« 이전계속 »
Europe, including Poland, in all countries colonized well have been aware of this fact, for the community from Western Europe: America, Australia, etc., by was not entirely foreign to him.' An epistle like the Western (Latin) missionaries all over the world, in- present would hardly have been sent while the Prince cluding the Eastern lands where other Catholic rites of the Apostles was in Rome, and the reference to the also obtain. No one may change his rite without a ruler (xii, 8) would then be difficult to explain. Paul legal authorization, which is not easily obtained. So probably supposes that, during the months between the the Western priest in Syria, Egypt, and so on uses composition and the arrival of the Epistle, the comhis own Roman Rite, just as at home. On the same .munity would be more or less thrown on its own reprinciple Catholics of Eastern rites in Western
This does not however indicate a want of Europe, America, etc., keep their rites; so that rites organization in the Roman community; such organinow cross each other wherever such people live to- zation existed in every Church founded by Paul, and gether. The language of the Roman Rite is Latin its existence in Rome can be demonstrated from this everywhere except that in some churches along the very Epistle. Western Adriatic coast it is said in Slavonic and on The inquiry into the condition of the community rare occasions in Greek at Rome (see Rites). In is important for the understanding of the Epistle. derived forms the Roman Rite is used in some few Complete unanimity concerning the elements formdioceses (Lyons) and by several religious orders (Bene- ing the community has not yet been attained. Baur dictines, Carthusians, Carmelites, Dominicans). In and others (especially, at the present day, Theodore these their fundamentally Roman character is ex- Zahn) regard the Roman community as chiefly Jewish pressed by a compound name. They are the "Ritus Christian, pointing to vi, 15–17; vii, 1-6; viii, 15. Romano-Lugdunensis”, “Romano-monasticus”, and But the great majority of exegetes incline to the
opposite view, basing their contention, not only on For further details and bibliography see BREVIARY; Canon individual texts, but also on the general character OF THE MAss; LITURGY; Mass, LITURGY OF THE; Rites.
of the Epistle. At the very beginning Paul introduces
himself as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Assuredly, Romans, EPISTLE TO THE.—This subject will be i, 5, cannot be applied to all mankind, for Paul certreated under the following heads: 1. The Roman tainly wished to express something more than that the Church and St. Paul; II. Character, Contents, and Romans belonged to the human race; in corroboration Arrangement of the Epistle; III. Authenticity; IV. of this view we may point to i, 13, where the writer Integrity; V. Date and Circumstances of Composi, declares that he had long meditated coming to tion; VỈ. Historical Importance; VII. Theological Rome that he might have some fruit there as among Contents: Faith and Works (Paul and James). the other “Gentiles". He then continues: “To the
I. THE ROMAN CHURCH AND St. Paul.- Among Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise and to the the Epistles of the New Testament which bear the unwise, I am a debtor; so (as much as is in me) I am name of the Apostle Paul, that written to the Roman ready to preach the gospel to you also that are at Church occupies the first place in the manuscripts Rome" (i, 14 sq.); he names himself the Apostle of which have come down to us, although in very early the
Gentiles (xi, 13), and cites his call to the apostolate times the order was probably otherwise. The Epistle of the Gentiles as the justification for his Epistle and his iş intended to serve as an introduction to a community language (xv, 16–18). These considerations eliminate with which the author, though he has not founded it, all doubt as to the extraction of the Roman Christians. desires to form connexions (i, 10–15; xv, 22-24, 28–29). The address and application in xi, 13 sqq., likewise For years his thoughts have been directed towards presuppose a great majority of Gentile Christians, Rome (xv, 23). The Church there had not been re- while vi, 1 sqq., shows an effort to familiarize the cently established; but its faith had already become Gentile Christians with the dealings of God towards knowneverywhere (i, 8) and it is represented as a firmly the Jews. The whole character of the composition established and comparatively old institution, which forces one to the conclusion that the Apostle supposes Paul regards with reverence, almost with awe. Con- a Gentile majority in the Christian community, and cerning its foundation, unfortunately, the Epistle to that in Rome as elsewhere the statement about the the Romans gives us no information. To interpret fewness of the elect (from among the Jews) finds apthis silence as decisive against its foundation