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Assistant Professor of New Testament Literature and 
Exegesis in Princeton Theological Seminary 

H3eto gorfe 


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Set np and printed. Published October, 1921. 

Press of 

J. J. Little & Ives Company 
New York, U. S. A. 






IN 1911 Mr. James Sprunt of Wilmington, North Carolina, 
gave to The Trustees of Union Theological Seminary in Vir- 
ginia the sum of thirty thousand dollars, since increased by his 
generosity to fifty thousand dollars, for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a perpetual lectureship, which would enable the institu- 
tion to secure from time to time the services of distinguished 
ministers and authoritative scholars, outside the regular 
Faculty, as special lecturers on subjects connected with various 
departments of Christian thought and Christian work. The 
lecturers are chosen by the Faculty of the Seminary and a com- 
mittee of the Board of Trustees, and the lectures are published 
after their delivery in accordance with a contract between the 
lecturer and these representatives of the institution. The ninth 
series of lectures on this foundation is presented in this volume. 

W. W. MOORE, President. 











INDEX ... 319 





THE following discussion is intended to deal, from one par- 
ticular point of view, with the problem of the origin of Chris- 
tianity. That problem is an important historical problem, 
and also an important practical problem. It is an important 
historical problem not only because of the large place which 
Christianity has occupied in the medieval and modern world, 
but also because of certain unique features which even the most 
unsympathetic and superficial examination must detect in the 
beginnings of the Christian movement. The problem of the 
origin of Christianity is also an important practical problem. 
Rightly or wrongly, Christian experience has ordinarily been 
connected with one particular view of the origin of the Chris- 
tian movement ; where that view has been abandoned, the experi- 
ence has ceased. 

This dependence of Christianity upon a particular con- 
ception of its origin and of its Founder is now indeed being 
made the object of vigorous attack. There are many who 
maintain that Christianity is the same no matter what its 
origin was, and that therefore the problem of origin should 
be kept entirely separate from the present religious interests 
of the Church. Obviously, however, this indifference to the 
question as to what the origin of Christianity was depends 
upon a particular conception of what Christianity now is; it 
depends upon the conception which makes of Christianity 
simply a manner of life. That conception is indeed wide- 
spread, but it is by no means universal ; there are still hosts of 
earnest Christians who regard Christianity, not simply as a 
manner of life, but as a manner of life founded upon a message 
upon a message with regard to the Founder of the Christian 



movement. For such persons the question of the origin of 
Christianity is rather to be called the question of the truth 
of Christianity, and that question is to them the most im- 
portant practical question of their lives. Even if these persons 
are wrong, the refutation of their supposed error naturally 
proceeds, and has in recent years almost always proceeded, 
primarily by means of that very discussion of the origin of the 
Christian movement which is finally to be shorn of its practical 
interest. The most important practical question for the modern 
Church is still the question how Christianity came into being. 

In recent years it has become customary to base discussions 
of the origin of Christianity upon the apostle Paul. Jesus 
Himself, the author of the Christian movement, wrote nothing 
at least no writings of His have been preserved. The record 
of His words and deeds is the work of others, and the date 
and authorship and historical value of the documents in which 
that record is contained are the subject of persistent debate. 
With regard to the genuineness of the principal epistles of 
Paul, on the other hand, and with regard to the value of at 
least part of the outline of his life which is contained in the 
Book of Acts, all serious historians are agreed. The testi- 
mony of Paul, therefore, forms a fixed starting-point in all 

Obviously that testimony has an important bearing upon 
the question of the origin of Christianity. Paul was a con- 
temporary of Jesus. He attached himself to Jesus' disciples 
only a very few years after Jesus' death; according to his 
own words, in one of the universally accepted epistles, he came 
into early contact with the leader among Jesus' associates; 
throughout his life he was deeply interested (for one reason or 
another) in the affairs of the primitive Jerusalem Church; 
both before his conversion and after it he must have had abun- 
dant opportunity for acquainting himself with the facts about 
Jesus' life and death. His testimony is not, however, limited 
to what he says in detail about the words and deeds of the 
Founder of the Christian movement. More important still is 
the testimony of his experience as a whole. The religion of 
Paul is a fact which stands in the full light of history. How 
is it to be explained? What were its presuppositions? Upon 
what sort of Jesus was it founded? These questions lead into 
the very heart of the historical problem. Explain the origin 


of the religion of Paul, and you have solved the problem of the 
origin of Christianity. 

That problem may thus be approached through the gate- 
way of the testimony of Paul. But that is not the only way to 
approach it. Another way is offered by the Gospel picture of 
the person of Jesus. Quite independent of questions of date 
and authorship and literary relationships of the documents, 
the total picture which the Gospels present bears unmistakable 
marks of being the picture of a real historical person. In- 
ternal evidence here reaches the point of certainty. If the 
Jesus who in the Gospels is represented as rebuking the Phar- 
isees and as speaking the parables is not a real historical 
person living at a definite point in the world's history, then 
there is no way of distinguishing history from fiction. Even 
the evidence for the genuineness of the Pauline Epistles is no 
stronger than this. But if the Jesus of the Gospels is a real 
person, certain puzzling questions arise. The Jesus of the 
Gospels is a supernatural person; He is represented as pos- 
sessing sovereign power over the forces of nature. What shall 
be done with this supernatural element in the picture? It is 
certainly very difficult to separate it from the rest. More- 
over the Jesus of the Gospels is represented as advancing some 
lofty claims. He regarded Himself as being destined to come 
with the clouds of heaven and be the instrument in judging 
the world. What shall be done with this element in His con- 
sciousness? How does it agree with the indelible impression of 
calmness and sanity which has always been made by His char- 
acter? These questions again lead into the heart of the prob- 
lem. Yet they cannot be ignored. They are presented in- 
evitably by what every serious historian admits. 

The fundamental evidence with regard to the origin of 
Christianity is therefore twofold. Two facts need to be ex- 
plained the Jesus of the Gospels and the religion of Paul. 
The problem of early Christianity may be approached in either 
of these two ways. It should finally be approached in both 
ways. And if it is approached in both ways the investigator 
will discover, to his amazement, that the two ways lead to the 
same result. But the present discussion is more limited in 
scope. It seeks to deal merely with one of the two ways of ap- 
proach to the problem of Christianity. What was the origin 
of the religion of Paul? 


In discussing the apostle Paul the historian is dealing 
with a subject important for its own sake, even aside from the 
importance of what it presupposes about Jesus. Unquestion- 
ably Paul was a notable man, whose influence has been felt 
throughout all subsequent history. The fact itself cannot be 
called in question. But since there is wide difference of opinion 
about details, it may be well, in a brief preliminary word, to 
define a little more closely the nature and extent of the in- 
fluence of Paul. 

That influence has been exerted in two ways. It was 
exerted, in the first place, during the lifetime of Paul; and 
it has been exerted, in the second place, upon subsequent gen- 
erations through the medium of the Pauline Epistles. 

With regard to the second kind of influence, general con- 
siderations would make a high estimate natural. The Pauline 
Epistles form a large proportion of the New Testament, which 
has been regarded as fundamental and authoritative in all ages 
of the Church. The use of the Pauline Epistles as normative 
for Christian thought and practice can be traced back to 
very early times, and has been continuous ever since. Yet 
certain considerations have been urged on the other side as 
indicating that the influence of Paul has not been so great as 
might have been expected. For example, the Christianity of 
the Old Catholic Church at the close of the second century 
displays a strange lack of understanding for the deeper ele- 
ments in the Pauline doctrine of salvation, and something of 
the same state of affairs may be detected in the scanty re- 
mains of the so-called "Apostolic Fathers" of the beginning 
of the century. The divergence from Paul was not conscious ; 
the writers of the close of the second century all quote the 
Pauline Epistles with the utmost reverence. But the fact of 
the divergence cannot altogether be denied. 

Various explanations of this divergence have been pro- 
posed. Baur explained the un-Pauline character of the Old 
Catholic Church as due to a compromise with a legalistic Jew- 
ish Christianity; Ritschl explained it as due to a natural 
process of degeneration on purely Gentile Christian ground; 
Von Harnack explains it as due to the intrusion, after the 
time of Paul, of Greek habits of thought. The devout believer, 
on the other hand, might simply say that the Pauline doctrine 


of grace was too wonderful and too divine to be understood 
fully by the human mind and heart. 1 

Whatever the explanation, however, the fact, even after 
exaggerations have been avoided, remains significant. It re- 
mains true that the Church of the second century failed to 
understand fully the Pauline doctrine of the way of salvation. 
The same lack of understanding has been observable only too 
frequently throughout subsequent generations. It was there- 
fore with some plausibility that Von Harnack advanced his 
dictum to the effect that Paulinism has established itself as a 
ferment, but never as a foundation, in the history of doctrine. 2 

In the first place, however, it may be doubted whether the 
dictum of Von Harnack is true; for in that line of develop- 
ment of theology which runs from Augustine through the Refor- 
mation to the Reformed Churches, Paulinism may fairly be 
regarded as a true foundation. But in the second place, even 
if Von Harnack's dictum were true, the importance of Paul's 
influence would not be destroyed. A ferment is sometimes as 
important as a foundation. As Von Harnack himself says, 
"the Pauline reactions mark the critical epochs of theology 
and of the Church. . . . The history of doctrine could be 
written as a history of the Pauline reactions in the Church." 3 
As a matter of fact the influence of Paul upon the entire life 
of the Church is simply measureless. Who can measure the 
influence of the eighth chapter of Romans? 

The influence of Paul was also exerted, however, in his 
own lifetime, by his spoken words as well as by his letters. 
To estimate the full extent of that influence one would have 
to write the entire history of early Christianity. It may be 
well, however, .to consider briefly at least one outstanding 
aspect of that influence an aspect which must appeal even 
to the most unsympathetic observer. The Christian move- 
ment began in the midst of a very peculiar people ; in 35 A.D. 
it would have appeared to a superficial observer to be a Jewish 
sect. Thirty years later it was plainly a world religion. 

'Compare "Jesus and Paul," in Biblical and Theological Studies by 
Members of the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1912, pp. 
553 f . 

'Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, 4te Aufl., i, 1909, p. 155. 
(English Translation, History of Dogma, i, 1895, p. 136.) 

'Harnack, loc. cit. 


True, the number of its adherents was still small. But the 
really important steps had been taken. The conquest of the 
world was now a mere matter of time. This establishment of 
Christianity as a world religion, to almost as great an extent 
as any great historical movement can be ascribed to one man, 
was the work of Paul. 

This assertion needs to be defended against various ob- 
jections, and at the same time freed from misinterpretations 
and exaggerations. 

In the first place, it might be said, the Gentile mission 
of Paul was really only a part of a mighty historical process 
the march of the oriental religions throughout the western 
world. Christianity was not the only religion which was 
filling the void left by the decay of the native religions of 
Greece and Rome. The Phrygian religion of Cybele had been 
established officially at Rome since 204 B.C., and after leading a 
somewhat secluded and confined existence for several centuries, 
was at the time of Paul beginning to make its influence felt in 
the life of the capital. The Greco-Egyptian religion of Isis 
was preparing for the triumphal march which it began in 
earnest in the second century. The Persian religion of Mithras 
was destined to share with Isis the possession of a large part 
of the Greco-Roman world. Was not the Christianity of 
Paul merely one division of a mighty army which would have 
conquered even without his help? 

With regard to this objection a number of things may be 
said. In the first place, the apostle Paul, as over against the 
priests of Isis and of Cybele, has perhaps at least the merit 
of priority; the really serious attempt at world-conquest was 
made by those religions (and still more clearly by the religion 
of Mithras) only after the time of Paul. In the second 
place, the question may well be asked whether it is at all justi- 
fiable to class the Christianity of Paul along with those other 
cults under the head of Hellenized oriental religion. This 
question will form the subject of a considerable part of the 
discussion which follows, and it will be answered with an em- 
phatic negative. The Christianity of Paul will be found to be 
totally different from the oriental religions. The threat of 
conquest made by those religions, therefore, only places in 
sharper relief the achievement of Paul, by showing the calami- 
ties from which the world was saved by his energetic mission. 


If except for the Pauline mission the world would have become 
devoted to Isis or Mithras, then Paul was certainly one of the 
supreme benefactors of the human race. 

Even apart from any detailed investigation, however, one 
difference between the religion of Paul and the oriental religions 
is perfectly obvious. The oriental religions were tolerant of 
other faiths; the religion of Paul, like the ancient religion of 
Israel, demanded an absolutely exclusive devotion. A man 
could become initiated into the mysteries of Isis or Mithras 
without at all giving up his former beliefs ; but if he were to 
be received into the Church, according to the preaching of 
Paul, he must forsake all other Saviours for the Lord Jesus 
Christ. The difference places the achievement of Paul upon 
an entirely different plane from the successes of the oriental 
mystery religions. It was one thing to offer a new faith and 
a new cult as simply one additional way of obtaining contact 
with the Divine, and it was another thing, and a far more 
difficult thing (and in the ancient world outside of Israel an 
unheard-of thing), to require a man to renounce all existing 
religious beliefs and practices in order to place his whole re- 
liance upon a single Saviour. Amid the prevailing syncretism 
of the Greco-Roman world, the religion of Paul, with the 
religion of Israel, stands absolutely alone. The successes of 
the oriental religions, therefore, only place in clearer light 
the uniqueness of the achievement of Paul. They do indeed 
indicate the need and longing of the ancient world for re- 
demption; but that is only part of the preparation for the 
coming of the gospel which has always been celebrated by 
devout Christians as part of the divine economy, as one indica- 
tion that "the fullness of the time" was come. But the wide 
prevalence of the need does not at all detract from the achieve- 
ment of satisfying the need. Paul's way of satisfying the need, 
as it is hoped the later chapters will show, was unique ; but what 
should now be noticed is that the way of Paul, because of its 
exclusiveness, was at least far more difficult than that of any 
of his rivals or successors. His achievement was therefore im- 
measurably greater than theirs. 

But if the successes of the oriental religions do not detract 
from the achievement of Paul, what shall be said of the suc- 
cesses of pre-Christian Judaism? It must always be remembered 
that Judaism, in the first century, was an active missionary 


religion. Even Palestinian Judaism was imbued with the mis- 
sionary spirit ; Jesus said to the Pharisees that they compassed 
sea and land to make one proselyte. The Judaism of the Dis- 
persion was no doubt even more zealous for winning adherents. 
The numberless synagogues scattered throughout the cities of 
the Greco-Roman world were not attended, as Jewish syna- 
gogues are attended to-day, only by Jews, but were also filled 
with hosts of Gentiles, some of whom had accepted circumcision 
and become full Jews, but others of whom, forming the class 
called in the Book of Acts "God-fearers" or "God-worship- 
ers," had accepted the monotheism of the Jews and the lofty 
morality of the Old Testament without definitely uniting them- 
selves with the people of Israel. In addition to this propa- 
ganda in the synagogues, an elaborate literary propaganda, 
of which important remnants have been preserved, helped to 
carry on the misionary work. The question therefore arises 
whether the preaching of Paul was anything more than a con- 
tinuation, though in any case a noteworthy continuation, of 
this pre-Christian Jewish mission. 

Here again, as in the case of the longing for redemption 
which is attested by the successes of the oriental religions, an 
important element in the preparation for the gospel must cer- 
tainly be detected. It is hard to exaggerate the service which 
was rendered to the Pauline mission by the Jewish synagogue. 
One of the most important problems for every missionary is 
the problem of gaining a hearing. The problem may be solved 
in various ways. Sometimes the missionary may hire a place 
of meeting and advertise; sometimes he may talk on the street 
corners to passers-by. But for Paul the problem was solved. 
All that he needed to do was to enter the synagogue and 
exercise the privilege of speaking, which was accorded with 
remarkable liberality to visiting teachers. In the synagogue, 
moreover, Paul found an audience not only of Jews but also 
of Gentiles; everywhere the "God- fearers" were to be found. 
These Gentile attendants upon the synagogues formed not 
only an audience but a picked audience; they were just the 
class of persons who were most likely to be won by the gospel 
preaching. In their case much of the preliminary work had 
been accomplished ; they were already acquainted with the 
doctrine of the one true God; they had already, through the 
lofty ethical teaching of the Old Testament, come to connect 
religion with morality in a way which is to us matter-of-course 


but was very exceptional in the ancient world. Where, as in 
the market-place at Athens, Paul had to begin at the very 
beginning, without presupposing this previous instruction on 
the part of his hearers, his task was rendered far more difficult. 
Undoubtedly, in the case of many of his converts he did 
have to begin in that way ; the First Epistle to the Thessa- 
lonians, for example, presupposes, perhaps, converts who turned 
directly from idols to serve the living and true God. But 
even in such cases the God-fearers formed a nucleus ; their 
manifold social relationships provided points of contact with 
the rest of the Gentile population. The debt which the Chris- 
tian Church owes to the Jewish synagogue is simply measure- 

This acknowledgment, however, does not mean that the 
Pauline mission was only a continuation of the pre-Christian 
missionary activity of the Jews. On the contrary, the very 
earnestness of the effort made by the Jews to convert their 
Gentile neighbors serves to demonstrate all the more clearly 
the hopelessness of their task. One thing that was funda- 
mental in the religion of the Jews was its exclusiveness. The 
people of Israel, according to the Old Testament, was the 
chosen people of God; the notion of a covenant between God 
and His chosen people was absolutely central in all ages of the 
Jewish Church. The Old Testament did indeed clearly provide 
a method by which strangers could be received into the cove- 
nant ; they could be received whenever, by becoming circumcised 
and undertaking the observance of the Mosaic Law, they should 
relinquish their own nationality and become part of the na- 
tion of Israel. But this method seemed hopelessly burdensome. 
Even before the time of Paul it had become evident that the 
Gentile world as a whole would never submit to such terms. 
The terms were therefore sometimes relaxed. Covenant privi- 
leges were offered by individual Jewish teachers to individual 
Gentiles without requiring what was most offensive, like circum- 
cision ; merit was sought by some of the Gentiles by observance 
of only certain parts of the Law, such as the requirements 
about the Sabbath or the provisions about food. Apparently 
widespread also was the attitude of those persons who seem to 
have accepted what may be called the spiritual, as dis- 
tinguished from the ceremonial, aspects of Judaism. But all 
such compromises were affected by a deadly weakness. The 
strict requirements of the Law were set forth plainly in the 


Old Testament. To cast them aside, in the interests of mis- 
sionary activity, meant a sacrifice of principle to practice; 
it meant a sacrifice of the zeal and the good conscience of the 
missionaries and of the true satisfaction of the converts. One 
of the chief attractions of Judaism to the world of that day 
was the possession of an ancient and authoritative Book ; the 
world was eagerly searching for authority in religion. Yet 
if the privileges of the Old Testament were to be secured, the 
authority of the Book had to be set aside. The character 
of a national religion was therefore too indelibly stamped upon 
the religion of Israel; the Gentile converts could at best only 
be admitted into an outer circle around the true household 
of God. What pre-Christian Judaism had to offer was there- 
fore obviously insufficient. Perhaps the tide of the Jewish 
mission had already begun to ebb before the time of Paul; 
perhaps the process of the withdrawal of Judaism into its 
age-long seclusion had already begun. Undoubtedly that 
process was hastened by the rivalry of Christianity, which of- 
fered far more than Judaism had offered and offered it on far 
more acceptable terms. But the process sooner or later would 
inevitably have made itself felt. Whether or not Renan was 
correct in supposing that had it not been for Christianity 
the world would have been Mithraic, one thing is certain the 
world apart from Christianity would never have become Jewish. 
But was not the preaching of Paul itself one manifesta- 
tion of that liberalizing tendency among the Jews to which 
allusion has just been made and of which the powerlessness 
has just been asserted? Was not the attitude of Paul in 
remitting the requirement of circumcision, while he retained 
the moral and spiritual part of the Old Testament Law 
especially if, as the Book of Acts asserts, he assented upon oc- 
casion to the imposition of certain of the less burdensome 
parts even of the ceremonial Law very similar to the ac- 
tion of a teacher like that Ananias who was willing to re- 
ceive king Izates of Adiabene without requiring him to be 
circumcised? These questions in recent years have occasion- 
ally been answered in the affirmative, especially by Kirsopp 
Lake. 1 But despite the plausibility of Lake's representation 

1 The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, pp. 16-28, especially p. 24. Com- 
pare Lake and Jackson, The Beginnings of Christianity, Part I, vol. i, 1920, 
p. 166. 


he has thereby introduced a root error into his reconstruction 
of the apostolic age. For whatever the teaching of Paul was, 
it certainly was not "liberalism." The background of Paul 
is not to be sought in liberal Judaism, but in the strictest 
sect of the Pharisees. And Paul's remission of the requirement 
of circumcision was similar only in form, at the most, to 
the action of the Ananias who has just been mentioned. In 
motive and in principle it was diametrically opposite. Gen- 
tile freedom according to Paul was not something permitted; 
it was something absolutely required. And it was required 
just by the strictest interpretation of the Old Testament Law. 
If Paul had been a liberal Jew, he would never have been the 
apostle to the Gentiles; for he would never have developed 
his doctrine of the Cross. Gentile freedom, in other words, 
was not, according to Paul, a relaxing of strict requirements 
in the interests of practical missionary work; it was a matter 
of principle. For the first time the religion of Israel could 
go forth (or rather was compelled to go forth) with a really 
good conscience to the spiritual conquest of the world. 

Thus the Pauline mission was not merely one manifestation 
of the progress of oriental religion, and it was not merely a 
continuation of the pre-Christian missi9n of the Jews; it was 
something new. But if it was new in comparison with what was 
outside of Christianity, was it not anticipated within Chris- 
tianity itself? Was it not anticipated by the Founder of 
Christianity, by Jesus Himself? 

At this point careful definition is necessary. If all that 
is meant is that the Gentile mission of Paul was founded alto- 
gether upon Jesus, then there ought to be no dispute. A differ- 
ent view, which makes Paul rather than Jesus the true founder 
of Christianity, will be combated in the following pagfes. 
Paul himself, at any rate, bases his doctrine of Gentile free- 
dom altogether upon Jesus. But he bases it upon what Jesus 
had done, not upon what Jesus, at least during His earthly 
life, had said. The true state of the case may therefore be that 
Jesus by His redeeming work really made possible the Gentile 
mission, but that the discovery of the true significance of that 
work was left to Paul. The achievement of Paul, whether it 
be regarded as a discovery made by him or a divine revelation 
made to him, would thus remain intact. What did Jesus 
say or imply, during His earthly ministry, about the universal- 


ism of the gospel? Did He make superfluous the teaching of 

The latter question must be answered in the negative; at- 
tempts at finding, clearly expressed, in the words of Jesus 
the full doctrine of Gentile freedom have failed. It is often 
said that Jesus, though He addressed His teaching to Jews, 
addressed it to them not as Jews but as men. But the dis- 
covery of that fact (whenever it was made) was no mean 
achievement. Certainly it was not made by the modern writers 
who lightly repeat the assertion, for they have the benefit of 
the teaching of Paul and of nineteen centuries of Christian 
experience based upon that teaching. Even if Jesus did ad- 
dress not the Jew as a Jew, but the man in the Jew, the achieve- 
ment of Paul in the establishment of the Gentile Church was 
not thereby made a matter of course. The plain man would 
be more likely to stick at the fact that however Jesus addressed 
the Jew He did address the Jew and not the Gentile, and He 
commanded His disciples to do the same. Instances in which 
He extended His ministry to Gentiles are expressly designated 
in the Gospels as exceptional. 

But did He not definitely command His disciples to engage 
in the Gentile work after His departure? Certainly He did 
not do so according to the modern critical view of the Gospels. 
But even if the great commission of Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 be 
accepted as an utterance of Jesus, it is by no means clear that 
the question of Gentile liberty was settled. In the great com- 
mission, the apostles are commanded to make disciples of all 
the nations. But on what terms were the new disciples to be 
received? There was nothing startling, from the Jewish point 
of view, in winning Gentile converts; the non-Christian Jews, 
as has just been observed, were busily engaged in doing that. 
The only difficulty arose when the terms of reception of the new 
converts were changed. Were the new converts to be received 
as disciples of Jesus without being circumcised and thus with- 
out becoming members of the covenant people of God? The 
great commission does not answer that question. It does in- 
deed mention only baptism and not circumcision. But might 
that not be because circumcision, for those who were to enter 
into God's people, was a matter of course? 

In a number of His utterances, it is true, Jesus did 
adopt an attitude toward the ceremonial Law, at least toward 


the interpretation of it by the scribes, very different from 
what was customary in the Judaism of His day. "There is 
nothing from without the man," He said, "that entering into 
him can defile him : but the things which come out of him, those 
are they that defile the man" (Mark vii. 15). No doubt these 
words were revolutionary in their ultimate implications. But 
there is no evidence that they resulted in revolutionary prac- 
tice on the part of Jesus. On the contrary, there is definite 
reason to suppose that He observed the ceremonial Law as it 
was contained in the Old Testament, and definite utterances 
of His in support of the authority of the Law have been pre- 
served in the Gospels. 

The disciples, therefore, were not obviously unfaithful 
to the teachings of Jesus if after He had been taken from them 
they continued to minister only to the lost sheep of the house 
of Israel. If He had told them to make disciples of all the 
nations, He had not told them upon what terms the disciples 
were to be received or at what moment of time the specifically 
Gentile work should begin. Perhaps the divine economy re- 
quired that Israel should first be brought to an acknowledgment 
of her Lord, or at least her obduracy established beyond per- 
adventure, in accordance with the mysterious prophecy of 
Jesus in the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, 1 before the 
Gentiles should be gathered in. At any rate, there is evidence 
that whatever was revolutionary in the life and teaching of 
Jesus was less evident among His disciples, in the early days 
of the Jerusalem Church. Even the Pharisees, and at any rate 
the people as a whole, could find nothing to object to in the 
attitude of the apostles and their followers. The disciples 
continued to observe the Jewish fasts and feasts. Outwardly 
they were simply loyal Jews. Evidently Gentile freedom, and 
the abolition of special Jewish privileges, had not been clearly 
established by the words of the Master. There was therefore 
still need for the epoch-making work of Paul. 

But if the achievement of Paul was not clearly antici- 
pated in the teaching of Jesus Himself, was it not anticipated 
or at any rate shared by others in the Church? According to 

1 Matt. xxi. 41, and parallels. This verse can perhaps hardly be held to 
refer exclusively to the rejection of Jesus by the rulers; it seems also to 
apply to a rejection by the people as a whole. But the full implications 
of so mysterious an utterance may well have been lost sight of in the 
early Jerusalem Church. 


the Book of Acts, a Gentile, Cornelius, and his household were 
baptized, without requirement of circumcision, by Peter him- 
self, the leader of the original apostles ; and a free attitude to- 
ward the Temple and the Law was adopted by Stephen. The 
latter instance, at least, has ordinarily been accepted as his- 
torical by modern criticism. Even in founding the churches 
which are usually designated as Pauline, moreover, Barnabas 
and Silas and others had an important part ; and in the found- 
ing of many churches Paul himself was not concerned. It is an 
interesting fact that of the churches in the three most im- 
portant cities of the Roman Empire not one was founded by 
Paul. The Church at Alexandria does not appear upon the 
pages of the New Testament; the Church at Rome appears 
fully formed when Paul was only preparing for his coming 
by the Epistle to the Romans ; the Church at Antioch, at least 
in its Gentile form, was founded by certain unnamed Jews of 
Cyprus and Cyrene. Evidently, therefore, Paul was not the 
only missionary who carried the gospel to the Gentile world. 
If the Gentile work consisted merely in the geographical ex- 
tension of the frontiers of the Church, then Paul did not by 
any means stand alone. 

Even in the geographical sphere, however, his achievements 
must not be underestimated ; even in that sphere he labored far 
more abundantly than any other one man. His desire to plant 
the gospel in places where it had never been heard led him 
into an adventurous life which may well excite the astonishment 
of the modern man. The catalogue of hardships which Paul 
himself gives incidentally in the Second Epistle to the Cor- 
inthians shows that the Book of Acts has been very conserva- 
tive in its account of the hardships and perils which the apostle 
endured; evidently the half has not been told. The results, 
moreover, were commensurate with the hardships that they 
cost. Despite the labors of others, it was Paul who planted 
the gospel in a real chain of the great cities; it was he who 
conceived most clearly the thought of a mighty Church uni- 
versal which should embrace both Jew and Gentile, barbarian, 
Scythian, bond and free in a common faith and a common 
life. When he addressed himself to the Church at Rome, in a 
tone of authority, as the apostle to the Gentiles who was 
ready to preach the gospel to those who were at Rome also, his 
lofty claim was supported, despite the fact that the Church at 


Rome had itself been founded by others, by the mere extent of 
his labors. 

The really distinctive achievement of Paul, however, does 
not consist in the mere geographical extension of the frontiers 
of the Church, important as that work was ; it lies in a totally 
different sphere in the hidden realm of thought. 1 What was 
really standing in the way of the Gentile mission was not the 
physical barriers presented by sea and mountain, it was rather 
the great barrier of religious principle. Particularism was 
written plain upon the pages of the Old Testament ; in emphatic 
language the Scriptures imposed upon the true Israelite the 
duty of separateness from the Gentile world. Gentiles might 
indeed be brought in, but only when they acknowledged the 
prerogatives of Israel and united themselves with the Jewish 
nation. If premonitions of a different doctrine were to be 
found, they were couched in the mysterious language of 
prophecy; what seemed to be fundamental for the present 
was the doctrine of the special covenant between Jehovah and 
His chosen people. 

This particularism of the Old Testament might have been 
overcome by practical considerations, especially by the con- 
sideration that since as a matter of fact the Gentiles would 
never accept circumcision and submit to the Law the only way 
to carry on the broader work was quietly to keep the more 
burdensome requirements of the Law in abeyance. This method 
would have been the method of "liberalism." And it would have 
been utterly futile. It would have meant an irreparable injury 
to the religious conscience; it would have sacrificed the good 
conscience of the missionary and the authoritativeness of his 
proclamation. Liberalism would never have conquered the 

Fortunately liberalism was not the method of Paul. Paul 
was not a practical Christian who regarded life as superior 
to doctrine, and practice as superior to principle. On the 
contrary, he overcame the principle of Jewish particularism 
in the only way in which it could be overcome; he overcame 
principle by principle. It was not Paul the practical mis- 
sionary, but Paul the theologian, who was the real apostle to 
the Gentiles. 

1 For what follows, compare the article cited in Biblical and Theological 
Studies, pp. 555-557. 


In his theology he avoided certain errors which lay near 
at hand. He avoided the error of Marcion, who in the middle 
of the second century combated Jewish particularism by repre- 
senting the whole of the Old Testament economy as evil and 
as the work of a being hostile to the good God. That error 
would have deprived the Church of the prestige which it derived 
from the possession of an ancient and authoritative Book; 
as a merely new religion Christianity never could have ap- 
pealed to the Gentile world. Paul avoided also the error of 
the so-called "Epistle of Barnabas," which, while it accepted 
the Old Testament, rejected the entire Jewish interpretation 
of it; the Old Testament Law, according to the Epistle of 
Barnabas, was never intended to require literal sacrifices and 
circumcision, in the way in which it was interpreted by the 
Jews. That error, also, would have been disastrous; it would 
have introduced such boundless absurdity into the Christian 
use of the Scriptures that all truth and soberness would have 

Avoiding all such errors, Paul was able with a perfectly 
good conscience to accept the priceless support of the Old 
Testament Scriptures in his missionary work while at the same 
time he rejected for his Gentile converts the ceremonial re- 
quirements which the Old Testament imposed. The solution of 
the problem is set forth clearly in the Epistle to the Gala- 
tians. The Old Testament Law, according to Paul, was truly 
authoritative and truly divine. But it was temporary; it was 
authoritative only until the fulfillment of the promise should 
come. It was a schoolmaster to bring the Jews to Christ; 
and (such is the implication, according to the Epistle to the 
Romans) it could also be a schoolmaster to bring every one 
to Christ, since it was intended to produce the necessary con- 
sciousness of sin. 

This treatment of the Old Testament was the only prac- 
tical solution of the difficulty. But Paul did not adopt it 
because it was practical; he adopted it because it was true. 
It never occurred to him to hold principle in abeyance even 
for the welfare of the souls of men. The deadening blight of 
pragmatism had never fallen upon his soul. 

The Pauline grounding of the Gentile mission is not to 
be limited, however, to his specific answer to the question, 


"What then is the law?" It extends rather to his entire un- 
folding of the significance of the Cross of Christ. He ex- 
hibited the temporary character of the Old Testament dis- 
pensation by showing that a new era had begun, by exhibiting 
positively the epoch-making significance of the Cross. 

At this point undoubtedly he had precursors. The sig- 
nificance of the Cross of Christ was by no means entirely 
unknown to those who had been disciples before him; he him- 
self places the assertion that Christ "died for our sins accord- 
ing to the Scriptures" as one of the things that he had "re- 
ceived." But unless all indications fail Paul did bring an 
unparalleled enrichment of the understanding of the Cross. 
For the first time the death of Christ was viewed in its full 
historical and logical relationships. And thereby Gentile free- 
dom, and the freedom of the entire Christian Church for all 
time, was assured. 

Inwardly, indeed, the early Jerusalem disciples were al- 
ready free from the Law; they were really trusting for their 
salvation not to their observance of the Law but to what 
Christ had done for them. But apparently they did not fully 
know that they were free ; or rather they did not know exactly 
why they were free. The case of Cornelius, according to the 
Book of Acts, was exceptional; Cornelius had been received 
into the Church without being circumcised, but only by direct 
command of the Spirit. Similar direct and unexplained guid- 
ance was apparently to be waited for if the case was to be 
repeated. Even Stephen had not really advocated the imme- 
diate abolition of the Temple or the abandonment of Jewish 
prerogatives in the presence of Gentiles. 

The freedom of the early Jerusalem Church, in other 
words, was not fully grounded in a comprehensive view 
of the meaning of Jesus' work. Such freedom could not 
be permanent. It was open to argumentative attacks, and 
as a matter of fact such attacks were not long absent. The 
very life of the Gentile mission at Antioch was threatened 
by the Judaizers who came down from Jerusalem and said, 
"Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye 
cannot be saved." Practical considerations, considerations 
of church polity, were quite powerless before such attacks; 
freedom was held by but a precarious tenure until its under- 


lying principles were established. Christianity, in other 
words, could not live without theology. And the first great 
Christian theologian was Paul. 

It was Paul, then, who established the principles of the 
Gentile mission. Others labored in detail, but it was he who 
was at the heart of the movement. It was he, far more than 
any other one man, who carried the gospel out from Judaism, 
into the Gentile world. 

The importance of the achievement must be apparent to 
every historian, no matter how unsympathetic his attitude 
toward the content of Christianity may be. The modern Euro- 
pean world, what may be called "western civilization," is 
descended from the civilization of Greece and Rome. Our 
languages are either derived directly from the Latin, or at any 
rate connected with the same great family. Our literature 
and art are inspired by the great classical models. Our law 
and government have never been independent of the principles 
enunciated by the statesmen of Greece, and put into practice 
by the statesmen of Rome. Our philosophies are obliged to 
return ever anew to the questions which were put, if not an- 
swered, by Plato and Aristotle. 

Yet there has entered into this current of Indo-European 
civilization an element from a very diverse and very unexpected 
source. How comes it that a thoroughly Semitic book like the 
Bible has been accorded a place in medieval and modern life 
to which the glories of Greek literature can never by any 
possibility aspire? How comes it that the words of that book 
have not only made political history moved armies and built 
empires but also have entered into the very fabric of men's 
souls? The intrinsic value of the Book would not alone have 
been sufficient to break down the barriers which opposed its 
acceptance by the Indo-European race. The race from which 
the Bible came was despised in ancient times and it is despised 
to-day. How comes it then that a product of that race has 
been granted such boundless influence? How comes it that the 
barriers which have always separated Jew from Gentile, Semite 
from Aryan, have at one point been broken through, so that 
the current of Semitic life has been allowed to flow unchecked 
over the rich fields of our modern civilization? 

The answer to these questions, to the large extent which 
the preceding outline has attempted to define, must be sought 


in the inner life of a Jew of Tarsus. In dealing with the apostle 
Paul we are dealing with one of the moving factors of the 
world's history. 

That conclusion might at first sight seem to affect un- 
favorably the special use to which it is proposed, in the pres- 
ent discussion, to put the examination of Paul. The more im- 
portant Paul was as a man, it might be said, the less important 
he becomes as a witness to the origin of Christianity. If his 
mind had been a blank tablet prepared to receive impressions, 
then the historian could be sure that what is found in Paul's 
Epistles about Jesus is a true reflection of what Jesus really 
was. But as a matter of fact Paul was a genius. It is of the 
nature of genius to be creative. May not what Paul says about 
Jesus and the origin of Christianity, therefore, be no mere re- 
flection of the facts, but the creation of his own mind? 

The difficulty is not so serious as it seems. Genius is not 
incompatible with honesty certainly not the genius of Paul. 
When, therefore, Paul sets himself to give information about 
certain plain matters of fact that came under his observa- 
tion, as in the first two chapters of Galatians, there are not 
many historians who are inclined to refuse him credence. But 
the witness of Paul depends not so much upon details as upon 
the total fact of his religious life. It is that fact which is to be 
explained. To say merely that Paul was a genius and there- 
fore unaccountable is no explanation. Certainly it is not an 
explanation satisfactory to modern historians. During the 
progress of modern criticism, students of the origin of Chris- 
tianity have accepted the challenge presented by the fact of 
Paul's religious life; they have felt obliged to account for the 
emergence of that fact at just the point when it actually ap- 
peared. But the explanations which they have offered, as the 
following discussion may show, are insufficient; and it is just 
the greatness of Paul for which the explanations do not ac- 
count. The religion of Paul is too large a building to have 
been erected upon a pin-point. 

Moreover, the greater a man is, the wider is the area of 
his contact with his environment, and the deeper is his pene- 
tration into the spiritual realm. The "man in the street" is 
not so good an observer as is sometimes supposed; he ob- 
serves only what lies on the surface. Paul, on the other hand, 
was able to sound the depths. It is, on the whole, certainly 


no disadvantage to the student of early Christianity that that 
particular member of the early Church whose inner life stands 
clearest in the light of history was no mere nonentity, but one 
of the commanding figures in the history of the world. 

But what, in essence, is the fact of which the historical im- 
plications are here to be studied? What was the religion of 
Paul? No attempt will now be made to answer the question 
in detail; no attempt will be made to add to the long list of 
expositions of the Pauline theology. But what is really es- 
sential is abundantly plain, and may be put in a word the re- 
ligion of Paul was a religion of redemption. It was founded 
not upon what had always been true, but upon what had recent- 
ly happened; not upon right ideas about God and His rela- 
tions to the world, but upon one thing that God had done; 
not upon an eternal truth of the fatherhood of God, but upon 
the fact that God had chosen to become the Father of those who 
should accept the redemption oifered by Christ. The religion 
of Paul was rooted altogether in the redeeming work of Jesus 
Christ. Jesus for Paul was primarily not a Revealer, but a 

The character of Paulinism as a redemptive religion in- 
volved a certain conception of the Redeemer, which is per- 
fectly plain on the pages of the Pauline Epistles. Jesus Christ, 
Paul believed, was a heavenly being; Paul placed Him clearly 
on the side of God and not on the side of men. "Not by man 
but by Jesus Christ," he says at the beginning of Galatians, 
and the same contrast is implied everywhere in the Epistles. 
This heavenly Redeemer existed before His earthly life; came 
then to earth, where He lived a true human life of humiliation ; 
suffered on the cross for the sins of those upon whom the curse 
of the Law justly rested; then rose again from the dead by a 
mighty act of God's power; and is present always with His 
Church through His Spirit. 

That representation has become familiar to the devout 
Christian, but to the modern historian it seems very strange. 
For to the modern historian, on the basis of the modern view 
of Jesus, the procedure of Paul seems to be nothing else than 
the deification by Paul of a man who had lived but a few years 
before and had died a shameful death. 1 It is not necessary to 

1 H. J. Holtzmann (in Protestantische Monatshefte, iv, 1900, pp. 465f., and 
in Christliche Welt, xxiv, 1910, column 153) admitted that for the rapid 
apotheosis of Jesus as it is attested by the epistles of Paul he could 
cite no parallel in the religious history of the race. 


argue the question whether in Rom. ix. 5 Paul actually applies 
the term "God" to Jesus certainly he does so according to 
the only natural interpretation of his .words as they stand 
what is really important is that everywhere the relationship 
in which Paul stands toward Jesus is not the mere relationship 
of disciple to master, but is a truly religious relationship. 
Jesus is to Paul everywhere the object of religious faith. 

That fact would not be quite so surprising if Paul had 
been of polytheistic training, if he had grown up in a spiritual 
environment where the distinction between divine and human 
was being broken down. Even in such an environment, indeed, 
the religion of Paul would have been quite without parallel.. 
The deification of the eastern rulers or of the emperors differs 
in toto from the Pauline attitude toward Jesus. It differs in 
seriousness and fervor; above all it differs in its complete lack 
of exclusiveness. The lordship of the ruler admitted freely, 
and was indeed always accompanied by, the lordship of other 
gods; the lordship of Jesus, in the religion of Paul, was ab- 
solutely exclusive. For Paul, there was one Lord and one Lord 
only. When any parallel for such a religious relationship 
of a notable man to one of his contemporaries with whose most 
intimate friends he had come into close contact can be cited 
in the religious annals of the race, then it will be time for the 
historian to lose his wonder at the phenomenon of Paul. 

But the wonder of the historian reaches its climax when 
he remembers that Paul was not a polytheist or a pantheist, 
but a Jew, to whom monotheism was the very breath of life. 1 
The Judaism of Paul's day was certainly nothing if not mono- 
theistic. But in the intensity of his monotheism Paul was 
not different from his countrymen. No one can possibly show 
a deeper scorn for the many gods of the heathen than can 
Paul. "For though there be that are called gods," he says, 
"whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and 
lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of 
whom are all things, and we unto him ; and one Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (I Cor. viii. 
5, 6.) Yet it was this monotheist sprung of a race of mono- 
theists, who stood in a full religious relation to a man who had 
died but a few years before; it was this monotheist who desig- 
nated that man, as a matter of course, by the supreme religious 
term "Lord," and did not hesitate to apply to Him the passages 
1 Compare R. Seeberg, Der Ursprung des Christusglaubens, 1914, pp. If. 


in the Greek Old Testament where that term was used to trans- 
late the most awful name of the God of Israel ! The religion of 
Paul is a phenomenon well worthy of the attention of the his- 

In recent years that phenomenon has been explained in 
four different ways. The four ways have not always been 
clearly defined; they have sometimes entered into combination 
with one another. But they are logically distinct, and to a 
certain extent they may be treated separately. 

There is first of all the supernaturalistic explanation, which 
simply accepts at its face value what Paul presupposes about 
Jesus. According to this explanation, Jesus was really a 
heavenly being, who in order to redeem sinful man came vol- 
untarily to earth, suffered for the sins of others on the cross, 
rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God, from 
whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. If 
this representation be correct, then there is really nothing 
to explain; the religious attitude of Paul toward Jesus was 
not an apotheosis of a man, but recognition as divine of one 
who really was divine. 

The other three explanations are alike in that they all 
reject supernaturalism, they all deny the entrance into human 
. history of any creative act of God, unless indeed all the 
course of nature be regarded as creative. They all agree, 
therefore, in explaining the religion of Paul as a phenomenon 
which emerged in the course of history under the operation of 
natural causes. 

The most widespread of these naturalistic explanations 
of the religion of Paul is what may be called the "liberal" 
view. The name is highly unsatisfactory; it has been used 
and misused until it has often come to mean almost nothing. 
But no other term is ready to hand. "Ritschlian" might pos- 
sibly describe the phenomenon that is meant, but that term is 
perhaps too narrow, and would imply a degree of logical con- 
nection with the Ritschlian theology which would not fit all 
forms of the phenomenon. The best that can be done, there- 
fore, is to define the term "liberal" in a narrower way than is 
sometimes customary and than use it in distinction not only 
from traditional and supernaturalistic views, but also from 
various "radical" views, which will demand separate considera- 


The numerous forms of the liberal view differ from other 
naturalistic hypotheses in that they attribute supreme impor- 
tance in the formation of the religion of Paul to the influence 
of the real historic person, Jesus of Nazareth, and to the 
experience which Paul had near Damascus when he thought 
he saw that person risen from the dead. Jesus of Nazareth, 
according to the liberal view, was the greatest of the children 
of men. His greatness centered in His consciousness of stand- 
ing toward God in the relation of son to Father. That con- 
sciousness of sonship, at least in its purity, Jesus discovered, 
was not shared by others. Some category was therefore needed 
to designate the uniqueness of His sonship. The category 
which He adopted, though with reluctance, and probably to- 
ward the end of His ministry, was the category of Messiahship. 
His Messianic consciousness was thus not fundamental in His 
conception of His mission; certainly it did not mean that He 
put His own person into His gospel. He urged men, not to 
take Him .as the object of their faith, but only to take Him 
as an example for their faith; not to have faith in Him, but 
to have faith in God like His faith. Such was the impression 
of His personality, however, that after His death the love and 
reverence of His disciples for Him not only induced the 
hallucinations in which they thought they saw Him risen from 
the dead but also led them to attribute to His person a kind 
of religious importance which He had never claimed. They 
began to make Him not only an example for faith but also the 
object of faith. The Messianic element in His life began now 
to assume an importance which He had never attributed to it ; 
the disciples began to ascribe to Him divine attributes. This 
process was somewhat hindered in the case of His intimate 
friends by the fact that they had seen Him under all the 
limitations of ordinary human life. But in the case of the 
apostle Paul, who had never seen Him, the process of deifica- 
tion could go on unchecked. What was fundamental, however, 
even for Paul, was an impression of the real person of Jesus 
of Nazareth ; that impression was conveyed to Paul in various 
ways especially by the brave and pure lives of Jesus' disciples, 
which had impressed him, against his will, even when he was 
still a persecutor. But Paul was a child of his time. He was 
obliged, therefore, to express that which he had received from 
Jesus in the categories that were ready to hand. Those cate- 


gories as applied to Jesus constitute the Pauline theology. 
Thus Paul was really the truest disciple of Jesus in the depths 
of his inner life, but his theology was the outer and perishable 
i shell for the precious kernel. His theology was the product 
; of his time, and may now be abandoned; his religion was de- 
rived from Jesus of Nazareth and is a permanent possession 
of tjie human race. 

Such in bare outline is the liberal view of the origin of 
Paulinism and of Christianity. It has been set forth in so 
many brilliant treatises that no one may be singled out as 
clearly representative. Perhaps Von Harnack's "What is 
Christianity?" *, among the popular expositions, may still serve 
as well as any other. The liberal view of the origin of Chris- 
tianity seemed at one time likely to dominate the religious life 
of the modern world ; it found expression in countless sermons 
and books of devotion as well as in scientific treatises. Now, 
however, there are some indications that it is beginning to fall ; 
it is being attacked by radicalism of various kinds. With 
some of these attacks it will not now be worth while to deal ; it 
will not be worth while to deal with those forms of radicalism 
which reject what have been designated as the two starting- 
points for an investigation of the origin of Christianity the 
historicity of Jesus and the genuineness of the major epistles 
of Paul. These hypotheses are some of them interesting on 
the negative side, they are interesting for their criticism of 
the dominant liberal view; but when it comes to their own 
attempts at reconstruction they have never advanced beyond 
the purest dilettantism. Attention will now be confined to 
the work of historians who have really attempted seriously to 
grapple with the historical problems, and specifically to those 
who have given attention to the problem of Paul. 

Two lines of explanation have been followed in recent 
years by those who reject, in the interest of more radical views, 
the liberal account of the origin of Paulinism. But these two 
lines run to a certain point together; they both reject the liberal 
emphasis upon the historic person of Jesus as accounting for 
the origin of Paul's religion. The criticism of the customary 
view was put sharply by W. Wrede in 1904 2 , when he declared 

1 Harnack, Das Wesen des Christentums, 1900. (English Translation, 
What is Christianity?, 1901.) 
a Wrede, Paulus, 1904. (English Translation, Paul, 1907.) 


that Paul was no disciple of Jesus, but a second founder of 
Christianity. The religious life of Paul, Wrede insisted, was 
not really derived from Jesus of Nazareth. What was funda- 
mental for Paul was not the example of Jesus, but His redeem- 
ing work as embraced in the death and resurrection, which were 
regarded as events of a cosmic significance. The theology of 
p au l his interpretation of the death and resurrection of Jesus 
cannot, therefore, be separated from his religion ; on the con- 
trary, it is in connection with the theology, and not in connec- 
tion with any impression of the character of Jesus, that the 
fervor of Paul's religious life runs full and free. Theology 
and religion in Paul, therefore, must stand or fall together; 
if one was derived from extra-Christian sources, probably the 
other must be so derived also. And such, as a matter of fact, 
Wrede concludes is the case. The religion of Paul is not based 
at all upon Jesus of Nazareth. 

Such, in true import, though not in word or in detail, was 
the startling criticism which Wrede directed against the liberal 
account of the origin of Paulinism. He had really only made 
explicit a type of criticism which had gradually been becoming 
inevitable for some time before. Hence the importance of his 
little book. The current reconstruction of the origin of 
Christianity had produced a Jesus and a Paul who really had 
little in common with each other. Wrede, in his incomparably 
succinct and incisive way, had the courage to say so. 

But if Paulinism was not derived from Jesus of Nazareth, 
whence was it derived? Here the two lines of radical opinion 
begin to diverge. According to Wrede, who was supported by 
M. Bruckner, 1 working contemporaneously, the Pauline con- 
ception of Christ, which was fundamental in Paul's religious 
thought and life, was derived from the pre-Christian conception 
of the Messiah which Paul already had before his conversion. 
The Messiah, in the thought of the Jews, was not always con- 
ceived of merely as a king of David's line; sometimes he was 
regarded rather as a mysterious, preexistent, heavenly being 
who was to come suddenly with the clouds of heaven and be 
the judge of all the earth. This transcendent conception which 

1 Die Entstehung der paulinischen Christologie, 1903 ; "Zum Thema Jesus 
und Paulus," in Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, vii, 
1906, pp. 112-119; "Der Apostel Paulus als Zeuge wider das Christusbild der 
Evangelien," in Protestantische Monatshefte, x, 1906, pp. 352-364. 


is attested by the Jewish apocalypses like the Ethiopia Book 
of Enoch, was, Wrede maintained, the conception of the Jew, 
Saul of Tarsus. When, therefore, JPaul in his Epistles repre- 
sents Christ as preexistent, and as standing close to the Su- 
preme Being in rulership and judgment, the phenomenon, 
though it may seem strange to us, is not really unique; it is 
exactly what is found in the apocalypses. What was new in 
Paul, as over against pre-Christian Judaism, was the belief 

!that the heavenly Messiah had already come to earth and car- 
ried out a work of redemption. This belief was not derived, 
Wrede maintained, from any impression of the exalted moral 
character of Jesus ; on the contrary, if Paul had really come 
into any close contact with the historical Jesus, he might 
have had difficulty in identifying Him so completely with the 
heavenly Messiah ; the impression of the truly human character 
of Jesus and of His subjection to all the ordinary limits of 
earthly life would have hindered the ascription to Him of the 
transcendent attributes. Jesus, for Paul, merely provided 
the one fact that the Messiah had already come to earth and 
died and risen again. Operating with that fact, interpreting 
the coming of the Messiah as an act of redemption undertaken 
out of love for men, Paul was able to develop all the fervor of 
his Christ-religion. 

In very recent years, another account of the origin of 
Paulinism is becoming increasingly prevalent. This account 
agrees with Wrede in rejecting the liberal derivation of the 
. religion of Paul from an impression of the historical person 
of Jesus. But it differs from Wrede in its view of the source 
from which the religion of Paul is actually to be derived. 
According to this latest hypothesis, Paulinism was based not 
upon the pre-Christian Jewish conception of the Messiah, but 
upon contemporary pagan religion. 

This hypothesis represents the application to the prob- 
lem of Paulinism of the method of modern comparative religion. 
About twenty years ago that method began to be extended 
resolutely into the New Testament field, and it has been be- 
coming increasingly prevalent ever since. Despite the preval- 
ence of the method, however, and the variety of its application, 
one great comprehensive work may now fairly lay claim to be 
taken as summing up the results. That work is the book of 
W. Bousset, entitled "Kyrios Christos," which appeared in 


1913. 1 It is perhaps too early as yet to estimate the full im- 
portance of Bousset's work. But unless all indications fail, the 
work is really destined to mark an epoch in the history of New 
Testament criticism. Since the days of F. C. Baur, in the 
former half of the nineteenth century, there has been no such 
original, comprehensive, and grandly conceived rewriting of 
early Christian history as has now appeared in Bousset's 
"Kyrios Christos." The only question is whether originality, 
in this historical sphere, is always compatible with truth. 

According to Bousset, the historicity of Jesus is to be 
maintained; Jesus was really a religious teacher of incom- 
parable power. But Bousset rejects much more of the Gospel 
account of Jesus' life than is rejected in the ordinary "liberal" 
view; Bousset seems even to be doubtful as to whether 
Jesus ever presented Himself to His disciples as the Messiah, 
the Messianic element in the Gospels being regarded for the 
most part as a mere reflection of the later convictions of the 
disciples. After the crucifixion, the disciples in Jerusalem, 
Bousset continues, were convinced that Jesus had risen from 
the dead, and that He was truly the Messiah. They conceived 
of His Messiahship chiefly under the category of the "Son of 
Man"; Jesus, they believed, was the heavenly being who in 
their interpretation of the Book of Daniel and in the apoca- 
lypses appears in the presence of the supreme God as the one 
who is to judge the world. This heavenly Son of Man was 
taken from them for a time, but they looked with passionate 
eagerness for His speedy return. The piety of the early Jerusa- 
lem Church was therefore distinctly eschatological ; it_was^ 
founded not upon any conviction of a present vital relation to 
Jesus, but on the hope of His future coming. In the Greek- 
speaking Christian communities of such cities as Antioch and 
Tarsus, Bousset continues, an important additional step was 
taken ; Jesus there began to be not only hoped for as the future 
judge but also adored as the present Lord. He came to be 
regarded as present in the meetings of the Church. The term 
"Lord," with the conception that it represents, was never, ac- 
cording to Bousset, applied to Jesus in the primitive Pales- 
tinian Church; it was first applied to Him in Hellenistic 
Christian communities like the one at Antioch. And it was 
there derived distinctly from the prevalent pagan religion. In 
1 Compare also Bousset, Jesus der Herr, 1916. 


the type of religion familiar to the disciples at Antioch, the term 
"Lord" was used to denote the cult-god, especially in the so- 
called "mystery religions" ; and the Antioch disciples naturally 
used the same term to designate the object of their own adora- 
tion. But with the term went the idea ; Jesus was now consid- 
ered to be present in the meetings of the Church, just as the 
cult-gods of the pagan religions were considered to be present 
in the worship practiced by those religions. An important 
step had been taken beyond the purely eschatological piety of 
the Jerusalem disciples. 

But how about Paul? Here is to be found one of the bold- 
est elements in all the bold reconstruction of Bousset. Paul, 
Bousset believes, was not connected in any intimate way with 
the primitive Christianity in Palestine; what he "received" he 
received rather from the Hellenistic Christianity, just described, 
of cities like Antioch. He received, therefore, the Hellenistic 
conception of Jesus as Lord. But he added to that con- 
ception by connecting the "Lord" with the "Spirit." The 
"Lord" thus became present not only in the meetings of the 
Church for worship but also in the individual lives of the 
believers. Paulinism as it appears in the Epistles was thus 
complete. But this distinctly Pauline contribution, like the 
conception of the Lordship of Jesus to which it was added, 
was of pagan origin; it was derived from the mystical piety 
of the time, with its sharp dualism between a material and a 
spiritual realm and its notion of the transformation of man 
by immediate contact with the divine. Paulinism, therefore, 
according to Bousset, was a religion of redemption. But as 
such it was derived not at all from the historical Jesus (whose 
1 optimistic teaching contained no thought of redemption) but 
from the pessimistic dualism of the pagan world. The "liberal" 
distinction between Pauline religion and Pauline; theology, 
the attempt at saving Paul's religion by the sacrifice of his 
theology, is here abandoned, and all that is most clearly dis- 
tinctive of Paulinism (though of course some account is taken 
of the contribution of his Jewish inheritance and of his own 
genius) is derived from pagan sources. 

The hypothesis of Bousset, together with the rival recon- 
structions which have just been outlined, will be examined in the 
following discussion. But before they can be examined it will 
be necessary to say a word about the sources of information 


with regard to the life of Paul. No discussion of the literary 
questions can indeed here be undertaken. Almost all that can 
be done is to set forth very briefly the measure of agreement 
which has been attained in this field, and the bearing of the 
points that are still disputed upon the subject of the present 

The sources of information about Paul are contained almost 
exclusively in the New Testament. They are, first, the Pauline 
Epistles, and, second, the Book of Acts. 

Four of the Pauline Epistles Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinth- 
ians, and Romans were accepted as certainly genuine by 
F. C. Baur, the founder of the "Tubingen School" of criticism 
in the former half of the nineteenth century. This favorable 
estimate of the "major epistles" has never been abandoned by 
any number of really serious historians, and three of the other 
epistles 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon have 
now been added to the "homologoumena." Seven epistles, there- 
fore, are accepted as genuine to-day by all historians except a 
few extremists. Of the remaining epistles, Colossians is ac- 
cepted by the majority of investigators of all shades of opin- 
ion, and even in the case of 2 Thessalonians and Ephesians, the 
acceptance of the hypothesis of genuineness is no longer re- 
garded as a clear mark of "conservatism," these two epistles 
being regarded as genuine letters of Paul by some even of those 
who are not in general favorable to the traditional view of the 
New Testament. 

With regard to the Pastoral Epistles 1 and 2 Timothy 
and Titus the issue is more clearly drawn. These epistles, at 
least in their entirety, are seldom regarded as genuine except 
by those who adopt in general the traditional view of the New 
Testament and the supernaturalistic conception of the origin of 
Christianity. That does not mean that the case of the Pastoral 
Epistles is desperate certainly the present writer is firmly 
convinced that the epistles are genuine and that a denial of 
their genuineness really impoverishes in important respects our 
conception of the work of Paul but it does mean that with re- 
gard to these epistles the two great contending" views con- 
cerning the New Testament come into sharp conflict; common 
ground, in other words, cannot here be found, as in the case of 
the major epistles, between those who hold widely divergent 
views as to the origin of Christianity. 


It would be out of place in the present connection to dis- 
cuss the question of the genuineness of the Pastorals. That 
question is indeed enormously important. It is important for 
the view which is to be held concerning the New Testament 
canon ; it is important for any estimate of Christian tradition ; 
it is important even for a complete estimate of the work of 
Paul. But it is not directly important for the question as to 
the origin of Paulinism; for all the essential features of Paul- 
inism, certainly all those features which make Paulinism, upon 
naturalistic principles, most difficult of explanation, appear 
plainly in the accepted epistles. 

The question of the Book of Acts, on the other hand, is 
of vital importance even for the present investigation. Even 
that question, however, must here be dismissed with a word, 
though it is hoped that light may be shed upon it by the whole 
of the following discussion. 

Literary evidence of peculiar strength may be adduced in 
favor of the view that the Book of Acts was really written, as 
tradition affirms, by a companion of Paul. This evidence 
is based primarily upon the presence in the book of certain 
sections where the narrative is carried on in the first person 
instead of the third. It is generally or even universally ad- 
mitted that these "we-sections" are the work of an eyewitness, 
an actual traveling companion of Paul. But according to 
the common-sense view according to the first impression made 
upon every ordinary reader the author of the we-sections was 
also the author of the whole book, who when he came in his 
narrative to those parts of the missionary journeys of Paul 
where he had actually been present with the apostolic company 
naturally dropped into the use of the first person instead of the 
third. If this common-sense view be incorrect, then a later 
author who produced the completed book has in the we-sections 
simply made use of an eyewitness source. But this hypothesis 
is fraught with the most serious difficulty. If the author of the 
completed book, writing at a time long after the time of Paul, 
was in the we-sections using the work of a companion of Paul, 
why did he not either say that he was quoting or else change 
the "we" of the source to "they." The first person plural, 
used without explanation by a writer of, say, 100 A.D. in a 
narrative of the journeys of Paul, would be preposterous. 


What could be the explanation of so extraordinary a pro- 

Only two explanations are possible. In the first place, the 
author may have retained the "we" with deceitful intent, with 
the intent of producing the false impression that he himself 
was a companion of Paul. This hypothesis is fraught with in- 
superable difficulty and is generally rejected. In the second 
place, the author may have retained the "we" because he was 
a mere compiler, copying out his sources with mechanical ac- 
curacy, and so unable to make the simple editorial change of 
"we" to "they." This hypothesis is excluded by the striking 
similarity of language and style between the we-sections and 
the rest of Luke-Acts, which shows that if the author of the 
completed double work is in the we-sections making use of a 
source written by some one else, he has revised the source so as 
to make it conform to his own style. But if he revised the 
source, he was no mere compiler, and therefore could not have 
retained the first person plural which in the completed book pro- 
duced nonsense. The whole hypothesis therefore breaks down. 

Such considerations have led a number of recent scholars 
even of those who are unable to accept the supernaturalistic 
account which the Book of Acts gives of the origin of Chris- 
tianity to return to the traditional view that the book was 
actually written by Luke the physician, a companion of Paul. 
The argument for Lucan authorship has been developed with 
great acumen especially by Von Harnack 1 And on the basis 
of purely literary criticism the argument is certainly irrefut- 
able. It can be refuted, if at all, only through a consideration 
of the historical contents of the book. 

Such attempts at refutation have not been lacking; the 
Lucan authorship of Acts is still rejected by the great ma- 
jority of those who maintain the naturalistic view of the origin 
of Christianity. The objections may be subsumed under two 
main heads. The Book of Acts, it is said, is not the kind of 
book that could have been written by a companion of Paul, 
in the first place because it contains an account of miracles, 

1 Lukas der Arzt, 1906 (English Translation, Luke the Physician, 
1907) ; Die Apostelgeschichte, 1908 (English Translation, The Acts of the 
Apostles, 1909) ; Neue Untersuchungen zur Apostelgeschichte und zur 
Abfassungszeit der synoptischen Evangelien, 1911 (English Translation, 
The Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels, 1911). 


and in the second place, because it contradicts the Pauline 
Epistles, particularly in the account which it gives of the 
relations between Paul and the Jerusalem Church. 

The former objection is entirely valid on the basis of any 
naturalistic account of the origin of Christianity. Efforts 
have indeed been made by Von Harnack, C. C. Torrey, and 
others, to overcome the objection. Belief in miracles, it is 
said, was very general in the ancient world ; a miraculous inter- 
pretation could therefore be placed upon happenings for which 
the modern man would have no difficulty in discovering a nat- 
ural cause. Luke was a child of his time; even in the we- 
sections, Von Harnack insists, where the work of an eyewitness 
is universally recognized, a supernaturalistic interpretation is 
placed upon natural events as, for example, when Paul ex- 
cites the wonder of his companions by shaking off into the fire 
a viper that was no doubt perfectly harmless. Why, then, 
should the presence of the supernatural in the rest of the book 
be used to refute the hypothesis of the Lucan authorship, if 
it is not so used in the we-sections? l 

This method of refuting the objection drawn from the 
, presence of the supernatural in Luke-Acts has sometimes led 
to a curious return to the rationalizing method of interpreta- 
tion which was prevalent one hundred years ago. By that 
method of interpretation even the details of the New Testament 
miracles were accepted as historical, but it was thought that 
the writers were wrong in regarding those details as miraculous. 
Great ingenuity was displayed by such rationalists as Paulus 
and many others in exhibiting the true natural causes of de- 
tails which to the first observers seemed to be supernatural. 
Such rationalizing has usually been thought to have received 
its death-blow at the hands of Strauss, who showed that the 
New Testament narratives were either to be accepted as a 
whole miracles and all or else regarded as myths, that is, 
as the clothing of religious ideas in historical forms. But 
now, under the impulsion of literary criticism, which has led 
away from the position of Baur and Strauss and back to the 
traditional view of the authorship and date of the New Testa- 
ment books, the expedients of the rationalizers have in some 
cases been revived. 

1 Harnack, Die Apostelgeschichte, 1908, pp. 111-130 (English Transla- 
tion, The Acts of the Apostles, 1909, pp. 133-161). 


The entire effort of Von Harnack is, however, quite hope- 
less. The objection to the Lucan authorship of Acts which 
is drawn from the supernatural element in the narrative is 
irrefutable on the basis of any naturalistic view of the origin 
of Christianity. The trouble is that the supernatural element 
in Acts does not concern merely details ; it lies, rather, at the 
root of the whole representation. The origin of the Church, 
according to the modern naturalistic reconstruction, was due 
to the belief of the early disciples in the resurrection of Jesus ; 
that belief in turn was founded upon certain hallucinations in 
which they thought they saw Jesus alive after His passion. 
In such experiences, the optic nerve is affected not by an ex- 
ternal object but by the condition of the subject himself. 
But there are limitations to what is possible in experiences of 
that sort, especially where numbers of persons are affected and 
at different times. It cannot be supposed, therefore, that the 
disciples of Jesus thought they had any extended intercourse 
with Him after His passion ; momentary appearances, with pos- 
sibly a few spoken words, were all that they could have ex- 
perienced. This view of the origin of the Church is thought 
to be in accord with the all-important testimony of Paul, 
especially in 1 Cor. xv. 3-8 where he is reproducing a primitive 
tradition. Thus desperate efforts are made to show that the 
reference by Paul to the burial of Jesus does not by any 
means confirm the accounts given in the Gospels of events con- 
nected with the empty tomb. Sometimes, indeed, in recent 
criticism, the fact of the empty tomb is accepted, and then 
explained in some naturalistic way. But at any rate, the cardi- 
nal feature of the modern reconstruction is that the early 
Church, including Paul, had a spiritual rather than a physical 
conception of the risen body of Jesus; there was no extended 
intercourse, it is supposed; Jesus appeared to His disciples 
momentarily, in heavenly glory. 

But this entire representation is diametrically opposed to 
the representation in the Gospel of Luke and in the Book 
of Acts. If there is any one writer who emphasizes the plain, 
physical character of the contact between the disciples and 
their risen Lord, it is the author of Luke-Acts. In proof, it 
is only necessary to point to Acts x. 41, where it is said that the 
risen Jesus held table-companionship with His disciples after 


He was risen from the dead ! But that is only one detail. The 
author of Acts is firmly convinced that the contact of the risen 
Jesus with His disciples, though not devoid of mysterious fea- 
tures, involved the absence of the body of Jesus from the tomb 
and an intercourse (intermittent, it is true, but including 
physical proofs of the most definite kind) extending over a 
period of forty days. Nothing could possibly be more direct- 
ly contrary to what the current critical view regards as the 
real account given in the primitive Jerusalem Church and by the 
apostle Paul. 

Yet on the basis of that modern critical view, Von Har- 
nack and others have maintained that the book in which so 
false an account is given of the origin of the Church was actual- 
ly the work of a man of the apostolic age. It is no wonder 
that Von Harnack's conclusions have evoked an emphatic 
protest from other naturalistic historians. Luke was a close 
associate of Paul. Could he possibly have given an account 
of things absolutely fundamental in Paul's gospel (1 Cor. xv. 
1-8) which was so diametrically opposed to what Paul taught? 
He was in Jerusalem in 58 A.D. or earlier, and during years 
of his life was in close touch with Palestinian disciples. Could 
he possibly have given an account of the origin of the Jerusalem 
Church so totally at variance with the account which that 
church itself maintained? These questions constitute a com- 
plete refutation of Von Harnack's view, when that view is taken 
as a whole. But they do not at all constitute a refutation of 
the conclusions of Von Harnack in the sphere of literary criti- 
cism. On the contrary, by showing how inconsistent those 
conclusions are with other elements in the thinking of the in- 
vestigator, they make only the more impressive the strength of 
the argument which has overcome such obstacles. The objec- 
tion points out the antinomy which exists between the literary 
criticism of Von Harnack and his naturalistic account of the 
origin of Christianity. What that antinomy means is merely 
that the testimony of Acts to the supernatural origin of 
Christianity, far from being removed by literary criticism, is 
strongly supported by it. A companion of Paul could not 
have been egregiously mistaken about the origin of the Church ; 
but literary criticism establishes Luke-Acts as the work of a 
companion of Paul. Hence there is some reason for suppos- 


ing that the account given in this book is essentially correct, 
and that the naturalistic reconstruction of the origin of 
Christianity must be abandoned. 

The second objection to the Lucan authorship of Acts 
is based upon the contradiction which is thought to exist be- 
tween the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul. 1 The way 
to test the value of a historical work, it is said, is to compare 
it with some recognized authority. With regard to most of 
the narrative in Acts, no such comparison is possible, since 
there is no account parallel to Acts by which it may be tested. 
But in certain places the Book of Acts provides an account 
of events which are also narrated in the isolated biographical 
parts of the Pauline Epistles notably in the first two chapters 
of Galatians. Here at last is found the long-sought opportu- 
nity for comparison. And the comparison, it is said, results 
unfavorably to the Book of Acts, which is found to contradict 
the Epistle to the Galatians, not merely in details, but in the 
whole account which it gives of the relation between Paul and 
the Jerusalem Church. But if the Book of Acts fails to ap- 
prove itself in the one place where it can be tested by com- . 
parison with a recognized authority, the presumption is that 
it may be wrong elsewhere as well; in particular, it is quite 
impossible that a book which so completely misrepresents what 
happened at a most important crisis of Paul's life could have 
been written by a close friend of the apostle. 

This argument was developed particularly by Baur and 
Zeller and their associates in the "Tubingen School." Accord- 
ing to Baur, the major epistles of Paul constitute the primary 
source of information about the apostolic age; they should 
therefore be interpreted without reference to any other source. 
When they are so interpreted, they show that the fundamental 
fact of apostolic history was a conflict between Paul on one 
side and the original apostles on the other. The conflict, Baur 
maintained further, is particularly plain in the Epistles to 
the Galatians and Corinthians, which emphasize the complete 
independence of Paul with reference to the pillars of the Jerusa- 

1 For what follows, compare "Jesus and Paul," in Biblical and Theological 
Studies by the Members of the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, 
1912, pp. 553f.; "Recent Criticism of the Book of Acts," in Princeton 
Theological Review, xvii, 1919, pp. 593-597. 


lem Church, and his continued opposition to the efforts of Jew- 
ish Christians to bring the Gentiles into subjection to the Jew- 
ish Law efforts which must have been supported to some ex- 
tent by the attitude of the original apostles. This conflict, 
Baur supposed further, continued up to the middle of the second 
century; there was a Gentile Christian party appealing to 
Paul and a Jewish Christian party appealing to Peter. Finally 
however, Baur continued, a compromise was effected; the 
Pauline party gave up what was really most distinctive in the 

t Pauline doctrine of justification, while the Petrine party re- 
linquished the demand of circumcision. The New Testament 
documents, according to Baur, are to be dated in accordance 
with the position that they assume in the conflict; those docu- 
ments which take sides which are strongly anti-Pauline or 

1 strongly anti-Petrine are to be placed early, while those 
which display a tendency toward compromise are to be placed 
late, at the time when the conflict was being settled. Such 
was the "tendency-criticism" of Baur. By that criticism the 
Book of Acts was dated well on in the second century, because 
it was thought to display a tendency toward compromise 
an "irenic tendency." This tendency, Baur supposed, mani- 
fested itself in the Book of Acts in a deliberate falsification 
of history; in order to bring about peace between the Petrine 
and the Pauline parties in the Church, the author of Acts 
attempted to show by a new account of the apostolic age that 
Peter and Paul really were in perfect agreement. To that end, 
in the Book of Acts, Paul is Petrinized, and Peter is Paulinized ; 
the sturdy independence of Paul, which actually kept him long 
away from Jerusalem after his conversion, gives place, in Acts, 
to a desire of contact with the Jerusalem Church, which 
brought him early to Jerusalem and finally led him even to 
accept for his Gentile converts, at the "Apostolic Council," 
a portion of the ceremonial law. Peter, on the other hand, is 
represented in Acts as giving expression at the Apostolic 
Council to Pauline sentiments about the Law ; and all through 
the book there is an elaborate and unhistorical parallelism 
between Peter and Paul. 

The theory of Baur did not long maintain itself in its en- 
tirety. It received a searching criticism particularly from A. 
Ritschl. The conflict of the apostolic age, Ritschl pointed 


out, was not a conflict between Paul and the original apostles, 
but between all the apostles (including both Paul and Peter) on 
the one side, and an extreme Judaizing party on the other; 
that conflict did not continue throughout the second century; 
on the contrary, specifically Jewish Christianity soon ceased 
to be influential, and the legalistic character of the Old Cath- 
olic Church of the end of the second century, in which Chris- 
tianity was conceived of as a new law, was due not to any 
compromise with the legalism of the Judaizers but to a natural 
process of degeneration from Paulinism on purely Gentile 
Christian ground. 

The Tubingen dating of the New Testament documents, 
moreover, has been abandoned under a more thorough investi- 
gation of early Christian literature. A study of patristics 
soon rendered it impossible to string out the New Testament 
books anywhere throughout the second century in the interest 
of a plausible theory of development. External evidence has 
led to a much earlier dating of most of the books than Baur's 
theory required. The Tubingen estimate of the Book of Acts, 
in particular, has for the most part been modified; the book 
is dated much earlier, and it is no longer thought to be a party 
document written in the interests of a deliberate falsification 
of history. 

Nevertheless, the criticism of Baur and Zeller, though no 
longer accepted as a whole, is still influential; the comparison 
of Acts and Galatians, particularly in that which concerns 
the Apostolic Council of Acts xv, is still often thought to 
result unfavorably to the Book of Acts. Even at this point, 
however, a more favorable estimate of Acts has been gaining 
ground. The cardinal principle of Baur, to the effect that 
the major epistles of Paul should be interpreted entirely with- 
out reference to the Book of Acts, is being called in question. 
Such a method of interpretation, it may well be urged, is likely 
to result in one-sidedness. If the Book of Acts commends 
itself at all as containing trustworthy information, it should 
be allowed to cast light upon the Epistles. The account which 
Paul gives in Galatians is not so complete as to render su- 
perfluous any assistance which may be derived from an inde- 
pendent narrative. And as a matter of fact, no matter what 
principles of interpretation are held, the Book of Acts simply 


must be used in interpreting the Epistles; without the outline 
given in Acts the Epistles would be unintelligible. 1 Perhaps it 
may turn out, therefore, that Baur produced his imposing 
reconstruction of the apostolic age by neglecting all sources 
except Galatians and the Corinthian Epistles and then by 
misinterpreting these. 

The comparison of Acts and the Pauline Epistles will be 
reserved for the chapters that deal with the outline of Paul's 
life. It will there be necessary to deal with the vexed question 
of the Apostolic Council. The question is vital for the present 
discussion; for if it can really be shown that Paul was in 
fundamental disagreement with the intimate friends of Jesus 
of Nazareth, then the way is opened for supposing that he was 
in disagreement with Jesus Himself. The question raised by 
Baur with regard to the Book of Acts has a most important 
bearing upon the question of the origin of Paulinism. 

All that can now be done, however, is to point out that the 
tendency at the present time is toward a higher and higher 
estimate of the Book of Acts. A more careful study of the 
Pauline Epistles themselves is exhibiting elements in Paul's 
thinking which justify more and more clearly the account 
which the Book of Acts gives of the relations of Paul to Juda- 
ism and to Jewish Christianity. 

. 'J. Weiss, Urchristentum, 1914, p. 107: "It is simply impossible for us 
to erase it [the Book of Acts] so completely from our memory as to 
read the Epistle to the Galatians as though we had never known Acts; 
without the Book of Acts we should simply not be able to understand 
Galatians at all." 




BEFORE examining the various hypotheses which have been 
advanced to account for the origin of Paulinism, the investi- 
gator must consider first the outline of Paul's life, at least so 
far as the formative years are concerned. Paulinism has been 
explained by the influence upon Paul of various features of 
his environment. It is important, therefore, to determine at 
what points Paul came into contact with his environment. 
What, in view of the outline of his life, were his probable op- 
portunities for acquainting himself with the historical Jesus 
and with the primitive Jerusalem Church? Whence did he 
derive his Judaism? Where, if at all, could he naturally have 
been influenced by contemporary paganism? Such questions, 
it is hoped, may be answered by the two following chapters. 

In these chapters, the outline of Paul's life will be con- 
sidered not for its own sake, but merely for the light that it 
may shed upon the origin of his thought and experience. Many 
questions, therefore, may be ignored. For example, it would 
here be entirely aside from the point to discuss such intricate 
matters as the history of Paul's journeys to Corinth attested 
by the Corinthian Epistles. The present discussion is con- 
cerned only with those events in the life of Paul which deter- 
mined the nature of his contact with the surrounding world, 
both Jewish and pagan, and particularly the nature of his 
contact with Jesus and the earliest disciples of Jesus. 

Paul was born at Tarsus, the chief city of Cilicia. This 
fact is attested only by the Book of Acts, and formerly it did 
not escape unchallenged. It was called in question, for ex- 
ample, in 1890 by Krenkel, in an elaborate argument. 1 But 
Krenkel's argument is now completely antiquated, not merely 
because of the rising credit of the Book of Acts, but also be- 

1 Krenkel, Beitrdge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte und der Brief e des 
Apostels Paulus, 1890, pp. 1-17. 



cause the birth of Paul in a Greek city like Tarsus is in har- 
mony with modern reconstructions. Krenkel argued, for ex- 
ample, that the apostle shows little acquaintance with Greek 
culture, and therefore could not have spent his youth in a 
Greek university city. Such assertions appear very strange 
to-day. Recent philological investigation of the Pauline 
Epistles has proved that the author uses the Greek language 
in such masterly fashion that he must have become familiar 
with it very early in life; the language of the Epistles is cer- 
tainly no Jewish-Greek jargon. With regard to the origin of 
the ideas, also, the tendency of recent criticism is directly 
contrary to Krenkel; Paulinism is now often explained as 
being based either upon paganism or else upon a Hellenized 
Judaism. To such reconstructions it is a highly welcome piece 
of information when the Book of Acts makes Paul a native 
not of Jerusalem but of Tarsus. The author of Acts, it is 
said, is here preserving a bit of genuine tradition, which is 
the more trustworthy because it runs counter to the tendency, 
thought to be otherwise in evidence in Acts, which brings Paul 
into the closest possible relation to Palestine. Thus, whether 
for good or for bad reasons, the birth of Paul in Tarsus is 
now universally accepted, and does not require defense. 

A very interesting tradition preserved by Jerome does in- 
deed make Paul a native of Gischala in Galilee; but no one 
to-day would be inclined to follow Krenkel in giving credence 
to Jerome rather than to Acts. The Gischala tradition does 
not look like a pure fiction, but it is evident that Jerome has 
at any rate exercised his peculiar talent for bringing things 
into confusion. Zahn l has suggested, with considerable 
plausibility, that the shorter reference to Gischala in the 
treatise "De viris illustribus" 2 is a confused abridgment of 
the longer reference in the "Commentary on Philemon." 3 The 
latter passage asserts not that Paul himself but only that the 
parents of Paul came from Gischala. That assertion may 
possibly be correct. It would explain the Aramaic and Pales- 
tinian tradition which undoubtedly was preserved in the boy- 
hood home of Paul. 

1 Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 3te Aufl., i, 1906, pp. 48-50 (English 

Translation, Introduction to the New Testament, 2nd ed., 1909, i, pp. 68-TO). 

*De vir. ill. 5 (ed. Vail, ii, 836). 

Comm. in Philem. 23 (ed. Vail, vii, 


Tarsus was an important city. Its commercial importance, 
though of course inferior to that of places like Antioch or 
Corinth, was considerable; and it was also well known as a 
center of intellectual life. Although the dramatic possibilities 
of representing the future Christian missionary growing up 
unknown under the shadow of a Greek university may some- 
times have led to an exaggeration of the academic fame of 
Tarsus, still it remains true that Tarsus was a real university 
city, and could boast of great names like that of Athenodorus, 
the Stoic philosopher, and others. The life of Tarsus has 
recently been made the subject of two elaborate monographs, 
by Ramsay l and by Bb'hlig, 2 who have collected a mass of 
information about the birthplace of Paul. The nature of the 
pagan religious atmosphere which surrounded the future 
apostle is of peculiar interest ; but the amount of direct infor- 
mation which has come down to us should not be exaggerated. 

