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the hands of the opponents of the apostolic claims of Paul.1

One or two historical difficulties lie upon the surface of the narrative in the Acts. The date assigned to the insurrectionist Theudas is earlier, by forty years or more, than that of the insurrectionist of the same name who is described by Josephus. But this is far from

? being proof positive of an error on the part of the author of the Acts. The mistake, if there was a mistake, may have been with Josephus. Very likely neither writer was at fault. It would be nothing strange if more than one Theudas was a leader in a seditious uprising. Names were often repeated in those times. The annals of Jewish rebellion present in a brief period no less than four with the name of Simon, and three with the name of Judas. Josephus describes Judæa

1 This fact should be regarded as a weighty comment on the conclusion of Baur, that the mention of only twelve thrones in the Apocalypse was meant to rule out Paul from the apostolic dignity. It should also be credited with some weight against the charge that the author of the Acts purposely mutilated the history by omitting every thing counter to a mediatorial design. Baur is especially exercised over the omission of an affair of such tremendous import as Paul's reproof of Peter at Antioch, an omission whose wilful intent, as he claims, is made quite apparent by the mention of such a subordinate matter as the dispute between Paul and Barnabas. But it is to be presumed that the affair at Antioch, if viewed at all by the author of the Acts, was not viewed through the magnifying glasses of Tübingen. The proof is wanting that it was any thing more than a passing episode. Indeed, the large-heartedness of both of the apostles is not a bad guaranty that they speedily came to a good understanding. In any event, the matter had no direct bearing upon Paul's journeys. How, then, should the historian, in a rapid sketch of these journeys, be under strict obligation to turn aside to notice such an episode? The dispute with Barnabas, on the other hand, had a most palpable connection with the great missionary tour upon which Paul was just entering.

2 Antiq., XX. 8. 1.

2

as being the theatre of a great number of tumults and rebellions in the disturbed era which followed the death of Herod the Great." Here surely was room enough for the Theudas of the Acts. Possibly, as has been suggested, Theudas was another name for the Judas or the Simon who is mentioned by Josephus among the authors of sedition in this era. A second difficulty is the mention in the Acts of a journey to Jerusalem, by Paul, between his first visit there as a convert to Christianity and that which fell at the time of the council (xi. 30; xii. 25); whereas Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians omits all mention of such a visit. But Paul's omission may be explained from the fact that it was only a hasty journey, for the sake of carrying funds to the needy church at Jerusalem, and resulted in no intercourse of any moment with the other apostles. Paul was speaking in Galatians of the instances in which he had communicated with the apostles, and might very naturally pass by a journey which resulted in no such communication. In any case, the occasion which the Acts assign to the journey, — namely, the famine-stricken state of the brethren in Judæa, — is

known from secular sources 2 to have been a fact about the time that the journey must have occurred. There is, therefore, neither in this nor in the preceding instance, any adequate ground for impeaching the truthfulness of the record.3

1 Antiq., xvii. 10. 2 Josephus, Antiq., xx. 2. 5, 5. 2.

3 Other difficulties are of course found by those who are bent upon finding them. A brief narrative cannot present every side of a transaction. Accordingly, a biassed criticism, catching a glimpse of another side than the one specially elucidated, has an opportunity to proclaim a contradiction. For example, Baur thinks it a serious discrepancy that the Book of Acts refers to an assembly in Jerusalem convened for discussing the relation of the Gentiles to the law of Moses, whereas Paul in Galatians speaks only of conferring with the chief apostles. But the Acts do not deny the conference with the chief apostles, nor does Paul deny the assembly. That Paul should mention the more personal conference, suited his argument. What he wished to indicate to the Galatians was the independent basis of his apostleship and his full equality with the older apostles. Now, in accomplishing this, it surely would have been very little to the purpose to mention the assembly and the decree which was sent forth in its name. How he bore himself toward the chief apostles, and what acknowledgment he commanded from them, were by far the most pertinent items.