by Peter plication (xi, 5-7; cf. xv, 4). is inadmissible. It cannot indeed be ascertained with However, the Roman community was not without complete certainty when Peter first came to Rome; ' a Jewish Christian element, probably an important there may have been Christians in the capital before section. Such passages as iv, i (Abraham, our father any Apostle set foot there, but it is simply inconceive according to the flesh); vii, í (I speak to them that able that this Church should have attained to such know the law); vii, 4; viii, 2; 15, etc., can scarcely firm faith and such a high standard of religious life be explained otherwise than by supposing the existence without one of the prominent authorities of nascent of a Jewish Christian section of the community. On Christianity having laid its foundation and directed the other hand, it must be remembered that Paul its growth. This Church did not owe its Faith solely was out and out a Jew, and that his whole trainto some unknown members of the primitive Christian ing accustomed him to adopt the standpoint of the community who chanced to come to Rome. Its Chris- Law—the more so as the revelation of the Old tianity was, as the Epistle tells us, free from the Testament is in the last instance the basis of the New Law; this conviction Paul certainly shared with the Testament, and Paul regards Christianity as the heir majority of the community, and his wish is simply of God's promises, as the true "Israel of God” (Gal., to deepen this conviction. This condition is en- vi, 16). St. Paul often adopts this same standpoint tirely incomprehensible if the Roman Church traced in the Epistle to the Galatians—an Epistle units origin only to some Jewish Christian of the com- doubtedly addressed to Christians who are on the point munity in Jerusalem, for we know how far the fight of submitting to circumcision. Even if the Epistle for freedom was from being ended about A. D. 50. Nor to the Romans repeatedly addresses (e. g., ii, 17 sqq.) can the foundation of the Roman Church be traced Jews, we may deduce nothing from this fact concerning to the Gentile Christian Churches, who named Paul the composition of the community, since Paul is dealtheir Apostle: their own establishment was too ing, not with the Jewish Christians, but with the Jews recent, and Paul would have worded his Epistle still subject to the Law and not yet freed by the grace otherwise, if the community addressed were even of Christ. The Apostle wishes to show the rôle and mediately indebted to his apostolate. The complete efficacy of the Law—what it cannot and should notsilence as to St. Peter is most easily explained by sup- and what it was meant to effect. posing that he was then absent from Rome; Paul may II. CHARACTER, CONTENTS, AND ARRANGEMENT OS
THE EPISTLE.-A. Character.—The chief portion of tion which he employs and demands of the strong this Epistle to the Romans (i-xi) is evidently a theo- (xiv, 5-10; xiv, 13-xv, 7). In judging there was logical discussion. It would however be inaccurate always a danger, and mistakes had occurred (xiv, to regard it not as a real letter, but as a literary epistle. 13: "Let us not therefore judge one another any It must be considered as a personal communication to more"). According to the nature of the mistake a special community, and, like that sent to the Corin- divisions might easily gain a footing; from what thians or the cognate Epistle to the Galatians, must direction these were to be expected, is not declared be judged according to the concrete position and the by the Apostle, but the cases of Corinth and Galatia concrete conditions of that community. What the indicate it sufficiently. And even though Paul had Apostle says, he says with a view to his readers in the no reason to anticipate the gross Jewish errors, it Roman community and his own relations to them. sufficed for him that divisions destroyed the unanimity
Language and style reveal the writer of the Epic of the community, rendered his labours more difficult, stles to the Corinthians and the Galatians. Its em- made co-operation with Rome impossible, and seriphatic agreement with the latter in subject-matter qusly impaired the community itself. He therefore is also unmistakable. The difference in the parties desires to send beforehand this earnest exhortation addressed and between the circumstances, however, (xvi, 17 sq.), and does all he can to dispel the misconimpresses on either Epistle its distinctive stamp. Thé ception that he despised and fought against Israel Epistle to the Galatians is a polemical work, and is com- and the Law. That there was good ground for these posed in a polemical spirit with the object of averting fears, he learned from experience in Jerusalem an imminent evil; the Epistle to the Romans is writ- during his last visit (Acts, xxi, 20-1). ten in a time of quiet peace, and directed to a Church From this twofold consideration the object of with which the author