The social position of Paul's family in Tarsus must not be 
regarded as very humble; for according to the Book of Acts 
not only Paul himself, but his father before him, possessed 
the Roman citizenship, which in the provinces was still in the 
first century a highly prized privilege from which the great 
masses of the people were excluded. The Roman citizenship 
of Paul is not attested by the Pauline Epistles, but the repre- 
sentation of Acts is at this point universally, or almost uni- 
versally, accepted. Only one objection might be urged against 
it. If Paul was a Roman citizen, how could he have been sub- 
jected three times to the Roman punishment of beating with 
rods (2 Cor. xi. 25), from which citizens were exempted by 
law? The difficulty is not insuperable. Paul may on 
some occasions have been unwilling to appeal to a privi- 
lege which separated him from his Jewish countrymen ; 
or he may have wanted to avoid the delay which an appeal to 
his privilege, with the subsequent investigation and trial, might 
have caused. At any rate, the difficulty, whether easily re- 
movable or not, is quite inadequate to overthrow the abundant 
evidence for the fact of Paul's Roman citizenship. That fact 
is absolutely necessary to account for the entire representation 
which the Book of Acts gives of the journey of Paul as a 
prisoner to Rome, which representation, it will be remembered, 

1 The Cities of St. Paul, 1908, pp.. 85-244. 
s Die Geisteskultur von Tarsos, 1913. 


is contained in the we-sections. The whole account of the 
relation between Paul and Roman authorities, which is con- 
tained in the Pauline Epistles, the Book of Acts, and trust- 
worthy Christian tradition, is explicable only if Paul pos- 
sessed the rights of citizenship. 1 

Birth in a Greek university city and Roman citizenship 
constitute the two facts which bring Paul into early connec- 
tion with the larger Gentile world of his day. Other facts, 
equally well-attested, separate him just as clearly from the 
Gentile world and represent him as being from childhood a 
strict Jew. These facts might have been called in question, in 
view of the present tendency of criticism, if they had been 
attested only by the Book of Acts. But fortunately it is just 
these facts which are attested also by the epistles of Paul. 

In 2 Cor. xi. 22, Paul is declared to be a "Hebrew," and 
in Phil. iii. 5 he appears as a "Hebrew of Hebrews." The word 
"Hebrew" in these passages cannot indicate merely Israelitish 
descent or general adherence to the Jews' religion. If it did 
so it would be a meaningless repetition of the other terms used 
in the same passages. Obviously it is used in some narrower 
sense. The key to its meaning is found in Acts vi. 1, where, 
within Judaism, the "Hellenists" are distinguished from the 
"Hebrews," the Hellenists being the Jews of the Dispersion 
who spoke Greek, and the Hebrews the Jews of Palestine who 
spoke Aramaic. In Phil. iii. 5, therefore, Paul declares that he 
was an Aramaic-speaking Jew and descended from Aramaic- 
speaking Jews ; Aramaic was used in his boyhood home, and the 
Palestinian tradition was preserved. This testimony is not 
contrary to what was said above about Paul's use of the Greek 
language not improbably Paul used both Aramaic and Greek 
in childhood but it does contradict all those modern repre- 
sentations which make Paul fundamentally a Jew of the Dis- 
persion. Though he was born in Tarsus, he was, in the essen- 
tial character of his family tradition, a Jew of Palestine. 

Even more important is the assertion, found in the same 
verse in Philippians, that Paul was "as touching the law a 
Pharisee." Conceivably, indeed, it might be argued that his 
Pharisaism was not derived from his boyhood home, but was 
acquired later. But surely it requires no excessively favorable 
estimate of Acts to give credence to the assertion in Acts 

1 Compare Mommsen, "Die Rechtsverhaltnisse des Apostels Paulus," in 
Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, ii, 1901, pp. 88-96. 


xxiii. 6 that Paul was not only a Pharisee but the "son of 
Pharisees"; and it is exceedingly unlikely that this phrase 
refers, as Lightfoot * suggested, to teachers rather than to 
ancestors. For when Paul says in Gal. i. 14 that he advanced 
in the Jews' religion beyond many of his contemporaries, be- 
ing more exceedingly zealous for his paternal traditions, it is 
surely natural, whatever interpretation may be given to the 
word "paternal," to find a reference to the Pharisaic traditions 
cultivated in his boyhood home. 

There is not the slightest evidence, therefore, for supposing 
that Paul spent his early years in an atmosphere of "liberal 
Judaism" a Judaism really though unconsciously hospitable 
to pagan notions and predisposed to relax the strict require- 
ments of the Law and break down the barrier that separated 
Israel from the Gentile world. Whether such a liberal Judaism 
even existed in Tarsus we do not know. At any rate, if it did 
exist, the household of Paul's father was not in sympathy with 
it. Surely the definite testimony of Paul himself is here worth 
more than all modern conjectures. And Paul himself declares 
that he was in language and in spirit a Jew of Palestine rather 
than of the Dispersion, and as touching the Law a Pharisee. 

According to the Book of Acts, Paul went at an early age 
to Jerusalem, received instruction there from Gamaliel, the 
famous rabbi, and finally, just before his conversion, perse- 
cuted the Jerusalem Church (Acts xxii. 3; vii. 58-viii. 1 ; ix. 1, 
etc.). In recent years, this entire representation has been 
questioned. It has been maintained by Mommsen, 2 Bous- 
set 3 , Heitmuller, 4 and Loisy 5 that Paul never was in Jeru- 
salem before his conversion. That he persecuted the Church 
is, of course, attested unequivocally by his own Epistles, but 
the persecution, it is said, really took place only in such cities 
as Damascus, and not at all in Palestine. 

This elimination of the early residence of Paul in Jerusalem 

1 On Phil. iii. 5. 

2 Op. tit., pp. 85 f. 

*Kyrios Christos, 1913, p. 92. Bousset's doubt with regard to the early 
Jerusalem residence of Paul extended, explicitly at least, only to the 
persecution in Jerusalem, and it was a doubt merely, not a positive denial. 
In his supplementary work he has admitted that his doubt was unjustified 
(Jesus der Herr, 1916, p. 31). 

4 "Zum Problem Paulus und Jesus," in Zeitschrift fur die neutestament- 
liche Wissenschaft, xiii, 1912, pp. 320-337. 

* L'tpitre cmx Galates, 1916, pp. 68-73; Les my stores paiens et le mystere 
Chretien, 1919, pp. 317-320. 


is no mere by-product of a generally skeptical attitude toward 
the Book of Acts, but is important for the entire reconstruction 
of early Christian history which Bousset and Heitmiiller and 
Loisy propose; it is made to assist in explaining the origin 
of the Pauline Christology. Paul regarded Jesus Christ as a 
supernatural person, come to earth for the redemption of 
men; and toward this divine Christ he assumed a distinctly 
religious attitude. How could he have formed such a concep- 
tion of a human being who had died but a few years before? 
If he had been separated from Jesus by several generations, 
so that the nimbus of distance and mystery would have had 
time to form about the figure of the Galilean prophet, then his 
lofty conception of Jesus might be explained. But as a matter 
of fact he was actually a contemporary of the Jesus whose 
simple human traits he obscured. How could the "smell of 
earth" have been so completely removed from the figure of 
the Galilean teacher that He could actually be regarded by one 
of His contemporaries as a divine Redeemer? The question 
could perhaps be more easily answered if Paul, before his lofty 
conception of Christ was fully formed, never came into any 
connection with those who had seen Jesus subject to the petty 
limitations of human life. Thus the elimination of the early 
Jerusalem residence of Paul, by putting a geographical if 
not a temporal gulf between Jesus and Paul, is thought to 
make the formation of the Pauline Christology more compre- 
hensible. Peter and the original disciples, it is thought, never 
could have separated Jesus so completely from the limitations 
of ordinary humanity; the simple memory of Galilean days 
would in their case have been an effective barrier against 
Christological speculation. But Paul was subject to no such 
limitation; having lived far away from Palestine, in the com- 
pany, for the most part, of those who like himself had never 
seen Jesus, he was free to transpose to the Galilean teacher 
attributes which to those who had known the real Jesus would 
have seemed excessive or absurd. 

Before examining the grounds upon which this elimination 
of Paul's early Jerusalem residence is based, it may first be 
observed that even such heroic measures do not really bring 
about the desired result; even this radical rewriting of the 
story of Paul's boyhood and youth will not serve to explain 
on naturalistic principles the origin of the Pauline Christology. 


Even if before his conversion Paul got no nearer to Jerusalem 
than Damascus, it still remains true that after his conversion 
he conferred with Peter and lived in more or less extended in- 
tercourse with Palestinian disciples. The total lack of any 
evidence of a conflict between the Christology of Paul and the 
views of those who had walked and talked with Jesus of Naza- 
reth remains, for any naturalistic reconstruction, a puzzling 
fact. Even without the early Jerusalem residence, Paul re- 
mains too near to Jesus both temporally and geographically 
to have formed a conception of Him entirely without reference 
to the historical person. Even with their radical treatment 
of the Book of Acts, therefore, Bousset and Heitmuller have 
not succeeded at all in explaining how the Pauline Christology 
ever came to be attached to the Galilean prophet. 

But is the elimination of the early Jerusalem residence of 
Paul historically justifiable? Mere congruity with a plausible 
theory of development will not serve to justify it. For the 
Jerusalem residence is strongly attested by the Book of Acts. 
The testimony of Acts can no longer be ruled out except for 
very weighty reasons; the history of recent criticism has on 
the whole exhibited the rise of a more and more favorable 
estimate of the book. And in the case of the early Jerusalem 
residence of Paul the testimony is so insistent and so closely 
connected with lifelike details that the discrediting of it in- 
volves an exceedingly radical skepticism. The presence of 
Paul at the stoning of Stephen is narrated in the Book of Acts 
in a concrete way which bears every mark of trustworthiness ; 
the connection of Paul with Gamaliel is what might have been 
expected in view of the self -testimony of the apostle; the ac- 
count of Paul's vision in the Temple (Acts xxii. 17-21) is 
based, in a manner which is psychologically very natural, upon 
the fact of Paul's persecuting activity in Jerusalem ; the pres- 
ence of Paul's sister's son in Jerusalem, attested in a part of 
the narrative of which the essential historicity must be uni- 
versally admitted (Acts xxiii. 16-22), suggests that family 
connections may have facilitated Paul's residence in the city. 
Finally, the geographical details of the three narratives of 
the conversion, which place the event on a journey of Paul 
from Jerusalem to Damascus, certainly look as though they 
were founded upon genuine tradition. One of the details 
the place of the conversion itself is confirmed in a purely 


incidental way by the Epistle to the Galatians, and the reader 
has the impression that if Paul had happened to introduce 
other details in the Epistles the rest of the narrative in Acts 
would have been similarly confirmed. Except for Paul's inci- 
dental reference to Damascus in Gal. i. 17, the conversion 
might have been put by Heitmiiller and others in a place even 
more conveniently remote than Damascus from the scene of 
Jesus' earthly labors. But the incidental confirmation of Acts 
at this point raises a distinct presumption in favor of the 
account as a whole. The main trend of modern criticism has 
been favorable on the whole to the tradition embodied in the 
accounts of the conversion; it is a very extreme form of skep- 
ticism which rejects the whole framework of the tradition by 
eliminating the journey from Jerusalem to Damascus. 

Enough has been said to show that the early Jerusalem 
residence of Paul stood absolutely firm in the tradition used 
by the author of Acts ; the author has taken it as a matter of 
course and woven it in with his narrative at many points. 
Such a tradition certainly cannot be lightly rejected; the 
burden of proof clearly rests upon those who would deny its 

The only definite proof which is forthcoming is found in 
Gal. i. 22, where Paul says that after his departure for Syria 
and Cilicia, three years after his conversion, he was "unknown 
by face to the churches of Judaea which are in Christ." If 
he had engaged in active persecution of those churches, it is 
argued, how could he have been personally unknown to them? 

By this argument a tremendous weight is hung upon one 
verse. And, rightly interpreted, the verse will not bear the 
weight at all. In Gal. i. 22, Paul is not speaking so much 
of what took place before the departure for Syria and Cilicia, 
as of the condition which prevailed at the time of that depar- 
ture and during the immediately ensuing period; he is simply 
drawing attention to the significance for his argument of the 
departure from Jerusalem. Certainly he would not have been 
able to speak as he does if before he left Jerusalem he had 
had extended intercourse with the Judaean churches, but when 
he says that the knowledge of the Judaean churches about him 
in the period just succeeding his departure from Jerusalem 
was a hearsay knowledge merely, it would have been pedantic 
for him to think about the question whether some of the mem- 


bers of those churches had or had not seen him years before 
as a persecutor. 

Furthermore, it is by no means clear that the word "Judaea" 
in Gal. i. 22 includes Jerusalem at all. In Mark iii. 7, 8, for 
example, "Jerusalem" is clearly not included in "Judaea," 
but is distinguished from it; "Judaea" means the country 
outside of the capital. It may well be so also in Gal. i. 22; 
and if so, then the verse does not exclude a personal acquain- 
tance of Paul with the Jerusalem Church. But even if 
"Judsea" is not used so as to exclude the capital, still Paul's 
words would be natural enough. That the Jerusalem Church 
formed an exception to the general assertion was suggested 
by the account of the visit in Jerusalem immediately preced- 
ing, and was probably well known to his Galatian readers. 
All that Paul means is that he went away to Syria and Cilicia 
without becoming acquainted generally with the churches of 
Judaea. It is indeed often said that since the whole point 
of Paul's argument in Galatians was to show his lack of con- 
tact with the pillars of the Jerusalem Church, his acquaintance 
or lack of acquaintance with the churches of Judaea outside 
of Jerusalem was unworthy of mention, so that he must at 
least be including Jerusalem when he speaks of Judaea. But 
this argument is not decisive. If, as is altogether probable, 
the apostles except Peter were out of the city at the time of 
Paul's visit, and were engaging in missionary work in Judaean 
churches, then acquaintance with the Judaean churches would 
have meant intercourse with the apostles, so that it was very 
much to the point for Paul to deny that he had had such 
acquaintance. Of course, this whole argument against the 
early Jerusalem residence of Paul, based on Gal. i. 22, involves 
a rejection of the account which the Book of Acts gives of 
the visit of Paul to Jerusalem three years after his conversion. 
If Gal. i. 22 means that Paul was unknown by sight to the 
Jerusalem Church, then he could not have gone in and out 
among the disciples at Jerusalem as Acts ix. 28 represents, 
but must have been in strict hiding when he was in the city. 
Such is the account of the matter which is widely prevalent in 
recent years. Not even so much correction of Acts is at all 
required by a correct understanding of Gal. i. 22. But it is 
a still more unjustifiable use of that verse when it is made to 
exclude even the persecuting activity of Paul in Jerusalem. 


If, however, the words of Galatians are really to be taken 
in the strictest and most literal sense, what is to be done with 
Gal. i. 23, where (immediately after the words which have just 
been discussed) Paul says that the churches of Judaea were 
receiving the report, "He that persecuted us formerly is now 
preaching as a gospel the faith which formerly he laid waste"? 
What is meant by the pronoun "us" in this verse? Conceivably 
it might be taken in a broad sense, as referring to all disciples 
wherever found ; conceivably, therefore, the persecution referred 
to by the Judaean disciples might be persecution of their 
brethren in the faith in Tarsus or Damascus. But that is not 
the kind of interpretation which has just been applied to the 
preceding verse, and upon which such a vast structure has 
been reared. It may well be urged against Heitmiiller and 
those like him that if Paul's words are to be taken so strictly 
in one verse they should be taken in the same way in the other ; 
if the "Judaea" and "unknown by face" of verse 22 are to 
be taken so strictly, then the "us" of verse 23 should also be 
taken strictly, and in that case Paul is made to contradict 
himself, which of course is absurd. Verse 23 certainly does 
not fully confirm the representation of Acts about the perse- 
cuting activity of Paul in Judaea, but at any rate it tends to 
confirm that representation at least as strongly as verse 22 
tends to discredit it. 1 

Thus the early Jerusalem residence of Paul is strongly 
attested by the Book of Acts, and is thoroughly in harmony 
with everything that Paul says about his Pharisaic past. It 
is not surprising that Bousset has now receded from his orig- 
inal position and admits that Paul was in Jerusalem before 
his conversion and engaged in persecution of the Jerusalem 

That admission does not necessarily carry with it an ac- 
ceptance of all that the Book of Acts says about the Jerusalem 
period in Paul's life, particularly all that it says about his 
having been a disciple of Gamaliel. But the decisive point 
has been gained. If the entire account of the early Jerusalem 
residence of Paul is not ruled out by the testimony of his own 
Epistles, then. there is at least no decisive objection against 
the testimony of Acts with regard to the details. Certainly 

1 Compare Wellhausen, Kritische Analyse der Apostelgeschichte, 1914, 
p. 16, 


the common opinion to the effect that Paul went to Jerusalem 
to receive rabbinical training is admirably in accord with 
everything that he says in his Epistles about his zeal for the 
Law. It is also in accord with his habits of thought and ex- 
pression, which were transformed and glorified, rather than 
destroyed, by his Christian experience. The decision about 
every detail of course depends ultimately upon the particular 
conclusion which the investigator may have reached with re- 
gard to the Book of Acts. If that book was written by a 
companion of Paul an opinion which is gaining ground even 
in circles which were formerly hostile then there is every 
reason to suppose that Paul was brought up in Jerusalem at 
the feet of Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3). Some important questions 
indeed still remain unanswered, even with full acceptance of 
the Lucan testimony. It can never be determined, for ex- 
ample, at exactly what age Paul went to Jerusalem. The 
words, "brought up in this city," in Acts xxii. 3 might seem 
to suggest that Paul went to Jerusalem in early childhood, in 
which case his birthplace would be of comparatively little 
importance in his preparation for his lifework, and all the 
elaborate investigations of Tarsus, so far as they are intended 
to shed light upon the environment of the apostle in his for- 
mative years, would become valueless. But the Greek word 
"brought up" or "nourished" might be used figuratively in 
a somewhat flexible way; it remains, therefore, perfectly pos- 
sible that Paul's Jerusalem training began, not in childhood, 
but in early youth. At any rate, an early residence in Jeru- 
salem is not excluded by the masterly way in which the apostle 
uses the Greek language. It must always be remembered that 
Palestine in the first century was a bilingual country ; * the 
presence of hosts of Greek-speaking Jews even in Jerusalem 
is amply attested, for example, by the early chapters of Acts. 
Moreover, even after Paul's Jerusalem studies had begun, his 
connection with Tarsus need not have been broken off. The 
distance between the two cities was considerable (some four 
or five hundred miles), but travel in those days was safe and 
easy. A period of training in Jerusalem may have been fol- 
lowed by a long residence at Tarsus. 

See Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 3te Aufl., i, 1906, pp. 
24-32, 39-47 (English Translation, Introduction to the New Testament 
- A Ed., 1917, i, pp. 34-46, 57-66). 


At this point, an interesting question arises, which, how- 
ever, can never be answered with any certainty. Did Paul 
ever see Jesus before the crucifixion? In the light of what has 
just been established about the outline of Paul's life, an affirma- 
tive answer might seem to be natural. Paul was in Jerusalem 
both before and after the public ministry of Jesus before it 
when he was being "brought up" in Jerusalem, and after it 
when he was engaged in persecution of the Jerusalem Church. 
Where was he during the interval? Where was he on those 
occasions when Jesus visited Jerusalem especially at the time 
of that last Passover? If he was in Jerusalem, it seems prob- 
able that he would have seen the great prophet, whose coming 
caused such a stir among the people. And that he was in the 
city at Passover time would seem natural in view of his devo- 
tion to the Law. But the matter is by no means certain. He 
may have returned to Tarsus, in the manner which has just 
been suggested. 

The question could only be decided on the basis of actual 
testimony either in Acts or in the Epistles. One verse has 
often been thought to provide such testimony. In 2 Cor. v. 16, 
Paul says, "Even if we have known Christ after the flesh, yet 
now we know him so no longer." Knowledge of Christ after 
the flesh can only mean, it is said, knowledge of Him by the 
ordinary use of the senses, in the manner in which one man in 
ordinary human intercourse knows another. That kind of 
knowledge, Paul says, has ceased to have significance for the 
Christian in his relation to other men; it has also ceased to 
have significance for him in his relation to Christ. But it is 
that kind of knowledge which Paul seems to predicate of him- 
self, as having existed in a previous period of his life. He 
does not use the unreal form of condition; he does not say, 
"Even if we had known Christ after the flesh (though as a 
matter of fact we never knew Him so at all), yet now we should 
know Him so no longer." Apparently, then, when he says 
"if" he means "although"; he means to say, "Although we 
have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so 
no longer." The knowledge of Christ after the flesh is thus 
put as an actual fact in Paul's experience, and that can only 
mean that he knew Him in the way in which His contempo- 
raries knew Him in Galilee and in Jerusalem, a way which in 
itself, Paul says, was altogether without spiritual significance. 


One objection to this interpretation of the passage is that 
it proves too much. If it means anything, it means that Paul 
had extended personal acquaintance with Jesus before the 
crucifixion; for if Paul merely saw Him for a few moments 
for example, when the crowds were surging about Him at the 
time of the last Passover he could hardly be said to have 
"known" Him. But, for obvious reasons, any extended inter- 
course between Paul and Jesus in Palestine is exceedingly im- 
probable. It is natural, therefore, to look for some other 

Other interpretations undoubtedly are possible. Some of 
the interpretations that have been proposed must indeed be 
eliminated. For example, Paul cannot possibly be contrasting 
a former immature stage of his Christian experience with the 
present mature stage; he cannot possibly mean, "Even if in 
the first period after my conversion I had a low view of Christ, 
which made of Him merely the son of David and the Jewish 
Messiah, yet now I have come to a higher conception of His 
divine nature." For the whole point of the passage is found 
in the sharp break which comes in a man's experience when 
he appropriates the death and resurrection of Christ. Any 
consciousness of a subsequent revolution in the thinking of 
the Christian is not only unsupported anywhere in the Pauline 
Epistles, but is absolutely excluded by the present passage. 
Another interpretation also must be eliminated. Paul cannot 
possibly be contrasting his pre-Christian notions about the 
Messiah with the higher knowledge which came to him with 
his conversion; he cannot possibly mean, "Even if before I 
knew the fulfillment of the Messianic promise I cherished carnal 
notions of what the Messiah was to be, even if I thought of 
Him merely as an earthly ruler who was to conquer the enemies 
of Israel, yet now I have come to have a loftier, more spiritual 
conception of Him." For the word "Christ," especially with- 
out the article, can hardly here be anything other than a 
proper name, and must refer not to the conception of Messiah- 
ship but to the concrete person of Jesus. But another inter- 
pretation remains. The key to it is found in the flexible use 
of the first person plural in the Pauline Epistles. Undoubt- 
edly, the "we" of the whole passage in which 2 Cor. v. 16 is 
contained refers primarily to Paul himself. But, especially 
in 2 Cor. v. 16, it may include also all true ambassadors for 


Christ whose principles are the same as Paul's. Among such 
true ambassadors there were no doubt to be found some who 
had known Christ by way of ordinary intercourse in Palestine. 
"But," says Paul, "even if some of us have known Christ in 
that way, we know him so no longer." This interpretation is 
linguistically more satisfactory, perhaps, than that which ex- 
plains the sentence as simply a more vivid way of presenting 
a condition contrary to fact. "Granted," Paul would say 
according to this interpretation, "even that we have known 
Christ according to the flesh (which as a matter of fact we 
have not), yet now we know him so no longer." But our inter- 
pretation really amounts to almost the same thing so far as 
Paul is concerned. At any rate, the passage is not so clear 
as to justify any certain conclusions about Paul's life in 
Palestine; it does not clearly imply any acquaintance of Paul 
with Jesus before the passion. 

If such acquaintance is to be established, therefore, it must 
be established on the basis of other evidence. J. Weiss l seeks 
to establish it by the very fact of Paul's conversion. Paul, 
Weiss believes, saw a vision of the risen Christ. How did he 
know that the figure which appeared to him in the vision was 
Jesus? Why did he not think, for example, merely that it 
was the Messiah, who according to one strain of Jewish Mes- 
sianic expectation was already existent in heaven? Apparently 
he recognized the person who appeared to him as Jesus of 
Nazareth. But how could he have recognized Him as Jesus 
unless he had seen Jesus before? 

This argument depends, of course, altogether upon the 
naturalistic conception of the conversion of Paul, which re- 
gards the experience as an hallucination. In the account of 
the conversion given in the Book of Acts, on the contrary, it 
is distinctly said that far from recognizing the person who 
appeared to him, Paul was obliged to ask the question, "Who 
art thou, Lord?" and then received the answer, "I am Jesus." 
Such a conversation between Paul and the One who appeared 
to him is perfectly possible if there was a real appearance of 
the risen Christ, but it exceeds the ordinary limits of halluci- 
nations. Weiss has therefore merely pointed out an additional 
psychological difficulty in explaining the experience of Paul 

1 Paulus und Jesus, 1909, pp. 22, 23. Compare Ramsay, The Teaching of 
Paul in Terms of the Present Day, 1914, pp. 21-30. 


as an hallucination, a difficulty which, on naturalistic prin- 
ciples, may have to be removed by the assumption that Paul 
had seen Jesus before the passion. But if Jesus really ap- 
peared to Paul in such a way as to be able to answer his 
questions, then it is not necessary to suppose that Paul recog- 
nized Him. The failure of Paul to recognize Jesus (according 
to the narrative in Acts) does not indeed positively exclude 
such previous acquaintance; the two disciples on the road to 
Emmaus, for example, also failed to recognize the Lord, though 
they had been acquainted with Him before. But, at any rate, 
if the supernaturalistic view of Paul's conversion be accepted, 
the experience sheds no light whatever upon any previous per- 
sonal acquaintance with Jesus. 

Thus there is no clear evidence for supposing that Paul 
saw Jesus before the passion. At the same time there is no 
evidence to the contrary, except the evidence that is to be 
found in the silence of the Epistles. 

The argument from silence, precarious as it is, must here 
be allowed a certain amount of weight. If Paul had seen 
Jesus before the crucifixion, would not so important a fact 
have been mentioned somewhere in the Epistles? The matter 
is by no means absolutely clear; a brief glimpse of Jesus in 
the days of His flesh would perhaps not have seemed so im- 
portant to Paul, in view of the richer knowledge which came 
afterwards, as it would seem to us. The silence of the Epistles 
does, however, render improbable any extended contact between 
Paul and Jesus, particularly any active opposition of the 
youthful Paul toward Jesus. Paul was deeply penitent for 
having persecuted the Church; if he had committed the more 
terrible sin of having helped bring the Lord Himself to the 
shameful cross, the fact would naturally have appeared in 
his expressions of penitence. Even if Paul did see Jesus in 
Palestine, then, it is highly improbable that he was one of 
those who cried out to Pilate, "Crucify him, crucify him !" 

One thing, however, is certain. If Paul never saw Jesus 
in Palestine, he certainly heard about Him. The ministry of 
Jesus caused considerable stir both in Galilee and in Jerusalem. 
These things were not done in a corner. The appearance of 
Jesus at the last Passover aroused the passions of the multi- 
tude, and evidently caused the deepest concern to the au- 
thorities. Even one who was indifferent to the whole matter 


could hardly have helped learning something of the content 
of Jesus' teaching, and the main outline of the story of His 
death. But Paul, at least at a time only a very few years 
after the crucifixion, was not indifferent ; for he was an active 
persecutor. If he was in Palestine at all during the previous 
period, his interest probably began then. The outlines of 
Jesus' life and death were known to friend and foe alike, and 
certainly were not unknown to Paul before his conversion, at 
the time when he was persecuting the Church. It is only a 
woeful lack of historical imagination which can attribute to 
Paul, even before his conversion, a total ignorance of the 
earthly life of Jesus. 

The opposite error, however, is even more serious. If Paul 
before his conversion was not totally ignorant of Jesus, on 
the other hand his knowledge only increased his opposition to 
Jesus and Jesus* followers. It is not true that before the 
conversion Paul was gradually coming nearer to Christianity. 
Against any such supposition stands the explicit testimony 
of the Epistles. 

Despite that testimony, various attempts have been made 
to trace a psychological development in Paul which could 
have led to the conversion. Paul was converted through a 
vision of the risen Christ. According to the supernaturalistic 
view that vision was a "vision," not in any specialized mean- 
ing of the word, but in its original etymological meaning ; Paul 
actually "saw" the risen Lord. According to the modern nat- 
uralistic view, which rejects any direct creative interposition 
of God in the course of nature, different in kind from His 
works of providence, the vision was produced by the internal 
condition of the subject, accompanied perhaps by favorable 
conditions without the heat of the sun or a thunder storm or 
the like. But was the condition of the subject, in the case of 
Paul, really favorable to a vision of the risen Christ? If the 
vision of Christ was an hallucination, as it is held to be by 
modern naturalistic historians, how may the genesis of this 
pathological experience be explained? 

In the first place, a certain basis for the experience is sought 
in the physical organism of the subject. According to the 
Epistles, it is said, the apostle was subject to a recurrent 
malady ; this malady is spoken of in 2 Cor. xii. 1-8 in connec- 
tion with visions and revelations. In Gal. iv. 14, where it is 


said that the Galatians did not "spit out" when the apostle 
was with them, an allusion is sometimes discovered to the 
ancient custom of spitting to avoid contagion. A combina- 
tion of this passage with the one in 2 Corinthians is thought 
to establish a diagnosis of epilepsy, the effort being made to 
show that "spitting out" was particularly prevalent in the 
case of that disease. The visions then become an additional 
symptom of the epileptic seizures. 1 

But the diagnosis rests upon totally insufficient data. The 
visions are not regarded in 2 Corinthians as part of the buf- 
f etings of the angel of Satan ; on the contrary, the two things 
are sharply separated in Paul's mind; he rejoices in the 
visions, but prays the Lord that the buffetings may cease. 
It is not even said that the visions and the buffetings came 
close together; there is no real basis for the view that the 
buffetings consisted in nervous exhaustion following the visions. 
In Gal. iv. 14, the "spitting out" is probably to be taken 
figuratively, and the object is "your temptation in my flesh." 
The meaning then is simply, "You did not reject me or spue me 
out" ; and there is no allusion to the custom of "spitting out" 
for the purpose of avoiding contagion. It is unnecessary, 
therefore, to examine the elaborate argument of Krenkel by 
which he sought to show that epilepsy was particularly the 
disease against which spitting was practised as a prophylactic 

There is therefore absolutely no evidence to show that Paul 
was an epileptic, unless the very fact of his having visions be 
thought to furnish such evidence. But such a use of the 
visions prejudges the great question at issue, which concerns 
the objective validity of Paul's religious convictions. Further- 
more, the fact should always be borne in mind that Paul dis- 
tinguished the visions very sharply from the experience which 
he had near Damascus, when he saw the Lord. The visions 
are spoken of in 2 Corinthians apparently with reluctance, 
as something which concerned the apostle alone ; the Damascus 
experience was part of the evidence for the resurrection of 
Christ, and had a fundamental place in the apostle's mis- 
sionary preaching. All efforts to break down this distinction 
have failed. The apostle regarded the Damascus experience 

1 See Krenkel, Beitrdge zur Aufhellung der Oeschichte und der Brief e 
des Apostels Paulus, 1890, pp. 47-125. 


as unique not a mystery like the experiences which are men- 
tioned in 2 Corinthians, but a plain, palpable fact capable 
of being understood by all. 

But if the Damascus experience is to be regarded as an 
hallucination, it is not sufficient to exhibit a basis for it in the 
physical weakness of the apostle. Even if Paul was constitu- 
tionally predisposed to hallucinations, the experience of this 
particular hallucination must be shown to be possible. The 
challenge has often been accepted by modern historians. It is 
maintained that the elements of Paul's new conviction must have 
been forming gradually in his mind ; the Damascus experience, 
it is said, merely brought to light what was really already pres- 
ent. In this way, the enormous disparity between effect and 
cause is thought to be removed; the untold benefits of Paulin- 
ism are no longer to be regarded as due to the fortunate chance 
of an hallucination, induced by the weakness of the apostle 
and the heat of the desert sun, but rather to a spiritual de- 
velopment which the hallucination merely revealed. Thus the 
modern view of Paul's conversion, it is thought, may face 
bravely the scorn of Beyschlag, who exclaimed, when speaking 
of the naturalistic explanation of Paul's vision, "Oh blessed 
drop of blood . . . which by pressing at the right moment 
upon the brain of Paul, produced such a moral wonder." 
The drop of blood, it is said, or whatever may have been the 
physical basis of the Damascus experience, did not produce 
the wonders of the Pauline gospel; it merely brought into the 
sphere of consciousness a psychological process which had 
really been going on before. 

The existence of such a psychological process, by which 
the apostle was coming nearer to Christ, is sometimes thought 
to receive documentary support in one verse of the New Testa- 
ment. In Acts xxvi. 14, the risen Christ is represented as 
saying to Paul, "It is hard for thee to kick against the goads." 
According to this verse, it is said, Paul had been resisting a 
better conviction, gradually forming in his mind, that the 
disciples might be right about Jesus and he might be wrong; 
that, it is said, was the goad which was really driving him. 
He had indeed been resisting vigorously; he had been stifling 
his doubts by more and more feverish activity in persecution. 

1 Beyschlag, "Die Bekehrung des Apostels Paulus," in Theologische 
Studien und Kritiken, xxxvii, 1864, p. 241. 


But the resistance had not really brought him peace; the goad 
was really there. And at last, near Damascus, the resistance 
was overcome; the subconscious conviction which had brought 
tumult into his soul was at last allowed to come to the surface 
and rule his conscious life. 

At this point, the historian is in grave danger of becoming 
untrue to his own critical principles. Attention to the Book 
of Acts, it has been maintained, is not to be allowed to color 
the interpretation of the Pauline Epistles, which are the pri- 
mary sources of information. But here the procedure is re- 
versed. In the interests of a verse in Acts, standing, more- 
over, in a context which on naturalistic principles cannot be 
regarded as historical, the clear testimony of the Epistles is 
neglected. For Paul was certainly not conscious of any goad 
which before his conversion was forcing him into the new faith ; 
he knows nothing of doubts which assailed him during the 
period of his activity in persecution. On the contrary, the 
very point of the passage in Galatians, where he alludes to his 
persecuting activity, is the suddenness of his conversion. Far 
from gradually coming nearer to Christ he was in the very 
midst of his zeal for the Law when Christ called him. The 
purpose of the passage is to show that his gospel came to him 
without human intermediation. Before the conversion, he 
says, there was of course no human intermediation, since he 
was an active persecutor. He could not have spoken in this 
way if before the conversion he had already become half con- 
vinced that those whom he was persecuting were right. More- 
over, throughout the Epistles there appears in the apostle 
not the slightest consciousness of his having acted against 
better convictions when he persecuted the Church. In 1 Tim. 
i. 13 he distinctly says that he carried on the persecution in 
ignorance; and even if Timothy be regarded as post-Pauline, 
the silence of the other epistles at least points in the same 
direction. Paul was deeply penitent for having persecuted 
the Church of God, but apparently he did not lay to his charge 
the black sin of having carried on the persecution in the face 
of better convictions. When he laid the Church waste he 
thought he was doing God service. In the very midst of his 
mad persecuting activity, he says, apart from any teaching 
from men apart, we may certainly infer, from any favorable 
impressions formed in his mind the Lord appeared to him 


and gave him his gospel. Paul stakes everything upon the 
evidential value of the appearance, which was able suddenly 
to overcome an altogether hostile attitude. Such is the self- 
testimony of the apostle. It rests as a serious weight upon 
all attempts at making the conversion the result of a psycho- 
logical process. 

Certainly the passage in Acts will not help to bear the 
weight. When the risen Christ says to Paul, "It is hard for 
thee to kick against the goads," He need not mean at all that 
the presence of the goad had been known to Paul before that 
hour. The meaning may be simply that the will of Christ is 
resistless; all opposition is in vain, the appointed hour of 
Christ has arrived. Conscious opposition on the part of Paul 
to a better conviction is certainly not at all implied. No 
doubt Paul was really miserable when he was a persecutor; 
all activity contrary to the plan of Christ brings misery. But 
that he had the slightest inkling of the source of his misery 
or even of the fact of it need not be supposed. It is even pos- 
sible that the "hardness" of resistance to the goad is to be 
found only in the very moment of the conversion. "All re- 
sistance," says the risen Christ, "all hesitation, is as hopeless 
as for the ox to kick against the goad ; instant obedience alone 
is in place." 

The weight of the apostle's own testimony is therefore in 
no sense removed by Acts xxvi. 14. That testimony is un- 
equivocally opposed to all attempts at exhibiting a psycho- 
logical process culminating in the conversion. These attempts, 
however, because of the importance which has been attributed 
to them, must now be examined. In general, they are becoming 
less and less elaborate; contemporary scholars are usually 
content to dismiss the psychological problem of the conversion 
with a few general observations about the secret of personality, 
or, at the most, a brief word about the possible condition of 
the apostle's mind. Since the direct interposition of the risen 
Christ is rejected, it is held that there must have been some 
psychological preparation for the Damascus experience, but 
what that preparation was remains hidden, it is said, in the 
secret places of the soul, which no psychological analysis can 
ever fully reveal. 

If, however, the problem is not thus to be dismissed as 
insoluble, no unanimity has been achieved among those who 


attempt a solution. Two principal lines of solution of the 
problem may perhaps be distinguished that which begins with 
the objective evidence as it presented itself to the persecutor, 
and that which starts with the seventh chapter of Romans and 
the persecutor's own sense of need. The former line was fol- 
lowed by Holsten, whose monographs still constitute the most 
elaborate exposition of the psychological process supposed 
to lie back of the conversion. 1 According to Holsten, the 
process centered in the consideration of the Cross of Christ. 
That consideration of course resulted at first in an attitude 
of hostility on the part of Paul. The Cross was a shameful 
thing; the proclamation of a crucified Messiah appeared, 
therefore, to the devout Pharisee as an outrageous blasphemy. 
But the disciples represented the Cross as in accordance with 
the will of God, and supported their contention by the evidence 
for the resurrection; the resurrection was made to overcome 
the offense of the Cross. But against the evidence for the 
resurrection, Holsten believes, Paul was helpless, the possibility 
of resurrection being fully recognized in his Pharisaic training. 
What then if the resurrection really vindicated the claims of 
Jesus to be the Messiah? Paul was by no means convinced, 
Holsten believes, that such was the case. But the possibility 
was necessarily in his mind, if only for the purposes of refuta- 
tion. At this point Paul began to advance, according to 
Holsten, beyond the earlier disciples. On the assumption that 
the resurrection really did vindicate the claims of Jesus, the 
Cross would have to be explained. But an explanation lay 
ready to hand, and Paul applied this explanation with a thor- 
oughness which the earlier disciples had not attained. The 
earlier disciples removed the offense of the Cross by repre- 
senting the Cross as part of the plan of God for the Messiah; 
Paul exhibited the meaning of that plan much more clearly 
than they. He exhibited the meaning of the Cross by apply- 
ing to it the category of vicarious suffering, which could be 
found, for example, in Isaiah liii. At this point the pre- 
Christian development of Paul was over. The Pauline "gnosis 

1 Holsten, Zum Evanyelium des Paulus und des Petrus, 1868. Against 
Holsten, see Beyschlag, "Die Bekehrung des Apostels Paulus, mit beson- 
derer Riicksicht auf die Erklarungsversuche von Baur und Holsten," in 
Theologische Studien und Kritiken, xxxvii, 1864, pp. 197-264; "Die Visions- 
hypothese in ihrer neuesten Begriindung. Eine Duplik gegen D. Holsten," 
ibid., xliii, 1870, pp. 7-50, 189-263. 


of the Cross" was already formed. Of course, before the con- 
version it was to Paul entirely a matter of supposition. On 
the supposition, still regarded as false, that the resurrection 
had really taken place, the Cross, far from being an offense, 
would become a glorious fact. All the essential elements of 
Paul's gospel of the Cross were thus present in Paul's mind 
before the conversion ; the validity of them had been posited by 
him for the purposes of argument. The only thing that was 
lacking to make Paul a disciple of Jesus was conviction of the 
fact of the resurrection. That conviction was supplied by 
the Damascus experience. The unstable equilibrium then was 
over ; the elements of the Pauline gospel, which were all present 
before, fell at once into their proper places. 

The other way of explaining the conversion starts from 
the seventh chapter of Romans and the dissatisfaction which 
Paul is thought to have experienced under the Law. Paul, it 
is said, was a Pharisee; he made every effort to keep the Law 
of God. But he was too earnest to be satisfied with a merely 
external obedience; and real obedience he had not attained. 
He was therefore tormented by a sense of sin. That sense 
of sin no doubt led him into a more and more feverish effort 
to keep the letter of the Law and particularly to show his 
zeal by persecuting the disciples of Jesus. But all his efforts 
were vain; his obedience remained insufficient; the curse of 
the Law still rested upon him. What if the vain effort could 
be abandoned? What if the disciples of Jesus were right? 
Of course, he believed, they were not right, but what if they 
were? What if the Messiah had really died for the sins of 
i believers, in accordance with Isaiah liii? What if salvation were 
, attainable not by merit but by divine grace? These questions, 
it is supposed, were in the mind of Paul. He answered them 
still in the negative, but his misery kept them ever before his 
mind. The Law was thus a schoolmaster to bring him to 
Christ. He was ready for the vision. 

In both of these lines of explanation importance is often 
attributed to the impression produced upon Paul's mind by 
the character of the disciples. Whence did they derive their 
bravery and their joy in the midst of persecution? Whence 
came the fervor of their love, whence the firmness of their 
faith? The persecutor, it is said, was impressed against his 


The fundamental objection to all these theories of psycho- 
logical development is that they describe only what might 
have been or what ought to have been, and not what actually 
was. No doubt Paul ought to have been coming nearer to 
Christianity; but as a matter of fact he was rather getting 
further away, and he records the fact in no uncertain terms 
in his Epistles. There are objections, moreover, to the various 
theories of development in detail; and the advocates of one 
theory are often the severest critics of another. 

With regard to Holsten's exposition of the "gnosis of 
the Cross," for example, there is not the slightest evidence 
that the pre-Christian Jews interpreted Isaiah liii of the vi- 
carious sufferings of the Messiah, or had any notion of the 
Messiah's vicarious death. 1 It is not true, moreover, as 
Beyschlag pointed out against Hols ten, that Paul was help- 
less in the face of the evidence for the resurrection. 2 Accord- 
ing to Paul's Pharisaic training, the resurrection would come 
only at the end of the age ; a resurrection like the resurrection 
of Jesus, therefore, was by no means a matter of course, and 
could be established only by positive evidence of the most direct 
and unequivocal kind. 

With regard to the sense of sin as the goad which forced 
Paul to accept the Saviour, there is no evidence that before 
his conversion Paul was under real conviction of sin. It is 
very doubtful whether Rom. vii. 7-25, with its account of the 
struggle between the flesh and the higher nature of man, refers 
to the unregenerate rather than to the regenerate life; and 
even if the former view is correct, it is doubtful whether the 
description is taken from the apostle's own experience. At 
any rate, the struggle, even if it be a struggle in the unre- 
generate man, is described from the point of view of the re- 
generate; it is not implied, therefore, that before the entrance 
of the Spirit of God a man is fully conscious of his own help- 
lessness and of the desperateness of the struggle. The passage 
therefore, does not afford any certain information about the 
pre-Christian life of Paul. Undoubtedly before the conversion 
the conscience of Paul was aroused; he was conscientious in 

*See Schiirer, Geschichte des judischen Volkes, 4te Aufl., ii, 1907, pp. 
648-651 (English Translation, A History of the Jewish People, Division 
II, vol. ii, 1885, pp. 184-187). 

3 Beyschlag, "Die Visionshypothese in ihrer neuesten Begriindung," in 
Theologische Studien und Kritiken, xliii, 1870, pp. 19-21. 


his devotion to the Law. Probably he was conscious of his 
failings. But that such consciousness of failure amounted to 
anything like that genuine conviction of sin which leads a 
man to accept the Saviour remains very doubtful. Recognized 
failure to keep the Law perfectly led in the case of Paul merely 
to greater zeal for the Law, a zeal which was manifested espe- 
cially in the persecution of a blasphemous sect whose teaching 
was subversive of the authority of Moses. 

Finally, it is highly improbable that Paul was favorably 
impressed by the bravery of those whom he was persecuting. 
It may seem strange at first sight that the same man who 
wrote the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians should have 
haled helpless men and women to prison without a qualm, or 
listened without pity to the dying words of Stephen, "Lord, 
lay not this sin to their charge." But it is very dangerous 
to argue back from the Christian life of Paul to the life of 
Paul the Pharisee. Paul himself was conscious of a complete 
moral transformation as having taken place in him when he 
saw the Lord near Damascus. What was impossible for him 
after that transformation may well have been possible before. 
Moreover, if, despite such considerations, we could argue back 
from Paul the disciple of Jesus to Paul the Pharisee, there is 
one characteristic of the apostle which would never have per- 
mitted him to persecute those by whom he Was favorably im- 
pressed namely, his complete sincerity. The picture of Saul 
the doubter, torn by conflicting emotions, impressed by the 
calmness and bravery and magnanimity of those whom he was 
persecuting, yet stifling such impressions by persecuting zeal, 
is very romantic, but very un-Pauline. 

But in attributing the conversion of Paul altogether to 
the experience on the road to Damascus, are we not heaping 
up into one moment what must of very necessity in conscious 
life be the work of years? Is it conceivable that ideas should 
have been implanted in the mind of a person not by processes 
of acquisition but mechanically as though by a hypodermic 
syringe? Would not such an experience, even if it were pos- 
sible, be altogether destructive of personality? 

The objection serves to correct possible misunderstandings. 
The view of the conversion which has just been set forth does 
not mean that when Paul drew near to Damascus on that 
memorable day he was ignorant of the facts about Jesus. I| 


he had never heard of Jesus, or if having heard of Him he 
knew absolutely nothing about Him, then perhaps the con- 
version would have been not only supernatural but inconceiv- 
able. But it is not the traditional view of the conversion 
which is guilty of such exaggerations. They are the product 
rather of that separation of Paul from the historical Jesus 
which appears for example in Wrede and in Bousset. Accord- 
ing to any reasonable view of Paul's pre-Christian experience, 
Paul was well acquainted, before the conversion, with many 
of the facts about Jesus' life and death; what he received on 
the road to Damascus was a new interpretation of the facts 
and a new attitude toward them. He had known the facts be- 
fore, but they had filled him with hatred; now his hatred was 
changed into love. 

Even after exaggerations have been removed, however, the 
change wrought by the Damascus experience remains revolu- 
tionary enough. Is that change conceivable? Could hatred 
have been changed into love merely by an experience which 
convinced Paul of the fact of the resurrection? The answer 
to this question depends altogether upon the nature of the 
Damascus experience. If that experience was merely an hal- 
lucination, the question must be answered in the negative; 
an hallucination could never have produced the profound 
changes in the personal life of Paul which have just been 
contemplated ; and the historian would be obliged to fall back, 
despite the unequivocal testimony of the Epistles, upon some 
theory of psychological development of which the hallucination 
would only be the climax. But even those who maintain the 
super-naturalistic view of the conversion have too often failed 
to do justice to the content of the experience. One fundamental 
feature of the experience has too often been forgotten the 
appearance on the road to Damascus was the appearance of 
a person. Sometimes the event has been regarded merely as 
a supernatural interposition of God intended to produce be- 
lief in the fact of the resurrection, as merely a sign. Un- 
doubtedly it was a sign. But it was far more; it was contact 
between persons. But contact between persons, even under 
ordinary conditions, is exceedingly mysterious ; merely a look 
or the tone of the voice sometimes produces astonishing results. 
Who has not experienced the transition from mere hearsay 
knowledge of a person to actual contact? One meeting is 


often sufficient to revolutionize the entire impression; indif- 
ference or hostility gives place at once to enthusiastic devotion. 
Those who speak of the transformation wrought in Paul by 
the appearance of Jesus as magical or mechanical or incon- 
ceivable have never reflected upon the mysteries of personal 

Only, it must have been a real person whom Paul met on 
the road to Damascus not a vision, not a mere sign. If it 
was merely a vision or a sign, all the objections remain in 
force. But if it was really Jesus, the sight of His face and 
the words of love which He uttered may have been amply suf- 
ficient, provided the heart of Paul was renewed by the power 
of God's Spirit, to transform hatred into love. To call such 
an experience magic is to blaspheme all that is highest in 
human life. God was using no unworthy instrument when, by 
the personal presence of the Saviour, He transformed the life 
of Paul. 

There is, therefore, no moral or psychological objection 
in the way of a simple acceptance of Paul's testimony about 
the conversion. And that testimony is unequivocal. Paul was 
not converted by any teaching which he received from men; 
he was not converted as Christians are usually converted, by 
the preaching of the truth or by that revelation of Christ 
which is contained in the lives of His followers. Jesus Him- 
self in the case of Paul did in visible presence what He ordi- 
narily does by the means which He has appointed. Upon this 
immediateness of the conversion, Paul is willing to stake the 
whole of his life; upon it he bases his apostolic authority. 




AFTER the conversion, according to the Book of Acts, 
Paul received the ministrations of Ananias, and was baptized. 1 
These details are not excluded by the Epistle to the Gala- 
tians. In the Epistle, Paul says that after God had revealed 
His son in him he did not confer with flesh and blood ; 2 but 
the conference with flesh and blood which he was concerned 
to deny was a conference with the original apostles at Jerusa- 
lem about the principles of the gospel, not a conference with 
humble disciples at Damascus. An over-interpretation of 
Galatians would here lead almost to absurdity. Is it to be 
supposed that after the conversion Paul refused to have any- 
thing whatever to do with those who were now his brethren? 
In particular, is it to be supposed that he who afterwards 
placed baptism as a matter of course at the beginning of the 
new life for every Christian should himself not have been bap- 
tized? The Epistle to the Galatians does not mention his 
baptism, but that omission merely illustrates the incomplete- 
ness of the account. And if the baptism of Paul, which cer- 
tainly must have taken place, is omitted from Galatians, other 
omissions must not be regarded as any more significant. 
The first two chapters of Galatians are not intended to fur- 
nish complete biography. Only those details are mentioned 
which were important for Paul's argument or had been mis- 
represented by his Judaizing opponents. 

After God had revealed His son in him, Paul says, he 
went away into Arabia. Apparently this journey to Arabia is 
to be put very soon after the revelation, though the construc- 
tion of the word "immediately" in Gal. i. 16 is not perfectly 
clear. If that word goes merely with the negative part of 
the sentence, then nothing is said about the time of the journey 

J Acts ix. 10-19; xxii. 12-16. 
2 Gal. i. 16. 



to Arabia; Paul would say merely that in the period just 
after the revelation of God's Son he did not go up to Jerusa- 
lem. There would then be no difficulty in the assertion of Acts 
which seems to put a stay in Damascus with preaching ac- 
tivity in the synagogues immediately after the baptism. This 
interpretation is adopted by a number of modern commenta- 
tors, not only by B. Weiss and Zahn, who might be suspected 
of a bias in favor of the Book of Acts, but also by Sieffert 
and Lipsius and Bousset. Perhaps more naturally, however, 
the word "immediately" in Galatians is to be taken gram- 
matically with the positive part of the sentence or with the 
whole sentence; the sentence would then mean, "Immediately, 
instead of conferring with flesh and blood or going up to 
Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, I went away 
into Arabia and again I returned to Damascus." Even so, 
however, there is no real contradiction with Acts. When Paul 
tells what happened "immediately" after the revelation he 
is thinking in terms not of days but of journeys. The very 
first journey after the conversion and it took place soon 
was not to Jerusalem but to Arabia. When taken in the con- 
text the sentence does not exclude a brief preaching activity 
in Damascus before the journey to Arabia. Grammatically 
the word "immediately" may go with the positive part of the 
sentence, but in essential import it goes rather with the negative 
part. What Paul is really concerned about is to deny that he 
went up to Jerusalem soon after his conversion. 

The Book of Acts does not mention the journey to Arabia 
and does not make clear where it may be inserted. Sometimes 
it is placed in the middle of Acts ix. 19, before the words, 
"And he was with the disciples in Damascus some days." In 
that case the discussion about the word "immediately" in Gal. 
i. 16 would be unnecessary; that word could be taken strictly 
with the positive part of the sentence without contradicting 
the Book of Acts; the journey to Arabia would have preceded 
the preaching activity in Damascus. Or the journey may be 
placed before Acts ix. 22; it would then be the cause of the 
greater vigor of Paul's preaching. Finally, it may be placed 
simply within the "many days" of Acts ix. 23. The phrase, 
"many days," in Acts apparently is used to indicate fairly 
long periods of time. It must be remembered that the author 
of Acts is not concerned here about chronology; perhaps he 


did not trouble himself to investigate the exact period of 
time that elapsed before the journey to Jerusalem. He was 
content merely to record the fact that before Paul went to 
Jerusalem he engaged for a considerable time in preaching in 
the Damascus synagogues. Certainly he must here be acquitted 
of any attempt at subserving the interests of harmony in the 
Church by a falsification of history. It is generally recog- 
nized now, against the Tubingen contentions, that if the 
author of Acts contradicts Galatians, his contradiction is naive 
rather than deliberate; the contradiction or apparent contra- 
diction at least shows the complete independence of his ac- 
count. He is not deliberately shortening up the time before 
Paul's first conference with Peter in the interests of a com- 
promise between a Pauline and a Petrine party in the Church; 
if he had had the "three years" of Paul before him as he wrote 
he would have had no objection to using the detail in his his- 
tory. But investigation of the chronology did not here seem 
to be important. The detail of the three years was vastly 
important for Paul's argument in Galatians, where he is 
showing that for a considerable period after the conversion 
he did not even meet those from whom he was said to have 
received his gospel, but it was not at all important in a gen- 
eral history of the progress of the Church. 

The extent of the journey to Arabia, both geographically 
and temporally, is entirely unknown. "Arabia" included not 
only very remote regions but also a territory almost at the 
gates of Damascus ; and all that may be determined about the 
length of the Arabian residence is that it was less than three 
years. Possibly Paul remained only a few weeks in Arabia. 
In that case the omission of the journey from the general 
narrative in Acts is very natural. The importance of Arabia 
in Paul's argument is due simply to the fact that Arabia was 
not Jerusalem; Paul mentions the journey to Arabia simply 
in contrast with a journey to Jerusalem which he is exclud- 
ing in the interests of his argument. The only thing that 
might seem to require a considerable stay in Arabia is the 
narrative of Paul's first Jerusalem visit in Acts ix. 26-30 ; the 
distrust of Paul displayed by the Jerusalem Christians is 
more easily explicable if after his conversion he had been 
living for the most part in a region more remote than Damascus 
from Jerusalem. A similar consideration might possibly sug- 


gest that in Arabia Paul was engaged in meditation rather 
than in missionary activity; he had not yet become so well 
known as a preacher that the Christians of Jerusalem could 
begin to glorify God in him, as they did a little later. Pos- 
sibly also there is an implied contrast in Gal. i. 16, 17 be- 
tween conference with the original apostles and direct com- 
munion with Christ ; possibly Paul means to say, "Instead of 
conferring with flesh and blood in Jerusalem, I communed with 
the Lord in Arabia." Despite such considerations, the matter 
is by no means perfectly clear; it is perfectly possible that 
Paul engaged in missionary work in Arabia. But at any rate, 
even if that view be correct, he also engaged in meditation. 
Paul was never a mere "practical Christian" in the modern 
sense; labor in his case was always based upon thought, and 
life upon doctrine. 

The escape of Paul from Damascus just before his first 
visit to Jerusalem is narrated in Acts ix. 23-25 and in 2 Cor. 
xi. 32, 33. The mention of the ethnarch of Aretas the Nabatean 
king as having authority at or near Damascus causes some 
difficulty, and might not have passed unchallenged if it had 
been attested by Acts. But as a matter of fact, it is just this 
detail which appears, not in Acts, but in an epistle of Paul. 
The first visit of Paul to Jerusalem after the conversion 
is described in Acts ix. 26-30; xxii. 17-21 ; Gal. i. 18, 19. In 
itself, the account in Acts bears every mark of trustworthiness. 
The only detail which might seem surprising is that the Jerusa- 
lem Christians would not at first believe that Paul was a 
disciple; must not a notable event like the conversion of so 
prominent a persecutor have become known at Jerusalem in the 
course of three years? But if Paul had spent a large part 
of the three years in Arabia, whence news of him could not 
be easily obtained, the report of his conversion might have 
come to seem like a remote rumor; the very fact of his with- 
drawal might, as has been suggested, have cast suspicion upon 
the reality of his conversion. Emotion, moreover, often lags 
behind cold reasoning; the heart is more difficult to convince 
than the mind. The Jerusalem Christians had known Paul 
only as a cruel and relentless persecutor ; it was not so easy for 
them to receive him at once as a brother. This one detail is 
therefore not at all sufficient to reverse the favorable im- 


pression which is made by the Lucan account of the visit as 
a whole. 

The chief objection to the account is usually found in a 
comparison with what Paul himself says in Galatians. In 
itself, the account is natural; but does it agree with Paul's 
own testimony? One apparent divergence may indeed soon be 
dismissed. In Acts ix. 27 it is said that Paul was introduced 
to "the apostles," whereas in Gal. i. 19 it is said that Paul saw 
only James, the brother of the Lord (who was not among the 
Twelve), and Peter. But possibly the author of Acts is using 
the term "apostle" in a sense broad enough to include James, 
so that Paul actually saw two "apostles" Peter and James 
or else the plural is used merely in a generic sense to indi- 
cate that Paul was introduced to whatever representative or 
representatives of the apostolic body may have happened to be 

Much more weight is commonly attributed to an objection 
drawn from the general representation of the visit. Accord- 
ing to Acts, Paul was associated publicly with the Jerusalem 
disciples and engaged in an active mission among the Greek- 
speaking Jews ; according to Galatians, it is argued, he was 
in strict hiding, since he did not become acquainted personally 
with the churches of Judaea (Gal. i. 22). But the objection, 
as has already been observed, depends upon an over-interpre- 
tation of Gal. i. 22. Whether or no "Judaea" means the coun- 
try in sharp distinction from the capital, in either case all 
that is necessarily meant is that Paul did not become acquainted 
generally with the Judaean churches. The capital may well 
have formed an exception. If Paul had meant in the preceding 
verses that he had been in hiding in Jerusalem he would have 
expressed himself very differently. Certainly the modern rep- 
resentation of the visit is in itself improbable. The picture 
of Paul entering Jerusalem under cover of darkness or under 
a disguise and being kept as a mysterious stranger somewhere 
in a secret chamber of Peter's house is certainly much less 
natural than the account which the Book of Acts gives of the 
earnest attempt of Paul to repair the damage which he had 
done to the Jerusalem Church. It is very doubtful whether 
concealment of Paul in Jerusalem would have been possible 
even if Paul had consented to it ; he was too well-known in 


the city. Of course this last argument would be answered if, 
as Heitmiiller and Loisy suppose, Paul had never been in Jeru- 
salem at all, even as a persecutor. But that hypothesis is 
faced by absolutely decisive objections, as has already been 

The whole modern representation of the first visit, there- 
fore, is based solely upon a very doubtful interpretation of 
one verse, and is in itself highly unnatural. Surely it is much 
more probable that the real reason why Paul saw only Peter 
and James among the leaders was that the others were out 
of the city, engaged in missionary work in Judaea. Their 
presence in the churches of Judaea would explain the mention 
of those churches in Gal. i. 22. Paul is indicating the meager- 
ness of his direct contact with the original apostles. The 
churches of Judaea would become important in his argument 
if they were the scene of the apostles' labors. Against a very 
doubtful interpretation of the account in Galatians, which 
brings it into contradiction with Acts, may therefore be placed 
an entirely consistent interpretation which, when the account 
is combined with Acts, produces a thoroughly natural repre- 
sentation of the course of events. 

Paul says nothing about what happened during his fifteen- 
day intercourse with Peter. But it is highly improbable, as 
even Holsten pointed out, that he spent the time gazing silently 
at Peter as though Peter were one of the sights of the city. 1 
Undoubtedly there was conversation between the two men, and 
in the conversation the subject of the life and death of Jesus 
could hardly be avoided. In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul 
denies, indeed, that he received his gospel from men. But the 
bare facts about Jesus did not constitute a gospel. The facts 
were known to some extent to friend and foe alike ; Paul knew 
something about them even before his conversion and then in- 
creased his knowledge through intercourse with the disciples 
at Damascus. The fifteen days spent in company with Peter 
could hardly have failed to bring a further enrichment of his 

In 1 Cor. xv. 3-7, Paul gives a summary of what he had 

i a Holsten, op. cit., p. 118, Anm.: "Aber naturlich kann in dem ioropr/a 
vKirfa nich^ liegen, Paulus sei nach Jerusalem gegangen, urn den Petrus 
fiinfzehn tage lang stumm anzuschauen. Die beiden manner werden mit- 
einander liber das evangelium Christi geredet haben." 


"received" the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances 
of Jesus. The vast majority of modern investigators, of all 
shades of opinion, find in these verses a summary of the Jerusa- 
lem tradition which Paul received from Peter during the fifteen 
days. Undoubtedly Paul knew some if not all of these facts be- 
fore he went to Jerusalem ; the facts were probably common 
property of the disciples in Damascus as well as in Jerusalem. 
But it is inconceivable that he should not have tested and supple- 
mented the tradition by what Peter, whose name stands first 
(1 Cor. xv. 5) in the list of the appearances, said in Jerusalem. 
Recently, indeed, an attempt has been made by Heitmiiller to 
represent the tradition as being derived merely from the Chris- 
tian communities in Damascus or Antioch, and at best only 
indirectly from Jerusalem; these communities are thus inter- 
posed as an additional link between Paul and the Jerusalem 
Church. 1 But the very purpose of the passage in 1 Cor- 
inthians is to emphasize the unity of teaching, not between Paul 
and certain obscure Christians in Hellenistic communities, but 
between Paul and the "apostles." "Whether therefore," Paul 
says, "it be I or they, so we preach and so ye believed" (1 
Cor. xv. 11). The attempt at separating the factual basis of 
the Pauline gospel from the primitive tradition shatters upon 
the rock of 1 Corinthians and Galatians. In Galatians, Paul 
says he was in direct intercourse with Peter, and in 1 Cor- 
inthians he emphasizes the unity of his teaching with that of 
Peter and the other apostles. 

After leaving Jerusalem Paul went into the regions of 
Syria and of Cilicia ; the Book of Acts, more specifically, men- 
tions Tarsus (Cilicia) and Antioch (Syria). The period 
which Paul spent in Tarsus or in its vicinity is for us alto- 
gether obscure. In all probability he engaged in missionary 
work and included Gentiles in his mission. Certainly at the 
conclusion of the Cilician period Barnabas thought him suit- 
able for the specifically Gentile work at Antioch, and it is 
probable that he had already demonstrated his suitability. 
His apostolic consciousness, also, as attested both by the Book 
of Acts and by Galatians, suggests that the beginning of his 
life-work as apostle to the Gentiles was not too long deferred. 

1 Heitmuller, "Zum Problem Paulus und Jesus," in Zeitschrift fur die 
neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, xiii, 1912, pp. 320-337, especially p. 331. 


At Antioch, the disciples were first called "Christians" 
(Acts xi. 26). The objections, especially linguistic, formerly 
urged against this assertion of Acts have now for the most 
part been silenced. The assertion is important as showing 
that the Church was becoming so clearly separate from the 
synagogue that a separate name had to be coined by the Gentile 
population. Tremendous importance is attributed to the 
Christian community at Antioch by Bousset and Heitmiiller, 
who believe that the religion of that community had diverged in 
fundamental respects from the religion of the primitive Jerusa- 
lem Church, and that this extra-Palestinian Christianity, and 
not the Christianity of Jerusalem, is the basis of the religion 
of Paul. According to this hypothesis, the independence of 
Paul which is attested in Galatians is apparently to be re- 
garded as independence merely over against the intimate friends 
of Jesus ; apparently Paul had no objection against taking 
over the teaching of the Greek-speaking Christians of Antioch. 
This representation is out of accord with what has just been 
established about the relations between Paul and the Jerusalem 
Church. It must be examined more in detail, however, in a 
subsequent chapter. 

After at least a year probably more Barnabas and 
Saul, according to Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25, were sent up to Jerusa- 
lem to bear the gifts of the Antioch Church, which had been 
collected in view of the famine prophesied by Agabus. This 
"famine visit" is the second visit of Paul to Jerusalem which 
is mentioned in Acts. The second visit which is mentioned 
in Galatians is the one described in Gal. ii. 1-10, at which Paul 
came into conference with the pillars of the Jerusalem 
Church. May the two be identified? Is Gal. ii. 1-10 an ac- 
count of the visit which is mentioned in Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 ? l 

Chronology opposes no absolutely insuperable objection 
to the identification. The apparent objection is as follows. 
The famine visit of Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 took place at about the 
same time as the events narrated in Acts xii, since the narrative 
of those events is interposed between the mention of the com- 
ing of Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem (Acts xi. 30) and that 
of their return to Antioch (Acts xii. 25). But the events of 

1 For what follows, compare "Recent Criticism of the Book of Acts," 
in Princeton Theological Review, xvii, 1919, pp. 597-608. 


Acts xii include the death of Herod Agrippa I, which certainly 
occurred in 44 A.D. The famine visit, therefore, apparently 
occurred at about 44 A.D. But the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took 
place fourteen years (Gal. ii. 1) after the first visit, which in 
turn took place three years (Gal. i. 18) after the conversion. 
Therefore the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took place seventeen (3+14) 
years after the conversion. But if that visit be identified with 
the famine visit and the famine visit took place in 44 A.D., the 
conversion must have taken place seventeen years before 44 
A.D. or in 27 A.D., which of course is impossible since the 
crucifixion of Jesus did not occur till several years after that 
time. At first sight, therefore, it looks as though the identi- 
fication of Gal. ii. 1-10 with the famine visit were impossible. 
Closer examination, however, shows that the chronological 
data all allow a certain amount of leeway. In the first place, 
it is by no means clear that the famine visit took place at 
exactly the time of the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 A.D. 
The author of Acts has been carrying on two threads of narra- 
tive, one dealing with Antioch and the other dealing with 
Jerusalem. In Acts xi. 19-30 he has carried the Antioch nar- 
rative on to a point beyond that reached in the Jerusalem 
narrative. Now, when the two narratives are brought together 
by the visit of Barnabas and Paul to Jerusalem, the author 
pauses in order to bring the Jerusalem narrative up to date; 
he tells what has been happening at Jerusalem during the pe- 
riod in which the reader's attention has been diverted to An- 
tioch. The events of Acts xii may therefore have taken place 
some time before the famine visit of Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 ; the 
famine visit may have taken place some time after 44 A.D. 
Information in Josephus with regard to the famine, 1 combined 
with the order of the narrative in Acts, permits the placing of 
the famine visit as late as 46 A.D. In the second place, it 
is by no means certain that the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 took 
place seventeen years after the conversion. The ancients 
sometimes used an inclusive method of reckoning time, in ac- 
cordance with which "three years" might mean only one full 
year with parts of two other years ; January, 1923, would thus 

1 Josephus, Antiq. XX. v. 2. See Schiirer, Oeschichte des jiidischen 
Volkes, 3te u. 4te Aufl., i, 1901, p. 56T (English Translation, A History of 
the Jewish People, Division I, vol. ii, 1890, pp. 169f.). 


be "three years" after December, 1921. According to this 
method of reckoning, the "fourteen years" of Gal. ii. 1 would 
become only thirteen; and the "three years" of Gal. i. 18 would 
become only two years ; the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 would thus be 
only fifteen (13 + 2) instead of seventeen (14 + 3) years 
after the conversion. If, then, the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 be 
identified with the famine visit, and the famine visit took place 
in 46 A.D., the conversion took place in 31 A.D. (46 15), 
which is a possible date. Moreover, it is not certain that the 
"fourteen years" of Gal. ii. 1 is to be reckoned from the first 
visit; it may be reckoned from the conversion, so that the 
"three years" of Gal. i. 18 is to be included in it and not added 
to it. In that case, the conversion took place only fourteen 
(or, by the inclusive method of reckoning, thirteen) years be- 
fore the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10; or, if the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10 
be identified with the famine visit, fourteen (or thirteen) years 
before 46 A.D., that is, in 32 A.D. (or 33 A.D.), which is a 
perfectly possible date. 

But of course chronology does not decide in favor of the 
identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 ; at best 
it only permits that identification. Chronologically it is even 
slightly more convenient to identify Gal. ii. 1-10 with a visit 
subsequent to the famine visit. The only subsequent visit 
which comes seriously in question is the visit at the time of the 
"Apostolic Council" of Acts xv. 1-29. The advantages of 
identifying Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, therefore, 
must be compared with those of identifying it with Acts xv. 

If the former identification be adopted, then Paul in Gala- 
tians has not mentioned the Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29. 
Since the Apostolic Council dealt with the same question as 
that which was under discussion in Galatians, and since it 
constituted an important step in Paul's relations with the 
original apostles, it is a little difficult to see how Paul could 
have omitted it from the Epistle. This objection has often 
weighed against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with the 
famine visit. But in recent years the objection has been re- 
moved by the hypothesis which places the writing of Galatians 
actually before the Apostolic Council; obviously Paul could 
not be expected to mention the Council if the Council had not 


yet taken place. This early dating of Galatians has been 
advocated by a German Roman Catholic scholar, Weber, 1 
and recently it has won the support of men of widely divergent 
points of view, such as Emmet, 2 Kirsopp Lake, 3 Ramsay, 4 
and Plooij. 5 Of course this hypothesis depends absolutely 
upon the correctness of the "South Galatian" theory of the 
address of the Epistle, which finds "the Churches of Galatia" 
of Gal. i. 2 in Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe; 
for the churches in "North Galatia," if there were any such, 
were not founded till after the Apostolic Council (Acts xvi. 

One objection to the early dating of Galatians is derived 
from the close relation between that epistle and the Epistle 
to the Romans. If Galatians was written before the Apostolic 
Council it is the earliest of the extant epistles of Paul and is 
separated by a period of some six or eight years from the 
epistles of the third missionary journey with which it has 
ordinarily been grouped. Thus the order of the Epistles would 
be Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 
Romans. This order seems to tear asunder the epistles which 
naturally belong together. The objection was partially over- 
come by a bold hypothesis of Lake, who suggested that the 
Epistle to the Romans was first composed at an early time 
as an encyclical letter, and that later, being modified by the 
addition of a Roman address and other suitable details, it 
was sent to the Church at Rome. 7 On this hypothesis Gala- 
tians and the substance of Romans would be kept together be- 

*Die Abfassung des Oalaterbriefs vor dem Apostelkonzil, 1900. 

2 "Galatians the Earliest of the Pauline Epistles," in Expositor, 7th 
Series, vol. ix, 1910, pp. 242-254 (reprinted in The Eschatological Question 
in the Gospels, 1911, pp. 191-209); St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, 1912, 
pp. xiv-xxii. 

3 The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, pp. 265-304. In a later book, 
Lake has modified his views about the relation between Galatians and Acts. 
The historicity of Acts xv. 1-29 is now abandoned. See Landmarks in the 
History of Early Christianity, 1920, pp. 63-66. 

* Ramsay, "Suggestions on the History and Letters of St. Paul. I. The 
Date of the Galatian Letter," in Expositor, VIII, v, 1913, pp. 127-145. 

6 Plooij, De chronologie van het leven van Paulas, 1918, pp. 111-140. 

8 Maurice Jones ("The Date of the Epistle to the Galatians," in Ex- 
positor, VIII, vi, 1913, pp. 193-208) has adduced from the Book of Acts 
various arguments against the early date of Galatians, which, though worthy 
of attention, are not quite decisive. 

7 Lake, The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911, pp. 361-370. 


cause both would be placed early. The hypothesis can appeal 
to the interesting textual phenomenon in Rom. i. 7, where the 
words "in Rome" are omitted by a few witnesses to the text. 
But the evidence is insufficient. And even if Lake's hypothesis 
were correct, it would not altogether overcome the difficulty; 
for both Galatians and Romans would be removed from what 
has usually been regarded as their natural position among the 
epistles of the third missionary journey. In reply, it could 
be said that reconstructions of an author's development, un- 
less supported by plain documentary evidence, are seldom 
absolutely certain; the simplicity of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 
as over against the great soteriological epistles, Galatians, 
1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, is no doubt due to the immaturity 
of the Thessalonian Church rather than to any immaturity in 
Paul's thinking. There is therefore no absolutely decisive 
objection against putting the Epistle to the Galatians, with 
its developed soteriology, before the Thessalonian Epistles. 

On the whole, it may be said that the identification of 
Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25 is perhaps most plausible 
when it is connected with the early dating of Galatians, be- 
fore the Apostolic Council. But that identification, whether 
with or without the early dating of the Epistle, must now be 
considered on its merits. Is Gal. ii. 1-10 to be identified with 
the famine visit of Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, or with the Apostolic 
Council of Acts xv? 

The former identification possesses one obvious advan- 
tage by it the second visit in Galatians is the same as the 
second visit in Acts; whereas if Gal. ii. 1-10 is identified with 
Acts xv. 1-29 Paul has passed over the famine visit without 
mention. The identification with the famine visit may there- 
fore conveniently be considered first. 

According to this identification, Paul had two confer- 
ences with the Jerusalem leaders, one at the time of the famine 
visit and one some years afterwards at the time of the 
Apostolic Council. Could the second conference conceivably 
have followed thus upon the former? If the conference between 
Paul and the Jerusalem leaders described in Gal. ii. 1-10 took 
place at the time of the famine visit, then would not the 
Apostolic Council seem to be a mere meaningless repetition 
of the former conference? If the matter of Gentile freedom 
had already been settled (Gal. ii. 1-10) at the famine visit, 


how could it come up again cte novo at the Apostolic Coun- 

This objection is by no means insuperable. The meeting 
described in Gal. ii. 1-10 may have been merely a private meet- 
ing between Paul and the original apostles. Although the pres- 
ence of Titus, the uncircumcised Gentile, was no doubt a mat- 
ter of public knowledge, it need not necessarily have given rise, 
to any public discussion, sincse it was not unprecedented, 
Cornelius also having been received into the Church without 
circumcision. But if the famine visit brought merely a 
private conference between Paul and the original apostles, 
Gentile freedom was still open to attack, especially if, after 
the famine visit, there was (as is in any case probable) an 
influx of strict legalists into the Christian community. There 
was no public pronouncement of the original apostles to 
which the advocates of freedom could appeal. There was 
therefore still urgent need of a public council such as the 
one described in Acts xv. 1-29, especially since that council 
dealt not only with the general question of Gentile free- 
dom but also with the problem of mixed communities where 
Jews and Gentiles were living together. The Apostolic Council, 
therefore, may well have taken place in the way described in 
Acts xv. 1-29 even if the conference of Gal. ii. 1-10 had been 
held some years before. 

No absolutely decisive objection, therefore, has yet been 
found against the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xi. 30 ; 
xii. 25. But the prima facie evidence has usually been regarded 
as favoring the alternative identification, since Gal. ii. 1-10 
bears much more resemblance to Acts xv. 1-29 than it does to 
Acts xi, 30 ; xii. 25. Resemblance to Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 is not, 
indeed, altogether lacking. In both Galatians ii. 1-10 and Acts 
xi. 30 ; xii. 25, Barnabas is represented as going up with Paul 
to Jerusalem; in both passages there is reference to gifts for 
the Jerusalem Church; and the revelation referred to in Gal. 
ii. 2 as the occasion of the journey may be discovered in the 
revelation of the famine made to Agabus (Acts xi. 28). But 
the relief of the Jerusalem Church, which is put as the sole 
purpose of the journey in Acts xi. 30; xii. 25, is quite subordi- 
nate in Gal. ii. 1-10; Barnabas is with Paul in Acts xv. 1-29 
just as much as he is in Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 ; and it may be ques- 
tioned whether in Gal. ii. 2 it is not more natural to think of a 


revelation coming to Paul rather than one coming through the 
mouth of Agabus. The strongest argument, however, for 
identifying Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 is that the main pur- 
pose of Paul's visit seems to be the same according to both 
passages; according to both the matter of circumcision of 
Gentiles was under discussion, and according to both the re- 
sult was a triumph for the cause of freedom. This identifica- 
tion must now be considered. Various objections have been 
raised against it. These objections lead, according to the 
point of view of the objector, either to an acceptance of the 
alternative identification (with Acts xi. 30; xii. 25) or else to a 
rejection of the historicity of the Book of Acts. 

The first objection is derived from the fact that if Gal. 
ii. 1-10 is to be identified with Acts xv. 1-29, Paul has passed 
over the famine visit without mention. Could he have done so 
honestly, if that visit had really occurred? In the first two 
chapters of Galatians Paul is establishing the independence 
of his apostolic authority ; he had not, he says, as the Judaizers 
maintained, received his authority through mediation of the 
original apostles. At first, he says, he came into no effec- 
tive contact with the apostles; it was three years after his 
conversion before he saw any of them; then he saw only Peter 
(and James) and that only for fifteen days. Then he went 
away into the regions of Syria and of Cilicia without ever 
becoming known by face to the Churches of Judaea ; then after 
fourteen years again he went up to Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 1). 
Is it not the very point of the passage that after his departure 
to Syria and Cilicia it was fourteen long years before he again 
went up to Jerusalem? Would not his entire argument be 
invalidated if there were an unmentioned visit to Jerusalem 
between the first visit (Gal. i. 18, 19) and the visit of Gal. 
ii. 1-10? If such a visit had taken place, would he not have 
had to mention it in order to place it in the proper light as he 
had done in the case of the first visit? By omitting to men- 
tion the visit in a context where he is carefully tracing the 
history of his relations with the Jerusalem leaders, would he 
not be exposing himself to the charge of dishonest suppression 
of facts? Such considerations have led a great number of 
investigators to reject the historicity of the famine visit; there 
never could have been, they insist, a visit between the first 
visit and the visit of Gal. ii. 1-10; for if there had been, Paul 
would have been obliged to mention it, not only by his own 


honesty, but also because of the impossibility of deception. 
This is one of the points where the narrative in Acts has been 
most insistently criticized. Here and there, indeed, there have 
been discordant notes in the chorus of criticism ; the insufficiency 
of the objection has been admitted now and then even by those 
who are far removed from any concern for the defense of the 
Book of Acts. Baur himself, despite all his Tubingen severity 
of criticism, was clear-sighted enough not to lay stress upon 
this particular objection; 1 and in recent years J. Weiss has 
been equally discerning. 2 In Galatians Paul is not giving a 
complete enumeration of his visits to Jerusalem, but merely 
singling out those details which had formed the basis of the 
Judaizers' attack, or afforded peculiar support to his own con- 
tentions. Apparently the Judaizers had misrepresented the 
first visit ; that is the time, they had said, when Paul came un- 
der the authority of the original apostles. In answer to this 
attack Paul is obliged to deal carefully with that first visit; 
it came three years after the conversion, he says, and it lasted 
only fifteen days surely not long enough to make Paul a 
disciple of Peter. Then Paul went away into the regions of 
Syria and Cilicia. Probably, for the first readers, who were 
familiar with the outlines of Paul's life, this departure for 
Syria and Cilicia clearly meant the entrance by Paul into 
his distinctive Gentile work. He was well launched upon his 
Gentile work, fully engaged in the proclamation of his gospel, 
before he had ever had such contact with the original apostles 
as could possibly have given him that gospel. At this point, 
as J. Weiss 3 well observes, there is a transition in the argu- 
ment. The argument based on lack of contact with the original 
apostles has been finished, and now gives place to an entirely 
different argument. In the first chapter of Galatians Paul 
has been showing that at first he had no such contact with 
the original apostles as could have made him a disciple of 
theirs ; now, in the second chapter he proceeds to show that 
when he did come into conference with them, they themselves 
recognized that he was no disciple of theirs but an independent 

1 Baur, Paulus, 2te Aufl., 1866, pp. 130-132 (English Translation, Paul 
i, 1873, pp. 118-120). Baur does maintain that Gal. ii. 1 renders improbable 
a second visit of Paul to Jerusalem before the conference with the apostles 
which is narrated in Gal. ii. 1, but points out that in itself the verse is 
capable of a different interpretation. 

a j. Weiss, Urchristentum, 1914, p. 147, Anm. 2. 

