|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
New Moon, Feast of
Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Numbers 28:11-15; 10:10). (see FESTIVALS.)
(Luke 22:20), rather "New Covenant," in contrast to the old covenant of works, which is superseded. "The covenant of grace is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works. It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive, and powerful manner than of old" (Brown of Haddington). Hence is derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (see TESTAMENT.)
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (superl.) Having existed, or having been made, but a short time; having originated or occurred lately; having recently come into existence, or into one's possession; not early or long in being; of late origin; recent; fresh; modern; -- opposed to old, as, a new coat; a new house; a new book; a new fashion.
2. (superl.) Not before seen or known, although existing before; lately manifested; recently discovered; as, a new metal; a new planet; new scenes.
3. (superl.) Newly beginning or recurring; starting anew; now commencing; different from has been; as, a new year; a new course or direction.
4. (superl.) As if lately begun or made; having the state or quality of original freshness; also, changed for the better; renovated; unworn; untried; unspent; as, rest and travel made him a new man.
5. (superl.) Not of ancient extraction, or of a family of ancient descent; not previously known or famous.
6. (superl.) Not habituated; not familiar; unaccustomed.
7. (superl.) Fresh from anything; newly come.
8. (adv.) Newly; recently.
9. (v. t. & i.) To make new; to renew.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ADAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
(Adam): The name of Adam occurs nine times (in five different passages) in the New Testament, though several of these are purely incidental.
In Luke 3:38 the ancestry of Jesus Christ is traced up to Adam, "Adam, the son of God," thereby testifying to the acceptance of the Old Testament genealogies of Gen. This is the only place in the Gospels in which Adam is actually named, though there is an allusion to him in Matthew 19:4-6 (= Mark 10:6-8), referring to Genesis 1:27, 2:24.
Adam is used by Paul as the founder of the race and the cause of the introduction of sin in order to point the comparison and contrast with Christ as the Head of the new race and the cause of righteousness.
1. Romans 5:12-21:
The passage is the logical center of the epistle, the central point to which everything that precedes has converged, and out of which everything which follows will flow. The great ideas of Sin, Death, and Judgment are here shown to be involved in the connection of the human race with Adam. But over against this there is the blessed fact of union with Christ, and in this union righteousness and life. The double headship of mankind in Adam and Christ shows the significance of the work of redemption for the entire race. Mankind is ranged under two heads, Adam and Christ. There are two men, two acts and two results. In this teaching we have the spiritual and theological illustration of the great modern principle of solidarity. There is a solidarity of evil and a solidarity of good, but the latter far surpasses the former in the quality of the obedience of Christ as compared with Adam, and the facts of the work of Christ for justification and life. The section is thus no mere episode, or illustration, but that which gives organic life to the entire epistle. Although sin and death are ours in Adam righteousness and life are ours in Christ, and these latter two are infinitely the greater (Romans 5:11); whatever we have lost in Adam we have more than gained in Christ. As all the evils of the race sprang from one man, so all the blessings of redemption come from One Person, and there is such a connection between the Person and the race that all men can possess what the One has done.
In Romans 5:12-19 Paul institutes a series of comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ; the two persons, the two works and the two consequences. The fullness of the apostle's meaning must be carefully observed. Not only does he teach that what we have derived from the first Adam is met by what is derived from Christ, but the transcendence of the work of the latter is regarded as almost infinite in extent. "The full meaning of Paul, however, is not grasped until we perceive that the benefits received from Christ, the Second Adam, are in inverse ratio to the disaster entailed by the first Adam. It is the surplus of this grace that in Paul's presentation is commonly overlooked" (Mabie, The Divine Reason of the Cross 116).
2. 1 Corinthians 15:22:
The contrast instituted here between Adam and Christ refers to death and life, but great difficulty turns on the interpretation of the two "alls." "As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." Dods (Expositor's Bible, 366) interprets it of Adam as the source of physical life that ends in death, and of Christ as the source of spiritual life that never dies. "All who are by physical derivation truly united to Adam incur the death, which by sinning he introduced into human experience; and similarly, all who by spiritual affinity are in Christ enjoy the new life which triumphs over death, and which he won."
So also Edwards, who does not consider that there is any real unfairness in interpreting the former "all" as more extensive than the latter, "if we bear in mind that the conditions of entrance into the one class and the other are totally different. They are not stated here. But we have them in Romans 5:5-11, where the apostle seems as if he anticipated this objection to the analogy which he instituted between Adam and Christ. Both alike are heads of humanity, but they are unlike in this (as also in other things, Romans 5:15), that men are in Adam by nature, in Christ by faith" (Corinthians, 412). Godet considers that "perhaps this Interpretation is really that which corresponds best to the apostle's view," and he shows that zoopoieisthai, "to be made alive," is a more limited idea than egeiresthai, "to be raised," the limitation of the subject thus naturally proceeding from the special meaning of the verb itself. "The two pantes (all) embrace those only to whom each of the two powers extends." But Godet favors the view of Meyer and Ellicott that "all" is to be given the same interpretation in each clause, and that the reference is to all who are to rise, whether for life or condemnation, and that this is to be "in Christ": "Christ will quicken all; all will hear His voice and will come forth from the grave, but not all to the true `resurrection of life': see John 5:29 " (Ellicott, Corinthians, 301) Godet argues that "there is nothing to prevent the word `quicken,' taken alone, from being used to denote restoration to the fullness of spiritual and bodily existence, with a view either to perdition or salvation" (Corinthians, 355). There are two serious difficulties to the latter interpretation:
(1) The invariable meaning of "in Christ" is that of spiritual union;
(2) the question whether the resurrection of the wicked really finds any place in the apostle's argument in the entire chapter.
3. 1 Corinthians 15:45:
"The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." The reference to Adam is from Genesis 2:7; the reference to Christ is due to the fact of what He had done and was doing in His manifestation as Divine Redeemer. Behind results the apostle proceeds to nature. Adam was simply a living being, Christ a life-giving Being. Thus Christ is called Adam as expressive of His Headship of a race. In this verse He is called the "last" Adam, while in 1 Corinthians 15:47 the "second." In the former verse the apostle deals not so much with Christ's relation to the first Adam as to the part He takes in relation to humanity, and His work on its behalf. When precisely Christ became life-giving is a matter of difference of opinion. Romans 1:4 associates power with the resurrection as the time when Christ was constituted Son of God for the purpose of bestowing the force of Divine grace. This gift of power was only made available for His church through the Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is possible that the word "life-giving" may also include a reference to the resurrection of the body hereafter.
4. 1 Timothy 2:13, 14:
Paul uses the creation of man and woman in his argument for the subordination of woman (Genesis 2:7-25). This is no mere Jewish reasoning, but an inspired statement of the typical meaning of the passage in Genesis. The argument is a very similar one to that in 1 Corinthians 11:8, 9. When the apostle states that "Adam was not beguiled," we must apparently understand it as simply based on the text in Genesis to which he refers (Genesis 3:13), in which Eve, not Adam, says, "The serpent beguiled me." In Galatians 3:16 he reasons similarly from "seed" in the singular number, just as Hebrews 7 reasons from the silence of Genesis 14 in regard to the parentage of Melchizedek. Paul does not deny that Adam was deceived, but only that he was not directly deceived. His point is that Eve's facility in yielding warrants the rule as to women keeping silence.
5. Jude 1:14:
"And Enoch, the seventh from Adam" (Genesis 5). Bigg says that the quotation which follows is a combination of passages from Enoch, though the allusion to Enoch himself is evidently based on the story in Gen.
As we review the use of "Adam" in the New Testament, we cannot fail to observe that Paul assumes that Adam was a historical personality, and that the record in Genesis was a record of facts, that sin and death were introduced into the world and affected the entire race as the penalty of the disobedience of one ancestor. Paul evidently takes it for granted that Adam knew and was responsible for what he was doing. Again, sin and death are regarded as connected, that death obtains its moral quality from sin. Paul clearly believed that physical dissolution was due to sin, and that there is some causal connection between Adam and the human race in regard to physical death. While the reference to death in Romans 5 as coming through sin, is primarily to physical death, yet physical death is the expression and sign of the deeper idea of spiritual death; and even though physical death was in the world before Adam it was only in connection with sin that its moral meaning and estimate became clear. Whether we are to interpret, "for that all sinned," as sinning when Adam sinned, or sinning as the result of an inherited tendency from Adam, the entire passage implies some causal connection between him and them. The need of redemption is thus made by the apostle to rest on facts. We are bound to Adam by birth, and it is open to us to become bound to Christ by faith. If we refuse to exchange our position in Adam for that which is offered to us in Christ we become answerable to God; this is the ground of moral freedom. The New Testament assumption of our common ancestry in Adam is true to the facts of evolutionary science, and the universality of sin predicated is equally true to the facts of human experience. Thus, redemption is grounded on the teaching of Scripture, and confirmed by the uncontradicted facts of history and experience. Whether, therefore, the references to Adam in the New Testament are purely incidental, or elaborated in theological discussion, everything is evidently based on the record in Gen.
W. H. Griffith Thomas
BABYLON IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Babylon Babulon, is used in New Testament in at least two different senses:
1. Mesopotamian Babylon:
In Matthew 1:11, 12, 17 Acts 7:43 the old Mesop city is plainly meant. These all refer to the captivity in Babylon and do not demand any further discussion.
2. Symbolic Sense:
All the references to Babylon in Re are evidently symbolic. Some of the most important passages are Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, 10, 21. In Revelation 17:5 Babylon is designated as musterion. This undoubtedly in dicates that the name is to be under stood figuratively. A few interpreters have believed that Jerusalem was the city that was designated as Babylon, but most scholars hold that Rome was the city that was meant. That interpretation goes back at least to the time of Tertullian (Adv. Marc., iii. 13). This interpretation was adopted by Jerome and Augustine and has been commonly accepted by the church. There are some striking facts which point to Rome as the city that is designated as Babylon.
(1) The characteristics ascribed to this Babylon apply to Rome rather than to any other city of that age:
(a) as ruling over the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18);
(b) as sitting on seven mountains (Revelation 17:9);
(c) as the center of the world's merchandise (Revelation 18:3, 11-13);
(d) as the corrupter of the nations (Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3; Revelation 19:2);
(e) as the persecutor of the saints (Revelation 17:6).
(2) Rome is designated as Babylon in the Sibylline Oracles (5 143), and this is perhaps an early Jewish portion of the book. The comparison of Rome to Babylon is common in Jewish apocalyptic literature (see 2 Esdras and the Apocrypha Baruch).
(3) Rome was regarded by both Jews and Christians as being antagonistic to the kingdom of God, and its downfall was confidently expected, This conception is in accord with the predicted downfall of Babylon (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:2, 10-21). As Babylon had been the oppressor of Israel, it was natural that this new power, which was oppressing the people of God, should be designated as Babylon.
