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The great literary achievement of the last fifty years of New 
Testament scholarship was the discovery and the general solution 
of the synoptic problem. It is the task of this generation to 
translate these results into the language of the historian ; to 
show how literary complexities and contradictions reveal the 
growth of thought and the rise of institutions. Though much 
remains to be done, the general outline can already be seen. It 
is becoming increasingly certain that Christianity in the first 
century achieved a synthesis between the Greco- Oriental and 
the Jewish religions in the Roman Empire. The preaching of 
repentance, and of the Kingdom of God begun by Jesus passed 
into the sacramental cult of the Lord Jesus Christ. But the 
details are complex and obscure. What were the exact elements 
in this synthesis 1 How was it efi'ected ? 
, The necessary preliminary to the investigation of these 

"9 questions is the study of Acts, which therefore takes its natural 
r,^ place as the opening contribution to the Beginnings of Christi- 
anity. Whatever be the historian's judgment as to its value as 
a record, without it he would be compelled to wander without a 
guide in the trackless forest of conjecture as to the way in which 
the Church organised itself, and began its work. The investigator 
into Christian origins is fascinated by the problem presented in 
the early chapters, where it is the sole authority, and is forced 
to consider the actual character of the Christian faith at its 
outset. To understand this it is necessary to go far afield in 
order to gather material, which, though at first sight irrelevant, 
bears directly on the problem. 


The first volume of Prolegomena in this work must, therefore, 
be occupied with the historical aspect of the question. The 
background of Acts i.-xv. is Jewish, that of the last chapters 
mainly Gentile. The Christian background is common to both, 
but its characteristics are rapidly changing. The first volume, 
therefore, deals with these three points — contemporary Jewish 
history and religion, the organisation and general mental attitude 
of the world of the Roman Empire, the evolution of the early 
Christian preaching and ideas. In the second volume the 
literary phenomena of the book are the subject of investigation. 
A third volume will deal with the exegesis of the Text. 

Although various scholars have contributed to these volumes, 
the Editors are responsible for the whole, as, in order to give the 
work coherence, they have not scrupled to rearrange, abbreviate, 
or expand the chapters submitted to them ; and they are fully 
sensible of the patience displayed by their fellow- workers in 
accepting their suggestions. For the present volume the Editors 
acknowledge with gratitude the help which they have received 
from Canon Box and from Professor Wensink, as well as from 
the scholars whose definite contributions are printed. They are 
also greatly indebted to Miss Edith Coe for much help in the 
correction of proof. They have endeavoured to indicate their 
appreciation of the unfailing kindness and great learning of 
Professor George Foot Moore by dedicating to him this volume. 
Among many privileges which they have received in the United 
States they value his help as second only to his friendship. 




I. The Background of Jewish History. The Editors . 1 

II. The Spirit of Judaism. C. G. Montefiore . 35 

III. Varieties of Thought and Practice in Judaism. The 

Editors . . . ' . . .82 

IV. The Dispersion. The Editors. . . .137 

I. The Roman Provincial System. H. T. F. Duckworth 171 

II. Life in the Roman Empire at the Beginning of the 

Christian Era. Clifford H, Moore . . 218 


Introduction. The Editors . . . .266 

I. The Public Teaching op Jesds and his Choice of 

the Twelve. The Editors . . .267 

II. The Disciples in Jerusalem and the Rise of Oentile 

Christianity. The Editors . . 300 

III. The Development op Thought on the Spirit, the 

Church, and Baptism. The Editors . . 321 

IV. Christology. The Editors . . . .34 6 


Ai'fiMjix A — The Zealots ..... 421 

„ ]3 — NAZA.RENE AND NaZARETH . .426 

„ (J — The Slavonic Josephu.s 433 

,, D — Differences in Legal Interpretations between 

Pharisees and Sadducees . . . 436 

„ E — Thic Am J 1a- Ares (the People of the Land) 

and the HaBEIRM (A.SS0CtATES) . . 439 

INDEX ....... 447 





By The Editors 

The historical background of the first scenes in Acts is Jerusalem, 
at the height of its fame and world-wide importance, with its 
Temple, one of the wonders of the world, almost completed. 

Jerusalem may perhaps be compared to our English Durham, Jerusalem. 
as owing its importance to the strength of its strategical position [^^|jj^°^" ^' 
as well as to its sanctity. Just as in our northern city the castle 
and the cathedral were almost equally difficult to attack, so in 
Jerusalem the Temple was as formidable a fortress as the great 
towers in its viciaity. The Holy City was never a mart of 
nations, or a centre of human industry. Its Temple alone drew 
men from every part of the Imown world,^ and, though intensely 
Jewish, its population may be described as cosmopolitan.^ In- 
accessible as it was to the traveller, it attracted devout pilgrims 
from the most distant countries. The normal population 
cannot possibly have ever exceeded 50,000, but at the great 
feasts more than a million were frequently gathered around the 
Temple ; ^ and it must be remembered that the city stood in no 

1 Cf. Acts ii. 5 S. " Cf. Acts vi. 9. 

^ Josephus would justify far higher figures. In B.J. vi. 9. 3 he says that 
there were 256,500 victims at the Passover, and that there might not be less 
than ten men to each victim. The Midrash on Lamentations {Echa Rabba, 1. 
2) gives a similar but much higher calculation. It relates that Agrip^ja wished 
to know the number of the pilgrims, and ordered the priests to reserve one 
kidney from each victim. They found at the end that they had 600,000 pairs 
of kidneys, and the story adds that at no Paschal meal did less than ten sit 
down, but that at many there sat down twenty, or forty, or fifty. But this 
is only one of several very imaginative stories, and has no historical value. 
VOL. I 1 B 


fertile district but amid barren and inhospitable mountains. 
To feed the visitors to the Temple must have been no easy task, 
as provisions had to be brought from a great distance. 

(b) Configu- In its modern aspect and configuration, the ground occupied 
si1te°" °' ^y ^^^ Holy City may be described as an uneven plateau having 

a general inclination from west to east and running southward 
into a kind of promontory between converging valleys. The 
western valley, called Wady-er-Rababi by the native inhabitants, 
is supposed to be the Valley of Hinnom ; ^ the eastern one is 
the Valley of the Kedron,^ in modern native parlance, Wady- 
Sitti-Mariam, the " Valley of our Lady Mary." ^ Across the 
Kedron Valley is Olivet, the Mount of Olives, " the mount that 
is before Jerusalem." * The Valley of Hinnom, curving south- 
ward and eastward to meet the Valley of the Kedron, is shut 
in on the south by a hill which since the fifteenth century has 
been distinguished in Christian descriptions of Jerusalem as the 
" Hill of Evil Counsel." ^ From the junction of these two valleys 
the Wady-en-Nar (" Valley of Fire ") ^ runs in a south-easterly 
direction down to the monastery of the Mar-Saba and the plain 
at the head of the Dead Sea. 

(c) The hills Originally, the site, which is now a plateau, consisted of a 

^^" group of hills standing between the Valley of Hinnom and the 
Valley of the Kedron. These hills were separated from each other 
by valleys or ravines which in the course of thirty centuries, 
and in consequence of the repeated destruction and devastation 

^ Joshua XV. 8 ; Jer. vii. 31 ; Watson, Jerusalem, p. 6 ; G. A. Smith, 
Jerusalem, vol. i. p. 175 f. 

^ 2 Sam. XV. 23 ; John xviii. 1. Modern tradition calls the Kedron Valley 
the Valley of Jehoshaphat, thus explaining Joel iii. 2 and 12. But this 
tradition is not earlier than the fourth century a.d. See the article on the 
"Valley of Jehosaphat" in the Encyclopaedia Biblica. 

* Cf. G. A. Smith, op. cit. i. pp. 32, 38, 4-4, etc. The modern name is derived 
from the subterranean chapel identified by local tradition as the burial-place 
of the Virgin Mary. See Watson, op. cit. pp. 143, 185, 324. 

* 1 Kings xi. 7 ; Luke xxi. 37 ; Acts i. 12. 

* See Williams, Holy City, vol. i.. Supplement, p. 56. The " evil counsel " 
is that of Judas, whose bargain with Caiaphas was said to have been struck 
in the high priest's residence on that hill. 

* Probably so called because of ite oppressive heat. 


of the city, have become choked with debris, though not to the 
point of being no longer traceable. On the eastern hill stood 
the Temple, represented since the close of the seventh century 
by the " Kubbet-es-Sakhra," i.e. " Dome of the Rock " (gener- 
ally, but erroneously, spoken of as the " Mosque of Omar ").^ 
The lower half of the eastern hill was the original Sion, though 
Christian tradition, since the fourth century, has assigned the 
name to the western, or south-western, hill, which is about 100 
feet higher, 2 and in Josephus's day was the site of the " Upper 
City " or " Upper Market." ^ Between the eastern and the 
western hill the course of a valley, now filled with debris varying 
from 20 to 90 feet in depth, may be traced from the Damascus 
Gate in the north-eastern wall of the city to its junction with the 
Valley of Hinnom under the " Hill of Evil Counsel." This depres- 
sion, called El-Wad by the townsfolk, is the " Valley of the Cheese- 
makers *' (rcov TvpoTTOLwv) mentioned by Josephus, often called, 
by transliterating the Greek, the " T3rropoeon." * Another ravine 
to be discerned among the hills forming the plateau of Jerusalem 
parted the western hill (the site of the " Upper Market " of 
Josephus's day) from a hill lying to the north, on which now 
stand the Kasr-Jalud (Goliath's Castle) and the buildings of the 
Franciscan convent.^ 

The walls of the present city now form an irregular quadri- id) The 
lateral with a circuit of about 2| miles. They were rebuilt, as 
inscriptions at various points testify, in a.h. 948 = a.d. 1541-42 at 

^ The " Dome of the Rock " was built in a.h. 72 = a.d. 691. See Watson, 
Jerusalem, p. 153 ; Besant and Palmer, History of Jerusalem, pp. 94-96. It 
supplied the model for representations of the Temple in numerous pictures. 

* The western hill rises to an elevation of 2550 feet above sea-level ; the 
Sakhra lies at a height of 2440 feet. 

' Josephus, B.J. V. 4. 1. The use of the name Sion to denote the western 
hill may bo traced from the " Itinerarium Burdigalense " (a.d. 333) onwards. 
See Williams, op. cit. ii. pp. 508 ff. ; P. Geyer, Itinera Hierosolymitana, p. 22, etc. 

* The " Mill-Valley " and the " Street of the Moors " (Haret-al-Magharibe) 
in the modern city mark more or less clearly the line of the " Valley of the 

® This second ravine or valley is marked by the " Suk," which runs down 
from near the Jaffa Gate. 



the order of Sultan Suleiman, " the Magnificent." ^ This circuit 
leaves out, not only at least half of the western hill, but also the 
southern declivity of the eastern hill, i.e. the ground identified 
as " Ophel " and the site of the " City of David," 2 both of which 
areas were included within the walls of Jerusalem in the days 
of Herod.3 The line of the existing walls, however, appears to 
have been that of the walls of Hadrian's Aeha Capitolina,* 
and is the same as that of the fortifications assailed and stormed 
by the Crusaders in a.d. 1099. 
Josephus's Josephus gives a careful description of the city in his day 
before he proceeds to the account of its capture and destruction 
by Titus. It was built on two hills divided by a valley. The 
higher of these is on the western side and was called by David 
the Citadel, but in the days of Josephus the Upper Market 
(r; avoi djopd). The other hill was known as the Acra, and was 
crescent-shaped {dfjb(l)UvpTo<;). According to Josephus, there 
was originally ^ a third hill parted by a ravine which the 
Hasmoneans filled up, desiring to join the city to the Temple ; 
they changed the level of the ground, and used the soil to fill 
up the intervening ravine. The Upper City was separated from 
the Lower by the Valley of the Cheesemongers (17 ratv rvpoTroiSiv 
(fxipay^). The hills were surrounded by deep and precipitous 
valleys, so that Jerusalem, except from the north, was practically 
impregnable. The chief fortifications, the great towers, Hippi- 
cus, Phasael, and Mariamne, and a threefold wall, defended the 
city on the north where it was most exposed to attack. South 
of these towers was the magnificent palace of the Herods, with 

1 Williams, Holy City, vol. i., Supplement, pp. 39-40. 

2 G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, vol. i. pp. 152-169. 

3 G. A. Smith, op. cit. i. pp. 184-187 ; Josephus, B.J. v. 4. 

* G. A. Smith, op. cit. i. pp. 185-186, shows that in the fifth century the 
circuit of the walls was so enlarged by the Empress Eudocia as to include the 
Pool of Siloam, but this enlargement was not followed in the rebuilding of 
Jerusalem after its devastation by the Persians in a.d. 614. 

* The details are obscure : for the position of the Acra, and its relation to 
the other hill, see Josephus, B.J. v. 4. 1, and the discussions by G. A. Smith, 
op. cit. i. pp. 154, 159 ff., and W. R. Arnold, Ephod awrf Arl; Harvard Theo- 
logical Studies, iii. p. 49. 


spacious and well-watered gardens.^ The outermost of the walls, 
the foundations of which were laid by Agrippa I., included the 
New City or suburb of Bezetha (Be^eOd), and was only completed 
just before the siege began. 

The Temple had been rebuilt by Herod the Great, who The 
spared no expense to make it one of the most famous erections („) posi- 
in the world. Its situation, though on lower ground than the *''°°" 
western city, made it naturally a commanding object, and, 
overlooking as it did the Valley of the Kedron, its position was 
one of great strength. From Josephus it is evident that the 
ground on which it stood had been made by art rather than 
nature ; for, whereas the temple of Solomon stood on a small 
plateau, incapable of containing more than the sanctuary, 
Herod's temple, thanks to his labours and those of his prede- 
cessors, the Hasmoneans, was in an immense open court, adorned 
with stately colonnades.^ Built of white marble, glittering 
with plates of gold, its appearance from a distance is compared 
to that of the crest of a snow-capped mountain.^ 

According to Josephus, the most wonderful feature of the (b) Founda- 
Temple was not the beauty which met the eye, but the labour ,^°^i^.*" 
with which the foundations had been laid. The site chosen by 
Solomon was scarcely adequate for a Temple and altar. He, 
however, raised a mound {-^Sifxa), on the east side of which he 
built a porch or cloister {o-too). He also encompassed the hill 
with a wall and raised the ground on indestructible foundations. 
The artificial plateau thus begun was being continually increased 
in size, and in the rebuilding of the Temple by Herod the walls 
of the great court of the Sanctuary were four furlongs in circum- 
ference.* The Temple stood in a court 500 cubits square, but it 
was not in the middle of it ; it was farthest from the south wall, 
next from the east, then from the north, and nearest to the west. 

The outer court, or " Mountain of the House," as it is called (c) The 
in the Mishna, was famous for its magnificent cloisters, the most of the 

1 B.J. V. 1-4. 2 ^niiq. XV. 11, 3. 

3 B.J. V. 5. 6. * Antiq. xv. II. 3 



celebrated of which, known as " Royal," extended from the 
valley on the east to the Tyropoean on the west. It consisted of 
four rows of pillars, between which were three walks each a fur- 
long in length. In this colonnade there were 162 columns with 
Corinthian capitals, and from the battlements of the cloisters 
one could not look down in the Valley of the Kedron without 
feeling giddy, as it was impossible to see to the bottom of the 
precipice. Josephus says that there were four gates leading to 
the city on the western side ; one led to the kmg's palace — 
two led to the northern suburb ; the fourth led to the " other 
city," down a great immber of steps, and then up to the city, 
which lay over against the Temple, in the manner of a theatre.^ 
{d) The Within this outer court was the Temple (lepov), itself a series of 
courts leading to the Sanctuary or Holy Place (vao'i). The 
Gentile, who might wander at liberty among the porticoes of the 
outer court, was confronted with rows of pillars on which were 
inscribed warnings in Greek and Latin that he might go no 
farther. 2 A Jew desiring to enter the Temple did so by ascending 
fourteen steps ; he then walked ten cubits on the level, and 
went up five more steps leading to each gate. Usually he entered 
by the eastern gate of Corinthian bronze to the Court of the 
Women, a space 135 cubits square, with colonnades like those 
of the outer court and large chambers at each of the four corners. 
In front of him were fifteen steps leading to another gate, larger 
than the others and highly ornamented with gold and silver. ^ He 
was now within the Court of the Men of Israel. Beyond was 
the Altar of Burnt-ofieriag. Another flight of steps led to the 
porch with the famous golden vine over the gateway, and to 
the House {vao^) itself, modelled on the plan of the Tabernacle. 
First came a vestibule or ante-chamber, separated from the main 
hall by doors fifty cubits high and sixteen broad ; the hall itself 

^ ArUiq. xv. 11. 5. 

" For the text of this warning see Appendix A on the Zealots. 

^ For the identification of these gates with the Nicanor Gate, the Shushan 
Gate, or the Beautiful Gate, see the note on Acts iii. 2, and cf. E. Schiirer, Die dvpa 
Oder wv\i] dipala, Apg. 3, 2 u. 10, Z.N.W. vii. (1906) pp. 51 ff. 


was divided into two by the great veil {KaTaTreTaa-fia) of Baby- 
lonian texture, blue, scarlet, and purple. The part nearer to 
the entrance was the Holy Place, containing the golden candle- 
stick, the table of the shewbread, and the altar of incense ; on 
the other side of the veil was the mysterious Holy of Holies. 
" In this," says Josephus, " there was nothing at all." 

Life in Jerusalem must have been abnormal. Unable to Lifp in 
support its population, it must have depended greatly upon J«'''"«'^'em. 
the numerous visitors to the Temple and the benefactions of the 
devout. A powerful and wealthy aristocracy of priests con- 
trolled the vast revenues of the Sanctuary ; a pious proletariat 
lived as best it could without regular occupations, listening to 
the disputes of the Rabbis and ready at any moment to rise in 
a passion of fanatical obsession. The story of the Crucifixion 
as told in the Gospels may be used as a mirror to show the char- 
acter of the populace, the priests, and the Roman rulers in the 
period antecedent to the destruction of the city in a.d. 70. Re- 
lated without regard to the detailed criticism of the Gospels, 
the story would be somewhat as follows. 

Jesus of Nazareth, the great Galilaean prophet, visits the '^^'^ Cruci- 
fixion illus- 
city. His fame has preceded him, and the populace gives him trative of 

an enthusiastic reception. The people stream forth from the 

city gate singing the Paschal hymn, " Blessed is he that cometh 

in the name of the Lord." They salute him, if not as the 

Messiah,^ at least as the herald of the Messianic kingdom. The 

next day he enters the Temple and drives the traders from its 

courts, thereby declaring war on the priests by attacking their 

^ According to Mark xi. 9, the words of the multitude were diaawo., ev\o-yr)fiivos 
6 {px^/J-evos iv ovo/iari Kvplov, ev\oyr)/j.^vr) i] (pxofi^vr] /SacriXeia rod Trarpbs 7]fj.Qu Aaveid, 
uicrafva tv tois vipicTToi.s. There is no necessary implication that they regarded 
Jesus as the Messianic king ; he may have been welcomed solely as the herald 
of the approaching (ipxofxivi]) kingdom of David. But in Matt. xxi. 9 the 
words are changed to waavva ti3 i't<j3 Aaveid, eiiXoyrifx^voi 6 ipx^fJ-efos (v ovdfjLaTL 
Kvplov, waavpo. iv tois vxpicTTois. This seems Messianic, but in the next verse, 
when the same speakers were asked who Jesus was, the reply given is out6s eariv 
6 Trpo(f>r]Tr]i 'l-qaovs 6 dirb Nai^ap^d ttjs FaXtXaias. The Messianic interpretation 
is finally m.adc quite plain in Luke xix. 38, eOXoyti/jLivos 6 iSacriXevs iv ovbuari 
Kvplov ' iv ovpav(fi dpijvy} Kal 86^a 4v vtj/laroi.'s. 


most valuable monopoly of providing sacrificial victims for the 
Temple.^ His preaching, his parables, and his decisions on 
points of the Law further exasperate the ruling class. This 
Paschal season was to all appearance an anxious time. Pilate 
had come to Jerusalem, and Herod Antipas, according to Luke, 
was there with an armed force {avv toU arparevfj-aaiv avrov ^), so 
that evidently the Roman and GaUlaean authorities feared a 
serious disturbance. The sedition of Barabbas and the tumultu- 
ous reception of Jesus increased their apprehensions, and it was 
impossible to trust the temper of the people, so Barabbas was 
seized and arrangements were made to arrest Jesus as quickly 
as possible and execute him, contrary to Jewish law, before the 
celebration of the festival.^ Caiaphas, the High Priest, was per- 
suaded, according to John xi. 50, that the new prophet, whether 
guilty or innocent, must die ; and procured his condemnation by 
the Sanhedrin. Pilate, however, was not convinced of the guilt 
of Jesus, and tried in every way to save the prisoner. According 
to Luke, he even referred him to Herod, who seems to have been 
equally unwilhng to satisfy the thirst of the priesthood for blood. 
In the meantime the priests had won over the mob, and a violent 
clamour for the death of Jesus ensued. Pilate felt that at any 
cost the people must be quieted before the feast day, consented 
to condemn Jesus, and hurried him to his death. 

This brief recital of the bare facts sheds a flood of light on 
the state of the times — the priesthood, suspicious of the first 
symptom of a popular rising ; the populace, burning with re- 
ligious fanaticism, and ready to seize any excuse for a disturbance, 
and Pilate and Herod, though not without a sense of justice, 
determined to preserve the peace, even, if need be, at the expense 
of an innocent life. The explanation of the incident of the 
Crucifixion and the conditions which it reveals lies in an histori- 
cal survey of the period. 

* See J. Derenbourg, Uistoire de la Palestine, pp. 466 ff. 

* Luke xxiii. 11. See A. W. Verrall, " Christ before Herod," in the Journal 
of Theological Studies, April 1909 (vol. x. pp. 321 ff.). 

^ Matt. xxvi. 5 : Mark and Luke are less precise. 


The Jewish state, as it was in the days of the New Testament, Rise of the 
began with the heroic rising of the Jews under the sons of the kings of 
priest Mattathias against Antiochus Epiphanes. This led to the J"^^i^- 
extinction of the ancient high priestly stock, the independence 
of Judaea, and the establishment of the Hasmonean dynasty 
in Jerusalem. Under these energetic and warhke princes, who 
also assumed the high priesthood, the Jews threw ofJ the yoke 
of the degenerate Seleucids, and succeeded in subduing their 
neighbours and extending their frontiers. After the death of 
the prudent Queen Alexandra in 69 B.C., the dissensions of her The 
sons compelled the Romans, who since the overthrow of Mithra- °'"*°^- 
dates had become all-powerful in the East,^ to interfere in Jewish 
affairs, which, to do them justice, they did most unwillingly. 
Pompey took Jerusalem in 63 B.C. and entered the Holy of 
Holies ; but he scrupulously refrained from plundering the 
Temple.2 Under his legates the Jewish state was deprived of 
the Greek towns which it had seized, but was allowed con- 
siderable self-government. The Roman policy to the Jews 
was almost uniformly considerate, Crassus, the triumvir, it 
is true, with characteristic rapacity, plundered the Temple just 
before his disastrous defeat at Carrae ; but Caesar treated the 
Jews with imexampled generosity, granting them exceptional 
privileges,^ and respecting their peculiar customs, such as the 
Sabbatical year, gathering for common festivals, and the pay- 
ment of tithes to the High Priest. 

The favour with which the Jews were treated was mainly The idu- 
due to the sagacious policy of their Idumaean rulers, Antipater "y^^^" 
and his sons, of whom Herod the Great was by far the most 
eminent. Hateful as the family was to the Jews, it procured them 
the blessings of peace and a wider domination than the nation 
had enjoyed since the legendary splendours of the reign of 
Solomon. For five generations the family pursued a consistent 
policy of fidelity to the Roman power, not to individuals but to 

1 Antiq. xiv. 2. 3. ^ Antlq. xiv. 4. 4 ; B.J. i. 7. 6. 

» Antiq. xiv. 10. 2-8. 


the Republic. Thus Pompey, Caesar, Antony, and Octavian, 
wliicliever general was supreme in the East, found in the Herods 
able and eflBicient supporters. It was the same when Augustus 
assumed the principate, and down to the disastrous termination 
of the Jewish war in a.d. 70. In days of adversity, as well as 
in prosperity, the Herods were on the side of Rome. How 
certainly they could be relied on is shown by the fact that, 
after the battle of Actiura, Herod the Great, who had been the 
most loyal supporter of Antony, boldly avowed his friendship 
for the fallen triumvir and offered to serve Octavian as faith- 
fully as he had his rival. He was instantly welcomed as a 
trustworthy ally.^ To demonstrate how thoroughly the Romans 
accepted the services of the family, it is sufficient to say that 
from about 63 B.C., the days of Antipater and Pompey, to the 
death of Agrippa II. in a.d. 100 there was hardly a year in 
which a Herod was not ruling in the East, or in high favour in 
Roman If anything could have prevented the catastrophe which 

fowafds overtook the Jewish nation, it was the general policy of Rome 
the Jews, towards them. The Roman instinct for statesmanship recognised 
in the Jews a peculiar people, who needed exceptional treatment. 
Caesar, as has been said, granted the nation unusual privileges 
by safeguarding their customs and giving facilities throughout 
the Empire for the observance of the Law. The appointment 
as king of the Jew^s of Herod the Great, who, though an Idumaean 
by birth, was a Jew by religion, showed that the Romans were 
anxious to grant the nation as much self-government as was 
compatible with the peace of the East.^ Even after the death of 
Herod his descendants were allowed, whenever possible, to rule 
over his dominions, which were divided between three of his 
sons, two of whom held their tetrarchies uninterruptedly for many 

^ Antiq. xv. 6. 5 ; B.J. i. 20. 1-2. 

' Antiq. xiv. 14. 4. Despite the historian's emphasis on the importance 
of Herod in the East, he was only a king of secondary rank, and was not 
allowed, as the superior monarchs, to coin silver, but only copper. Cf. E. 
Schiirer, O.J.V. ed. 4, vol. i. p. 403. 


years. The third, Archelaus, failed as Ethnarch in Judaea ; 
and when, in a.d. 6, the Romans, at the request of the Jews, 
took over his dominions, they did so reluctantly.^ Even then 
they handed it back to Herod's grandson, Agrippa, in a.d. 41. 
So anxious was Tiberius to have men in Judaea who knew the 
people and understood their customs, that he appointed only 
two procurators, Valerius Gratus and Pontius Pilate, during 
his long principate, and left the Herods, Antipas and Philip, 
undisturbed in their tetrarchies.^ 

Despite the great ability of Herod the Great and the prudence Unpopu- 
of Antipas in retaining the favour of Tiberius, none of the family, Heridian 
with one notable exception, succeeded in conciliating their ^a.miiy. 
Jewish subjects. Even Herod's government, which gave the 
nation a position such as it never had enjoyed before, failed to 
obliterate the memory that he was an Idumaean by birth who 
had supplanted the Hasmoneans of beloved memory. His 
splendid munificence in building Sebaste (Samaria) and making 
the great harbour of Caesarea only aggravated his unpopularity 
with the Jews. Not even the prodigal generosity with which 
he rebuilt their temple, making it one of the wonders of the 
world, could secure their favour. To the Romans Herod was a 
capable ruler, public-spirited in his liberality, a patron of arts 
and literature, whose strong hand kept his dominions at peace. 
To the Jews he was little better than an Arab freebooter, with 
secular ambitions and purely worldly aims, whose record was one 
of savage murders prompted by insane jealousy and suspicion. 

In order to estimate him justly it must be borne in mind 
that the record of the Hasmoneans from the days of Judas 
the Maccabee had been marked by the same stories of rebellion 
and reprisal, of domestic discords terminating in bloodshed, as 
the reign of Herod ; and, when Judaea was taken over by the 
Romans at the earnest request of its inhabitants, the procurators 

1 Antiq. xvii. 11. 2-4. 

^ For Tiberius's partiality for Antipas see Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 2. 3. For 
the same emperor's policy in regard to provincial governors, Antiq. xviii. 6. 5. 


found that their task was no less difficult than that of the Herods 
or the much lamented priest-kings of the house of Hasmon. 
The factions and parties of Jerusalem disturbed their peace 
precisely as they had that of Herod, Alexander Jannaeus, or 
even the famous Jewish champion, John Hyrcanus. 
i'ros|Hrity Yct, siucc the day that Sosius sacked the city and placed 

saiem. Herod on the throne in 37 b.c.,^ Jerusalem had grown steadily 
in wealth and prosperity, and the Temple had become a centre, 
not merely of national, but of world-wdde interest. Despite 
the smouldering discontent of its population under the jpax 
Romana, the Holy City increased in extent and population ; 
its palaces, its fortresses, and, above all, its Temple moved the 
astonishment of mankind. Never in its long history had Jeru- 
salem experienced such unbroken peace and progress as in the 
century which preceded the outbreak of the Jewish war : the 
riots and petty rebellions were but symptoms of troubles to 
Adminisira- After the death of Herod the Great, Judaea had been given 
Judaea. by Augustus to Ajchelaus, whose misgovernment led to his 
removal in a.d. 6. Quirinius, who then ruled over Syria, pro- 
ceeded to enrol the inhabitants as provincials, and the district 
was separately administered by an official of equestrian rank 
subject to the control of the Syrian governor, ^ The first ap- 
pointed after the return of Quirinius to Syria was Coponius. 
Despite the unpopularity of the census, there seems to have 
been very little disturbance at Judaea's passing under Roman 
sway. According to Josephus, Joazar, son of Boethius, 
the High Priest, persuaded the people to submit to the 
inevitable ; and Judas of Galilee, called by the historian 
" the Gaulonite of Gamala," failed in exciting a revolt, but 
succeeded in propagating the dangerous doctrines afterwards 
adopted by the Zealots in a.d. 66.^ The successors of Coponius 
are mere names to us — Marcus Ambivius, Annius Rufus, and 

1 Josephus, B.J. i. 18. 3. 2 Cf. Luke ii. 1 f. 

* Antiq. xviii. 1. 1 and 6 ; see also Appendix A. 


Valerius Gratus. The fifth was Pontius Pilate. The seat of 
the government was Caesarea Stratonis ; Jerusalem was left with 
a few soldiers to keep the peace, and was governed by the High 
Priest, who presided over the national council or Sanhedrin, so 
that the Romans inflicted their presence on it as little as 

The long administration of Pilate passed without any serious Pontius 
disturbance, though Josephus relates that on two occasions ^s^Pro 
he came in conflict with the provincials. On a visit to Jerusalem curator. 
he ordered the soldiers to introduce standards bearing the image 
of Caesar into the city. This was regarded by the Jews as a 
deadly insult to the Law, and, when Pilate threatened the 
people with death unless they withdrew their opposition, they 
with one accord bared the neck to the soldiers who surrounded 
them. Pilate, who must have acted under orders in departing 
from the ordinary custom of respecting Jewish prejudices, pre- 
ferred rather to take the risk of offending Tiberius by with- 
drawing the images than to order a massacre, and consented to 
remove the standards.^ He found that, even when he meditated 
a great benefit to the city by constructing an aqueduct twenty- 
five or even fifty miles in length to bring water to the city, he 
could only do so at the price of a bloody riot. Not imreasonably 
he demanded that the money should be supplied by the treasury 
of the Temple, but a cry of sacrilege was raised, and Pilate was 
insulted by the populace. The soldiers were ordered to disperse 
the people, and did so with imnecessary violence. Whether 
the aqueduct was made or not is not stated.^ 

Pilate's fall was due to an outburst of credulous fanaticism 
in Samaria. An impostor offered to reveal the sacred vessels of 
Moses hidden in Mount Gerizim. An armed multitude followed 
him to a village called Tirabatha, where they were surprised by 
Pilate's soldiers, and many were slain. The Samaritans com- 
plained to Vitellius, governor of Syria, who sent Marcellus to 
take over the government, and ordered Pilate to report himself 

1 B.J. ii. 9. 2 ; Antiq. xviii. 3. 1. => Antiq. xviii. 3. 2 ; B.J. ii. 9. 4. 


at Rome.^ Before he arrived Tiberius was dead, and a new 
regime had commenced. 
Conces- The acccssion of Gains, better known as Caligula, opened with 

byviteiiius. good auguries for the Jews. Vitellius came to Jerusalem in 
A.D. 37, and conciliated the people by an act which was highly 
appreciated. Since the days of Herod the sacred robes in which 
the High Priest officiated had been kept in the castle of Antonia, 
adjoining the Temple, and only handed over seven days previous 
to the great festivals. This meant that no one might oflficiate 
as the supreme pontifi without the leave of the Government, as 
the vestments were indispensable to the validity of the ceremony.^ 
Thus the appointment of the High Priest was virtually in the 
hands of the secular powers. Vitellius surrendered to the Jews 
the custody of the holy garments, though he deposed Joseph 
Caiaphas, the acting High Priest, and appointed Jonathan, the 
son of Ananus, in his place. 
Herod A ucw and interesting figure now appears on the stage in 

gnppa. ^^^ person of Herod Agrippa. This prince, unlike the other 
Herodian rulers, had a hold on the afiection of the Jewish nation 
by being an undoubted representative of the old line of priestly 
kings, since he was grandson of Mariamne, the wife of Herod, 
and the last survivor of that ill-fated line. In consideration 
of this the Jews were prepared to forget that he was a Herod, 
and to see in him a representative of the valiant and pious 
Maccabees. To his advantages of birth he added those of 
education, popularity, and the reputation of being devoted to 
his ancestral religion. Agrippa was the son of Aristobulus, 
who was put to death in 7 B.C., and his sister was the Herodias 
of the Gospel story. He married his cousin Cypres, who was 
likewise of Hasmonean stock, being the grand-daughter of 
Mariamne through her mother Salarapsio.' Agrippa was educated 
at Rome, and enjoyed the constant friendship of Antonia, the 

1 Antiq. xviii. 4. 1. ^ Antiq. xviii. 4. 3. 

* The complicated pedigree of the daughters of Herod the Great and the 
interraarriages of their children are given in Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 5. 4. 


widow of Tiberius's brother Drusus, who was attached to the 
memory of Agrippa's mother Berenice. He was the companion 
of the younger Drusus, the son of Tiberius ; but, after his son's 
untimely death in a.d. 23, the Emperor could not bear to see 
Agrippa, so he was forced to leave Rome, deeply in debt, and 
to betake himself to the East. In his desperation he meditated 
suicide ; but his faithful wife, Cypros, besought her sister-in-law 
Herodias, the wife of Antipas, to befriend him, and he was given 
a magistracy at Tiberias and a pension. But Agrippa soon 
ran deeper than ever into debt, quarrelled with Antipas, and 
was obliged to take refuge with Flaccus, the governor of Syria, 
on whom his brother Aristobulus was also dependent. The 
malice of Aristobulus revealed that Agrippa had taken a bribe 
from the Damascenes in order to influence Flaccus in a judicial 
decision, with the result that Syria became no place for the 
unlucky prince. He wandered from city to city, borrowing 
wherever he could, and paying nobody. At last he reached 
Alexandria, where he applied for assistance to Alexander, the 
Jewish Alabarch, who at first refused to help him, but, moved 
by the entreaties of Cypros, promised to lend 200,000 drachmas 
on her security.^ The cautious Alabarch, however, knowing 
that Agrippa was not to be trusted with a large sum, stipulated 
that he would only pay him by instalments. In this way he 
reached Rome to find that Tiberius knew that he owed the 
treasury 300,000 drachmas, and refused to see him till it was 
paid, Agrippa thereupon besought Antonia, wife of the elder 
Drusus, out of friendship to his mother Berenice, to lend him the 
money. He repaid her by borrowing another million, and on 
the residue he was able to live in splendour in the society of 
Gains, the future Emperor. Even then he managed again to 
offend Tiberius, and was in prison at the time of that Emperor's 
death. 2 

Such was the somewhat discreditable early career of a prince 
destined for a brief period to reign over nearly all the extensive 

1 Joaephus, Antiq. xviii. 6. 1-5. * Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 6. 10. 








dominions of Herod the Great, and to die universally lamented 
by the Jewish nation. 

His kinsman Antipas had, by one of Herod the Great's wills, 
been designated heir to his entire principality. At the death 
of his father he had hoped to obtain it from Augustus, but was 
obliged to content himself with the tetrarchy of Galilee and 
Peraea. It is probable that he never quite lost sight of the object 
of his ambition. True, however, to the policy of his family, he 
remained quietly in his province, and occupied himself in building 
cities like Sepphoris, Bethsaida Julias, and above all Tiberias, 
which he so named in compliment to Tiberius. It was probably 
in furtherance of his scheme to possess the whole of the Herodian 
inheritance that he was willing to abandon his wife, the daughter 
of Axetas, and persuaded Herodias to leave her husband, who 
was also his brother, and marry him. Herodias's daughter by 
her first marriage, Salome, was married to Philip, the Tetrarch, 
and thus both brothers, Antipas and PhiUp, had wives of Has- 
monean birth. 

According to Antiq. xviii. 5. 1, Antipas, when on his way to 
Rome, lodged with his brother Herod, and fell in love with his 
wife.^ She agreed to leave her husband and to marry him if 

^ As told by Dr. A. C. Headlam in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible and by 
other English authorities, the story makes the first husband of Herodias live 
in Rome, and related that Herod Antipas met her there. There is, however, 
no support for this theory except in Whiston's translation. Josephus says, 
in Antiq. xviii. 5. 1, that Antipas had married the daughter of Aretas, (TreWdfievos 
5^ eirl "Pdi/j.r]s Kardyerai ei> 'Hpwdov ddeXcpov BfTos k.t.X. This is translated by Wins- 
ton, " When he was once at Rome he lodged with Herod," but the meaning 
really is, " On a mission to Rome he lodged with Herod." The context makes 
it plain that Rome was the place to which his mission was ultimatelj' directed, 
not the place in which he lodged with Herod ; for Josephus adds that the arrange- 
ment which Herod then made with Herodias was for her to come and live with 
him {fieroiKiaacrdaL wap' avrdv) when he was back from Rome {ovore dirb 'Pdiixris 
irapayivoLTo). The narrative confirms this by going on to say that he sailed 
to Rome with this agreement (kuI 6 fih els ti)v 'Fu/j-tiv ?7rXet ravra avvdifievos), 
and by finishing with the mention of his return after completing his mission in 
Rome (fVei 5^ iira.vex^P^'- Siairpa^dfievos iv ttj 'Pui^ui; e<p' Hirep ^ffTaXro), using the 
same verb {crriWeLi') to describe the mission as is found at the begianinc of the 
story. The meaning is quite plain, and the " tradition " that the first husband of 
Herodias lived in Rome ought to be abandoned. Josephus really gives no clue 
as to where he really lived, but obviously it was somewhere in the East. The 


on his return he would divorce the daughter of Aretas. Antipas, 
having agreed to this, sailed to Rome. On his return to Pales- 
tine, his wife got wind of what he was about to do. She requested 
Antipas to send her to Machaerus, a fortress on the borders of 
the realms of Antipas and Aretas. From thence she had planned 
her escape to her father by aid of his " generals," who passed her 
from one to another till she reached her home. On learning 
what Antipas was doing, Aretas made his conduct an excuse to 
prepare for war. Neither king fought in person, but let their 
" generals " conduct the military operations. This, perhaps, 
implies that neither of them deemed it prudent to wage war 
directly for fear of the displeasure of Tiberius, and therefore 
incited the sheikhs subject to them to engage in desultory ex- 
peditions, which may have lasted some years. Aretas, however, 
managed that Antipas should be ultimately defeated, and deeply 
ofiended Tiberius by his success, who, at the request of Antipas, 
ordered Vitellius to bring in Aretas dead or alive. 

The defeat of the army of Antipas may quite possibly have 
taken place as late as a.d. 36, but Antipas had evidently been 
married to Herodias for many years. The exact date of his 
marriage is uncertain, but it cannot be far removed from a.d. 23.^ 

mistake of Whiston and his followers is probably a human tendency to translate 
sentences separately instead of in their context, combined with the feeling that 
the genitive with e-rrl after ffreWdp-evo^ is not correct Greek for " on a mission 
to Rome." Possibly the feeling is justifiable, but the idiom is exactly in 
accordance with the usage of Josephus, who writes, a few lines further on, 
TrifxveLv avTT]v eirl ^laxo-ipovvTos, with the meaning, " send her to Machaerus." 
Josephus never wrote perfect Greek, and in the later books of the Antiquities 
there is a marked deterioration of style ; either he or his corrector seems to 
have suffered from fatigue. 

^ The date seems to be fixed by the following considerations. It cannot 
be much later than a.d. 23, because Agrippa I. left Rome soon after the death 
of Drusus, the son of Tiberius, in that year, as Tiberius could not endure the 
sight of his dead son's friends. Agrippa then went to Palestine, destitute and 
meditating suicide, but was helped by Herodias to the office of the dyopavofxl 
in Tiberias. Her influence is only inteUigible if she was already the wife of 
Antipas. On the other hand, it cannot have been much earlier than a.d. 23, 
as that would imply an improbable length for the war between Herod and 
Aretas. It should be noted that this combination of the marriage of Herodias 
with the death of Drusus destroys the value of the arguments of K. Lake in 


Death of That Antipas put Jolm the Baptist ^ to death is affirmed by 

aptis . j^ggpj^^jg g^g ^gjj g^g ijy ^j^g Gospels. But they differ both as to 

the place and the reason of his execution. According to Josephus, 
Antipas regarded John as a dangerous political influence, stirring 
up unrest among the people : according to the Gospels, Antipas 
was himself favourable to John, but put him to death to please 
Herodias, against whose marriage with Antipas John had pro- 
tested. According to Josephus, John was imprisoned in Mach- 
aerus ; but Mark speaks of the presence of the chief men of 
Galilee at a feast on Herod's birthday, and this celebration is 
not likely to have been held in a distant frontier fortress.^ That 
the Baptist, as Josephus asserts, was sent to Machaerus is ex- 
tremely doubtful. If he condemned the union with Herodias, 
he would have been a partisan of Aretas, and to select a place 
on the frontier where he might easily be rescued would have 
been the height of imprudence. It is much more likely that 
he was imprisoned and put to death, as Mark implies, in Galilee. 
Policy of It is possible that the marriages of Antipas with Herodias 

and of Philip with her daughter had the distinctly political 
aim of legitimising this branch of the Herod family by an Has- 
monean alliance, and it is not unlikely that the procurator 
Pilate may have recognised this, and feared that Antipas, being 

the Expositor, 1912, in favour of a late date for the marriage of Herodias, in 
the belief that it must have been shortly before the defeat of Antipas by Aretas, 
and therefore not long before the death of Tiberius. 

1 See further, pp. 101 ff. 

2 A further difficulty has been raised by the older editions of Josephus, 
which in Antiq. xviii. 5. 1 referred to Machaerus in connection with the daughter 
of Aretas as MaxatpovvTa Ton warpi ain-rji i/TroreX^, making it thus the property 
of Aretas, not of Herod. This would make the confusion worse, for Herod 
could not even have been supposed by Josephus to send John to a prison which 
belonged to a king with whom he was at war. But the ilSS. and Niese read 
7) 5e TrpoaTrea-raXKeL yap ^k irXeiovos els rbv MaxaipoOcra ti^ re Trarpi avrijs viroTe\ei, 
K.T.X., which seems to mean " for she had sent ahead to Machaerus (the last 
town of Herod's jurisdiction) and to the district subject to her father, etc." 
It need not be said that the change from ei's MaxaLpovvra to the dative ry . . . 
viroTeXei is harsh, but Josephus was quite capable of it, and the context in 
Antiq. xviii. shows quite clearly that Machaerus was Herod's frontier fortress, 
not that of Aretas. 

Antipas' 3 


married to an Hasmonean, hoped to induce Tiberius to add 
Judaea to his dominions, for Luke relates that Antipas and 
Pilate were enemies,^ 

Policy rather than passion may have first drawn Herodias 
and Antipas together, and it can cause no surprise that a woman 
of her character resolved to put to death the Baptist if he sug- 
gested the illegality of her marriage and the advisability of her 
husband making an advantageous peace by taking back his 
wife. But, though Antipas and Herodias may have come 
together first from ambition and policy, they seem to have been 
united also by real affection. The words of Herodias when 
Caligula offered to exempt her from her husband's sentence of 
banishment are noteworthy : " It is not just that I, who have 
been made a partner in his prosperity, should forsake him in his 
misfortunes." ^ These are the words of a woman who not 
merely has lived some years with her husband, but has also been 
glad to have it so, for better or worse. Herodias was as loyal 
to Antipas as Cjrpros was to Agrippa. 

At the death of Tiberius, a.d. 37, two of the three divisions Palestine at 
of Palestine were without a ruler. Philip had died in a.d. 34, of Tiberius, 
and Pontius Pilate had been recalled from Judaea in a.d. 36-37, 
while Antipas had failed ignominiously in his war with Aretas. 
Everything, therefore, was contributing to the advancement of 
Herod Agrippa and the restoration of the Jewish kingdom. 

This was the turning-point in Agrippa's career. As soon jj^^.^^ 
as decency permitted, Caligula, who had succeeded his great- Agrippa 

, . made a 

uncle, set Agrippa free, and gave him the tetrarchy of his uncle king. 
Philip, to which he added the so-called district of Lysanias.^ 
Agrippa, now a king, remained some time in Rome, and then 
obtained permission to return to his native country. A pro- 
curator of Judaea was appointed, named Marullus. 

On Agrippa's arrival in Palestine as a king, Herodias thought Herod 
it intolerable that her husband should not enjoy an equally b^^^ed 

^ Luke xxiii. 12. - Antiq. xviii. 8. 2. 

^ Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 6. 11, but see also xix. 5. 1 anil Luke iii. I, 


honourable title, and persuaded him to request Caligula to give 
him also the same dignity, Agrippa sent his freedman Fortuna- 
tus to accuse Antipas of having plotted with Sejanus in the days 
of Tiberius, and also of intriguing with the Parthians, and having 
in his arsenals armour for 70,000 men.^ This proved the ruin of 
Antipas, whose tetrarchy and treasury were alike confiscated ; 
and he and Herodias, who refused to desert her husband in his 
aflBiction, were banished to Lyons in Gaul. Their dominions were 
added to the kingdom of Agrippa, who thus was master of all 
Palestine, except Judaea and Samaria. 
The statue There followed a crisis in the life of Agrippa, from which 
o a igu a. j^^ emerged safely with his credit among his countrymen vastly 
enhanced. Cahgula, by his endeavour to set up his own statue 
in the Temple, almost precipitated the outbreak of a Jewish 
war, which was prevented only by the courageous prudence of 
Petronius, the governor of Syria, the intercession of Agrippa, 
and the timely murder of the Emperor. 

There are two accounts of this affair, a contemporary version 
by Philo, who took an active part in it, and a later one by Jose- 
phus, who was a child at the time. There is a remarkable 
silence on the part of other authorities. Tacitus, it is true, 
alludes to it, but Suetonius and Dio Cassius say nothing on 
the subject, nor is any allusion made to it either in the New 
Testament or in the Rabbinical writings. Even as related, a 
certain obscurity hangs over the story which cannot easily be 
Tumults at Philo says that at the death of Tiberius the hostiHty of the 
Greeks to the Jews began to be manifested. For centuries 
Alexandria had been the centre of an immense Jewish community. 
The city was divided into five districts, two being exclusively 

1 Antiq. xviii. 7. 2 ; B.J. ii. 10. 6. 

* The authorities are Philo, Adversus Flaccum and Legatio ad Gaium ; for 
a discussion of the relation of these books to each other, and the probabihty that 
thcj- are the remnants of an account of the persecution of the Jews, written 
originally in five books, see E. Schurer, G.J.V. ed. 4, vol. iii. pp. 677-683. 
Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 8. 1-9; B.J. ii. 10. 1-5; Tacitus, Hist. v. 9. 


Jewish.^ The wealth of the Jews was evidently considerable, and 
they were already successful in the world of finance. During the 
latter years of Tiberius they had enjoyed great prosperity 
under the beneficent rule of the Roman governor, A. Avilius 
Flaccus.2 But the character of Flaccus underwent a complete 
change after the death of Macro, the virtuous adviser of Caligula. 
It was suggested to him by false friends that the best way to 
placate the Emperor would be to persecute the Jews ; ^ and on 
the arrival of Agrippa at Alexandria in August a.d. 38, invested 
with royal dignity, Flaccus, though he dissembled his enmity 
and received the king courteously, secretly incited the mob of 
Alexandria to insult him.* 

Accordingly, the Alexandrians took a miserable idiot named 
Karabas, dressed him up as a king, and treated him with the 
honours of mock royalty, hailing him by the Syrian title " Marin " 
or Lord. This was the signal for a regular persecution of the 
Jews, who were driven into a single quarter of the city, their 
houses were plundered of all valuables, and many were killed 
with all the refinements of cruelty known to the Alexandrian 
mob. Among other insults it was determined to put the image 
of Caesar into the synagogues. The mob dragged out an old 
carriage (quadriga), and, placing an image of Caesar on it, brought 
it into the largest synagogue in the city. Flaccus is said to have 
encouraged these outrages, and to have scourged cruelly thirty- 
eight members of the Jewish Senate (yepova-La). It seems 
strange that the governor could have hoped to ingratiate himself 
with Caligula by conniving at the gross insults offered to his 
friend Agrippa, and by subjecting peaceful Jews to intolerable 
outrages. Anyhow it profited him nothing, for Flaccus was 
deprived, and perished miserably in the island of Andros.^ 

There seems to have been something to say on the side of 
the Alexandrians, and the Jews were probably not so entirely 

^ Philo, Adv. Flaccum, viii. A few Jews, but only a few, lived scattered in 
the other districts. 

^ PhUo gives the highest praise to Tiberius's ability and prudence. 

^ Adv. Flaccum, iv. * Adv. Flaccum, v.-vi. * Adv. Flaccum, xxi. 


peaceable as Philo desires us to understand. At any rate, the 
Jews apparently were deprived of their synagogues in Alex- 
andria, Both parties sent embassies to Caligula, and the Alex- 
andrians, despite the efforts of the Jews, won over the Emperor's 
favourite Helicon and obtained a favourable verdict.^ 
Protest Caligula seems to have been impressed with the idea that 

statue. the setting up of his image in the synagogues was a proof of 
loyalty, and the Jewish objection to receiving it a token of dis- 
affection. To this Josephus attributes the order to erect a 
statue in the Temple at Jerusalem, but, according to Philo, this 
was provoked by the conduct of the heathen at Jamnia. This 
city was the property of the Emperor, and when, in derision of 
the Jews, the Greek inhabitants set up an altar which was im- 
mediately demolished, his procurator, Hereimius Capito, gave 
orders to set up the imperial image in the Temple. Thereupon 
Caligula instructed Petronius, the governor of Syria, in somewhat 
vague terms, to arrange for its being brought to Jerusalem, 
taking due precautions against an insurrection o;i the part of 
the Jews. The whole nation, on hearing of what was proposed, 
united in a solemn but peaceful protest, which so moved Petronius 
that he delayed the execution of the imperial command. 
Herod This happened apparently in the winter of a.d. 39-40. In 

intercedes, the September following, Agrippa arrived in Italy. He was in 
the highest favour with the Emperor, having in the previous 
year received the dominions of his uncle Antipas. The news 
was brought to him that Cahgula had ordered the erection of 
his statue in the Temple, and filled him with the utmost dismay. 
According to Philo, Caligula himself communicated his design 

^ From a perusal of the Legatio ad Gaium it might appear that there was 
only a single mission. Josephus, however [Antiq. xviii. 8. 1), says that the 
Alexandrians first sent three ambassadors to Rome, of whom the great enemy of 
the Jews, Apion, was one, whilst Philo headed the Jewish delegates. It was 
in consequence of the ill-success of the Jews that Cahgula ordered the statue 
to be erected. This must have been in the winter of a.d. 38. Agrippa was not 
in Rome till the following autumn. The interesting description of the reception 
of the Jews in the gardens of Maecenas and Lamia {Legatio, xliv.-xlvi.) refers 
to a second and later mission of Philo and /our others in a.d. 40. See Schiirer, 
Q.J.V. ed. 4, vol. i. pp. 500.Jff. 


to Agrippa, who fainted with horror and was borne unconscious to 
his own house, where he remained in a state of stupor for three 
days. On recovering, he still imagined himself in the terrible 
presence of Caesar. He summoned up courage to write a long and 
argumentative letter to the Emperor, who was greatly divided be- 
tween his affection for Agrippa and his displeasure at having his 
claim to receive honour from his Jewish subjects disputed.^ Jose- 
phus tells the story in such a way as to bring the king's conduct in 
the matter into more heroic light. Agrippa invited Caligula to a 
splendid banquet, and boldly preferred his request, after obtaining 
a promise that the Emperor would grant whatever he asked. The 
order was recalled ; but Petronius was commanded to commit 
suicide.^ Fortunately the Emperor's letter arrived after the news 
of his murder on January 24, a.d. 41, had reached Syria.^ 

Agrippa, who was still in Rome when Caligula was murdered, Herod 
immediately threw the whole weight of his influence on the revives 
side of Claudius,* with the result that Judaea and Samaria were Ju^^^ea. 
given to him, and he recovered the entire kingdom of his grand- 
father, Herod the Great, except Ituraea, which was given to 
Sohemius.^ For a brief period of three years the Jews, with 
a king of their own whom they welcomed with enthusiasm, had 
possession of their own land. On the Feast of Tabernacles, 
when Agrippa modestly confessed his Idumaean descent, the 
people with one voice exclaimed, " Thou art our brother." ^ 

^ Philo, Legatio, xxxvi. ff. ^ Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 8. 7-9. 

' F. Huidekoper, Judaism at Rome, vol. i. p. 215, throws doubt on the whole 
story as a fiction, designed to blacken the character of Caligula, by the Roman 
aristocracy and those Jews who, like Agrippa, were intriguing on behalf of 
Claudius. The interest to the student of Acts is that here an opportunity is 
given of comparing Josephus with a writer like Philo whom he may have used. 

* B.J. ii. 9. 1. 

^ At the accession of Caligula, Agrippa was given the tetrarchies of Philip 
and Lysanias {Antiq. xviii. 6. 9). When Antipas lost his dominions, they were 
given by Caligula to Agrippa {Antiq. xviii. 7. 2). At the accession of Claudius 
he received " all the country over which Herod, his grandfather, had reigned " 
{Antiq. xix. 5. 1). 

* Sotah, vii. 8. Josephus, Antiq. xix. 7. 4, relates how a Jew named Simon 
tried to get Agrippa excluded from the Temple as no true Jew, but was over- 
come by the king's affabiHty. 


Drati. of At the same moment came the great crisis in the history of 

nrrertoT'' ^hc Christian Church. Evidently, though Acts gives no hint 
^'''^'■- as to the cause, the believers had lost their early favour vdth 
the people of Jerusalem ; and Herod, bent on securmg the 
support of his subjects, beheaded James, the brother of John, 
and arrested Peter with the intention of " bringing him before 
the people," which may mean a formal trial before the Sanhedrin,^ 
With no Roman judge to satisfy, and Jerusalem under a popular 
and orthodox king, the apostles' condemnation and death were 
assured. This completely broke up the apostolic community, 
at any rate for a time. Peter escaped from prison, reported him- 
self at the house of Mary, and betook himself elsewhere.^ 

Agrippa may perhaps be described as felix opportunitate 
mortis, for the experiment of a Jewish kingdom in Palestine was 
doomed to failure. The more beloved a king was by the Jews, 
and the more sincere his religion, the more certain was he to be 
detested by his other subjects. Realising this, Agrippa resolved 
to make Jerusalem his capital, and to render the city, if possible, 
impregnable. The growing prosperity of the Jews is shown by 
the fact that the population had overrun the ancient walls, and 
that a large suburb was growing up on the northern side. This 
Herod proposed to enclose with a strong wall which would render 
the city unassailable on its weakest quarter.^ That he had judged 
rightly is seen by the fact that it was from the north that Titus 
made his first attack on Jerusalem. 
Death of According to Josephus, the death of Agrippa took place in 

Agrippa. tlie spring of a.d. d4. He was celebrating games in honour of 
Caesar, on the second day of which he put on a silver robe, which 
shone in the sun's rays. " Thereupon the people cried out 
(though not for his good) that he was a god." The king did not 
rebuke them for this impious flattery, but, looking up, he saw an 
owl on a rope, and was at once stricken with pain. Even in 

^ Acts xii. 4, dvayayeiv avrov rt^ Xatp. Cf. Acts xvu. 5, avrovi vpoayayelv eis 
Thv Brjuou. 8 Acts xii. 17, iiropevdr] eis erepov t6wov. 

2 Aniiq. xix. 7. 2 ; B.J. ii. 11. 6. The Romans refused to sanction Herod's 


his agony he wept when he saw the people crowding round his 
palace and prajdug for his recovery. Four days later he died, 
in the fifty-fourth year of his age. Acts is in substantial agree- 
ment with this, save that it is implied that the occasion was a 
reconciliation between Agrippa and the Phoenicians of Tyre 
and Sidon, and that his death was a punishment for his impiety.^ 

The mention of a quarrel with the Tyrians suggests that the 
king was unpopular with his heathen subjects, on which point 
Josephus, who describes his reign in the style of a panegyric, is 
discreetly silent till he comes to his death, when he admits that 
the inhabitants of Caesarea and Sebaste exhibited indecent joy, 
insulting his daughters' statues in the grossest manner. ^ He 
does not, however, scruple to relate that, despite the loyalty of 
his Judaism, Agrippa gave gladiatorial shows as bloody as they 
were magnificent, and that at one of these 1400 perished fighting 
" that both the malefactors might receive their punishment and 
that this operation in war might be a recreation in peace." ^ 
With him the last hope of a Jewish monarchy was at an end. 
" The sceptre had departed from Judah." 

The last part of Acts, from the twelfth chapter to the end, 
does not deal greatly with contemporary Jewish history, and 
it is scarcely necessary to do more than to carry the narrative 
in outline down to the outbreak of the Jewish war. 

On the death of Agrippa the Roman Government decided Appoint- 
not to entrust his dominions to his son, Agrippa XL, who was jjigh Priest 
only seventeen years old, or to his uncle, Herod, King of Chalcis. ^^''^g^Q^g 
This seems a fairly conclusive proof either that Claudius and his 
advisers distrusted the Herods' ambition, or, as appears more 
probable, that Agrippa, however popular he may have been with 
the Jews, had proved incapable of satisfying the inhabitants of 
the Greek cities.* At any rate, Rome reverted to the policy 
of sending governors to Judaea. 

^ Antiq. xix. 8. 2 ; Acts xii. 20-23. 

2 Antiq. xix. 9. 1.' 3 jintiq. xix. 7. 5. 

* Josephus says {Antiq. xix. 9. 2) that Claudius wished to appoint Agrippa 
II., but his advisers said he was too young. 


Thk Pro- The succession of procurators from a.d. 44 to a.d. 66 was rapid, 

A.D. 44-66. and none of them seemed to have enjoyed the tranquil times 

of Valerius Gratus or even of Pontius Pilate. The whole country, 

including Galilee, was becoming daily more disorganised and 

(1) Fadua. a prey to robber chieftains. Cuspius Fadus, who was appointed 

on the death of Agrippa, was evidently a man of energy. Under 
him the rebelHon of Theudas was promptly put down.^ He 
found that the Jews of Peraea had attacked and maltreated the 
Philadelphians, and punished them severely. He killed two 
robber chiefs, Hannibal ('Ai/yt/Sa?) and Ptolemy {@oXofjLaio<;), 
and banished two others, Amaram and Eleazar.^ This effectively 
cleared Judaea of robbers for a time ; and Fadus, determining to 
be master of the situation, demanded that the priestly vestments 
should be delivered up to him. So serious was the opposition, 
that Cassius Longinus, the praefect of Syria, thought it necessary 
to come to Jerusalem himself with a strong force. However, 
Claudius, at the request of the younger Agrippa, acceded to the 
petition of Herod of Chalcis to have the custody of the vestments 
and the appointment to the High Priesthood delivered to him. 
At his death in a.d. 49 it was given to Agrippa II. ^ When, 
therefore, Paul appeared before Agrippa II., it was as though 
he defended himself before the secular head of the Jewish Church. 

(2) Tiberius Under Tiberius Alexander, the successor of Fadus, the dis- 
orders seem to have continued, as that procurator crucified the 
two sons of Judas of Galilee, James and Simon. Alexander 
was by birth a Jew, and afterwards stood high in favour with 
Vespasian and Titus ; but he must have been hateful to the 
people, for, though the son of the famous alabarch of Alexandria, 
he deliberately apostatised from his ancestral religion. 

^ Acts V. 36 f. and Antiq. xx. 5. The first two sections of Antiq. xx. 5 con- 
tain a hasty summary of events of the procuratorships of Fadus and Alexander : 
(1) The rebellion of Theudas, (2) the famine and generosity of Helena, (3) the 
crucifixion of the sons of Judas, (4) the death of Herod of Chalcis, (5) a change 
of High Priests. From the mention of Judas of Galilee after Theudas it has 
been inferred that the speech of Gamaliel was composed after a hasty perusal 
of the chapter. 

* Antiq. xxi. 1. * Antiq. xx. 1. 3. See also xx. 5. 2 and 8. 8.. 



In the eighth year of Claudius, a.d, 48, Cumanus succeeded (3) Cuma- 
Tiberius Alexander in Judaea. The bitterness between the Jews 
and Romans was constantly increasing. At the Passover a 
soldier caused a riot by an umseemly gesture, and, if we are to 
believe Josephus, twenty thousand people were slain. Another 
soldier, when some villages were being plundered by way of 
reprisal for an act of robbery, tore in pieces a copy of the Law, 
Fearing that this would cause a sedition, Cumanus ordered the 
soldier to be beheaded.^ A serious outbreak followed between 
the Galilaeans and the Samaritans, which demanded the inter- 
vention of Ummidius Quadratus, who presided over Syria, and 
ended in an appeal to Rome, which was decided in favour of the 
Jews, thanks to help given by Agrippa. Cumanus was banished, 
and his tribune (^tXiap^^o?), Celer, publicly executed in Jeru- 
salem.2 The country, says Josephus, was now full of robber 
strongholds, and life and property were increasingly misafe.^ 

In A.D. 52, the twelfth year of Claudius, Felix, who has been (4) Felix, 
immortalised by Tacitus in the stinging epigram that he exer- 
cised the power of a monarch with the heart of a slave, came to 
Judaea.* As brother of the powerful freedman Pallas, he had 
influence in Rome, and he sought to gain the favour of the Jews 
by marrying Drusilla, sister of Agrippa II. She was already 
the wife of Aziz, King of Emesa, who had consented to embrace 
Judaism ; but Felix, with the assistance of a magician of Cyprus 
named Atomus, persuaded her to divorce her husband and to 
marry him, heathen as he was.^ 

The long procuratorship of Felix was a time of increasing Revolts 
disorders ; and though he appears to have acted promptly in p-gijx. 
dealing with the brigands, his severity only produced a greater 
evil in the rise of the Sicarii or Assassins. Josephus accuses 

1 B.J. ii. 12. 1 ; Antiq. xx. 5. 3. 4. ^ b.J. ii. 12. 3 ; Antiq. xx. 6. 

3 Antiq. xx. 6. 1. * Tacitus, Hist. v. 9. 

^ Felix, says Suetonius {Claudius, 28), became the husband of three queens. 
Tacitus, Hist. v. 9, says that he iiiarried Drusilla, the grand -daughter of Antony 
and Cleopatra. According to Josephus, Antiq. xx. 7. 2, Atomus the magician 
was a Cypriot. 


him of having introduced them into Jerusalem in order to murder 
the High Priest Jonathan, at whose request Felix had been 
made procurator ; but they soon appeared as bitter enemies 
of the Romans, going to the feasts with short sickle-shaped 
knives concealed under their garments, and murdering those 
Jews whose devotion to the Law they considered doubtful. An 
Egyptian persuaded a crowd of fanatics to accompany him to 
the Mount of Olives, promising that the walls of Jerusalem 
would fall down and admit them to the city ; and Felix sent his 
troops to disperse them, killing four hundred and taking two 
hundred captive ; but the Egyptian managed to escape and 
disappear from view {a(f)avr)<; iyevero). Claudius Lysias, it will 
be remembered, thought that he had succeeded in capturing 
him when he rescued Paul from the mob in the Temple.^ 
On this occasion the description of the riot, the fury of the 
populace, the formation of an association of more than forty 
men who vowed that they would neither eat nor drink till they 
had killed Paul, is in complete accordance with the survey of 
the period in Josephus. 
Jews un- At Caesarea, the capital of the province, the tension between 

popular in , 

Caesarea. the Jews and the other inhabitants was constantly increasing.^ 
As usual, the wealth of the Jewish population was a cause of 
envy. It appears that the Jews provoked the quarrel ; at any 
rate, riots ensued, and eventually the Jews, after the recall of 
Felix to Rome, sent to accuse him. This may account for the 
statement in Acts xxiv. 27 that " desiring to do the Jews a 
pleasure he left Paul bound." By the influence of Pallas, Felix 
was acquitted, and the Jews lost their case against the Gentiles 
of Caesarea. The growing unpopularity of the Jews among the 
neighbourmg population was one of the chief causes of the 
outbreak of the subsequent war.^ 

(5) Festus. Apparently Porcius Festus, the procurator who sent Paul to 
Rome, did his best to pacify the coimtry ; but the Sicarii in- 

^ Antiq. xx. 8. 6 and Acts xxi. 38. 2 bj j; 13 7 . ^^jg, ^x. 3. 7. 

Antig. \x. 8. 10. In B.J. ii. 14. 1 Josephus gives Festus a high character. 


creased in numbers and audacity ; whole villages were destroyed 
by their marauding bands. Another impostor who led a multi- 
tude into the wilderness was attacked and killed by Festus.^ 
Festus died in office, and his successor Albinus inherited his (6) Aibinus. 
troubles. At the outset he was met by a scandalous usurpation 
of authority by the High Priest Ananus. It appears from 
Josephus's account that on his appointment Ananus assembled 
the Sanhedrin and procured the condemnation of James, the 
brother of Jesus the so-called Christ {rov Xejofievov ^pLcrrov), 
with some others, who were stoned. Albinus was indignant 
that Ananus had dared to assemble the Sanhedrin without his 
consent ; and Agrippa immediately appointed Jesus, the son of 
Danmaeus, in place of Ananus.^ It is interesting to remark 
that Agrippa, the great-grandson of Herod, true to the tradition 
of his house, never lost the favour of the Romans under Claudius, 
Nero, Vespasian, and his sons, Titus and Domitian. Under 
Albinus the Temple was finished. Only one more procurator 
was appointed, Gessius Floras, the last and worst. Within (7) Floras. 
five years of its completion the magnificent House of the Lord 
was a charred and blackened ruin. 

The Christian Church in Jerusalem was naturally seldom in The Priest- 
contact with the officials of the Empire ; but even its silent Jerusalem. 
growth was bound to attract the notice of the hierarchy who 
practically governed the city. The priesthood of the Temple had 
long formed the aristocracy of the nation, and for centuries, at any 
rate since the fourth century B.C., the High Priest had been 
the acknowledged head of Israel. Obscurity hangs over the 
rise of the hereditary priesthood in ancient Israel or even 
in Jerusalem before the Captivity ; but it is certain that in 
the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, and probably much earlier, 
the priestly pedigrees were carefully kept, and no one outside 
the family of Aaron was allowed to officiate in the Temple.^ 
The High Priest occupied a unique position. According to the 

^ Antiq. XX. 8. 10. 2 ^ntiq. xx. 9. 1. 

8 Ezra ii. 61-63 ; Neh. vii. 63-65. 


priestly code, the office could be held by the head of the tribe 
alone as the official representative of Aaron, and the tenure expired 
only with his life. At what date this hereditary pontificate was 
instituted is doubtful ; but it existed from the Return down to 
the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, At that time the wealth and 
prestige attached to the office caused several claimants to arise, 
and the last legitimate High Priest took refuge in Egypt and 
founded the temple of Leontopolis.i The Seleucid kings claimed 
the right of appointment ; and the military chieftains of the 
priestly, but not High Priestly, family of Hasmon assumed the 
pontificate in the person of Jonathan, with the consent of the 
reigning sovereign, Alexander Balas.^ Simon, John Hyrcanus, 
Aristobulus 1., Alexander Jannaeus, Hyrcanus II., Aristobulus 
II., and Antigonus held it in succession, and Herod, when he 
became king, appointed his young brother-in-law, Aristobulus 
III., to the dignity. After his early death, Herod selected 
several priests, whom he deposed at will. Thus it came to pass 
that in the first century the High Priesthood was rarely held by 
any individual for long, and was transferred from family to 
family. As, however, has been the case in other priesthoods, 
the members of these families intermarried, and formed an 
inner circle of High Priestly houses among themselves. The 
immense wealth of the Temple was in their hands, and they 
controlled monopolies in connection with the sacrifices. Forming 
a close corporation, these chief priests {apy^iepel<;), as they were 
called, were the real rulers in Jerusalem ; and even Josephus, who 
belonged to their order, testifies to their rapacity and arbitrary 
acts.* They are dealt severely with by the indignant Talmudist 
of a later period.* The New Testament only mentions three of 
these High Priests by name : Annas,^ Caiaphas,® and Ananias ; ' 

^ Josephus, Antiq. xiii. 3. 1-3. This was in the reign of Ptolemy VTI. 
(Philometor), 182-146 b.c. 

2 Josephus, Antiq. xiii. 22 and 1 Mace. x. 20. 

* Antiq. xx. 9. 4. * See below, p. 33. 

* Luke iii. 2 ; John xviii. 13 ; Acts iv. 6. 

* Matt. xxvi. 57 ; Luke iii. 2 ; John xviii. 13 ; Acts iv. 6. 
^ Aots xxiii. 2. 


but, during the period covered by Acts, no less than eleven, if 
not twelve, reigned in Jerusalem. 

According to Josephus, Annas or Ananus, the son of Seth, High 
was made High Priest by Quirinius after the deposition of from ^.d. 
Archelaus in a.d. 6.^ When Valerius Gratus was made pro- ^ *° ^®' 
curator at the accession of Tiberius in a.d. 14 he deposed Annas 
and appointed no less than four others to the office during his 
eleven years' tenure of the procuratorship. The last of these 
was Joseph Caiaphas.^ It is a remarkable testimony to the 
general tranquillity of Judaea during Pilate's administration, as 
well as to the prudence of Caiaphas, that for more than eleven 
years no change was made. On Pilate's recall, Vitellius, the 
governor of Syria, deposed Caiaphas and put in his place Jona- 
than, the son of Ananus ; and on a second visit to Jerusalem, 
on his way to attack Aretas, Vitellius again changed the High 
Priest by appointing Jonathan's brother Theophilus.^ A year 
or so later, Agrippa I., who had received the tetrarchy of 
Philip with the title of king, and had been given the custody of 
the High Priestly garments, came to Jerusalem on his way to 
his new dominions. He deposed Theophilus in favour of Simon 
Cantheras, a son of Boetius, of the same family as the Alex- 
andrian Simon,* whom Herod made High Priest when he married 
Mariamne, his daughter. A little later, finding Simon Cantheras 
unsatisfactory, Agrippa removed him, and tried to induce 
Jonathan to resume the office. But Jonathan refused, and 
suggested his brother Matthias,^ whom Agrippa accepted. When 
Agrippa became king of the Jews on the accession of Claudius, 
he again visited Jerusalem and made a new High Priest, Elioneus, 
the son of Cantheras.® Agrippa died shortly afterwards, and when 
Fadus had in vain attempted to secure the right of appointment, 
Agrippa's brother, Herod of Chalcis, nominated Joseph, the 
son of Camei.' Before his death, the King of Chalcis once more 

^ Antiq. xviii. 2. 1. ^ Antiq. xviii. 2. 3. * Antiq. xviii. 4. 4. 5. 3. 

* Antiq. xix. 6. 2. ^ Antiq. xix. 7. 4. * Antiq. xix. 8. 1. 

' Antiq. xx. 1. 3, 'Iwo-ijTrff) ry KafieL. The translation given above seems 
the most probable, though it of course is not certain. 



change of 


families of 
the High 

exercised the power of removing the High Priest, giving the place 
to Ananias, the son of Nebedaeus.^ During the administration of 
Felix, Agrippa II, bestowed the office on Jonathan, who was 
murdered by the Sicarii at the instigation, if we are to trust 
Josephus, of the procurator. ^ His successor was Ishmael ben 
Phabi. Ishmael was sent to Rome and detained there by 
Poppaea, so Joseph, surnamed Cabi, was nominated in his place.^ 
On the appointment of Albinus, Agrippa again changed the High 
Priesthood by appointing Ananus, but afterwards deprived him 
for executing James the Just.* From this time to the outbreak 
of the Jewish war in a.d. 66, Agrippa II. appointed no less than 
three High Priests : Jesus, the son of Damnaeus, another Jesus, 
the son of Gamaliel, and Matthias, the son of Theophilus. 

It is worthy of notice that in this kaleidoscopic change of 
High Priests the procurators were less prone to make alterations 
than the Herods, and that the concession which the Romans 
made in giving the custody of the vestments into the hands of 
Jewish sovereigns did not do anything to secure the permanency 
of the High Priest's office as prescribed in the Law, The priests 
seem to have retired without complaint to make room for their 
successors. It is possible that in the later days of Jerusalem the 
office was more a position of profit than of influence, and that 
the changes may have been the result of pecuniary agreements. 

Josephus and the Talmud are in complete accord regarding the 
bad character of the sacerdotal rulers during the last days of 
Jerusalem. Their oppression of the poor, their extortion, the 
poverty into which they suffered the poorer members of their own 
order to fall, their gluttonous habits, the luxury and even in- 
decency of their dress, are all subjects of severe condemnation. 
The ancient law that the head of the religion should be an heredi- 
tary High Priest, holding his office for life by right divine, had 
become entirely impracticable. The office was given for brief 
periods by the Roman procuratory, and it is possible that a cer- 

^ Antiq. xx. 5. 2. 
' Antiq. xx. S. 11. 

^ Antiq. xx. 8. 5. 
* Antiq. xx. 9. 1. 


tain amount of bribery was practised to secure the office. But 
the patrons were, as a rule, careful to select as incumbents only 
members of certain wealthy families ; and any one who had occu- 
pied the position was known as a High Priest, hence the plural 
ap^tepeU in the New Testament and Josephus, the equivalent 
being found in the Talmud.^ The High Priests formed a close cor- 
poration, and their wealth and power made them very unpopular. 
In a very severe Rabbinic denunciation of the high-priestly 
families of Jerusalem four are mentioned : those of Boethus, 
Hanin (Annas, or Ananos), Cantherus, and Ishmael ben Phabi.^ 

The High Priest was assisted by a Council, known as the The 
Sanhedrin, which, according to Josephus,^ could not be assembled 
as a judicial court, without the consent of the procurator. The 
references in the New Testament imply that the High Priest had 
an inner council, consisting of Chief Priests and Rabbis, which 
debated matters before they were referred to the court of the 
Sanhedrin. The procedure of this court is described in the 
treatise of the Mishna called Sanhedrin. But this, being not 
earlier than the third century, represents an ideal state of things, 
and to regard it as having been in force in the first century, before 
the fall of Jerusalem, is precarious. The jurisdiction of the 
court, according to the Mishna, only extended to Israelites, and 
care was taken to secure the accused a fair trial, and not to 
punish him with unnecessary cruelty. The number of judges 
varied with the gravity of the case. Where it was a matter of 
life and death (judgment of souls), twenty-three were required. 
A tribe, a false prophet, and the High Priest could only be tried 

^ In JosephuB the plural is found, B.J. iv. .3. 7. Ananus is called yepairaroi 
tQv dpxi-fp^^v, and mention is made of the families from which the High Priests 
were chosen. 

* Pesahim, 57a : " Woe is me because of the house of Boethos, woe because 
of their clubs ; woe is me because of the house of Hanin, woe because of their 
whispering (secret machinations, or calumnies) ; woe is me because of the house 
of Kathros (Kantheras), woe because of their pens ; woe is me because of the 
house of Ishmael ben Phabi, woe because of their fists. They are high-priests 
and their sons are treasurers and their sons-in-law are superintendents (of the 
Temple), and their servants beat the people with sticks." 

' Antiq. xx. 9. 1. 


by the full Sanhedrin of seventy-one. Every city with a popula- 
tion of a hundred and twenty, or, according to others, two hundred 
and thirty, might have its tribunal of twenty - three. The 
number seventy-one represented Moses and the seventy elders.^ 
The High Priest might be a member of the court, but was subject 
to its jurisdiction ("the High Priest may judge, and is judged ").2 
There is nothing said of his acting as president. The king 
could neither be summoned before it nor sit as a judge ; but he 
had to obtain leave of the Sanhedrin before he declared war. 
In cases of money, card-players, usurers, those who traded in 
the Sabbatical year or betted on the flight of doves were forbidden 
to be judges or witnesses.^ The testimony of near relatives was 
excluded. Witnesses were carefully tested by ' intimidation.' 
After a decision, thirty days were given the defendant that he 
might produce additional evidence. 
Laws as to jj^ the Sanhedrin the judges were arranged in a semicircle, 

evidence, , . , . 

" like half a round threshing-floor," that all the judges might see 
one another's faces.* Three rows of disciples sat before them, 
to learn the procedure like the young Roman nobles in the 
Senate House. In a case of blood, the witnesses were severally 
examined. Hearsay evidence was rejected, collusion between 
witnesses was provided against. Each witness was warned of 
the terrible sin of bringing about the death of an innocent man. 
The witnesses were examined separately. Care was taken to 
elicit the strict facts. Day, month, year were all inquired into. 
Every judge who extended his examination was praiseworthy. 
If witnesses contradicted one another their testimony was 
invalid. When a sentence of acquittal was pronoimced it might 
be given at once, but a night had to elapse before a verdict of guilty 
was given. In counting votes, the criminal was given the benefit 
of the doubt. Condemnation might not be pronounced on the day 
the trial concluded. All night the judges were to discuss the 
matter, and to fast and abstain from drink before they voted.-'^ 

^ Numb. xi. 16: Mi^hiia, Sanhedrin. i. r>. - Sanhedrin, ii. 2. 

•' Sanhedri7i,m.3. '■ Sanhednn,iv.3. ^ Sanhedrin, y\. 5 and y'n I. 




The Jewish background of tlie Acts appears to be very different Synoptic 
from that of the Synoptic Gospels. In the latter there is placed ANricTs. 
in strong and briUiant relief a great personality, who sees and [°^, ^"'' 
condemns the defects of the religious teachers of his time. His Jewish 

IT- !• • 1 1 ■ f r IT- 1- religion. 

ufe is placed m contrast with their ufe, and his teachmg with 
their teaching. Upon the alleged contrast between him and them, 
a dark background can be built up. Their inadequacies supply 
material for the evangelist. 

Very different is the atmosphere or the situation in Acts. 
The main question in dispute is the o£&ce and function of the 
dead Teacher — his recent resurrection, his present position in 
' heaven,' his future work and administration upon the earth. 
The Jewish religion is hardly criticised at all. The rehgious 
ideas of the two contending parties, as distinguished from the 
one burning question, might almost be supposed to be the same. 
Thus, for instance, the alleged over-emphasis on the ceremonial, 
as opposed to the moral, enactments of the Law is hardly men- 
tioned. To the Law as a burden, difficult or hopeless for the 
Jew to fulfil, except in one famous verse, there is hardly an 

On the other hand, the mise-en-scene, which in the Gospels (b) Tyins 

of Jud:iisin. 
^ Acts XV. 10. Acts xiii. 28, 29 hardly militate against the accuracy of this 




is so largely limited to the native Jew of Palestine, is greatly 
widened in the Acts. In the enlargement resides the crux of 
the situation, a burning question over and above the question 
of the supposed Messiah. In the Acts we are introduced at once 
to Palestinian Jews, to Hellenist Jews and to Jews of yet other 
types. We are also introduced to proselytes, i.e. full and practising 
members of the Jewish faith, though not Jews by birth. Lastly, 
we meet with heathen interested in Judaism as a monotheistic 
faith. It is in the attitude of the new branch of the old 
rehgion to this last group and to the Gentile world as a whole 
that the breach between the parent and the child is made definite. 
A certain chapter of Judaism, which was less important to the 
average Jew, is more so to the student of Acts. The average 
Jew of even a.d. 50 or 80 was not continually worrying about 
the future of the Gentile world, or about the duties of proselytis- 
ing. Many other elements of his religion were to him of much 
greater consequence. But, as a part of the Jewish background 
of Acts, the relation of Judaism to the Gentiles beyond its pale 
becomes of pecuhar significance. It thus comes to pass — and 
this is not the only instance — that the " Jewish interests " 
of a reader of Acts are special to that particular book. Care 
must, however, be taken to distinguish between the Jewish 
bacJcground of Acts and the Jewish religion in the years in which 
its story is set. 
Judaism OF Supposing one were to compare the Judaism of the year 
asd'a.d. 50 350 B.C. with that of a.d. 50, what would be the fundamental 
COMPARED, difference ? Not, I take it, in the conception of God or righteous- 
ness, not even perhaps of the Law itself. Here there would be 
developments or modifications ; but the fundamental and far- 
reaching difference would be that in 350 B.C. the average 
(a) Future Jew believed that, so far as any bliss or happiness was con- 
cerned (whether lower or higher), death was the end ; whereas 
in A.D. 50 he beheved that, for the righteous at any rate, the 
higher happiness would actually not be experienced till beyond 
the grave. The importance of the conception of a future hfe 


and of the resurrection of the dead in Judaism can hardly 
be over-estimated. Gimkel observes rightly that these ideas 
materially changed the entire religion ; they are so epoch-making 
that they divide the whole religious history of Israel into two 
sections : before them and after them.^ 

A second important difference between 350 B.C. and a.d. 50, (fc) Burden 
I think, longo intervallo, should be this. In 350 b.c. there was, Testament, 
outside the Law, scarcely any acknowledged corpus of Sacred 
Scripture ; in a.d. 50 there was. Judaism in a.d. 50 had begun 
to suffer from the burden of an inspired and perfect book, of the 
authority of which its teachers were beginning to feel the over- 
whelming weight. When I read any early Rabbinic document, 
such as the Mechilta, I feel as if one advantage of Christianity 
over Judaism was that it made a fresh start. It is true it created 
an extra sacred canon of its own, while retaining the older ; but 
this new canon was more homogeneous, and was all written within 
a short compass of time. The Old Testament goes back so far 
in time, it is so varied, so bulky ! No doubt for students of 
religious history this adds to its interest and importance. 
But one sees the burden of it in Judaism. " Ye search the 
Scriptures." ^ Well might Jesus say this ! They were searched 
and known all too thoroughly ! For the Old Testament contains 
not only supreme and imperishable verities, but also much that 
was, in very sooth, already obsolete even long before a.d. 50. 
In other words, it was inconsistent with itself. These contra- 
dictions were not unperceived by Jewish teachers, who could 
not explain them as we happily can do to-day. For were they 
not all perfect and inspired ? Were they not all the words of 

^ Kautsch, Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alien Testaments, vol. ii. 
p. 370. Gunkel limits his statement to the idea of resurrection, but it would be 
safer to include all the various conceptions of the future life. His words, 
written about 1899, are : " Die Herkunft und Entstehung dieses Glaubens an 
die Auferstehung aus den Toten ist noch immer eine ungeloste Frage. DoutUch 
aber ist uns die ungeheure Bedeutung, die dieser Glaube in der Geschichte der 
Religion hat : er hat die ganze Religion des Judentums umgestaltet ; dieser 
Giaube macht so sehr Epoche, dass darnach die ganze Religionsgeschichte 
Israels in zwei Teile zerfallt : vorher und nachher." 

» John V. 39. 




the living God ? The hatreds of the hour may be forgotten 
when the hour has passed. " The Lord is good to all : the Lord 
is forgiving " ; and should not man imitate his Creator ? 
But the same Lord " hated Esau," and laughs at the destruction 
of His enemies. May not the child mimic the Father ? It is 
wonderful that the developed Judaism of, say, a.d. 400 came out 
of this trial as well as it did ; that it frequently explained away 
the bad by the good, and invented fresh conceptions in order to 
remove lower or obsolete ideas. ^ 

(e) Con- Long before a.d. 50 the goal of monotheism had been attained. 

G^d!*"^ -A^ to tl^6 nature of this One God, there would not seem to have 
been much difference of opinion between Jew and Christian in a.d. 
50 or 90, nor can we say that the difference was great between pre- 
vailing Jewish ideas in 350 B.C. and a.d. 50. God was conceived as 
very 'personal,' and also as very distinct from the world which He 
had made. Isaiah's implication that God is ' spirit' and not ' flesh' 
was generally accepted. By a.d. 50 the anthropomorphisms of the 
Old Testament were already being explained as figurative. The 
average man, to whom the words were familiar, " Ye saw no 
manner of similitude ; ye only heard a voice," ^ had probably 
got beyond the idea that the form of God was like the 
form of man. The teachers of the first century had most 
certainly got beyond it. The omnipresence of God, as taught in 
Solomon's prayer or the 139th Psalm, was familiar to them, and 
there was even a tendency to refine the doctrine. It is inaccurate 
to suppose that God was regarded solely as ' transcendent ' : 
He is ' in ' the world as well as ' outside.' By a.d. 50 there had 
been already created the conception of the Shechinah, which, 
especially as regards the divine relation to man, made God as 
near to every worshipper as any modern man could desire. To 
the first century is attributed the explanation why God revealed 
Himself in the lonely thorn bush. It was to teach that no spot 

^ It should be carefully observed that the "hatred" is limited to the 
enemies of the Community. It is noteworthy that the "imprecatory " Psalms 
never received a personal or private interpretation. 

« Deut. iv. 12, 15. 


upon the earth is empty of the Shechinah.^ Yet it was finely 
perceived that God is in one sense only ' near ' when His creatures 
are present, and ready to apprehend His nearness. It is they 
who, for practical purposes, turn His transcendence into imman- 
ence. Hence the doctrine that virtue, Israel, the Sanctuary, 
and the Law, all bring down God or the Shechinah from heaven 
to earth, while sin and idolatry remove Him. Yet the divine 
nearness realised by the Israelite through the Law did not inter- 
fere with the theoretic apprehension that God was not, hke a 
human person, limited by any particular place. A later (third 
century) Rabbi declared that while the Mosaic Sanctuary was 
filled by the radiance of the Shechinah, the Shechinah was not 
Hmited by the Sanctuary. The sea rises and fills a cave of the 
shore with its water, but the sea itself is no smaller than before. ^ 

From the Psalms onward, and throughout the Rabbinic period, (d) God 
there exists a distinct idea of the relationship of God to man as 
such. Man is God's special creation, for all men, not only Israel, 
were created in the image of God. The most fundamental verse 
in the Scripture, said R. Simon ben Azzai (second century), is, 
" These are the generations of Adam," for in this verse, with 
its reiteration of the creation of man in the divine image, are 
inculcated the unity and greatness of the entire human race.^ 
God's goodness and mercy to mankind as such are often men- 
tioned by the Rabbis. " Beloved is man," said Akiba, " for 
that he was created in the image." ^ " When man is worthy, 
they say to him. Thou wast created before the angels of the 
Service ; when he is not, they say to him. Flies and gnats 
and worms were created before thee." ^ The Rabbis were 
not slow to grasp the various homiletic applications which could 
be made of the BibHcal statement that all men were descended 

^ Pesikia Cahana, ed. Buber 2b ; Wiinsche, p. 3. 

^ Schechter, Aspects of Rabbinic Theology, pp. 29-33, 48 and passim ; Pesikta 
C, ed. Buber 2b ; Wunsche, p. 3. 

* Siplira 89b on Lev. xix. 18 ; Oenesis R. xxiv. ad fin. ; Wiinsclie, p. 1 12 : 
Bacher, Agada der Tannaiien, vol. i. (ed. 2), p. 417, n. 4, p. 422, n. 1. 

■■ Abotli, iii. 21, ed. Taylor. ^ Oevesis R. viii. 1 ; Wiinsche, p 30. 


from a single ancestor. It was done, they said, for the sake of 
peace among men, that one should not say to another, " My 
father was greater than thine." Or again, " It was done for 
the sake of peace, that the families of men should not fight with 
each other. If they do so even now with one ancestor, how 
much more would they have done so with two ! " ^ But yet 
this general relationship of God to man is not what is commonly 
before their eyes. It tended to be submerged in both directions : 
it was neglected in favour of God's special relation to Israel : it 
was depressed by idolaters and enemies. Yet the Rabbinic 
Jew was still occasionally able to turn away his mind from the 
difference between Israel and the other races of the world, and 
such sentences as, " God is near to all His creatures : if they 
invoke Him, He puts His ear to their mouth," are not uncommon.^ 
One gets in the Midrash odd mixtures of thought showing evidence 
of a certain inward struggle. The words of Psalm cxlv., " The 
Lord is good to all," which were constantly upon the Hps of the 
Rabbis, gave them cause for reflection. Two things were sure : 
God is good to all, and yet almost all non-IsraeUtes are idolaters 
and therefore sinners, oppressors, actual and potential, of Israel, 
and therefore enemies of God. " Hast thou ever seen," said R. 
Joshua, the son of R. Nehemiah, the Priest (fourth century), " the 
rain fall on the field of X who is righteous, and not on the field of 
Y who is wicked, or the sun shine upon Israel who are righteous, 
and not upon the nations who are wicked ? God makes the sun 
shine both upon Israel and the nations, for He is good to all." ^ 
Very odd is the view of R. Hiyya bar Abba (second century) that 
the blessing of rain is even greater than that of the resurrection 
because the second applies only to men, and of them only to Israel, 
whereas the first extends to the beasts and the idolaters as well.* 

^ Sanhedrin, 37a, 38a. 

^ Schechter, p. 31 ; Schwab, Jerusalem Talmud, vol. i. p. 152. 

^ Pesikta R., ed. Friedmann, p. 195, a. ad fin. Cf. the fine passage in the 
Mechilta on Exodus xviii. 12. Wiinsche, p. 185, on the Shechinah feeding and 
satisfying all men, and even sinners and idolaters. 
Bertthilh R xiii , WiinFohe, p. 58. 


The fact that Yahweh was both the one and only God of the 
whole world, and at the same time, in a very special and peculiar 
sense, the God of Israel, brought with it many consequences and 
many inconsistencies. These consequences and inconsistencies 
were, perhaps, even more acute and prominent in 50 and 90 a.d. 
than in o50 B.C. In the first century Jewish thought felt alter- 
nately inchned to draw in and to reject. On the one hand, there 
was a desire and a hope that all men should recognise and worship 
the God of Israel, and this not only, or even not so much, for their 
own sakes as for the glory of God and the glory of Israel. On the 
other hand, there was the desire that Israel should be freed from 
all domination and distress, and that vengeance and condign 
punishment should befall the idolater and the oppressor. The 
idea of God had not been brought to a complete harmony. 

One has to remember that the Jew was brought up in (e) God 
the behef that idolatry was not only error, but the most Gentiles: 
deadly sin. Thus he acquired the genuine conviction that all (i)«ioi^ti7- 
Gentiles, being idolaters, were sinners. Again, the average 
Jew, who knew Httle or nothing of the best side of Hellenism, 
noticed the unattractive side of the Gentile world, its oppres- 
sion and injustice, its hcentiousness and profligacy. The 
pious Jew between 350 B.C. and a.d. 90 was becoming stricter 
and severer as regards sexual relations. To him the heathen 
seemed steeped in sensuaHty, oppressors of the elect Children 
of God, incapable of keeping the simplest rules of morahty. 
As such they would be at the last swept ofi the face of the earth 
by divine retribution. We can see the various causes which 
gave birth to the exaggeration of Paul in Rom. i. 18-32. 

The actual position of the Gentile world gave Jewnsh teachers 
much food for thought. Their general views reveal occasional 
qualms of conscience. For the divine love for Israel, and the 
divine hatred of the idolater and the oppressor, have to be 
made consistent, tant bien que mal, with the divine righteousness 
and compassion. Thus we find the view constantly repeated 
that Israel's lesser sins are carefully and fully punished 


in this world in order that it may receive the full beatitude 
of the world to come, while the minor and occasional 
virtues of the heathen are fully and carefully recompensed 
here in order that they may sufier more hereafter. It is 
true that here and there a Rabbi taught a nobler doctrine. 
There is a famous Rabbinical sentence, belonging to the 
second century, beloved by apologists, which declares that 
the righteous of all nations shall have a share in the world to 
come.i This in later Judaism became the generally accepted 
principle, but, in the earlier period, the prevailing view was : This 
world is the nations' : here they have the good things. In the 
world to come the situation will be reversed. To them will be 
the suffering and the pain : to us the gladness and the joy.^ 
(2) Prose- Concurrently, however, with this conception of the Gentiles, 

which, on the theoretic side, consigned them to perdition, and, 
on the practical side, fenced Israel off from social contact with 
them by dietary and other laws, went the wish among many 
wider spirits to attract them. Noble are the words of Hillel : 
" Love the creatures, and bring them nigh to the Torah." The 
story of Jewish proselytism in the first centuries, before and after 
Christ, is an intensely interesting one, but cannot be told here. 
Moreover the chapter in Schiirer dealing with the subject, and Dr. 
Hirsch's article 'Proselytism' in the Jewish Encydo'paedia, are 
accessible to all students. The one is a complement to the other. 
The visions of the second Isaiah were never entirely forgotten. R. 
Eleazar (third century) declared that the reason why Israel was 
scattered among the nations was that proselytes might be added 
to it.^ R. EUezer ben Hyrkanos (first century), who was 
not very favourable to them, yet declared, " God says, I draw 

^ Tosefta, Sanhedrin, xiii. 2. The saying is from the mouth of R. Joshua 
ben J^ananya, a pupil of R. Jobanan ben Zaccai. Cf. Bacher, Agada der 
Tannaiten, vol. i. (ed. 2), p. 134, n. 2. 

2 Cf. Baba Mesia, 33b ; Midrash Tillim, iv. 8 ; Wiinsche, i. p. 48, xcix. 
1. ii. p. 96. I am inclined to think that the wicked referred to in Bereshith E. 
xxxiii. (init.), Wiinsche, p. 142, are primarily not wicked Israelites, but the wicked 
' nations.' 

^ Pesahim, 87b. 


near, I do not repel, so do thou, if a man comes to thee, and 
wishes to be received, and if he comes with pure intent, bring 
him near, and do not repel him." ^ Abraham was always 
regarded as the type of the proseljrte and as the great maker of 
proselytes. In this capacity, together with Sarah his wife, he 
meets us in the Rabbinical hterature again and again. " The 
souls that they had gotten in Haran ^ are the proselytes 
whom Abraham made, for whoever makes a proselyte of 
an idolater, as it were, creates him anew." ^ Abraham was 
not circumcised till he was ninety-nine, so as not to shut the 
door upon proselytes.* Many are the passages, some quaint, 
yet beautiful, which praise the proselytes, and which ordain that 
nothing is to be done to slight them or to cause them shame. 
One of the best (of uncertain date) runs as follows. It must be 
premised that the late Hebrew word for proselyte is Ger, which 
in Biblical Hebrew means the ' foreign settler ' (A.V. ' stranger '). 
Thus all the Pentateuchal injunctions about "loving the stranger" 
are applied by the Rabbis (from the first century) to the prose- 
lytes. Quoting Ps. cxlvi. 8, " The Lord loves the righteous," 
the Midrash observes : 

" A man may wish to become a priest or a Levite, but he can- 
not, because his father was not one ; but if he wishes to become 
righteous he can do so, even if he be a heathen, for righteousness 
is not a matter of descent. Thus it is written of Ps. xxxv. 19, 20, 
* House of Aaron and House of Levi,' but of them that fear God 
it says, ' Ye who fear the Lord, bless ye the Lord,' and it does 
not say, ' House of those that fear the Lord.' For the fear of 
the Lord is not a matter of inheritance, but of themselves men 
may come and love God, and God loves them in return. There- 
fore it says : ' The Lord loves the righteous.' " ^ 

We know that in the first century a.d. the number of full 
proselytes must have been considerable. This fact shows the 

^ Mechilta on Exodus xviii. 6 ; Wiinsche, p. 183. 

* Gen. xii. 6. * Genesis R. xxxix. 14 ; Wiinscho, p. 180. 
" Mechilta on Exodus xxii. 20 ; Wiinsche, p. 305. 

* Midrash Tillim on I'salin cxlvi. 7 ; Wiinsche, p. 245. 


willingness, and even the desire, of many Jewish teachers to 
receive proselytes, and also the attraction of Jewish monotheism. 
For the full proselyte had, as it were, to become a member of the 
Jewish nation as well as of the Jewish faith. He had to follow 
all the ceremonial laws — including the Sabbath, the festivals 
and the irksome injunctions about food ; and, above all, he 
had to submit to the painful rite of circumcision, for few and 
far between, if any, were the Jewish teachers who were willing 
to accept a proselyte on the basis of baptism alone, and with- 
out the covenant in the flesh. ^ It is therefore not surprising 
that besides the full proselytes there existed in the first cen- 
tury a number of semi-proselytes, of people, that is, who had 
renounced idolatry, forsworn idolatrous practices, who frequented 
the Synagogue upon Sabbaths and festivals, and hovered on the 
threshold of Judaism. These are the persons who are supposed 
by the Eabbis to observe the so-called seven Noachide laws which 
in their usual enumeration, besides (1) the prohibition to worship 
idols or (2) blaspheme the name of God, forbade (3) murder, 
(4) adultery, incest, and sodomy, (5) theft, ordained (6) the practice 
of justice (by the establishment of law courts), and included one 
semi-ritualistic and semi-humanitarian injunction, namely (7), 
the prohibition to eat flesh cut from a living animal. Those who 
observed these laws might find a place in "the world to come," 
but they were sometimes looked do\\Ti upon as ' outsiders,' with- 
out the full courage of their convictions. It is still less surprising 
that both the half and the full prosel}i;es were attracted in large 
numbers by the preaching of Paul and his followers. For here 
at last was a monotheistic rehgion, based upon a common faith, 
independent of birth, which demanded the practice of no national 
customs and outlandish rites. Here there was room for all ; 
here there was equality, " neither Greek nor Jew. circumcision 
nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scj'thian, bond nor free." 
Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that in spite of 

^ Yebamoth, 46a. CI Dr. Emil Hirsch's article on Proselytes in Jewish 


Christianity, and in spite of the difficulties which Roman law, 
and afterwards Church law, put in the way of conversion to 
Judaism, a number of proselytes continued to dribble in, and 
that men and women were found willing to share with the Jew 
his persecution and degradation. 

We can observe, in some of the passages concerning proselytes (3) Why 
in the Rabbinical literature, symptoms of the desire of Jewish ^^^ ^J^^ 
teachers to justify the general attitude of Judaism towards *° ^"^^^ 
the Gentile world. It is asked, Why was not the Law given 
by God to the whole human race, instead of to one people 
only, if its results are so beneficial ? In the Old Testament 
period, the fact that the Law was entrusted to Israel only 
is merely mentioned as honourable to the nation ; ^ but 
early in the Rabbinic era a feeling arose that the divine 
partiality needed explanation. A legend appears under difierent 
forms that the Law was ofiered to every nation in turn, 
but that all refused to receive it. Or, again, it is said that 
the nations did not even observe the Noachide Command- 
ments, so that it would have been useless and absurd to offer 
them a far more elaborate code. One strange passage in the 
Mechilta tells how God revealed Himself to the sons of Esau, and 
asked them, " Will you receive the Law ? They said. What is 
written in it ? He said to them. Thou shalt not murder. They 
said, That is the inheritance which our father left to us, as it is 
said. By the sword shalt thou live." So the sons of Ammon are 
told that the Law contains the command. Thou shalt not co mmi t 
adultery, the sons of Ishmael that it contains the command. 
Thou shalt not steal, and they each, on similar grounds, refuse 
to receive it.^ 

Again, it is pointed out that the Law was given in the desert, (4) Traces 
given openly, and in a place that belonged to nobody in particular, nberaiity. 
because if it had been given in Palestine, the Israehtes could have 
said to the nations, " It is our property, and j^ou have no share 

> Ps. cxlvii. 20. 
^ Mechilta on Exodus xx. 2 ; Wiinsche, p. 208. 


in it." But now " it is common property ; whoever will accept 
it, let him come and accept it." ^ A very striking legend is 
put into the mouth of R. Hanina bar Papa (third century). 
" At the last judgment God will summon all the converts before 
Him, and will judge the nations in their presence. He will say 
to them. Why have you rejected Me, and why do you serve idols 
in whom is no reality ? They will say, Lord of the world, if 
we had come to Thy gates, Thou wouldst not have received us. 
Then God will say to them, Let the proselytes come and testify 
against you." ^ These legends are doubtless later than our 
period, but they are only the culmination of tendencies which 
had started at least as early as the first century. 

On the whole, however, we find that national and religious 
prejudices prevented the free development of the conception of 
a completely impartial God. Israel is oppressed by the heathen ; 
and reacts humanly towards the oppressor. He cannot pay him 
back in deed ; he can only pay him back in words and theory. 
God also partakes of the infirmities of His people ; and, in the 
days to come. He will repay to the nations what His people 
have suffered at their hands. 

But it must also be observed that with this inadequate and 
defective universahsm there went a certain striking and peculiar 
broad-mindedness. It showed a fine insight into essentials to 
rise to the view that " mere Theism," the acknowledgment and 
worship of God, together with the following of the simplest and 
broadest rules of morahty, constituted an adequate passport for 
the future fife and for salvation. If we compare such a 
view with the idea that salvation largely depends upon the 
belief in a number of theological subtleties, we cannot but be 
struck with the difference. The advantage of modernity rests 
here with the Rabbis. The simplicity and broadness of their 
views is reflected in the familiar adage of R. Johanan (third 
century), " He who refrains from idolatry is a Jew." ^ 

' Mechilta on Exodus xix. 2 ; Wiinache, p. 193. 
« PeMlia Rabhathi, p. 16la. •'' Meqilla. in.-. 


We may also perceive in the most violent utterances against 
the nations a deep and genuine detestation of idolatry, a real and 
vivid conviction that monotheism and morality are as insepar- 
able as are idolatry and the grosser sins. From this point of 
view, the hatred of the heathen was not merely a hatred of the 
oppressprs, but a hatred of their vices, whether exaggerated or 

On the whole, the conception of God's relation to the IsraeHte (/) God's 
in A.D. 40 or 90 was very much the same as in the Psalter. God to Israel, 
is just and righteous ; He punishes as well as rewards ; but His 
justice is surpassed by His compassion. If, in repentance, man 
will advance towards Him an inch, God in loving forgiveness 
will run to meet him an ell. (This last simile is familiarly 

It is often supposed that, in the days of the second Temple, (ii Direct 
God became more and more transcendent, and that He only dealt with^^God^ 
with man through the agency of angels. The development of 
' angelology ' is regarded as a symptom of extreme theoretic 
transcendence and of practical rehgious ' distance.' As regards 
the Apocalyptic writers, there may be something in this idea ; as 
regards the Rabbis, from the earhest to the latest, it is a delusion. 
Doubtless angels were beheved in — any number of them — but 
they are very rarely spoken of as mediators between God and 
man. For once that the Rabbis of the first century mention an 
angel, a hundred times they mention God. It is God who does 
the hearkening and the caring and the helping. The angels play 
a secondary part and, indeed, show less aflection and concern 
for man than the Holy One who is their Lord and man's Lord, 
their creator and his. God and Israel are imited together by 
means of the Law, and the Law is the direct gift of God. Dr. 
Charles has said, '" In New Testament times the ministry of angels 
has become the universal means of approaching or hearing 
from God." A reversion to an older view by the Rabbis is 
said to be due to hostiUty to Christianity. ^ These are very 
^ Apocrypha, and Paeudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. ii. p. 13 


doubtful statements. Apocalyptic writers may obtain their 
revelations by means of angels. The ordinary Rabbinic Jew 
approached God directly, and felt Hie answer in the heart. 
So far as there was any mediation at all, the mediator was not 
an angel, but the Law. Above all, God never needed an angel 
to tell Him what man was saying. The passages from the Mid- 
rash which Dr. Charles quotes as a ' reversion ' might have been 
written in the first century as well as in the fourth or fifth : 
" The woman in childbirth, the sea-farer, those who journey 
through the wilderness, the prisoners in the gaol, those who are 
in the east or the west, the north or the south — God hears 
them all at once." Such a passage would have been as much a 
commonplace to Hillel as to Shammai, to Johanan ben Zaccai 
as to Akiba.^ 
(2) Mercv J^^* ^^ *^® Psalmists, so too the early and later Rabbis 

and justice gpcak Constantly about the righteousness and justice of God, and 

combined. . . 

of His mercy and lovingkindness. Like the Psalmists they held 
that His mercy outstripped or exceeded His justice, but never- 
theless they did not allow their behef in God's mercy and in His 
love of Israel to carry them to unethical extremes. Reflexion 
increased in the first century, and in the third quarter of it came 
the catastrophe of the Fall of Jerusalem and the Destruction of 
the Temple. But neither these awful events nor the horrors of 
the Hadrianic War were able to destroy the conviction of God's 
goodness and compassion. Even the Psalmists are naively 
conscious of an antagonism between divine justice and mercy. 
In the Rabbinic development this consciousness becomes more 
acute, yet a harmony is sought by making God reason about 
them Himself, or by making the two attributes fundamental 
aspects of the divine nature. Both divine justice and divine 
mercy are necessary for the due maintenance of humanity. 
A very curious passage in the Midrash of uncertain date explains 
the Rabbinic view. " Like a King who had some empty goblets 
and said, If I pour in hot water they will burst, if I pour in 

^ Exodus R. xiviii. i ; Wiinsche, p. 208. 


cold water they will shrink. What did the King do ? He mixed 
the cold water with the hot, and poured it in, and the goblets 
remained unhurt. So God said, If I create the world with the 
attribute (literally, measure) of mercy, its sins will become great ; 
if I create it with the attribute of justice, how can it endure ? 
I will create it with both ; oh that it may endure ! " ^ God 
is declared to have two thrones, the throne of justice and the 
throne of mercy, and this idea appears to be at least as old as 

Two reasons prevented the complete moralisation of the 
divine character. The first was the hatred of the idolater and of 
Israel's oppressors : the second was the overwhelming authority 
of the Old Testament, which occasionally encouraged a lower 
conception of God as wrathful and vindictive to rise into 
consciousness. So far as Israel generally, the ' Noachide ' 
Gentiles, and all repentant sinners were concerned, the tend- 
ency was to ignore these lower conceptions or to explain 
them away, but in the case of unrepentant idolaters and 
oppressors, or even unrepentant IsraeUte sinners and apos- 
tates, they were still utilised and accepted. It is curious to 
observe how the higher views struggle with the lower ; yet 
the general tendency of the three hundred years between 50 B.C. 
and A.D. 250 is unquestionably in the direction of conceiving God 
as more merciful, fatherly, and gracious, even despite the awful 
occurrences of the Fall of Jerusalem and the Hadrianic revolt. 

How far did these events otherwise afiect the conceptions 
of God's relation to man and of man's relation to God ? It has 
already been implied that, so far as God's relation to man is con- 
cerned, the ruin of the nation had no permanently bad result. 
The ideas of God's compassion, equity, and love prevailed and 
developed. Yet doubtless, in the early days of the agony, there 
were those who, as in the Psalms, cried out, " How long ? Has 
God no pity ? Does He exact the uttermost farthing of punish- 
ment ? " In 4 Esdras we see this tendency in both directions. 

1 Genesis R. xii. ad fin. ; Wiinsche, p. 57. 



(?) The 
of Israel 
to God. 

(1) God's 

God is conceived as unpitying ; all Gentiles and most Jews go 
to perdition ; few indeed are those who enter the life of beatitude 
in the world to come. And the reason is that goodness for the 
ordinary man is virtually impossible. The " malignant heart," 
the " leaven in the dough," the Yeser ha-Ra, is too strong. But 
for the relation of God to man, 4 Esdras (a.d. 90) is not repre- 
sentative even of its own age, and still less of the Judaism of, say, 
A.D. 200. Like Paul, it ignores the whole doctrine of repentance 
and the Day of Atonement : it makes God just and pitiless, 
instead of just and merciful. It teaches that, even as regards 
the Israelites, the number of admissions to the happy world to 
come will be very small, whereas the Rabbinic tendency was to 
open the gates of heaven wide, and to exclude from its beati- 
tudes, and from the joys of the resurrection hfe, only the gravest, 
unrepentant, or falsely repentant sinners. 

We pass to the relation of man, or rather of the Israehte, to 
God. Here brevity becomes exceedingly difficult. It is often 
supposed that between 100 B.C. and a.d. 100 the Law tended to 
make the IsraeUtes' attitude towards God one of fear ; whilst 
His partiality towards His own people fostered an unjustifiable 
sense of self-righteousness. There is, however, good reason to 
believe that the general result of the prevailing teaching was a 
tolerably successful ' mean ' between these ' extreme ' defects. 

It is true that God never lost His awfulness, and that man 
was counselled to fear as well as to love Him. It is unnecessary 
to lay any stress on the fact that in the opening Amidah prayer 
— certainly older than Acts — God is called " great, mighty, and 
awful " ; for in the very same breath He is called " the bestower 
of loving-kindnesses." In a scarcely less ancient prayer His great 
love and abundant pity are invoked at the beginning. He is 
called " Our Father, pitiful Father, who has chosen His people 
Israel in love." ^ 

The " logic of events " tended to prevent the di^ane love 
for Israel being used as an excuse for moral carelessness. For if 

^ Authorised Prayer Book, ed. Singer, p. 39. 


the horrors inflicted by Titus and Hadrian did not imply 
an impotent or unjust God, did they not imply a very sinful 
Israel and an exceedingly exacting God, whose judgment in 
the hfe to come might easily be worse than death ? " Fear 
him," said Jesus, " who is able to destroy both soul and 
body in hell. Fear him who, after he has killed, has power to 
cast into hell ; yea, I say unto you. Fear him." Similarly, we 
have the often-quoted death-bed scene of R. Johanan ben Zaccai. 
When his disciples visit him, he weeps. When they ask the 
reason, he repHes : "If they were about to bring me before a 
king of flesh and blood, who is here to-day and in his grave 
to-morrow, whose wrath, if he be angry with me, is no eternal 
wrath, whose bonds are no eternal bonds, whose death, if he 
kill me, is no eternal death, whom I might soften with words and 
bribe with money, nevertheless I might weep : but now that they 
bring me before a King, w^ho is the King of Kings, who is eternal, 
whose wrath, etc., should I not weep ? Moreover, two ways are 
before me, one leads to Paradise, and one to Hell, and I do not know 
along which way they will make me go — should I not weep ? " ^ 
A similar gloom seems to have disturbed the soul of 
R. Gamahel, who, whenever he read the verse, " He that 
doeth these things shall never be moved," was also stirred 
to tears. Another version of the same story represents him 
as weeping for a similar reason whenever he read Ezekiel 
xviii. 6, 7. R. Akiba, however, comforted him by ingenious 
exegetical devices, the point of which was to show that a man 
might expect to be accepted by God if he fulfilled, not all the 
conditions of the passages in question, but any one of them. 
The view which underlay Akiba's exegesis was more frequent, 
prevailing, and characteristic than the view that was expressed 
in Gamaliel's tears. The Commandments were given — such is 
the regular doctrine — for life and not for death. The burden is 
adjusted by God's grace to the capacity of the bearer. ^ Though 

1 Berachoth. 28b. 
* Sanhedrin, 81a ; Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten, vol. i. p. 88 (ed. 2). 


the Temple was destroyed, the love of God for Israel remains. 
The Day of Atonement — the sign and vehicle of God's pity- 
remains also. " Happy are ye," said Akiba, " before whom do 
ye purify yourselves ? Who purifies you ? Your Father who is 
in heaven, as it is said, I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and 
you shall be pure." ^ So too R. Johanan ben Zaccai comforted 
R. Joshua as they gazed together on the ruins of the Temple. 
" Woe to us, said Joshua, for the place, whereat the sins of Israel 
were atoned, hes waste." Johanan repHed : " Be comforted, 
we have still a means of atonement which is equal to the Temple, 
and that is the practice of deeds of love, for it is said, I require 
love and not sacrifice." ^ It was teaching such as this which 
enabled Judaism to recover from, and, in some ways, to be 
religiously all the better for, the catastrophe of the destruction 
of the Temple. 

