Imágenes de páginas

27 and enter his majesty?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to himself throughout all

28 the scriptures. And they drew near the village to which they were

29 journeying. He pretended he was going further on; but they urged him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is towards evening, and the day has

30 now declined." So he went in to stay with them. And it came to pass while he was reclining at table with them he took the bread and, after the

31 blessing, broke it, and proceeded to hand it to them. So their eyes were

32 opened, and they recognised him; but he vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, "Did not our heart glow within us while he

33 talked to us on the road, while he opened the scriptures to us?" And they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, where they found

34 the eleven and their companions all mustered, saying, "The Lord has

35 really risen, and he has appeared to Simon I" Then they recounted what had taken place on the road, and how they knew him by the breaking of

36 the bread. Now as they were thus talking, he stood in the

37 midst of them [[and says to them, "Peace to you I"]]. But startled and

38 terrified, they supposed they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings start up in your heart?

39 Look at my hands and my feet; it is I! Handle me and see; for a

40 spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see that I have." [[And saying

41 this, he showed them his hands and his feet.]] Now as they still disbelieved for joy and wondered, he said to them, "Have you any food

42, 43 here? So they handed him a piece of broiled fish. And he took and ate 44 it before them. And he said to them, "These are my words that

I spoke to you when I was still with you—that everything written in the

law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms concerning me, must be 45, 46 fulfilled." Then he opened their mind to understand the scriptures, and

said to them, "Thus it is written : the Christ is to suffer and rise again 47 from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the remission of sins

is to be preached in his name to all the nations—starting from Jerusalem. 48, 49 You are witnesses of these things. And lo! I send forth upon you what

my Father has promised. But do you settle in the city, until you are

clothed with power from on high."

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany; then lifting up his hands,

51 he blessed them. And it came to pass while he blessed them, he parted

52 from them [[and was carried up into heaven]]. Then they [[did him

53 reverence and]] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were constantly within the temple, blessing God.


The unmistakable care bestowed in the third gospel upon the association of the evangelic history with the events of the larger Empire is accentuated in its sequel, which definitely sympathises with the feelings and hopes of Christianity in its consciousness of peril under Domitian. The new faith was not yet legally proscribed. Suspicion had to be averted from it, if possible; and an implicit defence could still be offered on its behalf, by "a temperate and solemn record ... of the real facts regarding the formation of the church, its steady and unswerving loyalty in the past, its firm resolve to accept the facts of Imperial government, its friendly reception by many Romans." l Acts is thus an appeal for, because it is a series of reminiscences2 of, Imperial respect and consideration. But this feature of the book is subordinate. Its primary function is to edify the contemporary church by a true account of how Judaism had been slowly and painfully supplanted in the course of Providence by the Christian church. Besides the interest in apostolic teaching and travels, one remarkable feature of the book consists in its reflection of Christianity as constituting already an extensive pheno

i Ramsay, SPT, pp. 22, 309, 387 f. On this "apologetic" element in Acts, ep. Zeller-Overbeck (Eng. tr.), i. p. 23f., ii. 161 f. : Weizsacker, AA, ii. pp. 122-124; Renan, Les Apotres, Introd.; Ptieiderer, f/rc.pp. 544-614 ; Holtzmann^C, Ii. 2, Einl.; McGitt'ert, AA, pp. 345-348; Bartlet, AA, p. 168 f., 409f.; and especially J. Weiss, AbsiclU, pp. 56-60. In Luke the Roman attitude towards Christianity is exhibited in a favourable light (Lk 2311 n). In Acts, cp. the conduct of the proconsuls (1313 18,a, etc.) and the Asiarchs (1931). Paul is never formally condemned by the authorities, and it is easy to understand Luke's silence upon his final condemnation, as upon tlie three occasions when he had been flogged by lictors (2 Co ll23). Aberle (Tub. Theol. ijuartahchr. 1863, pp. 84-131) in an exaggerated way seems to have considered Acts as a document designed to be put in at Paul's trial, with a view of vindicating his political inoffensiveness; just as he had previously (ibid. 1859, pp. 567-588) viewed Matthew as a reply to some antichristian circular letter issued by the Jewish Sanhedrin. The activity of historical composition

among the Jews of this period seems to have been concentrated upon the Roman campaign under Vespasian which culminated in the overthrow of Jerusalem. This subject was treated by numerous writers of more or less reliability (Josephus, preface to Wars of Jews). Justus of Tiberias is the best known of them.

