W. (William) Sanday.

A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

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at last Latin in possession of the field.

(3) The Hellenizing character of Roman Christianity was due in the first
instance to the constant intercourse between Rome and the East. In the
troubled times which followed the middle of the third century, with the decay
of wealth and trade, and Gothic piracies breaking up the /ax Romana on the
Aegean, this intercourse was greatly interrupted. Thus Greek influences lost
their strength. The Latin Church, Rome reinforced by Africa, had now
a substantial literature of its own. Under leaders like TertuUian, Cyprian,
and Novatian it had begun to develop its proper individuality. It could
stand and walk alone without assistance from the East. And a decisive
impulse was given to its independent career by the founding of Constantinople.
The stream set from that time onwards towards the Bosphorus and no longer
towards the Tiber. Rome ceases to be the centre of the Empire to become
in a still more exclusive sense the capital of the West.

(2) Style. The Epistles which bear the name of St. Paul present
a considerable diveisity of style. To such an extent is this the
case that the question is seriously raised whether they can have had
tlie same author. Of all the arguments urged on the negative
side this from style is the most substantial ; and whatever decision
we come to on the subject there remains a problem of much
complexity and dinituliy.

It is well known that the Pauline Epistles fall into four groups
which are connected indeed with each other, but at the same time
stand out with much distinctness. These groups are : i, 2 Thess.;
Gal., I, 2 Cor., Rom. ; Phil,, Col., Eph., Philem. ; Past. Epp. The
four Epistles of the second group hang very closely together;
those of the third group subdivide into two pairs, Phil. Philem. on
the one hand, and Eph. Col. on the other. It is hard to dissociate
Col. from Pliilem. ; and the very strong presumption in favour of
the genuineness of the latter Epistle reacts upon the former. The
tendency of critical inquiry at the present moment is in favour of
Colossians and somewhat less decidedly in favour of Ephesians.
It is, for instance, significant that Jvilicher in his recent Einleitung

' More precise and full details will be found in Caspari's Excursus, Op. cit,
p. 466 ff.

• Kriiger, Altchristl. Lit. p. 88.


(Freiburg i. B. and Leipzig, 1894) sums up rather on this side of
the quesiion than the other. We believe that this points to what
will be the ultimate verdict. But in the matter of style it must be
confessed that Col. and Eph. — and more especially Eph. — stand at
the furthest possible remove from Romans. We may take E})h.
and Rom. as marking the extreme poles of difference within the
Epistles claimed for St. Paul '. Any other member of the second
group would do as well ; but as we are concerned specially with
Rom., we may institute a comparison with it.
- The difference is not so much a difference of ideas and of
vocabulary as a difference of structure and composition. There are,
it is true, a certain number of new and peculiar expressions in the
later Epistle ; but these are so balanced by points of coincidence,
and the novel element has so much of the nature of simple addi-
tion rather than contrariety, that to draw a conclusion adverse to
St. Paul's authorsliip would certainly not be warranted. The sense
of dissimilarity reaches its height when we turn from the materials
(if we may so speak) of the style to the way in which they are
put together. The discrepancy lies not in the anatomy but in the
surface distribution of light and shade, in the play of feature, in
the temperament to which the two Epistles seem to give expression.
We will enlarge a little on this point, as the contrast may help us
to understand the individuality of the Epistle to the Romans.

This Epistle, like all the others of the group, is characterized
by a remarkable energy and vivacity. It is calm in the sense
tiiat it is not aggressive and that the rush of words is always well
under control. Still there is a rush of words, rising repeatedly to
passages of splendid eloquence ; but the eloquence is spontaneous,
the outcome of strongly moved feeling ; there is nothing about it
of laboured oratory. The language is rapid, terse, incisive ; the
argument is conducted by a quick cut and thrust of dialectic ; it
reminds us of a fencer with his eye always on his antagonist.

