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Full text of "A Syriac Parallel to the Golden Rule"

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NOTES 193 

ogy and had been already sketched by Hardouin. Starting from the 
theory of the twenty-five years of Eoman episcopate of Peter, these 
theologians concluded that Peter must have been in Rome not later 
than the year 42 a.d.; on the other hand it was only in the year 44 
that Paul went to Jerusalem and there met for the first time Cephas, 
with whom junxit dexteram. This Cephas could not be Peter, who 
at that time was in Rome. But there is no doubt that the Cephas 
who five years later in Antioch was rebuked by Paul was the same 
man that Paul had met in Jerusalem, therefore he cannot be identified 
with Peter, although about that time Peter returned to Jerusalem, 
to preside over the council of the year 50. 

The Vatican Council of 1870 and the discussions about the infalli- 
bility of the Pope gave a new interest to the question. But modem 
Catholic theologians, realizing how weak is the chronological argu- 
ment based on legendary data, have abandoned Cephas to his fate, 
and have gone back to Augustine and the old tradition of the western 
Fathers. (Palmieri, D., De Romano Pontifice, Prati, 1902, pp. 372-73. 
Mazzella, C, De Religione et Ecdesia, Prati, 1905, pp. 692-693. 
Straub, De Ecdesia Christi, i, 135. Innsbruck, 1912.) They accepted 
the identity of Cephas and Peter, but found in the episode of Antioch 
a new argument in favor of the infalUbility of the Pope: "Huiusmodi 
facto evidenter se prodit Petri primatus. Quamvis enim Paulus 
verbis doceret non esse opus iudaizare, Petrus autem solo conversa- 
tionis exemplo videretur docere esse iudaizandum, hie tamen ceteros 
ipsumque Bamabam cogebat, non tantum alliciebat iudaizare. Unde 
tanta efficacia exempli taciti Petri, ut praevaleret doctrinae praedican- 
tis Pauli, nisi ex eo quod ab omnibus Petrus potior Paulo habebatur 
eiusque auctoritas suprema esse in Ecclesia credebatur?" (Palmieri, 
op. cit. p. 374.) 

G. La Piana 



A SYRIAC PARALLEL TO THE GOLDEN RULE 

Numerous parallels to the Golden Rule of Matt. 7, 12 and Luke 6, 
31 have been found in various writers.' Most of these are Jewish or 
Christian, but some of them are far remote in time and place from 

' Cf. Wettstein, Novum Te»tamentum, i, pp. 841 f.; A. Reach, in Texte und Unter- 
suchungen, x (1897), 3, pp. 80 f.; G. Resch, ibid., xxviii (1905), 3, pp. 132 S.; Heinrici, 
Beitrdge zur Gemhichte und Erklarung des Neuen Teatamentea, iii (1905), pp. 85 fi.; and 
Proost, De Bergrede (1914), pp. 153 f . To the passages cited in these works may be 
added the following: MahaWtarata, xii, 259, 20: Quod quispiam non vult sibi ab aliis 



194 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW 

Judaism and Christianity. Sometimes the precept is put in the posi- 
tive form and sometimes in the negative, more frequently in the latter. 
A Syriac parallel, particularly interesting because it combines the 
two forms, seems to have been hitherto overlooked. It occurs in the 
philosophical dialogue entitled The Booh of the Laws of the Countries, 
and is as follows: "For there are two commandments set before us, 
which are meet and right for free-will: one, that we should depart 
from everything that is evil and we hate to have done to ourselves; 
and the other, that we should do whatever is good and we love, and 
are pleased to have it done so also to ourselves." ^ 

The Book of the Laws of the Countries is traditionally ascribed to 
Bardesanes, but is really the work of one of his disciples, who probably 
wrote in the early part of the third century after Christ. The author 
may have read, in Syriac or in Greek, a text of Acts 15, 20 or 29 having 
the Golden Rule in the negative form after the prohibitions, and com- 
bined this with the positive form found in Matt. 7, 12 and Luke 6, 
31. Ephrem's commentary on Acts 15, 29 is based on a text similar 
to that attested by D 25 29 etc., sah, syr. hi., Iren. int., Cyp. Barde- 
sanes may have thought of the positive and negative forms of the 
Golden Rule as constituting "the perfect law of freedom" mentioned 
in James 1, 25. 

