Ferdinand Christian Baur.

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outward things of that sort, he himself can boast of the same dis-

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tinctions as they possess, reluctant though he be to speak of them.
Now the author of our Epistle refers this Kav^aaOat Kara rifv
adpKa especially to the distinction of circumcision, and so puts
these words into the apostle's mouth, verse 3, rifieU yap ea-fiev r}
ireptTo/jLrf, Then, in order to ascribe to the apostle the true
irepiTOfirf, he takes the idea of circumcision first in a spiritual
sense ; ol Trvevfiari Oeoi \aTp€vovT€<;, koI Kavj(ci>fi€voi ev Xpiar^
*Iff(Tov fccu ov/c €v aapKL irenovdoT^^, In the following words,
however, /caiirep eyto ej(a>v TreTroldija-iv Kot ev aapiciy he returns to
the idea of bodily circumcision. Here we recognise what the
apostle says of himself, 2 Cor. xi. 18, icayo) Kavxnaofiaii i.e. ev
a-apxl ; and as in what follows there (cf. verse 23, irrrep eyai) he
seeks to outbid his opponents with his Kov^aaOai,, so here also we
read : ei Tt9 hoKcl dXKo<; ireiroidevai, ev aapici, er/to /mWov. This
ireiroiOevai ev aapKl, which is merely another expression for the
Kair)(aa6at Kara rqv adpKa of 2 Cor, xi. 18, is then carried out into
detail, verse 5, the irepcTo^fi being placed at the head of the
enumeration as the principal item. After the words irepLrofirj
oKTarjfiepo^, it is said e/c yevov; 'laparjK, instead of 'lapariKlral
euTi : Kofyo), and ^EPpalo'i e^ 'E/SpalcDv, instead of ^E^palol eurc ;
/cdfyd, 2 Cor. xi 22. This, however, is merely to give the apostle
an occasion to speak more at large about himself, and to contrast
his present Christian view of life with that ireirotdevav ev aapici.
Can it possibly be doubted that the author had before his eyes that
passage of the Corinthian letter, and followed it as the apostle
himself could never have done ? The use of the expression kvv&;
can only be explained from the strong and vehement language in
which the apostle denounces his opponents, 2 Cor. xi, and from
the accustomed exaggeration of imitators. But how uncalled for
and how forced does this speech of the apostle about himself appear
when we compare it with the manner in which he deals with his
opponents in the original passage. There we see at once what it
is all about. How weak and lifeless is this imitation ! What the
apostle is made to say about his former life is just what nobody
could fail to know. How petty is the mention of the circumcision

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on the eighth day, how far from Pauline is the conception of a hiKav-
oavvfj €V vofMp, how dull and uninteresting is the whole episode!
There are other thoughts and expressions in this part of the Epistle
which remind us of the Corinthian 'Epistles ; cf. verse 10 with 2 Cor.
iv. 10 sq,\ verses 11-14, with 1 Cor. ix. 24 «g'.; verse 15, riKeuii,
with 1 Cor. ii 6; verse 17, a-vfifA^fitfral fiov ytveadcf with 1 Cor.
xi. 1, /MififfTcU fiov yivea6e\ verse 19^ with 2 Cor. xL 15; verse 21
with 1 Cor. XV. 47 sq. This more or less obvious reappearance of
passages out of the older Epistles, together with the intentional
leading of the discourse to the apostle's own person, his earlier and
his present life, must certainly excite a prejudice against our Epistle.
Nor do we find any clear reason which could have led the apostle
to write this Epistle, and which might thus create an impression in
its favour. A special reason is indeed mentioned, iv. 10 sq,, in the
shape of a present which the Philippians are said to have sent to
Eome for the apostle's support. This, however, is spoken of in con-
nexion with former subsidies in such a way as to fail entirely to
satisfy us. Speaking of this last subsidy, iv. 15, the apostle reminds
his readers of the fact that from the commencement of his preaching
of the gospel, ever since his departure from Macedonia, he has
received such gifts from no church but that of Philippi, and that
during his stay at Thessalonica they sent him assistance more than
once. Now we must ask how this is to be reconciled with the
apostle's distinct assertion, 1 Cor. ix. 15, according to which he
stood in no such relation towards any church whatever : eyG> ovhevi
e)(pr)<Taii7}v tovtcov, namely, ex rov €V{Vfye\cov f^i/. His iiurffo^
was Iva €vayy€\i^ofi€vof; aZairavov 6t]<t(o to evivyyeXiov rov Xpur-
Tov, eU TO fJLff KaTa')(p7)aaa6aL rrf e^ovala fiov ev tc5 evaryyekiq).
Now4;he exactness of the truth of these words is certainly qualified
by the apostle's own confession, 2 Cor. xi. 9, that during his stajr
at Corinth, brethren who came from Macedonia supplied his wants.
The statement of the first passage, however, is only qualified, not
entirely falsified, by the second ; and the case mentioned, 2 Cor.
xi. 9, can only have been an exception. But here, PhiL iv. 15, it
is made to appear as if there had been a system of subsidies all along.

