Rest of the dead lived not again — Rev. 20:5
Those beheaded for the witness of Jesus — Rev. 20
Propitiation — Lev. 16; Heb. 2, 8, 9
What is the force of — Colossians 1:24
Propitiation Darby — Heb. 2:17 etc.
Reception — 1 John 5:2
Parousia Epiphaneia Apokalupsis — Matt. 24:27, 37, 39 etc.
Groanings which cannot be uttered — Rom. 8:26
The Father and the Son — Ps. 110:1
Evangelist cp. teacher — 1 Cor. 4:15
Authenticity of — Mark 16:9-20
Justification — Romans 5:15-17
The hope set before us — Hebrews 6:19
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 96. June 1886.
Q. T.C.J. (N.Y.) sends Zion's Watch Tower, Vol. iv. No. 12, and asks whether the following paragraph (p. 2, col. 2) is trite. "It is an important scripture; and a line on the subject would be appreciated by many of us."
", first clause, which reads, 'But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished' is the subject of dispute. We showed conclusively that the above text has no support from any authority older than 'the middle of the fifth century.' It is not found in any of the older MSS. — it is not in the Syriac — and the confessedly oldest, most complete, and best of all Greek MSS. of the New Testament, the Sinaitic — does not contain those words. It is wanting too in several of the more recent MSS., among which is the Vatican, No. 1160, a MS. of special clearness and harmony with the most ancient ones."
The criticism, there need be no hesitation in saying, is unfounded; of which there can scarce be conceived a better proof than the fact that out of more than 500 editions of the Greek New Testament not one known to me exhibits the text desired. All present the clause which these manuscripts and the Syriac V. omit. Every editor of the most ordinary information knew of the various reading in question; yet not a single man of judgment has ever doubted that the omission is an error owing to one of the most fertile sources of variants, homoeoteleuton, as it is technically called. The clause before (end of ver. 4) closed with the words χίλια ἔτη; and so does the first clause of ver. 5. This naturally misled the eyes of weary scribes. So the critical editors in all lands and times have judged.
But it "has no support from any authority older than 'the middle of the fifth century'"! Can the Ed. of Z.W.T. have weighed his own words? There is but one MS. of the Revelation older, the Sinaitic; which is often and notoriously faulty, and nowhere more so than in this Book. Thus in Rev. 20 Only, ἐκ τοῦ οὐρ. in ver. 1 is omitted; the precisely same sort of error. as in 5 occurs in its form of ver. 2, 3, from αὐτόν to αὐτόν being omitted. In ver. 6 it adds καί in error. In ver. 8 it omits wrongly τῆς γῆς τόν; and it wrongly adds πάντα, and καί after M. In 9 there is the corrected insertion in error of ἀπὸ θεοῦ, and in 10 ὅπου is falsely repeated. In 11 there is the mistake of ἐπανω for ἐπ , as the article is wrongly dropt from 12, with ἐπί for ἐνώπιον, with the absurd correction of both inserted later. In 13 is the misreading against all authorities of κατεκρίθησαν. In 14 καί is added wrongly and 6 as wrongly left out. In 15 the future supplants the aorist. Now large as this list is, all the blemishes of the Sinaitic text of this one chapter are not here registered, but enough surely to prove bow little the real character of that document is known, and how precarious it would be to demand support from authority older than the middle of the fifth century.
Next, though the Peschito Syriac was made in very early days we have no MS. of any great antiquity; and even if we had, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, with Jude, are supplied from a later version, and the Revelation from a copy in the Leyden library, whose age is so uncertain, and character of text so doubtful, that it ranges very low indeed in a critical point of view.
The Alexandrian Uncial (A) is a capital authority as to the Rev.; and so is the Ephr. Rescr. of Paris (C), but here we do not hear its voice after 19:5. But the Alex. is, like it, of the fifth century and is supported by the Basilian Vat. 2066, a MS. of far greater weight than the cursive 40 (=Vat. 1160), by an adequate number of cursives of which more than twenty have the same defect here as N. All the ancient versions, save de Dieu's Syriac, confirm the clause, as well as the early commentators, Greek and Latin.
Further, the clause is so entirely in keeping with the context that, if we had not these words at the opening of ver. 5, the same truth is conveyed, or supposed, by the first resurrection of the righteous who reign with Christ for a thousand years (ver. 4-6), followed by the little while of Satan's last deceit and war of the external nations, and the standing before the great white throne for eternal judgment of the dead, who had had no part in the resurrection of life and glory.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 128. August 1886.
