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has always and everywhere been the most natural way of composing
an unpretentious and bona fide narrative of events partially wit-
nessed by the writer; and it is such a narrative which we have
before us.

The point at which Luke's use of the first person begins, 16, 10,
seems to make it plain that he joined Paul's company at Troas; and
we know from vss. 12-17 th a t ne went on with the others to Philippi


and remained there with them. In the events narrated in vss. 18-39
Luke of course took no part, and the first person therefore could not
have been used by him. When we read " the brethren," rather than
" us," in vs. 40, it is possible to conclude that Paul and Silas left
Philippi without seeing Luke after their release from prison; but it
is quite as likely that his modesty (so abundantly attested) is the
true reason for his failure to include himself expressly. In 17, 1-20, 4
the total absence of the first person, where it might reasonably be
expected from the usage elsewhere in the document, is noticeable;
and it can hardly be accidental that it is on the return of Paul and
his party to Philippi that the author's " we " begins again to be
employed, in 20, 5 f. It is safe to conclude that Luke did not go
with the others through Macedonia and Greece, and through the
other journeyings described in 17, 1-20, 5, but remained in Phi-
lippi. This part of his account he composed on the basis of oral
information obtained from his friends. 1 From this time on, how-
ever, he seems always to have been a member of Paul's party, when-
ever the apostle was accompanied by a group of his helpers. There
was of course no opportunity or excuse for using the first person
plural in 20, 17-38. The same is true in 21, 19-26, 32, the account
of the imprisonment and trial of Paul; z only a writer with an undue
sense of his own importance would have intruded himself here, where
he played no part in the events narrated. 3 In 27, 1-28, 15 Luke
had the opportunity to tell in some detail the story of the journey to
Italy, and especially of the shipwreck; a series of happenings of
which he remembered (naturally enough !) many striking incidents.
Phraseology and literary style, as well as the close connection with

1 Judging from the scale on which the history is written where Luke was an eye-
witness, he would have given us very much more than this meager sketch of a few
pages (covering seven or eight years, at least, and including by far the most important
parts of the great missionary journeys!) if he had had personal knowledge of the events.
His information seems in fact to have been scanty and incidental.

1 Literary criticism more thoroughly unscientific than some of the current " analy-
sis " of II Acts on the basis of the occurrence of the first person plural, it would be hard
to find. See, for example, Wellhausen's Kriiische Analyse, p. 34.

1 In 24, 23 (end) we may have a hint of the historian's presence. Compare what
was said above in regard to 16, 40.


what has preceded, show plainly enough that the same writer is
composing the narrative. 1


A typical specimen of the attempts to find interpolations in the
original account is afforded by certain comments on the passage 27,
9-11. Wellhausen, Noten zur A G, 17, says of these verses: " Es
braucht nicht noch bewiesen zu werden, dass der Vers 12 hinter
V. 9-11 gar nicht zu verstehen ist, sondern unmittelbar an V. 8
anschliesst. Der Passus V. 9-11 ist mithin eine Einlage von zweiter
Hand." But by what process of divination is this conclusion
reached ? for it is only by divination, not through any scientific
process, that the thing can be done. How is it possible for any one
to know that the words of the passage do not mean what they appear
to mean ? The party arrives at KaXot Ai/icm, in Crete; Paul ad-
vises them to stay there, saying that if they proceed further (as they
obviously intend) they will suffer loss; the officers do not heed his
words, but since the harbor was not fit for wintering, decide to put
to sea in the hope of reaching Phoenix. There is no semblance of
incongruity here, unless one taxes his ingenuity to create it. And
cannot the main course of a narrative be interrupted by an episode
without arousing the suspicion of an interpolation ? Wendland,
Die hellenistisch-romische Kultur 2 , 324, after giving the substance of
verses 8, 12, and 13, proceeds: " Dazwischengeschoben ist eine
Warnung des Paulus vor Fortsetzung der Fahrt, obgleich dieseja gar
nicht bedbsichtigt war " (the italics are mine). If the wording of the
narrative makes any one thing evident, it is this, that at no time did
those in charge of the vessel have any other intention than that of a

1 Wellhausen, Krit. Analyse, 34, remarks: " Und ferner zeigen die beiden grossen
Partien, in denen das Wir sich wirklich zeigt, eine erheblich verschiedene Art, so dass
es recht zweifelhaft wird, ob in 20, 6-21, 16 der selbe Erzahler rede wie in Kap. 27."
This is an assertion which neither Wellhausen nor any one else could substantiate.
The subject matter is " erheblich verschieden," and the manner of the narrative is
affected accordingly; but this is all. As for the nautical knowledge displayed in chap.
27, one can only say that a man who could have spent as many long months on the
sea, hi many ships, as this writer, without learning at least this much, must have been
unusually stupid.