But let the worst possible construction of these two cases be allowed, and they will still make an exceedingly small substraction from the accuracy of the Acts of the Apostles. Its manifold and marked agreements with all other available sources, sacred or secular, proclaim it one of the most careful and trustworthy historical treatises ever composed. Let one but consider how broad was the territory covered; how varied, as respects their customs and local institutions, were the communities that are touched upon; how shifting was the political horizon of Judæa, — and the unbiassed impression cannot be other than one of admiration at the harmony of the details in the entire narrative with their geographical and historical environment.1

II. - FOUNDING AND SUCCESSIVE ERAS OF THE APOS

TOLIC CHURCH. On the seventh Sunday after the resurrection of Christ, the true idea of the Christian Church was for the first time realized. From the miracle of Pentecost issued a new creation. The invisible power and purifying agency of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the rushing wind and tongues of fire, descended with transforming effect into the hearts of the disciples. They were brought to a new sense of their oneness with each other and with their Supreme Head. All that believed became as members of one family, and freely contributed to those in need. They had all things common. This statement, to be sure, does not necessarily imply a total renunciation of private property. That such a renunciation was not required, is clear from the language of Peter to Ananias (Acts v. 4). But the surrender of private property, in favor of a common fund, was at least sufficiently general to be a noteworthy characteristic of the new Christian community. As the Church expanded to wider limits, this order of things very properly came to an end. It should be viewed, however, as a significant image of the charity and large-heartedness which ought perpetually to characterize the Church.

1 "It would have been rightly considered a very trivial blot on St. Luke's accuracy if he had fallen into some slight confusion about the Ethnarch under Aretas, the Asiarchs of Ephesus, the Prætors of Phi. As the child is born into a certain unavoidable de

lippi, the Politarchs of Thessalonica, the Protos of Malta, or the question whether Proprætor or Proconsul was, in the numerous changes of those days, the exact official title of the Roman governor of Cyprus or Corinth. On several of these points he has been triumphantly charged with ignorance and error; and on all these points his minute exactitude has been completely vindicated or rendered extremely probable. In every historical allusion - as, for instance, the characters of Gallio, Felis, Festus, Agrippa II., Ananias, the famine in the days of Claudius, the decree to expel Jews from Rome, the death of Agrippa I., the rule of Aretas at Damascus, the Italian band, etc.- he has been shown to be perfectly faithful to facts.” (F. W. FARRAR, Life and Work of St. Paul, vol. i., chap. 6.) See Paley's Horæ Paulinæ; Life of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howson; Harman's Introduction to the Scriptures; Ebrard's Kritik der Evangelische Geschichte; Lechler's Apostolische und Nachapostolische Zeitalter.

pendence upon established conditions, so was it with Christianity. Whatever new facts of faith and life it possessed, it found itself in the old established household of Judaism. Of necessity there was still a certain affiliation with Judaism. The first disciples followed many Jewish customs. A superficial observer

. would have perceived in them scarcely more than a new Jewish sect. Even by the disciples themselves, the way out of the old national restrictions was but dimly discerned. It was only gradually that they came to the clear consciousness that men could become Christians without in any wise becoming Jews, or passing through the gateway of Jewish rites.

From the circumstances of the case, it followed that the first stage of development in the Church was a process of separation from Judaism. A sudden and violent severance would have been as unfitting as unnatural. Judaism had served as a forerunner of Christianity. It had provided the household in which this child of Heaven was born. Before the distinction between Jew and Gentile should vanish forever, it was becoming that an ample offer of the gospel should be made to the Jews. Even had the apostles had the clearest light upon the relation of Christianity to Judaism, it would not have been wisdom for them to have proceeded very differently from what they did. The course actually pursued bears the most evident tokens of providential guidance. Step followed step in natural order toward the final result. The appointment of liberal-minded Hellenists to the office of deacons; the scattering of the Church by persecution; the preaching of Philip in Samaria; the forming of a new Christian

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