Q. Rev. 20
A friend of mine says that the living and reigning with Christ refers to those beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and cannot apply to a reign on earth. It is, he says, a vision in heaven. Would you kindly refute this error in "The Bible Treasury" for August? Yours truly, A SUBSCRIBER.
A. The reign of Christ and the glorified saints is heavenly, but over the earth. Only the old Chiliasts, and their modern followers, treat it as "on" the earth, as is wrongly said in the Authorised and even the Revised versions of Rev. 5:10. The local dwelling is properly ἐν, the sphere of rule is ἐπί, a distinction maintained in Hellenistic Greek, as in the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. The vision being "in heaven" determines nothing as to actual place, as we may see from Rev. 12 and else where. Nor is it confined to those beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, but comprehends, first the general body of saints in those seen seated on thrones, then those beheaded, and lastly such as refused the worship of the beast and his mark. The first general class was already risen; the two other companies only now lived, in order to reign with Christ, as all of course are to do. "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Cor. 6:2-3)
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 190. December 1886.
PROPITIATION. (Lev. 16; Heb. 2, 8, 9.)
Q. 1. A correspondent writes of "Recent Utterances," especially pp. 40-42, as "most confusing. That is, I know less than ever what Mr. Stuart wishes to prove, as differing from former teaching; I wonder if anybody knows."
A. The question is not whether Mr. Pinkerton who is criticised is quite justified, when he speaks of Christ's entrance into heaven "in virtue of His own blood." This would require ἐν not διά as here. It was a slip, perhaps from thinking of Heb. 13:20, which does mean "in virtue of the blood of the everlasting covenant," and not, "through." Mr. P. would repudiate as cordially and emphatically as Mr. S., all thought of Christ's needing His own atoning blood to enter heaven. But "by" would be hardly less objectionable, if intended to convey the means whereby He entered, in derogation of His, person, as well as inconsistently with the use of διά in the early part of the verse. Some who contend for such a rendering are obliged to make the first mean "through" locally, the second and third "through" i.e. "by means of." But it has been long pointed out that διά (with the genitive and even with the accusative) sometimes points neither to the means whereby, nor to the cause for which, but to a characteristic state in which the person was or acted. as in Rom. 2:25; Rom. 4:11; Rom. 14:20; Gal. 4:13. In some of these cases "with" seems the least equivocal English rendering, though "in" or "by" may suit other places better when understood as simply characteristic.
But in the course of a singularly unfair comment, harping on a sense given to Mr. P.'s words which Mr. S. owns was not meant, he himself lays down doctrine inexcusably false, which he does mean distinctly and deliberately, on the foundation truth of propitiation. He censures in the most sweeping terms what Mr. P. holds in common with all rightly taught believers, that propitiation was accomplished in this world, not in heaven, and his denial that Christ entered heaven to complete it. The affirmative is the fundamental error which Mr. S. has embraced and teaches now, if not heretofore. From the type of Lev. 16 he declares boldly that, as propitiation by blood, an essential part of atonement, "was done and only done inside the most holy place, and by the high priest," so propitiation by blood was made by our Lord "in heaven, and after death!" Thus the plainest and most solemn declarations of Christ's atoning death in the N.T. are annulled, and His work, according to Mr. S., was not finished on the cross, because he is sure that his interpretation of the type so requires! Instead of believing Scripture that the law has only a shadow of the coming good things, he virtually makes it the image itself, thereby overthrowing the gospel truth of Christ's expiation completed here below. Indeed he is not the only one of his company led on, by the same confidence in his own handling of the types, to override the surest anti-typical truth now alone fully revealed.
But this is not all. Some of his staunchest supporters notoriously disapprove of his teaching, yet most hold together though differing wholly on what is only short of Christ's person in vital moment. Not only does Mr. S. wax bolder in his evil view, but the organ of the party for last month (Words in Season, xi. pp. 331, 2) stands committed to it, without the slightest warning of the Editor. And one may add with sincere grief that the statement is misleading enough for more than one upright man among them to circulate the periodical, in order to show that the matter was misjudged. Here Mr. S. says, "Atonement, then, was completed ere He rose" (p. 331). This was supposed to be a return to orthodoxy. But it is not so. It would have been, had Mr. S. written or meant, that atonement was completed by blood when He died. But he wrote carefully avoiding the truth, and still maintaining his fatal dream that "He made propitiation in the heavenly sanctuary as the High Priest after death, but before ascension" (p. 332)!!
