International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
mes'-en-jer: The regular Hebrew word for "messenger" is mal'akh, the Greek aggelos. This may be a human messenger or a messenger of God, an angel. The context must decide the right translation. In Haggai 1:13 the prophet is called God's messenger; Job 33:23 changes the King James Version to "angel" (margin "messenger"); and Malachi 3:1 margin, suggests "angel" instead of "messenger." Malachi 2:7 and Malachi 3:1 (twice) have caused a great deal of comment. See MALACHI. The Greek apostolos, "apostle," is rendered "messenger" in 2 Corinthians 8:23 Philippians 2:25 1 Samuel 4:17 translations literally, from Hebrew basar, "to tell good news," "he that brought the tidings." Genesis 50:16 reads "message" instead of "messenger."
A. L. Breslich
LANGUAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
See ARAMAIC LANGUAGE also:
I. THE VERNACULAR "KOINE" THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. The Old Point of View
2. The Revolution
3. The Proof of the New Position
(1) The Papyri
(2) The Ostraka
(3) The Inscriptions
(4) Modern Greek
(5) Historical and Comparative Grammar
4. Characteristics of the Vernacular "Koine"
II. LITERARY ELEMENTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
III. THE SEMITIC INFLUENCE
IV. INDIVIDUAL PECULIARITIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS
V. THE "KOINE" GREEK SPOKEN BY JESUS
I. The Vernacular "Koine" the Language of the New Testament.
1. The Old Point of View:
The ghost of the old Purist controversy is now laid to rest for good and all. The story of that episode has interest chiefly for the historian of language and of the vagaries of the human intellect. See Winer-Thayer, Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, 1869, 12-19, and Schmiedel's Winer, sectopm 2, for a sketch of this once furious strife. In the 17th century various scholars tried to prove that the Greek of the New Testament was on a paragraph with the literary Attic of the classic period. But the Hebraists won the victory over them and sought to show that it was Hebraic Greek, a special variety, if not dialect, a Biblical Greek The 4th edition of Cremer's Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (translated by W. Urwick, 1892) quotes, with approval, Rothe's remark (Dogmatik, 1863, 238):
"We may appropriately speak of a language of the Holy Ghost. For in the Bible it is evident that the Holy Spirit has been at work, moulding for itself a distinctively religious mode of expression out of the language of the country which it has chosen as its sphere, and transforming the linguistic elements which it found ready to hand, and even conceptions already existing, into a shape and form appropriate to itself and all its own." Cremer adds: "We have a very clear and striking proof of this in New Testament Greek."
This was only twenty years ago and fairly represented the opinion of that day. Hatch in 1889 (Essays in Biblical Greek, 34) held that with most of the New Testament words the key lay in the Septuagint. But Winer (Winer-Thayer, 20) had long ago seen that the vernacular koine was "the special foundation of the diction of the New Testament," though he still admitted "a Jewish-Greek, which native Greeks did not entirely understand" (p. 27). He did not see the practical identity of New Testament Greek with the vernacular koine-("common" Greek), nor did Schmiedel in the 8. Auflage of Winer (I. Theil; II. Theil, erstes Heft, 1894-97). In the second edition of his Grammar of New Testament Greek (English translation by Thackeray, 1905, 2), Blass sees the dawn of the new day, though his book was first written before it came. Viteau (Etude sur le grec du Nouveau Testament, I, Le verbe, 1893, II, Le sujet, 1896) occupies wholly the old position of a Judaic Greek. An extreme instance of that view is seen in Guillemard's Hebraisms in the Greek Testament (1879).
2. The Revolution:
A turn toward the truth comes with H. A. A. Kennedy's Sources of the New Testament Greek (1895). He finds the explanation of the vocabulary of both the Septuagint and the New Testament to be the vernacular which he traces back to Aristophanes. It is a good exercise to read Westcott's discussion of the "Language of the NT" in DB, III (1888), and then turn to Moulton, "Language of the New Testament," in the 1-vol HDB. Westcott says: "The chief peculiarities of the syntax of the New Testament lie in the reproduction of Hebrew forms." Moulton remarks: "There is no reason to believe that any New Testament writer who ever lived in Palestine learned Greek only as a foreign language when he went abroad." Still better is it to read Moulton, "New Testament Greek in the Light of Modern Discovery" in Cambridge Biblical Essays (1909, 461-505); Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (1911); or Angus, "The koine, the Language of the New Testament," Princeton Review, January, 1910, 42-92. The revolution has come to stay. It is now clear that the Greek of the New Testament is not a jargon nor a patois. In all essential respects it is just the vernacular koine of the 1st century A.D., the lingua franca of the Greek-Roman empire, the legacy of Alexander the Great's conquest of the East. This world-speech was at bottom the late Attic vernacular with dialectical and provincial influences. It was not a decaying tongue, but a virile speech admirably adapted to the service of the many peoples of the time. The able article in volume III of HDB on the "Language of the New Testament" by Dr. J. H. Thayer appeared in 1900, and illustrates how quickly an encyclopedia article may become out of date. There is a wealth of knowledge here displayed, as one would expect, but Thayer still speaks of "this species of Greek," "this peculiar idiom,.... Jewish Greek," though he sees that its basis is "the common or spoken Greek." The last topic discussed by him is "Problems." He little thought that the biggest "problem" so near solution was the character of the language itself. It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the New Testament. His Bibelstudien (zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Geschichte der Sprache, des Schrifttums und der Religion des hellenistischen Judentums und des Urchristentums) appeared in 1895. In this epoch-making volume he proved conclusively from the papyri and the inscriptions that many of the seeming Hebraisms in the Septuagint and the New Testament were common idioms in the vernacular koine. He boldly claimed that the bulk of the Hebraisms were falsely so termed, except in the case of translating Greek from the Hebrew or Aramaic or in "perfect" Hebraisms, genuine Greek usage made more common by reason of similarity to the Semitic idiom. In 1897 he produced Neue Bibelstudien, sprachgeschichtliche Beitrage zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Erklarung des Neuen Testaments.
In 1901 (2nd edition in 1903) these two volumes were translated as one by A. Grieve under the title Bible Studies. Deissmann's other volumes have confirmed his thesis. The most important are New Light on the New Testament (1907), The Philology of the Greek Bible (1908), Licht vom Osten (1908), Light from the Ancient East (translation by Strachan, 1910), Paul in the Light of Social and Religious History (1912). In Light from the Ancient East, Deissmann illustrates the New Testament language with much detail from the papyri, ostraka and inscriptions. He is now at work on a new lexicon of the New Testament which will make use of the fresh knowledge from these sources.
The otherwise helpful work of E. Preuschen, Vollstandiges griechisch-deutsches Handworterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (1908-10), fails to utilize the papyri and inscriptions while drawing on the Septuagint and the New Testament Apocrypha and other early Christian literature. But this has been done by Ebeling in his Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zum New Testament, 1913. The next step was made by A. Thumb, the great philologian, in his Griechische Sprache im Zeitalter des Hellenismus; Beitrage zur Geschichte und Beurteilung der "koine," 1901, in which the real character of the koine was for the first time properly set forth.
Winer and Blass had both lamented the need of a grammar of the koine, and that demand still exists, but Thumb went a long way toward supplying it in this volume. It is to be hoped that he will yet prepare a grammar of the koine. Thumb's interests cover the whole range of comparative philology, but he has added in this field "Die Forschungen fiber die hellenistische Sprache in den Jahren 1896-1901," Archiv fur Papyrusforschung, II, 396 f; "Prinzipienfragen der Koina-Forschung," Neue Jahrb. fur das kl. Alt., 1906; "Die sprachgeschichtliche Stellung des biblischen Griechisch," Theologische Rundschau, V, 85-99.
The other most important name to add is that of J. Hope Moulton, who has the credit of being the first to apply the new knowledge directly to the New Testament Greek His Grammar of New Testament Greek, I, Prolegomena (1906, 2nd edition, 1906, 3rd edition, 1908, German translation in 1911, Einleitung in die Sprache des New Testament) is a brilliant piece of work and relates the Greek of the New Testament in careful detail to the vernacular koine, and shows that in all important points it is the common Greek of the time and not a Hebraic Greek. Moulton probably pressed his point too far in certain respects in his zeal against Hebraisms, but the essential position of Deissmann and Moulton is undoubtedly sound.
Moulton had previously published the bulk of this material as "Grammatical Notes from the Papyri," The Expositor, 1901, 271-82; 1903, 104-21, 423-39; The Classical Review, 1901, 31-37, 434-41; 1904, 106-12, 151-55; "Characteristics of New Testament Greek," The Expositor, 1904.
In 1909 appeared his essay, Greek in the Light of Modern Discovery (see above). Since 1908, The Expositor has had a series of papers by J.H. Moulton and George Milligan called "Lexical Notes from the Papyri," which are very useful on the lexical side of the language. Thus the study is fairly launched on its new career. In 1900, A.T. Robertson produced a Syllabus on the New Testament Greek Syntax from the standpoint of comparative philology, which was rewritten in 1908, with the added viewpoint of the papyri researches, as A Short Grammar of the Greek New Testament (2nd edition, 1909, 3rd edition, 1912; translations in Italian in 1910, German and French in 1911, Dutch in 1912). In October, 1909, S. Angus published a good article in the Harvard Theological Review on "Modern Methods in New Testament Philology," followed in January, 1910, by another in the Princeton Review on "The koine, the Language of the New Testament." The new knowledge appears also in Jakob Wackernagel, "Die griechische Sprache" (pp. 291-318, 2nd edition, of Die griechische und lateinische Literatur und Sprache, 1907). L. Radermachcr has set forth very ably "die sprachlichen Vorgange in ihrem Zusammenhang," in his Neutestamentliche Grammatik: Das Griechisch des Neuen Testaments im Zusammenhang mit der Volkssprache. It is in reality the background of the New Testament Greek and is a splendid preparation for the study of the Greek New Testament. A full discussion of the new knowledge in grammatical detail has been prepared by A.T. Robertson under the title A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research. Moulton and Schmiedel are planning also to complete their works.
3. The Proof of the New Position:
The proof of the new position is drawn from several sources:
(1) The Papyri.
These rolls have lain in the museums of the world many years and attracted little attention. For lists of the chief collections of the papyri see Moulton, Prolegomena, 259-62; Milligan, Selections from the Greek Papyri, xi, xii; Mayser, Grammatik der griechischen Papyri aus der Ptolemaerzeit; Lautund Wortlehre, vii-x; Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 20-41; Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Bibliography. New volumes of papyri as a result of recent explorations in Egypt are published each year. See PAPYRUS, and in the other encyclopedias under the word. Most of the papyri discovered belong to the period of the koine (the first three centuries B.C. and A.D. in round numbers), and with great wealth of illustration they show the life of the common people of the time, whether in Egypt or Herculaneum (the two chief regions represented). There are various degrees of culture shown, as can be seen in any of the large volumes of Grenfell and Hunt, or in the handbooks of Lietzmann, Griechische Papyri (1905), and of Milligan, Greek Papyri (1910). They come from the scrap-heaps of the long ago, and are mainly receipts, contracts, letters of business or love, military documents, etc. They show all grades of culture, from the illiterate with phonetic spelling to the man of the schools. But we have here the language of life, not of the books. In a most startling way one notes the similarities of vocabulary, forms, and syntax between the language of the papyri of the 1st century A.D. and that of the New Testament books. As early as 1778, F.W. Sturz, made use of the Charta Borgiana, "the first papyrus ever brought to Europe" (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 39), and in 1841 Thiersch likewise saw the value of the papyri for the philology of the Septuagint. But the matter was not pressed. Lightfoot threw out a hint about the value of letters of the people, which was not followed till Deissmann saw the point; compare Moulton, Prol., 242. It is not necessary here to illustrate the matter at length. Deissmann takes up in detail the "Biblical" words in Thayer's Lexicon, and has no difficulty in finding most of them in the papyri (or inscriptions). Thus plerophoreo, is shown to be common in the papyri. See Deissmann, Bible Studies and Light from the Ancient East, for extensive lists. The papyri show also the same meanings for many words once thought peculiar to the Bible or the New Testament. An instance is seen in the official sense of presbuteros, in the papyri, 5 ho presbuteros les komes (Pap. Lugd. A 35), "without doubt an official designation" (Deissmann, Bible Studies, 155). So adelphos, for members of the community, anastrophe, for manner of life, antilempsis, "help," leitourgia, "public service," paroikos, "sojourner," etc. (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 107). R. Helbing (Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1908) and H. John Thackeray (A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, 1909) have applied the new knowledge to the language of the Septuagint, and it has been discussed with much ability in the first volumes. The use of the papyri for grammatical purposes is made easier by the excellent volume of E. Mayser, Grammatik der griechischen Papyri aus der Ptolemaerzeit; Laut-und Wortlehre (1906), though his "Syntax," is still a desideratum. Useful also is G. Cronert, Memoria Graeca Herculanensis (1903).
(2) The Ostraka.
The literature on this subject is still small in bulk. In 1899 Ulrich Wilcken published Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten und Nubien, and in 1902 W.E. Crum produced his book of Christian ostraka called Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund, the Cairo Museum, and Others. This was followed in 1905 by H.R. Hall's Coptic and Greek Texts of the Christian Period from Ostraka, Stelae, etc. These broken pieces of pottery were used by the lowest classes as writing material. It was very widely used because it was so very cheap. Wilcken has done more than anyone else to collect and decipher the ostraka. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 46) notes that Cleanthes the Stoic "wrote on ostraka or on leather" because too poor to buy papyrus. So he quotes the apology of a Christian for using potsherd for a letter: "Excuse me that I cannot find papyrus as I am in the country" (Crum, Coptic Ostraca, 55). The use of apecho, on an ostrakon for a receipt in full, illustrates well the frequent use of this word in the New Testament (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 111).
(3) The Inscriptions.