(2) God's It was not denied that the FaU of Jerusalem was caused by 

Israel's sin. But, at the same time, there was no doubt of God's 
love as well as of God's justice. It was the doctrine of the future 
life and of the world to come which solved the puzzle. The 
average Israelite was not afraid to die on account of what might 
happen to him hereafter. On the contrary, the sore troubles 
and the ruin, the martyrdoms and the persecutions, were in- 
tended thoroughly to punish and purify the IsraeHtes in this 
world, so that they might the more assuredly enjoy the beatitude 
of the next. In this sense sufferings could be regarded as an 
evidence not only of God's justice, but also of His love. The 
Rabbinic doctrine — already well fledged in the first century — 
is precisely what the ordinary reader is famihar with in the 
Wisdom of Solomon. " If in the sight of men they are punished, 
their hope is fuU of immortaHty. Having borne a httle chasten- 
ing, they shall receive great good." For what is any torture 
in time compared to full beatitude in Eternity ? 

Rabbinic But further, where the Rabbinic rehgion achieved special success 


^ Yoma, 85b. (Mishna, ■viii. ad fin.) 
» Aboih R. Nathan, iv. p. 11a, ed. Schechter; Pollak. p. 33 (fin.). 


was that it not only used to the full the hope of the future, but 
did not despair of this life even amid its gloom and its sorrows. 
Earthly life was not a mere hard and mournful preparation for 
another. It had its own pecuhar joys. That this excellent 
result was achieved was due to the Law. 

The relation of man to God was kept permanently (a) Re- 
hopeful by the progressive stress laid upon the doctrine of ^^" ^^^^' 
repentance.^ There is good reason to beheve that the doctrine 
was well known to Rabbinic teachers as early as the first 
century, even though the finest and tenderest passages about 
it may belong to a later date. It is therefore the more 
notable that it is found neither in 4 Esdras nor in the 
Pauline Hterature. The general Rabbinic view was that no 
sinner, however great, except perhaps the apostate, the 
heretic, or the informer, would, if he repented, be shut out from 
the divine forgiveness. The God who received Manasseh's re- 
pentance would receive almost anybody's ! Possibly the heretic 
could not be forgiven because he was incapable of repentance. 
No time is too early or too late for repentance. It is God's 
chosen method of deahng with the sinner. If you ask Wisdom 
what is the punishment of sinners. Wisdom replies, " Evil shall 
pursue them." If you ask Prophecy, Prophecy replies, " The 
soul that sins shall die." If you ask the Law, the Law rephes, 
" Let the sinner bring a sacrifice, and find atonement." But 
if you ask God, God rephes, " Let the sinner repent." Let a 
man stand and blaspheme God in the street, and God will yet 
say to him, " Repent before Me, and I will receive you." ^ 

In the Old Testament the doctrine of sin is not very fully (h) Origin 
worked out. How far is sin always man's fault ? How far is ^j gj^, 
it the fault of his parents and ancestors ? How far is it God's 
fault ? Theoretic speculations about sin are almost absent ; but 
throughout the Old Testament period there is generally a very 
healthy and vigorous sense of human responsibihty. Man need 

^ Cf. C. Montefiore in Jevnsh Quarterly Review, vol. xvi., January 1904, 
pp. 209-257. 2 Pesikta C. xxv. 158b ; Wunschc, p. 227. 


not have sinned, had he not chosen to do so. vSin therefore is 
man's fault. Only rarely do we hear voices which say that 
man not only sufiers for his parents' sins, but that he is so frail 
that he is almost bound to fall into sin himself. Only at the end 
of the Old Testament period do speculations become rife. We get 
the doctrine of man's hereditary tendency to sin, of " the evil 
heart " or inclination so strong within him that he cannot free 
himself from its malignancy. The question is, Why did God 
give him his body with its passions, and wath this inchnation 
towards evil ? 

Here it is only possible to touch upon these matters in 
barest outhne. The general line of development was in accord- 
ance with conceptions which have already come before us. God 
is just : man is sinful, but yet he can master his sinful inclinations. 
God is not only just, but loving and merciful : and if, for reasons 
into which the Kabbis scarcely ventured to inquire, God has 
created man frail. He has also given him (or at least Israel) the 
means of overcoming his frailty. If God punishes sin. He also 
helps to vanquish it. And if He punishes sin. He also rewards 

It cannot be said that much use is made of the fact that 
the deliberate sin of Adam transmitted moral frailty to his 
descendants. The results of the " evil inclination," rather than 
theories as to its origin, are mainly insisted upon. And this 
seems as true for the first century — the age of Acts — as for any 
subsequent period (cp. II. Baruch, liv. 19). 

Nor was " the evil tendency " often associated with the body. 
It is true that the soul as it enters the body is generally conceived 
as pure. " The soul which thou gavest me was pure," says 
a daily prayer at least as old as Acts.^ But of any Platonic 
attack upon the body there is httle to be found. The '' evil 
inclination " dominates the man as a whole, and in a well-known 
apologue both soul and body are held responsible for the sins 
which they have helped each other to commit. This world is 
^ Authorised Jevnsh Prayer Book, ed. Singer, p, 5. 


not evil because it is material : as God's creation it is essentially 
good. Nor is the body e\dl because it is material. It is only 
the seat of sin because it is the framework, or covering, of the 
personality, the ' heart,' the individual.^ 

An immense portion of the area covered by the relation of God (c) Reward 

•iT->ii-- T • 1 • 1 ■ ^^'^ punish- 

and man must, in the Kabbimc rehgion, no less than m the entire ment. 
Old Testament, be assigned to the doctrine of reward and punish- 
ment. This doctrine colours the whole of Old Testament religion 
in the attitude of man towards his God ; and what we have to ask 
is, How far were Old Testament ideas being modified in the first 
century after Christ ? Perhaps nowhere more than here did the 
doctrine of the future life and of the world to come cause change 
— not always of statement, but of stress — by bringing a particular 
point to the front. 

God is not only the Father, He is also the Ruler and the 
Judge of man. According to the human analogy of all these 
ofiices, God must inevitably punish and reward. Moreover, 
according to the Jewsh mind, requital was deeply ingrained in 
the whole scheme of things. Exceptions there might be, but 
these were more apparent than real. The most solemn and 
the most true adage in the world was "measure for measure." 
" All measures shall pass away, but measure for measure shall 
never pass away." The Rabbinic uses of the word MiddaJi — 
Measure, Attribute, Quality — form a chapter in themselves. 

There is a fine series of paradoxes in the IMidrash, according 
to which the words of Genesis i. 25, 31, " it was good " and " it 
was very good," are applied to various pairs the reverse way 
from what one might expect. Thus the Good Inclination is 
good, the Evil Inclination is very good. Paradise is good, 
Gehenna is very good. The angel of life is good ; the 
angel of death is very good. R. Hima (third century) said, 
" The good measure {i.e. the measure of reward) is good ; the 

1 BeracJwIh, 10a ; Sabbath, 152b ; Niddah, 30b (fin.) ; Sanhedrin, Ola (^«.), 
91b (inif.) ; Leviticus B. xxxiv. 3 ; Wiinsche, p. 235. Cf. Porter's essay on 
the Yeser Jia-Ra, pp. 98-107. 


measure of chastisements (or sufferings) is very good. For 
through, sufferings the ' creatures ' attain to the hfe of the world 
to come." ^ 

God punishes and rewards. The ideas of retribution and re- 
quital still hold good : they are intensely beheved in. Calamity is 
still, to a large extent, explained as the consequence of sin. When 
Israel does the will of God, the nations cannot harm him : when 
he does not fulfil God's will, they chastise him. And so on. 
Moreover, the doctrine of measure for measure is painfully and 
mechanically elaborated, and we find (as early as the first century) 
much miserable argument about such and such calamities visiting 
mankind because of such and such iniquities. Nonsense of this 
kind still degrades some pages of the orthodox Jewish prayer 
book.^ Again, as in the Wisdom of Solomon, we are told 
that God makes the punishment fit the crime. In the Hmb with 
which men sin they are punished. And so on, and so on. It is 
kinder to draw a veil over the details, and to allow them to rest 
in a dusty obscurity, from which only a student of the weaknesses 
and follies of mankind need, now and again, drag them forth to 
the pillory in the hard, clear light of knowledge and of truth. 

But these exaggerations and even perversions of Old Testa- 
ment doctrine are only one part of the development. There are 
other parts more pleasant. Calamity and suffering may be 
punishment, but they may also be purification. 
(1) Puri- The calamities of Israel are mainly sent to purify the people, 

KuiferincT. ^ in ordcr that they may be prepared for the " world to come " ; 
whilst the sins of the Gentiles are so great that they cannot be 
adequately punished here. If they prosper in this world, it is, 
as we have seen, part of God's dispensation that Israel should 
atone for its shortcomings here, and the Gentile world for its 
crimes hereafter. Thus the famous verse in Proverbs, " \Vhom 
the Lord loves He chastens," is emphasised. " The chastenings of 

^ Bereshith R. ix. fin. ; Wiinsche, pp. 38, 39. 

^ Authorised Prayer Book, ed. Singer, p. 121. Cf. Aboth, v. 11-14, ed. 


love " is a familiar phrase in tlie Rabbinical writings. " Beloved 
are sufferings," says Akiba, and the statement is repeated again 
and again. And Akiba added, "Be not Hke the heathen, for they, 
when good comes to them, honour their gods, and when punish- 
ment comes, they curse them, but you, when God sends you 
good, give thanks, and when He sends you sufferings, give thanks 
hkewise." Man should rejoice in his sufferings even more than 
in his prosperity, for suffering wins him the forgiveness of his 
sins. Three good things have come to Israel through suffering 
only : the Law, the land of promise, and the world to come. 
He who rejoices in his sufferings brings salvation to the world. 
What a change from the days of Job's friends or even of Job. 
One Rabbi said, " He who passes forty days without suffering 
has already received his future ' world ' upon the earth." ^ 

There are also other qualifications to the view that suffering (2) vica- 
is sent from God as a punishment for sin. The righteous may s|°gering. 
suffer vicariously. Death is a form of suffering, and the death 
of the righteous exercises an atoning force. This idea occurs 
frequently. " As the Day of Atonement atones, so does the 
death of the righteous atone." In one passage it is said that 
there are Israelites who unite knowledge of the Law with good 
works ; some have the former, but lack the latter ; some the 
latter without the former ; some lack both. God says : Are 
these to be lost ? No. All the classes are to form a single bundle, 
and the one are to atone for the other. Why has God created 
the sinner and the righteous ? That the one should atone for 
the other. Why did He create heaven and hell ? That the one 
should deliver the other. ^ The idea of solidarity was well 
understood. A national calamity of necessity befalls the righteous 
as well as the wicked, and in national sorrows every one must 
bear his share. " The Rabbis teach that when Israel is in distress, 
and an Israelite separates himself from the community, the two 

^ Cf. Sanhedrin, 101a ; Mechilla on Exodus xx. 23 ; Wiinsche, pp. 227, 
228 ; Taanith, 8a ; Arachin, 16b ; Schechter, Studies in Judaism (Series I.), 
p. 275, and the passages there quoted. 

2 Cf. Pe^ikta C. 174b, 185a, 191a, 191b ; Wiinsche, pp. 254, 269, 282, 283. 


angels of the Service who accompany man come and lay their 
hands upon his head, and say, This man, who has separated 
himself from the community, shall not see its consolation." 
" When the community is in distress, a man must not say, I will 
go home and eat and drink, peace be unto thee, my soul ; but 
a man must share with the community in its distress, Uke Moses, 
and then he is worthy to see its consolation." ^ 

It is part of the realism of Rabbinic Judaism that, in spite 
of the doctrine of the future world and all its glories, death is 
almost always conceived as a form of chastisement. That is 
why, like suffering, it atones, whether for the sins of him who 
dies, or for the sins of others. But a verse in Isaiah (Ivii. 1) was 
happily in existence to hinder the odious idea that early death 
was a punishment for sin from becoming too dominant. It may 
be that God knows that a man would, if he lived, fall into sin, 
and so God removes him from earth while he yet perseveres in 
his righteousness. 2 
(3) Death The doctriue of the world to come was sufficient to prevent 

ufe. ^^^ faith in God from suffering shipwreck, however puzzhng the 
events of earth. It also prevented the too unquestioning adop- 
tion of the doctrine of measure for measure. Men were able to 
say, " We cannot understand the prosperity of the wicked, still 
less the sufferings of the righteous, but we trust in God." Signifi- 
cant is the story about Akiba. Moses is told by God of Akiba's 
wondrous knowledge, and how he will teach heaps and heaps of 
injunctions (Halachoth). Moses asks to see him, and is vouch- 
safed a vision of Akiba and his students. After some further 
conversation, Moses says to God, " Thou hast shown me his 
(knowledge of the) Law ; show me now his reward." Then the 
vision changes, and Moses sees ' them ' weighing Akiba's flesh 
in the butcher's shop. Then Moses says : " For such knowledge 
of the Law is this the reward ? " " Silence," replies God, " so I 
have determined." ^ 

^ Taanith, 11a. ^ Ecclesiastes R. vii. 15 {init.) ; VViinsche, p. 103. 

3 Menahoth, 29b. 


Reward, like punisliment, is still generally regarded as the 
result of righteousness. But the more righteous a man is, the 
more fitting it is that his reward should be reserved for 
the hereafter. The wicked are rewarded in this world for 
the ' lightest ' commands which they fulfil ; they are punished 
in the next world even for the ' hghtest ' sins which they 
commit. The righteous are punished in this world for the 
lightest sins which they commit ; they are rewarded in the next 
world for the lightest commands which they fulfil. This view 
was maintained by Akiba, and is general.^ A curious if not 
very pleasing remark is attributed to the son of R, Sadok 
(first century). His father was cured of some malady by 
Vespasian's doctors, and the son said, " Father, give them their 
reward in this world, that they may not share thine in the 
world to come." ^ 

Nevertheless, the doctrine of reward underwent many con- 
current modifications, but it is almost impossible to consider 
these without bringing in the Law as the all-pervading influ- 
ence extending to every conception of rehgion. 

The strength of the legal system was due to two influences, The Law. 
closely connected with each other. The first was the love of [f^ ^°^ ^" 

■^ the Law. 

God, the Giver of the Law ; the second was the joy in the Com- 
mandments. To some extent the very particularism of the 
Rabbinic religion, which makes it less attractive to us moderns, 
added strength to its legahsm. The Law was the sign of God's 
love for Israel ; He had not given them a burden, but a glory. 
Every command, as one fulfilled it, was a reminder of that 
gracious love, that affectionate, and yet ethical, nearness. 
And here is another odd point. When a man gave alms 
to the poor, he fulfilled a law of the first magnitude ; so, too, 
when he visited the sick, comforted the mourner, rejoiced 
with the bridegroom and the bride. Charity and benevolence 
are the marks of the Israelite : he who has not compassion and 

^ Leviticus R. xxvii. 1 ; Wiinsche, p. 18.3. 
^ Lamentations R. i. 5 ; Wiinsche, p. 68. 


shame is no child of Abraham. Nevertheless, even a heathen 
might on occasion be charitable. When, however, a man affixed 
a Mezuzah to his new house, he was doing something which no 
Gentile ever did or could possibly do. This partook of the 
nature of a delightful secret between him and his heavenly- 
Father. Take the analogy of a family on earth, where father 
and mother are intensely beloved. In such a family there 
may be a number of little customs and rules — how to sneeze, 
where to put the salt-cellar on the table, how to arrange 
the father's dressing-room or the mother's work-box — which are 
only known to the parents and the children. With what delight 
do the children observe these regulations ! With what happy 
memories they are associated ! How each vies with the other 
to do them well ! How many a laugh goes with the doing of 
them ! Never do they become stale, never wearisome, never 
absurd. It was something of this sort that cropped up among 
the Jews as regards their relations to the Law and to God. 
Obviously not aU could have felt so. Not all persons love God 
to-day : not all persons loved Him then. To those who did not 
love Him the rules might be a burden or a nuisance, inexplicable 
ordinances of an omnipotent Deity, whose odd and freakish com- 
mands must be sadly obeyed lest worse should befall. But to 
lovers every order of the Beloved is dear : in gladness and delight 
are His injunctions fulfilled. No more characteristic Rabbinic 
phrase than that of the " joy of the Commandments " : Simhah 
shel Misvah. The attitude or preparation for prayer must not 
be one of laziness or sorrow or Hghtness or jesting, but that of 
" gladness in the Commandment." ^ To rejoice, and cause 
others to rejoice, is the ne plus ultra of religious obedience. First, 
purification : then joy ; for the second was supposed to indicate 
a higher stage of religious development than the first. " Pros- 
perity is the blessing of the Old Testament." It would not be 
true to say that prosperity is the blessing of the Rabbinic religion. 
But the touch of happiness remains, and Paul's insistent ' rejoice ' 
^ Berachoth, 31a, et saep. 


is the most Rabbinic tldng about him. The joy is no longer now 
in mere outward material objects, though the worth of these is 
not denied. The joy is in the Law, and even in the performance 
of the most trifling Misvoth. 

Already in the Old Testament there is a double relation (6) Fear 
of man to God : fear and love. The same double relation was 
maintained all through the Rabbinic period, and not only 
maintained, but developed. Fear is not cast out because 
of love, but both love and fear become more conscious and 
distinct. It is noticeable in Sirach how the love and fear of 
God are used almost interchangeably. The writer seems 
hardly conscious that there could be any opposition between 
them. In the Rabbinic period, the implications of the two, 
or the possible contrariety, are realised perfectly well. Love 
is consciously and deliberately declared to be higher than 
fear, but fear is not to be altogether abohshed. One passes 
from fear to love, but even when love is attained, one should not 
wholly reject fear. That God punishes sin must never be entirely 
forgotten. We have already compared the view of Jesus as 
given in Matthew x. 28 and Luke xii. 4. So R. Mattai the 
Arbehte (second century) said, " Grow not thoughtless of retribu- 
tion." And this is interpreted to mean : A man should fear 
every day. He is to say. Woe is me, perhaps punishment may 
reach me to-day or to-morrow. When he is prosperous, he is 
not to say. Because I have deserved it, God has given me food 
and drink in this world and the ' stock ' awaits me in the here- 
after ; but he is to say, Woe is me, perhajDS only one single 
' merit ' has been found in me. He has given me food and drink 
here that He may deprive me of the world to come.^ One 
would make a mistake if one were to interpret such a passage as 
indicating a persistent attitude of anxious and trembHng scrupu- 
losity, of never-ending and persistent apprehension. A passage 
such as this must be taken with a due recollection of oriental 
picturesqueness and exaggeration. Nevertheless, it shows that 

* Aboih B. Nathan, ix. (fin.) 21b ; PolKik, p. 52 (but incorrectly rendered). 


fear was still maintained. R. Jehudali b. Tema (second century) 
said, " Love and fear God ! Tremble and rejoice in the fulfilment 
of the Commandments." An early Talmudic passage quotes 
the two Biblical commands, " Love God and fear God," and 
continues thus : " Execute the divine injunctions in love and in 
fear. If thou shouldst be inclined to hate (any law), know that 
thou art a lover, and no lover hates : if thou shouldst be inclined 
to despise (any law), know that thou fearest, and no fearer 
can despise." ^ The difierence between those who serve from 
fear and those who serve from love is often discussed in the 
Talmud. Did Job, for instance, serve God from fear or from 
love ? R. Meir (second century) tried to combine the two, and 
said that both Job and Abraham's fear of God was " out of love." 
Well known is the passage which enumerates the seven classes of 
Pharisees, the last and highest of which is the Pharisee from Love. 
In the Jerusalem Talmud it is immediately followed by the famous 
description of the death of Akiba, which bears repetition : " Akiba 
was being punished before Turnus Rufus, and the hour drew 
nigh for saying the Shema. He began to say it, and he laughed. 
Then Rufus said. Old man, thou art a sorcerer, or thou despisest 
thy sufferings. Akiba said, Calm thyself. I am no sorcerer^ 
nor do I despise my sufferings (for this too would have been a 
sin), but all my hfe when I read this verse, ' And thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with 
all thy might,' I was grieved, for I said to myself, when will all 
three be within my power ? I have loved Him with all my heart 
and with all my might, but to love Him with all my soul ( = life) 
was not assured to me. But now that ' with all my soul ' 
has come, and the hour of saying the Shema has arrived, 
and my resolution remains firm, should I not laugh ? He had 
not finished speaking when his soul fled away." The reader 
will not fail to notice that the most exalted idealism is inextricably 
involved with the most careful legaHsm. That is Rabbinism 

^ Aboih E. Nathan, xli. 67a, ed. Schechter; PoUak, p. 141 ; Jer. Berachoth, 
ix. ; Schwab, i. p. 169. 


all over. But Akiba was not the only martyr, and all who 
suffered then were but the forerunners of an immense cloud of 
sufferers who have never ceased to suffer from then till now : 
" They that love me and keep my Commandments." These are 
the Israehtes, said R. Nathan, who Uved in Palestine, and gave 
their lives for the Commands. " Why goest thou forth to be killed 
by the sword ? Because I circumcised my son. Why goest thou 
forth to be burnt ? Because I read in the Torah. Why goest 
thou forth to be crucified ? Because I ate unleavened bread." ^ 

In the middle, as it were, between religion and morahty, and (c) Sancti- 
casting its influence upon both, is the conception of the Sanctifica- the Name. 
tion and Profanation of the Name. This conception deepened, 
though it depended on, the Biblical teachings upon the subject 
in Ezekiel and elsewhere, and is, in this fuller and finer develop- 
ment, at least as old as Akiba. The highest form of Sanctifica- 
tion is martyrdom. For the Talmudists the classic period of the 
Sanctification was the Hadrianic persecution. Thus, for in- 
stance, playing upon Psalm xvi. 3, the Midrash observes : " David 
said. Thou didst increase sufferings for the generation of the 
persecution, when they died for the sanctification of Thy Name. 
R. Idi said. Sufferings are divided into three portions. One 
portion the fathers and all the generations together have assumed ; 
one portion the generation of the persecution ; one portion the 
King Messiah {aliter : the generation of the Messiah). What 
did they do in the generation of the persecution ? They took 
iron balls and made them white-hot, and put them under their 
armpits, and took away their fives from them, and they brought 
sharp reeds, and put them under their nails, and so they died for 
the Sanctification of Thy Name." Elsewhere the same Midrash 
remarks : " How many persecutions have been decreed against 
Israel, but they have given their fives for the Sanctification of 
the Name." ^ Rather touching is the saying of R. Hiyya bar 

^ Sotah, 31a: Jer. Berachoth, ix. ; Schwab, i. pp. 169, 170; Mechilta on 
Exodus XX. 5 ; Wiinsche, p. 213. 

- Midrash Tillim on Psalm xvi. 3 ; Wiinsche, vol. i p. 124 ; Midrash 
Tillim on Psalm xviii. 7 ; Wunsche, vol. i. p. 149. 


Abba (second century) : "If you are asked to give your life for 
the Sanctification of the Name, say, I am ready to give it ; only 
may I be beheaded at once, and not be tortured as in the days 
of the persecution." ^ 

Certain it was that those who gave or give their Hves for 
the Sanctification of the Name would obtain the blessedness of 
' the world to come.' The " Sons of the living God loved Him 
even unto death." That is said to be the meaning of the 
words ' sick of love ' in the Song of Solomon. '•' They were sick, 
not through pain of head or body, but through love of the 
Holy One — yea, sick of love even unto death, for the Son so 
loves his Father that he gives up his Hfe for the honour of his 
Father. Even as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego gave 
their lives, not on the condition of release, but to be burnt, 
for it is said, stronger than death is love." ^ 

As the Sanctification of the Name was the highest duty, so 
the Profanation of the Name was the deadliest sin, for which, 
according to the developed Rabbinic view, there was no atone- 
ment but death. Even repentance, and the Day of Atonement, 
and sufferings, were insuflScient.^ The Sanctification of the 
Name is a peculiarly Jewish duty, which is not obHgatory upon the 
Gentile Theist, or the follower of the seven Noachide Commands.'* 
But, over and above martyrdom, the duty of sanctification 
and the sin of profanation exercised a peculiar effect upon 
Jewish hfe. God's honour is, as it were, put into Israehte 
keeping. Here we find an odd moral result for good of Jewish 
particularism. Though God is the one and only God, yet He 
is in a special sense the God of Israel, and so any sin of any 
Israehte, which becomes known to a non-Israehte, constitutes a 
profanation of the Name. It reflects upon God's honour. The 
special servants and sons of God must not sin, for their sin, if 
known, reflects upon the credit of their God, who bade them be 

1 Pesikta C. x. 87a; Wiinsehe, p. 112. 

- Midrash Tillim, ix. ad fin. ; Wiinsehe, vol. i. p. 93. 

» Yoma. 86a. * Sanhedrin, 74b. 


holy even as He is holy, and through their holiness to show forth 
His. Thus — to return for a moment to reUgious persecution — it is 
permitted, in order to save one's life, to transgress all laws, 
except the laws against idolatry, unchastity, and murder ; but if 
one is asked openly to violate the lightest law as a sign of apos- 
tasy, one must unhesitatingly die. If of two possible methods 
of action, one involves an ordinary sin, and one a profanation 
of the Name, one must undoubtedly choose the former. It is 
better, it was said, that a letter should be torn out of the 
Law than that God's Name should be openly profaned.^ It 
was even asserted that it was better to commit a sin in secret 
than to profane the Name openly, while, on the other hand, it 
was also declared that this secret sin was itself a profanation 
of the Name.2 Thus the Sanctification of the Name became 
an important string in the Jew's moral bow, and especi- 
ally in his dealings with the non-Jew. This point comes out 
very naively in Talmudic discussions. The ' natural man ' in 
the Jew was inclined to take advantage of the non-Jew, to 
defraud him, in other words, when opportunity offered. For 
the non-Jew was the oppressor of the Jew. But the Jew was 
restrained from doing so by the law of the Sanctification. Thus 
the rule stands codified : to steal from the non- Jew is a ' heavier * 
sin than to steal from the Jew because of the Profanation of 
the Name.^ Famous is the old story of R. Simeon ben 
Shetah (first century), who restored the jewel which was found 
upon the donkey that he had bought from certain Arabs. Char- 
acteristic is the remark made on his action : " Simeon preferred 
to know that those Arabs said (when the jewel was restored). 
Blessed be the God of the Jews, than all the reward of this world. 
The cry of the Arabs was a great Sanctification of the Name." 
In the passage of the Jerusalem Talmud, where the story is told, 

^ Sanhedrin, 74a ; Yebamoth, 7&a. 

" Kiddushin, 40a. 

^ Tosefta, Baba Kama, x. 15. A certain legal deceit must not be allowed, 
said Akiba, towards the non-Jew because of the Sanctification of the Name : 
Baba Kamma, 113a. 



other tales follow of the same kind.i Dr. Kohler is doubt- 
less right when he says that " to this day the warning against 
profanation of the Name tends to keep the commonest Jew from 
committing any act that might disgrace the Jewish Com- 
munity." ^ 
id) Ethics A few words may be in place regarding the effect of the Law 
oousSr ^PO^ ^^® conceptions of virtue and vice, righteousness and sin, 
and the methods of the divine retribution. What are supposed 
to be the dangerous effects of legalism in these respects must be 
well known to every reader. , Nor can it be doubted that there 
existed a certain tendency to look at righteousness and sin as if 
a man's character could be measured in the same manner as his 
weight. But the truth seems to be that though such a tendency 
existed, it was checked by other tendencies, more human, more 
healthy, more ' prophetic' There is, however, no room here 
to deal with this very comphcated subject more thoroughly. 

The terms ' merit ' (Zechuth) and " good works " {maasim 
tobim) are perhaps familiar to the reader. How far, it may be 
asked, did these terms, which are quite as early as Acts, generate 
the idea that certain deeds were accomplished for the sake of 
pihng up a store of merit (and hence of acquiring reward) ? For 
instance : Was a man incUned to give alms — a prominent 
example of good works — to make for himself a treasure or store 
of merit ? Already in Sirach we have the doctrine that alms- 
giving delivers from death and atones for sin, and this view was 
general in the Rabbinic period. The word Sedakah, which in 
the Bible means righteousness, acquired in Rabbinic Hebrew 
the subsidiary sense of alms-giving, and hence a famous verse 
in Proverbs (xi. 4) was interpreted as a witness and proof of the 
potency of eleemosynary gifts. The doctrine of Matt. \\. 20 about 
treasures in heaven is essentially and even verbally Rabbinic. 
Famous is the tale of King Monobazus, the proselyte (first cen- 
tury), who dissipated all his treasures and those of his ancestors in 

1 Jerusalem Talmud, Baba Mesia, ii. 5 ; Schwab, vol. x. p. 93. 
* Jewish Encyclopaedia, vol. vii. p. 485, col. 2. 


alms. His family remonstrate, and contrast his conduct with 
that of his prudent forefather. He replies : " My ancestors 
collected for below, I have collected for above ; they collected in 
a place where the hand rules, I have collected in a place where it 
does not ; they collected what bears no fruit, I have collected what 
bears fruit ; they collected money, I have collected treasures of 
souls (Prov. xi. 30) ; they collected for others, I have collected 
for myself ; they collected for this world, I have collected for 
the world to come." So Akiba asked by Turnus Rufus, " Why, 
if your God loves the poor, does he not sustain them ? " replied, 
" So that we may be saved through them from the judgment 
of hell." Almsgiving and charity (deeds of lo\dng - kindness) 
are the great intercessors between Israel and their Father in 
heaven. 1 

As early as the first century, the division of the commands (2) Heavy 
into Hght and heavy had been effected. From the second century commands, 
comes the adage : " Be as attentive to a hght precept as to a 
heavy one, for thou knowest not the reward of precepts." ^ 
But in truth the motive for obedience was higher than this adage 
would make it out. It was not merely urged. Run to do a light 
command, for it will induce you the more readily to fulfil a 
heavy one. The light commands were looked on as the 
adornment and beauty of the Law. The verse in Canticles is 
quoted : " Thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with 
Hlies," and these Hhes are said to be the Hght, tender commands, 
the fulfilment of which brings Israel to the Ufe of the world 
to come.^ 

It must not be supposed that the light are the ritual commands, 
and the heavy the moral commands. Such a division would be 
false. Some commands, such as circumcision. Sabbath, fasting 
on the Day of Atonement, eating unleavened bread in the week 
of Passover, though ' ritual,' are, in Rabbinic eyes, extremely 
heavy. The emphasis laid upon circumcision is remarkable. 

1 Baba Baihra, 11a, 10a; Sabbath, 32a. ^ Aboth, ii. 1. 

^ Aboih B. Nathan, ii. 5a ; Tollak, p. 21. 


Nevertheless, although many ritual commands are heavy, few 
moral commands would be hght. 
(3) Em- It is probable that, with the rise of Christianity, the emphasis 

motive. on the formal side of the Law was increased. This cut more 
ways than one. More and more insistence was placed upon 
purity of motive : the Law for its own sake. The doctrine of 
lishmah (for its own sake) is one of the distinctive glories of 
Rabbinic Judaism. " To him who studies the law for its own 
sake, it is a tree of life ; to him who does not, it is a mixture 
of death. And be it noted that to fulfil a command ' for its 
own sake ' becomes equivalent to fulfilling it ' from love,' 
Even " a sin lishmah is better than a command which is not 
lishmah," meaning that it is better to fall into an unintentional 
transgression with a good motive than to fulfil a command 
with a bad one.^ It was even held dangerous or wrong to say 
of a command like Deut. xxii. 6, 7, " How great is God's 
mercy." The laws are not mere expressions of God's mercy : 
they are His arbitrary decrees.^ A curious parallelism with the 
views of Kant may be observed in certain Rabbinic phrases 
and tendencies concerning the Law. Thus R. Hanina bar 
Hama (third century) said, " Better is he who does some- 
thing because it is ordered than he who does it though 
he was not ordered to do it." ^ The old saying of Antigonus 
of Socho, " Be not as slaves that serve their Lord with 
a view to reward," did not fall on deaf ears. It is con- 
stantly quoted in Rabbinical literature, as, for instance, by 
R. Eleazar (third century), when, using Psakn cxii. 1, " blessed 

1 Taanith, 7a, Nazir, 23b. 

2 This view, moreover, prevented superstition. There was no magic in 
the ritual ordinances. Highly significant is R. Johanan ben Zaccai's remark 
about the water of Numbers xix. 9. " The dead body does not (in itself) 
cause uncleanness ; water does not (in itself) make clean : it is just a divine 
ordinance that may not be transgressed." So Rab (third century) said, 
" The commands were merely given to purify man. What does it matter 
to God how an animal is killed ? " Numbers R. xix. ; Wiinsche, p. -166 ; Bere- 
shith R. xUv. init. ; Wiinsche, p. 201. 

* Megilla, 25a, Berachoth, 33b ; Jer. Ber. v. 3 ; Schwab, vol. i. p. 103 ; 
Kiddushin, 31a. 


is he who greatly delights in God's commandments," he observes, 
" only in the commandments, not in the reward of the com- 
mandments." 1 

Thus this very legalism laid much stress on motive. 
Rabbi Eleazar said that if he who unintentionally commits a 
good action is rewarded, how much more he who commits 
it intentionally. That God demands the heart is a familiar 
Rabbinic aphorism, A combination of the doctrine of inten- 
tion with the doctrine of God's mercy results in the customary 
teaching that the good intention, even frustrated, is reckoned 
as if it had issued in deed ; whereas the bad intention, which 
fails to be consummated in action, is forgiven. The distinc- 
tion between intention and deed is sometimes oddly manifested. 
We are told of Akiba that on reading a certain passage in the 
Law, he would weep and say. If he who meant to eat pig, and ate 
sheep, required atonement and forgiveness, how much more does 
he need it who meant to eat pig and ate it ! Or, again, if he who 
meant to eat permitted fat, and ate forbidden fat, needed atone- 
ment and forgiveness, how much more he who meant to eat for- 
bidden fat and ate it ! ^ The Rabbis, who were incUned to 
judge themselves severely (as indeed a Rabbinic law ordained), 
did not by any means always avail themselves of the teaching 
that the frustrated evil intention is overlooked by God, so far 
as their own repentance and consciousness of sin were concerned. 

Such teaching as this — and it became a regular commonplace (4) Grace 
— must have provided a good corrective to the dangers of Zechuth ^° "^'^' * 
and to the doctrine of ' treasures.' It was moreover often re- 
peated that man has no claim upon God because of his virtues. 
The precipitate of early Rabbinic doctrine is contained in the 
hturgy. Daily the orthodox Jew is supposed to recite the follow- 
ing prayer, which may be as old as the first century. " Sovereign 
of all worlds ! Not because of our righteous acts do we lay our 

^ Abodah Zarah, 19a. 

2 Sifre, 120a; Kiddushin, 39b, 40a; Sanhedrin, 106b; KiddusUn, 81b; 
Baclier, Agada der Tannaiten, i. p. 326, n. 2. 


supplications before Thee, but because of Thine abundant mercies. 
What are we ? What is our Hfe ? What is our piety ? What 
our righteousness ? . . . What shall we say before Thee, Lord 
our God and God of our fathers ? Are not the wise as if without 
knowledge, and the understanding as if without discernment ? " 
Not improperly does Dr. Abrahams say : "In this passage we 
have the true Rabbinic spirit on the subject of grace and works. 
The Rabbis held that reward and punishment were meted out 
in some sort of accordance Vvdth a man's righteousness and sin. 
But nothing that man, with his finite opportunities, can do con- 
stitutes a claim on the favour of the Almighty and the Infinite. 
In the final resort all that man receives from the di^^lne 
hand is an act of grace." ^ Moses, says the Midrash, used 
for his prayers the expression ' suppUcation.' R. Johanan said, 
"Hence thou canst learn that the creature has nothing over 
against his Creator, for Moses, the greatest of the Prophets, 
could only come to God with suppHcations." ^ And the JMidrash 
goes on to say : " God said to Moses, Upon him who puts some- 
thing in My hand, I will have mercy with the attribute of mercy, 
to him who puts nothing in My hand, I will be gracious with a 
free gift." ^ Not even Abraham, Isaac or Jacob could go 
unpunished if God dealt with them as in a Court of Law. All 
need the loving-kindness of God, even Abraham.* Comment- 
ing on Ps. cxH. 1, " I cry unto Thee : make haste unto me," 
the Midrash observes : " What does ' Make haste unto me ' 
mean ? I hastened to fulfil Thy commands ; so hasten Thou to 
me. What is the matter Hke ? It is like a man who had to 
defend himself before a judge. He saw that all others had 
advocates to plead for them. He said to the judge, The others 
have advocates ; I have no advocate. Be thou my advocate 
as well as my judge. So David said, Some trust to their good 

^ Authorised Prayer Book, p. 7. Annotated edition by Dr. I. Abrahams, 
p. xxi. 

* Deuteronomy R. ii. 1 ; Wiinsche, p. 18. ' Ibid. p. 19. 

* Oenesis R. Ix. 2 ; Wiinsche, p. 281 cid fin. Cp. Genesis B. on xxxix. 6 ; 
Wiinsche, p. 175. 


and upright works, and some trust to the works of their fathers : 
but I trust to Thee. Even though I have no good works, yet 
since I call on Thee, answer me." ^ 

On the whole, there was doubtless a certain tendency to Tendency 
beheve that the greater the works, the greater the reward, lectuaiism. 
according to the teaching — " All is according to the greatness of 
the work." And yet, how often other conceptions, such as 
repentance and ' intention,' cross the retribution dogma and 
drive it aside ! Famous is the tale of R, Eliezer b. Durdaiya 
(second century) who was so addicted to the sin of unchastity 
that it was said of him that there was no harlot in the world 
whom he had not visited. It was recorded of him that, on the 
occasion of his last sin, the harlot herself said to him that his 
repentance would never be received. 

" Then he went forth, and sat between the hills, and said, * Ye 
mountains and hills, seek mercy for me.' But they said, ' Before 
we seek mercy for you, we must seek it for ourselves, for it is 
said. The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed.' Then 
he said, ' Heaven and earth, ask mercy for me.' But they said, 
' Before we ask mercy for you, we must ask it for ourselves, as 
it is said. The heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth 
shall wax old as a garment.' Then he said, ' Sim and moon, 
ask mercy for me.' But they said, ' Before we ask for you, we 
must ask for ourselves, as it is said. The moon shall be confounded, 
and the sun ashamed.' Then he said, ' Planets and stars, ask 
mercy for me.' But they said, ' Before we ask for you, we must 
ask for ourselves, as it is said, All the hosts of heaven shall be 
dissolved, and the heaven shall be rolled up as a scroll.' Then 
he said, ' The matter depends wholly upon me.' He sank his 
head between his Imees, and cried and wept so long till his soul 
went forth from him. Then a heavenly voice was heard to 
say, ' R. Eliezer b. Durdaiya has been appointed to the Ufe 
of the world to come.' But R. Jehudah I., the Patriarch 
(Rabbi) (second century) wept and said, ' There are those 
^ Midrash TiUim on Psalm cxli. 1 ; Wiinscho, vol. ii. p. 234 ^n. 


who acquire the world to come in years upon years ; there 
are those who acquire it in an hour.' ^ And he added, ' Not 
only do they receive the penitent, but they even call them 
Rabbi ! '" This phrase, " There are those who (hardly) acquire 
the world to come in years upon years ; there are those who 
acquire it in an hour," is often repeated. What an odd com- 
mentary it is upon the doctrine of measure for measure ! 
The Very comphcated (especially in the first century) is the ques- 

Ares ^'^' ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ *^^ ■'^^^ stimulated a false intellectuahsm ; for it 
raises the whole question of the Ame ha-Are§, into which it is 
impossible to enter here.^ Were there (in the first century) large 
masses of Jews ignorant of the Law and hated by the Rabbis ? 
The Gospel evidence for the existence of such people we know, 
and there is a certain amount of evidence in the Rabbinical htera- 
ture which seems to substantiate, and tally with, the evidence of 
the Gospels. This Rabbinic evidence concerns the Ame Jia- 
Ares, who are usually supposed to correspond with the neglected 
and despised multitudes of the S}Tioptics, and with the accursed 
people who know not the Law of the fourth Gospel. Some, how- 
ever, think that the statements in the Gospels are exaggerated : 
it has even been suggested that the Ame lia-Ares of the Talmud 
were not poor neglected outcasts at all. The subject is intensely 
important. Nevertheless, it must be wholly omitted here, because 
it does not admit of a fair presentation without a very extended 
statement and discussion of all the available facts. Moreover, 
these facts are extremely comphcated. The passages relating 
to the Ame ha-Ares admit of many conflicting interpretations, 
and they are not entirely consistent "oath each other or with any 
particular explanation of them or hypothesis. But whoever 
the Ame ha-Are§ were, they seem to have gradually died out, 
as the rule of Law penetrated more and more deeply through 
every class of society. The ' neglected outcasts ' do not 
appear to have continued long after Hadrian. Was the terrible 
revolt a purification as of fire ? Did it produce an immense 

' Abodah Zarah, 17a. * See pp. 125 ff. 


increase of devotion to the Law ? Did it make all surviving 
Jews more closely knit to each other ? Did it cause the lax or 
the ' outcast ' to seek a religious home elsewhere ? It is impos- 
sible to enter into these fascinating possibilities.^ 

Yet even apart from the Aine ha- Ares, one may legitimately Study and 
ask how far, especially in the first and second centuries, was the 
intellectual element in the rehgion entirely beneficial. We have 
seen how the study of the Law was regarded as the highest and 
most inclusive of all those duties and virtues whereof the fruit is 
enjoyed in this world and the ' stock ' in the world to come. A 
famous passage in the Talmud, of which the conclusion is often 
repeated, recounts how R. Tarphon (first century) and the Elders 
were assembled in an upper chamber of a house in Lydda when 
the question was raised whether study or ' doing ' was greater. 
R. Tarphon said ' doing ' was greater. R. Akiba said that study 
was greater. Then all agreed that study was greater because 
it led to ' doing.' ^ This does not seem wholly unreasonable. 
Nor can one discount or deny the nobihty (or the significance) of 
the opening suppHcation of the Amidah, which is at least as old 
as Acts. " Thou favourest men with knowledge, and teachest 
mortals understanding. favour- us with knowledge, under- 
standing and discernment from Thee. Blessed art Thou, Lord, 
gracious giver of knowledge." We cannot object to the view 
that he only is poor who is poor in knowledge, or to the adage, 
" Do you possess knowledge, what do you lack ? Do you lack 
knowledge, what do you possess ? " ^ But what are we to 
say to the phrases of R. Eleazar who observed : " If a man 
has no knowledge, it is forbidden to have mercy upon him," or 
" If a man shares his bread with him who has no knowledge, 

^ In addition to the usual sources of information, including Dr. Biichler's 
wonderfully learned work, Der galildische 'Am-ha 'Aretz des zweiten Jahrhunderts. 
it is only fair and pleasant to mention the three careful and useful papers by a 
young scholar, A. H. Silver, in the Hebretv Union College Monthly for December 
1914, and Januarj' and February 1915. Silver's conclusions seem to me the 
fairest, most probable, and most historical that I have so far met with. 

' Kiddushin, 40b ; Jer. PesaJiim, iii. 7 : Schwab, v. p. 45. 

^ Nedarim, 48a. 


sufferings will come upon him " ? ^ And then we have the well- 
known saying of Hillel : " No boor is a sinf carer, nor is the Am 
ha-Ares pious." ^ It would be easy to make too much of 
these sayings, the hke of which do not appear to be very frequent. 
In Hillel's saying the word ' pious ' (Hasid) has possibly a 
technical sense, meaning * rigidly saintly.' Or, the boor is the 
man of dull and coarse sensibilities ; scarcely, the simple God- 
loving fool. And we must remember that this same Hillel is the 
man who was always ready to pay attention to anybody, and 
whose favourite adage was, " Love the creatures, and bring 
them in to the Law. Be a disciple of Aaron ; love peace and 
pursue it." 

The Rabbis, moreover, were no close corporation. They 
sprang from the people, were often lowly born, and often poor. 
Many practised a handicraft, for it was forbidden to " make 
a livehhood out of the Law." Some were well-to-do ; a few 
were rich. But the rich counted no higher than the poor. 
It was an aristocracy of knowledge, and this aristocracy 
prevented for centuries any aristocracy of wealth. The honour 
paid to learning and knowledge of the Law gradually grew 
more and more universal. If any family had a Scholar or 
a Rabbi among its members, great was its glory. \Miat priva- 
tions the student and the student's family would be walling to 
suffer for the sake of learning and of study ! And it was a 
genuine honour, a genuine love. The Rabbi was no priest. He 
had no dispensing power. He manipulated no sacrament. He 
had no keys of heaven. Not through him, but solely by your 
own efforts, and by the mercy of God, could you get there. There- 
fore the respect paid to learning was sincere and for its own sake. 
We have already noticed the constant warning against pride. 

Nor must it be supposed that the Rabbis had no thought of 
ordinary people, their needs, their sorrows, or their "\artues. 

* Sanhedrin, 92a. 

* Abolh, ii. 6. Cp. Menahot, 43b ^w. R. Meir's blessing that God has not 
made him a boor. 


That is not so. Note their saying : "If you have no time for a 
long prayer, use a short one." R. Gamaliel (end of first century) 
said that the Amidah — the eighteen Benedictions — should be said 
every day. R. Joshua (end of first century) said, the substance of 
them. R. Akiba said, If a man's prayer is fluent in his mouth, 
let him say the whole Amidah ; if not, let him say the substance. 
Thus the IMishnah. The Gemara gives an example of a prayer 
which may be called * the substance ' : it would take only two 
minutes to say.^ The Rabbis realised that there was a time 
for long prayers and a time for short. There is a nice story of 
R. Eliezer ben Hyrkanus (first century), A student was offering 
prayer in the Synagogue, and was dragging out his prayer at 
greater length than usual. His fellow students said to Eliezer, 
Master, how he elongates ! Eliezer repHed, Does he elongate 
more than Moses who prayed for forty days and nights ? On 
another occasion a student was surprisingly short, and his fellows 
said, How he shortens ! Eliezer replied. Does he shorten more 
than Moses, who prayed, " God, heal her " ? ^ Eliezer's 
own example of a short prayer, such as one might pray on a 
voyage in a place of danger, is very dehcate. " Thy will be done 
in heaven above, and give calm of spirit to those who fear Thee 
below, and what is good in Thine eyes, do. Blessed art Thou, 
Lord, who hearest prayer." ^ The following prayer must 
clearly have been meant for the people at large : " The wants 
of Thy people Israel are many, their knowledge is small : may it be 
Thy will, Lord our God, to give to every one his sustenance, and 
to everybody what he needs. Blessed art Thou, Lord, who 
hearest prayer." * "I have told thee," God is made to say, 
" to pray in the Synagogue, but if thou canst not, pray in thy 
field, and if thou canst not, pray in thy house, and if thou canst 
not, pray in thy bed, and if thou canst not, think in thy heart 
and be still." ^ This does not look like the utterance of 

1 Berachoth, 28b, 29a. " Berachoth, .*54a. 

^ Berachoth, 29b. * Berachoth, ibid. 

5 Pesikta C. xxv. 158a ; Wiinsche, p, 226, 


haughty separatists. Nor does the story of the woman who 
brought a handful of meal to the altar as her sacrifice. The 
priest sneered at it. But in a dream it was said to him : "Account 
not her gift as small : account it rather as if she had offered her- 
self." 1 All men, said R. Eleazar (third century), are equal 
before God, women and slaves, rich and poor. He did not say, 
learned and ignorant, but I feel pretty sure that we may assume 
that he meant it.^ 

There are many more things which should be said about the 
efiect of the Law upon, and its relation to, the entire religion of 
the Jews in the early Rabbinic period. Many sections of the 
subject have not been touched upon at all. Thus the extent, 
with its effects, of the ritual laws should be discussed : the food 
observances, sexual observances. Sabbath observances, the agri- 
cultural dues, the laws of clean and imclean, are all exceedingly 
important. Divorce, polygamy, and the position and estimate 
of women, would all require careful and separate treatment. 
Ethical We havc already noticed the immense stress laid by the 

Teachers upon almsgiving and ' deeds of love.' And here three 
points are to be observed. The first is the increasing delicacy 
of sentiment. Perhaps the sin which the Rabbis most repro- 
bate is putting one's neighbour to the blush, maldng him feel 
ashamed in pubKc. And therefore they lay the utmost stress 
upon considerateness and delicacy in almsgiving. Much could 
be written as to this, and many charming quotations could 
be made. Secondly, the clear distinction had been achieved 
between almsgiving and the higher love. Thirdly, while the 
Teachers exalt benevolence, and even go so far as to say that 
poor and rich were created for each other, the former helping 
to create the ' merit ' for the latter, they are yet very keen (like 
Sirach) on independence, and have many sensible remarks to 
make about begging. Akiba said that it was better to go with- 
out the distinction of the Sabbath meal (in ordinary circum- 

^ Leviticus J?, iii. 5 : Wiinsche, p. 22. 
* Erodus R. xxi. ; Wiinsche, p. 16fi. 


(a) Charity. 


stances a joyful duty) than to ask the help of another. To 
lend may be better than to give, and so on.^ 

On two points, often discussed, Rabbinic ethics would, I (6) For- 
beUeve, come out of a close investigation with credit and honour. ^'^^°®^®- 
The first concerns forgiveness. " The day of Atonement atones 
for sins between a man and his God ; it does not atone for 
sins between a man and his neighbour till he has become recon- 
ciled with his neighbour." This passage from the Mishnah is 
of high importance, for it represents the considered doctrine of 
the Synagogue. It is repeated in the Siphra, and a teaching of 
R. Eleazar b. Azariah (first century) is added : " Words between 
thee and God will be forgiven thee ; words between thee and thy 
neighbour will not be forgiven thee till thou hast softened thy 
neighbour." ^ It is, perhaps, trae that the Rabbis thought 
more of the doer than of the recipient of the wrong. They were, 
perhaps, more keen to teach that the doer of a wrong should beg 
pardon and seek reconcihation than that the recipient should 
forgive. A characteristic story is that of R. Simon b. Eleazar 
(second century). He once saw a very ugly man, and called 
out, " How ugly you are." To which the man replied, " Go 
to the Master who made me and reprove Him." Then the 
Rabbi leapt from his ass, and begged for forgiveness. But 
the man would not let him off so easily. " He followed the 
Rabbi all the way to the city of his residence, and on arrival 
there asked the people who their Rabbi was. They replied. Him 
you follow. The ugly man said. If he is a Rabbi, may there 
be few like him in Israel ! And he told them the story. They 
said. Nevertheless, forgive him. He replied, I will forgive him 
on condition that he never acts like that again. And the Rabbi 
preached that day in the College, Let a man be always as bending 

^ Cp. Pesahim, 112a; Sabbalh, 118a; Aboih B. Nathan, iii. 8a; Pollak, 
p. 27 ; Mishnah Peah, viii. 8, 9. 

2 Yo77ia, 85b ; Siphra, 83a and b. Cp. Dr. Charles, Religious Development 
between the Old and the New Testaments, pp. 151, 152. His translation of Yoma, 
86b, is erroneous, and the contrast between it and Matthew xviii. 21, 22, falls 
to the ground. Cp. my article on Jewish Apocalypses and Rabbinic Judaism 
in The Quest, October 1915, p. 165. 


as a reed and not stilT like a cedar." ^ R. Jehuda b. Tema 
(second century) was wont to say, " If you have done your neigh- 
bour a small injury, in your eyes let it seem great ; has he done 
you a great injury, in your eyes let it seem small. And forgive 
those who humiliate you." ^ Often repeated, and not unjustly 
famous, is the adage, " Of those who are humiliated, and do not 
humiliate, who bear insults and do not reply, who fulfil (the 
Commands) from love, and rejoice in their sufierings, the Scripture 
says, ' They who love Him are as the sun when he goeth forth 
in his might.' " ^ 

A virtue often urged is, " Not to insist upon one's rights," 
which seems to turn into the equivalent of forbearance, of 
yielding, of forgiveness. Thus was it said by Raba, " He 
who passes over his rights, his sins are passed over." It is 
recorded that R. Akiba's prayers were heard while R. Eliezer's 
prayers were not heard — not because Akiba was greater {i.e. 
more learned) than EHezer, but because he was more for- 

The Rabbinical advance in ethical distinction and delicacy 
is also illustrated by the example given to explain the distinc- 
tion between revenge and bearing a grudge, both of which are 
forbidden in the same Peutateuchal verse (Lev. xix. 18). If A 
asks B to lend him a sickle and B refuses, and B next day asks 
A to lend him an axe, and A refuses, saying, I will not lend 
you anything, because you would not lend me — that is revenge. 
But if A asks B to lend him a sickle and B refuses, and B next 
day asks A to lend him an axe, and A does so, saying. There it is, 
I am not like you, who would not lend to me — that is bearing a 
(c) Love. An impression is current that the word love, and the actions 

or the feehngs which the word denotes, were unknown in Rabbinic 
Judaism. But the more one reads of Rabbinic literature, the more, 

1 Aboth R. Nathan, xli. 66a ; Pollak, p. 139. 

2 Aboth R. Nathan, xli. 67a ; PoUak, p. 141. 

3 Sabbath, 88b. Cp. Baba Kamma, 92a, 93a. 

♦ Yoma, 23a, 87b ; Taanilh, 25b. 6 Yoma, 23a. 


I tliink, one comes to the conclusion that there is not much to 
be said for the old famihar contrast of Righteousness for Judaism 
and Love for Christianity. Modern Jews in polemical literature 
have often taken the foohsh line of trying to turn the tables 
upon their critics by saying, " We accept the contrast, and glory 
in it. Righteousness is higher than love ! " The historian will 
let these verbal contests and sophistries lie. He will perceive 
that there was in Rabbinic literature from the first century 
onwards a passionate love for God, a passionate love for His Law, 
and a very real love of neighbour. These various loves were 
shown by practical service, by delicate charity, and, so far as 
God was concerned, by obedience culminating in martyrdom. 
Life under the Law, so far as loving deeds and gentle bene- 
volence are concerned, leaves little to be desired. 

It is another question whether there existed a feeling of love 
to all men, including the sinner and the enemy. That Hillel's 
form of the golden rule is negative I do not think so important 
as Christian writers, in their very natural desire to magnify 
the uniqueness of the words of Jesus, always make out. That 
sameHillel said, " Love mankind, and bring them in to the Law," 
which is positive enough in all conscience. Nevertheless, suum 
cuique. And I should be far from attempting to deny the 
original elements in the Gospel teaching. The summons not 
to wait till they meet you in your sheltered and orderly path, 
but to go forth and seek out and redeem the sinner and the 
fallen, the passion to heal and bring back to God the wretched 
and the outcast — all this I do not find in Rabbinism ; thcU form 
of love seems lacking. 

These remarks are but suggestions towards a picture of the Conclusion, 
tendencies of Jewish religious thought at the close of the first 
century. They reveal a fine Theistic rehgion, peculiar and 
special in its frequent strength and in its occasional weakness. 
It was, at any rate, a religion in which God was a most present 
reality. Let all thy deeds, said Hillel, be in the name of heaven. 
In other words, let them all be done for the glory of God. It was 


God's glory, I fancy, and the delicate sense of charity which His 
religion was generating, that prompted Hillel to provide a horse 
and a slave for a poor man of noble family, and that made him, 
on an occasion when there was no slave to run in front of the 
horse, run some distance himself, so that the poor man might 
maintain his honour. ^ 

" Deeds of loving-kindness " : not always the sort of deeds 
which we should do to-day, but fair and delicate deeds, never- 

" A legal religion." Yes, but a religion which culminated 
in the view that for God's sake and His Law's sake, for 
the pure love of God and for the pure love of His Law, must 
all commands be fulfilled, that the intention is even greater 
than the deed, and that thoughts of sin are even more serious 
than the sin itself.^ " The day is short," said the stern 
and rigid R. Tarphon, who had seen the Temple worship in 
its glory, " and the task is great, and the reward is much." 
Do you say, " Ah, always that odious mention of reward " ? 
And what sort of man was this R. Tarphon ? One Sabbath 
day his mother's sandals split and broke, and as she could 
not mend them, she had to walk across the courtyard bare- 
foot. So Tarphon kept stretching his hands under her feet, 
so that she might walk over them all the way.^ Another 
day, at the close of the fig harvest, he was walking in 
a garden, and he ate some figs that had been left behind. 
The custodians of the garden came up, caught him, and 
beat him unmercifully. Then Tarphon called out, and said 
who he was, whereupon they stopped and let him go. Yet all 
his days did he grieve, for he said, " Woe is me, for I have used 
the crown of the Law for my own profit." For the teaching 
ran : A man must not say, I will study, so as to be called a wise 
man, or an elder, or to have a seat in the College, but he must 

^ Be^a, 16a; Kethuboth, 67b; Jer. Peak, viii. 8; Schwab, vol. ii. p. 114. 
* Yoma, 29a init. 

' The story is most inteUigently told in Jer. Kiddushin, i. 8 ; Jer. Peak, 
i. 1 ; Schwab, ii. p. 9 ; Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten, i. p. 344, n. 1. 


study from love, the honour will come of itself. ^ Finally, let 
us recall what R. Eleazar b. Sadok (first century), who, an older 
man than Tarphon, also saw the fall of Jerusalem, was wont to 
say, "Do the words of the Law for the doing's sake, and speak of 
them for their own sake. Make them not a crown with which 
to exalt thyself, or a spud with which to weed." - 
A strange legalism ! 

* Jer. Shebi'itk, iv. 3 ; Schwab, ii. p. 358 ; Nedarim, 62b. Cp. the story 
in Baba Bathra, 8a, of R. Jehudah I., the Patriarch (Rabbi), and R. Jonathan 
(.second century), an odd mixture of intolerance and delicacy. 

2 Nedarim, 62b ; Bacher, Agada der Tannaiten, i. p. 48, n. 2 and 3. 

For Bibliography see end of volume. 




By The Editors 

When Christianity made its appearance Judaism was one of 
tte most active and vigorous religious forces in the world. 
Religious activity is, however, mainly revealed in diversity, and 
it is almost impossible for a living church to be a united one. 
When men feel intensely the need of communion with God, they 
differ most as to the means of attaining it. Vital religion is, after 
aU, a great experiment, and each man resolves to try his own 
Ancient The Old Testament tells us less than we should desire about 

iS°° °^ *^® religion of Israel down to the Capti\aty. We infer that, 
upon the whole, it was traditional, national, tribal, and domestic. 
But it was honourably distmguished by the constant protest 
which was raised against the popular conception of Israel's 
relation to God. The prophets insisted that God's favour was 
not due to partiality, but had a moral end ; God had loved and 
chosen Israel, not from caprice, but to work out a purpose of 
his own. Even if he had instituted the sacrificial worship, which 
some denied, its object was purely secondary. He desired 
obedience rather than sacrifice, and preferred national righteous- 
ness to the due performance of religious rites. Amos in Israel 
and Isaiah in Judah, though living in the midst of a people 
scrupulous as to ceremonial observance, denounced the whole 
apparatus of the religion around them. Others, like the " schools 
of the prophets " and the Rechabites, formed separate religious 


communities. In appearance, dress, and gesture the prophet 
was not as other men, and he was almost always opposed to the 
existing order. 

The Captivity converted the Jewish nation into a church, Effect 
composed of men united by ties of blood, but dispersed and captivity, 
living under the most diverse conditions. They found union 
in the Law, which was probably promulgated in the fifth 
century B.C. But the Law could only be kept completely in 
Palestme; and from this arose a distinction between Jews Hving in 
the Holy Land and those whose circumstances compelled them 
to have their homes elsewhere. These last — commonly known as 
the " Diaspora " or the " Dispersion " — could only partially obey 
the Law, and some were further divided from the native Jews by 
language. Henceforward, there were two great divisions in 
Judaism, alluded to in Acts vi. 1 as 'Hebrews' and 'Hellenists.' ^ 

The Law contemplated an isolated nation — a peculiar people, thb Law. 
whose ' holiness,' in the technical sense of the word, cut them («) The 
off from the rest of humanity. But circumstances proved too 
strong for the legal ideal. The Jews discerned that the heathen 
were not senseless idolaters, but rather that they had much to 
teach the elect nation. They fomid points of contact, first with 
Persia, then with Greece. Some fought against these outside 
influences, some yielded, some tried to adapt them, and division 
was the inevitable consequence. The duaUsm of Persia, the 
ideahsm of Plato, and the asceticism of Pythagoras inevitably 
modified the rehgion of the Law. 

Even those who lived in Jerusalem, privileged to enjoy the (6) Jeru- 
worship of the Temple, and able to observe the Law as no other 
Jews could, experienced a desire for separation. They found that 
if in theory their condition was ideal, it was not so in practice ; 
and the sins of the Holy City led them to wish for some place 
where they could obey God in pious seclusion. Unity was soon 
found to be impossible, even in the precincts of the Sanctuary. 

* Cf. also Acts xi. 20, where the reading of the MSS. varies botwceu'EWi/faj 
and 'EWr/cKTrdj. 


Sources. Great obscurity hangs over the subject of the sects ; con- 

temporary authorities are very meagre, and often leave us in 
considerable uncertainty whether what are called sects were such 
in our sense of the word. In the New Testament, for example, 
we read of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians, perhaps Zelots, 
Galilaeans, Sicarii, Samaritans, and disciples of John ; but we 
have no knowledge whether any of these were formal associa- 
tions, for the question of the Jewish societies (Haberim) is very 
(a) Epi- The first Christian writer to give a catalogue of Jewish sects 

p anms. .^ Epiphanius (fl. A.D. 380). He enumerates in his Panarion 
(1. 1) seven sects : Sadducees, Scribes, Pharisees, Hemero- 
baptists, Nasaraei, Ossenes, and Herodians. The Samaritans 
he regards as on the border-line between Judaism and Heathen- 
ism ; they are divided into four sects : Essenes, Sebouaei, Gor- 
theni, and Dositheans. Whenever it is possible to control Epi- 
phanius by reference to earlier writers or known facts, his com- 
plete untrustworthiness is apparent. What he says about Scribes, 
Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and Essenes is negligible and 
absurd. As to the other sects, he must be treated with suspicion. 
The statements which he makes are as follows : 

(1) The Hemerobaptists. — These agreed with the Pharisees 
and Scribes rather than the Sadducees, but insisted on daily 
washings throughout the year. " For this sect maintained that 
life was impossible for man, unless he were daily baptized in 
water, bemg washed and purified {ayvi^6/u,€vo<;) from all guilt." 

(2) The Nasaraei (Naaapaloc). — This sect existed in Gilead 
and Bashan, east of Jordan. Though they accepted Circum- 
cision, Sabbath, the Law of Moses, and venerated the Patriarchs, 
they rejected sacrifice, animal food, and the Pentateuch as alien 
to the revelation given to Moses. 

This statement of Epiphanius has been used by W. B. Smith ^ 
and others to explain the statement in the Gospels and Acts 
that Jesus was from Nazareth. It is certainly true that Epi- 

^ W. B. Smith, Der vorchristUche Jesus. See Appendix B, p. 432. 


phanius clearly distinguishes these Nasaraei from the Nazarenes 
(Na^copalot) or Jewish Christians ; and there is no proof outside 
the Gospels that any city of Nazareth existed in the time of Jesus. 
Moreover, Epiphanius admits that all the other sects had dis- 
appeared by his time, except the Nasaraei and the orthodox 
Jews. There may have been such a sect ; but Epiphanius is 
quite capable of inventing one by confusing its adherents with 
Jews who had taken a Nazarite vow. 

(3) The Ossenes. — These came from Nabataea, Ituraea, and 
Moab, the eastern side of the Dead Sea, but in the second century 
all had been absorbed in the Gnostic heresy of Elxai. They 
are described as agreeing with the Nasaraei in rejecting the 
Pentateuch. Epiphanius clearly distinguishes the Ossenes from 
the Essenes, but it is obvious that these are really identical.^ 

The Rabbinical writings are none of them earlier than about (6)Rabbmi. 
A.D. 200, though based in part on tradition reaching back to the ^^ ^^'^^ '°^^* 
Apostolic Age. 

The oldest part of the Rabbinical literature is the reduction 
to writing of the oral law as it was developed in the schools in the 
first and second centuries of the Christian era. In some schools 
the oral law was taught in connexion with the weekly lesson in 
the Pentateuch, in others it was gone through according to an 
ordered list of subjects on a system attributed to Akiba. The 
former method is represented by the Mekilta, Sifra, and Sifre 
(on Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers-Deuteronomy, respectively) ; 
the latter, which eventually prevailed, produced the Mishna of 
Jadah the Patriarch (about a.d. 200), the Tosephta, and numer- 
ous other works of the same khid which are known only through 
quotations in the Talmuds, where they are designated as Baraitas, 
or traditions extraneous to the ojB&cial Mishna. The codification 
of Judah came to be recognised as the authoritative Mishna, and 
may be called the canon of the traditional law. 

' For the relation of Epiphanius to Pseudo-Tertullian and Philastriua and 
their common indebtedness to a lost treatise of Hippolj-tus, see R. A. Lipsius, 
Zur Quelhnkritik des Ejnphanius, Vienna, 1865. 


Henceforth the work of the schools was the discussion of the 
meaning, reason, and application of the Mishna, the reconciliation 
of apparently conflicting rules, and similar questions. These 
discussions form the bulk of the two Talmuds, one proceeding 
from the Palestinian schools, the other from the Babylonian ; 
but they contain much other matter more or less loosely connected 
with the subject in hand — interpretation of Scripture or homi- 
letical improvements upon it, BibKcal legends, anecdotes, folk- 
lore and fable, popular superstitions. The legal matter is called 
Halaha (rule to go by), the rest is Hagada (vaguely, ' teaching '). 
The doctors of the Law in the schools of the IVIishna in the first 
and second centuries are called Tannaim (Traditionists) ; their 
successors down to the completion of the Talmuds are the 
Amoraim (Lecturers). The compilation and redaction of the 
Palestinian Talmud, erroneously called the Jerusalem Talmud, 
was ended in the fifth century, that of the Babylonian half or 
three-quarters of a century later. 

Besides the Talmuds, which embody the labours of the 
schools, there is a large body of Midrashim, representing the 
teaching in the synagogues, either in the form of homilies on the 
pericopes for special Sabbaths, or on the whole cycle of lessons, 
or of continuous homiletical commentaries on books of the 
Bible. In age, these compilations range from perhaps the fourth 
or fifth century to the Middle Ages, but the material they contain 
in part goes back as far as the second century. 

The character of these sources explains why the student 
who expects to find in them historical information is doomed 
to disappointment. Even of a crisis such as the revolt under 
Hadrian there is nowhere even the briefest account; nothing 
but allusions and anecdotes, chiefly about rabbis. 

In the attempt to extract information about the Jewish sects 
from the Rabbinical writings, the first difficulty is one of identi- 
fication. It is, for example, natural to look for something about 
the Essenes ; but what Hebrew or Aramaic name is disguised 
in this Greek word no one has been able to say even with proba- 


bility, nor is the sect recognisable in any description. Another 
difficulty is caused by the fact that the zeal of Christian censors 
to expurgate the Talmud of all real or supposed references to 
Christianity led the editors to substitute ' Sadducees,' or some 
other sect that had no friends, for the suspected word ' Minim ' 
or ' heretics ' ; this confusion is, however, not beyond the 
reach of remedy by recourse to manuscript evidence and early 
editions. Incidentally it may be said that ' Gemara ' in modern 
printed editions is a substitute for the word ' Talmud,' in 
deference to the prejudice of the censors against the very name 
of the book ; the meaning, ' instruction,' is the same. 

More satisfactory as contemporary evidence are the two (c) pwio 
Jewish writers who employ the Greek language, Philo and Jose- p^us."^^" 
phus. But unfortunately the statements of Philo are confined 
to a single treatise, the Be vita contemplativa, while Josephus 
gives but short accounts of the sects in the second book of the 
Jewish War and in the eighteenth of the Antiquities, which 
constantly referred to hereafter. 

In dealing with the sects the following arrangement will be 
adopted : I. The Asidaeans, the earliest sect or party among 
the Jews of which we have historical mention. II. The ascetic 
sects, which retired to practise a stricter life. III. Those which 
existed as parties in official Judaism. IV. The Samaritans, 
the great formal separation from Judaism. V. The ignorant, 
or " people of the Land " (]*i«rT "'Di'). VI. The writers of the 
Apocalyptic literature. 

I. The Asidaeans 

In 1 Maccabees the rising of Mattathias and his sons was the 
supported by an assembly {a-vva'yai'yif) of Asidaeans, We are seo^t?'^^ 
not told who these were, though evidently they were strict and 
willing observers of the Law (eKovcna^ofxevo^ tou vo/xov). But 
they had no sympathy with the political side of the Maccabean 
struggle ; for directly the Syrians allowed Alcimus, a man of 


undoubted Aaronic descent, to go to Jerusalem as High Priest, 
the Asidaeans withdrew from all participation in the struggle, 
abandoning Judas the Maccabee to his fate, whereupon sixty 
were slain by the Syrian general, Bacchides.^ From this we may 
infer that their acknowledged zeal for the Law did not make 
them desire even the independence of their country, provided 
the practice of their rehgion was assured to them. This would 
tend to confirm the view that the Asidaeans were a sect occupied 
solely in religion and indifferent to worldly affairs. Their name 
has a close resemblance to the Hebrew word hasid (TDTl), common 
in the Psalms, and translated indifferently ' saint ' and ' holy 
one.' It has been supposed that Ps. Ixxix. 2 actually mentioned 
the Asidaeans, when it speaks of the " dead bodies of thy holy 
ones " (T'T'Dn). After the Maccabean war we hear no more of 
these Asidaeans ; but it may be that they reappear afterward, 
either as Pharisees or Essenes, or even in both sects. 
Successors The point of difficulty is this : We meet with the Asidaeans 

daeans. during the Maccabean struggle, but there is no mention of Phari- 
sees or Essenes, and when, after that period, Pharisees and 
Essenes come into our notice there is no mention of Asidaeans. 
There are, therefore, three attractive hypotheses as to the course 
of events after the Maccabean struggle. (1) The Asidaeans 
split into two, Pharisees and Essenes, the old name being kept 
by neither. (2) The Pharisees are the direct descendants of 
the Asidaeans, while the Essenes have a separate origin. (3) The 
Essenes represent the Asidaeans, and the Pharisees are a new 
development. But no decisive evidence can be alleged in favour of 
any of these hypotheses, each of which is possible enough in itself. 
In support of the first may be alleged general probability, 
in so far that the Pharisees and Essenes first appear after the 
last mention of the Asidaeans. 

^ See 1 Mace. ii. 42 (n and B read lovdaicop and A A<n5fiov) and vii. 13 (wpQnov 
01 'AffiSaioL). In 2 Mace. xvi. 6 these Asidaeans are wrongly confounded with 
the followers of Judas. From the treatise Nedarim (Vows), 10a, it had been 
inferred that the earlier cn'on were legalistic ascetics. (See Encyclopaedia 
Biblica, 'Asidaeans,' by Robertson Smith and Cheyne.^ 


In support of the second it has been urged that the Greek 
Psahns of Solomon, which is almost certainly a Pharisaic work/ 
refers to the writer's adherents as oaiot, which probably repre- 
sents hasidim in the lost Hebrew original. But he also calls 
them BUaioi, irTwyoi, and aKUKOL, and shows no consciousness 
that 6(7io<i, or the word it translates, is the name of a party. 

In favour of the identification of the Essenes with the Asid- 
aeans is the fact that Philo ^ refers to them as 'Eorcratot 17 oaioi. 
It is also urged that their attitude shows that, like the Asidaeans, 
their interests were religious rather than political. But Philo 
is merely translating 'E<rcratot, which he probably identified Avith 
oai,o<i ; ^ he does not mention the Asidaeans, and it is in any case 
true that 'AcrtSaZo/ and 'Ecrcratot cannot transliterate the same 
word, while that both could be fairly translated by oo-lol 
is neither strange nor important. It is an abuse of criticism, 
especially in the Psalter, always to see Asidaeans when D"'T'Dn 
are mentioned. 

II. The Ascetic Sects 

The Essenes were ascetics, living in commmiities, practising (a) The 
a strict discipline, and endeavouring to live an ideal life. Even 
in the Old Testament we meet with similar tendencies in the 
" schools of the prophets," in the " sons of Rechab," and in men 
like Elijah the Tishbite. Our information concerning Essenism 
rests mainly on the testimony of Philo, Josephus, and Pliny the 
Elder, for the accounts in Hippolytus and Epiphanius seem to be 
secondary to these.* 

' Soo p. 111. ^ Quod omnis probus liber, 12. 

' Cf. the quotation in Eusebius, Praep. Evang. viii. 11. I. 

* The description of the Essenes given by Hippolytus, Rejutatio, ix. 13 ff., 
seems to be taken from Josephus. There is, however, sufficient difference to 
raise the question whether Josephus and Hippolytus are using a common source. 
The chief point is in Rejut. ix. 21, when Hippolytus says : " The adherents of 
another party (among the Essenes), if they happen to hear any one maintaining 
a discussion concerning God and his laws — supposing such to be an uncircum- 
cisod person — thoy will closely watch him, and when they meet a person of 
this description in any place alone, they will threaten to slay him if ho refuse 


Philo begins his book, De vita contemplativa, with the state- 
ment that he has aheady written on the Essenes {'Eaaalcov irepi 
StaXexOei'i), and the notices of them in his Quod omnis probus liber 
and in the Apology for the Jews quoted by Eusebius are so brief 
that we must assume that a treatise about them has been lost. 
He regards the sect as ' active ' rather than ' contemplative.' 
This explains the mention by Josephus ^ of an Essene acting as 
a Jewish general in the war with Rome, and agrees with the 
view which identifies the sect with the Asidaeans who fought 
mider Judas the Maccabee as long as his aims were purely re- 
Ugious. Essenism was an order, to which members were admitted 
by passing through various degrees after probationary tests. 
Oaths of secrecy were imposed wdth a vow not to reveal the 
names of the angels. Lustrations and purificatory rites were 
practised. Women were not admitted, and continence was 
insisted upon. The home of the sect was the western shore of 
the Dead Sea, but Essenes seem to have been dispersed in several 
cities, and were distinguished by their white garments and their 
strict observance of the laws of legal purity .^ It was their 
practice to worship facing Jerusalem, and it has been supposed 
that they even adored the rising sun. 

to undergo the rite of circumcision. Now if the latter does not wish to comply, 
they do not spare, but even kill him. It is from this occurrence that they have 
received their appellation, being called Zelotae and by others Sicarii. And the 
adherents of another party call no one Lord except the Deity, even though one 
should put them to torture or even kill them." 

It is possible that this passage was in a source used both by Hippolytus 
and Josephus, but the facts seem sufficiently explained by a confusion made 
by Hippoljiius between the description given by Josephus of the Essenes and 
of the ' philosophy ' of Judas of Galilee, together with the fact that Masada, 
the fortress of the Sicarii, was in the country of the Essenes (see also p. 422). 

Epiphanius is completely confused on the subject of the Essenes, out of 
whom he has made a Samaritan sect of Essenes and a Jewish sect of Ossenes 
{Panarion, i. 10 and 19). i B.J. iii.*2. 1. 

2 The article on Essenes in Hamburger's Rtal-Encydopddie tries to identify 
the orders among the Essenes, but these are obtained only by assuming that 
various classes of Jews mentioned in the Talmud by names referring to special 
practices, such as Toble Shaharith, or morning bathers (Hemerobaptists), reaUy 
belonged to the Essenes, for which there is no evidence. 

It is, however, important to note that Josephus states that the Essenes 


This view has been based on the words of Josephus, B.J. ii. Sun 

OK > vv/i" '/D'^'S'' \\> «v worship. 

o. : 7rpo9 76 ixrjv to oeiov evaepei^ totco?" Trpiv yap avaa'^ecv tov 
TjXiov ovhev (pdeyyovrac tmv ^€/3>']\cov Trarplov^ he Tiva<i et? avrov 
ev^a<; wairep UeTevovre^ avareiXai. As it stands, this must mean 
that they prayed to the smi to rise ; but the worship of the sun 
is so foreign to later Jewish custom that the suspicion is aroused 
whether Josephus does not mean that they prayed to God, and 
only seemed {Syairep) to supplicate the sun. On the other hand, 
it has been pointed out that in B.J. ii. 8. 9 the Essenes are said 
to bury excrement <»<? ixrj tck; avyci'i v^pi^oiev tov @6ov.^ 

It is in any case remarkable that they faced the East. This 
is the general Semitic custom, followed by Syriac Christians ; ^ 
but the Jews always face towards Jerusalem and Moslems towards 
Mecca. It is also possible that some attention ought to be paid 
to the statement of Epiphanius ^ that the ' Ossenes ' were 
mostly converted by Elxai in the time of Trajan, and that the 
remnants of them, still existing to the east of Jordan, were known 
as TO <yevo<i ^efiyfraicov, which suggests the Hebrew word for 
smi (moD). 

The whole question turns largely on whether Essenism is 
to be regarded as a movement entirely internal to Judaism or 
as largely due to external heathen influences. The apparently 
Greek character of Essenism, both in thought and practice, and 
especially their similarity to the Neo-Pythagoreans, has often 
been observed.* But it is more probable that it is due to the 
wave of asceticism and of a tendency to abandon society in 
favour of a more secluded and simpler life, which was sweeping 
over the whole ancient world, rather than to the direct influence 

were divided on the question of marriage. One party rejected all marriage 
and the procreation of children : the other advocated procreation and admitted 
marriage for that purpose (see Josephus, B.J. ii. 9. 13). 

^ See J. B. Lightfoot's essay on the Essenes in his commentary on Colos- 
sians and T. K. Cheyne's Origin of the Psalter, p. 448. 

* Of. Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents, pp. 24 and GO in the Syi-iac text ; 
Assemani, Acta Martyr. Orient, ii. p. 125. 

' Panar. i. 1. 2. 

* See especially E. Zeller, Die Philosophie der Qriechen, iii. 2, pp. 277 ff. 


of any single cult, or of Helleinsm in the strict sense. The 
influences at work were intellectual and ethical rather than 
Essencs The Esscues sent ofEerings to the Temple, but whether they 

sacrifices, offered sacrifice there is not certain ; perhaps their ritual forbade 
their doing so with other Jews. Philo ^ says 'EaaaioL . . . 
irapoovvfiOL 6(tl6t7]to<; iireiSr) kclv rol<i /xakcaTa OepairevTai 
%eov 'ye'yovacnvyOv ^caa Kara6vovre<i aXX,' lepoirpeiret'^ ra<; iavrcov 
hiavoia<; Karaa-Kcvd^eiv a^iovvT€<i. But the text of the MSS. of 
Josephus ^ is et? Se rb lepov dvaO^fjuara aT6WovTe<i 6vaia<i 
eimeXovai Bta(f)op6Tr)TL dyveiMV a? vo/jll^oi,€v, koX Bi avrb 
elpyo/jievoL tou koivov xeyLteytcr/iaTO? d<^ avrwv ra? 6vcna<i 

Philo has usually been interpreted to mean that the Essenes 
took no part in the sacrifices of the Temple, and it is held that 
Josephus contradicts him. The editors have therefore introduced 
a negative into the text of the latter on the authority of the 
' Epitome ' and the old Latin version, reading ovk iTmekovaiv, 
and emend dj>' aurwv to e^' uvtmv, " in their own houses " on 
the authority of the Epitome. The last emendation is possible, 
but the insertion of ovk cannot be justified ; the Latin version 
is too free to be authoritative. Professor G. F. Moore has 
suggested that the translation should be : " They furnish 
votive ofierings for the Temple and perform sacrifices with what 
they regard as superlative purifications, and on this account, 
shut ofi from the common courts, they perform their sacrifices 
apart." @vala may mean nmihah (cereal ofiering), and Josephus 
says nothing about animals — the only point to which Philo refers. 
Moreover, though the meaning of koivov Tefjuevia-fiaro^ is obscure, 
Josephus, if mi emended, seems to say that the Essenes sent their 
dvaOijjjiaTa to the Temple, and themselves consecrated them in 
their own way. 

In any case the rejection of animal sacrifice caimot be regarded 
as a complete breach with Judaism. Judaism ever since the 

^ Qnod omnis probus liber, 12. ' Antiq. xviii. 1. 5. 


exile and the rise of the Diaspora had been developing towards 
the Synagogue and away frona the Temple. A similar instance 
of the rejection of animal sacrifice may perhaps be seen in the 
Sibylji where it is said that the great God has no temple of 
stone nor altars defiled by the blood of animals. The reference 
is of com'se primarily to heathen sacrifice, but its tendency is 

The Essenes were distinguished by their refusal to use oil ; 2 
for their common meals, often taken in silence ; for their esoteric 
doctrines ; and for the fact that no stranger could obtain admission 
to their lodges. 

Philo does not allude to any peculiarity of doctrine among Aiiegorism. 
the Essenes, but in the Quod omnis probus liber ^ he says : " Of 
philosophy they have left the logical branch to word-catchers 
as being unnecessary to the attainment of virtue, and the physical 
branch to star-gazers, as too high for human nature, except so 
much of it as is made a study concerning God and the creation 
of the universe, but the ethical branch they study very elabor- 
ately, under the training of their ancestral laws, the meaning of 
which it is impossible for the human soul to discover without 
divine inspiration." And a little later on he says that in the 
reading of " their sacred books, another of the most experienced 
comes forward and expounds all that is not easily intelhgible : 
for most subjects are treated among them by symbols with a 
zealous imitation of antiquity." It is clear that Philo commends 
the Essenes for their use of allegorical interpretation. It is, 
however, not certain whether the " sacred books " in this passage 
refer merely to the Jewish scriptures or to books peculiar to the 
Essenes. At present no Jewish Apocryphal books can be certainly 
recognised as Essene in origin. Nevertheless, it is probable 
that the Essenes had books of their own ; for Josephus "* says 
that the initiates into Essenism swore " to commimicate their 

1 Ormvla Sibyllina, iv. 8 ff. 24 ff. 

* Josephus, B.J. ii. 8. 3 ; cf. F. C. Coiiybearo, article ' Essenes ' iii Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible. 

» Mangcy, ii. p. 457. * B.J. ii. 8. 7. 



doctrines to )io one in any other way than as he had received 
them himself, and that he will abstain from brigandage, and 
will equally preserve the books belonging to their sect and the 
names of their angels." 
Doctrines. Josephus,^ however, gives more information as to their 

peculiar doctrines. " The opinion is prevalent among them 
that bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made 
of is not permanent, but that souls are immortal and continue 
for ever, and that they come out of the most thin air and are 
united to bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a 
certain natural enticement ; and when they are set free from 
the bonds of the flesh they then rejoice and mount upwards as 
if released from a long bondage. They think also, Uke some of 
the Greeks (reading Ttau for Tralac), that good souls have their 
habitations beyond the Ocean in a region that is neither oppressed 
with storms of rain or snow, nor with intense heat, but refreshed 
by the gentle breathing of the west wind which perpetually blows 
from the Ocean ; while they allot to bad souls a murky and cold 
den, full of never-ceasing punishments." Moreover, he com- 
pares 2 the Essenes with the Pythagoreans. In his Life ^ he says 
that he made trial of the three sects, and afterwards passed some 
time as the disciple of a severe ascetic named Bannus, whose 
Hfe was not milike the Baptist's. But there is no reason for 
assuming, as is usually done, that Bannus was an Essene. On 
the contrary, Josephus says that, having passed through the 
sects, he resorted to the company of Bannus, who obviously 
belonged to none of them. 
Pliny the The Esseuc community, with its strange usages and beliefs, 

^''^^'"" attracted the attention of the heathen world, as is shown by the 
notice given by Pliny the Eider. " Ab occidente Htore Esseni 
fugiunt usque qua nocent, gens sola in toto orbe praeter ceteras 
mira, sine ulla femina omni venere abdicata sine pecunia 
socia palmarum. In diem ex aequo convenarum turba re- 
nascitur, large frequentantibus quos vita fessos ad mores eorum 

1 B.J. ii. 8. 10. " Antiq. xv. 10. 4. 3 Vita, 2. 


fortmia fluctibus agit. Ita per saeculorum milia — incredibile 
dictu — gens aeterna est in qua nemo nascitur. Tarn fecunda 
illis aliorum vitae paenitentia est ! " ^ 

The Jews of the dispersion in Egypt anticipated by centuries (6) The 
Christian monasticism in that country. The similarity to the peutae. 
accomits given by Palladius in his Lausiac History is so strildng 
that many scholars were disposed to believe that the account of 
the Therapeutae given by Philo was a Christian romance. But 
it has now been shown that the De vita contemplativa is probably 
a genuine part of the Philonic literature.^ The book, our only 
source of information, begins with an allusion to the Essenes, DevUa 
whose Hfe is contrasted with theirs as ' practical ' rather than '^^i^af' 
' theoretic' The Therapeutae, male and female, are devoted to 
a life of contemplation, and, as their name implies, are physicians 
of the soul, not of the body. They begin their devotional Hfe by an 
absolute renunciation of property, and desert the towns for a life 
of contemplation in the wilderness. Apparently these ascetics 
existed in many parts of the world and were not confined to Jews. 
But their chief home was in the neighbourhood of Lake Mareotis, 
near Alexandria, where they settled on the low hills on account 
of the excellence of the climate. They are compared to the 
followers of Anaxagoras and Democritus. Like the later monks 
of the Mareotis, the Therapeutae lived in separate houses or cells, 
each with its oratory. They met together only on the Sabbath 
and on the fiftieth day, in preparation for which the seventh 
Sabbath was a special festival {'rravvv^i';). 

The common sanctuary used for these meetings was divided 
by a wall separating the men from the women. The Law was 
read and explained by the oldest or most learned man present. 

» Pliny, Nat. Hist. v. 17. 

* See F. C. Conybeare, Philo about the Contemplative Life (Oxford, 1895), 
and an English translation by the same writer in the Jewish Quarterly Review 
for 1895, pp. 755-769 ; P. Wendland, " Die Therapeuten und die Philonische 
Schrift vom beschaulichen Lebon," in the Jahrb.fur class. Philologie, 22 Supplo- 
mentband, 1896 ; and, on the other side, E. Schiirer, Geschichte d. jud. Volkes, 
ed. iv. vol. iii. pp. 687 if., where a full bibliography is given. 


The fiftieth day was peculiarly sacred owing to the great import- 
ance attached to this number, which, coming after the completion 
of the seventh seven, is most holy and " ever virgin." Its 
celebration differed from that of the Sabbath by the holding of 
a common meal. For this purpose a table was brought in by 
the young men, who acted as servants. The meal consisted of 
bread and salt, but the bread was leavened and the salt mixed 
with hyssop, contrary to the custom of the Temple in Jerusalem. 
After this the company sang and danced through the night, 
first in two choirs, afterwards mingling together in a " spiritual 
bacchanal," drinking in the free love of God. At sunrise they 
raised their hands to heaven, and the feast ended. ^ 

The custom of religious dances has many analogies in heathen 
religions, but the most striking Christian parallel to this accomit 
is in the Leucian Acts of John, which represent Christ and the 
disciples as taking part in a religious dance on the Mount of 
Olives on the day of the Crucifixion. ^ 

Unlike the Essenes, the Therapeutae admitted women to 
their society, though they extolled the virtue of a virgin life in 
most extravagant terms. Their main occupation was the study 
of Law, which was interpreted allegorically, the composition of 
hymns, and the reading of the prophets and other writings. There 
is no allusion in the De vita contemplativa to sacrifices in the 
Temple or to the observance of the Law ; Philo's object is, how- 
ever, to emphasise, not the Judaism of the Therapeutae, but 
the charm of a life of ascetic contemplation and renunciation of 
the world. It has been suggested that the reason why we hear 
no more of the Therapeutae after the days of Philo is that during 
the troubles which befell the Jews in Egypt in the days of Caligula, 
the community disappeared. 

^ Philo does not connect this sanctity with the Jewish observance of the 
year of JubUee and the seven Sabbath years, but with the mathematical fact 
that fifty is d7iwraros Kal (pvaiKuraros a.pL$/j.Qv €k ttjs tov opdoyuviov rpiydiuov oTTfp ecrriv apx^l t^s tQv b\up yeviaeus Kal crrcrTdcrews (Mangey, ii. p. 
481). See also Conybeare's note ad loc. p. 102 of his edition. 

* See Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, by R. A. Lipsius and M. Bonnet, and 
" Apocrypha anecdota II.," by M. R. James in Texts and Studies, vol. v. 




A document was discovered a few years ago in the Cairo (c) The 
Genizah by the late Solomon Schechter, and published by him 
in 1910, in which there is an obscure account of a migration of 
Jews from Jerusalem to the land of Damascus.^ Owing to their 
being discontented with the religious condition of the Holy City, 
they established themselves in a community where they could 
practise an ideal life, uninterrupted by worldly cares. The 
document gives us the facts in the following words : "In the 
period of wrath, 390 years after God had given them into the 
hand of Nebuchadnezzar, he visited them, and he made to spring 
forth from Israel and Aaron a root of his planting to inherit his 
land. And they knew that they were guilty men and had, Hke 
the blind, been groping after the way twenty years, and he 
raised them up a Teacher of righteousness." ^ Accordingly, 

^ S. Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries, vol. i. ; Fragments of a 
Zadokite Work (Cambridge, 1910). There is now a fairly large literature on 
the subject, but the most important contributions are : Levi, " Un ecrit Saddu- 
ceen anterieur a la ruine du Temple " in the Revue des Etudes juives, 1911, vol. 
61, pp. 161 ff. ; R. H. Charles, " Fragments of a Zadokite Work " in Apocrypha 
and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2, pp. 785 ff. ; Ginsberg, " Eine 
unbekannte jiidische Sekte " in the Monatssclirift f. Geschichte und Wissen- 
schaft d. Judentums, 1911; G. Margoliouth, "The Sadducean Christians of 
Damascus" in the Expositor, 1911, pp. 499 ff., and 1912, pp. 213 ff. ; G. F. 
Moore, " The Covenanters of Damascus " in the Harvard Theological Review, 
1911, pp. 330 ff. 

2 If the 390 years of the manuscript is right (cf. Ezek. iv. 5) and the sect 
shared the common Jewish error about the duration of Persian rule, its origin 
would fall somewhere m the middle of the third century B.C. But if Schechter's 
conjecture, substituting the apocalyptic number 490, be admitted, it would be 
brought dowTi to Seleucid times. G. MargoUouth, accepting the text, 390, 
prefers to operate with the chronological scheme of the Abodah Zarah, 86-9a and 
the Seder Olam, c. 30, which allows to the Persians only 52 years (34 after the 
rebuilding of the Temple), or with a still shorter computation, which (as he 
interprets it) squeezes the Asmoneans, Herods, and Romans into 180 years, 
and is thus able to bring his " Sadducean Christians of Damascus " down to 
the beginning of the Christian era. This last abridgment is, however, a 
mere misunderstanding of the Talmudic text ; and the abbreviation of the 
Persian period in Abodah Zarah and the Seder Olam is the result of a calculation 
which, starting with the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70, and assunJing 
that this came to pass 490 years after the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, 
gave to Herod and liis successors, the Asmoneans, and the Greeks, the years 
attributed to them by Rabbmic chronology (103 + 103 + 180= 386), and counting 
out at the other end the seventy years of exile, had onl)' 34 left for the Persians 
(386 + 70=456 : 490-456=34). It is superfluous to point out the consequence 


they made a " New Covenant " which God mediated by a Law- 
giver, or Teacher of Righteousness, also called " the Star." 
They believed that they were the fulfilment of the words of 
Ezekiel concernhig the true priesthood of the House of Zadok. 
For this reason the document was called Zadokite by Schechter ; ^ 
but it is more satisfactory to call the sect " the Covenanters of 
Damascus," in accordance with its description in the document, 
" those who had entered the Covenant." 

The natural obscurity of the story is heightened by the 
corruptness of the text. It appears that at the date at 
which the document was written the Covenanters were still 
observing the laws of the New Covenant, believing that the 
last days were at hand, and expecting the coming of the 
Messiah. But there is doubt as to the relation of the various 
characters : " the Teacher of Righteousness," the " unique 
Law-giver," " the Star," and " the Anointed One." 
The The Teacher of Righteousness is mentioned in chap. i.. 

and immediately afterwards there is a description of ' back- 
sliding.' This is perhaps alluded to again in chapter ix.^ " So 
are all the men who entered into the covenant in the land of 
Damascus, but they turned and committed treason, etc." Im- 
mediately after this the text says : " They shall not be reckoned 
in the assembly of the people . . . from the day when there 
was gathered in the Only Teacher, until there arise the Anointed 
One from Aaron and Israel." This seems to differentiate the 

of these palpable and well-known facts for Mr. Margoliouth's ingenious hypo- 
thesis. Dr. R. H. Charles, on the other hand, naively works out the sum with 
the aid of a modern hand-book of dates, and comes to the year 196 (G. F. M.). 

It is, however, possible that the whole statement should be regarded as a 
literary reminiscence of the Massoretic text in Ezek. iv. 5 ; or, if Schechter's 
suggestion be accepted that the original text was " 490 years," it might be 
merely another instance of the Apocalyptic cycle of seventy weeks of years. 
In this case arguments as to the date implied by the t«xt have Kttle or no value. 

^ Schechter also finds traces of them under this name in Kirkisani, a Karaite 
writer of the tenth century. But Kirkisani probably knew Schechter's docu- 
ment, and it is very doubtful whether the text implies more than that the 
Covenanters fulfilled the prophecy of Ezek. xliv. 15 ; it does not necessarily 
mean that they were called Sons of Zadok. 

2 Text B, p. 820, in Charles. 


Anointed One from the Only Teacher. It is to be noticed that 
the Anointed One is not from Judah.^ The Teacher of Righteous- 
ness is apparently the same as the Only Teacher. In chap. ix. 
Text A (p. 816) this Teacher is called " the Star," which is 
explained in connexion with Amos ix. 11. 

In these passages the Teacher of Righteousness is regarded 
as dead, but in chap. viii. (p. 813) he is spoken of as futm'e. 
" And the nobles of the people are those who came to dig the well 
by the precepts in which the Law-giver ordained that they should 
walk throughout the full period of the wickedness. And save 
them they shall get nothing until there arise the Teacher of 
Righteousness in the end of the days." The question is whether 
the text is here corrupt, or the Damascenes expected a return of 
the Teacher of Righteousness. If the latter be the case, they 
must have had some such doctrine as the usual one of the 
return of Elijah, for the distinction between the Teacher and the 
Anointed One is too clear to be set aside. 

The apparent object of the Covenanters was to reproduce Life in the 
in their community the life of Israel in the wilderness. They reproduced, 
called their dwelling a camp, in imitation of the language of the 
Pentateuch ; ^ and they professed themselves to be " those who 
had entered a new covenant in the land of Damascus," that is, 
observers of the Law of Moses, which the rest of the people had 
despised. They had oaths on admission and a ritual of reception 
of new members, which could only be performed by the Overseer 
of the Sect.3 This overseer " sat in Moses' Seat " ; and under 
him the people were classed as Priests, Levites, Israelites, and 
Proselytes. In strict imitation of the policy of the wilderness, 
the people were divided into tens, hmidreds, and thousands. A 
priest presided over every group, even if only of ten persons. 

^ Cf. Jubilees xxxi. 12 ff., and the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, 
Judah XXV., in both of which there are traces of a Levitical Messiah. 

* njriD camp. But that they did not literally dwell in tents is shown 
by other passages. 

' The word used is npao, inspector. The suggestion that the name and 
oflBce correspond to the Christian iTrlaKoivo% is not to be taken seriously. 



of the 

The priestly character of the document, which has aflBnities 
with the book of Jubilees aud the Testament of the Twelve 
Patriarchs, is seen in the expectation that Messiah is to come 
from Levi and not from Judah. Great troubles were to herald 
his appearance, and the Covenanters had already experienced 
the trials of persecution and division. Even in the days of the 
Founder an apostasy may have taken place, and he himself 
had suffered from a " Man of Scoffimg." But this is not quite 
certain. The " Man of Scoffing " mentioned in 1. 10 (p. 801) is 
clearly an opponent of the Covenanters : it is not so certain that 
he was an apostate from them. But that there was apostasy 
soon after the fomidation of the sect seems to be shown by 
9. 36 fi. (p. 821) : " With a judgment like unto that of their 
neighbours who turned away with the scornful men, they shall 
be judged. For they spake error against the statutes of righteous- 
ness, and rejected the covenant and the pledge of faith, which 
they had affirmed in the land of Damascus, and this is the New 
Covenant." The probable meaning is that some Covenanters 
were persuaded by the " scornful men " and returned to them. 

The sect interpreted the Law very strictly, and have in this 
respect some affinities with the Sadducees. There are also many 
resemblances in the document to the book of Jubilees, especially 
as regards the calendar,^ and it has been maintained that both 
Jubilees and the document before us are Sadducean ; but all 
that has been proved is that they both are anti-Rabbinic in their 
chronology and other points. In other details they do not 
agree with what we know of the Sadducees.^ One of their 
characteristics was their rigid insistence on monogamy. 

^ In 5. 1 S. it is said : " With them that held fast by the commandments 
of God, who were left of thein, God confirmed the covenant of Israel for ever, 
revealing to them the hidden things wherein all Israel had erred, his holy Sab- 
baths, and his glorious festivals." This seems to be an allusion to Jubilees 
1. 14 and similar passages. Jubilees is also referred to by name in 20. 1 as the 
accurate source of chronology, and the angelology, especially the mention of 
Mastema, is the same as in JubUees. 

2 See R. LeszjTiski, " Observations sur les ' Fragments of a Zadokite Work,' " 
in the Bevue des Etudes juives, Ixii. 190 ff. (with a reply by Levi immediately 
following), and his Die Sadduzder, Berlin, 1912. 






The most varied opiuious have been held as to the origin of 
the sect. It has been suggested that they represent the pre- 
Christian heresy of the Dositheans, or even that they were Chris- 
tians.^ The probabihty is that they represent some hitherto 
unknown movement in Judaism, 

A separation from social hfe similar to the foregoing is seen (d) John 
in the movement inaugurated by John the Baptist, who came g'^' 
" preaching in the wilderness of Judaea." Our information is 
confined to scanty hints in the Gospels, and a short passage in 
the eighteenth book of the Antiquities of Josephus, for though 
there is a longer statement in the Slavonic version of the Jewish 
wars, it has no claim to be regarded as the work of Josephus, and 
possesses no historic value.^ 

In the Antiquities ^ Josephus says : " Now some of the Jews Account by 
thought that Herod's army had been destroyed by God as a 

^ The theory that the Covenanters were Dositheans is maintained by 
Schechter (p. xxi). The Dositheans are an obscure body, as to whom there 
are at least two traditions, which are so contradictory that it appears probable 
that there were two separate sects bearmg the name. 

(1) The earlier of these sects was a reforming party among the Samaritans, 
possibly Egyptian in origin, advocating greater strictness of interpretation of 
the Law, and denying a resurrection. The authorities for this sect are Josephus, 
Ant. xiii. 3. 4, where he speaks of Theodosius and Sabbaeus as representing the 
Samaritans (Theodosius and Dositheus may clearly be regarded as interchange- 
able Greek forms of the same name), and the lost work of Hippolytus represented 
by Philastrius, De Haeres. 4, and Photius, BibUotheca, cxxi. The later Samari- 
tan chronicles have traces of this sect until the tenth century. (2) The other 
sect of Dositheans appears as a syncretistic form of Gnosticism akin to that 
of Simon Magus, who is closely connected with Dositheus, sometimes as pupil, 
sometimes as master, and, in the Clementine HomiUes, as a fellow-disciple 
of John the Baptist. A full discussion is given by J. A. Montgomeiy, The 
Samaritans, 1907, p. 252 ff. The Jewish and Samaritan authorities are given 
at length in the Jewish Encyclopaedia, art. " Dositheus," and the Christian 
traditions in the Dictionary of Christian Biography. The most important 
modern treatises are by S. Krauss and A. Buchler in the Revue des Eludes juives, 
vol. xlii. pp. 27 ff. and 220 ff., and vol. xUii. pp. 50 ff. 

The identification of the Covenanters with Christians was made by G. 
Margoliouth, " The Sadducean Christians of Damascus," in the Expositor, 1911, 
pp. 499 ff., and 1912, pp. 213 ff. 

2 See Appendix C for a translation of this passage. 

' Antiq. xviii. 5. 2. 


just punishment for his treatment of John called the Baptist. 
For Herod killed him, a good man and one who commanded the 
Jews, training themselves {eiraaKovai) in virtue and practising 
righteousness to one another and piety towards God, to come 
together for baptism. For thus it appeared to him that the 
baptism of those was acceptable who used it not to escape from 
any sins, but for bodily purity, on condition that the soul also 
had been previously cleansed thoroughly by righteousness. 
And when the rest collected, for they were greatly dehghted with 
hstening to his words, Herod feared his great persuasiveness 
with men, lest it should tend to some rising, for they seemed 
ready to do everything under his advice. He therefore con- 
sidered it much better, before a revolt shoiild start from him, 
to put John to death in anticipation, rather than be involved in 
difficulties through the actual revolution, and then regret it." 

It is not quite certain from this passage to what class 
of hearers John originally extended his baptism. According 
to Whiston,^ it means that John was addressing penitents 
who were only beginning to turn to the pursuit of virtue,^ 
and his translation, here as elsewhere, seems to have 
had a preponderating influence in the interpretation of 
Josephus. But, in view of the general context, it would rather 
seem that Josephus means that John preached originally to 
those who were already making especial practice of %drtue — 
' ascetics ' in the original sense of the word — and that so long 
as his preaching was confined to this class, Herod regarded it 
with indifference, but that when the rest of the public ^ {joiv 

^ " He commanded the Jews to exercise viitue both as to justice toward 
one another and piety towards God and so to come to baptism." 

" This explanation seems to have been adopted by the Epitome, which has 
emended the datives into accusatives. This cannot be the true text, but there 
is perhaps a possibility that the text found in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. i. 11. 5, is 
right, which emends xpw^ej'ots into xp^l^^''ovs but leaves eiraaKovai unchanged. 

^ The antithesis between John's original hearers and these ' others ' is 
obscured by the reading of A, which has Xawj' for AWajv, and by the Latin render- 
ing perplurima multitudo : it is entirely destroyed by the ingenious but mis- 
placed emendation of Niese, who suggests avdpwiruv {avuv) for fiXXwj'. E. 


dWcov) came to hear him, the movement obtained a uew import- 
ance in the eyes of the ruler because of its possible poUtical 
consequences. The statement imphes that the virtuous rather 
than the sinful were invited to baptism, which was only open 
to those who had already purified their souls by righteousness. 

The evidence of the Synoptic Gospels in the hght of modern 
criticism must be divided into three groups. 

(a) That of Mark, found in Mark i. 1 fE., and reproduced in The 
the parallel passages of Matt. iii. 1 ff. and Luke iii. 2 ff. Gospel^ 

(6) That of three passages, which may be attributed to Q 
in the sense that they are found both in Matthew and Luke, 
though there is, apart from this, nothing to show that they 
really all come from the same source. These are Matt. iii. 7-10 = 
Luke iii. 7-9 ; Matt. xi. 2 ff. = Luke vii. 18 fit. ; and Matt. xi. 
18 ft. = Luke vii. 33 fi. 

(c) That of a passage found only in Luke iii. 10-14, where it 
is combined with the other passages from Mark and Q. The 
reason for thinking that this passage does not come from Q is 
that it is not found in Matthew, and seems to give a picture of 
John's teaching different from that in Mark and Q. 

But neither Jewish nor Christian tradition gives us further 
help. Christian writers are greatly interested in the Baptism of 
Jesus, but Uttle in the person of the Forermmer. The only thing 
to be done is to compare the testimony of the New Testament 
and Josephus. 

According to Mark and Q, the mission of John was funda- n.t. 
mentally eschatological ; his baptism had for its object the josephus 
forgiveness (ac^ecri?) of sins, to prepare its recipients for the *'°'"i''''"'^'^- 
coming of the Kingdom. His preaching was repentance, in 
preparation for the coming of one mightier than John, who 
would baptize in " Holy Spirit " instead of in water. The 
difference between Mark and Q is merely that Q gives an 
example of the preaching of John ; it entirely confirms the 

Schwartz, in the Berlin edition of Eusebius, suggests that Josephus wrote 
FaXtXa^wf, which is more attractive, but no change seems necessary. 


character attributed to it by Mark, and implies the imminent 
coming of a catastrophic change. It is not, however, clear 
whether the original tradition represented this preaching as 
deHvered to Pharisees and Sadducees, as Matthew states, or to 
the ' Multitudes ' {6^\ol), according to Luke. Luke is thought to 
have a tendency to refer incidents to the o'^Xol, but, on the other 
hand, the invective of John is held to be more appropriate if he 
were speaking to Pharisees and Sadducees. Both arguments have 
some weight, but neither is convincing. 
Lucan The passage pecuhar ^ to Luke represents a different kind 

of preaching. The ' Multitudes ' are exhorted to share their 
clothing and food with their poorer neighbours, publicani to 
show moderation and honesty, and men in mihtary service 
to forbear from acts of violence and fraud, and from discontent 
wdth their pay. It is possible that Luke is here using an extract 
from some special source to which he had access ; it is, however, 
equally possible that it is a piece of expansion due to himself, 
and based merely on his own impression of the advice which 
John probably gave. The skill with which Luke unites his 
sources is remarkable, but when his narrative is compared ^^•ith 
Mark and Matthew its composite character is quite ob\aous. 

Whatever the origin of the passage pecuhar to Luke may 

have been, it illustrates his tendency either to minimise the 

eschatological elements in Mark, or to comiteract them. It is 

not so much in disagreement with the other passages in the 

Gospels as on a different plane, and it is in sharp contrast to the 

renunciatory ethics of Jesus, as illustrated by " Follow thou 

me ! " and " Sell all that thou hast." It is, however, worthy of 

note that this version of John's words had a practical effect in 

making the Chm'ch a support for organised society, thereby 

neutrahsing the hteral teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. 

Divergency It is obvious that thcsc accouuts in the Gospels and Josephus, 

GolpXand though they agree that John the Baptist was killed by Herod 

Josephus. Antipas,^ have points of serious divergence, and it is very desir- 

1 Luke iii. 10-14. ^ See p. 18. 


able to see clearly exactly where this divergence comes. The 
true text of Josephus represents him as preaching first to a body 
of ' ascetics ' and afterwards to many others. There is nothing 
in this to conflict with the Gospels, though it is so sufficiently 
different from them that no attempts ought to be made to regard 
the whole description as a Christian interpolation. The account 
in the Gospels of the general rush to hear John and be baptized 
by him obviously refers to the second stage of John's preaching, 
not to the first, and confirms rather than contradicts Josephus. 

The real differences are in two points. First, Josephus 
entirely omits the eschatological element in John's preaching. 
Secondly, he represents John as advocating bodily purification 
in baptism as the crowning point of righteousness, not as a sign 
of repentance for the remission of sins. The first point is merely 
negative, but the second is positive and very striking. 

It might be supposed that the emphasis which Josephus lays 
on the fact that John's baptism was not connected with the 
remission of sins goes to prove that he was consciously con- 
tradicting the Gospel traditioii, and therefore acquainted mth 
it. This may be so : clearly he is contradicting something. 
But it is doubtful whether this something is the Gospel tradition. 
It is at least as probable that his real meaning is to distinguish 
John's baptism from the ceremonial washings of the Jews, which 
could be interpreted as neutrahsing the effect of unintentional 
sins against the Law. His meaning would seem to be that he 
regarded the baptism of John as resembhng that of the Essenes, 
in that it was not the antidote for sin or offences against the 
Law, but was an act of daKi]ai<;. 

Whether the representation of John's baptism in Josephus Marcan 
is in itself more probable than the Marcan tradition is perhaps p^rinj'jtiVe. 
difficult to say, but it may fairly be argued that the Marcan 
tradition would never have been invented by Christians, and is 
therefore probably correct. It is quite clear that the baptism 
of Jesus by John is an integral part of the earUest Christian 
narrative. It represents John baptizing for the remission of 


sins, and the people being baptized and confessing their sins, and 
finally Jesus himself coming to be baptized. In \dew of the 
Christian teaching on the sinlessness of Jesus, is it probable 
that any Christian would have invented a story which could so 
easily be interpreted as an acted confession of sin by Jesus, or 
would have attributed remission of sins to a baptism which 
Jesus underwent, if the truth were that the baptism of John 
had really had the character described by Josephus ? How 
improbable this is may be seen by the redactorial addition in 
Matthew to the Marcan story of the Baptism of Jesus, which 
makes John protest, " I have need to be baptized by thee, and 
comest thou to me? " and Jesus' reply, " Suffer it now, for thus 
it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness." The intention of the 
editor of Matthew clearly was to prevent an undesirable interpre- 
tation of the Marcan narrative, and for this purpose he introduced 
a view of John's baptism — to " fulfil aU righteousness " — which 
is more in hne with the account in Josephus, and shows that 
if that account had been generally current. Christians would 
have had no tendency to invent the Marcan tradition. 
Had Luke In a somcwhat similar way it might be thought that the 

Tse bus account in Josephus of John's preaching resembles the passage 
a common pecuHar to Lukc so much as to suggest their use of a common 

tradition ? . , . . 

tradition, for both agree in emphasising the moral nature of 
John's preaching. It would, however, be a mistake to exaggerate 
this resemblance, for the real difierence between Josephus and 
the Gospels as a whole is that Josephus clearly represents him 
as preaching to those who had especially devoted their Uves to 
virtue, and ofiering baptism as the crowning point of righteous- 
ness, whereas the Gospels, including Luke, represent the baptism 
of John as one of repentance for the remission of sins. This is 
in clear contradiction to Josephus, and shows that Luke cannot 
be quoted as supporting him imless the passage peculiar to 
Luke be not only taken by itself out of its present context, but 
also be violently implanted into a new context derived from 


With regard to the eschatological nature of John's preaching, 
the reason for preferring the tradition of Mark and Q to that 
of Josephus and Luke is simple. It is quite certain that Herod 
imprisoned John, and that he was identified by some, if not with 
the Messiah, at least with Elijah. These facts in combination 
are intelhgible if the tradition of Mark and Q be followed : no 
government views with a friendly eye those who foretell its end, 
even by the act of God. But if Josephus and Luke iii. 10-14 
be followed, the situation is inexphcable. No ruler has ever yet 
persecuted a teacher for telhng .men to be content with their 
wages, and no multitude ever regarded such a one as the 
Messiah or his forerunner. 