That is to say in plain words, Mr. S. holds and teaches that, after death and before resurrection, Christ went up and by His blood made propitiation in heaven! In the disembodied state He entered on the office of High Priest to effect propitiation, before His present priestly service of intercession on high after He rose and ascended! Every believer, I should have judged, recognises in the word, as particularly in the Hebrews, but one entrance of Christ on high, risen and glorified, no matter how often the high priest had to enter the holiest in the type. Far from seeing "no difficulty in this" distressingly strange doctrine, every saint sound in the faith will reject it as a different propitiation which is not another. It is not the atonement of the gospel, but an abuse of the type to supplant the truth by what is really a ghastly fable. "We must unhesitatingly answer, "No!" to Mr. S.'s assertion that Christ in the separate state entered the heavenly sanctuary to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Scripture gives it no countenance; and the Epistle to the Hebrews knows of but one entrance, i.e. on His ascension.
Christ's entrance into heaven was in no way to effect propitiation: His atoning blood had already done so. He entered once for all (not once as a separate spirit, and a second time as risen), having obtained everlasting redemption, not to obtain it. For now, in His death, was the Son of man glorified, and God was glorified in Him, and would straightway glorify Him in Himself. But even then, if earth, and hades, and the grave, and the law of God attested the efficacy of His death and blood-shedding, heaven assuredly appraised it no less, without an unworthy tissue of human imagination perverting God's word.
Perhaps the worst part of the bad reasoning and strange doctrine is the argument drawn from putting together Heb. 2:17, Heb. 8:4, and Heb. 9:12. This would go much farther than the author intends; for, if just, it would confine the entire work of propitiation to Christ on high and deny any part of it to His suffering on the cross! The true answer to such incredible rashness is that Heb. 2:17, like the sacrificial part of Lev. 16, is exceptional and extra-priestly, being peculiar to the high priest in a representative way; which merged in our Lord as the one victim of everlasting efficacy, the basis of, while directly apart from, the regular priestly action which is alluded to in Heb. 8:4.
May the grace of God deliver the author of the scheme, as well as his ensnared companions — more especially such as, knowing the error, practically mike light of it to the dishonour of Christ, of the cross, and of the truth as a whole.
P.S. Thus far was written and printed before "The Atonement" by B. F. Pinkerton comes to hand. The chief defect in it is his "difficulty about Heb. 2:17" (p. 17), and especially Note 1 (p. 47). There is no ground whatever for doubting that this verse does strictly and solely refer to atonement for sins. Compassion of course no one denies; but the true meaning is "to expiate," or make propitiation for, "the sins of the people." This was not the function of the priest in the sanctuary (which alone is the point in Heb. 8:4), but the high-priest's peculiar work on the day of atonement, in the anti-type Christ being alike Victim and high-priestly Offerer. Neither Luke 18:13, nor still less Matt. 16:22, bears on atonement. Even B. W. N. & Bethesda would be ashamed to put such an affront on Christ's atoning death.
Q. 2. Though I am afraid you will consider my question more curious than important, I trust you will bear with it as being among the follies of youth.
What is the force of the phrase in Col. 1:24, "Who … fill up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake which is the church?"
The main difficulty to my mind is whether ὑστερήματα connects itself with the sufferings of Christ or with the sufferings of Paul. If the latter, by what grammatical or syntactical rule? If the former, the idea conveyed seems to be somewhat incongruous; for surely Christ did not leave His sufferings unfinished. If so, in what sense? Even if θλίψ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ be taken as a generic term (as in 2 Cor. 1:5 et al.) in opposition to ascetic mortification or any other *spurious suffering, a difficulty still remains: for would not this imply that Paul's previous sufferings were not for Christ's sake?
(* Not for Christ's sake.)
Bloomfield (also quoting Elsner and Newcome), supports the idea of Paul suffering for Christ's sake in a general sense. The French version (S.P.C.K.) also reads, "j'accomplis ce qu'il me reste à soufirir dans ma chair pour la cause de Christ." And so I suppose J. N. D. ; though I confess I am hardly sure whether I rightly understand his note in the New Trans. (1st. ed.); nor have I the means of consulting Meyer and others to whom he refers.
On the other hand, Ostervald appears to be equally bold in the opposite direction. He escapes the seeming ambiguity of the A.V. and the R.V. by translating thus : — "j'achève de souffrir en ma chair le reste des afflictions de Christ," etc.
I am quite ignorant of the value of these versions: but I quote them simply because I have occasionally found thereby help on the meaning of a word. In this case they differ considerably.
