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

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

[[being updated (also consulting the 4th German edition) and adapted by RAK for use in 2004 America; Greek needs to be inserted, etc.]

[Harnack bk3 ch1, 319-343 scanned by Moises Bassan, March 2004]

[CHAPTER I, 344-368 needs to be completed ]








BEFORE entering upon the subject proper, let us briefly survey the usage of the term "apostle," in its wider and narrower senses, throughout the primitive Christian writings.\1/

1. In Matthew, Mark, and John, "apostle" is not a special and distinctive name for the inner circle of the disciples of Jesus. These are almost invariably described as "the twelve,"
s or the

\1/ Though it is only apostles of Christ who are to be considered, it may be observed that Paul spoke (2 Cor. Viii, 23) of dado-roxo &001lT wV, and applied the title "apostle of the Philippians" to Epaphroditus, who had conveyed to him a donation from that church (Philip. ii. 25). In Heb. iii. i Jesus is called "the apostle and high-priest of our confession." But in John xiii. 16 "apostle" is merely used as an illustration: o,rc vT& SouuXos fiCWV TOU Icuptou aurov, OV64 &irduroXol l e(Cwp ToV a(4avTos abrdv. For the literature on this subject, see my edition of the Didache (Texte u. Untersuchungen, vol. ii., 1884) and my Dogmen: gechichte 1.3 (1894), PP. 153 f. [Eng. trans., vol. i. pp. 212 f.l, Seufert on Der Urprung and die Bedeutung des Apostolats in d. Christli he Kirche.(1887), Weizsacker's Der Apost. Zeitalter- (1892, s. v. ), Zahn's Skizzen aus dent Leben der alten Kirche 2 (1898), p. 338, Haupt on Zuni Verstandnisse des Apotolats in, N. T. (1896), Wernle's Anfange unserer Religion2 (1904), and Monnier's La notion de l'Apostolat des origins a IrAnee (1903)

\2/ Matt. x. 5, xx. 17, xxvi. 14, 47 ; Mark (iii. 14), iv. 10, vi. 7, ix. 35, x. 32, xi. 11, xiv. 10, 17, 20, 43 ; John vi. 67, 70, 71, xx. 24.

[[missing 320-329]]




presbyters and ministers .... he became hated by many people").

Putting together these functions of the "apostles,"\1/  we get the following result. (1) They were consecrated persons of a Very high rank ; (2) they were sent out into the Diaspora to collect tribute for headquarters ; (3) they brought encyclical letters with them, kept the Diaspora in touch with the centre laid informed of the intentions of the latter (or of the patriarch), `E.ceived orders about any dangerous movement, and had to organize resistance to it; (4) they exercised certain powers of surveillance and discipline in the Diaspora ; and (5) on returning tv their own country they formed a sort of council which aided the patriarch in supervising the interests of the law.

In view of all this one can hardly deny a certain connection htween these Jewish apostles and the Christian. It was not simply that Paul 2 and others had hostile relations with them t1ileir very organization afforded a sort of type for the Christian apostleship, great as were the differences between the two. But, one may ask, were not these differences too great? Were not tlhe Jewish apostles just financial officials ? Well, at the very moment when the primitive apostles recognized Paul as an apostle, they set him also a financial task (Gal. ii. 10) ; he was to collect money throughout the Diaspora for the church at '"rusalem. The importance henceforth attached by Paul to this side of his work is well known ; on it he spent unceasing care although it involved him in the sorest vexatious and led z sally to his death. Taken by itself, it is riot easy to understand exactly how the primitive apostles could impose this task on Paul, and how he could quietly accept it. But the thing ~'c omes intelligible whenever we assume that the church at
Jerusalem, together with the primitive apostles, considered

\1/ Up till now only one inscription has been discovered which mentions these
apostles, viz., the epitaph of a girl of fourteen at Venosa: " Quei dixerunt trenus duo apostuli et duo rebbites" (l-firschfeld, Bullett. dell Instit. di corrisp. archreol., 1867, p. 152). \2/ Was not Paul himself, in his pre-Christian days [cp. P. 59], a Jewish U ostle"2 He bore letters  which were directed against Christians in the dizetiE~ dpl pora, and had assigned to him by the highpriests and Sanhedrin certain do ` "Ciplinary powers (see Acts viii. 2, xxii. 4 f., xxvi, ro f., statements which deserve careful attention).