3. In 1 Peter:
In 1 Peter 5:13 Babylon is designated as the place from which 1Pe was written. Down to the time of the Reformation this was generally under stood to mean Rome, and two cursives added "en Roma." Since the Reformation, many scholars have followed Erasmus and Calvin and have urged that the Mesopotamian Babylon is meant. Three theories should be noted:
(1) That the Egyptian Babylon, or Old Cairo; is meant. Strabo (XVII, 807) who wrote as late as 18 A.D., says the Egyptian Babylon was a strong fortress founded by certain refugees from the Mesop Babylon. But during the 1st century this was not much more than a military station, and it is quite improbable that Peter would have gone there. There is no tradition that connects Peter' in any way with Egypt.
(2) That the statement is to be taken literally and that the Mesop Babylon is meant. Many good scholars hold to this view, and among these are Weiss and Thayer, but there is no evidence that Peter was ever in Babylon, or that there was even a church there during the 1st century. Mark and Silvanus are associated with Peter in the letter and there is no tradition that connects either of them with Babylon. According to Josephus (Antiquities, XVIII, ix, 5-9), the Jews at this time had largely been driven out of Babylon and were confined to neighboring towns, and it seems improbable that Peter would have made that his missionary field.
(3) That Rome was the city that was designated as Babylon. The Apocalypse would indicate that the churches would understand the symbolic reference, and it seems to have been so understood until the time of the Reformation. The denial of this position was in line with the effort to refute Peter's supposed connection with the Roman church. Ancient tradition, however, makes it seem quite probable that Peter did make a visit to Rome (see Lightfoot, Clement, II, 493).
Internal evidence helps to substantiate theory that Rome was the place from which the letter was written. Mark sends greetings (1 Peter 5:13), and we know he had been summoned to Rome by the apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:11). The whole passage, "She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you," seems to be figurative, and that being true, it is natural that Babylon should have been used instead of Rome. The character of the letter as a whole would point to Rome as the place of writing. Ramsay thinks this book is impregnated with Roman thought beyond any other book in the Bible (see The Church in the Roman Empire, 286).
A. W. Fortune
CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
I. TWO PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
1. Early Christians Had the Old Testament
2. No Intention of Writing the New Testament
II. THREE STAGES OF THE PROCESS
1. From the Apostles to 170 A.D.
(1) Clement of Rome; Ignatius; Polycarp
(2) Forces Increasing Value of Writings
(a) Apologists, Justin Martyr
(b) Gnostics, Marcion
2. From 170 A.D. to 220 A.D.
(2) Muratorian Fragment
3. 3rd and 4th Centuries
(6) Council of Carthage; Jerome; Augustine
I. Two Preliminary Considerations.
The canon is the collection of 27 books which the church (generally) receives as its New Testament Scriptures. The history of the canon is the history of the process by which these books were brought together and their value as sacred Scriptures officially recognized. That process was gradual, furthered by definite needs, and, though unquestionably continuous, is in its earlier stages difficult to trace. It is always well in turning to the study of it to have in mind two considerations which bear upon the earliest phases of the whole movement. These are:
1. Early Christians Had the Old Testament:
The early Christians had in their hands what was a Bible to them, namely, the Old Testament Scriptures. These were used to a surprising extent in Christian instruction. For a whole century after the death of Jesus this was the case. These Scriptures were read in the churches, and there could be at first no idea of placing beside them new books which could for a moment rank with them in honor and authority. It has been once and again discussed whether Christianity from the first was a "book-religion." The decision of the matter depends upon what is referred to by the word "book." Christianity certainly did have from the very beginning a book which it reverenced-the Old Testament-but years passed before it had even the beginnings of a book of its own. What has been called "the wealth of living canonical material," namely, prophets and teachers, made written words of subordinate value. In this very teaching, however, with its oral traditions lay the beginnings of that movement which was ultimately to issue in a canon of writings.
2. No Intention of Writing the New Testament:
When the actual work of writing began no one who sent forth an epistle or framed a gospel had before him the definite purpose of contributing toward the formation of what we call "the Bible." All the New Testament writers looked for "the end" as near. Their words, therefore, were to meet definite needs in the lives of those with whom they were associated. They had no thought of creating a new sacred literature. And yet these incidental occasional writings have come to be our choicest Scripture. The circumstances and influences which brought about this result are here briefly set forth.
II. Three Stages of the Process.
For convenience of arrangement and definiteness of impression the whole process may be marked off in three stages:
(1) that from the time of the apostles until about 170 A.D.;
(2) that of the closing years of the 2nd century and the opening of the 3rd (170-220 A.D.);
(3) that of the 3rd and 4th centuries. In the first we seek for the evidences of the growth in appreciation of the peculiar value of the New Testament writings; in the second we discover the clear, full recognition of a large part of these writings as sacred and authoritative; in the third the acceptance of the complete canon in the East and in the West.
1. From the Apostles to 170 A.D.:
(1) Clement of Rome; Ignarius; Polycarp:
The first period extending to 170 A.D.-It does not lie within the scope of this article to recount the origin of the several books of the New Testament. This belongs properly to New Testament Introduction (which see). By the end of the 1st century all of the books of the New Testament were in existence. They were, as treasures of given churches, widely separated and honored as containing the word of Jesus or the teaching of the apostles. From the very first the authority of Jesus had full recognition in all the Christian world. The whole work of the apostles was in interpreting Him to the growing church. His sayings and His life were in part for the illumination of the Old Testament; wholly for the understanding of life and its issues. In every assembly of Christians from the earliest days He was taught as well as the Old Testament. In each church to which an epistle was written that epistle was likewise read. Paul asked that his letters be read in this way (1 Thessalonians 5:27 Colossians 4:16). In this attentive listening to the exposition of some event in the life of Jesus or to the reading of the epistle of an apostle began the "authorization" of the traditions concerning Jesus and the apostolic writings. The widening of the area of the church and the departure of the apostles from earth emphasized increasingly the value of that which the writers of the New Testament left behind them. Quite early the desire to have the benefit of all possible instruction led to the interchange of Christian writings. Polycarp (110 A.D. ?) writes to the Philippians, "I have received letters from you and from Ignatius. You recommend me to send on yours to Syria; I shall do so either personally or by some other means. In return I send you the letter of Ignatius as well as others which I have in my hands and for which you made request. I add them to the present one; they will serve to edify your faith and perseverance" (Epistle to Phil, XIII). This is an illustration of what must have happened toward furthering a knowledge of the writings of the apostles. Just when and to what extent "collections" of our New Testament books began to be made it is impossible to say, but it is fair to infer that a collection of the Pauline epistles existed at the time Polycarp wrote to the Philippians and when Ignatius wrote his seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor, i.e. about 115 A.D. There is good reason to think also that the four Gospels were brought together in some places as early as this. A clear distinction, however, is to be kept in mind between "collections" and such recognition as we imply in the word "canonical." The gathering of books was one of the steps preliminary to this. Examination of the testimony to the New Testament in this early time indicates also that it is given with no intention of framing the canonicity of New Testament books. In numerous instances only "echoes" of the thought of the epistles appear; again quotations are incomplete; both showing that Scripture words are used as the natural expression of Christian thought. In the same way the Apostolic Fathers refer to the teachings and deeds of Jesus. They witness "to the substance and not to the authenticity of the Gospels." That this all may be more evident let us note in more detail the witness of the subapostolic age.
Clement of Rome, in 95 A.D., wrote a letter in the name of the Christians of Rome to those in Corinth. In this letter he uses material found in Matthew, Luke, giving it a free rendering (see chapters 46 and 13); he has been much influenced by the Epistle to the Hebrews (see chapters 9, 10, 17, 19, 36). He knows Romans, Corinthians, and there are found echoes of 1 Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter and Ephesians.
The Epistles of Ignatius (115 A.D.) have correspondences with our gospels in several places (Ephesians 5 Romans 6; Romans 7) and incorporate language from nearly all of the Pauline epistles. The Epistle to Polycarp makes large use of Phil, and besides this cites nine of the other Pauline epistles. Ignatius quotes from Matthew, apparently from memory; also from 1 Peter and 1 John. In regard to all these three writers-Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius-it is not enough to say that they bring us reminiscences or quotations from this or that book. Their thought is tinctured all through with New Testament truth. As we move a little farther down the years we come to "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (circa 120 A.D. in its present form; see DIDACHE); the Epistle of Barnabas (circa 130 A.D.) and the Shepherd of Hermas (circa 130 A.D.). These exhibit the same phenomena as appear in the writings of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp as far as references to the New Testament are concerned. Some books are quoted, and the thought of the three writings echoes again and again the teachings of the New Testament. They bear distinct witness to the value of "the gospel" and the doctrine of the apostles, so much so as to place these clearly above their own words. It is in the Epistle of Barnabas that we first come upon the phrase "it is written," referring to a New Testament book (Matthew) (see Epis., iv.14). In this deepening sense of value was enfolded the feeling of authoritativeness, which slowly was to find expression. It is well to add that what we have so far discovered was true in widely separated parts of the Christian world as e.g. Rome and Asia Minor.
(2) Forces Increasing Value of Writings:
(a) Apologists, Justin Martyr:
The literature of the period we are examining was not, however, wholly of the kind of which we have been speaking. Two forces were calling out other expressions of the singular value of the writings of the apostles, whether gospels or epistles. These were
(a) the attention of the civil government in view of the rapid growth of the Christian church and
The first brought to the defense or commendation of Christianity the Apologists, among whom were Justin Martyr, Aristides, Melito of Sardis and Theophilus of Antioch. By far the most important of these was Justin Martyr, and his work may be taken as representative. He was born about 100 A.D. at Shechem, and died as a martyr at Rome in 165 A.D. His two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho are the sources for the study of his testimony. He speaks of the "Memoirs of the Apostles called Gospels" (Ap., i.66) which were read on Sunday interchangeably with the prophets (i.67). Here emerges that equivalence in value of these "Gospels" with the Old Testament Scriptures which may really mark the beginning of canonization. That these Gospels were our four Gospels as we now have them is yet a disputed question; but the evidence is weighty that they were. (SeePurves, Testimony of Justin Martyr to Early Christianity, Lect V.) The fact that Tatian, his pupil, made a harmony of the Gospels, i.e. of our four Gospels, also bears upon our interpretation of Justin's "Memoirs." (SeeHemphill, The Diatessaron of Tatian.) The only other New Testament book which Justin mentions is the Apocalypse; but he appears to have known the Acts, six epistles of Paul, Hebrew and 1 John, and echoes of still other epistles are perceptible. When he speaks of the apostles it is after this fashion: "By the power of God they proclaimed to every race of men that they were sent by Christ to teach to all the Word of God" (Ap., i.39). It is debatable, however, whether this refers to more than the actual preaching of the apostles. The beginning of the formation of the canon is in the position and authority given to the Gospels.
