Ferdinand Christian Baur.

Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ: his life and work, his epistles ..., Volume 2 online

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respect the witness of history, when properly ascertained and
resting upon fact.^

The first scholar who undertook a thorough historical investiga-
tion of the subject, and declared as the result of his researches
that the common view was entirely destitute of historical reality,
was Friedrich Spanheim. His Dissertatio de ficta profectione

ipse quidem velit praedicare Judaeis, Panlaa vero debeat concionari gentibus.
Ubi habes brevissime et verissime comprehensam hiatoriam Petri, quae indicat,
ei et a Cbristo potissimum super et inter Judaeos apostolatum, episcopatum seu
papatum concreditum mandatumque esse : et eum turn ante Hierosolymitanam
synodum, turn postea potissimum Judaeos docuisse, eoque potissimum ibi
sedisse vel stetisse, ubi plurimi Judaei fuerunt, id est in Syria et aliis orientalibus
partibuB. Nam Bomae non ita multi fuerunt : quandoquidem et nondum fuerant
sic dissipati, sicut postea in eversione Hierosolymae, et Claudius eos Roma penitus
expulerat." The Magdeburg Centuries do not express any distinct doubt of the
supposed fact.

^ Compare the whole series of the Protestant divines who held this position
QB the subject. F. Spanheim enumerates them in the treatise to be named
below, p. 336 : Quinimo in Protestantium castris eirexovres non pauci, atque
etiam largientes hand gravate plurimi, imo plerique, tantis auctoritatibus motL
Chamiero certe non facile veUicandua videtur tanttis consensus Patrum sed neque
Davidi Blondello, id perpetuo largienti, Romanam ecclesiam a Petro et Paulo
fundatam atque inistructam fuisse. Nee inficiati eam Petri inter Komanos
praesentiam Th. Beza Annot. ad i. Petri v., Fr. Junius, Scaliger, Casaubonus,
Petr. Molinaeus, Petitus, Usserius, Seldenus, Pearsonus, Fellius, Dodwellus, G.
Cave, Bedelius ipse, et quotquot Ignatianis epistolis speciatim illi, quae est ad
Ro^anos, patrocinantur, in qua Ignatius circa medium ad Romanorum coetum :
ovx cas Uerpos Koi IlavXos ^lOTCKra-ofiaL vfiiv, Quin Patricius Junius Notis ad
Clementem, quod Petrus Romae vitam finierit martyrio dicit potius esse, quam
ut in dubium vocetur. Similiter Hammondus vel his duobus testibus rem extra
dubium poni, Caji scilicet et Dionysii Corinthiorum fide. Samuel Basnage at
once followed Spanheim with a defence of the opposite view, in his Exercitat.
histor. crit. de rebus sacris vel ecclesiast. Ultraj. 1692, p. 548. He declared :
^Me quod attinet, hie tantum antiquitatis auctoritas apud me valet, ut adventum
l^etrioum ad urbem orbis dominam in dubiiun adducere mihi sit religio, ita
etenim, quae firmis cingunt historiam praesidiis, fama constans, testium vetustas
atque fides incorrupta, pondus suffragiorum atque numerus, sub signis hujus
narrationis militant ut historiae omni sit abroganda fides, si hac in re nutet.

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Petri apostoli in urbem Romam, deque non tmius traditionis origine^
appeared in 1679.* Spanheim brings forward first the negative
grounds, which make the occurrence appear so improbable a priori :
Luke's silence on the subject in the Acts, where there was
every reason to speak of it ; the silence of Paul himself both in
his Epistle to the Eomans, and in the Epistles of the Roman capti-
vity ; the agreement arrived at by the two apostles. Gal. ii 9, that
the one should consider the edvi^ as his province, and the other the
TrepiTOfx/fj, after which it was not likely that Pet^ should have
left his work in countries so distant from Rome, and taken part
in the foundation .of a church which consisted almost entirely of
Gentile Christians. Spanheim then takes up one by one the oldest
and most important authorities for the fact, and impeaches their
credibility chiefly by the general argument, supported of course by
special proofs in each case, that writers who accepted with avidity
so many and so manifestly fabulous traditions, are unworthy of
credence in the case of this tradition. He finds the roots of the
tradition partly in a mystical interpretation of the name Babylon
in the First Epistle of Peter, v, 1 3, partly in the myth of the journey
of Simon Magus to Rome, Peter having followed him to that city ;
and partly in the ambition of the Church of Rome which could
be satisfied with nothing less than this : ut Paulo in Romanae
ecclesiae institutione, sed et in consummatione martyrii socius
quoque Petrus adderetur, primus omnium apostolorum, Trp&ro*; in
evangelio, irpcyroKkrfro^, Trpaijyopo^, «/>X^09, qui primum lapidem
in aedificanda ecclesia posuisset, obsignaturus quoque fidem in
-ecclesianim omnium prima (p. 383). Thorough as Spanheim's
investigation was, and pertinent as his arguments on many points
undoubtedly are, his treatise failed to do much to shake the old
tradition. The church historians who followed him continued to
think that the authorities were too strong to be impugned ; they
went further, and asserted (as, for example, Schrokh)^ that it
would be difficult to find another event in the history of the early