* Loc. cit. 


apostle. Apparently this conference, like the first visit, had 
been misrepresented by the Judaizers, and hence needed to be 
singled out for special treatment. It must be admitted that 
Paul is interested in the late date at which it occurred 
fourteen years after the first visit or fourteen years after the 
conversion. Probably, therefore, it was the first real con- 
ference which Paul held with the original apostles on the sub- 
ject of his Gentile work. If the famine visit had involved such 
a conference, probably Paul would have mentioned that visit. 
But if (as is not improbable on independent grounds) the 
apostles were away from Jerusalem at the time of the famine 
visit, and if that visit occurred long after Paul had been well 
launched upon his distinctive work, and if it had given the 
Judaizers so little basis for their contentions that they had 
not thought it worth while to draw it into the discussion, then 
Paul was not obliged to mention it. Paul is not constructing 
an argument which would hold against all possible attacks, 
but rather is meeting the attacks which had actually been 
launched. In the second chapter, having finished proving that 
in the decisive early period before he was well engaged in his 
distinctive work there was not even any extended contact with 
the original apostles at all, he proceeds to the telling argu- 
ment that the very men who were appealed to by the Judaizers 
themselves had admitted that he was entirely independent of 
them and that they had nothing to add to him. If the famine 
visit had occurred in the early period, or if, whenever it oc- 
curred, it had involved the important event of a conference 
with the apostles about the Pauline gospel, in either case Paul 
would probably have been obliged to mention it. But, as it is, 
the visit, according to Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25, did not occur until 
Paul had already been engaged in the Gentile work, and there 
is no reason to suppose that it involved any contact with the 
original apostles. The omission of the famine visit from Gala- 
tians, therefore, as a visit distinct from Gal. ii. 1-10, does not 
absolutely require either the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with 
that famine visit or the denial of the historicity of Acts. 

Certain other difficulties emerge, however, when Gal. ii. 1-10 
is compared with Acts xv. 1-29 in detail. 

In the first place, the leaders of the Jerusalem Church, 
it is said, are represented in Acts xv. 1-29 as maintaining Paul- 
ine principles, whereas in Gal. ii. 1-10 it appears that there 


was really a fundamental difference between them and Paul. 
This difficulty constitutes an objection not against the identifi- 
cation of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 but against the his- 
toricity of Acts, for if at any time there was a really funda- 
mental difference of principle between Paul and the original 
apostles then the whole representation in Acts is radically in- 
correct. But the objection disappears altogether when Gala- 
tians is correctly interpreted. The Epistle to the Galatians 
does not represent the conference between Paul and the pillars 
of the Jerusalem Church as resulting in a cold agreement to 
disagree; on the contrary it represents those leaders as giving 
to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. And 
Gal. ii. 11-21, rightly interpreted, attests positively a real 
unity of principle as existing between Paul and Peter. 

The one objection that remains against the identification of 
Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29 concerns the "Apostolic De- 
cree" of Acts xv. 28, 29 (compare Acts xv. 19, 20; xxi. 25). 
According to the Epistle to the Galatians the apostles at the 
time of the conference "added nothing" to Paul (Gal. ii. 6) ; 
according to the Book of Acts, it is argued, they added some- 
thing very important indeed namely, the requirements of the 
Apostolic Decree that the Gentile Christians should "refrain 
from things offered to idols and from blood and from things 
strangled and from fornication." Since these requirements are 
partly at least ceremonial, they seem to constitute an excep- 
tion to the general principle of Gentile freedom, and there- 
fore an addition to Paul's gospel. If when Paul presented to 
the original apostles the gospel which he was preaching among 
the Gentiles, involving the free offer of salvation apart from 
the Law, the apostles emended that gospel by requiring at 
least certain parts of the ceremonial Law, were they not "add- 
ing" something to Paul? 

But are the provisions of the decree really ceremonial? 
Apparently they are in part ceremonial if the so-called "Neutral 
text" attested by the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vati- 
canus be correct. According to this text, which here lies at 
the basis of all forms of our English Bible, "blood" can 
hardly refer to anything except meat that has the blood 
left in it or else blood that might be prepared separately for 
food; for "things strangled" certainly refers to a closely 
related provision of the ceremonial Law about food. But at 


this point an y interesting textual question arises. The so- 
called "Western text" of the Book of Acts, attested by the 
Codex Bezae and the usual companion witnesses, omits the 
word translated "things strangled" or "what is strangled" in 
Acts xv. 20, 29; xxi. 25, and in the first two of these three 
passages adds the negative form of the Golden Rule. Thus the 
Western text reads in Acts xv. 28, 29 as follows: "For it has 
seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no further 
burden upon you except these necessary things that you re- 
frain from things offered to idols and from blood and from 
fornication, and that you do not to another whatsoever things 
you do not wish to be done to you." It is generally agreed 
that the Golden Rule has here been added by a copyist ; but the 
omission of "things strangled" is thought by many modern 
scholars to preserve the reading of the autograph. If this 
short text without "things strangled" be correct, then the pro- 
visions of the Decree need not be regarded as ceremonial at 
all, but may be taken as simply moral. "Things offered 
to idols" may refer to idolatry in general; "blood" may refer 
to murder ; and "fornication" may be meant in the most general 
sense. But if the provisions of the Decree were simply moral, 
then plainly they did not constitute any "addition" to the 
message of freedom which Paul proclaimed among the Gentiles. 
Paul himself had of course enjoined upon his converts the 
necessity of leading a true moral life. If when the original 
apostles were urged by the Judaizers to impose upon the Gen- 
tile converts the requirements of the ceremonial Law, they 
responded, "No ; the only requirements to be imposed upon the 
Gentiles are that they refrain from deadly sins like idolatry, 
murder and fornication," that decision constituted merely a 
most emphatic confirmation of Paul's gospel of freedom. 

The textual question cannot here be discussed in detail. 
In favor of the Western text, with its omission of "things 
strangled," may be urged not only the general principle of 
textual criticism that the shorter reading is to be preferred 
to the longer, but also the special consideration that in this 
particular passage the shorter reading seems to account for 
the origin of the two additions; (1) the word translated 
"things strangled," and (2) the Golden Rule. The short text, 
supposing it to be the original, was ambiguous; it might be 
taken either as ceremonial ("blood" meaning the eating of 


blood) or as moral ("blood" meaning the shedding of blood or 
murder). Those copyists who took it as ceremonial, it is main- 
tained, fixed the meaning by adding "things strangled" (be- 
cause animals that were strangled had the blood still in them, 
so that the eating of them constituted a violation of the cere- 
monial Law) ; whereas those who took the Decree as moral fixed 
the meaning by adding the Golden Rule as the summation of 
the moral law. 1 

On the other side may be urged the connection which seems 
to exist between the omission of "things strangled" and the 
manifest gloss constituted by the Golden Rule. Documentary 
attestation of a short text, without the Golden Rule and with- 
out "things strangled," is exceedingly scanty if not non-exist- 
ent Kirsopp Lake can point only to the witness of Irenseus. 
The omission of "things strangled," therefore, may be only a 
part of a moralizing of the Decree (carried out also in the ad- 
dition of the Golden Rule), which would be quite in accord 
with that habit of scribes by which they tended to ignore in 
the interests of moral commonplaces what was special and diffi- 
cult in the text which they were copying. In reply, Lake in- 
sists that just at the time and at the place where the short 
text (without "things strangled") was prevalent, there was a 
food law for which the long text (with "things strangled") 
would have afforded welcome support. Why should the text 
have been modified just where in its original form it supported 
the prevailing practice of the Church? The conclusion is, 
Lake believes, that if the Western text prevailed, despite the 
welcome support which would have been afforded by the other 
text, it was because the Western text was correct. 2 

Decision as to the textual question will depend to a con- 
siderable extent upon the conclusion which is reached with 
regard to the Western text as a whole. The radical rejection 
of that text which was advocated by Westcott and Hort has by 
no means won universal approval; a number of recent scholars 
are inclined at least to pursue an eclectic course, adopting now 
the Western reading and now the Neutral reading on the 
basis of internal evidence in the individual cases. Others 
believe that the Western text and the Neutral text are both 
correct, since the Western text is derived from an earlier edition 

1 See Lake, op. cit., pp. 51-53. 

2 Op. cit., pp. 57-59. 


of the book, whereas the Neutral text represents a revised edi- 
tion issued by the author himself. 1 But this hypothesis affords 
absolutely no assistance in the case of the Apostolic Decree; for 
the Western reading (if it be interpreted in the purely non- 
ceremonial way) presents the Decree in a light very different 
from that in which it appears according to the Neutral 
reading. It is impossible that the author could have contra- 
dicted himself so directly and in so important a matter. 
Therefore, if one of the two readings is due to the author, the 
other is due to some one else. Cases like this weigh heavily 
against the hypothesis of two editions of the book; that hy- 
pothesis can be saved only by supposing either that the West- 
ern documents do not here reproduce correctly the original 
Western form of the book, or else that the other documents do 
not here reproduce the original revised edition. In other 
words, despite the manuscript evidence, the two editions of 
the book must here be supposed to have been in harmony. 
At any rate, then, whether or no the hypothesis of two editions 
be accepted, a choice must here be made between the Neutral 
reading and the Western reading; they cannot both be due to 
the author, since they are contradictory to each other. 

On the whole, it must be said that the Western text of 
the Book of Acts does not commend itself, either as the one 
genuine form of the book, or as an earlier edition of which the 
Neutral text is a revision. The Western readings are in- 
teresting; at times they may contain genuine historical infor- 
mation ; but it seems unlikely that they are due to the author. 
Here and there indeed the Western documents may preserve a 
genuine reading which has been lost in all other witnesses to 
the text even Westcott and Hort did not altogether exclude 
such a possibility but in general the high estimate which 
Westcott and Hort placed upon the Neutral text is justified. 
Thus there is a possibility that the short text of the Apostolic 
Decree, without "things strangled," is genuine, but it is a 
possibility only. 

If then, the Neutral text of the Decree is corect, so that 
the requirements of the Decree are partly ceremonial, must the 

'An elaborate attempt has recently been made by Zahn, in addition 
to former attempts by Blass and Hilgenfeld, to reproduce the original 
form of the Western text, which Zahn believes to be the earlier edition of 
the book. See Zahn, Die Urcmsgabe der Apostelgeschichte des Lucas, 1916 
(Forschungen zur Oeschichte dea neutestamentlichen Kanons, ix. Teil). 


Book of Acts here be held to contradict the Epistle to the 
Galatians? If the Decree really was passed at the Apostolic 
Council, as Acts xv. 29 represents, would Paul have been 
obliged to mention it in Gal. ii. 1-10? Answering these questions 
in the affirmative, a great many scholars since the days of 
Baur have regarded the account which the Book of Acts gives 
of the Apostolic Council as radically wrong; and since the 
book has thus failed to approve itself at the point where 
it runs parallel to a recognized authority, it must be dis- 
trusted elsewhere as well. The Apostolic Council, especially 
the Apostolic Decree, has thus become, to use a phrase of B. 
W. Bacon, the "crux of apostolic history." x 

It is exceedingly unlikely, however, at any rate, that the 
Decree has been made up "out of whole cloth"; for it does 
not coincide exactly with the usage of the later Church, and 
seems to be framed in view of primitive conditions. Even those 
who reject the narrative of Acts as it stands, therefore, often 
admit that the Decree was really passed by the early Jerusalem 
Church; but they maintain that it was passed after Paul's de- 
parture from Jerusalem and without his consent. This view 
is thought to be supported by Acts xxi. 25, where James, it is 
said, is represented, at the time of Paul's last visit to Jerusa- 
lem, as calling attention to the Decree as though it were 
something new. Acts xxi. 25 is thus thought to preserve a bit 
of primitive tradition which is in contradiction to the rep- 
resentation of the fifteenth chapter. Of course, however, the 
verse as it stands in the completed book can only be taken by 
the unsophisticated reader as referring to what Paul already 
knew ; and it is a grave question whether the author of Acts 
was unskillful enough to allow contradictory representations 
to stand unassimilated in his book, as the hypothesis demands. 
Acts xxi. 25, therefore, is at any rate not opposed to the view 
that the Decree was actually passed with the consent of Paul, 
as the fifteenth chapter represents. 

But is this representation really in contradiction to the 
Epistle to the Galatians? Does Gal. ii. 1-10 really exclude 
the Apostolic Decree? In order to answer these questions, it 
will be necessary to examine the nature of the Decree. 

*B. W. Bacon, "Acts versus Galatians: the Crux of Apostolic History," 
in American Journal of Theology, xi, 1907, pp. 454-474. See also "Pro- 
fessor Harnack on the Lukan Narrative," ibid., xiii, 1909, pp. 59-76. 


The Apostolic Decree, according to Acts xv. 1-29, did not 
constitute a definition of what was necessary for the salva- 
tion of the Gentile Christians, but was an attempt to solve 
the problem of a limited group of mixed communities where 
Jews and Gentiles were living together. Such seems to be the 
implication of the difficult verse, Acts xv. 21, where James, 
after he has proposed the substance of the Decree, says, "For 
Moses has from ancient generations in the several cities those 
who proclaim him, being read in the synagogues every Sab- 
bath." These words seem to mean that since there are Jews in 
the cities, and since they are devoted to the Law of Moses, the 
Gentile Christians, in order to avoid offending them, ought to 
refrain from certain of those features of the Gentile manner 
of life which the Jews would regard as most repulsive. The 
Law of Moses had been read in the cities from ancient genera- 
tions; it was venerable; it deserved at least respect. Such 
a respectful attitude toward the Jewish way of life would 
contribute not only to the peace of the Church but also to 
the winning of the non-Christian Jews. 

Was this procedure contrary to the principles of Paul? 
He himself tells us that it was not. "For though I was free 
from all men," he says, "I brought myself under bondage to 
all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a 
Jew, that I might gain Jews ; to them that are under the law, 
as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might 
gain them that are under the law; to them that are without 
law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under 
law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law. To 
the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak ; I am be- 
come all things to all men, that I may by all means save some." * 
The Apostolic Decree was simply a particular case of becoming 
to the Jews as a Jew that Jews might be gained. Indeed it was 
a rather mild case of that kind ; and the conjecture may be ven- 
tured that Paul was often very much more accommodating 
than the Decree would demand. Paul was not the man to in- 
sist upon blatant disregard of Jewish feelings where Jews 
were to be won to Christ. 

It must be remembered that Paul, according to his Epis- 
tles, did not demand that Jewish Christians should give up 
keeping the Law, but only required them not to force the keep- 
*1 Cor. ix. 19-22, American Revised Version. 


ing of the Law upon the Gentiles. No doubt the observance 
of the Law on the part of Jewish Christians was to be very 
different in spirit from their pre-Christian legalism; they were 
no longer to regard the Law as a means of salvation. But 
after salvation had been obtained, they might well believe that 
it was God's will for them to continue to live as Jews ; and 
Paul, according to his Epistles, had no objection to that belief. 
But how were the Jewish Christians to carry out their ob- 
servance of the Law? Various requirements of the Law were 
held to imply that Israelites should keep separate from Gen- 
tiles. How then could the Jewish Christians live in close broth- 
erly intercourse with the Gentile members of the Christian 
community without transgressing the Law of Moses? There 
is no reason to believe that Paul from the beginning had a. 
hard and fast solution of this problem. Undoubtedly, the 
tendency of his practice led toward the complete abandonment 
of the ceremonial Law in the interests of Christian unity be- 
tween Jews and Gentiles. He was very severe upon those Jew- 
ish Christians who, though convinced in their hearts of the 
necessity of giving precedence to the new principle of unity, 
yet separated themselves from the Gentiles through fear of 
men (Gal. ii. 11-21). But there is no reason to think that he 
condemned on principle those who truly believed that Jewish 
Christians should still keep the Law. With regard to these 
matters he was apparently content to wait for the clearer 
guidance of the Spirit of God, which would finally work out 
the unity of the Church. Meanwhile the Apostolic Decree was 
an attempt to solve the problem of mixed communities ; and that 
attempt was in harmony with the principles which Paul enun- 
ciated in 1 Cor. ix. 19-22. 

Moreover, the Apostolic Decree was in accord with Paul's 
principle of regard for the weaker brother (1 Cor. viii ; Rom. 
xiv). In Corinth, certain brethren were offended by the eat- 
ing of meat which had been offered to idols. Paul himself was 
able to eat such food; for he recognized that the idols were 
nothing. But for some of the members of the Christian com- 
munity the partaking of such food would mean the deadly sin 
of idolatry ; and out of regard for them Paul is ready to forego 
his freedom. The case was very similar in the mixed com- 
munities contemplated in the Apostolic Decree. The similarity, 
of course, appears on the surface in the first prohibition of 


the Decree, which concerns things offered to idols. But the 
two other prohibitions about food are not really very different. 
The use of blood was intimately associated with heathen 
cults, and the eating of meat with the blood still in it ("things 
strangled") would also, because of deep-seated religious ideas, 
seem to a devout Jew to involve idolatry. It is very doubt- 
ful, therefore, whether those prohibitions of the Decree which 
we are accustomed to designate as "ceremonial" were felt to be 
ceremonial by those for whose benefit the Decree was adopted. 
They were probably not felt to be ceremonial any more than 
the prohibition of things offered to idols was felt to be cere- 
monial by the weaker brethren at Corinth. Rather they were 
felt to involve the deadly sin of idolatry. 

Finally, the Apostolic Decree was of limited range of 
application ; it was addressed, not to Gentile Christians gen- 
erally, but only to those in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia (Acts 
xv. 23). The Book of Acts, it is true, does declare, after the 
mention of Derbe and Lystra in connection with the beginning 
of the second missionary journey, that Paul and Silas "as 
they went on their way through the cities . . . delivered them 
the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles 
and elders that were at Jerusalem" (Acts xvi. 4). According 
to this passage the observance of the Decree does seem to 
have been extended into Lycaonia, and thus beyond the limits 
set forth in the Decree itself. But if Paul chose to make use of 
the document beyond the range originally contemplated, that 
does not alter the fact that originally the Jerusalem Church 
undertook to deal only with Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. 
In Acts xxi. 25, indeed, the reference of James to the Decree 
does not mention the geographical limitation. But James was 
thinking no doubt particularly of those regions wbrre there 
were the largest bodies of Jews, and he does not say that the 
Jerusalem Church, even if the Decree represented its own de- 
sires for all Gentiles, had actually sent the Decree to all. The 
general reference in Acts xxi. 25 may therefore fairly be in- 
terpreted in the light of the more particular information given 
in Acts xv. 23. It is thus unnecessary to follow Wendt, who, 
after a careful examination of all the objections which have 
been urged against the historicity of the Decree, concludes 
that the Decree was actually passed by the Jerusalem Church 
in the presence of Paul as the Book of Acts represents, but 


supposes that the author of Acts has erred in giving the deci- 
sion a wider range of application than was really contem- 
plated. 1 A correct interpretation of the passages in ques- 
tion will remove even this last vestige of objection to the Lucan 

But if the Decree was addressed only to Antioch and Syria 
and Cilicia, it was not imposed upon specifically Pauline 
churches. The Gentile work at Antioch had not been started 
by Paul, and it is a question how far he regarded the churches 
of Syria and Cilicia in general as belonging to his peculiar 
province. Undoubtedly he had labored long in those regions, 
but others had shared his labors and in some places had even 
preceded him. These other missionaries had come from Jeru- 
salem. Paul may well therefore have recognized the authority 
of the Jerusalem leaders over the churches of Syria and Cilicia 
in a way which would not have been in pla.ce at Ephesus or 
Corinth, especially since the Jewish Christian element in the 
Syrian and Cilician churches was probably very strong. 

The adoption of the Apostolic Decree by the Jerusalem 
Church was thus not derogatory in general to the apostolic 
dignity of Paul, or contrary to his principles. But is the 
Decree excluded, in particular, by the words of Paul in Gala- 
tians? Paul says that the pillars of the Jerusalem Church 
"added nothing" 2 to him (Gal. ii. 6). The meaning of these 
words must be examined with some care. 

Undoubtedly the word here translated "added" it may 
perhaps be better translated "imparted nothing to me in addi- 
tion" is to be understood in conjunction with Gal. ii. 2, 
where the same Greek word is used, but without the preposition 
which means "in addition." The sense of the two verses 
they are separated by the important digression about Titus 
is thus as follows : "When I laid my gospel before the leaders, 
they laid nothing before me in addition." That is, they de- 
clared, after listening to Paul's gospel, that they had nothing 
to add to it; Christ had given it to Paul directly; it was suf- 
ficient and complete. The question, therefore, in connection 
with the Apostolic Decree is not whether the Decree was or 
was not something important that the Jerusalem leaders im- 

1 Wendt, Die Apostelgeschichte, 1913, in Meyer, Kritisch-exegetischer 
Kommentar iiber das Neue Testament, 9te Aufl., p. 237. 
3 ovdkv 


parted to Paul, but only whether it constituted an addition 
to his gospel. If it constituted an addition to his gospel, then 
it is excluded by Paul's words in Galatians, and is unhistorical. 
But as it has been interpreted above, it certainly did not con- 
stitute an addition to Paul's gospel. Paul's gospel consisted 
in the offer of salvation to the Gentiles through faith alone 
apart from the works of the law. The Jerusalem leaders recog- 
nized that gospel ; they had absolutely nothing to add to it ; 
Paul had revealed the way of salvation to the Gentiles exactly 
as it had been revealed to him by God. But the recognition 
of the Pauline gospel of salvation by faith alone did not solve 
all the practical problems of the Christian life; in particular 
it did not solve the problem of the mixed churches. It would 
have been unnatural if the conference had not proceeded to a 
consideration of such problems, and Paul's words do not at all 
exclude such consideration. 

Certainly some sort of public pronouncement on the part 
of the Jerusalem leaders was imperatively demanded. The 
Judaizers had made trouble in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia 
that much of the account in Acts is generally admitted to be 
historical and is certainly necessary to account for the very 
fact that Paul went to Jerusalem, the revelation which came 
to him being given by God in relation to a very definite situa- 
tion. Against his inclination Paul went to Jerusalem in order 
to stop the propaganda of the Judaizers by obtaining a pro- 
nouncement from the very authorities to which they appealed. 
Is it to be supposed that he returned to Antioch without the 
pronouncement which he had sought? If he had done so his 
journey would have been in vain; the Judaizers would have 
continued to make trouble exactly as before. Some kind of 
public pronouncement was therefore evidently sought by Paul 
himself from the Jerusalem leaders. No doubt the very seeking 
of such a pronouncement was open to misunderstanding; it 
might seem to involve subordination of Paul to the authorities 
to whom apparently he was appealing as to a higher instance. 
Paul was keenly aware of such dangers, and waited for definite 
guidance of God before he decided to make the journey. But 
if he had come back from Jerusalem without any such pro- 
nouncement of the authorities as would demonstrate the falsity 
of the Judaizers' appeal to them, then the disadvantages of 
the conference would have been incurred in vain. In all proba- 


bility, therefore, the conference of Gal. ii. 1-10, if it took 
place at the time reached by the narrative at the beginning 
of the fifteenth chapter of Acts, resulted in a pronouncement 
from the Jerusalem Church. And the Apostolic Decree was 
just such a pronouncement as might have been expected. It 
was public ; it was an emphatic vindication of Gentile freedom 
and an express rebuke of the Judaizers ; and it dealt with some 
at least of the practical difficulties which would result from 
the presence of Jews and Gentiles in the churches of Syria and 

The identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with Acts xv. 1-29, there- 
fore, does not raise insuperable difficulties against the accept- 
ance as historical of the narrative in Acts. But it must be 
remembered that the alternative identification with Acts xi. 
30 ; xii. 25 is also possible. The comparison between Acts 
and Galatians, therefore, has certainly not resulted disastrously 
for the Book of Acts ; there are three ways in which Acts 
can be shown to be in harmony with Paul. These three possi- 
bilities may now conveniently be summed up in the light of the 
examination of them in the preceding pages. 

(1) Galatians ii. 1-10 may be regarded as an account 
of the famine visit of Acts xi. 30 ; xii. 25 ; and on the basis 
of this identification the Epistle may be dated before the 
Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29. The course of events 
would then be somewhat as follows : First there was a private 
conference between Paul and the original apostles (Gal. ii. 1- 
10) at the time of the famine visit (Acts xi. 30; xii. 25). 
Then followed the first missionary journey of Paul and Bar- 
nabas to Southern Galatia (Acts xiii, xiv). That journey 
brought a great influx of Gentiles into the Church and aroused 
the active opposition of the Judaizers. The trouble seems to 
have been accentuated by the coming to Antioch of certain 
men from James (Gal. ii. 11-13). It is not clear whether they 
themselves were to blame, or whether, if they were, they had 
any commission from James. At any rate, Peter was induced 
to give up the table companionship with Gentile Christians 
which formerly he had practiced at Antioch, and Barnabas also 
was carried away. Paul rebuked Peter publicly. But the 
Judaizers continued to disturb the peace of the Church, and 
even demanded, as a thing absolutely necessary to salvation, 
that the Gentile Christians should be circumcised and should 


keep the Law of Moses. The Judaizing activity extended also 
into Galatia, and Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians in 
the midst of the conflict. At Antioch it was finally determined 
to bring the matter to the attention of the Jerusalem leaders 
in order to show that the Judaizers had no right to appeal to 
those leaders, and in order to silence the Judaizers by a public 
pronouncement of the Jerusalem Church. A revelation induced 
Paul to agree to this plan. The result was the Apostolic 
Council of Acts xv. 1-29. 

Undoubtedly this account of the matter overcomes certain 
difficulties. It has won considerable support, and can no longer 
be regarded as a mere apologetic expedient. 

(2) The Western text of the Apostolic Decree may be 
regarded as correct. The Decree may then be taken as for- 
bidding only the three deadly sins of idolatry, murder, and 
fornication, so that it cannot by any possibility be taken as 
a limitation of Gentile freedom or an addition to Paul's gospel 
of justification by faith alone. This solution has been adopted 
by Von Harnack and others ; and by Kirsopp Lake, 1 certainly 
without any "apologetic" motive, it has actually been combined 
with (1). * 

(3) Finally, Gal. ii. 1-10 being identified with Acts xv. 
1-29, and the Neutral text of the Apostolic Decree being 
adopted, harmony between Acts and Galatians may be estab- 
lished by that interpretation of both passages which has been 
proposed above. According to this interpretation, the Decree 
was not regarded as necessary to salvation or intended as an 
addition to Paul's gospel, but was an attempt to solve the spe- 
cial and temporary problem of the mixed communities in Syria 
and Cilicia. 

This last solution being adopted provisionally (though 
(1) certainly has much in its favor), the outcome of the Apos- 
tolic Council must be considered in connection with the events 
that followed. Apparently Paul in Galatians is telling only 
what happened in a private conference between himself and 
the Jerusalem leaders, the account of the public action of the 
Church being found in Acts. James and Peter and John 
recognized the independence of Paul's apostleship; Paul had 
been intrusted with the apostleship to the Gentiles as Peter 

1 In The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 1911. It will be remembered that 
Lake has now radically modified his views. See above, p. 81, footnote 3. 


with that to the circumcision. After listening to Paul's ac- 
count of the wonderful works of God by which his ministry 
had been blessed, and after coming into direct contact with 
the grace which had been given to him, the pillars of the Jeru- 
salem Church gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of 
fellowship that they should go to the Gentiles while the Jeru- 
salem leaders should go to the circumcision. This division 
of labor has often been egregiously misinterpreted, especially 
by the Tiibingen school and all those in subsequent years who 
have not been able to throw off the shackles of Tiibingenism. 
The question has often been asked whether the division was 
meant geographically or ethnographically. Was Paul to 
preach everywhere outside of Palestine both to Jews and Gen- 
tiles, while the original apostles were to labor in Palestine only ; 
or was Paul to preach to Gentiles wherever found, while the 
original apostles were to labor for Jews wherever found? In 
other words, to whose province were assigned the Jews of the 
Dispersion to the province of Paul and Barnabas, or to the 
province of the original apostles? It has sometimes been 
maintained that Paul understood the division geographically, 
but that the Jerusalem leaders understood it ethnographically ; 
so that Peter transgressed Paul's geographical interpretation 
when he went to labor in Antioch. But the very raising of the 
whole question is in itself a fundamental error. The division 
was not meant in an exclusive or negative sense at all; it was 
not intended to prevent Peter from laboring among Gentiles 
or Paul from laboring among Jews. The same gospel was 
being preached by both Paul and Peter; they gave each other 
the right hand of fellowship. What was meant was simply a 
general recognition of the dispensation of God which had so 
far prevailed. By that dispensation Paul and Barnabas had 
been sent particularly to the Gentiles and the Jerusalem 
apostles to the Jews. If either group was hindered in its 
work, the interests of the Church would suffer. Both groups, 
therefore, were absolutely necessary in order that both Jews 
and Gentiles should be won. 

In one particular, indeed, the Jerusalem leaders requested 
expressly that the division of labor should not be taken too 
strictly ; they hoped that Paul would not be so much engrossed 
in his Gentile work as to forget the poor of the Jerusalem 
Church (Gal. ii. 10). It should be observed very carefully 


that this request about the poor forms an exception, not at 
all to the full recognition of Paul's gospel, but only to the 
division of labor as between Jews and Gentiles. It does not 
go with the remote words of verse 6 ("for to me those who 
were of repute added nothing"), but with the immediately ad- 
jacent words in verse 9. Paul does not say, therefore, "To 
me those of repute added (or imposed) nothing except that 
I should remember the Jerusalem poor." If he had said that, 
then perhaps it would be difficult to explain the omission of 
the Apostolic Decree; for the Decree as much as the request 
for aid of the Jerusalem poor was something that the Jeru- 
salem leaders laid upon him. But the fact is that neither 
the Decree nor the request about the poor has anything what- 
ever to do with Paul's gospel or the attitude of the Jerusalem 
leaders toward it. What is really meant by the request for 
aid is simply this: "You are the apostle to the Gentiles; it is 
a great work; we wish you Godspeed in it. But even in so 
great a work as that, do not forget your needy Jewish brethren 
in Jerusalem." 

After the conference at Jerusalem Paul and Barnabas re- 
turned to Antioch. According to the Book of Acts the letter 
of the Jerusalem Church was joyfully received; it meant a 
confirmation of Gentile freedom and relief from the attacks 
of the Judaizers. But new disturbances began, and Peter 
was concerned in them. He had gone to Antioch. There is 
not the slightest reason to think that his arrival occasioned 
anything but joy. The notion that Paul was jealously guard- 
ing his rights in a Gentile church and resented the coming of 
Peter as an intrusion has not the slightest basis either in Acts 
or in the Pauline Epistles. But at Antioch Jews and Gentiles 
were living together in the Church, and their juxtaposition 
presented a serious problem. The Gentile Christians, it will 
be remembered, had been released from the obligation of being 
circumcised and of undertaking to keep the Mosaic Law. The 
Jewish Christians, on the other hand, had not been required 
to give up their ancestral mode of life. But how could the 
Jewish Christians continue to live under the Law if they held 
companionship with Gentiles in a way which would render the 
strict observance of the Law impossible? Should the prece- 
dence be given to the observance of the Law on the part of 
the Jewish Christians or to the new principle of Christian 


unity? This question had not been settled by the Apostolic 
Council, for even if the Gentile Christians observed the pro- 
visions of the Apostolic Decree, table companionship with 
them would still have seemed to involve a transgression of the 
Law. Peter, however, took a step beyond what had already 
been settled; he relaxed the strictness of his Jewish manner 
of life by eating with the Gentiles. He was convinced of the 
revolutionary change wrought by the coming of Christ, and 
gave practical expression to his conviction by holding full 
companionship with all his brethren. After a time, however, 
and perhaps during an absence of Paul from the city, certain 
men came from James, and their coming occasioned difficulty. 
It is not said that these men were commissioned by James, and 
some readers have thought that "from James" means merely 
"from Jerusalem," James being named merely as representa- 
tive of the church over which he presided. But even if the 
newcomers stood in some closer relationship to James, or even 
had been sent by him, it is an unwarranted assumption that 
James was responsible for the trouble that they caused, or 
had sent them to Antioch with the purpose of limiting the 
freedom of Peter's conduct. They may have abused whatever 
commission they had received. Moreover, it must be remem- 
bered that they are not expressly blamed by Paul. If they 
clung conscientiously to the keeping of the Law, as they had 
been accustomed to do at Jerusalem, Paul would perhaps not 
necessarily condemn them; for he did not on principle or in 
all circumstances require Jewish Christians to give up the 
keeping of the Law. But Peter had really transcended that 
point of view ; and when, therefore, he now, from fear of these 
newcomers, withdrew from the Gentiles, he was concealing his 
true convictions. It was the inconsistency of his conduct that 
Paul felt called upon to rebuke. That inconsistency could not 
fail to have a bad effect upon the Gentile Christians. Peter 
had received them into true fellowship. But now apparently 
he regarded such liberal conduct as a thing to be ashamed of 
and to be concealed. The Gentile Christians could not help 
drawing the conclusion that they were at best only on the 
outskirts of the Christian community ; the chief of the original 
apostles of Jesus was apparently ashamed of his association 
with them. Despite the liberty granted by the Apostolic Coun- 
cil, therefore, the Gentile Christians were again tempted to 

.* -:--.- 


remove the disabilities which rested upon them, by accepting 
circumcision and so becoming full members of the Church. 
Evidently the keeping of the Law on the part of Jewish Chris- 
tians was a half-way position. But when it was pursued con- 
scientiously, as a duty still resting upon men of Jewish descent, 
it might possibly be dealt with gently by Paul. When, how- 
ever, it was undertaken for fear of men, in the face of better 
understanding, it became "hypocrisy" and was rebuked 
sharply. If the transcending of the Law, in the interests 
of Christian unity, had once been grasped as a necessary con- 
sequence of the redemption wrought by Christ, then to repudi- 
ate it was to bring discredit upon Christ Himself, and make 
His death of none avail. 

The influence of Peter's withdrawal from the Gentile Chris- 
tians soon began to make itself felt; other Jewish Christians 
followed Peter's example, and even Barnabas was carried away. 
A serious crisis had arisen. But God had not deserted His 
Church. The Church was saved through the instrumentality 
of Paul. 

To Paul had been revealed the full implications of the 
gospel; to him the freedom of the Gentiles was a matter of 
principle, and when principle was at stake he never kept 
silent. Regardless of all petty calculations about the influence 
that might be lost or the friendships that might be sacrificed, 
he spoke out boldly for Christ ; he rebuked Peter openly before 
the assembled Church. It should always be observed, however, 
that it was not the principles of Peter, but his conduct, which 
Paul was rebuking. The incident is therefore misused when 
it is made to establish a fundamental disagreement between 
Paul and Peter. On the contrary, in the very act of con- 
demning the practice of Peter, Paul approves his principles ; 
he is rebuking Peter just for the concealment of his correct 
principles for fear of men. He and Peter, he says, were per- 
fectly agreed about the inadequacy of the Law, and the all- 
sufficiency of faith in Christ; why then should Peter act in 
contradiction to these great convictions? The passage, Gal. 
ii. 11-21, therefore, far from establishing a fundamental dis- 
agreement between Peter and Paul really furnishes the strong- 
est possible evidence for their fundamental unity. 

But how did Peter take the rebuke which was administered 
to him? There should be no real doubt about the answer to 


this question. Details, indeed, are uncertain; it may perhaps 
be doubtful when Peter acquiesced or how he expressed his 
acquiescence. But that he acquiesced at some time and in some 
manner is indicated by the whole subsequent history of the 
Church. A contrary conclusion has, indeed, sometimes been 
drawn from the silence of Paul. If Peter was convinced by 
Paul at Antioch, would not Paul have been sure to mention 
so gratifying a result? Would he not have appealed, against 
the contentions of the Judaizers in Galatia, to so signal a 
recognition of his apostolic authority? This argument ignores 
the true character of the passage. During the writing of Gal. 
ii. 11-21 Paul has altogether ceased to think of Peter. What 
he had said to Peter at Antioch happened to be exactly the same 
thing that he desired to say, at the time of the writing of the 
letter, to the Galatians. In reporting, not with pedantic verbal 
accuracy but in substance, what he had said to Peter at An- 
tioch, he has entered upon the very heart of his gospel, which 
had been despised by the Judaizers in Galatia. Long before the 
end of the glorious passage, Gal. ii. 11-21, he has forgotten 
all about Peter and Barnabas and Antioch, and is thinking 
only about the grace of Christ and the way in which it was 
being made of none effect by those who would desert it for a 
religion of works. To expect him to descend from the heights 
in order to narrate the outcome of the incident at Antioch 
is to do woeful injustice to the character of the apostle's 
mind and the manner of his literary activity. Gal. ii. 11-21 
forms a transition between the first main division of the Epistle, 
in which Paul is answering the personal attack of the Juda- 
izers, and the second main division, in which he is defending 
the contents of his gospel. Before the end of the passage 
Paul has plunged into the principal thing that he wanted to 
say to the Galatians, who were making void the cross of 
Christ. The presentation in Gal. ii. 11-21 of what Bengel 1 
called the "marrow of Christianity" leads inevitably, there- 
fore, not to a pedantic narration of what Peter did, but to the 
exclamation of Gal. iii. 1, "O foolish Galatians, who did be- 
witch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth 

Thus the silence of Paul about the outcome of the incident 
at Antioch does not at all establish the outcome as unfavor- 
1 On Gal. ii. 19. 


able. But there are positive indications on the other side* 
Of course, if Gal. ii. 1-10 were identified with the famine visit, 
the whole question would be settled. In that case, the incident 
of Gal. ii. 11-21 would have been followed by the Apostolic 
Council, at which the harmony of Peter and Paul found full 
expression. But even if the identification of Gal. ii. 1-10 with 
the Apostolic Council be adopted, there are still plain indica- 
tions that the outcome of the Antioch incident was favorable. 

In the first place, Paul mentions Peter in 1 Cor. ix. 5 with 
respect, as an apostle to whose example appeal may be made; 
in 1 Cor. iii. 22 he classes Peter with himself and with Apollos 
as a possession of all Christians; l and in 1 Cor. xv. 1-11 he 
includes as part of his fundamental missionary preaching the 
appearance of the risen Christ to Peter, and appeals to the 
unity which existed between his own preaching and that of 
the other apostles (verses '5, II). 2 

In the second place, Paul concerned himself earnestly, 
according to 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans, with the col- 
lection for the Jerusalem poor. If the incident at Antioch 
had meant a repudiation of the "right hand of fellowship" 
which Peter in common with James and John had given to Paul 
at Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 9), it is difficult to see how Paul could 
have continued to engage in a form of brotherly service which 
was the most touching expression of that fellowship. If there 
was a permanent breach between Peter and Paul, the contri- 
bution for the poor saints at Jerusalem could hardly have been 

In the third place, the agitation of the Judaizers seems 
to have died down during the third missionary journey. It 
appears, indeed, at Corinth, according to the Corinthian 
Epistles, but seems there to have lacked that insistence upon 
the keeping of the Law which had made it so dangerous in 
Galatia. In the epistles of the captivity Colossians and Phile- 
mon, Ephesians, Philippians it appears, if at all, only in the 
obscure reference in Phil. iii. 2ff., which may relate to non- 
Christian Judaism rather than to Jewish Christianity. This 
subsidence of the Judaizing activity is difficult to understand 
if the benefits of the Jerusalem conference had been annulled 
by a serious breach at Antioch. 

Finally, the whole subsequent history of the Church is 

1 Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 1892, p. 14, note 1. 
a Knowling, loc. cit. 


explicable only if there was fundamental unity between Peter 
and Paul. Ever since the formation of the Old Catholic 
Church at the close of the second" century the Church was 
founded upon the twin pillars of Peter and Paul. How was 
this unity produced if in the apostolic age there was funda- 
mental disunion? The existence of this problem was fully 
recognized by F. C. Baur, and the recognition of it constitutes 
one element of greatness in Baur's work. But the elaborate 
solution which Baur proposed has had to be abandoned. Baur 
supposed that the harmony between Pauline and Petrine Chris- 
tianity was produced by a gradual compromise effected during 
the second century. Subsequent investigation has pushed the 
harmony very much further back. The unity between Peter* 
and Paul appears, for example, plainly expressed in the letter 
of Clement of Rome (about 95 A. D.), who appeals to the 
two great apostles as though both were of recognized au- 
thority; it appears also in the first Epistle of Peter, which 
even if not genuine is important as attributing to Peter, as 
though the attribution were a matter of course, a conception 
of the gospel thoroughly in harmony with that of Paul; it 
appears in the early traditional account of John Mark, by 
which Mark is made to be a follower of Peter (compare 1 Peter 
v. 13) and to have received from Peter the substance of his 
Gospel, so that when his cordial relations with Paul are re- 
membered (Col. iv. 10; Philem. 24) he constitutes an impor- 
tant link between Peter and Paul. What is more important, 
however, than all details, is the undoubted fact that before 
the end of the first century epistles of Paul and genuine tradi- 
tion about Jesus, which latter must at first have been con- 
nected with the Jerusalem Church, appear side by side as 
possessing high authority in the Church. Finally, the testi- 
mony of the Book of Acts is now admitted to be at any rate 
very much earlier than Baur supposed; and that testimony, 
so far as the harmony between Paul and Peter is concerned, 
is unequivocal. Thus the explanation which Baur proposed 
for the final healing of the supposed breach between Peter 
and Paul is unsatisfactory. But no other explanation has 
been discovered to take its place. The very existence of the 
Church would have been impossible if there had been a per- 
manent breach between the leader in the Gentile mission and 
the leader among the original disciples of Jesus. 

The Book of Acts does not mention the difficulty which 


arose at Antioch with regard to table companionship between 
Jews and Gentiles. But it does mention another disagreement 
between Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas desired to take John 
Mark along on the second missionary journey, while Paul was 
unwilling to take with him again the one who had turned back 
on the former journey and had not gone to those South 
Galatian churches which it was now proposed to revisit. It 
was maintained by the Tubingen school of criticism that the 
lesser quarrel has here been inserted by the author of Acts 
with the express purpose of covering up the more serious dis- 
agreement which was the real reason for the separation of 
Barnabas and Paul. But the insertion of a quarrel is rather 
an unnatural way to cover up the fact that there was another 
quarrel; it would have been better to keep altogether silent 
about the disagreement. Moreover, the good faith of the 
author is now generally accepted. There is another possible 
way of explaining the omission of the incident of Gal. ii. 11-21 
from the Book of Acts. It may be surmised that the incident 
was so unimportant in its consequences, Peter and Barnabas 
were so quickly convinced by Paul, that a historian who was 
concerned, not with personal details about the relations between 
Paul and the other leaders, but with the external progress 
of the gospel, did not find it necessary to mention the incident 
at all. 

After the separation of Barnabas from Paul at the begin- 
ning of the second missionary journey, it is not recorded that 
the two men were ever associated again in missionary work. 
But in 1 Cor. ix. 6 Barnabas is spoken of with respect "Or 
I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to forbear working." 
Evidently Paul was interested in the work of Barnabas, and 
was not ashamed to appeal to his example. In Col. iv. 10, 
moreover, "Mark, the cousin of Barnabas" is mentioned, and 
is commended to the attention of the Colossian Christians. 
Mark here forms a link between Paul and Barnabas as he 
does between Paul and Peter. Evidently the estrangement at 
Antioch was not permanent even in the case of Mark, against 
whom there was the special objection that he had withdrawn 
from the work at Perga. According to 2 Tim. iv. 11, Mark 
became exactly what he had not been at Perga, "useful" to 
Paul "for ministering." And if the testimony of 2 Timothy 
be rejected, the same cordial relationship between Paul and 


Mark appears also in Col. iv. 10, 11 ; Philem. 4. The scanty 
indications all point very decidedly away from any permanent 
estrangement as resulting from the incidents at Antioch. 

During the second and third missionary journeys, the agi- 
tation of the Judaizers, as has already been observed, seems 
to have subsided. In Corinth, indeed, according to 1 and 2 
Corinthians, Paul appears in deadly conflict with certain men 
who sought to undermine his apostolic authority. Baur made 
much of this conflict; indeed, he based his reconstruction of 
apostolic history upon the Corinthian Epistles almost as much 
as upon Galatians. The starting-point of his investigation 
was found in the party watchwords mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 12, 
"I am of Paul ; and I of Apollos ; and I of Cephas ; and I of 
Christ." The "Christ-party" of the verse, identified with 
the opponents attacked in 2 Cor. x-xiii, Baur believed to have 
been an extreme Judaizing party. This extreme Judaizing 
party, Baur maintained, appealed with some show of reason 
to the original apostles in Jerusalem. Thus the Corinthian 
Epistles like the Epistle to the Galatians were made to estab- 
lish what was to Baur the fundamental fact of apostolic his- 
tory, a serious conflict of principle between Paul and the 
original apostles. 1 

Subsequent investigation, however, has cast at least serious 
doubt upon the Tubingen exegesis, even where it has not dis- 
credited it altogether. The whole matter of the Christ-party 
of 1 Cor. i. 12 is felt to be exceedingly obscure, so obscure that 
J. Weiss, for example, in his recent commentary on 1 Corin- 
thians, has felt constrained to cut the Gordian knot by regard- 
ing the words, "And I of Christ', as an interpolation. 2 Where 
this heroic measure has not been resorted to, various interpre- 
tations have been proposed. Sometimes, for example, the 
Christ-party has been thought to have consisted of those who 
rejected the other watchwords, but in such a proud and quarrel- 
some way that the watchword, "I am of Christ," which should 
have belonged to all, became only the shibboleth of another 
party. Sometimes, again, the Christ-party has been regarded 
as a gnosticizing party which boasted of direct communica- 

1 Baur, "Die Christuspartei in der korirvthischen Gemeinde," in Tilbinger 
Zeitschrift fur Theologie, 1831, 4 Heft, pp. 61-206. 

2 J. Weiss, Der erste Korintherbrief, 1910, in Meyer, op. cit., 9te Aufl., p. 


tions with the risen Christ. At any rate, it is very difficult 
to find in the words "I am of Christ" any clear designation of 
Judaizers who appealed against Paul to James or to their 
own connections with Jesus in Palestine. On the contrary, 
the reader of the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians may 
well be doubtful whether there were any distinct parties at all. 
It looks rather as though what Paul was rebuking were merely 
a spirit of division, which manifested itself now in one watch- 
word and now in another. The Corinthian Christians seem 
to have been "sermon-tasters" ; they were proud of their "wis- 
dom," and laid undue stress upon the varying form of the 
gospel message to the neglect of the content. It is noteworthy 
that in 1 Cor. i-iv Paul does not enter upon any anti-Judaistic 
polemic, but addressed himself to those who in a spirit of 
pride and quarrelsomeness sought after wisdom. "If you would 
be truly wise and truly 'spiritual,' " he says, "then cease your 
contentions." Paul was perhaps combating not any definite 
parties, but only the party spirit. 

It must be admitted that there were in the Corinthian 
Church persons who emphasized against Paul the advantages 
of Palestinian origin and of direct connection with Jesus. 
But there is no reason to bring these opponents of Paul into 
any close relation to the original apostles and to James. The 
letters of recommendation (2 Cor. iii. 1) may have come else- 
where than from the apostles ; indeed the mention of letters 
from the Corinthians as well as to them would seem to make 
the passage refer to a general habit of credential-bearing 
rather than to any special credentials from Jerusalem. The 
opponents desired to push themselves into other men's spheres 
of labor ; and in order to do so they were in the habit of arm- 
ing themselves with commendatory epistles. The reference is 
quite general and to us quite obscure ; it is only by exceedingly 
bold specialization that it can be made to attest the existence 
of letters of commendation from the Jerusalem leaders. More- 
over, even if the opponents did have some sort of endorsement 
from Jerusalem, they may have abused the confidence which 
had been reposed in them. The Tubingen exegesis of 2 Cor. 
xi. 5; xii. 11, by which "the chief est apostles" were identified 
with the pillars of the Jerusalem Church should be rejected ; and 
the phrase (which is rather to be translated "those who are 
apostles overmuch") should be taken as designating simply the 


Corinthian agitators themselves. Thus, the "apostles over- 
much" of 2 Cor. xi. 5 become the same as the "false apostles" 
of verse 13, the latter verse being used in order to interpret 
the former. In 1 Cor. i. 12, Peter is mentioned as being ap- 
pealed to by one of the "parties" in the Corinthian Church. 
It has sometimes been maintained, on the basis of this verse, 
that Peter had actually been present in Corinth as had Apollos 
and Paul, who appear in two of the other party watchwords. 
But the matter is at least very doubtful. As chief of the 
original disciples of Jesus Peter might well have evoked the 
special admiration of certain members of the Corinthian Church 
without having ever been personally present. There does not 
seem to be the slightest evidence for supposing that the admirers 
of Peter mentioned in 1 Cor. i. 12 were extreme Judaizers; 
and there is no decisive reason for identifying them with the 
opponents who appear in 2 Cor. x-xiii. Certainly there is no 
reason for making Peter responsible for the factiousness of 
those who used his name. It must be remembered that Paul 
rebukes the "Paul party" if it be a party as much as any 
of the others, and distinctly commends Apollos, who was ap- 
pealed to by the "Apollos party." Evidently the faults of 
the "parties" were not due at all to those whose names the 
parties used. In 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22, Paul says, "All things 
are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas." Here Peter 
is put as part of the common possession of all Christians. 
There could not possibly be a clearer recognition of the com- 
plete fellowship which Paul regards as existing between him- 
self and Peter. Finally, in 1 Cor. xv. 11, Paul calls attention 
expressly to the fundamental unity between himself and the 
other apostles: "Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, 
and so ye believed." The Corinthian Epistles certainly 
lend no support to the Tubingen contention; they certainly 
provide no evidence of a breach between Paul and the original 
disciples of Jesus. 

At the time of his last visit to Jerusalem, Paul came again 
into contact with James, the brother of the Lord, and with 
the Jerusalem Church. The arrival at Jerusalem is narrated 
in one of the we-sections of the Book of Acts, and it is there 
said, "The brethren received us gladly" (Acts xxi. 17). The 
use of the first person plural disappears after the following 
1 See Knowling, as cited above, p. 104, footnotes 1 and 2. 


verse, where the meeting of Paul with James is described, but 
it is very difficult to separate Acts xxi. 20, for example, from 
the we-section. Of course there could be no use of the "we" 
when the narrator did not participate in what was being de- 
scribed. In Acts xxi. 20, it is said that James and the pres- 
byters "glorified God" on account of what had been done 
among the Gentiles through the ministry of Paul. Whatever 
view may be taken of the composition of Acts, therefore, the 
warm reception of Paul on the part of the Jerusalem leaders 
seems to be attested by an eyewitness. Such a reception 
would be very difficult to explain if the relations between Paul 
and Jerusalem had been what they are represented as being 
by the Tubingen scholars. 

According to Acts xxi. 20-26, James brought to Paul's 
attention the scruples of the Jewish Christians, who were 
"zealous for the law." These Jewish Christians had been told 
that Paul was teaching the Jews of the Dispersion not to 
circumcise their children or to walk "in the customs." With 
regard to the Gentile Christians, James has nothing to say 
except to call attention to the Apostolic Decree which the 
Jerusalem Church itself had adopted. But in order to allay 
the suspicions of the Jewish Christians, James suggests that 
Paul should participate in a Jewish vow. According to Acts 
xxi. 26, Paul complied with the request. 

Such compliance was regarded by the Tubingen scholars 
as absolutely incompatible with Paul's character, and there- 
fore as unhistorical. But recent criticism has been becoming, 
to say the least, less certain about the matter. The incident 
is narrated in a concrete way which creates a most favorable 
impression; indeed, the passage seems even to belong to the 
supposed we-section source. Moreover, a sober study of the 
Pauline Epistles has shown that the attitude of Paul toward 
Judaism and toward the Law was by no means what Baur 
and Zeller, through a one-sided interpretation of the polemic 
of Galatians, had supposed. In particular, the sharing of 
Paul in a Jewish vow is only an exemplification of the prin- 
ciple which Paul lays down in 1 Cor. ix. 19-22 of becoming 
all things to all men. Where could the principle possibly 
have applied if it did not apply to the situation in Jerusalem 
at the time of Paul's last visit? Where, if not there, could 


Paul have felt bound to become to the Jews as a Jew in order 
that he might gain Jews (1 Cor. ix. 20)? There seems to 
have been no attempt at that time to force the Law upon 
Gentiles, and no tendency to regard it even for Jews as 
necessary to salvation. Compliance with Jewish custom would 
therefore not be open to the misunderstanding which might 
have made it inadvisable during the midst of the Judaistic 
controversy. The devotion of the Jewish Christians to the 
Law seems never to have been condemned by Paul on principle. 
Should he then run counter to Jewish feeling by pursuing a 
crassly Gentile manner of life in the very midst of Judaism, 
when the national life, in the troublous years before the Jew- 
ish war, was running high? The answer to this question is 
at any rate not so simple as was formerly supposed. Par- 
ticipation by Paul in a Jewish vow in Jerusalem is not beyond 
the limits of that devotion to the Jewish people which the 
Epistles undoubtedly attest. And it is not really derogatory 
to the character of Paul. Where the truth of the gospel 
was concerned, Paul was absolutely unswerving and abso- 
lutely without regard for personal considerations ; but when 
the "weaker brethren" of his own nation could be won without 
sacrifice of principle, he was fully capable of becoming to the 
Jews as a Jew. 

While Paul was in prison in Jerusalem and in Caesarea, 
what was the attitude of James and of the Jerusalem Church? 
The Book of Acts does not say, and far-reaching conclusions 
have sometimes been drawn from its silence. The Jerusalem 
leaders, it is said, were at least lukewarm in their defense of 
Paul; they themselves were zealous for the Law, and they 
had only been half-convinced of the loyalty of Paul; it is no 
wonder, then, that they were not anxious to bring Jewish 
disfavor upon themselves by championing the cause of Paul. 

This representation can find no support whatever in the 
sources. Certainly it is not supported by the silence of Acts. 
The disciples of Jesus were certainly not in positions of political 
influence at Jerusalem; indeed only a few years later even 
James, despite his strict Jewish manner of life, fell victim to 
the fury of his enemies. If at such a time and under such 
circumstances the Jerusalem disciples accomplished nothing 
for Paul, the fact does not attest any coldness in their sym- 


pathy, or any repentance for the joy with which, on the un- 
equivocal testimony of a we-section, they had greeted him on 
his arrival. 

The Book of Acts does not mention the collection which 
according to 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans Paul carried 
up to Jerusalem for the poor of the Jerusalem Church, except 
perhaps in the bare allusion in Acts xxiv. 17. But no great 
significance is to be attached to the omission. It must be 
remembered that the Book of Acts is not concerned primarily 
with the inner development of the churches, but rather with 
the external progress of the gospel out from Jerusalem to the 
Gentile world. How meager, for example, as compared with 
the Corinthian Epistles, is the account which Acts gives of 
affairs at Corinth! To infer, therefore, from the silence of 
Acts about the collection that the collection was not graciously 
received is to make use of the argument from silence in a most 
adventurous and unwarranted manner. The inference is defi- 
nitely opposed, moreover, by the testimony of a we-section in 
Acts xxi. 17, where Paul is said to have been warmly received 
on his arrival in Jerusalem. That verse refers perhaps to 
the reception of Paul merely in a little group at the house of 
Mnason. But the warmth of his reception there was at least 
of good presage for the reception which took place the next 
day in the assembly of the elders. Rom. xv. 31 is sometimes 
thought to indicate anxious solicitude on the part of Paul 
lest the collection should not be acceptable to the Jerusalem 
Church. But the words will not bear the weight which is 
hung upon them. When Paul asks his readers to pray that 
he may be rescued from them that are disobedient in Judsea 
(that is, the non-Christian Jews), and that the offering 
which he is carrying to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the 
saints, he certainly does not indicate any fear lest the offering 
may not be acceptable. The offering had been much on his 
heart ; it was being carried to Jerusalem at the imminent risk 
of life; these perils were being encountered out of love 
for the Jerusalem brethren. Surely it is natural for the bearer 
of such an offering to wish that it may be acceptable. That 
wish is natural in the case of any gift, no matter how certain 
the giver may be that the recipient will be grateful. It was 
still more natural in the case of the Pauline collection. More- 
over, even if Paul was solicitous about the reception of the 


gift, his solicitude may well have concerned merely those mem- 
bers of the Jerusalem Church mentioned in Acts xxi. 20-22, 
who were suspicious of Gentile Christianity. There is no rea- 
son, therefore, for connecting the solicitude of Paul with the 
original apostles or with James. 

It will not be necessary for the present purpose to attempt 
any review of the missionary journeys of Paul. The outline 
of Paul's life is here being considered merely for its bearing 
upon the relations which Paul sustained (1) to the original 
disciples of Jesus, (2) to Judaism, and (3) to paganism. The 
first of these relationships has been chiefly in view. Enough 
has, however, perhaps been said to establish the following 
propositions : 

(1) The relation between Paul and the original disciples 
of Jesus was cordial ; there is no reason to interpret the "right 
hand of fellowship" which the leaders of the Jerusalem Church 
gave to Paul in any other than its full meaning, and no reason 
to suppose that the good relationship was broken off at any 
later time. 

(2) The early training of Paul was thoroughly Jewish, 
and was fundamentally Palestinian, not Hellenistic ; and Paul 
never relinquished his attachment to his own people. 

(3) Paul's attitude toward paganism, after the conversion 
as well as before it, was an attitude of abhorrence. If common 
ground was ever sought with his pagan hearers, it was only as 
a starting-point for the denunciation of idolatry and the 
proclamation of a revealed gospel. 



THE review of Paul's life has prepared the way for the 
principal subject of investigation. What was the origin of 
the religion of Paul? 

The most obvious answer to that question is that the re- 
ligion of Paul was based upon Jesus. That is the answer 
which has always been given in the Church. The Church has 
always accepted the apostle Paul, not at all as a religious 
philosopher, but simply and solely as a witness to Jesus. If 
he was not a true disciple of Jesus, then the authority which 
he has always possessed and the influence which he has wielded 
have been based upon a misconception. 

But exactly the same answer was given by Paul himself. 
Paul regarded himself as a servant of Christ, and based his 
whole life upon what Christ had done and what Christ was 
continuing to do. "It is no longer I that live," he says, "but 
Christ liveth in me." Unquestionably this Christ, upon whom 
Paul based his life, was identified by Paul with Jesus of Naz- 
areth, a person who had lived in Palestine a few years before. 
A mighty change in the mode of existence of Jesus had indeed, 
Paul believed, been wrought by the resurrection; a life of hu- 
miliation had given place to a life of glory. But it was the 
same person who lived throughout. There is in the Pauline 
Epistles not a trace of any distinction between "Jesus" and 
"Christ," as though the former were the name of the historic 
personage who lived in Galilee and the latter the name of the 
risen Lord. On the contrary, the name Jesus is applied freely 
to the risen Lord, and the name Lord the loftiest of all 
titles is applied to the Jesus who suffered and died. It was 
"the Lord of glory," according to Paul, who was crucified 

1 In the present chapter there are some coincidences of thought and 
expression with the paper by the same author entitled "Jesus and Paul" 
in Biblical and Theological Studies by the Members of the Faculty of 
Princeton Theological Seminary, 1912, pp. 547-578. 



(1 Cor. ii. 8). The same phenomenon appears everywhere in 
the Epistles : the Lord of glory lived the life of a servant on 
earth; and Jesus, the man who had recently lived in Palestine, 
was to be worshiped by all in heaven and on earth (Phil. ii. 

There is, therefore, in the Pauline Epistles not the slightest 
trace of any gnosticizing separation between Jesus the historic 
person, and Christ the divine Lord. There is, moreover, as 
W. Morgan rightly observes, 1 not the slightest trace of any 
"adoptionist Christology," by which a man Jesus could be 
conceived of either as growing up gradually into divinity or as 
received into divinity by a catastrophic event like the resurrec- 
tion. On the contrary, Paul says expressly that the Jesus who 
lived in Palestine existed, before His appearance upon earth, 
in the form of God ; and the entrance of that person upon hu- 
man life is represented as a voluntary act of love. His higher 
nature, therefore, existed from the beginning; indeed He was, 
according to Paul, the instrument in the creation of the 

Finally, there is no trace in Paul of any doctrine of "ke- 
nosis," by which the higher nature of Christ might have been 
regarded as so relinquished while He was on earth that the 
words and deeds of the historic person would become matter of 
indifference. Such a representation is refuted not only by 
what has just been said about the application of the term 
"Lord" to the historic Jesus, but also by the references of 
Paul to actual words and deeds of Jesus. These references 
are few; their scantiness may require explanation. But they 
are sufficient to show that Paul regarded the words of the 
historic Jesus as possessing absolute authority and His ex- 
ample as normative for the Christian life. 

Thus the testimony of Paul is plain. He regarded Christ 
as Lord and Master, and he identified that Christ fully with 
the Jesus who had lived but a few years before. This testi- 
mony must be faced and invalidated by those who would find 
the origin of Paul's religion elsewhere than in Jesus of Naz- 

Such is the testimony of Paul. But what was the testi- 
mony of his contemporaries? In the environment of Paul 
were to be found some men who had been intimate friends of 
*W. Morgan, The Religion and Theology of Paul, 1917. 


Jesus ; presumably they were acquainted with Jesus' character 
and teaching. What was their attitude toward Paul? Did 
they regard him as an innovator with respect to Jesus, or did 
they admit him to the company of Jesus' true disciples? Since 
they knew both Jesus and Paul, their testimony as to the 
relationship between the two is obviously worth having. At this 
point appears the importance of Baur's work. It is the merit of 
Baur that however faulty his solution he placed at least in the 
forefront of interest the problem of the relationship between 
Paul and the intimate friends of Jesus. That relationship, 
Baur believed, was fundamentally a relationship of conflict; 
Paul and Peter, according to Baur, established at best only 
a modus vivendi, an agreement to disagree; really they were 
separated by a deep-seated difference of principle. But at 
this point a further problem arises. If Paul and Peter were 
really in disharmony, how did they ever come to be regarded 
as in harmony? If there was a deep-seated difference of prin- 
ciple between Paul and Peter, how did it come about that the 
Catholic Church was founded not upon Paul taken alone, or 
upon Peter taken alone, but upon Paul and Peter taken to- 
gether ? 

Here, again, Baur displayed his true intellectual greatness 
by detecting and facing the problem. He saw clearly what 
has seldom been seen with equal clearness since his day, that 
the historian must explain the transition not only from the 
historical Jesus to apostolic Christianity, but from apostolic 
Christianity to the Old Catholic Church. And for this latter 
problem he proposed a solution which was not wanting in 
grandeur. But his solution, despite its grandeur, has suc- 
cumbed. Baur's reconstruction of the second century, with 
the supposed gradual compromise between Pauline and Petrine 
Christianity, resulting finally in the Christianity of the Old 
Catholic Church, was one of the first elements in his system 
which had to be abandoned; it was destroyed, in the first 
place, by the criticism of A. Ritschl, and, in the second place, 
by the painstaking labors of Lightfoot, Zahn, Von Harnack 
and others, by which, through a study of second-century 
documents and their literary relationships, it was shown that 
the New Testament books cannot be scattered at will any- 
where throughout the second century in the interests of a 
theory of development. Ritschl showed that the importance 


of specifically Jewish Christianity had been enormously ex- 
aggerated by Baur ; and the study of patristics tended to place 
the New Testament books much earlier than the late dating 
which the theory of Baur required. 

Thus Baur did not succeed in overcoming the fundamental 
objection raised against him by the very existence of a Church 
that appealed both to Peter and to Paul. If Peter and Paul 
were really in fundamental disharmony, how did the Church 
come to bring them together so confidently and at such an 
early time? This question has never been answered. The 
very existence of the Church is a refutation of Baur; the 
Church never could have existed unless the apostles had been 
in fundamental agreement. 

But Baur may also be refuted directly, in a purely exe- 
getical way, by an examination of the sources to which he 
himself appealed. Baur established his hypothesis of a con- 
flict between Paul and Peter on the basis of the Pauline 
Epistles. Subsidiary evidence, thought to be found in other 
books of the New Testament, was soon shown to be illusory. 
Thus Baur and the early Tubingen scholars detected an anti- 
Pauline polemic in the Book of Revelation, which they attrib- 
uted to John the son of Zebedee. This use of the Apocalpse 
was soon abandoned even by Baur's own disciples. The theory 
of Baur, therefore, stands or falls with his interpretation of 
the Pauline Epistles, especially 1 and 2 Corinthians and Gala- 

The Corinthian Epistles, as has been observed in the last 
chapter, afford no real support to the hypothesis of an inter- 
apostolic conflict. There is not the slightest reason to con- 
nect the troublemakers at Corinth with the original apostles 
or with James; and the whole subject of the "Christ-party" 
in 1 Cor. i. 12 is now felt to be very obscure. The evidence 
of an apostolic conflict narrows down, therefore, to the second 
chapter of Galatians. 

Undoubtedly there are expressions in that chapter which 
if taken alone might indicate ill-will between Paul and the 
Jerusalem leaders. In Gal. ii. 2, 6, for example, James and 
Peter and John are called "those who seemed," 1 and in the 
latter verse the phrase is explained by the fuller designation, 
"those who seemed to be something." In Gal. ii. 9, the same 


persons are designated as "those who seemed to be pillars." 
In themselves these words are capable of an interpretation 
which would bo derogatory to the persons so designated. The 
meaning might conceivably be that the Jerusalem leaders only 
"seemed" or "were thought" to be something, or only thought 
themselves to be something (compare Gal. vi. 3), whereas they 
really were nothing. But this interpretation is, of course, 
quite impossible, since Paul certainly recognized Peter and 
John as genuine apostles and James the brother of the Lord 
as a man of real authority in the Church. The most that may 
be maintained, therefore, is that the choice of the peculiar 
phrases indicates a certain irritation of Paul against the 
Jerusalem leaders ; instead of calling them pillars (which cer- 
tainly he recognized them as being) he shows his irritation, 
it is said, by calling them "those who were thought to be 

The presence of indignant feeling in the passage must 
clearly be admitted; but the question is whether the indigna- 
tion is directed against the Jerusalem leaders themselves or 
only against the Judaizers who falsely appealed to them. The 
latter view is correct. It must be remembered that what Paul 
in Gal. ii. 1-10 desires most of all to prevent is the impression 
that he is appealing to the Jerusalem apostles as to a higher 
instance. He is not basing the authority of his preaching 
upon any authorization that the apostles gave him; he is not 
saying that he has a right to be heard because those who were 
the pillars of the Church endorsed his message. Such a repre- 
sentation of the conference would have cast despite upon all 
the work which he had done before, and would have made it 
necessary for him in the future to prove constantly against 
all Judaizers and other opponents his agreement with the 
Jerusalem authorities. The profound consciousness which he 
had of his apostolic authority did not permit any such course 
of action; and such restrictions would have hindered his work 
wherever he went. It was absolutely essential in the economy 
of God that the leader of the Gentile work should have inde- 
pendent authority and should not be obliged to appeal again 
and again to authorities who were far away, at Jerusalem. 
Hence what Paul desires to make clear above all in Gal. ii. 
1-10 is that though he appealed to the Jerusalem authorities 
it was not necessary for his own sake for him to appeal to 


them. They were great, but their greatness had absolutely 
nothing to do with his authority; for they added nothing to 
him. It was therefore not the real greatness of the original 
apostles which caused him to appeal to them (for he needed 
no authorization from any man no matter how great), but 
only the greatness which was attributed to them by the Juda- 
izers. They really were great, but it was only the false use 
which had been made of their greatness by the Judaizers which 
caused him to lay his gospel before them. The Judaizers were 
to be refuted from the lips of the very authorities to whom 
they appealed. 

It should be observed that the terms which are now under 
discussion are incapable of real translation into English. The 
equivalent English words might seem to imply that the reputed 
greatness of the Jerusalem leaders was not also a real great- 
ness. There is no such implication in the Greek. The shortest 
of the phrases, which may be paraphrased "those of repute," 
was used in Greek sometimes in a way thoroughly honorable 
to the persons designated. Possibly the repetition of the 
phrases, which seems somewhat strange, was due to the em- 
ployment of the same phrases by the Judaizing opponents. 
The peculiarities of the passage may perhaps be due partly 
to the fact that Paul is here using catchwords of his adver- 

At any rate, if the reader refuses to interpret these ex- 
pressions in a way derogatory to the original apostles, such 
refusal is not due merely to a pious desire to preserve harmony 
in the apostolic college; it is due rather to the way in which 
Paul himself everywhere speaks of the apostles, and to the 
"right hand of fellowship" which according to this very pas- 
sage they extended to him. It is good exegetical method to 
interpret things that are obscure by things that are plain; 
but what is plainest of all in this passage is that the very 
authorities to whom the Judaizers appealed against Paul rec- 
ognized the hand of God in his work and bade him Godspeed. 

If Gal. ii. 1-10 affords no support to the theory of Baur, 
the latter part of the same chapter (Gal. ii. 11-21) is not really 
any more favorable. This passage does indeed attest a rebuke 
which Paul administered to Peter at Antioch. Peter is even 
accused of "hypocrisy." The Greek word l is indeed not 


quite so harsh as the English word derived from it; it means 
the "playing of a part" and so here the concealment of true 
convictions. Nevertheless, the incident remains regrettable 
enough; evidently real moral blame was attached by Paul to 
Peter's conduct. But what is really significant is that in the 
very act of condemning Peter's practice Paul commends his 
principles; he appeals to a great fund of Christian conviction 
which he and Peter had in common (Gal. ii. 14-21). It will 
not do to say that in this passage Paul is giving no report of 
what he said to Peter, but is expounding his own views to the 
Galatians. For in Gal. ii. 14 he begins to tell what he said 
to Peter "before them all"; and there is not the slightest indi- 
cation of a break before the end of the chapter. Certainly the 
break cannot come after verse 14; for the thought of that 
verse is quite incomplete in itself and becomes intelligible only 
when explained by what follows. The passage is best ex- 
plained, therefore, if it be taken as embodying the substance 
of what Paul said to Peter at Antioch, though doubtless there 
is no attempt at verbal reproduction of the language. At 
any rate, however much of Gal. ii. 14-21 be a report of what 
was said at Antioch, and however much be what Paul now 
wishes to say to the Galatians, one thing is clear when Paul 
begins in verse 14 to report what he said to Peter, he means 
to call attention to something in which he and Peter were 
agreed; he means to say: "You and I, though we had all the 
advantages of the Law, relinquished such advantages, in order 
to be justified by faith in Christ. How then can we force the 
Gentiles to seek salvation by a way which even in our own 
case was futile?" Whatever else Paul said to Peter, this much 
he certainly said. The context makes the matter perfectly 
clear. It must always be remembered that Paul blames Peter 
not for false opinions, but for "hypocrisy" that is, for con- 
cealment of true opinions. In verse 14, moreover, he says 
expressly that Peter was living after a Gentile manner. The 
verb is in the present tense "if thou being a Jew livest as do 
the Gentiles and not as do the Jews." Paul means to say that 
a principle essentially similar to that of the Gentile Christians, 
according to which in their case the keeping of the Mosaic Law 
was relinquished, was the fixed basis of Peter's life. Peter's 
present withdrawal from the Gentiles was a mere temporary 
aberration. Before the coming of the men from James, he had 


seen clearly that the great new principle of faith in Christ took 
precedence of the Law, even for Jewish Christians; and after 
the departure of the men he would presumably revert to his old 
freedom. Indeed even now, even while he was withdrawing 
himself from his Gentile brethren, the real principle of his 
life had not been changed; he was still "living as do the Gen- 
tiles." But he was concealing his real life for fear of men. 
The very nature of the charge which Paul brought against 
Peter, therefore, attests a fundamental unity of principle 
between the two apostles. Paul condemned Peter for "hypoc- 
risy"; not for false principles, but for concealment of true 
principles. In principle, therefore, Paul and Peter were agreed. 
Accordingly, even the very passage which at first sight 
lends most color to the hypothesis of Baur, really, when it is 
correctly interpreted, provides the most striking refutation of 
that hypothesis. The very chapter which attests the appeal 
of Paul's bitter opponents to the original apostles, and records 
a sharp rebuke which Paul administered to Peter, really fur- 
nishes the best evidence of apostolic unity. It is the second 
chapter of Galatians which mentions the right hand of fellow- 
ship extended to Paul by James and Peter and John, and it 
is the second chapter of Galatians which represents the di- 
vergence between Paul and Peter as divergence of practice, 
not of principle. Even if the Epistle to the Galatians stood 
alone, it would establish the fundamental unity of the apostles. 
But as a matter of fact, the Epistle to the Galatians does not 
stand alone; it must be interpreted in the light of other 
sources. The one-sided interpretation of Galatians, with neg- 
lect of other epistles of Paul and of the Book of Acts, has 
been one of the most fruitful causes of error in the study of 
the apostolic age. For example, Gal. ii should never be read 
except in the light of 1 Cor. xv. 1-11. The two passages em- 
phasize two different aspects of Paul's relation to those who 
had been apostles before him; and only when both the two 
aspects are considered is the full truth attained. Gal. ii em- 
phasizes the independence of Paul's gospel; Paul had not re- 
ceived it through the instrumentality of men. 1 Cor. xv. 1-11 
emphasizes the harmony of Paul's gospel with that of the 
original apostles, whom Christ had commissioned as directly 
and as truly as He had commissioned Paul. Both passages 
are contained in sources admitted by all to be sources of pri- 


mary importance; yet either passage might be misunderstood 
if it were taken alone. 

Thus the danger of interpreting Gal. ii entirely without 
reference to anything else is signally manifested by a com- 
parison with 1 Cor. xv. 1-11. The First Epistle to the Co- 
rinthians must be allowed to cast light upon Galatians. But 
if so, may not the same privilege be granted to the Book of 
Acts? As a matter of fact, the privilege is being granted to 
the Book of Acts by a larger and larger number of modern 
scholars. Baur demanded that the Pauline Epistles should 
be interpreted by themselves, entirely without reference to 
Acts. But as J. Weiss l pertinently remarks, such interpre- 
tation is quite impossible; the Epistles taken by themselves 
are unintelligible; they can be interpreted only when placed 
in the biographical outline provided by the historian. Of 
course, that outline might be discredited by a comparison 
with the Epistles; the divergences might really be contradic- 
tions. Comparison of Acts with the Epistles is therefore a 
matter of fundamental importance. But that comparison, as it 
has been undertaken at some length in the two preceding 
chapters of the present discussion, has resulted favorably to 
the Book of Acts. The divergences between Acts and Pauline 
Epistles are no more to be regarded as contradictions than 
are the divergences between various passages in the Epistles 
themselves ; and at many points the historical work casts a 
flood of light upon the words of Paul. 

Thus the imposing construction of Baur was erected by 
neglecting all sources except Galatians and Corinthians, and 
then by misinterpreting these. When all the available sources 
are used, and estimated at their true value, the hypothesis of 
a fundamental conflict between Paul and the original apostles 
disappears. There was indeed a bitter conflict in the apos- 
tolic age, but, as Ritschl observed against Baur, it was a con- 
flict not between Paul and the original apostles, but between 
all the apostles, including both Paul and Peter, on the one 
side, and an extreme Judaizing party on the other. The ex- 
treme Judaizing party, not having the support of the original 
disciples of Jesus, soon ceased to be influential. The various 
sects of schismatic Jewish Christians which appear in the 
second century "Ebionites" and the like if they had any 
1 See p. 40, footnote 1. 


roots at all the apostolic age (which is more than doubtful), 
could trace their spiritual descent not from the original apos- 
tles, but from the Judaizers. It is no wonder then that they 
were left behind in the march of the Church. They were left 
behind not because Peter was left behind for Peter appears 
as at least one of the foundations upon which the Old Cath- 
olic Church was built but because Peter had left them be- 
hind, or rather because Peter had never given them his sup- 
port at all. They were left behind because from the beginning 
their spiritual ancestors in the apostolic age had not really 
belonged with apostolic Christianity, but had been "false 
brethren privily brought in." 

One fact, indeed, still requires explanation. If Paul and 
the original apostles were in such perfect agreement, how is 
it that the Judaizers in the apostolic age could appeal to the 
original apostles against Paul? The existence of that appeal 
cannot altogether be denied. The exact nature of the appeal 
is not indeed altogether clear. It is by no means clear that 
the Judaizers appealed to the original apostles in support 
of the content of the Judaizing message; it is by no means 
clear that they made Peter or James teach the necessity of the 
Mosaic Law for salvation. What is clear is only that they 
appealed to the original apostles in their personal attack 
against Paul ; they contrasted Paul, who had become a disciple 
only after the crucifixion, with those who had been intimate 
with Jesus. They used Peter to discredit the apostolic author- 
ity of Paul, but it is not so clear that they used Peter to 
discredit the content of Paul's message. 

If, however, they did appeal to Peter in this latter way, 
if they did appeal to Peter in support of their legalistic con- 
tentions, such an appeal does not overthrow the conclusions 
which have just been reached about the harmony of Peter 
and Paul; it does not really make Peter an advocate of legal- 
ism. For even if Peter was not an advocate of legalism the 
appeal of the Judaizers to him can be explained. It can be 
explained not by the principles of Peter, but by his practice. 
The early disciples in Jerusalem continued to observe the Jew- 
ish fasts and feasts; they continued in diligent attendance 
upon the Temple services. Outwardly, they were simply devout 
Jews ; and the manner .of their life might therefore have given 
some color to the Judaizing contentions. 


Inwardly, it is true, the early disciples were not simply 
devout Jews ; they were really trusting for their salvation no 
longer to their observance of the Law but to Jesus their Sav- 
iour. The whole spirit of their lives, moreover, was quite 
different from that which prevailed in legalistic Judaism; 
anxious thought for the morrow, gloomy contemplation of the 
triumphs of the oppressor, had given place to exultant joy. 
The early disciples, indeed, like the Jews, were still waiting 
for the establishment of the kingdom of God. But their wait- 
ing was no longer full of sorrow. The Messiah was taken from 
them for a time ; but He had already appeared and had brought 

Thus the early Jerusalem Church was really quite distinct 
from contemporary Judaism; the real principle of its life 
was fresh and new. But to a superficial observer, on account 
of the continuance of old customs, the new principle might not 
appear; to a superficial observer, the observance of Jewish 
customs on the part of the early disciples might seem to be 
legalism. And certainly the Judaizers were superficial. Ap- 
parently they had come into the Church in the period of quiet 
that followed the persecution of Stephen; they had come in 
from the sect of the Pharisees, and they continued to be 
Pharisees at heart. As Pharisees they welcomed the coming 
of the Messiah, but they did not understand the teaching of 
this Messiah. They looked for a continuance of the prerog- 
atives of Israel. Jesus was the Messiah, but was He not the 
Jewish Messiah, would He not bring about the triumph of the 
chosen people? Would not all the peoples of the earth come 
to do obeisance to Israel by submitting to Israel's Law? To 
such observers, the Jewish practice of the original apostles 
would furnish welcome support; these observers would not 
care to look beneath the surface ; they would say simply to 
the Gentile Christians of Galatia: "The original disciples of 
Jesus obey the Mosaic Law; must not you do likewise?" 

At a later time such an appeal could not have been made; 
at a later time even the practice of the original apostles 
ceased to conform to Jewish custom. The tradition according 
to which the apostle Peter finally went to Rome is emerging 
triumphant * from the fires of criticism ; and if Peter went to 
Rome, it is inconceivable that he separated himself from Gen- 
1 See, for example, Lietzmann, Petrus and Paulus in Rom, 1915. 


tile Christians. Even in the early days, in Antioch, he had 
begun to abandon his Jewish manner of life; surely he must 
have abandoned it more fully when he went to the capital 
of the Gentile world. The tradition as to the Ephesian resi- 
dence of the apostle John also points to the abandonment of 
the Law on the part of the original apostles, and to their 
definite entrance upon the Gentile mission. That tradition 
has been rejected only by attending to late and dubious evi- 
dence to the neglect of what is plain. But it is not necessary 
to appeal to details. All that has been said above about the 
position of Peter in the mind of the Church shows that even 
the practice of the original apostles finally adapted itself to 
the needs of the expanding Gentile work. 

But in the early period, in Jerusalem, before it had be- 
come evident that the Jewish people as such was to reject the 
gospel message, the apostles continued to observe the Law. 
And by doing so, they gave the Judaizers some color of sup- 
port. Thus if the Judaizers did appeal to the original apostles 
in support of their legalistic claims, the appeal does not estab- 
lish any real unity of principle between them and the original 
apostles, or any divergence of principle between the original 
apostles and Paul. But as a matter of fact it is by no means 
perfectly clear that the appeal was made ; it is by no means 
clear that the Judaizers appealed to the original apostles 
for the content of their legalistic message rather than merely 
for their attack upon the independent apostleship of Paul. 
It is possible that they said no more than this : "Paul was 
not one of the original disciples of Jesus ; his authority is 
merely a derived authority; he is, therefore, no more worthy 
to be heard than we; and we can tell you something new the 
followers of the Messiah must unite themselves with the chosen 
people and obey the Law of God." 