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as if the apostle had received regular contributions from the
Philippians, and had a sort of account of debtor and creditor with
them (\0709 hoaeay; koI Xif^o)?). The explanation of this is, in
our opinion, that the author had the passage 2 Cor. xi. 9 before
him, and drew from it a conclusion which it does not warrant,
failing to allow due weight to the other passage. The \6yo^
Soo-€C(>9 KoX XiJ^eo)? is evidently our author's equivalent for the
balance spoken of, 2 Cor. xi 9, in the words irpoaavairXrjpovv to

Another curious circumstance here claims our attention. The
interpreters of this Epistle agree with us in thinking that there is
a reference to 2 Cor. xi. 9 : they say that the words ore i^\0ov
diro MaxeBovla^i point to the subsidy received at Corinth, and that
then (verse 16) the apostle goes back to what he had received at
different tivies at Thessalonica in order to make his enumeration
complete. De Wette thinks that the Kot requires this interpreta-
tion, and that the reason why the enumeration does not follow
the chronological ordet is that the subsidy received at Corinth was
the most considerable, and so suggested itself first to the apostle's
mind. But if it was so considerable, why is it not expressly men-
tioned? The words ore e^rjKdop aTro MaKeSovia<; cannot be held
to refer specially to a subsidy received at Corinth ; the statement
made is a general one, that he received assistance from them from
the time of his leaving Macedonia. The apostle could not have
passed over the most important instance without mentioning it,
and it is evidently not he himself, but some other man who expresses
himself in this way. This other writer considered that the case
mentioned in 2 Cor. was so well known that he did not need to
refer to it specially ; he took it for granted, and went on to speak
of other acts of assistance, introducing them with the particle koL
This Kcu cannot be explained in any other way. Now if these
subsidies were so frequent that the apostle was in a position to
count upon them as ordinary occurrences (at least in the case of
the Philippian church), it is hard to see how much is left of the
principle which he asserts in 1 Cor. ix. 15. There is evidence, more-

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over, to show that the apostle cannot have received many such
subsidies at Thessalonica : for according to the Acts he did not re-
side there for any length of time. Thus hardly any other conclusion
is open to us than this, that the author exaggerated what he found
in 1 Cor. ix., about the dS€\<f>ol ikOopre: diro MaxeSovla^y and was
thus led to represent the apostle as having been assisted by regular
contributions from the Philippian church from the date when he left
Macedonia (pre e^fjkOov aTro MaxeBoviasi) ; or rather, as soon as he
left Philippi, since his residence in Thessalonica, a town which was
also in Macedonia, is counted along with the ore e^XOov airo
MaK€Bovia<:. Hence we notice that under the aSeXxfrn eXOdvre;
aTTo MaKehovia^, this writer understood none but Christians from
Philippi Thus what is told us, in chap. iv. 10, of a special occa-
sion for the writing of the Epistle gives us no clear insight into
the apostle's circumstances at the time, and this of itself might
lead us to conclude that we have here no set of actual historical
circumstances, but only an imaginary situation. The more we con-
sider the historical groundwork of the Epistle, the more probable
does this appear.

3. We have still to consider what is said in chap. i. 12, both
about the great progress of the Gospel in £ome, and of the deep
impression which the captivity of the apostle and his preaching
of the Gospel are said to have produced in the whole Praetorium
and throughout that city.^ This statement stands quite alone and
unsupported ; it is not corroborated either by the Epistles which
profess to have been written from the apostle's captivity in Eome,
or from any other quarter. Yet the fact is not in itself incredible,
and no one would have thought of calling it in question had not
the author himself taken up into his Epistle another fact which
gives us so clear an insight iato his plot, that it is impossible for
us to take his assertions as simple history. The attention which
the Gospel commanded in the whole Praetorium, and in Bome
generally, is supposed, as we see from iv. 22, to have had for one

^ iv oX^ ro itpaiTcapii^ kclI rois \oinois ira<n : who are those XotTrol Travref, but
the general Roman public ?