How far John the Baptist founded a separate sect in Judaism The 


which survived his death is difficult to say. In the earlier of John. 
strata of the Synoptic Gospels there are two references to the 
disciples of John. In one they are pictured as more ascetic 
than the followers of Jesus, joining in fasts with the Pharisees ; ^ 
in the other they are the intermediaries by whom John inquired 
whether Jesus were the Coming One.^ Besides these explicit 
references certain general probabiHties present themselves, and 
are supported by a few scattered and vague references in the 
Gospels and Acts. 

It is a 'priori probable that the disciples of John did not 
all adopt the same attitude to Jesus, and that on the other hand 
the Christian view of John changed as time went on. 

It is clear from the Marcan accomit of the baptism of Jesus John and 
by John, and by the question sent from his prison, that John 
had not originally recognised the " Coming One " in Jesus. 
The voice from Heaven and the vision of the descending Spirit 
are the experience of Jesus, not of John ; and the question of 
John in prison is said to have been called forth by the fact that 
Jesus was accomplishing the works of the Messiah {tcl €pya rov 
Xpia-Tov). The absence of these, not their presence, might 
have made John doubt, if he had already held Jesus for the 

1 Mark ii. 18 ff. ; cf. Matt. xi. 18 ff. « Matt. xi. 2-Luke vii. 18 ff. 




of John 
and Jesus. 


to John. 

Messiah ; rising hope, not waning faith, is suggested by his 
question. 1 

This is the foundation for any just estimate of the probable 
attitude of the disciples of John to Jesus ; they were uncertain, 
for John himself had given them no clear guidance. Some were 
no doubt impressed by the teaching and acts of Jesus ; they 
became his followers. Others may have gone to the other 
extreme and opposed Jesus. But probably there were more 
who, while accepting the preaching of Jesus, never thought of 
identifying him with the " Stronger One " of whom John had 
spoken. This class would in the end be indistinguishable from 
those followers of Jesus who had been with him in Galilee, but 
had never surmised the Messianic secret, or gone up to Jerusalem.^ 
But we know nothing certain of any of these disciples of John ; 
it is doubtful if any reliance can be placed on a confused tradition 
that some of them were merged in the sect of the Mandaeans,^ and 
in general it seems certain that John's disciples soon disappeared. 

It is more important to notice the gradual change in the 

Christian attitude to John the Baptist which can be traced by 

a critical study of the Gospels, As soon as Jesus was recognised 

as the Messiah, John the Baptist was regarded as Ehjah the 

" Forerunner." This is clearly very early : it is found in Q, 

where it is put into the mouth of Jesus,* but whether Jesus really 

can be thought to have said so, depends on the general estimate 

of Q and the fact that in the immediate context Kingdom of 

Heaven is a synonym for the Christian Church. Did Jesus use 

the phrase in this meaning ? It seems improbable. 

^ A distinction must be made between the original narrative and the 
Matthaean version. Matthew no doubt interprets the question as due to 
waning faith, just as he makes John recognise Jesus in the Jordan. Similarly, 
too, Luke has embellished the narrative by making Jesus perform a special 
series of miracles in order to reassure John. The story is clearly older than 
its present setting, and the editorial changes in it are clearly visible. 

* It is not unUkely that Apollos, and the Ephesians who knew nothing 
of the Spirit and had been baptized only with John's baptism, belonged to one 
or the other of these two cognate classes. 

* W. Brandt, Die manddische Religion, Leipzig, 1889, and Manddische 
Schriften, Gottingen, 1893. * Matt, xi. 14. 


There is also a clear tendency not merely to rejijard John as 
the Forerunner, but to represent him as having consciously been 
so. This is very plain in the Fourth Gospel, where Jesus is 
pointed out by John to his disciples as the Lamb of God, to 
follow whom they left the Baptist. But it is scarcely less plain 
in Matthew, who inserts into the account of the Baptism an 
immediate recognition of Jesus by John, inconsistent with the 
implication of the Marcan narrative into which it is inserted. 
Similarly the editor of Luke makes the family of John closely 
related to that of Jesus ; and Jesus is recognised by Elizabeth 
and her unborn child when the mother of the Lord paid her a 

This evidence, scanty though it is, clearly suggests that 
there was a tendency in early Christian literature to rewrite the 
story of John the Baptist, so as to bring him into conscious 
subordination to Jesus. It is not impossible that this may 
reflect a controversy between the disciples of Jesus and the 
disciples of John, and that at the time when the gospels were 
written there were still some disciples of John who did not 
recognise in Jesus the Stronger One of whom their master had 

A most instructive parallel in the history of religion is pro- The story 
vided by the story of the Bab in modern Islam. ^ The Bab, °Bab!' 
whose name was Mirza Ali Muhammad, was a Persian reformer 
who was put to death in 1850. Fortunately Count Gobineau, 
the French Minister in Persia, was interested in him, and wrote 
an admirable account in his Les Religions et les philosophies dans 
VAsie Centrale. He also brought back and deposited in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris a MS. copy of the life of the 
Bab by Haji Mirza Jani, his friend and contemporary. The Bab 
appointed Mirza Yahya, under the title of Subh-i-Ezel, as his 
successor, but foretold " One who should come." When Beha, 

^ See E. G. Browne, The Episode of the Bah, Cambridge, 1891, especially 
the introduction to the second volume, and The New History of the Bdb, Cam- 
bridge, 1893. 


the brother of Subh-i-Ezel, claimed to fulfil this prophecy, the 
text of Gobineau's MS. was re-edited, in a manner which reminds 
the student of the New Testament of the relation of Matthew 
and Luke to Mark, and finally an entirely new story was written, 
showing about as much trace of the original narrative as the 
Fourth Gospel does of the Synoptic account. There are thou- 
sands of Behais now, many of them in America, and it is safe to 
say that few of them know the story of the origin of their cult, 
or would beheve it if they were told. 

The Bab, both in the hterary and rehgious history of the 
sect of Behaism, plays the same part as John the Baptist in 
Christianity. He also foretold the coming of a Mightier One, 
and the next generation of his followers identified this " One 
who should come " with his disciple Beha. A few years later 
the sect was known as Behaism ; the story was rewritten as the 
history of Behaism, and ethics replaced eschatology. A small 
party refused Beha, and remained Babis, but they gradually 
lost vitahty, and — most remarkable of all — are not mentioned 
in the literature of Behaism. 

III. Divisions in Orthodox Judaism 

(a) The We first meet with the Pharisees in Josephus in the days 

Under Has- of Johu Hyrcanus, the son of Simon, the last survivor of 
moneans. ^j^g ^yg Maccabcan brothers. John, whose high priesthood 
lasted from 135 to 105 B.C., was an able and warHke prince, 
and continued the tradition of his family as a strong up- 
holder of the ancestral religion. Under him the Temple on 
Mount Gerizim was destroyed ; the Idumaeans were conquered, 
and accepted, not apparently with much reluctance, the rite of 
circumcision.! Josephus is warm in his praise of John, and 
hints that the priestly gift of prophecy was not denied to him.^ 
Such a ruler found his friends among the Pharisees mitil the 
severer members of the sect began to suspect that his ambitions 

^ Antiq. xiii. 9. 1. * Antiq. xiii. 10. 7. 


were temporal rather than those of a spiritual head of the nation. 
Accordingly, the Pharisee Eleazar suggested that John should 
lay aside his priestly as distinguished from his temporal office, 
because his mother, as Eleazar falsely alleged, had been a captive 
in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes,i and there was consequently 
some doubt as to his real descent. Hence the breach between 
the Maccabean house and the sect.^ The feud which ensued was 
kept up till 78 B.C., when Alexander Jannaeus on his death-bed 
told his -wife, Alexandra, to make terms with the Pharisees, whose 
popularity rendered them formidable. ^ Alexandra followed his 
advice, and enjoyed a prosperous reign of nine years. Three 
years after her death in 66 B.C., Pompey took Jerusalem and 
profaned the Temple. It is to this catastrophe that we owe 
the collection of Pharisaic psalms, attributed to Solomon.* From 
these it appears that the ideal of the sect was a kingdom of the 
House of David. To the Pharisees the priestly dynasty of the 
Hasmoneans was a mere usurpation, and this anti-clericalism, to 

^ The Talmud (Kiddushin, 6Ga) relates a dispute between " King Jannai 
and the Pharisees." As Hyrcanus is called " high priest " and never " king," 
it is possible that Alexander Jannaeus is meant. It may well be, however, 
that it really refers to John Hyrcanus, and that the Talmud has changed the name 
of the Jewish ruler, because Hyrcanus is regarded in it as a model high priest, 
■ there being nothing told to his discredit save that at the age of eighty (!) he 
joined the Sadducees. See Derenbourg, Histoire de la Palestine, pp. 95-97. 

2 Antiq. xiii. 10. 5. * Antiq. xiii. 15. 5. 

* The Psalms of Solomon were almost certainly written in Hebrew, but are 
now extant only in eight Greek MSS. and in a Sja-iac version (extant in two 
complete MSS. and a fragment) in combination with the quite different docu- 
ment called the Odes of Solomon. Some of the individual Psalms may be earlier, 
but there is a general consensus of opinion that there are many allusions to 
Pompey, and probably to his death (Ps. Sal. ii. 30 f.), so that the date of the 
collection must be somewhat later than 48 B.C. The Psalms are full of the 
antithesis between " the righteous " and " the sinners," and modern com- 
mentators are unanimous in identifying " the righteous " with the Pharisees. 
The best general account is given by G. B. Gray in Charles's Apocrypha and 
Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. ii. pp. 625 ff. The Greek text is most 
accessible in H. B. Swote's edition of the Septuagint, and in Ryle and James's 
^aX/xoi SoXo/uaJj/ros, Psalms of the Pharisees, 1891, which also gives a discussion 
of the facts and a full account of all the literature up to that date. Later 
literature is given by Gray (op. cit.) and more fully by J. Viteau, Les Psaurnes 
de Salomon, Paris, 1911, pp. 240 ff. There is also valuable material in 0. von 
Gebhardt, ^aXyttoi ZoXo/xwi'tos, 1895. 


use a modern word, distinguishes them from the Sadducees. 
Their ideal state, like Ezekiel's and Dante's,^ was not a priestly 
government, but the rule of a godly non-sacerdotal prince, 
prepared to enforce the observance of the Law. Their acceptance 
of tradition as explaining the Law, as is indicated below, had 
for its object to render workable in practice what, taken hterally, 
had proved obsolete and impossible. Pharisaism was, in truth, 
more hberal and ideahstic than Sadduceeism, and the Rabbis 
who divided the sect into seven classes, only two of which, 
those who fear and those who love God, are commended.^ 
Under Hcrod the Great, a man more capable than any of the Has- 

Herod. ... 

moneans, attempted to make the Jews a flourishing nation. With 
great skill he faced the impossible task of conciUating the Romans 
while remaining on good terms with his neighbours, and not 
offending the Jewish Scribes. Sameas (Shemaia) the Pharisee, 
and his master PolUo (Abtahon), had been highly favoured by 
Herod for having opened the gates of Jerusalem to his army in 
37 B.c.^ But the conspiracy in favour of Herod's brother, 
Pheroras, in which the Emiuch Bagoas was imphcated, was 
prompted by the Pharisaic hopes,* and the revolt of Judas of 

1 Cf. Ezek. xl.-xlviii., especially xlv. 22-25, xlviii. 21-22. Professor Toy 
says of the prince (jiasi) ia his article on Ezekiel, Ency. Bibl. col. 1471 : " The 
prince is a servant of the temple, subordinate in this sphere to the priests ; 
it is a genuine separation of Church and State." See also The Parting of the 
Roads (Arnold, 1912), Art. 1, by F. J. Foakes Jackson. Dante, in his De 
Monarchia, exalts the Emperor above the Pope in all secular matters ; and, in 
the Divina Com media, papal usurpation of authority is consistently de- 
nounced. In the Paradiso we see what high hopes the poet indulged that 
the Emperor, Henry VII. of Luxembourg, would restore the balance by his 
commg to Italy. 

2 See the article on Pharisees in the Jewish Encyclopaedia. The seven 
classes, of which five consist of eccentric fools or hypocrites, are found in an 
ancient baraita. The references given are to the Jerusalem Talmud, Berachoth 
(Blessings), ix. 146; Sotah, 226, and to Schechter's edition of the Aboth of 
R. Nathan, pp. 55, 62. 

* Josephus, Antiq. xv. 1. 1. Sheraaiah and Abtalion form the fourth of 
the five couples — Hillel and Shammai being the last — who are said to have 
presided over the Sanhedrin. Aboth (fathers), i. 4-12. See C. Taylor, Sayings 
of the Jewish Fathers, pp. 28 and 32 ; Montct, Origines des partis sadduceen et 
phariseen (Paris, 1883). 

* Antiq. xvii. 2. 4. 


Galilee in a.d. 6 was supported by Sadduk, a Pharisee. Upon 
the whole, however, the Pharisees were more anxious to observe 
the Law than to interfere in poUtics. 

Josephus states that the Pharisees difiered from the Saddu- Doctrine, 
cees on the question of Free Will and Determinism. He repre- 
sents the Essenes as absolute fatahsts and the Sadducees as 
insisting on free will ; but declares that the Pharisees took a 
middle path, saying that, though God has foreseen everything, 
man is allowed to make his choice between good and evil. As a 
Pharisee himself he finds consolation in the thought that Jeru- 
salem and the Temple fell in accordance with the will of God, 
since inanimate objects can no more escape their destiny 
(ei/xapfiev)]) than men.^ According to him the Pharisees be- 
heved that the souls of good men retm-n to hfe in other bodies, 
and that those of the bad are eternally punished. In B.J. ii. 8. 
14 he says that they think that " every soul is incorruptible, 
but that only the souls of the good pass over [jjcera^aiveiv) 
to other bodies, and those of the wicked are chastised with 
eternal punishment." In the parallel passage in Antiq. xviii. 1. 3 
we read that the souls of the evil are to be " detained in an 
everlasting prison," but the souls of the good " will have easy 
access to Uving again {paardorriv tou ava^covv ^)." 

It is, of course, not impossible that Josephus, or the Pharisees, 
meant that this " living again " and passing over to another 
body would be the result of the Resurrection. If so, however, it 
is not a " resurrection of the body," but the vivification of a 
new body with an old soul ; and the resemblance to the fifteenth 
chapter of 1 Corinthians is obvious and significant. The exist- 
ence of this exposition of doctrine in Josephus has been somewhat 
overlooked, but it is clearly of the utmost importance for the 
understanding, not only of the Jewish doctrine of the Resurrec- 
tion, but also of the popular behef in the return of Ehjah or of 

^ Josephus, B.J. ii. 8. 14, and Antiq. xviii. 1. 3. 

* It is interesting to notice that this word is used of the resurrection of 
Jesus in the Apology of Aristides, xv. {fierh 5^ rpeis rjix^pas aye^iu). 



others of the prophets, and may have had its influence on the 
Pauline doctrine of the indwelUng Christ. There appears to be 
no other equally full statement of Pharisaic opinion on the subject 
of a future life. 
Law and But the distinguishing feature of Pharisaism was its reverence 

tradition. ^^^ tradition as supplementing the Law. The Sadducees are 
said by Josephus to have maintained that the Law, and nothing 
but the Law, was binding, but the Pharisees considered that the 
obhgations prescribed in the Law had been modified by tradition. 
This tradition, according to the Rabbis, Moses had deUvered to 
Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the 
Prophets to the Men of the Great Synagogue. " They said three 
things : Be dehberate in judgment ; and raise up many disciples ; 
and make a fence to the Law." The last is interpreted by C. 
Taylor, 1 " Impose additional restrictions so as to keep at a 
safe distance from forbidden ground," thus sanctioning additions 
to explain and amphfy the Law, not, however, to make it bur- 
densome, but to faciUtate its fulfilment. 

{h) The Various interpretations of the name Sadducee have been 

o*Hg^nTf^^* given, but the most probable derives it from Zadok the 
priest, who, under Solomon, supplanted Abiathar. Ezekiel, 
when he reconstructed the ideal Temple at Jerusalem, pre- 
scribed that no one should be allowed to exercise the priestly 
of&ce in it but those who were sons of Zadok (Ezek. xhv. 15). 
If such be the case, it might be expected that the party of the 
priesthood would adopt a name derived from their ancestor 
who acted as priest in the earhest days of the Temple, and the 
evidence both of Josephus and of the New Testament is strongly 
in favour of the Sadducees being in general the priestly party 
as opposed to the popular sect of the Pharisees. It would, 
however, be a mistake to regard this distinction as universally 
and exclusively true, and to lay too much stress on the Sadducees 
being the priestly party. The passages commonly quoted in 

^ Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, p. 25. 



support of this are Acts v. 17 and Anliq. xx. 9. 1 ; but the fact 
that Josephus specially informs us that Ananus 11. , the High 
Priest who condemned James the Just and quarrelled with 
Albinus, was a Sadducee, shows that it was not a matter of course 
that the holder of the office should attach himself to that party, 
and in Antiq. xviii. 1. 4 he expressly says that the Sadducees 
were unwilling to accept pubUc offices. 

When we turn to the Rabbinical writers we find a legend Legendary 
that two sects originated from the disciples of Antigonus of Socho °'^'^"^' 
(third century B.C.), in consequence of his famous saying : "Be 
not as slaves which minister to the Lord with a view to receive 
recompense ; but be as slaves that minister to the Lord without a 
view to receive recompense." Thereupon two of his disciples, 
Zadok and Boethus, understood that their master meant to 
deny a future life, and in the spirit of " Let us eat and drink, 
for to-morrow we die," decided to Hve in luxury, and from them 
arose the sects of the Sadducees and Boethusians.^ The 
unhistorical character of this story is shown by the representa- 
tion of the Sadducees elsewhere as extremely rigorous in 
judgment ; and when, in the time of the widow of Jannaeus, 
Alexandra Salome (76-67 B.C.), their code was abolished by the 
Sanhedrin, under Solomon ben Shetah the Pharisee, the day 
was kept as a festival. From the earlier Rabbinic writers the 
Sadducees appear to have had many regulations different from 
those of the Pharisees ; but their disputes turn mainly on legal 
points, the Sadducees being on the whole supporters of the 
priesthood and of a more literally conservative interpretation of 
the Law than their rivals.^ 

The New Testament and Josephus are in general accord Doctrine. 
in regard to Sadducean doctrine and opinions. The sect first 

^ The evidence for this is very late. It is found in the Aboth of R. Nathan 
(eleventh century), which quotes a Midrash to this effect. See Jewish Encyclo- 
paedia, " Boethusians." 

* See p. 87 for the reason why the Rabbinic statements in the Talmud as 
to the Sadducees are peculiarly open to doubt ; and for instances of the differ- 
ences in teaching between Sadducees and Pharisees see Appendix D. 


appears under John Hyrcanus (135-105 B.C.), who espoused their 
cause when the Pharisees had given ofience by recommending 
that a Ught sentence should be passed on Eleazar ; but after 
this we hear nothing of them till the days of the New Testament. 
Josephus says of the Sadducees : (1) They rejected the ' Tradi- 
tion,' and only held to be obhgatory what they found in 
the written word.^ (2) They were rich, and not as popular 
as the Pharisees.2 (3) Their followers were only those of the 
highest rank.^ (4) They denied that man is under the constrain- 
ing influence of ' fate ' [elixapixevr]), the doctrine of the immor- 
taUty of the soul, and rewards and punishment after death.'* 
(5) They held their opinions rather as private individuals than 
as magistrates ; for, when in office, they had to defer to the 
Pharisees in order to conciUate the pubhc.^ 

In the Gospels the Sadducees are only once mentioned by Mark, 
in connexion with the question about the seven brethren in the 
Resurrection ; ^ in Matthew they come with the Pharisees to 
John's baptism,' and they are substituted for Mark's Herodians 
in the injunction to beware of the leaven.^ In Luke they are 
only mentioned in the question about a resurrection, taken 
from Mark,^ and are unnoticed in the Fourth Gospel. All there- 
fore to be inferred from the Gospels is that the Sadducees denied 
the Resurrection and were one of the two leading sects. In 
Acts they appear three times : in iv. 1, in connexion with the 
High Priest and the arparr^yo'; of the Temple, as arresting the 
Apostles ; in v. 17, with the chief priests vmder similar circum- 
stances. In the account of the debate in the Sanhedrin, some 
wished to put the Apostles to death (if the reading be correct) ; 
but the Pharisee Gamaliel advised moderation. Finally, in 
xxiii. 6, we find Paul before the Sanhedrin, composed of Pharisees 
and Sadducees, appeaUng to the one against the other ; and we 
are told that the Sadducees denied a resurrection, angels, and 

^ Antiq. xiii. 10. 6; xviii. 1. 4. * Antiq. xiii. 10. 6. Cf. also xmi. 1. 4. 

^ Aniiq. xviii. 1. 4. * B.J. ii. 8. 14. ^ Antiq. xviii. 1. 4. 

« Mark xii. 18. ' ^att. iii. 7. » Matt. xvi. 1 ff. 
9 Luke XX. 27. 


spirits. Thus, both in Acts and Josephus, their distinguishing 
tenet is the denial of a resurrection. The rejection of angels 
and spirits is not mentioned by Josephus, but, as in the New 
Testament, the Sadducees appear to have had sympathies with 
the ruHug class, and to have been harsher in judgment and 
more impatient of innovation than the Pharisees, to whom both 
Josephus and Acts ascribe a disposition to mercy. 

Closely connected with the Sadducees, as we have seen, Boe- 
are the family — for they can hardly be termed the sect — of "^'*°^- 
the Boethusians. They probably really are derived from 
Boethus, the father of Simon, an Alexandrian whom Herod 
made High Priest in order to marry his daughter Mariamne, 
not to be confused with Herod's Hasmonean wife of the same 
name. This was in 26 or 25 B.C., and from that time down to 
the Fall of Jerusalem the family frequently enjoyed the High 
Priesthood. The Rabbinical writings have allusions to the 
Boethusians as a sect of the Sadducees ; but their questions 
mainly turn on points of ritual.^ 

It does not seem necessary to class all the ruling priests as 
Sadducees or Boethusians ; but it is natural that they should 
be attracted by ideas favoured by a select few, mostly rich men, 
rather than by those of a popular party like the Pharisees. 

The chief Jewish teachers contemporary AArith the New (c) Jewish 
Testament known to us by name are Hillel, Shammai, Gamaliel ^^ early 
the Elder, and Johanan ben Zakkai. Christun 


Hillel was a Babylonian, and a contemporary of Herod the Hiiiei. 
Great. He found his way to Jerusalem, and, despite extreme 
poverty, became a student of the Law. The whole aim of his 
interpretation was the bettering {Tikkun) of Israel. In character 

^ Josephus, Antiq. xv. 9. 3. Simon tho son of Boethus was an Alexandrian. 
For tho succession of the Boethusian pontiffs see Derenbourg, op. cit. p. 156. 
Dorenbourg on p. 137 gives an account of a controversy in which the Boethusians 
maintained their view that Pentecost could only be kept on the first day of 
the week. 




School of 

he is represented as gentle and kindly : the story is told of him 
that to a would-be proselyte, who would only hsten while he 
could stand on one leg, he explained the Law in the well-known 
saying, " WTiat is hateful to thyself do not to another." ^ Like 
Paul in the case of Timothy, he seems to have accepted an 
Alexandrian, whose right to be reckoned as a Jew was disputed, 
on the marriage document (Ketuhbah) of his mother. Though he 
was held in the highest honour, no miracles are credited to Hillel.^ 

Shammai, the rival and contemporary of Hillel, is nearly 
always mentioned together with him ; and in the Talmud the 
characteristic of his teaching is its unbending severity, though 
he is represented as not lacking in amiable qualities.^ Both 
these teachers are better known as the founders of two schools, 
the Beth-Hillel and the Beth-Shammai.* These are not, as is 
frequently assumed, to be classed as Pharisees and Sadducees, 
though the tendencies they exhibit are not unlike those of the 
great sects. 

The principles of Hillel were continued by his family ; ^ 
but the great representative of the more liberal side of Judaism is 
Johanan ben Zakkai, whose school at Jabneh, after the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, laid the foundation of Rabbinic practice and 
theology. He represents the pacific school of the Pharisees. 

1 Cf. Matt. vii. 12; Did. i. 2; Aristides, 15; Apost. Const, i. 1 ; Tobit, 
iv. 15 ; and Philo quoted by Eusebius, Praep. Evan, viii. 7 ; and see G. Resch, 
Texte und Unters. xxviii. 3, p. 134, and the notes on Matt. vii. 12 in A. Resch's 
Aussercanon. Paralleltezte, and in the commentary on Acts xv. 20, 29. 

' Aucun personnage de I'antiquite rabbinique n'est plus connu que Hillel. Sa 
pauvretd et son abnegation, tant qu'il f ut jeune ; sa patience et sa mansu6tude, 
lorsqu'il enseigna dans son ^cole ; la science et la sagacit6 qu'il deploya dans 
la discussion, sont devenues populaires, et il sera difficile de d^mgler ce qu'il 
y a de vrai dans les anecdotes que le Thalmud a conservees, et ce que la 
poesie legendaire de la nation y a ajoute (Derenbourg, op. cit. p. 181). 

^ See Derenbourg, op. cit. p. 189. 

* Derenbourg, op. cit. pp. 176 ff. ; Jewish Ency., arts. "Hillel" and 
" Shammai," and also " Bet Hillel " and " Bet Shammai." Three hundred and 
sixteen controversies between these ' schools ' are preserved in the Talmud, 
and in only fifty-five instances were the Shammaites on the side of 

^ The succession appears to have been Hillel, Simon I., Gamaliel I., 
Simon II., Gamaliel II. 


When the strife of parties became unendurable he escaped from 
Jerusalem in a coflSn. He settled at Jabneh (Jamnia), where he 
fomided his famous school. Like Josephus, he escaped from 
his distracted countrymen to the Romans, but the Jews held 
him in the highest honour, though Josephus does not so much 
as mention his name.^ Gamaliel (or Gamliel) I., well known to 
readers of Acts, is perhaps in reality the most shadowy figure 
of all.2 Josephus (Vita, 38) implies that he was a Pharisee by 
his statement that his son Simon belonged to the sect, but the 
Rabbinical traditions concerning him often confuse him with his 
grandson GamaHel II. He is credited with having been the first 
of the seven teachers who received the title of Rabban, and 
according to Jewish tradition he succeeded his grandfather 
Hillel and his father Simon as nasi and first president of the 
Sanhedrin. We possess three letters from him, two to Galilee 
and one to the Diaspora ; the tradition that he ordered the 
removal of the Targum of Job from Jerusalem is our oldest 
evidence for a Targum. He is not called a Pharisee except in 
Acts V. 34 ff., and the only early statement that he ever taught 
is that of Acts xxii. 3 ; but there is a saying of his preserved in 
the Aboth of R. Nathan, comparing his pupils to fish. 

The Herodians are twice mentioned in Mark iii. 6 and xii. (d) Tue 
13 (of. the parallel in Matt. xxii. 16) as conspiring with the 
Pharisees against Jesus. The only reason for considering them 
as a religious sect is the absurd statement of Epiphanius 
that they interpreted the words of Gen. xlix. 10 (" The sceptre 
shall not depart from Judah, etc."), of Herod — presumably 
Herod the Great ; but probability and the form of the word in 
Latin suggest that they were the partisans of Herod. The 
Herod of the Gospels being Antipas, • Tetrarch of Galilee, 

^ There ia an interesting article on Johanan ben Zakkai in the Jewish 
Encyclopedia. See also Burkitt'a account in his Jewish and Christian Apoca- 
lypses, p. 8, also E. Levine in The Parting of the Roads, p. 299. Derenbourg, 
op. cit., devotes a chapter to Johanan (chap. xix.). 

* See Jewish Encyclopaedia, art. " Gamaliel." 




' Herodian ' would then naturally mean one of his court or of his 
party. It is noticeable that in Mark these * Herodians ' appear 
once in Galilee and once in Jerusalem on an occasion when, 
according to Luke, Herod was in that city, 
iierods as Although there is no other evidence as to the existence of a 

party, much less a sect, of Herodians, some Jews may have 
fixed their hopes on the Herodian family as saviours of the 
nation, Herod the Great certainly did aU in his power to con- 
ciliate his Jewish subjects, especially the Pharisaic party. His 
rebuilding of the Temple was a truly splendid bid for popularity ; 
and though it failed in its object, it must have impressed many 
with a sense of Herod's value to the Jewish State. Of Herod's 
sons and successors, Archelaus proved a complete failure ; but 
Philip, as tetrarch of Ituraea (4 B.C. to a.d. 34), was regarded as 
a model ruler, and Antipas governed Galilee and Peraea with the 
marked approval of Tiberius. It is possible that Antipas's mar- 
riage was prompted by a politic desire to secure Jewish support 
by an alliance with a Hasmonean princess.^ The Baptist's 
disapproval of this may well have been, as Mark says, the cause 
of his execution ; and Herod's attitude to Jesus may be accounted 
for in the same manner. Herod Agrippa at a later date was 
accepted by the Jews as the best of kings, being, like his sister 
Herodias, a Hasmonean on the mother's side. 

IV. The Formal Sepaeation from Judaism 

Samari- Both Acts and the Third Gospel show an interest in the 

Samaritans. In the Old Testament their origin is traced to the 
Cuthean settlers whom Esarhaddon (682-669 B.C.) placed in 
the cities of Samaria. They are described in the decidedly 
malicious account given in 2 Kings xvii. as instructed by a priest 
of Bethel in the worship of Jahveh but combining it with idolatrous 
practices. But in the Book of Ezra they profess to serve Jahveh 


1 See Chs. I. and III. 


as the Jews did ; ^ and Zerubbabel, in repulsing them, says 
nothing of their idolatry, of which no proof exists. Two genera- 
tions later we find their leader Sanballat hindering Nehemiah's 
work, but at the same time in alliance with the High Priest 
Eliashib, to whom he was related by marriage. Josephus, 
by confusion of dates, makes Sanballat a contemporary of 
Alexander the Great, a century later than Nehemiah.^ In 
Ecclesiasticus they appear as a schismatical sect, " The fooHsh 
people who dwell in Shechem." 

The bitterest hostility existed between Jews and Samaritans, Samaritans 
but this did not prevent their frequent agreement in matters of ^aw. 
belief. It is significant that in many points the Samaritans, who 
owed their temple to a priestly revolt against the layman Nehe- 
miah, are said to have had an afiinity with the Sadducees. 
Though Josephus says that Shechem had become a place of 
refuge for Jews who had broken the Law, the Samaritans 
obtained a qualified recognition at Jerusalem, and were admitted 
to the precincts of the Temple. Their Halaka was in many 
respects stricter than that of the Rabbis, especially as regards 
the observance of the Sabbath, and one of the Rabbis, Simon 
ben Gamaliel (a.d. 165), commended them as being more scrupu- 
lous than the Jews. They were to be restored to Judaism, 
according to the Masseket Kutim, when they renounced Gerizim 
and confessed Jerusalem and the Resurrection of the dead.^ 
The Samaritan canon is restricted to the Law, and in no sense 
extends to the Prophets and Hagiographa.* On the whole, 

^ Ezra iv. 2. They claim that they seek the same god as the Jews, and 
say that they have done sacrifice to him since the days of Esarhaddon, king of 
Assyria, "which brought us up hither." 

^ This question is discussed below, pp. 140 ff. 

^ In J. A. Montgomery's The Samaritans (Philadelphia., 1907), chapter xi., 
there is a summary of all the legislation regarding the relation of the Jews to 
Samaritans in the treatise Masseket Kutim (Cutheans, i.e. Samaritans). 

* The refusal to accept aught but the Law was not, perhaps, from a Jewish 
standpoint in any way heretical. See C. Taylor. Sayings of the Jewish Fathers 
(1877), p. 119 (Excursus I.). R. Johanan said: " The prophets and tlie Hagio- 
grapha will cease, but the five books of the Torah will not cease." See also 
another saying in op. cit.. Excursus on The Sadducees, p. 128. 



ties of 


Samaritanism, like the sects in the Russian Church, was always 
more conservative than the parent church of Jerusalem. 

It is not possible to obtain complete certainty as to the belief 
of the Samaritans in the first century, for our evidence is all 
derived from Samaritan documents which are considerably later 
than the facts described ; from Christian writers, who are in the 
main no earlier and far less trustworthy ; and from the rather 
extensive correspondence between the Samaritans and scholars 
in Europe in the seventeenth century.^ 

The points of importance are : (1) The complete restriction 
of the Scriptures to the Pentateuch, and a corresponding exalta- 
tion of Moses. (2) The belief that Gerizim, not Zion, was the 
Mount of God, and that Gerizim was the appointed place for the 
Temple and the ritual of the Pentateuch. (3) A belief that in 
the last days there would arise a prophet, either like Moses or 
actually a reincarnation of Moses, who was called the Taheb 
(inn), meaning either " the Restorer " or possibly " he who 
returns." He would restore the days of grace, which had ended 
with the backsHding of Eli, and after living one hundred and ten 
years would die. There would follow the day of judgment and 
resurrection, when the righteous would go to the Garden of 
Eden, and the wicked would be burned. It is, however, possible 
that some of this belief is a later accretion, as, according to Origen,^ 
the Samaritans denied not only a Resurrection, but even all 
future life. On the other hand, Justin Martyr ^ declares that 
the Samaritans believed in a future Messiah, which may refer to 
the belief in the Taheb, though as Justin also states that they 
derived their belief from the Prophets, confidence in his statement 
is shaken.* 

Two attitudes towards the Samaritans can be traced in the 
Synoptic Gospels and Acts. 

^ See J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans, p. 3. 

* In Matt. xxii. 23, ed. Delarue, p. 811, and Horn. xxv. p. 365. 
3 1 Apol. 53. 

* According to Epiphanius, the Samaritans, like the Jews, were divided 
into sects (see p. 84). 


(a) In the instructions to the Twelve in Matt. x. 5, Samaria 
is coupled with the Gentile world and is excluded from the 
mission-field of the Twelve. " Go not into a way of the Gentiles, 
and enter not into any city of the Samaritans." ^ This appears 
to represent the opinion of one of the editors of the First Gospel 
as to the attitude of Jesus and of the first disciples towards the 
Samaritans. Whether the same editor is responsible for Matt, 
xxviii. 19 (" Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all 
the heathen ") must remain doubtful. Whoever inserted this 
passage clearly regarded it as cancelling Matt. x. 5, but the latter 
verse is probably evidence that some circles of Christians claimed 
the authority of Jesus for not preaching either to Gentiles or 

Was this also the attitude of Mark ? There is no decisive 
evidence, for in the Marcan narrative Samaria and the Samaritans 
are not mentioned. All that can be said is that, according to 
Mark, Jesus preached only in Galilee and to Jews in the district 
of Tyre and Sidon, for the Gentile woman of Syrophenicia in 
Mark vii. 26 is clearly intended as the " exception which proves 
the rule " in the true sense of that phrase. 

(6) In the Third Gospel and in Acts the opposite view is 
clearly maintained, that Jesus and His disciples ranked the 
Samaritans with the Jews rather than with the Gentiles. This 
may perhaps be seen in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 
X. 25 if.) and in the story of the grateful Samaritan leper (Luke 
xvii. 11 ff.), but is clearest in Luke ix. 52, which represents the 
Samaritans as rejecting Jesus when he tried to approach them, 
and in Acts i. 8, when Samaria is coupled with Judaea. It 
is also implied by the general narrative which represents 
the Apostles as willing to preach and baptize in Samaria, but 

^ It is sometimes hold that those injunctions wore only intended to apply 
to a special journey of the Twelve. It is of course possible that this was the 
meaning of Matthew as it stands now, but the editor has actually omitted from 
the Marcan narrative, which ho has combined with these instructions, all those 
details which might imply that a special journey was intended. Cf. Mark iii. 
13 ff., vi. 6 li. with Matt. x. 1 ff., and note especially the absence in Matthew 
of any parallel to Mark vi. 12 or to vi. 30. 


requiring a special revelation before they would approach the 
Gentile Cornelius. Moreover, in the account of Philip's work 
in the " city of Samaria," Simon is represented as an enemy, 
not because he was a Samaritan, but because he was a fxdyo<i, 
who was declared to be the Great Power of God. 
Saiuaritans In the Fourth Gospel there is nothing but the story of the 
^ ' woman at the Well of Samaria and the use of Samaritan by the 
Jews as a term of abuse in John viii. 48 ; ^ but it is clear that 
the Johannine tradition, like the Lucan, desired to represent 
Jesus as accepting Samaritans. 

Josephus declares that the Samaritans were friendly with 
the Jews when they were in prosperity, but hostile when things 
went badly in Judaea ; a statement which is hardly borne out 
by facts. Under Pilate a fanatic assembled an armed crowd, 
promising to show them the sacred vessels hidden by Moses on 
Gerizim, and Pilate's severity in quelling the disturbance led to 
his recall.2 This would be in a.d. 36 ; and in about the year 52, 
under Cimaanus, there was a serious quarrel between the Jews 
and the Samaritans owing to a massacre of Galilean pilgrims 
and consequent reprisals. On the outbreak of the war the 
Samaritans suffered with the Jews ; Sebaste (Samaria) was 
burned ^ in a.d. 66 ; and the following year witnessed a Samari- 
tan revolt against Rome, suppressed by Vespasian's officer 
Cerealis. After a.d. 70 the Samaritans suffered for their religion 
together with the Jews.* On the whole we may perhaps infer 
that the Samaritans differed less from the Jews than is supposed, 
and that the undoubted mutual hostiHty has been exaggerated. 

^ The story of the Woman of Samaria supplies the following details : (1) 
That the disciples went into the city of Sychar to buy food — presumably, there- 
fore, Samaritan food was regarded as clean ; (2) the contradictorj' statement 
that the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans, — though this is possibly 
an addition to the text ; (3) the remark of the woman claiming that she was 
a descendant of Jacob, and that her fathers " worshipped on this mountain " 
(Gerizim.) ; (4) that the difference between Jews and Samaritan turned on the 
proper place of the Sanctuary ; (5) the recognition by the woman that Messiah 
will come ; (6) that many of the Samaritans believed on Jesus — in contradiction 
to Luke ix. 52. ' Antiq. xviii. 4. 1-2. 

3 B.J. ii. 18. 1. * B.J. iu. 7. 32. 


Both from Acts and Josephus it appears that they were equally 
susceptible to revolutionary influences. 

V. The Ignorant or " People of the Land " — 

THE 'AmE ha- 'ares 

The relation of the stricter Jews towards the so-called "people The 
of the land " (Ame ha- Ares) is a question of some difficulty, theTani^ 
needing careful discussion. ^ It has been held by many, including 
the writer of the Third Gospel, that the Pharisees represented 
the rich and the people the poor, and that the mission of Jesus 
was intended for the humble and ignorant. But this scarcely 
represents the feeUng of the time. Judaism was, it is true, 
sacerdotal and aristocratic in the neighbourhood of the 
Temple ; but elsewhere it ignored distinctions of rank among 
Israelites. The Temple worship existed because of the Law, 
which every good Jew made the supreme object of life to 
observe, even though he could only on rare occasions offer sacri- 
fice. But to observe the Law a profound knowledge of its re- 
quirements was needed, demanding long and arduous study. 
Consequently learning and religion went hand in hand, and a 
truly pious Jew had to be expert in all the subtleties of the Law. 
An aristocracy of learning open to all grew up, independent of 
birth or official rank, in which a proselyte, like Aquila, or one 
who confesses that he had been an 'Am ha-'ares, like Akiba, might 
take a leading place, whilst the High Priest himself might be 
rigidly excluded by his ignorance. 

Thus the 'Am ha-'ares was separated by a formidable barrier Judaism a 
from the learned Jews, which, however, he could surmount by rdfgio'n. 
obtammg proficiency in the Law. With all its faults the legalism 
of Judaism has had its advantage in making knowledge a neces- 
sary part of rehgion ; and the high intelligence displayed by the 
Jewish race is in a great measure due to the fact that the discipline 

^ The details are discussed at greater length in Appendix E, by Prof. G. F. 
Moore. See above, Ch. II. 


of learning the Law has been continued for many generations. 
To be a devout Jew a man has had to become somewhat of a 
trained lawyer; and dreary as the Talmud seems to the un- 
initiated, it has proved (like the Mathematical Tripos and Greats) 
of great value to those who subsequently apply themselves to 
other pursuits. Devout Jews formed themselves into haberim 
(societies) in order to mamtain the distinction between themselves 
and the 'Ame ha-' ares, whose ignorance of the Law rendered them 
liable to contract ceremonial impurity. 

VI. The Apocalyptic Thought and Literature 

Rabbia and The Jewish Rabbis were interested in conduct, and their 
history. ixiain object was to explam a law designed to produce a per- 
fect man, hving in all respects in accordance with the will of 
God. They cared little for history, except in so far as it 
interpreted their code. Nevertheless among the Jews, as in 
every other nation, there were some to whom history appealed ; 
less, however, as a statement of events than as an explanation 
of their causes and mutual relation. The modern man, who 
is in this respect the descendant of the Greeks, endeavours 
to produce a philosophy of history agreeing with his own theory 
of the universe : and to do so he investigates facts in accord- 
ance with laws of evidence derived ultimately from the logic of 
Aristotle. The Jewish writer knew nothing of AristoteUan logic : 
his view of the universe was not only different from ours but 
wholly contradictory to it ; and he cared httle for accurate 
Old The earliest philosophy of history which can be traced in 

phibso'phy ^hc literature of Israel is expressed in the Book of Deuteronomy. 
of history, j^ ^ag ^Q simple theory that when Israel was faithful to the 
Lord it prospered, and when it was unfaithful it suffered adver- 
sity. The theory was worked out in the Books of Samuel and 
Kings, and in a cruder and more mechanical manner by the 


Chronicler, It can be traced still further in the writings of 
Josephus, and in a Christianised form in the Church History of 
Eusebius. It was held firmly by the prophets, but many of the 
predictions which they made on the strength of it remained 
unfulfilled. Therefore there arose a school of writers who took 
up and reinterpreted the more picturesque of the mifulfilled 
predictions of the prophets, especially such passages as Isaiah 
xxiv. to xxvii., the last chapters of Ezekiel, and parts of 
Zechariah. To these they added new and gorgeous imagery of 
their own, much of which is probably drawn from ancient Baby- 
Ionian and Persian sources. 

In this way, just as the study of the Law produced the Mishna, interests of 
the study of the history of unfulfilled prophecy produced the lyptjc. 
Apocalyptic Pseudepigrapha. While the legahst concerned 
himself with the Law, to solve the problem, " What shall I do 
that I may inherit eternal Mfe ? " and found guidance in the 
written and unwritten Law of Moses, the writers of this literature 
were interested in history and prophecy, in the past, present, 
and future of Israel. They sought inspiration from the ancient 
records of the human race and of the fathers of Israel preserved 
in Genesis, and from the ecstatic utterances of the Hebrew 
prophets. But it is misleading to draw a hard-and-fast line be- 
tween the two schools of thought. The legalist could sometimes 
share in the enthusiasm of the visionary, who, in turn, might be, 
for all his dreams and revelations, zealous for the Law. Just 
as a priest or a Rabbi might belong to any one of the 
sects of the Jews, so there was no reason why the philosophy 
of history should have been in the hands of one sect 
rather than another. It is no doubt true that in the main 
the members of the same sect held similar opinions and interests, 
but though the fullest allowance be made for this, adherents 
of various sects might occupy themselves with the philosophy 
of history, and even adopt the same methods. It is there- 
fore not surprising that traces of all the sects have been 
found in the Apocalypses. But after all the main thing 



is to set forth the hterary method of the writers of this 
literature and their theory of history. 
Chief Apo- The chief Je\vish Apocalypses are the following : ^ the Book 

of Daniel, the Ethiopia Enoch, the Assumption of Moses, the 
Slavonic Enoch, the Apocalypse of Ezra (4 Ezra), the Syriac 
Apocalypse of Baruch, the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, the 
" Book of Baruch," the Apocalypse of Abraham, the Greek Life 
of Adam, and the Latin Life of Adam and Eve. 

With them may be reckoned also the Psahns of Solomon, 
the Book of Jubilees, the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, 
and the SibyUine Oracles, all of which represent a mixture 
of apocalyptic hopes with other interests. The Book of 
Jubilees, for instance, is in the main a legal book, while the 
Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs is very largely a moral 
treatise. There is nothing surprising in this, for it is in itself 
entirely natural that those who are interested in the philosophy 
of history should endeavour to set it out in relation to other 
subjects ; and this especial philosophy had always as its practical 
object the heartening and comfort of the righteous in ajQliction 
by explaining the will and purposes of God. It is in this 
respect that the Apocalyptists approach most nearly to the 
Prophets. The difference between them is that the prophets 
in general represent God's purposes as at least in part conditional 
on men's conduct. Though the Prophets foretell the future, 
they acknowledge that the actual events depend on what 
men do. Thus the doctrine of a free will is in the main 
characteristic of their teaching; and the prophets, like the 
legahsts, were above all anxious to direct the will of 
man aright. But the Apocalyptists are determinists : they 
regard history as the working out of a predestined plan, 
of which they explain either the whole or some part. 
Nothuig can change it. It is true that even the Apocalyptists 
never fuUy extended this determinism to individuals, — it is 

^ The most convenient translation ia R. H. Charles's The Apocrypha and 
Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. 


one of history, not of individual character and destiny .^ In- 
dividuals may achieve salvation or damnation by their conduct, 
but the individual is rarely the centre of Apocalyptic interest. 
The point which the writers emphasised was that the plan as 
a whole is fixed, arranged in periods of chronology, and cannot 
be changed, and that it is so ordered that, properly understood, 
it ought to be of infinite comfort to the oppressed righteous, 
heartening Viim patiently to endure to the end. 

The Apocalyptic period in Judaism between the publication Period of 
of Daniel and the appearance of the Syriac Baruch and 4 Ezra Apocliypti 
embraces some three centuries (165 b.c.-a.d. 120). Daniel is literature, 
the earhest, and is followed by the groundwork of the present 
Book of Enoch, chapters i.-xxxvi. and Ixxii.-cviii., which is assigned 
to about 100 B.C. This book is really a collection of a large 
Enochian literature. The Apocalypses of Baruch and Ezra 
are perhaps the latest, and are almost contemporary with the 
chief writings of the New Testament. None of these books 
have survived in their original Jewish form in Hebrew or 
Aramaic, with the exception of the canonical Book of Daniel. 
Most have been enshrined in translations, many of which have 
only recently been recovered. They are, moreover, only a few 
remnants of a much greater literature which consisted of many 
books. All are late in date, but all ascribed to early writers. 
This discrepancy between the facts and the titles gave rise 
to various artifices of explanation, of which that in 4 Ezra ^ is 
the most complete. 

According to this, in Ezra's time the Bible was lost, and 
Ezra by inspiration restored it with the assistance of an angel. 
The incident is thus related in chap. xiv. 44 ff. : 

^ As Akiba is reported to have said : " All is foreseen by God, and the power 
of Choice is given to man " {Aboth, 3. 19). Cf., too, Hanina's saying : " All is 
in the power of Heaven, except the fear of God," which means that God can 
do everything except make a man religious (Beracholh, 336). The contrast 
between this and Paul, and still more Calvin, is remarkable. 

^ 4 Ezra is the technical term for chaps, iv.-xiv. of 2 Esdras in the Apocrypha, 
also known as the " Fourth Book of Esdras." 



Legendary So in forty days were written ninety-four books. And it came 

orthe"^^ to pass when the forty days were fulfilled, that the most High spake 
Scriptures, unto me Saying : The twenty-four books that thou hast written, 
Canonical p^j^^gj^^ ^j^j^^ ^]^q unworthy may read therein ; but the seventy last 
Apocryphal, thou shalt keep, to deliver them to the wise among thy people. For 

in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and 

the stream of knowledge. 

That is to say, twenty-four books are the canonical scriptures 
of the Jews, open to all men. The seventy others are not for 
profane eyes ; only the wise may read them, for they alone can 
appreciate their meaning. The point of the story is to explain 
why these books which claimed such antiquity had not pre^/iously 
been known. It is exactly the same motive which makes the 
writer of Daniel state that he had been bidden to seal up the 
vision. The books were represented as having been the posses- 
sion of a select circle, and dealt with mysteries which were not 
for the profane. There is httle reason for thinking that this was 
really true. Few books are ever circulated privately, except 
when a larger public is not to be obtained. 
Definition The word Apocalyptic as applied to these secret books needs 

iypi^c°^^ definition. It is the disclosure of that which is beyond human 
knowledge.^ The seer is dealing not so much with human 
events as with divine, and this is characteristic of Apocalyptic 
works. The writers tell partly the history of the past, partly 
the history of the future, and partly they explain the mysteries 
of the natural and spiritual world, but they do so, not in order to 
relate facts or even to influence conduct, but to explain prin- 
ciples and causes, and — quite especially — chronology. These 
causes and principles are indeed very different from those with 
which the modern student of the philosophy of history operates, 
but the intention was similar. 

The difierence between apocalyptic and prophetic writing 
is easier to appreciate than to define. In general it may be 
said that prophecy is usually national and moral, while the 

^ Cf. Torrey in Jeivish Ency., " Apocalyptic Literature." 


Apocalyptists pay more attention to systems of chronology, 
in the ' How ' and ' When ' of history. The centre of their 
interest was not, as om"s is, the accurate presentment of the 
facts of history, but rather the elaborate schematising of events 
and dates, spending much ingenuity in arranging history into a 
fixed and symmetrical system of chronology which governed 
rather than expressed its course. They were the direct ancestors 
of Julius Africanus and the author of the De Pascha Computus. 
They are concerned with the relation between events in heaven and 
the kingdoms and empires of the world, and therefore they spoke 
of angels, demons, and the supramundane representatives of 
men and nations who operated partly in accordance with the 
will of God, partly in opposition to it, and so produced that 
strange mixture of motives and curious combination of creation 
and destruction which makes up the history of the world. 

None of the earlier books of the Old Testament are apocalyptic, The Book 
and even among the later ones none has so exclusively that an Apoca- 
character as to be called an Apocalypse, except the Book of '^p^^' 
Daniel. In this there are a series of visions, in which the relation 
between events in heaven and the kingdoms and empires of the 
world is explamed. The seer beholds Israel in the centre of 
every scene which is presented to the eyes of his imagination, 
but not as isolated from the world. The allusions which he makes 
to events are represented to be prophetic, nevertheless they are 
unmistakable references to what happened centuries after the 
days of the supposed ' Daniel.' The seventh chapter illustrates 
this. Three fierce beasts appear and after them a fourth, " dreadful 
and terrible," who destroys them, and in this beast the horn 
arises with " eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking 
great things." Then heaven is opened and " the Ancient of 
Days " is seen ; " thousand thousands ministered to him, and 
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him," The 
invisible court of heaven and its countless hosts of divine beings 
are disclosed. In the midst of this tremendous scene " the 
judgment is set, and the books are opened." Then another 


mysterious figure appears. " I saw in the night visions, and, 
behold, 'one like a Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven,' 
and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near 
before him. And there was given to him dominion, and glory, 
and a kingdom ... his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 
which shall not pass away." i 

Here most of the typical conditions of an Apocalypse are 
fulfilled. It is pseudonymous, inasmuch as the assumed writer 
is a sage of bygone days. It is interested in Israel, but not 
exclusively ; the kingdom of him who comes on the clouds 
embraces " all people, nations, and languages " ; the beasts 
are not merely symbols ; they are actually existing supra- 
mundane powers, whose actions are reflected in the history of 
the nations. There is a heavenly vision of the consummation 
of the age. Moreover, the prophecy is a sealed book. Pro- 
fessedly it is not intended to circulate among those of Daniel's 
generation: "the words are closed up and sealed mitil the time 
of the end." 2 

No other prophecy in the Old Testament, despite the attend- 
ant visions, can be called Apocalyptic in this sense. The con- 
cluding chapters of Ezekiel have a superficial resemblance to 
an Apocalypse ; but the essential conditions are hardly fulfilled. 
The prophet sees no heavenly temple, but an ideahsed restoration 
of the House in which he had ministered ; and in the national 
triumph only Israel shares, and forms a perfect community in 
its own land. Even the earlier visions of Divine majesty, the 
Hving creatures, the wheel within wheels, are personal rather 
than world-wide. Nor is there any idea that the revelation is 
primarily meant for posterity. 
Apocalypses One feature, often present in Apocalypses but lacking in 
antediluvian Daniel, who in this respect is more Hke the prophets of the older 
world. order, is the interest in the history of the first age of the world, 

the fall of angels, and the revelations made to antediluvian 
patriarchs. The story of the early ages of the world is regarded 

^ Dan. vii. 1-14. * Dan. xii. 9. 


as fraught with a deep meanmg revealed to the saints of old, 
who reserved its disclosure till the fulness of the times. Whether 
those who first read them seriously believed in the words of the 
Epistle of Jude ^ that " Enoch, seventh from Adam," actually 
prophesied is immaterial ; but in one thing Jews and Christians 
agreed — they allowed the entire literature to sink into obscurity. 

The most marked characteristic so far as literary method is Extant 
concerned is the consistent use of previous material. Every areToof^ia- 
Apocalypse which we possess seems to be made up of fragments *'°°^- 
of earlier works belonging to the same type. Frequently it is 
possible to distinguish these sources, but critics have possibly 
gone rather further than the evidence warrants them in assigning 
dates and making statements about the opinions of the authors 
of the various sources, for it is certain that the writers who pro- 
duced the present documents did not look on themselves merely 
as editors. They were writing books by the method of com- 
pilation, but they troubled themselves little in the accurate 
representation of their sources. What they desired was to set out 
their own opinions, and they were willing to treat their sources in 
any way which rendered them better adapted for this purpose. 

In the accomplishment of this task they produced an almost Tho End 
infinite variety of combination, often involving illogical and self- Beginning, 
contradictory statements. For though many of the visions of 
the Apocalyptists are worked out with fantastic minuteness, 
they cared really more for the principles than they did for the 
details of history. The End was to be as the Beginning ; and 
their interest in " the Beginning " was entirely due to this. 
The End was their real preoccupation, and the most marked 
characteristic of their belief was the certainty that the End 
was close at hand. Much of the interest of the subject for the 
student of Christian origins is the picture which is presented of 
the time immediately preceding and following after the End ; 
for the End was after all not final, — it was only the End of this 
world, and after it would arise the World to Come. 

» Jude 14. 


Woes The general picture, of which the details vary in each book, 

deliverance. IS that a period of great and unprecedented suffering — the Woes — 
will pass into one of prosperity and happiness for the chosen 
people. This will be succeeded by a last efiort on the part of 
the powers of evil, who will be finally and completely defeated. 
Then will come the resurrection of the dead, the great judgment, 
and the End, after which will begin the New Age or the World 
to Come. Such are the general outhnes of the Apocalyptic 
picture ; but there is considerable variation. The days of 
prosperity which succeed the Woes are sometimes pictured as 
the reign of that anointed prince or Messiah whose coming was 
foretold by the prophets. Sometimes the Messiah does not 
appear at all, and the custom of nevertheless referring in such 
cases to this period as Messianic, though general, is to be de- 
precated. Similarly the judgment is sometimes carried out by 
God, sometimes by his representative. Sometimes the final 
effort of evil seems to be omitted. In general, however, the 
characteristic features remain, and it is perhaps well to remember 
that every Apocalypse is not necessarily a complete picture of 
everything which its writer might have accepted. 
Persian It may be legitimate to inquire whether this Apocalyptic 

picture is a genuine outcome of Judaism at all. In its main 
characteristics Persian influence is very marked. The religion 
of Zoroaster is based on the great strife in heaven and on earth 
between the powers of good and evil, ending in a spectacular 
triumph of righteousness. Ormuzd and his angels strive with 
Arihman and his angels, just as Michael does with Satan. In 
the end a Saviour comes, in the person of Shaosyant, and executes 
judgment, bringing about a new order. This is the essence of 
Apocalyptic revelation, heaven and hell crowded by angehc and 
demonic hosts, a Saviour interfering in the cause of right, the 
final judgment, the End, and the World to Come.^ In reality it 
is in contrast with the Jewish conception of Messiah, an anointed 
king vindicating (for in that sense the word " to judge " is em- 

1 See below, pp. 269-277. 


ployed) and establishing a kingdom in which the Law is supreme. 
Nevertheless, the Persian eschatology as a whole was taken over 
by Jewish thought, and the question naturally arose of its 
relationship to the prophetic doctrine of an anointed king of the 
house of David. It would have been possible to identify the 
new world with the kingdom of the anointed prince of the house 
of David, and in the end that identification was possibly made 
in some Jewish circles, but, in the main, Jewish thought followed 
a diSerent line of development. The days of the anointed king, 
when they were not omitted altogether, were kept as the closing 
period of this age, which the Resurrection was to follow rather 
than precede. His reign was to precede the End, and he, 
like all other men, would die, even though an extremely long 
life, was granted him. After his death and that of the rest 
of mankind would come the resurrection and the judgment, 
which would settle whether men should or should not pass 
on into a life of happiness in the new world. This is the 
theory presented in 4 Ezra and in the Apocalypse of Baruch. 
It is noticeably similar to that of Paul in 1 Corinthians xv. 
and to the vision of the End and of the New Creation in 
Revelation xix.-xxii. It was probably held at least by some 
Rabbis, but in Judaism interest in eschatology gradually atrophied 
under the intenser study of the Law, and Christianity in the end 
accepted a simpler form, which identified the World to Come with 
the Days of the Messiah, and translated it from Earth to Heaven. 

The reason for the very sudden decline of Apocalyptic litera- causes of 
ture — for Ezra is not only the finest but almost the last of the ^^ °^' 
series — can be explained in the main by two considerations. The 
type of thought which it represents could not survive the dis- 
illusionment caused by the failure of Bar Cochba and the i&nal 
downfall of the Jewish state. In the second place, there seems 
to have been a considerable growth of what we should now call 
theosophy among the Jews, and the Rabbis set their faces sternly 
against it. At one time at least the first chapters of Genesis and 
of Ezekiel were forbidden to all under the age of thirty. The 


Rabbis were successful in their campaign, and the Apocalyptic 
literature probably went down together with the theosophy for 
which it provided so much tempting material. It revived again 
in the Middle Ages in the form of the Hekeloth, much of which 
is preserved in the Cabbala. In this fragments of the Apocalyptic 
literature can still be traced, though not in such a form as to be 
directly identical with the recensions which still survive. 

Conclusion. The Fall of Jerusalem, a.d. 70, marked the downfall of the 
priestly party and the disappearance of the Sadducees. Johanan 
ben Zakkai and the founders of the New Judaism were in sym- 
pathy with the Pharisees, on whose teaching the Rabbinical 
principles were mainly based ; and Sadducee and Boethusian 
became terms of reproach. 

The common view that the Pharisees were a sect occupied 
in trivial matters of ritual, and making the Law intolerable 
by their traditions, is as erroneous as that the Sadducees wetje 
worldly men promoting scepticism in faith and laxity in conduct. 
In many instances the Sadducees demanded more from their 
followers than their rivals ; and the Pharisaic traditions made 
the Law easier to obey. The allegation that the Sadducees not 
only denied the Resurrection, but also rejected all the prophets, 
is probably based on the legend which connected this dis- 
credited party with the Samaritans. 

The fundamental difference between the Pharisees and the 
other sects seems to have been that, whereas Essenes, Sadducees, 
and the Covenanters of Damascus always looked to the past, they 
took count of the present and the future. In their hands, not in 
those of the Sadducees or Samaritans with their unchangeable 
law, or of the Covenanters with their ideal of an Israel in the 
desert, or of the Apocalyptists with their fantastic history, or of 
the 'Ame ha- Ares with their uninstructed piety, lay the future of 



By The Editors 

The name in the Bible for the scattered Jewish communities the 
was "The Captivity," the late Greek equivalent being SiacrTropd,^ in the o.t. 
Dispersion ; but the word " sojourner " always applied with 
peculiar force to the nation of Israel. The patriarchs were 
wanderers, and even in their most prosperous days their 
descendants occupied only portions of Palestine by a precarious 
tenure. The kingdom, from the accession of Saul to the 
fall of Samaria in 722 B.C., can scarcely have lasted much 
more than three hundred and fifty years. Even during that 
period the Israelite nation never possessed a great part 
of the country claimed as its inheritance, and Galilee was 
called " the circuit " {Galil) of the Gentiles.2 After 722 B.C., 
those who claimed to be genuine sons of Jacob occupied only 
the highlands of Judah and Benjamin, a few villages aromid 

^ See note by J. H. Ropes in the International Critical Commentary on the 
Epistle of James, p. 120 ff. The word dtaa-iropd is comparatively rare in the 
LXX. and is never used to translate nSu, though in later Hebrew, as the title 
KnVij TNT of the Prince of the exiles in Babylon testifies, it was the equivalent 
of diaairopa. As Dr. Ropes remarks, " It is not a regular representative of 
any Hebrew word." In the LXX. it has generally the sense of violent dis- 
persion, as of a discomfited army. 

2 Isaiah ix. 1. See also 1 Kings ix. 11. Galilee means the "circuit," and 
is always used with the article. In 2 Kings xv. 29, Galilee is described as 
" all the land of Naphtali." In the story of the birth of Jacob's sons Naphtali 
is said, like Gad, Asher, and Dan, to be the son not of a wife, but of a concubine, 
i.e. of mixed, not of pure race. Gen. xxx. 8. 



Jerusalem. From a very early time the outskirts of the Israehte 
territory had been subject to frequent raids, and the appearance 

(a) Assyria, of the Assyrian armies was marked, not by one, but by 
many captivities. Thus in the days of Pekah Tiglath-pileser 
carried away a large number of captives from northern 
Palestine, Gahlee, and Gilead.^ When Sargon took Samaria 
the inhabitants of the district were transplanted, some as 
far as Media. ^ His son Sennacherib boasts that he took 
captive no less than two hundred thousand Judeans.^ So 
far as we are able to judge these exiles did not retain 
their customs nor their rehgion, but amalgamated with the 
surrounding nations. Still there is no reason why the later 
captives from Judah should not have found the ground of a 
religious settlement prepared for them by their countrymen.* 
In the sixth century B.C. the deportations were carried on, in 

(&) Babylon, perhaps a more systematic fashion, by the Babylonian Nebuchad- 
nezzar. At any rate, the ties with the old country were not 
completely broken, and the Jewish settlements retained their 
distinctive features.^ From the later books of the Old Testa- 
ment, however, it is plain that the Temple at Jerusalem, even 
when it lay in ruins, attracted pilgrims and was regarded as a 
pecuharly sacred spot.^ The policy of the great king was not 
to make his deportations on a large scale, but to select the best 
and richest for removal, leaving the common people behind to 
cidtivate the land.' From the days of the Babylonian captivity 
the strength of Judaism was in the East rather than in Judaea. 

(c) Egypt. But if the Jews were being deported eastward there was a 

1 2 Kings XV. 29. 2 2 Kings xvii. 6. 

' Taylor Cylinder, see King, First Steps in -Assyrian, p. 61 ; and Ball, Light 
from the East, p. 187. 

* Josephus, Anliq. xi. 5. 2, at ot oe/ca <pv\al irepav dclv Ei' ^pdrou ews Sevpo, 
fivpidSei direipoi Kal dpiO/jiu yvuadi^vai fir] ovi^a./jiet'ai. Cf. also Tobit i. 14, where 
it is implied that the sons of tribes in captivity remained true to their religion. 
Cf. E. Schurer, G.J. V. vol. iii. p. 8. 

^ 2 Kings xxiv. 14 ; Jer. Iii. 24-25. For the maintenance of a connection 
between the exiles and the Jews see Jer. xxiv., Ez. viii. 16, and passim, 
Zech. vi. 

^ Jer. xli. 5. ' Jer. xxxix. 10, Iii. 16 ; 2 Kings xxv. 11. 


voluntary migration southward. Since the days of Isaiah, at 
any rate, Egypt had had an attraction for Israehtes. "When 
Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Babylonians the Jewish 
exiles formed a colony at Tahpanes (Daphne).^ Under the 
Persian rule in Egypt they evidently enjoyed the protection of 
the conquerors, and established themselves as far south as the 
first cataract at Yeb (Elephantine). A flood of light has been 
shed on this Jewish settlement by the discovery of the Mond- 
Cecil papyri, a series of family deeds, one dated possibly as early 
as 494 B.C. 2 The community had for years enjoyed the right of 
having its own temple with its altar and sacrifices, and was under 
protection of the Persian viceroy. It was evidently composed 
of prosperous traders ; and though it incurred the enmity of the 
Egyptian priesthood, it was on friendly terms with the people. 
These Egyptian Jews maintained a connection with the temple 
at Jerusalem and the High Priest. 

The Old Testament supplies evidence that the Jews were (d) Persia, 
numerous and influential in the Persian Empire, whose founder, 
Cyrus, was regarded as their special protector, and his son, 
Cambyses, sanctioned their worship in Egypt when he sup- 
pressed the native religion.^ Nehemiah received his appoint- 
ment as Governor of Judaea at Susa (Shushan) in Persia,* and 
the scene of the Book of Esther is laid in the same place. ^ 
Thus by the commencement of the fourth century before 
Christ there were Jewish communities in Upper Egypt, Meso- 
potamia, Persia, and Media. 

With the appearance of Alexander the Great in Syria, Judaism Aiexancier 
entered upon a new phase. Hitherto it had belonged to the 

^ Jer. xliii. 7. Tho prophet addresses the Jews at Migdol, Tahpanes, Noph, 
and in the country of Pathros, Jer. xliv. 1. 

^ A. van Hoonacker, Une Communauie judeo-arameenne, etc. (Schweich 
Lectures, 1914). The papyri are family deeds purchased by Mr. Robert Mond 
and Lady William Cecil in 1904, and published at Mr. Mond's expense by 
A. H. Sayce and A. E. Cowley, entitled Aramaic Papyri discovered at Assuan, 
1906. In 1907 Prof. Sachau edited Drei aramdische Papyrusurkunden 
ana Elephantine. Berlin. 

» Sachau, op. oil. i. 13-14. ♦ Neh. i. 1. , » Esther i. 6. 


East, now it was to assimilate itself to the West also. When 
Hebrew ceased to be in common use, the Jews adopted Aramaic, 
a kindred language originally spoken by the tribes to the east of 
Palestine, the dialects of which were current in the fifth century 
B.C. from the Nile to the Tigris ; but henceforward Greek was to 
be also a vehicle of Jewish thought. For the visit of Alexander 
to Jerusalem Josephus is our sole authority,^ and his narrative 
is not easy to reconcile either with that in the canonical book of 
Nehemiah, nor with the Mond papyri ; since the events of the 
fifth and fourth centuries B.C. are inextricably confused. 
Narrative According to Josephus, after the capture of Tyre, Alexander 

o osep us. ^^g visited by Sanballat, a Cuthaean, who had been sent by 
Darius Codomannus as governor of Samaria. Manasseh, the 
brother of Jaddua, the High Priest, contrary to the law had 
espoused Nicaso, Sanballat's daughter ; and Sanballat had 
promised him a more valuable priesthood than that of the Temple, 
together with the government of the fertile territory of Samaria. 
Taking advantage of a sedition in Jerusalem and the fact that 
Jaddua had provoked Alexander by his obstinate loyalty to 
Darius, to whom he had sworn allegiance, Sanballat obtained 
permission to erect a Temple on Mount Gerizim and to instal 
Manasseh and his followers, who had deserted Jaddua. Alexander 
in the meantime marched to Jerusalem to punish the High 
Priest.2 But when the army reached Sapha (Mizpah, now 
Nebi-Samwil) the High Priest came forth at the head of the 
people in his sacred garments. To the surprise of all, Alexander 
fell down before Jaddua in adoration, and when Parmenio, his 
general, asked the reason, he declared that he did not adore the 
priest but the God of the Jews ; for he had had a vision of a 
man like Jaddua when he was in Macedonia who promised that 
God would conduct his army and give him dominion over the 
Persians. 3 Accordingly he granted all the requests preferred 

^ Joseph. Antiq. xi. 8. 1-7. ^ Antiq. xi. 8. 5. 

' Antiq. xi. 8. 5, /cat irpbs i/j-avrbv SiaaKeirTOixivo: jxol irihs ^v Kpar-qaaifxi ttjs 
'Acrlas, TrapexeXeveTo fxr] fieWeiv dWa dapaovvra dia^alvei-v ' avrbs yap riyrjaeadai 
/jLOi TTJS (TTparias /cat ttjc Ilepcrwj' napaSibaeiv dpxV"- 


to him by the High Priest, allowed the Jews the free exercise 
of their religion in Judaea and also in Babylon and Media, 
exempted them from taxation every seventh year, and offered 
to those who would enUst in his army the right to adhere to 
their ancestral customs. Alexander, says Josephus, was the 
more ready to favour the Jews because he had been shown the 
Book of Daniel and understood that his conquest of Persia had 
been foretold. The Samaritans laid claim to the same privi- 
leges, declaring that they too were Israelites, and tracing their 
pedigree to Joseph. They admitted that they were not Jews : 
and Alexander neither granted nor refused their request.^ He 
commanded Sanballat's troops to follow him to Egypt, and 
granted them lands in the Thebaid. The Temple on Gerizim 
remained, and became the resort not only of the Samaritans, but 
of all discontented Jews.^ In 331 B.C. Alexander went down to 
Egypt, and in the winter laid the foundation of Alexandria, in 
which he settled a number of Jews. 

There is, as has been indicated, a starthng anachronism Discrepancy 
between Josephus and the canonical book of Nehemiah, the 
scene of which is Jerusalem in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, 
445 B.C. According to this, Sanballat was the principal adversary 
of Nehemiah. He was a Horonite, whose daughter was married 
to a grandson of the High Priest Eliashib.^ Similarly in the 
Mond papyri the Jews in Egypt complain to the sons of Sanballat 
of the destruction of their Temple at Yeb in the fourteenth year 
of Darius Nothus, 411 B.C., thus confirming the statement in 
Nehemiah that Sanballat lived a century before Alexander the 
Great. Nevertheless, Josephus is probably right when he hints 
that Alexander was desirous of conciliating both the Jews and 
the Samaritans, and it is noteworthy that he admits that the 
latter were reinforced by Jewish schismatics. It has been pointed 
out that the constant intercourse between the Jews of Jerusalem 
and their brethren in the East must have made them invaluable 
as guides to an army, like that of Alexander, destitute of maps 

1 Antiq. xi. 8. 6. ^ Aniiq. xi. 8. 7. 3 Neh. xiii. 28. 


and topographical knowledge : ^ and they also possessed many 
qualities useful to settlers in a new commercial capital like 
Alexandria. The Hellenisation of Judaism may therefore well 
be traced to the days of Alexander the Great. 

The early dispersion was undoubtedly eastward, and in the 
enumeration of those who were in Jerusalem on the day of 
Pentecost the first mentioned in Acts are Parthians, Medes, 
Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia,^ all inhabitants of 
lands then outside the limits of the Roman Empire. Of this 
dispersion we learn nothing further from Acts ; but its importance 
to a student of Christian origins is not inconsiderable, as it was 
through the Jewish settlements that Christianity spread eastward 
as well as westward. The diffusion of Christianity eastward is, 
however, a subject on which we have no precise information. 
Acts, our sole contemporary authority, is silent, and tells of no 
missionary work outside Palestine, save that undertaken by Paul 
and Barnabas. Nevertheless, the early and widespread Christian 
legend that the Twelve, some years after the Ascension, divided 
the known world among themselves into spheres of missionary 
labours shows the belief that from the first Christians travelled 
far and wide preaching the Gospel ; and for such labours an 
extensive Jewish dispersion was a valuable if not indispensable 
assistance. But though this legend may be as old as the second 
century,^ the scenes of the labours of the Apostles are as miknown 
to Eusebius as they are to us. For their journeys eastward he 
has nothing on which to rely, except the Abgar legend, which 
makes Thomas send Thaddeus * (Addai) to Edessa in fulfilment 
of the promise of the Saviour. In enumerating the parts of 
the world in which the apostles preached Christ, he has to 

^ Cf. MahafEy, The Empire of the Ptolemies, p. 85 : " Hence to an invader of 
Asia who had no maps, no full information as to the routes and resources for 
feeding an army, no organised system of interpreters, these Jews were the 
natural intelligence department." 

2 Acts ii. 9. 

^ Lipsius in Diet. Christian Biography, art. " Apocryphal Acts." 

* H.E. ii. 1. 


rely solely on the New Testament and a statement in Origen's 
Commentary on Genesis which alludes to Thomas having preached 
in Parthia. 

The Parthian Empire, which rose during the decay of the («) in the 
Seleucids, was one of the most warlike, if the least civihsed of Empire, 
the great monarchies of the Ancient East. But if the remains 
of its buildings and sculpture are rude and barbarous compared 
to what the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks have 
left in this part of the world, the Parthians had mihtary ability 
enough to hold the Romans at bay in the days of the later republic 
and earlier Empire ; and except imder Marcus AureUus, when 
Avidius Cassius invaded the coimtry, no expedition against them 
proved in the end successful. Extending from the Euphrates 
almost to the frontiers of Hindostan, the Parthian dominions 
divided the civilised world known to classical antiquity with the 
Roman. Even Palestine was not safe from the Parthian armies, 
and Josephus has repeatedly indicated their importance in Jewish 
politics. The crushing defeat of Crassus in 54 B.C. is only alluded 
to in passing ; ^ but a few years later the country was overrun 
by the Parthians, who took Jerusalem and placed Antigonus, 
the son of Hyrcanus's brother Aristobulus, on the throne.^ 
Josephus in the later books of the Antiquities shows further 
interest in the affairs of Parthia. He mentions that about 
36 B.C. the command of Tiberius Vitellius, the imperial governor 
of Syria, made a treaty with Artabanus III., King of Parthia, 
who had been deposed but had recovered his kingdom. On this 
occasion Herod Antipas played a prominent part. Vitellius and 
Artabanus met in the middle of a bridge made across the Euph- 
rates and were entertained magnificently by Antipas. Among the 
presents of the Parthians to the Romans was a Jewish giant 
named Eleazar who was seven cubits high. Antipas on this 
occasion incurred the enmity of Vitellius by sending the news 
of the completion of the treaty to Tiberius more speedily,^ 

^ Antiq. xiv. 7. .3. - Antiq. xiv. 13. 

' Antiq. xviii. 4. 4-5. 



showing that the tetrarch was deeply involved in Parthian 
poUtics, and was in closer touch with the Emperor than even the 
governor of an imperial province like Syria. 

A light is shed on the number, the power, and the turbulence 
Aniiaeus. of the Jcws in Parthia by the story of the two brothers Asinaeus 
and Aniiaeus, related by Josephus.^ They were natives of the 
city of Nahardea near Nisibis and were apprenticed to a cloth 
weaver. As, however, he presumed to chastise them, they left 
his house, taking with them weapons, and estabMshed themselves 
in a place between two rivers which, in addition to its strength, 
was well suited for cattle. There they built a fortress and 
exacted tribute from the neighbourhood, and soon became so 
sufficiently formidable as even to excite the apprehension of 
King Artabanus. An army was equipped by the governor of 
Babylonia ; and it was decided to attack their stronghold on the 
Sabbath day, when they, as Jews, might be expected to be 
inactive. But Asinaeus, disregarding the scruples of some of 
his followers, boldly led forth his troops and gained a complete 
victory over the royal army. Artabanus, seeing that it was 
necessary to conciliate the two brothers, sent for them under safe- 
conduct, which he refused to violate, though urged to do so by 
his generals. On his return from the royal presence Asinaeus 
became more powerful than ever, and for fifteen years he and 
Aniiaeus were the most honoured satraps in Mesopotamia. 

At the end of this period Aniiaeus married a Parthian lady, 
whose husband he had previously killed in battle. Like 
Rachel, also a native of Mesopotamia,^ she took away with her 
her ancestral images, and, to the great scandal of the Jewish 
community, persisted in worshipping them. Asinaeus was at 
last induced to remonstrate, whereupon the lady, fearing his 
influence with her husband, poisoned him, and Aniiaeus reigned 

^ Antiq. xviii. 9. 1-9. 

2 Gen. xxxi. 30-35. Rawlinson, Sixth Great Monarchy, p. 400, has some 
interesting remarks on the use of teraphim or household images by the Parthians, 
who were nominally Zoroastrians, and therefore, like the Jews, averse to image 


alone. Even then his good fortune did not desert him. Sup- 
ported by his countrymen he was able to defeat Mithradates, 
the son-in-law of King Artabanus ; and a war ensued between 
the Jews and Babylonians. In the end Anilaeus was betrayed 
and killed whilst overcome by drink. After his death the Jews 
took refuge in Seleucia in Mesopotamia, which was inhabited 
by a mixed population of Greeks and Syrians. Joining the 
latter in sedition, the Jews were betrayed by their allies : fifty 
thousand were slain, and many fled to the adjacent royal 
city of Ctesiphon. This happened about a.d. 41 when the 
unanimity which Greeks, Syrians, and Babylonians showed 
in their animosity forced the Jews to entrench themselves 
in Nahardea and Nisibis.^ This narrative reveals some- 
thing of the character of the Jewish inhabitants in the 
Parthian Empire, their aptitude for war, their tendency 
to brigandage, their devotion to their ancestral customs, 
and their unpopularity with the people among whom they 

That the Jews extended their influence by making proselytes (6) Helena 
is shown in the case of Izates, Kjng of Adiabene, and his mother, ^AdiTbene. 
Helena. 2 The conversion of this powerful and successful monarch 
was begun by a Jewish merchant named Ananias, who, however, 
refused to advise that Izates should incur the risk of offending 
his subjects by being circumcised. A more earnest Jew, however, 
named Eleazar, persuaded the king to submit to the rite. Despite 
the hostility of his brothers, some of w^hom he sent as hostages 
to Claudius to Rome and others to Parthia, he maintained 
himself on the throne of what in modern parlance would be 
called a " buffer " kingdom between the rival empires. After 
encountering many perils and having been the means of restoring 
Artabanus to his throne, Izates died, and his body and that of 
his mother, Helena, were sent by Monobazus, his successor, for 
interment at Jerusalem. 

^ Antiq. xviii. 9. 9. 2 Antiq. xx. 2, 1-5, 3. 1-4, 4. 1-3. 



(c) Jews in So important was the dispersion among the Parthians in 
Media, Lnd the cycs of Josephus that his first literary efiort was a history 
Eiam. ^£ ^j^g Jewish war, written especially for the Jews of the East.^ 

Of Jews in Parthia proper, or the district supposed to have 
been the home of the Parthians, we have a record preserved in 
the Chronicle of Eusebius, George Syncellus, and Orosius, that 
Artaxerxes Ochus about 350 B.C. transported some rebellious 
Jews from Egypt to Hyrcania by the Caspian Sea, where there 
were still Jews in the fifth century a.d.^ In Media there was a 
Jewish community at a place called Gazaca, so ignorant that 
they had never heard of the Halaka (rules for observing the law) ; 
and when Akiba told them the stories of the Flood and of Job, 
they were quite new to them.^ In Elam or Persia there had, as 
has been shown, long been Jews in Susa or Shushan, but there is 
no evidence of their presence elsewhere. There remains in the 

(d) Meso- catalogue of Acts ii. only Mesopotamia, which was undoubtedly 

one of the greatest Jewish centres in the world.* Two cities, 
Pumbeditha and Nahardea, were afterward famous in the 
Talmud as academies of rabbinical learning. The only other 

(e) Arabia. Eastcm couutry mentioned in Acts is Arabia,^ which according 

to Josephus was immediately adjacent to Palestine.^ From 
Galatians i. 17, where Paul says he went to Arabia and returned 
{vTreaTpeyjra) to Damascus, it might be inferred that Damascus 

^ Proem, ad B.J. The Prince of the Captivity who was the head of the 
Jews in Mesopotamia, and claimed to represent the family of David, is said 
to have been recognised by the Parthians. See Jewish Encyclopaedia, art. 
" Exiliarch." 

^ Juster, Les Juifs dans VEmpire romain, vol. i. p. 203 ; Orosius 3. 7. 6. 

^ Juster, op. cit. vol. i. p. 203, note 2. Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud, 
pp. 375, 392. 

* Juster, op. cit. vol. i. p. 201, gives a list of towns east of the Euphrates 
in which there is evidence for the presence of Jews. The testimony is, how- 
ever, in many cases so late that our knowledge of the actual condition of the 
Dispersion in the first century a.D; besides what we find in Josephus and Acts 
is very scanty. He enumerates twenty-six towns or countries. Of these 
eleven are first mentioned by Christian writers after the middle of the fourth 
century, and twelve occur in the Talmud as cited by Neubauer, the earliest 
part of which, the Mishna, was not written before the second or third centuries 
A.D. For Jews in Edessa in the first century see Burkitt, Early Eastern Chris- 
tianity, p. 16. * Acts ii. 11. * Antiq. xviii. 5. 1, 


was outside its borders.^ In the peninsula of Arabia there were 
undoubtedly Jewish settlements ; but only four towns are 
mentioned as such, and the evidence for some of these is 
actually as late as the Mohammedan Era.^ 

In Palestine the Jews were more truly a Dispersion than Dispersion 
inhabitants of their own land. In the days of the Maccabees, Palestine. 
for example, Galilee had so few Jews that they could be rounded 
up and settled around Jerusalem by Judas.^ Bashan and Gilead, 
afterward the DecapoHs and Perea, were covered with cities 
with Greek or Macedonian names, as was also the coast.* The 
great herd of swine on the shores of the lake of Galilee may be 
cited as evidence of a large Hellenic or non- Jewish population.^ 
At Caesarea the Jewish inhabitants provoked the Greek majority 
by their claims to control the city, and the Jewish war began 
by an insult to their synagogue. Sebaste was practically a 
heathen city, and joined mth Caesarea in celebrating the death 
of Agrippa with indecent manifestations of dehght.^ Tiberias 
in Galilee was largely Gentile, as it was considered by Jews to 
be unclean, being built over an ancient burying-place.' When 
Jesus sent his disciples to visit the cities and villages of Galilee 
he warned them, " Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into 
a city of the Samaritans enter ye not. This is a conclusive 
proof that in the time of Christ it was necessary for an 
Israelite travelling in Palestine to discriminate between one 
of his own towns and those of strangers.^ 

Syria, according to both Josephus ^ and Philo,^° was a great In Syria. 
centre of the Dispersion, It may be meant by " Judaea " in 
Acts ii., for which it is substituted by Jerome, whereas Tertullian 

^ For the meaning of " Arabia " from Herodotus onwards see Conybeare 
and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, vol. i. p. 117. Justin, Trypho, 78, 
says Damascus did belong to Arabia, but had been assigned in his day to 

^ Juster, op. cit. vol. i. p. 203, note 4. '1 Mace. v. 23. 

* Cf. such names as Dium, Pella, Anthedon, etc. etc. 

6 Mark v. 1 ff. ; Matt. viii. 28 fif. ; Luke viii. 26. 

« Antiq. xix. 9. 1. ; B.J. ii. 14. 4. ' Matt. x. 5; cf. Judg. xix. 12. 

8 Antiq. xviii. 2. 3. -9 j^j, vii. 3. 3. 

" Legal. § 32 (Mangey, ii. 582). 


has Armenia.^ Syria included the Roman province and Palestine, 
Commagene, Emesa, Abilene, and the kingdom of Chalcis. 
Forty-one cities have been enumerated in this district as having 
Jewish inhabitants, more than half being in Palestine. These 
extend from Samosata in the north to Raphia in the south. 
The towns outside the Holy Land, of which it can be said 
that there are traces of Jewish settlements anterior to 
A.D. 100, are Antioch, Seleucia, Apamaea, Arados, the kingdom 
of Chalcis, the tetrarchy of Abilene ruled over by the Herods, 
and Damascus. 2 
(a) Antioch. Antioch, which played so important a part in the early history 
and development of Christianity, evidently contained many 
Jews, who must have constantly been there at any rate since 
Palestine passed mider the Syrian monarchy in 198 B.C. Josephus 
says that Seleucus Nicator gave the Jews the privilege of citizen- 
ship, and all their rights were restored after the death of their 
enemy, Antiochus Epiphanes. When Titus visited the city in 
A.D. 70 the Jews were both numerous and unpopular.^ Four of 
the names of the five given in Acts xiii. 1 as inaugurating 
the mission to the Gentiles, Barnabas, Simeon, Manahem, the 
foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul, are markedly 
Jewish. The frequent warnings of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, 
early in the second century, against Judaising, indicate that he 
may have presided over a Christian community surrounded by 
Jews,* and John Chrysostom three centuries later preached 
frequently at Antioch against them.^ 

^ Is it possible that Judaea in Acts ii. means that Syria is the hxnd of Israel 
in its fuUest extent from the river of Egypt to Hamath ? In this case it would 
come next to Mesopotamia working eastward. In Luke iv. 44, et's ras crwaywyai 
T^s 'louSaias must mean the sjmagogues of northern Palestine, i.e. Galilee, 
the Decapolis, and places visited by our Lord, and not the territory of Judaea 
proper. See Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud, p. 5. 

2 Juster, op. cit. vol. i. p. 194. 

® Joseph. Antiq. xii. 3. 1 ; B.J. vii. 3. 3, vii. 5. 2. 

* Ignatius, Magnesians, c. 10. 

' See Juster, Les Juifs dans VEmpire romain, vol. i. pp. 62, 195. He points 
out that H. Winckler (" Die Golah in Daphne," AUorientalische Forschungen, 
2te Reihe 3. 408-424, 1901) and also A. Marx try to prove that the settlement 
of Jews at Antioch was very early. 


Damascus was also important as a Jewish centre, though the (6) Damas- 
evidence for the presence of a Dispersion rests chiefly on the 
New Testament and Josephus.^ According to the latter the 
Jews must have been very numerous, as 10,000, or even 18,000, 
were massacred in the Jewish war.^ It is generally assumed by 
commentators that Damascus was mider the jurisdiction of 
Aretas, but this may be due to a misunderstanding of Paul's 
words in 2 Cor. xi. 32. Damascus was one of the cities of the 
Decapolis ; at least according to Pliny the Elder, who died in 
A.D. 79. These cities were a confederation of Greek towns 
bound together by common sympathy and interest. Probably 
it was formed when Pompey liberated the Hellenic cities from 
the Jewish domination into which they had been brought by 
Alexander Jannaeus. Despite its large Jewish colony, Damascus 
was essentially Greek in the days of the Acts, and the coins when 
the city was autonomous all bear the names of Greek deities, 
especially Zeus.^ Under Augustus and Tiberius there were 
imperial coins of the city, but there is a gap after them till the 
time of Nero. It has been consequently inferred from 2 Cor. xi. 32 
that, during the principates of Caligula and Claudius, the govern- 
ment of Damascus passed into the hands of Aretas. But, 
in view of the undoubted fact that Damascus was essentially 
an Hellenic city and therefore since Pompey's time most un- 
likely to be placed under a Semitic ruler, it is possible that 
6 e6vdp')(ri<; * 'Apera tov i3aac\60)<; e^povpec rrjv ttoXiv tmv 
AafxaaKtjPMv means that Aretas's officer was watching outside 
and not inside the walls to prevent Paul from escaping.^ 

The provinces of Asia Minor enumerated in Acts ii. are asia 


^ For the Covenanters of Damascus see pp. 97 ff. 

2 B.J. ii. 20. 2 ; vii. 8. 7. 

3 Schurer, G.J. V. ii. pp. 47 and 150 ff. 

■* For the meaning of the word ethnarch see Lake, Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 
p. :}22. 

^ See the note in McGiifert's Apostolic Age, p. 164. He docs not offer this 
suggestion, though he gives the gist of the difficulty as to the position of 
Aretas, for whose authority in Uaniascus there is no evidence besides 
2 Corinthians save the negative one of the coins. 


Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, and Bithynia. In Acts vi. we find a 
synagogue of Cilician Jews ; and 1 Peter is addressed to Galatia 
and Bithynia in addition to the provinces above mentioned. 
Phrygia, whicli occurs in Acts ii., was not a province, but a 
district, part in Asia and part in Galatia. Of these seven 
provinces, into which, with dependent kingdoms, the peninsula 
was divided, no towns of Cappadocia, Pontus, or Bithynia are 
named in the New Testament, but in all the other cities which 
are mentioned Jewish commmiities are assumed to exist. Nothing 
is said of Paul's work in Perga of PamphyKa, where he landed, 
but at Pisidian Antioch he and Barnabas found a synagogue,^ 
where Paul made his address. It is the same with Iconium in 
the south of the Roman province of Galatia.^ Ephesus in Asia 
was evidently an important Jewish centre. The Jews of Asia 
at Jerusalem accused Paul of bringing Greeks within the pre- 
cincts of the Temple.^ But there is no necessity to labour to 
prove the wide difiusion of the Jev/ish commimity in this part 
of the Roman Empire.* 
Macedonia, But for Acts, Scarcely anything would be known as to the Jews 
cypEus.' of Macedonia and Greece ; for excepting a statement in Philo ^ 
there is no other early evidence of their presence in the Balkan 
peninsula. Yet from Acts we learn that not only were there 
Jewish colonies in all the towns mentioned as visited by Paul, 
but that at great mercantile centres like Thessalonica and Corinth 
Jewish mobs were formidable disturbers of the peace. ^ Even 
at Athens, the centre of Hellenic culture, a city frequented by 
scholars, Paul could find a synagogue wherein to dispute with 
the Jews.' Cyprus, the ancient Kittim or Chittim, was known 

1 Acts xiii. 14. - Acts xiv. 1. ^ Acts xxi. 27 f. 

* Juster, Les Juifs, vol. i. 188-194, gives no less than seventy-one names of 
cities in Asia Minor in which the presence of Jews of the Diaspora has been 

5 Legatio 36. Agrippa in his letter to Caligula enumerates the Jewish 
colonies. In Europe the Jews were in Thessaly, Boeotia, Macedonia, AetoUa, 
Athens, Argos, Corinth, and in the most fertUe part of the Peloponnesus. They 
were also in the islands of Euboea, Cyprus, and Crete. 

8 Acts xvii. 5 f., xviii. 12 f. ' Acts xvii 17. 


to the ancient Hebrews as an isle in tlie Great Sea, and at Salamis, 
on its eastern extremity, there was evidently a Jewish population, 
as the word synagogue occurs not in the singular but in the 
plural.i Paphos, on the western side, was the seat of the govern- 
ment, where Paul and his companions met Sergius Paulus and 
his soothsayer the Jew Elymas. The revolt of the Jews of 
Cyprus was one of the most formidable of their uprisings in 
the days of Trajan and Hadrian.^ 

Cyrene was largely inhabited by Jews, said to have been Cyrene. 
settled by Ptolemy Lagus.^ From the days of Sulla they showed 
themselves exceedingly turbulent, and Lucullus, when he visited 
the country, had to allay their disorders.* Strabo, when he 
testifies to the widespread dispersion of the nation, says that 
in the city of Cyrene the Jews formed the fourth division of the 
population which consisted of citizens, husbandmen, strangers 
(fiiroiKoi), and Jews.^ Jewish settlements are frequently 
alluded to in the New Testament, yet no missionary is said to 
have visited the comitry, though the first preachers to the 
Gentiles at Antioch were men of Cyprus and Cyrene.^ 

In Egypt there is abundant evidence of Jewish settlements Egypt. 
in papyri, inscriptions, etc., and Philo, in his book against Flaccus, 
estimates that his countrymen numbered a million dwelling from 
the descent to Libya to the border of Ethiopia.' 

The Jewish community in Alexandria was one of the most Alexandria, 
numerous, wealthy, and privileged in the world. Founded by 
Alexander the Great as the mart to connect the East with the 

1 Acts sdii. 5. 

^ Juster, op. cit. p. 189; Dio Cassius Ixviii. 32. 

' Joseph. Contra Apion. ii. 4. 

* Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 7. 2 (quotes Strabo), Phitarch Lucullus. 

^ Joseph, i. c. Strabo the geographer (a.d. 12) is an authority for the dis- 
persion. " It is not easy," he says, " to find a place on earth which is not 
occupied by Jews." 

* Matt, xxvii. 32; ]Mk. xv. 21; Luke xxiii. 26 (Simon of Cyrene); Acts IL 
10; Acts vi. 9; Acts xi. 20; Acts xiii. 1. 

^ In Flaccum, 6, ovk dirod^ovcn ixvpidowv eKarbu oi ttjv 'AXe^di/dpeiav Kal ttjv 
X'ipa'' 'lovdaloL KaroiKOvvm diro tov vpbs Ai^injv Kara^adfiov /J^XP'- ''''^^ bpiwv 


West, it passed at his death into the hands of his general, Ptolemy 
Lagus, whose house proved almost invariably friendly to the 
Jews. Renomicing all ambitious schemes of world domination, 
the Ptolemies devoted their energies to the administration of 
the country which had fallen to their lot.^ Under them Egypt 
was governed as far as possible in accordance with its ancient 
customs, and enjoyed a period of remarkable prosperity. The 
dynasty aimed, not without success, at making Alexandria not 
only a prosperous mercantile community but the intellectual and 
even the religious capital of the Hellenic world. In the Museum 
we have a prototype of the modern collegiate foundation, with 
its chapel, library halls, and extensive courts, — even with its 
clerical president. The naturalist could study the animals of 
Africa in the Zoological Gardens. The great Temple of Serapis 
was dedicated to a God neither local nor national, but common 
to humanity, and the imposing ritual of the Isis worship spread 
from Alexandria throughout the world. In this cosmopolitan 
home of the culture of Hellenism the Jew found himself not a 
despised sojourner but an honoured citizen. His status was 
almost that of the Macedonian colonist, and he furnished 
the armies of the Ptolemies with useful troops.- His special 
quarter was on the shore east of the island of Pharos, which was 
perhaps the more agreeable because it was " harbourless," that 
is, remote from the noise and bustle of the trading district.^ But 
in most parts of the city Jews were to be found, and their 
synagogues were in difierent places. The most magnificent 
diwplustin is described in a horaitha in the Talmud.* It could 
contain twice the number of men who came out of Egypt at the 
Exodus. There were seventy-one golden seats, also seats of 

^ J. P. Mahaffy, Empire of the Ptolemies, p. 78. The great historic claim 
to honour of the first Ptolemy " was that he saw the need of abstaining from 
the imperial tradition of Alexander the Great and trying to be a benefactor 
{iiiep-yir-qs) to his subjects." Cf. Biggs, Christian Platonists of Alexandria. 

* Joseph. Contra Apionem, ii. 4. 

' Joseph. Contra Apionem, ii. 4; called the Delta, B.J. ii. 18. 8. 

* Talmud, Sukkah v. 


silver. Each trade sat apart — when a stranger came he sat with 
his trade and found employment. The voice of the reader could 
not be heard in so vast an assembly, so when the time came to 
say the " Amen " the attendants had to signal to the congregation 
by waving flags. Nowhere did the religion of the Jews excite 
more interest, if we may accept the story of the translation of 
the Law in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus under royal patron- 
age.^ Nowhere were the Jews safer from persecution than at 
Alexandria under the Ptolemies. Nowhere, perhaps in conse- 
quence, did Jews assimilate more readily the culture and 
philosophy of the Greeks. The legend says that its church was 
founded by Mark, but there are only two mentions of Alexandrian 
Judaism in the New Testament. 

The real interest of Judaism in Alexandria, however, centres Alex- 
neither in its history nor its extent, but in the type of literature litkratdeb. 

it produced. Here is found the earliest attempt to use the 
Greek language to express Hebrew thought. As the Alexandrian 
grammarians were the interpreters of the classics of Greece to 
the world, so the Alexandrian Jews expounded their own litera- 
ture. The translation known as the Septuagint was one of the ^"|,!^^® 
momentous events in history. In the second century B.C. ^^j Ecoiea- 
Jesus, the son of Sirach, says he came into Egypt and made a 'ast'cus. 
translation of a book of wisdom, written in Palestine by his 
grandfather, known to us as Ecclesiasticus. The so-called (c) The 

. . Wisdom of 

Wisdom of Solomon is supposed to have been written m soiomon. 
Alexandria, and gives us a picture of the Jewish commmiity 
in that city. The wicked are portrayed as ridiculing the ascetic 
life of the righteous, and preferring the pleasure of the moment 
to the burden of the Law. They utterly deny the future hfe. 
" The body," say they, " shall be turned into ashes, and our 
spirit shall vanish as soft air." ^ Their philosophy does not 
allow them to tolerate the righteous, whose very presence is 

^ Described in the Letter of Aiistcas, supposed to be a courtier of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus (287-247 B.C.), to his brother I'hilocr.xtes. It is undoubtedly of 
later date. 

" Wisdom ii. 3. 


a reproach to them : and they persecute them bitterly, even 
to the death. The author finds consolation in the thought that 
the righteous do not die ; "though they are punished in the sight 
of men," they have a hope " full of immortaUty." ^ The joy of 
the righteous is in the spirit of wisdom which, " entering into 
holy souls, makes them friends of God and prophets." ^ 

This religious tone, with tendencies towards asceticism, 
philosophy, and mysticism, seems to distinguish the Alexandrian 
from the Palestinian Jew ; but it is seen in its fulness in one 
extraordinary man, who but for Josephus and the Christian 
fathers might have passed into oblivion. Except for one incident 
in his life when he acted as the champion of his countrymen 
in Alexandria during the persecution in the days of Caligula, 
we have no information concerning Philo, the most remarkable 
of the Jews of the Dispersion in the first century, who combined 
philosophy with the strict and loyal observance of the Law of 
Moses. To the student of early Christianity, Philo is of supreme 
interest as a Jewish teacher who strove to construct a bridge to 
unite Hellenic culture to the reUgion of his ancestors. Though 
in no sense Christian, Philo is the parent of much Christian 
terminology and even theology ; and his writings indicate how 
the attempt was made to appropriate the wisdom of Greece 
and adapt it to the monotheism and ethics of Judaism. 
So far he is like Paul ; but as a Jew his whole attitude 
is orthodox, and unexceptional. Though his Bible is the 
Septuagint and his knowledge of Hebrew seems to have been 
imperfect, he was acquainted with the methods of interpreta- 
tion common in the Rabbinic teachers, and accepted to the 
full the consequences of a belief in the verbal interpretation 
of the Law. He regards Moses as the inspired teacher of all 
philosophy and the Pentateuch as the sum of wisdom. As to 
the obligation to keep the Law in its integrity, he has no doubt. 
Thus far Philo is an micompromising Jew. On the other hand, 
he does not regard the Law as given to a single nation, but as 

^ Wisdom iii. 1. ^ Wisdom vii. 27. 


containing a revelation to the world. The God revealed in it is 
conceived philosophically as transcendent, but mediated to the 
world by the Logos, or active divine intelhgence, the creative 
word and revealer of God, and also by the Xoyoi, or partial 
manifestations of Divine reason. 

Philo's theological ideas do not completely make a coherent 
system, and all his philosophy is influenced by ethical considera- 
tions. Here he is thoroughly in accord with his Christian suc- 
cessors, — for he was already an old man in a.d. 40, — who were 
enthusiastic in promoting the morality of the inspired Old 
Testament. The great difference between him and them was 
that Philo sought to make men recognise that the Law contained 
all true wisdom and was therefore apphcable to the whole w^orld ; 
whilst the Christian teachers gradually reached the position 
that Israel received the universal rehgion, not through the Law, 
but through the Messiah foretold by the prophets, whom they 
recognised in Jesus. Later generations, however, recognised 
an afl&nity between the Logos of Philo and the Logos incar- 
nate in Jesus, and welcomed this intensely Jewish Alexan- 
drian as a forerunner, if not actual adherent, of the Christian 

Judging by the philosophy of Philo, Alexandria would not 
be the place where the Christian message as originally presented 
would be acceptable. Messianism, however conceived, would 
not appeal to those who delighted in allegorical interpretation 
and philosophic treatment of scripture ; and possibly it was not 

* Philo's importance as an intermediary between Hellenistic Judaism, and 
consequently Christianity, and the philosophy of his age can hardly be over- 
estimated. Influenced perhaps by Posidouius he brought forward those 
principles of Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Stoicism which the fathers of 
the Church afterwards assimilated. There are bibliographies of the Philonic 
literature in Schiirer and Brehier, Idees de Philon d" Alexandrie. The best 
editions of the text are Mangey's, London, 1742, Holtsem, 1893-1901, and 
Cohn and Wendland (in course of pubUcation), though separate treatises have 
been edited by F. C. Conybeare {On the Conteinplative Life) and by Cumont 
(De aeternitate mundi). Drummoud, Philo Judaeus, and C. Bigg, Christian 
Platonists of Alexandria, are the best English authorities for reference. Philo 
has been translated in the Bohn series, 1854-55. 


till Christian piety began to see in Jesus the divine, pre-existent 
Logos that the new religion found a home there. 
Jkws in a chapter in 1 Maccabees relates the embassy sent by 

°^^' Judas to Rome. In 161 B.C., the last year of his life, Judas 

(a) Em- 
bassies of heard of the fame of the Romans, that they had subdued 

MLcabees. Gralatia and possessed the rich mines of Spain {'l^epta).^ The 
connotation of Gaul with Spain may possibly imply that Judas's 
informants, or rather those of the author of 1 Maccabees, were 
Jews who had come from the maritime cities of Provence and 
Spain, which had long been trade centres for Greeks and Cartha- 
ginians. Judas naturally knew of the victories of Rome nearer 
home over Philip, Perseus, and Antiochus.^ He had also received 
a garbled account of the Roman constitution. No Roman wore 
a crown or royal purple. Their rulers were three hundred and 
twenty and met in a senate-house every day. Each year they 
committed their government to one man to whom all were 
obedient, and thus there was neither strife nor emulation in 
Rome. The crudity of this account, especially the mention of 
only one instead of two consuls, shows that the description may 
have been almost contemporary ; for it represents what an 
Eastern people might be expected to report of a Western nation 
of which nothing was known save by hearsay.^ The embassy 
was favourably received and a treaty made,* which was twice 
renewed by the successors of Judas : ^ but nothing came of the 
Roman alliance except that it may have encouraged certain Jews 
to establish themselves in the city. 
(6) Expui- In 139 B.C., in the consulship of PopiUius Laetus and Marcus 
Jews. Calpurnius, the praetor jperegrinus forced the Jews to go back 

to their home for corrupting pubHc morals by their worship of 

1 1 Mace. viii. 1 ff. 

- 1 Mace. viii. 5. 6. Philip had been defeated at Cynoeephalae (197 B.C.), 
Antiochus at Magnesia (191 B.C.), and Perseus at Pydna (168 B.C.). 

^ 1 Mace. viii. 14-16. 

* 1 Mace. viii. 22-32; Josephus, Antiq. xii. 10. 6. 

^ 1 Mace. xii. 1-4. This is followed by a longer account of a treaty between 
the Jews and the Lacedaemonians, with whom they claimed kinship : xiv. 24 ff., 
XV. 16 ff. ; Joseph. Antiq. xiii. 5. 8, xiii. 7. 2, xiii. 9. 2. 


Jupiter Sabazius. Such is a statement found in Valerius Maxi- 
mus, but the meaning is uncertain.^ Perhaps the Jews tried to 
proselytise in favour of their God, Jahweh Sabaoth {Kvpco^ 
aa^acoO), in whom the Eomans saw the oriental Zeus Sabazius. 

After this nothing more is heard of the Jews in Rome till the (c) Pompey 
triumph of Pompey, when in 62 B.C. he brought many of them community 
captives. A large number of these were set free and obtained "* ^°'"*^" 
the citizenship, setthng in the district beyond the Tiber.^ They 
enjoyed the right of practising their national rehgion undisturbed, 
having their own synagogues, and collecting and remitting the 
Temple tax regularly to Jerusalem. The Jewish community 
formed a distinct feature in the life of the City. They are alluded 
to by contemporary social observers like Horace ^ and Juvenal.* 
When Cicero delivered his oration on behalf of Flaccus in 59 B.C. 
he declared that he had to beware of the Jews, many of whom were 
doubtless in the audience,^ and the lamentations of the Roman 
Jews at the tomb of Caesar, their generous protector, was a notable 
feature of the pub He distress.^ Under Augustus they were 
treated with marked favour, and of the nine synagogues, of 
which traces are preserved in inscriptions, one is that of the 
Augustesians and another of the Agrippesians — Jews of the 
household of Augustus and of his friend and minister Agrippa.' 

In the days of Tiberius another banishment of the Jews from (d) Jews 
Rome is recorded. A lady named Fulvia was swindled by a 
Jew who collected offerings to the Temple, and appropriated the 

^ Cf. E. Schiirer, G.J. V. vol. iii. p. 58. The words are " Idem (the praetor 
Hispalus) Judaeos, qui sabazi Jovis cuitu Roinanos inficere mores conati erant, 
repetere domos suas coegit." 

* Phil. Legal, p. 23, Trjv iripav tov TtjS^pews woTa/j.ov /xeyd'Kr]!' rijs 'Vw/xrjs 
awoTOfi-qv, sc. the Janiculum. 

3 Horace, Sat. i. 4, 14] -3. 

* Juvenal, Sat. iii. 12-16. » p^Q piacco, 28. 
^ Suetonius, Caesar, 84. 

' The other seven are the Volumnesians (BoXon/xi'T/ffiwi'), Campcsians 
(Campus Martius), Siburesians (Subura), a synagogue of kl^piujv (Hebrews), 
a synagogue " of the Olive," a synagogue BepvaKXrjcriitiu or BepvaKXihpwv (i.e. 
vernaculorum), and a synagogue KaXKaprjcriiov or limo-kiln workers. See 
Schiirer, O.J. V. vol. iii. pp. 83 IT. 


money. On the complaint of her husband Saturninus, Tiberius 
ordered the Jews to be expelled from the city, and four thousand 
were sent to penal servitude or to make war on the robbers in 
Sardinia. Josephus remarks that some refused to serve in the 
army on conscientious gromids.^ This was in a.d. 19, and it is 
said that the Emperor was influenced in his action by Sejanus.^ 
The Jews were allowed to return in a.d. 31,^ and Claudius at the 
beginning of his principate pubhshed an edict in favour of the 
Jews,* but later occurred the famous expulsion for tumults 
instigated by " Chrestus." ^ Such sporadic action on the part 
of the Grovernment was powerless to keep them out of the city : 
they soon flocked back and exercised a good deal of secret 
influence. They seem, from the inscriptions, to have had their 
own senates {yepovaLai), each with a president (yepova-idp-^rj^;) : 
their rulers {dpxovTe<;) are also mentioned.^ They enjoyed the 
patronage of great ladies like the Empress Poppaea, to whom 
Josephus owed an introduction through Ahturus, the Jewish 
actor.' The Herods mingled freely with the Roman aristocracy .^ 
Their religion was recognised, and of all inhabitants of the empire 
the Jews alone were exempted from adoring the Emperor. The 
influence of the early Jewish Christian community at Rome 
was evidently considerable, and disseminated by those who 
travelled far afield like Aquila and Priscilla.^ 

Of the Dispersion west of Rome we learn nothing from the 
New Testament, but it was already in existence, as Paul's desire 
to go to Spain seems to indicate.^" In fact the words of the Sibyl, 

^ Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 3. 5; Tacitus, Ann. ii. 85; Suet. Tiberius, 36. 

^ Euseb. Chronic, ed. Schoene, ii. 160, and see Schiirer, G.J.V. vol. iii. 
p. 61. 

^ Philo, Legal. 24. * Josephus, Antiq. xix. 5. 2. 

5 Acts xviii. 2; Suetonius, Claudius, 25. See also Dio Cassius, Ix. 6, 
according to whom Claudius merely forbade Jewish assembUes. Tacitus and 
Josephus say nothing about the expulsion. 

® Schiirer, op. cit. vol. iii. pp. 84 fit. 

' Vita, 3. ^ Supra, pp. 14 ff. 

^ Aquila and PrisciUa are at Corinth, Acts xviii. 2 ; Ephesus, Acts xviii. 26, 
and Rome (or Ephesus ?), Rom. xvi. 3. 

" Romans xv. 28. 


which may be as early as 140 B.C., may be applied to the Dis- 
persed of Israel : 

rrrdaa Se yata (xeOev irXtjprj^; koI nracra OaXaaaa.^ 

The bonds of union which kept together as a single body a nation Unity of 
so widely scattered, numbering, it has been computed, as many jews. 
as from six to seven million souls, were stronger than those which 
the Jews have possessed since the destruction of that great 
centrahsing influence, the Temple of Jerusalem. How united 
in feeling were the Jews is shown in Acts in the unanimity 
with which they acted everywhere, except at Rome,^ in opposition 
to Paul. Jews in every part of the world were reminded of 
their common nationahty by the systematised order in their 

The Temple tax, based on a law in Exodus xxi. 2-6 : («) The 
" When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their shekel. 
number, then shall they give every man a ransom of his soul 
unto the Lord, when thou numberest them ; that there be no 
plague among them when thou numberest them. This they 
shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered 
half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty 
gerahs), an half-shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every 
one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty 
years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord. The 
rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less, when 
they give an offering unto the Lord to make an atonement for 
your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the 
children of Israel ; and shalt appoint it for the service of the 
tabernacle of the congregation." As in the time of Nehemiah 
the Jews at Jerusalem resolved to pay the third part of a shekel 
every year for the service of the sanctuary, it has been supposed 
that the law of the payment of the half-shekel is one of the latest 
parts of the Priests' Code. But the law does not appear to 
suggest that the payment was annual, but was only demanded 

1 Orac. Sybil, iii. 271. ' Acts xxviii. 21-22. 


when a numbering of the people took place.^ The tax was levied 
on every Jew of the age of twenty, and it was regarded as a 
privilege, as it was an open question whether a woman or a minor 
could offer it. The money was collected and stored in certain 
places for remittance to Jerusalem. ^ It was known in the first 
century as the hiZpa-)(^ixa, because, as it had to be paid in Tyrian 
money, "'tis ?1dD, the half-shekel, was equal to two drachmas of 
that coinage. It is so called in Josephus and in Matthew xvii. 24, 
where the stater is found in the fish's mouth to pay the tax for 
Jesus and Peter at the request of ol to StSpa'^/jia \a/ui/3dvovT€<;.^ 
After the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, the money 
was exacted as the fiscus Judaicus by the Roman Government. 
(6) Syna- The syuagoguc worship, it may be said without exaggera- 

wOTship. tion, proved to be the salvation of Judaism. The religion 
contemplated by the Law could only have been practised in 
Palestine, within easy distance of the Temple. As it was, the 
Jewish communities were kept together in every city and a 
worship was provided which could be practised anywhere, 
without sanctuary sacrifice or priesthood. 
Temple at The first direct notice of a Jewish community away from 

ep n me. pgjgg^jj^g jg \\^Q,t of the colouy of Ycb (Elephantine), which in 
the sixth century B.C. had a temple and altar of its own.* In 
the seventy-fourth Psalm the heathen are said to have destroyed 
all the " houses of God " ^n ■'~ri?lCi in the land. These have 
been explained as synagogues and the Psalm assigned to the 

1 Neh. X. 32 ; cf. Numb. i. 1 ; Schurer, p. 24, note 104; G.J.V. ii. p. 314, 
note 49. According to some authorities, 2 Chr. xxiv. 4-10 seems to contem- 
plate an annual tax. See also 4 Mace. iii. 20. 