Here caution must be used since many of the inscriptions give, not the vernacular, but the literary language. The official (legal and military) decrees often appear in very formal style. But a number do preserve the vernacular idiom and often have the advantage of being dated. These inscriptions are chiefly on stone, but some are on metal and there are a few wax tablets. The material is vast and is constantly growing. See list of the chief collections in Deissmann's Light from the Ancient East, 10-20. Boeckh is the great name here. As early as 1779 Walch (Observationes in Matt. ex graecis inscriptionibus) made use of Greek inscriptions for New Testament exegesis, and R.A. Lipsius says that his father (K.H.A. Lipsius, author of Grammatische Untersuchungen uber die biblische Gracitat) "contemplated a large grammar of the Greek Bible in which he would have availed himself of the discoveries in modern epigraphy" (Deissmann, Light, etc., 15). Schmiedel has made good use of the inscriptions so far in his revision of Winer; H.A.A. Kennedy (Sources of New Testament Greek, 1895), H. Anz (Subsidia ad Cogn., etc., 1894), R. Helbing (Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1908), J. Psichari (Essai sur le Grec de la Septante, 1908), H. John Thackeray (A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint, 1909), and R. Meister (Prol. zu einer Grammatik der Septuaginta, 1907) turned to good account the inscriptions for the linguistic problems of the Septuagint, as indeed Hatch (Essays in Biblical Greek, 1889) had already done. W. Dittenberger added some valuable "Grammatica et orthographica" to his Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae (2 volumes, 1903, 1905). See also E. L. Hicks and G. F. Hill, Greek Historical Inscriptions (1901), and Hicks's paper "On Some Political Terms Employed in the New Testament," Classical Review, 1887, 4;, 42;. W. M. Ramsay's Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (2 volumes, 1895, 1897) and his other works show keen insight in the use of the inscriptions. Deissmann's Bible Studies (1895, 1901) applied the knowledge of the inscriptions to the Septuagint and to the New Testament. In his Light from the Ancient East (1910) copious use is made of the inscriptions for New Testament study. Moulton (Prol., 1906, 258, for lists) is alive to the value of the inscriptions for New Testament grammar, as indeed was Blass (Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch, 1896) before him.
Compare further, G. Thieme, Die Inschriften von Magnesia am Maander und das Neue Testament (1906); T. Nageli, Der Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus (1905), and J. Rouffiac, Recherches sur les caracteres du Grec dans le New Testament d'apres les Inscr. de Priene (1911). Special treatises or phases of the grammar of the inscriptions appear in Meisterhans-Schwyzer, Grammatik der attischen Inschriften (1900); Nachmanson, Laute und Formen der magnetischen Inschriften (1896); Schweizer, Grammatik der pergamenischen Inschriften (1898).
Moulton and Milligan have drawn freely also on the inscriptions for their "Lexical Studies" running in The Expositor (1908 and the years following). The value of the inscriptions for the Greek of the New Testament is shown at every turn. For instance, prototokos, is no longer a "Biblical" word. It appears in a metrical inscription (undated) of Trachonitis on a tomb of a pagan "high priest" and "friend of the gods" (Deissmann, Light, etc., 88); compare Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca, etc., number 460. Even agape, occurs on a pagan inscription of Pisidia (Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2, 57). See , further, W.H.P. Hatch's "Some Illustrations of New Testament Usage from Greek Inscriptions of Asia Minor," Journal of Biblical Literature, 1908, 134-146.
(4) Modern Greek.
As early as 1834 Heilmeier saw that the modern Greek vernacular went back to the koine (Moulton, Prologoumena, 29), but it is only in recent years that it was clearly seen that the modern Greek of the schools and usually in the newspapers is artificial, and not the real vernacular of today. Mullach's work (Grammatik der griechischen Vulgarsprache, 1856) was deficient in this respect. But Jannaris' Historical Greek Grammar (1897) carries the history of the vernacular Greek along with the literary style. Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die neugriechische Grammatik, 1892, clears the air very much and connects the modern Greek with the New Testament. But it is to Thumb that we are indebted for the best knowledge of the vernacular (he demotike) as opposed to the literary language (he kathareuousa) of today. Mitsotakis (Praktische Grammatik, 1891) had treated both together, though Wied (Die Kunst, die neugriechische Volksprache) gave only the vernacular. But Wied is only elementary. Thumb alone has given an adequate treatment of the modern Greek vernacular, showing its unity and historical contact with the vernacular koine (Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache, 1895; Thumb-Angus, Handbook of Modern Greek Vernacular, 1912). Thus one can see the living stream of the New Testament speech as it has come on down through the ages. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of modern Greek vernacular in the knowledge of New Testament Greek. The disappearance of the optative, the vanishing of the infinitive before hina, and itacism are but instances of many others which are luminous in the light of the modern Greek vernacular. See Psichari, Essais de grammaire historique neo-grecque (1886-89).
(5) Historical and Comparative Grammar.
From this source the koine gets a new dignity. It will take one too far afield to sketch here the linguistic revolution wrought since the publication of, and partly caused by, Bopp's Vergleichende Grammatik (1857), following Sir William Jones' discovery of Sanskrit. The great work of Brugmann and Delbruck (Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen, I-V, 1892-1909) marks the climax of the present development, though many workers have won distinction in this field. The point to accent here is that by means of comparative philology the Greek language is seen in its proper relations with other languages of the Indo-Germanic family, and the right interpretation of case, preposition, mode, tense, voice, etc., is made possible. The old traditional empiricism is relegated to the scrap-heap, and a new grammatical science consonant with the facts has taken its place. See Delbruck, Introduction to the Study of Language (1882), Giles, Short Manual of Comparative Philology (1901), for a resume of the facts. Wright, Comparative Grammar of the Greek Language (1912), applies the new learning to the Greek tongue. The progress in classical scholarship is well shown by Sandys in his History of Classical Scholarship (I-III, 1906-8) and by Gudeman, Geschichte der klass. Philologie, 2. Aufl, 1909. Innumerable monographs have enriched the literature of this subject. It is now feasible to see the Greek language as a whole, and grasp its historical unity. See n in this light the koine is not a dying tongue or a corrupt dialect. It is a normal and natural evolution of the Greek dialects into a world-speech when Alexander's conquests made it possible. The vernacular koine which has developed into the modern Greek vernacular was itself the direct descendant of the Attic vernacular which had its roots in the vernacular of the earlier dialects. The dialectical developments are closely sketched by Thumb, Handbuch der griechischen Dialekte (1909), and by Buck, Introduction to the Study of Greek Dialects (1910), not to mention the older works of Hoffmann, Meister, etc. Jannaris has undertaken in his Historical Greek Grammar (1897) to sketch and interpret the facts of the Greek tongue throughout its long career, both in its literary and vernacular aspects. He has succeeded remarkably well on the whole, though not quite seeing the truth about the modern Greek vernacular. Schanz is seeking to lay the foundation for still better work by his Beitrage zur historischen Syntax der griechischen Sprache (1882 and the years following). But the New Testament student must be open to all the new light from this region, and it is very great. See , further, Dieterich, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der griech. Sprache von der hellen. Zeit (1898).
4. Characteristics of the Vernacular "Koine":
As already indicated, the Greek of the New Testament is in the main just the vernacular koine of the 1st century A.D., though Greek as used by men of ability and varying degrees of culture. The most striking difference between the vernacular koine and the literary Attic is seen in the vocabulary. The writers in the literary koine show more likeness to the classic Attic, but even they reveal the changes due to the intervening centuries. There was, of course, no violent break. The changes came gradually and naturally. It is mainly at this point that Deissmann has done such brilliant work in his Bible Studies and other books. He has taken the lists of "Biblical" and "ecclesiastical" words, as given by Cremer and Thayer, and has shown from the papyri, ostraka, inscriptions, or koine writers that they are not peculiar to the Bible, but belong to the current speech of the time. The proof is so overwhelming and extensive that it cannot be given here. Some words have not yet been found in the non-Biblical koine, but they may be any day. Some few words, of course, belong to the very nature of Christianity christianos, for instance), but apostolos, baptismos, paroikos, sunagoge, and hundreds of others can no longer be listed as "Biblical." New meanings come to old words also. Compare daimonion. It is interesting to note that the New Testament shows many of the words found in Aristophanes, who caught up the vernacular of his day. The koine uses more words from the lower strata of society. Aristotle likewise has many words common in the koine, since he stands at the parting of the ways between the old dialects and the new koine of Alexander's conquests. The koine develops a fondness for compound and even double compound (sesquipedalian) words; compare, for instance, anekdiegetos; aneklaletos; anexereunetos; antapokrinomai; oikodespotes; oligopsuchos; prosanapleroo; sunantilambanomai; huperentugchano; chrusodaktulios, etc. The use of diminutives is also noteworthy in the koine as in the modern Greek: compare thugatrion; klinarion; korasion; kunarion; onarion; opsarion; ploiarion; otion, etc. The formation of words by juxtaposition is very common as in plerophoreo, cheiro-graphon. In phonetics it is to be noticed that "ei", "oi", "ee", "eei", "u", "i" all had the value of "ee" in "feet." This itacism was apparent in the early koine. So ai = e and o and oo were not sharply distinguished. The Attic tt became ss, except in a few instances, like elatto, kreitton. The tendency toward de-aspiration (compare Ionic) was manifest; compare eph' helpidi, for the reverse process. Elision is less frequent than in Attic, but assimilation is carried farther. The variable final consonants "n" (nu) and "s" (sigma) are used generally before consonants. We find "-ei-" for "-iei-" as in pein. outheis, and metheis, are common till 100 B.C., when they gradually disappear before oudeis, and medeis. In general there is less sense of rhythm and more simplicity and clearness. Some of the subtle refinements of form and syntax of the classic did not survive in the koine vernacular. In accidence only a few points may be noted. In substantives the Ionic "-res" is frequent. The Attic second declension vanishes. In the third declension forms like nuktan, show assimilation to the first. Both charin, and charita, occur. Contraction is sometimes absent (compare Ionic) as in oreon. Adjectives show forms like asphalen, and indeclinable pleres, appears, and pan, for panta (compare megan), dusi, for duoin. The dual is gone. Even the dual pronouns hekateros, and poteros, are rare. tis, is occasionally used like hostis. hos ean, is more frequent than hos an, in the 1st century A.D. The two conjugations blend more and more into one, as the -mi forms vanish. There is some confusion in the use of -ao and -eo verbs, and new presents occur like apoktenno, optano, steko. The forms ginomai, ginosko, are the rule now. There is much increase in aorists like escha, and imperfects like eicha. The form -osan (eichosan, eschosan) occasionally appears. Quite frequent is a perfect like dedokan, and the augment is often absent in the plu-perfect as in dedokei. Per contra, a double augment occurs in apekateste, and a treble augment in eneochthesan. The temporal augment is often absent with diphthong as in oikodomethe. The koine Greek has -tosan, not -nton. In syntax the tendency is toward simplicity, to short sentences, the paratactic construction, and the sparing use of particles. The vernacular koine avoids both the bombast of Asianism and the artificiality of Atticism. There is, indeed, more freedom in violating the rules of concord as to gender, number, and case. The nominativus pendens is common. The comparative does duty often for the superlative adjective, and the superlative generally has the elative sense. The accusative is increasingly common with verbs. The line between transitive and intransitive verbs is not a hard-and-fast one. The growth in the use of prepositions both with nouns and in composition is quite noticeable, but some of the older prepositions, like amphi, are vanishing. The cases used with various prepositions are changing. The instrumental use of en, is very common. Many new adverbial and prepositional phrases have developed. The optative is nearly dead and the infinitive (apart from the use of tou, en to, eis to, with the infinitive) is decaying before hina. The future participle is rare. me, begins to encroach on ou, with infinitives and participles. The periphrastic conjugation is specially common. The direct discourse is more frequent than the indirect. The non-final use of hina, is quite noticeable. There are, besides, dialectical and provincial peculiarities, but these do not destroy the real unity of the vernacular koine any more than do individual traits of separate writers.
II. Literary Elements in the New Testament.
Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 245) is disposed to deny any literary quality to the New Testament books save the Epistle to the Hebrews. "The Epistle to the Hebrews shows us Christianity preparing for a flight from its native levels into the higher region of culture, and we are conscious of the beginnings of a Christian world-literature." He speaks of it also as "a work which seems to hang in the background like an intruder among the New Testament company of popular books." One feels that this is an extreme position and cannot be justified by the facts. It is true that Peter and John were agrammatoi kai idiotai (Acts 4:13), and not men of the schools, but this was certainly not the case with Luke and Paul who were men of literary culture in the truest sense. Luke and Paul were not Atticists, but that artificial idiom did not represent the best type of culture. Deissmann admits that the New Testament has become literature, but, outside of He, he denies any literary quality in its composition. Paul, for instance, wrote only "letters," not "epistles." But Romans and Ephesians confront us. See Milligan, Greek Papyri, xxxi, for a protest against the sweeping statement of Deissmann on this point. One need not go to the extreme of Blass, "Die rhythmische Komposition des Hebr. Brides," Theol. Studien und Kritik, 1902, 420-61; Die Rythmen der asiatischen und romischen Kunstprosa, 1905, to find in Hebrews and Paul's writings illustrations of the artificial rules of the Asianists. There is undoubtedly rhythm in Paul's eloquent passages (compare 1 Corinthians 13; 15), but it is the natural poetic quality of a soul aflame with high passions, not conformity to rules of rhetoric. To deny literary quality to Luke and Paul is to give a narrow meaning to the word "literary" and to be the victim of a theory. Christianity did make use of the vernacular koine, the wonderful world-speech so providentially at hand. But the personal equation figured here as always. Men of culture differ in their conversation from illiterate men and more nearly approximate literary style. It is just in Luke, Paul, and the author of He that we discover the literary flavor of men of ability and of culture, though free from artificiality and pedantry. The eloquence of He is that of passion, not of the art of Asianism. Indeed, the Gospels all show literary skill in the use of material and in beauty of language.
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LAW IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The Term "Law"
Austin's Definition of Law
I. LAW IN THE GOSPELS
1. The Law in the Teaching of Christ
(1) Authority of the Law Upheld in the Sermon on the Mount
(a) Christ and Tradition
(b) Sin of Murder
(c) Adultery and Divorce
(f) Love to Neighbors-Love of Enemies
(2) Other References to the Law in the Teaching of Christ
(a) Traditions of the Elders and the 5th Commandment
(b) Christ's Answer to the Young Ruler
(c) Christ's Answer to the Lawyer
(d) References in the Fourth Gospel
2. The Law in Relation to the Life of Christ
(1) In His Infancy
(2) In His Ministry
3. The Law in Relation to the Death of Christ
(1) Christ Charged with Blasphemy under the Jewish Law
(2) Christ Charged with Treason under the Roman Law
4. How Christ Fulfilled the Law in All Its Parts
II. LAW IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
1. Stephen's Witness
2. Practice of Peter and Paul
3. Allusions to the Roman Law
III. LAW IN THE EPISTLES
1. In Romans
2. In Galatians
3. In the Other Pauline Epistles
4. In the Epistle to the Hebrews
5. In the Epistle of James
6. In the Epistles of Peter and John
The Term "Law":
The Greek word for "law" is nomos, derived from nemo, "to divide," "distribute," "apportion," and generally meant anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, usage, law; in the New Testament a command, law.