" Fortsetzung der Fahrt." Verses 7 f. show that they put in at Fair
Havens not because they wished to stop there, but because of the
unabating fury of the wind. Vs. ga (IK.O.VOV 5e xpovov diayevotJi&ov)
makes it plain that they were anxious to depart, but were still hin-
dered for a considerable time by the wind, and vs. 12 (t TTCOS
dvvaivTo) shows the same. Of course the pilot and the shipmaster
did not need IKO.VOV xpbvov in order to ascertain that the harbor was
not fit for wintering; the first glance would have shown it, even if
they had not known it all their lives. Only a very strong desire to
solve the problems believed to be present in II Acts could account
for the perverse criticism of this passage. See also Agnostos Theos,
314 Anm. i, and Preuschen's Apostelgeschichte. The objections
raised against 27, 21-26 (see e.g. Wendt, 355 f.) are equally futile
and hardly more plausible; and there are other similar cases. 1

The speech of Paul at Athens, recorded in chapter 17, has recently
been subjected to very searching criticism by Norden in his Agnostos
Theos. I have read the book with great enjoyment, rinding it im-
mensely interesting and stimulating; I am unable to see, however,
that it throws any light on the composition of the Book of Acts.

1 Certainly some of the attempted dissection of the Book of Acts is due to mis-
understanding of the mental attitude and predispositions of the narrator, and of the
readers for whom he wrote. The attempt to find, in either I Acts or II Acts, at least
one writer who thought and narrated after the manner of a modern historian is doomed
to failure. To all such as could possibly have composed these histories, or any part of
them, there was one and the same persuasion in regard to the aid given by God to his
chosen emissaries through visions, dreams, angels, and manifestations of supernatural
power. These things were not only a matter of course, they were also a necessity. Paul
was a prophet (26, i6ff.), and being such, had the power of foreseeing future events
(universally recognized as the principal characteristic of the Hebrew prophets) as well
as of working miracles. If he had not possessed these powers, he would not have been
worthy of credence. Luke does not profess to have seen or heard any of these marvel-
lous happenings himself; they were reported by villagers and boatmen, who knew
that a prophet was travelling among them, and neither Luke nor any of his fellows could
have doubted their truth for an instant. The only remarkable thing is that they are
so few in number. Those who think that considerable time is needed for the growth
and wide acceptance of such legends, or that their adoption by an early Christian
historian shows him to have been of an especially credulous turn of mind, should read
the life of St. Simeon Stylites written during his own lifetime by the cultivated and
truth-loving scholar Theodoret (Historic religiosa xxvi), who was a near neighbor
and personal friend of the great ascetic.


Norden attempts to show, first, that the speech in 17, 22-31 con-
forms to the recognized model of a missionary sermon; he succeeds,
however, only in demonstrating what was already known. It is true
that the religious propagandist was a long-familiar figure at that
time; also true that many of these missionary preachers were men
of wide learning and broad sympathy (it was for this very reason,
generally speaking, that they had seen new light and wished to
share it) ; and a matter of course, finally, that the speaker or writer
fashioned his discourse according to his purpose. It was of the
highest importance to set forth in a worthy and attractive manner
though in brief compass the nature of God and of his relation
to man, and the spiritual character of his worship. Cultivated
Hellenistic Jews and cultivated Greeks would have had very much
the same message to give, in these regards, in the first century. The
polemic against idolatry, too, was of course always familiar. It was
manifestly important also to be conciliatory, especially when it came
to rebuking or correcting the accepted beliefs and practices. Even
a tyro would recognize the wisdom of commending whatever could
be commended in the religion or religious history of his hearers.
Mohammed, for instance, unites all these elements, even the concilia-
tory, in his exhortations in the Koran. These things could all be
taken for granted. But the question of a commonly-used literary
scheme of the missionary discourse, as distinct from other discourses
(" Dass der Verfasser der Areopagrede sich an ein ihm iiberliefertes
Schema anschloss," Agnostos Theos, 3) , is quite another matter. The
existence of such a scheme is intrinsically improbable, and the speci-
mens cited by Norden certainly do not give the idea any new plausi-
bility. His " parallel " columns, pp. 6 f., show only the vaguest
resemblances on the lines indicated above: knowledge of God; nature
of true worship; need of turning from the old way to the new; promise
of a blessed future. These are merely the essentials of any religion,
and consequently of any religious propaganda. Even the logical
order is obvious. Thus, we have in the Koran, n, 52-55, a typical
specimen of a brief missionary sermon. The prophet Hud is sent
to the 'Adites and preaches to them in the following words: " my
people! Worship (euo-e/iteTTe) God; ye have no god but Him


