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Title: Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity
Author: Lake, Kirsopp, 1872-1946
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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H. R.



The following chapters are the lectures given in the spring of 1919 on
the Haskell Foundation of Oberlin College.  They have been somewhat
expanded in the course of preparation for the press, but have not been
materially changed.

At the time of the delivery of these lectures I was busy with the
chapter on "Primitive Christianity" in the _Prolegomena to Acts_, and
was glad of the opportunity to re-state some of the conclusions reached
in that book in a less technical form and with more attention to their
bearing on some of the larger questions of religion and thought, such
as the Teaching of Jesus, the Hope of Immortality, and the Development
of Christology.  I did not hesitate to make use of one or two
paragraphs from the larger book, and I think that my friend, Mr. C. G.
Montefiore, will forgive me for having borrowed two beautiful stories
from his chapter in it.

I am greatly indebted to the Faculty of Oberlin {viii} College not only
for the privilege of lecturing to them, but also for the hospitality
extended to me during a very pleasant week and for the beginning of new
and delightful friendships.


  _April_ 1920.





Introduction--The history of Christianity as a series of
  syntheses--The Jewish world--The Kingdom of God--Repentance--The
  teaching of Jesus as compared with his Jewish contemporaries      1



The Synoptic Problem and Acts--Inspiration--Communism--Messianic
  doctrine--The Christ--The Son of Man--The Son of God . . . . .   36



The spread of Christianity--Damascus--The Hellenist
  missionaries--Paul's visit to Jerusalem--The source-criticism
  of Acts--The traditions of Jerusalem and Antioch . . . . . . .   57



Christianity as a Graeco-Oriental cult--Salvation--The
  reasons for the victory of Christianity--Jesus as an historic
  person--The personality of Jesus--The Fatherhood of
  God--Baptism--Immortality  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   73




Paul's contribution--Adoptionism--Roman
  documents--Romans--Hebrews--1 Peter--1 Clement--Hermas--Baptism
  and repentance--Pre-existent Christology--The later Epistles--The
  Fourth Gospel--The doctrine of the Logos--Justin
  Martyr--Origen--Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   98


The Interpretation of _The Shepherd of Hermas_.  By F. S.
  Mackenzie  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  137

ADDITIONAL NOTE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  141

INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  143




At first sight the historian of religions appears to be faced by a
number of clearly distinguished entities, to each of which he feels
justified in giving the name of a separate religion; but on further
consideration it becomes obvious that each one of these entities has
been in a condition of flux throughout its history.  Each began as a
combination or synthesis of older forms of thought with comparatively
little new in its composition; each ended by disintegrating into many
elements, of which the worst disappeared, while the best were taken up
into new life in some new religion.  The movement was more marked at
some times than at others, and the differentiation of the various
religions depends chiefly on the recognition of these moments of more
rapid change.  But the process never really stopped; from beginning to
end new elements were constantly absorbed and old elements dropped.
For religion lives through the death of religions.

Nothing illustrates this so well as the history of Christianity, for no
religion is so well-known.  The {2} facts are plainly visible, and
would be plainly seen by all, were it not for the general tendency of
ecclesiastical scholarship to consult the records of the past only to
find the reflection of its own features.

The general condition of religion in the Roman Empire at the beginning
of the Christian era was one of far advanced disintegration and rapid
synthesis.  In every district there could be found the remains of old
local religions, which retained the loyalty of the conservative, but no
longer aroused any vital response in the emotions of the multitudes or
in the interest of the educated.  At that time, and for many
generations afterward, the Roman landowners, to take one example,
maintained the ceremonies and customs of an agricultural animism which
for their ancestors had been a living religion, but for them had become
aesthetic, conventional, and superstitious,--an appendage to life, not
its driving force.  Those who wish can read a description of it,
written with a sympathy possible only for one who felt the analogy of
his own experience, in the pages of _Marius the Epicurean_, in which
Walter Pater, by a wonderful _tour de force_, wove an exact and
scholarly knowledge of the original documents into such a web of
artistic English that the deep learning of the book cannot be
appreciated except by those who have some small share in it themselves.

Over these local religions had been thrown throughout the Empire the
covering fabric of Greek mythology.  It had lost much of its power; it
was {3} no longer sincerely believed; it was in every respect decadent;
but it still played its part in unifying, and to some extent
civilising, the diverse races of the Empire.  But more important than
the Greek mythology was the Greek philosophy, which was indeed in many
ways its antidote.  If the mythology of Greece appeared to sanction an
infinite number of gods and goddesses, her philosophers taught with
equal persuasiveness that the divine reality is one, though its forms
be many.  A remarkable synthesis was thus gradually accomplished,
though it will always be a question whether the stronger tendency was
to philosophise mythology or to mythologise philosophy.

Yet another element was provided by the stream of Oriental religions
which were coming into the Empire.  Though these religions had all of
them at one time been national, quite as much as the religion of Greece
or Rome, their adherents had been detached violently by the conquering
hand of Rome from adherence to ancestral shrines or to political
institutions.  The Cappadocian or the Syrian, or even the Egyptian, who
was travelling as a merchant or living as a slave in the western parts
of the Empire, brought with him the worship of his own god; but the
changed conditions of his life were reflected in his religion.  As a
political entity his country had disappeared; the institutions which
were originally bound up with the name of his god had vanished, and had
become an ever-fading memory.  What these men without {4} countries
asked for was personal salvation, and this they believed that they
could find in their mysterious worship.  Each of these religions was
rapidly developing in the first century into a sacramental cult which
offered the blessing of partial protection in this world, and of a
happy immortality after death to all who accepted and were accepted by
its divine lord, and took part in its sacraments or mysteries.

Much is obscure in their history, even though hypothesis be given the
widest range and a friendly hearing.  The central problem, which still
requires much further attention than it has as yet received, is how and
when these religions became mystery cults.  As we know them in the
Roman Empire all have the same central feature of offering personal
salvation to their adherents through sacraments.  But did they have
this characteristic in their original homes, where they were national
religions?  The evidence that they did so is not convincing, and
perhaps cannot be, because of the absence of literary sources.  For
instance, one of the best known of these religions is the cult of Isis,
for the nature of which in the second and third centuries there is
admirable evidence in the writings of Plutarch and Apuleius.  It was
then clearly a sacramental religion offering private salvation.  It was
also connected with a myth which was obviously a hindrance rather than
a help to these educated Romans, and this myth can be traced back to
the monuments of ancient {5} Egypt.  Are we justified in concluding
that the interpretation in ancient Egypt was the same as in imperial
Rome?  It may be so; but it is possible that the sacramental nature,
though not the element of private salvation came in, in Hellenistic or
in Imperial times, to meet the necessity of Egyptians who had lost all
sense of belonging to a living nation or having a national religion,
and of Greeks who with decadent enthusiasm desired imported rites.  In
any case, a synthesis was rapidly established between these cults and
the official Graeco-Roman religion.  The names of the Oriental deities
were Hellenised, and the barbaric crudities of the East were removed by
allegory and symbolism; the philosophers felt that the myths only
needed restatement to confirm their opinions, while the priests were
confident that the elements of truth in philosophy were those revealed
by the language and ritual of the cults.[1]

With considerable rapidity, therefore, Greek mythology, Greek
philosophy, and Oriental cults were being accommodated to one another,
and brought together in a new and highly complex religious system.  For
political purposes the introduction into this system of the worship of
the emperors, living or dead, was of great importance.  It tended to
unify the whole mass, and the imperial authorities adopted the {6}
position, with some reservations, that, provided a man accepted the
cult of Caesar and Rome, he could in addition be a member of any other
religion which pleased his fancy or soothed his soul.

There was one exception to the ease with which the Oriental cults
accepted the situation.  Still inspired by the instinct which nine
hundred years before had made their prophets fight against syncretism,
the Jews resolutely refused to come to terms with heathen religions.
Some, indeed, accepted the Greek philosophy, as the writings of Philo
and the Wisdom Literature show; but with the cults or with the
mythology of the heathen no compromise was tolerated.

It would be interesting to know how far the imperial leaders perceived
the process of synthesis, but consciously or unconsciously they helped
it considerably by the policy which they adopted towards the local
councils, or Synedria--Sanhedrims--as they were often called.[2]  They
were willing to encourage their continuance, allowing them to control
all local questions of religion, and indeed all local interests
generally, on condition that they made themselves also responsible for
the cult of Rome and of Caesar.  In this way Caesar was introduced into
the local religion, and, what was much more important, the local
religion was absorbed into the unified system of the Empire.  The
policy was almost uniformly successful: the one exception {7} was the
Sanhedrim of the Jews, which obstinately refused the imperial cult and
resisted Caligula's effort to introduce his statue with the same
successful pertinacity as had repelled the efforts of Antiochus
Epiphanes in the days of the Maccabees.  The episode ended
disastrously, for the spirit of nationalism and unreasoning hate to the
government of Rome roused a rebellion which inevitably led to the fall
of Jerusalem and the violent destruction of Jewish national life.
Henceforward the official Jewish religion remained a foreign element in
the life of the western world.  It could not die, for in spite of
rabbinical extravagances it possessed more ethical truth than
heathenism, and was more sincere in its protest against superstition.
But neither could it form a synthesis with the better elements of the
Roman world; the process of accommodation to Greek philosophy was
stopped for many centuries, and the Jew had neither part nor lot in the
life of the empire in which necessity compelled him to live.

Nevertheless in the end the inevitable synthesis between Judaism and
Greek thought was accomplished, though the official world was unable to
bring it about.  The small and at first despised sect of Christians was
driven out of the Synagogue and forced into contact with the heathen
world, at first probably against its will.  There is nothing to show
that Christians originally desired to break away from Judaism or to
approach the Greeks; yet they did both.  When their fellow-countrymen
refused to {8} hear they turned to the Gentiles, and there ensued
rapidly the abandonment of Jewish practice and the assimilation of
Greek and Graeco-Oriental thought.

From that time on the history of Christianity might be written as a
series of syntheses with the thought and practice of the Roman world,
beginning with the circumference and moving to the centre.  The first
element which was absorbed was the least Roman, the Graeco-Oriental
cults.  Christianity had been originally the worship of God, as he was
understood by the Jews, combined with the belief that Jesus was he whom
God had appointed, or would appoint, as his representative at the day
of judgement.  To this were now joined the longings for private
salvation of the less fortunate classes in the Roman Empire, and their
belief that this salvation could come from sacraments instituted by a
Lord who was either divine by nature or had attained apotheosis.  It
thus became, partly indeed, the recognition of the Jewish God as
supreme, but chiefly the recognition of Jesus as the divine Lord who
had instituted saving mysteries for those who accepted him.
Christianity became the Jewish contribution to the Oriental cults,
offering, as the Synagogue never did, private salvation by supernatural
means to all who were willing to accept it.

Such Christianity became, and such in some districts, notably in Rome,
it remained for one or two generations.  But in Ephesus and possibly
elsewhere a further synthesis was accomplished.  {9} This
sacramentalised Christianity began to come to terms with Greek
philosophy, as the other mystery religions tried to do.  It asked what
was the philosophic explanation of its Lord, and it hit on the device
of identifying him with the Logos--a phrase common to several types of
philosophy though used in quite different meanings.

The development of this second synthesis was comparatively slow.
Probably some of the systems which are loosely described as gnostic
were unsuccessful attempts at its accomplishment; but in the end the
Alexandrian theologians Clement and Origen followed the lead given them
by the Fourth Gospel and some of the apologists to the triumphant
construction of a system which really reconciled in part and seemed to
reconcile entirely the Christian cult and the later Platonic

Although the general fabric of the Christian philosophy which was thus
built up was in the main Platonic, not a little was borrowed also from
the system of the Stoics, especially on the border ground between
metaphysics and ethics.  This paved the way for a further synthesis,
accomplished more easily, more thoroughly, and with less perceptible
controversy than had attended either of the others.  Probably the
culmination of this conquest of the Christian Church by the ethics of
the Stoa was reached by Ambrose, who gave to the Christian world
Cicero's popularisation of Panaetius and Posidonius in a series of
sermons which extracted the {10} ethics of Rome from the scriptures of
the Christians.  The ethics of the Stoics were almost wholly adopted by
the leaders of Christian thought, especially in the West, and the
teaching of Jesus as represented in the Gospels was interpreted in the
interests of this achievement, which, like the other syntheses, was
largely effective in proportion as it was unconscious.

Probably it was the early stages of this movement which had rendered
possible the acceptance by one another of Christianity and the Empire.
Certainly there is still much need of study, even if it produce only
the statement of problems, as to the changed character of Christianity
between the time of Tertullian and Eusebius.

The next few centuries, so far as they were not occupied in struggling
against the eclipse of civilisation which began in the fifth century,
were occupied in working out the implications of these syntheses.  The
results were codified in Catholic theology and in the civil and canon
law of the early Middle Ages.  But one more step remained; after nearly
a thousand years Aristotle was rediscovered, and the final achievement
of Christian theology was the synthesis effected by St. Thomas Aquinas
between the Christian theology and the philosophy of Aristotle.

It is a great record of great achievement, for no one who studies the
history of religions with any degree of sympathetic insight can doubt
but that each synthesis was a real step in progress towards that
unification of aspiration with knowledge which {11} it is the task of
theologians to bring about, and to express as clearly as they may.

Many centuries have passed since the time of St. Thomas Aquinas; and
the element of tragedy in the study of the history of religions for the
Christian theologian is that he is forced to admit that never again has
there been a time when the unification of aspiration and knowledge has
been so completely realised by organised Christianity.  It was not long
after this time that epoch-making changes were made, first in the
domain of astronomy and afterwards in other sciences.  They have
revolutionised human knowledge.  Nor have human aspirations stayed
where they were.  The ideal of justice which men see to-day is
different and assuredly better than that of a thousand years ago.  It
extends beyond the sphere of the law-courts to every branch of human
life.  But the doctrines of the Church remain formulated according to
the knowledge and aspirations of the past.  The divergence between
knowledge and theological statement has become more and more obvious
every year.  There has been no synthetic progress in theology since the
time of St. Thomas Aquinas,[3] for it is impossible for the student of
history to feel that the Reformation can be regarded as a synthesis.
Indeed it seems ominously like the first step in that disintegration
which has always been {12} the last stage in the story of each
religion.  It is absolutely certain that the world will once again some
day achieve what it has often had and often lost--the closer
approximation of knowledge and aspiration--so that its religious system
may satisfy the soul of the saint without disgusting the intellect of
the scholar.  What is uncertain is whether this achievement will be
made by any form of organised Christianity or is reserved for some
movement which cannot at present be recognised.[4]

To trace the whole of these syntheses would be a reasonable programme
for many volumes.  These lectures are limited to the discussion of the
evolution of the first and the beginning of the second--that is to say,
the change of Christianity from a Jewish sect to a sacramental cult and
the beginning of the movement which introduced Greek metaphysics into
its theology.

At the beginning of the first century the control of the Jewish nation
was in the hands partly of Rome, partly of the high-priests and their
families.  The latter, as was natural, held in the main a conservative
attitude towards the laws and customs of their people.  They were rich
men--some of them probably could appreciate the culture if not the
thought of Rome--and the class in modern Europe which most closely {13}
resembles them is that of the aristocratic Turks of
Constantinople--orthodox but not enthusiastic adherents of the religion
of their fathers.  They doubtless regarded themselves as the leaders of
the people: it was with them, naturally enough, that the Roman world
had to deal, and the price of their failure to keep the peace between
the populace and Rome was their political extinction and their personal
ruin.  The populace demanded that the leaders should secure national
independence; Rome required that they should induce the people to cease
from asking it.  The task was an impossible one, but history does not
accept impossibility as an excuse for failure.

Closely connected with them were the Herods, who at intervals assumed a
more or less dominating influence in Jewish affairs.  At the time of
Christ one of the family was ruling over Galilee, and another was
destined in a short time to inherit not only this dominion but also
that of Judaea.  But though for political purposes the Herods were
capable of playing Jewish cards, they had become completely absorbed
into the cosmopolitan society of the Empire.  They were as little
typical of anything really Jewish as an educated Indian prince
frequenting London society is typical of Hinduism.

Ultimately more important than the high-priests or the Herods were two
other classes which were destined respectively to ruin their nation and
to save their church.  The one was the party of the patriots, the other
the Scribes and Pharisees.


After the death of Herod the Great the Romans made a census of his
country, and a certain Judas of Galilee endeavoured to raise an active
rebellion.  The influence of the ruling classes in Jerusalem suppressed
this movement for the time, but it remained, as Josephus[5] terms it,
the fourth philosophy, or sect, among the Jews, maintaining that no
pious Jew could recognise any ruler except God, and steadily insisting
that active resistance to the power of Rome was justifiable and even
necessary.  The sect apparently remained anonymous until about A.D. 66,
when one branch of those who accepted its tenets took to themselves the
name of Zealots and were largely instrumental in bringing about those
final disturbances which led to the fall of Jerusalem.  We know very
little of this party except from Josephus, and the reasons for which
his book was written did not encourage him to give unnecessary
information, but, judging by results, the fourth philosophy must have
been in the first half of the first century a steadily growing menace
to all organised government, willing to destroy but unable to build,
concealing under the name of patriotism that pathological excitement
which is the delirium of diseased nations.

It is possible, but not certain, that these Jews were influenced by and
possibly helped to produce some parts of that curious literature known
as Apocalypses,[6] {15} which seems in the main to have been intended
to comfort the discouraged and to inspire them with enthusiasm by
giving them the assurance that a better time was at hand.

A very different type of Jew was represented by the Scribes and
Pharisees.  They believed implicitly that the law of Moses and the
tradition of the elders had a divine sanction, and that to live in
accordance with it, not to take part in political intrigue, was the way
of Life.  Their main object was to interpret the Law in such a way as
to make it possible to follow, and to extend its explanation so as to
cover every possible problem in practical life.  They were opposed to
Jesus during his life, and afterwards bitterly opposed to his
followers.  It is therefore natural that there is in the Christian
Scriptures a large amount of polemic against the Pharisees,[7] and
there would be probably more against the Christians in the rabbinical
writings had it not been for the activities of the mediaeval censors,
so that statements in the Talmud which originally referred to the
Christians are concealed (sometimes obviously but in other cases
probably successfully) by being referred to the Sadducees or other
extinct parties of Jews for whose reputation neither Synagogue nor
Church cared.


Owing to the fact that generations of Christians have seen the early
history of the Scribes and Pharisees almost wholly through glasses
coloured by early controversy, it is hard to be fair to the Pharisees.
Taken at their best they probably represent the highest form of a
religion based on codified ethics which the world has ever seen.  They
did not feel that the Law was external, for it represented the will of
the Father, which could not be alien to that of his children if they
understood it aright.  The "word" was not in heaven or across the sea,
but very nigh unto them, in their mouth and in their heart that they
might do it.  That is to say, the Law was not something imposed
entirely from without by a wholly external authority, but was rather
the very perfect expression of what man would of himself choose to do
if he had perfect knowledge.  Thus the best of the Pharisees no doubt
felt that obedience to the Law and to tradition was a labour of love,
and the story which is told of the death of Akiba may be regarded as
typical of the best both of his predecessors and successors.  He was
being put to death by torture when the hour came that every pious Jew
repeats the Shema, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart
and with all thy soul."  He recited as far as "with all thy heart," and
then stopped and smiled.  "How," said one of the bystanders, "can you
smile when you are dying in agony?"  "Every day," he replied, "have I
repeated these words, and I could say without hesitation that I loved
the Lord with all my heart, but to {17} say that I loved him with all
my soul, that is to say, with all my life, was hard, for how can a man
say what he has done with his life before the day of his death?  But
now that the day of my death has come and the hour for repeating the
Shema has returned, and I have loved the Lord my God with all my heart
and with all my life, why should I not smile?"[8]

It is not surprising that it was the school of these men who saved the
Jewish Church from extinction when the nation was destroyed; neither is
it surprising, though it is sad, that there was deep hatred between
them and the Christians; for in religion, as in other things, a really
lively hatred requires some degree of relationship.

It was into this world of Jewish thought and practice that Jesus came
preaching in Galilee.  The content of his preaching is given by Mark as
"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."  Therefore the two
questions of primary importance are the meaning of the Kingdom of
Heaven or Kingdom of God, and of repentance.

The phrase "the Kingdom of Heaven" is common in the later Jewish
literature and familiar in Christian ears.  But it is not actually
found before the Christian era, though similar expressions were
customary, and the concept which it covers is often met with in the
{18} Old Testament.  It means primarily the sovereignty of God in the
world, not a kingdom in the local sense, or even in the sense of an
organisation.  Though in the Old Testament God is frequently referred
to as a king whose rule is universal even now, the dominion of a king
is not complete or perfect unless he be recognised by his subjects, and
the dominion of God is not yet thus recognised or submitted to
throughout the world.  The Jewish view seems to have been that men had
fallen away from the rule of God in the days before Abraham, and that
when Abraham recognised the Lord as his God, then for him--but not for
others--the sovereignty of God was complete.  Similarly, when Israel
recognised the Lord as their God there was a nation which accepted the
sovereignty of God.  The time would come when all the world would make
this same recognition, but the day was not yet present, and there was
more than one opinion as to the probable course of events which would
lead up to it.

In general the Jews believed that the universal recognition of the
sovereignty of God would bring about, or would at least be coincident
with, the coming of the Golden Age, so frequently spoken of by the
prophets, and described with imaginative profusion in the apocalyptic
writings.  But it is by no means always clear whether the Golden Age
was the condition or the result of the coming of the Kingdom.  Would
the heathen, who knew not God, be converted or be exterminated?  It is
not surprising if there was a {19} tendency to confuse the recognition
of the sovereignty of God with the phenomena attending it, and to speak
of the Kingdom of God when the conditions of its attainment were really

There were two special features in the Jewish expectation of the future
recognition of the sovereignty of God which were especially liable to
be confused with it in this manner.  In the first place, some of the
prophets had spoken of the coming of the Golden Age and the restoration
of the national fortunes of Israel.  Sometimes this restoration had
been associated with the house of David, sometimes with the dynasty of
the high priest; but frequently no such association was present, and
Christian scholarship has in general greatly exaggerated the amount of
evidence, especially for a Davidic king.  The reason for this
exaggeration is partly verbal.  The custom has arisen of speaking of
this Golden Age as the "Messianic" Age, which can only mean the age in
which the "Messiah" will appear.  "Messiah" is itself a technical term,
but "Messianic" can only be applied to a person appointed by God to
some high office, and to a period of history only if such a person be
central in it.  The really most striking feature of most of the
descriptions of the Golden Age in the Old Testament and in the
apocalyptic books is that there is no mention of any Messiah at all.
But the later literature emphasised the coming of King Messiah, and the
Jews therefore refer to this period as "the days of the Messiah."
There is no evidence that this {20} phrase was used until after the
Christian era.  For this reason it is a great pity that scholars, who
personally, of course, know better, constantly use so misleading a term
as the Messianic Age.  It would be far better if it were described as
the "Golden Age" or the "good time."[9]

This whole conception of the coming Golden Age was in essence
peculiarly Jewish, though parallels can be found in the religion of all
nations.  Cognate to it was another point of view which was not
originally Jewish, but had probably been taken over by the Jews from
Persian thought.  This was the expectation of the Age to Come, which
plays so large a part in the fourth book of Ezra[10] and in the later
literature.  An integral part of the Persian system was the belief that
the world would come to an end and be consumed by fire which would
purify it from evil, after which the righteous would be raised from the
dead and take part in the glorious life of a new world.  A supernatural
figure known as the Shaoshyant would take part in this process, and
especially in the Judgement which would decide whether men should or
should not pass on into the life of the Age to Come.