1 0pp. t. ii. (Lugd. Bat. 1703), pp. 331-388.
^ Earchengeschiclite, toI. ii., 2d ed., p. 185.

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church that was established so finnly and beyond all question as
this one was by the unanimous testimony of the first Christian
teachers. Of the later church historians and critics, Eichhom^
was the only one who ventured to assert the opposite, and this he
did with all his wonted boldness. He said that the apostle Peter's
residence at Rome, in company with Mark the Evangelist, was in
all probability a fable. The foundation of Peter's reported resi-
dence at Eome was, that his first Epistle was dated from Babylon,
(1 Peter V. 13); the early church interpreted this name figura-
tively, and said it stood for Eome ; and this was the foundation on
which everything was built, Peter's labours for the Eoman church,
his primacy and his martyrdom in that city, and all that has been
fabled of him in the old and in the new Christian world. It might
be asked with all confidence where any other piece of evidence
was to be found? And was this absurd evidence to be respected
by historical criticism ? This startling attack was the chief means
of inducing another Catholic theologian to undertake a new inves-
tigation of the subject, looking at it in an unprejudiced way, which
is thoroughly deserving of respect The results at which he arrived
were these : that it is quite unquestionable on historical grounds
that the apostle Peter came to Eome, that he taught and governed
the Eoman church, and suffered death at last on account of his
faith ; but that his residence at Eome cannot have extended to
twenty nor to twenty-five years, but only at the outside to a few
months over one year.^ While the Catholic party thus admitted
the necessity of setting bounds to the old tradition, and reducing
it to a minimum, Protestant historians and critics displayed a wish
to clear the controversy of polemical and party spirit, and met the
Catholics with a confession that some of their former writers had
gone too far. Neander and Gieseler were at one on this point.
The former^ declared it to be simply hypercriticism, to throw doubt

1 Einl. in's N. T., vol. L p. 554. C£. voL Hi p. 603 «g.

^ In the Essay on the apostle Peter's residence at Kome, being also a contribu-
tion to the chronology of the early Church, in the Theolog. Quarterly, published by
Drey, Herbst und Hirscher, Ttib. 1820, 4 H., p. 567 «</.

3 Church History, vol i p. 296 (Bohn's Edition).

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App. L] the literature of the legend of peter 295

on the tradition that Peter had been at Eome, attested as it was
by the consent of all the early authorities. This tradition was
obviously to be referred to a period in which no one thought of
exalting the church of Eome by the primacy of Peter. It was
nothing but party and polemical spirit, Gieseler declared,' that led
some Protestants to deny the reality of the event. Bertholdt,^
Colln,^ Mynster,* and others, expressed themselves in the same
way. Mynster for one thought that " what seduced the Protestant
writers to throw doubt on a fact, attested as this was by the
unwavering voice of all Christian antiquity, could have been
nothing but polemical rancour, and that the writing in which these
doubts had been collected, clearly betrayed by its title : Of the
fictitious journey of Peter to Eome " (the essay of Spanheim), its
true end and motive.

My essay, which appeared in 1831, has led the two church
historians, Keander and Gieseler, to at least modify their former
view. They are unwilling to give up the supposed facts at the
root of the legend, yet they cannot deny the weakness of the
evidence. Neander allows the possibility of the legend having
arisen out of the circumstances of the Eoman church which I
referred to,* but hesitates to agree in my result, considering that the
argument which we mentioned must still be allowed some weight.
Gieseler's chief point of late is,' that if the legend proceeded from the
Judai^ing Christians in Eome, and was meant to give Peter the pre-
ponderance over Paul, it is difl&cult to imderstand how it was not
at once and strenuously contradicted by the Pauline party at
Eome, and how the Pauline Cajus could be one of the chief author-

1 Lehrb. d. Kiroheiigescli., vol L 2d Ed. 1827, p. 189.

* Hist. Krit. EinL in das A. und N. T., Part V. p. 2690.

