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New Testament 

The Sermon 






BY . . , 


Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism 
and Interpretation in Yale University 



Copyright, 1921 

Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1921 






MARCH 9. 1923 


The following course of lectures was delivered at 
Manchester College, Oxford, during the Hilary (mid- 
winter) term, 1920. Previous engagements had com- 
pelled the lecturer to reduce the period of his stay from 
the full year originally proposed to these relatively nar- 
row limits. This drew from Principal Jacks the sugges- 
tion that the topic be made comprehensive, in order to 
afford a completer survey of the lecturer's understand- 
ing of Hiew Testament Literature. With this design 
in view a subject was chosen which has of late received 
the attention of many scholars, but which seemed capa- 
ble of a mode of treatment emphasizing the relation of 
growth rather than that of mere apposition or contrast. 
The transition from the gospel of Jesus to the gospel 
of Paul might thus be studied in a way to make it a 
means of relating the whole group of writings of the 
JSTew Testament canon to the general movement of reli- 
gious thought and life from which they sprang. 

The course as originally given contained but eight 
lectures. At its conclusion the lecturer was asked to 
take part in the Oxford Summer School of Theology 
in the ensuing August, with the suggestion that the 
closing lecture of the original course (on the Johannine 
Literature) should be expanded into two for this pur- 
pose. The suggestion was adopted, and the Lectures 
as printed are therefore nine in number, the added ma- 
terial of Lectures VIII and IX being inclosed in []. 

In submitting his work to the judgment of a wider 
public the lecturer aspires to no richer reward than to 



win an approval in some degree approximating the 
generosity of treatment accorded at the ancient seat of 
Englisk culture and religious thought. 

New Haven, Ct., September, 1920. 




I Introductory •'■ 

n Beginnings and Growth of the Gospel of 

Keconciliation 2' 

m The Transfiguration of the Gospel .... 53 

IV The Transfiguration of the Gospel (Continued) 79 

V The Heavenly Intercessor as Seen and Inter- 
preted BY Paul ^^* 

VI Back to Galilee. The Witness of Peter . . 137 

Vn The Gospel as Law and Promise 170 

VTTT The Gospel as Theology 198 

IX The Message of the Fourth Evangelist . . .225 





1. The Phases of the Literature 

The aim that we are pursuing in common in this brief 
course of study is an analysis of the early literature of 
Christianity in order to get at the springs of its life. 
We are to apply without reserve or restriction every 
process of historical and literary criticism, which mod- 
ern science places within our reach. We do this be- 
cause as rational students of the history of civilization 
no less than as Christian believers we are persuaded of 
the preeminent value of Christianity as a force operative 
in the social organism. Eor as such it made itself felt 
in the reconstruction of the world which followed upon 
the downfall of Graeco-Eoman heathenism, and the ele- 
ments of its power are still available. At the begin- 
ning of our era national religion in the form of emperor- 
worship gave way to the Old Testament ideal of the 
Kingdom of God in Christianized form. Personal re- 
ligion, which had taken the form of various oriental 
mystery religions and cults of individual immortality, 
also gave way. It yielded to the doctrine of an eternal 
life in the keeping of Christ with God. National re- 
ligion and personal religion were combined in new 
forms, and the combination led to the conversion of 


Europe. We look to it still to effect the Christianization 
of the world. 

Enquiry of the sort here proposed implies, of course, 
the application of quite a new form of the doctrine of 
Sacred Scripture. Revelation and Inspiration will take 
on for us an altered meaning. Conservative brethren 
may even deny our right to apply the ancient terms to 
the new doctrine. But unless I quite mistake the mean- 
ing of Jesus, of Paul, and of that great disciple of Paul 
at Ephesus to whom tradition assigns the name of John, 
this is exactly what the New Testament calls upon us to 
do. A Christian, as against a mere rabbinic doctrine of 
Sacred Scripture, implies making of the letter a means 
of access to the eternal Spirit, and as such subordinate. 
The effort of Jesus and Paul was to secure this subor- 
dination. They stood opposed to a religion of the letter, 
of the scribe, of the written authority of a sacred book. 
Jesus waged his conflict against the " lawyers " who had 
changed the vital relation of sons to a Eather in Heaven 
into legalism and book-religion. Paul attacked "the 
law." He took the conflict over into the abstract as an 
opposition between Law and Grace. 

After Paul came reaction. The compiler of our flrst 
Gospel takes the view-point of the neo-legalist. 
" Matthew," as we call him, is a scribe instructed unto 
the kingdom of heaven, bent at all costs on keeping in 
his treasure both the new and the old. Such is also the 
view-point of the Epistles of James and Jude, and of 
most of the ecclesiastical literature of the post-apostolic 

But again the pendulum swings forward. The Ephe- 
sian evangelist, to whom tradition gives the name of 
" John," lifts the whole debate to a higher level. Eor 
him the value of the records of religion in the past is 
their ability to bring men into vital contact with the life 
of God in man, "the life," as he calls it, "even the 


eternal life, which was from the beginning, which was 
with the Father, and was manifested to us in the form of 
a living Word, so that our eyes could see it and our hands 
handle it, a Word of life with which we still have an 
eternal, imperishable fellowship." In his interpretative 
Gospel this deutero-Pauline evangelist introduces a scene 
of Jesus as the incarnate Logos in dispute with the 
scribes concerning the authority of Moses and the Law. 
It is Paulinism in other language. The heart of it lies 
in Jesus' rebuke of the scribes' conception of Scripture 
and its value to religion. To them Scripture was sim- 
ply a collection of authoritative precepts, obedience to 
which would win them the reward of a share in the 
world to come. To him it was a voice of the indwell- 
ing God. " Ye search the Scriptures," he says to his 
detractors, " because ye think that in them ye have eter- 
nal life; and they are they that testify of me; but ye 
would not come unto me that ye might have life." 

This Johannine principle is the Church's charter of 
intellectual freedom. We shall search the Scriptures as 
never before ; but not because we think that in them, but 
only through them, we have eternal life. They bear wit- 
ness to One that has it, an eternal Wisdom of God who 
spake by the prophets, and was incarnate in Christ. 

Historico-critical analysis does not disregard the au- 
thority of the ISTew Testament. It seeks it on a higher 
level. We search the Scriptures in order that we may 
bring ourselves and others into contact through them 
with the life of the eternal Logos, " the life that was 
from the beginning with the Father," that lies latent 
in the outward universe of order and law, that slumbers 
in the brute and dreams in man, but awakes to full con- 
sciousness in sons who know the Father ; ^ the Logos that 

1 Compare Philo {conf. ling. 28) : " Those who have real knowl- 
edge of the one Creator and Father of all things are rightly called 
' Sons of God.' And even if we are not yet worthy to be called 
' Sons of Grod,' we may deserve to be called children of His eternal 


is not only "latent" (evSia^eros as the Stoics said), but 
also " manifest " (tt/do^o/oikos) ; " for the life was mani- 
fested, and we have seen, and bear witness, that ye may 
have fellowship with us; yea, and onr fellowship is 
with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ." 

Christianity comes down to us as the triumphant sur- 
vivor in the conflict of religions in the Roman Empire; 
a survivor not by accident, nor by superhuman interven- 
tion from without, but by an inherent fitness to be the 
religion of a civilized and united humanity. Its ideal 
was that of a kingdom of God, a universal sovereignty of 
law and order in a commonweal of righteousness, peace, 
and good will. This ideal was primarily social, though 
individualism was already strongly felt. Taken over 
from Judaism and glorified, the doctrine of the King- 
dom of God proved more acceptable in the long run to 
the mass of populations mingled in the Empire than the 
ideal of Eome's world-religion : Emperor-worship as the 
symbolic expression of a supreme loyalty to the genius 
of the Roman world order. " Christian " civilization 
on its social side means the adoption of Jesus' ideal. It 
centers in the prayer: " Thy kingdom come." 

What Csesar-worship had to commend it may be rea- 
lized by comparing in our own time the patriotic devo- 
tion of which Japanese emperor- worship is capable. I 
will not speak of the extravagances of a nominally Chris- 
tian empire, whose dominant caste aspired but recently 
to unify the world under its own Kultur. Civilization 
in the period of the Csesars, centered around the Medi- 
terranean, took over the Hellenistic conception of a su- 
preme governor in whom as the embodiment of law and 
order in the commonwealth the divine impulse that con- 
trols the progress of humanity is manifest. Rejecting 
pagan imperialism the civilization which centers around 

'image,' the most holy Logos." Cf. Mt. 11: 27; Jn. 1: 12, 18; 
17: 3; I Jn. 3: 1-3; 4: 7; 5: 1-5, 18. 


the Atlantic has preferred to take over its social ideal in 
the Christian form. And, as we have seen, the basis of 
this ideal was the divine sovereignty sung by Hebrew 
prophets and Psalmists. We have scarcely emerged as 
yet from the convulsive struggle, but we are done at last 
with the Roman ideal, which made slavery the lowest 
social stratum and military autocracy the highest. The 
mediaeval ideal, it has been said, was the City of God. 
It may seem to-day to be not only distant but receding. 
Still it came within view, and the vision still lives as 
the goal of religion on its social side. 

Graeco-Eoman civilization took over also the essential 
ideals of individual religion as embodied in the Oriental 
cults of personal redemption. For far and wide ancient 
forms of nature-worship had been recast into " myster- 
ies " through whose rites the devotee sought to share in 
the immortality attained by the dying and rising 
Savior-god. The modern world has adopted this re- 
ligious ideal also. But it has preferred to take it over 
in the Christianized form of assimilation to the death 
and life of Jesus, self-devoted for the kingdom's sake and 
for the brotherhood ; rather than in the Oriental form of 
assimilation to the death and life of some mythical hero 
or demi-god who was very far from representing in his 
reputed career the noblest aspirations of humanity. 

Christianity comes down to us, then, as the survivor 
in the great imperial melting-pot of national and per- 
sonal religions, triumphant because worthy, surviving 
because fitted to survive. The select literature of its 
age of conquest is the New Testament, a group of writ- 
ings enshrined by the Church through the centuries as 
the very well-spring of its life. To reverent and sympa- 
thetic scrutiny this literature should yield up something 
of the secret of the triumph. We may not thereby bring 
ourselves in immediate view of the absolute religion, 
but we may at least expect to advance a stage in sorely 


needed preparation for wise direction and culture of the 
religious impulse in our own disordered generation. 

It is natural to our way of thinking to imagine the 
first propagandists of our faith advancing into the 
heathen world around them armed with an impervious 
religious system of their own, inchoate, if not complete, 
ready for acceptance by converted Gentiles. Early in 
the second century the Syrian church had indeed pro- 
duced a compact manual of Christian ethics and escha- 
tology known as The Teaching of the Twelve. That 
might perhaps be called a system in miniature. But the 
gospel of Paul was not a book. When he and his mis- 
sionary associates set out to convert the Empire none of 
them had so much as thought of putting their message in 
written form. Their one book of religious faith and 
practice was the Synagogue Bible, the Greek Old Testa- 
ment. This they had learned to interpret in a new way, 
some indeed not much otherwise than the scribes, but 
others more in the spirit of the Friend of publicans and 
sinners. Their religion was Judaism — more or less 
transfigured — and it carried with it the Bible of Juda- 
ism. But this was not their special message. For their 
message they borrowed a term from Isaiah, calling it 
" the gospel of peace," glad tidings of reconciliation 
with God, of a coming renewal of the world through the 
man ordained of God by the resurrection. The message 
was: Forgiveness of sins. The fourth evangelist ex- 
presses it in his report of the Commission of the Twelve 
by their risen Lord : " He said unto them ' Peace be 
unto you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.' 
Then, breathing upon them, he said : ' Receive ye the 
Holy Ghost : Whosesoever sins ye forgive they are for- 
given them.' " 2 

2 Principal Forsyth in an article quoted by Principal Garvie 
(The Ritschlian Theology, p. 420) makes a statement which how- 


This " gospel," so far as it found visible expression, 
was embodied, after the manner of ancient religion, not 
in books but in symbolic ritual. Christianity consisted 
in the ordinances and their interpretation. When Saul 
the persecutor was called upon to identify his victims he 
did not search for writings. It is not even likely that 
as a Jew he would think of cross-examination on points 
of doctrine. Jewish orthodoxy is guaranteed not by ac- 
ceptance of a statement of belief, but by a sacramentum, 
an oath of loyalty to Jehovah the one God, in whose 
service every capacity of man's nature should be united. 
Its " creed " is the so-called Shema, the same " yoke of 
the divine sovereignty " which Jesus, like many an- 
other Jewish martyr, took on him when he went to his 
death. ^ What Saul the persecutor sav/ and resented 
in the spreading sect was a new loyalty. It was attested 
by baptism, a new sacramentum, a ritual act of self- 
dedication whose significance was renewed by a fre- 
quently repeated memorial act of fellowship. 

The Xazarenes, or Christians, were the people who 
practiced the rites of baptism and the Supper. The lat- 
ter, a token of their " communion " or '' partnership " 
(Koti'wvta), as they called it, came from the very hand 
and voice of Jesus himself on the night of 
his delivering up to the cross. The Church re- 
peated his farewell message to the disciples in 
his own words, it reenacted the supreme parable by 
which he had sealed his meaning on their hearts. In 
substance the supper was an act of self-dedication in 
which Jesus " covenanted " (Luke 22 : 29, hiar iOr^iu vfuv) 
that the life he was willingly surrendering in the cause 

ever sweeping seems to me historically justified : " Christianity 
is forgiveness," and he adds, " there is no forgiveness dissociated 
from the cross." That also I believe to be a fact as descriptive 
of the special message of the primitive evangelist, or missionary. 
Of course it is not true of Jesus' own preaching in Galilee. 
3 IVIk. 12 : 28-30. 


of the Kingdom should be a sacrifice to God on Israel's 
behalf. As other Jewish martyrs had done before his 
time,* he offered his body and blood to God as a " pro- 
pitiation " (lAaff/ios) on behalf of his people, and in a 
faith which not even the shadow of the cross could 
darken he gave tryst to those who had been with him in 
his trials at the banquet of the redeemed. He would 
meet them again at his table in his Kingdom. This 
" covenant " (Sia^r^K?^) is the essence of the rite. As 
II. Mace. 7 : 36 says of the martyrs who " offered up 
both body and life for the laws of their fathers, entreat- 
ing God that He would speedily be propitiated for their 
nation," Jesus also " died under a God-given ' cove- 
nant ' of everlasting life." 

The initial observance which marked the Christian 
of Paul's day was baptism ; not instituted by Jesus him- 
self during his earthly life, but adapted by his disciples 
from the practice by which his predecessor John had 
symbolized repentance from all the evil past in prepara- 
tion for Jehovah's coming to inaugurate his reign on 
earth. The disciples of Jesus adopted it almost coinci- 
dently with the awakening of their belief in the Master's 
victory over death and his exaltation to the throne of 
heavenly glory to await a prompt return.^ And in 
adopting it they were convinced that they were acting 
under the direction of his Spirit. To them the rite 
was the believer's logical response to the " covenant in 
the blood of the Master. The Supper symbolized 
Jesus' self -dedication unto death in their behalf. " My 
life . . . for you," those are its keywords. Baptism 
signified their participation in this death, an answering 

*IV Mace. 6: 27-29; 17: 8-22. 

6 Save for the vague generalization of Mt. 28: 19, the Gospels 
leave us in the dark as to the occasion of this significant adop- 
tion of the Johannine rite; for Jno. 3: 22 has reference to pre- 
Christian baptism only. 


penitent renunciation of all the evil past and a seK-dedi- 
cation under this God-given Christ. Taking upon 
them his name, and invoking him as " Lord," they gave 
themselves to the same cause for which he had given his 
life, and in which he had also received it back again 
with eternal glory. In baptism men became " vota- 
ries " of the glorified " Lord " who for their sakes had 
" devoted " himself. They were buried together with 
Christ that they might participate also in his resurrec- 
tion. And their faith and loyalty received as it were 
the seal of a divine approval; for ecstatic powers and 
manifestations followed upon the act, marking every 
assembly of the " brethren " of this " Way " as men 
who (in their own estimation at least) had experienced 
that " outpouring of the Spirit " which according to the 
prophets was to characterize the opening of the mes- 
sianic age.^ 

Not books, then, but these two observances form the 
true Ur-evangelium. " As often as ye eat this brea'd 
and drink this cup," says Paul, " ye do tell the story 
(KarayyeAAcTc) of the Lord's death until he come." If 
he had been thinking of the Greek mysteries instead of 
the Jewish Redemption feast with its ritual " telling 
of the tale " (haggada) of Jehovah's deliverance, he 
might have said " ye do reenact the drama." But it 
is only the coloration of the primitive rites which is 
Hellenistic, the basis is Jewish. The primitive " teach- 
ings of baptisms " are less certainly identifiable, but 
they undoubtedly had to do with the putting off of the 
old man with his sinful deeds, and the putting on of the 
new man endowed with a new and heaven-sent life. 

Such, then, was the true " beginning of the Gospel." 
The sacraments came first, the literature came after- 
ward. It grew up around the sacraments, interpreting 
and enforcing their lessons. The first disciples did not 
• Horn. 6: 1-11; I Cor. 10: 1-22. 


appeal, as we do, to two witnesses, the Spirit and the 
Word, but to three : the Spirit outpoured from heaven ; 
and the water; and the blood. 

The proof of it, if we needed proof, is the manner in 
which Epistles and Gospels alike concentrate about 
these two foci. In the great doctrinal Epistles of Paul 
there are always just these two central ideas: Justi- 
fication and Sanctification, or (as we might better say) 
Life in the Spirit. But justification is simply an ex- 
pansion of the theme of the new covenant in the blood 
of Christ shed for many for the remission of sins, and 
Life in the Spirit is an expansion of the teaching of 
baptism, which was a " bath of regeneration," a birth 
into the eternal life, the life of the risen Christ. Not 
the great Epistles only, but Gospel narrative also in its 
general outline falls into just the same two divisions. 
It has a Galilean ministry which tells the story of how 
Jesus received the Spirit of Adoption to Sonship at his 
baptism, and thereafter went about manifesting its pow- 
ers against temptation, disease, and all the opposition of 
evil. It has for its second part a Judean ministry 
which tells how he took up the cross and achieved the 
redemption, making " propitiation for our sins, and not 
for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." 
There is a third literary type of the Christian canon, 
the recorded utterance of contemporary " prophecy," or 
(as we call it) " apocalypse." This third type has not 
the polarity of the other two, but it manifestly develops 
that factor of the Supper observance which is repre- 
sented in the Gospels by the saying : " Ye shall sit on 
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." These 
three : Epistles, the utterance of Apostles ; Gospels, the 
utterance of evangelists and teachers; Apocalypse, the 
utterance of " prophets," form the material of our study. 

Because Christianity did not come into the chaotic 
religious world of the Empire as a ready-made system 


from without, impervious to the feeling and thought of 
the time, nor as a book, or theology, but only as a free 
and germinant idea, capable of drawing into itself and 
adapting every serviceable element from its environ- 
ment, we should expect to find, and do find, the ebb and 
flow of the tides of religious thought leaving their mark 
in the structure of this literatiire, and not outside alone. 
As some of those exquisite flower-like forms of ocean's 
bed build themselves up out of material carried on the 
currents that sweep in and out through their pores, so the 
literature of Christianity's formative age retains within 
its structure watermarks of the conflict of religious 
forces pouring now from the Jewish, now from the Hel- 
lenistic world ; and while the more vital consciousness 
subdues and assimilates the weaker, yet the weaker finds 
a place and reappears, though in transfigiired form. 
National religion in even its proudest development, the 
worship of the genius of Rome, disappeared before the 
new universal religion. But its best elements were not 
destroyed. They were fulfilled in the transfigured doc- 
trine of the kingdom of God. jSTature-worship, in its 
Hellenistic adaptation to the hope of immortality by 
participation in the divine nature, went down before the 
gospel of the risen Christ. But the Hellenistic doctrines 
of personal immortality had their resurrection. In con- 
flict with them the crude Jewish eschatology of a restora- 
tion of all things in a kingdom inherited by flesh and 
blood underwent a change so complete as to leave scarce 
a trace of its earlier form. Little remains of it in 
the fourth Gospel beyond the assurance that departing 
we shall be " with Christ." The doctrine of raising 
from among the dead (dmo-Tao-i? Ik veKpotv) is transformed 
into a doctrine of participation in the eternal life that 
is " hid in God." 

It is the purpose of this introductoiy lecture to clas- 
sify the successive types of New Testament literature 


in the well kno^Aoi and generally admitted order of their 
appearance. First by an interval of decades come the 
great Epistles of Paul, continued in a later succession 
of Deutero-Pauline and Catholic Epistles. The latter 
are attributed to Apostles and Brethren of the Lord who 
had the authority of Apostles, and in substance as well 
as form are largely Pauline. Contemporary with some 
of the later Epistles come the Synoptic writings, be- 
ginning with Mark, and including both treatises of 
Luke. For practical purposes we group with these the 
kindred book of the Revelation of John. Later still, at 
the very close of the first century or beginning of the 
second, come the so-called Johannine writings, which 
consist of a Gospel and three brief Epistles. 

It is important to observe that we cannot reckon the 
Revelation in the " Johannine " group, or class ; we 
should reserve the term " Johannine " to this book 
which alone of the five canonized at Ephesus bears the 
name of " John " in its text. The Ephesian Gospel and 
Epistles while not much later in date than the Revela- 
tion are at the widest possible remove from it doctrinally, 
and as literature belong in a totally different class. We 
should also note that of the three groups described the 
first and third (Epistles and Johannine Writings) are 
composed exclusively of writings which are Greek, and 
never were anything but Greek; whereas the second 
group (Synoptics and Revelation) is almost as com- 
pletely Semitic in origin, scarcely any part save the 
story of Paul in the second half of Acts having been 
originally composed in Greek. The rest seems to have 
been translated from Aramaic in its main substance. 

The middle period of New Testament literature repre- 
sents, therefore, an Aramaic enclave. The statement 
seems simple enough. It means only that the Synoptic 
writings and Revelation are based on translations from 
the Aramaic, and in this carefully chosen expression 


would probably be admitted by all pbilologians. Con- 
gidered in itself alone it is not a fact of great importance ; 
for we may accept the translation as in general quite ade- 
quate. But considered as a symptom of the origin and 
nature of the material embodied in these naturalized 
Greek writings, it has an importance which entirely 
transcends the apprehension of the ordinary reader. 

Stated in other terms the phenomenon is this: prac- 
tically the whole literature of our European, Greek- 
speaking, Pauline Christianity, in those vital elements 
which cover the life and teaching of Jesus, and the 
founding and extension of the Church, together with its 
entire apocalyptic eschatology, is a foreign substance 
relatively to its literary context. It is a rib taken out 
from the body of the Aramaic-speaking branch of the 
Church, and grafted into the Pauline. The Palestinian 
mother-church was dispersed in the formative period of 
the New Testament, leaving no literature of its own. 
What survives is due to the pious care of the Pauline 
churches, which incorporated with their own apostolic 
writings such of the Aramaic material as could be made 
available. This material was foreign in language, and 
to some extent in conception also, but not really alien. 
Had it been foreign to this extent the adapted material 
could never have been vitalized at all. Unchristian ma- 
terial, whether Jewish or heathen, would never have 
been received; or if taken up it would have been 
promptly ejected. The enclave is Christian, but retains 
something of its Jewish origin. Apart from the single 
book of prophecy, ascribed in the editorial framework to 
John, this Aramaic material is distinctively, and in 
every sense of the word, " Petrine " ; since not only the 
foundation narrative transmitted from. Mark to the later 
Synoptists is universally understood to represent the 
reminiscences of Peter, but the subsequent story of the 
founding of the Church is centered on this Apostle. 


But why did the Pauline churches take up this Sem- 
itic material 'i For two reasons. First, Paul himself 
looked hack to and rested upon this Petrine authority 
(I Cor. 15: 1-11) ; and after Paul's " departure" his 
churches had no other recourse against the unbridled 
speculations of Gnostic heresy. Second, while the trans- 
lation probably errs if at all rather in the direction of too 
slavish literalness, the much more important matter of 
selection was entirely in the hands of Greek editors. 
And unless every indication both of ancient tradition and 
modem inference is wrong, these Greek editors took up 
only what was most congenial to the Pauline churches 
among which their compilations were intended to cir- 
culate. In Matthew we have a few traces of material 
which if not anti-Pauline is at least irreconcilable with 
Paul's teaching. The same is true of Acts. But ed- 
itors anxious to believe that all Apostles taught precisely 
the same doctrine found a harmonizing sense quite as 
easily as moderns find it in the Epistle of James. Their 
catholicity was generously inclusive. 

The case of Mark is typical, and this Gospel became 
determinative of later Synoptic narrative. There is 
good reason to accept the testimony of antiquity that 
this Petrine foundation stone of the sayings and doings 
of Jesus was compiled under the direction of Mark. At 
least it appeared under his authority. And Mark, as we 
know, was a follower of Paul. Until the end Mark was 
with Paul at Kome, or acting for him from Rome, as his 
trusted representative. Such connection as this lieuten- 
ant of Paul had had with Peter was proliably only a mat- 
ter of his young manhood, at least a score of years before 
the time of writing. 

It is true that Mark appears in a different relation in 
a writing known to us as the First Epistle of Peter. 
This is an encyclical, later than the Gospel, addressed 
from Rome to the Pauline churches of Asia Minor. It 


encourages them to stand fast in the fiery persecution 
they are called upon to undergo together with their 
brethren throughout the world, apparently the Domiti- 
anic persecution of about 90 a. d. It purports to speak 
for Peter, and conveys a greeting from " Mark " as 
Peter's (spiritual) " son," implying a second association 
of Mark with Peter after the death of Paul. I need 
hardly say that if the date 90 a. d. is correct the assump- 
tion to speak for Peter is a literary fiction. The device 
was regarded as admissible at the time, and perhaps 
at first was fully understood as the mere convention 
which it almost certainly is. Few scholars to-day would 
attempt to maintain Petrine authorship in any real 
sense. At all events everything about First Peter save 
the name is Pauline, and Pauline only. Hence we can 
use its mention of Mark as Peter's " son " only as wit- 
ness to the regard which was accorded to the evangelist 
at the place of composition as early as 90 a. d. And this 
is of no small importance. For we leam from Acts that 
Mark really had been associated with Peter in the days 
before he accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the so- 
called First Missionary Journey. We may perhaps 
assume also that he came down with Peter from Jeru- 
salem to Antioch after having left Paul and Barnabas at 
Perg-a. That was about the vear 47 or 48. This 
early association with Peter might well account for his 
being referred to in the Epistle as Peter's spiritual 
" son." 

The data of Acts will also account for Mark's being 
called an " interpreter" (epixrjvevTT]<s) of Peter in a very 
ancient tradition of Palestinian origin which spoke of 
him as author of the Gospel. In its original form and 
sense this tradition is perfectly credible. Before his 
journey to Cyprus with Barnabas after the breach with 
Paul at Antioch Mark may very well have been associ- 
ated with Peter. But there is not a word in the tra- 


dition itself to justify the idea which second and third 
century writers formed by combining it with the men- 
tion of " Babylon " in I Pt. 5 : 13. Assuming (as they 
did) that Peter himself wrote the Epistle, and that 
" Babylon " stands for Eome (which is probably true) 
they inferred that after having been Paul's follower to 
the end at Eome Mark had become associated for a sec- 
ond time with Peter, this Apostle having come to take 
Paul's place in Eome. Peter was thus made in a direct 
sense responsible for the Eoman Gospel ; practically its 
author. If, however, we place his relation to Mark 
hefore Mark's association with Paul, as we probably 
should, Peter's connection with the narrative becomes 
much more remote. 

The designation of Mark's Gospel the " Memoirs of 
Peter " is thus seen to be a typical second-century exag- 
geration. The Gospel is no doubt a product of the 
Eoman church. It probably does represent in the most 
primitive form, the compilation by Mark of what he 
could gather, or remember, of the preaching of Peter. 
Its material was largely documentary, and has been 
translated from the Aramaic. But it is certainly not a 
primary Apostolic record; nor did the oldest form of 
the tradition even venture to call it such. It is a postr 
humous collection of Petrine material by a Paulinist for 
Paulinists. It represents the practical use to which 
primitive Palestinian material could be put by a great 
Greek-speaking, Gentile church, thoroughly Pauline in 
all its anti-Jewish tendencies, a decade or so after both 
Peter and Paul were dead. 

If such be the case with the Gospel of Mark it is 
hardly needful to point out that the still later, probably 
Antiochian work Luke-Acts, and the Palestinian Gos- 
pel to which tradition early attached the name of " Mat- 
thew " have a similar history of adaptation. Both of 
these depend largely on Mark. Both are Greek com- 


positions, merely employing Aramaic material, and the 
greater part even of this material was, like Mark, already 
in translation before the composition of the present 
Gospels. These, therefore, can no more than Mark 
aspire to be considered primary apostolic documents ; but 
the later two go far beyond Mark in their exaltation of 
Peter. All three embody Palestinian material, some of 
it possibly as old as the letters of Paul. With it is 
much more which was Aramaic, perhaps Palestinian, but 
by no means so ancient. 

The point of view of the Antiochian, and especially 
of the Palestinian Gospel is, as we should expect, much 
less in harmony with the ideas of Paul than the Roman. 
In particular they go very much further than Mark in 
taking up discourses of Jesus from an ancient source^ of 
unknown origin. This is what critics designate the 
Second Source, reconstructing it from the " double-tra- 
dition " material of Matthew and Luke. It presented 
Jesus' ministry largely as that of a teacher, one who 
saves men principally by indoctrination in the " wisdom 
that cometh from above." Probably the origin of both 
Matthew and Luke is largely due to the need indepen- 
dently felt in different quarters for enriching the 
Petrine tradition with this mass of teaching material. 

Besides the four narrative books our Aramaic enclave 
includes also a fifth, of different type. This is the 
Palestinian " book of prophecy " which an Ephesian 
editor of about 93 a. d. gives out under cover of seven 
" letters of the Spirit " to the seven churches of Asia, 
attributing the incorporated visions to the martyred 
Apostle John, who is vaguely located on the Isle of 
Patmos. This work also is demonstrably an adapta- 
tion of Aramaic material. It seems to come largely 
from the period of Jerusalem's death-strugg'le with 
Rome a quarter-century before the time of republication 
at Ephesus. The churches addressed in the present 


work are the Greek churches of the Ionic coast. The 
messages of the spirit in the prefatory letters show 
clearly that their problems and dangers are those of 
the Pauline churches at this time and in this region. 
Their troubles are not with the sword of Rome, but with 
" Nicolaitans," " Balaamites," and others who "teach 
my servants to commit fornication and to eat things 
sacrificed to idols." Xame and description alike recall 
the three chapters devoted by Paul to this subject in 
I Cor. 8-10. The Palestinian churches to which the 
visions of the " prophecy " thus introduced would seem 
to have been originally addressed had quite other dif- 
ficulties. jSTevertheless in the time of storm and stress 
of Domitian, the second jSTero, the Pauline "churches 
of Asia " threatened by Satan as a roaring lion in perse- 
cution without, and as a tempting serpent by heresy 
within, might well turn with eagerness to the consola- 
tions and encouragements of Palestinian " apocalypse," 
translating and circulating among themselves the visions 
which had done service in Palestine a generation be- 
fore. For in the last year of his reign Nero had brought 
upon Jerusalem the abomination of desolation spoken 
of by Daniel the prophet. 

Thus the great Aramaic enclave of our Greek 'New 
Testament, the enclave consisting of the four Synoptic 
writings and Revelation, covers the period which Clem- 
ent of Alexandria significantly designates as " post- 
apostolic." It begins in 62 a. d. with the martyrdom 
of James in Jerusalem along with " others." These 
" others " may have included John the brother of the 
other James, who had been martyred in 41 ; for Papias 
records that the two sons of Zebedee were " killed by 
the Jews." The mart^a-dom of Paul at Pome had fol- 
lowed that of James the Lord's brother only a year or 
two later, and Peter's had taken place at about the same 


date. Clement may well say, therefore, that the period 
of teaching of the Apostles closes with the death of Paul 
under Nero/ The enclave is later. Its adoption by 
the Greek churches represents in a sense a reaction from 
the free gospel of Pauline missionary evangelism. It 
is a reaction perfectly unavoidable, and on the whole 
salutary, toward the standpoint of the so-called Pillar- 
apostles. It came to an end, so far as incorporations in 
our canon are concerned, not far from the close of the 
first century, and was followed, as one might expect, by 
a new surge of Pauline re-interpretation of the gospel 
message on a higher scale, including the values and em- 
ploying the forms of both elements. This resurge of 
Paulinism is what we have learned to call the Johan- 
nine literature, meaning by it not the writing which 
really names the Apostle John as its author, the Revela- 
tion, to which I referred above, but the four anonymous 
Ephesian writings of the same locality and but slightly 
later date, which came to be attributed traditionally to 
the same author. Ephesus had been the great headquar- 
ters of Paul's mission field. Here he worked longest, 
and had most occasion to give his system of thought its 
highest and most philosophic interpretation. It was 
therefore the predestined place of origin and center of 
dissemination for- that " spiritual Gospel," as the Fath- 
ers learned to call it, which became the foundation of 
all the later theologies, rounding out the full cycle of 
the Pauline message. ISTevertheless neither the thought 
of Paul, nor that of his great interpreter at Ephesus, 
found easy acceptance. It is full fifty years before any 
considerable effect of the " Johannine " type of teaching 
can be traced in Christian literature, eighty before any 
one quotes the Gospel by name as the work of an Apostle, 
and almost a century before it can claim a position of 
nearly undisputed authority alongside its three predeces- 

T Strom. VII, 17 (106 f.). 


2. The Reflected Movement of Religious Life 

As we bring our. preliminary survey of the material 
to a close we are reminded that the conclusions of criti- 
cism are under challenge to prove not only their rational 
grounds, but their practical availability. Bible read- 
ers demand that criticism shall be " constructive," mean- 
ing thereby that it shall make the Scriptures at least 
as serviceable as before to the religious life. 

Paradoxical as it may sound, I do not hesitate to 
name the Church-historian Ferdinand Christian Baur as 
the founder of " constructive " criticism. Before his 
time criticism had been predominantly negative and 
destructive. Confronted by a literature canonized by 
the post-apostolic Church because of its religious values 
it had indulged in sporadic bursts of rebellion against 
the tyranny of ecclesiastical tradition. It was battling 
for the bare " right to investigate the canon," and until 
this was conceded it could not " construct." Baur gave 
it a definite and comprehensive plan of campaign, with 
clearly conceived objectives. In the historian's view 
the critic had a larger task than mere disproof of a tra- 
dition largely based on theological dogma and handed 
down as of authority by divine right. He was called 
upon to give a better explanation than the traditional of 
the literature in question, to account adequately for its 
origin and effect, above all to explain its relation to the 
new forces of religious life which produced Christianity 
as we know it at the close of the second century, a de- 
veloped, systematized, unified world-religion. Is not 
such criticism constructive ? 

Men think of Baur and the Tiibingen School as de- 
structive critics, because they went beyond all who had 
preceded them (and indeed beyond the next generation 
of their own followers) in sweeping the ground clear of 
disputable writings. Nothing was to remain save the 


four major Epistles of Paul, whose date could be approx- 
imately known, and whose authenticity had never been 
called in question. Baur indeed believed that it never 
could be. He could not anticipate the eccentricities of 
a little group of hyper-critics in our own time, any more 
than his contemporaries could foresee the antics of our 
futurists in music, painting, or sculpture. Baur him- 
self in rejecting such writings as First Thessalonians, 
Philippians and Philemon went beyond all reasonable 
requirement of limitation to admitted data. But it 
was in order that he might build, like a true historian, 
on early documents, clearly authenticated, rather than 
on later and dependent, of unknown authorship and in- 
determinable origin.* 

Baur rendered one great service by his insistence on 
discrimination in the historical valuation of the docu- 
ments. He rendered another, still greater, by insisting 
on the relation between the literature, and the life from 
which it grew and to which it was intended to minister. 
To place the writings in their true environment, as 
products of their own time and contributory forces in its 
movement, is the prime condition of any interpretation 
deserving to be called historical. And if our interpre- 
tation is not historical it is futile. It may display any 
amount of wisdom from our own minds, but it certainly 
cannot any longer claim to give that of the biblical 

As a historical critic, bent on bringing the litera- 
ture of the Church into mutually explanatory relations 

8 It is curious that the author of the slogan " Back to tradi- 
tion " should make his " Contributions to New Testament Criti- 
cism " start from the narrative writings attributed to Luke, and 
having established the date and authenticity of these to his own 
satisfaction, make them the standard to which the Pauline repre- 
sentation is to be adjusted. However firm the foundation thus 
laid down in the eyes of its constructor, there will probably con- 
tinue to be a certain number, even in Germany, who will consider 
the method of Baur on this point the more likely to yield trust- 
worthy results. 


with the development of its life and institutions, Baur 
could liardlj fail to seize upon the same conspicuous 
point of departure as Marcion, the great Gnostic Paul- 
inist of the first half of the second centur^^ The key 
to all was Paul's story of his resistance to Peter. 

Marcion was an anti-Semite. Bom and brought up 
in the great Pauline mission-field of Asia Minor he 
conceived Christianity as might have been expected 
from a typical Greek. Paul alone, said Marcion, un- 
derstood Jesus. The " Pillar-Apostles " at Jerusalem 
had perverted the sense of his gospel. Jesus himself 
was not so much a Jew as a divine theophany which 
had occurred in Judaea, intended to reveal to the mis- 
guided Jews that the divinity Moses had taught them 
to worship was a mere demiurge, an inferior being 
ignorant of the true God, the " Father in heaven " of 
Jesus. Jehovah was a god of justice, severe and unre- 
lenting in the punishment inflicted for disobedience to 
the laws he had imposed on his creation. But the 
Father in heaven was a God of goodness, loving-kind- 
ness, grace. Through favor of his manifested Son, 
Jesus, human souls could escape the wrath of Jehovah, 
and attain to the immortality of their Redeemer, In 
short Judaism and Christianity were made two antag- 
onistic religions. 

Marcion naturally excluded the Old Testament from 
use by his churches, and substituted a canon of his own. 
This, the first Christian Canon, contained the Pauline 
Epistles minus the three Pastorals, plus an expurgated 
version of the Gospel of Luke. Marcion had removed 
from this Gospel what he regarded as the interpolations 
of the Pillar-Apostles, including all references to the 
Old Testament. It began : " In the fifteenth year of 
Tiberius Csesar Jesus came down into Capernaum, a city 
of Galilee, and taught in their synagogue." His col- 
lection of the Pauline Epistles, likewise expurgated, 


began with Galatians and its account of how Paul 
had at first preached the gospel divinely committed to 
him without hindrance from the older Apostles, but later 
found obstacles being thrown in his way by Judaizers, 
until he was obliged to go up to Jerusalem and protest, in 
order that the truth of the gospel might remain unto 
the Gentiles. Finally, at Antioch, he was compelled 
even to withstand Peter to his face because of his cow- 
ardice and " hypocrisy " in face of emissaries from 
James and the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Here 
was Paulinism and Gentile Christianity with a ven- 
geance. And it had no small acceptance in the Greek- 
speaking Christian world. It has been credibly esti- 
mated that Christianity lost one-half its following to 
Marcion and other Gnostic heretics bent on divorcing it 
from its Jewish affiliations and making it over in the 
tnie likeness of a Hellenistic mystery-cult of personal 

At the other extreme from Marcion stood, at the same 
period, the Jewish-Christian sect of Ebionites, anathe- 
matizing Paul as a renegade from the Law and a 
traitor to the true gospel of Jesus. Salvation was of 
course free to all, but on condition of becoming what 
Jesus had been, a circumcised Jew. Down to the fifth 
century, in Ephiphanius' time, the Ebionites were still 
claiming, as they had in Paul's day at Corinth, to be " of 
Christ," saying " Christ was circumcised, therefore be 
thou circumcised. Christ kept the feasts, therefore do 
thou keep the feasts." ^ 

Extremists of both types, Jewish and Greek, were 

inevitably excluded in the long run from the great mass 

of the Church in its forward movement. Thrown off as 

heretics they gravitated for a time in a separate orbit, to 

be lost ere long in that blackness of darkness which Jude 

9 Epiplianius, Panar. xxviii. See Bacon, " The Christ party in 
Corinth." Expos. VIII, 47 (Nov., 1914). 


assures his readers is reserved for such wandering stars. 
The main mass recovered its equilibrium and kept on a 
middle course. Irenaeus, at the close of the second 
century, represented this final equilibrium. His very 
name indicates, as Eusebius reminds us, his predestined 
function of " peacemaker " among the parties inside the 
Church, intolerant opponent as he is of all outside. 
Christianity had by this time balanced accounts with 
claimants from Judaism and the Gentile world alike. 
Rome had taken the place of Ephesus as spiritual heir of 
East and West. It regarded itself as trustee of both 
Peter and Paul, supreme arbiter of the faith since the 
dispersion in 135 of the Church of the Apostles, elders, 
and kindred of the Lord in Jerusalem. The remaining 
history of the new religion is a process of consolidation 
and development from within. Such was the broader 
nexus of historical development within which Baur 
sought an explanatory background for the writings of 
the New Testament. 

As a historical critic Baur was bent on bringing the 
literature of the growing religion into proper relation to 
the movement of its life, and thus exhibiting its true 
significance and values. In view of the outstanding 
facts as just outlined, what could be more natural than 
to say : This literature is a product of the nascent faith 
in the period of its emergence from Jewish particular- 
ism into its ultimate form of universalism. Those who, 
like Paul, perceived its broader destiny would inevitably 
encounter opposition at the hands of fellow-Christians 
less able to appreciate its larger implications, or more 
conservatively inclined ; and from this opposition would 
result (unless the two were mutually destructive) a 
higher unity. The adaptable elements on both sides 
would be combined in the most workable and comprehen- 
sive common interpretation. This was Baur's scheme of 
the literary development. Erom the point of view of 


mechanics it might be called a theory of the resultant 
force, an invariable outcome of the opposition of two 
bodies moving toward one another, but not in exactly the 
same line, or if so, not with exactly balanced power. In 
the Hegelian philosophy of history, which is said to have 
influenced Baur, it is called the theory of thesis, anti- 
thesis and synthesis. 

It would be superfluous for me to repeat the common 
remark how little now remains of Baur's application of 
his famous theory to ISTew Testament literature. N^o 
one, of course, denies a development of Christianity in 
its process of self-emancipation from the particularism 
of the older Apostles to the universalism of Paul. The 
struggle was real, but the Tiibingen critics extended it 
too far down in time. They misunderstood its com- 
plexity, they misinterpreted the writings in their efforts 
to discover the particular " tendency " which should de- 
termine their place in it. Mark may in a sense be 
Petro-Pauline, but certainly not in Baur's sense; and 
it is not the latest, but the earliest of the Synoptic writ- 
ings. Revelation is not the earliest book of the New 
Testament. In its present form it is one of the latest, 
and far from anti-Pauline. The Johannine literature 
may indeed represent that " higher synthesis " of which 
Baur wrote, but the date he gave it was two full genera- 
tions too late. All this must be admitted. But the ad- 
mission need detract but little from Baur's just claim to 
be the founder of constructive criticism; for he had 
taught all genuine students of the New Testament that 
the literature is but the mask of the enlarging life. 

We may be pardoned, then, a moment's digression to 
the criticism of a hundred years ago. Our subject of 
study is a kind of collective psychology of religion in 
historical manifestation. Baur has taught us fearlessly 
to apply to its material the methods of historico-critical 
analysis, and to apply them with a definite purpose in 


view ; tlie purpose of tracing the movement of the great- 
est spiritual impulse ever imparted to the human race. 
Larger light is available now than in Baur's time on 
the conditions and movements of religious thought, both 
Jewish and Hellenistic, in the Empire. It should en- 
able us to make better application than he made of a 
principle which, if stated in somewhat different terms 
from Baur's, remains profoundly true. It offers, as I 
believe, a valid coordinating scheme to the critic. The 
statement of that principle I must leave to a subsequent 
occasion. You have already divined that it concerns the 
impulse of religious life which assumes so different a 
shape in its transition from Jesus to Paul. Meantime 
let me sum up. The successive phases of the literature 
as it reaches us are three : the literature of the Apostle ; 
the literature of the teacher, and of the prophet; the 
literature of the theologian. But as the Ephesian evan- 
gelist teaches us, the manifested life is one : even that 
which was from the beginning with the Father. He 
that sees it bears witness, that all men may share his fel- 
lowship with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus 
Christ. A true answer to this Johannine utterance is 
made by the gTcat Jewish philosopher of post-reforma- 
tion times. " It is not absolutely necessary," says 
Spinoza, " to know Christ after the flesh, but we must 
think very differently of that eternal Son of God, I 
mean the eternal Wisdom of God, which has mani- 
fested itself in all things, and chiefly in the human mind, 
and most of all in Jesus Christ." ^" 
10 Spinoza, Op. i, 510, Ep. to Oldenburg. 



1. Movement of Israel's Religious Development from 
Nationalism, to Universalism, 

From the view-point of the historian of religion the 
Christian era should begin with the 25th of December, 
165 B. c. On that date the worship of Jehovah was 
restored in the temple at Jerusalem purified from 
heathen defilement, and God began to make all things 
new. The heroic sons of Mattathias who had won back 
both religious freedom and national independence 
founded a native dynasty of priest kings, and with the 
beginning of the new epoch religion too advanced with 
mighty strides. Prophecy took on the new form of 
apocalypse. Its goal was no longer a kingdom of this 
world but a cosmic deliverance. Its conflict was no 
longer against flesh and blood, but against principali- 
ties, powers, world-rulers of darkness in heavenly 
places. Israel's enemy was no longer the alien op- 
pressor, but the invisible foes of humanity, the powers 
of Sin and Death. 

^ext to apocalyptic prophecy among the factors of 
the new religious age stands legalism. It had been an 
uprising of the people which saved the religion of Je- 
hovah when the priesthood proved largely faithless. It 
was now the people's place of worship, the Synagogue, 
an institution unknown to the Law, which began rap- 
idly to eclipse the prescribed and official worship of 



the temple in the real religious life of the nation. 
And with the Synagogue came the scribe, the interpre- 
ter of Scripture, and the Pharisee, its faithful devotee, 
who seeks to attain the national hope by faith and 
obedience. The later Maccabees became selfish and 
degenerate time-servers. The Pharisees proved by 
hundreds of martyrdoms the sincerity of their devo- 
tion to the ideals advanced during the war of liberation : 
Not conquest, but freedom to worship God. 

The book-religion of scribe and Pharisee strains 
every nerve to attain for the nation reconciliation of 
Jehovah's favor. For the individual it seeks " a share 
in the world to come," that " resurrection of the just " 
which now for the first time began to play a part, soon 
to become the controlling part in Jewish piety. This 
was the contribution of apocalypse. 

But side by side with apocalypse and legalism there 
comes into view a third development of other import. 
This same new age of Judaism sees the rise and cul- 
mination of the Wisdom literature, re-interpreting the 
religion of Jehovah in terms of ethics and philosophy. 
This type of thought flourished chiefly in Alexandria, 
and culminated in the Logos-doctrine of Philo, the 
earlier contemporary of Jesus. A Wisdom fragment 
preserved in the Gospels presents these three great 
agents of Jehovah's new-creative Spirit as " prophets, 
wise men, and scribes." 

Thus while Gentile religions crumbled, or turned 
back toward nature-worship, Judaism advanced; 
though showing itself anything but impervious to the 
currents of thought and life around it. Outward ex- 
pansion went hand in hand with inward renewal. It 
was growth promoted not only under pressure of ad- 
verse circumstance, but also under stimulus of contem- 
porary Gentile thought. 

However contrary to our inherited ideas, evidence is 


not lacking of rapid evolution even in that supreme ex- 
pression of Israel's religious genius of whicli Jesus be- 
came the leader and representative. I^ot only was 
there a great advance from the baptism of John to the 
preaching of Jesus, the Gospels themselves, little as 
they are disposed to admit a process of development, do 
not conceal the fact that Jesus himself increased in 
wisdom as in stature, and that his faith was both 
broadened and deepened by the things which he ex- 
perienced and suffered. The humble, expectant faith 
of a heathen woman could open to him new vistas of the 
comprehensiveness of his calling, as he sought refuge 
from the hostility of his own people in the coasts of 
Tyre and Sidon. And this was not the only incident 
of Gentile faith to lead him to broader views. Con- 
trasts such as that of the believing centurion with 
Jewish unbelief could make him warn the Galilean 
cities that Tyre and Sidon, Nineveh and Sodom, would 
meet a better fate than they in the judgment. So he 
said to Jerusalem also : " The kingdom of God shall 
be taken away from you and given to a nation bringing 
forth the fruits thereof." 

If rejection in Galilee led Jesus to a broader view 
of his mission, the more disastrous rejection in Jeru- 
salem led to a deeper and higher. When he set his face 
steadfastly to go up to Jerusalem, accompanied by a 
mere handful out of the great multitudes that had eaten 
of the loaves and then withdrawn, it was with a clear 
premonition of his fate. He could not but foresee 
that if he had failed to carry with him the adherents of 
the Synagogue in Galilee, his attempt to take the temple 
out of the hands of the hierocracy, and make it a house 
of prayer for all the people, might have no better re- 
sult. And the penalty of failure would be death. He 
spoke plainly to those whom he invited to join with 
him in this forlorn hope, of what was involved in the 


issue. If he carried the people with him it meant that 
judgment would begin at the house of God. The step 
would have been taken which according to Malachi was 
the supreme act of national purification in preparation 
for Jehovah's coming. The King's palace would be 
purged and ready for His dwelling among a repentant 
and loyal people. If he did not, his cause would not 
survive another Passover.^ 

There is nothing improbable in the representation of 
the Gospels that it was at the time when Jesus laid 
before the Twelve his purpose to carry the campaign for 
the reign of God to the central sanctuary that the ques- 
tion was first raised as to the real nature of his mis- 
sion. He certainly had neither the desire nor the in- 
tention to be a political Messiah. Of that the story 
of Peter's Rebuke leaves no doubt. On the other 
hand direct action such as he now proposed meant the 
assumption of national leadership in a sense beyond 
that of mere prophet and teacher. And failure, such 
as was only too probable, meant that the kingdom, if 
realized at all, must come by the intervention of God. 
The alternative is expressed in the titles Son of David 
— Son of Man. Critics who reject the views of the 
fashionable " eschatological school " consider that 

1 The driving out of the traders from the temple was a coup 
d'etat, the carefully planned climax of Jesus' career, by which he 
at once symbolized the significance of his mission and staked his 
all upon the event. The significance then attaching to the act 
will be apparent from a Jewish interpretation in parable of the 
Isaian figure of Israel as the forsaken wife. (Ex. Rabha, c. 51.) 
It is a comment on the name " tent of witness " applied in Exodus 
to the Tabernacle: "A king was angry with his wife and for- 
sook her. The neighbors declared, ' He will not return.' Then the 
king sent word to her (Mai. 1:6-14; 3: 1-12): 'Cleanse my 
palace, and on such and such a day I will return to thee.' He 
came and was reconciled to her. Therefore is the sanctuary called 
the ' tent of witness.' It is a witness to the Gentiles that God is 
no longer wroth." To Jesus the restoration of his Father's house 
as " a house of prayer " was a token of national repentance and 
divine " reconciliation." 