From the time of Daniel, if not earlier, these ideas {21} had been
absorbed by the Jews, and though belief in a resurrection was not
universal it had been accepted by the Pharisees, and was probably more
popular than either the ancient Jewish belief in Sheol or the imported
Greek belief in the immortality of the soul, of which traces can be
found in the Wisdom Literature.  All this is, however, different from
the ancient Jewish tradition of a Golden Age in this world, and there
are plain traces in Jewish literature of the attempt to reconcile the
two systems.

It was obviously possible, by dint of a comparatively small confusion
of thought, to identify the Golden Age with the Age to Come, and to
suppose that all the unfulfilled features of the visions of the earlier
prophets would be realised in the Age to Come.  In this case the figure
of the Davidic king, if he happened to be part of the picture, could
easily be transplanted into the Age to Come, and whereas in the earlier
presentation he had the special function of destroying in a holy war
the enemies of Israel, he could now have the more universal
responsibility of abolishing all evil, and of acting as judge to decide
who should enter into the new world.

It is on general principles entirely probable that some such
accommodation of thought was effected in some Jewish circles, as it was
afterwards among the Christians.  But there is comparatively little
evidence that such was actually the case.  Especially is there very
little evidence that the anointed Son of David was transmuted in this
fashion.  The most that can {22} be said is that some of the many
titles which were applied to the expected Davidic king were also
applied to the expected supernatural judge.  But identity of title does
not always mean identity of person, and the general descriptions of the
two figures are as a rule quite separate.  It would appear that on the
whole the better Jews in the time of Christ were looking for the End of
the Age and the Resurrection, rather than for the restoration of the
kingdom of David, but that there was a popular minority which still had
hopes of the restoration of the monarchy.

The most thorough attempt to reconcile the two lines of thought is to
be found in the fourth book of Ezra, which elaborates a complete
combination of both systems with a clearness quite unusual in
apocalyptic literature.  According to this the time was approaching
when the Messiah, by which is clearly meant the king of Israel, would
appear, destroy all opposition, and reign for four hundred years.  He
and all mankind would then die.  The world would come to an end and be
restored to primaeval silence.  Then would follow the Resurrection and
Judgement, and the beginning of the Age to Come.  All the features of
both systems are thus combined, except that it appears that the
Judgement is the act of God himself, rather than of an especially
appointed representative.

The general result of reading the literature belonging to this period
is to create the impression that recent scholarship has gone much
further than is {23} justifiable in the attempt to systematise Jewish
thought on eschatology.  It has succumbed too readily to the temptation
to find system where there is none, to base a chronological development
of thought on the discovery, and finally to emend the texts in its
light, and sometimes in its aid.  It seems extremely doubtful whether
there was any "generally recognised" Jewish teaching on this subject.
The belief that God would deliver his people, and that his sovereignty
would be recognised throughout the world, was no doubt part of the
belief of every pious Jew, but the details were vague and there was no
systematic teaching on them.

If we turn to the gospels we find that the Kingdom of God is sometimes
looked for in the future, sometimes regarded as a present reality.
Scholarship in the last fifteen years has passed through a period in
which the presence of these two elements has been somewhat hotly
debated.  The beginning of the discussion was probably the publication
of Johannes Weiss' monograph[11] on the preaching of Jesus as to the
Kingdom of God, in which he emphasised the future aspect of the
Kingdom.  The question was, however, presented with greater perspective
as to its position in the history of criticism by A. Schweitzer in a
book which he called _Von Reimarus zu Wrede_.  This was translated into
English,[12] a fate denied to Weiss, with the result that in England
and America the whole {24} problem was associated with Schweitzer's
name.  The position adopted by these writers was that the teaching of
Jesus was mainly eschatological, that is to say, it looked forward to
the coming of the end of the world.  In the enthusiasm of the
rediscovery of this point of view--by no means unknown to our
ancestors, and universal in the early Church--Schweitzer and others
went rather further than the evidence permitted, and endeavoured to
explain eschatologically passages not susceptible of that meaning, but
that does not excuse the foolish acrimony with which the less learned,
especially among liberal Protestants, assailed them, nor the attempt to
cut out from the text of the gospels all eschatological reference.

At present the question has apparently reached equilibrium by the
general recognition that it is impossible to excise or to explain away
the passages in the gospels in which the Kingdom of Heaven is clearly
regarded as future, and that it is equally impossible to ignore those
in which it is regarded as a present reality.  Probably, however, it
has even now not been sufficiently perceived that the solution of the
problem is not to be found in the literary criticism of the gospels,
but in the history of the phrase, Kingdom of God.  This rendered
inevitable the double use of the phrase.  Sometimes it was used
strictly, and referred to a present reality within the grasp of all
willing to reach out to it, and accept the conditions imposed on its
attainment, of {25} which Jesus was so frequently speaking.  But at
other times, by an entirely natural extension of its meaning, it was
used of the period when the recognition of the sovereignty of God would
be universal.  In this sense it was still future.  It was at hand, but
not yet present, even though that generation would not entirely pass
away before it was accomplished.  There is no exegetical obstacle to
accepting this view, for it is the plain and simple meaning of simple
phrases; but there is the theological difficulty that it represents an
expectation on the part of Jesus which was falsified by history.[13]
That generation has passed away, and many others after it, and the
Kingdom of God has not yet come.  Indeed, it is scarcely orthodox any
longer to expect it in the manner in which the gospels represent Jesus
to have foretold its coming.

But even when it is conceded that Jesus in some places in the gospels
did undoubtedly contemplate the coming of the Kingdom in the future, it
remains a problem, which has as yet attracted too little attention,
whether he identified the eschatological phenomena attending its coming
with the reign of the anointed scion of the house of David, or with the
end of this age and the inauguration of the Age to Come.  In general it
seems to me far more likely that he looked for the Age to Come rather
than for the reign of the Son of David, though the evidence is {26}
admittedly not very full or entirely satisfactory.  It is, however, at
least clear that in his answer to the young man who asked Jesus what he
should do,[14] eternal life is treated as synonymous with the Kingdom
of God.  The young man asked what was necessary to inherit eternal
life, and when Jesus told him that he should observe the commandments,
sell all that he had and give to the poor, he was grieved.  Jesus then
said, "How hardly will those that have riches enter into the Kingdom of
God."  Obviously eternal life and the Kingdom of God are here
identical, and there is no doubt that the Jews expected eternal life in
the Age to Come, not in the Days of the Messiah.  Moreover, the
continuation of the narrative--the implied question of Peter, "Lo, we
have left all and followed thee"--introduces the statement of Jesus,
"There is no one who has left home, or brothers, or sisters, or mother,
or father, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the good news,
who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses, and
brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with
persecutions, and in the Age to Come life everlasting."  The
distinction here between "this time" and the Age to Come is entirely
Jewish, and shows that in the previous paragraph the Kingdom of God and
eternal life were associated in the mind of Jesus with the Age to Come.

But, it may be said, did not Jesus identify himself {27} with the
Davidic Messiah?  Undoubtedly his disciples did so in the circles
represented by Matthew and Luke, but it is doubtful whether the gospel
of Mark represents this point of view, and the question of Jesus to the
Pharisees, how David in the Scriptures could call the Messiah Lord if
he were his son, is pointless, except on the assumption that Jesus did
not regard himself as the Son of David.[15]  On the other hand, the
identification of Jesus with the Son of Man, whether by himself or by
his disciples, can in no case affect the question, because the figure
of the Son of Man in Jewish literature is an integral part of the
inauguration of the Age to Come, not of the reign of the Davidic king.

Thus it seems probable that one part of the teaching of Jesus was the
announcement that this age is coming to its end and that the Age to
Come is rapidly approaching, when the Kingdom of God will be
universally realised.  Those who wish to pass on into the life of the
New Age must prepare themselves by accepting already the sovereignty of
God at whatever cost it may be.  Nothing physical or social must be
allowed to stand in the way; relations, property, eyesight, hands or
feet must all be sacrificed if they stand between man and his perfect
acceptance of God's sovereignty[16]; few men have lived up to this
standard, and to reach it they must repent.

Repentance to a Jew in the first century meant primarily change of
conduct, but it is a {28} misunderstanding of the Jewish position to
suppose that by this they excluded or indeed did not definitely intend
a change of heart.  A typical example of the meaning of repentance in
Jewish literature is the story of Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaiya,[17] who
was famous for his consistently immoral life, but was stung to the
heart one day when one of his companions casually remarked that for him
at least no repentance could avail.  Then, continues the story, he went
forth, and sat between the hills, and said, "Ye mountains and hills,
seek mercy for me."  But they said, "Before we seek mercy for you, we
must seek it for ourselves, for it is said, The mountains shall depart
and the hills be removed."  Then he said, "Heaven and earth, ask mercy
for me."  But they said, "Before we ask mercy for you, we must ask it
for ourselves, as it is said, The heavens shall vanish like smoke, and
the earth shall wax old as a garment."  Then he said, "Sun and moon,
ask mercy for me."  But they said, "Before we ask for you, we must ask
for ourselves, as it is said, The moon shall be confounded, and the sun
ashamed."  Then he said, "Planets and stars, ask mercy for me."  But
they said, "Before we ask for you, we must ask for ourselves, as it is
said, All the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heaven shall
be rolled up as a scroll."  Then he said, "The matter depends wholly
upon me."  He sank his head between his knees, and cried and wept so
long that his soul went {29} forth from him.  Then a heavenly voice was
heard to say, "Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaiya has been appointed to the
life of the world to come."  But Rabbi Jehudah I., the Patriarch, wept
and said, "There are those who acquire the world to come in years upon
years; there are those who acquire it in an hour."  The story is an
admirable parallel to that of the Prodigal Son and shows that the best
rabbinical and the best Christian teaching on repentance were identical
as to its nature and efficacy.

It is thus clear that there was not any essential difference between
Jesus and his contemporaries as to either the meaning of the Kingdom of
God or the necessity and power of repentance.  The difference between
them came in the kind of conduct which was necessary for membership in
the Kingdom of God and prescribed for repentance.  It was at this point
that Jesus came into sharp conflict with the two parties previously
described, the Fourth Philosophy and the Scribes and Pharisees.

The difference between Jesus and the Pharisees was one of
interpretation.  Both he and they regarded the Law as the revelation of
God's will, and Jesus himself was emphatic in declaring that it was
binding and that he did not wish to destroy it.  But the Pharisees
endeavoured to make the Law cover every detail of human life by
combining it with clever verbal interpretations which stretched its
meaning in every direction.  Jesus, on the other hand, appealed from
the letter of the Law to its original {30} purpose, which he held to be
the benefit of man.[18]  If, therefore, there was any contradiction
between the letter of the Law and its original purpose, it was the
purpose which was dominant.  No one can doubt that in this respect
Jesus followed a principle incontestably correct but extraordinarily
difficult of application.  It contains, moreover, implicit in it an
appeal to conscience, for it was really by this rather than by historic
knowledge that the ultimate purpose of the Law was revealed.  The final
test of formularies which appeal to the intellect is whether they are
true and of codes defining conduct whether they are right, but the
perception of truth and of right depends in the end on reason and on
conscience,[19] and the difficulty and obscurity which attend their
application constantly frighten men into trying to substitute some
easier way for that of Jesus: but here too the saying is true that
"narrow is the way that leadeth unto life."

Far more deep-seated was the difference between Jesus and the Fourth
Philosophy.  It is only {31} necessary to put oneself back in the
position of a Jew of Galilee in the first century, inspired by the
patriotic teaching of Judas of Galilee and his followers, to understand
how extraordinarily unpopular the teaching of Jesus must have been in
Galilee.  Such a Jew believed that the continuance of the Roman rule
was an intolerable injustice, that it ought not to be endured, that
resistance to it was right and proper and would be crowned with success
by the intervention of God.  If he heard Jesus say, "Love your enemies,
do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you ... as ye
would that men should do to you do ye to them likewise; for if ye love
them that love you what thank have you ... love ye your enemies," what
would such a man have thought?  In the light of the experiences of our
own time there is no reason for wonder that Jesus in the end found it
impossible to live in Galilee.  The marvel is that he escaped with his

The contrast between such teaching and that of the Fourth Philosophy is
so obvious that it could never either escape attention or be denied if
it were not for the absence of any definite mention of this party in
the gospels.  The probable explanation is that by the time that the
gospels were written the Fourth Philosophy had ceased to exist, and
that in Greek circles this party was never prominent.  The result was
that there was no reason to perpetuate any tradition as to controversy
between Jesus and the Fourth Philosophy.  The only dispute with the
{32} Jews in which the Christians of the generation that produced the
gospels were interested was that with the rabbis, the lineal
descendants of the Pharisees.  Thus they preserved the story of
arguments between Jesus and the Pharisees, but not between him and the
representatives of other schools.  This, however, did not mean that the
teaching of Jesus called out by the Fourth Philosophy was not
preserved.  The teaching itself was given, but, just as in the Talmud
the sayings of rabbis are often given without historic context, so also
in Christian tradition the sayings of Jesus usually appear without the
incidents which had called them out.  In exactly the same way, except
for the final scene in Jerusalem, the priests and Sadducees are not
mentioned; they played no part in the life of the Christian generation
which produced the gospels.  There was, however, a special reason why
the non-resistant teaching of Jesus should be preserved even when its
historic background was lost.  Though the Fourth Philosophy had ceased
to have any contact with the Church, the persecution of Christians was
an actual problem, and the practical difficulty of right conduct under
its stress kept alive teaching which might otherwise have been

The question is sometimes asked whether such teaching is really
consistent with the violent cleansing of the Temple.  The true answer
is probably not to be found in any ingenious harmonisation, but rather
in accentuating the fact that the "non-resistant" teaching in the
Sermon on the Mount deals with the {33} line of conduct to be observed
towards foreign oppressors and violence from without.  The sacerdotal
money-changers and sellers of doves in the Temple were not the
"oppressors of Israel."  Israel was called on to suffer under Roman
rule, and the righteous to endure violence at the hands of the wicked,
for that was the will of God, who in his own good time would shorten
the evil days.  But the manipulation of the sacrificial system as a
means of plundering the pious was a sin of Israel itself, against
which, protest and force were justified.  What the heathen and the
wicked do is their concern and God's, but the sins of Israel are
Israel's own; against them the righteous in Israel may execute

It would be an affectation to suggest that this subject does not raise
questions of the greatest practical importance for the present age; no
one is justified in evading the issues presented.  The teaching of
Jesus represents a non-resistant attitude which has come to be
described as "pacifist," and the world has just passed through a crisis
which has proved that "pacifism" and "non-resistance" are impossible
policies.  What does this mean for those who profess and call
themselves Christians?  It cannot mean that they ought to adopt a
non-resistant policy either in personal or in national affairs, for
experience (which has, after all, some merit) seems to prove that the
policy of not resisting evil leads to its triumph rather than its
defeat.  But this fact gives no justification for {34} explaining away
or watering down the plain and intelligible teaching of Jesus.[20]  It
was his teaching; it may have been right and wise for his immediate
hearers; but it is not wise or right as the general basis of conduct,
whether personal or national.  If Jesus intended to lay down a general
principle of conduct we have to admit that he was wrong, or adopt the
pacifist position.  There is nothing in the context to suggest that he
thought of a limited application of his words, nor in the days of
persecution which followed did Christians so interpret him.  If,
therefore, he was wrong it is necessary to ask how we can explain the

The answer seems to lie in a comparison of the attitude adopted by the
Jews of the first century on the one hand, and by ourselves on the
other, as to the working of God in the world.  The Jew believed not
merely in an omnipotent God, but in a God who constantly used his power
quite independently of the action of men.  We, on the contrary, believe
that the universe is so constituted that human action bears a fixed
relation to the course of events.  What men do or do not bears a
definite relation to the events which will follow, and we no longer
look for God to help those who are unwilling to help themselves.  One
of the means which we possess of helping ourselves is force, physical
force.  We have the power to use it for good or for evil.  It is as
culpable {35} not to use force when occasion requires as it is to use
it when occasion does not.

This is tolerably plain to us, but it was not tolerably plain to the
Jew of the first century.  The war has brought out the human
limitations of the ethics of Jesus by the intellectual horizon of his
own time as clearly as the application of literary criticism to the Old
Testament brought out the defects of his knowledge of the authorship of
the Jewish scriptures.  Just as it was wrong and futile to pretend that
when he said "David said" and quoted a psalm, he did not mean to
ascribe it to David, it is futile to argue that when he said "resist
not evil" and "love your enemies" he sanctioned the patriotic pursuit
of war.

[1] The best example of this method of "restatement" is probably
Plutarch's _De Iside et Osiride_, which discusses the Egyptian myth and
the various explanations given of it in accommodation to philosophic
truth.  Heathenism did not long survive this kind of help; nor is it
surprising that it did not.

[2] See _Prolegomena to Acts_, i. 199-216.

[3] Ritschlianism is perhaps an exception: it did at least attempt a
synthesis with science approached through Kantian philosophy.  But was
it successful?

[4] No one has seen this more clearly, or expressed it more vividly,
than the late George Tyrrell, especially in his _A Much Abused Letter_
and _Christianity at the Cross-roads_.

[5] Josephus, _Antiq._ xviii. 1. 1 and 6.  See also _Prolegomena to
Acts_, i. 421 ff.

[6] This literature is now available as a whole in R. H. Charles,
_Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha_.

[7] The suggestion has even been made that some of the polemic in the
gospels, which is--as the text stands--directed against the Pharisees
and Rabbis, was historically intended for the Sadducees.  It was too
important to be lost, and, as those who were originally attacked had
ceased to be important, it was turned against the only Jewish party
which still survived to oppose Christianity at the time when the
gospels were written.  See also p. 32.

[8] This is a free rendering, somewhat paraphrased to bring out the
meaning, of the account of the martyrdom of Akiba under Tinnius
(Turnus) Rufus in the Jerusalem Talmud (_Berakh._ ix. 7).  See
_Prolegomena to Acts_, I. 62.

[9] J. Klausner's _Die messianische Vorstellungen des jüdischen Volkes
im Zeitalter der Tannaiten_ is probably the clearest statement of the

[10] The fourth book of Ezra is in many ways the finest of all
Apocalypses, and the English authorised version (in which it is called
2 Esdras) is a magnificent piece of English, needing, however,
occasional elucidation and correction by the critical editions of G. H.
Box, _The Ezra Apocalypse_, and of B. Violet, in the edition of the
Greek Christian writers of the first three centuries published by the
Berlin Academy.

[11] J. Weiss, _Die Predigt Jesu vom Reiche Gottes_.  The first edition
of this book is smaller and better than the second.

[12] The _Quest of the Historic Jesus_.

[13] I have endeavoured to deal with this question in the _Stewardship
of Faith_, pp. 36 ff.

[14] Mark x. 17 ff.

[15] Mark xii. 35.

[16] Mark ix. 43 ff.; cf. Matt. v. 29. ff.

[17] Quoted by C. G. Montefiore in the _Prolegomena to Acts_, pp. 71 f.

[18] See Mark ii. 27.  For the meaning of Son of Man in this passage
see p. 60.

[19] Neither reason nor conscience is infallible: the tribunal of
history condemns many actions which were undoubtedly dictated by
conscience.  Nevertheless we have no better guides in action, and both
reason and conscience have the peculiarity that the more they are used
the better do they become, and conversely that if they be neglected
they cease to be available in time of need.  Men who habitually use
their powers in order to circumvent either conscience or reason in the
end find they are unable to use them at all.  The distinction between
right and wrong disappears when conscience dies, and that between fact
and fiction when reason is neglected.  The one is the danger which
besets clever politicians, the other the nemesis which waits on popular

[20] The situation becomes pathetically impossible when men's
theological conscience is shocked by the suggestion that Jesus was
wrong, and their political conscience by the claim that he should be




For the history of the disciples after the death of Jesus we are
dependent upon a single source, the Acts of the Apostles, which can,
however, be controlled, and to some extent corrected, by the gospels
and by the epistles of Paul.

It is now generally recognised that if any one wishes to write a life
of Christ he ought to base his work not on the gospels as we have them
now, but rather on the information provided by the critical analysis of
the gospels as to their sources.  These sources, or at least the two
oldest and most important, have become well known as Mark and Q.  Every
one nowadays is aware that behind Matthew and Luke is a document which
was almost or entirely identical with our Mark, and that in addition to
this both Matthew and Luke used another source, or possibly sources, to
which the name of Q is given.  In general, however, there is a tendency
among those who have acquired this insight into the composition of the
gospels from lectures or from little books rather than by the study of
a synopsis to {37} attach altogether too rigid an importance to these

Mark, though a document of early date and unsurpassed value, is the
Greek edition of an earlier Aramaic tradition, probably, though not
certainly, in documentary form before it was translated.  It would be a
miracle if it contained nothing due to the Greek circle in which its
present form was produced.

Q, after all, is the name, not of an existing document, but of the
critical judgement that there is a documentary source behind material
common to Matthew and Luke but absent in Mark.  This critical judgement
is accepted by theologians as well as critics; but theologians, with a
distrust of criticism not wholly unjustified, frequently prefer a
mechanical to a rational application of this discovery, and dignify
their preference by calling it objective, though it is difficult to see
why a process should be regarded as objective, in any valuable sense of
the word, because it automatically accepts as derived from Q everything
common to Matthew and Luke, and leaves out all the rest.  It is merely
a method of canonising the subjectivity of Matthew when it agrees with
that of Luke, or of Luke when it agrees with that of Matthew, and
damning both of them when they happen to disagree.  Why the
subjectivity of the editors of the gospels becomes objective when it is
accepted by modern writers is a little difficult to see.

The result of this concentration of attention on the value of synoptic
criticism for the life of Jesus {38} and of the neglect of the
editorial subjectivity of the evangelists has been a general tendency
to overlook the value of the gospels as the record of the opinion of
the generation which produced them.  Yet obviously there are no other
documents which tell us the views held in the early Church of the
teaching and office of Christ.  On this subject they give even more
information than Acts, and enable us to control it by showing the
gradual development of thought and language in the Christian community.

Similarly, for a slightly later period and for a different locality,
the Pauline epistles give us glimpses of the process of development--a
process by no means always peaceable--of which the results are recorded
in the second part of Acts.

In this way the critical use of the gospels, the Acts, and Pauline
epistles enable us to trace the general outline of the early stages of
the synthesis between primitive Jewish Christianity and the spirit of
Graeco-Oriental mysteries.  It takes us in succession into Jerusalem,
Antioch, and Corinth, not because these were the only churches which
grew up in this period, but because it is in the main their tradition
which is preserved in the documents at our disposal.

