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Dispute respecting the obligation of circumcision, &c.
and Second Epistle to the Thessalonians), sets sail for the Pentecost at Jerusalem in the spring of 54, and after it (Fourth visit) returns to Antioch (xviii. 22). In the autumn, apparently, he travels through "the upper tracts" to Ephesus. Meantime, Apollos is preaching at Corinth (xix. 1).
NOTES TO THE CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE.
I. On the identity of the Journey to Jerusalem related in Acts xv., with that referred to Gal. ii. 1 ff.
FIVE visits of St. Paul to Jerusalem are related in the Acts. Now the visit of Gal. ii. 1 ff. must be either (a) one distinct from all these, or (b) identical with one or other of them.
(a) This hypothesis should not be resorted to, till every attempt to identify the visit with one of those recorded can be shown to fail. Then only may we endeavour, as in the case of the unrecorded visit to Corinth, (see below, Chap. III. § 5,) to imagine some probable place for the insertion of such a visit. So that the legitimacy of this hypothesis must be tried by the results arrived at in the discussion of the other.
(b) The visit in question is identical with one or other of those recorded in the Acts. 1. It is not the first visit. The identity of the visits of Acts ix. 26-29 and Gal. i. 18 being assumed (and it is hardly possible to doubt it), this follows as a matter of
2. It is not the second visit (Acts xi. 29, 30). For we read, Gal. ii. 7, that Paul was already recognized as entrusted with the Gospel of the uncircumcision, and as having preached vv. 8, 9 together with Barnabas among the Gentiles. Now the commission of Paul and Barnabas to preach to the Gentiles dates from Acts xiii. 1, after the second visit.
Also, at the time of the second visit, it is wholly improbable that Paul should have held a place of such high estimation in comparison with Peter, as we find him filling in Gal. ii. 8 ff.
Again, on this hypothesis, either the first visit, or his conversion, was fourteen years inclusive before this, which took place certainly before 46 A.D.; for then the famine was raging, and this relief was sent up by prophetic anticipation. This would bring, either the first visit, or his conversion itself, to A.D. 32: a date wholly improbable, whichever way we take the fourteen years of Gal. ii. 1.
The question of identity with the third visit is discussed below.
4. It is not the fourth visit. For in Gal. ii. 1, we read that Barnabas went up with Paul: but in Acts xv. 39, we find Paul and Barnabas separated, nor do we ever read of their travelling together afterwards,—and evidently Barnabas was not with him when he visited Jerusalem Acts xviii. 18-22. Besides, the whole character of the fourth visit as there related, is against the idea that any weighty matters were then transacted. The expression merely is "when he had gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch." Again, if we assume the identity of the visit in question with the fourth visit, the Apostle can hardly be acquitted of omitting, in his statement of his conferences with the principal Apostles in Gal. ii., an intermediate occasion when the matters arranged between them had been of the most solemn and important kind. This would be scarcely ingenuous, considering the object which he had in Gal. ii.
5. It is not the fifth visit. For after this visit Paul did not return to Antioch, which he did after that in question, Gal. ii. 11.
6. It remains therefore, that it can only, if identical with any of the five, be the third visit. Is this probable?
(a) The dates agree. See the Chronological Table, and notes on Gal. ii. 1.
(b) The occasions agree. Both times, the important question relative to the obligation of Christians to the Mosaic law was discussed: both times, the work of Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles was recognized. What need was there for this to be twice done? It is of no import whatever to the matter, that in Acts, the result is a public decree,-whereas in Gal., no mention of such a decree is made: the history
relates that which was important for the church,-the Epistle, that which cleared the Apostle personally from the charge of dependence on man: all mention of the decree would in Gal. have been irrelevant. Similarly we may deal with the objection, that in Acts, a public council is summoned, whereas in Gal., it is expressly said that Paul laid forth to them the Gospel which he preached to the Gentiles, but "privately, to them of reputation." This entirely agrees with Acts xv. 12, where Paul and Barnabas related to the multitude, not the nature of the doctrine which they preached, but only the patent proofs of its being from God," the signs and wonders which God did among the heathen by them."
(c) Nor is it any objection to the identity, that in Gal. ii. 2, Paul went up "by revelation,”—whereas in Acts xv. 2, the brethren decreed that P. and B. should go up, in consequence of the trouble given by the Judaizers. How do we know that this revelation was not made to the church, and so directed their appointment? Or if it be understood that the revelation was made to Paul himself, who can say whether the determination of the brethren was not a consequence of it? Who can say again, whether Paul may not have been reluctant to go up, rather willing not to confer with flesh and blood on such a matter, and may have been commanded by a vision to do so? We have here again only the public and the private side of the same occurrence: the one, suitable to the ecclesiastical narrative: the other, to the vindication of his office by the Apostle.
