In the account of the foundation of the apostolate then, and in the language used in the Gospels of the Twelve, there is no hint that the number was intended to be so limited. It is true that twelve is a typical Twelve a number, but so is seven also. And if the first creation of the diaconate opio was not intended to be final as regards numbers, neither is there any number. reason to assume this of the first creation of the apostolate. The qualification for and the nature of the office in the latter case necessarily imposed a severer limit than in the former, but otherwise they stand on the same footing with respect to an increase in their numbers. The Twelve were primarily the Apostles of the Circumcision, the representatives of the twelve tribes". The extension of the Church to the Gentiles might be accompanied by an extension of the apostolate. How far this extension was carried, it may be a question to consider; but the case of St Paul clearly shows that the original number was broken in upon. In the figurative language of the Apocalypse indeed the typical number twelve still remains”. But this is only in accordance with the whole imagery of the book, which is essentially Jewish. The Church there bears the name of Jerusalem. The elect are sealed from the twelve tribes, twelve thousand from each. It would be as unreasonable to interpret the restriction literally in the one case, as in the other. The “twelve Apostles of the Lamb' in the figurative language of St John represent the apostolate, perhaps the general body of Christian pastors, as the elect of the twelve tribes represent the elect of Christendom.

And as a matter of fact we do not find the term Apostle restricted Other to the Twelve with only the exception of St Paul’. St Paul himself seems Apostle; in one passage to distinguish between ‘the Twelve' and “all the Apostles, as ol.” if the latter were the more comprehensive term (1 Cor. xv. 5, 7). It appears both there and in other places” that James the Lord's brother

[ocr errors]

generally supposed.
* In 1 Cor. xv. 7, ‘After that he
was seen of James, then of all the apo-
stles,’ St Paul certainly appears to in-
clude James among the Apostles. See
also the note on Gal. i. 19, where he is
apparently so entitled. In 1 Cor. ix. 5,
d's kal ol \otirol diróaroMot kai ol dóeXool
Tod Kuplov kal Kopås, it seems probable
that St Paul is singling out certain
Apostles in ‘the brethren of the Lord'
as well as in “Cephas,' whether we
suppose \otirol to be used in distinction
to the persons thus specified, or to
Paul and Barnabas who are men-
tioned just after. Still it is a question
which of the “brethren of the Lord’ are
meant. Jude is said to have been mar-
ried (Euseb. H. E. iii. 20), but he seems
to disclaim for himself the title of an
Apostle (Jude 17, 18). Whether Hege-
sippus (Euseb. H. E. ii. 23) considered


is styled an Apostle. On the most natural interpretation of a passage in
the Epistle to the Romans, Andronicus and Junias, two Christians other-
wise unknown to us, are called distinguished members of the apostolate,
language which indirectly implies a very considerable extension of the
term". In 1 Thess. ii. 6 again, where in reference to his visit to Thessalonica
he speaks of the disinterested labours of himself and his colleagues,
adding ‘though we might have been burthensome to you, being Apostles
of Christ,' it is probable that under this term he includes Silvanus, who
had laboured with him in Thessalonica and whose name appears in the
superscription of the letter”.
But, if some uncertainty hangs over all the instances hitherto given, the
apostleship of Barnabas is beyond question. St Luke records his con-
secration to the office as taking place at the same time with and in the
same manner as St Paul's (Acts xiii. 2, 3). In his account of their mis-
sionary labours again, he names them together as ‘Apostles,” even mention-

[merged small][ocr errors]

St Paul himself also in two different

kös raúrms # optXoropta, Ös kal ris rāv diroo TóAwv d'Étw879at trpoo`myopias.

* Not Timothy, though Timothy also had been with him at Thessalonica, and his name, like that of Silvanus, is joined to the Apostle's own in the opening salutation. But Timothy is distinctly excluded from the apostolate in 2 Cor. i. 1, Col. i. 1, “Paul an Apostle and Timothy the brother’; and elsewhere, when St Paul links Timothy's name with his own, he drops the title of Apostle, e.g. Phil. i. 1 ‘Paul and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ.’

