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(ii) A little later on another passage occurs, in which the vehemence of St Paul's language is quite unintelligible at first sight. ‘Be not deceived, he says, “God is not mocked: for Backwhatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap...Let us do good .." unto all men'.' The admonition is thrown into a general form, * but it has evidently a special application in the Apostle's own mind.
An allusion in the First Epistle to the Corinthians supplies the key to the difficulty. “As I gave orders to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye’’ He had solicited their alms for the suffering brethren of Judaea. The messenger, who had brought him word of the spread of Judaism among the Galatians, had also, I suppose, reported unfavourably of their liberality. They had not responded heartily to his appeal. He reproves them in consequence for their backwardness: but he wishes to give them more time, and therefore refrains from prejudging the CaSe.
For the reasons given above I have been led to place the ConcluGalatian Epistle after the letters to Corinth. They certainly “ do not amount to a demonstration, but every historical question must be decided by striking a balance between conflicting probabilities; and it seems to me that the arguments here advanced, however imperfect, will hold their ground against those which are alleged in favour of the earlier date. In the interval then between the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and that to the Romans, the Galatian letter ought probably to be placed. Beyond this I will not venture to define the time; only suggesting that the greeting from ‘all the brethren which are with me" seems naturally to apply to the little band of his fellow-travellers, and to hint that the letter was not despatched from any of the great churches of Macedonia or from Corinth. It may have been written on the journey between Macedonia and Achaia. And it is not improbable that it was during St Paul's residence in Macedonia, about the time when the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written, that
* Gal. vi. 7–10. * I Cor. xvi. I. * Gal. i. 2.
St Paul received news of the falling away of his Galatian converts, so that they were prominent in his mind, when he numbered among his daily anxieties “the care of all the
If so, he would despatch his letter to the Galatians
as soon after as a suitable bearer could be found".
* 2 Cor. xi. 28.
* This investigation of the date of the Galatian Epistle is taken from a paper which I published in the Journal of Class. and Sacr. Philol. vol. III. p. 289, altered in parts. The view here maintained had also been advocated
by Conybeare and Howson (II. p. 165, ed. 2), and by Bleek (Einl. in das N. T. pp. 418, 419); but otherwise it had not found much favour. Since the appearance of my first edition it appears to have gained ground.
THE Epistle to the Galatians has escaped unchallenged Genuineamid the sweeping proscriptions of recent criticism. Its i. every sentence so completely reflects the life and character of the Apostle of the Gentiles that its genuineness has not been seriously questioned'. Any laboured discussion of this subject would therefore be out of place. Yet it will be worth while to point to a single instance, as showing the sort of testimony which may be elicited from the epistle itself. The account of St Paul's relations with the Apostles of the Internal Circumcision has a double edge, as an evidential weapon. On evidence. the one hand, as an exhibition of the working of the Apostle's mind, it lies far beyond the reach of a forger in an age singularly unskilled in the analysis and representation of the finer shades of character. The suppressed conflict of feeling, the intermingling of strong protest and courteous reserve, the alternation of respectful concession and uncompromising rebuke—the grammar being meanwhile dislocated and the incidents obscured in this struggle of opposing thoughts—such a combination of features reflects one mind alone, and can have proceeded but from one author. On the other hand, looking at the passage as a narrative of events, it seems wholly impossible that the conceptions of a later age should have taken this form. The incidents are too fragmentary and in
* One exception is recorded, which may serve to point a moral.
direct, they are almost smothered in the expression of the writer's feelings, there is altogether a want of system in the narrative wholly unlike the story of a romancer. Nor indeed would it serve any conceivable purpose which a forger might be supposed to entertain. The Gnostic, who wished to advance his antipathy to Judaism under cover of St Paul's name, would have avoided any expression of deference to the Apostles of the Circumcision. The Ebionite would have shrunk with loathing from any seeming depreciation of the cherished customs or the acknowledged leaders of his race, as the tone of the author of the Clementines shows'. The Catholic writer, forging with a view to ‘conciliation,’ would be more unlikely than either to invent such a narrative, anxious as he would be to avoid any appearance of conflict between the two great teachers of the Church. The very unevenness of the incidents is the surest token of their authenticity. External On the other hand, the external evidence, though not very evidence. considerable, is perhaps as great as might be expected from the paucity of early Christian literature, and the nature of the few writings still extant. Apostolic I. The Apostolic Fathers in whose ears the echoes of the Fathers. Apostle's voice still lingered, while blending his thoughts almost insensibly with their own, were less likely to quote directly from his written remains. Allusions and indirect citations are not wanting. CLEMENT's words (§ 2) “His sufferings were before your eyes’ . #". implied rebuke may perhaps be a faint reflection of 8, in the second so-called Epistle ascribed to Clement (§ 2),
which though not genuine is a very early work, Is. liv. 1 is quoted and applied as in Gal. iv. 27.
The seven genuine Epistles of IGNATIUS contain several coincidences with this epistle.
Polyc. § 1, ‘Bear all men, as the Lord beareth thee...Bear the ailments of all men,” resembles Gal. vi. 2. (See however Matth. viii. 17, Rom. xv. 1.)
Romans § 7, ‘My passion is crucified,’ recalls Gal. v. 24, vi. 14.
Philad. § 1, of the commission of the bishop, ‘not of himself or
2. The Miscellaneous Writings of the Subapostolic Age Other
- writings present one or two vague resemblances on which no stress can of #6. - stolic age.
be laid. 8
BARNABAs. A passage in the epistle bearing his name, c. 19, ‘Thou shalt communicate in all things with thy neighbour,’ reflects Gal. vi. 6.
HERMAs (c. 140 A.D.") Sim. ix. 13 has “They that have believed in God through His Son and put on these spirits.’ Comp. Gal. iii. 26, 27. 3. The Epistle to the Galatians is found in all the known Canons of Canons of Scripture proceeding from the Catholic Church in the Scripture.
* The expression “knowing that’ (elööres &rt) in Polycarp seems to be a form of citation. In c. 1 it introduces a passage from Ephes. ii. 8, in c. 4 one from 1 Tim. vi. 7. It occurs once again in c. 6, ‘knowing that we all are debtors of sin.” Though these words are not found either in the Canonical
scriptures or in any other extant