[[331]] themselves the central body of Christendom, and also the representatives of the true Israel.
rJ iat was the reason why the apostles whom they recognized were entrusted with a duty similar to that imposed on Jewish "apostles," viz., the task of collecting the tribute of the Diaspora. Paul himself would view it, one imagines, in a somewhat different light, but it is quite probable that this was how the matter was viewed by the primitive apostles. In this way the connection between the Jewish and the Christian apostles, which on other grounds is hardly to be denied in spite of all their differences, becomes quite evident.1

These statements about the Jewish apostles have been contested by Monnier
(op. cit., pp. 16 f.) : " To prop up his theory, Harnack 'takes a text of Justin and fortifies it with another from Eusebius. That is, lie proves the existence of an institution in the first century by means of a second-century text, and interprets the latter by means of a fourth-century writer. This is' too easy." But it is still more easy to let such confusing abstractions blind us to the reasons which in the present instance not only allow us but even make it obvious to explain the testimony of Justin by that of Eusebius, and again to connect it with what we know of the antichristian mission set on foot by the Jerusalemites, and of the false apostles in the time of Paul. I have not ignored the fact that we possess no direct evidence for the assertion that Jewish emissaries like Saul in the first century bore the name of a apostles."

(2) Prophets.=1'he
common idea is that prophets had died ut in Judaism long before the age of Jesus and the apostles, t the New Testament itself protests against this erroneous ea. Reference may be made especially to John the Baptist, who certainly was a prophet and was called a prophet ; also to the prophetess Hanna (Luke ii. 36), to Barjesus the Jewish prophet

1 We do not know whether there were also "apostles" among the disciples of ohn-that narrow circle of the Baptist which, as the gospels narrate, was held yether by means of fasting and special prayers ; we merely know that adherents of this circle existed in the Diaspora (at Alexandria : Acts xviii. 24 f., and Ephesus : Acts xix. i f. ). Apollos (see above, p. 79) would appear to have been originally a regular missionary of John the Baptist's movement ; but the whole Narrative of Acts at this point is singularly coloured and obscure. 


in the retinue of the pro-consul at Cyprus (Acts xiii. 7), and to the warnings against false prophets (Matt. vii. 15, xxiv. 11, 25 = Mark xiii. 22, 1 John iv. 1, 2 Pet. ii. 1). Besides, we are told that the Essenes possessed the gift of prophecy; \1/ of Theudas, as of the Egyptian,\2/ it is said, orpo/tjTgs i;'Xeyev ("he alleged himself to be a prophet," Joseph., Antiq., xx. i. 1) ; Josephus the historian played the prophet openly and successfully before Vespasian;\3/ Philo called himself a prophet, and in the Diaspora we hear of Jewish interpreters of dreams, and of prophetic magicians.¢ What is still more significant, the ""'ealth of contemporary Jewish apocalypses, oracular utterances, 'tild so forth shows that, so far from being extinct, prophecy `` as in luxuriant bloom, and also that prophets were numerous, and secured both adherents and readers. There were very wide circles of Judaism who cannot have felt any surprise "'hen a prophet appeared: John the Baptist and Jesus were IZ~iled without further ado as prophets, and the imminent jam'-turn of ancient prophets was an article of faith.' From its "kkrliest awakening, then, Christian prophecy was no novelty, "hen formally considered, but a phenomenon which readily coordinated itself with similar contemporary phenomena in Judaism. In both cases, too, the high value attached to the prophets follows as a matter of course, since they are the voice of God; recognized as genuine prophets, they possess an absolute authority in their preaching and counsels. They were not

\1/Cp. Josephus' War, i. 3. 5, ii. 7. 3, 8. 12 ; Antiq., xiii. 11. 2, xv. 10. 5, 3. 3.

\2/ Acts xxi. 38 ; Joseph., Antiq.,xx. 8. 6 ; War, ii. 13. 5.

\3/ War, iii. 8. 9 ; cp. Suet., Vespa., v., and Die Cass., lxvi. 1.

\4/ Cp. Hadrian, EA. ad Servian. (Vopisc., Saturn., viii.). -One cannot, of course, cite  the gospel of pseudo-Matthew, ch. xiii. ("et prophetae qui fuerant in Jerusalern 2<~"'"t ebant hanc stellam indicare nativitatem Christi "), since the passage is merely a late paraphrase of the genuine Matthew.

