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spring up to meet the moment's need, although they presuppose wide thought and labour, and are the outcome of a lengthy deep experience,
even in their most unpremeditated sallies. His writings were not the true events of his life, nor were they intended to present his ordinary teaching and average ideas. Like the rest of the apostles, he had a mission first and foremost to teach and preach among the early Christian communities. But-.
“As mistakes arose or discords fell,
Or bold seducers taught them to rebel,
As charity grew cold or faction hot,
Their absent sermons.” 1 (6) Further, he did not outlive himself as a writer. His last letter bears no evidence of slackened force or wavering insight. We shut up the story of his days with the impression of a mental and religious fulness which, so far from being on the point of degenerating, seems rather to combine the riper experience and grasp of age with something of a youth's vigour. Paul dies at his work, and he dies in the increasing momentum of his power. With all respect to its authors, the attempt to explain the style of Tim-Tit by discovering throughout these writings evidence of Paul the old man's looser, less sustained, less vigorous intellect,2 must be pro
It is not quite on a par with the similar attempt to explain the characteristics of 2 Peter from as imaginary a senility; but it scarcely seems to merit any more serious consideration. The difference between Galatians and Col-Philippians is the difference between the earlier and the later styles of a man for whom wider interests and maturer conceptions have arisen, necessitating fresh expressions. The difference, again, between Col-Philippians and the “pastorals” is almost the difference between one world and another; and the element of undoubted “Paulinism” in the latter (both in idea and phrase) only serves to emphasise their perfectly new setting and development. Besides, the interval in the latter casethree years at the outside-would not be adequate to account for so complete an alteration, especially in a style like that of Paul, which, for all its flexibility, had become well marked and characteristic. Neither the length nor the contents of the period 60-64 (64–67) are at all sufficient to meet the demands made by this hypothesis of senility. It is unnecessary and unworthy. The apostle disappears from the NT with a message of strenuous personal confidence (Ph 419 23) which contains implicitly a note of quiet triumph 3 : komáčovtal ůpás Távtes oi dylol, páncota de oi ék rñs Kaioapos oikias. The words have a ring of satisfaction. His hope had been realised. His work had carried the church into the heart of the empire, and the consciousness that this aim had been successfully achieved brought him a strange new joy upon the very edge of death.
The critical scheme of his epistles involves two questions, relating to their order and their dates.
A. Their Order. The consecutive arrangement of the letters, as printed in this edition, is one which commands the support of a consensus of excellent authorities. A different order, however, has often been adopted both in the earlier and in the later letters, for which a case can be reasonably stated. When reduced to its simplest terms, the whole question at issue turns upon the relative position of (I)“ Galatians” in the earlier, and (II) “Philippians” in the later period.
1 Dryden in The Hind and the Panther, part ii.
2 Dr. Stalker's happy comparison of Paul's style (Life of St. Paul, p. 89) to that of Cromwell, in point of rugged effectiveness and a certain formless originality, applies pre-eminently to the Galatian, Corinthian, and Philippian letters. They were appeals struck out of crises, words for an emergency.
3 Cp. the close of his biography by the author of Acts, ch. 2830. 31. The correct interpretation of év ől w rão apecirwpíø (Ph 113) as the supreme court of judicial authorities is given by Mommsen, SBBA (1895), p. 498 f.
I. The relative date of Galatians depends upon two questions-(a) Did the Galatians addressed belong to the territory of northern Galatia, a district inhabited by Kelts—especially to its chief_cities, Ancyra, Pessinus (Juliopolis ?) Germa, and Tavium-or to the Roman province of Galatia, which would include the southern cities, Derbe, Lystra, Ikonium, and Pisidian Antioch? The letter seems to imply two previous visits (413, evnyyelco áuny úuiv tò a pórepov). As upon the northern Galatian theory, these occurred during the second (Ac 166) and third (Ac 1823) tours, the epistle-written shortly after the latter of these visits (Gal 16)
—was composed later than Paul's visit and epistles to Thessalonika. Upon the southern Galatian theory, as the two visits took place on the first (Ac 13–14) and second (Ac 161.6) tours, the epistle can be put much earlier than in the northern Galatian theory. It is then possible to place it either in the interval between the second and third tours, or in the latter part of the second tour itself; at any rate, it must be dated before, not after, Ac 1823b (diepxóuevos KaDesņs tnv Talatıkny zápav), which refers to a third visit of Paul.
Still, even these results do not close the question of the date. Upon the northern Galatian theory, Galatians must be subsequent to 1 and 2 Thessalonians : it may be either prior or subsequent to 1 and 2 Corinthians. Upon the southern Galatian theory, Galatians must be prior to 1 and 2 Corinthians : it may be either prior or subsequent to 1 and 2 Thessalonians. A fixed point is the composition of 1 and 2 Thessalonians at Corinth, a few months after Paul's visit thereupon his second tour. The southern Galatian theory puts Paul's second visit to Galatia in the earlier part of this tour; hence the epistle to the Christians of that province may have been written between that visit and Paul's arrival at Corinth. In this case it would be the earliest of his extant epistles.2 But while this position is favoured by the southern Galatian theory,3 it is not necessarily involved in it. So far as the facts of the situation are concerned, Galatians may have been composed either at Corinth after
1 The older theory (of Grotius, Ewald, Laurent, and—from his own standpoint-. Baur) which put 2 Thess. previous to 1 Thess. may be regarded as extinguished. 2 Thess. does not, it is true, refer (unless ii. 21=i. 417; cp. ii. 215) to 1 Thess., but this is because it goes further back in order to elaborate part of the oral teaching which preceded that epistle. The other grounds for the theory are even less conclusive, and in fact the reversed order is not only needless but beset with additional difficulties of its own creation. In the ordinary arrangement, from which there is no reason to depart, the first epistle lies close to the original founding of the Christian community ' at Thessalonika, while, if the second be genuine, it presupposes an interval during which matters had appreciably developed (cp. Johannes, Comm. 1 Thessalon. (1898), pp. 124-128). *** 2 So Hausrath, iii. pp. 188, 219 (dating Galatians in the autumn of 53, and 1 Thess. 54); Bartlet (AA, p. 113 f.); Weizsäcker (AA, i. 270-275), and Pfleiderer,
54 (from Corinth), and McGiffert, AA, 226–230 (from Antioch, between Ác 1530 and 161).
3 For a concise statement of the theory and a list of authorities, cp. Ramsay's article on “Galatia,” DB, vol. ii. pp. 89 f. Add, in favour of the position, Adeney,BI, pp. 372, 373. Mr. Askwith in his monograph (The Ep. to the Galatians, its destination and date, 1899) accepts the southern Galatian theory, but adheres to Lightfoot's order of the epistles.
1 and 2 Thessalonians, or slightly later, during the interval between the second and third tours (Ac 1823a, mohoas 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,2 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.: 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 1822): while Bartlet (Exp. 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.
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. 15– 25) the Thessalonian epistles represented the rudimentary teaching given by Paul to a 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. 161, 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. 50–77; 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. Exceg. 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 2 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, naïvely 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, Ueber röm. Recht im Galat. 1895).
2 Hartmann (ZW Th (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.