THE TRIUMPH OF GENTILE FREEDOM
Aftee the conversion, according to the Book of Acts, Paul received the ministrations of Ananias, and was baptized.1 These details are not excluded by the Epistle to the Galatians. In the Epistle, Paul says that after God had revealed His son in him he did not confer with flesh and blood;2 but the conference with flesh and blood which he was concerned to deny was a conference with the original apostles at Jerusalem about the principles of the gospel, not a conference with humble disciples at Damascus. An over-interpretation of Galatians would here lead almost to absurdity. Is it to be supposed that after the conversion Paul refused to have anything whatever to do with those who were now his brethren? In particular, is it to be supposed that he who afterwards placed baptism as a matter of course at the beginning of the new life for every Christian should himself not have been baptized? The Epistle to the Galatians does not mention his baptism, but that omission merely illustrates the incompleteness of the account. And if the baptism of Paul, which certainly must have taken place, is omitted from Galatians, other omissions must not be regarded as any more significant. The first two chapters of Galatians are not intended to furnish complete biography. Only those details are mentioned which were important for Paul's argument or had been misrepresented by his Judaizing opponents.
After God had revealed His son in him, Paul says, he went away into Arabia. Apparently this journey to Arabia is to be put very soon after the revelation, though the construction of the word "immediately" in Gal. i. 16 is not perfectly clear. If that word goes merely with the negative part of the sentence, then nothing is said about the time of the journey
1Acts ix. 10-19; xxii. 12-16. • Gal. i. 16.
to Arabia; Paul would say merely that in the period just after the revelation of God's Son he did not go up to Jerusalem. There would then be no difficulty in the assertion of Acts which seems to put a stay in Damascus with preaching activity in the synagogues immediately after the baptism. This interpretation is adopted by a number of modern commentators, not only by B. Weiss and Zahn, who might be suspected of a bias in favor of the Book of Acts, but also by Sieffert and Lipsius and Bousset. Perhaps more naturally, however, the word "immediately" in Galatians is to be taken grammatically with the positive part of the sentence or with the whole sentence; the sentence would then mean, "Immediately, instead of conferring with flesh and blood or going up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, I went away into Arabia and again I returned to Damascus." Even so, however, there is no real contradiction with Acts. When Paul tells what happened "immediately" after the revelation he is thinking in terms not of days but of journeys. The very first journey after the conversion—and it took place soon— was not to Jerusalem but to Arabia. When taken in the context the sentence does not exclude a brief preaching activity in Damascus before the journey to Arabia. Grammatically the word "immediately" may go with the positive part of the sentence, but in essential import it goes rather with the negative part. What Paul is really concerned about is to deny that he went up to Jerusalem soon after his conversion.
The Book of Acts does not mention the journey to Arabia and does not make clear where it may be inserted. Sometimes it is placed in the middle of Acts ix. 19, before the words, "And he was with the disciples in Damascus some days." In that case the discussion about the word "immediately" in Gal. i. 16 would be unnecessary; that word could be taken strictly with the positive part of the sentence without contradicting the Book of Acts; the journey to Arabia would have preceded the preaching activity in Damascus. Or the journey may be placed before Acts ix. 22; it would then be the cause of the greater vigor of Paul's preaching. Finally, it may be placed simply within the "many days" of Acts ix. 23. The phrase, "many days," in Acts apparently is used to indicate fairly long periods of time. It must be remembered that the author of Acts is not concerned here about chronology; perhaps he did not trouble himself to investigate the exact period of time that elapsed before the journey to Jerusalem. He was content merely to record the fact that before Paul went to Jerusalem he engaged for a considerable time in preaching in the Damascus synagogues. Certainly he must here be acquitted of any attempt at subserving the interests of harmony in the Church by a falsification of history. It is generally recognized now, against the Tubingen contentions, that if the author of Acts contradicts Galatians, his contradiction is naive rather than deliberate; the contradiction or apparent contradiction at least shows the complete independence of his account. He is not deliberately shortening up the time before Paul's first conference with Peter in the interests of a compromise between a Pauline and a Petrine party in the Church; if he had had the "three years" of Paul before him as he wrote he would have had no objection to using the detail in his history. But investigation of the chronology did not here seem to be important. The detail of the three years was vastly important for Paul's argument in Galatians, where he is showing that for a considerable period after the conversion he did not even meet those from whom he was said to have received his gospel, but it was not at all important in a general history of the progress of the Church.
The extent of the journey to Arabia, both geographically and temporally, is entirely unknown. "Arabia" included not only very remote regions but also a territory almost at the gates of Damascus; and all that may be determined about the length of the Arabian residence is that it was less than three years. Possibly Paul remained only a few weeks in Arabia. In that case the omission of the journey from the general narrative in Acts is very natural. The importance of Arabia in Paul's argument is due simply to the fact that Arabia was not Jerusalem; Paul mentions the journey to Arabia simply in contrast with a journey to Jerusalem which he is excluding in the interests of his argument. The only thing that might seem to require a considerable stay in Arabia is the narrative of Paul's first Jerusalem visit in Acts ix. 26-30; the distrust of Paul displayed by the Jerusalem Christians is more easily explicable if after his conversion he had been living for the most part in a region more remote than Damascus from Jerusalem. A similar consideration might possibly suggest that in Arabia Paul was engaged in meditation rather than in missionary activity; he had not yet become so well known as a preacher that the Christians of Jerusalem could begin to glorify God in him, as they did a little later. Possibly also there is an implied contrast in Gal. i. 16, 17 between conference with the original apostles and direct communion with Christ; possibly Paul means to say, "Instead of conferring with flesh and blood in Jerusalem, I communed with the Lord in Arabia." Despite such considerations, the matter is by no means perfectly clear; it is perfectly possible that Paul engaged in missionary work in Arabia. But at any rate, even if that view be correct, he also engaged in meditation. Paul was never a mere "practical Christian" in the modern sense; labor in his case was always based upon thought, and life upon doctrine.
The escape of Paul from Damascus just before his first visit to Jerusalem is narrated in Acts ix. 23-25 and in 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. The mention of the ethnarch of Aretas the Nabatean king as having authority at or near Damascus causes some difficulty, and might not have passed unchallenged if it had been attested by Acts. But as a matter of fact, it is just this detail which appears, not in Acts, but in an epistle of Paul.
The first visit of Paul to Jerusalem after the conversion is described in Acts ix. 26-30; xxii. 17-21; Gal. i. 18, 19. In itself, the account in Acts bears every mark of trustworthiness. The only detail which might seem surprising is that the Jerusalem Christians would not at first believe that Paul was a disciple; must not a notable event like the conversion of so prominent a persecutor have become known at Jerusalem in the course of three years? But if Paul had spent a large part of the three years in Arabia, whence news of him could not be easily obtained, the report of his conversion might have come to seem like a remote rumor; the very fact of his withdrawal might, as has been suggested, have cast suspicion upon the reality of his conversion. Emotion, moreover, often lags behind cold reasoning; the heart is more difficult to convince than the mind. The Jerusalem Christians had known Paul only as a cruel and relentless persecutor; it was not so easy for them to receive him at once as a brother. This one detail is therefore not at all sufficient to reverse the favorable impression which is made by the Lucan account of the visit as a whole.
The chief objection to the account is usually found in a comparison with what Paul himself says in Galatians. In itself, the account is natural; but does it agree with Paul's own testimony? One apparent divergence may indeed soon be dismissed. In Acts ix. 27 it is said that Paul was introduced to "the apostles," whereas in Gal. i. 19 it is said that Paul saw only James, the brother of the Lord (who was not among the Twelve), and Peter. But possibly the author of Acts is using the term "apostle" in a sense broad enough to include James, so that Paul actually saw two "apostles"—Peter and James— or else the plural is used merely in a generic sense to indicate that Paul was introduced to whatever representative or representatives of the apostolic body may have happened to be present.
Much more weight is commonly attributed to an objection drawn from the general representation of the visit. According to Acts, Paul was associated publicly with the Jerusalem disciples and engaged in an active mission among the Greekspeaking Jews; according to Galatians, it is argued, he was in strict hiding, since he did not become acquainted personally with the churches of Judaea (Gal. i. 22). But the objection, as has already been observed, depends upon an over-interpretation of Gal. i. 22. Whether or no "Judam" means the country in sharp distinction from the capital, in either case all that is necessarily meant is that Paul did not become acquainted generally with the Judasan churches. The capital may well have formed an exception. If Paul had meant in the preceding verses that he had been in hiding in Jerusalem he would have expressed himself very differently. Certainly the modern representation of the visit is in itself improbable. The picture of Paul entering Jerusalem under cover of darkness or under a disguise and being kept as a mysterious stranger somewhere in a secret chamber of Peter's house is certainly much less natural than the account which the Book of Acts gives of the earnest attempt of Paul to repair the damage which he had done to the Jerusalem Church. It is very doubtful whether concealment of Paul in Jerusalem would have been possible even if Paul had consented to it; he was too well-known in the city. Of course this last argument would be answered if, as Heitmiiller and Loisy suppose, Paul had never been in Jerusalem at all, even as a persecutor. But that hypothesis is faced by absolutely decisive objections, as has already been observed.
The whole modern representation of the first visit, therefore, is based solely upon a very doubtful interpretation of one verse, and is in itself highly unnatural. Surely it is much more probable that the real reason why Paul saw only Peter and James among the leaders was that the others were out of the city, engaged in missionary work in Judaea. Their presence in the churches of Judaea would explain the mention of those churches in Gal. i. 22. Paul is indicating the meagerness of his direct contact with the original apostles. The churches of Judaea would become important in his argument if they were the scene of the apostles' labors. Against a very doubtful interpretation of the account in Galatians, which brings it into contradiction with Acts, may therefore be placed an entirely consistent interpretation which, when the account is combined with Acts, produces a thoroughly natural representation of the course of events.