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of its consequences that there were believers even in the imperial
household. 'Aaird^ovrat vfia^y the author says at the conclusion
of his letter, iravref; ol ^lot, fifiXtara Se ol ex t^9 Kalaapo<; olxla^*
This is obviously meant to draw attention to the brilliant and
noteworthy results of the apostle's preaching at Eome ; and there
can be no doubt that in the XolttoI iravre^, i. 1 3, the author was
thinking particularly of those ex t^9 Kalaapo^ oIkU^, How is it
then that this remarkable result of the apostle's activity at Eome
during his imprisonment, a thing so important for the history of
Christianity, meets us nowhere but in the Epistle to the Philip-
pians ? The key to this question is found in the Clement who is
mentioned, iv. 3 ; it is certainly a remarkable circumstance that
this Clement, named nowhere else in the apostolic Epistles, is
named here as sending greeting in a letter in which no other of
the apostle's friends or assistants is mentioned as doing so. This
marked mention of Clement cannot be held to be without signifi-
cance. Since neither history nor tradition knows of any other
Clement at that time, this must be the same who is placed else-
where in the closest relations with the apostle Peter, and who is
said to have been ordained by him as the first bishop of the Church
at Eoma Now in the early legendary history it is reported of
this same Clement that he was connected by blood with the
imperial household. The Clementine Homilies, which derive
their name from this Clement, represent him as the disciple, the
companion, and the successor of the apostle Peter, and narrate his
hfe in the form of a Christian romance, say of him that he wad
dvfjp •7r/)09 yevov^ Tifieplov Kaltrapo^. Legend, then, was acquainted
with a Clement who was a member of the imperial house, and who
was converted by an apostle ; and the Clement of our Epistle is
exactly the man in whose person Christianity is represented in
the imperial house. One being thus given, our author meant us
to infer that there were several believing members of the imperial
house, and so made his apostle send greetings from the whole of
them to the Church at Philippi But how had Christianity
gained access to the imperial house ? How could even the report

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of it get there ? There was another well-known circumstance at
hand to explain this, namely, the position which Paul had come to
occupy as a Boman prisoner in the Praetorium. The Praetorium
was closely connected with the imperial household, and the apostle
had been committed, at his arrival in Kome, to the praefectus
praetorio, the oTparoTreSdpxv^ of -^LCts xxviii. 16, and guarded by
a soldier of the imperial guard. Here, then, was a door through
which, as soon as it had gained belief in the Praetorium, Chris-
tianity might penetrate to the house of the emperor. Thus one
circumstance fits into another in a perfectly natural way, and it is
easy to account for the emphatic mention of the m-poKoini rov
evc^yeklov and the (j>av€pov<; yeveaOai ev Xpcar^ tov^ S€a'f4^v^ ev
o\q> T^ irpatTciyplq) koI toI^ Xotirot? ircuri at the beginning of the
Epistle. The two facts given are, on the one side, the Eoman
Clement, and on the other side the praefectus praetorio. What
lies between the two — the interest of the whole Praetorium in Paul
and in Christianity, and the conversion of several members of the
imperial house — this seems scarcely more than the natural inference
by which these two facts are linked together. Yet we must not
conclude that because this combination seems so natural, the facts
actually followed each other in this order ; what we know of the
Eoman Clement will not allow us to do so. He cannot, indeed,
be said to be altogether the creature of legend ; there is some fact
or other at the root of the legend ; but the facts, so far as we know
them, only serve to show that the apostle himself could not have
named the Eoman Clement in this way. It has long been re-
marked, and justly,^ that the fwad'm fahulaey in the case of the
Eoman Clement, is that Flavins Clemens who is known to us from
Suetonius,^ Dio Cassius,^ and Eusebius.* The correspondence can
hardly be mistaken, and is remarkable as an example of the
process of formation of a Christian legend. We can see to the
bottom of the process, and that in the case of so important a

^ Even by Cotelier, Becogn. S. Clem. 7, 8. Patr. Apost. voL i p. 654.

2 Domit. c. 15.

^ In the extract of Xiphilinus, Ixvii. 14 (iii 2, 23, in Appendix to Dio Cassius).

* H. E. iii. 18.