(d) The result is strikingly put by Mr. Conybeare, Life and Epp. of St. Paul, edn. 2, vol. i. p. 546,—“The Galatian visit could not have happened before the third visit: because, if so, the Apostles at Jerusalem had already granted to Paul and Barnabas (Gal. ii. 3-6) the liberty which was sought for the "Gospel of the uncircumcision," therefore there would have been no need for the church to send them again to Jerusalem upon the same cause. Again, the Galatian visit could not have occurred after the third visit: because, almost immediately after that period, Paul and Barnabas ceased to work together as missionaries to the Gentiles: whereas, up to the time of the Galatian visit, they had been working together."
(c) It seems then to follow, that the Galatian visit is identical with that recorded in Acts xv.
Those who wish to see the whole question dealt with more in detail, and the names and arguments of the champions of each view recounted, may refer to Mr. Conybeare's Appendix I. at the end of vol. i. of Conybeare and Howson's Life of St. Paul: or to Dr. Davidson's Introd. vol. ii. pp. 112 ff.
ON "THE CITY OF LASEA," AND OTHER PARTICULARS MENTIONED IN ACTS xxvii. 7-17.
Much light has been thrown on the interesting questions connected with the topography of this passage, by letters written to Mr. Smith from the Rev. George Brown, who accompanied the yacht St. Ursula, Hugh Tennent, Esq., on a cruise in the Mediterranean, in the winter of 1855-6. I have to thank Mr. Smith for having kindly forwarded to me copies of these letters as they arrived. The substance of them is now printed as an extract from Mr. Brown's Journal, in the second edition of Mr. Smith's "Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul," Appendix, No. 3. I extract here such portions as regard immediately the geographical points in question, referring my readers to the volume itself for the whole account, which is most graphic and entertaining.
I. "We asked Nicephorus (the old Greek already mentioned) what was the ancient name of Lutro? He replied without hesitation, Phoeniki,' but that the old city exists no longer. This of course proved at once the correctness of Mr. Smith's conclusion. We were told further that the anchorage is excellent, and that our schooner could enter the harbour without difficulty. We next enquired the ancient name of the island of Gozzo, and he said at once, Chlavda,' or 'Chlavdanesa,' a reply equally satisfactory. He told us also that there was a tradition in these parts that St. Paul the Apostle had visited Calolimounias (the fair havens), and had baptized many people there."
II. "Friday, Jan. 18th (Calolimounias).—Nothing now remained to be done but to ascertain the exact position of Lasæa, a city which Luke says is nigh to the Fair Havens . . . I asked our friend the Guardiano, ‘Where is Lasæa ?' He said at once, that it was two hours' walk to the eastward, close under Cape Leonda: but that it is now a desert-place. Mr. Tennent was eager to examine it: so getting under weigh, we ran along the coast before a S.W. wind. Cape Leonda is called by the Greeks Leona, evidently from its resemblance to a lion couchant, which nobody could fail to observe either from the W. or the E. Its face is to the sea, forming a promontory 350 or 400 feet high. Just after we passed it, Miss Tennent's quick eye discovered two white pillars standing on an eminence near the shore. Down went the helm: and putting the vessel round, we stood in close, wore, and hove to. Mr. H. Tennent and I landed immediately, just inside the cape, to the eastward, and I found the beach lined with masses of masonry. These were formed of small stones, cemented together with mortar so firmly, that even where the sea had undermined them, huge fragments lay on the sand. This sea-wall extended a quarter of a mile along the beach from one rocky face to another, and was evidently intended for the defence of the city. Above we found the ruins of two temples. The steps which led up to the one remain, though in a shattered state: and the two white marble columns noticed by Miss Tennent, belonged to the other. Many shafts, and a few capitals of Grecian pillars, all of marble, lie scattered about, and a gully worn by a torrent lays lare the substructures down to the rock. To the E. a conical rocky hill is girdled by the foundations of a wall and on a platform between this and the sea, the pillars of another edifice lie level with the ground. Some peasants came down to see us from the hills above, and I asked them the name of the place. They said at once, 'Lasea;' so there could be no doubt. Cape Leonda lies five miles E. of the Fair Havens: but there are no roads whatever in that part of Candia. We took away some specimens of marble, and boarded our vessel: at four P.M. sailed for Alexandria."
III. LUTRO. "The health-officer told me, that though the harbour is open to the E., yet the easterly gales never blow home, being lifted by the high land behind, and that even in storms, the sea rolls in gently ('piano piano'). He says it is the only secure harbour, in all winds, on the south coast of Crete: and that during the wars between the Venetians and the Turks (the latter took the island in 1688, I think), as many as twenty or twenty-five war-galleys had found shelter in its waters. He further shewed us an inscription on a large slab which he says was found among some ruins on the point, and took us up the hill to see the traces of the site of the ancient Phæniki. The outline of its ramparts is clearly discernible, and some cisterns hollowed in the rock: but the ploughshare has been driven over its site, and it displays 'the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness.''
On the inscription here mentioned, containing several points of union with the text of the Acts, see in my Greek Text.