At any rate, even if the Judaizers did appeal to the 
original apostles for the content of their message, the appeal 
was a false appeal; the original apostles repudiated the Juda- 
izers, and recognized Paul as a true apostle, with author- 
ization as direct as their own. 

Thus Baur was wrong. But suppose Baur were right 
about the point which has just been discussed; suppose even 
the most impossible admissions be made ; suppose it be granted 
that the original apostles differed fundamentally from Paul. 


Even then the testimony of the original apostles to the true 
connection between Paul and Jesus is not invalidated. For 
even if the original apostles differed fundamentally from 
Paul, the difference concerned only the place of the Mosaic 
Law in the Christian economy, and did not concern the 
Pauline conception of the person of Christ. So much at 
least must be insisted upon against Baur. The really astound- 
ing fact, which emerges from all discussion of the apostolic 
age, is that the Pauline conception of the person of Christ, 
whatever may be said of the Pauline doctrine of Gentile 
freedom, was never criticized by the original apostles. In- 
deed, so far as can be seen, it was never criticized even by the 
Judaizers themselves. Apparently it never occurred to Paul 
that his conception of the heavenly Christ required defense. 
About other things there was controversy ; the doctrine of 
Christian freedom, for example, had to be defended against 
all sorts of objections and by the use of all sorts of evidence. 
But about the person of Christ there was not one word of 
debate. "Not by man but by Jesus Christ," Paul says at 
the beginning of Galatians. Evidently the Judaizers said, 
"Not by Jesus Christ but by man." But apparently it 
never occurred to Paul that any one might say, "By Jesus 
Christ and therefore by man." The Judaizers, apparently, as 
well as Paul, recognized the alternative between Jesus Christ 
and man ; like Paul they separated Jesus Christ from ordi- 
nary humanity and placed Him on the side of God. The same 
phenomenon appears everywhere in the Pauline Epistles the 
tremendous doctrine of the person of Christ is never defended, 
but always assumed. Indeed, in the earlier epistles the doc- 
trine is never even set forth in any systematic way; it is 
simply presupposed. In Colossians, indeed, it is more definitely 
set forth, and apparently in opposition to errorists who failed 
to recognize its full implications. Even in Colossae, however, 
the doctrine does not seem to have been denied; the errorists 
apparently did not deny the supreme place of Jesus in the 
scale of being, but merely erred in attaching undue importance 
to other beings. ' What is really significant in Colossians 
is the character of the errorists. Evidently they were not con- 
servative disciples, who appealed against the heavenly Christ 
of Paul to the facts about the historic Jesus. On the con- 
trary, they were gnostics, engaged in unhistorical specula- 


tions, and as far removed as possible from anything that 
primitive Palestinian Christianity might conceivably have 
been. So when Paul first has to defend his doctrine of the 
exclusive and supreme importance of Christ, he defends it 
not against conservative disciples, who could appeal either 
with or without reason to the original apostles, but against 
gnostic speculation. With regard to the person of Christ Paul 
appears everywhere in perfect harmony with all Palestinian 

The fact is of such importance that it must be examined 
in the light of all possible objections. Is there any trace in 
the Pauline Epistles of a primitive view of Jesus different 
from the lofty Christology of Paul? 

One such trace has occasionally been found in 2 Cor. v. 
16. In that verse, after Paul has spoken of the complete 
break that comes in a man's life when he accepts the bene- 
fits of Christ's death, he sa} r s : "Wherefore we henceforth 
know no man after the flesh : even though we have known Christ 
after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more." Some in- 
terpreters have discovered in the words, "even though we have 
known Christ after the flesh," a reference to a fleshly con- 
ception of Christ which laid stress upon His Davidic descent, 
His connection with the Jewish people, and in general His 
ordinary human relationships, to the neglect of His higher, 
divine nature. That fleshly conception of Christ might then 
be regarded as the primitive conception, which Paul himself 
shared until a mature stage of his Christian life. But this 
latter suggestion is excluded not only by the whole tenor of 
the Epistles (in which Paul never displays the slightest con- 
sciousness of any such revolution in his idea of Christ), buh 
also especially by the present passage. The passage deals 
with the complete and immediate break which comes in a man's 
way of thinking when the death of Christ becomes representa- 
tive of him that is, at the beginning of his Christian life. It is 
therefore entirely out of accord with the context to suppose 
that Paul is contrasting an immature stage of his own Chris- 
tian life with the present mature stage. But he is also not 
alluding to any lower, fleshly conception of Christ as being 
held by others. The interpretation which finds in the pas- 
sage a human Messiah in contrast to the divine Christ of Paul, 
errs fundamentally in making the words "according to the 


flesh" modify "Christ," whereas as a matter of fact they clearly 
modify the verb "know." Paul says not, "Even if we have 
known a Christ according to the flesh, we know such a Christ 
no longer," but, "Even if we have known Christ with a fleshly 
kind of knowledge, we know Him in such a way no longer." He 
is not speaking of two different conceptions of Christ, but 
of two different ways of knowing Christ. There is in the 
passage, therefore, not the slightest reference to any primi- 
tive conception of the person of Christ different from Paul's 

In 2 Cor. xi. 4 Paul speaks of "another Jesus" whom his 
opponents in Corinth were proclaiming or might proclaim. Was 
this "other Jesus" the historical Jesus, in distinction from 
the heavenly Christ of Paul? Does this verse refer to a 
primitive, Palestinian conception of Jesus different from the 
conception held by Paul? 

The verse is certainly very difficult ; it constitutes a 
famous crux interpretum. But just for that reason, it should 
not be made the foundation for far-reaching theories. There 
is not the slightest hint elsewhere in 2 Corinthians that the 
opponents presented a view of the person of Christ different 
from that of Paul ; indeed what is characteristic of the polemic 
in this Epistle is that doctrinal questions are absent. There 
is not even any evidence that the opponents, though apparently 
they laid stress upon Jewish descent, Palestinian connections, 
and the like, and so may perhaps loosely be called "Judaizers," 
insisted upon the keeping of the Mosaic Law. Apparently Paul 
does not feel required to defend the content of his gospel 
at all. Certainly he does not feel required to defend his doc- 
trine of the person of Christ. But if the opponents had really 
proclaimed a human Jesus different from the divine Christ of 
Paul, it is inconceivable that Paul should not have defended his 
view. If there is one thing that is fundamental in the religion 
of Paul, it is his conception of Christ as divine Redeemer. 
Any denial of that conception would certainly have called 
forth anathemas at least as severe as those which were hurled 
against the legalists in Galatia. Yet in 2 Cor. x-xiii, though 
these chapters contain perhaps the bitterest polemic to be 
found anywhere in the Pauline Epistles, there is no trace of 
any defense of the Pauline conception of the person of Christ. 
The natural suggestion is that such defense is absent because 


it was not called forth by anything that the opponents said. 
It is adventurous exegetical procedure to hang a heavy weight 
upon the very obscure verse, 2 Cor. xi. 4. 

As a matter of fact, however, the obscurities of that verse 
are not hopeless, and rightly interpreted the verse contains 
no hint of a primitive conception of Jesus different from 
that which was proclaimed by Paul. The translation of the 
American Revised Version may first be presented as a basis 
of discussion, though it is probably incorrect in important 
particulars. In that version the three verses Cor. xi. 4-6 1 
read as follows : "For if he that cometh preacheth another 
Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different 
spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which 
ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him. 5 For I 
reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chief est apostles. 
6 But though I be rude in speech, yet am I not in knowl- 
edge; nay, in every way have we made this manifest unto 
you in all things." By a modification of this translation at the 
end of verse 4, the whole passage might mean: "Bear with 
me in my boasting. I am 'boasting' or defending myself 
only in ordej that you may not be deceived by the opponent 
who comes to you. For if he comes arrogantly proclaiming 
another Jesus, another Spirit, and another gospel, ye bear 
with him only too well. Bear with me then when I defend 
myself. For I am not a bit behind these 'preeminent' apostles, 2 
since despite what they say I have really made the whole truth 
known to you." 

Even according to this interpretation there is no real 
reference to a Jesus of the opponents different from Paul's 
Jesus. The "other Jesus" of the opponents existed, rather, 
merely in their own inordinate claims. They had no other 
Jesus, no other Spirit, and no other gospel to offer. They 
asserted, indeed, that the teaching of Paul was insufficient; 
they asserted that they had fuller information about Jesus, 

4. el i&v yap o IpxV^os aXXov 'Irjvow Kypbaati ov OVK cKripvan-i>, r) irvtv^o. Irtpov 
d OVK eXd/Sere, rj tvayyk\iov eYcpof 8 OVK e5ea<70e, *aXs &vkxtff0e. 5. \oyL- 
fo/zai yap wdfr ixrTfprjKtvai TUV virtp\lav airoffroXui' . 6. el 5 Kai iStdbrr/s TUJ Xoyy, 
AXX'ou rrj yvuvet, AXX'ev iravri QavtpuaavTts kv ira.<jiv els v^ds. 

3 The translation preferred in the American Revision, "very chiefest 
apostles," seems to he based upon the mistaken view that the farepX/ai> 
airoffroXoi are the original apostles at Jerusalem. This view is rejected 
in the above paraphrase, which diverges from the American Revision in 
other ways also. 


about the Spirit, and about the gospel. They said, "Paul has 
not made the full truth known to you." Yet they had really 
nothing new to offer. Paul had really given to the Corinthians 
the whole Jesus, the whole Spirit, and the whole gospel. 

As a matter of fact, however, this interpretation is un- 
satisfactory. It is obliged to supply a link to connect verse 
4 with verse 5 namely, the thought, "Bear with me." That 
thought is here entirely unexpressed; verse 1, where it is ex- 
pressed, is too far back to be in view. Thus if the pronoun 
"him" is supplied with the verb at the end of verse 4, there is 
no clear connection with verse 5; the "for" of verse 5 is 
very obscure. If, however, the pronoun "me," not "him," 
is supplied with the verb at the end of verse 4, all is plain. 
Since the pronoun does not appear at all in the Greek, 
the translator is free to supply it as the context demands ; 
and the context apparently demands the pronoun "me." The 
meaning of the passage is then as follows : "Bear with me in 
my 'boasting.' My boasting is undertaken to prevent you from 
being deceived. For if the one who comes to you seeks to 
commend himself by claiming fuller knowledge of Jesus, the 
Spirit, or the gospel, then you do well to bear with me in my 
boasting, you do well to listen to my defense. For I am not 
afraid of the comparison with the opponent. It is not true 
that I have concealed from you anything about Jesus, about 
the Spirit, or about the gospel ; on the contrary I have made 
everything known to you." 

The exegetical question is somewhat complicated by a 
question of the text in verse 4. Manuscript evidence is rather 
evenly divided between the present tense of the verb at the 
end of the verse and the imperfect tense. 1 Unquestionably 
the imperfect tense is the more difficult reading; it is favored 
therefore by the well-known principle of textual criticism 
that the more difficult reading is to be preferred to the easier. 
If the imperfect be read, it may perhaps be explained as the 
imperfect tense in the apodosis of a condition contrary to 
fact ; there would then be a transition from one form of con- 
dition to another. Paul would then say: "If he who comes is 
preaching another Jesus, another Spirit, and another gospel 
if such were the case you would do well to bear with my 
defense of my own preaching." If indeed the pronoun "him" 
1 Between hvcxtaQi and aveixtvOt (or 


be supplied at the end of verse 4, as is usually done, the im- 
perfect might be taken simply as referring to past time, and 
the meaning would be : "If he who comes is preaching another 
Jesus, another Spirit, and another gospel when that took 
place ye were bearing with the newcomer only too well." But 
even so the imperfect is extremely harsh, and on the whole it 
is more probable that it has crept in by a copyist's error 
perhaps in conformity to the same imperfect in verse 1, where 
the imperfect is used to express a wish. 

What has caused the vast majority of commentators to 
supply "him" rather than "me" at the end of verse 4 is appar- 
ently the parallel with 2 Cor. xi. 19, 20, where Paul certainly 
expresses the thought, "Bear with me, for you bear with my 
arrogant opponents only too well." The parallel does indeed 
constitute the strongest argument in favor of the ordinary 
view of verse 4 which supplies the pronoun "him," and regards 
the adverb "well" as sarcastic "only too well." But the 
argument is not decisive. The connection with verse 5 really 
fixes the pronoun which is to be supplied at the end of the 
preceding verse. Paul is defending himself against the charge, 
implied in verse 6, that he had not made the full truth known. 
The opponents had claimed to have further information about 
Jesus, the Spirit, and the gospel. "But," says Paul, "if that 
is their claim, ye do well to listen to my defense. For I have 
made Jesus and the Spirit and the gospel just as fully known 
to you as they have." The thought is perfectly clear if only 
the pronoun "me" be supplied at the end of verse 4. 

If, however, exegetical tradition be followed, and the pro- 
noun "him" be supplied, the essential implications of the pas- 
sage are not really different. In no case is anything said 
about a conception of Jesus really differing from that of Paul. 
One interpretation, indeed, definitely excludes such an impli- 
cation. The passage may mean, "If the one who comes to you 
preaches another Jesus in that case you would do well to 
bear with him. But as a matter of fact there is only one 
Jesus. Therefore you will do well to be content with me. 
For I have made Jesus fully known to you." According to this 
interpretation, which has much to be said in its favor, Paul 
refutes the opponents and their arrogant claims of bringing 
something superior to Paul's message, by a reference to the 
obvious fact that there is only one Jesus. "If they had 


another Jesus," Paul says, "then they might claim to bring 
you something that I did not bring. But since, unfortunately 
for them, there is of course only one Jesus, and since I made 
that Jesus fully known to you, they cannot maintain any supe- 
riority." This interpretation is probably to be preferred among 
all those which supply the pronoun "him" rather than "me" 
at the end of verse 4. 

At any rate, whichever interpretation be adopted, Paul 
would surely have expressed himself very differently if the 
opponents had presented an account of Jesus radically con- 
tradictory to his own. In that case he could hardly have 
appealed merely to the completeness of his presentation. In- 
stead, he would have had to establish the truth of his presenta- 
tion. As it is, the "other Jesus" of the Judaizers existed only 
in their own inordinate claims. They really had no other 
Jesus to offer; Paul had made the whole Jesus known. The 
passage contains no hint, therefore, of a primitive conception of 
Jesus differing from the lofty conception proclaimed by Paul. 
Thus the Pauline Epistles contain not the slightest trace 
of any conflict with regard to the person of Christ. About 
other things there was debate, but about this point Paul 
appears to have been in harmony with all Palestinian Chris- 
tians. Even the Judaizers seem to have had no objection to 
the heavenly Christ of Paul. But if the Judaizers, who were 
Paul's bitter opponents, had no objection to Paul's view of 
Christ, it could only have been because the original apostles 
on this point gave them not even that slight color of support 
which may have been found with regard to the way of salva- 
tion in the apostles' observance of the Law. The fact is of 
enormous importance. The heavenly Christ of Paul was also 
the Christ of those who had walked and talked with Jesus of 

Let it not be said that this conclusion involves an undue 
employment of the argument from silence; let it not be said 
that although the original apostles did not share Paul's con- 
ception of the heavenly Christ, Paul did not find it neces- 
sary to enter into the debate in his Epistles. For on this 
matter Paul could not possibly have kept silent. He was not 
in the habit of keeping silent when the essential things of 
his gospel were called in question the anathemas which he 
pronounced against the Judaizers in Galatia and the sharp 


rebuke which he administered to the chief of the apostles at 
Antioch are sufficient proof of his fearlessness. But what 
can possibly be regarded as essential to his gospel if it was 
not his doctrine of Christ as divine Redeemer? That doc- 
trine was the very warp and woof of his being; without it he 
was less than nothing. Yet the historian is asked to believe 
that Paul submitted tamely, without a word of protest, to the 
presentation of a purely human Jesus. The thing is un- 
thinkable. Paul would not have submitted to the preaching 
of such a Jesus if the preachers had all been angels from 

What is really most significant in the Pauline Epistles 
therefore, is the complete absence of any defense of the Pauline 
doctrine of Christ, the complete absence, indeed, of any sys- 
tematic presentation of that doctrine. The Pauline view 
of Christ is everywhere presupposed, but nowhere defended. 
The phenomenon is very strange if the modern naturalistic 
account of Jesus be correct. According to that account, the 
historical Jesus, a great and good man, came after His death 
to be regarded as a divine Redeemer; one conception of Jesus 
gave place to a very different conception. Yet the surprising 
thing is that the mighty transition has left not the slightest 
trace in the primary sources of information. The chief wit- 
ness to the transcendent conception of Jesus as divine Re- 
deemer is quite unconscious of introducing anything new; in- 
deed he expressly calls attention to the harmony of his procla- 
mation with that of the intimate friends of Jesus. There is 
only one possible conclusion the heavenly Christ of Paul 
was also the Christ of those who had lived with Jesus of 
Nazareth. They had seen Jesus subject to all the petty limita- 
tions of human life; they had seen Him hungry and thirsty 
and weary ; they had toiled with Him over the hills of Galilee ; 
yet they gave the right hand of fellowship to one who regarded 
Him as the divine Redeemer seated on the throne of all being, 
and they were quite unconscious of any conflict between their 
view and his. 

Thus Paul was not regarded as an innovator with respect 
to Jesus by Jesus' intimate friends. He was not regarded as 
an innovator even with regard to those elements in his message 
such as freedom from the Law about which no definite 
guidance was to be found in the teaching or example of Jesus. 


Still less was he regarded as an innovator in his account of 
Jesus' person. With regard to that matter even the Judaizers 
did not venture to disagree. 

But if Paul regarded himself, and was regarded by the 
original apostles, as a true disciple of Jesus, how did he 
obtain the necessary knowledge of Jesus' life? Was his knowl- 
edge limited to intuition or remote hearsay; or had he oppor- 
tunities for authentic information? 

That question has really been answered by the outline of 
Paul's life in Chapters II and III. It has been shown that 
even before his conversion, in Palestine, Paul must have become 
acquainted with the facts about Jesus' life and death. The 
facts were common property ; even indifference could not have 
made a man completely ignorant of them. But far from being 
indifferent, Paul was deeply interested in Jesus, since he was 
an active persecutor of Jesus' disciples. After the conversion, 
Paul was undoubtedly baptized, and undoubtedly came into 
some contact with Christians in Damascus. The presumption 
is strongly in favor of the presence there of some who had 
known Jesus in the days of His flesh; the independence of 
which Paul is speaking in Galatians is independence over 
against the Jerusalem apostles, not over against humble dis- 
ciples in Damascus, and it does not relate to information 
about details. Three years after the conversion Paul visited 
Peter at Jerusalem, and also met James the brother of 
Jesus. It is quite inconceivable that the three men avoided 
the subject of Jesus' words and deeds. The fifteen days spent 
with Peter at Jerusalem brought Paul into contact with the 
most intimate possible source of information about Jesus. 

According to the Book of Acts, Paul came into contact 
with Barnabas at the time of his first Jerusalem visit. What- 
ever may be thought of this detail, the later association of 
Barnabas with Paul, at Antioch and on the first missionary 
journey, is generally or universally recognized as historical. 
It is confirmed by the association of the two men at the time 
of the conference with the Jerusalem pillars (Gal. ii. 1). Thus 
Paul spent several years in the most intimate association with 
Barnabas. Who then was Barnabas? According to Acts iv. 
36, 37, he was a man of Cyprus by descent, but he was also 
a member of the primitive Jerusalem Church. The kind of in- 
formation contained in this passage represents just that ele- 


ment in the early chapters of Acts which is being generally 
accepted by recent criticism. With regard to the community 
of goods in the early Jerusalem Church, it is sometimes sup- 
posed that the author of Acts has erred in generalizing and 
exalting to the position of a principle what was really done 
in many cases by generous individuals. But in order that 
there might be unhistorical generalization, there must have 
been something to generalize. Details, therefore, like the gen- 
erous act of Barnabas in selling a field and devoting the pro- 
ceeds to the needs of the brethren, are thought to constitute 
the solid tradition with which the author of Acts is operating. 
Objections in plenty may be raised against this treatment of 
the narrative as a whole, but certainly the concreteness of 
the little detached note about Barnabas makes a specially 
favorable impression. It will probably be admitted to-day 
by the majority of scholars that Barnabas really had a place 
in the primitive Jerusalem Church. But if so, his close con- 
nection with Paul is of the utmost importance. How could 
Paul possibly have been for years intimately associated with 
Barnabas in the proclamation of the gospel without becoming 
acquainted with the facts about Jesus? Is it to be supposed 
that Barnabas, who had lived at Jerusalem, proclaimed Jesus 
as Saviour without telling in detail what sort of person Jesus 
had been, and what He had said and done? Or is it to be 
supposed that Paul closed his ears to what his brother mis- 
sionary said? 

At the beginning of the first missionary journey, Barnabas 
and Paul were accompanied by John Mark, and Mark appears 
again in the company of Paul, as one of Paul's trusted helpers, 
in Qol. iv. 10 and Philem. 24. This John Mark certainly came 
from the Jerusalem Church; for the house of his mother is 
mentioned as a meeting-place for the Jerusalem disciples in the 
incomparably vivid account in Acts xii. 1-17 of the escape 
of Peter from prison. Whatever may be thought of the Book 
of Acts as a whole, the twelfth chapter is recognized as em- 
bodying primitive tradition. Even Wellhausen was somewhat 
impressed with the lifelike detail of this narrative ; the chapter, 
Wellhausen admitted, contains elements of high historical 
value. 1 Certainly, then, the mother of John Mark and pre- 
sumably Mark himself were members of the primitive Jerusa- 
1 Wellhausen, Kritische Analyse der Apostelgeschichte, 1914, pp. 22f. 


lem Church. Tradition, moreover, as preserved by Papias of 
Hierapolis, connects Mark with Peter and represents the Sec- 
ond Gospel (attributed to Mark) as based upon Peter's preach- 
ing. 1 The connection of Mark with Peter is confirmed by 1 
Peter v. 13. In general, recent criticism is favorably dis- 
posed toward the Papian tradition about the Second Gospel; 
that tradition is often admitted to have some basis in fact. 
Of course the words of Papias about Mark's connection with 
Peter naturally refer, at least in part, to a time later than 
the formative period of Paul's life. But no doubt the later rela- 
tionship was at least prepared for in the early days when Mark 
and Peter were together in Jerusalem. 2 John Mark, therefore, 
constitutes an important link, not only between Paul and the 
Jerusalem Church, but also between Paul and one of the most 
intimate friends of Jesus. Paul would have been able to learn 
the facts about Jesus' life from Mark if he had not learned 
them elsewhere. 

The conference between Paul and the Jerusalem leaders, 
described in Gal. ii. 1-10, whether or no it was identical with 
the Apostolic Council of Acts xv. 1-29, would naturally bring 
an enrichment in Paul's knowledge of Jesus' earthly ministry. 
It is hardly to be supposed that at the conference any more 
than at the first visit of Paul to Jerusalem the subject of 
the words and deeds of Jesus was carefully avoided. Such 
avoidance would have been possible only if the Jerusalem 
Church itself had been indifferent to its own reminiscences of 
Jesus' earthly ministry. But that the Jerusalem Church was 
not indifferent to its own reminiscences is proved by the preser- 
vation (evidently at Jerusalem) of the tradition contained in 
the Gospels. The existence of the Gospels shows that the 
memory of Jesus' words and deeds was carefully treasured up 
in the Jerusalem Church from the earliest times. Paul could 
hardly have come into contact with such a church without ob- 
taining information about Jesus. He could not have failed to 
obtain information even if he had been anxious to avoid it. 

1 ln Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. iii, 39, 15. 

a B. W. Bacon (Jesus and Paul, 1921, pp. 15f.) believes that the con- 
nection between Peter and Mark is probably to be placed only in the 
early years, principally before the first association of Mark with Paul. 
This view, which is insufficiently grounded, involves a rejection of the 
common view, attested, for example, by 1 Peter v. 13, according to which 
Mark was also with Peter at a later time. 


But as a matter of fact he was not anxious to avoid it; his 
apostolic independence, as will be observed below, does not 
really presuppose any such absurd attitude on his part. 

On the third missionary journey Paul was accompanied by 
Silas (the "Silvanus" of the Pauline Epistles). According to 
the Book of Acts, Silas, like Barnabas and Mark, came origi- 
nally from the Jerusalem Church, though his connection with 
Jerusalem is not traced so far back. He is said to have been 
one of the two men who accompanied the Apostolic Decree from 
Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts xv. 7). This assertion of course 
will not escape unchallenged. It shares no doubt to some 
extent the criticism which has been directed against the De- 
cree itself. But the tendency in recent years is to find a 
larger and larger historical basis for the concre u e assertions of 
the author of Acts. So the mention of Judas and Silas as 
coming from Jerusalem creates a favorable impression. It 
cannot be ruled out merely because it stands only in Acts, 
or merely because it is connected with the Decree. Even the 
Decree, it will be remembered, is now often admitted to be a 
Decree of the Jerusalem Church or to represent the substance 
of such a decree, even by those scholars who suppose that Acts 
is wrong in representing Paul as being present when the Decree 
was passed. The tradition which lies back of Acts xv, there- 
fore, cannot lightly be rejected. There is certainly some 
evidence, therefore, for connecting Silas with the Jerusalem 
Church. Of course, if the narrative in Acts be accepted as 
it stands, as it is being accepted more and more generally 
to-day, then the connection of Silas with the Jerusalem Church 
is firmly established. That connection is not without its im- 
portance. It shows that even when engaged in his specifically 
Gentile work, Paul had not shut himself off from the sources 
of information about Jesus. 

The mention of Andronicus and Junias in Rom. xvi. 7 is 
not without interest. According to the most natural inter- 
pretation of the verse, Andronicus and Junias are declared to 
have been in Christ before Paul was in Christ. They were, 
therefore, primitive disciples. Certain other details are more 
obscure. Does Paul mean that Andronicus and Junias were 
themselves "apostles," the word "apostle" being used here in 
a broad sense? In that case, the verse may be translated, 
"Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and fellow-prison- 


ers, who are noteworthy among the apostles who were before me 
in Christ." Or is it merely said that Andronicus and Junias 
were regarded highly by the apostles, had a good reputation 
among them? In that case, the relative pronoun is no doubt 
to be taken with the words "Andronicus and Junias" rather 
than with the word "apostles" ; and two details are mentioned : 
(1) that Andronicus and Junias had a good reputation among 
the apostles, and (2) that they were converted earlier than 
Paul. Also the meaning of the word translated "kinsmen" is 
doubtful. The word may mean merely "members of the same 
race," that is, "Jews" ; or it may mean "members of the same 
family," that is, "relatives." Still another interpretation is 
favored by Bohlig, who thinks that the word designates An- 
dronicus and Junias as members of the Jewish colony at 
Tarsus, the boyhood home of Paul. 1 But however the interest- 
ing exegetical problems may be solved, it seems evident that 
Andronicus and Junias had become Christians earlier than 
Paul, and that they were therefore representatives of primitive 
Christianity. The presence of such men in the Church at 
Rome or in the Church at Ephesus, if the common separation 
of Rom. xvi. from the rest of Romans (on insufficient grounds) 
be adopted is interesting. It exemplifies the kind of personal 
connection that was undoubtedly maintained between primitive 
Christianity and the Gentile churches. Even far away in the 
Gentile world Paul was not altogether removed from contact 
with those who had been Christians before him. Wherever and 
however Andronicus and Junias had become disciples, whether 
in Jerusalem or elsewhere, whether by the instrumentality of 
Jesus Himself or by the instrumentality of His apostles, in any 
case they had become disciples in the very earliest days of the 
Church's life. It is hardly to be supposed that they were 
ignorant of the facts about Jesus, and in all probability there 
were other such persons, even in Pauline churches. 

But it is not necessary to lay stress upon Andronicus and 
Junias, when Peter and James and Barnabas and Mark all 
came into close contact with Paul. Paul had abundant oppor- 
tunity for acquainting himself with the words and deeds of 

Three important facts have thus far been established; 
(1) Paul regarded himself as a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth, 
1 Bohlig, Die Oeisteskultur von Tarsos, 1913, pp. 140-142. 


(2) he was so regarded by the intimate friends of Jesus, (3) 
he had abundant sources of information about Jesus' life. The 
natural conclusion is that Paul was a true disciple of the real 

This conclusion is thought to be overthrown by two con- 
siderations. In the first place, it is said, Paul himself at- 
tests his own indifference to historical information about 
Jesus ; and in the second place, such indifference is confirmed 
by the paucity of references in the Epistles to Jesus' words 
and deeds. These two considerations lead into the heart of 
the problem, and must be examined with some care. 

The indifference of Paul toward historical information 
about Jesus is thought to be attested chiefly by 2 Cor. v. 16 
and by the Epistle to the Galatians. In 2 Cor. v. 16 Paul 
says, "Even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, 
yet now we know Him so no more." What can these words 
mean, it is asked, except that ordinary information about 
Jesus, dealing with the details of His earthly life, the kind of 
information that one man can obtain of another by sight and 
hearing, has become valueless for the Christian? The Chris- 
tian, Paul says, is interested not at all in what eyewitnesses 
may say or in what he himself may remember about the earthly 
life of Jesus ; he is interested only in the direct contact which 
he has at present with the risen Lord. 

This interpretation ignores the fact that the assertion 
in 2 Cor. v. 16 about the knowledge of Christ is only an appli- 
cation of the general assertion at the beginning of the verse 
about the knowledge of persons in general. "So that," says 
Paul, "we from now on know no one after the flesh." Paul 
says, therefore, not only that he does not know Christ after 
the flesh, but also that he does not know any man after the 
flesh, and the two assertions must obviously be interpreted in 
the same way. Therefore the interpretation which has been 
proposed for the knowledge of Christ, if it is to commend itself, 
must also be applied to the knowledge of every man. 

But when it is so applied it results in absurdity. It 
would make Paul indifferent not only to ordinary information 
about Jesus, but also to ordinary information about men in 
general. But as a matter of fact Paul was not indifferent to 
ordinary information about men in general. On the contrary, 
he was exceedingly careful about getting information just as 


accurate as could possibly be secured. Was Paul a visionary, 
with his head always in the clouds, indifferent to the concrete 
problems of individual men, indifferent to what men had to 
tell him about their various earthly relationships, indifferent 
to their bodily needs? The First Epistle to the Corinthians 
is a magnificent refutation of such a caricature. That Epistle 
represents Paul as a pastor of souls, unsurpassed in his in- 
sight into the practical problems of his converts, unsurpassed 
in the tact with which he applied great principles to special 
circumstances. But the same characteristics appear everywhere 
in Paul. Everywhere Paul is the true friend, the true patriot, 
and the true man; everywhere he exhibits that careful atten- 
tion to detail, that careful recognition of special relationships, 
which is lacking in genuinely mystical piety. Some pastors are 
accustomed to say the same thing no matter what questions 
are laid before them; they can only enunciate general prin- 
ciples without applying them to special problems ; they are in- 
capable of special friendships and incapable of analyzing actual 
situations. It is not so in the case of Paul. In the Pauline 
Epistles special problems are solved in the light of eternal 
principles ; but the special problems as well as the eternal 
principles are subjected to the most careful examination. Paul 
was not indifferent to ordinary knowledge of his fellow-men. 

Thus when Paul says that he knows no man after the flesh 
he does not mean that he ignored the ordinary knowledge which 
comes through sight and hearing. But if that kind of knowl- 
edge is not excluded from the relations between Paul and men 
in general, it is also not excluded from the relations between 
Paul and Christ; for the latter part of the verse is evidently 
placed in parallel with the former part. It is evidently the 
same kind of knowledge which is excluded in both cases. Paul 
does not mean, therefore, that he was indifferent to ordinary 
sources of information about Christ. 

What he does mean is that he regarded those ordinary 
sources of information not as an end in themselves, but as a 
means to an end. The natural man according to Paul does not 
understand the true significance of the words and deeds of 
his fellow-men; he does not use them to attest spiritual facts. 
The man who is in Christ, on the contrary, even when he uses 
ordinary means of information, is acquiring knowledge of 
spiritual relationships, relationships which exist in the new 


world. So it is also with the knowledge of Christ. The nat- 
ural man may acquire a certain knowledge of Christ; he may 
learn what Christ said and did and what were the worldly 
circumstances of His life. But such knowledge is a knowledge 
according to the flesh ; it does not- attain to the true signifi- 
cance even of those facts which are learned. The man who is 
in Christ, on the other hand, may operate partly with the same 
materials ; but even when he is operating with the same mate- 
rials, even when he is obtaining by sight or by hearsay knowl- 
edge of the words and deeds of Jesus, these facts now are in- 
vested with a higher significance. The natural man detects only 
the outward appearance of the words and deeds of Jesus ; the 
man who is in Christ makes them attest facts that have sig- 
nificance in the new world. No doubt the higher knowledge of 
Christ of which Paul is speaking is not limited to this spiritual 
use of ordinary sources of information; no doubt there is 
also a direct intercourse between the believer and the risen 
Lord. But the spiritual use of the ordinary sources of infor- 
mation is certainly not excluded. Paul does not mean that he 
was indifferent to what Jesus said and did. 

Thus 2 Cor. v. 16, rightly interpreted, does not attest any 
indifference on the part of Paul toward the information about 
Jesus which came to him through contact with Jesus' disciples. 
Such indifference, however, is also thought to be attested by 
the Epistle to the Galatians. In Gal. i, ii, Paul emphasizes 
his complete independence over against the original disciples. 
He received his gospel, he says, not by the instrumentality of 
men, but by direct revelation from the risen Christ. Even 
after the revelation he felt no need of instruction from those 
who had been apostles before him. It was three years before 
he saw any of them, and then he was with Peter only fifteen 
days. Even when he did finally have a conference with the 
original apostles, he received nothing from them; they recog- 
nized that God had already entrusted him with his gospel and 
that they had nothing to add. What can this passage mean, 
it is asked, except that Paul was indifferent to tradition, and 
derived his knowledge of Christ entirely from revelation? 

In answer, it is sufficient to point to 1 Cor. xv. 1-11. 
Was Paul indifferent to tradition? In 1 Cor. xv. 3 he himself 
attests the contrary; he places tradition something that he 
had received at the very foundation of his missionary 


preaching. "For I delivered unto you among the first things," 
he says, "that which I also received." The word "received" 
here certainly designates information obtained by ordinary 
word of mouth, not direct revelation from the risen Christ; 
and the content of what was "received" fixes the source of 
the information pretty definitely in the fifteen days which 
Paul spent with Peter at Jerusalem. It is almost universally 
admitted that 1 Cor. xv. 3fF. contains the tradition of the 
Jerusalem Church with regard to the death and resurrection 
of Jesus. 

The comparison with 1 Cor. xv. 1-11 thus exhibits the danger 
of interpreting the Epistle to the Galatians in one-sided fashion. 
If Galatians stood by itself, the reader might suppose that 
at least the resurrection of Christ, the central fact of Paul's 
gospel, was founded, in Paul's preaching, upon Paul's own 
testimony alone. In Galatians Paul says that his gospel was 
not derived from men. But his gospel was grounded upon 
the resurrection of Christ. Surely, it might be said, there- 
fore, he based at least the resurrection not at all upon the 
testimony of others but upon the revelation which came to 
him from Christ. Is it possible to conceive of the author 
of Galatians as appealing for the foundation of his gospel 
to the testimony of Peter and the twelve and other brethren 
in the primitive Church to the testimony of exactly those 
men whose mediatorship he is excluding in Galatians? Yet as 
a matter of fact, that is exactly what Paul did. That he did 
so is attested not by the Book of Acts or by any source upon 
which doubt might be cast, but by one of the accepted epistles. 
The Epistle to the Galatians must always be interpreted in 
the light of 1 Cor. xv. 1-11. 

What then does Paul mean in Galatians when he says that 
he received his gospel directly from Christ? The answer is 
perfectly plain. He does not mean that when he drew near to 
Damascus on that memorable day he knew none of the facts 
about Jesus ; he does not mean that after that day his knowledge 
of the facts was not enriched by intercourse with Jesus' friends. 
What Jesus really gave him near Damascus was not so much 
the facts as a new interpretation of the facts. He had known 
some of the facts before, but they had filled him with hatred. 
The Galilean prophet had cast despite upon the Law; He had 
broken down the prerogatives of Israel ; it was blasphemous, 


moreover, to proclaim a crucified malefactor as the Lord's 
Anointed. Paul had known the facts before ; he had known them 
only too well. Now, however, he obtained a new interpretation 
of the facts ; he obtained that new interpretation not by human 
intermediation, not by reflection upon the testimony of the disci- 
ples, not by the example of the holy martyrs, but by revelation 
from Jesus Himself. Jesus Himself appeared to him. He 
might have appeared in anger, to destroy him for his unspeak- 
able sin. Instead, He appeared in love, to call him into fel- 
lowship and into glorious service, to commission him as apostle 
of the One whose Church he had laid waste. That is what 
Paul means when he says that he received his gospel directly 
from the risen Christ. 

The truth is, it never occurred to Paul to regard the 
bare facts about Jesus as constituting a "gospel"; it never 
even occurred to Paul to reflect upon all the sources of in- 
formation about the facts. To us the sources of information 
about Jesus are limited: therefore they are searched out and 
numbered and weighed. But to Paul the sources of information 
were so numerous that they could not be catalogued. It never 
occurred to him to regard with supreme gratitude the particu- 
lar source from which he derived any particular bit of informa- 
tion about Jesus any more than we regard with special grati- 
tude the newspaper from which we derive our knowledge of cur- 
rent events. If one newspaper had not printed the news, others 
would have done so ; the sources of information are so numerous 
that we do not reflect upon them. So it was in the case of 
Paul's information about Jesus. Bare detailed information 
about the words and deeds of Jesus did not in Paul's mind con- 
stitute a "gospel"; they constituted only the materials upon 
which the gospel was based. When he says, therefore, that 
he did not receive his gospel from men he does not mean that 
he received no information from Peter or Barnabas or Mark 
or James or the five hundred brethren who had seen the risen 
Lord. What he does mean is that he himself was convinced 
of the decisive fact the fact of the resurrection not by the 
testimony of these men, but by the divine interposition on the 
road to Damascus, and that none of these men told him 
how he himself was to be saved or what he was to say to the 
Gentiles about the way of salvation. Materials for the proof 
of his gospel might come to him from ordinary sources of in- 


formation, but his gospel itself was given to him directly by 

Thus Paul does not directly attest any indifference on his 
part toward tradition about the life of Jesus. But is not 
such indifference revealed by the extreme paucity of refer- 
ences in the Pauline Epistles to what Jesus said and did? 

In answer to this question it must be admitted that di- 
rect citations in the Pauline Epistles of words of Jesus, and 
direct references to the details of Jesus' life, are surprisingly 
few. In 1 Cor. vii. 10, Paul appeals to a command of the 
Lord about divorce, and carefully distinguishes such commands 
from what he himself is saying to the Corinthians (verses 12, 
25). In 1 Cor. ix. 14, he calls attention to an ordinance of the 
Lord to the effect that they that proclaim the gospel should 
live of the gospel. In these passages it cannot be doubted 
that the commands of "the Lord" are commands that Jesus 
gave during His earthly ministry ; they are certainly not com- 
mands given to Paul by the risen Christ. For the words which 
Paul himself wrote to his churches, by virtue of his apostolic 
authority, themselves constituted commands of the Lord in 
the broad sense, in that the authority of the Lord was behind 
them (1 Cor. xiv. 37) ; here, therefore, when such apostolic 
commands are distinguished from commands of the Lord, the 
commands of the Lord must be taken in a narrower sense. They 
can only be commands given b^ Jesus during His earthly 
ministry. 1 

These passages show that Paul was in the habit of dis- 
tinguishing what Jesus said on earth to His disciples from 
what the risen Lord said to him directly by revelation. They 
show, moreover, that Paul was in possession of a fund of in- 
formation about the words of Jesus. It may be a question 
why he did not draw upon the fund more frequently ; but at any 
rate, the fund was there. 

In 1 Thess. iv. 15, the assurance that those who are alive 
at the Parousia shall not precede those that have died is 
grounded in a word of the Lord ("For this we say to you in a 
word of the Lord"). 2 Here again the "word of the Lord" is 
probably to be regarded as a word which Jesus spoke while He 
was on earth, rather than as a revelation made by the risen 

1 Compare Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 1892, pp. 319f. 
TOVTO yap Xeyojuev '&> \6yu> KvpLov. 


Lord directly to Paul. If this interpretation be correct, then 
this passage contains another incidental reference to a fund 
of information about the words of Jesus. 

Most important of all, however, is the report of the 
institution of the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor. xi. 23ff. The 
report is' introduced by the words, "For I received from the 
Lord that which also I delivered unto you." What does Paul 
mean by the expression "received from the Lord"? Does he 
mean that the information was given him directly by the risen 
Christ, or that he received it by ordinary word of mouth from 
the eyewitnesses? The former interpretation has been favored 
in the first place by some who occupy a strictly supernatural- 
istic point of view, to whom therefore it does not seem strange 
that the risen Christ should give to His apostle even detailed 
information about past events; it has also been favored by 
some who start from naturalistic presuppositions, and, re- 
garding Paul as a mystic and a visionary, seek to separate 
him as far as possible from historical tradition about Jesus. 
But from either of these two points of view the interpreta- 
tion is unsatisfactory. Why should the risen Christ give to 
His apostle detailed information which could be obtained per- 
fectly well by ordinary inquiry from the eyewitnesses? Such 
revelation would be unlike the other miracles of the Bible. 
God does not rend the heaven to reveal what can be learned 
just as well by ordinary word of mouth. But this interpreta- 
tion is equally unsatisfactory from the naturalistic point of 
view. Did Paul really suppose the risen Christ to have given 
him all this detailed information about the night of the betrayal 
and the rest? How could such a visionary experience be ex- 
plained? The only possible answer, on naturalistic presupposi- 
tions, would be that the vision merely made use of materials 
which were already in Paul's mind ; Paul already had informa- 
tion from the eyewitnesses about the Supper, but after he had 
forgotten whence he had received the information it welled 
up again from his subconscious life in the form of a vision. 
This explanation involves a psychological absurdity. The 
area of Paul's consciousness was not so limited as it is repre- 
sented in modern reconstructions as being. If Paul received 
information from the eyewitnesses about what Jesus said and 
did on the night of the betrayal, we can be sure that he 
remembered the information and remembered where he had got 


it. It was not necessary for him to receive it all over again 
in a vision. 

There are therefore serious a priori objections against 
finding in the words "received from the Lord" in 1 Cor. xi. 23 
a reference to direct revelation. But this interpretation is 
not really favored by the words as they stand. The word 
"from," in the clause "I received from the Lord," is not the 
only word used for "from" after the word "received"; this 
word seems to indicate not the immediate but the ultimate 
source of what is received. 1 Furthermore, the word "re- 
ceived" 2 in 1 Cor. xv. 3 certainly refers to ordinary informa- 
tion obtained from eyewitnesses ; it is natural therefore to 
find a similar usage of the word in 1 Cor. xi. 23. It is natural 
to interpret one passage after the analogy of the other. In 
1 Cor. xv. 3ff. Paul is certainly appealing to ordinary tradi- 
tion ; probably, therefore, he is also doing so in 1 Cor. xi. 23ff . 
The report of the institution of the Lord's Supper is thus to be 
added to those passages which contain definite citations of the 
words of Jesus. 

This report also belongs with those passages in the Epis- 
tles which attest knowledge of the details of Jesus' life. It 
is sometimes said that Paul is interested only in two facts 
about Jesus, the death and the resurrection. Yet in 1 Cor. 
xi. 23 he refers even to such a detail as the betrayal, and 
fixes the time of its occurrence "the night in which He was 
betrayed." Other details about the life of Jesus may be 
gleaned from the Epistles. Jesus, according to Paul, was a 
Jew, He was descended from David, He was subject to the 
Mosaic Law, He had brothers, of whom one is named, He car- 
ried on a ministry for the Jews (Rom. xv. 8). With regard 
to the crucifixion and resurrection, moreover, Paul was inter- 
ested not merely in the bare facts themselves ; he was also inter- 
ested in the details connected with them. Thus in 1 Cor. xv. 4 
he mentions the burial of Jesus as having formed a part of his 
fundamental missionary preaching; and he also gives in the 
same connection an extended list of appearances of the risen 
Christ. It is possible that when Paul writes to the Galatians 
that Jesus Christ crucified had been pictured or placarded be- 
fore their eyes (Gal. iii. 1), he is referring, not merely to the 

J &TTO is here used, not irapa. 
a 7rapeXa/3cw. 


forcibleness with which the one fact of Christ's death was 
proclaimed in Galatia, but also to the vividness with which the 
story was told in detail. So vivid was the story of the cruci- 
fixion as Paul told it in Galatia that it was as though the 
Galatians had before their eyes a great picture of Jesus on 
the cross. 

Moreover, the references of Paul to Jesus' life concern 
not merely details ; some of them also attest warm appreciation 
of Jesus' character. The character of Jesus is indeed, accord- 
ing to Paul, exhibited primarily by the great central act of 
love by which He came to earth to die for the salvation of 
men. In Phil. ii. 5ff., the unselfishness of Christ, which is 
held up for imitation by the Philippian Christians, is found 
no doubt primarily in the incarnation and in the Cross; in 
Gal. ii. 20, the love of Christ, upon which the faith and the 
gratitude of believers are based, is found in the one great 
fact of Christ's death ("who loved me and gave himself for 
me"). But there are also passages in the Epistles which show 
that Paul was impressed with the character of Jesus not only 
as it was manifested by the incarnation and by the atoning 
death, but also as it appeared in the daily life of Jesus through- 
out His earthly ministry. The plainest of such passages, per- 
haps, are Cor. x. 1 and Rom. xv. 2, 3. When Paul speaks of 
the meekness and gentleness of Christ, he refers evidently to 
the impression which Jesus made upon His contemporaries ; and 
when he says that Christ "pleased not himself" but bore re- 
proaches patiently, he is evidently thinking not only of the gra- 
cious acts of incarnation and atonement but also of the conduct 
of Jesus from day to day. In 2 Cor. viii. 9 ("though He was 
rich yet for your sakes He became poor"), although the refer- 
ence may be primarily to the poverty of any human life as com- 
pared with the glories of the preexistent Christ, yet the peculiar 
choice of words is probably due to the details of Jesus' life of 
hardship ; Paul would hardly have spoken in this way if Jesus 
while He was on earth had lived in the magnificence of an 
earthly kingdom. Even in Phil. ii. 7, though the "form of 
a servant" refers primarily to human existence as distinguished 
from the glories of heaven, yet there seems to be also an im- 
pression of the special humility and poverty of Jesus' earthly 
life; and the Cross is put as the climax of an obedience which 
appeared also in Jesus' life as a whole (verse 8). Back of 


these passages there lies warm appreciation of Jesus' char- 
acter as it appeared in the days of His flesh. Imitation of 
Christ (1 Thess. i. 6 ; 1 Cor. xi. 1) had its due place in the 
life and teaching of Paul, and that imitation was founded 
not only upon one act, but upon many acts, of the Lord. 
When Paul speaks of his own life of constant self-sacrifice, 
in which he seeks not his own comfort but the salvation of 
others, as being led in imitation of Christ (1 Cor. x. 32-xi. 1), 
he has before his mind the lineaments of just that Jesus who 
is known to us in the Gospels that Jesus who had not where 
to lay His head, who went about doing good, and who preached 
the gospel to the poor. 

Thus the paucity of references in the Pauline Epistles 
to the teaching and example of Jesus has sometimes been exag- 
gerated. The Epistles attest considerable knowledge of the 
details of Jesus' life, and warm appreciation of His character. 

Undoubtedly, moreover, Paul knew far more about Jesus 
than he has seen fit, in the Epistles, to tell. It must always be 
remembered that the Epistles do not contain the missionary 
preaching of Paul; they are addressed to Christians, in whose 
case much of the primary instruction had already been given. 
Some things are omitted from the Epistles, therefore, not 
because they were unimportant, but on the contrary just be- 
cause they were fundamental ; instruction about them had to be 
given at the very beginning and except for special reasons did 
not need to be repeated. Except for certain misunderjstand- 
ings which had arisen at Corinth, for example, Paul would 
never have set forth in his Epistles the testimony by which 
the fact of the resurrection of Jesus was established ; yet that 
testimony, he says, was fundamental in his missionary preach- 
ing. If it were not for the errorists at Corinth we should never 
have had the all-important passage about the appearances of 
the risen Christ. It is appalling to reflect what far-reaching 
conclusions would in that case have been drawn by modern 
scholars from the silence of Paul. So it is also with the account 
of the institution of the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor. xi. 28 ff. That 
account is inserted in the Epistles only because of certain abuses 
which had happened to arise at Corinth. Elsewhere Paul says 
absolutely nothing about the institution of the Supper ; indeed, 
in the Epistles other than 1 Corinthians he says nothing about 
the Supper at all. Yet the Lord's Supper was undoubtedly 


celebrated everywhere in the Pauline churches, and no doubt 
was grounded everywhere in an account of its institution. 
Thus the resurrection appearances and the institution of the 
Lord's Supper, despite the fact that they were absolutely fun- 
damental in Paul's teaching, appear each only once in the 
Epistles. May there not then have been other things just as 
prominent in Paul's teaching which are not mentioned at all? 
These two things are mentioned only because of the mis- 
understandings that had arisen with regard to them. Certain 
other things just as important may be omitted from the Epis- 
tles only because in their case no misunderstandings had hap- 
pened to arise. It must always be remembered that the Epistles 
of Paul are addressed to special needs of the churches. It 
cannot be argued, therefore, that what is not mentioned in the 
Epistles was not known to the apostle at all. 

Thus the incidental character of Paul's references to the 
life and teaching of Jesus shows clearly that Paul knew 
far more than he has seen fit in the Epistles to tell. The 
references make the impression of being detached bits taken 
from a larger whole. When, for example, Paul says that the 
institution of the Lord's Supper took place on the night in 
which Jesus was betrayed, he presupposes on the part of his 
readers an account of the betrayal, and hence an account of the 
traitor and of his position among the apostles. So it is in 
other cases where Paul refers to the life and teaching of 
Jesus. The references can be explained only as presupposing a 
larger fund of information about the words and deeds of Jesus. 
Unquestionably Paul included in his fundamental teaching an 
account of what Jesus said and did. 

Indeed, if he had not done so, he would have involved 
himself in absurdity. As J. Weiss has pointed out with admir- 
able acuteness, a missionary preaching which demanded faith 
in Jesus without telling what sort of person Jesus was would 
have been preposterous. 1 The hearers of Paul were asked to 
stake their salvation upon the redeeming work of Jesus. But 
who was this Jesus? The question could scarcely be avoided. 
Other redeemers, in the pagan religion of the time, were pro- 
tected from such questions; they were protected by the mists 
of antiquity; investigations about them were obviously out of 
1 J. Weiss, Das alteste Evangeliwm, 1903, pp. 33-39. 


place. But Paul had given up the advantages of such vague- 
ness. The redeemer whom he proclaimed was one of his own 
contemporaries, a Jew who had lived but a few years before 
and had died the death of a criminal. Investigation of this 
Jesus was perfectly possible; His brothers, even, were still 
alive. Who was He then? Did He suffer justly on the cross? 
Or was He the Righteous One? Such questions could hardly 
be avoided. And as a matter of fact they were not avoided. 
The incidental references in the Epistles, scanty though they 
are, are sufficient to show that an account of the words and 
deeds of Jesus formed an important part of the teaching of 

The presumption is, therefore, that Paul was a true disciple 
of Jesus. He regarded himself as a disciple; he was so re- 
garded by his contemporaries ; he made use of Jesus' teaching 
and example. But is this presumption justified? Was it 
the real Jesus whom Paul followed? The question can be 
answered only by a comparison of what is known about Paul 
with what is known about Jesus. 

But at the very beginning of the comparison, a fundamental 
difficulty arises. How may Jesus be known? Paul is known, 
through his own letters. But how about Jesus? The sources 
of information about Jesus are the four Gospels. But are the 
Gospels trustworthy? 

If they are trustworthy, then it will probably be admitted 
that Paul was a true disciple of Jesus. For the Gospels, 
taken as a whole, present a Jesus like in essentials to that 
divine Lord who was sum and substance of the life of Paul. 
The Jesus of the Gospels is no mere prophet, no mere inspired 
teacher of righteousness, no mere revealer or interpreter of 
God. He is, on the contrary, a supernatural person ; a heaven- 
ly Redeemer come to earth for the salvation of men. So much 
is usually being admitted to-day. Whatever may have been 
the real facts about Jesus, the Gospels present a supernatural 
Jesus. This representation is contained not merely in one of 
the Gospels; it is contained in all of them. The day is past 
when the divine Christ of John could be confronted with a 
human Christ of Mark. On the contrary, Mark and John, it 
is now maintained, differ only in degree ; Mark as well as John, 
even though it should be supposed that he does so less clearly 


and less consistently, presents a Jesus similar in important 
respects to the divine Redeemer of the Epistles of Paul. 1 

Thus if Paul be compared with the Jesus of the Gospels, 
there is full agreement between the two. The Jesus of all the 
Gospels is a supernatural person; the Jesus of all the Gospels 
is a Redeemer. "The Son of Man," according to the shortest 
and if modern criticism be accepted the earliest of the Gos- 
pels, "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to 
give his life a ransom for many" (Mk. x. 45). But it is not 
necessary to depend upon details. The very choice of mate- 
rial in the Gospels points to the same conclusion; the Gospels 
like the Epistles of Paul are more interested in the death of 
Jesus than in the details of His life. And for the same reason. 
The Gospels, like the Epistles of Paul, are interested in the 
death of Jesus because it was a ransom from sin. 

But this similarity of the Jesus of the Gospels to the Christ 
of the Pauline Epistles has led sometimes, not to the recogni- 
tion of Paul as a disciple of Jesus, but to the hypothesis that 
the Gospels are dependent upon Paul. If the Gospels are 
introducing into their picture of Jesus elements derived not 
from the real Jesus but from the mythical Christ of the Epis- 
tles, then of course they will display similarity to the Epistles ; 
but such similarity will scarcely be very significant. In com- 
paring the Epistles with the Gospels, the historian will then be 
comparing not Paul with Jesus, but Paul with Paul. 

If, therefore, Paul is to be compared with Jesus, it is said, 
those elements which are derived from Paul must first be sepa- 
rated from the Gospels. Even after this separation has been 
accomplished, however, there remains in the Gospel picture of 
Jesus a certain amount of similarity to the Pauline Christ; 
it is generally admitted that the process by which Jesus was 
raised to the position of a heavenly being was begun before 
the appearance of Paul and was continued in some quarters 
in more or less independence of him. Thus if Paul is to be 
compared with the real Jesus, as distinguished from the Christ 
of Christian faith, the historian, it is said, must first separate 
from the Gospel picture not merely those details which were 
derived distinctly from Paul, but also the whole of the super- 

'See, for example, J. Weiss, Dag Urchristentum, 1914-1917, pp. 540, 
547, 548. 


natural element. 1 Mere literary criticism will not accom- 
plish the task ; for even the earliest sources which can be 
distinguished in the Gospels seem to lift Jesus above the 
level of ordinary humanity and present Him not merely as 
an example for faith but also as the object of faith. 2 Even 
in the earliest sources, therefore, the historian must distinguish 
genuine tradition from dogmatic accretions ; he must separate 
the natural from the supernatural, the believable from the 
unbelievable; he must seek to remove from the genuine figure 
of the Galilean prophet the tawdry ornamentation which has 
been hung about him by naive and unintelligent admirers. 

Thus the Jesus who is to be compared with Paul, according 
to the modern naturalistic theory, is not the Jesus of the Gos- 
pels ; he is a Jesus who can be rediscovered only through a 
critical process within the Gospels. And that critical process 
is very difficult. It is certainly no easy matter to separate 
natural and supernatural in the Gospel picture of Jesus, for 
the two are inextricably intertwined. In pulling up the tares, 
the historian is in danger of pulling up the wheat as well ; in the 
removal of the supernatural elements from the story of Jesus, 
the whole of the story is in danger of being destroyed. Certain 
radical spirits are not afraid of the consequence; since the 
Jesus of the Gospels, they say, is a supernatural person, He is 
not a real person; no such person as this Jesus ever lived on 
earth. Such radicalism, of course, is absurd. The Jesus of 
the Gospels is certainly not the product of invention or of 
myth; He is roo'ed too deep in historical conditions; He 
towers too high above those who by any possibility could 
have produced Him. But the radical denials of the historicity 
of Jesus are not without interest. They have at least called 
attention to the arbitrariness with which the separation of 
historical from unhistorical has been carried on in the pro- 
duction of the "liberal Jesus." 

But suppose the separation has been completed ; suppose the 
historical Jesus has been discovered beneath the gaudy colors 
which had almost hopelessly defaced His portrait. Even then 

1 For what follows, see, in addition to the paper mentioned at the be- 
ginning of the chapter, "History and Faith," in Princeton Theological 
Review, xiii, 1915, pp. 337-351. 

a See Denney, Jesus and the Gospel, 1909. 


the troubles of the historian are not at an end. For this his- 
torical Jesus, this human Jesus of modern liberalism, is a 
monstrosity ; there is a contradiction at the very center of His 
being. The contradiction is produced by His Messianic con- 
sciousness. The human Jesus of modern liberalism, the pure 
and humble teacher of righteousness, the one who kept His 
own person out of His message and merely asked men to have 
faith in God like His faith this Jesus of modern liberalism 
thought that He was to come with the clouds of heaven and 
be the instrument in judging the earth! If Jesus was pure and 
unselfish and of healthy mind, how could He have applied to 
Himself the tremendous conception of the transcendent Mes- 
siah? By some the problem is avoided. Some, like Wrede, 
deny that Jesus ever presented Himself as the Messiah ; others, 
like Bousset, are at least moving in the same direction. But 
such radicalism cannot be carried out. The Messianic element 
in the consciousness of Jesus is rooted too deep in the sources 
ever to be removed by any critical process. It is established 
also by the subsequent development. If Jesus never thought 
Himself to be the Messiah and never presented Himself as 
such, how did His disciples come to regard Him as the Mes- 
siah after His death? Why did they not simply say, "Despite 
His death, the Kingdom of God is coming?" Why did they 
say rather, "Despite His death, He is the Messiah ?" 1 They 
could only have done so if Jesus had already presented Himself 
to them as Messiah when He had been with them on earth. 

In recent criticism, such radicalism as that which has just 
been discussed is usually avoided. The presence of the Mes- 
sianic element in the consciousness of Jesus cannot altogether 
be denied. Sometimes, indeed, that element is even made the 
determining factor in all of Jesus' teaching. So it is with the 
hypothesis of "consistent eschatology" of A. Schweitzer and 
others. 2 According to that hypothesis Jesus expected the 
Kingdom of God to come in a catastrophic way in the very 
year in which he was carrying on His ministry in Galilee, and 
all His teaching was intended to be a preparation for the 
great catastrophe. Even the ethic of Jesus, therefore, is 
thought to have been constructed in view of the approaching 

1 J. Weiss, "Das Problem der Entstehung des Christentums," in Archiio 
fur Reliyionswissenschaft, xvi, 1913, p. 456. 
2 A. Schweitzer, Oeschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung, 1913, pp. 390-443. 


end of the world, and is thus regarded as unsuitable for a 
permanent world order. This hypothesis not only accepts the 
Messianic consciousness of Jesus, but in one direction at least 
it even exaggerates the implications of that consciousness. 

Usually? however, this extreme also is avoided, and the 
historian pursues, rather, a policy of palliation. Jesus did 
come to regard Himself as the Messiah, it is said, but He did 
so only late in His ministry and almost against His will. When 
He found that the people were devoted to sin, and that He 
alone was fighting God's battle, He came to regard Himself 
as God's chosen instrument in the establishment of the King- 
dom. Thus He had a tremendous consciousness of a mission. 
But the only category in which He could express that con- 
sciousness of a mission was the category of Messiahship. In 
one form, indeed, that category was unsuitable; Jesus would 
have nothing to do with the political aspirations associated 
with the expected king of David's line. But the expectation 
of the Messiah existed also in another form; the Messiah was 
sometimes regarded, not as a king of David's line, but as the 
heavenly Son of Man alluded to in Daniel and more fully de- 
scribed in the Similitudes of Enoch. This transcendent form 
of Messiahship, therefore, was the form which Jesus used. 
But the form, it is maintained, is a matter of indifference to 
us, and it was not really essential to Jesus ; what was really 
essential was Jesus' consciousness of nearness to God. 

Such palliative measures will not really solve the problem. 
The problem is a moral and psychological problem. How 
could a pure and holy prophet of righteousness, one whose 
humility and sanity have made an indelible impression upon all 
subsequent generations how could such a one lapse so far 
from the sobriety and sanity of His teaching as to regard 
Himself as the heavenly Son of Man who was to be the instru- 
ment in judging the world? The difficulty is felt by all thought- 
ful students who proceed upon naturalistic principles. There 
is to such students, as Heitmiiller says, something almost un- 
canny about Jesus. 1 And the difficulty is not removed by 
putting the genesis of the Messianic consciousness late in 
Jesus' life. Whether late or early, Jesus did regard Himself 
as the Messiah, did regard Himself as the one who was to come 
with the clouds of heaven. There lies the problem. How 
1 Heitmuller, Jesus, 1913, p. 71. 


could Jesus, with His humility and sobriety and strength, ever 
have lapsed so far from the path of sanity as to assume the 
central place in the Kingdom of God? 

Here, again, radical minds have drawn the logical conclu- 
sions. The Messianic consciousness, they say, is an example 
of megalomania; Jesus, they say, was insane. Such is said 
to be the diagnosis of certain alienists. And the diagnosis need 
cause no alarm. Very likely it is correct. But the Jesus who 
is being investigated by the alienists is not the Jesus of the 
New Testament. The liberal Jesus, if he ever existed, may 
have been insane. But that is not the Jesus whom the Christian 
loves. The alienists are investigating a man who thought he 
was divine and was not divine ; about one who thought He was 
divine and was divine they have obviously nothing to say. 

Two difficulties, therefore, face the reconstruction of the 
liberal Jesus. In the first place, it is difficult to separate the 
natural from the supernatural in the Gospel picture of Jesus ; 
and in the second place, after the separation has been accom- 
plished, the human Jesus who is left is found to be a mon- 
strosity, with a contradiction at the very center of His being. 
Such a Jesus, it may fairly be maintained, could never have 
existed on earth. 

But suppose He did exist, suppose the psychological im- 
possibilities of His character be ignored. Even then the diffi- 
culties of the historian are not overcome. Another question 
remains. How did this human Jesus ever come to give place to 
the superhuman Jesus of the New Testament? The transition 
evidently occurred at a very early time. It is complete in the 
Epistles of Paul. And within Paul's experience it was cer- 
tainly no late development; on the contrary it was evidently 
complete at the very beginning of his Christian life; the Jesus 
in whom he trusted at the time of his conversion was certainly 
the heavenly Christ of the Epistles. But the conversion oc- 
curred only a very few years, at the most, after the crucifixion 
of Jesus. Moreover, there is in the Pauline Epistles not the 
slightest trace of a conflict between the heavenly Christ of 
Paul and any "other Jesus" of the primitive Jerusalem Church ; 
apparently the Christ of Paul was also the Christ of those 
who had walked and talked with Jesus of Nazareth. Such is 
the evidence of the Epistles. It is confirmed by the Gospels. 
Like Paul, the Gospels present no mere teacher of righteous- 


ness, but a heavenly Redeemer. Yet the Gospels make the 
impression of being independent of Paul. Everywhere the 
Jesus that they present is most strikingly similar to the Christ 
of Paul; but nowhere not even where Jesus is made to teach 
the redemptive significance of His death (Mk. x. 45) is 
there the slightest evidence of literary dependence upon the 
Epistles. Thus the liberal Jesus, if he ever existed, has dis- 
appeared from the pages of history ; all the sources agree 
in presenting a heavenly Christ. How shall such agreement 
be explained? 

It might conceivably be explained by the appearances of 
the risen Christ. If, at the very beginning of the Church's 
life, Jesus appeared to His disciples, after His death, alive 
and in heavenly glory, it is conceivable that that experience 
might have originated the lofty New Testament conception of 
Jesus' person. But what in turn caused that experience itself? 
On naturalistic principles the appearances of the risen Christ 
can be explained only by an impression which the disciples 
already had of the majesty of Jesus' person. If they had 
listened to lofty claims of Jesus like those which are recorded 
in the Gospels, if they had witnessed miracles like the walking 
on the water or the feeding of the five thousand, then, con- 
ceivably, though not probably, they might have come to believe 
that so great a person could not be holden of death, and this 
belief might have been sufficient, without further miracle, to 
induce the pathological experiences in which they thought 
they saw Him alive after His passion. But if the miraculous 
be removed from the life of Jesus, a double portion of the 
miraculous must be heaped up upon the appearances. The 
smaller be the Jesus whom the disciples had known in Galilee, 
the more unaccountable becomes the experience which caused 
them to believe in His resurrection. By one path or another, 
therefore, the historian of Christian origins is pushed off from 
the safe ground of the phenomenal world toward the abyss 
of supernaturalism. To account for the faith of the early 
Church, the supernatural must be found either in the life of 
Jesus on earth, or else in the appearances of the risen Christ. 
But if the supernatural is found in one place, there is no ob- 
jection to finding it in both places. And in both places it is 
found by the whole New Testament. 

Three difficulties, therefore, beset the reconstruction of 


the "liberal Jesus." In the first place, it is difficult to disen- 
gage His picture from the miraculous elements which have 
defaced it in the Gospels ; in the second place, when the sup- 
posed historical Jesus has been reconstructed, there is a moral 
contradiction at the center of His being, caused by His lofty 
claims ; in the third place, it is hard to see how, in the thinking 
of the early disciples, the purely human Jesus gave place with- 
out the slightest struggle to the heavenly Christ of the Pauline 
Epistles and of the whole New Testament. 

But suppose all the difficulties have been removed. Sup- 
pose a human Jesus has been reconstructed. What is the re- 
sult of comparing that human Jesus with Paul? At first 
sight there seems to be nothing but contradiction. But closer 
examination discloses points of agreement. The agreement 
between Jesus and Paul extends even to those elements in the 
Gospel account of Jesus which are accepted by modern natural- 
istic criticism. 

In the first place, Jesus and Paul present the same view 
of the Kingdom of God. The term "kingdom of God" is not 
very frequent in the Epistles ; but it is used as though familiar 
to the readers, and when it does occur, it has the same meaning 
as in the teaching of Jesus. The similarity appears, in the 
first place, in a negative feature both in Jesus and in Paul, 
the idea of the Kingdom is divorced from all political and ma- 
terialistic associations. That fact may seem to us to be a 
matter of course. But in the Judaism of the first century it 
was far from being a matter of course. On the contrary, it 
meant nothing less than a revolution in thought and in life. 
How did Paul, the patriot and the Pharisee, come to separate 
the thought of the Kingdom from political associations? How 
did he come to do so even if he had come to think that the 
Messiah had already appeared? How did he come to do so 
unless he was influenced in some way by the teaching of Jesus? 
But the similarity is not merely negative. In positive aspects 
also, the Kingdom of God in Paul is similar to that which 
appears in the teaching of Jesus. Both in Jesus and in Paul, 
the implications of entrance are ethical. "Or know ye not," 
says Paul, "that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom 
of God" (1 Cor. vi. 9). Then follows, after these words, as 
in Gal. v. 19-21, a long list of sins which exclude a man from 
participation in the Kingdom. Paul is here continuing faith- 


fully the teaching of Him who said, "Repent ye; for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand." Finally both in Jesus and 
in Paul the Kingdom appears partly as present and partly as 
future. In the above passages from Galatians and 1 Corin- 
thians, for example, and in 1 Cor. xv. 50, it is future; whereas 
in such passages as Rom. xiv. 17 ("for the kingdom of God 
is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy 
in the Holy Spirit"), the present aspect is rather in view. The 
same two aspects of the Kingdom appear also in the teaching 
of Jesus ; all attempts at making Jesus' conception thor- 
oughly eschatological have failed. Both in Jesus and in Paul, 
therefore, the Kingdom of God is both transcendent and ethical. 
Both in Jesus and in Paul, finally, the coming of the Kingdom 
means joy as well as judgment. When Paul says that the 
Kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace and joy in the 
Holy Ghost," he is like Jesus not merely in word but in the 
whole spirit of the message; Jesus also proclaimed the coming 
of the Kingdom as a "gospel." 

In the second place, Paul is like Jesus in his doctrine of 
the fatherhood of God. That doctrine, it will probably be 
admitted, was characteristic of Jesus; indeed the tendency in 
certain quarters is to regard it as the very sum and substance 
of all that Jesus said. Certainly no parallel to Jesus' pres- 
entation of God as Father has been found in extra-Christian 
literature. The term "father" is indeed applied to God here 
and there in the Old Testament. But in the Old Testament 
it is usually in relation to the people of Israel that God is 
thought of as Father rather than in relation to the individual. 
Even in the Old Testament, it is true, the conception of the 
fatherhood of God is not without importance. The conscious- 
ness of belonging to God's chosen people and thus being under 
God's fatherly care was immensely valuable for the life of the 
individual Israelite ; it was no mere product of an unsatisfying 
state religion like the religions of Greece or Rome. There 
was preparation in Old Testament revelation, here as else- 
where, for the coming of the Messiah. In Jewish literature 
outside of the Old Testament, moreover, and in rabbinical 
sources, the conception of God as Father is not altogether 
absent. 1 But it appears comparatively seldom, and it lacks 
altogether the true content of Jesus' teaching. Despite all 
1 Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums, 2te Aufl., 1906, pp. 432-434. 


previous uses of the word "father" as applied to God, Jesus 
was ushering in a new era when He taught His disciples to 
say, "Our Father which art in heaven." 

This conception of the fatherhood of God appears in Paul 
in just the same way as in Jesus. In Paul as well as in Jesus 
it is not something to be turned to occasionally; on the con- 
trary it is one of the constituent elements of the religious life. 
It is no wonder that the words, "God our Father," appear 
regularly at the beginnings of the Epistles. The father- 
hood of God in Paul is not something to be argued about or 
defended ; it is altogether a matter of course. But it has not 
lost, through repetition, one whit of its freshness. The name 
"Father" applied to God in Paul is more than a bare title; 
it is the welling up of the depths of the soul. "Abba, Father" 
on the lips of Paul's converts was exactly the same, not only 
in form but also in deepest import, as the word which Jesus 
first taught His disciples when they said to Him, "Lord, teach 
us to pray." 

But the fatherhood of God in Paul is like the teaching of 
Jesus in even more definite ways than in the fervor of the re- 
ligious life which it evokes. It is also like Jesus' teaching in 
being the possession, not of the world, but of the household of 
faith. If, indeed, the fatherhood of God in Jesus' teaching 
were like the fatherhood of God in modern liberalism a rela- 
tionship which God sustains toward men as men then it would 
be as far removed as possible from the teaching of Paul. But 
as a matter of fact, both Paul and Jesus reserved the term 
Father for the relation in which God stands to the disciples 
of Jesus. One passage, indeed (Matt. v. 45; Luke vi. 35), 
has been quoted as making God the Father of all men. But 
only by a strange misinterpretation. It is strange how in the 
day of our boasted grammatico-historical exegesis, so egregious 
an error can be allowed to live. The prejudices of the reader 
have triumphed here over all exegetical principles ; a vague 
modernism has been attributed to the sternest, as well as most 
merciful, Prophet who ever walked upon earth. When Jesus 
says, "Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute 
you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: 
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and 
sendeth rain on the just and the unjust," He certainly does 
not mean that God is the Father of all men both evil and good. 


God cares for all, but He is not said to be the Father of all. 
On the contrary, it may almost be said that the very point 
of the passage is that God cares for all although He is not 
the Father of all. That it is which makes Him the example for 
those who are to do good not merely to friends or brothers 
but also to enemies. 

This interpretation does not mean that God does not stand 
toward all men in a relation analogous to that of a father to 
his children ; it does not mean that He does not love all or care 
for all. But it does mean that however close may be the rela- 
tionship which God sustains to all men, the lofty term Father 
is reserved for a relationship which is far more intimate still. 
Jesus extends to all men those common blessings which the 
modern preacher sums up in the term "fatherhood of God" ; but 
He extends to His own disciples not only those blessings but 
infinitely more. It is not the men of the world not the "pub- 
licans," not the "Gentiles" who can say, according to the 
teaching of Jesus, "Our Father which art in Heaven." Rather 
it is the little group of Jesus' disciples which little group, 
however, all without exception are freely invited to join. 

So it is exactly also in the teaching of Paul. God stands, 
according to Paul, in a vital relation to all men. He is the 
author of the being of all ; He cares for all ; He has planted His 
law in the hearts of all. He stands thus in a relation toward 
all which is analogous to that of father to child. The Book 
of Acts is quite in accord with the Epistles when it makes 
Paul say of all men, "For we are also His offspring." But 
in Paul just as in Jesus the lofty term "Father" is re- 
served for a more intimate relationship. Paul accepts all the 
truth of natural religion; all the truth that reappears in the 
vague liberalism of modern times. But he adds to it the truth 
of the gospel. Those are truly sons of God, he says, who have 
been received by adoption into God's household, and in whose 
hearts God's Spirit cries, "Abba, Father." 

There was nothing narrow about such a gospel ; for the 
door of the household of faith was opened wide to all. Jesus 
had died in order to open that door, and the apostle went up 
and down the world, enduring peril upon peril in order to 
bring men in. There was need for such service, because of sin. 
Neither in Jesus nor in Paul is sin covered up, nor the necessity 
of a great transformation concealed. Jesus came not to reveal 


to men that they were already children of God, but to make 
them God's children by His redeeming work. 

In the third place, Paul is like Jesus in presenting a doc- 
trine of grace. Of course he is like the Jesus of the Gospels ; 
for the Jesus of the Gospels declared that the Son of Man 
came to give His life a ransom for many. But He is even like 
the Jesus of modern reconstruction. Even the liberal Jesus 
taught a doctrine of grace. He taught, it for example, in the 
parables of the laborers in the vineyard and of the servant 
coming in from the field. In those two parables Jesus ex- 
pressed His opposition to a religion of works, a religion which 
can open an account with God and seek to obtain salvation 
by merit. 1 Salvation, according to Jesus, is a matter of 
God's free grace; it is something which God gives to whom 
He will. The same great doctrine really runs all through the 
teaching of Jesus; it is the root of His opposition to the 
scribes and Pharisees ; it determines the confidence with which 
He taught His disciples to draw near to God. But it is the 
same doctrine, exactly, which appears in Paul. The Paul 
who combated the legalists in Galatia, like the Jesus who com- 
bated the scribes and Pharisees, was contending for a God 
of grace. 

Let it not be objected that Jesus maintained also the ex- 
pectation of a judgment. For in this particular also He was 
followed by Paul. Paul also, despite his doctrine of grace, 
expected that the Christians would stand before the judgment- 
seat. And it may be remembered in passing that both in Jesus 
and in Paul the judgment-seat is a judgment-seat of Christ. 

In the fourth place, the ethical teaching of Paul is strik- 
ingly similar to that of Jesus. It is necessary only to point 
to the conception of love as the fulfilling of the law, and to 
the substitution for external rules of the great principles of 
justice and of mercy. These things may seem to us to be 
matters of course. But they were not matters of course in the 
Jewish environment of Paul. Similarity in this field between 
Jesus and Paul can hardly be a matter of chance. Many 
resemblances have been pointed out in detail between the ethical 

1 Compare W. Morgan, The Religion and Theology of Paul, 1917, p. 
155: "The essential import of Paul's doctrine [of justification by faith] 
is all contained in the two parables of the Pharisee and the publican and 
the servant coming in from the field," 


teaching of Jesus and that of Paul. But the most important 
is the one which is most obvious, and which just for that rea- 
son has sometimes escaped notice. Paul and Jesus, in their 
ethical teaching, are similar because of the details of what 
they say ; but they are still more similar because of what they 
do not say. And they are similar in what they do not say 
despite the opposition of their countrymen. Many parallels for 
words of Jesus may have been found in rabbinical sources. But 
so much more, alas, is also found there. That oppressive plus 
of triviality and formalism places an impassable gulf between 
Jesus and the Jewish teachers. But Paul belongs with Jesus, 
on the same side of the gulf. In his ethic there is no formal- 
ism, no triviality, no casuistry there is naught but "love, 
joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
meekness, self-control." What has become of all the rest? 
Was it removed by the genius of Paul? It is strange that 
two such men of genius should have arisen independently and 
at the same time. Or was the terrible plus of Pharisaic for- 
malism and triviality burned away from Paul when the light 
shone around him on the way to Damascus and he fell at the 
feet of the great Teacher? 

Points of contact between Jesus and Paul have just been 
pointed out in detail, and the list of resemblances could be 
greatly increased. The likeness of Paul to Jesus extends even 
to those features which appear in the Jesus of modern liberal- 
ism. What is more impressive, however, than all similarity in 
detail is the similarity in the two persons taken each as a 
whole. The Gospels are more than a collection of sayings 
and anecdotes ; the Pauline Epistles are more than a collection 
of reasoned discussions. In the Gospels, a person is revealed, 
and another person in the Epistles. And the two persons 
belong together. It is impossible to establish that fact fully 
by detailed argument any more than it is possible to explain 
exactly why any two persons are friends to-day. But the 
fact is plain to any sympathetic reader. The writer of the 
Pauline Epistles would have been at home in the company 
of Jesus of Nazareth. 

What then was the true relation between Paul and Jesus? 
It has been shown that Paul regarded himself as a disciple of 
Jesus, that he was so regarded by those who had been Jesus' 
friends, that he had abundant opportunity for acquainting 


himself with Jesus' words and deeds, that he does refer to 
them occasionally, that he could have done so oftener if he 
had desired, that the imitation of Jesus found a place in his 
life, and that his likeness to Jesus extends even to those ele- 
ments in Jesus' life and teaching which are accepted by modern 
naturalistic criticism as authentic. At this point the problem 
is left by the great mass of recent investigators. Wrede is 
thought to be refuted already; the investigator triumphantly 
writes his Q. E. D., and passes on to something else. 

But in reality the problem has not even been touched. It 
has been shown that the influence of Jesus upon Paul was 
somewhat greater than Wrede supposed. But that does not 
make Paul a disciple of Jesus. The true relationships of a 
man are determined not by things that lie on the periphery 
of his life, but by what is central 1 central both in his own 
estimation and in his influence upon subsequent generations. 
And what was central in Paul was certainly not the imitation 
of Jesus. At that point, Wrede was entirely correct ; he has 
never really been silenced by the chorus of protest with which 
his startling little book was received. It is futile, therefore, to 
point to the influence of Jesus upon Paul in detail. Such a 
method may be useful in correcting exaggerations, but it does 
not touch the real question. The plain fact remains that if 
imitation of Jesus had been central in the life of Paul, as it 
is central, for example, in modern liberalism, then the Epistles 
would be full of the words and deeds of Jesus. It is insuffi- 
cient to point to the occasional character of the Epistles. No 
doubt the Epistles are addressed to special needs ; no doubt 
Paul knew far more about Jesus than in the Epistles he has 
found occasion to tell. But there are passages in the Epistles 
where the current of Paul's religious life runs full and free, 
where even after the lapse of centuries, even through the dull 
medium of the printed page, it sweeps the heart of the sympa- 
thetic reader on with it in a mighty flood. And those passages 
are not concerned with the details of Jesus' earthly life. They 
are, rather, the great theological passages of the Epistles 
the second chapter of Galatians, the fifth chapter of 2 Corin- 
thians, and the eighth chapter of Romans. In these chapters, 
religion and theology are blended in a union which no critical 
1 Wrede, Paulus, 1904, p. 93 (English Translation, Paul, 1907, p. 161). 


analysis can ever possibly dissolve; these passages reveal the 
very center of Paul's life. 

The details of Jesus' earthly ministry no doubt had an im- 
portant place in the thinking of Paul. But they were impor- 
tant, not as an end in themselves, but as a means to an end. 
They revealed the character of Jesus ; they showed why He 
was worthy to be trusted. But they did not show what He 
had done for Paul. The story of Jesus revealed what Jesus 
had done for others : He had Sealed the sick ; He had given 
sight to the blind ; He had raised the dead. But for Paul He 
had done something far greater than all these things for 
Paul He had died. 

