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1 and 2 Thessalonians, or slightly later, during the interval between the second and third tours (Ac 1828a, noinoas xpóvov tivà), which Paul spent at Antioch. The conclusion that 1 and 2 Thessalonians preceded Galatians-an order which is imperative upon the northern Galatian, and probable upon the southern Galatian theory-is corroborated by the internal evidence of the respective epistles, which is fairly decisive in regard to the relative position of Galatians and the other three chief epistles as well.
(6) The affinities of Galatians, in spirit and expression, are with the Corinthian and Roman, not with the Thessalonian, epistles. The latter stand by themselves, their theology is simple, their atmosphere unvexed by Judaistic agitation against the principles of the gospel, or the mission of the apostle. It is true that Paul's relations with Thessalonika were comparatively smooth and bright. The community there drew upon itself none of the incisive strokes which fell from him upon the vacillating Galatae. But even after a fair allowance has been made for this difference in the character of the two churches, it seems almost incredible that Galatians should have preceded 1 and 2 Thessalonians by one or two years, leaving hardly a trace of its hot arguments within these letters, and yet echoing subsequently in several of its moods through the Corinthian and Roman letters. Psychologically this order might be vindicated. But it would require clearer evidence than has yet been offered to make the theory acceptable, especially when arguments from other quarters tell decidedly against it.
With the exception of the hypothesis in regard to Galatians which we have discussed and put aside, there is a wide agreement among scholars that the similarities of the group Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, can be most satisfactorily explained if the four epistles are dated generally within one epoch-and that, the third tour of Paul. Between his arrival at Ephesus and his departure from Corinth (a period, roughly speaking, which embraced four years), the letters were composed. Within this group, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians hang together. The former was written from Ephesus (1 Co 168); the latter, at a later stage of the tour, from Macedonia (2 Co 75). During this interval neither Galatians nor Romans can be placed. Further, Romans is on all hands allowed to have followed 2 Corinthians. In the former epistle he is on the point of conveying to Jerusalem (Ro 1525) the proceeds of that collection made
1 E.g. Renan (S. Paul, chaps. X.-xi.), Burton, RLA, Ramsay, SPT, pp. 189– 192. 260 (with Schmiedel's review, ThLz (1897), 609-613, adverse to the southern Galatian theory), and Exp.5 June 1898, pp. 401 f., where, like Haupt (SK, 1900, pp. 137, 138), he unfavourably criticises the recent attempt of Zahn (Einl. i. pp. 117145) to place Galatians early in Paul's first visit to Corinth (Ac 181). His whole application of the southern Galatian theory to Galatians (Exp.5 1898, 1899, expanded and reprinted in A Historical Comm. on Galatians, 1899), is a most persuasive and vivid piece of historical writing. Volkmar, however (Paulus von Damascus bis zum Galaterbrief, p. 31 f.), dates Galatians from Antioch at the close of Paul's second missionary tour (Ac 18-2); wbile Bartlet (Erp. October 1899, pp. 263-280, “Some Points in Pauline History and Chronology"; AA, p. 83 f.), dating Paul's conversion, 30-33, puts Gal. 48 (49)-49 (50) A.D. written from Antioch, or as Paul was on his journey to Jerusalem to fight the battle of Christian freedom. See further, p. 137.
Ménégoz, Le Péché et la Redemption, pp. 3-9; cp. Holsten, Das Evangelium des Paulus, viii. To Professor Bruce (St. Paul's Conception of Christianity, pp. 1525) the Thessalonian epistles represented the rudimentary teaching given by Paul to & young Christian community : they were, in fact, a kind of Christian primer. Certainly Paulinism, in the technical sense of the word, is as indistinct in the Thessalonian letters as the characteristic genius of Carlyle in his life of Schiller.
by the Greek churches which forms the subject of his appeals and praise in the earlier letters to Corinth (i. 16', ii. 81 94). The latter epistles were of course composed before he finally visited the city on the Isthmus. Romans then falls towards the time of his departure (Ac 203) from Achaia, and this date is corroborated by the fact that Sosipater and Timothy (Ac 204) were in his company then, and joined in his greetings (Ro 1621). The result is that Galatians must fall either (i) before 1 and 2 Corinthians; or (ii) between 2 Corinthians and Romans ; or (iii) after Romans.
