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Biblical Illustrator Rom 1 & 2

Biblical Illustrator Rom 1 & 2

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 18, 2011
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BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR ROM 1 & 2ITRODUCTIO TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMASI. Its OEXjnntxss Am> authbotioitt. The author declares himself to be Paul,the apostle of the Qentiles (chaps, i. 1-7, xv. 15-20), who writes in order to fulfilhis commission " to bring aU the Gentiles to the obedience of the faith " (chap. i.6). 1. The witnesses. The unanimous tradition of the Church is in harmony with thodeclaration of the author. (1) Between 90 and 100 a.d. Clement of Bome reproducedinhis Epistle to the Corinthians (chap, zxzv.) the picture of the vices of the Oentilestraced in Bom. L, and (chap, xzxviii.) applies to the circumstances of his time theexhortations addressed to strong and weak in Bom. xiv. Our letter was thereforepreserved in the archives of the Church of Bome, and recognised as the work of thaapostle whose name it bears. (2) The author of the Epistle of Barnabas (oir. 96 a. d.)in chap, iii had present to his mind Bom. iv. 11, Ao. (3) The letters of Ignatiaaagain and again reproduce the antithesis in the twofold origin of Jesus (Bom. i.8, 4). (4) In the Dialogue with Trypho (chap, xxvii.) Justin (middle of 2ndcentury a.d.) repeats the enumeration of the many Biblical passages whereby Paul(Bom. iii.) demonstrates the natural corruption of man. (5) The Epistle toDiognetuB alludes (chap, iz.) to Bom. v. 18, 19. (6) The Churches of Lyons andVienne in their letter to the Churches of Pontus (cir. 177 a.d.) speak of their martyri"really proving the sufferings of the present time" (Bom. viii. 18). (7) Manyfeatures of the picture of Gentile infamies (Bom. i.) reappear in the Apologies of Athanagoras and of Theophylus (soon after the middle of 2nd century A.D.). Th«latter quotes Bom. ii. 6-9, xiii. 7, 8. (8) The so-called Canon of Muratori (170-180 A.D.) places our Epistle among the writings which the Church receives, andwhich should be read publicly. (9) The quotations made by Irensus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian are very numerous. It is only from this time that Paulis expressly named as author. (10) In century 3rd a.d. Origen, and in centoiy4th, Eusebius, do not mention any doubt as expressed as to the authenticity of ourEpistle. (11) The testimony of heretics is no less unanimous, Basilides, Ftolemsua,and very particularly Marcion, from the first half of the 1st century onwards makause of our Epistle as a genuine apostolic document. {Prof. Godet.) 2. Objec«tions answered. Througliout the whole course of the past centuries only twotheologians have contested this unanimous testimony — Evanson and Bruno Bauer.They ask — (1) Why does the author of the Acts not say a word about a work of such importance ? As if the Acts were a biography of Paul 1 (2) How are we tounderstand the numerous salutations of chap. xvi. , addressed to a Church in whichPaul had never lived ? As if (granting that they really belong to this Epistle) thaapostle could not have known all these persons in Greece and the East, as he did
Priscilla and Aquila ! (8) How can we account for the existence of so considerablea Church before the arrival of any apostle ? As if the founding of the Church atAntioch did not furnish us with a sufficient precedent to solve the question. Thereis nothing to prevent us from accepting the testimony of the Church, which is con-firmed, besides, by the grandeur which betrays a master, the truly apostolic powerof the work itself, and its complete harmony in thought and style with othetVtI ZTBODUCTIO to the epistle to the ROMAS.acknowledged epistles. (Ibid.) 8. The force of the argument. Could thisabsolute unanimity have been obtained for a forgery ? Suppose a case. The lawsof causation have been set aside, and a bramble has produced the fruit of Paradise :s deceiver has written this Epistle. Or a great man has written it, and left hisoffspring to the tender mercies of an ungrateful world. The foundling has escapedthe notice of every one else, and come into the hands of a deceiver, and by him hasbeen wrapped up in the garments of Paul and brought to Eome. When was itbrought ? ot during the apostle's life, for he died at Bome ; and