The religion of Paul, in other words, is a religion of re- 
demption. Jesus, according to Paul, came to earth not to 
say something, but to do something; He was primarily not 
a teacher, but a Redeemer. He came, not to teach men how 
to live, but to give them a new life through His atoning death. 
He was, indeed, also a teacher, and Paul attended to His 
teaching. But His teaching was all in vain unless it led to 
the final acceptance of His redemptive work. Not the details 
of Jesus' life, therefore, but the redemptive acts of death and 
resurrection are at the center of the religion of Paul. The 
teaching and example of Jesus, according to Paul, are valuable 
only as a means to an end, valuable in order that through 
a revelation of Jesus' character saving faith may be induced, 
and valuable thereafter in order that the saving work may 
be brought to its fruition in holy living. But all that Jesus 
said and did was for the purpose of the Cross. "He loved me," 
says Paul, "and gave Himself for me." There is the heart and 
core of the religion of Paul. 

Jesus, according to Paul, therefore, was not a teacher, 
but a Redeemer. But was Paul right? Was Jesus really a 
Redeemer, or was He only a teacher? If He was only a teacher, 
then Paul was no true follower of His. For in that case, Paul 
has missed the true import of Jesus' life. Compared with 
that one central error, small importance is to be attributed 
to the influence which Jesus may have exerted upon Paul here 
and there. Wrede, therefore, was exactly right in his formu- 
lation of the question. Paul regarded Jesus as a Redeemer. 
If Jesus was not a Redeemer, then Paul was no true follower 


of Jesus, but the founder of a new religion. The liberal theo- 
logians have tried to avoid the issue. They have pointed out 
exaggerations; they have traced the influence of Jesus upon 
Paul in detail; they have distinguished religion from theology, 
and abandoning the theology of Paul they have sought to 
derive his religion from Jesus of Nazareth. It is all very 
learned and very eloquent. But it is also entirely futile. 
Despite the numerous monographs on "Jesus and Paul," Wrede 
was entirely correct. He was correct, that is, not in his con- 
clusions, but in his statement of the question. He was correct 
in his central contention Paul was no true disciple of the 
"liberal Jesus." If Jesus was what the liberal theologians 
represent Him as being a teacher of righteousness, a relig- 
ious genius, a guide on the way to God then not Jesus but 
Paul was the true founder of historic Christianity. For his- 
toric Christianity, like the religion of Paul, is a religion of 

Certainly the separation of religion from theology in Paul 
must be abandoned. Was it a mere theory when Paul said of 
Jesus Christ, "He loved me and gave Himself for me"? Was 
it merely theological speculation when he said, "One died for 
all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they that live 
should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for 
their sakes died and rose again"? Was it mere theology when 
he said, "Far be it from me to glory save in the cross of our 
Lord Jesus Christ"? Was this mere theological speculation? 
Surely not. Surely it was religion warm, living religion. 
If this was not true religion, then where can religion ever be 
found? But the passages just quoted are not passages which 
deal with the details of Jesus' life; they are not passages 
which deal with general principles of love and grace, and 
fatherliness and brotherliness. On the contrary, they deal with 
just the thing most distasteful to the modern liberal Church; 
they deal with the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
by which He took our sins upon Him and bare them in His 
own body on the tree. The matter is perfectly plain. Religion 
in Paul does not exist apart from theology, and theology does 
not exist apart from religion. Christianity, according to 
Paul, is both a life and a doctrine but logically the doctrine 
comes first. The life is the expression of the doctrine and 
not vice versa. Theology, as it appears in Paul, is not a 


product of Christian experience, but a setting forth of those 
facts by which Christian experience has been produced. If, 
then, the theology of Paul was derived from extra-Christian 
sources, his religion must be abandoned also. The whole of 
Paulinism is based upon the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. 
Thus Paul was a true follower of Jesus if Jesus was a di- 
vine Redeemer, come from heaven to die for the sins of men; 
he was not a true follower of Jesus if Jesus was a mere re- 
vealer of the fatherhood of God. Paulinism was not based 
upon a Galilean prophet. It was based either upon the Son of 
God who came to earth for men's salvation and still holds 
communion with those who trust Him, or else it was based 
upon a colossal error. But if the latter alternative be adopted, 
the error was not only colossal, but also unaccountable. It 
is made more unaccountable by all that has been said above, 
all that the liberal theologians have helped to establish, about 
the nearness of Paul to Jesus. If Paul really stood so near 
to Jesus, if he really came under Jesus' influence, if he really 
was intimate with Jesus' friends, how could he have misin- 
terpreted so completely the significance of Jesus' person; how 
could he have substituted for the teacher of righteousness 
who had really lived in Palestine the heavenly Redeemer of 
the Epistles? No satisfactory answer has yet been given. 
In the relation between Jesus and Paul the historian discovers 
a problem which forces him on toward a Copernican revolu- 
tion in all his thinking, which leads him to ground his own 
salvation and the hope of this world no longer in millions of 
acts of sinful men or in the gradual progress of civilization, 
but simply and solely in one redemptive act of the Lord of 




OF the three ways in which, upon naturalistic principles, 
the genesis of the religion of Paul has been explained, one has 
been examined, and has been found wanting. Paulinism, it has 
been shown, was not based upon the Jesus of modern liberal- 
ism. If Jesus was simply a teacher of righteousness, a revealer 
of God, then the religion of Paul was not derived from Him. 
For the religion of Paul was a religion of redemption. 

But if the religion of Paul was not derived from the Jesus 
of modern liberalism, whence was it derived? It may, of course, 
have been derived from the divine Redeemer; the Jesus whom 
Paul presupposes may have been the Jesus who actually lived 
in Palestine. But that explanation involves the intrusion of 
the supernatural into the course of history; it is therefore 
rejected by "the modern mind." Other explanations, therefore, 
are being sought. These other explanations are alike in that 
they derive the religion of Paul from sources independent of 
Jesus of Nazareth. Two such explanations have been pro- 
posed. According to one, the religion of Paul was derived 
from contemporary Judaism ; according to the other, it was 
derived from the paganism of the Greco-Roman world. The 
present chapter will deal with the former of these two explana- 
tions with the explanation which derives the religion of Paul 
from contemporary Judaism. 

This explanation is connected especially with the names 
of Wrede 1 and Bruckner. 2 It has, however, seldom been 
maintained in any exclusive way, but enters into combination 
with other hypotheses. Indeed, in itself it is obviously insuf- 
ficient ; it will hardly explain the idea of redemption in the re- 
ligion of Paul. But it is thought to explain, if not the idea of 

1 See p. 26, footnote 2. 

2 See p. 27, footnote 1. 



redemption, at least the conception of the Redeemer's person, 
and from the conception of the Redeemer's person the idea 
of redemption might in some way be derived. The hypothesis 
of Wrede and Briickner, in other words, seeks to explain not 
so much the soteriology as the Christology of Paul; it derives 
from the pre-Christian Jewish conception of the Messiah the 
Pauline conception of the heavenly Christ. In particular, it 
seeks to explain the matter-of-course way in which in the 
Epistles the Pauline Christ is everywhere presupposed but no- 
where defended. Apparently Paul was not aware that his 
Christology might provoke dissent. This attitude is very dif- 
ficult to explain on the basis of the ordinary liberal recon- 
struction ; it is difficult to explain if the Pauline Christology 
was derived by a process of development from the historical 
Jesus. For if it had been so derived, its newness and revolu- 
tionary character would naturally have appeared. As a matter 
of fact, however, Paul does not regard it as anything new; he 
treats his doctrine of Christ as though it were firmly estab- 
lished and required no defense. How shall this confident atti- 
tude of the apostle be explained? It is to be explained, Wrede 
says, by the theology of contemporary Judaism. Paul was 
so confident that his conception of Christ could not be re- 
garded as an innovation because as a matter of fact it was not 
an innovation; it was nothing but the pre-Christian Jewish 
notion of the Messiah. The Pauline conception of Christ was 
thus firmly fixed in the mind of Paul and in the minds of many 
of his contemporaries long before the event on the road to 
Damascus ; all that happened at that time was the identifica- 
tion of the Christ whom Paul had believed in all along with 
Jesus of Nazareth, and that identification, because of the 
meagerness of Paul's knowledge of Jesus, did not really bring 
any fundamental change in the Christology itself. After the 
conversion as well as before it, the Christ of Paul was simply 
the Christ of the Jewish apocalypses. 

In order that this hypothesis may be examined, it will be 
advisable to begin with a brief general survey of the Jewish 
environment of Paul. The survey will necessarily be of the 
most cursory character, and it will not be based upon original 
research. But it may serve to clear the way for the real 
question at issue. Fortunately the ground has been covered 


rather thoroughly by recent investigators. In dependence upon 
Schiirer and Charles and others, even a layman may hope to 
arrive at the most obvious facts. And it is only the most 
obvious facts which need now be considered. 

Three topics only will be discussed, and they only in the 
most cursory way. These three topics are (1) the divisions 
within Judaism, (2) the Law, (3) the Messiah. 

The most obvious division within the Judaism of Paul's 
day is the division between the Judaism of Palestine and that 
of the Dispersion. The Jews of Palestine, for the most part, 
spoke Aramaic ; those of the Dispersion spoke Greek. With 
the difference of language went no doubt in some cases a dif- 
ference in habits of thought. But exaggerations should be 
avoided. Certainly it is a serious error to represent the Juda- 
ism of the Dispersion as being universally or even generally 
a "liberal" Judaism, inclined to break down the strict require- 
ments of the Law. The vivid descriptions of the Book of Acts 
point in the opposite direction. Opposition to the Gentile mis- 
sion of Paul prevailed among the Hellenists of the Dispersion 
as well as among the Hebrews of Palestine. On the whole, 
although no doubt here and there individuals were inclined to 
modify the requirements imposed upon proselytes, or even 
were influenced by the thought of the Gentile world, the Jews 
of the first century must be thought of as being a strangely 
unified people, devoted to the Mosaic Law and jealous of their 
God-given prerogatives. 

At any rate, it is a grave error to explain the Gentile mis- 
sion of Paul as springing by natural development from a liberal 
Judaism of the Dispersion. For even if -such a liberal Judaism 
existed, Paul did not belong to it. He tells us in no uncertain 
terms that he was a "Hebrew," not a Hellenist; inwardly, 
therefore, despite his birth in Tarsus, he was a Jew of Pales- 
tine. No doubt the impressions received from the Greek city 
where he was born were of great importance in his prepara- 
tion for his life-work ; it was no mere chance, but a dispensation 
of God, that the apostle to the Gentiles spent his earliest 
years in a seat of Gentile culture. But it was Jerusalem rather 
than Tarsus which determined Paul's outlook upon life. At 
any rate, however great or however little was the influence 
of his boyhood home, Paul was not a "liberal" Jew; for he 


tells us that he was a Pharisee, more exceedingly zealous than 
his contemporaries for the traditions of his fathers. 

Birth in Tarsus, therefore, did not mean for Paul any 
adherence to a liberal Judaism, as distinguished from the strict 
Judaism of Palestine. According to Montefiore, a popular 
Jewish writer of the present day, it even meant the exact op- 
posite; the Judaism of the Dispersion, Montefiore believes, 
was not more liberal, but less liberal, than the Judaism of 
Palestine; it was from Tarsus, Montefiore thinks, that Paul 
derived his gloomy view of sin, and his repellent conception 
of the wrath of God. Palestinian Judaism of the first century, 
according to Montefiore, was probably like the rabbinical 
Judaism of 500 A. D., and the rabbinical Judaism of 500 A. D., 
contrary to popular opinion, was a broad-minded regime which 
united devotion to the Law with confidence in the forgiveness 
of God. 1 This curious reversal of the usual opinion is of 
course open to serious objection. How does Montefiore know 
that the Judaism of the Dispersion was less liberal and held 
a gloomier view of sin than the Judaism of Palestine? The 
only positive evidence seems to be derived from 4 Ezra, which, 
with the other apocalypses, in an entirely unwarranted man- 
ner, is apparently made to be a witness to the Judaism of the 
Dispersion. And were the rabbinical Judaism of 500 A. D. 
and the Palestinian Judaism of 50 A. D. really characterized 
by that sweet reasonableness which Montefiore attributes to 
them? There is at least one testimony to the contrary the 
testimony found in the words of Jesus. 

Distinct from the question of fact is the question of value. 
But with regard to that question also, Montefiore's opinion 
may be criticized. It may well be doubted whether the easy- 
going belief in the complacency of God, celebrated by Monte- 
fiore as characteristic of Judaism, was, if it ever existed, su- 
perior to the gloomy questionings of 4 Ezra. Certainly from 
the Christian point of view it was not superior. In its shallow 
view of sin, in its unwillingness to face the ultimate problems 
of sin and death, the Jewish liberalism of Montefiore is exactly 
like the so-called Christian liberalism of the modern Church. 

1 Montefiore, Judaism and St. Paul, 1914. Compare Emmet, "The Fourth 
Book of Esdras and St. Paul," in Expository Times, xxvii, 1915-1916, pp. 


And it is as far removed as possible from the Christianity of 
Paul. At one point, therefore, Montefiore is entirely correct. 
The gospel of Paul was based not upon a mild view of law, 
but upon a strict view; not upon a belief in the complacency 
of God, but upon the cross of Christ as a satisfaction of 
divine justice. Neither before his conversion nor after it was 
Paul a "liberal." 

Besides the obvious division between the Judaism of Pales- 
tine and that of the Dispersion, other divisions may be de- 
tected, especially within Palestinian Judaism. Three principal 
Jewish sects are distinguished by Josephus ; the Pharisees, the 
Sadducees, and the Essenes. 1 Of these, the first two appear 
also in the New Testament. The Essenes were separated from 
the ordinary life of the people by certain ascetic customs, by 
the rejection of animal sacrifice, and by religious practices 
which may perhaps be due to foreign influence. Apparently 
the Essenic order did not come into any close contact with 
the early Church. It is very doubtful, for example, whether 
Lightfoot was correct in finding Essenic influence in the error- 
ists combated in Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. At any 
rate, there is not the slightest reason to suppose that Paul was 
influenced from this source. 

The Sadducees were a worldly aristocracy, in possession 
of the lucrative priestly offices and reconciled to Roman rule. 
Their rejection of the doctrine of resurrection is attested not 
only by the New Testament but also by Josephus. They were 
as far removed as possible from exerting influence upon the 
youthful Paul. 

The Pharisees represented orthodox Judaism, with its de- 
votion to the Law. Their popularity, and their general, 
though not universal, control of education, made them the 
real leaders of the people. Certainly the future history of 
the nation was in their hands; for when the Temple was de- 
stroyed the Law alone remained, and the Pharisees were the 
chief interpreters of the Law. It was this party which claimed 
the allegiance of Paul. So he testifies himself. His testimony 
is often forgotten, or at least the implications of it ignored. 
But it is unequivocal. Saul of Tarsus was not a liberal Jew, 
but a Pharisee. 

1 Josephus, Antiq. XVIII. i. 2-5. 


The mention of the Pharisees leads naturally to the second 
division of our sketch of pre-Christian Judaism L namely, the 
Law. According to Baldensperger, the two foci around which 
Judaism moved were the Law and the Messianic hope. These 
two foci will here be touched upon very briefly in order. 

Unquestionably post-exilic Judaism was devoted to the 
Law. The Law was found in the Old Testament, especially 
in the books of Moses. But around the written Law had grown 
up a great mass of oral interpretations which really amounted 
to elaborate additions. By this "tradition of the elders" the 
life of the devout Jew was regulated in its minutest particulars. 
Morality thus became a matter of external rules, and religion 
became a credit-and-debit relationship into which a man entered 
with God. Modern Jews are sometimes inclined to contradict 
such assertions, but the evidence found both in rabbinical 
sources and in the New Testament is too strong. Exaggera- 
tions certainly should be avoided; there are certainly many 
noble utterances to be found among the sayings of the Jewish 
teachers; it is not to be supposed that formalism was unre- 
lieved by any manifestations whatever of the goodness of the 
heart. Nevertheless, the Jewish writings themselves, along with 
flashes of true insight, contain a great mass of fruitless cas- 
uistry; and the New Testament confirms the impression thus 
produced. In some quarters, indeed, it is customary to dis- 
credit the testimony of Jesus, reported in the Gospels, as being 
the testimony of an opponent. But why was Jesus an op- 
ponent? Surely it was because of something blameworthy 
in the life of those whom He denounced. In the sphere of 
moral values, the testimony of Jesus of Nazareth is worth 
having; when He denounces the formalism and hypocrisy of 
the scribes, it is very difficult for any student of the history 
of morals not to be impressed. Certainly the denunciation 
of Jesus was not indiscriminate. He "loved" the rich young 
ruler, and said to the lawyer, "Thou art not far from the 
kingdom of God." Thus the Gospels in their choice of the 
words of Jesus which they record have not been prejudiced 
by any hatred of the Jews; they have faithfuly set down va- 
rious elements in Jesus' judgment of His contemporaries. But 

1 Baldensperger, Die Messianisch-apokalyptischen Hoffnungen des Juden- 
lums, 3te Aufl., 1903, pp. 88, 89. 


the picture which they give of Jewish legalism cannot be put 
out of the world; it seems clear that the religion of the 
Pharisees at the time of Paul was burdened with all the defects 
of a religion of merit as distinguished from a religion of grace. 

The legalism of the Pharisees might indeed seem to possess 
one advantage as a preparation for the gospel of Paul; it 
might seem likely to produce the consciousness of sin and 
so the longing for a Saviour. If the Law was so very strict 
as the Pharisees said it was, if its commands entered so deep 
into every department of life, if the penalty which it imposed 
upon disobedience was nothing less than loss of the favor of 
a righteous God, would not the man who was placed under 
such a regime come to recognize the imperfection of his obe- 
dience to the countless commands and so be oppressed by a 
sense of guilt? Paul said that the Law was a schoolmaster 
to bring the Jews to Christ, and by that he meant that the 
Law produced the consciousness of sin. But if the Law was a 
schoolmaster, was its stern lesson heeded? Was it a school- 
master to bring the Jews to Christ only in its essential char- 
acter, or was it actually being used in that beneficent way by 
the Jews of the age of Paul? 

The answer to these questions, so far as it can be obtained, 
is on the whole disappointing. The Judaism of the Pauline 
period does not seem to have been characterized by a pro- 
found sense of sin. And the reason is not far to seek. The 
legalism of the Pharisees, with its regulation of the minute 
details of life, was not really making the Law too hard to 
keep ; it was really making it too easy. Jesus said to His 
disciples, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the right- 
eousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter 
into the kingdom of heaven." The truth is, it is easier to 
cleanse the outside of the cup than it is to cleanse the heart. 
If the Pharisees had recognized that the Law demands not 
only the observance of external rules but also and primarily 
mercy and justice and love for God and men, they would not 
have been so readily satisfied with the measure of their obedi- 
ence, and the Law would then have fulfilled its great function 
of being a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. A low view 
of law leads to legalism in religion ; a high view of law makes 
a man a seeker after grace. 


Here and there, indeed, voices are to be heard in the Juda- 
ism of the New Testament period which attest a real sense 
of sin. The Fourth Book of Ezra, 1 in particular, struggles 
seriously with the general reign of evil in the lives of men, and 
can find no solution of the terrible problem. "Many have 
been created, but few shall be saved!" (4 Ezra viii. 3). "Or 
who is there that has not transgressed thy covenant?" (vii. 46). 
Alas for the "evil heart" (vii. 48) ! In a very interesting 
manner 4 Ezra connects the miserable condition of humanity 
with the fall of Adam; the fall was not Adam's alone but his 
descendants' (vii. 118). At this point, it is interesting to 
compare 2 Baruch, 2 which occupies a somewhat different po- 
sition; "each of us," declares 2 Baruch, "has been the Adam 
of his own soul." And in general, 2 Baruch takes a less pessi- 
mistic view of human evil, and (according to Charles' estimate, 
which may be correct) is more self-complacent about the Law. 
But the profound sense of guilt in 4 Ezra might conceivably 
be a step on the way to saving faith in Christ. "O Lord above 
us, if thou wouldst . . . give unto us the seed of a new heart !" 
(4 Ezra viii. 6). This prayer was gloriously answered in the 
gospel of Paul. 3 

It must be remembered, however, that 4 Ezra was com- 
pleted long after the Pauline period; its attitude to the prob- 
lem of evil certainly cannot be attributed with any confidence 
to Saul of Tarsus, the pupil of Gamaliel. It is significant 
that when, after the conversion, Paul seeks testimonies to 
the universal sinfulness of man, he looks not to contemporary 
Judaism, but to the Old Testament. At this point, as else- 
where, Paulinism is based not upon later developments but 
upon the religion of the Prophets and the Psalms. On the 
whole, therefore, especially in the light of what was said above, 
it cannot be supposed that Saul the Pharisee held a spiritual 
view of law, or was possessed of a true conviction of sin. Paul 

1 See Box, in Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testa- 
ment, 1913, ii, pp. 542-624; Schiirer, Oeschichte des judischen Volkes, 3te 
und 4te Aufl., iii, 1909, pp. 315-335 (English Translation, A History of the 
Jewish People, Division II, vol. iii, 1886, pp. 93-104). The work of 
Charles has been used freely, without special acknowledgment, for the 
citations from the Jewish apocalypses. 

"See Charles, op. cit., ii, pp. 470-526; SchUrer, op. cit., iii, pp. 305-315 
(English Translation, Division II, vol. iii, pp. 83-93). 

'Compare Box, in Charles, op. cit., p. 593, See also Emmet, loc. cit. 


was convicted of his sin only when the Lord Jesus said to him, 
"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." 

The other focus about which pre-Christian Judaism, ac- 
cording to Baldensperger, revolved was the Messianic hope. 
This hope had its roots in the Old Testament. A complete 
introduction to the subject would of course deal first with the 
Old Testament background. Here, however, the background 
will have to be dismissed with a word. 

According to the ordinary "critical" view, the doctrine 
of an individual Messiah, and especially that of a transcendent 
Messiah, arose late in the history of Israel. At first, it is 
maintained, there was the expectation of a blessed line of 
Davidic kings ; then the expectation of a line of kings gave 
way in some quarters to the expectation of an individual king ; 
then the expectation of an earthly king gave way in some 
quarters to the expectation of a heavenly being like the "Son 
of Man" who is described in 1 Enoch. This theory, however, 
has been called in question in recent years, for example by 
Gressmann. 1 According to Gressmann, the doctrine of an in- 
dividual transcendent Saviour is of hoar antiquity, and ante- 
dates by far the expectation of a blessed line of Davidic kings 
and that of an individual earthy king. Gressmann is not, of 
course, returning to the traditional view of the Old Testament. 
On the contrary, he believes that the ancient doctrine of a 
heavenly Saviour is of extra-Israelitish origin and represents 
a widespread myth. But in the details of exegesis, the radi- 
calism of Gressmann, as is also the case with many forms 
of radicalism in connection with the New Testament, involves 
a curious return to the traditional view. Many passages of 
the Old Testament, formerly removed from the list of Mes- 
sianic passages by the dominant school of exegesis, or else 
regarded as late interpolations, are restored by Gressmann to 
their original significance. Thus the suffering servant of 
Jehovah of Is. liii (a passage which the dominant school of 
exegesis has interpreted in a collective sense, as referring to 
the nation of Israel or to the righteous part of the nation) is 
regarded by Gressmann as being an individual (mythical) figure 
to whose death and resurrection is attributed saving signifi- 

1 Der Ursprung der israetitisch-judischen Eschatologie, 1905. 


The super-naturalistic view of the Old Testament l agrees 
with Gressmann in his individualistic interpretation of such 
passages as Is. liii, but differs from him in that it attributes 
objective validity to the representation thus obtained. Ac- 
cording to the supernaturalistic view, Israel was from the 
beginning the people of the Promise. The Promise at first 
was not fully defined in the minds of all the people. But even 
at the beginning there were glorious revelations, and the reve- 
lations became plainer and plainer as time went on. The va- 
rious elements in the Promise were not indeed kept carefully 
distinct, and their logical connections were not revealed. But 
even long before the Exile there was not only a promise of 
blessing to David's line, with occasional mention of an indi- 
vidual king, but also a promise of a Redeemer and King who 
should far exceed the limits of humanity. Thus God had sus- 
tained His people through the centuries with a blessed hope, 
which was finally fulfilled, in all its aspects, by the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Discussion of these various views would exceed the limits 
of the present investigation. All that can here be done is to 
present briefly the Messianic expectations of the later period, 
in which Paul lived. 

But were those expectations widely prevalent? Was the 
doctrine of a coming Messiah firmly established among the 
Jews of the time of Paul? The answer to these questions 
might seem to be perfectly plain. The common impression 
is that the Judaism of the first century was devoted to nothing 
if not to the hope of a king who was to deliver God's people 
from the oppression of her enemies. This impression is de- 
rived from the New Testament. Somewhat different is the 
impression which might be derived from the Jewish sources 
if they were taken alone. The expectation of a Messiah hardly 
appears at all in the Apocrypha, and even in the Pseudepi- 
grapha it appears by no means in all of the books. Even 
when the thought of the future age is most prominent, that 
age does not by any means appear in inevitable connection 
with a personal Messiah. On the contrary, God Himself, not 
His instrument the Messiah, is often represented as ushering 
in the new era when Israel should be blessed. 

Despite this difference between the New Testament and the 
*See Beecher, The Prophets and the Promise, 1905. 


Jewish literature, it is generally recognized that the testimony 
of the New Testament must be essentially correct. The pic- 
ture which is given in the Gospels of the intensity of the Mes- 
sianic hope among the Jews must be founded upon fact even 
if Jesus Himself did not claim to be the Messiah. Indeed, it 
is just in that latter case that the testimony in some respects 
would become strongest of all. For if Jesus did not claim to 
be the Messiah, the attribution of Messiahship to Him by His 
disciples could be explained only by the intensity of their own 
Messianic expectations. As a matter of fact, however, Jesus 
did claim to be the Messiah; the elimination of His Messianic 
consciousness has not won the assent of any large body of 
historians. He did claim to be the Messiah, and He died be- 
cause the Jews regarded Him as a false claimant. But His 
opponents, no less than His disciples, were expecting a "King 
of the Jews." The New Testament throughout, no matter 
what view may be held as to the historicity of the individual 
narratives, is quite inexplicable unless the Jews both in Pales- 
tine and in the Dispersion had a doctrine of "the Christ." 

This New Testament representation is confirmed here and 
there by other writers. Even Philo, 1 as Bruckner remarks, 
pays his tribute, though in an isolated passage, to the common 
Messianic doctrine. 2 Josephus, 3 also, despite his effort 
to avoid offending his Roman readers, is obliged to mention 
the Messianic hope as one cause of the great war, and can 
only make the reference harmless by finding the Messiah in 
the Emperor Vespasian ! 4 On the whole, the fact may be 
regarded as certain that in the first century after Christ the 
expectation of the Messiah was firmly established among the 
Jews. The silence of great sections of the Apocrypha may 
then be explained partly by the date of some of the books. 
It may well be that there was a period, especially during the 
Maccabean uprising, when because of the better present condi- 
tion of the nation the Messianic hope was less in the forefront 
of interest, and that afterwards, under the humiliation of 
Roman rule, the thoughts of the people turned anew to the 
expected Deliverer. But however that may be, it is altogether 

1 De proem et poen. 16 (ed. Cohn, 1902, iv, p. 357). 

2 Bruckner, Die Entstehung der paulinischen Christoloqie, 1903, pp. 102f. 
'Bell. Jud. VI. v. 4. 

'Schiirer, op. cit., ii, 1907, p. 604 (English Translation, Division II, 
vol. ii, 1885, p. 149). 


probable that the expectation of a Messiah was everywhere 
cherished in the Judaism of the time of Paul. 

If then the hope of a Messiah was prevalent in the Judaism 
of the first century ? what was the nature of that hope? Two 
forms of Messianic expectation have ordinarily been distin- 
guished. In the first place, it is said, there was an expecta- 
tion of an earthly king of David's line, and in the second place, 
there was the notion of a heavenly being already existing in 
heaven. The former of these two lines of expectation is usually 
thought to represent the popular view, held by the masses of 
the people; and the latter is regarded as an esoteric doctrine 
held by a limited circle from which the apocalypses have 

At this point, Bruckner is somewhat in opposition to the 
ordinary opinion; he denies altogether the presence in first- 
century Judaism of any distinctive doctrine of a purely human 
Messiah. 1 The Messiah, he says, appears in all the sources 
distinctly as a supernatural figure. Even in the Psalms of 
Solomon, he insists, where the Messiah is represented as a 
king reigning upon earth, He is nevertheless no ordinary king, 
for He destroys His enemies not by the weapons of war but 
"by the breath of His mouth." In the Gospels, moreover, 
although the people are represented as looking for a king who 
should break the Roman rule, yet they demand of this king 
works of superhuman power. 

Undoubtedly there is a measure of truth in this contention 
of Bruckner. It may perhaps be admitted that the Messiah 
of Jewish expectation was always something more than an 
ordinary king; it may perhaps be admitted that He was en- 
dowed with supernatural attributes. Nevertheless, the view 
of Bruckner is exaggerated. There is still to be maintained 
the distinction between the heavenly being of 1 Enoch and the 
Davidic king. The latter might perhaps be regarded as pos- 
sessed of miraculous powers, but still He was in the essentials 
of His person an earthly monarch. He was to be born like 
other men; He was to rule over an earthly kingdom; He was 
to conquer earthly armies; presumably He was to die. It is 
significant that John the Baptist, despite the fact that he 
had as yet wrought no miracles, was apparently thought by 
some to be the Messiah (Lk. iii. 15; John i. 19-27). Even 
1 Bruckner, op. cit., pp. 104-112. 


if this representation of the Gospels of Luke and of John 
should be regarded as quite unhistorical, still it does show 
that the writers of these two Gospels, neither of whom was 
by any means ignorant of Jewish conditions, regard it as no 
incongruity that some should have supposed such a man as 
John to be the Messiah. The Messiah, therefore, could not 
have been regarded always as being like the heavenly Son of 
Man of 1 Enoch. But it is unnecessary to appeal to details. 
The whole New Testament, whatever view may be taken of 
the historicity of its narratives in detail, attests the preva- 
lence in the first century of a Messianic expectation according 
to which the Messiah was to be an earthly king of David's line. 
This view of Messiahship becomes explicit in Justin Mar- 
tyr's Dialogue with Trypho, which was written at about the 
middle of the second century. In this book, the Jewish op- 
ponent of Justin represents the Messiah as a "mere man." * 
No doubt this evidence cannot be used directly for the earlier 
period in which Paul lived. There does seem to have been a 
reaction in later Jewish expectations against that transcendent 
view of Messiahship which had been adopted by the Christian 
Church. Thus the apocalypses passed out of use among the 
Jews, and, in some cases at least, have been preserved only 
by the Church, and only because of their congruity with 
Christian views. It is possible, therefore, that when Trypho 
in the middle of the second century represents the Messiah 
as a "mere man," he is attesting a development in the Jewish 
doctrine which was subsequent to the time of Paul. But even 
in that case his testimony is not altogether without value. 
Even if Trypho's doctrine of a merely human Messiah be a 
later development, it was probably not without some roots 
in the past. If the Jews of the first century possessed both the 
doctrine of an earthly king and that of a heavenly "Son of 
Man," it is possible to see how the latter doctrine might have 
been removed and the former left in sole possession of the 
field ; but if in the first century the transcendent doctrine alone 
prevailed, it is unlikely that a totally different view could have 
been produced so quickly to take its place. 2 

2 Indeed Briickner himself (op. cit., p. 110) admits that there were 
two lines of thought about the Messiah in pre-Christian Judaism. But 
he denies that the two were separated, and insists that the transcendent 
conception had transformed the conception of an earthly king. 


Thus it must be insisted against Bruckner that in the first 
century the transcendent conception of Messiahship attested 
by the apocalypses was not the only conception that prevailed. 
Despite its dominance in the apocalypses, it was probably not 
the doctrine of the masses of the people. Probably the ordi- 
nary view of the matter is essentially correct; probably the 
Jews of the first century were eagerly awaiting an earthly king 
of David's line who should deliver them from Roman rule. 

If, however, the transcendent conception of Messiahship 
which is found in the apocalypses was not the only conception 
held by pre-Christian Judaism, it is none the less of special 
interest, and will repay examination. It is found most fully 
set forth in the "Similitudes" of 1 Enoch, 1 but appears also 
in 4 Ezra and in 2 Baruch. 

In the Similitudes, the heavenly being, who is to appear 
at the end of the age and be the instrument of God in judg- 
ment, is usually called the Elect One, Mine Elect One, the 
Son of Man, or that Son of Man. He is also called the 
Righteous One, and twice he is called Messiah or Anointed 
One (xlviii. 10; lii. 4). This latter title would seem to connect 
him with the expected king of David's line, who was the 
Anointed One or the Messiah. Lake and Jackson, however, 
would deny all connection. The heavenly Son of Man, they 
maintain, was never in pre-Christian Judaism identified with 
the expected king of David's line that is, with the "Messiah" 
in the technical sense so that it is a mistake to speak of 
"Messianic" passages in the Book of Enoch. 2 But after 
all, the heavenly figure of 1 Enoch is represented as fulfilling 
much the same functions as those which are attributed in the 
Psalms of Solomon, for example, to the Messiah. It would 
be difficult to conceive of the same writer as expecting two 
deliverers one the Messiah of the Psalms of Solomon, and 
the other the Son of Man of 1 Enoch. On the whole, there- 
fore, it is correct, despite the protest of Lake and Jackson, 
to speak of the passages in 1 Enoch as Messianic, and of 

*A11 parts of 1 Enoch are now usually thought to be of pre-Chris- 
tian origin. The Similitudes (chaps, xxxvii-lxxi) are usually dated 
in the first century before Christ. See Charles, op. cit., ii, pp. 163-281; 
Schurer, op. cit., iii, pp. 268-290 (English Translation, Division II, vol. iii, 
pp. 54-73). 

"Lake and Jackson, The Begiwnmg* of Christianity, Part I, vol. i, 1920, 
pp. 373f. 


the Son of Man as the "Messiah." In 4 Ezra xii. 32, more- 
over, the transcendent being, who is set forth under the figure 
of the lion, is distinctly identified with the Messiah "who shall 
spring from the seed of David." Of course, the late date of 
4 Ezra may be insisted upon, and it may be maintained that 
the Davidic descent of the Messiah in 4 Ezra is a mere tradi- 
tional detail, without organic connection with the rest of the 
picture. But it is significant that the writer did feel it neces- 
sary to retain the detail. His doing so proves at least that 
the heavenly being of the apocalypses was not always thought 
of as distinct from the promised king of David's line. All 
that can be granted to Lake and Jackson is that the future 
Deliverer was thought of in pre-Christian Judaism in widely 
diverse ways, and that there was often no effort to bring the 
different representations into harmony. But it is correct to 
speak of all the representations as "Messianic." For the 
coming Deliverer in all cases (despite the variety of the ex- 
pectations) was intended to satisfy at least the same religious 

The title "Son of Man," which is used frequently in the 
Similitudes, has given rise to a great deal of discussion, espe- 
cially because of its employment in the Gospels as a self- 
designation of Jesus. It has been maintained by some scholars 
that "Son of Man" never could have been a Messianic title, since 
the phrase in Aramaic idiom means simply "man." Thus the 
Greek phrase, "the Son of Man," in the Gospels would merely 
be an over-literal translation of an Aramaic phrase which 
meant simply "the man," and the use of "Son of Man" as a 
title would not extend back of the time when the tradition 
about the words of Jesus passed over into Greek. But in 
recent years this extreme position has for the most part been 
abandoned. In the first place, it is by no means clear that 
the Aramaic phrase from which the phrase "the Son of Man" 
in the Gospels is derived was simply the ordinary phrase mean- 
ing simply "the man." Opposed to this view is to be put, for 
example, the weighty opinion of Dalman. 1 In the second 
place, it has been shown that the linguistic question is not so 
important as was formerly supposed. For even if "the son 

1 Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, i, 1898, pp. 191-197 (English Translation, 
The Words of Jesus, i, 1902, pp. 234-241); Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 1913, 
pp. 13, 14. 


of man" in Aramaic meant simply "the man," it might still be 
a title. The commonest noun may sometimes become a title, 
and a title of highly specialized significance. For example, 
the word "day" is a very common word, but "The Day" in 
certain connections, like the German, "Der Tag," altogether 
without the help of any adjectives, comes to designate one 
particular day. So "the Man" or "that Man" could become 
a very lofty title, especially if it refers to some definite scene 
in which He who is the "Man" par excellence is described. 

In the Similitudes, such is actually the case; the phrase 
"Son of Man," whatever be its exact meaning, plainly refers 
to the "one like unto a son of man" who in Daniel vii. 13 ap- 
pears in the presence of "the Ancient of Days." This refer- 
ence is made perfectly plain at the first mention of the Son 
of Man (1 Enoch xlvi. 1, 2), where the same scene is evidently 
described as the scene of Dan. vii. 13. The "Son of Man" 
is not introduced abruptly, but is first described as a "being 
whose countenance had the appearance of a man," and is then 
referred to in the Similitudes not only as "the Son of Man," 
but also as "that Son of Man." Charles and others suppose, 
indeed, that the Ethiopic word translated "that" is merely 
a somewhat false representation, in the Ethiopic translation, 
of the Greek definite article, so that the Greek form of the 
book from which the extant Ethiopic was taken had every- 
where "the Son of Man," and nowhere "that Son of Man." 
The question is perhaps not of very great importance. In 
any case, the phrase "son of man" derives its special signifi- 
cance from the reference to the scene of Dan. vii. 13. Not any 
ordinary "man" or "son of man" is meant, but the mysterious 
figure who came with the clouds of heaven and was brought 
near to the Ancient of Days. 

The Son of Man, or the Elect One, in the Similitudes, 
appears clothed with the loftiest attributes. He existed be- 
fore the creation of the world (xlviii. 3, 6). When he finally 
appears, it is to sit in glory upon the throne of God (li. 3, 
etc.), and judge not only the inhabitants of earth but also the 
fallen angels (Iv. 4). For the purposes of judgment he is 
endued with righteousness and wisdom. He is concerned, more- 
over, not only with the judgment but also with the execution of 
the judgment; he causes "the sinners to pass away and be 
destroyed from off the face of the earth" (Ixix. 27). For the 


righteous, on the other hand, the judgment results in blessing 
and in communion with the Son of Man. "And the righteous 
and elect shall be saved in that day, and they shall never 
thenceforward see the face of the sinners and the unrighteous. 
And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them, and with that Son 
of Man shall they eat and lie down and rise up for ever and 
ever" (Ixii. 13, 14). 

The entire representation in the Similitudes is super- 
natural ; the Son of Man is a heavenly figure who appears sud- 
denly in the full blaze of his glory. Yet the connection with 
earth is not altogether broken off. It is upon a glorified 
earth that the righteous are to dwell. Indeed, despite the 
cosmic extent of the drama, the prerogatives of Israel are 
preserved; the Gentile rulers are no doubt referred to in 
"the Kings and the Mighty" who are to suffer punishment 
because of their former oppression of "the elect." On the 
other hand, mere connection with Israel is not the only ground 
for a man's acceptance by the Son of Man; the judgment will 
be based upon a real understanding of the secrets of individual 

In 4 Ezra vii. 26-31, the rule of the Messiah is represented 
as distinctly temporary. The Messiah will rejoice the living 
for four hundred years ; then, together with all human beings, 
he will die; then after the world has returned to primeval 
silence for seven days, the new age, with the final resurrection, 
will be ushereo! in. It may be doubted whether this repre- 
sentation harmonizes with what is said elsewhere in 4 Ezra 
about the Messiah, indeed whether even in this passage the 
representation is thoroughly consistent. Box, for example, 
thinks that there are contradictions here, which are to be 
explained by the composite nature of the book and by the work 
of a redactor. But at any rate the result, in the completed 
book, is clear. The Messiah is to die, like all the men who 
are upon the earth, and is not connected with the new age. 
This death of the Messiah is as far as possible from possessing 
any significance for the salvation of men. Certainly it is 
not brought into any connection with the problem of sin, 
which, as has been observed above, engages the special atten- 
tion of the writer of 4 Ezra. "It is important to observe 
how the Jewish faith knew of a Saviour for external ills, but 
not for sin and condemnation ; and how the Christ is able only 


to create a brief earthly joy, which passes away with the de- 
struction of the world." l 

In the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," 2 although 
Bruckner is no doubt right in saying that the Messiah here 
as well as in 1 Enoch is a supernatural figure, the connection 
of the Messiah with the tribe of Levi introduces the reader 
into a somewhat different circle of ideas. The difference 
becomes more marked in the "Psalms of Solomon," } where 
the Messiah is a king of David's line. It is no doubt true 
that even here the Messiah is no ordinary human being; he de- 
stroys his enemies, not by the weapons of warfare and not by 
the help of Israelitish armies, but by the breath of his mouth. 
Yet the local, earthly character of the Messiah's reign what 
may even be called, perhaps, its political character is more 
clearly marked than in the apocalypses. Also there is stronger 
emphasis upon the ethical qualities of the Messianic king; 
the righteousness of his people is celebrated in lofty terms, 
which, however, do not exclude a strong element of Jewish and 
Pharisaic particularism. 

No complete exposition of the Jewish belief about the 
Messiah has here been attempted. But enough has perhaps 
been said to indicate at least some features of the Messianic 
expectation in the period just preceding the time of Paul. 
Evidently, in certain circles at least, the Messianic hope was 
transcendent, individualistic, and universalistic. The scene 
of Messiah's kingdom was not always thought of merely as 
the earthly Jerusalem ; at least the drama by which that king- 
dom is ushered in was thought of as taking place either in 
heaven or upon an earth which has been totally transformed. 
With this transcendent representation went naturally a ten- 
dency towards individualism. Not merely nations were to be 
judged, but also the secrets of the individual life; and individ- 
uals were to have a part in the final blessing or the final woe. 
Of course, for those who should die before the end of the age, 
this participation in the final blessedness or the final woe 
would be possible only by a resurrection. And the doctrine 
of resurrection, especially for the righteous, is in the apoca- 

a Volz, Jiidische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, 1903, pp. 202f. 

a See Charles, op. cit., ii, pp. 282-367; Schiirer, op. tit., iii, pp. 339-356 
(English Translation, Division II, vol. iii, pp. 114-124). 

* See Gray, in Charles, op. cit., ii, pp. 625-652; Schiirer, op. cit., iii, pp. 
205-212 (English Translation, Division II, vol. iii, pp. 17-23). 


lypses clearly marked. In 2 Baruch, indeed, there is an in- 
teresting discussion of the relation between the resurrection 
state and the present condition of man; the righteous will 
first rise in their old bodies, but afterwards will be trans- 
formed (2 Baruch xlix-li). Finally, the apocalypses exhibit 
a tendency toward universalism. The coming of the Messianic 
kingdom is regarded as an event of cosmic significance. The 
Gentiles are even sometimes said to share in the blessing. But 
they are to share in the blessing only by subordination to the 
people of God. 

Despite the importance of the later period, it is inter- 
esting to observe that all the essential features of later Jew- 
ish eschatology have their roots in the canonical books of 
the Old Testament. In the first place, the transcendence of 
the later* representation has an old Testament basis. In 
Isaiah ix and xi the Messiah appears clearly as a supernatural 
figure, and in Isaiah Ixv. 17 there is a prophecy of new heavens 
and a new earth. The heavenly "Son of Man" is derived from 
Dan. vii. 13, and the individualistic interpretation of that 
passage, which makes the Son of Man, despite verse 18, some- 
thing more than a mere collective symbol for the people of 
Israel, is to-day in certain quarters coming to its rights. 
Not only in the Psalms of Solomon, but also in the apocalypses, 
the Old Testament language is used again and again to describe 
the heavenly Messiah. There is, in the second place, an Old 
Testament basis for the individualism of the later represen- 
tation. The doctrine of resurrection, with its consequences 
for an individualistic hope, appears in Daniel. And, finally, 
the universalism of the apocalypses does not transcend that 
of the great Old Testament prophets. In the prophets also, 
the nations are to come under the judgment of God and are 
to share in some sort in the blessings of Israel. 

If, therefore, the apostle Paul before his conversion be- 
lieved in a heavenly Messiah, supernatural in origin and in 
function, he was not really unfaithful to the Old Testament. 

But was his pre-Christian notion of the Messiah really 
the source of the Christology of the Epistles? Such is the 
contention of Wrede and Bruckner. Wrede and Bruckner be- 
lieve that the lofty Christology of Paul, inexplicable if it was 
derived from the man Jesus, may be accounted for if it was 
merely the pre-Christian conception of the Messiah brought 


into loose connection with the prophet of Nazareth. This 
hypothesis must now be examined. 

At the beginning of the investigation, it may be questioned 
whether Paul before his conversion held the apocalyptic view 
of the Messiah. It might, indeed, even be questioned 
whether he was particularly interested in the Messianic hope 
at all. If Baldensperger is correct in saying that the Mes- 
sianic dogma was in some sort a substitute for the Law, and 
the Law a substitute for the Messianic dogma, so that finally 
rabbinical interest in the Law tended to dampen interest in 
the Messiah, 1 then the pre-Christian life of Paul was pre- 
sumably not dominated by Messianic expectations. For Paul 
himself, as Balden sperger observes, 2 does not, in speaking of 
his pre-Christian life, reckon himself with the Messianists. He 
reckons himself, rather, with those who were zealous for the 
Law. Such considerations are interesting. But their impor- 
tance should not be exaggerated. It must be remembered that 
according to the testimony of the whole New Testament the 
doctrine of the Messiah was firmly established in the Judaism 
of Paul's day. It is hardly likely that Paul the Pharisee 
dissented from the orthodox belief. In all probability, there- 
fore, Paul before his conversion did hold some doctrine of the 

It is not so certain, however, that the pre-conversion 
doctrine of Paul presented a transcendent Messiah like the 
heavenly Son of Man of the apocalypses. Certainly there is 
in the Pauline Epistles no evidence whatever of literary de- 
pendence upon the apocalyptic descriptions of the Messiah. 
The characteristic titles of the Messiah which appear in the 
Similitudes of Enoch, for example, are conspicuously absent 
from Paul. Paul never uses the title "Son of Man" or "Elect 
One" or "Righteous One" in speaking of Christ. And in the 
apocalypses, on the other hand, the Pauline terminology is 
almost equally unknown. The apocalypses, at least 1 Enoch, 
use the title "Messiah" only very seldom, and the character- 
istic Pauline title, "Lord," never at all. It is evident, there- 
fore, that the Pauline Christology was not derived from the 
particular apocalypses that are still extant. All that can 

1 Baldensperger, Die Messianisch-apocalyptischen Hoffnungen de Ju- 
dentums, 3te Aufl., 1903, pp. 88, 207f., 216f. 
a Baldensperger, op. cit., pp. 216f. 


possibly be maintained is that it was derived from apocalypses 
which have been lost, or from an apocalyptic oral tradition. 
But dependence upon lost sources, direct comparison not being 
possible, is always very difficult to establish. 

Thus the terminology of the Epistles and of the apoca- 
lypses is rather unfavorable to the view which attributes to 
the youthful Paul the apocalyptic doctrine of the Messiah. 
No literary relation can be established between the Epistles 
and the extant apocalypses. But will general considerations 
serve to supply the lack of direct evidence of dependence? 
On the whole, the reverse is the case. General considerations 
as to the pre-Christian opinions of Paul point rather to a 
less transcendent and more political conception than the con- 
ception which is found in the apocalypses. No doubt the 
Messiah whom Paul was expecting possessed supernatural at- 
tributes ; it seems to have been generally expected in New 
Testament times that the Messiah would work miracles. But 
the supernatural attributes of the Messiah would not neces- 
sarily involve a conception like that which is presented in the 
Similitudes of Enoch. Possibly it is rather to the Psalms of 
Solomon that the historian should turn. The Psalms of Solo- 
mon were a typical product of Pharisaism in its nobler aspects. 
Their conception of the Messiah, therefore, may well have been 
that of the pupil of Gamaliel. And the Messiah of the Psalms 
of Solomon, though possessed of supernatural power and wis- 
dom, is thought of primarily as a king of David's line, and there 
is no thought of his preexistence. He is very different from 
the Son of Man of 1 Enoch. 

It is, therefore, not perfectly clear that Paul before the 
conversion believed in a heavenly, preexistent Messiah like the 
Messiah of the apocalypses. There is some reason for sup- 
posing that the apocalyptic Messiah was the Messiah, not of 
the masses of the people and not of the orthodox teachers, but 
of a somewhat limited circle. Did Paul belong to that limited 
circle? The question cannot be answered with any certainty. 

The importance of such queries must not, indeed, be ex- 
aggerated. It is not being maintained here that Paul before 
his conversion did not believe in the Messiah of the apoca- 
lypses ; all that is maintained is that it is not certain that 
he did. Possibly the diffusion of apocalyptic ideas in pre- 
Christian Judaism was much wider than is sometimes sup- 


posed ; possibly the youthful Paul did come under the influence 
of such ideas. But Wrede and Bruckner are going too far if 
they assert that Paul must necessarily have come under such 
influences. The truth is that the pre-Christian life of Paul 
is shrouded in the profoundest obscurity. Almost the only 
definite piece of information is what Paul himself tells us that 
he was zealous for the Law. He says nothing about his con- 
ception of the Messiah. The utmost caution is therefore in 
place. Bruckner is going much further than the sources will 
warrant when he makes Paul before his conversion a devotee of 
the apocalyptic Messiah, and bases upon this hypothesis an 
elaborate theory as to the genesis of the Pauline Christology. 

But even if Paul before his conversion was a devotee of 
the apocalyptic Messiah, the genesis of the Pauline Christology 
has not yet been explained. For the apocalyptic Messiah is 
different in important respects from the Christ of the Epistles. 

In the first place, there is in the apocalypses no doc- 
trine of an activity of the Messiah in creation, like that 
which appears in 1 Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 16. The Messiah of 
the apocalypses is preexistent, but He is not thought of as be- 
ing associated with God in the creation of the world. This 
difference may seem to be only a difference in detail ; but it is a 
difference in detail which concerns just that part of the Paul- 
ine Christology which would seem to be most similar to the 
apocalyptic doctrine. It is the Pauline conception of the 
preexistent Christ, as distinguished from the incarnate or the 
risen Christ, which Wrede and Bruckner find it easiest to con- 
nect with the apocalypses. But even in the preexistent period 
the Christ of Paul is different from the apocalyptic Messiah, 
because the Christ of Paul, unlike the apocalyptic Messiah, 
has an active part in the creation of the world. 

In the second place, there is in the apocalypses no trace 
of the warm, personal relation which exists between the be- 
liever and the Pauline Christ. 1 The Messiah of the apoca- 
lypses is hidden in heaven. He is revealed only as a great 
mystery, and only to favored men such as Enoch. Even after 
the judgment, although the righteous are to be in company 
with Him, there is no such account of His person as would 
make conceivable a living, personal relationship with Him. 
The heavenly Messiah of the apocalypses is a lifeless figure, 

1 Compare especially Olschewski, Die Wurzeln der paulinischen Christ- 
olvgie, 1909. 


clothed in unapproachable light. The risen Christ of Paul, 
on the other hand, is a person whom a man can love; indeed 
He is a person whom as a matter of fact Paul did love. Whence 
was derived the concrete, personal character of the Christ of 
Paul? It was certainly not derived from the Messiah of the 
apocalypses. Whence then was it derived? 

The natural answer would be that it was derived from 
Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that the risen Christ of Paul is 
not merely a heavenly figure but a person whom a man can love 
is most naturally explained by supposing that Paul attributed 
to the Messiah all the concrete traits of the striking per- 
sonality of Jesus of Nazareth. But this supposition is ex- 
cluded by W rede's hypothesis. Indeed, Wrede supposes, if 
Paul had come into such close contact with the historical 
Jesus as to have in his mind a full account of Jesus' words and 
deeds, he could not easily have attached to Him the super- 
natural attributes of the heavenly Son of Man ; only a man who 
stood remote from the real Jesus could have regarded Jesus 
as the instrument in creation and the final judge of all the 
world. Thus the hypothesis of Wrede and Bruckner faces a 
quandary. In order to explain the supernatural attributes 
of the Pauline Christ, Paul has to be placed near to the apoca- 
lypses and far from the historical Jesus ; whereas in order to 
explain the warm, personal relation between Paul and his 
Christ, Paul would have to be placed near to the historical 
Jesus and far from the apocalypses. 

This quandary could be avoided only by deriving the warm, 
personal relation between Paul and his Christ from something 
other than the character of the historical Jesus. Wrede and 
Bruckner might seek to derive it from the one fact of the cruci- 
fixion. All that Paul really derived from the historical Jesus, 
according to Wrede and Bruckner, was the fact that the 
Messiah had come to earth and died. But that one fact, it 
might be maintained, was sufficient to produce the fervent 
Christ-religion of Paul. For Paul interpreted the death of 
the Messiah as a death suffered for the sins of others. Such 
a death involved self-sacrifice; it must have been an act of 
love. Hence the beneficiaries were grateful; hence the warm, 
personal relationship of Paul to the one who had loved him 
and given Himself for him. 1 

'Compare Bruckner, Die Entstehung der paulinischen Christologie. 
1903, p. 237. 


But how did the death of Jesus ever come to be interpreted 
by Paul as a vicarious death of the Messiah? The natural 
answer would be that it was because of something that Jesus 
had said or because of an impression derived from His char- 
acter. That answer is excluded by Wrede's hypothesis. How 
then did Paul come to regard the death of Jesus as a vicarious 
death of the Messiah? It could only have been because Paul 
already had a doctrine of the vicarious death of the Messiah 
before his conversion. But nothing is more unlikely. There 
is in late pre-Christian Jewish literature not a trace of such 
a doctrine. 1 The Messiah in 4 Ezra is represented, indeed, as 
dying, but His death is of benefit to no one. He dies, along with 
all the inhabitants of earth, simply in order to make way for 
the new world. 2 In Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, the 
Jew Trypho is represented as admitting that the Messiah was 
to suffer. But the suffering is not represented as vicarious. 
And since the Dialogue was written in the middle of the second 
century after Christ, the isolated testimony of Trypho cannot 
be used as a witness to first-century conditions. It is perfectly 
possible, as Schiirer suggested, that certain Jews of the sec- 
ond century were only led to concede the suffering of the Mes- 
siah in the light of the Scriptural arguments advanced by the 
Christians. The rabbinical evidence as to sufferings of the 
Messiah is also too late to be used in reconstructing the pre- 
Christian environment of Paul. And of real evidence from the 
period just before Paul's day there is none. In 4 Maccabees 
vi. 28, 29, indeed (less clearly in xvii. 21, 22), the blood of the 
righteous is represented as bringing purification for the people. 
The dying martyr Eleazar is represented as praying: 3 "Be 
merciful unto thy people, and let our punishment be a satis- 
faction in their behalf. Make my blood their purification, and 
take my soul to ransom their souls." This passage, however, is 
entirely isolated. There is no evidence whatever that the vicari- 
ous suffering of the righteous was anything like an estab- 
lished doctrine in the Judaism of Paul's day, and in par- 
ticular there is no evidence that in pre-Christian Judaism the 
idea of vicarious suffering was applied to the Messiah. Un- 

1 See Schiirer, op. cit., ii, pp. 648-651 (English Translation, Division II, 
vol. ii, pp. 184-187). 

3 It will be remembered, moreover, that 4 Ezra, at least in its completed 
form, dates from long after the time of Paul. 

Townshend, in Charles, op, cit., ii, p. 674. 


doubtedly Isaiah liii might have formed a basis for such an 
application ; it may even seem surprising that that glorious 
passage was not more influential. But as a matter of fact, 
Judaism was moving in a very different direction; the later 
doctrine of the Messiah had absolutely no place for a vicarious 
death or for vicarious suffering. All the sources are here 
in agreement. Neither in the apocalypses nor in what is pre- 
supposed in the New Testament about Jewish belief is there any 
trace of a vicarious death of the Messiah. Indeed, there is 
abundant evidence that such an idea was extremely repulsive 
to the Jewish mind. The Cross was unto the Jews a stumbling- 
block. 1 

Thus the warm, personal relation of love and gratitude 
which Paul sustains to the risen Christ is entirely unexplained 
by anything in his Jewish environment. It is not explained by 
the Jewish doctrine of the Messiah; it is not explained by re- 
flection upon the vicarious death of the Messiah. For the 
Messiah in Jewish expectation was not to suffer a vicarious 
death. Such a relation of love and gratitude could be sus- 
tained only toward a living person. It could be sustained 
toward Jesus of Nazareth, if Jesus continued to live in glory, 
but it could not be sustained toward the Messiah of the apoca- 

The third difference between the Pauline Christ and the 
Messiah of the apocalypses concerns the very center of the 
Pauline conception there is in the apocalypses no doctrine 

1 B. W. Bacon (Jesus and Paul, 1921, pp. 45-49) seeks to bridge the 
gulf between Jesus and Paul by supposing that Jesus himself, somewhat 
like the Maccabean hero, finally attained, after the failure of His original 
program and at the very close of His life, the conception that His ap- 
proaching death was to be in some sort an expiation for His people. 
But the idea of expiation which Bacon attributes to Jesus is no doubt 
very different from the Pauline doctrine of the Cross of Christ. The 
gulf between Jesus and Paul is therefore not really bridged. Moreover, 
it cannot be said that Bacon's hypothesis of successive stages in the ex- 
perience of Jesus, culminating in the idea of expiation attained at the 
last supper, has really helped at all to solve the problem presented to 
every historian who proceeds upon naturalistic presuppositions by Jesus' 
lofty claims. At least, however, this latest investigator of the problem 
of "Jesus and Paul" has betrayed a salutary consciousness of the fact 
that the Pauline conception of Jesus' redemptive work is inexplicable 
unless it find some justification in the mind of Jesus Himself. Only, 
the justification which Bacon himself has found particularly his account 
of the way in which the idea of expiation is supposed to have arisen in 
Jesus' mind is entirely inadequate. 


of the divinity of the Messiah. In Paul, the divinity of 
Christ is presupposed on every page. The word "divinity" is 
indeed often being abused; in modern pantheizing liberalism, 
it means absolutely nothing. But the divinity of Christ in 
the Pauline Epistles is to be understood in the highest pos- 
sible sense. The Pauline doctrine of the divinity of Christ is 
not dependent upon individual passages ; it does not depend 
upon the question whether in Rom. ix. 5 Paul applies the term 
"God" to Christ. Certainly he does so by any natural inter- 
pretation of his words. But what is far more important is 
that the term "Lord" in the Pauline Epistles, the character- 
istic Pauline name of Christ, is every whit as much a desig- 
nation of deity as is the term "God." Everywhere in the 
Epistles, moreover, the attitude of Paul toward Christ is not 
merely the attitude of man to man, or scholar to master; it 
is the attitude of man toward God. 

Such an attitude is absent from the apocalyptic repre- 
sentation of the Messiah. For example, the way in which God 
and Christ are linked together regularly at the beginnings of 
the Pauline Epistles God our father and the Lord Jesus 
Christ 2 this can find no real parallel in 1 Enoch. The 
isolated passages (1 Enoch xlix. 10; Ixx. 1) where in 1 Enoch 
the Lord of Spirits and the Son of Man or the Elect One are 
linked together by the word "and," do not begin to approach 
the height of the Pauline conception. It is not surprising 
and not particularly significant that the wicked are desig- 
nated in one passage as those who have "denied the Lord of 
Spirits and His anointed" (1 Enoch xlix. 10). Such an ex- 
pression would be natural even if the Anointed One were, for 
example, merely an earthly king of David's line. What is 
characteristic of Paul, on the other hand, is that God the 
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are not merely united by 
the conjunction "and" in isolated passages that might hap- 
pen even if they belonged to different spheres of being but 
are united regularly and as a matter of course, and are just 
as regularly separated from all other beings except the Holy 
Spirit. Moreover, God and Christ, in Paul, have attributed 
to them the same functions. Grace and peace, for example, 

*See Warfield, " 'God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,'" in 
Princeton Theological Review, xv, 1917, pp. 1-20. 
Warfield, loc. tit. 


come equally from both. Such a representation would be quite 
incongruous in 1 Enoch. Equally incongruous in 1 Enoch 
would be the Pauline separation of the Christ from ordinary 
humanity and from angels. The author of 1 Enoch could hardly 
have said, "Not from men nor through a man but through the 
Elect One and the Lord of Spirits," as Paul says, "Not from 
men nor through a man but through Jesus Christ and God the 
Father who raised him from the dead" (Gal. i. 1). On the other 
hand, the way in which 1 Enoch includes the Elect One in the 
middle of a long list of beings who praise the Lord of Spirits 
(1 Enoch Ixi. 10, 11) would be absolutely inconceivable in 

This stupendous difference is established not by isolated 
passages, but by every page of the Pauline Epistles. The Paul- 
ine Christ is exalted to an infinite height above the Messiah 
of the apocalypses. How did He reach this height? Was it be- 
cause He was identified with Jesus of Nazareth? But that 
identification, if Jesus of Nazareth were a mere man, would 
have dragged Him down rather than lifted Him up. There lies 
the unsolved problem. Even if Paul before his conversion be- 
lieved in the heavenly Messiah of the apocalypses, he had to 
exalt that Messiah far beyond all that had ever been attributed 
to Him in the boldest visions of the Jewish seers, before he 
could produce the Christ of the Epistles. Yet the only new 
thing that had entered Paul's life was identification of the 
Messiah with Jesus. Why did that identification lift the 
Messiah to the throne of God? Who was this Jesus, who by His 
identification with the Messiah, lifted the Messiah even far 
above men's wildest dreams? 

Thus the Messianic doctrine of the apocalypses is an in- 
sufficient basis for the Pauline Christology. Its insufficiency 
is admitted by Hans Windisch. 1 But Windisch seeks to sup- 
ply what is lacking in the apocalyptic Messiah by appealing to 
the Jewish doctrine of "Wisdom." The apocalyptic doctrine 
of the Messiah, Windisch admits, will not explain the origin of 
the Pauline Christology ; for example, it will not explain Paul's 
doctrine of the activity of Christ in creation. But "Wisdom" 
is thought to supply the lack. 

In Prov. viii, "wisdom" is celebrated in lofty terms, and 

1 "Die gottliche Weisheit der Juden und die paulinische Christologie," 
in Neutestamentliche Studien Oeorg Heinrici dargebracht, 1914, pp. 220-234. 


is said to have existed before the creation of the world. "Wis- 
dom" is here boldly personified in a poetic way. But she is 
not regarded as a real person separate from God. In later 
books, however, notably in the Alexandrian "Wisdom of Solo- 
mon," the personification is developed until it seems to in- 
volve actual personality. Wisdom seems to be regarded as an 
"hypostasis," a figure in some sort distinct from God. This 
hypostasis, Windisch believes, was identified by Paul with 
Christ, and the result was the Pauline Christology. 

The figure of Wisdom, Windisch believes, will supply two 
elements in the Pauline Christ-religion which are lacking in 
the Messiah of the apocalypses. In the first place, it will 
account for the Pauline notion that Christ was active in 
creation, since Wisdom in Jewish belief is repeatedly repre- 
sented as the assessor or even the instrument of the Creator. 
In the second place, it will account for the intimate relation 
between Paul and his Christ, since Wisdom is represented in 
the "Wisdom of Solomon" as entering into the wise man, and 
the wise man seems to be represented in Proverbs viii and in 
Ecclesiasticus as the mouthpiece of Wisdom. 1 

But when was the identification of the Messiah with Wisdom 
accomplished? Was it accomplished by Paul himself after 
his conversion? Or was it received by Paul from pre-Chris- 
tian Jewish doctrine? If it was accomplished by Paul him- 
self after his conversion, then absolutely no progress has 
been made toward the explanation of the Pauline Christology. 
How did Paul come to identify Jesus of Nazareth with the 
divine figure of Wisdom? It could only have been because 
Jesus was such a person as to make the identification natural. 
But that supposition is of course excluded by the naturalistic 
principles with which Windisch is operating. The identifica- 
tion of Jesus with Wisdom at or after the conversion is, there- 
fore, absolutely inexplicable; in substituting Wisdom for the 
apocalyptic Messiah as the basis of the Pauline Christology, 
Windisch has destroyed whatever measure of plausibility the 
theory of Wrede and Bruckner possessed. For it is really 
essential to Wrede's theory that Paul before his conversion had 
not only believed in the existence of a heavenly being like 
the Son of Man of 1 Enoch, but had also expected that heavenly 
being to appear. Since he had expected the heavenly being to 
1 Windisch, op. cit., p. 226. 


appear, it might seem to be not so absolutely inexplicable that 
he came to think that that being had actually appeared in the 
person of Jesus. But no one expected Wisdom to appear, 
in any more definite way than by the entrance which she had 
already accomplished into the hearts of wise men. The thought 
of an incarnation or a parousia of Wisdom is absolutely for- 
eign to Jewish thought. What possible reason was there, then, 
for Paul to think that Wisdom actually had appeared and 
would finally appear again in the person of Jesus? 

Thus the theory of Windisch can be maintained only if the 
identification of Wisdom with the Messiah was accomplished 
not by Paul after the conversion but by pre-Christian Judaism. 
If Paul's pre-Christian doctrine of the Messiah already con- 
tained vital elements drawn from the doctrine of Wisdom, then 
and then only might it be held that the Pauline Christ, with 
His activity in creation and His spiritual indwelling 1 in the 
believer, was merely the pre-Christian Messiah. But was the 
pre-Christian Messiah ever identified with the hypostasis 
Wisdom? Upon an affirmative answer to this question depends 
the whole structure of Windisch's theory. But Windisch 
passes the question over rather lightly. He tries, indeed, to 
establish certain coincidences between the doctrine of the 
Messiah in 1 Enoch and in the Septuagint translation of Micah 
v. 2 and Ps. ex. 3 on the one hand, and the descriptions of 
Wisdom on the other; but the coincidences apparently amount 
to nothing except the ascription of preexistence to both figures. 
But the fundamental trouble is that Windisch has an entirely 
inadequate conception of what really needs to be proved. 
What Windisch really needs to do is to ascribe to the pre- 
Christian doctrine of the Messiah two elements activity in 
creation and spiritual indwelling which in the extant sources 
are found not at all in the descriptions of the Messiah but 
only in the descriptions of Wisdom. Even if he succeeded 
in establishing verbal dependence of the descriptions of the 
Messiah upon the descriptions of Wisdom, that would not 
really prove his point at all. Such verbal dependence as a 
matter of fact has not been established, but if it were established 
it would be without significance. It would be far more com- 
pletely devoid of significance than is the similarity between the 
descriptions of the heavenly Messiah as judge and the descrip- 
tions of God as judge. This latter similarity may be signifi- 


cant, when taken in connection with other evidence, as being 
a true anticipation of the Christian doctrine of the deity of 
Christ, but in itself it will hardly be held (at least it will 
hardly be held by Windisch) to establish the complete personal 
identity, in Jewish thinking, of the Messiah and God, so that 
everything that is said about God in pre-Christian Jewish 
sources can henceforth be applied to the Messiah. Why then 
should similarity in language between the descriptions of 
the Wisdom of God as preexistent and the descriptions of the 
Messiah as preexistent (even if that similarity existed) estab- 
lish such identity between the Messiah and Wisdom that what 
is attributed to Wisdom (notably spiritual indwelling) can 
henceforth be attributed to the Messiah? There is really no 
evidence whatever for supposing that the Messiah was con- 
ceived of in pre-Christian Judaism either as being active in 
creation or as dwelling in the hearts of men. Indeed, with re- 
gard to the latter point, there is decisive evidence of the con- 
trary. The figure of the Messiah in the apocalypses is as in- 
congruous as anything can possibly be with the idea of spiritual 
indwelling. Wisdom is conceived of as dwelling in the hearts 
of men only because Wisdom in Jewish literature is not really 
or completely a concrete person, but is also an abstract qual- 
ity. The Messiah is a concrete person and hence is not thought 
of as indwelling. It was something absolutely without pre- 
cedent, therefore, when Paul regarded his Christ who is noth- 
ing if not a person, and a person who may be loved as dwell- 
ing in the heart of the believer. 

Objection will no doubt be raised against this treatment 
of the idea of personality. Wisdom, we have argued, was 
never in Jewish literature regarded consistently as a person 
distinct from God; whereas the Messiah was always regarded 
as a person. Against this argument it will be objected that 
the ancient world possessed no idea of personality at all, 
so that the difference between Wisdom and the Messiah dis- 
appears. But what is meant by the objection? If it is meant 
only that the ancient world possessed no definition of per- 
sonality, the point may perhaps be conceded. But it is quite 
irrelevant. If, on the other hand, what is meant is that the 
ancients had no way of distinguishing between a person and a 
mere quality, no way of feeling the difference even if the differ- 
ence could not be put into words, then an emphatic denial is 


in place. Without such a power of practical, if not theoretical, 
distinction, no mental or moral life at all, to say nothing of 
the highly developed life of the Hellenistic age, would have 
been possible. It is highly important, therefore, to observe 
that Wisdom in Jewish literature hardly becomes regarded 
as a person in any consistent way. Undoubtedly the hypostas- 
izing has gone to considerable lengths, but it is always possible 
for the writers to hark back to the original sense of the word 
"wisdom" to play at least upon the original meaning. Wis- 
dom seems to be treated not merely as a person but also as an 
attribute of God. 

Thus Windisch is entirely unjustified when he uses pas- 
sages which represent the Messiah as possessing "wisdom" to 
prove that the Messiah was regarded as identical with Wisdom. 
A striking example of this mistake is found in the treatment 
of 1 Enoch xlix. 3, where it is said that in the Elect One 
"dwells the spirit of wisdom, and the spirit which gives in- 
sight, and the spirit of understanding and of might and the 
spirit of those who have fallen asleep in righteousness." A 
still more striking example is found in the use of 1 Cor. i. 24, 
30, where Christ crucified is called the power of God and the 
wisdom of God, and is said t'o have become to believers wisdom 
and justification and sanctification and redemption. Windisch 
actually uses these passages as evidence for the application 
to the apocalyptic Messiah and to the Pauline Christ of the 
attributes of the hypostasis Wisdom. Could anything be more 
utterly unwarranted? The inclusion of "wisdom" in a consid- 
erable list of what the Son of Man possesses or of what Christ 
means to the believer, far from proving that 1 Enoch or Paul 
identified the Messiah with the hypostasized Wisdom, rather 
proves, if proof be necessary, that they did not make the identi- 
fication. It is a very different thing to say that Christ pos- 
sesses wisdom (along with other qualities) or brings wisdom 
to the believer (along with other gifts) from saying that Christ 
is so identical with the hypostasis Wisdom of the "wisdom 
literature" that what is there said about Wisdom is to be at- 
tributed to Him. Windisch himself observes, very significantly, 
that Paul could not actually designate Christ as "Wisdom" 
because the word wisdom is of feminine gender in Greek. The 
difference of gender is here the symbol of a profound differ- 
ence in essential character. The figure of Wisdom in Jewish 


literature, with its curious vacillation between personality 
and abstraction, is absolutely incongruous with the warm, 
living, concrete, personal figure of the Pauline Christ. The two 
belong to totally different circles of ideas. No wonder that 
even Bousset (as Windisch complains) has not ventured to 
bring them into connection. The Pauline Christology was 
certainly not based upon the pre-Christian doctrine of Wisdom. 
Thus the first great objection to Wrede's derivation of 
the Pauline Christology is that it is simply insufficient. The 
Messiah of the Jewish apocalypses is not great enough to have 
been the basis of the Pauline Christ. If before the conversion 
Paul had believed in the apocalyptic Messiah, then when he 
was converted he lifted his conception to far greater heights 
than it had before attained. But what caused him to do so? 
Apparently he ought to have done exactly the reverse. If 
Jesus was a mere man, then the identification of the Messiah 
with Him ought to have pushed the conception of the Messiah 
down instead of lifting it up. As Baldensperger significant- 
ly remarks, the Jewish apocalyptists faced less difficulty in 
presenting a transcendent Messiah than did their successors, 
the exponents of a metaphysical Christology in the Christian 
Church, since the Jewish apocalyptists could give free course 
to their fancy, whereas the Christians were hampered by the 
recollections of the earthly Jesus. 1 This observation, on the 
basis of Baldensperger's naturalistic presuppositions, is en- 
tirely correct. But the strange thing is that the recollections 
of Jesus, far from hampering the Christians in their ascrip- 
tion of supernatural attributes to the Messiah, actually had 
just the opposite effect. Paul furnishes a striking example. 
Before he identified the Messiah with Jesus, he did not really 
think of the Messiah as divine not even if he believed in the 
transcendent Messiah of 1 Enoch. But after he identified the 
Messiah with Jesus, he said "not by man but by Christ." Why 
was it that identification with Jesus, instead of bringing the 
apocalyptic Messiah down to earth, lifted Him rather to the 
throne of God? Was it, after all, because of something in 
Jesus? If it was, then the eternal Son of God walked upon 
earth, and suffered for the sins of men. If it was not, then the 
fundamental historical problem of Christianity is still entirely 

1 Baldensperger, op. cit., p. 126. 


But another objection faces the solution proposed by 
Wrede and Bruckner. Suppose the apocalyptic doctrine of the 
Messiah were really adequate to the strain which is placed 
upon it. Suppose it really represented the Messiah as active 
in creation and as indwelling in the hearts of the faithful and 
as exalted to the throne of God. These suppositions are 
entirely without warrant in the facts; they transcend by far 
even the claims of Wrede and Bruckner themselves. But sup- 
pose they were correct. Even then the genesis of Paul's religion 
would not be explained. Suppose the Pauline doctrine of the 
Messiah really was complete in his mind before he was con- 
verted. Even then, another problem remains. How did he come 
to identify his exalted Messiah with a Jew who had lived but a 
few years before and had died a shameful death? The thing 
might be explained if Jesus was what He is represented in all of 
the extant sources as being a supernatural person whose 
glory shone out plain even through the veil of flesh. It might 
be explained if Paul before his conversion really believed that 
the heavenly Christ was to come to earth before His final 
parousia and die an accursed death. But the former alterna- 
tive is excluded by the naturalistic presuppositions of the 
modern man. And the latter is excluded by an overwhelming 
weight of evidence as to pre-Christian Judaism and the pre- 
Christian life of Paul. How then did Paul come to identify 
his heavenly Messiah with Jesus of Nazareth? It could only 
have been through the strange experience which he had near 
Damascus. But what, in turn, caused that experience? No 
answer, on the basis of naturalistic presuppositions, has yet 
been given. In removing the supernatural from the earthly 
life of Jesus, modern naturalism has precluded the only pos- 
sible naturalistic explanation of the conversion of Paul. If 
Jesus had given evidence of being the heavenly Son of Man, 
then Paul might conceivably, though still not probably, have 
become convinced against his will, and might, conceivably 
though still not probably, have experienced an hallucination 
in which he thought he saw Jesus living in glory. But if 
Jesus was a mere man, the identification of Him with the heav- 
enly apocalyptic Messiah becomes inconceivable, and the ex- 
perience through which that identification took place is left 
absolutely uncaused. Thus the hypothesis of Wrede and 
Bruckner defeats itself. In arguing that Paul's pre-conversion 


conception of the Messiah was not a conception of a mere 
earthly being or the like, but that of a transcendent being, 
Wrede and Bruckner are really digging the grave of their own 
theory. For the more exalted was the Messiah in whom Paul 
believed before his conversion, the more inexplicable becomes 
the identification of that Messiah with a crucified malefactor. 
But still another objection remains. Suppose the Pauline 
Christ were simply the Messiah of the Jewish apocalypses ; sup- 
pose Paul knew so little about the historical Jesus that he could 
even identify the exalted Messiah with Him. Even then an- 
other fact requires explanation. How did Paul come to be 
so strikingly similar to the historical Jesus both in teaching 
and in character? Wrede was audacious enough to explain 
the similarity as due to a common dependence upon Juda- 
ism. 1 But at this point few have followed him. For the 
striking fact is that Paul agrees with Jesus in just those 
matters to which Judaism was most signally opposed. It would 
be more plausible to say that Paul agrees with Jesus because 
both of them abandoned contemporary Judaism and returned to 
the Old Testament prophets. But even that explanation would 
be quite inadequate. The similarity between Jesus and Paul 
goes far beyond what both hold in common with the Prophets 
and the Psalms. And why did two men return to the Prophets 
and Psalms at just the same time and in just the same way? 
The similarity between Jesus and Paul might then be regarded 
as due to mere chance. Paul, it might be supposed, developed 
the ideal of Christian love from the death of the Messiah, 
which he interpreted as an act of self-sacrifice. 2 This ideal 
of love happened to be just the same as that which Jesus of 
Nazareth exemplified in a life of service to which life of 
service, however, Paul was completely indifferent. Such, es- 
sentially, is what the hypothesis of Wrede really amounts to. 
The hypothesis is really absurd. But its absurdity is instruc- 
tive. It is an absurdity to which the naturalistic account of 
the origin of Christianity is driven by an inexorable logic. 
Paul, it must be supposed, could not have regarded Jesus as a 
divine being if he had really known Jesus. The similarity of 

1 Wrede, Paulus, 1904, pp. 90, 91 (English Translation, Paul, 1907, pp. 
157, 158). 
See Bruckner, op. cit., p. 237. 


his life and teaching to that of Jesus cannot, therefore, be due 
to knowledge of Jesus. It must therefore be due to chance. 
In other words, it is dangerous, on naturalistic principles, to 
bring Paul into contact with Jesus. For if he is brought into 
contact with Jesus, his witness to Jesus will have to be heard. 
And when his witness is heard, the elaborate modern recon- 
structions of the "liberal Jesus" fall to the ground. For ac- 
cording to Paul, Jesus was no mere Galilean prophet, but the 
Lord of Glory. 






IT has been shown in the last chapter that the religion 
of Paul was not derived from the pre-Christian Jewish doctrine 
of the Messiah. If, therefore, the derivation of Paulinism 
from the historical Jesus is still to be abandoned, recourse 
must be had to the pagan world. And as a matter of fact, it 
is in the pagan world that the genesis of Paulinism is to-day 
more and more frequently being sought. The following chap- 
ters will deal with that hypothesis which makes the religion of 
Paul essentially a product of the syncretistic pagan religion 
of the Hellenistic age. 

This hypothesis is not only held in many different forms, 
but also enters into combination with the view which has been 
considered in the last chapter. For example, M. Bruckner, 
who regards the Pauline Christology as being simply the Jewish 
conception of the Messiah, modified by the episode of the Mes- 
siah's humiliation, is by no means hostile to the hypothesis 
of pagan influence. On the contrary, he brings the Jewish 
conception of the Messiah upon which the Pauline Christology 
is thought to be based, itself into connection with the wide- 
spread pagan myth of a dying and rising saviour-god. 1 Thus 
Bruckner is at one with the modern school of comparative 
religion in deriving Paul's religion from paganism ; only he 
derives it from paganism not directly but through the medium 
of the Jewish conception of the Messiah. On the other hand, 
most of those who find direct and not merely mediate pagan in- 
fluence at the heart of the religion of Paul are also willing 
to admit that some important influences came through pre- 
Christian Judaism notably, through the Messianic expecta- 
tions of the apocalypses. The division between the subject of 
the present chapter and that of the preceding chapter is there- 
fore difficult to carry out. Nevertheless, that division will be 
1 Briickner, Der sterbende und auferstehende Gottheiland, 1908. 



found convenient. It will be well to consider separately the 
hypothesis (now in the very forefront of interest) which de- 
rives Paulinism, not from the historical Jesus, and not from 
pre-Christian Judaism, but from the pagan religion of the 
Greco-Roman world. 

Here, as in the last chapter, the discussion may begin 
with a brief review of that type of religion from which Paul- 
inism is thought to have been derived. The review will again 
have to be of a most cursory character, and will make free 
use of recent researches. 1 Those researches are becoming 
more and more extensive in recent years. The Hellenistic age is 
no longer regarded as a period of hopeless decadence, but is 
commanding a larger and larger share of attention from philo- 
logians and from students of the history of religion. The 
sources, however, so far as the sphere of popular religion is con- 
cerned, are rather meager. Complete unanimity of opinion, 
therefore, even regarding fundamental matters, has by no 
means been attained. 

