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the Apocalypse and Clem. Rom. (cp. on these, Hort, RE, p. 112; von Soden, HO, in. i. p. 80). The characteristics of the epistle on this view can be approached along one or other of two hypotheses :—
(a) The secretary-theory, Renan's suggestion,1 that the letter was written by one of Paul's scholars during his lifetime, and under his supervision, is at least possible. Extend this beyond his lifetime to the case of a follower reproducing Paul's ideas in view of later interests within the church, and one secures a very reasonable ground for dating the epistle towards the end of the century, and at the same time preserving and doing justice to the distinctively Pauline elements upon which stress has been recentlv and rightly laid (cp. von Soden, JpTh, 1887, pp. 103-135, 432-498; HO, in. i. p. 79-104). In this case the letter would be composed of reminiscences and traits gathered by a disciple of Paul's, and fused into a more advanced exposition. Thus Kldpper (Der Brief an die Epheser) attributes the writing to a disciple of the Pauline school who wrote two or three decades after his master's death. Certainly it presents some very striking affinities with the literature of 75-105 A.D., e.g. the development of hymnody (514- 19 320, cp. Lk 1-2), the emphasis on the "catholicity" of the church for Jew and pagan, the stress laid on detailed moral obligations, also the remarkable coincidences of thought with the fourth gospel, and of style with Lk-Acts. Such a position explains, as aptly as the earlier date, the use of Romans and the dependence upon Colossians, while it does ample justice to the Johannine features which otherwise appear c. 60 A.d., as—to say the least—very notable anticipations. In this event, the epistle is pseudonymous. It was composed 2 in view of current libertinism, church divisions, and theoretical errors of Alexandrian colour, in order to counteract such tendencies by a restatement of the true Pauline faith. Possibly, too, the errors were actually due (as in James and 1 John) to abuses or misconceptions of some original Pauline doctrines.
Even if one refuses the highly probable conjecture that Ayiois is a gloss, the crucial difficulty raised by the apparently objective and collective references to "apostles" (2S0 35)—assuming the text to be uncorrupted—is partly eased by passages like 1 Co 9s 1228, and Ro 16r. For all that can be said in defence of the various soteriological and cosmical "novelties," cp. Zahn, Einl. i. p. 355f., and Haupt's satisfying commentary ad loc. That these form a natural development of Paulinism is undeniable. The only question is whether they are "natural" within
l "Que Paul ait ecritoudicticettelettre, ile.ita pen pres impossible de l'admettre; mais qu'on l'ait composee de son vivant, sous ses yeux, en son com, c'est ce qu'on ue saurait declarer improbable" (S. Paul, p. xx). He follows Schleiermacher's suggest ion of Tychieus.
> " Die Interessen des Briefs haben zwei Pole, die vbllige Verschtnclzung von geborenen Juden und Heideu in der Christenheit zu eiuer geschlossencu Genieinschalt und die Erlassungdesgrossen kosmiscbenZielsdes Christenthums. In der mitte steht beide verbindend der Begriff der ixxx<ir.'«" (von Soden). The really vital problem in regard to "Ephesians 'is the question whether this theology is compatible with what we know of Pauline ideas from the other epistles. An affirmative answer has been made easier but not inevitable by the admission that Colossians is authentic. Upon the other hand, the later date and the pseudonymity which it involves are brought into clearer relief than ever when attention is directed (as by von Soden) to the affinities of the writing with the Apocalypse—its use of the bridal metaphor, its stress on the apostolic foundatiou and intixi^it (li~ 31 5), and the subsequent treatment of church-questions (Pastorals, Hennas) in epistolary form (Apoc 2-3). Besides, the Gentile is the predominant partner in the church to an extent unprecedented in the earlier literature. Cp. Holtzmann, EM. pp. 264-267, NTTh, ii. pp. 254-258.
the limits of the apostle's lifetime. Hesitation upon this point does not at all imply that Paul lacked constructive and broad ideas of the Christian brotherhood, nor does it involve any theory that binds the apostle to "one limited and carefully catalogued repertory of ideas." He may well have been a fresh and advancing thinker, and yet incapable of having written this epistle, which is so strangely silent upon, e.g., the cardinal Pauline ideas of Christ's death, second coming, and relation to the individual Christian, while it approximates remarkably to the Christology of "Hebrews" and the fourth gospel (Christ = the unifying principle for the universe, and for the contradictions of Jew and Gentile, the Johannine use of aydirt] in Ephesians, the antithesis of <Aa>s and O-kotos, etc.), in the 17th chapter of which "almost every verse offers a parallel to this epistle" (Lock).