desires to enter into closer Romans may be determined. The exhortations to relations. We thus miss in the latter those details charity and unity (xii sqq.) have the same purpose and references to earlier experiences and occurrences, as those addressed to the weak and the strong. In with which the former Epistle is so instinct. Not both cases there is the vigorous reference to the single that Romans is a purely abstract theological treatise; foundation of the faith, the unmerited call to grace, even here Paul, with his whole fiery and vigorous with which man can correspond only by humble and personality, throws himself into his subject, sets be- steadfast faith working in charity, and also the most fore himself his opponent, and argues with him. This express, though not obtrusive exhortation to complete characteristic of the Apostle is clearly seen. Hence unity in charity and faith. For Paul these conarise unevenness and harshness in language and ex- siderations are the best means of securing the conpression noticeable in the other Epistles. This does fidence of the whole community and its assistance not prevent the Epistle as a whole from revealing an in his future activities. The thoughts which he here elaborately thought out plan, which often extends expresses are those which ever guide him, and we to the smallest details in magnificent arrangenient can easily understand how they must have forced and expression. We might recall the exordium, to themselves upon his attention, when he resolved to which, in thought and to some extent in language, seek a new, great field of activity in the West. They the great concluding doxology corresponds, while correspond to his desire to secure the co-operation the two sections of the first part deal quite appro- of the Roman community, and especially with the priately with the impressive words on the certainty state and needs of the Church. They were the best of salvation and on God's exercise of providence and intellectual gift that the Apostle could offer; thereby wisdom (viii, 31-39; xi, 33–36).
he set the Church on the right path, created internal The immediate external occasion for the composi- solidity, and shed light on the darkness of the tion of the Epistle is given by the author himself; doubts which certainly must have overcast the he wishes to announce his arrival to the community souls of the contemplative Christians in face of the and to prepare them for the event. The real object attitude of incredulity which characterized the Chosen of this comprehensive work, and the necessity for People. a theological Epistle are not thought out. The sup- B. Contents and Arrangement.--Introduction and position that St. Paul desired to give the Romans a Reason for writing the Epistle arising from the obligaproof of his intellectual gifts (i, 11; xy, 29) is ex- tions of his calling and plans (i, 1-15): (1) The Theocluded by its pettiness. We must therefore conclude retic Part (ị, 16-xi, 36). Main Proposition: The that the reason for the Epistle is to be sought in the Gospel, in whose service Paul stands, is the power of conditions of the Roman community. The earliest God and works justification in every man who beinterpreters (Ambrosiaster, Augustine, Theodoret) lieves (i, 16–17). This proposition is discussed and and a great number of later exegetes see the occasion proved (i, 18-viii, 39), and then defended in the for the Epistle in the conflict concerning Judaistic light of the history of the Chosen People (ix, 1-xi, ideas, some supposing an antagonism between the 36). Gentile and Jewish Christians (Hug, Delitzsch) and (a) The justice of God is acquired only through others the existence of some typically Jewish errors or faith in Christ (1, 18-viii, 39). (i) The proof of the at least of an outspoken anti-Paulinism. This view necessity of justifying grace through faith (1, 18does not accord with the character of the Epistle: of iv, 25): without faith there is no justice, proved errors and division in the Church the author makes no from the case of the pagans (i, 18–32) and the Jews mention, nor was there any difference of opinion con- (ii, 1-iii, 20); (b) justice is acquired through faith cerning the fundamental conception of Christianity in and redemption by Christ (the Gospel, iii, 21-31). between Paul and the Roman Church. The polem- Holy Writ supplies the proof: Abraham's faith ics in the Epistle are directed, not against the (iv, 1-25). (ii) The greatness and blessing of Jewish Christians, but against unbelieving Judaism. justification through faith (v, 1-viii, 39), reconciliaIt is true that there are certain contrasts in the com- tion with God through Christ, and certain hope of munity: we hear of the strong and the weak; of eternal salvation (v, 1-11). This is illustrated by those who have acquired the complete understanding contrasting the sin of Adam and its consequences for and use of Christian freedom, and who emphasize and all mankind, which were not removed by the Law, exercise it perhaps regardlessly; we hear of others with the superabundant fruits of redemption merited who have not yet attained to the full possession of by Christ (v, 12-21). Conclusion: Redemption by freedom. These contrasts are as little based on the Christ (communicated to the individual through standpoint of the Law and a false dogmatic outlook baptism) requires death to sin and life with Christ as the "weak" of I Corinthians. Paul would other- (vi, 1-23). To accomplish this the Law is ineffectual, wise not have treated them with the mild considera for by the death of Christ it has lost its binding power