At the time of Paul, the civilized world was unified, 
politically, under the Roman Empire. The native religion of 
Rome, however, was not an important factor in the life of the 
Empire certainly not in the East. That religion had been 
closely bound up with the life of the Roman city-state. It 
had been concerned largely with a system of auguries and re- 
ligious ceremonies intended to guide the fortunes of the city 
and insure the favor of the gods. But there had been little 
attempt to enter into any sort of personal contact with the 
gods or even to produce any highly differentiated account of 
their nature. The native religion of Rome, on the whole, 
seems to have been rather a cold, unsatisfying affair. It 
aroused the emotions of the people only because it was an ex- 
pression of stern and sturdy patriotism. And it tended to 
lose its influence when the horizon of the people was broadened 
by contact with the outside world. 

The most important change was wrought by contact with 
Greece. When Rome began to extend her conquests into the 
East, the eastern countries, to a very considerable extent, 

1 For example, Rohde, Psyche, 2 Bde, 3te Aufl., 1903; Farnell, Cults of 
the Greek States, vol. iii, 1907; Wendland, Die hellenistuch-romische Kultur, 
2te u. 3te Aufl., 1912; Anrich, Dag antike Mysterienwesen, 1894; Curaont, 
Les religions orientates dans le paganisme romain, 2ieme d., 1909 (Eng- 
lish Translation, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 1911). 


had already been Hellenized, by the conquests of Alexander 
and by the Greek kingdoms into which his short-lived empire 
had been divided. Thus the Roman conquerors came into con- 
tact with Greek civilization, not only in the Greek colonies 
in Sicily and southern Italy, not only in Greece proper and on 
the ^Egean coast of Asia Minor, but also to some extent every- 
where in the eastern world. No attempt was made to root out 
the Greek influences. On the contrary, the conquerors to a 
very considerable extent were conquered by those whom they 
had conquered ; Rome submitted herself, in the spiritual sphere, 
to the dominance of Greece. 

The Greek influence extended into the sphere of religion. 
At a very early time, the ancient Roman gods were identified 
with the Greek gods who possessed roughly analogous functions 
Jupiter became Zeus, for example, and Venus became Aphro- 
dite. This identification brought an important enrichment into 
Roman religion. The cold and lifeless figures of the Roman 
pantheon began to take on the grace and beauty and the 
clearly defined personal character which had been given to their 
Greek counterparts by Homer and Hesiod and the dramatists 
and Phidias and Praxiteles. Thus it is not to the ancient offi- 
cial religion of Rome but to the rich pantheon of Homer that 
the student must turn in order to find the spiritual ancestry of 
the religion of the Hellenistic world. 

Even before the time of Homer, Greek religion had under- 
gone development. Modern scholarship, at least, is no longer 
inclined to find in Homer the artless simplicity of a primitive 
age. On the contrary, the Homeric poems, it is now supposed, 
were the product of a highly developed, aristocratic society, 
which must be thought of as standing at the apex of a social 
order. Thus it is not to be supposed that the religion of 
Homer was the only Hellenic religion of Homer's day. On the 
contrary, even in the Homeric poems, it is said, there appear 
here and there remnants of a popular primitive religion 
human sacrifice and the like and many of the rough, primi- 
tive conceptions which crop out in Greek life in the later 
centuries were really present long before the Homeric age, 
and had been preserved beneath the surface in the depths of 
a non-literary popular religion. However much of truth there 
may be in these contentions, it is at any rate clear that the 
Homeric poems exerted an enormous influence upon subsequent 


generations. Even if they were the product of a limited cir- 
cle, even if they never succeeded in eradicating the primitive 
conceptions, at least they did gain enormous prestige and did 
become the most important single factor in molding the re- 
ligion of the golden age of Greece. 

As determined by the Homeric poems, the religion of Greece 
was a highly developed polytheism of a thoroughly anthropo- 
morphic kind. The Greek gods were simply men and women, 
with human passions and human sins more powerful, indeed, 
but not more righteous than those who worshiped them. Such 
a religion was stimulating to the highest art. Anthropomorph- 
ism gave free course to the imagination of poets and sculptors. 
There is nothing lifeless about the gods of Greece; whether 
portrayed by the chisel of sculptors or the pen of poets, they 
are warm, living, breathing, human figures. But however 
stimulating to the sense of beauty, the anthropomorphic re- 
ligion of Greece was singularly unsatisfying in the moral 
sphere. If the gods were no better than men, the worship of 
them was not necessarily ennobling. No doubt there was a cer- 
tain moral quality in the very act of worship. For worship 
was not always conceived of as mere prudent propitiation of 
dangerous tyrants. Sometimes it was conceived of as a duty, 
like the pious reverence which a child should exhibit toward his 
parent. In the case of filial piety, as in the case of piety toward 
the gods, the duty of reverence is independent of the moral 
quality of the revered object. But in both cases the very act 
of reverence may possess a certain moral value. This admis- 
sion, however, does not change the essential fact. It remains 
true that the anthropomorphic character of the gods of Greece, 
just because it stimulated the fancy of poets by attributing 
human passions to the gods and so provided the materials of 
dramatic art, at the same time prevented religion from lifting 
society above the prevailing standards. The moral standards 
of snowy Olympus, unfortunately, were not higher than those 
of the Athenian market place. 

In another way also, the polytheistic religion of Greece 
was unsatisfying. It provided little hope of personal com- 
munion between the gods and men. Religion, in Greece scarcely 
less than in ancient Rome, was an affair of the state. A man 
was born into his religion. An Athenian citizen, as such, was 
a worshiper of the Athenian gods. There was little place for 


individual choice or for individual devotion. Moreover, there 
was little place for the mystical element in religion. The 
gods of Greece were in some sort, indeed, companionable fig- 
ures ; they were similar to men ; men could understand the mo- 
tives of their actions. But there was no way in which compan- 
ionship with them could find expression. There was a time, in- 
deed, when the gods had come down to earth to help the great 
heroes who were their favorites or their sons. But such favors 
were not given to ordinary mortals. The gods might be revered, 
but direct and individual contact with them was for the most 
part not to be attained. 

These limitations, however, were not universal; and for 
purposes of the present investigation the exceptions are far 
more important than the rule. It is not true that the religion 
of Greece, even previous to the golden age, was entirely de- 
void of enthusiasm or individualism or mystic contact with 
the gods. The polytheism of Homer, the polytheism of the 
Olympic pantheon, despite its wide prevalence was not the only 
form of Greek religion. Along with the worship of the Olympic 
gods there went also religious practices of a very different 
kind. There was a place even in Greece for mystical religion. 

This mystical or enthusiastic element in the religion of 
Greece is connected especially with the worship of Dionysus. 
Dionysus was not originally a Greek god. He came from 
Thrace and is very closely related to the Phrygian Sabazius. 
But, at an early time, his worship was widely adopted in the 
Greek world. No doubt it was not adopted entirely without 
modification; no doubt it was shorn of some of those features 
which were most repulsive to the Greek genius. But enough 
remained in order to affect very powerfully the character of 
Greek religion. 

The worship of Dionysus supplied, to some extent at least, 
just those elements which were lacking in the religion of the 
Greek city-state. In the first place, there was direct contact 
with the god. The worshipers of Dionysus sought to attain 
contact with the god partly by a divine frenzy, which was in- 
duced by wild music and dancing, and partly by the crass 
method of eating the raw flesh of the sacred animal, the bull. 
No doubt these savage practices were often modified when they 
were introduced into Greece. It has been thought, for example, 
that the frenzied dances and nightly excursions to the wilds 


of the mountains, which originally had been carried on in true 
self-forgetfulness, became in Greece rather parts of an estab- 
lished cult. But on the whole, the influence of Dionysus-wor- 
ship must be regarded as very great. An element of true mys- 
ticism or enthusiasm was introduced into the Greek world. 

In the second place, the worship of Dionysus stimulated 
interest in a future life. The Homeric poems had represented 
the existence of the soul after death at least the soul of 
an ordinary mortal as being a mere shadow-existence which 
could not be called life at all. It is indeed questionable 
whether at this point Homer truly represented the original 
Hellenic belief, or the popular belief even of the time when 
the poems were written. Modern scholars have detected in the 
Iliad and the Odyssey here and there remnants of a more posi- 
tive doctrine of a future life. But at any rate, the worship of 
Dionysus brought such positive beliefs if they existed in 
Greece before more to the surface. Thracian religion, ap- 
parently, had concerned itself to a very considerable extent 
with the future condition of the soul; the introduction of the 
Thracian Dionysus, therefore, stimulated a similar interest in 

Finally, the worship of Dionysus tended to separate religion 
from the state and make it partly at least an affair of the 
individual man. Such individualism is connected of course 
with the enthusiastic character of the worship ; a state religion 
as such is not likely to be enthusiastic. The whole body of 
citizens cannot be possessed of a divine frenzy, and if not, 
then those who have the experience are likely to separate them- 
selves to some extent from their countrymen. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that the worshipers of Dionysus, here and 
there, were inclined to unite themselves in sects or brother- 

The most important of these brotherhoods were connected 
with the name of Orpheus, the mythical musician and seer. 
The origin of the Orphic sects is indeed very obscure. Ap- 
parently, however, they sprang up or became influential in the 
sixth century before Christ, and were connected in some way 
with Dionysus. They seem to have represented a reform of 
Dionysiac practice. At any rate, they continued that interest 
in the future life which the worship of Dionysus had already 
cultivated. Orphism is especially important because it taught 
men to expect in the future life not only rewards but also 


punishments. The soul after death, according to Orphic doc- 
trine, was subject to an indefinite succession of reincarnations, 
not only in the bodies of men, but also in those of animals. 
These reincarnations were regarded as an evil, because the 
body was thought of as a prison-house of the soul. At last, 
however, the righteous soul attains purification, and, escaping 
from the succession of births, enters into a blessed existence. 

Related in some way to the Orphic sects were the brother- 
hoods that owned Pythagoras as their master. But the rela- 
tion between the two movements is not perfectly plain. 

At any rate, both Orphism and Pythagoreanism stand apart 
from the official cults of the Greek states. Even within those 
cults, however, there were not wanting some elements which 
satisfied more fully than the ordinary worship of the Olympic 
gods the longing of individual men for contact with the higher 
powers and for a blessed immortality. Such elements were 
found in the "mysteries," of which far the most important 
were the mysteries of Eleusis. 1 The Eleusinian Mysteries 
originated in the worship of Demeter that was carried on at 
Eleusis, a town in Attica some fifteen miles from Athens. 
When Eleusis was conquered by Athens, the Eleusinian cult of 
Demeter, far from suffering eclipse, was adopted by the con- 
querors and so attained unparalleled influence. Characteristic 
of the cult as so developed was the secrecy of its central rites ; 
the Eleusinian cult of Demeter became (if it was not one al- 
ready) a mystery-cult, whose secrets were divulged only to 
the initiates. The terms of admission, however, were very 
broad. All persons of Greek race, even slaves except those 
persons who were stained with bloodguiltiness or the like 
could be admitted. As so constituted, the Eleusinian Mysteries 
were active for some ten centuries ; they continued until the 
very end of pagan antiquity. 

Initiation into the mysteries took place ordinarily in three 
stages; the candidate was first initiated into the "lesser mys- 
teries" at Agras near Athens in the spring; then into a first 
stage of the "great mysteries" at Eleusis in the following 
autumn ; then a year later his initiation was completed at 
Eleusis by the reception of the mystic vision. The mysteries 
of Eleusis were prepared for by a succession of acts about 

1 On the Eleusinian Mysteries and the cult of Demeter and Kore- 
Persephone, see especially Farnell, op. cit., iii, pp. 29-279. 


which some information has been preserved. These acts were 
extended over a period of days. First the sacred objects were 
brought from Eleusis to Athens. Then the candidates for 
initiation, who had purified themselves by abstinence from cer- 
tain kinds of food and from sexual intercourse, were called 
upon to assemble. Then, at the cry, "To the sea, O mystse !" 
the candidates went to the sea-coast, where they made sacrifice 
of a pig, and purified themselves by washing in the sea water. 
Then came the solemn procession from Athens to Eleusis, inter- 
rupted by ribald jests at the passage of the river Cephissus. 
The initiation itself took place in the "telesterion." What 
happened there is obscure; antiquity has well observed the 
secrecy which was essential to the mysteries. Certainly, how- 
ever, the ceremony was accompanied, or rather, perhaps, pre- 
ceded, by the drinking of the "kykeon," a mixture composed 
of water and barley-meal and other ingredients. The signifi- 
cance of this act is not really known. It would be very rash, 
for example, to assert that the partaking of the kykeon was 
sacramental, or was thought of as imparting a new nature 
to the recipients. Apparently the kykeon did not have a part 
in the mysteries themselves, for if it had, it could hardly have 
been spoken of so openly by pagan writers. The mysteries 
seem to have consisted in some sort of sacred drama, repre- 
senting the search of Demeter for her daughter Persephone 
who had been carried off to the lower world, and in the ex- 
hibition of sacred emblems or of images of the gods. Hippolytus 
scornfully says that the supreme object of mystic awe was a 
cut corn-stalk. 1 His testimony is variously estimated. But 
it is quite possible that he has here given us genuine informa- 
tion. Since Demeter was the goddess of the fertility of the 
soil, the corn-stalk was not ill fitted to be her sacred emblem. 
It has been supposed that the cult of Demeter at Eleusis 
was originally an agrarian cult, intended to celebrate or to 
induce the fertility of the soil. But the chief significance of 
the mysteries was found in another sphere. In the mysteries, 
the cult goddesses, Demeter and Persephone, were thought of 
chiefly as goddesses of the nether world, the abode of the dead ; 
and the mysteries were valued chiefly as providing a guarantee 
of a blessed immortality. How the guarantee was given is quite 
obscure. But the fact is well attested. Those who had been 
1 Hippolytus, Ref. omn. haer., V. viii. 39 (ed, Wendland, 1916). 


initiated into the mysteries were able to expect a better lot in 
the future life than the lot of the generality of men. 

The mysteries at Eleusis were not the only mysteries which 
were practised in the golden age of Greece. There were not 
only offshoots of the Eleusinian mysteries in various places, 
but also independent mysteries like those of the Kabeiri on the 
island of Samothrace. But the mysteries at Eleusis were un- 
doubtedly the most important, and the others are even less 
fully known. The moral value of the mysteries, including those 
at Eleusis, should not be exaggerated. Slight allusions in 
pagan writers seem to point here and there to a purifying moral 
effect wrought by initiation. But the indications are not very 
clear. Certainly the secrets of Eleusis did not consist in any 
body of teaching, either religious or ethical. The effect was 
produced, not upon the intellect, but upon the emotions and 
upon the imagination. 

Thus the religion of the golden age of Greece was an 
anthropomorphic polytheism, closely connected with the life 
of the city-state, but relieved here and there by practices in- 
tended to provide more direct contact with the divine or bestow 
special blessing upon individuals. 

The religion of Greece was finally undermined by at least 
three agencies. 

In the first place, philosophy tended to destroy belief 
in the gods. The philosophic criticism of the existing religion 
was partly theoretical and partly ethical. The theoretical 
criticism arose especially through the search for a unifying 
principle operative in the universe. If the manifold phenomena 
of the universe were all reduced to a single cause, the gods might 
indeed still be thought of as existing, but their importance was 
gone. There was thus a tendency either toward monotheism 
or else toward some sort of materialistic monism. But the 
objections which philosophy raised against the existing poly- 
theism were ethical as well as theoretical. The Homeric myths 
were rightly felt to be immoral; the imitation of the Homeric 
gods would result in moral degradation. Thus if the myths 
were still to be retained they could not be interpreted literally, 
but had to be given some kind of allegorical interpretation. 

This opposition of philosophy to the existing religion was 
often not explicit, and it did not concern religious practice. 
Even those philosophers whose theory left no room for the 


existence or at least the importance of the gods, continued to 
engage loyally in the established cults. But although the 
superstructure of religion remained, the foundation, to some ex- 
tent at least, was undermined. 

In the second place, since religion in ancient Greece had 
been closely connected with the city-states, the destruction 
of the states brought important changes in religion. The 
Greek states lost their independence through the conquests 
of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. Those con- 
quests meant, indeed, a wide extension of Greek culture through- 
out the eastern world. But the religion of Alexander's empire 
and of the kingdoms into which it was divided after his death 
was widely different from the religion of Athens in her glory. 
Cosmopolitanism brought mighty changes in religion, as in the 
political sphere. 

In the third place, the influence of the eastern religions 
made itself more and more strongly felt. That influence was 
never indeed dominant in the life of Greece proper so com- 
pletely as it was in some other parts of the world. But in gen- 
eral it was very important. When the Olympic gods lost their 
place in the minds and hearts of men, other gods were ready 
to take their place. 

Before any account can be given of the eastern religions 
taken separately, and of their progress toward the west, it 
may be well to mention certain general characteristics of the 
period which followed the conquests of Alexander. That period, 
which extended several centuries into the Christian era, is 
usually called the Hellenistic age, to distinguish it from the 
Hellenic period which had gone before. 

The Hellenistic age was characterized, in the first place, 
by cosmopolitanism. Natural and racial barriers to an aston- 
ishing extent were broken down; the world, at least the edu- 
cated world of the cities, was united by the bonds of a common 
language, and finally by a common political control. The com- 
mon language was the Koine, the modified form of the Attic 
dialect of Greek, which became the vehicle of a world-civiliza- 
tion. The common political control was that of the Roman 
Empire. On account of the union of these two factors, inter- 
communication between various nations and races was safe and 
easy; the nations were united both in trade and in intellectual 


With the cosmopolitanism thus produced there went nat- 
urally a new individualism, which extended into the religious 
sphere. Under the city-state of ancient Greece the individual 
was subordinated to the life of the community. But in the 
world-empire the control of the state, just because it was 
broader, was at the same time looser. Patriotism no longer 
engrossed the thoughts of men. It was impossible for a sub- 
ject of a great empire to identify himself with the life of 
the empire so completely as the free Athenian citizen of the 
age of Pericles had identified himself with the glories of his 
native city. Thus the satisfactions which in that earlier 
period had been sought in the life of the state, including the 
state-religion, were in the Hellenistic age sought rather in in- 
dividual religious practice. 

The ancient religions of the city-state did indeed find a suc- 
cessor which was adapted to the changed condition. That 
successor was the worship of the Emperors. The worship of 
the Emperors was more than a mere form of flattery. It ex- 
pressed a general gratitude for the reign of peace which was 
introduced by Augustus, and it had its roots, not only in 
Greek religion, but also, and far more fundamentally, in the 
religions of the East. The worship of the rulers was firmly 
established in the kingdoms into which Alexander's empire was 
divided, and from there it was transmitted very naturally to 
the new and greater empire of Rome. Very naturally it be- 
came a dangerous enemy of the Christian Church; for the re- 
fusal of the Christians to worship the Emperor seemed inex- 
plicable to an age of polytheism, and gave rise to the charge of 
political disloyalty. At first, however, and so during the 
period of Paul's missionary journeys, the Church shared more 
or less in the special privileges which were granted to the Jews. 
Christianity at first seemed to be a variety of Judaism, and 
Judaism in Roman practice was a religio licita. 

But the worship of the Emperors, important as it was, 
was not practised in any exclusive way; it did not at all ex- 
clude the worship of other gods. It remains true, therefore, 
that in the Hellenistic age, far more than under the ancient 
Greek city-state, there was room for individual choice in re- 
ligious practice. 

It is not surprising that such an age was an age of re- 
ligious propaganda. Since religion was no longer an affair 


of the nation as such, but addressed itself to men as men, 
free scope was offered for the extension to the whole world 
of religions which originally had been national in character. 
The golden age of such religious propaganda, it is true, did 
not begin until the second century ; and that fact is of very 
great importance in dealing with certain modern theories of 
dependence so far as Pauline Christianity is concerned. Never- 
theless the cosmopolitanizing of national religions had begun to 
some extent in an early period and was rendered natural by the 
entire character of the Hellenistic age. Even before the fall 
of the Greek city-state, little communities of the worshipers 
of eastern gods had established themselves here and there in 
Greece; and in other parts of the world the barriers against 
religious propaganda were even less effective. In the Hellen- 
istic age such barriers were almost everywhere broken down. 
When any religion ceased to be an affair of the nation, when it 
could no longer count on the devotion of the citizens or sub- 
jects as such, it was obliged, if it desired to subsist, to seek its 
devotees through an appeal to the free choice of individuals. 

This religious propaganda, however, was not carried on 
in any exclusive way ; the adoption of one god did not mean 
the abandonment of another. On the contrary, the Hellen- 
istic age was the age of syncretism par excellence. Gods of 
different nations, originally quite distinct, were identified al- 
most as a matter of course. One example of such identifica- 
tion has already been noted; at an early time the gods of 
Rome were identified with those of Greece. But in the later 
portion of the Hellenistic age the process went on in more 
wholesale fashion. And it was sometimes justified by the far- 
reaching theory that the gods of different nations were merely 
different names of one great divinity. This theory received 
classic expression in the words of the goddess Isis which are 
contained in the "Metamorphoses" of Apuleius : "For the 
Phrygians that are the first of all men call me the Mother of 
the gods at Pessinus ; the Athenians, which are sprung from 
their own soil, Cecropian Minerva; the Cyprians, which are 
girt about by the sea, Paphian Venus ; the Cretans which bear 
arrows, Dictynnian Diana ; the Sicilians, which speak three 
tongues, infernal Proserpine; the Eleusians their ancient god- 
dess Ceres ; some Juno, other Bellona, other Hecate, other 
Rhamnusia, and principally both sort of the Ethiopians which 


dwell in the Orient and are enlightened by the morning rays 
of the sun, and the Egyptians, which are excellent in all kind 
of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustom 
to worship me, do call me by my true name, Queen Isis." 

But what is perhaps the most important feature of the 
religion of the Hellenistic age has not yet been mentioned. It 
is found in the widespread desire for redemption. In the golden 
age of Greece men had been satisfied with the world. Who 
could engage in gloomy questionings, who could face the under- 
lying problem of evil, when it was possible to listen with keen 
appreciation to an ode of Pindar or to a tragedy of ^Eschylus? 
The Greek tragic poets, it is true, present in terrible fashion 
the sterner facts of life. But the glorious beauty of the pres- 
entation itself produces a kind of satisfaction. In the age of 
Pericles, life was rich and full ; for the Athenian citizen it was 
a joy to live. The thought of another world was not needed; 
this world was large and rich enough. Joyous development of 
existing human faculties was, in the golden age of Greece, the 
chief end of man. 

But the glorious achievements of the Greek genius were fol- 
lowed by lamentable failure. There was failure in political life. 
Despite the political genius of Athenian statesmen, Athens soon 
lay prostrate, first before her sister states and then before the 
Macedonian conqueror. There was failure in intellectual life. 
The glorious achievements of Athenian art were followed by 
a period of decline. Poets and sculptors had to find their in- 
spiration in imitation of the past. Human nature, once so 
proud, was obliged to confess its inadequacy; the Hellenistic 
age was characterized by what Gilbert Murray, borrowing a 
phrase of J. B. Bury, calls a "failure of nerve. " 2 

This failure of nerve found expression, in the religious 
sphere, in the longing for redemption. The world was found not 
to be so happy a place as had been supposed, and human nature 
was obliged to seek help from outside. Thus arose the desire 
for "salvation." The characteristic gods of the Hellenistic age 
are in some sort saviour-gods gods who could give help in the 
miseries of life. Asclepius finally became more important than 

1 Apuleius, Metam. xi. 5, Addington's translation revised by Gaselee, in 
Apuleius, The Golden Ass, in the The Loeb Classical Library, p. 547. 

3 Gilbert Murray, Four Stages of Greek Religion, 1912, pp. 8, 103-154. 
Compare, however, Rohde (op. cit., ii, pp. 298-300), who calls attention to 
an opposite aspect of the Hellenistic age. 


Zeus. Dissatisfied with the world of sense, men turned their 
thoughts to another world; dissatisfied with the achievements 
of human nature, they sought communion with higher powers. 

Opinions may differ as to the value of this development. 
To the humanist of all ages, it will seem to be a calamity. 
From the glories of Pindar to the morbid practices of the Hel- 
lenistic mysteries, how great a fall ! But there is another way 
of regarding the change. Possibly the achievements of ancient 
Greece, glorious as they were, had been built upon an insecure 
foundation. Scrutiny of the foundation was no doubt painful, 
and it dulled the enthusiasm of the architects. But perhaps 
it was necessary and certainly it was inevitable. Perhaps also 
it might become a step toward some higher humanism. The 
Greek joy of living was founded upon a certain ruthlessness to- 
ward human misery, a certain indifference toward moral prob- 
lems. Such a joy could not be permanent. But how would it 
be if the underlying problem could be faced, instead of being 
ignored? How would it be if human nature could be founded 
upon some secure rock, in order that then the architect might 
start to build once more, and build, this time, with a conscience 
void of offense? Such is the Christian ideal, the ideal of a 
loftier humanism a humanism as rich and as joyful as the 
humanism of Greece, but a humanism founded upon the grace 
of God. 

But however "the failure of nerve" which appears in the 
Hellenistic age be appreciated by the student of the philosophy 
of history, the fact at least cannot be ignored. The Hellen- 
istic age was characterized by a widespread longing for re- 
demption a widespread longing for an escape from the pres- 
ent world of sense to some higher and better country. Such 
longing was not satisfied by the ancient religion of Greece. 
It caused men, therefore, to become seekers after new gods. 

But what was the attitude of philosophy? Philosophy had 
contributed to the decline of the ancient gods. Had it been 
equally successful on the positive side? Had it been able to 
fill the void which its questionings had produced. The answer 
on the whole must be rendered in the negative. On the whole, 
it must be said that Greek philosophy was unsuccessful in its 
efforts to solve the riddle of the universe. The effort which 
it made was indeed imposing. Plato in particular endeavored 
to satisfy the deepest longings of the human soul ; he attempted 


to provide an escape from the world of sense to the higher 
world of ideas. But the way of escape was open at best only 
to the few philosophical souls ; the generality of men were left 
hopeless and helpless in the shadow-existence of the cave. And 
even the philosophers were not long satisfied with the Platonic 
solution. The philosophy of the Hellenistic age was either 
openly skeptical or materialistic, as is the case, for example, 
with Epicureanism, or at any rate it abandoned the great 
theoretical questions and busied itself chiefly with practical 
affairs. Epicureans and Stoics and Cynics were all interested 
chiefly, not in ontology or epistemology, but in ethics. At 
this point the first century was like the twentieth. The distrust 
of theory, the depreciation of theology, the exclusive interest 
in social and practical questions these tendencies appear now 
as they appeared in the Hellenistic age. And now as well as 
then they are marks of intellectual decadence. 

But if the philosophy of the Hellenistic age offered no 
satisfactory solution of the riddle of the universe and no 
satisfaction for the deepest longings of the soul, it presented, 
on the other hand, no effective opposition to the religious cur- 
rent of the time. It had helped bring about that downfall of 
the Olympic gods, that sad neglect of Zeus and his altars 
which is described by Lucian in his wonderfully modern satires. 
But it was not able to check the rising power of the eastern 
religions. Indeed it entered into a curious alliance with the 
invaders. As early as the first century before Christ, Posi- 
donius seems to have introduced an element of oriental mysti- 
cism into the philosophy of the Stoics, and in the succeeding 
centuries the process went on apace. The climax was reached, 
at the close of pagan antiquity, in that curious mixture of 
philosophy and charlatanism which is found in the neo-Platonic 

The philosophy of the Hellenistic age, with its intense 
interest in questions of conduct, constitutes, indeed, an im- 
portant chapter in the history of the human race, and can 
point to certain noteworthy achievements. The Stoics, for 
example, enunciated the great principle of human brother- 
hood ; they made use of the cosmopolitanism and individualism 
of the Hellenistic age in order to arouse a new interest in man 
as man. Even the slaves, who in the theory of an Aristotle 
had been treated as chattels, began to be looked upon here and 


there as members of a great human family. Men of every 
race and of every social grade came to be the object of a 
true humanitarian interest. 

But the humanitarian efforts of Stoicism, though proceed- 
ing from an exalted theory of the worth of man as man, proved 
to be powerless. The dynamic somehow was lacking. Despite 
the teaching of Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, despite the begin- 
nings of true humanitarian effort here and there, the later 
Empire with its cruel gladiatorial shows and its heartless 
social system was sinking into the slough of savagery. What 
Stoicism was unable to do, Christianity to some extent at least 
accomplished. The ideal of Christianity was not the mere ideal 
of a human brotherhood. Pure humanitarianism, the notion 
of "the brotherhood of man," as that phrase is usually under- 
stood, is Stoic rather than Christian. Christianity did make 
its appeal to all men; it won many of its first adherents from 
the depths of slavery. It did inculcate charity toward all men 
whether Christians or not. And it enunciated with an unheard- 
of seriousness the doctrine that all classes of men, wise and 
unwise, bond and free, are of equal worth. But the equality 
was not found in the common possession of human nature. It 
was found, instead, in a common connection with Jesus Christ. 
"There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither 
bond nor free, there can be no male and female" so far the 
words of Paul can find analogies (faint analogies, it is true) 
in the Stoic writers. But the Pauline grounding of the unity 
here enunciated is the very antithesis of all mere humanitarian- 
ism both ancient and modern "For ye are all one person," says 
Paul, "in Christ Jesus." Christianity did not reveal the fact 
that all men were brothers. Indeed it revealed the contrary. 
But it offered to make all men brothers by bringing them into 
saving connection with Christ. 

The above sketch of the characteristics of the Hellenistic 
age has been quite inadequate. And even a fuller presentation 
could hardly do justice to the complexity of the life of that 
time. But perhaps some common misconceptions have been cor- 
rected. The pagan world at the time when Paul set sail from 
Seleucia on his first missionary journey was not altogether 
without religion. Even the ancient polytheism was by no means 
altogether dead. It was rather a day of religious unrest. The 
old faiths had been shaken, but they were making room for the 


new. The Orontes, to use the figure of Juvenal, was soon to 
empty into the Tiber. The flow of eastern superstition and 
eastern mystical religion was soon to spread over the whole 

But what were the eastern religions which in the second 
century after Christ, if not before, entered upon their tri- 
umphal march toward the west? 1 They were of diverse origin 
and diverse character. But one feature was common to a num- 
ber of the most important of them. Those eastern religions 
which became most influential in the later Roman Empire were 
mystery religions that is, they had connected with them secret 
rites which were thought to afford special blessing to the 
initiates. The mysteries did not indeed constitute the whole of 
the worship of the eastern gods. Side by side with the mysteries 
were to be found public cults to which every one was admitted. 
But the mysteries are of special interest, because it was they 
which satisfied most fully the longing of the Hellenistic age 
for redemption, for "salvation," for the attainment of a higher 

It will be well, therefore, to single out for special mention 
the chief of the mystery religions those eastern religions 
which although they were by no means altogether secret did 
have mysteries connected with them. 

The first of these religions to be introduced into Rome 
was the religion of the Phrygian Cybele, the "Great Mother 
of the Gods." 2 In 204 B.C., in the dark days of the Cartha- 
ginian invasion, the black meteoric stone of Pessinus was 
brought, by command of an oracle, to Rome. With the sacred 
stone came the cult. But Rome was not yet ready for the 
barbaric worship of the Phrygian goddess. For several hun- 
dred years the cult of Cybele was kept carefully isolated from 
the life of the Roman people. The foreign rites were supported 
by the authority of the state, but they were conducted alto- 
gether by a foreign priesthood ; no Roman citizen was allowed 
to participate in them. It was not until the reign of Claudius 
(41-54 A.D.) that the barrier was finally broken down. 

The myth of Cybele is narrated in various forms. Ac- 

1 The sketch which follows is indebted especially to Cumorrt, Lea 
religions orientates dans le paganisme romain, 2ieme ed., 1909 (English 
translation, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, 1911). 

'For the religion of Cybele and Attis, see Showerman, The Great 
Mother of the Gods, 1901; Hepding, Attis, 1903. 


cording to the most characteristic form, the youthful Attis, 
beloved by Cybele, is struck with madness by the jealous god- 
dess, deprives himself of his virility, dies through his own mad 
act, and is mourned by the goddess. The myth contains no 
account of a resurrection; all that Cybele is able to obtain 
is that the body of Attis should be preserved, that his hair 
should continue to grow, and that his little finger should move. 
The cult was more stable than the myth. No doubt, in- 
deed, even the cult experienced important changes in the course 
of the centuries. At the beginning, according to Hepding and 
Cumont, Cybele was a goddess of the mountain wilds, whose 
worship was similar in important respects to that of Dionysus. 
With Cybele Attis was associated at an early time. The 
Phrygian worship of Cybele and Attis was always of a wild, 
orgiastic character, and the frenzy of the worshipers culmi- 
nated even in the act of self-mutilation. Thus the eunuch- 
priests of Cybele, the "Galli," became a well-known feature of 
the life of the Empire. But the Phrygian cult of Cybele and 
Attis cannot be reconstructed by any means in detail; exten- 
sive information has been preserved only about the worship as 
it was carried on at Rome. And even with regard to the Ro- 
man cult, the sources of information are to a very consid- 
erable extent late. It is not certain, therefore, that the great 
spring festival of Attis, as it was celebrated in the last period 
of the Roman Empire, was an unmodified reproduction of the 
original Phrygian rites. 

The Roman festival was conducted as follows r 1 On 
March 15, there was a preliminary festival. On March 22, 
the sacred pine-tree was felled and carried in solemn proces- 
sion by the "Dendrophori" into the temple of Cybele. The 
pine-tree appears in the myth as the tree under which Attis 
committed his act of self-mutilation. In the cult, the felling of 
the tree is thought by modern scholars to represent the death of 
the god. Hence the mourning of the worshipers was connected 
with the tree. March 24 was called the "day of blood"; on 
this day the mourning for the dead Attis reached its climax. 
The Galli chastised themselves with scourges and cut them- 
selves with knives all to the wild music of the drums and 
cymbals which were connected especially with the worship of 
the Phrygian Mother. On this day also, according to Hep- 
1 See Hepding, op. cit. t pp. 147-176, 


ding's conjecture, the new Galli dedicated themselves to the 
service of the goddess by the act of self-mutilation. Finally, 
the resurrection or epiphany of the god Attis was celebrated. 
This took place perhaps during the night between- March 24 
and March 25. But Hepding admits that the time is not di- 
rectly attested. It is also only conjecture when a famous 
passage of Firmicus Maternus (fourth century after Christ) 
is applied to the worship of Attis and to this part of it. 1 
But the conjecture may well be correct. Firmicus Maternus 2 
describes a festival in which the figure of a god rests upon a 
bier and is lamented, and then a light is brought in and the 
priest exclaims, "Be of good courage, ye initiates, since the 
god is saved; for to us there shall be salvation out of 
troubles." 3 Apparently the resurrection of the god is here 
regarded as the cause of the salvation of the worshipers ; 
the worshipers share in the fortunes of the god. At any 
rate, March 25 in the Roman Attis festival was the "Hilaria," 
a day of rejoicing. On this day, the resurrection of the god 
was celebrated. March 26 was a day of rest ; and finally, on 
March 27, there was a solemn washing of the sacred images 
and emblems. 

As thus described, the worship of Cybele and Attis was, 
for the most part at least, public. But there were also mys- 
teries connected with the same two gods. These mysteries ap- 
parently were practised in the East before the cult was brought 
to Rome. But the eastern form of their celebration is quite ob- 
scure, and even about the Roman form very little is known. 
Connected with the mysteries was some sort of sacred meal. 4 
Firmicus Maternus has preserved the formula: "I have eaten 
from the drum; I have drunk from the cymbal; I have become 
an initiate of Attis." 5 And Clement of Alexandria (about 
200 A. D.) also connected a similar formula with the Phrygian 
mysteries: "I ate from the drum; I drank from the cymbal; 

1 Loisy (Les mystkres pdiens et le myst&re chrttien, 1910, p. 104) prefers 
to attach the passage to Osiris rather than to Attis. 

2 See Hepding, op. tit., pp. 166, 167. 

8 Firmicus Maternus, De error, prof, rel., xxii (ed. Ziegler, 1907) : 
dappelre HIHTTCLL TOV dcov atauff^kvov' 
ttTTOLi, yap rifjilv e/c irovaiv oxoTTjpia. 
4 See Hepding, op. cit., pp. 184-190. 

Firmicus Maternus, op. cit., xviii : ec TVHTT&VOV /Se/Spod/ca, c/c 
ytyovo. nvorrrjs "Arrecos. 


I carried the 'kernos'; I stole into the bridal chamber." 
The significance of this ritual eating and drinking is not clear. 
Certainly it would be rash to find in it the notion of new birth 
or sacramental union with the divine nature. Hepding sug- 
gests that it meant rather the entrance of the initiate into the 
circle of .the table-companions of the god. 

The actual initiation is even more obscure in the Attis 
mysteries than it is in those of Eleusis ; Hepding admits that 
his reconstruction of the details of the mysteries is based 
largely on conjecture. Possibly in the formula quoted above 
from Clement of Alexandria, the words, "I stole into the bridal 
chamber," indicate that there was some sort of representation 
of a sacred marriage; but other interpretations of the Greek 
words are possible. Hepding suggests that the candidate 
entered into the grotto, descended into a ditch within the 
grotto, listened to lamentations for the dead god, received a 
blood-bath, then saw a wonderful light, and heard the joyful 
words quoted above: "Be of good courage, ye initiates, since 
the god is saved; for to us shall there be salvation out of 
troubles," and finally that the candidate arose out of the ditch 
as a new man ("reborn for eternity") or rather as a being 
identified with the god. 2 

According to this reconstruction, the initiation represented 
the death and the new birth of the candidate. But the recon- 
struction is exceedingly doubtful, and some of the most im- 
portant features of it are attested in connection with the Attis 
mysteries if at all only in very late sources. Hepding is par- 
ticularly careful to admit that there is no direct documentary 
evidence for connecting the blood-bath with the March festival. 

This blood-bath, which is called the taurobolium, requires 
special attention. The one who received it descended into a pit 
over which a lattice-work was placed. A bull was slaughtered 
above the lattice-work, and the blood was allowed to run 
through into the pit, where the recipient let it saturate his 
clothing and even enter his nose and mouth and ears. The 
result was that the recipient was "reborn forever," or else 
reborn for a period of twenty years, after which the rite had 
to be repeated. The taurobolium is thought to have signified 

1 Clem. Al., Protrepticu*, ii. 15 (ed. Stahlin, 1905): l/c TVHW&VOV l<payov' be 
KvufiaKov tiTLov' tKepvo<p6pr)<Ta' vir6 T&V iraffrdv viredvv. 
a Hepding, op. cit., pp. 196ff. 


a death to the old life and a new birth into a higher, divine 
existence. But it is not perfectly clear that it had that sig- 
nificance in the East and in the early period. According to 
Hepding, the taurobolium was in the early period a mere 
sacrifice, and the first man who is said to have received it in 
the sense just described was the Emperor Heliogabalus (third 
century after Christ). Other scholars refuse to accept Hep- 
ding's distinction between an earlier and a later form of the rite. 
But the matter is at least obscure, and it would be exceedingly 
rash to attribute pre-Christian origin to the developed tauro- 
bolium as it appears in fourth-century sources. Indeed, there 
seems to be no mention of any kind of taurobolium whatever 
before the second century, 1 and Hepding may be correct in 
suggesting that possibly the fourth-century practice was in- 
fluenced by the Christian doctrine of the blood of Christ. 2 

No less important than the religion of Cybele and Attis 
was the Greco-Egyptian religion of Isis and Osiris. Isis and 
Osiris are both ancient Egyptian gods, whose worship, in modi- 
fied form, was carried over first into the Greek kingdom of the 
Ptolemies, and thence into the remotest bounds of the Roman 
Empire. The myth which concerns these gods is reported at 
length in Plutarch's treatise, "Concerning Isis and Osiris." 
Briefly it is as follows: Osiris, the brother and husband of 
Isis, after ruling in a beneficent manner over the Egyptians, 
is plotted against by his brother Typhon. Finally Typhon 
makes a chest and promises to give it to any one who exactly 
fits it. Osiris enters the chest, which is then closed by Typhon 
and thrown into the Nile. After a search, Isis finds the chest 
at Byblos on the coast of Phoenicia, and brings it back to 
Egypt. But Typhon succeeds in getting possession of the 
body of Osiris and cuts it up mto fourteen parts, which are 
scattered through Egypt. Isis goes about collecting the parts. 
Osiris becomes king of the nether world, and helps his son 
Horus to gain a victory over Typhon. 

The worship of Isis and Osiris was prominent in ancient 
Egyptian religion long before the entrance of Greek influence. 
Osiris was regarded as the ruler over the dead, and as such 
was naturally very important in a religion in which supreme 
attention was given to a future life. But with the establish- 

1 Showerman, op. cit., p. 280. 

2 Hepding, op. cit., p. 200, Anm. 7. 


ment of the Ptolemaic kingdom at about 300 B. C., there was 
an important modification of the worship. A new god, Serapis, 
was introduced, and was closely identified with Osiris. The 
origin of the name Serapis has been the subject of much dis- 
cussion and is still obscure. But one motive for the introduc- 
tion of the new divinity (or of the new name for an old di- 
vinity) is perfectly plain. Ptolemy I desired to unify the 
Egyptian and the Greek elements in his kingdom by providing 
a cult which would be acceptable to both and at the same 
time intensely loyal to the crown. The result was the Greco- 
Egyptian cult of Serapis (Osiris) and Isis. Here is to be 
found, then, the remarkable phenomenon of a religion deliber- 
ately established for political reasons, which, despite its arti- 
ficial origin, became enormously successful. Of course, the 
success was obtained only by a skillful use of existing beliefs, 
which had been hallowed in Egyptian usage from time imme- 
morial, and by a skillful clothing of those beliefs in forms 
acceptable to the Greek element in the population. 

The religion of Isis and Serapis was, as Cumont observes, 
entirely devoid of any established system of theology or any 
very lofty ethics. It was effective rather on account of its 
gorgeous ritual, which was handed down from generation to 
generation with meticulous accuracy, and on account of the 
assurance which it gave of a blessed immortality, the wor- 
shipers being conceived of as sharing in the resuscitation 
which Osiris had obtained. The worship was at first repulsive 
to Roman ideals of gravity, but effected an official entrance 
into the city in the reign of Caligula (37-41 A. D.). In the 
second and third centuries it was extended over the whole Em- 
pire. In alliance with the religion of Mithras it became finally 
perhaps the most serious rival of Christianity. 

The cult was partly public and partly private. Prominent 
in the public worship were the solemn opening of the temple 
of Isis in the morning and the solemn closing in the afternoon. 
Elaborate care was taken of the images of the gods the gods 
being regarded as dependent upon human ministrations. Be- 
sides the rites that were conducted daily, there were special 
festivals like the spring festival of the "ship of Isis" which is 
brilliantly described by Apuleius. 

But it is the mysteries which arouse the greatest interest, 
especially because of the precious source of information about 


them which is found in the eleventh book of the Metamorphoses 
of Apuleius (second century after Christ). In this book, al- 
though the secrets of the mysteries themselves are of course 
not revealed, Apuleius has given a more complete and orderly 
account of the events connected with an initiation than is to 
be found anywhere else in ancient literature. The hero Lucius 
is represented first as waiting for a summons from the goddess 
Isis, which comes with miraculous coincidence independently 
to him and to the priest who is to officiate in his initiation. 
Then Lucius is taken into the temple and made acquainted 
with certain mysterious books, and also washes his body at 
the nearest baths. This washing has as little as possible the 
appearance of a sacrament ; evidently it was not intended to 
produce "regeneration" or anything of the sort. 1 The pur- 
pose of it seems to have been cleanliness, which was naturally 
regarded as a preparation for the holy rite that was to follow. 
There follows a ten days' period of fasting, after which the 
day of initiation arrives. Lucius is taken into the most secret 
place of the temple. Of what happens there he speaks with 
the utmost reserve. He says, however: "I came to the limits 
of death, and having trod the threshold of Proserpine and 
been borne through all the elements I returned; at midnight 
I saw the sun shining with a bright light; I came into the 
presence of the upper and nether gods and adored them near 
at hand." 2 It is often supposed that these words indicate 
some sort of mysterious drama or vision, which marked the 
death of the initiate, his passage through the elements, and 
his rising to a new life. But certainly the matter is very 
obscure. The next morning Lucius is clothed with gorgeous 
robes, and is presented to the gaze of the multitude. Appar- 
ently he is regarded as partaking of the divine nature. Two 
other initiations of Lucius are narrated, one of them being 
an initiation into the mysteries of Osiris, as the first had been 
into the mysteries of Isis. But little is added by the account 
of these later experiences, and it has even been suggested that 
the multiplication of the initiations was due to the self-interest 

1 But compare Kennedy, St. Paul and the Mystery-Religions, 1913, p. 229. 

'Apuleius, Metam,., xi. 23 (ed. Van der Vliet, 1897, p. 270): "Accessi 
confinium mortis et calcato Proserpinae limine per omnia vectus elementa 
remeavi; nocte media vidi solem candido coruscantem lumine; deos inferos 
et deos superos accessi coram et adoravi de proxumo." 


of the priests rather than to any real advantage for the 

Similar in important respects to the Egyptian Osiris was 
the Adonis of Phoenicia, who may therefore be mentioned in 
the present connection, even though little is known about mys- 
teries connected with his worship. According to the well- 
known myth, the youth Adonis, beloved by Aphrodite, was 
killed by a wild boar, and then bemoaned by the goddess. The 
cult of Adonis was found in various places, notably at Byblos 
in Phoenicia, where the death and resurrection of the god 
were celebrated. With regard to this double festival, Lucian 
says in his treatise "On the Syrian Goddess": "They [the 
inhabitants of Byblos] assert that the legend about Adonis 
and the wild boar is true, and that the facts occurred in their 
country, and in memory of this calamity they beat their 
breasts and wail every year, and perform their secret ritual 
amid signs of mourning through the whole countryside. When 
they have finished their mourning and wailing, they sacrifice 
in the first place to Adonis, as to one who has departed this 
life: after this they allege that he is alive again, and exhibit 
his effigy to the sky." x The wailing for Adonis at Byblos 
is similar to what is narrated about the worship of the Baby- 
lonian god Tammuz. Even the Old Testament mentions in a 
noteworthy passage "the women weeping for Tammuz" (Ezek. 
viii. 14). But the Tammuz-worship does not seem to have con- 
tained any celebration of a resurrection. 

Attis, Osiris, and Adonis are alike in that all of them are 
apparently represented as dying and coming to life again. 
They are regarded by Bruckner 2 and many other modern 
scholars as representing the widespread notion of a "dying 
and rising saviour-god." But it is perhaps worthy of note 
that the "resurrection" of these gods is very different from 
what is meant by that word in Christian belief. The myth of 
Attis, for example, contains no mention of a resurrection; 
though apparently the cult, in which mourning is followed 
by gladness, did presuppose some such notion. In the myth 
of Osiris, also, there is nothing that could be called resurrec- 
tion ; after his passion the god becomes ruler, not over the liv- 

1 Lucian, De dea syria, 6, translation of Garstang (The Syrian Goddess, 
1913, pp. 45f.). 
*Der sterbende und auferstehende Gottheilcmd, 1908. 


ing, but over the dead. In Lucian's description of the worship 
of Adonis at Byblos, there is perhaps as clear an account as 
is to be found anywhere of the celebration of the dying and 
resuscitation of a god, but even in this account there is not 
strictly speaking a resurrection. A tendency is found in cer- 
tain recent writers to exaggerate enormously the prevalence 
and the clarity of the pagan ideas about a dying and rising 

According to a common opinion, Attis, Osiris, and Adonis 
are vegetation-gods ; their dying and resuscitation represent, 
then, the annual withering and revival of vegetation. This 
hypothesis has attained general, though not universal, accept- 
ance. Certainly the facts are very complex. At any rate, 
the celebration of the principle of fecundity in nature was 
not of a purely agrarian character, but found expression also 
in the gross symbols and immoral practices which appear in 
connection with the gods just mentioned at various points in 
the ancient world. 

The most important of the religions which have just been 
examined had their rise in Asia Minor and in Egypt. No less 
important, at least in the last period of pagan antiquity, was 
the religious influence of Syria. The Syrian gods, called 
"Baals" ("Lords"), were not, according to Cumont, distin- 
guished from one another by any clearly defined character- 
istics. Every locality had its own Baal and a female divinity 
as the Baal's consort, but the attributes of these local gods 
were of the vaguest character. The female divinity Atargatis, 
whose temple at Hierapolis is described by Lucian, and the 
male divinity Hadad, of Heliopolis, are among the best-known 
of the Syrian gods. The Syrian worship was characterized 
by especially immoral and revolting features, but seems to 
have become ennobled by the introduction of the Babylonian 
worship of the heavenly bodies, and thus contributed to the 
formation of the solar monotheism which was the final form 
assumed by the pagan religion of the Empire before the tri- 
umph of Christianity. 

In point of intrinsic worth, the Persian mystery religion 
of Mithras is easily superior to any of the religions which 
have thus far been mentioned, but it is of less importance than 
some of the others for the purposes of the present investiga- 
tion, since it became influential in the Roman Empire only 


after the time of Paul. Great stress has indeed been laid upon 
the fact that Plutarch attests the practice of Mithraic mys- 
teries by the pirates whom Pompey conquered in the middle 
of the first century before Christ, and says furthermore that 
the Mithraic rites begun by the pirates were continued until 
the writer's own day. 1 The pirates practised their rites 
at Olympus, which is on the southern coast of Asia Minor. But 
the Olympus which is meant is in Lycia, some three hundred 
miles from Tarsus. It is a mistake, therefore, to bring the 
Mithraic mysteries of the pirates into any close geographical 
connection with the boyhood home of Paul. Against the 
hypothesis of any dependence of Paul upon the mysteries of 
Mithras is to be placed the authority of Cumont, the chief 
investigator in this field, who says: "It is impossible to sup- 
pose that at that time [the time of Paul] there was an imita- 
tion of the Mithraic mysteries, which then had not yet attained 
any importance." 2 Attemp's have often been made to ex- 
plain away this judgment of Cumont, but without success. The 
progress of Mithraism in the Empire seems to have been due 
to definite political causes which were operative only after 
Paul's day. 

The Persian religion, from which Mithraism was descended, 
was superior to the others which have just been considered in 
its marked ethical character. It presented the doctrine of a 
mighty conflict between light and darkness, between good and 
evil. And Mithraism itself regarded religion under the figure 
of a warfare. It appealed especially to the soldiers, and only 
men (not women) were admitted to its mysteries. There were 
seven grades of initiation, each with its special name. The 
highest grade was that of "father." The Mithras cult was 
always celebrated underground, in chambers of very limited 
extent. There was a sacred meal, consisting of bread and 
water, which Justin Martyr, in the middle of the second cen- 
tury, regards as having been instituted through demoniac imi- 
tation of the Christian Eucharist. 3 This religion of Mithras 
finally became, with the religion of Isis, the most serious rival 
of Christianity. But at the time of Paul it was without im- 

1 Plutarch, Vita Pompei, 24. 

8 Cumont, op. cit., p. xvi (English Translation, p. xx). 

Justin Martyr, Apol. 66. 


portance, and could not have exerted any influence upon the 

But the religion of the Hellenistic age was not limited to 
the individual cults which have just been considered, and it 
is not chiefly to the individual cults that recourse is had by 
those modern scholars who would derive Paulinism from pagan 
sources. Mention has already been made of the syncretism of 
the age ; various religions were mingled in a limitless variety 
of combinations. And there was also a mingling of religion 
with philosophy. It is in the manifold products of this union 
between Greek philosophy and oriental religion that the genesis 
of Paulinism is now often being sought. Not oriental religion 
in its original state, but oriental religion already to some ex- 
tent Hellenized, is thought to have produced the characteristic 
features of the religion of Paul. 

The hypothesis is faced by one obvious difficulty. The 
difficulty appears in the late date of most of the sources of 
information. In order to reconstruct that Hellenized oriental 
mysticism from which the religion of Paul is to be derived, the 
investigator is obliged to appeal to sources which are long 
subsequent to Paul's day. For example, in reproducing the 
spiritual atmosphere in which Paul is supposed to have lived, 
no testimony is more often evoked than the words of Firmicus 
Maternus, "Be of good courage, ye initiates, since the god 
is saved ; for to us there shall be salvation out of troubles." * 
Plere, it is thought, is to be found that connection between the 
resurrection of the god and the salvation of the believers 
which appears in the Pauline idea of dying and rising with 
Christ. But the trouble is that Firmicus Maternus lived in 
the fourth century after Christ, three hundred years later 
than Paul. With what right can an utterance of his be used 
in the reconstruction of pre-Christian paganism? What would 
be thought, by the same scholars who quote Firmicus Maternus 
so confidently as a witness to first-century paganism, of a 
historian who should quote a fourth-century Christian writer 
as a wi!ness to first-century Christianity? 

This objection has been met by the modern school of com- 
parative religion somewhat as follows. In the first place, 
it is said, the .post-Christian pagan usage which at any time 
1 See above, p. 229, with footnote 3. 


may be under investigation is plainly not influenced by Chris- 
tianity. But, in the second place, it is too similar to Christian 
usage for the similarity to be explained by mere coincidence. 
Therefore, in the third place, since it is not dependent upon 
Christian usage, Christian usage must be dependent upon 
it, and therefore despite its late attestation it must have existed 
in pre-Christian times. 

A little reflection will reveal the precarious character of 
this reasoning. Every step is uncertain. In the first place, it 
is often by no means clear that the pagan usage has not been 
influenced by Christianity. The Church did not long remain 
obscure; even early in the second century, according to the 
testimony of Pliny, it was causing the heathen temples to be 
deserted. What is more likely than that in an age of syncre- 
tism the adherents of pagan religion should borrow weapons 
from so successful a rival? It must be remembered that the 
paganism of the Hellenistic age had elevated syncretism to a 
system; it had absolutely no objection of principle against 
receiving elements from every source. In the Christian Church, 
on the other hand, there was a strong objection to such pro- 
cedure; Christianity from the beginning was like Judaism in 
being exclusive. It regarded with the utmost abhorrence any- 
thing that was tainted by a pagan origin. This abhorrence, 
at least in the early period, more than overbalanced the fact 
that the Christians for the most part had formerly been 
pagans, so that it might be thought natural for them to retain 
something of pagan belief. Conversion involved a passionate 
renunciation of former beliefs. Such, at any rate, was clearly 
the kind of conversion that was required by Paul. 

In the second place, the similarity between the pagan and 
the Christian usages is often enormously exaggerated; some- 
times a superficial similarity of language masks the most pro- 
found differences of underlying meaning. Illustrations will 
be given in the latter part of the present chapter. 

Thus the conclusion is, to say the least, precarious. It 
is by no means so easy as is sometimes supposed to prove that 
a pagan usage attested only long after the time of Paul is really 
the source of Pauline teaching. And it will not help to say 
that although there is no direct dependence one way or the 
other yet the pagan and the Pauline teaching have a common 
source. For to say that a usage has a pagan source several 


centuries earlier than the time at which the usage is first at- 
tested is really to assume the point that is to be proved. We 
are not here dealing with a question of literary dependence, 
where the unity of the books which are being compared is 
assumed. In such a question the independence of the two 
writers may be proved by the general comparison of the books ; 
it may be shown, in other words, that if one author had used 
the other author's work at all he would have had to use it 
a great deal more than as a matter of fact the similarity would 
indicate. In such cases, striking verbal similarity in one place 
may prove that both books were dependent upon a common 
source. But if a pagan usage of the fourth century is similar 
to a Christian usage, the fact that in general the paganism 
of the fourth century is independent of Christianity does not 
disprove dependence of paganism upon Christianity at this one 

It is not surprising, therefore, that the reasoning just 
outlined is usually supplemented by a further consideration. 
It is maintained, namely, that the mystic piety of paganism 
forms to some extent a unit; it was not a mere fortuitous 
collection of beliefs and practices, but was like an enveloping 
spiritual atmosphere of which, despite variations of humidity 
and temperature, the fundamental composition was everywhere 
the same. If, therefore, the presence of this atmosphere of 
mystical piety can be established here and there in sources of 
actually pre-Christian date, the investigator has a right to 
determine the nature of the atmosphere in detail by drawing 
upon later sources. In other words, the mystical religion of 
the Hellenistic age is reconstructed in detail by the use of 
post-Christian sources, and then (the essential unity of the 
phenomenon being assumed) the early date of this oriental 
mystical religion is established by the scanty references in 
pre-Christian times. It is admitted, perhaps, that the elements 
of oriental mysticism actually found in pre-Christian sources 
would not be sufficient to prove dependence of Paul upon that 
type of religion ; but the elements found in later sources are 
thought to be so closely allied to those which happen to have 
early attestation that they too must be supposed to have been 
present in the early period, and since they are similar to Paul- 
inism they must have exerted a formative influence upon Paul's 
religion. To put the matter briefly, the nature of Hellenized 


oriental religion is established by post-Pauline sources ; whereas 
the early origin of that religion is established by the scanty 
pre-Christian references. 

This procedure constitutes a curious reversal of the pro- 
cedure which is applied by the very same scholars to Chris- 
tianity. Christianity is supposed to have undergone kaleido- 
scopic changes in the course of a few years or even months, 
changes involving a transformation of its inmost nature; yet 
pagan religion is apparently thought to have remained from 
age to age the same. When Paul, only a few years after the 
origin of the Church, says that he "received" certain funda- 
mental elements in his religion, the intimate connection of those 
elements with the rest of the Pauline system is not allowed to 
establish the early origin of the whole; yet the paganism of 
the third and fourth centuries is thought to have constituted 
such a unity that the presence of certain elements of it in the 
pre-Christian period is regarded as permitting the whole sys- 
tem to be transplanted bodily to that early time. 

Of course, the hypothesis which is now being examined is 
held in many forms, and is being advocated with varying de- 
grees of caution. Some of its advocates might defend them- 
selves against the charge of transplanting post-Christian 
paganism bodily into the pre-Christian period. They might 
point to special evidence with regard to many details. Such 
evidence would have to be examined in any complete investiga- 
tion. But the objection just raised, despite possible answers 
to it in detail, is not without validity. It remains true, despite 
all reservations, that adherents of the "comparative-religion 
school" are entirely too impatient with regard to questions of 
priority. They are indeed very severe upon those who raise 
such questions. They do not like having the flow of their 
thought checked by so homely a thing as a date. But dates 
sometimes have their importance. For example, the phrase, 
"reborn for eternity," occurs in connection with the blood- 
bath of the taurobolium. How significant, it might be said, 
is this connection of regeneration with the shedding of blood ! 
How useful as establishing the pagan origin of the Christian 
idea ! From the confident way in which the phrase "reborn 
for eternity" is quoted in discussions of the origin of Chris- 
tianity, or.e would think that its pre-Christian origin were 
established beyond peradventure. It may come as a shock, 


therefore, to readers of recent discussions to be told that as 
a matter of fact the phrase does not appear until the fourth 
century, when Christianity was taking its place as the estab- 
lished religion of the Roman world. If there is any dependence, 
it is certainly dependence of the taurobolium upon Christianity, 
and not of Christianity upon the taurobolium. 

The same lordly disregard of dates runs all through the 
modern treatment of the history of religion in the New Testa- 
ment period. It is particularly unfortunate in popular expo- 
sitions. When the lay reader is overwhelmed by an imposing 
array of citations from Apuleius and from Lucian, to say 
nothing of Firmicus Maternus and fourth-century inscrip- 
tions, and when these late citations are confidently treated 
by men of undoubted learning as witnesses to pre-Christian 
religion, and when the procedure is rendered more plausible by 
occasional references to pre-Christian writers which if looked 
up would be found to prove nothing at all, and when there 
is a careful avoidance of anything like temporal arrangement 
of the material, but citations derived from all countries and 
all ages are brought together for the reconstruction of the 
environment of Paul under such treatment the lay reader 
often receives the impression that something very important 
is being proved. The impression would be corrected by the 
mere introduction of a few dates, especially in view of the 
fact that oriental religion undoubtedly entered upon a remark- 
able expansion shortly after the close of the New Testament 
period, so that conditions prevailing after that expansion are 
by no means necessarily to be regarded as having existed be- 
fore the expansion took place. 

This criticism is here intended to be taken only in a pro- 
visional way. The justice of it can be tested only by a detailed 
examination of the hypothesis against which the criticism is 

How, then, is the pre-Christian mystical religion of the 
Hellenistic world to be reconstructed? What sources are to 
be used? Some of the sources have already been touched upon 
in the review of the individual oriental cults. And incidentally 
the unsatisfactory character of some of these sources has 
already appeared. But it is now necessary to examine other 
sources which are not so definitely connected with any clearly 
defined cult. 


Increasing attention has been paid in recent years to the 
complex of writings which goes under the name of Hermes 
Trismegistus. These Hermetic writings embrace not only a 
corpus of some fourteen tractates which has been preserved 
in continuous Greek manuscript form, but also fragments con- 
tained in the works of Stobaeus and other writers, and finally 
the "Asclepius" attributed to Apuleius. It is not usually 
maintained that the Hermetic literature was completed before 
about 300 A.D. ; no one claims anything like pre-Christian 
origin for the whole. The individual elements of the litera- 
ture for example, the individual tractates of the Hermetic 
corpus are usually regarded as having been produced at vari- 
ous times; but no one of them is generally thought to have 
been written before the beginning of the Christian era. With 
regard to the most important tractate, the "Poimandres," 
which stands at the beginning of the corpus, opinions differ 
somewhat. J. Kroll, for example, the author of the leading 
monograph on the Hermetic writings, regards the Poimandres 
as the latest of the tractates in the corpus, and as having 
appeared not before the time of Numenius (second half of the 
second century) ; x whereas Zielinski regards it as the earliest 
writing of the corpus. 2 By an ingenious argument, Reitzen- 
stein attempts to prove that the Christian "Shepherd of 
Hermes" (middle of the second century) is dependent upon 
an original form of the "Poimandres." 3 But his argument 
has not obtained any general consent. It is impossible to push 
the material of the Poimandres back into the first century 
certainly impossible by any treatment of literary relationships. 
With regard to the origin of the ideas in the Hermetic 
writings, there is considerable difference of opinion. Reitzen- 
stein allows a large place to Egyptian and Persian elements ; 
other scholars emphasize rather the influence of Greek phi- 
losophy, which of course is in turn thought to have been modi- 
fied by its contact with oriental religion. J. Kroll, 4 W. 
Kroll, 5 Reitzenstein, 6 and others deny emphatically the 

*J. Kroll, Die Lehren des Hermes Trismegistos, 1914, in Beitrage zur 
Oeschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters, xii. 2-4, pp. 388, 389. 

a Zielinski, "Hermes und die Hermetik," in Archiv fur Religionswissen- 
schaft, viii, 1905, p. 323. 

Reitzenstein, Poimandres, 1904, pp. 10-13. 

4 Op. tit. 

8 Article "Hermes Trismegistos," in Pauly-Wissowa, ReaLEncyclopadie 
der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, xv, 1912, pp. 791-823. 

6 Op. tit. 


presence of any considerable Christian influence in Hermes ; 
but at this point Heinrici, after particularly careful researches, 
differs from the customary view. 1 Windisch is enough im- 
pressed by Heinrici's arguments to confess that Christian 
literature may have influenced the present form of the Her- 
metic writings here and there, but insists that the Christian 
influence upon Hermes is altogether trifling compared to the 
influence upon primitive Christianity of the type of religion 
of which Hermes is an example. 2 The true state of the case, 
according to Windisch, is probably that Christianity first re- 
ceived from oriental religion the fundamental ideas, and then 
gave back to oriental religion as represented by Hermes certain 
forms of expression in which those ideas had been clothed. 
At the same time Windisch urges careful attention to Hein- 
rici's argument for Christian influence upon Hermes for three 
reasons : ( 1 ) all Hermetic writings are later than the New 
Testament period, (2) the Hermetic writings are admittedly 
influenced by Judaism, (3) at least the latest stratum in the 
Hermetic writings has admittedly passed through the Christian 
sphere. These admissions, coming from one who is very friendly 
to the modern method of comparative religion, are significant. 
When even Windisch admits that the form of expression with 
regard to the new birth in the Poimandres may possibly be 
influenced by the Gospel tradition, and that the author of the 
fourth Hermetic tractate, for example, was somewhat familiar 
with New Testament writings or Christian ideas and "assimi- 
lated Christian terminology to his gnosis," and that the term 
"faith" has possibly come into Hermes (iv and ix) from Chris- 
tian tradition in the light of these admissions it may appear 
how very precarious is the employment of Hermes Trisme- 
gistus as a witness to pre-Christian paganism. 

Opinions diifer, moreover, as to the importance of the 
Hermetic type of thought in the life of the ancient world. 
Reitzenstein exalts its importance; he believes that back of 
the Hermetic writings there lies a living religion, and that 
this Hermetic type of religion was characteristic of the Hel- 
lenistic age. At this point Cumont and others are in sharp 
disagreement; Cumont believes that in the West Hermetism 
had nothing more than a literary existence and did not pro- 

1 Heinrici, Die Hermes-Mystik und das Neue Testament, 1918. 

2 Windisch, "Urchristentum und Hermesmystik," in Theologisch Tijd- 
schrift, lii, 1918, pp. 186-240. 


duce a Hermetic sect, and that in general Reitzenstein has 
greatly exaggerated the Hermetic influence. 1 With regard 
to this controversy, it can at least be said that Reitzenstein 
has failed to prove his point. 

Detailed exposition of the Hermetic writings will here be 
impossible. A number of recent investigators have covered 
the field with some thoroughness. Unfortunately a complete 
modern critical edition of the Hermetic corpus is still lacking; 
the student is obliged to have recourse to the edition of Parthey 
(1854), 2 which is not complete and does not quite measure 
up to modern standards. Reitzenstein has included in his 
"Poimandres" (1904) a critical edition of Tractates I, XIII, 
XVI, XVII, XVIII. There has been no collection, in the 
original languages, of all the Hermetic writings (including 
those outside of the corpus), though Menard has provided a 
French translation, 3 and Mead an English translation with 
elaborate introduction and notes. 4 The work of Mead, which 
is published by the Theosophical Publishing Society, is not 
usually regarded as quite satisfactory. But the translation 
at least will be found exceedingly useful. The systematic expo- 
sition of the thought of the Hermetic writings by J. Kroll is 
clear and instructive; 5 and Heinrici, who differs from Kroll 
in treating the individual writings separately, has also made a 
valuable contribution to the subject. 6 

In the Hermetic tractates I and XIII, upon which Reit- 
zenstein lays the chief emphasis, there is presented a notion 
of the transformation of the one who receives divine revela- 
tion. The transformation, as in the Hermetic writings gen- 
erally, is for the most part independent of ceremonies or sac- 
raments. An experience which in the mysteries is connected 
with an initiation involving an appeal to the senses here seems 
to have been spiritualized under the influence of philosophy; 
regeneration comes not through a mystic drama or the like 
but through an inner experience. Such at least is a common 

'Cumont, op. cit., pp. 340, 341 (English Translation, pp. 233, 234, note 

a Parthey, Hermetis Trismegisti Poemander, 1854. 
Mnard, Hermes Trismtgiste, 1910. 
4 Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, three volumes, 1906. 
'Op. cit. Cf. the review by Bousset, in Oottingische gelehrte Anzeigen, 
clxxvi, 1914, pp. 697-755. 
'O. cit. 


modern interpretation of the genesis of the Hermetic doctrine. 
At any rate, it seems to be impossible to reduce that doctrine 
to anything like a consistent logical scheme. Reitzenstein 
has tried to bring order out of chaos by distinguishing in 
the first tractate two originally distinct views as to the origin 
of the world and of man, but his analysis has not won general 
acceptance. It must probably be admitted, however, that the 
Hermetic literature has received elements from various sources 
and has not succeeded in combining them in any consistent way. 

The student who will first read Tractates I and XIII for 
himself will probably be surprised when he is told (for example 
by Reitzenstein) that here is to be found the spiritual atmos- 
phere from which Paulinism came. For there could be no 
sharper contrast than that between the fantastic speculations 
of the Poimandres and the historical gospel of Paul. Both 
the Poimandres and Paul have some notion of a transforma- 
tion that a man experiences through a divine revelation. But 
the transformation, according to Paul, comes through an 
account of what had happened but a few years before. Nothing 
could possibly be more utterly foreign to Hermes. On the 
other hand, the result of the transformation in Hermes is 
deification. "This," says Hermes (Tractate I, 26), "is the 
good end to those who have received knowledge, to be dei- 
fied." Paul could never have used such language. For, 
according to Paul, the relation between the believer and the 
Christ who has transformed him is a personal relation of love. 
The "Christ-mysticism" of Paul is never pantheistic. It is 
indeed supernatural; it is not produced by any mere influence 
brought to bear upon the old life. But the result, far from 
being apotheosis, is personal communion of a man with his God. 

In connection with Hermes Trismegistus may be mentioned 
the so-called Oracula Chaldaica, which apparently sprang 
from the same general type of thought. 2 These Oracula 
Chaldaica, according to W. Kroll, constitute a document of 
heathen gnosis, which was produced about 200 A. D. Although 
Kroll believes that there is here no Christian influence, and 
that Jewish influence touches not the center but only the cir- 
cumference, yet for the reasons already noticed it would be 

1 TOVTO e<TTi TO ayaBov reXos TOIS yvfaaw <Txt)Ko<ri, 0(.a}6rjvai. 

2 See W. Kroll, De Oraculis Chaldaicis, 1894; "Die chaldaischen Orakel," 
in Rheinisches Museum filr Philologie, 1, 1895, pp. 636-639. 


precarious to use a document of 200 A.D. in reconstructing 
pre-Pauline paganism. 

A very important source of information about the Greco- 
oriental religion of the Hellenistic age is found by scholars 
like Dieterich and Reitzenstein in the so-called "magical" 
papyri. Among the many interesting papyrus documents 
which have recently been discovered in Egypt are some that 
contain formulas intended to be used in incantations. At first 
sight these formulas look like hopeless nonsense; it may per- 
haps even be said that they are intended to be nonsense. That 
is, the effect is sought, not from any logical understanding of 
the formulas either on the part of those who use them or on 
the part of the higher powers upon whom they are to be used, 
but simply and solely from the mechanical effect of certain 
combinations of sounds. Thus the magical papyri include 
not only divine names in foreign languages (the ancient and 
original name of a god being regarded as exerting a coercive 
effect upon that god), but also many meaningless rows of 
letters which do not form words at all. But according to 
Dieterich and Reitzenstein and others, these papyri, non- 
sensical as they are in their completed form, often embody 
materials which belong not to magic but to religion; in par- 
ticular, they make use, for a magical purpose, of what was 
originally intended to be used in a living religious cult. Indeed 
the distinction between magic and religion is often difficult 
to draw. In religion there is an element of interest, on the 
part of the worshiper, in the higher powers as such, some 
idea of propitiating them, of winning their favor; whereas in 
magic the higher powers are made use of as though they 
were mere machines through the use of incantations and spells. 
But when this distinction is applied to the ancient mystery 
religions, sometimes these religions seem to be little more 
than magic, so external and mechanical is the way in which 
the initiation is supposed to work. It is not surprising, there- 
fore, if the composers of magical formulas turned especially, 
in seeking their materials, to the mystery cults; for they 
were drawn in that direction by a certain affinity both of 
purpose and of method. At any rate, whatever may be the 
explanation, the existing magical papyri, according to Die- 
terich and others, do contain important elements derived from 
the oriental religious cults; it is only necessary, Dieterich 
maintains, to subtract the obviously later elements the non- 


sensical rows of letters and the like in order to obtain im- 
portant sources of information about the religious life of the 
Hellenistic age. 

This method has been applied by Dieterich especially to 
a Paris magical papyrus, with the result that the underlying 
religious document is found to be nothing less than a liturgy 
of the religion of Mithras. 1 Dieterich's conclusions have 
not escaped unchallenged ; the connection of the document with 
Mithraism has been denied, for example, by Cumont. 2 Of 
course, even if the document be not really a "Mithras liturgy," 
it may still be of great value in the reconstruction of Hellen- 
istic gnosis. With regard to date, however, it is not any more 
favorably placed than the documents which have just been 
considered. The papyrus manuscript in which the "liturgy" 
is contained was written at the beginning of the fourth century 
after Christ ; and the composition of the "liturgy" itself can- 
not be fixed definitely at any very much earlier date. 3 Die- 
terich supposes that the beginning was made in the second 
century, and that there were successive additions afterward. 
At any rate, then, not only the papyrus manuscript, but also 
the liturgy which it is thought to contain, was produced long 
after the time of Paul. Like the Hermetic writings, more- 
over, Dieterich's Mithras liturgy presents a conception of 
union with divinity which is really altogether unlike the Pauline 

But information about pre-Christian paganism is being 
sought not only in ostensibly pagan sources ; it is also being 
sought in the Gnosticism which appears in connection with 
the Christian Church. Gnosticism used to be regarded as 
a "heresy," a perversion of Christian belief. Now, on the 
contrary, it is being regarded as essentially non-Christian, as 
a manifestation of Greco-oriental religion which was brought 
into only very loose connection with Christianity; the great 
Gnostic systems of the second century, it is said, when they 
are stripped of a few comparatively unimportant Christian 
elements are found to represent not a development from Chris- 
tianity but rather the spiritual atmosphere from which Chris- 
tianity itself sprang. 

If this view of the case be correct, it is at least significant 

1 Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, 2te Aufl., 1910. 
3 Op. cit., p. 379 (English Translation, pp. 260f.). 
8 Dieterich, op. cit., pp. 43f. 


that pagan teachers of the second century (the Gnostics) 
should have been so ready to adopt Christian elements and so 
anxious to give their systems a Christian appearance. Why 
should a similar procedure be denied in the case, for example, 
of Hermes Trismegistus ? If second-century paganism, with- 
out at all modifying its essential character, could sometimes 
actually adopt the name of Christ, why should it be thought 
incredible that the compiler of the Hermetic literature, who 
did not go quite so far, should yet have permitted Christian 
elements to creep into his syncretistic work? Why should 
similarity of language between Hermes and Paul, supposing 
that it exists, be regarded as proving dependence of Paul upon 
a type of paganism like that of Hermes, rather than dependence 
of Hermes upon Paul? 

But the use of Gnosticism as a witness to pre-Christian 
paganism is faced with obvious difficulties. Gnosticism has 
admittedly been influenced by Christianity. Who can say, 
then, exactly how far the Christian influence extends? Who 
can say that any element in Gnosticism, found also in the New 
Testament, but not clearly contained in pagan sources, is 
derived from paganism rather than from Christianity? Yet 
it is just exactly such procedure which is advocated by Reitzen- 
stein and others. 

The dangers of the procedure may be exhibited by an ex- 
ample. In Hermes Trismegistus the spirit is regarded as the 
garment of the soul. 1 This doctrine is the exact reverse of 
Pauline teaching, since it makes the soul appear higher than 
the spirit, whereas in Paul the Spirit, in the believer, is exalted 
far above the soul. In Hermes the spirit appears as a material 
substratum of the soul; in Paul the Spirit represents the 
divine power. There could be no sharper contradiction. And 
the matter is absolutely central in Reitzenstein's hypothesis, 
for it is just the Pauline doctrine of the Spirit which he is 
seeking to derive from pagan religion. The difficulty for 
Reitzenstein, then, is that in Hermes the spirit appears as 
the garment of the soul, whereas in the interests of his theory 
the soul ought to appear rather as the garment of the spirit. 
But Reitzenstein avoids the difficulty by appealing to Gnosti- 
cism. The Hermetic doctrine, he says, is nothing but the neces- 

*Corp. Herm. x. 13. 


sary philosophic reversal of the Gnostic doctrine that the 
soul is the garment of the spirit. 1 Thus Gnosticism is here 
made to be a witness to pre-Christian pagan belief, in direct 
defiance of pagan sources. Is it not more probable that the 
difference between Gnosticism on the one hand and pagan 
gnosis as represented by Hermes on the other, is due to the 
influence upon the former of the Christian doctrine? It is 
interesting to observe that J. Kroll, from whom the above 
illustration is obtained, insists against Reitzenstein that the 
Gnostic doctrine, as over against the doctrine of Hermes, is 
here clearly secondary. 2 At any rate, then, the reconstruc- 
tion of a pre-Christian pagan doctrine of the soul as the gar- 
ment of the spirit is a matter of pure conjecture. 

Similar difficulties appear everywhere. It is certainly very 
hazardous to use Gnosticism, a post-Pauline phenomenon ap- 
pealing to Paul as one of its chief sources, as a witness to 
pre-Pauline paganism. Certainly such use of Gnosticism should 
be carefully lirm'ted to those matters where there is some con- 
firmatory pagan testimony. But such confirmatory testi- 
mony, in the decisive cases, is significantly absent. 

The use of Gnosticism as a source of information about pre- 
Christian paganism might be less precarious if the separa- 
tion of the pagan and Christian elements could be carried 
out by means of literary criticism. Such a method is employed 
by Reitzenstein in connection with an interesting passage in 
Hippolytus. In attacking the Gnostic sect of the Naassenes, 
Hippolytus says that the sect has been dependent upon the 
pagan mysteries, and in proof he quotes a Naassene writing. 
This quotation, as it now exists in the work of Hippolytus, 
is, according to Reitzenstein, "a pagan text with Gnostic- 
Christian scholia (or in a Gnostic-Christian revision), which 
has been taken over by an opponent who did not understand 
this state of the case, and so, in this form, has been used by 
Hippolytus." 3 Reitzenstein seeks to reproduce the pagan 
document. 4 

Unquestionably the passage is interesting, and unques- 

1 Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen, 2te Aufl., 1920, p. 183. 

2 J. Kroll, op. cit., pp. 286-289, especially p. 288, Anna. 1. 
8 Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 82. 

* Op. cit., pp. 83-98. 


tionably it contains important information about the pagan 
mysteries. But it does not help to establish influence of the 
mysteries upon Paul. It must be observed that what is now 
being maintained against Reitzenstein is not that the Gnostics 
who appear in the polemic of the anti-heretical, ecclesiastical 
writers of the close of the second century and the beginning of 
the third were not influenced by pre-Christian paganism, or 
even that they did not derive the fundamentals of their type 
of religion from pre-Christian paganism. All that is being 
maintained is that it is very precarious to use the Gnostic 
systems in reconstructing pre-Christian paganism in detail 
especially where the Gnostic systems differ from admittedly 
pagan sources and agree with Paul. In reconstructing the 
origin of Paulinism it is precarious to employ the testimony 
of those who lived after Paul and actually quoted Paul. 

All the sources of information about Greco-oriental re- 
ligion which have thus far been discussed belong to a time 
subsequent to Paul. If the type of religion which they attest 
is to be pushed back into the pre-Christian period, it can 
be done only by an appeal to earlier sources. Such earlier 
sources are sometimes found in passages like Livy's description 
of the Bacchanalian rites of the second century before Christ 
in Italy, and in writers such as Posidonius and Philo. But 
the presence of Bacchanalian rites in Italy in the second 
century before Christ is not particularly significant, and 
the details of those rites do not include the features which 
in the later sources are thought to invite comparison with 
Paul. Posidonius, the Stoic philosopher of the first century 
before Christ, seems to have been a man of very great influence ; 
and no doubt he did introduce oriental elements into the Stoic 
philosophy. But his works, for the most part, have been lost, 
and so far as they have been reconstructed by the use of 
writers who were dependent upon him, they do not seem to con- 
tain those elements which might be regarded as explaining the 
genesis of Paulinism. With regard to Philo, who was an older 
contemporary of Paul, the investigator finds himself in a 
much more favorable position, since voluminous works of the 
Alexandrian philosopher have been preserved. There is a 
tendency in recent investigation to make Philo an important 
witness to Greco-oriental religion as it found expression in 


the mysteries. 1 But the bearing 1 of the evidence does not 
seem to be absolutely unequivocal. At any rate, the relation 
between Paul and Philo has been the subject of investigation 
for many years, and it cannot be said that the results have 
accomplished anything toward explaining the genesis of Paul's 
religion. Direct dependence of Paul upon Philo, it is ad- 
mitted, has not been proved, and even dependence of both 
upon the same type of thought is highly problematical. The 
state of the evidence is not essentially altered by designating 
as the type of thought upon which both are supposed to have 
been dependent the Greco-oriental religion of the mysteries. 
The real question is whether the testimony of Philo establishes 
as of pre-Christian origin that type of mystical piety from 
which Paulinism is being derived the type of religion which 
is attested, for example, by Firmicus Maternus or by the 
fourth-century inscriptions that deal with the taurobolium, 
or by Hermes Trismegistus, or by Dieterich's "Mithras lit- 
urgy," or by the pagan elements which are supposed to lie back 
of second-century Gnosticism. And so far as can be judged on 
the basis of the evidence which is actually being adduced by 
the comparative-religion school, the question must be answered 
in the negative. Even the living connection of Philo with the 
mysteries of his own day does not seem to be definitely estab- 
lished. And if it were established, the further question would 
remain as to whether the mystery religions of Philo's day con- 
tained just those elements which in the mystery religions of 
the post-Pauline period are supposed to show similarity to 
Paul. If the mystical piety which is attested by Philo is 
sufficient to be regarded as the basis of Paulinism, why should 
the investigator appeal to Firmicus Maternus? And if he does 
appeal to Firmicus Maternus, with what right can he assume 
that the elements which he thus finds existed in the days of 
Philo and of Paul? 