\5/Only it is quite true that the Sadducees would have nothing to do with Qphets, and that a section of the strict upholders of the law would no longer *.r of anything ranking beside the law. It stands to reason also that the priests t < i their party did not approve of prophets. After the completion of the canon c           'ire must have been a semi-official doctrine to the effect that the prophets were K~                rplete (cp. Ps. lxxiv. 9 : Td orltia 1r, ov o'K eY8o.Y, Ac foTO' fTr rrpo ¢'r'ns, ~~` '1/as ov yYGroarar (Ts, also I Macc. iv. 46, ix. 27, xiv. 41), and thiss conviction 'Zsed over into the church (cp. Murator. Fwgm., "completo numero"); the




merely deemed capable of miracles, but even expected to perform them. It even seemed credible that a prophet could rise front the dead by the power of God ; Herod and a section of the people were quite of opinion that Jesus was John the Baptist redivivns (see also Rev. xi. 11).\1/

(3) Teachers.-No words need be wasted on the importance of the scribes and teachers in Judaism, particularly in Palestine ; but in order to explain historically the prestige claimed and enjoyed by the Christian & aKaXor it is necessary to allude to the prestige of the Jewish teachers. G1 The rabbis claimed from their pupils the most unqualified reverence, a reverence which was to exceed even that paid to father and mother." Let esteem for thy friend border on respect for thy teacher, and respect for thy teacher on reverence for God." 11 Respect for a teacher surpasses respect for a father ; for son and father alike owe respect to a teacher." 11 If a man's father and teacher have lost anything, the teacher's loss has the prior claim ; for while his father has only brought the man into the world, his teacher has. taught him wisdom and brought him to life in the world to come. If a man's father and teacher are bearing burdens, he must help the teacher first, and then his father. If father and teacher are both in captivity, he must ransom the teacher first." As a rule, the rabbis claimed everywhere the highest rank. "They love the uppermost places at feasts and the front seats


[[333b]] book of Daniel was no longer placed among the prophets, and the later apocalypses were no longer admitted at all into the canon. Josephus is undoubtedly echoing a widely spread opinion when he maintains that the "succession of the prophets"

is at an end (Apion., i. 8 ; cp. also Euseb,, HE., iii. 10. 4 : "From the time of Artaxerxes to our own day all the events have been recorded, but they do not merit the same confidence as we repose in the events that preceded them, since there has not been during this time an exact succession of prophets "-arrb aE 'Apr{o'p~ou 'pEXpt To"u K9' i;a Xpovou yy~ypai rt /Ay EKRQT, irorews a' 6X

6,U0s *t(Vr{ TOTS 9rp TM, ala T I yep"'Oai T1/Y TOIY s-p959gTWv aKpr$it siasoX$v). Julian, c. Christ., 198 C : Tb aap' 'E6pois [apour;Tucbv FEVpAa]

dur Aoaev ("the prophetic spirit failed among the Hebrews"). But although the line of the "canonical" prophets had been broken off before the appearance of Jesus, prophecy need not therefore have been extinguished.

\1/ The saying of Jesus, that all the prophets and the law prophesied until John (Matt. xi. 13), is very remarkable (see below) ; he appears to have been thinking of the cessation of prophecy, probably owing to the nearness of the end. But the word also admits of an interpretation which does not contemplate the cessation of prophecy.



in the synagogues, and greetings in the market-place, and to be called by men ' rabbi"' (Matt. xxiii. 6 f. and parallel passages). " Their very dress was that of people of quality." 1

Thus the three members of the Christian group-apostles, prophets, teachers-were already to be met with in contemporary Judaism, where they were individually held in very high esteem. Still, they were not grouped together, otherwise the prophets would have been placed in a more prominent position. The grouping of these three classes, and the special development of the apostleship, were the special work of the Christian church. It was a work which had most vital consequences.



As we are essaying a study of the missionaries and teachers, let us take the Didache into consideration.2

In the fourth chapter, where the author gathers up the special duties of Christians as members of the church, this counsel is put forward as the first commandment: TEKVOV,UoU,Too AaaouvToV, CTOt TOV X"%/OP TOU OEOU Amo- 1]Qf VUKTOS Kat 4J,UEpaS, TlfL,JoLQ cJE OUTOV W KUpLOV OOV yap r/ KUpLOT17c XaaELTQL, EKEI KU)OLO$ EQTIV (" My sort, thou shalt remember him that speaketh to thee the word of God by night and day ; thou shalt honour him as the Lord. For whencesoever the lordship is lauded, there is the Lord present ").3 As is plain from the whole book (particularly from what is said in chap. xv. on the bishops and deacons), the `writer knew only one class of people who were to be honoured -in the church, viz., those alone who preached the word of God -in their capacity of ministri evangelii.4

\1/Schtirer, Gesch. d. jiid. Volkes, II.(') pp. 317 f. (Eng. trans., II. i. 3t7).
In what follows I have drawn upon the section in my larger edition of the ~)idache (1884), which occupies pp. 93 f.

