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Ferdinand Christian Baur.

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older Epistles in these particulars.

Such is the position of these Epistles in respect of their inward
character ; and in respect of the outward historical circumstanced
by which their origin is to be explained, the difference is equally
striking. The older Epistles rest, with regard to their occasion
and drift, on the whole historical connexion oif circumstances to
which they belong, in such a way that everything fits in perfectly ;
their roots are native to the soil of the time in which they arose;
and we cannot have the least doubt as to their historical position
and reference. How little this is the case with the later Epistles
has already been shown ; how uncertain and indefinite they are in
nearly all their historical bearings, and by what feeble threads
they are connected with the chief features of tiie apostle's life.
The most of these Epistles presume to have been written during



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Chap. IX.] OBSERVATIONS ON. THE PA TTLINE EPISTLES. W

the Eoman captivity, but we ixowh^re find any pressing reason why
they shoiUd have bedn written during that period (and' if the apdstie
had been so fertile in correspondence, he might have written suoh
letters as well during his two. years' imprisonment at Cesarea, as
has been surmised not without reason, and yet quite incorrectly),
or any clear account of his persofial condition at the time. . If the
apostle was to be made the author of other letters after the true
ones, the Eoman captivity certainly presented itself as a very
suitable situation for that purpose. During the considerable
.I>eriod over which it seems to have extended, it might well be
thought that he had ample leisure to write letters. Then when
this situation had been used to a considerable extent, the letters
ascribed to him were dated also fr(:>m an earlier period, as we see
in the case of the two Epistles to Timothy ; the first of these,
which is manifestly f of later composition, dates, not like the second,
from the imprisonment, but before it ; and the two Thessalonian
letters are probably later than Ephesian8,Colossians,and Philippians.

The nature of the case may explain why we have not spoken
hitherto of the external testimony to these Epistles, and why we
merely touch upon it now. Testimonies to these Epistles, such at
least as are deserving, of any confidence, do not exist. In this
respect also they are inferior to the older Epistles^ which have at
least the early testiitiony of the Eoman Clemens. Evidences to the
existence and the apoBtolic origin of these Epistles date only from
the time of Irenseus, Tertullian, and Clemens of Alexandria, that
is, from a period in which it is quite conceivable that post-
apostoHc Epistles, even though produced far on in the second
century, could have come to count as genuine works of the apostle^

What gives these Epistles their claim to the name of the
apostle is simply the circumstance that they profess to be Pauline,
and make the apostle speak as their author. But if even one of
them be unable to make good its apostolip name, and with regarf
to 1 Tim. this can scarcely be denied, then we see at once how
little that circumstance can prove of itself ; it must then be ad-
mitted that what has happened in one case may have happened



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110 LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL. [Paet XL

equally in several others. The great and prominent spirits of the
ancient world count this among the proofs of their greatness and
importance, and of the power with which they dominated the
whole consciousness df their time, that whatever was thought in
their spirit was, as a matter of course, invested, when published,
with their name. The continued working of their overshadowing
personality manifests itself in this, that even after their death
they are made to speak and write as they spoke and wrote in their
lifetime. Thus there are pseudo-PauUne letters, just as there are
not only Platonic but pseudo-Platonic dialogues, and the form in
which a new body of philosophical or religious thought was ex-
pounded seemed so much a part of the thoijight itself, that in order
to reach the original stand-point of the thinker, it was held neces-
sary to employ his forms of thinking. A Paulinist who wished to
write in the sense of Paul had to employ the Pauline epistolary
form, as a Platonist held that he must not make use of his master^s
dialogue-form without thinking himself into the ^spirit and per-
sonality of Plato as he wrote. From the unity of the form and
contents of such modes of composition, it was thought that they
could not be severed from the names of theii' originators ; their
imitators felt bound to write in their names. Viewed in this light,
a Pauline Epistle is, equally with a Platonic dialogue, a classical
form of representation, to the original type of which one sought,
therefore, to be faithful as far as possible. Both these forms,
indeed, arose in the same way, out of a definite circle of peculiar
circumstances, in which a new form of consciousness had prepared
for itself its outward shape by its own creative power. It is
therefore a true observation which has frequently been made, that
the forging of such Epistles must not be judged according to the
modem standard of literary honesty, but according to the spirit of
antiquity, which attached no such definite value as we do to
literary property, and regarded the thing much more than the
person.^ There is therefore no reason to think here of deception