(b) Otherwise, and on the same line, there is the more artificial structure-hypothesis—either in Holtzmann's or in a modified presentment—which explains the Pauline characteristics here, as in the pastoral epistles, chiefly by the theory of interpolation or compilation.1 Originally taken in part from the Colossian epistle, these genuine fragments may have formed the nucleus of, or have been worked up into, an extant epistle (vide Mangold-Bleek, p. 602). But this is needless in view of (a), and inherently stiff (cp. especially Oltramare's ed. p. 113 £.).
The recent admission of Colossians as authentic has however helped to make a seventh decade date in the first century intrinsically more probable. That both epistles were written together has often been mode a commonplace of criticism, though perhaps this is too hastily assumed. Still a similarity of situation is obvious, and the estimate of one certainly touches the estimate of the other (vide Sabatier, op. cit. pp. 229-234). "They were in all probability," says Weizsacker, "written not in succession but together; . . . they were meant to supplement each other, and were composed with that object on one complete plan. Both therefore start from the same ideas, the same doctrine" (AA, ii. p. 245). The result is that if the "Gnosticism" which explains Colossians is to be discovered in the middle of the first century throughout Asia Minor, it would require more serious and detailed proof than has yet been led to bring the twin-epistle—in spite of its independent elements and characteristic standpoint—down to the second or even to the close of the first century. This theory of simultaneous origin, however, does not necessarily follow from the similarities of the epistles, as Ephesians2 might well be a later restatement of the earlier writing. Still it seems to be widely felt as a possible hypothesis, e.g. by Oltramare (ii. pp. 5-104, a copious statement), Trenkle (Einl. 69-72), Julicher, and Hainack; neither of the latter will dogmatise against or for the authenticity of "Ephesians," although the vast majority of modern scholars agree in making it sub-Pauline. Most recently Zahn 3 (Einl. i. pp. 347-362) has accepted the epistle as literally genuine, the copy of a circular letter to the Asiatic churches. Dr. A. Robertson (Smith's Diet. B* i. pp. 947-964) has an excellent discussion
i Cp. besides vou Scxlen, Scbniiedel, EWK, ii. 38, pp. 138-144.
a One of the most difficult passages (Eph 5") has been made the subject of a special study by M. W. Jacobus (ThSt, pp. 9-29). If his elaborate arguments are correct, the citation is perfectly Pauline in method and object: it is a free spiritualisation of Jonah la, as a reproof of evil (cm=*ml*ltn).
> Who is much more successful in exposing the weak points of the later date, than in presenting a positive statement of the earlier.
and defence of the letter: and the Pauline authorship is upheld by Lock, DB, i. pp. 714-718.
The crucial point lies in the evident advance of Ephesians upon the theology of Colossians, especially in the conceptions of the church and the person of Christ: it is a fair question whether this advance (which, however, is rather a matter of emphasis than a speculative reality) is more natural as the work of Paul himself than as the reproduction and application of his ideas in a somewhat expanded form by some JewishChristian Paulinist towards the end of the first century. In the former case, the simplest explanation would be that the one epistle—as even Coleridge detected, though he reversed the true relationship—is "the overflowing, as it were, of St. Paul's mind upon the same subject." Written after the cognate epistle to the Colossians, Ephesians contains expressions' and conceptions which have either percolated into the writer's mind during the interval, or remained over from the previous writing. These are now reproduced, in combination with others which have been already developed. Hence the resemblances and the differences of the two letters. The former2 are upon the whole undesigned; the latter 3 are not much more than what might have been expected from an author who was engaged in composing a letter spontaneously for a fresh circle of readers, and felt himself free from mechanical anxiety about avoiding the repetition of anything he had just written to the church at Colosse (Hort, Rom. Eph., p. 162 f.; Oltramare, i. pp. 30-37, ii. pp. 113-154).