Jesus was no more carried off his feet by apocalyptic 
messianism than by the nationalism of the Zealots. He 
used the term Son of Man, as he used that of " the 
Christ " with his own reserves. But he could scarcely 
avoid using it on such an occasion as this at Csesarea 

The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus " learned 
by the things that he suffered." For my own part I 
cannot see how it is possible to deny the evidences of 
development in his message as the Synoptists report it. 
There is an unceasing process of action and reaction 
between the urge of the splendid ideal, and the pressure 
of stern reality. He finds victory in defeat. Disap- 
pointment in his case only lends wings to faith, so that 
the unbelief of Galilee gives but the greater scope and 
the deeper intensity to his self-dedication. The catas- 
trophe in Jerusalem was more disastrous. It left him 
not only deserted by every follower, but betrayed to a 
felon's death. Yet faith was victorious. J^ot, how- 
ever, by following his own way, but the way of his 
Father's leading. The Eschatological school of inter- 
preters, who make apocalypse the one key to all prob- 
lems of Jesus' career, are very likely right in maintain- 
ing that Jesus went up to JeiTisalem in the conviction 
that if he did not carry Israel with him God himself 
would visibly intervene. If so, that was one of the 
phases of Jesus' faith that had to be transcended. 
And there is good reason to believe that it was tran- 
scended ; not only later, by the faith of a Church disap- 
pointed in its cruder expectations, but by the faith of 
Jesus himself. Of this we have more than one intima- 
tion in the so-called Second Source. At present I will 
refer to one only. 

The demand of a sign from heaven is addressed to 
Jesus by certain scribes who had come down from Je- 
rusalem to destroy his work in Galilee and drive him 


into exile. He meets it with the declaration, " If I by 
the finger of God cast out demons, then the divine 
sovereignty hath overtaken you unaware." This ap- 
peal to a present reign of God is something more than 
apocalyptic eschatology. The reign of God, Jeaus 
maintains, is not to be forecast with horoscope or ob- 
servation, " neither shall they say, Lo, here ; or Lo, 
there. For the reign of God is within you " — or, if 
you prefer so to render it, " among you." The impli- 
cation of the saying is that God is already at work. 
The overthrow of Satan is already begun. The king- 
dom is potentially present. If, then, Jesus failed in 
his endeavor to make ready for Jehovah in Galilee a 
people prepared for His coming, if the work of the sec- 
ond Elijah taken up by him did not issue in the recon- 
ciliation of God with His people, still his faith would 
not break down. The mustard seed was sown. The 
leaven was working. The good grain was cast into the 

We can hardly do justice to the records and not ad- 
mit that Jesus, like other prophets, did foreshorten the 
time. The day of harvest and the sending forth of the 
reapers was more distant than he thought. But his 
faith laid hold not of horoscopes and forecasts, but of 
the present, unseen power of God. It had a deeper 
root than the visions of apocalypse. It saw God's reign 
to be present as well as future, imminent as well as 
transcendent. Disappointment as to the mode and 
time would have left Jesus as it left the Church still 
saying, " Nevertheless the Kingdom of God is come 
nigh." 2 

StiU more certainly may we reason on analogous 
lines for the movement of Jesus' faith in the face of 

2Mk. 3: 22-27 and parallels. For some excellent remarks on 
Jesus' superiority to apocalyptic eschatology as such see the 
chapter on " The Historical Jesus " by Canon Streeter in Founda- 


rejection, desertion, and betrayal to death, in Jeru- 
salem. He did not have superhuman foresight, but he 
did have insight. And he had the kind of faith in God 
which cries out with martyred Job, " Though He slay 
me, yet will I trust in him." If he had not, would the 
frightened, scattered handful of disciples who forsook 
him and fled in the last calamitous night ever have ral- 
lied again? So the faith of Jesus in his calling and 
his message was not cast down in the face of disaster, 
and assuredly it did not stand still. Like the faith of 
his people, disappointment only led it to higher forms. 
If what seemed to be the cause of God went down with- 
out His aid, then it did not follow that there is no cause 
of God to invite man's self-devotion, but only that man 
has not yet conceived it on the scale of its true grandeur. 
Therefore it is that in that same night in which he was 
betrayed Jesus instead of receding advanced. Instead 
of qualifying or explaining former promises, he made 
his very martyrdom subserve the end. He took bread 
as he was eating with his disciples, and when he had 
blessed he brake it and said, " This is my body that is 
given for you." And in like manner the cup, saying, 
" This is my blood that is shed for many, do this in re- 
membrance of me." The people's faith that martyr- 
doms also advance the cause of God, a faith that flamed 
high in the heroic days of the Maccabees, had not been 
wholly stifled by legalism.^ 

The supreme problem in the history of our religion 
is how it could change so profoundly in the brief space 
that can be allowed between the preaching of the gospel 
of the kingdom by Jesus in Galilee, and the gospel that 
Paul referred to in First Corinthians as received by 

3 Note the fact that the names of Jesus' predecessor, of his 
brothers, and of his closest disciples, are those of the Maccabean 
heroes, Judas, Simon, John. The resurrection hero of Maccabean 
times, Eleazar, the Arnold Winkelried and John Huss of Jewish 
Martyrology, becomes the " Lazarus " of the Gospels. 


him in the beginning, the redemption faith he expressly 
says was common to all disciples. The one is a gospel 
of Jesus, and the other a gospel about Jesus. The one 
is concerned with the kingdom of God, the other with 
eternal life. The one is a religion of social salvation, 
the other a religion of personal salvation. The one 
seeks the reconciliation of Jehovah to a repentant 
people, the other proclaims atonement for the individual 
soul estranged from God. There are those who can see 
no inward development in the faith of Jesus himself, no 
deepening of his insight into the work he must do for 
the kingdom's sake, no transfiguration of his religious 
ideal in reaction against the stern reality of failure and 
martyrdom. Therefore they lay upon Paul all respon- 
sibility for the change. Arnold Meyer puts the case for 
these when he says in their name, " Paul has obscured 
the simple gospel of Jesus." He has " made another 
God of him who would bring us to God, and has set 
him between God and ourselves." He is " responsible 
for a tremendous, momentous, distorting transforma- 
tion of a religion in its essence purely of the heart." * 
The marvel is that Peter and Paul, when they differed 
so widely and outspokenly on other things, should have 
worked as one in this. They seem to know no differ- 
ence in respect to faith in the crucified and risen Lord 
as the common basis of their salvation.^ They have one 
Lord, of whose work of redemption they speak in terms 
of personal religion : " He loved me^ and gave himself 
for me/' 

We need not minimize the expansive power of uni- 
versalism in the soul of the great Apostle to the Gen- 
tiles, nor the significance of his struggle to emancipate 
the nascent faith from the swathing bands of Jewish 
particularism, when we maintain that the expansive 

* Jesus or Paul (Engl.), 1909, o. 3. 
5Cf. Gal. 2: 15-16; I Cor. 15: 3, 11. 


urge was felt from within as well as from without, and 
that Jesus, as well as Paul, experienced enlargement in 
his vision of the purpose of God as regards the Gen- 
tiles, l^either need we minimize the effect of the re^ 
ligious atmosphere of the times on the soul of Paul, to 
say nothing of his forms of thought and expression, if 
we also maintain that Jesus could feel something of the 
same. Not indeed because of any Gentile origin or en- 
vironment, but because all religion, that of his own peo- 
ple as well as the outside world, was driven by the 
yearning for personal redemption and fellowship with 
God. And this was not all. Jesus had his religious 
agony as well as Paul. His faith had to lift itself in 
the face of disaster to higher and surer ground. There- 
fore it was not a mistake, but justice and truth, when 
not only Paul, but those who before him had come to 
the vision of the glorified Redeemer, refused after Cal- 
vary to go back to the mere gospel of Galilee, taking 
instead the new and larger gospel of Atonement in the 
blood of the Crucified, the gospel of self-dedication. 

The Hegelian principle of thesis, antithesis and syn- 
thesis, applied after the Tiibingen method to the apo- 
stolic age as a conflict between particularism and uni- 
versalism, is not enough to explain historical Christi- 
anity. There was an earlier impulse from within 
under the great law of action and reaction by which 
all moving bodies find their equilibrium. There was 
the backward swing of the pendulum removed from its 
first support till it found a new stability. We know 
how in the history of Israel's faith the forward sweep 
of great prophetic ideals met reaction, whether from 
mental and spiritual inertia, or the stern logic of events ; 
but reaction only leads to resumption of the forward 
movement on a higher plane. We have seen how the 
career of Jesus, little as we can know of its detail, re- 
sponds in the main to this same mode of apprehension. 


His gospel, like Paul's, is a " gospel of reconciliation " ; 
but it has progressive phases. Jesus begins by carry- 
ing the Baptist's work to its completion. He sets out 
to gather the lost sheep of Israel and by his message of 
repentance and faith to make ready for Jehovah a peo- 
ple prepared for Him. Certainly it was, as Meyer 
says, a " religion of the heart," a message of pure reli- 
gion and undefiled before God the Father, the consum- 
mation of all that the law and the prophets had taught. 
The parable of the Prodigal Son embodies it. But it 
did not win Israel. Of all that work in Galilee there 
remains in Acts not one trace save the mention in a geo- 
graphical formula that after the conversion of Paul 
" the Church throughout all Judaea and Galilee and 
Samaria had rest." Driven out from Galilee Jesus 
took up a larger undertaking attended with far greater 
danger. And with it we see his message assuming a 
new form. It is now a message of individual life 
through death. It is addressed to a smaller group, and 
his own person becomes more central. Those that are 
faithful to the death will be confessed by him in the 
presence of his Pather and the holy angels. Again 
there is disappointment, and still greater. His attempt 
at Jerusalem to win the nation to seek under his own 
leadership its historic ideal issued in disaster. But 
the movement is not arrested. Jesus seeks through his 
death to accomplish what he could not through his life. 
He becomes a leader for all who will follow through 
death itself into the very presence of the Father. 

We have learned to isolate in our minds the gospel 
of Jesus from the gospel of Paul, the gospel of Jesus 
preached in Galilee of Israel's reconciliation with God 
by repentance and faith, to the realization of the king- 
dom and the gospel about Jesus preached from Jerusa- 
lem round about unto Illyricum, the gospel of recon- 
ciliation with God by the blood of his sacrifice, a gospel 


of individual salvation and eternal life. It is well in- 
deed to differentiate these, for they are far from identi- 
cal. But when we set them as it were in antagonism, 
or make them mutually exclusive, are we not applying a 
standard which is static rather than dynamic, conceiv- 
ing the mind of Jesus as if it were the system of a book 
rather than the growing, expansive energy of a living, 
conquering faith ? We are now attempting to show that 
the religious movement we seek to understand is con- 
tinuous rather than disjunctive, a movement of Jesus 
and Paul rather than an opposition and alternative of 
Jesus or Paul. Perhaps we cannot do better for this 
purpose than look back over the simple outline of Jesus' 
career as we know it from elements of the record that 
are beyond all rational dispute, recapitulating the story 
as it must have been known to Paul himself even before 
he became a Christian. 

When Jesus took up the work of John the Baptist 
after the imprisonment of the great reformer, echoing 
the cry, " Repent, for the reign of God is at hand " ; 
when he carried forward the work of his former leader, 
leaving the solitudes of the wilderness of Judea and 
appealing to the busy throngs of his native Galilee, we 
know what his feeling was toward his great predecessor. 
We know that he thought of John's work as " from 
heaven," the great " sign from heaven " of that genera- 
tion. The baptism of John was to Jesus nothing less 
than a fulfillment of the promise of a second coming 
of Elijah to effect the Great Repentance of Israel, with- 
out which Jehovah's expected advent would be a curse 
rather than a blessing, a coming to judgment rather 
than for deliverance. As Elijah on Carmel had 
" turned the heart of the people back again " from the 
service of Baal to Jehovah, so Malachi had foretold 
that before that great and terrible day of Jehovah's 
coming a prophet should be raised up in the spirit and 


power of Elijah, to effect a reconciliation of the people 
with their God by a supreme act of repentance. Prob- 
ably we may take the reading which seems to be fol- 
lowed by Ben Sirach two centuries before this date as 
more authentic than that of our Massoretic text: at 
least it represents better what Jesus seems to take as 
the mind of the prophet. The second Elijah is " to 
pacify wrath before it break forth, to turn the heart of 
the Father to the children and the children to the 
Father," ^ lest His coming should be to smite the earth 
with a curse. It was because this work of preparation 
for the coming reign of God was given to John that 
Jesus thought of him as a prophet and more than a 
prophet, and his baptism as " from heaven and not of 
men." His acceptance of that baptism means his dedi- 
cation of himself to the work of averting the wrath of 
God from his people, by turning their hearts to Him in 

Consciously or not, Jesus' own work in Galilee was 
a continuation of that of John. As such it could not 
be anything else but the work of a prophet. It was a 
gospel of " reconciliation," Like John, Jesus, too, 
came preaching repentance in view of the coming Reign 
of God. Unlike John he went forth to gather the lost 
sheep of Jehovah's scattered flock, resisting the self- 
righteous legalism of scribes and Pharisees, befriend- 
ing repentant publicans and sinners. To his own gen- 
eration in Galilee he was " the prophet of l^azareth " — 
when it was not " John the Baptist risen from the 
dead," And to a later generation of his own follow- 
ers, men of Jewish descent and reactionary in their re- 
ligious tendencies, this activity of Jesus in Galilee was 
the sum and substance of his mission. To them he was, 
as we still find it in their literature, a prophet, and not 
merely " a " prophet, but " the " prophet ; by which 

6 Ecclus. 48 : 10. 


thej meant the " Prophet like unto Moses " promised 
in Deuteronomy, who should perpetuate the teaching of 
Moses and interpret it for all future time. To the 
Ebionite Christian of the second century there was 
nothing higher that could be said of the ministry of 
Jesus than that he fulfilled their promise of a prophet 
like unto Moses " raised up unto you from among your 
brethren." For to a Jew like Philo Moses was not 
merely prophet and teacher of Israel, but (as he calls 
him in his Life of Moses) " the mediator and reconciler 
of the world." '^ 

When one reads the Sermon on the Mount and the 
other records of Jesus' spiritual interpretation of the 
Law one must admit the aptness of the comparison. 
Surely, if he had done nothing more than give utter- 
ance by his parables and teachings to his own simple, 
sublime apprehension of what God expects from man, 
and man may look for from his Father in heaven, Jesus 
would deserve the title of the Second Moses. But the 
Second Source is willing to leave the title of " Prophet " 
to John. It depicts Jesus as the " Wisdom " of God. 

The cause of the prophet met defeat in Galilee. 
Jesus was driven into exile by the Pharisees in con- 
spiracy with members of the court of Antipas, with the 
aid of " scribes who came down from Jerusalem." 
Chorazin and Bethsaida turned a deaf ear in spite of 
mighty works that would have converted Tyre and 
Sidon, and a warning from God weightier than that 
which turned N^ineveh to repentance. Capernaum, ex- 
alted to heaven as the scene of the first proclamation 
of the gospel and the center of the work of reclamation, 
looked away, knowing as little the time of her visita- 
tion as later did Jerusalem. After the onslaught upon 

7 Vita Mos. iii, 19. Cf. Assumptio Mos. ix, 16. (When Moses 
is gone, Joshua says, Israel will fall an easy prey to their enemies, 
for a single provocation of God will lead to disaster, since they 
will have no Intercessor.) 


Jesus a dispersed and discouraged remnant of the hum- 
bler class were forced to hide their loyalty to his move- 
ment, if they still cherished it. Jesus himself withdrew 
with a handful of followers, never again to appear 
openly in Galilee. Such was the end of the first phase 
of his ministry, his continuation of the work of John. 
True, the proclamation was on a higher scale than 
John's. It had a new note of hope and love that came 
upon the harsh wailings of the Baptist's cry like wed- 
ding music after a funeral dirge. Still it did not go 
beyond the domain of Moses and Elias. It was an 
effort to bring Israel into reconciliation with God by a 
great repentance, and a new and higher obedience. It 
failed through unbelief. 

What might have come if Jesus' challenge to the re- 
ligious control of the Synagogue leaders in Galilee had 
been successful is difficult to estimate. Actually, if he 
proposed to continue his work for the reign of God he 
had now only the choice of going to the Gentiles and 
teaching them, or of renewing the struggle for the lead- 
ership among his own people at Jerusalem, where he 
must wrest it out of the hands not of mere scribes and 
Synagogue leaders, but of the Sadducean hierocracy, 
the half-religious, half-political control of the priest- 
hood in the temple. 

As we all know, the story of the second period in 
Jesus' career begins with the raising of the question 
whether or no he is the Messiah, and if so, in what sense. 
The national leadership of the Maccabean hierocracy 
had its seat in the temple. This was the last refuge of 
Jewish autonomy, the center of all its national hopes, 
patriotic as well as religious, and withal it was one of 
the strongest fortresses in Syria^ garrisoned within by 
an ample Levitical police under a " captain of the tem- 
ple," and without by a Roman cohort. To challenge 


this hierocracj in its stronghold was an undertaking 
that could not well fail to raise the question of author- 
ity. All the more unavoidable would it be if he who 
took the lead was understood to be one " of the seed of 
David according to the flesh " ; and we know from 
Paul's own statement that such was the belief regarding 
Jesus. If his conviction that the reign of God was at 
hand was still strong enough for decisive action, if he 
now aspired to pass beyond a mere campaign of propa- 
ganda, and to become in any active sense a leader of 
the nation as a whole, it would involve a definite an- 
swer to the question: What of the expected Son of 
David ? Hitherto there had been no serious mention 
of Messianism. Save for the senseless cry of a maniac, 
there had been nothing in Jesus' career of teacher and 
healer to call it to public notice. The Gospels tell us 
that he now raised the question himself. Would he 
now assume the mission of the Christ ? 

How much there was to give color of truth to the accu- 
sation which sent Jesus by Pilate's order to the cross is 
not easy to say. One thing we do know. Jesus pro- 
tested to the utmost against any messiahship according 
to the things of man. His program was not political. 
But on the other hand it certainly was no longer merely 
that of prophet and teacher. It had reference now to 
the nation as a whole, and it began with the establish- 
ment of a new regime in the national sanctuary. An 
unambiguous " ISTo," to the question of Pilate : " Art 
thou a king, then ? " supported as it could so easily have 
been by convincing evidence of the religious character 
of Jesus' work, might well have spared him the cross. 
But he did not give it. His answer was silence, or the 
ambiguous " Thou sayest." He was a son of David, 
and he had at least as much of the sense of obligation 


to achieve, so far as in him lay, the destiny of his peo- 
ple, as characterized others, such as Hillel, who could 
point to a similar pedigree. 

The anticipations of a fatal issue carry their own 
hint of the nature of the enterprise now undertaken. 
When Jesus set his face steadfastly to go up to Jerusa- 
lem at the approaching Passover, with a warning to 
the handful that still followed him that it might mean 
death to him and them, he was not thinking of such 
dangers as they had already encountered. There is 
great latitude of teaching in Judaism, and always has 
been. The threat came from a different quarter. If in 
the warning the very mode of death, crucifixion, was 
mentioned, that would make it certain that the fate 
which Jesus apprehended was that of an insurrectionist 
against the Roman power. There could then be no 
doubt that the nature of his undertaking was akin to 
messianism to say the least. But the precise language 
of the warning must remain uncertain. The fact we 
may be sure of. And even were this denied, it is certain 
that Jesus did dispute the leadership of the hierocracy 
in the temple itself ; that he was, for a few brief days, 
supported by the fickle enthusiasm of the people; and 
that he then succumbed to an intrigue of the priests in 
collusion with the lioman procurator. He did, then, 
assume the leadership in an effort to realize the messi- 
anic hope. And for the second time he failed because 
of unbelief. 

Two possibilities opened before Jesus at Caesarea 
Philippi as he made the decision to go up to Jerusalem 
to confront life or death. It was possible that he might 
succeed. Had it not seemed so to the Twelve they 
would not have followed him. That it actually was 
possible is proved by the event ; for the movement was 
sufficiently formidable on purely political grounds to 
lead the Roman governor, impervious as he surely was 


to all merely religious considerations, to send the high- 
minded Teacher to the cross. That it seriously threat- 
ened the control of the Sanhedrin is manifest both from 
their mortal hatred of the agitator, and from their fear 
of the peojDle, a fear which for days left the question 
of his control or theirs hanging in the balance. 

Just consider the practical wisdom of Jesus' plan. 
To confine the issue to the temple and its interests, 
avoiding civil affairs and questions of governmental 
authority, might secure immunit}^ from Roman inter- 
vention. Pilate would not find such a national leader 
as this Son of David more obnoxious to Roman suze- 
rainty than scheming high priests or ambitious Hero- 
dians. If in addition Zealot nationalism could be kept 
within bounds, and the hostility of Pharisees and scribes 
disarmed by the obvious purity and high motive of the 
Leader, it was not inconceivable that he should succeed. 
A reformation which began at the house of God offered 
the one chance of success. In point of fact for the time 
being Jesus did succeed. He was welcomed by the 
multitude with shouts for the coming kingdom of David. 
He did take control of the temple, freeing it from 
abuses, and making it a place of pure worship such as 
Malachi had demanded as the condition of Jehovah's 
presence. The catastrophe which followed this reli- 
gious coup d'etat was not a foregone conclusion at 
Caesarea Philippi, however inevitable it was that the 
Church should later so regard it. 

On the other hand there was an ominous alternative, 
of which, as we have seen, Jesus made no concealment 
from his followers. It was quite possible that all might 
suffer together the fate of insurrectionists. If Jesus 
failed of national acceptance and God did not intervene 
with superhuman aid they could only save their lives by 
losing them. Failure did not mean that the kingdom 
would not come. On the contrary, this very generation 


would surely see it. But only the power of God would 
bring it. It would have to be given as the prophet 
Daniel had seen it in vision, to one like unto a son of 
man, brought on the clouds of heaven to receive it before 
the judgment throne of the Ancient of Days. There- 
fore J esus added to his assurance of the certainty of its 
coming the further, personal promise to every loyal 
follower, that those who should fearlessly confess him 
on earth, defying death, he also would acknowledge in 
the presence of his Father before the holy angels. The 
promise is recalled a full generation after in one of the 
most ancient hymns of the Church : 

If we die with him we shall also live with him : 
If we endure we shall also reign with him; 
If we shall deny him he also will deny us: 
If we are faithless, he abideth faithful; 
For he cannot deny himself.^ 

What would have been the consequence if Jesus' ap- 
peal to Jerusalem had succeeded ? Paul and the fourth 
evangelist make very clear what the result would have 
been so far as concerns the expansive forces of the faith, 
if I may call them so. The gospel would have remained 
primarily the affair of the Jewish people. In all the 
domain of the might-have-beens surely there is no better 
founded statement than Paul's, that the rejection and 
death of the Messiah at the hands of his own people was 
unavoidable in the providential ordering of the world, 
if the ancient middle wall of partition was to be broken 
down, and the Gentiles were to be made fellow-heirs of 
the promise vnth the election of God. The cross does 
mark the transition from particularism to universalism. 
The fourth evangelist depicts the great decision under 
the form of a delegation of Gentiles waiting upon Jesus 
just before the catastrophe, and receiving as their only 

8 11 Tim. 2: 11-13. 


reply from him : " The hour is come that the Son of 
Man should be glorified. He that loveth his life loseth 
it ; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it 
unto life eternal. ITow is the Prince of this world cast 
out, and I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto 
me." This scene, ideal as it may be, does not exag- 
gerate the significance of what the evangelist calls " the 
crisis of this world." The religious unity of the race 
was sealed, as Paul well says, in the blood of Christ. 
God did reconcile Jew and Gentile in one body through 
the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.^ But we 
are not speaking now of what may be called the exten- 
sive, but of the intensive movement of the faith. What 
was the consequence to Jesus' own faith of the bitter dis- 
appointment of his hope, of the frustration of all the 
toil, the prayers, the tears that he had given to the 
winning of his people to their own national ideal and 
the fulfillment of the promise of God so near attain- 

The answer to our question cannot be given without 
the story of the night of final parting and the supreme 
parable in which Jesus embodied the last and loftiest 
teaching of all. From the time when he had taken up 
the message of the Baptist his one effort had been to 
prepare for the reign of God by bringing Israel through 
repentance and faith into " reconciliation " with its Fa- 
ther in Heaven. As prophet and teacher in Galilee he 
had failed. Out of defeat he snatched victory. He 
made the cause national by his appeal as Son of David 
and Son of Man in Jerusalem. Again he had failed. 
There was but one thing more he could do for the 
" reconciliation." He could dedicate his body and 
blood as an atonement offering for the forgiveness of 
sin, that God might be reconciled to his people. 

I am well aware that there is little or nothing in 

» Jn. 12: 20-36; cf. Eph. 2: 13-22. 


Jesus' earlier teaching that is akin to this priestly gos- 
pel of atonement, or " reconciliation," KaTaXXayrj, as 
Paul calls it. It is the very point of what I am saying 
that it was a new development, something which would 
never have come but through the agony of a disap- 
pointed hope, the agony renewed in Gethsemane. But 
it does mark the forward leap of a faith that conquers 
even death, the impulse onward and upward of one who 
could learn by the things which he suffered. The last 
supper was a renewal of the assurance of meeting again 
in the kingdom. In the face of disastrous earthly de- 
feat, desertion, death, it was a reiteration of the prom- 
ise: Him that confesseth me before men will I also 
confess before my Father and the holy angels. It was 
a pledge to meet again at the banquet table of the new 
Jerusalem, for the reign of God was not defeated. But 
there was more in it than that. There remained still a 
work to be done by him whose mission had been from 
the beginning to turn away wrath by reconciling the 
children to the Father and the Father to the children. 
Jewish martyrology of Jesus' time tells of a Maccabean 
hero who dedicates his life-blood on his people's behalf, 
praying, " Thou.knowest, O God, that when safety was 
offered me I chose to die in fiery torments for the sake 
of the Law. Be propitious (tAews yivov) to thy people, 
let the punishment suffice thee which we endure on their 
behalf; make my blood an expiation (KaOdpmov) for 
them, and take my life as a ransom (avrti/^uxov) for 
theirs." ^^ It is in the same spirit that Jesus also dedi- 
cates his body and blood, for the forgiveness of the peo- 
ple's sin, and promises intercession on their behalf in 
the presence of the Father. 

I know that the words of institution of the Sacrament 

10 IV Mace. 6: 27-29; cf. Ignatius ad Eph. win, 1, and xxi, 1: 
dvTi^vxov iifiuv iyu. 


stand practically alone in Gospel narrative to support 
that conception of Jesus' work which is the very heart 
of the gospel of Paul. One can go further still. The 
latest of the Synoptic evangelists, if we follow the most 
authentic text, obliterates even what little we find in 
Mark of this gospel of atonement. In the entire double 
work of Luke you will find but one intimation that the 
death of Jesus has anything to do with the forgiveness 
of sin. It is the reference in Paul's speech before the 
elders of the Ephesian church at Miletus to the Church 
as " bought with blood." That is a vestigial remnant 
of Paul rather than a teaching of Luke. Luke's teach- 
ing is not evangelic but apologetic. He is never tired 
of pointing to the prediction by the prophets of the suf- 
fering of Christ; but only to prove that such was the 
determinate foreknowledge and counsel of God, never 
as having any relation to the forgiveness of sin. Those 
who cannot realize that these Synoptic records as they 
stand represent a reaction from the Pauline gospel of 
grace toward the neo-legalism of the Christianized Syna- 
gogue, go as far astray in one direction as those who 
leave no room for the advance of Jesus' thought beyond 
the stage of his work in Galilee in the other. Both 
would persuade us that this idea of the atonement-offer- 
ing represents a Pauline innovation, an interpretation 
of his own placed on Jesus' words. But somehow we 
have got to account for the fact that after this not Paul 
only but every Christian looks upon Jesus as his inter- 
cessor with God, and never offers a prayer without ex- 
pecting to be heard " for Jesus' sake." Jesus is not 
only the Advocate who confesses before His Father the 
name of those who had confessed him on earth, but In- 
tercessor and Mediator with the Judge of all. He is 
One who had been " raised again for our justification." 
It is not easy to regar4 as " innovation " what Paul de- 


clares to be the essential thing committed to every am- 
bassador of Christ/^ that which forms the heart of the 
message in Revelation, in Hebrews, in First Peter, as 
well as in Paul, to say nothing of Clement and the later 

I do not say that the thought of Jesus in his farewell 
utterance to the faithful Twelve was identical with that 
which I have quoted from the martyr's prayer in Fourth 
Maccabees, but I do say with Arnold Meyer, " The be- 
lief in propitiation by means of blood dominated the 
whole Jewish and Gentile world." ^^ True, purifica- 
tion by the blood of bulls and goats had long since been 
recognized in Judaism as symbolic only, a divinely pro- 
vided substitute for that offering of the firstborn for 
one's transgression, the fruit of the body for the sin of 
the soul, which the religious instinct at first suggests. 
Since Ezekiel's time there had been strong reaction 
against the Isaian doctrine of vicarious suffering. It 
appears in the growing protest of legalism against the 
idea of national or family solidarity. But this ethical 
reaction has never obliterated from the instinctive reli- 
gion of the ordinary man, not even in Judaism, the 
belief in the efficacy of voluntary martyrdom to win 
back the favor of a justly offended God. You cannot 
easily eradicate from the mind of the common soldier 
(and perhaps you ought not) the conviction that the 
dying prayer of a good comrade who freely laid down 
a pure life for God and country availeth much, and (if 
he looks for a life to come) the belief that such a com- 
rade is a friend worth having, even at the court of God. 
The songs of the suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah 

"11 Cor. 5: 20. 

^2 Jesus or Paul, Engl., p. 52. For a sympathetic interpreta- 
tion of the feeling of antiquity see Gilbert Murray, " The Essence 
of Christianity " in The R. I'. Q. Annual, 1918, p. 14. Marduk the 
Redeemer-god is " the Faithful Son " who gives his life for his 
people, facing death, to atone for the sins of others. 


give sublimest expression to this belief as the poet's mes- 
sage to the " crucified nation " of the ancient world. 
Legalistic Judaism obscured, but did not eradicate this 
faith. In the Jewish as in the Gentile world men con- 
tinued to believe in a personal God who is moved by 
the intercession of those who have died for His sake, 
and for the hope of the nation. ^^ In the Aramaic 
Targum on the famous fifth verse of that song of the 
Suffering Servant, where it is declared that he is 
wounded for our transgression, to achieve our peace, the 
translator renders : " He will intercede for our sins 
and transgressions, and for His sake they will be for- 
given." For this he is " exalted and made very high." 
The author of the Maccabean martyrology from which 
I have already quoted goes further still. He believes 
with Paul that those whose lives were thus given are 
" raised for our justification," and that immediately. 
With the author of the Revelation he conceives of them 
as pleading for Israel from underneath the altar of 
God's presence. Resting upon a passage from the 
Blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy he declares that " be- 
cause of their heroic endurance they already stand be- 
fore the throne of God and are even now living the 
blessed life. As Moses said, ' All thy sanctified ones 
are underneath thy hands,' so these too, having been 
sanctified on God's account (i. e., having dedicated 
themselves in His cause), were honored not with this 
reward alone (i. e., the special ' first resurrection ') 
but also with victory of their people over the enemy, 
punishment of the tyrant, and purification (/ca^apto-/Ads) 
of their fatherland; so that they became a redemption 
(avTiijrvxov) for the sin of the nation." 

13 Cf. Eth. Enoch. XLVII, 1, 2, on the reconciliation of God by 
blood and intercession of martyrs, and on Jewish belief as a whole. 
Oesterley, The Jewish Doctrine of Mediation, 1910. On the inter- 
pretation of Is. 53, Dalman Jesaia 53, 1914, and Der Leidende und 
sterbende Messias der Synagoge, 1888. The fundamental work is 
Neubauer and Driver, Jewish Interpreters of Isaiah LIII, 1877. 


Fortunately for the deepest, truest message of Chris- 
tianity to the world it is impossible to dissociate from 
the farewell parable of Jesus its fundamental signifi- 
cance as a covenant in the blood of the Christ. The 
Sacrament has many meanings, but deepest of all is that 
of the self-dedication of Jesus, accompanied by a prom- 
ise that he would carry the cause of his loyal ones into 
the very presence of the Father. Thus he would make 
intercession for them with his blood. This is not later 
innovation. This is " from the Lord." Every other 
word of the JSTew Testament might be undermined or 
discarded, but this would remain unshaken as long as 
one believer remained to do this in remembrance of 
him, and to tell the story of the Lord's death until he 
come. I admit that it is a new teaching not heard in 
Galilee. It is not the utterance of a prophet. The 
work of the prophet and teacher had failed. It is not 
the utterance of the Messianic leader.^* The work of 
the national leader had also failed. It marks a new 
phase in the ministry on a new and higher stage. It 
is the utterance of the dedicated priest and intercessor 
with God. The last office which Jesus' loyalty to the 
cause of the kingdom compels him to take is one that 
no man taketh upon himself but when he is called of 
God. It was an unforeseen consequence of Jesus' at- 
tempt to take the temple out of the control of a corrupt 
and unworthy priesthood, and make it again his Fa- 
ther's house. The Temple and its priesthood disap- 
peared, but in three days another and a greater temple 
took its place. Through the very agony of his defeat 
Jesus himself was " made a highpriest forever after the 
order of Melchizedek." 

i*Dalman {uhi supra) has produced abundant evidence that 
Is. 53 was interpreted in some quarters as applying to the Mes- 
siah. The Targum on the prophets so interprets it, and the early 
Church did so. But there is no sufficient evidence that Jesus did, 
and the Twelve clearly did not. 


It was not my purpose in making this retrospect of 
the progressive phases of Jesus' " gospel of reconcili- 
ation " to plead for higher valuation of the epistolary 
literature of the great missionary age of the Church, as 
sources much more ancient and authentic than the Syn- 
optic Gospels. Earliest of all the records, in fact coeval 
with the utterance of the Master is the Sacrament itself. 
But it was not my purpose here to plead for the prior 
record. Still less was it my purpose to defend any of 
the mediaeval caricatures of Jesus' parting " covenant 
of blood " which go by the name of " theories of the 
atonement." The exegete has no parti pris in matters 
of doctrine. My object was purely historical. The at- 
tempt was simply to show that the relation of Jesus and 
Paul is not a static parallelism or opposition, but dy- 
namic. The sweep of that great tide of faith in God 
which made the religion that we own was driven by no 
earth-born power. The impulse was " from heaven." 
Jesus took over its leadership and interpretation from 
one who was a prophet indeed, and more than a prophet. 
He carried it to a higher, and yet higher level. Not 
in obedience to his own design, but as confessedly and 
consciously acting for God, and constantly walking by 
faith and not by sight. The leadership of prophet gives 
way perforce to that of Messiah and Son of Man, and 
this again gives way, because God willed it so. God, 
who controls both outward event and inward prompting, 
God, I say, sent defeat; and sent also the eternal, un- 
seen power that surges through generations of longing, 
aspiring human hearts winning them to the Father. 
The leadership of a national Christ, yes, even of a uni- 
versalized Son of Man, gave way. It was not this ideal 
that won the homage of the world, but that of a priest- 
king of all humanity. 

There is no standing still in the career of Jesus. His 
last and greatest defeat is the signal for an advance that 


carries him to the final goal of human religioua need. 

When he parts from the Twelve it is not to leave them 

downcast, but as men that stand gazing up into Heaven, 

beholding there, as Stephen did, their Advocate with 

God. Is it any wonder that when their faith returns 

it is to recognize him in the breaking of the bread ; and 

not as a mere ghost, not as a mortal returned again to 

earth, but as " one that liveth and was dead and behold 

he is alive for evermore, and hath the keys of death and 

helh" Paul's gospel does not indeed go back to Galilee. 

But would you expect it to ? The gospel of Jesus had 

moved forward since then, to become what Paul 

preaches, a gospel of personal redemption, a " gospel 

of the Reconciliation, how that God by the agency of 

Christ was restoring a guilty world to His favor, ^^ not 

imputing unto men their trespasses." 

15 Only a historical study of the word " reconcile " 
iKaraWdaaeiv), especially of its occurrence in Jewish literature 
of Paul's time and later (in the religious sense it does not occur 
before the Maccabean period), will dispel the false impression 
made by modern renderings of the passage above quoted. As 
Thayer's Lexicon makes unmistakably clear, it does not mean 
merely " dispel enmity," as if it were a hostile feeling on the 
world's part which required to be removed ; but " restore to 
favor," and the succeeding clause " not imputing to men their 
trespasses " shows that such is here the sense. God, through the 
agency of Christ, was restoring an unworthy world to His favor. 



1. The Apostleship not from Man 

The preceding lecture was really an attempt to take 
position at the vantage point of Paul, and look back 
(though with other eyes than his) at the career of Jesus, 
then unrecorded save for the ordinance of the memorial 
Supper and the answering rite of self-dedication by 
baptism into his name. To-day we ask how it comes 
to pass that Paul's view is so different from ours. He 
continues Jesus' work; but admittedly it is a trans- 
figured gospel. 

We have seen that even before Jesus took up the in- 
terrupted work of John the Baptist the movement could 
properly be called a " gospel of reconciliation," though 
of course in a quite different sense from Paul's. It was 
a national movement — a movement in the spirit and 
power of Elijah to " turn the heart of Israel back 
again." By repentance and faith the children would 
be turned to the Father, and the Father to the children. 
God's anger, so manifest in the evil case of his people, 
would be appeased before it brake forth into wrath, 
and the long-awaited forgiveness and salvation would 
appear. As the author of the Second Source puts it, 
John came " bringing a way of justification " which the 
publicans and harlots entered by repentance and faith, 
though the Pharisees held aloof. ^ That which began 

1 See the article " John as Preacher of Justification by Faith " 
in Expositor VIII, 93 (Sept., 1918). 



as a national movement became more and more indi- 
vidual. By force of adverse circumstance, or, if you 
choose to put it so, by the providence of God, Jesus' 
direction of this upheaval of reawakened prophecy was 
forced more and more into channels of individual and 
personal religion. With his death it transcended the 
limits of mortality as it had previously transcended 
those of mere nationality. In the end the supreme ex- 
pression of his gospel became the symbolic utterance 
of the Sacrament. Having loved his own he loved them 
to the end, and made the fate he would not seek to 
escape a ground of appeal to God on their behalf. Bap- 
tism, adopted almost at once by his followers upon the 
reawakening of their faith, was an answering self -dedi- 
cation in penitent loyalty to the risen Lord. 

Thus Christianity, as Saul the persecutor first came 
in contact with it, was more than a reform. It was 
almost a new religion. Saul, at least, refused to recog- 
nize it as any longer within the pale of Judaism, and 
priests and scribes agreed with him. This new religion 
found expression for its essential meaning in its two 
observances, and as yet had found no other utterance. 
It was a gospel of " grace," the renewed " favor " of 
God obtained by the martyrdom and intercession of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. What the law had not been able to 
do through all the long stmggle of Synagogue leaders 
with popular frailty had (in Christian belief) been at 
last accomplished. God had been reconciled to a peni- 
tent, believing people. The proof of it was already 
patent in Jesus' time. Together with his message of 
forgiveness to the penitent had come the power of God 
to heal. The inquirers from John could report what 
they had seen and heard. In view of these " powers " 
of the Spirit Jesus could denounce the opposition of the 
scribes as impious and declare the Kingdom poten- 
tially already begun. Even greater works followed the 


resurrection. The Spirit of adoption moved the vo- 
taries of the Crucified to cry, " Abba, Father," in mani- 
festations which were taken as the fulfillment of the 
promise of the " outpouring of the Spirit in the last 
days." There had been progress, therefore, from the 
Baptism of John to the Baptism of the Spirit. There 
had been both intensification of the message and change 
in its nature ; and the new brotherhood would have been 
the last to deny it. They rather gloried in it. The 
water of the Jews' manner of purifying had been 
changed into wine. 

The change was analogous to that which came over 
prophecy with the extinction of the national political 
life. Apocalypse is prophecy universalized and tran- 
scendentalized. It is also individualized. With the 
death of Jesus something similar was seen to have taken 
place in his gospel. Defeated on earth it had taken 
refuge in heaven. Rejected as a program for the na- 
tion, it had become universal, offering an ideal for the 
individual lost son, were he Jew or Gentile. The gos- 
pel was transfigured. Old things were passed away; 
behold all had become new. 

We have to-day a group of religious leaders in whom 
the prophetic, ethical motive predominates over the 
mystical and sacerdotal. These raise the cry : " We 
have had too much of Paul, too much of individual sal- 
vation. Social salvation is the need of our times. 
Back to Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount! " An- 
other group follow the opposite tendency, denying the 
very existence of a historical Jesus, and assuring us that 
all the religious values of Christianity are to be found 
in the idea of the dying and rising Redeemer-God com- 
mon to the mystery religions of the time. The latter 
tendency curiously recalls the teaching of Marcion, 
Cerinthus, and the Docetic Gnostics. These found no 


difficulty with, a Christ-emanation assuming temporary 
embodiment in Jesus (or indeed any other avatar). 
Individual fellowship with this divine Being insured 
immortality. What they could not tolerate was a real, 
flesh and blood Leader, a High priest and King of hu- 
manity. But surely the mythical interpretation of the 
gospel record has little to contribute to the science of 
religion. Science of any kind must deal with objective 
historic fact. The larger its basis in concrete reality 
the better. A science of mythology is possible; but a 
record of life in real moral union with the Father in 
Heaven is a better basis for the scientific student of 
religion, as well as for the convert. 

What primitive Christianity rejoiced in as an accom- 
plished fact was " access for Jew and Gentile in one new 
Spirit unto the common Father." That consciousness 
and its basis of historic fact should be the province of 
our study. But present-day enquiry seems largely 
taken up with reaction against what is termed the 
" theologizing " gospel of Paul, resenting his emphasis 
upon personal redemption and the life of the individual 
soul " in God." The cry is : " Back to Galilee, with 
its simple ethics of brotherhood, and its social goal of a 
commonwealth of humanity." 

We have many brilliant scholars (I have already 
mentioned Arnold Meyer of Ziirich, and might now add 
the lamented William Wrede)^ in whose view the new 
faith incurred a loss that quite outweighed the gain 
when it secured as its chief interpreter to the Greek- 
speaking world Saul of Tarsus, the converted scribe and 
sanhedrist. Back to Jesus, is the cry. Back to the 
simple doctrine of the Prophet of Nazareth. Genuine 
Christianity is the monotheistic humanitarianism of the 
prophets stripped of its temporal and racial limitations. 

2 See also H. Mackintosh, Natural History of the Christian Re- 
ligion. 1894. 


Well, SO it is ; stripped not by academic analysis, but 
by the mightier logic of events and the movement of 
world history; or rather reclothed in new and higher 
forms. Prophecy was universalized in Apocalypse, and 
Apocalypse was stripped of its temporal and racial limi- 
tations by the progress of events. When the expected 
cataclysm failed to materialize the Hellenizing inter- 
pretation of the Johannine eschatology took its place in 
the Church. Back to Jesus ? Yes. But Jesus did not 
stand still. He was a Prophet in Galilee. He was a 
Son of David and Son of Man in the appeal to Jerusa- 
lem. He was a Mediator and Intercessor with God 
when he passed within the veil of the temple not built 
with hands. Paul is our earliest witness, and Paul has 
already determined to know no Christ save a Christ not 
after the flesh. Had he done otherwise Christianity 
would not have survived his generation. If it be a 
question of words and names and book authority, and 
our alternative is to swear either by the words of the 
Master or those of the disciple, then by all means let 
us take those of the Master — if we can be sure of them. 
But if our teacher is to be the eternal Logos of God, 
who leads into all truth, — if it is the Creator Spiritus 
of the cosmos of soul-life who is to take of the things of 
Christ and interpret them to us, then we shall need to 
take a leaf from the book of Paul and of the great 
Ephesian evangelist, learning to look at things " from 
the point of view of the Eternal." Then, perhaps, we 
may recognize the directing, controlling guidance of a 
Power that works in and through and above the currents 
of man's religious instinct, and most of all in the person 
of its supreme leaders such as Jesus and Paul. To the 
martyr Ignatius that Logos of God was an inward voice 
crying : " Come to the Father." To Augustine it pro- 
claimed the same message. To Jesus and Paul alike 
it was, as we have seen, above and beyond all else an 


appeal to lost sons, " Be ye reconciled to God." But 
Jesus and Paul do not claim to speak for themselves. 
We leani most from them when we take action and ut- 
terance alike as expressions of the divine purpose to 
which they were dedicated in every power. The Christ 
whom Paul preaches is great only as the agent of God, 
and Paul asks no more for himself than to be accepted 
as the dedicated agent of this agent. The Christ of the 
fourth evangelist sums it up in the cry of Jesus as he 
leaves his public ministry : " He that believeth in me 
believeth not in me, but in Him that sent me." 

I have tried to indicate something of the movement of 
this religious tendency impelling men from within to- 
ward the Father in Heaven, guided from without by 
the discipline of circumstance. I have tried to view it 
from the standpoint of the historian of religion, sur- 
veying that greatest of all periods, the transition from 
Jesus to Paul, seeking to identify the thread of real 
continuity. The disciple clothes the message of the 
Master in the forms of the Hellenistic religions of per- 
sonal redemption whose atmosphere had surrounded him 
from boyhood, and whose phraseology was current coin 
with the Gentile world to which he preached. If he 
has thus obscured it only, then our effort should be 
limited to removing the disguise. The Pauline Epis- 
tles will be useful mainly as approaches to the Synoptic 
tradition, woefully meager in their few grains of gold 
overlaid by tons of gravel and clay. If, contrariwise, 
the genius of the Hebrew faith has triumphed in this 
case as in earlier contacts with Gentile religion, ab- 
sorbing and assimilating, but not itself absorbed, — if 
Paul makes use (as he demonstrably did) not only of 
the phraseology, but also of the ideas of Hellenistic re- 
ligion to convey the essential message that was given 
him " from the Lord," and yet took over nothing which 
could not be controlled and vitalized by it, then he uses 


the Greek forms of thought as he uses the Greek lan- 
guage ; and the only question is as to the literalness of 
his translation. If we understand from study of the 
Hellenistic faiths their language and mode of thought, 
we shall recognize hehind the Greek dress the vital idea 
which Paul laid hold upon hecause it had fundamental 
value, and was in truth germane to his own. Still we 
must also look for difference and advance. The mes- 
sage which Paul took up was not that of the Prophet of 
Galilee. It offered no nationalistic Christ, " a Christ 
according to the flesh," nor even " thrones of the house 
of David." It had almost ceased to be apocalyptic. 
Paul does not mention the title Son of Man, and his 
equivalent, if he has one, is a still more universalized 
abstraction. His Christ had been, to be sure, " of the 
seed of David " ; but that was only " as concerning the 
flesh," a consequence of historical circumstance, just 
as he had become a minister of the circumcision to fulfill 
the promises made to the fathers. Paul's Christ is es- 
sentially the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, exalted " to 
make intercession for sin." He is the fulfiller of the 
mission of Israel, a righteous though suffering Servant, 
who by his knowledge brings the godless world to justi- 
fication. It was the resurrection from the dead which 
by miraculous power had demonstrated the Crucified to 
be the Son of God. Thus the " glad tidings of recon- 
ciliation " was no Pauline novelty. It was the general 
and common gospel. But Paul took it up at the point 
where it had reached its supreme and ultimate form as 
an expiation for the sin of the world by the blood and 
intercession of its predestined King ; whereas his prede- 
cessors could remember the preaching in Galilee. The 
difference is in degree of individualization. Paul does 
not speak of the restoration of Israel to the favor of 
Jehovah. He does not say " Christ, who loved his peo- 
ple, and gave himself up for the national hope." Only 


once does he say " who loved the Church, and gave him- 
self up for it." His most characteristic utterance is 
" Who loved me, and gave himself for me/' And in- 
dividualization is universalization. A gospel for the 
world must be " the word of the cross." 

To Philo Moses was the " mediator and reconciler of 
the world." He is identified by later Jewish teachers 
with the Servant of Jehovah, because he not only 
brought the knowledge of Jehovah's will, but sought 
forgiveness for Israel at the cost of his own share in 
the book of life. Philo and the rabbis differ only in the 
breadth of their horizon. The Servant is for Paul an- 
other, a prophet like unto Moses in the knowledge of 
God's will, but chiefly one whom God had " highly ex- 
alted " because he had humbled himself and become 
obedient unto death. This exalted One is now Paul's 
Advocate with the Father against the great Accuser. 
He is fulfilling his promise to confess his loyal ones in 
the presence of God. He has become an Intercessor 
for Paul's forgiveness, as the Spirit on earth also 
maketh intercession with groanings intelligible only to 
God. This, for Paul, is the supreme meaning of the 
resurrection. " He was raised for our justification." 
" If Christ be not raised we are of all men most miser- 
able," because we are " yet in our sins." We have 
neither Advocate nor Intercessor at the judgment-seat, 
and we go as conscious transgressors of the law. Con- 
trariwise, if God has raised him from the dead, and 
given assurance of it to all men by demonstration of 
the Spirit and power, He thereby commends His own 
love to us, in that while we were yet sinners this Christ 
should have died for us. If you apply the story of 
Jesus in terms of personal religion you cannot avoid 
making it both universal and transcendental. Calvary 
itself becomes a scene whose supreme actor is not on 
earth. It is God himself who there set forth Jesus in 


his blood as a propitiation ^ through faith. It demon- 
strates His own righteousness, in spite of His forbear- 
ance in the passing over of sin in the past. For if a 
man have that self-dedicating faith in Jesus which is 
betokened in baptism, God is not unjust if He treat him 
as just, forgiving his sin freely, for Jesus' sake. We 
are accustomed, I know, to a most un-oriental, forensic, 
almost mechanical conception of divine justice, by which 
the law has, as it were, rights of its own, which God 
himself may not disregard. But to the Jews God 
would be most unjust if He did 7iot forgive and forth- 
with treat as just any truly repentant sinner. That is 
what the psalmists and Isaiah mean by " justification " 
(zedek). A better translation in most cases would be 
simply " forgiveness." That is the meaning when the 
Psalmist says : " He shall bring forth thy righteous- 
ness (i. e., forgiveness, " justification ") as the light, 
and thy judgment as the noon-day." Israel's restora- 
tion to Jehovah's favor shall be as public as her repudi- 
ation had been. That is what Isaiah means by saying 
Jehovah's " righteousness " is near to come, and com- 
paring it to his breastplate which he puts on when he 
comes to the rescue of his people along with the helmet 
of his salvation. Both the " forgiveness " and the " sal- 
vation " are from, not for Jehovah. The mere term 
" justification " or " righteousness " (SiKaioavvrj) instead 
of " forgiveness " in the Pauline Epistles may be " theo- 
logical," if you will; but it is purely Isaian, like the 
figure of the Servant which gives Paul his ideal of 
Jesus. It belongs to the " gospel " (another Isaian 
word) which he tells us he " received " when he became 
a Christian, the assurance " that Christ died for our 

3 The word IXacrrripiop in Rom. 3 : 25 may be masculine or neuter. 
In either case its sense is best determined from the parallel in 
IV Mace. 17 : 22. " Through the blood of those pious men and 
the propitiation {IXaffTtjplov) of their death, divine Providence 
saved Israel that had before been ill-treated." 


sins according to the Scriptures." The terms are bor- 
rowed (quite naturally) from Isaiah, the prophet of 
the Reconciliation, but the doctrine was not embodied 
in a book but in the rite which proclaimed from the be- 
ginning : " This is my blood of the new covenant 
which is shed for many." When Matthew adds to this 
the clause, " for the remission of sins," transposing it 
from its connection in Mark 1 : 4 with the baptism of 
John, he is doing no violence to the sense in which the 
Church observed the sacrament. 