(vii, 1–6), and, although holy and good in itself, it with some degree of probability include the First possesses only educative and not sanctifying power, Epistle of St. Peter in the series of testimonies: conand is thus impotent in man's dire combat against cerning the relation between Romans and the Epistle sinful nature (vii
, 7–25). In contrast to this im- of St. James we shall speak below. Precise informapotence, communion with Christ imparts freedom tion is furnished by Clement of Rome, Ignatius of from sin and from death (viii, 1-11), establishes Antioch. Polycarp, and Justin: Marcion admitted the Divine kinship, and raises mankind above all Romans into his canon, and the earliest Gnostics earthly trouble to the certain hope of an indescribable were acquainted with it. happiness (viii, 12-39).
The internal evidence is equally convincing. Mod(b) Defence of the first part from the history of ern critics (van Manen and others) have indeed asserted the people of Israel (ix, 1-xi, 36). The consoling that no attempt was ever made to prove its authenticcertainty of salvation may appear threatened by the ity; they have even gone further, and declared the rejection or obduracy of Israel. How could God for- Epistle an invention of the second century. Evanson get His promises and reject the people so favoured? (1792) first attempted to maintain this view; he was The Apostle must thus explain the providence of followed by Br. Bauer (1852, 1877), and later by God. He begins with a touching survey of God's Loman, Steck, van Manen (1891, 1903), and others. deeds of love and power towards the Chosen People A less negative standpoint was adopted by Pierson(ix, 1-5), proceeding then to prove that God's promise Naber, Michelsen, Völter, etc., who regarded Romans has not failed. For (i) God acts within His right as the result of repeated revisions of genuine Pauline when He grants grace according to His free pleasure, fragments, e. g., that one genuine Epistle, interpolated since God's promises did not apply to Israel accord- five times and combined finally with an Epistle to the ing to the flesh, as early history shows (Isaac and Is- Ephesians, gave rise to Romans (Völter). These critics mael, Jacob and Esau) (ix, 1-13); God's word to find their ground for denying the authenticity of the Moses and His conduct towards Pharao call into req- Epistle in the following considerations: Romans is a uisition this right (ix, 14-17); God's position as theological treatise rather than an epistle; the beginCreator and Lord) is the basis of this right (ix, 19- ning and conclusion do not correspond; the addresses 24); God's express prophecy announced through the cannot be determined with certainty; despite a certain Prophets the exercise of this right towards Jews and unity of thought and style, there are perceptible traces pagans (ix, 24-29); (ii) God's attitude was in a certain of compilation and discordance, difficult transitions, sense demanded by the foolish reliance of Israel on periods, connexions of ideas, which reveal the work of its origin and justification in the Law (ix, 30-x, 4) and the reviser; the second part (ix-xii) abandons the subby its refusal of and disobedience to the message of ject of the first (justification by faith), and introduces faith announced everywhere among the Jews (x, an entirely foreign idea; there is much that cannot be 5–21); (iii) In this is revealed the wisdom and good- the composition of St. Paul (the texts dealing with ness of God, for: Israel's rejection is not complete; the rejection of Israel lead one to the period after the a chosen number have attained to the faith (xi, destruction of Jerusalem; the Christians of Rome ap1-10); (iv) Israel's unbelief is the salvation of the pear as Pauline Christians; the conception of freedom pagan world, and likewise a solemn exhortation to from the law, of sin and justification, of life in Christ, fidelity in the faith (xi, 11-22); (v) Israel's re- etc., are signs of a later development); finally there jection is not irrevocable. The people will find are, according to Van Manen, traces of second-century mercy and salvation (xi, 23-32). Thence the praise Gnosticism in the Epistle. of the wisdom and the inscrutable providence of God We have here a classical example of the arbitrariness (xi, 33–36).