(b) Gnostics, Marcion:
While the Apologists were busy commending or defending Christianity, heresy in the form of Gnosticism was also compelling attention to the matter of the writings of the apostles. From the beginning Gnostic teachers claimed that Jesus had favored chosen ones of His apostles with a body of esoteric truth which had been handed down by secret tradition. This the church denied, and in the controversy that went on through years the question of what were authoritative writings became more and more pronounced. Basilides e.g., who taught in Alexandria during the reign of Hadrian (AD 117-38), had for his secret authority the secret tradition of the apostle Matthias and of Glaucias, an alleged interpreter of Peter, but he bears witness to Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians in the effort to recommend his doctrines, and, what is more, gives them the value of Scripture in order to support more securely his teachings. (SeePhilosophoumena of Hippolytus, VII, 17). Valentinus, tracing his authority through Theodas to Paul, makes the same general use of New Testament books, and Tertullian tells us that he appeared to use the whole New Testament as then known.
The most noted of the Gnostics was Marcion, a native of Pontus. He went to Rome (circa 140 A.D.), there broke with the church and became a dangerous heretic. In support of his peculiar views, he formed a canon of his own which consisted of Luke's Gospel and ten of the Pauline epistles. He rejected the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, Matthew, Mark, John, the Acts, the Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse, and made a recension of both the gospel of Luke and the Pauline epistles which he accepted. His importance, for us, however, is in the fact that he gives us the first clear evidence of the canonization of the Pauline epistles. Such use of the Scriptures inevitably called forth both criticism and a clearer marking off of those books which were to be used in the churches opposed to heresy, and so "in the struggle with Gnosticism the canon was made." We are thus brought to the end of the first period in which we have marked the collection of New Testament books in greater or smaller compass, the increasing valuation of them as depositions of the truth of Jesus and His apostles, and finally the movement toward the claim of their authoritativeness as over against perverted teaching. No sharp line as to a given year can be drawn between the first stage of the process and the second. Forces working in the first go on into the second, but results are accomplished in the second which give it its right to separate consideration.
2. From 170 A.D. to 220 A.D.:
The period from 170 A.D. to 220 A.D.-This is the age of a voluminous theological literature busy with the great issues of church canon and creed. It is the period of the great names of Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, representing respectively Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa. In passing into it we come into the clear light of Christian history. There is no longer any question as to a New Testament canon; the only difference of judgment is as to its extent. What has been slowly but surely shaping itself in the consciousness of the church now comes to clear expression.
That expression we may study in Irenaeus as representative of the period. He was born in Asia Minor, lived and taught in Rome and became afterward bishop of Lyons. He had, therefore, a wide acquaintance with the churches, and was peculiarly competent to speak concerning the general judgment of the Christian world. As a pupil of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John, he is connected with the apostles themselves. An earnest defender of the truth, he makes the New Testament in great part his authority, and often appeals to it. The four Gospels, the Acts, the epistles of Paul, several of the Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse are to him Scripture in the fullest sense. They are genuine and authoritative, as much so as the Old Testament ever was. He dwells upon the fact that there are four gospels, the very number being prefigured in the four winds and the four quarters of the earth. Every attempt to increase or diminish the number is heresy. Tertullian takes virtually the same position (Adv. Marc., iv. 2), while Clement of Alexandria quotes all four gospels as "Scripture." By the end of the 2nd century the canon of the gospels was settled. The same is true also of the Pauline epistles. Irenaeus makes more than two hundred citations from Paul, and looks upon his epistles as Scripture (Adv. Haer., iii.12, 12). Indeed, at this time it may be said that the new canon was known under the designation "The Gospel and the Apostles" in contradistinction to the old as "the Law and the Prophets." The title "New Testament" appears to have been first used by an unknown writer against Montanism (circa 193 A.D.). It occurs frequently after this in Origen and later writers. In considering all this testimony two facts should have emphasis:
(1) its wide extent: Clement and Irenaeus represent parts of Christendom which are widely separated;
(2) the relation of these men to those who have gone before them. Their lives together with those before them spanned nearly the whole time from the apostles.
They but voiced the judgment which silently, gradually had been selecting the "Scripture" which they freely and fully acknowledged and to which they made appeal.
(2) The Muratorian Fragment.
Just here we come upon the Muratorian Fragment, so called because discovered in 1740 by the librarian of Milan, Muratori. It dates from some time near the end of the 2nd century, is of vital interest in the study of the history of the canon, since it gives us a list of New Testament books and is concerned with the question of the canon itself. The document comes from Rome, and Lightfoot assigns it to Hippolytus. Its list contains the Gospels (the first line of the fragment is incomplete, beginning with Mark, but Matthew is clearly implied), the Acts, the Pauline epistles, the Apocalypse, 1 and 2 John (perhaps by implication the third) and Jude. It does not mention Hebrew, 1 and 2 Peter, James. In this list we have virtually the real position of the canon at the close of the 2nd century. Complete unanimity had not been attained in reference to all the books which are now between the covers of our New Testament. Seven books had not yet found a secure place beside the gospel and Paul in all parts of the church. The Palestinian and Syrian churches for a long time rejected the Apocalypse, while some of the Catholic epistles were in Egypt considered doubtful. The history of the final acceptance of these belongs to the third period.
3. 3rd and 4th Centuries:
The period included by the 3rd and 4th centuries-It has been said that "the question of the canon did not make much progress in the course of the 3rd century" (Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scripture, 125). We have the testimony of a few notable teachers mostly from one center, Alexandria. Their consideration of the question of the disputed book serves just here one purpose. By far the most distinguished name of the 3rd century is Origen. He was born in Alexandria about 185 A.D., and before he was seventeen became an instructor in the school for catechumens. In 203 he was appointed bishop, experienced various fortunes, and died in 254. His fame rests upon his ability as an exegete, though he worked laboriously and successfully in other fields. His testimony is of high value, not simply because of his own studies, but also because of his wide knowledge of what was thought in other Christian centers in the world of his time. Space permits us only to give in summary form his conclusions, especially in regard to the books still in doubt. The Gospels, the Pauline epistles, the Acts, he accepts without question. He discusses at some length the authorship of He, believes that "God alone knows who wrote it," and accepts it as Scripture. His testimony to the Apocalypse is given in the sentence, "Therefore John the son of Zebedee says in the Revelation." He also gives sure witness to Jude, but wavers in regard to James, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John.
Another noted name of this century is Dionysius of Alexandria, a pupil of Origen (died 265). His most interesting discussion is regarding the Apocalypse, which he attributes to an unknown John, but he does not dispute its inspiration. It is a singular fact that the western church accepted this book from the first, while its position in the East was variable. Conversely the Epistle to the He was more insecure in the West than in the East. In regard to the Catholic epistles Dionysius supports James, 2 John, and 3 John, but not 2 Peter or Jude.
In the West the name of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (248-58 A.D.), was most influential. He was much engaged in controversy, but a man of great personal force. The Apocalypse he highly honored, but he was silent about the Epistle to the Hebrews. He refers to only two of the Catholic epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John.
These testimonies confirm what was said above, namely, that the end of the 3rd century leaves the question of the full canon about where it was at the beginning. 1 Peter and 1 John seem to have been everywhere known and accepted. In the West the five Catholic epistles gained recognition more slowly than in the East.
In the early part of the 4th century Eusebius (270-340 A.D.), bishop of Caesarea before 315, sets before us in his Church History (III, chapters iii-xxv) his estimate of the canon in his time. He does not of course use the word canon, but he "conducts an historical inquiry into the belief and practice of earlier generations." He lived through the last great persecution in the early part of the 4th century, when not only places of worship were razed to the ground, but also the sacred Scriptures were in the public market-places consigned to the flames (Historia Ecclesiastica, VIII, 2). It was, therefore, no idle question what book a loyal Christian must stand for as his Scripture. The question of the canon had an earnest, practical significance. Despite some obscurity and apparent contradictions, his classification of the New Testament books was as follows:
(1) The acknowledged books. His criteria for each of these was authenticity and apostolicity and he placed in this list the Gospels, Acts, and Paul's epistles, including He.
(2) The disputed books, i.e. those which had obtained only partial recognition, to which he assigned Jas, Jude, 2Pe and 2 Jn. About the Apocalypse also he was not sure. In this testimony there is not much advance over that of the 3rd century. It is virtually the canon of Origen.
All this makes evident the fact that as yet no official decision nor uniformity of usage in the church gave a completed canon. The time, however, was drawing on when various forces at work were to bring much nearer this unanimity and enlarge the list of acknowledged books. In the second half of the 4th century repeated efforts were made to put an end to uncertainty.
Athanasius in one of his pastoral letters in connection with the publishing of the ecclesiastical calendar gives a list of the books comprising Scripture, and in the New Testament portion are included all the 27 books which we now recognize. "These are the wells of salvation," he writes, "so that he who thirsts may be satisfied with the sayings in these. Let no one add to these. Let nothing be taken away." Gregory of Nazianzen (died 390 A.D.) also published a list omitting Revelation, as did Cyril of Jerusalem (died 386), and quite at the end of the century (4th) Isidore of Pelusium speaks of the "canon of truth, the Divine Scriptures." For a considerable time the Apocalypse was not accepted in the Palestinian or Syrian churches. Athanasius helped toward its acceptance in the church of Alexandria. Some differences of opinion, however, continued. The Syrian church did not accept all of the Catholic epistles until much later.
(6) Council of Carthage, Jerome; Augustine:
The Council of Carthage in 397, in connection with its decree "that aside from the canonical Scriptures nothing is to be read in church under the name of Divine Scriptures," gives a list of the books of the New Testament. After this fashion there was an endeavor to secure unanimity, while at the same time differences of judgment and practice continued. The books which had varied treatment through these early centuries were He, the Apocalypse and the five minor Catholic epistles. The advance of Christianity under Constantine had much to do with the reception of the whole group of books in the East. The task which the emperor gave to Eusebius to prepare "fifty copies of the Divine Scriptures" established a standard which in time gave recognition to all doubtful books. In the West, Jerome and Augustine were the controlling factors in its settlement of the canon. The publication of the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) virtually determined the matter.
In conclusion let it be noted how much the human element was involved in the whole process of forming our New Testament. No one would wish to dispute a providential overruling of it all. Also it is well to bear in mind that all the books have not the same clear title to their places in the canon as far as the history of their attestation is concerned. Clear and full and unanimous, however, has been the judgment from the beginning upon the Gospels, the Acts, the Pauline epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John.
LITERATURE. Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scriptures; E. C. Moore, The New Testament in the Christian Church; Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament; Introductions to New Testament of Julicher, Weiss, Reuss; Zahn, Geschichte des Neutest. Kanons; Harnack, Das New Testament um das Jahr 200; Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur; Westcott, The Canon of the New Testament; Zahn, Forschungen zur Gesch. des neutest. Kanons.