Paul says nothing about what happened during his fifteenday intercourse with Peter. But it is highly improbable, as even Holsten pointed out, that he spent the time gazing silently at Peter as though Peter were one of the sights of the city.1 Undoubtedly there was conversation between the two men, and in the conversation the subject of the life and death of Jesus could hardly be avoided. In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul denies, indeed, that he received his gospel from men. But the bare facts about Jesus did not constitute a gospel. The facts were known to some extent to friend and foe alike; Paul knew something about them even before his conversion and then increased his knowledge through intercourse with the disciples at Damascus. The fifteen days spent in company with Peter could hardly have failed to bring a further enrichment of his knowledge.
In 1 Cor. xv. 3-7, Paul gives a summary of what he had
i 1Holsten, op. cit., p. 118, Aran.: "Aber natUrlich kann in dem iaropiia *Kij</>d nieht liegen, Paulus sei nach Jerusalem gegangen, um den Petrus fiinfzehn tage lang stutnm anzuschauen. Die beiden manner werden miteinander iiber das evangelium Christi geredet haben."
"received"—the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus. The vast majority of modern investigators, of all shades of opinion, find in these verses a summary of the Jerusalem tradition which Paul received from Peter during the fifteen days. Undoubtedly Paul knew some if not all of these facts before he went to Jerusalem; the facts were probably common property of the disciples in Damascus as well as in Jerusalem. But it is inconceivable that he should not have tested and supplemented the tradition by what Peter, whose name stands first (1 Cor. xv. 5) in the list of the appearances, said in Jerusalem. Recently, indeed, an attempt has been made by Heitmuller to represent the tradition as being derived merely from the Christian communities in Damascus or Antioch, and at best only indirectly from Jerusalem; these communities are thus interposed as an additional link between Paul and the Jerusalem Church.1 But the very purpose of the passage in 1 Corinthians is to emphasize the unity of teaching, not between Paul and certain obscure Christians in Hellenistic communities, but between Paul and the "apostles." "Whether therefore," Paul says, "it be I or they, so we preach and so ye believed" (1 Cor. xv. 11). The attempt at separating the factual basis of the Pauline gospel from the primitive tradition shatters upon the rock of 1 Corinthians and Galatians. In Galatians, Paul says he was in direct intercourse with Peter, and in 1 Corinthians he emphasizes the unity of his teaching with that of Peter and the other apostles.
After leaving Jerusalem Paul went into the regions of Syria and of Cilicia; the Book of Acts, more specifically, mentions Tarsus (Cilicia) and Antioch (Syria). The period which Paul spent in Tarsus or in its vicinity is for us altogether obscure. In all probability he engaged in missionary work and included Gentiles in his mission. Certainly at the conclusion of the Cilician period Barnabas thought him suitable for the specifically Gentile work at Antioch, and it is probable that he had already demonstrated his suitability. His apostolic consciousness, also, as attested both by the Book of Acts and by Galatians, suggests that the beginning of his life-work as apostle to the Gentiles was not too long deferred.
1 HeitmUIler, "Zum Problem Paulus und Jesus," in Zeitschnft filr die neutestamentliche Wissemchaft, xiii, 1912, pp. 320-337, especially p. 331.
At Antioch, the disciples were first called "Christians" (Acts xi. 26). The objections, especially linguistic, formerly urged against this assertion of Acts have now for the most part been silenced. The assertion is important as showing that the Church was becoming so clearly separate from the synagogue that a separate name had to be coined by the Gentile population. Tremendous importance is attributed to the Christian community at Antioch by Bousset and Heitmuller, who believe that the religion of that community had diverged in fundamental respects from the religion of the primitive Jerusalem Church, and that this extra-Palestinian Christianity, and not the Christianity of Jerusalem, is the basis of the religion of Paul. According to this hypothesis, the independence of Paul which is attested in Galatians is apparently to be regarded as independence merely over against the intimate friends of Jesus; apparently Paul had no objection against taking over the teaching of the Greek-speaking Christians of Antioch. This representation is out of accord with what has just been established about the relations between Paul and the Jerusalem Church. It must be examined more in detail, however, in a subsequent chapter.
After at least a year—probably more—Barnabas and Saul, according to Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, were sent up to Jerusalem to bear the gifts of the Antioch Church, which had been collected in view of the famine prophesied by Agabus. This "famine visit" is the second visit of Paul to Jerusalem which is mentioned in Acts. The second visit which is mentioned in Galatians is the one described in Gal. ii. 1-10, at which Paul came into conference with the pillars of the Jerusalem Church. May the two be identified? Is Gal. ii. 1-10 an account of the visit which is mentioned in Acts xi. 30; xii. 25? 1
Chronology opposes no absolutely insuperable objection to the identification. The apparent objection is as follows. The famine visit of Acts xi. 30; xii. 25 took place at about the same time as the events narrated in Acts xii, since the narrative of those events is interposed between the mention of the coming of Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem (Acts xi. 30) and that of their return to Antioch (Acts xii. 25). But the events of
1 For what follows, compare "Recent Criticism of the Book of Acts," in Princeton Theological Review, xvii, 1919, pp. 597-608.
Acts xii include the death of Herod Agrippa I, which certainly occurred in 44 A.D. The famine visit, therefore, apparently occurred at about 44 A.D. But the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took place fourteen years (Gal. ii. 1) after the first visit, which in turn took place three years (Gal. i. 18) after the conversion. Therefore the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took place seventeen (3+14) years after the conversion. But if that visit be identified with the famine visit and the famine visit took place in 44 A.D., the conversion must have taken place seventeen years before 44 A.D. or in 27 A.D., which of course is impossible since the crucifixion of Jesus did not occur till several years after that time. At first sight, therefore, it looks as though the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with the famine visit were impossible.
Closer examination, however, shows that the chronological data all allow a certain amount of leeway. In the first place, it is by no means clear that the famine visit took place at exactly the time of the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 A.D. The author of Acts has been carrying on two threads of narrative, one dealing with Antioch and the other dealing with Jerusalem. In Acts xi. 19-30 he has carried the Antioch narrative on to a point beyond that reached in the Jerusalem narrative. Now, when the two narratives are brought together by the visit of Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem, the author pauses in order to bring the Jerusalem narrative up to date; he tells what has been happening at Jerusalem during the period in which the reader's attention has been diverted to Antioch. The events of Acts xii may therefore have taken place some time before the famine visit of Acts xi. 30; xii. 25; the famine visit may have taken place some time after 44 A.D. Information in Josephus with regard to the famine,1 combined with the order of the narrative in Acts, permits the placing of the famine visit as late as 46 A.D. In the second place, it is by no means certain that the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took place seventeen years after the conversion. The ancients sometimes used an inclusive method of reckoning time, in accordance with which "three years" might mean only one full year with parts of two other years; January, 1923, would thus
1Josephus, Antiq. XX. v. 2. See Schiirer, Qeschichte des jiiduchen Volkes, Ste u. 4te Aufl., i, 1901, p. 567 (English Translation, A History of the Jewish People, Division I, vol. ii, 1890, pp. 169f.).
be "three years" after December, 1921. According to this method of reckoning, the "fourteen years" of Gal. ii. 1 would become only thirteen; and the "three years" of Gal. i. 18 would become only two years; the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 would thus be only fifteen (13 + 2) instead of seventeen (14 + 3) years after the conversion. If, then, the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 be identified with the famine visit, and the famine visit took place in 46 A.D., the conversion took place in 31 A.D. (46 —15), which is a possible date. Moreover, it is not certain that the "fourteen years" of Gal. ii. 1 is to be reckoned from the first visit; it may be reckoned from the conversion, so that the "three years" of Gal. i. 18 is to be included in it and not added to it. In that case, the conversion took place only fourteen (or, by the inclusive method of reckoning, thirteen) years before the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10; or, if the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 be identified with the famine visit, fourteen (or thirteen) years before 46 A.D., that is, in 32 A.D. (or 33 A.D.), which is a perfectly possible date.
But of course chronology does not decide in favor of the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25; at best it only permits that identification. Chronologically it is even slightly more convenient to identify Gal. ii. 1-10 with a visit subsequent to the famine visit. The only subsequent visit which comes seriously in question is the visit at the time of the "Apostolic Council" of Acts xv. 1-29. The advantages of identifying Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, therefore, must be compared with those of identifying it with Acts xv. 1-29.
If the former identification be adopted, then Paul in Galatians has not mentioned the Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29. Since the Apostolic Council dealt with the same question as that which was under discussion in Galatians, and since it constituted an important step in Paul's relations with the original apostles, it is a little difficult to see how Paul could have omitted it from the Epistle. This objection has often weighed against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with the famine visit. But in recent years the objection has been removed by the hypothesis which places the writing of Galatians actually before the Apostolic Council; obviously Paul could not be expected to mention the Council if the Council had not yet taken place. This early dating of Galatians has been advocated by a German Roman Catholic scholar, Weber,1 and recently it has won the support of men of widely divergent points of view, such as Emmet,2 Kirsopp Lake,3 Ramsay,4 and Plooij.8 Of course this hypothesis depends absolutely upon the correctness of the "South Galatian" theory of the address of the Epistle, which finds "the Churches of Galatia" of Gal. i. 2 in Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe; for the churches in "North Galatia," if there were any such, were not founded till after the Apostolic Council (Acts xvi. 6).«
One objection to the early dating of Galatians is derived from the close relation between that epistle and the Epistle to the Romans. If Galatians was written before the Apostolic Council it is the earliest of the extant epistles of Paul and is separated by a period of some six or eight years from the epistles of the third missionary journey with which it has ordinarily been grouped. Thus the order of the Epistles would be Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans. This order seems to tear asunder the epistles which naturally belong together. The objection was partially overcome by a bold hypothesis of Lake, who suggested that the Epistle to the Romans was first composed at an early time as an encyclical letter, and that later, being modified by the addition of a Roman address and other suitable details, it was sent to the Church at Rome.7 On this hypothesis Galatians and the substance of Romans would be kept together be
1 Die Abfassung del Oalaterbriefs vor dem Apostelkonzil, 1900.
'"Galatians the Earliest of the Pauline Epistles," in Expositor, 7th Series, vol. ix, 1910, pp. 242-254 (reprinted in The Eschatological Question in the Qospels, 1911, pp. 191-209); St. Paul's Epistle to the Oalatians, 1912, pp. xiv-xxii.