What was the course of events immediately after the death of Jesus?
There is no period of which the details are more obscure, but the
criticism of Mark and Acts enables us to reconstruct its general
outline.  The fortunate preservation of Mark enables us to {39} correct
the narrative of Acts.  If we had Acts alone we should have no doubt
but that the disciples stayed in Jerusalem, and settled there from the
time when they entered it with Jesus on the first Palm Sunday until the
day when they left it to preach to the world outside.  Mark, however,
is convincing proof that Acts has omitted a complete incident.  In Mark
xiv. 28 Jesus is represented as saying, "After I am risen I will go
before you into Galilee," and in Mark xvi. 7 the young man at the tomb
says, "Go tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into
Galilee, there ye shall see him."  The sequence of events clearly
implied is that the disciples after the death of Jesus went back to
Galilee, where they saw the risen Jesus.  Inspired by this vision, they
returned to Jerusalem to wait for his return in triumph, and meanwhile
to continue the work which he had begun.  Unfortunately the end of
Mark, which undoubtedly described the details, has disappeared, but the
general sequence is as clear as anything can be which is not definitely

The general tenor of the narrative in Acts makes it plain that in
Jerusalem they settled down as a separate synagogue.  Any ten Jews had
a right to form a synagogue of their own, and general community of
interests, joined to opinions differing from those of others, would be
the natural basis of its organisation; but it is sometimes hard for
Christians, who have come to think of identity of opinion, especially
on points beyond the reach of proof, as {40} the basis of
ecclesiastical life, to understand that Palestinian Judaism admitted
the widest possible range of thought, and that the Church of Israel
rested not on uniformity of thought, but on obedience to the Law.
Naturally there was in point of fact considerable agreement in opinion,
and naturally also difference of opinion led to quarrels and hostility;
but in general the Church of Israel in the first century was as
characteristically based on uniformity of conduct as the Christian
Church in the fourth and following centuries was based on uniformity of

On three points this synagogue of the Nazarenes, as the disciples were
called, differed from other Jews: (1) They held the opinion that they
were inspired, at least at intervals, by the Spirit of God; (2) they
followed a special kind of communistic rule which they probably
regarded as fulfilling the teaching of Jesus; (3) they held and
preached distinctive opinions about Jesus himself.

The opinion that the disciples were inspired by the Holy Spirit was in
some ways the keystone of Christian life.  It formed a connecting link
with the authority of Jesus himself; for, whatever the later generation
of Christians may have thought, it is clear from Mark that Jesus in his
public preaching never claimed the authority of any special office or
function such as that associated with the word "Messiah" or with the
title "Son of Man," even though he may have allowed an inner ring of
disciples to believe that these were the offices to which he was {41}
entitled.  Nor during his lifetime did he even permit his followers in
their preaching to ascribe any such rank to him.  The authority which
he actually claimed for his words and deeds was that of the Holy Spirit
of God; and those who maintained that he cast out demons by the power
of Satan were, he said, guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
It is probable that the gospel tradition is trustworthy which
associates his baptism at the hands of John the Baptist with his first
consciousness of this inspiration.

Jesus, then, had claimed for himself, openly and publicly, the
authority of the Holy Spirit.  There is no evidence that any of his
disciples had claimed this for themselves during his lifetime, but
after his death it seemed to them that the Spirit which had filled
their Master had descended on them, inspiring their words and guiding
their actions.[1]

What ought to be our verdict on this claim of the first Christians?  To
see the question in its true light it is necessary to distinguish
between the experience of the Christians and the opinion which they
held about it.  Their opinion was that they had been taken possession
of by the Spirit of God, which was acting through them, so that their
words and deeds had the authority no longer of fallible man but of the
omnipotent and infallible God.  This theory was a heritage from a
distant past in Israel {42} when the Spirit of the Lord had been
regarded as the source of all extraordinary events, good or evil.
Later, evil events had no longer been attributed to the Spirit of the
Lord, but to demons or unclean spirits who peopled the earth and took
possession of men as they found opportunity.  To them were attributed
disease, misfortune, and especially the raving of madness, while
healing and prophecy were attributed to the Divine Spirit.

In modern times we no longer attribute disease, misfortune, or madness
to devils, not because these phenomena have ceased, but because we have
a different theory of their origin, which, on the whole, produces more
satisfactory therapeutic results than the theory of possession.
Similarly the phenomena of prophecy, which the Jews ascribed to the
Spirit of God, remain.  There has never been a generation lacking in
men who believe that their action and speech are being governed by a
compelling force, separate from the ordinary process of volition.
Those who have this experience seem to themselves to be, as it were,
the spectators of their own deeds, or to be listening to their own
utterances.  Under its influence individuals, groups of men, or even
nations, are carried away by inexplicable waves of passion or
enthusiasm which, once aroused, cannot be resisted till their force is
spent.  This consciousness has been felt in varying degree in every
generation, and the progress of humanity can never be explained unless
it be taken into account.  Sometimes, in the inevitable {43} reaction
after the psychic stress of such experiences, men have resented,
doubted, or denied the validity of their own consciousness; sometimes
they have regarded it as possessing a value exceeding all else in life.
Usually those who have it attract the hostility of their
contemporaries, scarcely tempered by the allegiance of a few followers,
and their names are forgotten in a few years, but sometimes the verdict
of contemporary hatred is reversed by posterity, which endeavours to
compensate by legendary honours for the contempt and contumely of life.

The problem presented by this experience is really twofold.  It calls
for a judgement as to its origin and for a judgement as to its value,
and on neither point has there as yet been sufficiently clear

Does the experience of controlling force which the prophet feels really
come from some external influence, or is it merely his consciousness of
ordinarily unknown depths in his own nature?  It is obvious that a
theory of prophecy could be made on lines rendered familiar by
psychologists, by suggesting that what happens in a prophetic
experience is the sudden "coming up" of what is ordinarily
"subliminal."  It is, however, important to remember that this is
merely a modern hypothesis, just as the Jewish view of inspiration was
an ancient one.  But it is impossible in a rational theology to combine
fragments of two wholly different explanations of life and of the
universe.  "The Spirit" was an admirably intelligible phrase in the
Jewish or early {44} Christian view of the universe; it does not fit in
well with the modern view of the universe.  Similarly the theory of
subliminal action fits very well into the modern view, but not into
that of traditional Christian theology.  Preachers seem to make a
serious mistake when they try to combine the language of two rival
hypotheses to explain the same human experience.

The judgement of value which ought to be passed on the prophets is no
clearer than the judgement of origin.  The early Church knew perfectly
well that there were true prophets and false prophets,[2] and so did
the Jews, but in the end the only way of distinguishing them was to say
that a true prophet was a prophet who was right, and a false prophet
was a prophet who was wrong.  Nor can we arrive at any different
judgement.  The truth is,--and unfortunately the modern world is
sometimes in danger of forgetting it,--that the difference between
right and wrong, fact and fancy, possibility and impossibility, is
inherent in the nature of things and incapable of modification by human
beings, prophets or otherwise.  It cannot be changed by the glowing
utterances of poets, prophets, or preachers, or by the unanimous votes
of peoples.  All that man can do is to discover it and obey it with
humility.  The mere fact of discovery arouses in some men an emotion
which for the moment seems to change their being, but their {45}
emotion does not change or increase the truth, and it may be questioned
whether in some cases it has not prevented them from seeing rightly the
value of what they have found.  For the same deep emotion is sometimes
caused by error, and there are few mistakes more deadly than to judge
the truth of what a man says, or the value of what he does, by the
emotion which he feels himself--however sincerely--or arouses in
others--however vehemently.

The way of life which the first Christians adopted was especially
marked by an attempt to organise themselves on communistic principles.
The Christians shared all things; those who had property realised it,
and pooled the proceeds in a common fund, which was distributed to
individual members as need arose.  It is impossible not to recognise in
this action consistent and literal obedience to the teaching of Jesus.
The disciples had followed Jesus to the end of his journey in
Jerusalem; they were waiting for his manifestation in glory, and sold
all that they had and gave to the poor.  But in terms of political
economy the Church was realising the capital of its members and living
on the division of the proceeds.  It is not surprising that under these
circumstances for the moment none was in need among them, and that they
shared their food in gladness of heart, for nothing so immediately
relieves necessity or creates gladness of heart as living on capital,
which would be indeed an ideal system of economy if society were coming
to an end, or capital {46} were not.  It is probable that the Church
thought that society would soon end, but it proved to be wrong, and it
is not surprising that the same book, which in its early chapters
relates the remarkable lack of poverty among the Christians, has in the
end to describe the generous help sent by the Gentile churches to the
poor brethren.

We may, however, surmise that the breakdown of this communistic
experiment was accompanied by other difficulties in the Church.  It
appears that by this time Christianity had attracted the favourable
attention of a number of Jews who belonged at least by origin to the
Diaspora, and this introduced a new element, destined in the end to
become dominant and much more objectionable than the original disciples
to the Jews of Jerusalem.  We know from other sources that among the
Hellenistic Jews was a tendency to liberalism, or Hellenism.  This
touched the Jews where they were most sensitive, for it affected not
opinion but conduct, and seemed to threaten the destruction of the
Jewish Law.  They were apparently willing to tolerate Peter and the
rest, so long as they confined themselves to holding peculiar opinions
about the Messiah, and remained perfectly orthodox in their fulfilment
of all the requirements of the Law.  But when the synagogue of the
Nazarenes took to themselves Hellenists the situation became
intolerable: a severe persecution arose, Stephen was killed, and the
rest of the Hellenistic party were driven out of Jerusalem, though the
{47} original disciples remained, for the time at least, in comparative
peace.  The Hellenists scattered throughout the Gentile neighbourhood
of Palestine, and their future history will have to be considered later.

The opinion which the disciples held of Jesus now became part of their
preaching in a manner which had not been the case during his lifetime.
To distinguish its nature and development requires a somewhat critical
investigation of the meaning and history of the titles first used in
speaking of Jesus.  The chief of these are Messiah, Son of Man, Son of
God, and Servant.  That which in the end was the most important of
all--Lord--was probably not used until a little later.

Messiah is really an adjective which, translated literally, means
"anointed," or in Greek _christós_, but whereas to say that a man was
anointed has no more meaning in Greek than it has in English, it had in
Hebrew the clear and universally understood meaning of "consecrated" or
"appointed by God."  It was applied in the Old Testament to the
high-priest, and it is habitually used in this sense in the Mishna.  It
was also used of Saul, of David, and of some of the other kings, but
always with some defining phrase attached to it, generally speaking
"the anointed of Jehovah."  Without definition it is not found until
the Christian period.  There is no reason to suppose that at the
beginning of the first century it was used exclusively to describe the
hope of the Jews that a {48} prince of the house of David would restore
their fallen fortunes, though in the later Jewish literature it was
used in this way.[3]

Thus if we try to construct the impression which the early Christians
made on the Jews of Jerusalem by claiming that Jesus was anointed by
God, we are obliged to say that the phrase itself only implied his
divine appointment; it did not by itself indicate definitely the
function to which he was appointed.  But the way in which it was used
must have suggested two special functions--that of the Davidic prince
alluded to above, and that of the supernatural representative of God
who would judge the world at the last day.

It is quite clear that the writer of Luke and Acts, and the editor of
Matthew, identified Jesus with the expected Son of David, but there is
room for doubt whether this fully represents the thought of the first
disciples.  There is very little in Mark which identifies Jesus with
the Son of David.  In the preaching of Jesus the Kingdom of God, so far
as it was not the divine sovereignty, was the Age to Come much more
than the restored monarchy.  It is true that the people of Jerusalem
seem to have been looking forward to a Davidic king, as may be seen
from the cries of the multitude at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
It is also true that Bartimaeus greeted Jesus as Son of David; but
there is nothing in the recorded words {49} of Jesus to show that he
accepted this view.  It seems, therefore, probable that just as the
people were thinking of the splendours of a restored monarchy, while
Jesus was speaking of the reign of God in the Age to Come, so they were
looking for a Davidic Messiah, and explained Jesus' strange and
overmastering personality in accordance with their own wishes rather
than with his words.  It is not the only point at which the Church
followed the leading of the people rather than the teaching of Jesus.

The figure of the Son of Man destined to be God's representative at the
day of judgement which will divide this age from the Age to Come is
prominent in the undoubted teaching of Jesus, but forms one of the most
difficult problems in New Testament criticism.  There seems but little
doubt that "Son of Man," which in Greek is an unintelligible phrase
rather than a title, was quite as obscure to the generation of Greek
Christians which produced the present gospels as it is to ourselves.
It was to them merely the strange self-designation of Jesus.  Probably
the editors of the gospels believed that Jesus used this phrase
continually, and introduced it into their redactions of early sources
without stopping too narrowly to inquire either whether it had this
meaning in the passage in question, or whether the way in which they
were using it was consistent with the connotation of the phrase.  The
result is that both in Mark and in Q there are passages in which "Son
of Man" represents an Aramaic phrase which might be {50} translated
literally in this way, but would be idiomatically rendered "man."  For
instance, it is tolerably certain that in the passage in which Jesus
speaks of the Sabbath and says, "The Sabbath was made for man and not
man for the Sabbath," he really continued, "so that man is lord also of
the Sabbath," but in unidiomatic translation the word meaning "man" was
rendered "Son of Man" and interpreted as referring to Jesus himself.
The reason for saying that this is tolerably certain is that the only
alternative is that "Son of Man" really meant "Jesus," and was intended
as a reference to the "Son of Man" who plays a part in some of the
apocalypses, and it seems inconceivable that Jesus, who forbade his
disciples to tell the public that he was the Messiah, could so openly
have claimed this dignity.

Discussion of the phrase "Son of Man" has been going on for many years,
and has made it increasingly clear that, apart from the unidiomatic
translations referred to above, apocalyptic usage is the most important
factor in the problem.  An obscure but impressive passage in Daniel was
taken up in the Book of Enoch, which describes in the Similitudes the
vision of a Man--or in Aramaic phraseology a "Son of Man"--in heaven,
who was "anointed," that is to say consecrated by God, to act as the
judge at the end of the age.  Jesus appears to have used this
expression, and to have anticipated the speedy coming in judgement of
this Man on the clouds of heaven.  This much may be regarded as agreed
upon by all {51} investigators.  But the curious and striking thing is
that in none of the Marcan passages in which it is used in this sense
does it unambiguously refer to Jesus himself.  No doubt the disciples
were convinced that it did, but it is therefore all the more
interesting and important that his actual words as reported by them do
not necessarily confirm their opinion.  On the other hand, there is a
series of passages peculiar to Mark (that is to say, none of them is
found in Q) in which "Son of Man" does not refer to any coming in
judgement, but to the approaching passion, death, and resurrection of
Jesus.  If he really uttered these words, beyond doubt he meant himself
by the Son of Man, and was introducing an entirely unparalleled and new
element into the delineation of this supernatural figure.  But did he
use these words?  In the description of the passion, death, and
resurrection it is generally recognised that the exactness of the
prediction probably owes something to the disciples' later knowledge of
the actual course of events.  Their conduct at the arrest of Jesus, and
the entire absence of any sign of expectation of the resurrection,
render it very improbable that Jesus spoke with the definiteness
ascribed to him.  In this case, therefore, there is decided reason for
thinking that the phrase "Son of Man" may itself belong to the
embellishment rather than to the body of tradition.

Thus the passages in which Jesus certainly uses "Son of Man" are
ambiguous--they need not {52} necessarily refer to him, and the
passages which unambiguously refer to him were not certainly spoken by
him.  For this reason it is somewhat more probable than not that the
identification of Jesus with the Son of Man was not made by Jesus
himself.  But it certainly embodies the earliest opinion of the
disciples concerning him, and it is in all probability to this
apocalyptic figure of the Man in heaven, predestined to judge the world
and anointed by God for that purpose, that the Markan tradition (we
cannot speak with certainty of Q) referred when it described Jesus as

A little later the circles represented by Matthew and Luke added to
this the more popular expectation of the restored monarchy of the house
of David; but the original stamp was never lost, and the functions of
the Christian Messiah, as apart from his name, were always those of the
Man of Enoch, much more than those of the Davidic king of the Psalms of

Finally, the concept of the Man who was to judge the world was
extensively modified by the actual course of the passion, death, and
resurrection of Jesus, and the Lukan writings, though probably not
Mark, Q, or even Matthew, facilitated or confirmed this process by
connecting the story of Jesus with the picture given in the fifty-third
chapter of Isaiah of the suffering of the righteous Servant of the Lord.

The Servant is a comparatively common title in the Old Testament for
those who faithfully carried {53} out the will of God; it is used of
Abraham, David, and Job among the sons of Israel, of Cyrus among the
heathen, of Israel in general, and of the righteous portion of Israel
in particular.  In some parts, but not in all, the suffering of the
Servant, whoever he may be, is emphasised; but there is no trace in the
Old Testament, or in the later Jewish writings, that these descriptions
were regarded as predictive of the future.  It was inevitable that the
resemblance of the death of Jesus to Isaiah liii. should sooner or
later strike Christian readers of the Old Testament, but it does not
appear to have done so immediately, and it is doubtful whether Isaiah
liii. was the first "suffering" passage in the Old Testament to be
ascribed to him.  It is more probable that the use of the twenty-second
Psalm was earlier.

One further title of Jesus in the early Christian literature remains to
be discussed.  He is referred to as Son of God.  What would this phrase
mean in Jewish ears?  In general the Jews regarded God as unique.  The
idea of a Son of God in any physical sense, such as seemed natural
enough to the heathen world, would have been unthinkable to them, but
they believed that God himself had used the phrase metaphorically to
describe the relation between him and his chosen people.  It was a
moral sonship, not a physical one in the heathen sense, or a
metaphysical one in the later Christian sense.

In the later literature the phrase developed on two {54} separate
lines.  There was the tendency, exemplified in some of the Psalms, and
still more in the Psalms of Solomon, to use the phrase "Son of God" to
describe the Davidic king, but it was also used in quite a different
sense in the Wisdom Literature as the description of the righteous man,
and especially of the righteous man who suffered.

In Christian literature it seems tolerably clear that the history of
the phrase passed through several stages.  The latest, though in the
end the most important for the development of doctrine, is that of
metaphysical sonship, which followed upon the equation of "Son of God"
with "Logos."  Somewhat earlier than this, in the early chapters of
Luke, and probably of Matthew, is an idea of sonship which approximates
to the physical notion of the heathen world.  Earlier still it was
probably used as a synonym for the Davidic Messiah.  The question is
whether this is its meaning in the earliest passage of all,--the
account given in the first chapter of Mark of the voice from heaven at
the baptism which said, "Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well
pleased."  It is generally held that this is a quotation from the
second Psalm,[4] and therefore identifies Jesus with the Davidic
Messiah.  But is it quite so certain that it is a quotation from
anything?  The words of the Psalm are really quite different, "Thou art
my Son" instead of "Beloved Son," and "This day have I begotten {55}
thee" instead of "in whom I am well pleased."  Why should we suppose
either that the voice from heaven was restricted to quoting scripture,
or that it did so with quite remarkable inaccuracy?  If, however, the
idea be abandoned that the voice from heaven necessarily refers to the
second Psalm, it becomes an open question whether Jesus himself
regarded his divine sonship as the Davidic messiahship, or as that
divine sonship which the Book of Wisdom ascribes to the righteous.  The
problem thus raised can never be settled, for the evidence is
insufficient; but neither can it be dismissed, for it is implicit in
the gospel itself.

The whole importance of this series of problems in the history of early
Christology is often strangely mistaken.  It seems to many as though
the line of thought suggested above, which reduces to a vanishing point
the amount of Christology traceable, in the ordinary sense of the word,
to Jesus himself, is in some way a grave loss to Christianity.  No
doubt it is a departure from orthodoxy.  But if the history of religion
has any clear lesson, it is that a nearer approach to truth is always a
departure from orthodoxy.  Moreover, the alternative to the view stated
above is to hold that Jesus did regard himself as either one or both of
the two Jewish figures, the Davidic Messiah and the Son of Man
described in Enoch.  Both of these are part of a general view of the
universe, and especially of a prognostication of the future, wholly
different from our own, and quite incredible {56} to modern minds.  How
do we endanger the future of Christianity by doubting that Jesus
identified himself with figures central in incredible and now almost
universally abandoned forms of thought?

[1] I have discussed the story of the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost
in the _Earlier Epistles of St. Paul_, pp. 241 ff., and have added some
critical remarks on the various forms of the tradition in the
_Prolegomena to Acts_, i. 322 f.

[2] I have discussed the history of early Christian attempts to
distinguish false from true prophets in "De strijd tusschen het oudste
Christendom en de bedriegers" in the _Theologisch Tijdschrift_, xlii.

[3] The history of the phrase in the Old Testament and in Jewish
literature is discussed by G. F. Moore in the _Prolegomena to Acts_,
pp. 346 ff.

[4] W. C. Allen is a noteworthy exception.  See his note on Matt. iii.
17 in the _International Critical Commentary_.  See further
_Prolegomena to Acts_, pp. 397 ff.




According to Acts the result of the persecution of Stephen was the
spread of Christianity outside Palestine.  As the narrative stands it
seems to imply that before this time there had been no Christian
propaganda outside Jerusalem.  But significant details show that this
impression is wrong and merely due to the fact that the writer gives no
account of the earlier stages.

After the death of Stephen Paul appears to have continued his
persecuting zeal, and obtained authority to go to Damascus and
prosecute the Christians resident there.  Obviously, then, the
Christian movement had already spread to Damascus, but there is no hint
in Acts as to how it did so.  That in so doing it had advanced beyond
the limits of the Synagogue is not clear, but Damascus was essentially
a Gentile city, and the following considerations suggest that it had
done so.  We know that the Jews of the Diaspora at this period were
filled with a proselytising zeal of which the fact is more certain than
the details.  It is also tolerably plain from Philo that {58} there was
a strong tendency to Hellenise and go further than orthodox Jews were
willing to tolerate.  It is also certain that the outcry against the
Christians in Jerusalem which led to the death of Stephen did not start
among the native Jews but among the Hellenists--those who belonged to
the synagogues of the freedmen and of the Cyrenaeans, Alexandrians,
Cilicians, and Asians, who had synagogues in Jerusalem.[1]  In addition
to this, though Acts suggests that the origin of the Seven was the
necessity of administering the funds of the community, it is clear that
in point of fact it was their preaching which made them prominent.
Finally, it is clear from Acts that Philip began to preach to the
Gentiles as soon as he left Jerusalem, and that some of the Cypriots
and Cyrenaeans did the same.

There is thus considerable though not overwhelming evidence that
preaching to the Gentiles began somewhat sooner than is popularly
supposed, and that before the conversion of Paul near Damascus by the
vision of the risen Lord, or before the conversion of Peter by the
episode of Cornelius, there was already a Christian mission to the
Gentiles.  The importance of this is that it enables us to see the
history of the early Church in a somewhat different perspective.  It
shows that Paul was not the first, though he was undoubtedly the
greatest, of the Christians who preached to the Gentiles.  He was {59}
a part of Hellenistic Christianity, and probably, as will be seen
later, not the most extreme of its adherents.