Compare the esteem above mentioned in which the Jews held their teachers. Barnabas (xix. 9-so), in a passage parallel to that of the Didache, writes :

Qyai)oet ws K6pr)v Tov" n¢OA, ou" oov at(Ta T6í AAoih',cL oot Tav A6yov Kup(o, +vnoOJOT ,,4'pav Kp(o'Ews YVKTas Kal i)lpas: (" Thou shalt love as the apple of

w=hine eye everyone who speaks to thee the word of the Lord ; night and day shalt -hou remember the day of judgment ").
\4/ The author of Hebrews also depicts the
hyocevot more closely, thus : ofTtves

--~_ 'AuAgvav 5 sIv Tl,v A6yov TOO Oeoi (xiii. 7). The expression ityovevot or ,rponyo6

~EVOt (see also IIeb. xiii. 17), which had a special vogue in the Roman church,

[[335]] But who are these XaXovvTes TOP Xdyov Tot' Oeot' in the Didache ? Not permanent, elected officials of an individual church, but primarily independent teachers who ascribed their calling to a divine command or charism. Among them we distinguish (1) apostles, (2) prophets, and (3) teachers. These preachers, at the time when the author wrote, and for the circle of churches with which he was familiar, were in the first place the regular missionaries of the gospel (apostles), in the second place the men who ministered to edification, and consequently sustained the spiritual life of the churches (prophets and teachers).'

(1) They were not elected by the churches, as were bishops and deacons alone (xv. 1, XelporovrjtraTE eaurois F7rwKO7rOUq Ka* (haKovouq). In 1.Cor. xii. 28 we read : Kai oils p.ev FOeTO o OeOg EV Tf) EKKATJQLa 7rpWTOV a7Oo-TOXOUc, SeUTepOV 7po95YlTac, TpeTOV ch8avKaAous (Cp. Ephes. iv. 11 : Ka* atrro4 &SLUKev -rods uev a7ooTOBovs, Toug de 7rpoorjTac, Tous L e euayyeXto-ras, Touq LPe rolEvas Kai &c ao-KaXous). The early source incorporated in Acts xiii. gives a' capital idea of the way in which this divine appointment is to be understood in the case of the apostles. I i that passage we are told how after prayer and fasting five prophets and teachers resident in the church at Antioch Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, and Saul) received instructions from the holy Spirit to despatch Barnabas and Saul as missionaries or apostles.2 We may assume that in other cases also the apostles could fall back on such an exceptional commission3


[[335b]] although it is not unexampled elsewhere, did not become a technical expression in the primitive age ; consequently it is often impossible to ascertain in any given se who are meant by it, whether bishops or teachers.

\1/ According to chap. xv., bishops and deacons belong to the second class, in so far as they take the place of prophets and teachers in the work of edifying the church by means of oral instruction.

\2/ The despatch of these two men appears to be entirely the work of the holy

Sririt. 'A¢op(are 3,7 o4 ,- s' Bpvafav Kul UvAov els T itpyov b wpooKJKAnt

Jro6s, Says the Spirit. The envoys thus act simply as executive organs of the Spirit.

\3/In the epistles to Timothy, Timothy is represented as an "evangelist," i.e.,

apostle of the second class, but he is also the holder of a charismatic office.
Consequently, just as in Acts xiii., we find in I. i. 18 these words : TacT,jv T>yv

apayyfAav apT(OEa( &rot, TiKYOV Tt/t6OEe, Kard Télt apoyotfoUs &l ott wpotp'!/TEas and in iv. 14, the following: pa) $JAet ToiU 8Y vol XepvTo, 9 ES68,1 Tot Sttl r)re(ar [ftET& k'x,8icrswt TWY Xetpiov TOO 9rpev,BOTep(oul.




The prophets were authenticated by what they delivered in the form of messages from the holy Spirit, in so far as these addresses proved spiritually effective. But it is impossible to determine exactly how people were recognized as teachers. One clue seems visible, however, in Jas. iii. 1, where we read:.

/zq vrOAAo* & as-KaAOL yivea-9e,CWOOTes o"Tt ,tcei~ov Kpia ArftPoe8a.

From this it follows that to become a teacher was a matter of personal choice-based, of course, upon the individual's consciousness of possessing a charisma. The teacher also ranked as one who had received the holy Spirit r for his calling;, whether lie was a genuine teacher (Did., xiii. 2) or not, was a matter which, like the genuineness of the prophets (Did., xi. 11, xiii. 1), had to be decided by the churches. Yet they merely verified the existence of a divine commission ; they did not in the slightest degree confer any office by their action. As a rule, the special and onerous duties which apostles and prophets had to discharge (see below) formed a natural barrier against the intrusion of a crowd of interlopers into the office of the preacher or the missionary.