In this event, the situation of Paul at Rome would explain the emphasis upon the unity and brotherhood of Jew and pagan within the church (note the numerous compounds with <rvv), while his " intellectualism" or preoccupation with the more speculative and mystical aspects of Christology would be intelligible in connection with the features of the Asiatic Christianity as revealed, e.g. in Colossians (see a popular statement of this in Gore's Ephesians, pp. 20-34 ; after Hort, op. cit. p. 126 f.). "Les idees du fondateur de la thiologie chretienne y sont arrivces au plus haut degrd depuration. On sent ce dernier travail de spiritualisation que les grandes ames pros de s' cleindre font subir a leur pensee et au dela duquel il n'y a plus que la mort" (Renan).
i The exceptional difficulties raised by the style aud language of the epistle cannot be ignored. But even after full allowance has been made for them, the verdict must be that they neither prove nor disprove the Pauline authorship—that is to say, when Colossians is accepted as authentic. Zahn's analysis of the linguistic
f>hcnomena (EM. i. pp. 363-368) is beyond all praise, but its result is merely to eave the problem upon this point open. Especially in the earlier chapters the style is oracular to the verge of unwieldiness, and massive to the point of cumbrousness, in a manner hitherto unexampled in the Pauline letters. Yet glimpses of the characteristic Pauline style break through every now and then.
2 These appear in an exaggerated form when the epistles are printed, as in a modern collection they must be, iu juxtaposition, and are apt to produce the impression of a tasteless and slavish repetition, rather lacking in originality. But it has to be remembered (a) that the readers of the one letter were never intended to see the other, and (6) that Paul did not write in view of literary criticism and its standards. His predominant interest in the practical work to be achieved by his letters, together with the psychological situation above-noted, are conceivably sufficient to explain Gol-Eph.
» Such as the preoccupation in Ephesians with the fresh ideas of the Spirit, baptism, the relation of Christ to the church rather than to the universe, the continuity and unity of the church—implying a retrospect of considerable width,— the absence of personal and coutroversial details. Yet see one or two points iu MMtan's exposition, Revue BMique (1898), pp. 343-369, of "l'ecclesiologie de l'epitre aux Ephesiens " ; Oltramare throughout is fair and thorough, as usual.
Upon the whole, however, the question may be not unfairly said to remain open in the present state of criticism. Conclusions meanwhile, in favour of its authenticity, can hardly fail to be tentative on the score either of the literary connections, or of the style, or of the speculative developments1 in the theology of the writing. No argument, I confess, seems totally decisive, and it is with less confidence and less agreement of scholars than in the case of almost any other NT document, that Ephesians has been reluctantly left in this edition between 60 and 65 A.d. All that can be safely said is that this date is rendered somewhat more credible when the letter can be placed between Colossians and Philippians in a group of fairly cognate writings; more credible still, if 1 Peter can be subsequently dated in the seventh decade as well. Unfortunately the last-named argument is circular, for 1 Peter in its turn lias a certain dependence in conception and diction upon Ephesians. Indeed, to determine the relationship and priority of writings such as these, forms the differential calculus of NT criticism.1
The meagreness (421 3s) of the personal references—apart altogether from the bad attestation, both in tradition and MSS (WH, li. pp. 123,124) of iv 'EoVo-co (l1)—forbids the theory that the writing was destined exclusively 3 for Ephesus. No letter written with that church in view could have lacked intimate and affectionate allusions to some of the Ephesian Christians.4 Unless the writing, therefore, is post-Pauline, the most plausible alternative is to suppose that it was composed for the Christian communities of the Lycus valley, with whom Paul was in communication through Tychicus and Epaphras. Ephesus, as the chief city of the province, and subsequently a leading seat of Christianity, either received the letter first of all (like 1 Cor, 1 Co l2), or else became its final depository. Either supposition would explain the fact of iv 'Efoaa occurring in one or two MSS. Probably in the original draft a blank was left,5 in order
1 The culmination of Paul's previous teaching (Chrysostom, £ y«/> ui$*uit r% S«> i?8>y;atT; ravra i>rau0x f»j<r*») might possibly be explained by the fact that Paul here uufolds the «••?;« (1 Co. 26), either as the result of his own growth and experience, or because he considered the readers of the letter were sufficiently mature (nXi/«) to be made depositaries of this higher wisdom (so most recently Hort, £cclesia, pp. 138, 139). On the apocalyptic element, see HC, in. i. 99, 102 f., and Bacon, INT, 119-121.
2 A similar problem, involving equally delicate questions of literary criticism, is the relation between 4th Esdras and Apoc. Baruch.