We have, then, to imagine the gradual rise of a Hellenising movement
among the Christians, of which the Seven were probably the original
leaders in Jerusalem, while unknown disciples, of whom we only know
that they were successful in Damascus, were carrying it on in other
places.  The Twelve appear to have regarded the movement with doubt and
suspicion, and the Jews in Jerusalem always distinguished between the
original disciples and the Hellenists.  Gradually, however, the
opposition of the Twelve and their followers crumbled away.  The final
defection, from the point of view of Judaism, was that of Peter.  To
judge from Acts he had undertaken a mission in Palestine, following up
the work of Philip and probably of others, but the story brings to
notice one of the characteristic weaknesses of Acts as history.  It
always omits or minimises differences of opinion and quarrels among
Christians.  We know this by comparing the Epistles with the Acts.  It
is therefore perfectly legitimate to suppose that there may well have
been far more friction at first between the Hellenist missionaries and
the Twelve than Acts suggests.  But in the end Peter had a vision at
Joppa which convinced him that he was wrong, and he accepted Cornelius
as a brother Christian.  Acts would have us understand that the whole
Church at Jerusalem accepted Peter's position, {60} but in view of the
Judaistic controversy, which continued to rage much later than this
time, it is certain that this is not in accordance with fact.  It is
significant that soon after this Peter was put in prison, and on his
escape from prison left Jerusalem.[2]

From this time on, if not before, the undoubted head of the Church in
Jerusalem was James, the brother of the Lord.  What was his attitude
towards the Hellenising Christians?  Acts would have us understand that
he was always on perfectly good terms with Peter, and later on with
Paul.  But that is hardly the impression given by the Pauline epistles,
which very clearly distinguish Peter from James and his emissaries.
Paul's view is that Peter was in principle on the same side as himself,
and that he therefore had no right to yield to the representatives of
James; but he never suggests that James and he were on the same side.
Nor had the Jews in Jerusalem any illusions on the subject; when Paul
appeared in the temple he was promptly arrested, but not until the
popular madness of the year 66 did any of the orthodox Jews think of
interfering with James, the head of the Christians in Jerusalem.

Thus Acts plainly has understated the amount of controversy between the
Hellenising Christians and the original community.  Failure to see this
is due to the ultimately complete triumph of the Hellenistic party, who
naturally looked on what was really the conservative position as
Judaising, {61} whereas the truth was that they themselves were

According to Acts the most successful centre of Hellenistic
Christianity was Antioch.  Here, too, it is possible that the picture
presented by it is one-sided, owing to the fact that, at least in many
places, Acts reproduces the tradition of Antioch.  Doubtless there were
other centres equally important.  Neither Ephesus nor Rome seems to
have been founded by missionaries from Antioch, though Paul and the
other Antiochean missionaries came into their history at an early date.

The controversy between the school of James and the Hellenistic
Christians appears to have been very acute in Antioch, but the details
are extremely obscure.  Acts represents the beginning of the Church at
Antioch as due to Hellenistic Christians who left Jerusalem after the
death of Stephen.  Nor is there any reason to doubt the correctness of
this tradition, which is probably that of Antioch itself.  A little
later Barnabas came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  Acts does not
state, but seems to imply, that he came down, as Peter had come to
Samaria, in order to criticise and control Hellenistic enthusiasm.
But, like Peter at Caesarea, he was converted by the Hellenists, and
stayed to help their mission.  He went further than this: hearing
apparently of the success of Paul at Tarsus he sent for him and
co-opted him into the service of the Church at Antioch.  It is worth
noting in passing that the complete absence {62} of any details as to
Paul's work in Tarsus, and the silence concerning his movements from
the time he left Jerusalem soon after his conversion, proves that this
part of Acts is an Antiochean rather than a Pauline tradition.

Soon after this more missionaries arrived from Jerusalem.  They do not
appear to have been active propagandists, but brought with them a sad
story of approaching destitution in the famine which was at hand.  The
Church at Antioch rose to the necessity and sent Paul and Barnabas with
relief.[3]  Acts tells us nothing more of what happened, but that soon
after Paul and Barnabas, having returned to Antioch, started on the
"First Missionary Journey."[4]  On their return, however, a mission of
protest against their methods arrived from Jerusalem.  Paul, Barnabas,
and some others went up to Jerusalem; a meeting of the representatives
of the two churches was held, and an amicable agreement which was in
the main a triumph for Antioch was arrived at.[5]

This appears to be Paul's third visit to Jerusalem after his
conversion; but this raises difficulties, and has led to considerable
critical investigation and not a little controversy.  It had always
been supposed that this visit of Paul to Jerusalem was identical with
that described in the second chapter of Galatians, but in that chapter
Paul, calling God to witness that he is not lying, makes a statement
which loses all its point if it was not his second visit.  Various {63}
attempts to explain this difficulty have been made.  One solution of
the problem is that the visit to Jerusalem described in Galatians ii.
is not identical with that of Acts xv., but is an episode connected
with the visit in the time of the famine relief, which the writer of
Acts had either not known or thought it unnecessary to recount.[6]
According to this theory the visit described in Acts xv. took place
after the visit in Galatians had been written.  But this theory does
not answer the difficulty that the apostolic decrees are not mentioned
in the Epistles to the Corinthians, and that it is incredible that they
could have been overlooked by Paul if the account in Acts xv. were
wholly correct.  It seems better to accept the suggestion that the
solution of the problem is to be found in the source-criticism of Acts.

The source-criticism of Acts has passed through three more or less
spasmodic stages.[7]  The first was early in the nineteenth century
when a number of scholars endeavoured to analyse the book.  Their
efforts were not very successful, though they unearthed a great many
interesting phenomena.  Later on, in the 'nineties, another series of
efforts were made with, on the whole, even less success than before.
{64} Finally, in our own time there have been some interesting
suggestions by Harnack, Schwartz, and Torrey.[8]

The last named has shown extremely good reason for thinking that there
is an Aramaic source behind the first fifteen chapters of Acts.[9]  He
is less convincing when he tries to prove that this was a single
document, and that it was faithfully translated without addition or
change by the editor of Acts.  It seems more probable that there was
more than one Aramaic source, and that it was often changed and
interpolated by the editor.

Harnack skilfully tries to distinguish two main lines of tradition,
that of Antioch and that of Jerusalem.  He also thinks the Jerusalem
tradition existed in two forms, which can be distinguished as doublets
in Acts i.-v.  He attaches Acts xv. to the tradition of Antioch, but it
seems more probable that it belongs to the Jerusalem tradition.  The
truth may be as follows: soon after the time when Barnabas had gone
over to the Hellenistic party another body of Christians from Jerusalem
came to Antioch.  In the years which followed there grew up two
traditions of what happened next.  The tradition at Antioch was that
{65} the Christians from Jerusalem had been chiefly concerned with the
physical necessities of their Church, though they were undoubtedly men
possessed of a prophetic gift.  They had so worked on the sympathy of
Antioch that it had accepted the needs of the poor saints in Jerusalem
as a responsibility laid on it by heaven.  This tradition is preserved
in a short form in Acts xi., and in the Epistle to the Galatians Paul
energetically sustained its correctness, incidentally mentioning some
other events connected with his stay at Jerusalem, the perversion of
which, as he maintained, had given rise to the tradition of Jerusalem.
This latter tradition the editor of Acts had found preserved in the
document which he has used as the basis of Acts xv., and if any one
will read Galatians ii. alongside of Acts xv., not in order to see how
much they agree or differ, but rather to note how far they might be
different accounts of the same series of events, he will see that
Paul's chief contention is that he only saw the leaders of the
community at Jerusalem in private, and that they at no time succeeded
in imposing any regulations on him.  The vigour of his protestations
seems to indicate that his opponents had maintained that the meeting
was an official one, and that it had imposed regulations, namely,
should the theory which is being suggested be correct, the Apostolic

The two traditions are naturally quite contradictory; but human nature
is so constituted that it is not impossible for two sets of people,
especially after {66} some lapse of time, to give entirely different
accounts of the same events and to do so in perfectly good faith.  The
editor of Acts, however, did not realise that the two traditions
referred to the same event, and made a mistake in thinking that the
meeting which he found described in the Jerusalem source came after and
not before the first missionary journey.  Ed. Schwartz goes further.
He points out that the first missionary journey follows the account of
the meeting in Jerusalem given in Acts xi., and that the second journey
follows the account given in Acts xv.  If there was really only one
meeting, was there not really only one journey, which the editor of
Acts, or his sources, converted into two?

However this may be, and no agreement among critics is ever likely to
be reached, it is at least certain that there was considerable friction
between Jerusalem and Antioch, and that Antioch wholly refused to
accept the dictation of Jerusalem.  On the contrary, it undertook
wide-reaching missions, of one of which Paul became the leader,
founding churches in Galatia, Asia, and Achaea.  Of his career we have
an obviously good account, so far as the sequence of events is
concerned, in the second part of Acts, and some interesting sidelights
on its difficulties and trials in the Pauline epistles.

What were the main characteristics of the preaching to the Gentiles
which thus found a centre in Antioch?  Its basis was the intellectual
heritage from Jerusalem which made the Christians teach that {67} the
God of the Jews was the only true God, and that Jesus had been
appointed by him as the Man who would judge the world at the end of the
age.  This represents the teaching in Marcan tradition as to the Son of
Man, but Paul also accepted the view that Jesus was the Son of David,
though he seems to have eliminated the purely national character of the
expected restoration of the kingdom of the Jews under a Davidic king.

The only complete evidence as to the exact form of the expectation
which played a part in the teaching of Paul, and presumably in that of
the Church of Antioch as a whole, is the invaluable description given
in the Epistles[10] of the sequence of events to which Paul looked
forward.  According to this he expected that Jesus would come on the
clouds of heaven; Christians who had died would be raised up, and the
rest would be changed, so that they would no longer consist of flesh
and blood, but of spirit.  But, just as in 4 Ezra, the reign of the
Messiah is limited; a time will come when he will deliver up his
dominion to God.  Then comes "the End," and Paul takes the picture no
further.  Is it too much to suppose that, like 4 Ezra, he thought that
at the End the whole of the present order would cease, and that after
it would come the general resurrection and judgement, to which he
frequently alludes, followed by the life of the Age to Come?  In any
case the idea of the limited reign of the Messiah, and the increased
{68} emphasis on the descent of Jesus from David, are points of contact
with 4 Ezra, and thus make it increasingly possible that Paul thought
that the resurrection of Christians to life would be separate from the
final resurrection of all to judgement.

This original Christian teaching was essentially Jewish, but much of
the phraseology in which it would have been expressed by Jews must have
been unintelligible to Greek ears.  It therefore soon either
disappeared or was transformed.  The Kingdom of God, for instance, is
as rarely mentioned in the Pauline epistles as it is frequent in the
earliest part of the gospels.  The word "Christ," translating the
Hebrew adjective "anointed," was entirely unintelligible to Greek ears,
and became a proper name.  "Son of Man" or "Man" would have been even
more unintelligible; Paul never used "Son of Man," and it is doubtful
whether he uses the word "Man" in the technical apocalyptic sense.  But
though the words were unintelligible the ideas had not disappeared.
The functions attributed to the Son of Man in the gospels still remain
attributed to Jesus in the Pauline epistles, though they are scarcely
so much emphasised.

The Antiochean missionaries seem to have adopted a new word to take the
place of the unintelligible "Messiah" and "Son of Man," and called
Jesus "Lord."  It is made tolerably certain by comparing the oldest
strata of the gospels with the more recent that this word was not used
in Jerusalem or in Galilee {69} as a title of Jesus.  It may have been
used occasionally in Aramaic-speaking circles, but it became dominant
in Greek.  Its extreme importance is that it was already familiar to
the Greek-speaking world in connection with religion.  It had become
the typical title for the God of one of the Graeco-Oriental cults which
offered private salvation[11] to individuals.  It was therefore
inevitable that whatever the Jews may have meant when they called Jesus
Lord, their Greek converts interpreted it in the sense in which the
word had become familiar to them, and thought in consequence that Jesus
was the divine head of a cult by which each individual might obtain
salvation.  The full importance of this became obvious in a purely
Greek centre such as Corinth, but the process began in Antioch.

This change in the significance attached to Jesus had its correlative
effect on the position which the Christians ascribed to themselves.
They came inevitably to regard themselves as the members of a new cult
which was superior to all others.  Only by joining their number was
salvation to be found.  In this sense they began to interpret the
phrase "Kingdom of God," which in many parts of the gospels very
obviously means the Christian Church.  Few things, however, are more
certain than that Jesus had no intention of founding a new society
outside the Jewish Church, and none of these passages can with any
probability be ascribed to him, even {70} though at least one can, on
mechanical grounds, make out a fair case for inclusion in Q.

A correlative change was introduced into the attitude adopted towards
the Old Testament.  The Antiochean Christians refused to accept it as
an obligatory law of conduct; but more and more was it interpreted as
prophetic of Jesus, and not only of him but also of the Christian
Church.  In this way everything that was said of ancient Israel, and
all the promises made to it, were transferred to the Christians, who
claimed that they, and not the Jews, were the ancient People of God.
The complete fulfilment of this process did not, it is true, take place
in the time of Paul, but it was not long in coming, and even in the
epistles there are many places which show that the Christians regarded
themselves as the true heirs of the promise.

This transference of the Jewish scriptures to the Christian Church was
probably almost as important for the future history of Christianity as
the change which made Jesus the centre of a cult offering private
salvation, instead of the prophetic herald of the Kingdom of Heaven,
destined by God to be his representative at the End of the Age.  It
meant that Christianity shared with Judaism the advantage, which no
other religion in the Empire had, of being a religion with a Book.
Nevertheless the obvious fact that the Book was not originally
Christian was destined in the long run to lead to considerable
difficulty.  Though the Old Testament is not always susceptible {71} of
the meaning given to it by Jewish rabbis, it is essentially a Jewish
book, and the attempt to find in it a series of prophecies foretelling
the coming of Jesus was radically wrong.  It could not be supported by
any straightforward interpretation, which gave to the Old Testament its
original historical meaning.  The result was the inevitable growth of
an unnatural symbolical interpretation which had little difficulty in
extracting anything from anything.  It is difficult to estimate whether
the result has been more good or evil.  It produced good, in that it
very soon necessitated the growth of a Christian canon--the New
Testament added to the Old--and this preserved much great literature
for the advantage of future generations, and was a check upon
extravagances of thought.  Perhaps most important of all, it provided
an ethical standard which successive generations of Christians have
never succeeded in practising.  They have indeed frequently tried to
explain away the contrast between their scriptures and their deeds when
it became too oppressive, but they have never quite succeeded, or been
able entirely to satisfy themselves by these methods: the letter of
scripture has constantly remained a salutary protest against the
interpretation put upon it.  All this has been of enormous advantage
for the Christian Church.  But on the other hand the infallibility
ascribed to the Bible has been an easy weapon for obscurantism, and a
drag on intellectual progress.  It has prevented the Church from
adopting the discoveries of science and {72} criticism in such a way as
to make them applicable to religious life.  Bible Christianity[12] in
some of its more recent forms has become a serious danger, and in
moments of depression a student is apt to ask whether in the irony of
history the Bible, which strengthened and supported the Church in its
early history, and helped it in many generations to moral reformation,
is destined to become an instrument for preventing the adaptation of
Christianity to the needs of to-day, and to drive the spirit of
religion, which is eternal, from organised Christianity to take refuge
once more in some newer forms, more receptive of truth, and less
tenacious of error.

[1] It is probable that Paul was at this time settled in Damascus
rather than Jerusalem.  If so, which synagogue in Jerusalem did he
frequent?  That of the Cilicians as a native of Tarsus?

[2] Unless this story is misplaced and ought to come before Acts ix. 32.

[3] Acts xi. 27 ff.

[4] Acts xii. 25-xiv. 28.

[5] Acts xv.

[6] See especially O. W. Emmet, _The Eschatological Question in the
Gospels and other Studies_, pp. 191 ff., and K. Lake, _The Earlier
Epistles of St. Paul_, pp. 274 ff.

[7] The most important names in the first period are Königsmann,
Schleiermacher, Gfrörer, and Schwanbeck, especially the last; in the
second period B. Weiss, Wendt, Sorof, Jüngst, J. Weiss, Spitta, Clemen,
Hilgenfeld.  In general the work of this group is inferior in value to
that of their predecessors.  A clear and invaluable summary of both is
given by W. Heitmuller in the _Theologische Rundschau_ for 1899, pp. 47

[8] Perhaps Norden's name should be added, but interesting and
stimulating though his book _Agnostos Theos_ be, it suffers from
ignorance of early Christianity, and has little permanent value for the
criticism of Acts.

[9] A. von Harnack, _Untersuchungen zu den Schriften des Lukas_; E.
Schwartz, "Zur Chronologie des Paulus," in the _Göttingische
Nachrichten_, 1907, pp. 263 ff.; C. C. Torrey, "The Composition and
Date of Acts," in the _Harvard Theological Studies_, i.  The most
damaging criticism of Torrey is that of F. C. Burkitt in the _Journal
of Theological Studies_, Oct. 1919, but I do not think that he answers
Torrey's case.

[10] Especially 1 Cor. xv. and 1 Thess. iv.

[11] See p. 76.

[12] The reference is to certain American institutions, connected in
the main with evangelising movements.




Christianity had been profoundly changed by its passage from Galilee to
Jerusalem.  Whereas the teaching of Jesus had been the announcement of
the kingdom of God, the illustration of its character, and the
insistent call to men to repent, the central teaching of the disciples
in Jerusalem became the claim that Jesus was the Messiah.  But the
passage from Jerusalem to Antioch had produced still greater changes.
After all, the teaching of the disciples in Jerusalem contained no
elements foreign to Judaism.  It was probably considered by the Jewish
authorities as the erroneous application to Jesus of opinions which,
rightly or wrongly, were widely held among the Jews; but nothing in it
represented concession to Hellenism.  As soon as Hellenism was
suspected the Christians were at once driven out.  In Antioch, on the
other hand, much that was distinctly Jewish was abandoned, and
Hellenistic thought adopted, so that Jesus became the divine centre of
a cult.  It is incredible that he should have been so regarded by the
Jews of {74} Jerusalem; it is impossible that he should not have been
by Gentiles.

It is remarkable that Paul and the other Antiochean missionaries were
willing to accept this development, and to make themselves the
enthusiastic agents of its propaganda; but they clearly did so, and the
point is of extreme importance for the history of Judaism.[1]  The only
alternative to large concessions to the position of the Dutch radicals
is to admit that in the Diaspora the Hellenising of Jews had proceeded
more rapidly and far deeper than has as a rule been supposed.

The result is clear, however obscure the process may be; Christianity
became a Graeco-Oriental cult, offering salvation, just as did the
other mystery religions.  It competed with them for the right of
succession to the official religion of Rome, and ultimately it
triumphed.  To understand the situation it is necessary to comprehend
the general nature of these cults, and to see the points of likeness
and difference in Christianity.

In general all the mystery religions assumed the existence of a Lord,
who had passed through various experiences on earth, and finally been
glorified and exalted.  He had left behind the secret of obtaining the
same reward, in the form partly of knowledge, partly of magical
ceremonies.  His followers knew this secret, and admitted into it those
whom the Lord was willing to accept.  The initiated obtained {75}
protection in this world, and a blessed immortality after death.  The
Lord was probably not usually identified with the Supreme God; for
instance, in Mithraism the Sun, not Mithras, was originally the supreme
God, though in the last stages of the cult the difference between the
two was apparently blurred, and Mithras became indistinguishable from
the Sun.

The Christianity revealed in 1 Corinthians clearly conforms to this
type.  It has its Lord, Jesus, who is far more than human, but is not
identified with the supreme God "the Father";[2] he has suffered on
earth, but been glorified and exalted, and Christians who accept him in
faith, and are initiated into the Church by the sacrament of Baptism,
obtain a share in his glory, and will enjoy a blessed immortality.  The
general resemblance is striking and undeniable.  It may be summarised,
as was said above, by the statement that Christianity offered men
salvation, and was believed to fulfil its offer.  Indeed, its success
was partly due not to any difference from the other cults, but to the
fact that it made more exclusive claims, combined with a higher ethical
standard, than any other.

But what exactly was meant by salvation?  No single answer can be
given.  In one sense salvation was primarily an eschatological concept,
though its formulation was different among Jewish-minded and
Greek-minded believers.  The Jew meant, in the main, that, at the great
day when the dead {76} would rise and join the living before the
judgement seat of God, he would be safe from the Divine Wrath, be
acquitted, and have a place among those who would live in happiness in
the Age to Come.  The Greek probably thought rather that each soul
which was saved would pass at death to a happier and better existence.
Ultimately these two strands of eschatology were woven together, though
scarcely reconciled, in the elaborate fabric of the Catholic system of
purgatory, paradise, resurrection, judgement, heaven and hell.

In another sense salvation meant something different, which was not
eschatological.  In accordance with the general spirit of the
Graeco-Oriental mysteries, there existed a belief that through
sacraments men could change their nature, be born again, and--as
Irenaeus puts it--become the children of the eternal and unchangeable
God instead of the children of mortal man.[3]  In this way they passed,
even before death, into eternal life, and they were raised to an
existence beyond the reach of Fate.  The basis of this concept was
doubtless astral, and at least some early Christians believed that
whereas the unbaptized were subject to the inimical decrees of the
stars, the regenerate were immune.

Judged by our standards this belief is magical, just as the Jewish
eschatology is mythological.  Neither has part or lot in modern
thinking; this does not necessarily prove that they are wrong, but it
means {77} that the problem for us is not one of details, but of
opposing systems, the parts of which cannot be interchanged.  We can,
with logical propriety, accept the Graeco-Jewish eschatology or the
Graeco-Oriental sacramental regeneration if we reject modern thought.
But we cannot, except in intellectual chaos, combine the two, or
appropriately express modern thought in language belonging to the
ancient systems.

The modern man does not believe in any form of salvation known to
ancient Christianity.  He does believe that so long as life lasts, and
he does not know of any limit to its duration, good and evil are
realities, and those who do good, and are good, achieve life of
increasingly higher and higher potentiality.  If anything were gained
in practical life by calling this "salvation," it would be right and
wise to do so.  But in fact it is disastrous, for it obscures thought
and confuses language.

Thus there is no doubt as to the general resemblance of the Christian
offer of salvation to that of other cults, and the obvious point of
difference--the presence of the Jewish eschatology--has no claim to
superior truth.  What, then, are the points of difference between
Christianity and the other cults which explain the triumph of the
Church?  Two popular but probably mistaken explanations may first be

It is often said that Christianity had an enormous advantage in that
Jesus was an historic person, whereas the Lords of the other cults were
not.  But {78} closer analysis does not confirm the importance of this

The initiates of the other cults believed that their Lords were
historic persons, just as Christians believed that Jesus was.  They
had, indeed, lived a long time ago, but this was no disadvantage: any
one who reads Tatian's _Oratio ad Graecos_ can see how antiquity, not
recentness, was regarded as desirable.  The general argument of
Christians was not that Jesus was historic, and the other Lords were
not, but that he fulfilled a true offer of salvation, made in a more
remote antiquity than any pagan religion could claim, while the heathen
Lords were demons, misunderstanding the prophecies of the Old
Testament, clumsily simulating their fulfilment, and arrogating to
themselves the title of God.  It was of course an advantage that the
"sacred legend" of Christianity was free from the repulsive elements in
other cults, which it taxed the ingenuity of a Julian to explain.