(i.) is the generally received order of the epistles : cp. Baur, Paul (Eng. Tr.), i. 260-267; Renan, S. Paul, passim ; Weiss; Havet, Origines, iv. pp. 101 f. ; Mackintosh, Essays tow. N. Theol. 299–308 ; J. S. Black, EB, art. “Gal.”; Hilgenfeld, Einl. pp. 249-327 ; also ZW Th (1883), pp. 303-343; Sabatier, Paul (Eng. Tr.), pp. 135–211; Holtzmann, Einl. pp. 217–245 ; Sieffert (-Meyer); Jülicher, Einl. SS 6-8; Holsten, Das Evglm. des Paulus; Lipsius, HC, 11. ii. pp. 11, 12; Ramsay, SPT, pp. 189–192; Sanday and Headlam, “Romans” (ICC, 1895), pp. xxxvi, xxxvii ; Warfield (Journ. Exeg. Soc., December 1884); Burton, RLA, pp. 212-216; Godet (INT), Reuss (pp. 76 f.), Ménégoz (op. cit.); Professor Bruce, St. Paul's Conception of Christianity, pp. 53, 54, etc.; Bovon, NTTh, ii. pp. 73-120 ; Vollert, Tabellen zur neutest. Zeitgesch. (1897), pp. 20-22; Drummond, Ep. to Galat. (1892), pp. 17-22 (more vaguely, IH, ii. pp. 189 f.); Schäfer, Einl. p. 87 f, etc.
The strength of this theory is chiefly to be felt by a detailed exposition of the separate writings in their connection and development, and can only be shown from such an examination. It is an order which, it may be argued, suits most accurately the controversial and dogmatic movements of Paul's mind, so far as it is possible to reconstruct those from the extant sources ; but it is further corroborated by the evidence afforded when each writing is isolated and placed according to its characteristic references. Indeed, the latter line of argument is often more convincing than the former. The style and inner development of thought throughout the letters cannot be said to give anything like reliable data for determining precisely the dates and order; they merely converge in favour of an order which depends upon conclusions drawn from the historical data of each writing separately viewed and sifted. Certainly these forbid any long interval between the Christianisation of the Galatians and this epistle. No situation suits the unequivocal language of Gal 16 so naturally as the composition of these words at a period earlier than that at which he wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus.
(ii.) has been held after Lightfoot (Galatians, pp. 36-56) by several critics, including Hort, Farrar, Salmon, and Findlay, Galatians, Expositor's Bible (1891): CR (1895), p. 362 ; cp. also Bleek, Einl. p. 548 f., and, upon the whole, S. Davidson (INT. i. pp. 73–83), with Adeney, BI, pp. 374-375; Dr. Dods seems undecided (DB, ii. pp. 95, 96).
The really plausible o element in this theory is drawn from the
1 The curious opinion, prevalent especially in the Eastern Church, that Gal. was composed during Paul's imprisonment (at Rome) was probably due to the canonical position of the epistle close to Ephesians. From this several ancient writers, from Eusebius of Emesa to Theodoret, naively concluded that it must have been written very late in Paul's life, finding also in 420 an allusion to confinement and suffering. Zahn quotes a modern rehabilitation of this fantasy upon slightly different but equally impossible lines (Halmel, Veber röm. Recht im Galat. 1895).
| 2 Hartmann (2wTh (1899), pp. 187-194), partly following Clemen, argues that the reckonings of time in 2 Co 122 and Gal 21 imply that the passages were written in that order.
admitted resemblances in style and subject which accompany the distinctive features in the group of letters. Galatians, it is argued, takes up the closing tone of 2 Corinthians, while in its turn it anticipates and is amplified by the tone of Romans; consequently its place is not merely with, but between, those writings. But, apart from the special considerations involved, this line of argument is too logical to be entirely human. Romans, in some aspects (e.g. the ideas of the spirit and sonship, also of works and the law) stands unquestionably near to Galatians, but the Corinthian epistles need not therefore be dated before the others. The fact may be admitted, and the inference denied. In his letters to Corinth the apostle is largely preoccupied with local questions which inevitably colour and shape the treatment of his main ideas. In Galatians he is to use the modern phrase—more objective, for all his versatile and urgent personality. These writings to Corinth are not a reliable clue to the exact and average nature of the ideas which possessed his mind. They represent him at a most eager, energetic point, it is true; but for the time being, turned aside. Hence the similarity of attitude in Galatians and Romans does not permit any safe inference as to the period of their composition. Psychologically, it is quite reasonable to argue that Romans carries forward the conceptions of Galatians after a brief lapse of time, during which other and more pressing questions had kept these comparatively latent in the apostle's mind. Besides, it may be disputed whether the coincidences and affinities between Galatians and Romans really form an important feature in either epistle. The divergencies are far more noticeable. Pre-eminently among the Pauline epistles Galatians has its special task and individual setting. Its contents are too isolated to admit of reliable inferences being drawn from them to determine its date through its connections and resemblances; and the absence in 2 Corinthians) of doctrinal controversy with the Judaistic emissaries proves, not that his conflict with them was still in an inchoate stage compared to that reflected in Galatians, but simply that the particular conditions and local circumstances at Corinth demanded tactics of a personal rather than a doctrinal nature. The special exposure in 2 Corinthians is not inconsistent with a previous refutation of their principles such as is hurled out in Galatians.
