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cerned in which they stated heavenly truth, stand in intimate historical connection with their times and their people. Yet we cannot, like several modern theologians, rest contented with merely this remark. From what we already know, we find ourselves compelled, by the relation in which the apostles stood to the christian system of faith, a relation in which the Lord himself had placed them, as the preachers of his word, as those who were commissioned to succeed him, and to carry on his own work; we find ourselves compelled to deny that there was any such influence of temporary and national forms, as to modify the substance of their doctrine. Indeed the decisions on this subject, may be established not barely a priori, but in view of that which lies actually before us in the apostolical writings. With our eye fixed, then, on these writings, we maintain, that the subtle methods of interpretation which we find in the Jewish schools, and which the apostle had there appropriated to himself, were employed by him in such a way, that the true idea can in no passage be mistaken. This is the fact, although, according to the historical connection in which the passages occur in the Old Testament, only a single point is given, that can furnish support for the inference which the apostle has derived from them. But should it not be the direct object of the pure interpretation of the Old Testament, to display the full picture that, in its first rudiments, was faintly represented in the preparative economy? The manner which Paul adopted, may indeed be exhibited, most happily, in cases where he has nothing to do with the interpretation of the written code, but with the record which is inscribed upon the heart of every man. When Paul infers from the inscription on the altar, " to the unknown God,"1 that the heathen acknowledged their ignorance of the true God, it cannot be proved that such an acknowledgement lies in the express terms of that inscription. If, however, the heathen, besides the names of thousands of divinities, had also an idea of divinely operating powers, for which they had no name; and if to these unknown powers they erected altars, do they not thereby, in the reason of the
they were mere ascetics. But this assertion is not entirely correct; for the above mentioned acute discrimination in interpreting the law was found in their schools. It is only correct, so far as the philosophy of religion, if we choose to retain this phrase, was not absolutely requisite in order to become a Pharisee.
Acts 17: 23.
thing, make a confession that their knowledge of God is defective? And has not the apostle, with the noblest and the most profound wisdom, made use of this very point, for the purpose of attaching to it such evidence, as would show to the heathen, what is the view and the longing of their inward souls? Now the education, which the apostle received at the Pharisaical school of Jerusalem, must have aided him in this kind of acute and profound interpretation, after he had been once enlightened by the Spirit. Hamann also interpreted Rabbinically, if you please so to speak, and he not only interpreted the Bible in this way, but also the works of genius of all men and all times. But who has not pursued, with astonishment and with true instruction, those hints, among which every block of marble becomes a statue of Memnon? Wherever in fact the luminary of Jesus rises, there many phenomena of nature and of the history of man, which otherwise had remained forever dumb, begin to be heard. In this also the remark holds true, (that is made in Note G), one must know how to interrogate, (or he cannot receive an answer).
We are not obliged, however, to look around us for other men, possessing merely human greatness, by whose authority we may defend the method adopted by Paul. Does not Christ follow essentially the same usage, as for instance in Luke 20: 37, Mark 9: 13? In reference to these passages, indeed, we are to hold fast the theological distinction between him and his apostles, that he had an insight which they had not, into the historical relations of the inspired passages, which were quoted. The proof of this statement, to which many are disinclined to give their assent, does not belong to this place.
The Jewish system of instruction gave keenness to the pupil's mind in another way. The instruction was not given in the form of oral lectures but catechetically, and so that not merely the teacher proposed questions to the scholars, but the scholars to the teachers, and to the remaining fellow pupils. We have an instance of this in the scene of the child Jesus in the temple. And this mode of 1 Frequently in the Talmud is it said of the pupils, "they proposed to him the question," or "he proposed to him the question." The answers are dethey replied." Even yet the Jews call such Socratic exercises, Kaschen, from difficult. To such questions, if the solution cannot be found, the abbreviation p is applied, which is the same as to say, "The Tishbite (Elias) will solve the difficulties and questions."
» מתיבי signated by the word
teaching was not confined merely to the rules for allegorical interpretation laid down in the Midras, but even the discourses in the synagogue might be interrupted by questions, or when the discourses were concluded, the hearer might propose some difficult inquiries, as is done even at the present day in the Jewish synagogue. A complete system of Rabbinical dialectics was formed in this way; and we need but a moderate acquaintance with the Talmudic writings, to be convinced of the great error into which Eichhorn fell, when he supposed that the dialectics of the apostle must have proceeded from the schools of heathen philosophers. So far from this, the apostle's logic bears, throughout, the impress of Judaism. This is indicated by many things, particularly by his abrupt mode of expressing himself. In general, also, the antithetic and piquant style of instruction that he adopted, may be ascribed to the influence of his Jewish culture.