Mielbig, review of "Philo von Alexandrien: Werke, in deut. Uebersetzg. 
hrsg. v. Prof. Dr. Loop. Cohn. 3. Tl.," in Theologische Literaturzeitung , xlv, 
1920, column 30: "Here one perceives with all requisite clearness that 
Philo did not merely imitate the language of the mystery religions, but 
had been himself a 






IT has been observed thus far that in comparing Paul 
with Hellenistic pagan religion, the question of priority can- 
not be ruled out so easily as is sometimes supposed. Another 
preliminary question, moreover, remains. Through what chan- 
nels did the supposed influence of the mystery religions enter 
into the life of Paul? The question is somewhat perplexing. 
In view of the outline of Paul's life which was set forth in 
Chapters II and III, it would seem difficult to find a place for 
the entrance of pagan religious thought. 

One suggestion is that pagan thought came to Paul only 
through the medium of Judaism. That suggestion would ex- 
plain the consciousness that Paul attests of having been, be- 
fore his conversion, a devout Jew. If pagan religion had al- 
ready entered into the warp and woof of Judaism, and if the 
throes of the process of assimilation had already been for- 
gotten before the time of Paul, then Paul might regard him- 
self as a devout Jew, hostile to all pagan influence, and yet be 
profoundly influenced by the paganism which had already 
found an entrance into the Jewish stronghold. 

But the trouble is that with regard to those matters which 
are thought to be necessary for the explanation of Paul's 
religion there is no evidence that paganism had entered into 
the common life of the Jews. It has been shown in Chap- 
ter V that the Judaism of the first century, as it can be re- 
constructed by the use of the extant sources, is insufficient 
to account for the origin of Paulinism. That fact is admitted 
by those scholars who are having recourse to the hypothesis 
of pagan influence. Therefore, if the pagan influence came to 
Paul through the medium of Judaism, the historian must first 
posit the existence of a Judaism into which the necessary pagan 
elements had entered. There is no evidence for the existence 
of such a Judaism; in fact the extant Jewish sources point 



clearly in an opposite direction. It is exceedingly difficult, 
therefore, to suppose, in defiance of the Jewish sources, and 
in the mere interests of a theory as to the genesis of Paulin- 
ism, that the Pharisaic Judaism from which Paul sprang was 
imbued with a mystical piety like that of the mystery religions 
or of Hermes Trismegistus. In fact, in view of the known 
character of Pharisaic Judaism, the hypothesis is nothing short 
of monstrous. 

Therefore, if Paul was influenced by the pagan mystery 
religions it could not have been simply in virtue of his con- 
nection with first-century Judaism; it must have been due to 
some special influences which were brought to bear upon him. 
Where could these influences have been exerted? One sugges- 
tion is that they were exerted in Tarsus, his boyhood home. 
Stress is thus laid upon the fact that Paul was born not in 
Palestine but in the Dispersion. As he grew up in Tarsus, it 
is said, he could not help observing the paganism that sur- 
rounded him. At this point, some historians, on entirely 
insufficient evidence, are inclined to be specific; they are 
tempted, for example, to speak of mysteries of Mithras as 
being practised in or near Tarsus in Paul's early years. The 
hypothesis is only weakened by such incautious advocacy; it 
is much better to point merely to the undoubted fact that Tar- 
sus was a pagan city and was presumably affected by the exist- 
ing currents of pagan life. But if Paul grew up in a pagan 
environment, was he influenced by it? An affirmative answer 
would seem to run counter to his own testimony. Although 
Paul was born in Tarsus, he belonged inwardly to Palestine ; he 
and his parents before him were not "Hellenists" but "Hebrews." 
Moreover, he was a Pharisee, more exceedingly zealous than 
his contemporaries for his paternal traditions. The evidence 
has been examined in a previous chapter. Certainly then, Paul 
was not a "liberal" Jew; far from being inclined to break 
down the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles he was 
especially zealous for the Law. It is very difficult to conceive 
of such a man with his excessive zeal for the Mosaic Law, 
with his intense hatred of paganism, with his intense conscious- 
ness of the all-sufficiency of Jewish privileges as being sus- 
ceptible to the pagan influences that surrounded his orthodox 

The hypothesis must, therefore, at least be modified to 


the extent that the pagan influence exerted at Tarsus be re- 
garded as merely unconscious. Paul did not deliberately ac- 
cept the pagan religion of Tarsus, it might be said, but at 
least he became acquainted with it, and his acquaintance with 
it became fruitful after he entered upon his Gentile mission. 
According to this hypothesis, the attitude of Paul toward 
pagan religion was in the early days in Tarsus merely nega- 
tive, but became more favorable (whether or no Paul himself 
was conscious of the real source of the pagan ideas) because of 
subsequent events. But what were the events which induced in 
Paul a more favorable attitude toward ideas which were really 
pagan? When did he overcome his life-long antagonism to 
everything connected with the worship of false gods? Such 
a change of attitude is certainly not attested by the Epistles. 

It will probably be admitted that if pagan influence en- 
tered into the heart of Paul's religious life it could only have 
done so by some more subtle way than by the mere retention 
in Paul's mind of what he had seen at Tarsus. The way which 
finds special favor among recent historians is discovered in the 
pre-Pauline Christianity of cities like Damascus and Antioch. 
When Paul was converted, it is said, he was converted not to the 
Christianity of Jerusalem, but to the Christianity of Damascus 
and Antioch. But the Christianity of Damascus and Antioch, 
it is supposed, had already received pagan elements ; hence the 
very fact of Paul's conversion broke down his Jewish prejudices 
and permitted the influx of pagan ideas. Of course Paul did 
not know that they were pagan ideas ; he supposed that they 
were merely Christian ; but pagan they were, nevertheless. The 
Hellenistic Jews who founded the churches at Damascus and 
Antioch, unlike the original apostles at Jerusalem, were liberal 
Jews, susceptible to pagan influence and desirous of attributing 
to Jesus all that the pagans attributed to their own cult-gods. 
Thus Jesus became a cult-god like the cult-gods of the pagan 
religions, and Christianity became similar, in important re- 
spects, to the pagan cults. 

This hypothesis has been advocated brilliantly by Heit- 
imiller and Bousset. 1 But what evidence can be adduced in 
favor of it? How may the Christianity of Damascus and An- 

1 See especially Heitmiiller, "Zum Problem Paulus und Jesus," in Zeit- 
gchrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, xiii, 1912, pp. 320-337; 
"Jesus und Paulus," in Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche, xxv, 1915, 
pp. 156-179; Bousset, Jesus der Herr, 1916, pp. 30-37. 


tioch, which is supposed to have been influenced by pagan re- 
ligion, be reconstructed? Even Heitmiiller and Bousset admit 
that the reconstruction is very difficult. The only unques- 
tioned source of information about the pre-Pauline Christianity 
which is the subject of investigation is to be found in the 
Pauline Epistles themselves. But if the material is found in 
the Pauline Epistles, how can the historian be sure that it is 
not the product of Paul's own thinking? How can the specific- 
ally Pauline element in the Epistles be separated form the ele- 
ment which is supposed to have been derived from pre-Pauline 
Hellenistic Christianity? 

The process of separation, it must be admitted, is diffi- 
cult. But, according to Bousset and Heitmiiller, it is not im- 
possible. There are passages in the Epistles where Paul evi- 
dently assumes that certain things are known already to his 
readers. In churches where Paul himself had not already 
had the opportunity of teaching, notably at Rome, those ele- 
ments assumed as already known must have been derived, it is 
said, from teachers other than Paul ; they must have formed 
part of the pre-Pauline fund of Hellenistic Christianity. 

But in order to reconstruct this pre-Pauline Hellenistic 
Christianity, it is not sufficient to separate what Paul had 
received from what he himself produced. Another process of 
separation remains ; and this second process is vastly more 
difficult than the first. In order to reconstruct the Hellen- 
istic Christianity of Antioch, upon which Paulinism is thought 
to be based, it is necessary not only to separate what Paul 
received from what he produced, but also to separate what he 
received from Antioch from what he received from Jerusalem. 
It is in connection with this latter process that the hypothesis 
of Heitmiiller and Bousset breaks down. Unquestionably some 
elements in the Epistles can be established as having been 
received by Paul from those who had been Christians before 
him. One notable example is found in 1 Cor. xv. 1-7. In that 
all-important passage Paul distinctly says that he had "re- 
ceived" his account of the death, burial, and resurrection of 
Jesus. But how does Bousset know that he received it from 
the Church at Antioch or the Church at Damascus rather than 
from the Church at Jerusalem? Paul had been in intimate 
contact with Peter in Jerusalem; Peter is prominent in 1 Cor. 


xv. 1-7. What reason is there, then, for deserting the common 
view, regarded almost as an axiom of criticism, to the effect 
that 1 Cor. xv. 1-7 represents the tradition of the Jerusalem 
Church which Paul received from Peter? 

Moreover, what right have Bousset and Heitmiiller to use 
the Epistle to the Romans in reconstructing the Christianity 
of Antioch? Even if in that Epistle the elements of specifically 
Pauline teaching can be separated from those things which 
Paul regards as already matter of course in the Roman Church, 
what reason is there to assume that the pre-Pauline Christian- 
ity of Rome was the same as the pre-Pauline Christianity 
of Antioch and Damascus ? Information about the pre-Pauline 
Christianity of Antioch and Damascus is, to say the least, 
scanty and uncertain. And it is that Christianity only the 
Christianity with which Paul came into contact soon after 
his conversion and not the Christianity of Rome, which can 
be of use in explaining the origin of Paul's religion. 

Finally, what reason is there for supposing that the Chris- 
tianity of Damascus and Antioch was different in essentials 
from the Christianity of Jerusalem? An important step, it 
is said, was taken when the gospel was transplanted from its 
native Palestinian soil to the Greek-speaking world the most 
momentous step in the whole history of Christianity, the most 
heavily fraught with changes. But it must be remembered 
that the primitive Jerusalem Church itself was bilingual; it 
contained a large Greek-speaking element. The transplanting 
of the gospel to Antioch was accomplished not by any ordinary 
Jews of the Dispersion, but by those Jews of the Dispersion 
who had lived at Jerusalem and had received their instruction 
from the intimate friends of Jesus. Is it likely that such 
men would so soon forget the impressions that they had re- 
ceived, and would transform Christianity from a simple accept- 
ance of Jesus as Messiah with eager longing for His return into 
a cult that emulated the pagan cults of the surrounding world 
by worship of Jesus as Lord? The transition, if it occurred at 
all, occurred with astonishing rapidity. Paul was converted 
only two or three years after the crucifixion of Jesus. If, 
therefore, the paganizing Hellenistic Christianity of Damascus 
and Antioch was to be the spiritual soil in which Paul's religion 
was nurtured, it must have been formed in the very early days. 


The pagan influences could hardly have begun to enter after 
the conversion of Paul. 1 For then Paul would have been con- 
scious of their entrance, and all the advantages of the hypothe- 
sis would disappear the hypothesis would then be excluded 
by the self-testimony of Paul. But the formation of a pagan- 
izing Christianity at Antioch and Damascus, in the very early 
days and by the instrumentality of men who had come under 
the instruction of the intimate friends of Jesus, and despite 
the constant intercourse between Jerusalem and the cities in 
question, is very difficult to conceive. At any rate, the sepa- 
ration between what Paul received from Antioch and Damascus 
and what he received from Jerusalem is quite impossible. 
Heitmiiller and Bousset have not really helped matters by try- 
ing to place an additional link in the chain between Paul and 
Jesus. The Hellenistic Christianity of Antioch, supposed to 
be distinct from the Christianity of Jerusalem, is to say the 
least a very shadowy thing. 

But Bousset and Heitmiiller probably will not maintain that 
all the pagan influences which entered the life of Paul entered 
through the gateway of pre-Pauline Hellenistic Christianity. 
On the contrary, it will probably be said that Paul lived all 
his life in the midst of a pagan religious atmosphere, which 
affected him directly as well as through the community at 
Antioch. But how was this direct pagan influence exerted? 
Some suppose that it was exerted through the reading of 
pagan religious literature; others suppose that it came merely 
through conversation with "the man in the street." Paul de- 
sired to become all things to all men (we are reminded), in 
order that by all means he might save some (1 Cor. ix. 22). 
But what was more necessary for winning the Gentiles than 
familiarity with their habits of thought and life? Therefore, 
it is said, Paul must have made some study of paganism in 
order to put his proclamation of the gospel in a form which 
would appeal to the pagans whom he sought to win. 

A certain element of truth underlies this contention. It 
should not be supposed that Paul was ignorant of the pagan 
life that surrounded him. He uses figures of speech derived 
from the athletic games; here and there in his Epistles he 
makes reference to the former religious practices of his con- 
verts. It is not unnatural that he should occasionally have 
*But compare Bousset, op. cit. f p. S3. 


sought common ground with those to whom he preached, in ac- 
cordance with the example contained in the seventeenth chapter 
of Acts. But on the whole, the picture of Paul making a study 
of paganism in preparation for his life-work is too modern to 
be convincing. It may seem natural to those modern mis- 
sionaries who no longer regard Christianity as a positive re- 
ligion, who no longer insist upon any sharp break on the 
part of the converts with their ancestral ways of thinking, 
who are perfectly content to derive help from all quarters and 
are far more interested in improving political and social con- 
ditions in the land for which they labor than they are in se- 
curing assent to any specific Christian message. The Chris- 
tianity of such missionaries might consistently be hospitable to 
foreign influence; such missionaries might assign the central 
place in their preparation to the investigation of the religious 
life of mission lands. But the Christianity of Paul was entirely 
different. Paul was convinced of the exclusiveness and the all- 
sufficiency of his own message. The message had been revealed 
to him directly by the Lord. It was supported by the testimony 
of those who had been intimate with Jesus ; it was supported 
by the Old Testament Scriptures. But throughout it was the 
product of revelation. To the Jews it was a stumbling-block, 
to the Greeks foolishness. But to those who were saved it 
was the power of God and the wisdom of God. "Where is the 
wise," says Paul, "where is the scribe, where is the disputer 
of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the 
world?" It is a little difficult to suppose that the man who 
wrote these words was willing to modify the divine foolishness 
of his message in order to make it conform to the religion of 
pagan hearers. 

Two reservations, therefore, are necessary before the in- 
vestigator can enter upon an actual comparison of the Pauline 
Epistles with Hermes Trismegistus and other similar sources. 
In the first place, it has not been proved that the type of re- 
ligion attested by these sources existed at all in the time of 
Paul ; 1 and in the second place, it is difficult to see how any 
pagan influence could have entered into Paul's life. But if 
despite these difficulties the comparison be instituted, it will 
show, as a matter of fact, not agreement, but a most striking 
divergence both of language and of spirit. 
1 See Chapter VI. 


The investigation may be divided into three parts, although 
the three parts will be found to overlap at many points. Three 
fundamental elements in Paul's religion have been derived 
from Greco-oriental syncretism: first, the complex of ideas 
connected with the obtaining of salvation; second, the sacra- 
ments ; third, the Christology and the work of Christ in re- 
demption. 1 

The first of the three divisions just enumerated is con- 
nected especially with the name of R. Reitzenstein. 2 Reitzen- 
stein lays great stress upon the lexical method of study; it 
may be proved, he believes, that Paul used terms which were 
derived from Hellenistic mystical religion, and with the terms 
went the ideas. The ideas, he admits, were not taken over 
without modification, but even after the Pauline modifications 
are subtracted, enough is thought to remain in order to show 
that the mystery religions exerted an important influence upon 

Thus Reitzenstein attempts to exhibit in the Pauline Epis- 
tles a technical vocabulary derived from the Hellenized mys- 
tery religions. This supposed technical vocabulary embraces 
especially the terms connected with "knowledge" 3 arid 
"Spirit." 4 

In the mystical religion of Paul's day, Reitzenstein says, 
"gnosis" (knowledge) did not mean knowledge acquired by 
processes of investigation or reasoning, but the knowledge that 
came by immediate revelation from a god. Such immediate 
revelation was given, in the mystery cults, by the mystic vision 
which formed a part of the experience of initiation; in the 
philosophizing derivatives of the mystery cults, like the type 
of piety which is attested in Hermes Trismegistus, the revela- 

1 For what follows, compare especially Kennedy, St. Paul and the 
Mystery-Religions, [1913]; Clemen, Religionsgeschichtliche Erkldrung des 
Neuen Testaments, 1909 (English Translation, Primitive Christianity and 
Its Non-Jewish Sources, 1912), Der Einftuss der Mysterienreligionen auf 
das dlteste Christentum, 1913. These writers deny for the most part any 
influence of the mystery religions upon the center of Paul's religion. For 
a thoroughgoing presentation of the other side of the controversy, see, 
in addition to the works of Bousset and lleitzenstein, Loisy, Les mysteres 
pawns et le mystere Chretien, 1919. 

*Poimandres, 1904; Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen, 2te Aufl., 
1920; "Religionsgeschichte und Eschatologie," in Zeitschrift fur die neu- 
testamentliche Wissenschaft, xiii, 1912, pp. 1-28. 


tion could be divorced from any external acts and connected 
with the mere reading of a book. But in any case, "gnosis" 
was not regarded as an achievement of the intellect ; it was 
an experience granted by divine favor. The man who had re- 
ceived such favor was exalted far above ordinary humanity; 
indeed he was already deified. 

This conception of gnosis, Reitzenstein believes, is the 
conception which is found in the Pauline Epistles ; gnosis ac- 
cording to Paul was a gift of God, an experience produced 
by the divine Spirit. In the case of Paul, Reitzenstein con- 
tinues, the experience was produced through a vision of the 
risen Christ. That vision had changed the very nature of Paul. 
It is true, Paul avoids the term "deification" ; he does not say, 
in accordance with Hellenistic usage, that he had ceased to 
be a man and had become- God. This limitation was required 
by his Jewish habits of thought. But he does say that through 
his vision he was illumined and received "glory." Thus, al- 
though the term deification is avoided, the idea is present. As 
one who has received gnosis, Paul regards himself as being 
beyond the reach of human judgments, and is not interested in 
tradition that came from other Christians. In short, accord- 
ing to Reitzenstein, Paul was a true "gnostic." 

But this conclusion is reached only by doing violence to 
the plain meaning of the Epistles. "Gnosis" in the early 
Church (including Paul), as Von Harnack well observes, 1 is 
not a technical term ; it is no more a technical term than is, 
for example, "wisdom." In 1 Cor. xii. 8 it appears, not by 
itself, but along with many other spiritual gifts of widely 
diverse nature. Gnosis, therefore, does not stand in that 
position of prominence which it ought to occupy if Reitzen- 
stein's theory were correct. It is, indeed, according to Paul, 
important; and it is a direct gift from God. But what rea- 
son is there to have recourse to Hellenistic mystery religions 
in order to explain either its importance or its nature? An- 
other explanation is found much nearer at hand namely, in 
the Old Testament. The possibility of Old Testament in- 
fluence in Paul does not have to be established by any elaborate 
arguments, and is not opposed by his own testimony. On the 

1 Von Harnack, "Die Terminologie der Wiedergeburt und verwandter 
Erlebnisse in der altesten Kirche," in Texte und Untersuchungien zur 
Oeschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, xlii, 1918, pp. 128f., Anm. 1. 


contrary, he appeals to the Old Testament again and again 
in his Epistles. And the Old Testament contains all the ele- 
ments of his conception of the knowledge of God. Even the 
Greek noun "gnosis" occurs in the Septuagint (though with 
comparative infrequency) ; but what is far more important is 
that the idea is expressed countless times by the verb. Let 
it not be said that the Septuagint is a Hellenistic book, and 
that therefore if the Septuagint idea of the knowledge of God 
affords the basis for Pauline teaching that does not disprove 
the influence of the Hellenistic mystery religions. For in its 
rendering of the passages dealing with the knowledge of God, 
whatever may be said of other matters, the Septuagint is 
transmitting faithfully the meaning of the Hebrew text. 
Knowledge of God in the Hebrew Old Testament is something 
far more than a mere intellectual achievement. It is the gift of 
God, and it involves the entire emotional nature. 

But may it not be objected that the Pauline conception 
transcends that of the Old Testament in that in Paul the knowl- 
edge of God produces a transformation of human nature the 
virtual deification of man? This question must be answered in 
the negative. Undoubtedly the Pauline conception does tran- 
scend that of the Old Testament, but not in the way which is 
here supposed. The intimate relation between the believer 
and the risen Christ, according to Paul, goes far beyond any- 
thing that was possible under the old dispensation. It in- 
volves a fuller, richer, more intimate knowledge. But the ex- 
perience in which Paul saw the risen Christ near Damascus 
was not an end in itself, as it would have been in the milieu of 
the mystery religions ; it was rather a means to an end. 1 It 
was the divinely appointed means by which Paul was con- 
vinced of an historical fact, the resurrection of Jesus, and was 
led to appropriate the benefits of that fact. Thus, as Oepke 2 
has well observed, Paul does not expect his converts all to see 
Christ, or even to have experiences like that which is de- 
scribed in 2 Cor. xii. 2-4. It is sufficient for them to receive 
the historical account of Christ's redeeming work, through 
the testimony of Paul and of the other witnesses. That ac- 
count, transmitted by ordinary word of mouth, is a sufficient 
basis for faith ; and through faith comes the new life. At this 

1 Oepke, Die Missionspredigt des Apostela Paulus, 1920, p. 53. 
a Loc. cit. 


point is discovered an enormous difference between Paul and 
the mystery religions. In the mystery religions everything led 
up to the mystic vision; without that mystic vision there was 
no escape from the miseries of the old life. But according to 
Paul, the mighty change was produced by the acceptance of a 
simple story, an account of what had happened only a few 
years before, when Jesus died and rose again. From the ac- 
ceptance cf that story there proceeds a new knowledge, a gnosis. 
But this higher gnosis in Paul is not the means of salvation, 
as it is in the mystery religions ; it is only one of the effects of 
salvation. This difference is no mere matter of detail. On the 
contrary, it involves a contrast between two entirely different 
worlds of thought and life. 

The message of Paul, then, was a "gospel," a piece of news 
about something that had happened. As has well been ob- 
served, 1 the characteristic New Testament words are the 
words that deal with "gospel," "teaching," and the transmission 
of an historical message. Paul was not a "gnostic," but a 
witness ; salvation, according to his teaching, came not through 
a mystic vision, but through the hearing of faith. 2 

Thus, so far as the idea of "knowledge" is concerned, 
Reitzenstein has not been successful in showing any dependence 
of Paul upon the mystery religions. But how is it with regard 
to the doctrine of the "Spirit"? 

In 1 Cor. ii. 14, 15, the "spiritual man" is contrasted with 
the "psychic man." The spiritual man is the man who has 
the Spirit of God ; the psychic man is the man who has only a 
human soul. It is not really correct to say that the spiritual 
man, according to Paul, is a man not who has the Spirit but 
who is the Spirit. Paul avoids such an expression for the same 
reason that prevents his speaking of the "deification" of the 
Christian. Everywhere in Paul the personal distinction be- 
tween the believer and the Christ who dwells in him is care- 
fully preserved. His "mysticism" (if the word may be used 
thus loosely) is never pantheistic. Here already is to be found 
a most vital difference between Paul and Hermes Trismegistus. 

But this observation constitutes a digression. It is neces- 
sary to return to 1 Cor. ii. 14, 15. The spiritual man, ac- 

1 Heinrici, Die Hermes-Mystik und das Nene Testament, 1918, pp. 
"Compare Oepke, op. cit., pp. 40ff. 


cording to that passage, is the man who has the Spirit of God ; 
the psychic man is the man who has only a human soul. Reit- 
zenstein apparently insists that the "only" in this sentence 
should be left out. The psychic man, according to Paul, he 
says, has a soul; the spiritual man has no "soul" but has 
the divine Spirit instead. But such a representation is not 
really Pauline. 1 Paul clearly teaches that the human soul 
continues to exist even after the divine Spirit has entered in. 
"The Spirit himself," he says, "beareth witness with our spirit, 
that we are children of God" (Rom. viii. 16). Here "our 
spirit" clearly means "our soul," and is expressly distinguished 
from the divine Spirit. At every point, then, the attempt to 
find a pantheistic mysticism in Paul breaks down before the 
intensely personal character of his religion. The relation of 
Paul to the risen Christ, intimate as it is, mediated as it is 
by the all-pervasive Spirit, is a relation of one person to an- 

But it is still necessary to return to the Pauline contrast 
between the "spiritual man" and the "psychic man." Reit- 
zenstein lays great stress upon that contrast. He regards it 
as lying at the heart of Paul's religion, and he thinks that 
he can explain it from the Hellenistic mystery religions. Ap- 
parently the method of Reitzenstein can be tested at this 
point if it can be tested at all. If it does not succeed in ex- 
plaining the Pauline doctrine of the Spirit, upon which the 
chief stress is laid, probably it will explain nothing at all. 

At first sight the material adduced by Reitzenstein is im- 
pressive. It is impressive by its very bulk. The reader is 
led by the learned investigator into many new and entranc- 
ing fields. Surely after so long a journey the traveler must 
arrive at last at his desired goal. But somehow the goal is 
never reached. All of Reitzenstein's material, strange to say, 
seems to prove the exact opposite of what Reitzenstein desires. 

Reitzenstein desires apparently to explain the Pauline use 
of the adjectives "psychic" and "spiritual" 2 in 1 Cor. ii. 
14, 15; apparently he is quite sure that the usage finds its 
sufficient basis in Hermes Trismegistus and related sources. 

*See especially Vos, "The Eschatological Aspect of the Pauline Con- 
ception of the Spirit," in Biblical and Theological Studies by the Members 
of the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1912, pp. 248-250. 


But the plain fact almost buried though it is under the mass 
of irrelevant material is that the adjective "psychic" and 
the adjective "spiritual" occur each only once in the sources 
which are examined, and that they never occur, as in 1 Cor. 
ii. 14, 15, in contrast with each other. 1 What is even far 
more disconcerting, however, is that the noun "spirit" 2 is not 
used (certainly not used ordinarily) in contrast with "soul," 3 
as Paul uses it. Certainly it is not so used ordinarily in the 
Hermetic writings. On the contrary, in Hermes the spirit 
appears, in certain passages, not as something that is higher 
than the soul, but as something that is lower. Apparently the 
common Greek materialistic use of "pneuma" to indicate 
"breath" or "wind" or the like is here followed. At any rate, 
the terminology is as remote as could be imagined from that 
of Paul. There is absolutely no basis for the Pauline con- 
trast between the human soul and the divine Spirit. 4 

It might be supposed that this fact would weaken Reitzen- 
stein's devotion to his theory. But such is not the case. If, 
says Reitzenstein, "Spirit" in Hermes Trismegistus does not 
indicate something higher than "soul," that is because the 
original popular terminology has here suffered philosophical 
revision. The popular term "spirit" has been made to give 
place to the more philosophical term "mind." Where 
Hermes says "mind," therefore, it is only necessary to restore 
the term "spirit," and an admirable basis is discovered for the 
Pauline terminology. But how does Reitzenstein know that 
the popular, unphilosophical term in the mystery religions was 
"spirit," rather than "mind" or the like? The extant pagan 
sources do not clearly attest the term "spirit" in the sense 
which is here required. Apparently then the only reason for 
positing the existence of such a term in pagan mystery religion 
is that it must have existed in pagan mystery religion if the 

1 On the occurrence of ^-VXIKOS at the beginning of Dieterich's 
"Mithras Liturgy" (line 24), see Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 1913, p. 141, 
Anm. 1. On the occurrence of irvevnariKos, see Reitzenstein, Hellenis- 
tische Mysterienreligionen, 2te Aufl., 1920, p. 162. Compare Bousset, 
Jesus der Herr, 1916, pp. 80f. 

*For this whole subject, see especially the comprehensive monograph 
of Burton (Spirit, Soul, and Flesh, [1918]), with the summary on pp. 


Pauline use of it is to be explained. It looks, therefore, as 
though the learned argument of Reitzenstein had been moving 
all the time in a circle. After pursuing a roundabout course 
through many centuries and many races of men, after acquiring 
boundless treasures of curious information, after impressing 
the whole world with the learning thus acquired, the explorer 
arrives at last at the exact point where he started, and no richer 
than when he first set out ! The Pauline terminology can- 
not be explained except as coming from the mystery religions ; 
therefore, says Reitzenstein in effect, it must have had a place 
in the mystery religions even though the extant sources provide 
no sufficient evidence of the fact. 1 

But is there not some way out of the vicious circle? Is 
there not some witness to the terminology which is required? 
The investigator turns naturally to Philo. Philo is thought 
to be dependent upon the mysteries ; perhaps he will attest 
the required mystical use of the term "spirit." But, alas, 
Philo apparently deserts his friends. Except where he is in- 
fluenced by the Old Testament use of the word "spirit," he 
seems to prefer other terminology. 2 His terminology, then, 
like that of Hermes must be thought to have suffered philosoph- 
ical reversal. And still the required mystery terminology 
eludes the eye of the investigator. 

Of course there is one place where the terms "Spirit" and 
"spiritual" are exalted above the terms "psyche" and "psy- 
chic," in quite the manner that is desired. That place is found 
in the Christian Gnosticism of the second century. But the 
Gnostics of the second century are plainly dependent upon 
Paul; they vie with the Catholic Church in their appeal to 
the Pauline Epistles. The origin of their use of the terms 
"psychic" and "spiritual" is therefore only too plain. At least 
it might seem to be plain. But Reitzenstein rejects the com- 
mon view. 3 According to Reitzenstein, the Gnostics have 

1 See Burton, op. cit., p. 206: "For the Pauline exaltation of -n-vevna 
over \f/vxh there is no observed previous parallel. It marks an advance 
on Philo, for which there is no precedent in non-Jewish Greek, and only 
partial and imperfect parallels in the magical papyri. It is the reverse of 
Hermetic usage." 

3 See Bousset, Kyrios Christos, pp. 138, 140, 141 (Anm. 2). 

8 Also Bousset, op. cit., pp. 140f. According to Bousset, it is unlikely 
that "the few and difficult terminological explanations of Paul . . . should 
have exerted such extensive influence upon the most diverse Gnostic systems." 
But is the teaching of Paul about the Spirit as higher than the soul really 
obscure? Does it not appear plainly all through the Epistles? 


derived their usage not from Paul but from the pre-Pauline 
mystery religions ; and the Gnostic usage of "Spirit" as higher 
than "soul" is the source of the Hermetic usage of "soul" as 
higher than "spirit," which, Reitzenstein believes, has been de- 
rived from it by philosophical revision. But the argument is 
beyond the reach even of J. Kroll, who cannot be accused of 
theological interest. As has already been observed, Kroll 
insists that the Gnostic usage is here secondary. 1 

One argument remains. The trouble, from Reitzenstein's 
point of view, is that when the Hermetic writings ought, in 
the interests of the theory, to say "Spirit" they actually say 
"mind." It becomes necessary, therefore, to prove that "mind" 
means the same thing as "spirit." A proof is found by Reit- 
zenstein in Paul himself, in 1 Cor. ii. 15, 16. "But the spiritual 
man," says Paul, "examines all things, but he himself is ex- 
amined by none. For 'who hath known the mind of the Lord, 
that he should instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ." 
Here, says Reitzenstein, 2 the possession of the "mind" of Christ 
makes a man a "spiritual" man, that is, a man who has the 
"Spirit." Hence "mind" is the same thing as "spirit." Hence 
such, at least, would seem to be the only inference from the 
passage in 1 Corinthians which would really establish Reitzen- 
stein's theory when Hermes Trismegistus says "mind," it is 
legitimate to substitute "spirit" in order thus to find the basis 
for the ordinary Pauline terminology. 

But it is by no means clear that "mind" in 1 Cor. ii. 16b 
is the same as "spirit." If a man has the Spirit of Christ, he 
also has the mind of Christ; the Spirit gives him an under- 
standing of the thoughts of Christ. Conversely, the possession 
of the mind of Christ is a proof that the man has the Spirit 
of Christ ; it is only the Spirit who could have given him his 
understanding of Christ's thoughts. But it does not follow 
by any means that the term "mind" means the same thing as the 
term "spirit." Moreover, the passage is entirely isolated ; and 
the choice of the unusual word "mind" may be due to the 
form of the Septuagint passage which Paul is citing. 

At any rate, the plain fact is that the terminology in 
Hermes Trismegistus and related sources is strikingly differ- 
ent from that of Paul. Reitzenstein finds himself in the pe- 
culiar position of proving that Paul is dependent upon pagan 

J See above, p. 249, with footnote 2. 

* Hellenistische Mysterienreligionen, 2te Aufl., 1920, pp. 189f, 


sources by the fact that the Pauline terminology does not 
occur in the pagan sources. It will not do for him to say that 
the terminology is of little importance and that the ideas of 
Paul, if not the terminology, are derived from the pagan mys- 
teries. For it is just Reitzenstein who insists upon the impor- 
tance of words as the vehicle of ideas. His fundamental argu- 
ment is that Paul used the terminology of the mystery re- 
ligions, and with the terminology received also the ideas. It 
is therefore important to observe that Reitzenstein's lexical 
parallel utterly breaks down. 

But if the Pauline doctrine of the Spirit was not derived 
from the pagan mystery religions, whence was it derived? The 
answer is perfectly plain. It was derived ultimately from the 
Old Testament. 1 Unquestionably, indeed, it goes far beyond 
the Old Testament, and the enrichment of its content may con- 
ceivably be explained in various ways. The Gospels and Acts 
explain the enrichment as due partly to the teaching of Jesus 
Himself and to the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pente- 
cost. This explanation will be rejected for the most part by 
naturalistic criticism. Paul explains the enrichment as due 
partly to the experience which he had of the presence of Christ. 
This explanation is regarded as no explanation at all by the 
school of comparative religion. But it is not necessary in the 
present connection to discuss these matters. All that needs 
to be observed now is that the basis for the Pauline doctrine 
of the Spirit is found in the Old Testament. 

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God is represented 
as distinct from man and higher than man ; there is no question 
in the Old Testament of a usage by which the Spirit is degraded, 
as in Hermes Trismegistus, below the soul. In the Old Testa- 
ment, moreover, the Spirit is regarded as bestowing supernat- 
ural gifts such as prophecy and producing supernatural ex- 
periences exactly as in Paul. But the fruit of the Spirit ac- 
cording to the Old Testament is something more than prophecy 
or any momentary experience ; it is also a permanent possession 
of the soul. "Take not thy holy Spirit from me," says the 

1 Bousset (op. cit., p. 141, Anm. 2) admits that the terminology of Paul, 
especially his use of the term "Spirit" instead of "mind" and his use of the 
terms in the contrast between "Spirit" and "flesh" may possibly be due 
partly to the Old Testament, but insists that such terminological influence 
does not touch the fundamentals of the thought. Such admissions are 
important, despite the way in which Bousset qualifies them. 


Psalmist. (Ps. li. 11.) Let the student first examine the la- 
bored arguments of Reitzenstein, let him examine the few faint 
approaches to the Pauline terminology which have been gleaned 
from pagan sources, mostly late and of uncertain origin, let 
him observe that just where Greek usage approaches Paul most 
closely in form (as in the "divine Spirit" of Menander), 1 it 
is most diametrically opposed in content, let him reflect that 
the influence of pagan usage is contrary to Paul's own con- 
sciousness. And then let him turn to the Old Testament ! Let 
him remember that the Pauline use of the Old Testament is no 
matter of conjecture, but is attested everywhere in the Epistles. 
And. let him examine the Old Testament usage in detail. The 
Pauline terminology "the Holy Spirit," the "Spirit of God" 
so signally lacking in early pagan sources, 2 appears here in 
all its richness ; and with the terminology go the depths of life. 
In turning from Hermes to the Hebrew Scriptures, the student 
has turned away from Stoic pantheism, away from the polythe- 
ism of the mystery religions, away from the fantastic specula- 
tions of a decadent philosophy, to the presence of the personal 
God. And, in doing so, he has found the origin of the religion 
of Paul. 

Thus the lexical argument of Reitzenstein breaks down 
at the decisive points. It would indeed be rash to assert that 
Paul never uses a term derived from the pagan mysteries. 
For example, in Phil. iv. 12 he uses the verb that means "to be 
initiated." "In everything and in all things I have been ini- 
tiated," he says, "both to be filled and to suffer hunger, both 
to abound and to be in want." But this example shows clearly 
how little importance is sometimes to be attributed to the 
ultimate derivation of a word. The word "initiate" is here 
used in a purely figurative way. It is doubtful whether there 
is the slightest thought of its original significance. The word 
has been worn down by repeated use almost as much as, for 
example, the word which means "supply" in Gal. iii. 5. Ety- 
mologically that word means "to be the leader of a chorus." 
It referred originally to the Athenian custom by which a 
wealthy citizen undertook to defray the cost of the chorus at 
one of the dramatic festivals. But later it was used to desig- 
nate any act of bountiful supplying. And when it was used by 

'See Burton, op. cit., pp. 114-116. 
2 Burton, op. cit., pp. 173-175, 187f. 


Paul, its origin was entirely forgotten. It would be ridiculous 
to make Paul say that in bestowing the Spirit upon the Galatian 
Christians God acted as the leader of a chorus. It is not es- 
sentially different with the verb meaning "to be initiated" in 
Philippians. In both cases, an institution of ancient Hellenic 
life in the case, the religious festivals, in the latter 
rase, the mysteries has given rise to the use of a word, which 
found its way into the Greek world-language of the Hellenistic 
age, and continued to be used even where there was no thought 
of its ultimate origin. 

This example is instructive because the context in the 
Philippians passage is plainly free from all mystical associa- 
tions. Plainly, therefore, the use of a word derived from the 
mysteries does not necessarily indicate any agreement with 
the mystical point of view. Indeed, it may perhaps indicate 
the exact opposite. If the idea "to initiate" had associations 
connected with the center of Paul's religious life, it is per- 
haps doubtful whether Paul could have used the word in so 
purely figurative a way, just as he would not have used the 
word meaning "to be the leader of a chorus" in referring to 
God's bestowal of the Spirit, if he had had the slightest thought 
of the Athenian festivals. 

If, then, it should appear that Paul uses a vocabulary 
derived from the mysteries, the fact would not necessarily be 
of any significance whatever in determining the origin of his 
religion. Every missionary is obliged to take the words which 
have been used in the religion from which converts are to be won 
in order to express the new ideas. Translators of the Bible 
in the modern mission fields are obliged to proceed in this way. 
Yet the procedure does not necessarily involve any modification 
of Christian ideas. The old words are given loftier meanings 
in order to become the vehicle of Christian truth; the original 
meanings provide merely a starting-point for the new teaching. 
Conceivably, the apostle Paul might have proceeded in this 
way ; conceivably he might have used words connected with the 
mystery religions in order to proclaim the gospel of Christ. 

As a matter of fact, the evidence for such an employment 
of a mystery terminology in the Pauline Epistles is very slight. 
In 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7, Paul uses the terms "mystery" and "perfect" 
or "full-grown." 1 The former word was sometimes used to 



designate the "mysteries" in the technical, religious sense. But 
it is also used in Greek in a very much more general way. And 
certainly as it is used in Paul it is very remote from the 
technical meaning. The Christian "mystery" according to 
Paul is not something that is to be kept secret on principle, 
like the mysteries of Eleusis, but it is something which, though 
it was formerly hidden in the counsels of God, is now to be 
made known to all. Some, it is true, may never be able to 
receive it. But that which is necessary in order that it may 
be received is not "gnosis" or an initiation. It is rather ac- 
ceptance of a message and the holy life that follows. "If 
you would know the deep things of God," Paul says to the Cor- 
inthians, "then stop your quarreling." We find ourselves here 
in a circle of ideas quite different from that of the mystery 
religions. As for the word "teleios," it seems not to have 
been discovered in pagan sources in the sense of "initiated," 
which is sometimes attributed to it in 1 Corinthians. Appar- 
ently it means simply "full-grown" ; Paul contrasts the full- 
grown man with the babes in Christ. 

On the whole, it seems improbable that the converts of Paul, 
in any great numbers, had lived in the atmosphere of the mys- 
tery religions. 1 At any rate, Paul certainly does not use 
the technical vocabulary of the mysteries. That fact has been 
amply demonstrated by Von Harnack in the illuminating study 
which he has devoted to the "terminology of the new birth." 2 
The earliest genuine technical term in the vocabulary of the 
early Church, Von Harnack believes, is "illumination," as 
Justin Martyr uses it to designate baptism. Certainly in the 
earlier period, there is not the slightest evidence of any such 
fixity in the use of terms as would have appeared if the New 
Testament writers had adopted a technical vocabulary. 

Therefore, if the dependence of Paul upon the mystery 
religions is to be demonstrated, the lexical method of Reitzen- 
stein must be abandoned. The terminology of Paul is not 
derived from the terminology of the mysteries. But possibly, 
it may be said, although there is no clear dependence in the 
terminology, the fundamental ideas of Paul may still be shown 

1 Oepke, Die Missionspredigt des Apostels Paulus, 1920, p. 26. 

a Von Harnack, "Die Terminologie der Wiedergeburt und verwandter 
Erlebnisse in der altesten Kirche," in Texte und Untersuchungen zur Oe- 
schichte der altchristlichen Literatur, xlii, 1918, pp. 97-143. See especially 
pp. 139-143. 


to have come from the surrounding paganism. It is in this 
more cautious form that the hypothesis is maintained by Bous- 
set; at least Bousset is less inclined than Reitzenstein to lay 
stress upon verbal coincidences. 1 The entire outlook of 
Paul, Bousset believes, regardless of the way in which that out- 
look is expressed, was derived from the mystical piety of the 
Hellenistic age; it was from his pagan environment that Paul 
derived the pessimistic estimate of human nature which is at 
the basis of his teaching. 

At this point it may be admitted very freely that Paul 
was convinced of the insufficiency of human nature, and that 
that conviction was also prevalent in the paganism of the 
Hellenistic age. The Hellenistic age, like Paul, recognized 
the need of redemption ; salvation, it was believed, could not 
be attained by unaided human resources, but was a gift of 
higher powers. But this similarity is quite insufficient to estab- 
lish any relationship of dependence. Both Paulinism and the 
Hellenistic mystery religions were religions of redemption. 
But there have been many religions of redemption, in many ages 
and among many peoples, which have been entirely independent 
of one another. It will probably not be maintained, for ex- 
ample, that early Buddhism stood in any fundamental causal 
relation to the piety of the Hellenistic age. Yet early 
Buddhism was a religion of redemption. 

No attempt indeed should be made to underestimate the 
community of interest which binds all redemptive religions to- 
gether and separates them sharply from all others. Common 
recognition of the fundamental evil of the world is a far 
closer bond of union than agreement about the details of con- 
duct. Gautama under the tree of knowledge in India, seeking 
in ascetic meditation for freedom from the misery of existence, 
was inwardly far nearer to the apostle Paul than is many a 
modern liberal preacher who loves to read the sixth chapter 
of Ephesians in Church. But such community of interest does 
not indicate any relation of dependence. It might do so if the 
sense of human inadequacy were an abnormal thing. In that 
case, the appearance of a pessimistic view of human nature 
would require explanation. But if human nature is really 
hopeless and helpless in an evil world, then the independent 
1 But compare Jesus der Herr, 1916, pp. 80-85. 


recognition of the fact by many men of many minds is no longer 
cause for wonder. 

Historical judgments at this point, then, are apt to be 
influenced by the presuppositions of the investigator. To 
Bousset the whole notion of redemption is distasteful. It 
seems to him to be an abnormal, an unhealthy thing. To ex- 
plain its emergence, therefore, in the course of human history 
he is prone to look for special causes. So he explains the 
Pauline doctrine of the radical evil of human nature as being 
due to the piety of a decadent age. But if this world is really 
an evil world, as Paul says it is, then recognition of the fact 
will appear spontaneously at many points. For a time, in an 
age of high achievements like the age of Pericles, the funda- 
mental problem of life may be forgotten. But the problem 
is always there and will force itself ever anew into the con- 
sciousness of men. 

At any rate, whether desirable or not, the longing for 
redemption is a fundamental fact of history, and may be shown 
to have emerged independently at many points. The character 
of Paulinism as a redemptive religion, the Pauline doctrine of 
human depravity, is therefore insufficient to establish depend- 
ence of Paul upon the mystery religions of the Hellenistic age. 
Dependence could be established only by similarity in the form 
in which the doctrine of depravity appears. But as a matter 
of fact such similarity is strikingly absent. The Pauline use 
of the term "flesh" to denote that in which evil resides can 
apparently find no real parallel whatever in pagan usage. And 
the divergence appears not only in terminology but also in 
thought. At first sight there might seem to be a parallel be- 
tween the Pauline doctrine of the flesh and the Greek doctrine 
of the evil of matter, which appears in the Orphic sects, then 
in Plato and in his successors. But the parallel breaks down 
upon closer examination. According to Plato, the body is 
evil because it is material; it is the prison-house of the soul. i 
Nothing could really be more remote from the thought of Paul. 
According to Paul, the connection of soul and body is en- 
tirely normal, and the soul apart from the body is in a con- 
dition of nakedness. It is true, the body will be changed at the 
resurrection or at the coming of Christ; it will be made more 
adequate for the Kingdom of God. But at any rate, there is 


in Paul no doctrine of the inherent evil of matter. The real 
starting-point of the Pauline doctrine of the flesh is to be 
found in the Old Testament, in the passages where "flesh" de- 
notes human nature in its frailty. Certainly the Pauline 
teaching is far more highly developed than the teaching of the 
Old Testament. But the Old Testament provides the starting- 
point. The "flesh" in Paul, when it is used in its developed, 
ethical sense, does not mean the material nature of man; it 
includes rather all that man receives by ordinary generation. 
The contrast between "flesh" and "Spirit" therefore is not the 
contrast between matter and spirit; it is a contrast between 
human nature, of which sin has taken possession, and the Spirit 
of God. 

Certainly, at any rate, whatever solution may be found 
for the intricate problem of the Pauline use of the term 
"flesh," the Pauline pessimism with regard to human nature 
is totally different from the dualistic pessimism of the Hel- 
lenistic age. It is different because it does not make evil re- 
side in matter as such. But it is different also in a far more 
fundamental way. It is different in its ethical character. 
The Hellenistic age was conscious of the need of salvation; 
and salvation, it was recognized, must come from outside of 
man. But this consciousness of need was not always, and not 
clearly, connected with questions of right and wrong. The Hel- 
lenistic age was conscious of inadequacy, of slavery to fate, of 
the futility of human life as it is actually lived upon the 
earth. Here and there, no doubt, there was also a recognition 
of existing moral evil, and a longing for a better life. But 
such longings were almost submerged amidst longings of a non- 
ethical kind. The mysteries were cherished for the most part 
not because they offered goodness but because they offered hap- 

In Paul, on the other hand, the consciousness of human 
inadequacy is essentially a consciousness of sin. And redemp- 
tion is desired because it satisfies the hunger and thirst after 
righteousness. At this point the contrast with the Hellenistic 
mystery religions is profound. The religion of Paul is like 
the mystery religions in that it is a religion of redemption. 
But there the similarity ceases. There is certainly no such 
similarity in the conception of that from which men are to be 
redeemed as would raise any presumption of dependence in the 


presentation of the means of redemption. And it is dependence 
in the presentation of the means of redemption which alone 
would serve to explain the origin of the religion of Paul. It is 
unwarranted to argue that because Paul agrees with the mys- 
tery religions in a longing for redemption therefore he must have 
derived from the mystery religions his method of satisfying 
the longing namely his conception of the redemptive work 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. For even in the longing for re- 
demption to say nothing of the way of satisfying the longing 
Paul was totally different from the mysteries. The long- 
ing which was aroused in the devotees of the mysteries was a 
longing for a happier immortality, a freedom from the pres- 
sure of fate ; the longing which Paul sought to arouse in those 
for whom he labored was a longing for righteousness and for 
acceptance by the righteous God. 

This difference is intimately connected with a highly 
significant fact the presence in Paul of a "forensic" view 
of salvation. Salvation, according to Paul, is not only sal- 
vation from the power of sin; it is also salvation from the 
guilt of sin. Not only regeneration is needed, if a man is to be 
saved, but also justification. At this point, there is apparently 
in the mystery religions no parallel worthy of the name. At 
least there is none if Reitzenstein's attempt to exhibit a paral- 
lel * is at all adequate ; for Reitzenstein has succeeded only 
in setting in clearer light the enormous difference at this point 
between Paul and his pagan environment. The word "justify" 
appears, indeed, in the Hermetic corpus (xiii. 9), but as Reit- 
zenstein himself observes, it means not "declare righteous" but 
"make righteous." A parallel with Paul can be set up, there- 
fore, only if "justify" in Paul also means "make righteous." 
Reitzenstein actually finds such a meaning in Rom. vi. 7, and 
in Rom. viii. 30. But the expedient is desperate in the ex- 
treme. It will probably be unnecessary to review again the 
absolutely overwhelming evidence by which the word "justify" 
in the Pauline Epistles is shown to mean not "make righteous" 
but "declare righteous." Without the slightest question Paul 
did maintain a forensic view of salvation. The believer, ac- 
cording to Paul, is in himself guilty in the sight of God. But 
he is given a sentence of acquittal, he is "justified," because 

1 Reitzenstein, Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen, 2te AuflL pp 


Christ has borne on the cross the curse of the Law which rightly 
rested upon those whom Christ died to save. 

The presence of this forensic element in the teaching of 
Paul is universally or generally recognized; and it is usually 
admitted to be not Greek but Jewish. But there is a tendency 
among recent scholars to minimize its importance. According 
to Wrede, the forensic conception of salvation, the complex 
of ideas centering around justification apart from the works 
of the Law, was merely a weapon forged by Paul in the exi- 
gencies of controversy. 1 Against the Judaizing contention for 
the continued validity of the Law Paul developed the doctrine 
that the penalty imposed by the Law upon sin was borne by 
Christ, so that for the believer the bondage of the Law is over. 
But, Wrede believes, this whole conception was of minor im- 
portance in Paul's own life; it was merely necessary in order 
that he might refute the Judaizers and so continue his free 
Gentile mission. A somewhat similar view is advocated by 
Bousset; Bousset believes, at least, that the forensic concep- 
tion of salvation occupies a subordinate place in the thought 
and life of Paul. 

But there could be no greater mistake. The doctrine of 
justification by faith alone apart from the works of the Law 
appears indeed in the Epistle to the Galatians as a weapon 
against the Judaizers. But why was Paul opposed to the Juda- 
izers in the first place? Certainly it was not merely because 
the Judaizing demand that Gentile Christians should be circum- 
cised and keep the Law would interfere in a practical way with 
the Gentile mission. Paul was not like some modern leaders of 
the Church, who are interested in mere bigness ; he was not 
interested in the extension of the Church if such extension 
involved the sacrifice of principle. Nothing could be more 
utterly unhistorical than the representation of Paul as a prac- 
tical missionary, developing the doctrine of justification by 
faith in order to get rid of a doctrine of the Law which 
would be a hindrance in the way of his Gentile mission. Such 
a representation reverses the real state of the case. The 
real reason why Paul was devoted to the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith was not that it made possible the Gentile mis- 
sion, but rather that it was true. Paul was not devoted to the 

1 "Kampfeslehre." See Wrede, Paulus, 1904, pp. 72ff. (English Trans- 
lation, Paul, 1907, pp. 122ff.). 


doctrine of justification by faith because of the Gentile mis- 
sion; he was devoted to the Gentile mission because of the 
doctrine of justification by faith. And he was opposed to the 
Judaizers, not merely because they constituted a hindrance in 
the way of the Gentile work, but because they made the cross of 
Christ of none effect. "If righteousness is through the law, 
then Christ died in vain" (Gal. ii. 21). These words are at 
the very heart of Paul's life; for they involve the Pauline doc- 
trine of the grace of God. 

There could be no greater error, therefore, than that of 
representing the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith 
as a mere afterthought, as a mere weapon in controversy. Paul 
was interested in salvation from the guilt of sin no whit less 
than in salvation from the power of sin, in justification no whit 
less than in the "new creation." Indeed, it is a great mis- 
take to separate the two sides of his message. There lies the 
root error of the customary modern formula for explaining 
the origin of the Pauline theology. According to that formula, 
the forensic element in Paul's doctrine of salvation, which cen- 
ters in justification, was derived from Judaism, and the vital 
or essential element which centers in the new creation was de- 
rived from paganism. In reality, the two elements are inex- 
tricably intertwined. The sense of guilt was always central 
in the longing for salvation which Paul desired to induce in 
his hearers, and imparted to that longing an ethical quality 
which was totally lacking in the mystery religions. And sal- 
vation in the Pauline churches consisted not merely in the 
assurance of a blessed immortality, not merely in the assurance 
of a present freedom from the bondage of fate, not merely even 
in the possession of a new power of holy living, but also, and 
everywhere, in the consciousness that the guilt of sin had been 
removed by the cross of Christ. 

There is no affinity, therefore, between the Pauline doc- 
trine of salvation and that which is found in the mystery re- 
ligions. The terminology is strikingly different, and the dif- 
ference is even greater in the underlying ideas. Paulinism 
is like the mystery religions in being a religion of redemption, 
but within the great category of redemptive religions there 
could be no greater contrast. 

This conclusion might be overthrown if certain recent con- 
tentions should prove to be correct with regard to the second 


of the elements in Paulinism which are being derived from 
pagan religion. This second element is found in the Pauline 
doctrine of the sacraments. In the teaching of Paul about 
baptism and the Lord's Supper, we are told, there is clearly 
to be observed the influence of the mystery religions. 

This contention depends partly upon the supposed nature 
of these particular sacraments and partly upon the mere fact 
of the presence of sacraments in the religion of Paul. 

With regard to the nature of these particular sacraments 
there might seem at first sight to be a parallel with the mystery 
religions. The mysteries usually had connected with them 
ablutions of one kind or another and some sort of partaking 
of sacred food. But it is singularly difficult to determine the 
meaning of these practices. The various ablutions which pre- 
ceded the celebration of the mysteries may have been often 
nothing more than symbols of cleansing; and such symbolism 
is so natural that it might appear independently at many 
places. It appears, for example, highly developed among the 
Jews ; and in the baptism of John the Baptist it assumes a form 
far more closely akin to Christian baptism than in the wash- 
ings which were connected with the pagan mysteries. The evi- 
dence for a sacramental significance of the ablutions in the 
mysteries, despite confident assertions on the part of some 
modern writers, is really very slight. Most interesting, per- 
haps, of all the passages which have been cited is that which 
appears in Pap. Par. 47, a papyrus letter written in the second 
century before Christ. 1 This passage may be translated as 
follows : "For you are untruthful about all things and the gods 
who are with you likewise, because they have cast you into great 
matter and we are not able to die, and if you see that we are 
going to be saved, then let us be baptized." It is possible to 
understand the death that is referred to as the mystical death 
which would be attained in the mysteries, and to connect the 
baptism with that death and with the consequent salvation. 
There would thus be a parallel, external at least, with the sixth 
chapter of Romans, where Paul connects baptism with the 

1 See Reitzenstein, op. cit., 2te Aufl., pp. 85f. The passage in the papyrus 
reads as follows (Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la bibliothtque 
imptriale, xviii, 1865, p. 315) : 6n \f/fv^ -KO.VTO., nai oi vapA. <re 6toi 6/xokos, on 
v^k^\rjKa.v V/JLO.S els v\-rjv nty^X-rjv, /cat o& 5ufd/ie0a it.-Kddo.vtlv' K&V I5ps 5n /ueXXo/xep 
ffuBfivaiy r6r /3a7TTifa>jLie0a. The letter is also contained in Witkowski, Epis- 
tulae privatae graecae, 1906, pp. 63-66. 


death and resurrection of Christ. But the papyrus passage 
is hopelessly obscure, and is capable of very different interpre- 
tations. Moulton and Milligan, for example, take the verb 
"to be baptized," in a purely figurative sense, as meaning 
simply "to be overwhelmed with calamities." l According to 
this interpretation the reference to the mysteries disappears 
altogether. At any rate, the passage, if it does refer to the 
mysteries, is altogether isolated. And in view of its extreme 
obscurity it should not be made the basis of far-reaching con- 
clusions. What is now being maintained is not that the wash- 
ings which were connected with the mysteries were never sacra- 
mental. It is incautious to make such sweeping negative as- 
sertions. But so far as the pre-Pauline period is concerned, the 
evidence which has been adduced is, to say the least, exceed- 
ingly scanty. It has by no means been proved that in the 
pre-Pauline mysteries, "baptism" was connected closely with 
the new birth. 2 

With regard to the partaking of sacred food, the evidence 
is in some respects more abundant. Even in the mysteries of 
Eleusis, a special significance seems to have been attributed 
to the drinking of the "kykeon" ; and the initiates into the 
Phrygian mysteries are reported by Clement of Alexandria 
(similarly Firmicus Maternus) to have used a formula includ- 
ing the words, "I ate from the drum, I drank from the cymbal." 
So far as the form of the act is concerned, the similarity to the 
Christian Eucharist is here certainly not great; there was 
eating and drinking in both cases, but everything else, so far 
as can be seen, was different. In the mysteries of Mithras 
the similarity of form seems to have been greater; the initiates 
partook of bread and of a cup in a way which Justin Martyr 
regarded as a demoniac imitation of the Christian sacrament. 
According to Cumont, moreover, the Mithraic practice was 
clearly sacramental; the initiates expected from their sacred 

1 Moulton and Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, s. v. 
pa-n-Tlfa, Part ii, [1915], p. 102. Similarly Sethe, "Sarapis," in Abhand- 
lungen der koniglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Gottingen, 
philologisch-historische Klasse, Neue Folge, xiv, Nro. 5, 1913, p. 51. 

'Tertullian, de bapt. 5 (ed. Reifferscheid et Wissowa, 1890), it must be 
admitted, connects baptism in heathen religion with regeneration, and 
mentions the part which sacramental washings had in the mysteries of Isis 
and of Mithras, and in Eleusinian rites. Despite the post-Pauline date 
of this testimony, the passage is certainly interesting. Compare Kennedy, 
op. cit., p. 229. 


banquet a supernatural effect. 1 But it will be remembered 
that considerations of date render an influence of Mithras upon 
Paul exceedingly improbable. And the significance of the eat- 
ing and drinking in connection with other mysteries is obscure. 
Apparently these acts did not form a part of the mysteries 
proper, but were only a preparation for them. 

In a very savage form of religion there appears the no- 
tion that men could partake of the divine nature by actually 
eating the god. For example, in the worship of Dionysus, the 
worshipers in the height of religious frenzy tore in pieces the 
sacred bull and devoured the raw flesh. Here the bull appar- 
ently represented the god himself. This savage practice stands 
in external parallel with certain passages in the New Testa- 
ment, not only with the references in John vi to the eating 
of the flesh and drinking of the blood of Christ, but also 
(though less clearly) with the Pauline teaching about the Lord's 
Supper. In 1 Cor. x. 16 Paul speaks of the "cup of blessing" 
as being communion of the blood of Christ, and of the bread 
as being communion of the body of Christ. Have we not here 
a sublimated form of the pagan notion of eating the god ? The 
supposition might seem to be strengthened by the parallel 
which Paul draws a few verses further on between the cup of 
the Lord and the cup of demons, and between the table of the 
Lord and the table of demons (verse 21), the demons, it is 
said, being regarded by Paul as identical with the heathen 

But the trouble is that the savage notion of eating the 
god does not seem to have survived in the Hellenistic mystery 
religions. At this point, therefore, the student of comparative 
religion is faced with a difficulty exactly opposite to that 
which appears in most of the parallels which have been set up 
between the teaching of Paul and pagan religion. In most 
cases the difficulty is that the pagan parallels are too late; 
here, on the contrary, they are too early. If Paul is de- 
pendent upon the pagan notion of eating the god, he must have 
deserted the religious practice which prevailed in his own day 
in order to have recourse to a savage custom which had long 
since been abandoned. The suggestion does not seem to be very 

1 Cumont, Textes et monuments figurfo relatifs aux mystkres de Mithra, 
i, 1899, p. 321. See Heitmiiller, Tcwfe und Abendmahl bei f>aulu*, 1903, 
p. 46, Anm. 3. 


natural. It is generally admitted that even where Christianity 
is dependent upon Hellenistic religion it represents a spirit- 
ualizing modification of the pagan practice. But at this point 
it would have to be supposed that the Christian modification 
proceeded in exactly the opposite direction; far from mark- 
ing a greater spiritualization of pagan practice, it meant a 
return to a savage stage of religion which even paganism had 

Efforts are sometimes made to overcome this objection. 
"We observe in the history of religion," says Heitmiiller, "that 
tendencies connected with low stages of religious develop- 
ment, which in the higher stages were quiescent or extinct, sud- 
denly spring up again of course in a modified form adapted 
to the changed circumstances." 1 Such general observations, 
even if they are based upon fact, will hardly serve to render 
the present hypothesis any more plausible. Dependence of the 
Pauline teaching about the Lord's Supper upon the savage no- 
tion of eating the god, when even paganism had come to abandon 
that notion, will always seem very unnatural. 

Certainly the hypothesis is not supported by the parallel 
which Paul draws in 1 Cor. x. 21 between the table of the Lord 
and the table of demons. Paul does not say that the heathen 
had fellowship with their gods by partaking of them in a meal ; 
the fellowship with those gods (verse 20) could be conceived 
of in other ways. For example, the cult god may have been 
conceived of in the sacrificial meals as the host at a feast. 
In point of fact, such an idea was no doubt widely prevalent. 
It is attributed to the Phrygian mysteries, for example, by 
Hepding, who supposes that the eating from the drum and 
drinking from the cymbal meant the entrance of the initiate 
into the circle formed by the table-companions of the god. 2 
At any rate, the savage notion of eating the god is not clearly 
attested for the Hellenistic period, and certainly dependence 
of Paul upon such a notion is unlikely in the extreme. 

No close parallel, then, can be established between the Chris- 
tian sacraments and the practices of the pagan cults. But 
the very fact that the Pauline churches had sacraments at all 
irrespective of the form of the particular sacraments may 
conceivably be made a ground for connecting Paulinism with 

1 Heitmuller, Taufe und Abendmahl bei Paulus, 1903, p. 47. 
a Hepding, Attis, 1903, pp. 186f. 


the Hellenistic religions. The argument depends upon one 
particular view of the Pauline sacraments ; it depends upon the 
view that baptism and the Lord's Supper were conceived of as 
conveying blessing not in virtue of the disposition of soul with 
which they were administered or received but in virtue of the 
sacramental acts themselves. In other words (to use tradi- 
tional language), the argument depends upon the view that 
the Pauline sacraments conveyed their blessing not ex opere 
operantis but ex opere operate. In the Pauline churches, it 
is argued, the beginning of the new life and the communion 
with the cult god were connected with certain ceremonial acts. 
So it was also in the mystery religions. Therefore Paulinism 
is to be understood in connection with the mysteries. 

But the interpretation of the Pauline Epistles upon which 
this hypothesis is based is fraught with serious difficulty. Did 
Paul really conceive of the sacraments as conveying their bless- 
ing ex opere operate? The general character of the Epistles 
certainly points in an opposite direction. An unprejudiced 
reader of the Epistles as a whole certainly receives the im- 
pression that the writer laid extraordinarily little stress upon 
forms and ceremonies. Salvation according to Paul was de- 
pendent solely upon faith, the simple acceptance of the offer 
contained in the message of the Cross. Any connection of such 
a religion with external forms seems even to be excluded ex- 
pressly by the Epistle to the Galatians. A dispensation of 
forms and ceremonies, according to that Epistle, belongs to the 
period of childish bondage from which Christ has set men free. 

Yet such a writer, it is maintained, actually taught that 
the mere act of baptism conveyed the blessing of a new life 
and the mere partaking of food and drink conveyed the blessing 
of communion with the risen Christ. The supposition seems at 
first sight to be preposterous. If it is to be established, it can 
only be on the basis of the clearest kind of evidence. 

The evidence, it should be noted at the start, is at any 
rate decidedly limited in extent. It is only in the First Epistle 
to the Corinthians that Paul mentions the Lord's Supper 
at all, and it is only in Rom. vi and Col. ii. 12 that baptism is 
connected with the death and resurrection which the believer 
is said to have shared with Christ. The limited extent of the 
evidence may in itself be significant. If Paul held the high 
sacramentarian view of baptism and the Lord's Supper, it seems 


a little strange that he should have laid so little stress upon the 
sacraments. High sacramentarians of all ages have preserved 
a very different proportion. It seems still more strange, per- 
haps, that Paul should have said that Christ sent him not to 
baptize but to preach the gospel (1 Cor. i. 17). On the ex 
opere operato view of baptism, baptism was the highest possible 
function. Could an apostle who held that view have attributed 
relatively so little importance to it? In order to appreciate 
how much less importance is attributed in the Epistles to bap- 
tism and the Lord's Supper than to certain other elements in 
Paul's teaching, it is only necessary to compare the references 
to the sacraments with the references to faith. The fact is 
perfectly plain. When Paul speaks, in the large, about the 
way of salvation, it never seems to occur to him to mention the 
sacraments ; what he does think of is the message of the gospel 
and the simple acceptance of it through faith. 

These facts are sometimes admitted even by those who 
attribute a high sacramentarian view of the sacraments to 
Paul; Paulinism when taken as a whole, it is admitted, is cer- 
tainly not a sacramentarian religion. What has happened, 
then, it is supposed, is that Paul has retained in the doctrine of 
the sacraments an element derived from a lower type of religion, 
an unassimilated remnant of the type of religion which is rep- 
resented by the mystery cults. Thus the Pauline doctrine of 
the sacraments is thought to introduce a glaring contradiction 
into the thought and life of Paul. 

Can such a glaring contradiction be attributed to Paul? 
It could probably be attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. But 
can it be attributed to Paul? The writer of the Pauline Epis- 
tles was no mere compiler, receiving unassimilated materials 
from many sources. He was a person of highly marked char- 
acteristics. And he was a person of commanding intellect. 
Could such a writer have introduced a glaring contradiction 
into the very center of his teaching? Could a writer who in the 
great mass of his writing is triumphantly and even polemically 
anti-sacramentarian have maintained all along a crassly 
sacramentarian view of the way in which religious blessing was 
to be obtained? 

An affirmative answer to these questions could be rendered 
only on the basis of positive evidence of the most unequivocal 
kind. And such positive evidence is not forthcoming. The 


most that can by any possibility be said for the strictly sacra- 
mentarian interpretation of Rom. vi is that it is possible. 
It might conceivably be adopted if Rom. vi stood alone. But 
as a matter of fact Rom. vi does not stand alone ; it stands in 
the midst of a considerable body of Pauline Epistles. And it 
must be interpreted in the light of what Paul says elsewhere. 
If Rom. vi stood absolutely alone, Paul might conceivably be 
thought to mean that the act of baptism in itself involves a 
dying with Christ and a rising with Him to a new life. But 
the whole character of the Pauline Epistles absolutely pre- 
cludes such an interpretation. And another interpretation does 
full justice to the words as they stand. That interpretation is 
the obvious one w r hich makes the act of baptism an outward 
sign of an inner experience. "We were buried with him," says 
Paul, "through baptism unto death." These words are pressed 
by the modern school of comparative religion very much as 
Luther at the Marburg Conference pressed the Latin words of 
institution of the Lord's Supper. Luther wrote on the table, 
"This is my body" ("hoc est corpus meum"), and would not 
hear of anything but the most literal interpretation of the 
words. So the modern school of comparative religion presses 
the words "through baptism" in Rom. vi. 4. "We were buried 
with him through baptism," says Paul. Therefore, it is said, 
since it was through baptism, it was not through faith, or 
through any inner disposition of the soul; therefore the sacra- 
mentarian interpretation is correct. But if Luther's over- 
literalness, fraught with such disastrous consequences for the 
Church, is deserted by most advocates of the grammatico-his- 
torical method of exegesic, should an equally bald literalness 
be insisted upon in connection with Rom. vi. 4? 

Interpreted in connection with the whole trend of the 
Epistles, the sixth chapter of Romans contains an appeal to 
the outward sign of an inner experience. It is perfectly nat- 
ural that Paul should here appeal to the outward sign rather 
than to the inner experience. Paul desires to strengthen in his 
readers the conviction that the life which they are leading as 
Christians is a new life in which sin can have no place. Un- 
questionably he might have appealed to the faith which had 
been the means by which the new life had been begun. But faith 
is not something that can be seen. Baptism, on the other hand, 
was a plain and obvious fact. To use a modern term, it "visual- 


ized" faith. And it is just the visualizing of faith that Paul 
here desires. When the Roman Christians were baptized, they 
were convinced that the act meant a dying with Christ and a 
rising with Him; it meant the beginning of their Christian 
life. It was a solemn and a definite act. It was something 
that could be seen as well as felt. Conceivably, indeed, the 
act in itself might have been unaccompanied by faith. But in 
the early Church such cases were no doubt extremely rare. 
They could therefore be left out of account by Paul. Paul 
assumes and no doubt he is correct that, whatever might 
conceivably have been the case, as a matter of fact when any 
one of the Roman Christians was baptized he died and rose 
again with Christ. But Paul does not say that the dying and 
rising again was produced by the external act otherwise than 
as that act was an expression of faith. Here, however, it is to 
the external act that he appeals, because it is the external act 
which can be seen and can be realized. It can only be because 
the newness of the Christian life is not realized that Christians 
can think of it as permitting a continuance in sin. What 
enables it to be realized is that which can actually be seen, 
namely, the external and obvious fact of baptism. In other 
words, baptism is here made to discharge in typical fashion 
its divinely appointed function as an external sign of an inner 
experience, and an external sign which is made the vehicle of 
special blessing. 

A similar interpretation may be applied to all the refer- 
ences to the sacraments which occur in the Pauline Epistles. 
What sometimes produces the impression of an ex opere operate 
conception of the sacraments is that Paul does not take into 
account the possibility that the sacraments might be unac- 
companied by faith. So in Gal. iii. 27 he says, "All ye who were 
baptized into Christ did put on Christ." These words if taken 
alone might mean that every man, whatever the condition of his 
soul, who went through the external form of baptism had put 
on Christ. But of course as a matter of fact Paul means noth- 
ing of the kind. What he does mean is that the baptism of 
the Galatians, since that baptism was accompanied by faith 
(Gal. iii. 2), meant in that concrete case the putting on of 
Christ. Here again there is an appeal, in the presence of 
those who were in danger of forgetting spiritual facts, to the 
external sign which no one could forget. 


This interpretation cannot be invalidated by the passages 
which have been appealed to as supporting a crassly ex opere 
operate conception of the sacraments. In 1 Cor. xi. 30, for 
example, Paul says that because of an unworthy partaking of 
the Lord's Supper many of the Corinthians were ill and many 
had died. But these words need not necessarily mean that the 
bread and wine, because of a dangerous magical virtue that was 
in them, had inflicted harm upon those who had not used them 
aright. They may mean at least equally well that the physical 
ills of the Corinthians were a chastisement which had been in- 
flicted by God. As for 1 Cor. xv. 29 (baptism in behalf of 
the dead), it can be said at least that that verse is isolated 
and exceedingly obscure, and that it is bad historical method 
to allow what is obscure to color the interpretation of what 
is plain. Many interpretations of the verse have been pro- 
posed. And it is by no means clear that Paul lent his own 
support to the custom to which reference is here made. 

Thus it cannot be maintained that Paulinism was like 
the pagan mysteries even in the general sense that both Paul- 
inism and the mysteries connected salvation with external acts. 
The acts themselves were different; and the meaning of the 
acts was still more diverse. An element of truth does indeed 
underlie the sacramentarian interpretation of Paul. The ele- 
ment of truth consists in the protest which is here raised against 
the interpretation which has sometimes been favored by "lib- 
eral" scholars. According to this liberal interpretation, when 
Paul speaks of dying and rising with Christ he is referring 
to a purely ethical fact; when he says that he has died to 
the Law, he means that he has made a radical break with an 
external, legalistic type of religion ; when he says that it is 
no longer he that lives but Christ that lives in him, he means 
that he has made Christ his supreme guide and example ; when 
he says that through the Cross of Christ he has been crucified 
to the world, he means that the Cross has led him to renounce 
all worldliness of purpose. Such interpretation is exceed- 
ingly common. But it is radically false. It is false because 
it does away with the supernaturalism of Paul's teaching. 
There could be no greater mistake than that of making salva- 
tion according to Paul an affair of the human will. On the 
contrary, the very essence of Pauline teaching is supernat- 


uralism. Salvation, according to Paul, is based upon a super- 
natural act of God the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And 
equally supernatural is the application of salvation to the 
individual. The new creation which stands at the beginning 
of the Christian life is according to Paul just as little a product 
of natural forces, and just as little a product of the human 
will, as the first creation was. The modern school of com- 
parative religion is entirely correct in insisting upon the thor- 
oughgoing supernaturalism of the Pauline gospel. Paulinism 
is a redemptive religion in the most thoroughgoing sense of 
the word ; it finds salvation, not in a decision of the human 
will, but in an act of God. 

But the error comes in confusing supernaturalism with 
sacramentalism. Paul's conception of salvation is supernat- 
ural, but it is not external. It is indeed just as supernatural as 
if it were external. The beginning of a man's Christian life, 
according to Paul, is just as little a product of his own moral 
forces, just as little a product of any mere moral influence 
brought to bear upon him, as it would be if it were produced 
by the water into which he was dipped or the bread and wine 
of which he partakes. Conceivably God might have chosen to 
use such means. If He had done so, His action would have 
been not one whit more supernatural than it actually is. But 
as a matter of fact, He has chosen, in His mysterious wisdom, 
to use the means of faith. Such is the teaching of Paul. 
It is highly distasteful to the modern liberal Church. But 
even if it is to be rejected it should at least be recognized as 

Thus the interpretation of the sacraments which is pro- 
posed by the modern school of comparative religion and in- 
deed the whole modern radical treatment of Paulinism as a 
thoroughgoing religion of redemption marks a reaction 
against the modernizing exegesis which was practised by the 
liberal school. But the reaction has at any rate gone too far. 
It cannot be said that the newer exegesis is any more objective 
than the liberal exegesis which it endeavors to replace. The 
liberal scholars were concerned to keep Paul as near as possible 
to their modern naturalistic principles, in order to continue 
to use him for the edificatipn of the Church ; the radical scholars 
of the school of comparative religion are concerned to keep 


him as far away as possible from modern naturalistic principles 
in order to bring him into connection with the crass external- 
ism of the mystery religions. Neither group has attained the 
whole truth. The Pauline conception of salvation is just as 
spiritual as it is thought to be by the liberal scholars; but 
on the other hand, it is just as supernatural as it is repre- 
sented as being by Reitzenstein and Bousset. 




Two of the contentions of the modern school of compara- 
tive religion have so far been examined. It has been shown 
that neither the group of Pauline conceptions which centers 
around the new birth (or, as Paul calls it, the new creation) 
nor the Pauline teaching about the sacraments was derived from 
the mystery religions. The third element of Paulinism which 
is thought to have come from pagan religion is found in the 
Pauline conception of Christ and of the work of Christ in 
redemption. This contention is connected especially with the 
name of Bousset, 1 who is, however, supported in essentials 
by a considerable number of contemporary scholars. The 
hypothesis of Bousset is intimately connected with those hypo- 
theses which have already been examined. A complete treat- 
ment of it at this point would therefore involve repetition. But 
it may here be set forth at least in a somewhat systematic, 
though still in a merely summary, way. 

According to Bousset, the primitive Christian community 
in Jerusalem regarded Jesus chiefly as the Son of Man the 
mysterious person, mentioned in the Jewish apocalypses, who 
was finally to come with the clouds of heaven and be the in- 
strument in ushering in the Kingdom of God. Bousset is doubt- 
ful whether or no the title Son of Man was ever assumed by 
Jesus Himself, and regards the settlement of this question as 
lying beyond the scope of his book. But the tendency of the 
book is decidedly toward a radical denial of the Messianic 
consciousness of Jesus. And at this point the cautious inves- 
tigator, even if his presuppositions are the same as Bousset's 
own, may well be inclined to take alarm. The method which 
is here pursued seems to be leading logically to the elimination 
from the pages of history of the whole Gospel picture of Jesus, 
1 Kyrios Christos, 1913; Jesus der Herr, 1916. 



or rather to the use of that picture in the reconstruction not 
of the historical Jesus, but only of the belief of the Christian 
community. Of course Bousset does not push matters to such 
lengths ; he is by no means inclined to follow W. B. Smith and 
Drews in denying the historicity of Jesus. But the reader of 
the first part of the "Kyrios Christos" has an uneasy feeling 
that if any of the Gospel picture still escapes the keen edge 
of Bousset's criticism, it is only by accident. Many of those 
incidents in the Gospel narrative, many of those elements in 
the Gospel teaching, which have been considered most char- 
acteristic of the historical Jesus have here been removed. There 
seems to be no particular reason why the rest should remain; 
for the elements that remain are quite similar to the elements 
that have been made to go. No mark of authenticity seems 
to be proof against the skepticism of this latest historian. 
Bousset thus illustrates the difficulty of separating the natural 
from the supernatural in the Gospel picture of Jesus. When 
the process of separation begins, it is difficult to bring it to a 
halt ; the wheat is in danger of being rooted up with the tares. 
Bousset has dealt a severe blow to the prestige of the liberal 
reconstruction of Jesus. By the recent developments in his 
thinking he has shown by his own example that the liberal 
reconstruction is in a state of unstable equilibrium. It is al- 
ways in danger of giving way to radical denial either of the 
historicity of Jesus or of the historicity of the Messianic con- 
sciousness. Such radicalism is faced by insuperable difficulties. 
Perhaps, then, there is something wrong with the critical 
method from which the radicalism always tends to result. 

But it is necessary now to examine a little more closely 
the belief of the primitive Jerusalem Church. That belief, 
Bousset maintains, did not involve any conception of Jesus 
as "Lord." The title "Lord," he says, was not applied to 
Jesus on Palestinian ground, and Jesus was not regarded by 
the early Jerusalem Church as the object of faith. The piety 
of the primitive Church was thus exclusively eschatological ; 
Jesus was expected to return in glory from heaven, but mean- 
while He was regarded as separated from His disciples. He 
was the heavenly "Son of Man," to come with the clouds of 
heaven, not the "Lord" now present in the Church. 

These momentous assertions, which lie at the very basis of 
Bousset's hypothesis, are summed up in the elimination from 


Jerusalem Christianity of the title "Lord" as applied to Jesus. 
This elimination of the title "Lord" of course involves a rejec- 
tion of the testimony of Acts. The Book of Acts contains 
the only extant narrative of the early progress of Jerusalem 
Christianity. And so far as the designations of Christ are 
concerned, the early chapters of the book have usually been 
thought to produce an impression of special antiquity and 
authenticity. These chapters apply the title "Lord" to Jesus ; 
the words in Acts ii. 36, "God has made him both Lord and 
Christ," have often been regarded as especially significant. 
But to Bousset, in view of his opinion about the Book of Acts 
as a whole, the elimination of this testimony causes no difficulty. 

But how does Bousset know that the primitive Jerusalem 
Church did not apply the term "Lord" to Jesus? The prin- 
cipal argument is derived from an examination of the Synoptic 
Gospels. The title "Lord," as applied to Jesus, Bousset 
believes, appears only "on the margin" (as it were) of the 
Gospel tradition ; it does not appear as one of the primitive 
elements in the tradition. But since it does not appear firmly 
fixed in the Gospel tradition, it could not have formed a part 
of Christian belief in the community where the Gospel tradition 
was formed. The community where the Gospel tradition was 
formed was the Jerusalem Church. Therefore the title Lord 
as applied to Jesus did not form part of the belief of the 
Jerusalem Church. Such, in bare outline, is the argument of 

An examination of that argument in detail would far trans- 
cend the limits of the present discussion. 1 But certain ob- 
vious remarks can be made. 