(iii.) has been recently revived and ingeniously stated, not only for
1 As Rendall aptly remarks: It is one thing to note in two letters familiar work. ings of the same mind, and another to identify their dates on the ground of that resemblance. The force of such a presumption depends largely on circumstances ; a man may well repeat the same thoughts and the same expressions at considerable intervals, if the intervening tenor of his life and his environment continue constant (Exp.4 ix, p. 260). So too, I am glad to find, Mr. C. H. Turner (DB, i. p. 423): "Perhaps too much stress has been laid on such resemblances taken alone--as though St. Paul's history was so strictly uniform that a given topic can only have been handled at a given moment and too little on the influence of external circumstances to revive old ideas or to call out new ones.” (On this point at least, though apparently not upon the date of Philippians, he has broken away from the Lightfoot tradition). Similarly and emphatically Zahn, Einl. i. pp. 143, 144, 358 (“ Paulus nicht der geistlose Schulmeister war, welcher zur Zeit und zur Unzeit seine Einförmigen Lehrsätze wiederholte”).
2 W. Brückner (Chron. pp. 174–192), from a widely different standpoint, comes to the same conclusion as Lightfoot upon the order of the epistles, dating them-Cor. Gal. Rom.-however, in the years 61-62, and suspecting the historicity even of Ac 24, 25. But, like Ménégoz, he heartily agrees that if ] Thess. is to be taken as a Pauline document it must be dated early in the apostle's life, previous to these four chief epistles (ibid. pp. 193-199).
his own purposes and reasons by Steck,1 but also by Clemen (Chron, also, SK (1897), pp. 219-270, “ Die Reihenfolge der paul. Hauptbriefe'). His scheme 2 involves a late date for the apostolic council, which is identified not with Ac 15 but with Ac 21, and therefore placed in 54 A.D. Previous to this come
37. Saul's conversion (2 Co 122), two years after crucifixion. 40-45. First mission tour, chiefly in Galatia. 45-50. (Spring), second tour, through Greece, etc., to Ephesus. 47-48. Stay in Corinth (1} years) (Thess, epp.). 49-50. First (lost) epistle to Corinth (1 Co 59), in early spring of 50. 50-52. Stay in Ephesus (24 years), including (1 Co, 2 Co 9) visit to
Corinth (2 Co 10-1310) 52-54. Third mission tour (2 Co 1-8, 1311-end), in summer of 52. 52-53. Winter in Nikopolis (Tit 312-14). 53-54. Winter in Corinth (Rom). 54. Apostolic council in Jerusalem (Ac 20–212?), dispute at
Antioch (Gal). 58. Paul's arrest in Jerusalem. The stress of the argument lies on the supposed increase of controversy with the Judaisers in Galatians as compared with Romans, for which
on this hypothesis-the events at Antioch are required as the preliminary cause. But the greater probability is that the larger, milder exposition of Paul's teaching on the law followed the sharper dialectic of Galatians, and it may be held that passages like Ro 520 77 show quite as clear and decisive a standpoint in regard to the law as Gal 219. Clemen's views mean development in the ideas of the law, righteousness, the person of Christ, etc., but neither these nor his somewhat arbitrary treatment of “ Acts” have moved recent scholarship from adhering to the old verdict pronounced by Baur's insight upon Galatians (see prefixed note below). ^ [So, most recently, Schmiedel, Ê Bi. ii. 1623 f.]
There need be little hesitation, then, in accepting Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans, as the proper chronological order of the writings; it has found wide assent among scholars, and, upon the whole, may be considered as the hypothesis which is most successful in setting the facts and feelings of the author's life in a reasonable and natural sequence.
II. The crucial point in the problem of the prison-letters is the position of Philippians. Almost certainly, however, this letter is to be ranked as the latest. It has always impressed editors as the final expression of Paul's mind and heart, written by one who was conscious of standing near the last step. This tone does not appear in the
i Der Gulaterbrief (1888), opposed in a special monograph by Gloël; Die jüngste Kritik des Galaterbriefes (1890), and by R. J. Knowling, witness of the Epistles (1892), ch. iii. Zabn also refers to his own convincing article in ZKWL (1889), pp. 462-466. Steck's order is Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, all composed between 120 and 140 A.D. [For Clemen's present view, see p. 708.]
