(1854-58. Contributions by W. Kelly.)
The identifying code is the year, month, day, and page number of the contribution.
4_05_13 p. 126/7. — Genesis 3:15|
4_05_13 p. 128. — Genesis 22:1
4_05_13 p. 128. — Leviticus 13:12, 13
4_05_13 p. 130. — Ezekiel 38:2, 3, and Ezekiel 39:1
4_05_13 p. 132. — Mark 9:23
4_05_13 p. 134/5. — Col. 1:20
4_05_13 p. 135 — Ephesians 4:26
4_05_27 p. 138. — Joshua 10:12, 13
4_06_10 p. 151. — Leviticus 16:22
4_06_24 p. 163. — Psalm 37:3
4_06_24 p. 163. — John 21:15
4_06_24 p. 163/4. — Acts 8:4
4_06_24 p. 167. — Revelation 21:1
4_06_24 p. 169. — Heavenly Places
4_07_08 p. 174/5. — Romans 15:16
4_07_08 p. 175. — 1 Corinthians 11:10
4_07_08 p. 176. — Philippians 2:25
4_07_08 p. 176. — 1 Timothy 3:2, 12
4_07_08 p. 176. — Hebrews 3:1
4_07_08 p. 176. — Hebrews 9:14
4_07_08 p. 176. — Hebrews 9:15-17
4_07_08 p.179. — Rev. 1:20
4_07_08 p.181. — Mark 16:9
4_07_15 p. 186. — Judges 9:13
4_07_15 p.187. — Isa. 14:12
4_07_15 p.188. — Isaiah 65:20
4_07_15 p.188. — Zechariah 11:8, 12, 13
4_07_15 p. 189. — Matt. 10:23
4_07_15 p. 190. — Luke 7:35
4_07_15 p. 192. — John 10:8
4_07_15 p. 192. — John 14:16
4_07_15 p. 193. — John 17:21, 23
4_07_15 p. 193. — John 18:6
4_07_15 p. 196. — Colossians 3:15
4_07_15 p. 196/7. — 2 Timothy 3:16
4_07_15 p. 197. — Hebrews 9:23
4_07_15 p. 197. — Hebrews 11:39, 40
4_07_15 p. 198/9. — 2 Peter 1:20
4_07_15 p. 199. — 2 Peter 3:10-12
4_07_15 p. 199. — 1 John 3:9
4_07_15 p. 199. — Working miracles
4_07_22 p. 200. — Songs of Degrees
4_07_22 p. 207. — The Thessalonians
4_07_22 p. 207. — 1 Timothy 6:5
4_08_05 p. 214. — 2 Kings 2:9
4_08_19 p. 228. — Matthew 19:24
4_09_02 p. 237. — Jehovah and Elohim in Jonah
4_09_02 p. 238. — Ex. 6:3
4_09_02 p. 239. — Ex. 23:19
4_09_02 p. 239. — Numbers 22:20-22
4_09_02 p. 243. — Ephesians 2:20
4_09_16 p. 255. — 1 Peter 3:19
4_09_30 p. 269. — Parousia
4_10_14 p. 278. — Acts 2:34
4_10_14 p. 279. — Romans 9:3
4_11_18 p. 312. — Isaiah 2:2
4_11_18 p. 313. — Matthew 5:33
4_11_18 p. 314. — Matt. 8:24
4_11_18 p. 315. — Matthew 24:28
4_11_18 p. 317. — Luke 16:23, 24
4_11_18 p. 318. — John 16:11
4_11_18 p. 318. —John 16:23
4_11_18 p. 320. — Romans 9:18
4_11_18 p. 321. — 1 Corinthians 6:11
4_11_18 p. 324. — Revelation 5:9, 10
4_11_25 p. 331. — Matthew 18:25, 35
4_11_25 p. 333. — 1 Corinthians 12:11
4_11_25 p. 334/5. — 2 Cor. 5:16
4_12_09 p. 337. — Psalms 59, 69, 79
4_12_09 p. 338/9. — 2 Corinthians 5:10
4_12_09 p. 339/40. — Ephesians 1:10
4_05_13 p. 126/7.
Genesis 3:15, p. 105. — I am not disposed to admit such a principle as authority, early or late, unless it be divine authority, in the interpretation of Scripture. Nor ought a Christian to attach any value to the statements of a Jewish unbeliever like Josephus, especially on such a question. G.'s only argument against the Messianic application of the verse is the order of the clauses, that it should have been chronologically exact. But this is quite a mistake, as he can see by looking at Isaiah 2:4, where a picture of the final glory is presented before the long burden of sin and judgment, which are, in fact, to precede it. How gracious of God, in pronouncing sentence on the serpent, first to assure the guilty pair of the enemy's total defeat, even if it had to be added that he was to inflict ever so painful a wound upon the woman's seed! It is His grace which, to me, accounts, in part at least, for this departure from the most obvious order — an order the less demanded here, where the nature of the actions necessarily implied which was historically to occur first. For clearly the bruising of the serpent's head was fatal, and therefore must needs follow his own bruising of the seed's heel. Isaiah 7, 9, 27, 53, Luke 22. 53, Heb. 2:14, 1 John 3:8, and Rev. 12, 20 afford ample light as to the true bearing of both clauses, without taking account of Rom. 16:20, though I doubt not that it, like the rest, alludes to the Lord's judgment, in Genesis, of "that old serpent which is the devil and Satan." "Bruise" is not the only nor even the chief resemblance; the grand link with our text is in the overthrow of Satan (i. e. in the thing, and not in words merely). Doubtless the Septuagint gives τηρήσει, but what then? The New Testament, perhaps, as often translates afresh from the Hebrew, and not infrequently, as here, adds a new and equally inspired thought. And this is perfectly in accordance with the Apostle's use of Isaiah 50:8, 9, in Rom. 8:33, 34. The Church is, by grace, one with Christ, and therefore what the prophet said there of Him, the Apostle scruples not to say of her. The same beautiful principle applies to and explains the connection between Gen. 3:15 and Rom. 16:20.
4_05_13 p. 128.
Genesis 22:1 The Spirit of God, by Moses, speaks of God's trying Abraham's faith, which is no evil, but an honour put on the friend of God. By the Apostle he is speaking of evil things; and in this sense, of course, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man," — clearly in the same sense. The context puts the meaning of each beyond dispute.
4_05_13 p. 128.
Leviticus 13:12, 13, pp. 36, 83, 96. — The great truth taught here is, I believe, that where all is ruined, manifestly and confessedly so, the grace of God can and loves to bless. The leprosy covers all the skin from the head even to the foot; the priest considers; and pronounces clean. Compare with this Rom. 3:19-26, and 5:6-8 and 20. In the type it is not leprosy actively at work, for, if raw flesh appeared, the person should be unclean; but it is the miserable effect produced by the disease — all turned white. In the antitype, it is the case of one who knows it to be all over with him, who thereon ceases going about to establish his own righteousness, and submits to the righteousness of God. For a similar reason the Lord told the chief priests and the elders that "the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before them."
4_05_13 p. 130.
Ezekiel 38:2, 3, and Ezekiel 39:1, pp. 8, 23, 24, 88. — 1. The true construction of these passages seems to be given in the margin, rather than in the text, of our admirable authorised Bible; but, this granted, we have next to inquire whether we are here to consider Bar as a proper name or a common noun. This depends on the bearing of the context, which is, to my mind, decisive, that the name of a country or people is in question: for what just sense has "prince of the chief, of Meshech and Tubal?" On the other hand, "prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal," affords an obvious and consistent sense. Such is the view taken by the elder Lowth and other English scholars. Gesenius pronounces the same opinion without hesitation. J. D. Michaelis, in his Supplement, attempts in vain to refute the presumed identity of Rosh with Russia. Let it be allowed that Rosh (Ρῶς)=a Scythian horde north of Mount Taurus, and our conclusion is strengthened instead of weakened. De Wette, also, who, spite of his rationalism, has produced one of the most faithful versions of the Bible which modern times can boast, renders the words " den Fürsten (in the first, and in the other two instances, Fürst) von Rosch, Mesech, und Thubal." Russia, Muscovy (or Moscow), and Tobolsk, are evidently intended, though their source may have been humble tribes from Anatolia, in Lesser Asia.