In the first place, it is not perfectly clear that the title 
Lord appears only in secondary elements of the Gospel tradi- 
tion. Certainly it must be granted to Bousset that the in- 
stances where the word "Lord" appears in the vocative case 
do not necessarily involve any recognition of the lofty title 
"Lord" as belonging to Jesus ; for the word could be used in 
direct address in the presence of any person to whom respect 
was to be paid. Nevertheless, in some of the passages the word 
does seem to be more than a mere reverential form of address. 

'See Vos, "The Kyrios Christos Controversy," in The Princeton Theo- 
logical Review, xv, 1917, pp. 21-89. See also the review of Bousset's "Kyrios 
Christos" by the same author, Ibid., xii, 1914, pp. 636-645. 


Bousset himself admits that such is the case at least in Matt, 
vii. 21, "Not every one who says unto me Lord, Lord, shall 
enter into the kingdom of heaven," and his opinion that this 
passage is secondary as compared with Lk. vi. 46 is insuffi- 
ciently grounded. The cases in the Gospels where the title is 
used absolutely are not very numerous, and they occur chiefly 
in the Gospel of Luke. But the estimate of them as secondary 
depends of course upon certain critical conclusions about the 
relationships of the Synoptic Gospels. And it is doubtful 
whether Bousset has quite succeeded in refuting the argument 
which can be derived from Mk. xii. 35-37 (and parallels), the 
passage about David's son and David's Lord. Bousset him- 
self uses this passage as an important testimony to the belief 
of the early Jerusalem Church, though he does not regard it 
as representing a genuine saying of Jesus. Yet here Jesus 
is made to call attention to the fact that David called the 
Messiah "Lord." If this passage represents the belief about 
Jesus of the primitive Jerusalem Church, what stronger testi- 
mony could there be to the use in that church of the title 
"Lord" as applied to Jesus? Bousset avoids the difficulty by 
calling attention to the fact that the Old Testament passage 
(Ps. ex. 1) is here quoted not according to the original but 
according to the Septuagint translation. In the original He- 
brew, says Bousset, there was a distinction between the word 
"Lord" as applied to God and the word "Lord" as applied 
to the other person who is referred to ; the Hebrew has, "Jahwe 
said to my Lord (adoni)." Thus that second person, ac- 
cording to the Hebrew, can be regarded as a human individual, 
and all that is meant by the term "Lord" as used of him by 
David is that he stood higher than David. Bousset seems 
to think that this explanation destroys the value of the passage 
as a witness to the use in the Jerusalem Church of the religious 
term "Lord" as applied to Jesus. But such is by no means 
the case. For if the Messiah (Jesus) was higher than David, 
so that David could call Him Lord, then Jesus must have oc- 
cupied some very lofty position. If David could call Him 
Lord, would the title be refused to Him by humble members 
of the Jerusalem Church? On Bousset's interpretation the 
passage may not directly attest the use of the title by the 
Jerusalem Church, but it does seem to presuppose it. It may 
also be questioned whether Bousset has succeeded in getting 


rid of Mk. xi. 3, as a witness to the title Ljrd as applied to 
Jesus in the Jerusalem Church. 

But does the infrequency of the use of the title "Lord" 
in the Gospels necessarily indicate that that title was not 
prevalent in the primitive Jerusalem Church? It must be re- 
membered that the title "Christ," which was of course applied 
to Jesus by the Jerusalem Church, is also very infrequent in 
the Gospels. Why should the infrequency in the Gospel use 
of one title be regarded as an argument against the use of that 
title in the Jerusalem Church, when in the case of the other 
title no such argument can possibly be set up? Bousset is 
ready with his answer. But the answer is entirely inadequate. 
The title "Christ," Bousset says, was an eschatological title; 
it referred to a dignity which in the belief of the Jerusalem 
Church Jesus was not to attain until His coming in glory. 
Therefore it could not readily be applied to Jesus in the ac- 
counts of His earthly ministry. Hence in the case of that 
title there was a special obstacle which hindered the intrusion 
of the title into the Gospel tradition. But in the case of the 
title "Lord," there was no such obstacle; therefore the non- 
intrusion of that title into the Gospel tradition requires a 
special explanation; and the only possible explanation is that 
the title was not used in the Jerusalem Church. 

It would be difficult to crowd into brief compass so many 
highly debatable assertions as are crowded together in this 
argument. Was the title "Christ" a purely eschatological 
title? It is not a purely eschatological title in Paul. It is 
not really a purely eschatological title anywhere in the New 
Testament. At any rate, Bousset is here adopting a concep- 
tion of the Messiahship of Jesus which is at best problematical 
and is rejected by men of the most widely divergent points of 
view. And did the title "Lord" designate Jesus especially as 
the present Lord of the Church, rather than as the one who 
was finally to usher in the Kingdom? Was Jesus in the belief 
of the early Church the "coming" Christ any more than He 
was the "coming" Lord; and was He the present Lord any 
more than He was the present Christ? These questions cannot 
be answered with absolute certainty. At any rate, even if 
Bousset can point to a larger proportion of eschatological 
interest in the one title than that which appears in the other, 
yet such a distinction is relative only. And it still remains 


true that if the infrequency of the title "Christ" in the Gospels 
does not indicate the non-existence of that title in the Jerusa- 
lem Church, the infrequency of the title "Lord" in the Gospels 
is not any more significant. 

With regard to the title "Son of Man," Bousset makes a 
remark somewhat similar to that which he makes about the 
title "Christ." The title "Son of Man," he says, was eschato- 
logical; therefore it could not be introduced into the narrative 
part of the Gospels. But it will always remain one of the 
paradoxes of Bousset's theory that according to Bousset the 
title "Son of Man," which (except in Acts vii. 56) appears 
in the tradition only in the words of Jesus, and never as 
the title used when men spoke about Jesus, should be supposed 
to have been the characteristic title used in speaking about 
Jesus in the Jerusalem Church. If the belief of the Jerusalem 
Church about Jesus was so exclusively a Son-of-Man dogma, 
as Bousset supposes it was, and if that church was so little 
concerned with historical fact, it seems somewhat strange that 
the title, "Son of Man," has not been allowed, despite its 
eschatological character, to intrude into the Gospel narrative. 
Another hypothesis will always suggest itself the hypothesis 
that Jesus really used the title, "Son of Man," in a somewhat 
mysterious way, in speaking about Himself, and that the mem- 
ory of the fact that it was His own special designation of 
Himself has been preserved in the curious limitation of the 
use of the title in the New Testament. In that case, in view 
of the accuracy thus established with regard to one title, the 
testimony of the Gospels with regard to the other title, "Lord," 
cannot lightly be rejected. 

But the evidence for the use of the title "Lord" in the 
primitive Jerusalem Church is not contained merely in the 
Gospels. Other evidence appears in the Pauline Epistles. 

The most obvious fact is that Paul himself uses the term 
as the characteristic title of Jesus. And it is equally evident 
that he did not invent this usage. Evidently it was a continua- 
tion of a usage which prevailed before he began his work. 
So much is fully admitted by Bousset. But whence did Paul 
derive the usage? Or rather, supposing that he began his 
own use of the title at the moment of the conversion, in ac- 
cordance with the representation in Acts ("Who art thou, 
Lord?"), whence did he derive his assumption that the title 


was already in use? The most obvious view is that he assumed 
the title to be already known because it was in use in the early 
Jerusalem Church. The matter-of-course way in which Paul 
applies the title "Lord" to Jesus has always, until recently, 
been taken as indicating that the title had been prevalent from 
the very beginning of the Church's life. 

But at this point appears one of the most important fea- 
tures of Bousset's theory. Paul derived the title "Lord," 
Bousset believes, from those who had been Christians before 
him ; but he derived it, not from the Jerusalem Church, but 
from the Christian communities in such cities as Antioch, 
Tarsus, and perhaps Damascus. It is in these communities, 
therefore, that the genesis of the title "Lord," as applied to 
Jesus, is to be placed. 

Attention has already been called to the difficulties which 
beset this interposition of an extra link between Paul and the 
Jerusalem Church. It has been shown that what Paul "re- 
ceived" he received not from the churches at Antioch and 
Tarsus but from the original disciples at Jerusalem. But in 
addition to the general considerations which connect the whole 
of Paulinism with the Jerusalem tradition about Jesus, there 
are certain special indications of a Jerusalem origin of the 
title "Lord." 

One such indication may be found, perhaps, in Gal. i. 19. 
When, in connection with a visit to Jerusalem which occurred 
three years after the conversion, Paul speaks of "James the 
brother of the Lord," the natural inference is that "the brother 
of the Lord" was a designation which was applied to James in 
Jerusalem; and if so, then the title "Lord" was current in the 
Jerusalem Church. 1 Of course, the inference is not abso- 
lutely certain; Paul might have designated James as "the 
brother of the Lord" because that was the designation of 
James in the Galatian Churches and the designation which 
Paul himself commonly used, even if it was not current in 
Jerusalem. But the natural impression which the passage 
will always make upon an unsophisticated reader is that Paul 
is using a terminology which was already fixed among James' 
associates at the time and place to which the narrative refers. 
It should be observed that in speaking of Peter, Paul actually 
uses the Aramaic form and not the Greek form of the name. 
1 Knowling, The Witness of the Epistles, 1892, p. 15. 


The indications are that with regard to the leaders of the 
Jerusalem Church Paul is accustomed generally to follow the 
Jerusalem usage. And the evidence of such a passage as 
Gal. i. 18, 19, where Jerusalem conditions are mentioned, is 
doubly strong. The use in this passage of the title "brother 
of the Lord" would indeed not be absolutely decisive if it stood 
alone. But taken in connection with the other evidence, it 
does point strongly to the prevalence in the early Jerusalem 
Church of the title "Lord" as applied to Jesus. 

More stress is usually laid upon the occurrence of "Mara- 
natha" in 1 Cor. xvi. 22. "Maranatha" is Aramaic, and it 
means "Our Lord, come!" Why was the Aramaic word "Our 
Lord" included, as a designation of Jesus, in a Greek letter? 
The natural supposition is that it had been hallowed by its use 
in the Aramaic-speaking church at Jerusalem. Accordingly 
it pushes the use of the title "Lord" back to the primitive 
Christian community; the title cannot, therefore, be regarded 
as a product of the Hellenistic churches in Antioch and Tarsus. 

This argument has been met in various ways. According 
to Bohlig, the passage does attest the application of the 
Aramaic title "Lord" to Jesus, but that application, Bohlig 
believes, was made not in Palestine but in Syria, not in Jerusa- 
lem but in Antioch. Syria, indeed, with Cilicia, was, Bohlig 
insists, the special home of the designation "Lord" as applied 
to the gods ; the word "Baal/' the common Semitic title of the 
Syrian gods, means "Lord." And Bohlig also points to the 
appearance of the title Mar along with Baal as a title of 
divinity. 1 

But why was the Semitic title retained in a Greek letter? 
In answer to this question the bilingual condition of Syria 
may be appealed to. But what particular sanctity could be 
attached to the Semitic usage of Syria; why should Paul fol- 
low that usage in writing to a church that was situated, not in 
the East, but in Greece proper? If, on the other hand, the 
title "Mar" had been hallowed by the use of the original dis- 
ciples of Jesus, then the retention of the original word without 
translation is perfectly natural. 

Bousset now proposes another hypothesis. 2 The phrase 

*See Bohlig, "Zum Begriff Kyrios bei Paulus," in Zeitschrift fiir die 
neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, xiv, 1913, pp. 23-37. 

'Bousset, Jesus der Herr, 1916, pp. 22f. Compare Kyrios Christos, 
1913, p. 103. 


"Maranatha," he says, probably had nothing to do with Jesus ; 
it constitutes merely a formula of cursing like the "anathema" 
which immediately precedes in 1 Cor. xvi. 22; the Maran (or 
Marana) refers not to Jesus, but to God; the formula means, 
"Our Lord (God) shall come and judge." But Bousset ad- 
duces no real evidence in support of his explanation. No such 
formula of cursing seems to have been found in Semitic sources. 
And why should Paul introduce such a Semitic curse in writing 
to Corinth? The latest hypothesis of Bousset is certainly a 
desperate expedient. 

"Marana" in 1 Cor. xvi. 22, therefore, certainly refers to 
Jesus, and the strong presumption is that it was derived from 
Palestine. The passage constitutes a real testimony to the 
use of the title "Lord" as a designation of Jesus in the Pales- 
tinian Church. 

Possibly, moreover, this passage may also serve to fix the 
original Aramaic form of the title. Bousset and certain other 
scholars have been inclined to detect a linguistic difficulty in 
the way of attributing the title "Lord" to the Aramaic-speak- 
ing Church. The absolute "Mara," it is said, does not seem 
to have been current in Aramaic; only "Mari" ("my Lord") 
and "Maran" ("our Lord") seem to have been commonly 
used. But it is just in the absolute form, "the Lord," that the 
title appears most frequently in the Greek New Testament. 
Therefore, it is concluded, this New Testament Greek usage 
cannot go back to the usage of the Aramaic-speaking Church. 
It will perhaps be unnecessary to enter upon the linguistic side 
of this argument. Various possibilities might be suggested for 
examination to the students of Aramaic among others, the 
possibility that "Mari," "Maran," had come to be used abso- 
lutely, like "Rabbi," "Rabban," the original meaning of the 
possessive suffix having been obscured. 1 But in general it 
can probably be said that if persons of Aramaic speech had 
desired to designate Jesus, absolutely, as "Lord" or "the 
Lord," the language was presumably not so poor but that the 
essential idea could have been expressed. And it is the essen- 
tial idea, not the word, which is really important. The im- 
portant thing is that the attitude toward Jesus which is ex- 
pressed by the Greek word "Kyrios," was, unless all indica- 
tions fail, also the attitude of the Jerusalem Church. 

But may not the Greek title itself have originated in 
1 Compare Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 1913, p. 99, Anm. 3. 


Jerusalem? This possibility has been neglected in recent dis- 
cussions of the subject. But it is worthy of the most careful 
consideration. It should be remembered that Palestine in 
the first century after Christ was a bilingual country. 1 No 
doubt Aramaic was in common use among the great body of 
the people, and no doubt it was the language of Jesus' teach- 
ing. But Greek was also in use, and it is by no means beyond 
the bounds of possibility that even Jesus spoke Greek when 
occasion demanded. At any rate, the early Jerusalem Church 
included a large body of Greek-speaking persons ; the "Hel- 
lenists" are mentioned in Acts vi. 1 in a way to which high 
historical importance is usually attributed. It is altogether 
probable, therefore, that the terminology current in the Jerusa- 
lem Church from the very beginning, or almost from the very 
beginning, was Greek as well as Aramaic. From this Greek- 
speaking part of the Church the original apostles could hardly 
have held themselves aloof. Total ignorance of Greek on the 
part of Galileans is improbable in view of what is known in 
general about linguistic conditions in Palestine; and in the 
capital, with its foreign connections, and its hosts of Hellen- 
ists, the opportunity for the use of Greek would be enormously 
increased. It is altogether improbable, therefore, that the 
Greek terminology of the Hellenists resident in Jerusalem was 
formed without the approval of the original disciples of Jesus. 
When the apostle Paul, therefore, assumes everywhere that the 
term "Lord" as applied to Jesus was no peculiarity of his own, 
but was familiar to all his readers, the phenomenon can be 
best explained if not only the sense of the title, but also its 
Greek form, was due to the mother Church. In other words, 
the transition from Aramaic to Greek, as the language of the 
disciples of Jesus, did not occur at Antioch or Tarsus, as 
Bousset seems to think. In all probability it occurred at 
Jerusalem, and occurred under the supervision of the imme- 
diate friends of Jesus. It could not possibly, therefore, have 
involved a transformation of the original faith. 

But the linguistic considerations just adduced are only 
supplementary. Even if the use of Greek in Jerusalem was 
less important than has here been suggested, the state of the 

x Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 3te Aufl., i, 1906, pp. 24-32, 
39-47 (English Translation, Introduction to the New Testament, 2nd Ed., 
1917, i, pp. 34-46, 57-67). 


case is not essentially altered. Every attempt at separating 
the religion of Paul sharply from the religion of the Jerusa- 
lem Church has resulted in failure. Whatever may have been 
the linguistic facts, the divine Lord of the Epistles was also 
the Lord of those who had been intimate friends of Jesus of 

Bousset of course rejects this conclusion. But he does 
so on insufficient grounds. His theory, it may well be main- 
tained, has already broken down at the most decisive point. 
It is not really possible to interpose the Christianity of Antioch 
and Tarsus between the Jerusalem Church and Paul; it is 
not really possible to suppose that that Christianity of Antioch 
was essentially different from the Jerusalem Christianity 
which had given it birth; in particular it is not possible to 
deny the use of the title "Lord," and the religious attitude 
toward Jesus which the title represents, to the original friends 
of Jesus. Examination of the further elements of Bousset's 
theory, therefore, can be undertaken only under protest. But 
such examination is important. For it will confirm the un- 
favorable impression which has already been received. 

If, as Bousset says, the title "Lord," as a designation of 
Jesus, originated not at Jerusalem but at Antioch, in what 
way did it originate? It orginated, Bousset believes, in the 
meetings of the Church, and it originated in dependence upon 
the surrounding pagan cults. At Jerusalem, according to 
Bousset, the piety of the disciples was purely eschatological ; 
Jesus was awaited with eagerness, He was to come in glory, 
but meanwhile He was absent. There was no thought of com- 
munion with Him. At Antioch, however, a different attitude 
began to be assumed. As the little community of disciples 
was united for comfort and prayer and the reception of the 
ecstatic gifts of the Spirit, it came to be felt that Jesus was 
actually present; the wonderful experiences of the meetings 
came to be attributed to Him. But if He was actually present 
in the meetings of the Church, a new title was required to ex- 
press what He meant to those who belonged to Him. And one 
title lay ready to hand. It was the title "Lord." That title 
was used by the pagans to designate their own false gods. 
Surely no lower title could be used by the Christians to desig- 
nate their Jesus. The title "Lord," moreover, was especially 
a cult-title; it was used to designate those gods who presided 


especially over the worship, over the "cult," of the pagan re- 
ligions. But it was just in the "cult," in the meetings of the 
Church, that the new attitude toward Jesus had arisen. The 
experience of Jesus' presence, therefore, and the title which 
would give expression to it, were naturally joined together. 
In the rapture of a meeting of the group of worshipers, in 
the midst of wonderful ecstatic experiences, some member of 
the Church at Antioch or Tarsus, or perhaps many members 
simultaneously, uttered the momentous words, "Lord Jesus." 

Thus occurred, according to the theory of Bousset, the 
most momentous event in the history of Christianity, one of 
the most momentous events in the whole religious history of 
the race. Christianity ceased to be merely faith in God like 
the faith which Jesus had; it became faith in Jesus. Jesus 
was now no longer merely an example for faith ; He had be- 
come the object of faith. The prophet of Nazareth had be- 
come an object of worship ; the Messiah had given way to the 
"Lord." Jesus had taken a place which before had been 
assigned only to God. 

This estimate of the event of course depends upon Bousset's 
critical conclusions about the New Testament literature. And 
those conclusions are open to serious objections. The objec- 
tions have already been considered so far as the title "Lord" 
is concerned; that title cannot really be denied to the original 
disciples of Jesus. Equally serious are the objections against 
what Bousset says about "faith in Jesus." A consideration 
of these objections lies beyond the scope of the present dis- 
cussion. The ground has been covered in masterly fashion 
by James Denney, who has shown that even in the earliest 
strata of the Gospel literature, as they are distinguished by 
modern criticism of sources, Jesus appears not merely as an 
example for faith but as the object of faith indeed, that 
Jesus actually so presented Himself. 1 Christianity was 
never a mere imitation of the faith which Jesus reposed in 
God. But it is now necessary to return to the examination 
of the Antioch Church. 

The title "Lord," as applied to Jesus, Bousset believes, 

originated in the meetings of the Antioch disciples in what 

may be called, for want of a better term, the "public worship" 

of the Church. This assertion constitutes an important step 

1 Denney, Jesus and the Gospel, 1908. 


in Bousset's reconstruction. But the evidence adduced in sup- 
port of it is insufficient. The passages cited from the Pauline 
Epistles show, indeed, that great importance was attributed 
to the meetings of the Church; they show perhaps that the 
custom of holding such meetings prevailed from the very 
beginning. But they do not show that the whole of the Church's 
devotion to Christ and the whole of Paul's religion were derived, 
by way of development, from the cult. It is not necessary to 
suppose either that the individual relation to Christ was de- 
rived from the cult, or that the cult was derived from the 
individual relation. There is also a third possibility that 
individual piety and the cult were both practised from the 
very beginning side by side. At any rate, Bousset has vastly 
underestimated the importance of the conversion as determining 
the character of Paul's religious life. The Damascus experi- 
ence lay at the very foundation of all of Paul's thinking and 
all of his actions. Yet that experience had nothing to do with 
the cult. 

But even if, in accordance with Bousset's reconstruction, 
the title "Lord" was applied to Jesus under the influence of 
the ecstatic conditions that prevailed in the meetings of the 
Church, the origin of the title is not yet explained. How did 
the Christians at Antioch come to think that their ecstatic 
experiences were due to the fact that Jesus was presiding over 
their meetings? And if they did come to think so, why did 
they choose just the title "Lord" in order to express the dig- 
nity that they desired to attribute to Him? 

At this point, Bousset has recourse to a comparison with 
the surrounding paganism. The term "Lord," he says, was 
common in the Hellenistic age as a title of the cult-gods of 
the various forms of worship. And the material which Bousset 
has collected in proof of this assertion is entirely convincing. 
Not only in the worship of the Emperors and other rulers, but 
also in the Hellenized religions of the East, the title "Lord" 
was well known as a designation of divinity. Indeed, Paul 
himself refers plainly to the currency of the title. "For though 
there be," he says, "that are called gods, whether in heaven 
or on earth; as there are gods many, and lords many; yet to 
us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we 
unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all 
things, and we through him" (1 Cor. viii. 5, 6). In this pas- 


sage, the "lords many" are of course heathen gods, and it is 
clearly implied that the term "lord" was the title which was 
given them by their own worshipers. Bousset is entirely cor- 
rect, therefore, when he says that the title "Lord," at Antioch, 
at Tarsus, and everywhere in the Greco-Roman world, was 
clearly a title of divinity. Indeed, it may be added, the word 
"lord" was no whit inferior in dignity to the term "god." 
When the early Christian missionaries, therefore, called Jesus 
"Lord," it was perfectly plain to their pagan hearers every- 
where that they meant to ascribe divinity to Him and desired 
to worship Him. 

Thus the currency of the title in pagan religion was of 
great importance for the early Christian mission. But that 
does not necessarily mean that the title was applied to Jesus 
in the first place because of the pagan usage, or that the 
ascription of divine dignity to Jesus was first ventured upon 
because the Christians desired to place the one whom they 
revered in a position at least equal to that of the pagan cult- 
gods. It is these assertions which have not been proved. In- 
deed, they are improbable in the extreme. They are rendered 
improbable, for example, by the sturdy monotheism of the 
Christian communities. That monotheism was not at all im- 
paired by the honor which was paid to Jesus ; the Christian 
communities were just as intolerant of other gods as had been 
the ancient Hebrew prophets. This intolerance and exclusive- 
ness of the early Church constitutes a stupendous difference 
between the Christian "Jesus-cult" and the cults of the other 
"Lords." The pagan cults were entirely tolerant ; worship 
of one Lord did not mean the relinquishment of another. But 
to the Christians there was one Lord and one only. It is 
very difficult to see how in an atmosphere of such monotheism 
the influence of the pagan cults could have been allowed to 
intrude. Any thought of the analogy which an application of 
the title "Lord" to Jesus would set up between the meetings 
of the Church at Antioch and the worship of the heathen gods 
would have hindered, rather than have actually caused, the 
use of the title. Evidently the title, and especially the divine 
dignity of Jesus which the title expressed, were quite inde- 
pendent of the pagan usage. 

1 Warfteld, '"God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,'" in The 
Princeton Theological Review, xv, 1917, p. 18. 


Certainly the mere fact that the Christians used a title 
which was also used in the pagan cults does not establish any 
dependence upon paganism. For the title "Lord" 1 was 
almost as well established as a designation of divinity as was 
the term "God." 2 Whatever had been the origin of the 
religious use of the word, that use had become a part of the 
Greek language. A missionary who desired to proclaim the 
one true God was obliged, if he spoke in Greek, to use the term 
"God," which of course had been used in pagan religion. So 
if he desired to designate Jesus as God, by some word which 
at the same time would distinguish Him from God the Father, 
he was obliged to use the word "Lord," though that word also 
had been used in paganism. Neither in the one case nor in the 
other did the use of a Greek word involve the slightest influ- 
ence of the conceptions which had been attached to the word 
in a polytheistic religion. 

But there was a far stronger reason for the application 
of the Greek term "Lord" to Jesus than that which was found 
in its general currency among Greek-speaking peoples. The 
religious use of the term was not limited to the pagan cults, 
but appears also, and if anything even more firmly established, 
in the Greek Old Testament. The word "Lord" is used by the 
Septuagint to translate the "Jahwe" of the Hebrew text. 
It would be quite irrelevant to discuss the reasons which gov- 
erned the translators in their choice of this particular word. 
No doubt some word for "Lord" was required by the associa- 
tions which had already clustered around the Hebrew word. 
And various reasons may be suggested for the choice of 
"kyrios" rather than some other Greek word meaning 
"lord." 3 Possibly the root meaning of "kyrios" better ex- 
pressed the idea which was intended; perhaps, also, a religious 
meaning had already been attached to "kyrios," which the 
other words did not possess. At any rate, whatever may have 
been the reason, "kyrios" was the word which was chosen. 
And the fact is of capital importance. For it was among the 
readers of the Septuagint that Christianity first made its 
way. The Septuagint was the Bible of the Jewish synagogues, 
and in the synagogues the reading of it was heard not only 

8 As, for example, 


by Jews but also by hosts of Gentiles, the "God-fearers" of 
the Book of Acts. It was with the "God-fearers" that the 
Gentile mission began. And even where there were Gentile 
converts who had not passed at all through the school of the 
synagogue in the very earliest period perhaps such converts 
were few even then the Septuagint was at once used in their 
instruction. Thus when the Christian missionaries used the 
word "Lord" of Jesus, their hearers knew at once what they 
meant. They knew at once that Jesus occupied a place which 
is occupied only by God. For the word "Lord" is used count- 
less times in the Greek scriptures as the holiest name of the 
covenant God of Israel, and these passages were applied freely 
to Jesus. 

This Septuagint use of the term "Lord," with the appli- 
cation of the Septuagint passages to Jesus, which appears 
as a matter of course in the Epistles of Paul, was of vastly 
more importance for the early Christian mission than the use 
of the term in the pagan cults. And it sheds vastly more 
light upon the original significance of the term as applied to 
Jesus. But the pagan usage is interesting, and the exhibition 
of it by Bousset and others should be thankfully received. An 
important fact has been established more and more firmly by 
modern research the fact that the Greek word "kyrios" in the 
first century of our era was, wherever the Greek language 
extended, distinctly a designation of divinity. The common 
usage of the word indeed persisted; the word still expressed 
the relation which a master sustained toward his slaves. But 
the word had come to be a characteristically religious term, 
and it is in the religious sense, especially as fixed by the Sep- 
tuagint, that it appears in the New Testament. 

Thus it is not in accordance with New Testament usage 
when Jesus is called, by certain persons in the modern Church, 
"the Master," rather than "the Lord." Sometimes, perhaps, 
this usage is adopted in conscious protest against the New 
Testament conception of the deity of Christ; Jesus is spoken 
of as "the Master," in very much the way in which the leader 
of a school of artists is spoken of as "the Master" by his fol- 
lowers. Or else the word means merely the one whose com- 
mands are to be obeyed. But sometimes the modern fashion 
is adopted by devout men and women with the notion that the 


English word "Lord" has been worn down and that the use 
of the word "Master" is a closer approach to the mean- 
ing of the Greek Testament. This notion is false. In trans- 
lating the New Testament designation of Jesus, one should 
not desire to get back to the original meaning of the word 
"kyrios." For the Greek word had already undergone a de- 
velopment, and as applied to Jesus in the New Testament it 
was clearly a religious term. It had exactly the religious 
associations which are now possessed by our English word 
"Lord." And for very much the same reason. The religious 
associations of the English word "Lord" are due to Bible 
usage; and the religious associations of the New Testament 
word "kyrios" were also due to Bible usage the usage of the 
Septuagint. The Christian, then, should remember that "a 
little learning is a dangerous thing." The uniform substitu- 
tion of "the Master" for "the Lord" in speaking of Jesus has- 
only a false appearance of freshness and originality. In reality 
it sometimes means a departure from the spirit of the New 
Testament usage. 

Accordingly, Bousset has performed a service in setting 
in clear relief the religious meaning of the word "Lord." But 
he has not succeeded in explaining the application of that 
word to Jesus. 

Further difficulties, moreover, beset Bousset's theory. The 
term "Lord" as applied to Jesus, and the religious attitude 
toward Jesus expressed by the term, arose, according to Bous- 
set, in the meetings of such communities as the one at Antioch, 
and under the influence of pagan conceptions. But of course 
Bousset's explanation of the origin of Paulinism has not yet 
been completely set forth. Paulinism is something far more 
than an ecstatic worship of a cult-god; the personal relation 
to Christ dominates every department of the apostle's life. 

Bousset recognizes this fact. The religion of Paul, he 
admits, is something far more than the religion which was 
expressed in the meetings of the Antioch Church. But he sup- 
poses that the other elements of Paul's religion, far-reaching 
as they are, had at least their starting-point in the cult. Here 
is to be found one of the least plausible elements in the whole 
construction. Bousset has underestimated the individualistic 
character of Paul's religion. At least he has not succeeded 


in showing that the Pauline life "in Christ" or "in the Lord" 
was produced by development from ecstatic experiences in the 
meetings of the Antioch Church. 

But if the individualistic religion of Paul was developed 
from the "cult," how was it developed? How shall the intro- 
duction of the new elements be explained? Bousset has at- 
tacked this problem with great earnestness. And he tries to 
show that the religion of Paul as it appears in the Epistles 
was developed from the cult religion of Antioch by the identifi- 
cation of "the Lord" with "the Spirit," and by the generalizing 
and ethicizing of the conception of the Spirit's activity. 

The Pauline doctrine of the Spirit, Bousset believes, was 
derived from the pagan mystical religion of the Hellenistic 
age. Quite aside from the matter of terminology though the 
contentions of Reitzenstein are thought by Bousset to be es- 
sentially correct the fundamental pessimistic dualism of Paul 
was based, according to Bousset, upon that widespread type 
of thought and life which appears in the mystery religions and 
in the Hermetic writings. According to this pessimistic way 
of thinking, salvation could never be attained by human na- 
ture, even with divine aid, but only by an entirely new begin- 
ning, produced by the substitution of the divine nature for the 
old man. By the apostle Paul, Bousset continues, this super- 
naturalism, this conception of the dominance of divine power 
in the new life, was extended far beyond the limits of the cult 
or of visionary experiences ; the Spirit was made to be the 
ruling principle of the Christian's life; not only prophecy, 
tongues, healing, and the like, were now regarded as the fruit 
of the Spirit, but also love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kind- 
ness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control. But this 
Pauline extension of the Spirit's activity, Bousset insists, did 
not involve the slightest weakening of the supernaturalism 
which was characteristic of the original conception ; the Spirit 
that produced love, joy, peace, had just as little to do with 
the human spirit as the Spirit that caused men to speak with 
tongues. And the supernaturalism which here appears in 
glorified form was derived, Bousset concludes, from the mys- 
tical pagan religion of the Hellenistic age. 

This contention has already been discussed, and the weak- 
ness of it has been pointed out. The Pauline doctrine of the 
Spirit was not derived from contemporary paganism. But 


the exposition of Bousset's theory has not yet been finished. 
The Spirit whose activities were extended by Paul into the 
innermost recesses of the Christian's life was identified, Bousset 
says, with "the Lord" (2 Cor. iii. 17). This identification 
exerted an important influence upon both the elements that 
were brought together; it exerted an important influence upon 
the conception both of "the Lord" and of "the Spirit." If 
"the Lord" was identified, or brought into very close relation, 
with the Spirit, and if the Spirit's activity extended into the 
whole of life, then "the Lord" could no longer be for Paul 
merely the cult-god who was present in the meetings of the 
Church. On the contrary, He would have to be present every- 
where where the Spirit was present that is, He would have 
to be that in which the Christian lived and moved and had his 
being. Thus Paul could form the astonishing phrase "in 
Christ" or "in the Lord," for which Bousset admits that no 
analogy is to be found in pagan religion. On the other hand, 
the conception of the Spirit, Bousset believes, was necessarily 
modified by its connection with "the Lord." By the identifi- 
cation with an actual person who had lived but a few years 
before, "the Spirit" was given a personal quality which other- 
wise it did not possess. Or, to put the same thing in other 
words, the Pauline phrase "in the Lord" is not exactly the 
same in meaning as the phrase "in the Spirit" ; for it possesses 
a peculiar personal character. "This remarkable mingling 
of abstraction and personality," says Bousset, "this connec- 
tion of a religious principle with a person who had walked here 
on the earth and had here suffered death, is a phenomenon of 
peculiar power and originality." 

At this point, Bousset is in danger of being untrue to the 
fundamental principles of his reconstruction; he is in danger 
of bringing the religion of Paul into connection with the con- 
crete person of Jesus. But he detects the danger and avoids 
it. It must not be supposed, he says, that Paul had any very 
clear impression of the characteristics of the historical Jesus. 
For if he had had such an impression, he never could have con- 
nected Jesus with an abstraction like the Spirit. All that 
he was interested in, then, was the fact that Jesus had lived 
and especially that He had died. 

Yet these bare facts are thought to have been sufficient 
to impart to Paul's notion of the Spirit-Lord that peculiar 


personal quality which arouses the admiration of Bousset! 
The truth is, Bousset finds himself at this point face to face 
with the difficulty which besets every naturalistic explanation 
of the genesis of Paul's religion. The trouble is that a close 
connection of Paul with the historical Jesus is imperatively 
required by the historian in order to impart to Paul's relation 
to Christ that warm, personal quality which shines out from 
every page of the Epistles ; whereas, on the other hand, a wide 
separation of Paul from the historical Jesus is just as im- 
peratively required in order that Paul might not be hampered 
by historical tradition in raising Jesus to divine dignity and 
in bringing Him into connection with the Spirit of God. 

Modern criticism has wavered between the two require- 
ments ; it tries to preserve the rights of each. Bousset is more 
impressed by the second requirement ; Wernle, his opponent, is 
more impressed by the former. 1 But both are equally wrong. 
There is really only one way out of the difficulty. It is an 
old way and a radical way. But the world of scholarship may 
come back to it in the end. The fundamental difficulty in 
explaining the origin of Paulinism will never disappear by 
being ignored; it will never yield to compromises of any kind. 
It will disappear only when Jesus is recognized as being really 
what Paul presupposes Him to be and what all the Gospels 
represent Him as being the eternal Son of God, come to earth 
for the redemption of man, now seated once more on the throne 
of His glory, and working in the hearts of His disciples through 
His Spirit, as only God can work. Such a solution was never 
so unpopular as it is to-day. Acceptance of it will involve 
a Copernican revolution in many departments of human 
thought and life. But refusal of such acceptance has left 
an historical problem which so far has not been solved. 

At one point, Bousset admits, the religion of Paul was 
based upon an historical fact. It was based upon the death 
of Jesus. But the Pauline interpretation of the death of 
Jesus was derived, Bousset believes, in important particulars 
from contemporary pagan religion; the Pauline notion of 
dying and rising with Christ was formed under the influence 
of the widespread pagan conception of the dying and rising 
god. This assertion has become quite common among recent 

1 Wernle, "Jesus and Paulus. Antithesen zu Boussets Kyrios Christos," 
in Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche, xxv, 1915, pp. 1-92. 


scholars ; material in support of it has been collected in con- 
venient form by M. Bruckner. 1 But as a matter of fact, the 
evidence in support of the assertion is of the feeblest kind. 

The review of Hellenistic religion which was attempted 
in Chapter VI revealed, indeed, the fact that certain gods, 
especially Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, were represented first as 
dying and then as being resuscitated. The similarity of these 
figures to one another may perhaps be explained by the hypo- 
thesis that all of them were originally vegetation gods, whose 
death and resuscitation represented the withering of vegetation 
in the autumn and its renewal in the spring. At first sight, 
the parallel between these gods and Jesus may seem striking. 
Jesus also was represented as dying and as coming back to 
life again. But what is the significance of the parallel? Can 
it mean that the entire New Testament story of the death 
and resurrection of Jesus was derived from these vegetation 
myths? Such has been the conclusion of certain modern 
scholars. But of course this conclusion is absurd, and it is 
not favored by Bousset. The essential historicity of the 
crucifixion of Jesus under Pontius Pilate and of the rise of the 
belief in His resurrection among His intimate friends stands 
too firm to be shaken by any theory of dependence upon pagan 
myth. Thus the argument drawn from the parallel between 
the New Testament story and the pagan myth of the dying 
and rising god proves too much. If it proves anything, it 
proves that the New Testament story of the resurrection was 
derived from the pagan myth. But such a view has not been 
held by any serious historians. Therefore it will have to be 
admitted that the parallel between the belief that Adonis and 
Osiris and Attis died and rose again, and the belief that Jesus 
died and rose again was not produced by dependence of one 
story upon the other. It will have to be recognized, therefore, 
that a parallel does not always mean a relationship of de- 
pendence. And if it does not do so at one point, perhaps it 
does not do so at others. 

But Bousset will insist that although the New Testament 
story of the death and resurrection of Jesus was not originally 
produced by the pagan myth, yet the influence of the pagan 
conception made itself felt in the interpretation which Paul 
placed upon the story. Paul believed that the Christian shared 
1 Der sterbende und auferstehende Gottheiland, 1908. 


the fate of Christ died with Christ and rose with Christ. 
But a similar conception appears in the pagan religions. The 
classical expression of this idea appears in the oft-quoted 
words reported by Firmicus Maternus, "Be of good courage, 
ye initiates, since the god is saved; for to us there shall be 
salvation out of troubles." 

But it must be remembered that the testimony of Firmicus 
Maternus is very late, and that the evidence for the prevalence 
of the conception in the early period is somewhat scanty. The 
confident assertions of recent writers with regard to these 
matters are nothing short of astonishing. Lay readers are 
likely to receive the impression that the investigator can re- 
construct the conception of a dying and rising god, and of 
the share which the worshipers have in the death and resur- 
rection, on the basis of some vast store of information in the 
extant sources. As a matter of fact, nothing of the sort is 
the case. The extant information about the conception in 
question is scanty in the extreme, and for the most part dates 
from long after the time of Paul. 

It would be going too far, indeed, to assert that the con- 
ception of the dying and rising god, with its religious sig- 
nificance, was not in existence before the Pauline period. An 
ancient Egyptian text, for example, has been quoted by Er- 
man, which makes the welfare of the worshiper depend upon 
that of Osiris : "Even as Osiris lives, he also shall live." 
Very likely some such conceptions were connected also with the 
mourning and subsequent rejoicing for Attis and Adonis. But 
if the conception was existent in the pre-Pauline period, it by 
no means follows that it was common. Certainly its prevalence 
has been enormously exaggerated in recent years. Against 
such exaggerations, J. Weiss who surely cannot be accused 
of any lack of sympathy with the methods of comparative re- 
ligion as applied to the New Testament has pertinently 
called attention to 1 Cor. i. 23. Christ crucified, Paul says, 
was "to the Gentiles foolishness." 2 That does not look 
as though the Gentiles among whom Paul labored were very 

1 Erman, "A Handbook of Egyptian Religion" (published in the original 
German edition as a handbook, by the Generalverwaltung of the Berlin 
Imperial Museum), 1907, p. 95. 

a j. Weiss, "Das Problem der Entstehung des Christentums," in Archiv 
fur Religionswissenschaft, xvi, 1913, p. 490. 


familiar with the notion of a dying god. If the contentions 
of Bruckner were correct, if the conception of the dying god 
were as common in Paul's day as Bruckner supposes, the Cross 
would not have been "to the Gentiles foolishness"; on the con- 
trary, it would have seemed to the Gentiles to be the most 
natural thing in the world. 

But even if the early prevalence of the conception of a 
dying and rising god, with its religious significance, were better 
established than it is, the dependence of Paul upon that con- 
ception would by no means be proved. For the Pauline con- 
ception is totally different. One difference, of course, is per- 
fectly obvious and is indeed generally recognized the Pauline 
Christ is represented as dying voluntarily, and dying for the 
sake of men. He "loved me," says Paul, "and gave himself for 
me." There is absolutely nothing like that conception in the 
case of the pagan religions. Osiris, Adonis, and Attis were 
overtaken by their fate; Jesus gave His life freely away. The 
difference is stupendous ; it involves the very heart of the re- 
ligion of Paul. How was the difference caused? Whence wad 
derived the Pauline conception of the grace of Christ? Was it 
derived from Jesus Himself? Was it derived from the knowl- 
edge which Paul had of the character of Jesus? The supposi- 
tion might seem to be natural. But unfortunately, from the 
point of view of Bousset, it must be rejected. For if Paul had 
had any knowledge of Jesus' real character, how could he ever 
have supposed that Jesus, a mere man, was the heavenly Lord? 

Another difference is even more fundamental. The death 
and resurrection of the pagan gods was a matter of the cult; 
the death and resurrection of the Pauline Christ was a fact 
of history. It has been observed in the review of Hellenistic 
religion that the cults in the pagan religions were much more 
firmly fixed than the myths ; in the opinion of modern scholars, 
the myths were derived from the cults rather than vice versa. 
So in the case of the "dying and rising gods," one is struck 
above all things with the totally fluid character of the myths. 
The story of Attis, for example, is told in many divergent 
forms, and there does not seem to have been the slightest 
interest among the Attis worshipers for the establishment 
of any authentic account of the death and resurrection of 
the god. Particularly the "resurrection" of the god appears 
in the myths of Attis, Adonis, and Osiris scarcely at all. The 


real death and resurrection occurred only in the cult. Every 
year in March, the Attis-worshipers at Rome first saw the 
god lying dead as he was represented by the fir-tree, and then 
rejoiced in his resurrection. The death and resurrection were 
hardly conceived of as events which had happened once for 
all long ago. They were rather thought of as happening at 
every celebration of the festival. 

The Pauline treatment of the death and resurrection of 
Christ is entirely different. By Bousset, indeed, the difference 
is partly obscured; Bousset tries to show .that the Pauline 
conception of the dying and rising of the believer with Christ 
was derived from the celebration of the sacraments. But 
there could be no more radical error. What is plainest of all 
in the Epistles is the historical character of the Pauline mes- 
sage. The religion of Paul was rooted in an event, and the 
sacraments were one way of setting forth the significance of 
the event. The event was the redemptive work of Christ in 
His death and resurrection. 

Here lies the profoundest of all differences between Paul 
and contemporary religion. Paulinism was not a philosophy; 
it was not a set of directions for escape from the misery of 
the world ; it was not an account of what had always been true. 
On the contrary, it was an account of something that had 
happened. The thing that had happened, moreover, was not 
hidden in the dim and distant past. The account of it was 
not evolved as a justification for existing religious forms. 
On the contrary, the death and resurrection of Jesus, upon 
which Paul's gospel was based, had happened only a few years 
before. And the facts could be established by adequate testi- 
mony; the eyewitnesses could be questioned, and Paul appeals 
to the eyewitnesses in detail. The single passage, 1 Cor. xv. 1-8, 
is sufficient to place a stupendous gulf between the Pauline 
Christ and the pagan saviour-gods. But the character of 
Paulinism does not depend upon one passage. Everywhere 
in the Epistles Paul stakes all his life upon the truth of what 
he says about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The 
gospel which Paul preached was an account of something that 
had happened. If the account was true, the origin of Paulin- 
ism is explained ; if it was not true, the Church is based upon 
an inexplicable error. 

This latter alternative has been examined in the preceding 


discussion. If Jesus was not the divine Redeemer that Paul 
says He was, how did the Pauline religion of redemption arise? 
Three great hypotheses have been examined and have been 
found wanting. Paulinism, it has been shown, was not based 
upon the Jesus of modern naturalism ; if Jesus was only what 
He is represented by modern naturalistic historians as being, 
then what is really distinctive of Paul was not derived from 
Jesus. The establishment of that fact has been a notable 
achievement of Wrede and Bousset. But if what is essential 
in Paulinism was not derived from Jesus, whence was it de- 
rived? It was not derived, as Wrede believed, from the pre- 
Christian apocalyptic notions of the Messiah; for the apoca- 
lyptic Messiah was not an object of worship, and not a living 
person to be loved. It was not derived from pagan religion, 
in accordance with the brilliant hypothesis of Bousset; for 
pagan influence is excluded by the self-testimony of Paul, and 
the pagan parallels utterly break down. But even if the paral- 
lels were ten times closer than they are, the heart of the prol> 
lem would not even have been touched. The heart of the prob- 
lem is found in the Pauline relation to Christ. That relation 
cannot be described by mere enumeration of details ; it cannot 
be reduced to lower terms; it is an absolutely simple and indi- v 
visible thing. The relation of Paul to Christ is a relation 
of love ; and love exists only between persons. It is not a group 
of ideas that is to be explained, if Paulinism is to be accounted 
for, but the love of Paul for his Saviour. And that love is 
rooted, not in what Christ had said, but in what Christ had 
done. He "loved me and gave Himself for me." There lies 
the basis of the religion of Paul; there lies the basis of all of 
Christianity. That basis is confirmed by the account of 
Jesus which is given in the Gospels, and given, indeed, in all 
the sources. It is opposed only by modern reconstructions. 
And those reconstructions are all breaking down. The religion 
of Paul was not founded upon a complex of ideas derived from 
Judaism or from paganism. It was founded upon the his- 
torical Jesus. But the historical Jesus upon whom it was 
founded was not the Jesus of modern reconstruction, but the 
Jesus of the whole New Testament and of Christian faith ; not 
a teacher who survived only in the memory of His disciples, 
but the Saviour who after His redeeming work was done still 
lived and could still be loved. 



Acts, Book of, 32-40, should be al- 
lowed to help in interpreting the 
Pauline Epistles, 125 

Adonis, 314f., religion of, 234f. 

Adoptionist Christology, not found 
in Pauline Epistles, 118 

Agabus, 33f., 78 

Agrae, mysteries of, 217 

Alexander the Great, 220 

Alexandria, Church at, 16 

Ananias (in Acts), 71 

Ananias (in Josephus), 12 

Andronicus and Junias, 140f. 

Anrich, 212 

Antioch, 29f., 77ff., 122ff.: Apostolic 
Decree addressed to, 94ff.; Peter 
at, 97-106; Church at, 16 

Antioch, pre-Pauline Christianity of: 
not channel by which pagan re- 
ligion influenced Paul, 257ff.; how 
investigated, 257-259; not essen- 
tially different from that of Je- 
rusalem, 259f.; did it originate 
application of term "Lord" to 
Jesus, 299, 303-307 

Apocalypses, Jewish, not used by 
Paul, 192f. 

Apocrypha, Old Testament, 182f. 

Apollos, 109 

Apostles, the original: attitude to- 
ward Paul at the Apostolic Coun- 
cil, 86f.; relation with Paul, 120- 
137; observed Mosaic Law, 126- 
128; were inwardly free from 
Law, 127f.; agreed with Paul 
about the person of Christ, 135- 
137; contact with Paul, 139 

Apostolic Council, the, 39, 80-100 

Apostolic Decree, the, 87-98, 110: 
was accompanied by Judas and 
Silas, 140 

Apostolic Fathers, the, 6 

Apuleius, 222f., 233f., 241 

Arabia, Paul's journey to, 71-74 

Aretas, 74 

"Asclepius," the, 242 

Atargatis, 235 

Athenodorus, 45 

Athletic games, use of figures re- 
garding the, by Paul, 260 

Attis, 314-316: religion of, 227-231; 
mysteries of, 283 

Baals, the Syrian, 235 

Bacchanalian rites in Italy, 250 

Bacon, B. W., 91, 139, 181, 197 

Baldensperger, 178, 192, 204 

Baptism, in pagan religion, 280f. 

Baptism for the dead, 288 

Barnabas, 16, 78fF., 83f., 99: was car- 
ried away with Peter at Antioch, 
102; dispute with Paul, 105-107; 
relations with Paul, 106 f.; was 
member of Jerusalem Church, 
137 f.; contact with Paul, 137f. 

Barnabas, Epistle of, 18 

Baruch, Second Book of, 180, 191 

Baur, F. C., 6, 31, 37, 85, 105, 107, 
119ff., 124 f., 128 f. 

Beecher, 182 

Bengel, 103 

Beyschlag, 60, 63, 65 

Bible, introduction of the, into Indo- 
European civilization, 20 

Blass, 90 

Bohlig, 45, 141, 300 

Bousset, W., 28-30, 47, 49, 52, 67, 72, 
78, 156, 161, 172-199, 204-207, 244, 
257-262, 267 f., 270, 274, 278, 293- 

Bruckner, 27, 185, 191, 194ff., 205f., 
211, 234, 313, 315 

Buddhism, early, 274 

Burton, E. D., 267f., 271 

Byblos, 231, 234f. 

Charles, 180, 186, 188, 190 

"Christ," the term, 297f. 

Christianity, origin of: importance 
of the question, 3f. ; two ways of 
investigating, 4f.; testimony of 
Paul to, 4f. 




Christianity, monotheism of, 306 

"Christians," first application of the 
name, 78 

Christology, the Pauline: not derived 
from pre-Christian Jewish doc- 
trine of the Messiah, 173-207; not 
derived from pre-Christian Jewish 
doctrine of Wisdom, 199-204; not 
derived from pagan religion, 293- 

Christ-party, the, at Corinth, 120 

Circumcision, 17 

Clemen, 262 

Clement of Alexandria, 230, 281 

Clement of Rome, 105 

Colossae, errorists in, 129 f. 

Colossians, Epistle to the, 31, 104 

Corinthian Chmrch, parties in the, 

Corinthians, Epistles to the, 31 

Cornelius, 16, 19, 83 

Cross of Christ, the, 19, 63f. 

Cult, Bousset's exaggeration of the 
importance of the, 303ff. 

Cumont, 212, 2271f., 232, 236, 243f., 
247, 281 f. 

Cybele, religion of, 8, 227-231 

Cybele and Attis, mysteries of, 229- 

Cynics, the, 225 

Dalman, 187 

Damascus, 71 if., 76: preaching of 
Paul at, 72f.; escape of Paul from, 

Damascus, pre-Pauline Christianity 
of: how investigated, 257-259; not 
channel by which pagan religion 
influenced Paul, 257ff.; not es- 
sentially different from that of 
Jerusalem, 259f. ; did it originate 
application of the term "Lord" to 
Jesus, 299 

Date, question of, with reference to 
pagan ideas and practices, 237-41 

Death of Christ, the, was voluntary, 

Death and resurrection of Jesus: his- 
toricity of, 312f. ; not derived from 
the cult, 315f. 

Death and resurrection of pagan 
gods, the myths concerning, 
thought to have been derived from 
the cults, 31 5f. 

Deification: in pagan religion, 245, 
263; not found in Paul, 263-265 

Demeter, 217f. 

Denney, James, 155, 304 

Dieterich, 246f., 251 

Dionysus, 215f., religion of, 282f. 

Dispersion, Judaism of the: was it 

"liberal," 175-177; did not produce 

Gentile mission of Paul, 175ff. 
Drews, 294 
Dualism of Hellenistic age, different 

from Paulinism, 276 
Dying and rising god, the, 211, 234 f., 

237, 312-316 

Ebionites, the, 125f. 

Ecclesiasticus, 200 

Eleusis, mysteries of, 217-219, 281 

Emmet, 81, 176, 180 

Emperors, worship of the, 221 

Enoch, First Book of, 181, 184, 186- 

189, 193, 198f., 203 
Epicureans, the, 225 
Ephesians, Epistle to the, 31, 104 
Erman, 314 

Eschatology, consistent, 156f. 
Essenes, 177 
Ethics, same teaching about, in 

Jesus and in Paul, 164f. 
Eusebius, 139 
Ezra, Fourth Book of, 176, 180, 187, 

189f., 196 

Faith in Jesus, did not originate at 

Antioch, 303ff. 
"Famine visit," historicity of the, 


Farnell, 212, 217 
Fatherhood of God, same teaching 

about, in Jesus and in Paul, 161- 

Firmicus Maternus, 229, 237, 241, 

251, 281, 314 
"Flesh," Pauline use of the term: 

without parallel in pagan usage, 

275f.; based on Old Testament, 


Future life, interest in the, stimulat- 
ed by worship of Dionysus and by 

Orphism, 21 6f. 

Galatians, Epistle to the: genuine- 
ness, 31 ; addressees, 81 ; date, 
81 ff. ; must be interpreted in the 
light of I Cor. xv. 1-11, 144f. 

Gamaliel, 47, 52 

Gautama, 274 

Gentile Christianity: in what sense 
founded by Paul, 7-21; in what 
sense founded by Jesus, 13-15; 
part in the founding of, taken by 
missionaries other than Paul, 15f. 



Gentiles, reception of, according to 
the Old Testament, 17 

Gischala, 44 

Gnosis, 262-265: idea of, in Paul, 
263-265; not a technical term in 
Paul, 263 

Gnosticism, 247-251, 268f.: pagan 
basis of, 247; can it be used as a 
witness to pre-Christian paganism, 
247-250; Christian elements in, 
249f.; use in, of terms "Spirit" 
and "spiritual" due to dependence 
on the New Testament, 268f. 

"God," the term, 306f. 

Golden Rule, negative form of the, 

Gospel, the Pauline, was a matter of 
history, 264 f. 

Gospels, the: contain an account of 
Jesus like that presupposed in the 
Pauline Epistles, 153f.; were they 
influenced by Paul, 154f., 159 

Grace, doctrine of, both in Jesus and 
in Paul, 164 

Grace of God according to Paul, 279 

Greece, religion of: influenced Rome, 
212f.; moral defects of, 214; was 
anthropomorphic polytheism, 214 
f.; was connected with the state, 
214f.; mystical elements in, 215ff.; 
was undermined by philosophy, by 
the fall of the city-state, and by 
the influence of the eastern re- 
ligions, 219f. 

Greek language: in Palestine, 53, 
302; Paul's use of, 44, 46, 53 

Gressmann, 181 

Hadad, 235 

Harnack, A. von, 6f., 26, 33-36, 98, 
119, 263, 273 

"Hebrew," meaning of the word, 46 

Heinrici, 265 

Heitmiiller, 47, 49, 52, 76-78, 157, 
243f., 257-261, 265, 282f. 

Helbig, 46 

"Hellenist," meaning of the word, 

Hellenistic age, the: cosmopolitanism 
in, 220; individualism in, 221; re- 
ligious propaganda in, 221 f. ; syn- 
cretism in, 222f.; longing for re- 
demption in, 223f. 

Hellenists, the, 302 

Hepding, 227-231, 283 

Hermas, Shepherd of, 242 

Hermes Trismegistus, 242-245, 248f., 
261 f., 265-267, 285: was it influ- 

enced by Christianity, 242f., 247f.; 
importance of, 243f.; places soul 
higher than spirit, 248f.; termin- 
ology different from Paul's, 265- 

Hermetic Corpus, 242-245, 277 

Herod Agrippa I, death of, 79 

Hilgenfeld, 90 

Hippolytus, 218, 249f. 

Holstein, 63-65, 76 

Holtzmann, H. J., 22 

Homer, 213f. 

"Illumination," the term, 273 

Initiated, to be, use of the verb by 
Paul, 271 f. 

Irenaeus, 89 

Isis, religion of, 8f. 

Isis, mysteries of, 232ff., had sacra- 
mental washings according to 
Tertullian, 281 

Isis and Osiris, religion of, 231-234 

Izates of Adiabene, 12 

James, 94, 98: contact of with Paul, 
75, 109-113, 137; men who came 
from, 101; attitude of, toward 
Paul, lllf.; attitude of Paul to- 
ward, 120ff . ; called "the brother of 
the Lord," 299f. 

Jerome, 44 

Jerusalem Church, the, 293-303: at- 
titude of, toward the Law, 19; re- 
lief of the poor of, 99f., 104, 112f.; 
new principle of the life of, 127; 
community of goods in, 138; con- 
tact of, with Paul, 139; treasured 
tradition about Jesus, 139; direct 
influence of, upon Paul, 258f . ; use 
of the term "Lord" by, 294-303 

Jesus Christ: historicity of, 5; in 
what sense founder of the Gentile 
mission, 13-15; Pauline conception 
of, 22; deification of, according to 
modern liberalism, 22-24; Mes- 
siahship of, according to the lib- 
eral hypothesis, 25; consciousness 
of sonship, according to the liberal 
hypothesis, 25; importance of, in 
the liberal explanation of the ori- 
gin of Paulinism, 25; Messiahship 
of, according to Bousset, 29; 
Lordship of, according to Bous- 
set, 29f.; divinity of, disputed by 
no one in the Apostolic Age, 129- 
137; knowledge of, according to 
Paul, 142-144; words of, in Paul- 
ine Epistles, 147-149; details of the 



life of, known to Paul, 149f.; 
character of, appreciated by Paul, 
150f.; comparison of, with Paul, 
153-169; presented Himself as 
Messiah, 155-158; personal affin- 
ity of, with Paul, 165; regarded by 
Paul as a Redeemer, not as a mere 
teacher, 167-169 

Jesus Christ, the liberal account of: 
attested by none of the sources, 
155; involves psychological contra- 
diction, 155-158; cannot explain the 
origin of the belief in the divine 
Redeemer, 158f. 

John, 98, went to Ephesus, 128 

Jones, Maurice, 81 

Josephus, 79, 177, 183 

Judaea, Churches of, 50-52, 75f. 

Judaism: missionary activity of, 9- 
11; prepared for Pauline mission, 
lOf. ; did not produce Christian 
universalism, 11-13; had no doc- 
trine of the vicarious death of the 
Messiah, 65, 196ff.; divisions with- 
in, 175-177; did not serve as 
medium for pagan influence upon 
Paul, 255f. 

Judaism, rabbinical, 176 

Judas, 140 

Judaizers, the, 19, 86, 98, 121, 125f., 
128, 131, 135, 278: activity of, sub- 
sided during the third missionary 
journey, 104, 107; did not dispute 
Paul's doctrine of the person of 
Christ, 129-137 

Judgment, teaching about, both in 
Jesus and in Paul, 164 

Justification, Pauline idea of: can 
find no analogy in Hermes Trisme- 
gistus, 277; importance of, in 
Paul's thinking, 277-279; not pro- 
duced merely as weapon against 
the Judaizers, 278f. ; intimately 
connected with the doctrine of the 
new creation, 279 

Justin Martyr, 185, 196, 236, 273, 

Juvenal, 227 

Kabeiri, the, 219 

Kennedy, H. A. A., 118, 233, 262, 

Kingdom of God, same teaching 

about, in Jesus and in Paul, 


Knowling, 104, 109, 147, 299 
Koine, the, 220 

Krenkel, 44f., 59 
Kroll, J., 242, 244, 249, 269 
Kroll, W., 242, 245 
Kykeon, the, 218, 281 

Laborers in the vineyard, parable of 
the, 164 

Lake, Kirsopp, 12f., 81 f., 89, 98 

Lake and Jackson, 186 

Law, the ceremonial, attitude of 
Jesus toward, 14f. 

Law, the Mosaic: function of, ac- 
cording to Paul, 18; attitude of 
the early Jerusalem Church to- 
ward, 19 ; observance of, by Jewish 
Christians, 92f., lOlf.; Jewish 
Christians zealous for, 110; added 
to, by the Jews, 178; Paul's early 
zeal for, 256 

Legalism, Jewish, 178-181 

Lexical method of determining ques- 
tions of dependence, 262 

Liberalism, was not the method of 
Paul in founding Gentile Christi- 
anity, 17 

Liberal Judaism, was not the at- 
mosphere of Paul's boyhood home, 
47, 256 

Lietzmann, 127 

Lightfoot, J. B., 47, 119 

Lipsius, 72 

Livy, 250 

Loisy, 47, 76, 229, 262 

Lord, the, connected by Paul with 
the Spirit, 31 Iff. 

"Lord," the term: applied by Paul 
to the Jesus who was on earth, 
117f.; use of, in primitive Jeru- 
salem Church, 294-303; occurrence 
of, in the Gospels, 295-298; the 
Aramaic basis of, 301, received 
Greek form in Jerusalem, 301 f.; 
not for the first time applied to 
Jesus at Antioch, 303ff.; use of, 
in pagan religion, 305 f.; use of, in 
the Septuagint, 307f. 

Lord's Supper, the : account of insti- 
tution of, 148f., 151f.; was thought 
by Justin Martyr to be imitated 
in religion of Mithras, 236; com- 
parison of, with pagan rites, 281- 
283; not dependent upon pagan 
notion of eating the god, 282f. 

Lucian, 225, 234f., 241 

Luke, 36f. 

Lycaonia, Apostolic Decree extended 
into, 94 



Maccabees, Fourth Book of, 196 

Magic: affinity of, for the mysteries, 
246; difference of, from religion, 

Magical papyri, the, 246f. 

"Mar," the term, 300f. 

Maranatha, 300f. 

Marciofn, 18 

Marcus Aurelius, 226 

Mark, John, 105, 106, 107, relations 
of, with Paul and with Peter, 138f. 

Marriage, the sacred, 230 

"Master," the term, applied to Jesus, 

Mead, 244 

Meals, sacred, in the mystery re- 
ligions, 281-283 

Menander, 271 

M&iard, 244 

Messiah, the: doctrines of, in Old 
Testament, 181f. ; doctrine of, in 
Judaism, 182ff.; Old Testament 
basis for later doctrine of, 191; 
pre-Christian doctrine of, exalted 
by identification with Jesus, 204 

Messiah, the apocalyptic: was dif- 
ferent from the Pauline Christ, 
194-199; had no part in creation, 
194; had no intimate relation to 
the believer, 194-197; was not di- 
vine, 197-199; what could have led 
to his identification with Jesus, 
205 f. 

"Mind," the term, in Hermes Tris- 
megistus, 267f., not produced by 
philosophical modification of the 
term "Spirit" 

Mind, not the same thing as Spirit in 
1 Cor. ii. 15, 16, 269 

Miracles: objection drawn from ac- 
counts of, against Lucan author- 
ship of Acts, 33-37; cannot be 
separated from the Gospel account 
of Jesus, 154f. 

Mithras, mysteries of, 236, 256: had 
sacramental washings according to 
Tertullian, 281; bread and cup in, 
281 f. 

Mithras, religion of, 8f., 235-237 

Mithras-liturgy, the so-called, 247, 
251, 267 

Mnason, 112 

Mommsen, 46 f. 

Montefiore, 176f. 

Morgan, W., 118, 164 

Moulton and Milligan, 281 

Murray, Gilbert, 223 

"Mystery," the term, in Paul, 272f. 

Mystery religions, the, 227ff: did 
not produce Gentile Christianity, 
8f.; were tolerant of other faiths, 
9; information about, in a Naas- 
sene writing, 249 f.; technical vo- 
cabulary of, 262ff. ; idea of gnosis 
in, 262-265; not the source of 
Paul's doctrine of the Spirit, 270; 
probably had not dominated many 
converts of Paul, 273; produced 
no strong consciousness of sin, 
276; did not produce the Pauline 
teaching about the sacraments, 

Mysticism, pagan, 239 ff. 

Naassenes, sect of the, 249 f. 
Neutral text, the, 87ff. 

Oepke, 264f., 273 

Old Catholic Church, 6, 119f.: found- 
ed on unity between Peter and 
Paul, 104f. 

Olschewski, 194 

Oracula Chaldaica, the, 245f. 

Orphism, 21 6f. 

Osiris, 229, 231 ff., 314f. 

Pagan religion: through what chan- 
nels could it have influenced Paul, 
255-261; did it influence Paul di- 
rectly, 260f. 

Papias, 139 

Parthey, 244. 

Particularism, in the Old Testament, 

Pastoral Epistles, the, 31 f. 

Paul: testimony of, as to origin of 
Christianity, 4f.; influence of, 6- 
21; geographical extent of the la- 
bors of, 16f.; importance of the 
theology of, in foundation of Gen- 
tile mission, 17-20; in what ways 
a witness about the origin of 
Christianity, 21 ; the genius of, not 
incompatible with the truth of his 
witnessing, 21; monotheism of, 23; 
sources of information about, 31- 
40; birth of, at Tarsus, 43f.; Ro- 
man citizenship of, 45 f.; Pharisa- 
ism of, 46 f.; was not a liberal Jew, 
47, 175ff.; was in Jerusalem be- 
fore conversion, 47-53; rabbinical 
training of, 52f. ; did he see Jesus 
before the conversion, 54-57; knew 
about Jesus before the conversion, 
57f., 66f.; conversion of, 58-68, 



145-147, 205, 305; malady of, 58f.; 
did he have the consciousness of 
sin before his conversion, 64-66; 
the conversion of, involved meet- 
ing with a person, 67f. ; baptism 
of, 71; at Damascus, 71ff.; went 
to Arabia, 71-74; escaped from 
Damascus, 74; rebuked Peter, 97, 
102; division of labor with Peter, 
99f.; first visit of, to Jerusalem, 
74-77; in Syria and Cilicia, 77; at 
Antioch, 78; famine visit of, to 
Jerusalem, 78ff. ; agreed with 
Peter in principle, 102, 123f . ; rela- 
tions of, with Peter, 102-105, 137; 
dispute of, with Barnabas, 105- 
107; relations of, with Barnabas, 
106f., 137f.; relations of, with 
James, 109-113; participation of, 
in a Jewish vow, llOf.; has been 
regarded by the Church as a dis- 
ciple of Jesus, 117; regarded him- 
self as a disciple of Jesus, 117f.; 
was regarded as a disciple of 
Jesus by Jesus' friends, 118-137; 
attitude of, toward Peter, 120ff.; 
attitude of, toward James, 120ff.; 
rebuked Peter, 122-124; had 
abundant sources of information 
about Jesus, 137-142; relations of, 
with Mark, 138f.; contact of, with 
the original apostles and with the 
Jerusalem Church, 139; contact of, 
with Silas, 140; the gospel of, in 
what sense did he receive it direct- 
ly from Christ, 145-147; meaning 
of the conversion of, for him, 145- 
147 ; shows knowledge of words of 
Jesus, 147-149; shows knowledge 
of details of Jesus' life, 149f.; 
shows .appreciation of Jesus' char- 
acter, 150f. ; knew more about 
Jesus than he has told in the 
Epistles, 151-153; comparison of, 
with Jesus, 153-169; personal af- 
finity of, with Jesus, 165; was not 
a disciple of "the liberal Jesus," 
166-169; his pre-conversion belief 
about the Messiah, 192-194; was 
not dependent upon the Jewish 
apocalypses, 192f.; personal rela- 
tion of, to Christ, was not derived 
from mere reflection on the death 
of the Messiah, 194-197; similarity 
of, to Jesus, not explained by com- 
mon dependence on Judaism, 206; 
the gospel of, was a matter of his- 
tory, 264 f.; how far did he use a 

terminology derived from the mys- 
teries, 271-273 

Pauline Epistles, the genuineness of, 
31 f. 

Paulinism: required exclusive devo- 
tion, 9; was a religion of redemp- 
tion, 22, 167-169; doctrine of the 
person of Christ in, was not dis- 
puted even by Judaizers, 129- 
137; was supernaturalistic, 288f.; 
was not external, 289 f.; was in- 
dividualistic, 309fi\; was not de- 
veloped from the cult, 309if.; was 
personal, 311f., 317; was histori- 
cal, 316 

Paulinism, the origin of: four ways 
of explaining, 24ff. ; supernatural- 
istic explanation of, 24; liberal ex- 
planation of, 24-26; radical expla- 
nations of, 26ff. ; found in pre- 
Christian Judaism by Wrede and 
BrUckner, 27f.; found in paganism 
by Bousset, 30; not really ex- 
plained by development from the 
liberal Jesus, 117-169; not really 
explained by Judaism, 173-207; not 
really explained by paganism, 211- 

Persephone, 218 
Personality, idea of, 202 f. 
Peter: received Cornelius, 16; with 
Paul in Jerusalem, 75-77; at 
Antioch, 97-106; rebuked by Paul, 
97, 102, 122-124; division of labor 
with Paul, 99f.; relations of, with 
Paul, 102-105 ; attitude of Paul to- 
ward, 120ff.; agreed with Paul in 
principle, 123f.; not in harmony 
with Ebionism, 125f.; went to 
Rome, 127f.; contact with Paul, 
137; relations of, with Mark, 

Pharisaism, not influenced by pagan 
religion, 255f. 

Pharisees, the, 177 

Philemon, Epistle to, 31 

Philippians, Epistle to the, 31, 104 

Philo, 183, 250f.: use of term 
"Spirit" by, due to Old Testament, 

Philosophy: undermined the religion 
of Greece, 219; practical interest 
of, in the Hellenistic age, 224ff. 

Plato, 224f., 275 

Plooij, 81 

Plutarch, 231, 236 

Poimandres, the, 242-245 

Posidonius, 225, 250 



Princeton Biblical Studies, 7, 17, 37, 

Princeton Theological Review, 37, 78, 

Psalms of Solomon, 190,193 

Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testa- 
ment, 182 

Ptolemy 1, 231 

Pythagoreanism, 217 

Ramsay, 45, 56, 81 

Rationalizing, revived by Torrey 
and others, 34 

Redemption: Paulinism a religion of, 
22, 167-169; was desired in the 
Hellenistic age, 223f.; value of, 
224; in pagan religion and in Paul, 
255-279; idea of, in Hellenistic age, 
274 if.; idea of, not an abnormal 
thing, 275; Pauline conception of, 
was not derived from pagan cults, 
274ff.; Pauline idea of, involves 
salvation from sin, 276 f. 

Regeneration: in pagan religion, 230, 
233, 240f., 244 f.; associated, in 
Paul, with justification, 279 

Reitzenstein, R., 242-244, 246, 248ff., 
274, 277, 262-280 

Religion and theology: union of, ac- 
cording to Wrede, 27; separation 
of, according to the liberal hy- 
pothesis, 25 f.; not to be separated 
in Paul, 166ff. 

Revelation, Book of, 120 

Ritschl, A., 6, 38f., 119f., 125 

Ritschlian theology, the, 23 

Rohde, 212, 223 

Romans, Epistle to the: genuineness 
of, 31; date of, 81 f.; can it be 
used in the reconstruction of the 
pre-Pauline Christianity of Da- 
mascus and Antioch, 259 

Rome, Church at, 16 

Rome, the native religion of, 212f. 

Sabazius, 215 

Sacraments, the Pauline: were not 
derived from the mystery re- 
ligions, 279-290; did not convey 
blessing ex opere operate, 283-288 ; 
were outward signs of an inner 
experience, 286f. 

Sadducees, the, 177 

Samothrace, the mysteries of, 219 

Schurer, 23, 65, 79, 156, 180, 183, 
186, 190, 196 

Seneca, 226 

Septuagint, importance of the, 307f. 

Serapis, religion of, 232ff. 

Servant coming in from the field, 
parable of the, 164 

Sethe, 281 

Showerman, 227, 231 

Sieifert, 72 

Silas, 16: contact of, with Paul, 140; 
was member of the Jerusalem 
Church, 140 

Sin, consciousness of: in Judaism, 
178-181; in Paul, 276f. 

Smith, W. B., 294 

Solomon, Psalms of, 184 

Son of Man, the: in I Enoch, 181, 
186ff. ; origin and meaning of the 
title, 187ff.; idea of, dominated 
the early Jerusalem Church, ac- 
cording to Bousset, 293f., 298 

Soul: placed higher than spirit in 
Hermes Trismegistus and lower 
than Spirit in Paul, 248 f., 267f.; 
conception of the, in Paul, 266if. 

Spirit: placed lower than soul in 
Hermes Trismegistus and (when 
the word designates the Spirit of 
God) higher than soul in Paul, 
248 f., 26 7 f . ; no evidence of popular 
pagan use of the term analogous 
to Pauline usage, 267-270; Greek 
materialistic use of the term, 267; 
use of the term in Philo shows in- 
fluence of the Old Testament, 
268; use of the term in Gnosticism 
due to dependence on New Testa- 
ment, 268f.; use of the term in 
Menander, 270 

Spirit, Pauline conception of the, 
265-271: different from that in 
mystery religions, 265, 270; does 
not make the divine Spirit take the 
place of the human soul, 266; has 
roots in the Old Testament, 270f. ; 
brings enrichment of Old Testa- 
ment teaching, 270; not derived 
from paganism, 310; Bousset's 
view of, 31 Off. 

"Spiritual man :" contrast with "psy- 
chic man," 265-270; the term not 
in accord with the terminology of 
Hermes Trismegistus, 266ff. 

Stephen, 16, 19, 66 

Stobaeus, 242 

Stoics, the: humanitarian achieve- 
ments of, 225 f.; humanitarian 
ideal of, differed from Christian 
ideal, 225 f. 

Strauss, 34 



Supernaturalism in Paul's religion, 


Syncretism, 222f., 237ff., 262 
Syria: religion of, 77; use of the 

term "Lord" in, 300 
Syria and Cilicia, 77, the Apostolic 

Decree addressed to, 94ff. 

Tammuz, 234 

Tarsus, 43f., 77: did not bring pa- 
gan influences effectively to bear 
upon Paul, 256f.; Christianity of, 
did it originate application of the 
term "Lord" to Jesus, 299. 

Taurobolium, 230f., 240f., 251 

"Teleios," the term, in Paul, 272f. 

Terminology, not necessarily impor- 
tant as establishing dependence in 
ideas, 272 

Terminology of the mysteries, the 
technical, does not appear in the 
New Testament, 273 

Tertullian, 281 

Testaments of the Twelve Patri- 
archs, 190 

Thessalonians, Epistles to the, 31, 

Thrace, religion of, 215f. 

Titus, 83 

Torrey, C. C., 34 

Townshend, 196 

Tradition, Paul not indifferent to- 
ward, 142-153 

Trypho, Dialogue with, 185, 196 

TUbingen School, the, 31, 37, 99, 108 
f., 110 

Vegetation gods, 235 

Vespasian, 183 

Volz, 190 

Vos, Geerhardus, 266, 295 

Warfield, B. B., 198, 306 

Weber, 81 

Weiss, B., 72 

Weiss, J., 40, 56, 85, 107, 125, 152, 
154, 156, 314 

Wellhausen, 52, 138 

Wendland, 212 

Wendt, 94f. 

Wernle, 312 

Westcott and Hort, 89 

Western text, the, 88ff. 

Wicked husbandmen, parable of, 15 

Windisch, H., 199-204, 243 

Wisdom, in Pauline Epistles, not 
identified with Christ, 203f. 

Wisdom, in pre-Christian Judaism: 
will not account for the Pauline 
Christology, 199-204; is active in 
creation, 200; enters into the wise 
men, 200; is not expected to ap- 
pear at a definite time, 200f.; is 
not identified with the Messiah, 
201-204; is not fully personal, 

Wisdom of Solomon, 200 

Witkowski, 280 

Wrede, W., 26-28, 67, 156, 166, 172- 
199, 204-207, 278, 317 

Zahn, Th., 44, 53, 72, 90, 119, 302, 
Zeller, E., 37. 
Zielinski, 242. 




li. 11 

ex. 1 

ex. 3 (LXX) 

viii . 

ix .... 
xi . 






liii 63, 65, 181 

Ixv. 17 191 

viii. 14 . .234 


vii. 13 188, 191 

vii. 18 . . 191 

v. 2 (LXX) 




v. 45 162 

vii. 21 296 

xxi. 41 15 

xxviu. 19, 20 14 


iii. 7, 8 51 

vii. 15 15 

x. 45 154, 159 

xi. 3 297 

xii. 35-37 296 


iii. 15 184 

vi. 35 162 

vi. 46 296 


i. 19-27 184 

vi 282 


ii. 36 295 

iv. 36, 37 137f. 

vi. 1 46, 302 

vii. 56 298 

vii. 58-viii. 1 47 

ix. 1 47 

ix. 10-19 71 

ix. 19 72 

ix. 22 72 

ix. 23 72 

ix. 26-30 73, 74-76 

ix. 27 75 

ix. 28 51 

x. 41 35 

xi. 19-30 79 

xi. 26 78 

xi. 30 78ff. 

xii 78 

xii. 1-17 138 

xii. 25 78ff. 

xiii xiv 97 

xv 39, 140 

xv. 1-29 80-100, 139 

xv. 19, 20 87 

xv. 21 92 

xv. 23 94 

xv. 27 140 

xv. 28, 29 87-98 

xvi. 4 94 

xxi. 17 109, 112 

xxi. 20-26 HOf. 

xxi. 20-22 113 

xxi. 20 110 

xxi. 25 87, 91 

xxi. 26 110 

xxii. 3 47 

xxii. 12-16 71 

xxii. 17-21 49, 74 

xxiii. 6 46f. 

xxiii. 16-22 49 

xxiv. 17 112 

xxvi. 14 60-62 





i. 7 82 

vi 234, 286f. 

vi. 4 286 

vi. 7 277 

vii 63ff. 

vi. 7-25 65f. 

viii. 16 266 

viii. 30 277 

ix. 5 198 

xiv 93 

xiv. 17 161 

xv. 2, 3 150 

xv. 8 149 

xv. 31 112f. 

xvi 141 

xvi. 7 140f. 

1 Corinthians 

i_iv 108 

i. 12 107f., 109, 120 

i. 17 285 

i. 23 314f. 

i. 24 203 

i. 30 203 

ii. 6, 7 272f. 

ii. 8 117f. 

ii. 14, 15 265-267 

ii. 15, 16 269 

iii. 21, 22 109 

iii. 22 104 

vi. 9 160 

vii. 10 147 

vii. 12 147 

vii. 25 147 

viii 93 

viii. 5, 6 305 f. 

viii. 6 194 

ix. 5 104 

ix. 6 106 

ix. 14 147 

ix. 19-22 92f., 110 

ix. 20 Ill 

ix. 22 260 

x. 16 282 

x. 20 283 

x. 21 282f. 

x. 32-xi. 1 151 

xi. 1 150 

xi. 23ff 148f., 151f. 

xi. 23 149 

xi. 30 288 

xii. 8 263 

xiii 66 

xiv. 37 147 

xv. 1-11 104, 124 f., 144 f. 

xv. 1-8 316 

xv. 1-7 . . 258f. 

xv. 3-8 35 

xv. 3-7 76 

xv. 3 144f., 149 

xv. 4 149 

xv. 5 77, 104 

xv. 11 77, 104, 109 

xv. 29 288 

xv. 50 161 

xvi. 22 300f. 

2 Corinthians 

iii. 1 108 

iii. 17 311 

v. 16 54-56, 130f., 142-144 

viii. 9 150 

x-xiii 107, 109, 131f. 

x. 1 150 

xi. 4-6 131-135 

xi. 5 108f., 133 

xi. 13 109 

xi. 19, 20 134 

xi. 22 46 

xi. 25 45 

xii. 1-8 59f. 

xii. 2-4 264 

xii. 11 108f. 


i-ii 144-147 

i. 1 199 

i. 14 47 

i. 16, 17 74 

16 71 

.17 50 

. 18, 19 74-76, 84, 300 

18 79 

. 19 75, 299f. 

.22 50-52, 75 

23 52 

ii. 1-10 . . .78-100, 104, 121f., 139 

ii. 1 84, 137 

ii. 2 120ff. 

ii. 6 87, 95, 120ff. 

ii. 9 100, 104, 120ff. 

ii. 10 99f. 

ii. 11-21 . .87, 93, 100-106, 122-124 

ii. 11-13 97 

ii. 14-21 123f. 

ii. 19 103 

ii. 20 150 

ii. 21 279 

iii. 1 149f. 

iii. 2 287 

iii. 5 271f. 

iii. 27 287 

iv. 14 59f. 

v. 19-21 160 

vi. 3 .121 




ii. 5ff 150 

ii. 10, 11 118 

iii. 2ff 104 

iii. 5 46, 47 

iv. 12 . . 271 f. 


i. 16 194 

ii. 12 284 

iv. 10, 11 107 

iv. 10 105f., 138 

1 Thessalonians 

i. 6 151 

iv. 15 147f. 

1 Timothy 
i. 13 61 

2 Timothy 

iv. 11 106 


24 105, 107, 138 

1 Peter 
v. 13 105, 139 

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