2 Cp. Kühn, Neue kirchliche Zeitschr. (1895), pp. 981-990, on the argument that the evidence of the epistle agrees with the tone of Paul during the Caesarean imprisonment, when he could not (420) get away to visit his friends, and had been maltreated (617) by the Jews (Ac 2132)! Clemen's theory has been adversely examined by Schmiedel, LC (1894), pp. 1129-1131, and especially F. Sieffert in an essay (Th St, pp. 332-357), "Die Entwickelungslinie der paulinischen Gesetzeslehre, nach den vier Hauptbriefen des Apostels." Cp. also J. Weiss' review, SK (1895), pp. 252-296, “Paulinische Probleme; die Chronologie der Paulinischen Briefe," Zahn, Einl.'i. pp. 142, 143 (especially on the incompatibility of Gal 210 with this theory), A. Robertson (DB, i. pp. 485, 486), and Gercke (GGA (1894), 577–599).
Colossian (129 43) or Ephesian (619) letters, which in all probability preceded Philippians; they indicate a less disturbed situation, in which the writer's mind was free to deliberately expand. So Sabatier (p. 250 f.), Weiss (INT, i. $S 24-26), Godet (INT, p. 427 f.), Reuss (p. 106 f.), Ramsay (SPT, pp. 357-359), Lipsius (HC, ii. 2, pp. 210, 211), von Soden (ibid. iii.; E Bi, i. p. 816; and “Der Philipperbrief” (1889)), Klöpper (in his edition of Philip. 1893), McGiffert (AA, pp. 364-393), Zahn (Einl. i. pp. 380–391), Bovon (NTTh, ii. 73–120), Vollert (Tabellen, pp. 32, 33), Adeney (BI, p. 401 f.), Bartlet (AA, p. 178 f.), Schäfer (Einl. pp. 133-146), Dr. H. A. A. Kennedy (Exp. Ti. x. pp. 22–24), Bernard (DB, iii. 833), Gibb (DB, iii. 841), besides those who, with Holtzmann, reject both Colossians and Ephesians. Still, neither the internal evidence, which may be drawn from the character and prospects of the epistle, nor the evidence sought in its relation to Col.-Ephes., is absolutely decisive ; although, in the absence of reliable data, they serve to make this position inherently probable. In writing to the Philippians, Paul is no longer supported by the companions who had been with him when the earlier epistles were composed. Further, the letter gives the impression of having been written at a time when the author's position had become serious (123-25 223. 24), so acute, indeed, that the immediate future must end in a total change-death or liberation. This is scarcely compatible with the continued imprisonment which would be required, were Col.-Ephes. placed after Philippians.
Assuming, then, that Philippians and (as is highly probable) Colossians and Ephesians were all written from Rome, one may conclude that Philippians is subsequent to the others. The only argument on the other side of any weight is furnished by the admitted excess of dogmatic teaching in Col.-Ephes., and the apparent resemblance of Philippians to Romans. These are more or less obvious facts. But they do not necessarily imply chronological sequence, except upon the untenable hypothesis that Paul was concerned to show himself a careful and logical theologian. All three letters fall within less than a couple of years. The differences between them involve no great internal development of thought in Paul's mind. They simply arise from the different objects and interests roused in the apostle as he confronted the varving situations 2 in Asia Minor and Macedonia. Hence Philippians follows Romans just as Galatians precedes it; all these carry forward a certain and coherent train of argument, but immediately before as immediately after Romans, Paul finds himself suddenly brought face to face with crises and controversies which, like a living and versatile missionary, he turns aside to treat upon their own lives. Col.-Ephes. intervene after, as the Corinthian epistles before, Romans. They spring from a campaign, with its quick phases and unexpected transitions, in which the soldier has often to fight and
i Philippians “ ist jedenfalls nach den 3 anderen geschrieben. . . . Es ist das Testament des Apostels, das wir vor uns haben” (Einl. p. 267).
2 Ramsay: “ 'The tone of Col. and Ephes. is determined by the circumstances of the churches addressed. The great cities of Asia were on the highway of the world. which traversed the Lycos valley, and in them development took place with great rapidity. But the Macedonians were a simple-minded people in comparison with Ephesus and Laodiceia and Colossai, lying further away from the great movements of thought. It was not in Paul's way to send to Philippi an elaborate treatise against a subtle speculative heresy which had never affected that church."
On the historical situation of Col.-Ephes, an ailequate study is given in Renan's L'Antéchrist, ch. iv. Bacon (INT, 122 f.) also dates them previous to Philippians.