A. The meaning seems to my mind clear. Christ suffered in love and holiness from the evil around, as well as in atonement ; in the latter He alone, in the former not exclusively so. Paul was filling up part of those afflictions, as he in his flesh for His body which is the church. It is not that Christ did not suffer as well as walk perfectly as none ever did; but yet He left us to follow in the same path of suffering love here below, and specially for His body's sake. The afflictions of Christ were not so filled up as to exclude Paul's (or in our measure our) sharing them thus. To suffer with Christ is indeed the common privilege of those who look to be glorified with Him.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 207. January 1887.
A. Without consenting to open these pages to controversy, I print J. F.'s effort, to implicate J. N. D. in the strange doctrine of Mr. C. E. S, on propitiation. It scents the fashion now, on both sides of the Atlantic, to quote the late Mr. D. for errors which he never taught but abhorred. It were better to stick to scripture. Similar blunders (to give them the mildest designation) had been made in his lifetime. Many witnesses must remember this or that brother saying, "But, Mr. D., the Synopsis says so and so," to which came the prompt reply, "Then the Synopsis is wrong." The truth is, however, that only these brothers were wrong; for the Synopsis was right, and tallied with the fresh statements of its author.
After examining carefully all the passages we are now referred to, I affirm that Mr. S.'s heterodoxy finds no countenance from the writings, any more than from the oral ministry, of Mr. D. How then account for this confident but baseless reference? The very passage cited at length distinguishes the high-priestly action on the day of atonement from the whole of the priesthood carried on in heaven itself. The propitiation was on the cross of Christ, Whom God set forth a mercy-seat through faith in His blood; and when He set Himself down on the right hand of the majesty on high, it was as having Himself made the purification of sins. It is mere fiction that, He had to make propitiation there. It is true that Mr. D., like everybody else, has allowed himself, from the Aaronic type, the figurative language of Christ's "carrying in the blood," etc.; just as he elsewhere speaks of burying the remembrance of our sins in the grave of Christ. Is it possible that any are so "unlearned and unstable" as to take such words in a literal and material way?
In not a vestige of his Collected Writings does Mr. D. teach propitiation after death, in heaven, and in the disembodied state, consequently, before resurrection, as Mr. D. teaches: all which things are false, and no truth, but the undermining and supplanting of revealed truth by a really revolting dream from the enemy. Readers who are not leavened will see that Mr. D.'s doctrine was no other than that which has been now, as always, maintained in these pages, if they weigh his Doctrinal iv. 325, where he says, "save the fact of propitiation in Heb. 2 in which the high-priest represented the people (not a proper act of priesthood, though of the high-priest on the day of atonement)." Now the pith of Mr. S.'s theory is the putting together of Heb. 2:17, Heb. 9:12, and Heb. 8:4, which results in deadly error annulling the cross, and inventing a ghostly priesthood; whereas Mr. D. expressly discriminates Heb. 2:17, and thus maintains the holy balance of the truth, giving the cross its fundamental value, and showing the true distinctive character of priesthood on high. Mr. D. expressly calls the propitiation "an exceptional case." It was here below and by the blood of the cross, though the right hand of God in heaven alone adequately expresses its moral glory and efficacy.
But if plain scripture is so gravely perverted, we must not wonder at the misunderstanding of a dead saint's words. If he had been alive, they would probably have been let alone. But it is well, if error be at work, that it should come out plainly, and that we should know who seriously stand for the truth.
Q. 2. "Reception at the Lord's table."
A. The true standard by which to try the question is the claim not of a Christian, but of Christ, as revealed by the written word; and this in spirit, not letter. Compare 1 John 5:2.
Now the question raised of late years among us is one of value for the Christ of God, or of indifference to His dishonour indirectly if not directly. An ecclesiastical error of episcopacy, presbyterianism, or independency is quite subordinate. A known saint of proved godliness, being a member of these ostensibly orthodox societies, we receive if seeking to break bread; but we should require him first to clear himself if false doctrine were taught where he goes. Still more peremptorily should we refuse one who came from a heterodox party, as Campbellites, Irvingites, etc., even if he were said to be ever so pious and possessed personal soundness. Scripture is too plain: he is a partaker of their evil deeds, and we decline to license his lukewarm and leavened state. The assembly can rightly be nothing else than the pillar and support of the truth, without becoming a party to Christ's shame, and, in these last days especially, a trap for unwary souls. The present ruin of the church in no way alters the responsibility, though the sphere be only two or three on that ground; otherwise it is at best a human society, exposed to Satan instead of shielded of the Lord, even were each soul there a saint.
