Ferdinand Christian Baur.

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

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trace in the authentic letters of the apostle of his having stood in
such a special relation to the church at Philippi as is implied in
PML iv. 15. The name of that church is not once mentioned ; he
speaks only of the churches of < Macedonia, and we might even
conclude from 2 Cor. xi. 8, where he speaks of aXKcu hcxkijcriai, as
distinct from the Corinthian church, from which he had received
assistance in money during his residence in Achaia, that other
churches also stood in this relation towards him. According to
PhiL iv. 15, however, this relation subsisted only in the case of the
Philippian church. It is said expressly: ovSefiia fioi eKKkrfcria
eKOivdvrjcrev 6(9 Xoyop Bocrern^ kcu Xrjyftew^, el fir) vfieh fiovoi. Thus
it is very natural to suppose, and this agrees very well with the
other considerations which make the origin of the Epistle doubtful,

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that the author, having, as the Epistle shows, a special interest in
the church at Philippi, attributes the help which the apostle says
came to him from Macedonia, to that church specially and indi-
vidually. He thought very naturally that the Philippians would
not leave the apostle without aid during his imprisonment, and he
made use of this circumstance as the occasion of his Epistle to the
PhiUppians. It may indeed be argued that since, as we know
from 2 Cor., the apostle did receive aid from the Christians of
Macedonia, it is very probable that the Philippians actually did
what is reported of them, iv. 15. Since, however^ the Pauline
origin of the Epistle is questionable on other and more general
grounds, the contrary supposition is equally probable ; it simply ex-
hibits in this one particular that derivative character of the Epistle
which has already been demonstrated on other grounds. In a
genuine Pauline Epistle we should expect that, besides what is
directly spiritual, there will be some new information not derivable
from other sources, about the position of affairs at the time, the
occasion of the writing, and the various matters of interest which
a piece of the original reality could not fail to bring with it Here,
however, we have poverty of thought, want of any historical basis,
unconnectedness ; we have nothing specific or concrete, nothing to
give us the impression of originality, nothing but a dull and
colourless reflection* As for the want of connexion, it is indeed
possible by making out a general view and index of the contents,
to bring t6 light a certain succession of sections, and thus to make
the transition from one to the other somewhat easier to the reader.
In this business Mr. Bruckner shows a considerable amount of
dexterity (op. cit. p. 38 sq.). De Wette, again, calls the Epistle a
graceful contexture of two main themes, the affairs of the Philippians
and those of the apostle, and makes it apparent in a table that these
two themes come forward alternately. Yet at a passage, iii 1,
where the connexion is difficult to trace, he is forced to take refuge
in putting a dash between the two chapters, a way of connecting
which is certainly not after the apostle's manner. The Epistle
consists of a multitude of independent sentences; the larger sections

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are placed after each other with a merely external eonnexion;
'Xaipere forms the close of one and the beginning of another (ii 18,
iiL 1), and there is a total want of any idea to bind the whole
together. If it be alleged, in explanation of this, that this Epistle
is more properly a private letter than any of the others, it must be
said that 2 Cor. is such a letter quite as much. Yet how different
is it in this particular I

As for my theory regarding the person of Clemens and the

historical statements connected with it, I have little to add.

Liinemann and Briickner bring all their acuteness to bear against

my view, and seek to prove that the Clement mentioned, iv. 3,

must be a Philippian. Liinemann exalts the merit of his refutation

by the construction of the words of that verse which he gratuitously

imputes to me. The critics might have said much more simply, as

Eitschl does in his review of my 'Paulus,' in the Halle Allge-

Tneine Lit, Zeitvm^g, 1847, p. 1008 : "This Clement is, unless I be

greatly deceived, a member of the church at Philippi, and has

nothing to do with that Clemens Eomanus so famous afterwards in

legend." What more is wanted to prove the authenticity of the

Epistle, if Messrs. Liinemann and Briickner agree in this opinion !