2. Ought it to be assumed, without proof, that France, with the greater part of Continental Europe, is spoken of as "Gomer and all his band," or that the countries bordering on the Baltic Sea are called "Togarmah of the north quarters?" The sons of Gomer, we are told in Gen. 10:3, were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. Now, while Scripture is silent about the locality of Riphath, it is certain, from Jer. 51:27, that Ashkenaz belongs to the category of Asiatic kingdoms, and probably to the district between the Caspian and the Black Seas. What is said of Togarmah leads me, I confess, to look for it in the neighbourhood of the Caucasian range, and of Ashkenaz also, i.e. far to the north of Palestine, instead of the borders of the Baltic. It is, however, a fair and interesting subject for discussion; but it will be well to hear and weigh the evidence of Scripture before coming to conclusions.
I may add, that France and the other great powers of Continental Europe (Russia excepted) form the Bestial empire of Daniel and the Apocalypse; and this must be carefully distinguished from Gog and his adherents, who stand on altogether different ground. Great mischief ensues from not leaving room for the various actors, scenes, and times of the latter-day. Guernsey, April 16, 1854.
4_05_13 p. 132.
Mark 9:23, p. 6. — The first thing to be settled is the right reading. The received text, Griesbach, Knappe, and Scholz have Τὸ (or τὸ) εἰ δύνασαι πιστεῦσαι πάντα δυνατὰ τῳ πιστεύοντι. If this reading be preferred, how is the presence of the article to be accounted for? Mr. Green (Grammar of the New Test. Dialect, p. 205) supposes that our Lord was in the habit of putting this condition to those who applied to him for relief; a knowledge of which circumstance would lead a writer to prefix the article. The meaning would then be: Jesus addressed to him his ordinary and well known saying, "If thou canst believe." I am disposed, however, to think that the true reference is not to any such customary saying, but to the man's own, used just before, εἴ τι δύνῃ ; and that our Lord meant, The if you can is to believe (that is to say, the question of power, (or, if you can,) turns on believing); "all things are possible to him that believeth." The text of Lachmann is susceptible of the same translation, if you give it the same punctuation as the older editors, but he himself points thus: Τὸ εἰ δύνῃ πιστεῦσαι πάντα δυνατὰ τῳ πιστεύοντι, which he would translate, I presume, " If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." But this evidently leaves the use of the article unexplained, if not inexplicable. The conjecture of τὶ for τὸ, like all conjectures which have no MS. authority, must be summarily rejected, and the Lausanne translation must be admitted to be here a mistake.
4_05_13 p. 134/5.
Col. 1:20. Page 108. — It may help H. F. B. to bear in mind that the grand thought of this Epistle is the fulness of Christ, and especially as Head of the body. Hence in chap. 1 Christ is viewed as chief in a two-fold way and sphere. 1. In verse 15 He is first-born of every creature or all creation; and this because He is the Creator (16). 2. In verse 18 He is first-born from the dead, and thus related to the Church as its Head. Corresponding to this, there is a two-fold reconciliation, "For all the fulness (i.e. of the Godhead) was pleased in Him to dwell, etc. . . . by Him to reconcile all things . . . whether things on earth or things in heaven; and you . . . hath He reconciled," etc. The latter is the Church; the former is creation in its largest extent, heavenly and earthly, but exclusive of the saints. Verses 23, 25 show that there is a two-fold ministry also. Paul was minister of the Gospel preached to every creature which is under heaven, and he was minister of the Church: two spheres of service, into both of which the Lord called him, but by no means all His labourers, some of whom may be specially of the one, some of the other.
4_05_13 p. 135.
Ephesians 4:26, p. 108. — T. E. H. and A. L. S. can compare Mark 3:5.
4_05_27 p. 138.
Joshua 10:12, 13, p. 122. — The earth was stopped turning round, and the sun and moon are spoken of just as we do, and as Joshua must have done. We know well it is the earth which turns round, and yet we say "the sun rises, sets," etc. It is remarkable that he should have claimed not the stopping of the sun but of sun and moon, the necessary effect of that which was wholly unknown to him, and yet he asks for that which, unless indeed God had disturbed the whole creation by unnecessary miracle, must have been the effect of the intervention of His power. Untaught by God, Joshua would have said, "Sun stand still." Taught of God he asks for sun and moon to do so, which is just what God's power acting in the simplest way would do. He could not have answered, as to a man folly taught of God, if Joshua had asked for the sun to stop and not the moon, without a very extraordinary derangement of the celestial system. To make the moon go on in its just apparent course when the earth was stopped, would have put the moon really out of its place. To have stopped the moon unasked, as well as the sun, would not have been the same testimony to Joshua, though a wonder. But Joshua is taught to ask both. The rotation of the earth is arrested, and all is done at his word, though Joshua never knew the earth turned round, and that sun and moon would thus stop together. — Irrationalism of Infidelity, pp. 209, 210.
4_06_10 p. 151.
Leviticus 16:22, p. 90. — There is no intimation that the scape-goat was put to death. The goat on which the Lord's lot fell was offered for a sin-offering; the other, as we know, was presented alive before the Lord. "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the Children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited; and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." Both were requisite to give anything like an adequate figure of Christ's atonement: — the one showing Christ towards God, glorifying Him up to and in death, and enabling God, so to speak, by the blood sprinkled upon and before the Mercy-seat, to act worthily of Himself; the other, presenting Christ as the substitute of those whose sins He bore, and bore away, so that they should never more be found.
4_06_24 p. 163.
Psalm 37:3, p. 122. — The simplest meaning seems to be "and nourish faithfulness," or "feed in security." The Vulgate agrees with the LXX. De Wette gives "und pflege Redlichkeit," i.e. "and cherish honesty." Luther has, "nahre dich redlich," "feed thyself honestly." Ostervald and Martin exhibit respectively "te repais de vérité," and "te nourris de vérité." De Genonde renders this passage "nourrissez-vous de la vérité." The Latin version of I. Tremellius and Fr. Junius is "pascere fide." The margin is, I think, nearer the mark than the authorised text in our English Bible.
4_06_24 p. 163.
John 21:15, p. 123. — The reference is clearly to the other disciples. Self-confidence was the root of the evil which exposed Simon Peter to deny the Lord. He had already wept over his open sin (Luke 22:61, 62). Now the Lord probes all to the bottom, for He is plainly alluding to Peter's three denials.
4_06_24 p. 163/4.
Acts 8:4. The scattered saints went everywhere, εὐαγγελιζόμενοι τὸν λόγον. The Apostles did not leave Jerusalem, and of course, therefore, were not among those who went about evangelising, as here recorded. But this is a very different thing from L.C.H.'s inference that the Apostles did not preach the Word.
4_06_24 p. 167.
Revelation 21:1, pp. 39, 87. — As a question of exact translation, I must beg to differ from one of your Correspondents in his view of this verse. If θάλασσα were anarthrous, the authorised version would have been justified; as it is, "the sea was no more" is required, whatever be the interpretation. So in verse 4 of the same chapter, the doctrine of the article shows the right version to be "death shall be no more." Compare, in the same chapter, the construction of verses 22, 23, 25; and Rev. 22:3, 5.
4_06_24 p. 169.
Heavenly Places, p. 79, has an uniform meaning in Eph. 1:3, 20; Eph. 2:6; Eph. 3:10; Eph. 6:12; and this, the heavens as the church's sphere of blessing in Christ, as well as of conflict with spiritual wickedness, in contrast with Israel, who were blessed on earth, and fought there with flesh and blood (i. e. the Canaanites).
4_07_08 p. 174/5.
Romans 15:16, p. 108. —
1. The reference is plainly to the consecration of the Levites (Num. 8). Just as they were offered before the Lord, so the Church is the προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν, offered to God from among the Gentiles for His service.