J. S. Riggs
CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
I. CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIFE OF JESUS
1. Birth of Jesus
(1) Death of Herod
(2) Census of Quirinius
(3) Star of the Magi
(4) Course of Abijah
(5) Day and Month
2. Baptism of Jesus
3. First Passover
4. Death of John the Baptist
5. Length of Jesus' Ministry
6. Death of Jesus
7. Summary of Dates
II. CHRONOLOGY OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE
1. Paul's Conversion
2. Death of Herod Agrippa I
3. Famine under Claudius
4. Sergius Paulus
5. Edict of Claudius
8. Relative Chronology of Acts
9. Pauline Epistles
10. Release and Death of Paul
11. Death of Peter
12. Death of James the Just
13. The Synoptic Gospels, etc.
14. Death of John
15. Summary of Dates
The current Christian era is reckoned from the birth of Jesus and is based upon the calculations of Dionysius (6th century). Subsequent investigation has shown that the Dionysian date is at least four years too late. Several eras were in use in the time of Jesus; but of these only the Varronian will be used coordinately with the Dionysian in the discussion of the chronology of the life of Jesus, 753 A. U. C. being synchronous with 1 B.C. and 754 A. U. C. with 1 A.D.
I. Chronology of the Life of Jesus.
1. Birth of Jesus:
Jesus was born before the death of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1) at the time of a census or enrollment made in the territory of Herod in accordance with a decree of Augustus when Quirinius (Revised Version; Cyrenius, the King James Version) was exercising authority in the Roman province of Syria (Luke 2:1 f). At the time of Jesus' birth a star led the Magi of the East to seek in Jerusalem the infant whom they subsequently found in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1). John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36) and he was born in the days of Herod (Luke 1:5; compare Luke 2:1) after his father, Zacharias, of the priestly course of Abijah, had been performing the functions of his office in the temple.
(1) Death of Herod.
The death of Herod the Great occurred in the spring of 750/4. (NOTE: The alternative numbers are B.C. or A.D., i.e., 750 A. U. C. = 4 B.C., etc.) He ruled from his appointment in Rome 714/40 (Ant., XIV, xiv, 4-5, in the consulship of Caius Domitius Calvinus and Caius Asinius Pollio) 37 years, and from his accession in Jerusalem after the capture of the city 717/37 (Ant.,. XIV, xvi, 1-3; BJ, I, xvii, 9; I, xviii, 1-3; Dio Cassius xlix0.22; compare Schurer, GJV3, I, 358, note 11) 34 years (Ant, XVII, xviii, 1; BJ, I, xxxiii, 7-8; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 415, note 167 where it is shown that Josephus reckons a year too much, probably counting from Nisan 1 and including partial years). Just before Herod's death there was an eclipse of the moon (Ant., XVII, vi, 4). According to astronomical calculations an eclipse was visible in Palestine on March 23 and September 15, 749/5, March 12, 750/4 and January 9, 753/1. Of these the most probable is that of March 12, 750/4. Soon after the eclipse Herod put to death his son Antipater and died five days later (Ant., XVII, vii; BJ, I, xxxiii, 7). Shortly after Herod's death the Passover was near at hand. (Ant., XVII, vi, 4 through ix, 3). In this year Passover (Nisan 15) fell on April 11; and as Archelaus had observed seven days of mourning for his father before this, Herod's death would fall between March 17 and April 4. But as the 37th (34th) year of his reign was probably reckoned from Nisan 1 or March 28, his death may be dated between March 28 and April 4, 750/4.
This date for Herod's death is confirmed by the evidence for the duration of the reigns of his three sons. Archelaus was deposed in 759/6 (Dio Cassius lv.27 in the consulship of Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius) in the 10th year of his reign (Ant., XVII, xiii, 2; compare BJ, II, vii, 3 which gives the year as the 9th). Antipas was deposed most probably in the summer of 792/39 (Ant., XVIII, vii, 1-2; compare XVIII, vi, 11; XIX, viii, 2; BJ, II, ix, 6; Schurer, op. cit., I, 448, note 46 and 416, note 167). There are coins of Antipas from his 43rd year (Madden, Coins of the Jews, 121). The genuineness of a coin from the 44th year is questioned by Schurer but accepted by Madden. The coin from the 45th year is most probably spurious (Schurer, op. cit., I, 417, note 167). Philip died after reigning 37 years, in the 20th year of Tiberius-August 19, 786/33-787/34 (Ant., XVIII, iv, 6). There is also a coin of Philip from his 37th year (Madden, op. cit., 126). Thus Archelaus, Antipas and Philip began to reign in 750/4.
(2) Census of Quirinius.
The census or enrollment, which, according to Luke 2:1, was the occasion of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, is connected with a decree of Augustus embracing the Greek-Roman world. This decree must have been carried out in Palestine by Herod and probably in accordance with the Jewish method-each going to his own city-rather than the Roman (Dig. 15, 4, 2; Zumpt, Das Geburtsjahr Christi, 195; Kenyon, Greek Papyri in the British Museum, III, 124; Schurer, Theol. Ztg, 1907, 683; and on the other hand, Ramsay, Expositor, 1908, I, 19, note). Certainly there is no intimation of an insurrection such as characterized a later census (Acts 5:37; Ant, XVIII, i, 1; BJ, II, xvii, 7; compare Tac. Ann. vi0.41; Livy Epit. cxxxvi, cxxxvii; Dessau, Inscrip. lat. Sel. number 212, col. ii, 36) and this may have been due in no small measure to a difference in method. Both Josephus and Luke mention the later census which was made by Quirinius on the deposition of A rchelaus, together with the insurrection of Judas which accompanied it. But while Josephus does not mention the Herodian census-although there may be some intimation of it in Ant, XVI, ix, 3; XVII, ii, 4; compare Sanclemente, De vulg. aerae emend., 438; Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Beth.1, 178-Luke carefully distinguishes the two, characterizing the census at the time of Jesus' birth as "first," i.e. first in a series of enrollments connected either with Quirinius or with the imperial policy inaugurated by t he decree of Augustus. The Greek-Roman writers of the time do not mention this decree and later writers (Cassiodor, Isidor and Suidas) cannot be relied upon with certainty as independent witnesses (Zumpt, Geburtsjahr, 148). Yet the geographical work of Agrippa and the preparation of a breviarium totius imperil by Augustus (Tac. Ann. i0.11; Suet. Aug. 28 and 101; Dio Cassius liii0.3; lvi0.33; compare Mommsen, Staatsrecht, II, 1025, note 3), together with the interest of the emperor in the organization and finances of the empire and the attention which he gave to the provinces (Marquardt, Rom. Staatsverwaltung, II, 211; compare 217), are indirectly corroborative of Luke's statement. Augustus himself conducted a census in Italy in 726/28, 746/8, 767/14 (Mommsen, Res Ges., 34) and in Gaul in 727/27 (Dio Cassius liii.22, 5; Livy Epit. cxxxiv) and had a census taken in other provinces (Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyc., under the word "Census," 1918; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 213). For Egypt there is evidence of a regular p eriodic census every 14 years extending back to 773/20 (Ramsay, op. cit., 131 if; Grenfell and Hunt, Oxy. Papyri, II, 207; Wilcken, Griech. Ostraka, I, 444) and it is not improbable that this procedure was introduced by Augustus (Schurer, op. cit., I, 515). The inference from Egyptian to similar conditions in other provinces must indeed be made cautiously (Wilcken, op. cit., 449; Marquardt, op. cit., 441); yet in Syria the regular tributum capitis seems to imply some such preliminary work (Dig, 1. 15, 3; Appian, Syriac., 50; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 200, note 2; Pauly-Wissowa, op. cit., 1921; Ramsay, op. cit., 154). The time of the decree is stated only in general terms by Luke, and it may have been as early as 727/27 (Zumpt, op. cit., 159; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 212) or later in 746-8 (Huschke, Census, 34; Ramsay, op. cit., 158), its execution in different provinces and subject kingdoms being carried out at different times. Hence, Luke dates the census in the kingdom of Herod specifically by connecting it with the administrative functions of Quirinius in Syria. But as P. Quintilius Varus was the legate of Syria just before and after the death of Herod from 748/6-750/4 (Ant., XVII, v, 2; XVII, ix., 3; XVII, x, 1 and 9; XVII, xi, 1; Tac. Hist. v0.9; and coins in Eckhel, Doctr. num. vet., III, 275) and his predecessor Was C. Sentius Saturninus from 745/9-748/6 (Ant; XVI, ix, 1; x, 8; xi, 3; XVII, i, 1; ii, 1; iii, 2), there seems to be no place for Quirinius during the closing years of Herod's reign. Tertullian indeed speaks of Saturninus as legate at the time of Jesus' birth (Adv. Marc., iv.9). The interpretation of Luke's statement as indicating a date for the census before Quirinius was legate (Wieseler, Chron. Syn., 116; Lagrange, Revue Biblique, 1911, 80) is inadmissible. It is possible that the connection of the census with Quirinius may be due to his having brought to completion what was begun by one of his predecessors; or Quirinius may have been commissioned especially by the emperor as legatus ad census accipiendos to conduct a census in Syria and this commission may have been connected temporally with his campaign against the Homonadenses in Cilicia (Tac. Ann. iii0.48; compare Noris, Cenotaph. Pis., 320; Sanclemente, op. cit., 426 passim; Ramsay, op. cit., 238). It has also been suggested by Bour (L'Inscription de Quirinius, 48) that Quirinius may have been an imperial procurator specially charged with authority in the matter of the Herodian census. The titulus Tiburtinus (CIL, XIV, 3613; Dessau, Inscr. Latin Sel., 918)-if rightly assigned to him-and there seems to be no sufficient reason for questioning the conclusiveness of Mommsen's defense of this attribution (compare Liebenam, Verwaltungsgesch., 365)-proves that he was twice legate of Syria, and the titulus Venetus (CIL, III, 6687; Dessau, op. cit., 2683) gives evidence of a census conducted by him in Syria. His administration is dated by Ramsay (op. cit., 243) in 747/7; by Mommsen in the end of 750/4 or the beginning of 751/3 (op. cit., 172). Zahn (Neue kirch. Zeitschr., 1893, IV, 633), followed by Spitta (Zeitschr.ff. d. neutest. Wiss., 1906, VII, 293), rejects the historicity of the later census connected by Josephus with the deposition of Archelaus, basing his view on internal grounds, and assigns the Lucan census to a time shortly after the death of Herod. This view however is rendered improbable by the evidence upon which the birth of Jesus is assigned to a time before the death of Herod (Matthew 2:1 Luke 1:5; Luke 2:1 f); by the differentiation of the census in Luke 2:1 and Acts 5:37; by the definite connection of the census in Josephus with Syria and the territory of Archelaus (compare also the tit. Venet.); and by the general imperial policy in the formation of a new province (Marquardt, op. cit., II, 213). Moreover there seems to be no adequate ground for identifying the Sabinus of Josephus with Quirinius as urged by Weber, who regards the two accounts (Ant., XVII, viii, 1 and XVII, iv, 5; XVIII, i, 2; ii, 1) as due to the separation by Josephus of parallel accounts of the same events in his sources (Zeitschr.ff. d. neutest. Wiss., 1909, X, 307)-the census of Sabinus-Quirinius being assigned to 4 B.C., just after the death of Herod the Great. The synchronism of the second census of Quirinius with the periodic year of the Egyptian census is probably only a coincidence, for it was occasioned by the deposition of Archelaus; but its extension to Syria may be indicative of its connection with the imperial policy inaugurated by Augustus (Tac. Ann. vi0.41; Ramsay, op. cit., 161).