It is certainly quite in keeping with the vagueness of our Epistle

that nothing in it can be fixed to its own definite locality, so that

it is impossible to know where the persons spoken of belong to,

where the opponents who are impugned are to be sought for,

whether at Home or at Philippi. And the apostle himself speaks

in one passage of his bonds and his anticipations of death, and,

immediately after of setting out for Philippi (ii 24). Yet the chief

point is, and these critics seem to have overlooked it altogether, that

Clement is expressly called a ovvepyo^ of the apostle, and thus is

reckoned one of those who worked with him and beside him, and

that for some time, in the proclamation of the gospeL Although

nothing whatever is known from the apostle's own writings about

such a fellow-labourer, yet in itself it might quite well be the case

that besides the Boman Clement, who appears in other quarters as

an adherent of Peter, there was another apostolical man of this

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nama But let it be considered what stage has been already
reached in the criticism of our Epistle^ before we come to speak of
this Clement named at iv. 3. Here is an author who exhibits so
little independence in other particulars, who has nothing to say
that is new or peculiar to himself, whose sources of information
can be pointed out in a number of instances. And from what
other quarter should his Clement come than &om that tradition to
which the Clement already known to us belongs ? With this the
rest is explained at onca About the enigmatical av^vyo^ of the
apostle I have nothing to say any more than others. Schwegler
thought of the apostle Peter, and this is at least as reasonable as
the suggestion of Wieseler (Chronologie der Apostelgeschichte,
p. 458), who takes this yoke-fellow to be Christ, " who helps every
one to bear his burden," or that of Biickert, who recognises in him
the brother-german of the apostle, said to be spoken of in the
aS€\</>09, 2 Cor. viii 18, 22.

An author writing in the name of the apostle was of course
obliged to write a Pauline style, yet the language of the Epistle
betrays the imitator in many particulars. There is a considerable
number of words and expressions which are peculiar to this Epistle
(cf. Zeller, Studien zur neutestTheoL, TheoL Jahrb., 1843, p. 607 sq.)
I have also been struck with the repeated use of the particle w\^,
which the author is fond of using as a particle of transition, to join
together, externally, sentences, which have no very dose connexion
inwardly. In this short Epistle irKrjv is used in this way three
times, i 18, iii 16, iv. 14. In the unquestioned Epistles of the
apostle, the particle is found only once, 1 Cor. xi 11. The particle
apa, on the other hand, which the apostle uses so frequently, is
not once found hera Then the emphasis which the author seeks
to gain by the repetition of the same word : i 9, fiSXKov kcu
fiaXKov ; ver. 18, p^a/po), aXKa kolL ^aprjcrofiai ; ver. 25, fi€P<o kcu
avfiirapafiev& ; ii 17, xalpm kcu avy^aipia; ver. 18, j(alpere kcu
pvy^aipere ; ver. 27, "Kwrrfv eni \\nrqv ; iii 2, pKeirere rov^ tcvva^,
pKeirere tov? xaKoif^ epydrcK, fikeirere t^p Kararofiriv; iv. 2,
EvcoSlav irapaKcCKSi kcu SvpTvj(f)v irapaKa\&; ver. 17, ovj^ Sr^

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em^rjprS) to hiiia, oKh! eiri^rfT& top Kapirov. The same word used
twice in the same verse (iii 4, 8). Synonymous or similar expres-
sions are used in conjunction : L 20, airoKapaZoKia koL eKirU ; ii
1, <nrKarf)(ya kclL ol/cripfiol; ver. 2, tva to airro <f>povfJT€ . . . to ep
^povovme; ; ver. 16, ovk ev; Kevov cSpafiov, ovBe eh Kevov iKoirtcura ;
ver. 17, Ovala k<u "KeiTovpylq. Try: Trurreay; ; ver. 26, Epaphroditus is
called not only dB€\fl>69 kcu awepyo^, but also, with the exaggera-
tion characteristic of such writers, ovcrrpaTuoTi]^ ; and on all this
follows vfi&v Be airooTo'KoSf kclL 7<jetTovpyo'; t^9 XPe/a? fiov. In
contrast to this the apostle calls Timothy, 2 Cor. viii. 23, simply
his Koivcovo^, and in reference to the Corinthians his awepy6<; ; iii
9, ZiKcuoavvri ^ Bia 7rwJT۩9 Xpurrov, ij he Oeov BiKaioawr] eirv t^
irioTei; iv. 7, to? xapBia^ vfi&v kcu to, vorifiaTa vfiAp; ver. 12, ei^
wavrl KM €P ircurc ; ver. 18, oa-fj^ evfoBia^, Ovcria Seterri evapeaTO^
t£ ©eoat This phraseology is not specially Pauline ; the writer
who used it was clearly one who sought to make up for what was
wanting in his thought by the exuberance of his expression.
Then again, there are expressions which though of rare occurrence
with Paul are yet so specifically Pauline, that the use of
them at once informs us of the quarter from which they were
drawn, — ^Thus i 8, fiapTv^ yap fiov earlp 6 &eo^, ©9, etc., c£ Pom.
i 9 ; PhiL L 10, Botecfid^eip to Buuf>€poPTa, as Bom. ii 18. The
apostle calls himself, 1 Cor. ix. 23, a <njyKoipwpo<; of the gospel,
and our author makes him say to the Philippians (i 7), that
they are ovyKoiPfopol Ttj^ ^dpiTo^ ; Phil, i 19, en-i/xppTjyui tov
irvevfjuiTo^, as GaL iii 5 ; PhiL i 26, Kavyrjfia vfjb&p, as 2 Cor. i 14 ;
Phil, i 22, Qp €P aapKi, as Gal. ii. 20; PhiL ii 16, €l9 /cepop
eSpafiop, as GaL ii 2 ; PhiL ii 30, to epyop Xpurrov, as 1 Cor.
xvi 10 ; PhiL ii 30, opaifkripovp to vaT€pr)fia, as 2 Cor. ix. 12 ;
PhiL iii. 3, xavxaaOcu ep Xpurrm, 1 Cor. i 31, 2 Cor. x. 17, etc.
We are also reminded of the Apocalypse xiii 8, by the expression
used in PhiL iv. 3, c^i^ to opofuiTa ep fii^\£ ^an}^*