^ Cf. especially Joseph. Antiq. xviii. 9. 1. One of the charges against 
Flaccus is that he would not allow the money to be sent out of his province 
of Asia to Jerusalem. Cicero, Pro Flacco, 23. 

* Schiirer, loc. cit. note 52; Matt. xvii. 24; Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 9. 1, 
calls this tax 8i5paxfJ-ov, in B.J. vii. 6. 6 8vo Spax/xds, in Antiq. iii. 8. 2 ffiKXov 
TO ^/utrv. The LXX. translates in Exodus xxx. 13, i^fiKTv toO didpaxp-ov, 
reckoning by the Alexandrian double drachma. For a fuller discussion see 
Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, art. " Money," by A. R. S. Kennedy. 

* The Temple at Yeb was spared by Cambyses (528-521 b.c.) when he 
destroyed the idolatrous temples of Egypt. Mond Papyri, vide supra. 


Maccabean period, so that the worship is thought to be traceable 
to that age. But the inference is precarious, and all that can be 
said with confidence is that in the days of the New Testament, 
Philo, and Josephus, synagogues were to be found throughout 
Palestine and Egypt and in every part of the Empire.^ Nay, so 
popular was this form of worship that, under the very shadow 
of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Jews of different nations had 
their synagogues.^ It is remarkable that " Luke " gives the only 
description of synagogue worship in the New Testament, as he 
does also of the Temple services ; and except for three brief 
notices from Philo, the third Gospel and Acts are our oldest 
authorities for the worship, the Mishna from which our main 
information is derived being some century or more later. Jesus, 
according to Luke iv. 16-21, entered the synagogue at Nazareth 
on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. He was given the scroll 
of Isaiah, and having read it he rolled it up and handed it to the 
attendant {uTrrjpeTr)) and sat down. He then expomided the 
passage he had read. When in Acts xiii. 15, Paul and Barnabas 
were in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch the " rulers " sent to 
them after the reading of the Law and the prophets to ask if 
they had aught to say. Thereupon Paul stood up and addressed 
the people. In Luke xiii. 14, the ruler {ap^La-vvdyo)'yo<;) is 
evidently responsible for order being maintained ; for he rebukes 
the woman for coming to the synagogue to be healed. Philo 
truly says that the distinctive feature of the synagogue worship 
was the reading of the Law ; ^ to which were added selections 

1 Schiirer remarks, O.J.V. vol. ii. p. 517 f., on the rarity of the use of the 
word synagogue, so common in the N.T., in Philo and Josephus. Philo, Quod 
omnis probus liber, c. 12, says of the Essenes, they come to Holy places which 
are called synagogues. But ordinarily he uses wpoaevxv (c^- Acts xvi. 13 and 
Josephus, Vita 54) : nor is it certain that he uses the word synagogue in our 
sense. Josephus has synagogue thrice : Anliq. xix. 6. 3 ; B.J. ii. 14. 4. 5., 
vii. 3. 3. 

^ Acts vi. 9. 

» Philo's descriptions of the synagogue are : (1) from the lost Hi/pothetica 
quoted in Euscbius, Praep. Evan. viii. 7; (2) De Septemrio. 6 (Maiig. ii. 
282); (3) Quod omnis probus liber, 12 (Mang. ii. 458); (4) De Somniis, ii. 18 
(Mang. i. 675). The passages are given in Schurcr, O.J. V. ii. pp. 527 f. 



from the prophets. But in the days of the New Testament at 
any rate instruction was a leading characteristic of the synagogues, 
and naturally disputation was combined therewith. Jesus is 
said to have taught, Paul to have disputed in them.^ The 
synagogue, moreover, seems to have been the centre of every 
Jewish community, each with a jurisdiction of its own. Indeed 
as early as the fourth Gospel the synagogue became a synonym 
for Judaism, and the term for excommunication was aTroa-vvd- 
70)709 ryeveadai.^ Two portions of the ancient hturgy of the 
first century are still in use. The Shema, " Hear Israel the 
Lord thy God is one Lord," consisting of Deut. vi. 4-9, xi. 13-21, 
Numb. XV. 37-41, and the Shemoneh Ezreh or " eighteen bene- 
dictions " with an added prayer against apostates. 
(c) study The study of the Law was the supreme duty of every Jew, 

and the result was an educational system which bound together 
the dispersed nation. Though some of the Law could only be 
observed in Palestine, such as attendance on the Temple services 
and the payment of the tithe of the produce of the Land, yet 
the Jews in heathen countries adhered to the Law as strictly as 
possible. Philo's liberalism, as shown by his Platonising ten- 
dencies, has no place for Jews who showed laxity in regard to 
their legal obligations.^ The children learned the Scriptures, 
like Timothy, the son of a Gentile father and Jewish mother, 
from infancy,* and before the legal age they were encouraged to 
practise such laws as fasting on the Day of Atonement and 
observing Tabernacles. A late tradition in the Baba Bathra in 
the Babylonian Talmud says that Jesus the son of Gamaliel 
(possibly High Priest a.d. 63-65) ordered that there should be 
teachers of boys in every province and every town.^ The 
rigidity with which separation from the Gentiles was practised 
is seen throughout the Pauline Epistles and Acts. The Hellenistic 
Jews were in fact active and zealous for the Law throughout the 

1 Mark i. 21 : Acts xviii. 4. - John ix. 22. 

' Philo, De migratione Abrahami (i. 950). * Acts xvi. 1 : 2 Tim. iii. l.j. 

* Baba Baihra 21a, quoted fully in Schiirer, G.J. V. ii. p. 494. 


Empire : and its observance kept them separate from other men, 
and miited to one another. 

The obligation to visit Jerusalem was felt by every Jew, as the (d) Visits to 
crowds which assembled on the occasion of the festivals testified. 
Naturally a Jew living in a comitry remote from the Holy City 
could rarely visit the Temple ; but Jerusalem was the heart of 
the whole system of the Dispersion. Thither the Jews crowded, 
and returned strengthened in their devotion and with a stronger 
sense of national unity. The Paschal season, according to the 
Talmud, was heralded by the repair of the bridges throughout 
Palestine and the whitening of the Sepulchres, the latter with 
the object of preventing the pilgrims mi wittingly incurring defile- 
ment.^ After the Jewdsh war the Roman Government, realising 
how great was the danger of Jerusalem becoming a centre of 
disafEection, prohibited the Jews from approaching the city, and 
the erection of the piuely Gentile city of Aelia Capitolina by 
Hadrian was a proof of the seriousness of their apprehension. 

The common immunities and privileges of the nation are (e) im- 
a standing proof of the wisdom and toleration of the Roman ^^^ 
Government, which mider no provocation allowed the Jews to Privileges. 
be persecuted for their religion. In this they followed the 
general policy of the Seleucids and Ptolemies, and their toleration 
extended to all nationalities in the Empire, which were allowed 
to maintain their peculiar customs and worship, and even to 
form communities of their own. The Jews, however, had such 
distinctive peculiarities that separate legislation was necessary 
to secure them. The Temple tax, which had been held back 
by Flaccus in Asia, under Augustus was allowed to be freely paid.^ 
Titus, in addressing the Jews, expressed his opinion that this 
concession was the greatest made by the Romans to their nation. 
" It can, therefore," he continued, " be nothing but the kindness 
of the Romans which hath excited you against us ; who in the 

^ Box, Religion and Worship of the Synagogue, p. 356, alluding to the Mishna, 
Shekalim 1. 

2 Philo, Legatio 23. 


first place have given you this land to possess : and in the next 
place have set over you kings of your own nation ; and in the 
third place have preserved the Laws of your forefathers to you, 
and have withal permitted you to live either by yourselves or 
among others ; and what is our chief favour of all we have given 
you leave to gather up the tribute which is paid to God, with 
such other gifts as are dedicated there ; nor have we called those 
who carried these donations to account, nor prohibited them till 
at length you became richer than we ourselves, even when you 
were our enemies : and you made preparation for war against us 
with our money." ^ These words, put into the mouth of Titus 
by Josephus, give a just description of the indulgent attitude of 
the Romans towards the Jewish people. In addition to this the 
observance of the Sabbath was carefully safeguarded, and the 
Jews were frequently exempted from military service. Josephus 
has carefully preserved the decrees in their favour ; and has 
recorded the indulgence shown to their prejudices by Julius 
Caesar and continued by Augustus. ^ In civil cases, according 
to Josephus, they enjoyed a separate jurisdiction. In Alexandria 
and Cyrene they formed a distinct community of their own, and 
in Rome each separate synagogue seems to have exercised its 
own jurisdiction. But the widespread belief that the Jewish 
authorities had power to arrest transgressors of the Law and to 
beat or imprison recalcitrant Jews throughout the empire is not 
supported by any further testimony than that of Acts. 

Proselytism was carried on during the first century with 
energy, and in the Gospel according to Matthew it is declared 
that the Pharisees would " compass sea and land to make one 
proselyte." ^ To Roman society Judaism was interesting, and 
not altogether unattractive. There was an air of mystery about 

- Josephus, B.J. vi. 6. 2 (Whiston's translation), t6 Sk fiiyiarov dacrfioXoyeiv 
re vtiiv eirl ry 0e<f) Kal avaBrjixara crvW^yeiv eveTp^xl/a/iiev, Kai rovs ravra (pipovras 
oSt' ivovdeTTjffafMev oSre iKioXvaafiev Iva -qfiiv yiv-qcrde TrXovaLwrepoL Kai irapatTKevaffr}- 
crde rots rnxeripois XP'^P-^'^'- 1^°-^' Vl^^v. 

* The edicts are quoted in Antiq. xiv. 10 and Antiq. xvi. 6. For the pohcy 
of Augustus, see Philo, Legatio 40. 

^ Matt, xxiii. 15. 


it ; the Jew was credited with supernatural powers, and the 
purity of his domestic Ufe commended itself to those disgusted 
with the relaxed morality of their age. It was in appeal to this 
feeling that Josephus, when he wrote his Life in the closing days 
of his career, thoroughly understanding those whom he was 
addressing, emphasised his unblemished j)riestly lineage, his 
father's piety, his own precocity in understanding the Law of 
God, and his asceticism in accustoming himseK to the three sects, 
and to the rigid discipline of the hermit Bannus.^ At the critical 
moment of his life he did not hesitate to declare himself a 
messenger sent by God to announce to Vespasian that he would 
possess the empire of the world, and evidently impressed the 
general and his son Titus with the idea that he was an inspired 
prophet.2 The very facts that the Jew worshipped a God whose 
name was unknown, and that he obeyed a law which to the 
world seemed unnatural and repugnant, contributed to surround 
him with an atmosphere of mystery so that men and especially 
women were irresistibly attracted towards so strange a religion, 
but it seems probable that many stopped short of complete 
adhesion to it. The synagogues, according to Acts, were largely 
attended by non-Jews,^ who seem to have been called " God- 
fearers,"* and there were persons who, even though, like Timothy, 
they were the children of a Jewish mother, and had received a 
careful instruction in the Scriptures, yet had never undergone 
the indispensable rite of circumcision. Submission to this pain- 
ful and even dangerous ordinance had the effect of making many 
men hesitate to become Jews, and the majority of those who 
formally joined Israel were evidently women. Undoubtedly 
most Gentiles who admired the tenets of Judaism were satisfied 
with remaining as friendly outsiders, nor did the Jews object 
to this arrangement. Strictly, of course, these Gentiles had no 
position in the community of Israel. Until they had been 

1 Vita, c. 1. '' B.J. iii. 8. 9. 

3 Acts xiii. 44 ff. 

* This subject will be discussed in the Commentaryj 


circumcised, and had taken upon them the obligation to accept 
the whole Law, they could not look to share in the glories of 
the Messianic age, though they were, according to some Rabbis, 
not without hope for the world to come. But in such matters 
there were teachers more charitable than logical ; and the 
language of eschatology is, as a rule, conveniently vague, 
izates of A striking example of a believer in Judaism who hesitated 

to become a fuU Jew is seen by Josephus's account of the royal 
convert Izates of Adiabene, which has already been mentioned.^ 
Izates, before he became king, was converted through the women 
of his household by a Jewish merchant named Ananias. His 
mother, Helena, at the same time embraced Judaism inde- 
pendently. Under her influence Izates became so zealous for 
Judaism that he decided to be circumcised, but was dissuaded 
by both Helena and Ananias, who dreaded the effect on his 
subjects. Ananias was succeeded by a more uncompromising 
teacher, named Eleazar, who assured Izates that by not being 
circumcised he was guilty of great impiety. Thereupon Izates 
obeyed, and became a Jew in every respect. This illustrates in 
all probability the attitude of many a sympathiser with Jewish 
teaching, as well as two types of propagandism. In Ananias is 
seen the Jew who is satisfied that a Gentile should accept his 
beUef and no more, in Eleazar the man who will admit of no 
compromise.2 It is noticeable that the Sibylline Oracles urge 
the Gentiles to worship the true God and expect the judgment, 
but demand nothing more except that they should take a bath 
of purification.^ 

It may indeed be said that the story of the conversion of 
Izates is not very conclusive, for the advice of his first spiritual 
guide was dictated by motives of prudence or by fear. Even 

^ Antiq. xx. 2. 4. 

" Exactly the same thing is recognisable in the spread of Jewish Christianity. 
Like Ananias, Paul and his school desired acceptance of their doctrine as of 
primary importance : like Eleazar, James and the Jews of Jerusalem demanded 
that the genuineness of belief should be tested by a man's willingness to be 
circumcised. ^ Orac. Sibyll. iv. 165. 


more instructive, therefore, though less historical, is the story of 
Antoninus and Rabbi (Judah na-hasi), in which the Patriarch 
assures the Emperor that he will be admitted, without circum- 
cision, to a place at the banquet in the world to come at 
which the Leviathan will be served up. The Emperor, how- 
ever, did not feel so sure about it, inasmuch as without 
circumcision he could not be allowed to eat the Paschal lamb 
in this world, and accordingly had himself circumcised. As 
a reward for this supererogatory virtue, in the procession of 
righteous proselytes in the world to come Antoninus will head 
the whole line.^ 

The interest in the subject of Jewish proselytism is twofold. Zeai in 
As affecting the purity of the race, much depends on the extent prose"j^tcs. 
to which it went on under the Roman rule from the days of 
Pompey to the fall of Jerusalem, The extraordinary increase 
of Jews in the Empire may have been due to the widespread 
propagation of their religion, rather than to any unusual 
fecundity. Though most adults remained permanently in the 
fringe of the Synagogue, content with the certainty of the joys 
of the World to Come, without seeking to secure also the Days 
of the Messiah at the expense of circumcision, their children 
probably went further, became proselytes in the fullest sense, 
and were merged with Jews by blood. To this Juvenal bears 
witness in the famous passage in which he described the progress 
of a family toward Judaism. The father keeps the Sabbath and 
eschews pork, worshipping the clouds and the God of the sky. 
The sons become circumcised, despise the laws of Rome, and 
learn and tremble at those of Moses ; they join those who are 
so separated from ordinary humanity that they will tell the 
way or show where water can be found only to those of their 
own religion.^ To the student of Christian origins, moreover, it 
is interesting to enquire how far the first missionaries took over 
the more liberal Jewish methods. They seem to have copied 

^ Jewish Encycl. Art. " Antoninus in the Talmud," by Dr. L. Ginzbcrg. 
2 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 96-lOG. 


them in insisting that the worship of one God was the true 

natural religion of mankind, and that what was commendable in 

heathen systems and philosophies was due to divine revelation. 

Many a half-proselyte was doubtless attracted by their preaching, 

and having begun in the synagogue ended in the church. 

Importance Such was the Dispcrsiou, a world-wide organisation of a 

si n^to'^'^ nation and a religion, permeating an immense empire and ex- 

Christian- tending far beyond its frontiers. The Jews outside Palestine 


were a people practically ignored by Greek and Roman antiquity, 
scarcely heeded in their classical literature. If noticed at all 
they were scoffed at as beggars or credulous impostors, but 
nevertheless they had filled the world, and their settlements 
formed a series of posts along the great highways of trade and 
empire from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic. The extent of 
the Dispersion was probably far greater than the e\ddence of 
inscriptions shows ; for poor men, as most of the Jews undoubtedly 
were, leave few if any permanent memorials, and between the 
Jews of the first fifty years of our era and those who appear in 
Church history or Rabbinical literature lies as a gulf the 
Jewish war, and the extermination of a great part of the nation. 
But the fact of the Dispersion is undoubted, and is one of the 
chief clues to the early history of the Christian Church. Not 
only its organisation, but the spirit which animated it, and the 
ideals which it taught were part of the heritage which the Church 
shared with the Synagogue. Though possessed with instincts of 
self-preservation and adaptability almost unique in humanity, the 
Jew is essentially an idealist, cherishing dreams of happiness and 
peace in a future age of righteousness. A pilgrim and stranger 
upon earth, he always desires a better country, which, like Moses, 
he sees at a distance though he cannot enter it. This vision 
in years of adversity comforted the children of Israel in 
strange lands, and in the days of persecution proved to be the 
inspiration of the sons of the Church. 





By H. T. F. Duckworth 

I. Its Origin down to 63 b.c. 

In the first century a.d. the Roman Empire still contained a con- Diversities 
siderable variety of governments. There were many autonomous ments 
cities, each with its own territory, its own laws and magistrates, ^^^'^ 
and its own currency. There were dependent kingdoms and Empire, 
principalities. A confederacy of cities existed in Lycia down 
to A.D. 43, when it was dissolved by Claudius " ob exitiabiles 
discordias." ^ There were tribal cantons, which the Emperors 
endeavoured to reorganise as municipalities, similar to those of 
Italy. But while the imperium exercised in a spirit of monarchy 
clearly tended towards miiformity, as may be seen especially in 
the municipal laws of Julius and Augustus, progress of this 
tendency was far from being hasty or indiscriminate. The 
" settlement of the Principate," as the constitutional Acts of 
27 and 23 B.C. are collectively called, certainly was the beginning 
of a distinctly marked epoch in the history of Rome's depend- 
encies. But the transition was not accompanied by disturbing 
alterations or drastic and hurried reconstruction. 

The Romans had no preconceived theory of the government of 

subject countries. They preferred to make use of such machinery 

of government as they found already in existence. Thus they 

were willing to utilise clan-chieftains and clan-councils as organs 

^ Suetonius, Claudius, 25. 



of their suzerainty, making them responsible for the collection 
of stipendia ^ and the maintenance of order, much as the Planta- 
genets and Henry VII. attempted to govern Ireland by making 
the native chieftains their liege-men. 

Government, however, through the intermediate agency of 
clan-chieftains, was found — especially in Spain — to be unsatis- 
factory, the chieftains so often proving unreliable ; and the 
Romans as a rule set about establishing (among the native 
population) city - communities of men drawn mostly from 
Rome or Italy. The Roman Commonwealth was essentially a 
city-state, and its external relations down to the end of the 
third century B.C. had been generally entered into with similar 
political units. Wherever, therefore, the Romans fomid such 
organisations already existing, they used them to support their 
imperium ; and, even where there were none, they endeavoured 
to create them as educational centres for training half-civiUsed 
communities in Roman habits and manners. 
^gg|. Owing to this wise pohcy the peoples of the West became 

Romanised: Romanised, and ultimately more Roman than Rome herself, 
continues But for the same reason the peoples of the East became Hellenised. 
Rome saved a great portion of the work done by Alexander, 
and even rounded it off in certain regions, for instance in Cappa- 
docia. It stands to the credit of Roman imperial policy that 
Bithynia produced Dio Chrysostom, Arrian, and Dio Cassius ; 
that Athens, Tarsus, and Alexandria continued to be habita- 
tions of Greek learning and letters ; that Cilicia produced Paul, 
and Cappadocia Basil and the two Gregories. The countries 
between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean were saved 
from the Parthians by having been annexed to the Roman 

^ As to stipendia there were two theories. According to one, they were a 
war-indemnity. But this theory did not fit the case of subject countries which 
had become provinces by bequest of native rulers, as Asia did in 133 B.C. and 
Cyrenaica about forty years later. In such cases, therefore, stipendia were 
defined as rent paid to the Roman People for soil of which it had become the 
owner. See Greenidge, Roman Public Life, pp. 319 - 320 ; Tenney Frank, 
Roman Imperialism, pp. 94 and 245. 


Empire ; and though Hellenism was destined to be submerged 
by waves of Saracen and Turkish invasion, it received from 
the Roman Emperors a political organisation which enabled 
it for many centuries to resist the Moslems, and became the 
groundwork of an ecclesiastical system which sheltered Greek 
nationality in the worst days of Turkish despotism. 

First on the chronological list of Roman provinces^ comes Earliest 
Sicily, whence the Romans expelled the power of Carthage in Pro^^ce 
the first Punic War, 264-241 B.C. Next comes Sardinia, seized 
in 237 B.C. when Carthage was engaged in a struggle for life with 
a host of insurgent mercenaries. In 227 B.C. two additional 
praetors, one for the government of Roman Sicily, the other for 
that of Sardinia with the adjacent Corsica, were elected. Thirty 
years later, two more praetors were instituted for the government 
of the territory acquired in Spain, which was divided into a 
Nearer and a Further province {Hispania Citerior, Hispania 
Ulterior). After the overthrow of the House of Antigonus at 
Pydna in 168 B.C., Macedonia was divided into four confederacies, 
mutually isolated as far as possible (according to the time- 
honoured maxim divide et impera), but not actually superintended 
by a Roman governor until the advisability of placing one on 
the spot, with an army, had been proved by an insurrection 
which broke out in 148 B.C. Macedonia became a province in 
146 B.C., and in the same year Carthage was destroyed and the 
series of Roman governors of the Provincia Africa began. The 
greater part of the dominions of Attains, King of Pergamum, who 
bequeathed them to the Roman People at his death in 133 B.C., 

1 Provincia signifies primarily a branch of affairs administered by a magis- 
trate elected by the Roman People as an agent of its sovereignty 
(imperium). For instance, the duties and functions of the Praetor Urbanus 
constituted a jirovincia ; so did those of the Praetor Peregrinns. The 
conduct of a campaign, or a series of campaigns, was a provincia (cf. Livy, 
xxxii. 27 and 28; xxxiii. 43 and 44; Suetonius, Caesar, 19), as was 
also the supervision of affairs in a conquered country ; and thus we 
arrive at the use of pronncia to denote a certain area of territory, whose 
inhabitants were styled " allies of the Roman People," but treated as 
subjects, inasmuch as they were made to pay stipendia either in money or 
in kind. 


was organised as a Roman province in 129 B.C. The Balearic 
pirates compelled the Romans in 123 B.C. to place their islands 
under the governor of Nearer Spain ; and about the same time 
measures were taken for the formation of a Roman province 
between the Alps and the Pyrenees. This province was known 
as the Narbonese {Provincia Narhonensis) from the name 
of its chief city and headquarters of government, the Roman 
colony Narbo Martins, founded in 118 B.C. It was also 
spoken of as Gallia Transalpina, in contradistinction from 
Gallia Cisalpina, the region between the Alps and the Apen- 
nines. The depredations practised by the Cilician pirates 
caused in 102 B.C. the institution of the Cilician province by 
the appointment of a Roman praetor to set up his headquarters 
at some place on the Cilician coast and conduct such operations 
as he should find practicable by land or sea, or both, against 
the pirate strongholds. With the exception, however, of a 
vigorous invasion of the inland region by P. Servilius Isauricus, 
about 76 B.C., nothing of note was effected against the Cilician 
pirates until 67 B.C., when Pompey was armed with extra- 
ordinary powers for their suppression. 
Sicily made Whcu the Romaus replaced the Carthaginians in Sicily, 
tributary. ^-^^^ proclaimed the inhabitants of the island their allies, but 
made them tributary^ thus inaugurating a new policy in 
dealing with allied communities, since hitherto they had been 
content with, at most, controlhng external relations and 
requiring military aid. It cannot be said that any economic 
motive of empire shows itself in the history of Roman 
annexations between 241 and 133 B.C., although the tribute 
of Macedonia was utiUsed in 167 B.C. to reheve all land 
owned by Romans in Italy from taxation, a privilege which in 
course of time became attached to the soil of the whole peninsula.^ 
But this seems to have been the most that was achieved in the 
century after 241 B.C. by way of lightening Roman financial 

^ This exemption was abolished by Diocletian and Maximian. Arnold, 
Boman Provincial Administration, pp. 188-189 (ed. 1906). 


burdens at the expense of subject-allies. The Spains were but 
lightly taxed ; for Carthage (or rather Hamilcar) had pursued 
a lenient policy towards the Celto-Iberian population, which 
Rome continued. Even Sicily did not contribute greatly to the 
treasury of the Roman Commonwealth. As early as 149 B.C. a 
special commission {quaestio extraordinaria) was instituted for 
dealing with charges of extortion {res repetundae) brought against 
Roman provincial governors ; for the Senate did not deliberately 
wage wars of conquest to find opportunities of speedy enrich- 
ment for individual members of its order. 

Moreover, the policy of Rome never was one of " expansion," Rome 
except under constraint. To give permanence to the victories unwillingly. 
over Carthage, obtained at the cost of enormous expenditures 
of blood and money, it was necessary that Rome should take the 
position previously held by her rival in Sicily, Sardinia, and 
Spain. The early \actories in the East, won at Cynoscephalae 
in Thessaly (197 B.C.) and Magnesia by the Maeander (190 B.C.), 
and the invasion of Galatia by Gnaeus Manlius Vulso (189 B.c.),^ 
were not followed by any annexations either in the Balkan 
Peninsula or in Asia Minor. The Macedonian province was 
not constituted until experience had proved the advisability of 
stationing a Roman army to protect the city-repubUcs of Greece 
and Macedonia against the southward movements of the barbar- 
ous nations — such, for example, as the Celtic Scordisci of the 
region between the Morava and the Drave — whom the House of 
Antigonus had held at bay for a hundred years. In overthrowing 
that dynasty the Romans had made themselves liable for its 
responsibilities. The territories of Corinth and Thebes became 
Roman state-domains, but the taxes imposed upon Macedonia 

^ Professor Tenney Frank, in his recent work on Roman Imperialism, re- 
presents " Sentimental Philhcllenism " as the motive of the Senate in resolving 
to make war upon Philip V. of Macedonia. When the Romans had " arranged 
themselves " \rith Philip, they were assailed by his ally Antiochus of Asia. The 
object of Vulso's expedition into Galatia was to " put the fear " into the Celts. 
Vulso maj' be said to have been quite successful. All Asia Minor rejoiced over 
the humiliation of the Celts, whose aggressiveness had made them odious to 
their neighbours. 


were only one half of those which had been paid to the kings. ^ 
When Carthage was destroyed, lest she should once more become 
a menace to the very existence of Rome, a considerable proportion 
of her territory was made over to neighbouring Punic cities. 
Policy The province of Asia, as we have seen, fell to Rome by bequest. 

Gracchi Left to itsclf, the Senate would probably have refused to take 
in forcing ^p ^j^^ heritage of Attains ; but Tiberius Gracchus, reaUsing how 
accept Asia, usef ul the rcvcnue to be drawn from the Pergamene realm would 
be in financing his policy of agrarian reconstruction, forced the 
Senate's hand. Here, certainly, the economic motive appears ; 
but Gains Gracchus's institution of the system of levying tithe 
in Asia, by the agency of Roman tax-farmers entering into con- 
tracts with the censors in Rome — not, as in Sicily, by that of 
local authorities making arrangements with the governor at the 
provincial capital — was as much poUtical as financial in its aim ; 
as was also his lexfrumentaria, the beginning of the pauperisation 
of the plebs Romana. He sought to make of the equites, the 
financial aristocracy, a perpetual opposition to the Senate, and 
to enforce the precedent set by himself and his brother for putting 
the determination of great questions of policy into the hands of 
the people, instead of leaving it to the Senate. Sulla for a time 
substituted in Asia the payment of fixed stipendia instead of 
tithe, but the old system — censoria locatio decwmarum provinciae 
Asiae — was restored in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus 
eight years after Sulla's death. 
Mithradatic Cyxene was bequeathed to the Romans by Ptolemy Apion in 
96 B.C., but it was not until 75 B.C. that they entered definitively 
upon that inheritance. Nicomedes Eupator of Bithynia,^ dying 
in 75 B.C., followed the example of Attains of Pergamum and 
Ptolemy of Cyrene ; and the attempt of Mithradates of Pontus to 

1 Greenidge, Roman Public Life, p. 319. 

^ It was under the regime of the Hellenising Asiatic rulers of Bithpiia that 
the cities of Nicomedia (Ismid), Nicaea (Isnik), and Prusias (Broussa) were 
founded. Nicaea and Broussa are notable names in Bj'zantine and Turkish 
annals, and the former stands out prominently in the history of Christianity. 
Nicomedia was the residence of Diocletian and the starting-point of the last 
persecution of the churches by the Roman State. 



prevent the execution of Nicomedes' will was the immediate cause 
of the great Asiatic war in which the destinies, not only of Asia 
Minor, but also of Syria, were decided for centuries to come. It 
then became clear — if indeed the previous conflict between 
Mithradates and Rome (88-84 B.C.) had not already brought 
the truth to light — that in order to hold those regions of Asia 
Minor which had been bequeathed to her by their kings, Rome 
must acquire the rest of the great peninsula either by arms 
or by treaties supported by force. Furthermore, the confusion 
and helplessness of S3n*ia could not be regarded as a matter ' 
of indifference, if only because it constituted a danger to the 
position of Rome in the lands between Ararat and the Aegean. 

The year 63 b.c. is of importance as the beginning of a new Pompey's 
epoch in the history of the countries lying between the Caucasus j^.^^ ^'^ 
and the Mediterranean, more particularly of Syria and Palestine. ^"^ ^^^^• 
It was in 63 b.c. that Rome's great enemy, Mthradates of Pontus, 
ended his days, that Jerusalem, for the first time, was taken by 
a Roman army, and that the seven centuries of Roman domination 
over Syria and Judaea began ; ^ and from then until his departure 
from the East to Rome at the beginning of 61 B.C. Pompey was 
busy with the organisation of Asia Minor and Syria.^ 

At the time when the final conflict with Mithradates of Pontus 
began, Rome had two provinces on the Asiatic continent, Asia 
and Cilicia, the latter consisting only of a strip of territory, or 
perhaps a series of detached strips, on the Cilician coast. To 
these Pompey added Bithynia, including the western part of 
the kingdom of Pontus. 

In Asia he maintained the division into conventus for the Asia, 
purposes of judicial and financial administration, made by Sulla 

^ Augustus was born September 23, 63 B.C., possibly the Day of Atonement, 
on which Pompey entered the Temple. 

* On Pompey's organisation of Asia Minor and Syria, see Mommsen, History 
of Rome, bk. iv. ch. v. ; Schurer, Q.J.V. vol. i. pp. 291 if., and vol. ii. pp. 101 tf. 
(§§ 12 and 23) ; Ramsay, Historical Commentary on Galatians, pp. 95-106; Tcnney 
Frank, Roman Imperialism, ch. xvi. 





Crete and 

of Syria. 

in 84 B.C. ; but the condition of the province was not prosperous, 
though Lucullus, in 69 B.C., had made a heroic attempt to relieve 
the distress caused by Sulla's imposition of a fine of twenty 
thousand talents and the extortions practised by the Roman 
negotiatores, to whom the Asian city-governments had recourse 
in order to meet this demand. 

In Cilicia the suppression of the pirates by the capture of their 
fleets and strongholds in 67 B.C. was followed by an effective 
extension of the province northwards from the maritime region. 
In the treatment of the captive pirates, Pompey displayed a wise 
humanity by giving them new homes in cities of Eastern Cilicia 
{Cilicia Campestris), which in the disturbances of the half -century 
preceding had been declining in population and wealth.^ Cilicia, 
in the political sense of the term, now extended, not only along 
the sea-coast from the Indus ^ (the boundary of Caria and Lycia) 
to Issus and Alexandria ad Amanum, the modern Alexandretta, 
but also to a considerable depth inland, so as to include Pisidian 
Antioch, Philomelium, Iconium, Derbe, Laranda, and Anazarbus. 

The island of Crete, invaded and occupied in 67 B.C. because 
its harbours were at the disposal of the Cilician pirates, was 
added to the number of Rome's provinces. Cyprus, on the other 
hand, was allowed to remain under the sovereignty of one of the 

A wide sweep of territory,* extending from the Euphrates to 
the north-eastern boundary of Egypt and the base of the Sinai 
Peninsula, was made into the province of Syria. Pompey, on 

1 Captive Cilicians were settled at Mallus, Adana, Epiphania, Soli (which 
was new-named Pompeiopolis) and other Cilician towns. Pompey no doubt 
counted upon the new townsmen to exert their fighting quality to good purpose 
in defending their possessions against the hill-tribes which had not yet been 
reduced to submission. 

2 For the name see Livy xxxviii. c. 14. 

' Ptolemy Alexander II., who was murdered by his palace-guards after a 
reign of nineteen days in 81 B.C., had bequeathed his kingdom, which included 
Cyprus, to the Roman Republic. The Senate, however, was not eager to make 
Cyprus a province, and Ptolemy of Cyprus retained his position by paying 
tribute to all the influential members of that exalted order. 

* Tacitus, Ann. iv. 5, ingens terrarum sinus. 


his departure from this region at the end of 63 or the beginning 
of 62 B.C., left Scaurus, one of his quaestors, in command 'pro 
praetore, with two legions. But the government both in CiUcia 
and in Syria was to a considerable extent carried on by the 
agency of vassal-princes and autonomous cities, whose several 
territories lay within the sphere of the governor's imperium. 
Thus, in Cilicia we find, for example, the priest-princes of the 
temple of Zeus at Olba, and the " dynasts " who reigned over 
various clans in the valleys of Mount Amanus, on the eastern 
border of the province. In Syria, Pompey had found the heritage 
of Seleucus in the hands of a number of usurpers, such as the 
Jew Silas, who held Lysias,i Cinyras the tyrant of Byblus, and 
Dionysius the tyrant of Tripolis. Ptolemaeus, son of Mennaeusj 
was lord of Chalcis and Heliopolis, and a number of other places 
extending from the sea-coast to the Hauran. The Hasmonaeans 
of Judaea had destroyed or subjugated a number of autonomous 
Greek or Graeco-Syrian cities. The King of Nabataea had 
extended his power northwards through the country east of 
Jordan as far as Damascus, Pompey deposed and put to death 
a number of these usurpers, who were indeed no better than 
robber-captains ; but rulers who could show fairly respectable 
title-deeds, or were willing and able to compound adequately for 
their offences, were spared. Thus Sampsiceramus, the priest- 
king of Emesa, was left in possession. Ptolemaeus, son of 
Mennaeus, saved himself by disbursing a thousand talents, which 
Pompey turned over to his army-pay department. The temporal 
power of the Jewish High Priest was restricted to the bounds 
from which it had broken in the time of Hyrcanus and Alexander 
Jannaeus, the Hellenic cities which the Jewish priest-princes 
had made tributary being restored to their former independence, 
though not exempted from tribute to Rome. The cities thus 
restored took the Roman annexation of Syria as the era of their 
local chronologies, or at least looked back to it as a happy event. 
The list is a notable one. Along the coast were Dora (Dor of the 

^ Josephus, Aniiq. xiv. 32. 


Old Testament), Stratonis Turris, Apollonia, Joppa, Jamnia, 
Azotus, Anthedon, Gaza with its port -town Maiouma, and 
Eaphia. Inland were Samaria, Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, 
Abila (east of Gadara), Canatha (in the Hauran or Bashan), 
Pella, Dium, Gerasa, At the time of Pompey's arrival in Pales- 
tine, the cities of Philadelphia, Ptolemais (St. Jean d'Acre), and 
Ascalon were independent. Their freedom was confirmed by 
Pompey, though they were probably still under an obligation 
to supply the governor of Syria with military aid if required. ^ 
Roman rule Under an agreement made between Lucullus and a Parthian 
Eu^Trites^ embassy in 69 B.C., the Euphrates had been recognised as the 
boundary between the Roman and the Parthian Empires. But 
Pompey, in 64 B.C., had sent more than one army across Northern 
Mesopotamia, from Armenia into Syria, and finally annexed 
Northern Mesopotamia to the dominions of Tigranes, King of 
Armenia, who had become Amicus Populi Romani. To the 
number of " friends of the Roman People " were also added the 
Arab princes who had established themselves at Edessa in 
Osrhoene, the region lying immediately on the left bank of the 
Euphrates from the crossing opposite Samosata down to the 
city of Nicephorium, near the confluence of the Euphrates and 
the Bilechas (Belik),^ and at Palmyra. 

1 On the subject of the Hellenistic cities of Palestine and their relation to 
the Roman province of Syria, see Schiirer, G.J.V. vol. ii. pp. 95-222 (§ 23); 
also Holm, Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 594-595 (E.T.). From Josephus, Antiq. 
xiv. 4. 4, 5. 3, and B.J. i. 7. 7, 8. 4, it appears that the actual reorganisation 
was carried out by Aulus Gabinius, proconsul of Syria 57-54 b.c. The local 
chronologies appear on the coins minted by the several cities. "Apxovres, 
BovXrj and Arjixos are the constituent factors in every case, so far as is known ; 
the ^ovXrj or city-council being a relatively large body. The polities were 
timocratic or moderately democratic. " Syria, of aU countries," says Holm, 
" is a proof that the modern definition of a province as an administrative area 
does not quite hit the mark. Syria was a province, and yet consisted only of 
cities and districts which governed themselves. All that Rome did in Syria 
was to exercise supervision and raise taxes " (loc. cit.). 

2 Osrhoene or Orrhoene means " the country of Osrhoe or Orrhoe," i.e. the 
country lying round about the city of Urha, which after Alexander's conquest 
of the Persian Empire received a Macedonian colony and was new-named 
Edessa, after the burial-place of the Macedonian kings. Another Macedonian 
settlement was planted at Carrhae. CalUnicum, the second name of Nice- 


From the point of view of physical geography, the region Nortijcm 
known in ancient times as Commagene is the northernmost part ^y**- 
of Syria. The governor of Syria exercised a general supervision, 
but the actual administration was left to a prince of the House of 
Seleucus, who had been set up as king by Lucullus in 69 B.C., 
and confirmed in possession of his throne by Pompey five years 
later. Samosata, the chief city of Commagene, commanded one 
of the crossings of the Euphrates. Pompey authorised the king 
of Commagene, as a friend and ally of the Roman People, to 
take possession of territory on the left or Mesopotamian bank 
of the river, in order that he might hold, not only the crossing, 
but also the approach to it. To the north of Osrhoene, and on 
the same side of the river, the region of Sophene was annexed 
to the kingdom of Cappadocia, which received an extension 
eastward and southward ; by the annexation of Cilician terri- 
tory, lying between Castabala and Derbe, to the south,^ and 
of the region of Melitene (Malatiyeh) to the east. In this 
manner two important crossings of the Euphrates came to 
be held by kings allied to the Roman Commonwealth, and far 
more dependent upon its favour than were the kings of 
Armenia and Osrhoene.^ A third crossing (Zeugma), the most 
important of all, as it lay nearest to Antioch and the valley of 
the Orontes, was directly under Roman supervision. ^ 

Between Cappadocia and the Roman provinces of 'Cilicia, caiatia. 
Asia, and Bithynia-Pontus lay the Galatian principalities. These 
had at one time been twelve in number, each of the three 

phorium, recalls the memory of Seleucus Callinicus, who reigned 246-226 B.C., 
but Holm makes Alexander himself the founder of this city. See Holm, op. 
cit. vol. iii. pp. 381 and 393, and vol. iv. p. 113. The Arab princes of Edessa 
intruded themselves in the midst of the confusion of the epoch 164-83 B.C., 
when the Seleucid kingdom broke up. 

^ Strabo, Geogra2)hia, xii. 1. 4. 

^ Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, bk, v. ch. iv. 

* Ultimately it was discovered that the soundest plan was to put Roman 
forces in occupation of all the crossmgs of the Euphrates. This was clearly 
recognised by Vespasian, who took action accordingly. See Stuart Jones, The 
Roman Empire, p. 119. 



" nations " of the Tolistoboii, Trocmi, and Tectosages being 
divided into foiir.^ The vicissitudes of the contests between 
Mithradates and Rome had left only three of the original twelve. 
The most important of these three was the principality of Deio- 
tarus, chief of the Tolistoboii, the " nation " which occupied the 
region including, geographically but not politically, the city of 
Pessinus with its famous temple of the Mother of the Gods, whose 
symbol had been taken to Rome in 204 B.C. 

In southern Paphlagonia, a small kingdom, standing to the 
Roman province of Bithynia in much the same relation as that 
of Emesa stood to Syria, was assigned to Attains, who claimed 
descent from Pylaemenes, a Paphlagonian king, who appears in 
the cycle of Trojan legend as an ally of Priam. Naturally, the 
" Troiugenae " of Italy were not unwilling to confer an inexpen- 
sive favour upon a " kinsman." 

Asia, west of Armenia and the Euphrates, as Pompey left it 
in 62 B.C., has been compared with the Holy Roman Empire, of 
Asia Minor. ^]^g Middle Agcs. In both cases there is a wonderful melange of 
polities — vassal-princedoms, great and small, some possessing, 
in name at least, the dignity of kingdoms, free cities, and tribal 
cantons. The priestly princedoms of Judaea, Emesa, Venasa, 
Comana of Cappadocia, Comana of Poiitus, Olba, Pessinus, and 
Ancyra may be compared with the prince-bishoprics of mediaeval 
Germany. A comparison may also be not unfitly made between 
Roman Asia and Britain's Indian Empire. The vassal-prince- 
doms and the free cities of Roman Asia were " protected states." 
The King of Cappadocia might be compared with the Nizam of 
Hyderabad. The resemblance between the position of the King 
of Armenia and the Amir of Afghanistan is striking. Again, the 
Empire of the Roman People in Asia and the Empire of the 
British Crown in India resemble each other in their tolerance of 

^ A council of 300 principal men of the Galatians, joined with the tetrarchs 
and other rulers, held session at a place called the Drpaemetum (Oak-grove ?). 
It was a sort of Areopagus, taking especial cognizance of cases of murder. This 
council had ceased to assemble by the time that Galatia became a united 
vassal-kingdom. See Strabo, xii. 5. 1-2, and p. 200 below. 


a great and interesting variety of religious beliefs and practices. 
The temple of Hanuman in Benares, with its sacred monkeys, 
may be compared with the temple of Atargatis at Hierapolis in 
northern Syria, with its sacred fish.^ Along with the variety of 
religions in Roman Asia there subsisted, as in modern India, 
a considerable variety of languages, though native Asiatic 
dialects (especially in Asia Minor) were making way for Greek 
to an extent to which the native dialects of India have not 
yet made way for English, which, however, has a position not 
very different from that which Latin held in Asia. 

The reason why Pompey left so many kingdoms and princi- PoUcy of 
palities still standing in Asia Minor and Syria, instead of dividing estabiisMng 
the whole region between the Aegean and the Euphrates, the ^^^-^'^f 
Euxine and Arabia Petraea, into provinces supervised and palities. 
governed by proconsuls and propraetors, was that following the 
traditional policy of the Republic, he sought to make as few changes 
as possible, consistently with serving Roman interests, and to 
avoid the expenditures which would have been necessitated by 
a large increase in the number of provincial governors and of the 
Roman armies of occupation. Though he opened copious sources 
of revenue for the treasury, he desired to restrict the expenditure 
of the Republic. Again, kings or dynasts or high priests with a 
life-tenure were found to be better adapted for turbulent tribes 
than proconsuls or propraetors, who held their positions only 
for a year or two. It was indeed a very serious defect in the 
Roman provincial system that the ordinarily brief tenure of 
provincial governorships left their occupants no sufficient time — 
even if they had the desire, which was not always the case — to 
make themselves properly acquainted with the countries and 
populations over whom they presided. But even if all pro- 
consuls and propraetors had been indisposed to regard the 
provinces as lalifundia, of which they were the successive villici, 
the great difference between the Romans and some of the tribes 

^ The inclusion of Egypt in this comparison would make the resemblance 
between the Roman and the British Empire still more impressive. 



and nations of Asia made it wise to leave these primitive folk 
under rulers whose methods of government were familiar and 
comprehensible to them. With the progress in enlightenment 
which set in after Augustus had given to the Roman world " laws 
whereby it might dwell in peace under a prince," ^ the occupation 
of vassal-kings, dynasts, or tetrarchs was more and more assumed 
by city-governments, which grew in number. As the need of 
vassal-princedoms ceased, they were gradually abolished, and 
by the end of Vespasian's reign (a.d. 69-79) there was hardly one 
of them left. 

It is impossible to tell with any degree of assurance whether 
Pompey believed that what the Romans had to do in Asia was 
to complete the work begun by Alexander and carried on by the 
House of Seleucus, so far as it lay within their power. But it 
is quite certain that in preserving or restoring the autonomy of 
existent cities, and in founding new ones, Pompey continued the 
policy of Alexander and the Seleucidae.^ 

Mention has already been made of his liberation of Graeco- 
Syrian cities which in the course of some seventy or eighty years 
before his arrival in Syria had been subjugated or even razed 
to the ground by the Jews, or had fallen under the usurped power 
of robber-captains such as Cinyras of Byblus. When, therefore, 
Pompey returned from Palestine and Syria to Rome, he left a 
region largely occupied by autonomous, though tributary, city- 
states, whose elected magistrates and officials took a vast amount 

^ Tacitus, Annals, iii. 28, deditque iura, quis pace ac principe uteremur. 

2 " The most striking feature in the internal policy of Seleucus and his 
successors is the attempted transfer into Asia of Greek urban life " (Scott Fer- 
guson, Greek Imperialism, p. 196). This transfer had been begun by Alexander. 
The kings of the House of Seleucus were more truly successors of Alexander 
than any other dynasty which arose upon the break-up of his vast empire. 
Holm observes that the title of d5eX0ot dij/j-oi assumed by the cities of the 
Seleucian Tetrapolis — Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, Laodicea (modern 
Latakia) — in the epoch 160-130 B.C. and stamped upon their coins is a mark of 
" genuine Greek civilisation in the middle of the East, an interesting contrast 
to the inscription dSe\4>Qv QeQv on the Egyptian coins, which occurs just at 
that time " {Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 4-16, E.T.). On the subject of cities of 
Alexander and the Seleucidae, consult Holm, op. cit. vol. iii. ch. xxvii., vol. iv. 
chaps. V, and xiii. 


of details of judicial and fiscal administration ofE the hands of 
the Roman governor and his staff. Similarly in Asia Minor, (6j in Asia 
besides repopulating with captives from Western or Highland 
Cilicia a number of cities in Eastern or Plain Cilicia which had 
fallen mto decay, he founded a score of new cities, most if not all 
of which were formed by concentrating the population of a number 
of villages. Although he often reversed arrangements made by 
Lucullus, he followed the same line of policy in the treatment of 
cities. Cyzicus, Sinope, and Amisus were put in enjoyment of 
enlarged territories, taken from old royal domains or perhaps 
from those of temples ; Heraclea Pontica recovered her territory 
and harbours ; and thirty-nine cities in all were added to the 
number of those which had been in existence before the Mithra- 
datic Wars. 

The Romans, as has been said, never interfered with Oriental 
those religions of their allies and dependents which neither ''^'^°'^' 
sanctioned practices nor stimulated poUcies detrimental to the 
well-being of the Commonwealth. Even then they intervened 
to correct and restrain, not to extirpate. The orgiastic perform- 
ances of the " Great Mother of the Gods " were actually intro- 
duced from Phrygia into Rome by authority of the Senate in 204 
B.C., and the goddess had her temple placed within the pomerium.^ 
Wild and repulsive as these ceremonies were, and though for a 
considerable period no Roman was allowed to become a priest or 
minister of the goddess, yet a festival in her honour was added 
to the Roman calendar.^ Of exactly the same nature were the 
ceremonies of the goddess of Comana in Cappadocia, called Ma 
by the natives, but identified by the Romans with Bellona, a 
goddess of war and slaughter. She was brought to Rome 
about 90 B.C. by soldiers who had served under Sulla in Cilicia. 

So long, then, as the Asiatic priest-princes paid tribute and Priestiy 
stirred up no rebellions, there wa^s no cause for deposing them or p"uties. 
proscribing their religions. At the same time, Pompey did not 
hesitate to abridge the extent of the temple domains if accessions 

' Livy xxix. 14, xxxvi. 36. 2 Ovid, Fasti, iv. 179 f. 



of territory were required for the foundation of a new city or the 
resuscitation of an old one. He seems, however, to have respected 
the territory of the Sun-god El-Gabal, who reigned in the person 
of his high priest over Emesa and its neighbourhood, of Apollo 
at Daphne on the Orontes, and of Atargatis at HierapoUs. 

Although the Jews were allowed, in accordance with this 
policy, to retain their own lands, their priestly rulers being merely 
deprived of cities annexed by them in war, it appears that the 
tribute exacted from Judaea was one-third of the seed, or about 
one-thirtieth of the crop, and the Mosaic tithe had still to be 
paid to the Temple.^ 

It is uncertain whether Pompey found any occasion to make 
changes in the existing forms of city-government. The thing 
to be desired, and even insisted upon, from the Roman point of 
view, was that important public offices should be accessible only 
to men who stood to lose most heavily by wars or revolutions, 
and whose position in their community was analogous to that 
of the nobiles in Roman society. In the case of those cities which 
were resuscitated after destruction by the Jews, or by the tyranny 
of robber-chiefs (such as, for example, Dionysius in the Syrian 
Tripolis), Pompey had no difficulty in setting up such constitu- 
tions as best suited the interests of Rome. The extent to which 
the constitutions of other cities required modification probably 
depended upon the ratio in which the numbers of the artisans 
and mechanics stood, in the several instances, to the total of the 
citizen-body. In most, if not in all, of the Syrian cities, and in 
a considerable number of the cities of Asia and Cilicia, there 
were settlements of Jews, who enjoyed equal rights of citizen- 
ship with their Gentile neighbours. Pompey left these in 
possession of their citizen-rights, which had originally been 
conferred by the Seleucidae,^ but a large number of Jewish 
prisoners of war was brought to Rome by Pompey and his officers 
and legionaries. These, of course, were slaves, yet before long 
many of them were manumitted. As lihertini, however, they 

^ Tenney Frank, Roman Imperialism, p. 320. ^ Jos. Ant. xii. 3. 1. 


were under obligation to serve the interests of their patroni, and 
it need not be doubted that these Jewish freedmen supported 
their patrons in the factions of the last years of the RepubUc. 
Besides these Jewish prisoners of war, there were many from 
other nations of the East. By manumission they passed into 
the great body of freedmen of Oriental origin who formed so large 
a part of that Plebs Romana which was contemptuously snified 
at as faex Uomuli by Cicero,^ and despairingly denounced, in a 
phrase nearly identical, by Juvenal's friend Umbricius.^ The 
swelling of the ranks of the urban electorate might perhaps 
have been checked if censors had been regularly chosen at that 
time. But from 69 to 27 B.C. there were no censors. Moreover, 
consuls and praetors and all the nohiles of Rome were equally 
interested in having at their several service persons who could 
be counted upon to make themselves useful, especially at elections. 

On his return to Rome from the East in January, 61 B.C., Return of 


Pompey submitted to the Senate for ratification the arrangements t^ Ro^e. 
he had made in Asia Minor and Syria and his promises of rewards 
for his soldiery ; but at the instance of Lucullus and others, who 
were jealous of his fame, or despised him for having disbanded his 
army before he approached the capital, his request was refused. 
In his irritation against the Senate, Pompey lent a willing ear 
to the proposals of Gains Caesar, who returned in the summer of 
60 B.C. from the government of Further Spain and victories over 
the Lusitanians. Caesar Avished to be elected consul for the 
following year. He undertook that, if Pompey would give him 
his support and influence, the ratification of the Eastern settle- 
ment and provision for Pompey's veterans would not be delayed. 

^ Cicero, ad .4 tt. ii. 1. 8. Cf. ad Att. i. 16. 11, ilia contionalis hirudo aerarii 
misera ac ieiuna plebecula. 
^ Juvenal iii. 60, 

Non possum forre, Quirites, 
Graecam urbem ; quamvis quota portii > f aecis Achaei ? 
lam pridem Syrus in Tiberiin defluxit Orontes 
Et linguam ot mores et cum tibicine chordas 
Obliquas nee non gentilia tympana secum 
Vexit et ad circum iussas prostare puellas. 


By reconciling Pompey and Crassus, who had been estranged 
since their consulate in 70 B.C., Caesar completed his preparations 
for his political campaign. An agreement was privately made 
between the three that " nothing should be done in the Common- 
wealth that any one of them misliked. ' ' ^ This formed the ' ' First ' ' 
Triumvirate, so called to distinguish it from the " Second " 
Triumvirate of Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian in 43 b.c. Caesar 
was elected consul, and though his colleague, Marcus Bibulus, 
opposed him from the very start, he bore down the opposition 
with unprecedented violence. 
Cicero's In the year of Caesar's first consulship, i.e. 59 B.C. — " the 

^pro Fiacco. consulship of JuHus and Caesar " — Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who 
had been appointed propraetor of Asia three years before, was 
prosecuted in Rome on a charge of maladministration. He was 
defended by Cicero, the greater part of whose speech on this 
occasion is still extant, and throws light on the relations of Greeks 
and Jews to Rome. Complaints were lodged against Flaccus by 
Greeks, by Jews, and even by Romans resident in the province. 
On the other hand, witnesses to his virtues were brought from 
Achaea, Boeotia, Thessaly, Athens, Lacedaemon, and MassUia. 
Between these Greeks " ex vera atque integra Graecia " and the 
Asiatic Greeks Cicero drew a very effective contrast, sharpening 
his point by citing Greek proverbs upon the contemptible qualities 
of the Phrygian, the Mysian, the Carian, and the Lydian. But 
the true Roman feeling towards Greeks in general, whether of 
Greece or of the Hellenic Diaspora, breaks out in an earlier 
passage in the oration, in which he roundly declares that " testi- 
moniorum religionem et fidem numquam ista natio coluit ; totius- 
que huiusce rei quae sit vis, quae auctoritas, quod pondus, 
ignorant." In reply to complaints which came in the form of 
resolutions {yjrTjiplcr/jbaTa) passed by the popular assemblies of 
Greek cities, Cicero recalls how Greece of old was brought to ruin 
libertate immoderata et licentia coiicionum, and censures the Greek 

^ Suetonius, Caesar, c. 19, ne quid ageretur in republica, quod displi- 
cuisset ulli e tribus. 


city-states of the time for continuing the practice of deciding 
the most important questions in assembUes intoxicated by 
oratory. The passage suggests that in Asia the city-governments 
were democratic in practice. Passing on to the Jewish witnesses 
for the prosecution, Cicero lowered his voice lest, as he pretended, 
Jews in the audience should hear him, and begin an etneute 
in order to break up the defence. In exposing the frivolity of 
the Asiatic Greeks he had already remarked that persons from 
the province of Asia frequently disturbed political gatherings 
in Rome. The Jews' complaint against Flaccus was that he had 
prohibited them by edict from sending money to the Temple in 
Jerusalem. Large sums collected for transmission to Jerusalem 
had been confiscated at Apamea, Laodicea, and Adramyttium. 
But Cicero argued that Flaccus had acted in the interest of the 
province, just as Pompey had shown himself considerate towards 
Judaea when he left the treasury untouched after the capture 
of the Temple. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, Cicero says 
bluntly, were suspiciosa ac maledica civitas. As for the Jews' 
religion, it was a harbara superstitio, utterly alien to the 
splendour of the Roman Empire, the dignity of the Roman name, 
and the tradition received by the Romans from their forefathers — 
" all the more alien, now that this nation has shown the sentiments 
it entertains against our Empire, by taking up arms against it, 
and has proved how dear it is to the immortal Gods, by its sub- 
jugation, its dispersion, its enslavement." 

Some five years later, in 66 B.C., Aulus Gabinius, proconsul Gabinius. 
of Syria, after suppressing a Jewish rebellion stirred up by the 
Hasmonaean princes Aristobulus and Alexander, divided Judaea 
into five separate and independent districts, each under a timo- 
cratic or aristocratic government. The several headquarters of 
these governments were fixed at Jerusalem, Jericho, Amathus 
(in Peraea), Gazara,i a^d Sepphoris (Galilee). A similar plan 
had been followed, more than a hundred years before, by L. 

^ I.e. Gezer on the confines of the hill-country and the Plain of Sharon. 
The reading Taddpois in Josephus, Ant. xiv. 5. 4, is erroneous. 


Aemilius Paullus in organising Macedonia after the overthrow of 
the native kingdom. But whereas Aemilius Paullus had lightened 
the fiscal burdens of Macedonia, Gabinius made those of Judaea 
Crassus Twclvc ycars later, in 54 B.C., Marcus Licinius Crassus arrived 

"^ ^"*" in Syria and did without hesitation what Pompey had refrained 
from doing. He plundered the Temple-treasury at Jerusalem, 
and stripping the sanctuary itself of its golden ornaments, carried 
off some ten thousand talents, to which he added the spoils of 
Atargatis, the goddess of Hierapolis-Bambyce, and other Syrian 
The From 56 B.C. to the outbreak of the civil war in 49, Cilicia 

of aucia. should be regarded as a specially important province, almost 
as important as Syria and decidedly more so than Asia, for while 
Cihcia was governed by proconsuls, Asia was governed by pro- 
praetors.^ It does not appear that any legions were now stationed 
in Asia, but there were two in Cilicia. The importance of the 
province was further increased by the transfer from Asia to 
Cilicia of the conventus or " circuits," which were judicial and 
fiscal divisions of territory, of Cibyra, Apamea, and Synnada. 
The island of Cyprus was annexed to it soon after the death of 
Ptolemy (58 B.C.). It was thus to the proconsul of Cilicia, rather 
than to the propraetor of Asia, that the Cappadocian king now 
looked for protection against foreign or domestic enemies. The 
sea-front of the province extended from the boundary of Caria 
on the river Indus to the Promontory of Rhossus beyond Alex- 
andria (Alexandretta) on the Gulf of Issus, and it was part of 
the governor's business to see to the welfare of the Lycian Con- 
federacy. Within the province were included, besides the Lycian 
Confederacy, the autonomous cities of AttaUa, Cibyra, Laodicea 

^ On the subject of the Cilician Province in 56-50 B.C. see Ramsay, Cities 
and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. i. pp. 10-11, 341, and Historical Commentary on 
Gulatians, p. 105 f. The letters of Cicero which belong to the years 51 and 50, 
in which he was proconsul of Cilicia, are collected in vol. iii. of Tyrrell and 
Purser's edition of Cicero's correspondence. See' also Xos. 32, 36-40. and 42 in 
Watson's Select Letters cf Cicero and the introduction to Part II. of the work. 


on the Lycus, and its neighbours Hierapolis and Colossae ; Apa- 
mea (the ancient Celaenae, also known as Apamea Cibotus), 
Apollonia, and Antioch in Pisidian Phrygia, Philomelium, 
Laodicea in Lycaonia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Laranda, Tarsus, 
Mopsuestia, Mallus, Alexandria on the Gulf of Issus, Soli (new- 
named Pompeiopolis), Seleucia on the Calycadnus, Selinus, Side, 
and Aspendus.^ At Olba the High Priest of Zeus, who claimed 
descent from Teucer, brother of Ajax and son of Telamon, was 
ruler over the surrounding territory.^ 

In the Taurus mountains (especially in Pisidia and Isauria) Cicero pro- 
were tribes of marauding hillmen under their several chieftains. ciiicL° 
Other tribes of marauders had their strongholds in the Amanus 
range on the borders of Cilicia and Syria. Cicero, who was sent 
as proconsul to Syria in 51 B.C. under the provisions of the law 
de iure magistratuum, carried by Pompey in the year preceding, 
had to undertake an expedition against the fortress of Pmdenissus, 
which he reduced on December 17, after a siege of forty-seven 
days. For this success he was to his immense gratification hailed 
as " Imperator " by his legionaries. 

When Caesar crossed the Rubicon and marched upon Rome, Defeat 
Pompey withdrew to Epirus, and summoned to his aid the powers of pompev. 
of the East, where his name was still one to conjure with. On 
August 9, 48 B.C., in the battle of Pharsalus in Thessaly, the days 
of his supremacy were finally numbered. Flying from that 
stricken field to the sea-coast, he took ship for Egypt. As he 
was being rowed in a boat from his ship to the beach near the 
promontory called Mons Casius, some miles east of Pelusium, he 
was murdered. His dead body, from which the head had been 
hacked off, was thrown into the sea, from which, however, it 
was subsequently rescued for cremation. To this pitiable and 
terrible end came the man who had extended the Imperium 
Populi Romani to the Euphrates and Ararat : 

^ See the map of Asia Minor in 56-50 b.c. contained in Ramsay's Historical 
Commentary on Galatians. 
» Strabo xiv. 15. 10. 



ence of 

iacet ingens litore tnincus 
Avulsumque humeris caput, et sine nomine corpus.^ 

Nevertheless, the work that Pompey had done in Asia Minor 
and Syria continued to stand. He had restored or preserved 
a number of autonomous cities, Hellenic or Hellenised, and even 
added new foundations. It is true that his work in the East, 
so far as the preservation or enlargement of urban life was con- 
cerned, was a work which had been begun, more than two hundred 
and fifty years before, by Alexander, and carried on by Seleucus 
and his successors. But Pompey found much on the point of 
falUng into ruins, and to him is due the praise of a preserver, 
restorer, and promoter of the civilising enterprises of the Mace- 
donian kings. As we follow Paul on his journeys from province 
to province and from Greek city to Greek city ; as we observe 
the growth of ecclesiastical organisation upon the basis of the 
cities, beginning in the Eastern pro^'inces, and note the develop- 
ment of Christian theology by Greek learning sheltered by Roman 
law in Greek cities ; we see the Church using instruments provided 
by Alexander and the Seleucidae, and preserved by Pompey and 
the Romans. The testimony of Velleius Paterculus deserves a 
place among the records of the Church as well as of the Empire — 
" Syria Pontusque Gnaei Pompeii virtutis monumenta sunt." 

The CniL 
Wae and 
48-12 B.C. 

When the victory of Caesar Octavianus over Antony and 
Cleopatra brought an end to civil war and reunited East and West, 
the victor was hailed by his fellow-citizens as the Preserver 
and Restorer of the Republic, and by the subject-allies as a 
Divine DeUverer, a god dwelUng among them in visible presence. 
Such phrases as pacato orbe terrarum, restituta republica, 
or republica conservata, found in inscriptions dating from 
the years immediately following the end of the civil wars, are 
true signs of the times.^ No less remarkable was the permission 
given by Caesar Octavianus to the provincials of Asia and Bithynia 

1 Virgil, Aen. ii. 557, 558. 

2 C.I.L. i. vi. 1527 and 873. Cf. Velleius Paterculus ii. 89. 
of lanus was closed (on January II) in 29 B.C. 

The temple 


to build and dedicate temples to him and the goddess Roma 
at Pergamum and Nicomedia, the headquarters of the respective 
provincial governments.^ 

Finding in 28 B.C. that his continuance at the head of the Settlement 
State was desired, and being at the same time resolved that the 
" restoration of the Republic " should not become a meaningless 
phrase, Octavian entered into negotiations with the Senate 
immediately upon taking office on January 1, 27 B.C., as consul 
for the seventh time. An agreement was reached, the terms of 
which were as follows : He was to be elected consul, as heretofore 
since 32 b.c, year by year. He was to be commander-in-chief 
of the legions, auxiliary forces, and fleets of the Commonwealth. 
He was to control foreign relations ; declaring war, making peace, 
negotiating treaties, setting up and putting down vassal-princes. 
He was to have charge over certain countries, to which he could 
send his deputies as governors.^ His person was to be as 
sacred as those of the trihuni plebis, with whom he had been 
associated, though as a superior rather than as an equal, by 
investiture with trihunicia potestas in 36 B.C. The military 
and civiUan powers assigned to him by this arrangement were 
to be retained for ten years, reckoned from the kalends of 
January 27 B.C. The provinces not specially assigned to his 

^ Dio Cassius li. 20. This took place in 29 B.C., the year of Octavian's 
fifth consulate. Notice that Octavian " gave orders " (^(prjKev) to the Romans 
resident in Asia and Bithynia to dedicate temples to Roma and Divus lulius 
(i.e. the deceased dictator) at Ephesus and Nicaca respectively, while he " per- 
mitted " (iir^rpexpev) the provincials to dedicate temples to himself and Roma 
at Pergamum and Nicomedia. Dio observes in passing that Octavian called 
the provincials " Greeks " ("EXXTji'ds cr^as iwiKaXiffas). Octavian became the 
divine ijyeixwv of the Greek cities of Europe and Asia. In the epoch of the 
gradual expansion of Imperium Populi Rornani eastward Greek cities had made 
the Genius or " Fortune " of Rome, or individual Roman commanders — even 
Verrcs ! — their divine or semi-divine ijyefjihves. The Smyrnacans built a temple 
to Rome as early as 195 B.C. The example set by the provincials of Asia and 
Bithynia was followed by those of Galatia when their country became a 
Roman province, i.e. 25 B.C. See Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi August i. 

' These, at the time when this agreement was made, were (1) Lusitania ; 
(2) Hispania Citerior or Tarraoonensis ; (3) Gallia Transalpina, from the 
Pyrenees and the Mediterranean coast to the Rhine ; (4) Syria, with Cilicia ; 
(5) Cyprus ; (6) Egypt. 



supervision were restored to the jurisdiction of the Senate and 
People.^ A lex de imperio C. lulii C. F. Caesaris, embodying this 
agreement made between Octavian and the Senate, was carried 
on January 13, 27 B.C. Three days later the Senate conferred 
upon Octavian the title of Augustus. At the same time it was 
ordered that a corona civica of oak-leaves should be set up over 
the door of Octavian's house and the door-posts wreathed with 
garlands of laurel. ^ This was to be done in recognition that his 
victories and policy had restored and preserved the Republic. 
Settlement In 23 B.C. a ucw Settlement was made. Augustus, at the end 

of 23 B c 

of June in that year, abdicated the consulship (which he was 
then holding for the eleventh time), and it was agreed between 
him and the Senate that for the government of the provinces 
committed to his charge he should henceforth exercise proconsular 
authority, without the necessity of resigning it in order to enter 
the jpoinerium, within which arms must make way for the toga. 
His tenure of trihunicia potestas was formally renewed, and this 
became the basis of Imperial chronology. As consul he had en- 
joyed precedence {mains imperium) over all provincial governors, 
proconsuls as well as propraetors ; it was now laid down that his 
proconsular authority was to be superior to that of all other 
governors.^ At the end of 18 B.C. his tenure of imperium was 
renewed for five years, then for another five, after which it was 
continued by decennial renewals.^ 
Pontifex In 12 B.C., ou the death of Lepidus, Augustus caused himself 

to be elected Pontifex Maximus by the votes of the Roman People.^ 

' Dio Cassius liii. 1-12 and xiii. 1. Dio drew upon Tacitus, Annals, i. 11-13, 
for material wherewith to embroider his account of the proceedings in the 
Senate at the beginning of Octavian's seventh consulship. 

2 Compare the Aureus of 27 b.c. described in Rushforth, Latin Historical 
Inscriptions, pt. i. No. 2. 

^ Dio Cassius Uii. 32. 5. * Dio Cassius liii. 16. 2. 

° Monumentum Ancyranum, c. 10, Pontifex Maximus ne fierem in vivi 
coulegae locum, populo id sacerdotium deferente mihi, quod pater meus habuit, 
recusavi. Cepi id sacerdotium aliquod post annos eo mortuo qui civilis motus 
occasione occupaverat. (Augustus refers to Lepidus, who " snatched " an 
election to the office in the confusion following upon the death of Caesar the 


From henceforth the presidency of the Pontifical College was per- 
petually associated with the Principate — as the position of the 
Chief of the State came to be called — until late in the fourth 

After the first settlement of 27 B.C. there were changes in the Provinces 
distribution of provinces between the Princeps and the Senate, i^g^^eon 
The important distinction between the two groups was that Augustus 
armies were stationed in the Imperial, but not in the Senatorial, Senate. 
with the exception of Africa. The " provinces of Caesar " fell 
into two classes : (a) those to which legati pro praetore who had 
been members of the Senate were sent, subdivided into provinces 
to which consulares, and provinces to which praetorii were ap- 
pointed ; and (6) those given to praefecti or procuratores of 
Equestrian rank.i Augustus reorganised the Equestrian Order, 
giving its members new opportunities of serving the State by 
creating a number of new offices — prefectures and procurator- 
ships — some of which in course of time became far more important 
than the old Republican magistracies. Chief among these new 
offices were the prefectures of Egypt, of the City, of the Watch, 
of the Corn-supply, and of the Praetorium.^ The Prefect of 
Egypt was a viceroy — the Roman Emperors were kings of Egypt — 
and no senator was ever appointed to this position or even per- 
mitted to enter the country. This precaution was taken in 
order to eliminate as far as possible the risk of an ambitious 
senator making Egypt a base of operations against the Princeps 
or the Principate. 3 It was from this very base, however, that 
Vespasian operated for the overthrow of Vitellius. 

All governors of Senatorial provinces were called proconsuls, 
whether they had held the consulship or not.* Augustus re- 
enacted the Lex Pompeia of 52 B.C., which fixed an interval of 

"• Legati 'pro praetore : Trpea^evras aurov avTKTTparriyovs re dvofjid^eadaL, kKv 
€K tGsv vwarevKbTwv Siai, 5t^To|e, Dio liii. 13. 5 ; Praefecti : ^-rrapxoi. ; Pro- 
curatores : (TriTpoiroL. 

* Praefecturae (a) Aegypti, (6) Urbis, (c) Vigilum, (d) Annonae, (e) Praetorii. 
3 Tacitus, Ann. ii. 59; Hist. i. 11 ; Dio U. 17, Hi. 42. 

* 'KvdiiraToi, Dio lii. 13. 3-4. 



five years between an urban magistracy (viz. praetorship or 
consulship) and a provincial government, but made it apply to 
these provinces only. Proconsuls held their governments only 
for a year. Legati pro praetore and procuratores (governing 
minor provinces) held office during the Emperor's pleasure. 
Tiberius was especially given to prolonging the tenure of governors 
in his provinces. Thus Poppaeus Sabinus was governor of 
Moesia for some twenty-four years in all. Valerius Gratus was 
procurator of Judaea for eleven years ; Pontius Pilate for ten.^ 
Procura- Provincial governors all received fixed salaries, and provincial 

land taxes were no longer collected by competing firms of puhli- 
cani, but by agents and officials of municipalities. These were 
supervised, in " Caesar's Provinces," by procurators, whose 
power often rivalled that of the legati pro praetore, as may be 
seen in the record of Catus Decianus in Britain. ^ Publicani, 
however, still were employed to collect certain kinds of revenue.^ 
On the whole, the condition of the provinces was vastly improved * 
— the spread of Caesar-worship is one of the indications of this — 
and of the two main groups those assigned to the Emperor's 
more direct and especial supervision and control were the better 
governed. In a.d. 15 the provincials of Achaea and Macedonia 
onera deprecantes petitioned for transference from the Senatorial 
or Popular to the Caesarian class of provinces, and the change 
was maintained until a.d. 44 ^ — nearly thirty years. In order 
to deal effectively with brigandage in Sardinia, it was found 
necessary to make the island a Caesarian province under a 
procurator — from a.d. 6 to 66, — and all provinces added to the 

^ Arnold, Roman Provincial Administration, p. 121 ; Tacitus, Annah, i. 
80. 2 ; Dio liii. 13 ; Furneaux, Annals of Tacitus, vol. i., Introd. p. 117 f. 

2 Arnold, op. cit. pp. 124-125. 

^ Tac. Ann. iv. 6. The " publicans " mentioned in the Gospels must have 
been collectors employed by Herod Antipas. They were therefore not Romans 
at all, and had no connection (directly, at any rate) with the Roman authorities. 

* Tac. Ann. i. 2, neque provinciae ilium rerum statum (the Principate) 
abnuebant, suspecto Senatus Populique imperio ob certamina potentium et 
avaritiam magistratuum. 

* Tacitus, Annals, i. 76 ; Sueton. Claudius, 25 ; Dio Cassius Ix. 24. 


Empire after 27 B.C. were placed in the Caesarian class and 
put under the government either of legati or procuratores. 

The best general description of the elaborate system of strabo. 
provincial government which was thus built up by Augustus, 
and continued for so long a time, is that of Strabo, who ends 
his Geographia with an account of the divisions of the Empire 
as it was in the time of Augustus. The reference in it to Ptolemy, 
King of Mauretania, shows that it must have been written not 
earlier than a.d. 23, when Ptolemy succeeded his father Juba. 
But Strabo quite rightly regards the settlement of Augustus 
as fundamental, and his account might equally well be taken, 
with the exception of small details, as a description of the Empire 
at any time during the first century ; for, however much the 
city of Rome suffered in the time of Caligula or Nero, the Provinces 
were well governed, and a general continuity of policy was main- 
tained from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius. The addition of 
other provinces such as Galatia or Cappadocia affected the 
details but not the principle of government or the character of 
the organisation. 

The Monumentnm Ancyranum is of course extremely import- 
ant, but it was not intended to serve the same purpose as Strabo 
had in mind, and is less useful to the investigator of the general 
constitution of the Provinces. It is therefore appropriate to 
finish this section by quoting in full Strabo's account : 

" The Romans," he says, " possess the best and most famous 
portion of the inhabited earth ; their empire surpassing all others 
whereof we have record. Beginning with a single city, Rome, they 
established their power over all Italy for military and political 
purposes. And after Italy they annexed the neighbouring 
countries by exercising the same valour. Of the three continents, 
they hold almost all Europe, saving only the region beyond 
the Ister (Danube) and the districts by the shore of the Ocean 
between the Rhine and the Tanais (Don) ; the whole of that 
coast of Libya which lies nearest to us is also theirs, the rest 
of that continent being desert or inhabited by rude nomads ; and 
in like manner the sea-coast of Asia on our side is all subject 
to them, if we leave out of the account the straitened and savage 


tracts where Achaei, Zygi, and Heniochi subsist by piracy or pas- 
turage. Of inland and upland Asia part is Roman, part is held by 
the Parthians and the barbarians beyond Parthia, Indians, Bactrians, 
and Scythians to the north and east, also Arabs and Ethiopians, 
and the Romans are constantly annexing portions of these territories. 
The whole region subject to the Romans consists of two parts ; one 
is governed by kings, the other, called ' the Provinces,' is adminis- 
tered by governors and tax-gatherers, whom the Romans send 
thither. There are also free cities, some of which were free when 
they first entered into friendship with Rome ; to others the Romans 
themselves have given freedom by way of showing their esteem. 
Certain princes, tribal chieftains {(fivXapxoi), and priests are also sub- 
ject to them. Now these people live under their respective ancestral 

" The division of the provinces has varied from time to time. 
At present it stands as it was ordered by Caesar Augustus. When 
the Republic (7} iraTpk) entrusted him with the supreme command 
(t7)v TTpoa-racriav ttJs rjyefjLovLas), and he was appointed master of peace 
and war for life, he divided the whole territory into two, assigning 
one part to himself, and the other to the People. His share was 
all that needed a military garrison, namely, the barbarous country 
bordering on peoples not yet brought under authority, or rugged 
and sterile land, the inhabitants of which, owing to their general 
poverty and abundance of strongholds, are unbridled and insubordi- 
nate. To the People he gave the rest because it was peaceful and 
could be governed without an armed force. 

" He subdivided each part into provinces, called respectively 
Imperial (Kato-apos) and Popular {rov Brjfiov). To Imperial Provinces 
Caesar himself sends governors and commissioners, from time to 
time changing their frontiers and polities as occasion demands. To 
the Popular Provinces the People send praetors or consuls. These 
provinces also are subject to changes of boundary, whenever expedi- 
ency requires. Among the governments Caesar estabhshed a dis- 
tinction by making two of them consular, namely, Libya, the terri- 
tory subject to the Romans, but not including the part formerly 
ruled over by Juba, and now by his son Ptolemy ; and Asia, the region 
lying within the Halys and Mount Taurus, but not including the 
Galatians and the nations subject to Amyntas, nor yet Bithynia 
and the Propontis. Ten provinces he put under praetors. In Europe 
and the adjacent islands. Further Spain, as it is called, which lies 
round the river Baetis (Guadalquivir) and the Atax ; in the Celtic 
country the Narbonese region ; Sardinia with Corsica is the third ; 
Sicily the fourth ; the fifth and sixth are Illyria, adjoining Epirus, 
and Macedonia ; the seventh is Achaea, extending as far as Thessaly, 
Aetolia, Acarnania, and certain Epirote tribes assigned to Macedonia ; 


the eighth, Crete with Gyrene ; the ninth, Cyprus ; the tenth, Bithy- 
nia, with the Propontis and certain parts of Pontus. The remaining 
provinces are Caesar's. To some he sends men of consular rank to 
administer ; to others those who have been praetors ; to others men 
of the equestrian order. The kings, princes, and decarchies are, 
and always have been, included in his department." 

In the countries lying to the east of the Adriatic the Romans The pbo- 
found, as in Italy, a number of political associations, each with cokcilia 
its religious observances. The policy of the Romans was opposed ^^^^ 
to the existence of separate political unions in countries dependent Empire. 
on them. On the other hand, they seldom interfered with the 
religions of their subjects or allies if these religions neither 
disturbed the peace nor encouraged barbarities. Even so, 
they only interfered to protect the maiestas of the Roman 
People, since it was part of their political tradition to win 
the good -will of other nations by respecting their gods. 
When, therefore, the Romans dissolved a league or con- 
federation, they preferred that league - festivals should be 
only temporarily abolished, and the federal sanctuaries be 
closed only until the political situation was assured. Thus 
the formation of the Roman province of Macedonia in 146 B.C. 
was accompanied by the dissolution of all existing confederations 
in Greece, but later on " the Romans," as Pausanias puts it, 
" took pity on Greece and restored to the several nations their 
ancient councils." ^ The " councils," however, were restored 
only so far as they were purely religious, for although the cities 
of Greece were left with a full measure of internal autonomy, 
all their relations, both within and outside Greece, were controlled 
by Rome. 

In Asia Minor these self-governing religious communities in Religious 
Roman times were numerous. The constituent states of the 
Ionic Dodecapolis, originally a political union, maintained a '" ^^^^ 
common cultus and temple of Poseidon upon the promontory of 
Mycale near Miletus. Immediately to the south of them lay 

* Pausanias, vii. 10. 9-10, 

in Asia 


the Dorian Pentapolis, maintaining the worship and temple 
of Apollo upon the Triopian headland.^ A number of Carian 
village-communities maintained the house and worship of Zeus 
Chrysaoreus (Zeus of the Golden Sword) in a place near which 
arose in the Macedonian epoch the city of Stratonicea.^ The 
Celtic tribes settled in Phrygia had federal magistrates and 
military commanders and a federal council of 300 members, 
which met periodically at a place called Drynemetum.^ There, 
we may be certain, stood a temple, within the precinct of which 
the council held its sessions. In Lycia twenty-three cities entered 
into confederation after the abolition of the Rhodian hegemony 
by the Romans in 167 B.C. Coins of the confederation bear 
the image of Apollo Lycius, indicating that the worship of 
Apollo at Patara was federal.* The Panionic League, the 
Dorian Pentapolis, the Galatian and Lycian confederations 
all survived the establishment of Roman supremacy in 
Asia Minor in 133 B.C. But while the first two had for 
centuries been confined to religious functions, the Galatians 
and Lycians continued to exercise political power. The 
Galatian assembly at Drynemetum became extinct as a 
political body under Deiotarus, Tetrarch of the Tolistoboii, who 
about 47 B.C. made himself monarch over all the Galatian tribes.s 
The Lycians continued as a confederation in free alliance with 
Rome until the reign of Claudius, who annulled their liberties 
because of their destructive quarrels.^ There was also in the 
Roman province of Asia a league of cities lying between the 

1 See Herodotus, i. 142-148; Strabo, Geogr. xiv. 1. 1-3 and 20. Smyrna 
was not reckoned as a member of the Ionian DodecapoUs by Herodotus. After 
its restoration by Lysimachus in 290 b.c. it was added as a thirteenth to the 
league on the recommendation of the Ephesians. 

2 Strabo, xiv. 2. 25. 

^ Strabo, Geogr. xii. 5. 1. Drynemetum {Apwi/Merov), may possibly be a 
Gallo-Greek hybrid name meaning " oak-grove." See p. 182, n. 1, above. 

* Strabo, Geogr. xiv. 3. 3. Cf. Head, Historia Numismatum, "Coins of 

^ Ramsay, Historical Commentary on Galatians, pp. 96-101. 

' Suetonius, Claudius, c. 25. " Exitiabiles discordiae " had brought the 
Achaean League to ruin in 146 B.c. 


Hellespont and the Gulf of Adramyttium, known as the Ilian 
Confederation (to kolvov tmv IXiecov). Among its gods it placed 
Alexander the Great, by whom it had been founded. 

These associations of cities probably were the models on Emperor 
which the Commune Asiae was formed, though they were not con- 2°^^ '^ '° 
stituents of it.^ Dio Cassius says that (in 29 B.C.) Augustus gave 
permission to build and dedicate at Pergamum, the provincial 
capital, a temple in honour of himself and Roma.^ A similar 
authority was given at the same time to the provincials of 
Bithynia, who desired to set up a temple in honour of the Em- 
peror and Roma at Nicomedia.^ Four years later the kingdom 
of Galatia became a Roman province, a legatus Augusii pro 
praetore taking the place of the native king.* The headquarters 
of the new province were established in the ancient Phrygian 
city of Ancyra, and there the kolvov of the Galatians, consisting 
of deputies from the Celtic tribes and the cities of Northern 
Phrygia, erected a temple dedicated ©eo5 'Ze^aarm koI @ea 'Pco/xr]. 
At what date this dedication took place is a matter of uncertainty. 
The temple at Pergamum was not dedicated until ten years after 
permission for its erection had been given. ^ It is certain, how- 
ever, that the Sebasteum or Augusteum at Ancyra must have 
been completed by the end of Augustus's reign, for Tiberius caused 
a copy of his predecessor's Index Rerum Gestarum to be inscribed 
upon its walls, ^ and the inscription must have been cut in the 
first year of the new principate — August a.d. 14 to August a.d. 15,' 

^ Giiiraud, Assemblies provinciales dans VEmpire romain, p. 63. 

2 Dio Cassius li. 20. Above, p. 193, n. 1. 

* Dio Cassius, loc. cit. A Koivbv tQv liidwQy is presupposed. 
4 Dio Cassius liii. 2G. 3. 

^ Guiraud, provinciales dans VEmpire romain, pp. 25, 30. 

* Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 25-26 ; Tac. Ann. i. 78. 

' See Th. Mommseu, Res Gestae Divi Augusti, or Shuekburgh's edition of 
Suetonius's Life of Augustus, Appendix A. In addition to the Latin original, 
a Greek version was also engraved upon the walls of the Augusteum at Ancyra, 
in usum provincialium. This bilingual record (generally known as Monmnentum 
Ancyranum) occupied a considerable space on the outer side of the walls of the 
Na6s or Cella. An inscription found on the doorway begins with the words 
TaAatcon to lepoN lepACAMCNON Oecoi CeBAcrcoi kai Geooi Pcomhi, and 


The cities in the south-eastern and north-eastern districts 
appear to have formed separate Kotvd,^ but the legend of Thecla 
contains an indication that Antioch of Pisidia belonged to the 
KOLvov rS)v VakarSiv, which built the temple and maintained the 
worship of Rome and the Emperor at Ancyra.^ 
Formation In the formation of kolvcl and concilia for the worship of the 

Imperial divinities the general plan was that there should be 
one such organisation for each province. This rule, however, 
was subject to exceptions. For example, in Gaul ^ there 
was one concilium for three provinces. In some instances 
one province had more than one concilium or kolvov belonging 
to the Imperial system. Down to the end of the second 
century there were two in Achaea : that of the Achaeans, and 
that of the " Free Laconians," who had obtained authority to 
form a koivov of their own, which the Empire hesitated for a 
long time to withdraw. The same privilege was accorded to a 
group of Greek cities on the western shore of the Euxine, known 
as the Hexapolis of Tomi, which was not merged in the commune 
Moesiae Inferioris. The cities of Lycia continued to form a 
KOLVOV by themselves after their annexation to the province of 
Pamphylia in a.d. 43. There was a kolvov of Cilicia separate 
from that of Syria. The cities of Eastern Pontus continued as 
a separate kolvov after the annexation of that region to Galatia. 

calls the temple to ceBACTHON. The commune of Galatia is commemorated 
under the title Koivbv VaKarGiv on the coins of Ancyra. 

^ Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 46, 60. M. Guiraud thinks it possible that the koivov 
VaXaruiv was formed upon the old league of Galatae or Galiograeci which used 
to assemble at Drynemetum. Probable enough, if that kolvov consisted only 
of the Tolistoboii, Trocmi, and Tectosages. But that is uncertain. Reid, 
Municipalities of the Roman Empire, p. 379, thinks the Galatian koiv6v was 
not ethnic. 

2 Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 390-396 ; Cities of 
St. Paul, p. 239. 

^ The altar of the Three Gauls was inaugurated on August 1, a day already 
observed by the Gallic " nations " in honour of the sun-god Lug (whose name 
is the basis of Lugdunum). See Guiraud, p. 45; Suetonius, Claudius, c. 2; 
Merivale, History of the Romans under the Empire, vol. iv. pp. 238-239 (ch. xxxvi.). 
The territorial boundaries of the Three Gauls (probably delimited in 16 B.C.) 
did not correspond with the ethnic divisions of Aquitani, Celtae, and Belgae. 
There were large " Celtic " districts in (political) Aquitania. 


Thessaly had its kolvov distinct from that of Macedonia. Thus 
in a number of provinces there was more than one provincial 
KOLVOV organised for mutual aid under the patronage and for the 
worship of the Imperial divinities, the Emperor and Roma.^ 

Dio Cassius observes that the example set by Asia and conciUa 
Bithynia in the fifth consulate of Octavian (29 b.c.) was followed p'^ovmces. 
in every province of the Empire. By the end of Augustus's 
principate most of the provinces of the Empire must have had 
concilia and all the appurtenances of the Imperial rehgion. There 
is clear proof of the existence of such organisations in the Tarra- 
conensis, the Three Gauls, Thessaly, Achaea, Asia, Bithynia, 
Galatia, and Syria in a.d. 14.^ It is also most probable that 
Baetica and the Narbonensis had their concilia estabhshed by 
that date, though there appears to be no mention of either in any 
inscription or any passage in the historians referring to the 
principate of Augustus.^ A kolvov of Cyjjrus comes to light in 
the time of Claudius. It may be regarded as the continuation 
of a Cyprian kolvov existing in the epoch of the Ptolemies (295-58 
B.C.), with the Emperor and Roma substituted for the Macedonian 
monarchs as objects of worship.* Prosecutions instituted at Rome 
in the principate of Nero by " Lycii," " Cilices," " Cretenses," 
" Cyrenenses," and " Mauri " are held to be evidence of the 
existence and activity of coticilia or crvvoSoi and koivcl of Lycia, 
Cilicia, Crete, Cyrene, and Mauretania under that Emperor.^ With 
the exception of the Mauretanian concilium, all might have been 
in existence under Augustus. The Lycian kolvov was indeed 

^ See Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 51 -GO, especially 60. The Free Laconians were 
Laconians exempted by Augustus from the jurisdiction of the Spartan 
authorities. See Pausanias, III. xxi. 6. 

- Tacitus, Annals, i. 78 ; Suetonius, Claudius, 2 ; Dio Cassius liv. 32 and 
li. 20 ; Mommsen, Res Gestae Dim Augusti, p. x ; Roman Provinces, i. pp. 94 
and 264 (E.T.) ; Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 56-59. 

^ Hardy, Provincial Concilia, in vol. i. of Studies in Roman History, pp. 250- 

* Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 59 and 42 ; Sakellarios, Kyprinlca, vol. i., inscriptions 
of pre-Roman date mentioning rd Koivbv tQ>v Kvirpiwi'. 

* Tacitus, Annals, xiii. 30 and 33, xiv. 18 and 28; Guiraud, pp. 58-59; 
Hardy, op. cit. p. 279. 



of concilia. 

worship of 

the Lycian confederation founded in 167 B.C., but deprived by 
Claudius of its functions as a political avarrjfMa.^ A concilium 
Britanniae may have been in process of formation in a.d. 62, 
when the Iceni rose in rebellion against Roman sovereignty.^ 
The prosecution of a governor of Sardinia in a.d. 58 oh provinciam 
avare hahitam was probably instituted by a concilium Sardiniae.^ 
For the service of the altar of the Emperor and Roma erected by 
Drusus in 10 B.C. on the left bank of the Rhine, near a town of 
the Ubii, a German tribe which had been permitted to settle on 
that side of the river, a concilium Germuniae must be supposed.* 

The principal function of these provincial concilia was the 
due performance and maintenance of the worship of Rome and 
the reigning Emperor. By a natural process, the worship of the 
Divi Augusti, i.e. the deceased Emperors, was added. Octavian, 
however, appears to have desired that only provincials (i.e. socii 
et amid, peregrini) should worship Rome and the living Emperor, 
while Roman citizens should worship only the deceased chiefs of 
the Roman Commonwealth. At the time when he permitted the 
erection of temples in honour of Rome and himself at Pergamum 
and Nicomedia by the " Greeks " of Asia and Bithynia, he ordered 
the erection of temples in honour of Divus Julius at Ephesus and 
Nicaea by the Roman citizens resident in those provinces.^ 

This was no new thing in the East. The Seleucidae of Syria 
appear to have sought reinforcement for their claims to suzerainty 
over the Greek cities of Asia Minor, Syria, and Mesopotamia — 
not a few of which they founded or enlarged — ^by assuming a 
divine character and title. With the native Asiatics they had 
no trouble, and the way of the Ptolemies in Egypt, so far as the 
3 ; Head, " Coins of Lycia " in Hist. Numism. ; 

Mommsen, Roman Provinces, i. pp. 191- 

^ Strabo, Geogr. xiv. 3. 
Sueton. Claudius, 25. 

^ Tacitus, Annals, xii. 32, xiv. 31 
192 (E.T.); Hardy, op. cit. p. 250. 

^ Tacitus, Annals, xiii. 30. 

* Mommsen, Roman Provinces, i. p. 35 (E.T.). In a.d. 51 the oppidum 
Ubiorum was incorporated in the veteran settlement called Colonia Agrippina, 
the modern Cologne. In the same year a similar settlement was formed at 
Camulodunum, the modern Colchester. See Tacitus, Ann. xii. 27 and 32. 

^ Dio Cassius li. 20. See p. 193, n. 1, above. 


native population was concerned, was equally smooth and easy. 
When the power of Rome began to overshadow the Greek East, 
Greek city-states which felt the need of a protector, or discerned 
the signs of the times, found a new god. The Smyrnaeans in 
195 B.C. dedicated a temple to Roma.^ Alabanda followed their 
example in 170 B.C., Athens three years later.^ The cultus per- 
formed in these temples was probably in honour of the " Fortune " 
{rv^rj) of Rome, and we may suppose that the statues of the 
goddess were modelled upon the celebrated rv-^^Tj of Antioch, 
which was copied upon the coins of Tarsus and Iconium.^ This 
" Fortune " of Rome was what the Romans themselves called 
" Genius," i.e. " the natural god of each individual thing or place 
or man." * It was a great power manifested in the victories 
of the Roman People. But Greek admiration of the prowess 
of Roman armies could express itself in a more directly personal 
manner. Divine honours were rendered to the proconsul Titus 
Quinctius Flamininus when he broke the power of Macedon in 
battle and proclaimed the liberation of Greece at the Isthmian 
Games in 196 b.c.^ Later still, statues, quadrigae, and even 
temples were set up by the Asians in honour of Roman governors, 
and Cicero preens himself so much on refusing such marks of 
honour that one cannot doubt that they had become a provincial 
tradition in Cilicia. Mark Antony presented himself to the 
Greeks on both sides of the Aegean in 42 B.C. as an " avatar " 
of Dionysus.^ 

In the course of the last century of the old Roman Republic, Divine 
the influences of the East steadily became stronger, especially °^^^^ 

^ Tacitus, Annals, iv. 56. 

* Livy xliii. 6 ; Roid, Municipalities of the Soman Empire, p. 423 ; Hardy, 
Studies in Roman History, i. p. 244. 

3 Ramsay, Cities of St. Paul, pp. 187, 238, 368, 369. 

* Servius on Virgil, Georg. i. 302; cf. Horace, Epp. ii. 2. 187-189. Note 
the Greek rendering of the formula used by the proconsul of Asia in examining 
Polycarp, 6fjio(Tov rrjv Kaicapos tijxv • Eusebius, H.E. iv. 15. Hart. Polyc. ix., x. 

* Plutarch, Flamininus, c. 16. 

" Cicero, ad Atticum, v. 21. 7 ; ad Quintum fratrem, i. 1. 9 ; Sueton. Augustus, 
52, and Shuckburgh's note. Plutarch, Antonius, 24 ; Ferrero, Grandeur et de- 
cadence de Borne, vol. iv. p. 51. 


among those classes to whom Cicero refers as " misera et 
ieiuna plebecula." Caesar's victories may justly be said to 
have exalted him to heaven, and this apotheosis was no private 
affair, but the act of the Senate and People.^ His statue, even 
while he was yet alive, was set up in the temple of Quirinus with 
that of the god. To Cicero and all such as were like-minded with 
him, Caesar " (Tvvvao<i Quirino " was highly displeasing, but the 
People loved to have it so. The public worship of Caesar, however, 
was instituted for Romans only, and Caesar was not proclaimed 
" Divus " by a formal vote of the Senate until after his death. 
Throughout the history of " Caesar- worship " only deceased 
Emperors are "Divi," and only such as had " heaven decreed to 
them " by the Senate, which by withholding the formal relatio 
inter deos of a departed Emperor could declare his acts to be null, 
and so relieve his successor from obligation to maintain or execute 
them. Augustus secured for Caesar a place among the gods 
of Rome along with Jupiter and Quixinus, and gave orders to 
the Romans resident in Asia and Bithynia for the erection of 
temples to " the Divine Julius " at Ephesus and Nicaea, but 
would not accept divine honours from the provincials for himself 
save as the associate or assessor of the goddess Roma, and refused 
them altogether in Rome and Italy. ^ This refusal was dictated 
by his determination to preserve not only Rome, but Italy (which 
since 90 B.C. was all Roman) in the Imperial position in which 
he found them. If he was to be worshipped as a god by Romans, 
he would be deified in the Roman way, after death and by decree 
of the Senate. The great household of the Republic, of which 
he was not only Princeps but Pater,^ should worship him after 
the manner in which every familia worshipped its Di Manes. 
Rome and Italy, however, appear to have thought Augustus's 
refusal of divine honours "in his own country and in his own 
house " a law to be honoured in the breach rather than in the 

1 See Smith's Did. Antiq. s.v. "Apotheosis." 

2 Dio 51. 20 ; Suetonius, Augustus, 52. 

3 Horace, Carm. i. 2. 50, hie ames dici Pater atque Princeps. So Augustus 
was formally entitled Pater Patriae in 2 b.c. ; 3Ion. Ancrj. c. 35. 


observance. In the municipalities private or municipal devotion 
raised sacella in his honour whilst he yet lived/ and in Rome itself 
his Genius was associated with the Lares Compitales or gods of 
the " parishes." ^ It might be said that he himself had given 
encouragement to these forms of apotheosis by accepting the 
title of Augustus (January 16, 27 b.c.).^ But, with the exception 
of Tiberius, no other Emperor received divine honours in his 
lifetime in Rome or Italy,* and in some instances the Senate 
withheld the formal relaiio inter deos.^ 

It is not certain whether the cultus of deceased Emperors Worship of 
was joined to that of the reigning Emperors in the practice of all EmpTrors. 
the provincial concilia. There is evidence to show that it was so in 
the Spanish provinces and in Sardinia.^ A priest of the Templum 
Divi Augusti is mentioned in an inscription found at Narbonne, 
and a " chief priest of the Augustus and his divine ancestors " 
{ap'^i€peu<i Tov Ze^acTTOv koX tcov OeLwv irpo'yovwv avrov) 
in an inscription found on the site of Sparta.' But the worship 
of the departed princes maintamed at Narbonne and Sparta was 
probably a municipal cultus, separate from and independent of 
the cultus maintained by the concilia of the Narbonensis and 
Achaea. Among Egyptians, Syrians, Anatolians, Greeks, and 
the nations of the Empire generally, the worship of departed 

^ Hardy, op. cit. pp. 241 and 244, n. 50. 

* Augustus divided Rome into 14 regions and 265 vici. The lares or guardian 
spirits of each vicus had their chapel (aedicula) at a compitum (street-crossing). 
See Shuckburgh on Sueton. Aug. 30. 

* Dio Cassius liii. 16, AiJyovcrros ws Kal irXdov ti i) Kara dvOpwirovs ibv iireKX-qdy). 
irdura yap to. ivTi/jioTaTa Kal ra iepibraTa aijyovara irpoaayopeveTat. Ovid, Fasti, 
i. 609 f. : 

Sancta vocant augusta patres ; augusta vocantur 

Templa sacerdotuin rite dicata manu. 
Huius et augurium dependet origine verbi, 

Et quodcumque sua luppiter auget ope. 

* Rushforth, Latin Historical Inscriptions, p. 56. 

^ See Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 28-29. This withholding of relatio inter deos 
was known as damnaiio memoriae, and carried with it the annulment of the 
dead man's public acts. 

* See Hardy, op. cit. p. 245, n. 51. 

' Hardy, op. cit., loc. cit. ; Guiraud, p. 32, n. 4. 



tion of the 

princes and mighty men was still practised.^ But the proper 
objects of the worship offered by the provincial concilia were 
Rome and the reigning Emperor, for it was in honour of Rome 
and the living Imperator Caesar that the provincial caerimoniae 
of Asia and Bithynia, which set the example to the rest of the 
subject-countries, were originally and expressly instituted. The 
cultus of deceased Emperors might be joined with the provincial 
cultus of the living Emperor. But it was not an essential part 
of the provincial cultus. Again, a cultus of the first Augustus 
might be instituted in this or that city while he yet lived and 
continued after his death. But that would be an affair quite 
distinct from any cultus of his successors, whether in their life- 
time or after their death. At the same time, a community 
which had once organised the cultus of a living Emperor might 
find itself visited with severity if it neglected him after his death. ^ 
In the caerimoniae of the provincial concilia, the offering of sacri- 
fice to Rome and the reigning Emperor, M. Guiraud finds " not 
religion, but rather homage done to the Roman State and its 
Head." ^ They were forms borrowed or conveyed from religion 
for the purpose of expressing loyalty. 

The provincial concilia consisted in each case of deputies 
(legati, avveZpoL, kolv6^ov\oc) from the civitales of the province. 
These deputies were chosen, in the Western provinces, by the 
decuriones, city-councillors, of municipia and coloniae, or by the 
councils of civitales, which were cantonal rather than municipal 

1 For example, the tomb of Antiochus of Commagene, who died in 34 B.C., 
was also a temple, at which offerings were to be made to his ghost. See Momm- 
sen, Roman Provinces, ii. p. 125 (E.T.), and compare Holm, Hist, of Greece, iv. 
p. 573. Sparta worshipped Agamemnon, Menelaus and Helen, and Lycurgus ; 
Pausanias iii. 19. 9, 16. 5, 15. 3. Alexandria venerated her founder and his 
successors of the House of Lagus (see Strabo xvii. 1. 8 and Dio Cassius li. 16). 
Strabo mentions a Caesareum (i.e. a templum Divi lulii) as one of the chief 
buildings of Alexandria (xvii. 1. 9). Athens maintained the worship of Theseus ; 
Pausanias i. 17. 2. 

'^ Tacitus, Annals, iv. 26, obiecta publice Cyzicenis incuria caerimoniarum 
Divi Augusti, additis violentiae criminibus adversus cives Romanos, et amisere 
libertatem. Cf. Dio Ivii. 24. " Publice " may mean that the charge was brought 
against Cyzicus by the commune Asiae. 

^ Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 32-33. 


communities. In the Eastern provinces they were chosen either 
by the city-councillors {^ovXevrai) or by the citizen-assemblies 
(ifCKXTjaiac).^ There is evidence showing that a civitas or 
TToX.L'i might send more than one deputy,^ and it is possible that 
some endeavour was made to have the constituent communities 
represented in proportion to population. 

The priest of the provincial altar or temple of Rome and the Office of 
Emperor was president in the assembly of the legati or avveSpoi 
of the cities in each province. On monuments of the Imperial 
religion set up in the Western provinces this functionary is men- 
tioned under the title of sacerdos or flamen.^ On those which 
were set up in the Eastern provinces he is generally described as 
ap'^Lepev'i. He was elected by the legati or avveSpoi, who con- 
stituted the provincial council. From a passage in one of the 
orations of Aristides, a sophist of the Antonine epoch, it appears 
that in Asia the avpiSpiov drew up a list of " papabili," from 
which the final choice was made by the proconsul.* There is 
nothing to show or suggest that any such procedure existed 
elsewhere among the provinces. Elections were apt to be 
tumultuous afi'airs, at any rate where they were decided 
by a popular vote, for the oflS.ce of flamen jrrovinciae was one 
of great honour. The holder for the time being was the chief 
personage among the provincials,^ and those who had held it — 

^ The city-councils (sometimes called senates) in Roman nninicipalities 
were considerably smaller than those of the Greek ir6X«y, in proportion, at any 
rate, to the number of townsfolk, and their magistrates less numerous than the 
Greek ipxavres. 

^ Aristides speaks of Smyrna sending synedri to the K0iv6v of Asia. The 
Thorigny inscription bears record that the civitas Viducassium elected and sent 
to the concilium III. Galliarum one T. Sennius Soleninis as deputy inter celeros. 
See Hardy, op. cit. p. 253. Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 64-65. There is no evidence, 
however, to show that the same practice was observed in all tlio provinces. 

^ See Hardy, op. cit. p. 257. 

■* A similar procedure was instituted under the Ottoman regime for the 
election of patriarchs in the Greek Church. 

^ Preference was given to men who had held the chief offices in their severa 
municipalities. The statement that a flamen or sacerdos had held such offices 
occurs frequently on inscriptions (ovviibus honoribiis in patria sua functo). 
UpCiTos TTjs eVapxetas has been found as a title or description of a provincial 
high priest in Asia and in the Narbonensis. See Hardy, op. cit. p. 258. 


flaminales viri, as they were called in the West — formed the 
highest stratum of provincial society. The prestige and im- 
portance of the office is shown by the fact that in Asia, if not 
elsewhere, the provincial high priest was an eponymous official, 
by reference to whom events were dated.^ 

If to be high priest to Roma and the Emperor was an honour- 
able oflEice, it was no less an onerous one, especially in the Eastern 
provinces. The high priest of the Imperial gods was called upon 
to find the expenses of the ludi {arfSiva) which were celebrated 
at the time of the assembly of the legati (crvveBpoi,) under his 
presidency. The variety and magnificence of these exhibitions 
would naturally be much greater in such provinces as Syria, 
Asia, Africa, and the Three Gauls than in Macedonia, Achaea, 
Crete, or Pannonia. There were chariot-races — more to the 
public taste in the East than gladiator-combats, — wrestling 
matches, foot-races, and contests of musicians and orators.^ The 
provision of spectacula in Rome was notoriously an expensive 
affair. In the provinces it was probably not much less a drain 
upon individual fortunes, and the requirement of wealth for 
the high priesthood of the province in course of time tended to 
make the office hereditary. 
High The high priest might be chosen from the burgess-roll of 

^'I'a. ^ ° any civitas from which deputies were sent to the concilium. 
Thus the succession of " high priests of Asia," so far as it has 
been recovered, includes the names, not only of citizens of 
Pergamum, Ephesus, Smyrna, and other cities where the con- 
cilium assembled, but also of men from cities where the temples 
and worship of the Imperial gods were purely municipal, 

^ See two inscriptions quoted by Hardy, op. cit. pp. 257-258 : (a) ^do^ev 
Tols iirl rijs 'Affias "EWrjcnv iv koivi^, KXafSiou Kovirwov dpx'fp^ws tjjj 'Ac/as : 
(6) ^8o^ev Tots iirl t7j$ 'Aalas "EWtjctij', Ti^. K\av5lov 'HpuSov dpx'fp^ws Oeds 
'PiljfiTjs Kal deov Kalcrapos. Note that the members of the KOLvbv or crvvidpiov are 
called "EXXi^res and that they are said to be " over " the province. 

2 Polycarp was burnt in the stadium at Smyrna (Mart. Polyc. in Eusebius, 
H.E. iv. 15). Thecla was condemned to be torn in pieces by a lioness in the 
stadium at Pisidian Antioch. Ramsay, TJie Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 
400-401 These martyrdoms were enacted at provincial ludi. 


The " high priests of Asia," whose names have been preserved, 
came from thirty different cities of the province.^ In the Eastern 
provinces the pomp and circumstance of the high priesthood of 
Roma and the Emperor appear to have been much greater than 
in the West, and the high priests bore grandiloquent titles. Thus 
the high priest of the Galatians assumed the title of " Galatarch " 
(Galatarcha, TaXardp'x^r]';). Analogous titles were borne by the 
several high priests of Bithynia, Asia, Pamphylia, Lycia, Cilicia, 
Syria, Phoenicia, Pontus, and Achaea.^ 

The concilia met annually, but not at the same date in every Meetings 
province. For the Three Gauls, the date of the annual assembly 
was August 1, a day which had been observed from time im- 
memorial by the Gallic tribes and clans in honour of the sun-god. 
The assembly of the concilium Asiae was held at the end of winter 
or the beginning of spring. The annual period is inferred from 
a variety of data, the most important of which, perhaps, are the 
records of prosecutions instituted by various provinces against 
governors who had abused their powers.^ Sixteen such pro- 
secutions are known to have been instituted in the course of the 
century following the death of Augustus, i.e. a.d. 14-114. Such 
proceedings could only have been undertaken by an association 
meeting in congress at least once in every year, and the prosecu- 
tors who appeared in Rome were in each case legati of the province 
concerned, i.e. deputies of civitates of that province and members 
of its concilium. Provincial legati also used to appear in Rome 
for the purpose of testifying to a governor's admirable qualities 

^ The larger ir6\eis and civitates, however, would stand at an advantage over 
the smaller in this respect, inasmuch as their men of wealth would be more 
numerous. See Hardy, op. cit. p. 260. 

^ Hardy, op. cit. p. 261 ; Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 97-99. The identity of the 
provincial "ruler" (Asiarch, Galatarch, Pontarch, etc.) with the provincial 
high priest is shown by (1) the Martyrium Polycarpi, which calls Philip of Trallcs 
" high priest " (sc. of Asia) in one place and " Asiarch " in another ; (2) I\Iodes- 
tinus in the Digest, xxvii. 1. 6 : 'iOvovs lepapxia, olov 'Aaiapx^o., Bidwapx^a, 
KawiradoKapxl-a; Trap^x" dXeiTovpyyifflau dnb iTVLTpoirdv (exemption from under- 
taking guardianship) ; (3) a reference in a law of Constantino, a.d. 336, to 
persons quos in civitatibus sacerdotii id est Phoenicarchiae vel Syriarchiae orna- 
menta condecorant. ' Hardy, Studies in Roman History, i. pp. 254-255. 


of heart and head. Now in the Provinciae Populi the governors 
usually held their positions for a year only. The legation brought 
a copy of a conciliar decree declaring the noble acts of the gover- 
nor, and ordering that the memory thereof should be preserved 
by means of an enduring monument, such as a slab of white 
marble, engraved with the text of the decree and set up in the 
provincial Augusteum.^ Whether forwarded to Rome by a 
legation or not, such decrees in honour of ofl&cials whose sojourn 
in the province did not last longer than a year could not very well 
be carried by a council meeting at longer intervals. 
Temples of In the greater number of cases the provincial temple of 

Koine and , . . . 