It would be well to say plainly where the many simple Christians are, whose only disqualification seems to be that others call them "Open brethren." If known to be only so called and not such really, they would claim and have help to guard them, from the snare they are exposed to, by teaching them truth more fully. All would welcome a call for care in this way. One such company lately came before us; and God was pleased to clear their way; and they are happily in fellowship, gathered to Christ's name, instead of floating without divine principle or centre. Another recently presumed to be such proved to be O.B. A third, for which simplicity was vaunted, the O.B. declared to be "a bad meeting," and too loose for them, though individually admissible. But those of us, who moving most about have the best means of information, do not know of these undefiled meetings; and we are certainly guiltless of refusing any such persons. Also, if we believe scripture, we are sure that Christians may be defiled by a lax principle which glosses over evil generally, and particularly in doctrine. It is a deep fall when a Christian sinks below even the law of God — "though he wist it not, yet is he guilty." Could we any longer, in dealing with so delicate a case, trust the spiritual judgment of one so dull in bearing God's word? Only he who is firm in truth can safely show grace. Such looseness as this is really to have slipped away from God's principles into a practice never yet sanctioned; and may it never be!
Nor is it ignorant souls that have given us trouble, but rather people more or less intelligent, anxious for their ease or zealous for their friends, but heartless as to Christ or the responsibility of those gathered to His name corporately. Of this character is the argument from those within guilty of intimacy in private with such as are publicly rejected. How sad, instead of censuring this sort of laxity, to apply it as a reason to throw down the holy barriers, or make it seem a yoke too hard to bear! There is a wide margin, on the one hand, between treating an offender as a heathen man and a publican, and, on the other, receiving him at the Lord's table.
So also the balance is uneven and the weights unjust, which put the O.B. companies with Anglicanism and dissent. Both the Church of England and the Nonconformists emerged from darkness into better light; whereas the O.B. began by departing from what was of God in order to screen the partisans of an antichrist, and have never cleared themselves from this plague-spot: to do so would be to give up their raison d'être. Then, again, the O.B. profess, like ourselves, to be gathered to Christ's name, and deny that they are a sect, as they believe Anglicans and Dissenters to be. In both ways therefore it is untrue and unjust to deal with them alike, according to our conviction and that of the O.B. God judges according to profession; and so should we. The falling back of the O.B. on congregational ground also is to escape from corporate responsibility. But this aggravates their guilt, instead of leaving us more free to receive individually from them, as from churches or chapels. What then is the worth of the palliation before us?
Indeed it may be doubted if any respectable teacher among the O.B. would go so far as the text and note of this paper to destroy the true force of Matt. 18:18-20. Think of lowering it down to Christian intercourse apart from any ecclesiastical position! Thus to blot out the solemnity of "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," and reduce it to ordinary prayer and Christian intercourse, looks like infatuation, is it certainly is a misinterpretation of the first magnitude. And this is the more deplorable because the writer in his last printed "Letter" taught the contrary — taught the truth here we all hold is of the deepest importance practically. Now he denies it to the irreparable loss of himself and all who are influenced thereby, if any should be so weak as to turn away from the very voice of the good Shepherd Himself. Certainly we who profit incalculably by this rich provision of the Saviour's grace are not, if wise and true, the men to condone the guilt of so mischievous a perversion. May the Lord recover by and to His own truth, and save the weak and careless from shipwreck.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 222. February 1887.
Q. 1. Can the Parousia (Coming in Person) of the Lord be separated from His Epiphaneia (shining upon); or from His Apokalupsis (Revelation)?
A. Without doubt, the first is distinct in character and even in time, if scripture is to decide, as it surely ought. Add two other words, Hemera (day) and Phanerosis (manifestation), to give a substantival form to the verb often used in this connection. For the truth is that "coming" or "presence" (π.) as applied to the future of our Lord does not involve display, unless modified by other links such as "Son of Man," (as in Matt. 24:27, 37, 39), or by a term which openly adds it (as in 2 Thess. 2:8), or by facts like 1 Thess. 3:13. These accompaniments unquestionably intimate not "presence" only, but its display. Now such texts as 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6-7 ; 2 Cor. 10:10; Phil. 1:26; Phil. 2:12; as well as the 2 Thess. 2:9, simply prove the general fact of a personal arrival or presence; and 2 Peter 3:12 is not exactly our Lord's own coming, but that "of the day of God," though no doubt our Lord with them have come also.