his presence wasa safeguard against such imposture. It must then have been brought after hisdeath. It is shown to the members of the Church. o one has heard of it before.Yet it professes to have been sent to them years ago, when Paul was in active work,and before he came to Rome. They ask at once, Where has the letter been all thistime ? Why have we not seen it before ? The details given in chaps, i. , xv. exposethe fraud. That this important work is in the form of a letter to a prominentChurch, is in some sense a voucher for its genuineness. In short, we have a resultfor which we seek causes: the unanimous acceptance of the Epistle in the 2ndcentury. In Paul we have an author worthy of the Epistle ; in the Epistle we havea work worthy of Paul. If it came from him its universal reception is accountedfor. If it did not, its reception is a fact for which no sufficient cause is assigned.{Prof. J. A. Beet.)n. Datb and tocAUTT OF coMPOsmo. These can be fixed to a nicety by acomparison of the Pauline letters with the Pauline history in the Acts. 1. It waswritten before the apostle had been at Bome (chap. i. 11, 13, 15), but during thetime when he was purposing to go there after his visit to Jerusalem (chap. xy.83-28). Such was the apostle's wish when at Ephesus (Acts xix, 21), just beforehis visit to Greece (Acts xx. 2). 2. It was written when he was about to take acollection of alms from Macedonia and Achaia to Jerusalem (chap. xv. 26, 31) ; andthis he did carry from Greece to Jerusalem at the close of his three months' stay
(Acts XX. 2, 3, xxiv. 17). 3. When Paul wrote it, Timotheus, Sosipater, Gains,and Erastns were with him (chap. xvi. 21, 23). ow in the Acts the three first of these are actually mentioned as being with him during his three months' stay inGreece (Acts xx. 2, 3) ; and Erastus (2 Tim. iv. 20), who was probably himself aCorinthian, had been sent shortly before from Ephesus (Acts xix. 22) to Macedoniawith himself. 4. From 1 Cor. xvi. 10, 11 we learn that Timotheus was sent toCorinth; and as Phoebe (chap. xvi. 1, 2), the probable bearer cf the Epistle, camefrom Cenchrea, the port of Corinth, it seems almost certain that during Paul'sthree months' stay in Greece he wrote the Epistle to the Eomans. " It waswritten," too, Lewin remarks, " from Corinth, and not from Cenchrea, for Gains, aCorinthian (1 Cor. i. 14), was the host of the apostle at the time of writing theEpistle (chap. xvi. 23) ; and while Paul mentions Cenchrea by name, he refers toCorinth as • the city,* viz., in which he was sojourning " (chap. xvi. 1, 23). 6. AsPaul was imprisoned two years before Felix's recall and Festus's appointment inA.D. 60 (Acts xxiv. 27), we arrive at the early spring of A.i>. 58 as the date of theEpistle. (C. eil, M.A.)ni. LiTBBABT CHABACTERiSTics. 1. Its stylc. (1) In general, (o) It is Paul'sconstant habit to insulate the one matter he is considering and to regard it irre-spective of qualifications or objections up to a certain point. Much of the difficultyin chaps, t., vi., vii. has arisen from not bearing this in mind, (b) After thus treatingthe subject till the main result is gained, he then takes into account qualificationsand objections, but in a manner peculiar to himself ; introducing them by puttingthe overstrained use, or the abuse of the proposition, in an interrogative form, andanswering the question just asked, (c) One of the most wonderful phenomena isthe manner in which all such parenthetical inquiries are interwoven with the greatsubject ; in which, wbUe he pursues and annihilates the off-branching fallacy, atthe same time he has been advancing in the main path — whereas in most humanarguments each digression must have its definite termination. The thesis must bsresumed where it has been left. A notable instance is seen in chap, vi., in which,while the mischievous fallacy of ver. 1 is discussed and annihilated, the greatsubject of the introduction of life by Christ is carried on through another step — viz.,the establishment of that life as one of sanctification. Among other characteristiosnote— (d) Frequent and complicated antitheses, requiring great discrimination,for often the different members of the antitheses aae not to be taken in the sameITRODUCTIO TO TEE EPISTLE TO THE ROMAS. tUextent of meaning ; Bometimes the literal and metaphorical significations are inter

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