of this type of critics. They first declare all the writ(2) The Practical Part (xii
, 1-xv, 13).-(a) The gen- ings of the first and of the early second century forgeries, eral exhortation to the faithful service of God and the and, having thus destroyed all the sources, conavoidance of the spirit of the world (xii, 1-2). (b) struct a purely subjective picture of the period, and Admonition to unity and charity (modest, active char- revise the sources accordingly. ity, peacefulness, and love of enemies (xii, 3-21). (c) That the Epistle to the Romans was written at least Obligations towards superiors; fundamental establish- before the last decades of the first century is established; ment and practical proof (xiii, 1-7). Conclusion: A even by external evidence taken alone; consequently all second inculcation of the commandment of love (xiii, theories advocating a later origin are thereby exploded. 8-10) and an incitement to zeal in view of the proximity The treatment of a scientific (theological) problem in an of salvation (xiii, 11-14). (d) Toleration and forbear- epistle can constitute a difficulty only for such as are ance between the strong and the weak (treated with unacquainted with the literature of the age. Doubts special application to the Roman community on ac- as to the unity of the Epistle vanish of themselves on a count of the importance and practical significance of closer examination. The introduction is most closely the question; it falls under (b): (i) fundamental criti- connected with the theme (i, 4, 5, 8, 12, etc.); the same cism of the standpoint of both classes (xiv, 1-12); is true of the conclusion. An analysis of the Epistle (ii) practical inferences for both (xiv, 13-xv, 6); (iii) reveals incontestably the coherence of the first and establishment through the example of Christ and the second parts; from chapter ix an answer is given to a intentions of God (xv, 7–13). Conclusion: Defence of question which has obtruded itself in the earlier porthe Epistle: (1) in view of Paul's calling; (2) in view tion. In this fact Chr. Baur sees the important point of his intended relations with the community (xv, of the whole Epistle. Besides, the interrelation be 22-23); (3) recommendations, greetings (warning), tween the parts finds express mention (ix, 30-32; x, doxology (xvi, 1-27).
3-6; xi, 6; xi, 20–23; etc.). The author's attitude III. AUTHENTICITY.—Is the Epistle to the Romans towards Israel will be treated below (VI). The rejeca work of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul? tion of the Chosen People could have become abundantly Undoubtedly, it has the same authorship as the clear to the author after the uniform experiences of a Epistles to the Corinthians and the Epistle to the wide missionary activity extending over more than ten Galatians; consequently, if the authenticity of these years. The unevennesses and difficulty of the language be proved, that of Romans is likewise established. show at most that the text has not been perfectly preWe shall however treat the question quite indepen- served. Much becomes clear when we remember the dently. The external evidence of the authenticity of personality of St. Paul and his custom of dictating his Romans is uncommonly strong. Even though no Epistles. direct testimony as to the authorship is forthcoming Were the Epistle a forgery, the expressions concernbefore Marcion and Irenæus, still the oldest writings ing the person and views of the author would be in betray an acquaintance with the Epistle. One might explicable and completely enigmatic. Who in the second century would have made St. Paul declare that he had xvi. In view of this uncertainty and of some exe pot founded the Roman community, that previously pressions not found elsewhere in the writings of St. he had had no connexions with it, since at a very early Paul (e. g., the only wise God, the scriptures of the date the same Apostle becomes with St. Peter its co- prophets), the_doxology has been declared a later founder? How could a man of the second century have addition (H. J. Holtzmann, Jülicher, and others), conceived the idea of attributing to St.