The distinction of "apostles, prophets, and teachers" is ver/ old, and was common in the earliest period of the church. The author of the Didache presupposes that apostles, prophets, and teachers were known to all the churches. In xi. 7 he specially mentions prophets; in xii. 3 f. he names apostles and prophets, conjoining in xiii. 1-Q and xvi. 1-2 prophets and teachers (never apostles and teachers : unlike Hermas). The inference is that although this order-" apostles, prophets, and teachers "-was before his mind, the prophets and apostles formed in certain aspects a category by themselves, while in other aspects the prophets had to be ranked with the teachers (see below). This order is identical with that of Paul (1 Cor. xii. 28), so that its origin is to be pushed back to the sixth decade of the first century ; in fact, it goes back to a still earlier

\1/ This may probably be inferred even from i Cor. xiv. 26, where S,SaX4t follows &roKxu*ns, and it is, made perfectly clear by Hermas, who not only is in the habit of grouping &ro5TOxot and SSaraxo,, but also (Sinn., ix. 25. 2) writes thus of the

apostles and teachers : " They taught the word of God soberly and purely .... even as also they had received the holy Spirit " (S,Sdlvres asvi K) &yvi Tv Ad7ov roi 8 *6 . . . . KOWr Kl rapEAPOV T ,rvEi, Tb Syloy).

[[337]] period, for in saying ous 1A66 OETO o Oeoc ev 7-1- sKKArlO'L(L 7rpWrov

alrocrTaAour, K.T.A., Paul is thinking without doubt of some arrangement in the church which held good among Jewish Christian communities founded apart from his co-operation, no less than among. the communities of Greece and Asia Minor. "'This assumption is confirmed by Acts xi. 27, xv. 22, 32, and xiii. 1. f. In the first of these passages we hear of prophets who had migrated from the Jerusalem-church to the Antiochene ; r the third passage implies that five men, who are deseribed as prophets and teachers, occupied a special position in the church at Antioch, and that two of their number were elected by them as apostles at the injunction of the Spirit (see above).2 Thus the apostolic vocation was not necessarily involved in the calling to be a prophet or teacher ; it required for itself a further special injunction of the Spirit. From Acts xiii. 1 f. t e order-" apostles, prophets, teachers "-follows indirectly but quite obviously ; we have therefore evidence for it (as the notice' may be considered historically reliable) in the earliest Gentile church and at a time which was probably not even one decade distant from the year of Paul's conversion.

A century may have elapsed between the event recorded in Acts
xiii. I f. and the final editing of the Didache. But intermediate stages are not lacking. First, we have the evidence of l Cor: (xii.; 28),3 with two witnesseses besides in Ephesians (whose


\1/On a temporary visit. One of them, Agabus, was permanently resident in v about fifteen years later, but journeyed to meet Paul at C.Tsarea in order to bring him a piece of prophetic-information (Acts xxi. ro f.).

\2/ From the particles employed in the passage, it is probable that Barnabas, S'meon, and Lucius were the prophets, while Manien and Saul were the teachers. One prophet and one teacher were thus despatched as apostles. As the older man, Barnabas at first took the lead (his prophetic gift' may be gathered from the name

gned to him, "Barnabas"=u ,rapaKxfjoew [Acts iv. 36); for in i Cor. iv. 3 we read, 6 apovpfTevwv av8p(6ro, Xxei ,rpdxxgacv).

\3/ Observe that after enumerating apostles, prophets, and teachers, Paul does not proceed to give any further category of persons with charismatic gifts, but merely yields charismatic gifts themselves ; note further that he gives no classification of these gifts, but simply arranges them in one series with a double t,relra, whereas

the apostles, prophets, and teachers are enumerated in order with ,rp&Tov,

rrepoe, and rptrov. The conclusion is that the apostolate, the prophetic office
speaking with tongues), and teaching were the only offices which made their
occupants persons of rank in the church, whilst the, tdara, avTxit 4 is,
sc x., conferred no special standing on those who were -gifted with such charis-



evidence is all the more weighty if the epistle is not genuine) and Hernias. Yet neither of these witnesses is of supreme importance, inasmuch as both fail to present in its pristine purity the old class of the regular XaaoupTes TOP Xoyov Tou Oeou as apostles, prophets, and teachers ; both point to a slight modifi-' cation of this class, owing to the organization of individual churches, complete within themselves, which had grown up on Other bases.

