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Bearing on Inspiration.
Apostle and the philosophic Jew move in parallel lines, as it were, keeping side by side and yet never once crossing each other's path.
And there is still another point in which the contrast between the two is great. With Philo the allegory is the whole substance of his teaching; with St Paul it is but an accessory. He uses it rather as an illustration than an argument, as a means of representing in a lively form the lessons before enforced on other grounds. It is, to use Luther's comparison, the painting which decorates the house already built.
At the same time we need not fear to allow that St Paul's mode of teaching here is coloured by his early education in the rabbinical schools. It were as unreasonable to stake the Apostle's inspiration on the turn of a metaphor or the character of an illustration or the form of an argument, as on purity of diction. No one now thinks of maintaining that the language of the inspired writers reaches the classical standard of correctness and elegance, though at one time it was held almost a heresy to deny this. “A treasure contained in earthen vessels,” “strength made perfect in weakness,' “rudeness in speech, yet not in knowledge, such is the far nobler conception of inspired teaching, which we may gather from the Apostle's own language. And this language we should do well to bear in mind. But on the other hand it were mere dogmatism to set up the intellectual standard of our own age or country as an infallible rule. The power of allegory has been differently felt in different ages, as it is differently felt at any one time by diverse nations. Analogy, allegory, metaphor—by what boundaries are these separated the one from the other ? What is true or false, correct or incorrect, as an analogy or an allegory? What argumentative force most be assigned to either ? We should at least be prepared with an answer to these questions, before we venture to sit in judgment on any individual case.
The various readings in v. L.
The variations of reading in this verse are the more perplexing, in that they seriously affect the punctuation, and thereby the whole texture of the passage. The main variations are threefold. I. The position of oov. (i) It stands after orrijkere in NABCFGP and a few of the better cursive Mss; in f, g, the Vulgate, Gothic, Memphitic, Thebaic", AEthiopic, Armenian, and perhaps the Peshito Syriac” versions; in Origen”, Basil", and Cyril"; in Victorinus, Augustine, and others. The Memphitic version also inserts yap with ri, Asvöepta.
(1) Position of
1 I have ascertained this from the Ms belonging to Lord Crawford and Balcarres.
* This is doubtful, the order of the words being altered in this version.
* in Ezod. H. 3 (II. p. 139), in Jud. H. 9 (II. p. 477), both extant only in Latin.
* Mor. 14 (II. p. 247, Garnier), according to some of the best Mss. In the printed editions however it stands after éAev6eptg. In the de Bapt. (II. p. 641, Garnier), a treatise ascribed to Basil but of doubtful authorship, its place is after arijkere.
* Glaphyr. I. p. 75.
(ii) Its position is after Aev6epig in C (by a third hand) KL and very many cursive Mss, in Marcus Monachus", Damascene, Theophylact, and CEcumenius. (iii) It is omitted in DE (both Greek and Latin); in the Vulgate and later Syriac; in Ephraem Syrus, in Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret, in Jerome, Pelagius, the Ambrosian Hilary, and others. It is wanting also in Chrysostom, who however supplies a connecting particle, reading ri, yap *Mev6epig k.T.A. In Asterius” of v is absent after Aev6epig, but, as the context is wanting, it is impossible to say whether it occurred after arriskere or not. Thus it will be seen that the balance of authority is decidedly in favour of placing otv after orjkere; and this is probably the correct reading. The displacement (ii) and the omission (iii) were, it would seem, different expedients to relieve the awkwardness in the position of the connecting particle, on the supposition that the sentence began with rij Aev6epig. 2. The position of juás. It is found, (2) Posi(i) Before Xpurrës in NABDEFGP and some cursive Mss, in Origention of (Latin translation), Theodore of Mopsuestia (Latin translation), and #4as. Cyril". (ii) After Xploros in CKL and many cursive Mss, and in Chrysostom, Theodoret, Asterius, Marcus Monachus, and Damascene. (iii) After j\ev6époorev in Theophylact. The versions and the Latin fathers vary, the majority placing it after Xplorós; but this is plainly a case where no great stress can be laid on such evidence. The transposition would be made unintentionally in the course of translation (Xploros juás being perhaps the more natural order), so that one authority in favour of juās Xptorrós is of more weight than a number against it. The order juas Xplorrós may therefore be retained with confidence. 3. Besides these, there still remains a third and more important variation. o The (i) To Nev6epta j is read in D (by the correction of later hands") relative. EKL and the great majority of cursives, in both Syriac versions, in Basil, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia (Latin), Theodoret (twice), Cyril, Asterius, Marcus Monachus, Theophylact, and CEcumenius. The AEthiopic has “quia Christus nos liberavit; et state igitur.’ (ii) ri, Asv6epig alone is found in NABCDP and a few cursive Mss, in the Thebaic and Memphitic versions, and in Damascene and others. (iii) ; Aev6epig in FG, in the old Latin, Vulgate, and Gothic versions, in Marcion (or rather Tertullian"), Origen (Latin translation"), in Victorinus, Augustine, Jerome, and others.