For the guess that Acta formed the second (Ac 1') part of a historical work whose third volume was never written, cp. Ramsay, SPT, pp. 23, 27, 28, 309, and Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 371 f., 389. The hint was originally thrown out by Bengel.

2 We have hardly any means of knowing what information the readers possessed on such matters, and how far they had the power of checking an incorrect statement in their author. But there is no reason to be suspicious of the narrative at these points; even although they are not complete, they may be true as far as they go. Tendency, either here or in the gospels, is not correlative necessarily with indifi'er ence to fact or licence of imagination. The presence of a conciliatory motive in Act* does not ipso facto throw doubts upon the historicity of the facts adduced. On the contrary, prejudice would be averted most effectively by a "plain unvarnished tale " of what really happened. The strength of the Apologia would consist largely in the indisputable and notorious evidence of facts, and so far as these are brought forward, it is likely that upon the whole they are reliable in most essential points.

menon. Numberless traces point to the hold which the new religion1 was taking of the Empire at the time when this book was written, as well as to the evident sympathy with which the author viewed that extension. Apart from minor expressions like l8 (etos ea\aTov Trjt y^r = 1347, from Isa 496 LXX) 915 1028-28 1 036 13" " 14" 2215 21 2311 2617-18, the whole narrative2 of ctiapter 2 is dominated by the conception of the church as initially catholic (2C '•), inaugurated for universal ends and destined from the start to expand beyond purely national bounds. The enumeration of the audience, sweeping from East to West (2°"n), the conscious scheme "from Jerusalem through Syrian Antioch to Rome" which underlies the whole book, the introduction of narratives like 85-13 10, ll191 15, 185t, the cosmopolitan outlook on the religious history of the world (1415"17 1723t = Ro 3"), and the dramatic finale (2825t)3 with the characteristic words put into the mouth of Paul, rois %6vt<jiv airetrrakr] Tovto To (ra/rfjpiov Tov dtov' avroi Koi inovo-ovrat,—these and other lines of evidence betray a fine religious pragmatism, by which the mission to the Gentiles was conceived as a natural, .'egitimate, and providential development. The author in fact read back the developed hopes and feelings of his own age into these sketches of nascent Christianity, because he heartily believed that catholicity of spirit was an essential part of the faith produced by the historical Jesus. These two ideas, (a) the catholicity ana freedom, and (6) the spread of the Christian faith, are correlative. Inherent in the original teaching of Jesus, and substantially reproduced in the apostolic mind, they came to be understood and expressed with special emphasis in this literature of the last quarter of the century. Compare the close of the third gospel (24s2-IS) and the close of Acts (2831), with their similar note of unrestrained vigour, also the patent universalism of the gospel with its characteristic touches like 1910 (r/Xdev yap 6 vlos Tov dvdpmnov (r/rrjo-ai Koi tr£<r<u To anoXakos), 736'50, and l71119, etc. The note of the age (75-100), so far as Christianity's relation to Judaism is concerned, may be fairly summed up in the antithesis: Judaism as a religion is identical with and consummated in Christianity, Judaism as a nationality has become completely antagonistic to Christianity (Holtzmann).

The relative date of this book is easily determined. If, as is almost unanimously held (cp. the arguments marshalled in Overbeck-Zeller, ii. p. 213 f., and Friedrich,Dos LukasevangeliumunddieApgeschichte Werkedesselben Verfassers, 1890), it is by the author of the third gospel, then the composition of Acts (htircpos Xoyos) falls into a more or less subsequent period. The time elapsing between the two has been variously reckoned (about nine or ten years, Renan), but is generally held to have been appreciable, chiefly owing to the difference of tradition 4 in Lk 23, 24

1 True to his historical function, the writer did not represent the early organisation, however, as a mature and official system. It is impossible to make sense of l)B, i. 32 (last two sentences), and the remark upon the next page—"No object could be gained by the representation which is given of its form and character"—betrays a deficient grasp of historical criticism. Consult Suufert, Ursp. u. Bedeut. d. Apostolaies, pp. 77-95.

a As even Blass admits in ver. 5 (as on 8s9): quae sequuntur etiam magis quam priora *p»$>iTtxZf narrata sunt, non irropixut. On the moral apologues and suspiciously unhistorical elements in Ac 1-5, cp. Holtzmann, HO, i. pp. 310-340, 1 and Ramsay, SPT, pp. 367-372; generally, Clemen, Chron. pp. 17-28, with the authorities there cited, and McGiffert's sensible and masterly treatment.