8 Encyclop. of Ersch and Gruber, Part XVIIL p. 42.

^ In the paper on the first residence of the apostle Peter at Rome in the Eleine
TheoL Schriften, 1825, p. 143 sg. An arbitrary habit of wresting the statements
of authorities from the context in which they occur, and aUowing them jnst so
much weight as suits the hypothesis to be established, is a prominent feature in
Mynster's essay.

6 Planting and Training, L 379.

^ Lehrb. d. Eirchengesch., 4th Ed. 1844^ p. 103.

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ities in favour of it. This requires no further notice after what we
have akeady saiA^ Mayerhoflf* gives his decided adhesion to my
view and to the arguments on which it is based, while Olshausen'
as decidedly opposes it Of those who have given the weight of
their authority for or against the legend without having thoroughly
investigated the question, I name here Schleiermacher* and De
Wette,* who both take the negative side. In the Catholic church,
Windischmann* and Ellendorf ' may be mentioned as having lately
expressed their views on a question of such importance for their
Church. The former seems to be excited by Protestant contradiction,
and does battle for the truth of the old tradition with all the fervour
of Ultramontane partisanship. But as for the conflict of authorities
he has nothing better to allege than that Peter resided in Bome
more than once, first between 42 and 51, and then between 64 and
68. The latter of these two writers brings his historical critical
investigation to this result : " Peter may have been at Bome ; it is
possible that he was there about the year 65 or 66. But it is
nothing more than possible, and the opposite is equally likely, or
even more likely. Nor can we take it ill of Protestants, if they
follow the proofs offered by Holy Scripture, and by the earliest
fathers, Clement and Justin, and hold Peter^s residence at Bome,
with aU that is connected with it, to be a story drawn from the
Apocrypha. Peter's residence at Bome can never be proved."

1 Cf. voL i p. 252.

> Hist. Erit. EinL in die Petrin. Schriften, 1835, p. 73 sq,

* Cf. YoL i p. 247 «g., where Olshansen's objections are met. On the asser-
tions of Credner and Bleek, who are also defenders of the legend, compare my
Abh. Uber den TJrsprung des Episcopats, Tub. Zeitschr. fttr Theol., 1838, H. 3,
p. 45 8q.

^ Vorlesungen Uber die Kirchengesch. (Sammtliche Werke, znr TheoL Part XL),
p. 69 :« I am one of those who disbelieve the entire story of Peter's residence
at Rome."

A EinL in das K. T., p. 314 : << The alleged fact is essentially improbable. The
legend seems to owe its existence to an dffort made on the part of the Jad»o-
Ghristians of the iDflaential chnrch at Bome, to prove Peter to have had a share
in the foundation of that chnrch."

8 Yindiciae Petrinae, Begensbnrg, 1836.

7 1st Petrus in Rom und Bisohof der r<5nuschen Kirche gewesen ? Darmstadti

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(Supplement to Part ni. Chapter in.]

The mam doctiiiial position of the Epistle of James : e{ epytov
SiKaiovrai avOpmiro^, Koi ovk i/e irlarew^ fiovov, ii 24, is the
direct opposite of the Pauline doctrine as it is stated, Bom. iii 28,
in the proposition, BtKaiovTai wloTei apBpayrro^, X^P^^ IpycDv
vdfjMv. It cannot be denied that between these two doctrines there
exists an essential difference, a direct contradiction. It may be
urged that James says no more than oifK €k 7r/<rr6a>9 ^ovov, that
he thus refers hiKcuovaOai not exclusively to €pya, but partly at
least to irlarts also. But the Pauline proposition, on the other
hand, distinctly excludes epya and refers SiKutovaOcu to that very
faith of which James says that without epya it is nothing, forms
no element of the religious life at alL Those works, then, which
Paul altogether repudiates are with James the ground of SiKaiova-
004, ; and that faith which with James has no religious value what-
ever apart from epr^a^ is with Paul the principle of iwaiovaOau

That the difference between Paul and Jemies may not appear to
be one of principle, it is generally assumed that they do not use
the terms in question in the same sense : this is asserted either of
hKouovaOat or of ttioti^ and epya, and this difference in the use
of terms is said to be quite consistent with agreement in thought
on the main point at issue. One simple way of saving the
harmony of the two apostles was to take the word Bi/ccuovaOai
not in its Pauline sense of actual justification, but only of the
manifestation of that which must flow from justification. Thus
Calvin remarks on James ii. 24 : Certe Jacobus hie docere non

