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Christ, the Superiority of the Gospel to the Law,
29. of the circumcision (Gal. ii. 9.; Rom. xi. 13.) he scrupled to as-

sume any public character when writing to their department,
that he might not be thought forward or obtrusive, as if wish.
ing “ to build upon another's foundation,” which he always dis-
claimed (Rom. xv. 20. Lardner, ii. p. 412.) He did not mention
his name, messenger, or particular persons to whom it was sent,
because, as Lardner judiciously remarks, such a long letter
might give umbrage to the ruling powers at this crisis, when
the Jews were most turbulent, and might endanger himself, the
messenger, and those to whom it was directed. But they might
know the author easily by the style and writing, and even from
the messenger, without any formal notice or superscription.

Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Euthalius, Chrysostom, The-
odoret, Theophylact, and other fathers, were of opinion that
the Epistle to the Hebrews was sent more particularly to the
converted Jews living in Judea ; who in the apostle's days were
called Hebrews, to distinguish them from the Jews in the Gen-
tile countries, who were called Hellenists or Grecians (Acts vi. 1.;
ix. 29. ; xi. 20). The opinion of these learned fathers is adopted
by Beza, Louis Capel, Carpzov, Drs. Lightfoot, Whitby, Mill,
Lardner, and Macknight, Bishops Pearson and Tomline, Hallet,
Rosenmüller, Scott, and others. Michaelis considers it as writ-
ten for the use of the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem and in Pa.
lestine ; and observes that it is a question of little or no moment,
whether it was sont to Jerusalem alone, or to other cities in
Palestine ; because that this Epistle, though it was intended
for the use of Jewish converts at Jerusalem, must equally have
concerned the other Jewish converts in that country. This
very ancient opinion is corroborated by the contents of the
Epistle itself, in which we meet with many things peculiarly
suitable to the believers in Judea.

1st. In this Epistle the apostle does not, according to his usual practice, make frequent exhortations to brotherly love and unity, because it was sent to Christian communities in Pa. lestine, which consisted wholly of Jewish converts. It is true that the author speaks of brotherly love (xiii. 1.) where he says, “Let brotherly love continue;" but he speaks only in general terms, and says nothing of unity between Jewish and Heathen converts. Moreover, he uses the word “continue,” which implies that no disunion had actually taken place among its members.

2ndly. The persons to whom it was addressed, were evidently in imminent danger of falling back from Christianity to Judaism, induced partly by a severe persecution, and partly by the faise arguments of the rabbins. This could hardly have happened to several communities at the same time, in any other country than Palestine, and therefore we cannot suppose it of several communities of Asia Minor, to which, in the opinion of some commentators, the Epistle was addressed. Christianity enjoyed from the tolerating spirit of the Roman laws and the Roman magistrates, throughout the empire in general, so much religious liberty, that out of Palestine it would have been diflicult to have effected a general persecution. But, through the influence of the Jewish sanhedrim in Jerusalem, the Christians in that country underwent several severe persecutions, especially during the high-priesthood of the younger Ananus, when St. James and other Christians suffered martyrdom.

3rdly. In the other Epistles of St. Paul, more particularly those to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, we shall

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tutions. 62.

find there is no apprehension of any apostasy to Judaism, and
still less of blasphemy against Christ, as we find in the sixth
and tenth chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The two
passages of this Epistle (vi. 6.; X. 29.) which relate to blasphemy
against Christ, as a person justly condemned and crucified,
are peculiarly adapted to the communities in Palestine; and
it is difficult to read these passages without inferring that se-
veral Christians bad really apostatized and openly blasphemed
Christ: for it appears from Acts xxvi. 11. that violent mea-
sures were taken in Palestine for this very purpose, of which
we meet with no traces in any other country at that early age.
Neither the Epistles of St. Paul, nor those of St. Peter, furnish
any instance of a public renunciation of Christianity and re-
turn to Judaism; and if such an occurrence had taken place, it
could not have escaped their most serious attention, and would
have extorted their most severe reproofs. The circumstance,
that several who still continued Christians, forsook the places of
public worship (X. 25.) does not occur in any other Epistle, and
implies a general and continued persecution, which deterred
the Christians from an open confession of their faith. Under
these sufferings the Hebrews are comforted by the promised
coming of Christ, which they are to await with patience, as
being not far distant (x. 25—38). This can be no other than
the promised destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. xxiv.), of which
Christ himself said (Luke xxi. 28.), “When these things begin
to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your
redemption draweth nigh." Now this coming of Christ was to
the Christians in Palestine a deliverance from the yoke with
which they were oppressed: but it had no such influence on
the Christians of other countries. On the contrary, the first
persecution under Nero happened in the year 65, about two
years before the commencement of the Jewish war, and the
second under Domitian, about five-and-twenty years after the
destruction of Jerusalem.

4thly. According to Josephus several persons were put to
death during the high-priesthood of the younger Ananas, about
the year 64 or 65 (see Heh. xiii. 7.)