TTOLV Wvos). Ye have only false knowledge (ayvoiav) . 53 I do not
ask you for any reward; my reward rests with Him who created me
(didovs iraat, far)i>). Will ye not have understanding (yv&<rip) ? i
54 Ask your Lord for forgiveness, and then turn to Him (yucraw^o-aTe).
He will then send upon you rain in abundance, 55 and will add
strength to your strength (T&V avrov ayad&v airoKavaere) . Do not
then sinfully turn your backs." Similarly Joseph preaches to his
companions in prison (12, 37-40): 37, ' I have wisdom revealed to
me from God. I turned from the false way to the right way, belief
in God and in the world to come.' 38, Monotheism; a blessing from
God. 39, Monotheism better than a plurality of gods. 40, The
times of ignorance; lack of the true wisdom; the right worship.
These examples are both nearer to Norden's " type " than some of
those printed in his parallel columns. 2 Or, turning to the Old Testa-
ment, take the discourse of Wisdom in Prov. i, 22-33: Need of
wisdom (22); repentance (23); 24-32 are negative, describing the
fate of fools; promise of blessing (33). Such examples could easily
be multiplied. Norden's specimens are typical only in this same
general way; of anything that could fairly be called a scheme of
literary composition there is not a trace. And since even so widely
read and keen-eyed an observer as he has not been able to demon-
strate anything of the sort, it is not likely that another will succeed
where he has failed.

Norden's attempt (pp. 13-24) to point out specifically Stoic ele-
ments in the speech at Athens is equally unsuccessful. These are
all mere commonplaces in Jewish theology, whether Palestinian or
Hellenistic. ' God has no need of anything that man can give '
(Acts 17, 25); cf. Ps. 50, 12, precisely the same thing. ' Reaching
after God and touching him ' (270); the figure of speech is not in
any way remarkable, cf. Is. 64, 7, Job 19, 21, Jer. i, 9, such passages

1 Verse 51, introducing this account of Hud, deals entirely with hidden wisdom,
revealed by God to his prophets.

J Norden is mistaken (p. 7, note i), in thinking that in Ode Sol. 33, 8, there is a
reference to yvSxris. It is simply the oft-repeated contrast between the corrupt way,
vs. 7, and the right way (m{J*n ^TT), vs. 8. He is also hardly justified in claiming
(p. 5) that the mention of the resurrection of Christ in his first and fourth columns is
a substitute (!) for the promise of eternal life given in the others.


as Job 4, 15 f., 23, 3, 8, 9, and many others. ' He is not far from
each one of us ' (276) ; cf. Deut. 4, 7, Ps. 145, iS. 1 ' In him we live,
and move, and have our being ' (28); cf. Job 12, 10, Dan. 5, 23,
Wisd. 7, 1 6, Hebr. 2, n. Neither the ideas nor the language of the
speech, then, can be said to show the influence of the Stoa. Such
ideas as these were older, and had far wider currency, than many
have been wont to beh'eve.

As for the altar " to the unknown god" Norden shows, as others
had done before, that there was at that time at Athens an altar
which was pretty widely known, bearing an inscription mentioning
ayvaxTToi deoi, and that altars ayvuffruv Q&V were also to be seen in
other places. Norden undertakes to prove that Apollonius of Tyana,
on the occasion of his holding a 5ictAets in Athens, took as his start-
ing point this altar of " unknown gods," interpreted its presence as
a sign of unusual Seto-iScu/zofta, and then urged that so god-fearing
a city ought to receive the knowledge of the highest God, who is a
spirit, has no need of any offering that men could bring, and ought
not to be represented by images. This address of Apollonius at
Athens was contained, according to Norden, in his treatise ircpi
Qvai&v, of which the only extant fragment hitherto recognized is
quoted by Eusebius in the well-known passage derived from Por-
phyrius. Norden then draws the conclusion (p. 52) that we have
before us a plain case of literary dependence, and that the author
of the " Speech of Paul " is the borrower. If the validity of Nor-
den's demonstration of the above details could be admitted, it would
be difficult to escape from his conclusion. But when his argument
is examined, it is seen to break down at every essential point.