■ The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, pp. 265-304. In a later book, Lake has modified his views about the relation between Galatians and Acts. The historicity of Acts xv. 1-29 is now abandoned. See Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity, 1920, pp. 63-66.
'Ramsay, "Suggestions on the History and Letters of St. Paul. I. The Date of the Galatian Letter," in Expositor, VIII, v, 1913, pp. 127-145.
1Plooij, De chronologie van het leven van Paulas, 1918, pp. 111-140.
•Maurice Jones ("The Date of the Epistle to the Galatians," in Expositor, VIII, vi, 1913, pp. 193-208) has adduced from the Book of Acts various arguments against the early date of Galatians, which, though worthy of attention, are not quite decisive.
'Lake, The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, pp. 361-370.
cause both would be placed early. The hypothesis can appeal to the interesting textual phenomenon in Rom. i. 7, where the words "in Rome" are omitted by a few witnesses to the text. But the evidence is insufficient. And even if Lake's hypothesis were correct, it would not altogether overcome the difficulty; for both Galatians and Romans would be removed from what has usually been regarded as their natural position among the epistles of the third missionary journey. In reply, it could be said that reconstructions of an author's development, unless supported by plain documentary evidence, are seldom absolutely certain; the simplicity of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, as over against the great soteriological epistles, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, is no doubt due to the immaturity of the Thessalonian Church rather than to any immaturity in Paul's thinking. There is therefore no absolutely decisive objection against putting the Epistle to the Galatians, with its developed soteriology, before the Thessalonian Epistles.
On the whole, it may be said that the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25 is perhaps most plausible when it is connected with the early dating of Galatians, before the Apostolic Council. But that identification, whether with or without the early dating of the Epistle, must now be considered on its merits. Is Gal. ii. 1-10 to be identified with the famine visit of Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, or with the Apostolic Council of Acts xv?
The former identification possesses one obvious advantage—by it the second visit in Galatians is the same as the second visit in Acts; whereas if Gal. ii. 1-10 is identified with Acts xv. 1-29 Paul has passed over the famine visit without mention. The identification with the famine visit may therefore conveniently be considered first.
According to this identification, Paul had two conferences with the Jerusalem leaders, one at the time of the famine visit and one some years afterwards at the time of the Apostolic Council. Could the second conference conceivably have followed thus upon the former? If the conference between Paul and the Jerusalem leaders described in Gal. ii. 1-10 took place at the time of the famine visit, then would not the • Apostolic Council seem to be a mere meaningless repetition of the former conference? If the matter of Gentile freedom had already been settled (Gal. ii. 1-10) at the famine visit, how could it come up again de novo at the Apostolic Council?
This objection is by no means insuperable. The meeting described in Gal. ii. 1-10 may have been merely a private meeting between Paul and the original apostles. Although the presence of Titus, the uncircumcised Gentile, was no doubt a matter of public knowledge, it need not necessarily have given rise, to any public discussion, since it was not unprecedented, Cornelius also having been received into the Church without circumcision. But if the famine visit brought merely a private conference between Paul and the original apostles, Gentile freedom was still open to attack, especially if, after the famine visit, there was (as is in any case probable) an influx of strict legalists into the Christian community. There was no public pronouncement of the original apostles to which the advocates of freedom could appeal. There was therefore still urgent need of a public council such as the one described in Acts xv. 1-29, especially since that council dealt not only with the general question of Gentile freedom but also with the problem of mixed communities where Jews and Gentiles were living together. The Apostolic Council, therefore, may well have taken place in the way described in Acts xv. 1-29 even if the conference of Gal. ii. 1-10 had been held some years before.
No absolutely decisive objection, therefore, has yet been found against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25. But the prima facie evidence has usually been regarded as favoring the alternative identification, since Gal. ii. 1-10 bears much more resemblance to Acts xv. 1-29 than it does to Acts xi, 30; xii. 25. Resemblance to Acts xi. 30; xii. 25 is not, indeed, altogether lacking. In both Galatians ii. 1-10 and Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, Barnabas is represented as going up with Paul to Jerusalem; in both passages there is reference to gifts for the Jerusalem Church; and the revelation referred to in Gal. ii. 2 as the occasion of the journey may be discovered in the revelation of the famine made to Agabus (Acts xi. 28). But the relief of the Jerusalem Church, which is put as the sole purpose of the journey in Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, is quite subordinate in Gal. ii. 1-10; Barnabas is with Paul in Acts xv. 1-29 just as much as he is in Acts xi. 30; xii. 25; and it may be questioned whether in Gal. ii. 2 it is not more natural to think of a revelation coming to Paul rather than one coming through the mouth of Agabus. The strongest argument, however, for identifying Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 is that the main purpose of Paul's visit seems to be the same according to both passages; according to both the matter of circumcision of Gentiles was under discussion, and according to both the result was a triumph for the cause of freedom. This identification must now be considered. Various objections have been raised against it. These objections lead, according to the point of view of the objector, either to an acceptance of the alternative identification (with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25) or else to a rejection of the historicity of the Book of Acts.
The first objection is derived from the fact that if Gal. ii. 1-10 is to be identified with Acts xv. 1-29, Paul has passed over the famine visit without mention. Could he have done so honestly, if that visit had really occurred? In the first two chapters of Galatians Paul is establishing the independence of his apostolic authority; he had not, he says, as the Judaizers maintained, received his authority through mediation of the original apostles. At first, he says, he came into no effective contact with the apostles; it was three years after his conversion before he saw any of them; then he saw only Peter (and James) and that only for fifteen days. Then be went away into the regions of Syria and of Cilicia without ever becoming known by face to the Churches of Judaea; then after fourteen years again he went up to Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 1). Is it not the very point of the passage that after his departure to Syria and Cilicia it was fourteen long years before he again went up to Jerusalem? Would not his entire argument be invalidated if there were an unmentioned visit to Jerusalem between the first visit (Gal. i. 18, 19) and the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10? If such a visit had taken place, would he not have had to mention it in order to place it in the proper light as he had done in the case of the first visit? By omitting to mention the visit in a context where he is carefully tracing the history of his relations with the Jerusalem leaders, would he not be exposing himself to the charge of dishonest suppression of facts? Such considerations have led a great number of investigators to reject the historicity of the famine visit; there never could have been, they insist, a visit between the first visit and the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10; for if there had been, Paul would have been obliged to mention it, not only by his own honesty, but also because of the impossibility of deception. This is one of the points where the narrative in Acts has been most insistently criticized. Here and there, indeed, there have been discordant notes in the chorus of criticism; the insufficiency of the objection has been admitted now and then even by those who are far removed from any concern for the defense of the Book of Acts. Baur himself, despite all his Tubingen severity of criticism, was clear-sighted enough not to lay stress upon this particular objection;1 and in recent years J. Weiss has been equally discerning.2 In Galatians Paul is not giving a complete enumeration of his visits to Jerusalem, but merely singling out those details which had formed the basis of the Judaizers' attack, or afforded peculiar support to his own contentions. Apparently the Judaizers had misrepresented the first visit; that is the time, they had said, when Paul came under the authority of the original apostles. In answer to this attack Paul is obliged to deal carefully with that first visit; it came three years after the conversion, he says, and it lasted only fifteen days—surely not long enough to make Paul a disciple of Peter. Then Paul went away into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Probably, for the first readers, who were familiar with the outlines of Paul's life, this departure for Syria and Cilicia clearly - meant the entrance by Paul into his distinctive Gentile work. He was well launched upon his Gentile work, fully engaged in the proclamation of his gospel, before he had ever had such contact with the original apostles as could possibly have given him that gospel. At this point, as J. Weiss 3 well observes, there is a transition in the argument. The argument based on lack of contact with the original apostles has been finished, and now gives place to an entirely different argument. In the first chapter of Galatians Paul has been showing that at first he had no such contact with the original apostles as could have made him a disciple of theirs; now, in the second chapter he proceeds to show that when he did come into conference with them, they themselves recognized that he was no disciple of theirs but an independent
1Baur, Paultu, 2te Aufl., 1866, pp. 130-132 (English Translation, Paul i, 1873, pp. 118-120). Baur does maintain that Gal. ii. 1 renders improbable a second visit of Paul to Jerusalem before the conference with the apostles which is narrated in Gal. ii. 1, but points out that in itself the verse is capable of a different interpretation.
2 J. Weiss, Urchristentum, 1914, p. 147, Anm. 2.
apostle. Apparently this conference, like the first visit, had been misrepresented by the Judaizers, and hence needed to be singled out for special treatment. It must be admitted that Paul is interested in the late date at which it occurred— fourteen years after the first visit or fourteen years after the conversion. Probably, therefore, it was the first real conference which Paul held with the original apostles on the subject of his Gentile work. If the famine visit had involved such a conference, probably Paul would have mentioned that visit. But if (as is not improbable on independent grounds) the apostles were away from Jerusalem at the time of the famine visit, and if that visit occurred long after Paul had been well launched upon his distinctive work, and if it had given the Judaizers so little basis for their contentions that they had not thought it worth while to draw it into the discussion, then Paul was not obliged to mention it. Paul is not constructing an argument which would hold against all possible attacks, but rather is meeting the attacks which had actually been launched. In the second chapter, having finished proving that in the decisive early period before he was well engaged in his distinctive work there was not even any extended contact with the original apostles at all, he proceeds to the telling argument that the very men who were appealed to by the Judaizers themselves had admitted that he was entirely independent of them and that they had nothing to add to him. If the famine visit had occurred in the early period, or if, whenever it occurred, it had involved the important event of a conference with the apostles about the Pauline gospel, in either case Paul would probably have been obliged to mention it. But, as it is, the visit, according to Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, did not occur until Paul had already been engaged in the Gentile work, and there is no reason to suppose that it involved any contact with the original apostles. The omission of the famine visit from Galatians, therefore, as a visit distinct from Gal. ii. 1-10, does not absolutely require either the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with that famine visit or the denial of the historicity of Acts.