^ De Wette, Eurze firkl der Briefe an Titos, a.8.w., S. 122 t CI Soh}eier.
macher, Der chr. Gl. ii. 372 t



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Chap. IX.] OBSEBVATIONS ON THE PAULINE EPISTLES. Ill

or wilful forgery ; yet even if it be asserted that the matter is not
intelligible except on this hjrpothesis, that cannot be maintained
as an argument against its possibility and likelihood.

The Epistles which thus carry us beyond the age of the apostle,
and, as their contents for the most part clearly show, to a later set
of circumstances, come under jbhe same category with th^ legends
of the apostle's last fortunes. They belong, not to the biography
of the apostle himself, but to the history of the party which used
his name, and to their party circumstances. How Paulinism was
developed, what modifications it admitted, with what antagonisms
it had to contend, what influence it exerted in moulding the
features of the time, from the varied elements of which the unity
of the Christian church was to emerge, this is what we find in
these Epistles* It may be ground for regret that we cannot see in
them genuine products of the apostle's genius, or sources for
history of the same importance as attaches to his undisputed
Epistles (and yet in no case could they be placed on a level with
these; their intrinsic value and the nature of their contents
remain just the same, whether they be apostolic or not). But in
the other scale we have to place this immense advantage, that these
letters, as soon as they are critically examined, make it possible
for us to obtain a somewhat clearer view of the circumstances of
a period which is of such importance for the history of the de-
velopment of early Christianity. If it be considered how meagre
the materials are for the history of that period, and how valuable
every new source that is opened up must be, what inducement can
we have to maintain the apostolic character of letters, whose
apostolic origin is surrounded by doubts which the ablest advocacy
can never entirely overcome; and the attempt to dispel which
presents to us, at the best, not the natural truth of history, but a
confused web of artificial combinations ? It is out of place to
speak of any real loss in a case where that is simply given back
to historical truth which rightfully belonged to it from the
beginning.



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THIRD PART.



THE DOCTRINAL SYSTEM OF THE APOSTLE.



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INTEODUCTIOK

The sphere of our representation grows always more contracted
as we approach the spiritual centre of the apostle's historical
appearance and personality. It has been our task up to this
point to detect the spurious elements both in the history of his
life and work and in those Epistles which have reached us under
his name. By this process we havie sought to get at the true
historical basis of his personality, and to confine it within those
limits which he himself indicates to us in the true productions of
his genius, and in the principles of action expressed in them.
Having laid this foundation, our task is now to separate the
essential and universal from the less essential, the fortuitous, and
that which has reference only to the special circumstances of his
tima The substance and contents of Paul's Epistles consist in
nothing but his peculiar system of doctrine ; and our task with
regard to this is not only to impute to him nothing that is not
really his, but also to seek to comprehend that which is essentially
his, at the point from which it took its organic connexion and
developed into a definite whole.

The following discussion of the Pauline system differs in three
points from the treatment which the subject has commonly
received : —

I. It follows, of course, from our critical investigations, that our
representation of the apostle's doctrine can be founded on the
contents of those Epistles only which are to be regarded as indis-
putably hia Whether the objections raised against the genuine-
ness of the smaller Epistles be or be not well founded, at any
rate till they are completely and manifestly refuted (and there is
no great reason for expecting this), it is impossible to be certain
that the use of these Epistles will not introduce features into our