Austin's Definition of Law:
It may not be amiss to note the definition of law given by a celebrated authority in jurisprudence, the late Mr. John Austin: "A law, in the most general and comprehensive acceptation in which the term, in its literal meaning, is employed, may be said to be a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being, by an intelligent being having power over him." Under this comprehensive statement, he classifies "laws set by God to His human creatures, and laws set by men to men." After analyzing the three ideas, command as the expression of a particular desire; duty or obligation, signifying that one is bound or obliged by the command to pursue a certain course of conduct, and sanction, indicating the evil likely to be incurred by disobedience, he thus summarizes: "The ideas or notions comprehended by the term command are the following:
(1) a wish or desire conceived by a rational being that another rational being shall do or forbear;
(2) an evil to proceed from the former and to be incurred by the latter in case the latter comply not with the wish;
(3) an expression or intimation of the wish by words or other signs."
This definition makes it clear that the term "laws of nature" can be used only in a metaphorical sense, the metaphorical application being suggested as Austin shows by the fact that uniformity or stability of conduct is one of the ordinary consequences of a law proper, consequently, "Wherever we observe a uniform order of events, or a uniform order of coexisting phenomena, we are prone to impute that order to a law set by its author, though the case presents us with nothing that can be likened to a sanction or a duty." As used in the New Testament it will be found generally that the term "law" bears the sense indicated by Austin, and includes "command," "duty" and "sanction."
I. Law in the Gospels.
Naturally we first turn to the Gospels, where the word "law" always refers to the Mosaic law, although it has different applications. That law was really threefold: the Moral Law, as summed up in the Decalogue, the Ceremonial Law, prescribing the ritual and all the typical enactments, and what might be called the Civil or Political Law, that relating to the people in their national, political life. The distinction is not closely observed, though sometimes the reference emphasizes one aspect, sometimes another, but generally the whole Law without any discrimination is contemplated. Sometimes the Law means the whole Old Testament Scriptures, as in John 10:34; John 12:34; John 15:25. At other times the Law means the Pentateuch, as in Luke 24:44.
1. The Law in the Teaching of Christ:
The Law frequently appears in the teaching of Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount He refers most specifically and fully to it. It is frequently asserted that He there exposes the imperfection of the Law and sets His own authority against its authority. But this seems to be a superficial and an untenable view. Christ indeed affirms very definitely the authority of the Law: "Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets" (Matthew 5:17). Here the term would seem to mean the whole of the Pentateuch "I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished" (Matthew 5:17, 18). A similar utterance is recorded in Luke 16:17: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the law to fall."
(1) Authority of the Law Upheld in the Sermon on the Mount.
The perfection and permanence of the Law as well as its authority are thus indicated, and the following verse in Matthew still further emphasizes the authority, while showing that now the Lord is speaking specifically of the moral law of the Decalogue: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (5:19). These impressive sentences should be borne in mind in considering, the utterances that follow, in which there seems a contrast between the Law and His own teaching, and from which has been drawn the inference that He condemns and practically abrogates the Law. What Jesus really does is to bring out the fullness of meaning that is in the Law, and to show its spirituality and the wideness of its reach. He declares that the righteousness of His disciples must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20). Their righteousness consisted largely in a punctilious observance of the external requirements of the Law; the disciples must yield heart obedience to the inner spirit of the Law, its external and internal requirements.
(a) Christ and Tradition:
Jesus then proceeds to point out the contrast, not so much between His own teaching and that of the Law, as between His interpretation of the Law and the interpretation of other teachers: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time" (the King James Version), "to them of old time" the Revised Version (British and American) (Matthew 5:21). Either rendering is grammatically allowable, but in either case it is evidently not the original utterance of Moses, but the traditional interpretation, which He had in view "Ye have heard that it was said"; Christ's usual way of quoting the Old Testament is, "It is written" or some other formula pointing to the written Word; and as He has just referred to the written Law as a whole, it would be strange if He should now use the formula "It was said" in reference to the particular precepts. Evidently He means what was said by the Jewish teachers.
(b) Sin of Murder:
This is further confirmed by the citations: "Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment." The second clause is not found in the Pentateuch as a distinct statement, but it is clearly the generalization of the teachers. Christ does not set Himself in opposition to Moses; rather does He enjoin obedience to the precepts of the scribes when, sitting in Moses' seat, they truly expound the Law (Matthew 23:1-8). But these teachers had so expounded the command as if it only referred to the act of murder; so Christ shows the full and true spiritual meaning of it: "But I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:22).
(c) Adultery and Divorce:
Again, "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Matthew 5:27). The traditional teaching confined this mainly to the outward act, `But I say unto you,' says Christ, `that adultery pertains even to the lustful thought' (Matthew 5:28). In dealing with this matter He passes to the law of divorce which was one of the civil enactments, and did not stand on the same level with the moral precept against committing adultery, nay, the very carrying out of the civil provision might lead to a real breach of the moral precept, and in the interests of the precept itself, in the very desire to uphold the authority of the moral law, Christ pronounces against divorce on any ground, save that of fornication. Later on, as recorded in Matthew 19:3-9, He was questioned about this same law of divorce, and again He condemns the light way in which divorce was treated by the Jews, and affirms strongly the sanctity of the marriage institution, showing that it was antecedent to the Mosaic code-was from the beginning, and derived its binding force from the Divine pronouncement in Genesis 2:24, rounded upon the nature of things; while as to the Mosaic law of divorce, lie declares that it was permitted on account of the hardness of their hearts, but that no other cause than fornication was sufficient to dissolve the marriage tie. This civil enactment, justified originally on account of the inability of the people to rise to the true moral ideal of the Decalogue, Christ claims authority to transcend, but in doing so He vindicates and upholds the law which said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
The next precept Jesus cites is one partly civil and partly ritual, concerning the taking of oaths. The words are not found in the Pentateuch as a definite enactment; they are rather a gathering up of several utterances (Leviticus 19:12 Numbers 30:2 Deuteronomy 23:21), and again the form of the citation suggests that it is the rabbinical interpretation that is in question. But the kind of swearing allowed by the law was the very opposite of ordinary profane swearing. It was intended, indeed, to guard the 3rd commandment against taking the name of Yahweh in vain. Christ in condemning the flippant oaths allowed by the rabbis was really asserting the authority of that 3rd command; lie was enforcing its spirituality and claiming the reverence due to the Divine name. Into the question how far the words of Christ bear upon oath-taking in a court of law we need not enter. His own response to the adjuration of the high priest when practically put upon His oath (Matthew 26:63, 64) and other instances (Romans 1:9 2 Corinthians 1:23 Galatians 1:20 Philippians 1:8 1 Thessalonians 2:5 Hebrews 6:16, 17 Revelation 10:5, 6) would tend to show that such solemn appeals to God are not embraced in Christ's prohibition: "Swear not at all"; but undoubtedly the ideal speech is that of the simple asseveration, the "Yes" or "No" of the man, who, conscious that he speaks in the presence of God, reckons his word inviolable, needing no strengthening epithet, though as between man and man an oath may be necessary for confirmation and an end of strife.
He next touches upon the "law of retaliation": "an eye for an eye" (Matthew 5:38), and consistently with our understanding of the other sayings, we think that here Christ is dealing with the traditional interpretation which admitted of personal revenge, of men taking the law into their own hands and revenging themselves. Such a practice Christ utterly condemns, and inculcates instead gentleness and forbearance, the outcome of love even toward enemies. This law, indeed, finds place among the Mosaic provisions, but it appears there, not as allowing personal spite to gratify itself in its own way, but as a political enactment to be carried out by the magistrates and so to discountenance private revenge. Christ shows that the spirit of His gospel received by His people would supersede the necessity for these. requirements of the civil code; although His words are not to be interpreted quite literally, for He himself when smitten on the one cheek did not turn the other to the smiter (John 18:22, 23), and the principle of the law of retaliation still holds good in the legislative procedure of all civilized nations, and according to the New Testament teaching, will find place even in the Divine procedure in the day of judgment.
See also PUNISHMENT.
(f) Love to Neighbors-Love of Enemies:
The last saying mentioned in the Sermon clearly reveals its rabbinical character: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy" (Matthew 5:43). The first part is indeed the injunction of the Law, the second part is an unwarrantable addition to it. It is only this part that Christ virtually condemns when He says, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44). That the interpretation of these teachers was unwarrantable may be seen from many passages in the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Psalms, which set forth the more spiritual aspect of the Law's requirement; and as to this particular precept, we need only refer to Proverbs 25:21, 22, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat." Christ while condemning the addition unfolds the spiritual import of the command itself, for the love of neighbor rightly interpreted involves love of enemies; and so on another occasion (Luke 10:25-37) He answers the lawyer's question, "Who is my neighbor?" by the parable of the Good Samaritan, showing that everyone in need is our neighbor.
See also FORGIVENESS; WRATH.
The last reference in the Sermon on the Mount to the Law fully bears out the idea that Christ really upheld the authority while elucidating the spirituality of the Law, for He declares that the principle embodied in the "Golden Rule" is a deduction from, is, indeed, the essence of, "the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12).
(2) Other References to the Law in the Teaching of Christ.
We can only glance at the other references to the Law in the teaching of Christ. In Matthew 11:13, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John," the Law in its teaching capacity is in view, and perhaps the whole of the Pentateuch is meant. In Matthew 12:1-8, in rebutting the charge brought against His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, He cites the case of David and his men eating the showbread, which it was not lawful for any but the priests to partake of; and of the priests doing work on the Sabbath day which in other men would be a breach of the Law; from which He deduces the conclusion that the ritual laws may be set aside under stress of necessity and for a higher good. In that same chapter (12:10-13) He indicates the lawfulness of healing-doing good-on the Sabbath day.
(a) Traditions of the Elders and the 5th Commandment:
In Matthew 15:1-6 we have the account of the Pharisees complaining that the disciples transgressed the traditions of the elders by eating with unwashed hands. Jesus retorts upon them with the question: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" citing the specific case of the 5th commandment which was evaded and virtually broken by their ingenious distinction of qorban. This is a very instructive incident in its bearing upon the point which we have sought to enforce-that it was the traditional interpretation and not the Law itself which Jesus condemned or corrected.
(b) Christ's Answer to the Young Ruler:
To the young ruler (Matthew 19:16-42) He presents the commandments as the rule of life, obedience to which is the door to eternal life, especially emphasizing the manward aspect of the Law's claims. The young man, professing to have kept them all, shows that he has not grasped the spirituality of their requirements, and it is further to test him that Christ calls upon him to make the "great renunciation" which, after all, is not in itself an additional command so much as the unfolding of the spiritual and far-reaching character of the command, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
(c) Christ's Answer to the Lawyer:
To the lawyer who asks Him which is the great commandment in the Law, He answers by giving him the sum of the whole moral law. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:35-39). In Mark's report (Mark 12:31), He adds, "There is none other commandment greater than these," and in that of Matthew He says, "On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets" (Matthew 22:40); both utterances showing the high estimation in which He held the Law.
(d) References in the Fourth Gospel:
In His discussion with the Jews, recorded in John 7, He charges them with failure to keep the Law: "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you doeth the law?" (7:19). And referring to the healing of the impotent man on the Sabbath day, a deed which had roused their ire, He shows how one law may conflict with another. Moses had enjoined circumcision, and sometimes the time for circumcising would fall on the Sabbath day. Yet with all their reverence for the Sabbath day, they would, in order to keep the law of circumcision, perform the rite on the Sabbath day, and so, He argues, it is unreasonable to complain of Him because on the Sabbath day He had fulfilled the higher law of doing good, healing a poor sufferer. In none of all Christ's utterances is there any slight thrown upon the Law itself; it is always held up as the standard of right and its authority vindicated.
2. The Law in Relation to the Life of Christ:
The passages we have considered show the place of the Law in the teaching of Christ, but we also find that He had to sustain a practical relation to that Law. Born under the Law, becoming part of a nation which honored and venerated the Law, every part of whose life was externally regulated by it, the life of Jesus Christ could not fail to be affected by that Law. We note its operation:
(1) In His Infancy.
On the eighth day He was circumcised (Luke 2:21), thus being recognized as a member of the covenant nation, partaking of its privileges, assuming its responsibilities. Then, according to the ritual law of purification, He is presented in the temple to the Lord (Luke 2:22-24), while His mother offers the sacrifice enjoined in the "law of the Lord," the sacrifice she brings pathetically witnessing to her poverty, "a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons" being the alternative allowed to those who were not able to provide a lamb (Leviticus 12). The Divine approval is set upon this consecrating act, for it is while it is being done concerning Him after "the custom of the law" (Leviticus 12:27), that the Spirit of God comes upon Simeon and prompts the great prophecy which links all the Messianic hopes with the Baby of Bethlehem.
Again, according to the Law His parents go up to the Passover feast when the wondrous child has reached His 12th year, the age when a youthful Jew assumed legal responsibility, becoming "a son of the Law," and so Jesus participates in the festal observances, and His deep interest in all that concerns the temple-worship and the teaching of the Law is shown by His absorption in the conversation of the doctors, whose questions He answers so intelligently, while questioning them in turn, and filling them with astonishment at His understanding (Luke 2:42-47).
(2) In His Ministry.
In His ministry He ever honors the Law. He reads it in the synagogue. He heals the leper by His sovereign touch and word, but He bids him go and show himself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded (Matthew 8:4). And again, when the lepers appeal to Him, His response which implies the healing is, "Go and show yourselves unto the priests" (Luke 17:14). He drives out of the temple those that defile it (Matthew 21:12, 13 John 2:15-17), because of His zeal for the honor of His Father's house, and so, while showing His authority, emphasizes the sanctity of the temple and its services. So, while claiming to be the Son in the Father's house, and therefore above the injunctions laid upon the servants and strangers, He nevertheless pays the temple-tax exacted from every son of Israel (Matthew 17:24-27). He attends the various feasts during His ministry, and when the shadows of death are gathering round Him, He takes special pains to observe the Passover with His disciples. Thus to the ceremonial law He renders continuous obedience, the motto of His life practically being His great utterance to the Baptist: "Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). If He obeyed the ceremonial law, unquestionably He obeyed the moral law. His keenest-eyed enemies could find no fault in Him in regard to His moral conduct. His absolute sinlesshess attests the translation of the moral law into actual life.