2. Conversion of Paul 

To this Pauline gospel of " justification by faith 
apart from works of law " we must devote further con- 
sideration at a later time. Our first concern must be 
with what has justly been termed the new beginning of 
Christianity. We must try to appreciate in its full sig- 
nificance the story of the conversion of the persecutor ; 
for Paul himself rests everything on this. It is not 
merely the foundation of his own religious life, but also 
of his call to preach to others. His Apostleship and 
his gospel, denied by his Judaizing opponents, are de- 
fended by him in common. They have not a separate 
origin, but spring together out of the same religious 

It is almost a commonplace of criticism to point out 
the supreme importance of this event. Here alone do 
we come directly in contact with a man who can say: 
I saw the risen Christ. Paul's letters are the only 
documents that really authenticate the gospel story. 
He knew personally James the Lord's brother and others 
who had followed Jesus in Galilee. He had heard 
Peter's story of the first resurrection appearance from 
Peter's own lips but a few years after his experience. 
And Paul is at the same time the founder of Gentile 
Christianity. As the great mountain wall behind his 


birthplace, the Taurus range, with its single narrow 
opening, the Cilician Gates, divided, for antiquity, the 
Greek-speaking, European world from the Semitic; so 
this all-decisive event, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, 
stands between Christianity in the form known to us, a 
Hellenized oriental faith, and the primitive belief to 
which Paul looks back. For he implies an earlier gos- 
pel common to both when he reminds Peter at Antioch 
of their common religious experience and its meaning, 
or tells the opponents of a Jewish type of resurrection 
doctrine at Corinth what sort of faith had been preached 
by all the witnesses in common from the beginning. If 
we can climb to the summit of this great mountain-peak 
— if we can actually lift ourselves in a real sense to 
Paul's point of view, we may be able to connect in our 
minds these contrasted modes of thought, and see Chris- 
tianity as a progressive whole, a movement of the eter- 
nal Spirit, a work of the redemptive Wisdom of God 
ever pleading with lost sons to return to their Father. 
The two accounts which come down to us of Paul's 
conversion, the one in the occasional references of his 
own letters, the other in Church tradition as embodied 
in the Book of Acts, are strangely different in motive 
and point of view. In fact the almost opposite idea 
conceived by the author of Aots of what this experience 
signified to Paul as regards his Apostleship and gospel 
is the chief obstacle to acceptance of the Lukan author- 
ship. It is hard to believe that this- Antioehian his- 
torian of Petrine proclivities, even though writing a-t a 
much later time, can be the same individual who was 
closely associated with Paul during the decade of his 
life-and-death struggle to vindicate the superhuman au- 
thority of his apostolic calling and the complete inde- 
pendence of his gospel. Acts leaves no stone unturned 
to prove that Paul had neither work among, nor apostle- 
ship to the Gentiles until after the martyrdom of James 


the brother of John, twelve years after the crucifixion. 
Even then, according to Acts, he received it from men 
and through men at Antioch, after the Holy Ghost had 
signified : " Separate unto me Barnabas and Saul unto 
the work whereunto 1 have called them." Acts is 
equally eager to prove that Paul's gospel was identical 
with that of Peter, a gospel which he had ample oppor- 
tunity of learning at the feet of the Apostles at Jerusa- 
lem. For according to Acts he was introduced by Bar- 
nabas almost immediately after his conversion at Da- 
mascus, and began his work among them, going in and 
out among them until his preaching to the Greek-speak- 
ing Jews (not Gentiles) of Jerusalem was interrupted 
by the mob. In both representations " Luke '' (as we 
call him) verily thinks he does Paul service. He can- 
not think of higher praise for his hero than to tell the 
story in a way to prove Paul's dependence on those who 
were Apostles before him. He cannot imagine him 
" turning to the Gentiles " until the " twelve years " 
tradition accorded to Israel have expired, and even then 
not till the Jews have " put the word of salvation from 
them." He cannot think of better defense for Paul's 
gospel than to identify it with Peter's. This may not 
be quite the kind of corroboration sought by Paley in 
his Horae Paulinae, but as matter of fact it is of im- 
mensely greater value to the student than if " Luke ' 
had simply gone to the Epistles and copied his story 
from them. On the surface the differences are an in- 
convenience. They are perplexing to the critic, and a 
stone of stumbling to the champion of tradition. In 
reality they are of utmost value. They are what paral- 
lax is to the astronomer who attempts to measure our 
distance from the stars. Without them we should have 
no scientific method of approach at all. 

Of course the main difference between the two ac- 
counts of Paul's conversion, apart from motive, is the 


fact that " Luke's " report is that of the observer from 
outside; whereas Paul concerns himself only with the 
inner meaning of his experience. " Luke " tells what 
it meant to the Church, which after the sudden collapse 
of the campaign of bloody persecution " had rest." 
Paul tells what it meant to him. Acts describes the 
persecutor thrown to the ground, blind and helpless, 
until, led by the hand into Damascus, humble and sub- 
missive, he is told by Ananias what he must do, and 
receives again his sight. Its narrative might almost 
be derived from the same sources as that which the 
Ebionite writer of the Clementine Homilies puts in the 
mouth of Peter, rebuking the Magus who falsely claims 
to be an Apostle of Jesus. " Can a man be qualified 
for apostleship by mere visions ? " asks Peter. " The 
Lord did no doubt appear to you when you were perse- 
cuting the Church, but it was to stop you on your 
bloody course, as when the angel with drawn sword ar- 
rested Balaam as he was seeking to curse the chosen 
people." " Luke " feels no call to explain psychologi- 
cally how it was possible for the arch-persecutor thus 
suddenly to espouse the faith he had opposed, and yet 
retain the deep sincerity, the ardor and devotion of a 
Paul. To us, contrariwise, it is obvious that for men- 
tal consistency there must have been a transition in 
Paul's case from a condition of unstable to stable equi- 
librium. Such mere physical experiences as " Luke " 
narrates could not have had this effect unless in some 
way the mind had been prepared in advance. Recover- 
ing consciousness Paul would simply have said to him- 
self : " Paul, thou art mad." Or else : " What if a 
spirit or an angel hath spoken to me. Even Satan 
fashioneth himself into an angel of light." To under- 
stand the transition we must somehow account for the 
fact that the soul of the persecutor suddenly passes from 
a condition of strain and agony sufficient to wring from 


him the cry, " O wretched man that I am ; who shall 
deliver me from this hody of death ? " into a condition 
in which like one awaking from the wild ravings of 
delirium to quiet and peace he whispers in hushed tones 
of gratitude : " I thank my God, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord," Paul has no explanation of his sudden 
change save " the good pleasure (evSoKia) of God " ; but 
the author of Varieties of Religious Experience tells us 
that vnth the twice-born, as he calls them, this uncon- 
sciousness of means is almost the normal mark of con- 

Even had he been conscious of it Paul would be as 
far as " Luke " from any design of telling us his own 
part in this death and resurrection of his soul. His 
aim, like " Luke's," is to emphasize God's part and 
minimize his own. If " Luke " is anxious to make his 
readers appreciate how wonderfully God interposed to 
deliver his persecuted people, Paul is even more con- 
cerned to prove that the greatness of the power was not 
of men but of God, and that so far from his having 
planned the career which he now undertook, or having 
thought out the gospel that now came to him, it was, on 
the contrary, at the utmost remove from all his thoughts. 
He was not tormented with growing scruples as to the 
rightfulness of his bloody course. That he makes 
amply clear. 

We do not underestimate the agony to a soul like 
Paul's of dipping his hands in the blood of men like 
Stephen. We only deny that the pain was to his mind 
a reason for desisting from his course. On the con- 
trary, the more it cost the more he verily believed he 
did God service. There was agony of soul. There was 
strain and stress, up to, and beyond the breaking point. 
But so far as Paul's conscious thought was concerned it 
was not impelling him toward the faith of his victims. 
We misinterpret the sense of the proverb, " It is hard 


for thee to kick against the goad," if we take it to refer 
to remorse of conscience experienced by the wavering 
persecutor. It is not the pain suffered by the restive 
ox which the proverb calls to mind, but the futility of its 
lashing out against the driver. Paul makes emphatic 
and repeated declarations that he had no such misgiv- 
ings. We do him injustice if we fail to see that the 
approach to the crisis was subconscious. On the other 
hand without such subconscious approach the psycho- 
logical overturn is inexplicable. For we also know 
from many a narrative of sudden conversion, from 
Luther to modern times, how easy it is for all the prepa- 
ration to be thus made, so that the subject seems to him- 
self suddenly to awake a new man, although in reality 
the barriers to the new current of life had long been 
secretly undermined. It happens then as when the 
ocean, which for months and years, perhaps, has worked 
its way unobserved beneath the dike, in a moment breaks 
through, and with sudden rush sweeps all before it. 

God himself respects the free-will wherewith he has 
endowed us. He does violence to the personality of no 
man, not even the persecutor. In Paul's own language 
we work out our own salvation, even if it be God that 
works in us both to will and to do. But in the case of 
his own conversion it is God's part and not his own on 
which all his attention is concentrated, for the simple 
reason that it is this which his opponents denied. It 
does not follow that there were no human antecedents. 
On the contrary it is of the utmost importance for a 
right understanding of the divine working that we 
search out to the limit of our ability the human channels 
through which the divine influences flowed. 

It is more or less habitual with those who hold Paul 
responsible for sweeping innovations on the simple gos- 
pel of Jesus, to meet the psychological objections by 
savins; : " Paul as a Pharisee had alreadv in his mind 

I/O «/ 


the elements of that theological system which we find 
advanced in his letters as the gospel of justification by 
faith. All that was needed was the vision on the road 
to Damascus to make him ready to insert the figure of 
the crucified ISTazarene in the vacant central niche. 
Once convinced that Jesus whom he had been persecut- 
ing was the expected Messiah, all the rest might follow 
logically in his mind." 

Far be it from me to deny the use of the scribal sys- 
tem of thought and expression by Paul. He who so 
freely employs those of the Greek religions of personal 
redemption around him, in spite of the ineradicable 
Jewish hatred of heathen worship, would not have dis- 
carded the teaching of Gamaliel from his mind, even 
had he been able. One might almost say that in Paul 
the gospel of Jesus has undergone a double translation, 
first into the forms of thought and expression which be- 
long to the Jewish rabbi, then a second time into those 
which would be most intelligible to his heathen converts. 
Nevertheless the vital, organizing factor never ceases 
to be what Paul himself so emphatically declares it. 
The gospel of Jesus is not absorbed by, or assimilated 
to, these more or less alien forms and modes of expres- 
sion. The reverse is true. They are made its vehicle. 
It is for us to distinguish between form and vital sub- 

Is it then the fact that Paul's gospel of justification 
by faith in a glorified Redeemer is an innovation upon 
the gospel of Jesus ? Certainly it was not so to the con- 
sciousness of Paul; and (what is more convincing) it 
does not appear to have been so to Paul's fellow-dis- 
ciples. For even the Pillars in Jerusalem make no 
qualification in their endorsement, and Peter himself, 
when publicly taken to task by Paul at Antioch, makes 
no objection to Paul's imputation to him also of this 


very same gospel of justification by faith in the Cruci- 
fied, apart from works of law.^ 

The fact is this attempt to remove a psychological 
difficulty by appeal to the supernatural is a return to 
the old vice of mediaeval theology. To remove one 
difficulty we create a greater further back. If we make 
the vision responsible for the transfer to Jesus of the 
attributes of Paul's rabbinic Messiah, how do we ac- 
count for the fact that Paul had such a vision ? In the 
psychology of religious experience creative miracles do 
not occur. The mind operates with the material at its 
disposal. Even the most catastrophic revulsions, such 
as Paul's, have their antecedents, and the proof that 
Paul's vision was not after all an act of violence to his 
own mind and personality, and did not introduce new 
and alien factors to his thought, is that when he looks 
back to it, and before it, he can see that all unknown 
to himself God had set him apart from his mother's 
womb for this very thing, and directed all his way to it. 
After the cataract it is still the same river that flows 
on, but in deeper, fuller stream. 

The key-note to Paul's whole life is the antithesis of 
" Law " and " grace." Before his conversion he sums 
up as it were in his own person the whole effort of 
progressive Judaism since the time of Ezra. He was a 
Pharisee of Pharisees in seeking the hope of Israel 
through obedience to the Law. Since the return from 
the Exile Israel had become " the people of the Book." 
Prophecy had come to mean for it the national hope of 
restoration to the divine favor (BiKaiocrvvrj^ zedek, 
zedakah) and salvation, God's acknowledgment of them 
as his people before the world. The law was the means 
of obtaining this divine acknowledgment. Since Syna- 
gogue religion had taken the place of temple-worship as 
4 Gal. 2: 1-10, 14-21. 


the real religion of the people, scribe and Pharisee had 
labored together with untiring, marvelous devotion to 
make ready for Jehovah a people prepared for Him by 
the spirit of obedience.^ What we call the legalistic 
tendency of post-Maccabean Judaism was epitomized 
in Paul. He plunged into it heart and soul even be- 
yond his contemporaries. And, as was characteristic 
of him, he applied it with intense individualism first of 
all to himself. He would have for Israel (but to begin 
with for himself) a " righteousness," or, as we might 
also render, " a justification " (SLKaioavvq) of his own, 
" even that which is through the Law." It is just be- 
cause of the fact that Paul perceived more keenly than 
others the irrepressible conflict between the gospel of 
forgiveness to penitent sinners preached by Jesus, and 
the ideal of obedience cherished by scribe and Pharisee, 
that he became a leader in persecuting the Way of Jus- 
tification by the grace of the Lord Jesus. The Phari- 
see's indignation was great when Jesus appealed to his 
healings to confirm his message of forgiveness. It was 
accentuated a hundred fold when the followers of the 
!N^azarene began to advance the doctrine of expiation 
through his blood, applying to his self-dedication to 
death the Isaian prophecy of the Suffering Servant for 
whose sake the " many " are forgiven. 

Such was the doctrine of " justification " by the grace 
of the Lord Jesus ^ which provoked the persecution of 
Saul of Tarsus. But we have no reason to doubt that 
if Saul of Tarsus had been in Jerusalem or Galilee at 
the time of Jesus' ministry, he would have been the 
conscientious leader of the scribal opposition to the 
Friend of the publicans and sinners, just as he was 
afterwards. Paul took Pharisaism seriously, and ap- 
plied it remorselessly. Hellenism appears only in the 

5 Cf. Jubilees, i, 24-26. 

6 Gal. 1: 16f.; cf. Acts 15: 8. 


fact that his religion is personal rather than national. 
Like the author of Jubilees he seeks rightness with God 
as the supreme end. Only he is more intensely indi- 
vidualistic and sets a more exacting standard. On this 
basis one who like Paul combines clearness of vision 
with ardor of soul will find himself inevitably in just 
the impasse which Paul describes as the immediate ante- 
cedent of his collapse. The Law could not accomplish 
the deliverance expected of it, " in that it was weak 
through the flesh." Paul found himself no better than 
any other " sinner of the Gentiles," in fact his very 
knowledge of the law made his condition worse; for 
instead of giving him victory over the law of sin which 
he found in his members, warring against the law of his 
mind, it seemed rather to provoke him to all manner 
of evil concupiscence, and then to leave him more than 
ever the object of the wrath of God. Thus the very 
ordinance of life (for such is inherently the purpose 
of the commandment) becomes to a mind in slavery to 
the untamable propensities of the flesh a savor of death 
unto death. 

Can we imagine any other issue to this hopeless con- 
flict of soul than that which actually took place ? Yes, 
perhaps; despair, and moral death. Despair and 
death, if Paul had not really already known another 
" Way." If he had not all this time been clearer than 
any other man as to the true alternative. If he had 
not already penetrated to the very heart of the teaching 
of Jesus as a gospel of " reconciliation " by grace, and 
the loving-kindness of a forgiving God. If he had not 
witnessed, not once but often, such scenes as that of 
Stephen standing before his judges with face trans- 
figured like an angel's as he looks up into Heaven and 
cries : " Behold, I see the Son of Man standing at the 
right hand of God," my Advocate with Him. But the 
very intensity of the persecutor's opposition to this Way 


brought the alternative the more vividly before his 

If such were the antecedents of Paul's religious ex- 
perience, as seen from his own inward point of view in- 
stead of the external of " Luke," what shall we say 
of the vision itself ? He saw Jesus, says " Luke," not 
in shame and humiliation, but as Stephen saw him, as 
the five hundred saw him, shining in the glory of God, 
transfigured, glorified. Paul also says as much. " Am 
I not also an Apostle," he demands of his detractors, 
" have I not seen Jesus our Lord ? " He saw the Lord 
intervening to defend his martyred Church, says the 
external observer, as the angel of God stood in the way 
to oppose the false prophet who sought to curse the 
people of God. Paul very likely might not have denied 
this, any more than he would have denied the place and 
time, as he drew nigh to Damascus,'^ or perhaps the 
experience of dazzling light followed by temporary 
blindness. Of course the vision did stop the persecu- 
tions. But these are not the things which signify to 
one whose inward experience had been such as Paul de- 
scribes. He saw Jesus as Peter had seen him after the 
utter collapse of his self-confidence, after the denial and 
the bitter tears, after the promises of reciprocal loyalty 
at the supper, after the utterance : " Simon, I have 
prayed for thee," after Gethsemane and Calvary. 
" God, who energized in Peter," says Paul, " unto an 
apostleship of the circumcision, energized in me also, 
when it was His good pleasure to reveal his Son to me, 
" unto an Apostleship of the Gentiles." 

These visions of Peter and Paul were not, then, dif- 
ferent in kind, but in all essentials the same. " He 
appeared first to Cephas," Paul tells us, " last to me." 
After Peter had turned again and stablished his breth- 
ren, the visions multiplied. Many experienced the 

7 Gal. 1: 17. 



opening of the eyes of their heart to see what had be- 
come soul-reality for those who had heard and remem- 
bered the farewell promise of Jesus. And Paul does 
not differentiate his experience from theirs. On the 
contrary he emphasizes their identity. The series 
which constitutes the apostolic witness of the resurrec- 
tion, certified to by Paul to the Corinthians as not his 
own merely, but the common resurrection gospel, starts 
with a reference to the Isaian promise of forgiveness for 
the sake of the martyred Servant. It closes with Paul's 
own experience, which thus forms part of the group 
which began with the appearance to Peter. Moreover 
the substance of the vision is essentially the same, not 
merely for these apostolic witnesses, but even in the 
case of the many later " visions and revelations of the 
Lord." As in the vision of John on Patmos, the figure 
is " one like unto a Son of man " radiant in the dazzling 
light of heavenly glory. And if the symbols of victory 
over man's last enemies are there in that he holds the 
keys of death and of Hades, and the breath of his mouth 
is as a sharp sword, the historic origin of this faith is 
not forgotten. The figure is also, with that strange 
mixture of symbols characteristic of the book, that " of 
a lamb as it had been slain " ; and it occupies the place 
of the Mediator and Intercessor with God, it is " stand- 
ing in the midst of the throne." 

Paul has nothing to say of the dazzling light, above 
the brightness of the noon-day, which Luke describes 
as blinding the persecutor; but he has a reference of 
sublime beauty and majesty to the " light of the knowl- 
edge of the glory of God which shone upon his heart in 
the face of Jesus Christ." He has nothing to say of 
that aspect of the vision which presents the risen Son 
of Man in the attitude of defending his persecuted flock, 
though certainly the vision did have this effect so far 
as the Church was concerned. The risen Christ whom 


Paul saw was " highly exalted," even as he had hum- 
bled himself and became obedient, unto the death of the 
cross, he was " at the right hand of God," expectant till 
his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. But his 
office and occupation there is " to make intercession for 
us," to be our Advocate with the Father, so that God 
may justify, no matter who condemns; for Paul is 
" persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor 
principalities nor powers, can separate us from the love 
of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ^ 

We all know how Paul defends his God-given apostle- 
ship and gospel in Galatians by referring his detractors 
to the well known story of his conversion. It was true 
of Paul, as of the humblest evangelist, that his supreme 
asset was his religious experience ; and he told it in the 
forms which he found best adapted to bring out its re- 
ligious values to his hearers. Unfortunately those who 
best appreciate the vital significance of these first chap- 
ters of the great controversy too often fail to follow it 
through to the triumphant close in the great chapters on 
the ministry of the new covenant in II Cor. 3-6, where 
the Apostle sums up its significance for the repentant 
Church restored at last to full loyalty to its founder and 
" father in Christ." In Galatians Paul speaks for 
himself individually. At Corinth also he had been 
obliged to fight an even more desperate conflict against 
Judaizing opponents of his gospel and deniers of his 
right to speak in behalf of Christ. After a direct af- 
front to himself, which his delegate Timothy had proved 
unable to counteract, Paul had despaired of bringing 
this great church at Corinth back to its allegiance. At 
last, in Macedonia, tidings came from Titus, his second 
messenger, telling of their repentant return. Paul will 
not repeat the bitter remonstrances with which they had 
compelled him to vindicate his own apostleship, and 

8Cf. II Cor. 4: 6; Phil. 2: 9-11; Rom. 8: 33-34. 


prove the right to speak with authority which should 
have been so needless in their case. He refrains from 
the mad boasting thev had forced upon him, but he will 
not quit tlie field without a clear statement of the terms 
of peace ; and that not for himself only, but for all who 
claim with him the authority belonging to ambassadors 
for God. Since he is speaking to men to whom the 
conceptions of the mystery religions are the common- 
places of religious expression it should cause us no sur- 
prise that he uses their terminology. He uses its sym- 
bols to depict his own supreme experience, and even 
thinks of his own immortality as thus achieved. It 
comes by " illumination " ((/)0JTt<7//,o?) through light re- 
flected " as in a mirror " (eo-oTTT/aov) from the face of 
the glorified Jesus, who is the " image " (ei/cwv) of God. 
By this vision of the glorified One, this illumination 
of the gnosis of the glory of God, we also, he says, are 
" metamorphosed " (fi€Taixopcl)ovix€6a) or " transfigured " 
into the same " likeness." In this assurance of immor- 
tality the heralds of the cross convey the message to 

This is the very vernacular of the mystery cults. No 
man can fail to recognize it who has any familiarity 
with the current ideas of the religions of personal re- 
demption concerning assimilation to the nature of the 
dying and rising Savior-god by gazing upon his image 

(^eoTTjs 8ta ^e'as, or eTroTrrtas ; Vcrgottung durch GottCS- 

schau), as to being "transfigured" into the same 
" likeness," as to immortality being the destiny of the 
" reborn," and the like. Paul is using the ideas, and 
even the language of the mysteries to compare the min- 
istry of the new covenant and its revelation with the 
revelation to Moses and the ministry of the old covenant. 
But it is his own experience in the vision of the risen 
Christ which he translates into this symbolic language. 
And he is describing it not for himself alone, but treat- 


ing it as typical for all who had thus been made am- 
bassadors for God and witnesses of the resurrection. 
It goes as far beyond the brief glimpses afforded us in 
Galatians, as Galatians itself goes beyond the mere ex- 
ternalities of Acts in the insight it gives us into the 
basis of Paul's religious experience. Study of the be- 
ginnings of the great controversy over Paul's apostle- 
ship in Galatians should never be dissociated from its 
climax and close in II Cor. 3-6. 

Time will not allow me to follow in detail the ma- 
jestic progress of the thought as Paul compares his 
revelation with that which Moses had received, still less 
to adduce the parallels from the Hermetic writings and 
similar sources which show the significance which it 
bears to him.® I will only remind you of the familiar 
story of Exodus, how Moses, after the people's sin, goes 
up to intercede on their behalf with God. On the 
height of Horeb he entreats that his own name may be 
blotted from God's book of life, if only Israel may be 
pardoned. Last of all he prays : " I beseech thee, 
show me thy glory." To that the answer is given: 
" Thou canst not see my face ; for no man shall see me 
and live. But I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and 
will cause my glory to pass before thee." Then, as 
Moses stands hidden in the cleft of the rock, Jehovah 
passes by and a voice proclaims : " Jehovah, a God 
merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression 
and sin." And as Moses descended from the mount 
with his message of pardon his face was transfigured 
with the reflection of the glory of God. But Paul was 
not the first to think of this reflected glory on the inter- 
cessor's face as preparing him for immortality. Per- 
haps it may help us to appreciate what the apostle sees in 

9 See Kennedy, St. Paul and the Mystery Religions, and Morgan, 
Religion and Theology of Paul, pp. 113-145. 


this story of the intercession of Moses, and his revelation 
of the " grace " and mercy of the forgiving God, if we 
remember that to the orthodox Jew this is the supreme 
instance of intercession for the forgiveness of sin. 
It is the Mosaic gospel of the " reconciliation " 
(jcaTaAAayT^) manifesting the " grace " of God in not im- 
puting unto the people their trespasses. Paul's refer- 
ence to the passing glory on the face of Moses, a trans- 
figuration that caused him to put a veil upon his face 
that the people might not see how soon it was gone, may 
seem strange to our mode of thought. If so it may 
help us to know that Philo, thirty years before this time, 
had already advanced the doctrine of a transfiguration 
of Moses through his intercourse with God and that 
Philo also makes this Moses' preparation for immortal- 
ity. Describing his departure into Heaven at the sum- 
mons of the Father (/-leTaKAT/^ets viro Tov TTttTpos) Philo 
declares that by the vision of God Moses' soul and body 
had been blended into a single new substance, an im- 
mortal mind-substance having the appearance of the 
sun.^*^ It is not in the words of Philo, but in the 
mystic language of the mystery-religions that we read 
in Paul of the gnosis that conveys immortality by re- 
flecting the image of the glorified Savior-god on the 
mirror of the retina. Paul borrows the phraseology of 
this religious mysticism to describe the experience of 
new creation which qualifies for the ministry of the new 
covenant. Unlike Moses those who receive this min- 
istry have no veil upon their face. As they gaze upon 
the glorified Master, who for their sakes died and for 
their sakes was raised again from the dead, the radiant 
figure is reflected in them as in a mirror. As the retina 
forms the image of the object gazed upon, so Christ is 
" formed in them." They are progressively " trans- 
10 Vita Mos. II, 39. 


formed by the renewing of their minds " in preparation 
for immortality, they are " transfigured into the same 
image, from glory to glory." 

So the long conflict of Paul for his God-given apos- 
tleship comes back to its starting-point, the manifesta- 
tion of the Son of God in him, even as he had been 
manifested to Peter first of all. Only now he speaks 
not merely of apostleship, but of a " ministry " of the 
new covenant whose revelation surpasses the revelation 
to Moses. He speaks of an " ambassadorship " of the 
reconciliation; for in it both he and all his fellow wit- 
nesses of the resurrection are heralds of peace to the 
world. He speaks of an immortality for which we were 
created in the image of God. For that same God who 
in the creation commanded the light to shine out of 
darkness had made a new creation ; and of this Paul was 
made a " witness " when the God that " forgiveth 
iniquity, transgression and sin " shined in his heart to 
give the light of the knowledge of this his glory " in 
the face of Jesus Christ." 



1. Historical Interpretation 

The attempt was made in tlie preceding lecture to 
show from Paul's ovm references to his experience in 
conversion that the ordinary way of reasoning from it 
almost inverts the true principles of religious psychol- 
ogy. We must learn to look upon the vision as effect 
rather than cause. Paul had indeed a theory of sal- 
vation before his conversion. But the vision of the 
glorified Jesus did not come into this as a new, inex- 
plicable datum supplying the needed deus ex machina. 
On the contrary it was the collapse of preconceived ideas 
which brought about the vision. And however unex- 
pected to him, the vision was by no means without its 
antecedents. Of these the most obvious are two: on 
the one side an utterly unbearable strain upon his own 
soul to achieve peace with God through obedience; on 
the other the testimony of men who like Peter had found 
this peace through the gTace of the Lord Jesus. There 
was also the spectacle of men such as Stephen trans- 
figured by the vision of their Advocate with the Father. 
Paul's knowledge of his victims' experience uncon- 
sciously predisposed him to repeat it. At his conver- 
sion it was indeed as though scales had fallen from his 
eyes, so sudden was the change from darkness to light. 
But this does not mean that others, conscious, as Paul 

was not, of the hopelessness of his effort to achieve the 



idea] of the Pharisee, might not have foreseen the out- 
come. It only means that Paul was blind to it, so blind 
that afterwards he stood in amazement at himself. In 
fact this is the vei*y basis of his conviction of the divine 
origin of his apostleship and his gospel, inseparable as 
we have seen them to be in his thought, that they were 
" wrought in him," not of himself, but by the direct 
intervention of God. 

It is not the purpose of these lectures to argue for 
Paul's idea of the supernatural method of the divine 
action in his case. Therd is just as much of God in it if 
the process turn out to be intelligible under known psy- 
chological laws. It is not my purpose to argue for 
Paul's theory of vicarious suffering and piacular atone- 
ment. It seems to me far superior to the mediaeval 
caricatures which are supposed to represent it in the 
later theologies. The piacular conception entertained 
by Paul may represent only a transition stage in our 
philosophy of religion. I do not aspire to be a theo- 
logian but a historian; not an advocate, but an inter- 
preter. Suppose Paul to have been quite wrong as to 
the modus operandi of the divine action in bringing 
him to the knowledge of the eternal Son of God; still 
he was brought into reconciliation with God, and it was 
an effect beyond his own capacity. The same is true 
of piacular atonement. Suppose that the spiritual new 
creation to which men testify would be otherwise char- 
acterized by the technical psychologist. Men speak of 
it as an experience of peace with God and of participa- 
tion through Jesus in the eternal life and eternal ac- 
tivity of God, victory over evil propensity, victory over 
fear, victory over death. This may not be put in proper 
philosophical language when we describe it as " recon- 
ciliation with the Father." Still the peace, the new 
creation, are there. Let experts in the psychology of 
religion use their own terminology in explaining it, the 


point is it exists. Suppose we hold strong objections 
to such modes of conception and expression as Paul's 
when he says, " The wrath of God is revealed from 
heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of 
men." There cannot be reasonable objection to our 
finding modes of expression which convey the essential 
idea in less anthropomorphic terms, so long as we recog- 
nize that there is a real idea, a real experience, an ex- 
perience of most vital importance to men who have not 
peace with God, nor victory, nor joy in an eternal hu- 
man Christ. We are studying the history and psy- 
chology of religion, in particular that movement of the 
eternal Wisdom of God which produced Christianity. 
The first step is to understand the witness. After that 
improve on his mode of statement of his experience if 
you will — and can. Fortunately the self-dedication 
of the worthiest for the unworthy is not yet a forgotten 
fact. It is still there to challenge valuation by the 

In Paul's case the witness tells us things which he 
has seen and heard. They are more or less obscured 
by that process of double translation of which I have 
spoken, first into the forms of thought natural to a 
Jewish rabbi, second into those current in the Hellen- 
istic religions for the benefit of Paul's converts. But 
we surely are justified both by his explicit testimony 
regarding the common apostolic teaching antecedent to 
his own, and by the unchanging principles of religious 
psychology, in maintaining that the core and kernel of 
this common gospel was salvation by the grace of the 
Lord Jesus, forgiveness of sin obtained by his atoning 
death and present mediation, triumphant assurance of 
the hope of Israel and of the world in the fact that God 
had raised him from the dead and revealed him in glory. 
I have admitted that the Synoptic Gospels retain 
scarcely a trace of this doctrine of redemption by the 


blood of the martyred Leader. Their pages are marked 
rather by a strange absence of the Isaian figure of the 
suffering Serv^ant, exalted " to make intercession " 
which is so fundamental to the thought of Paul. It is 
only in Hebrews, and Revelation, and First Peter, and 
Clement of Rome, and the most ancient liturgies of the 
Church, that we find this central doctrine of grace 
through the blood of the cross and the intercession of 
the risen Mediator. But we are not entitled to argue 
from this partial silence of a single restricted group, of 
later date, that the Pauline gospel of the " reconcilia- 
tion " was a speculation of his own, a peculiar interpre- 
tation of the meaning of the cross, which later writers 
otherwise so diverse as the authors of Hebrews and the 
Revelation of John have agreed in adopting from the 
Apostle to the Gentiles. On the contrary, Paul insists 
that whether it were himself, or Peter, or the other 
Apostles, this was the common faith ; and the Sacra- 
ment bears him out. Of course we recognize the ex- 
travagances, obnoxious to both ancient and modern 
thought, so apt to attach to this primeval doctrine of 
blood-redemption. We know how easily vicarious suf- 
fering and intercession of martyrs and saints can be 
misapplied in a way offensive to our sense of the right- 
eousness of God, and dangerous to practical morality. 
But we cannot escape the historical fact that Christi- 
anity as a religion distinct from Judaism did originate 
in this belief. The statements of our oldest and most 
authentic docimaents would be decisive on this point, 
even if we did not have in addition the assurance just 
derived from our review of Paul's account of his con- 
version, to prove that the issue of his soul-conflict was 
not the question whether the crucified Nazarene did or 
did not correspond in character and experience with 
some preconceived messianic ideal, but whether the 
Pharisean Way of obedience, or that of the publicans 


and sinners, the Way of forgiveness of sins for Jesus' 
sake, the Way of "' grace," brought peace with God. 
The dispute with Peter at Antioch proves that this was 
the heart of the common faith. Paul's own religious 
experience proves it. For his vision was not an acci- 
dent. It repeats in its most essential characteristics 
those which had been the experience of men who were 
of this faith before him. It took this form partly be- 
cause there was no other way out, once his false hope 
came to its inevitable collapse; partly because the vi- 
sions of his predecessors had taken similar form. And 
the similarity of form is not a mere coincidence. It 
was suggested by the parting promises of Jesus. Our 
business is first to appreciate how such utterances as 
those of the last supper coidd lead to the mystical ex- 
perience of Peter and all the rest who " saw the Lord," 
afterwards to express if we can in philosophical lan- 
guage the precise value and meaning which these ex- 
periences continue to have as part of the history and 
psychology of progressive religion. 

We have seen already that there is a real continuity 
in the religious movement from John the Baptist to 
Paul, and that while the sense of the terms is less per- 
sonal it was already a gospel of " reconciliation " when 
John brought his " way of justification " by repentance 
and faith. It is our undertaking now to trace what we 
can of the earlier form under its double disguise of re- 
duction to rabbinic modes of thought, and retranslation 
into those of Hellenistic personal religion. Is Paul's 
gospel the same fundamentally as the gospel of Jesus ? 

I cannot but consider that all attempts hitherto made 
to set forth exactly what Paul's gospel was, are more or 
less vitiated by two misapprehensions. The first con- 
cerns its source or derivation. There is failure to ap- 
preciate in its full significance the principle I have al- 
ready expressed in the statement that Christianity was 


to Paul the Way of justification, or peace with God, 
which he saw symbolized in the two primitive observ- 
ances of baptism and the supper — or (to put them in 
a more logical as well as a more historical order), the 
supper, and baptism. It was not the teachings and 
miracles which we find related in the Gospels, since 
Paul neither possesses these, nor even seems to care for 
their story. ^ Nevertheless we find great effort expended 
by scholars to enlarge to the utmost the minimal traces 
in the Epistles of acquaintance with the teaching of 
Jesus, and a strong disposition to assume that it must 
have played a much larger part in Paul's preaching than 
these extremely meager references suggest. I have af- 
firmed on the contrary that Christianity as Paul knew 
it was the Way characterized by these two observances, 
symbolizing respectively forgiveness for the sake of the 
risen Redeemer, and new life in his Spirit. I shall at- 
tempt presently to illustrate by a typical instance how 
great a difference this makes. 

Before doing so let me venture (presumptuously per- 
haps) on a second general criticism of modern interpre- 
tations of Paul's gospel. This concerns its simple as 
against its elaborated form. As I read such intricate 
discussions of the Pauline system of thought, or the 
Pauline theology, as Baur's or Pfleiderer's or Holtz- 
mann's, or those of countless other great biblical theo- 
logians, I am impressed with the conviction that there 
is a failure here to distinguish between (a) the pri- 
mary conception which Paul repeatedly and emphati- 
cally declares was not his own; and (b) the apologetic, 
the defense which he personally weaves about it in an- 
swer to particular opponents. The apologetic in the 

1 It seems to be regarded almost as a matter of course that " the 
gospel " means the moral and religious teachings of Jesus in 
Galilee. But if we take the term in Paul's sense as " the power 
of God unto salvation " what is the teaching of experience? Is it 
the moral and religious teachings; or the story of Calvary? 


nature of the case must have more or less of an ad 
hominem character. The gospel must have been simple 
and general. The Pauline gospel and the Pauline 
apologetic, therefore, are not precisely one and the same 
thing; and if we go to Epistles such as Galatians, and 
still more Romans, v^hich are defenses of Paul's gospel 
against certain specific accusations, we must remember 
that this elaboration is not quite what we should read, 
if it were not that Paul was being accused of " making 
Christ a minister of sin " by his doctrine of " justifica- 
tion by faith apart from works of law," and of making 
God unrighteous, and an unjust judge of the world. I 
shall also use illustrative examples to show what differ- 
ence it may make when we duly allow for this fact ; but 
let me first indicate something of what may be implied 
in Paul's reminder to the Corinthians that he had not 
brought them a theology as his message, although he 
could have done so, but simply " the word of the cross," 
the same story which they continued to " proclaim " 
(xaTayycAAeTe) as often as they observed the sacrament, 
a gospel which he and others had " received." 

2. Justification hy Faith 

All authorities will agree that Paul's way of salva- 
tion has two stages : (1) Justification, by which is meant 
not making men just, nor even making them out to be 
just when they are not; but simply forgiving them, 
treating them for Christ's sake as if they were just. 
That is what Luke means when he makes Peter say in 
Acts 15:8: " But we believe that we shall be saved 
by the grace of the Lord Jesus." (2) There is Life in 
the Spirit, or sanctification ; the progressive assimila- 
tion of the believer, not only in character, but even 
physically (so Paul believes) to the glorified Lord. 
For both of these experiences the sole requirement is 
" faith," a term which is admittedly taken from the 


gospel of Jesus in Galilee, but which Paul is said to use 
in a new and peculiar sense. My contention is that 
those two great Pauline doctrines reflect the sense he 
finds in the Supj)er and Baptism. 

The term " justification " sounds formidable. It 
rouses at once the apprehension of a theology instead of 
a gospel. We know it is used once or twice in the 
preaching of Jesus, as when he speaks of the publican 
who after his humble prayer " God be merciful 
(IXddOrjTi) to me a sinner " went down to his house with 
better hope of " justification " than the Pharisee. We 
know that Jesus spoke of John as having brought to the 
publicans and sinners a " Way of justification " by re- 
pentance and faith, and in these connections we have 
no difiiculty with it. We know it means the simple 
doctrine of all the prophets and the law, that God for- 
gives the penitent. Deutero-Isaiah the proclaimer of 
glad-tidings of restoration to exiled Israel constantly 
associates the terms " justification " {zedaka, BiKULocrvvi]) 
and " salvation " in the sense of divine vindication and 
restoration. Thus in the Song of the Suffering Serv- 
ant it is predicted that the Servant will " justify many," 
himself " bearing their iniquities." We understand, of 
course, that " justify " means " obtain the forgiveness 
of their sins." When the poet declares that this comes 
through the Servant's " knowledge " (i. e., Israel's 
knowledge of God, not " the knowledge of himself," as 
the margin renders) this also is the proper function of 
the people whom God makes His " witnesses." ^ 
Israel's witness for God and intercession with God bring 
this " justification " of the many. It is thus expressed 
in the Apocalypse of Baruch, " God scattered Israel 
among the nations that He might do the nations good." 
In the prophet's view the exiles would be witnesses for 
God even among their oppressors, and as a people of 

2 Is. 43: 10. 


" priests " and " ministers of God " would make inter- 
cession for them. The Gentiles also would then be 
" treated as just." It does not seem at all strange to 
us that this Isaian poem of the martyred people of God 
should have been taken up by the followers of Jesus 
almost immediately after the crucifixion as applying to 
the work he had accomplished. For the " justifica- 
tion " (BiKaLo<rvvr]) and " salvation " which Jehovah is 
about to make manifest are Isaiah's great theme. They 
form his " gospel of the reconciliation " for the whole 
race of mankind. If, then, the disciples believed that 
Jesus had dedicated his bodv and blood that God misi;ht 
be " reconciled " to his people as others had before dedi- 
cated themselves, and even " given their bodies to be 
burned " out of devotion to the law — if Jesus had 
promised to make intercession on their behalf at the 
judgment throne, as the Isaian Servant makes interces- 
sion for transgressors, why should they not so apply the 
song? Indeed we have seen that the Targimi of the 
Synagogue already did apply it to the Messiah. 

We are quite able to understand then, how Jesus 
should occasionally, and the Pauline Christians oftener, 
use the Isaian term " justification " as equivalent to 
forgiveness at the tribunal of God. We can understand 
how Peter and the rest who had been witnesses of Jesus' 
parting act of self-dedication, and after his martyrdom 
compared his fate with that of the suffering Servant, 
should be convinced (as Paul tells us they even then 
were) " that he died for our sins according to the scrip- 
tures," even if in Synoptic tradition no other trace re- 
mains than an echo here and there, in references to the 
cross and the sacrament, of the Isaian phrase, " he 
justified the many, bearing their iniquities." 

But somehow there seems to be a difference (and 
there really is a difference) when Paul begins to speak 
about individual " justification by faith, apart from 


works of law." Just what the difference is, and how it 
comes about, we may perhaps see more clearly after we 
have considered the second qualification for our under- 
standing of Paul's expression. Meantime it ought to 
be easily apparent that the thing itself of which he is 
speaking is exactly what is betokened in the cup of the 
new covenant in the blood of Jesus, which was shed 
" for the many, for the forgiveness of sins." The 
Ephesian evangelist, who speaks of Jesus as the " pro- 
pitiation " (iAao-/xos) for our sins, and not for ours only 
but also for the sins of the whole world, means nothing 
different when he says quite simply a few verses fur- 
ther on : "I write unto you, little children, because 
your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake." Paul 
means by " justification " just what all Christians of 
his time mean when they celebrate the sacrament. He 
means " the forgiveness of our sins for his name's sake," 
i. e., because we bear the name of Jesus. He does not 
mean " righteousness." He simply uses the Isaian ex- 
pression for " rightness " with God. 

Again, if we take the other term of the great for- 
mula, and ask what is the new and special sense which 
Paul gives the word " faith," our best answer will be 
found in the other sacrament, baptism, whose sense I 
have already given as an answering self-dedication of 
the penitent believer to the self-dedication of Jesus. In 
baptism the convert " confesses his ' faith.' " In Jewish 
practice it was the rite by which converts from heathen- 
ism put off the pollutions of idols, and were received 
as members of Israel. 

To Paul as to Philo Abraham is the hero of " faith " 
because he left the gods whom his father had served 
beyond the river Euphrates to serve a living and true 
God. Circumcision was given him as a kind of bap- 
tism " made with hands." Rahab, who renounced the 
gods of her own people to cast in her lot with the God 


of Moses and Joshua, is the feminine parallel to Abra- 
ham. Both were saved by their " faith." In Josephus 
we read the story of Izates, a convert of Judaism, of 
Paul's own time, who was at first excused from the for- 
mal rite of adoption into Israel by circumcision, but 
afterward learned in Josephus' words that " the fruit of 
piety does not perish for those that look to God, and 

fix their faith on him only " (^Trema-TevKomv in avT<a ixovw). 

Izates probably received the Jewish rite of baptism, and 
if so it was in confession of this " faith." John's con- 
verts were similarly baptized in token of repentance and 
" faith." They were thus received as members of the 
people " prepared for Jehovah's Coming." After 
Jesus' death the first act of the brotherhood of those who 
were determined to avail themselves of the new Way of 
reconciliation with God, believing that God had actually 
made him both Lord and Christ, was to take up the rite 
of baptism, significantly making it not merely a token 
of repentance, but a confession of " faith " and loyalty. 
They were baptized " into the name of Jesus." They 
dedicated themselves to him. They confessed him as 
" Lord," by which they meant their Advocate, their 
Mediator, their Friend in the court of heaven. Hence 
the " faith " which is denoted in baptism is far from 
being a dry intellectual conviction. With Paul, as with 
Philo, as with Deutero-Isaiah, it is the saving grace of 
Abraham, the Rock-foundation " of Israel. It implies 
both trust and obedience. It implies loyalty without 
limit. It means self-dedication to Jehovah, under His 
Christ, for this world and the world to come. Indeed 
the Jewish " confession of faith," the well known 
Shema which Jesus quotes as the sum and substance of 
religion : " The Lord our God is one Lord, and thou 
shalt love him with all thy heart and all thy soul and all 
thy strength," is not a creed, even if James does treat 

3ls. 51: 1. 


it SO when he says " Thou believest that God is one ; the 
devils also believe and tremble." Israel's religious 
teachers were never so foolish as to imagine you could 
unite men by anything so inherently divisive as a creed. 
The Shema is a sacramentum, an oath of loyalty. The 
man who utters it " takes upon him the yoke of the 
divine sovereignty." Ho knows but one supreme object 
to which all his powers should be directed, and they are 
unified in unreserved dedication to Him. If we took 
the Shema as our " confession of faith " as Jesus did, 
both our " faith " and our unity would be immeasurably 
the gainers. In the language of N^ew England Uni- 
tarianism it is the covenant and not the creed which 
constitutes the basis of unity. 

Returning to the question of Paul's special use of 
the term " faith," it seems to me we can have no better 
interpreter of his real meaning than the rite by which 
he and all his fellow-Christians expressed their relation 
to the risen Lord. " Faith " includes for Paul far more 
than mere intellectual assent, more even than passive 
trust ; but not more than the Christian believer expressed 
in the rite by which he '^ confessed his faith," being 
" buried with Christ through baptism into death, that 
like as Christ was raised from the dead through the 
glory of the Father so we also might walk in newness 
of life." The " faith " betokened in baptism is an an- 
swering self-dedication of the penitent believer to the 
self-dedication of Jesus. To use Paul's chosen expres- 
sion he " presents himself to God as alive from the 
dead." Is God unjust if he treat as just the sinner that 
comes to him in this self-dedicating faith ? Or is it not 
rather an act of faithfulness to His promises and thus 
of " justice " (in the Hebrew sense of the word) "" to 
forgive us our sins, and (by progressive conformation to 
the image of his Son) to cleanse us from all unrighteous- 
ness " ? 


I have tried to show by this example of the first of 
the two principles of Paul's gospel, Justification by 
faith, that we only need bring his terms to the test of 
those visible expressions of the common faith, the sacra- 
ments, to see that there is no real innovation whatever. 
To some extent the terms are new. At least they seem 
to bear a new connotation. They begin to sound theo- 
logical rather than evangelical. But for this also there 
is a reason, besides Paul's individualism, and besides 
the influence of Isaiah. It is what I may call Paul's 

The great passage which is made central by all the 
biblical theologians for Paul's gospel of Justification by 
Paith is the text in Romans 3 : 24. But instead of tak- 
ing this absolutely as an utterance by itself we should 
have observed that it sums up a long defense of Paul's 
gospel of grace against objections brought by Jews, or 
Jewish Christians of legalistic tendencies, who aver that 
it opens the door to sin, and is inconsistent with the 
divine justice. Paul declares that he is not ashamed 
of this gospel, in spite of these objections, because there 
is revealed in it " a righteousness (or ' justification,' 
SiKaioaiJvr)) of God by faith unto faith." In spite of 
the slanderous misrepresentations of his doctrine, this 
" justification " is witnessed even by the law and the 
prophets.^ It is a free acquittal at the divine judgment 
seat, without distinction of Jew or Gentile, since all 
alike are sinners. If they come with faith in Jesus 
Christ they are justified freely by God's grace, through 
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Then Paul be- 
gins to expound what he means by this redemption or 
ransom, corresponding to the ransoming of Israel when 
they were slaves to the Egyptians. " God," he says, in 
highly figurative language, '^ set Jesus forth in his blood 

4 The expression is general, but if a specific passage were in 
mind it would doubtless be the Servant's "offering for sin" (Is. 
53: 10-12; of. Rom. 4: 25). 


as a token of the restoration of His favor, a ' propiti- 
ation ' " (IXaaTrjpLov) . God did this, he adds, to prove 
His own righteousness, because in His forbearance He 
had passed over a long record of human sin, but now 
because of this martyrdom He can at the same time be 
just while he freely forgives him that hath faith in 
Jesus. For the sinner's trust leads him to a sincere 
act of self -dedication and so makes him trust-worthy. 
It is " by faith unto faith." 

This is apologetic. The point of it is directed against 
those who deny the " justice " of a God who should for- 
give sinners on any such conditions. The language is 
not such as Paul would have chosen for catechumens. 
Indeed it would be hard to find a passage more charac- 
teristically secondary and ad hominem in its presenta- 
tion of the doctrine. The proof is that nowhere else 
in the New Testament, not even in Paul's own epistles, 
do we find this theological motive put forward as ac- 
counting for the sacrifice on Calvary, that God was 
thereby vindicating his own respect for the law He had 
Himself ordained. This is made the very foundation 
stone of modem doctrines of the Atonement. Yet apart 
from the heat of theological debate it would probably 
never have entered the mind of Paul or of any enlight- 
ened Jew to limit the privilege — nay the duty of the 
Almighty to forgive the truly repentant, sacrifice or no 
sacrifice. The Occidental idea of a judge who is lim- 
ited in his endeavor to secure the highest good of all con- 
cerned by fixed principles of law is foreign to the Ori- 
ental. To the Semite, from time immemorial, the 
judge is a father, whose decision is made to fit the given 
case. Precedent is merely his guide to the highest 
good of all concerned, and he leaves to the parties in- 
volved absolute power to inflict or remit the penalty. 
To the ancient Jew as to the modem Moslem Jehovah 
is the "All-Merciful" (Er-EaJiman). It is the very 


essence of His glory that He " forgives iniquity, trans- 
gression and sin." It is an evidence not only of His 
" faithfulness," but of his " justice " that he does so.^ 
Jesus' idea of the attempt to limit the divine " grace " 
by appeal to what the Occidental calls " justice " is 
illustrated in the parable of the Eleventh-hour Laborers, 
of all the parables that with which the modern finds it 
hardest to sympathize. The householder, who of course 
represents the divine Arbiter of reward and punish- 
ment, gives this answer to the complaint of inequality: 
" May I not do what I will with mine own ? or is thine 
eye evil because I am good ? " 

We cannot infer any change in Jesus' Galilean gospel 
of free forgiveness from the fact that under the shadow 
of the cross in Jerusalem he dedicates his life in what 
the Maccabean martyrs would have called " propitia- 
tion " of God. His sense of individual peace with God 
in spite of the calamities and persecutions of the world 
remains undisturbed, whether the problem of national 
deliverance be solved or not. Jesus is not obliged to 
xetract the parable of the Prodigal Son when he utters 
that of the Usurping Husbandmen who slay the Heir of 
the Vineyard. In the Galilean gospel of " reconcilia- 
tion " the problem of unmerited suffering is simply left 
untouched. In the midst of persecution the little flock 
will still rejoice in assurance of a great reward in 
Heaven. But face to face with the national catastrophe 
of his own rejection and death Jesus was forced to find 
an answer to the question which Isaiah had answered 
with the doctrine of vicarious suffering. For some rea- 
son the repentant, obedient, and loyal remnant are per- 
mitted to suffer. Why is this? The question will not 
down. Contemporary writers conceived of the delay 
in God's saving intervention as due to a " measure of 
suffering " which must be " filled up." Why this should 

5 IJn. 1 : 9. 


be was variously explained. As Deutero-Isaiah and the 
Apocalypse of Baruch conceive it God has a design of 
redemption for the heathen world, to which the catas- 
trophe to Israel is a necessary means. As the Apoca- 
lypse of Baruch expresses it, " God scattered Israel 
among the Gentiles that he might do the Gentiles good." 
Paul's doctrine of the " hardening of Israel " as a means 
to the conversion of the Gentiles has a certain resem- 
blance to this Isaian doctrine, and I should like to be- 
lieve with Canon Sanday, that Jesus himself adopted it ; 
but the evidence seems to me too slender. The Synop- 
tic report can hardly be said to bear this construction, 
and Paul makes no reference to vicarious suffering as 
a teaching of Jesus, but only of " Scripture." On the 
other hand the martyrologies of II and IV Maccabees 
explain the delay as due to the need of placating the 
indignation of Jehovah at Israel's disobedience. The 
martyrs willingly dedicate their bodies and blood as a 
"substitute" (avTiif/vxov) ^ an "expiation" (/ca^apo-tov) 
to " propitiate " (e^tAao-^at) Jehovah's favor, or to turn 
away his just " wrath " (opyrj). Here too we are still 
without the means of answering the question (and prob- 
ably always shall be) to what extent, if at all, Jesus 
shared this anthropomorphic point of view. We only 
know that he had come face to face with the probability 
(humanly speaking the certainty) of the rejection of 
his message and his own martyrdom. Why he must 
drink the cup he did not profess to understand. 
Enough that it was His Father's will that he should 
drink it, and that His Father's way was the right way 
for the salvation of the whole people of God everywhere. 
But the spirit in which he drank it was not an indiffer- 
ent thing. By offering it willingly to God he could 
make the cup of his own suffering a " cup of blessing " 
to all that followed Him. 