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116 LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL. [Part

view of the doctrine which will give it a physiognomy more or less
different from what it had at first. A representation of the
apostle's doctrine, which abstains completely from using these
Epistles as materials, will, at the same time, yield a palpable proof
how small their importance is in this respect, in comparison with
the others, and how little their rejection will create any gap in
the apostle's teaching. As his proper teaching is sharply defined
and clearly recognised, we shall see distinctly how un*Fauline the
doctrine and statements of these Epistles are, throughout nearly their
whole extent. Attention has already been drawn to this in the
proper place in our critical discussions, and it is not necessary to
compare further the two doctrines, or to insist on their divergences.
II. The following representation seeks to avoid an error which
has been made in the reconstruction of the Pauline system, by not
clearly distinguishing, nor, in consequence, placing in their proper
relation to each other, the two sides which ought to be dis-
tinguished. A comparison of the views of Usteri,^ Neander,* and
Dahne,* will show at once how far they differ from each other in
the position they give to the different doctrines, and in the con-
struction of the whola Usteri divides his treatment of the subject
into two parts of unequal extent, the first dealing with the ante-
Christian, and the second with the Christian period. The ant6-
Christian period embraces both Judaism and heathenism, both
being comprehended in the conception of sin. The general ruin
of the human race points backwards to that beginning from which
the dominion of sin and death arose ; how this came about, how
sin came to extend its power, the relation of sin and death to the
law, the inadequacy of the law fo^ justification and salvation, the
end of the law, and the longing for redemption which was the result
of the ante-Christian period, — all these points are considered here.
In the second part, which deals with the provision for redemption
made by God through Christ, the first section deals with the

^ EntwickluDg des panlinischen Lehrbegriffa in seinem VerfaiiUtmss zur bibli-
schexL Dogmatik des N. T. 4th Edition 1832.
^ Planting and TrainiDg, etc., i pp. 416-531.
^ Entwicklung des paulinischen Lehrbegrififs, 1 835.



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III.] INTRODUCTION, 117

realization of redemption in the individual, while the second treats
of Christians as a body, — the church of Christ In passing to the
second part, Usteri himself remarks, that the distinction here
drawn between the life of the individual and the life of the body
is a relative one, which cannot be carried out strictly, because the
one always passes over into the other ; he thus admits that his view
and arrangement of the subject are unsatisfactory. The distinc-
tion is a just one, and the reason why it cannot be carried out is,
that it is made in the wrong place. If a distinction is to be
maintained between the life of the individual and the life of the
body, the former must not be subordinated to the latter' as if it
issued in it at one definite point; the two should be set over
against each other as independent momenta. Again, the contrast
between the ante-Christian and the Christian period may have
been clear enough to the apostle's mind, yet it was only something
secondary ; he had to start, in fact, from the individual life in order
to obtain such a view of corporate life, of historical development,
as should explain to him theoretically, looking at it historically,
that which was the immediate result of his own most intimate
experience. Thus what Usteri places first is not the first in feet,
but presupposes something else.

Equally mistaken again is the procedure of Neander and Dahne.
Starting from the idea of 1/0/109 and SiKacoo-vw], and. from the great
proposition of the Pauline doctrine of justification that man
requires for his salvation and justification by God out of grace,
they subordinate the corporate to the individual life, and introduce,
before the Pauline doctrine of justification, which moves entirely
within the sphere of the individual life, has been developed in its
connexion, propositions which belong to the sphere of the corporate
life. Usteri's division is simply applied subjectively by Dahne,
when he divides his subject into two sections : first, man needs for
his salvation a justification before God through grace (and the
guilt of Gentiles and Jews is spoken of in this connexion, there
being no further review of the historical connexion of Heathenism
and Judaism with Christianity) ; second, justification before God



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118 LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL. [Part