Paul the inten- a very unlikely view in the face of the almost untion of paying merely a passing visit to Rome, when (as exceptional testimony, especially since the thought would have been palpable to every reader of Acts, xxviii
, is most closely connected with the opening of Romans, 30–31) the Apostle had worked there for two successive without however betraying any dependence in its years? The Acts could not have supplied the sugges- language. The fullness of the expression corretion, since it merely says: “I must see Rome also” sponds completely with the solemnity of the whole (xix, 21). Of Paul's plan of proceeding thence to Spain, Epistle
. The high-spirited temperament of the the author of Acts says nothing; in recording the author powerfully shows itself on repeated occasions. nocturnal apparition of the Lord to St. Paul, mention The object with which the Apostle writes the Epistle, is made only of his giving testimony at Rome (Acts, and the circumstances under which it is written, xxiii, 11). The arrival at Rome is recorded with the offer a perfect explanation of both attitude and tone. words: “And so we went to the wished for) Rome" The addressees, the impending journey to Jerusalem (Acts, xxviii, 14). Acts closes with a reference to with its problematic outcome (St. Paul speaks later Paul's residence and activity in Rome, without even of his anxiety in connexion therewith-Acts, xx, 22), hinting at anything further. Again, it would have the acceptance of his propaganda at Rome, on which, occurred to a forger to mention Peter also in a forged according to his own admission, his Apostolic future Epistle to the Romans, even though it were only in a so much depended-all these were factors which greeting or a reference to the foundation of the Church. must have combined once more at the conclusion of Other arguments could be drawn from the concluding such an Epistle to issue in these impressively solemn chapters. Whoever studies Romans closely will be thoughts." In view of this consideration, the removal convinced that here the true Paul speaks, and will of the doxology would resemble the extraction of the acknowledge that “the authenticity of the Epistle to most precious stone in a jewel-case. the Romans can be contested only by those who venture The critical references to xvi, 1-24, of to-day are conto banish the personality of Paul from the pages of cerned less with their Pauline origin than with their history” (Jülicher).
inclusion in Romans. The doubt entertained regardIV. INTEGRITY. -Apart from individual uncertain ing them is of a twofold character. In the first place it texts, which occur also in the other Epistles and call has been considered difficult to explain how the Apostle for the attention of the textual investigator, the last had so many personal friends in Rome (which he had two chapters have given rise to some doubts among not yet visited), as is indicated by the series of greetings critics. Not only did Marcion omit xvi, 25-27, but, as in this chapter; one must suppose a real tide of emiOrigen-Rufinus express it, "cuncta dissecuit” from gration from the Eastern Pauline communities to xiv, 23. Concerning the interpretation of these words Rome, and that within the few years which the there is indeed no agreement, for while the majority of Apostle had devoted to his missions to the Gentiles. exegetes see in them the complete rejection of the two Certain names occasion especial doubt: Epenetus, concluding chapters, others translate "dissecuit” as the “first fruits of Asia", one would not expect to see "disintegrated", which is more in accordance with the in Rome; Aquila and Prisca, who according to I Latin expression Under Chr. Baur's leadership, the Corinthians have assembled about them a household Tübingen School has rejected both chapters; others community in Ephesus, are represented as having a have inclined to the theory of the disintegration work little later a similar community in Rome. Further, of Marcion.
it is surprising that the Apostle in an Epistle to Rome, Against chapter xv no reasonable doubt can be main- should emphasize the services of these friends. But tained. Verses 1-13 follow as a natural conclusion the chief objection is that this last chapter gives the from ch. xiv. The general extent of the consideration Epistle a new character; it must have been written, recommended in ch. xiv is in the highest degree Pauline. not as an introduction, but as a warning to the comFurthermore xv, 7-13 are so clearly connected with munity. One does not write in so stern and authoritathe theme of the Epistle that they are on this ground tive à tone as that displayed in xvi, 17-20, to an also quite beyond suspicion. Though Christ is called unknown community; and the words "I would" the “minister of the circumcision” in xv, 8, this is in (xvi, 19) are not in keeping with the restraint evinced entire agreement with all that the Gospels say of Him by St. Paul elsewhere in the Epistle. In consequence and His mission, and with what St. Paul himself of these considerations numerous critics have, with always declares elsewhere. Thus also, according to David Schulz (1829), separated all or the greater the Epistle, salvation is offered first to Israel con- portion of chapter xvi from the Epistle to the Romans formably to Divine Providence (i, 16); and the writer (without however denying the Pauline authorship), of ix, 3–5, could also write xv, 8.