2. Carrying out this allusion, the words λειτουργὸν and ἱερουργοῦντα are used; but the verse, as a whole, is so far from supporting the Romish assumptions, that it overthrows them in the clearest way; for it makes the entire body of the Church answer to the type of the Levites, and intimates that the Church is sanctified by the Holy Ghost to serve our great High Priest, as the Levites were separated to the service of Aaron and his house. Hence, also, λειτουργία is predicated of the Church's service in 2 Cor. 9:12, and Phil. 2:30, not merely of St. Paul's, as in Rom. 15:16.
4_07_08 p. 175.
1 Corinthians 11:10, pp. 27, 62, 86, 134. — The Apostle is treating of outward order among the saints, and of the relation in which the man and the woman stand to each other as to Christ. He urges, first, that the man, being the image and glory of God, ought to be uncovered, while the woman ought to be covered, inasmuch as she is the glory of the man. Then he adds, because of this official difference, that the woman ought to have on her head a covering in token of subjection, and this because of the angels; that is, that if the ministering spirits were present in the assembly, there should be nothing, even in such a thing as this, derogatory to Christ's will in them who shall be heirs of salvation.
4_07_08 p. 176.
Philippians 2:25, pp. 38, 74. — The quality of the ἀπόστολος depends on the party ἀποστέλλων, as well as on the nature of the mission. Hence, I doubt not that the authorised translators have rightly distinguished between the mission of Epaphroditus, sent by the Philippians to minister to Paul's wants, and that of such as Paul sent and authorised by the Lord to build and regulate the Church. So, in 2 Cor. 8:23, however devoted might be the brethren in question, "the glory of Christ," still they were but the messengers of the churches who were sending help to poor saints elsewhere. St. Paul was forward to remember the poor, and so they went together; yet there was an immense gap between his apostolate and their stewardship of these contributions, whatever might be his fellowship with them in it.
4_07_08 p. 176.
1 Timothy 3:2, 12, p. 38, is not, in my opinion, parallel with 1 Tim. 5:9. It must be remembered that in those days nothing was more common among the Gentiles than for a man to have more than one wife. Many, doubtless, among the early converts were in these circumstances. Every thoughtful person will feel the difficulty of such a state of things. Now one provision of the Holy Ghost was that none such, whatever his grace or gift, was eligible to the office of elder (or ἐπίσκοπος) or deacon. Among the requirements was, that they should be husbands of one wife. 1 Tim. v. 9 is not a question of the married but of widows, and so the phrase is quite different, "having been (γεγονυῖα) the wife of one man" (comp. ver. 11). I am aware that the modern German editors connect γεγονυια with the clause before, and not with what follows, but I am satisfied that they are wrong, and that our version is right, as it is in harmony with the sense here given.
4_07_08 p. 176.
Hebrews 3:1, page 38. — St. Paul, I believe, very simply contrasts the Lord Jesus, our Apostle and High Priest, with Moses the Apostle, and Aaron the High Priest of the Jewish system, the earthly calling.
4_07_08 p. 176.
Hebrews 9:14, p. 109. — The meaning is, I think, very plain. Πνεῦμα αἰώνιον means the Holy Ghost, in contrast with the fleshly cleanness procured by Jewish ordinances. Such a purification was but temporary. But Christ offered Himself by the eternal Spirit unto God. Spotless as He was in every way, and voluntary as the offering might be on His part, here as in all else He acted by the Spirit, and the Spirit is designated "eternal," in contradistinction to the transient ordinances of Israel under the law; just as elsewhere in this Epistle we have "eternal salvation," "eternal judgment," "eternal redemption," "eternal inheritance," and everlasting or "eternal covenant."
4_07_08 p. 176.
Hebrews 9:15-17, p. 109. — Professor Scholefield's view is one which, in substance has been held by many before him, as Doddridge, Macknight, Michaelis, Parkhurst, as well as by Barnes, Tait, Green, and other well-known contemporaries. They take διαθήκη all through in the sense of "covenant," which involves our viewing διαθέμενος as = "covenanting victims," and ἐπὶ νεκροῖς as = "over dead [sacrifices]." Respectable as may be the opponents of this sense, the context is, to my mind, decisively in its favour. I understand it thus: —
"For where a covenant is, there must necessarily be brought in the death of the covenanting [victim]. For a covenant is sure over dead [victims], since it is never valid while the covenanting [victim] liveth."
Rev. 1:20. Page 87. — Are not the angels of the seven churches their mystical representatives? Thus, in this book, Jesus has his angel, and there are angels who hold the four winds (7), one that had authority over the fire (14), and another of the waters (16), not to speak of those that had the trumpets and vials in John's visions. Vitringa considered that the allusion is to the angel of the synagogue, which he identified with the ἀρχισυνάγωγος. But the latter thought is certainly an error, as the angel of the synagogue was only a sort of clerk (or as we say, sexton), and in no way the ruler: so that this allusion, if intended, precludes the idea that the angels of the churches were ἐπίσκοποι, as the learned professor and others have conceived.
.... As regards the passages at the close of Mark 16 (9 et seq.), and at the commencement of John 8 (1 - 11), I agree with your Correspondent that Professor Tischendorf had no sufficient grounds for bracketing them as suspicious. But he states his reasons, such as they are, and this intelligibly enough, in the foot-notes. "A Plain Scholar" may not be aware that even Griesbach indicated a probable omission as to both, and that Lachmann, while retaining the former, has gone so far as to eliminate the latter from his text. I mention this, not as approving of such rashness, but to show that Tischendorf is not alone in conceiving that he had authority for his course.
But I must avow my conviction that Acts 8:37 stands on a very different footing. The most ancient MSS. omit the verse; accordingly it is omitted by every critic of weight known to me. Griesbach, Matthiae, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf are of one mind as to this, and it must be remembered that it is as wrong to add to as to take from the Word of God. The believer may be assured that God never fails to watch over His own Word, and to supply adequate evidence to such as have grace to receive, and obey, and love it as His.
P.S. — Having procured Tischendorf's second Leipsic edition, I find that "A Plain Scholar" is mistaken in supposing that the footnote he cites is the reason for omitting Acts 8:37 from the text. On the contrary, Tischendorf is there giving the authorities which add σοῦ after καρδίας. These are — the Codex Laudianus, an uncial MS. of the 7th or 8th century, besides others and some versions; Beda's Greek MS. (which was perhaps identical with Laud's, before named, and now in the Bodleian Library); Cyprian; and a work entitled Praedestinatus, which some attribute to Vincent of Lerins, a well known theologian of the fifth century. The fact is, that the learned editor first mentions the authorities in favour of the received text, with their discrepancies, and then, at the close of his note, shows that all the ancient uncial MSS. which have been collated and contain this chapter (save E., i.e., the Codex Laudianus), with more than sixty cursive MSS., and many versions and Fathers, omit the verse.
4_07_15 p. 186.
Judges 9:13 The explanation is easy to any one who will consider the preceding verse (9). Clearly the allusion is to the use of oil and wine in the offerings to God, no less than in the honour, service, and social intercourse of man.
Isa. 14:12. The king of Babylon is intended here, the final holder of the power which was first vested in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. It is the last head of the beast (Rev. 17), for the context supposes that his destruction is contemporaneous with the deliverance and blessing of Israel. The scene is of course future in any full sense. For styling Satan "Lucifer" there is, probably, no ground, save the fancy of poets, or the misinterpretations of the Fathers.
Isaiah 65:20, p. 145. The meaning is, that in the millennium, or day of the Lord, the life of the Israelites shall reach its full measure. It is to be as before the flood, and better still. The death of one an hundred years old will be the death of a child, and even then death at that age will be as a direct judgment or curse on sin.
Zechariah 11:8, 12, 13, p. 156. — The three shepherds may perhaps allude to the great religious leaders of our Lord's day, the Pharisee, the Sadducee, and the Herodian. The staves represent Christ's twofold authority — beauty, to gather all the nations, and bands to unite Judah and Israel under Him. The first was broken when He came, because of the corruption and unbelief of the Jews: God's purpose to gather the nations as such (not out of them) was postponed, as the poor of the flock were given by degrees to know. Then follows the goodly price at which the Messiah was valued, which becomes the signal to set aside also, for the time, the union of the long-severed houses of Israel. The chapter closes with the desolations caused by the idol shepherd, the last Antichrist, and his judgment.