through grace is oflfered to man in Christianity. I can discern
no principle of division in the arrangement of Neander, which is
as follows : First, the ideas of hiKaioavvri and vofio^i, the central
point of the doctrine ; Second, the central point of the Pauline
anthropology, human nature in opposition to the law ; sin, origin
of sin and death, suppression by sin of the natural revelation of God,
the state of disunion ; Third, preparations for redemption, Judaism
and Heathenism ; Fourth, the work of redemption ; Fifth, the ap-
propriation of salvation by faith, eta How can the development
of the ideas BMaioavvt) and vofio<; be separated from the apostle's
doctrine of justification, and how one-sided is it to make Judaism
and Heathenism follow the doctrine of sin as being a preparation
for redemption, when Judaism and Heathenism are just the domain
where the principle of sin and death has its supremacy ; and their
relation to Christianity can only be defined by the opposition in
which sin and grace, death and life, law and faith, stand to each
other ? For the same reason that they do not distinguish with suf-
ficient accuracy the subjective and the objective sides, the repre-
sentations of Neander and Dahne are deficient in this point also,
that the religious historical position of Christianity in relation to
Jud£dsm and Heathenism is not specially considered. It is not possi-
ble to maintain order, connexion, and unity in our view of the whole,
and to give the respective doctrines their proper place, except in
this way : that the apostle's doctrine of justification with all that
belongs to it be recognised as constituting his representation of
the subjective consciousness, and kept separate from his view of
the objective relation in which Christianity stands to Judaism and
Heathenism in the religious development of mankind. The more
this objective side is kept distinct &om the other, the more clearly
do we see what importance it also had for the apostle.

III. It is important to give more exact definitions, both gram-
matical and logical, of the various conceptions on which the
Pauline system is based, and to place them more precisely in the
order of their arrangement than has been done in former treatments
of this subject.



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ni] INTRODUCTION. 1L9

Note.

In the following review of the Pauline doctrine, the author first
discusses (Chap. I.) " The principle of the Christian consciovsnesSy' as
it is determined by- Paul. He finds the peculiar feature of the
principle to be its absoluteness ; namely, that the Christian has the
Spirit in himself, and cannot therefore consider his salvation to be
depending on anything outward; that he is conscious of his
immediate union with God, of the identity of his spirit with the
Spirit of God, of his own freedom and infinity. How the Christian
arrives at this consciousness is explained by the apostle through
his doctrine of justification ; and this doctrine is discussed here
(Chap. II.) in its negative, and (Chap. IIL) in its positive aspect.

Chap. n. develops the proposition that man does not become
righteous through the works of the law, and that the reason of the
incapacity is to be found in the cdp^.

Chap. III. shows that according to the apostle's teaching faith is
the only way to justification ; but it is this only in virtue of its
contents, as faith in the atoning death of Christ. . Thus the author
inquires here what significance the apostle discovered in the death
of Jesus. He then goes into an examination of the idea of justifica-
tion, the question being, How far man can become a hUaio^ through
faith in the death of Christ ? He proceeds to discuss the nature of that
faith through which he acquires the righteousness, a main element
of it being shown to be a real and living fellowship with Christ

Christianity having thus been considered as a subjective principle
of life, the author turns (cf. p. 118) to the objective relation in
which it stands towards Judaism and Heathenism.

In Chap. IV. he speaks of " Christ as the foundation, and the
principle of the Christian society," or what amounts to the same
thing, the church as the aSyfia Xpurrov, and takes up in this
connexion the Christian charisms, and Baptism and the Lord's
Supper.

In Chap. V. he deals with the relation of Christianity to Juda-
ism and Heathenism. This relation is, broadly speaking, that of



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120 LIFE AND WOBK OF PAUL. [Part

oppositioiL Sinfulness is the character of the ante-Christian
time, and accordingly Paxd's doctrine of the origin and reign of sin
has been kept for discussion at this point. - Then his view of the
law, his estimate of the Jewish religion, are taken up ; and lastly,
his views on heathenism.

In its relation to the preceding and subordinate forms of
religion Christianity asserts 'itself as the absolute religion, and
thus appears " as a new principle of the world's historical develop-
ment." It is regarded fi-om this point of view in Chap. VI., where
we have a description of the Pauline doctrine of the first and the
second Adam, and of the periods of the world inaugurated by each,
which naturally introduces the Pauline eschatology.

Hope has reference to this future, faith to the past ; and in its
reference to the present, the Christian consciousness is love. Chap.
VII. deals with " faith, love and hope, as the three momenta of the
Christian consciousness."