The great difference between this and the Pauline 


" gospel of the reconciliation " is that from the nature 
of Paul's mission it loses its national character and be- 
comes individual. It could not otherwise be universal. 
The " wrath " of God must be propitiated not merely 
as respects Israel, but for the individual sin of all men, 
everywhere. This is already a fateful step along the 
road that leads to the mediseval theories and dogmas of 
the Atonement. And it is carried further by Paul's 
apologetic, his answer to those who said : " Are you not 
ashamed to preach a gospel which by offering unmerited 
forgiveness makes the Christ a minister of sin, and God 
an easy-going Judge lax in the enforcement of His own 

Apologetic such as Paul's cannot fairly be treated as 
though it were the original and spontaneous product of 
his own mind. The primary statement of the doctrine 
of " grace " is one thing. Rebuttal of objections is an- 
other. We must look at Paul's transfiguration of the 
gospel with this distinction in mind. 

Two things may well strike the reader of the Gospels 
as strange in Paul's controversial statement of the doc- 
trine of " the grace of the Lord Jesus " ; first, that God, 
rather than Jesus himself, should appear as agent in the 
redeeming sacrifice. In Paul's conception Jesus no 
longer offers himself. God offers him up. God even 
" sets him forth in his blood to be a propitiation " 
(IXaa-rqptov) . But it is quite unfair to regard Paul as 
responsible for this. The representation belongs to 
Isaiah ; and to the primitive Church, which even before 
Paul became a convert had already taken as the very 
basis of its gospel the scripture in which Isaiah ex- 
plained the suffering of the martyred Servant by declar- 
ing that Jehovah " delivered him up," that " it pleased 
the Lord to bruise him." and more especially that God 
had " made his soul a sin-offering " in behalf of the 
many who regarded not.*^ The Servant's part in the 

8 Is. 53: 12. 


Isaian Song is only " to make intercession for the trans- 
gressors." Paul does indeed repeatedly speak of the 
sacrifice as God's, as a transaction in which God " com- 
mends his own love toward sinners," in which He, rather 
than Jesus, is the offerer of the sacrifice, and the mani- 
fester of the great propitiation for the sin of the world. 
Paul does make the part of Jesus mainly that of inter- 
cession. But in this respect he has a complete defense 
against any charge of theologizing innovation. The 
conception is simply Isaiah's. It had already been 
adopted by those from whom Paul " received " this 
teaching as something " witnessed by the law and the 
prophets." In point of fact how did Jesus go to the 
sacrifice, if not in submission to the inscrutable will of 
His Father and very much against his own ? 

But, secondly, we are also struck by the fact (already 
noted as peculiar to this single passage of the New 
Testament) that the motive for the sacrifice is said in 
Rom. 3 : 26 to be God's intention " to prove his own 
righteousness," both in the exercise of forbearance in 
passing over sin in the past, and in the present time in 
" justifying him that hath faith in Jesus." To make 
his assertion the strongest possible Paul uses the para- 
dox : " To him that has no works, but only puts his 
trust in the God that justifies the unjust, his faith is 
reckoned for righteousness." If you put it that way 
even an Oriental judge who undertakes to forgive the 
criminal as a favor to an interceding third party does 
owe an explanation to the public. He will be injuring 
his own reputation as unsparing to the guilty, and will 
be liable to undermine the law itself as a deterrent from 
wrong-doing. But how does Paul come to " put it that 
way " just here, and here only ? As I have already 
pointed out, it is not because this way of looking at the 
matter is natural to him or to any other Jew, ancient or 
modem. It is purely controversial and ad hominem. 


The very fact that it occurs nowhere else should have 
been a warning to the successive generations of theo- 
logical writers on the Atonement not to begin, as they 
so often do, with the idea of the claims of the law to 
vindication, as if that were really the basis of Paul's 
thought. The idea might never have occurred to him 
if he had not been forced to defend the simple gospel 
of salvation by the grace of the Lord Jesus against de- 
tractors who declared that he " made the law of none 
effect," and God indulgent toward sin. Let us distin- 
guish between occasional ad hominem arguments of Paul 
in defense of his gospel against those who blasphemously 
misrepresented his teaching, and his simple proclama- 
tion of " the grace of the Lord Jesus " which he em- 
phatically declares to be in complete harmony with that 
of his predecessors in the faith. The ad hominem ar- 
gument was that God had (in Scripture) given the " ex- 
planation to the public." 

After all, the question as it presented itself to Paul 
was supremely practical in its nature. On the one side 
a given number of repentant souls who come to God 
conscious of ill-desert and condemnation, but asking for- 
giveness for the sake of one who loved them and gave 
himself up for their sake. On the other the God and 
Father of all, not ignorant as to whether the profes- 
sion made by these is sincere or insincere, but able to 
look on the heart, well aware that this one and that other 
that comes to Him in the faith of Jesus had indeed died 
unto sin, living henceforth in the faith that is expressed 
by baptism, a new life of utter self-dedication to the 
risen Lord, and to the kingdom he died to bring to pass. 
The real question is: What treatment should this God 
mete out to souls that come to Him in such repentance 
and such faith? Knowing them to be already truly a 
new creation in this repentant faith, should God treat 
them as just in spite of their evil past; or should He 


for the sake of the law, or because of the impression 
His lenience may make on others, or for any reason 
whatever, treat them as if they were still unjust? 
Should He (to use a colloquialism) exact the penalty 
" on general principles " ? Certainly this exaction of 
the penalty without regard to the present attitude of 
the transgressor is not what Paul would consider the 
justice of the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Cer- 
tainly it is not what any right-minded Jew would con- 
sent to believe of the All-merciful, forgiving God of the 
law and the prophets. Legalists, ancient, mediaeval, 
and modem, will raise objections to a simple gospel of 
forgiveness of the truly repentant, through the grace of 
the Lord Jesus. It is against such that Paul declares 
that in the predicted " oifering for sin " God vindicates 
His own righteousness notwithstanding His forbearance 
in past time, and His free forgiveness in the present of 
those that have faith in Jesus. God can forgive, be- 
cause in the Scriptures of old He pointed forward to 
the martyrdom of Jesus; therefore His forbearance in 
past time cannot be counted laxity. He can forgive 
now, because the forgiveness is for those, and only those, 
" who were washed, who were sanctified, who were justi- 
fied in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the 
Spirit of our God." Let us take from the ancient con- 
troversy what is applicable in our own time. This is 
Paul's apologetic, valid against the objector. It is not 
his gospel. 

3. Life in the Spirit 

I have dwelt at greater length than I could wish upon 
the first of the two great Pauline principles. Justifica- 
tion by Faith, in the hope of showing that if we inter- 
pret in the light of the symbol of the cup of the new 
covenant, which in Paul's time was its only visible ex- 
pression, if we also bear in mind the distinction be- 


tween gospel and apologetic, we shall be less oppressed 
by our sense of innovation and difference from the 
primitive teaching of Jesus. In point of fact when we 
turn to passages in which Paul is not using theological 
argument, but simply recalling what had been taught 
in common by all from the beginning, passages such as 
the report of the institution of the Supper in the night 
of betrayal (I Cor. 11:17-24), or the reminder to 
Peter in the story of the Eupture at Antioch that both 
alike had " believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be 
justified by faith in Christ, because we knew that a man 
is not justified by works of law, but only through faith 
in Jesus Christ " (Gal. 2: 16), we find continually the 
same gospel of forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus, 
but in connections in which it is impossible not to admit 
that the assumption Paul makes that these doctrines are 
the common property of all must correspond to actual 
fact. There remain but a few moments in which to 
apply similar principles of interpretation to the other 
fundamental teaching, the doctrine of Life in the Spirit. 

Just as we must go to the words of institution of the 
cup of the new covenant, " This is my blood that is shed 
for you," with or without the explanatory addition, 
" for the remission of sins," in order to understand 
what Paul meant by Justification, so we must go to 
baptism, that other rite which he underwent once for all 
when he confessed Jesus as his Lord, the rite which he 
always interprets as a voluntary participation in the 
death and resurrection of Jesus, in order to understand 
fully what he means by Sanctification, or Life in the 

Paul's baptism really forms part of the religious ex- 
perience which it so shortly followed. It was the out- 
ward expression of the inward grace. What he brought 
to it we already partly appreciate from his many refer- 
ences to the rite, and from the history of the observance 



even before its adoption by the followers of the "Naza.- 
rene Messiah. The convert brought to it repentance 
and faith, a putting off of the former life, a self-dedi- 
cation to a new loyalty. All were baptized into Christ, 
says Paul, as the slaves redeemed from Egypt were 
brought under the leadership of Moses ; when, released 
from the darkness of their house of bondage, they passed 
through the Red Sea, and emerging from its waters were 
overshadowed by the cloud of Jehovah's presence. Re- 
pentance, it has been observed, is a word that has 
scarcely a place in Paul's vocabulary. The remark is 
characteristic. Paul's words are new; but not the 
things for which they stand. He talks of " justifica- 
tion " where the Gospels speak of " forgiveness of 
sins." So /he speaks of " dying to sin," " putting off the 
old man with his deeds," " being buried with Christ 
through baptism into death," " being crucified with him 
that the body of sin might be done away, that so we 
should no longer be in bondage to sin," where the Gos- 
pels speak simply of " repentance," " change of mind " 
(/teravota), or in Hebrew phrase ieshuba, "turning 
again." If there is a difference in Paul's expression 
corresponding to the difference between his experience 
and that of a Mary Magdalen or a Zacchaeus, it cer- 
tainly is not one that shows less depth and reality of 
feeling. For him, as for the rich ruler whom Jesus 
" loved," repentance was " from dead works." The 
term " faith " likewise receives new enrichment in pass- 
ing through the alembic of Paul's mind. It is invested 
now with the connotations of the later Jewish literature, 
and here as Dr. Morgan notes,''^ the grace of " faith " 
plays a primary role. It is still further enriched, as 
we have just seen, with the connotations of the bap- 
tismal rite. The case is similar with the term " re- 
pentance " ; only that now we have new terms alto- 
7 Religion and Theology of Paul, p. 114. 


gether. Paul translates first into the language of his 
personal experience, and then a second time into the 
language of Greek religious mysticism, in which the 
forms of initiation symbolize a participation in the 
death and resurrection of the Savior-god, the condition 
being self-dedication to the service of the divinity, the 
reward immortality. Paul's experience was something 
more than ordinary repentance. He " died unto sin 
that he might live unto God in Christ Jesus." 

We were forced back, when we sought the real basis 
of Paul's doctrine of justification, upon his references 
in Galatians, Romans, and Second Corinthians, to his 
personal religious experience, his conflict of soul, its 
sudden solution by a divine intervention, his revelation 
of the glorified Jesus, surpassing the revelation to 
Moses of the glory of the forgiving God. We must 
again turn in like manner to these same allusions, par- 
ticularly those of Romans and Second Corinthians, to 
reach the real basis of Paul's gospel of Life in the 
Spirit, the thing which the believer takes away with him 
from baptism as God's part in the transaction. 

Paul is no exception to the N^ew Testament writers 
generally in basing everything on the Gift of the Spirit, 
the expected accompaniment of baptism, without which 
baptism itself cannot be considered Christian, but must 
be repeated.^ " If any man have not the Spirit of 
Christ he is none of his." Conversely, if the question 
be raised whether Paul has not offered the Galatians a 
share in the messianic promises on too easy terms, he 
has but one appeal : " This only would I know from 
you, when and how did ye receive the Spirit." Peter's 
early excursion into the Gentile mission-field is at first 
questioned in Jerusalem, but all opposition is silenced 
when he relates how, " the Spirit fell upon them, even 
as upon us at the first, and they began to speak with 
8 Acts 18: Iff. 


tongues." Well may he ask, " Who then, was I, that 
I should resist God ? " The very proof of the resur- 
rection, and of God's acceptance of these brethren of 
" the Way " as His people of the new covenant, is ac- 
cording to Acts, the " pouring forth," in audible and 
visible manifestations, of the promised Spirit of 
prophecy and vision. Unless it was the " religion of 
the Spirit " Christianity, even in the eyes of its own 
adherents, was no religion at all but a delusion. The 
powers of " tongues," " prophecy," " healings," " mira- 
cles," dedication of goods, which followed in hundreds 
of cases as hundreds were baptized, were regarded as a 
" seal " of heaven setting the name of Jehovah upon 
them, even as the prophets had foretold the pouring out 
of the spirit of vision and prophecy, and the manifesta- 
tion of signs and wonders, before the great and terrible 
day of the Lord. 

Paul differs from the ordinary view in making the 
supreme evidences the moral. Faith, hope and love are 
to abide long after the tongues have ceased, the prophe- 
cies found their fulfillment, the miracles been forgot- 
ten ; and these three are the best " gifts of the Spirit," 
love being chief among them. The Apostle shows a 
striking discernment of the true religious values in this 
warning to the marvel-loving Corinthians, but he forms 
no exception to the rule among all Christians in holding 
that the visible manifestations of the Spirit, miracles, 
tongues, visions and revelations of the Lord, are also a 
demonstration from God. They are " signs of an Apos- 
tle," signs of a divine adoption when granted to the 
ordinary believer. The power of victory within, of 
which the believer is personally conscious, may not serve 
to convince the outsider. But if this be insufficient 
proof, the opposition will be silenced by these outward 
manifestations. They are therefore, as Paul plainly 
declares, " for a sign not to them that believe, but to the 


unbelieving." And the body of believers who straight- 
way, from the very outset, began to appeal to these 
mighty works as proof of the presence of the Spirit, and 
of God's acceptance of their self-dedication in the name 
of Jesus, were doing no violence whatever to the teach- 
ing of their Master. Jesus himself had appealed to 
similar works when asked by the disciples of John as 
to the expected Coming of the Messiah. He had de- 
clared that the rejection of the testimony they bore was 
the ground of condemnation for the unbelieving cities 
of Galilee. He had pointed the scribes to them as proof 
that the Kingdom he preached was potentially already 
present among them, that " the Spirit of God " was at 
work, and Satan's throne already tottering. If we can- 
not accuse the pre-Pauline Church of departing in this 
respect from the teaching of Jesus, still less can we do 
so in the case of Paul, who supports his doctrine of the 
forgiveness of sin, by pointing to the inward effects of 
the Spirit, its victory over the law of sin in our mem- 
bers, as the highest proof of all. Is there indeed any 
essential difference between Paul's argument in First 
Corinthians for victorious, soul-renewing love, as the 
highest gift, the highest proof of the adoption, and the 
argument by which Jesus justifies his declaration to the 
penitent harlot : " thy sins are forgiven " ? Jesus ap- 
peals to the same inward new creation by the power of 
God in the parable whose point is '' Her sins, which are 
many, are forgiven ; for she hath showed much love : 
but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." 
Measured by his own standard of works the Pharisee is 
here put to shame by the forgiven harlot. Is that essen- 
tially different from Paul's appeal to the fruits of the 
Spirit ? It would be well to remember that Paul has 
such instances in view when the question is raised 
whether it is compatible with the justice of God to 
grant free forgiveness to the unjust. What is the 


practical result ? Do they, or do they not, " love 
much " ? 

In the first five chapters of Romans we have a de- 
fense of Paul's doctrine of Justification by Faith. The 
remainder of the doctrinal section down to the point 
where he begins his explanation of the rejection of 
Israel in chapters 9-11 is taken up with a defense of 
his doctrine of Sanctification, or Life in the Spirit; and 
this must be understood, if we follow the principle of 
interpretation already laid down, as a teaching of the 
significance of baptism. But I must again recall also 
the distinction between gospel and apologetic ; for while 
after the brief transition in the last verse of chapter 5 
Paul does immediately plunge into the meaning of bap- 
tism as a moral participation in the death of Christ, 
and in the closing eighth chapter wind up with a sub- 
lime description of the transfiguration of both soul and 
body efi"ected by the incoming of the new Spirit, it is 
quite obvious from the argumentative character of the 
long elaboration in the intervening chapters describing 
his own death to sin under the law, that he is defending 
his gospel of grace from the charge that it takes away 
the restraint of the law, and thus makes Christ " a 
minister of sin." In fact the whole development should 
be read in the light of the briefer summary in Gal. 2; 
19, 20 : "I died to the law that I might live unto 
God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no 
longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me, and to the 
extent that I still live in the flesh I live in self-dedica- 
tion to the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself 
for me." This is manifestly Paul's answer to those 
who denounce his doctrine of the abolition of law, de- 
claring that he removes all barriers to sin. It is hardly 
needful to repeat his splendid defense in the exhortation 
to the Galatians to "Walk by the Spirit" (Gal. 5: 
13-6: 10), and the ampler defense in the great chap- 


ters we are considering in Eomans 6-8. These repeat 
in greater detail the figure of dying to sin through the 
law that we may present our members as instruments 
of righteousness to God in a new life not our own but 
the life of Christ re-incarnate in us, so that " we were 
made dead to the law through the body of Christ (whose 
death we share) ; that we should be joined to another, 
even to him that was raised from the dead, that we 
might bring forth fruit unto God." We are more espe- 
cially concerned at present with that element of Paul's 
doctrine of Life in the Spirit which has to do with its 
continuation after death ; because here there is most 
ground for the charge of innovation, seeing that both in 
the eighth of Eomans and in the section of II Corinth- 
ians on immortality, the section which joins on to his 
comparison of the revelation of the ministry of the new 
covenant with that of Moses, he unmistakably employs 
the conceptions of the Hellenistic mystery-religions. 
Thus when he speaks of the Spirit of Him that raised 
up Jesus from the dead quickening even our mortal 
bodies, " changing them," as he says in another place, 
" into the likeness of the glory-body of the risen Christ," 
when he declares that God " transfigures " our very 
flesh by the continual renewing of our minds, because 
of (or through) His Spirit that dwelleth in us, the con- 
ception is certainly akin to that which Philo expresses 
in his reference to the transfiguration of Moses in prepa- 
ration for immortality. Paul comes in some respects 
even closer to the ideas of the mystery-religions when 
in the great resurrection chapter of First Corinthians 
he uses the figure of the seed-corn, renewed after disso- 
lution in the earth in a body given it by God, and most 
of all in the passage of II Corinthians on the immortal- 
ity for which we were intended by the Creator,^ and 
which is fully attained when our earthly house of this 
9 II Cor. 5; cf. Sap. 1: 13-16; 2: 23. 


tabernacle is dissolved, and we are clothed upon with 
our house from heaven of God's own building. 

It cannot of course be claimed that this mystical doc- 
trine of transfiguration by conformation to the likeness 
of the glorified Lord is part of the teaching of Jesus. 
According to Paul it effects first a moral new creation 
here upon the earth, because those who live " live no 
longer unto themselves but unto him who for their 
sakes died and rose again " ; but it also effects a re- 
clothing with a spiritual body, so that mortality is 
swallowed up in life. This is not part of what Jesus 
taught in Galilee; but it is emphatically part of the 
original gospel ; for it is the very reflection of Paul's 
own vision of the risen Christ. He is speaking that 
which he knows and has seen, even if he is driven for 
expression to language borrowed from the Hellenistic 
faiths. It is the very essence of Paul's message that he 
not only has it from the Lord himself that Jesus dedi- 
cated his body and blood for our reconciliation to the 
Father, but that he can also testify of his own knowl- 
edge that God accepted the sacrifice. For when it was 
the good pleasure of God to reveal His Son in him, Paul 
too received the earnest of the Spirit. The revelation 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus 
Christ was to him a pledge of immortality, since we 
who reflect as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are 
transfigured into the same likeness, from glory to glory. 
For this is from the Lord, who is himself the Spirit. 

These two things, symbolized respectively by the cup 
of the new covenant in the blood of Christ, and the laver 
of regeneration — these two, " the word of the cross," 
and new life through the vision of the glorified Son of 
God, give Paul his gospel and his apostleship. Those 
who bear this message are as it were ambassadors for 
God, as though God were entreating by them on behalf 
of Christ : Be ye reconciled to God. 



1. Jesus as the Servant 

When as critical historians we take our departure 
from the Pauline Epistles as earliest and most authen- 
tic witnesses for the origins of our religion, we discover 
first of all that the two ordinances of the conununion 
and baptism are the true Urevangelium, and that Paul's 
Christianity is an interpretation of these. His own 
religious experience was indeed to his mind a miracu- 
lous intervention of God, removing the veil from his 
eyes so that he, like others who had experienced it be- 
fore him, could see Jesus in his actual condition of 
glory in Heaven. But even this was not to Paul pri- 
mary in any other sense than that it gave him a direct 
authority for his gospel and apostleship, beyond all 
human teaching. It did not give him a new gospel of 
his own to preach, hitherto unheard-of, but the same gos- 
pel which till now he had been persecuting. What he 
had experienced had been wrought by God in Peter 
before him. What he taught now was the doctrine of 
" grace " which as champion of " the law " he had 
persecuted before. When he refers to it in passages 
limited to the basic common ground, such as his rebuke 
of Peter at Antioch, or his declaration to the Corinth- 
ians of agreement with all the other witnesses in the 
common resurrection gospel, he leaves no question of 
its nature. " We believed on Christ Jesus that we 
might be forgiven our sins by faith in Christ," the faith 

. 107 


symbolized by baptism into his name, the faith that he 
had " died for our sins according to the scriptures," 
and that he had been " raised again for our justifica- 
tion " as the Intercessor and Reconciler of sinners to 
God ; for so it had also been written of the martyred 
Servant, that " He maketh intercession for transgres- 

It is true that Paul nowhere makes any direct appeal 
on his o^^^l account to the Isaian passage which he re- 
fers to as fundamental to the common gospel, and that 
we only trace its effect upon his thinking indirectly in 
such passages as the references to Jesus' sinlessness 
(II Cor. 5:21; cf. Is. 53:9, 10; I Pt. 2:22), his 
having been " delivered up for our transgressions " 
(■rrapeBoOr] Sto. to. TrapairrMfxara Tjiiiov) and raised for our jus- 
tification (St/catWts) so that " while we were yet sick 
men " (do-^eves; cf. Is. 53 : 5, 10), " sinners," and " ene- 
mies," we were " justified by his blood," " reconciled " 
(KaT7^AAdy7//Mcv) , and "saved from wrath by his life" 
(Rom. 4: 25-5 : 11) ; or in the famous passage in Phil. 
2:5-11 on the "exaltation" of the Servant. This 
seeming neglect of the prophetic proof-text by Paul is 
something which calls for explanation together with the 
still more surprising neglect of the Synoptists. 

It is also true that we do not get Paul's gospel at 
first hand, but only through the perspective of his 
apologetic. It forms the background of a polemic 
wherein Jewish-Christian reactionaries occupy the fore- 
ground with their objections to Paul's sweeping on- 
slaught on legalism. We are thus under the necessity 
of looking for the ultimate facts through a double me- 
dium, first Paul's controversial application, second, and 
behind this, his personal religious experience, which 
compels him to appropriate the faith of his former vic- 
tims in terms applicable to his own sense of the supreme 
religious need. In spite of this double refraction (if I 


may call it so), wlien we take as our touchstone the 
two symbolic ordinances by which those of " this Way " 
expressed their idea of the hoped-for salvation while 
Paul was still a persecutor, we need not go far astray. 
We shall see that the original common gospel was ex- 
actly what Paul calls it ; a " gospel of reconciliation," 
glad tidings of peace with God, who had been estranged 
by the sin of the people, but had now given assurance 
of forgiveness to all that come to Him in the name of 
Jesus, participating by baptism in his self-dedicating 
death. For in baptism, or even before it in special 
revelations, God opened the eyes of their heart. They 
saw Jesus in the glory to which he had been raised up. 
He was now their Advocate with the Father, interceding 
for their transgression. And the confirmation of this 
inward sight was the visible outpouring of the Spirit, 
most of all the gift of tongues, teaching them to cry 
like new-born children, Abba, Abba, and offering out- 
cries to God intelligible only to Him. The Spirit was 
thus another Intercessor and Advocate, pleading for 
them with God, and at the same time by its very pres- 
ence convicting the world of its injustice to them.^ 

Paul was compelled to defend this doctrine of for- 
giveness for Christ's sake (or, as he called it, " justi- 
fication by faith in Jesus ") against the charge that it 
" made Christ a minister of sin " ; and his defense was 
that those who were baptized lived no longer unto them- 
selves but unto him who for their sakes died and rose 
again. They were given a new Spirit, which produced 
in them more real righteousness than was within their 
utmost power before. Paul could and did apply to this 
" new birth," or " new creation," of the Spirit, all the 
symbols of Jewish poetry concerning the " redemption " 
from Egypt ; he used in addition the symbolism of the 

1 Cf. Rom. 8: 26-29. See also Jn. 15: 16ff.; 16: 8 and the arti- 
cle "The 'other' Comforter" in Expositor VIII, 82 (Oct., 1917). 


mysteries concerning the dedication of the votary to the 
Savior-god, whose soldier, slave, or freedman he be- 
comes. Christians are not their own, but bought with 
a price; they are redeemed with the precious blood of 
their Leader ; their life is no longer their own but Christ 
that lives in them ; they are freedmen, no longer under 
law^, and yet in voluntary obedience to the " law of 
Christ." All these expressions and more are made 
needful by the double necessity of reminding his con- 
verts of their duty to live as " sons and daughters of 
the Highest," and his opponents as well that the claim 
to be "not under law" did not mean without law to 
God, but under law to Christ. But the immeasurable 
superiority of Paul's teaching to the figures of speech 
which he borrows from Hellenistic religion is instantly 
apparent when we think of the poor and empty moral 
ideal presented to the votary of the mysteries, as com- 
pared with that of the Sermon on the Mount. Imagine 
the difference between being infused with the " mind " 
or ethical animus of Jesus, and the mind of an Attis, 
a Dionysus, an Asclepios ! " Partaking in the nature 
of " the divinity, " life in the Spirit," " living in 
Christ," " living the life that is hid with Christ in 
God," are all terms that would be intelligible to the 
Hellenistic religionist, perhaps more so than to the 
average Jew. But what would they all amount to, be- 
yond mere magic and superstition, if the convert did 
not know what manner of spirit the spirit of Jesus was ? 
Hence the story of Jesus' blameless life was indispensa- 
ble. At least the spirit which controlled it and made 
it an absolutely God-devoted life, " obedient unto death, 
yea even the death of the cross," must be made un- 
mistakable. The convert must understand that his 
death with Jesus is a death to sin, his union with the 
risen life of Jesus a participation in that moral union 
with the Father which was achieved in the absolute self- 


dedication of Jesus. He must have in him the mind 
which was also in Christ Jesus, and which is epitomized 
in the portrait of the Servant, humbled to the utter- 
most as a slave for the many,^ undergoing the cross at 
the behest of God's inscrutable will, in order that God 
also might exalt him, and make him veiy high. 

Thus the double necessity of maintaining the moral 
standard of the Church from within, and vindicating it 
as against its detractors without, led Paul inevitably 
to lay special stress upon the implications of baptism, 
and this in turn to emphasis upon the character of 
Jesus. Later we find this process issuing in Gospels, 
which like the Gospel of Mark, describe first how the 
baptism of Jesus results in his ministry of power and 
goodness in Galilee, then, secondly, his martyrdom in 
Jerusalem in devotion to the cause of the kingdom. 
With Paul it was inevitable that ethical teaching of this 
kind should delineate the character of Jesus in terms of 
the Isaian description of the martyred Servant, as we 
have just seen to be the case in his exhortation to the 
Philippians to " have in them the mind which was also 
in Christ Jesus." 

Looking back at the process by which the figure of 
Jesus had come to be conceived in terms such as the 
Isaian description of the martyred Servant even before 
Paul became a convert, we can see from Paul's own 
references that the course of events in Jesus' career 

2 Maurenbrecher, Von Nazareth nach Golgatha, 1908, p. 174, 
declares that according to Paul, Jesus was actually a slave. 
This shows just as unenlightened a use of Paul's expressions in 
Phil 2: 7, which are based upon Is. 53 (in this case Is. 5.3: 11, 
LXX ei' dovXevovra ttoWoIs) as in the case of defenders of the doc- 
trine of Jesus' sinlessness, who imagine Paul enquiring in Naza- 
reth as to his moral conduct in boyhood, instead of recognizing 
that in II Cor. 5:21, where he declares that Christ "knew no 
sin," he is simply using Is. 53 : 9, as in I Pt. 2 : 22. The strange 
expression God " made him to be sin " may even be a direct quo- 
tation of Is. 53: 10; for the Hebrew has literally "when thou 
shalt make his soul to be sin." 


must have been substantial] j as follows: After his 
two-fold vain attempt to bring Israel by repentance and 
faith into reconciliation with God, Jesus, in the fare- 
well to his disciples before his martyrdom, took pains 
to impress upon them in terms which could not be, and 
which never were forgotten, that his body and blood 
were " devoted " for their sakes. In Mark's descrip- 
tion of the scene, and in one other dependent passage, 
this evangelist employs the single Isaian word " many " 
(Mk. 14 : 24, " My blood shed for many " ; cf. 10 : 45). 
This is hardly enough to warrant the belief that Jesus 
himself specifically quoted the Song of the Suffering 
Servant. However, we have seen abundant reason to 
think that Jesus did declare that he went to his death 
voluntarily for the Kingdom's sake, making his martyr- 
dom a sacrifice to God for the restoration of His favor ; 
and that he also made it clear that he believed this seK- 
dedication would be accepted, since he made the occa- 
sion symbolic of a meeting again at the heavenly ban- 
quet of the redeemed. The age, as we know, was satu- 
rated with the idea of the efficacy of the intercession of 
martyrs. It was familiar with the theme of the self- 
dedicating intercession of Moses for the sin of the peo- 
ple, and it may well have harbored the belief apparent 
in Fourth Maccabees and the Revelation of John, in an 
immediate resurrection of those whose lives were given 
in martyrdom, so that " they are already standing be- 
fore the throne of God." It would have been a marvel 
if in such an age the followers of the Crucified had not 
connected his assurance with the prophecy of the suffer- 
ing Servant, exalted and lifted up to be a Priest for 
many nations, delivered up for the transgression of Je- 
hovah's people, made a sin-offering to take away the 
sin of many, and interceding for the transgressors. 

The week following the fateful Passover in Jerusa- 
lem finds Peter a fugitive in Galilee, broken-hearted 


with shame and despair.^ Practically all we know of 
the spiritual crisis which led him to ''" turn again, and 
strengthen his brethren " is what Paul tells us. It is 
apparent, however, from the comparison, that Peter's 
experience was parallel to Paul's own. Nor can Vv'e 
stop here. We have seen that Paul's vision presupposes 
the latent presence of its elements in his own mind. So 
was it in Peter's case also. When the waters of despair 
seemed to have gone over his soul his mind recalled the 
words, " Simon, I have prayed for thee." So with 
later visions. What all see is the Christ who had prom- 
ised to make their cause his own in the presence of the 
Father, standing there doing as he had said. The next 
step is the gathering of twelve (doubtless former dis- 
ciples)^ whom Peter now "strengthened," and whose 
inward vision was quickened to see what Peter had al- 
ready seen. After that we hear of " five hundred at 
once " having the same experience. Since this implies 
some general rendezvous such as must have taken place 
before the migration to Jerusalem, and since it is fol- 
lowed by the vision of James and " all the Apostles," 
whom we find not long after established in Jerusalem 
(Gal. 1 : 17, 19), we may reasonably conjecture that it 
took place when the company of believers went up to- 
gether at the ensuing Pentecost, expecting the Lord's 
return. We can imagine them camping at the fords of 
Jordan where John had baptized, and there adopting 
for the brotherhood the rite which we know was adopted 
at about this time as a command of the risen Christ. 
Coincidently with the baptism, or perhaps shortly after, 
at Jerusalem, when Pentecost was fully come, the mani- 

3 For the date see Ev. Petri, close. This perhaps represents the 
lost ending of Mark. 

4 "The twelve" of I Cor. 15 : 5 can hardly be identified with 
the eleven enumerated in the Gospel lists. It is more probable 
that the fixed number " twelve " dates from the rallying by Peter, 
and is carried back in the lists (whose names vary) to the days 
of Jesus' ministry. 


festation was given of which Paul speaks. The five 
hundred became witnesses. Either now, or almost at 
once thereafter, the Spirit came upon them and they 
spake with tongues. 

It is after this, and after two further appearances, 
first to James, then to " all the apostles," ^ that the ex- 
perience of Paul begins. Certainly there was sufficient 
interdependence here to account for a basic unity in the 
conception. As Ave have seen, the unifying factors are 
on the one side the parting message of Jesus, on the 
other the figure of the suffering Servant, making recon- 
ciliation for sin as he stands exalted in the presence of 
God. Did Peter perhaps hear it read on that Sabbath 
after the days of Unleavened Bread as it still reads in 
the Aramaic targiim : " Behold my Servant the Mes- 
siah shall prosper. He shall be high, and increase and 
be exceeding strong " ? It continues after a descrip- 
tion of Israel's humiliation : " then for our sins he will 
pray, and our iniquities for his sake shall be forgiven. 
All we like sheep had been scattered. We had each 
wandered off on his OAvn way. But it was the Lord's 
good pleasure to forgive the sins of all of us for his 
sake. He prayed and was answered, and ere even he 
had opened his mouth he was accepted." Of the de- 
liverance which should follow the suffering the Targum 
has this to say : " It is the Lord's good pleasure to 
test and to purify the remnant of his people so as to 
cleanse their souls from sin. These shall look on the 
kingdom of their Messiah. . . . From the subjection 
of the nations he will deliver their souls. By his wis- 
dom he will hold the guiltless free from guilt, to bring 
many into subjection to the Law, and for their sins 
he will intercede. . . . He shall intercede for many 

5 In Paul's use of the term " Apostle " it covers many outside 
the number of " the twelve," including besides himself such names 
as Silvanus, and even Andronicus and Junias. 


sins; yea, even the rebellious for his sake shall be for- 

But however clearly we demonstrate that the Christol- 
ogy of Paul and that of his predecessors in the gospel 
has this common starting-point of the exalted Inter- 
cessor, whose life was made a sin-olfering on our be- 
half, there is no denying that there is broad difference ; 
and again we plead for observance of the distinction 
between Paul's gospel and Paul's apologetic. We find 
in Paul not one application to Jesus of the ancient title 
of " the Servant." It only remains in four vestigial 
survivals in the Petrine speeches in Acts, and a half- 
dozen more in the most ancient liturgical fragments. 
Elsewhere Jesus is spoken of as " the Son," even when 
(as in the story of the Voice from Heaven at the bap- 
tism) the passage from Isaiah, " Behold my Servant 
whom I have chosen, My Beloved, on whom I set my 
good pleasure," has to be altered to the form, " behold 
my Son whom I have chosen." \ ]^ot only the title is 
later disused, the conception of forgiveness because of 
the vicarious suffering of the Servant disappears. It 
has vanished entirely from the Lukan writings, which 
use over and over again the Isaian prophecy of the suf- 
fering of the Christ, but never connect it with forgive- 
ness of sin. In Mt. 8:17 we actually find the central 
passage of the Pauline doctrine " He hath borne our 
griefs and carried our sorrows " translated : '* He hath 
borne our sickness and carried our diseases " and ap- 
plied to physical healing. Only in the words of the 
Sacrament itself, together with one connected passage 
of Mark, is the idea of forgiveness for the sake of 

6 Sap. Sal. which likewise develops the Isaian figure of the 
martyred Servant, making him the hero of "faith" (3:9; 
1 f) : 2G ) , uses interchangeably " son " ( vios ) and " servant." 


Christ's suffering permitted to remain — and even here 
it is cancelled by Luke. 

The explanation of this must he sought in the un- 
avoidable exposure of the Isaian doctrine to abuse, espe- 
cially when (as in the Markan form of expression " a 
ransom instead of [dvTi] many ") it becomes a doctrine 
of substitution of the innocent for the guilty. It is 
significant that Paul always avoids this. He speaks 
only of a sacrifice " for " (vrepi) sin/ and of Christ's 
suffering "for our advantage" (v-n-ep). We have seen 
already what pains he takes to guard against the danger 
(both from within and from without) of misrepresenta- 
tion on this score. It is hardly matter for surprise that 
in the period of reaction to neo-legalism which set in 
after the death of Paul the doctrine of " grace " in the 
strongly " evangelical " form (to use a modern expres- 
sion) should have become still further obscured. 

We may properly compare this obscuration to the 
obsolescence of another title at a date so early as to 
include the Pauline writings themselves. The title Son 
of Man, which has been called " the favorite self-desig- 
nation of Jesus," disappears in later times because the 
conception of the risen Lord which it connotes became 
eclipsed in favor of one more acceptable to the Greek- 
speaking Church. In this case Paul not only drops the 
expression, which would be at least as difficult to explain 
to Gentile converts as " the Servant," but recasts the 
thought itself. It is not that he would ignore the Son 
of Man doctrine, which unquestionably played an im- 
portant part in the teaching of Jesus, and was essential 
to Paul's own conception of the ultimate triumph of the 
kingdom, but that he would blend it with a form of 
teaching more congenial to the Hellenistic world, the 
quasi-philosophical doctrines of the Wisdom writers, 
and so make it intelligible. Had any convert asked 
7 The regular Septuagint form. 


Paul the meaning of the title " Christ/' he would of 
course have been obliged to explain that " according to 
the flesh " Jesus had been born of the seed of David 
and was really the fulfillment of the national hope of the 
Jews, though not as the Jews themselves understood it. 
He would also have added that even if he had known 
such a Christ, yet now he would know such a Messiah 
no more. The title Son of David is to Paul completely 
obsolete, that of Son of Man survives only in altered 

But Jesus himself had as it were set these two in appo- 
sition. He did go up to Jerusalem claiming national 
leadership as Son of David, but not without plain warn- 
ing to his followers that it might be given him only as it 
is given in the vision of Daniel by the Ancient of Days 
to one "like unto a Son of man " brought upon the 
clouds of heaven. 

There are many, including those of the most radical 
school, who believe that at Jerusalem before his bitterest 
opponents in the temple Jesus himself purposely raised 
the question of Messiah's descent from David, in order 
that he might confound them by quoting the coronation 
Psalm of Simon the Maccabee: 

Jehovah said unto my lord: Sit at my right hand, 
Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 

Por my own part I cannot regard this addendum of 
Mark to the series of debates in the temple with the 
Pharisee, Sadducee, and Scribe, as authentic. It seems 
to be a mere anticipation of one of the earliest proof- 
texts of the resurrection constantly employed after 
Jesus' death both by Paul and all other New Testa- 
ment writers. Use of it by Jesus in this way seems to 
me in the last degree improbable. I cannot conceive 
him publicly debating against the scribes whether his 
claims to Messiahship should be based on his descent 


from David, or ratlier, as Paul says, on his raising from 
the dead by the power of God to sit at His own right 

But the later raising of this issue is no reason for 
questioning Jesus' conviction that God would give him 
the kingdom as Son of Man, if Israel refused it. The 
use of the title in the earliest Synoptic sources makes 
Jesus' application of it in some sense to himself ex- 
tremely probable. Certainly it leaves no room for 
doubt that to Paul, and even to Paul's predecessors in 
the faith, this Maccabean Psalm, of which the writer 
of Hebrews in particular makes such elaborate develop- 
ment, was a prophecy of the glorification of Jesus as 
the second " Man," the heavenly Heir of the Kingdom. 

Another example of Pauline change of form obscur- 
ing for us identity of substance with Synoptic teaching 
is the representation of Christ's conquest of the demonic 
powers. It is a striking fact that neither Paul, nor the 
fourth evangelist has any direct reference to exorcism. 
In both these writers exorcism is the casting out of the 
Prince of this world from his usurped domain. As in 
Apocalypse generally, the conflict is transcendentalized. 
Our wrestling is not with flesh and blood, but with the 
principalities and powers in the heavenly places. The 
enemies that Christ subdues are the personified powers 
of sin and death, the enemies of humanity, not the mere 
oppressors of Israel nor obsessing evil spirits. 

But in Synoptic story also Jesus appeals to his own 
exorcisms as an evidence that the promised reign of 
God is already potentially present, since it is nothing 
else but the Spirit of God which by his agency is over- 
coming the strong man armed, and making spoil of his 
household. If we accept the story of the " travel docu- 
ment " in Acts, Paul also could have appealed to exor- 
cisms of his own. But Paul, as I have said, prefers to 
transcendentalize. One reason may well be the dubious 


nature of this kind of mighty work, which did not stand 
in the best repute with the enlightened, whether among 
Jews or Greeks. A better reason might be found by 
analogy of Paul's subordination of the spectacular gifts 
of the Spirit to its inwardly working moral powers, his 
sense of religious values. But perhaps after all the best 
is that the two prophecies which to his mind most 
clearly express Christ's conquest of the powers of evil 
both refer, as Paul understands them, to that overthrow 
of the powers of darkness which is effected by the resur- 
rection. In the Septuagint, which is Paul's version of 
the Song of the Exalted Servant, the poet declares that 
" Because his soul was delivered up to death, therefore 
he shall inherit many, and shall divide the spoil of the 
strong." In his repeated employment of the figure of 
the risen Christ leading in triumph the released captives 
of the underworld, and distributing the spoil of the 
demonic powers Paul shows that he understands this 
passages as the Septuagint translator did, that the Serv- 
ant receives as his portion " many " who had been the 
captives of the Powers of darkness. It is so understood 
in the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, and by the 
second century Fathers. In fact this " spoiling " of the 
last enemy, and deliverance of " us his captives " be- 
comes the doctrine which in mediseval times receives the 
designation: The Harrowing of Hell. When in the 
great resurrection chapter of First Corinthians and else- 
where Paul also uses the language of Ps. 110 to describe 
Christ's session at the right hand of God, " from hence- 
forth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool " 
he explicitly defines the last " enemy " to be Death. So 
also in Ephesians he uses Ps. 68, the triumph-song " Let 
God arise, let his enemies be scattered," to set forth his 
idea of Christ ascending to Heaven and distributing 
gifts to men as the conqueror " distributes spoil." All 
this is so different from the Synoptic proof of the near- 


ness of the kingdom based on the exorcisms of Jesus 
that we scarcely recognize the fundamental identity. 
Yet this " spoiling " of the demonic powers is really 
Paul's equivalent for it, as the language proves. It is, 
so to speak, his translation into terms of apocalypse of 
Jesus' parable of the Strong Man Armed, whose usurped 
domain is broken by the Spirit of God. The interme- 
diate stage is the application to the raising up of Jesus 
of the songs of the Exaltation of the Servant, the en- 
thronement of the Messiah, and the Triumph of the 
Champion of Jehovah.^ 

2. Jesus as Son of Man 

In what is perhaps the earliest Christian writing we 
possess Paul gives an account of his ovm missionary 
preaching in briefest possible compass. He reminds the 
Thessalonians in his first letter what manner of entering 
in he had unto them, how they " turned from idols to 
serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son 
from Heaven, even Jesus which delivereth us from the 
wrath to come." Compare this with the famous account 
in Acts of Paul's preaching at Athens only a few weeks 
before. The closer your study of the outline, the more, 
I think, you will be struck with the extraordinary like- 
ness. At first one is disposed to think it must be due 
to actual report, though in other cases " Luke " seems 
to follow the well-known Thucydidean method of com- 
posing such material. Further study, however, reveals 
the fact that the resemblance is not confined to Paul and 
Luke. What we have is simply what Hamack calls a 
herygma, a more or less stereotyped outline of mission- 
ary preaching, easily traceable back into pre-Christian 
times, and showing many early Christian parallels not 
based either on Paul or Acts. This, then, is one of the 
rare glimpses Paul affords us of his gosj)el, as distin- 

8ls. 53: 11 (LXX) ; Ps. 110: 1; Ps. 68: 19. 


guished from his apologetic. And if the note of " rec- 
onciliation " is dominant (as we should expect) in the 
clause " which delivereth us from the wrath to come," 
it is scarcely less so than the note of apocalypse, the 
Pauline form of the Son of Man doctrine, which in the 
version of Acts becomes " God now commandeth men 
that they should all everywhere repent ; inasmuch as 
He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge 
the world in righteousness by a man whom He hath 

Paul naturally does not quote the Book of Daniel to 
his Greek converts. On the other hand he is far 
from concealing from them that they are to stand every 
one of them " before the judgment-seat of Christ." 
Whether the elaboration of the Anti-Christ legend, with 
its little apocalypse of the " mystery of iniquity " in 
Second Thessalonians, is really Paul's is doubtful. It 
is quite unparalleled elsewhere. It must also be al- 
lowed that there is an unmistakable advance in Paul's 
eschatology from these earliest Thessalonian letters, to 
Philippians with its expectation of departure " to be 
with Christ." Paul's doctrine of immortality by pro- 
gressive transformation of the body through the indwell- 
ing Spirit into the image of the glorified Lord, has 
really made his inherited Jewish eschatology super- 
fluous long before either he or the Church is aware of 
the fact ; and the process of its falling away is traceable 
in his own epistles. The Ephesian canon, with its 
curious inclusion of the two extremes of Hellenistic 
and Jewish-Christian eschatology in the fourth Gospel 
and the Apocalypse respectively, shows the division 
much further advanced. But it would be superfluous 
to show how profoundly Paul is imbued with the spirit 
and the doctrine of Jewish apocalypse. Nor will there 
be any disposition, in our time at least, to deny that in 
this he fully reflects his predecessors in the preaching of 


the faith. The only question will be as to the extent to 
which the admittedly one-sided " millenarianism " (to 
use a modern term) of the primitive Church represents 
the mind of the Master. Was Jesus "an ecstatic " ? 
Did the belief in his calling to be supernatural Son of 
Man so predominate in his mind as to control his mes- 
sage ? I have admitted that it seems to me impossible 
to account for Synoptic use of the title Son of Man with- 
out supposing Jesus to have made appeal to the Danielle 
prophecy as having real application to himself as the 
nation's divinely intended leader and representative, so 
that if rejected here he and his associates would receive 
their vindication in the presence of God. Also that he 
used the language of Daniel about receiving the ever- 
lasting dominion in presence of the heavenly court, and 
the language of Ps. 122 about sitting with the Twelve 
on the thrones of judgment in the new Jerusalem, " even 
the thrones of the house of David." But this does not 
prove him an eschatological fanatic, any more fhan his 
saying to the Twelve on one occasion " I beheld Satan 
as lightning fallen from heaven " proves him " an ec- 
static." Jewish teachers, if no others, must be allowed 
some little degree of poetic and figurative use of their 
own Scriptures. I must commend the judicious lec- 
tures of von Dobschlitz, delivered here in the summer of 
1909, as showing a more historical appreciation of 
" The Eschatology of the Gospels " than the school of 
J. Weiss, Wrede, and Schweitzer, which has enjoyed 
such sudden popularity. 

It is to the problematical Second, or Teaching 
Source (Q), that we must look for our most important 
evidence on the use of the title Son of Man in the earliest 
period; and I think it can be shown that the Christology 
of this source is not apocalyptic. On the contrary its 
conception of the work and personality of Jesus is that 
of the appealing, winning, Wisdom of God, rejected by 


wayward men, but destined in the end to restore the 
world. This Wisdom of God " which in every genera- 
tion entering into holy souls maketh men to be prophets 
and friends of God," as Wisdom of Solomon has it, 
makes its supreme appeal in Jesus, according to the 
Teaching Source ; and this " glad tidings to the poor,'* 
this offer to all the weary and heavy laden of rest for 
their souls under her easy yoke, is placed in intentional 
antithesis with the Baptist's terrifying warning of judg- 
ment to come. John the Baptist came as an ascetic, 
with notes like the wailings in the house of death. The 
" Son of Man " came as a bridegroom to the wedding 
feast, with a message joyous as nuptial music in the ears 
of " the children of Wisdom." We shall see in due time 
that the conception of Christ as the redeeming Wisdom 
of God is at least as familiar to Paul as the apocalyptic ; 
and if we are seeking a guide in this perplexing problem 
of Jesus' own conception of his person and work, what 
better can we expect to find than the example of Paul ? 
It may seem as though we were attacking our prob- 
lem from the wrong end if we attempt to account for the 
striking difference of Paul's Christology from the Syn- 
optic by considering first his " conception of the last 
things." As Baur has said, the Synoptic Christology 
is an apotheosis doctrine: God exalted the Servant who 
had been obedient unto the death of the cross to His own 
right hand, where he waits to receive the promised king- 
dom, and whence he will bring it again to earth. The 
drama begins and ends on earth. The Christ is an 
earthly man who for a time is made heavenly. Those 
who are faithful to him will reigTi with him in the new 
and glorified Jerusalem. Contrariwise the Pauline 
Christology is an incarnation doctrine. The drama 
begins and ends in Heaven. The Christ is a " heavenly 
man " chosen " before the foundation of the world," the 
" firstborn of the creation," the agent of God both in 


creation and redemption ; for in pursuance of his con- 
sistent course of self-devotion he inverts the action of 
the earthly first Adam, and leads back the race to the 
Paradise from which it fell, restoring the immortality 
for which it was destined by the Creator. The King- 
dom of the Messiah is only preliminary to its delivering 
up to God, that He may be all in all. The redemption 
is not so much of Israel as of humanity. The first 
Adam was made in the likeness of God, but counted 
equality with God a matter to be seized by robbery ; for 
when Satan said " ye shall be as God knowing good and 
evil " he put forth his hand to seize the forbidden fruit. 
The second Adam likewise was made in the same image, 
but sought likeness with God in the way of self-dedica- 
tion, forsaking riches to become poor for our sakes, 
becoming a " good servant of the many " even to suffer- 
ing and death, and for this was exalted to the throne 
that is above all. Here everything is transcendental- 
ized. The earthly career of Jesus is a mere episode. 
The beginning and end of the drama is " in the heav- 
enly places." Is there anything that can bridge the 
chasm between two conceptions so wide apart as the 
apotheosis Christology of the Synoptics and the incar- 
nation Christology of Paul? We deem that there is, 
and that the two spans of this bridge are the apocalyptic 
ideas and the wisdom ideas which are common to both. 
Apocalypse is the Jewish substitute for philosophy. 
The Gentiles have speculation, God has given His own 
people revelation. As the Assumption of Moses puts 
it: " God created the world on behalf of His people. 
But He was not pleased to manifest this design from the 
foundation of the world, in order that the Gentiles 
might convict themselves of ignorance by their vain 
speculations. Hence he designed and devised me 
(Moses) and prepared me from the foundation of the 
world, that I should be the mediator of his covenant." 


The revelation to Moses of the purpose of creation as 
stated in the first chapter of Genesis is that man (which 
Jewish interpreters take as righteous and redeemed 
mankind subject to the Messiah) should have complete 
dominion over it. The Jewish revelation is here con- 
trasted with Greek cosmology. Of this covenant of God 
to make His people heir of the world, a covenant re- 
newed to Noah and Abraham, Moses was made the 
mediator in the revelation at Sinai. The mystery hid 
from the foundation of the world, made known not even 
to angels, is the divine purpose in the creation, as it is 
written " things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
nor have entered into the heart of man to conceive, even 
the things which God hath prepared for them that love 
Hira." These things which God freely gives to His 
people are the subject of the revelation. Apocalypse 
concerns itself with these. E'oah, Enoch, Elijah, 
Moses, all the men who have been taken up into heaven 
are permitted to see the inner workings of the creation 
both physical and moral. They are admitted to the 
council chamber of the Highest, and see how He has de- 
signed the whole, foreseeing the end from the beginning 
and forestalling every obstacle. 