It is not contested that Parousia is applied very frequently to our Lord's coming again, as in both Epistles to the Thessalonians, in the First to the Corinthians, and in those of James, Peter, and John. And all admit that Epiphaneia means "appearing" (as it should be in 2 Thess. 2:8), and apokalupsis "revelation," both applied often to the manifestation of the Lord, like φανερόω, in His "day." But how do these scriptures prove to a, demonstration that Parousia is not distinct in character as. well as time from the words indicating display? Mr. B. assumes, but never even approaches, the proof. He marshals the various occurrences, and forthwith states his conclusion without a reason. What is the worth of this?
The intelligent reader sees that, where grace is in question, the coming, or presence, of the Lord is set out; where responsibility and its results, it is "the appearing," "day," etc. This disposes of Mr. B.'s first effort, at an argument in p. 15, whilst the revelation of Christ will still be the full favour of the saints in its display. Instead of confounding Christ's Parousia and the connected gathering of the saints unto Him in 2 Thess. 2:1 with the Epiphany of His Parousia which annuls "the man of sin," the pointed difference of the phrase ought to have led him to distinguish them. If His coming to gather the saints together to Himself were necessarily visible, where is the force of adding the appearing of His coming when it is a question of destroying the antichrist? But there is much more when we take in the light afforded by the second verse, and the context generally. For the error which the Thessalonian misleader taught was that "the day of the Lord was actually present." This the apostle dissipates, first, by beseeching them by, or for the sake of, the Lord's coming (παρουσία) and our gathering together unto Him; secondly. by the declaration that that day was not to be unless the apostasy first came and the man of sin were revealed, whereas a hinderer acted as yet till he should go. Mr. B.'s confusion not only makes the added epiphaneia meaningless, if Parousia in itself is a display, but it renders the motive, urged in ver. 1 against the delusion of ver. 2, not only powerless but unintelligible. For if the Lord's coming and His day coalesce, as they do absolutely in Mr. B.'s view, there is no sense in the passage; whereas to recall the saints to their hope was calculated to guard them from the false rumour that the day had set in. Then we have the plain disproof that follows: the cup of Christendom's iniquity was not yet full, as it must be the Lord Jesus judges it (not at His coming, but) at the appearing, of His coming. What he calls "the secret rapture" deserves to fall, if assumption, and arguments like these, dispose of it completely.
Mr. B. has to learn that Matt. 24, 25 is a large prophecy, which deals with the Jews first, with Christendom in the central parables, and finally with all the Gentiles alive in that day. Hence "Son of man" (Christ's judicial title) is His title with the Jews and the Gentiles, but disappears in the part that relates to the Christian profession. The critics (Tregelles, like the rest) little knew the service they were rendering to the truth in striking out the spurious clause at the end of Matt. 25:13. The Parousia of the Son of Man is judicial for the earth; the Parousia in 1 Cor. 15:23 is to raise the saints that sleep for heaven, though all admit they will be manifested with Him in glory at that day. Mr. B. also ignores the face that the "shout" of the Lord in 1 Thess. 4 is a word quite peculiar and of special relationship, as of an admiral to his sea-men, or of a general to his soldiers. There would be no propriety in employing such a word if it were a shout for everybody. It is no question of shaking earth and heaven, though this will be also; and it is amazing to see Ps. 50:4-5; Jer. 25:30; Hosea 11:10; and Rev. 1:7 classed with so wholly different an aim. Those that come out of the great tribulation in Rev. 7 are expressly distinguished from the elders and the four living creatures, who symbolize (one or both) the saints seen glorified in heaven from Rev. 4 and onward. And Rev. 20:4, in the grand description of those saints who share the First Resurrection, gives three classes: those already enthroned (embracing the O.T. saints, and the church), who followed Christ out of heaven; the early Apocalyptic sufferers (Rev. 6:9); and their brethren who were to be killed as they, after the Beast and the False Prophet ravaged beyond example, as we see also in Dan. 7. "The consummation of the age," in Matt. 13, is not an epoch, but a period or season, in which distinct operations take. place, beginning with the severing of the darnel and file gathering from the field of the wheat, and ending with the burning of the darnel, the lawless ones, when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, that is, in the heavenly sphere which sovereign grace gave them to share with Christ. The just application of Luke 21:25-36 will be manifest from the context, and is in perfect accordance with the title of the Son of Man seen coming in a cloud with power and great glory. If we fail to distinguish things that differ, only confusion and error can ensue.