* Gallandi viii. p. 47. tereaque D** addidit signa quibus m x;
* In Ps. v. Bom. 5, Cotel. Mon. ante muas ponendum esse significaret, Eccl. II. p. 46. sed videntur ea signa rursus deleta
* The Latin of D has “qualibertate esse.” Tischendorf Cod. Clarom. nostra.' It has been suggested to me * adv. Marc. v. 4. that tra was originally a direction to * in Gen. H. 7 (II. p. 78), in Cant. transpose “nos.’ i. 6 (III. p. 52).
Thus our choice seems to lie between (i) and (ii), and on the whole the first seems more probable than the second. For, though the balance of direct evidence is against it, the following considerations may be urged in its favour. First. The reading ri, Asv6epta without ; is so difficult as to be almost unintelligible. At a certain point Bengel's rule, ‘proclivi scriptioni praestat ardua,’ attains its maximum value; beyond this point it ceases to apply. And in the present instance it is difficult to give an interpretation to the words which is not either meaningless or ungrammatical. Secondly. Supposing ri, Aev6 epig is to have been the original reading, the omission of j in some texts admits of a very simple explanation. Standing immediately before juás (which in its proper position, as we have seen, precedes Xpworrós) it would easily drop out through the carelessness of transcribers. In this case too the transposition Xplorës inas for juās Xplorës was probably made for the sake of euphony to avoid the juxtaposition of 7 fuás which came together in the original text. At the same time the testimony in favour of ro, Aev6epig alone is so strong, that I have hesitated to set it aside altogether and have therefore retained it at the foot as an alternative reading. The third reading, j \ev6epig, found chiefly in the Latin copies, is not very easily accounted for, but was perhaps substituted for rs, Aev6epta j as a more elegant expression or as a retranslation from the loose Latin rendering ‘qualibertate.’ The words being thus determined, the punctuation is best decided by the position of the connecting particle, and the sentence will run, rås *Aev6ápas rij Nev6epig fi juās Xpurrës Aev6époorev. 3rikers of v kr.A.
2–6. ‘Let there be no misunderstanding. I Paul myself declare to you that if you submit to circumcision, you forfeit all advantage from Christ. I have said it once, and I repeat it again with a solemn protest. Every man, who is circumcised, by that very act places himself under the law; he binds himself to fulfil every single requirement of the law. You have no part in Christ, you are outcasts from the covenant of grace, you who seek justification in obedience to law. There is a great gulf between you and us. We, the true disciples of Christ, hope to be justified of faith, not of works, in the Spirit, not in the flesh.’ 2. At this point St Paul assumes a severer tone in condemning the observance of the law. It is not only a useless imposition, a slavish burden; it is pernicious and fatal in itself. "Iós] so to be accented rather than i8é. According to the ancient grammarians, the pronunciation of common dialect was 3e, Aé8e, of the Attic ióé, Aagé. See Winer § vi. p. 55 sq. éyò IIai)\os] What is the exact force of this? Is it (1) An assertion Qf authority? “I Paul, who received a direct commission from Christ, who have done and suffered so much for the Gospel and for you, who have so strong a claim on your hearing’? Or is it rather (2) An indirect refutation of calumnies? “I Paul, who have myself preached circumcision forsooth, who say smooth things to please men, who season my doctrine to the tastes of my hearers’? For the latter sense, see 2 Cor.x. 1, where the words aurös & dy& IIaúAos are used in combating the contemptuous criticism of his enemies; and compare his tone in i. Io of this epistle; “do I now persuade men?’
See also the notes on ii. 3, v. II, and the introduction, p. 28. For the former sense compare perhaps Ephes. iii. 1. The two ideas are not incompatible: they are equally prominent elsewhere in this epistle, and may both have been present to St Paul's mind, when he thus asserts himself so strongly. trepuréuvnorée] ‘suffer yourselves to be circumcised'; see the note on meptrepuwouévo ver, 3. 3. The argument is this; “Circumcision is the seal of the law. He who willingly and deliberately undergoes circumcision, enters upon a compact to fulfil the law. To fulfil it therefore he is bound, and he cannot plead the grace of Christ; for he has entered on another mode of justification.” papropoua, 8° träXul ‘Christ benefit you? may, I protest again.” The adversative sense of 8* is to be explained by the idea of ope) forei. IIáAuv refers to the preceding Aéyo; ‘I have said it, and I repeat it with protestation.’ papri popual] ‘I protest,’ i.e. I assert as in the presence of witnesses. The word signifies properly ‘to call to witness’; and is never, except perhaps in very late Greek, equivalent to paprupó, “I bear witness.’ See the notes on 1 Thess. ii. 12. For the dative dv6port compare Acts xx. 26. This use of the dative is a remnant of the fuller construction paprope orthal rivi ru (Judith vii. 28 paprupéue6a juiv rôy oùpavov kal row yov), the accusative being suppressed and the verb used absolutely without reference to the person of the witness. nepursuvouévoj ‘who undergoes circumcision,’ as trepuréuvmorðe ver. 2, and oi nepureuvéuevot vi. 13(the better reading). In all these cases the present tense is more appropriate than
run into the other, the spiritual in