We shut the Epistle to the Romans and we open that to the
Ephesians ; how great is the contrast 1 We cannot speak here of
vivacity, hardly of energy ; if there is energy it is deep down
below the surface. The rapid argumentative cut and thrust is
gone. In its place we have a slowly-moving onwards-advancing
mass, like a glacier working its way inch by inch down the valley.
The periods are of unwieldy length; the writer seems to stagger
under his load. He has weighty truths to express, and he struggles
to express them — not without success, but certainly with little
flexibility or ease of composition. The truths unfolded read like
abstract truths, ideal verities, ' laid up in the heavens ' rather than
embodying themselves in the active controversies of earth.

* The difference between these Epistles on the side we are considering u
greater (e. g.) than that between Romans and the Pastorals.


There is, as we shall see, another side. We have perhaps
exaggerated the opposition for the sake of making the difference
rlear. When we come to look naore closely at the Epistle to the
Romans we shall find in it not a few passages which tend in the
direction of the characteristics of Ephesians ; and when we examine
ihe Epistle to the Epiiesians we shall find in it much to remind us
of characteristics of Romans. We will however leave the com-
parison as it has been made for the moment, and ask ourselves
what means we have of explaining- it. Supposing the two Epistles
10 be really the work of tlie same man, can the difference between
them be adequately accounted for ?

There is always an advantage in presenting proportions to the eye and
redacing them to some sort of numerical estimate. This can be done in
the present case without much difficulty by reckoning up the number of
longer pauses. This is done below for the two Epistles, Romans and Ephe-
sians. The standard used is that of the Revisers' Greek Text, and the
estimate of lenglh is based on the number of arixoi or printed lines ^ It
wiU be worth while to compare the Epistles chapter by chapter :—


























































trinal portion



























e Epistle






Here the proportion of major points to otixoi is for the doctrinal chap-
ters 402:570 = (approximately) 1 in 1.4; and for the whole Epistle not
very different, 563:789=1 in 1.418. The proportion of interrogative
sentences is forlhe whole Epistle, 92 : 7S9, or I in 8-6; for the doctrinal
chapters only, 88 : 570, or i in 6-5 ; and for the practical portion only,
4 : 319, or I in 55. This last item is instructive, because it shows how very

' The counting of these is approximate, anything over half a line being
reckoned as a whole line, and anything less than halt a line not reckoned.


greatly, even in the same Epistle, the amount of interrogation varies with
the subject-matter. We also observe that in two even of the doctrinal chap-
ters interrogative sentences are wanting. They lie indeed in patches or
thick clusters, and are not distributed equally throughout the Epistle.
Now we turn to Ephesians, for which the data are as follows : —



















— .

























This gives a very different result. The proportion of mnjor points is for
Eph. i-iii, roughly speaking, i in 4, as against 1 in 1.4 for Rom. i-xii, and
for the whole Epistle rather more than i in 3, as against i in 1.418. The
proportion of interrogations is i in 370 compared with i in 8'6 or 6.5.

In illustrating the nature of the difference in style between
Romans and Ephesians we have left in suspense for a time the
question as to its cause. To this we will now return, and set down
some of the influences which may have been at work — which we
may be sure were at work — and which would go a long way to
account for it.

(i) First would be f^e natural variation 0/ style which conies
from dealing with different subject-matter. The Epislles of the
second group are all very largely concerned with the controversy
as to Circumcision and the relations of Jewish and Gentile
Christians. In the later Epistle this controversy has retired into
the background, and other topics have taken its place. Ideas are
abroad as to the mediating agencies between God and man which
impair the central significance of the Person of Christ; and the
multiplication of new Churches with the growing organization of
intercommunication between those of older standing, brings to the
front the conception of the Church as a whole, and invests it with
increased impressiveness.

These facts are reflected on the vocabulary of the two Epistles. The
controversy with the Judaizers gives a marked colour to the whole group
which includes the Epistle to the Romans. This will appear on the face
of the statistics of usage as to the frequency with which the leading terms
occur in these Epistles and in the rest of the Pauline Corpus. Of course
some of the instances will be accidental, but by far the greater number are
significant. Those which follow have a direct bearing on the Judaistic
controversy. ' Elsewhere ' means elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles.