3 Haupt recently disbelieves it was meant for Ephesus at all, as Paul would never have let an epistle go to that city without some warmer greeting. He conjectures that the epistle was written for some churches unknown to Paul, but that, as Tychicus its bearer belonged to Asia (Ac 204), he naturally passed through Ephesus on his way, and left there a copy of the letter. This copy became the source of most of the MSS., owing to the central position and influence of Ephesus, in whose archives it was preserved. Zahn regards Ephesians as addressed to the collective churches of Asia Minor, who were personally unknown to Paul (excluding Ephesus and Troas), identifying it, like Lightfoot and Adeney, with the Laodicean epistle (Col 41"). So Bacon, INT, 109-121.
4 The absence of greetings corroborates this, for though they are also lacking in Thessalonians and Galatians, these epistles contain—as Ephesians docs not—personal allusions in the body of their contents. The old theory of Marcion, that our Ephesians was the Laodicean epistle (Col 416), was probably a guess thrown out to solve a riddle which had already, like several other literary questions, become mysterious to the post-apostolic age. It is just another indication of how early tradition lost hold of the facts, and how unreliable even the best second-century information about the early Christian literature may often be.
5 After «7c tSm (l1) the name of a place must be understood. All other interpretations are forced and exaggerated (Oltramare, ii. p. 67 f.).
that the name of the church might be filled in. Had the name of any of the churches originally addressed been inserted by Paul, it is impossible to see how some trace of it would not have been preserved in one or other of the MSS. Further, the likelihood that Paul would have adopted this general method of instruction is increased by the traces (Ro l14, 2 Co llss) of what may be called, in an honest sense of the word, his "catholic" interest in the churches, particularly when these happened to belong to his favourite sphere in Asia Minor.
At the same time this theory cannot be described as perfectly convincing. At best it is to be taken as a provisional hypothesis, which, in the absence of a better gives a coherent explanation of the critical and literary phenomena in. question, when these have to be related to Paul and to his age.1
1 The prison-epistles indicate not obliquely the widespread need lor some evangelic compositions which should definitely express the catechetical tradition of the historical Jesus, in view of tendencies and abuses inside and outside the churches over ARia Minor and even Palestine itself. By the seventh decade of the century this was felt so strongly, that inchoate attempts had been made to supply the defect, although their existence can only be inferred from their successors, the synoptic gospels. For, as is elsewhere hinted (pp. 32, 42, 64, 260), a new order of things was rising, and to satisfy popular beliefs and interests gospels alone could suffice. Already tinged with current conceptions, and destined to be coloured still further as it wrought itself out in the varied forms of the synoptic narratives, the historical tradition of Jesus came now to be the distinctive and healthy outlet for the church's life amid contemporary speculations and the pressure of semi-Oriental fantasy. It was no imaginary danger which the rise of evangelic stories averted from the Christian consciousness, towards and after 60 A.n. In the flush and rush of spiritual phenomena within certain quarters of the church itself, to say nothing of outside perils, there was generally an ecstatic enthusiasm which, as Paul himself lived to realise (Col 2s, 317, Eph 4-1), tended ultimately to swamp the historical tradition of Jesus. "That the church surmounted this peril is one of the great deeds of the providence of God. And what saved the church? Not spiritual speculation like that of Paul, which could not offer any guarantee that it would keep by the track of the gospel as given in history. It was simply owing to the infinite impression made by the historical Jesus that the historical character of Christianity did not suffer loss. In this respect, the memory of Jesus paralysed the spiritual phenomena of the apostolic age, and survived them for more than a thousand years (Gunkel: Wirhmgen des heiligen. Geisles, nach derpopulllren Anxchavvng dor apost. Zrit v.nd der LeAre des AposteU 1'aulus*, p. 56). That is to say, the next epoch belonged to the Christparty. Christ known according to the flesh (not indeed as the extremists at Corinth had taught, but interpreted through something of the faith-mysticism promoted by none more than by Paul), was to rule the tides of Christianity during the coming half-century. Doubtless cosmological ideas reappeared in a sublime and sublimated form upon the very field of the evangelic tradition as the century drew to its close; but by the time the fourth gospel originated, the synoptic tradition had firmly steadied the churches in a definite relation to the historical Jesus which could stand any exposure to Hellenic mysticism or semi-gnostical theosopliy, Jewish and Oriental. The vitality of the Christian faith during the years 60-100 evidently depended in no small degree on the expansion and expression of this historic sense— this tradition of Jesus, the son of man aud of God, as he had actually lived and taught. Rich, accurate, and popular, it now found voice in literature.