5thly. The declarations in Heb. i. 2. and iv. 12. and particu. larly the exhortation in ii. 1-4. are peculiarly suitable to the believers of Judea, where Jesus Christ himself first taught, and his disciples after him, confirming their testimony with very numerous and conspicuous miracles.

6thly. The people to whom this Epistle was sent were well acquainted with our Saviour's sufferings, as those of Judea must have been. This appears in Heh. i. 3; ii. 9. 18; v. 7, 8; ix. 14. 28; x. 11; xii. 2, 3; and xiii. 12.

7thly. The censure in v. 12. is most properly understood of Christians in Jerusalem and Judea, to whom the Gospel was first preached.

8thly. Lastly, the exhortation in Heb. xiii. 12–14. is very difficult to be explained, on the supposition that the Epistle was exclusively written to Hebrews who lived out of Palestine ; for neither in the Acts of the Apostles, nor in the other Epistles, do wo meet with an instance of expulsion from the synagogue merely for belief in Christ; on the contrary, the apostles themselves were permitted to teach openly in the Jewisha assemblies. But if we suppose that the Epistle was written to Jewish converts in Jerusalem, this passage becomes perfectly clear, and, Dr. Lardoer

Julian Pe.
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Christian Revelations were given by the same God, and observes, must have been very suitable to their case, especially if it was written only a short time before the commencement of the Jewish war, about the year 65 or 66. The Christians, on this supposition, are exhorted to endure their fate with patience, if they should be obliged to retire, or even be ignominiously expelled from Jerusalem, since Christ himself had been forced out of this very city, and had suffered without its walls. If we suppose, therefore, that the Epistle was written to the Hebrews of Jerusalem, the passage in question is clear: but on the hypothesis, that it was written to Hebrews, who lived in any other place, the words, “Let us go forth with him out of the camp, bearing his reproach," lose their meaning. The approaching day,” v. 25. can signify only the day appointed for the destruction of Jerusalem, and the downfall of the Jewish nation : but this event immediately concerned only the Hebrews of Pales. tine, and could have no influence in delerinining the conduct of the inhabitants of any other country.

Michaelis, in an elaborate dissertation (vol. iv. p. 186—268.) has endeavoured to set aside the authenticity of this Epistle, by the following positions :

1. That the style is so very different from that of St. Paul in his genuine Epistles, that he could not possibly have been the author of this Greek epistle, p. 252.

2. That it was originally written in Hebrew, but whether by St. Paul or not is doubtful, p. 257.

3. That it was early trapslated into Greek, but by whom is unknown, p. 247.

An hypothesis, says Dr. Hales, at once so dogmatical and sceptical, calculated to pull down, not to build up or edify; to uusettle tbe faith of wavering Christians, and to rob this most learned and most highly illuminated apostle, of his right and title to the most noble and most finished of all his compositions, and this tvo upon the paradoxical plea of its acknowledged excellence, both of style and subject (which none assents to more cheerfully tban Michaelis, p. 242, 243. 247.) imperiously demands our consideration; fortunately, this copious writer has furnished materials in abundance for his own refutation, from which we shall select a few.

I. Objections drawn from dissimilarity of style are often fan. ciful and fallacious. On the contrary, a striking analogy may be traced between this and the rest of St. Paul's Epistles, in the use of singular and remarkable words and compound terms ; in the mode of constructing the sentences by long and involved parentheses, &c. with this difference, however, that this being more leisurely written, and better digested in his confinement, is more compressed in its argument, and more polished in its style, than the rest, which were written with all the ease and freedom of epistolary correspondence, often in haste, during bis travels.

The following remarkable instances of analogy we owe to Micbaelis.

Ch. x. 33. Ocarpilóuevot, is an expression perfectly agreeable to St. Paul's mode of writing, as appears from 1 Cor. iv. 9. But since other writers may likewise have used the same metaphor, the application of it in tbe present instance shews only ibat St. Paul might have written the Epistle to the Hebrews ;

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not that he really did write it, p. 256.-But, it is answered,
there is a propriety in its use bere, that fits no other writer but
St. Paul ; and this by Michaelis's own confession. It is here
applied to the apostle's public persecutions ; “ exposed on a
theatre to public revilings and afflictions,” exactly corres.
ponding to his complaint to the Corinthians, in the parallel
text, Olarpov šyevñonuev tõi koouw, We were made a theatre
to the world;" and how? the same Epistle will inform us after.
wards ; " after the (barbarous) custom of men, I fought with
wild beasts at Ephesus," in the public theatre, 1 Cor. xv. 32.
literally, not figuratively, according to the judicious remark
of Benson, supported by Michaelis bimself, who assures us, that
St. Paul's “ deliverance from the.lion's mouth” at Rome, aster-
wards, (2 Tim. iv. 17.) was “not from suffering death by the
sword, but from being exposed in the amphitheatre to wild
beasts, as several Christians had already been, and in a very
cruel manner,” sor which he refers to Tacitus, Annal. 15. 44, in
his note, p. 176.