The weight of the argument lies of course in the collocation of so
many points of correspondence in the general situation, as well as
in the more striking details. Norden names (p. 51) as the typical
elements in the story told of both Paul and Apollonius the follow-
ing: visiting a city; noticing a remarkable inscription on an altar;
making a religious discourse; and taking as the starting point of the

1 One can hardly believe his eyes when he reads Norden's words, p. 19, after quoting
the passage from Dion: " Die Ubereinstimmung der Worte nai ye 06 naxpav = 4
ydp oi> naKpav schliesst die Moglichkeit einer bloss zufalligen Beriihrung aus "!


discourse the altar inscription. This last-named element does not
occur, to be sure, in any account of Apollonius. Norden thinks that
it can be postulated for him, saying (ibid.) : " derm da von den vier
Komponenten, aus denen das Motiv sich zusammensetzt, . . die
ersten drei fur die athenische Rede des Apollonios iiberliefert sind,
so muss auch der vierte, als der aus dem zweiten und dritten not-
wendig resultierende fur ihn angenommen werden." As to this,
there are two things to be said. First, the word " iiberliefert " is
used here in a very misleading way. By " the speech of Apollonius
at Athens " Norden means the (conjectured) address which he sup-
poses to have been contained in the trepl dveiuv, and which unless
his whole argument is to fall to the ground contained (i) a pro-
test against neglect and contempt of the gods and their worship
(giving it a connection with the disputation mentioned on p. 38),
and (2) an allusion to the altar fayvwaTuv daifjApuv (giving it a con-
nection with the conversation mentioned on p. 42). As for (i):
Norden remarks, p. 43, that we know " aus der vorhin angefiihrten
Inhaltsangabe " that this protest stood in the Trepl dv<ri>v. But
how can this statement be justified? The portion of the "Inhalts-
angabe " (p. 38) which mentions the protest of Apollonius concerns
only his rebuke of the blaspheming Athenian hierophant. It is not
said, nor even implied, that this rebuke stood in the irepi Qvai&v; on
the contrary, the plain impression gained from the wording of the
passage is, that this treatise (fiifiK'Lov) had been published before
Apollonius had this experience in Athens. To assume, as Norden
does, that the publication had its origin in the StdXt^is held in that
city, is gratuitous and absolutely unwarranted. As for (2), the allu-
sion to the altar to " unknown gods ": the conversation (it is no
formal discourse) in which this occurs is expressly said to have
occurred in Egyptl Norden's statement, then, that the incident of
noticing a remarkable inscription on an altar " fur die athenische
Rede des Apollonios iiberliefert ist," is an amazing perversion of the
facts. This is not obtained from " tradition " of any sort, but only
from an audacious combination of Norden's, which, as I shall show,
cannot for a moment be allowed. Secondly, in regard to Norden's
claim that if the first three of the " typical elements " above men-


tioned are admitted, the fourth follows of necessity. For a conclu-
sive answer to this, it is only necessary to point to the passage
quoted by him, p. 42, containing the mention of the altar. This very
passage might conceivably have stood in the Trepl 6v<n&v (as Norden
imagines that it did) ; and this casual, but effective, allusion to the
Athenian altar l might perfectly well have been the only mention of
it in the work. Why not ? To demand more than this is merely
to beg the question.

And now in regard to the way in which Norden contrives to
transfer to Athens the conversation held by Apollonius in Egypt
with the young man from Naukratis. The sage is pleased with his
reverence of Aphrodite, and compliments him. The youth has had
a painful domestic experience, similar to that of Hippolytus in the
house of his father Theseus; and Apollonius is thus reminded of the
hero, and led to contrast his impious treatment of Aphrodite with
the piety of the young man. He declares that the latter is more
worthy of reverence than the other, who spoke against the goddess
in so ill-judged a manner; and adds, with pleasant irony: " More
sensible to speak well of all gods (<ru<f>pove<rTpov yap TO irepl TTO.VTUV
Qe&v ev \eyu>), especially at Athens, where they even have altars to
unknown divinities." Norden assumes that " to speak well of all
gods " refers to the youth from Naukratis, and is much mystified by
the sentence. Why in all the world, he asks (p. 42), should there be
mention of Athens here ? and he concludes, that the saying of Apol-
lonius has been taken out of its original setting; it must have stood
in a context the scene of which was Athens rather than the Nile.
This hypothesis brings with it considerable difficulty, to be sure,
as Norden remarks. The youth " hat sich gar nicht an den Gottern
vergangen," nor has he spoken well of " all gods "; why then these
pointless words in regard to him ? We must also suppose an aston-
ishing stupidity on the part of the author of the story (Philostratus)
in not seeing this, and in permitting the senseless reference to Athens
("absurde Uebertragung," Norden, p. 44) to stand; especially since,