(3) Star of the Magi.
The identification of the star of the Magi (Matthew 2:2; compare Matthew 2:7, 9, 16; Macrobius, Sat., II, 4; Sanclemente, op. cit., 456; Ramsay, op. cit., 215) and the determination of the time of its appearance cannot be made with certainty, although it has been associated with a conjunction in 747/7 and 748/6 of Saturn and Jupiter in the sign of Pisces-a constellation which was thought to stand in close relation with the Jewish nation (Ideler, Handbuch d. math. u. tech. Chron., II, 400). When the Magi came to Jerusalem, however, Herod was present in the city; and this must have been at least several months before his death, for during that time he was sick and absent from Jerusalem (Ant., XVII, vi, 1; BJ, I, xxxiii, 1).
(4) Course of Abijah.
The chronological calculations of the time of the service of the priestly course of Abijah in the temple, which are made by reckoning back from the time of the course of Jehoiarib which, according to Jewish tradition, was serving at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, are uncertain (Schurer, op. cit., II, 337, note 3; compare Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 836).
(5) Day and month.
The day and month of Jesus' birth are also uncertain. December 25 was celebrated by the church in the West as early as the 2nd century-if the date in Hippolytus on Dan., IV, 23, be genuine (compare Ehrhardt, Altchr. Lit., 1880-1900, 383); but January 6 was celebrated in the East as the anniversary both of the birth and of the baptism. The fact that shepherds were feeding their flocks at night when Jesus was born (Luke 2:8) makes it improbable that the season of the year was winter.
The birth of Jesus may therefore be assigned to the period 747/7 to 751/5, before the death of Herod, at the time of a census made by Herod in accordance with a decree of Augustus and when Quirinius was exercising extraordinary authority in Syria-Varus being the regular legate of the province, i.e. probably in 748/6.
2. Baptism of Jesus:
The Synoptic Gospels begin their description of the public ministry of Jesus with an account of the ministry of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:1; Luke 3:1; compare of in John 1:19; John 4:24; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, iii, 3) and Luke definitely dates the baptism of Jesus by John in the 15th year of Tiberius. Luke also designates this event as the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and by stating Jesus' age approximately brings it into connection with the date of His birth. If Luke reckoned the reign of Tiberius fro m the death Augustus, August 19, 767/14, the 15th year would extend from August 19, 781/28 to August 18, 782/29; and if Jesus was about thirty years old at this time, His birth would fall 751/3 to 752/2-or sometime after the death of Herod, which is inconsistent with Luke's own and Matthew's representation. This indeed was one of the common modes of reckoning the imperial reigns. The mode of reckoning from the assumption of the tribunician power or from the designation as imperator is altogether unlikely in Luke's case and intrinsically improbable, since for Tiberius the one began in 748/6 and the other in 743/11 (Dio Cassius Iv0.9; liv0.33; Vell. ii0.99; Suet. Tib. ix.11). But if, as seems likely, the method of reckoning by imperial years rather than by the yearly consuls was not definitely fixed when Luke wrote, it is possible that he may have counted the years of Tiberius from his appointment in 764/11 or 765/12 to equal authority with Augustus in the provinces (Veil. ii 121; Suet. Tib. xx0.21; Tac. Ann. i.3). This method seems not to have been employed elsewhere (Lewin, op. cit., 1143; compare Ramsay, op. cit., 202). The coins of Antioch in which it is found are regarded as spurious (Eckhel, op. cit., III, 276), the genuine coins reckoning the reign of Tiberins from the death of Augustus (ibid., III, 278). If Luke reckoned the reign of Tiberins from 764/11 or 765/12, the 15th year would fall in 778/25 or 779/26, probably the latter, and Jesus' birth about thirty years earlier, i.e. about 748/6 or 749/5.
3. First Passover:
At the time of the first Passover in Jesus' ministry the Herodian temple had been building 46 years (John 2:20). Herod began the temple in the 18th year of his reign (Ant., XV, xi, 1, which probably corrects the statement in BJ, I, xxi, I that it was the 15th year; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 369, note 12). As Josephus reckons from the accession of Herod in 717/37, the 18th year would be 734/20 to 735/21 and 46 years later would be 780/27 to 781/28. The interval implied in John between this Passover and the beginning of Jesus' ministry agrees well with the Lucan dating of the baptism in 779/26.
4. Death of John the Baptist:
The imprisonment of John the Baptist, which preceded the beginning of Jesus' Galilean work, was continued for a time (Matthew 11:2-19 Luke 7:18-35) but was finally terminated by beheading at the order of Herod Antipas. Announcement of the death was made to Jesus while in the midst of His Galilean ministry (Matthew 14:3-12 Mark 6:14-29 Luke 9:7-9). Josephus reports that the defeat of Antipas by Aretas, in the summer of 789/36, was popularly regarded as a Divine punishment for the murder of John (Ant., XVIII, v, 2); But although Josephus mentions the divorce of Aretas daughter by Antipas as one of the causes of hostilities, no inference can be drawn from this or from the popular interpretation of Antipas' defeat, by which the int erval between John s death and this defeat can be fixed (Schurer, op. cit., I, 443).
5. Length of Jesus' Ministry:
The Synoptic Gospels mention the Passion Passover at which Jesus' ministry was terminated, but they contain no data by which the interval between the imprisonment of John the Baptist and this Passover can be fixed with certainty. Yet indications are not wanting that the interval consisted of at least two years. The Sabbath controversy broke out in Galilee when the grain was still standing in the fields (Matthew 12:1 Mark 2:23 Luke 6:1) and the condition of the grass when the Five Thousand were fed (Matthew 14:15 Mark 6:39 Luke 9:12) points to the springtime, the Passion Passover marking the return of still another springtime (compare also Luke 13:7 Matthew 23:37). But the Gospel of John mentions explicitly three Passovers (John 2:23; John 6:4; John 11:55) and probably implies a fourth (John 5:1), thus necessitating a ministry of at least two years and making probable a ministry of three years after the first Passover. The Passover of 6:4 cannot be eliminated on textual grounds, for the documentary evidence is conclusive in its favor and the argument against it based on the statements of certain patristic writers is unconvincing (compare Turner, HDB, I, 407; Zahn, Kom., IV, 708). The indications of time from John 6:4 John 11:55 -the Passion Passover-are definite and clear (John 7:2; John 10:22). But the interval between the first Passover (John 2:23) and the Galilean Passover (John 6:4) must have been one and may have been two years. The following considerations favor the latter view: Jesus was present in Jerusalem at a feast (John 5:1) which is not named but is called simply "a" or "the" feast of the Jews. The best authorities for the text are divided, some supporting the insertion, others the omission of the definite article before "feast." If the article formed part of the original text, the feast may have been either Tabernacles-from the Jewish point of view-or Passover-from the Christian point of view. If the article was wanting in the original text, the identification of the feast must be made on contextual and other grounds. But the note of time in John 4:35 indicates the lapse of about nine months since the Passover of John 2:23 and it is not likely that the Galilean ministry which preceded the feeding of the Five Thousand lasted only about three months. In fact this is rendered impossible by the condition of the grain in the fields at the time of the Sabbath controversy. The identification of the feast of John 5:1 with Purim, even if the article be not genuine, is extremely improbable; and if so, a Passover must have intervened between John 2:23 and John 6:4, making the ministry of Jesus extend over a period of three years and the months which preceded the Passover of John 2:23. While the identification cannot be made with certainty, if the feast was Passover the subject of the controversy with the Jews in Jerusalem as well as the season of the year would harmonize with the Synoptic account of the Sabbath controversy in Galilee which probably followed this Passover (compare the variant reading in Luke 6:1).
6. Death of Jesus:
Jesus was put to death in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea (Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1; John 18:29; John 19:1; Acts 3:13; Acts 4:27; Acts 13:28 1 Timothy 6:13; Tac. Ann. xv.44), Caiaphas being the high priest (Matthew 26:3, 17 John 11:49; John 18:13) and Herod Antipas the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (Luke 23:7). Pilate was procurator from 779/26 to 789/36 (Ant., XVIII, iv, 3; v, 3; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 487, note 141); Caiaphas was high priest from 771/18 to 789/36 (Ant., XVIII, ii, 2; iv, 3; compare Schurer, op. cit., II, 271) and Antipas was tetrarch from 750/4 to 792/39. If the first Passover of Jesus' ministry was in 780/27, the fourth would fall in 783/30. The gospels name Friday as the day of the crucifixion (Matthew 27:62 Mark 15:42 Luke 23:54 John 19:14, 31, 42) and the Synoptic Gospels represent this Friday as Nisan 15-the day following (or according to Jewish reckoning from sunset to sunset, the same day as) the day on which the paschal supper was eaten (Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7). But the Fourth Gospel is thought by many to represent the paschal meal as still uneaten when Jesus suffered (John 18:28; compare John 13:29); and it is held that the Synoptic Gospels also contain traces of this view (Matthew 26:5 Mark 14:2; Mark 15:21 Luke 23:26). Astronomical calculations show that Friday could have fallen on Nisan 14 or 15 in 783/30 according to different methods of reckoning (von Soden, EB, I, 806; compare Bacon, Journal of Biblical Literature, XXVIII, 2, 1910, 130; Fotheringham, Jour. of Theol. Studies, October, 1910, 120), but the empirical character of the Jewish calendar renders the result of such calculations uncertain (Schurer, op. cit., I, 749). In the year 783/30 Friday, Nican 15, would fall on April 7. There is an early patristic tradition which dates the death of Jesus in the year 782/29, in the consulship of the Gemini (Turner, HDB, I, 413), but its origin and trustworthy character are problematical.
7. Summary of Dates:
1. Birth of Jesus, 748/6.
2. Death of Herod the Great, 750/4.
3. Baptism of Jesus, 779/26.
4. First Passover of Jesus' ministry, 780/27.
5. Death of Jesus, 783/30.
Schurer, Geschichte des Judischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 3. und 4. Aufl., 1901-9, 3 volumes, English translation of the 2nd edition, in 5 volumes, 1885-94; Ideler, Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie, 1825-26, 2 volumes; Wieseler, Chronologische Synopse der Evangelien, 1843, English translation; Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1865; Turner, article "Chronology of the NT" in HDB, 1900, I. 403-25; von Soden, article "Chronology" in Cheyne and Black, EB, 1899, I, 799-819; Ramsay, Wa s Christ Born at Bethlehem? 1898; F. R. Montgomery Hitchcock, article "Dates" in Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels; Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi Augusti2.
II. Chronology of the Apostolic Age.
The chronology of the apostolic age must be based on the data in Acts and the epistolary literature of the New Testament which afford contacts with persons or events of the Greek-Roman world. From the fixed points thus secured a general outline of the relative chronology may be established with reasonable probability.