and declared it an Epistle to the Ephesians-whether The personal remarks and information (xv, 14- a complete epistle or only a portion of such is not 33) are in entire agreement with the opening of the determined. Verses 17-20 are not ascribed by some Epistle, both in thought and tone. His travelling critics to this Epistle to the Ephesians; other critics plans and his personal uneasiness concerning his are more liberal, and refer ch. ix-xi or xii-xiv to the reception in Jerusalem are, as already indicated, sure imaginary Epistle. proofs of the genuineness of the verses. The ob- We agree with the result of criticism in holding jection to ch. xv has thus found little acceptance; as certain that xvi belongs to St. Paul. Not only the of it “not a sentence may be referred to a forger language, but also the names render its Pauline (Jülicher).
origin certain. For the greater part the names are Stronger objections are urged against ch. xvi. not of those who played any rôle in the history of In the first place the concluding doxology is not primitive Christianity or in legend, so that there was universally recognized as genuine. The MSS. in- no reason for bringing them into connexion with St. deed afford some grounds for doubt, ugh only Paul. Certainly the idea could not have occurred a negligibly small number of witnesses have with to anyone in the second century, not merely to name Marcion ignored the whole doxology. The old the unknown Andronicus and Junias as Apostles, but MSS., in other respects regarded as authoritative, to assign them a prominent position among the insert it after xvi, 24; a small number of MSS. place Apostles, and to place them on an eminence above it at the end of xiv; some have it after both xiv and St. Paul as having
been in Christ before him. These
considerations are supplemented by external evidence. 25-28; cf. I Cor., xvi, 1-4; II Cor., viii, 1-9, 15; Finally, the situation exhibited by historical research Acts, xx, 3-4; xxiv, 17). The time of composition is precisely that of the Epistle to the Romans, as is is thus exactly determined; the Epistle was written almost unanimously admitted.
at the end of the third missionary journey, which The “division hypothesis" encounters a great dif- brought the Apostle back from Ephesus finally to ficulty in the MSS. Deissmann endeavoured to ex- Corinth. The mention of the Christian Phebe of plain the fusion of the two Epistles (Roman and Cenchræ (xvi, 1) and the greeting on the part of his Ephesian) on the supposition of collections of epistles host Caius (xvi, 23) very likely the one whom Paul existing among the ancients (duplicate-books of the had baptized (I Cor., i, 14)--conduct us to Corinth, sender and collections of originals of the receivers). where the Epistle was written shortly before Paul's Even if a possible explanation be thus obtained, its departure for Macedonia. Its composition at the application to the present case is hedged in with im- port of Cenchræ would be possible only on the supprobabilities; the assumption of an Epistle consisting position that the Apostle had made a long stay there; merely of greetings is open to grave suspicion, and, the Epistle is too elaborate and evinces too much if one supposes this chapter to be the remnant of intellectual labour for one to suppose that it was writa lost epistle, this hypothesis merely creates fresh ten at an intermediate station. problems.