Christian scholars are wont to dwell upon the superiority of the 
positive form, whilst Jewish writers either prefer the latter ' or regard 
the two as substantially equivalent. Thus Montefiore has "a feeling 
that Hillel and Jesus meant pretty much the same thing." * Elbogen 
thinks that Jesus derived the saying from Hillel through tradition, 
and he finds no special merit in the positive form of statement.' The 
truth is that both forms of the precept are based on love to our fellow- 
men (Lev. 19, 18), which according to Akiba as well as to Jesus is the 
fundamental principle of conduct. On the negative side love " worketh 

fieri ne ipse aliis faciat, quia scit quid odiosum sit. Thales (Diog. Laert. i, 36): 
'EpwTijffcts . . . TTWs av &pi(7Ta Kal diKaioTara 0Uji<TaitX€v [?<^7;] kav S rots fiXXots 
iirtTiiiSiiiev, aiiTol fiii dpwiiiv. Ep. Arist. § 168 (ed. Wendland): '0 5i m/jos rinSiv KtKtiu, 
lif)Te Xoytf iiifTt ipytf ixriSkva KaKOTToielv. Aphraates, Demonstratio, xxiii, 62 {Patrohgia 
Syriaca, I, ii, 129, 11. 14 f.): "What you dislike when done to you do not do to your 
fellow." This is word for word the way in which Hillel is said to have summarized 
the Law (Sabb. 31a); cf. the Palestinian Targum on Lev. 19, 18; and Akiba in Aboth 
de R. Nathan, c. 26 (ed. Schechter, Recension B, p. 27). 

^ Cureton, Spieilegium Syriacum, p. 5; Patrologia Syriaca, I, ii, 551, II. 11 ff. 

' Cf. e.g. Hirsch in The Jewish Encyclopedia, vi, p. 22. 

* Montefiore, The Synoptic Oospels, ii (1909), p. 550. 

' Elbogen, Die Religumsanschauungen der Pharisaer (1904), p. 76. 



NOTES 195 

not evil to the neighbour," and hence it is the"fulfihnent of the Law."* 
On the positive side, as in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, love 
manifests itself in generosity and helpfulness to others. The negative 
form of the commandment teaches men to be just, whereas the posi- 
tive bids them to be generous.'' The difference between justice and 
generosity is well expressed by Wettstein: "lustus est, qui reddit 
quod debet, quodque etiam ab invito per iudicem extorqueri poterat: 
bonus sive beneficus, qui liberaliter dat, quod non debet." * 

William H. P. Hatch 
The Episcopal Theologicai. School 
Cambridge, Mass. 



"STRAIN OUT A GNAT AND ADORN A CAMEL" 

In the late Professor Camden Cobem's useful book entitled The 
New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testa- 
ment a section is devoted to Tatian's Harmony of the Gospels, and 
on pages 205-207 a list of its remarkable readings is given, according 
to the Arabic text published by Ciasca. The list is misleading, for 
many of the supposed examples of variation from the standard text 
are not such in reality. Hamlyn Hill's English translation, on which 
Cobern relied, is not always correct, and the Arabic translator himself 
was sometimes unfortunate in his rendering of an ambiguous Syriac 
word or phrase. 

The singular reading quoted above, however, which is one of those 
given in the list, is not to be laid to the charge of Professor Cobern or 
of either translator, but is due to an extraordinary combination of 
two transcriptional or typographical errors, which so far as I am 
aware has not been observed by any one. Ciasca's Latin rendering 
of Matt. 23, 24 (p. 71) has indeed "camelum omantes." His Arabic 
text of the passage (p. 153) has the word yazdaruna, which means 
neither 'they adorn' nor anything else which could possibly be used 
here. It is at once plain that the true reading was yazraduna, 'they 
swallow.' (I see that Rendel Harris, cited in Hill's translation, had 
noted this, and doubtless other scholars have made the observation.) 
Ciasca, however, must have read the word correctly, for his 'mnantes' 

» Rom. 13, 10. 

' So also Bruce in The Expositor's Greek Testament, 7th ed., i, p. 132. 

' Wettstein, op. cit., ii, p. 46.