'■ 'APpa&fx Rom. 9, a Cor. i, Gal. 9 ; not elsewhere in St. PauL [avipfta
'Appaafx Rom. 3, 2 Cor. i, Gal. i.]

Axpo^varia Rom. 3, I Cor. a, Gal. 3 ; elsewhere 3.

dirooToX^ Rom. I , I Cor. i , Gal. I ; not elsewhere in St. PaoL

biKaiovv Rom. 15, i Cor. 2, Gal. 3; elsewhere a.

SiKaiojfia Rom. 5 ; not elsewhere.

Sifcaiajffis Rom. a ; not elsewhere.

Karapyeiv Rom. 6, 1 Cor. 9, 2 Cor. 4, Gal. 3 ; elsewhere 4.

vo/xos Rom. 76, 1 Cor. 8, Gal. 32 ; elsewhere 6.

vfpiToixrj Rom. 15, 1 Cor. i, Gal. 7 ; elsewhere 8.

anepfta Rom. 9, i Cor. i, 2 Cor, i, Gal. 5; elsewhere I.
Connected with this controversy, though not quite so directly, would be»—

daOivr]; Rom. I, I Cor. 10, 2 Cor. i, Gal. i ; elsewhere i.

aaOfvus Rom. 4, i Cor. 2, 2 Cor. 6 ; elsewhere 2.

aa6iv(ia Rom. 2, i Cor. 2, 2 Cor. 6, Gal. 1 ; elsewhere I.

dadivTjua Rom. i ; not elsewhere.

i\(vdepos Rom. 2, 1 Cor. 6, Gal. 6 ; elsewhere a.

lAewSf/jow Rom. 4, Gal. i ; not elsewhere.

i\tv9epia Rom. i, I Cor. i, 2 Cor. i. Gal. I ; not elsewhere.

xavxaaOai Rom. 5, i Cor. 5 (i v.l.), 2 Cor. 20, Gal. a ; elsewhere 3.

Kavxvi^O' Rom. i, i Cor. 3, 2 Cor. 3, Gal. i ; elsewhere a.

Mavxfjffis Rom. 2, i Cor. i, 2 Cor. 6 ; elsewhere I.

Karaxavx'^'^'^Oai Rom. 2 ; not elsewhere.

6(peiKtTTjs Rom. 3, Gal. i ; not elsewhere.

6<pfi\r]fxa Rom. i ; not elsewhere.

oKavSaXov Rom. 4, 1 Cor. i, Gal. I ; not elsewhere. [ff/rovSaXffeiF
I Cor. 2, 2 Cor. i, Rom. i v. 1.]

ijcpfKuv Rom. I, I Cor. 2, Gal. i : &(pS\fia Rom. i ; neither elsewhere.
Two other points may be noticed, one in connexion with the large use of
the O.T. in these Epistles, and the other in connexion with the idea of
successive periods into which the religious history of mankind is divided : —

-yfypamai Rom. i6, 1 Cor. 7, a Cor. 2, Gal. 4; not elsewhere in
St. Paul.

dxpts ov Rom. i, i Cor. 2, Gal. a (i v.l.) ; not elsewhere.

((p' offov xp'^''ov Rom. 1, 1 Cor. 1, Gal. i ; not elsewhere
These examples stand out very distinctly; and their disappearance from
the later Epistle is perfectly intelligible : cessante causa, cessat effectus.

(2) But it is not only that the subject-matter of Ephesians differs
from that of Romans, the circumstances under which it is presented
also differ. Romans belongs to a period of controversy, and
although at the time when the Epistle is written the worst is over,
and the Apostle is able to survey the field calmly, and to state his
case uncontroversially, still the crisis through which he has passed
has left its marks behind. The echoes of war are still in his ears.
The treatment of his subject is concrete and not abstract. He
sees in imagination his adversary before him, and he argues much
as he might have argued in the synagogue, or in the presence of
refractory converts. The atmosphere of the Epistle is that of
personal debate. This acts as a stimulus, it makes the blood

' These examples are selected from the lists in Bishop Lightfoot's classical
essay 'On the Style and Character of the Epistle to the Galatians,'iny<?Mrfi. oj
Class. andSacr. Fhilol. iii. (1857) 308 ff.



circulate more rapidly in the veins, and gives to the style a liveli-
ness and directness which might be wanting when the pressure was
removed. Between Romans, written to a definite Church and
gathering up the result of a time of great activity, the direct out-
come of prolonged discussion in street and house and school, and
Ephesians, written in all probability not to a single Church but to
a group of Churches, with its personal edge thus taken off, and
written too under confinement after some three years of enforced
inaction, it would be natural that there should be a difference.