Like Did. xi. 3, Eph. ii. 20 and iii. 5 associate apostles and
Prophets, and assign them an extremely high position. All believers, we are told, are built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, to whom, in the first instance, -is revealed the secret that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs of the promise of Lhrist. That prophets of the gospel, and not of the Old Testalilent, are intended here is shown both by the context and by the previous mention of apostles. Now in the list at iv. 11 the order 11 apostles, prophets, and teachers" is indeed preserved, but 111 such a way that " evangelists " are inserted after 11 prophets," "tied "pastors" added to 11 teachers" (preceding them, in fact, 1~1lit constituting with them a single group or class).' From t1iese intercalated words it follows (1) that the author (or Paul) kYiew missionaries who did not possess the dignity of apostles, ~~zt that he did not place them immediately after the apostles,  1 k Aasmuch as the collocation of "apostles and prophets" was a '~~rt of noli me tangere (not so the collocation of 11 prophets and teachers"); (2) that he reckoned the leaders of an individual  "`~~"f*tirch (7otueves) among the preachers bestowed upon the church 4~N' a whole (the individual church in this way made its influence `'1t); (3) that he looks upon the teachers as persons belonging lk~~ a definite church, as is evident from the close connection of =achers with 7otaeves and the subsequent mention (though in

[[338b]] mata. Hence with Paul, too, it is the preaching of God's word which constitutes Position in the ittxAnJa of God. This agrees exactly with the view of the Ithor of the Didache.

\1/It does not follow that the "teachers" are to be considered identical with the ~1~astors," because ro's SE does not immediately precede S:Sdo,Aovs. The renceis merely that Paul or the author took both as comprising a single group.
\2/ I have already tried (p.
to explain exactly why evangelists are mentioned lphesians.

[[339]] collocation) of the former. The difference between the author of Ephesians and the author of the Didache on these points, however, ceases to have any significance when one observes two things : (a) first, that even the latter places the
7ot,uevec (E7iawo7ol) . of the individual church side by side with the teachers, and seeks to have like honour paid to them (xv. 1-2) ; and secondly (h), that he makes the permanent domicile of teachers in an individual church (xiii. 2) the rule, as opposed to any special appointment (whereas, with regard to prophets, domicile would appear, from xiii. 1, to have been the exception). I t is certainly obvious that the Didache's arrangement approaches more nearly than that of Ephesians to the arrangement given by Paul in Corinthians, but it would be more than hasty to conclude that the Didache must therefore be older than the former epistle. We have already seen that the juxtaposition of the' narrower conception of the apostolate with the broader is very early, and that the latter, instead of being simply dropped, kept pace for a time with the former. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that passages like Acts xiii. 1, xi. 27, xxi. 10, etc., prove that although the prophets, and especially the teachers, had to serve the whole church with their gifts, they could possess, even in the earliest age, a permanent residence and also membership of a definite community, either permanently or for a considerable length of time. Hence at an early

riod they could be viewed in this particular light, without prejudice to their function as teachers who were assigned to the church in general.

As for Hermas, the most surprising observation suggested by lie book is that the prophets are never mentioned, for all its Enumeration of classes of preachers and superintendents in Christendom.1 In consequence of this, apostles and teachers (aioo-roXot and &8dtrKaXot) are usually conjoined.2 Now as

\1/ In Sin'. ix. I5. 4a Old Testament prophets are meant.

\2/ Cp. Sins., ix. 15, 4b: of 8? ' harso'TOAoi Kl St&L rKaAot TOP KnpvypaTo Tov" tot Tog èEOV (" the forty are apbstles and teachers of the preaching of the Son of God ") ; 16. 5 : Of a7r6óTOAO1 Kál Of E18dO'KaXO1 Of Knpv{aYTES TT lVOpa TOO uiou TOU esov (" the apostles and teachers who preached the name of the Son of God");

2:.aTJ0`ToX1 Kál &, 4óKáXot of Knpt ayres Els 9AOY T?!V K60-14 Kál Of S:SCQaVTE va"a: Kál ayV1Z9 Tov Adyoi Tog Kupou ("apostles and teachers who preached to



Hermas comes forward in the role of prophet, as his book contains one large section (Mand. xi.) dealing expressly with false and genuine prophets, and finally as the vocation of the genuine prophet is more forcibly emphasized in I-Iermas than in any other early Christian writing and presupposed to be universal, the absence of any mention of the prophet in the "hierarchy" of Herman must be held to have been deliberate. In short, Herman passed over the prophets because he reckoned himself one of them. If this inference be true' we are justified in supplying "prophets" wherever Herman names "apostles and teachers," so that he too becomes an indirect witness to the threefold group of "apostles, prophets, teachers." a In that case the conception expounded in the ninth similitude of the "Shepherd" is exactly parallel to that of the man who wrote the Didache. Apostles (prophets) and teachers are the preachers appointed by God to establish the spiritual life of the churches; next to them come (chapters xxv.-xxvii.) the bishops and deacons.3 On the other hand, the author alters this order in Vis., III, v. 1, where he writes:4 of ,am' ov XiOot of TcTpaywvot Ka~~ XUKOI ,cd o-uwvoivrec TWc cpjoyals auTwv, om'Tot dote of avroo-ToXoc