In 1 Cor. iv. 9, ‘I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last etc.,’ he might seem to include Apollos, who is mentioned just before, ver. 6. But Apollos is distinctly excluded from the apostolate by one who was a contemporary and probably knew him. Clement of Rome, § 47, speaking of the dissensions of the Corinthians in St Paul's time, says, trpoorekAttore droaróAots usuaprupmuévois (i.e. St Peter and St Paul) kal dwópl 6eóokuaguévg trap' atross (Apollos). If therefore there is a reference in I Cor. iv. 9 to any individual person besides St Paul (which seems doubtful), I suppose it to be again to Silvanus, who had assisted him in laying the foundation of the Corinthian Church (2 Cor. i. 19). For the circumstance which disqualified Apollos and Timotheus from being Apostles, see below, p. 98.

epistles holds similar language. In the Galatian letter he speaks of Barnabas as associated with himself in the Apostleship of the Gentiles (ii. 9); in the First to the Corinthians he claims for his fellow-labourer all the privileges of an Apostle, as one who like himself holds the office of an Apostle and is doing the work of an Apostle (ix. 5, 6). If therefore St Paul has held a larger place than Barnabas in the gratitude and veneration of the Church of all ages, this is due not to any superiority of rank or office, but to the ascendancy of his personal gifts, a more intense energy and selfdevotion, wider and deeper sympathies, a firmer intellectual grasp, a larger measure of the Spirit of Christ'. It may be added also, that only by such an extension of the office could any footing be found for the pretensions of the false apostles (2 Cor. xi. 13, Rev. ii. 2). Had the number been definitely restricted, the claims of these interlopers would have been self-condemned. But if the term is so extended, can we determine the limit to its extension? This will depend on the answer given to such questions as these: What was the nature of the call? What were the necessary qualifications for the office? What position did it confer? What were the duties attached to it? The facts gathered from the New Testament are insufficient to supply a decisive answer to these questions; but they enable us to draw roughly the line, by which the apostolate was bounded. (i) The Apostles comprised the first order in the Church (1 Cor. xii. Rank of an 28, 29, Ephes. iv. 11). They are sometimes mentioned in connexion with Apostle. the prophets of the Old dispensation”, sometimes with the prophets of the New8. It is in the latter sense, that the Church is said to be built “on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.” The two orders seem to have been closely allied to each other in the nature of their spiritual gifts, though the Apostle was superior in rank and had administrative functions which were wanting to the prophet. (ii) In an important passage (I Cor. ix. 1, 2) where St Paul is main-Tests of taining his authority against gainsayers and advancing proofs of his Apo-Apostle. stleship, he asks ‘Have I not seen the Lord Jesus Christ? Are not ye our * work in the Lord?' It would appear then ; First, that the having seen Christ was a necessary condition of the (1) Quali

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

fication for the office.

To be a witness of the resurrection.

Apollos and Timothy not qualified.

The outward commission how given.