Moreover, historical criticism shows that the points in the story of
Jesus which played the greatest part in commending Christianity to a
generation asking for private salvation are those which are not
historic.  The element of truth in much perverse criticism, arguing
that Jesus never existed, is that the Jesus of history is quite
different from the Lord assumed as the founder of Catholic
Christianity.  The Church conquered the world by offering salvation
through a redeeming Lord.  Jesus made no such offer: to him {79} the
Kingdom of God, the pearl of great price, was the natural inheritance
of men, if they would only take it.  No supernatural change of nature,
but to turn round, abandon all that hindered, and go in the right
direction--go home--was the repentance which he required.  Probably it
was not unique teaching: it is very hard to obey, and it makes no
spectacular demands.  Its only claim to acceptance is its truth.  It
did not conquer the world.  Nor did Jesus--the Jesus of history--think
that it would do so.  "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that
leadeth unto Life, and few there are that find it."

Thus the theory that Catholic Christianity succeeded because Jesus was
an historic person cannot be sustained.

Nor is there much more truth in the attribution of its success to the
influence of the personality of Jesus.  No doubt it was the personality
of Jesus which influenced his immediate followers, made them regard him
as the Davidic Messiah or as "Son of Man," and rendered possible their
belief in his exaltation to the right hand of God.  Without this belief
Christianity could never have come into existence; but once the belief
was established it became the foundation of the whole structure, and
the personality of Jesus was quite eclipsed by the supernatural value
attached to him.  Not the men who had known Jesus, but those who had
not, converted the Roman Empire, and their gospel was that of the
Cross, Resurrection, and Parousia, not the Sermon on the Mount, or an
{80} ethical interpretation of the Parables, or a moral _imitatio

The true answer is that Catholic Christianity conquered because it was
popular, not because it was true, and failed for the same reason.
Permanence, not popularity, is the test of truth; for truth has often
no adherents, while error has many.

The permanent truth in Christianity is, I think, to be found in the
spirit, or perhaps more correctly the "will," which Jesus had, and
tried to hand on to his disciples, of service and self-sacrifice.  It
calls men to redeem others, rather than to seek redemption for
themselves.  This is to spiritual life what gravitation is to the
physical world.  It was known to others before him and after, but it
has not yet conquered the world.

But the popular teaching[4] which loomed largest in the early days of
the Church offered the privilege rather than the responsibility of
redemption, and maintained that the Christian was united to the Supreme
God--a claim higher than that made by any other cult.  This side of
Christianity, though not Jewish, was in the main derived from Judaism,
from which all the first Christian missionaries accepted the preaching
of the one supreme God, whom Paul constantly refers to as "the Father."
There has been of recent years much loose writing and looser speech
{81} about the "Fatherhood of God."  It has even been asserted that
this was the special revelation of Jesus.  Such a view does not for a
moment sustain any critical investigation.  No doubt Jesus sometimes,
possibly often, spoke of God as "Father"; but so did many other Jews.
They and he referred to the moral son-ship of the righteous, not to a
supernatural or sacramental relation.  Nor is there any sign that Jesus
felt that he had any new revelation as to the nature of God: he was
much more intent on telling men what they ought to do to conform to the
demands of God.

But after the time of Jesus the use of "Father" as applied to God
became more and more general; especially to denote the peculiar
relationship--however that may have been conceived--between Jesus and
God.  This use is especially characteristic of the editor of Matthew,
and still more of the Fourth Gospel.  It is the correlative to the
process by which "Jesus, the Son of God," became "God the Son."

The Hellenistic Christians seem to have been particularly fond of this
use; partly perhaps from linguistic reasons.  The Greek for Jehovah is
_kúrios_, Lord; but this word had been already taken as the title of
Jesus.  Therefore when a Christian-speaking Greek wished to refer to
Jehovah he could not without ambiguity say "The Lord," and he began to
adopt the usage of referring to Jehovah as "the Father."  But what
would have been the implication to Greek {82} ears of this usage?  Two
lines were possible: it could be interpreted as referring exclusively
to the relation between God and Jesus, or as referring to the relation
between God and men.  Paul is evidence that the second, as well as the
first, was accepted.  "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they
are Sons of God."  But how would a Greek have understood this verse?
Probably he would have thought that it meant that the gift of the
Spirit changed men's nature; so that, as Irenaeus said, two generations
later, they were no longer mortal men but the children of the immortal
God.  To the Greek the gift of the Spirit was the gift of divine
nature, immortal and incorruptible.  That is, of course, in nowise
Jewish: even if Paul meant this, which is doubtful, he did so by virtue
of his Greek associations.  The question, however, has not been
adequately discussed how far this interpretation is exactly the same as
that of the other cults.  It clearly brought the Christian into direct
relation with the Supreme God, through the Lord.  Was this so in
Mithraism or in the cult of Isis?  In both of them it seems rather that
the initiate was brought rather into relationship with the Lord.[5]
Surely it was a real advantage to Christian {83} propaganda that the
Church offered union with the Supreme God more definitely than did any
rival cult.

Two elements must be distinguished in such teaching.  Permanently
important in it is the recognition of the fact that a helping hand of
grace stretches out from the unknown to help man when he cries from the
depths: but it contains also a theory as to the origin and nature of
grace.  The fact is indisputable, the theory depends on evidence; and
there is really none to justify confident assertion.  No doubt it was
an enormous asset to Christianity to proclaim that the grace found by
its adherents came straight from the cause of all existence.  The same
situation was reproduced after the Reformation, and it was an asset to
Protestantism to claim direct access to God, without the mediation of
saints.  Nevertheless, it is hard to see that there is any evidence to
favour the theory that grace comes in the one way rather than the
other.  The element of truth in the early Christian teaching is not the
side which was most popular, but rather that which, a little later,
partly unconsciously, animated the Church in rejecting Marcionism--the
conviction that there is no essential disharmony or {84} final clash in
history, that the God of creation is not hostile to the God of grace.[6]

Moreover, it was not only--or even chiefly--the helping hand of grace
in the troubles and sorrows of life which Greek Christians especially
hoped for by union with the supreme God or by the power of Jesus.  It
was rather the gift of eternal Life after death, which was the special
characteristic of the Gods.  The points of importance are the means
whereby they thought that this immortality was obtained, and the nature
which they ascribed to it.

The act by which the faithful acquired immortality was Baptism.  The
history of this distinctively Christian rite is obscure.  From the
standpoint of the historian of religions it is the combination of a
Jewish ceremony with Graeco-Oriental ideas.  The Jews had frequently
practised ceremonial washing with a religious significance--generally
speaking, purification from the guilt of offences against the ritual
law; it was also part of the initiation of proselytes, and had been
largely practised by John the Forerunner.  But in no case did any Jew
think that washing could change, sacramentally or magically, the nature
of man.  A Greek on the other hand, brought up in the atmosphere of the
mysteries, might well have thought so.  The same is true of the other
constituent element in primitive Christian Baptism--the formula "in the
{85} name of the Lord Jesus."  There is no reason why Jews should not
have used the name of Jesus for magical purposes--indeed they
undoubtedly did so--for magic was not peculiar to the Greeks.  But the
ordinary Jew would never have practised magic to secure immortality or
to become divine.  He believed that immortality was the natural lot of
all the chosen people who kept the Law, and would be reached, not
through sacraments or secret knowledge, but through the resurrection at
the last day.  Thus it is possible that the first Jewish Christians may
have practised baptism by an extension of the ordinary ritual of
proselyte-making, or as a means of securing remission of sins, in the
spirit of John the Baptist, but it is extremely improbable that it was
for them the sacrament of regeneration to eternal life which it was
held to be by Greek Christians.

Turning from the possibilities and probabilities suggested by the
history of religion to the evidence of the early literature critically
studied, two points stand out as probable.  First, Jesus neither
practised nor enjoined baptism of any kind; secondly, the Antiochean
missionaries always practised baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus."
The second point is so obviously proved both by Acts and the Pauline
epistles that it requires no discussion.  The first has the limitations
of the argument from silence, for it rests on the fact that there is no
trace of Baptism by Jesus, either by practice or precept, in the
synoptic gospels, except a single statement in Matt. xxviii. 19, {86}
in which the risen Jesus is represented as commanding the disciples to
undertake the conversion of the Gentiles (_tà éthnê_) and their baptism
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  That this verse is
not historical but a late tradition, intended to support ecclesiastical
practice, is shown by the absence of the trine formula of baptism in
Acts and the Epistles, and the extreme reluctance with which the
apostles, who are supposed to have received this revelation, undertook
a mission to the Gentiles.  We have to choose between the account in
Matthew, which makes the mission to the Gentiles the result of the
command of the risen Jesus in Galilee, or that in Acts, confirmed by
Paul, which makes it begin much later from the preaching in Antioch of
the scattered adherents of Stephen, and from revelations to Paul and
Peter, on the road to Damascus, and at Joppa.  There can be little
doubt that Acts ought to be trusted on this point.

Few problems are more obscure than the question of the growth of
baptism in the Church of this first period.  This is due to the fact
that the editor of Acts was convinced that baptism was a primitive
Christian custom even in Jerusalem, though unlike Matthew he does not
attribute it to Jesus.  Nevertheless, it is possible to see indications
that his sources did not confirm his opinion.  An excellent case can be
made for the view that the source used in Acts i. and ii. originally
regarded the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost as the fulfilment of the
promise attributed to Jesus {87} that his disciples, unlike those of
John, should be baptized in the Holy Spirit not in water.  The
exhortation of Peter in Acts ii. that his hearers should repent _and be
baptized_ is so inconsistent with this promise that it seems due to the
redactor.  Similarly, too, the baptism of Cornelius seems to contradict
the context of Peter's own explanation in Acts xi., and may well be
redactorial.  On the other hand, the later chapters agree with these
redactorial additions in regarding baptism as the source of the gift of
the Spirit, and there can here be no question of editorial additions,
for the references to baptism are clearly part of the fabric of the
narrative.  The most illuminating evidence, however, is afforded by the
chapters describing Philip's work: in these baptism in the name of the
Lord Jesus is represented as the custom of Philip, but it does not
confer the gift of the Spirit.  This may be the best clue to the
historical development of the rite.  The Seven, including Philip, were
probably the first to convert Gentiles, and inasmuch as the complete
breach with Judaism had not yet come, must have regarded their converts
as proselytes, and treated them accordingly.  Baptism was part of the
usual treatment of a proselyte, and the formula "in the name of the
Lord Jesus" would merely distinguish these proselytes from others.

A little later the practice would certainly be interpreted by Greeks,
or Graeco-Orientals, in the light of the cults which they knew; baptism
would become the magical or, at least, sacramental means of {88}
salvation, and the Name of Jesus its necessary formula.  The
development is exactly similar to that passed through by the word
"Lord,"--though its origin was Jewish its interpretation was Greek.[7]

The expectation of immortality conferred by Baptism and membership in
the Church of the Lord Jesus varied in form.  The Greek eschatology was
different from the Jewish, and looked for an immortality for each
individual immediately after death.  It was, moreover, an immortality
of the soul, not of the body.  Probably there were many variations of
thought on the subject.  Some of the most highly educated Greeks may
have understood the arguments for and against immaterial Reality, and
accepted or rejected them.  Roughly speaking, Platonists accepted,
Stoics and Epicureans rejected; and it was at least possible for
Platonists, if they identified Mind with immaterial Reality, to believe
in the immortality of the human mind.  But did such Platonists actually
exist before Plotinus, or possibly Ammonius Saccus?  The fragmentary
evidence which exists seems to show that philosophic Greeks were
interested in other problems--mainly epistemological and psychological.
The belief in the immortality of the soul was preserved by the
tradition of the Mysteries,[8] not by the Academy.  Stoics and
Epicureans, far more important for the {89} first century than
Academics, were materialists; but that does not mean that they did not
believe in the existence of a human soul or spirit.  Spirit was for
them merely the most attenuated form of matter.  The spirit of man
might be dissipated after death, as the grosser material composing his
body would be, or it might survive and retain consciousness and memory
until the cycle came round when all things, including human careers,
would be repeated.

But the first Greek Christians were scarcely influenced by an
intelligent comprehension of Stoic metaphysics, and attempts made to
trace their direct influence in Paul or elsewhere only show that their
vocabulary was more widely used than their problems were understood--a
phenomenon not peculiar to the first century.  All that can be said
with any confidence is that the expectation of blessed immortality--not
for all but for the chosen few--fostered by the mysteries was probably
most often conceived as the survival of the soul after death, and the
soul in turn was conceived as "Spirit," a highly attenuated material
existence, which was found until death in the body, and was then
released from it.

In some such way the Greeks in Corinth who were converted to
Christianity expected immortality.  So they did also in the other cults
offering salvation.  The points of difference in Christianity are in
the kind of life which was demanded from initiates, and in the final
consummation expected.

1 Corinthians shows clearly that some Hellenic {90} Christians held
that having secured immortality they were free to do as they liked with
their bodies.  Paul insisted on the observance of that morality which
was central in Judaism.  He had rendered his task difficult by his
rejection of the Law, but he won his fight, and the permanent
association of Jewish morality with the Christian Church and its
Hellenic Christology and sacraments was the result.

In the same way Paul contended successfully for the Jewish doctrine of
a resurrection, though with some modifications.  This was not the same
thing as the Greek belief in personal immortality.  The Sadducees,
indeed, may have Hellenised on this subject, as did some of the
Alexandrian Jews, represented by the Wisdom of Solomon.  But the bulk
of the people followed the Pharisees and looked for a resurrection of
the body, at the end of the age.

Paul and the other missionaries continued to teach this Jewish
doctrine, but were not at once able to convince their Greek hearers
that immortality must necessarily be reached through a resurrection of
the body.  Presumably the Greeks felt that immortality was sufficient,
and a future reunion between an immortal soul and a resuscitated body
was as undesirable as improbable.  Paul in 1 Corinthians insists on the
Jewish doctrine, but he makes the concession to the Greeks that the
resurrection will not be of flesh and blood but of a "spiritual" body,
that is to say, a body consisting of the most attenuated form of {91}
matter.  It will be the same body, but it will be changed.

This modified form of Jewish thought was supported by an appeal to the
case of Jesus, who had already risen from the dead.  The appeal was
really far more effective than the rest of Paul's argument, which was
not calculated to convince the doubtful, and it has the especial
importance for the historian that it proves that Paul did not think the
risen Jesus had a body of flesh and blood, and believed that in this he
was in agreement with all the early witnesses.

Nevertheless, the belief of the Church soon affirmed what remained its
unchanged faith until the nineteenth century--the resurrection of the
flesh, both of the Lord in the past, and of the Christian in the
future.  This was the triumph of Jewish thought, and is an exception to
the general rule that Christianity became steadily more Hellenic.

The reason why Jewish thought triumphed is difficult to ascertain.  Few
hypotheses as to a future life have less intrinsic probability than
that ultimately reached, which postulates an immortal soul living
discarnate until the resurrection day, when it will be reunited to its
own resuscitated body, and both will be rewarded or punished by the
final judgement of God.  Nevertheless this hypothesis supplanted all

Two causes may be suggested.  The pressure of the Docetic controversy,
which insisted that Jesus had never been a real man of flesh and blood,
but a {92} spirit appearing in human form, made the Church attach
greater weight to the reality of his flesh and blood, even after the
resurrection.  Hence arose the narratives of the appearances of the
risen Jesus in Luke and John, emphasising this point.  That they there
are secondary seems to be proved by the evidence of 1 Cor. xv.  Hence,
too, it may be, came the suppression of the missing end of Mark.
Following this tendency it was natural to argue, as Paul had done, that
Christians like Jesus would be raised with the same bodies which they
had had.

A different motive was provided by moral considerations.  It is clear
that there was danger, even in the Corinth of Paul's days, of men
arguing that, having obtained the Spirit and consequent immortality,
nothing carnal had any importance: the body had, as it were, but a
short time, and might be allowed to enjoy itself as it chose.  To
combat this danger of an absolutely licentious position the Church
maintained that the body was as eternal as the soul, and that its
future happiness depended on its present behaviour.

Both these factors undoubtedly entered into the development of
Christian thought; and they were reinforced by the natural desire of
man to preserve the pleasures of life in a body of flesh and blood.

The whole question of the expectation of immortality is as obscure as
it is interesting.  Direct evidence in favour of a survival of
individual consciousness after {93} death is provided in the present by
psychical research, and from the past by narratives of the apparitions
of the dead, among which the story of the appearances of the risen
Jesus must be classed.  To most minds the evidence does not justify a
decisive verdict of any nature.

The "moral" argument is equally evasive.  To certain minds in certain
moods it seems incredible that extinction can await beings who display
the qualities manifested by men at their best, animated by such high
purposes, so little fulfilled.  In Christian circles the argument has
helped to secure the orthodox belief in the resurrection of the body.
But, on the other hand, this belief has received a succession of shocks
from other considerations.  The resuscitation of the flesh has become
more and more incredible.  Bishop Westcott endeavoured to meet this
feeling by reviving the Pauline notion of a body of "Spirit," and was
followed by Bishop Gore in so doing.  The process was helped by the
fact that in the English creed _resurrectio carnis_ is translated
_resurrection of the body_, so that the denial of the Apostles' Creed
involved in the Westcott-Gore interpretation could be softened into an
apparent affirmation.

Even more serious, though less often expressed, is the moral objection
to the judgement, which dooms men to extremes of bliss or misery in
accordance as they fall one side or the other of a certain line.  The
conscience of the modern man feels that no one deserves either Heaven
or Hell.  Moreover, this same {94} conscience doubts whether any one
really deserves complete perpetuation.  All men are of mixed nature;
some elements seem to deserve to be eliminated, and others to survive.
Thus the moral indictment against the old expectation of judgement is
that no one deserves either of its extremes.

A just judgement would be not between man and man, saving one and
condemning the other, but between different parts of each of us.  For
in man good and evil are always present: what we ask for is not
complete survival, but the ultimate elimination of some parts and the
constant growth of others; we desire change, not permanence.[9]
Moreover, even in the short space of life which we can observe,
elimination and selection are clearly present.  The child and the old
man are one, not by identity but by continuity of life.  The main
object of education is to further and confirm this beneficent change.
Once more, this, or something like it, is often put forward as the
meaning of the doctrine of "judgement."  But when the creed states that
Jesus will "come again in glory to judge both the quick and dead," it
means the Jewish eschatological expectation, and to use its language to
express modern thought is unfair to both.

All such thoughts are _a priori_, and can never convince the reluctant.
The path of wisdom is not to weigh the merits of various inconclusive
arguments, but to distinguish between Desire and Knowledge.


Desire for most men is to remain essentially as they are.  The healthy
enjoy life, and even the unhealthy cling to it.  If we are candid most
of us admit that we should like indefinitely prolonged existence, that
we have an infinite curiosity to know what is going to happen in the
world, and a wish to take part in its development.  That is Desire.

Over against Desire is Knowledge.  We know that matter is
indestructible, though it changes its form, and that energy is equally
indestructible, but constantly varies its form.  If Life be similar to
energy this gives us reason to believe that it is permanent, but that
its form changes.  If, however, Life be a form of Energy, not a force
similar to it, there is no reason to expect its permanence.  The chief
reason against this view is that whereas we can convert heat into
electricity, or electricity into light, we cannot--as yet--convert
either into Life.

So far Knowledge takes us on the hypothesis that Life is material, for
Energy is not outside of the world of matter.  But still within the
field of Knowledge is the old problem of Immaterial Reality and its
relation to Life.  To those who are convinced, as I am myself, by the
old arguments in favour of Immaterial Reality, conceivable but not
imaginable, it is certain that intellectual and moral life belongs to
it and shares its attributes of eternity.  Metaphysics are more
convincing than psychology.  But need this mean that this eternal life
is personal?  No one as yet has answered this question.


And there are further considerations: all that we know of life teaches
us that it is a succession of losses.  The passage from youth to middle
life, and the change from middle life to old age are losses, from which
we shrink.  No man willingly surrenders the flexibility of youth or the
power of middle life.  But the experience--shrunk from and postponed
though it be--teaches that through loss came gain.  Yet none of us ever
foresaw the form which the gain would take.  After old age comes death:
that too is loss.  Is it also gain?  If Life continue, and that at
least seems probable, Knowledge teaches us that it will change its form
and that here, too, gain will come through loss.  But, it is often
said, this is the denial of the survival of personality, and it is
personality, not life, which we desire.  No doubt we do: but we desire
to keep much which we lose, and yet come to see that only thus could we
achieve the greater gain.[10]

After all, Faith is not belief in spite of evidence, but life in scorn
of consequence--a courageous trust in the great purpose of all things
and pressing forward to finish the work which is in sight, whatever the
price may be.  Who knows whether the "personality" of which men talk so
much and know so little may not prove to be the temporary limitation
rather than the necessary expression of Life?

There was once an archipelago of islands off a mountainous coast
separated from each other and from the mainland by the sea.  But in
course of {97} time the sea dried up, the islands were joined to the
great mountain behind them, and it became clear that they had always
been united by solid ground under a very shallow sea.  If those islands
could have thought and spoken what would they have said?  Before the
event they would have protested against losing their insularity, but
would they have done so afterwards, when the water which divided them
from each other was gone, and they knew that they were part of the
great mountain which before they had only dimly seen, obscured by the
mists rising from the sea?

[1] See C. Montefiore, _Judaism and St. Paul_.

[2] 1 Cor. viii. 6.

[3] Irenaeus, _Apostolic Preaching_, p. 3.

[4] I would emphasise the word popular.  The great missionaries were
doubtless inspired by the desire to save others, by the will to
minister rather than be ministered to, and by a readiness to give their
lives as a ransom for others, but their converts were otherwise minded.

[5] This statement would be required to be modified for detailed
application to various classes both among Christians and among
initiates in the other cults.  In all cults there was probably an
uneducated substratum which thought very little about the subject.  It
was satisfied with the fact of salvation, and was not specially
interested in its method.  On the other hand, the educated with a
metaphysical tendency were interested in the relation of the Lord of
the cult to the Supreme God, and this might, in time, have produced
something similar to the Christological speculations of the fourth
century.  Apuleius seems to identify the Supreme God with the Lord in a
manner which at times reminds the reader of Sabellian Christianity.  On
the other hand, Heliogabalus seems to have produced a complete amalgam
between Mithras and Helios, and reminds us of the tendency of
uneducated Christianity in all generations to make the gospel become
the preaching of the new God, or the true God, Jesus, of which I heard
a somewhat extreme example from a preacher who maintained fervidly that
Jehovah was the Hebrew of Jesus.