[[340b]] all the world, and taught soberly and, purely the word of the Lord").
Vis., III. v. x. (see below) is also relevant in this connection. Elsewhere the collocation of " drrro?u,, &rXo" occurs only in the Pastoral epistles (i Tim. ii. ',' 2 'nor. i. ii); but these passages prove nothing, as Paul either is or is meant to be the speaker.

(Goitnzg. Gelehrte Anz., 1905, vi. p. 486) proposes another explanation: "Apostles and teachers belong to the past generationn for Hernias; he recognises a prophetic office also, but only in the Old Testament (Sinn., ix, 15. 4). lie does occupy himself largely with the activities of the true prophet, and feels he is one himself; but he conceives this 1rpo~f'wEv as a private activity which God's equipment renders possible, but which lacks any official character. So with his censor in the Muratorian Fragment." Perhaps this is the right explanation of the difficulty. But can Herman have really estimated the prophets like the Muratorian Fragmentist ?

\2/ Hermas, like the author of the Didacls, knows nothing about "evangelists" as distinguished from "apostles"; he, too, uses the term ''apostle" in its wider sense (see above, p. 326).

\3/ In conformity with the standpoint implied in the parable, the order is reversed in chapters xxvi.-xxvii. ; for t}ie proper order, see Vie., III. v. s.

\4/ "The squared white stones that fit together in their joints, are the apostles and bishops and teachers and deacons who walked after the holiness of God and acted as bishops, teachers, and deacons, purely and soberly for the elect of God. Some have already fallen asleep, and others are still living."

[[341]]  (add vast wpoTae) Kat e7rLcrKo'lroL vat & aoKaXoL ica d,covoe of lopUOVTf KaTCC Tflv oEpvo'rsrTa Tot) OEOU Ka* 'Jro-Ko~Jo'avTc vast 6a avTes vast &aKovhlo-av"rec ~yv~c Katt o-/Lvws Toec' KXEKT0Lc

OCOU, of /Lw KCKoL/L7J/J.w0L, of ~ ~Te wTes According to the

author of the Didache also, the rio-Ico7ot and &uvovo~ are to

be added to the re?o-ToXo1,, 7po(,qTat, and 818ao-KctXoL, but the

difference between the two writers is that I-Iermas has put the bishops, just as the author of Ephesians has put the rorueuc, before the teachers. The reasons for this are unknown to us ; all we can make out is that at this point also the actual organization of the individual communities had already modified the conception of the organization of the collective church which Hernias shared with the author of the Didache.'

Well then ; one early source of Acts, Paul, 1-lernias, and the author of the Didache all attest the fact that in the earliest Christian churches "those who spoke the word of God" (the

XuXowres Toil AJyov ToU Oov) occupied the highest position,2 and that they were subdivided into apostles, prophets, and teachers. They also bear evidence to the fact that these apostles prophets, and teachers were not esteemed as officials of an mdividual community, but were honoured as preachers who had been appointed by God and assigned to the church as a whole. The  notion that the regular preachers in the church were elected by the different churches is as erroneous as the other idea that they had their " office" transmitted to theni through a human channel of some kind or other. So far as men worked together here, it was in the discharge of a direct command from the Spirit.

Fimmally, we have to consider more precisely the bearings of this conclusion, viz., that, to judge front the consistent testimony of the earliest records, the apostles, prophets, and teachers were allotted and belonged, not to any individual community, but to the church as a whole. By means of this feature Christendom


\1/ It is to be observed, moreover, that Sinn, ix. speaks of apostles and teachers as of a bygone generation, whilst Vie, iii, declares that one section of the whole group have already fallen asleep, while the rest are still alive. We cannot, however, go into any further detail upon the important conceptions of licrinas.
\2/ So, too, the author of Hebrews. Compare also x Pet, iv. i i :
of rn

r Xdyr Or,? - Y Ta Irse?, i,    iaxio +t xop'rs' 4 eds [a passage which illustrates tire irarrative in Acts vi.].