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personage in Christian legend as the Boman Clement It is

reported of both, of the Clement of the Boman imperial history

and of him of Christian legend, that they were related to the

imperial family. Suetonius calls Flavius Clemens a patruelis of

Domitian. We are warranted to hold him to have been a friend

and adherent of Christianity, for the ddeoTtj^ for which he was

sentenced to death by Domitian, and which is equivalent in the

narrative of Dio Cassius to the ^drj r&v ^lovBalcov, mentioned by

him in the same connexion, is the common heathen designation of

Christianity. The contemtissima inertia with which Suetonius

charges him, agrees with this very well ; as a Christian he could

not take any great interest in the politics of Borne, and this must

have come out markedly during his consulate ; hence, as Suetonius

reports his fate, Domitian repente ex tenuimma suspidone tantvmb

nan in ipso ejus consulate interemit. Then, as the family of the

Clement of the Homilies was forced to quit Bome by some dark

fatality menacing them, and returned thither only after manifold

vicissitudes, so the wife, at least, of Flavius Clemens, Flavia

Domitilla, experienced a similar change of fortune. According to

Dio Cassius, she was banished to the island Pandateria for the

same reason for which her husband lost his life ; but she afterwards

returned to Bome, since Domitian, as TertuUian says, when

speaking of his mode of persecuting, facile coeptum repressit,

restitutis etiam, quos relegaverat} This is the historical basis of

the legend of the Boman Clement ; there is no historical authority

for any Clement but this one, and we have no warrant to assimie

an apostolic Clefment different from him. The passage in the

Epistle to the Philippians cannot count as evidence, if there be

reason to doubt the apostolic origin of that Epistle.^ The death

^ Apolog. ch. 4.

^ The Epistle extant tinder the name of Clement cannot be appealed to in
evidence that there was actually an apostolic Clement different from the other.
Whatever be the date assigned to that Epistle, the name prefixed to it can never
prove that it was written by the Clement of Christian legend. We are not
obliged to hold the Epistle of Barnabas to have been written by the Barnabas
with whom we are acquainted, because it bears the name of Bamabijui.

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of Flavius Clemens is said to have been accompanied by certain
terrible phenomena (continuis octo mermbus, says Suetonius, fulgura
facta nuntiataque sunt), and to have been much spoken of on this
account ; and this would make it the more intelligible how this
Clement, as one of the first Eomans of good family to confess
Christianity, and to become a martyr to that faith, received so
prominent a place in Christian legendary history. In order to
make him a companion of the apostles and the successor of Peter
in the Roman Church, he was removed further back, and made a
relative of Tiberius instead of Domitian. Now if he became a
Christian only in the reign of Domitian, how could the apostle
Paul call him his a-vvepyo^ ? This connexion with the apostle
Paul can only have been ascribed to him by one writing in the
post-apostolic age, when the Clement we have spoken of had
already been transformed into the well-known Clement of the
Eoman legend. The mention of him in the Epistle to the Philip-
pians is thus a criterion in judging of the genuineness of that
Epistle ; and more than this, it throws a new light on the whole
composition of the Epistle. From this Clement and the interest,
of which he was held to be the evidence, which the oIkIu
Tov Kalaapo^ took in the cause of the Gospel, the Epistle obtains
the irpoKOTrfj tqv evayyeXlov, L 12, and this is the reason of that
fervent joy which is expressed all through the Epistle as the deep
and prevailing sentiment of the apostle's heart Whatever the
author makes the apostle write about, no single subject is left
without a reference to his prevailing joyfulness, that %a//)o) teal
avy)(alpo) iraaiv v/uv* to S' avTo Kal ifxel^ ^(alpere xal axr/^alpere
fioc *ii. 17, 18 (cf. iii 1, ^alpere ev Kvpitp : iv. 1, x^P^ '^^^ a-Te^avo^
fibv : V. 4, x^lp€T€ €P Kvplq) iravrore, iraXvp €pS> yalpere : v. 10,
e^dprfv Se iv Kvpl^ fieyaKays;) is found again and again as the
refrain of every passage. This predominant feeling outweighed
the pressure, the restraint, the clouded future in which there was
so little prospect of further action in the cause of the Gospel, and
all the cares of his position at the time. In this respect the Epistle
to the Philippians presents such a contrast with the second to

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Timothy, that it has long been felt that these two writings must
be placed at very different periods of the apostle's captivity at
Home. Nothing but this prevailing feeling of joy can explain to
us how the author ventures to make his apostle express the hope
of speedy deliverance from his imprisonment And yet it appears
very natural that an author living at a later period could not quite
conceal how the well-known death of the apostle was present to his
mind. Mixed with his feelings of joy, we find thoughts of an
approaching death, and these two conditions of his spirit neutralize
each other in sentences such as these : ©9 iravrore xal vvv