It belongs, therefore, to the very nature of apocalypse 
that it sees the last things as preexistent from the first. 
If the world was created on behalf of God's people 
under the rule of their Messiah, then God must have 
chosen them " in him " before the foundation of the 
world. Israel is God's First-born, His Only-begotten, 
for whose sake He created the world; so says Esdras 
explicitly.^ All these titles of Israel are transferred in 
the sing-ular to Messiah as the representative of the peo- 
ple. If they are the people of the Saints of the Most 
High, the Elect, the Beloved, the Just, he has precisely 
these titles, resting on the same scriptures. And he and 

9Esdr. 6: 55-59. 


they are in the same sense preexistent. Hence the 
Greek translators of the Psalm beginning " Jehovah 
said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make 
thine enemies thy footstool," render the passage just 
before the ascription to the hero of the everlasting high- 
priesthood of Melchizedek : " I have begotten thee 
from the vv^omb before the morning star." Messiah 
cannot be the omega without also being the alpha. 
Israel cannot be the heir of the creation without having 
also existed (in God's thought) before the creation. 
Indeed even all their works were wrought for them, as 
Isaiah had said (Is. 26:12), and as the apocalyptic 
writers and Paul are careful to point out when they 
wish to discourage the idea of merit. ^° 

This is not mere poetry. It is the Jewish idea of 
logic. As Harnack clearly sets forth in a valuable Ap- 
pendix to Vol. I of his History of Dogma (p. 318) : 

According to the theory held by the ancient Jews, and by 
the whole of the Semitic nations, everything of real value that 
from time to time appears on earth has its existence in heaven. 
In other words it exists with God, that is, God possesses a 
knowledge of it; and for that reason it has a real being. But 
it exists beforehand with God in the same way that it appears 
on earth, that is with all the material attributes belonging to 
its essence. Its manifestation on earth is merely a transition 
from concealment to publicity ((pavepovarOai) - 

The great denouement, accordingly, toward which the 
whole creation moves, is the " manifestation of the sons 
of God," those whom He created to be (as Paul says) 
" heirs of the world, and joint-heirs with Christ." 
Meantime their life is hid with Christ in God. When 
Christ who is their life shall appear, then shall they also 
appear with him in glory. When a Jewish logician 
desires to express his sense of the things which have real 
value he mentions seven preexistent things, enumerating 

10 Slav. En. liii, 2 ; Eph. 2 : 10. 


them in the order of their necessary appearance on the 
earth before the consummation. They are given with 
some variation as follows: The Torah, Repentance, 
Paradise, Hell, the Throne of Glory, the Sanctuary, 
Messiah. WHien he wishes to raise hope to the pitch of 
certainty he says, " The soul of Messiah is laid up in 
paradise from the foundation of the world." Assur- 
ance is made doubly sure when the revelators declare 
as in Enoch that they have seen him waiting for the 
time of his appearance in the treasure-house of souls. 
True the distinction is made by our modern theologians 
with great care between logical and real preexistence. 
But the distinction is at best a tenuous one and in prac- 
tice tends to disappear. The later Jewish mystics de- 
pict the Messiah as impatient of the delay, imploring 
to be sent to the rescue of Israel. Pseudo-Barnabas al- 
ready quotes an Enoch-fragment which seems to be 
using Ps. 102 : 13, 23 (LXX) of the " shortening of 
the time to have pity upon Zion," as in the Gospels also 
the days of waiting are " cut short." According to Bar- 
nabas Enoch had said : " For to this end hath the 
Master cut short the periods and the days, that His 
Beloved might hasten and come to his inheritance." ^^ 
If the simple naiTative of the Synoptic evangelists con- 
tains no trace of the doctrine of the preexistence save 
the Voice from Heaven at the Baptism, which declares 
the fore-ordination and election of the Beloved in 
Pauline terms : " Thou art my Son, the Beloved ; upon 
thee my choice was set," this is no more than we should 
expect from a narrative which leaves little room for 
theological evaluation of the scenes elsewhere than in 
the prologue. But Paul has both room and occasion 
for such theological evaluation ; and Paul's equivalent 
for the Synoptic passage just quoted is the famous verse 

11 See the article, " Heb 1: 10-12 and the Septuagint Reading 
of Ps. 102 : 23 " in ZNW III ( 1902 ) , p. 180 ff. 


in Colossians : " It was the ' good-pleasure ' that the 
whole pleroma of the Spirit should take up its abode 
in the Son of His love, in whom we have our redemp- 
tion, the forgiveness of our sins. For he is the Image 
of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation; for 
in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon 
the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether 
thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all 
things have been created through him and unto him, 
and in him all things consist." 

We shall see presently why it is needful for Paul 
here to set the higher sovereignty (and hence by Jewish 
logic earlier origin) of Christ over against that of the 
angelic hierarchies, and on what scriptural basis he 
rests the claim, the teachings of Hebrew Wisdom. But 
without waiting for this it must already be apparent 
that Paul could not be a believer in revelation as the 
Hebrew understands it, — could not have had the mys- 
tical experience of vision of the " Son of God " in gloiy 
which he shared with his predecessors in the faith, above 
all could not possibly have taken over the utterances of 
Jesus which embodied their faith in him as the Son of 
Man destined to appear upon the clouds of Heaven — 
without constructing from this as the very basis of his 
world-view a doctrine of the preexistence of the Christ. 
If in his case the preexistence of the Messiah is not a 
mere waiting in the treasury of souls, but an active 
participation in the work both of creation and redemp- 
tion, this comes in part from his familiarity with the 
doctrine of the Wisdom writers concerning this spiritual 
agent of God in the work of creation, revelation, and 
redemption. In part we must attribute it to the ne- 
cessity the Apostle is under of conveying to his converts 
from the Hellenistic world some sense of the values rep- 
resented by that discarded title of the Christ, " the 
Son of Man." As we have seen, the Son of Man is for 


Patil the head of that humanity that is to be in " the 
manifestation of the sons of God." He is that spiritual 
second Adam who was before, even as in the consum- 
mation he comes after, the natural that was first. It is 
the permeation of humanity with the " mind " that was 
in him that brings the triumph of the Creator's will, 
the unification and reconciliation of all in the spirit of 
service. Immortality there cannot be save in this 
spirit. Individually and socially the mind of the first 
Adam, grasping and self-seeking, is death. The mind 
of the second Adam, created anew in the moral likeness 
of God, is life and peace. 

We have to look back to the teaching and story of 
Jesus through a two-fold translation here. We see it as 
reflected in the mind of a Jewish scribe, defending the 
truth against reaction to Jewish legalism, interpreting 
it again to Gentiles steeped in the mysticism of the 
religions of personal immortality. But would our 
knowledge of the abiding values of that teaching and 
that life be adequate without Paul ? Is there indeed 
any evangelist, save the great disciple of Paul at Ephe- 
sus, who so teaches the world what it means to have 
had a Christ in their midst ? 

3. Christ as the Wisdom of God 

Little time indeed remains in which to speak of the 
third great factor in Paul's Christology, the conception 
which he takes mainly from Hellenistic Judaism of the 
saving Wisdom of God. Later we find an increasing 
disposition to substitute the infinitely poorer term the 
Logos, as a concession to Stoic metaphysic. Philo be- 
gins the change for Jewish writers, the fourth evangelist 
among Christians. But the moral values are almost 
wholly wanting to the Greek conception. Heraclitus 
does make the Logos complain of human neglect in 
something like the tones of the Hebrew plaints of Wis- 


dom, but the resemblance is remote. The Stoic pan- 
theist's conception of the Logos has nothing of the hu- 
man tenderness of the brooding Spirit of God, whose 
voice is the murmur of the dove, whose wings are 
stretched protectiuglj over her wayward young. The 
Hebi'ew conception of the creative Spirit is of a being 
whose delight is with men, who comes forth with en- 
treaty to save them from the error of their ways, long- 
ing for their return. The Stoic Logos compares with 
this as the physicist's conception of the ether compares 
with the Christian's belief in a saving Spirit of God in 
Christ. When Paul thinks of the Wisdom of God, he 
has in mind that which the writer of the Wisdom of 
Solomon calls " the Spirit of the Lord which hath filled 
the world, and which holdeth all things together" 
(1: Y), she that was the artificer of the creation, and 
rejoiced with God in his habitable earth, a " hidden 
wisdom " which the wise of the world cannot search 
out, but which as a saving spirit " goeth about herself 
seeking those that are worthy of her ; and in their paths 
she appeareth unto them graciously" (Sap. 6:16). 
Paul thinks of the Wisdom of God as " a holy spirit, 
only-begotten (/^ovoy eve's) yet manifold . . . beneficent, 
loving toward man, all-powerful, all-seeing, pervading 
and penetrating all things, a breathing forth of the 
power of God and a clear effluence of the glory of the 
Almighty, an efi^ulgence from the everlasting light, an 
unspotted mirror of the working of God, and an image 
(etKoji/) of His goodness." Paul thinks of this Wisdom 
of God as the spirit of revelation and redemption, which 
" from generation to generation passing into holy souls 
maketh men to be friends of God and prophets." He 
thinks of it as " reaching from one end of the world to 
the other with full strength and ordering all things 
graciously." He believes that " it is given her to live 
with God, and that the Sovereign Lord of all loved her." 


He believes with the Son of Sirach that this spirit 
" came forth from the mouth of the Most High and 
covered the earth as a mist," that it made its throne in 
the pillar of cloud and made its tabernacle in Israel, in 
order that in the end it might go forth to the world as 
the four streams from Eden, watering all lands, " bring- 
ing instruction to light as the morning, and making 
Israel's knowledge of God to shine forth afar off." He 
believes with Baruch that Israel's calamities came when 
she forsook this way of Wisdom, even as the nations 
perished because they had it not. With Baruch he ex- 
claims in the words of Moses concerning the Law: 
" Who hath gone up into Heaven and taken her and 
brought her down from the clouds ? Who hath gone 
over the sea and found her and will bring her for choice 
gold ? " God only gives this spirit of his own knowl- 
edge and goodness, " He that sendeth forth the light 
and it goeth, who called it and it obeyed Him with fear. 
He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath 
given it unto Jacob His Servant, and to Israel that is 
His Beloved. After this did she appear upon earth 
and was conversant with men." ^^ Paul believes that 
this creative and redemptive Spirit, this spirit of the 
knowledge, fear and love of God, this spirit of revela- 
tio'n of the purpose and will of the Creator, so hidden 
from the world, is the special endowment of Israel, 
whom God chose for this very purpose, that it might 
be His Servant to bring peace and reconciliation with 
the universal Father to all the ends of the earth through 
the knowledge of Him. He believes that this eternal 
Spirit tabernacled for the redemption of humanity in 
Israel as a whole, and was incarnate in successive lead- 
ers of Israel by divers portions and in divers manners, 
in Joseph, in Moses, in Solomon ; for this is the belief 

12 The quotations are made in abbreviated form, from Sap. 
1: 7ff., 6: 12ff., 7: 21-8: 7; Ecclus. 24; and Bar. 3: 9-37. 



of the Wisdom writers of Paul's time. He believes 
above all that the Messiah, the supreme representative 
of Israel as Jehovah's Servant and witness to the na- 
tions, will embody all the hidden treasures of wisdom 
and knoweldge, comparing with those who had partial 
revelation in past days as the knowledge of a beloved 
son compares with that of servants of the household; 
for this is the belief of the vision of Enoch, of the in- 
exhaustible fountain of righteousness and wisdom 
opened for all the thirsty upon earth in the days of the 
Son of Man, " whose name was named before the sun 
and the constellations were created in the presence of 
the Lord of Spirits, the Head of Days." " He will be 
the light of the Gentiles, and the hope of those who are 
troubled of heart," says Enoch. " All who dwell on 
earth will fall down and bow the knee before him, and 
will praise the Lord of Spirits. And for this reason 
hath he been chosen and hidden before Him before the 
creation of the world. . . ." For when the Elect One 
Cometh " wisdom is poured out like water, and glory 
faileth not before him for ever and ever. For he 
standeth before the Lord of Spirits, and in him dwells 
the spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of Him who gives 
knowledge, and the spirit of understanding and of 
might, and the spirit of those who have fallen asleep in 
righteousness. And he will judge the secret things and 
no one will be able to utter a lying word before him; 
for he is the Elect One before the Lord of Spirits ac- 
cording to his ' good pleasure.' " ^^ 

Combining in his thought the conceptions of the 
apocalyptists and the Wisdom writers as they are com- 
bined in the passage from Enoch I have just quoted, 
how was it possible for Paul not to think of Christ as 
the personified Wisdom of God ? Il^ot because he is so 

13 Eth. Enoch xlvii-xlix condensed. 


filled witli admiration for tlie pure ethics and the lofty 
religious teaching of the Sermon on the Mount (though 
I grant the conception would hardly seem a natural one 
if Paul had not more knowledge than he displays of 
these sublime teachings), still less because of acquaint- 
ance with, or dependence on particular writings such as 
the Wisdom of Solomon, and the philosophical mysti- 
cism of Philo, though I think it would be easy to go 
further than Grafe has done in his well known attempt 
to prove a. direct dependence of Paul on Wisdom of 
Solomon; but because to an educated Hellenistic Jew 
such as Paul, converted by such an experience as his 
to belief in Jesus as the exalted Servant, the leader of 
Israel in its God-given calling to bring the world into 
reconciliation with God, it was inevitable that he should 
think of him as the agent of God in creation, revelation 
and redemption. As such it is inevitable that prayer to 
God should be offered through him and for his sake, and 
answered by his agency. He is to Paul the Son of 
Man who was " begotten before the morning star," 
chosen by the Lord of Spirits and hidden before Him 
before the creation of the world, who stands in God's 
presence as the Elect of His good pleasure until he re- 
ceive his kingdom at the throne of the Ancient of Days. 
Paul, may, or may not, have known of Philo's employ- 
ment of the mythical figure of the primal man, made 
in the image of God without distinction of sex, before 
the creation of the earthly Adam, destined to dominion 
over the creation; but he certainly believes in a Man 
from Heaven who is to be " manifested," and he could 
not fail to identify the Spirit of the exalted Servant 
who became obedient unto death for the reconciliation 
and redemption of the world with that eternal Spirit, 
the Firstborn, Only-begotten and Beloved of God, who 
is His agent in the creating and ordering of the world 


no less than in its redemption and reconciliation to Him- 
self. These are not isolated, individual ideas. They 
are the guiding principles of the highest messianic ideal- 
ism of Paul's times. 

With all this I cannot avoid the feeling that my 
hearers look upon all this higher Christology of Paul 
as a '' speculative interpretation." ]^o misapprehen- 
sion could be greater. We are unfamiliar with con- 
temporary Jewish modes of thought. Their personifi- 
cations taking the place of abstractions, their visions in- 
stead of logical processes are alien to our thinking. 
We find it hard to sympathize with a mythopoeic type 
of philosophical reasoning which in Philo is already 
receding into the background, though even in Plato is 
still within view. Therefore we think Paul is indulg- 
ing in speculation, when in reality he is merely making 
use of the most available forms, first as regards his own 
self-representation of the eternal significance of Jesus' 
person and ministry, second for its presentation to his 
converts. That presentation of the Beloved, " in whom 
we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins " as 
" the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all 
creation, in whom all things visible and invisible, 
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or pow- 
ers, were created," was addressed to the Colossians, a 
body of converts who were being " robbed of their prize 
as heirs of God, by a gratuitous self-humiliation and 
worship of angels." They were being led into a de- 
grading superstition by teachers of the mongrel type of 
Jewish-heathen theosophy which professed to have deal- 
ings with the " elemental beings of the world." 
Against this type of neo- Judaic idolatry Paul falls back 
upon the splendid monotheism of the creation chapter 
of Genesis, with its exaltation of man in the likeness 
of God as true lord of creation, the " weak and beggarly 
elemental beings " his mere stewards and guardians. 


Practical monotheism was at stake, and Paul's instinct 
for the true religious values bids him reject the road 
of compromise along which the Church later advanced 
so far under the lead of Arius, It bids him identify 
the Heir with no other than that Firstborn Wisdom of 
God who is " before all things, and in whom all things 

It is not a speculative but a practical interest that 
leads Paul to supplement Colossians by the great paral- 
lel epistle on the Unity of the Spirit, known to us as 
Ephesians. In its opening chapters his prayer for his 
converts' enlightenment to appreciate the sublimity of 
their calling rises to rhapsody as he dwells upon the gos- 
pel of peace and reconciliation by which God through 
the cross has slain the enmity between man and man and 
man and God, giving all access in one new Spirit to the 
Father. But the Apostle does not stop with this theme 
of the building of the new temple of humanity ; he goes 
on to make practical application of it in the entreaty to 
keep this unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It is 
a practical interest which leads him to set forth how 
the possession of one Lord, one faith and one baptism 
is the world's real hope of order and peace. If the 
Spirit into which we are baptized is the spirit of this 
common Lord, self-dedicated to the world-dominion of 
the God of righteousness and concord, we have the 
higher loyalty which can and will break down the 
enmity between man and man, in the relations of do- 
mestic life, social and industrial life, political life, even 
as it breaks down the enmity between man and God. 
It is a practical matter for Paul, and not less practical 
for us, whether that life in the Spirit to which the fol- 
lower of Jesus is dedicated is or is not the ultimate goal 
of human aspiration, both for the individual and for 
humanity as a whole. 

There may be those who can conceive of Christianity 


as the mere following of a high moral example. As for 
myself I see not how it is possible for Christianity to 
be a world-religion (or indeed, to be a religion at all), 
unless the Spirit of Christ, into which onr own person- 
ality is merged in a self -dedication answering to his 
own, be nothing less than the eternal Spirit of the Cre- 
ator and Father of all, the Spirit of righteousness and 
love. For in all the cosmos of life to which our sense 
extends there is but one body, and one ordering and re- 
deeming Spirit, even as we were called in one hope of 
our calling. There is one Lord to whom all loyalty is 
due, one faith, one baptism. There is one God and 
Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 
In this unity of the eternal Spirit lies our eternal gospel 
of peace. 



1. Gospels as the New Standard of Teaching 

It is difficult to withstand the sense of shock and 
change as one passes from the soaring imagination of 
Paul in Romans, Colossians, Ephesians, to the simple 
narrative of Mark. It is true the evangelist also aims 
to set forth Jesus as " the Son of God," ^ and prefaces 
his narrative with a quasi-theological vision-story in 
which a Voice from Heaven proclaims him such. But 
there is a difference between prologue and narrative. 
The evangelist tells the story of the Baptism in a way 
to make clear that John was the expected Elijah, whose 
function in Jewish eschatology was to anoint the Mes- 
siah, before which anointing he would be unknown even 
to himself. The story goes on in a form corresponding 
to the Isaian Servant-song : 

Behold my Servant whom I have chosen ; 
My Beloved on whom my soul set her choice ; 
I will put my Spirit upon him.^ 

It conveys thus the same conception of Jesus as the 
elect Servant, endowed with all the powers of the di- 
vine Spirit, which Paul had expressed in Col. 1:19. 
Paul declares that it was the " good pleasure " (the 
ei>8oKta) that the whole " fullness," or as one of the 
earliest uncanonical gospels has it, " the whole fountain 
of the Holy Spirit," should take up its abode in the Son 

1 The words vlov Oeov are wanting in some manuscripts, but the 
aim is self-evident, 

2 Is. 42: 1-4. The rendering is that of Mt. 12: 18. 



of God's love. Mk, 1 : 1-13 puts tliis in the form of 
apocalypse, or revelation.^ But the prologue of Mark 
is like the prologue of John so far as regards its rela- 
tion to the body of the v^^ork. The fourth evangelist 
introduces Jesus as the Logos incarnate, and does his 
best to tell the story from this transcendental point of 
view. But the title never reappears in the body of the 
work, and in the nature of the case it is impossible to 
carry through the conception. Mark also makes the 
effort to tell the story from the point of view announced 
in his prologue. But in the nature of the case he can- 
not maintain the Pauline level. He can only relate a 
series of anecdotes from the Galilean ministry of preach- 
ing and healing to show how Jesus was endowed with 
" the whole fountain of the Holy Spirit." Thereafter 
he tells how he was glorified through his suffering and 
resurrection. This latter section of the narrative is 
prefaced by another vision story in which a second Voice 
from Heaven explains again the meaning of what is to 
follow. Jesus is again manifested as the " Beloved 
Son," or the Elect of God, and his suffering on the cross 
is revealed as being in reality the victory over death. 
Mortality thus puts on immortality, and this earthly 
tabernacle is transfigured into the eternal " house which 
is from Heaven." We have thus a second introduction 
of the values of Pauline teaching, which again takes the 
form of revealing vision, or Apocalypse. After it the 
evangelist proceeds with the anecdotes connected with 
Jesus' fate in Jerusalem. But do what he will to em- 
phasize the miraculous powers of Jesus in the story, 
and the marvel of his wisdom and prophetic foresight, 
it is of course impossible for him to make it at the same 
time the story of a real man under real historical con- 
ditions, and also the story of the superhuman being who 

3 See G. Friedlander. Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the 
Mount, p. 2. 


steps down from the " Heavenly places " of the post- 
resiirrection Christology. The combination is, how- 
ever, attempted, even in this earliest known record of 
the sayings and doings of Jesus, and it is in this at- 
tempt that the influence of Paul, however indirectly, is 
most clearly seen. 

It is fortunate indeed for us that the attempt could 
not be carried through. " John " has gone further than 
Mark in this direction of making the whole story of 
Jesus one long transfiguration scene, and we all know 
how fatal would have been the result for real religious 
values if this late Gospel had succeeded in completely 
superseding all its predecessors. Mark superseded all 
earlier Gospels. Had the apotheosis been consistently 
carried through the real and historical Jesus would have 
been completely eclipsed behind the glories of apoca- 
lyptic vision. The solid ground of plain, hard, fact, 
in the work-a-day world we have to live in whether we 
approve it or not, would have disappeared. There 
would have been left us as the basis for our science of 
religion a figure scarcely more substantial than the 
mythical heroes of the mysteries. Let us be thankful 
that the whole Gospel was not written in the mystic 
style of the vision-stories at the Baptism and Trans- 
figuration, that there was so much of unwelcome fact, 
resistent to the alembic of the most ardently devout 
imagination, so much fidelity to things established in 
the mouths of many witnesses, that it was impossible 
for the idealizers to have their way. Well is it that the 
Church did not follow the lead of that ultra-Pauline 
element, which after the death of the Apostles sought to 
limit attention and interest to the Man from Heaven, 
ignoring the Galilean mechanic whom Paul had not 
known in the flesh. Sober, moral, common-sense led it 
to fall back rather on the Petrine reminiscences of the 
sayings and doings of Jesus. 


The sense of change in passing from the Pauline 
Epistles to what I have called the " Aramaic enclave " 
including the Synoptic Gospels, Acts and Revelation, 
is indeed abrupt, and if we have any sympathy for the 
Greek conception of religion as participation in the life 
of the immortals, it tends to bring us back to earth with 
a sense of shock. ]^o wonder Marcion would tolerate 
but one Gospel, and not even that until he had thor- 
oughly expurgated what he regarded as the Jewish 
interpolations of the Galilean Apostles. Nevertheless 
if any ladder is to bridge for us the chasm between earth 
and Heaven it cannot be suspended from the clouds. 
It will have to rest upon the solid rock of earthly ex- 
perience. It is not otherwise even with that Son of 
Man on whom the Ephesian evangelist sees the angels 
of God ascending and descending to meet our human 
need. One made in all points like ourselves is a better 
leader through the valley of the shadow of death than a 
demi-god ; and a Galilean peasant better than an Indian 

The interval between Paul and the Synoptic writers 
is considerable in time, but still more so in situation. 
The one thing that ancient tradition surely knows as 
regards date is that Markan tradition is post-apostolic. 
The Gospel represents Peter's story, but without such 
consecutive arrangement as tlie evangelist would have 
given it if he had himself been conversant with the facts, 
or been able to consult the eye-witnesses. Mark was 
not himself a follower of the Lord, but afterwards of 
Peter ; and even what he remembered from the teaching 
of Peter could not be made into an orderly narrative be- 
cause through his death or otherwise Peter (and infer- 
entially the other eye-witnesses) could not be consulted. 
This is absolutely the only tradition we possess con- 
cerning Gospel origins earlier than the middle of the 
second century. It is the statement of " the Elder " 


consulted hy Papias, and dates from before 118 a. d. 
Fortunately it is also not only reasonable in itself and 
unlikely to be an invention, but of very great impor- 
tance; because scholarship is now unanimous in regard- 
ing Mark as the oldest extant Gospel, and the source, 
so far as narrative is concerned, of both the ITorth- 
Syrian Gospel of Luke, and the South-Syrian to which 
the name of Matthew had come to be attached before 
150 A. D. It points, then, to the very beginnings of 
extant gospel story. In addition there are reasons 
which I have tried to state elsewhere ^ for accepting the 
ancient belief that the compilation of this " Petrine " 
material into our so-called Gospel of Mark was accom- 
plished in the great Pauline church of Rome, and for 
dating it in the earlier years of Domitian, not far from 
the period of Hebrews. These reasons still seem to me 
adequate. Here no more will be needful than to point 
out briefly the significance of this date and place of 

Only a score of years, more or less, since the death 
of Paul, and James, and perhaps John the son of Zebe- 
dee, and Peter. But that means that the chief eye- 
witnesses, if not all of them, were gone. For James the 
brother of John had already been martyred in 41 or 42. 
In the eighties men must have begun to speak, like the 
author of Hebrews, of the gospel as having " at the first 
been spoken by the Lord, and afterward confirmed unto 
us by them that heard." It means, if we use the care- 
ful chronology of Clement, that men were already look- 
ing back to !Nero's time as marking the end of " the 
teaching of the Apostles," and considered their own 
generation as belonging to another age. In fact the 
extinction of the Julian d%Taasty with the suicide of 
N^ero, the chaos of the world in the renewal of the civil 

4 Harva/rd Texts and Studies VII. " Is Mark a Roman Gos- 
pel?" 1919. 


wars, the Jewish war, siege of Jerusalem and burning 
of the temple, finally the restoration of order under the 
new dynasty of the Flavians, might well seem to mark 
a new epoch, especially for the brotherhood of the new 
people of God, the pre-ordained heirs of the age to 
come, as the Christians regarded themselves. 

I need not repeat what has already been said as to the 
great difference in langTiage in this new type of church 
literature. The books are Greek, obviously composed 
for a Greek-speaking Church which uses the Greek 
Bible, as do the evangelists. But the material of Mark 
has almost certainly been translated from the Aramaic. 
Aramaic words and phrases are incorporated. Where 
special significance attaches to the utterance the evangel- 
ist reproduces the very words of Jesus in the original. 
Clearly there is a distinct effort to reproduce the past 
in the most authentic form obtainable. The book is 
new, but the material is old ; and to judge by the un- 
couthness of the translation in manv cases, there is 
already much of that desire which could hardly fail to 
appear, to get back to the authentic words and deeds of 
the heavenly Lord as they had taken place on the soil 
of Palestine. The Gospel closes with an invitation 
from the angel of the resurrection to come and view the 
place where the Lord had lain, almost a hint of the 
coming days of pilgrimage to this shrine. 

But the difference of language is only the outward 
symptom of a deeper contrast between the new type of 
Church literature and that which had preceded. It is 
a new functionary of the Spirit who now takes up the 
word. We have been listening to the voice of the Apos- 
tle, We shall soon take note of that of the " prophet "'' 
who speaks in Christian apocalypse. Here we are deal- 
ing with a third type. It is the " pastor and teacher " 
whose voice is heard in the narrative books. And the 
difference in tone is great. The Apostle speaks with 


the authority of his own experience. He testifies what 
he has seen and heard for the conversion of others. 
The teacher addresses converts already made, relating 
and interpreting not his own but his predecessors' ex- 
perience. And for that reason he attaches no name to 
his literary work. The authority is not his. It belongs 
to those whom he represents. Only later tradition, 
compelled to distinguish between rival forms of the 
common record, discriminates one " aspect of the gos- 
pel " (as Irenaeus calls it) as " according to " this or 
that authority, from another. 

2. Evangelic Tradition at Rome 

The place of origin of our oldest Gospel (as well as 
its date) is also highly significant. It was as far as 
possible from the scene of the events. Written records 
are valued where oral tradition is scanty. The mate- 
rial, of course, comes from Palestine ; but the language 
alone would prove that the work was compiled in a 
Greek-speaking country, and the character of it con- 
firms the ancient tradition that it emanates from Rome. 
For in its whole structure it employs Petrine material 
in the interest of a Pauline gospel, thus illustrating the 
Petro-Pauline character of the metropolitan church. 
For we are informed on reliable authority that the Ro- 
man church began as a foundation of those who taught 
a Jewish-Christian gospel of continuance under the 
Mosaic ordinances, and only later came under the more 
liberal influence of Paul. This liberalization had al- 
ready taken place at the time when Paul wrote his great 
Epistle to the Romans ; for, Paul finds it necessary to 
urge more consideration for the " weak," that is, the 
scrupulous Jewish-Christian element. These for them- 
selves followed the example of Peter, though conceding 
liberty to Gentiles. When Paul wrote, accordingly, 
the Paulinists must have been at Rome predominant. 


As at Corinth, the clmrcli needed no urging in the di- 
rection of the freedom wherewith Christ had set them 
free. It required rather to be reminded that Paul, 
whose freedom thev emulated, had refrained from as- 
serting it when it might cause the " weak " brother to 
stumble. Now the kind of Paulinists from whom we 
get the Gospel of Mark are in fact of just this " strong " 
sort. Emancipation from Jewish legalism is their no- 
tion of his doctrine. They have been informed concern- 
ing Paul that he " teaches the Jews which are among 
the Gentiles everywhere not to circumcise their chil- 
dren, nor to obey the customs." As we see from Acts, 
common report told this about Paul long before men 
had opportunity to learn from the Epistles his doctrine 
of I^ife in the Spirit producing the fruits of love and 
peace. The former teaching, justification by faith 
alone, without works of law, spreads quickly and easily. 
It is a proclamation of emancipation which one man can 
carry in a few years from Jerusalem round about unto 
Illyricum. The latter, life in the Spirit, is a slow proc- 
ess of soul culture which will occupy the pastor and 
teacher for generations — if indeed the finer Paulinism 
is ever learned. 

The whole conception and object of the Gospel of 
Mark are " Pauline " in the former broad sense for 
which we might perhaps more properly use the term 
Paulinistic. Its message is salvation " not by works 
of the law, but by the grace of the Lord Jesus." It 
represents in this respect a marked antithesis to Mat- 
thew, the Gospel of the new Torah, in spite of the fact 
that practically all the narrative material of Matthew 
is derived from Mark. Per contra the absence of the 
teaching element from Mark is conspicuous. We have 
anecdotes of both sayings and doings, but the selection 
is made to show what Jesus did. There is scarcely an 
attempt to show what he taught, save by example. 


Take as an example of tlie difference between Matthew 
and Mark the story of the Rich Enquirer. In Matthew 
he is told that if he obeys the Ten Commandments, plus 
the new commandment of love, he shall have eternal life. 
If he would " be perfect " he may go on to give all his 
goods to feed the poor and take the road of martyrdom. 
This is bald neo-legalism. In the earlier, Markan form 
the story is strikingly different. The enquirer is told 
that observance of the commandments is not enough. 
One does not so obtain eternal life ; for true " good- 
ness " belongs to God alone. Whoso would follow the 
Son of God to his heavenly seat must renounce all and 
take the path of martyrdom with Jesus and the Twelve. 
Jesus looks indeed with affection on one who from child- 
hood has obeyed the precepts, but only self-dedication 
to the way of the cross gives eternal life. Every man, 
rich or poor, renounces all. Mark knows no other gos- 
pel than this: " He who would save his life shall lose 
it." Life through death, after the example of the Son 
of God. That is Mark's gospel, and it is in the broad 
sense Pauline, however lacking in tho subtler traits of 

One of the most generous appreciators of Jesus whom 
the liberal Synagogue has ever produced declares the 
teaching of the Synoptic Gospels to be " inspired by an 
ideal and heroic spirit " lacking to the sayings of the 
Rabbis, however admirable.^ This " ideal and heroic 
spirit " is the special contribution of the Gospel of 
Mark, It is this evangelist who sums up the example 
of Jesus in the parallel to Paul's description of the 
" mind of Christ " : " The Son of Man came not to be 
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a 
ransom instead of many." It is this Gospel which re- 
ports as Jesus' summary of all moral and religious obli- 
gation : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with aU 
5 C. G. Montefiore. Synoptic Gospels, p. cv. 


thy mind and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself." 
Subtract Mark from the Synoptic tradition and you will 
be surprised to find how little of the " heroic spirit " 

It might, perhaps, seem un-Pauline that Mark has so 
little to say about the resurrection. The story of the 
empty tomb, unfinished in the authentic text, is com- 
pletely different from the apostolic resurrection gospel 
reported by Paul. It would seem to have been attached 
after the close of an earlier form of the Gospel which 
ended with the centurion's testimony : " Surely this 
was a Son of God." The later Gospels give little more, 
and all follow the lead of Mark rather than Paul. But 
there is a special reason for the omission. It was not 
the province of the mere teacher to bear witness to the 
resurrection. That was the work of the Apostle. The 
resurrection could be presupposed as something with 
which every convert was familiar. In relating the say- 
ings and doings of the Lord the catechist might take it 
for granted. In relating the earthly life of Jesus he 
could only point forward prophetically to his exaltation 
and the outpouring of the Spirit. His record, if lim- 
ited to what Jesus began to do and to teach, might for 
this reason appropriately close with the centurion's 

As an example of this " forward pointing " let us 
take the story of Jesus' baptism by John which falls 
in a sense outside the strict province of the evangelist. 
The Christian teacher will not pass it by. But he may 
well give his narrative such a form as will most clearly 
indicate to the convert the ideal of Christian baptism. 
Only Matthew tells how the latter was instituted. But 
Mark attains the same practical object by so describing 
the baptism of Jesus as to bring out its relation to 
John's baptism of repentance. John himself in the 
story is made to predict the coming baptism of the 


Spirit, while Jesus' experience is so described as to 
show that its supreme significance lies in the descent 
and indwelling of the Spirit of Adoption which fills 
all Christians with the powers of the new Messianic age. 
One can hardly imagine the Christian catechist telling 
the story of the baptism of Jesus without this special 
practical interest. It might be beyond his province to 
relate the Pentecostal baptism of the Spirit; but he 
would be very apt to introduce an allusion to this in the 
form of the promise : " He shall baptize you with the 
Holy Ghost," which in Mk. 1 : 8 is inserted as a proph- 
ecy of John the Baptist, but in the Second Source is 
more credibly attributed to Jesus. 

The catechist would find means also, no doubt, in 
his narrative of Jesus' self-dedication to the cross, to 
make it clear that the death which he was ready to 
undergo, and which he called upon his followers to face 
with Him, was not to be defeat but victory. We expect 
the evangelist to accompany his story of the revelation 
of the mystery of the cross, with a prophetic foreshadow- 
ing of the resurrection. This he really does by a 
method which we shall examine presently. But we 
take him beyond his province if we expect him to con- 
tinue his story in a way to include the experience of the 
apostolic witnesses. The most that can be expected of 
a teacher, or catechist, whose province is to tell the story 
of Jesus' earthly ministry, is that he will tell it as one 
who knows what came after, and who therefore inter- 
prets its significance in the light of the resurrection 
glory. Certainly none of our evangelists falls short in 
this respect. Indeed when we look at the Roman Gos- 
pel which became so completely the standard for this 
whole class of literature that no other considerable rec- 
ord of Jesus' activity survives, — when we see how the 
material has been selected, and what motive controls 
the elaboration, it will be perfectly apparent that we 


have in Mark not a biography, not a history, but a 
selection of anecdotes; and even this selection is made 
for purposes not of history but of edification. There 
is even something like the converse of that process of 
double translation which I have attributed to Paul. In- 
stead of a translation of the story into Hellenistic forms 
of thought and language, we now have the Pauline con- 
ceptions translated into Jewish forms of thought and 
langiiage and read back into the story. The vision and 
Voice from Heaven which interpret the significance of 
Jesus' baptism, and the corresponding vision and Voice 
from Heaven which interpret the significance of his 
martyr death, are examples of this process of carrying 
back the later-understood values into the primary story. 
And the method is one which every Jewish scholar will 
recognize as embodying the classical forms of religious 
teaching as practiced in the Synagogue, under the name 
of midrash, i. e., " exposition," a method adapted to 
men whose abstract reasoning is in the mythopoeic stage. 
Haggada, or edifying exposition, gets its very name 
from nagid, " to tell a story." We shall see presently 
that the two examples already cited stand by no means 
alone in the process by which the experience of Peter 
is related in such a way as to give it religious values 
which were really the discovery of Paul. 

The Gospel of Mark, early as it is, really represents 
an advanced stage in this process of adaptation for 
pragmatic purposes, Trpos ras xP^ia<;^ as Papias expresses 
it. And the values which its collection of preachers' 
anecdotes is framed to exhibit are in marked degree the 
values of the Pauline gospel ; not indeed in Pauline lan- 
guage, for, as we have seen, the material is of Pales- 
tinian, Aramaic derivation. Not in the finer, deeper, 
more mystical elements of Paul's individual religious 
experience, but in the elements which his converts most 
readily absorbed, when they declared, '' I am of Paul," 


" I am saved by my faith," " We are not under law, 
but imder grace," " We die with Christ, that we may 
be raised together with him." " As many as are led by 
the Spirit are sons of God." " He that hath faith 
moveth mountains." 

For this more commonplace, work-a-day type of 
Paulinism, I have proposed to use the term " Paulinis- 
tic " rather than " Pauline." I need not dwell upon 
the Paulinistic sense in which the Gospel of Mark makes 
use of Petrine tradition of the story of Jesus, because 
in other writings I have already tried to make this 
clear. As we know, this Gospel passes over entirely all 
that precedes the baptism of Jesus, making his divine 
sonship begin with his baptism and endowment with the 
powers of the Spirit of Adoption, just as all Christians 
undergo the same experience in degree and part. It 
does not even mention his Davidic descent, though Paul 
himself refers to it. Instead it introduces later (12: 
35-37) a special section in which Jesus argues from 
the 110th Psalm that Davidic descent is needless, be- 
cause the Messiah is really manifested as such with 
power by an exaltation to the heavenly throne. The 
dependent Gospels of Luke and Matthew supply in mu- 
tually inconsistent ways this initial defect of the Roman 
Gospel, by what we call the Infancy chapters, combin- 
ing the claim of Davidic descent with a later legend of 
supernatural birth. 

The Gospel of Mark has been understood from the 
earliest times (and doubtless to some extent justly un- 
derstood) to be composed of anecdotes derived from the 
preaching of Peter. We should naturally expect it to 
present Peter in a favorable light. On the contrary it 
never mentions Peter individually except to make him 
the target for severe rebuke, and an example of the 
callousness and " hardness of heart " (Trwpojcrts) which 
are shared even by the Twelve with Israel as a whole. 


In the Revelation of the Mystery of the Cross which 
opens the second part of the Gospel Peter actually be- 
comes the mouthpiece of Satan by his protest against 
the fundamental doctrine of Paulinism. Even at the 
end of the narrative Peter still remains under the cloud 
of desertion in the face of the enemy. He stands the 
conspicuous example of vain-glorious boasting, " though 
all should forsake thee, yet v^ill not I," followed by col- 
lapse before the challenge of a maid-servant. So is it 
with the other " pillar-apostles." James and John are 
introduced in 10 : 39 as the martyr ^' sons of Zebedee " ; 
but they play no individual part in the Gospel save for 
this rebuke of their selfish ambition for superior places 
in the Kingdom. John by himself alone comes to the 
front but once. It is to meet rebuke for narrow in- 
tolerance. The kindred of the Lord, who played so 
conspicuous a part in the Jerusalem caliphate, have two 
appearances in the Gospel of Mark. The first is their 
attempt to arrest Jesus in his work, when they are re- 
nounced in favor of Jesus' spiritual kin " that do the 
will of God." The second is when at Kazareth they 
appear among those who refuse to believe a prophet in 
his own home. Naturally both Luke and Matthew can- 
cel both these reflections on the revered desposyni. 

We cannot doubt that the Gospel of Mark comes from 
a really early period, when material was relatively 
abundant. Since it is not possible to imagine that there 
was nothing at the compiler's disposal in the way of 
anecdotes about Peter, James and John, and the kin- 
dred of the Lord, which did not place them in the atti- 
tude of examples to be avoided, we are almost forced 
to recognize a certain hostility to the pretensions of the 
Jerusalem caliphate. 

In addition to this we find this Gospel introducing 
but a single full example of Jesus' preaching in Galilee, 
and this an adaptation of a group of parables to the 


theme of the hiding of the mystery of the kingdom from 
Israel as a whole as unworthy. According to Mark 
the parabolic method of teaching was adopted by Jesus 
in order to conceal his message from all but a select 
few of his spiritual kin, while the rest of the Jews are 
" hardened." It is impossible here to overlook the con- 
nection with the Pauline doctrine expounded in the 
great apologetic on the " hardening of Israel " in Rom. 
8-11. Mark adopts the idea of the "hardening" 
(TTwpwo-ts), the " spirit of stupor, eyes that they should 
not see, and ears that they should not hear," but he ap- 
plies it specifically to the teaching: in parables (Rom. 
11 : 8 ; cf. Is. 6 : 9 quoted in Mk. 4:12). 

There is a very general disposition among critics to 
admit some Paulinistic influence in this section of 
Mark. What men fail to see, however, is that the whole 
Gospel is composed from a Paulinistic point of view. 
The only great discourses of Jesus are denunciatory of 
the Jewish nation. The Jewish law and Jewish ob- 
servances never come into view but to be rejected by 
Jesus as a " vain worship," " precepts and ordinances 
of men," contrary to what God enjoined in the very cre- 
ation. Jesus overrides the Sabbaths, disregards the 
fasts and ablutions, and declares all meats clean, abol- 
ishing the Mosaic distinctions. The scribes whom he 
denounces call him an agent of Beelzebub. The Phari- 
sees, in company with " all the Jews," are described by 
the evangelist as addicted to a religion of outward form, 
Jesus speaks of them as " hypocrites " ; they conspire 
with the Herodians to put him to death. In Luke and 
Matthew much of this is of course retained. But in 
the later Gospels there is discrimination. Jesus op- 
poses not Judaism as such, but the particular classes 
who misrepresent it, not the Law of Moses, but the false 
interpretation of it. Mark, like the fourth evangelist, 
speaks of " the Jews," and Judaism in general, as re- 


noniiced by Jesus, and contrasts what Moses commanded 
for the hardness of Israel's heart with " the command- 
ment of God." 

All this is recalled only to show that while we un- 
doubtedly have in Mark the oldest form of that Aramaic, 
Palestinian, tradition which all Christian antiquity 
associates with the preaching of Peter, and which we 
call " Petrine " in this sense, nevertheless the selection 
of material, and the mode of presentation, are not only 
anti-Jewish, but anti-Jewish-Christian. They are not 
to any great extent Pauline in language or in the finer 
shades of the Apostle's thought, but they are " Paulinis- 
tic " in their whole structure and adaptation. 

Our interpretation of Synoptic literature in general 
cannot aiford to ignore this Paulinistic character of 
Mark; because admittedly Mark is the foundation of 
the whole Synoptic narrative, and therefore gives us 
practically all we know about the historical Jesus* 
This fundamental source, as we now see it, groups its 
material around the same two foci which we have seen 
are central to the thought of Paul. 

Mark's story of the Galilean ministry is an account 
of Jesus' baptism and exercise of the gifts of the Spirit. 
Opposition by the scribes leads to his rejection of Jew- 
ish legalism, but the Twelve receive from him the " mys- 
tery of the kingdom " and the wonder-working power of 
faith, and are by degrees emancipated from their Jew- 
ish " hardness of heart." Mark even relates at the close 
of the Galilean ministry a mission of Jesus to the Gen- 
tiles, which must, of course, be regarded as unhistori- 
cal ; but not so much because both later Synoptists can- 
cel it, as because it anticipates both the work of Paul 
and the opposition Paul encountered from the legalists. 
At all events it is subordinate to the principal theme. 

The second focus is the Supper. The story of the 
Jerusalem ministry starts with the revelation of the 


mystery of the cross and resurrection as the real goal 
of Messiah's work, leading up to the " three days " as 
the climax. It relates such anecdotes, and only such, 
as have a direct bearing on this sacrifice as the ground 
of salvation. But Peter, James and John lag here even 
more than in the first half behind the mind of Christ. 

The reader is left at last looking forward to the pre- 
dicted resurrection, but without actual narration of it, 
a defect which the later evangelists seek to remedy in 
ways which agree neither with one another nor with 
Paul. But this phenomenon has an explanation of its 

Such a selection of narratives from the story of Jesus 
out of the rich abundance which must have been in early 
circulation, and such an application, could hardly have 
been made in circles where the highest reverence was 
paid to Peter and the Twelve. It bespeaks a church 
already grounded in the leading principles of the gospel 
of Paul, but impelled by the same necessity which led 
Paul to emphasize the moral nature of the Christian's 
mystic union with his Savior-god to fall back upon the 
life and teaching of Jesus as its ideal and standard. 
The church whose type of teaching is here reflected has 
small appreciation of the great ethical and religious 
discourses of Jesus. It thinks of him less as rabbi than 
as martyr, and it heartily believes that eternal life comes 
only by self-dedication to death with this " Christ." 
It holds before many eyes, as Paul did, Christ crucified, 
a Jesus who teaches less by word than by example. 
For the Church already feels the need of being taught 
through surviving anecdotes from Jesus' life, in par- 
ticular the lessons implied in its own ordinances of bap- 
tism and the Supper. 

We shall see that this increasing emphasis on the 
moral aspect of the story tends to greater and greater 
use in later Gospels of a Second or Teaching Source, of 


whose origin we have no information whatsoever; for 
the alleged tradition describing its contents as " logia," 
and connecting with it the name of " Matthew " refers 
to nothing else than our own canonical Matthew. As 
referred to the Second Source it dates back, as Dr. Sal- 
mon caustically remarked, no further than the nine- 
teenth century. This Second Source makes no special 
reference to Peter. Indeed we should rather infer from 
its character, and from the way in which it is subordi- 
nated to Mark in the treatment accorded it by Luke and 
Matthew, that it comes from some author outside the 
number of the Twelve. What was the nature of this 
Second, or Teaching Source ? Wliat was its view-point 
in setting forth the character of .Jesus ; and how far can 
we rely upon its witness as a faithful record of the Mas- 
ter's utterance ? These are questions for our considera- 
tion hereafter. For the present we limit ourselves to 
the narratives associated with the name of Peter, among 
which, if anywhere, we must find the most authentic 
materials for supplementing the meager outline deriv- 
able from the allusions of Paul. We shall see that here, 
too, the doctrine is Paul's, though given in the name 
and under the authority of Peter. 

3. Pauline Teaching in the Name of Peter 

I have already said that the employment of the name 
and traditions of Peter in the post-Pauline period as a 
vehicle for ideas which in their origin are distinctively 
Paul's is a phenomenon by no means confined to the 
Gospel of Mark. On the contrary, until the name of 
" John " is advanced at a period certainly subsequent to 
the appearance of the Apocalypse under this pseudo- 
nym, and probably as a consequence of it, the name of 
" Peter *' serves as the guarantee for all apostolic tra- 
dition. In the Pauline churches of Italy and Asia 
Minor " apostolic " doctrine would of course in all es- 


sential features be distinctively Pauline, however it 
might seek sanction under the growing authority of 
" Peter." 

"We could not have a better example of tlie extension 
of the Petrine protectorate after the death of Paul than 
the great word of encouragement sent apparently from 
Rome but in the name of Peter to the suffering 
Churches of the Anatolian peninsula in the midst of 
the fiery persecution of Domitian. The Epistle known 
to us as First Peter encourages these Anatolian Chris- 
tians to stand fast, and assures them that the gospel 
they had received from Paul is " the true grace of 
God." The date and place of origin of Pirst Peter 
cannot be far (if the prevailing judgment of critics be 
correct) from our Gospel of Mark. As Harnack points 
out, if we were to cut off the first single word of the 
writing, just the name ^' Peter," no one would ever 
dream of attributing it to this Apostle. It purports 
to be from Peter, and always did; for the attempt of 
Harnack to make it appear that the name " Peter " is a 
later interpolation breaks down entirely before the over- 
whelming evidence both external and internal. The 
name " Peter " is original, but assumed. The writer 
is a Paulinist if ever there was one. So much so that 
one eminent German critic proposes to regard the writ- 
ing as by the same author as Ephesians, the material of 
which is constantly employed. I am by no means ready 
to admit that Ephesians is deutero-Pauline ; but Eirst 
Peter is so unmistakably so that even Zahn proposes 
to regard it as owing at least its phraseology to Silvanus. 
Mark, as we remember, appears in this writing as 
Peter's spiritual " son." 

An equally cogent example of the incorporation of 
Paulinism under patronage of Peter is the first half of 
the narrative of Acts, covering that portion of the work 
which appears to have been translated from the Ara- 


maic, and in whicli the hero and central authority is 
Peter. Notoriously we have in this narrative a kind of 
duplication of everything that had been related of Paul 
in the earlier Greek narrative which has been incor- 
porated in the second half of the book. This second 
half of Acts is the more authentic ; for it is based upon 
a contemporary document, and not only has ample cor- 
roboration in its main features in the Pauline epistles, 
but in its intrinsic characteristics is much less tinc- 
tured with legendary features. The dependence and 
adjustment necessary to produce the parallelism must, 
then, be on the side of First Acts, the document of 
which Peter is the hero, and which extends to 15 : 33, 
with some additions from other sources. It is certainly 
not historical when here the entire work of Paul is an- 
ticipated by Peter. We certainly cannot agree when 
Acts 15: 7 makes Peter declare that God chose him to 
be the Apostle to the Gentiles. But under what stand- 
ard were the Pauline Churches to come after Paul's 
death ; if not that of the older Apostles ? Through no 
other authority than Peter could they relate themselves 
to the historic Christ. In Acts the process is particu- 
larly conspicuous in the story of the conversion of Cor- 
nelius at Caesarea (a parallel to Paul's conversion of 
the proconsul at Paphos) and Peter's subsequent de- 
fense of his conduct in disregarding the Mosaic distinc- 
tions, even to the point of "" eating with the Gentiles." 
A conclave at Jerusalem after reviewing his conduct 
and the divine sanction it had received, pronounces 
upon the whole transaction the verdict : " Then to the 
Gentiles also hath God granted repentance imto life." 
This of course anticipates all Paul's conflict on their 
behalf. When we read in Galatians of the obstacles 
put in Paul's path, and the opposition from Peter him- 
self in refusing to " eat with the Gentiles " — when we 
remember the long struggle through which Paul ob- 


tained from these same Jerusalem authorities the con- 
cession of only a part of what is here declared to 
have been publicly and officially conceded to Peter he- 
fore Paul's first missionary journey, it is apparent that 
the narrator is getting ahead of the facts. In his story 
the whole battle of Gentile freedom from the law, in- 
cluding the abolition of all distinctions of meats as 
merely man-made ("what God hath cleansed make not 
thou 'common'"), and the sweeping recognition that 
" God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation 
he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is ac- 
ceptable to Him " is carried to a victorious conclusion 
by Peter officially and publicly in Jerusalem, before 
Paul appears upon the scene, or has so much as ap- 
proached a single Gentile. How then could it have 
had to be fought all over again by Paul with far less 
decisive results, and failure by his own acknowledg- 
ment to win over Peter himself ? There is here, then, 
most undeniably, a Paulinization of Peter. The writer 
of this Aramaic source, incorporated by the compiler of 
Acts, is doing in his own way what the writer of First 
Peter does. He is attributing to Peter, as head of the 
apostolic college and chief source of authority for the 
age in which he writes, ideas which for that age, and 
for the compiler, are indeed axiomatic; but which in 
point of fact were with difficulty driven home by Paul 
upon the older Apostles, and to some extent were really 
resisted to the end by the actual historical Peter of 
whom Paul tells. 