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The Epistle to Philemon takes its place beside tlie three Epistles
to the Ephesians^ Colossians, and Philippians, as bearing, like them,
to have been written during the apostle's captivity at Rome. It is
connected most intimately with the Epistle to the Colossians,
Philemon havingbeen, according to the general assumption, a member
of the Church at Colosse. In this Epistle, indeed, there is no dis-
tinct indication of the fact, except that the persons from whom
greetings are sent are the same as in the Epistle to the Colossians,
with the exception of Jesus Justus, CoL iv. 11. And there is no
doubt that at CoL iv. 9, this same Onesimus, whom the author of
the Epistle represents as sent to the Colossians along with Tychicus,
is called one of themselves. In the case of this Epistle more than
any other, if criticism should inquu*e for evidence in favour of its
apostolic name, it seems liable to the reproach of hypercriticism,
of exaggfiratrf^d snapjcion, and restless doubt, from the attacks of
which nothing is safe. What has criticism to do with this short,
attractive, graceful and friendly letter, inspired as it is by the
noblest Christian feeling, and which has never yet been touched
by the breath of suspicion ? Yet criticism cannot possibly take
an apostolic origin for granted here, and forbear from inquiries. If
indeed the other Epistles, which profess, as this one does, to have
been written in the apostle's captivity, had been above all doubt,
then the claim of this one to the same origin might have passed
unchallenged. But the case is quite different when this Epistle is
regarded in the light of the critical doubts which those others have
certainly appeared to us to warrant. If so much can be urged

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against the Pauline origin of these three Epistles, and stiU more of
the Pastoral ones, and if it be so extremely doubtful whether we
have any apostolical Epistles from the period of the imprisonment
at all, what claim has this small Epistle, a mere letter of friend-
sl\ip2_and dealing with a purely private. affair, to be considered an ;
exception to that judgment ? Whatever weight may attach to this ;
inference from analogy, yet on the other hand the demand is
certainly fair, that we should look at the Epistle in itself, and)
show, if not the probability, at least the possibility of its having a
non-apostolic parentage. The difference between Pauline and non* ,
Pauline Epistles cannot surely be so small that this one, if not
Pauline, should bear no mark whatever of its different origin. Now ,
what can be proved in this direction ? We need not insist upon the
nature of the language used ; on the fact that in this short Epistle
there is a considerable number of expressions which never occur in,
the apostle's own writings at all, or only in the disputed writings ; as j
<n;(7T/)aTtQ)Ti79, ver. 2, in the metaphorical sense that later writers are
so fond of ;^ avfjKov, hrvraaauv, ver. 8 ; irpecr/Sim]^, ver. 9 (the refer- :
enceto his age is certainly peculiar) ; a'Xpv<^o<$ and cu^/MyoTo?, ver. 11 ; >
dire'xw in the sense of "have back," ver. 16; dworiw, irpoao^etKo),
ver. 19 ; ovivacr0M,yeT.2O ; f€i//a,ver. 22 (the expression aTrkarfxi^aia
also striking, not as being un-Pauline, but as occurring three times
over, ver. 7, 12, 20). It is the contents of the Epistle that chiefly
arrest our attention: these contents are certainly peculiar, and>
distinguish the Epistle from all others. Here there are no mere
commonplaces, no repetitions of things known long before, no indefi-
n ite doctr ine ; on the contrary, it deals with an actual occurrence
belonging to a certain definite set of circumstances. We must ask,
however, whether this subject, which is the occasion of the writing, :
is not itself so very singular as to arouse our suspicions ? A slave,
has run away from his master because of some delinquency; a theft,
it is commonly assumed. His master is a Christian at Colosse in
Phrygia, and an intimate friend of the apostle Paul; the slave,
comes to Eome, is brought in contact with the apostle in his im-.