Certain other difficulties emerge, however, when Gal. ii. 1-10 is compared with Acts xv. 1-29 in detail.
In the first place, the leaders of the Jerusalem Church, it is said, are represented in Acts xv. 1-29 as maintaining Pauline principles, whereas in Gal. ii. 1-10 it appears that there was really a fundamental difference between them and Paul. This difficulty constitutes an objection not against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 but against the historicity of Acts, for if at any time there was a really fundamental difference of principle between Paul and the original apostles then the whole representation in Acts is radically incorrect. But the objection disappears altogether when Galatians is correctly interpreted. The Epistle to the Galatians does not represent the conference between Paul and the pillars of the Jerusalem Church as resulting in a cold agreement to disagree; on the contrary it represents those leaders as giving to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. And Gal. ii. 11-21, rightly interpreted, attests positively a real unity of principle as existing between Paul and Peter.
The one objection that remains against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 concerns the "Apostolic Decree" of Acts xv. 28, 29 (compare Acts xv. 19, 20; xxi. 25). According to the Epistle to the Galatians the apostles at the time of the conference "added nothing" to Paul (Gal. ii. 6); according to the Book of Acts, it is argued, they added something very important indeed—namely, the requirements of the Apostolic Decree that the Gentile Christians should "refrain from things offered to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication." Since these requirements are partly at least ceremonial, they seem to constitute an exception to the general principle of Gentile freedom, and therefore an addition to Paul's gospel. If when Paul presented to the original apostles the gospel which he was preaching among the Gentiles, involving the free offer of salvation apart from the Law, the apostles emended that gospel by requiring at least certain parts of the ceremonial Law, were they not "adding" something to Paul?
But are the provisions of the decree really ceremonial? Apparently they are in part ceremonial if the so-called "Neutral text" attested by the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus be correct. According to this text, which here lies at the basis of all forms of our English Bible, "blood" can hardly refer to anything except meat that has the blood left in it or else blood that might be prepared separately for food; for "things strangled" certainly refers to a closely related provision of the ceremonial Law about food. But at this point an interesting textual question arises. The socalled "Western text" of the Book of Acts, attested by the Codex Bezae and the usual companion witnesses, omits the word translated "things strangled" or "what is strangled" in Acts xv. 20, 29; xxi. 25, and in the first two of these three passages adds the negative form of the Golden Rule. Thus the Western text reads in Acts xv. 28, 29 as follows: "For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no further burden upon you except these necessary things—that you refrain from things offered to idols and from blood and from fornication, and that you do not to another whatsoever things you do not wish to be done to you." It is generally agreed that the Golden Rule has here been added by a copyist; but the omission of "things strangled" is thought by many modern scholars to preserve the reading of the autograph. If this short text without "things strangled" be correct, then the provisions of the Decree need not be regarded as ceremonial at all, but may be taken as simply moral. "Things offered to idols" may refer to idolatry in general; "blood" may refer to murder; and "fornication" may be meant in the most general sense. But if the provisions of the Decree were simply moral, then plainly they did not constitute any "addition" to the message of freedom which Paul proclaimed among the Gentiles. Paul himself had of course enjoined upon his converts the necessity of leading a true moral life. If when the original apostles were urged by the Judaizers to impose upon the Gentile converts the requirements of the ceremonial Law, they responded, "No; the only requirements to be imposed upon the Gentiles are that they refrain from deadly sins like idolatry, murder and fornication," that decision constituted merely a most emphatic confirmation of Paul's gospel of freedom.
The textual question cannot here be discussed in detail. In favor of the Western text, with its omission of "things strangled," may be urged not only the general principle of textual criticism that the shorter reading is to be preferred to the longer, but also the special consideration that in this particular passage the shorter reading seems to account for the origin of the two additions; (1) the word translated "things strangled," and (2) the Golden Rule. The short text, supposing it to be the original, was ambiguous; it might be taken either as ceremonial ("blood" meaning the eating of blood) or as moral ("blood" meaning the shedding of blood or murder). Those copyists who took it as ceremonial, it is maintained, fixed the meaning by adding "things strangled" (because animals that were strangled had the blood still in them, so that the eating of them constituted a violation of the ceremonial Law); whereas those who took the Decree as moral fixed the meaning by adding the Golden Rule as the summation of the moral law.1
On the other side may be urged the connection which seems to exist between the omission of "things strangled" and the manifest gloss constituted by the Golden Rule. Documentary attestation of a short text, without the Golden Rule and without "things strangled," is exceedingly scanty if not non-existent—Kirsopp Lake can point only to the witness of Irenasus. The omission of "things strangled," therefore, may be only a part of a moralizing of the Decree (carried out also in the addition of the Golden Rule), which would be quite in accord with that habit of scribes by which they tended to ignore in the interests of moral commonplaces what was special and difficult in the text which they were copying. In reply, Lake insists that just at the time and at the place where the short text (without "things strangled") was prevalent, there was a food law for which the long text (with "things strangled") would have afforded welcome support. Why should the text have been modified just where in its original form it supported the prevailing practice of the Church? The conclusion is, Lake believes, that if the Western text prevailed, despite the welcome support which would have been afforded by the other text, it was because the Western text was correct.2
Decision as to the textual question will depend to a considerable extent upon the conclusion which is reached with regard to the Western text as a whole. The radical rejection of that text which was advocated by Westcott and Hort has by no means won uersal approval; a number of recent scholars are inclined at least to pursue an eclectic course, adopting now the Western reading and now the Neutral reading on the basis of internal evidence in the individual cases. Others believe that the Western text and the Neutral text are both correct, since the Western text is derived from an earlier edition
1See Lake, op. cit., pp. 51-53. 1Op. cit., pp. 57-59.
of the book, whereas the Neutral text represents a revised edition issued by the author himself.1 But this hypothesis affords absolutely no assistance in the case of the Apostolic Decree; for the Western reading (if it be interpreted in the purely nonceremonial way) presents the Decree in a light very different from that in which it appears according to the Neutral reading. It is impossible that the author could have contradicted himself so directly and in so important a matter. Therefore, if one of the two readings is due to the author, the other is due to some one else. Cases like this weigh heavily against the hypothesis of two editions of the book; that hypothesis can be saved only by supposing either that the Western documents do not here reproduce correctly the original Western form of the book, or else that the other documents do not here reproduce the original revised edition. In other words, despite the manuscript evidence, the two editions of the book must here be supposed to have been in harmony. At any rate, then, whether or no the hypothesis of two editions be accepted, a choice must here be made between the Neutral reading and the Western reading; they cannot both be due to the author, since they are contradictory to each other.
On the whole, it must be said that the Western text of the Book of Acts does not commend itself, either as the one genuine form of the book, or as an earlier edition of which the Neutral text is a revision. The Western readings are interesting; at times they may contain genuine historical information; but it seems unlikely that they are due to the author. Here and there indeed the Western documents may preserve a genuine reading which has been lost in all other witnesses to the text—even Westcott and Hort did not altogether exclude such a possibility—but in general the high estimate which Westcott and Hort placed upon the Neutral text is justified. Thus there is a possibility that the short text of the Apostolic Decree, without "things strangled," is genuine, but it is a possibility only.
If then, the Neutral text of the Decree is corect, so that the requirements of the Decree are partly ceremonial, must the
1 An elaborate attempt has recently been made by Zahn, in addition to former attempts by Blass and Hilgenfeld, to reproduce the original form of the Western text, which Zahn believes to be the earlier edition of the book. See Zahn, Die Urausgabe der ApostelgeschUhte des Lucas, 1916 (Forschungen zur Oeschichte des neutestamentlichen Rations, ix. Teil).
Book of Acts here be held to contradict the Epistle to the Galatians? If the Decree really was passed at the Apostolic Council, as Acts xv. 29 represents, would Paul have been obliged to mention it in Gal. ii. 1-10? Answering these questions in the affirmative, a great many scholars since the days of Baur have regarded the account which the Book of Acts gives of the Apostolic Council as radically wrong; and since the book has thus failed to approve itself at the point where it runs parallel to a recognized authority, it must be distrusted elsewhere as well. The Apostolic Council, especially the Apostolic Decree, has thus become, to use a phrase of B. W. Bacon, the "crux of apostolic history." 1
It is exceedingly unlikely, however, at any rate, that the Decree has been made up "out of whole cloth"; for it does not coincide exactly with the usage of the later Church, and seems to be framed in view of primitive conditions. Even those who reject the narrative of Acts as it stands, therefore, often admit that the Decree was really passed by the early Jerusalem Church; but they maintain that it was passed after Paul's departure from Jerusalem and without his consent. This view is thought to be supported by Acts xxi. 25, where James, it is said, is represented, at the time of Paul's last visit to Jerusalem, as calling attention to the Decree as though it were something new. Acts xxi. 25 is thus thought to preserve a bit of primitive tradition which is in contradiction to the representation of the fifteenth chapter. Of course, however, the verse as it stands in the completed book can only be taken by the unsophisticated reader as referring to what Paul already knew; and it is a grave question whether the author of Acts was unskillful enough to allow contradictory representations to stand unassimilated in his book, as the hypothesis demands. Acts xxi. 25, therefore, is at any rate not opposed to the view that the Decree was actually passed with the consent of Paul, as the fifteenth chapter represents.
But is this representation really in contradiction to the Epistle to the Galatians? Does Gal. ii. 1-10 really exclude the Apostolic Decree? In order to answer these questions, it will be necessary to examine the nature of the Decree.
1 B. W. Bacon, "Acts versus Galatians: the Crux of Apostolic History," in American Journal of Theology, xi, 1907, pp. 454-474. See also "Professor Harnack on the Lukan Narrative," ibid., xiii, 1909, pp. 59-76.