(3) This brings us to a third point which may be taken with the
last, the allowance which ought to be made for the special tempera-
ment of the Apostle. His writings furnish abundant evidence of
a highly strung nervous organization. It is likely enough that the
physical infirmity from which he suffered, the 'thorn in the flesh'
which had such a prostrating effect upon him, was of nervous
origin. But constitutions of this order are liable to great fluctua-
tions of physical condition. There will be ' lucid moments,' and
more than lucid moments — months together during which the
brain will work not only with ease and freedom, but with an
intensity and power not vouchsafed to other men. And times such
as these will alternate with periods of depression when body and
mind alike are sluggish and languid, and when an effort of will is
needed to compel production of any kind. Now the physical
conditions under which St. Paul wrote his letter to the Romans
would as naturally belong to the first head as those under which he
wrote the Epistle which we call ' Ephesians ' would to the second.
Once more we should expect antecedently that they would leave
a strong impress upon the style.

The difference in style between Rom. and Eph. would seem to be very
largely a difterence in the amount of vital energy thrown into the two
Epistles. Vivacity is a distinguishing mark of the one as a certain slow and
laboured movement is of the other. We may trace to this cause the
phenomena which have been already noted — the shorter sentences of Romans,
the long involved periods of Ephesians, the frequency of interrogation on the
one hand, its absence on the other. In Rom. we have the champion of
Gentile Christendom with his sword drawn, prepared to meet all comers ; in
Eph. we have ' such an one as Paul the aged, and now a prisoner also 0/
Jesus Christ.'

Among the expressions specially characteristic of this aspect of Ep. to
Romans would be the following : —

apo., beginning a sentence, Rom. 9, I Cor. i, 2 Cor. 2, Gal. 5 ; elsewhere
Epp. Paul. 3, Heb. 2. [iipa ovv Rom. 8 (or 9 v. 1.), Gal. i ; elsewhere
3 : apa, without ovv Rom. I (or 3 ▼. 1.), I Cor. I, Gal. 3, Heb. a.]

aXkh. Xiyo) Rom. a.

X<7« 5e Gal. 2.

\tya} ovv Rom. 2.

^iyai 5i rovro on I Cor. ■•

miMv \iya) a Cor. a.


TovTo Si X^7a) Gal. I.

iya) TIavKos \(ya) vfuv ot» Gal. I.
woC; trov ovv ; Rom. I, i Cor. 8, Gal. I ; not elsewhere,
rf ovv; Ti'j ovv; Rom. ii, i Cor. 5, Gal. i; not elsewhere, [rl oSr

kpovft-fv; Rom. 6; ti ipov^tv; Rom 1.]
r[ \(yu (At'7€i, &c.) Rom. 3, Gal. i ; not elsewhert,
Siari Rom. I, I Cor. 2, 2 Cor. i ; not elsewhere.
iniip, unusual compounds of —

viKpiKTfivav 2 Cor. I.

biTipKiav 2 Cor. a.

virtpviKdu Rom. i.

VTTep-neptafffveiv Rom. I, 2 Cor. I.

iimpcppovftv Rom. I.

(4) A last cause which we suspect may possibly have been at
work, though this is more a matter of conjecture, is /he employment of
different amanuenses. We know that St. Paul did not as a rule
write his own letters. But then the question arises, How were
ihey written ? It seems to us probable that they were in the first
instance taken down in shorthand — much as our own merchants or
public men dictate their correspondence to a shorthand writer —
and then written out fair. We believe this to have been the case
from the double fact that dictation was extremely common — so
that even as early as Horace and Persius dictate had already
come to mean ' to compose ' — and from the wide diffusion of the
art of shorthand. We know that Origen's lectures were taken
down in this way, and that fair copies were made of them at
leisure (Eus. H. E. VI. xxiii. 2). But we can well believe that if
this were the case some scribes would be more expert than others,
and would reproduce what was dictated to them more exactly.
Tertius, we should suppose, was one of the best of those whom
St. Paul employed for this purpose. An inferior scribe would get
down the main words correctly, but the little connecting links he
may have filled in for himself.