This Rabbinical education however, as has been already expressed, had not the same character in all schools. It depended essentially upon the peculiar mental habit of the instructor. Even in the first centuries after Christ, as well as in later periods, we find three classes of Jewish teachers. The first class had an inclination to the spiritless and literal; the second class to a freer and more soul-mov. ing style, like that of the Old Testament, a style in which the interest in the moral was predominant; and the third adopted the style of mystical theosophy. We always conceive of a Jewish scribe, as one who adheres to the dead letter, and who is also, probably, a hypocrite. The opposite might be learned, with sufficient clearness, from Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. That the Pharisees are not all to be regarded as hypocrites, is evident from that well known passage in the Talmud, in Tractate Sota, which introduces seven classes of Pharisees. Five of these are hypocritical; while of the sixth it is said, they are Pharisees from love to the recompense of God ;3 and of the seventh, they are Pharisees from the fear of God.4
1 "His method of discussion," remarks Michaelis, very correctly, in his Introduction, Part 1, p. 165, "has very often that Jewish brevity, which leaves the reader many things to supply of himself, and which we see in the Talmud." We are initiated into the principles of this logic, and especially its terms, by Bashuysen, in his Clavis Talmudica Maxima, Panoviae 1714. With this also may be connected Buxtorf's Abbreviaturae.
To this is added, in the same place, "Be not afraid of the Pharisees, nor of those who are not Pharisees, but of those who are disguised so as to be like the Pharisees."
The narratives of the Jews inform us of several distinguished Israelites, who lived about the time of Christ, and possessed true virtue and piety. Of the Cabbalistic school were Honias Ben Hacana and Hanan Ben Dosa; of the school of the Pharisees were Jonathan Ben Saccai, Simeon Ben Hillel, Gamaliel the Elder, who was teacher of the apostle, and his son Rabbi Simeon. We must suppose, indeed, that this very Gamaliel had distinguished himself by pure virtue and piety, as he stood so high among the people, although he did not adopt the principles of narrow-hearted Pharisaism. In the Acts of the Apostles it is said, that he was "had in reputation among all the people." According to the accounts in the Talmud, which agree with this, he was called "the glory of the law," and they have the saying," since Rabbi Gamaliel died, the glory of the law has ceased."3 If we may credit the account in Tractate Gittin, Fol. 36: 2, this estimable man had gained even the esteem of Titus. There are various features of his conduct, that show how free he was from the ordinary narrow-heartedness of the Pharisees. He had on his seal a small image, which would have been rejected without doubt by the Pharisees generally. The Talmud mentions concerning him, that he took an especial pleasure in the beauties of nature, a trait which is likewise contrary to the bigoted spirit of Pharisaism. He studied Greek authors, and his freedom of spirit went so far, that he did not hesitate while at Ptolemais, to bathe in an apartment where stood a statue to Venus. Being asked by a heathen, how he could reconcile this with his law, he gave the liberal and sensible answer: "The bath was here before the statue; the bath was not made for the service of the goddess, but the statue was made for the bath." The style in which we hear him speak before the Sanhedrim concerning the course to be taken with the germinating Christian religion, agrees remarkably with these features of his character. His expression, in this case, is indeed one which could not be expected from the mouth of an ordinary Pharisee.
Now, such learned men among the Jews, as possess this enlarged
See Note I, at the close.
See Note K, at the close.
2 Acts 5: 34.
mental character are usually the authors of beautiful moral sentences or treatises. The style too, in which they interpret the Old Testament, is very diverse from the insipid style of the mere literal interpreters. Certainly then we may suppose, that such instruction exerted a wholesome influence upon the susceptible heart of young Paul. Religion was exhibited to him, not merely as a matter of dead speculation, but as a concern of the life. According to that interpretation of 2 Tim. 1: 3 which we believe to be the correct one, Paul testifies that his ancestors practised the devout worship of God, and that they transmitted their religious influence to him. That he had preserved this pious sentiment in its purity, that he had served God according to the best of his knowledge through his whole life, that he had surpassed his contemporaries in zeal for religion, is evident from Acts 26: 4, 5. 22: 3.23: 1. Gal. 1: 14. More than all other passages, Rom. vii, shows him to have been a Jew, who not merely bore piety upon the lips, but earnestly proposed to himself the laborious acquisition of a pure and unstained manner of life.
CHARACTER OF THE APOSTLE.
Doctrine of Temperaments.--Physical Temperament of Paul; of ecclesiastical reformers generally.-Influence of the apostle's temperament upon his mental and religious character. His strictness; persecuting spirit.— Comparison between him and Luther.-Penetration, comprehensive views, logical reasoning, ardor, vigor, urbanity, affection, tenderness of Paul.
A correct view of the peculiarities belonging to the constitution and temperament of the apostle, is desirable for all those who undertake the interpretation of his writings. There are many, who are displeased with the employment of the usual names of the temperaments on this subject, as offensive ideas are included under these designations, in their popular and unscientific use. This use fixes itself on barely a single meaning, which is made disagreeably prominent. It is even held, in opposition to remarks upon the temperament of the apostles, that an accurate division of the temperaments has never been made. This, however, cannot induce us