[6] See the last chapter of F. C. Burkitt's _The Gospel History and its
Transmission_.  This chapter is a most clear-sighted analysis of one of
the essentials of Catholic truth as opposed to error, and I venture to
say this because its importance seems in general to be overlooked.

[7] See _Prolegomena to Acts_, pp. 332 ff.

[8] From which indeed Plato had probably obtained it.  He justified it,
handily enough, from his doctrine of Ideas, but scarcely derived it
thence.  The triumph of Aristotle destroyed his justification, but the
parent stream flowed on placidly, undisturbed by thought.

[9] This has much in common with Origen's teaching, but unfortunately
Origen was rejected by the Catholic Church.

[10] See Additional Note on p. 141.




Corinth as portrayed in the Epistles of Paul gives us our simplest and
least contaminated picture of the Hellenic Christianity which regarded
itself as the cult of the Lord Jesus, who offered
salvation--immortality--to those initiated in his mysteries.  It had
obvious weaknesses in the eyes of Jewish Christians, even when they
were as Hellenised as Paul, since it offered little reason for a higher
standard of conduct than heathenism, and its personal eschatology left
no real place for the resurrection of the body.  The Epistles of Paul
to the Corinthians are in the main protests against this Hellenic
weakness, and the real monument to Paul in the first two, or perhaps
even four, centuries is the success which he had in driving home these
protests.  Owing to later controversies we are apt to treat
Justification by Faith as Paul's greatest contribution to the Church.
Possibly that is true, if the whole of Church history be taken into
account, but the attempt to reconstruct "Paulinism" on this principle
produces the result that the effect of Paul's teaching cannot be traced
in any of the {99} Christian writings of the next two centuries.  This
is obviously absurd: if Paul's writings were preserved so carefully his
teaching on some great points must have been regarded as central.  Nor,
if we succeed in forgetting the emphasis introduced by later
controversies, is it hard to see what these points were.  As against
the Jews, Paul, the Greek, insisted on Freedom from the Law.  That
stood.  As against the Greek, Paul insisted on Jewish morality and on
the Resurrection of the body.  These also stood.  And these three
points, if we may judge from subapostolic writings, were those which
influenced the Church most.  No doubt Paul preached Jesus as the
crucified but risen and glorified Lord, and no doubt regarded Baptism
and the Eucharist as sacraments, but so did all Hellenic Christians.
Probably he would have regarded his doctrine of Faith and Justification
as of primary importance, but all the existing evidence seems to show
that it failed to convince the Jews, or to be remembered by the
Gentiles, until it was rediscovered by Augustine.

Sacramental Christianity with an emphasis on morality was henceforward
the true characteristic of the Church.  But it had yet to give a more
detailed account of the Lord, and to attempt to come to terms with
Greek philosophy.

Except with regard to the Second Coming, the Jewish ideas of the
Davidic Messiah and of the Son of Man ceased to have any living
importance.  It {100} was not doubted that the Lord was divine, but
there were two ways of considering his divinity.  One was to regard
Jesus as a man who had been inspired by the Holy Spirit, and had
himself been taken up into the sphere of divinity after his death, so
that he, as well as the spirit which had been in him, was now divine.
This form of thought is generally known as Adoptionism.  The other way
was to think of Jesus as a pre-existent divine being who had become

The difference between the two forms of thought is that whereas
Adoptionism postulates a distinct human personality for the human
Jesus, which had a beginning in time and was promoted to divinity, the
other theory postulates only a divine person who became human.  Both
theories, therefore, begin with much the same doctrine of God, as
consisting, if the metaphor may be used, of the two factors of the
Father and the Spirit, who was sometimes called his Son,[1] and was
frequently identified with the Logos of the Greek philosophers.  There
is very little evidence in early Christian writings for that
distinction between the Logos and the Spirit which afterward became

The competing existence of Adoptionist and Pre-existent Christology
does much to explain the early development of the doctrine of the
Trinity.  Starting with the Father and the Spirit-son, Adoptionism
added {101} a third to the sphere of divinity, namely, the glorified
Jesus.  This belief was preserved in the baptismal formula of the
Church of Rome, as found in Justin Martyr, which was "In the name of
the Father of all, and in the name of Jesus Christ who was crucified
under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Spirit," and though
Adoptionism was in the end rejected, it left its permanent mark on
Christian theology in the "threeness"[2] of the doctrine of God.  The
doctrines of Pre-existent Christology could scarcely have had this
result,[3] for it is quite clear that the Logos and the Spirit were
distinguished only in language, and the Incarnation was, as it were,
but an incident in the work of the Logos.

Few things are more needed than study of this side of the growth of
Christian doctrine.  Harnack's _History of Doctrine_ has indeed done
something, but many of the details of his work require to be worked
out, and some of his statements need revision.[4]  Older books, such as
Dorner's _History of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ_, admirable
though they are, have little value for this purpose, for they were
{102} written chiefly with the object of explaining and leading up to
Nicene and Chalcedonian doctrine.  All that can be done in these pages
is to indicate certain lines, which might be profitably followed up, as
to the two chief centres of development, Rome and Ephesus, the former
representing in the main Adoptionism and the latter Pre-existent

After Antioch Rome seems to have been the most important centre of
Christianity in the first and early second centuries.  Certainly it was
more important than Corinth, though in some ways, owing to the
preservation of Paul's correspondence, we know more about Corinth than
Rome.  Fortunately there are extant a number of documents which
illustrate its history, though none of them throw any real light on its
foundation, for it is unknown who was the founder of the Church in Rome.

The first of these documents is Paul's Epistle to the Romans, but it is
very strange how little this tells us as to the history or nature of
the Church in that city.  Apparently Paul was acquainted with
Christians in Rome before he went there himself, but there is no
suggestion that he regarded the Church there as the foundation of Peter
or of any other of the leading missionaries.  It is therefore by no
means impossible that the Church of Rome sprang up by the coming to the
city in increasing numbers of men who had been converted elsewhere.
Whether the Epistle to the Romans was originally intended for that city
or {103} not is an open question,[5] but at least it was sent to Rome
in one of its forms, and that is after all the most important fact.
The most remarkable thing about the revelation which it makes of the
Christianity at Rome is that the problems which seem to have interested
or distracted the Church are so much more Jewish than Hellenic.  The
questions of the Law and of the ultimate fate of Israel are so
extensively dealt with as to suggest a strongly Jewish element in the
Church.  Jesus is, as in Corinth, a Redeemer, but the problems of life
for those who accepted him suggest Jewish rather than Greek antecedents.

What is the bearing of Romans on the Christology of the Church at Rome?
Not, that is to say, what is its evidence as to the thought of Paul,
but how are certain phrases in it likely to have been interpreted?  The
most important passage is Romans i. 1-4: "Paul, a servant of Jesus
Christ, a called apostle, separated to God's gospel which He had
promised beforehand by His prophets in Holy Scriptures concerning His
Son, who became of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was
appointed Son of God miraculously according to the spirit of holiness
by resurrection {104} from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord."[6]  What
is this likely to have meant to those who read it in Greek without any
knowledge of a "Pre-existent" Christology?  I think that they would
have been impressed by the parallelisms in the sentence: _katà sárka_
is parallel to _katà pneuma hagiôsúnes_ and _ek spérmatos Daveíd_ is
parallel to _ex anastaseôs nekrôn_.  It would thus mean that Jesus had
been a human being by belonging to the family of David, and had been
ordained, or appointed to be a "Spirit of holiness," by being raised
from the dead: _katà sárka_ explains the result of _genoménon ek
spérmatos Daveíd_, and _katà pneuma hagiôsúnes_ explains the result of
_horisthéntos uhiou ... ex anastáseos nekrôn_.  That is Adoptionism,
and though the passage has been explained in terms of a Pre-existent
Christology by those who for other reasons are convinced that this was
the real nature of Paul's doctrine, it could be taken quite easily in
this Adoptionist way, for _horisthétos_ could mean "became by means of
appointment" quite as well as _aphôrismênos_ could mean the same thing
with regard to Paul's apostleship.[7]  The general impression made by
the verse would be, to any one who had Adoptionist views already, that
Jesus, who was born {105} as a human being into the family of David
(which gave him a certain well-understood claim to the title Son of
God), had by the Resurrection been promoted to another kind of sonship,
not as a human being of flesh, but as a spiritual being.

The next document in probable chronological order which seems to belong
to Rome is the Epistle to the Hebrews.  It is much disputed by critics
whether it was written in Rome or to Rome, but that it was extant there
can hardly be doubted in view of the extensive quotations from it in
the Epistle of Clement.  It reveals a different mind from that of the
Epistle to the Romans, but once more it is Jewish questions which are
uppermost.  The main problem is the meaning of the ritual law.
Nevertheless, as in Romans, there are sufficient traces of sacramental
teaching to make it clear that Christianity in Rome as in Corinth meant
the sacramental cult of a saving Lord.  This was the basis of
everything, but the problems which arose from the attempt to work out
its implications are as markedly Jewish in Rome as they are Greek in
Corinth.  It does not mean, of course, that there were no Greeks in
Rome, any more than that there were no Jews in Corinth, but the
dominating influence was Jewish in one and Greek in the other.

The Epistle to the Hebrews seems at first to be much more obviously
"Pre-existent" in its Christology than the Epistle to the Romans,
indeed it could well be explained on the theory that it was maintaining
a Pre-existent Christology against a {106} rival form of the same
general type which identified the pre-existent Christ with an angel.
But if one ask whether this would have been clear to a reader with
Adoptionist principles, it can be seen that he would very easily have
interpreted it in accordance with his own ideas.  The question of what
the Son of God was before the Incarnation is not the centre of the
discussion.  What is important is the function of High Priest in Heaven
which he now fulfils, and this function is the consequence of his human
life.  It is true that in the first chapter there are phrases which are
most naturally explained by "pre-existent" doctrine, but though the
writer appears to be explaining the essential superiority of the Son to
angels, in chapter ii. this superiority is the result of the Passion
and Resurrection, and in verse 10 the divine being, "through whom and
for whom are all things," is distinguished from the leader of our
salvation, who is, of course, Jesus.[8]  It is plain that this verse,
difficult to understand on other lines of thought, is quite
intelligible if it be interpreted in the light of that Adoptionism
which, as we know from Hermas, used "Son of God" for the Holy Spirit
and also for the glorified Jesus.

It is very hard not to discuss this question as though Adoptionism and
Pre-existent Christology {107} were consciously competing systems from
the beginning.  That is of course not true: none of these writers was
consciously discussing the question.  For this reason elements can be
found in the Epistle to the Romans and in the Epistle to the Hebrews
which are easily susceptible of an Adoptionist interpretation, and
others equally indicative of Pre-existent Christology.  This means that
Christians at that moment had not formulated the problem.  But _The
Shepherd_ of Hermas shows that in Rome an important body of Christians
did become wholly Adoptionist, and if they used Romans and Hebrews,
they probably interpreted the passages indicated above in agreement
with their own opinions and passed over the rest--in accordance with
the best tradition of Biblical commentators.

A third document is the first Epistle of Peter.  If this were really
written by Peter it cannot be much later in date than Romans, and would
probably be earlier than Hebrews, but it seems increasingly clear that
the Epistle refers to a later period, and cannot be the work of the
Apostle.  It is concerned in the main with the problem of persecution,
and though the matter is extremely obscure, on the whole a date early
in the second century in the time of Trajan and Pliny seems the most
likely.  Whether the indications that it comes from Rome are not part
of the fiction of its authorship is at least open to question, but the
point is not very important.  If it be really Roman it shows traces of
a further development of sacramental {108} Christianity, but does not
throw much light on its details.  It has some similarity in language to
Romans, but very little in the picture presented of Christianity.  The
central point in it is the emphasis on baptismal regeneration, which
gives Christians the certainty of immortality.  The eschatological
expectation of the "revelation of Jesus Christ" is strongly marked, but
there is no emphasis on the hope of resurrection.  On one point,
however, there is a close resemblance to Paul.  Spirit and flesh are
contrasted, and it is clearly implied that after death the Christian,
like the Christ, is spirit and not flesh.  It throws little light on
the question of Adoptionism, for though there is nothing in it which
contradicts Pre-existent Christology, there is also nothing in it which
would have startled an Adoptionist.

After this[9] comes the first Epistle of Clement, a letter sent by the
Church of Rome to the Church at Corinth.  It is generally dated at the
end of the first century, but there is really very little evidence, and
it is curious that this date should be accepted with so little
hesitation by almost all critics.  It is in the main an ethical
treatise, more especially on the importance of good order in the
community.  This {109} teaching is based almost exclusively on the Old

There is very little in 1 Clement which throws any light on Christology
or on sacraments.  For the history of doctrine, in fact, 1 Clement is,
considering its length, a remarkably disappointing document, but two
passages are important.  In 1 Clement xlii., "The Apostles received the
Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus the Christ was sent
from God," there is a clear statement of the supernatural claims of the
apostles, but made in such a way as to imply a lower view of Christ
than Nicene orthodoxy: he is the middle term between God and the
apostles, and is separated from the one as clearly as from the other.
The "Lord" is more than man, but is not God.  The excellence of the
Lord is also expressed in 1 Clement xxxvi., in words reminiscent of
Hebrews.  "This is the way" (i.e. the way referred to in Psalms l. 23,
"The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me, and therein is a way in
which I will show him the salvation of God") "beloved, in which we
found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the high priest of our offerings,
the defender and helper of our weakness.  Through him we fix our gaze
on the heights of heaven, through him we see the reflection of his
faultless and lofty countenance, through him the eyes of our hearts
were opened, through him our foolish and darkened understanding
blossoms toward the light, through him the Master (_i.e._ God) willed
that we should taste the immortal knowledge, 'who being the brightness
of his majesty is by so much greater {110} than angels, as he hath
inherited a more excellent name.'  For it is written that 'Who maketh
his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.'  But of his son
the Master said thus, 'Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee;
ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance.'"
The resemblance to Hebrews is obvious, but throws less light than might
be expected on Clement's Christology.  What did he think was the
meaning of "To-day have I begotten thee"?  The one point which comes
out clearly is that the Church was regarded as an institution for the
securing of the salvation offered by the death of Christ.  It has a
divine authority, for just as Christ came from God, so the Apostles
came from Christ.  It may almost be said that the Epistle has a high
Ecclesiology but an undeveloped Christology.

Thus the Christianity revealed by 1 Clement suggests a Church which had
accepted Jewish ethics and a Jewish hope for resurrection, and regarded
Jesus as the divine messenger of God, who in turn had appointed the
Apostles as the foundation of the Church.  It is a very simple form of
cult, and in the prayer which Clement quotes almost everything is
directed towards the Father.  It is Hellenised Judaism without the
ceremonial law, but with a belief in Jesus and the Church.

The next document concerned with the Church of Rome is in many ways the
most important.  _The Shepherd_ of Hermas is not an easy book to
appreciate {111} at first.  It is a series of interviews between Hermas
and various supernatural beings who give him good advice.  It may be as
late as 140, but many think that it is earlier.  The book was written
with the practical purpose of guiding rightly the Christians in Rome.
There is nothing in Hermas which really contradicts anything in 1
Clement, but it supplements it in several directions.  In the first
place, like Clement, it attaches great importance to the Church.  No
salvation is possible except in the Church, and those who are and
remain in it secure eternal life, or, in the phrase of Hermas himself,
"live to God."  The only point on which Hermas is really different is
that he seems to have nothing to say about a resurrection, and
apparently was content with immortality.  But this may be merely an
accident and cannot be pressed.

The book throws great light on the development of thought and practice
in Rome, and its Christology is the most instructive example which we
possess of early Adoptionism.

The evidence is so important, and Hermas is in general so little
studied, that the main passage (Sim. v. 2. 1 ff.) may be quoted:
"Listen to the Parable which I am going to tell you concerning Fasting.
A certain man had a field, and many servants, and on part of the field
he planted a vineyard.  And he chose out a certain servant, who was
faithful, in good esteem and honour with him, and he called him and
said to him: Take this vineyard which I have planted, and fence it
until I come, and do nothing more to the {112} vineyard.  And follow
this order of mine and you shall have your freedom from me.  And the
master of the servant went abroad.  Now when he had gone the servant
took and fenced the vineyard, and when he had finished the fencing of
the vineyard he saw that the vineyard was full of weeds.  Therefore he
reasoned in himself, saying: I have finished this order of the Lord; I
will next dig this vineyard, and it will be better when it is dug, and
having no weeds will yield more fruit, not being choked by the weeds.
He took and dug the vineyard, and pulled out all the weeds which were
in the vineyard.  And that vineyard became very beautiful and fertile
with no weeds to choke it.  After a time the master of the servant and
the field came, and entered into the vineyard, and seeing the vineyard
beautifully fenced, and moreover, dug, and all the weeds pulled up and
vines fertile, he was greatly pleased at the acts of the servant.  So
he called his beloved son, whom he had as heir, and his friends whom he
had as counsellors, and told them what he had ordered his servant, and
what he had found accomplished.  And they congratulated the servant on
the character which the master gave him.  And he said to them: 'I
promised this servant his freedom if he kept the orders which I gave
him.  Now he has kept my orders, and has added good work in the
vineyard, and greatly pleased me.  So in reward for this work which he
has done I wish to make him joint-heir with my son, because, when he
had a good thought he did not put it on one side, but carried {113} it
out.  The son of the master agreed with this plan, that the servant
should be joint-heir with the son.  After a few days he made a feast
and sent to him much food from the feast.  But the servant took the
food which was sent to him by the master, kept what was sufficient for
himself, and distributed the rest to his fellow-servants.  And his
fellow-servants were glad when they received the food, and began to
pray for him, that he might find greater favour with his master,
because he had treated them thus.  His master heard of all these
doings, and again rejoiced greatly at his conduct.  The master again
assembled his friends and his son, and reported to them what he had
done with the food which he had received, and they were still more
pleased that the servant should be made joint-heir with his son."

A little later on the angel explains this passage.  There is first a
confused discussion as to the work of the Son, and it is not easy to be
sure whether the reference is to the Holy Spirit or to Jesus, but
finally the following clear statement is given: "The Holy Spirit which
is pre-existent, which created all creation, did God make to dwell in
the flesh which he willed.  Therefore this flesh, in which the Holy
Spirit dwelled, served the Spirit well, walking in holiness and purity,
and did not in any way defile the spirit.  When, therefore, it had
lived nobly and purely, and had laboured with the Spirit, and worked
with it in every deed, behaving with power and bravery, he chose it as
companion with the Holy Spirit; for the conduct {114} of this flesh
pleased him, because it was not defiled while it was bearing the Holy
Spirit on earth.  Therefore he took the Son[10] and the glorious angels
as counsellors, that this flesh also, having served the Spirit
blamelessly, should have some place of sojourn, and not seem to have
lost the reward of its service.  For all flesh in which the Holy Spirit
has dwelt shall receive the reward if it be found undefiled and
spotless.  You have the explanation of this parable also."

These passages clearly represent God as having a Son who is the
pre-existent Spirit.  This Spirit is sent into human beings but leaves
them if they are guilty of any misconduct.  In the case of one man,
however, who is not named but is obviously intended to be Jesus, the
Spirit found complete obedience.  The result was that the Father
proposed to the Son, that is the Spirit, and to the counsellors, that
is the angels, that this human being or flesh as Hermas calls it,
should be exalted and glorified and put on an equality with the Son.
This was done, and the implication of the book is that the same
opportunity is offered to all others who are willing to follow their
Lord.  It is interesting to notice that, though it would be an abuse of
language, it might be said that Hermas has a doctrine of the Trinity,
but that his Trinity does not consist of Father, Son, and Spirit, {115}
but of Father, pre-existent Son, that is the Spirit, and adopted Son,
that is Jesus.  The exact details, however, of the relations subsisting
between those three is a question more easily asked than answered, and
the next investigator of Hermas will have to consider it very
carefully.  It is at present only possible to define the problem.  As
was said above, Hermas seems to imply that the Spirit existed from the
beginning alongside of the Father, but he also implies the existence of
many other good spirits opposed to the army of demons who people the
world.  These good spirits seem at times to be identified with angels,
and the question will have some day to be discussed afresh of the
relation of these spirits to the Spirit who is the Son of God and of
both to the angels.  Moreover, the question cannot be solved without
taking into account the composition of Hermas.  Closely connected with
this problem is that of the identification of the Son of God with an
angel who is sometimes described as "the most glorious angel" and
sometimes named as Michael.  Did Hermas think that the Spirit who was
the Son is identical with Michael, or that Jesus became Michael, or in
what way are the facts to be explained?  Finally, did Hermas think that
Christians became angels at their death?[11]

On what book did Hermas base his interpretation of Jesus?  There is no
proof that he made use of any of our existing gospels, just as it is
very doubtful whether 1 Clement was acquainted with any of them.  {116}

There is, indeed, in 1 Clement one passage referring to the words of
Jesus,[12] but it cannot be said that this is a quotation either from
Matthew or Luke.  It has points of similarity to both, but agrees
completely with neither.  No theory to explain the facts is convincing,
for three are possible.  It may be a confused reminiscence of the
existing Gospels, or it may be the proof that a harmony was already in
existence, or it may be drawn from a document which was used by both
Matthew and Luke--in other words, the Q of the critics.  Different
minds will see different grades of probability in these three
hypotheses.  But there is no evidence to settle the question.

There is no satisfactory proof that the canonical gospels were known in
the Church of Rome until the time of Justin Martyr.  If, however, the
question be discussed not on the basis of what gospel is quoted by
Hermas or Clement, for none of them are by either, but merely on the
ground of their doctrinal affinities, the gospel of Mark has the best
claim to consideration.  According to the other gospels Jesus was the
Son of God from his birth, but, though Mark could be otherwise
interpreted, the most obvious meaning of the gospel as it stands is
that Jesus became Son of God at the baptism when the Spirit descended
upon him.  {117} It can hardly be merely a coincidence that this gospel
is actually attributed by tradition[13] to a Church which was at first

Sacramental adoptionist Christianity seems to be the nearest approach
to a complete transformation to a mystery religion with no philosophy,
which is found in the history of Christianity, but even here the basis
is Jewish.

This is plain in its treatment of conduct.  It had apparently accepted
the sacramental remission of sins in baptism, and there is no trace in
this of any allusion to original sin; the sins which are remitted had
been committed by the Christian before his baptism, and there is no
suggestion of any inheritance of sin.  Hermas never contemplated infant
baptism.  The baptized Christian started with a clean slate, but what
would happen to him if he lapsed again into sin?  The Epistle to the
Hebrews clearly thought that he had no hope of further forgiveness, and
Hermas refers very plainly, if not to the Epistle to the Hebrews
itself, at least to teaching which it represents.  This teaching was,
of course, calculated either to maintain a high standard of conduct or
else to change the definition of sin.  Apparently none of the other
mystery religions ever attached this importance to conduct after
initiation, but human nature presented some difficulties in the
enforcement of the Christian theory.  It was found that the baptized
frequently, {118} if not always, lapsed into sin, and that the
situation complained of by 4 Ezra was repeating itself.[14]  What was
the use of a system which offered men immortality, but only on
conditions which no one could fulfil?