1. Paul's Conversion:
Paul was converted near Damascus (Acts 9:3; Acts 22:5; Acts 26:12; Galatians 1:17). After a brief stay in that city (Acts 9:19) he went to Arabia and then came again to Damascus (Galatians 1:17). When he left Damascus the second time, he returned to Jerusalem after an absence of three years (Galatians 1:18). The flight of Paul from Damascus (Acts 9:24) probably terminated his second visit to the city. At that time the ethnarch of Aretas, the king of the Nabateans, acting with the resident Jews (Acts 9:23), guarded t he city to seize him (2 Corinthians 11:32). Aretas IV succeeded Obodas about 9 B.C., and reigned until about 40 A.D. Damascus was taken by the Romans in 62 B.C. and probably continued under their control until the death of Tiberius (March 37 A.D.). Roman coins of Damascus exist from the time of Augustus, Tiberius and Nero, but there are no such coins from the time of Caligula and Claudius (Schurer, op. cit., I, 737; II, 153). Moreover the relations of Aretas to Augustus and Tiberius make it extremely improbable that he held Damascus during their reign as part of his kingdom or acquired it by conquest. The statement of Paul however seems to imply Nabatean control of the city, and this is best explained on the supposition that Damascus was given to Aretas by Caligula, the change in the imperial attitude being due perhaps to the influence primarily of Agrippa and possibly also of Vitellius (Steinmann, Aretas IV, 1909, 34). But if Paul's escape from Damascus was not earlier than 37 A.D., his conversion cannot be placed earlier than 34 or 35 A.D., and the journey to Jerusalem 14 years later (Galatians 2:1) not earlier than 50 or 51 A.D.
2. Death of Herod Agrippa I:
Herod Agrippa I died in Caesarea shortly after a Passover season (Acts 12:23; compare Acts 12:3, 19). Caligula had given him the tetrarchy of Philip and of Lysanias in 37 A.D.-the latter either at this time or later-with the title of king (Ant., XVIII, vi, 10; BJ, II, ix, 6) and this was increased in 40 A.D. by the tetrarchy of Antipas (Ant., XVIII, vii, 1; BJ, II, ix, 6). Claudius gave him also Judea and Samaria (Ant., XIX, v, 1; BJ, II, xi, 5) thus making his territory even more extensive than that of his grandfather, Herod the Great. Agrippa reigned over "all Judea" for three years under Claudius (Ant., XIX, viii, 2; BJ, II, xi, 6), his death falling in the spring of 44 A.D., in the 7th year of his reign. The games mentioned by Josephus in this connection are probably those that were celebrated in honor of the return of Claudius from Britain in 44 A.D. There are coins of Agrippa from his 6th year, but the attribution to him of coins from other years is questioned (Schurer, op. cit., 560, note 40; Madden, op. cit., 132).
3. Famine under Claudius:
The prophecy of a famine and its fulfillment under Claudius (Acts 11:28) are associated in Acts with the death of Herod Agrippa I (Acts 11:30; Acts 12:23). Famines in Rome during the reign of Claudius are mentioned by Suetonius (Claud. xviii), Dio Cassius (lx.11), Tacitus (Annals xii.43), and Orosius (vii.6). Josephus narrates in the time of Fadus the generosity of Helena during a famine in Palestine (Ant., XX, ii, 5), but subsequently dates the famine generally in the time of Fadus and Alexander. The famine in P alestine would fall therefore at some time between 44 and 48 (Schurer, op. cit., I, 567, note 8).
4. Sergius Paulus:
When Paul visited Cyprus with Barnabas the island was administered by Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:7), a proprietor with the title proconsul (Marquardt, op. cit., I, 391). There is an inscription from Cyprus (Cagnat, Inscr. graec. ad res rom. pertin., III; 930) dating from the 1st century, and probably from the year 53 (Zahn, Neue kirch. Zeitschr., 1904, XV, 194) in which an incident in the career of a certain Apollonius is dated in the proconsulship of Paulus (epi Palilou (anth)upatou).
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COMMANDMENT, THE NEW
nu (entole kaine): The word "commandment" is used in the English versions of the Old Testament to translate several Hebrew words, more especially those meaning "word" (dabhar) as the ten words of God (Exodus 34:28) or king's "command" (Esther 1:12); "precept" (mitswah) of God (Deuteronomy 4:2), of a king (2 Kings 18:36); "mouth" or "speech" (peh) of God (Exodus 17:1), of Pharaoh (2 Kings 23:35). They express theocratic idea of morality wherein the will or law of God is imposed upon men as their law of conduct (2 Kings 17:37).
1. Christ and the Old Commandment:
This idea is not repudiated in the New Testament, but supplemented or modified from within by making love the essence of the command. Jesus Christ, as reported in the Synoptics, came not "to destroy the law or the prophets. but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). He taught that "whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19). He condemned the Pharisees for rejecting the commandments of God as given by Moses (Mark 7:8-13). There is a sense in which it is true that Christ propounded no new commandment, but the new thing in His teaching was the emphasis laid on the old commandment of love, and the extent and intent of its application. The great commandment is "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,. (and) thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets" (Matthew 22:34-40 Mark 12:28-34; compare Deuteronomy 6:5 Leviticus 19:18).
2. Principle instead of Law:
Whey the law realizes itself as love for God and man in men's hearts, it ceases to bear the aspect of a command. The force of authority and the active resistance or inertia of the subject disappear; the law becomes a principle, a motive, a joyous harmony of man's will with the will of God; and in becoming internal, it becomes universal and transcends all distinctions of race or class. Even this was not an altogether new idea (compare Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51); nor did Christ's contemporaries and disciples think it was.
3. Christ's Love Fulfilled in Death Becomes the Law of the Church:
The revolutionary factor was the death of Christ wherein the love of God was exemplified and made manifest as the basis and principle of all spiritual life (John 13:34). Paul therefore generalizes all pre-Christian morality as a system of law and commandments, standing in antithesis to the grace and love which are through Jesus Christ (Roman 5-7). Believers in Christ felt their experience and inward life to be so changed and new, that it needed a new term (agape = "love") to express their ideal of conduct (see CHARITY). Another change that grew upon the Christian consciousness, following from the resurrection and ascension of Christ, was the idea that He was the permanent source of the principle of life. "Jesus is Lord" (1 Corinthians 12:3). Hence, in the Johannine writings the principle described by the new term agape is associated with Christ's lordship and solemnly described as His "new commandment." "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34). To the Christians of the end of the 1st century it was already an old commandment which they had from the beginning of the Christian teaching (1 John 2:7 2 John 5); but it was also a new commandment which ever came with new force to men who were passing from the darkness of hatred to the light of love (1 John 2:8-11).
4. The New Revelation:
The term in the Gospel we may owe to the evangelist, but it brings into relief an element in the consciousness of Jesus which the author of the Fourth Gospel had appreciated more fully than the Synoptists. Jesus was aware that He was the bearer of a special message from the Father (John 12:49 Matthew 11:27), that He fulfilled His mission in His death of love and self-sacrifice (John 10:18), and that the mission fulfilled gave Him authority over the lives of men, "even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." The full meaning of Christ's teaching was only realized when men had experienced and recognized the significance of His death as the cause and principle of right conduct. The Synoptists saw Christ's teaching as the development of the prophetic teaching of the Old Testament. Paul and John felt that the love of God in Christ was a new thing:
(a) new as a revelation of God in Christ,
(b) new as a principle of life in the church, and
(c) new as a union of believers with Christ. While it is love, it is also a commandment of Christ, calling forth the joyous obedience of believers.
See also BROTHERLY LOVE.
COVENANT, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Diatheke, was the word chosen by the Septuagint translators to render the Hebrew berith, and it appears thus nearly 300 times in the Greek Old Testament in the sense of covenant, while suntheke and entolai are each used once only. The choice of this word seems to have been occasioned by a recognition that the covenant which God makes with men is not fully mutual as would be implied in suntheke, the Greek word commonly used for covenant (although not a New Testament word), while at the same time the rarity of wills among the Jews made the common sense of diatheke relatively unfamiliar. The Apocryphal writers also frequently use the same word in the same sense and no other.
In the New Testament diatheke is used some thirty times in a way which makes it plain that its translation must be "covenant." In Galatians 3:15 and Hebrews 9:15-17 it is held by many that the sense of covenant must be set aside in favor of will or testament. But in the former passage it can be taken in the sense of a disposition of affairs or arrangement made by God, a conception in substantial harmony with its regular New Testament use and with the sense of berith. In the passage in Hebrews the interpretation is more difficult, but as it is acknowledged on all hands that the passage loses all argumentative force if the meaning testament is accepted, it seems best to retain the meaning covenant if possible. To do this it is only necessary to hold that the death spoken of is the death of the animal sometimes, if not, indeed, commonly slain in connection with the making of a covenant, and that in the mind of the author this death symbolized the death of the contracting parties so far at least as to pledge them that thereafter in the matter involved they would no more change their minds than can the dead. If this view is taken, this passage falls in line with the otherwise invariable use of the word diatheke by Jewish Hellenists.
Lightfoot, Commentary on Gal; Ramsay, Commentary on Gal; Westcott, Commentary on Hebrews; article on Hebrews 9:15-17, Baptist Review and The Expositor., July, 1904.
David Foster Estes
COVENANT, THE NEW
(berith chadhashah, Jeremiah 31:31; he diatheke kaine, Hebrews 8:8, 13, etc., or nea, Hebrews 12:24: the former Greek adjective has the sense of the "new" primari1y in reference to quality, the latter the sense of "young," the "new," primarily in reference to time):
1. Contrast of "New" and "Old"-The Term "Covenant"
2. Christ's Use at the Last Supper
3. Relation to Exodus 24
4. Use in Epistle to the Hebrews
5. The Mediator of the New Covenant
6. "Inheritance" and "Testament"
7. Relation to Jeremiah 31:31-34
8. To Ezekiel
9. Contrast of Old and New in 2 Corinthians 3
1. Contrast of "New" and "Old"-the Term "Covenant":
The term "New" Covenant necessarily implies an "Old" Covenant, and we are reminded that God's dealings with His people in the various dispensations of the world's history have been in terms of covenant. The Holy Scriptures by their most familiar title keep this thought before us, the Old Testament and the New Testament or Covenant; the writings produced within the Jewish "church" being the writings or Scriptures of the Old Covenant, those within the Christian church, the Scriptures of the New Covenant. The alternative name "Testament"-adopted into our English description through the Latin, as the equivalent of the Hebrew berith, and the Greek diatheke, which both mean a solemn disposition, compact or contract-suggests the disposition of property in a last will or testament, but although the word diatheke may bear that meaning, the Hebrew berith does not, and as the Greek usage in the New Testament seems especially governed by the Old Testament usage and the thought moves in a similar plane, it is better to keep to the term "covenant." The one passage which seems to favor the "testament" idea is Hebrews 9:16, 17 (the Revisers who have changed the King James Version "testament" into "covenant" in every other place have left it in these two verses), but it is questionable whether even here the better rendering would not be "covenant" (see below). Certainly in the immediate context "covenant" is the correct translation and, confessedly, "testament," if allowed to stand, is an application by transition from the original thought of a solemn compact to the secondary one of testamentary disposition. The theological terms "Covenant of Works" and "Covenant of Grace" do not occur in Scripture, though the ideas covered by the terms, especially the latter, may easily be found there. The "New Covenant" here spoken of is practically equivalent to the Covenant of Grace established between God and His redeemed people, that again resting upon the eternal Covenant of Redemption made between the Father and the Son, which, though not so expressly designated, is not obscurely indicated by many passages of Scripture.