Acts gives more than a mere precedent for the process 
which I have spoken of as affecting the Gospel of Mark. 
Both writers use the same Paulinized tradition of Peter. 
In the case of Mark also, as well as Acts, the process is 
antecedent to the evangelist's own work; for it is just 
as certain that Mark himself has not composed, but 
simply incorporated, the Transfiguration story (to take 


the salient example) as it is that " Luke " has not com- 
posed, but incorporated, the story of Peter's revelation 
of the abolition of the Mosaic distinctions of meats in 
the vision of Joppa. The process is older in both cases 
than the compilation of the present Greek work. In 
fact it would probably be possible to establish on lin- 
guistic grounds that in both cases the source was Ara- 
maic. But in both cases it is certainly later than the 
time of Paul. For during the life-time of the two 
Apostles it would be impossible to attribute to Peter a 
divine revelation teaching him that his reluctance to 
partake of anything " common " or unclean was a 
man-made obstacle to the divine purpose, that there is 
no distinction with God between Jews and Gentiles, 
and that he ought to have no hesitation about entering 
in to men uncircumcised and eating with them. Only 
after the death of the great Apostles could the repre- 
sentation become current. For we know that Paul was 
driven to resist Peter publicly to his face because Peter 
and all the Jews at Antioch, including " even Barna- 
bas," stood for the very things here rejected by divine 

In like manner it could only be after the death of 
both Paul and Peter that men would come to represent 
" Peter and those that were with him " in " the holy 
mount " receiving their apostleship of the new covenant 
in terms which under the forms of Jewish midrash are 
an equivalent for Paul's great exposition of the reve- 
lation given to " ministers of the new covenant " in 
II Cor. 3:1-6: 10. 

It need not necessarily be the very same document 
that has afforded to the author of Acts his story of the 
vision and Voice from Heaven by which Peter is di- 
vinely taught the lesson so hardly learned from Paul 
at Antioch, and to the author of Mark his story of the 
vision and Voice from Heaven by which the pillar 


Apostles ^ are taught the Pauline gospel of the mystery 
of the cross. We know of many very early writings 
which purported to give the '' Preaching " or " Teach- 
ing," or " Revelation of Peter." It is possible that two 
different documents might contain representations of 
divine revelation to Peter on the salient points of 
Pauline doctrine which are as closely akin as the Trans- 
figuration story of the Gospels and the vision at Joppa 
in Acts. The point at issue is not a question of par- 
ticular documents and sources, but of the process by 
which after the death of Peter and Paul the Aramaic- 
speaking branch of the Church endeavored to infuse 
Petrine tradition with the religious values of Paul's 
teaching; just as conversely Paul's churches at Pome 
and throughout the Greek-speaking world inevitably 
turned to the older Apostles as authorities for the au- 
thentic faith. So Polycarp and Papias urge return to 
the " tradition handed down to us from the very first " ; 
as the only possible bulwark against the heretics who 
are " perverting the precepts of the Lord to their own 
lusts." Polycarp and Papias are not Jewish-Chris- 
tians. They simply continue the inevitable reaction 
already conspicuous in the Pastoral Epistles, a reaction 
which could not do otherwise than appeal to the name 
of Peter in support of " the true grace of God " which 
it had actually learned from Paul. That the process 
has affected our Gospel of Mark, and by this means our 
entire record of the life of Jesus seems to me an unde- 
niable fact, and one of obvious importance. 

Many, I know, will resist to the utmost the suggestion 
that the authentic story of Peter can have suffered any 
infiltration of Pauline ideas in the form of midrash, or 
homiletic exposition. They consider that the admis- 

6 " James " in the trio of witnesses of the transfiguration is of 
course a different James from the " James and Cephas and John " 
who endorsed the gospel of Paul in 47 A. d. in Jerusalem, but 
confusion of the two James goes back to a very early period. 


sion of such an idealizing factor, especially in narra- 
tives such as the visions at the baptism of Jesus and in 
the Mount of Transfiguration, endangers the historical 
credibility of the whole record. My own sincere con- 
viction is that the ultimate result of such critical dis- 
crimination will be just the contrary. It is the refusal 
to discriminate between the record itself, and parabolic 
attempts to bring out the religious values of the record, 
which makes the mass as a whole historically inadmis- 
sible, and practically unintelligible to the modem west- 
ern mind. It is as if in reading the Talmud we should 
insist upon combining with the text the edifying com- 
mentary and application, which in the original are 
printed in small type round about the text in the mar^ 
gin and at the foot of the page. Discrimination of the 
historical record in the Gospels from edifying pulpit 
exposition and application is indispensable. It should 
be made by scholars familiar with the conventional 
Synagogue forms, since the tradition has been trans- 
mitted through the Christianized Synagogue. Genuine 
appreciation of both elements, on the one side the actual 
course of events, on the other the primitive religious 
evaluation, will bring us closer than ever before to the 
actual Jesus of ISTazareth, and the real impress of his 
spirit upon the souls of men. 

But for the sake of those who are reluctant to be- 
lieve in the alleged process of the infusion of Petrine 
tradition with Pauline doctrine by methods similar to 
the haggadic teaching of the Synagogue, let me suggest 
two comparisons. First, a comparison of the exact 
process taking place, as it were under our very eyes, 
between the time of the appearance of Mark's Gospel, 
and the incorporation of its narrative in the later, Pales- 
tinian Gospel of Matthew. The later Gospel has three 
additions to the Markan story, all bearing, as compe- 
tent authorities admit, decisive marks of Jewish 


midrash, that is, elaboration by the use of sjTnbolic 
imagination. They are (1) Peter's Walking on the 
Sea, (2) Peter's Ordination to Bind and Loose, (3) 
Peter's Payment of the Temple Tax. The story of 
Jesus' Walking on the Sea in Mk. 6: 45-52 has a sup- 
plement in Mt. 14: 28-33 which further draws out the 
parallel ; for in Jewish symbolism power to tread upon 
the sea, or triumph over it, sigiiiiies victory over the 
power of SheoL In Matthew we find an allegorizing 
parallel to Peter's offer to go with Jesus to prison and 
death, the collapse of his faith in the crisis of the night 
of betrayal, his restoration by the personal intervention 
of the risen Christ, and finally his stablishing of his 
brethren by faith in Jesus as a risen Lord. All this is 
compressed into a brief and telling addition to Mark. 
The addition relates how when Peter saw Jesus walking 
on the sea he sought to follow him over the waves, how 
he lost faith when he saw the storm was boisterous, but 
was rescued by the Master's extended hand, and re- 
turned with him to the frightened, despairing company 
in the boat, who now exclaim : " Truly thou art the 
Son of God." This seems to me a typical example of 
that kind of homiletic expansion of sacred story with 
symbolic detail which the Synagogue designates mi- 

A second Matthean supplement improves upon Mark's 
story of Peter's confession of the Christ by adding a 
parallel to what Paul says of the revelation of God's 
Son in him, not by flesh and blood, but as an apostle- 
ship from God. In Mt. 16:16b-19 the Markan ac- 
count of Peter's confession is emended by adding the 
words " the Son of the living God " to " the Christ," 
and by attaching a counter declaration from Jesus that 
Peter's utterance is a revelation " not from flesh and 
blood, but from my Father which is in Heaven." Jesus 
thereupon pronounces Peter the Rock on which His 


Church is to be founded, assuring it of victory over the 
imprisoning powers of darkness. He also formally en- 
trusts Peter with the authority to determine for it what 
is obligatory and what is not. Peter, by virtue of the 
revelation of the Son granted him by the Father is thus 
equipped with authority to speak for the whole Church. 
He represents Christ and the Apostles in the same man- 
ner as the scribes who " sit in Moses' seat " have author- 
ity " to bind and loose " with respect to the precepts of 
Moses. Of course this is a late addendum to gospel 
tradition, though quite authentic in the text of Matthew. 
For it is not an interpolation in the interest of Rome, 
as Julius Grill and a few anti-Romanists would make 
out. Rome has nothing to do with the evangelist's idea. 
His horizon for the seat of apostolic authority is strictly 
limited to " the cities of Israel." We are here at an 
earlier stage. The connection of the name of Peter 
with Rome is a later development, growing out of the 
First Epistle and the circumstances of Peter's martyr- 
dom. The passage of Matthew is as Palestinian and 
as early as the composition of the rest of that Gospel ; 
but it is certainly later than the Gospel of Mark which 
it supplements. Still more certainly must it be later 
than Paul's defense of his own authority as an Apostle, 
through the revelation of God's Son in him; for the 
addition borrows the very language of Gal. 1:16, 
and its whole motive is to give to Peter's apostleship 
a divine authority at least equal to that claimed by 

A third example of supplementation of Matthew in 
the same interest follows in the next chapter. The 
story of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth is a characteristic 
"edifying tale" (haggada) of Jewish midrash, belong- 
ing to the same type as those of the Old Testament 
which are expressly so-called, or (as in the case of 
Jonah) are left to the common-sense of the reader to 


be understood as representing not fact but truth. The 
object of Matthew's story is to resolve the perplexing 
question of Christian Freedom and the Giving of Of- 
fense. It uses the phraseology of Paul (" lest we cause 
them to stumble"). It even applies Paul's principle 
of refraining from the use of a liberty to which as fol- 
lowers of Jesus we are entitled out of consideration for 
others. In this case, however, the " others " are not 
the scrupulous " weak brethren " of the Pauline 
churches who said " I am of Cephas." They are not 
Jewish Christians, but actual Jews. Those who make 
the concession to avoid " stumbling " represent the 
Jewish church in Palestine, under the leadership of 
Peter, who here appears again as representative of the 
Apostles and steward of Christ. The decision is to 
pay the temple-tax, from which Christian Jews might 
fairly claim exemption, in order to prove their contin- 
uing loyalty to the ancient faith. This supplement 
also seems to me a manifest example of the process I 
have designated the Paulinization of Petrine tradition. 
Just as in the two preceding instances a supplementary 
anecdote has been grafted upon the stock of Mark by 
Jewish-Christian hands at a period later than our form 
of the work.'^ 

7 On the " Petrine Supplements of Mark's Gospel " see the article 
of this title in Expositor VIII, 73 (Jan., 1917). The Lukan 
Gospel also contains some admirable examples of midrashic elabo- 
ration of Mark. The Miraculous Draft of Fishes (Lk. 5:1-11) is 
a typical instance, in which the figure of Peter assumes the same 
prominence as in the Matthean. More beautiful is the contrasted 
utterance of the Two Thieves (Lk. 23:39-43). He who repre- 
sents the bitter disillusionment of the mass of Israel " railed on 
him, saying, Art not thou the Christ? Then save thyself and 
us," a parallel to the challenge of Satan in the second Temptation. 
The other replies in language expressive of the penitent faith of 
the believing "remnant": "Jesus, remember me when thou 
comest in thy kingdom." Midrashic development of the canonical 
material goes on even in the post-canonical Gospels. Of this 
character is the supplementation of the story of the Rich En- 
quirer in the Gospel according to the Eehrews to show that his 


If any of my hearers are still unconvinced of the 
reality of the process I allege of an infiltration of 
Pauline ideas into the tradition of the words and deeds 
of Jesus derived from Peter in the period after the 
death of the two great Apostles, I would commend to 
them, besides the examples I have cited from Matthew, 
a close and careful study, which I think will prove 
independently rewarding, of the relation of the two 
interpretative vision-stories of Mark, the Baptism, and 
the Transfiguration, with their Pauline equivalents. 
These are, as I have said, (1) Paul's definition of the 
elective decree of Adoption and its fulfillment in the 
indwelling of the Spirit in Jesus, in Col. 1 : 13-20, (2) 
his account of the revelation of the glorified Son of God, 
which gives to the ministers of the new Covenant their 
gospel of reconciliation and immortality, as set forth in 
II Cor. 3-6 and kindred passages. Both these vision 
stories, or " revelations," are key-passages for our inter- 
pretation of the Gospel of Mark; for they are designedly 
so placed as to shed the light of Heaven upon all the 
earthly scenes which follow. But it is especially on 
the Transfiguration story that I would concentrate your 
attention, reminding you that for the evangelist no other 
method was so effective for making clear to his readers 
the contrast between a Christ according to the things of 
men, such as Peter had confessed, and the other- 
claim to have fulfilled the law was unwarranted, and that of the 
healing of the man with the Withered Hand. The same is true 
again of the addition in the same Gospel to the parable of the 
Talents of a fourth servant who squandered his Lord's substance 
with flute-players and harlots, and paid the penalty. Clement's 
"myth, if indeed it be a myth," of a young man "restored from 
the dead" by the aged Apostle John is a still later example of 
the use of this favorite parable of the Prodigal Son in Christian 
midrash, or, as Clement ventures to call it, "myth." Haggadic 
teaching, whether Jewish or Christian, has no restrictions in the 
use of fiction save that it bring home the religious or moral truth 
intended. Its one rule is: "Let all things be done imto edifi- 


worldly messiahship set forth in Jesus' rebuke. I 
would also remind vou that the doctrine of immortalitv 
through " transfiguration " (juera/iopc^wo-ts) into the ^' im- 
age " or " likeness " of the " body of glory " of the 
risen Christ, so that the exchange of that " house from 
heaven " for earthly " tabernacles " would be the height 
of folly, is not a doctrine which Paul learned from 
Peter, but that it belongs to the most vital and intimate 
elements of Paul's own transcendent experience. The 
Transfiguration story aims to show how Peter and his 
companion Apostles were brought to see that their con- 
ception of a Christ according to the things that be of 
men was false, that the Son of God belongs essentially 
to the world of the glorified, and that the goal of im- 
mortality involves an exchange of this " tabernacle " 
for the " transfigured body." Its very phraseology be- 
longs to that part of Paul's vocabulary in which he bor- 
rows most largely from the modes of thought and expres- 
sion of the mysteries. It is impossible, therefore, in 
this case to reverse the relation. It is as completely a 
Pauliuized Peter here as in the Second Epistle, who 
talks about a " putting off of the ' tabernacle ' of the 
flesh," and shows his Jewish " hardness of heart " by 
wishing to provide " tabernacles " for the glorified ones, 
as though it were for them to come and dwell in " tene- 
ments of clay " with men upon the earth. 

On the other hand a much greater task awaits those 
of us who are convinced that we must discriminate in 
the Gospels between record and interpretation. We 
hold in particular that these two key-narratives of 
vision and Voice from Heaven, prefacing the two main 
divisions of the story of Mark, represent the work of 
some early Christian haggadist laboring to infuse the 
tradition of Peter with meanings really derived from 
Paul, just as in the story of the vision at Joppa Peter 
receives by revelation the doctrine that distinctions of 


Jew and Gentile, clean and unclean, are not of God, 
but of man. If so we must ]eai*n to appreciate these 
midrasliic elements at their true value. Our task is 
not destructive but constructive. We cannot simply 
take away the interpretation in terms of religious values 
which Paul has first put upon the career of Jesus, and 
after him some early teacher of the Christian synagogue 
has embodied in symbolic story, leaving the record with- 
out an interpretation. We are not historical critics for 
criticism's sake; else we should not be applying its 
processes to a record which if it have not values for the 
history, psychology, and philosophy of religion has no 
value at all. We cannot leave a mere void in place of 
the interpretation which the evangelist has put upon the 
story of how Jesus came to the baptism of John and 
there dedicated himself to the reconciliation of wayward 
Israel to its Father in Heaven by the path of repent- 
ance and faith in the coming kingdom. In the Trans- 
figuration vision the evangelist interprets in terms of 
apocalyptic symbolism what it means to religion that 
Jesus again dedicated himself, after his first effort had 
failed, to seek as Son of David and Son of Man recon- 
ciliation with God and realization of the kingdom. If 
we do not accept his interpretation we remain debtors 
for a better. A learned Jewish writer who attempts to 
answer the noble work of Montefiore to which I have 
referred declares that Jesus was not a prophet because 
he " preached about the coming of the kingdom, but in 
vain " ( !) The objector seems to think the great Old 
Testament prophets, such as Jeremiah, scored an imme- 
diate popular success. We, on the contrary, are con- 
vinced that Jesus neither preached in vain, nor suffered 
in vain. Nevertheless we are not limited to the at- 
tempts of Paul, or the age after Paul, to interpret the 
story sub specie eternitatis. There is ever room for 
new evaluations of the record in terms of the modern 


history, psychology, and philosophy of religion. It will 
be interesting to see if the modern constructive theo- 
logian can do as well for our time as Paul and his follow- 
ers did for theirs. 

It would appear from the foregoing that the Petrine 
tradition of the Sayings and Doings of Jesus comes 
down to us only from a period after the death of the 
great Apostles, and in a form affected not only by the 
reaction of the Greek-speaking churches of the West 
toward the authoritative testimony of the eye and ear- 
witnesses, but also by a doctrinal infiltration from the 
Pauline side. Are we thus impoverished in the ma- 
terial available for our religious faith ? Quite the con- 
trary. The true basis of our faith is not the bare record 
of Jesus' words and deeds, but what God wrought 
through him, both in his earthly career, and in the 
reaction to it of men like Paul. It includes the effort 
of the generation after Paul to combine the values of 
what Paul had seen, using the eye of the spirit, with 
what the older witnesses had seen with the eye of the 
flesh. Would it be easier, think you, or harder — 
would it require less discrimination, or more, to extract 
those elements of the story which have permanent mean- 
ing for our own religious life, if we possessed on phono- 
graphic plates and photographic films a complete record 
of all the thirty years of Jesus' life ? Selective discrim- 
ination must be our guide, as with all the generations 
past, including the evangelists themselves. And when 
we have discriminated record from interpretation, his- 
torical occurrence from pragmatic application, we shall 
not be worse off than before, but better. We shall see 
at the one extreme in this post-apostolic age a radical 
wing of ultra-Paulinists, endeavoring to interpret the 
Incarnation and Resurrection in terms of the mystery 
myths of personal immortality by participation in the 
divine nature. We shall see at the other extreme a re- 


actionary Jewish-Christian wing, who would interpret 
it in terms of Jewish Law and Apocalypse. We shall 
see between these two extremes the central body of the 
Church driven by dangers without and within into a 
rapprochement between " those of Peter " and " those 
of Paul " of which First Peter is the first great irenicon. 
We shall see this central body feeling its way little by 
little to a faith which retains the values from both sides 
that are practically approved, and leaving the result to 
future generations. 

To return, then, to the Gospel of Mark. We have 
here, it would seem, a Roman compend of the sayings 
and doings of Jesus, gathered from the anecdotes of 
those who had seen and heard the Lord. The remi- 
niscences are turned to account that those who sought 
forgiveness for the sake of the Crucified might know 
what was meant by the ofi^ering of his body and blood, 
and that those who dedicated themselves in penitence 
and faith might understand what was meant by new 
life in his spirit. Suppose that when we had subtracted 
from the record those elements which the critic must 
regard as belonging rather to the interpretation than to 
the record itself, nothing more were left than could 
already be inferred from Paul's own incidental refer- 
ences. Still we should have enough. We should know 
of one Leader in the history of man's quest for the life 
of God, whose ideal was all that the loftiest aspiration 
can conceive, a gospel of reconciliation of man to man 
and man to God. We should have at the same time the 
portrait of One whose loyalty to that ideal knew no 
shade of reserve, no taint of self. We should know a 
Christ not after the flesh, but Son of God and Son of 
Man. But thank God that there is much more than 
this. As Dr. Morgan admits : " The risen Christ of 
Paul represents a generalized picture of the historical 
Jesus. The central and the new fill the horizon to the 


overshadowing of much, the loss of which would have 
been an unspeakable calamity. In particular those 
features in Jesus which make him so real and so human 
pass out of sight. Paul's Christ has not the inexhaust- 
ible richness nor the human winsomeness of the histori- 
cal figure." It is to this that the churches turned after 
the death of the Apostle, and as Dr. Morgan justly says: 
*' The preservation of the Synoptic Gospels meant noth- 
ing less than the saving of Christianity." ^ 
8 Religion and Theology of Paul, p. 40. 



1. Conditions of the Later Synoptic Period 

The period from which are derived the remaining 
elements of the Aramaic Enclave, the writings of Luke, 
the Gospel of Matthew, and the Apocalypse of John, is 
not more than a score of years earlier than the Epistles 
of Ignatius and Polycarp. It is that of the Pastoral 
Epistles in their present form, an elaboration of auth- 
entic letters of Paul. James and Jude, encyclicals 
which address the Church at large in the name of two 
of the " desposyni," are best assigned to the same period, 
the closing decade of the first century; and even II 
Peter, later as it is, and dependent upon Jude, throws 
light upon the conditions of the age. All these episto- 
lary writers are greatly concerned for the morals of the 
Church, threatened as in Paul's time, but more danger- 
ously, by teachers of antinomian tendency. 

The Hellenistic conception of fellowship with God is 
intellectual and mystical rather than moral, a participa- 
tion in His omniscience and immortality by enlighten- 
ment, or ritual. The Church insists upon conduct. 
God's nature is beneficent goodness, toward which the 
road of fellowship lies open by dedication of the will 
to the fulfillment of His righteous commandment. This 
is the burden of the Johannine Epistles, which we con- 
sider in the next lecture. In II Peter the interest in 
ethics is extended to eschatology. It supplements the 
warning of Jude against the antinomians by adding a 
preliminary chapter on the certainty of the promise of 

glorification as guaranteed by the transfig-uration vision, 



and a closing chapter reaffirming the certainty and near- 
ness of the predicted judgment. In I-III John, we 
have letters belonging to about the same date and 
region. These also strongly reflect the antinomian tend- 
ency, and oppose to it the new commandment of love. 
But the Epistles and Gospel of John take no such inter- 
est as Second Peter in the apocalyptic eschatology; or 
rather they concede a more Hellenistic view. They 
connect the heresy with the docetic doctrines denounced 
by Ignatius, and seek their remedy in worthier ideas of 
Jesus' life and teaching. Here, then, is a kind of bifur- 
cation. In respect to the " denial of resurrection and 
judgment " the " Johannine " writings take one road, 
Second Peter and the Revelation quite another. But 
the dominant interest of the age is an easy one to define. 
The more immediate danger is from those who " pervert 
the oracles of the Lord to their own lusts.". Over 
against this antinomian tendency the current of ortho- 
doxy is already setting strongly toward neo-legalism. 
In the Catholic Epistles the life and death struggle 
against incipient Gnosticism has already begun, but 
theoretic Gnosticism scarcely affects the Aramaic En- 
clave. The Church everywhere is laying fresh empha- 
sis upon the nature of its gospel as a " new command- 
ment," but with different sanctions. In the Aramaic 
Enclave the effort is not (as in Jn. and I-III Jn.) to 
present the gospel as a way of moral union with God, 
so much as to reenforce the authority of the new com- 
mandment by more positive declarations as to the com- 
ing Judgment and the reality and certainty of its re- 
wards and punishments. Most conspicuously of all in 
the Palestinian Gospel (Matthew) the message is con- 
ceived as Law and Promise. 

We have quoted from the epistle written by Polycarp 
in 112-118 to Paul's church in Philippi the warning 
against the false teachers who " pervert the ' oracles of 


the Lord ' to their own lusts and deny the resurrection 
and judgment." His later associate Papias at another 
Pauline church of Asia, Hierapolis, is still concerned 
with the same peril. Polycarp had advised to " turn to 
the tradition handed do\\ni to us from the beginning." 
Papias applied the advice in the very practical way of 
publishing a book of Interpretations of the Oracles of 
the Lord. His " oracles " were found in the Gospel of 
Matthew, with some additions from Mark, He sought 
to prove their true meaning as against Gnostic perver- 
sion by citing traditions of Palestinian Elders carefully 
authenticated, Papias' quest for " commandments 
(eVToAai) of the Lord " was earlier than 118. His pub- 
lication is probably not earlier than 140. If, however, 
we look backward from Polycarp to the long letter of 
Clement written from Pome in 96, with its repeated 
reference to " sayings " (Adyot; not Adyta — " oracles ") 
of Jesus containing moral teaching, and to the Pastoral 
Epistles with their emphasis on " the healthful words, 
even the sayings (Adyoi) of our Lord Jesus " it will be 
quite apparent that a body of such teaching was current 
in the Church throughout this period. A new impetus 
was given to their circulation by the antinomian peril. 
As is well known, the two later Synoptic writers, who 
cannot be far apart in date since both use the same two 
principal sources without any evidence of acquaintance 
with one another's work, employ in common as their 
" second " source a compilation of discourses of Jesus. 
This so-called Second Source constitutes in its surviving 
fragments our main dependence for his teaching. The 
work in its primary, Aramaic form is probably older 
than the canonical form of our Gospel of Mark, which 
seems to make a very limited use of it. Unfortunately 
we have little to guide us in determining its character 
and reliability. Besides the internal evidence there is 
only the manner in which the source is employed by our 


evangelists. Tradition there is none, since no writer of 
antiquity so much as suspects its existence. The inter- 
nal evidence of the Source is strongly in its favor; for 
its material is derived from the Aramaic, and in the 
sublimity of its moral and religious teaching, no less 
than in the character attributed to Jesus, it corresponds 
much more closely than Mark to the allusions of Paul. 
These traits incline us to give high respect to its wit- 
ness. On the other hand our evanc-elists disregard its 
connections, and reject most of such narrative as it con- 
tained in favor of Mark. This is hardly compatible 
with belief in its apostolic origin. Moreover, its dis- 
courses differ widely from most of those in Mark, and 
are framed in a highly developed literary style resem- 
bling that of the Stoic diatribe, or still more nearly the 
better type of Jewish " Wisdom." These considerations 
make it difficult to regard the Second Source as com- 
posed by one of the Twelve. It cannot even be said to 
bear the marks of the eye-witness. Nevertheless it 
clearly and certainly reflects the spirit which Paul de- 
scribes as " the mind that was in Christ Jesus." Indeed 
the predominant traits in its portrait are precisely that 
" meekness and lowliness " which Paul refers to ; 
whereas, curiously, these particular traits are not even 
mentioned in the Gospel of Mark. In the pages of the 
Second Source we are probably nearer than in any other 
gospel writing to the actual teaching of Jesus, though 
even here we cannot depend on the precise words. 

Supplementation of Mark's all too meager account of 
Jesus' teaching was sure to take place from this superb 
reserve. Indeed it seems to be the chief raison d'etre of 
Matthew, if not of Luke also. As we have seen, the 
danger most acutely felt in this period was the tendency 
to moral laxity. " Commandments delivered by the 
Lord to the faith " were the supreme desideratum, and 
this conviction is the more strongly shown the nearer we 


approach to the Jerusalem church with its body of " suc- 
cessors of the Apostles and kindred of the Lord." The 
epistles of James and Jude appear, to be sure, under 
fictitious names; but they are intended to reflect the 
spirit of this group of their successors in Jerusalem. 
The Epistle of James would make an excellent preface 
to the Second Source. Jude might serve a similar pur- 
pose with respect to Matthew. Mark fell into the back- 
ground chiefly because it contained so few of the " com- 
mandments." But there was clear recognition of other 
defects also in the Roman Gospel, defects which could 
not be remedied from the Second Source, and therefore 
are met in totally different ways by Matthew and Luke, 
without any indication of literary connection, direct or 
indirect, between the two. 

There was first Mark's beginning. The genealogies 
of Matthew and Luke, inconsistent as they are, of course 
represent a reversion to the primitive belief, attested 
by Paul but neglected by Mark, that Jesus was " of the 
seed of David according to the flesh." How to preserve 
this, and at the same time to hold to the higher concep- 
tion of a spiritual birth after the Pauline teaching, was 
of course a problem. It could no longer be solved by 
the Markan method of a prologTie to the Gospel describ- 
ing under the form of vision the descent of the Spirit of 
Adoption, declaring Jesus the Beloved Son of God's 
" good pleasure," and enduing him with all the pow- 
ers of the age to come. Heretics had already laid hold 
of this prologue and made it their own. Adoptionism 
(as it later came to be called) was the sheet anchor of 
Docetics like Cerintlius, who maintained that Jesus 
was a mere " receptacle of the Holy Spirit," a Christ 
who came by water (of baptism) only, and not by blood 
(of the sacrament of his suffering). To ensure both a 
continuous and unbroken full presence of the divine 


Spirit in a real humanity no other way seemed open than 
that which our supplementers of Mark independently 
adopt. As Isaac was " God-begotten " by a word of 
promise/ so Jesns by special miracle had been " the Son 
of God " from his mother's womb. 

Even more conspicnons than at the beginning was the 
need for supplementation at the end of Mark. The 
complete divergence of the later evangelists in their story 
from the moment they reach the point where the mutil- 
ated Mark breaks off, suggests that this mutilation had 
already occurred. It cannot have been accidental, but 
must be due to dissatisfaction with the story of the ap- 
pearance to Peter " in Galilee." Whether the dissatis- 
faction was due to the doctrinal or the geographic repre- 
sentation we cannot say. We do know, however, that 
questions as to the nature of the resurrection body had 
been vehemently agitated between Jewish Christian and 
Greek Christian since Paul had written to the Corinth- 
ians. In this age of docetic heresy, as maj^ readily be 
seen from the Igiiatian Epistles, it was doubly urgent. 
What part the birth in real manhood from the Virgin 
Mary, and the resurrection in real " flesh " (dvaorao-is 
T^s o-apKos) has to play in this age of docetic heresy we 
may learn from its baptismal confession, commonly 
called the Apostles' Creed. Luke is more largely con- 
cerned in his supplements with the refutation of docetic 
heresy, Matthew with Jewish objections to the Markan 
story of the empty sepulchre. But these additions of 
the later evangelists at beginning and end of the Roman 
Gospel are principally of interest to the student of early 
apologetic. They tell us indirectly what was the course 
of debate over the nature of the body in which Jesus 
came into and went out of the world, but are of far less 
importance to the student of his life than the teaching 

iRom. 4: 16-21: 9: 6-9. 


drawn bj both N^orth-Syrian and South-Syrian evan- 
gelist in common from their mysterious Second Source. 

2. The Teacliing Source 

In the Gospel of Matthew the " double-tradition " 
material, or material shared with Luke though not de- 
rived from Mark and commonly designated Q, is nearly 
all consolidated into five books of precepts, the first of 
which, the so-called Sermon on the Mount, is familiar 
to us all. The narrative merely serves as an introduc- 
tion to these, just as the Pentateuch narrative frames in 
the great discourses in which Moses presents the law. 
Each of the five books into which the substance of the 
Gospel is divided begins with such narrative, combining 
material from Mark and the Second Source in various 
proportion. Only in Book IV (Chapters 14-18) is 
the narrative introduction derived almost entirely from 
Mark. On the other hand nearly all the narrative intro- 
duction to Book III (Chapters 11-13) is from Q. 
Each of the five books of Matthew concludes with a stere- 
otyped formula repeated from the end of the first book, 
where it had occurred in the Second Source. The bor- 
rowing and application of the formula proves this five- 
fold division to be really intended by the compiler; but 
the two chapters on the Infancy form a Prologue, and 
the story of the Passion and Pesurrection in Chapters 
26-28 an Epilogue. The evangelist has thus given us a 
five-fold book of the new Torah, which with Prologue 
and Epilogiie contains seven divisions in all. In the 
second century the five-fold division seems to have been 
still observed; for a versified " argumentum," of a type 
characteristic of that age, celebrates Matthew's refuta- 
tion " in five books " of the deicide people of the Jews.^ 

I cannot now take time to describe these five bodies 
2 See Bacon, Expositor, VIII, 85 (Jan., 1918). 


of precepts of the Lord, the five Sermons (or Pereqs, as 
Sir John Hawkins has called them) of Matthew, Only 
the first, whose theme is The Iiighteonsness of Sons, is 
wholly made up of Q material, not in its original order, 
but based on an original Q discourse expanded with other 
Q material. There are four others. That on The Duty 
of the Evangelist, occupies chapter 10, that on the 
Mystery of the Kingdom occupies verses 1-52 of chapter 
13, that on The Duty of the Church Ruler occupies 
chapter 18, and that on The Final Judgment occupies 
chapters 23-25. These four are based on briefer dis- 
courses of Mark filled out with Q material. Three 
things prove the arrangement secondary. (1) The de- 
struction of the order of the Second Source, even in the 
Sermon on the Mount, where no Markan pattern called 
for readjustment ; (2) the use of a Markan basis for the 
other Sermons; (3) the incorporation of considerable 
masses of Q in the narrative introductions, particularly 
in chapters 3-4, and 11-12. These structural phe- 
nomena show that the present arrangement of Q in Mat- 
thew is not that of the source, but is due to our canonical 
evangelist, whose idea of the world's needs in this line 
is shown by his conclusion. The Apostles are sent to 
teach all men everywhere " to observe all things whatso- 
ever I have commanded you." 

Critics generally hold our o"wn canonical evangelist 
responsible for the agglutination of diverse Q material 
in Matthew's version of the Sermon on The Righteous- 
ness of Sons, because in Luke it is referred to various 
more appropriate occasions. Unfortunately a large 
number of critics, perhaps the majority, have been mis- 
led by the mistaken idea that ancient tradition in some 
way connects the Second Source with the name of Mat- 
thew. They therefore take this late Gospel, constructed 
in the interest of a neo-legalistic type of Christianity, 
more or less as the model for their reconstructions. We 


are even told that Q was not a gospel at all, but a mere 
agglutination of " oracles " (Aoyta) ; that it contained 
few such anecdotes as Mark, and no account at all of the 
Passion and Resurrection. Still it is admitted that it 
began with a fuller account than Mark's of the Ministry 
of the Baptist, and of Jesus' Baptism and Temptation; 
that it included at least the anecdote of The Believing 
Centurion, besides others, which owing to their being 
also reported bj Mark are not identifiable; and that its 
central theme was Israel's rejection of " the Son of 
Man." This is hard to reconcile with the theory of a 
mere collection of sayings. Indeed had it not been for 
this false connection with the Apostle Matthew more 
would doubtless have recognized that not the order only, 
but the whole spirit and purpose of this ancient gospel 
(for most emphatically it was a " gospel ") are more 
nearly reflected in Luke than in Matthew. Had its 
structure been compared with the setting of the great 
discourses of Luke on Abiding Wealth (Lk. 12 : 13-34), 
or Effectual Prayer (Lk. 11: 1-13; 18: 1-8), or those 
of Acts 1-7, our insight into its true nature and bearing 
on the portraiture of Jesus would be far clearer than is 
now the case. 

The fact that our first evangelist subordinates this 
source to the Gospel of Mark for all narrative material, 
especially toward the close of the story, makes it impos- 
sible to determine what part, if any, of the narrative 
material peculiar to Luke is taken from it. Luke does 
diverge quite widely from Mark in narrative, especially 
in the Passion story, but as our recognition of Q depends 
on his coincidence with Matthew, and Matthew here 
fails, we lose our primary means of identification. 
Further inference can proceed on but two grounds : 
We may say : Matthew would have diverged along with 
Luke, if the Second Source had offered important mate- 
rial. This is the common mode of reasoning, and is 


valid within certain limits. The other ground of 
reasoning, is that of internal affinities connecting double 
with single or triple-tradition material. The primary 
definition of Q is : " coincident material of Matthew and 
Luke not contained in Mark." The definition is cer- 
tainly too narrow for the Source, which we might desig- 
nate S. S was greater than Q because the Second 
Source undoubtedly contained some of the material 
which now appears only in Matthew or only in Luke 
(single-tradition), as well as some which appears in all 
three Synoptics (triple-tradition material) and thus 
eludes identification. Of course the attempt to identify 
this further content of S by afiinity with the known 
elements is most precarious. Inference must be accom- 
panied with a double ? ?. On the other hand it is 
quite wrong to act as if Q (double-tradition material) 
and the Second Source were the same thing. If we 
were to treat S and Q as geometrical areas and super- 
impose the one upon the other we should find the out- 
line of each extending beyond that of the other at 
various points. Some of Q should probably not be 
included in S, and much, no doubt, that is not included 
in Q really should be; though identification is pre- 

Limiting ourselves to the admitted factors it is still 
possible from Q alone to define certain general charac- 
teristics of the Second Source which will greatly help 
us in our endeavor to place alongside the Petriue tradi- 
tion of Mark an independent early estimate of the char- 
acter and career of Jesus. As already intimated there 
is a decided difference. The Second Source will be 
found to coincide much more nearly than Mark with the 
conception of Paul, though Paul's also is an idealized 
portrait, in which the Suffering Servant of Deutero- 
Isaiah forms the background. I will mention but three 
features in this primitive Gospel's portraiture of Jesus : 


its conception of Jesus' relation to the Baptist, its doc- 
trine of faith, and its theory of the person and work of 
the Christ. 

(1) It is only in Q that we gain any insight into the 
work of John the Baptist as a movement of independent 
significance. Were we to judge by the meager refer- 
ences of Mark, we should imagine this really mighty and 
epoch-making movement in the religious life of con- 
temporary Judaism as a mere preliminary to Christian- 
ity. For Mark as for the late Ephesian evangelist the 
Baptist has no significance in himself. He is a mere 
anointer of the Christ sent solely to draw attention to 
him. We should have learned a truer valuation from 
the question put by Jesus to the delegation from the 
Sanhedrin concerning John, if not from Josephus, 
and from the later history of the Baptist sects. Unlike 
Mark, in Q full credit is given to the Baptism of John 
as the supreme " sign of the times." It forms a parallel 
in Israel to the appearance of Jonah with his message of 
warning to the Ninevites. It is an even more fateful 
sign, because Xineveh repented, whereas Israel did not. 
In Q Jesus declares John the greatest born of women, 
more than a prophet, because he stands like the promised 
Elijah at the threshold of the coming Kingdom, turning 
the heart of Israel back again in the " great repentance " 
before the end, and thus " preparing the way " for the 
coming of Jehovah.^ In this Source he expressly char- 
acterizes the work of John as a " way of justification " 
which the publicans and sinners welcomed by repent- 
ance and faith, when the self-righteous did not even 
repent themselves after they saw the sign. On the 
other hand this source, unlike Mark, represents John as 
unconscious of the mission of his great disciple. John 
hears of Jesus' work of healing and comfort to the poor 
and penitent, and sends to enquire if this may perchance 
3 Not as Mk. 1 : 1 ff, takes it, the coming of Jesus. 


be the expected Christ. Jesus sends but an evasive 
answer, bidding him note the character of the work and 
take no offense at the person of the agent. This occa- 
sion is then made the point of departure in Q for a long 
discourse whereby the writer brings out the relative 
character of the two movements, showing how that of 
Jesus corresponds to the work of the Isaian Servant, 
who brings healing, comfort and " glad tidings to the 
poor."' In the same connection he proceeds to show the 
guilt of Israel in " stumbling " at this work, which is 
really that of the Wisdom of God, and will be " justi- 
fied " in that minority of the people who can be called 
Wisdom's " children." The rest remain under heavier 
condemnation than the Gentiles because of their greater 

If any of us fail to remember how lightly Mark 
passes over all this Q material about the Baptist, how 
he makes John prepare the way not of Jehovah's, but 
only of .Jesus' coming, it would be well to read through 
the Gospel of Mark once more, and note the difference, 
^ot only is the representation of the Second Source in- 
comparably more historical, especially in its recognition 
that the Baptist has no divine revelation of the character 
and work of Jesus, but its parallel between the two move- 
ments, in which the message of Jesus follows upon that 
of the Baptist as the Isaian message of comfort and 
healing follows upon the warning of Jonah " yet forty 
days and Nineveh shall be destroyed," is in highest de- 
gree instructive. It conveys, as we shall see, the whole 
point of view of this primitive evangelist. 

(2) From this Q comparison between the work of 
Jesus and that of John in the narrative introduction to 
Matthew's third book (Mt. 11-12) let us turn to certain 
Q elements in the introduction to the first book (Mt. 
3: 7-12; 4: 1-10). The first is the Baptist's preach- 
ing of Repentance, which Mark was not interested to 


record, though we have strong reason to believe that he 
had it before him. Its point is certainly not far from 
the Pauline doctrine that not they are children of Abra- 
ham who descend from him according to the flesh, but 
those who show his faith. In Q the message of John is : 
" Abrahamic descent gives no guarantee of escape from 
the coming wrath of God. God can make children of 
Abraham from the stones. Wash you, make you clean, 
put away the evil of your doings, or a more terrible 
baptism awaits you: The fire of judgment predicted 
by Malachi." Thus in Q the contrast is not, as in Mark, 
between a baptism of water (John's) and a baptism of 
the Spirit (Christian), but between the baptism of water 
unto repentance now offered, and the purifying flame of 
Jehovah's threshing-floor, destroying the chaff for ever- 
more. However, I have already said enough regarding 
what we learn from Q as to the independent value of 
John's ministry and as to its nature. I must pass on 
to the Temptation story, a section which serves in the 
Second Source a purpose similar to that of the prologue 
of Mark or John ; that is, it gives the reader a survey of 
the career that opens before Jesus as " the Son of God." 
It defines under symbolic forms what is involved in the 
term. It is implied in the Temptation story that it 
followed upon and elucidated some account of the Bap- 
tism and Voice from Heaven. As before, Mark was not 
sufficiently interested in this Q section to give its content, 
though when he comes to the question what is involved 
in the title Son of God, he does not fail to avail himself 
of the language of Jesus' reply to Satan in it. In Mk. 
8 : 33, its language is directed against Peter, who in re- 
sisting the doctrine of a martyr-Christ makes himself 
the tool of Satan. 

As I said, the point of the midrashic temptation-story 
is to interpret the Christian sense of the title Son of 
God, which had just been divinely revealed. We may 


therefore conclude that the " triple-tradition " (Markan) 
story of the vision at the baptism is really derived in 
the main from the Second Source. At all events it is 
based on the Isaian Servant-song " Behold my Servant 
whom I have chosen, my Beloved on whom my soul fixed 
her choice; I will put my Spirit upon him; he shall 
bring forth judgment {mislipat, i. e., knowledge of God) 
to the Gentiles." Jesus is the Servant-Son. We shall 
best get the idea of the parabolic attachment known as 
the Temptations by turning to one of the greatest of the 
pre-Christian Wisdom writings in which the Isaian fig- 
ure of Israel as Jehovah's suffering Servant is developed. 
I may again remind you that in this Greek writing, the 
so-called Wisdom of Solomon, the titles of Servant 
(Trats) and Son (wo?) are used interchangeably. Both 
stand for Israel as the agent of Jehovah in restoring the 
world. In the second chapter of Wisdom a long poem 
describes the suffering and the shameful death to which 
the Righteous one is exposed by enemies who deride his 
claim to be the Servant of the Lord and to have knowl- 
edge of Him. Because he claims that " God is his 
Father," and believes that " if the righteous man is 
God's Son He will uphold him " the wicked put him to a 
shameful death, to try if his words be true. The 
martyrdom issues in a crown of immortality for the 
Righteous Servant, and the poet concludes with the fol- 
lowing general application. 

The souls of the righteous are in God's hand. 
And no torment shall touch them. 
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died; 
Their departure was accounted disaster, 
And their journeying away from us, ruin. 
But they are in peace, having a hope full of immortality. 
God made trial of them and found them worthy of Himself, 
And He will reign over them for evermore. 
They that trust in Him (ot TrcTroi^oTes ctt' ovtC)) shall under- 
stand truth. 


And those that are faithful in love (ol mo-roi ev dyaTr??) shall 
have their dwelling with Him. 

I make the quotation in slightly abbreviated form not 
merely as a parallel to the second temptation (which 
shows how he that is truly God's Son is really upheld by 
Him even if in the eves of the foolish he seems to have 
trusted in vain), but to make clear that in both cases 
the victory is a victory of " faith." Satan says: " cast 
thyself down ; for it is written ' He shall give His angels 
charge concerning thee.' " The answer is in substance 
" Trust God, and be obedient even unto death." It is 
for Him to test thee, not for thee to put Him to the test. 
Faith and faithfulness, trust and " faithfulness in love " 
(a term that comes very close to Paul's " faith working 
through love "), are the qualities by which God " makes 
trial of " those who should be His Sons. 

Another quotation from the same Wisdom writing will 
show still more clearly the writer's idea of the training 
of God's sons in " faith," and will at the same time 
show still closer affinity with the Temptation story. 
Wisdom 16:20-26 employs the same passage from 
Deuteronomy which is placed in the mouth of Jesus in 
the first Temptation, and in the same application. Ac- 
cording to Wisdom Israel was given " bread from 
Heaven " in the wilderness in order " that thy sons 

whom thou lovest (ot moi aov ov<; riydirrja-a-;) ^ O Lord, might 

learn that it is not the growth of earth's fruits that nour- 
isheth a man, but that Thy word preserveth them that 
have faith in Thee/' Men who had read this passage of 
Wisdom would hardly need elaborate exposition to teach 
them the meaning of the Temptation, " If thou art the 
Son of God command that these stones be made bread." 
They would certainly not need special parallels to ex- 
plain to them the third temptation with its contrast of a 
" Son of God " who sits on the throne of David, the 


kingdoms of the world and the glory of them at his feet, 
with another who rejects all this as a kingdom of Satan, 
a kingdom according to the things of men. 

We have dwelt long on the Temptation stories because, 
as I said, they serve in Q the purpose of a general intro- 
duction to the scenes of Jesus' life, explaining by their 
symbolism in what sense his claim to be the Son of God 
is to be understood, and how his humble obedience unto 
death, even the death of the cross, so far from conflicting 
with the scriptural ideal, is precisely in line with the 
divine purpose as revealed by Isaiah and those who fol- 
lowed with similar insight. I do not think any of us 
will fail to note how momentous a part is played here by 
the qualities of " faith " and " love " as the basis of 
divine " sonship," nor how near we come along this line 
to the teaching of Paul. I have time now only for one 
more citation from the Second Source, and I shall choose 
it in such a way as to bring out the writer's theory of 
the person of Christ, and of the way in which God 
works through him to the fulfillment of His redemptive 

(3) We have had occasion already to observe in pass- 
ing that this source has a noticeable parallel to Paul's 
doctrine of the " spoiling " of the Powers of darkness, 
and the working of the Spirit as evidence that the reign 
of God is already a potential reality. I have also had 
occasion to point out that the conception of Jesus' work 
of healing and glad tidings to the poor, as well as the 
depiction of his calling to be a " Son " in the sense of 
the submissive and martyred Servant, presuppose the 
same conception as Paul sets forth, based on the Servant- 
songs of Isaiah. There is, however, this difference, that 
in the Second Source this Isaian conception is even 
more strongly tinctured than in Paul with ideas charac- 
teristic of the later Wisdom literature. ISTot that any- 
thing here appears of preexistence, or the activities of 


Wisdom as the Firstborn of tlie creation, but of her 
redemptive activity as God's agent in M^inning back lost 
and erring humanity. Look at the sequel to the Q con- 
text which condemns unbelieving Israel in comparison 
with the believing and penitent " children of Wisdom," 
and which predicts that the " cities which believed not " 
will fare worse in the judgment than Tyre and Si don, 
or Nineveh that repented at the warning of Jonah. We 
find here as the closing appeal in Mt. 11 : 25 ff, a typical 
Hymn of Wisdom. The first strophe is a thanksgiving 
of the Son to the Father for the hiding of the mystery 
from human knowledge, and the revelation of it to 
" babes." Such, the h^Tnn declares, was the " good 
pleasure " (erSo/cta) of the Father. A second strophe de- 
clares that the Father gives full knowledge of Himself 
to the elect Son in order that this saving knowledge may 
be conveyed through the Son as agent to as many as he 
wills. The third strophe is not found in the Lukan 
form, but it continues with Wisdom's invitation to all the 
weary and toil-worn to take upon them her easy yoke 
and learn her " meekness and lowliness," which will give 
rest to their souls. No student of lyric Wisdom, with 
its appeals to wayward men, and its claims to a knowl- 
edge of God given only to His chosen, can mistake the 
nature of this hymn. It follows the stereotyped form 
of such lyrics, in which " Wisdom praises herself " as 
the means of human redemption. She speaks here in 
the name of the Isaian Servant-Son, whose mission is to 
bring back all the wandering races of men by his knowl- 
edge of the true God. The writer of the Second Source 
places it in the mouth of Jesus because as supreme leader 
in the divinely given redemptive mission of Israel the 
Servant is " Wisdom " incarnate. We can all recognize 
at once a close connection with Paul's teaching in I Cor. 
1 : 18-2 : 16 concerning the mind of Christ as a wisdom 
hidden from the worldly-wise, but revealed to us by the 


Spirit. It is more important for us at present to notice 
that the use of it in this connection admits us to a very 
close view of the distinctive Christology of the Second 
Source. This evangelist too has his conception of the 
divine "good pleasure" (eiSaKLa). It is an indwelling 
of the " fullness " of the Spirit of Adoption in Jesus as 
the chosen Son, the representative of Israel as the elect 
Servant of God, he whose mission is to bring the world 
to the saving knowledge of the Father. This evangelist, 
too, thinks of the Servant as " despised and rejected of 
men." He too believes in the " hiding- of the mystery " 
from all but the " little ones " who are Wisdom's chil- 
dren, as do Paul and many other Hellenistic writers of 
the period. And he believes strongly in the shaming 
of the unbelief of Israel by the repentance and faith of 
the Gentiles. The last point is made peculiarly em- 
phatic by such anecdotes as the believing Centurion, and 
such warnings as the denunciation of the Galilean cities 
that " believed not." It is easy to see that if this 
writer's story of the baptismal vision is based (as it 
would seem) on the passage from the Servant-song: 
" Behold my Servant whom I have chosen, my Beloved 
on whom my soul fixed her choice, I will put my Spirit 
upon him " the influence was not limited to these words, 
nor to the representation of the divine Spirit as the 
brooding dove, the messenger of peace and reconcilia- 
tion.^ The succeeding context is also reflected : " He 
shall bring forth true religion (mishpat) to the Gen- 
tiles." This becomes unmistakable in a further explicit 
quotation from Wisdom writings which in Matthew's 
order comes at the very close of Jesus' public teaching, 
and clearly reflects the author's view of its outcome so 

4 Because of the cooing tones of this bird, always the charac- 
teristic spoken of in Jewish references. The divine Spirit of 
Wisdom utters her message of winning entreaty in these tones. 
According to rabbinic teaching the "Voice from Heaven (bath qol) 
was like the gentle cooing of a dove. 


far as Israel is concerned. In the Lnkan form the ut- 
terance is explicitly ascribed to " the Wisdom of God." 
Indeed none other than this redemptive Spirit could 
claim to have sent the " prophets, wise men, and 
scribes," whom Israel had persecuted and rejected. 
Only she can appropriately compare herself to the 
mother-bird who has sought again and again to gather 
Zion's children as a bird gathers her nestlings under her 
protecting wings. This is, then, an utterance of the 
divine Spirit of redeeming Wisdom. It repeats in sub- 
stance what the Old Testament Chronicler had said 
shortly after his reference to the stoning of Zechariah 
between the altar and the temple : " God sent to them 
by His messengers, rising up early and sending, because 
He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling- 
place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and de- 
spised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the 
wrath of Jehovah rose against His people, till there was 
no remedy." All this is embodied in the poetic lament 
of the rejected Spirit of God which begins : " Behold I 
send unto you prophets and sages and scribes," recalling 
the shedding of their blood from Abel to Zechariah, and 
denouncing Jerusalem as murderer of the prophets. It 
closes with the words: "Behold, your house (the 
dwelling-place of God's Spirit of Wisdom) is left unto 
you forsaken. For I say unto you. Ye shall not see me 
henceforth, till ye shall say ' Blessed be he that cometh 
in the name of Jehovah,' " that is, until ye receive God's 
messengers with blessing, instead of insult and abnse. 
The quotation appears in Q as the closing utterance of 
Jesus' public ministry. But the primitive evangelist 
would not have so employed it had it not expressed per- 
fectly his conception of Jesus' ministry to Israel and its 
outcome. We have, therefore, in spite of the frag- 
mentary nature of the material, a clear view both in 
prospect and retrospect of this precanonical evangelist's 


conception of the person and work of Jesus. Jesus was 
to his mind' the supreme embodiment of the redeeming 
Wisdom of God, which, as Wisdom of Solomon puts it 
" in every generation, entering into holv souls maketh 
men to be prophets and friends of God." As divinely 
appointed leader of Israel to the fulfillment of its destiny 
to be Jehovah's Son and Servant to bring the knowledge 
of Him to all that are afar off, Jesus summed up the 
message of all the prophets and sages. But he also met 
their fate, which is rejection and martyrdom. In faith 
and obedience he fulfills his task, accepted in Israel only 
by a believing remnant of the " little ones," and meet- 
ing larger measure of faith only among the Gentiles. 
But a time of vindication and return is coming, and the 
beloved " dwelling-place," now forsaken of God, will see 
His presence again. It will be when they greet with the 
hosannas of the redemption feast the messengers of peace 
whom now they kill and persecute from city to city. 
Little, therefore, is really wanting to make our under- 
standing of this writer's theory of the person and work 
of Christ complete. It is a Wisdom Christology, whose 
affinity with Paul's is strikingly close. And yet there is 
no doctrine of the cross. What might be found if we 
could restore the missing close, the record of the Supper 
and its farewell message, falls, of course, beyond our ken. 
All that can be said is that had the doctrine that God 
made His Servant's soul an offering for sin been really 
present some trace would have been likely to survive. 
As it is, the Epistle of James, with its conception of the 
implanted wisdom of God as the source of all holiness, is 
not far from this teaching of sonship by true gnosis. 
On the other hand James falls far indeed below the 
level of this writer's doctrine of saving " faith." 