Hermas solved the problem by having recourse to another element in
Jewish thought.  He appealed to the possibility of repentance, and put
his solution of the problem into the form of a revelation made to him
by an angel--the Shepherd of the book.  The revelation which Hermas
announces is that there is one repentance, but only one, for those who
sin after baptism.  If repentance is taken merely as an act of
contrition this obviously does little to solve the problem: it is not
really sufficient to cover the facts of human nature.  But for Hermas
repentance is much more than contrition.  It consists apparently of
cheerful submission to all the unpleasant {119} happenings of life,
which are regarded as organised by an angel, specially appointed for
the purpose, in order to adapt them to the improvement of sinners.
From the general characteristic of the parables it is clear that Hermas
did not contemplate the immediate restoration of the penitent, or the
immediate elimination of sin.  Penitence is for him an unpleasant
process of education, and I think he contemplates the probability that
it is life-long.  Like all education it demands that the pupil shall
obey his teacher, and the teacher is in this case the angel of
repentance, who arranges life so as to make it educative.  It is the
beginning of the great Catholic system of penance which it is so
difficult to estimate at its full value because of its corruption and
exploitation in the Middle Ages.  Whether one believes in the existence
of an angel of repentance or not, the view that life with all its
happenings is an education, which gradually teaches men, if they are
willing to accept it, how to cease to be sinful, was a great lesson for
the second century, and I do not doubt that it had much to do with
producing in the next century a Church which, in spite of persecution,
ultimately won the assent of the best part of the Roman world.  Though
the form in which Hermas presented his teaching was mythological and
crude it contained truths which cannot be neglected.

No one can read _The Shepherd of Hermas_ without feeling that it has
not been adequately discussed by modern scholarship.  It is the key to
the proper {120} understanding of Roman Christianity at the beginning
of the second century, but to use this key properly it must be
subjected to a process of criticism to determine the relations of its
constituent parts to one another, and to the contemporary or almost
contemporary documents--1 Clement and the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Adoptionist Christianity was not destined to conquer the world, and
though Roman Christianity proved to be the surviving form it had first
to change much of its character in a manner which can with some degree
of picturesque exaggeration be described as conquest by Ephesus.

The early development of Christianity in Ephesus is more obscure than
it is in Rome; it ceased quite soon to flourish in its place of origin,
but lived on elsewhere.  The documents which represent the first stages
of its growth are the later Pauline epistles, and the Fourth Gospel.
They are inextricably involved in critical questions which have as yet
received less attention than the synoptic problem.

This is especially true of the later epistles.  In them, as distinct
from the earlier epistles, we have a cosmical Christology which regards
Christ as a pre-existent divine person who became a human being.  Of
that there is no doubt, nor can it be disputed that there are one or
two passages in the earlier epistles which seem to pave the way for
this kind of thought; but these passages are very few, and as it were
wholly {121} incidental.  Thus the critical question arises whether
these later epistles were written by the same person as the author of
the earlier ones.  The point has never been discussed fully in England,
and by but a very few scholars on the Continent.  The result is that it
is only possible at present to say that three solutions are possible
and are awaiting discussion.  The first is that Paul's thought moved
very rapidly in the last years of his life, and that the difference
between the earlier and the later epistles only represents the
development of his thought.  This is certainly a possible solution.
There is no literary objection to it which cannot adequately be
answered.  The only doubt is the psychological question whether the
development implied is not so great as to be improbable.  A second
possibility is that the later epistles are not Pauline but are the work
of some of Paul's followers.  This is also possible, and from the
nature of the case scarcely admits of proof or of refutation.  The
third possibility was suggested in 1877 by H. J. Holtzmann, who thought
that Ephesians represents the work of the second generation, and that
Colossians was a genuine epistle interpolated by the author of
Ephesians.  It is said sometimes that this is an incredibly complicated
hypothesis.  Undoubtedly it is complicated, but so are the facts, and
those who regard it as incredible forget that it is merely the
application to the Pauline epistles of exactly the same process as
every one knows to have been suffered by the epistles of Ignatius.
Therefore this theory {122} also is perfectly possible, and ultimately,
unless the interest in critical questions dies out altogether, the
discussion of these three possibilities is certain to receive fresh

The critical questions concerned with the Fourth Gospel are better
known.  But whether it is later than the later epistles of Paul, and
whether it represents the result of their influence or is a parallel
line of thought is another problem which has not yet been fully
discussed: in any case, it is cognate with them.  No one knows who
wrote the Fourth Gospel.  Tradition ascribes it to John the son of
Zebedee, but all critical probability is against this theory.  It seems
tolerably clear that the Fourth Gospel was not written by an
eye-witness, and that it implies not a knowledge of the historic Jesus
so much as an acquaintance with the subapostolic Church.  It is
apparently an attempt to rewrite the story of Jesus in the interests of
a "pre-existent" Christology, and of a high form of sacramental

Tradition connects both the later Pauline epistles and the Fourth
Gospel with the Province of Asia, and especially with Ephesus.  There
is no reason for doubting this tradition, but it is strange how soon
its {123} creative spirit passed to Alexandria, a Church of which the
origin is as obscure as the later history is famous.

Tantalising though many of these problems are, there is no doubt as to
the main characteristics of the Christianity of Ephesus and its
neighbourhood.  Its Christology was the reverse of Adoptionist.  It did
not think of Jesus as a man who had become divine, but as a God who had
become human.  Moreover, an identification of this pre-existent being
with the Logos of the philosopher was gradually approached in the later
Epistles, and finally made in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel.

The word Logos has an intricate and long history which has often been
treated in books on the New Testament: it is quite unnecessary to
repeat it at length.  But it has not usually been sufficiently noted
that the difficulty of the problems raised by it are mainly due to its
use in different ways in different systems of thought.  The popular
Stoic philosophy, with its belief in a God immanent in the universe,
could use Logos in the sense of the governing principle of the world,
and as little less than a synonym, or, perhaps one should say,
description of God.  On the other hand, a transcendental theology such
as Platonism, believing in a God entirely above all existence in the
universe, needed a connecting link between God and the world, and could
use Logos in this sense.  Finally, a mediatising writer such as
Cornutus could explain that the Logos was Hermes, and so triumphantly
{124} reconcile philosophy and myth, by giving a mythological meaning
to a philosophic term.

All this is clear enough; but the difficulty begins when one asks in
which sense the writer of the Fourth Gospel used the phrase.  Did he
mean that the Logos was the _anima mundi_?  The phrase "the true light
which lighteth every one" is susceptible of such a meaning.  But it
seems more probable that his theology was in the main transcendental,
and that the Logos was for him the connecting link between God and the
world.  But how far is the Prologue really metaphysical and not
comparable in its identification of Jesus and the Logos to
Cornutus,[16] with his identification of Hermes and the Logos?

Further problems arise if an effort is made to reconstruct fully the
Ephesian Christianity of which the Fourth Gospel is the product.  After
the Prologue the Logos does not seem to be mentioned again; Jesus
appears as the supernatural Lord (though this word is not
characteristic of the Gospel) who reveals the Father to men.  He offers
them salvation by regeneration in baptism, and by eating his flesh and
blood in the Eucharist.  They become supernaturally the children of
God.  This is the teaching of the Hellenised Church, not of the
historic Jesus.  But running through the Gospel there is also another
line of thought which regards salvation as due to knowledge rather than
sacraments.  What is the relation to each other of {125} these two ways
of regarding salvation?  The problem has scarcely been formulated by
the students of the Fourth Gospel, much less adequately discussed.

Obviously the tendency of Ephesian Christianity was to minimise the
human characteristics of the historic Jesus, and to merge into
Docetism.  This can be seen in the Fourth Gospel, and in the allied
Johannine Epistles.  The writer is fully aware of the danger, and
protests against Docetism, but his own writings with very small changes
would have been admirably adapted for Docetic purposes.[17]

If Ephesian Christianity had never come to Rome, and met its complement
in the Adoptionists, it might, in spite of the Fourth Gospel, have
degenerated into thorough-going Docetism, or have been represented only
by Gnostics.  It is hard either to prove or to refute the suggestion
that Alexandrian Gnosticism of the Valentinian type came from Ephesus
along the Syrian coast, and that the ultimately successful Catholicism
of Pantaenus and Clement came from the other stream which passed first
northwards and then through Italy to Alexandria.  Each of these streams
accumulated new ideas on the way: the stream passing through Syria
found the Eastern Gnostics of whom Simon Magus is alleged to have been
the first.  The other stream passed through Rome and found Adoptionism.
The combination with this strengthened the belief in the true humanity
of Jesus, and in his {126} real divinity, thus providing the groundwork
for the Christological development of Irenaeus and his successors in
the fourth century.[18]

The man who seems to have brought Ephesian Christianity to Rome was
Justin Martyr, sometimes called the Philosopher.  This title is
somewhat unfair to philosophers, for the only claim which Justin could
make to the name was that he had dabbled with little profit in many
schools before he was converted to Christianity by an old man who gave
him the Christian interpretation of the Old Testament.

Justin is in fact not much more philosophic than Hermas.  His
Christology is the incarnation of the Logos; but Logos is for him
merely the name of a second God who is responsible for creation and
redemption.  Of the many books which he is said to have written only
his two Apologies and his Dialogue with Trypho are extant.  The latter
is a long rambling exposition of the proof from the Old Testament, in
the Septuagint version, that there is a "second God," and that his
incarnation in Jesus was foretold.  The Apologies also are full of
proof from the Old Testament, but contain most valuable statements as
to the Christian cult and its sacraments.  They are also remarkable for
insisting that the heathen religions are due to the clumsy efforts of
demons to deceive men by false fulfilments of scripture.


Justin was not a man of commanding intellect, but he seems to have
brought Ephesian Christianity to Rome, and so began in that city the
synthesis with Greek philosophy which the later Pauline epistles and
Fourth Gospel began in Ephesus and Origen completed in Alexandria.  He
appears to have been martyred in Rome, perhaps owing to the hostility
of Crescens, a cynic philosopher with whom he had quarrelled.  The acts
of his martyrdom are extant; the most significant point in them is his
dissociation from other bodies of Christians in Rome.[19]  This is seen
from the following extract from his examination by Rusticus the Prefect:

"Rusticus the prefect said, 'Where do you assemble?'  Justin said,
'Where inclination and ability lead each of us.  For do you really
think that we all assemble in the same place?  That is not the case,
because the God of the Christians is not locally circumscribed, but,
though he cannot be seen, fills heaven and earth and receives worship
and glorification from the faithful in all places.'  Rusticus the
prefect said, 'Tell me where you assemble or in what place you collect
your disciples.'  Justin said, 'I am staying above the baths of a
certain Martin, the son of Timothinus, and throughout this period (it
is my second visit to Rome) I am unacquainted with any other assembly
except that in this house.  And if {128} any one wished to come with
me, I communicated to him the words of truth.'"[20]

It would be possible to fill a volume with the discussion of the
development of the Logos doctrine after the time of Justin Martyr.  All
that can here be done is to note how it passed from Rome to
Alexandria--from Justin to Origen--and to compare certain aspects of it
with Adoptionist Christianity, and to consider the position which
either of these Christologies can take in modern theology.

It is very doubtful whether Justin Martyr or the writer of the Fourth
Gospel had any concept of Immaterial Reality.  To Justin Martyr, at
least, the Logos appears to have been a second God, and his
identification of Jesus with the Logos is much more like that of
Cornutus--_mutatis mutandis_--than anything else which we possess.  But
however this may be, the Logos Christology was invaluable for Origen in
finding room in Christian theology for the identification of God with
Immaterial Reality.  We may paraphrase rather than explain his teaching
by saying that he believed in the divinity and unity of Immaterial
{129} Reality, but thought also that diversity as well as unity could
be predicated of it; that man belonged on one side of his nature to
Immaterial Reality, and that, so far as he did so, he shared the
attribute of eternity.  Like other thinkers, Origen failed to make
clear exactly what is the relation between the Immaterial Reality which
is eternal and changeless and the Material Reality which is subject to
change and time, and is the basis of phenomena.  But in some way, he
believed, the Logos[21] was that power of Immaterial Reality which
stretches out and mingles with the world of matter.  It is impossible
and undesirable to expound at length this general theory; it must
suffice to notice its bearings on Christology.

In the first place, it seems to have overcome the tendency of Logos
theology to produce Docetism.  The earlier forms of this kind of
teaching which represented the Logos as a spirit who came down to
rescue humanity offered no real reason for maintaining the true
humanity of Jesus.  It seems to have been the pressure of recognised
fact, which had not yet been forgotten, which made the writer of the
Fourth Gospel and of the First Epistle of John protest so strongly
against Docetism.  The tendency of their teaching by itself was all the
other way, and the Acts of John, with their completely unreal humanity
of Jesus, are the natural, though no doubt unlooked-for, results of the
Ephesian school.  But that is not the case with {130} Origen, and
cannot be the case with any Christology or theology which really
understands the doctrine of Immaterial Reality.  It is possible to have
a spirit, using the word in the popular and material sense, which looks
like a human being, but is not really one, but that cannot be so with
Immaterial Reality.

Origen achieved a synthesis with Greek philosophy which enabled
Christianity to accept a belief in Immaterial Reality without a Docetic
Christology, but it must be remembered that Origen was able to do this
largely because he stood in the line of succession from the Fourth
Gospel and Justin Martyr.  He did not take the word Logos in the same
sense as Justin had done, and he permanently changed, and indeed partly
confused, Christian terminology by giving the meaning of immaterial to
the words spirit and spiritual.  They have in the main retained this
meaning ever since, but students of the New Testament will do well to
remember that this is not the meaning of the words in the original, and
that Origen, though neither the first nor the last, is probably the
ablest of the long line of theologians who have introduced metaphysics
into Christian doctrine by a perverse exegesis of the words of

The Catholic Christianity which emerged from the struggle between
Adoptionism and the Logos Christology was a curious combination of
both.  In the strict sense of Christology, Adoptionism was completely
abandoned.  Jesus was regarded as the eternal Logos who became man, not
as the inspired {131} and perfect man who became God.  But in the
sphere of soteriology the legacy of Adoptionism can clearly be seen.
The Christian became the adopted son of God, joint heir with Christ,
and this remained part of Catholic teaching.  It is not, however,
really consistent with the Logos doctrine, and is logically part of
Adoptionism.  The incoherence introduced at this point was met by the
splendid paradox of Irenaeus and Athanasius that God became man in
order that man might become God.  But splendid though this be, it
remains a paradox, and it was diluted very considerably in later
theology, which seems to have felt that the abandonment of Adoptionism
in the sphere of Christology necessitated its abandonment in the
doctrine of salvation.  Thus, at least in popular theology, the
grandiose conception of the apotheosis of humanity has passed into the
far more mythological one of becoming an angel after death--a view very
widely held, though perhaps never officially recognised.

What part can either Adoptionism or the Logos Christology play in any
modern form of thought?  Adoptionism seems to me to have no part or lot
in any intelligent modern theology, though it is unfortunately often
promulgated, especially in pulpits which are regarded as liberal.  We
cannot believe that at any time a human being, in consequence of his
virtue, became God, which he was not before, or that any human being
ever will do so.  No doctrine of Christology and no doctrine of
salvation which is {132} Adoptionist in essence can come to terms with
modern thought.

The doctrine of the Logos is on a different plane.  In the form in
which it is presented by Justin Martyr it is probably as unacceptable
as Adoptionism, but in the form presented by Origen the modern mind
constantly feels that the writer is struggling to express its own
thoughts, and is attracted to Origen not only by the recognition of a
common purpose, but by a consciousness of a common failure, for, at the
end, reality transcends thought and language, and the philosophy of
Alexandria was no more completely successful than is that of our world.

I have often felt in talking with younger men of the present day how
closely they have approached to the position of Origen and how tar they
are from him in method.  If I may put into my own words the form of
thought which seems to animate them, it is something of this kind.
They feel that the world in which we live is the expression of some
great plan or purpose or pattern which is not yet complete, which shows
no sign of finality, but is ever growing in complexity; which resolves
itself again and again into simplicity, and then spreads out again on a
yet wider scale.  The plan or purpose is not a dead mechanical thing;
the life which explains it is within and not without it.  Men are
partly the result, but partly also the instruments or even agents of
this purpose.  Wisdom is the right understanding of its nature; and
righteousness is the attempt to subordinate human purposes {133} to
this great purpose of life.  For man is not only an effect, he is a
cause.  When he acts, he brings into existence a new cause of which the
results will follow in accordance with the established laws of reality.
But there is a moment of choice, when he has it within his power to
decide whether he will act or not.  If he choose right, his actions
will be taken up into the great web of existence, consistently with the
great purpose.  If he choose wrongly, the results will in the end be
destroyed, not without suffering to himself and others.

To a more vivid imagination which thinks in pictures rather than in
metaphysical language, life presents itself as a great web which is
slowly coming from the loom, and sometimes there seems to be behind the
loom the figure of the great weaver; at other times the weaving is
being carried on by men and women whose weaving sometimes conforms,
sometimes does not, to an infinitely complicated but symmetrical plan
which, and here is the paradoxical tragedy, they can only see in the
web which has been already woven; but they know that whether what they
weave will remain, or not depends upon its being in accord with the
pattern.  And then the picture changes slightly, and it seems as though
the pattern begins to reveal the same features as those dimly discerned
in the weaver behind the loom.  And yet again the picture changes, and
it is not merely the great weaver, but the men and women who are
working that reappear with him to live on in the pattern emerging in
the web.


That is not the same thing as the Logos Christology or doctrine of
salvation as propounded by Origen, but I think that he would have
understood it had he lived now.  It is not the same thing as the
teaching of the Kingdom of God preached by Jesus, yet I do not think
that he would have condemned it, for great men understand the thoughts
of lesser ones though they themselves fail to be understood.  The
thoughts and words of Jesus, like those of Origen, were borrowed from
his own time and race; they belong to the first century as those of
Origen belong to the third.  No historical reconstruction can make them
adequate for our generation, or even intelligible except to those who
have passed through an education in history impossible for most.  But
the will of Jesus and the will of Origen, if we can reach them through
the language and thought of their time, have no such limitations.  If I
have understood them rightly, both were animated by a desire to
accomplish the purpose of God, the God who is life.[22]  And that
purpose did not appeal to them as the achievement for themselves of any
salvation, in this world or in the world to come, beyond the reach of
other men, but rather to show them what is the way of life, the natural
way, consistent with the purpose of God {135} and the pattern of life.
So far as they succeeded, in their teaching they did so because they
devoted themselves to expressing clearly what they wished without
troubling to ask whether it conformed to what other people said, and
they spoke the clearest language which they could find in their own

To do the same thing is the business of preachers and teachers to-day.
The man who tries merely to repeat the thoughts or the words of past
generations forgets that the call which comes to the teacher is not to
repeat what others have said because they have said it, but to say what
is true because it is true, and to say it in the language of his own
time that it may be intelligible.  He will often appear to contradict
the thought or the language of Jesus or of Paul or of Origen, but he
will be loyal to the purpose which was theirs, and yet so much more
than theirs.

[1] This proves that this form of thought is not Semitic; had it been
so, the Spirit would scarcely have been masculine.

[2] It would be unfair and misleading to say the doctrine of the
Trinity.  That doctrine is not the statement of the "threeness" of God,
but of the relation which this bears to his unity.

[3] No doubt the "threeness" was emphasised by the habit of three
immersions in baptism, whatever the origin of this practice may be, and
by philosophic reflections as to the properties of triangles such as
are found in Philo.

[4] Illuminating suggestions can be found in F. C. Conybeare's _The Key
of Truth_ and in H. Usener's _Weihnachtsfest_.

[5] In the _Earlier Epistles of St. Paul_, pp. 335 ff. (especially p.
368), I suggested that the shorter recension of the Epistle to the
Romans, the existence of which is proved by the evidence of the Latin
_breves_, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Marcion, and by the textual
confusion surrounding the final doxology, may be the same as that which
omits all mention of Rome, and that, if so, it was probably written
originally for some other destination.  This suggestion has met with
little approbation from critics, but with even less discussion.  I
still think that it is worth consideration.

[6] _Paulos doulos Iesou Christou kletòs apóstolos aphôrisménos eis eu
aggelion theou o proepêggeilato dià tôn prophêtôn autou en graphais
hagíais perì tou uhiou autou tou genomenou ek spérmatos Daueìd katà
sárka tou hopisthentos uhiou en dunámei katà pneuma hagiôsúnês ex
anastáseôs nekrôn Iesou Christou tou kuríou hêmôn._

[7] The justification for assuming that the Church at Rome probably had
Adoptionist proclivities is the undeniable fact that early in the
second century Hermas held this view, and there is no evidence that he
was an innovator.

[8] _Eprepen gàr autô di on tà pánta kaì di ou tà pánta polloùs vioùs
eis dóxan agagónta tòn archêgon tês sôtepías autôn dia pethêmátôn
teleiôsai._  The English translators take _agagónta_ as referring to
the same person as _auto_, but it seems grammatically preferable to
construe it as a qualification of _archégôn_.

[9] Though, if the late date for 1 Peter be accepted, 1 Clement is the
earlier document.  But the chronology of 1 Clement seems to me less
certain than it is usually held to be.  It depends on two factors, both
doubtful: (1) the chronology of the list of Roman bishops in Eusebius
and in the _Liber Pontificalis_; (2) the supposed reference in the
epistle to the alleged persecution under Domitian.  Against these is
the reference to Clement in _The Shepherd_ of Hermas, and the
apparently clear testimony of the Canon of Muratori that _The Shepherd_
was written about A.D. 140.

[10] Cf. Sim. ix. 1: "For that Spirit is the Son of God," and the Latin
(Vulgate) text of Sim. v. 5. 1, which adds to the explanation of the
Parable the exact statement, "Now the Son is the Holy Spirit."  It is
uncertain whether this is the true text or merely correct explanation,
but in general the Latin text is better than that of the Athos
MS.,--the only Greek evidence at this point.

[11] See Appendix on pp. 137 ff.

[12] "Especially remembering the words of the Lord Jesus which he spoke
when he was teaching gentleness and long-suffering.  For he spoke thus:
'Be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy.  Forgive, that ye may be
forgiven.  As ye do, so shall it be done unto you.  As ye give, so
shall it be given unto you.  As ye judge, so shall ye be judged.  As ye
are kind, so shall kindness be shewn you.  With what measure ye mete,
it shall be measured to you.'"

[13] There is no entirely convincing evidence in favour of this
tradition.  See, however, B. W. Bacon, "The Roman Origin of the Gospel
of Mark," in _Harvard Theological Studies_, vii.

[14] "I answered then and said, This is my first and last saying, that
it had been better not to have given the earth unto Adam: or else when
it was given him, to have restrained him from sinning.  For what profit
is it for men now in this present time to live in heaviness, and after
death to look for punishment?  O thou Adam, what hast thou done? for
though it was thou that sinned, thou art not fallen alone, but we all
that come of thee.  For what profit is it unto us, if there be promised
us an immortal time, whereas we have done the works that bring death?
And that there is promised us an everlasting hope, whereas ourselves
being most wicked are made vain?  And that there are laid up for us
dwellings of health and safety, whereas we have lived wickedly?  And
that the glory of the Most High is kept to defend them which have led a
wary life, whereas we have walked in the most wicked ways of all?  And
that there should be shewed a paradise whose fruit endureth for ever,
wherein is security and medicine, since we shall not enter into it?
For we have walked in unpleasant places.  And that the faces of them
which have used abstinence shall shine above the stars, whereas our
faces shall be blacker than darkness?  For while we lived and committed
iniquity, we considered not that we should begin to suffer for it after
death" (4 Ezra vii. 46-56).