The Apostolic Decree, according to Acts xv. 1-29, did not constitute a definition of what was necessary for the salvation of the Gentile Christians, but was an attempt to solve the problem of a limited group of mixed communities where Jews and Gentiles were living together. Such seems to be the implication of the difficult verse, Acts xv. 21, where James, after he has proposed the substance of the Decree, says, "For Moses has from ancient generations in the several cities those who proclaim him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath." These words seem to mean that since there are Jews in the cities, and since they are devoted to the Law of Moses, the Gentile Christians, in order to avoid offending them, ought to refrain from certain of those features of the Gentile manner of life which the Jews would regard as most repulsive. The Law of Moses had been read in the cities from ancient generations; it was venerable; it deserved at least respect. Such a respectful attitude toward the Jewish way of life would contribute not only to the peace of the Church but also to the winning of the non-Christian Jews.
Was this procedure contrary to the principles of Paul? He himself tells us that it was not. "For though I was free from all men," he says, "I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak; I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some." 1 The Apostolic Decree was simply a particular case of becoming to the Jews as a Jew that Jews might be gained. Indeed it was a rather mild case of that kind; and the conjecture may be ventured that Paul was often very much more accommodating than the Decree would demand. Paul was not the man to insist upon blatant disregard of Jewish feelings where Jews were to be won to Christ.
It must be remembered that Paul, according to his Epistles, did not demand that Jewish Christians should give up keeping the Law, but only required them not to force the keep11 Cor. ix. 19-22, American Revised Version.
ing of the Law upon the Gentiles. No doubt the observance of the Law on the part of Jewish Christians was to be very different in spirit from their pre-Christian legalism; they were no longer to regard the Law as a means of salvation. But after salvation had been obtained, they might well believe that it was God's will for them to continue to live as Jews; and Paul, according to his Epistles, had no objection to that beUef. But how were the Jewish Christians to carry out their observance of the Law? Various requirements of the Law were held to imply that Israelites should keep separate from Gentiles. How then could the Jewish Christians live in close brotherly intercourse with the Gentile members of the Christian community without transgressing the Law of Moses? There is no reason to believe that Paul from the beginning had a hard and fast solution of this problem. Undoubtedly, the tendency of his practice led toward the complete abandonment of the ceremonial Law in the interests of Christian unity between Jews and Gentiles. He was very severe upon those Jewish Christians who, though convinced in their hearts of the necessity of giving precedence to the new principle of unity, yet separated themselves from the Gentiles through fear of men (Gal. ii. 11-21). But there is no reason to think that he condemned on principle those who truly believed that Jewish Christians should still keep the Law. With regard to these matters he was apparently content to wait for the clearer guidance of the Spirit of God, which would finally work out the unity of the Cburch. Meanwhile the Apostolic Decree was an attempt to solve the problem of mixed communities; and that attempt was in harmony with the principles which Paul enunciated in 1 Cor. ix. 19-22.
Moreover, the Apostolic Decree was in accord with Paul's principle of regard for the weaker brother (1 Cor. viii; Rom. xiv). In Corinth, certain brethren were offended by the eating of meat which had been offered to idols. Paul himself was able to eat such food; for he recognized that the idols were nothing. But for some of the members of the Christian community the partaking of such food would mean the deadly sin of idolatry; and out of regard for them Paul is ready to forego his freedom. The case was very similar in the mixed communities contemplated in the Apostolic Decree. The similarity, of course, appears on the surface in the first prohibition of the Decree, which concerns things offered to idols. But the two other prohibitions about food are not really very different. The use of blood was intimately associated with heathen cults, and the eating of meat with the blood still in it ("things strangled") would also, because of deep-seated religious ideas, seem to a devout Jew to involve idolatry. It is very doubtful, therefore, whether those prohibitions of the Decree which we are accustomed to designate as "ceremonial" were felt to be ceremonial by those for whose benefit the Decree was adopted. They were probably not felt to be ceremonial any more than the prohibition of things offered to idols was felt to be ceremonial by the weaker brethren at Corinth. Rather they were felt to involve the deadly sin of idolatry.
Finally, the Apostolic Decree was of limited range of application; it was addressed, not to Gentile Christians generally, but only to those in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia (Acts xv. 23). The Book of Acts, it is true, does declare, after the mention of Derbe and Lystra in connection with the beginning of the second missionary journey, that Paul and Silas "as they went on their way through the cities . . . delivered them the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem" (Acts xvi. 4). According to this passage the observance of the Decree does seem to have been extended into Lycaonia, and thus beyond the limits set forth in the Decree itself. But if Paul chose to make use of the document beyond the range originally contemplated, that does not alter the fact that originally the Jerusalem Church undertook to deal only with Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. In Acts xxi. 25, indeed, the reference of James to the Decree does not mention the geographical limitation. But James was thinking no doubt particularly of those regions whf-re there were the largest bodies of Jews, and he does not say that the Jerusalem Church, even if the Decree represented its own desires for all Gentiles, had actually sent the Decree to all. The general reference in Acts xxi. 25 may therefore fairly be interpreted in the light of the more particular information given in Acts xv. 23. It is thus unnecessary to follow Wendt, who, after a careful examination of all the objections which have been urged against the historicity of the Decree, concludes that the Decree was actually passed by the Jerusalem Church in the presence of Paul as the Book of Acts represents, but supposes that the author of Acts has erred in giving the decision a wider range of application than was really contemplated.1 A correct interpretation of the passages in question will remove even this last vestige of objection to the Lucan account.
But if the Decree was addressed only to Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, it was not imposed upon specifically Pauline churches. The Gentile work at Antioch had not been started by Paul, and it is a question how far he regarded the churches of Syria and Cilicia in general as belonging to his peculiar province. Undoubtedly he had labored long in those regions, but others had shared his labors and in some places had even preceded him. These other missionaries had come from Jerusalem. Paul may well therefore have recognized the authority of the Jerusalem leaders over the churches of Syria and Cilicia in a way which would not have been in pla.ce at Ephesus or Corinth, especially since the Jewish Christian element in the Syrian and Cilician churches was probably very strong.
The adoption of the Apostolic Decree by the Jerusalem Church was thus not derogatory in general to the apostolic dignity of Paul, or contrary to his principles. But is the Decree excluded, in particular, by the words of Paul in Galatians? Paul says that the pillars of the Jerusalem Church "added nothing" 2 to him (Gal. ii. 6). The meaning of these words must be examined with some care.
Undoubtedly the word here translated "added"—it may perhaps be better translated "imparted nothing to me in addition"—is to be understood in conjunction with Gal. ii. 2, where the same Greek word is used, but without the preposition which means "in addition." The sense of the two verses— they are separated by the important digression about Titus— is thus as follows: "When I laid my gospel before the leaders, they laid nothing before me in addition." That is, they declared, after listening to Paul's gospel, that they had nothing to add to it; Christ had given it to Paul directly; it was sufficient and complete. The question, therefore, in connection with the Apostolic Decree is not whether the Decree was or was not something important that the Jerusalem leaders im
1 Wendt, Die Apostelgeschichte, 1913, in Meyer, Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar ilber das Neue Testament, 9te Aufl., p. 237.
parted to Paul, but only whether it constituted an addition to his gospel. If it constituted an addition to his gospel, then it is excluded by Paul's words in Galatians, and is unhistorical. But as it has been interpreted above, it certainly did not constitute an addition to Paul's gospel. Paul's gospel consisted in the offer of salvation to the Gentiles through faith alone apart from the works of the law. The Jerusalem leaders recognized that gospel; they had absolutely nothing to add to it; Paul had revealed the way of salvation to the Gentiles exactly as it had been revealed to him by God. But the recognition of the Pauline gospel of salvation by faith alone did not solve all the practical problems of the Christian life; in particular it did not solve the problem of the mixed churches. It would have been unnatural if the conference had not proceeded to a consideration of such problems, and Paul's words do not at all exclude such consideration.
Certainly some sort of public pronouncement on the part of the Jerusalem leaders was imperatively demanded. The Judaizers had made trouble in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia— that much of the account in Acts is generally admitted to be historical and is certainly necessary to account for the very fact that Paul went to Jerusalem, the revelation which came to him being given by God in relation to a very definite situation. Against his inclination Paul went to Jerusalem in order to stop the propaganda of the Judaizers by obtaining a pronouncement from the very authorities to which they appealed. Is it to be supposed that he returned to Antioch without the pronouncement which he had sought? If he had done so his journey would have been in vain; the Judaizers would have continued to make trouble exactly as before. Some kind of public pronouncement was therefore evidently sought by Paul himself from the Jerusalem leaders. No doubt the very seeking of such a pronouncement was open to misunderstanding; it might seem to involve subordination of Paul to the authorities to whom apparently he was appealing as to a higher instance. Paul was keenly aware of such dangers, and waited for definite guidance of God before he decided to make the journey. But if he had come back from Jerusalem without any such pronouncement of the authorities as would demonstrate the falsity of the Judaizers' appeal to them, then the disadvantages of the conference would have been incurred in vain. In all probability, therefore, the conference of Gal. ii. 1-10, if it took place at the time reached by the narrative at the beginning of the fifteenth chapter of Acts, resulted in a pronouncement from the Jerusalem Church. And the Apostolic Decree was just such a pronouncement as might have been expected. It was public; it was an emphatic vindication of Gentile freedom and an express rebuke of the Judaizers; and it dealt with some at least of the practical difficulties which would result from the presence of Jews and Gentiles in the churches of Syria and Cilicia.
The identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29, therefore, does not raise insuperable difficulties against the acceptance as historical of the narrative in Acts. But it must be remembered that the alternative identification—with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25—is also possible. The comparison between Acts and Galatians, therefore, has certainly not resulted disastrously for the Book of Acts; there are three ways in which Acts can be shown to be in harmony with Paul. These three possibilities may now conveniently be summed up in the light of the examination of them in the preceding pages.