This is rather speculation, and we should not wish to lay stress npon it in
any particular instance. It is however interesting to note that if we look
below the superficial qualities of style at the inner tendencies of mind to
which it gives expression the resemtjlance between Ephesians and Romans
becomes more marked, so that we may well ask whether we have not before
ns in both the same hand. One of the most striking characteristics of
St. Paul is the sort of telescopic manner, in which one clause is as it were
drawn out of another, each new idea as it arises leading on to some furtlier
new idea, until the main thought of the paragraph is reached again often by
a circuitous route and not seldom with a somewhat violent twist or turn at
the end. This is s)3ecially noticeable in abstract doctrinal passages, just as
a briefer, more broken, and more direct form of address is adopted in the
exhortations relating to matters of practice. A certain laxity of grammatical
structure is common to both.

We will place side by side one or two passages which may help to show
the fundamental resemblance between the two Epistles. [For a defence of
the punctuation of the extract from Romans reference may be made to the
notes adl9c.~\



Rom IH. a 1-26. Eph. iii. 1-7.

Vvvl 5( x*P'^ v6nov dtKaioffivtf tovrov x^P'" ^7'^ naGA.of i iiffftwi

©eou Tr((pavipaiTat, ixaprvpovnivrj vnd Tov Xpiarov 'Iijaov vnlp vfiSjv tcui'

rov p6hov Kal Tuiv TipocpTjruiv SiKato- iOi'Uv, — ii-ye ijKovaart rf)v olKOVOfiiav

avvrj hi Qiov hia martcus 'Iijaov ttjs x'^P''''"^ ''"i' ©fO" t^s SoOeiarji fxoi

XpiGTov (h iravTai rovs Triartvovras' «jy vfids, on Kara arroKaXvipiv tytxu-

oil y&p eari SiacTToXr)' yravrfs ycip p'laO-q /xoi to y-varripiov, KaOwt -npo-

flp.apTov, Kol vartpovvrai ttjs So^tjs iypaipa eV oKlyo), npoi t BvvaaOf dva-

Tov 0(ov' StKaiov/j-fvoi hwpfav rp yivwaKovra vufjaat rfjv aivea'iv p.ov iv

avTOv X'^P'''"' ^"* '^V^ diro\vTpwfffci}s rw nvaTTjpiqj tov X., 6 (ripais yevtais

T^y (V X. "1., tv vpoiOfTO 6 0eiy ovk kyvcopiaOr) tcis vloii ru)v dvOpwncuv,

VnxOTrjpiov Std t^j maTfois (v to) uis vvv dnfKaXv'pOr] tois aylois d-noaro-

avTOv alixaTt, tit tvdfi^iv rijs SiKato- \ois avroxi teal npocpriTais iv Uyevfiarr

avvrjs avTov, Sid TfjV ir&peaiv tS)V (ivandfOvrjavyKKrjpovoiiaKaiavaacupia

irpoyiyov6T<uv anapriji^iTajv tv t^ Kal ffufxntToxi T^y eTrayytXiai h' X. 'I.

dvox^ TOW @eov trphi T^iv tvSfi^iv did tov tvayytXiov ov lyivrjdrjv hid-

rfji SiKaioffvvrjs avrov iv tSi vvv kovos Kara r^v hcupfdv rfji xdpiTos tov

Kaip^, tU rb (Ivai avT^v S'lKaiov Koi Beov t^s SoOe'iarji jxoi Kara rr^v ivep-

tiieatovvTa rbv Ik viaTton Irjaov. ytiav rrji Swafxtus avrov.