3 After ix*\!?nif D adds the needless but congenial words, yiyan in drii irrn i zpirTle i vlif rtu OfZ, 11 tZ fjuxku ie«t (ckef) i xiffLtt xfimrSeu. "Victoria verbi Dei, Paulus Romae, apex evangelii" (Bengel).

4 Acts 1 represents a fuller and later development of the resurrection- and ascension-stories, which apparently did not come into the writer's hands until the

and Ac 1. However, we do not possess any evidence which enables a calculation like this to be made with much accuracy. At any rate, 80-85 A.d. is the terminus a quo. After that period Acts was finally composed. The main considerations which indicate its period are twofold, (a) One is the incipient "Catholicism " 1 of the ideas and institutions in the writing, as in Clem. Rom. Acts stands little nearer to the events whicli it records, than the third gospel to the life of Jesus. The writer, a Gentile Christian, is at some distance from them, viewing retrospectively the earlier conflicts which have subsided into the more settled state of agreement and consolidation by which he is Biirrounded. This would naturally point to the closing decades of the century. A growth lies behind the author, and with the help of written sources he sets himself to trace that growth for the purpose of edifying his contemporaries and throwing light upon the status quo. (6) The other feature is, as already noted, the tone and feeling of the church toward the State, which has been rightly held to be incompatible with a date much posterior to the Flavian regime. On the ground of this evident endeavour8 to exhibit Christianity in association with the Empire, and to indicate it as an innocent religious movement, Ramsay argues with great force that the third gospel was composed before (and finished in) 79-81, immediately after which the Acts was written. This is, however, to be too precise, and there is no ground for his further suggestion that the book was left incomplete owing to Luke's martyrdom under Domitian (SPT, pp. 23, 386 f.; «o, for different reasons, Spitta). After Hilgenfeld (95-100 A.D.), Mangold (-Bleek) selected the beginning of the last decade of the century, Reuss (pp. 296-310) its last quarter; Eeim chose a slightly earlier period, 80-90 A.d. (i. 63), but Wendt (-Meyer) has recently gone back to 95-100. Bleek and Renan,8 followed by Dr. Sanday, come down even as far as e. 80(so Adeney, .B J, p. 345, and Bartlet, AA,j>]>. 511), Headlam (DB, i. pp. 29, 30) and Zahn (Einl. ii. pp. 424-439) to c. 75, or to " a period shortly after 70."

It is impossible to believe the preposterous idea (Euseb. HE, II. 22) that the book was written contemporaneously with or iust after {vide Blass, Proleg. § 2) the events recorded at its close.4 Those only who find the author's silence upon Paul's death unaccountable if he wrote

gospel was published. Otherwise the inconsistencies are quite incredible. Sir John Hawkins (Horae Synopt. pp. 140-161) infers that a considerable interval elapsed between the two books, on account of the differences in vocabulary and phraseology.

* "Nicht Paulus wird judaisirt, nicht Petrus paulinisirt, sondern Paulus und Petrus lucanisirt d. h. katholisirt " (Julicher): "Der Verfasser hat nicht tendenzios den Petrus paulinisiert und den Paulus petrinisiert; er hat vielmehr beiden Aposteln seine eigene christlichen Gedanken, die Anschauungen das Heidenchristeuthuti>3 der nach-apostolischen Zeit geliehen " (Wendt).