3. The Law in Relation to the Death of Christ:
We enter not upon theological question as to the relation of the death of Christ to the penal inflictions of the Law Divinely enforced on behalf of sinners-that touches the doctrine of the Atonement-we only note the fact that His death was brought about in professed accordance with the Law. The chief priests, in hatred, sent officers to take Him, but overawed by His matchless eloquence, these officers returned empty-handed. In their chagrin, the chief priests can only say that the people who follow Him now not the Law and are cursed (John 7:49). Nicodemus, on this occasion, ventures to remonstrate: "Doth our law judge a man, except it first hear from himself?" (John 7:51). This sound legal principle these men are bent on disregarding; their one desire is to put an end to the life of this man, who has aroused their jealousy and hatred, and at last when they get Him into their hands, they strain the forms of the Law to accomplish their purpose. There is no real charge that can be brought against Him. They dare not bring up the plea that He broke the Sabbath, for again and again He has answered their cavils on that score. He has broken no law; all they can do is to bribe false witnesses to testify something to His discredit. The trumpery charge, founded upon a distorted reminiscence of His utterance about destroying the temple, threatens to break down.
(1) Christ Charged with Blasphemy under the Jewish Law.
Then the high priest adjures Him to say upon oath whether or not He claims to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Such a claim would assuredly, if unfounded, be blasphemy, and according to the Law, be punishable by death. On a previous occasion the Jews threatened to stone Him for this-to them-blasphemous claim. Now when Jesus calmly avows that He is the Son of God, the high priest, rending his clothes, declares that no further proof is needed. He has confessed to the blasphemy, and unanimously the council votes Him worthy of death (Matthew 26 Mark 14 Luke 22). If Jesus Christ were not what He claimed to be, then the priests were right in holding Him guilty of blasphemy; it never occurred to them to consider whether the claim after all might not be true.
(2) Christ Charged with Treason under the Roman Law.
Not only is the Jewish law invoked to accomplish His death, but also the Roman law. On one other occasion Christ had come into touch with the law of Rome, namely, when asked the ensnaring question by the Herodians as to the lawfulness of giving tribute to Caesar (Matthew 22:17 Mark 12:14 Luke 20:22). Now the Jews need the Roman governor's authorization for the death penalty, and Jesus must be tried before him. The charge cannot now be blasphemy-the Roman law will have nothing to say to that-and so they trump up a charge of treason against Caesar.
In preferring it, they practically renounce their Messianic hopes. The charge, however, breaks down before the Roman tribunal, and only by playing on the weakness of Pilate do they gain their end, and the Roman law decrees His death, while leaving the Jews to see to the carrying out of the sentence. In this the evangelist sees the fulfillment of Christ's words concerning the manner of His death, for stoning would have been the Jewish form of the death penalty, not crucifixion.
SeeJESUS CHRIST, III, E), ii, 3, 4.
4. How Christ Fulfilled the Law in All Its Parts:
Looking at the whole testimony of the Gospels, we can see how it was that Christ fulfilled the Law. He fulfilled the moral law by obeying, by bringing out its fullness of meaning, by showing its intense spirituality, and He established it on a surer basis than ever as the eternal law of righteousness. He fulfilled the ceremonial and typical law, not only by conforming to its requirements, but by realizing its spiritual significance. He filled up the shadowy outlines of the types, and, thus fulfilled, they pass away, and it is no longer necessary for us to observe the Passover or slay the daily lamb: we have the substance in Christ. He also cleared the Law from the traditional excrescences which had gathered round it under the hands of the rabbis. He showed that the ceremonial distinction between meats clean and unclean was no longer necessary, but showed the importance of true spiritual purity (Matthew 15:11 Mark 7:18-23). He taught His disciples those great principles when, after His resurrection, "beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). And as He opened their mind that they might understand the Scriptures, He declared, "These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44). John sums this up in his pregnant phrase, "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). The grace was in contrast to the condemnation of the moral law, the truth was the antithesis to the shadowy outline of the types and ceremonies.
II. Law in the Acts of the Apostles.
Without considering questions of authenticity and historicity in relation to this book which professes to be the earliest church history, we briefly note the place of the Law therein indicated. In the book we have an account of the transition from Judaism to fully developed Christianity, and the Law comes into view in various ways. The disciples, like other Jews, observe the feast of Pentecost, and even after the descent of the Spirit, they frequent the temple and observe the hours of prayer.
1. Stephen's Witness:
The full-orbed gospel proclaimed by Stephen arouses the suspicion and enmity of the stricter sects of the Jews, who accuse him before the council of speaking blasphemous words against the holy place and the Law. But this was the testimony of suborned witnesses, having doubtless its foundation in the fact that Stephen's teaching emphasized the grace of the gospel. Stephen's own defense honors the Law as given by Moses, "who received living oracles" (Acts 7:38), shows how disloyal the people had been, and closes by charging them not only with rejecting and slaying the Righteous One, but of failing to keep the Law "as it was ordained by angels" (Acts 7:53).
2. Practice of Peter and Paul:
Peter's strict observance of the ceremonial law is shown in connection with his vision which teaches him that the grace of God may pass beyond the Jewish pale (Acts 10). Paul's preaching emphasizes the fulfilling the Scriptures, Law and Prophecy, by Jesus Christ. The gist of his message, as given in his first reported sermon, is, "By him everyone that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:38 f). The conversion of the Gentiles brings up the question of their relation to the ceremonial law, specifically to circumcision. The decision of the council at Jerusalem treats circumcision as unnecessary for the Gentiles, and only enjoins, in relation to the Mosaic ritual, abstinence from things strangled and from blood (Acts 15). The after-course of events would show that this provision was for the time of transition.
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(neos anthropos or kainos anthropos): Generally described, the "new man" is man as he becomes under the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, contrasted with man as he is by nature. The phrase has (1) its Biblical, and (2) its theological, meanings.
I. Biblical Meaning.
There are four Biblical contrasts which must be considered as opposites:
(1) the "old man" (palaios anthropos) and the "new man" (neos anthropos or kainos anthropos);
(2) the "outward man" (exoanthropos) and the "inward man" (esoanthropos);
(3) the "carnal man" (sarkikos anthropos) and the "spiritual man" (pneumatikos anthropos);
(4) the "natural man" (psuchikos anthropos) and the "spiritual man" (pneunatikos anthropos).
These are not four different sorts of men, but four different sorts of man. Take up these antitheses in their reverse order, so as to arrive at some clear and impressive conception of what the Biblical writer means by the "new man."
1. The Spiritual Man:
The "spiritual man" is a designation given in opposition to the "carnal man" and to the "natural man" (Romans 8:1-14 1 Corinthians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 3:1, 3, 4; 2:14; 3:11; 14:37; 15:46 Galatians 6:1 Ephesians 2:3). All three of these terms are personifications of human nature. The "carnal man" is human nature viewed as ruled and dominated by sensual appetites and fleshly desires-as energized by those impulses which have close association with the bodily affections. The "natural man" is human nature ruled and dominated by unsanctified reason-those higher powers of the soul not yet influenced by Divine grace. The "spiritual man" is this same human nature after it has been seized upon and interpenetrated and determined by the Holy Spirit. The word "spiritual" is sometimes used in a poetic and idealistic sense, as when we speak of the spirituality of beauty; sometimes in a metaphysical sense, as when we speak of the spirituality of the soul; but in its prevalent Biblical and evangelical sense it is an adjective with the Holy Spirit as its noun-form. The spiritual life is that life of which the Holy Spirit is the author and preserver; and the "spiritual man" is that nature or character in man which the Holy Spirit originates, preserves, determines, disciplines, sanctifies and glorifies.
2. The Inward Man:
The "inward man" is a designation of human nature viewed as internally and centrally regenerated, as contrasted with the "outward man" (2 Corinthians 4:16 Romans 7:22 Ephesians 3:16). See MAN, OUTWARD. This phrase indicates the whole human nature conceived as affected from within-in the secret, inside, and true springs of activity-by the Holy Spirit of God. Such a change-regeneration-is not superficial, but a change in the inner central self; not a mere external reformation, but an internal transformation. Grace operates not from the circumference toward the center, but from the center toward the circumference, of life. The product is a man renovated in his "inward parts," changed in the dynamic center of his heart.
3. The New Man:
The "new man" is an appellation yielded by the contrasted idea of the "old man" (Romans 6:6 Ephesians 4:22 Colossians 3:9 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24 Colossians 3:10). The "old" is "corrupt" and expresses itself in evil "deeds"; the "new" possesses the "image of God" and is marked by "knowledge," "righteousness," and "holiness." There are two Greek words for "new"-neos and kainos. The former means new in the sense of young, as the new-born child is a young thing; the latter means "new" in the sense of renovated, as when the house which has been rebuilt is called a new house. The converted man is "new" (neo-anthropos) in the sense that he is a "babe in Christ," and "new" (kaino-anthropos) in the sense that his moral nature is renovated and built over again.
In the New Testament there are 5 different verbs used to express the action put forth in making the "old man" a "new man."
(1) In Ephesians 2:10 and 4:24, he is said to be "created" (ktizo), and in 2 Corinthians 5:17 the product is called a "new creature" (kaine kisis), a renovated creature. Out of the "old man" the Holy Spirit has created the "new man."
(2) In 1 Peter 1:3, 13 and elsewhere, he is said to be "begotten again" (anagennao), and the product is a "babe in Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:1). The "old man" thus becomes the "new man" by a spiritual begetting: his paternity is assigned to the Holy Ghost.
(3) In Ephesians 2:5 and elsewhere, he is said to be `quickened' (zoopoieo), and the product is represented as a creature which has been made "alive from the dead" (Romans 6:13). The "old man," being `dead in trespasses and sins' (Ephesians 2:1), is brought forth from his sin-grave by a spiritual resurrection.
(4) In Ephesians 4:23 he is represented as being made "young" (ananeoo), and the product is a child of the Spirit at the commencement of his religious experience. The "old man," dating his history back to the fall in Eden, has become, through the Spirit, a young man in Christ Jesus.
(5) In 2 Corinthians 4:16 and in Romans 12:2, he is said to be `renovated' (anakainoo). The "old man" is renovated into the "new man." Sinful human nature is taken by the Spirit and morally recast.
II. Theological Meaning.
The "new man" is the converted, regenerated man. The phrase has its significance for the great theological doctrine of regeneration as it expands into the broad work of sanctification. Is the sinner dead? Regeneration is a new life. Is holiness non-existent in him? Regeneration is a new creation. Is he born in sin? Regeneration is a new birth. Is he determined by his fallen, depraved nature? Regeneration is a spiritual determination. Is he the subject of carnal appetites? Regeneration is a holy appetency. Is he thought of as the old sinful man? Regeneration is a new man. Is the sinful mind blind? Regeneration is a new understanding. Is the heart stony? Regeneration is a heart of flesh. Is the conscience seared? Regeneration is a good conscience. Is the will impotent? Regeneration is a new impotentiation. The regenerated man is a man with a new governing disposition-a "new man," an "inward man," a "spiritual man."
(1) The "New Man"-the Regenerate Man-Is Not a Theological Transubstantiation:
A being whose substance has been supernaturally converted into some other sort of substance.
(2) He Is Not a Scientific Transmutation:
A species of one kind which has been naturally evolved into a species of another kind.
(3) He Is Not a Metaphysical Reconstruction:
Being with a new mental equipment.
(4) He Is an Evangelical Convert:
An "old man" with a new regnant moral disposition, an "outward man" with a new inward fons et origo of moral life; a "natural man" with a new renovated spiritual heart.
See MAN, NATURAL; REGENERATION.
Robert Alexander Webb
See ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; HEAVENS, NEW.
See JERUSALEM, NEW; REVELATION OF JOHN.
See BIBLE; CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; CRITICISM.
nu, nu'-nes (chadhash; kainos, neos):
1. In the Old Testament:
The word commonly translated "new" in the Old Testament is chadhash, "bright," "fresh," "new" (special interest was shown in, and importance attached to, fresh and new things and events); Exodus 1:8 Deuteronomy 20:5; Deuteronomy 22:8; Deuteronomy 24:5 1 Samuel 6:7; 2 Samuel 21:16 Psalm 33:3, "a new song"; Jeremiah 31:31, "new covenant"; Ezekiel 11:19, "a new spirit"; 18:31 "new heart"; 36:26, etc.; chodhesh is "the new moon," "the new-moon day," the first of the lunar month, a festival, then "month" (Genesis 29:14, "a month of days"); it occurs frequently, often translated "month"; we have "new moon" (1 Samuel 20:5, 18, 24, etc.); tirosh is "new (sweet) wine" (Nehemiah 10:39 Joel 1:5; Joel 3:18, it is `asis, the Revised Version (British and American) "sweet wine"); in Acts 2:13, "new wine" is gleukos.
Other words in the Old Testament for "new" are chadhath, Aramaic (Ezra 6:4); Tari, "fresh" (Judges 15:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "a fresh jawbone of an ass"); beri'ah, a "creation" (Numbers 16:30, "if Yahweh make a new thing," the Revised Version margin "create a creation"); bakhar, "to be first-fruits" (Ezekiel 47:12; so the Revised Version margin); qum, "setting," is translated "newly" (Judges 7:19); also miqqarobh, "recently" (Deuteronomy 32:17, the Revised Version (British and American) "of late "); news is shermu`ah, "report," "tidings"; Proverbs 25:25, "good news from a far country."
2. In the New Testament:
In the New Testament "new" (mostly kainos, "new," "fresh," "newly made") is an important word. We have the title of the "New Testament" itself, rightly given by the American Standard Revised Version as "New Covenant," the designation of "the new dispensation" ushered in through Christ, the writings relating to which the volume contains. We have "new covenant" (kainos) in Luke 22:20, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (the English Revised Version margin "testament"; in Matthew 26:28 Mark 14:24, "new" is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American), but in Matthew the margin "many ancient authorities insert new," and in Mark "some ancient authorities"); 1 Corinthians 11:25, the English Revised Version margin "or testament"; 2 Corinthians 3:6, the English Revised Version margin "or testament"; Hebrews 8:8, the English Revised Version margin "or testament"; in 8:13, "covenant" is supplied (compare Hebrews 12:24, neos).