In the Romans passage we have first the revelation of the righteousness of
God, then a specification of the particular aspect of that righteousness with
a stress upon its universality, then the more direct assertion of this univer-
sality, followed in loose construction (see the note ad he.) by an announce-
ment of the free character of the redemption wrought by Christ, then a fuller
comment on the method of this redemption, its object, the cause which rendered
it necessary, its object again, and its motive. A wonderful series of contents
to come from a single sentence, like those Chinese boxes in which one box
is cunningly fitted within another, each smaller than the last.

The passage from Ephesians in like manner begins with a statement of the
durance which the Apostle is suflering for the Gentiles, then goes off to
explain why specially for the Gentiles, so leading on to the /xvarrjpiov on
which that mission to the Gentiles is based, then refers back to the previous
mention of this fivarripioy, which the readers are advised to consult, then
gives a fuller description of its character, and at last states definitely its
substance. Dr. Gifford has pointed out (on Rom. iii. 26) how the argu-
ment works round in Lph. to the same word fivaTrjpiov as in Kom. to the
same word ivhu^iv. And we have similar examples in Rom. ii. 16 and iii. 8,
where two distinct trains of thought and of construction converge upon
a clause which is made to do duty at the same time for both.

The particular passage of Ephesians was chosen as illustrating this pecu-
liarity. But the general tendency to the formation of periods on what we
have called the 'telescopic' method — not conforming to a plan of structure
deliberately adopted from the first, but linking on clause to clause, each sug-
gested by the last — runs through the whole of the fiist three chapters of
Eph. and has abundant analogues in Rom. (i. 1-7, 18-24; i'- 5-i6 ; hi. 21-
26; iv. 11-17; V. 12-14; ix. 22-29; XV. 14-28). The passages from
Rom. are as we have said somewhat more lively than those from Eph. ;
they have a more argumentative cast, indicated by the frequent use of yap;
whereas those from Eph. are not so much argumentative as expository, and
consist rather of a succession of clauses connected by relatives. But the
difference is really superficial, and the underlying resemblance is great.

Just one other specimen may be given of marked resemblance of a some-
what different kind— the use of a quotation from the O.T. with running
comments. In this instance we may strengthen the impression by printing
for comparison a third passage from Ep. to Galatians.


Rom. X. 5-8. Eph. It. 7-1 i.

Meuff^s 7ap ypircptt on Tfjv iiKaio- 'ErJ 5i iKaffro) -fjnaiv kSodij 1^ X*^/"'

(Tvi'Tjv T^f tK lo/iov 6 TTOirjffas dv- icarcL rd fterpov rfji 5cu/)eay rov XptaTov.
BpQj-nos (rjafrai ev aiirrj. 17 51 l« Sto Af'7«j, 'Ava/Sas tis v^pos px^"^'^"
irirjTfws SiKaioavvrj ovtoj \tyet, Mfj revaev atxfJ-a^ojaiav, Kal (SiuKe Su/xara
tinrjs iv Tp icapSta aov T/s ava^-q- roTs dvdpwTtoii. {rb 5J ^AvePij ri kanv
atrai fh rbv ovpavov ; (tovt (art, €l fir} on Kal KartPrj eh rd Karwrepa
Xp aruy Karayayiiv) fj, lis Kara- t^ipr) rrjs 7^s; 6 Kara^ds avros iari
^TjcyeTat fh rftv a^vaaov ; (toCt' Kal 6 dvaBds v-ntpavo) iravruv tSiv ovpa-
(OTt, Xpiarov (K vtKpOjv dvayayiiv.') vwv, 'iva TrXrjpwaij rd travTa.) Kal avros
dWd ri \iy(t ; '£771'? aov to prjfxa (Same tovs fiiy dvoaroXovs «.tA,
eanv, ev tw arSpari aov Kal ey Tjj
KapSia aoV tovt' eari rd ^fjixa ttjs
viartus t Kifptjaao/ifv.

Gal. iv. 35-31.

T^ Si 'Ayap 'Stvd opoi tarlv iv t?) 'kpa^ia, avaroixei 8J t^ vvv '\epovaa\fin'

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