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Stanley, Arthur P. : The Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians. 4th edition. London, 1876.

Stanley, Arthur P. : Christian Institutions. New York, 1881.

Schleusner, Johann Friedrich: Novus Thesaurus PhilologicoCriticus, sive Lexicon in LXX. 2d edition. 3 vols. Glasgow, 1822.

Smith, W. Robertson : The Prophets of Israel. Edinburgh. 1882.

Toy, Crawford H. : Quotations in the New Testament. New York, 1884.

Tholuck, A.: Commentar zum Brief an die Römer. Halle, 1856.

Trommius, Abraham : Concordantiae Graecae Versionis vulgo dictae LXX. Interpretum. 2 vols. Amsterdam, 1718.

Viger, Francis : De Praecipuis Graecae Dictionis Idiotismis Liber. 2 vols. 3d edition. London, 1824.

Westcott, Brooke Foss: The Epistle to the Hebrews. London, 1889.

Whately, Richard : On Some of the Difficulties in the Writings of the Apostle Paul, and in other parts of the New Testament. 8th edition. London, 1861.

Wilson, Daniel, Bishop of Calcutta : Expository Lectures on St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. New York, 1846.

Wordsworth, Christopher : Greece, Pictorial, Descriptive, and Historical. London, 1839.

Weiss, Bernhard : A Manual of Introduction to the New Testament. Translated by A. J. K. Davidson. 2 vols. New York, 1889.

Weiss, Bernhard : Das Marcusevangelium und seine synoptischen Parallelen. Berlin, 1872.

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The life and labors of Paul are fully treated in well-known and easily accessible works. His language and style will be discussed in the fourth and final volume of this work. I shall confine this introduction to an account of the several epistles treated in the present volume.


The Roman Church had been for some time in existence when Paul wrote this epistle (see ch. i. 8, 10, 12, 13; xv. 23). That he was acquainted with many of its members appears from the salutations in the sixteenth chapter. In Acts xxviii. 15, the existence of the Church is assumed as well known, and the company which meets the apostle at Appii Forum has clearly the character of a deputation. The date and circumstances of the origin and organization of the Church cannot, however, be certainly determined.

The Church consisted of both Jews and Gentiles; but the predominance of the Gentile element is apparent from the epistle itself (see ch. i. 5, 12-16; ii. 27-30; iv. 6; vi. 19; xi. 13, 25, 28, 30; xv. 1, 8, 15).*

Paul had long desired to preach the Gospel at Rome, but when, apparently, on the eve of accomplishing his wish, his plan was complicated by the necessity of visiting Jerusalem with the collection for “the poor saints." He did not, in any event, contemplate a long stay in Rome, intending to take it en route for Spain. Being thus delayed, he determined to

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The student will find a clear summary of the evidences for the Gentile character of the Church in Weiss' " Introduction to the New Testament."

write at once, in order both to meet the immediate needs of the Church and to prepare the way for his personal presence. The . epistle was written during his last visit at Corinth (Acts xx. 2, 3), and was despatched by the hands of Phoebe the deaconess, about A.D. 59. Its authenticity is generally conceded, together with the fact that it was written in Greek, though some Roinan Catholic critics have maintained that it was written in Latin. There is nothing surprising in its having been written in Greek, since the Greek language was prevalent at Rome, having become indeed the general language of the world, and the composition of the letter in Greek accords with Paul's Hellenic associations and training. The Latin fathers never claim their own language as the original of any part of the New Testament, and Ignatius, Justin, and Irenaeus all wrote in Greek to Romans.

The aim of the epistle is didactic rather than polemic, though it acquires a polemic flavor in its opposition of Christianity to legalism. It is distinguished among the epistles by its systematic character. Its object is to present a comprehensive statement of the doctrine of salvation through Christ, not a complete system of christian doctrine. Its theme is, The Gospel, the power of God unto salvation to Jew and Gentile alike ; a power because of its revelation of a righteousness of God for believers.

In the development of this theme Paul shows that Jew and Gentile are alike violators of divine law, and are consequently exposed to the divine wrath, from which there is no deliverance through works or ordinances, but only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ accepted by faith.

In insisting upon this universal condition of salvation, God neither violates His original covenant with Israel, nor deprives Himself of the right to judge sin.

The truth of justification by faith is an Old Testament truth, illustrated in the case of Abraham, and applicable to both Jews and Gentiles. The true seed of Abraham are those who fol

* Some, however, maintain that the epistle was written at Cenchreae, after Paul had left Corinth on his return to Syria. See notes on ch. xiv. 23 ; xvi. 1.

low him, not in circumcision but in faith. Tlie saving provision in Christ is coextensive with the results of the fall in Adam, and assures present and future salvation to its subjects. The office of the law was to develop and manifest the sin which originated in Adam's fall, and thus to give full scope to the redemptive work of Christ.

This truth neither encourages immorality nor convicts God of unfaithfulness to His covenant with Israel. Justification by faith involves personal union with Christ, and consequent death to sin and moral resurrection to newness of life. Grace does not iraply liberty to sin, but a change of masters and a new obedience and service. Grace does not do away with God's holy law, but only with the false relation of the natural man to that law; in which sin made use of the law to excite man's opposition to it, and thus to bring him into bondage and death. This is illustrated from Paul's own experience.

The deliverance from this bondage, which the law could not effect, is wrought by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which frees from condemnation and initiates a life of sonship inspired and controlled by the Spirit of God. The power of this life appears in the assurance of hope which it imparts amid the trials of this mortal state, a hope founded in the divine election.

To the claim that God cannot reject the unbelieving Jew without breaking His own covenant and stultifying His decree, is opposed the doctrine of absolute divine sovereignty, unconditioned by human merit or service, but exercised in perfect righteousness and mercy, which are vindicated by God's forming for Himself a people of believers, both Jew and Gentile. It is further shown that this divine economy includes the operation of human free agency no less than of divine sovereignty, and that the rejection of Israel was therefore due to their blind reliance on their original election, and their refusal of the righteousness which is through faith in Christ. This rejection is only partial and temporary. God has not cast off His people, but has overruled their unbelief for the salvation of the Gentiles, who, in turn, shall be the means of the restoration of the Jews. See note at the end of ch. xi.

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