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volnit ubi quiescere debeat salutis fiducia, in quo uno insistit
Paulus. Ergo notanda est haec amphilogia, justificandi verbum
Paulo esse gratuitam justitiae imputationem apud Dei tribunal,
Jacobo autem esse demonstrationem justitiae ab effectis, idque
apud homines. If the main difference is placed in the word hLKai-
ovaOaiy then it is not necessary to take ttIoti^ and epya in dif-
ferent senses in the two writers. The prevailing view is, however,
that the difference of the two is not to be sought merely in the
word SiKaiovaOah but rather in the meaning they attached to the
words irloTis and efrfa. It is said that irurrL^ means with Paul
that faith in God which is founded upon Christ, and with James,
merely religious knowledge as such ; and that cfiya are with Paul
the works of the Mosaic law, and with James, moral and religious
actions.^ Keander adheres to this method of reconciling the two
apostles, if, indeed, his wavering utterances on the subject yield
any distinct view at alL He says, first, that Paul always regards
irioTis alone as that through which a man becomes and continues
to be a justified person before God, and from which all other
elements of good are spontaneously, and by an inner necessity,
evolved : and that Paul would never have said that faith and
works must co-operate in order to justification. On the other
side, however, the material difference disappears. For in this
apostle's thought, works are the expression of faith, and of the
hiKauivaOoA, which faith procures, and are thus a necessary element
of the Christian life, faith having to approve itself through the
whole of life and conduct ; and so the apostle comes to say that
each man will receive his due according to the deeds done in the
body, whether good or evil, 2 Cor. v. 10. Thus the Jacobean
type of doctrine is represented in PauL^ If we are to regard these
remarks as actually shedding light on the subject, the chief
point in them must be this, that the tpf^a of James are different

^ Gf. e,g. Pott in his Gommentar zu Jak. ii. : Alium alio sensu vocabala irto -
rea>£ et tfyytov accepisse manifestum est — ^ita ut in tanta argumenti diversitate
benter neutri repugnare potuerit.

^ Planting and Training, ii 23 (Bohn).

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from those of Paul, that he means such works as proceed from
faith, and are the fruits of faith. But Paul does not distinguish
two kinds of epya; he says quite broadly that it is impossible to
SiKaiovaOai by them. This must apply to those that proceed from
faith as well as to others ; for if they proceed from faith, then
faith is there already, and with faith justification : so that they
cannot have been the means of justification.

Kern was thus perfectly justified in asserting that the differ-
ence between Paul and James is one of principle, and cannot be
got rid of. James, he says, could never have made SiKaiovadai
depend on epya, had not his notion of justif}dng faith been limited
to faith as it manifests itself in action. Kern brings the
difference to a point in the following propositions : with Paul,
faith, because it is the faith which justifies, is the source of good
works, of morally good conduct ; with James, faith, because it is the
source of good works and proves in them its own vitality, is the
faith that justifies. With Paul justification is conditioned by
faith, or justification and faith are both present together in the
man who is justified by feiUi, and in faith works proceed from
justification. With James justification is conditioned by moral
conduct ; here we must not even use the expression " by faith and
by the works which it brings forth;" for this would separate faith
and conduct from each other, which from the Jacobean standpoint
is an inadmissible distinction ; justification proceeds from works,
in which faith proves itself a living faitL With Paul faith is re-
garded in the light of its origin and essence as the attitude of soul
in which man is occupied entirely with his relation to God in
Christ, and refers himself entirely to God, sinking all reference to
himself or to his neighbour. Faith, being such, was of course for
Paul the only possible channel of justification. In one aspect he
could^connect justification with love ; for the beginning of love is
present in that movement of the heart towards God which springs
from confidence in his grace and seeks to appropriate it. But
even in this case what the apostle has in view is simply and ex-
clusively man's relation to God. Love is not considered as the man's