Ch. x. 30. 'Εμοί εκδίκησις, εγώ ανταποδώσω, is a quotation
from Deut. xxxii. 35. wbich differs both from the Hebrew text
and from the Septuagint: and this passage is again quoted in
the very same words, Rom. xii. 19. This agreement in a read-
ing which has hitherto been discovered in no other place, (see
the new Orient. Bibl. vol. v. p. 231–236.) might form a pre-
sumptive argument, that both quotations were made by the
same person, and consequently, that the Epistle to the He-
brews was written by St. Paul. But the argument, says Mi.
chaelis, is not decisive ; for it is very possible, that in the
first century there were manuscripts with this reading, in Deut.
xxxii. 35. from which St. Paul might have copied, in Rom. xii.
19. and the translator of this Epistle, in Heb. x. 38. same page,

A more decided instance of scepticism is rarely to be found. To any other the “presumptive argument” would appear irresistible, not to be overturned by a bare possibility, but a very high improbability ; since this remarkable renderiug is to be found in “ no other place,” but in these two passages, as he himself acknowledges. The present Septuagint reading is found in both the Vatican and Alexandrine, and was pro. bably therefore the original reading of the first century. The apostle's rendering, in both places, is more correct and critical than the Septuagint, in the first clause év vulpa évouchDEWS, which is only a paraphrase, not a translation, like his époi Škoixnous, of the Hebrew Op 5, and in the second the joint rendering ávratodúow is founded on a various reading, obwx, supported by a parallel verse, Deut. xxxii. 41. and followed not only by the Septuagint, but by the Syriac, Vulgate, and Chaldee. It is therefore greatly superior to the present Mazorete, oben, "and recompense,” supported only by the Arabic version, and followed by the English Bible, evidently for the worse. And the apostle has further improved upon the Septuagint, in the common term ávratodúow by the emphatic prefix 'Eyó, which makes it stronger, as appropriated to the Almighty, than even the original Hebrew, which wants the personal pronoun.

II. Michaelis asks, "Why did the author of the Syriac version translate this Epistle from the Greek, if the original was in Hebrew ?" p. 231.

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The Syriac version was the earliest of all, written in the apostolic age, and in the day of the apostle Adæus, Thaddæus, or Jude, according to the judicious Abulfaragi, and near the end of the first century, according to Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 30. If, then, this most ancient version was translated immediately from the Greek, surely the presumption is infinitely strong, that there was then no Hebrew original. This argument, indeed, furnished by himself, seems decisive also to prove the canonical authority of the Greek Epistle in the judgment of the Syriac translator; for why should he adopt the Epistle, unless written by the apostle to whom the voice of the Church had assigned it? Surely John or Jude the apostle would not have suffered it otberwise to have been admitted into the sacred canon, either of the Greek or Syriac Testament.

Assuming it, however, to have been written in Hebrew, Mi-
chaelis draws the following objection, from a supposed blunder
of the translator into Greek, to shew that he could not possibly

St. Paul, which most completely recoils upon himself, and
proves irrefragably that the Greek was the original, and written
by the apostle.
« Chap. xii. 18. Ου γάρ προσεληλύθατε ψηλαφωμένω όρει.

22. 'Αλλά προσεληλύθατε Σιών όρει.
“ Here,” says he, “ the expression opee Unhapwuévw, monti
palpabili, which is opposed to Euv õpet, is certainly a very ex-
Traordinary one ; and I am wholly unable to give a satisfactory
account of it, except on the supposition that the Epistle was
written in Hebrew. But on this supposition the inaccuracy
may be easily assigned. Sinai, or the mountain of Moses, is
that which is here opposed to Mount Sion. Now tbe ex
pression to the mountain of Moses,' is in Hebrew nun ab.
Tbis latter word the translator understood, and instead of
reading and taking it for a proper dame, he either read by mis-
take vrs, palpatio, or pronounced by mistake own, pulpatio.
Hence, instead of rendering to the mountain of Moses," he
rendered to the tangible mountain.'”

But this mountain of Moses' is a creation of his own brain.
For Sinai in Arabia,' the mountain here meant by the apostle,
pursuing his former allegory, Gal. iv. 24–26. is no where só
styled in Scripture, but rather the mountain of God,' Exod.
iii. 1, &c. 'the mountain of the Lord,' Numb. xxx. 33. or the
holy mountain,' Ps. Ixviii. 17. because it was honoured with the
presence of the God of Israel. To call it, therefore, by the
name of Moses, or indeed of any mortal, would have been sacri.
lege. To wbat, then, did the apostle refer, in the remarkable
term Enlapwuévad Evidently to the divine injunction to the
people and their cattle, not to ascend or touch it, beyond the
prescribed limits near its foot, under pain of death, Exod. xix.
12–24. Alluding to this awful command, the apostle beauti-
fully contrasts the terrors of the law, delivered on the earthly
Sinai, not to be touched under pain of death, with the super-
abundant grace of the Gospel, promising to the faithful eternal
life in the heavenly Sion ; to which, by an admirable anticipa-
tion, he represents them as already come (TT podeAylúbare).

Michaelis was rather too fond of displaying his Oriental learding, and never surely was there a more unfortunate specimen than this.

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