4_07_15 p. 189.
Matt. 10:23 This passage presents no difficulty in the way of the pre-millennialist. Our Lord implies that the preaching of his disciples is to go on in the land before he returns as Son of Man. Other Scriptures teach us that their testimony will be interrupted, and that themselves are to flee, at a given sign, before the great tribulation sets in. Hence it is plain that the whole parenthesis of the Church is passed over, being outside the field of view here, as elsewhere. Compare Dan. 9:26, 27.
4_07_15 p. 190.
Luke 7:35, p. 107. — The Lord had been just speaking of the folly and caprice shown by the men of this generation. They were like the young people in a market-place, who thwart each other in every possible way — no dancing when one pipes, no weeping when one wails. Just so when God sent John the Baptist in the way of austerity and outward separation, even from the ordinary food of men, he was calumniated: when He sent the Son of man in the way of the most familiar love, they mocked as well as reproached. The one was too strict, the other too free. The gladness of the one and the sorrowful strain of the other were both disdained. But adds the Lord, "Wisdom is justified of all her children." And thereon the beautiful tale is added by the Spirit which illustrates this. The woman which was a sinner is the contrast of the unwise generation, and enters the family of Wisdom, which is justified of this as of every other child.
4_07_15 p. 192.
John 10:8, p. 107. — Clearly, the Lord does not include the prophets among the thieves and robbers; but all who set up to be "the Shepherd," such as Theudas and Judas of Galilee, and all who virtually treated the sheep as if they were their own (not God's), such as the rulers who had just cast out the man whom Jesus had healed.
4_07_15 p. 192.
John 14:16, p. 157. — The promise of the Holy Ghost in person, and to abide for ever (in contrast with the Lord's brief sojourn), is here intimated. The display of His Power through the disciples had been spoken of in verse 12. The glory of Jehovah had been once seen in Israel. After that the Word, made flesh, had tabernacled here below. The Holy Ghost, lastly, was given, not certain of His operations merely (whether old or new), but Himself personally, just as truly as the actual presence of the Son of God on earth had preceded Him. "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you" (John 16). Hence the force of Eph. 4:4, "one body and one Spirit," for "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." What the soul is to the natural body, the Spirit sent down from heaven is to the one body, the Church. And as He is the formative and animating energy of the body in love, truth, and holiness, so is He the true spring and sustainer of its hope, as in Rev. 22:17. There the Church is heard, with fresh affections, longing for Jesus, who had been just named "the bright and morning star." When the Bride bids Him come, it is not mere feeling. "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come." In every case the idea is of a divine person, another Paraclete, in and with the Church, and not mere influences, which latter phrase often covers an heretical denial of the Holy Ghost's personality, as it is still more frequently the expression of unbelief as to His continual personal abiding in the Church on earth.
4_07_15 p. 193.
John 17:21, 23. p. 107. — I think that there is an important difference between the unity in verse 21 and that in verses 22, 23. The first is, if I may so say, the unity of grace, the second is the unity of glory. The first was presented to the responsibility of the world ("that the world may believe," etc) at Pentecost. The second will be accomplished to perfection ("perfect in one" when Christ and the Church appear together in glory, when the world shall know that the Father sent the Son, and loved the bride as He loved the bridegroom. Then, as we are told elsewhere, the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah (Isa. 11:9) and of His glory (Hab. 2:14), as the waters cover the sea.
4_07_15 p. 193.
John 18:6, p. 157. — Permit me to protest against M.P.'s statement. It is destitute of the least semblance of proof or even probability; nay, it is contrary to the entire context, both before and after. Had the soldiers or officers been Jews — I will not say disciples — the idea would not be so unreasonable. But, as it is, what more inconsistent with the notion of voluntary obeisance and saluting our Saviour as their temporal King, than a party of Caesar's heathen soldiers, led by the traitor Judas from the chief priests and Pharisees? Peter, rash as he was, made no such mistake when he cut off the ear of Malchus in his zeal. The truth is, that the scene, like very many in St. John's gospel, sets forth most significantly the divine glory of Jesus. Other evangelists omit it, because the Holy Ghost inspired them to present our Lord in other ways. But that gospel which, above all, develops the grace and glory of the Word made flesh records the fact which so strikingly illustrated who and what He is who answers to the humble name of Jesus of Nazareth.
4_07_15 p. 196.
Colossians 3:15, p. 147. — Here it is the peace, not of God, as such, but of Christ, as is allowed by all critics of note, on the authority of the best MSS. and versions. The general strain of the epistle, and of this verse, is in its favour.
4_07_15 p. 196/7.
2 Timothy 3:16, p. 158. — The Greek here is, πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ωφέλιμος π. δ., which it is well to state, as some early ecclesiastical writers have given rise to mistakes. Thus Origen, though he elsewhere cites the passage correctly, in at least one place omits καὶ and adds οὖσα ὠφ, ἐστι. The Syriac is confused, but much to the same effect, apparently, as are the Coptic and other versions, and several Fathers. The copies of the Vulgate differ: at any rate, the text preferred by Lachmann (8vo. 1850) exhibits, "Omnis scriptura divinitus inspirata et utilis ad docendum," etc., which is equivalent to the authorised version; while the Sixtine and Clementine editions agree, I believe, in reading "est utilis," and they are followed by the Rhemish translators, De Genonde, etc. The best MSS. that contain the epistle attest καὶ to be a genuine reading, and all the critical editors known to me, as Griesbach, Knappe, Matthiae, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf agree as to this with the Textus Receptus. In the face of this, it is singular that Luther should render it, Alle Schrift von Gott eingegeben ist nüsse, etc., i.e., "every writing given (prompted or inspired) by God is profitable," etc. To this there are two obvious objections: first, γραφή nowhere occurs in the New Testament in the sense of mere writing, but of Scripture, or, figuratively, of the truth contained in it; and secondly, καὶ is not translated at all. A similar reasoning applies to some modern cavillers, save that they give a show of noticing the conjunction. As Bp. Middleton justly remarked, "he who can produce such an instance will do much towards establishing the plausibility of a translation which, otherwise, must appear, to say the least of it, to be forced and improbable." They can produce none. On the other hand, besides 1 Tim. 4:4, Heb. 4:13 affords a parallel construction, and both vindicate our common translation as the only tenable one. If the last clause of the passage in Hebrews were to be rendered after the proposed fashion, there would result "all naked things are also open unto the eyes," etc.; whereas the real sense is, that all things, be they ever so hidden, are bare, and exposed to the view of Him with whom we have to do.
Your correspondent G. says, that the article is not necessary with πᾶσα: I go farther and affirm that it would be improper in this place. The Spirit had just referred to the ἱερὰ γράμματα which Timothy had known from a child. Then he adds that all that comes under the category of Scripture, πᾶσα γραφή, is given by inspiration of God, and profitable, etc. If the article had been inserted, the sense would have been unsuited, if not worse (either some particular Scripture as a whole, or the definite. totality of Holy Writ); whereas the anarthrous form, with the distributive meaning of every Scripture, is simple, forcible and perfectly accurate. What was wanted and intended was to characterise every Scripture — of the New no less than of the Old Testament — as divinely inspired, and profitable for the varied purposes of the Holy Ghost. So in 1 Tim. 5:18, a passage from Luke 10 is called "the Scripture," as well as one from Deut. 25; and Peter, in his second epistle, classes the epistles of St. Paul with the other Scriptures. It may be added, that in 2 Peter 1:20, γραφή has no article, and yet, beyond a doubt, it means Scripture. There the absolute form of the negation deprives the word of the article, as the distributive design takes it away from our text. Thus, in every respect, I cannot but conclude that the critics alluded to, far from proving themselves "very learned" as to this question, have only exposed their ignorance and their temerity. Even De Wette, disposed as he was to rationalism, confirms the authorised version, as do the Lausanne translators, Beza, Diodati, Ostervald, Martin, etc.
4_07_15 p. 197.
Hebrews 9:23, p. 52. — "An Inquirer" is directed, among other Scriptures, to Eph. 6:12 and Rev. 12. as casting light on the question why heavenly things should need purification.