(1) Galatians ii. 1-10 may be regarded as an account of the famine visit of Acts xi. 30; xii. 25; and on the basis of this identification the Epistle may be dated before the Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29. The course of events would then be somewhat as follows: First there was a private conference between Paul and the original apostles (Gal. ii. 110) at the time of the famine visit (Acts xi. 30; xii. 25). Then followed the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas to Southern Galatia (Acts xiii, xiv). That journey brought a great influx of Gentiles into the Church and aroused the active opposition of the Judaizers. The trouble seems to have been accentuated by the coming to Antioch of certain men from James (Gal. ii. 11-13). It is not clear whether they themselves were to blame, or whether, if they were, they had any commission from James. At any rate, Peter was induced to give up the table companionship with Gentile Christians which formerly he had practiced at Antioch, and Barnabas also was carried away. Paul rebuked Peter publicly. But the Judaizers continued to disturb the peace of the Church, and even demanded, as a thing absolutely necessary to salvation, that the Gentile Christians should be circumcised and should keep the Law of Moses. The Judaizing activity extended also into Galatia, and Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians in the midst of the conflict. At Antioch it was finally determined to bring the matter to the attention of the Jerusalem leaders in order to show that the Judaizers had no right to appeal to those leaders, and in order to silence the Judaizers by a public pronouncement of the Jerusalem Church. A revelation induced Paul to agree to this plan. The result was the Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29.
Undoubtedly this account of the matter overcomes certain difficulties. It has won considerable support, and can no longer be regarded as a mere apologetic expedient.
(2) The Western text of the Apostolic Decree may be regarded as correct. The Decree may then be taken as forbidding only the three deadly sins of idolatry, murder, and fornication, so that it cannot by any possibility be taken as a limitation of Gentile freedom or an addition to Paul's gospel of justification by faith alone. This solution has been adopted by Von Harnack and others; and by Kirsopp Lake,1 certainly without any "apologetic" motive, it has actually been combined with (1).
(3) Finally, Gal. ii. 1-10 being identified with Acts xv. 1-29, and the Neutral text of the Apostolic Decree being adopted, harmony between Acts and Galatians may be established by that interpretation of both passages which has been proposed above. According to this interpretation, the Decree was not regarded as necessary to salvation or intended as an addition to Paul's gospel, but was an attempt to solve the special and temporary problem of the mixed communities in Syria and Cilicia.
This last solution being adopted provisionally (though (1) certainly has much in its favor), the outcome of the Apostolic Council must be considered in connection with the events that followed. Apparently Paul in Galatians is telling only what happened in a private conference between himself and the Jerusalem leaders, the account of the public action of the Church being found in Acts. James and Peter and John recognized the independence of Paul's apostleship; Paul had been intrusted with the apostleship to the Gentiles as Peter
1 In The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911. It will be remembered that Lake has now radically modified his views. See above, p. 81, footnote 3. with that to the circumcision. After listening to Paul's account of the wonderful works of God by which his ministry had been blessed, and after coming into direct contact with the grace which had been given to him, the pillars of the Jerusalem Church gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship that they should go to the Gentiles while the Jerusalem leaders should go to the circumcision. This division of labor has often been egregiously misinterpreted, especially by the Tubingen school and all those in subsequent years who have not been able to throw off the shackles of Tiibingenism. The question has often been asked whether the division was meant geographically or ethnographically. Was Paul to preach everywhere outside of Palestine both to Jews and Gentiles, while the original apostles were to labor in Palestine only; or was Paul to preach to Gentiles wherever found, while the original apostles were to labor for Jews wherever found? In other words, to whose province were assigned the Jews of the Dispersion—to the province of Paul and Barnabas, or to the province of the original apostles? It has sometimes been maintained that Paul understood the division geographically, but that the Jerusalem leaders understood it ethnographically; so that Peter transgressed Paul's geographical interpretation when he went to labor in Antioch. But the very raising of the whole question is in itself a fundamental error. The division was not meant in an exclusive or negative sense at all; it was not intended to prevent Peter from laboring among Gentiles or Paul from laboring among Jews. The same gospel was being preached by both Paul and Peter; they gave each other the right hand of fellowship. What was meant was simply a general recognition of the dispensation of God which had so far prevailed. By that dispensation Paul and Barnabas had been sent particularly to the Gentiles and the Jerusalem apostles to the Jews. If either group was hindered in its work, the interests of the Church would suffer. Both groups, therefore, were absolutely necessary in order that both Jews and Gentiles should be won.
In one particular, indeed, the Jerusalem leaders requested expressly that the division of labor should not be taken too strictly; they hoped that Paul would not be so much engrossed in his Gentile work as to forget the poor of the Jerusalem Church (Gal. ii. 10). It should be observed very carefully that this request about the poor forms an exception, not at all to the full recognition of Paul's gospel, but only to the division of labor as between Jews and Gentiles. It does not go with the remote words of verse 6 ("for to me those who were of repute added nothing"), but with the immediately adjacent words in verse 9. Paul does not say, therefore, "To me those of repute added (or imposed) nothing except that I should remember the Jerusalem poor." If he had said that, then perhaps it would be difficult to explain the omission of the Apostolic Decree; for the Decree as much as the request for aid of the Jerusalem poor was something that the Jerusalem leaders laid upon him. But the fact is that neither the Decree nor the request about the poor has anything whatever to do with Paul's gospel or the attitude of the Jerusalem leaders toward it. What is really meant by the request for aid is simply this: "You are the apostle to the Gentiles; it is a great work; we wish you Godspeed in it. But even in so great a work as that, do not forget your needy Jewish brethren in Jerusalem."
After the conference at Jerusalem Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch. According to the Book of Acts the letter of the Jerusalem Church was joyfully received; it meant a confirmation of Gentile freedom and relief from the attacks of the Judaizers. But new disturbances began, and Peter was concerned in them. He had gone to Antioch. There is not the slightest reason to think that his arrival occasioned anything but joy. The notion that Paul was jealously guarding his rights in a Gentile church and resented the coming of Peter as an intrusion has not the slightest basis either in Acts or in the Pauline Epistles. But at Antioch Jews and Gentiles were living together in the Church, and their juxtaposition presented a serious problem. The Gentile Christians, it will be remembered, had been released from the obligation of being circumcised and of undertaking to keep the Mosaic Law. The Jewish Christians, on the other hand, had not been required to give up their ancestral mode of life. But how could the Jewish Christians continue to live under the Law if they held companionship with Gentiles in a way which would render the strict observance of the Law impossible? Should the precedence be given to the observance of the Law on the part of the Jewish Christians or to the new principle of Christian unity? This question had not been settled by the Apostolic Council, for even if the Gentile Christians observed the provisions of the Apostolic Decree, table companionship with them would still have seemed to involve a transgression of the Law. Peter, however, took a step beyond what had already been settled; he relaxed the strictness of his Jewish manner of life by eating with the Gentiles. He was convinced of the revolutionary change wrought by the coming of Christ, and gave practical expression to his conviction by holding full companionship with all his brethren. After a time, however, and perhaps during an absence of Paul from the city, certain men came from James, and their coming occasioned difficulty. It is not said that these men were commissioned by James, and some readers have thought that "from James" means merely "from Jerusalem," James being named merely as representative of the church over which he presided. But even if the newcomers stood in some closer relationship to James, or even had been sent by him, it is an unwarranted assumption that James was responsible for the trouble that they caused, or had sent them to Antioch with the purpose of limiting the freedom of Peter's conduct. They may have abused whatever commission they had received. Moreover, it must be remembered that they are not expressly blamed by Paul. If they clung conscientiously to the keeping of the Law, as they had been accustomed to do at Jerusalem, Paul- would perhaps not necessarily condemn them; for he did not on principle or in all circumstances require Jewish Christians to give up the keeping of the Law. But Peter had really transcended that point of view; and when, therefore, he now, from fear of these newcomers, withdrew from the Gentiles, he was concealing his true convictions. It was the inconsistency of his conduct that Paul felt called upon to rebuke. That inconsistency could not fail to have a bad effect upon the Gentile Christians. Peter had received them into true fellowship. But now apparently he regarded such liberal conduct as a thing to be ashamed of and to be concealed. The Gentile Christians could not help drawing the conclusion that they were at best only on the outskirts of the Christian community; the chief of the original apostles of Jesus was apparently ashamed of his association with them. Despite the liberty granted by the Apostolic Council, therefore, the Gentile Christians were again tempted to remove the disabilities which rested upon them, by accepting circumcision and so becoming full members of the Church. Evidently the keeping of the Law on the part of Jewish Christians was a half-way position. But when it was pursued conscientiously, as a duty still resting upon men of Jewish descent, it might possibly be dealt with gently by Paul. When, however, it was undertaken for fear of men, in the face of better understanding, it became "hypocrisy" and was rebuked sharply. If the transcending of the Law, in the interests of Christian unity, had once been grasped as a necessary consequence of the redemption wrought by Christ, then to repudiate it was to bring discredit upon Christ Himself, and make His death of none avail.
The influence of Peter's withdrawal from the Gentile Christians soon began to make itself felt; other Jewish Christians followed Peter's example, and even Barnabas was carried away. A serious crisis had arisen. But God had not deserted His Church. The Church was saved through the instrumentality of Paul.
To Paul had been revealed the full implications of the gospel; to him the freedom of the Gentiles was a matter of principle, and when principle was at stake he never kept silent. Regardless of all petty calculations about the influence that might be lost or the friendships that might be sacrificed, he spoke out boldly for Christ; he rebuked Peter openly before the assembled Church. It should always be observed, however, that it was not the principles of Peter, but his conduct, which Paul was rebuking. The incident is therefore misused when it is made to establish a fundamental disagreement between Paul and Peter. On the contrary, in the very act of condemning the practice of Peter, Paul approves his principles; he is rebuking Peter just for the concealment of his correct principles for fear of men. He and Peter, he says, were perfectly agreed about the inadequacy of the Law, and the allsufficiency of faith in Christ; why then should Peter act in contradiction to these great convictions? The passage, Gal. ii. 11-21, therefore, far from establishing a fundamental disagreement between Peter and Paul really furnishes the strongest possible evidence for their fundamental unity.