Our real portrait of Jesus as he was can be drawn 
from no one of these sources alone. Petrine tradition 
may supply the element of the heroic and ideal, Paul 


may lend aid with his speculative apologetic and his 
mystical experience, but we shall ever owe to this un- 
known evangelist of the Second Source the choicest, 
most exquisite reflection of the teaching; and it is in 
this as well as in his life and death of devotion that 
Jesus proves his supreme right to be called the chosen 
Son. It is not only by making his soul an offering for 
sin that he " justifies many." The Servant brings peace 
and reconciliation to the world by his " knowledge of 
the Father." 

3. The Christian Prophets and Their Message 

In the pseudonymous Epistle known as Second Peter 
we have a striking example of the manner in which the 
post-apostolic age combined renewed emphasis upon 
commandment, with zeal for its sanction in reward and 
punishment in an impending day of judgment. Once 
the great crisis was over wherein Roman persecution 
under Domitian had threatened the Church with actual 
extinction, it was keenly realized that the remaining 
peril (perhaps after all the greater one) was moral 
laxity. The doctrine of gi'ace and forgiveness, still 
more the conception of Christianity as gnosis, gave op- 
portunity to new teachers who turned the grace of God 
into lasciviousness, perverting the new commandment 
of love to their own lusts, contemptuous of abstinence 
from meats offered to idols, as unworthy the attention 
of one whose gnosis teaches him that no idol is any- 
thing in the world, and even looking indulgently upon 
immoralities connected with heathen worship. In an 
encyclical of a single chapter a writer of this age ad- 
dresses the Church at large under the name of Jude the 
brother of James, fulminating against the false teachers 
of moral laxity in language largely borrowed from such 
writings as Enoch and the Assumption of Moses. Sec- 


end Peter follows suit, incorporating the whole of 
Jude's denunciation of the followers of Cain, Balaam, 
and Korah, but prefixing a chapter on the testimony of 
the Transfiguration to the reality of the resurrection 
body, and appending another on the certainty of the 
coming judgment. These two pseudonymous epistles 
show the conditions at the close of the century. In the 
same way the student who will give adequate attention 
to the distinctive characteristics of the individual Gos- 
pels will find that our Gospel of Matthew, a writing of 
the same period, reflects the same feeling. It com- 
bines its systematic arrangement of the teaching of 
Jesus in the form of " commandments " and the ac- 
companying repeated denunciations of those who teach 
and work " lawlessness " with an elaborate depiction of 
divine reward and punishment which goes far beyond 
anything to be found in the other Gospels. We have 
already observed to some extent how in Synoptic litera- 
ture the " turning back to the tradition handed down to 
us from the very first " becomes increasingly, from 
Mark to Luke and from Luke to Matthew, a reaction 
to neo-legalism. We have now to observe how at about 
the same period, among the Greek-speaking Pauline 
churches of Ephesus and its vicinity, another element of 
the older Aramaic teaching material is resurrected in 
Greek form to meet the new danger. 

Among the three examples current among the 
churches in the second century of what was called 
" prophecy," that is, the utterances of the " prophets " 
in the form of apocalypse, or revelation, only one out- 
lived the intense opposition roused by the excesses of 
the millenarian followers of Montanus. The apoca- 
lypses of Peter and of Hermas lost ground and were 
finally discarded. The Ephesian apocalypse which 
bore the name of " John " would have shared this fate 
but for the vigorous assertion of its authenticity by men 


such as Papias and Justin. By the narrowest possible 
margin, and solely because it was declared to be the 
writing of an Apostle, the Revelation of John finally 
succeeded in maintaining its place among the Western 
churches. Thanks to the violent dispute over this 
" proi)hecy," as it calls itself, we have more precise and 
definite statements from the earliest writers concerning 
its origin than about any other in the entire canon. It 
was declared to have appeared at Ephesus " in the end 
of the reign of Domitian," In all save the underlying 
material, drawn from older compositions, in part at 
least from the reign of Nero, this traditional date is 
fully confirmed by modern criticism. Revelation in its 
present form is an Ephesian work of 93-95 a. d. The 
visions of the main body of the work are indeed con- 
cerned with the conflict between Jerusalem and Rome, 
and have neither mention of the churches of Asia, nor 
trace of interest in their vicissitudes ; whereas the intro- 
ductory Epistles of the Spirit to these seven Pauline 
churches are just as destitute on their part of interest 
in, or mention of, the Palestinian situation. ITever- 
theless introductory letters, and incorporated visions are 
both, it would seem, translated from the Aramaic. 
There seems to be the strongest reason to regard the 
work as composite. The prefixed letters and the epi- 
logue at the end, in which it is represented that the vi- 
sions were all granted to the Apostle John, brought 
" for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus " to 
the isle of Patmos, must of course belong to the age of 
Domitian, as already shown. No other situation is pos- 
sible for them. On the other hand the main body of 
the work whose scenes and interests are purely Pales- 
tinian, certainly contains elements belonging to the 
struggle against Nero and the destruction of the tem- 
ple. Its author speaks of the Apostles objectively, 
placing himself outside their number, and ranking him- 


self definitely as one of the hierarchy of Christian 
" prophets." It is of course only natural if the later 
reviser reissues the work in Ephesus equipped with in- 
troductory Epistles to the Churches of Asia, that these 
epistles should be full of imagery derived from the in- 
corporated visions. But why should this portion also 
have been written in Aramaic ? The fact (for it seems 
to be such) has been brought up as a serious objection 
to the theory of adaptation to the conditions of Asia 
in 93-95 of a Palestinian book of prophecy (or prophe- 
cies) of 65-70. At first sight it really seems so. The 
evidences of translation are quite as strong in the first 
four chapters and the last as in the rest of the book. 
But in order to carry out the dramatic mise en scene 
which assumes that the speaker is the Apostle John 
writing from Patmos at the dictation of the Spirit, it 
would be natural for an editor whose own mother- 
tongue was Aramaic to represent the Apostle as using 
his native language, even if actual use among the 
churches addressed required (as it evidently did) sub- 
sequent translation into Greek. Hence even if the en- 
tire book (except perhaps the first three verses and the 
last) be shown to be translated from the Aramaic, this is 
no real obstacle to the theory of composite origin. At 
least it offers none to the view here advocated, that the 
visions of 4 : 1-22 : 7 are merely adapted from earlier 
Palestinian " prophecies " to the situation in procon- 
sular Asia " in the end of the reign of Domitian." Can 
we derive, in any event, from this peculiar and primi- 
tive literature a conception of Jesus as seen by the 
Christian prophets ? 

It is singular how completely the danger from the in- 
roads of heresy in the seven churches of Asia seems to 
have driven out of the mind of the author of the intro- 
ductory epistles the conflict which is the sole concern 
of the rest of the book. After 4 : 1 the whole field is 


occupied with the great battle of Christ and Anti- 
Christ, the ultimate triumph of the new Jerusalem, the 
city of the saints, over Babylon the Great, the city of 
the Beast and the false prophet. Kot a word appears 
of the foe within. Even the false prophet is an open 
supporter of the worship of the Beast, and depends upon 
his weapons of raging violence. This Devil goeth about 
as a roaring lion. In the letters the situation is differ- 
ent. We have one allusion to a single case of martyr- 
dom which has occurred some time before in Pergamum, 
the seat of emperor-worship, and one warning of a " ten 
davs' " outbreak against the church in Smvma. Other- 
wise there is no reference to persecution. The general 
situation is rather that of the reaction and lassitude 
which come after days of heroic resistance. Sardis is 
indolent, Laodicea has become so rich and self-satisfied 
as to scarcely retain its place as a church. Even Ephe- 
sus has left its first love, and Pergamum, where Antipas 
had been martyred, is not exhorted to hold out against 
persecution, but against the Balaamites and Nicolaitans 
who teach an immoral heresy. The Devil has adopted 
a new line of attack. He is now no longer a roaring 
lion, but a seducing serpent. 

It is quite apparent from the reference to the Balaam- 
ites in 2 : 14 that the heretical tendency is identical 
with that combatted by Paul in I Cor. 10. In like 
manner it is apparent that the depiction of the glorified 
Christ in the introductory chapters, while it systemati- 
cally reproduces the traits of the warrior on the white 
horse who appears in the closing vision (19 : 11-22 : 7) 
as the Word of God ^ has also definitely Pauline traits, 
as when he is called in 1 : 5 " the firstborn of the dead," 
who " loved us and loosed us from our sins by his 
blood " ; or in 1 : 18 receives attributes barely less than 

6 That is, the Babylonian destroying Word, the Hebrew Memra, 
as in Wisdom of Solomon 18: 15 "f.; not Hoqma, which is Logos 
in the sense of " Wisdom." 


the eternal self -existence which in 1 : 8, 4: 8, and 21 : 6 
belongs to the Almighty. Pauline influence therefore 
makes itself felt here, and perhaps in the closing vision 
of the conquering Memra-Logos in 19 : 11 ff. ; though 
of course the representation as a whole is purely Jew- 
ish, borrowing copiously from the visions of Daniel and 
Ezekiel. But when we come to the inner substance of 
the book nothing whatever remains of these Pauline 
traits. The figure that represents Christ is always and 
constantly the " Lamb (apviov) as it had been slain," 
that is, not the mute lamb of the Isaian Song of the 
martyred Servant (d/iros), but the male "yearling of 
the flock " prescribed for the celebration of Passover, 
the feast of redemption. When the royal court of 
Heaven is set, and the books of judgment are opened, 
none is found worthy to open the book of life save the 
Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Scion of David, who 
was slain and who purchased to God with his blood men 
of every tribe and tongue, and made them a kingdom 
and priests to the God of Israel, to reign upon the earth. 
In Chapter 7 he is seen as Leader of the army of the 
144,000 martyrs, shepherding them in the heavenly pas- 
tures, and guiding them to unfailing springs. A new 
series of prophecies begins with Chapter 11. The tem- 
ple is measured off, as in Ezekiel, to be preserved from 
the treading down by the Gentiles which is to be the 
fate of the outer court and " the holy city," a repre- 
sentation surely first formulated before 70 a. d., and 
Palestinian in origin. In the city appear the two " wit- 
nesses of Messiah," Moses and Elijah, bearing their tes- 
timony. Satan secures their martyrdom, and for three 
days and a half their dead bodies lie in the street, the 
sport of the mob. But God raises them from the dead 
and they ascend to heaven in a cloud, after which comes 
the consummation; but only after a new interlude in 
which Michael and his angels intervene to preserve the 


woman with the child who is to rule all nations, asrainst 
the dragon's attempt to destroy her. Foiled in his at- 
tempt the dragon goes away to make war with the rest 
of the woman's seed, who are explained to be the Chris- 
tian Church. This further war, waged by angels on 
behalf of the Lamb and his following of martyrs, who 
now appear on Mount Zion, results in the overthrow of 
the Beast and his following, and the destruction of 
Bab^don the Great. The scene closes with the mar- 
riage supper of the Lamb. The seer is on the point of 
worshiping the angel who conducts him, but is forbid- 
den. One can hardly avoid recognizing here a reflec- 
tion of events in Jerusalem in the great crisis of 62-70, 
to which older prophecies, perhaps pre-Christian, have 
been adapted. 

Many features of this vision of the redeeming Lamb 
are carried over into the remaining vision of the con- 
quering Memra-Logos and the appearance of the new 
Jerusalem, but not all ; and where the term " the Lamb " 
is used it is incongruous. Especially incongruous is 
the repetition of the seer's former attempt to worship 
the angel (22 : 8 ; cf. 19 : 10). We cannot therefore re- 
gard the book as a unit, and are compelled to carry back 
some parts of it to the period before the destruction of 
Jerusalem when, as we learn from Josephus, James the 
leader of the Palestinian church was stoned by the mob 
in the streets of Jerusalem, together with others whom 
Josephus does not name. From a frag-ment of Papias, 
and some further evidence it becomes probable that one 
of those who shared the fate of James in the year G2 was 
John the son of Zebedee, whose brother had been be- 
headed by Agrippa I, in 41-42 a. d. Our author seems 
to be comparing the martyr pair to Moses and Elijah, 
who were expected to appear just before the consumma- 
tion as " witnesses of the Messiah " and to sulTer this 
fate. Our chief interest, however, is not with the 


course of events, interesting as they are. They may be 
reflected in this primitive " prophecy " whose deriva- 
tion is so remote from the influence of Paul that even 
the doctrine of the sufferinp; Servant scarcely appears. 
But we are chiefly interested to note the character and 
nature of Jesus, as he appears to the eye of this 
" prophet," who is not even of the number of the Twelve, 
though taken to be " John " by the Ephesian adapter of 
the visions. Let the attribution to " John " have vahie 
or not, we at least have here, in the older elements of 
this composite book, a primitive Christian " prophecy " 
from the home-land of Jesus. Its conception of Christ 
carries us directly back to the very beginnings; for it 
reverts to the s^mibolism of the farewell Passover, the 
self-dedication to martyrdom in the cup of the new 
covenant. Its very foundation is the promise of the 
heavenly banquet, in which the Son of Man, Jesus, 
would sit down with the Twelve in his kingdom, and 
they should reign with him in the new Jerusalem, 
Other features connected with the Pauline Christology 
appear in the later elements, but at bottom the concep- 
tion is simply that of Jesus' parting words. He is for 
the seer of Revelation the Son of David, who became a 
passover victim (to apviov) that he might redeem the 
people of God. Ill indeed could we spare these visions 
of Palestinian prophets. We may be grateful that they 
were preserved to us by the efl'ort of an Ionian church 
to combat antinomian heresy and to hold up the moral 
standards of a degenerate time by revival of the ex- 
pectation of judgment and of the approaching end of 
the age, whatever judgment we pass on the editor's rep- 
resentation of the authorship. From the midst of the 
martvrdoms of that great crisis of the mother church 
its " prophets " look up to Jesus as their Passover, slain 
on their behalf, and interceding for them " in the midst 
of the throne." 



[Among the " Aspects of Contemporary Theology " which 
we are here invited to consider ^ is the Reinterpretation of 
the Fourth Gospel in view of conclusions of criticism regard- 
hig its authorship and date which must now be admitted to 
have at least a considerable measure of probability. If it be 
the work of an unknown Ephesian disciple of Paul of about 
the year 100-110, what will be its meaning and value to us ? 

All the advance of modern exegesis over the past may be 
summed up in one great foundation principle of what is 
known as grammatico-historical interpretation. The princi- 
ple may be stated as follows: The real contribution of any 
biblical writer to the religious thought of our time must be 
found, if at all, in the message he intended to convey to his 
own. He wrote primarily for his contemporaries. Therefore 
what his language and his references meant to them is the 
measure of legitimate interpretation. There is no royal road 
to direct application. The leaps of undisciplined fancy are 
sauts perilleux. We have indeed the largest liberty of ap- 
plication and adaptation once the author's real intention has 
been discovered. In most cases he himself will be found to 
have set the example in adapting the work of his predecessors. 
But we have no right to cloak our own ideas with the mantle 
of his authority, nor may we lightly dispense ourselves from 
the long and toilsome search of grammarian and historian 
into the conditions of the author's time. That background 
and environment of language, thought, and circumstance af- 
ford the only legitimate key. First the historical sense, after 
that the inference or lesson. 

I am asked at this time to expand a lecture recently given 
on the service of the fourth evangelist to his own age, and to 

1 The general subject of discussion proposed for the Summer 
School of Theology at Oxford was " Aspects of Contemporary 
Theology." The section here printed in smaller type was prefixed 
to the closing lecture of the former series, in order to adapt it 
(in expanded form as two lectures) for the Summer School. 



include his contribution to ours. The method must be that 
of the principle stated. In the lectures which preceded I 
traced the line of development which leads over from the gos- 
pel of the kingdom preached hy Jesus in Galilee to the gospel 
about Jesus preached by his disciples and Paul to the world. 
The so-called " Johannine " writings (by which are usually 
meant the three Epistles and Gospel ascribed to John, but 
wiiich unlike the Revelation are anonymous) mark the su- 
preme achievement in this development. Antiquity and mod- 
ern Christendom alike recog-nize the fourth Gospel as the in- 
terpretative climax of New Testament literature. Con- 
sciously or not, this evangelist has placed the key-stone in the 
arch whose piers are on the one side the Pauline and post- 
Pauline Epistles, on the other the Synoptic literature and 
Book of the Revelation. Antiquity names him " the theo- 
logian," appreciating that in his work foundations are laid 
on which all later theology has built, though when the name 
was coined it had not as yet attained its modern sense. But 
the fourth Gospel does present the story of Jesus as theology. 
What then, was the purpose and bearing of this higher syn- 
thesis ?] 

1. The Higher Synthesis 

The greatest of Paul's disciples was an unnamed suc- 
cessor in Ephesus, the headquarters of his mission field. 
This is the writer who in the so-called " Johannine " 
Epistles and Gospel seeks to combine the values of the 
Synoptic record of the sayings and doings of Jesus with 
the Pauline Christology. As I have tried to show in 
the volume entitled The Fourth Gospel in Research and 
Debate it is no fault of this author if the name of 
" John " (which he himself does not so much as men- 
tion) became attached to his work in an age which had 
begun to demand apostolic authentication. To meet 
this demand a later hand has attached the well known 
appendix to the Gospel (Chapter 21). But this section 
is admitted even by Lightfoot and Zahn to be at least 
in part an editorial postscript. In fact it does not seem 
to be known to the epitomator of the resurrection gospel 
who quotes Jn. 20 : 11 ff., in Mk. 16 : 9-11. And even 


the Appendix does not as yet venture explicitly to name 
the Apostle John as author. It attributes the writing to 
the mysterious " beloved disciple " who appears in it on 
several occasions. The name " John " is not mentioned 
in connection with the Gospel until 181 a. d. The first 
claims to Johannine authorship were made in behalf of 
the Apocalypse, which had emanated from the same 
region in the year 93, and which from the first had 
purported to be the work of the Apostle. It is easy to 
see what would happen. However diverse in character, 
language, and doctrinal standpoint (and no two writ- 
ings of the entire ISTew Testament are more so), the four 
anonymous writings of the Ephesian canon (the Epistles 
and Gospel) would inevitably come to be attributed to 
the same apostolic hand as the pseudepigraphic fifth, the 
Eevelation. The Appendix meets the demand for au- 
thentication with an adaptation of the legend of the 
Two Witnesses, " red " and " white " martyrdom. But 
it purposely leaves the precise identity of the " beloved 
disciple " undetermined. Still it makes the conjecture 
of John very easy, and by the last quarter of the second 
century the hint had been widely adopted. The Gospel 
and First Epistle as well as the Apocalypse were attrib- 
uted to the Apostle. There was strenuous denial, but 
this was overcome by the efforts of Irenaeus together 
with his pupil Hippolytus and men like-minded. Only 
the Second and Third Epistles, which bore on their face 
the superscription " the Elder," were still classed for a 
time with the " disputed " writings. Ultimately all five 
were considered " Johannine." The belief in Apostolic 
authorship could not but deeply affect the interpreta- 
tion. Wliat would our interpretation be were it quite 
unaffected by this assumption ? That is the question we 
must now attempt to answer. 

Papias and the author of the Muratorian Fragment 


seem to have found First Peter a useful writing on 
which to base an introduction to the second Gospel. 
We have ourselves found that the Epistle of James 
might be similarly applied to the Second Source, and 
Jude to the Gospel of Matthew. But at Ephesus proph- 
ets and evangelists furnished their own introductory 
epistles. Revelation has seven preliminary letters; so 
that it is not (as the Muratorianum has it) Paul who 
follows the example of his predecessor, John, in writing 
to seven churches by name in order to address all, but 
it is Pseudo-John who follows the example of Paul. 
The fourth evangelist also seems to appreciate the value 
of covering letters, but he limits himself to the example 
of Paul's group of three letters sent to this same region, 
one personal, to Philemon, one to a local church, Colos- 
sians, and one general, Ephesians. In like manner the 
"Elder's" letter to Gains (III Jn.) covers a second 
to the local church (II Jn.), which is accompanied in 
turn by a third, the general epistle (I Jn.). From 
these so-called " Johannine Epistles," wherein the au- 
thor addresses himself directly to his readers using the 
first and second person, we can gain some insight into 
the conditions which gave rise to them and to the 

In the Johannine Epistles it is not persecution, as in 
the Revelation, which is the peril of the churches, but 
false doctrine. In fact the author repeatedly and ex- 
plicitly identifies the Anti-Christ with the specific heresy 
which denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, that 
is, Docetism. He thus exchides the idea of the Apoca- 
lyptist, who quite as explicitly identifies Anti-Christ 
with the persecuting power of Rome. The false teach- 
ers have the same pronounced tendency to moral laxity 
complained of by Jude, Matthew, II Peter, the Pastoral 
Epistles, and the Epistles of the Spirit to the churches 
of Asia. But in First John as in Ignatius false doc- 


trine is apprehended as the chief danger. The Docetic 
and Gnostic character of the heresy no longer admits of 
doubt. The false teachers aspire to fellowship with 
God. They have mysticism without morality. They 
claim to have knowledge of God, and even to be begot- 
ten of Him; but they seek this communion by way of 
the intellect rather than of the will. They are " Gnos- 
tics " who forget the " new commandment " of love, and 
ignore the teaching of Jesus and of Paul that to par- 
take in the divine life as beloved children we must 
be imitators of Him : that we must " walk in love, even 
as Christ loved us and gave himself for us," because (as 
this writer adds) love is the essential quality of the di- 
vine nature. The danger apprehended by the Johan- 
nine writer is then fundamentally the same " lawless- 
ness " (avofiia) combatted by the Epistles of Jude, 
James, and II Peter, by the later Synoptists, and by 
the introductory Letters of the Apocalypse. But the 
reaction against it is from the side of Paulinism, not 
from that of the Palestinian tradition. 

The situation of the Church at this time imperatively 
demanded new emphasis upon the teaching and the life 
of Jesus. It confronted the vague emanation doctrines 
of the Docetists, who held to an aeon-Christ that comes 
by water only, and not by water and blood, a particular 
theophany oi" the divine Logos, which had occupied the 
body of an otherwise negligible Jesus as its " recepta- 
cle " until just before the cross, the martyrdom of Cal- 
vary having been an illusion; for so we have it still in 
the" docetic Ads of John. Against this kind of theo- 
sophic religiosity it was vitally important to insist upon 
the historical and tangible reality of the apostolic testi- 
mony. The Church bears witness of things actually 
seen and heard and handled, not vague myths and " old- 
wives' fables." It was equally vital to insist upon the 
demand for moral obedience. Talk about mystical ex- 


periences, gnosis, insight into mysteries, fellowship with 
God and participation in His eternal life, new birth into 
eternity and the rest of the current mystical jargon of 
the day, is all froth and self-deception unless it issues 
in practical deeds of unselfish service. " Hereby know 
we love, because That One laid down his life for us : 
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 
. . , Little children, let us not love in word, neither 
with the tongue, but in deed and truth." " Abiding in 
Him " means keeping his commandments of love. His- 
torical and moral realism, that is the writer's aim. 

Thus the Johannine Epistles, with their direct on- 
slaught on the false religion of the time, furnish the true 
historical key to the Johannine Gospel. Two things 
were indispensable if any headway was to be made 
against the docetic tendencies here so apparent: (1) the 
story of Jesus' sacrificial life and death as told in the 
Petrine-Markan tradition, (2) the exposition of the new 
commandment of love as seen in Jesus' teaching as to 
the righteousness of sons who imitate the loving-kind- 
ness of the heavenly Father reported in the Second 

But both records must be recast ; for no single one of 
the sources represented in our Synoptic Gospels, nor all 
of them combined, could possibly satisfy the need of a 
church trained in the Christology and soteriology of 
Paul. Take up first the story of Mark as modified by 
Matthew and Luke. Their addition of the Teaching 
Source is a gain of immense importance, enough in 
itself alone to justify the appearance of the two new 
Gospels. But how could disciples accustomed to think 
of Christ in terms of the preexistent Spirit of creative 
Wisdom be content with Gospels which merely correct 
the adoptionism of Mark by combining descent from 
David with stories of miraculous birth ? Paul's Chris- 
tology, as we have pointed out, is in its very essence an 


incarnation doctrine. The Synoptic Christology, even 
as improved by Luke and Matthew, and in spite of its 
interpretative vision-stories of the Temptation and 
Transfiguration, which throw a momentary light from 
the unseen world, is essentially an apotheosis doctrine. 
To give the story the Pauline religious values it would 
have to be re-written throughout. It must be lifted 
everywhere to the supernal realm of Gnostic specula- 
tion, though without Gnostic superstition. Jesus must 
appear " the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form." 
And he must be so depicted consistently, and not merely 
at his baptism and when he takes the way of the cross. 
Without relinquishing the realism of Petrine story, 
which would be to play into the hands of the Docetists, 
there must be such a restatement of the gospel record 
as would show how Jesus came forth from God mani- 
festing the glory which he had with his Father from the 
beginning as the Firstborn of the creation. It must 
be shown how he again went to God, not as defeated by 
his enemies but in calm and unperturbed majesty, ful- 
filling the known purpose of his Father, drawing hu- 
manity to himself, and casting out the Prince of this 
world. N'o disciple of Paul could be satisfied with less. 
If the Synoptic form of the story required raising to 
this higher level in its earlier part, much more would 
restatement be required in the later. As Polycarp 
shows us, " resurrection and judg-ment " (in the cruder 
Jewish sense) were a stumbling-block to the entire 
Greek-speaking world. The apocalyptic eschatology of 
the S;>Tioptic Gospels is superseded in the fourth even 
more completely than in Paul. Instead of a Doom 
chapter on the fate of Jerusalem and the approaching 
end of the world, we have the discourses of the upper 
room. Here the Keturn is an indwelling of Christ and 
the Father in the heart of those who keep the new com- 
mandment. Judas (not Iscariot) exclaims : " Lord, 


what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself 
unto us and not unto the world ? " But this is not a 
surprise to the reader, who knows from the conversation 
with Nicodemus that the judgment is already accom- 
plished by a natural gravitation of the sons of light 
toward the great Light that has come into the world, 
while those who are of the darkness flee from it to abide 
under condemnation and death. The history of this 
conception of the Messiah as a " gTcat light " entering 
the lower world of darkness and death to effect both 
judgment and deliverance would carry us far back into 
pre-Christian interpretative application of the Isaian 
passage : " The people that sat in darkness have seen a 
great light ; unto them that dwell in the shadow of death 
hath the light shined." ^ Paul in Eph. 5 : 14 quotes a 
form of the prophecy in which it had been applied to 
the Messiah, just as the Targiim applies the Song of 
the martyred Servant, as a " scripture." This un- 
known prophecy ran : " Awake, thou that sleepest, and 
arise from the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon 
thee." Paul applies it to the judgment which the 
saints, who have been roused from the darkness and 
death of sin by the new light of Christ's resurrection, 
must bring against the world by conduct befitting " chil- 
dren of the light." No one who reads Eph. 5 : 7-14 
need be surprised, then, to find from II Tim. 2 : 18 
that there were false teachers in the Pauline churches 
who maintained that the resurrection and judgment 
were past already, because the darkness was past and 
the true light already shining. Still less should we be 

2 Cf. Bereshith Rahha: "When they who were bound in Ge- 
hinnom saw the light of the Messiah tliey rejoiced in receiving 
him, and said, ' This is he who will lead us forth out of this 
darkness'; and Trenseus, 'Ejs ''E.iribei^tv rov awoaroXiKov Kfipvyfiaros, 
c. 38, 238, V. ' Light entered our prison-house and brought resur- 
rection.' Slav. En. xlvi. 3 adds, ' WJien God shall send a great 
light, by means of that there will be judgment to the just and 
the unjust, and nothing will be concealed.' " 


surprised to find an Ephesian evangelist toward the end 
of the centnry reversing the point of view of Revelation, 
and presenting as the teaching of Jesus that " Now is 
the judgment of this world, and the casting out of its 
Prince," that for judg-ment the Son of Man came into 
the world, and that it is already convicted and con- 
demned by its attitude both toward him and toward 
those endowed with his Spirit (Jn. 5:22-47; 16: 
8-11), those who hate the light fleeing from it lest their 
deeds be reproved, as those who are of it walk and live 
in it. 

No more remains, then, in the Ephesian Gospel, of 
the expected great assize in the end of the world than 
the life-giving summons to the saints in the last day 
(5:25-29). This complete transfer of the emphasis 
under the influence of Paul away from the expected 
judgment of the apocalyptic type in the end of the 
world, described in the Gospel of Matthew, back to a 
judgment already executed in principle by the coming 
of Jesus and the Spirit, is anticipated in Paul's Epistles 
to the Romans (Rom. 8:1) ancl to the Ephesians; but 
it necessitated a complete recast of the traditional teach- 
ing. Hence a " spiritual gospel " to teach the " last 
things " from a rationalized point of view was needed 
just as urgently as one to teach the " first things " from 
the view-point of Christ's preexistence as the creative 
and redemptive Wisdom of God. At least these two 
restatements of the Church's doctrine in the domain of 
Christology and eschatology respectively were indis- 
pensable wherever Paulinism stood confronted by Greek 

Again, no church which cherished the finest and high- 
est teachings of Paul could possibly be satisfied with 
Gospels of the Synoptic type for the full record of the 
doings and sayings of Jesus, to say nothing of differ- 
ences between Rome and Asia on the score of ritual and 


observances. If the teaching of Paul survived at all it 
was inevitable that it should find expression, in days 
when Gospels of the Synoptic type were coming into 
use, in a restatement of the tradition of Jesus' ministry 
and teaching in a form to bring out its higher religious 
values. This is what the Fathers mean when they re- 
port that when John saw what the other evangelists had 
reported of the bodily things concerning Jesus, he was 
moved to write a " spiritual " Gospel. In his story of 
the public ministry also, the fourth evangelist really 
does carry us back to Mark, and behind Mark ; but the 
supreme Teacher to whom it harks back is not the Jesus 
of Peter but the Christ of Paul. 

At the period when the fourth Gospel was written it 
was already much too late for a critical record of mere 
fact regarding the life of Jesus, even had the interest 
been present to recover it. For two generations the use 
made of it had been religious and pragmatic. Men had 
sought in it not fact but truth, and just as in modern 
times we are conscious that truth may be conveyed in 
many cases more eifectively by fiction than by fact, so 
with the ancient world, but in much higher degree. As 
Plato is fond of using m^^th to convey a philosophical 
truth, so do the teachers of the S^magogrie revel in para- 
bles and tales whose end is edification, and whose value 
is reckoned according to the attainment, or failure to 
attain, this end. The rule of haggada is Paul's rule: 
" All things for edification." As we have already seen, 
there is decisive evidence for the employment of just 
such interpretative haggada, or midrash, in the early 
Christian Church, long after the period of our Gospels, 
in the tradition of the sayings and doings of Jesus. In 
fact our owm Gospel of Mark was seen to employ for its 
key-narratives accompanying the story of Jesus' bap- 
tism, and of his taking the way of the cross, two vision 
stories of precisely this midrashic character. The task 


of the fourth evangelist in relating the ministry was 
essentially the same as that which had been imperfectly 
fulfilled in the Roman Gospel by the incorporation of 
these two midrashoth. N'ot the mere beginnings of the 
two periods of Jesus' career must be glorified in the 
light of the supernal world, but the ministry in its en- 
tirety. From start to finish it would have to be so 
narrated as to exhibit its relation to things eternal, ac- 
cording to the Christology of Paul. At the same time 
it must retain the strong note of human reality which 
gave to the Petrine record cherished by the Church its 
immeasurable superiority to the grotesque fables of the 
Docetists, such as we meet in the docetic Acts of John. 
For this purpose the fourth evangelist wisely follows 
the example of Mark in prefixing a prologue ( Jn. 1 : 
1-18) which apprises the reader in quasi-philosophical 
terms of the inner significance of the narrative which is 
to follow. Also in the body of the work he limits him- 
self to a selection of illustrative discourses and mighty 
works (in this Gospel designated " signs ") applied ex- 
plicitly to the single purpose of eliciting the belief that 
Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, a faith which 
issues in eternal life (20: 30-31). 

Men of far greater knowledge than mine of the ex- 
tent to which Jewish teaching for edification could re- 
sort to fiction even when fact might have been available 
have expressed their readiness to regard this writing as 
the work of the Apostle John. Such is in fact the late 
second-century tradition, which maintains that this 
highly idealized representation of the story and teach- 
ing of Jesus was the work of an eye-witness, yes, the 
closest and most intimate of all the eye-witnesses, 
though only after he had become thoroughly indoc- 
trinated with the ideas of Paul. This was the view of 
that superb scholar and profoundly Christian spirit, so 
lately the ornament of this college and university, Prin- 


cipal Dmmmond, who certainly approached the ques- 
tion of Johannine authorship with unusual freedom 
from bias, however possibly disposed in much later 
years to stand by a conclusion once logically reached, 
even against an altered phase of the argument. It may 
be that Principal Drummond's exceptional and sympa- 
thetic appreciation of Philo, the Jewish mystic and 
Gnostic, made it possible for him to maintain the view 
which he adopted.^ This view, however, requires us to 
hold that one who knew the actual facts of Jesus' min- 
istry in Jerusalem as an eye-witness, one who alone 
of all men alive could tell the real story of the Master's 
tragic end, deliberately consigned to oblivion the facts 
for which the Christian world was thirsting, and con- 
cocted a fiction to take their place. For '' fiction " is 
the word applied by Principal Drummond himself to 
the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead ; and 
it is this event which in the Ephesian Gospel takes the 
place of the Purging of the Temple as the occasion of 
Jesus' martyrdom. 

Fortunately the evidence for Johannine authorship 
is not really so strong as to require this feat of imagi- 
nation. The fourth evangelist does not pretend to be 
an eye-witness, nor does he intentionally substitute fic- 
tion for fact. He merely uses such material as was cur- 
rently employed for similar purposes in his time, mak- 
ing no more enquiry as to its historical reliability than 
was customary under the prevailing rule : " Let all 
things be done unto edification." The Ephesian evan- 
gelist tells the story as it had been told to him. He 
makes no more use of " fiction " than that free employ- 
ment of edifying story which in that age was accorded 
by common consent to every synagogue teacher. The 
insoluble difficulties arise only when we think of him 
as the Apostle and eye-witness which he never professed 
to be. We should conceive instead the preacher and in- 


terpreter of a Paulinizod type of Christianity who used 
the recognized methods of his age against the false teach- 
ers he himself denounces. Next to ridding ourselves of 
this traditional prepossession, and placing ourselves at 
the evangelist's own point of view, face to face with his 
own environment, by means of the three Epistles, the 
most important step toward real appreciation of the 
fourth Gospel is to avail ourselves of the theological 
key which the evangelist himself supplies in the Pro- 

2. The Prologue 

The very able and acute Swiss critic Overbeck pointed 
to the story in Acts 18, of a community of pre-Pauline 
disciples at Ephesus (of which the learned Alexandrian 
Jew Apollos had been a member until won over to 
Paulinism by Priscilla and Aquila) as offering the ex- 
planation why this Ephesian Gospel, so deeply tinged 
with Alexandrian-Jewish ideas, should have been at- 
tributed to " John." For the first Ephesian community 
was " Johannine." They were disciples of the Baptist. 
Luke speaks of them, to be sure, as " disciples," and of 
Apollos, their leader, as " instructed in the way of the 
Lord." He even declares that Apollos " spoke and 
taught carefully the things concerning Jesus,'* though 
the whole group knew of no other baptism than that of 
John. By this use of language Luke becomes in some 
degTee responsible for a very startling theory pro- 
pounded by a fellow-countryman of mine. Professor 
Wm. Benjamin Smith, formerly of the chair of Mathe- 
matics, now of Philosophy in Tulane University, La. 
In this respect Professor Smith resembles Sir Isaac 
ISTewton, that his mathematics are much better than his 
interpretation of Scripture. Professor Smith infers 
from this passage that the Apollos group were worship- 
ing a " pre-Christian Jesus." In reality all that Luke 


means by the Way of the Lord as taught by the Ephesian 
Baptists can be seen by Lk, 3 : 18, where the evangelist 
speaks of the Baptist himself as " preaching the Gos- 
pel." For Luke the Baptist himself was a preacher of 
Christianity, minus the doctrine of the Spirit; hence a 
Baptist community in Ephesus would be (to his mind) 
" disciples." Having heard the " preaching of the Gos- 
pel " from the Baptist they would know " the way of 
the Lord," and even " the things concerning Jesus " ; 
though to become complete Christians they would re- 
quire to receive (after further catechizing) the baptism 
of the Spirit and its accompanying gifts. The " pre- 
Christian Jesus " is a modern myth, destitute of other 
foundation than this misunderstanding of Luke. How- 
ever, there ivere Johannine Baptists in Ephesus before 
Paul's coming, and they doubtless knew more or less 
about Jesus. Under the leadership of Apollos they had 
probably given a more or less Alexandrian cast to the 
Baptist's teaching of whose discrimination we have some 
traces in other localities also.^ 

Overbeck's suggestion is hardly necessary to account 
for the attachment of the name of " John " to the 
Ephesian Gospel, because after Revelation had been ac- 
cepted as authentic by men such as Papias and Justin 
it was practically certain that the same Apostle's name 
would be attached to the rest of the Ephesian canon 
anyway.* But the pre-Pauline brotherhood of John at 
Ephesus whose leader was Apollos is an important fac- 
tor in the history of this Ionian center of Hellenistic 
theosophy which was the birth-place of the fourth Gos- 

3 Dositheus, the predecessor of Simon Magus in Samaria, is 
said in the Clementine Homilies to have been a disciple of the 
Baptist. The Manditan sect on the Persian Gulf are Gnostics 
who trace their origin to the Baptist. 

4 The existence of this community of " disciples of John " may 
very well account for the existence of two rpoiraia of John in 
Ephesus, as alleged by Dionysius of Alexandra in his attempt to 
discover evidences of a non-apostolic John having resided there. 


pel. We can no more afford to neglect it than we can 
venture to neglect the post-Pauline advent to this and 
the sister churches of the Lycus valley of a contingent 
of utterly different type in the person of the Evangelist 
Philip of Caesarea and his four prophesying daughters. 
If it be reasonable to connect the latter factor v^ith the 
Johannine " Revelation," it is no less so to connect the 
former with the fourth Gospel. In observing the char- 
acter of the Ephesian Gospel we cannot but recall how 
Paul had written to the Corinthians from Ephesus com- 
mending Apollos, and that he adds the assurance that 
he (Paul), too, could, had he chosen, have preached the 
gospel in terms of mystical gnosis. Apollos' devotion 
to this type of " wisdom " will have been of earlier date 
than his conversion by Aquila and Prisca, and may 
well have characterized the " Johannine " group of 
which he seems to have been the leader. While, then, 
the name of " John " is hardly likely to have become 
attached for this reason to the fourth Gospel, it is by 
no means \\dthout significance that even before the ad- 
vent of Paul, Ephesus had been the seat of an Alex- 
andrian sect which Luke could regard as quasi-Chris- 
tian, though in reality followers of the Baptist, whose 
" gospel " they had doubtless developed in their own 
characteristic way. If we knew more of the Second 
Source, inferences would be less precarious. As it is, 
we may venture to recall that we found the Christology 
of the Second Source to be distinctively a " Wisdom " 
Christology (or in other words, Alexandrian), and 
moreover that in this source the prominence given to 
John the Baptist is vastly greater than in Mark, On 
the other hand a curious polemic against an exaggerated 
esteem for the Baptist has been recognized for nearly a 
century and a half ^ as a characteristic feature of the 

5 See Baldensperger, Der Prolog des vierten Evangelium's 1898. 
Michaelis had already made some observations in this line. 


Ephesian Gospel. In fact Wellliausen has good reason 
for his denial of the relevancy of the interjected re 
marks about John the Baptist in the Prologne (1 : 6-8, 
15). The first parenthetic remark (verses 6-8) warns 
the reader not to suppose that John was the eternal 
Logos, the creative life which was the light of men ; the 
second (verse 15) interposes a reference to a witness 
of John of which the reader is not informed, that Jesus 
was greater than he in spite of coming after him. It is 
inserted between the words " the Logos became flesh and 
dwelt among us, full of grace and truth " and their 
sequel " For of his fullness we all received, and grace 
for grace," thus breaking the connection. It is hard 
to believe that the original form of the Prologue con- 
tained these two asides about the claims made for the 

If we simply pass over these intrusive remarks about 
John the Baptist, the Prologue (which nominally iden- 
tifies Jesus with the incarnate Logos, the Stoic princi- 
ple of cosmic order and intelligibility) will be seen to 
be a typical Wisdom Christology of the purest Alex- 
andrian type. One need only compare the close paral- 
lels adduced by Professor Rendel Harris in his recent 
little book, Origin of the Prologue to St. Johns Gospel 
(1917), which are only part of what could be adduced, 
to see that the term " Logos " is a mere accommodation. 
The writer is as genuine a Jew as Philo himself, and 
has taken on far less than Philo of Hellenistic color. 
In fact, while John's Prologue is at least as much in 
line as Mark's with the Gospel it introduces, and forms 
a true key to its meaning, the word " Logos " never re- 
appears in its technical sense except in the preamble 
to the first Epistle. Let me repeat that this is not the 
Memra-'Logos of Wisdom 18: 15 and Rev. 19: 13, the 
Destroyer-Logos of Babylonian literature described by 
Professor S. Langdon, but the Hoqmah-'Logos of Philo 


and the Wisdom writers, the divine spirit of creation, 
revelation and redemption. The Prologue, then, sim- 
ply applies the Christology of Paul as the key to the 
story of Jesus in the way that we might expect an 
Apollos, or men of the school of Apollos, to do it. No 
longer is it put, as in Mark, in the form of midrash, 
or symbolic vision-story, but in the habitual forms of 
Jewish philosophy. As Canon Sanday has said: 
" Harnack says that the Philonean Logos and the Johan- 
nean have nothing in common but the name. We may 
go a step further and add that St. Paul's doctrine and 
St. John's have everything in common but the name. " ^ 
The same might be said of the later Jewish doctrine of 
redemptive Wisdom. As we have seen, the name Logos 
is mere accommodation. All the Wisdom writers from 
Ben-Sirach to Baimch would simply have used " Wis- 
dom." If our evangelist in this respect follows the 
example of Philo rather than Philo's Jewish predeces- 
sors it is merely on the surface. His meaning does not 
differ from the Wisdom writers, nor from Paul. In- 
deed he merely borrows Philo's term " the Logos " to 
paraphrase the same Pauline passage (Col. 1 : 15-17) 
which the writer of Mark's prologue had partially repro- 
duced in the language of Palestinian midrash. Per- 
haps we can form our own conception of how the person 
and work of Jesus were understood at the beginning of 
the second century in cultured Pauline circles in no 
better way than by paraphrasing the Prologue, a sub- 
lime Hymn of Incarnate Wisdom, whose two strophes 
of three utterances followed by one of four constitutes 
a kind of Christian Decalogue. 

Strophe I describes the nature of what Paul calls 
" the mind (voiis) of Christ " as preexistent with God. 
The Logos is divine, God's agent in creation and in 

^Expositor (1892), p. 2S7. Cf. Harnack, Dogmengesch.,2 p. 85, 
and contrast Sabatier, St. Paul. 


revelation; for it is ever distinguishing truth from 
error. A stoic would define it perhaps in three-fold 

form as Aoyos evSta^eros, Adyos 7rpo(/)optKOs, and X6yo<s 

Sta/cptTtKo?. Paul's parallel statement is : " We have 
our redemption in the Son of God's love, who is the 
Image (eiKwv) of the invisible God, the Firstborn of 
the whole creation, because all things in heaven and on 
earth were created in him, through him, and unto him. 
And he is before all things and in him all things con- 
sist, because the divine ' Good Pleasure ' (euSoKta) was 
that the whole ' Fullness of the divine attributes ' 
(TrA'^/oco/xa) should take up its abode in him." The Pro- 
logue of Mark had put this in the midrashic form of 
vision-story and a Voice from Heaven. The Prologue 
of John puts it in three epigrammatic utterances which 
we may paraphrase as follows (Jn. 1 : 1-5) : 

(1) In the beginning, dwelling with God and par- 
taking of the nature of God, was the Spirit of creative 
and redemptive Wisdom. 

(2) It dwelt with God in the beginning; it was His 
agent in creation: there is nothing that exists apart 
from it. 

(3) Whatever has life derives it from this source, 
and what men are guided by as light (inward and out- 
ward) is nothing else but this divine agency that also 
appears as life; its function in the world is discrimi- 
native, perpetually in victorious war with darkness. 

(Here at the end of Strophe I is appended the digres- 
sion of verses 6-8, to warn the reader not to confuse 
John the Baptist with this Light, to which he merely 
bore witness. ) 

Strophe II, which also has three utterances, speaks 
of this redemptive Spirit of God as the revealer of truth 
to all past ages of mankind, but with the tragic fate 
of rejection by all save Wisdom's children, the classic 
theme of all the Wisdom lyrics (w. 9-13). 


(1) This true light, that illuminates every human 
being, was unceasingly coming into the world; it was 
in the world ; the world came into being through it ; and 
yet the world refused it recognition, 

(2) It came to its own things (ra iSta), but even its 
own people (ol IBiol) did not receive it. Nevertheless on 
as many as did give it welcome it bestowed the right to 
be children of God. 

(3) These are they who believe on His name; for 
such are not bom of blood, nor of human choice or de- 
sire, but are begotten of God. 

Strophe III makes up the total of ten with four 
utterances dealing with the incarnation of this divine 
Spirit, which in Ben-Sirach and Baruch " tabernacles " 
with Israel in the pillar of fire and cloud. It journeys 
in their midst to rest ultimately over the sanctuary, 
making its abode in Israel and its leaders, an incarna- 
tion for the salvation of the world. The Prologue 
adopts this classic figure of the Wisdom lyrics, passing 
from it to a comparison like Paul's in II Cor. 3-6 of 
the revelation of the Law to Moses with the revelation 
of grace and immortality in the face of Jesus Christ. 
I will omit the irrelevant interruption in v. 15 and 
paraphrase verses 14-18 : 

(1) And the Wisdom of God became flesh and 
" tabernacled " among us, and we beheld its glory, glory 
as of an " only-begotten " from the Father, full of 
grace and truth. 

(2) For of its " fullness " (Ik tov 7rXrfpwfiaT0<i avTOv) 

we all received, one charism upon another. 

(3) For the Law was given through Moses, but grace 
and fulfillment of the promise came through Jesus 

(4) No man (not even Moses) ever beheld God. 
The only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Fa- 
ther, he has made Him manifest. 


3. General Structure of the Gospel 

Besides the use of a "Prologue the Ephesian Gospel 
also follows the example of Mark in dividing the story 
of the ministry into two main sections, a Galilean min- 
istry, covering the first six chapters, and a Judean min- 
istry covering the last fourteen ; but since another line 
is drawn in a very marked way at the end of chapter 12, 
separating the public ministry from the discourses of 
the upper room and the Passion story in the last eight 
chapters (13-20), we ought perhaps to speak rather of 
a three-fold division into nearly equal parts, chapters 
1-6, 7-12, and 13-20. 

We have thus in the section on the public ministry, a 
general correspondence with the Markan outline ; but it 
is considerably obscured by a secondary scheme based 
upon the idea that Jesus attended the great religious 
feasts of Judaism at Jerusalem. Each occasion of the 
kind is then used by the evangelist to bring out their 
higher significance by word and miracle. Thus, while 
Jesus still makes the beginning of his ministry in Gali- 
lee, as soon as Passover arrives he goes up to Jerusa- 
lem, purifying the temple as in the Passion story of 
Mark, but at the same time predicting its superseding 
by his own death and resurrection. This public declara- 
tion of his Messiahship to all Israel at the seat of wor- 
ship is followed by a dialogue with one of the teachers 
of Israel interpreting the doctrines of new birth and 
justification by faith taken in the Pauline sense. Jesus 
then returns to Galilee by way of Samaria, where a dia- 
logue of similar character with a Samaritan woman 
serves to present the doctrine expressed by Paul in 
Ephesians as " access for Jew and Gentile in one Spirit 
unto a common Father." Thus the temple and its 
worship sink out of sight behind the new order. The 
story of the Galilean ministry is resumed in the healing 


of the ISTobleman's Son in Capernaum and the Miracles 
of the Loaves and Walking on the Sea. But between 
the two is interjected another " feast of the Jews," prob- 
ably Pentecost, with a miracle and dialogue at Jerusa- 
lem corresponding in character with the section of 
Mark (2: 1-3: 6), in which Jesus proves his authority 
over the Law of Moses and his right as Son of Man to 
forgive sins. From this scene in Jerusalem we pass 
abruptly to " the other side of the Sea of Galilee " and 
the Galilean ministry closes, as in Mark, with the Feed- 
ing of the Multitude and an appropriate discourse on 
the Bread of Life interpreting the sacrament of the 
Supper. This takes place at a second Passover, the 
Feast of Unle*avened Bread, but this time Jesus remains 
in Galilee, because in Judea " the Jews sought to kill 

The Jerusalem ministry, so far as public, consists 
of two visits, at Tabernacles and Dedication respec- 
tively. The former feast, in connection with its cere- 
monial of water-drawing and illumination, gives oppor- 
tunity for Jesus to offer himself as Giver of rivers of 
living water, and (after healing a man blind from 
birth) as Light of the world. The second, the Feast 
of "Renewal" (Hanuka), which commemorated the 
martyrdom and resurrection of those who had given 
their lives for the national hope, is the occasion for 
Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead, and proclaiming 
himself the resurrection and the life. Chapter 12, in 
which we are told of the Triumphal Entry and the 
Appeal of the Greeks, brings the story of the public 
ministry to a formal close. After this Jesus again 
withdraws, to return only at the final Passover. 

The end of Chapter 12 marks a major division of the 
Gospel, The third and closing Passover which it de- 
scribes has no public teaching. Jesus merely gives his 
parting instructions to the Twelve and is glorified by 


the cross and resurrection. The sacramental. Supper 
also plays no part here, all its teaching having been an- 
ticipated in the discourse in Capernaum, and Jesus' own 
death taking place at the time when according to Syn- 
optic story it was instituted. 

We see that the Johannine scheme of the feasts 
greatly interferes with the Markan outline. It even 
appears to have so dislocated the material in the attempt 
to adjust the one to the other as to bring about several 
instances of disorder. Thus in 6:1, we pass from 
Jerusalem at " the " feast of 5 : 1, whose name has dis- 
appeared but which the narrative indicates was Pente- 
cost (feast of the giving of the Law), to " the other side 
of the Sea of Galilee." Conversely in 7 : 1 we are told 
that " After these things Jesus walked in Galilee " ; 
whereas he is in Galilee, and the next thing related is 
his going to Jerusalem. Moreover the theme of dis- 
course in chapter 5 is carried on much too continuously 
in 7 : 11—24 to admit the supposition that more than, 
half a year has intervened. Apparently chapters 5 
and 6 have been inverted in order, as many critics and 
interpreters have independently conjectured. 