[15] I have at present no clear opinion on the problem, except that I
am strongly disinclined to accept the rather popular view which
receives Colossians as Pauline and rejects Ephesians.  Unless some
theory similar to Holtzmann's be accepted, I think that Colossians and
Ephesians stand or fall together.  The popular distinction is partly
due to the fact that Protestant scholarship is more sensitive to the
un-Pauline ecclesiology of Ephesians, which it repudiates, than to the
un-Pauline Christology of Colossians, to which it adheres.

[16] _Tunchánei de Ermês ho logos, on apésteilan pròs hemas ex ouranou
oi theoí_.  Cornutus, _De Natura Deorum_, xvi.

[17] The Leucian Acts of John and Andrew, which seem to have a real
connection with the Johannine tradition, represent this Docetic

[18] I must emphasise the speculative nature of this suggestion.  So
far as I know, there is not any evidence that Pantaenus was in Rome, or
that Clement was influenced by Roman thought.  But--merely as a
guess--the idea appeals to me as probable in itself.

[19] The address in Rome which Justin gives is obscure, but it is
supposed to be the same as the bath called Novation's on the Via
Viminalis.  See Otto's note on the subject.

[20] _Roustikòs eparchos eipe; Pou synerchesthe?  Iustinos eipen; Entha
hekástô proaíresis kaì dynamis esti; pántôs gar nomíxeis epì tò autò
synerchesthai hemas pántas? ouch outôs dé; dióti ho theos tôn
Christianôn topô ou perigraphetai alla aóratos ôn ouranòn kaì tên gên
plêroi kaì pantachou hupò tôn pistôn prosuneitai kai doxetai.
Roustikòs eparchos eipen; Eipé, pou synérchesthe é eis poion tópon
athroíxeis tous mathêtas sou; Ioustinos eipen; Egô epánô méno tinòs
Martínou tou Timothínou balaneíou, kaì parà pánta tòn chrónon touton
(epedémesa de te Romaíôn polei touto deuteron) kaí ou ginóskô állên
tinà suneleusin ei nè tèn ekeíou.  kaì eí tis ebouleto aphikneisthai
par emoí, ekoinónoun aúto ton tes aletheias gógôn._

[21] The elements of multiplicity, he thinks, are contained in the
Logos, which is therefore secondary to the Father.

[22] Perhaps the most significant difference between Jesus and Origen
is that Origen was inclined to find the concrete expression of the
Purpose of Life in self-realisation--he was in the best sense a
Gnostic--while Jesus found it in the service of the weak, ignorant, and
sinful, rather than merely in loyal obedience to the strong, wise, and
righteous.  The two are complementary, not contradictory--but they are
not identical.




I am glad to be allowed to quote on this subject from a letter by my
friend and former pupil, Dr. F. S. Mackenzie of Montreal, who has spent
much time on the study of Hermas.  He says:

"In several passages Hermas speaks of a small circle of six superior
angels.  It is legitimate to look for a reason for his choice of this
particular number, and there can be little doubt that the reason may be
discovered in Sim. ix., where the Son of God, who appears as lord of
the tower, is clearly thought of as the seventh angel, superior to the
six who accompany him and who have charge of the building of the tower,
as they in turn are superior to all lesser angels and men.  Thus the
number of the archangels is made complete, according to prevailing
apocalyptic enumeration.  The contention of some scholars, among whom
Zahn is the most outstanding, that Hermas makes a fundamental
distinction between the Son of God and all angels, cannot be made good.
The lord of the tower in Sim. ix. is not different in kind from the six
angels who accompany him in his inspection of the tower.  While he is,
indeed, much more glorious than the others, nevertheless he and they
alike appear as 'glorious men.'  They all are angels (Sim. ix. 12.
7-8).  Moreover, this angelic Son of God is called Michael in Sim.
viii., and is obviously identical with the most revered or glorious
angel (_semnótatos ággelos_) referred to in other places.  He is
supreme in the angel world.  He has all authority over both {138}
angels and men.  He is lord of the Church, and judge of its members.

"Why is the Son of God, the Christian archangel, called Michael?
Michael was one of the seven Jewish archangels; and to him, according
to Dan. xii. 1, was to be committed the judgement of the people of God.
There are indications in apocalyptic literature that he was regarded as
supreme in this angelic circle.  Hermas apparently has carried over the
name of this Jewish angel, and used it to designate the archangel of
the Christians, who are for him, of course, the true Israel.  The
position of supremacy in the angel world, assigned by pre-Christian
righteous men to Michael, is really held by the Son of God.  He is in
fact the true Michael; and in him all that is foretold of Michael in
valid prophecy will be fulfilled.  If Hermas regarded the prediction of
Dan. xii. 1 as authoritative at all, he must obviously have seen in it
a reference to the Christian judgement to be executed by the Son of
God.  And I consider it highly probable that this may explain the
apparent identification of the Son of God with the Jewish angel.
Hermas has simply made use of the name to connect his ideas with the
Danielic prophecy, and to show how, in his opinion, that prophecy is to
be fulfilled.  If this be so, then the Son of God is not, strictly
speaking, identified with the Jewish Michael, but he may nevertheless
be given the name on occasion, because of the fact that in him all that
the prophets foretold of the archangel of the people of God will come
to pass.

"The term Son of God is used by Hermas in a double sense.  On the one
hand, it is used of the pre-existent counsellor of God, who may also be
called the Holy Spirit, and on the other of the glorified and exalted
Jesus, the elect servant, who _became_ the Son of God (Sim. v. 6), or
in whom, as is said in Sim. ix. 12, the pre-existent Son became
manifest.  Because Jesus alone of all men preserved the indwelling
Spirit pure, therefore he is the only perfect manifestation of the
Spirit or Son of God.  And he was rewarded for his fidelity by being
adopted into the family of God as joint heir with the Son.  {139}
Nevertheless he is not, and never can be, one with the pre-existent Son
or Spirit.

"One is tempted to argue that this distinction is observed in
Similitudes v., viii., and ix., and that the Son of the master of the
vineyard, the great spreading tree, and the ancient rock respectively
represent the pre-existent Son, while the elect servant, the angel
Michael, and the lord of the tower represent the exalted Jesus.  Thus
all the angelic representations of the Son of God would refer only to
the latter.  Moreover, there are features in the angelology of Hermas
which strengthen such an argument.  From Vis. ii. 2. 7, Sim. ix. 24. 4,
25. 2, 27. 3, it seems clear that Christians are believed to become
angels at their death.  Their rank, however, in the angel world will
not be uniform, but will vary according to the excellence of their life
on earth.  Jesus therefore, because of his unique purity of life, must
necessarily be the most highly exalted of all such angels.  And so, in
point of fact, he is.  Of all angels, only he has ever been admitted to
a position of co-equality with the pre-existent Son.

"On the other hand, it must be remembered that Hermas at times seems to
think of the pre-existent Son or Spirit as an angel (Mand. vi. 2, xi.
9).  Moreover, in his representation as the son of the master in the
parable of Sim. v., he stands in very much the same relation to the
first-created angels as does the lord of the tower in Sim. ix.  And
finally, there is an undoubted difficulty in supposing that the six
archangels are thought of as being obliged to wait from the beginning
of time until the exaltation of Jesus for their number to be completed.
It still remains an open question whether the Christian archangel, the
lord and judge of the Church, is the eternal or the adopted Son of God;
and with the uncertainty and obscurity of the data, it may be doubted
whether a final judgement in the matter can be given.  Hermas does not,
in fact, preserve any clear distinction between spirits and angels.  He
reveals throughout an undoubted fondness for hypostatisation.  Even
virtues and vices, emotions and passions, are described as spirits or
demons as the case may be, and spoken of as if they {140} were
possessed of personality.  And certainly some allowance ought to be
made for this tendency of the author, in the matter of determining his
conception of spirits in general, and in particular of the Holy Spirit,
who besides having an eternal existence with God, dwells also in every



After this passage was ready for the press my friend, Mr. Robert P.
Casey, sent me the following criticism: "It can hardly be said that
'we' gain through the loss of our personalities, since 'we' (a personal
pronoun) _are_ our personalities.  On the other hand, it is quite
conceivable that that Immaterial Purpose, which works in and through
our personal life, or at least some parts of it, gains by rejecting us
after our usefulness is past, seeking its further completion in those
who come after us, and thus maintaining a unified and eternal Life
through a multiplicity and diversity of lives.  That this process is a
gain from the point of view of history is apparent, yet it can hardly
be said to be 'our' gain if 'we' are destroyed in the process.

"Furthermore, is the archipelago a fair analogy?  In the sentence 'If
those islands could have thought and spoken...' the fact that they
cannot destroys the analogy at its most important point.  The allegory
fits admirably the relation of the individual life and Immaterial
Reality as a whole, but the crux of the problem of immortality from the
point of the individual is the relation between (1) the unity
established between the intellectual and moral elements (but not many
other elements, e.g. evil) of his personal life and the sum total of
Immaterial Reality, and (2) the equally real and more obvious unity
presented by his own personality, including all his conscious
experiences regardless of their value.

"The first unity is, if not everlasting, at least as permanent as
history itself, and is by its nature eternal and immaterial.  The
second unity is apparently transitory, being dependent physically on
the brain and nervous system, psychically on the persistence of memory.
Thus, to say a man has eternal life is simply to mean that certain of
his activities or experiences have the attribute of eternal or
immaterial.  It, however, leaves untouched the question whether the
'ego' which is conscious of these activities continues after death."


The point seems to me to be well taken, and to express a widely spread
and possibly correct opinion; yet I cannot but feel that Mr. Casey is a
little too much influenced by the exigencies of language.  Of course in
all the ordinary dealings of life that which makes me "me" is a number
of factors, which, taken together, may be called personality, but the
real point at issue is whether in the last analysis these factors are
part of "me," or are instruments which "I" use and circumstances under
which "I" live.  For myself I see no reason to doubt that most of them
come to an end with death.  But behind all this there seems to me to be
something in "me" which is Immaterial, and therefore eternal, and I
believe that it is this, not that which now makes up my personality,
which really makes me "me."



  Abraham, 18, 53
  Academics, 88, 89
  Achaea, 66
  Acts of the Apostles, 36, 38, 48, 61, 64, 66, 85, 86
    of John, Leucian.  _See_ John
  Adoptionism, 100, 101, 102, 104, 106-108, 111, 117, 120, 123,
      125, 128, 130-132
  Age to Come, 20, 22, 25-27, 48, 49, 67, 76
  Akiba, 16, 17
  Allen, W. C., 54
  Alexandria, 123, 125, 127, 128, 132
  Alexandrians, 58
  Ambrose, 9
  Ammonius Saccus, 88
  Animism, 2
  Antioch, 38, 57-73, 102
    missionaries from, 85
  Antiochus Epiphanes, 7
  Apocalypses, 14, 50
  Apostles' Creed, 93
  Apotheosis, 8, 131
  Apuleius, 4, 83
  Aquinas, St. Thomas, 10-12
  Aristotle, 10, 88
  Asia, 66, 122
  Asians, 58
  Astronomy, 11
  Athanasius, 131
  Augustine, 99

  Bacon, B. W., 117
  Baptism, 84-86, 88, 99, 117, 124
  Barnabas, 61, 62, 64
  Bartimaeus, 48
  Box, G. H., 20
  Burkitt, F. C., 64, 84

  Caesar, cult of, 6
  Caesarea, 61
  Caligula, 7
  Canon, Christian, 71
  Censors, mediaeval, 15
  Charles, R. H., 14
  Christ.  _See_ Jesus
  Christ, pre-existent, 106
  Christians, Greek, 84
    Hellenistic, 81
    Jewish, 98
  Christianity, Adoptionist.  _See_ Adoptionism
    Bible, 72
    Catholic, 79, 80, 130
    Ephesian, 124-127
    Hellenistic, 61
    Jewish, 38
    Roman, 120
    Sabellian, 83
    Sacramental, 99
  Christology, 55, 90, 111, 120, 130
    Docetic, 130
    Logos, 130, 131, 134
    pre-existent, 100-102, 104-108, 122
  Church, the, 40, 91, 110, 111, 139
  Cilicians, 58
  Clemen, C., 63
  Clement, 9, 125, 126
    Epistle of, 105, 108-111, 115, 116, 120
  Colossians, Epistle to the, 121, 122
  Constantinople, 13
  Conybeare, F. C., 101
  Corinth, 38, 69, 73-97, 103, 105
  Corinthians, First Epistle to, 63, 89, 90
    Epistles to, 98
  Cornelius, 58, 59, 87
  Cornutus, 123, 124, 128
  Councils, local, 6
  Creation, 84
  Crescens, 127
  Cross, 79
  Cults, Graeco-Oriental, 5, 8, 69, 74
    sacramental, 4, 12, 105
  Cyprian, 103
  Cyrenaeans, 58
  Cyrus, 53

  Damascus, 57-59, 86
  Daniel, 20, 50
  David, 19, 47, 53, 68, 104, 105
    anointed Son of, 21, 25, 27, 48, 67
    kingdom of, 22
  Davidic king, 21, 52, 54
  Desire, 94, 95
  Diaspora, Jews of the, 46, 57, 74
  Docetic controversy, 91, 125, 129
  Domitian, 108
  Dorner, J. A., 101

  Ecclesiology, 110
  Eliezer ben Durdaiya, Rabbi, 28, 29
  Emmet, C. W., 63
  End of the Age, 22, 67, 90
  Energy, 95
  Enoch, Book of, 50, 52, 55
  Ephesians, Epistle to the, 121, 122
  Ephesus, 8, 61, 120-128
  Epistles, Johannine, 125
  Epistles, Pauline, 38, 85, 120
  Eschatology, 23, 76, 77
  Eucharist, 99, 124
  Eusebius, 10, 108
  Experiment, communistic, 46
  Ezra, Fourth Book of, 20, 67, 68, 118

  Faith, 96
  Father, 86, 100, 110, 115
  Fatherhood of God.  _See_ God
  Fourth Philosophy, 14, 29, 31

  Galatians, Epistle to the, 62, 65
  Galilee, 1-35, 39, 73, 86
  Gentiles, 86
  Gfrörer, A., 63
  Gnosticism, 125
  God, Fatherhood of, 81
    kingdom of, 23
    the Son, 81
    sovereignty of, 18, 19
    Spirit of, 40
    supreme, 75, 80, 82, 83
    working of, in the world, 34
  Golden Age, the, 18
  Gore, C., 93
  Gospel, Fourth, 9, 81
  Gospels, synoptic, 85
  Grace, 83, 84
  Gravitation, 80

  Harnack, A. von, 64, 101
  Heaven, 76, 93
  Hebrews, Epistle to the, 105, 107, 117, 120
  Heitmuller, W., 63
  Heliogabalus, 83
  Helios, 83
  Hell, 76, 93
  Hellenism, 46, 73
  Hermas, 104, 107, 108, 110, 111, 114-119, 126, 137
  Hermes, 123, 124
  Herod the Great, 14
  Herods, the, 13
  High-priests, 12, 19, 106
  Hilgenfeld, A., 63
  Holtzmann, H. J., 121, 122

  Ignatius, 121
  Incarnation, 101, 106
  _Imitatio Christi_, 80
  Immortality, 84, 85, 88, 92, 108, 118
    personal, 90
  Irenaeus, 76, 82, 126, 131
  Isaiah liii., 52, 53
  Isis, 4, 82
  Israel, 18, 53, 103
  Italy, 125

  James, the brother of the Lord, 60
  Jehovah, 81, 83
  Jehudah I., Rabbi, 29
  Jerusalem, 7, 32, 36-56, 57, 58, 60, 61-66, 73, 74
  Jesus, authority of, 41
    death of, 36, 39
    ethics of, 35
    glorified, 91, 101, 139
    as judge, 67, 70, 79, 94
    life of, 37
    as Lord, 68-70, 73, 75, 78, 81-86, 103, 106, 110
    name of, 88
    as pre-existent, 101, 104, 105, 116, 122-126
    teaching of, 10, 17-35, 45, 48, 134
  Jews, 12-17, 90
  John, the Baptist, 84, 85
    son of Zebedee, 122
    Acts of, 129
    First Epistle of, 129
    Gospel of, 92, 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 130
  Joppa, 59, 86
  Josephus, 14
  Judaea, 13
  Judaism, 40, 80, 87, 90
  Judaistic controversy, 60
  Judas of Galilee, 14, 31
  Judgement, the, 76, 94
  Julian, 78
  Justification by Faith, 98
  Justin Martyr, 116, 126-128, 130, 132
  Jüngst, J., 63

  King, Davidic.  _See_ Davidic King
  Kingdom of God, 24-26, 29, 48, 68, 69, 79, 134
    of Heaven.  _See_ Kingdom of God
  Klausner, J., 20
  Königsmann, B. L., 63

  Law, the, 15, 16, 29, 46, 90, 99, 103
  Life, 95, 96
    eternal, 26
  Logos, 9, 54, 100, 101, 123, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132
  Lord, 9, 47, 68, 69, 74, 81, 82, 100, 109, 112
    spirit of the, 42
  Luke, Gospel of, 27, 36, 37, 48, 54, 92, 116

  Maccabees, 7
  Mackenzie, F. S., 137
  Magic, 85
  Marcion, 83, 103
  Marius the Epicurean, 2
  Mark, Gospel of, 27, 36-38, 40, 48, 49, 51, 52, 54, 116
    end of Gospel of, 39, 92
  Martin, son of Timothinus, 127
  Matthew, Gospel of, 27, 36, 37, 48, 52, 54, 81, 86, 116
  Messiah, 19, 22, 27, 40, 46, 47-49, 50, 67, 73
    Davidic, 55, 79, 99
    days of the, 26
  Messianic Age, 19
  Metaphysics, 95
    Greek, 12
    Platonic, 9
    Stoic, 89
  Michael, 115, 137-139
  Middle Ages, 10, 119
  Mind, 88
  Mishna, the, 47
  Mithraism, 75, 82
  Mithras, 75, 83
  Montefioro, C. G., 28
  Moore, G. F., 48
  Muratori, Canon of, 108
  Mysteries, 4, 38, 88, 89
  Mythology, Greek, 2, 3, 5

  Nazarenes, synagogue of the, 40, 46
  Non-resistance, 33
  Norden, E., 64

  Origen, 9, 94, 127-130, 132, 134, 135

  Pacifism, 33
  Palestine, 57
  Panaetius, 9
  Pantaenus, 125, 126
  Paradise, 76
  Parousia, 79
  Pater, Walter, 2
  Patriots, 13
  Paul, 36, 57-60, 62, 65, 68, 82, 86, 90, 91, 98, 99, 121, 135
  Pentecost, 41, 86
  Personality, 96
  Peter, 26, 46, 59-61, 86, 87, 107, 108
  Pharisees, 13, 15, 16, 29, 32, 90
  Philip, 58, 87
  Philo, 6, 57
  Philosophy, Greek, 3, 5, 6, 9, 99
  Platonism, 88, 123
  Pliny, 107
  Plotinus, 88
  Plutarch, 4, 5
  Pontius Pilate, 101
  Posidonius, 9
  Priests, 32
  Prophecy, 42
  Prophets, 44
  Proselytes, 84, 85, 87
  Protestantism, 83
  Psychical research, 93
  Purgatory, 76

  Q, 36, 37, 49, 51, 52, 70, 116

  Reality, 133
    immaterial, 88, 95, 129, 130
    material, 129
  Redeemer, 103
  Redemption, 80
  Reformation, the, 11, 83
  Regeneration, sacramental, 77, 108
  Religion, mystery, 74
    Oriental, 3
  Remission of sins, 117
  Repentance, 27, 79, 118
  Resurrection, 22, 76, 79, 85, 90, 105, 108
    of the body, 90, 93, 99
  Roman Empire, 79
    religion in the, 2
  Romans, Epistle to the, 102, 107
    shorter recension of Epistle to the, 103
  Rome, 12, 61, 98-120, 126, 128
    cult of, 6
  Rufus, 17
  Rusticus, 127

  Sacraments, 4, 8, 85, 90
  Sadduceea, 15, 32, 90
  Saints, 83
  Salvation, 4, 8, 75, 77, 78, 88
  Samaria, 61
  Sanhedrim of the Jews, 7
  Satan, 41
  Saul, 47
  Schleiermacher, F., 63
  School, Ephesian, 129
  Schwanbeck, E. A., 63
  Schwartz, E., 64, 66
  Schweitzer, A., 23, 24
  Scribes, 13, 16, 29
  Sects, Jewish, 12
  Sermon on the Mount, 79
  Servant, 47, 52-53
  Seven, the, 59, 87
  Shaoshyant, 20
  Shema, 16, 17
  Sheol, 21
  Simon Magus, 125
  Sin, 119
  Solomon, Psalms of, 52, 54
  Son, 86, 100, 112-114
    of David, 67
    of God, 47, 53, 81, 105, 106, 116, 137-139
    of Man, 27, 30, 40, 47, 49-52, 55, 67, 68, 79, 99
    pre-existent, 139
  Sorof, M., 63
  Soteriology, 131
  Soul, immortality of the, 21
  Spirit, the Holy, 40, 41, 43, 82, 86, 87, 89, 92, 100, 101, 113-116,
      138, 140
    pre-existence of, 114, 139
  Spitta, F., 63
  Stephen, 46, 57, 58, 61
  Stoics, 9, 88, 123
  Subliminal consciousness, 43
  Sun, 75
  Supreme God.  _See_ God
  Synagogue, 7, 8, 39
  Syncretism, 6
  Synedria, 6
  Syria, 125

  Talmud, 15, 32
    Jerusalem, 17
  Tarsus, 58, 61, 62
  Tatian, 78
  Temple, 32, 33
  Tertullian, 10, 103
  Testament, New, 71
    Old, 35, 70, 71, 78, 126
  Tinnius, 17
  Torrey, C. C., 64
  Tradition, Aramaic, 37
  Trajan, 107
  Trinity, doctrine of, 114
  Turnus, 17
  Twelve, the, 89
  Tyrrell, George, 12

  Usener, H., 101

  Valentinus, 125
  Violet, B., 20

  Weiss, B., 63
  Weiss, J., 23, 63

  Wendt, H., 63
  Westcott, B. F., 93
  Wisdom of Solomon, 55, 90
    Literature, 6, 21, 54

  Zahn, Th., 137
  Zealots, 14


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.


A Series of Works by Various Authors







Vol. I.  Prolegomena.  I. The Jewish, Gentile and Christian
Backgrounds.  18s. net.

Vol. II.  Prolegomena.  II. Criticism.  _In the Press_.

Vol. III.  Text and Commentary.  _In the Press_.






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