Next, the meaning of "earthly things" as contrasted with "heavenly things" in John 3:12, is not difficult. The kingdom of God embraces both, and, as the Old Testament chiefly develops the former, so the New Testament dwells almost exclusively on the latter. The Lord here teaches that regeneration is indispensable to the Jew even for enjoying the earthly things of that kingdom. Compare Ezekiel 36:25 - 38, from which Nicodemus, a master of Israel, ought to have known it. Even Israel must, as a nation, be born again before they can have their earthly millennial blessings. If this was not believed, it was vain to speak of the higher department of God's kingdom.
4_07_15 p. 197.
Hebrews 11:39, 40, p. 78. — The "better thing" is evidently distinguished from "the promise" which the faith of Abraham and of subsequent Old Testament saints embraced. It means, blessed as "the promise" is, that God has in His counsels something superior "for us (that is, for those who now believe.) The only question is, whether κρεῖττόν τί is to be restricted to present dispensational blessings of a higher order, or whether it also extends to a difference in glory. Of course it is not forgotten that Abraham looked for a city, etc., and that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. These and similar texts do not, however, decide the question; nor do I attempt now to say more than that the verses predicate "something better" of the New than of the Old Testament saints, whether that "better thing" be present or future. They received not the promise: We, meanwhile, are being called to something better; and, when our calling is complete, they shall be made perfect. Compare, for a similar distinction, Heb. 12:23, the church of the first-born, and the spirits of just men made perfect.
4_07_15 p. 198/9.
2 Peter 1:20, p. 52. — There is this great difficulty in the way of the view proposed by φιλος, that he assumes ἐπίλυσις to be "ability to reveal things," "the exposition of the previously unknown, unrevealed mind of God." It really means solution, or explanation; and so our translators probably understood the term. No prophecy of Scripture is (or is made, γίνεται) of its own solution; it was so originated, and formed of the Spirit, as not to be self-interpreted: it must be taken, in order to be understood, as part of a grand scheme which attests the glory of Christ; and this sense, which results from a close examination of the verse, is entirely confirmed by the context. Christ received from the Father honour and glory when the voice came to Him from heaven, which "we heard," says the Apostle, "when we were with Him in the holy mount." But this was not all; the vision of glory was bright but transient, the voice of the Father but briefly heard. "But," adds he, "we have also the prophetic word more abiding, whereunto ye do well," etc. The testimony of the Spirit in the prophecies is (not more certain or true, but) more stable than the glorious but fleeting mount of transfiguration. Both bear witness to the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; yet of the two the prophetic word is the more permanent. It is a light that shines in a dark place; but it is till the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts. Nor can it be duly entered into if isolated from His glory, of which it is the herald; for, in truth, at no time did prophecy come by man's will, but holy men of God spake, as borne along by the Holy Ghost, who delights to glorify Christ. I believe that Bishop Horsley's exposition is founded on a view substantially similar.
4_07_15 p. 199.
2 Peter 3:10-12, pp. 27, 39. — By "elements" the Apostle means, I think, the materials of which the crust of the globe is composed. As the world was once inundated by water, it will be melted down by fire, to form a new earth, atmospheric heaven, etc.
4_07_15 p. 199.
1 John 3:9, p. 27. — The clue to this and other difficulties is to be found in the singularly abstract character of St. John's Epistles. Here, for instance, the believer is viewed according to the new nature which he possesses, in contrast with the world, which has none of it; but the same Apostle does not forget to say (in 1 John 1:8), "If we (i.e. the family of God) say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." And these two very different but equally true statements naturally flow out of the context, which contains each of them. In chap. 1 the great idea is the eternal life, which was with the Father; He, being the true light, teaches us that God is light, and, while calling and enabling us to walk in the light, discovers to us what we are in ourselves: hence the appropriateness of 1 John 1:8, et seq. In chap. 3 it is not so much this personal and absolutely perfect manifestation in Jesus, as its nature and spiritual features characterising God's children, and contrasted with the world; hence the suitability of 1 John 3:9, etc.
4_07_15 p. 199.
The power of working miracles, p. 142. — It is evident that your correspondent does not know that the onus probandi lies upon those who assert such a power, and not upon those who deny it. All that the close of Mark 16 can be made legitimately to prove is, that certain miraculous signs were to follow them that believe. And they did, as is shown in the Acts of the Apostles. The Lord does not here or anywhere else guarantee their continuance to the end. What makes this the more striking is, that in Matt. 28 He does promise to be with His disciples alway, even unto the end of the age; but there is no promise that He would give signs till then.
4_07_22 p. 200.
Songs of Degrees (p. 145) are supposed by the Septuagint and Vulgate translators to have been sung on the steps of the temple. Luther renders the word, "in the higher choir." Many refer them to the going up from captivity; but this would scarcely embrace them all. A recent writer conceives that they afford internal evidence of being written for the great feasts of Israel, when the males went up to appear before the Lord.
4_07_22 p. 207.
The Thessalonians (1 and 2) pp. 109, 142. — The appearance of contradiction between these two Epistles is due, partly to a mistranslation of the clause ὡς ὅτι ἐνέστηκεν ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου, and partly to the confusion, so general even among prophetic students, of the παρουσία (i. e. coming, or presence) with the ἡμέρα (or day) of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1, 2).
1. It is impossible to defend the rendering of ἐνέστηκεν. The words which are used in the New Testament to convey the idea of "at hand," "near," or "nigh," are ἐγγὺς, or the verb ἐγγίζω, or the perfect of ἐφίστημι. But ἐνίστημι is never so rendered in the New Testament, save in the passage before us (compare Rom. 8:38; 1 Cor. 3:22, 7:26; Gal. 1:4; 2 Tim. 3:1; and Heb. 9:9). Such, too, is its evident force in the Greek Bible, though I have not noticed it above six times, and these in the apocryphal Book of Maccabees. In almost every text of the New Testament where the term occurs, the sense of present, or actually come, is absolutely required; in several, the word is used in contrast with μέλλοντα or things to come, so that imminent, or impending, as some suggest, is there necessarily excluded. If this be allowed, the meaning is plain. The error did not arise from a misconstruction of the First Epistle, but from false teachers who rested on a pretended letter, and affirmed that the day of the Lord was come, or present. So the version of Lausanne (seconde édition, etc. 1849) has "que le jour du Christ est la." This St. Paul had never said, nor anything that could give a colour to it. On the other hand, after the Second Epistle was written, he repeatedly insists on, and implies the nearness of, the Lord's return, as any one can see in Rom. 13:12; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 2 Cor. 5:2, 4; Phil. 4:5; Heb. 10:25. In these epistles, stretching down to the close of his ministry, he teaches, quite as clearly as in 1 Thess., that the day is at hand. It is a mistake then to suppose that a doctrine so plain, so certain, and so often urged by St. Paul (not to speak of James, and Peter, and John, who teach similar things) is contradicted in 2 Thess. 2:2. What the Apostle combats is the very different proposition, that the day of the Lord was arrived. A somewhat kindred error is exposed in 2 Tim. 2:18; and it is perhaps worthy of mention, that Chrysostom, in commenting on our text, refers to the passage in 2 Timothy as being of similar character.
2. "The coming of the Lord" is used in contrast with "His day," not as equivalent expressions. The same thing appears from a close inspection of 1 Thess. 4:13-18, and of 1 Thess. 5:1-11, the former dwelling on the παρουσία, the latter on the ἡμέρα of the Lord. The one is associated with the idea of the joy and blessedness of the saints caught up to be with Christ; the other with the execution of judgment, and the appearing of his glory to the world. The former is a mystery revealed in the New Testament; the latter, whether in a partial or a full sense, was already familiar to the readers of the Old Testament. The same distinction re-appears, in my opinion, in 2 Peter 3, where, in reply to those who scoffed about the promise of the Lord's coming, the Apostle presses the solemn fact of His day, when all nature should melt under the hand of God; the day of the Lord being here taken in its largest sense, as the period of divine intervention and government, and so embracing the millennial reign and the judgment that succeeds it. On the whole, then, the Apostle's meaning seems to be this: — He beseeches the brethren in Thessalonica not to be shaken by these alarms that the day of the Lord was come; and this for a twofold reason: 1. That the Lord was to come and gather them to himself, which, of course, was yet future, and, 2, That the evil which that day is to judge was not yet manifest, and, therefore, the day of His judgment was still delayed. I may just observe, by the way, that the English Bible quite rightly renders ἡπὲρ in this passage "by," or "for the sake of." Such is its force after verbs of entreaty, as here. W. K
4_07_22 p. 207.