possessed, amid all its scattered fragments, a certain cohesion and a bond of unity which has often been underestimated. These apostles and prophets, wandering from place to place, and received by every community with the utmost respect, serve to explain how the development of the church in different provinces and under very different conditions could preserve, as it did, such a degree of homogeneity. Nor have they left their traces merely in the scanty records, where little but their nanies are mentioned, and where witness is borne to the respect in which they were held. In a far higher degree their self-expression appears throughout a whole genre of early Christian literature, namely, the so-called catholic, epistles and writings. It is impossible to understand the origin, spread, and vogue of a literary genre so peculiar and in istasty respects so enigmatic, unless one correlates it with what is known of the early Christian" apostles, prophets, and teachers." When one considers that these mete were set by God within the clrurcla-i.e., in Christendom as a whole, and not in any individual community, their calling being meant for the church collective it becomes obvious that the so-called catholic epistles and writings, addressed to the whole of Christendom, forum a genre in literature which corresponds to these officials, and which must have arisen at a comparatively early period. An epistle like that of James, addressed to the twelve tribes of the dispei,,ion," with its prophetic passages (iv.-v.), its injunctions uttered even to presbyters (v. 14), and its emphatic assertions (v. 15 f.), this epistle, which cannot have come from the apostle James himself, becomes intelligible so soon as we think of the wandering prophets who, conscious of a divine calling which led them to all Christendom, felt themselves bound to serve the church as a whole. We can well understand how catholic epistles must have won great prestige, evems although they were not originally distinguished by the name of aimy of the twelve apostles.'

\1/This period, of course, was past and gone, when one of the charges levelled at the Montanist Themison was that he had written a catholic epistle and thus invaded the prerogative of the original apostles : see Apollonius (in Euseb., H. E., 13. 5)-p(owy *Aoe, /upov,ayo TI,,! /1rdoTAo,, 8oX; Two (TYPT('J.iEyo r',rorroidj KOTSIXEw T,ob /JEiYoV áeon rrE,rLoTudT ("Thentison ventured, in imitation of the apostles, to compose a catholic epistle for the instruction of people whose faith was better than his own ").

[[343]] Behind these epistles stood the teachers called by God, who were to be reverenced like the Lord hinsself. It would lead us
too afar afield to follow up this view, but one may refer to the circulation and importance of certain "catholic" epistles throughout the churches, and to the fact that they determined the development of Christianity in the primitive period hardly less than the l'auline epistles. During the closing decades of the first century, and at the opening of the second, the extraordinary activity of these apostles, prophets, or teachers left a lasting memorial of itself in the "catholic" writings ; to which we must add other productions like the " Shepherd" of Hernmas, composed by an author of whortm we know nothing except the fact that his revelations were to be communicated to all the churches. He is really not a  Roman prophet ; being a prophet, he is a teacher for Christendom as a whole.

It has been remarked, not untruly, that Christendom came to have church officials
distinct from local officials of the coinimmunities-only after the episcopate had been explained as an organization intended to perpetuate the apostolate in such a way that every bishop was held, not simply to occupy an office iii the particular community, but to rank as a bishop of the catholic church (and, in this sense, to be a follower of the apostles). This observation is correct. But it has to be supplemented by the following consideration, that in the earliest age special forms of organization did arise which in one aspect afford an analogy to ecclesiastical office in later Catholicism. For "those who spoke the word of God" (the XaXo~~vTes TOP Xo'yov To U eo~) were catholic teachers KaXot icaOoXm#coi).' Yet

\1/ I shall at this point put together the sources which prove the threefold group.
(i) The XAovg,r rh' Xo'7ov TO,! O~o~ (and they alone at first,it would appear; i.e., apostles, prophets, and teachers) are the *7OL woL or i- rgo7/ayot in the churches; this follows from (a) Did., iv. I, xi. 3 f., xiii., xv. J-2, when taken together ; also (b) from Heb. xiii. 7, 17, 24, where the *7oI Evot are expressly described as AXoh'-r rh' dyov TO, èåoi ; probably (e) from Clem. Rom., i. 3, xxi. 6 ; (d) from Acts xv. 22, 32, where the same persons are called *çãoý rrvot and then Tpoö*çTáL ; and (e) from the " Shepherd" of Hermas.

(2) Apostles, prophets, and teachers : cp. Paul (1 Cor. xii. 28 f., where he tacks on pE,r, Xap(aur is/L rw, c TtAi/EI1, su$pvo eL, yw yAwo-s&'). When the fathers allude to this passage during later centuries, they do so as if the threefold group still held its own, oblivious often of the presence of the hierarchy. Novatian, after speaking of the apostles who had been comforted by the Paraclete,

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