Chap. VIII. adds to the foregoing, in the form of an appendix,
a " special discussion of certain dogmatic questions not involved
in the main system," the successive sections of which deal with the
following points : — 1. The nature of religion ; 2. The doctrine of
God ; 3. The doctrine of Christ ; 4. The doctrine of angels and
demons ; 5. The doctrine of the Divine predestination ; 6. The
heavenly habitation of 2 Cor. v. 1.

Chap. IX. is entitled, " On certain features of the apostle's
character," and is an attempt to gather up the various traces of
his character which are to be found in his writings, that we may
thus form acquaintance with its most prominent features, though
the data at our command do not carry us further.

The author's later discussion of the subject in his Vorlesungen
uber NeutestamerUliche Theologie (128-207) deviates considerably
from this one not only in many points of detail, which I shall
notice in their place, but in the arrangement of the whole. The
central point of the apostle's religious consciousness and of his
doctrine is found in that work in the fact of his opposition on
principle to the law, in the proposition, namely, that that which



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III.] INTRODUCTION, 121

Judaism is not able to eflfect is now effected by Christianity.
This proposition, as is here remarked, was a natural and immediate
corollary from the view the apostle had come to entertain of
Jesus as a sacrifice. In demonstrating this proposition the apostle
arrives at his peculiar doctrine of justification. Judaism and
heathenism are comprehended in the common conception of
religion ; the task of both, which is indeed the ultimate object of
all religion, is to bring man into union with God, — into that
harmonious relation towards God with which God will be satisfied.
Now, d, priori, there appear to be two ways in which this may be
accomplished ; the way of the fulfilling of the law, and the way of
faith. The distinctive peculiarity of Judaism is that it adopts
the first of these two ways ; Christianity, on the other hand, adopts
the second. The apostle's contention is, then, that man obtains
BiKauxrvvrf not through works of the law, but through faith. The
negative part of this assertion, the ov Bitcaiovrai ef epycov vd/iov
is treated first (p. 134 sqq,), and is provided with three proofs
drawn from Paul's different arguments : the purely empirical,
Rom. L 18-iii. 20 ; the religio-historical, provided by the contrast of
the first and the second Adam, Eom. v. 12 sq. ; and the anthropolo-
gical, consisting mainly of the apostle's doctrine of the o-apf and
the vofio^ in their relation to sin (pp. 141-153). The positive
part of Paul's central doctrine, the assertion of justification by faith,
is then taken up (pp. 153 sqq,) and looked at from the different
points of view: (1.) of actual facts; (2.) of anthropology; (3.) of
religious history. Under the first of these heads the author speaks
of the significance of the death of Jesus regarded as an atonement ;
under the second, of the real influence of that death as overcoming
the crapf ; and, under the third, of the Pauline view of the law as
an essentially imperfect and transitory dispensation, meant only
to prepare for the coming of the true religion. In pp. 174-182, he
defines the notion of justifying faith, and the relation of faith and
works ; p. 182 sqq., he discusses the relation of faith to the freedom
of man and the predestination of God ; then p. 186, he comes to
speak of Christ as the object of faith; p. 195, he enters on an



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122 LTFi^AND WORK OF PAUL, [Part III.

estimc^te of tbe importance Paul attributed to the death of Christ
for the development of mankind, especiaJTy ta h» resurrection as
the prototype of ours; p. 198, he takes up the doctrine of the
influence the glorified Christ exerts upon the Church, of the
church as the body of Christ, and of the sacraments ; 202 sq.,
eschatology ; and concludes, p. 205 f., with the apostle's definition
of the idea of God. — Editor's Note.



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FIEST CHAPTER

THE PRINCIPLE OF THE CHRISTIAN CONSCIOUSNESS.

In order to apprehend the principle of the Christian consciousness
in all its depth and peculiarity, as it existed in the view of the
apostle, it is necessary for us to refer as far as possible to what was
characteristic in the fact of his conversion. In proportion as this
change, not less decisive than rapid and immediate, not merely from
Judaism to Christianity, and from one form of religious conscious-



Online LibraryFerdinand Christian BaurPaul, the apostle of Jesus Christ: his life and work, his epistles ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 12 of 35)