1 Timothy 6:5, pp. 109, 165. — There need be no question about the last clause. Apart from the following verse, and the bearing of the context, it is impossible rightly to render νομιζόντων πορισμὸν εἶναι τὴν εὐσέβειαν, as the authorised version does. The Greek article requires "that godliness is gain," not the converse.
4_08_05 p. 214.
2 Kings 2:9. "A double portion" is an allusion to the share of a first-born or eldest heir. Thus, in Gen. 48:22, Israel says to Joseph (who got the birthright of Reuben, 1 Chr. 5:1, 2), "I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren." Deut. 21:17 may also be compared, where a similar Hebrew phrase occurs, and the sense beyond question is a double portion in comparison with what might fall to other heirs. Hence, I think, that Mr. Manley's query must be answered in the negative, and that the expression refers to the Jewish idea of a first-born's inheritance. The Septuagint and the Latin version of Tremellius and Junius, Luther and De Wette, Martin and Osterwald, confirm the English Bible. So does even De Genonde, though the Vulgate gives "duplex spiritus tuus;" but this latter rendering seems to me groundless. On the distinctive ministries of Elijah and Elisha, the reader may find some valuable remarks in "Present Testimony," vol. 3 pp. 415- 439 (Groombridge and Sons.)
4_08_19 p. 228.
Matthew 19:24, pp. 122, 140. — The suggested explanation of a small side-gate of the city, termed "the needle's eye," does not appear to agree with the context. The Lord is describing something that is, humanly speaking, "impossible," which does not apply to the fact recorded by Lord Nugent. How much simpler to understand that the allusion is to a palpable impossibility, so far as man was concerned, conveyed, perhaps, in a familiar proverbial form? The comfort is, that with God all things are possible, as the Lord adds.
4_09_02 p. 237.
On The Use Of The Names Jehovah And Elohim In Jonah.
The intercourse between Jonah and God is under the name Jehovah. When the seamen learn who his God is that he is running away from, they fear Jehovah, and call upon Jehovah. Where it is a general testimony of repentance to strangers (Ps. 3:5, to the end), it is Elohim. And when we have the general supreme dealings of God with Jonah, to make him show what He was with man as God, it is again Elohim. Now, in Jonah, this has peculiar force, because the relationship of Israel with Gentiles, and of Gentiles with Jehovah, is in question. It is the last public direct testimony of God to Gentiles before Christ. And this goodness of God to Gentiles is really what Jonah dreaded, as discrediting his message of judgment, which Jewish pride might like to see executed. (See Jonah 4:2.) Hence we have Gentiles brought, in the moment of judgment on the Israelite, to confess Jehovah; and God, as such, showing Himself good, the faithful Creator, who thought of those who could not distinguish between their right hand and their left, and even of the cattle. At the same time the proper relationship of Jehovah to his prophet, as such, is also fully maintained, and the word Jehovah, his God, more than once repeated. (Extracted from the "Irrationalism of Infidelity," pp. 190, 191; an admirable and profound reply to German neology and its English admirers. London: Groombridge and Sons. 1853.)
4_09_02 p. 238.
Ex. 6:3, pp. 122, 150. — The meaning is, not that the name Jehovah was new to all before Moses, but that then, for the first time, God was pleased to adopt it as a name of positive and special relationship; just as the Almighty God had been His peculiar title as revealed to Abraham and the fathers (see Gen. 17, 35, and 48). To us, now, who believe in the Lord Jesus, the characteristic name is that of Father. "I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6; and compare 1 Cor. 8). It is not, of course, that God abandons what was implied in Shaddai, or in Jehovah, but that he is, above all, now developing to His church the riches of grace contained, I may say, in the name of "Father." Nothing plainer, nor more beautiful. The wandering fathers needed an almighty friend. The nation, just about to enter on a more changeful history than that of any people, not to say of all peoples put together, were called to be the witnesses of an unchanging God — Him who is, and who was, and who is to come. Was there fresh and equally striking revelation of His love to the Church? Yes, we have it in the Father's name, declared by Him who said, "Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my father and your father, and to my God and your God." Compare Eph. 4:6, and indeed, all the New Testament.
4_09_02 p. 239.
Ex. 23:19, pp. 27, 96. — Among the efforts of Satan's power in idolatry, as another reminds me, one was to destroy the order, affections, and comeliness which God has established in nature. Christianity respects, though it raises above, all such proprieties, while Satan degrades them in every way by what is unnatural. This seething of a kid in its mother's milk was an example in respect of tender and kindly affections. Those who are even moderately acquainted with the horrors of idolatry, will remember how universal and systematic were such outrages. All this the law forbade.
4_09_02 p. 239.
Numbers 22:20-22, pp. 155, 173. — If X. S. had duly considered ver. 12, 13, he would have seen that God had first of all forbidden Balaam to go, who evidently coveted Balak's reward, in spite of the high profession in ver. 18. It was wrong in Balaam to ask again; though, when he did, God employed his going for a witness of Divine grace to Israel, as well as of his own perverseness.
4_09_02 p. 243.
Ephesians 2:20, pp. 99, 123, 141. — The foundation of the Church was, I suppose, laid by the complete revelation of God's mind; and this by the Apostles and Prophets of the New Testament, as is clear from Eph. 3:5. It may be added here that the Apostles had besides, what the Prophets had not, special authority from Christ to make rules, appoint certain rulers, and otherwise establish and order the Church of God.
4_09_16 p. 255.
1 Peter 3:19. To be understood, this verse must be taken with what goes before. Christ was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah," etc., just as we read, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, of Christ's Spirit in the prophets testifying, so here we learn that His Spirit preached (i.e. in Noah). Those who heard were disobedient then, and their spirits are in prison now. Christ's Spirit, by Noah, went and preached to them when they were living men, before the Deluge came; but they rejected it, and now, consequently, their spirits are kept for judgment. The collocation of the Greek (τοῖς ἐν φυλακῃ πνεύμασιν) is decisive, that the true connection is not between the preaching, but the spirits and the prison. The preaching was by Christ's Spirit in Noah to men on earth, whose spirits are now imprisoned till the judgment of the dead.
4_09_30 p. 269.
Parousia, p. 212. — Its precise use in the Epistles is to set forth the actual presence (and so by implication the coming, if previously absent) of a person or thing. It may or may not be a manifested presence; this must be decided by the context, or the nature of the case. Thus the παρουσία of Christ as Son of Man clearly is so manifest, that all tribes of the earth mourn as they see Him. (Matt. 24) On the other hand this is not said as to 1 Cor. 15:23, 1 Thess. 4 etc. when the saints rise to meet Him in the air, though of course He appears to them. This is to me confirmed by the comparison of 2 Thess. 2:1 and 8, the one being simply Christ's presence by which the saints are gathered to Him, the other being the manifestation or Epiphany of His presence, which destroys the Man of Sin. Ἐπιφάνεια and ἀποκαλύψις imply shining forth or appearing, and revelation respectively; and, when applied to our Lord's second Advent, mean that stage or aspect of it which is publicly displayed.
4_10_14 p. 278.
Acts 2:34, p. 247, 254. — If the context, and especially verse 29, be compared, it is plain that the question is of David's body, not of his soul.
4_10_14 p. 279.
