Imágenes de páginas

A.D. 97.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

Written at

of the Antient Jewish Church, bas proved, by an astonishing
number of references to the Targums and Talmuds of the Jews,
that the general term which was applied to the divine per-
sonage who is called by this name in the Old Testament, was
“ the Word of God," " ** *789*83." Before we can deduce,
however, any argument from this remarkable circumstance, we
must enquire into the authority of the several Targums and
Jewish writings which give this interpretation of the above
passages of Scripture. Though our Saviour, as Archdeacon
Blomfield has well observed (h), censured on all occasions the
multiplied and unauthorized traditions of the Jews, he still
appealed to their own expositions of Scripture, as furnish-
ing irrefragable arguments in proof of his divine mission. It
was no new interpretation to the Jews, that it was the Word of
God which was revealed in their Scriptures as the Creator of
the world. By the reading of the Paraphrase, or the interpre-
tation of the Hebrew text, written in the Chaldee language, the
people were constantly taught that the Word of God was the
same with God, and that, by that Word all things were made.

“I conceive this Chaldee Paraphrase," says Bishop Pearson, (i).
“ which was read in the Jewish synagogues in the time of
Christ, to express the sense of the Jews of that age, as being
their public interpretation of the Scripture. Wherefore, what
we find common and frequent in it, we cannot bnt think the
vulgar and general opinion of that nation. Now it is certain
that this Paraphrast doth use "q xoan, the Word of God, for
0119", God himself, and that especially with relation to the crea-
tion of the world. As Isa. xlv. 12.7 by DTX 7X Tuy 3x ,
I made the earth, and created man upon it-which the

the earth, and created man upon it. So also Jer. xxvii. 15.
Isa. xlviii. 13. Gen. iii. 8. and many others. The action as-
cribed to Jehovah in the sacred text is given in the Chaldee
Paraphrase to the Word."

We should be careful to distinguish between the multiplied
and fanciful refinements which the Jews, from the time of the
Seleucidæ, had built upon the law of Moses, and the more
antient and traditionary interpretations of the prophetical parts
of Scripture; the origin of which may be with probability dated
from the Babylonish captivity. By the former, as our Saviour
told them, they made the word of God of none effect; but the
latter are no where made the object of his censure: on the con-
trary, both our Lord and his Apostles very frequently refer to
them, as sonnd and legitimate expositions of God's word. St.
Paul, who had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, scru-
ples not to allude, in some instances covertly, in others openly,
to the traditions of the elders, and in his Epistle to the Ho
brews he assumes throughout, that the comments of the Rabbins
upon the prophetical parts of the Bible were in the main
founded upon truth (j).

After the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, their native language bad undergone a change so considerable, on account of their adoption of numerous words from the vernacular languages of the countries in which they were settled, that when the Scriptures were appointed by Ezra to be read, they was utterly unintelligible to the greater part assembled. on this account Ezra commanded the Levites to interpret the ori. ginal to the people, by rendering it into Chaldee. These interpretations, or paraphrases, were originally merely oral.

I by my word made“ ,אנא במימרי עברית ארצא Chaldee translateth


3 All things were made by him; and without him was written at not any thing made that was made.



There is no proof that there were any collected written para-
phrases, till the Targums, or Paraphrases, or Explanations, ot
Onkelos and Jonathan were compiled. These Targumists are
supposed to have lived about the time of our Saviour : though, in
the opinion of Eichhorn, the Targum of Onkelos was not com-
pleted till 300 years after that period, in consequence of the
interpolations that continued to be made in it. Ten Targums
are handed down to us, of which those of Onkelos apd of Jo-
nathan ben Uzziel are the most highly esteemed, and considered
by the Jews as the authorized and infallible expositions of the
sacred text (k).