Corresponding to this, we have (2 Corinthians 5:17, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)), "The old things have passed away; behold, they are become new": ibid., "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature," the Revised Version margin "there is a new creation"; Galatians 6:15, margin "or creation," "new man" (Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24 Colossians 3:10 (neos)); "new commandment" (John 13:34); "new doctrine" (Acts 17:19); "new thing" (Acts 17:21); "newness of life" (kainotes) (Romans 6:4); "newness of the spirit" (Romans 7:6; compare 2 Corinthians 5:17); "a new name," (Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12), "new heavens and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13); "new Jerusalem" (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:2); "new song" (Revelation 5:9); compare "new friend" and "new wine" (Sirach 9:10b,c); artigennetos, "newborn" (1 Peter 2:2); prosphatos, "newly slain," "new" (Hebrews 10:20, the Revised Version (British and American) "a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh"; compare Sirach 9:10a; Judith 4:3); "new" is the translation of neos, "new," "young" (1 Corinthians 5:7 Colossians 3:10; "new man"; Hebrews 12:24, "new covenant").
The difference in meaning between kainos and neos, is, in the main, that kainos denotes new in respect of quality, "the new as set over against that which has seen service, the outworn, the effete, or marred through age"; neos, "new (in respect of time), that which has recently come into existence," e.g. kainon mnemeion, the "new tomb" in which Jesus was laid, was not one recently made, but one in which no other dead had ever lain; the "new covenant," the "new man," etc., may be contemplated under both aspects of quality and of time (Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 209).
In Matthew 9:16 Mark 2:21, agnaphos, "unsmoothed," "unfinished," is translated "new," "new cloth," the Revised Version (British and American) "undressed." For "new bottles" (Luke 5:38 and parallels), the Revised Version (British and American) has "fresh wine-skins."
W. L. Walker
POETRY, NEW TESTAMENT
No one questions the presence of poetry of a high order in the Old Testament. The Study of the Old Testament as the literature of the ancient Hebrews has been critically made, and the attention of even the ordinary reader of the Scriptures called to the beauty and wealth of its poetic passages. The message of the New Testament is so vitally spiritual and concerned with religion that but little attention has been paid to it as literature. Naturally it would be strange if the poetic inspiration which runs like a tide through the prophetic and post-exilic periods of the Old Testament should altogether cease under the clearer spiritual dispensation of the New Testament. The fact is that it does not cease, but that under every fundamental rule for poetic utterance, save that of rhyme, the New Testament is seen to be rich in imaginative vision, in religion touched by emotion, and in poetic expression. The Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, and the Epistle of James, all afford examples of lofty poetic utterance, while the message of Jesus is saturated with words which readily lend themselves to song. In fact it is thought by some that Jesus was no less careful of the form than of the content of His message, and that all the finer types of Hebrew poetry found in the Old Testament can be matched from His sayings, even when tested by the same rules.
In the Gospels that of Luke gives us our best examples of poetry. "No sooner have we passed through the vestibule of his Gospel than we find ourselves within a circle of harmonies" (Burton, in the Expositor's Bible). From the poetic utterances of Mary, Elisabeth, Zacharias, Simeon, and the Angels, the church gains her Magnificat, Beatitude, Benedictus, Nunc Dimittis and Glorias.
The utterances of John the Baptist are filled with a rugged desert vision and an expression which reveals a form of poesy in no wise to be mistaken for prose.
Paul presents many of his ideas in harmonious and beautiful forms. He knew the secular poets of his day, and has immortalized Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus (Acts 17:28). He also quotes from Epimenides and the Athenian dramatist Menander (1 Corinthians 15:33). Paul knew the poetry of the Hebrews, and enriches his own message with many quotations from it. He was acquainted with the Christian hymnology of his own times, as is seen in Ephesians 5:14 and 1 Timothy 3:16. He offers also original flashes of poetic inspiration and utterance, a good example of which is found in Romans 8:31-37.
Who could doubt the poetic imagery of James? He might almost be called the poet of social justice and of patient waiting under affliction for the will of God to come to men.
When one comes to the words of Jesus he discovers that in a very true sense His speech answers to the requirements for Hebrew poetry. Examples of synonymous, antithetic, synthetic and causal parallelism are the rule rather than the exception in the utterances of Jesus. For the synonymous form see Matthew 10:24; for the antithetic see Luke 6:41; for the synthetic and causal forms see Luke 9:23 and Matthew 6:7. Not alone are these forms of Hebrew poetry found in the words of Jesus, but also the more involved and sustained poetic utterances (Luke 7:31-32).
No one can question the deep emotional quality, the vivid imagination and spiritual idealism of Jesus. That the form of His speech is adequately set to poetic inspiration and conforms to the laws for Hebrew poetry has not been so freely acknowledged. Independently of theory advanced in Did Jesus Write His Own Gospel? (William Pitt MacVey), every student of the literature of the New Testament must be grateful for the chapter on "The Poems of Jesus."
Spirituality and poetry have a kinship, and the interpretation of any message is aided by the adequate knowledge of its form. When the New Testament has thus been carefully studied as literature, it will be seen, not only that Jesus was a poet, but that the entire New Testament, if not as rich as the Old Testament in poetic passages, is sufficiently poetic to receive treatment as such in religious encyclopedias.
See also FAITHFUL SAYINGS; POETRY, HEBREW.
C. E. Schenk
PRIESTHOOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. The Jewish Priesthood
2. The Priesthood and High-Priesthood of Jesus Christ
3. The Priesthood of Believers
1. The Jewish Priesthood:
In the New Testament hierateuma (1 Peter 2:5, 9), "priesthood," is not found with reference to the Jewish priesthood, but hiereus, and archiereus, "high priest," frequently occur. As until the fall of Jerusalem the activities of the priests were carried on in careful accordance with the prescriptions of the Old Testament, there naturally is nothing new or striking in the numerous New Testament references to their work. Perhaps the information of the greatest interest is found in Luke 1:5-9 to the effect that Zacharias was of the course of Abijah, the 8th of the 24 courses into which the priests were divided (compare 1 Chronicles 24:7-18), and that in these courses the priests divided their work by lot. In the Gospels the archiereis are mentioned oftener than are the hiereis, the power of the priesthood seeming to have been absorbed by a sort of priestly aristocracy. As under the political pressure of that time the office of high priest could seldom be retained until the death of the holder, there might even be several living at the same time who had for a longer or shorter time held this office which made a man the head of the nation, not only ritually, but also politically, since the high priest was ex officio presiding officer of the Sanhedrin. Not only would these ex-high priests naturally retain the title belonging to their former dignity, but probably the name had come to include as well other members of the same families or of families of equal position, so that it seems that "chief priests" is a more exact translation of archiereis than high priests. In the singular, however, the reference of archiereus is usually, if not invariably, to the individual who at the time given was holding the unique office of high priest. The word hiereus is of course employed in its ordinary signification on the rare occasions when reference is made in the New Testament to corresponding ministers of other religions, as to the priest of Zeus (Acts 14:13) and also to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1).
2. The Priesthood and High-Priesthood of Jesus Christ:
Only in Hebrews is the activity of Jesus set forth as priestly and high-priestly, but in this Epistle great emphasis is laid on these aspects of His work. Interpreters seldom distinguish between these two aspects of His work, and it is plain that sometimes at least the author himself made no effort sharply to distinguish them. But certain considerations make it probable that they were not really confused or combined in the mind of the author himself. For example, it is to be noted that the priesthood of Jesus is declared to be after the order of Melchizedek, and consequently radically unlike that of the Levitical priests. On the other hand, the Aaronic high-priesthood is regarded as having been analogous to that of Jesus, so that in spite of its inferiority, comparison is frequently made with it. It is readily seen that the work of the high priest, both because of his entry into the Most Holy Place and because he bore the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment for a memorial before Yahweh continually, far more suitably than that of the ordinary priests typified the atoning and intercessory work of Jesus (Exodus 28:12, 15).
Attempting then to treat separately the priestly and high-priestly functions of Jesus, we note that most of what is said of the priestly functions is involved in the declaration that He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, and this thought is handled in Hebrews 7 in such a way as to make plain the superiority of a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, and thus to confirm the superiority of Christianity over Judaism, the great theme of the book. Historically, the blessing bestowed upon Abraham and the reception of tithes from him prove the superiority of Melchizedek to Levi, and still more to the priestly descendants of Levi (7:4-10). Further, Jesus became priest not on the ground of a "carnal commandment," i.e. in an order based on descent and inheritance, but by "the power of an endless life" (7:16), of which fact Melchizedek reminds us, since Scripture is silent alike as to his birth and his death. Again, unlike the Levitical priests, Christ is inducted into His office by the oath of God (7:20, 21; compare Psalm 110:4). Finally, while the priests of the Levitical line were hindered from permanence in office by their death, Jesus holds His priesthood untransmitted and untransmissible (7:23, 14). This discussion of the priesthood of Christ "after the order of Melchizedek" occupies almost all of Hebrews 7, but at 7:26 His high-priesthood is suddenly introduced, and after that point, while His work is more than once contrasted with that of the temple priests (8:4, 5; 9:06; 10:11), no further reference is in any way made to Melchizedek.
After having twice merely given the title of high priest to Jesus (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 3:1), the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews at 4:14 begins a statement of the resemblance between Jesus and the Jewish high priest, such "as was Aaron," finding the resemblance to reside
(1) in His divine appointment to His work (5:4, 5), (2) in His experience of suffering (5:7, 8; compare 4:15; 5:2), and (3) in His saving work suggested by the sacrificial activity of the ordinary high priest (5:9), which, however, it far transcends in value and effect. But
(4) later the work of the high priest and that of Jesus are contrasted as to place where done, the high priest going into the second tabernacle, i.e. the Holy of Holies (9:7), while Christ passes through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, "heaven itself" (9:11, 24). A similar contrast is
(5) drawn between the sacrifices respectively offered, the ancient sacrifices being the blood of goats and calves (9:12), Christ's being "himself" (9:14), "his own blood" (9:12), "the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God" (9:14). The author also accepts and urges without argument or even explanation
(6) the truly sacrificial character of this self-immolation of Jesus. Nor is this fact nullified by the emphasis which once is laid on doing God's will in an antithesis copied from the Psalm (10:5-9; compare Psalm 40:6;), for here the contrast drawn is not between sacrifice on one side and obedience on the other, but rather between the sacrifice of animals dying involuntarily and wholly unconscious of the sacrificial significance of their death, and the offering of Himself on the part of Jesus in intelligent purpose to carry out the will of God, by which will the body of Jesus Christ is the only acceptable offering (Hebrews 10:10). Further the author urges
(7) the actual effectiveness of Christ's work, his argument being that it would already have been repeatedly performed if this single offering had not been sufficient for all time, "once for all" (Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:26). Finally is asserted
(8) the intercessory work of Christ, which, though not explained, seems to be a figurative presentation of his idea that men are blessed because Christ died, i.e. that this was an indispensable condition of God's manifestation of His merciful love, and that the grace consequent on the death of Christ does not merely grow out of a fact, but that the divine love and providence for believers are exercised, neither automatically or impersonally, but in virtue of a constant personal sympathy for varying temptations and needs, a sympathy intensified by the earthly experience, temptation, suffering of Him who had been and is, not only the Divine Son, but also the Son of Man. Thus, the salvation of the believer is certain and complete, and the priestly and high-priestly work of Jesus reaches its consummation.
3. The Priesthood of Believers:
The priesthood of believers is an idea which finds formal expression less frequently in the New Testament than has been the case in Protestant theology. But it does not follow that there has been a corresponding divergence from the thought of the apostles. It only shows that a thought which according to apostolic conception was one of the invariable privileges of every Christian, and which found, if not constant, yet sufficiently clear expression in this figurative fashion, has come, in consequence of errors which have developed, to receive in the controversies of later centuries stronger emphasis than it did at first. It may well be noted first that this conception of the priesthood of believers, standing by itself, is in no way related to the various priestly activities which are also figuratively attributed to them. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who does not speak of the priesthood of believers, knowing no Christian priesthood but that of Jesus Himself, yet calls "praise," "to do good and to communicate," sacrifices (13:15, 16). So Paul bids the Romans present their bodies "a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1), and Peter calls Christians "a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices" (1 Peter 2:5). But this figurative usage is entirely distinct from the subject of the present paragraph. Also the conception of the Christian priesthood never in the New Testament attaches itself merely to the ministry of the Christian church, whatever may be held as to its orders or tasks. In no sense has the church or any church an official priesthood. Nor is it any part of the New Testament conception of the priesthood of believers that any individual should act in any respect for any other. Though the intercessory supplication of believers in behalf of other persons has of late often been represented as a priestly act, as being, indeed, that activity which is essential to any real priesthood of believers, the New Testament thought is quite different, and is to be thus conceived: In ancient times it was held that men in general could not have direct access to God, that any approach to Him must be mediated by some member of the class of priests, who alone could approach God, and who must accordingly be employed by other men to represent them before Him. This whole conception vanishes in the light of Christianity. By virtue of their relation to Christ all believers have direct approach to God, and consequently, as this right of approach was formerly a priestly privilege, priesthood may now be predicated of every Christian. That none needs another to intervene between his soul and God; that none can thus intervene for another; that every soul may and must stand for itself in personal relation with God-such are the simple elements of the New Testament doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. (Consult treatises on New Testament theology, and commentaries on the Epistle to the Hebrews.)
David Foster Estes
QUOTATIONS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Limitation of the Discussion
II. CONSTRUCTIVE PRINCIPLES OF NEW TESTAMENT QUOTATION
1. Unity of the Two Dispensations
2. Biblical Movement Planned from the Beginning
3. The Old Testament Accepted as Authoritative
4. Issue Involved in Foregoing Principles of Reference
III. TYPICAL INSTANCES OF NEW TESTAMENT QUOTATION
1. Introductory Formulas
2. Unity of the Two Dispensations
3. Prevision of Christianity in the Old Testament
4. Argumentative Quotations
5. Catena of Passages, Illustrating Principles of Quotation
Limitation of the Discussion:
There are, all told, approximately 300 direct quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament. The presence of so many citations, each of one of which involves an interpretation of the passage given a new context in quotation, opens many avenues of discussion and propounds many difficult and far-reaching problems. In every separate instance, in the long list of New Testament quotations, the principle of accommodation (see ACCOMMODATION) in some form is involved and, consequently, the question of historical and exegetical accuracy is unavoidably raised. In the present article we shall concentrate attention upon that which is of far greater importance than the question whether the writer is incidentally correct, according to modern scientific principles, in any specific citation. This more important and vital issue we take to be the general, guiding principles adopted by the New Testament writers in their use of the book of the older covenant. A review of these principles, together with certain outstanding and typical instances in which these principles are used and applied, will form the substance of the discussion.