1 Norden speaks of it (p. 42, below) as " das athenische Kultuskuriosum, auf das
die game Geschichte angelegt ist." Has this assertion any basis whatever, aside from
Norden's own imagination ?


as Norden himself declares, he had invented this whole story of
Apollonius in Egypt, and could therefore have fashioned it to suit
himself. But the true solution is much simpler than the one pro-
posed by Norden. It is this, that the problematic words were not
spoken of the youth, to whom they do not seem to belong, but of
Hippolytus, to whom in every way they do seem to belong. He was
born at Athens, his father was king of that city, his tomb was shown
there, and, according to many writers, Athens was the scene of the
greater part of his life. Evidently Apollonius or rather, Philos-
tratus was one of those who held this view. 1

Thus disappears the last vestige of support for Norden's main
contention. When, therefore, he claims (p. 44, below) to have shown
not only that Apollonius made a speech at Athens in which he
mentioned altars ayvuvTuv 8e&i>, but also that " die Ubereinstim-
mung zwischen ihm und den Worten des Areopagredners erstreckt
sich bis in die Nuance des Ausdruckes hinein," we can only reply,
that nothing whatsoever tending to substantiate this remarkable
assertion has thus far come to light. Until some new evidence is dis-

1 Norden also wishes to claim for the xepi Bvauav the words put by Philostratus into
the mouth of Apollonius in the anecdote of the Egyptian temples, p. 41. He says:
" Die ihm hier hi den Mund gelegte Empfehlung eines bildlosen Gottesdienstes und
einer entsprechenden Regelung des Opferrituals war wenigstens fur den hochsten Gott
durch die erwahnte Schrift [the T.9.] beglaubigt." And again, p. 43: " Es kann nicht
auf Zufall beruhen, dass wir vorhin auf die fiktive athiopische Situation aus der realen
athenischen bereits ein anderes Motiv, das der bildlosen Verehrung des hochsten
Gottes, iibertragen fanden: dieses Motiv ist fur die athenische Rede durch das erhaltene
Fragment aus der Schrift vepl dwruav bezeugt." That is, he claims two points of con-
tact: (i) worship without images, and (2) a corresponding regulation of the sacrificial
cult. But this is only another glaring example of too easy-going argumentation.
Nothing whatever is said in the anecdote (as Norden asserts) about " einer entsprechen-
den Regelung des Opferrituals "; that appears only in the irepl QWTI&V, regarding the
Highest God; nothing whatever is said in the extract from the repl Ova&v (as Norden
asserts) in regard to " bildlose Verehrung des hochsten Gottes." We do not know
that this work contained a single word about images of gods. The remarks of Apollonius
(Philostratus) against the Egyptian images were called out (as Norden says, 41 line 6)
by the fact that they gave their gods the forms of beasts and birds. Thus the " corre-
spondence " said to be so close that it " kann nicht auf Zufall beruhen," turns out to
be purely imaginary. Both of Norden's statements are unwarranted, and the argu-
ment is worthless.


covered we may fairly say, exit Apollonius, so far as Acts 17 is
concerned. 1

So far as language and style are concerned, there is no ground for
differentiating the account of Paul at Athens, or any part of it, from
the context in which it stands. Norden (333 ff.) points out certain
words and phrases in vss. 18 and 21: ffirepiwXoyos, X^yew f) &KOVIV,
and Kdivorepov, and shows that they are X^cis 'ArriKai. He then
says in regard to them (p. 335) : " Alles zusammengenommen, kann
ich nicht glauben, dass der Redaktor der Acta, dessen Sprache doch
wahrlich nichts Attisches an sich hat, diese Stelle ohne ein liter-
arisches Vorbild komponiert haben konnte." But one cannot help
feeling that the widely experienced and accomplished author of
II Acts may himself have been familiar with X$fs 'ATTWCCU, perhaps

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