Various theories, too intricate for our consideration 
here, have been advanced to explain this and other 
displacements. Suffice it for the present that the evan- 
gelist has certainly made historical considerations en- 
tirely secondary to those of religious instruction and 
apologetic. He himself informs us that the material 
he has put together is a mere selection, and that tli?e 
object was faith in Jesus as the Son of God to the ob- 
taining of eternal life. The fact that the entire public 
ministry is presented in the form of scenes at five great 
religious feasts, Passover, Pentecost, Unleavened Bread, 
Tabernacles and Dedication, for all but one of which 
Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, reminds us of the five dis- 
courses of Matthew, and shows how artistically the 


evangelist arranges his material. For on each occasion 
he describes a single mighty work of Jesus symbolical 
of the religious significance of the feast in question ; and 
this is accompanied by a discourse approximating in 
form the Platonic dialogue, a form which had become 
classic for religious and philosophic teaching. These 
discourses are not concerned with the exhortation to 
repentance in view of the coming kingdom, as in Syn- 
optic story. In fact the Johannine Christ is not a 
teacher of ethics, new or old. There are no publicans 
and sinners in the fourth Gospel. There are only on 
the one hand believers, on the other " the Jews," who 
are Jesus' opponents. The discourses are theological 
and polemic. They start from one of the so-called 
" seven I am's " of Jesus, and expound in religious dia- 
lectic the significance of his person and mission. At 
the initial Passover Jesus purges the temple, announc- 
ing himself as taking its place through his death and 
resurrection. The dialogue with Nicodemus follows, 
explaining the doctrines of new birth by baptism of 
the Spirit, and justification in the judgment by faith in 
the crucified Son of Man. Nicodemus disappears. 
The dialogue becomes a monologue, and is followed by 
a (displaced?) paragraph making clear the fact that 
the baptism of John was not " from heaven " in any 
such sense as that of Jesus' disciples. The Christian 
alone has the divine endorsement of the Spirit (3 : 
22-26). A second dialogue, whose scene is Jacob's 
well, on the return journey through Samaria, shows 
how this doctrine of the Spirit supersedes all local 
shrines^ giving common access to all of every race who 
worship in spirit and truth to the heavenly Father. A 
parallel to the Synoptic anecdote of the Believing Cen- 
turion "^ closes this first section of the work. 

7 The Pauline conception of the cross (not mere Gentile faith) 
as the breaking down of the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2: 14- 


We need not now take up consecutively the miracles 
and discourses of the successive feasts, which for the 
present I will merely enumerate. Those of chapter 5, 
in which the authority of Jesus is set over against that 
of Moses, relate to Pentecost. Chapter 6 relates to the 
Passover in Galilee, with its miracle of the loaves and 
dialogue on the Bread from Heaven. Chapters 7-9 
describe Tabernacles in Jerusalem with its miracle of 
healing of the man born blind and dialogue on Jesus 
as the " Light of the World." Chapters 10-12 describe 
the culmination of the ministry at the feast of Dedi- 
cation. Its miracle is the raising of Lazarus, and its 
closing discourse is on Jesus' self -dedication to the cross 
that he may " draw all men unto him." 

From this mere enumeration it will be already clear 
that the evangelist's aim is not statistical but interpre- 
tative. He is no mere annalist. He has combined say- 
ings and doings in his scheme of the five feasts in a 
way somewhat suggestive of the five books of the Pales- 
tinian evangelist. Unlike Matthew, however, he con- 
ceives the teaching not as law, but as gospel. It brings 
life and immortality to light as a present possession. 
The writer uses narrative and discourse in something 
like the proportion, and with something like the method 
of the Second Source; for the Second Source should 
not be regarded as a loose string of precepts, but as a 
series of discourses with brief connecting narrative, like 
the Petrine discourses of Acts. But no discriminating 
reader can imagine that the fourth evangelist attempts 
to reproduce the historical utterances of Jesus. They 
are as freely adapted as those of Socrates in the dia- 
logues of Plato, or the discourses of Peter just referred 
to. All the characters alike, whether John, or Nico- 
demus, or the Samaritan woman, or Jesus himself, de- 

16; cf. Jno. 12:20-33) precludes the fourth evangelist from 
characterizing the " nobleman " as a Gentile. 


bate such subjects as miglit have been in dispute in the 
schools of Ephesus, when Paul disputed daily in the 
school of Tyrannus. They use the language and termi- 
nology of such debate. All the characters speak just as 
the evangelist himself speaks in the three Epistles, and 
his style and language have an oracular tone which is 
highly characteristic. All the utterances are " as it 
were oracles of God." 

It must be admitted that the nature of this Gospel's 
contribution to its own age and to ours is different from 
that which it has often been supposed to render. It was 
not written for historical critics, but for disciples who 
needed a higher interpretation of the divine revelation 
in the coming of Christ. What the author aimed at he 
has accomplished. He seeks to convey truth, and not 
mere fact. He seeks to reveal the heart of Christ, not 
to describe his outward appearance. He wishes to tell 
what Christ eternally is to the soul self-dedicated to 
him, not what he urns to past observers that had neither 
eye nor ear for the things of the spirit. " These things 
were written that men might believe that Jesus is the 
Christ, the Son of God, and that in this faith they might 
find life," as the writer had found it. 

The Christ of the fourth evangelist is truly man, 
truly the historical Jesus, depicted as faithfully as the 
evangelist's information permits. Doubtless narrative 
as well as discourse is freely adapted; but we do him 
great injustice if we treat as insincere his insistence on 
the reality of Jesus' flesh, its tangible and corporeal 
nature, manifest to the historical sense, a witness borne 
to eye and ear-witnesses, and cherished in the Church 
as its choicest possession. To him on the contrary the 
attempt of docetic heresy to vaporize this all away was 
the chief danger of the Church. To his view this was 
the false and deceitful spirit of Antichrist foretold for 
the last times. His Christ is as real and historic as he 


is able to depict him. But he is also the incarnate 
Spirit of the redeeming Wisdom of God, the revealing 
" Image of the invisible God," as he had been to Paul ; 
and the evangelist is no more satisfied than Paul would 
have been with the depiction of a Christ after the flesh. 
He retains what he regards as of value in Synoptic 
story, but with something like the sovereign freedom of 
the Spirit that animated Paul. Thus the values, for 
him, are not in the mere record, but in its inner sig- 
nificance. Critical historicity in the modern sense he 
had neither the will nor the power to attain. For the 
assumption that he was an eye-witness is no longer ad- 
missible. Applying no such false and unfair standard 
of measurement, attempting neither to defend every 
part as historical fact, nor to apologize for it as " fic- 
tion," we recognize this portrait of the eternal Christ as 
a portrait of the heart. The artist " paints the thing 
as he sees it " ; but he sees it with the eye of the spirit 
" under the aspect of the etemcl." His closing words 
of blessing upon those who have not seen, and yet have 
believed, have to my mind all the meaning of an utter- 
ance of one who takes them to himself personally. This 
evangelist, like ourselves, had to take his evidence of a 
glorified Christ, conqueror of death, from others. He 
accepts it as sufficient ; but if it were shown in any given 
case to be fallacious, Christ would still be to him the 
source of a divine and eternal life, known to inward 
experience. This is that eternal life ,of which he de- 
clares that it was with the Father and was manifested, 
a divine power for us to see, to bear witness to and to 
declare, bringing men into the true fellowship with the 
Father, the fellowship of self-dedication in love and 
service to the triumph of the reign of God. In a sense 
the witness is all the greater if this evangelist speaks 
to us from an age already remote from what we call the 
" historic Jesus." The Spirit of Jesus which " ener- 


gized in " Paul had energized in him also. He was not 
remote from the eternal Christ, and he knows it. Per- 
haps he could afford to regard as knowledge much that 
was not so, and to lack knowledge of some things that 
we count important, if he could truly make such a con- 
fession of religious faith as this : " We know that the 
Son of God is come, and hath given us an understand- 
ing, that we know Him that is true, and we are in Him 
that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ." 



1. The Use of Material 

In our consideration of the general structure of the 
Ephesian Gospel, I pointed out that its main body con- 
sists of the story of the public ministry in Synoptic 
outline, but that upon this it superimposes a scheme of 
the great religious feasts of Judaism with typical 
" signs " and discourses of Jesus. The public ministry 
begins with a Passover at Jerusalem. In chapter 5 we 
have a second visit to Jerusalem with " sign " and dis- 
course appropriate to Pentecost. In chapter 6 comes 
a second Passover, this time spent in Galilee, closing 
the first half. After this follow in chapters 7-9 and 
10-12 visits to Jerusalem at Tabernacles and Dedica- 
tion respectively, each with " sign " and discourse ap- 
propriate to the feast in question. At this point the 
evangelist introduces a well marked division closing the 
public ministry. Chapters 13-17 are concerned, like 
the section between the Prologue (1:1-18) and the 
beginning of the public ministry in 2 ; 12, with dis- 
courses to the disciples, which have a more esoteric 
character. The closing chapters (17-20) present a 
somewhat altered form of the story of the Passion and 
Resurrection. But into these differences of the narra- 
tive, great as is their interest to the historical critic, I 
shall not enter. 

Thus the career of Jesus, according to the fourth 
Gospel, covers exactly two years, each period beginning 
and ending with Passover. The earlier ministry 



(chapters 2-6) is devoted to Judea, Samaria, and Gali- 
lee, the later (chapters 7-12) is wholly devoted to 
Judea. Jesus is depicted in the three discourses of the 
former section first as the inaugurator of the new temple 
and universal worship in the Spirit (2: 12-4: 54), then 
as the inaugurator of a new Sabbath under greater au- 
thority than that of Moses (chapter 5),^ finally as giver 
of the Bread of Life (chapter 6). In the Judean min- 
istry he appears first as Light of the World (7-9), then 
as the Good Shepherd that layeth down his Life for the 
Sheep (10-12). 2 Have we any literary parallel that 
will help us to appreciate the general method and pur- 
pose of this arrangement ? I have already adduced the 
five " Sermons " of Matthew. Perhaps I can suggest 
a parallel that will be still more helpful. 

Take up the collections of Synagogue discourses de- 
livered on occasion of the great feasts and known as 
■piskoth; or take up better still the Alexandrian pane- 
gyric on the martyrs of Jewish liberty called IV Macca- 
bees, an oration for the feast of Dedication. It is what 
Americans would call a Memorial Day address. Here 
are examples of what continued to be the custom in the 
Christian Church, especially in churches such as Ephe- 
sus, where we know observance of Passover at least, and 
perhaps others of the great Jewish feasts, was continued 
in Christianized foim from apostolic times. Of similar 
type is the " Word of Exhortation " as its author calls 
it, known to us as the Epistle to the Hebrews. It also 
might well be a panegyric for the feast of Dedication 
(or Martyrs), written to a church just entering the 
shadow of bloody persecution. It has a Jewish parallel 
in II Maccabees, another pishah for the feast of Dedi- 
cation. Even if this judgment be incorrect as regards 
Hebrews, later fathers of the Church afford us examples 

1 Displaced ; see above. 

2 10; 1-18 is displaced from after verse 25. 


of discourses written to commemorate the " Day of 
Martyrs," Jewish and Christian. We can imagine the 
great festal discourses on which our fourth evangelist 
has based the body of his work to have been originally 
sermons of this type. At least they appear to me to 
have parallels (as respects mere literary form) in these 
Jewish, Alexandrian, and early Christian festal exhor- 
tations, or piskoth. They use the freedom of this sort 
of edifying discourse to present not the mere language, 
but the mind of Christ; and the setting of narrative 
which frames them in (perhaps in part constructed by 
a later compiler) is freely adapted to the same purpose 
of edification. 

Thus far I have spoken only of the main body of the 
Ephesian Gospel, the five festal discourses of the public 
ministry. Even more distinctive and characteristic, 
perhaps more instructive and uplifting, is the outer en- 
velope, the introductory and closing narrative which 
presents Jesus' privjite teaching of the Twelve. After 
the prologue we have an introductory section corre- 
sponding to the narrative introduction to the first great 
discourse of Matthew. It covers a period of six days 
like the six days of preparation before the Transfigura- 
tion after Peter's Confession. In these six days of 
the calling of the first disciples at the baptism of John, 
as in the former case, the subject is the revelation of 
the Messiahship. 

They form a substitute in this Gospel for the Syn- 
optic story of the Baptism and Temptation, and the 
Calling of the First Disciples. Instead of a colloquy 
with Satan to explain the higher sense in which the title 
" Son of God " is to be taken, John the Baptist, and 
ultimately Jesus himself, explain it to the disciples. 
The six days begin with John's witness to Jesus as he 
who baptizes with the Spirit, the (Isaian) " Lamb of 
God " (ajuvos), whose martyrdom and intercession really 


effect that removal of the sin of the world of which 
John's rite is merely prophetic. For John himself is 
nothing, not even Elijah, merely a voice crying in the 
wilderness to prepare for his great successor. So his 
disciples are directed to Jesus and learn to know him 
first as the Messiah. The evangelist introduces at this 
point his parallel to the Synoptic story of the Confes- 
sion of Peter. Here, however, while Peter receives the 
surname, it is Andrew who first makes the confession, 
and another, apparently one of the sons of Zebedee, 
neither of whom appears in the Gospel by name, is the 
companion of Andrew. The final step is taken by a 
disciple completely unknown to Synoptic story, Na- 
thaniel of Cana, who confesses Jesus as " Son of God " 
and " king of Israel." But Jesus promises them a 
greater revelation. They vnll come to know him here- 
after as Son of Man, a being who stands as Mediator 
between man and God, serving like the Logos whom 
Philo had compared to the ladder seen in Jacob's dream, 
as the means of intercourse between earth and heaven.^ 
So this evangelist deepens and universalizes the promise 
given to the Twelve after Peter's confession that they 
shall witness the coming of the Son of Man with the 
holy angels. Finally, as the seventh day begins at 
Cana, Jesus " manifests his glory " by a " sign " which 
cements the faith of all his disciples. It is a Chris- 
tianized parallel to the legendary miracle of the epiph- 
any, or " manifestation " of Dionysus the Savior-god of 
life and resurrection, at whose birth on the night of 
Jan. 5-6 legend related that water changed to wine. 
Jesus now symbolizes the transition from religions of 
form to the religion of reality by changing the water 
of "the Jews' manner of purifying" into life-giving 

3Jn. 1:51 follows the rendering of Gen. 28:12: " Lo, the 
angels of God ascending and descending on him" ("bo"), i.e. 
on Jacob. It is quite doubtful whether it is affected at all by 


wine. " He manifested his glory, and his disciples be- 
lieved on him." Such is the Introduction to the Gos- 
pel. In the text of Westcott and Hort it is marked 
off from the main body of the work, like the discourses 
to the Twelve in the upper room (to which I next pass) 
by a space of three blank lines. Westcott and Hort are 
often found in such matters " workmen that need not 
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 

The closing third division, corresponding to the Epi- 
logue of Mt. 26-28, is likewise limited in its teach iiifi; 
to the private instruction of the Twelve. It would of 
course be superfluous for me to recall to you the contents 
of the farewell discourses of the upper room, the prom- 
ise of the Paraclete, the parable of the Vine of God, and 
the High-priestly Prayer. We are on a different level 
here from the Doom chapter of the Synoptic Gospels, 
and the prayer of Gethsemane. Even the Supper is 
now forgotten. A wholly different eschatology has 
come in. We are in the atmosphere of Paul's great 
chapter to the Romans (Rom. 8:18-39) on the two 
intercessors, the Spirit on earth and the risen Christ 
who pleads for us in heaven. The Second Coming is no 
longer a " manifestation to the world " but an indwell- 
ing of Christ and the Father in those who obey the new 
commandment of love. In this sense the Christ '^ comes 
again " to us ; but our abiding-place is not to be on the 
earth. There are other mansions than these in the Fa- 
ther's house. To depart and be with Christ is the bet- 
ter portion, as in the later epistles of Paul. So here, 
as in the introductory chapters, the Son of Man doctrine 
is transformed. We have a timeless eschatology, as we 
have a timeless Christ. We have a vine of God bearing 
fruit in all the world through the vitalizing current of 
the Spirit of Jesus, just as in Paul's great Epistle of the 
Unity of the Spirit, the world is brought into a brother- 
hood of order and peace by agency of an organism vital- 



ized by the Spirit which courses from head to members. 
In John the eternal life is conceived individually. It 
is a present indwelling of God in each regenerate soul, 
not admission hereafter into a kingdom of life, the 
reign of the Messiah. 

The climax of this esoteric teaching is reached in the 
Highpriestly Prayer (chapter 18) in which Paul's 
hymn of life in the Spirit in Rom. 8, and his paean of 
thanksgiving in Eph. 1 : 1-14 are raised to still loftier 
tones, expanding the Synoptic promise of the Paraclete 
(Mt. 10: 18-20). The Son is now to be glorified: he 
prays that those whom God has called and " sanctified " 
may be conformed to his own image, that he may be the 
firstborn of many brethren. Religious insight and as- 
piration have never risen to higher flights than these of 
the Farewell Discourse and the Highpriestly Prayer. 

[I ^ would gladly linger in this holy of holies of the 
fourth Gospel, but to have any just sense of the general 
structure we must return to consider its main body, the 
story of the public ministry. 

It is only by accommodation that we can speak of a 
Galilean ministry in the fourth Gospel; for the majority 
of the scenes even in chapters 2-6 are not in Galilee, but 
in Judea and Samaria. The story opens with a paral- 
lel to the Synoptic scene of the Purging of the Temple. 
Jesus thus presents himself publicly from the outset as 
vested with supreme authority to effect reform at the 
center of the national religion, and offers as a sign the 
resurrection of his body. Of course the evangelist here 
completely disregards the historical sequence of events, 
but that is habitual with him, since he is really ad- 

* The section enclosed in [ ] which here follows was added to 
adapt the lecture to the requirement of the Summer School. 
Lecture VIII, which formed the last of the original series on 
" Jesus and Paul," closed with the Retrospect which now follows 
tlie added section at p. 249. 


dressing his contemporaries, to whom the claims of 
Jesus to this authority are as well known as the resur- 
rection which supports it. The writer is completely 
indifferent to the charge of anachronism, or hysteron- 
proteron, which modern opponents bring against him for 
representing the Baptist, the earliest disciples, Nico- 
demus and the Samaritans as all freely discussing the 
claims of Jesus to Messiahship in the highest Christian 
sense; because it is, so to speak, an understood thing 
in his time, that the discussion turns on the merits of 
the case. The particular narrator's order and way of 
depicting the scenes is regarded with indiiference. 
These claims were the claims of Jesus. They are thus 
supported. What matter whether the story which pro- 
pounds them be placed at the beginning, as required by 
logic, or at the end, as required by the mere sequence 
of history. I can imagine the fourth evangelist struck 
with amazement at the petty and trifling quibbles of a 
modern criticism which expecis him to follow mere 
chronological order in his narrative. It suited his 
pedagogic purpose to transfer this story of Jesus' chal- 
lenge to the temple authorities to the beginning. It 
gave him incidentally a chronological point of attach- 
ment to secular history similar to Luke's, by establishing 
a synchronism between the birth of Jesus and Herod's 
reconstruction of the temple. He follows the ancient 
tradition known to " the elders " quoted by Irenaeus, 
but displaced by the Lukan chronology, that Jesus was 
upwards of forty when he began his ministry, and dates 
his birth in 18 b. c. Why should there be more ob- 
jection (he might say) to his depicting it as beginning 
with the well known scene in Jerusalem, than to Luke's 
transfer for similar literary reasons, of the Rejection in 
Xazareth, to take the place of Mark's Sabbath in Ca- 
pernaum as the opening scene ? 

Thus introduced at Jerusalem, the work of Jesus con- 


tinues until after the imprisonment of the Baptist in 
Jndea. It passes next to Samaria; only in the third 
place, and for two selected scenes, the healing of the 
Nobleman's Son and the Miracle of the Loaves and 
Walking on the Sea, is it located in Galilee. Jesus' 
brethren, in fact, speak of his disciples as " in Judea," 
and urge him to go there to demonstrate his claims, 
Jesus himself, it is explained, went to Galilee because 
" a prophet is of no repute in his own country." He 
continued there longer than he otherwise would because 
in Judea " the Jews sought to kill him." Thus does 
our evangelist answer the ancient Jewish taunt of his 
Galilean origin, a taunt which is voiced by Celsus, the 
second-century opponent of Christianity, in the form: 
If he was a world-redeemer, or even the Messiah of the 
Jews, why did he hide himself in a comer among a few 
obscure and ignorant rustics ? 

But what use does the preacher-apologist make of 
his selected material ? — The three panels of the suc- 
cessive scenes in Judea, Samaria and Galilee have each 
a figure of typical character, off-setting the figure of 
Jesus, and illustrating in the dialogue the attitude to- 
ward him assumed by his hearers in these respective 
regions. In Judea it is Nicodemus, who becomes a 
disciple, " but secretly for fear of the Jews." In Sa- 
maria it is the sinful woman, who with " many " of her 
compatriots openly welcomes him as " the Christ, the 
Savior of the world." In Galilee it is the Nobleman, 
who is convinced by miracle, but of whom Jesus says in 
conjunction with his fellow-countrymen: "Except ye 
see signs and wonders ye will not believe." There is no 
representative of the Gentile world, because the fourth 
evangelist holds (as against Mark, and far more con- 
sistently than Luke) to the principle that Jesus pur- 
posely confined his work to his own people. He has 
indeed " other sheep not of this fold," but other pro- 


vision is made for them. Only at the close of the min- 
istry do " certain Greeks " make their appeal, and they 
are answered in terms closely recalling the Pauline doc- 
trine that the cross was the means whereby the law, the 
" middle-wall of partition," the " enmity " between Jew 
and Gentile, was broken down. Jesus' reply to the 
Greeks is : " This corn of wheat must fall into the 
ground and die, else it abideth alone, and I, if I be 
lifted up, will draw all men unto me." For this reason, 
I think, the " nobleman " whose son is healed in Ca- 
pernaum is not (as in Matthew and Luke) a Gentile, 
but a type of Galileail believers; while the Woman at 
the Well, to whom Jesus expounds the doctrine of uni- 
versalism as in Mk. 7 : 24-30 to the believing Syro-phoe- 
nician, is not a Canaanite, but only a Samaritan. In 
the symbolism of Luke, who omits the incident of the 
Syro-phoenician, Samaritans play a similar part. Let 
us, then, look briefly at the dialogiies with ISTicodemus, 
the Samaritan Woman, and the Galilean Nobleman re- 

The subject of the dialogue with Nicodemus is, as I 
have already noted, the Baptism of Regeneration by 
Water and the Spirit, and Justification by Faith in the 
Crucified Son of God. These are the two vital doc- 
trines of Christianity as expounded by St. Paul, par- 
ticularly in Romans; the special doctrines which chiefly 
differentiate the new revelation from Judaism. Nico- 
demus is a name known to us in Rabbinic literature in 
the form Naq-Dimon. He appears only as the wealthi- 
est resident of Jerusalem in this period, one who was 
specially remembered for his benefaction to poor pil- 
grims to the temple by having provided for them baths 
of purification free of cost. In the Gospel he seems to 
be representative of men like Gamaliel, or Joseph of 
Arimathea, well disposed toward Jesus as " a teacher 
come from God," but even though " teachers of Israel " 


ignorant of certain first principles of the faith, these 
teachings of baptisms. 

Why, then, is it so important for the fourth evangelist 
to introduce them into his Gospel ? Let us reflect on 
how little we should get from the Synoptic Gospels alone 
of the significance which Paul and all the Pauline 
churches attached to baptism as the supreme expression 
of the convert's faith, his participation by a moral death 
and resurrection in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. To 
them it was the " laver of regeneration " (Titus 3: 5), 
wherein the believer was adopted by the Spirit and 
made a son, an heir of eternal life. It was a spiritual 
circumcision, a " seal " of the promise of God. Con- 
sider this, and I think you will hardly need to ask the 
question why supplementary teachings should be thought 
needful. The Synoptic Gospels refer once or twice to 
baptism as an institution of John's preaching of repent- 
ance. In it Jesus participates and is revealed as he 
who will baptize in the Holy Spirit. Acts refers to the 
fulfillment of this promise, without explaining, how- 
ever, how the rite came to be taken over by the Church. 
Matthew supplies in part the explanation by reporting 
an express command of Jesus to baptize, given after his 
resurrection. But it is extremely doubtful if any gos- 
pel writing known to the fourth evangelist contained 
even so much as this to explain the most fundamental 
of Christian rites.'"' 

The Dialogue with Nicodemus supplies this surpris- 
ing lack. In reply to Nicodemus' pi'oposal to class 
Jesus with other heaven-sent teachers it propounds the 
Pauline doctrine of new birth as the real ground of ad- 
mission to the kingdom of God, and proceeds to base 
the doctrine on the authority of the Son of Man come 
from heaven in order that he may be lifted up before 

5 The Gospel of Matthew in its present form seems to have been 
unknown to the fourth evangelist. 


the eyes of a dying race " as Moses lifted up the ser- 
pent in the wilderness, that whosoever hath faith in him 
may not perish but have everlasting life." Believers of 
this type are born again of water and the Spirit. For 
them there is no more judgTuent. Those who disbelieve 
are already judged. 

The six verses at the end of chapter 3 which elaborate 
upon the coming of the Son of Man from heaven, the 
love of God thus manifested, and faith in Christ as the 
sole ground of deliverance in the judgment, show little 
or no connection with the discourse of the Baptist in 
w. 22-30 to which they are attached. They are really 
supplementary to this part of the dialogue, whether 
transposed, displaced by the insertion of vv. 23-30, or 
themselves attached by a later hand. At all events you 
will find them more intelligible as a continuation of the 
dialogiie with JSTicodemus than as part of the utterance 
of John the Baptist. They further develop the theme 
of justification by faith in the Son of God, and deliver- 
ance from wrath that abides on the unbelieving. Along- 
side this exposition of the doctrine of new birth from 
the Spirit, justification by faith, and the cross as a 
manifestation of the love of God to a perishing world, 
a means by which those who look to it in faith are saved 
from the coming judgment, let us place now some of the 
leading principles of Paul. I will quote them con- 
secutively from Romans. " Therefore by works of the 
law shall no flesh be justified. But now, apart from 
law a way of justification hath been manifested, wit- 
nessed by the law and the prophets, even a justification 
from God upon faith in Jesus Christ unto all that be- 
lieve. For God set him forth as a spectacle in his 
blood, a propitiatory sacrifice, to make known His own 
righteousness in the remission of sins that are past." 
" For God commendeth His own love toward us in that 
while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much 


more, then, being now justified by his blood we shall 
be saved from the wrath through him." " Know ye 
not that as many of us as were baptized into Christ 
were baptized into his death ? We are buried with him 
by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised from 
the dead through the glory of the Father so we also 
should walk in newness of life." " There is therefore 
now no judgment to them which are in Christ Jesus, 
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. . . . 
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are 
the sons of God. . . . For the Spirit of adoption which 
teaches us to cry Abba, Father, bears witness with our 
Spirit that we are bom of God. He that spared not 
His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall 
He not also with him freely give us all things? Who 
shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect ? It is 
God that justifieth. Wlio is he that condemneth ? " 
Compare these great utterances of Paul on justification 
by faith in the crucified Son of God's love, and baptism 
as a new birth in the Spirit, with the dialogue with 
Nicodemus, realize what this teaching of baptism meant 
to Pauline Christians and I think it will scarcely be 
needful to ask why the great unknown disciple of Paul 
at Ephesus places them in the very forefront of his 
Gospel. And if we realize why he depicts the scene as 
he does, we may be less disposed to raise the very mod- 
em objection that he does not seem to be presenting 
historic fact, but only eternal truth. 

Verses 22-30, which compare the baptism of Jesus' 
disciples with that of John, must, so far as I can see, 
be treated either as an editorial interpolation like the 
anti-Baptist digressions in verses 6-8 and 15 of the 
Prologue, or else as displaced. If we place them after 
instead of before verses 31-36 they form just the need- 
ful introduction to the second dialogue, that in which 


Jesus expounds tbe doctrine of the new temple, and 
■worship in the Spirit, to the Samaritan Woman. 

I have already explained why this evangelist is de- 
barred from using the incident of the Syro-phoenician 
(as do Mark and Matthew) in the interest of his uni- 
versalism, and, like Luke, can only fall back on the 
quasi-Gentile Samaritans. The descriptive introduc- 
tion gives some of the strongest evidence we have that 
the writer had actually visited the scenes described ; but 
the discourse, starting with the gift of the Spirit as 
" living water " and proceeding to the conclusion that 
in the true worship in spirit of God as spirit all distinc- 
tions of race or local shrine must disappear, is simply 
the putting in dialogue form of the great teaching of 
Paul in Ephesians : " But now in Christ Jesus ye that 
sometime were ' far off,' aliens from the commonwealth 
of Israel, are made ^ nigh ' by the blood of Christ . . . 
for through him we both have access in one Spirit (out- 
poured alike on Jew and Gentile) unto the Father." 

The third panel of the Galilean Ministry covers 
verses 43-54 of chapter 4, introducing the figure of 
the ISTobleman of Capernaum, who for the same reason 
as the Samaritan Woman is no longer, as in Matthew 
and Luke, a Gentile, but who represents the somewhat 
unstable faith of Jesus' Galilean disciples, a faith 
based on their experience of his miracles, which did not 
long survive. There is only one passing reference in 
Acts (9:32) to "the church in Galilee." It seems 
soon to have become extinct. 

The proportion of consideration given to Jesus' work 
in Galilee in John might seem unduly short; but with 
chapter 4 we should probably connect immediately 
chapter 6, which begins, " After these things Jesus went 
away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee," and re- 
lates the Miracle of the Loaves, the Walking on the 


Sea, and Discourse in Capernaum. The intervening 
chapter 5 in which Jesus goes to Jerusalem to a feast 
(probably Pentecost) seems to be displaced. Many au- 
thorities, reaching back to and including Luther, have 
come independently to this conclusion, and I shall take 
the liberty of assuming its truth, though I do not agree 
with the majority of these authorities in regarding the 
displacement as accidental, but regard it as due to the 
editorial revision undergone by the Gospel, or at least 
by its material. One object of that revision seems to 
have been to introduce the special warnings against too 
high a valuation of John the Baptist, another to bring 
the work into closer harmony with Synoptic tradition. 
Chapter 5 relates the Healing of a Paralytic and a de- 
bate with " the Jews " as to Jesus' authority as com- 
pared with Moses', a debate occasioned by his disregard 
of the sabbath. It is a manifest parallel to the Synoptic 
section Mk. 2 : 1-3 : 6, which of course precedes the 
Miracle of the Loaves and Walking on the Sea. Thus 
the present order is Synoptic. But in John the course 
of the dialogue indicates that the occasion is really 
Pentecost, the feast of the Giving of the Law, although 
the name of the feast in 5 : 1 has been obliterated. And 
if the occasion be really Pentecost, the original place of 
chapter 5 will have been immediately after, not before, 
chapter 6, which deals with Passover (ver, 4) and Un- 
leavened Bread (vv. 30-59). A further reason for 
transposition is that chapter 7 begins with a reference 
to Jesus' walking in Galilee because of the threat to his 
life in Jerusalem in chapter 5, and continues with the 
account of his next going up to the autumn feast of 

Postponing, then, chapter 5 and its controversy with 
the Jerusalem scribes, we find as the third section of the 
Galilean ministry, the Healing of the Nobleman's Son, 
followed by the Miracle of the Loaves, the Walking on 


the Sea, and the discourse in Capernaum on the Bread 
of Life (4 : 43-54 ; 6 : 1-71). The events of chapter 6 
are appropriate to the occasion; for it is declared in 
verse 4 to be Passover, or the Feast of Unleavened 
Bread. All these incidents have, of course, close paral- 
lels in the Synoptic record, as we should expect of scenes 
in Galilee. In speaking of Synoptic parallels' I do not 
except the Discourse in Capernaum; because while the 
theme is greatly expanded in John it reproduces the dis- 
cussion of the meaning of the saying " Beware of the 
Leaven of the Pharisees " introduced in Mk. 8 : 10-21 
after the Feeding of the Four Thousand, when the 
Pharisees encounter Jesus as he is leaving the boat, and 
where, as in John, they demand a Sign from Heaven. 
JSTor do I except the closing paragraph of the section 
(Jn. 6:60-70), which corresponds to the Rebuke of 
Peter, related by Mark almost immediately after 
(Mk. 8:27-9:1). 

What, then, is the practical — or shall we say prag- 
matic — motive of this section of John, the only one to 
which the term Galilean ministry can properly be ap- 
plied ? 

I have already suggested that the key to the intended 
application of the incident of the Healing lies in the 
word — seemingly so harsh — placed in the mouth of 
Jesus : " Except ye see signs and' wonders ye will not 
believe." Even harsher and more uncalled for by any- 
thing in the narrative might seem the saying to the 
multitude who have come from the scene of the Multi- 
plication of Loaves seeking Jesus in Capernaum : " Ye 
seek me, not because ye saw miracles, but because ye 
ate of the loaves and were filled." The Galilean fol- 
lowing of Jesus does not seem to rank high in the esteem 
of this evangelist. But the deprecation of that type of 
faith which seeks after a sign and physical benefits is 
not confined to this passage, nor to the Johannine writer. 


The fourth evangelist evinces it in the utterance of the 
believing Samaritans in 4 : 41 f. It appears again at 
the close, in the rebuke of Thomas' unbelief, followed 
by a blessing on those who believe without ocular proof- 
But there is no innovation here. A kindred note of 
equal moral elevation marks Paul's deprecation of the 
Corinthians' craving for the spectacular gifts of the 
Spirit, and commendation of those which will long out- 
last miracles and tongues, the gifts of faith, hope, and 
(above all) love. 

We need hardly ask why the evangelist's selection 
from the rich store of Galilean tradition is limited, after 
the Healing of the JSTobleman's Son, to the Miracle of 
the Loaves and the Walking on the Sea. These form 
the climax, in all forms of the Synoptic narrative, of 
the Galilean ministry. Already in Mark's Gospel there 
are unmistakable traces of a symbolizing tendency, shap- 
ing the form into closer relation with the events of 
Passion-week, and Jesus' triumph over the gates of 
Sheol, as well as other traits which reflect the ritual 
of the Supper. An Ephesian evangelist could hardly 
be expected to accept the Roman form of the tradition 
made dominant by Mark, wherein the parting supper is 
constituted a Christian Passover. In John the last 
supper is merely an ordinary meal. The Passover is 
eaten without participation by Jesus or his disciples 
on the evening of the day of crucifixion. In the scenes 
of the upper room the only sacramental feature is the 
washing of the disciples' feet. However, it was impos- 
sible that an evangelist who lays such stress upon the 
great sacrifice, Christ as the atoning Lamb of God, the 
propitiation for our sins and those of the whole world, 
and who makes the cross the very goal of his career, 
should neglect the one great sacrament of the Lord's 
own institution. Strangely one-sided would his work 
have appeared in his own eyes, perhaps even Gnostic in 


tendency, if after the full exposition of the significance 
of Christian baptism in the Dialogue with Nicodemus 
he had given no interpretation of the Supper of the 
Lord. He uses the occasion of the Miracle of the Loaves 
and Walking on the Sea, already partially adapted to 
this purpose in Synoptic narrative, as symbolic of 
Jesus' victory over death. The discourse, on the 
Bread of Life, intei^rets the meaning of eating the 
flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of Man. 
Jesus makes this a condition of sharing in his im- 

We have here the evangelist's habitual form of dia- 
logue, though as before it soon passes into monologue. 
The interlocutors are in this case " the people " who 
have followed Jesus to Capernaum from the scene of the 
Multiplication of Loaves, and who (as in the Synoptics 
and also in the opening scene of the Johannine min- 
istry) demand from him there, as he is teaching in the 
Synagogue, " a sign from heaven." This time Jesus 
gives the answer of the Second Source in its Lukan 
form : the Son of Man who comes from heaven is himself 
the sign, as was Jonah to the Ninevites. He is the 
means of resurrection also, but only as they assimilate 
his nature. To those who eat his flesh and drink his 
blood it will be as the manna which Moses gave to 
Israel in the wilderness, a time bread from heaven, a 
food of immortality. He declares and reiterates in 
many forms the assertion : " I am the living bread 
which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this 
bread he shall live forever, and the bread that I will 
give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the 

Thus far we have a manifest blending of the Synoptic 
story of the Multiplication of Loaves, Walking on the 
Sea, and Demand for a Sign from Heaven, with Pauline 
teachings on the effect and meaning of the communion 


of the body and blood of Christ. Paul, it is true, had 
not directly employed the figure of the manna, any more 
than in speaking of God's " setting forth " Jesus in his 
blood as a token of propitiation to the eye of penitent 
faith he had made express mention of the brazen ser- 
pent. The specific comparison belongs to the Ephesian 
evangelist. So with respect to the " spiritual meat and 
drink " supplied from heaven to those who followed 
Moses into the wilderness. Paul stops short of men- 
tioning the " spiritual meat " by name as " manna." 
He says that " the spiritual rock from which they drank 
was Christ," and merely implies the same regarding 
their " spiritual meat." The evangelist is specific. 
Nor does he stop with the mere addition and develop- 
ment of this link. He concludes the long discourse on 
the Bread of Life by a paragraph describing division 
among Jesus' disciples as to the meaning of his words. 
Many forsake him entirely at the " hard saying." To 
the faithful remnant Jesus explains that only the assimi- 
lation of his teaching, the words that transmit his spirit, 
are the real food of immortality. '' The flesh (the opus 
operatum of the rite) profiteth nothing " ; his spoken 
word is spirit and life. 

It is in this closer distinction as to the meaning and 
value of sacraments that we trace a further reason, be- 
yond mere enrichment from the Pauline Epistles, for 
the evangelist's recast of Synoptic story. Here the 
Johannine Epistles come to our aid with their denunci- 
ation of the prevailing false tendencies, tendencies kin- 
dred to, if not derived from, the mystery religions. 
The evangelist deprecates a disposition to seek immor- 
tality by ritual or sacramental act, without assimilation 
of the spirit of Jesus, or obedience to his new command- 

I can only briefly characterize the Dialogue on the 
Authority of the Son of Man in chapter 5, which (as 


already pointed out) is tlie Johannine counterpart, of the 
controversy of Jesus with the scribes in Mark 2 : 1-3 : 6, 
and may for that reason have been transposed to a cor- 
responding place^ before, instead of after, chapter 6. 

We infer from the adaptation elsewhere of the Johan- 
nine discourses to the feasts on which they are dated, 
that the missing name of the feast in verse 1 (an occa- 
sion of considerable variation among the texts) may 
be supplied as v ^^^ TrevTr/KociT^?, Pentecost, the feast then 
regarded as commemorating Moses' giving of the Law at 
Sinai. At all events narrative and discourse alike cen- 
ter upon Jesus' defense of his higher authority in over- 
riding the law of Moses in order to give that " life " 
which the Law purported to bring, but Paul had de- 
clared it could not give. 

The incident with which the scene opens is a close 
parallel, coinciding even in phraseology, with the open- 
ing scene of the corresponding section of Mark. Jesus 
by his mere sovereign word restores a helpless paralytic. 
In Mark, it is true, the scene is Capernaum, not Jerusa- 
lem ; and the Markan debate as to the lawfulness of his 
healing on the Sabbath occurs a propos of another heal- 
ing at the end of the section (Mk. 3: 1-6), which also 
includes several other instances of objection by the 
scribes to Jesus' disregard of religious law and ordi- 
nance. The issue, however, is the same in both cases, 
" the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him be- 
cause he did these things on the sabbath." To some 
extent even the line of defense is similar. Jesus ap- 
peals in Mark also to his higher authority a.s Son of 
Man, and challenges the scribes to say which is more 
truly consonant with the sabbath law, to save life (as 
he is doing with his healing power) or to kill, as they 
seek to do in plotting against his life. 

Similarly in the Johannine discourse Jesus advances 
first of all his God-given authority as Son of Man and 


Judge of the World extending to life and death. This 
claim is supported bj two witnesses. These do not in- 
clude John, who was only the bearer in God's mercy 
of a special warning to the Jews. The witnesses are 
Jesus' own works, and the testimony in Scripture of 
Moses and the prophets. 

Here the evangelist envisages the great problem of 
Paul's missionary career: How reconcile the divine 
authority of the Mosaic revelation with the new economy 
of grace introduced by the cross ? Mark had merely op- 
posed the Christian authority to the Mosaic with a bald 
appeal to miracle : " But that ye may know that the 
Son of Man hath authority to remit sin as judge (verse 
28, authority over the sabbath) rise, take up thy bed, 
and walk." The fourth evangelist goes deeper. The 
eternal life which the Scriptures are supposed to convey 
is not there if they are treated as mere rules to be obeyed. 
If, however, they are taken as divine witnesses which 
point to him they will lead to the real source of life. In 
this sense Moses and Elias are his witnesses. Jewish 
unbelief is condemned out of the mouth of those to 
whom they themselves appeal. I have said that this ap- 
plication of Paul's contrast of the revelation of life with 
that of the handwriting of ordinances given to Moses, 
goes deeper than Mark. How deep, appears only when 
we take further into consideration this evangelist's 
identification of Christ with the eternal Logos of all 
revelation, comparing the opening words of the Epistle, 
which speak of Christ's coming as a manifestation of 
" the life, even the eternal life which was with the Fa- 
ther and was manifested unto us." Even more com- 
pletely than in Paul all bondage of the letter is overcome 
by the principle that the function of Scripture is simply 
and solely to bring men into contact with the eternal 
Spirit of Truth in his self -manifestation throughout the 


generations. All authority is committed to the eternal 
Son of Man. That of Moses and the prophets is not 

It would require a complete commentary on the 
fourth Gospel to deal adequately with all the great dis- 
courses, including those of the Judean ministry. I can- 
not take time to speak of the Healing of the Man bom 
Blind and the accompanying discourse on Jesus as Light 
of the World given at the Feast of Tabernacles with 
its ceremonial of illumination. It occupies, as you 
know, chapters 7-9, and is of an increasingly polemic 
character as the threats against Jesus' life become more 
frequent and menacing. I can only ask you to compare 
with Jesus' rejection in 8:33 ff. of the Jews' claim to 
freedom as the seed of Abraham with Paul's compari- 
son in Gal. 4: 21-31, where the free seed of Abraham 
according to the Spirit are opposed to the fleshly seed, 
who are children of the bond-woman Hagar, and who 
prove their Ishmaelite descent by persecuting those who 
have been born, as Isaac was, through a word of prom- 
ise. You should also compare Rom. 6 : 16 on servitude 
to sin. 

The fifth and last of the festal discourses, perhaps 
the greatest of all, is placed at Dedication, the feast of 
the Maccabean martyrs who had given their lives for the 
faith. By a slight displacement its opening paragraph, 
the parable of the Good Shepherd who giveth his life 
for the sheep, has become interwoven with the saying 
about the Door of the Sheep in 10 : 1-18. Restoring 
this parable after verse 22, where Jesus comes to Jerusa- 
lem at Dedication, we find a consistent whole. The 
" sign " of this feast of the resurrection (for such, as 
we see from Fourth Maccabees, Dedication had come 
to be) is the raising of Lazarus; for Lazarus (i.e., 
Eleazar) is the Maccabean martyr-hero of the resurrec- 



tion. The discourse centers in the well-known comfort 
to Mary and Martha in the scene at Bethany, where 
Jesus presents himself as " the resurrection and the 
life," something better than rising again " at the last 
day." Thereafter the Jews gather in council, and re- 
solve to put Jesus to death following the pregnant ad- 
vice of Caiaphas : " It is expedient for us that one man 
die for the nation." 

Surely it is needless for me to adduce a motive for 
this expansion or elaboration of Synoptic story. Syn- 
optic story has practically no teaching on the all-im- 
portant question of bereaved souls. It accepts the 
Pharisean doctrine of resurrection and tells of Jesus' 
answer to the Sadducean objection. It also relates the 
story of the Empty Tomb. But of the Pauline doctrine 
of eternal life in Christ it is as silent as of the incident 
of the raising of Lazarus itself. A gospel intended for 
a Pauline church could not overlook this deficiency. 
From what source the evangelist drew the story we 
know not. We do know that he has framed into it 
such " words of eternal life " as come, not indeed in the 
mere langniage, but in vital truth, from Christ alone. 
Only an unsympathetic mind can prevent our recog- 
nizing in this great discourse on the Resurrection, the 
hand and voice of one who with the disciples of Paul 
had found in the living, eternal Christ one who " brings 
life and immortality to light through the gospel." 
Should he not give to the Church, in whatever literary 
form he could best express it, his sense of this highest 
teaching of the Lord ? 

2. Values Past and Present 

Such survey of the Gospel as the time permitted we 
have now made. How shall we express the message of 
the evangelist to his own times and to ours ? 

N^othing, perhaps, comes with greater surprise to the 


reader of the fourth Gospel who approaches it with a 
mind emptied of all prepossession, than the freedom 
with which its author has cut loose from the already 
half-stereotyped Synoptic outline, and has dipped boldly 
into the broad and often turbid stream of tradition for 
material adapted to his purpose. An extraordinary 
license was accorded in his age to the preacher to em- 
ploy allegory, myth, symbolism, legend, parable, what- 
ever he will, in the interest of religious edification. 
But we must inchide also a share of that spirit of Paul, 
which made the great Apostle turn from the intercourse 
we should have expected him to seek among those who 
had been apostles before him in Jerusalem in order 
first to " go away into Arabia " and thereafter begin 
preaching the gospel not from man, the message which 
had come to him " in the spirit." Only thus can we 
account for so bold a dependence on the insight of faith, 
the vision of those who have not seen, and yet have be- 
lieved. We do know, however, that there were others 
in this writer's day who used equal liberty with the 
sacred story, yet without this writer'b insight into its 
moral and religious values ; and it is in relation to these 
" Gnostics falsely so-called " multiplying myths and 
legends and fantastic speculations, that we must view 
his work. Surely it deserves to be considered the great 
Christian product of his age, perhaps the greatest of 
any age. 

I have made special effort, as I cast this hasty sur- 
vey over the contents of the Gospel, to show you its 
completely Pauline character. It does with the story 
of Jesus what we might expect Paul to do had he lived 
to meet the dangers of that hour. Or perhaps I should 
rather say that it selects certain outstanding elements of 
the story in order to suffuse them with the glow of 
Paul's spiritual interpretation of the whole. The in- 
carnation of the eternal, redeeming Wisdom of God; 


the atoning Lamb that bears the sin of the world ; Bap- 
tism as a new birth in the Spirit for those justified by 
faith in the Son of God lifted iip on the cross as a 
token of God's redeeming love; the new Temple as the 
shrine of a universal worship in spirit and tnith, access 
in one Spirit to a common Father ; the Authority of the 
living Word over against Moses and the Law; Com- 
munion in the body and blood of Christ as " spiritual 
meat and drink " ; Freedom of the spiritual seed of 
Abraham; Eternal life as the present possession of the 
believer; the cross as breaking down the wall of par- 
tition ; the two Paracletes in heaven and on earth — all 
these gTcat Pauline themes have been woven into the 
gospel texture. And not only so, but the picture as a 
whole has become the picture of a Christ " not after 
the flesh." It is Paul far more than this evangelist who 
deserves the title of first theologian of the Church. It 
is Paul who should more justly be called the great 
Apostle of Love. But Paul did not survive till the age 
when his churches found it necessary to bring his the- 
ology into some sort of accommodation to the Galilean 
tradition of Jesus' life and teaching; and while Paul's 
churches had frequent need that he should remind them 
of the new commandment of love as " the fulfilling of 
the whole law," tliere had not yet arisen within the 
Church itself a great systematic impulse toward " law- 
lessness," a " gnosis that puffs up " devoid of the " love 
that builds up." The critical hour of Gentile Christi- 
anity was when forty years after Paul's death the 
churches of Asia lay between the Scylla of reaction 
toward Jewish legalism and the Charybdis of Gnostic 
theosophy. We owe it above all to the Ephesian evange- 
list, that it found a clear and open course by holding 
up to the world the spiritual Christ of Paul, and inter- 
fusing into the record of the teaching of Jesus the 
Pauline doctrines of grace.] 


May we hold, then, that there is still need of the gos- 
pel as theology? In our time few pay homage to the 
fallen Queen of the sciences. " Religion without the- 
ology " is the cry. Too often it means only that the 
speaker has not the courage, if he has the ability, to 
make a reasoned statement of his own regarding these 
deepest questions of life, and has lost confidence in the 
capacity of his fellow-men to do it for him. Too many 
are determined, consequently, either to go without a 
reasoned faith, or to fall back on what they take to be 
the reasoning of the past. Just because the work was 
so grandly done at Ephesus for the second century, later 
generations have unduly excused themselves. The true 
lesson of the great Pauline theologian of the Johannine 
writings is not the imitation of his language, or even 
of his forms of thought. Still less is it the fruitless 
attempt to make his ideas our own precisely as they 
stand. Our lesson from this unknown successor of 
Paul should be the imitation of his courage and the 
freedom of his faith. We should learn from him to do 
again for our age what he did for his. 

The glimpses that we get of the inner history of 
Ephesus, the great metropolis of the Pauline churches, 
shows as one of the most significant phenomena of its 
earliest years the turning of a community of disciples 
of the Baptist under Pauline tutelage to a baptism of 
the Spirit, a baptism into the name of Jesus as the Son 
of God. Its latest years were marked by the incoming 
of grievous wolves not sparing the flock, a teaching of 
Antichrist, threatening to sweep away the whole 
Church from its relation to the historic Jesus. Asiatic 
Christendom was in danger of forsaking the way of 
" reconciliation " by moral self-dedication to the God 
whose nature is unconquerable love, and of entering the 
delusive paths of gnosis. I have thought sometimes it 
were well to write over the superscription of the Fourth 


Gospel the two texts that tell the history of that church. 
We have first the story in Acts of the winning of Apollos 
the learned Alexandrian Jew and tlie company of dis- 
ciples of John that were with him, to the Pauline doc- 
trine of Life in the Spirit. So the first disciples in the 
opening scene of this Gospel are won to the Greater than 
John that came after him. We might put after that 
the utterance of the subjoined Epistle against the de- 
niers of the word of the cross : '^ This is he that came 
by water and by blood, even Jesus Christ ; not with the 
water only, but with the water and with the blood." 
Historical appreciation of the development of Christi- 
anity at Ephesus between the periods to which those 
two texts refer would make us better realize the service 
done to the eternal truth by the unknown author of this 
" spiritual Gospel." In it the evangelist has made a 
restatement for his own age of the whole gospel of the 
Church, including both that of the Galilean disciples 
and that of Paul. He gives an account to his own age, 
in the modes of thought that belong to that age, of the 
meaning of the story of Jesus, when looked at from the 
view-point of the eternal. Is it not, then, worth while, 
when we read the Epistles and Gospel of John, first to 
understand as if we belonged to that age, and then to 
follow their writer's example, remembering our own. 
age, and the duty of bringing home to it both the Jesus 
of history, and the Christ of faith ? 

Thus we return to our starting-point. There is no 
greater service men like ourselves can do for our age 
than to sweep away the fogs and obscurities which gather 
round the figures of Jesus and of Paul. Jesus and 
Paul are champions of the only gospel that has real 
promise for our struggling world. But we must see 
Jesus as Paul saw him, the embodiment of an eternal 
agency of the redeeming God. And of all writers, 
sacred or profane, who if we take their point of view 


are competent to bring us into contact with Jesus and 
Paul, there is but one whom the Church has justly 
crowned as their spiritual interpreter. The " higher 
s;>T3thesis " of Jesus and Paul belongs to the Ephesian 
evangelist ; for he bears his witness to the story of the 
self-dedication of Jesus, not as though it were a mere 
romance of martyrdom for the kingdom's sake, but as 
a " manifestation of the life, even the eternal life, which 
was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." 
His joy we make full when we enter into fellowship 
with him by declaring to the world this eternal Christ. 
" Yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with 
His Son Jesus Christ." 


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