Romans 9:3, pp. 27, 32, 48, 90, 102, 133. — Though unwilling to add to your already numerous notes upon this text, I may be allowed to say that the Cambridge Annotations and the Bampton Lectures of Dr. Bandinel are in error if they deny the idiomatic use of the imperfect. No particle is requisite to give it a potential sense. Though the tense is past and in the indicative mood, it is perfectly proper, as far as grammar is concerned, to render ηὐχόμην "I could wish." Matthiae (Gr. Gr. § 509a) cites from AEsch. in Ctes. p. 333, ἐβουλόμην οὖν τὴν βουλὴν . . . όρθῶς διοικεῖσθαι; but an instance from the New Testament may be more satisfactory, as ἐβουλόμην καὶ αὐτὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀκοῦσαι. (Acts 25:22.) The fact is, that the true rendering is a question of the context, and not merely of grammar. My opinion is that the Auth. Version, De Wette, Beza, Martin, and Ostervald are right, and that the Vulgate, Luther, the Lausanne Translation, etc. with Valpy and Haldane, are wrong. The meaning is, I think, that Paul loved his brethren in the flesh quite as much as Moses, and that he esteemed their privileges most highly, whatever the Jews might think or say to the contrary.
4_11_18 p. 312.
Isaiah 2:2, p. 170. — The meaning seems to be the supremacy which God will attach, in the last days, to Mount Moriah, the mountain which is the seat and centre of the worship of Jehovah, as Zion was and will be the seat of royalty given in the grace of God after man's king had failed. When the mountain of Jehovah's house is thus exalted above all rivals, great or small, all nations shall flow unto it; for the city of the great king, the earthly Jerusalem under the Messiah and the New Covenant, is the destined metropolis of the world during the millennium. The New Jerusalem of St. John is another and a higher thing, not referred to here. The state of things predicted is a contrast with what is now going on. Now the house is left desolate, and Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles, and nation rises against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The hour is come also when Jerusalem itself has no special sanctity; it is no longer the "mountain" now, but the true worshippers worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. But in the age to come, all Israel shall be saved, and the Gentiles shall learn war no more, and Jehovah's house shall be called an house of prayer for all people, and the latter glory of it shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of Hosts.
4_11_18 p. 313.
Matthew 5:33, p, 246. — The question here (as in James) is not in the least a judicial oath. The Lord is dealing with the conduct of His disciples individually, and not with their relations to the powers that be. It is a matter of ordinary communication, not an oath before the magistrate. Heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and a man's own head, were modes of swearing in the familiar intercourse of Jews, not such as were used when God's authority was introduced in order to elicit truth as to matters of fact. Hence the Lord Himself, though silent before, answered when the high priest adjured Him by the living God. (Matt. 26:62-64.)
4_11_18 p. 314.
Matt. 8:24 etc. Here the kingdom of heaven appears to me to denote the rule of the heavens, not in power and manifestation, as predicted in Daniel, but in patience and mystery during the time of the Lord's session on the Father's throne, as the rejected King. Hence, in one aspect of it (presented to the multitude out of the house,) you have the wheat and tares, the great tree, and the leavening of three measures; in another aspect (presented to the disciples within the house,) you have treasure hid, the one precious pearl, and the gathering of the good fish into vessels while the bad are cast away. That is, it is the entire state of things here below, while Christ is above, — His work and the enemy's in the field (or world), with their results respectively.
4_11_18 p. 315.
Matthew 24:28, p. 210. — The words mean that where the object of judgment is, there the executioners will do their work. The Scripture which our Lord probably had in view is Job 39:30 The application of the prophecy is, I believe, to the apostate part of the Jewish nation, which will be as a lifeless carcase when divine vengeance falls upon it at the end of the age. It is scarcely needful to refute those who make the verse to mean the Roman standards, any more than the absurd and profane thought of such as apply the figure of the carcase to the Lord, and of the eagles to the Church.
4_11_18 p. 317.
Luke 16:23, 24, pp. 171, 229. — Mr. Davies' difficulty is due to the system which denies an intermediate state of enjoyment and misery before judgment is formally passed in the resurrection state. The entire strain and object of the tale, and especially verse 22 no less than verses 27, 28, exclude the future. On the other hand, that more is conveyed than a figurative reference to the body ought not to be assumed. In fact, it is our only medium of feeling, and the Lord, of course, spoke so as to be understood. So it is said in Rev. 6 that the souls of them that were slain cried with a loud voice, and that white robes were given unto every one of them. Does this prove they were in the body? Yet evidently this, like Luke 16:23, 24, represents the intermediate state.
4_11_18 p. 318.
John 16:11, p. 284. — The presence in the Church of the Holy Ghost sent down by Christ, rejected and crucified on earth but exalted in heaven, is the proof of judgment. The Spirit given by a Christ cast out from the world, but glorified on high, shows that before God the prince of this world is judged. The execution may linger, but Satan is detected and doomed.
4_11_18 p. 318.
John 16:23, pp. 146, 229. — If your Correspondent S. F. S. had read with attention the following verses, he must have seen, I think, that the passage has no reference to the eternal state, which will be characterised by worship, not by the expression of our wants. The verse really alludes to the time when Christ should have ascended and sent the Holy Ghost down, so enabling the saints to ask the Father in His name. Hitherto they had appealed to Him as their present Lord and master, but they had not yet tasted the sweetness of asking the Father in Christ's name.
4_11_18 p. 320.
Romans 9:18, p. 247. — The mercy had been illustrated by God's dealing with Israel after they had made the golden calf; and the hardening by the case of Pharoah. Both facts are reasoned on by the Apostle in vindicating the sovereignty of God — a sovereignty which, while it lets in the Gentiles during Israel's rejection, is nevertheless the sole foundation even for Israel's hopes. It was in vain to talk of being Abraham's seed. The Ishmaelites and the Edomites could boast the same descent, and yet they were not called. History and prophecy alike showed that the blessing of Israel hangs upon God's sovereignty. Is there then unrighteousness with God? God forbid! The truth is, that Israel were ruined at the foot of the mountain where they had pledged themselves to obey all that God should command. And what did God say to Moses? "I will have mercy," etc. The very sovereignty which they disliked when shown in mercy to the Gentiles is thus proved to be everything to the Jew.
As to the hardening, it is equally clear and certain. God never made any man bad; but He may, and in certain cases does, give people up to the consequences of their own folly and evil: that is, He hardens in judgment those who slight and reject His grace. It was so with the Gentiles after the flood; it is so with Israel, as even their own prophets testified; and it is to be so with professing Christendom. Pharoah was wicked, and this in proportion to the patience which God displayed; at last he was judicially blinded, and made an example of by Him whom he had despised. All are responsible. Sin destroys the capacity, not the responsibility of obeying God.
4_11_18 p. 321.
1 Corinthians 6:11, p. 211. — We are justified by the blood and name of the Lord Jesus; and, as this is appropriated by the energy of faith, it is by the Spirit of God. (Compare Rom. 5:1, 9) But it is not scriptural to affirm that we are justified by the Spirit, because baptised by Him into one body. Justification is an essentially individual thing, and, even though the two things may be often simultaneous, it is wholly distinct from the corporate operations of the Holy Ghost. The converse would be nearer the mark, though not absolutely true, viz. that we are now baptised into the one body because we are justified. It was this argument which St. Peter seems to have employed to silence the objectors of the circumcision. (Acts 11:2, 15 - 18.) He showed how God had given to the Gentiles the like gift as to themselves, πιστεύσασιν, because they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (not τοῖς π. "who believed," as in our version.) If God baptised them with the Spirit, they could not but own that He must have given them repentance unto life. But what puts the matter beyond doubt is, that St. Peter and the other disciples were certainly justified before the day of Pentecost, and yet as clearly they were not till then baptised by the Holy Ghost. (See Acts 1, Acts 2, Acts 8:12, 15-17.)
4_11_18 p. 324.