But how did Peter take the rebuke which was administered to him? There should be no real doubt about the answer to this question. Details, indeed, are uncertain; it may perhaps be doubtful when Peter acquiesced or how he expressed his acquiescence. But that he acquiesced at some time and in some manner is indicated by the whole subsequent history of the Church. A contrary conclusion has, indeed, sometimes been drawn from the silence of Paul. If Peter was convinced by Paul at Antioch, would not Paul have been sure to mention so gratifying a result? Would he not have appealed, against the contentions of the Judaizers in Galatia, to so signal a recognition of his apostolic authority? This argument ignores the true character of the passage. During the writing of Gal. ii. 11-21 Paul has altogether ceased to think of Peter. What he had said to Peter at Antioch happened to be exactly the same thing that he desired to say, at the time of the writing of the letter, to the Galatians. In reporting, not with pedantic verbal accuracy but in substance, what he had said to Peter at Antioch, he has entered upon the very heart of his gospel, which had been despised by the Judaizers in Galatia. Long before the end of the glorious passage, Gal. ii. 11-21, he has forgotten all about Peter and Barnabas and Antioch, and is thinking only about the grace of Christ and the way in which it was being made of none effect by those who would desert it for a religion of works. To expect him to descend from the heights in order to narrate the outcome of the incident at Antioch is to do woeful injustice to the character of the apostle's mind and the manner of his literary activity. Gal. ii. 11-21 forms a transition between the first main division of the Epistle, in which Paul is answering the personal attack of the Judaizers, and the second main division, in which he is defending the contents of his gospel. Before the end of the passage Paul has plunged into the principal thing that he wanted to say to the Galatians, who were making void the cross of Christ. The presentation in Gal. ii. 11-21 of what Bengel 1 called the "marrow of Christianity" leads inevitably, therefore, not to a pedantic narration of what Peter did, but to the exclamation of Gal. iii. 1, "O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified?"
Thus the silence of Paul about the outcome of the incident at Antioch does not at all establish the outcome as unfavor1 On Gal. ii. 19.
able. But there are positive indications on the other side. Of course, if Gal. ii. 1-10 were identified with the famine visit, the whole question would be settled. In that case, the incident of Gal. ii. 11-21 would have been followed by the Apostolic Council, at which the harmony of Peter and Paul found full expression. But even if the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with the Apostolic Council be adopted, there are still plain indications that the outcome of the Antioch incident was favorable.
In the first place, Paul mentions Peter in 1 Cor. ix. 5 with respect, as an apostle to whose example appeal may be made; in 1 Cor. iii. 22 he classes Peter with himself and with Apollos as a possession of all Christians; 1 and in 1 Cor. xv. 1-11 he includes as part of his fundamental missionary preaching the appearance of the risen Christ to Peter, and appeals to the unity which existed between his own preaching and that of the other apostles (verses '5, ll).2
In the second place, Paul concerned himself earnestly, according to 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans, with the collection for the Jerusalem poor. If the incident at Antioch had meant a repudiation of the "right hand of fellowship" which Peter in common with James and John had given to Paul at Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 9), it is difficult to see how Paul could have continued to engage in a form of brotherly service which was the most touching expression of that fellowship. If there was a permanent breach between Peter and Paul, the contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem could hardly have been collected.
In the third place, the agitation of the Judaizers seems to have died down during the third missionary journey. It appears, indeed, at Corinth, according to the Corinthian Epistles, but seems there to have lacked that insistence upon the keeping of the Law which had made it so dangerous in Galatia. In the epistles of the captivity—Colossians and Philemon, Ephesians, Philippians—it appears, if at all, only in the obscure reference in Phil. iii. 2ff., which may relate to nonChristian Judaism rather than to Jewish Christianity. This subsidence of the Judaizing activity is difficult to understand if the benefits of the Jerusalem conference had been annulled by a serious breach at Antioch.
Finally, the whole subsequent history of the Church is
1 Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 1892, p. 14, note 1. * Knowling, loc. cit.
explicable only if there was fundamental unity between Peter and Paul. Ever since the formation of the Old Catholic Church at the close of the second' century the Church was founded upon the twin pillars of Peter and Paul. How was this unity produced if in the apostolic age there was fundamental disunion? The existence of this problem was fully recognized by F. C. Baur, and the recognition of it constitutes one element of greatness in Baur's work. But the elaborate solution which Baur proposed has had to be abandoned. Baur supposed that the harmony between Pauline and Petrine Christianity was produced by a gradual compromise effected during the second century. Subsequent investigation has pushed the harmony very much further back. The unity between Peter' and Paul appears, for example, plainly expressed in the letter of Clement of Rome (about 95 A. D.), who appeals to the two great apostles as though both were of recognized authority; it appears also in the first Epistle of Peter, which even if not genuine is important as attributing to Peter, as though the attribution were a matter of course, a conception of the gospel thoroughly in harmony with that of Paul; it appears in the early traditional account of John Mark, by which Mark is made to be a follower of Peter (compare 1 Peter v. 13) and to have received from Peter the substance of his Gospel, so that when his cordial relations with Paul are remembered (Col. iv. 10; Philem. 24) he constitutes an important link between Peter and Paul. What is more important, however, than all details, is the undoubted fact that before the end of the first century epistles of Paul and genuine tradition about Jesus, which latter must at first have been connected with the Jerusalem Church, appear side by side as possessing high authority in the Church. Finally, the testimony of the Book of Acts is now admitted to be at any rate very much earlier than Baur supposed; and that testimony, so far as the harmony between Paul and Peter is concerned, is unequivocal. Thus the explanation which Baur proposed for the final healing of the supposed breach between Peter and Paul is unsatisfactory. But no other explanation has been discovered to take its place. The very existence of the Church would have been impossible if there had been a permanent breach between the leader in the Gentile mission and the leader among the original disciples of Jesus.
The Book of Acts does not mention the difficulty which arose at Antioch with regard to table companionship between Jews and Gentiles. But it does mention another disagreement between Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas desired to take John Mark along on the second missionary journey, while Paul was unwilling to take with him again the one who had turned back on the former journey and had not gone to those South Galatian churches which it was now proposed to revisit. It was maintained by the Tubingen school of criticism that the lesser quarrel has here been inserted by the author of Acts with the express purpose of covering up the more serious disagreement which was the real reason for the separation of Barnabas and Paul. But the insertion of a quarrel is rather an unnatural way to cover up the fact that there was another quarrel; it would have been better to keep altogether silent about the disagreement. Moreover, the good faith of the author is now generally accepted. There is another possible way of explaining the omission of the incident of Gal. ii. 11-21 from the Book of Acts. It may be surmised that the incident was so unimportant in its consequences, Peter and Barnabas were so quickly convinced by Paul, that a historian who was concerned, not with personal details about the relations between Paul and the other leaders, but with the external progress of the gospel, did not find it necessary to mention the incident at all.
After the separation of Barnabas from Paul at the beginning of the second missionary journey, it is not recorded that the two men were ever associated again in missionary work. But in 1 Cor. ix. 6 Barnabas is spoken of with respect—"Or I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to forbear working." Evidently Paul was interested in the work of Barnabas, and was not ashamed to appeal to his example. In Col. iv. 10, moreover, "Mark, the cousin of Barnabas" is mentioned, and is commended to the attention of the Colossian Christians. Mark here forms a link between Paul and Barnabas as he does between Paul and Peter. Evidently the estrangement at Antioch was not permanent even in the case of Mark, against whom there was the special objection that he had withdrawn from the work at Perga. According to 2 Tim. iv. 11, Mark became exactly what he had not been at Perga, "useful" to Paul "for ministering." And if the testimony of 2 Timothy be rejected, the same cordial relationship between Paul and Mark appears also in Col. iv. 10, 11; Philem. 24. The scanty indications all point very decidedly away from any permanent estrangement as resulting from the incidents at Antioch.
During the second and third missionary journeys, the agitation of the Judaizers, as has already been observed, seems to have subsided. In Corinth, indeed, according to 1 and 2 Corinthians, Paul appears in deadly conflict with certain men who sought to undermine his apostolic authority. Baur made much of this conflict; indeed, he based his reconstruction of apostolic history upon the Corinthian Epistles almost as much as upon Galatians. The starting-point of his investigation was found in the party watchwords mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 12, "I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ." The "Christ-party" of the verse, identified with the opponents attacked in 9, Cor. x-xiii, Baur believed to have been an extreme Judaizing party. This extreme Judaizing party, Baur maintained, appealed with some show of reason to the original apostles in Jerusalem. Thus the Corinthian Epistles like the Epistle to the Galatians were made to establish what was to Baur the fundamental fact of apostolic history, a serious conflict of principle between Paul and the original apostles.1
Subsequent investigation, however, has cast at least serious doubt upon the Tubingen exegesis, even where it has not discredited it altogether. The whole matter of the Christ-party of 1 Cor. i. 12 is felt to be exceedingly obscure, so obscure that J. Weiss, for example, in his recent commentary on 1 Corinthians, has felt constrained to cut the Gordian knot by regarding the words, "And I of Christ', as an interpolation.2 Where this heroic measure has not been resorted to, various interpretations have been proposed. Sometimes, for example, the Christ-party has been thought to have consisted of those who rejected the other watchwords, but in such a proud and quarrelsome way that the watchword, "I am of Christ," which should have belonged to all, became only the shibboleth of another party. Sometimes, again, the Christ-party has been regarded as a gnosticizing party which boasted of direct communica
1Baur, "Die Christuspartei in der korinthischen Gemeinde," in TCbinger Zeitschrift fur Theologis, 1831, 4 Heft, pp. 61-206.
1 J. Weiss, Der erste Korintherbrief, 1910, in Meyer, op. eit., 9te Aufl., p. xxxvili.
tions with the risen Christ. At any rate, it is very difficult to find in the words "I am of Christ" any clear designation of Judaizers who appealed against Paul to James or to their own connections with Jesus in Palestine. On the contrary, the reader of the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians may well be doubtful whether there were any distinct parties at all. It looks rather as though what Paul was rebuking were merely a spirit of division, which manifested itself now in one watchword and now in another. The Corinthian Christians seem to have been "sermon-tasters"; they were proud of their ''wisdom," and laid undue stress upon the varying form of the gospel message to the neglect of the content. It is noteworthy that in 1 Cor. i-iv Paul does not enter upon any anti-Judaistic polemic, but addressed himself to those who in a spirit of pride and quarrelsomeness sought after wisdom. "If you would be truly wise and truly 'spiritual,' " he says, "then cease your contentions." Paul was perhaps combating not any definite parties, but only the party spirit.