p^a\VP07l<T€Tai XpUTTO^ €P TjJ (TODfiaTL fJLOV, €?T€ SlCL fa)^9, €?Te Bta

Oavarov cfioc yap to ^tjv Xpurro^ kcu to airodavelv KepSo^. El
Se TO 5Sj/ €v aapKi, tovto fioi Kaprro^ epyov, teal tl alpriaofiai, ov
yv€opi^(0' avve'xpfiai Se €K t&v Svo, t^v eiriOvfiiap e^cov eU to
apaXva-at, /ecu avp XpurrSt elpcu, ttoXXcS yap /jlSXXop Kpelaa-op,
TO Se errifiepeip ep aapici apay/eaiorepop Si vfia^, i 20-24. Can it
be questioned that a frame of mind alternating thus between life
and death is far less appropriate to the apostle, if- at least it be
true that prospects so unexpectedly wide and splendid had been
opening up before him for the success of the Gospel, than for an
author who saw before him as a historical fact that end of the
apostle which so little harmonized with all these expectations ? It
cannot be without some special puri)ose that the author of our
Epistle places the Eoman Clement, the genuine disciple of Peter,
as he is always accounted, at the side of the apostle Paul as his
aupepyo^. He also is to be a link of that harmonious relation in
which the two apostles were more and more to be exhibited,^ and

^ dement was a very suitable personage for this. He was a Gentile by birth,
and had yet attached himself to Peter and to Jewish Christianity ; thus he was
a natural mediator between the Judseo-Ohristian and the Grentile-Christian
parties, and his great reputation could be serviceable in procuring acceptance for
the Judaizing form of Christianity. He appears in this mediatorial capacity in
the Shepherd of Hermas, L. i vis. 2, where the Church appears to Hennas in the
form of ab old woman and conmiands him to write down the new revelations : —
" scribes duos libellos et mittes manum Clementi — mittet autem Clemens in exteras
dvitates (Gentile-Christian churches) illi enim permissum est." With this agrees
the description given in the Epitome de gestis Petri, c. 149 (cf. the Martyr. Clem.

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how .was it possible that a man of such importance for the Eoman
Church could have been unacquainted with the apostle Paul ? for
was not the Praetorium the only quarter from which the imperial
house was accessible to Christian teaching ?

In general, the object of this Epistle may be said to be to give
a representation of the apostle's personality, through which he
should appear as great and as illustrious as possible. To this end
everything conspires that the writer has to say ; the great success
of the apostle's preaching at Rome, the martyrdom, for it was
nothing less, and it could never be sufficiently recognised, which
he endured in his long incarceration, his affectionate and sympa-
thetic feelings towards the Christian churches, and the constant
direction of his spirit to Christ, in whom alone he lived. In
conclusion, we may add that neither the hricKoiroi and huUovoi at
the beginning of the Epistle, nor those persons named in the last
chapter in such a peculiar and mysterious way, Euodia and
Syntyche (in view of the exhortation to concord they might be
thought to be rather two parties than two ladies), with the yet
more peculiar av^iryo^ 7x^0-^09, are in accordance with the apostle's
manner in other Epistles.

fTo other Epistle contains so many passages, which from one

in Gotelier's Patr. Apost. i., p. SOS) of the character of Clement, that he as
" tertias post magnum Petrum in excelso romaoae ecclesiae throno sedens, ipsum-
que virtutis certamen suscipiens, magistri vestigiis insistebat, apostolicamque
doctrinam ipse quoque praeferebat et similibus moribus efftdgebat, non Chris-
tianis dumtaxat phicens, verum etiam Judaeis ac ipsis gentilibus et omnibus
omnia factus ut et sic omnes lucrifaceret Christoque praesentaret ao verae reli-
gioni connecteret." As middleman between Jewish and heathen Christians, he
was represented as the depositary of all the traditions held for apostolic, which
were to be valid and obligatory for Jewish and heathen Christians equally.
Cf. my Abh. Uber den Ursprung des Episcopats ; Tub. Zeitschr. f Or TheoL 1S38,
3 H. p. 126.

1 The foregoing section (from p. 45) has received so considerable additions in
the discussion TheoL Jahrb. viil., pp. 517-532, that I think it best to print this
part of that discussion entire; it would scarcely bd possible to make extracts
from it.

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cause or another require to be explained, so many sentences
wanting in clearness, loosely connected, and made up of nothing
but repetitions and commonplaces. After the introduction,
in which Paul's style of introduction is closely imitated, take
the first passage where there is a distinct thought expressed,
i 15. Here we are at a loss to know who the rivh fi€v are,
whether aS€'K(l>oi ev Kvplq) or others. " Some preach Christ from

Online LibraryFerdinand Christian BaurPaul, the apostle of Jesus Christ: his life and work, his epistles ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 7 of 35)