Revelation 5:9, 10, p. 123. — The true reading of these verses is a most difficult question, as to which MSS. and versions, fathers and editors, are conflicting enough. There is no doubt that we ought to read αὐτούς (and not ἡμας) in verse 10, on the authority of the Alexandrian, Vatican, and forty other MSS. not to speak of many ancient versions. As to βασιλευσονται, it is a mistake of your Correspondent, no doubt, for βασιλεύσουσίν, which is supported by about twenty cursive manuscripts, etc. The two uncial MSS., with fifteen others, give βασιλεύουσιν. The valuable Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus affords no light on this passage, as there is a lacuna from Rev. 3:19 to 5:14. My opinion is, that the internal evidence is decidedly in favour of the former reading (i.e. shall reign), which only differs by a single letter, that is often and easily dropped by a copyist. Assuming this, we have as the most approved text of verse 10, ἐποίησας αὐτοὺς . . . β. κ. ἱ. καὶ βασιλεύσουσιν, "thou hast made them. . . and they shall reign." But this preferable reading of αὐτούς, in verse 10, sounds strangely with ἡμᾶς in the preceding verse, "redeemed us, and made them." In the two Leipsic editions of Tischendorf the difficulty disappears, for ἡμᾶς is omitted in verse 9, and the ellipse evidently refers to τῶυ ἁγίων in verse 8, while it is referred to in αὐτούς (verse 10). This omission is made on the authority of the famous Alexandrian MS. and another generally known as Codex Borgiae, as well as of the AEthiopic version. Lachmann follows them in his edition of 1850, though he had given ἡμᾶς in that of 1831. Adopting the same, the text would be ἠγόρασας τῳ Θεῳ ἐν τῳ αἵματί σου ἐκ πάσης φ. κ. γ. κ. λ. κ. ἔ. . . . καὶ ἐποίησας αὐτοὺς κ. τ. λ. "Thou hast redeemed to God by thy blood [a people] out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made them," etc. This elliptical construction is frequent in St John. Thus, in his Gospel, John 16:17, we have εἶπον οὖν ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν, and 2 John 4, εὕρηκα ἐκ τῶν τέκνων σου περιπατοῦντας. Examples are not wanting in the Apocalypse. Thus in Rev. 3:9 you have δίδωμι ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς τ. σ. τώ λεγ.; and again, in Rev. 11:9, βλέπουσιν ἐκ λαῶν. So far, therefore, from objection on the score of ellipse, it is plain that the text without ἡμᾶς, adopted by Tischendorf and Lachmann, and considered probable by Griesbach, runs quite Johannically as to style. The internal evidence pleads strongly, I think, in the same direction.
I see no reason to suppose that verse 9 is sung by the twenty-four elders, and verse 10 by the four living creatures or cherubim. The truth is, that both appear to join in celebrating the Lamb, but it is because of His grace towards saints upon earth, in whose prayers the crowned elders are interested (verse 8). They too, it is sung, are made kings and priests, and are to reign over the earth, in spite of all they may suffer during the last fearful crisis.
4_11_25 p. 331.
Matthew 18:25, 35, pp. 146, 265. — I think that the parable of the Merciless Servant, though teaching (as in verse 35) a very important moral principle for the individual believer, is particularly interesting and instructive on a large scale, as an historical likeness of the kingdom of heaven. The Jew, about to incur the guilt of rejecting the Messiah, is represented by him who owed 10,000 talents. But Jesus intercedes (Luke 23:34), and the Holy Spirit, by Peter (Acts 3:17 - 261), shows how God forgave them that debt. But they forbade the gospel of God's grace to be spoken to the Gentiles (represented by the other servant, who owed the former 100 pence), that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway. Therefore, the wrath fell on them to the uttermost (1 Thess. 2, compare also Acts 22:21, 22), or, according to the figure in the parable, " his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due unto him." Permit me here to add, that Rom. 11:30, 31, rightly translated and understood, confirms the same truth, and adds another to show the triumph of mercy in behalf of the poor Jew in the latter day. "For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these [Jews] also not believed your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy." Jewish opposition to God's mercy toward the Gentiles has filled up their guilt, and the natural branches are broken off. But when the fulness of the Gentiles is come, they too shall become objects of the same pure mercy, their ground of privilege being here regarded as a forfeited thing. I have reason to believe, from correspondence with Mr. GREEN, that he would now concur with this view, though the old mistake appeared in his learned Grammar of the New Test. Dialect, p. 247. The Syriac, the Vulgate, Luther, Tyndale, and the Lausanne Version seem to give a sense substantially similar.
4_11_25 p. 333.
1 Corinthians 12:11, pp. 211, 230. — "Discerning of spirits" was, I think, a special gift, or χάρισμα, exercised in judging, not men individually, but doctrine. Was it not applied in the highest sense in the detection of the false teaching which entered the churches of Galatia, Corinth, Colosse, etc.? While some, like St. Paul, might possess the gift in an eminent degree, it must be borne in mind that all brethren are bound not to believe every spirit, but to try the spirits whether they be of God; because, adds St. John, many false prophets are gone out into the world.
4_11_25 p. 334/5.
2 Cor. 5:16. The Apostle means, I believe, that the proper Christian relation to a knowledge of Christ has to do with Christ dead and risen. A Jew looked for and knew Christ after the flesh. Such is not our place: "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." It is no longer a Christ made of a woman, made under the law, seeking fruit in Israel, and testing man so as to prove that all here below was irreparably evil, — it is Christ in another and infinitely more glorious state, however true and blessed and important the Jewish and earthly condition was in its place. It is Christ seen in resurrection-glory, after having in death and for evermore set up the glory of God which had seemed to be hopelessly ruined. He was the true God, He was the perfect man; yet, sin having entered and ruined all, blessing was impossible according to God, had not the God man tasted death, ὑπὲρ παντός, and risen, the beginning, the first-born from the dead, to create all anew in righteousness, and by virtue of His redemption before God. Thereafter, if any man be in Christ, it is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God, etc. Not as if old things were not still within and around, but that faith is now entitled to see and speak according to the precious thoughts and counsels of God. The life which we have now got in our souls is the commencement and the assurance of that which can only be accomplished, as a matter of fact, by the coming of the Lord, and even in the new heavens and earth.
4_12_09 p. 337.
Psalms 59, 69, 79 (Vindictive Psalms), pp. 236, 310. — Though I dislike the title "Vindictive," and do not believe that any part of the Psalms inculcates or sanctions such a spirit, I adopt the phrase, in order to be understood by the querist and readers generally.
The grand source of the difficulty is from Christians reading the Psalms as the expression of their own proper experience and hopes, instead of seeing that we have therein, besides what is true of Christ personally, the Spirit of Christ breathing through the sufferings, trials, dangers, deliverances, and praises of His earthly people, Israel. They give us Christ's associations with the godly Jews. Hence deliverance for them is connected, not with going up to meet the Lord in the air, and their enemies being left behind on earth, but with the appearing of the Son of Man in power and glory, and the judgments which destroy their adversaries. Doubtless all saints, — those who are called to heavenly blessing now, — may find in the Psalms the sympathy of Christ's Spirit in the sweetest way. All Scripture is for us, though it does not necessarily follow that all should be about us. And the more this book is studied by a spiritual person, the more he will be satisfied that, while the Psalms contain the most precious comfort and instruction for all times, they do, nevertheless, as a whole, present a state of things when God is dealing in a very direct way with Israel and the Gentiles, and the exercises of heart thereby awakened by the Spirit rather than the proper calling of the Church of the heavenly places, wherein is neither Jew nor Gentile.
4_12_09 p. 338/9.
2 Corinthians 5:10, pp. 247, 334. — For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
I do not exactly understand your Correspondent, without supposing some misconception as to our text and John 5:24. For while κρίσις repeatedly occurs in John 5 it is not once seen in 2 Cor. 5. In the Gospel κρίσις concerns the wicked, it is a judgment of criminals, of those who have done evil and evil only: whereas our text describes the βῆμα of Christ where He reviews the conduct even of His own servants. Alas! there is bad done as well as good, and there is the suffering of loss as well as the reception of reward. Still it is not the unmixed wickedness of the lost, as is seen in the resurrection of judgment or damnation.
4_12_09 p. 339/40.
Ephesians 1:10, p. 234. — The expression, "dispensation of the fulness of time" (οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν), means the administration, or delegated government, when the suited times are all complete. The special form of the administration is, that God will head up all things in Christ; and this will be doubtless during the millennial reign.
"The fulness of time" (τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου) in Gal. 4:4, is not parallel, as C. H. G. rightly supposes. It simply teaches us that, when the time was fully come, God sent forth his Son, etc. Gal. 4:4, alludes to the past, Eph. 1:10, to the future.