Q. 2. What means "the groanings which cannot be uttered"? (Rom. 8:26).
A. The meaning of the passage appears to be this: we do not know what to pray for as we ought, and therefore the grace of God gives us, not only an Advocate on high for us, but the Holy Ghost, within us to identify Himself in grace with our sorrowing suffering condition, so as to put us in fellowship with God as His redeemed ones in bodies withal and a creation not yet redeemed. He accordingly intercedes for us — within us of course — according to God, so as to give a divine and sympathetic character to what otherwise would have been but selfish sorrow. Thus we are entitled to know that our very groanings as Christians is not without the Spirit, though these cannot be expressed in words, and they rise up acceptable to God, and will be surely answered by the revelation of the glory by and by, for which we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, and all creation also, wait. How sweet to think that the Holy Spirit, who gives and directs the joys of our hearts and makes us bid the bridegroom "come" (Rev. 22) takes equal part in our present griefs and travail of spirit! And if we do not know what to ask for, we do know that all things work together for good, as the apostle proceeds and proves so triumphantly to the end of the chapter.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 320. August 1887.
Q. 1. Ps. 110:1. Is this, as Mr. J. Gall conceives, the Father's "evangelistic work?" Is the Son's work "by outward judgments?"
Q. 2. Is it true, as Canon Faussett says, that "Christ as the Son of God never gives up His session on the Father's throne"? X.
A. In both statements there seems no small confusion through inattention to scripture.
1. The Father and the Son, as such, do not appear in Ps. 110. It is wise to adhere to scripture. The true correlates here are Jehovah and Messiah. No doubt the persons may be otherwise and elsewhere so regarded; but beyond controversy what the Psalm reveals is Jehovah saying to David's Lord, the Messiah, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Nor in fact does scripture ever, that I remember, speak of the right hand of the Father, but of God, and avoids it pointedly as in Acts 2:33. Surely also the N.T. which speaks of "evangelistic work" connects it with the Son yet more than the Father. It was He, not the Father, Who came to seek and to save the lost. It is not said of "the Father," but that "God so loved the world that He gave" etc. The truth is that in the O.T. Jehovah and His Anointed have perfect communion in "outward judgments," as in the N.T. Father and Son have in "evangelistic work." The Law, Psalms, and Prophets prove the former, as the Gospels and Epistles the latter, the Revelation bringing us round transitionally to the world-kingdom of the Lord and His Christ, and the eternal state which follows again confirming their fellowship in judgment as before in grace.
Nor can any interpretation be more egregious than that Jehovah's making Messiah's enemies to be Messiah's footstool means "converting grace." Subjecting them to Christ it is, but this, as 1 Cor. 15 shows, for actively putting down and aunulling all antagonistic power. Such is one of the main objects of "the kingdom," which is as distinct from the gospel and the church as from eternity.
2. That Canon F. believes Christ will come again, we are assured. It is indeed the common creed of Christendom. This means that Christ will cease to sit at God's right hand, and on the Father's throne, in order to sit on His own throne. The divine intimation which tells us that He, the risen Man, sits there, tells us that He will leave it to tread down, and rule in the midst of, His enemies. His friends will then reign along with Him. When all things have been subjected to Him, then He delivers up the kingdom which is given Him for that purpose, that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) may be all in all. This is the eternal state, the new heaven and new earth (not in the incipient or millennial sense, but) fully and finally, all evil having been judged. But the coming of the Lord is not at the epoch of sitting on the great white throne which follows the millennium; for the earth and the heavens will then have fled, and no place be found for them. His coming, or rather appearing, the second time, is where He came and appeared the first time; and, therefore, as Rev. 19 and many other scriptures show, before the millennium begins. Of course the Father's throne will be left before taking His own throne.
Q. 3. Is it not laid down in scripture that to be an evangelist is much more than to teach? Such seems to be the meaning of 1 Cor. 4:15. J.H.S.
A. Not so, though comparisons are odious; and it is the plain call of grace for the teacher to uphold the evangelist, as for the evangelist to give all honour to the teacher. Each fills up a different and all-important part of ministerial work, each a gift from Christ for the perfecting of the saints to the edifying of His body. But while the evangelist, might be a babe, the teacher needs ripe spiritual intelligence. The truth, however, is that the apostle by ten thousand "instructors" in Christ does not refer to the teachers, but to the meddlesome talkers at Corinth, to whom he gives the rather slighting title of παιδαγωγοί (as in Gal. 3:24). So was called the slave that led the child to and from school, a boy-ward, not his teacher. Paul had toward the Corinthian saints the affections of a father.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 335. September 1887.
Q. Is the close of Mark (Mark 16:9 to the end) authentic and genuine?
A. Having long since protested against those who treat this most interesting passage and the beginning of John 8 with suspicion, I proceed to state my reasons, passing over the disputed portion in John, which has already been well defended in another place by another hand.