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principle of action, in his private or social relations ; it is spoken
of merely because from the very nature of the moral life faith con-
tains the germ of it. James, on the other hand, cannot conceive of
faith but as issuing in that activity in which man brings forth
what is in him both in reference to his neighbour, and to himself.
To James, faith is nothing short of a principle of action, which
man has acquired in order to act throughout the whole circle of
his moral relations in a way that is in harmony with the will of
God. Only when faith has thus proved itseK sincere, and has
reached its fulfilment, does man receive justification before
God. According to this theory, then, active faith passes into
consciousness of justification. With Paul, on the contrary, faith
passes over from the consciousness of justification into that activ-
ity in which it proves itself a living faith by the influence it exerts
in the man's private and social relations.^

This definition of the relation the two positions bear to each
other is in the main accurate. Yet too large a concession is made
to the unity of the two doctrines, when it is said that the irlari^
of James is a principle, — a principle of action. We must go a step
further in estimating the extent of the divergence, and assert that
with James faith is not a principle of moral action at alL With
Paul, faith evolves love out of itseK, and shows itself active
through love, and so faith is the principle of the practical ; it is
the immediate unity of the theoretical and thS practical ; there is
no part of life that remains unaffected by it ; when it lays hold
of a man it asserts its influence over every province of his spiritual
nature. With James, faith has no practical element whatever ; it
is never pointed out, as with Paul, that faith is the principle of
epyuy of moral conduct. The faith of James is nothing higher
than the faith of which Paul says, 1 Cor. xiiL 1 sq,, that the man
who has it, and nothing more, is like a sounding brass and a
tinkling cymbal It was not to this faith that Paul ascribed the
power to justify ; he says of it ovSh^ o)<f>€kovfiai. To this vain and
empty faith Paul opposes the faith which justifies, as the only

I Der Brief Jakobi, Tlib. 1838, p. 43 sq.

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true one, but the former is the only faith with which James seema
to be acquainted. He says of faith indeed, that it cwep^el roU
€pyoi<;, ii 22, so that tt/ota? seems to be an active principle which
cooperates to justification ; and he says that man is not justified
by faith alone (ovk he irltTreoD^ fiovop, ii. 24) ; and justification by
works is called the fulfilment of faith, ck t&v epytov reketovrai 17
7r/<rTA9, ii. 22. Notwithstanding all this, however, he does not
seem to recognise any inner connexion between tt/ctt^? and cfyya.
Had he done so, then ttIoti^ must have appeared as the operating
principle of efyya^j and tt/ot^ would then be the main considera-
tion ; the epya would be merely the form in which the inner irUrrt^
becomes external But how can James have conceived irla-ri^ as
standing in this relation to epya, when he applies expressions to
it which deny that it has in itself any life and activity, qualities
which, had it been a principle, it must of necessity have had?
That cannot have the rank or importance of a principle, which, as
is said of faith in unmistakable terms, is dead for all further pur-
poses, is devoid of strength or life, and must be likened to a body
that is without spirit, without any principle of animation (ii.
20-26). And how could James have attributed SiKaiova-Ocu simply
to €pya, if epya were themselves to be referred to ttioti^ as their
principle, so that their power to justify was derived from irlart^ ?
It is evident that epya and they alone are regarded as real and
substantial ; they are not merely a form in which a substance
derived from something else that is greater is deposited ; they are
what they are immediately, of themselves and in virtue of their own
nature^ not merely the Outward of a diflferent Inward, such as faith
would be. It is true that James places Trla-ri^ by the side of epya
and even makes iricmq the presupposition of epya, but what does this
amount to ? It amounts merely to this : that faith is present as weU
as works, but no more is asserted than that it is present. The aw-
epyelv of which he speak s signifies nothing more than this : that
iriariq, mere theoretical knowledge, is a concomitant element of
the religious consciousness, of which, however, works are the sub-
stantial form. The view implied rather than stated here is one

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according to which the theoretical and the practical, knowledge on
the one hand, and on the other the action which is in perfect har-
mony with will, do indeed stand side by side, but are quite un-
mediated with each other. Each exists for itself, and forms a
sphere for itself beyond which it does not pass, and being thus
unconnected with each other, they actually fall asunder. The
unity is not reached in which the two sides are embraced and
harmonized It is by no means the case here, as with the Pauline
conception of faith, that the theoretical and the practical are felt
to form a unity, the latter being contained implicitly in the
former, and being related to it as the outer to the inner. And if
this interpenetration of the theoretical and the practical be wanting,
and with it that \mity of the spirit which the two ought to com-
bine to form, if the two elements stand side by side without being
mediated with each other, then, of, course, the practical must

Online LibraryFerdinand Christian BaurPaul, the apostle of Jesus Christ: his life and work, his epistles ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 29 of 35)