The year of composition can only be decided apWhile St. Paul's wide circle of friends in Rome proximately. According to Acts, xxiv, 27, St. Paul's at first awakens surprise, it raises no insuperable imprisonment in Cæsarea lasted two full years until difficulty. We should not attempt to base our de- the removal of the procurator Felix. The year of cision on the names alone; the Roman names prove this change lies between 58 and 61. At the earliest nothing in favour of Rome, and the Greek still less 58, because Felix was already many years in office against Rome. Names like Narcissus, Junias, at the beginning of Paul's imprisonment (Acts, Rufus, especially Aristobulus, and Herodian remind xxiv, 10); Felix scarcely came to Judea before 52, one of Rome rather than Asia Minor, although some and less than four or five years cannot well be persons with these names may have settled in the called "many". At the latest 61, although this date latter place. But what of the “emigration to Rome”? is very improbable, as Festus, the successor of Felix, The very critics who find therein a difficulty must be died in 62 after an eventful administration. Acwell aware of the great stream of Orientals which cordingly the arrival of St. Paul in Jerusalem and flowed to the capital even under Emperor Augustus the composition of the Epistle to the Romans, which (Jülicher). Why should not the Christians have occurred in the preceding few months, must be refollowed this movement? For the second century ferred to the years 56-59, or better 57-58. The the historical fact is certain; how many Eastern chronology of St. Paul's missionary activity does not names do we not find in Rome (Polycarp, Justin, exclude the suggestion of the years 56–57, since the Marcion, Tatian, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Apostle began his third missionary journey perhaps and others)? Again for years Paul had turned his as early as 52-53 (Gallio, proconsul of Achaia-Acts, mind towards Rome (xv, 23;, i, 13);, Would not his xviii, 12–17—was, according to an inscription in friends have known of this, and would he not have dis- Delphi, probably in office about 52). cussed it with Aquila and Prisca who were from VI. HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE.—The Epistle gives Rome? Besides, it is highly probable that the emi- us important information concerning the Roman gration was not entirely the result of chance, but Church and St. Paul's early relations with it. We took place in accordance with the views, and perhaps may recall the dangers and strained relations and to some extent at the suggestion of the Apostle; the various groupings of the community referred to for nothing is more likely than that his friends hurried in xvi, 5, 14, 15, and perhaps in xvi, 10, 11. That before him to prepare the way. Three years later Paul's gaze was turned towards Rome for years, indeed he is met by. “the brethren” on his arrival and that Rome was to be merely a stopping place in Rome (Acts, xxviii, 15). The long delay was not on his way to Spain, we learn only from this Epistle. the fault of St. Paul and had not, by any means, been Did he ever reach Spain? All tradition affords only foreseen by him.
one useful piece of information on this point: “he The emphasizing of the services of his friends is went to the extremest_west" (Clement of Rome, easy to understand in an Epistle to the Romans; vi, 7); the Muratorian Fragment, 38 sq., is not sufif only, a portion of the restless charity and self- ficiently clear. sacrificing zeal of the Apostle for the Gentiles be- An interesting conception of the apostolate is comes known in Rome, his active helpers may feel contained in the words: “But now_having no more assured of a kind reception in the great community of place in these countries” (xv, 23). Paul thus limited Gentile Christians. The exhortation in xvi, 17-20, is his task to laying the foundation of the Gospel in indeed delivered in a solemn and almost severe tone, large centres, leaving to others the development of but in the case of St. Paul we are accustomed to sudden the communities. The meaning of the words "unto and sharp transitions of this kind. One feels that the Illyricum" (xv, 19) will always remain uncertain. writer has become suddenly affected with a deep Probably the Apostle had at this period not yet anxiety, which in a moment gets the upper hand. crossed the borders of the province. Whether the And why should not St. Paul remember the well- remark in Titus, iii, 12, concerning a proposed resiknown submissiveness of the Roman Church? Ştill dence during the winter in Nicopolis (the Illyrian less open to objection is the “I would”. (xvi, 19), town is meant), is to be connected with a missionary since the Greek often means in the writings of St. journey, must remain unsettled. Paul merely “I wish”. The position of verse 4 The Epistle is instructive for its revelation of between the greetings is unusual, but would not be the personal feelings of the Apostle of the Gentiles more intelligible in an Epistle to the Ephesians than towards his fellow-Jews. Some have tried to represent in the Epistle to the Romans.
these feelings as hard to explain and contradictory. V. DATE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF COMPOSITION.— But a true conception of the great Apostle renders The contents of the Epistle show that the author has every word intelligible. On the one hand he mainacquired a ripe experience in the apostolate. Paul tains in this Epistle the position of faith and grace believes his task in the East to be practically finished; as distinct from the Law, and, addressing a people he has preached the Faith as far as Illyricum, prob- who appealed to their natural lineage and their obably to the boundaries of the province (xv, 18–24); servance of the Law to establish a supposed right As about to bring back to Palestine the alms con- (to salvation), he insists unswervingly on the Divine
in Galatia, Achaia, and Macedonia (xv, election to grace, But Paul emphasizes not less