possible (though, in my judgment, it is not likely) that tradition has made one figure out of two. He it is who, according to the presbyter John, made notes of the gospel story. Titus, of whom little is known, was a full-blooded pagan (Gal. ii. 1 f.), and laboured for some time in Crete. Luke, who came across Paul at Troas on the latter's second tour, belonged to the church of Antioch. Like Titus, he was a Gentile Christian. He furnished primitive Christianity with its most intelligent, though not its greatest, author. Paul does not appear, however, to have fully recognised the importance of this "beloved physician " (Col. iv. 15), his "fellow-worker" (Philemon 24). The last reference to his fellow-workers indeed is not enthusiastic. The epistle to the Philippians breathes an air of isolation, and in 2 Tim. iv. 9 f. we read : " Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me ; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is gone to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me [rather a mediocre consolation, it would seem !]. Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering. Tychicus I sent to Ephesus. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil. At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me." It would be unfair, however, to judge Paul's coadjutors by these expressions of dissatisfaction. Evidently they had not done as Paul wished, but we are quite in the dark upon the reasons for their action.

4. The first epistle of Peter is a very dubious piece of evidence for the idea that Peter, either with or after Paul, took part in the mission to Asia Minor; but there is no doubt that some prominent Palestinian Christians came to Asia and Phrygia, perhaps after the destruction of Jerusalem, and that they displayed remarkable activity in the district. At their head was a man who came to Ephesus and died there, at a ripe age, during [[81]] the first year of the reign of Trajan. This was John "the Presbyter," as he called himself, and as he was called by his own circle. He worked in the Pauline churches of Asia, both in person and by means of letters ; he added to their number, organized them internally, and maintained an extraordinarily sharp opposition to heretics. He retained the oversight of the churches, and exercised it by means of itinerant emissaries. His influence was apostolic or equivalent to that of an apostolic authority, but towards the end of his life several churches, conscious of their independence, endeavoured, in conjunction with their bishops, to throw off his supervision. When he died, there was an end of the mission organisation, which had latterly survived in his own person: the independent, local authority came to the front on all hands. When Ignatius reached Asia, twelve or fifteen years afterwards, the former had entirely disappeared, and even the memory of this John had given place to that of Paul. The Johannine circle must therefore have been rather limited during its latter phase. Even John must have been pretty isolated. \5/ The second and third epistles of John certainly belong to him, and we may therefore ascribe to him, with much probability, the Fourth gospel and the first epistle of John also -- in fact, we may go a step further and claim for him the Apocalypse with its seven letters and its Christian revision of one or more Jewish apocalypses. This hypothesis is the simplest which can be framed: it meets the data of tradition better than any other, and it encounters no fatal objections. All that can be said of the personality of this John within the limits of reasonable probability, is that he was not the son of Zebedee, but a Jerusalemite of priestly origin, otherwise unknown to us, and a disciple of the Lord; \6/ furthermore, as the gospel indicates, [[82]] he must at one time have been specially connected with John the son of Zebedee. \7/ If his authority collapsed towards the end of his life, or was confined to a small circle, that circle (" of presbyters") certainly succeeded in restoring and extending his authority by editing his writings and disseminating them throughout the churches. In all likelihood, too, they purposely identified the "apostle,'" presbyter, and disciple of the Lord with the son of Zebedee; or, at least, they did not oppose this erroneous tendency.

\5/ The same fate apparently overtook him which he had prepared for Paul. Of course we are all in a mist here, but the entire silence of the seven letters in the Apocalypse with regard to Paul is a problem which is not to be waved aside as insignificant. Even the same silence in the gospel of John, where so many other indications of recent history are to be heard, is extremely surprising. Those who wanted to refer the mission of the Paraclete to Paul (Origen mentions them ; cp. addenda) were certainly wrong, but they were right in looking out for some allusion to Paul in the gospel, and they could not find any other.

\6/ This title suggests, but does not prove, that he was a personal disciple of Jesus, since it occurs not in Jerusalem but in Asia.

\7/ The most likely conjecture is that the beloved disciple was the son of Zebedee. Everything follows naturally from this view. The Presbyter need not have gained his special relationship to John in Asia Minor : it may go back quite well to Jerusalem. The formal difficulty of the two Johns has to be faced, but after all "John" was a common name. If it would at all simplify the critical problem to assume that the son of Zebedee was also in Asia Minor, one might credit this tradition, which is vouched for as early as Justin Martyr. But this would not affect the problem of the authorship of the Johannine writings, though it might explain how the author of those writings came to be identified, at a comparatively early time, with the apostle John.

Apart from this John we can name the evangelist Philip and his four prophetic daughters, Aristion the disciple of the Lord, and probably the apostle Andrew as among those who came to Asia Minor. As for Philip (already confused in the second century with his namesake the apostle) and his daughters, we have clear evidence for his activity in Phrygian Hierapolis. Papias mentions Aristion together with John as primitive witnesses, and an Armenian manuscript ascribes the unauthentic ending of Mark's gospel to him -- an ending which is connected with Luke and the Fourth gospel, and perhaps originated in Asia Minor. We may conjecture, from the old legends preserved in the Muratorian fragment, that Andrew came to Asia Minor, and this is confirmed by the tradition (late, but not entirely worthless) that he died in Greece. \8/

\8/ We may refer here to Ignat., ad Ephes., xi.: να ν κλήρ φεσίων ερεθ τν Χριστιανν, ο κα τος ποστόλοις πάντοτε συννεσαν (v. l., συνῆσαν) ν δυνάμει ησο Χριστο("That I may be found in the company of those Ephesian Christians who moreover were ever of one mind with the apostles in the power of Jesus Christ"). The reading συνῄνεσαν does not necessarily prove the personal residence of the apostle in Ephesus, however.

At the close of the first century Asia and Phrygia were the only two provinces in which Palestinian traditions survived in [[83]] the person of individual representatives. At the same time, probably, in no other part of the empire were there so many closely allied churches as here and in Pontus and Bithynia. This must have lent them, and especially the church at Ephesus, a high repute. When Clement of Alexandria was in search of early traditions, he turned to Asia; and even in Rome people were well aware of the significance with which the Asiatic churches were invested owing to their traditions, though Rome was never willing to take the second place. About 50 A.D. Christianity was an ellipse whose foci were Jerusalem and Antioch; fifty years later these foci were Ephesus and Rome. The change implied in this proves the greatness of Paul's work and of the work done by the first Christian missionaries.

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