II. Constructive Principles of New Testament Quotation.
1. Unity of the Two Dispensations:
In the first place, the New Testament writers regard the Christian religion as having its roots in the Old Testament. From the call of Abraham to the founding and expansion of the Christian church the men of the New Testament recognize a single organic movement. In their use of the ancient oracles in new setting they constantly and confidently rely upon the unity of the two dispensations, that recorded in the Old Testament and that in which they themselves were participants. Such a unity, taking for granted its existence, would remove to a degree the very distinction implied in the terms Old and New Testaments, and would involve a definite and organic relationship of all the books to each other. There are no longer two separate groups of books standing apart from each other and having bonds of union only within the group, but, on the contrary, two related sub-groups outwardly corresponding to contrasted phases of the historical movement, but inwardly conformed to the deep-lying principles which make the entire movement one. According to this idea the Book of Genesis is as really related to the Gospel of Matthew as it is to the Book of Exodus. On the surface, and historically speaking, the Book of Genesis leads immediately to the Book of Exodus, which is its companion volume and complement, but go more deeply into Genesis and just as really and just as directly it leads to Matthew, which is also its fellow and complement. And so throughout. The unifying medium is, of course, the history which is one in that it involves the same organic principles applied to successive areas of human experience. The books of the Bible are, therefore, like any group of books on a common subject, phases of each other, contrasted and yet intimately cognate. In quoting from the Old Testament the New Testament writers were simply obeying an impulse common to all thoughtful writers and accounting for all quotations, seeking for diversified expression of the same truths.
2. Biblical Movement Planned from the Beginning:
The second great constructive principle of New Testament quotation, and manifestly in close harmony with the first one, is that the movement from Abraham to Christ was not only organically one, but that it was from the beginning planned and prepared for. The Bible is one because the history out of which it grew is one. The history is one because God is in the history and God is one. According to the writers of the New Testament in this history as a whole we have the unfolding of an all-embracing plan of God, stretching out into the remotest future and coming to its culmination in the person and the kingdom of the Messiah. They maintain also that this plan was disclosed in part beforehand, by way of anticipation and preparation, in order that men might intelligently cooperate with God in the fulfillment of His purpose. This is the idea involved in prophecy and its fulfillment, and in the closely related idea of promise and its realization. One mind, one will, and one central purpose are operating throughout the entire history which is, on the divine side, the fulfillment of a plan complete in thought before it takes shape in events. On the basis of this conception, of the foreseen plan of God and its gradual revelation to men through messages of hope and warning set in the key of the great future and pointing the way thither, the greater part of the structure of New Testament quotation is reared.
3. The Old Testament Accepted as Authoritative:
A third principle which really involves a combination of the other two and is prominently brought forward in the use of quotation for purposes of argument is the recognition and acceptance of the Old Testament as authoritative, a real Word of God, in form occasional, but essentially applicable to all experiences, and hence, good for all time. It is evident that the belief in the continued authority of the Scripture of the old covenant over the men of the new, rests upon the unity of the two dispensations and the acceptance of the same divine mind and will as operating throughout all outward and historical changes. This is admirably expressed by Paul when he speaks of `the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him unto an economy of the fullness of the periods, to sum up all things in Christ' (Ephesians 1:9, 10), and by the author of He when he says: `God, having of old spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by various portions and in various ways, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son' (Ephesians 1:1, 2).
4. Issue Involved in Foregoing Principles of Reference:
The justification of these accepted principles of reference on the part of the New Testament writers lies beyond the scope of the present discussion. It is sufficient to emphasize the fact that any detailed discussion of New Testament quotations seriatim is meaningless and futile except upon the basis of an explicit and consistent determination of these antecedent questions. To the present writer the validity of these principles is beyond question. The denial of any one of the three involves one in difficulties of interpretation, both critical and historical, from which there is no escape. It is to be noted, therefore, that the establishment of the principles, in accordance with which the New Testament writers quote, carries with it in a general way the justification of their usage.
III. Typical Instances of New Testament Quotation.
1. Introductory Formulas:
With these constructive principles in mind we are prepared to pass in review typical instances in which general principles are embodied. At this point we shall be greatly assisted in the analysis and distribution of the complex material before us by giving careful heed to the formulas, more or less fixed and uniform, by which the writers introduce quotations and indicate their sense of the value and significance of that which is quoted. While these formulas exhibit certain verbal variations, they are practically reducible to three, which correspond with substantial accuracy to the three constructive principles already noted: the unity of the Old Testament and New Testament; the prevision of the New Testament in the Old Testament; the authority of the Old Testament as the Word of God intended for all time.
2. Unity of the Two Dispensations:
The unity of the two dispensations is asserted in all those passages introduced by a formula, in which fulfillment is asserted as a fact, and in which the operation of identical principles in two or more separate events in the field of history is implied. A suggestive example is in Matthew 13:14, where our Lord asserts, in connection with the parable of the Sower, that in the unbelief of the people of His day "the prophecy of Isaiah" is fulfilled. The prophetic words here quoted (Isaiah 6:9, 10) are not predictive in any immediate sense, but are susceptible of repeated application and realization because of the general principle which they contain. They apply to the prophet's own day; they also apply-and in that sense are fulfilled-to the time of Jesus, and by a legitimate extension of meaning, to stubborn unbelief in any age (compare John 6:45).
Another passage in which the same formula is used in a very exceptional way clearly sets forth the fundamental principle upon which this usage rests. James 2:23 asserts that the justification of Abraham in the offering of Isaac "fulfilled" the passage which affirms that his belief was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). This passage is not predictive in any sense, nor is there in the narrative any hint of a connection between the passage and the episode on Mt. Moriah. This use of the formula of fulfillment by James involves the principle that any event which realizes the meaning and truth of a Scriptural statement fulfils it. A vast number of quotations in the New Testament come under this head. Persons, events, doctrines, illustrate and confirm, or embody and concretely realize, principles which are taught in the Old Testament or implied in its history. We are warned by this passage and many others like it against a too rigid and literal interpretation of any formula implying fulfillment. While it may certainly be intended to imply literal prediction and an equally literal fulfillment, it may, on the contrary, be intended to intimate nothing more than a harmony of principle, fitting the passage to the person or event with which it is connected. In this connection it is to be remembered that a harmony of principle may extend all the way from a comparatively superficial illustrative resemblance to a profound assonance of thought. Not a few Old Testament quotations were made for purposes of illustration and literary embellishment. Herein lies the significance of Matthew's use (Matthew 2:17 f) of Jeremiah 31:15. A glance at this quoted passage indicates that it is a figurative and poetic expression in which Rachel (already for many years in her tomb) is represented as weeping for her exiled children and refusing to be comforted except by their return. There is no strictly predictive element in the passage, save only the promise of return, which is not used by Matthew. Its applicability to the massacre of the children of Bethlehem lies in its poetical appositeness, and there alone. Once again the voice of wailing motherhood is heard in Israel. The tender and beautiful imagery is applicable in this sense and is used with true insight, but with no intention of justifying a claim of prediction and fulfillment in the literal sense.
3. Prevision of Christianity in the Old Testament:
The prevision of events in the life of Jesus and in the history of Christianity is involved in all the quotations in which a necessary connection between the passage as predictive and the event is asserted, or in which a prophet is said to have been speaking or writing concerning the event or person in question. An examination of the Old Testament without reference to its use in the New Testament seems to justify the conclusion that its bearing upon the future may be particularized under four heads, which in turn, with sufficient accuracy and exhaustiveness will classify the pertinent New Testament quotations.
(1) The prophetic teaching of Israel embodied not only in the messages of the prophets, but also in laws, institutions, and rites, has a twofold dispensational application. Reference is made here only to those explicit references to a future era of especial blessing. For example, in Acts 2:17 ff; Peter interprets the Pentecostal experience in the terms of prophecy, referring to Joel (2:28;), who promises an outpouring of God's Spirit in a "great and notable day" of the Lord. The promise through Joel is an undeniable prediction (every promise is such), which in a measure would be fulfilled in any exceptional manifestation of God's Spirit among men. The only question which can possibly be raised in connection with Peter's use of this passage is whether the Pentecostal outpouring was the climactic realization of the promise: that is, the establishment of the era of blessing foretold by the prophet. Later in the same book (3:20-26) the same apostle sweeps the whole field of prophecy as centering in certain promises fulfilled in Christ and the Christian community.
He gives two instances: the prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15) and the promised inclusive blessing through Abraham (Genesis 12:3). He also includes (Acts 3:26) a hint of the Servant passages of Isaiah. This identification of the New Testament movement through two specific predictive promises is wholly justified by the prophetic character of Jesus, the range and richness of the blessings brought from Abraham through Him, and by the fact elsewhere emphasized that no other has measured up to the standard of the ideal servant. Negatively, it may be urged that if these promises were not fulfilled in Christ, history affords no possibility of discovering any fulfillment measurably adequate, either in the past or future. In Hebrews 8:8-12 reference is made to the promise of a new covenant in Jeremiah (31:31;) as a justification for believing that the Old Testament dispensation was not complete in itself and that in its very constitution it pointed forward to Christianity as its fulfillment. Combining this passage with that quoted above (Acts 2:17) taken from Joel, the strength of the case for this use of the Old Testament is at once seen. Distinctively Jeremiah's "new covenant" was to be inward and gracious rather than outward and legal. The promise through Joel is an awakening of prophecy through the free outpouring of God's Spirit. The distinctive feature of the gospel is its idea of justification by faith, through grace revealed in Christ and imparted by the Holy Spirit given according to promise at Pentecost. The "new covenant" foretold by Jeremiah was established at Pentecost through the outpouring of the Spirit promised through Joel. To deny this as fulfillment is to nullify the meaning of Christian history and to erase both promises from the page of credible prophecy.
(2) Contemporary persons or institutions are sometimes interpreted, not in the terms of present actuality, but on the basis of the ideal not revealed or realized until the coming of Christ. One striking example of this method is to be found in the so-called "Immanuel passage" (Matthew 1:23, quoting Isaiah 7:14). Undoubtedly the message of the prophet to Ahaz had an immediate and contemporary significance. But, like many another notable prophetic message it is set in the key of the Messianic King whose unworthy predecessor Ahaz was. "The Messiah comes, but the willfulness of Ahaz has rendered His reign impossible" (G. A. Smith, "Isaiah," Expositor's Bible, I, 134).
In Acts 2:24-36, passages representative of many others quoted, both the resurrection and ascension of Jesus are interpreted in the light of two quotations from the Psalms (16:8;; 110:1) as predetermined and therefore certain events in the plan and purpose of God. In both instances the argument is that the promises nominally made to David, or claimed by him, were couched in terms too vast to find fulfillment in his own experience, but were spoken of the greater King who was to come and in whose experience alone they were realized. In the former instance, a triumph over death was anticipated with assurance which not the Psalmist but only Christ attained; in the latter a royal ascendancy was promised that only Christ's ascension to the place of power could satisfy. An examination of the passages shows that Peter's interpretation is justified not merely by the wording of the promises, which point to a fullness of experience not realized by any Old Testament man, but still more clearly by the descriptive titles which identify the person who is the subject of the experience. In the first instance he is spoken of as Yahweh's "Holy One," in the second as "My Lord." The triumph over death which the speaker anticipates is grounded in a unity of purpose and will with God-a holiness which was ideal and still unrealized until Christ came. The logic of the psalm is: God's "Holy One" must not see corruption. The logic of history is: Christ is God's Holy One and He did not see corruption. The principle that triumph over death is the logical issue of holiness found its justification and proof not directly in the experience of the singer who first glimpsed it as a truth, but in the career of Christ who first realized it as a fact.
NOTE-The argument here is not affected if one accepts the variant reading "Holy Ones" for the preceding passage.
The second passage is particularly interesting because our Lord Himself first pointed out its implications as to the place and work of the Messiah. Such a passage as this entire psalm (Psalm 110) would have been impossible had not the powers and responsibilities of the Davidic King been keyed from the beginning at the Messianic level. The logic here is the same as in Psalm 16. The Messianic kingdom over all nations awaited the coming of the true Messianic King. The long-delayed triumph followed hard upon the coming of the long-expected King (compare Psalm 2:1, 2 Acts 13:32-34).
The same principle is involved in our Lord's use of the Servant passage (Isaiah 61:1) in His sermon at Nazareth. Here the issue as to Messianic prophecy is fairly joined at the center. It is central because it occurs in the Lord's own teaching and also because it concerns, not any external or incidental happenings in the life of Jesus, but the whole trend and movement of prophetic thought, together with the entire meaning and interpretation of His career.
Interpreted altogether apart from the New Testament, the passage has an unmistakable bearing upon the future. As one of the series concerned with the Servant (Isaiah 42:1), the quoted passage focuses attention upon the mission of Israel to the world, still to be carried out. "Ye are my witnesses, saith Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 43:10), "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 44:1). It also involves the entire scope and meaning of the prophetic office through which Yahweh's will was made known to Israel and through Israel to the world. Both these considerations sweep out into the prophet's future and both point unerringly to Christ as the historical fulfillment of Israel's mission and as the actual realization of the ideal and ministry of prophethood. The very ambiguity of the reference in this chapter (Isaiah 61), whether to the Servant or to the prophet, and the questions raised as to whether Israel idealized is referred to or some person or personification, serve to make more clear and unmistakable the central fact that only in Christ is the conception embodied in the entire series of passages altogether realized. It thus becomes for sober thought a distinct revelation and portraiture in advance of what Jesus was in His person and work.
(3) In the course of Israel's training to receive the Messiah, certain external items were given as bearing upon the identification of Him when He should come. We shall instance three items, closely related to each other, and each intensely interesting in itself. These three items are
(a) His sonship to David (Acts 2:30, 31),
(b) His birth from a Virgin (Matthew 1:22 f),
(c) His birth at Bethlehem (Matthew 2:5).