apostolic office. It may be urged indeed that St Paul is here taking the ground of his Judaizing opponents, who affected to lay great stress on personal intercourse with the Lord, and argues that even on their own showing he is not wanting in the qualifications for the Apostleship. This is true. But independently of St Paul's language here, there is every reason for assuming that this was an indispensable condition (Luke xxiv. 48, Acts i. 8). An Apostle must necessarily have been an eye-witness of the resurrection. He must be able to testify from direct knowledge to this fundamental fact of the faith. The two candidates for the vacant place of Judas were selected because they possessed this qualification of personal intercourse with the Saviour, and it is directly stated that the appointment is made in order to furnish ‘a witness of His resurrection’ (Acts i. 2;-23). This knowledge, which was before lacking to St Paul, was supplied by a miraculous interposition, so as to qualify him for the office. All the others, who are called or seem to be called Apostles in the New Testament, may well have satisfied this condition. Andronicus and Junias were certainly among the earliest disciples (Rom. xvi. 7), and may have seen the Lord, if not while His earthly ministry lasted, at all events during the forty days after the resurrection. Barnabas was a well-known and zealous believer in the first days of the Christian Church (Acts iv. 36), and is reported to have been one of the Seventy. James and the other brethren of the Lord were at least so far qualified. Silas also, who was a leading man in the Church of Jerusalem (Acts xv.22), might well have enjoyed this privilege. On the other hand, it is not probable that this qualification was possessed either by Apollos or by Timothy, who were both comparatively late converts, and lived far away from the scenes of our Lord's ministry, the one at Alexandria (Acts xviii. 24), the other at Lystra (Acts xvi. 1, 2). And to these, as has been pointed out, the name of an Apostle is indirectly denied, though from their prominent position in the Church and the energy and success of their missionary labours, they of all men, after St Paul and the Twelve, might seem to lay claim to this honourable title. But though it was necessary that an Apostle should have been an eyewitness of the Lord's resurrection, it does not follow that the actual call to the Apostleship should come from an outward personal communication with our Lord, in the manner in which the Twelve were called. With Matthias it certainly was not so. The commission in his case was received through the medium of the Church. Even St Paul himself seems to have been invested with this highest office of the Church in the same way. His conversion indeed may be said in some sense to have been his call to the Apostleship. But the actual investiture, the completion of his call, as may be gathered from St Luke's narrative, took place some years later at Antioch (Acts xiii. 2). It was then at length that he, together with Barnabas, was set apart by the Spirit acting through the Church, for the work to which God had destined him, and for which he had been qualified by the appearance on the way to Damascus. Hitherto both alike are styled only ‘prophets.” From this point onward both alike are “Apostles.’ But secondly, in the passage already referred to, St Paul lays much more stress on his possessing the powers of an Apostle, as a token of the truthfulness of his claims. ‘If I be not an Apostle to others,’ he says to (2) Signs the Corinthians, “at least I am to you.' Their conversion was the seal of of an his Apostleship (1 Cor. ix. 2). In another passage he speaks in like manner * of his having wrought the signs of an Apostle among them (2 Cor. xii. 12). The signs, which he contemplates in these passages, our modern conceptions would lead us to separate into two classes. The one of these includes moral and spiritual gifts—patience, self-denial, effective preaching; the other comprises such powers as we call supernatural, ‘signs, wonders, and mighty deeds.’ St Paul himself however does not so distinguish them, but with more of reverence regards them rather as different manifestations of ‘one and the self-same Spirit.' But essential as was the possession of these gifts of the Spirit to establish the claims of an Apostle, they seem to have been possessed at least in some degree by all the higher ministers of the Church, and therefore do not afford any distinctive test, by which we are enabled to fix the limits of the Apostleship. Such then is the evidence yielded by the notices in the New Testament —evidence which, if somewhat vague in itself, is sufficient to discountenance the limitation of the Apostolate in the manner generally conceived. And such for the most part is the tendency of the notices found in the Wide use Christian writers of the ages immediately following. They use the term of the indeed vaguely and inconsistently, sometimes in a narrower, sometimes in term a wider sense, than the New Testament writings would seem to warrant; but on the whole the impression is left from their language, that no very rigid limitation of the office was present to their minds. The allusions in the writings of the Apostolic fathers are for the most in the . part too general to build any inference upon. They all look upon them- *...* selves as distinct from the Apostles'. Several of them include St Paul by * name in the Apostolate. Clement moreover speaks of the Apostles as having been sent forth by Christ himself (§ 42), and in another passage he obviously excludes Apollos from the number”. More important however, as showing the elasticity of the term, is a passage in Hermas, where he represents the “Apostles and teachers’ under one head as forty in number", selecting this doubtless as a typical number in accordance with the figurative character of his work. Writers of the subsequent ages are more obviously lax in their use of and sucthe title. At a very early date we find it applied to the Seventy, without cegoing however placing them on the same level with the Twelve. This application writers,

* Clem. § 42, Ignat. Rom. § 4, Polyc. § 6, Barnab. §§ 5, 8, Ep. ad Diogn. § 1 I.

* $47. See above, note 2, p. 96. Eusebius, iii. 39, infers that Papias distinguished Aristion and John the Presbyter, who had been personal disciples of the Lord, from the Apostles. This may be so; but from his language as quoted it can only be safely gathered that he distinguished them from the Twelve.

* Hermas Sim. ix. 15, 16: comp. Wis. iii. 5, Sim. ix. 25. The data with regard to the age of Hermas are (1) that he was a contemporary of Clement (Wis. ii. 4); and (2) that his work was written while his brother Pius was bishop of Rome (circ. 140), Fragm. Murat. in Routh Rel. Sacr. I. p. 396. He cannot therefore have been the Hermas mentioned by St Paul (Rom. xvi. 14), as several ancient writers suppose.

« 前へ次へ »