It must be admitted that there were in the Corinthian Church persons who emphasized against Paul the advantages of Palestinian origin and of direct connection with Jesus. But there is no reason to bring these opponents of Paul into any close relation to the original apostles and to James. The letters of recommendation (2 Cor. iii. 1) may have come elsewhere than from the apostles; indeed the mention of letters from the Corinthians as well as to them would seem to make the passage refer to a general habit of credential-bearing rather than to any special credentials from Jerusalem. The opponents desired to push themselves into other men's spheres of labor; and in order to do so they were in the habit of arming themselves with commendatory epistles. The reference is quite general and to us quite obscure; it is only by exceedingly bold specialization that it can be made to attest the existence of letters of commendation from the Jerusalem leaders. Moreover, even if the opponents did have some sort of endorsement from Jerusalem, they may have abused the confidence which had been reposed in them. The Tubingen exegesis of 2 Cor. xi. 5; xii. 11, by which "the chief est apostles" were identified with the pillars of the Jerusalem Church should be rejected; and the phrase (which is rather to be translated "those who are apostles overmuch") should be taken as designating simply the Corinthian agitators themselves. Thus, the "apostles overmuch" of 2 Cor. xi. 5 become the same as the "false apostles" of verse 18, the latter verse being used in order to interpret the former. In 1 Cor. i. 12, Peter is mentioned as being appealed to by one of the "parties" in the Corinthian Church. It has sometimes been maintained, on the basis of this verse, that Peter had actually been present in Corinth as had Apollos and Paul, who appear in two of the other party watchwords. But the matter is at least very doubtful. As chief of the original disciples of Jesus Peter might well have evoked the special admiration of certain members of the Corinthian Church without having ever been personally present. There does not seem to be the slightest evidence for supposing that the admirers of Peter mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 12 were extreme Judaizers; and there is no decisive reason for identifying them with the opponents who appear in 2 Cor. x-xiii. Certainly there is no reason for making Peter responsible for the factiousness of those who used his name. It must be remembered that Paul rebukes the "Paul party"—if it be a party—as much as any of the others, and distinctly commends Apollos, who was appealed to by the "Apollos party." Evidently the faults of the "parties" were not due at all to those whose names the parties used. In 1 Cor. hi. 21, 22, Paul says, "All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas." Here Peter is put as part of the common possession of all Christians. There could not possibly be a clearer recognition of the complete fellowship which Paul regards as existing between himself and Peter. Finally, in 1 Cor. xv. 11, Paul calls attention expressly to the fundamental unity between himself and the other apostles: "Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed." 1 The Corinthian Epistles certainly lend no support to the Tubingen contention; they certainly provide no evidence of a breach between Paul and the original disciples of Jesus.
At the time of his last visit to Jerusalem, Paul came again into contact with James, the brother of the Lord, and with the Jerusalem Church. The arrival at Jerusalem is narrated in one of the we-sections of the Book of Acts, and it is there said, "The brethren received us gladly" (Acts xxi. 17). The use of the first person plural disappears after the following 1 See Knowling, as cited above, p. 104, footnotes 1 and 2.
verse, where the meeting of Paul with James is described, but it is very difficult to separate Acts xxi. 20, for example, from the we-section. Of course there could be no use of the "we" when the narrator did not participate in what was being described. In Acts xxi. 20, it is said that James and the presbyters "glorified God" on account of what had been done among the Gentiles through the ministry of Paul. Whatever view may be taken of the composition of Acts, therefore, the warm reception of Paul on the part of the Jerusalem leaders seems to be attested by an eyewitness. Such a reception would be very difficult to explain if the relations between Paul and Jerusalem had been what they are represented as being by the Tubingen scholars.
According to Acts xxi. 20-26, James brought to Paul's attention the scruples of the Jewish Christians, who were "zealous for the law." These Jewish Christians had been told that Paul was teaching the Jews of the Dispersion not to circumcise their children or to walk "in the customs." With regard to the Gentile Christians, James has nothing to say except to call attention to the Apostolic Decree which the Jerusalem Church itself had adopted. But in order to allay the suspicions of the Jewish Christians, James suggests that Paul should participate in a Jewish vow. According to Acts xxi. 26, Paul complied with the request.
Such compliance was regarded by the Tubingen scholars as absolutely incompatible with Paul's character, and therefore as unhistorical. But recent criticism has been becoming, to say the least, less certain about the matter. The incident is narrated in a concrete way which creates a most favorable impression; indeed, the passage seems even to belong to the supposed we-section source. Moreover, a sober study of the Pauline Epistles has shown that the attitude of Paul toward Judaism and toward the Law was by no means what Baur and Zeller, through a one-sided interpretation of the polemic of Galatians, had supposed. In particular, the sharing of Paul in a Jewish vow is only an exemplification of the principle which Paul lays down in 1 Cor. ix. 19-22 of becoming all things to all men. Where could the principle possibly have applied if it did not apply to the situation in Jerusalem at the time of Paul's last visit? Where, if not there, could Paul have felt bound to become to the Jews as a Jew in order that he might gain Jews (1 Cor. ix. 20)? There seems to have been no attempt at that time to force the Law upon Gentiles, and no tendency to regard it even for Jews as necessary to salvation. Compliance with Jewish custom would therefore not be open to the misunderstanding which might have made it inadvisable during the midst of the Judaistic controversy. The devotion of the Jewish Christians to the Law seems never to have been condemned by Paul on principle. Should he then run counter to Jewish feeling by pursuing a crassly Gentile manner of life in the very midst of Judaism, when the national life, in the troublous years before the Jewish war, was running high? The answer to this question is at any rate not so simple as was formerly supposed. Participation by Paul in a Jewish vow in Jerusalem is not beyond the limits of that devotion to the Jewish people which the Epistles undoubtedly attest. And it is not really derogatory to the character of Paul. Where the truth of the gospel was concerned, Paul was absolutely unswerving and absolutely without regard for personal considerations; but when the "weaker brethren" of his own nation could be won without sacrifice of principle, he was fully capable of becoming to the Jews as a Jew.
While Paul was in prison in Jerusalem and in Cssarea, what was the attitude of James and of the Jerusalem Church? The Book of Acts does not say, and far-reaching conclusions have sometimes been drawn from its silence. The Jerusalem leaders, it is said, were at least lukewarm in their defense of Paul; they themselves were zealous for the Law, and they had only been half-convinced of the loyalty of Paul; it is no wonder, then, that they were not anxious to bring Jewish disfavor upon themselves by championing the cause of Paul.
This representation can find no support whatever in the sources. Certainly it is not supported by the silence of Acts. The disciples of Jesus were certainly not in positions of political influence at Jerusalem; indeed only a few years later even James, despite his strict Jewish manner of life, fell victim to the fury of his enemies. If at such a time and under such circumstances the Jerusalem disciples accomplished nothing for Paul, the fact does not attest any coldness in their sympathy, or any repentance for the joy with which, on the unequivocal testimony of a we-section, they had greeted him on his arrival.
The Book of Acts does not mention the collection which according to 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans Paul carried up to Jerusalem for the poor of the Jerusalem Church, except perhaps in the bare allusion in Acts xxiv. 17. But no great significance is to be attached to the omission. It must be remembered that the Book of Acts is not concerned primarily with the inner development of the churches, but rather with the external progress of the gospel out from Jerusalem to the Gentile world. How meager, for example, as compared with the Corinthian Epistles, is the account which Acts gives of affairs at Corinth! To infer, therefore, from the silence of Acts about the collection that the collection was not graciously received is to make use of the argument from silence in a most adventurous and unwarranted manner. The inference is definitely opposed, moreover, by the testimony of a we-section in Acts xxi. 17, where Paul is said to have been warmly received on his arrival in Jerusalem. That verse refers perhaps to the reception of Paul merely in a little group at the house of Mnason. But the warmth of his reception there was at least of good presage for the reception which took place the next day in the assembly of the elders. Rom. xv. 31 is sometimes thought to indicate anxious solicitude on the part of Paul lest the collection should not be acceptable to the Jerusalem Church. But the words will not bear the weight which is hung upon them. When Paul asks his readers to pray that he may be rescued from them that are disobedient in Judaea (that is, the non-Christian Jews), and that the offering which he is carrying to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, he certainly does not indicate any fear lest the offering may not be acceptable. The offering had been much on his heart; it was being carried to Jerusalem at the imminent risk of life; these perils were being encountered out of love for the Jerusalem brethren. Surely it is natural for the bearer of such an offering to wish that it may be acceptable. That wish is natural in the case of any gift, no matter how certain the giver may be that the recipient will be grateful. It was still more natural in the case of the Pauline collection. Moreover, even if Paul was solicitous about the reception of the gift, his solicitude may well have concerned merely those members of the Jerusalem Church mentioned in Acts xxi. 20-22, who were suspicious of Gentile Christianity. There is no reason, therefore, for connecting the solicitude of Paul with the original apostles or with James.
It will not be necessary for the present purpose to attempt any review of the missionary journeys of Paul. The outline of Paul's life is here being considered merely for its bearing upon the relations which Paul sustained (1) to the original disciples of Jesus, (2) to Judaism, and (3) to paganism. The first of these relationships has been chiefly in view. Enough has, however, perhaps been said to establish the following propositions:
(1) The relation between Paul and the original disciples of Jesus was cordial; there is no reason to interpret the "right hand of fellowship" which the leaders of the Jerusalem Church gave to Paul in any other than its full meaning, and no reason to suppose that the good relationship was broken off at any later time.
(2) The early training of Paul was thoroughly Jewish, and was fundamentally Palestinian, not Hellenistic; and Paul never relinquished his attachment to his own people.
(3) Paul's attitude toward paganism, after the conversion as well as before it, was an attitude of abhorrence. If common ground was ever sought with his pagan hearers, it was only as a starting-point for the denunciation of idolatry and the proclamation of a revealed gospel.
CHAPTER IV PAUL AND JESUS