These Paraphrases then, in innumerable instances, translate the
Hebrew word Jehovah by “the word of the Lord.” Some, it is
true, have maintained that this implies a personal existence of the
Word, in some sense distinct from the personal existence of the
Supreme Father-that the Word of the Old Testament is the
same as the Logos of the New Testament, and that this coinci-
dence is a proof of the belief among the Jews of the pre-
existence, personal operations, and Godhead of the Messiah.
Others again argue, that these words are to be regarded as a
mere idiom, implying the person's self who speaks. The latest
writer (l) on this point, after examining the different opinions
at great length, comes to these general conclusions, that from
the mere use of the phrase, “the word of the Lord,” in these
paraphrases, no certain information can be deduced on the doc-
trine of the Jews with respect to the Messiah during the inter-
val of the Old and New Testament, and this opinion is further
corroborated by a celebrated critic. But though such may be our
conclusion with regard to the Chaldee Paraphrases, it will not fol-
low that the Jews of the same age, or a little after, did not employ
the term " Word” with a personal reference, and that reference to
the Messiah. The use of this term by Philo, and by the Cbristian
Evangelist St. John, appears unaccountable, except on the sup-
position that it had grown up to the acceptation supposed, at least
among the Jews who used the Greek language. Such an extension
of meaning and reference, agreeably to the ordinary progress of
language, would flow from the primary signification, or medium
of rational communication, and thus it would be a rational de-
signation of a Mediator between God and Man. We have also
another evidence, which is entitled to the greater weight, as it
comes from a quarter the most hostile to the Christian religion (m).
Celsus, whose words are recited by Origen, reproaches the
Christians with absurdity and folly, for imagining that such a
mean and contemned person as Jesus could be the pure and
holy Word, the Son of God; and, personating a Jew, which is
his manner in the construction of his work, he declares their
belief that the Word was the Son of God, though they rejected
the claims of Jesus to that honour.

The authority, however, most to be depended upon, with re-
gard to our attempts to ascertain the opinions of the Jews con-
cerning the Logos at the time of Christ, is that transmitted to
us by the celebrated Philo, who was born at Alexandria, of
Jewish parents, and was the contemporary of our Lord and his
Apostles. Some years before St. John wrote his Gospel, this cele-
brated man, being then about sixty years of age, was sent on
an embassy from Alexandria to the emperor at Rome, to lay be-
fore him a petition, praying for protection to bis countrymen

A.D. 97.

4 In him was life ; and the life was the light of men. Written at

Ephesus. against the persecuting spirit of the Alexaudrians. He has left on record a very curious detail of this expedition. The manner in which, after much delay and many vexatious difficulties, the embassy, when at last admitted to the long desired audience, was received by Caligula, presents us with a most singular and characteristic picture of the haughty sovereign and bis courtiers. Caligula first abruptly addresses them, by inquiring if they were “the odious race" who refused to acknowledge him as their God; and, after baving obliged them to follow him as objects of general ridicule and reproach, while he inspected some rooms in one of his villas, asked them, with a " grave and serious countenance, why they abstained from swine's flesh;" and, after many more sarcasms, dismissed them with this compassionate sentiment, “ That those men who would not believe in him as a God, were, in bis opinion, rather miserable than wicked.”Jerome and Eusebius inform us, that when Philo was at Rome, he was accustomed to converse with St. Peter, and that he cul. tivated the society of that Apostle. Photius tells us that he was a Christian, though he soon separated from their communion; and Dr. J. Jones has lately attempted to revive this opinion, including Josephus also among the number of primitive Christians. Eusebius further assures us, that Philo devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures, and diligently examined the truths received from his ancestors : that he had made the most profound research into the mysteries of the Platonic system, and discovered so much knowledge of the doctrines of the Grecian philosopher, and all his abstruse notions, that it was commonly said, either “ Plato Philonizes, or Philo Platonises.” By mingling the theological opinions of his countrymen with the reveries of the Platonic school, and the undoubted truths of his own Scriptures, he has given to the world in his multifarious productions a strange compound of truth and falsehood, from which, however, can be collected, without difficulty, the prevailing opinions of the learned Jews of that age, respecting the Logos, the Word of God, the manifested Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures.

The following is a list of some of the particular terms and doctrines found in Philo, with parallel passages from the New Testament,

1. The Logos is the Son of God-vids Oes. De Agric. vol. i. p. 308. De Profug. ib. p. 562. Compare Mark i. 1. Luke ir. 41. John i. 34. Acts viii. 37.

2. Tbe second divinity-kúrepos Osos Lóyos. Fragm. vol. ii. p. 625. Comp. John i. 1. I Cor. i. 24.

3. The first begotten of God-Abyog upwróyovos. De Somniis, vol. i. p. 653. Comp. Heb. i. 6. Coloss. i. 15.

4. The image of God-ciwy TË 0€8. De Mundi Opific. vol. i. p. 6, 414, 419, 656. Comp. Coloss. i. 15. Heb. i. 3. 2 Cor. iv. 4.