Augustus. Roma and Augustus stood m the city which was the provincial 
capital, but there were some in which it was built elsewhere. 
Wherever that sanctuary stood, there was the meeting-place 
of the concilium or a-vvkhpiov. Thus, for example, the koivov of 
Cilicia assembled at Tarsus, the koivov of the Galatians at Ancyra, 
the concilium Africae at Carthage, that of the Tarraconensis at 
Tarraco. The consilium III. Galliarum did not, strictly speak- 
ing, assemble at Lugdunum, but in a sacred precinct at the very 
confluence of the Saone and Rhone and between the two streams. 
The KOLvov of Achaea assembled, not at Corinth, but at Argos. 
In Asia the koivov or a-vviBpiov r^? 'Ao-La<i was convened at first in 
the precinct of the Temple of the Emperor and Roma at Perga- 
mum. But in course of time other cities of the province also 
obtained authority to erect Augustea, and after the principate of 
Augustus that city ceased to be the only one within whose coasts 
the concilium Asiae could assemble and the provincial aywveq be 
held. In the latter part of the first century there were five or 
six cities, in addition to Pergamum, in which the concilium from 
time to time assembled. This multiphcation of assembly-places 
in Asia was allowed by the Emperors in order to appease the 
rivalries of the Asian mmiicipalities.^ 

1 Hardy, op. cit. pp. 275-276. 

^ See Hardy, op. cit. p. 256 ; Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches, pp. 
289-290. The provincial ayuves were held at Smyrna in a.d. 155 ; see the 
Martyrium Polycarpi. It is not certain that the provincial assembly met in 


The title of 'Ao-ta/a^^T^?, Asiarcha, is especially interesting, as The 
it occurs in Acts xix. 31. A passage in Strabo indicates that it '*^ * • 
was known in Asia in the time of Pompey, and that it then 
denoted one who was a provincial notable or magnate. The city 
of Tralles, so the geographer informs us, was remarkable for the 
number of wealthy men who dwelt there, some of whom were at 
all times to be found among the magnates of the province {ol 
'7rpa>T€vovr€<; Kara rrjv iirap'x^Lav). These were known as Asiarchs. 
Conspicuous among them in former times had been one Pytho- 
dorus, a native of Nysa, a town not very far distant from Tralles. 
Pythodorus had migrated to Tralles in order to identify hunself 
with an illustrious community, and had become famous through 
his friendship with Pompey. His daughter Pythodoris was Queen 
of Pontus in Strabo's day.^ 

Under the Principate, the chief priest of the temple inaugur- 
ated at Pergamum in 19 B.C. was at first the only ap^tepevf t^? 
'Acrta<?, but the passage just cited from Strabo shows that he was 
not the only ''Ko-Lapx'n'^, though doubtless he was 6 ' Kcndp-^ri'i, 
Asiarch jpar excellence. It is not likely that any one would have 
been recognised as an Asiarch, unless in addition to being wealthy 
he had held all or most of the offices of importance in his native 
city, and these were the qualifications required of one who was 
to hold the office of " high priest of Asia." These high priests, 
then, would be " Asiarchs " before they were appointed, and 
naturally continued to be known as " Asiarchs " after they had 
retired from their sacerdotal office. It is possible that in course 

tlic loading cities according to a rota, for there is numismatic evidence to show 
that it met at Pergamum both in a.d. 97 and in the year following. Apparently 
there was some order of precedence among the cities. At any rate, Magnesia 
{ad Sipylum) did not claim to be higher than seventh. On the other hand, 
Pergamum's claim to stand first was vigorously disputed by Ephesus and 
Smyrna. The Ephesians, indeed, claimed to be fxdvoL irpwroi 'Atr/as. See the 
descriptions of coins of Pergamum, Ephesus, Smyrna, etc., in Head's Uisioria 
Numismatum. In the course of the first century the places where the conciKum 
Asiae might be held came to include Ephesus, Sardis, Smyrna, Laodicea, 
Philadelphia, and Cyzicus. Compare the seven cities of Apoc. i.-iii. 
^ See Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 105-106 ; Strabo, Oeogr. xiv. 1. 42. 


of time the title " Asiarch " became so closely associated with 
that of " high priest " — in any case the Asiarchate of the high 
priest would quite outshine that of other principal notables or 
grandees — that only those who had " passed the chair " of the 
high priesthood were allowed to style themselves " Asiarchs." ^ 
But it is doubtful whether this usage had become established 
so early as the principate of Nero, who was Emperor when the 
silversmiths' riot disturbed the peace of Ephesus. 

In consequence of the rivalry of the leading cities of Asia, 
the Emperor authorised not only the erection of temples of 
Roma et Augustus, but also the assembly of the concilium Asiae, at 
other cities besides Pergamum. The priests of these other 
temples were appointed by the concilium, and it was not necessary 
that they should be natives of the cities to which they were 
appointed, like the " high priest of Asia," only for a year. They 
were also styled " high priests " (ap^LcpeU) and even " Asiarchs." 
Moreover, inscriptions mention a " high priest of the temples 
which are in Smyrna," a " high priest of the temples which are 
in Ephesus," and a " high priest of the temples which are in 
Pergamum." The mention of temples in the plural must be 
understood to refer either to the first, second, and third neo- 
Jcoreia ^ or " caretakership " claimed by those cities, or to temples 
such as the one Smyrna erected and dedicated in honour of 
Tiberius, Livia, and the Senate, in addition to that of Roma 
and Augustus, in the latter years of Tiberius's principate.^ The 
relation of the " high priest of the temples which are in Per- 
gamum " to the " high priest of Asia " is obscure. The high 
priesthood of Asia may have become detached from exclusive 
connection with the temple and altar at Pergamum, being ex- 
panded into a general supervision of temples, altars, priests, 
rites, and all the apparatus of the Imperial cult in the province — 
in short, an Asian pontijicatus maximus or summus episcopatus. 
It is noteworthy that monuments in Asia were dated with 

^ Guiraud, op. cit. p. 106. 

* See Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, ii. 84, 91. 

' See Tacitus, Annals, iv. 15, 55, 56 ; Hardy, op. cit. pp. 262-263. 


reference to " high priests," never with reference to "Asiarchs." 
This can only be accounted for on the supposition — which on 
other grounds is well warranted — that the high priesthood was 
held only for a year, while the dacapx^ was a permanent status, 
not an office. 

The prosecution of provincial governors who practised Tho con. 
extortion or otherwise oppressed the subject population became provincial 
an important function of the communia. Litigation was expensive, 8°^^™- 
and the communal area (treasury) of the province contained 
larger resources to draw upon than would have been available 
for most of the individuals and many of the communities which 
from time to time were the victims of abuse of authority on the 
part of proconsuls, legates, or procurators. By the time of 
Nero's principate, the provincials were even becoming formidable 
to their governors. Honorific decrees passed in favour of the 
" lords of the world " by provincial councils became desirable. 
They might be aids to promotion, and governors so generally 
canvassed and intrigued for them that the practice had to be 
checked as detrimental to the prestige of the Roman name.^ 

The Emperors made use of the concilia in the government 
of the provinces. Imperial rescripts dealing with various 
matters of public concern, such as infanticide, cattle-stealing, 
or the granting of freedom from taxation to certain professions 
or occupations, are known to have been addressed to these bodies. ^ 
Nevertheless, the concilia did not obtain legal recognition as 
administrative authorities. The " encyclical " sent out by the 
Senate in a.d. 238, calling the Empire to arms in support of the 
Gordians against Maximin, contains an exhaustive list of the 
organs of government, but the concilia are not mentioned among 
them. 3 

1 Hardy, op. cit. pp. 271-282 ; Tacitus, Annals, iv. 15, xiii. 33, xv. 20-22. 

* Hardy, op. cit. pp. 271-272. 

* luliiis Capitolinus, Maximimis, 15 : S.P.Q.R. per Gordianoa principes a 
tristissimis bellis liberari coeptus, proconsulibus praesidibus legatis ducibus 
tribunia magistratibus ac singulis civitatibus et municipiis et oppidis et vicis 
et castellis salutcm, quam nunc primum recipere cocpit, dicit. 



The real status of the provincial concilia appears to have been 
the same as that of the collegia and sodalitates, which were licensed 
and regulated by the State, but were not, strictly speaking, 
" public bodies." At any rate they were not recognised organs 
or agents of the sovereign authority of the Roman Commonwealth. 
The term kolvov, used in the Eastern provinces to denote a pro- 
vincial council, was also in common use as a name for private 
associations, e.g. to kolvov rcov Aa/xTraBiaroiv rcov ev Udrfio), and 
the Latin word concilium might be employed to denote a private 
as well as a pubHc corporation. Like the multitude of small 
Kotvd, diaaoi, collegia, sodalitates, the provincial concilia con- 
sisted of official and unofficial members, maintained their several 
funds, worshipped Roma and the Emperor, and celebrated 
festivals. The difference lay in the scale of the functions exer- 
cised, and further, in the fact that the provincial concilia might 
enter into direct relations with the Senate or the Emperor. ^ 

Inscriptions and coins supply data for the history of the 
concilia down to the end of the reign of Gallienus, a.d. 268. For 
the next fifty years or so there is no mention made of them.^ They 
were not destroyed by the triumph of Christianity over paganism, 
but the character of their periodical festivals was changed in 
that they ceased to be rehgious observances, the cultus of Roma 
and the Emperor having come to an end. Gladiator-combats, 
however, and chariot-races, wrestling-matches, ludi scenici, and 
venationes were still kept up, as long, at any rate, as money was 
available to provide such spectacles. The Church did not demand 
their abolition, though it condemned their being celebrated on 
Sundays and other great days in the ecclesiastical calendar.^ 

Importance Such was the general organisation of the Roman world 
of conci/ia ^^^ which Christianity began to penetrate so soon as it 
torians. ccased to be exclusively Jewish. To the student of Christian 

1 See Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 113-119; Hardy, p. 266. The Aafj-iradiaTai 
mentioned in the quotation were probably an association maintaining reUgioua 
observances, in which a torch-race (Xa/j.ira8ii(f>opia) was the distinctive feature. 

2 Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 219, 221. » Guiraud, op. cit. pp. 245-246. 


origins it is important to understand generally the growth of the 
provinces, the outline of their administration, and the nature of 
the concilia, which, without being identical with the provincial 
government, were closely connected with it, and especially were 
responsible for the regulation of the cult of the Emperor and of 
Roma. The persecution or toleration of Christians depended on 
the attitude of concilia and governors alike, and before persecu- 
tion could be severe it required active hostility from both. 

The system thus established by Augustus remained without 
radical change until the time of Diocletian. The most important 
movements of that period (a.d. 14-284) may be summarised as 
follows. The number of provincial governments was increased, 
partly by the substitution of legates or procurators for client- 
princes, partly by new conquests, partly by division of old 
provinces. There was also an increase in the number of com- 
munities organised on the Roman municipal pattern. Free 
cities adopted Roman municipal institutions ; coloniae civium 
Romanorum were formed out of legionary camps or settlements 
of veterans. The distinction between Romans and provincials 
was abolished by Caracalla's celebrated edict of a.d. 212, which 
made Romans of practically the whole of the free population of 
the Empire. Caracalla's object, however, was merely fiscal ; 
he was bent upon increasing the number of those who paid the 
succession-duty known as vicensima haereditatium. Over against 
the increase in the number of Roman or Romanised municipalities 
must be set the increase of their dependence upon the Imperial 
Government.^ The position of Italy gradually changed until it 
became identical with that of the provinces. This change 
indeed was foreshadowed in 23 B.C. by the introduction of 
proconsulare imperium within the pomerium.^ Septimius Severus 
stationed a legion at Albanum. Diocletian repealed the exemption 
from land-tax which Romans in Italy had enjoyed since 167 B.C.' 

^ Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, p. 222. ^ Y)[q 53 32. 5. 
^ Arnold, Boman Provincial Administration, pp. 169-170, 189-190. 



By Clifford H. Moore 

Unity The civilised world in the first century was politically and in- 

ancient tellectually a unit ; but this unity was the result of a long and 
brthe """ important development. In the fourth century B.C. the countries 
Mace- about the Mediterranean had no common language, habit of 

donians. ° ° 

thought, or form of government. Although the Greeks had 
established themselves on the western coast of Asia Minor at 
an early date, and, since the eighth century, had sent colonies 
to South Italy, Sicily, Southern Gaul, Northern Africa, and even 
to the shores of the Black Sea, they had not yet succeeded in 
making their language a common medium of communication 
among the peoples included in the Mediterranean basin ; nor 
had they impressed their intellectual habits on them. The 
whole area was split up into a number of states without common 
aims or interests. Yet the fourth century saw in Greece a power 
which was to begin the process of unification. Philip of Macedon 
(359-336 B.C.) seems to have been the first Western ruler to 
conceive adequately the notion of a great empire ; and ten 
years before Philip's death the aged Isocrates, with an imperial 
vision which none of his fellow-countrymen ever displayed, 
urged Philip to make himself leader and champion of Greece 
against the Great King, that he might destroy the Persian power, 
or at least annex all Asia Minor, in which the surplus population 



of Greece might find an outlet. When in 336 B.C. the assassin's 
dagger cut short Philip's triumphant progress, he was succeeded 
by his son Alexander, whose accomplishments were destined to 
be greater than his father's dreams. Before the Greeks could 
mature their plans to rid themselves of the Macedonian domination, 
Alexander had reconciled or overawed the several states and 
been elected supreme general of Hellas against Persia. A cam- 
paign in Thrace and a revolt in Greece proper detained him until 
the spring of 334 B.C., when he crossed into Asia Minor. It is 
needless to follow the details of his conquests : how in the next 
ten years he conquered all the lands, including Egypt, bordering 
on the eastern Mediterranean, and carried his victorious arms 
through modern Persia and Turkestan, across the Himalayas 
by the Khyber Pass into the Punjab, from whence he descended 
the Indus river, and returned overland through Baluchistan 
and Persia to Babylon, where he died in 323 B.C. Thus Alex- 
ander showed the possibility of a great political empire, in which 
the distinction between Greek and barbarian was to be broken 
down ; the Greek was not to dominate the Oriental or the 
Oriental the Greek, but each was to have his place in a cosmo- 
pohtan state. Indeed Alexander had begun to effect a fusion of 
West and East. His death cut short its full realisation, but 
nevertheless the Greek colonies which he had planted opened up 
new worlds for trade, and spread the Greek tongue so widely 
that, although most of his colonists ultimately were absorbed 
by the surrounding peoples, the language survived and became 
a lingua franca over at least the western half of the territories 
subdued by him. Although his political empire was divided 
immediately after his death into separate kingdoms, the Diadochi 
still fostered Hellenism : their capitals were centres of Greek 
culture, and they prided themselves on their Hellenic inheritance. 

During the last three centuries before our era, the centre of Alexandria 
the Greek intellectual world was Alexandria in Egypt. Here fe^cumr^' 
East and West met. The Greeks had long been in Egypt, and "^"^""^ ^^ 
the older groups of Jews now received large accessions. The the Jewish 



Ilellenising of the Jews advanced rapidly, and before the close 
of the third century B.C. a translation of the Pentateuch had 
been made into Greek for the use of the Jews of the Diaspora, 
who had forgotten their ancient tongue ; in Palestine itself the 
Greek language, and even Greek customs, won their way, at least 
by the second century B.C. The revolt under the Maccabees had 
important religious results, but it did little to stay the spread of 
Greek civilisation. If so conservative a people as the Jews could 
not resist the advance of Hellenism, we can well understand its 
conquests over less tenacious peoples. With the Greek language 
went Greek ideas and habits of thought, and during the three 
centuries preceding our era an intellectual unity was gradually 
established throughout the lands bordering on the eastern half 
of the Mediterranean as far as the Euphrates. In many places 
still farther east the Greek language was at least understood 
and Greek ideas were not unfamiliar. 
Rise of After 300 B.C. a new power rose in the West, which rapidly 

a^rid^ extended its conquests to the whole Mediterranean area. By 
power. 270 B.C. Kome had subdued all the Italian peninsula south of the 
Arno and the Rubicon. At the end of the third century she had 
twice defeated Carthage, and had taken as provinces Sicily, 
Corsica, Sardinia, and much of Spain. She next turned to 
Greece and the East. When the Emperor Augustus died in 
A.D. 14, Rome was virtually mistress of all the lands bordering 
on the Mediterranean, which had literally become a Roman lake. 
The western and northern boundaries of the Empire were the 
Atlantic Ocean, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black Sea ; 
on the east lay the Parthian Empire, separated from that of 
Rome by Armenia, the Euphrates, and the deserts of Arabia ; 
and on the south in Africa the Sahara formed a natural frontier. 
Within these limits many peoples and nations had been welded 
into a single empire by the political genius of the Romans, whose 
work was so well done that, from the time of Augustus, Italy 
and the provinces remained, with trifling exceptions, well governed 
and contented for more than two centuries, in spite of the con- 


dition of the capital .under such emperors as Caligula, Nero, 
Domitian, and Commodus. 

Just as the Greek language and civilisation had spread over Latin 
the eastern half of the Mediterranean area, so in the West the diff^fby 
consequence of political conquest was the establishment of the R°"^*'>8. 
Latin tongue ; but in the East it made no great headway against 
Greek. The result was that, although local languages and 
dialects long persisted among the lower classes and in the remoter 
districts, Latin and Greek were the two languages of the Roman 
Empire ; moreover, cultivated Romans wrote and spoke Greek 
with facility, so that from one end of the Empire to the other 
Greek was a common medium for polite and learned society. 
Thus the Empire was unified in speech as well as in government. 

But this was not all. Rome from an early period was in- influence 
fluenced by Greek thought and institutions, first through the on Romans. 
Greek colonies in South Italy and in Sicily, later from Greece 
herself. The Romans generally recognised that their civilisation 
was inferior to that of the Greeks, and were ready to learn. 
From the Greeks they received their alphabet, their weights 
and measures, and certain political institutions ; but Greek 
influence was even greater in the fields of art, literature, 
religion, and philosophy. 

Tradition says that Greeks were found in Latium before the 
founding of Rome, and there is no doubt that Greek traders 
penetrated central Italy at least as early as the seventh century 
B.C. With them they brought their gods, who were freely re- 
ceived, and sometimes so completely adopted that they passed for 
Italian divinities : thus Hercules was established at Tibur ; and 
the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, at Tusculum, whence they came 
to Rome. In Etruria the Greek Zeus, Hera, and Athena were 
identified with an Etruscan triad, which was established in Rome 
on the Capitoline Hill by the Etruscan Tarquins, under the 
Italian names of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. In the course of 
the next three and a half centuries the Romans' contact with 
the Greeks led them to recognise more of their gods, some of the 


most important being brought in at the direction of the Sibylline 
books — that collection of oracles which tradition said had been 
purchased by one of the later Tarquins. These divinities 
were Apollo, Hermes (Mercury), the triad Demeter, Dionysus, 
and Kore (Ceres, Liber, and Libera), Poseidon (Neptune), 
Asclepios (Aesculapius), Pluto and Persephone (Dispater and 
Proserpina), and Aphrodite (Flora), and doubtless many others. 
In fact, by the second Punic War (219-202 B.C.) most of the chief 
gods of Greece were domiciled at Rome, generally under Roman 
or Italian names, their very images being modelled on those by 
famous Greek artists. Subsequent conquests brought vast 
numbers of works of art to the West, which not only helped 
to educate the artistic sense of the Romans, but also aided in 
establishing the Greek concepts of the gods in the Roman mind. 
The result was that as early as the end of the third century B.C. 
the old Roman-Italian religion, which was practical and exact, well 
suited to a small and unimaginative community, was so overlaid 
by Greek ideas and blended with them that much of its original 
character and content was obscured for the Romans themselves. 
Roman Nor was Greek influence confined to religion ; eventually it 

literature ^overcd cvcry field of the intellectual life of Rome. At the fall 

denved •' 

from qI Tarentum in 272 B.C. a young Greek captive was brought to 

Rome and employed by his master to teach his children. When 
set free he continued his profession under the name of Livius 
Andronicus. Since, however, there was no Latin literature 
available for purposes of instruction, he translated the Odyssey 
into rude native verse, the Saturnian measure, and thus became 
the founder of Latin epic poetry. In 240 B.C. he introduced 
dramatic poetry to Rome by putting on the stage a tragedy and 
a comedy adapted from the Greek. A generation later Naevius 
wrote an epic on the Punic War, and before another had passed 
Ennius had adopted the Greek hexameter for his Annates, a 
poetic history of Rome. From that time to the close of antiquity 
every epic poet drew his form, his imagery, and many of his 
incidents from the Greek epics. 


The drama, which tradition said was started by Andronicus, 
was cultivated by many. Although only plays by Plautus and 
Terence have been preserved to us in their entirety, we know 
that numerous tragedies and comedies produced before the 
middle of the second century B.C. had served to familiarise the 
Romans with Greek ideas of dramatic art and with the social 
aspects of Greek life. 

The glorious outcome of the Second Punic War prompted 
the Romans to begin the writing of history ; but inasmuch as 
the only prose which had been developed for historical purposes 
was Greek, Roman history was for about half a century 
composed exclusively in that language. Cato the Censor then set 
the fashion of using Latin, but the form of history still continued 
to be modelled on the Greek. Soon after the middle of the 
same century oratory began to be moulded after Greek exemplars. 
In fact, in every major form of literature, the influence of the 
Greek on Roman literature is apparent. Moreover, Greek myths 
and legends were adapted to Roman conditions ; genealogies were 
invented and incidents narrated in Greek fashion, so that Latin 
literature became Greek not only in form but also in content. 

The captured Greeks took their captors captive by becoming Greek 
their schoolmasters. During the third and second centuries *^J^ "^°°^ 
before our era, the older education was supplemented by a study ^°^^^_ 

J^^ •' •' educational 

of Greek language and literature, taught since the time of the system. 
Second Punic War in well-to-do families by private teachers. 
Before the middle of the second century schools were estabUshed 
in which a considerable number of pupils were taught together, 
and at its close Greek rhetoricians had begun to give formal 
instruction. The study of literature, and especially of rhetoric, 
served to make Greek habits of thought and forms of expression 
universal in the West as well as in the East. 

Greek philosophy made itself felt in Rome soon after the influence 
close of the Second Punic War, when Epicureanism, Stoicism, philosophy 
the teachings of the later Academy, and later Aristotelianism '° ^°'"®- 
all found their adherents. 


(o) stoicism The most important philosophical teacher of the second 
(Panactius). ^enturj was Panaetius of Rhodes, who may properly be con- 
sidered the founder of Roman Stoicism. His chief disciples 
among the Roman aristocracy were Laelius and the younger 
Scipio, who formed the centre of the Scipionic Circle, which in 
its day did much to extend Hellenising influences. Panaetius 
modified the severe and uncompromising doctrines of antiquity 
and accommodated the teaching of Stoicism to that of other 
schools, being especially influenced by the Academics and the 
Peripatetics. Although he could not wholly abandon the Stoic 
paradox that the sapiens can never err, he contented himself 
with preparing his disciples for the ordinary demands of life 
without insisting solely on the ideal of the " wise man." He 
laid much emphasis on the gradual advance in virtue as 
contrasted with the older doctrine of the sudden acquisition of 
perfection. Indeed, he held that steady progress through the 
honourable practice of daily duties was all that could be 
reasonably required of his disciples. He even allowed the 
pursuit of external advantages so long as they did not interfere 
with that of virtue. 

Panaetius, in fact, had been greatly influenced by Aristotle's 
doctrine that virtue is a mean between two vices, that is, between 
two extremes. Of course such doctrine was in direct opposition 
to the older Stoics ; and for their ideal of Wisdom Panaetius 
substituted Soberness or Balance. He did not hold with 
Aristotle that the highest life was one of contemplation. On 
the contrary, he encouraged the practice of the active social 
virtues of his age. In this he prepared the way for the sadder 
days of the Empire, which demanded the tonic of a practical 

The common-sense attitude of Panaetius largely explains 
his influence in establishing his modified Stoicism as the chief 
Roman philosophy from his time to that of Marcus Aurelius ; 
for, although the Stoics continued to teach the encyclopaedia 
of philosophy — physics, logic, metaphysics, etc. — the interest 


of the Romans was centred in ethics, which became for them the 
art of living in such a way as constantly to advance in virtue. 
The aim of the devout under the early Empire cannot be better 
stated than in Seneca's words : 

I am not yet wise, nor shall I ever be. Do not ask me to be 
equal to the best, but rather to be better than the base. This is 
enough for me — to take away daily something from my faults and 
daily to rebuke my errors. I have not attained complete moral 
health, nor shall I ever attain it.^ 

Epictetus's definition of philosophy is also illuminating : 

What is philosophy ? Is it not a preparation against things 
which may happen to a man ? ^ 

Although Marcus Aurelius was the last great Stoic, Stoicism did 
not die with him. It ceased to be prominent as a separate school, 
only because its principles had been largely absorbed by others, 
including Christianity. 

In the last century and a half of the Republic, a time of (b) Epi- 
political struggle and disaster, of growing scepticism toward the and'^'"^"^ 
traditional forms of religion, of rapidly increasing wealth and ^^y^t'<='«™- 
complexity of life, many Romans found refuge in the 
quietistic teachings of the Epicureans. Some turned to 
scepticism or to mysticism, though other philosophies had also 
their adherents. The significant point is that all intellectual 
Romans had adopted some form of Greek philosophic thought 
a's well as Greek habits of expression. 

Yet the eastern half of the Mediterranean still remained the riiiiosophio 
home of learning. Alexandria maintained the pre-eminence '^^n\^o^ 
which had been hers from the beginning of the third century, ^mp're. 
her only rival, Pergamum in western Asia Minor, being now 
eclipsed. Athens enjoyed the reflected glory of her great past, 
which still drew many to her. For instruction in oratory 
the Roman went to the schools of Smyrna and of Rhodes. 
Cicero, for example, spent two years in the advanced study 

^ De vita bmla, 17. ^ Diss iii. 10. 6. 




victory at 

of rhetoric in Athens, Asia Minor, and Rhodes ; Julius Caesar 
likewise studied at Rhodes. The political centre of the world, 
however, was Rome, which had already attracted to itself 
many of the intellectual elite from all parts of the Empire. 
The Roman world, therefore, was a unit politically and intellectu- 
ally. Although Latin prevailed in the western half and Greek 
in the east, this difference of language was insignificant for 
reasons already given. The habits of thought and the modes 
of expression from one end of the Mediterranean area to the 
other were identical. The significance of this can hardly be 

The battle of Actium, 31 B.C., marks a new era in the history 
of this Graeco-Roman world. From that year we may with 
good reason date the establishment of the Roman Empire. The 
results of the political change were of the utmost importance 
for the matters now under consideration. The decay of the 
Roman Republic had gone on rapidly during its last century. By 
the time of Tiberius Gracchus (133 B.C.) the citizens of Rome 
had begun to show themselves less capable of self-government 
than they had been in the earlier centuries of external stress. 
The state fell into the hands of politicians — some, like the 
Gracchi, actuated by good motives ; others, selfish, eager only 
for power. In fact, the political history of Rome during the 
last century of the Republic is written in the lives of a few men. 
Tiberius and Gains Gracchus, Saturninus, Marius, Cinna and 
Sulla ; Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus ; Octavian, Antony, and 
Lepidus — these were the men who for good or ill led the state 
or strove for its control by means often illegal and subversive 
of orderly government. Moreover, this last century was a 
period in which Rome was frequently harassed and more often 
threatened by civil wars ; and from January, 49 B.C., when Caesar 
crossed the Rubicon, to September, 31 B.C., when Octavian 
secured the mastery of the maritime world against Antony 
and Cleopatra, Italy and many other lands suffered almost 
continuously from civil strife. With the victory at Actium 


peace was restored, and although it proved to be the downfall 
of Republican institutions,^ it was hailed with enthusiasm and 
gratitude. This Pax Romana was destined to last, with only 
brief interruptions, for almost exactly two hundred years. 

With peace came a revival of trade, a sense of security, and 
a return of prosperity, to which Virgil and Horace bear eloquent 
witness. Horace, in the fifth and fifteenth odes of his Fourth 
Book, celebrates Augustus as the restorer of peace to a distressed 
world, with a warmth of expression which he uses toward him 
only in one other place. Virgil's Georgics express the hope of 
the Romans immediately after the battle of Actium, and many 
passages in his Aeneid give utterance to the gratitude felt when 
the first ten years of Augustus's rule had passed. In January, 
27 B.C., when the Emperor was given his title Augustus, there 
was no man who could not remember the time when civil war or 
sedition was not threatening the state. When Augustus died 
forty-one years later, the fear of civil strife had been banished 
from men's minds, and the Empire so firmly estabhshed that the 
power passed without opposition into the hands of Tiberius. 

The disorders of the last century of the Republic had naturally Provincial 
contributed to insecurity of life and property. Even though 
such extreme cases as that of Verres in Sicily may not have been 
common, few provincial governors could resist the temptation 
to squeeze large sums from the provincials during their brief 
terms of office. Augustus reorganised the Empire, taking under 
his control all the provinces in which an armed force was needed, 
leaving for the Senate only the more peaceful countries. The 
governors of imperial provinces were selected by him ; they were 
provided with a generous salary, kept in many cases for years 
in the same province, and were forced to render an exact account 
of their stewardship to their imperial master. Gradually the 
management of the senatorial provinces was so far improved 
that the lot of the provincials from Augustus's day onwards was 
distinctly better than it had been under the Republic. The 
1 Cf. Tac. Ann. iii. 28. 3. 



wealth of many of these provinces increased ; those which had 
been comparatively unproductive prospered, and indeed the 
entire Empire witnessed a revival of trade and of prosperity 
somewhat comparable to the European revival after the Napole- 
onic wars or to that rapid development in the United States 
which followed the Civil War. 

No small factor in the development of commerce and in the 
unification of the early Empire was the security and speed with 
which one might travel. The great Roman roads, which still 
excite our admiration, were, in the first instance, built for military 
purposes, but they became great highways for all. Starting 
from the golden milestone in the Forum at Rome, one could 
travel to the borders of the Empire with a rapidity and safety 
which has since been unknown even in Western Europe until 
within a hundred years. If a Roman wished to go rapidly to the 
East, he left by the ancient Appian Way, passed through Capua 
and Beneventum to Brundisium, then crossed the Adriatic either 
to Dyrrhachium or Apollonia ; thence he proceeded over the 
mountains to Thessalonica and Byzantium. A traveller to 
Spain found three great roads leading to the Po Valley ; thence 
he crossed the Alps by the Mont Genevre and descended into the 
valley of the Rhone ; continuing on, he came to the modern 
Nimes and Narbonne, whence he entered Spain, either by the 
road which led along the Mediterranean coast or over one of the 
mountain passes. Within the Spanish peninsula were many 
roads which led him to all the important cities, terminating at 
Gades, the modern Cadiz. Other great roads led up the Rhone 
valley into the valley of the Moselle, to the Rhine, or branched 
off to Northern and Western Gaul. From Verona the traveller 
might pass into the modern districts of the Tyrol, Southern 
Germany, and Western Austria. Many of these roads of course 
followed ancient trade routes. In the old and long-civilised 
East, the Persians and the Greeks had marked out and main- 
tained the main roads long before the Romans became masters. 
Through the central part of Asia ]\Iinor an ancient trade route 


ran from Ephesus east to the Euphrates ; another led along the 
northern part of Asia Minor ; and a third, branching ofE and pass- 
ing through Cilicia, came to Antioch, and thence continued to 
the Euphrates and the Tigris. 

The rate of travel was from thirty to fifty miles a day, although 
on occasion much higher speefls could be maintained. Julius 
Caesar covered one hundred miles a day in a hired carriage, and 
once the Emperor Tiberius travelled two hundred miles in twenty- 
four hours. Private correspondence was despatched chiefly by 
hired messengers, who might cover twenty-five miles a day on 
foot. For official business Augustus established an imperial 
post modelled on that earlier maintained by the Persians. The 
average rate of transmission seems to have been about five miles 
an hour. 

The routes by sea had been determined by the Phoenicians Sea routes. 
and Greeks centuries before the Romans began a transmarine 
commerce. From Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber and from 
Puteoli on the bay of Naples, ships reached Alexandria, occasion- 
ally in seven or eight days ; but under unfavourable conditions 
a merchantman might take as much as fifty. The average run 
of a saihng-ship was reckoned at four to six knots an hour. With 
a fair wind and good weather one could sail from Ostia to Africa 
in two days, to Tarraco in Spain in four, and to Gades beyond 
the Pillars of Hercules in seven. The adventurous merchant 
or traveller could embark for India from Myos Hormos or from 
Berenice on the Arabian Gulf, saiUng with the western winds in 
midsummer and returning with the favouring blasts of mid- winter. 
In the reign of Augustus, one hundred and twenty ships from 
Myos Hormos were despatched annually on these long voyages. 

The Roman of Cicero's day seems not to have cared to travel supprea- 
for pleasure. The decay of the Roman navy during the second j.'i'^acy. 
century B.C. and the disturbed conditions of the state gave 
pirates and freebooters of every sort large opportunities. So 
bold had the pirates become after 80 B.C., that, no longer content 
with plundering the rich coast cities of Asia and the Aegean Sea, 


they finally carried their depredations into the harbours of Italy 
itself, burnt a Roman fleet at Ostia, and captured two praetors 
with their suites. In 67 B.C. a revolutionary measure gave 
Pompey supreme command over the whole Mediterranean, and 
power co-ordinate with that of the provincial governors for fifty 
miles inland. In ninety days he had crushed the pirates, and was 
ready for greater military triumphs. After this, organised piracy 
on any considerable scale was to be encountered only in such 
remote places as the Black Sea and on the way from Egypt to 
India. In the years immediately following the battle of Actium 
an effort was made to secure safety on sea and on land ; for the 
victor well knew that the success and popularity of his rule 
depended in no small degree on the prosperity of the great mass 
of the people. Vigorous measures were taken to check brigandage 
and to drive out piracy ; though neither was ever completely 
eradicated, still it may be said without exaggeration that during 
the first two centuries of our era one could travel in Mediterranean 
lands over a wider area and with greater security than it has 
ever been possible to do since. 

Under the Emperor Augustus, then, life was fairly secure for 
the traveller, whether he wished to use the high roads which 
penetrated to the very ends of the empire, or would travel by 
ship along the ancient lanes of commerce in the Mediterranean. 
In praising Augustus as the one who had restored peace, Horace 
says, " pacatum volitant per mare navitae " ^ ; and Suetonius 
records that when Augustus, on one of the last days of his life, 
happened to be sailing past the bay of Puteoli, the passengers 
and crew of an Alexandrian ship, which had just arrived, put on 
white, crowned themselves with garlands, and, bearing incense, 
poured out their good wishes and praises to the Emperor, saying 
that it was through him they lived, through him they sailed the 
seas, and through him that they enjoyed their liberty and for- 
tunes.2 The praise was not undeserved. Later emperors de- 
veloped and perfected the system of roads ; and on the whole the 
^ Horace, C. iv. 5. 19. ^ Suetonius, Aug. 98. 


peace and security which Augustus estabHshed continued with 
few interruptions for two hundred years. From one end of the 
Empire to the other, merchants and traders, tourists, philosophers, 
rhetoricians, and missionaries moved freely. The Christians 
knew well the service which the Empire had rendered their faith, 
as the words of Irenaeus show : " The Romans have given the 
world peace, and we travel without fear along the roads and 
across the sea wherever we will." ^ 

Another important factor was the universal protection of Law firmly 
the law. Although Rome respected local systems and usages, '^^^'^'b^ished. 
she made her legal principles predominate, and if the provincial 
governors were honest, secured a large measure of common justice 
to all. Under the Empire there was an improvement over the 
condition of affairs which prevailed in the Republic. The Em- 
peror became the court of last resort, to whom the Roman 
citizen, like Paul, in danger of life might appeal ; and the watch- 
fulness of the imperial administration aimed to protect the non- 
citizen as well. 

Security under the law, ease and safety of communication. The 

with the consequent free movement from one part of the empire ^ "o^gg 

to another, made the world cosmopolitan. Professional rhetori- cosmo- 
cians and philosophers spread their doctrines by teaching in cities, 

and traders carried ideas as well as wares. Moreover, the slaves, 

the number of whom was enormous, were drawn from almost 

every land, and many were educated men ; soldiers, too, were 

now enrolled from every province. Under the advancing power 

of the Roman Republic, separate nations had ceased to exist, 

so that all were either citizens or subjects of Rome ; the growing 

autocracy of the Empire was destined to diminish the distinctions 

between citizens, provincials, and slaves, and to lead toward a 

cosmopolitan equality among all men. 

We may therefore summarise by saying that in the time of 

Jesus the Mediterranean area had become a Graeco-Roman 

world, in which the civilisations of two great peoples — the one 

1 Adv. riaer. iv. 30. 3. 


intellectual, the other political — had been fused and united. 
The national civilisations, even when as stubborn as those of 
Egypt and of Palestine, had been profoundly modified, so as to 
become coherent members of the unified whole. Moreover, the 
world was one of peace and security, cosmopolitan in thought 
and social contact. 

Ideals of The ucxt subjcct for inquiry is the ideals of this world, whose 

worid" conditions we have been thus far examining. With the destruc- 
tion of local autonomy among the Greeks by Alexander and his 
successors, the cultivated citizen largely lost his opportunities 
for free political activity. He turned, therefore, to the cultiva- 
tion and study of literature, to science, mathematics, and philo- 
sophy. New intellectual ideas thus became established. If 
Alexandria was the greatest home of learning and culture in the 
three centuries which preceded the birth of Jesus, it had, however, 
many rivals. The ideal of the cultivated literary man, with 
other elements of Greek civilisation, was adopted by the 
Roman, without impairing his political activity. In Cicero 
and Caesar we find men uniting great political ability with 
the highest literary power, and displaying a cultivation of 
the intellect unrivalled among the Greeks and Orientals of 
their day. To scientific studies, as well as to the practice of 
painting and sculpture, the Roman was singularly indifferent ; 
but literature in every form, whether spoken or written, became 
almost the passion of his life. In philosophy he had not yet 
made any important contributions ; but he had absorbed the 
teachings of all the leading schools. How completely Cicero had 
apprehended Greek philosophic doctrines, especially in matters 
of conduct, is shown by his philosophic essays, in which he 
rendered inestimable service to his own time and to all the 
centuries since by his interpretation of Greek thought. 

This culture of the Ciceronian Age, in which many of the 
finest elements of both Greek and Roman civilisation were com- 
bined, became the ideal of the age of Augustus and of later 


centuries. The Augustan literature, with Vergil, Horace, and 
Livy as its leading names, is the enduring expression of this 
ideal established by the previous generation. The numbing 
weight of imperial restriction was as yet slightly felt, and men 
of letters expressed themselves without fear. 

In order to understand the religious and philosophic con- Decay 
ditions of the Graeco-Roman world in the time of Jesus, account I'eijgion of 
must be taken of the decay of the old Roman state religion, *'"^ '^*^'*'®' 
which consisted primarily in the performance with scrupulous 
care and exactness of the prescribed ritual by which the divine 
powers were to be brought to do the things which the suppliant 
desired. This religion was largely mechanical, intended to 
secure material blessings, nor was the Graeco-Roman religion, 
which resulted from the influence of Greece on Rome, better, 
although it probably brought certain aesthetic satisfactions. 
There was little in either to ennoble daily life, except that they 
taught lessons of duty and fidelity toward the gods and the 
community. But a mechanical religion cannot permanently 
satisfy a people. When men are aroused to reflection, when they 
begin to ask the deeper questions as to the nature of gods and of 
men, when they inquire as to the life beyond, the doom of a 
mechanical religion, or of any other which cannot undertake 
to answer these questions, is pronounced. Among the Greeks, 
faith in the traditional religion had begun markedly to decay 
as early as the fifth century B.C. ; with the Romans the date 
was three centuries later. 

Yet it is well at this point to emphasise the fact that the old 
religions of Greece and Rome, especially the religion of house, 
community, and field, were cultivated by the mass of the people 
until long after Christianity had proved its power. The extant 
dedications to the gods and the law-codes prove this fact ; and if 
It had not been so, the Christian Apologists would have been 
slaying men of straw, while such comparatively late works as 
Orosius's History and Augustine's City of God, both of which are 
elaborate attacks on popular paganism as well as defences of 


Christianity, would have been fooUsh. Philosophy touched the 
common man chiefly in matters of conduct, without arousing 
in him theological questionings. It is true that the syncretistic 
tendency of the Empire affected all classes to a certain extent, 
so that, in the minds of the masses, Jupiter or Zeus acquired 
a supreme and comprehensive meaning ; but, as we shall see, 
neither philosophic nor oriental syncretism seriously interfered 
with polytheism. Undoubtedly syncretism did in some degree 
pave the way for monotheism, yet the ordinary man continued 
to find it easy and natural to think of the gods as separate entities, 
to whom individually he must give his worship and from whom 
he could expect the proper benefit. With the intellectual classes 
it was far different, for their faith in the popular religion had 
been shaken as early as the second century B.C. If special atten- 
tion is devoted to philosophy in the following pages, it is because 
this was the most vital religious force in the Mediterranean 
world at the beginning of the Christian era, and provided 
intellectual training for the class which was to furnish the 
leaders for Christianity as soon as the Apostolic Age was 
Philosophy The greatest enemy of the traditional religions of Greece and 
of ^^o^'uJar I^ome was indeed philosophy, for by endeavouring to reduce in 
religion. number the principles which control the universe, it is diametric- 
ally opposed to polytheism. Moreover, as soon as it approaches 
the question of conduct, it examines the traditional principles 
of right and wrong, and if it finds these unsatisfactory, it devises 
rules of its own which may be at variance with those which have 
hitherto prevailed. When Greek philosophy came to Rome it 
had already had a long history, and all the great schools, except 
the mystic philosophies of the Empire, had been developed. They 
had swift effect in Rome during the second and first centuries 
before our era. The Romans began to doubt, and many, like 
the poet Ennius (f 169 B.C.), a man of strong religious bent and 
moral convictions, sought refuge in Epicurean scepticism. We 
may quote the words which Telamon speaks in one of Ennius's 


tragedies, as fairly representing the poet's own attitude in matters 
theological : 

I have always said, and I shall always say, that the gods of 
heaven exist, but I believe that they have no care for what the race 
of man does. For if they had such care, it would be well with the 
good and ill with the wicked, which is not the case now.^ 

This is the ancient difficulty of justifying the ways of God to 
man. Ennius and many of his time adopted the easy solution 
by denial. 

Ennius also translated and made known to the Romans the Euhemerus. 
Sacred History of Euhemerus, a romantic tale written in the third 
century B.C., in which the author told of an imaginary voyage 
which he had made from Arabia to the island Panchaia in the 
Indian Ocean ; there he found inscribed on a column the true 
history of the supposed gods, Uranus, Cronos, and Zeus, and 
learned that they and the other gods and heroes had been origin- 
ally historical persons, who were raised to their high position 
because of the services they had rendered mankind. ^ This Sacred 
History is an interesting example of a second way of escape from 
religious perplexity — that of rationalism ; and the fact that 
Ennius thought it worth while to introduce this work to the 
Romans in the first half of the second century before our era is 
significant, as suggesting how far doubts as to the validity of the 
official and traditional religion had already gone. 

In those parts of the eastern Mediterranean area where Leading 
Greek thought prevailed, traditional religion had long since lost ^choou.'' "" 
its hold on intellectual men ; in Rome and the Latin west the 
official religion went the same way rapidly during the last two 
centuries before our era. Men gave their allegiance to the several 
philosophies which the Greek genius had evolved, each one of 
which was in some degree of religious significance. The three 
most important schools were the Epicurean, the Stoic, and the 

1 Frg. Seen. 31G ff. Vahlen^. 
« Frg. Euhem. pp. 223-229, Vahlen^. 



Academy ; in addition a sceptical tendency appeared in certain 
schools, and philosophic mysticism began. 
Epicurean- In the passage quoted above from a tragedy by Ennius, we 
must note that the Epicurean did not deny the existence of the 
gods, but only rejected certain current notions about them. 
Indeed it is true, contrary to popular belief even now, that the 
Epicureans, so far from being atheistic, were unwilling to give 
up a belief in the existence of the gods. In truth, with their 
epistemological ideas, it is hard to see how they could have done 
so ; for they observed that men everjrwhere believed in divine 
beings, and that this belief rested on a " primary notion " of the 
mind (TrpoXrjylrif;), which, in their view, was itseK warrant of its 
validity. This was clear because this primary notion must arise 
from physical perception of the pictures of the gods, as of all 
other things known to us, which atoms produce. In fact we 
must bear in mind throughout our discussion of the philosophic 
conditions of this age, that all schools, except those which re- 
mained true to the teachings of Plato and Aristotle, were material- 
istic, making no greater distinction between body and mind, 
matter and spirit, than they did between solid and vapour. 
Epicurus, in his explanation of the universe, had reverted to the 
atomistic views of Democritus (fl. c. 420-360 B.C.), and held that 
all phenomena result mechanically from a rain of atoms. Conse- 
quently this school was logically opposed to all explanations of 
the world which regarded mind or reason as the causative force. 
Again the Epicurean held that gods were needed to embody 
his ideal of happiness, for while as a philosopher he realised that 
man cannot attain to complete happiness, he could not escape 
the desire to believe that such perfection existed somewhere in 
the universe. Such an argument was not logical, but was based 
rather on a natural and religious longing ; but it was not the less 
cogent for that reason. The Epicurean gods, therefore, were 
created absolutely in man's image, for to the followers of Epi- 
curus, the human frame was the most beautiful of all forms of 
animal life, and man was the only reasoning creature ; conse- 


quently their gods were perfect beings in human form, free from 
everything which was not fitting for their divine estate. Im- 
mortality and perfect happiness they must possess ; their bodies 
are similar to those of men, but made up of the finest atoms, 
and so more ethereal ; and they dwell in the space between the 
worlds where the sky is always fair, in most profound tran- 
quillity, far removed from the affairs of men. If the gods cared 
for humankind or concerned themselves with this world, they 
could not be perfectly happy, since sorrow and pain are incom- 
patible with complete bliss. These divine beings have no need 
of us ; they desire no propitiation or service from the good, 
and they are not moved by anger toward the wicked. Their 
number is infinite, for they cannot be fewer than mortals.^ 

In this way the Epicurean squared his views with popular 
polytheism, however much his religion differed in other respects 
from that of the multitude. Moreover, he could gladly join in 
the ordinary religious exercises, for he regarded worship as one 
means by which man could express his admiration for the divine 
perfection and majesty ; it gave an outlet for his aspirations, 
although it could not be prompted by any notion that the gods 
needed his service, or had the least desire that he should fear 
them. This motive of fear the Epicurean regarded as the 
main error in popular religion, and, as a missionary to a terrified 
world, he devoted himself to ridding men's minds of this obsession. 

In the Epicurean scheme no form of future life had any place. 
The soul was regarded as material, like the body ; only the atoms 
of which it is composed are the lightest and finest, and therefore 
the most easily moved. Both soul and body are received from 
parents, and the one grows with the other, so that when the 
connection between them is broken for any cause, both perish. 
In this doctrine the Epicurean found comfort, for if there could 
be no joy after death, there likewise could be no pain or evil 
for us ; and so he taught that men nmst regard the centuries 

^ Lucict. V. 52 f. ; Cic. De nat. deor. i. passim ; for a full collection of data 
see H. Usoner, Epicurea, pp. 232-262. 


which should come after life of as little concern to them as the 
ones before they existed. Living in an age when the majority 
of the religious were haunted by fears of the next world — the 
punishments of which were often pictured with as much gusto 
as any Christian ever displayed — the followers of Epicurus felt 
themselves called to banish these fears, and so to relieve the 
distress of spirit caused by them. 
Lucretius. The missionary zeal of the sect found splendid expression in 

the impassioned poetry of Lucretius, the contemporary of Cicero.^ 
To free men from the vain fear of the gods and from the imagined 
terrors of a life after death was his high purpose. To accompUsh 
this end he devoted his six books to an explanation of the universe 
and its phenomena, of the nature of man, and of the impossibility 
of immortality. He was only repeating the teachings of his 
predecessors, but his poetic genius — unmatched in many ways 
among the Romans — gave his doctrines an enduring expression, 
and his passionate nature lent a fixe to his lines, which show how 
deeply the Epicurean could be moved by his beliefs. 

In practical life this school, like others, taught that happiness 
was the goal of human effort and desire. But the Epicurean 
system was very far from being a thorough-going hedonism. 
On the contrary, the Epicureans held that since many pleasures, 
particularly those of the body, produce painful effects, they are 
to be avoided, as some pains are to be welcomed, because they 
result in good and contribute to happiness. This happiness, 
they said, was to be found in a life guided by intelligence, which 
taught the philosopher that his actual needs were few and could 
be easily obtained. Under the direction of intelligence, the sage, 
confident of the superiority of the satisfactions of the mind over 
those of the body, could rise above the life of the senses, so that 
neither present pleasure nor present pain, nor the hope or fear of 
either, could affect him. In this condition of perfect repose 
{arapa^ta) toward his transitory environment, the philosopher 

^ With Lucretius's doctrines we may compare the arguments in Cicero, 
Tusc. i. 82-119. 


could attain to virtue and to its inseparable companion, 

Such teaching tended to produce in the individual a life evenly 
balanced, well regulated, and useful to society. In the political 
and social disasters of the last three centuries B.C. it undoubtedly 
helped to give thoughtful men a resigned spirit, if not a satisfied 
existence. For the religious doubts, which the failure of the 
traditional religions brought, it endeavoured to substitute a 
positive doctrine of negation, if we may so describe a teaching, 
which did not so much deny the existence of the gods, as afl&rm 
that they could have no concern with mankind, and that there- 
fore mankind need have no concern with them. Epicureanism 
further endeavoured to free men from their most distressing- 
fears by showing the haunting terror of future punishment to be 
unfounded. So far as the Epicureans held valiantly to the 
perfection of their supramundane gods, we may recognise their 
religious spirit ; yet from many points of view their concept of 
divinity was inferior to that of their predecessors, notably to 
that of Plato, who made goodness, once for all, an inseparable 
attribute of God — not goodness as an abstract notion, but 
as a quality which God constantly expresses toward his 
creation. Therefore, in spite of the genuine religious elements 
of Epicureanism, the school exerted its best influence as a social 
philosophy, by steadying and directing many in the educated 
circles of the Roman world. It enjoyed its widest popularity 
perhaps in the period between 100 B.C. and a.d. 50, though 
certainly by the latter date its vogue was greatly diminished ; 
and although a public chair of Epicureanism in the schools at 
Athens was established in the second century of our era, the 
doctrines no longer appealed to any considerable number of men. 

To explain the decay of Epicureanism would be a difficult stoicism, 
task. Many causes which can no longer be traced undoubtedly 
contributed to the result, but it seems fairly certain that a more 
positive and tonic doctrine was required by thinking men, especi- 
ally by the Romans, than the quietistic teachings of Epicurus 


could supply. Such was found in Stoicism, whose founder, 
Zeno, began to teach at Athens only a few years after Epicurus 
had established his school (406 B.C.). The two philosophies were 
introduced into Rome almost simultaneously, and for three 
centuries they had a parallel existence, although Epicureanism 
declined long before Stoicism ceased to enjoy a vigorous life. 

Zeller wisely says, " Stoicism is not only a system of philo- 
sophy, but also a system of religion." This character arises from 
the Stoic doctrine of the relation of man and God, which was 
propounded rather as the philosophy of the sect than as an 
attack on the traditional religion. The Epicurean was fired with 
a missionary zeal which the Stoic hardly displayed before the 
days of the Roman Empire. Yet Stoicism, with Platonism, be- 
came for the most cultivated men, and finally for the masses, a 
philosophy far better qualified to satisfy religious longings, as a 
support of a moral life, than Epicureanism. It thus made large 
permanent contributions to religious thought and to ethical 

What, then, was the Stoic view as to the relation of man and 
God ? To answer this, we must consider briefly the metaphysics 
of this school. The Stoics explained the miiverse by a thorough- 
going materiahsm, borrowed from Heraclitus, who flourished 
about 500 B.C., according to which there is no principle but 
matter in the whole universe. Yet with this monistic materialism, 
the Stoics combined the AristoteHan idea which recognised in 
all matter an active and a passive principle, the active forming 
and directing, the passive being formed and directed, so that by 
the operation of the active principle on the passive all phenomena 
of the universe come into being. To this active principle the 
Stoics gave all the characteristics which their predecessors had 
given to reason (X0709) or to mind {vov<;). Indeed to them 
X0709 was the cosmic creative force, although they stoutly 
maintained that it was wholly material. ^ This creative force 

^ The Stoic Logos must not be confused with the Logos of Philo. The Logos 
for the Stoic is the primary principle, or rather the active side of the primary 


they identified now with fire, now with vapour, and now with 
both, in accordance with the imperfect science of their day. 
They thought that by fire as the operative principle, the creative 
reason is present and expresses itself in every part of the universe, 
for everything which is owes its very being and existence to this 
reason which permeates and directs it. This cosmic force is 
then God, the world-reason, which begets all things, and in which 
literally all things live and move and have their being. Now 
since man is a part of the cosmos, the world-reason naturally 
expresses itself in him, in fact, it is his reason, the directing portion 
of his soul, so that in Epictetus's striking phrase, we are " frag- 
ments of God." Here, then, is the doctrine of the immanence 
of God, the opposite of that transcendentalism which the Aristo- 
telians and later Platonists taught. By maintaining that God 
is immanent in all things, the Stoics brought together again the 
worlds of matter and of reason which Plato had put asunder ; 
and in the henotic character of their teaching they established a 
doctrine which later fitted in with the general course of pagan 
thought under the Empire, when philosophy and religion were 
at one in recognising in the world a single divine principle. Nor 
were the Stoics necessarily at variance with the monotheistic 
views of Judaism and Christianity. They thought and spoke of 
God as a personality. 

But if man is a fragment of God, important religious and stoic 
ethical consequences follow, of which the Stoics made full use. 
Their views of the nature of God made the identification of God 
and Nature inevitable. When, therefore, the question was asked 

principle, by whose activity all things come into being. The Logos of Philo is 
intermediary between his transcendent God and Matter ; through the Logos 
God creates the world and reveals Himself and His grace to men. The Logos 
is a creation, not eternal, as is God, nor yet mortal, as men are. It comprehends 
within itself the ideas (in the Platonic sense), and manifests itself through 
dvvdneit, \6yoi, divine powers, angels, or daemones, to work God's will. Thus 
Philo's Logos occupies in part the place of Plato's Absolute ; but by his frank 
adoption of a transcendent God, Philo was forced to use the Platonic Absolute 
in the second place in order to establish a connection between God and. the 
world, for no system which genuinely regards God as transcendent can allow 
any direct traffickuig between deity and matter. 



as to the highest aim and duty of man, the obvious answer 
was " To live in accord with Nature," that is to say, man 
must bring himself into accord with that sovereign Nature 
which is God, and make his reason and his will harmonise 
with the universal reason and will, to which, indeed, they 
are a part. Thus the Stoic derived his ethics from his meta- 
The Will. More than any other school, the Stoic demanded of his 

followers that they should exercise the will to enable them to 
live under the guidance of reason in complete accord with Nature. 
By such means man coidd liberate himself from the world and 
its influences, and by restraining all passion, could attain complete 
freedom (aTrdOeia). But the mastery, whether partial or com- 
plete, the Stoic saw was to be secured only by the will's activity ; 
therefore he held that man must regard as wholly indifferent 
all things that are not under the control of that faculty. On this 
point Epictetus discourses most interestingly.^ He points out 
that the materials we employ in life are indifferent to us, neither 
good nor bad ; they are like the dice with which we play our 
game. But, like the gamester, we must try to manage life 
dexterously ; whatever happens we must say : " Externals 
are not within my power ; choice is. Where, then, shall I seek 
good and evil ? Why, within, in what is my own." And then, 
he continues, pointing out that we must count nothing good or 
evil, profitable or hurtful, or of any concern to us, that is con- 
trolled by others. In tranquillity and calm we must accept what 
life brings, concerned only with what actually depends on the 
will of each one of us. We must act in life as we do in a voyage : 
the individual can choose the pilot, the sailors, and the hour of 
his departure ; after that he must meet quietly all that comes, 
for he has done his part ; and if a storm arise, he must face with 
indifference disaster or safety, for these matters are quite beyond 
the power of his control. So, he maintains, sickness and health, 
abundance and need, high position, or the loss of station are 
^ Diss. i. 1 ; ii. 5. 13, and often. 


things which my will cannot control. Therefore to me as a phil- 
osopher they are indifEerent ; I must have no anxiety about 
them ; they really are not my affair. But my thoughts and my 
acts are matters that I can control, and in them I must find all 
my concern. The external circumstances, the acts of others do 
not touch me, but my own acts, my own relations, my own inner 
life are things to which I must give all of my attention. Thus 
the Stoic reasoned, holding that virtue was quite sufficient for 
happiness, in that it made man master of this world. Thus we 
see that to the doctrine of virtue, which the Cynics had magnified, 
the Stoics had added the vitalising principle of the operation of 
man's will, and thereby had made the pursuit of wisdom, which 
to them was identical with vii'tue, a powerful means of moral and 
spiritual edification. 

Like Socrates and the Cynics, whose heirs they were, the The ideal ' 
Stoics identified virtue with knowledge, and regarded the ideal "^ '^ ^^^' 
philosopher as one who by attaining to true and complete know- 
ledge, had reached perfect virtue. Therefore the ideal of " the 
sage " became the very centre of the Stoic doctrine. The earlier 
Stoics, with a Calvinistic logic which disregarded experience, had 
fixed an absolute gulf between the perfect wise man and the 
miwise ; and, like the Cynics, they had declared that virtue, once 
attained, could not be lost. But this doctrinaire view was modified 
by the practical good sense of a later age, which taught that there 
were degrees in virtue, and that the most that the ordinary man 
could do was daily to progress toward his moral goal. As 
Seneca says, " I am not yet wise, nor shall I ever be. Do not 
ask me to be equal to the best, but rather to be better than the 
base. It is enough for me to take away daily something from 
my faults and daily to reject my errors." ^ The tonic value of 
such words is self-evident : the sudden perfection which the 
uncompromising doctrine of an earlier day had taught could not 
widely appeal to ordinary men, for they knew that such perfection 
was beyond their powers ; but each might feel that daily progress 
^ JJe vita beaia, 17. 



in virtue lie could make, even if at tlie end he should fail to reach 
his ideal goal. 
Self-ex- The means also of securing this daily progress were set forth 

by the Stoic teachers. Seneca advised his young friend LuciHus 
to select some person of noble character, like a Cato, a Scipio, or 
a Laelius, and to imagine that he was always present, watching 
and judging the novice's every act ; then, when he had advanced 
to the point where his self-respect was sufficient to keep him from 
wrong-doing, he could dismiss his ideal guardian.^ Such sug- 
gestions as this imply constant self-examination, and indeed 
this was urged by both Stoics and other moralists as well. Seneca 
says that he found the practice helpful.^ Epictetus quoted from 
the " Golden Words " of Pythagoras, and reminded his hearers 
that the verses were not for recitation, but for use : " Never let 
sleep come to thy languid eyes e'er thou hast considered each act 
of the day. ' Where have I slipped ? ' ' What done, what failed 
to do ? ' Begin thus and go through all ; and then chide thyself 
for thy shameful acts, rejoice over thy good." ^ Such a searching 
of one's daily acts Epictetus regarded as an essential exercise to 
prepare and train a man to meet the vicissitudes of life. In the 
discourse in which he quotes these Pythagorean verses, he 
continues with the question : " What is philosophy ? Is it not 
a preparation against things which may happen to a man ? " 
He argues that a man who throws away the patience which 
philosophy teaches him is like an athlete who, because of the 
blows he receives, wishes to withdraw from the " pancratium " — 
still worse than he, for the athlete may avoid his contest and 
escape the blows ; but no man can escape the bufEetings of life. 
Therefore, the preacher says that to give up philosophy is to 
abandon the one resource against misfortune, the only source 
of happiness and courage. 

1 Epist. 22. 8-10 ; 25. 5. 6. The use of exempla in moral instruction was 
apparently common. See Horace, Sat. i. 4. 105 ff. for the concrete training 
which his simple, hard-headed father gave him; and on the habit of self-examina- 
tion see ibid. 133 ff. 

2 De ira, iii. 36. 1-4. ^ Diss. iii. 10. 2. 


Tlie pagan missionary, no less than the Christian apostle to Life as 
the Gentiles, regarded life as a battle to be fought and a race to service. 
be run. Epictetus often compared human life to a warfare ; 
he said that men were assigned their several places and duties 
in this world just as in an army one man is obliged to stand 
watch, another to spy, and a third to fight, each doing his part 
in the place in which the great general, God, has set him — a 
figure which Socrates had used five centuries earlier in his defence 
before his judges. In accord with this view of life as a battle or 
an athletic contest, the philosophers laid much weight on training. 
Seneca and Epictetus both exhorted their pupils to exercise 
themselves in the means whereby they could meet misfortune or 
be ready to perform any duty which the changes of life might 
bring them. The latter had a discourse " On Exercise," which 
was apparently a favourite theme for all Stoic preachers.^ The 
purpose of this exercise was to train the individual in right ab- 
stentions and the proper use of his desires, so that he would be 
always obedient to reason and do nothing out of season or place ; 
in short, to make him an adept in living so that he could manage 
his usual life with adroit uprighteousness and meet the sudden 
changes of fortune undismayed. The obligation to do this was 
laid on him as an individual. In another discourse Epictetus 
pointed out that the misfortunes of life were tests sent by God 
to prove the individual's fidelity in training : 

God says to you, " Give me proof if you have duly practised 
athletics, if you have eaten what you should, if you have exercised, 
if you have obeyed the trainer." And then will you show yourself 
weak when the time for action comes ? Now is the time for a fever. 
Bear it well. Now the time for thirst. Endure thy thirst well.^ 

Thus through self-training the devoted Stoic was to fit himself 
to play his part wherever circumstances might place him ; by 
such means he could develop his life and character and steadily 
approach his ultimate goal, a state in which he would be in- 
dependent, happy, and serene, for his mind would be like God's. 

1 Diss. iii. 12. " Diss. iii. 10. 8. 


Self-examination, self - training, daily advance in virtue, 
ultimate calm and peace — these were the moral habits and the 
attainable goals which the later Stoics tried to teach their age. 
Moreover, the Stoic doctrine of the community between the 
divine and the human reason gave a dignity to man ; cut ofi from 
activity in the political world, he realised that he was dwelling 
in a world in which God and men were the citizens, that he shared 
in that divine polity, free in the freedom which his relationship 
to God gave him. Between man and God for the Stoic there 
was no gulf fixed ; on the contrary, as Seneca wrote his younger 
friend : 

God is near you, with you, within you. This I say, Lucilius : 
a holy spirit sits within us, watcher of our good and evil deeds, and 
guardian over us. Even as we treat him, he treats us. No man is 
good without God. Can any one rise superior to fortune save with 
God's help ? 1 

Conscience. The inuci conscicncc was to be the judge of men's actions. A 
noble conception of the worship of the gods and of man's duty 
toward them arose : not by the lighting of lamps, the giving of 
gifts, the slaying of bullocks, or visitation to the temples were 
the gods to be worshipped, but by a recognition of their true 
nature and goodness, by rendering to them again their perfect 
justice, and by ascribing to them constant praise.^ In the con- 
templation of God alone and in loving obedience to his commands, 
lay the means of freeing the mind from sorrow, fear, desire, envy, 
avarice, and every base thought, and of securing that peace which 
no Caesar but only God could give.^ 
Citizen. The Stoic doctrine of the participation of all men in the 

s^'P- divine reason led inevitably to a doctrine of cosmopoUtanism 

which supplied the philosophic warrant for the conditions which 
Roman conquests had brought about. The Stoic from the first 
had regarded membership in this or that state as of slight moment 

1 Ej^ist. 41. 2. 

2 Seneca, Epist. 95. 47-50; 115. 5; Epict. Diss. i. 16. 

3 Epict. Diss. ii. 10. 45-47; iii. 13. 9 ff. 


compared to citizenship in the cosmos ; Seneca distinguished two 
states, the one that into which a man is born ; the other, the 
great and true commonwealth where dwell both gods and men, 
in which one looks not to this corner or to that, but measures its 
borders by the courses of the sun.i In like language Musonius 
taught that the " wise man," that is, the philosopher, believes 
himself to be a citizen of the city of God, which consists of gods 
and men.2 So the Emperor Marcus Aurelius reflected : "To 
me as Antonius my city is Rome, but as a man it is the universe." ^ 
Moreover, because there is a fragment of the divine present in 
each man, distinctions of rank were of no account to the Stoic, 
but the slave and the Emperor were alike measured by their 
devotion to philosophic truth. Seneca thus states his position, 
" All of us have the same origin, the same source ; no man is 
nobler than another save he who has a more upright character 
and one better fitted to honourable pursuits." * This doctrine 
of the equality of man is one of the great legacies of Stoicism to 
all succeeding centuries. 

We must therefore recognise that the contributions which 
the Stoics made to the ethical and religious life at the time of 
Jesus were already large, and that they continued to be an im- 
portant force during the first two centuries and more of Christian 
history.^ They showed that there is a moral order in nature 
to which man as a part of nature must conform ; by emphasizing 
the community of reason between man and God, they gave a 
religious sanction to duty toward God and man which had hitherto 
been lacking ; they laid much weight on the individual's obliga- 
tions, and by the conclusions which they logically drew as to the 

^ De olio, iv. 1 ; cf. Epist. Ixviii. 2. 

2 Stob. Flor. xl. 9. ' vi. 44, and often. 

* De Ben. iii. 28. On the common possession of the divine reason (\670r) ; 
cf. Justin, ii. Apol. 13. 

* Indeed Stoic etliics passed into Cl\ristianity, not only tlirougli popular 
channels, but especially through such work as that of Ambrose, who, in his 
De ojficlis mivistroruvi, set forth a doctrine of Christian ethics, wliich was 
largely indebted to Cicero's De officiu ; Cicero, in his turn, had based the first 
two books of his treatise on the work of Panactius, llepl rov Ka$i)KovTos. See 
above, p. 224 f. 


brotherhood of man, disregarding distinctions of birth, position, 
or race, and looking to character alone, they gave a great impulse 
to the improvement of morals, to the spread of justice and kindli- 
ness in private relations, and to a genuine love for humanity. 
The stimulus which a belief in personal immortality might have 
given them was replaced by a sense of divine kinship and a chal- 
lenge to the will to choose the nobler course under the guidance 
of reason. 

stoic On the theological side the Stoics established the doctrine of 

the immanence of God in opposition to the transcendental views 
of the Platonists and Aristotelians. Since they believed that 
the whole cosmos was animated by the universal reason, they 
naturally regarded every part of it as alive : the heavenly bodies 
were held to be gods, and the names of the greater gods of tradi- 
tion were assigned to them. They believed further that the 
spirits of the best and wisest men survived the body as 
*' daemones " or lesser divinities ; but with their cyclical 
view of the world, according to which in due season all would 
sink into fire, so that a new cosmic round might begin again, 
they could promise only a limited existence after death. 

Believing thus in a multitude of divinities, the Stoic was able 
in a way to square himself with traditional religion. To explain 
the current myths he resorted to physical allegorisation, a device 
introduced in the sixth century B.C. But such an explanation 
of the ancient tales about the gods tended to destroy all belief 
in the gods themselves. In fact, Stoicism aided largely in 
destruction of traditional religion among the intellectual 
classes without succeeding in establishing monotheism in 
place of polytheism. 

The In a consideration of the society of the Graeco-Roman world 

in the first century, the Cynics must have a place. The extreme 
views which these moralists held, their scorn for society with all 
its laws and conventions, their desire to return to Nature and to 
be independent of all external goods, their boorish and rude 
actions doubtless offended their more cultivated contemporaries. 



But their insistence on virtue as the all-sufficient end and the 
strictness of life which some maintained gave point to their 
preaching, and made them a factor in the moral life of the 

Plato and his greatest pupil, Aristotle, were, intellectually influences 
and spiritually, so far above their successors that the most signifi- igm. 
cant elements in their philosophies were neglected for centuries. 
The Academy, on the side of metaphysics, not unnaturally gave 
excessive weight to Pythagorean ideas about number, and 
endeavoured in various ways to mediate between the supra- 
sensible and the sensible. Between Plato's " Supreme Idea," 
the Good, and the world known to our senses, a multitude of 
intermediate powers were thought to exist, corresponding to 
the Ideas of the founder. In due time these notions were 
developed to include an elaborate demonology on the one hand, 
such as we find in Plutarch, and, on the other, the gradations 
from a transcendent God through the Logos down to the world 
of sensible phenomena, such as we find in Philo and finally in 
the Neo-platonists. 

Such systems as these might be described as pluralistic 
monotheisms. Judaism in its strictest thought was a genuine 
monotheism, but the Jews made abundant provision for 
" daemones " and angels, minions of wickedness and servants of 
righteousness ; yet they did not develop a pluralistic theology, 
except under the influence of Platonism. Christianity early 
became a Trinitarian compromise. The proof of the influence 
of Greek thought on Christian theology is readily found in the 
Prologue to the Gospel of John and in the work of Clement 
of Alexandria, Origen, and Augustine. 

In due season this transcendental theology, derived from 
Greek philosophy, was combined with a system of ethics which, 
originally at least, had been associated with the immanent theo- 
logy of Stoicism. The difficulties attending such a combination 
were few, for Stoicism had become a moral system which had 
acted and reacted upon the Academy and the Peripatetics. So 


far as practical morals were concerned, all schools had much 
in common ; nor did primitive Christianity itself put forth a 
moral system based on an elaborate theology or metaphysic. 
The result was that there was little or no conflict between Chris- 
tian ethics and those of the Stoics, so that when Christianity 
found it desirable to state its ethics in systematic form, it proved 
most convenient for it to adapt that system which had already 
by experience proved itself best and had commended itself to 
the good sense of mankind. Of course this adaptation was 
made more or less unconsciously by most Christians, although 
Ambrose in the fourth century was well aware what he was 
doing. The permanence of the Stoic ethics — for they are still 
the basis of Christian morality— has proved the wisdom of those 
who adopted them. 

The influence of Platonism can also be recognised in the 
doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Primitive Chris- 
tianity related the hope of immortality to the person, death, 
and resurrection of Jesus. But as Christianity expanded, it 
added philosophic arguments. In the diSiculties which the 
Gentile Church felt in accepting a belief in the physical re- 
surrection, Platonic spiritualism came to its aid, as it did when 
time disappointed the hope of the e-^rly return of Christ to reign 
on earth. Later, Augustine, in his tract De immortalitate aniniae, 
took over many of the arguments by which Plato had supported 
his belief in immortality, and which had been repeated by the 
later Academy, as well as by the Neo-platonists.^ 

Thus we see that the Academy had a profound influence not 
only on later philosophic thought, but also on Christianity. 
The Peripatetic School, true to the great interest of its founder 
in science, became immersed in specialised studies, and made 
some of the chief contributions to Alexandrian learning. Although 
this school never lost its ethical interest, it was not so significant 
at the opening of our era that it need detain us here. 
Scepticism. The sceptical tendencies, the doubts as to the possibility of 

1 Cf. Qc. Tusc. i. 25-76 ; Plotinus, Enn. iv. 7. 


attaining absolute knowledge, which were started by the Sophist 
of the fifth century B.C., had been developed during the fourth 
and third centuries into something like a philosophic system. 
Although introduced into the Academy in the latter century, 
in Cicero's day scepticism was no longer the property of any one 
school ; it was rather an attitude of mind found in members of 
different schools, who, doubting the ability of man to secure 
absolute knowledge, fell back on probability ; but this attitude 
of mind naturally produced an agnosticism among the educated 
which had much influence on their religious thought. 

Like Epicureanism and Stoicism the New Academy was Practical 


chiefly concerned with the art of living, with practical ethics of piuio- 
rather than with speculation. Indeed with Plato and Aris- ^"'"y- 
totle the great period of Greek speculative and creative 
thought had closed. Thereafter philosophy was dogmatic and 
practical. Moreover, as we have seen, it accommodated itself to 
the facts of experience and fitted itself to be in truth the guide 
of life. However much the Epicurean, the Stoic, the Cynic, and 
the sectary of the New Academy might differ in theory, they all 
agreed in counting happiness the chief end of man, and in iden- 
tifying happiness and virtue. All aimed to make the individual 
superior to the vicissitudes of life and to equip him to perform 
with skill the duties of his position, whatever that might be. 

Furthermore, philosophy had ceased to dwell in the closet, 
but had come into the market-place. The philosophic preacher 
and the spiritual director were not uncommon in Augustus's 
time, and the sermons preached to-day still show the influence 
of the ancient Stoic and Cynic diatribe. The art of living which 
philosophy taught was no longer to be learned primarily from 
books, but from the preacher and from the conscience, the inner 
guide. The last great Stoic, Marcus Aurelius, bade his books 
farewell, since they were not for him, and exhorted himself to 
set all his mind on his guiding reason.* The unlettered as well 
as the learned could apprehend the art of life. 

1 Medit. ii. 2. 


Philosophy Yet men were not satisfied with the practice of virtue, under 
supply the ^^^ guidance of reason and the control of the will. Noble as the 
reiT! n ^^^^^ ^^^' ^^^ ^* ^^^ ^^^ infrequently put into practice, there 
was still something lacking, A religious unrest was widespread 
which the current philosophies did not fully meet. The loss of 
creative power which had accompanied the decay of national 
life and civilisation in the eastern half of the Mediterranean area 
during the last three centuries before our era, had taken away 
the keen satisfaction of life which earlier centuries had known. 
Men had become conscious of their own weakness and helpless- 
ness ; they longed for an assurance of protection here and of 
salvation hereafter, which they could not find in the traditional 
religions or in their own minds ; consequently they turned for 
help outside themselves, and sought their assurance in revelation 
or in mystic union with God. Even the Stoic in the end felt the 
necessity of grace, as is proved by Seneca's words already quoted : 
" No man is good without God. Can any one rise superior to 
fortune save with God's help ? " ^ 
Mysticism. Two means for satisfying this religious longing already 

existed in the first century B.C. : one was to be found in the 
mystic philosophies which were just beginning, the second in 
the many forms of pagan mysteries, some of which had long 
been established, while others were now entering the Graeco- 
Roman world. 

There was a strain of mysticism in Plato himself. This side 
of his philosophy was magnified by certain of his followers, and 
we have already spoken of the emphasis laid on Pythagorean 
elements by some of the later Academicians. In the last century 
before our era there was a revival of Pythagorean mysticism, 
combined with Platonism, which we call Neo-pythagoreanism. 
The first representative of this movement known to us was 
Nigidius Figulus, a contemporary of Cicero ; its most famous 
figure was Apollonius of Tyana, who lived under Nero. The 
work of reconciling Jewish theology with Greek philosophy began 

1 EpisCil. 2. 


at Alexandria as early as the second century B.C. The first to 
combine the two into a pjiilosophic system, the full importance 
of which can be shown only in connection with a study of Neo- 
platonism and of early Christian theology, was Philo (born c. 
25 B.C.). 

Both Neo-pythagoreans and Philo emphasised the idea first 
given significance by the Orphics and Pythagoreans in the 
sixth century B.C., on which Plato laid much stress, of the conflict 
of the flesh and the spirit in man. Both naturally inculcated a 
contempt for the things of sense, and favoured an asceticism, 
which indeed was approved in greater or less degree by the 
followers of every school. But it is more significant that 
both schools believed that man, when in a state of ecstasy, 
might receive direct revelation from God. Thus man's assur- 
ance was dependent on divine help ; salvation was an act of 
grace. We are insufficiently informed with regard to Neo- 
pythagoreanism, but Philo plainly taught that the gulf ^between 
man and God could be passed by the devout soul, when in 
ecstasy it left this world and all the intermediate realms 
behind, and mounted directly to union with God. Such supreme 
blessing he believed was accorded to only the most holy of men.^ 

This is philosophy fired with religious emotion ; it is a system 
in which reason gives way before a passionate desire for union 
with God. At the beginning of the Christian era it brought to 
the few a warrant similar to that which many had long received 
through the Greek mysteries. 

As early as the sixth century B.C., the Orphic sect among Orphism. 
the Greeks had emphasised the duality of man, regarding hiiu 
as a divine soul imprisoned in a sinful body; and it also held 
that the divine soul in ecstasy could be united with God, 
that is, with Dionysus, and thereby could obtain a foretaste of 
innnortality. Brotherhoods were formed, bound by a prescribed 
method of life, the end of which was to hasten the process of 

1 Opif. mundi, 69 f. ; AUeg. leg. iii. 29 ff. 


purification through a round of deaths and rebirths — for the 
Orphics taught palingenesis — and to secure the soul's permanent 
union with God. 
Eieusis. Older than the Orphics were the Mysteries of Demeter at 

Eleusis, where a festival, originally agricultural, had been early 
transformed into one of profounder meaning, by partaking in 
which the initiates gained assurance of future happiness. Here, 
as in the mysteries of Dionysus, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris, the 
story of a god who dies and lives again was made the warrant of 
man's hope. Of the detailed beliefs of the Eleusinian initiates 
we know little ; whether they thought that they came into 
mystic union with the divine we cannot say ; but there is no 
question as to their firm conviction that through initiation they 
had secured a happy life hereafter.^ Branches of the Eleusinian 
mysteries were established in many parts of the Greek world ; 
their popularity was great ; many of the most prominent Romans 
were initiated under the later republic and during the empire ; 
and the rites continued to be celebrated at Eleusis until the 
end of the fourth Christian century, when Alaric and his Goths 
destroyed the ancient sanctuary of Demeter. 
Samo- There were other mysteries in Greece, although none so 

thrace. influential as those at Eleusis. The island of Samothrace was 
the parent centre of the mysteries of two male divinities, the 
Kabeiroi ; as early as the sixth century b.c. a branch was estab- 
lished near Thebes in Boeotia ; another was at Thessalonica. 
Throughout the period in which these mysteries are known to us, 
Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, were associated with 
the Kabeiroi ; and in ritual and effect these mysteries seem not 
to have difiered essentially from those at Eleusis. There were 
also mysteries of Dionysus, who was associated with Demeter 
at Eleusis and with the Kabeiroi at Samothrace. At a later 
period we hear of the mysteries of Hecate, whose centre was the 
island of Aegina. 

1 Horn. Hyttin to Demeter, 480 f. ; Pindar, Frg. 137 ; Soph. Frg. 753 ; Aris- 
toph. Frogs, 454 ff. 


The Greeks brought Bacchic mysteries to Italy, where they Bacchic 
gradually spread, so that early in the second century B.C. large ^^ 
numbers, including some of the upper classes in Rome, had been 
initiated. In 186 B.C., excesses, to which the nocturnal celebra- 
tions, found in all mysteries, readily lent themselves, caused the 
Roman Senate to adopt strict measures of control. The authorities 
believed that they had unearthed an association devoted to crime 
and conspiracy, and proceeded with great severity against the 
initiates, who were reported to number seven thousand. Those 
who had been initiated only, but had not been guilty of crime, 
were imprisoned ; a larger number were put to death ; and it 
was ordered that all the shrines (Bacchanalia) in Italy should be 
destroyed, except such as contained ancient altars or statues. 
Moreover the organisation of Bacchic societies was broken up. 
All these measures, however, were prompted by moral and 
political considerations. Religious scruples were such that it 
was voted that if any one felt that he must perform the rite, he 
should consult the 'praetor urhanus, who was to present the matter 
to the Senate. If the Senate, when at least one hundred members 
were present, allowed the request, then the petitioner might 
perform the rite, but not more than five persons could attend the 
sacrifice. Although, in later times, we heard nothing of Bac- 
chanalia, the mystic service of Dionysus continued under other 

In all these mysteries, through rites of initiation and fixed 
celebrations, the devotees received the assurance of security here 
and happiness hereafter. Although originally the mysteries 
may have been magical rather than ethical in intent, as early as 
the last part of the fifth century B.C. they had acquired a moral 
significance, as the song of the initiates in Aristophanes' Frogs 
shows : " For we alone have a sun and a holy light, we who are 
initiated and who live toward friends and strangers in dutiful 
and pious fashion." ^ Oiu' data are not sufficient to enable us 

1 See Livy xxxix. 8-19; of. xxxix. 41 and xl. 19; C.I.L. i. 196. 
2 Frogs, 454 ff. 


to draw certain conclusions ; but it is highly probable that ulti- 
mately all mysteries fostered morality. 
Vergil and The sixth book of Vergil's Aeneid is closely related to some 
life. of the fundamental ideas of the Greek mysteries, and is the most 

important religious document of its time, for it sets forth most 
fully the popular and philosophic ideas concerning the other 
world, which were held by both Greeks and Romans. In form 
it is a " Descent to Hades," standing midway in the long series 
of apocalypses, beginning with the eleventh book of the Odyssey 
and ending with Dante's Divine Comedy. The journey which 
Aeneas makes through the other world under the guidance of 
the Cumaean Sibyl is essentially a mystic initiation, through 
which Aeneas receives enlightenment and strength to enable 
him to go on to the perfect accomplishment of the task which 
the divine purpose has imposed on him.^ The experience is a 
revelation of the meaning of life and death. It is sufficient 
here merely to mention the stages of the journey before Tartarus 
and Elysium are reached. On the hither side of Acheron Aeneas 
and his guide meet the souls of those whose bodies have not found 
burial, and who therefore must wait a hundred years, the maxi- 
mum of a human life, before they can cross the river. Once 
across the stream, the two earthly visitors encomiter shades of 
many kinds, who must tarry there imtil the span of life allowed 
them has been completed — infants and those who met their end 
by violence. Then the Sibyl and Aeneas come to the walls of 
Tartarus, which the hero may not enter. Next they pass to 
Elysium. Near by, in a green field, they find Anchises' shade 
looking at the souls which are waiting to be born into the upper 
world. The revered shade discloses to his son the doctrine of 
metempsychosis, according to which the soul must sufier through 
a series of lives and deaths, which are at once times of penance 
and of purification, that at last, free from sin, it may attain final 
bliss. 2 Three things are especially noteworthy : first, the testi- 

^ Cf- Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the Roma?i People, pp. 419 fif. 
2 For a full understanding of this book, Norden's edition is indispensable. 
Teubner, Leipzig, 1903. 


mony to a widespread interest in a future life ; secondly, the 
common belief in the possibility of a revelation through mystic 
initiation ; and, finally, the proof that life here and in the other 
world was thought to rest on a moral basis, both being occasions 
for penance and purification and opportunities for moral growth, 
which were the means by which final happiness was to be secured. 

These ideas, current among both Greeks and Romans at the oriental 
beginning of our era, had had a long development in Greek ™^^ "*^^' 
thought, as has been shown ; they were emphasised also by the 
mysteries of certain oriental religions, which, long established 
in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, were destined to 
play an important part in the western half during the first four 
Christian centuries. The most important were the mysteries 
of Isis, of Mithras, and of Cybele, the Great Mother of the Gods. 
This last goddess was introduced into Rome from Asia Minor 
by the Senate in 204 B.C., to end the long dangers of the Second 
Punic War, but her cult was carried on by Phrygian priests until 
after the close of the Republic. In the time of the Emperor 
Claudius, however, her worship seems to have experienced a great 
expansion ; new festival days were added to the calendar, and 
her mysteries began their wide appeal. The religion of Isis and 
her associate gods, as well as the mysteries connected therewith, 
were brought to Italy by Greeks and by Egyptian traders and 
slaves in the second century B.C., but the mysteries began to 
have a vogue in the west only under the early Empire. The 
religion of Mthras likewise became influential in the west toward 
the close of the first Christian century. These cults had large 
folio wings in Italy and in most of the European provinces of the 
Roman Empire until about 250-275 a.d., when they gave way 
before the advance of Christianity ; yet in Rome a pagan national 
revival kept them alive until the very end of the fourth century. 

But if these oriental mysteries were not powerful in the 
western Mediterranean area until Christianity had acquired a 
foothold in Italy, they had long been established in Egypt and 
the Asiatic provinces. In fact, Isis and Osiris had reigned in 



Egypt for two thousand years, and the reorganisation of their 
religion by Ptolemy Soter (306-285 b.c), whereby Greek elements 
were grafted on the Egyptian stock,' had not broken the con- 
tinuity of the sacred history. Traders and slaves carried this 
religion to every shore of the Mediterranean. Cybele and Attis 
were domiciled in Asia Minor before history began. Mithraism 
had originated in Persia at a remote period, but was wide- 
spread in Asia Minor during the last three centuries before the 
Christian era. 

stages of A brief account of these oriental mysteries must suffice. In 

all, there were closed communities of devotees, who had been 
admitted to the sacred organisation through rites intended to 
test courage and to impress the imagination. Thus the devout, 
through emotional experiences and revelations, gained assurance 
of divine aid here and hereafter. Initiation was a rebirth into a 
new life. For the devotees there were degrees which marked 
their advance in religious proficiency. The Isiac initiate entered 
first on the degree which bore the name of the goddess herself ; 
he might then be called through a vision to the grade of Osiris- 
Serapis ; and if the goddess summoned him to the highest degree, 
he became a member of the priestly class, in which his shaven 
head and linen dress testified his consecration. In the mysteries 
of Mithras there were seven grades, each vnth. its symbol and 
magic name ; apparently full membership in the Mithraic 
brotherhood was reached after passing through the first three 

DifEerenccs So far, the Oriental mysteries were essentially parallel to the 

GreekTnd Greek, in which also there were two grades for the initiates ; 

oriental ^j^g„ differed, however, in certain essential points. In the first 

mysteries. -^ ^ 

place they were exotic, foreign to the Graeco-Roman world which 
they penetrated, and had all the appeal which a foreign origin 
seems to give a religion, especially in a time of distress or of 
religious poverty. These oriental religions, moreover, unlike 
those of Greece or Rome, were proselytising ; in their ser- 
vice priests recruited converts from every som'ce ; and each 


religion had among its sectaries considerable bodies of men 
who followed a holy life, known as sacrati or consecranei, " the 
consecrated," and who addressed one another as " brothers," 
fratres. Again the gods from the East were more adaptable 
than the gods of Greece and Rome, and took the new character- 
istics and fimctions required by a changed environment without 
losing their individualities ; and their systems were easily modified 
to meet the needs and demands of successive generations. Thus 
they were able to adopt the current secular morality and eventu- 
ally to become strong moral forces. Finally, all these faiths had 
a strong pantheistic or, rather, henotic tendency. The supreme 
divinity was regarded as the all-embracing divine power, which 
expressed itself in countless ways and under numberless forms. 
The best expression of such claims is found in Apuleius's 3Ieta- 
morphoses, in the words with which Isis addresses Lucius in a 
vision : 

Lo, I am here, Lucius, moved by thy prayers, I, the parent of the 
universe, mistress of the elements, the primal offspring of the ages, 
greatest of divinities, queen of the dead, first among the celestials, 
the single form of gods and goddesses ; I, who by my nod rule the 
bright heights of heaven, the healthful breezes of the sea, the gloomy 
silent shades below. To my divinity, one in itself, the entire world 
does reverence under many forms, with varied rites and manifold 
names. Hence it is that the primal Phrygians call me at Pessinus 
the Mother of the Gods, hence the Athenians, who are sprung from 
the ground on which they dwell, name me Cecropian Minerva, the 
wave-beat Cyprians, Paphian Venus, the archer Cretans, Dictynnan 
Diana, the Sicilians with their triple speech, Stygian Proserpina, 
the people of Eleusis, ancient Ceres, others Juno, others Bellona, 
some Hecate, again Rhamnusia ; but the Aethiopians, on whom 
shine the growing rays of the sun at his birth, the Arians, and the 
Egyptians, mighty in their ancient learning, worship me with the 
proper rites and call me by my true name, Queen Isis.^ 

Such claims as this obviously led to no conflict with 

^ Apulcius, il/e^ X). 5. Cf. tho remarkable invocation of Isis published in 
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, xi. 1380. 


polytheism, yet they helped to spread the belief that the 
divine was one. 

Snmmarv "^^^ conclusions to which the discussion has led may now 

be briefly stated. 

At the beginning of the first century the Mediterranean 
world was unified by habits of thought and expression, and 
almost by language. Although Greek prevailed in the east and 
Latin in the west, the use of the former tongue by all educated 
men, and by many even of the humbler classes, made intercourse 
free wherever Roman, Syrian, Jew, and Greek might meet. 
Peace rendered travel secure, and thus contributed to the estab- 
lishment of a cosmopolitan society in every large city. 

Philosophy of every school had become primarily religious 
and moral. Although the several sects adapted themselves in 
various ways to popular polytheism, nevertheless most philosophic 
thought tended to regard the divine as one. The Platonic and 
Aristotelian schools supported a transcendental theology, while 
the Stoics held to the immanence of God ; but it is clear that a 
compromise between these two theological extremes, or perhaps 
it would be more exact to say a combination of them, was already 
being made, whereby the immanent principle was made second 
to the transcendental. This can be seen in the philosophy of 
Philo ; his chief logos, while directly descended from Plato's 
Absolute, apparently owed much also to the immanent logos 
of the Stoics. Thus the way was prepared for the theology of 
orthodox Christianity.^ 

The several ethical systems which the philosophic schools had 
developed agreed in fixing moral responsibility on the indi^ddual, 
and in their tenets agreed very largely with early Christian teach- 
ing. The training of the will to enforce the dictates of reason 
in the ordering of the individual life ; the doctrine of gradual 
and daily advance in virtue toward moral perfection, which is 

^ The immanent character of the logos is expressly stated in the Prologue to 
the Gospel of John. Cf. Colosa. i. 15-17. On the other hand, Acts xvii. 28 
puts the immanence of God in Stoic terms. 


realised only in God ; the belief that virtue is the sole and the 
certain source of happiness in this or any other world, were all 
consonant with Christianity. It is true that no philosophic 
system of ethics ever rose to the altruistic teachings of Jesus or 
taught that love was to extend to one's enemies. But the ethics 
taught by the Stoic and the other 'schools, with their emphasis 
on the individual life, formed a sound basis on which Christianity 
could build, and provided it with a body of doctrine which it 
could advantageously adopt. Moreover, the current philosophic 
systems taught their followers to have slight regard for the 
accidents of this life, to hold in small esteem wealth, place, 
and power, and even to be indifferent to sickness and death, in 
comparison with virtue ; and by establishing the doctrine of 
individual responsibility they did valuable service to the coming 
religion. The Stoic cosmopolitanism and the doctrine of the 
natural equality of man, secured to each by his possession of a 
fragment of the divine Reason, were in harmony with a uni- 
versal religion, which made no distinction between emperor or 
slave, citizen or stranger. Philosophy could become the servant 
of practical Christianity, because it had long ceased to be the 
property of the few, and was now concerned primarily with 
practice. The preacher and adept had become the recognised 
exponents of life. 

The Greek mysteries had spread the belief that, through the 
emotional experiences of initiation and of ritual, a revelation of 
God and a union with the Divine was secured which brought the 
assurance of a happy immortality. The belief in metempsychosis, 
which Christianity could not accejDt, carried with it the principle 
of an absolute moral relation between life here and hereafter, as 
we can learn from Plato and from Vergil, not to speak of other 
sources. These beliefs were emphasised and reinforced by mystic 
philosophies and religions during the first four centuries of 
our era. 

Taken together, these systems make up that Hellenistic life 
which for so long a time contended with the rival system of 


Judaism. Neither ever conquered the other ; but their fates were 
different. Judaism survives in two forms : changed, and in 
some ways purified, but still essentially the same, in the Syna.- 
gogue ; and radically altered, yet vigorously alive, in the litera- 
ture, ethics, and hopes of Christianity. Hellenism, unlike its 
rival, has now no separate existence, but it, too, lives on ; for it 
was the genius of Christianity to weld together into a new organic 
unity elements drawn primarily from Stoic ethics, from the later 
Platonic metaphysics, from Oriental mysticism, and from Roman 
administration, as well as from the faith and hope of Israel. 



By The Editors 



The claim of Christianity to be a " faith once delivered to the Christianity 

_ . . a S3nthesis. 

Saints " cannot bear the scrutiny of the historian of rehgions. 
To him it appears not a single rehgion but a complex of many, 
justified in claiming the name of Christianity by reason of the 
thread of historic continuity which runs through and connects 
its component parts. That " quod semper, quod ubique, quod 
ah omnibus " can supply the answer to " What is Christianity ? " 
is a vain conceit : its strict application would leave us without 
church, without worship, and without creed. For, like all 
rehgions when studied critically, Christianity is a process, not 
a result. 

The task of this part of this volume is to discuss the initial 
stages of this process. The preceding parts have described the 
main features of two civilisations. Neither was simple, either 
in history or origm. Jewish civilisation may in many ways be 
regarded as a representative of Semitic civilisation, but it had 
varied from the main stock by adopting a strict monotheism and 
a severe code of ethics. Roman civilisation was originally a 
combination of Latin, Etruscan, and Greek elements ; but in 
the days of the Empire Oriental thought and practice were being 
rapidly assimilated. The only Oriental cult permanently un- 
willing to be absorbed was official Judaism.^ 

^ Rome probably first realised this refusal in the time ^f Caligula. The 
attempt to introduce the emperor's statue into the Temple is usually seen by 
modern historians through Jewish glasses as a mere brutality. More probably 
it was part of a well-considered jjlan to make use of the (rwiSpia. of Asiatic 
cults for the propagation of an imj)erial cultus, which, while recognising existing 
rehgions, should combine them in a higher unity. The only avviSpiov which 
refused was that of the Jews. See p. 199 IT. 



Tlie next step was extraordinary, but not incredible to the 
historian who has learned to recognise that sudden variation is 
a necessary element in evolution. A new movement arose in 
Judaism, claiming the authority of divine revelation. When cast 
out of the Jewish communion by the authorities of the Temple 
and the Synagogue it abandoned institutions, like circumcision, 
intolerable to the Roman world, and turning to the Gentiles, 
offered them a share in the hope of Israel. The people of the 
Levant accepted this offer far more readily than that of the 
Synagogue, but they interpreted it in accordance with their own 
thoughts rather than with its origin, thus starting a synthesis 
between Judaism and the Graeco-Oriental thought of the Empire. 

In order to elucidate this synthesis, the first chapter of this 
part discusses the main featm-es of the teaching of Jesus, as it 
appears in the light of synoptic criticism, and of the position of 
the Twelve during his ministry. The second chapter deals with 
the story of the disciples in Jerusalem and the spread of Chris- 
tianity through the Roman Empire. The discussion of sub- 
ordinate points is left to the commentary ; but the main problems 
presented by Acts are indicated in outline in order to make easier 
their recognition and detailed consideration in connection with 
the text. The third and fourth chapters take up the intellect- 
ual development of this period, and endeavour to trace the 
change from predominantly Jewish to predominantly Greek 
modes of thought. 


The chief difficulty iii determining the teaching of Jesus, or his Pui) ose of 

. . , . , . J Gospel of 

purpose m choosing the Twelve, is that the only primary docu- Mark. 
ments which we possess were not written in order to give this 
information, but to confirm the opinions of Gentile Christians. 
By far our best source as to the history of Jesus is the Gospel 
according to Mark, but it is strange how little we know of its 
origin. Papias and Irenaeus are our only early informants, but, 
except for a vague tradition that the Gospel is connected with 
Peter, they tell us nothing.^ We are entirely dependent on 
internal evidence for our answers to the questions whether Mark 
is based on Aramaic documents or only on Aramaic oral tradition, 
and whether it was written in Jerusalem or Rome or elsewhere. 
It is, however, clear that it was composed partly to show that 
the deeds of Jesus during his ministry prove that he was the 
Messiah, though he never made the claim, and partly to indicate 
why he abandoned the Synagogue, organised the Twelve, and 
began a more extensive mission. In common with the other 
evangelists, Mark desires to explain the reason for the breach 
between the Church and the Synagogue, tracing it back to the 

^ The most probable view seems to bo that the Gospel of Mark is in some 
way connected with a tradition which ultimately goes back to Peter, but it 
does not seem probable that the text of tlie Gospel is so directly connected 
with him as tradition suggests. It is difficult to think that any one wlio had 
actual intercourse with Peter could have been bo ignorant of the meanmg of 
Son of Man as the editor who produced our Gospel must have been. 



begimiiiig, and showing that it was due, not to any schismatic 
conduct on the part of Jesus and his followers, but to the 
rejection by the Jews of the Messiah whom they ought to have 
recognised in him, as his disciples had done, on the ground, not 
of his own assertion, but of the sufficient testimony of miracles, 
of demons, and of the divine voice from Heaven. 

All this is invaluable to the historian, but its limitations must 
be recognised. It provides us with an early and authoritative 
statement of the evidence by which the first Greek-speaking 
Christians justified their own position ; it is not the history of 
Jesus told for its own sake. Mark is far more a primary authority 
for the thought of the Apostolic Age than for the life of Jesus. 
We have, indeed, no better authority : but it must be taken for 
what it is. 
Relation For the teaching of Jesus, Mark can be supplemented by 

Matthew, Matthew and Luke, It is now generally recognised that the 
*° " ^' framework of narrative which they contain is almost entirely 
derived from Mark, Thus far, therefore, they are secondary 
sources, and ought rather to be regarded as the earliest comment- 
ary on Mark, In adapting Mark they have sometimes blurred 
and confused his statements, though the changes introduced 
are often very important, as reflecting the mind of Christians. 
They have, however, added fragments of another tradition which 
gives the teaching rather than the life of Jesus, and is co-ordinate 
in value with Mark. It is the custom to refer to it as Q, but it 
must be remembered that Q is not an extant document, but 
represents the judgment of critics as to certain parts of Matthew 
and Luke. It is impossible to reconstruct it mechanically, and 
it is a mistake to attribute a so-called objective value to what 
is after all the result of subjective criticism. It is equally un- 
satisfactory to treat with veneration the coincidence of Matthew 
and Luke, We do not know, and probably we never shall know, 
whether they used one document or several in common, nor do 
we know with certainty whether Matthew had seen Luke or Luke 
had seen Matthew, Late as well as early sources may have been 


used in common by tliem, and therefore it is well to remember 
that much subjective criticism is necessary in dealing with 
Matthew and Luke. 

One object of Mark is to prove that Jesus was the Messiah, The good 
The gospel is in fact the story of how the disciples discovered uZk!"^ 
who Jesus actually was, and the author's interest is the same as 
that of the disciples in the early chapters of Acts, whose preaching 
was ' Jesus is the Messiah.' It is therefore all the more im- 
portant that it is so definitely stated that Jesus did not announce 
the Messianic secret to the people, nor allow his disciples to do so 
until after the Resurrection, but dwelt on two themes : the 
speedy approach of the Kingdom of God, and the necessity of 
repentance. This was the ' good news ' which men were called 
on to beHeve. In Q the presentation is more elaborate but sub- 
stantially the same. The teaching of Jesus is the proclamation 
of the Kingdom of God and the need of repentance. 

The questions important for the present purpose are therefore Meaning of 
the meaning which the phrases " Kingdom of God " aiid " Re- jom of'"^ 
pent " are likely to have had for Jesus or his hearers, the authority ^°^"' 
which he claimed, and the relation of his teaching on these subjects 
to the different forms of thought then existing among the Jews. 

The meaning of " Kingdom of God " or " Kingdom of Heaven " The King. 
in the light of contemporary Jewish thought is a complex problem, 3°^^^^ nt 
which can only be rendered even relatively clear by a somewhat "^ ^°^- 
long historical exposition. 

Nothing loomed larger in the thoughts of the Jews in the 
first century than the idea of the Sovereignty of God, or, to adopt 
the customary metonymy, the Kingdom of ' Heaven,' which 
is fundamental both with the Rabbis and in the Apocalyptic 
literature, though the exact phrase itself is found neither in 
the Old Testament nor in the Apocalypses,^ This is somewhat 

^ The only reference in ('harles's index {Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of 
the Old Teslamenl, vol. ii. p. 856) is 3 Bar. xi. 2 (Michael — who holds the 
keys of the Kingdom of Heaven), a very late and possibly Christian passage. 


remarkable in view of the frequency with which reference is 
made in modern books to the Kingdom of Heaven, as though 
the words, made familiar to us in the Gospels, were themselves 
common in Jewish literature. In point of fact it seems that 
the Gospels give us the earliest example of their use. 
Its origin The origin of the conception, as distinct from the name, 

and nature, {g ^^ |jg fouud in the prophecies of the Old Testament which 
foretell the rule of Jehovah over the whole earth, in the light 
of which other prophecies are interpreted which speak of his 
rule without specifying its extent. 

The general view is theocratic, and not— in the proper sense 
of the word — Messianic ; for there is no such expectation of a 
Davidic king as is found in Isaiah xi. ("In that day there shall be 
a root of Jesse," etc.) and cognate passages. The hope expressed 
is for the universahty of the rehgion, rather than the domina- 
tion of the Kingdom of Israel. The universal recognition of the 
Sovereignty of God is still in the future, but it is also present 
now. That God reigns over all, but in a special sense over those 
who recognise his rule, is one of the favourite themes of the 
Psalms.^ This point was taken also by the later Jews, and is 
often emphasised by the Rabbis. God's pre-eminence does not 
depend on the attitude of his own creatures, but it cannot be 
considered perfect till it is recognised by men. Thus, down to 
Abraham, it might be said, God reigns in Heaven only. By his 
faith, Abraham made him king on the earth too, for in him 
God had one subject ; so also did Jacob at Bethel when he 
declared that Jahweh should be his God. But the reign of God 
was thus far confined to individuals, until at Sinai the Israehtes 
said, " All that the Lord hath spoken, will we do and obey," 
and became a nation in which God reigned. The reign of God 
is thus, in the Old Testament, the Apocalyptic books, and the 
Rabbinical hterature, a present reality, so far as he is owned and 
obeyed by individuals and by the people as a whole. The Jews 
not only hoped and prayed for this reign, but they lived under 

^ Cf. especially such Psalms as xciv., ciii., and cxlv. 


it, for its nature is not political but religious. They held that 
at the present time the Sovereignty of God is recognised only 
by Israel, imperfectly by it, and in different degrees by different 
individuals ; but that in the future there will be a ' good time ' 
in which the universal and complete Sovereignty of God will be 
acknowledged by all mankind and his revealed will obeyed 

This reahsation of the Sovereignty of God over all the world Sovereignty 
was not expected to be the result of missionary enterprise, but thp^f^l^" 
of the self-determined act of God. Sometimes it is spoken of 
as being manifested, because, like all other good things, it has 
in reality always existed. The Sovereignty of God cannot be 
directly identified with any form of human government, like 
the reign of a ' Messianic ' King, or with one period of time ; 
but the very bmited recognition of the Sovereignty of God among 
men at present compelled attention to the expectation that its 
universahty could only be realised in the future. Thus the 
Good Time which was coming might easily be regarded as the 
Kingdom of Heaven — the condition of life being identified with 
the period of its realisation — and for those to whom the restora- 
tion of the monarchy was the chief feature of the Good Time,^ 
the Days of the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven may have 
come to be interchangeable expressions. Similarly those who 
thought that this world, or this age, is coming to an end, to be 
followed by one in which God is to be supreme, may have 
identified the Kingdom of Heaven with the Age to Come. 

Thus in the first century the attention of pious Jews was 
riveted on the Sovereignty of God or a Kingdom of Heaven, 
and on the coming of a Good Time when God would be realised 
and recognised. But in this complex of ideas the Sovereignty 
of God was the essential. Probably there were many degrees 
and variations of interest in the other points. There were 

1 Cf. Is. xlv. 23 ; Rev. xix. 6. 

* There is no special technical term for this period. German writers refer 
to it as the Heilzeit, and modern English writers frequently darken counsel 
by calling it the Messianic Age. 



Hope of a 
in Israel. 

doubtless Jews who looked forward more to the Sovereignty 
of God and the world to come than to the Good Time, and 
others to whom the restoration of national prosperity was of 
more interest than the End of the World and the New Age. 

There was also, to judge from the scanty evidence which we 
possess, a further division. The hope of the coming of the Good 
Time included a belief that in it the monarchy — whether regal 
or sacerdotal — would be restored ; and with the expectation of 
the Age to Come was bound up a Resurrection of the Dead by 
which the righteous of past generations would be admitted to 
the new world. 

The history of Israel sufficiently explains this variety of 
ideas. At all times the nation had looked forward to the Good 
Time of the future. In this indeed they were merely human ; 
a behef that the future will be better than the present is universal. 
The inherent difference between modern and ancient thought 
in regard to the future is that, while we consider that the Good 
Time to Come depends on human effort, the piety of antiquity 
looked to its accomphshment by divine grace. The Rabbis 
differed among themselves as to whether Messiah ^ would come 
when the world was at its worst, or whether the righteousness 
of Israel would bring it about. If the nation, it was sometimes 
said, could keep but one Sabbath aright Messiah would come. 
But all were agreed that the Good Time would be brought about 
by a spontaneous act of divine grace. As to how it would come 
there was naturally micertainty. When the vanished monarchy 
of David became the symbol of the ancient glory of Israel, the 
Monarchy Good Time was conceived as under a prince of his house. In the 
Leviticli or Maccabean period the fact that the ruling house belonged to 
Davidic. ^^Q tribe of Levi was reflected in the expectation of the coming 
of a King of this tribe to reign in the Good Time, in Jubilees and 
the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and in the ' Zadokdte ' 

^ The idea of the Davidic King of the Good Time is, of course, quite ancient 
(of. Is. xi., etc.), but the name " the Messiah " to describe him is not found before 
the Psalms of Solomon. 


document of the Covenanters of Damascus. In other books, 
the date of which is not always clear, the picture of the Grood 
Time is vivid and distinct, but there is no mention of any monarch 
at all whether Davidic or Levitic. 

The purest example of the combination of the religious hope Davidic 
of the Sovereignty of God with the hope of the restoration of pJ^g'oJ' 
the monarchical rule of a son of David is the seventeenth Psalm 
of Solomon, which is so important that it is desirable to quote 
in full the apposite verses.^ 

Behold, Lord, and raise up unto them their king, the son of 
David, in the time which thou, God, knowest, that he may reign 
over Israel thy servant ; and gird him with strength that he may 
break in pieces them that rule unjustly. Purge Jerusalem from the 
heathen that trample her down to destroy her, with wisdom and 
with righteousness. He shall thrust out the sinners from the in- 
heritance, utterly destroy the proud spirit of the sinners, and as 
potter's vessels with a rod of iron shall he break in pieces all their 
substance. He shall destroy the ungodly nations with the word 
of his mouth, so that at his rebuke the nations may flee before him, 
and he shall convict the sinners in the thoughts of their hearts. 
And he shall gather together a holy people, whom he shall lead in 
righteousness ; and shall judge the tribes of the people that hath 
been sanctified by the Lord his God. And he shall not suffer iniquity 
to lodge in their midst ; and none that knoweth wickedness shall 
dwell with them. For he shall take knowledge of them, that they 
be all the sons of their God, and shall divide them upon the earth 
according to their tribes. And the sojourner and the stranger shall 
dwell with them no more. He shall judge the nations and the 
peoples with the wisdom of his righteousness. Selah. 

And he shall possess the nations of the heathen to serve him 
beneath his yoke ; and he shall glorify the Lord in a place to be 
seen of the whole earth ; and he shall purge Jerusalem and make 
it holy, even as it was in the days of old. So that the nations may 
come from the ends of the earth to see his glory, bringing as gifts 
her sons that had fainted, and may see the glory of the Lord, 
wherewith God hath glorified her. And a righteous king and taught 
of God is he that reigneth over them ; and there shall be no iniquity 
in his days in their midst, for all shall be holy and their king is the 

^ This translation is that of Ryle and James. In a few places it is possible 
that the text should be corrected in the light of O. von Gebhardt's researches ; 
but none are important for the present puipose. 




Good Time 
monarch in 

Lord Messiah.^ For he shall not put his trust in horse and rider 
and bow, nor shall he multiply unto himself gold and silver for war, 
nor by ships shall he gather confidence for the day of battle. The 
Lord himself is his King, and the hope of him that is strong in 
the hope of God. And he shall have mercy upon all the nations 
that come before him in fear. For he shall smite the earth with 
the word of his mouth even for evermore. He shall bless the people 
of the Lord with wisdom and gladness. He himself also is pure 
from sin, so that he may rule a mighty people, and rebuke princes 
and overthrow sinners by the might of his word. And he shall not 
faint all his days, because he leaneth upon his God ; for God shall 
cause him to be mighty through the spirit of holiness, and wise 
through the counsel of understanding, with might and righteousness. 
And the blessing of the Lord is with him in might, and his hope in 
the Lord shall not faint. And who can stand up against him ? 
he is mighty in his works and strong in the fear of God. Tending 
the flock of the Lord with faith and righteousness ; and he shall 
suffer none among them to faint in their pasture. In holiness shall 
he lead them all, and there shall no pride be among them that any 
should be oppressed. This is the majesty of the king of Israel, 
which God hath appointed to raise him up over the house of Israel, 
to instruct him. His words shall be purified above fine gold, yea, 
above the choicest gold. In the congregations will he judge among 
the peoples, the tribes of them that have been sanctified. His words 
shall be as the words of the holy ones in the midst of the peoples 
that have been sanctified. Blessed are they that shall be born in 
those days, to behold the blessing of Israel which God shall bring 
to pass in the gathering together of the tribes. May God hasten 
his mercy toward Israel ! may he deliver us from the abomination 
of unhallowed adversaries ! The Lord, he is our king from hence- 
forth and even for evermore. 

In sharp contrast to this picture of the Good Time under a 
monarch is the section (chapters i.-xxxvi.) in the first part of 
Enoch, which was written at a different time and in a difi'ereut 
spirit from the Similitudes. In this is a glowing description of 
the Good Time, but no reference to a king. 

^ The Greek text is Xpiarbs Kvpios, which may mean ' Lord Messiah ' or 
*an anointed Lord.' Probably the original was 'the Lord's anointed.' An 
interesting parallel is Lam. iv. 20, when the Hebrew means "... the anointed 
of Jahweh has been taken in their pits, of whom we said. In his shadow we shall 
live among the nations." The LXX. translates this Xpiarbs Kvpios (Tvve\-qfi(j>0T) 
ev rats 5ia(f>6opaXs aiVwc, and the Vulgate is " Christus dominus captus est in 
peccatis nostris." It need hardly be said that the anointed of the Lord in the 
original is Jehoiachim. 


And then shall all the righteous escape, and shall live till they 
beget thousands of children, and all the days of their youth and 
their old age shall they complete in peace. And then shall the 
whole earth be tilled in righteousness, and shall be planted with 
trees and be full of blessing. And all desirable trees shall be planted 
on it, and they shall plant vines on it : and the vine which they plant 
thereon shall yield wine in abundance, and as for all the seed which 
is sown thereon each measure (of it) shall bear a thousand, and each 
measure of olives shall yield ten presses of oil. And cleanse thou 
the earth from all oppression, and from all unrighteousness, and 
from all sin, and from all godlessness ; and all the uncleanness that 
is wrought upon the earth destroy from off the earth. And all the 
children of men shall become righteous and all nations shall offer 
adoration and shall praise me, and all shall worship me. And the 
earth shall be cleansed from all defilement, and from all sin, and 
from all punishment, and from all torment, and I wiU never again 
send (them) upon it from generation to generation and forever. 
And in these days I will open the store chambers of blessing which 
are in heaven, so as to send them down ' upon the earth ' over 
the work and labour of the children of men. And truth and peace 
shall be associated together throughout all the days of the world 
and throughout all the generations of men.^ 

Both the Psalms of Solomon and Enoch i.-xxxvi. represent 
the Jewish idea of the Good Time of the future mimixed with 
the originally Persian belief in a Resurrection and the world to 
come, which so profoundly affected at least some Jewish cii'cles, 
and are not concerned with the duration of the Good Time, or 
with the length of life allotted to the King or High Priest. There 
are expressions in some documents which, if taken literally, 
might imply that the Good Time was expected to be everlasting, 
but there is hardly so much as a suggestion that the original 
Jewish thought contemplated the possibility that either the 
King or his subjects would enjoy immortality. 