2 So Schiifer: "Die Apgeschichte ist keine Geschichte d. app. sondern eine Apologiedes Kirche " (1890).

8 So Les Ap6tre.i, pp. xi.f.,butcp. Lea fi.imiigiles, chap, xix., for a later date, c. 100.

4 So L. Schultze (llamlbwh der thtolog. Wissenschaftcn, Band i. Ahth. 2, p. 74f.), Rendatl {Acts, 1897), Barde (Go,mn. sur Us Adci'pp. 508-583), and R. B. Rackliani (JTS, Oct. 1899, pp. 76-87). That Acts could have been written at the close of the two years' imprisonment of the apostle (Ac 28:l°) is a precritical theory which rests on sentimental or subjective grounds, and is only tenable when the phenomena both of Acts and of the third gospel are ignored (as by Schafer, Einl. p. 290f.), or minimised. At this time of day one must be excused from discussing the merits of a hypothesis which involves the composition of the third gospel some nine or ten years before (!) the crisis of A.d. 70. Knowling seems to incline to Blass's position (ExOT, ii. 34-36), in a learned and candid edition which reflects the conservative standpoint. Otherwise Cross, Exp. Ti. xii. 3311.

after that event, are obliged to take up a position which does violence to all considerations of its standpoint and literary relations. Hardly more ground exists for a deep second-century date. The older Tubingen school en masse, absorbed in the idea of pragmatic tendencies, put the Acts under Trajan or Hadrian (so Zeller-Overbeck, ii. pp. 267-284, and Hausrath). Pfleiderer, like S. Davidson (INT. ii. pp. 76-176), still is unable to find its period of composition earlier than 110-120 A.D. (Urc. pp. 613-614), and he is followed as usual by Martineau (Seat of Authority, p. 257). But this is scarcely justified, though Rovers (Nieuw-test Letterkunde, 1888, pp. 205, 206) and Schmiedel still (EBi, i. pp. 49, 50) hold to 105 (110)-130 A.d. Jiilicher, while he rejects the Lucan authorship (EM. pp. 344 f.) of this " ideal church history," will not go further down than 100-105 A.d. Similarly, in the main, Holtzmann (HC, i. p. 5) and Weiziicker; while, like Gfrbrer, Schleiermacher, and Keim, McGiffert (A A, pp. 348 f., 437 f.) places the book in Domitian's reign, as does Liming (Gemeinde- Verfassung, p. 62) with J. Reville (Les originei de I'efoscopat, I. pp. 43, 44: previous to pastorals), and Bacon, IM T, p. 229. The epistle of Clem. Rom. is sometimes taken as a terminus ad quern; but while the resemblances are striking (cp. the similar use of Ps 8921 LXX in Ac 13s2 and CR 18\ Ac 20" = CR21, Ac l25 = CR 5*-?), they do not decisively prove dependence either way. So far as later literary connections are concerned, the question of the date of Acts is left practically open.

From the standpoint of modern realism it would no doubt be more satisfactory to have had Acts rounded off with an account of Paul's martyr death. But to expect such a finale is to mistake the whole current of the book. The author's silence upon Paul's death almost certainly means that the apostle was condemned by the Roman authorities, or that the Christian church had—by the end of the first century—lost all definite knowledge of how and when he died ; a conclusion which is corroborated by the vague allusions in Clem. Rom. Yet even had he known the details of the apostle's death, there is no reason why this writer should have added them. The taste for details of Christian martyrdom was a later growth. Besides, Acts is not a biography of Paul, but a sketch of the early church in its development through the jars and problems and energies of the early apostles to its culminating hold upon Rome. And as the author does not give even a full sketch of Paul's previous career, it is not uncharacteristic of him to stop short of that tragic event which followed the two years' residence in Rome. As writer and readers probably were aware of the general fact of Paul's death, the former had as little interest in telling it as in suppressing it, particularly as it contradicted the general purport of his 'volume. Possibly, too, Nero's treatment of Paul was silently omitted as a deplorable exception to the normal policy of the State. As for the apostle's career at the close, it is clear that in the belief of the author of Acts (2025), Paul never revisited Asia Minor—a proposition which is irreconcilable with the tradition underlying the "pastoral" letters. Zahn's attempt to prove that O6k<v< is not equivalent to ov nd\iv, and that the parting was for long, but not necessarily for ever, is a bit of special pleading (EM. i. pp. 444, 445) which evades the plain force of this passage, just as the conventional ecclesiastical exegesis shrinks from Mt 12S. The usage of Ovkiti in Jo 1610-19 is no parallel, as there the context carefully explains the meaning. Ac 202S is more than a presentiment of the speaker. It is obviously a tragic fact, solemnly ratified by the historian (2038).

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