Objection is offered at once to the interpretation of these Old Testament passages as predictive, and to the alleged fulfillments in the life of Jesus, on the ground mainly that being definite events (compare Matthew 2:15) they are not included within the legitimate scope of prediction; and, secondarily, that being items of this external kind it would be an easy matter to invent fulfillments. It may be granted at once that incidents of this kind could be indefinitely multiplied by fabricating coincidences, but the fact remains that, in the absence of any visible check upon invention, very few such instances are alleged by New Testament writers. Furthermore, there are suggestive variations between the events recorded and the natural interpretations of the Old Testament passages connected with them; that is, the fuifilments arrive by such devious routes as to make it difficult to suppose them to be due to the imaginative stimulation of the passages. For example, the birth at Bethlehem was brought about by circumstances not at all to the liking of Jewish patriots; and was obscured to contemporaries by the previous and subsequent residence at Nazareth. The kinship of Jesus to the house of David was made adoptive (unless Mary was of that house) by the virgin birth. The interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 as intimating a virgin birth was not compulsory to one familiar with the Hebrew text of the passage and would have been thought of in that connection only by one assured of the fact. The virgin birth (see IMMANUEL; VIRGIN BIRTH) is not an etymological but a providential commentary on Isaiah 7:14. One other consideration of primary importance remains. In the one point where the identification of Jesus with the Messiah by His followers can be tested most severely, they are most completely triumphant. It would be comparatively easy to invent incidents suggested by Old Testament prophecies, and to take dignities and titles wholesale from the same source-but given all these, to find one capable of realizing and fulfilling the expectations so aroused is the chief problem. Here fabrication is impossible. And here too the New Testament meets and answers the challenge of truth. In view of these considerations it is safe to assert that even in matters of historical detail the career of Jesus was foreseen and predicted. Such passages belong to the philosophy of preparation as a whole and should be studied in that connection.
(4) In certain instances the original passage and its reappearance in quotation indicate a process New Testament which is continuous throughout all history. For example, the use of Zechariah 13:7 (Mark 14:27) suggests a deeper view of the connection between prophecy and history, immediate and more remote, than we are often aware of. On the face of them such passages as those concerning the Smitten Shepherd and the scattered sheep are predictions, and the life of Christ stands as fulfillment. It simply cannot be contended that such passages as these do not find fulfillment and explanation in the career of Jesus as nowhere else in the history. Nevertheless, the connection is far deeper than mere foresight of an isolated event and its occurrence. We may well say that, in a sense, the event is foreseen because it is already a fact. The allegory of the Smitten Shepherd is, as has well been said, "a summary of the history of Israel." But it is more than that. The relationship of God with Israel, which involved a dealing of divine grace with men, their rejection of it and the consequent vicarious immolation of the Divine Friend and Shepherd, which came to its climax in the tragedy of the cross, was established in all essential factors in the early days. Therefore, Christ can say, as the outcome of the profoundest insight into the meaning of history, `That which concerneth me hath fulfillment' (compare Luke 24:44). He was more deeply concerned in the doings of an earlier time than being there foreseen. In a real sense, "the Lamb" was "slain from the foundation of the world," (Revelation 13:8). In this allegory of the rejected Shepherd and in the successive delineations of the Servant passages, we have the portrait of the Christ as He was-not merely as He was to be. In these quotations deep answers to deep. The only satisfactory interpretation of the tragedy of the cross is that in accordance with principles long operative in human history, "it must needs be." The only satisfactory interpretation of the passages cited is that they disclose the actual operation of the forces which in their culmination issued in the tragedy of the cross. This brings the passages in the original and in quotation into the framework of the same course of events. Peter in his sermon in Solomon's porch thus sums up the whole process: "But the things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled" (Acts 3:18).
4. Argumentative Quotations:
The argumentative use of the Old Testament involves exactly the same principles which have been dealt with in the foregoing discussion. These principles coalesce in the conception of the Old Testament as authoritative.
(1) Throughout the New Testament, in the teaching of our Lord Himself and in the apostolic writings, a clear-cut distinction is drawn between the temporary and permanent offices of the Old Testament. It is recognized that in essential principles the Old Testament is for all time, while in its outward form and in its actualization of underlying and essential truths it is preliminary and preparatory. There are different dispensations, but one economy. Whenever our Lord uses the Old Testament for purposes of argument (see Matthew 4:4, 7; Matthew 12:17 ff;; 19:18; Mark 10:19 Luke 19:46) it is on the basis of essential truth which is permanent and unchanging (Matthew 5:17-19). On the other hand, He never hesitates to annul that which had a merely temporary or preliminary value (Matthew 5:21, 33, 38; compare by way of contrast Matthew 5:27). He came not to destroy, but to fulfil, but fulfillment implies a new era-a new and higher stage in the delivery of truth.
(2) In like manner Paul and the other New Testament writers argue on the basis of an identity of principle which binds the two eras together. Paul contends for three great principles, the Messiahship of Jesus, justification by faith, the inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of salvation (the doctrine of election is a detail of this last argument; see Romans 9:7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17). We shall consider typical examples of Paul's use of the Old Testament in argumentation. Choice has been made of those which have provoked adverse criticism. Among these is the use of Genesis 13:15; Genesis 17:8 in Galatians 3:16. This is a leading example of Paul's alleged "rabbinical" method: "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." The Hebrew word "seed" as applied to offspring (zera`) is singular. This, of course, means that a man's descendants are looked upon as organically one, inasmuch as they continue his life. The word would apply to any one of the family, but only by virtue of his belonging to the family. Etymologically Paul's argument would apply to Isaac as well as to Jesus-provided only the promise is looked upon as being fulfilled in him. But the promise which was fulfilled in Isaac, was fulfilled in a larger way in Israel as a whole, and was fulfilled in the largest way of all in Christ. The use of the singular word indicates that Abraham's children were looked upon as one in him-they are also one in Christ. The true children of Abraham are such in Christ. Historically the argument is fully justified. "The personality of Christ is in some sense coextensive with the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham" (Beet). "Christ is the organ of fulfillment" (Meyer).
The classical passage in the discussion of justification based upon an Old Testament quotation is Romans 1:17, quoting Habakkuk 2:4. The quoted passage seems to fail the argument because the literal translation would appear to be that "the righteous shall live by their faithfulness." A deeper view, however, amply justifies the quotation; first, because the stedfasthess demanded by the prophet is a persistent trust in God in view of the delay of the promised vision; second, the deepest principle common to the Old Testament and New Testament is that stability of character has its root in trust in Yahweh (Isaiah 28:16; compare Isaiah 26:1-3). Nothing could be more foreign to the thought of the Old Testament than that a man could be righteous without trust in God.
One further quotation argumentatively used by Paul may fitly close this section of our discussion. In Romans 11:26, 27 he quotes Isaiah 59:20, 21 as indicating the divine purpose to include the Gentiles within the scope of salvation. This passage is doubly significant because it is attacked by Kuenen (Prophets and Prophecy in Israel) on the ground that it is uncritically taken from the Septuagint version which in this instance does not correctly represent the Hebrew text. It may be remarked that a large percentage of the New Testament quotations are taken from the Septuagint.
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SACRIFICE, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
I. TERMS OF SACRIFICE EPITOMIZED
II. ATTITUDE OF JESUS AND NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS TO THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
1. Jesus' Attitude
2. Paul's Attitude
3. Attitude of the Author of Hebrews
III. THE SACRIFICIAL IDEA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. Teaching of John the Baptist
2. Teaching of Jesus
3. Teaching of Peter
4. Paul's Teaching
5. Teaching of Hebrews
6. Johannine Teaching
IV. RELATION OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE TO MAN'S SALVATION
1. Redemption or Deliverance from Curse of Sin
3. Remission of Sins
4. The Cancellation of Guilt
5. Justification or Right Standing with God
6. Cleansing or Sanctification
V. HOW CHRIST'S SACRIFICE PROCURES SALVATION
1. Jesus' Teaching
2. Paul's Teaching
3. Teaching of Hebrews
4. Petrine and Johannine Teaching
VI. RATIONALE OF THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE
1. Jesus' Teaching
2. Paul's Teaching
3. The Teaching in Hebrews
VII. THE HUMAN CONDITIONS OF APPLICATION
1. Universal in Objective Potentiality
2. Efficacious When Subjectively Applied
VIII. THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE THE LIFE OF SACRIFICE
1. Consequence of Christ's Sacrifice
2. Christ's Death the Appeal for Christian's Sacrifice
3. Necessary to Fill Out Christ's Sacrifice
4. Content of the Christian's Sacrifice
5. The Supper as a Sacrifice
I. Terms of Sacrifice Epitomized.
The word "offering" (prosphora) describes the death of Christ, once in Paul (Ephesians 5:2); 5 times in Hebrews (Hebrews 10:5, 8, 10, 14, 18). The verb prosphero, "to offer," is also used, 15 times in Hebrews (Hebrews 5:1, 3; Hebrews 8:3, 4; 9:7, 14, 25, 28; 10:1, 8, 11, 12; 11:4). The noun prosphora occurs 15 times in the Septuagint, usually as the translation of minchah, "sacrifice." This noun in the New Testament refers to Old Testament sacrifices in Acts 7:42; Acts 21:26; to the offering of money in Acts 24:17 Romans 15:16. The verb anaphero, also occurs 3 times in Hebrews (7:27; 9:28; 13:15); also in 1 Peter 2:5.
The word "sacrifice" (thusia in the Septuagint translates 8 different Hebrew words for various kinds of sacrifice, occurring about 350 times) refers to Christ's death, once in Paul (Ephesians 5:2) 5 times in Hebrew (5:1; 9:23, 26; 10:12, 26). It refers several times to Old Testament sacrifice and 5 times to Christian living or giving (Philippians 2:17; Philippians 4:18 Hebrews 13:15, 16 1 Peter 2:5). The verb "to sacrifice" (thuo) is used once by Paul to describe Christ's death (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The blood (haima) of Christ is said to secure redemption or salvation, 6 times in Paul (Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9 1 Corinthians 10:16 Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13 Colossians 1:20); 3 times in Hebrews (9:12, 14; 10:19; compare also 10:29); 2 times in 1 Peter (1:2, 19) and 5 times in the Johannine writings (1 John 1:7; 1 John 5:6, 8 Revelation 1:5). Unmistakably this figure of the blood refers to Christ's sacrificial death. "In any case the phrase (en to autou haimati, `in his blood,' Romans 3:25) carries with it the idea of sacrificial blood-shedding" (Sanday, Commentary on Epistle to Romans, 91).
(lutron, "ransom," the price paid for redeeming, occurring in Septuagint 19 times, meaning the price paid for redeeming the servant (Leviticus 25:51, 52); ransom for first-born (Numbers 3:46); ransom for the life of the owner of the goring ox (Exodus 21:30, etc.)) occurs in the New Testament only twice (Matthew 20:28 Mark 10:45). This word is used by Jesus to signify the culmination of His sacrificial life in His sacrificial death.
(antilutron, "ransom," a word not found in Septuagint, stronger in meaning than the preceding word) occurs only once in the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:6).
(apolutrosis, "redemption," in Exodus 21:8, meaning the ransom paid by a father to redeem his daughter from a cruel master) signifies
(1) deliverance from sin by Christ's death, 5 times in Paul (Romans 3:24 1 Corinthians 1:30 Ephesians 1:7, 14 Colossians 1:14); once in Hebrews (9:15);
(2) general deliverance, twice (Luke 21:28 Hebrews 11:35);
(3) the Christian's final deliverance, physical and spiritual (Romans 8:23 Ephesians 4:30).
The simple word (lutrosis, "redemption," 10 times in Septuagint as the translation of 5 Hebrew words) occurs once for spiritual deliverance (Hebrews 9:12).
(exagorazo, "redeem," only once in Septuagint, Daniel 2:8) in the New Testament means
(1) to deliver from the curse of the law, twice by Paul (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5);
(2) to use time wisely, twice by Paul (Ephesians 5:16 Colossians 4:5).
The simple verb (agorazo, meaning in Leviticus 27:19 to redeem land) occurs twice in Paul (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23) and means "to redeem" (in a spiritual sense). katallage, "reconciliation," only twice in the Septuagint) means the relation to God into which men are brought by Christ's death, 4 times by Paul (Romans 5:11; Romans 11:15 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).
(katallassein, "to reconcile," 4 times in Septuagint (3 times in 2 Maccabees)) means to bring men into the state of reconciliation with God, 5 times in Paul (Romans 5:10 twice; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19, 20).
The words with the propitiatory idea occur as follows: (hilaskomai, "to propitiate," 12 times in the Septuagint, translated "to forgive") occurs twice (Luke 18:13 Hebrews 2:17); (hilasmos, 9 times in Septuagint, Numbers 5:8 Psalm 129 (130):4, etc.; "atonement," "forgiveness") occurs twice in 1 John (2:2; 4:10); (hilasterion, 24 times in the Septuagint, translates "mercy-seat," where God was gracious and spake to man) translates in the New Testament "propitiation" (Romans 3:25), "mercy-seat" (Hebrews 9:5).
Christ is called "the Lamb," amnos, twice by the Baptist (John 1:29, 36); once by Philip applied to Christ from Isaiah 53:7 (Acts 8:32); and once by Peter (1 Peter 1:19); arnion, 28 times in Re (5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 10, 14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, 14, 22, 23, 27; 22:1, 3).
The cross (stauros) is used by Paul 10 times to describe the sacrificial death of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:17, 18 Galatians 5:11; Galatians 6:12, 14 Ephesians 2:16 Philippians 2:8; Philippians 3:18 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 2:14) and once by the author of Hebrews (12:2). Jesus also 5 times used the figure of the cross to define the life of sacrifice demanded of His disciples and to make His own cross the symbol of sacrifice (Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24 Mark 8:34 Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27, with contexts; compare John 3:14; John 12:32, etc.).