5 Superior to angels – υπεράνω πάντων (αγγέλων) λόγος ocios. De Profugis, vol. i. p. 561. Comp. Heb. i. 4. 6.

6. Superior to all the world-'O Nóyos-ýnepávw havrós ést. De Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 121. Comp. Heb. ii. 8.

7. By whom the world was created-τον θείον λόγον τον Taūta diakoouhoavra. De Mund. epif. vol i. p. 4. Comp. John i. 3. I Cor. viii. 6. Heb. i. 2. 10.

8. The great substitute of God-napxos te Oes. De Agricult. vol. i. p. 308. Comp. John i. 3. and xvii. 4. Eph. iii. 9. Phil, ii, 7.

A.D. 91.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness Written at comprehended it not.


9. The light of the world - Pūs kogue : and intellectual sun-icos vontos. De Sompiis, vol. i. p. 6. 414, 632, 633. Comp. John i. iv. 9. and viii. 12. (1 Pet. ii. 9.

10. Who only can see God-qu nóvw Tòv Oloy deest kafopäv. De Confus. Ling. vol. i. p. 418. Comp. John i. 18. and vi. 46.

11. Who resides in God-tv avto uovq, karouņoet. De Profug. vol. i. p. 561. Comp. Jobn i. 1$. and xiv. 11.

12, The most ancient of God's works, and before all things TYPEOCÚTATOS TWv öga yéyove. De Confus. Ling. vol. i. p. 427. De Leg. Allegor. ib. p. 121. Comp. John i. 2. and xvii. 5. 24. 2 Tim. i. 9. Heb. i. 2.

13. Esteemed the same as God-óyov us aútov Odv karavãou. De Somniis, vol. i. p. 656. Cump. Mark ii. 7. Rom, ix.5. Phil. ii. 6.

14. The Logos is eternal-ó aidlog Nóyos. De Plant. Noæ. vol. i. 332, and vol. ii. p. 604. Comp. John xii. 34. 2 Tim. i. 9. and iv. 18. Heb. i. 8. Rev. x. 6.

15. Beholds all things— Evdepkésaros, uç trávra épopãv elval ikavos. De Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 121. Comp. Heb. iv. 12, 13. Rev. ii. 23.

16. He unites, supports, preserves, and perfects the worldκαι τε γαρ τα όντος λόγος δεσμός ών των απάντων-συνέχει τα μέρη πάντα, και σφίγγει-περιεχει τα όλα, και πεπλήρωκεν. De Prof. vol. i. p. 562. fragm. vol. ii. p. 655. Comp. John iii. 35. Colos. i. 17 Heb. i. 3.

17. Nearest to God without any separation--, eyyuterw undevos Övtos pedopis diaoņparos: De Profug. vol. i. p. 561. Comp. John i, 18. and x. 30. and xiv. 11. and xvii. 11.

18. Free from all taint of sin, voluntary or involuntaryάνευ τροπής εκουσίε-και της ακεσία. De Profug. vol. i. p. 561. Comp. John viii. 46. Heb. vii. 26. and ix. 14. 1 Pet. iv. 22.

19. Who presides over the imperfect and weak-ouros yåp quay twv árewv dy çin okoç. De Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 128, Comp. Matt. xi. 5. Luke v. 32. 1 Tim. i. 15.

20. The Logos, the fountain of wisdom--Mórov Okov ôs copias ési anyń. De Profug. vol. i. p. 560. 566. Comp. John iv. 14. vii. 38. 1 Cor. i. 24. Colos. ii. 3.

21. A messenger sent from God -πρεσβευτής τα ηγεμόνος TIPÒS TÓ ÚTnKoov. Quis. Rer. Div. Hæres. vol. i. p. 501. Comp. John v. 36. viii, 29. 42. John iv. 9.

22. The advocate for mortal man-ikérns pév ési Ovnte. Quis. Rer. Div. Hær. vol. i. p. 501. Comp. John xiv. 16. xvii. 20. Rom. viii. 34. Heb. viii. 25.

23. He ordered and disposed of all things-dielne w Quévelme trávra. Ib. p. 506. Comp. Col. i. 15, 16. Heb. xi. 8.

24. The shepherd of God's flock-Tov oplov aŭtoù lóyov-os Try étiue elav rūs iepās taúrns dyeins.' De Agricul. vol. i. p. 308. Comp. John X. 14. Heb. xiii. 20. 1 Pet. ii. 25.