The Persian form of thought, on the contrary, looked forward Destruction 
to the destruction of the present world by fire, after which would ".Qrid, 
come a new world purified from evil, and the righteous dead 
would rise to an enduring state of bliss. The influence of this 
doctrine can be seen in the later Jewish literature. The end of 
the age figures prominently in 4 Ezra, which is largely occupied 

^ The translation is taken from Charles's Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. 


by a discussion of the condition of the Age to Come and of those 
who will be allowed to enter into it. Moreover, the same book 
in chapter vii. gives a short but invaluable statement of the 
relations which would subsist between the Good Time, the Days 
of the Messiah, the Judgment, Resurrection, and Age to Come. 
Unlike many Apocalypses it calls for little or no commentary. 

For behold the days come, and it shall be when the signs which 
I have foretold unto thee shall come to pass. Then shall the city 
that now is invisible appear, and the land which is now concealed 
be seen.* And whosoever is delivered from the predicted evils, the 
same shall see my wonders. For my Son the Messiah shall be 
revealed, together with those who are with him, and shall rejoice 
the survivors four hundred years. And it shall be, after these 
years, that my Son the Messiah shall die, and all in whom there is 
human breath. Then shall the world be turned into the primeval 
silence seven days, like as at the first beginnings ; so that no man 
is left. And it shall be after seven days that the Age which is not 
yet awake shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish. 
And the earth shall restore those that sleep in her, and the dust 
those that are at rest therein, and the chambers shall restore those 
that were committed unto them. And the Most High shall be 
revealed upon the throne of judgment ; and then cometh the End, 
and compassion shall pass away, and pity be far off, and long suffer- 
ing withdrawn ; but judgment alone shall remain, truth shall stand, 
and faithfulness triumph, and recompense shall follow, and the 
reward be made manifest ; deeds of righteousness shall awake, 
and deeds of iniquity shall not sleep. And then shall the pit of 
torment appear, and over against it the place of refreshment ; the 
furnace of Gehenna shall be made manifest, and over against it the 
Paradise of delight. And then shall the Most High say to the 
nations that have been raised from the dead : Look now and con- 
sider whom ye have denied, whom ye have not served, whose com- 
mandments ye have despised. Look now, before you : here delight 
and refreshment, there fire and torments ! Thus shall he speak 
unto them in the Day of Judgment ; for thus shall the Day of 
Judgment be : A day whereon is neither sun, nor moon, nor stars ; 
neither clouds, nor thunder, nor hghtning ; neither wind, nor rain- 
storm, nor cloud-rack ; neither darkness, nor evening, nor morning ; 
neither summer, nor autumn, nor winter ; neither heat, nor frost, 
nor cold ; neither hail, nor rain, nor dew ; neither moon, nor night, 
nor dawn ; neither shining, nor brightness, nor light, save only the 
splendour of the brightness of the Most High, whereby all shall 
be destined to see what has been determined for them. And its 


duration shall be as it were a week of years. Such is my Judgment 
and its prescribed order ; to thee only have I showed these things.^ 

The method which has been followed is plain : the Good 
Time is not identified with the Age to Come, but is limited to 
the present age, which is finite. The people of Israel enjoy four 
hundred years under the reign of King Messiah, who is called 
' his son ' by God, probably in allusion to Psalm ii. 

Thus a combination was effected between the Jewish and 
Persian systems. But there does not seem to have been any 
officially fixed doctrine on these subjects ; no other apocalypse 
gives so clear a picture as 4 Ezra, though Baruch is similar. 
It is also remarkable that the eschatological scheme in 1 Cor- 
inthians XV. and in Kevelation xix. f. are much closer to that 
of 4 Ezra than to later Christian thought. Both in Paul and 
in Revelation the reign of Christ is limited in time, and in Reve- 
lation there is a general Resurrection after his reign followed 
by a ' new heaven and a new earth ' corresponding to the ' Age 
to Come ' of 4 Ezra.^ 

Among the Rabbis somewhat the same system probably Rabbinic 
obtained, though there is little direct evidence. The compilers *'^*'"s^*- 
of the Talmud were not much interested in eschatology.^ When 
the Rabbis were speaking carefully they distinguished the Age 
to Come from the Days of the Messiah, which belonged to this 
Age, but when they were speaking loosely they used the phrase 
' Age to Come ' in the untechnical sense of the future generally, 
and then spoke of the Messiah as belonging to the Age to Come. 

This digression has been necessary to show the possible 

^ This translation is taken from Charles's Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testa- 
ment, in which 4 Ezra is edited by G. H. Box. 

^ The main difference between 4 Ezra and 1 Corintliians and Revelation 
is that the Christian docvimcnts insert a special resurrection before the reign 
of Christ. Later Christians, being in the main Greeks to wliom the Apocalyptic 
tradition was foreign, telescoped the two resurrections together. 

' By far the most valuable and intelligible collection of the fragmentary 
evidence is that of J. Klausner, Die messianische V orstellimgen des jiidischen 
Volkea im ZeitaUer der Tannaiten. 


implications to a Jewish mind of tlie phrase ' The Kingdom of 
God.' The result is to show that the strict meaning is the 
Sovereignty or Reign of God ; it does not definitely mean the 
Good Time, or the Days of the Messiah, or the Age to Come, 
but inasmuch as to the mind of a pious Jew the history of the 
future was to be the realisation and recognition of the Sovereignty 
of God, and at the same time would include both the Good Time 
and the Age to Come, it was easy for those whose minds dwelt 
on the means rather than on the end to make the Kingdom of 
God practically identical with the Good Time of the Days of 
the Messiah. Possibly others may have made it equivalent to 
the Age to Come, but of this there is no satisfactory evidence 
from Jewish sources. 
•Kingdom Morcover, the fact that the exact phrase the Kingdom of 

the Gospek. ^r^^ ^^ Kingdom of Heaven is not found earlier than the Gospels, 
though the idea represented by it in the Rabbinic literature is 
drawn from the Prophets, renders it impossible to say with 
certainty what the phrase must have meant in the Gospels, and 
to use this meaning for their interpretation. The only reason- 
able method is to interpret each passage in which it is found 
in accordance with its context. 

The frequency of the phrase Kingdom of God or of Heaven 

in the Synoptic Gospels is the proof of its importance in the 

earhest period of Christianity. But if the passages in which it 

occurs be interpreted naturally in the light of their own context, 

three meanings can be discerned. In one group of passages the 

Kingdom is regarded as future : it is close at hand, and men 

must prepare for it. In a second group it is present : its 

nature is explained. In a third group it is a synonym for the 

Christian Church. The first two must be discussed here ; the 

third later. 

(1) King- In the Gospel according to Mark the majority of passages 

in the ° refer to the Kingdom of God as future. The opening announce- 

future. ment in i. 15, " The Kingdom of God is at hand," cannot be 

interpreted except as a reference to something which is not yet 


present. The same may be said of ix. 1, " There are some of 
those standing here who shall not taste of death till they see 
the Kingdom of God come in power." 

Similarly in passages which can almost certainly be attributed 
to Q the Kingdom of God is regarded as something which does 
not yet exist. This may be seen in Matthew viii. 11 ( = Luke 
xiii. 29), " Many shall come from the East and from the West 
and lie down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom 
of Heaven." So also in Matthew xxii. 2 ff. ( = Luke xiv. 16 fE.), 
the parable of the king who gave a marriage feast for his son, 
the point of comparison is to something which is still future. 
The refusal of the guests is still going on — the Jews are turning 
a deaf ear to all appeals — but the room is not yet fuU.^ The 
general impression is identical with that of the message of Mark 
i. 15, " The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand "— 
but it is not yet come. 

The imphcation of these passages in Mark and Q is unmistak- 
able, and it is not surprising that those who have begim to 
consider the problem of the meaning of " Kingdom of Heaven " 
from this end have insisted that such passages supply a fixed 
standard to which all others must be made to conform. Never- 
theless in other passages the implication is equally plain that 
the Kingdom of God is a present reaHty. It is the Sovereignty 
of God the recognition of which is true religion. 

It is, for instance, hard to interpret in any other way the (2) As a 
" secret of the Kingdom of God " in Mark iv. 11. and still harder rc^^t". 
to explain the parable of the grain of mustard seed in Mark iv. 
30. Similarly in Mark x. 14 the Kingdom of Heaven, which 
can be entered by the child-like, and belongs to them, is surely 
a present reality, not something which is still future. Nor can 
the Eangdom of God, from which the scribe in Mark xii. 34 was 
not far, be regarded as future : it was there already and he was 

^ It is clear that Matt. xxii. 2 is in the main identical with Luke xiv. 16 fT., 
but the difference in redaction is considerable, and it is quite possible tliat some 
of the peculiarly JIatthacan details are quite late and reflect the attitude which 
began to identify the Kingdom and the Church. 


near it ; the reason for his being outside was in himself, not in 

the futurity of the Kingdom. 

Kingdom Ouce morc the phenomena of Mark are repeated in Q. The 

Q. Kingdom of God belongs already to the poor.^ The advice, 

" Seek first the Kingdom of God," ^ would lose its significance 

if the Kingdom were not a present reaHty which could be found. 

Nor, to go outside passages found both in Matthew and Luke, 

could the Ejngdom of God be aptly compared to treasure hid 

in a field or to a pearl of great price if it were still in the future. 

But if it be regarded as equivalent to the true religion which 

recognises God as King, these passages are all quite intelligible. 

The reia- All attempts, and they have been many and ingenious, to 

thMe°mean- Gxplaiu thcsc two meanings of Kingdom of God by ehminating 

mgstoeach ^^^g q£ them havc failed. Especially may this be said of the 

attempt to explain the references to the Kingdom of God as future 

by the theory that they are the later interpolations of Jewish 

Christians, for it is just this use of Kingdom of God which is 

the least characteristic of Jewish thought. The D^otDH niD^D 

of the Rabbis means essentially the Sovereignty of God, and 

the passages in Mark and Q which use ^aaCkela rov 6eov in this 

sense are far more correct from a strictly Jewish point of view 

than those which regard it as future. If only one of the two 

be Christian — as distinct from Jewish — it is the use of the phrase 

Kingdom of God in a future sense. 

But it is unnecessary to choose between them. The sketch 
given above of the history of those forms of Jewish thought 
which may reasonably be regarded as cognate shows how easily 
the central notion of the present Sovereignty of God might be 
merged in the hope of a time when it would be universally recog- 
nised, so that the phrase might eventually come to mean the 
" Good Time " which was in store for Israel, or even the " Coming 
Age " when evil would cease to exist. 

Clearly in the passages in which the Eingdom of God is 
regarded as future, the idea of the Sovereignty of God is merged 

» Matt. V. 3 ; Luke vi. 20. » Matt. vi. 33 ; Luke xii. 3L 


in the form of its manifestation. But does the ^VTiter in Mark 
or in Q, or did Jesus himself mean the Good Time, at the end of 
this Age, and if so did they picture it as the reign of a Davidic 
King ? Or did they all, or any of them, mean the Age to Come ? 
These questions have been singularly neglected by Christian 
scholars, chiefly because in the course of a few years the Gentile 
Church — and it is this, not Jerusalem, which is the mother of 
us all— forgot the difference between the two, and identified the 
Age to Come with the reign of Christ. 

In Mark the identification of the Kingdom of God with the The King- 
Age to Come is very plain in the story of the man who asked and the Age 
what he should do to ' inherit eternal life.' i The answer of *'' ^°''"- 
Jesus was that he should observe the commandments, sell all 
that he had and give to the poor. This grieved the man, for he 
was rich, and Jesus then said, " How hardly will those who have 
riches enter into the Kingdom of God." There can be no doubt 
that here Eternal Life and the Kingdom of God mean the same, 
and this raises the presumption that reference is made to the 
Age to Come, for it was then — not in the Days of the Messiah — 
that the Jews looked for eternal life. Moreover, the continuation 
of the narrative with the implied question of Peter, " Lo ! we 
have left all and followed thee," leads up to an utterance of 
Jesus in which " this Time " and the " Age to Come " are con- 
trasted, and those who have left everything for his sake are 
promised rewards in kind in this " Time " and eternal life in the 
Age to Come. 

Similarly in Mark ix. 43 ft'. " Life " and the " Kingdom of 
God " seem to be used interchangeably, and are contrasted 
with Fire and Gehenna. This seems to point to the Life of the 
Age to Come, and to be concerned with the final Judgment 
rather than with the Days of the Messiah. 

A similar view suggests itself in Q, Matthew vii. 21 : 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into 
the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my Father 

1 Mark x. 17 ff. 


which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, 
have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have cast 
out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works ? And 
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you : depart from me, 
ye that work iniquity. 

Especially is this clear when Luke xiii. 22 ff. is compared : 

Then one said unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved ? 
And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate : for 
many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to 
the door and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, 
saying. Lord, Lord, open unto us ; and he shall answer and say 
unto you, I know you not whence ye are. Then shall ye begin to 
say. We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught 
in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know not whence ye 
are ; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be 
weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and 
Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and 
you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, 
and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and 
shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 

But neither in Mark nor in Q are there any passages which 
identify the Kingdom of God with the Days of the Messiah. 

If discussion be limited strictly to passages in which the 
Kingdom of God is mentioned, far the most probable result is 
that in the Gospels it sometimes means the Sovereignty of 
God, regarded as a present reality, and sometimes means the 
Age to Come, in which the Sovereignty of God will be un- 
Jesus and hampered by evil. The preaching of Jesus was directed to 

the Age to. .,,. „ .., ,c^ 

Come. mipress men with the importance of recognising the present Sove- 
reignty of God in order that they might live in the Age to Come. 
The real difficulty, if there be any, in accepting this con- 
clusion, is not in any passages in Mark and Q dealing with 
the Kingdom or with the Son of Man, but with the " Davidic 

The Son of jf Jesus thought of himself as ' Son of Man,' no obstacle is 

Man and 

the presented to the conclusion reached above. Though the subject 

is obscure, the Son of Man, in the Jewish Apocalypses which 


refer to him, is concerned with the judgment which comes 
between the two Ages. This fits in admirably with such passages 
as Mark ix. 43 fp., and still better with Luke xiii. 23 ff., when the 
background of the day of judgment is clearly indicated. On 
the other hand, the anointed Scion of the House of David, mider 
whose guidance Israel will again enjoy prosperity, does not so 
well suit a reference to the Age to Come. This is not because 
the Days of the Messiah could not be described as the Kingdom 
of God, but because the connotation of Kingdom of God in Mark 
and Q — especially the references to eternal life — fits the Age to 
Come better than the Days of the Messiah. 

The old question, therefore, again presents itself, whether Did Jesus 
Jesus identified himself with the Davidic Messiah, or with the Messiah 
Son of Man who would judge the world and usher in the Age ^""p "' 
to Come ? 

Jesus seems to have referred openly to the coming of 
the Son of Man, though the extent to which he did so is an 
obscure problem, but he clearly did not openly identify himself 
with this Son of Man. The disciples undoubtedly made this 
identification, and possibly Jesus may have done so himself in 
private, but no passage in which his use of the title Son of Man 
is beyond critical doubt would be interpreted as claiming the 
name for himself miless the secret of his Messiahship were already 
known. The same thing is true of the identification of Jesus 
with the Davidic Messiah. This was the belief of the disciples : 
it may have been, but probably was not, the belief of Jesus : 
it was not part of his ' gospel,' though it was the centre of 

The practical meaning of * Repent ' in the teaching of Jesus Rcpcnt- 
was probably the same in his mind and that of his Jewish the Age to 
contemporaries — a change of conduct. Of course this does not ^°™^- 
mean that change of conduct is antithetical to change of heart ; 
but the latter is assumed rather than emphasised. The standard 
required by Jesus, as by the Scribes, was the Law, streng-thened 


and simplified by the principles which it reveals rather than 
complicated by traditional interpretation. The command not 
to kill reveals the principle which forbids anger. " It was said 
by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill ; and whosoever shall 
kill shall be in danger of the judgment : but I say unto you, That 
whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the 
judgment : and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall 
be in danger of the council : but whosoever shall say. Thou fool, 
shall be in danger of hell lire." i The command against adultery 
reveals the principle which forbids lust. " Ye have heard that 
it was said by them of old time. Thou shalt not commit adultery : 
But I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to 
lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his 
heart." ^ This is in no sense the abandonment of the Law, and 
explains what Jesus meant when he warned his disciples that 
their righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees. 

The central thought is a standard of conduct in harmony 
with the ' Age to Come ' rather than with the present. Every- 
thing, whether possessions or thoughts, incompatible with the 
life of the ' Age to Come ' must be abandoned. " If thy hand 
offend thee, cut it off : it is better for thee to enter into life 
maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that 
never shall be quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it 
off : it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two 
feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. 
And if thine eye ofiend thee, pluck it out : it is better for thee 
to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having 
two eyes to be cast into heU fire, where their worm dieth not, 
and the fire is not quenched." ^ 

The clearest statement of Jesus is his answer to the question 

^ Matt. V. 21-22. This seemed so hard to later Christians that they added 
to the text — " Whoever is angry without a cavse," thus taking all point out of 
the command. Whoever justified uncalled-for anger ? We may know httle 
of the teaching of Jesus, but it was certainly free from platitudei. 

2 Matt. V. 27-28. 

s Mark ix. 43-48 ; of. Matt. v. 29 ff. 


of what is requisite to inherit * eternal life ' : ^ observe the Life 
commandments, sell all your possessions for the poor, and follow by few. 
me. The meaning is plain beyond the possibility of confusion, 
and its perfect clearness, not any obscurity in it, was the reason 
why the rich man stayed behind and did not follow Jesus up 
to Jerusalem. Appalled by the simple severity of the teaching, 
the disciples asked, " Who then can be saved ? " and Jesus, 
admitting the apparent impossibility of salvation, appealed to 
the infinite power of God. It would seem that the teaching of 
Jesus was in this respect far more in agreement with 4 Ezra 
than with the belief of many Christians to-day. Jesus, like 
Ezra, thought that very few enter into life ; for the gate of 
life is narrow, and though many strive to enter, few will be able 
to do S0.2 " For broad is the gate, and wide is the way that 
leadeth to destruction, and many are they who enter through 
it ; for strait is the way that leadeth unto Life, and few are 
they that find it." In merciful hope for their fellow-men, modern 
Christians have been inclined to transpose the characteristics 
of these two ways. But the evidence of the Gospels is quite 
clear ; Jesus looked for few to follow him or to attain Life, either 
in this world or in the World to Come. 

What, then, was the authority which Jesus claimed for his Jesus 
teaching ? It was not that he was the Messiah, for whether he gpirit of 
did or did not think that this was the function to which he was ^'°^- 
called, he did not so teach in public.^ The authority which he 
actually claimed was that of the spirit of God. This statement 
is not so simple as it seems. It divides into two factors : the 
experience itself and the opinion expressed as to its origin. 

The experience continued among his disciples and formed Experience 
the vital as distinct from the intellectual bridge between Judaism Spirit. 
and Graeco-Oriental thought. Nor was it unique : it can 
be traced throughout human history. Expressed in modern 

^ Mark x. 17. * Luke xiii. 24. 

' See W. Wrcde, Das Messiasgeheimnis, and Bousset's Kyrios Chrislos, pp. 


language, it is a man's consciousness that his action and speech 
are being governed by a compelling force, separate from the 
ordinary process of volition. Those who have this experience 
seem to themselves to be as it were the spectators of their own 
deeds, or to be listening to their own utterances. Under its in- 
fluence individuals, groups of men, or even nations are carried 
away by inexplicable waves of passion or enthusiasm which, 
once aroused, cannot be resisted till their force is spent. This 
consciousness has been felt m varying degree in every generation, 
and the progress of humanity can never be explained miless it 
be taken into account. Sometimes in the inevitable reaction 
after the psychic stress of such experiences, men have resented, 
doubted, or denied the validity of their own consciousness ; 
sometimes they have regarded it as possessing a value exceeding 
all else in life. Usually those who have it attract the hostility 
of their contemporaries, scarcely tempered by the allegiance of 
a few followers, and their names are forgotten in a few years, 
but sometimes the verdict of contemporary hatred is reversed by 
posterity, which endeavours to compensate by legendary honours 
for the contempt and contumely of life. 

It is as clear to-day as when the Gospels were written that 
Jesus belonged in a pre-eminent degree to those who have this 
experience. But it by no means follows that we can explain it 
in the same way as did the ancient world. In the preceding 
paragraph the experience itself has been described in periphrasis 
without expressing any judgment as to its cause. The ancient 
world defined it as inspiration by the Holy Spirit or by the Spirit 
of God, and in so doing implied a definite theory of psychological 
phenomena — that of possession by good or bad spirits. By this 
means not merely prophecy, but sickness, madness, and crime 
were explained. 

In ancient Israel the spirit of Jehovah was looked on as the 
explanation of all that was unusual or awful. Probably in the 
earliest days good and eril spirits alike were supposed to come 
from Jehovah. But lono- before the Christian era a far more 


complicated system of thought had gained miiversal supremacy. 
The Jews had completely accepted the Persian view of a spirit 
world, though they had elaborated some of the details in special 
ways. They held that among the living beings in the miiverse 
are an infinite number of spirits, some the beneficent agents of 
God, some the malignant emissaries of Satan. Moreover, the 
latter were reinforced by the ghosts of the giants who had perished 
in the Noachian flood,^ for the giants had been half-angehc, half- 
human, and their evil ghosts wandered about the world taking 
possession of men and inflictmg on them disease and other evils. 
But men were not left without help in an unequal combat with 
these malignant spirits. Just as they could be possessed by 
unclean spirits, so also could they be inspired by the Holy Spirit 
of God, and in the end good would triumph over evil. It would 
be natural to expect that just as the evil spirits were regarded 
as personal and as many, so there would be many holy spmts, 
but in point of fact there is little trace of this development. 
The Holy Spirit which inspires prophets is almost always one. 
There were, indeed, many angels who did the will of God, and 
sometimes the spirit which comes from God is so far personified 
as to be almost or quite identified with an angel ; ^ but this is 
not the general rule, and more often the Holy Spirit is an emana- 
tion from God, single and impersonal. 

In the synoptic tradition this hypothesis of the spirit of God, The Spirit 
which possesses men for good and works his will through them, is synoptists. 
used to explain the experience and the deeds of Jesus. He 
waged incessant warfare against evil spirits, who recognised in 
him a power superior to their own. "Whether greater or less 
credence be given to the details of the historian, there can be no 
doubt but that at the baptism Jesus was conscious of becoming 
possessed by some power external to himself, which he identified 
with the spirit of God. It was by this that he wrought his 

^ Cf. especially Enoch vi.-xvi. 

^ Perhaps the clearest example of this is in the Ascension of Isaiah, where 
the Holy Spirit and Jesus are the two great angels in the seventh heaven ; but 
of course this document is Christian rather than Jewish. 


wonderful cures and triumphed over the demons of disease and 
madness. Whether he thought that in consequence of, or in 
addition to, this inspiration he was the Son of Man, or the Son 
of David, or had a right to any other special title or function is 
open to doubt. But it is certain that he claimed to act and to 
speak in the power of the Spirit of God. When his adversaries 
endeavoured to explain his acts as due to possession by a demon, 
he stigmatised them as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It is 
noticeable, however, that in this indirect way even those who 
rejected Jesus recognised in him the phenomena of inspiration. 
Their judgment of fact was the same as his own — ^he was possessed 
by a spirit ; the difference lay in their judgment of value — it 
was an evil, not a holy spirit. Similarly, too, though his family 
rejected his claims, they recognised that his experience was 
abnormal, for when they said i^earrj — he is beside himself — 
they were passing in a more general form the same verdict as the 
Pharisees, for madness was always explained as obsession, 
though presumably it required the learning of scribes from Jeru- 
salem to see that this case of possession, which cured others, was 
so serious as to be diagnosed as the work of Beelzebub himself. 
If, therefore, we attempt to reconstruct the impression which 
the preaching of Jesus probably made on one of his hearers in 
Galilee outside the intimate circle of the Twelve, it would be : 
" He tells us that the New Age is close at hand in which God's 
Sovereignty will be supreme. He warns us to repent that we 
may have life in the Coming Age, and explains the nature of 
God's Sovereignty. He is a prophet, and unlike the scribes he 
does not appeal to tradition, but he does not talk about himself." 

Josus and In what way did the teaching of Jesus differ from that of 

conu-nT-'^^ his contcmporarics ? Not — and the nature of much modern 

poraiitB. writing renders it deshable to emphasise the negative — not by 

teaching anything about God essentially new to Jewish ears. 

The God of Jesus is the God of the Jews, about whom he says 

nothing which cannot be paralleled in Jewish literature. Nor 


was it in his doctrine as to the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus 
differed markedly from other Jewish teachers. Many Rabbis, 
then and afterwards, were inspired by the vision of the Age to 
Come, and awed by the difficulty of attaining it. 

The differences which are important concern three subjects 
of vital and controversial interest — resistance to the oppressors 
of Israel, the fate of the People of the Land, and the right observ- 
ance of the Law. On the first point he conflicted with the tend- 
ency to rebeUion which ultimately crystallised into the patriot 
parties of the Jewish war in a.d. 66 ; on the second and third he 
conflicted with the Scribes, 

From the days of the census, when Judas of Galilee started (i) No*- 
an abortive rebellion, there had always been those among the to oppres- 
Jews who refused to recognise the supremacy of Rome, and ^°'^^' 
contemplated with approval plans of armed resistance. It is 
the fashion to call them the Zealots, but, strictly speaking, there 
were no Zealots before 66, and Josephus merely calls them " the 
Fourth Philosophy." ^ This patriotic party is not mentioned 
by name in the Gospels, but much of the teaching of Jesus be- 
comes intelligible only when placed against the background 
which it suppKes. " But I say to you which hear. Love your 
enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse 
you, pray for them that despitefully use you. To him that 
smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other and from 
him that taketh away thy cloak, withhold not thy coat also. 
Give to every man that asketh of thee, and of him that taketh 
away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men 
should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. And if ye love 
them which love you, what thank have ye ? For siiniers also 
love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do 
good to you, what thank have ye ? For sinners also do the 
same. . . . But love ye your enemies. ..." The mind of the 
editor of the gospel as he copied these sentences out of his source 
was doubtless fixed on the sufferings and persecutions enduied 

^ ^ee Appendix A. 


by Christians ; but to the mind of the Galilean who first heard 
them they must have seemed to be the direct opposite of the 
patriotic teaching of the school of thought started by Judas of 
Galilee, and to be deliberately intended as an alternative to it. 

It is true that we do not hear anything directly of the opposi- 
tion of Jesus to this party. It can hardly be doubted that if 
the hypothesis here presented be true, it would account for the 
failure of Jesus to convince any large part of the Galilean popula- 
tion. It accounts for his leaving even the less populous parts 
of the country, and for the secrecy which appears to have attended 
his journey when he went through Galilee on his way to Jeru- 
salem ; for Galilee was essentially patriotic, far more so than 
Judaea, which in the time of Jesus was still under the influence of 
the Scribes and priests, whose resistance to Rome was essentially 
passive. Why then is there not more mention of this side of 
the background of the teaching of Jesus ? The answer appears 
to be that just as in the Talmud the sayings of Rabbis are given 
without historic context, so also in Q the sayings of Jesus were 
usually related without incidents which had called them out. 
Moreover, by the time the Gospels were written, and in the 
districts in which they were composed, the patriotic party of 
Gahlee was no longer existing. Whatever may be the date or 
place of the composition of the Greek Gospels— not of the Aramaic 
sources — they belong to a generation for whom controversy with 
the Scribes was stUl a living issue. Therefore the speeches of 
Jesus against the Scribes are recorded, and anything which can 
be said to their detriment is emphasised. But, except for the 
final scene in Jerusalem, the priests and the Sadducees are 
scarcely mentioned, because they played no part in the life of 
the Christian generation which produced the Gospels. For 
exactly the same reason there is no description of a controversy 
with the " patriots," and we should know nothing about it were 
it not that some of the things which Jesus said in this connection 
were cherished by Christians in a new context pro^^ded by their 
own sufierings and persecutions. 


The question is sometimes asked whether such teaching is 
really consistent with the violent cleansing of the Temple. The 
true answer is probably not to be found in any ingenious har- 
monisation, but rather in accentuating the fact that the " non- 
resistent " teaching in the Sermon on the Mount deals with the 
line of conduct to be observed towards foreign oppressors and 
violence from without. The sacerdotal money-changers and 
sellers of doves in the Temple were not the " oppressors of Israel." 
Israel was called on to suffer under Roman rule, and the righteous 
to endure violence at the hands of the wicked, for that was the 
will of God, who in his own good time would shorten the evil 
days. But the manipulation of the sacrificial system as a means 
of plundering the pious was a sin of Israel itself, against which 
protest and force were justified. What the heathen and the 
wicked do is their concern and God's, but the sins of Israel are 
Israel's own ; against them the righteous in Israel may execute 

The attitude of Jesus towards the People of the land was more (2) Atti- 
sharply opposed to that of the Scribes in practice than in prin- wards tho 
ciple. He offered the opportmiity of entering into the Kingdom f}|p Land 
of God to pubHcans and sinners. The fact is undisputed, but 
without qualification is liable to misconstruction. It did not 
mean a lower, but a higher requirement of morality than the 
Scribes asked for. He called upon publicans and sinners to 
repent, and the standard of life which he required was not less 
" righteous " than that of the Pharisees, but it could be obtained 
rather by attention to principles than by careful study of detail. 

No Rabbi would have said that sinners and Publicans 
were excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven if they repented ; 
but repentance in the eyes of the Rabbis seems in practice to 
have included an extreme and meticulous attention to the 
details of the Law, such as rendered repentance impossible to 
ordinary, badly educated men. There is much for scholars to 
admire in the Rabbinical teaching of the Law. At its best it 
is the recognition that Knowledge is one of the roads which leads 


to Life ; but at its worst it is, as Jesus said, the " tithing of 
mint and anise and cummin " : the prostitution of life to learning. 
(3) Josus The attitude of Jesus to the Law has been sufficiently described 

Law * ^ above ; he accepted it as the basis of righteousness. According 
to himself, he demanded a higher standard than the Scribes ; 
according to the Scribes he was destroying the Law. The differ- 
ence was one of interpretation, and can best be understood by 
his treatment of the Law on the Sabbath and on Divorce. 
(o) The The difficulty of a strict observance of the Sabbath was the 

Sabbath, ^ausc of many discussions among the Rabbis, and the Pharisees 
had introduced many rules intended to make it easier.^ But, 
as always happens with attempts to remedy oppressive legisla- 
tion by amendment rather than abolition, these Pharisaic efforts 
resulted only in making the yoke of the Sabbath heavier. Jesus 
went to the heart of the matter by appealing from the letter of 
the Law to its purpose, and defined this as the advantage of man : 
" The Sabbath was for man's sake " {iyevero Sia tov dvOpwirov). 
It is remarkable how little notice has been given to the difficulty 
of reconcihng this statement with that of Genesis and Exodus,^ 
which make the Sabbath a commemoration of the Rest of God 
rather than an institution for the benefit of man. Nor would a 
lawyer readily admit the right of an individual to interpret 
legislation by its original object rather than by the letter of its 
meaning. Nevertheless, however difficult of application it may 
be, the verdict of Jesus remains unshaken in principle, not 
merely on the Sabbath, but on all other laws. Their moral 
claim to allegiance is ultimately based on their advantage to 
men ; and the supreme duty of legislators is to test the code 
entrusted to them by this standard. 
(6) Divorce. Jesus' treatment of marriage and divorce illustrates the 
same principle, though its appHcation in his hands led to different 
results. According to Mark ^ he excluded divorce altogether 
on the ground that a man and his wife were created as " one 

1 See above, p. 115. ^ It is, however, in accord with Deut. v. 12. 
3 Mark x. 1-12. 


flesli," and that the Mosaic permission to divorce was due to sin 
and not to the original plan of man's creation. The same absolute 
prohibition of divorce is fomid also in Q.i In the Matthaean 
version, however, both of Q and of the Marcan narrative, an 
exception " save for the cause of fornication " is introduced ; 
it cannot well be original, and is probably due to the practical 
difficulties encountered by the early Church. The best illustra- 
tion of these is the famous treatment of divorce in the Shepherd 
of Hernias.^ 

It may seem at first sight strange that Jesus relaxed the 
law of the Sabbath, and not that of divorce ; but in each case 
he was appealing to their original meaning and relation to human 
life. Nor can it be doubted that perfected humanity is as Httle 
likely to need divorce to mitigate unsatisfactory marriages as 
it is to identify rest with inaction. 

These are the clearest examples of Jesus' treatment of the Re-inter- 
Law. It was not an antinomian abrogation, such as the Jewish ortheLaw. 
Christians attributed to Paul, nor was it a rigid adhesion to its 
letter, such as the Sadducees advocated. It was similar to its 
treatment by the Pharisees in so far as it was " re-interpretation" ; 
but it was of a wholly different type. The Pharisaic " re- 
interpretation," which is a phenomenon common in all ages, 
endeavoured, consciously or unconsciously, to modify the Law, 
while appearing to affirm it. Their treatment was based on 
two facts — they could not fulfil the letter of the Law, but they 
desired to seem to do so. It therefore introduced a chain 
of subtle modifications and explanations, each small in itself, 
which taken together sometimes reverses the meaning of the 
Law ex animo scriptoris. The treatment of Jesus,^ on the other 

1 Matt. V. 32 = Luke xvi. 18. 

- See Herraas, Mand. iv. and cf. the Expositor, Nov. 1910 and Jan. 1911. 

^ The attitude of Jesus to this method of re-interpretation is seen in his 
denunciation of it in Mark vii. 1 fif., dealing with the ceremonial Law. His 
own interpretation was that the purpose of tlie Law was to avoid defilement, 
which is the result, not of food, but of evil thought and bad conduct. The 
comment of the EvangoUst, if the text of nB be correct, is, " This he said, 
making clean all food." It is interesting that Luke omits this section. Is it 


hand, was based on the mmd of the divine author of the Law. 
When the letter of the Law interfered with instead of furthering 
the purpose for which it was written, it was the purpose not the 
letter which took precedence ; and inasmuch as this purpose was 
the benefit of mankind, a principle incontestably correct, though 
undoubtedly difficult, was laid down. In general no one doubts 
but that the final test of formularies appealing to the intellect 
is whether they are true, and of those relating to conduct whether 
they are righteous ; but in detail the obscurity which surrounds 
truth and righteousness frightens men into substituting some 
easier way for that of Jesus. But here, too, the saying is true 
that " Narrow is the way that leads to Life." 

Marcan According to Mark, Jesus, unlike John the Baptist,^ began 

account of j^^ ministry not in the desert, but in the towns of Galilee. John 

went into the wilderness, and the people came to him : Jesus 

came out of the wilderness and went to the people.^ On his 

way along the shore of the Lake of Galilee he called Peter and 

because its retention renders the vision to Peter in Acts x. 9 S. somewhat of an 
anticlimax, and is far more radical than the Apostolic decrees, if these were 
intended as a food law ? It is, however, noticeable that Matthew, who repro- 
duces the main part of the section, omits Kadapl^wv iravra to. /Spw/iaxa. It is 
therefore possible that these words are a " secondary feature " in our Mark, 
and reflect the opinion of a Gentile Christian who has lived through the 
Judaistic controversy. Or did Peter relate this story, with this comment, 
as justifying his attitude to Gentile converts ? 

^ John the Baptist (see p. 101) seems to belong to the "centrifugal" type 
of Judaism, together with the therapeutae and the Covenanters of Damascus ; 
he made the desert his abode and avoided the synagogues. Cf. p. 83. 

If, however, Mark ii. 18, which describes the disciples of John and the 
Pharisees as fasting, refers to the towns or villages of the Sea of Galilee, as 
the reference to the custom-house in the context suggests, and if it be a part 
of the genuine tradition, the disciples of Jolm had already given up the habits 
of their leader by the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, were settled in the 
towns, and followed the Pharisaic tradition. From the Uterary point of view 
the passage is clearly part of Mark, but there is room for doubt whether it 
may not be part of early Christian controversy which was transferred to the 
story of the Ufe of Jesus, though from the nature of the case such doubts can 
never be substantiated, and ought not to be given undue prominence. 

* From the Jewish point of view the procedure of John was the more cal- 
culated to suggest Messianic claims. 



Andrew^ and the sons of Zebedee^ to follow him. They then 
went to Capernaum, where was Peter's house,^ and Jesus made 
this town the centre of his work but moved from time to time 
throughout the district, preaching in the synagogues,* announ- 
cing that the Kingdom of God was at hand, calling on men to 
repent, healing the sick, and forgiving sin. 

The claim to forgive sin and his teaching as to the Sabbath 
caused a rupture between Jesus and the Synagogue,^ and he 
began a longer ministry throughout the northern part of 
Palestine.^ Finally he returned south and went to Jerusalem. 
It can scarcely be accidental that immediately after the account 
of the rupture with the Synagogue at Capernaum there follows 
the appointment of the Twelve. 

What the mission of the Twelve was is only indicated briefly ' The 
and vaguely in Mark iii. 14 : " He ' made ' twelve, to be with 
him, and for him to send them to proclaim and to have authority 
to cast out demons." The translation of Krjpva-aeLv by ' preach ' 
in the English version is unfortunate : the word means to pro- 
claim or herald, and the early Christian message, unlil^e preaching 
in the modern sense, was essentially a proclamation, whether 
it referred to the coming of Jesus, to the duty of repentance, or 

1 Mark i. 16 ff. ^ jlark i. 19 ff. 

' John i. 44 (cf. John i. 43) says that Andrew and Peter belonged to Beth- 
saida, and that they were called by Jesus at Bethany in Peraea, before he 
went into Galilee ; but this is irreconcilable with Mark's explicit statement 
whicli there is no reason to reject. On the topography of Capernaum, besides 
the usual books, see especially the article by Dr. Sanday in the J.T.S., October 

* Cf. Mark i. 38 ff., ii. 1, ii. 13, iii. 1. 

* Mark iii. 6 ; cf. F. C. Burkitt, The Oospel History and its Transmission, 
p. 80 ff. 

' It will probably always remain impossible to reconstruct the route followed 
by Jesus. J. Wellhausen in his Einleitung in die drei erste Evangelien has pro- 
duced plausible but not completely convincing arguments for the existence of 
" doublets " in Mark. On the other hand, F. C. Burkitt in his Transmission 
of the Gospel has shown, with about the same degree of plausibility, that Mark 
can be interpreted as the record of a continuous journey beginning in Capernaum 
and ending in Jerusalem. A third possibility, which is perhaps supported — 
if support it be — by the opinion of Papias, is that Mark did not intend to 
give a continuous narrative, but strung together such typical and striking 
incidents as he knew, with no special regard for chronology. 


to the future coming of the Kingdom and the Judgment of 

A somewhat fuller account is given in Mark vi. 7 ff., which, 
as it stands, records a special mission of the Twelve, but may 
conceivably be a doublet ^ of the story of their appointment. 

And he called the Twelve and began to send them out two by 
two, and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits, and he 
enjoined on them to take nothing for the road, except only a stick, 
— no bread, no bag, no money in the belt, but shod with sandals. 
And do not wear two garments. And he said to them, " Wherever 
you go into a house, stay there until you leave the place. And 
whatever place receive you not and they do not listen to you, leave 
it and shake off the dust from under your feet as a testimony to 
them." And they went forth and proclaimed that men should 
repent ; and they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil 
many sick, and cured them. 

The King- At this poiiit it might be possible to supplement the Marcan 

not" the ^ account of the mission of the Twelve by the narratives in Matthew 
Churcii. g^,^(j Luke, but some of these expand the Marcan account without 
making any real addition, and others seem more probably — 
though the point is uncertain — to reflect missionary instructions 
given by some branch of the early Church rather than by Jesus, 
so that they can be more appropriately discussed later. 

The most remarkable feature of the Marcan evidence is that 
it gives no support to the view that Jesus intended to found a 
Church separate from that of the Jews. The Kingdom of God 
of which he spoke was either the Good Time to which the Jews 
looked forward, or the Sovereignty of God, or the Coming Age 
(the Nirr D^li?). It was not an organisation for the stimulation 

1 From a comparison with vi. 12, the emphasis in this case would seem 
to be on repentance, though it is probable that tlie full content of the Krjpvyfxa is 
intended to be that of Jesus himself as related in Mark i. 15: "The time (in 
the sense of 'the Age') is fulfilled, and the liingdom of God is at hand; 
repent ye and believe the good news." 

- The main point in favour of this view is that in Mark vi., as in Mark iii., 
the general situation is that of rejection of the Synagogue followed by a mission 
elsewhere and the selection of the Twelve. It is noticeable that Luke omits 
this incident, or rather adopts another version of it which he puts at the very 
beginning of the ministry of Jesus. 


and control of worship. Nor can the exhortation to repent 
be regarded as identical with a call to join a new society ; it 
was rather the reiteration of the old prophetic appeal to the 
Chosen People to turn to the Lord while he may be found. Not 
merely were the Twelve not sent during this period to proclaim 
Jasus as Messiah ; they were forbidden to make public the 
secret which was afterwards to be the gospel of the Christian 
Church. They were preachers of repentance and the Kingdom 
of Grod, not of a Messiah or of a new society based on the Messianic 
claims of Jesus. Therefore they cannot yet have been regarded, 
or have regarded themselves, as the piUars of a new organisation. 

Their real thoughts may perhaps be expressed in a significant Original 
passage found both in ^latthew xix. 28 and in Luke xxii. 30 : j^ptes 
" Ye shaU sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of 
Israel." The fact that this passage belongs to the oldest part 
of the non-Marcan tradition gives great importance to its testi- 
mony, and at least shows that the earhest Christian tradition 
ascribed an eschatological significance to the functions of the 
Twelve. But whether the words are really those of Jesus him- 
self may be doubted. In Mark x. 28 the answer to the imphed 
question of Peter, " Lo ! we have left all and followed thee," 
seems scarcely consistent with such a promise, and the manner 
in which this answer is treated by Matthew is very significant. 
In Mark the answer of Jesus is, " There is no one who has left 
home, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, 
or lands, for my sake and for the ' good news ' who shall not 
receive a hundredfold now in this time, — houses, and brothers, 
and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecu- 
tions,^ and in the age to come life everlasting. But many first 
shall be last, and the last first." This passage is quite in accord 
with the Je\\ish expectation of the ' Days of the Messiah ' at the 

^ ilany edifying remarks have been made on this " with persecution? " ; 
but it is hard to see any satisfactory meaning in it, and it may be merely a 
very early reflection of Christian experience ; unless indeed it is misplaced 
and should follow ' lands ' in the description of the sacrifice made by the 
ChristLan believer rather than in the promise of reward. 


end of ' this Age,' and the future ' Age to Come ' ; ^ indeed, it 
can scarcely be explained except by reference to them. Is it 
consistent with the definite promise that the Twelve should 
judge Israel ? Matthew apparently did not think that it was, 
for though he brings the two passages together,^ he distinguishes 
between the promise to the Twelve of the thrones of judgment, 
which he makes the direct answer to Peter and takes from Q, 
and the general promise of reward to those who had given up 
family or property, which he takes from Mark. The typical 
Jewish distinction between the reward in kind in this Age, 
which included the Days of the Messiah, and eternal life in the 
Age to Come, is imperfectly observed, and the reward in kind as 
well as the promise of eternal life is placed in the ' Regeneration ' 
{TraXiyyeveata), an obscure phrase which probably is the 
equivalent of the ' Age to Come,' though the point is not entirely 

Moreover, it is doubtful whether the promise of thrones at 

the Judgment is quite consistent with the refusal to foretell the 

future position of the sons of Zebedee, which is in complete 

accord with the Marcan answer to Peter. Indeed, the apparent 

meaning of the Marcan narrative is that on the journey to 

Jerusalem, first Peter, and afterwards the sons of Zebedee, asked 

what would be their reward ; in each case Jesus refused to 

answer in the spirit of his questioners or exactly to foretell the 

future in detail. 

The It is therefore open to doubt whether the promise of the 

the'^twehc thrones at the Judgment really was made by Jesus. Never the- 

thrones ' |ggg jj^g presence in Q shows that it belongs to a very early form 

Judgment, of Christian tradition. This is corroborated in a curious manner 

by the narrative in Acts of the behaviour of the community of 

behevers with regard to the breach in the number of the Twelve 

caused by the deaths of Judas and of James the son of Zebedee. 

In the place of Judas the disciples selected one of their number 

^ Cf. Klausner, Die messianische Vorstellungen des jiidischen Volkes im 
Zeitalter der Tannaiten. ' Matt. xix. 27 ff. 


(and scriptural proof is alleged by the writer to justify their 
action), because Judas had forfeited his place ; he could no 
longer sit on his throne at the Judgment of God. But in the 
case of James no attempt was made to fill the vacancy, because 
in the strictest sense there was no real vacancy to fill ; he was 
dead, but nevertheless he would judge the tribe allotted to him. 
Whether this is the line of thought underlying the narrative in 
Acts cannot be fully demonstrated, but it is at least consistent 
with the facts, and explains, as nothing else seems to do, why 
a successor was appointed to Judas, but not to James. Had 
the Twelve been regarded as the ' governing body ' of the Church, 
it would have been natural to fill up vacancies in it. But this 
was never done except in the case of Judas ; as a matter of fact 
the whole point of the early Christian doctrine of Apostolic 
succession is that the " successors " were not, and never could be, 
members of the ' College of the Twelve.' 

Thus the general conclusion from the witness of Mark and 
of the earliest non-Marcan tradition is that the Twelve were 
appointed by Jesus to represent him in delivering to the people 
his message of the approach of the Kingdom and of the need 
of repentance. In the mind of the Christian commmiity, if not 
in that of Jesus, it was held that they would be assessors with 
him in the judgment over the tribes of Israel. There is no sugges- 
tion that they were to be the heads of a Church distinct from 
that of the Jews, or that they should announce anything con- 
cerning Jesus— for instance, that he was the Messiah — or baptize 
ill his name. 



By The Editors 

Gospels There are two collections of documents important for the 
history and thought of the disciples in Jerusalem and the rise of 
Gentile Christianity. One is the Synoptic Gospels and Acts ; 
the other is the Pauline epistles. The latter is probably the 
earher ; the former the more primitive. Both belong to Gentile 
Christianity, but both have points of contact with the Jewish 
Church. The Gospels and Acts were probably edited by, and 
certainly intended for, GentUe Christians : but they are based 
on the Aramaic traditions of Jewish Christianity. Moreover, 
they were written by men who were trying to reproduce the 
history of the past in order to justify their own opinions. They 
are therefore more primitive than the date at which they were 
written — whatever that may be. Their value is twofold, partly 
as the oldest extant record of events, partly as representing 
the opmiou of their editors. This is sometimes described as 
" tendenzios " ; but it has often been forgotten, especially by 
English writers, that the " tendeuz " is itself a factor in history. 

Pauline The Paulinc epistles, on the other hand, look forward and not 
back : whether they were all written by Paul or not, they certainly 
are animated by the wish to mould the future by an appeal to 
religion and its doctrmal explanation rather than to history. 
The historical data in the epistles, except for Paul's own Hfe, are 
very few, though their importance is great. The impossibility 




in some cases and the difficulty in others of reconciling them to 
Acts is analogous to the divergences between Luke and Mark, 
and cautions us against trusting too implicitly to the narrative 
of Acts. 

Thus the main authority for the history of the disciples in Acts 
Jerusalem is the first part of Acts, which seems, however, to ai,tTority 
present not so much a single picture as a series of glimpses. It ['?'' p"/"!' 
can be supplemented by the point of view of Mark, which may, tianity. 
with some reserves, be taken to represent the belief of the primi- 
tive Church, and by certain passages in the Synoptic narrative, 
which literary criticism would be inclined to exclude from the 
oldest stratum of tradition regarding Jesus, and to regard as 
representing the point of view of Christians in Jerusalem, such as 
are described in Acts. 

For the rise of Gentile Christianity Acts vi. to xxviii. is our Gentile 
only source of information in narrative form ; it can only be tianTty 
supplemented by the Pauline epistles, which show that it is in- 
complete and sometimes incorrect, but, generally speaking, con- 
firm its claim to be an historical document of the first order. 

The picture of the early Church presented by the opening Difficulties 
chapters of Acts is that of a society of Galilean followers of Jesus "entatior 
who had lived together in Jerusalem from the day of the cruci- "^ ''ariieat 


fixion and held peculiar views of their own. The Twelve, and tianity. 
especially Peter, were the leaders of this society. 

The historical difficulty of this presentation is largely con- 
cealed from the general reader of the New Testament, because 
either he unconsciously harmonises the Gospels and Acts together, 
until he becomes almost incapable of recognising any differences, 
or he reads Luke and Acts together and ignores Mark. Never- 
theless Mark and Acts, not Luke and Acts, are our primary 
sources, and the historian ought undoubtedly to regard Luke 
as in the main a secondary source, and to take this fact into 
account in considering Acts. If this be done it becomes clear 
that the account in Acts is defective, because, by a land of 
historical homoioteleuton, it leaves out a complete episode 


beginning and ending in Jerusalem. Of this episode there is no 

extant account, but Mark enables us to supply its outlines. 

Oiighiai According to Mark the disciples left Jesus at the moment of 

tradition, j^-^ g^^^ qj. g^^j^ siitei, and fled. It is not related whither they 

went or the exact moment of their departure from Jerusalem, 

but it is definitely implied ^ that they were in Galilee when they 

first saw the risen Jesus. Inasmuch, therefore, as they clearly 

did not stay in Galilee — for the centre of the early Church was 

in Jerusalem, not Galilee — the general sequence of events must 

have been (1) the flight of the disciples ; (2) the vision — especially 

Peter's — of the risen Jesus in Galilee ; (3) the return to Jerusalem ; 

(4) the formation of a society in Jerusalem. 

The Lukan Lukc and Acts taken together give a different account of 

arra ive. gygj^^g^ g^^^ represent the disciples as sta3dng in Jerusalem after 

the crucifixion ; but this is because the editor altered the Marcan 

tradition, not because he whole-heartedly followed a different 

one. In the Gospel, though he also uses other sources, he follows 

Mark so far as Mark exists. But he omits Mark xiv. 28 (" But 

after I am risen I will go before you into Gahlee ") and changes 

the words of the young man at the tomb from, " Go teU his 

disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee, there ye 

shall see him as he told you," into " Remember how he spoke to 

you while he was yet in Galilee." The writer clearly knows 

the Galilean tradition, but changes and partly suppresses it. 

Had 'Luke' The suggcstion is of course obvious that ' Luke ' was in posses- 

tradltTn? ^^^^^ ^^ another tradition, which may conveniently be caUed the 

' Jerusalem tradition ' as distinct from the ' Galilean tradition ' 

represented by Mark. This is not merely possible, but to a 

certain degree is obviously true. No one supposes that the 

' Since the end of Mark is lost it cannot be said that it is stated, but in this 
case the implication is so clear as to amount to a statement. Mark xiv. 28: 
" After I am risen I will go before you into Galilee," and Mark xvi. 7, " Tell 
his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee ; there ye shall see 
him as he said to you," are possibly open to more than one interpretation as 
to whether the disciples went to GalUee before or after the crucifixion : but 
undoubtedly they imply the risen Jesus was seen first by the disciples in 


third Gospel and Acts are the products of the writer's imagina- 
tion. But the question is, granted the existence of the two 
traditions at the time when ' Luke ' wrote, between 60 and 
100 A.D., which is the more likely to be true ? They can- 
not both be true, for the disciples cannot have been both in 
Galilee and at Jerusalem when Peter first saw the risen Lord ; 
either they were in Galilee as the Marcan tradition says, or in 
Jerusalem, as Luke says. 

On this point there is a growing consensus of opinion. ' In- Galilean 
trinsic probability ' is not opposed to the Galilean tradition : 
' traditional probability ' is strongly in favour of it. If the 
disciples did not go to Galilee and there see the risen Jesus, 
there is no reason why the early Church — which certainly was 
settled at Jerusalem — should have invented the story ; on the 
other hand, there is every reason why it should soon forget or 
ignore the short Galilean episode, and transfer to its own locality 
the experiences of the first witnesses to the risen Jesus. There 
is therefore the strongest probability that Luke has omitted or 
transformed the story of the disciples in Galilee and their return 
to Jerusalem, But this is clear only because we possess Mark ; 
otherwise Luke would have succeeded completely in covering 
his changes and adaptations.^ 

Owing, therefore, to the loss of the true end of Mark and to 
the suppression of the Galilean tradition by the writer of Acts, 
it is impossible to say exactly what happened to those of the 
disciples, whose leader was Peter, between the crucifixion and 
their establishment as a community in Jerusalem. Mark proves 
that they went to Galilee, and then became convinced that Jesus 
was alive and glorified.^ In the light of this Acts shows, though 

1 This is the measure of the caution with which statements in the early part 
of Acts must be received, and the justification of a free criticism. 

^ The story of the women who visited the tomb of Jesus " on the third 
day " and could not find the body is no doubt a genuine fragment of Jerusalem 
tradition : but though it may — the point is not clear — have been the basis of 
the faith of Mary Magdalene in the resurrection, it was not that of Peter's. 
Peter believed because he had found a living Jesus, not because he could not 
find a dead one. 


it does not state, that they afterwards returned to Jerusalem 
and formed themselves into a society, of which Peter was the 
centre. It does not tell us why they went to Jerusalem instead 
of remaining in Galilee. We may guess that their reason was 
eschatological— the belief that the Day of the Lord was at hand, 
and that the reign of his Anointed would be established in Jeru- 
salem : but there is no evidence.^ 
TheCimich The Jcws would probably have regarded this society as 
a"s>na?' ^ new scct,^ in the same sense as the Pharisees (a7p€crt<; accord- 
gogue. jj^g ^Q Acts, or (piXocTo^ia according to Josephus) ; its members 
called themselves ' brethren ' (dSeXcpol), ' disciples ' {/xadTjrai), 
' believers ' {ina-revovTe'i), or ' the way ' (r) 6S6<;). " Disciples ' 
and ' believers ' explain themselves. ' Brethren ' is strikingly 
similar to the rabbinical use of ' Haber ' (associate). It is prob- 
able that the Christians ^ were also recognised as a synagogue or 
Keneseth,* for according to the Mishna ten Jews could at any 
time form one, and there was nothing schismatic in such action. 
The names of some of these synagogues in Jerusalem are recorded 
in Acts vi. 9^the Synagogue of the Libertini and Cyrenaeans 
and Alexandrians — though it is doubtful whether the text means 
that there was one or three synagogues. From the fact that the 
Jewish name for the Christians was Nazarenes, it is probable that 
they were known to the outside world as the Synagogue of the 
Nazarenes, but there is no documentary evidence that this was 
so. The members of this synagogue would have their own 
opinions, and possibly customs, but they would in no sense be 
outside the nation or church of Israel — the ' Keneseth Israel ' — 
and would have the same right to frequent the Temple as other 

^ Yet it is noticeable that the eschatology of Joel, which plays so large a 
part in the story of the day of Pentecost, has its centre in Jerusalem. 
2 Cf. Acts xxiv. 15. 

* The use of ' Christians ' and ' Church ' in the following paragraphs is 
an anachronism excused by its convenience. 

* The Greek for Keneseth is either trpoaevxv or crvvaywyr} (cf. Acts xvi. 13, 
and Josephus passim). Is the true translation of Acts i. 14 (cf. ii. 42 and vi. 4), 
" they were diligent in attendance at their synagogue ? " There is inscriptional 
evidence for the combination of vpocrevxv and wpoaKaprepdv in this sense; 
see C.I.Q. ii. add. n., 2114 6. 


Israelites. The narrative in Acts affords ample confirmation 
that this was the case : the disciples are arrested for behaving 
illegally or riotously in the Temple, but it is never suggested 
that they were trespassing. Even during Paul's last visit to 
Jerusalem his own right to visit the Temple and pay his vows 
there is not questioned ; he is only accused of introducing into 
it unqualified persons. 

In this community Peter seems to have been the leading Piter, and 
spirit. At the same time his authority is not represented as 
personal, but as derived from the community of which he is the 
spokesman, as is seen in the first chapter of Acts, when Matthias 
and Joseph Barsabbas are selected by the whole body of believers, 
who, praying for guidance, cast lots to decide between the two. 
The less historical this scene may be the more important it is 
as representing an early tradition as to the government of the 
Church. The reaction of later theories can be seen in the textual 
changes introduced by the ' Western ' authorities which represent 
Peter, and not the community, as nominating Joseph Barsabbas 
and Matthias and as offering prayer ; the change is simple, 
— elireu and ear7](Tev for elirov and ea-rrjaav, — but it is too 
consistently carried out to be regarded as accidental. 

According to the early chapters of Acts, Peter and the other 
members of the Twelve were permanently settled in Jerusalem, 
and there is no suggestion that they engaged in missionary 
propaganda throughout the country. In Jerusalem itself the 
numbers of the believers grew rapidly. According to Acts i. 15, 
the original nmnber was 120 ; after Pentecost 3000 new members 
are added ; in Acts iv. 4 5000 are added ; and in Acts vi. 7 it 
is said that the number of the disciples increased, and that a 
great ' crowd ' of priests obeyed the faith. 

During this short period of Christian history, the followers Features 
of Jesus were gathered in Jerusalem, and the division into Jewish christian 
and Gentile Christians did not exist. What were the most ''^''" 
important features of their life ? Three points stand out clearly : 
(1) They believed themselves to be specially inspired by the 



Spirit of God and entrusted with a divine message, as had been 
the prophets of old and Jesus himself. (2) The context of this 
message was that Jesus was the Messiah, and this, rather than 
the announcement of the Kingdom of God and the need of 
repentance became central in their preaching, (3) They en- 
deavoured to organise their life on communistic principles. Their 
belief in their inspiration and their teaching as to Jesus will 
be discussed subsequently ; their communism must be dealt 
with here. 
Commun- The spccial organisation of the life of the Church is twice 

ga^sation. Summarised in Acts, — in ii. 43-46 and iv. 32-35. There are 
small differences in expression, but the general meaning is the 
same. The Christians shared all things ; those who had property 
realised it, and pooled the proceeds in a common fund, which 
was distributed to individual members as need arose. It is 
impossible not to recognise in this action consistent and literal 
obedience to the teaching of Jesus. The disciples had followed 
Jesus to the end of his journey in Jerusalem ; they were waiting 
for his manifestation in glory, and sold all that they had and 
gave to the poor. But in terms of political economy the Church 
was realising the capital of its members and living on the division 
of the proceeds. It is not surprising that under these circum- 
stances for the moment none were in need among them, and 
that they shared their food in gladness of heart, for nothing so 
immediately relieves necessity or creates gladness of heart as 
living on capital, which would be indeed an ideal system of 
economy if society were coming to an end, or capital were not. 
It is probable that the Church thought that society would soon 
end, but it proved to be wrong, and it is not surprising that the 
same book which in its early chapters relates the remarkable 
lack of poverty among the Christians, has in the end to describe 
the generous help sent by the Gentile Churches to the poor 
ita The first sign of the breakdown of the communistic experiment 

breakdown. . "cit ^ c • t t • ^ 

IS the narrative of the discontent among the widows m the 


community, wlien those who had originally belonged to the 
Diaspora (if that be the meaning of 'EWrjpcaTMv) complained 
that they were treated badly in comparison with those of 
Palestinian origin. The exact wording of the short statement 
in Acts is noticeable. " And in these days, while the number " 
of disciples was increasing, there arose grumbling of the Hellenists 
against the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked 
in the daily administration." ^ The suggestion between the 
lines is that the increase of numbers in the Church was not accom- 
panied by a correspondmg increase in the capital at their disposal, 
and few will doubt its probability. 

The result of this disturbance in the peace of the Church The Seven, 
seems to have been a change in its organisation. ^ The Twelve 
gave up the control of the administration of funds and food, 
and induced the community to appoint seven others to supervise 
this work, while they gave themselves to rfj irpoaevxfj and the 
ministratioji of the word — a sentence in which ?; Trpoaevx^y'] may 
mean prayer (in which case the article is somewhat strange, 
though explicable) or refer to the Keneseth — in other words to 
the Church. But the change of organisation did not solve the 
problem. The Seven became a target for persecution, their 
leader was killed, and the rest were dispersed. The narrative 
ceases to be concerned with communism, of which we hear no 
more, and we pass insensibly into the relation of the events 
which led to the division of the community into Jewish and 
Gentile Christianity. 

At first sight the narrative runs smoothly enough, but the Preachers 
more it is considered the stranger does it become that the Seven, Admini- 
who were ostensibly appointed in order to release the Twelve ^trators. 
from administrative work and enable them to preach, never 
appear except as themselves preaching, and that, too, not in 
subordination to the Twelve but in such a manner as to call out 
active hostility to the Church and lead to its dissipation tlirough- 
out and beyond Palestine. Why was such a policy pursued that 
' Acts vi. 1. * Acts vi. 2 ff. 


those wIlo are described as the administrators of funds were 
compelled to flee from Jerusalem, where their work required 
them, while the apostles were able to remain ? The most prob- 
able suggestion is that just as the writer of Acts shortened the 
account of the beginnings of the community in Jerusalem, so he 
has omitted most of the details of the final break between the 
' Seven ' and the Jewish leaders. He says, indeed, that Stephen 
disputed ^\dth other Jews of the Dispersion, ' Libertini,' Cyren- 
aeans, Cihcians, and Asians, and that in consequence of his debate 
he was accused of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 
But he gives no account of what Stephen really said, and the 
defence which he puts into Stephen's mouth is merely a long 
explanation that the Jews have always been a rebellious and 
backsliding nation. It stops before it reaches any really contro- 
versial matter, and is evidently included, if not written, by the 
editor because it explains so well that the Jews were once more 
resisting the Spirit of God. The narrative does not adequately 
explain the events, and the probability is that the teaching of the 
Hellenistic Christians was different from, and, in the eyes of the 
Jews, worse than that of the Twelve. 
The Seven K wc may judge by our scanty knowledge of " Liberal " 
HeUenlstfc tendencies in the Diaspora, the Seven probably represented the 
Judaism, same kind of Hellenising Judaism as is represented by some parts 
of the Oracula Sihyllina, and, in an extreme form, combated by 
Philo in the De migratione Ahraliami. This Judaism probably 
carried on propaganda among the Gentiles, but did not insist 
on a literal observance of the Law. If the Seven belonged even 
partially to this kind of " Liberal " Judaism, the situation is 
comparatively easy to understand. So long as, before their 
conversion, they had been merely " Liberals," or the Twelve 
had been merely believers in Jesus, each had been unpopular, 
but generally free from active persecution ; but when Stephen, 
and later on Peter and Paul combined these causes of offence, 
the wrath of the orthodox knew no bounds. 

It is also extremely probable that the teaching of the Seven 


spread rapidly among the Hellenistic Jews of Syria. One 
reference in Acts itself renders this suggestion ahnost a certainty. 
In the account of the conversion of Paul the reason given for his 
journey to Damascus is his intention of persecuting Christians 
there. How did they come to be there ? Who were they ? Acts 
itself gives no account of the expansion of the Church from 
Jerusalem to Damascus. Were they Christians who had left 
Jerusalem ? Or was there a mission to Damascus ? It is likely 
that the Christians of Damascus were Greek speakuig, even if 
they were not Greeks, and the supposition commends itself that 
Christianity was already spreading in circles outside Jerusalem, 
naturally taking a somewhat different form as it travelled, and 
that Stephen and Philip were part of this new development 
rather than merely administrators of charity in Jerusalem. 

This impression is increased by further consideration of Peter and 
the story. After the death of Stephen the Seven immediately Hellenists. 
proceed to preach ; it is Peter and the Twelve who remain in 
Jerusalem. But this division of labour seems not to have lasted 
long, for shortly afterwards Peter and John were sent to Samaria, 
perhaps with some misgivings, and stayed to encourage and 
complete the work of PhiHp.^ Still, later, Peter was entirely 
converted in Caesarea to the recognition of Gentile converts, 
and returned to Jerusalem as their advocate. It is surely not 
accidental that almost immediately afterwards Herod Agrippa 
imprisoned him in order to please the Jews, and when he escaped 
he left Jerusalem, while James, the brother of the Lord, became 
the leader of the Church, and was apparently immune from 
interference by the Jews. Does not this mean that Peter accepted 
the more advanced point of view of the Seven, and became the 
leader of a mission more in accord with Hellenistic ideas ? 

' It seems to be part of the scheme of Acts to represent the Hellenists as 
preaching first, the Twelve as following them up, and finally, as converted to 
Hellenistic methods by the tcstimonj' of the Si)irit and the logic of facts. Philip 
goes to Samaria and Caesarea : Peter foUows and is convinced. Unnamed 
disciples go to Antioch : Barnabas follows, and does as Peter liad done : he 
came to criticise but jemained to contiiuio the work. 




anity in 

ignored in 

According to Acts the most important success achieved by 
the scattered members of the party of the Seven was in Antioch, 
which became the centre of a Church obviously separate from 
orthodox Judaism, and for the first time was called " Christian." 
There followed a period of controversy with the party of Jeru- 
salem. According to Acts, this lasted only a short time, and 
ended by James and the Twelve recognising the Antiochene 
position. But the evidence of the Epistles shows that the 
struggle between the two parties was more severe and lasted longer 
than Acts suggests. 

The Epistles to the Galatians and Romans, and, to a less 
extent, Philippians, prove the existence of Christians who in- 
sisted on the observance of the Jewish Law, and of circumcision. 
In Galatians, which is by far the most important evidence, it 
appears that, even after James, Peter, and John had accepted 
Paul's mission to the Gentiles, emissaries from James had inter- 
fered at Antioch, and Peter had hesitated for a moment which 
side to take. If the Council of Jerusalem met after the Epistle 
to the Galatians was written it is possible that James changed 
his attitude, but if Galatians ii. really refers to the Council it 
is clear that almost immediately after it Peter in Antioch and 
James in Jerusalem were acting against the Pauline teaching. 
In any case, the Epistles are evidence that the Judaising pro- 
paganda continued, and it will always be a moot point whether 
James was so conciliatory to Gentile Christianity as Acts describes 
him to have been. 

Taken by itself. Acts would never suggest the existence of a 
controversy so long and so acute as is revealed by the Epistles. 
According to it the Gentile Church of Antioch achieved an 
initial triumph over the Judaistic Christians of Jerusalem, 
but there remained " many myriads " of believers in Jerusalem 
who were all " zealous for the Law." ^ Their grievance against 
Paul was not that he was preaching to Gentiles, but that 
he was preaching against any observance of the Law, even 
1 Acts xxi. 20. 


by Jews. James and Paul are represented as agreeing that 
this would be wrong, and as recognising the binding character 
of the Law on themselves and on other Jewish Christians. 

Can this be a true picture of the Paul who wrote to the 
Galatians that there is now no difference between Greek and 
Jew ? Can " no difference " mean that the one must and the 
other must not follow the Law ? Can the Paul who said, " The 
Law has been our tutor up to Christ, that we might be justified 
by faith, but now that that faith has come, we are no longer 
under a tutor," be the same as the Paul who, according to Acts, 
tries to prove to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem that he 
fully accepts the obligation of the Law ? 

Moreover, is it likely that Jewish Christians, even if they 
accepted Jesus as the Anointed Prince of the House of David 
who would reign in the Good Time at the end of this Age, 
would have conceded the privileges of the Chosen People to 
Gentiles who had acknowledged Jesus, but accepted nothing of 
Judaism ? 

Acts does not place the narrative above suspicion of in- Narratives 
accuracy. In the first part of the book the comparison with ^^^ the 
Mark shows that the Galilean tradition was omitted or changed, ^p'^*''^^- 
and in the second part the comparison with 1 Corinthians and 
Galatians shows that whole episodes of great importance were 
neglected. Part of its purpose was to picture the unanimity 
of the early Church ; and the writer seems to have selected some 
incidents, omitted others, and changed others in order to serve 
this purpose. The Epistles are here the better evidence, and 
the Judaistic controversy must have been longer and sharper 
than Acts suggests. On one important point, however — the 
position of Peter — Acts is fully confirmed. According to the 
narrative of Galatians, Paul first went to Jerusalem to see Position of 
Peter : the implication is clear that Peter was the chief person 
in the Christian commmiity there. He also saw James the 
brother of the Lord, but no other apostle. On his second 
visit he saw " James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be 


pillars " — and the order of the names is significant. Still later 
in the same passage he refers to a third meeting with Peter, 
but this time at Antioch ; in 1 Corinthians there is a refer- 
ence to the party of Peter of Avhich the most natural meaning 
is that Peter had been in Corinth, and finally in 1 Corinthians 
ix. 5 reference is made to the custom followed by Peter, but 
not by Paul, of taking his wife with him on his journeys. The 
special importance of the passage in Galatians is that it shows 
that the Christian movement was by this time divided into 
two schools of propaganda. One insisted on its loyalty to 
Judaism, and demanded that converts should be treated as 
proselytes : its centre was Jerusalem, and its leader was James. 
To the other belonged Paul and his friends : its centre was 
probably in Antioch, and to it in the end— even if with some 
hesitation and backsliding— Peter himself belonged. This again 
is exactly what Acts distinctly states, and it is one of the mis- 
* takes of the Tiibingen School that it did not recognise that 
Peter, not only in Acts but also in the Pauline Epistles, is on the 
Hellenistic, not the Hebrew side. 
Attitude There is, however, serious doubt whether the description of 

towardr the position of James in Acts is equally correct. Was he com- 
^*"^" pletely friendly to Paul when he last visited Jerusalem ? These 

are questions of the greatest difficulty, which must elsewhere 
be discussed in detail. Here it is not necessary to do more than 
urge that even though ' Luke ' has no interest in relating the 
disputes of the early Church except to show that they were un- 
important or unenduring, it is clear even from Acts that the 
Church was divided into two camps. The headquarters of the 
rigorist party was Jerusalem, and though he may not have been 
fanatical, everything points to James as ha\'ing been its leader. 
He remained unhurt in the persecution of Agrippa I. ; he was 
apparently in good standing with the Jews and the Temple 
authorities on the occasion of Paul's last visit to Jerusalem ; 
and so, according to Josephus and Hegesippus, he remained until 
the outbreak of fanaticism in the last days of the city. Though 


Luke so tells the story as to empliasise his frieiidliness to Paul, 
the Jews obviously distinguished plainly between James and 
Paul, and extended a toleration to the one which they refused 
to the other. 

In his further description of the growth of Gentile Chris- End of 

Acts con- 

tianity, the limitations of the scheme followed by the WTiter of fined to 
Acts become more serious than his inaccuracies. Up to this 
point he has, at least so far as we can see, endeavoured to 
cover the whole field. He deals with Peter, Stephen, and Philip 
in succession, and describes the rise of Christianity in Jerusalem, 
Samaria, Caesarea, and Antioch. His narrative is not really 
complete and not always accurate, but it is not limited to the 
fortunes of one man. After this, however, he concentrates his 
attentio]! almost exclusively on Paul. His information seems 
to be excellent, and the historical value of what he recomits 
increases ; but his range becomes more limited, and this must 
be deliberate. From incidental remarks in the Epistles, and 
from Christian tradition generally, Paul must have been only one 
of many preachers to the Gentiles. The writer of Acts caimot 
have been ignorant of this, nevertheless he confines himself 
entirely to the story of Paul. The other great characters 
sometimes appear for a moment, but only when they cross 
Paul's path. Of the fortunes of the Jewish Christians we are toki 
nothijig, and nothing of the disputes among Gentile Christians. 
Even with regard to Paul, his adventures, not his characteristic 
thought, or his controversies, interest the writer. The other 
missionaries were Agamemnojis who never found a Homer. So 
far as the sequence of events is concerned we can accept or 
reject the narrative ; we cannot supplement it, for there is no 
other. The later history of Peter and the details of Paul's 
mission must be discussed in the commentary : they belong to 
the fabric of Acts, and cannot be regarded as prolegomena. 

It would probably be consistent also to say nothing more Jewish 
about the Christianity which remained Jewish : but the early 
evidence on this subject has a real bearing on the view maintained 


above of the divergence of Gentile Christianity from the original 
Jewish stock, and it therefore seems justifiable to collect in out- 
line the chief early evidence which relates to it. 

Jewish Little is known of the history of the Jewish Christians who 

ris lans. ^^^ ^^^^ foUow the lead of Peter and Paul, and accept Gentile 
Christianity as a separation from the Jewish synagogue. The 
only sources of information are references in the Gospels, and 
a series of Jewish statements in the Tosephta and certain 
Baraitas. Possibly some allusions in Justin Martyr and in 
Ignatius, and perhaps the statements of Jerome about 
Palestinian Christians ought to be added to this, but their 
evidence is too late to have any except corroborative value. 

The The evidence in the Gospels is especially the famous passage 

^°'^''- Matt. X. 5-23 : 

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, 
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the 
Samaritans enter ye not : but go rather to the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of 
heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, 
cast out devils : freely ye have received, freely give. Pro^ade 
neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your 
journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves : for the 
workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town 
ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy ; and there abide till ye 
go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if 
the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it : but if it be not 
worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not 
receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house 
or city, shake oS the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It 
shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the 
day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as 
sheep in the midst of wolves : be ye therefore wise as serpents, and 
harmless as doves. But beware of men : for they will deUver you 
up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues ; 
and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, 
for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they 
deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak : for 
it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For 
it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh 
in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, 


and the father the child : and the children shall rise up against 
their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be 
hated of all men for my name's sake : but he that endureth to the 
end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee 
ye into another : for verily I say unto you, Ye shaU not have gone 
over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 

The first part of this passage, and many details in the later 
verses have no parallels elsewhere, but the part beginning with 
verse 17 " Beware of men " is one of the comparatively few 
sections in the Synoptic Gospels which seems to have a double 
source, and to be attributable both to Mark and Q. The 
Marcan version is Mark xiii. 9-13 and the Q version can be traced, 
though not accurately reconstructed, by a comparison of Matt. 
X. 17-23; Matt. xxiv. 9-14; Luke xxi. 12-19, and Luke xii. 7-12. 

For the present purpose the interesting point is the comparison 
of the directly opposite verses, " Verily I say unto you, ye shall 
not finish the cities of Israel before the Son of man come " and 
" The gospel must first be preached to all the Gentiles," especially 
when it is remembered that the first of these two is the conclusion 
of the whole section which begins " Go not into a road of the 
Gentiles, and enter not into a city of Samaritans, but go rather 
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 

It is probably impossible to reconstruct the details of the 
literary history of the passage, but there is much to be said for 
the suggestion that the common nucleus is a saying of Jesus to 
the effect that his followers should not prepare a careful defence, 
but endure persecution, and speak as the spirit directed them. 
This was combined by Jewish Christians with a series of further 
directions, and with a promise that the Son of Man should come 
before they had ' finished the cities of Israel.' It was similarly 
combined by Gentile Christians with a warning that before the 
end the gospel must be preached to all the Gentiles. 

So much is tolerably clear and probable ; and it is an interest- Tendency 
ing sidelight on the late date of the Gospel of Matthew in its Mnttiuw. 
present form that it contains both the Jewish Christian, and 
the Gentile Christian combination. The editor apparently did 



Luke as 

in Mark. 

not see the incongruity, and possibly thought that the injunction 
not to go to Gentiles or Samaritans referred only to a special 
journey, not seeing that the context makes it clear that it is 
intended to serve as a standing rule until the Parousia. 

Another passage in Matthew which seems to belong to the 
Jewish circle is the section in the Sermon on the Mount dealing 
with the Law. 

Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets : 
I am not come to destroy but to confirm. For verily I say to you, 
until Heaven and Earth pass away no jot or tittle shall pass from 
the Law, until all things come to pass. Whosoever therefore shall 
relax one of the least of these precepts, and teach men so, shall be 
called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and 
teach them, shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I 
say to you that unless your righteousness exceed the scribes and 
Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 

The passage is exactly what we might expect from the Jewish 
Christians in Jerusalem, who were all ' zealous for the Law.' 
It cannot be reconciled wdth the teaching of Paul. 

The comparison with Luke xvi. 16 is instructive. Luke 
says : " The Law and the Prophets were until John. From 
that time the Kingdom of Heaven is preached, and every one 
does violence against it. But it is easier for heaven and earth 
to pass than for one tittle of the Law to fall." The passage has 
always presented difficulty to exegetes, and it seems scarcely 
self-consistent, but it is quite intelHgible as the Gentile Christian 
rendering of a tradition which in Jewish Christian circles affirmed 
the everlasting validity of the Law, and is characteristic of the 
position which, in some of many varying forms, sought to find 
a way to affirm the inspiration of the Law, and yet justify 
disobedience to many of its precepts. 

Certain secondary conclusions and problems emerge from 
the consideration of these passages. It is noteworthy that Mark, 
which in many ways is so clearly the most primitive gospel, 
and so little interested in the controversy between Jewish and 
Gentile Christians, has nevertheless the remarkable verse, " The 


gospel must be first preached to all the Gentiles." Is this a 
sign that Mark, as we have it, belongs definitely to the Gentile 
Christian Church, though not to the Pauline branch of it ? In 
other words, have we a point of confirmation for the tradition 
connecting the gospel with Peter ? 

A most important question is how far these passages, whether Jesus— the 
Jewish or Gentile, go back to Jesus himself. In general it is tho 
probable that Jesus really spoke of the Law with veneration, ^®°*i^*^»- 
and may well have insisted on a righteousness exceeding that 
of the Scribes,^ but more than this cannot be shown, and 
the only clue is the conduct of his nearest disciples. This test 
is scarcely favourable to the authenticity of the extreme sayings 
on either side. If Jesus had really said, " The gospel must 
first be preached to all the Gentiles," or "Go ye into all the 
world and make disciples of all the Gentiles," would Peter 
and James have needed so much persuasion that a mission 
to the GentUes was not improper ? But on the other hand, 
if Jesus had really said, " Go not into a way of the Gentiles 
and enter not into a city of Samaritans," would Peter have gone 
to Samaria and Joppa, even if Philip had done so ? The remark- 
able feature of the Judaistic controversy in the Epistles and even 
in the attenuated version of it given in Acts, is that there is no 
trace of any appeal to the teaching of Jesus on either side. If 
he had really spoken as the gospels represent, would no one 
have made use of his words ? 

It seems not unlikely that there is here a curious confirma- 
tion of the fact that Jesus in the earUest tradition of the 
Synoptic Gospels does not appear as intending to found a new 
society. He was announcing the speedy coming of the Kingdom, 
and calling on men to repent. The disciples were at that time 
looking for the day of his triumph, not seeking recruits for 
a Church. Under these circumstances missionary instructions 
for the seeking of converts to Christianity, as distinct from 
proselytes to Judaism, cannot have been given by Jesus. But 

1 See pp. 283 0. and 292 ff. 



as to the 

The Jewish 

The ' Writ- 

circumstances changed : the Christians were forced to recognise 
that they were a new society. It was only natural for them to 
re-interpret and add to the original words of Jesus, in accordance 
with their new necessities and controversies. In the main the 
gospels represent Gentile Christianity. That is true even of 
the present form of Matthew, but though the final redactor of 
Matthew was no doubt a Gentile Christian, he incorporated 
certain passages which came originally from the other camp. 
Possibly the controversy was dead when he wrote ; possibly he 
did not see all the implications of the documents which he used. 
Luke was more inteUigeut in his appreciation and free in his 

The evidence of Jewish sources is small but important, and 
has been somewhat overlooked. The only clear statement of it is 
to be found in G. P. Moore's The Definition of the Jemsh Canon 
and the Repudiation of ike Christian Scriptures. ^ The material 
is not found in the Mishna, except in accidental references, but 
in the Tosephta and occasional Baraitas, and is part of the debris 
of the controversy among the Jews of the first century as to the 
' writings ' which were to be regarded as scripture. 

It was and is the practice in the Synagogue to read a first 
lesson on the Sabbath from the Law, and a second lesson from 
the Prophets, under which name the historical books outside 
the Pentateuch are included. There was no controversy as to 
the contents of the Law or the Prophets, but there was also 
the third class of the ' Writings ' to which authority was attached, 
though its limits were doubtful. These books were not all used 
in the Synagogue, and the question was which might be placed 
in its library. Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and Daniel were beyond 
question, but Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, and Esther were 
doubtful, and even more dubious was the position of Ecclesiasticus. 

It is extremely interesting for the historian of early Christi- 

^ In a volume entitled Essays in Modern Theology and Belated Subjects, 
gathered and published as a Testimonial to Charles Augustus Briggs, on the 
Completion of his Seventieth Year, New York, 1911. 


anity to note tliat iii the early stages of the controversy as to the 
" Writings," " the gospels and the books of the heretics " were 
expressly excluded, and by implication must previously have 
been sometimes admitted. This is clearly stated in Tosephta 
Jadaim ii. 13, and Tosephta Sabbath xiii. (xiv.) 5, in deciding 
which books may be rescued from fire on the Sabbath ; the 
gospels are excluded, though they contain the name of God. 

The chronological order of the references is given thus by 
Professor Moore : 

The earliest mention of the ordinance against the books of the 
heretics is in Mishna Jadaim iv. 6, in a tilt between the Sadducees 
and Johanan ben Zakkai, which may have occurred before the war 
of 66-70, and cannot be more than a decade or two later. Johanan's 
successor at the head of the college and council at Jamnia, Eabbi 
Gamaliel II., caused the petition for the downfall of the heretics to 
be inserted in the prescribed form of prayer ; he and his sister Imma 
Shalom, the wife of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, figure in the story of the 
Christian judge who quotes the gospel ; in the same time falls the 
intercourse of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus with Jacob of Kefar Sekania, 
" a disciple of Jesus the Nazarene." In the second and third 
decades of the second century the situation becomes more strained ; 
all the great leaders of Judaism — Ishmael,^ Akiba, Tarphon, Jose 
the Galilean — inveigh against the heretics and their scriptures with 
a violence which shows how serious the evil was.^ Tarphon would 
flee to a heathen temple sooner than to a meeting-house of those 
worse-than-heathen whose denial of God is without the excuse of 
ignorance ; the usually mild-mannered Ishmael finds pious utterance 
for his antipathy, like many another godly man, in an imprecatory 
Psalm : " Do not 1 hate them, Lord, that hate thee ? . . . I hate 
them with perfect hatred." Akiba, who was never a man of measured 
words, consigns to eternal perdition the Jew who reads their books. 
The rigorous interdict on all association with the Christians ^ breathes 
the same truculent spirit ; it bears every mark of having been 
framed in the same age and by the same hands, as does also the 
anathema which condemns the heretics, before all the rest, to eternal 
torment in hell. 

^ See also Ishmael's interpretation of the dreams of the heretic, Berakoth, 5G b. 

* Just as in the writings of the Church Fathers the increasing vehemence of 
their objurgations of heresy corresponds to the ahvrmiiig progress gnosticism 
was making. 

3 Tos. HuUin, ii. 20 ff. 


In the second half of the century the polemic against Christianity 
abruptly ceases. From Akiba's most distinguished pupil and 
spiritual heir, Rabbi Meir, nothing more serious is reported than 
his witticism on the name of the gospel — evayyeXiov "^awon gilion ; 
from Nehemiah, only that among the signs of the coming of the 
Messiah he includes the conversion of the whole empire to Chris- 
tianity.-^ Of the other great teachers of the generation no anti- 
Christian utterances are preserved. What is much more significant, 
at the close of the century the Mishna of the Patriarch Judah 
embodies none of the defensive ordinancesa gainst heresy which we 
find in the Tosephta and the Talmudic Baraithas.^ The decision 
that the Gospels and the books of the heretics are not holy scripture 
is not repeated in the Mishna ; it deals only with the Jewish anti- 
legomena, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs, the long-standing 
differences about which were passed on by a council about the 
beginning of the second century — a decision which did not, however, 
prevent the difierences lasting through the century.^ The only 
mention of heretical writings is preserved as a mere matter of history 
in the account of the Johanan ben Zakkai's defence of the Pharisaic 
ordinances against the criticisms of the Sadducees. 

The extreme importance of this evidence is twofold. First, 
it can scarcely refer to Greek books. It is therefore the earliest 
and most direct evidence which we possess for the existence of 
Aramaic (or, conceivably, Hebrew) gospels. Have we here 
traces of the existence of the " many attempts " of which Luke 
speaks, or of the " Jewish Christian " passages in Matthew 
referred to above (p. 314 ff.), or of the Aramaic original of Mark, 
or of Q, or of the gospel according to the Hebrews referred to 
by Jerome ? Obviously no one can answer these questions, but 
all of them suggest interesting possibiKties. Secondly, this 
is not merely the best external evidence for Aramaic Christian 
documents ; it is probably the earliest evidence for ' gospels ' in 
any form. Where is there earlier evidence for the existence of 
gospels in Greek ? He would be a bold man who ventured to 
date the Didache earlier than Johanan ben Zakkai. 

1 Sanhedrin, 97 a, and parallels. 

^ If M. Hullin, ii. 9, be regarded as an exception, it is an exception that 
proves the rule ; cf. Tosephta, HuUin, ii. 19-20. 
' M. Jadaim, 35. 



The Gospels and Acts, as we now have them, are Greek 
documents, and were probably written by Greek Christians. 
But they are in varymg degrees based on Aramaic tradition and 
probably Aramaic documents. We have therefore fragments 
of Jewish thought modified by the life, death, and resurrection 
of Jesus, translated into Greek words and partially into Greek 
thoughts. Furthermore, the documents which reveal the fact 
but conceal the details of this confusion, were written by men 
permeated with the belief that Jesus was the fulfilment of all 
the prophecies of the Old Testament, but caring little for the 
history of thought or the nice use of language. Whether the 
Jews had thought that the Messiah would be a different person 
from the suffering Servant did not interest the early Christian. 
He was convinced that Jesus was both : if he sometimes con- 
fused titles or forgot meanings it is not wonderful. 

The right distinction between words, and the correct use of 
language, is the product of technical education, not of religion, 
and the Christian writers show no signs of having had this 
education. It is a mistake made frequently by those who have 
obtained distinction in the interpretation of classical literature 
rather than of human life, to treat early Christian documents 
as if their authors had been equally fortunate. It is peculiarly 
necessary to remember that the New Testament does not present 
the intellectual accuracy of a theological autopsy, but the 
VOL. I 321 y 


confused language of men whose religion was too much for 

their powers of expression. 

Thus the study of the beginnings of Christian thought is 

naturally of recent growth, and its results, though extremely 

important and generally trustworthy, cannot ever be expected 

to reach the certainty in detail achieved by investigators of the 

later periods. It is again and again not a question of " getting 

to first-hand documents," but of getting behind second-hand 

ones and considering the probable nature of their sources. This 

is sometimes impossible, and the outcome often is a choice 

between opinions. Individual scholars have their own preference, 

but will usually admit that other alternatives are legitimate. 

Tiie gift of The starting-point for investigation is the experience called 
the Spirit, u ^j^g g^^ ^f ^j^g jj^jy gp-j,j^ „ . £^j. ^i^jg .g ^j^g j^Qg^ important 

constant factor throughout the first Christian generation. 

The meaning attached in Jewish thought to the Holy Spirit 
has been already discussed. Jesus himself openly claimed to be 
inspired, and the disciples were sure that he was right ; but that 
during his ministry they made no claim to possess the Spirit 
themselves is definitely explained in Acts, and is clearly 
implied in Mark, in Q, and in Matthew. But immediately after 
the Resurrection (or perhaps after the return of the disciples to 
Jerusalem) they were given the Spirit, and began to speak ■with 
tongues, and to prophesy under its influence. Nor was this 
mere opinion. The statement that the Spirit was given is no 
doubt the expression of a theory, but behind it is a genuine 
experience. Something changed the disciples, and they believed 
that this something was the Spirit of God. It is not neces- 
sary to accept the belief,^ but it is impossible to deny the 

There appear to be two traditions as to the circumstances. 
According to Acts^ the Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost, 

1 Modern psj'chology may explain the facts better than ancient faith : but 
it has to accept them as data. 

^ It is, however, possible that two traditions rather than one are preserved 
in Acts. There is considerable weight in Harnack's view that Acts ii. is an 


fifty days after the Resurrection : according to the Fourth Gospel ^ 
it was on the day of the Resurrection. It is jiossible that neither 
tradition is the earliest form, and it is therefore all the more 
important to emphasise the point which they have in common : 
the Spirit comes from the risen Jesus. The only difference — and 
it is characteristic — is that the Fourth Gospel makes Jesus give 
the Spirit directly, when he breathed on them and said, " Re- 
ceive ye tlie Holy Spirit," so that it appears to be his Spirit which 
is given, while Acts represents him as pouring out from Heaven 
the Spirit of God. The latter is probably more Jewish and more 

According to Acts ii. the outward manifestation of the Spirit Speaking 
on this first occasion was glossolalia, which the editor interprets Ungues in 
as speaking foreign languages, but most students will agree with ^"^^^ "• 
Harnack that the account of the events of the Day of Pentecost 
have clearer marks of legendary influence than any other chapter 
in Acts. The description of glossolalia is quite unlike that given 
by Paul in 1 Corinthians xiv. 1-25, which describes phenomena 
well known, both to the historian and to the psychologist, as 
common to all " revivals " and to all ecstatic forms of religion. 
Moreover, the story itself bears witness to an earlier tradition 
more in agreement with the contemporary description of Paul. 
" These men are full of new wine " would exactly describe the 
glossolalia which prevailed in Corinth ; but it is inexplicable on 
the lips of foreigners who found to their surprise that the wonder- 
ful works of God were being described in their own language. It 
is impossible to rewrite the earlier form of the narrative, but the 
suspicion is hard to repress that the existing one was written by 
an editor who did not know from his own experience what 

inferior doublet of Acts iii. and iv. If he be right the tradition presers'od in 
Acts ii. and iv., which he calls the Jerusalem A source, represents the first gift 
of the Spirit as following on Peter's miracle of treating the lame man in the 
name of Jesus. This led to the arrest of Peter, and when he was called on for 
his defence he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Later on, when he returned to 
the other disciples, " the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, 
and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spake the word of God with 
boldness." ^ John xx. 22. 


'" speaking with tongues '' was, and thonglit that it meant a 
miraculoTis gift of speaking foreign languages, 
F«eirs More important ^ than this problem is the speech of Peter 

Fbateeost. in which he explains to the people that the gift of the Spirit is an 
eschatological phenomenon fulfilling the famous prophecy of Joel. 
In this way Peter proves that the '' last days " - are at hand, and 
then goes on to assert that this pouring out of the Spirit is the 
work of the ^orified Jesus, which shows him to he " Lord and 
Christ."' This is tilie e^^rhest example of the axgumeat that the 
presence of the Spirit in the Church proves the truth of its 
opinion. But no description is given of the results of the gift 
except that it confers the power of prophecy. Was it also re- 
garded as a cleansing from sin preparatory to the judgment ? 
Such an interpretation fits very well with that form of Jewish 
thought which looked for the coming of some great judirment 
to deanse the earth by destroyins sinners.^ It was indeed this 
belief which actuated John the Baptist when he said : *' The axe 
is now laid to the root of the trees : every branch therefore that 
beareth not good fruit is cut o5 and cast into fire " ; and, to avoid 
this fate, urged his hearers to repent and be baptized in water, 
foretelling the days when one '' mightier than himseK " would 
cleanse them with the Spirit. Probably, therefore, this view is 
latent in the first chapters of Acts, but it is not emphasised. The 
important thing is rather that the Spirit is regarded as the source 
of the miraculous words and deeds of the disciples. The Church 

1 Espeoalfy because il ^oflzee the redactor's riew of " foreign languages, 
and ""pfea onfy tin ^Rraline ty^pe oi gloatdalia" It is therefore probable that 
die speetii heinngn to the sonrce, evai tiiongh f he redactor has probabhr altered 
it in smoe detaib. 

' It is noteworthy that the exact phrase " Use last days " is not in the text 
of Jod iL 28, but is inteodnced into the quotation in Acts. 

' In the eajiy chaptos of Enoch tins cleansing is enfansted to ^chael 
(Kooeh X. 13 S.)^ and in the Baahns of Solomon to the DaTidic Messiah {Ps. SoL 
xviL 41, cL xriiL 8 5.). A sfmilar destruction of the wicked seems to be fore- 
shadowed in 4 Ezra and in Bamch, though in Bamch and perhaps in Ezra it 
is tiie vork of God himarff {i Ezra vL 26 f. ; Bamch xiiL 4 S^ and Ixxxv. 15). 
Thoe is a eoUeetacm of passages and an admiraUe djacossion in H. Windisch, 
Jae/e mud SuniA, pp. 34 S. 


pointed Tniffsgonaries bj tl^ S'lri: : ^Iri. P^_ :: : I ^ .^ 
bMnd, he is filled witib. tie S^:n: :i- : : Z ir . : i 
U>ha,Yeheeaa.ma3e esitrx:-:. \" -'-_:-_ ^ 

It k sometimes said ^ - 1 :.-.' : ^ .^ _ : 

representing tiie woikuig : ; t^ t ^ sr. '-.i \ - . 
but this seems an exa^-: . _ : 

saj tibat in Acts tiie ^-: ir : : : _ 

power. GHossdUHa, : i - _ - - - ' " - ^^ 

not constant but in'^im—r : _ iirzi Xtt^:-1-;~ - - -j, 
certain that to the redactor oi Acg .__.:: ~-z- --i -i: 
had been gi¥»i the ^irit ; the Onr: 1 ~ ^ :-7 ^ - _- .^7- 

endowed sod^y of tibose who had :t^ ri -i :^ 1.7 

tiuoo^ it could this noanall^ be obtairi'r^i : a^i :i7 
Comeliiis was so ezoeptiiKial as to wam^T lii '" — ' - _ " ;- 

taon in the ChnrdL It may be doobt " 11: :_ r: : : 
quite dear whether &e means of ici' :: _ - ^ : - 7 

baptism or the lajir^- ::i :: Li: — : 1: :: ^ : : : . 

privilege, be" : r . . : . :7 :lr iir i. 

Itis-::i.:\:- .::-:_:•-::--:>-: -::-.:v:Z-- ' ---- 
ing the ^ 1: :::.::_ : : . _:: :t : : Z ^ 

and Acts I J - : _ : -.L: -. -t tL - - : „ 

of:L \: : : : - : r. 

made them dLvinc* TLi; nein : it 

bdcmgiB to that corioiis mixtiirr : : 7 :-:^ - _ _ bijii 

dominated the last ceituries 

It is doubtful how far t: 
the first century: probaWy : . 
ass^ted rather th^yi demonstrated by Bdts«i5: 

^ See putieolailjr H. drnkeTs Die ITvinfem iu 
> See Die Mfanrfrfff J fyhiiMnJi r 


but in any case it began subsequently to grow very rapidly, 
and it is for the present purpose comparatively unimportant 
whether Christianity was one of the earliest or latest of the sacra- 
mental religions.^ The main note of these cults is the offer to 
men to become immortal or divine, and this is characteristically 
expressed as ' the gift of the Spirit.' Probably the average man 
looked on this offer as representing some kind of obsession by the 
Lord of the cult ; but in more philosophic circles it was connected 
rather with Stoic doctrines of the nature of reality, and the 
identification of the soul, whether of man or of the world, with 
" Spirit," the finest and most ethereal form of matter. 

The details of this question, whether in heathenism or in 
Christianity, are obscure ; fortunately only one point is really 
necessary for the present purpose. In the mystery religions the 
Spirit effects an essential change in the worshipper : he becomes 
a new being. But in Jewish thought this is not the case ; the 
Spirit of the Lord descends on men, and they prophesy or do 
wonderful things. Nevertheless they remain themselves, and 
their salvation ,2 their life or death, does not depend on the gift 
of the Spirit. 
Change to This is the real dividing line between the Jewish and Gentile 

Johannine fon^is of thought, and it marks very clearly the difference be- 
thought, tween the Synoptic Gospels on the one hand and the Fourth 
Gospel and Pauline Epistles on the other. In the Epistles the 
Spirit is the base of all Christian life : by it Christians have 
become sons of God : they are a new creation. In the Fom-th 
Gospel only those who are born of the Spirit can enter into 
the Kingdom of God. Nothing of this appears in the S}^Tioptic 

^ The question cannot be settled by pointing out that the worship of Isis 
or Mithras is older than Christianity. The question is whether these Oriental 
religions were always sacramental, or became so when they passed into the 
Hellenic world. Or, the problem may be put in another form : Were there 
earlier non-sacramental Oriental religions behind these " mysteries," just as the 
religion of Israel is behind Christianity ? 

* Salvation in Jewish thought depends on conduct. In Catholic Chris- 
tianity it depends on sacramental regeneration ; it can, after this, be lost by 
evil conduct, but cannot previously be earned by good conduct. 


Gospels. Not even in Luke is the gift of the Spirit clearly 
represented as the necessary possession of Christians. The 
same is perhaps true of the sources represented by the early 
chapters of Acts ; salvation is offered to the repentant, and the 
gift of the Spirit is the result rather than the cause of salvation. 
But the second part of Acts is in this respect Pauline. Paul in 
Ephesus ^ regards the possession of the Spirit as the necessary 
equipment of Christians, and holds that it is conveyed by a 
correct baptism. Probably the redactor of Acts also held this 
view, though it is not clear whether he thought that the Spirit 
was given by baptism, or by the laying on of the hands of an 
apostle after baptism. 

Acts thus gives glimpses of various stages : the redactor and 
his sources do not always represent the same point of view. 
There is a development or change from Jewish to Greek ; but 
behind it is the common experience — conversion, inspiration, 
regeneration, or whatever other name be given. The explanation 
changed ; similar words were used, but with an altered meaning ; 
the experience itself was the connecting-link. Later on, in a 
more developed Christianity, the situation was reversed ; the 
experience ceased, and the thought, or rather the language, was 
the point of union with the past. But in the period of the New 
Testament this was not so ; and the unity of experience enabled 
the Church to survive greater changes of thought than it has 
ever passed through since. 

The effect of the experience known as the gift of the Spirit Early 
was ielt both in the description which the Christians gave of the cimrch. 
themselves and in those which they gave of Jesus. 

The followers of Jesus had not originally looked on themselves 
as separate from the Jewish Church ; but when the opposition 
of the synagogue grew, the Hellenistic Christians abandoned 
Jewish practice, and the possession of the Spirit became the hall- 
mark of a Christian. They called themselves the ^KKXr^aia; 
^ Acts six. 1 £f. 


probably this was at first merely the translation of keneseth, but 
the fact that it had been used in the LXX, to translate qahal — 
the Congregation of Israel — furthered the conviction that the 
Christian Church, not the Jewish, was the Congregation of Israel, 
the true people of God — the \a6<; as contrasted with ra eOvr). 

Nevertheless this conviction that the Church was the People 
of God was accompanied, strangely, yet inteUigibly enough, by 
the opposite sense that it was new, and owed its existence to 
Jesus, who — according to the most probable meaning of a corrupt 
passage — had " gained it {irepceTroiijaaro) by his own blood." ^ 
But there were two theories as to the time when it was founded. 

[n Acts. That of Acts is clearly that the Church began with the gift of 

the Spirit at Pentecost, and it is to the editor always the 
society inspired by the Spirit, and in turn bestowing it. To him 
it fulfilled the prophecy of Joel as to Israel in the last days, and 
it was the Spirit which gradually led on to the evangelisation of 
the Gentiles. 

inMatthev. Matthcw has a different theory ; for him the foundation of the 
Church was promised by Jesus, during his ministry, and the 
commission to the eleven to convert aU the Gentiles was part of 
the gxeat vision of the risen Lord in Galilee. 

Few can doubt that Acts is nearer to history than Matthew, 
for his account of the confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi 
is clearly a later recension of the Markan narrative, and 
his version of the commission to preach to the Gentiles 
is negatived by the history of the Judaistic controversy .2 
According to Mark, Peter at Caesarea Philippi acknowledged 
Jesus as " the Christ." Jesus' reply was a rebuke {iireTifirjae), 
forbidding the disciples " to say so to any one concerning him." ^ 
But Matthew completely rewritcss the passage. Instead of a 

1 Acts XX. 28. 

* According to Acts it never entered into the laind of the Twelve to leave 
Jerusalem and evangelise the Gentiles until circumstances forced them to do 
so : to accept Matthew xxviii. 19 is to discredit the obedience of the Twelve 
beyond all reasonable limits. 

3 Mark viii. 27 ii.=Matt. xvi. 13 £f. 


rebulce Peter receives a blessing and the promise that on him 
the " Chmrch " shall be founded, and that he shall receive super- 
natm-al authority in connection with it.^ " And Jesus answered 
and said mito him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona ; for flesh 
and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which 
is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, 
and upon this rock I will build my church ; and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven ; and whatsoever thou shalb bind on 
earth shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever thou shalt loose 
on earth shall be loosed in heaven." It is difficult to regard 
these words as the genuine saying of Jesus ; but they reflect 
two important phases of early Christian thought and language 
— the supremacy of Peter, and the explanation of the Kingdom 
as the Church. 

The supremacy of Peter is not borne out by the narrative Matthew 
of Acts or by the Pauline Epistles. In both of them Peter is supremacy 
represented as prominent but not supreme. Indeed, except °^ ^^*^'" 
in the opening chapters of Acts, James is more important in 
Jerusalem than Peter ; but the leadership neither of James nor 
of Peter is based on supernatural authority or on a special com- 
mission from Jesus : it is that which naturally belongs to the 
head of a synagogue or indeed of any other society. It is clear 
that the Matthaean tradition cannot be that of Jerusalem, 

Two places are suggested by historical probability — Rome 
and Antioch. At first sight Rome seems natural ; but this is 
due to the impression made by later controversy. There is no 
trace in the second century that Rome claimed supremacy 
because of its connection with Peter, nor is there evidence of the 
special use of Matthew in Rome. 

^ In the interests of Protestant ecclesiology it has often been attempted to 
explain this perfectly clear passage in some other way ; but the words are simple 
and lucid. Their meaning is as plain as their unhistorical character is obvious 
in the light of synoptic criticism. It is interesting to note how Matthew's 
editorial methods betray themselves : in the original Marcan narrative ^n-ert- 
fj.r]<r€ is an intelligible word, but in Matthew it is merely a literary survival quite 
discordant with its new context. 


Tlie claim of Antioch is less obvious but more probable. 
The epistles of Ignatius suggest that Matthew was the Antiochene 
gospel ; the tradition that Peter was the first Bishop of Antioch 
is as old and as probable as that which makes him the first Bishop 
of Rome. Both reflect his historical connection with these cities, 
though expressed in the language of later ecclesiastical organisa- 
tion. The hypothesis may therefore be ventured that " Tu es 
Petros " represented originally not Roman but Antiochene 
thought, and reflects the struggle between Jerusalem and Antioch 
for supremacy. Jerusalem had James the brother of the Lord 
who presided over the flock on Mount Zion. But Antioch claimed 
that Peter, not James, had been appointed by Jesus ; on him, 
not on James, was the Church founded ; and he, not James, had 
the keys of the Kingdom, to admit or exclude whom he would. 
This is of course a hypothesis which cannot be demonstrated, 
but it seems more probable than the suggestion that the passage 
had originally anything to do with the claims of Rome.^ 
The Church The identification of the Church ^ with the Kingdom of 
Kingdom Hcavcn is unmistakable in Matt. xvi. 19, because the keys of 
of God. ^-^^ Kingdom are represented as effective both in heaven and on 
earth. The same usage can also be found elsewhere in Matthew, 
especially in the parables, some of which are unintelligible, unless 
the Kingdom of Heaven means the Christian Church. This is, 
for instance, clearly true of the parable of the drag-net,^ which 
reflects the problem of the existence of evil in the Church, and 
equally plainly in the reference to the scribes who become disciples 
of the Kingdom of Heaven. * Different minds will have different 
interpretations of Matthew, but few will doubt that some of the 
" parables of the Kingdom " can only refer to the Church, and 

* For the study of Acts part of the importance of this tentative identification 
of the Matthaean tradition with Antioch hes in the presumption created against 
the otherwise probable Antiochene provenance of the editor of Acts. 

2 The only other reference to the Church as the iKKXrjaia is Matt, xviii. 17. 
This passage may be either late or early. It is not found in the other gospels, 
but the advice to lay a quarrel before the community has in itself no sign of 
date. The same advice might have been given by any Rabbi. 

3 Matt. xiii. 47 ff. * Matt. xiii. o2. 


some will go so far as to suspect that the Greek editor of Matthew 
habitually interpreted the phrase in this way. 

That this interpretation is Matthaean, not primitive, can Kingdom 
scarcely be doubted ; there is, however, one passage in Q where j^ q 
it is legitimate to suspect its influence.^ In the answer of Jesus 
to the disciples of John, Jesus says, " Verily I say to you, among 
them born of women. there hath arisen none greater than John 
the Baptist, but he who is least ^ in the Kingdom of Heaven is 
greater than he." In no Jewish sense of the word could John 
be regarded as outside the Kingdom, which is meaningless here 
except in the sense of the Christian Church. It is strange to find 
this passage, like the more famous one in Matt. xi. about the 
Father and the Son, in all reconstructions of Q. But these 
reconstructions are in the main merely mechanical compilations 
of material common to Matthew and Luke, which may have used 
in common late as well as early sources. It is noticeable that in 
both cases the verbal agreement is very close, so that the source 
used was Greek. Paradoxical though it seems, the parts of Q 
which have the best claim to authority are those where the agree- 
ment between Matthew and Luke is not verbal, for in these there 
is probably Aramaic tradition behind the Greek. 

It is therefore tolerably certain that some Christians, possibly 
in Antioch, thought of the Kingdom of God as the Church. 
Possibly the redactor of Matthew interpreted in this manner all 
references to the Kingdom in his sources, and believed that when 
Jesus said " the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand " he meant the 
Christian Church ; but there is no evidence that the Lukan 
writings represent this view. The writer of Acts was as high a 
churchman as Matthew, but in a different sense, and Matthew 
and Acts represent parallel independent developments of 

A little later great and sometimes controversial interest Theory of 

the Churcli 

» Matt. xi. 7 II. ; Luke vii. 24 IT. 

^ As in modern Greek the comparativo fiiKpdrepoi has hero a superlative 


attached to the rites of the Church, and to the ministers of its 
organised life. There is, however, no trace of this stage in Acts.^ 
The ministry is mentioned in several places, and the termino- 
logy of eiria-KO'iroL, irpea^vrepoL, and SiaKovoi is fomid. But there 
is nothing to show whether these officers were held to have had 
more than administrative functions, and eiriaKoiroi and irpea- 
^vrepoi seem to be synonymous. The Church is the commmiity 
of Christians, but its authority comes from the Spirit of which 
it is the instrument. The Eucharist is possibly mentioned in 
Acts as the ' breaking of bread,' but this is not quite certain, and 
nothing is said of its meaning or of its part in Christian life. 

In general, therefore, it may be said that in Acts the Church 
is assumed to be the society of those who through the Lord 
Jesus have received the Holy Spirit. This is in all essentials 
the Catholic position. But its causes, not its consequences, are 
emphasised in Acts, which therefore throws no important light 
on the ministry of the Church or on the Eucharist, but much on 
the beginnings of Baptism and of Christology — or, in other words, 
on the mystery of initiation into the number of its inspired 
members, and on the doctrine concerning the founder of the 

Baptism. In Christian literature the words baptism and baptize are 

used almost exclusively for the rite of Christian initiation, which 
appears in sub-apostolic Kterature as the universally recognised 
' Mystery ' or ' Sacrament ' whereby the initiated died with 
Christ and were born again to a new, eternal life. 
History of The history of the word itself is stranger than is generally 

Bair'^^L. recognised : neither the verb nor the substantive was commonly 
used in Greek either among Jews or Gentiles in connection with 
religion or religious washing, and their sudden appearance in 
Christian vocabulary is one of the strangest " spring-variations " 
in linguistic evolution. 

^ That is to saj' excluding Baptism, which was the rite of initiation into the 
Church, not one jjractised by initiated members among themselves. 


The meaning of ^aTrrl^co is to ' dip ' or ' sink,' and it is 
used both literally and metaphorically. For instance, Polybius 
in Hist. i. 51. 6, describing the sea battle between Publius and 
Adherbal, explains the successful tactics of the Carthaginians by 
which TToWa aKa^oiv ej^cnrrL^ov, and in xvi. 6. 2 he speaks of a 
pentereme of Attalus which was TerpcofievTjv koX ^aTrri^ofiivrjv. 
Plato uses the word metaphorically of indulgence in wine in 
Symposium IV. when Aristophanes says to Pausanias, " tovto 
fxevTOL €v \e'yei<;, d> llavcravla, to iravrl rpotrw vapaaKevd^eaOai 
paarcovqv rtva rrj<t '7r6ae(o<; • koI 'yap avro<i elpn, roiv %^€9 
^e^airTia/jievwv." Josephus also used the word in exactly the 
same way in Antiq. x. 9. 4 of the murder of Gedaliah ^ by Ishmael 
— Oeaadfiei'o^ h avrov o{jt(o<; e-^ovra koI ^e^aTnicr jxevov el<; 
dvaicrdrjaLav Kal virvov vtto t?}9 fi€Or]<; o ^la/j,drj\o<; . . . 
d7roa(f)dTT€t rov VahdXiav kt\. 

In the Euihydemus Plato uses it of mental confusion, ypov<; 
/3a7rTit6/xevov to /xetpdKcov " when the youth felt that he was 
getting out of his depth." Similarly Plutarch uses it of debt — 
exactly anticipating the use of " dipped " in modern slang — 
and summarises Galba's objection to Otho as uKokaarov el8cb<; 
Kal TToXureA,?} Kal irevTaKia'^LkLcov /iivpidBcov 6(f)\7]fj,aat ^e^air- 
Tiafievov. It is also used in Plutarch in the same way in 
which ^diTTw is used of " dipping " wine out of a bowl. There 
is apparently no instance of its use as a technical term for 
religious washing. 

In the Septuagint the verb ^airrii^w is used four times. In 
Isaiah xxi. 4 i) dvofxla jxe /SaTrrl^ei, does not translate the Hebrew, 
but seems to mean " wickedness overwhelms me," and the word 
is used in the same metaphorical manner as in Plato and Polybius. 
In 2 Kings v. 14 it is used of Naaman, who dipped — e^aTniaaro 
— seven times in Jordan. The other two passages are both in 
late books, and m each case the meaning is washing to remove 
ritual uncleanness — for which ^dirrw is more usual in the earlier 
books. In Judith xii. 7 it is used of Judith's daily or nightly 

1 Cf. Jer. xli. 2. 


visit to the stream to wash before prayer — kuI i^eiropevero 
Kara vvKra el<i rrjv (fidpayya BairvXovd, Koi e^aini^ero ev rrj 
TrapefjLJSoXTJ eVl t?}? iriryi]^ rov v8aTo<;, and in Ecclus. xxxi. 35 
it refers to the removal of the ceremonial defilement incurred 
by touching a corpse — ^aTm^ofievo'i utto veKpov kuI ttuXlv 
d7rr6fA,evo<; avTou rl axf^eXrjaev tw XovrpS avrov ; 

It is therefore probable that, though the word was not common, 
it was coming into use in Greek-speaking Jewish circles to mean 
ceremonial or religious washing, for which \ovea6ac (or occasion- 
ally (BdirreLv) is regularly used in the LXX. This probably 
explains why John the Forerunner is called o ^airTlarrj^; in 
Josephus as well as in Christian tradition ; otherwise it is 
strange that so comparatively rare a word should be used 
independently by both. 
Jewish and The practice and theory of baptism, as distinct from the word 
parallels to ^scd to describc it, has abundant but partial parallels in Jewish 
Baptism. ^^^^ Gentile sources. But the two do not cover the same aspects, 
and in the essentials of thought Christian baptism, though the 
direct descendant of Jewish practice, is far more Greek, or Greco- 
Oriental, than Jewish. The Jews had always practised washing 
as a means of removing ritual impurity, and, at least among the 
Essenes, it was regarded as a commendable form of asceticism. 
It may be doubted whether John the Baptist intended his 
baptism as a remedy for sin, or as a form of asceticism, for the 
synoptists and Josephus differ ; but in any case he gave a new 
impetus to the practice, which in some way affected Jewish 
thought and, directly or indirectly, the custom of Christians. 