2. Christ's Use at Last Supper:
Looking at the matter more particularly, we have to note the words of Christ at the institution of the Supper. In all the three Synoptists, as also in Paul's account (Matthew 26:28 Mark 14:24 Luke 22:20 1 Corinthians 11:25) "covenant" occurs. Matthew and Mark, "my blood of the (new) covenant"; Luke and Paul, "the new covenant in my blood." The Revisers following the critical text, have omitted "new" in Matthew and Mark, but even if it does not belong to the original MS, it is implied, and there need be little doubt that Jesus used it. The old covenant was so well known to these Jewish disciples, that to speak of the covenant in this emphatic way, referring manifestly to something other than the old Mosaic covenant, was in effect to call it a "new" covenant. The expression, in any case, looks back to the old and points the contrast; but in the contrast there are points of resemblance.
3. Relation to Exodus 24:
It is most significant that Christ here connects the "new" covenant with His "blood." We at once think, as doubtless the disciples would think, of the transaction described in Exodus 24:7, when Moses "took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people" those "words," indicating God's undertaking on behalf of His people and what He required of them; "and they said, All that Yahweh hath spoken will we do, and be obedient," thus taking up their part of the contract. Then comes the ratification. "Moses took the blood (half of which had already been sprinkled on the altar), and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which Yahweh hath made with you concerning all these words" (verse 8). The blood was sacrificial blood, the blood of the animals sacrificed as burnt offerings and peace offerings (Exodus 24:5, 6). The one half of the blood sprinkled on the altar tells of the sacrifice offered to God, the other half sprinkled on the people, of the virtue of the same sacrifice applied to the people, and so the covenant relation is fully brought about. Christ, by speaking of His blood in this connection, plainly indicates that His death was a sacrifice, and that through that sacrifice His people would be brought into a new covenant relationship with God. His sacrifice is acceptable to God and the virtue of it is to be applied to believers-so all the blessings of the new covenant are secured to them; the blood "is poured out for you" (Luke 22:20). He specifically mentions one great blessing of the new covenant, the forgiveness of sins-"which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28).
4. Use in Epistle to the Hebrews:
This great thought is taken up in Hebrews and fully expounded. The writer draws out fully the contrast between the new covenant and the old by laying stress upon the perfection of Christ's atonement in contrast to the material and typical sacrifices (Hebrews 9:11-23). He was "a high priest of the good things to come," connected with "the greater and more perfect tabernacle." He entered the heavenly holy place "through his own blood," not that of "goats and calves," and by that perfect offering He has secured "eternal redemption" in contrast to the temporal deliverance of the old dispensation. The blood of those typical offerings procured ceremonial cleansing; much more, therefore, shall the blood of Christ avail to cleanse the conscience "from dead works to serve the living God"-that blood which is so superior in value to the blood of the temporal sacrifices, yet resembles it in being sacrificial blood. It is the blood of Him "who, through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God." It is the fashion in certain quarters nowadays to say that it is not the blood of Christ, but His spirit of self-sacrifice for others, that invests the cross with its saving power, and this verse is sometimes cited to show that the virtue lies in the surrender of the perfect will, the shedding of the blood being a mere accident. But this is not the view of the New Testament writers. The blood-shedding is to them a necessity. Of course, it is not the natural, material blood, or the mere act of shedding it, that saves. The blood is the life. The blood is the symbol of life; the blood shed is the symbol of life outpoured-of the penalty borne; and while great emphasis must be laid, as in this verse it is laid, upon Christ's perfect surrender of His holy will to God, yet the essence of the matter is found in the fact that He willingly endured the dread consequences of sin, and as a veritable expiatory sacrifice shed His precious blood for the remission of sins.
5. The Mediator of the New Covenant:
On the ground of that shed blood, as the writer goes on to assert, "He is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15). Thus Christ fulfils the type in a twofold way: He is the sacrifice upon which the covenant is based, whose blood ratifies it, and He is also, like Moses, the Mediator of the covenant. The death of Christ not only secures the forgiveness of those who are brought under the new covenant, but it was also for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, implying that all the sacrifices gained their value by being types of Christ, and the forgiveness enjoyed by the people of God in former days was bestowed in virtue of the great Sacrifice to be offered in the fullness of time.
6. "Inheritance" and "Testament":
Not only does the blessing of perfect forgiveness come through the new covenant, but also the promise of the "eternal inheritance" in contrast to the earthly inheritance which, under the old covenant, Israel obtained. The mention of the inheritance is held to justify the taking of the word in the next verse as "testament," the writer passing to the thought of a testamentary disposition, which is only of force after the death of the testator. Undoubtedly there is good ground for the analogy, and all the blessings of salvation which come to the believer may be considered as bequeathed by the Saviour in His death, and accruing to us because He has died. It has, in that sense, tacitly to be assumed that the testator lives again to be His own executor and to put us in possession of the blessings. Still, we think there is much to be said in favor of keeping to the sense of "covenant" even here, and taking the clause, which, rendered literally, is: "a covenant is of force (or firm) over the dead," as meaning that the covenant is established on the ground of sacrifice, that sacrifice representing the death of the maker of the covenant. The allusion may be further explained by a reference to Genesis 15:9, 10, 17, which has generally been considered as illustrating the ancient Semitic method of making a covenant: the sacrificial animals being divided, and the parties passing between the pieces, implying that they deserved death if they broke the engagement. The technical Hebrew phrase for making a covenant is "to cut a covenant."
There is an interesting passage in Herodotus iii. 8, concerning an Arabian custom which seems akin to the old Hebrew practice. "The Arabians observe pledges as religiously as any people; and they make them in the following manner; when any wish to pledge their faith, a third person standing between the two parties makes an incision with a sharp stone in the palm of the hand, nearest the longest fingers of both the contractors; then taking some of the nap from the garments of each, he smears seven stones placed between him and the blood; and as he does this he invokes Bacchus and Urania. When this ceremony is completed, the person who pledges his faith binds his friends as sureties to the stranger, or the citizen, if the contract is made with a citizen; and the friends also hold themselves obliged to observe the engagement"-Cary's translation.
Whatever the particular application of the word in Genesis 15:17, the central idea in the passage is that death, blood-shedding, is necessary to the establishment of the covenant, and so he affirms that the first covenant was not dedicated without blood, and in proof quotes the passage already cited from Exodus 24, and concludes that "apart from shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).
SeeCOVENANT, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
7. Relation to Jeremiah 31:31-34:
This new covenant established by Christ was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, who uses the very word "new covenant" in describing it, and very likely Christ had that description in mind when He used the term, and meant His disciples to understand that the prophetic interpretation would in Him be realized. There is no doubt that the author of He had the passage in mind, for he has led up to the previous statement by definitely quoting the whole statement of Jeremiah 31:31-34. He had in Jeremiah 7 spoken of the contrast between Christ s priesthood "after the order of Melchizedek" (verse 11) and the imperfect Aaronic priesthood, and he designates Jesus as "the surety of a better covenant" (verse 22). Then in Jeremiah 8, emphasizing the thought of the superiority of Christ's heavenly high-priesthood, he declares that Christ is the "mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises" (verse 6). The first covenant, he says, was not faultless, otherwise there would have been no need for a second; but the fault was not in the covenant but in the people who failed to keep it, though perhaps there is also the suggestion that the external imposition of laws could not suffice to secure true obedience. "For finding fault with them he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." The whole passage (Jeremiah 8-12) would repay careful study, but we need only note that not only is there prominence given to the great blessings of the covenant, perfect forgiveness and fullness of knowledge, but, as the very essence of the covenant-that which serves to distinguish it from the old covenant and at once to show its superiority and guarantee its permanence-there is this wonderful provision: "I will put my laws into their mind, and on their heart also will I write them: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." This at once shows the spirituality of the new covenant. Its requirements are not simply given in the form of external rules, but the living Spirit possesses the heart; the law becomes an internal dominating principle, and so true obedience is secured.
8. To Ezekiel:
Ezekiel had spoken to the same effect, though the word "new covenant" is not used in the passage, Ezekiel 36:27: "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them." In chapter 37 Ezekiel again speaks of the great blessings to be enjoyed by the people of God, including cleansing, walking in God's statutes, recognition as God's people, etc., and he distinctly says of this era of blessing: "I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them" (verse 26). Other important foreshadowings of the new covenant are found in Isaiah 54:10; Isaiah 55:3; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 61:8 Hosea 2:18-23 Malachi 3:1-4. We may well marvel at the spiritual insight of these prophets, and it is impossible to attribute their forecasts to natural genius; they can only be accounted for by Divine inspiration.
The writer to the Hebrews recurs again and again to this theme of the "New Covenant"; in Hebrews 10:16, 17 he cites the words of Jeremiah already quoted about writing the law on their minds, and remembering their sins no more. In Hebrews 12:24, he speaks of "Jesus the mediator of a new covenant," and "the blood of sprinkling," again connecting the "blood" with the "covenant," and finally, in Hebrews 13:20, he prays for the perfection of the saints through the "blood of an eternal covenant."
9. Contrast of Old and New in 2 Corinthians 3:
In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul has an interesting and instructive contrast between the old covenant and the new. He begins it by saying that "our sufficiency is from God; who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:5, 6). The "letter" is the letter of the law, of the old covenant which could only bring condemnation, but the spirit which characterizes the new covenant gives life, writes the law upon the heart. He goes on to speak of the old as that "ministration of death" which nevertheless "came with glory" (2 Corinthians 3:7), and he refers especially to the law, but the new covenant is "the ministration of the spirit," the "ministration of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 3:8, 9), and has a far greater glory than the old. The message of this "new covenant" is "the gospel of Christ." The glory of the new covenant is focused in Christ; rays forth from Him. The glory of the old dispensation was reflected upon the face of Moses, but that glory was transitory and so was the physical manifestation (2 Corinthians 3:13). The sight of the shining face of Moses awed the people of Israel and they revered him as leader specially favored of God (2 Corinthians 3:7-13). When he had delivered his message he veiled his face and thus the people could not see that the glow did not last; every time that he went into the Divine presence he took off the veil and afresh his face was lit up with the glory, and coming out with the traces of that glory lingering on his countenance he delivered his message to the people and again veiled his face (compare Exodus 34:29-35), and thus the transitoriness and obscurity of the old dispensation were symbolized. In glorious contrast to that symbolical obscurity, the ministers of the gospel, of the new covenant, use great boldness of speech; the veil is done away in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:12). The glory which comes through Him is perpetual, and fears no vanishing away.