Though it is not our province in this article to discuss the origin and history of sacrifice in the ethnic religions, it must be noted that sacrifice has been a chief element in almost every religion (Jainism and Buddhism being the principal exceptions). The bloody sacrifice, where the idea of propitiation is prominent, is well-nigh universal in the ethnic religions, being found among even the most enlightened peoples like the Greeks and Romans (see article "Expiation and Atonement" in ERE). Whether or not the system of animal sacrifices would have ceased not only in Judaism but also in all the ethnic religions, had not Jesus lived and taught and died, is a question of pure speculation. It must be conceded that the sect of the Jews (Essenes) attaining to the highest ethical standard and living the most unselfish lives of brotherhood and benevolence did not believe in animal sacrifices. But they exerted small influence over the Jewish nation as compared with the Pharisees. It is also to be noted that the prophets Amos, Hosea, Micah and Isaiah exalted the ethical far above the ceremonial; even denounced the sacrifice of animals if not accompanied by personal devotion to righteousness (Amos 5:21 Hosea 6:6 Micah 6:6 Isaiah 1:11). The Stoic and Platonic philosophers also attacked the system of animal sacrifices. But these exceptions only accentuate the historical fact that man's sense of the necessity of sacrifice to Deity is well-nigh universal. Only the sacrifice of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem caused a cessation of the daily, weekly, monthly and annual sacrifices among the Jews, and only the knowledge of Christ's sacrifice of Himself will finally destroy the last vestige of animal sacrifice.
II. Attitude of Jesus and New Testament Writers to the Old Testament Sacrificial System.
1. Jesus' Attitude:
Jesus never attacks the sacrificial system. He even takes for granted that the Jews should offer sacrifices (Matthew 5:24). More than that, He accepted the whole sacrificial system, a part of the Old Testament scheme, as of divine origin, and so He commanded the cleansed leper to offer the sacrifice prescribed in the Mosaic code (Matthew 8:4). There is no record that Jesus Himself ever worshipped by offering the regular sacrifices. But He worshipped in the temple, never attacking the sacrificial system as He did the oral law (Mark 7:6). On the other hand, Jesus undermined the sacrificial system by teaching that the ethical transcends the ceremonial, not only as a general principle, but also in the act of worship (Matthew 5:23, 24). He endorses Hosea's fine ethical epigram, `God will have mercy and not sacrifice' (Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7). He also commends as near the kingdom the scribe who put love to God and man above sacrifice (Mark 12:33). But Jesus teaches not merely the inferiority of sacrifice to the moral law, but also the discontinuance of sacrifice as a system, when He said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24 Matthew 26:28 Luke 22:20). Not only is the ethical superior to the ceremonial, but His sacrifice of Himself is as superior to the sacrifices of the old system as the new covenant is superior to the old.
2. Paul's Attitude:
Paul's estimate of the Jewish sacrifices is easily seen, although he does not often refer to them. Once only (Acts 21:26) after his conversion does he offer the Jewish sacrifice, and then as a matter of expediency for winning the Judaistic wing of Christianity to his universal gospel of grace. He regarded the sacrifices of the Old Testament as types of the true sacrifice which Christ made (1 Corinthians 5:7).
3. Attitude of the Author of Hebrews:
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews discusses the Old Testament sacrifices more fully than other New Testament writers. He regards the bloody sacrifices as superior to the unbloody and the yearly sacririce on the Day of Atonement by the high priest as the climax of the Old Testament system. The high priest under the old covenant was the type of Christ under the new. The sacrifices of the old covenant could not take away sin, or produce moral transformation, because of the frailties of men (10:1-11), shown by the necessity of repeating the offerings (5:2), and because God had appointed another high priest, His Son, to supplant those of the old covenant (5:5; 7:1-28). The heart of this author's teaching is that animal sacrifices cannot possibly atone for sin or produce moral transformation, since they are divinely-appointed only as a type or shadow of the one great sacrifice by Christ (8:7; 10:1).
To sum up, the New Testament writers, as well as Jesus, regarded the Old Testament sacrificial system as of divine origin and so obligatory in its day, but imperfect and only a type of Christ's sacrifice, and so to be supplanted by His perfect sacrifice.
III. The Sacrificial Idea in the New Testament.
The one central idea of New Testament writers is that the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross is the final perfect sacrifice for the atonement of sin and the salvation of men, a sacrifice typified in the various sacrifices of the Old Testament, which are in turn abrogated by the operation of the final sacrifice. Only James and Jude among New Testament writers are silent as to the sacrifice of Christ, and they write for practical purposes only.
1. Teaching of John the Baptist:
The Baptist, it is true, presents Jesus as the coming Judge in the Synoptic Gospels, but in John 1:29, 36 he refers to Him as "the Lamb of God," in the former passage adding "that taketh away the sin of the world." Westcott (Commentary on John, 20) says: "The title as applied to Christ.... conveys the ideas of vicarious suffering, of patient submission, of sacrifice, of redemption, etc." There is scarcely any doubt that the Baptist looked upon the Christ as the one who came to make the great sacrifice for man's sins. Professor Burton (Biblical Ideas of Atonement, Burton, Smith and Smith, 107) says that John sees Christ "suffering under the load of human sin." 2. Teaching of Jesus:
There are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels two unmistakable references by Jesus to His death as a sacrifice (Mark 10:45 parallel Matthew 20:28; Mark 14:24 parallel Matthew 26:28 parallel Luke 22:20; compare 1 Corinthians 11:25). In the former He declares He came to give His "life a ransom." Thayer (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament) says this word means "the price paid for redeeming." Hence, the idea in ransom must be of sacrificial significance. But if there could be any doubt as to the sacrificial import of this passage, there is a clear case of the sacrificial idea in Mark 14:24. Practically all writers of the New Testament theology, Wendt, Weiss, Stevens, Sheldon and others, hold that Jesus considered the death as the ratification sacrifice of the new covenant, just as the sacrifice offered at Sinai ratified the old covenant (Exodus 24:3-8). Ritschl and Beyschlag deny that this passage is sacrificial. But according to most exegetes, Jesus in this reference regarded His death as a sacrifice. The nature of the sacrifice, as Jesus estimated it, is in doubt and is to be discussed later. What we are pressing here is the fact that Jesus regarded His death as a sacrifice. We have to concede the meagerness of material on the sacrificial idea of His death as taught by Jesus. Yet these two references are unquestioned by literary and historical critics. They both occur in Mark, the primitive Gospel (the oldest Gospel record of Jesus' teachings). The first occurs in two of the Synoptists, the second in all three of them. Luke omits the first for reasons peculiar to his purpose. According to Luke 24:25, Jesus regarded His sufferings and death as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.
3. Teaching of Peter:
Though the head apostle does not in the early chapters of Acts refer to Christ as the sacrifice for sin, he does imply as much in 2:36 (He is Lord and Christ in spite of His crucifixion); 3:18, 19 (He fulfilled the prophecies by suffering, and by means of repentance sins are to be blotted out); 4:10-12 (only in His name is salvation) and in 5:30, 31 (through whose death Israel received remission of sins). In his First Epistle (1 Peter 1:18, 19) he expressly declares that we are redeemed by the blood of the spotless Christ, thus giving the sacrificial significance to His death. The same is implied in 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 3:18.
4. Paul's Teaching:
Paul ascribes saving efficacy to the blood of Christ in Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9 1 Corinthians 10:16; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13 Colossians 1:20. He identifies Christ with a sin offering in Romans 8:3, and perhaps also in 2 Corinthians 5:21, and with the paschal lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7. In other passages he implies that the death of Christ secured redemption, forgiveness of sins, justification and adoption (Romans 3:24-26; Romans 5:10, 11; 8:15, 17, etc.).
5. Teaching of Hebrews:
The argument of the author of Hebrews to prove the finality of Christianity is that Christ is superior to the Aaronic high priest, being a royal, eternal high priest, after the order of Melchizedek, and offering Himself as the final sacrifice for sin, and for the moral transformation of men (4:14; 10:18).
6. Johannine Teaching:
In the First Epistle of John (1 John 1:7; John 2:2; John 5:6, 8) propitiation for sin and cleansing from sin are ascribed to the blood of Christ. In Revelation 1:5 John ascribes deliverance (not washing or cleansing, according to best manuscripts) from sin, to the blood of Christ. Several times he calls Christ the Lamb, making the sacrificial idea prominent. Once he speaks of Him as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (13:8).
To sum up, all the New Testament writers, except James and Jude, refer to Christ's death as the great sacrifice for sin. Jesus Himself regarded His death as such. In the various types of New Testament teaching Christ's death is presented
(1) as the covenant sacrifice (Mark 14:24 parallel Matthew 26:28 parallel Luke 22:20 Hebrews 9:15-22);
(2) as the sin offering (Romans 8:3 2 Corinthians 5:21 Hebrews 13:11 1 Peter 3:18);
(3) as the offering of the paschal lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7);
(4) as the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 9:12).
IV. Relation of Christ's Sacrifice to Man's Salvation.
The saving benefits specified in the New Testament as resulting from the sacrificial death of Christ are as follows:
1. Redemption or Deliverance from Curse of Sin:
Redemption or deliverance from the curse of sin: This must be the implication in Jesus' words, "The Son of man also came.... to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45 parallel Matthew 20:28). Man is a captive in sin, the Father sends His Son to pay the ransom price for the deliverance of the captive, and the Son's death is the price paid. Paul also uses the words "redeemed" and "redemption" in the same sense. In the great letters he asserts that we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation.... in his blood" (Romans 3:24, 25). Here the apostle traces justification back to redemption as the means for securing it, and redemption back to the "blood" (Christ's death) as the cause of its procurement. That is, Christ's death secures redemption and redemption procures justification. In Galatians (3:13), he speaks of being redeemed "from the curse of the law." The law involved man in a curse because he could not keep it. This curse is the penalty of the broken law which the transgressor must bear, unless deliverance from said penalty is somehow secured. Paul represents Christ by His death as securing for sinners deliverance from this curse of the broken law (compare Galatians 4:5 for the same thought, though the word "curse" is not used). Paul also emphasizes the same teaching in the Captivity Epistles: "In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses" (Ephesians 1:7; compare Colossians 1:14). In the pastoral letters (1 Timothy 2:6) he teaches that Christ gave "himself a ransom for all." This is the only New Testament passage in which occurs the strong word antilutron for "ransom." In his old age the apostle feels more positively than ever before that Christ's death is the ransom price of man's deliverance from sin.
The author of Hebrews asserts that Christ by the sacrifice of Himself "obtained eternal redemption" for man (9:12). John says that Christ "loosed (luo) us from our sins by his blood" (Revelation 1:5). This idea in John is akin to that of redemption or deliverance by ransom. Peter teaches the same truth in 1 Peter 1:19. So, we see, Jesus and all the New Testament writers regard Christ's sacrifice as the procuring cause of human redemption.
The idea of reconciliation involves a personal difference between two parties. There is estrangement between God and man. Reconciliation is the restoration of favor between the two parties. Jesus does not utter any direct message on reconciliation, but implies God's repugnance at man's sin and strained relations between God and the unrepentant sinner (see Luke 18:13). He puts into the mouth of the praying tax-gatherer the words, `God be propitious to me' (see Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, hilaskomai), but Jesus nowhere asserts that His death secures the reconciliation of God to the sinner. Paul, however, does. "For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son," etc. (Romans 5:10). There can be no doubt from this passage that Paul thought of the death of Christ as the procuring cause of reconciliation. In Ephesians 2:13, 14, 18 Paul makes the cross of Christ the means of reconciliation between the hostile races of men. Paul reaches the climax in his conception of the reconciliation wrought by the cross of Christ when he asserts the unifying results of Christ's death to be cosmic in extent (Ephesians 1:10).
The author of Hebrews also implies that Christ's death secures reconciliation when he regards this death as the ratification of the "better covenant" (8:6;), and when he plays on the double meaning of the word (diatheke, 9:15;), now "covenant" and now "will," "testament." The death of Christ is necessary to secure the ratification of the new covenant which brings God and man into new relations (8:12). In 2:17 the author uses a word implying propitiation as wrought by the death of Christ. So the doctrine of reconciliation is also in the Epistle to the Hebrews. John teaches reconciliation with God through Christ our Advocate, but does not expressly connect it with His death as the procuring cause (1 John 2:1, 2). Peter is likewise silent on this point.
3. Remission of Sins:
Reconciliation implies that God can forgive; yea, has forgiven. Jesus and the New Testament writers declare the death of Christ to be the basis of God's forgiveness. Jesus in instituting the memorial supper said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). It is true Mark and Luke do not record this last phrase, "unto remission of sins." But there is no intimation that this phrase is the result of Matthew's theologizing on the purpose of Christ's death (see Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, II, 239;, who claims this phrase is not from Jesus; also Allen in "Matthew," ICC, in the place cited.). But Paul leaves no doubt as to the connection between man's forgiveness by God and Christ's sacrifice for him. This idea is rooted in the great passage on justification (Romans 3:21-5:21; see especially 4:7); is positively declared in Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:14. The author of Hebrews teaches that the shedding of Christ's blood under the new covenant is as necessary to secure forgiveness as the shedding of animal's blood under the old. John also implies that forgiveness is based on the blood (1 John 1:7-9).
4. The Cancellation of Guilt:
True reconciliation and forgiveness include the canceling of the offender's guilt. Jesus has no direct word on the cancellation of guilt. Paul closes his argument for the universality of human sin by asserting that "all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (the King James Version "guilty before God," Romans 3:19). Thayer (Greek-English Lexicon, in the place cited.) says this word "guilty" means "owing satisfaction to God" (liable to punishment by God). But in Romans 8:1, 3 Paul exclaims, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.... God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin" (the English Revised Version and the American Revised Version margin "as an offering for sin"). The guilt, or exposure of the sinner to God's wrath and so to punishment, is removed by the sin offering which Christ made. This idea is implied by the author of Hebrews (2:15), but is not expressed in Peter and John.
5. Justification or Right Standing with God:
Right standing with God is also implied in the preceding idea. Forgiving sin and canceling guilt are the negative, bringing into right standing with God the positive, aspects of the same transaction. "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin (i.e. the sin offering; so Augustine and other Fathers, Ewald, Ritschl; see Meyer, Commentary, in loc., who denies this meaning) on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). In this passage Paul makes justification the divine purpose of the sacrificial death of Christ. This thought is elaborated by the apostle in Galatians and Romans, but is not expressed by Jesus, or in Hebrews, in Peter or in John.
6. Cleansing or Sanctification:
Jesus does not connect our cleansing or sanctification with His death, but with His word (John 17:17). The substantive "cleansing" (katharismos) is not used by Paul, and the verb "to cleanse" (katharizo) occurs only twice in his later letters (Ephesians 5:26 Titus 2:14).
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