But neither Jewish practice nor John's baptism explains the 
later theory of the Christian sacrament. This, m all essential 
respects, is wholly un-Jewish, and has many Gentile parallels. 
It is impossible, indeed, to find anything exactly the same as the 
Christian rite, partly, perhaps, because our knowledge of the 
details of initiatory rites in Greco-Oriental cults is very limited ; 
and we cannot prove that in any of them the formula " in the 
name of " was used. But in all the Greco-Oriental cults there 


was, or may reasonably be supposed to have been, an exact 
similarity to the central concept of baptism — the mystical death 
and rebirth to eternal life through the Passion and Resurrection 
of the Lord.^ 

There is little doubt as to the sacramental nature of baptism 
by the middle of the first century in the circles represented by 
the Pauline Epistles, and it is indisputable in the second 
century. The problem is whether it can in this form be traced 
back to Jesus, and if not what light is thrown upon its history by 
the analysis of the synoptic Gospels and Acts. 

According to Catholic teaching, baptism was instituted by 
Jesus. It is easy to see how necessary this was for the belief 
in sacramental regeneration. Mysteries, or sacraments, were 
always the institution of the Lord of the cult ; by them, and by 
them only, were its supernatural benefits obtained by the faithful. 
Nevertheless, if evidence counts for anything, few points in the 
problem of the Gospels are so clear as the improbability of this 

The reason for this assertion is the absence of any mention of Matt. 
Christian baptism in Mark, Q, or the third gospel, and the sus- 
picious nature of the account of its institution in Matthew xxviii. 
19 : " Go ye into all the world, and make disciples of all the 
Gentiles {ra eOvq), baptizing them in the name of the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit." It is not even certain whether this 
verse ought to be regarded as part of the genuine text of Matthew. 
No other text, indeed, is found in any extant manuscripts, in any 
language, but it is arguable that Justin Martyr,^ though he used 
the trine formula, did not find it in his text of the Gospels ; 

^ The formula renaius in aeternuni in iiiscriiitions refers to the Taurobolium, 
but too much stress must not be put on this, for the evidence is unfortunately 
late. The inscription usually quoted is C.I.L. vi. 510 : Matei deum et Atlidi 
Sexlilius Aegesilaus Aedesius . . . -pater palrum Dei Solis invicli Mitkrae . . 
taurobolio criobolioque in aeternum renatus. . . . This can be dated in a.d. 37G. 
There are also at least three inscriptions (C.I.L. vi. 502 of a.d. 383 ; 504 of 
A.D. 376 ; and 512 of a.d. 390) which refer to the repetition of the taurobolium, 
and show that twenty years was sometimes regarded as the period of its efficacy. 

- Justin, Apol. 61. 


Hermas seems to be unacquainted with it ; the evidence of the 
Didache is ambiguous ; ^ and Eusebius habitually, though not 
invariably, quotes it in another form, " Go ye into all the world 
and make disciples of all the Gentiles in my name." No one 
acquainted with the facts of textual history and patristic evidence 
can doubt that the tendency would have been to replace the 
Eusebian text by the ecclesiastical formula of baptism, so that 
" transcriptional evidence " is certainly on the side of the text 
omitting baptism. The only doubt which must inevitably 
remain is whether "transcriptional probability" can outweigh 
the " intrinsic probability " supplied by the consensus of all 
existing manuscripts. But it is unnecessary to discuss this 
point at length,^ because even if the ordinary text of Matthew 
xxviii. 19 be sound it cannot represent historical fact. If Jesus' 
last words had been to order his followers to make disciples of all 
the Gentiles, would there conceivably have been so much trouble 
before the Apostles came to recognise the propriety of doing so ? 
Would they have settled the point by an appeal to the story of 
Cornelius rather than to their experience on the mountain of 
GaUlee ? Would they have needed to hear the arguments of 
Paul and Barnabas before they paid attention to the commission 
of Jesus ? Would the work of converting the Gentiles, which 
Jesus had given to Peter and the Twelve, have been entrusted 
to Paul, who had not been present on the Mountain, while Peter 
confined himself to preaching to the Jews, as Paul tells the 

1 In the actual description of baptism in the Didache the trine formula is 
used ; in the instructions for the Eucharist the condition for admission is 
baptism in the name of the Lord. It is obvious that in the case of an eleventh- 
century manuscript the trine formula was almost certain to be inserted in the 
description of baptism, while the less usual formula had a chance of escaping 
notice when it was only used incidentally. 

* The two most important contributions to the study of this question are 
by F. 0. Conybeare, " The Eusebian Form of the Text Matt, xxviii. 19," in 
the Z.N.W., 1901, and Edouard Riggenbach, " Der trinitarische Taufbefehl 
Matt, xxviii. 19," in the Beitrdge zur Forderung christlichen Theologie, No. 1, 1903. 
The main points of the first can also be found in F. C. Conybeare, " Early 
Doctrinal Modifications of the Text of the Gospels," in the Hibbert Journal, 
Oct. 1902, and of the second in F. H. Chase, " The Lord's Command to Baptize," 
in the Journal of Theological Studies, July 1905. 


Galatiaiis ? Would they have baptized, as Acts says that they 
did, and Paul seems to confirm the statement, in the name of the 
Lord Jesus — which is open to the gravest ecclesiastical suspicion, 
if not wholly invalid ^ — if the Lord himself had commanded 
them to use the formula of the Church ? On every point the 
evidence of Acts is convincing proof that the tradition embodied 
in Matthew xxviii. 19 is late and unhistorical. 

Neither in the third gospel nor in Acts is there any reference Baptism 

T • • (•!••■ assumed to 

to the Matthaean tradition, nor any mention of the institution be part of 
of Christian baptism. In the gospel the final commission of pj-a^ice? 
Jesus to the disciples is to wait in Jerusalem until they were 
endued with power from on high ; and in the opening verses of 
Acts, where the same tradition seems to be repeated, it is ex- 
plained that this means the fulfilment of the prophecy by John 
the Baptist of baptism in Holy Spirit instead of in water. Never- 
theless, a little later in the narrative we find several references 
to baptism in water in the name of the Lord Jesus as part of 
recognised Christian practice. Thus we are faced by the problem 
of a Christian rite, not directly ascribed to Jesus, but assumed 
to be a universal practice. That it was so is confirmed by the 
Epistles, but the facts of importance are all contained in Acts. 
The question therefore is whether historical criticism applied 
to Acts can throw any light on the origin and development of 
Christian baptism. Does it appear to be so primitive as the 
editor of Acts suggests ? Or are some of the references his 
redactorial work ? 

Three different points of view can be discerned in Acts : (1) Baptism in 
Baptism in Holy Spirit was given to Christians instead of the 
baptism of John in water. (2) Baptism in water conferred the 
gift of the Spirit, but only if administered in the name of the Lord 

^ In the Catholic Church only baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit is both valid and regular. But baptism in the name of the Lord 
Jesus, though irregular, is not certainly invalid ; if the intention of the bap- 
tizer was orthodox the ceremony is valid ; but if he intended by this formula 
to deny the other persons of the Trinity, it is invahd. The Church of England, 
according to the Catechism, seems to regard the trine formula as the only one 
which is valid. 



Jesus. (3) Baptism in water, even in the name of the Lord 
Jesus, did not confer the Spirit, which was given only by the laying 
on of hands by the apostles. The examination of these three 
points offers the most probable method of solving the problem. 
In the second part of Acts in the account of Paul's visit to 
Ephesus,^ there is a clear statement that baptism properly ad- 
ministered, that is to say, in the name of the Lord Jesus, confers 
the Holy Spirit. According to this narrative Paul found in 
Ephesus Christians who had not received the Spirit ; he was 
surprised at this and suggested that it was because of some defect 
in their baptism. Enquiry showed that they had only received 
the baptism of John. Paul then explained what was necessary ; 
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and received 
the Spirit when Paul laid his hands on them. It is clear that in 
this passage the laying on of hands by Paul is merely regarded 
as part of the ceremony of baptism,^ and the meaning of the 
whole passage is clear : persons properly baptized receive the 
Holy Spirit, and proper baptism is baptism in the name of the 
Lord Jesus. The contrast with John's baptism is not between 
baptism in water and baptism in the Spirit, but between two 
baptisms in water of which one conveyed and the other did not 
convey the Spirit, because of the use or the neglect of the formula 
" in the name of the Lord Jesus." 

The same view of baptism is apparently found in Acts ix. 
17 f. Ananias says to Paul, " Brother Saul, the Lord has sent 
me, even Jesus . . . that thou mayest receive thy sight, and 
be filled with the Holy Spirit," whereupon " there fell from his 
eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight, and he arose and 
was baptized." The fulfilment of the ottw? ava^\e-^r)<i is obvious, 
and the implication that baptism was the fulfilment of the 
TrXrjadfj'; irvevfxaro'i a<yiov is equally clear. 

Sharply opposed to this view of baptism is that presented 

^ Acts xix. 1-7. 

* It is of course possible that it is due to a redactor ; if so his point of view 
was not quite the same as that of the redactor of the second chapter. 


in Acts i. 4-ii. 4. According to this the gift of the Spirit is the 
Christian baptism foretold by John the Baptist, and the Spirit 
in the one takes the place of the water in the other. " John 
baptized in water " says Jesus to the apostles, " but ye shall be 
baptized in Holy Spirit, after not many days." The gift of the 
Spirit on the day of Pentecost is obviously intended to be the 
fulfilment of this promise. 

Agreeing with neither extreme is a view presented in Acts 
viii. 8-19. According to this Philip baptized the Samaritans in 
the name of the Lord Jesus, but this did not confer the gift of 
the Spirit, which was given only when Peter and John came down 
to Samaria and " laid hands " on the converts. 

Few things can be more certain than that the editor of Acts 
is likely to have put his own point of view with regard to baptism 
into his sources, and the only way in which the sources and the 
editor can be distinguished is the comparison of the texts referring 
to baptism with their context. Editors can interpolate or omit 
in the interest of their own opinions, but it is very difficult for 
them to prevent the context from betraying their procedure. 
Critics have sometimes exaggerated this truth, and cut documents 
into small pieces by the application of a logic which would destroy 
the unity of a monolith, but in spite of this abuse the appeal 
from the text to the context remains the most valuable tool at 
the disposal of an historical critic. 

The application of this method to Acts shows that the editor view of 
was not in sympathy with the point of view of Acts i. 4. He Acta. 
held that baptism had been a Christian practice from the begin- 
ning, and he edited at least one of his sources in the interests of 
this opinion. According to Acts ii. 14 ff. Peter made a speech 
immediately after Pentecost to the crowd who had been impressed 
by the gift of tongues. At the end of his speech he said to the 
crowd, " Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of 
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift 
of the Holy Spirit." The obvious meaning is— just as in Acts xix. 
1 -7— that the gift of the Spirit is conditional on baptism ; but 


this sudden introduction of baptism seems quite inconsistent with 
what was stated : the disciples had received the Spirit without 
having been baptized for that purpose, and the words of Jesus 
in Acts i. 4 imply a baptism in Spirit as a substitute for baptism 
in water, not as a consequence of it.^ The redactor, however, 
like all his contemporaries in the Gentile Church, regarded 
baptism in the name of Jesus as necessary for admission to the 
Christian society and its benefits, of which the gift of the Spirit 
was one of the chief ; it is therefore not strange if he introduced 
the references to baptism in Acts ii. 38 and 41. That these are 
redactorial and do not belong to the source is perhaps confirmed 
by the use of Jesus Christ as a double proper name. It is there- 
fore probable that the " Jerusalem Source B," to which this 
speech belongs, said as little about baptism in the name of Jesus 
as did the parallel speech from " Jerusalem Source A " in Acts 
iii., which the redactor omitted to change. 
Baptism of Another passage in which the mention of baptism may be 
legitimately suspected as a redactional interpolation is in the 
story of Cornelius. There are two versions of this story, one in 
the direct narrative in Acts x., the other in Peter's accomit of it 
in Acts xi. According to the former the Spirit descended on 
Cornelius ; and the Jewish Christians who were present with 
Peter, though surprised that the " gift of the Spirit had been 
poured out on the Gentiles also," raised no objection to the 
baptism of Cornelius by Peter. The story is not wholly logical, 
for why should Cornelius have been baptized when he had already 
received the Spirit ? Still, men are not always logical, and 
Peter may have been actuated by motives of ecclesiastical 
propriety. But the parallel narrative, Peter's report of the 

^ It is interesting to note that according to Euthymius Zigabenus the 
Bogomils had been struck by this contrast : to fjLiv Trap' ijnlv ^dtrTia/j.a tov 
'loodvifov XiyovffLi', us Sl' vduTos eTrtreXoi'/xevoj', to 8e Trap' avroh tov 'KpiaToO 
Sia TTveiifxaTos, w5 8oKei avrols TeXovfievov. dib Kat tov trpocepxofievov avTo1% 
dvapaiTTi^ovcn, irpwTO. fifv dcpopi^ovres avrip KULpov els e^o/j.o\6yr](nv Kal dyvtiav Kal 
ffvvTovov TrpoaevxV" ' *f'''<* '''V KecpaX^ avrov to KaTO, 'Iwdvvrjy evayyiXiov iTriTidevTfs, 
Kal t6 Trap' airrols Hyiov Trvevixa eTnKa\ovfj.evoi Kai to ndrep 7)ij.u>v iirq.dovTes . . . 
(Euthym. Zig. Panopl. xxvii. 16). 



incident to the Church in Jerusalem, suggests a different possi- 
bility. When Peter returned to Jerusalem the Jewish Christians 
remonstrated with him for his eating with uncircumcised men. 
One would have supposed that it was even worse to admit such 
into the Church, and, indeed, that this was part of the Jewish 
contention is made clear by Acts xv. and by Galatians, but 
nothing is said about it in this narrative. Moreover, when Peter 
defends himself he does so by relating that the Gentiles had been 
given the Spirit, comparing it to the inauguration of the Jewish 
Christian community by the same gift of the Spirit at Pentecost, 
and — most remarkable of all — by referring to the words of 
Jesus in Acts i. 5 : " John baptized in water, but you shall be 
baptized in Holy Spirit." What would have been the point of 
this quotation if the true end of the story had been, " So I baptized 
Cornelius in water " ? 

Thus there is considerable reason for thinking that in the Christian 
" Peter " narratives of Pentecost and of Cornelius the sources jn^ater 
used in Acts had nothing about baptism in water. But it was possibly 

o L due to the 

found in the sources used in the second part of Acts, and the Seven. 
redactor, regarding it as a primitive custom connected with the 
gift of the Spirit, adapted the earlier narratives to agree with 
the later ones. This confirms the impression derived from Mark 
that Christian baptism does not go back to the time of Jesus 
or of his immediate disciples ; but it throws no exact light on 
the date of its introduction. Possibly the key to the problem 
can be found in the narrative of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch 
and of the first preaching in Samaria. Baptism in these narra- 
tives is not connected wdth the gift of the Spirit, and in the second 
of the two is clearly distinguished from it. The Spirit is given 
only by the laying on of the apostles' hands. There is no trace 
whatever that baptism is here due to the redactor, and the 
suggestion made by the narrative is that the Seven rather 
than the Twelve were the first to practise baptism in the 
name of the Lord Jesus. 

This would correspond admirably with the probability that 


the Seven represent Hellenistic Jews who had been influenced 
by the Diaspora. Though there is no probability that baptism 
without circumcision was ever adopted by Palestinian Jews as 
sufficient for the initiation of proselytes,' there is some evidence 
that baptism, or washing with a religious significance, was empha- 
sised in the Diaspora. It may have been sometimes regarded 
as sufficient to admit a Gentile as a proselyte, or at least, if 
followed by a virtuous life, to secure his salvation in the Age to 
come,2 though there was, of course, no suggestion that such 
" baptism " conferred immortality or gave the Holy Spirit. 

If, therefore, Jews from the Hellenistic Diaspora, such as the 
Seven probably were, attempted to preach to a heathen popula- 
tion like that of Samaria,^ they would very probably have bap- 
tized their converts, and might have used the formula " in the 
name of Jesus the Christ," or "in the name of the Lord Jesus," 
to indicate that their converts were not merely proselytes to 
Judaism, but to that special sect which recognised the claims of 

It is possible that they may have ascribed no significance to 
this baptism beyond that given to proselytes ; or they may — 
following the example of John — have regarded it as removing 
sin. The question of sin, as distinct from ritual or legal offences, 
and akin to disease, was greatly in the mind of that generation, 
and its cure was naturally associated with magic. There were 
few more popular methods of magic than the use of potent names, 
and from the beginning the name of Jesus was used as a magical 
formula to work cures. This is illustrated by the story of the 
man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and it is difiicult to 
find any other meaning in the statement in Acts viii. 12 that 

* See above, pp. 164 ff. 

' This seems to be the position of Oracula Sibyllina, iv. 162-192. The 
heathen in this passage are called on to repent and be baptized [iv TroTa,uoU 
Xovaacrde 6\ov d^/jiap devdoiaiv), and are assured of resurrection and hfe in 
the Age to come after the judgment of God and the destruction of the present 

* The " Samaritans " were only a small proportion of the population. The 
majority of the dwellers in Sebaste and the neighbourhood were heathen. 


Philip preached " coiicerniug the Kingdom of God, and the 
name of Jesus Christ." Jewish traditions are full of stories 
which centre in the use of magical formulae, and in some of these 
the name of Jesus is actually mentioned as efficacious but for- 
bidden.^ Thus the formula ' in the name of Jesus ' may be 
connected with the forgiveness of sin, and be quite as well Jewish 
as Gentile ; the characteristically Gentile feature in the Catholic 
doctrine of baptism is the assurance of sacramental regeneration. 
There is no sign that this was promised by Philip, and it is clear 
that he did not regard it as conferritig the gift of the Spirit, 

Nevertheless, once this practice had been established by those 
who were preaching to the Gentiles it was sure to be continued 
by other evangelists, and suggested to the Greek world the 
obvious parallel to ' Mysteries ' with which it was familiar. 
The gift of the Spirit, the sacramental repetition of the death of 
Christ, the new birth to eternal life are Greek interpretations 
inevitable under the circumstances. 

The relation of this history to the baptism of John is obscure. Baptism 
Probably there was no direct connection between the baptism "^'^o''^- 
of John and Christian baptism, which came in naturally as soon 
as Gentiles began to be converted. But it is also probable that 
many of the disciples of John were themselves converted to 
Christianity, and that they brought with them their own bap- 
tismal custom. The disciples whom Paul found at Ephesus, and 
probably also Apollos — though this seems less certain — must 
have belonged to this class. But the narrative of Acts shows 
clearly that this ' Johannine ' body of Christians * were soon 
absorbed by the main stream of Gentile Christianity. 

It is thus tolerably probable that the history of baptism 
brings us to the edge of that world of CathoUc thought 
and practice which was destined to be the surviving form of 

^ See G. F. Moore, " The Definition of the Jewish Canon, etc.," in Essays in 
Modern Theology ... a Testimonial to C. A. Briggs, New York, 1911. 

* It is a curious coincidence — it can be nothing more — that they appear 
in Ephesus, which seems to be obsessed by the name of John — ^John the Baptist, 
John the son of Zebedee, and John the Presbyter. 


Christianity. But it does not do more : there is no elaboration 
in Acts of sacramental doctrine. In the history of ideas Acts is 
less advanced than the Pauline epistles. Is that because the 
writer belonged to a more primitive stage, or because he was 
really trying to reproduce earlier facts ? If he belonged to the 
generation which succeeded Paul, or even was contemporary 
with him, the strange thing is not that he has changed his sources, 
but that he has changed them so little. 



With the establishment of the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem a Beginniags 
new element in the history of Christian thought began. Hence- toiogy. 
forward, though the message of Jesus remained, and the disciples 
endeavoured to follow the way of life which he had pointed out, 
they added to this their own message concerning him. Thus 
the period of Christology began. The vivid recollection of the 
vision of the risen Master always stood as the guarantee of their 
faith. As time went on, and events which probably none had 
foreseen drove them out into the Gentile world, the form in which 
their faith in Jesus was expressed began to change ; Greek 
phraseology took the place of Jewish, and brought with it its 
own different connotation. Moreover, as Christians began to 
feel themselves separated from the Synagogue, and their ranks 
were recruited from those who had never belonged to it, they 
began inevitably to connect their Christology with their own 
corporate life. The community of believers became the Christian 
Church. It is true that they claimed for themselves the heritage 
of the promises made by God to his chosen people, but even 
more strongly did they feel that they were a new society, of 
which the head was the living Lord, Jesus Christ. To him 
and to that society they belonged, not merely, or even chiefly, 
by their own choice, but by his grace, for in his name they had 
been baptized, through him they had received the Holy Spirit, 
and by him they were saved. 

The contribution to thought of this period is therefore the 



laying down of the broad outlines of Christology ; but without 
further explanation this word is somewhat misleading. Etymo- 
logically it ought to mean the doctrine of the Messiah. But it 
cannot be thus defined ; for all practical purposes Christology 
now means primarily the doctrine held concerning Jesus, and 
its study divides itself somewhat sharply into two parts. 

There is in the first place the development of doctrine by 
Christian writers from the second to the fifth century. This is 
a complicated and difficult subject, but it deals exclusively with 
Christian writings, and there is no lack of material. It assumes 
a certain foundation of doctrine — the identification of Jesus 
with the Logos, and the fulfilment by him of all the predictions 
of the Old Testament. In the second place, there is the inquiry 
into the history of these foundations. It is only with this subject 
that we are now concerned. The difficulty is that we have 
hardly any really contemporary evidence. The facts cannot 
be seen at all without a considerable amount of analytic criticism 
of sources ; for almost all the documents exist at present only 
in the form of redactions made at later periods, and under the 
influence of later forms of thought. 

The investigation has found its foci in the technical terms 
used in the earliest documents, which describe Jesus as Messiah, 
Son of Man, Son of God, the Servant, the Prophet Hke unto 
Moses, and the Lord. These phrases are so well known that 
it is sometimes forgotten that they are technical, that each of 
them represents some factor in the evolution of early Christian 
thought, and that an accurate knowledge of the problems can 
only be obtained by taking each term separately and considering 
its history. The following paragraphs will therefore deal with 
each of them in turn. 

Meaning of Xhc Verbal adjective ^/Jtcrro? ^ is in the Greek Old Testament 
the usual translation of the corresponding Hebrew verbal rT'tDO, 

^ The paragraphs dealing with this subject (pp. 246 to 262) are contributed 
by Prof. G. F. Moore. 


as an appellative, literally, a person smeared with oil or an 
unguent, ' anointed,' or as an adjective in the same sense. 

In classical Greek the adjective ^^to-ro? is rare and poetical, 
and is used only of a remedy which is smeared or rubbed on the 
body of the patient {aXi^rjfjia, (fxip/MaKov ■)(ptaT6v). It is doubt- 
ful whether such an expression as 6 ■^pcaro'; would have conveyed 
any meaning at all to a Greek, the less because the custom of 
anointing kings or priests was unknown. To his ear it would 
suggest only 6 '^p7]aT6<i. It was inevitable therefore that this 
unintelligible epithet should coalesce with the proper name, 
Irjaovfy 6 ypLCTTO'i becoming 'It^ctoO"? \ptaTo<i or Xptcrro? Irjcrov'i. 

To Jews, familiar with their Bible, rftDD and 'x^pt(TT6<; were 
transparent words, whether in their literal or figurative senses, 
signifying anointed, consecrated, designated by divine appoint- 
ment to an office or mission, invested with a certain rank and 
dignity, and were not confined by meaning or usage to any 
one person or office. The habit of representing these terms by 
" the Messiah," used as a proper name or appropriated title, is 
one of the chief causes of confusion and error in modern dis- 
quisitions on the " messianic " ideas and expectations of the 
Jews ; for " Messiah " is to us a meaningless transliteration 
with mixed Jewish and Christian connotations. 

In the Old Testament anointing appears as a ceremony of Anointing 
king-making. Most often it is the people who make the king tiie oid 
and anoint him. Thus David was anointed first by the men of Testament. 
Judah, later by the elders of Israel ; ^ Joash and Jehoahaz ^ are 
also mentioned as having been anointed to be kings. Hosea 
speaks of the Israelites' anointing kings and princes.^ Jotham's 
fable of the trees who went about to anoint a king over them * 
implies the same custom. Saul and David were designated as 
kings by anointing at the hands of Samuel,^ but actually made 

1 2 Sam. ii. 4, v. 3. » 2 Kings xi. 12, xxiii. 30. 

' Hosea vii. 3, viii. 10. So LXX. in viii. 10 (cf. viii. 4), reading nraa for 
NfDD. The same emendation (incD') is necessary in vii. 3, as is generally 

« Judges ix. 8, 15. ^ 1 Sam. ix. 16, x. 1, xvi. 12. 


kings later by the act of the people.^ To forestall Adonijah's 
plans Solomon was anointed by the priest Zadok under David's 
orders, and thereupon acclaimed king.^ Jehu was anointed to 
be king of Israel by an emissary of Elisha, who instigated him 
to murder his master and seize the kingdom.^ 

Probably the pouring of oil on the head of the king was 
originally an act of religious veneration ; * in historical times it 
was regarded from the religious point of view as a consecration, 
or, without reflection on its significance, as a part of the ceremonial 
of king-making. The religious association is permanently im- 
pressed on the language. The king is " the anointed of Jehovah," 
or more exactly " the Jehovah-anointed " ; and when used of 
the king the word mashVi is always defined thus or by a pronoun 
referring to God (" my, thy, his, anointed one "). This relation 
to Jehovah makes the person of the king inviolable,^ as he is 
under the protection of God. But in pre-Christian writings 
" the anointed," or " the anointed king " is not fomid. 

In the historical books the phrase " the anointed of Jehovah " 
or its equivalent is used only of Saul and David, except in the 
prophetic passage where it refers to Solomon and his successors 
on the throne of Judah.^ In the prophets the term is used 
neither of actual kings nor of the good king whom they foretell 
for the better time to come, and there is no allusion in them to 
the rite of anointing.' In the single place where the word is 
found ® it is of Cyrus : " Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, 
Cyrus " (LXX. tc5 •^piarw ^ov Kupo)).^ 

1 1 Sam. xi. 15 ; 2 Sam. ii. 4, v. 3. ^ \ Kings i. 39 ; cf. 34. 

^ 2 Kings ix. 1-15 ; see also x. 5. 

* Cf. Gen. xxviii. 18, xxxi. 13. 

5 1 Sam. xxiv. 7, 11 ; xxvi. 9, 11, 16, 23; cf. Ps. cv. 15. 

6 1 Sam. ii. 35; cf. 1 Kings ii. 26 f., 35. The poems, 1 Sam. ii. 1-10 (Song 
of Hannah) and 2 Sam. xxii. (Ps. xviii.), pieces of comparatively late psalm 
composition, will be considered below with the Psalms, as will also Hab. iii. 

^ On Zech. iv. 14 and Dan. ix. 25 f. see below, p. 350 ff. 

* Isa. xlv. 1. 

* Cf. Is. xliv. 28, " My intimate " (pronounce re'l, as also in Zech. xiii. 7. 
It is the title of a minister who stands close to the king. ) If in xlv. 1 the name 
of Cyrus is a gloss, it is an old one. 


In Exodus xxix. in the ritual for the consecration of Aaron and Anointing 
his successors as high priests, after the ceremony of robing, it priest. '^ 
is directed that the anointing oil be poured upon his head ; ^ and 
in Exodus xxx. 22 ff . a formula is given for a chrism compounded 
of balsams, fragrant gums, and oil, which is to be reserved ex- 
clusively for liturgical use. The high priest is consequently 
called jT'tDDn irrDn, " the anointed priest," m distinction from 
the body of the priesthood.^ There is no mention of such a 
rite in pre-exilic times,^ and inasmuch as the History of the 
Sacred Institutions to which Exodus xxix. belongs is a work of the 
Persian period, it is not improbable that the author appropriated 
the ancient royal consecration for the high priest, the head of the 
nation in a kingless time,* as pieces of royal apparel are appro- 
priated for his vestments. It cannot be without significance 
that in the ritual of the Day of Atonement he does not appear 
in this magnificence, but is attired in ordinary priestly garb.^ 

Whether in practice the high priests of the later Persian and No trace of 
Greek times were actually anointed is uncertain. That it was not ^"jater"^ 
the custom in the Herodian temple is certain ; the form of in- ^'g^ 


stallation was robing with the four pieces of vestment which 
were peculiar to the high priest, besides the four which he wore 
in common with all ministering priests ; and according to the 
rabbis the chrism was secreted by Josiah, which is equivalent 
to sayiiig that so far as they k)iew no high priest had been anomted 
since the restoration.^ But though the rite had fallen into 
desuetude, the word n"'tDD, in the figurative meaning " con- Though 

,, lit s» • 1 • /^ CI Me88iali = 

secrated, or merely great, contmued m use. One of the anointed 
letters translated at the beginning of 2 Maccabees is addressed ^*^tiUe. 

^ See also Lev. viii. 12. 

2 Lev. iv. 3, 5, 16 ; vi. 15. Both chapters are late novels to the law. 
' 1 Chron. xxix. 22 probably means to say that Zadok was anointed ; but 
the authors source, 1 Kings ii. 35 (of. v. 27), contains nothing of the kind. 

* So also the coronation of Zerubbabel has been transformed into a corona- 
tion of Joshua the high priest in Zech. vi. 11, in crying conflict with vs. 12. 

* Lev. xvi. 4 ; cf. 24. 

* The chrism was one of the things Elijah was to bring with him when ho 
came ; with it he would anoint the Messiah. 


to an Alexandrian Jew, Aristobulus (the philosopher), teacher 
of king Ptolemy, ovrc airo rov twv '^pucnSiv lepeoov jevov'i, 
i.e. of the high-priestly family. In the Mishnah, codified from 
existing materials toward the end of the second centm?y a.d., 
" anointed priest " (IT'IOD ]rTD) is the designation of a high priest, 
whether actually in office, or one who had been removed from 
office, as often happened under Herod and the procurators. 
Frequently " the anointed " (iT't^orr) is used in the same meaning, 
" priest " being understood from the context ; and except in the 
single phrase " the days of the Messiah " (in contrast to the 
present) " the anointed " is always the high priest.^ 

Two passages in the Old Testament, one in Zechariah and the 
other in Daniel, demand fuller consideration. 

In Zech. iv. 14, " The two sons of (fresh olive) oil,^ who 
stand close by the Lord of the whole earth," is commonly 
interpreted, " the two anointed ones," namely, Zerubbabel and 
Joshua. The ancient versions (LXX., Aquila, Theodotion, Targ,, 
Pesh.) take the words as a figure for splendour or greatness ; but 
rabbis of the second century refer them to Joshua and Zerubbabel, 
representatives of priesthood and royalty, descendants of Aaron 
and David, the anomted founders of the two lines of high priests 
and kings. The natural function of the two olive trees on either 
side of the lamp-stand (vss. 3 and 11) is to supply oil to the 
reservoir from which the lamps are fed by pipes, and the natural 
interpretation would be that they symbolise the two, prince and 
priest, who jointly maintained the cultus in the restored temple ; 
whereas to describe them as " anointed with oil " is both irrele- 
vant and inapposite. It cannot therefore be inferred from the 
verse that Zerubbabel and Joshua were actually anointed, or 
that the anointing of the high priest was pre-exilic custom. 

In Dan. ix. 25 f. the word TT'DD, " an anointed one," occurs 

1 There is, of course, little reason in legal works like the Mishnah for mention 
of the ruler in the future restoration of the monarchy, and when he is referred 
to it is usually simply as " the prince " j e.g. " private citizen, prince (ntj), 
high priest (n'E'D)," as in Lev. iv. 


in a context which has led many interpreters to take it as a 
specific title that has become a virtual proper name, " Messiah," 
corresponding to the later Jewish and Christian use of the word.^ 
Thus the English version (1611) renders : ^ " Know therefore 
and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment 
to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince 
shall he seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks : the street 
shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And 
after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not 
for himself : and the people of the prince that shall come shall 
destroy the city and the sanctuary ; and the end thereof shall he 
with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are deter- 

A more exact rendering is given in the new translation issued 
by the Jewish Publication Society of America (1917) : 

" Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of 
the word to restore and to build Jerusalem mito one anointed, a 
prince, shall be seven weeks ; and for threescore and two weeks, 
it shall be built again, w4th broad place and moat, but in troublous 
times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed 
one be cut off, and be no more ; ^ and the people of a prince that 
shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary ; but his end 
shall be with a flood ; and unto the end of the war desolations 
are determined." 

The author fixes two points in his chronological scheme of 
seventy sevens (weeks) of years (7 + 62 + 1), the first by the 
appearance of " an anointed one," the second by the cutting off 
of " an anointed one." It must be presumed that the same 
office is meant, though, as the interval of more than four centuries 
shows, not the same person ; and in the light of the whole history 
of the word the further presumption is that " an anointed one " 

^ " Messiah " as a proper name seems not to bo certainly attested iu Jewish 
sources before the Baylonian Talmud. 

* The revision of 1885 and the so-called American Standard odition deal 
timidly with the errors of this translation. 

' The text of this clause is probably incomplete. 


is here equivalent to " a high priest." The prevailing opinion is 
that the reference in verse 26 is to the murder of the high priest 
Onias.^ The " anointed " in verse 25, with whom the period 
begins, would then be the high priest of the restoration, Joshua 
son of Jehozadak, who figures in Haggai and Zechariah ; and the 
" word to restore and to build Jerusalem " would most naturally 
be understood of the edict of Cyrus.^ The actual dates do not 
correspond with this scheme at any point ; ^ but the Jews, who, 
it is sometimes forgotten, did not have the canon of Ptolemy to 
operate with, were always far out of the way in the chronology 
of the Persian period. For the author of Daniel the four hundred 
and ninety years were given in Scripture,* while the events of 
his own time proved to him that the end of this period was at 
hand. The text of Dan. ix. 25 f. is not free from difficulties ; but 
they do not afiect the general understanding of the passage. All 
that is important for our present purpose is that whatever 
persons may be meant by the words " an anointed one " in verses 
25 and 26, it is probably in both a high priest ; certainly not a 
Jewish king. 

Since ritual anointing signified consecration, with the connota- 
tion of dignity and honour, the word could be used of persons 
regarded as consecrated by God and thus standing in a peculiar 
relation to him, without thought of its literal meaning. Thus 
Cyrus (" his anointed," Is. xlv. 1) is chosen and consecrated by 
God to the mission of delivering Israel. In Ps, cv. 14 f. it is said 
of the patriarchs : " He suffered no man to do them wrong, yea, 
for their sake he reproved kings : ' Touch not mine anointed 
ones, and do my prophets no harm.' " They were by their 
relation to God sacrosanct, inviolable. In other Psalms the 
Jewish people, as a nation chosen and consecrated by God, is 
his " anointed." So Psalm xxviii. 8, in synonymous parallelism : 

1 2 Mace. iv. 33-38 ; cf. vs8. 7-10. 

2 Ezra i. 2 &. 

^ They correspond no better with any other scheme that has been proposed. 
* Dan. ix. 2 ; Jer. xxv. 11 f. ; xxix. 10 ; cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21 ; Lev. xxvi. 
34 f. 


" Jehovah is strength to his people,^ a stronghold of deliverance 
to his anointed (sc. nation)." ^ In Is. Iv. 3-5, the mission and 
authority once bestowed by God's favom: on David are by a 
permanent covenant conferred upon the Jewish people. Reminis- 
cences of the promises to David, especially of 2 Sam. "^di., are 
naturally fomid in the Psalms ; ^ in none of these Psalms is the 
word associated with the prophetic figure of the ideal king, or 
with the prophecies of the scion of the Davidic stock in whom 
the dynasty is restored. 

Psalm ii. is of a different character. The nations are planning The 
rebellion against Jehovah and his anointed, his king, whom he inp^mii 
has established on Zion, his holy mountain. By divine decree, 
the title " Son of Jehovah " is conferred upon him from that day 
forth, and the nations to the ends of the earth are made subject 
to his dominion ; he shall shatter them with an iron sceptre and 
dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel ; they are warned to 
prevent destruction by instant and humble submission. The 
Psalm seems to reflect an actual historical situation ; older 
interpreters referred it to David, many recent critics connect it, 
like Psahn ex., with one of the Asmonaeans. Others think that the 
poet sang of the future king of the restored monarchy, the Messiah 
in the late Jewish sense : whatever the author may have meant, 
it is certain that the Psalm was interpreted in this way by Jews 
as well as Christians.^ 

In Jewish writings of the two centuries preceding the Christian • Messiah • 
era the word " anointed " (iT'mrD) occurs rarely,^ and when it jftorrture. 

1 So LXX., Pesh. The Hebrew text, by accidental loss of a single letter, 
" to them." 

2 See also Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, Ixxxix. 39, 52 ; Hab. iii. 13 ; 1 Sam. ii. 10. 

3 As in Ps. Ixxxix. 20-38 (note vers. 20 " With my holy oil have I anointed 
him ") ; cxxxii. 11 f., 17 (of. 1 Sam. ii. 10) ; Ps. xviii. 50, 2 Sam. xxii. 51. 

* See Ps. Sol. xvii. 24 ; Rev. ii. 27 ; xii. 5 ; xix. 15 ; 4 Ezra vii. 28 f. ; xiii. 
25 ff. ; Acts iv. 25 ; xiii. 33 ; Heb. i. 5 ; v. 5. Berakoth lb ; Abodah Zarah 
36 (the outbreak of Gog and Magog at the end of the " days of the Messiah ") ; 
Succah 52a. Some modern scholars think that in the mind of the author of 
Ps. ii. the Jewish people was the Lord's anointed. 

s It is not found in Sirach — except xlvi. 19 (22) of Saul — or in any of the Books 
of the Maccabees or elsewhere in the Apocryph.a ; in any part of the Book of 
VOL I. 2 A 

of Enoch. 


is used it is not confined to the scion of the Davidic dynasty with 
whom Christians habitually associate it, nor does the hope of the 
restoration of the monarchy always attach itself to the ancient 
royal house. By far the most important passage is in the Psalms 
(1) In of Solomon, 1 composed soon after the middle of the first century 
Solomon. B.C., Ps. xvii. 21-4:6, a composite portrait of the son of David, 
the king of the golden age, whose features are drawn from the 
whole range of Old Testament prophecy and poetry ; particularly 
vss. 35 f., describing the righteous king, instructed of God, who 
shall rule over Israel in days when there shall be no unrighteous- 
ness among them, because they shall all be holy, kuI ^aai\€v<; 
avToiv Xpto-TO'i Kvpi,o<i — in the Hebrew original of the Psalm 
doubtless mrr"' n^tDD " the Lord's anointed " {■)(^piaTo<; Kvptov). 
"Parables" lu the " Parablcs " of Enoch (Enoch 37-71), a work of about 
the same age as the Psalms of Solomon, the kings and potentates 
of the earth fall never to rise again, " because they denied the 
Lord of Spirits and his anointed." ^ The " anointed one " of 
this verse is the same as " that son of man " in an earlier part 
of the chapter (xlviii. 2), who was chosen and concealed in the 
presence of the Lord of Spirits before the world was created 
(vs. 6). The " son of man " (human being), who in Daniel's 
vision (vii, 13 f., 27) is a symbol of the dominion of the holy 
people of the Most High (the Jews) in contrast to the four heathen 
empires represented by monstrous and destructive beasts, 
becomes in the Similitudes of Enoch the Righteous One, the 
Chosen One (Is. xlii. 1), the Anointed (consecrated) One, who 
since before the creation has been with God in heaven. Numerous 
and various Old Testament prophecies are drawn upon in the 
description of this Elect One — for example. Is. xi. 2-5, for his 
wisdom and power ; but, as might be expected from the relation 

Enoch except the Similitudes (on which see below, p. 370 f.), in the Book of 
Jubilees, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (excluding Christian inter- 
polations), in the Assumption of Moses, the Jewish Sibylline Oracles, the 
Wisdom of Solomon ; nor anywhere in Philo or Josephus (except Antiq. xviii. 
3. 3, of Jesus, generally regarded as an interpolation). 

1 See p. 111. ^ Enoch xlviii. 10; of. Ps. ii. 2. See also Enoch lii. 4- 


to the judgment scene in Dan. vii. 13 f., 22 ff., it is with 
judgment — the destruction of the heathen and the apostates, 
the vindication of the righteous — that he hss chiefly to do. 
In those days heaven and earth will be transformed : ^ the 
Lord of Spirits will abide over them, and the righteous and 
elect will eat with the Son of Man, and lie down and rise up for 
evermore ; they will be clad in glorious raiment, the garment 
of life from the Lord of Spirits, which never waxes old.^ The 
earth and the nether world give back the dead to share in the 
glory and blessedness of that time.^ 

This representation of the person and work of the " Chosen The 
One," as he is most often called, moves in a circle of ideas widely one.' 
remote from those of Ps. Sol. xvii. Nor is it merely an assump- 
tion into the supernatural sphere of the Lord's anointed as he 
appears in that Psalm ; it has an entirely different origin and 
purport. The " Son of Man " is not the Messiah " pre-existent 
ill heaven," as it is the fashion to say — if that had been the 
author's meaning the visions would have read very differently. 
All that can rightly be said is that the author of Enoch xlviii. 10, 
in a connexion which recalled Ps. ii. 2, applied the words " his 
anointed one " in that verse to the supramimdane figure — 
Daniel's " son of man " as an individual — whom he commonly 
calls God's " chosen one." * It is a methodical error which 
entails interminable confusion, to take this casual allusion as a 
key to the interpretation of the Visions and distil from it the 
" Messianic doctrine " of the author.^ 

In the texts published by Schechter under the title Fragments Messiah 
of a Zadokite Work (1910), the word rr^ajD, or the passive participle R^Wnic 
mtDO, occurs repeatedly. In the first instance (page 2, line 12) writings, 
it is used of the prophets of the Old Testament (cf. Ps. cv. 14 f.), 

1 Enoch xlv. 36 ; cf. Isa. Ixv. 17 ff. 

■ Enoch Ixii. 14-16 ; cf. Ii. » Enoch li. 1 f. 

* The connection in lii. 4 is less clear, but no less casuaL 

^ Interpreters of the apocalypses, not being familiar with the methods and 
mental habits of Jewish students of the Bible, do not recognise tlie midrashic 
character of such association of texts. 


111 the other places " the anointed one of Aaron and Israel," 
or " from Aaron and Israel," is a teacher of righteousness who 
is expected in the latter days. The teaching of Israel belongs 
to the priest ; " the priest's lips should keep knowledge and they 
should seek the law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the 
Lord of Hosts." ^ The assumption of this function by the 
scribes was, in the \dew of the sect, a usurpation. The whole 
attitude of this schismatic body to Judah excludes the expecta- 
tion of an " anointed " of Judaean (Davidic) lineage. 

In the sayings that have been preserved to us from the Jewish 
masters who taught in the times of Herod and the procurators 
there is no word of an expected Messiah, under that name or any 
other ; but the Gospels give sufficient evidence of the belief, 
common among all classes, that a divinely appointed head of the 
people should one day appear, with whom better days would 
come ; that this deliverer should be a descendant of the ancient 
royal house of Judah, the son of David, in whom the monarchy . 
was to be restored ; and that " the anointed " (king), in Hebrew 
masklh, Messiah, was a popular name for this figure. 

The more concrete traits with which homiletical midrash or 
popular imagination clothed this vague expectation were varied 
and inconstant, drawn miscellaneously from prophecy and poetry, 
from the \isions of apocalyptic seers, from the circumstances of 
the times. One of the commonest was that the Messiah would 
first appear somewhere in the wilderness and lead his followers 
into the Holy Lard (cf. Is. xl.), and more than once multitudes 
followed into the desert prophets who promised to conduct 
them to the place. The parallel between Moses, the first deliverer 
(bNll), and the great Deliverer was fruitful of suggestions. But 
it cannot be too strongly emphasised that there wis no generally 
accepted opinion, no organised and consistent teaching, above 
all no orderly Messianic doctrine possessing the faintest shadow 
of authority. The thing itself was of faith, all the rest was free 
field for imagination. 

1 Mai. ii. 7 ; cf. Ezra via. 10. 


It must be borne in mind also that in a large part of the Desire for 
prophecies in the Old Testament foretelling and describing a Kingdom. 
golden age to come, the political element which is characteristic 
of what may properly be called Messianic prophecy is wholly 
absent. Not the restoration of the Kingdom of Judah imder the 
reign of a descendant of David, but the universal reign of the God 
of Israel, whose unity and sovereignty are acknowledged by all 
mankind, and whose righteous will is law for all, was the end of 
God's ways in history for the prophets of oecumenic vision. In 
Jewish thought and hope at the beginning of our era this universal 
reign of God with all that it implied — the universality of the true 
religion, world-wide peace in righteousness — filled a large place. 
This is the "Kingdom of Heaven,''^ of which we read in the Gospels. 
" Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in 
heaven," is not a prayer for the coming of the Messiah ; and in 
the Jewish liturgy prayers for the appearance of the scion or 
son of David are quite distinct from those for the " Kingdom " 
— the reign of God. 

Doubtless in the common apprehension the national political 
hope was associated with this larger outlook ; but in the minds of 
the teachers of the people in the generation before the fall of 
Jerusalem, it seems to have been incidental to it, and assuredly 
did not so fill their thoughts as to exclude the greater future. 

The restoration of the monarchy, after the extinction of the Rise of ex- 

pectation of 

Kingdom of Judah in 586, is foretold under the tigm-e of the a Davidic 
springing up of a " sprout (lion) from the stump of Jesse, a sucker \^J^^ 
{112) from his roots." ^ A similar prophecy is found in Jeremiah : ^ 
" I will raise up unto David a righteous scion (nos), and he shall 
reign as king and prosper." At the moment when the crisis in 
the Persian Empire held out a short-lived hope that such pre- 
dictions were about to be fulfilled, Zechariah saw in Zerubbabel 
this scion.* The event belied his expectation, and nothing more 
is heard of Zerubbabel or the looked-for kingdom. But the 

^ '• Heaven " is a common Jewish metonymy for God. 
« is. xi. 1. » Jer. xxiii. 5 ; xxxiii. 15. * Zech. iii. 8 ; vi. 12. 


" scion of David " became a standing designation for the Davidic 
king who was still hoped for in the future, or, in slightly different 
expression, the " horn " which the Lord should make to shoot 
up (rT'DSn) for David." ^ 

The priest- When the Asmonaeans achieved the liberation of the Jews 
from Seleucid rule, and extended their dominion by conquest 
over the countries which according to the old histories had been 
subject to David and Solomon, ruling as kings even before 
Aristobulus assumed the title, many Jews saw in these events 
the fulfilment of the prophecies of the good time coming, a time 
of prosperity at home and power and glory abroad for the people 
of God under native sovereigns. Psalm ex. is an expression of 
this feeling. In it the ruler is a priest-king like Melchizedek 
(Gen. xiv.), such as the Asmonaeans alone were. They them- 
selves recognised the type by adopting m their official title the 
style " priest of the Most High God," which only Melchizedek 
bears in the Old Testament. Generations afterwards, Josephus 
eulogises John Hyrcanus as one who was esteemed by God 
worthy of the three greatest gifts, the rulership of the nation, 
the dignity of the high priesthood, and prophecy.^ High priest- 
hood, royalty, and prophecy are the three pre-eminences of the 
posterity of Levi in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs ; ^ 
the new priest whom the Lord will raise up ^ reigns as a king, and 
Is. xi. 2 is appropriated to him. He is an" anointed high priest." ^ 
The " anointed of Aaron and Israel " of the seceding sect of 
Damascus ^ is perhaps a rival conception to the anointed of Levi 
and Judah in the Testaments, rather than a parallel to it ; but 
in this sect also the hope of the future attaches to a priest, not 
to a descendant of David. 

Asmonaean ^^^ couflicts between the Pharisees and the priest-princes 

right to 

doubted ^ ^®® Orac. Sibyll. vi. 16 ; Ps. cxxxii. 17. 

^ Antiq. xiii. 10. 7 ; cf. Tos. Sotah, xiii. 5 ; Sotah 33a. 

^ Levi viii. 11 ff. * Levi xviii. 

* Reub. vi. 8. Note also especially m^X/" TeXetcicrecus XP^^'^" apx^fpews 
XpiffTov (where Charles emends a perfectly sound text), and II f ^acnXevs alu^vios 
(Ps. ex.). « Above, pp. 97 fi'. 


under Joliii Hyrcanus and Alexander Jannaeus made the rule 
of the Asmonaeans obnoxious to a large part of the nation ; in 
the strife of Alexander's sons the dynasty courted its doom. The 
second of the Psalms of Solomon sees in the taking of Jerusalem 
by Pompey and the profanation of the temple the just judgment 
of God upon the wickedness of its inhabitants in the days of the 
later Asmonaeans.^ Psalm xvii. in the same collection is even 
more explicit : the Asmonaeans were usurpers who in their 
arrogance assumed the crown, and insolently devastated the 
throne of David. The Davidic king, the anointed of the Lord, 
to whose portrait so many prophecies contribute (ib. vss. 23 &.), 
Is not only in character the opposite of the Asmonaeans ; he will 
be a legitimate king according to God's oath to David, in contrast 
to their usurped monarchy. Antagonism to the Asmonaean 
claim to rule as " anointed priests " after the pattern of Melchize- 
dek doubtless led the Pharisaic scribes to insist all the more 
strongly that the king who in God's set time shall come to reign 
over Israel must be of David's line. The old Palestinian form of 
the Eighteen Benedictions contams a prayer (the eleventh) for 
the coming of the Kingdom of God : " Restore our judges as at 
first and our counsellors as at the beginning . . . and reign over 
us, Thou alone " ; and another (the fourteenth), for the Kingdom 
of David : " Have compassion, Lord our God ... on Jeru- 
salem thy city, and on Zion thy glorious abode, and on the 
kingdom of David thy holy anointed." ^ In the abridged 
prayer, Hahinenu, as well as in the Babylonian recension 
of the Eighteen, the prayer is for the " scion of David " 
(nos), the prophetic word for which " Messiah " is the later 

Before the war of 66-72 a.d., as has already been remarked, The Law 
although the restoration of the nation under a Davidic prince as minent 
foretold in the Scriptures was firmly believed in, it does not seem meg^jah^ 

^ Cf. Assumption of Moses, vi. 1. 

" This petitiou supposes the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, and waa 
most probably introduced in the redaction of the prayers which was made b}^ 
Gamaliel II. 


to have mucli engaged the thoughts of the rabbis. To the 
prophets, whose announ cement that it was at hand, made a com- 
motion from time to time among the multitude, they turned a deaf 
ear. They opposed all attempts to expedite the deliverance 
by insurrection. It would come in God's time and way. Mean- 
while their task was to prepare the people for it by expounding 
and inculcating the will of God for righteousness as he had 
revealed it in the Law. 

The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 
A.D. 70 completely changed this attitude. Messianic prophecy 
assumed an instant and engrossing importance, and inevitably 
its political aspect was dominant in men's minds — not the 
universality of the true religion, the reign of God ; not the 
prophetic and priestly mission of Israel ; not the wise and just 
rule of the peaceful prince ; but the liberation of the Jews from 
a foreign yoke, the restoration of Jerusalem and of worship in its 
temple ; nay more, the utter and j&nal ruin of the oppressive 
empire of Rome, the last of the four embodiments of the kingdom 
of this world in its enmity to God and his people. 

In the Jewish apocalypses from the generation after the fall 
of Jerusalem the deliverance is accomplished in supernatural 
fashion.^ The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is of interest 
because of the witness it gives to the currency of notions with 
which we are otherwise acquainted only through works of con- 
siderably later date, such as the feast on the flesh of Behemoth 
and Leviathan in the days of the Messiah (xxix. 3 &.),^ and the 
fabulous grape vines, every berry of which is to yield whole 
barrels of wine (vs. 5); ^ or the climactic tribulations that precede 
the manifestation of the Messiah (xxvii.-xxix.).'* The Messiah 
will condemn and put to death the last ruler of the fourth empire 
(Rome), and rule the people of God till this doomed world comes 

^ The Revelation of John is a work of the same age, kind, and motive. 

* 4 Esdras vi. 49 ff. ; cf. Baba Bathra lib. In Enoch Ix. 7 f. (a fragment 
of a Noah Apocalypse) the creatures appear, but in another role. 

' Kethubolh 1116; Papias in Ireti. v. 33. 

* Sank. 97a ; Soiah 49t. Cf. Matt. xxiv. ; Mark xiii. 


to an end (xl. 1-3) ; into his hands the remnants of the heathen 
nations will be delivered.^ 

In 4 Esdras the influence of the apocalyptic tradition is 
stronger ; as is seen especially in the vision of the man rising out 
of the sea, xiii. 1 ff., with its interpretation, vss. 25 ff. In the 
vision of the many-winged eagle,^ i.e. the Roman empire,^ the 
lion from the forest, who in the name of the Most High pronounces 
judgment on the eagle, is the Messiah.* Li vii. 28 f. the Syriac 
version has probably preserved the original reading, " My son, 
the Messiah " (combining vss. 7 and 2 of Ps. ii.) ; and here we 
have the earliest express limit fixed for the duration of his rule 
(400 years), thus connecting, in a way familiar in rabbinical 
writings,^ the golden age of the Jewish nation depicted in the 
prophets with the eschatological dogmas of the general resurrec- 
tion and the last judgment which the Pharisees made a touch- 
stone of orthodoxy. 

With the rabbis, as among the masses, the political end — Messianic 
independence and restoration — prevailed. The Je^odsh in- ^k^a. 
surrections under Trajan took a Messianic character in more than 
one province. Some Targums, with their emphasis on the militant 
features of prophecy and pictures of a triumphant warrior Messiah, 
reflect the situation of the moment. Akiba, the greatest figure 
of his time, journeyed far and wide to stir up the Jews throughout 
the world to rise in revolt and to provide the means for the coming 
struggle. So completely did the idea of the Messiah become 
identical in his mind with that of a liberator, that he acclaimed 
as Messiah — " the Star out of Jacob " who should subject Edom 
(Rome) ^ — the leader of the Jews in the war under Hadrian, 
Simon bar Koziba (Bar Cocheba), though he was not of Davidic 
lineage, nor, in rabbinical estimate, a signally religious man. 

The disillusion of the outcome is reflected in the utterances of Messianic 
the teachers in the latter part of the second century. Their oouraged! 
faith in God's purpose was unshaken ; it had been their mistake. 

1 Bar ich Ixx. 9; Ixxii. 2-6. 2 4 E/.ra xi., xii. ' 4 Ezra xi. 38 li. 

« 4 Ezra xii. .32. « See Sank. 99a. « Num. xxiv. 17 f. 


And in the very straits to which they were brought by the 
Emperor's edicts against the teaching and practice of their 
religion, in the danger that the unwritten law should sink hito 
oblivion through the execution of the teachers and the lack of 
students, they saw new signs, added to all the traditional ones, 
that God's moment to intervene was near. But, warned by 
the great failure, they resigned themselves to wait for him, and 
forbade calculations of the time of the end.^ This, however, 
lies beyond the horizon of the Book of Acts, and mention of it is 
in place here only because in most that has been written on the 
Messianic expectations of the Jews in New Testament times the 
epochs marked by the destruction of Jerusalem and by the war 
mider Hadrian are ignored, and sayings of all these periods, and 
sometimes even from the Babylonian schools, are put side by side 
without discrimination. The wholly false notion, still widely 
current in popular literature, that the Jewish expectation in the 
time of Christ was of a leader in wars of liberation and conquest, 
is chiefly derived from the Targums, and has survived from a 
time when the latter were thought by scholars to date from the 
century before our era. 

The point in the previous discussion most important for the 
investigation of early Christianity is that ' Messiah ' is essen- 
tially an adjective meaning consecrated or appointed by God, 
and was not the prerogative title of any single person until later 
than the time of Christ. It was applied in various forms of 
literature to the expected scion of the house of David, to the 
supernatural Son of Man, and to the High Priest ; but its use 
does not show that these figures were habitually identified with 
each other in Jewish thought. It therefore follows that though 
the title was undoubtedly applied by his disciples to Jesus, their 

^ To this period belongs also the distribution of the twofold role of the 
Messiah of the prophecy between two Messiahs, a warrior-Messiah, descended 
from Joseph, who should conquer Edom (Rome), but at last fall in battle 
(Obad. vs. 17 f.; of. Jer. xlix. 20; combined with Zech. xii. 10-12), and the 
Davidic Messiah, the peaceful ruler who should foUow him. 


meaning must be sought from the context in which the word 
is used rather than from its established significance. In 
itself, it might merely mean that Jesus was divinely con- 
secrated, without specifying the exact function to which he was 

The study of the Synoptic gospels fails to establish with 
certainty the exact meaning originally attached to the title by 
the disciples. They identified Jesus with the anointed Son of 
Man from heaven, and with the anointed scion of David. 
Did they always identify him with both, or first with 
one and then with the other ? And when they called him 
" anointed " did they mean one rather than the other, or both 
indifferently ? 

In the Synoptic gospels the most remarkable feature of the Xpiards 
usage of Xptar6<; is its comparative rarity. In no passage which sj-noptic 
can with probability be ascribed to Q is Jesus called Xptcrro?. g'^^P'^''^'* 
In Mark, apart from the title, " the beginning of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ," it is used of Jesus in the " confession of Peter " 
in viii. 29, " Thou art the Christ " ; in ix. 41, " Whosoever shall 
give you a cup of water to drink because ye are Christ's," etc. ; 
the question of the high priest, " Art thou the Christ, the Son 
of the Blessed ? " in xiv. 61 ; and in the mocking by the high 
priests and the Scribes in xv. 32, " Let the Christ, the King of 
Israel, come down now from the cross." It is also found in two 
passages in the mouth of Jesus, but not with reference (or at 
least direct reference) to himself, — in the question " How do the 
scribes say that the Christ is a son of David ? " in Mark xii. 35, 
and in the warning against those who say " See here is the 
Christ," in Mark xiii. 21. 

Few though these passages may be, they leave no doubt but Meaning 

i-UTi 1A7- / -iPT rrn • ''* Murk. 

that Mark regards Xptaro'i as a title oi Jesus. I he question 
is what he means by it. What especially did Peter mean at 
Caesarea Phihppi when he said " Thou art the Christ ? " Did 
he mean the Scion of David who was to restore the fortunes of 
Israel, or did he mean the Son of Man who was appointed to 


judge the living and the dead ? Or can we otherwise define 
his meaning ? ^ 

The difficulty of answering these questions is increased by the 
natural tendency to interpret Mark by Matthew, but though 
certainty on all points is unattainable, some conclusions become 
probable. Jesus replies to Peter by telling the disciples not to 
say this of him to any one, and goes on to say that the S^n of 
Man 2 must suffer and die, obviously surprising and alarming 
Peter. The important point in this narrative is the correction 
of Peter's concept — so obviously implied — of a triumphant 
Anointed one,' by the warning of the approaching Passion. 
It is tempting to use the phrase ' Son of Man ' as a proof that the 
Anointed one is the Son of Man, rather than the Scion of David. 
But this is hazardous, for it is probable that ' Son of Man ' 
here is due to the editor, to whom it meant Jesus, and replaces an 
original 'I.' So far, therefore, as this passage goes it merely 
proves that the editor realised that the ' anointed one ' of whom 
Peter spoke was not expected to suffer — that he would do so 
was the revelation of Jesus.^ It throws no clear light on whether 
the Christ of Peter's confession was, in Mark's opinion, the 
Scion of David. 

There is, however, another passage which Uluminates this 
question, and in the complete absence of any positive evidence, 
Mark xii. ? sccms to tiu^n the scale against the theory that Mark thought 
that the ' Christ ' meant ' the Scion of David.' In Mark xii. 35 
it is reported that Jesus said, " How do the scribes say that 
the Christ is a son of David ? " Surely this implies that the 
Scribes were wrong ; in which case it must follow that the writer 

^ See below for the reasons why these two figures, united in Christian 
thought, should be regarded as originally separate. 

2 On p. 368 the question is discussed whether ' Son of Man ' in this 
passage goes back to Jesus, and it is argued that probably it does not. 

' This remains true whether we think that Jesus was on this occasion as 
explicit as the text represents or not. The belief that the Messiah must suffer 
was Christian, not Jewish, and to establish the belief of the disciples — not 
necessarily of Jesus — it is immaterial whether they learnt the necessity of the 
Passion from the words or from the fate of Jesus 


certainly held that Jesus was the Messiah, but not the Son of 
David. The passage is entirely intelligible in view of such 
documents as the Book of Jubilees which expect a " Messiah " 
from the house of Levi, and seems to be directed against the 
Pharisaic revival of the expectation of a Davidic Messiah. It 
is impossible to explain it as part of a tradition which regarded 
Jesus as the ' Scion of David,' On the other hand, in Mark x. 
47 f. Bartimaeus greets Jesus as the Son of David, and in xi. 10 
the crowd at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem qualify the future 
kingdom annomiced by Jesus as " the Kingdom of our father 

Whether consciously or unconsciously, Mark reveals the fact 
that though Jesus meant the " Life of the Age to come " by the 
Kingdom of God, the crowd meant the restored prosperity of 
Israel, and while he was looking for the judgment of mankind 
by the Son of Man appointed by God, they were expecting a king 
of the house of David. 

The latter strata of the Gospels and the earlier chapters of Jesus 
Acts show that the identification of Jesus with the Scion of 
David had become a prominent part of Christian belief ; to 
prove the Da^ddic claim of Jesus is one of the chief objects of 
the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. But the figure of the 
Scion of David had coalesced with that of the Son of Man rather 
than taken its place, and the term * Christ ' covered both. 
Moreover, this merging of the two figures with each other was 
the result of their identification with Jesus, not the cause of it. 
The Anointed Son of Man is the anointed son of David not 
because the two figures were originally identical, or because 
' anointed ' was a Jewish title which could only belong to one 
person, but because Christians found both the Son of Man and 
the Son of David in Jesus, and therefore were forced to say that 
the Son of Man is the Son of David and to attribute to either 
figure everything prophesied or believed of the other. 

It is scarcely doubtful but that in this combination, if the 
foregoing treatment of Mark be correct, the idea of the Son of 

as a son 
of David. 



Belief in 
the resur 

David was added to that of the Son of Man, rather than the Son 
of Man to that of the Son of David. This result is corroborated 
by the criticism of the other Gospels and Acts. The Davidic 
theory is central in the genealogies, but there is little or nothing 
in its favour elsewhere.^ Similarly in the speeches it is prominent 
in Acts ii. and xiii., but is not clearly found in those in Acts iii. 
and vii. or x. ; on the contrary, in iii. and x. the general char- 
acteristics ascribed to Jesus are those of the Son of Man, though 
this word is not used.^ 

Though scarcely within the strict limits of this discussion 
it is not entirely out of place to note how the belief in the resurrec- 
heips idcn- ^Jqu helped to link together the figure of the Son of Man and the 


of Son of Scion of David. Taken by themselves these two could not 
of Da^^d. describe the same person. The Son of Man came from heaven, 
where he had existed from the creation. The Scion of Da^-id was 
born, a man among men. But the belief in the resurrection at 
least partly cleared away this difficulty. After it, Jesus was in 
heaven and could come, as the Son of Man was expected to do, 
on the clouds. 

It therefore seems probable that Jesus did not claim to be 
or consider himself to be the " Davidic Messiah." He seems by 
his question, " How say the scribes that the Messiah is Da\dd's 
son ? " to throw doubt on the whole " Davidic " expectation. 
If he accepted Peter's " confession " that he was the Messiah, 
he did so either in the sense of Son of Man, or in the sense of one 
" consecrated " to suffering rather than as a Davidic king. 
But the mind of the people, like that of Bartimaeus, was filled 

^ Tlie conversation between the disciples on the way to Emmaus and the 
risen Jesus seems to be directed toward the Davidic theory : " ' We had hoped 
that it was he who should redeem Israel ' . . . ' fools and blind,' etc." 
Luke xxiv. 21-25. 

* Cf. especially iii. 20 f. : " Until the times of refreshing come from the 
face of the Lord, and he send Jesus the Messiah foreordained for you, whom 
heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things." This is 
the Son of, not the Scion of David. So also x. 42 : " This is he who has 
been appointed by God as judge of the Living and the dead." There could not 
be a better description of the fimction of the ' Son of Man,' but it is quite 
inapplicable to the Jewish expectation of the Son of David. 


with the hope of the Davidic dynasty, and the Christians who 
first of all regarded Jesus as the anointed Son of Man, the judge 
of the world, came ^ soon to accept the popular expectation and to 
regard Jesus as the anointed Scion of David as well as the Son 
of Man. The word ' the anointed ' becomes a general title 
covering both these concepts. It was soon also connected with 
the figure of the Suffering Servant, the attributes of which 
coalesced with those of the Son of Man and of the Son of David, 
and shared with them the title ' Christ.' 

Before long, indeed, the word XptaT6<i ceased to have any special Xptoris 
meaning in Greek circles. It became, generally speaking, only namo"r 
another name for Jesus, and if there was sometimes a recollection J''^"^- 
that'it was not a name but a title, it was merely a general descrip- 
tion covering any functions which were ascribed to Jesus. This 
was the easier because, as has been shown, there were no special 
functions exclusively connected with the word in Jewish thought. 

To this stage must have belonged the editor of Acts as dis- 
tinct from the sources which he used : to him Christ is a second 
name for Jesus.^ It is only either when, as it were, he stops to 
think, or when he is reproducing his sources, that he uses the 
word as a title. This is not strange ; but it is very remarkable 
that the Pauline epistles show the same development. In them, 
too, ' Christ ' is almost always a proper name. It is hard to 
interpret Paul's use except as a deliberate concession to Greek 

^ It is possible that this process was hastened by the conversion to Chris- 
tianity of Jews who had maintained the claims of the Davidic dynasty against 
the Hasmoneans or the Herods. The monuments of this tendency are to be 
found in the Psalms of Solomon as compared with Jubilees or the Testaments 
of the Twelve Patriarchs : those who had defended it may have taken it over 
with them into Christianity. 

2 In Acts ii. 38, iii. 0, iv. 10, ix. 34, x. 48, xi. 17, xv. 26, xvi. 18 (xx. 21), 
xxiv. 24, xxviu. 31, Xpicrrds is used as a proper name ; thcj^ are all passages 
referring to some formula of faith, usually in connection with baptism or exor- 
cism. On the other hand, in ii. 36, iii. 18, iii. 20, ix. 22, xvii. 3, xviii. 5, xviii. 28, 
xxvi. 23, Xpiffrdi is used as a title, and to this hst ii. 31, v. 42, and rai. 5 ought 
probably to be added, tliough they may be otherwise interpreted ; it is far 
more probable that these represent the use of the sources used by the editor 
and that tlio Christian formulae of faith have been accommodated to the 
practice of his own time. 


weakness : he was too much in earnest to stop to teach the 
meaning of a strange word ; he accepted Xpio-Tc? as a name and 
used Kvpio<; to give the meaning of the Jewish idea. 

Thus it becomes necessary to trace the meaning and connota- 
tions of these other titles — Son of Man and Servant — in order to 
see how much they represent in the earhest thought of the 
disciples, and how they were treated by Gentiles who had no 
previous knowledge of their meaning. 

Son of Man ^h® phrase vio<i rov avOp^irov, the Son of Man, is as devoid 
of intelligible meaning in Greek as it is in English. It clearly 
is a literal translation of the Aramaic Bar-nash or Bar-nasha. 
This phrase means in Aramaic ' man ' just as D"7N ]! does in 
Hebrew. In Rabbinical Aramaic it is used to introduce an 
unnamed person at the beginning of a narrative as ' a certain 
man.' If it were desired to refer to this person later in the story 
it would be necessary in Aramaic to prefix a demonstrative 
pronoun when Greek would simply use the definite article. 
This use of the word is found in Daniel vii. 9-14. 

Son of Man ^ beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days 
in Daniel, did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head 
like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels 
as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before 
him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand 
times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the 
books M^ere opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great 
words which the horn spake : I beheld even till the beast was slain, 
and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As con- 
cerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away : 
yet their Uves were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the 
night visions, and behold, one like a son of man came with the clouds 
of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him 
near before him. And there was given him dominion and glory, 
and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve 
him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass 
away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 

The meaning is that at the end of the judgment, which is 
held by the ' Ancient of Days ' — that is by God, represented as 


an aged man — the beasts of the earlier part of the vision lose 
either their power or their life, and universal dominion is given 
to another supernatural figure in human form — a ' Son of Man.' 
The further explanation of the vision in Daniel vii. 23 ff. shows 
what is meant. 

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon 
earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour 
the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces. 
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise : 
and another shall rise after them ; and he shall be diverse from the 
first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great 
words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the 
most High, and think to change times and laws : and they shall be 
given unto his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, 
to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and 
dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, 
shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose 
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve 
and obey him. 

That is to say, the beast is some Gentile Kingdom, the horn 
is possibly Antiochus Epiphanes, and the man in the first passage 
quoted is the people of Israel. 

The difficult question here is not the actual meaning, which 
is obvious, but whether the beasts and the man are merely 
figures of speech or represent realities in the mind of the writer. 
When the ancients spoke of a beast in Heaven or in the abyss 
as representing Babylon or Rome, did they mean this as a meta- 
phor ? Or, believing that events on earth corresponded to 
events in Heaven, did they think that there were supra-mundane 
creatures whose activities and conflicts in Heaven affected the 
nations correspondmg to them on earth ? In support of the 
latter view is the efiect on the destiny of Israel of the struggle in 
Heaven between its angel Michael and the " Angel of Persia." i 

In no case, however, can this vision have any connexion 
with the expectation in the early prophets of an ideal king of the 

' Daniel x. 13 ff, 
VOL. I ' 2 B 


House of David. The ' man ' is not tlie king of Israel ; he is 
Israel itself, a,nd the only question is whether Israel on earth 
is not supposed to have a heavenly representative in human form 
whose exaltation in heaven corresponds to the exaltation of 
Israel on earth. 
Similitudes Between this passage in Daniel and the Similitudes of Enoch ^ 
there is certainly some connexion, though not very close either 
in thought or language. In the present form the Similitudes 
have been compounded with an apocalypse of Noah, so that 
sometimes Noah and sometimes Enoch is speaking, and there 
is in several places more than a suspicion that the text, in any 
case that of a translation, has suffered severely, both by omission 
and by interpolation. The tenor of the book is a description 
of the judgment on the wicked and the glories promised to the 
righteous at the end of the Age. The phrase the ' Age to Come ' 
does not play so important a part as it does in 4 Ezra, but it is 
definitely mentioned in Enoch Ixxi., and it is clearly intended 
in the general description at the beginning,^ " I will transform 
the heaven and make it an eternal blessing and light, and I will 
transform the earth and make it a blessing." 

Part of the vision of this coming Age is concerned with an 
Elect One, who will preside at the judgment which must come 
first, and will be the centre of the society of the righteous who 
will inherit the transformed earth. In his vision Enoch is shown 
this Elect One in heaven with the " Lord of Spirits," in the form 
of a man — a " son of man " in Semitic phraseology — and hence- 
forward throughout the Similitudes the Elect One is frequently 
referred to as ' that Son of Man.' ^ As the text stands now two 
views are taken of the Elect One. According to one,* he was 

^ Enoch xxxvii. to Ixxi. - Enoch xlv. 4. 

^ Dr. Charles in an appendix to the second edition of his The Book of Enoch, 
pp. 306 ff., dissents from this view. He thinks that in Enoch, as in the New 
Testament, ' Son of man ' is a title, not a description. His opinion has of 
course great value, for no one living has spent more time or sldll on the study 
of Enoch, but in this case the facts as presented in his own translation seem to 
be decisively against him. 

* Enoch xlviiL 6 


" chosen and hidden before him (God) before the creation of the 
world and for evermore." According to the other, Enoch 
himself is " that son of man." ^ 

These two views are of course irreconcilable. It is thought 
by some ^ that the second is merely due to textual accident ; 
but if so the accident must have been on a large scale, and iu any 
case it is quite impossible to reconcile every statement in Enoch. 

The main point, however, for the student of Christianity is 
fairly plain. The Elect One is a man, who is now in heaven, 
and will come to the earth at the end of this world, to judge and 
condemn the wicked and to reign over the righteous in the world 
to come. His description is probably borrowed from Daniel ; 
and there is no visible connexion between him and the king of 
the Davidic family foretold by the earlier prophets. That in 
two passages ^ he is called ' the anointed ' does not alter the 
obvious fact that a man pre-existent in heaven from the creation 
cannot be a descendant of David.* 

In 4 Ezra xiii. 1 there is a famous passage which may be 4 Ezra, 
connected with the Son of Man, of Daniel, and Enoch. 

And it came to pass after seven days that I dreamed a dream by 
night : and I beheld and lo ! there arose a violent wind from the 
sea, and stirred all its waves. And I beheld, and lo ! the wind 
caused to come up out of the heart of the seas as it were the form of 

^ Enoch Ixxi. 14. " Thou art that son of man who is bom into righteous- 
ness ... he proclaims unto thee peace in the name of the world to come, for 
from hence has proceeded peace since the creation of the world." 

2 Notably Dr. R. H. Charles, who emends the text accordingly. 

* Enoch xlviii. 10, and lii. 4. Both these passages are obscure. It is in 
fact open to question whether the ' Anointed ' of xlviii. 10 really refers to the 
Elect One. The passage is a loose quotation from Ps. ii. 2, and it is not easy 
to see how the ' kings of the earth ' can be said to have denied the Elect One. 
Is it not possible that ' the anointed ' is merely part of the quotation, with no 
essential bearing on the context in Enoch ? In lii. 4 there seems to be a doublet 
in the narrative, and Charles and Beer suggest .plausible theories of different 
' sources.' See R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, cd. 2, 1912, pp. 64 and 101. 

* See further, p. 373. Of course in Christian theology the difficulty was 
surmounted by the doctrine of miraculous birth, by which the pre-existent 
Lord was born into the family of David. But tiiere is no trace of any such 
expectation in Enoch or anywhere else in Jewish Literature. 


a man. And I beheld, and lo ! this Man flew with the clouds of 
heaven. And wherever he turned his countenance to look every- 
thing seen by him trembled ; and whithersoever the voice went out 
of his mouth, all that heard his voice melted away, as the wax melts 
when it feels the fire. And after this I beheld, and lo ! there was 
gathered together from the four winds of heaven an innumerable 
multitude of men to make war against the Man that came up out of 
the sea. And I beheld, and lo ! he cut out for himself a great 
mountain and flew up upon it. But I sought to see the region or 
place from whence the mountain had been cut out ; and I could not. 
And after this I beheld, and lo ! all who were gathered together 
against him to wage war with him were seized with great fear ; yet 
they dared to fight. And lo ! when he saw the assault of the multi- 
tude as they came he neither lifted his hand, nor held spear nor any 
warlike weapon ; but I saw only how he sent out of his mouth as it 
were a fiery stream, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of 
his tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks. And these were all 
mingled together — the fiery stream, the flaming breath, and the 
storm, and fell upon the assault of the multitude which was prepared 
to fight, and burned them all up, so that suddenly nothing more was 
to be seen of the innumerable m altitude save only dust of ashes and 
smell of smoke. When I saw this I was amazed. Afterwards I 
beheld the same Man come down from the mountain, and call unto 
him another multitude which was peaceable. Then drew nigh unto 
him the faces of many men, some of whom were glad, some sorrowful ; 
while some were in bonds, some brought others who should be 

The commentators on 4 Ezra have naturally been more con- 
cerned with the attempt to discover its ' sources ' than the mind 
of its editor. But for the student of Christianity the mind of the 
editor, who was probably almost exactly contemporary with the 
apostles, is more important than doubtful though interesting 
Qiiellenkritik ; fortunately it is not impossible to discover. The 
editor makes the Almighty describe the Man of this vision as 
his Son, whom he clearly identifies with the Anointed One, who 
figures as a Lion in chapter xii., and whose reign is described 
in chapter vii. In this last place it is stated definitely that 
" my son, the Anointed one, will die " at the end of this Age. 

It is therefore plain that the writer of 4 Ezra was thinking 
of the judgment of destruction on the heathen and the prosperity 


of Israel in the period known to the Rabbis as " the days of 
the Messiah," not of the final judgment which, as he says else- 
where, will usher in the Age to corae. This is the great differ- 
ence between " the Man " of 4 Ezra and " that Son of Man " 
who is the Elect One of Enoch. The Elect One of Enoch ushers 
in the End and the Age to come: "the Man," who is the 
Anointed One, the " Son," of 4 Ezra ushers in the limited " days 
of the Messiah." 

The question arises whether the ' Son of Man ' can have been Son of Man 
identified by the writers with the Davidic Messiah. To see Davidic 
the matter in its proper proportions it is essential to remember ^^^^^^^^ 
that the important point is not the use of the title n"'tDD or of 
NtD3 ~il, but the identification of functions and personality. TT'Wi:^ 
means anointed, i.e. consecrated, and njtd 11 means ' a man.' 
It certainly never would have struck a Jew as reasonable to say 
that these words could only apply to one person. The difficult 
question is not whether the Son of Man was called " Anointed," 
but whether the Jews identified him with the anointed Davidic 
King of the earlier prophets. The later Rabbis seem to have 
used the phrase ' Cloud-man,' referring to Daniel vii. 13, as a 
title of the Davidic Messiah, and the Christians found both in 
Jesus. But was it always so ? A protest may be raised against 
the tendency of some writers to obscure the fact that this is the 
true problem. For they constantly use the word Messiah to 
describe the * Man ' in the apocalyptic books, and imply (though 
probably they do not always mean to do so) that the combination 
of the eschatological figure with the Davidic Messiah was made 
before the Christian period. 

The facts are obscure, and no single line of thought seems 
to have been universally followed. In some circles Persian 
eschatology probably replaced the prophetic anticipation of the 
restoration of a Davidic Kingdom, in others elaborate combina- 
tions and conflations were made. At any rate in the Similitudes 
of Enoch the Son of Man is clearly connected with the great day 
of judgment at the end of the Age, and with the resurrection 


which opens the Door of Life to those who are worthy of the 
Age to come. He is anointed of God for this purpose, but this 
purpose is wholly different from that for which the Anointed 
prince of the house of David was appointed, and there is no 
sufficient reason to suppose that the writer of the Similitudes 
was incapable of thinking that God had consecrated different 
persons for different purposes. That at a later period Christians 
who regarded ' Anointed ' as the unique title of Jesus identified 
' Son of Man ' and ' Son of David ' is natural. 

In the gospels ' Son of Man ' is always found in the mouth of 
Jesus : it is never used in narrative concerning him. In Acts ^ 
it is only used once in a passage which refers to the exalted Jesus, 
but is an obvious reference to his words before the Sanhedrim.^ 
In the epistles it is never found. The opinion of the writers of the 
gospels is thus clear that Jesus used the phrase ; that he used 
it of himself ; and that for unexplained reasons it was not used 
by his disciples in speaking of him. The important questions 
are whether Jesus really used it ; if he did so, what meaning was 
attached to it by him ; and what by the writers of the gospels. 

The first of these questions can be answered simply. Few 
things are so probable as the use of Son of Man by Jesus. It is 
found in his mouth in all the earlier strata of the gospels, as well as 
in the later ones. This does not prove that he apphed the phrase 
to himself or on all the occasions on which it is attributed to him 
in the gospels ; but it certainly shows that he used it either of 
himself or of some one else. Moreover — to assume the result 
of later inquiry — the fact that the generation of Greek Christians 
who produced our present gospels did not fully know the meaning 
or connotation of the phrase proves that they cannot have in- 
vented its use by Jesus. 

The two other questions can scarcely be separated, and can 
only be approached by a general analysis of the use of the phrase 
in the earlier strata of the gospels, and by a comparison of it 
with Jewish usage. 

1 Acts vii. 66. 2 L^j^g ^xii. 69. 



The material for this analysis is best supplied by the following 
tabular statements. In them the first division gives the refer- 
ences to the use of ' Son of Man ' in Mark together with the 
parallel passages in Matthew and Luke, and a short description 
of the kind of use made of the phrase, statmg whether it merely 
means ' man,' or refers to the Passion or the Parousia. Two 
passages are included in this list where Son of Man is not Marcan, 
but is introduced by Matthew into the Marcan text. The second 
division gives similar references to passages found both in Matthew 
and Luke, and generally attributed to Q. The third and fourth 
to passages found only in Matthew or Luke respectively. 

I. Marcan Passages 




= man 

ii. 10 


ix. 6 


V. 24 

= man 

ii. 28 


xii. 8 


vi. 5 

Matthaean change 

(viii. 27) 


xvi. 13 


(ix. 18) 


viii. 31 


(xvi. 21) 


ix. 22 


viii. 38 


xvi. 27 


ix. 26 

Matthaean change 

(ix. 1) 


xvi. 28 


(ix. 27) 


ix. 9 


xvii. 9 


ix. 12 


xvii. 12 



ix. 31 


xvii. 22 


ix. 44 


X. 33 


XX. 18 


xviii. 31 

Lk. puts ' I ') Passion 

X. 45 


XX. 28 


(xxii. 27) 


xiii. 26 


xxiv. 30 


xxi. 27 

The Son " Parousia 

xiii. 32 


(xxiv. 36] 




xiv. 21 


xxvi. 24 


xxii. 22 


xiv. 41 


XX vi. 45 



xiv. 62 


xxvi. 64 


xxii. 69 

II. Passages in 







. 20 

= ix. ! 





= vii. 


— man 



= xii. 


Tlie Sign of Jonah- 

—I xii. 


= " xi. ; 


Parousia xix 

. 28 

= (xxii. 30) 

Parousia xxiv. 27 

= xvii 

. 24 

Parousia xxiv. 37 

= xvii 

. 26 

Parousia xxiv. 44 

= xii. 



III. Peculiar to Matthew 


X. 23 

= 'I' 

xiii. 37 


xiii. 41 

(Not in WH) — ' I ' 

xviii. 11 


xxiv. 30 


XXV. 31 


xxvi. 2 

IV. Peculiar 

to Luke 

(Not in WH) = ' I ' 

ix. 56 

Passion or Parousia 

xvii. 22 

(Possibly Q) Parousia 

xvii. 30 


XAdii. 8 

= 'I' 

xix. 10 


xxi. 36 

= 'I' 

xxii. 48 


xxiv. 7 

The most valuable bint to be derived from these statistics as 
to the probable significance of the title in the mouth of Jesus 
is supplied by comparing the passages in the first two divisions, 
from Mark and Q ; for, where these agree, if anywhere, trust- 
worthy information is given. From this comparison it appears 
at once that in both there is a series of passages in which ' Son 
of Man ' is used in connexion with the Parousia. He is to come 
unexpectedly on the clouds of heaven, seated at the right hand of 

In Mark, but not in Q, there are equally noticeable passages 
in which the name of Son of Man is connected not with the 
Parousia, but with the Passion. 

Besides these passages, in which ' Son of Man ' is connected 
either with the Parousia or the Passion, there are three, two in 
Mark and one in Q, in which the original meaning of Son of Man 
seems to have been ' a man,' representing the Aramaic Bar-nasha. 
And there are also others, both in Mark, Q, and places probably 
due to the redactors, in which the words as they stand are simply 
a periphrasis for the first person, though it is possible sometimes 
to see that the original meaning was difierent. 


Comparing the synoptic usage with the Jewish, the first and Comparison 
third of the phenomena in the gospels become intelligible, but and Syn- 
the second remains obscure. The passages referring to the "rfc usage. 
Parousia have a striking resemblance to Jewish usage as found 
in the Apocalypses. There is a close resemblance in language 
to Daniel, but the thought is even closer to the Similitudes of 
Enoch. The likeness to 4 Ezra is much more remote, for in the 
gospels, as in Daniel and Enoch, the ' Son of Man ' comes from 
heaven, while in 4 Ezra he rises from the sea. This has some 
bearing on the question whether the kmgdom whose coming 
was announced by Jesus was the Age to come or the Days of the 
Messiah. None of the passages in which Son of Man is found 
is decisively in favour of either view, but the apocalyptic section 
of Mark xiii. seems to point to the coming of the Son of Man 
at the " End " — that is the end of this Age — to bring in the Age 
to come. It is therefore all the more important that the Son 
of Man in the references to the Parousia in the gospels resembles 
the figure in Enoch rather than in 4 Ezra : for in Enoch he 
certainly belongs to the judgment before the Age to come, 
while in 4 Ezra he seems rather to usher in the Days of the 

This close coimexion of the Son of Man with the Parousia is The Son 
the most clearly primitive point in the Gospel tradition. It is "^d the 
found in both the earliest strata in the tradition — Mark and Q — I'arousia. 
and it is immediately expUcable by reference to contemporary 
Jewish thought. 

It is quite clear from the general context that the writer in 
these passages understands Jesus to refer to himself, but the 
sentence is generally so turned that this would not necessarily 
have been clear to the original hearer of Jesus. In Mark xiv. 62 
Jesus admits that he is the Messiah, speaking in the first person, 
and goes on to speak of the Son of Man in the third person : but 
whether he identifies the Son of Man with himself is not clear. 
In xiii. 26 there is nothing, except the tradition of exegesis, to 
show that Jesus meant himself when he said that the last sign of 


the end would be the appearance of the Son of Man in the clouds. 
In viii. 38 Jesus says, " Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and 
my words in this generation, of him shall the Son of Man be 
ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father." Here, as in 
xiv. 62, the natural interpretation would surely be that the 
speaker, who is using the first person, cannot be the same as the 
Son of Man of whom he speaks in the third. 
Son of Man This is important, because in the oldest stratum of the gospels 
= Messiah. ^^ ^^ clcar that Jesus made the repentance of his hearers the 
object of his mission. Whatever may be the exact relation 
between the Enochian Son of Man and the Messiah, it is impossible 
to reconcile the ' Messianic secret ' with an open assertion of 
identity with the Son of Man of the Apocalypses. But, if the 
references to the Son of Man in the teaching of Jesus were am- 
biguous on this point, much difficulty is removed, though neces- 
sarily at the expense of an added doubt as to his real meaning. 
But this doubt does not apply to the writers of the gospels. It 
is clear that they regarded Jesus as the Son of Man who would 
come in the clouds of heaven, and these references to his Parousia 
are wholly intelHgible in the light of Jewish thought. 
Son of Man Equally clear is the evidence that in some passages ' Son of 
(a) the Man ' in the Greek Gospels is due to the literal translation of an 
Sabbath. Ajamaic tradition in which Bar-nasha had been used, but — 
originally at least — with no reference to Apocalyptic usage. It 
had meant ' man ' in the ordinary sense, but either in Greek 
translation or possibly in some earlier Aramaic stage, was 
taken to mean Jesus himself. The clearest instance of this is 
Mark ii. 28 when the disciples had offended the Pharisees by 
plucking corn on the Sabbath. The defence offered by Jesus 
is that David had broken the Law when hunger had made it 
necessary, and he went on to say, " The Sabbath was made for 
man, and not man for the Sabbath, so that the son of man is 
Lord even of the Sabbath." This argument does not state that 
the Sabbath was made for man because he, as the Son of Man, is 
Lord over the Sabbath, but on the contrary concludes that man 



has power over the Sabbath because it had been instituted for 
his benefit. The question at issue had nothing to do with the 
position of Jesus, but with the inherent rights of the disciples 
as men. The saying of Jesus means " man is Lord of the Sabbath, 
which w^as created for his sake," and the phrase " Son of Man " 
in it clearly means " Man " and is due to a mistaken literal 
rendering of har-nasTia. It is of course quite probable that 
the writer of the Greek Mark understood the phrase to refer 
to Jesus, but if so the mare betrays his mistake : it is noteworthy 
that Matthew felt the iuappropriateness (from his point of view) 
of the oiaTe and corrected it to '-fap, thus treating as the premiss 
of the argument what was originally (and is so even in Mark) a 
conclusion from it. 

A similar instance is probably to be seen in Mark ii. 10, — (6) Forgive- 
the story of the paralytic who was lowered down through 
the roof. Jesus said, " Thy sms are forgiven thee," and thus 
outraged the feeling of the Pharisees who said that no one can 
forgive sins except God. The answer of Jesus was to cure the 
paralytic in order to show that " the Son of Man has power 
on earth to forgive sins." Christian opinion has usually 
inclined to agree with the Pharisees as to the forgiveness 
of sin, but there is no trace in the story that Jesus was 
claiming to have power denied to other men, though no doubt 
the evangelists interpreted his saying in that way, and therefore 
perpetuated it. The objection of the Pharisees was that Jesus, 
being human, was blasphemously arrogating to himself divine 
power by a claim, unsupported by proof, to forgive sin ; his 
answer was to cure the paralytic and allege that this was a proof 
not that he was divine, but that the claim to forgive sin w^as 
within human competence. Thus in its Greek form the narrative 
seems to be based on a misunderstanding of Bar-nasha. It is 
curious that Matthew seems in this case to preserve a trace of 
the original meai\ing of the story in his concluding comment 
that the multitude glorified God " who had given such power 
to men." 


(c) In Q, That this influence of mistranslation was not peculiar to 

Mark, but also affected Q, can be shown by comparison of Mark 
iii. 28 f. with Matt, xii, 31 f. and Luke xii, 10. Mark reads, 
" Verily I say unto you all their sins shall be forgiven unto the 
sons of men, . . . but whosoever shall blaspheme against the 
Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness." Matthew repeats this 
statement, merely reading ' men ' for ' sons of men ' and slightly 
modifying the construction, but adds to it a second statement 
" and whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man it 
shall be forgiven him, but Vv^hosoever shall speak against the 
Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world 
nor in the world to come." Luke also preserves this additional 
verse, but repeats it instead of, not in addition to, the Marcan 
version. It is tolerably plain that it comes from Q, and that 
Matthew and Luke, recognising its identity with the Marcan 
story, followed their usual editorial method : Matthew by com- 
bining the two versions, and Luke by selecting one of them. 
The tradition has obviously been confused by doubt as to how 
to render an Aramaic Bar-nasha. Mark correctly took it as 
meaning man in general ; Q regarded it as the personal ' Son 
of Man,' and produced a rendering which no one has ever 
yet been able reasonably to explain, not unnaturally, for it is 
a mistranslation, and mistranslations are commonly obscure. 

These passages point to the introduction of 6 vio<; tov avOpcoirov 
into Greek documents by the literal unidiomatic translation of 
Bar-nasha. A preference for idiomatic rendering perhaps 
explains the absence of the phrase in the Pauline epistles. All 
the essentials of the eschatological doctrine connoted by the 
apocalyptic Son of Man are found in Paul, but not the phrase 
itself. Is not this because he was too good a Grecian to translate 
Bar-nasha by so impossible a phrase as 6 vio^ rou dvOpooirov, and 
rendered it idiomatically by 6 av6pwiTo<i ? When for instance he 
speaks in 1 Cor. xv. 47 of the second " man " as the Lord from 
Heaven, is he not thinking of the Bar-nasha of Enoch 1 

These problems can be explained by the linguistic peculiarities 


of Aramaic, just as the references to the Son of Man in connexion 
with the Parousia can be explained by Apocalyptic imagery. 
But the passages connecting the Son of Man with the Passion 
cannot be accounted for in either way, and they are the most 
serious difficulty in the whole problem. 

The question is whether the predictions in these passages are id) Suffer- 
the ipsissima verba of Jesus, or the later interpretation of his dwith of 
words. They are all in Mark, except one passage in Matthew ^^1^°"^ ^^ 
and one in Luke, both of which are clearly editorial and imitate 
the style of Mark.^ All are based on the same model— the words 
ascribed to Jesus immediately after the * Confession of Peter ' at 
Caesarea Philippi. " And he began to teach them, saying, the 
Son of Man must suSer many things, and be rejected by the 
elders and the high priests and the scribes and be put to death, 
and rise again after three days." 

The prediction is explicit and precise : it could not possibly 
be misunderstood by any one. But the student of tradition — 
especially religious tradition — is aware that predictions are often 
given explicit precision by an ex post facto knowledge of the 
event. Whether this was so in the tradition of Jesus' prediction 
of his death and resurrection can best be tested by the conduct 
of his disciples. Did they behave at the time of his death and 
resurrection as though he had exactly foretold each event ? 
Certainly they did not. Moreover, the context of the pre- 
dictions often implies that the disciples did not immediately 
grasp the meaning of the words.^ No one acquainted with the 
general growth of tradition can doubt that this means that 
sayings, obscure at the time, have been made clear in the light 
of the subsequent events. The records as we have them give 

' Matt. xxvi. 2 and Luke xxiv. 7. Reference may also be made to the 
strange phrase peculiar to Luke in Luke xvii. 22. " Ye shall desire to see one 
of the days of the Son of Man." As it stands it probably means to " see again 
the time when Jesus was on earth," but the context — the description of the 
signs leading up to the coming of the Son of Man — suggests that in the source 
it was not " one of the days " but " the day of the Son of Man." 

2 See Mark ix. 10 and ix. 32. 


not the ipsissima verba of Jesus, but the meaning put upon them 

by the disciples or by the evangelists. The recognition of this 

fact suggests that though Jesus did speak to his disciples of his 

coming rejection by the Jewish leaders, and of his ultimate 

triumph, he did not define the details of either with the accuracy 

of the present documents. 

Application The general principle that these sayings have been edited in 

Sonof mL. ^^6 light of subsequent events is often accepted, but difference 

is always likely to exist as to its detailed application to the 

phrase Son of Man. 

(a) Did One possibility is that the delineation of the Son of Man in 

understand ^^^ mind of Jesus was really different from that in Enoch or in 

It other ^ Ezra. According to this view, he taught that the Son of Man 

than Enoch » ' ° 

or 4 Ezra ? would appear first as an ordinary man, not on the clouds of 
heaven, and would be rejected with contumely, but afterwards be 
glorified and revealed in power by the act of God. The drawback 
to this view is that it gives to the Son of Man characteristics not 
merely absent from, but wholly foreign to the picture of him in 
Enoch, and in Ezra, and also to the descriptions of the Parousia 
in the gospels. This was inevitable for Christians after the event, 
when Son of Man had come to mean Jesus, and therefore every- 
thing which had happened to Jesus had necessarily happened 
to the Son of Man. It seems less likely to be traceable to Jesus 

(6) Was the The alternative is to suggest that the phrase. Son of Man, 

added^sub- is part of the detail added by Christians to the Marcan predictions. 

sequentiy ? g^^ ^j^jg presents two possibilities : it may be part of the Aramaic 
tradition, or it may be due to Greek Christians, who introduced 
Son of Man into these passages without any clear perception of 
its connotation. But it is not necessary to decide between 
these last possibilities. Obviously, as soon as the faith in the 
Resurrection spread, it was inevitable that the doctrine of the 
Son of Man would be modified by its light. The only way in 
which the disciples could maintain that Jesus was the Son of Man 
was to maintain also that he was destined to sufier, die, and 


rise again to heaven, whence he would come again on the clouds. 
But until all sense of the original meaning of the phrase was 
lost it would be natural for the disciples to keep Son of Man 
as the title of the glorified Jesus. Therefore, so far as this 
probabiHty goes, it gives some support to the view that the 
connexion of Son of Man with the predictions of suffering belongs 
to Greek Christians, who had failed to appreciate the full meaning 
of the phrase.^ It became to them merely the obscure and 
mysterious title which Jesus had traditionally used of himself, 
and though it was not used in speaking of him, was put into his 
own mouth on many inappropriate occasions. 

There remains the question whether this amplification of the The SuSer- 
connotation of Son of Man is due to the literary influence of the ^nd the 
figure of the Suffering Servant, or to the actual facts of the Son of Man. 
Passion. The argument in favour of the former theory is that 
it is consistent with Christian tradition, and that there seems 
no other literary source to account for the facts. The strongest 
argument against it is that there is no clear reference to the 
Suffering Servant in the early strata of the Gospels, though 
the writers were not prone to conceal their opinion when they 
saw a fulfilment of prophecy. It is of course immaterial for 
this question whether the amplification of the idea conveyed 
by the name Son of Man so as to include suffering was made 
by Jesus, foreseeing his own sufferings, or by his disciples after- 
wards. The point is that it was the knowledge of the Passion, 
whether prophetic or historic, not the interpretation of Isaiah liii., 
which produced the gospel narrative. 

The most probable theory seems to be that Jesus spoke 

^ How completely this is true of the next generation can be seen in the 
writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and writers of the end of the 
second century. ' Son of Man ' is hardly ever used : it becomes, however, in 
Irenaeus complementary to ' Son of God ' and refers to the Incarnation. This 
is not because the idea of judgment originally connected with the phrase has 
been lost : it is still emphasised (of. the opening verses of 2 Clement), but 
the phrase itself had lost its original meaning, and was in process of acquir- 
ing a new one in the light of new doctrines which it was afterwards used to 


of his future sufferings in general terms, and that his disciples 
developed his sayings in accordance with the event. The 
editors of the Gospels, or possibly the writers of their sources, used 
Son of Man indiscriminately as a periphrasis for the first person 
in the sayings of Jesus, and connected it with his predictions of 
suffering. Probably they had at first no passage in the Old 
Testament in mind. That the Messiah or the Son of Man should 
sufier according to the Scriptures is not a Jewish doctrine, and 
the fact that Jesus did suffer preceded the discovery of suitable 

The suffer- Throughout the last centuries of its national existence the 
misfortunes of Israel were reflected in its literature by many 
vivid descriptions of the sufferings of the righteous. In earlier 
days prosperity had been considered the reward of piety ; it now 
began to be seen that though suffering is connected with sin the 
punishment does not always fall on the immediate sinner in 
proportion to his guilt. On the contrary, in this world, it is 
often the righteous who sufier, and the sinners who prosper. The 
problem which arose from this fact was dealt with in several 
ways by the Jews, and the progress in thought which they 
showed in their writings does not always correspond to the 
chronological order of the books. The two lines of importance 
for the study of the New Testament are that which connects 
suffering with the hope of resurrection and that which connects 
it with the service of God. Of these the first has much import- 
ance for Christian thought generally, but does not seem to bear 
directly on the growth of Christology ; the second is intimately 
connected with it, especially in Luke and Acts. 

In the o.T. In the parts of the Old Testament which develop this relation 
of suffering with service considerable importance attaches to 
the word " Servant of the Lord " {iraU Kvpiov). This phrase 
did not originally connote suffering : it is apphed to Abraham, 
Moses, Job (in the days of his prosperity), David, and others, 
and collectively to the people as a whole, or sometimes to the 


" pious remnant." But the course of history seems to have 
impressed Israel with the close connexion which existed between 
the service of the Lord and suffering, and the consciousness of 
this connexion reached its highest Uterary expression in the 
Psalter and in the second part of Isaiah. It is possible that the 
Wisdom of Solomon ought to be added to these. Especially in 
the second chapter where the persecution of the righteous man 
by the wicked is described, he is called the Trai? Kvplov, and 
there seems to be an allusion to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, 
but in the immediate context ^ he is described as i/('o9 deov, and 
it is therefore possible that here TraZ? means ' son ' rather than 
' servant.' 

In none of these, however, do the writers appear to have Not 
had in mind any prophetic description of a great Sufferer, and 
certainly had no idea of relating their descriptions of suffering 
to the Davidic Messiah or to the Son of Man in the Apocalypses. 
The Psahns appear to be intended as descriptions of the suffering 
of David, regarded as the type of the righteous sufferer in all 
ages, whom God would in the end rescue. Whether the writers 
really had David continually in mind or not is immaterial : it 
was certainly the general view of the first century a.d. In the 
" Servant " passages of Isaiah the meaning of the writer is open 
to dispute. He may have had in mind the sufferings of some 
historic personage ; many names have been suggested ; for 
most an equally good or bad case can be made out. But if so, 
he was describing the past, not predicting the future. He 
cannot have been thinking of the Messiah, and probably had 
never heard of the ' Son of Man ' as he appears in Daniel or Enoch. 
Jewish interpretation, which for the exposition of the New 
Testament is far more important than the real meaning of the 
Old Testament, seems always to have looked on the ' Suffering 
Servant ' as the personification of the righteous in Israel, who are 
oppressed in this world and suffer for the sins of their nation, 
but will in the end be redeemed by the God in whom they 

1 See p. 388. 
VOL. I 2 c 



The identi- 
fication of 
Jesus with 


trusted, and be rewarded in the world to come. Similarly in the 
Wisdom of Solomon ^ the righteous man who calls himself the 
7ra69 of the Lord and claims God as his father, and in the end 
is reckoned among the sons of God, is obviously the personifica- 
tion of the whole number of righteous who suffer in this life. 

The Christian interpretation of these passages was quite 
different. Everything was referred to Jesus, and the descriptions 
of the suffering of the righteous, especially in the Psalms and in 
Isaiah, were interpreted as prophecies of his Passion, since he 
was considered to be the ' Suffering Servant ' in 2 Isaiah, as well 
as the Messiah, or Davidic King, and the Son of Man of the 
Apocalyptic hope. The attributes of each of these three figures 
became interchangeable, and all found their complete fulfilment 
in Jesus. 

The problem which faces the investigator of the New Testa- 
ment is to trace the process by which this identification of the 
Sufferer with Jesus was first made. Can we distinguish any 
special parts of the Old Testament as having first influenced 
Christian thought ? Do the books of the New Testament differ 
from each other in this respect ? 

In Mark and in Q there are no clear signs of any identification 
of Jesus with the sufferer of Isaiah liii.^ It has, however, been 
argued that the use of the word {TrapaSiBwfxt) in Mark xiv. 18, 21, 
etc., is connected with the constant use of the same word in 
Isaiah liii. If there were other clear references to Isaiah liii. 
this would be plausible, but in their absence it is not convincing ; 
the word is not rare, there is no trace of a quotation, and it is 
hard to see what other word the writer could naturally have used. 
It seems far more likely that TrapaSiSco/jLi was used as the most 
natural word, though probably it afterwards did much to 
strengthen the Christian interpretation of Isaiah when the coin- 
cidence in language was noted. It has also been thought that 

^ Wisd. ii. 12 ff. 

* It is scarcely necessary to say that the quotation of Is. liii. 12 in Mk. xv. 28 
is not part of the true text, but is an interpolation from Lk. xxii. 37. 


there may be an allusion to Isaiah liii. 12 in Mark x. 45 (" to give 
his life a ransom for many ") ; but the words are not the same, 
and it seems no more justifiable to find an allusion to Isaiah than 
an interpolation from Paul. The idea that a leader is willing to 
die for his followers is neither new nor strange : the remarkable 
thing ill Mark is the use of Xvrpov and this is not found in Isaiah. 
The one clear reference in Mark to the Old Testament litera- 
ture of suffering is the cry of Jesus on the Cross from the Aramaic 
of Psalm xxii., " My God, my God, why hast thou deserted me." 
There has been much discussion of this passage. Of course, if 
the view ^ is accepted that it is not historical, but that Jesus died 
with a loud cry which the evangelist interpreted as the Psalmist's 
words, it would prove that Mark interpreted the Psalm as a 
prophecy of Jesus, or of the Messiah, and that he " wrote up " 
the story of the Passion from this point of view. Yet few 
things seem more improbable than that any early Christian 
should have invented a final cry of despair by Jesus. Invention 
would have produced a cry of resignation or of triumph as in the 
Fourth Gospel. But if this cry be historical it cannot be taken 
as evidence^ as to the Christology of Mark, for there is nothing 
else in his narrative which connects Jesus with Psalm xxii. 
According to Mark the Jews at the Cross mocked Jesus as a false 
Messiah. " He saved others, himself he cannot save. The 
Messiah ! The King of Israel ! Let him now come down from 
the cross, that we may see and believe." There is nothing here 
reminiscent of Psalm xxii. But to any one who reflected on the 
words from the Cross the change to the narrative in Matthew 
would be very easy. " He saved others ; himself he cannot 
save. He is the King of Israel, let him come down now from 
the Cross, and let us believe on him. He trusted in God ; let 
him deliver him now, if he will hear him, for he said, ' I am God's 
son.' " The quotation here is obvious, and Matthew has 
rewritten the narrative of Mark not only in the light of Psalm 
xxii., but also in that of Wisdom ii. 12 ff. " Let us lay wait 
' Suggested among others by W. Brandt, Evangeliache Qeschichte. 


for the righteous ... he calleth himself a child of the Lord {wai^; 
KvpLov) ... he blesseth the end of the righteous, and boasteth 
that God is his father. Let us see if his words be true, and test 
them by his end. For if the righteous be a son of God he will 
help him, and deliver him out of the hand of his adversaries." ^ 

In the passages common to Matthew and Luke which are 
usually ascribed to Q there is one passage which is frequently used 
to connect Jesus with the figure of the ' Suffering Servant.' 
This is the answer given by Jesus to the disciples of John in 
Matthew xi. 5 and Luke vii. 22. John had heard in the prison 
of events which seemed to him to be the signs of the Messiah — 
TO, epya rod Xpiarov — and sent to inquire further. The answer 
of Jesus was, " Go and tell John what things ye see and hear : 
the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, lepers are 
cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the 
poor hear good news." In Matthew this passage is placed so 
that the list of miracles is a summary of those recorded in the 
preceding sections.^ Most of these have been taken from Mark, 
and therefore the arrangement cannot throw any light on the 
original meaning of Q. Luke, it should be noted, ]^s arranged 
the material differently, and to give point to the words of Jesus 
introduces a summary reference to a special series of miracles 
expressly performed for the sake of John's disciples. 

A parallelism has often been noted between this passage and 
Isaiah Ixi, 1, in which the preaching good news to the poor and 
the giving of sight to the blind ^ are among the blessings promised 
to restored Israel. But though this passage comes in Isaiah it 
has nothing to do with the Suffering Servant. Moreover, the 
other signs are not mentioned in Isaiah, and it may be said with 

' Notice also the change in Lk. xxiii. 47 to " Truly this man was righteous " 
from " Truly this man was a son of God." 

2 Matt. viii. 1-4 ; ix. 1-7, 9-13, 18-25, 27-31, 32. 

' It is worth noting that the giving of sight to the blind is only found in the 
LXX. of Is. Ixi., not in the Hebrew. This has some bearing on the origin of 
the story. It is as improbable that Jesus quoted the LXX. as it is certain that 
Luke was accustomed to do so. 


confidence that the redactor of Matthew did not notice any 
quotation here : had he done so he would almost certainly have 
made it plainer in accordance with his marked predilection for 
finding fulfilment of prophecies in the life of Jesus. Even if 
this be not so, and there was really an allusion in Q to Isaiah Ixi. 1, 
it is, after all, connected entirely with these miracles of healing 
and not with the Passion, for there is nothing about suffering in 
Isaiah Ixi. 

In Matthew viii. 17 there is a direct quotation of Isaiah liii. 4, Matthew, 
but the context shows that the editor did not regard this chapter 
as prophetic of the suffering of Jesus, It is clearly a merely 
verbal reminiscence of Isaiah, taken, as was commonly done by 
Jewish scribes, entirely apart from its context, so that " Himself 
took our infirmities and bare our diseases " became a prophecy 
of the healing miracles of Jesus, not of his Passion. 

Similarly in Matthew xii. 17, which belongs to the editor of the 
gospel, not to Mark or Q, there is an undoubted identification 
of Jesus with the Servant, by a direct quotation from Isaiah xlii. 
But (oddly enough) this passage does not refer to suffering, but 
to the injunction of Jesus not to make his miracles known to 
the multitude. There is also the remarkable passage in Matthew 
xxvii. 42, quoted above, in which the Marcan account of the 
conduct of the Jews watching the Crucifixion is so rewritten as 
to contain clear references to Psalm xxii. and to Wisdom ii. The 
difference between the Marcan text and this Matthacan re- 
daction admirably illustrates the dift'erence between the original 
tradition and one affected by the Christian interpretation of 
Psalm xxii. 

The evidence is too slight and negative to allow of certainty 
in drawing conclusions, but, so far as it goes, it suggests that the 
earliest reference to the " suft'ering " passages in the Old Testa- 
ment was to Psalm xxii., in the cry of Jesus on the Cross. This 
led Matthew, but not Mark or Q, to see a fulfilment of Psalm xxii. 
elsewhere, and to combine other details of the Passion with it 
and with the description in Wisdom of the sufferings of the 

and Acts. 


righteous. There is a striking lack of any evidence that Isaiah 
liii. was as yet (or in the circles represented by Matthew) used 
as a prophecy of Jesus. The picture of the herald of good tidings 
in Isaiah Ixi. is used, but not in connexion with the Passion. 
There is no raore trace of a Christian interpretation of the 
' Servant ' in Isaiah regarded as a sufferer, than there is in Mark 
or Q. 

id) Luke The situation is markedly different in Luke and Acts. At 

the opening of the Gospel narrative, whereas Mark summarises 
the preaching of Jesus as " The kingdom of God is at hand. 
Repent ! " Luke ^ represents Jesus as beginning his public 
ministry by reading Isaiah Ixi. 1 if. in the synagogue at Nazareth, 
" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed 
me to announce good tidings to the poor ; he hath sent me to heal 
the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and 
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are 
bruised." " To preach the acceptable year of the Lord," and 
saying, " To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears." 
This identifies Jesus with the Servant, but it does not refer to 
the Passion, and is not taken from a " sufiering " chapter in 
Isaiah. In this respect it does not go beyond Matthew. In 
Luke xxii. 37, however, the quotation from Isaiah liii. 12, " and he 
was reckoned with the transgressors," explicitly regards the 
suffering of the Servant as a prophecy fulfilled by the Passion of 
Jesus. This marks the difference between Luke and the other 
Gospels. The evidence of Acts is similar : even in x. 36, rov 
\oyov ov aTreareiXev (Psalm cvii. 20) is defined as evayyeXi^ofievo^i 
elprjvr}v (probably a reminiscence of Isaiah Hi. 7) and the \6yov 
is finally explained as the pi^/xa or story of Jesus, " how God 
anointed (exptaev) him with the Holy Spirit." The reference 
to Isaiah Ixi. 1 is clear, especially in the light of Luke iv, 18, 
which describes the baptism. The identification of the Servant 
with Jesus is obvious ; even here, however, if it stood alone it 
would be possible to urge that it is not the sufiering of the Servant 

1 Luke iv. 18 ff. 


which is the point of the fulfilment. But in Acts viii. 32 the 
direct quotation of Isaiah liii. 7 (" He was led as a sheep to the 
slaughter," etc.) is expressly taken as prophetic of Jesus. 