DECEASE, IN NEW TESTAMENT
de-ses' (teleutao, "to come to an end," "married and deceased" (Matthew 22:25)): With thanato, "death," "die the death" (Matthew 15:4 Mark 7:10, the Revised Version, margin "surely die"). Elsewhere the word is translated "die" (Matthew 2:19; Matthew 9:18 Mark 9:48 and often; Hebrews 11:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "end was nigh").
Also the substantive, exodos, "exodus," "exit," "departure," "his decease which he was about to accomplish" (Luke 9:31, the Revised Version, margin "departure"); "after my decease" (2 Peter 1:15, the Revised Version, margin "departure").
DIVORCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
(to apostasiou): The Scripture doctrine of divorce is very simple. It is contained in Matthew 19:3-12.
We are not called upon to treat of divorce in the Mosaic legislation (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). That was passed upon by Jesus in the above discussion and by Him ruled out of existence in His system of religion. After Jesus had spoken as above, the Mosaic permission of divorce became a dead letter. There could not be practice under it among His disciples. So such Old Testament divorce is now a mere matter of antiquarian curiosity.
It may be of interest in passing to note that the drift of the Mosaic legislation was restrictive of a freedom of divorce that had been practiced before its enactment. It put in legal proceedings to bar the personal will of one of the parties. It recognized marriage as a social institution which should not be disrupted without reference to the rights of society in it. In this restrictive character "the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ" (Galatians 3:24). But here, as in numerous other instances, Christ went behind the enactments to primitive original principles whose recognition would make the law of none effect, because no practice was to be permitted under it. Thus the Old Testament is disposed of.
Of course what Jesus said will dominate the New. In fact, Jesus is the only author in the New Testament who has treated of divorce. It has been thought that Paul had the subject in hand. But we shall find on examination, further along, that he did not. We need then look nowhere but to Matthew 19 for the Scripture doctrine of divorce.
True, we have other reports of what Jesus said (Mark 10:2-12 Luke 16:18). But in Matthew 19 we have the fullest report, containing everything that is reported elsewhere and one or two important observations that the other writers have not included. Luke has only one verse where Matthew has ten. Luke's verse is in no necessary connection with context. It seems to be a mere memorandum among others of the spiritual or ethical teachings of Christ. Luke however caught the gist of the whole teaching about divorce in recording the prohibition to put away one wife and marry another. The records in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 cover one and the same occasion. But there is nothing in Mark that is not in Matthew; and the latter contains nearly a third more of text than the former. There is nothing, however, essential in Matthew that is not in Mark, save the clause "except for fornication." That exception will be treated further along. We seem to be justified then in saying that the total doctrine of the Scripture pertaining to divorce is contained in Matthew 19.
Attention must be called to the fact that, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-32), Jesus treated of divorce, and that in every essential particular it agrees with the elaboration in Matthew 19. Jesus there as plainly as in the argument with the Pharisees put Moses' permission of divorce under ban; as plainly there declared the putting away of one partner to marry another person to be adultery. This may also be noticed, that the exception to the absolute prohibition is in the text of the Sermon on the Mount.
We have then a summary of the New Testament doctrine of divorce stated by Christ Himself as follows: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matthew 19:9). This puts Him in line with the ideal of the monogamic, indissoluble family which pervades the whole of the Old Testament.
1. The Family:
It may be well here to treat of the exception which Christ made in His rule to the indissolubility of marriage. It is very widely maintained in the Christian church that there should be no divorce for any cause whatever. This position is in plain contradiction to Christ's teaching in Matthew 15 and Matthew 19. One of the grounds adduced for this denial of divorce in case a partner is guilty of adultery is that Luke and Mark do not record the exception. It is a difficult matter to invade the psychology of writers who lived nearly two thousand years ago and tell why they did not include something in their text which someone else did in his. Neither Luke nor Mark were personal disciples of the Lord. They wrote second hand. Matthew was a personal disciple of Christ and has twice recorded the exception. It will be a new position in regard to judgment on human evidence when we put the silence of absentees in rank above the twice expressed report of one in all probability present-one known to be a close personal attendant.
This may be said: Matthew's record stands in ancient manuscript authority, Greek and also the Versions. And on this point let it be noted that the testimony of the manuscripts was up before the English and American Revisers, and they have deliberately reaffirmed the text of 1611 and given us the exception in Christ's rule in each place (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9). This makes the matter as nearly res adjudicata as can be done by human wisdom.
Let us consider the rationality of the exception. That feature has had scant attention from theologians and publicists, yet it will bear the closest scrutiny. In fact it is a key to much that is explanatory of the basic principle of the family. To begin with, the exception is not on its face an after-thought of some transcriber, but was called out by the very terms of the question of the Pharisees: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" This plainly called for a specification from Jesus of exceptions which he would allow to the rule against divorce. It is fortunate that the Pharisees asked the question in the form they did, for that put on Jesus the necessity of enumerating such exceptions as he would allow. He mentioned one, and but one in reply. That puts the matter of exceptions under the rule in logic: Expressio unius-exclusio alterius. All other pretenses for divorce were deliberately swept aside by Christ-a fact that should be remembered when other causes are sought to be foisted in alongside this one allowed by Christ. The question may come up, Whose insight is likely to be truest?
Why, then, will reason stand by this exception? Because adultery is per se destructive of monogamic family life. Whoever, married, is guilty of adultery has taken another person into family relation. Children may be born to that relation-are born to it. Not to allow divorce in such case is to force an innocent party in marriage to live in a polygamous state. There is the issue stated so plainly that "the wayfaring man need not err therein," and "he who runs may read," and "he who reads may run." It is the hand of an unerring Master that has made fornication a ground for divorce from the bond of matrimony and limited divorce to that single cause. Whichever way we depart from strict practice under the Savior's direction we land in polygamy. The society that allows by its statutes divorce for any other cause than the one that breaks the monogamic bond, is simply acting in aid of polygamy, consecutive if not contemporaneous.
Advocates of the freedom of divorce speak of the above view as "the ecclesiastical." That is an attempt to use the argument ad invidiam. The church of Christ held and holds its views, not because ecclesiastics taught it, but because Christ taught it, and that in His teaching we have a statement out from the righteousness, wisdom, insight and rationality of the all-wise God.
Paul is the only other New Testament author besides Christ who has been supposed to treat of divorce. But a careful examination of Paul's writing will disclose the fact that he has nowhere discussed the question-for what cause or causes a man might put away his wife, or a woman her husband, with liberty of marriage to another person. If Paul has treated of divorce at all it is in 1 Corinthians 7. But even a careless reading of that chapter will disclose the fact that Paul is not discussing the question for what causes marriage might be disrupted, but the question of manners and morals in the relation. Paul has not modified Christ in any respect. It has been supposed that in 7:15 Paul has allowed divorce to a believing partner who has been deserted by one unbelieving, and so he has been sometimes understood as adding desertion to the exception Christ made as cause for divorce.
But Paul has not said in that verse or anywhere else that a Christian partner deserted by a heathen may be married to someone else. All he said is: "If the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage (dedoulotai) in such cases: but God hath called us in peace." To say that a deserted partner "hath not been enslaved" is not to say that he or she may be remarried. What is meant is easily inferred from the spirit that dominates the whole chapter, and that is that everyone shall accept the situation in which God has called him just as he is. "Be quiet" is a direction that hovers over every situation. If you are married, so remain. If unmarried, so remain. If an unbelieving partner deserts, let him or her desert. So remain. "God hath called us in peace." Nothing can be more beautiful in the morals of the marriage relation than the direction given by Paul in this chapter for the conduct of all parties in marriage in all trials.
Many reasons might be given why Paul could not have given liberty of remarriage, besides the one that he did not in his text; but attention should be called to the fact that such an assumption of authority in divorce would soon have brought him into conflict with the Roman government. Paul's claim that he was a Roman citizen was of some value to himself. Would not some Roman citizen have claimed to scrutinize pretty closely Paul's right to issue a decree of divorce against him because he had "departed" from a wife who had become a Christian? There would be two sides to such divorces. Would not Paul, careful, shrewd, politic as he was, have known that, and have avoided an open rupture with a government that did not tolerate much interference with its laws? That neither Paul nor anyone else ever put such construction upon his language, is evidenced by the fact that there is no record in history of a single case where it was attempted for 400 years after Paul was in his grave, and the Roman Empire had for a century been Christian. Then we wait 400 years more before we find the suggestion repeated. That no use was ever made of such construction of Paul in the whole era of the adjustment of Christianity with heathenism is good evidence that it was never there to begin with. So we shall pass Paul as having in no respect modified the doctrine of divorce laid down by Christ in Matthew 19.
3. Remedies for Marriage Ills:
In all civilized countries the machinery of legislation and law can always be open for removal or relief of troubles in marriage without proceeding to its annulment. If a father is cruel to his children, we do not abolish the parental relation, but punish the father for his cruelty. If he deserts his children, we need not assist him to rear other children whom he can desert in turn, but we can punish him for his desertion. What can be done by law in case of parent and child can be done in case of husband and wife. By putting in absolute divorce (frequently for guilty and innocent alike) we invite the very evils we seek to cure. We make it the interest of a dissatisfied party to create a situation that a court will regard as intolerable, and so he or she may go free. Then by affording an easy way out of the troubles of married life we are inviting carelessness about entering marriage. We say by divorce statutes to a young woman: "If your husband deserts you, you may have another. If he is cruel, you may have another. If he fails to support you, you may have another. If he is drunken, you may have another. If he is incompatible or makes you unhappy, you may have another"-and yet others beyond these. When an easy road is thus made out of marriage, will there be proper caution about entering into marriage? By just as much as a crevice for relief of the miseries of married life is opened by divorce, by so much the flood gates are opened into those miseries. The more solemnly society is impressed that the door of marriage does not swing outward as well as inward the more of happiness and blessing will it find in the institution. SeeFAMILY.
EARTH, THE NEW
See ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, IX; HEAVENS, NEW;
ELDER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
(1) The word is used adjectivally to denote seniority (Luke 15:25 1 Timothy 5:2).
(2) Referring to the Jewish elders of the synagogue, usually associated with the scribes and Pharisees, and New Testament passages cited in the previous article.
(3) It denotes certain persons appointed to hold office in the Christian church, and to exercise spiritual oversight over the flock entrusted to them. From the references in Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17 it may be inferred that the churches generally had elders appointed over them. That "elders" and "bishops" were in apostolic and sub-apostolic times the same, is now almost universally admitted; in all New Testament references their functions are identical. The most probable explanation of the difference of names is that "elder" refers mainly to the person, and "bishop" to the office; the name "elder" emphasizes what he is, while "bishop," that is "overseer," emphasizes what the elder or presbyter does.
See BISHOP; CHURCH GOVERNMENT; MINISTRY.
A. C. Grant
New (1850 Occurrences)
New appears 1850 times in 12 translations.
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