1 Cf. Pastoralbriefe, p. 99.

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prisonment, is converte d by him to Christianity, and thereupon
sent back to his master at Colosse as a Christian slave. This is a
very remarkable concurrence of chances, such as rarely indeed
takes place ; and the letter given to the converted slave by the
apostle to carry to his master regards the occurrence from the
Christian point of view, and makes it the subject of Christian
reflection. The slave converted to Christianity is represented as a
child born to the apostle in his old age and in his captivity, and
therefore loved by him with all the greater tenderness. As a
converted slave he has been changed out of an a'xpriaTo^, one from
whom his master derived no profit, but rather the reverse, into an
€uxpV<^<^ for both, for his master andthe apostle. Here there is
a play, not only on the slave's name, Onesimus (from ovtffii, ovlvrffii,
to be of use, serviceable), but on the Christian name itself, for the
heathens often said Xfyqcro^ instead of Xptaro^, a thing which
the Christians did not take at all amiss. ^

The leading idea is this — that when the slave returjied-to his
master he had become a Christian : this idea is expressed with all
due clearness, and everything that the Epistle contains besides is
just the development and illustration of what Chriatianity _waa_
held to imply. The beautiful idea is here taken as a part of
Christianity, that those whom it connects stand to each other in a
real community of essence, so that the one sees in the other his
own self, knows himself to be completely one with him, and is thus
included- ift.. a. union which is to last for ever. The converted
slave is no longer the slave of his master ; he is more than a slave,
h^ is his brother beloved, all whose misdeeds and debts are now
forgiven. The apostle who has converted the slave is not only the
spiritual father of the man who through him is now regenerate ;
the master of the slave receives in him not merely the convert, but

* Cf. Justin, Apol. i. c. 4 : 'Ek rod KaTfjyopovfi€vov ff^&v ovofioros x/w/oTdTorot
virdpxofifv. XpioTtavol yhp eivcu KarriyopovfieBa, t6 Se XP"!*^^^ fU<rei<rOM ov
diKcuov. In the same way Athenagoras says of the heathens, Leg. cap. 2 : ds t6
Zvofia &S €ls ddiKrifia ipyfipiCova-iv, ovbev dc to Svofta, d<^* iavrov Koi bC avrov ov
irovrfpov oUre xpV^'^^^ vofiiCerai, Tertull. Apol. 3': Gum perperam Ohrestianus
pronuntiatur a vobis (nam nee nominis certa est notitia penes vos), de suavitate
rd benignitate compositum est.

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also the apostle who converted him. Sv Be aurov, tovt cotl ra
€fia aTrXaj'xva, irpoaka^ov, ver. 12. El ovv efie €j(€i^ koivodvov,
irpoaXa^ov aurov ©9 ifie, ver. 17. As the converted slave, being a
Christian slave, is to the apostle in place of his Christian master,
so through the same bond of identity, he unites the apostle who
converted him with his Christian master, who must needs behold
in him the converted, his converter also. Thus Christianity does
away with all differencoajdoiclLaeparate men from one another ; as
a new principle of life it creates a new set of relations, where one
lives in the other ; the consciousness is a common consciousness
in which all are one. The apostle becomes surety for the con-
verted slave to his master, and answerable for his debt ; but then
the Christian master himself is the apostle's debtor, ver. 19. What
one is the other is also, because all are one in the same unity.
The play on the word Onesimus in ver. 20 is doubtless meant
to convey the same idea ; the apostle says, in a certain way, " as thy
Christian slave has only now become an Onesimus worthy of his
name, so shouldst thou, his Christian master, be my Onesimus ;
let me rejoice in thee (ey© <rov ovalfjLtfv ev Kvpltp), give me the full
enjoyment of thy love, let my inmost consciousness as a Christian
conscioxisness repose on thine."

Among those sweet utterances of an author deeply imbued
with the Christian spirit, there is another thought especially
deserving of remark. The apostle writes to the master of the
sl^ve, Ycr. 15, that perhaps the slave who deserted him, but who
has now become a Christian, departed from him for a season, in
order that he might receive him back for ever. He receives him
back for ever if he receives him as a Christian, This aspect of
Christianity is dwelt upon in the pseudo-Clementine homilies:
Christianity is the permanent reconciliation of those who were
formerly separated by one cause or another, but who by a special
arrangement of affairs brought about by Divine Providence for that
very purpose, are again brought together ; through their conver-
sion to Christianity they know each other again, the one sees in
the other his own flesh and blood, himself.^ The point of the

^ Die Christliche Gnosis, p. 372 «g.