In Acts iii. 13 the phraseology " the God of our Fathers 
glorified his servant Jesus " seems reminiscent of Isaiah Iii. 13. 
The text of this passage is l8ov awijaet 6 Trai? /xou, Kal 
vy^rfjoOrjcreTaL koI So^aadrjaerac a(f)6Spa, and thus contains the 
two prominent words of Acts iii. 13 — iralha and iSo^aae. But 
iBo^aae w^as a natural word to use in the context, and is insuffi- 
cient to show whether in calling Jesus the Tratf of God the writer 
was thinking of the prophecy of Isaiah, or of other passages in 
the Old Testament where the phrase is applied to the great men 
of Israel, or was merely using a well-known designation of those 
who served God faithfully. The only reason for the usual view 
is that all the references in Acts iii. and iv. to Jesus as the traU 
of God are interpreted in the light of the clear quotation of 
Isaiah liii. 7 f . in Acts viii. 32. This is sufficient evidence to 
establish the opinion of the editor of Acts, but it proves nothing 
for the original meaning of the source of Acts iii. and iv,, unless 
it be regarded as certain that these chapters come from the same 
source as Acts viii. There is, however, reasonable doubt on this 
point, and it is slightly more probable that Acts iii. and iv. 
represent a Jerusalem tradition, while Acts viii. is connected 
with Caesarea and the Hellenistic circle to which Philip belonged. 
If this view be adopted it is tempting to suggest that the inter- 
pretation of Isaiah liii. as a prophecy of Jesus was first introduced 
by Hellenistic Christians, for there is no positive evidence of its 
existence in sources which certainly represent the thought of the 
first disciples in Jerusalem, but it was clearly part of the teaching 
of Philip. 

The Pauline epistles and Acts present an interesting contrast The 
on this subject. In Acts the Passion of Jesus is identified with Epistles 
the suffering of the Servant, but nowhere is described as giving ""'^ ^'^*^- 
salvation to men. In the speeches of Peter and Stephen the 
death of Jesus is regarded as the wicked act of the Jews, parallel 


to their fathers' persecution of the prophets.^ If men desire 
salvation let them repent, and be baptized.^ On the other hand, 
in the epistles the death of Christ brings salvation, but nowhere 
is Jesus identified with the Suffering Servant. The contrast is 
very strange, and cannot be explained away by saying that it is 
based on silence. The argumentum e silentio has its weakness, 
but it is not so indefensible as the opposite defect of reading into 
one document what is only to be found in another. 

The Son of In the Old Testament, Elohim, the word translated God, 
is a plural and may signify either the God of Israel, heathen gods, 
angels, or even great men. The plural may possibly indicate an 
earlier polytheistic creed, and be a survival of the old religion.^ 
Thus, as ' sons ' or ' son of man ' is the equivalent of human 
beings, so the * Sons of Elohim ' * contrasted in Genesis vi. 4 
with the ' daughters of men ' may be gods ; though in later 
apocalyptic Judaism the explanation is that they were fallen 

Sonship But the orthodox faith of the prophets was rigid monotheism. 

to Jehovah. Israel worshipped Jehovah, a god who remained severely alone, 
enthroned in majesty. He had chosen the nation for himself 
and demanded their exclusive worship. " Thou shalt have no 
other gods before my face." This God could have had no off- 
spring to dispute the honour due unto his name ; nevertheless 
the words father and son are used to express Jehovah's attitude 
to Israel. Thus in Exodus Jehovah says, " Israel is my first- 
born son,' ^ and in Hosea, ' I called my son out of Egypt.' "^ The 
same metaphor is used in 2 Samuel Adi. when David desired to 

1 Acts ii. 22 f. ; iii. 17 ; and vii. 51 f. 

2 Acts ii. 38, but not iii. 19. 

^ In Genesis Abraham is made to use a plural with Elohim, " the gods caused 
me to wander," and the massorites add a cautionary note that Elohim=God. 

* ' Sons of God ' occurs in Gen. vi. 2, Job. i. 6, where they and Satan 
among them present themselves before Jehovah, Job xxxvui. 7, ' the sons of 
God shout for joj%' the clause being parallel to the rejoicing of the ' morning 
stars.' * Enoch vi. 

^ Exodus iv. 22. ' Hosea xi. 1. 


build the Temple but is forbidden to do so, because it is reserved 
for his son. Nathan, speaking in Jehovah's name, says of 
Solomon, ' I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son.' 
Here a father means one who will exercise parental authority and 
will chastise Solomon if he deserves it. " If he commit iniquity 
I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes 
of the children of men : but my mercy (ion the afiection of a 
father for a son) shall not depart away from him as I took it 
from Saul." 

Whatever may be the date of the prophecy of Nathan, its ii. Sam. 
interpretation in Psalm Ixxxix. is undoubtedly later. In the p"' ^^xix 
interval between the Prophecy and the Psalm the idea of David 
had been transformed. The fall of the royal house of Judah had 
caused it to be regarded as the representative of the whole nation, 
whose glories had departed with its kingdom. The captive king 
Jehoiachin who had been taken to Babylon in early youth was 
regarded with romantic tenderness, and his deliverance from 
prison by Evil-Merodach was hailed as the restoration of hope 
for the whole nation. 

A new estimate of David was the result of the calamities 
of his house, and he was pictured as the special favourite of 
Jehovah, ' a man after his own heart.' In Chronicles nothing 
is permitted to appear to his discredit, and in the 89th Psalm 
the words spoken of Solomon are applied to him, and he acknow- 
ledges God as his father. David thus becomes the typical 
righteous man and so a son of God.^ 

In this way the idea of Sonship underwent a twofold develop- 
ment. The coimexion of the phrase with David and his house 
made it appropriate as the title of the anointed king in the 2nd 
Psalm. " The Icings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take 
counsel together, against Jehovah, and against his anointed. . . . 
I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said unto me. Thou art my 
Son ; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give 
thee the heathen for an inheritance," etc. This line of thought, 
^ Ps. Ixxxix. 26, ' He shall cry unto mo, Thou art ray father.' 




as a 

through its presentation in the Psalms, continued to be central in 
the Jewish hope of a Davidic Messiah, who would overthrow the 
heathen ; the classical example of its use in the literature almost 
contemporary with Christianity is the 17th Psalm of Solomon, 
and it probably explains the fondness of 4 Ezra for making God 
refer to the Messiah as his Son.^ 

But in other circles a more ethical and less military develop- 
ment took place. Attention was centred not on David or his 
family, but on the quality of righteousness — and frequently 
suffering righteousness — which the David of the Psalms repre- 
sents. The finest presentation of this development is in the 
Wisdom of Solomon, where, not the king, but the righteous man 
in adversity is pictured as the ' Son of God.' ^ The same idea 
can also be found in Jubilees i. 19-25. " And they (repentant 
Israel) shall be called children of the living God ; and all angels 
and spirits shall know that they are my children, and that I am 
their father.^ Moreover in Hellenistic circles the fact that vl6<i 

* " Behold, Lord, and raise up unto them their king, the son of David, at 
the time when thou seest, God, that he may reign over Israel thy servant. 
And gird him with strength that he may shatter unrighteous rulers. . . . 

"... He shall thrust out sinners from the inheritance. He shall destroy 
the pride of the sinner as a potter's vessel, with a rod of iron lie shall break in 
pieces all their substance " (Ps. Sol. xvii. 22-24). 

In 4 Ezra the influence of Ps. ii. 7 is seen in the Messianic reign of 400 
years in chapter vii. ' My Son the Messiah ' (l,a,tin,filius mens Jesus, an ob- 
viously Christian correction) shall be revealed ' at the beginning ' (verse 28), 
and at the end ' My Son the Messiah ' will die (verse 30). At a late date the 
Jews tried to combat the Christian explanation of Ps. ii. 7. " From this 
verse we find a retort against the Minim (Christians), who say that the Holy One, 
blessed be He, has a Son ; and thou canst remonstrate that the words are not 
' a son art thou to me,' but thou art my son, like a servant to whom his Lord 
vouchsafes encouragement, saying to him, ' I love thee as my son.' " 

2 Cf. also Ecclus. iv. 10, -ylvov opcpavoh ws warrip, Kal avrl dvdpos rrj /xrjTpl avTwv, 
Kal iari ws vio% v\(/1(Ttov, Kal dyairrjaet. <re /xdWov rj /J-rj^vp <^o^', or according to the 
Hebrew, " Then God will call thee ' Son ' and will be gracious to thee, and 
deliver thee from the Pit." It is also noticeable that even the Psalms of 
Solomon have this use of Son of God. Cf. Ps. Sol. xvii. 30, yvufferai yap avrovt 
6ti irdvTes viol deov avTwv elai (which seems to reflect Deut. xiv. 1) ; Ps. Sol. 
xviii. 4, Kal i] dydirr] (tov iirl cnripp.a 'A^padfi, vloiis 'IcrparjX, 17 TraiSei'a ffov i(p' rjfxas lij 
vibv TrpuTbroKov /movoyevrj, and Ps. Sol. xiii. 8, ort vovderrjaei. dUaiov ws viov dyaTTjffeus 
Kal Tj rraideta avrou wi irpuroTOKOv, 

^ See B. W. Bacon, Jesus the Son of Ood, pp. 24 ff. 


and 7rat9 are used synonymously in Wisdom, though elsewhere 
7rat9 translates "rii? and means ' servant,' paved the way for 
the Christian use of the Old Testament passages referring to the 
servant of the Lord, especially in Isaiah, and Christians who 
used the Septuagint were enabled to see indications of the Divine 
sonship of Jesus in all passages containing the word Trat?. 

Thus ' Son of God ' could be taken by a Jew of the first Meaning 
century with a wide range of meaning depending entirely on his Qod. 
view of the context. (1) In contrast with a ' son of man ' it 
might be used for a god, but as Jehovah was the only God, the 
sons of God in the Old Testament were necessarily regarded 
as Angels. (2) Since Jehovah was a Father to Israel the true 
representative of Israel was in a special sense his son. (3) This 
representative was sometimes identified with the King, and 
hence especially with the expected Messiah. (4) Sometimes he 
was identified with the ' righteous,' i.e. the true Israel, and 
found consolation for their sufferings in the consciousness of their 
relation to God. 

In the earliest strata of the gospels the title " Son of God " Son in q. 
is rare. In Q the exact phrase is only found in the account of 
the Temptation, but there is one isolated passage containing the 
word Father applied to God, and Son apparently applied to 
Jesus. It is found with small variation in Matthew and Luke. 

" At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, 
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these 
things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto 
babes. Even so. Father : for so it seemed good in thy sight. 
All things are delivered unto me of my Father : and no man 
knoweth the Son, but the Father ; neither knoweth any man 
the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will 
reveal him." ^ 

As this stands it clearly employs language which resembles 
the Johannine and later Christian usage, and is quite different 

^ A. von Harnack has made a heroic attempt to rewrite the text, but the 
evidence is small and the result unsatisfactory. See his Beilrdge, ii. p. 189 ff. 


from anything else in Mark or Q. It is very improbable that it is 
an accm*ate representation of the mind of Jesus, or of the earliest 
Christian thought, for nowhere else in the earliest strata does 
Jesus appear as revealing God to those who are ignorant of him, 
nor was that the message of the disciples to the Jews. It does, 
however, exactly reflect the attitude of the earliest Greek Chris- 
tianity, such as is found in Paul's speech at Athens. It is, 
therefore, not impossible that these rhythmica^l verses, which 
sound so liturgical, represent an early Greek Christian utterance 
which had found its way into the Greek Q used by Matthew and 
Luke, or possibly was inserted independently by both. The 
exact similarity of language in the two gospels shows that the 
source used here was Greek and not Aramaic. 
The ' Son ' The Only other passage in Mark or Q which at all resembles 
m_Mar ^j^^^ -^ ^g^j.]^ ^.^ 32 • " g^j^ conceming that hour knoweth none, 
neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, save the Father," 
The textual variations in this passage are late, and there is no 
doubt that this is the oldest form. But the Greek is curious, 
for the parenthesis with its double ovSe is harsh, and the et /xj; 
seems to require a position closer to oySet?. All attempts to 
reconstruct the passage are quite hopeless. All that can be 
said is that as it stands it implies the theory of the unique son- 
ship of Jesus in a manner without parallel in Mark. Possibly, 
however, " the Son " here represents an original " Son of Man " 
in the sense in which the phrase is used in Enoch. Possibly, too, 
et fir) 6 6e6<i may have been originally a gloss by some scribe 
who was mi willing to leave anything to the imagination. 

Neither of these passages can be taken as representing the 
earliest tradition. They serve rather as a warning to remember 
that the Gospels, as we have them, are Greek, It would be a 
literary miracle if they contained no traces of Greek Christian 
thought. To criticise them in the light of this fact is " sub- 
jective," but to regard a refusal to do so as " objective " is the 
verbal decoration of a process which is in reality merely mechani- 
cal. Subjective methods in such cases may give wrong results ; 


mechanical ones will certainly do so. The compilers of the 
Gospels were assuredly subjective, and criticism, which is, after 
all, merely the attempt to reverse the process of compilation, must 
follow the same method. 

Putting aside these passages as either not primitive or as Son occurs 
hopelessly obscure, the title Son of God is found in Mark six in\|™kf 
times, twice in the mouth of demoniacs,^ twice as spoken by the 
Voice from Heaven,^ once in the question of the high priest in 
the Sanhedrin,^ and once in the exclamation of the centurion at 
the cross.* Of these, the question of the high priest and the 
exclamation of the centurioii present little difficulty. The high 
priest was seeking an accusation which would be serious in 
Roman ears : by " the Messiah, the son of God," ^ or possibly 
" the anointed son of God," he must have meant the Davidic 
Prince who would destroy the power of the Gentiles and 
restore the kingdom to Israel. The centurion either meant 
nothing more than " righteous," as Luke probably thought, or 
he was using the phrase with some heathen connotation which is 
quite unimportant for the present purpose. 

Thus, like " Son of Man," " Son of God " is not used by the Meaning of 
disciples in speaking of Jesus, but, unlike it, is not represented theBap* 
as used by Jesus himself : it is found only in supernatural utter- ^'^"^ *"^ 

. Transfigur- 

ances by God and by demons. It is scarcely possible to discover, ation. 
or worth asking, what the demoniacs meant, and Mark must 
have interpreted them in the same way as the Voice from Heaven. 
The matter, therefore, resolves itself into the exposition of the 
Voices from Heaven at the Baptism and at the Transfiguration, 
" Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." 

The words are almost the same, and it is not strange that 
some investigators have thought that the narratives are a 

^ Mark iii. 11 ; v. 7= Matt. viii. 29= Luke viii. 28. 

« Mark i. ll = Matt. iii. 17='Luke iii, 22; Mark ix. 7=Matt. xvii. 5= 
Luke ix. 35. 

3 Mark xiv. 61 = Matt. xxvi. 63= Luke xxii. 66 f. 

* Mark xv. 39= Matt, xxvii. 54= Luke xxiii. 47. 

' " The Blessed " is, of course, merely metonomy for God. 


*' doublet " in traditioi of the same incident. But the editor 
of the Gospel certainly distinguished them, and the slight differ- 
ence in the words of the Voice on the two occasions is significant. 
At the Baptism the Voice says, " Thou art my beloved Son, in 
thee I am well pleased (evSo/cT/cra)." At the Transfiguration it 
says, " This is my beloved Son, hear him." The obvious differ- 
ence is that the first voice is a revelation to Jesus, the second to 
the disciples ; but a further point is concealed by the English. 
^vBoKTjaa is the equivalent of some phrase containing the Hebrew 
nm, which is constantly rendered in the Targums ^ by i?inN, and 
in biblical Greek evBoKia and its derivatives mean not so much 
the moral approbation of God on what is past, as his self-deter- 
mined choice and favour for the future. The Baptism is the 
Marcan account of the revelation to Jesus of God's choice. 

There are, then, two separate questions in connexion with 
the meaning of this Voice from Heaven, How did Mark interpret 
it ? How did Jesus himself think of it ? 

The meaning in Mark is not wholly clear, but in one respect 
at least it differs from Matthew and Luke. No one reading 
Mark by itself, without knowledge of the other gospels, would 
doubt that he means that Jesus was chosen as Son of God at 
the Baptism,^ and that the Voice at the Transfiguration was the 
announcement to the disciples. To him the Divine Sonship of 
Jesus begins at the Baptism just as to Luke it begins at the Birth. 
But this does not decide definitely whether Mark saw in this 
voice a quotation from Psalm ii., and whether he regarded ' Son ' 
as meaning the Davidic Messiah. The question here may be 
subordinate to the general problem of the Davidic Messiahship, 
but the words of the Voice are not a clear quotation from the 

^ See Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, p. 227 (Eng. tr., p. 277). 

2 It is true that the Church anathematized those who said that the Divine 
Sonship of Jesus was kot' evSoKlav. If the Fourth Gospel be followed, the 
church was right, but /car' evSoKlav exactly describes what Mark says. The 
Marcan point of view struggled on for some generations ; and its story has not 
yet been properly written. In spite of certain textual vagaries there is immense 
learning and much truth in H. Usener's W eihnachtjest. 


Psalm.i The Psalm omits ' beloved,' and does not say ' in 
whom I am well pleased,' but this ' day have I begotten thee.' 
It is only ' the Son ' which supports the quotation. This fact 
was early noticed by the scribes of Luke, and the text used by 
Clement of Alexandria,^ and found also in D and some Old Latin 
authorities, was corrected to agree with the Psalm. Similar 
corrections have as a rule found their way into the later text 
of the Antiochene revisers, but this was rejected by them, doubt- 
less because it seemed Adoptionist.^ 

The probability is that Mark saw no reference to the Old 
Testament, and merely recorded the Voice from Heaven as an 
historic fact. It is possible that there was a tendency to interpret 
the Voice in connexion with Isaiah xlii. 1 fp., for the curious text 
of this verse in Matthew xii. 18 agrees neither with the LXX. 
nor with the Hebrew, but has affinities with the Targum, and 
in its use of evSoKrjaa seems to re-echo the Voice from Heaven. 
The fact that this quotation is in Matthew connected with the 
Messianic secret does not exclude the possibility that it was used 
differently elsewhere, and that the Voice was interpreted as the 
recognition by God of his Servant. But, possible though this 
may seem, it is incapable of demonstration, and it is more likely 
that Mark connected the Voice from Heaven with no special 
passage in the Old Testament. In support of this view is the 
reference in Acts xiii. 33 to the 2nd Psalm, and its accurate 
quotation as a prophecy of the Resurrection : " God hath 
fulfilled the same ... by raising up Jesus : as it is written 
in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten 
thee." Early Christians were capable of seeing several fulfil- 
ments of one prophecy without troubhng much about the logic 
of this proceeding, but it is improbable that the source used in 
Acts would have been written in these words if the connexion 

^ It is noticeable that Westcott and Hort do not print it as one. 

* Justin Martyr has the same reading, but whether he was using Luke is 

^ This explanation of tho textual difficulty seems more probable than 
Hamack's view that tho Bezan text of Luke is that of Q. 


of the Psalm with the Baptism had been universally recognised. 
Of course Acts xiii. is not identical with Mark, but the source 
underlying it seems to be very early and to have more afi&nity 
with Mark than with the later editor of Luke or Acts. 

It is, therefore, possible that Mark did not see any quotation 
in the Voice from Heaven ; did Jesus do so ? The question 
cannot be answered definitely, for we can never with certainty 
reach behind the gospels to the mind of Jesus himself, nor can 
we be sure that they always interpreted him correctly. The 
problem is a complicated one, and can best be stated in the 
form of questions. Did Jesus believe that he was the Davidic 
Messiah ? If he did not, what can have been the interpretation 
which he put on the Voice from Heaven ? 

The difficulty of the first question has been discussed on pages 
364 f . The second brings back the question of quotation. Clearly 
it is very doubtful that the Voice from Heaven was inaccurately 
quoting the 2nd Psalm : but if it was not doing so it might 
have been interpreted by Jesus on the same lines as the references 
to the Son of God in Wisdom, and evSoKtjaa, or the corresponding 
Aramaic, on the same lines as in Matthew's version of Isaiah xlii. 
In that case the Divine Sonship of Jesus would not be that 
of the Messiah, but of the ' righteous man,' whom God chose 
as his Son. The problem cannot be solved ; nevertheless it 
Son of God The interpretation of * Son of God ' by the redactors of 
i"nd Luko.'^ Matthew and Luke is clearer. Without doubt they took it to 
express a unique relation between God and Jesus, who was 
supernaturally conceived, born as the Davidic Messiah, and 
recognised by the Voice from Heaven at the Baptism. This is 
especially clear in the case of Luke, for he is careful to explain 
at the beginning of his Gospel why Jesus is called Son of God. 
" ' Fear not, Mary,' " says the angel at the Annunciation, " ' for 
thou didst find favour with God, and lo ! thou shalt conceive, 
and bear a son, and call his name Jesus. He shall be great, 
and shall be called son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall 


give him the throne of David his Father, and he shall reign over 
the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be 
no end.' And Mary said to the angel, ' How shall this be, since 
I know no husband ? ' And the angel answered and said to her, 
' A holy spirit shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest 
shall overshadow thee, wherefore also the holy offspring shall 
be called Son of God.' " Nevertheless, elsewhere Luke does 
not specially emphasise the Divine Sonship of Jesus. 

It is possible, and even probable, that Matthew meant the 
same as Luke, but it may be that he regarded the supernatural 
conception of Jesus as the preparation of some one fitted to 
become the Son of God Kar evSoKiav at the Baptism. This 
would not be inconsistent with the emphasis laid by Matthew 
on the Davidic Messiahship of Jesus, and with his interpretation 
of Son of God in this sense. His interest in this is shown very 
plainly in the confession of Peter in chapter xvi. 16 by adding to 
the Marean " Thou art the Messiah," the explanatory " the Son 
of the living God." In general, however, Matthew prefers to 
draw attention to the special relation between Jesus and God by 
making Jesus speak of God as his Father, rather than by referring 
to him as God's Son. 

This raises a point which has been so much discussed in The 
modern books that the facts have become obscure. Two mutu- ^f God and 
ally exclusive positions have been advanced, often simultaneously. ^^^^^'^ °^ 
One is that the Synoptics, and especially their source Q, show 
that the main message of Jesus was the general Fatherhood of 
God ; the other is that they were intended to point out the 
peculiar Sonship of Jesus. The first is entirely erroneous, the 
second partially so. 

There are few points on which there has been so much con- 
fusion in modern times as on this subject of the Fatherhood of 
God. Yet the facts are clear and indisputable. The Fatherhood 
of God is a characteristically Jewish doctrine, found in equal 
abundance in the Old Testament and in Rabbinic literature. 
It is only by a natural and intelligible inconsistency Jewish 

VOL. I 2 T> 



Sonship of 
Jesus not 

writers spoke of any particular individual or any special class 
as God's son or children. 

This Fatherhood of God is not represented in Mark or in Q 
as characteristic of the teaching of Jesus or of the Apostles, 
though no doubt it was part of their concept of God. Until 
controversy with polytheism began, there is no sign that Chris- 
tianity ever claimed to be a new message as to the nature of God. 
The God of Jesus and of his disciples is identical with the God 
of the Jews : his message was not the announcement that God 
is a Father or King — that was assumed as part of the common 
belief of Israel — it was rather instruction as to the kind of conduct 
required from the children and subjects of God, and the future 
in store for the obedient and disobedient. 

Neither is it true that the special " Sonship " of Jesus is 
emphasised in the earliest strata of the Gospels. In Mark and 
in Q there is very little about it ; it played no part in the public 
teaching of Jesus, and it does not seem to have been a favourite 
figure for expressing the disciples' belief that Jesus was the 
Messiah. In the Synoptic Gospels it is only Matthew who in 
any way emphasised this idea, which he does by frequently 
introducing the phrase ' My Father ' into the sayings of Jesus.^ 
This characteristic is found throughout the gospel and may 
therefore be certainly regarded as due to the Greek editor who 
made the final recension rather than to his Jewish sources. By 
it the editor clearly implied a special relationship of Jesus to 
God ; but his exact meaning is more doubtful. He may have 

^ The grouping of the passages which contain Father is significant, and 
can be made plain at once by tabular representation : 

Mark. Q. Matthew. Luke. John. 

Father ... 3 11 45 17 118 

This distribution is, when analysed, seen to be made up thus : 

Mark. Q. Matthew. Luke. John. 

My Father 2 18 (16) 4 (2) 24 

The Father ... 1 2 2 (1) 6 (3) 77 

Your (thy) Father ... 4 18 (14) 3 (2) 1 

Father (vocative) . . 1 3 6 (3) 3 (0) 5 

These figures speak for themselves, and a consideration of the possibility 

that some even of those in Mark and Q are not the genuine words of Jesus 

strengthens the supposition which they make. 


meant by this phraseology to imply Jesus' consciousness that 
he was the Davidic Messiah, or that he was the son Kar evBoKiav, 
or that he had been miraculously born as God's son, or, possibly, 
though not probably that he stood in a special, metaphysical 
relation to God. 

In the Pauline epistles and Fourth gospel a further stage is 
reached in the meaning and use of the phrase. It is more fre- 
quent, more central, and increasingly metaphysical, but to treat 
this development is outside the scope of this discussion. The 
main point is that the phraseology of ' Father ' and ' Son ' is 
used to describe a metaphysical, not a physical relationship, 
such as Luke had in mind, or a moral one, depending on God's 
choice, such as Mark implies. This is probably true of all the 
epistles, but is much more emphasised in the later than in the 
earlier ones. There are also less frequent, but unmistakable 
signs of the belief that Christians obtain divine sonship by a 
supernatural and metaphysical change. This is most clearly 
expressed by Paul in the saying that " As many as are led by 
the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," which hnks up this 
doctrine to the Spirit and to the glorified Christ who has become 
a " quickening spirit." It is also described in Paul as a resurrec- 
tion, and in John as a new birth, and in each case is clearly 
connected with Baptism. 

There remains one other application to Jesus of the language Jesua as a 
of the Old Testament — that which describes him as a prophet. ^'°^ 
That he was regarded by himself and by his disciples as inspired 
with the spirit of God is certain, and justifies his description 
as a prophet ; but two interesting variations of this belief can 
be traced in the earliest literature. 

According to Mark viii. 28, there was in some Galilean circles 
a tendency to regard Jesus as the reincarnation of one of the 
prophets, and popular opinion had wavered between Elijah and 
John the Baptist. Mark clearly rejected this opinion, which 
plays no part in subsequent Christian thought. It is, however, 


quite in accord with the belief in the reincarnation of the righteous, 
in which, according to Josephus, the Pharisees believed.^ 

The exact reverse is true of another line of thought found in 
Acts : it has no Jewish antecedents, though found among the 
Samaritans, but it became part of the fabric of later Christian 
thought. This is the identification of Jesus with the " Prophet 
like unto Moses " referred to in Deut. xviii. 14, and the presence 
of this interpretation in the general Christian tradition of exegesis 
after the third century ^ has created the impression that it was 
a generally recognised Jewish doctrine that a great prophet 
" like unto Moses " would arise in the last days. It has been 
held that in Jewish thought this figm-e was recognised as the 
" Prophetic Messiah." This point of view is common in modern 
commentaries, and in books on the Jewish doctrines of the 
Messiah, but in point of fact its origin is not to be sought in the 
Talmud or in Apocalypses, but in A. F. Gfrorer's Das Jahrhundert 
des Heils published in 1838. In this learned and very instructive 
book a distinction is drawn between the ordinary prophetic 
figure (gemein prophetisches Vorbild) of the Messiah, the Danielle 
figure, the Mosaic, and the Mystic-Mosaic figure. 

Gfrorer traced back the Mosaic Messiah to two sources. 
First, the general tendency, common to Jewish and Christian 
writers, to think that the " end shall be as the beginning," so 
that the story of the forefathers of Israel contains a description 
of all the features of the Messianic period. This is true, and to 
a certain extent it is possible that Moses may have been regarded 
as a type of the Messiah. But this is merely a part of the general 
system of Jewish exegesis, in which any passage may be quoted 
for any purpose, entirely apart from its context or original 
meaning. There is no proof that Jews in the first century looked 
on the Messiah as a return of Moses, or as " a second Moses " in 
any true sense of the phrase. In the second place, Gfrorer urged 

1 See p. 113. 

2 It is implied in John and found in Clement of Alexandria (Paed. 1.7) and 
in TertuUian (contra Marcionem 22). See also p. 406, 


that the passage, Deuteronomy xviii. 15, 19, must have been 
interpreted of the Messiah, in order to account for the Christian 

These theories were accepted as facts, and have been treated 
as indisputable by writers of whom it may probably be said 
without injustice that few have actually read Gfrorer ; had they 
done so their knowledge would have been greater and their 
certainty less, since Grfrorer deduced the Mosaic Messiah from 
Acts, whereas they assumed such a figure in order to explain it. 
There is, in fact, no evidence at all in favour of the view that 
Jewish writers of the first century or even much later ever inter- 
preted Deuteronomy xviii. 13 ff. of the Messiah, or of the coming 
of a specially great prophet like Moses. It meant to them the 
divine institution of prophets as an order in Israel, and the 
passage read in its context shows that they were right. 

" Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy Grod. For these 
nations, which thou shalt possess, hearken unto them that 
practise augury, and unto diviners ; but as for thee, the Lord thy 
God hath not suffered thee so to do. The Lord thy God will 
raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy 
brethren, lilce unto me ; unto him ye shall hearken. . . . And 
it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my 
words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. 
But the prophet which shall speak a word presumptuously in my 
name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall 
speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." 

The meaning is clear : other nations use sorcery, but Israel 
will have prophets like Moses to guide them. The last verse 
shows conclusively that a succession of prophets, not merely one 
great prophet, is intended. 

The only possible source of confusion is provided by another Mosea a 
passage (Deut. xxxiv. 10) which, after relating the death of Moses, ^^°^ ^^' 
says : " And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel 
like imto Moses whom the Lord knew face to face." But the 
meaning here is that no prophet equal to Moses has arisen : it 



that Jesus 
was the 
' like unto 

might have been interpreted in combination with the previous 
passage as hinting at a great prophet, and he again might have 
been identified with the Messiah, but there is no evidence that 
Jewish writers ever made these combinations. 

The only early evidence for the so-called Mosaic Messiah, 
apart from Christian sources is Samaritan. They had a peculiar 
doctrine of a " Restorer " (Taheb), based on exactly this com- 
bination of Deuteronomy xviii. 13 if. with Deuteronomy xxxiv. 
10, previously discussed, and strengthened by their reading 
" no prophet shall arise," instead of " has arisen," in the latter 
passage. For not having canonical prophets, but desiring to 
equal the Jewish expectation of the Messiah, the Samaritans 
were driven to this view. It is true that their literature which 
witnesses to this belief, is not earlier than the fourth century, 
and much depends on the accuracy of the information given by 
Samaritans to Europeans, beginning with Scaliger in the six- 
teenth century ; but the probability is that, on this point at 
least, Samaritan sources really represent a primitive belief.^ 

After the third century the tradition that the reference to the 
prophet persisted among Christian exegetes " like unto Moses " 
in Deuteronomy was prophetic of Jesus. This tradition can 
be traced back as far as Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, 
and was perpetuated by Origen and Eusebius, but whether it 
existed in the middle of the second century is doubtful. Justin 
Martyr and Irenaeus do not quote Deuteronomy xviii. 13, 
and the Apologists, even in the Dialogue of Justin with Trypho 
and the Apostolic Fathers seem ignorant of its application. The 
only evidence in favour of its existence in the second century or 
earlier is the reference in the Fourth Gospel to ' the prophet ' ^ 
where the definite article cannot easily be interpreted except in 
connection with some such belief in the coming of a prophet 
who would be distinguished from all his predecessors. That 
this view was connected with the interpretation of Deuteronomy 
xviii. 13 ff. cannot be proved, but it seems extremely probable. 

1 See J. H. Montgomery, The Samaritans. * John i. 21 ff. 


The result is obvious. The writer of Acts puts into Peter's 
mouth, as though it were likely to appeal to Jews, an argument 
which suggests a Samaritan belief. It would surely have been 
out of place in Jerusalem ; nor, except for the possible reference 
in John, does it appear in Christian literature until the third 
century. This difficulty is increased if we accept the theory 
that the early chapters of Acts are based on an Aramaic source, 
possibly emanating from Jerusalem. It seems unlikely that 
such an argument would have been used in it, and it is legitimate 
to inquire whether there are any indications that the original 
source used by the editor of Acts embodied an argument so 
suspiciously Samaritan. 

A convincing case cannot be presented, but it is worthy of Two lines 
note that two lines of thought alternate in the speech after iii. 17, ^^ Acte^ui. 
for w. 18, 22 f., 26 refer to the ministry of Jesus, and 19-21, 24 S. 
refer to the Parousia of the Messiah. The latter is complete 
without the other, as may be seen by reading the speech in that 
form. " Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may 
be blotted out, that there may come seasons of refreshing from 
the presence of the Lord, and that he may send you Jesus, the 
Messiah who has been appointed for you, whom the heavens must 
receive until the time of the restoration of all things whereof God 
spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since 
the beginning of the world. Yea, and all prophets from Samuel, 
and them that followed after, as many as have spoken, also told 
of these days. Ye are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant 
which God made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, 
' In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' " 

The " sending " of the Messiah Jesus is here clearly regarded 
as future, and the promises made by God through the Prophets 
and to be inherited by the Jews if they repent are regarded 
as future and eschatological. But the passage w. 18, 22 £E. is 
different. It refers to the promise of sending " a prophet," 
and leads up to the conclusion, " God ha\dng raised up his 
Servant, sent him to bless you in turning away every one of you 


from your iniquities." Here the sending of the Servant, and 
the fulfilment of the promise of the prophets is already'' past, 
and is not eschatological. 

No doubt this type of criticism is dangerous, and admittedly 
it cannot be regarded as giving certain results. But Luke is 
surely using a source, and his treatment of Mark proves him to 
be capable of interpolating and changing the meaning of his 
sources. It must be remembered that the suggestion is not that 
the text of Acts was interpolated, or that chapter iii. was ever 
essentially different from its present form. The writer was here 
trying to show that the prophets had foretold the life, death, 
and glory of Jesus. But the question is whether he did not 
elaborate this argument on the basis of his source, and it is argued 
that though he was too good a writer to leave many plainly 
visible seams, it is possible to detect some elements which are not 
likely to have been used in Jerusalem, or to have been embodied 
in an early Aramaic source, but may have been contributed later 
on by some side branch of tradition affected by Samaritan 

The Lord. The titles applied to Jesus which have hitherto been con- 

sidered have been Jewish terms, which either, like Son of Man, 
lost all meaning when translated into Greek, or, like Son of God, 
acquired a new significance. The history of " Lord " ^ is essenti- 
ally Greek, but it resembles " Son of God," in that behind it there 
is an Aramaic word, and that it soon was interpreted in accord- 
ance with its Greek connotation rather than with the meaning 
which it had had in Aramaic. 

Maran. There is nothing in the Gospels which proves that " Lord " 

^ The literature of this title is all quite recent. The first really full in- 
vestigation of its history is W. Bousset's epoch-making Kyrios Christos, Gottin- 
gen, 1913. Important contributions on parts of its history are Heitmiiller, 
"Zum Problem Paulus und Jesus," Z.N.W. xiii, (1912), pp. 320-337 (esp. p. 
333) ; Deissmann, LicJit votn Osten, 2nd ed. pp. 295 ff. ; J. Weiss, " Christus " in 
Religionsgeschichtliche Volksbilcher, i. 18, pp. 24 ff. ; Bohlig, "Zum Begrili KvpLo^ 
bei Paulus," Z.N.W. xiv. (1913), pp. 23 ff., and the same writer's Geistes 
Kultur von Tarsos. 


was used of Jesus by his disciples during his ministry. The 
word is characteristic of the later strata of the Synoptic tradition, 
and there is no convincing evidence that it translates an Aramaic 
phrase, and was not introduced by the Greek editors. There is, 
however, evidence supplied in 1 Cor. xvi. 22 which demon- 
strates that, whatever be the fact in the Gospel tradition, 
it was actually used by Aramaic-speaking Christians. When 
Paul says to the Corinthians " If any man love not the Lord 
let him be accursed. Maranatha," he is obviously quoting 
Aramaic, and, whatever the meaning of Maranatha may be, it 
certainly contains the Aramaic word Maran, " Our Lord." 

This word seems to have been constantly used in the vocative 
as an appellation of respect, corresponding closely to Kvpie in 
Greek, or to " My Lord " or " Sir " in English. It could not, 
however, be used absolutely, but only with a personal suffix or 
a descriptive genitive. This usage is reflected in the Syriac 
version of the Gospels which habitually translated Kvpio<i by 
Maran (our Lord), thus distinguishing the word from Lord in the 
sense of God, for which a special form Marya seems to have been 
invented by the translators of the Peshitta of the Old Testament, 
and was adopted later by the Christians who made the Syriac 
version of the New Testament. Maran therefore may quite as 
well translate or be translated by o KvpLo<i as by 6 Kvpio<; rj^iSiv.^ 

Mar, however, was not customarily used in any form by the Mar. 
later Jewish writers to represent any of the names of Gfod, which 
they preferred to render by some variant of the root n. It is, 
however, occasionally fomid in Targums. It was generally a 
title of high respect, and among Babylonian Jews it ultimately 
became a title of honour for distinguished Rabbis ; but this custom 
cannot be traced back to the first century, and seems never to have 
obtained in Palestine, As an appellative, and with a pronominal 
suffix or a genitive, it might have been used as a suitable form of 
address equivalent to Rabbi, but more deferential. A curious 
story in Philo also shows that it was recognised by foreigners as 
^ See F. C. Burkitt, Evangelion de-Mepharreshe, ii. pp. 97 ff. 


the correct Syriac form of address to a ruler. In his In Flaccum 
cap. 5-6, he tells how Agrippa's failure to land incognito at 
Alexandria led to a mob insulting him at the instigation, or with 
the connivance, of Flaccus. Among other things a miserable 
lunatic called Karabas was dressed up in imitation of royal 
vestures and greeted in mocking as Marin — elr e/c TrepLecrrMro^ ev 
KVKk(p 7r\7]6ov<; e^rjx^^ f^^V ''"^'» ^"^otto? " M.dpcv " aTTO/caXovvrcov, 
ovT(o<{ Be <pacn top Kvpiov ovojxdi^eaOai irapa %vpoi<i, rjheiaav 
yap ^AyptTTTrav koI yivei Svpov koL 'S.vpl.a^ fMeyaXrjv aTroTOfirjv 
e-^ovra ^9 e^aaikevaev. 

This curious story seems to show that Maran or Mari might 
take with it somewhat different associations from those of Rabbi, 
and would imply a relation similar to that between a master and 
his slaves, or between a king and his subjects. The evidence of 
heathen Syriac goes somewhat further : coins and inscriptions 
show that Mar as well as Baal was used as a title of honour for 
gods.^ It might have been expected that the word would be 
used of the Messiah, but there is apparently no evidence that 
this was so. 
K6pios. The word KvpLo<i in Greek, which is the natural equivalent of 

Mar has a wider range of meaning, and as soon as Mari or Maran 
was translated into Greek by Kvpto<;, the associations and implica- 
tions of this word among Hellenistic Jews and Gentiles became 
more important than those of the original Aramaic word. 

For the use of the word among Hellenistic Jews almost our 
only source of evidence is Philo, who must be treated vnth. some 
reserve as sui generis, and not necessarily observing the usual use 
of words. He is of course largely influenced by the Septuagint, 
which translates the tetragrammaton by Kvpio'^, thus making the 
Greek word a divine title and almost a proper name. Philo is, 
however, anxious to distinguish the meaning of Kvpio'i from 
^eo9, and holds that KvpLo<i refers to the royal aspect of God? 

1 See H. Bohlig, "Zum Begriff Kyrios bei Paulus," Z.N.W. xiv. pp. 28 ff., 
where he quote8 Fr. Bathgen, Beitrdge zur sernilischen Eeligionsgeschichte, and 
Hill, Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Cilicia, pp. 165-176. 


deo'i to his beneficence, ■^aptcrriKrj<; fiev ovv Swdfiewi " ^eo?," 
^aaiXiKrji; 3e " KVpio<i ' ovofia} 

In the Gentile world the word has a complicated and im- 
portant history. In itself it might mean merely " Lord " or in 
the vocative " Sir," and be as devoid of theological content as 
these English words ; but though it never lost this general meaning 
particularly when followed by a genitive, it came later to be used 
absolutely with a religious significance, especially in the cult of 
the Caesars, and in the Oriental religions.^ According to Bousset 
it is especially used as the title of a God who is, as it were, usurp- 
ing the place of another m a locality to which he was originally 
foreign. So, for example, Kvpco<i Aiovvao'i in the country east 
of Jordan replaces the local Arab God Dusares. This is especially 
true of Asia, Egypt, and Syria. A second point of even greater 
importance is that Kvpio<; seems to be used as the distinctively 
honourable title of the divine centre of a cult only by its members. 
Thus to the Egyptians Isis, Osiris, and Serapis are especially 
Kvpioi ; to the Syrians, Atargatis ; to the Simonians Simon 
and Helena ; to the Valentinians, Sophia ; ^ and to the circle 
represented by the Hermetic literature, Hermes was Lord. 

^ De Somniis, i. 26 (Mangey i. p. 645), the whole of which chapter is devoted 
to this point. Cf., too, Leg. Allegor. i. 30, and J. Drummond, Philo Judaeits, pp. 
83 ff. Philo also distinguishes between /ci'ptos and dtairdrri^ in Quis rerum divin. 
heres ? (Mangey i. p. 476) K^pios fxiv yap irapa. t6 Kvpo?, 5 5 J; ^i^aidv ianv, 
eipTjrat. Kar' ivavTidTrjTa d^e^alov Kal aKvpov, dejirdrris S^ irapa t6v Secfibv, a.<p' ov 
d4os otfiai. uare rbv dea-irdTiji' Kvpiov ehai, Kal Irt (^cravel, (po^tpbf Kvpiov ov fx6vov t6 
Kppos Kal rb Kparot airdvTuii' avtfufiivov, dXXd Kal d4os Kal (pd^ou iKavov i/xiroiTicrai. 

* See Deissmann, Licht v. Osten, 2nd ed., pp. 258 ff. ; Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 
p. Ill, and the material collected in Reseller's Mythologische Lexicon, s.v. 
" Kyrios." H. Bohlig in the article " Zum Begriff Kyrios bei Paulus," Z.N.W, 
xiv. p. 32 collects the evidence for the meaning of the word in Dion Chryso- 
stomus. He tries to distinguish between deairoTrji and KvpLos, but the point does 
not seem to amount to more than the fact that deairdr-qs rather than Kvpios is 
the antithesis to 5od\o^, while ki'/koj is more that of a Lord as opposed to 
subjects or vassals. The most interesting passage, chiefly as an illustration 
of 2 Cor. iii. 17 f., is in the De Oenio : tovto 8i iv avri^ vo/xi^eis dvai Ttjj dvOpiJinrip, t6 
Kparouv fKacTTov, 6 Saifiova /coXets i} ^^wOev Qv Apxov re Kal Kvpiov toO av0pdnrov; 

' Irenaous, Adv. Haer. i. 1. 3 (i. 1. 1 in Harvey) says Sid. rovro rbv ffurrjpa 
\iyova-iv, ovSi yap Kvpiov 6vo/xd(^(iv avrbv 6^\ov(tlv. See the discussion in Dolger's 
"'IxOvs," Edmiscke Quarialschrift, Supplem. xvii. p. 409 f. 




Forms in 
Jesus is 

There might be a complete recognition of the claims of other 
beings to rank as divine, but they were Kvpioi only to those who 
belonged to their cult, just as a slave would not doubt the social 
rank of all members of the slave-owning classes, but would 
regard as his Kvpio<; only one particular member of them. 

The use of Kvpco<; in the Gospels and Acts clearly shows that 
it is not part of the primitive tradition. Even the vocative 
Kvpie is rare in the oldest strata, and the usual title for Jesus is 
" Rabbi," directly transliterated or represented by the Greek 
BiBda-KoXe. The facts can best be shown by a few tables. 

In the following first two tables the references are given to 
passages in Mark where Jesus is called 8iBdo-Ka\o<i, pa^^ei or 
Kvpio<i ; in the second similar statistics are given from Q. 

In Mark 
(1) SiScKTKaAe, or case of 

Mark iv. 38 = Matt. viii. 25 

V. 35 = no parallel in Matt, 
ix. 17 = in Matt. xvii. 15 
ix. 38 = no parallel in Matt. 
X. 17= Matt. xix. 16 
X. 20 = om. in Matt. 
X. 35 = om. in Matt, 
xii. 14 = Matt. xxii. 16 
xii. 19 = Matt. xxii. 24 
xii. 32 = no parallel in Matt, 
xiii. 1 =om. in Matt, 
xiv. 14 = Matt. xxvi. 18 


= Luke viii. 24. 

= Luke viii. 49. 

= Luke ix. 38. 

= Luke ix. 49. 

= Luke xviii. 18. 

= om. in Luke. 

= no parallel in Luke. 

= Luke XX. 21. 

= Luke XX. 28. 

= no parallel in Luke. 

= om. in Luke. 

= Luke xxii. 11. 

Cf. also Mark ii. 16 — Matt. ix. 11 where Matt, has ea-dUi 6 
SiSoo-KaAos vfjLwv and possibly also Mark xii. 29 = Matt. xxii. 36 
= Luke X. 25 where both Matt, and Luke insert SiSdo-KaXe, but it 
is not clear whether they are following Mark or another version of 
the same incident. 

(2) ^a/3f3€L 

Mark ix. 5 =Kvpi€. Matt. xvii. 4 = iTrto-TaTa. Luke ix. 33 
spoken by a disciple. 


Mark x. 51= no parallel in Matt. = Ki'pt€ Luke xviii. 41 

spoken by a stranger. The text is paf3/3ovvet 
in B and K ; Kvpie pa(3f3el. in D a b i fi ; 
pafS/Sel in k syr pesh (rabbuli syr S). The 
reading paj3j3ovvei is clearly right, but 
according to Dalman is merely a variant of 
paftfSei found in the Targums (of. Worte 
Jesu s.v.) cf. also John xx. 16. 
xi. 21=om. in Matt., no parallel in Luke, spoken by 
a disciple, 
xiv. 45 = Matt. xxvi. 49, no parallel in Luke, spoken by 
Judas Iscariot. 

(3) Kvpie. 

Mark vii. 28 = Matt. xv. 27 no parallel in Luke. 
This is put in the mouth of a Greek, the Syrophoenician woman. 
Mark xi. 3 = Matt. xxi. 3 = Luke xix. 31 

It appears clearly from these tables that BtSdaKoXo^; (= rabbi) 
was the ordinary title applied to Jesus, according to the Marcan 
tradition, both by his disciples and by the public at large. The 
almost complete absence of Kvpio<; is the more striking, as it was 
the ordinary polite form of address in Greek, and might naturally 
have been expected to figure more largely in Greek documents 
even if the Aramaic Mari, which exactly corresponds to it, had 
not been used. 

In Passages Common to Matthew and Luke (Q). 

(1) StSacTK'aAo^. 

Matt. viii. 19 om. in Luke ix. 57. 
Matt. xii. 38 om. in Luke. 
X. 24 = Luke vi. 40. 

(2) i'>a/3/3€i 

Not found in any passage common to Matt, and Luke. 

(3) K I'pLOS. 

Matt. vii. 21= Luke vi. 46. 

vii. 22 paraphrased otherwise in Luke xiii. 26. 


Luke vii. 19 = om. in Matt. xi. 3. 

Matt. viii. 6 = Luke vii. 2 otherwise paraphrased. 

viii. 8 = Luke vii. 6. 

viii. 21 = om. in Luke viii. 59, but the text is doubtful. 

If the passages common to Matthew and Luke be regarded 
as representing a common original, Q (whether this was one 
document or more is here immaterial), it would seem as though 
Kvpio<i is somewhat better represented in Q than in Mark. But 
this appearance is probably illusory, as both Matthew and Luke 
have a clear preference for Kvpio^;. In Matthew Kvpio<i is found 
in seven passages pecuKar to his gospel ; ^ in Luke KvpLo<; is found 
in twenty-five passages ^ peculiar to him, many of them obviously 
redactorial additions to narratives derived from Mark or Q. In 
addition to these it must be noted that in four passages in the 
Marcan tradition Luke inserts Kvpie when it is not found in 
Mark ; ^ and in one passage * a KvpLo<i is inserted which is 
absent in the parallel passage (Q ?) in Matthew. Against this 
may be set Luke ix. 59, where the probably best text omits 
Kvpie against Matthew, but the textual point is not quite clear. 
In general therefore it is clear that the use of Kvpio<i even in 
the vocative is characteristic of the redactors of Matthew and 
Luke, not of their sources, and that it is much more markedly 
characteristic of Luke than of Matthew. 
AiSdcr/caXof This rcsult is corroborated by the facts regarding StSdaKaXo^ 
andpa/3/3a'. ^^^^ ^a^^el in the redactorial parts of Matthew and Luke. 

In Matthew 8t8acr/caXo9 is only used once (Matt. xvii. 24), 
in a passage which has no parallel either in Mark or Luke ; while 
in Luke, though StSacr/caXe is used in five passages ^ which have 
no parallels either in Mark or Matthew,^ it must be noted that 

1 Matt. ix. 28, xiv. 28, xiv. 30, xv. 22, xv. 25, xvii. 15, xviii. 21. 

2 Luke ii. 11, ii. 26, v. 8*, vii. 13, ix. 64, ix. 61*, x. 1, x. 17*, x. 39, x. 40*, 
X. 41, xi. 1*, xi. 39, xii. 41*, xii. 42, xiii. 23*, xvii. 5, xvii. 6, xvii. 37*, xviii. 6, 
xxii. 33*, xxii. 38*, xxii. 49*, xxii. 61, xxiv. 34. In the passages marked with 
an asterisk the vocative is used. 

3 Luke V. 12*, vii. 6*, xviii. 41*, xxii. 61. 

« Luke vii. 19. ^ Luke vii. 40, xi. 45, xii. 13, xix. 39, xx. 39. 


in none of these is a disciple speaking, and this draws attention to 
the fact that out of the ten Marcan passages in which Bi,BdaKa\.o<; 
might have been expected to recur in Luke, it does so only in six, 
of which five are passages in which strangers are speaking to 
Jesus, while in the other Jesus himself is giving instructions to 
the disciples as to a message to a stranger : in the four passages 
in which in Mark the disciples use 8iSd<TKa\o<; in addressing 
Jesus Luke omits the word in two instances, and in the other 
two changes it to iTnardra. 

There is in these facts as clear an indication of a dislike for 
the title 8tSao-/^a\o9 as the converse facts show a predilection for 
Kvpiof. Equally striking is the fact that pa^^ei, which is used 
three (four) ^ times in Mark, is not found at all in Luke, but in 
the two passages in which the Marcan narrative is represented 
is replaced once by eTriardra and once by Kvpie. 

That hihdafca\o<; not Kvpio^ is the primitive appellation of Jtsus first 
Jesus is thus certain. The remaining point, which cannot be ^Telchcr' 
cleared up, is why Luke, who used Kvpio^ so freely in redactorial ""* ' ^°'"'^- 
passages, or in those from his special tradition, did not replace 
hiZdaKoXe in the mouth of the disciples by Kvpte but by iirLardra. 
This w^ord, always in the vocative, is used by Luke six times. 
Two replace BtBdaKaXe in Marcan passages, one replaces pa^^d 
in a Marcan passage, one is inserted in a paraphrase of a Marcan 
passage which had originally no vocative, and two are in passages 
peculiar to Luke. With one exception (Luke xvii. 13) all are 
placed in the mouth of the disciples. The obvious explanation 
would be the assumption of a " eTnardra redaction " which 
affected the tradition before the final editor, whose personal 
preference was for Kvpio<;. But in the absence of supporting 
evidence this theory is precarious, and its further discussion 
is unnecessary. Possibly the editor thought that eVio-raTT;? 
was a more suitable title than 8i8dcrKa\o<i, which had more the 
connotation of schoolmaster than of religious leader. 

The most probable conclusion is therefore that Jesus was 

1 In Mark x. 51 in the form pap^ovvel. 


known among his personal followers not as Maran, " Lord," but 
as Rabbi, " Teacher," and this custom prevailed in Galilee and 
in Jerusalem, and is reflected in Mark and Q. But in other 
Aramaic-speaking circles outside Jerusalem, possibly in Antioch 
or the neighbourhood, he came to be known as Maran, or, in the 
case of the use of the title by a single person, Mari. This word 
was then translated by Kvpio<i, and so passed into Greek circles. 
In course of time the connotation of Kvpto<; in Greek religion 
became a dominant factor in thought, and Jesus was regarded 
as a Divine Kvpio<;, the Lord of a circle of initiates who 
worshipped him. Moreover, the influence of the Septuagint, 
which used Kvpto<; to render the tetragrammaton, no doubt 
assisted this development : many passages in which the Old 
Testament speaks of Jehovah came to be treated as references 
to J^sus, and the divine attributes of the Lord Jehovah passed 
over to the Lord Jesus. 

No one is likely to doubt that the main features of this use 
of " Lord " had been reached in the Pauline churches ; that 
it is central in Catholic belief. The only question which can 
legitimately be raised is whether this is also true of the editors 
of the Synoptic Gospels or Acts. These call Jesus Kvpto<; : but 
is this merely a translated Maran, or does it mean the Divine 
Lord of a cult ? On the whole, it seems quite clear that the 
Lucan editor belonged to the Greek side of the development. The 
Lord is the object of faith, and Christians are obviously regarded 
as being in a special relation to the Lord Jesus, in whom alone 
can salvation be fomid.^ It is, however, somewhat remarkable 
that the antithesis Kvpio'; — Bov\o<;, which is so common in the 
Epistles, is not found in the Acts, except in iv. 29, where /cvpio^ 
clearly refers to God and not to Jesus, in the prayer which begins 
by invoking God as Seo-Trora. This may be regarded as showing 
that the linguistic feeling of Luke for the exact implication of 
the word is somewhat nearer to that in Dion Chrysostom and 
Philo than is that of the Pauline epistles. The point, however, 
1 Acts iv. 12, X. 43, xi. 17, xiii. 38 f., xvi. 31, etc. 


is quite secondary ; what is of primary importance for the 
understanding of Acts is that the title KvpLoq marks the last 
stage in the synthesis between the Jewish elements in Christianity 
and the fundamental idea of Greco-Oriental religions. To this 
stage the study of Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels brings us, 
but no further. The synthesis with Greek metaphysics found 
in the later books of early Christianity is not reached. 

These sections on Primitive Christianity are designed to Conciasion. 
assist the attempt rightly to understand the development of 
thought and practice which produced the Christian Church of 
the middle of the first century. They are intended not as a 
finished picture of every element in it, but of those which 
certainly formed part of the stream of thought to which the 
writer of Acts belonged. That there were other elements in 
other streams is proved by the survival of the Pauline epistles ; 
but these have often been discussed, and, though they will 
need to be discussed again, their full treatment is not called for 
in these Prolegomena. 

It has seemed to the writers of these sections especially 
desirable to treat the subject in this way because so much work 
on the Gospels has been seriously injured by the effort, both by 
conservative and radical writers, to explain everything by the 
influence of Paul, and him, in turn, largely by the use made of his 
epistles by later generations. Paul was a great leader ; but he 
was not the whole of Gentile Christianity, nor did he found 
every Gentile Church. It is worth the serious attention of the 
students of the New Testament to ask what account of the begin- 
nings of Christianity the Synoptic Gospels and Acts of?er if 
they are analysed in the light of the results of the literary 
criticism and of the distinction of sources achieved by the great 
scholars of the nineteenth century. When that question is 
answered the work of comparison can be undertaken properly. 
To help forward this investigation has been the object of the 
writers. They are well aware that much of what they have 

VOL. I 2 E 


written is controversial and doubtful ; but they have been 
more anxious to state problems than to advocate theories, and 
have given unqualified statement to their own opinions chiefly 
in order to make easier a fuller discussion of the questions 




By tlie Editors 

It is somewhat of a shock to discover from Josephus that, if his 
evidence be correct, the use of the name Zealot to describe a Jewish 
sect or party cannot be earlier than a.d. 66. For this reason it 
seems opportune to bring together the facts dealing with the Zealots 
and contemporary movements. 

The usual assumptions ■*• with regard to the Zealots are that they Fourth 
were followers of Judas the Gaulonite of Gamala, also called Judas P'l'iosophy 
of Galilee, who founded in a.d. 6 what Josephus calls the " Fourth 
Philosophy " of the Jews. This philosophy insisted on the repudia- 
tion of any king but God, and in some modern books it is repre- 
sented as having strong Messianic hopes. ^ It is also maintained 
that the Zealots are the same as the Sicarii, or at least that the 
Sicarii are a branch of the Zealots, and it is often held that there 
was an almost unbroken succession of leaders of the Zealots, from 
Hezekiah, who preceded Judas and according to Schiirer was his 
father, down to the fall of Jerusalem. 

Hardly any of these assumptions is well founded. With regard Josepims's 
to Judas, Josephus ^ states that he tried to rebel at the time of the statement, 
census of Quirinius with the support of a Pharisee named Zadok,* 

^ Typical, for instance, ia the statement in the Encyclopaedia Biblica, on 
Zealot : " It is applied distinctively to a sect whose tenets are virtually identical 
with those of the Assassins, of whom they are indeed the forerunners." It 
can only be said of such statements that they reflect a misunderstanding of 
Schiirer, not Josephus. 

* It is sometimes held that the Assumption of Moses belongs to this school, 
but the evidence is slight. Moreover, the hgure of Taxo is by no means clearly 
Messianic, even if Burkitt's ingenious suggestion, that Taxo(k) is geraatria for 
Eleazar, be rejected. 

* Antiq. xviii. 1. (i. 

* According to Jewish tradition this Zadok belonged to the school of 
Shammai (Toseph. Eduy. ii. 2, Ycbamoth 156). See Jewish Encyclopaedia, 
art. " Beth Hillel." 


422 THE ZEALOTS app. a 

after Joazar the son of Boethus, the High Priest, had induced the 
people to submit to the enrolment. He goes on to say that Judas 
founded the " Fourth Philosophy," which agreed in all respects 
with that of the Pharisees, except that it allowed only God to be 
acknowledged as king, and advocated deeds rather than words. 

This statement in itself is entirely probable. The taxation of 
Quirinius was a twofold insult to Jewish prejudice : first, because 
of the repugnance which was felt to the idea of numbering the people ; 
and secondly, because of the belief that the taxes payable by the 
Jews in the Holy Land were God's peculiar property. It is therefore 
quite likely that the idea was started by him and that it continued 
to persist down to the fall of Jerusalem. It is even probable 
that much in the New Testament can best be understood as pro- 
paganda against this theory. But this does not prove that the 
" Fourth Philosophy " was identical either with the Zealots or with 
the Sicarii, and it certainly does not show that the movement of 
Judas was Messianic. No doubt the Fourth Philosophy supplied 
the intellectual attitude from which the Zealots and Sicarii logically 
started, but there is no possibility of clearness in historical writing, 
if the name of a political party be given to its logical antecedents. 
The clearest way of establishing the facts is to notice what 
Josephus really does say about the Zealots and Sicarii. 

The He states in the Wars that the Sicarii arose ^ in the time of Felix. 

Sioarii in They Were so called because they mingled in the crowd on festivals 
osep us. y^j^}^ a^ knife (sica) concealed in their clothes and assassinated their 
opponents. They killed first Jonathan the High Priest and after- 
wards so many more that a reign of terror ensued. In the same 
passage Josephus mentions two other movements, but clearly 
separates them from that of the Sicarii. The first was that of a 
band who claimed divine inspiration and led men out into the 
wilderness, " pretending God would there show them signs of 
liberty." Felix thought that this might be the beginning of a revolt, 
sent out cavalry against them, and cut them to pieces. Another 
rising was similarly dealt with by Felix, when an Egyptian false 
prophet collected 30,000 men, whom he led round from the wilder- 
ness to the Mount of Olives. It is very remarkable, especially in 
view of the well-known problem presented by the incident of Theudas, 
that in Acts these three risings in the time of Felix are combined 
into a single incident.^ Josephus, however, clearly distinguishes 
them, though he mentions them together. 

The later history of the Sicarii is that they formed an organised 
band which had its headquarters in the fortress of Masada near the 
1 B.J. ii. 13. 3. 

^ OvK dpa (TV el 6 AiyvTTTio^ 6 nrpb to{>tu)v tuiv rnj-epQiv apaffTarwcai Kal i^ayayCov 
els Tr)v ip7}iJ.ov roiii reTpoKtcrx'X^oi's dvdpas tQiv aiKapLuv ; Acts xxi. 38. 


Dead Sea, under the leadership of Eleazar, a kinsman of Judas. 
This held out until after the fall of Jerusalem, and was finally taken 
by Flavins Silva, after the garrison had killed first their wives and 
children, and afterwards themselves. Only two women and five 
children survived. Those Sicarii who had not been in Masada escaped 
to Egypt. Some went to Alexandria and tried to renew their opposi- 
tion to Rome, but they were finally handed over by the Jews to 
the Romans. Others went to Cyrene ; and one of them named 
Jonathan led out a number of the poorer class into the desert, 
promising them signs and wonders, but the richer Jews informed 
Catullus the governor, who dispersed Jonathan's followers. He 
revenged himself by laying information against the richer Jews, 
and he and Catullus joined in a campaign of blackmail, in which 
Josephus was involved. When, however, the matter came to the 
emperor, the plot was discovered, Catullus was disgraced, and 
Jonathan burned.^ 

The Sicarii left an interesting trace of their memory in the 
Mishna ^ in the law of Sicaricon, which was concerned with the 
settlement of the difficulty caused by property sold by the Sicarii and 
afterwards claimed by the original owner. It was clearly extended 
by analogy to other instances of a similar nature, but it is doubtful 
whether it originally refers to the time of Vespasian or of Hadrian. 

The first use of the word " Zealot " in Josephus as the name of Zealots in 
a party in Jerusalem is in Bellum Judaicum iv. 3. 9. After this he J"^*'?'^"^- 
uses it frequently, and always in the same sense. It is the name 
arrogated to themselves by the followers of the famous John of 
Gischala, who had escaped with some of his followers when his home, 
the last place in Galilee to be taken, was captured by Titus. John 
came to Jerusalem with his followers, and started a popular move- 
ment against the high-priestly families. He succeeded in pro- 
curing the election of the obscure Phinehas ^ (^n rta?) as High 
Priest. It is quite clear from Josephus that the name " Zealot " 
(for he uses it as a technical designation) applies to John's following 
and to no other — a party equally opposed to the Sicarii, to the 
priests, and to the faction of Simon ben Giora. This Simon had once 
belonged to the Sicarii, but had left them because they would not 
undertake operations at a distance from Masada ; ultimately he 
became captain of a large body of men, and was welcomed into 
Jerusalem by the priestly party headed by Matthias in order to 
combat the Zealots. 

It should be added that there is no reason for connecting the Zealot 

1 B.J. vii. 8. 1-11. 4. 2 Oittin v. 7. not 

' Prof. Moore suggests that the association of this name with "zeal" in Messianic. 

Numbers xxv. 13 ("he was zealous for his God") may be the origin of the 

name of the party of the Zealots. 

424 THE ZEALOTS app. a 

Zealots or even the Sicarii with any Messianic movement. The 
first Jew who is known to have proclaimed himself the Messiah is 
Bar Cocheba (a.d. 132). The belief that a leader was the Messiah 
must be distinguished from the view that he was an inspired person 
of supernatural power. Claims of the latter kind were far more 
frequent. Familiar instances are the Egyptian in the time of Felix,^ 
the Cyrenaean movement of Jonathan,^ or the still earlier movement 
in Samaria suppressed by Pilate ; ^ but all these instances represent 
" false prophets," not " false Christs." 
Hezekiah It is also desirable to protest that there is no justification at all 

*i'^ for connecting either the Zealots or even the " Fourth Philosophy " 

ngan . ^^ Judas with the brigand Hezekiah. This Hezekiah is mentioned 
in B.J . i. 10. 5. He is called an apxLXrjarri<; and his capture was 
one of Herod the Great's first exploits. His son, Judas, is mentioned 
in B.J. ii. 4.1, as starting an insurrection after the death of Herod. 
But Josephus clearly distinguishes him from Judas the Gaulonite, 
for he says that Judas ben Hezekiah aimed at monarchy, while he 
is explicit in emphasising that the other Judas refused to recognise 
any king but God. The founder of the Fourth Philosophy, however 
regrettable the results of his teachings, may have been a fanatic, 
but was certainly neither a brigand nor an aspirant to a throne. 
Schiirer's statement that Judas ben Hezekiah is " sicherlich " the 
same as Judas of Galilee seems, therefore, quite indefensible, except 
in so far as the use of "sicherlich" in theological writing 
indicates the combination of insufficient evidence with strongly 
held opinion. 
'^^^ Finally, a word must be said about a remarkable statement in 

■ the Jewish Encyclojmedia, in which the writer on the word " Zealot " 
assumes that Zealot, or rather Cananaean, was the regular name 
of an order among the Jews who used physical force. The writer 
states that Clermont-Ganneau in 1871 discovered an inscription in 
the Temple, authorising the Cananaeans to kill any foreigners in 
the sacred parts of the building. All these statements seem to be 
misleading. The word " Cananaean " in the Talmud is applied 
generally to those who laanifest religious zeal, and there is no more 
evidence in the Talmud of their existence as an order or sect than 
there is in Josephus. Moreover, the inscription apparently referred 
to is in Greek and does not mention the Cananaeans at all. 
"Zealot" Why is it that these facts have been so far overlooked that the 

an Lonour- name of Zealot has been so generally given to the Fourth Philosophy ? 
adjective Partly because the word translated Zealot is not an uncommon one 
and represents patriotic virtue. It is used, for instance, in 2 
Maccabees iv. 2 and in Josephus ^ of the patriots in the days of the 

1 B..J. ii. 13. 5. 2 B.J. vii. 11. 1. 

* Antiq. xviii. 4 1 * Antiq. xii. 6. 2. 


Maccabees. It is therefore easy to treat the word in the same way 
as, for instance, Chasid has been treated, and to find a reference to 
the party of the Zealots every time that a man is praised for being 
zealous. But there is no real suggestion that in any of these passages 
the word is more than an honourable adjective. More important, 
probably, has been the influence of the name of Simon the Zealot. Simon 
In Luke vi. 15 and Acts i. 13 the name Si/xwva t6v K-aAoi'/xevov Zeaiotes 
(7]X(oTqv is given to one of the Twelve, who appears to be identical 
with ^iixiDv 6 Kavavalos in Matt. x. 4 and Mark iii. 18.^ It is gener- 
ally supposed that Kavai/aio? is the transUteration and ^r/Awr^ys the 
translation of the Aramaic HNDpj and that it means Zealot in the 
same sense in which Josephus uses the word. But it is obvious 
that Simon can scarcely have been called a Zealot, in the sense of 
belonging to the party of John of Gischala, and therefore the theory 
has arisen that there was a party called Cananaeans in Aramaic 
and Zealots in Greek before the last days of Jerusalem, identical 
with the Fourth Philosophy described by Josephus. 

Nevertheless, that q-^ndD was. actually used to describe a definite 
party in Judaism is merely a guess, though a probable one, based 
on a retranslation of ^>/AwT7ys in Josephus, combined with an im- 
perfect appreciation of his usage. The usage is not actually found 
before the Aboth of Rabbi Nathan — a post-Talmudic work. 

Recognising the facts as they are, the name of Simon the Zealot 
ofiers an interesting problem, which can be solved in more than one 
way. It is possible that we have all been wrong in translating the 
Greek of Luke, or explaining the transliterated Aramaic of ]\Iatthew, 
as " Simon the Zealot," and that it should be " Simon the Zealous " ; 
or in other words that there is no reference at all to any political 
party but merely to the personal character of Simon. The probability 
of this suggestion is enhanced by the fact that in the New Testament 
{e.g. Acts xxii. 3), in the Greek Apocrypha {e.g. 2 Mace. iv. 2), and 
in Josephus in passages earlier than the rise of John of Gischala 
{e.g. Antiq. xii. 6) (//Awr/ys is always " zealous." It is the equivalent 
of the Hebrew ^^p a title of God and of men who are " jealous " 
for God's honour, such as Elijah. 

Another possibility is that the Evangelists made a mistake and 
really thought that the word which they found in their source 
referred to the political party of which they had heard, or possibly 
had read about in the pages of Josephus. 

1 In the later MSS, both in Matthew and Mark, the name is changed to Zifi-uv 
6 KavavlT-qs, and tliis is reproduced by the " Simon the Canaanile " of the A.V. 




As applied 
to Jesus 
and his 
by Jews. 

By George F. Mooke 

The form of the adjective translated Nazarene throughout the Book 
of Acts is ^a((Dpaios.^ Christians are i) twi^ Na^wpatwi' atpeo-is 
(xxiv. 5). In John also Na^^wpaios is the only form, and it seems to 
be preferred by the authors of our Greek Gospels of Matthew ^ and 
Luke;^ but in the best-attested text Mark has consistently Na^apy^vos, 
which appears also in Luke xxiv. 19 (from a separate source). In 
the Q of recent critics the adjective does not occur at all, nor is it 
found in the Epistles or the Revelation, in the Apostolic Fathers or 
the Apologists.* 

In Jewish sources the corresponding name for Jesus is -iiiinDrT 12?"' 
{Jeshu ha-nosn) ; ^ a certain Jacob of Kefar Sekanya in Galilee, who 
in the early second century had a reputation for working cures in 
the name of Jesus, is " one of the disciples of Jeshu ha-nosri " ; 
and Christians are called nosrlm, for example, in the execration 
introduced into the Eighteen Prayers by Gamaliel II. (about 100 a.d.).^ 
The word passed into Syriac as a common name for Christians 
(nasraye) and thence into Arabic, nasdrd (sing, nasrdnl, a Christian). 
y,a^u}paio<i would seem therefore to be an attempt to represent the 
Hebrew adjective nosrl or its Aramaic equivalent in Greek letters 
and grammatical pattern. 

1 Acts ii. 22, vi. 14 [ix. 5], xxii. S, xxvi. 9 ; 'Itjo-oOs XpLcrTos 6 'Sa^uipaTos, 
iii. 6, iv. 10. 

2 Matt. ii. 23, xxvi. 71. 

^ Luke xviii. 37 ; cf. Mark x. 47. 

■* This gives no occasion for surprise if the common explanation of the word 
Nafajpatoy is accepted ; to Gentile Christians the name of the village from 
which Jesus came had no significance ; for them the distinctive name was 
Jesus Christ. 

^ In the common editions of the Talmud all passages referring to Jesus 
have been omitted or mutilated by the censorship or through fear of it. 

•* So in the oldest Palestinian form of the Skemone Esre. 



There is, however, a difficulty in this identification, which was Varieties of 
long ago remarked by Jerome, Junius, Spanheim, Drusius, Grotius, tTanshtera- 
and others : the peculiar Semitic sibilant s (^) is regularly repre- 
sented in Greek by sigma, not by zeta, which with corresponding 
regularity stands for Hebrew z (i), as, for example, in va^tpalo'i 
(nazir). In the most recent discussion of the question, Burkitt ■•■ 
records but ten cases in the Greek Old Testament where ^ seems to 
stand for s- The list might be lengthened by taking account of a 
greater variety of manuscripts than figure in Swete, and conse- 
quently in the Concordance of Hatch and Redpath, and some striking 
instances could be added from Josephus, e.g. 'A^ep/xw^?/? in Gen. x. 
27, Zo^wv/as in Gen. xlvi. 16 ; and conversely ^aKX(iLo<; {•<'2^) in 
Josephus, Vita 239 ; but at the inost they are rare exceptions to 
a general rule, and are doubtless in part only graphic accidents. 
Burkitt thinks that this proves that Na^'wpatos cannot be connected 
with nosrl {-'■^)^^2)■ But then the difficulty is only turned end for 
end ; for in the Old Syriac version as well as in the Peshitto Na^w/)atos 
is uniformly rendered ndsrdyd, and Na^ape^ is nasrat, and there 
would seem to be as much reason why Greek zeta should not be 
represented by Syriac sade as why sade should not be represented 
by zeta. 

The explanation is so simple that it is not surprising that it 
should escape the search of the learned. The first Syrian Christians 
did not make their acquaintance with Jesus the Nazarene and his 
religion from Greek books, the proper names in which they trans- 
literated according to rule or custom, but from the lips of mission- 
aries of Aramaic speech, and they spoke and spelled ndsrdya, ndsrdt, 
because they heard them so. The Syriac form of the word thus 
confirms the correctness of the Jewish tradition in which Christians 
are called nosrim. 

For the anomalous zeta in Na^^wpaios, no more recondite 
explanation need be sought than the false analogy of Na^'tpttios, 
Xa^'apatos — an association which no one familiar with the tricks 
that false analogy habitually plays with foreign proper names will 
think it necessary to ascribe to reflection. It would take a great 
deal more than this anomaly of spelling to make it credible that the 
a/'peo-i'j Twv y.a((jipa'nii\' of Acts xxiv. 5 are not the same as the 
heretics {minim) whom the Jews call nosrim. 

In Acts, as well as in the Gospels,^ 'L/o-oi}? 6 Xa^w/Daio? ^ is Xai'wpajos 
equivalent to 'I?/(rows o aTro Sa^apW ; * the adjective serving to dis- "j-'.'^T 
tinguish the Jesus whom his disciples declared to be the Messiah 
from other bearers of that common name by designating the place 

^ Syriac Forms of New Testament Proper Names, 1913. 

2 Cf. Matt. xxvi. 71 with xxi. 11, ii. 23. 

» E.g. Acts ii. 22. * Acts x. 38. 



not repre- 
sented in 

from which, he came, in a manner very common among the Jews.^ 
To this it has been objected, sometimes even by Hebraists, that 
Na^copatos, Nafa/3?;vos, or the Hebrew and Aramaic words thus 
rendered in Greek, cannot be derived from 'Sa^apkd ; which should 
it is said, give something like Xa^aperaros or Na^aperr/i'os, as in 
Josephus Aaf3apiTTi]vot, from AafSaptTTa (Heb. dohrat ; Euseb. 
Aa(3eipa). The fact is, however, that when Hebrew patrials in i 
are made from nouns of feminine form, the feminine ending t is 
sometimes preserved, as in morashtl from moreshet, mdkati from 
mdka ; sometimes the i is affixed directly to the stem of the noun,^ 
as in timni from timnat {timnata), lihnl from libna, sor'l from sora, 
yehudl from yehuda. A similar inconsistency exists in all branches 
of Aramaic. A single Galilean example may suffice : 'IojTU77aTa, 
well known from Josephus, is in the Talmud yodpat ; a certain 
rabbi from that city is R. Menahem yodpa'a (yotpaya), which would 
be represented in Greek by 'ioiS-aio?, 'Iwdwaios, the feminine t 
not appearing. In this respect the case is completely analogous to 
Na^w/aaios from ^a^apW, SO that the formal possibility of the 
latter derivation is not to be denied. 

The Syriac versions, as has been said, have for the name Nazareth 
ndsrat (the first vowel sounding like English o in " on "). The 
Hebrew {nosr'i) exhibits the same vowel, ^ and is formally unimpeach- 
able as a patrial from a name nosrat, like dohrat, yodpat, boskat, etc.), 
while y^a^apijvos is a sufficiently close reproduction of nosri ; com- 
pare Josephus's Aa/SdpiTTa with the Hebrew dohrat. 

Na^wpatos presents a different problem. So far as the endings 
are concerned, Na^ap-i]v6's, Na^wpatos are related to each other as 
'Eo-cr?;vos, 'Ecro-atos, and Other alternatives of the kind, for which it 
would be unnecessary to seek an explanation outside the Greek. 
But the vowels of ya^iopalos, or in ' Western ' texts Xa{opatos, 
point to an Aramaic n^sorai, with the Aramaic ending -ai (deter- 
mined, -aiya, -a' a), and with the vowel a shifted to the second 
syllable {nosrl, n'^sorai). No such word is found in the Talmudic 
literature ; but references to Jesus and his disciples occur, in fact, 
only in Hebrew contexts.* The metathesis of vowels, especially 

^ For instance, Eleazar ha-mdda% (from Mti)5€dv), Simeon ha-tenianz (from 
Teiraa), Nathan ha-arbeli (from Arbela, in Galilee), Simeon ha-shiktnoni (from 
Sycaminon), and many more. 

* This is the universal rule in Arabic, and was probably the older way in 
Hebrew and Aramaic. 

' The o is not long, as writers whose theories of Hebrew orthography are 
derived from Old Testament grammars in the Kimchian tradition frequently 
assume. Compare 'idii {nokri) ' foreigner,' Kiau (gubra), ' man,' etc. 

* It may be observed that in the voluminous Talmudic literature no form 
corresponding to ^apLaalos is found ; only Heb. s-ns. □'B'nB, 


oi and u, is, however, very common. Thus Nn3D"in and NDilon, 
Nnmia and «min, Nn^mo and t^nSino, ni-ni? (cstr.) and 
Nnmi?- An Aramaic -^ni^sd might therefore correspond to a 
Hebrew -^-i^ii^. An analogous form is the name of Rabbi Nehorai 
(^N~nnD)>^ which is interpreted ' enlightened,' from NiinD = Syr. 
N-iniD, ' light.' 

The conclusion to which this long discussion brings us is that Silence of 
there is no philological obstacle to deriving ^a^wpalos, Na{^a/3?;vos, Josophus 
from the name of a town, Nazareth. But such a town is known ^"'i'^*^™'^' 
only from the Gospels and Acts ; the name is not found in the Old Nazareth. 
Testament, in the writings of Josephus, or in the Talmuds and 
Midrashim, and from this voluminous silence it has been argued 
that there was no such place. This reasoning assumes that a com- 
bined list of the names in these sources gives a complete enumera- 
tion of the towns of Galilee, great and small, and the falsity of the 
assumption concealed in this extraordinary abuse of the argumentum 
e silentio will be immediately apparent to any one who examines the 
sources. As for the Old Testament, many of the chief cities of 
Galilee in the first and second centuries of our era are not named in 
it, as was remarked by the rabbis. Josephus mentions almost 
exclusively places which played a part in the insurrection of a.d. 66, 
and in the military operations of the first year of the war ; the 
Talmuds and Midrashim name chiefly places which were the seats 
of rabbinical schools after the war under Hadrian, or the homes of 
rabbis. It is not necessary to take literally the exaggerations of 
Josephus and the Talmuds ^ about the enormous number of populous 
cities and towns in Galilee to be convinced that the few score they 
name are not all there were. When it is added that the Nazareth 
of the Gospels was apparently a small town of no conspicuous note, 
the fact that the name does not occur in either Josephus or the 
Talmud loses all significance. 

Those who deny Nazareth an existence are constrained to ex- 
plain its existence in the Gospels as an invention due to a false 
etymology : Na^apv/vos, Xa^ojpatos, being mistakenly supposed to 
be patrial adjectives, a ya^aped was created to derive them from ; ^ 
then stories were told connecting Jesus with his imaginary home ; 
and finally, in the third or fourth century, when Christians were 
hunting holy places, the site was discovered,* or, more exactly, the 
name was fastened on an obscure village in Lower Galilee, which 
has borne it ever since ; the modern Arabic name is al-Nasira. 

"■ Cf. also Kefar Neborai. 
« E.g., Oittin 51a. 

' The t must have been maliciously appended to perplex amateur etymo- 
logists in later times. 

* Euseb. Onomastiai Sacra, ed. Lagarde, 284. 37 (T. 


Theory that A curious hypothesis has recently been put forward by Bnrkitt, 
Nazareth = Impressed by the fact that the name Nazareth is found only in the 
orazm. -^^^ Testament, and convinced that the zeta in Sa^apkO must stand 
for a Hebrew zain,^ he suggests that the home of Jesus was really 
Chorazin {Xopa^dv), from which name ya(apW " may have arisen 
by a literary error." Three of the consonants of Xo^a^'eti' are 
found in Sa^apW — in inverse order to be sure ! Sporadic scribal 
errors of comparable enormity can doubtless be adduced, but it would 
seem that an auxiliary hypothesis is required to explain how this 
particular error succeeded in imposing itself on the whole tradition 
of the text. What I wish here to point out, however, is that nothing 
— except a z — is gained by this substitution ; for Chorazin is en- 
veloped in a profounder silence than Nazareth — it is not found in the 
Old Testament, Josephus, or the Talmud,^ and only in two parallel 
passages in the New Testament.^ 
Theory that Rightly connecting " Nazarene " with ""I^^id, but denying that 
Nazarene= either can be derived from the name of the town Nazareth — if there 
of™^™ '^'^ ^^^ ^^y such town — some recent writers (J. M. Robertson, W. B. 
religious Smith, Arthur Drews) find a religious origin and significance for the 
party. adjective. The verb nasar in Hebrew means ' observe, watch, 

watch over ' ; hence, ' keep ' (e.g. commandments), ' guard, 
protect.' Faustus Socinus suggested long ago * that in Matt. ii. 23 
Jesus was called Nazaraeus not only because his home was in 
Nazareth, but because he was the Saviour, ' Servator,' ^ from nasar, 
' servare.' This etymological interpretation of Matt. ii. 23 has 
been renewed by numerous scholars from the seventeenth century 
onwards. The writers with whom we are now concerned, rejecting, 
as we have seen, the connection with Nazareth, take ^iv^i^, Xa^ojpatos 
in the same way. Thus W. B. Smith : " Wir diirfen daher mit grosser 
Bestimmtheit behaupten, dass 6 'Irjaovs 6 Na^wpatos . . . nichts 

^ Burkitt derives Nafwpatos from nazlr. 

2 Neubauer (Geographie du Talmud, p. 220) discovers Chorazin in D"n3 
Menahoth 85a, and a whole generation of New Testament commentators and 
writers on the topography of Palestine have confided in his identification. 
But the D"n3 of Menahoth was in Judaea, not far from Jerusalem, as the con- 
text plamly shows and the parallel in the Tosephta Menahoth says in express 
words. The name itseK is not whoUy certain ; Tos. I.e. reads D"m3. The 
Tosephta, it may not be amiss to remark, is second-century evidence that the 
place in question — whatever its name was — lay in the immediate vicinity of 
Jerusalem. Neubauer it may be added, introduced Nazareth also into the 
Talmud by an emendation of Jer. Megillah i. 1 , proposing to read n"ii': on*? n'3 
(for n""is 'Vd), " the Nazarene Bethlehem," i.e. the Bethlehem near Nazareth 
— a conjecture which has received more attention than it merits. 

3 Matt. xi. 21 = Luke x. 13. 

* Lection es sacrae, ad loc. (0pp. i. 300). 

* The word is used of God himself in Job vii. 20 ; Prov. xxiv. 12. 


anders als : Jesus der Schiitzer, der Hiiter, Jesus der Erretter, 
bedeutet." Jesus is, however, these authors assert, not the name 
of a man, but of a divinity.^ It is a significant name : »?i2)i (Jeshu') 
means, ' Deliverer, Saviour,' so that the transparent proper name 
of the god and the epiclesis under which he was worshipped express 
the same character and function. The worship of this divinity 
' Jeshu' ha-noseri,' is older than the Christian era. Epiphanius 
{d. 403 A.D.) describes a Jewish sect, the Xacrapaiot, who were before 
Christ and knew nothing of him, explicitly distinguishing them from 
the Jewish-Christian Xa^wpatot, as well as from the Na^tpatot 
(Nazirites). These Nao-apacot were the " noserim " worshippers 
of the saviour-god, Jeshii' ha-noserl. The story of the supernatural 
conception in the Gospels, and of the crucifixion and resurrection, 
are the translation into legend of the widespread myth of the 
polj^'onymous god — Adonis, Attis, Osiris — who dies a violent death 
and comes to life again, through the rites of whose cult his devotees 
attain a blessed immortality. 

It is to be observed, in the first place, that the account Epiphanius 'Sacrapaioi 
gives of the yaanpaiot suggests nothing of all this. They differed '" ^P'- 
from the rest of the Jews, he says, in two principal points : first, 
the law in the Pentateuch is not the law which Moses received by 
revelation from God, but is wholly a later fabrication ; second, 
to offer animal sacrifice or to eat the flesh of animals was adefxiTov 
(nefas).^ Otherwise they were just like the rest of the Jews ; they 
practised circumcision and kept the Sabbath and festivals. The 
only other thing Epiphanius notes about them is that they denied 
fate {djLapfdvi]) and astrology. Not only does Epiphanius say 
nothing of a Salvationist sect, or mystery, of Xatjapatot, with its 
private god " Jeshii ha-noserl," but there is nowhere, under that 
name or any other, any trace of a Jewish sect of the kind. 

In the absence of historical evidence the existence of such a Argument 

^ Hei'e again the argumenUim e silentio is relied on to prove that there was etymology, 
no such man : the passage about Jesus in Josephus is cancelled as a Christian 
interpolation, which in substance it is ; ex abundanti cautela the references in 
Suetonius and Tacitus are also rejected ; there is, it is then said with an air 
of conclusiveness, no mention of such a man in the Greek and Roman historians 
of the period. Why should there be ? Was the execution of an obscure 
provincial an event so uncommon that the news of it would be sure to reach 
the ears of Roman histoiians, or important enough to demand record in the 
history of the Empire ? 

^ It is probable that, as in the Clementine Homilies, with which Epiphanius's 
description at more than one point invites comparison, this principle is the 
ground of their rejection of the Mosaic law with its system of bloody sacrifices. 
They did not question the Pentateuchal history, for they recognised the ante- 
diluvian patriarchs togetlier with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Aaron, Moses, 
and Joshua. 


sect is supposed to be demonstrable by etymology. Let us examine 
these etymologies more closely. The name i?iaj->, it is said, signifies 
' Deliverer, Saviour.' In fact, uitZ?"', 'hjaois, a very common 
personal name among the Jews, was, as every Jew knew, nothing 
but the late Hebrew and Aramaic pronunciation of the name Joshua 
(l7ltl?in"' ; cf. Hag. i. 1 with Ezra ii. 2). But if the history of the 
name be ignored, ijiq?"' could only be an abstract from the intran- 
sitive stem, meaning ' help, deliverance, success,' like rri?"i2J"' ; 
' deliverer ' is in Hebrew ij-ituio, the nomen agentis of the causative 
(transitive) stem. 

Nor is the case better with the supposed epiclesis, i-iS'iD- Assum- 
ing that the o is long (ha-noserl), and that the relative adjective is 
equivalent to the nomen agentis, noser — the first an unwarranted 
assumption, the second false — it would mean, ' guardian, pro- 
tector ' (Schiitzer, Hiiter), not ' deliverer, liberator, saviour ' 
(Erretter, Befreier, Heiland) ; this seductive procession of the 
synonyms of Christian theology is a huge subreption. I have said 
above that the presumption is that the o in nosrl is short, as in nokrl 
and the like ; but if an adjective in i could be formed from a nomen 
agentis (of which I have no example), noseri would not mean the same 
as noser, any more than Redemptorist is the same as Redemptor. 
Most derivatives of this type are patrials, patronymics, or gentile 
adjectives ; but various other relations may be expressed, for 
example, a member of a sect or party, as Sadduhi, a Sadducee (from 
Sadduk, a man's name). An individual adherent of a sect of nosrlm 
would be a nosrl, whatever the origin of the name might be. But 
the afformative is always significant, and an etymological hypothesis 
which is constrained to ignore it condemns itself. 

Whether Epiphanius's description of his Jewish Nasaraeans is 
more trustworthy than most of what he retails about Jewish sects — 
the Pharisees, for instance — and whether they were really as ancient 
as he says, is beside the present point. The sect which Smith and 
others describe with such particularity is a modern myth, invented, 
like so many other myths, by false etymology,. in the service of that 
" religionsgeschichtliche Methode " of which it may fairly be said — 
with Shakespeare's leave — " H this be method, there's madness in 
it." To find a match for Ber vorchristliche Jesus one must go to 
Peres's ingenious demonstration that a man Napoleon never existed ; ^ 
he was Apollo, as the very name proves (X7j,'A7roAAoji'), and his whole 
story a solar myth. But Peres was consciously writing a satire on 
the etymological-mythological method by which Dupuis had proved 
that there never was a man Jesus ; he was a sun-god, the twelve 
apostles the signs of the zodiac, the Christian myth a variant of 

^ M. J.-B. Per^s, Comme quoi Napoleon n'a jamais existe , ou Grand Erra- 
tum, source d'un nombre infini d' errata a noter dans Thistoire du xix" siecle. 1817. 



By the Editors. 

The Slavonic version of Josephus, which is not yet generally 
accessible, contains many paragraphs which are not found in Greek. 
Their origin is quite uncertain, and can scarcely be profitably dis- 
cussed until the whole evidence is available, and the expert opinion 
of Slavonic scholars has been obtained as to the relation of these 
passages to the rest of the version. One of the most remarkable 
deals with John the Baptist. It has been published in a German 
translation by A. Berendts in " Die Zeugnisse vom Christentum 
im slavischen De Bello Judaico des Josephus " in Texte und Unter- 
suchungen xxix. 4, and by J. Frey in Der slavische Josephusbericht. 
The question has been discussed both by these scholars and by their 
reviewers whether this paragraph is of Jewish or Christian origin. 
The possibility has been suggested (but has found little favour) 
that it belongs to another version, presumably Aramaic, made by 
Josephus himself. The Theologische Jahrsbericht for 1907-10 gives 
a short account of the literature on the subject. To students of 
the text of Josephus the matter is interesting, to the historian it 
seems to be curious rather than important, for the narrative appears 
to have every sign of inaccuracy. Since, however, it seems not to 
be available in English, a translation from Berendts is appended. 

" In those days, however, a man wandered among the Jews 
clad in unusual garments, because he had put on furs about his 
body, on all parts of it which were not covered by his hair. More- 
over, judging from his face, he looked just like a wild man. 

" This man came to the Jews and summoned them to freedom, 
saying, ' God has sent me, that I may show you the way to the 
law, by which you may free yourselves from the great struggle of 
sustaining yourselves. And there will be no mortal ruling over 
you, only the Highest, who has sent me.' And as the people heard 
VOL. I 433 2 F 


this, they were happy ; and all Judea, which lies in the neighbour- 
hood of Jerusalem, followed him. 

" And he did no other thing to them than to plunge them into 
the flood-tide of the Jordan and let them go, pointing out to them 
that they should leave off evil deeds, and promising that there 
would be given them a king, who would free them and conquer for 
them all peoples not yet subject to them, but that nobody among 
those of whom we are speaking would be vanquished. Some reviled 
him, but others were won over to belief. 

" And then he was led to Archelaus where the men versed in 
law had assembled ; they asked him who he was and where he had 
been up to this time. And he answered this question, and spoke 
thus, ' Pure am I, for God's spirit has entered into me, and I nourish 
my body on reeds and roots and wood-shavings.' But when they 
threw themselves upon him, in order to rack him, unless he revoked 
his former words and actions, he then spoke again, ' It befits you 
to leave off your atrocious works and to join yourselves to the Lord, 
yoiir God.' 

" And in a rage there rose up Simon, by descent an Essene, a 
scribe, and this one spoke : ' We read each day the godly books. 
But you, who have just come out of the woods like a wild beast, 
how do you dare, indeed, to teach us and seduce the people with 
your profligate sermons ! ' And he rushed forward in order to harm 
him. But he, rebuking them, spoke, ' I shall not reveal to you 
that secret dwelhng within your hearts, for you have not wished it. 
Thereby an unspeakable misfortune has come upon you and by 
your own design.' 

" And after he had thus spoken, he went forth to the other 
side of the Jordan, and since no one dared blame him, each did 
exactly what he had done formerly. 

" When Philip was in possession of his power, he saw in a dream 
how an eagle tore out both his eyes. And he summoned aU his 
wise men. But as each explained the dream differently, that man, 
of whom we have written before, telling how he went about in the 
furs of wild beasts and how he purified the people in the waters of 
the Jordan, came to him suddenly unbidden. And he spoke, 
' Hear the word of the Lord on the dream which you have had. 
The eagle — -that is your corruptibihty, because that bird is violent 
and rapacious. And that sin will take from you your eyes, which 
are your power and your wife." And as he had thus spoken, before 
evening Philip died and his power was given to Agrippa. 

" And his wife took to husband Herod, his brother. On her 
account, however, all the men versed in law abhorred him, but 
dared not accuse him to his face. 

" Only that man, however, whom people called a wUd man, 


came to him with wrath and spoke : ' Why have you taken your 
brother's wife ? As your brother died a remorseless death, so will 
you too be mowed down by the heavenly sickle. God's heavenly 
decree will not be silenced, but will cause your death through evil 
affliction in foreign lands. For you are not producing children for 
your brother, but are giving rein to your carnal desires, and are 
carrying on adultery, since four children of his exist.' 

" But when Herod heard this he grew angry and ordered that 
the man be beaten and driven forth. But he accused Herod so 
incessantly, wherever he found him, and for so long a time, that 
finally he offered violence to him and ordered him to be killed. 

" But his character was unusual and his method of life was not 
mortal ; as, for instance, a fleshless spirit would, so did this man 
also persist. His lips knew no bread, not once at the Passover did he 
partake of unleavened bread, saying, That in remembrance of God, 
who had freed the people from servitude, this sort of bread was 
given for food, as a consolation, for the way was woeful. But he 
did not once allow himself near wine and intoxicating drinks. And 
he shunned every animal for food, and he punished every wrong, 
and wood-shavings answered his needs." 



Law of 


By the Editors. 

It is interesting to collect from the Kabbinical writings a few points 
of difference between Pharisees and Sadducees in interpreting the 
laws. In almost every case we are impressed by the mildness of 
the Pharisaic halaka or rule of life. 

The Erub. — The law was very strictly interpreted in regard to 
Sabbath observance, and was felt to be intolerable. The prohibi- 
tion against carrying anything in or out of the house on the day 
of rest was very oppressive, and, to render it easier to observe, a 
system of erubim was devised by which several houses could be 
counted as a single mansion. This the Pharisees supported, but 
their rivals condemned, and it is said that a single Sadducee in a 
community, enjoying the erub, could invaUdate the privilege.-^ 

The Sabbath. — The rigidity with which the Sabbath obhgations 
were interpreted was, as in the case of the erub, relaxed by the 
Pharisees ; and one of the reasons alleged for regarding the 
Damascene document as influenced by Sadduceeism is the severe 
view it takes of Sabbath observance. The covenanters of Damascus 
even refused to raise an animal which had fallen into a pit on the 
Sabbath ; nor did they allow a ladder or cord to be used to save a 

^ The treatise Erubin (Combination) Mishna, vi. 2, cf. f. 68a. The Mishna 
is, " K a man dwell in the same court with a Gentile or with a Jew who does 
not acknowledge the law of Erub, their presence prevents his carrying anything 
into or out of his house on the Sabbath." 

To the question whether a Sadducee was in this respect on the same footing 
with a foreigner, R. Gamaliel answered. No, and related : " It happened that 
a Sadducee dwelt with us in the same aUey in Jerusalem, and my father said 
to us, ' Make haste and bring out your vessels into the alley, before he brings 
hia out and thus prevents your doing so.' " But in the same connection a 
tradition (Baraita) is quoted : " An Israelite who Uves in the same court with 
a Gentile, a Sadducee, or a Boethusian is prevented by them (from carrying 

The Erub was devised to mitigate the Law, Exodus xvi. 29 : " Let no man 
go out of his place on the Sabbath day." 



man in a like position on the holy day. Even offerings, except the 
morning and evening in the temple, were forbidden, as they caused 
a breach of the Sabbath.^ 

The Year of Release. — The law of the year of release {Shemitta) Year of 
was found to operate with peculiar severity in the case of borrowers, '"f'^'^ase. 
According to Deut. xvi. 3 all debts were to be remitted to the 
Israelites every seventh year ; and, consequently in the last years 
of a Sabbatic period no one could lend with any confidence that 
the money would be repaid, and therefore none could borrow. 
To remedy this, the Pharisees, traditionally Hillel,^ invented a system 
by which the borrower could agree not to take advantage of the 
Sabbatic year. This was known as prosbul [it poo- fi ok-,]), and was 
designed to remedy the law in Deut. xv. 1. 2. "At the end of 
every seven years thou shalt make a release {Shemitta). And this 
is the manner of the release : every creditor shall release that which 
he has lent unto his neighbour ; he shall not exact it of his neighbour 
and his brother ; because the Lord's release hath been proclaimed." ^ 

Damage done by an Animal or a Slave. — There is a curious passage Damage, 
in the treatise Yadaim (Hands), in which the Sadducees reproach 
the Pharisees for deciding that a man ought to pay for damage 
done by his ox or his ass, but not by his servant. The Pharisees 
justified their decision by an appeal to common sense. The ox or 
ass, being irrational animals, can be controlled, but not so a servant 
or handmaid, for whom no man can be responsible in the same 
sense as he can be for a brute.^ 

^ The Damascene law of the Sabbath is far more strict than that of the 
Talmud. See Schechter's edition, and his notes on pp. 10 and 11 of the docu- 
ment. Note especially pp. 11, 14: "No man shall deliver an animal on the 
day of the Sabbath. And if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it 
on the day of the Sabbath. . . . And if any person falls into a gathering of 
water ... he shall not bring him up by a ladder or cord or instrument. No 
man shall bring anything on the altar on the Sabbath save the burnt offering 
of the Sabbath, for so it is written ' Save your Sabbaths.' " 

On the prohibition against raising an animal out of a pit Schechter remarks : 
" The Rabbinic law is less strict." See Sabbath 1296, and Maimonides, Hilcoth 
Sabbath, chap. 25, par. 25. Jesus appeals to a lenient interpretation of the 
Law in his day (Luke xiv. 5). The next clause in the document might be cited 
to support the reading i't6s for 6voi in Luke, or, at least, to show that it has 
some probability. For the last clause cf. Matt. xii. 6, " The priests in the 
temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless." 

- Hillel is credited with the institution of the prosbul. Derenbourg, op. cit. 
p. 189, note 1, quotes, Mishna, Gittin iv. 3. D'?ivn ppn 'jdd "jums ppnn SSn 
" Hillel instituted the prosbul for the reformation of the world." 

' Yadaim iv. 7. This Derenbourg {op. cit. p. 134) thinks has a political 
reference. Hyrcanus II. pleaded this in excuse for his tolerating the crimes 
of his servant Herod, who might avenge himself upon his master if he remon- 
strated. This plea was not accepted by the Sadducees. 


False The Case of False Witness. — According to Deut. xix. 16 ff. a man 

witness. guilty of false witness was to receive the punishment which his 
victim would have sufiered. In this case the Pharisaic decision 
took account of the intention of the perjurer, the Sadducees of the 
effect of his testimony. If an innocent man was pronounced guilty 
owing to a false witness, the Pharisees thought the perjurer should 
suffer the same fate as he meant the defendant to incur. The 
Sadducees thought that sentence of death should be inflicted only 
if capital punishment had been actually undergone by the man 
unjustly condemned. The passage in the Mishna -^ says : " The 
false witnesses are not to be put to death unless the death-sentence 
has been pronounced upon the accused by the court. The Sadducees, 
indeed, said, Not unless the accused has been executed, for it is 
said. Life for life ! The learned replied. Is it not said in the pre- 
ceding context, You shall do unto him as he designed to do to his 
brother ? This implies that his brother was still alive. But then 
why does it say, Life for life ? It might otherwise be inferred that 
the false witnesses were liable from the time when their testimony 
was taken ; this is excluded by the words. Life for life. So they 
are not put to death unless sentence has been pronounced (that is, 
before the falsity and malice of their testimony are brought to 

Inheritance. Female Inheritance. — The rights of females to inherit in the 
absence of male heirs was conceded by Leviticus xxvii. ; but there 
was an ambiguity in the case of a man leaving no sons or grandsons 
but only a daughter and a grand-daughter descended from a deceased 
son. The Pharisees maintained that the niece inherited before the 
aunt ; the Sadducees took the opposite view.^ 

The above examples, trivial as they may seem to a modern 
student, are of importance as illustrating the difierence between 
the two great parties in Judaism. They show that the interpreta- 
tion, so general in commentaries, that the Sadducees represented 
rehgioua indifference whilst Pharisaism was characterised by an 
anxious legalism is erroneous ; and that the theory that Sadduceeism 
is equivalent to Liberalism cannot be sustained.^ 

1 Tract Makkoih (stripes) 1. 7. 

* " When there are neither sons nor son's children the daughters and their 
dependants become the rightful heirs. The Sadducees held that the daughters 
shared in the inheritance when there was only the daughter of a son living, 
but Johanan ben Zakkai and other Pharisees decided that the son and aU his 
descendants whether male or female should precede the daughter in the right 
of inheritance." {Baba Bathra 1156, of Tosephta, Yadaim u. 9; Megillath, 
Td'anit 5.) Cf. Jewish Encyd., art. " Inheritance." 

' See Geiger, Die Pharisder und Sadducder, Breslau, 1867, p. 27. 



By Geoege F. Moore 

Am ha-arks is properly a collective, meaning " the common Meaning of 
people." In rabbinical literature it is oftener an individual of this ^°'"'^- 
class, " a man of the common people," and the plural, ame ha-ares, 
is employed somewhat as we use " the masses." ^ 

An mn ha-ares may be a layman in contrast to a priest, as where 
Phineas refuses to go to Jephthah to absolve him of his vow because 
it is beneath the dignity of a High Priest to go to an am ha-ares 
{Tanchuma, Behukkothai 7). Much more frequently the term is 
in express or implied contrast to talmlde hakamitn, '' scholars " ; 
the educated class sets itself over against the masses of the people. 
(See e.g. Nedarim 14a, 20a.) 

Inasmuch as Jewish education consisted almost exclusively of 
the study of the Scriptures and the religious tradition — theological, 
ethical, ceremonial, juristic — the " common man " is one who is 
ignorant of the duties and observances of his religion ; if not of 
the rudiments, at least of the refinements on which so much time 
was spent in the schools. 

The educated constituted a social class, and in their own estimate Contempt 
the most respectable class in the community. They looked down °^ ^^^ 
on the masses not only as unlearned but as ill-bred, rude, and dirty. 
An educated man should therefore not marry a woman of this class, 
nor give his daughter in marriage to a man of the common people. 
If he cannot get the daughter of a scholar for a wife — to attain 
which end he should be willing to sell all he has — he should marry 
the daughter of a man of consideration in the community ; if he 
cannot compass this, the daughter of the head of a synagogue, the 
daughter of a collector of communal charities, or even the daughter 

^ Similarly, goi, in the Old Testament a foreign nation, is in the later litera- 
ture an individual foreigner, with the religious connotation, " heathen," and 
the plural goiim, means " Gentiles." 




The hor. 



Haberim or 


of the teaclier of a boys' school ; but not a woman of the common 
people, " for they are loathsome (shekes) and their women are un- 
clean vermin {sheres)." A common man makes a brutal husband ; 
for an educated man to marry his daughter to one is like exposing 
-her, bound and helpless, to a lion ; he will beat her, and assert his 
conjugal rights over her without decency. {Pesahlm 496 — where 
there is more of the same sort.) 

A more opprobrious term than am ha-ares is hor ; a hor is a 
man who has all the faults of the am ha-ares in the superlative 
degree. According to Bemidhar Rahha 3, 1, there are in Israel 
three classes : students of the law (hene torah), common people 
{ame ha-ares), and horlm. An often-quoted saying of HUlel is : 
" No hor has scruples about sinning, and no am ha-ares is pious." ^ 
In Tos. Berahoih 7, 18 a rabbi thanks God that he did not create 
him a heathen, a woman, or a hor? 

Scrupulous Jews formed an association [hahurah) the members 
of which were pledged to keep themselves pure from ceremonial 
defilement and to set apart with meticulous exactness the portion 
of the products of the soil which were by the Law to be given to 
the Priests {terumah gedolah) or to the Levites (tithes). Those who 
assumed these engagements called themselves "associates" {haherlm), 
and it is not improbable that the name " Pharisees " was originally 
applied to them as men who separated themselves from unclean- 
ness. The members of these societies were drawn largely from the 
educated class, and since haber is used also for a "fellow," as we might 
say, of a rabbinical school, or a colleague of its head, it is sometimes 
doubtful in which sense the word is to be taken ; the ambiguity is, 
however, of no importance for our present purpose. 

The pledge of the haber, which had to be taken in the presence 
of three members {Bekoroth 306), restricted in various ways his inter- 
course with the common people : he must not give termnah or tithes 
to an am ha-ares (that is, to a Priest or„<Levite of this class), perform 
his purifications in the presence of an am ha-ares, be the guest of 
one, or entertain one in his house (unless he left his outer garment 
outside) ; he must not sell him of the products of the earth either 
" dry " (grains, and the like) or " moist " (garden vegetables and 
fruits), or buy from him anything except " dry " (dry things not 
being subject to uncleanness by contact), etc. There are numerous 
other rules about buying and selling between a haher and an am 
ha-ares which it is superfluous to set down here. (See M. Demai 2, 
2 f. ; Tos. Demai 2-3 ; Jer. Demai, in loc. ; Tos. Ahodah Zarah 3, 

^ " Pious " has here what we might call a professional sense, the expert 
religiousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. It takes education to make a saint. 
Cf. Sabb. 63a near the end. 

* In the liturgy the tor is replaced by " a slave." 


8 fi. etc.) A haher should not travel in company vnih. an am ha-ares, 
visit him, study the law in his presence {Pesahim 496). " Do not 
be frequently in the company of an am ha-ares, for in the end he 
will give you something to eat from which the tithes have not been 
separated ; do not be much in the company of a priest who is an 
am ha-ares, for in the end he will give you terumah to eat {Nedarim 
20a). Cf . Sabb. 13a : A Pharisee should not eat with an am ha-ares, 
even when they are both unclean (zabim), lest he become intimate 
with him and eat food not tithed, or (since most of the class pay 
tithes) subsequently eat unclean food when in a state of cleanness. 

The reasons for these restrictions and precautions are partly The 
the presumption of uncleanness which attaches to the am ha-ares <"" *«-<"«« 
and everything that belongs to him, partly the presumption that yng^"^ ^ 
the portion of the Priests and Levites has not been properly separated, 
or the laws concerning the fruits of the fallow year duly observed. 
The importance of the religious taxes in the eyes of the rabbis is 
shown by the saying of Simeon b. Gamaliel : " The rules about 
Jcodesh, terumah, and ma'aseroth (holy things, priests' dues, and 
tithes) are fundamentals of the law {guphe torah), and these are 
delivered to the am ha-ares " {Sabb. 326). The garments of an 
am ha-ares defile by contact, fruit that he has handled is sus- 
pected of contracting uncleanness from his touch, etc. Since the 
great concourse of people at the festival seasons made it impossible 
to avoid contact with the multitudes, an exception is made for 
these occasions ; the uncleanness of the am ha-ares is reckoned as 
cleanness during the feasts {Besa 116), and at these seasons their 
testimony about the payment of terumah was accepted [Hagigah 26a). 

The peasantry were believed — probably with sufficient reason — 
to be both ignorant and negligent in the matter of their religious 
dues [terumah and tithes) ; consequently when a scrupulous Jew 
bought food from them in the market he could never be sure — 
whatever the seller averred— that he was not makiijg himself an 
accessory to this fraud on God and his ministry. What is to be 
done in such a case is the subject of the book entitled Demai in the 
first part of the Mishnah and the Tosephta. The haber, when he 
did not know that he was dealing with one who had pledged himself 
to be faithful and trustworthy in these matters (that is, another 
haber), made sure by setting apart from his purchase the legal 
terumah and tithes of " all that he sold, bought and ate " ^ {Sot ah 
48a ; ordinance of John Hyrcanus). 

The am ha-ares was not necessarily of the lowest social class ; 
Priests, and even the High Priest, might be without rabbinical 
education and might pay little attention to the casuistry of the 

^ Cf. Luke xviii. 12, diroSeKaTeiu} vdvTa 5<Ta KrCiixai, which might ahnost^be 
rendered, " I tithe all that I buy." 



Any one 
become a 
haber by 

schools or even to the letter of the Law.^ Probably not many of 
the higher priesthood, at least, were members of the precisian 
societies.^ Such Priests were am ha-ares in the eyes of the scholars 
and the Pharisees, and were treated as such. 

The line between the two classes was, thus, not one of birth or 
station but, we might say, of culture and piety, and there was no 
great gulf fixed so that men could not pass over from one side to 
the other. A student might abandon his studies, and sink to the 
level of the am ha-ares ; a haber might engage in an occupation— 
that of collector ^ for example — which was incompatible with his 
professions, and be expelled from the association, or (by a later 
relaxation of the discipline) be suspended as long as he held the 

On the other hand, a man of the common people could become 
a student, and advance to be a " fellow," a colleague, the head 
of a school, and in time attain the highest rank among the learned, 
as the example of Akiba and many others shows. The zeal of the 
rabbis for the multiplication of scholars, as well as the natural 
attractions of the learned career, drew many of the lower classes 
into the schools. Again, without the education of the schools, any 
man could become an associate {haber) by assuming the obligations 
of the haburah and binding himself to be trustworthy {ne^eman) in 
the matters of ceremonial cleanness and the separation of the portion 
of God and the ministry, thus relieving himself of the suspicion 
attaching to his class and the social disabilities which resulted from 
it. The conditions of admission were the same for a student {talmid 
haham) as for an am ha-ares. A difference was made, however, 
between an am ha-ares who was seen to be observant of the pro- 
prieties and decencies of life in his home (who was seni'a) and one 
who was not ; the former was at once admitted to membership and 
then instructed in the obligations he had assumed ; the latter was 
given a course of instruction before he was allowed to take the 
engagements. We read also of stages of admission (beginning 

^ The accounts we have of the appropriation of the Levites' tithes by the 
Priests, who collect^ them for themselves by force, if necessary, do not indicate 
a strict regard foi^the Law. 

- It is perhaps a reproof of the Priests of the time for their indifference 
in this regard that it is asserted that Aaron was a haber and his sons Tuibenm 
{Sanhedrin 90). 

^ Gabbai, a collector of any kind, whether of taxes for the Government or 
of the charitable gifts of the community. If " publican " had been specifically 
meant the specific term, mokes, would doubtless have been used. 

* Travel or residence outside the land also suspended the relation to the 
habUrah ; it was not possible to live according to the rule in a foreign country. 
If the haber returned to Palestine, he