25. Of the power and royalty of the Logos—Ò nyepóvos λόγος βασιλική δύναμις αυτέ. De Profug. vol. i. p: 561. Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 25. Eph. i. 21, 22. Heb. i. 2, 3. Rev. xvii. 14.

26. The Logos is the physician who heals all evil-ov âyyeλον (ός εςι λόγος) ώσπερ ιατρών κακών. De Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 122. Comp. Luke iv. 18. vii. 21. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Jam. i. 21.

27. The Logos is the seal of Godmo dé ésiv i oppayis. De


A.D. 97.

6 9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was written at John.


Profug. vol. i. p. 547, 548. De Plant. Noæ. ibid. p. 332. Comp.
John vi. 27. Eph. i. 13. Heb. i. 3.

28. The sure refuge of those who seek him-ép' òv prov
katapévyelv upelejáratov. De Profug. ib. p. 560. Comp. Matt.
xi. 28. 1 Pet. ii. 25.

29. Of heavenly food distributed by the Logos equally to all who seek it-tov spáviov spopriv túxns. Quis. Rer. Divin. Hær. vol. i. p. 499. Comp. Matt. v. 6. vii. 7. xiii. 10. xxiv. 14. Xxxvii. 19. Rom. x. 12. 18.

30. of men's forsaking their sins, and obtaining spiritual freedom by the Logos-Eevepia rñs vuxns. De Cong. Quær. Erud. Grat. vol. i. p. 534. De Profug. ib. p. 561. 563. Comp. John viii. 36. I Cor. vii. 22, 2 Cor. iii. 17. Gal. v. 1. 13.

31. Of men's being freed by the Logos from all corruption, And entitled to immortality-ο ιερός λόγος ετίμησε γέρας εξαίρε τον δές, κλήρον αθάνατον, την εν άφθάρτι γενεϊ τάξιν. De Cong. Quær. Erud. Grat. vol. i. p. 535. Comp. Rom. viii. 21. 1 Cor. xv. 52, 53. Pet. i. 3, 4.

32. The Logos mentioned by Philo, not only, as vios 08, the son of God; but also ayaanTdu rékvov, his beloved son. De Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 129. Comp. Matt. iii. 17. Luke ix. 35. Col. i. xiii. 2 Pet. i. 17.

33. The just man advanced by the Logos to the presence of his Creator-τω αυτώ λόγω-ιδρύσας πλησίον εαυτ8. De Sacrificiis, vol i. p. 165. Comp. John vi. 37. 44. xii. 26. xiv. 6.

34. The Logos the true high-priest—ápxrepevs, ò mpwróyovos aŭts ocios lóyos. De Somniis, vol. i. p. 658. De Profug. ib. 562. Comp. John i. 41. viii. 46. Acts iv. 27. Heb. iv. 14. vii. 26.

35. The Logos in bis mediatorial capacity-Sóyos áp xepeus μεθοριός: of whom he says, θαυμάζω και τον μετά σπε δής απνευσί δραμόντα συντόνως ιερόν λόγον, ίνα τη μέσον των τεθνηκότων και tūv Súvtwv. “I am astonished to see the holy Logos running with so much speed and earnestness, that he may stand between the living and the dead." Quis. Rer. Divin. Hæris. vol. i. p. 501. Comp. 1 Tim. ii. 5. Heb. viii. 1.6. ix. 11, 12, 24.

These extracts (n) contain the sum and substance of the doctrines of Philo concerning the Word. Whatever the Old Testament applies to the Angel Jehovah, or Jehovah, this distinguished author applies to his Logos; and he is supposed to have expressed only the prevailing opinions of his time. Yot, if his opinions be attentively considered, many striking inconsistencies will be found in them respecting the Logos, as he frequently confounds all the personal qualities and attributes assigned to the Logos of the Old Testament, with a Logos so purely spiritual, or, as Dr. Smith calls it, so merely conceptual, that it could be capable only of being manifested to the spiritual or the intellectual part of man. We accordingly find Philo asserting that the divine Word would not assume a visible form, or reprosentation (idéa), and that it was “not to be reckoned among the objects known by sense.” An assertion which will furnish us with a solution to some of his discordant expressions: and which very satisfactorily explains the train of asso. ciations which leads him to such contradictory opinions on this subject: opinions, indeed, so strangely at variance, that the Unitarian writers have claimed Philo as a Platonist, who has transmitted no kind of evidence in favour of the generally re. ceived opinion that the Logos treated of in his works was the

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