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historical narratives in the homilies is to be found in these scenes,
of recognition and reconciliation ; and if, on this account, they have
been called, and justly so, a Christian romance, why should not
our Epistle be the embryo of a similar Christian fiction? The
historical materials which it contains are not worked out, yet it
evidently contains materials for a more extended treatment The>
author of the Epistle, however, does not dwell on his story for its
own inherent interest ; he rather pre-supposes the story as a vehicle,
for the idea which it is his object to set fortL The moral of the
1 story is, that what one loses in the world, one recovers- in.Ctais-
tianity, and that for ever; that the world a^d Christianity are
related to each other as separation and reunion, as time and
eternity. This idea is expressed with all proper clearness in the.
words, ver. 15 : ra^a yap Sia tovto €)((oplcr0f) wpo^ wpav, iva
auovtov airrov aireyrf^. The occurrence spoken of is thus to be
considered teleologically ; but the teleological view of history is the
mother of historical fiction, and if once the idea be regarded as the
substance of what has taken place, it is no great step to regard
what has happened as having happened only in representation,
and that it might serve as the outward form of the idea. Thus it
cannot be called either an impossible or an improbable construction
of this Epistle, if we regard it as a Christian romance serving to

If this Epistle be interpreted in the way in which it must be,
as soon as we regard it, not merely in itself, but in its historical
and critical connexion with the other Epistles which stand nearest
to it, then the peculiar excellence for which it is extolled becomes
much more questionable. The excellence is, that it contains
nothing of importance either in relation to doctrine or to Church
\ history, but is invaluable as a jdocmaent^ bringing before us the
apostle's cheerful and amiable personality, and as a practical
commentary on CoL iv. 6. But if the Epistle be actually written
by Paul, is it not remarkable that the occurrence, which in that
case actually happened, is simply used to illustrate a certain
idea, and that the enforcement of this idea is the real aim and
subject of the Epistle ?

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The second of these Epistles has abeady been attacked by
criticism; but the first has as yet excited no suspicions. The
reason of this is probably to be found in the nature of its contents,
in which there is nothing at all striking or peculiar. In the whole
collection of the Pauline Epistles there is none so deficient in the
character and substance of its materials as 1st Thessalonians. With
the exception of the view advanced in iv. 13-18, no dogmatic idea
whatever is brought^ into prominence, as is certainly the case in
the Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians, and
even in the short Epistle to Philemon. The whole Epistle is
made up of general instructions, exhortations, wishes, such as
appear in the other Epistles merely as adjuncts to the principal
contents; what is accessory in the other cases is here the pre-
ponderating and essential element This might appear at first sight
to favour the opinion that the Epistle is genuine — there is so little
for criticism to lay hold of. The very insignificance of the contents,
however, the want of any special aim and of any intelligible
occasion or purpose is itself a criterion adverse to a Pauline origin ;
but not merely do these negative considerations demand explana-
tion : a closer view of the Epistle betrays such dependence and
such want of originality as is not to be found in any of the
genuine Pauline writings. The chief part of the Epistle is
nothing but a lengthy version of the history of the conversion of
the Thessalonians as we know it from the Acts. It contains
nothing that the Thessalonians would not know already, and the

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author may have taken his account of the transaction either from
the Acts or firom some other source. To begin with L i sq,, elSore^,
dBeXxfxH . . . TTiv €K\oyfiv vpu&v, etc ; this merely states how the
apostle preached the gospel to the Thessalonians, and they
received it*; ch. ii 1, avrol yap otSa/re, aB€Xxf>ol, Tqv evcroSop
^fjL&v TTjv 7rpo9 v/m^ . . . irpoiraOovre^; kcu vl3pur0evT€^, KoJdta^
oi8aT€, €v ^CKlinroi<;, eta, points more distinctly to the circum-
stances of the apostle's coming to Thessalonica, and the way in
which he worked there. In the same way iii. 11 sj., evSo/crja-a/iev
KardSjev^Ofivcu ev ^AOrivais fiovoi, xal eirefiy^afiev TifioOeoVt etc,
refers to what happened only a short time before, and what the
Thessalonians were quite well aware of. As the writer admits by
the perpetually recurring elSore; (L 4), avrol yap olSare (ii 1),
Ka0(o^ olhare (iL 2), fivqpjovevere yap (ii 9), KaOdirep oiBare (ii.
11), avrol yap oiBare (iii 3), KaOm Ktii iyevero kcu otSare (iii. 4],
otBare yap (iv. 2), only such things are spoken of as the readers
knew well already ; the history which is recapitulated is not an

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