Even Dean Alford, who certainly does not err on the side of credulity, admits that the authority of the close of Mark is hardly to be doubted. Eusebius, and the Vat. and Sin. MSS., omit it; and several others note its absence in certain copies, but generally add, that it appears in the oldest and best. All else of the Greek MSS., all the Evangelistaria, all the Versions (except the Roman edition of the Arabic), and a large proportion of the earliest and most trustworthy Fathers are allowed to be in its favour. Lachmann, in spite of his notorious tendency to follow the very slips of the most ancient copies, edits the entire section without hesitation.
In his notes the Dean urges that the passage is irreconcilable with the other gospels, and is disconnected with what goes before; and that no less than twenty-one words and expressions occur in it (some of them repeatedly) which are never elsewhere used by Mark, whose adherence to his own phrases is remarkable, and that consequently, the internal evidence is very weighty against his authorship. That is, he believes it to be an authentic addition by another hand.
Before examining these criticisms, I must object to a reasoning which affirms or allows that to be scripture which is irreconcilable with other scriptures. If its authority be clear, every believer will feel that, with or without difficulties, all must be really harmonious. For God cannot err.
But, it is said, the diction and construction differ from the rest of the Gospel. Did the Dean or those who think with him adequately weigh the new and extraordinary circumstances which had to be recorded? In such a case strange words and phrases would be natural if Mark wrote (nor does he by any means want ἅπαξ λεγόμενα elsewhere); whereas, a supplementer, adding to Mark, would as probably have rigidly copied the language and manner of the Evangelist.
Πρώτῃ σαβ. (ver. 9) is alleged to be unusual. Doubtless ; yet, of the two, it is less Hebraistic than τῆς μιᾶς σ. (ver. 2), and each might help the other to a Gentile or a Roman ear. And, so far from being stumbled by the way Mary Magdalene is mentioned here, there seems to me much force in Jesus appearing first to her out of whom he had cast seven devils. Who so suitable first to see Him and hear from Himself the tidings of His resurrection, Who through death annuls him who had the power of death, that is, the devil ? As to the absolute use of the pronoun in 11, 12, is it not enough that the occasion here required what was needless elsewhere? — If πορευ. is found only in 10, 12, and 15, it is because the simple word best expressed what the Holy Ghost designed to say, whereas elsewhere the evangelist employed its compounds in order to convey the more graphically what was there wanted. Thus, he uses εἰσπορ. eight times, while Matthew, in his much larger account, has it but once. Is this the least ground for questioning Matt. 15:17 ? So, again, Mark has παραπορ. in four different chapters, Matthew once only (27:9), Luke and John not at all. — Leaving these trivial points, the phrase τοῖς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ is to me an argument for, rather than against, Mark's authorship. Compare with it Mark 1:36; Mark 3:14; and Mark 5:40. As to ἐθεάθη ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς and its difference from θ. τοῖς θ. αὐτόν, the answer is, that the word is most appropriate here and uncalled for in other places, and if the difference prove anything, it would show two hands instead of one supplementing Mark's narrative! Thus, for instance, the same verb occurs but once in all the Epistles of Paul: are we therefore, to suspect Rom. 15? Matthew has θεωρεώ only twice; are we for a score of such reasons as these to speculate that "another hand" added Matt. 27 and 28?
As to reiterated mention of unbelief and the Lord's upbraiding the eleven with it, what more instructive, or in better keeping with the scope of the context and of the Gospel? It was wholesome for those who were about to preach to others to learn what their own hearts were, and the Lord in His own ministry sets them right before announcing their great commission. Even if we only look at the word ἀπιστία, it occurs in Mark 6:6; Mark 9:24. If the verb is found only in Mark 16:11, 16, what more marvellous than Luke's having it only in his last chapter (ver. 11, 41), and never once using the substantive either in the Gospel or in the Acts of the Apostles? — It is true that μετὰ τ. and ὕστερον are found in no other passage of Mark, but his customary precision may be one reason why the former is not more common; and the latter occurs once only in Luke and John. — It is confessed that τὸ εὐαγ. π. τῃ κτίσει is in Mark's style. The fact is, neither of the later Gospels contains the noun and Matthew always qualifies it as "the gospel of the kingdom" or "this gospel;" whereas, whether or not Mark has the qualified phrases in Mark 1:14 and Mark 14:9 (for MSS. etc. differ), he repeatedly has "the gospel" elsewhere, as Mark 1:15; Mark 8:35; Mark 10:29; Mark 13:10. This, then, affords no slight presumption that the passage is the genuine production of Mark, as well as authentic.
Παρακολ. in 17, ἐπακολ. in 20, occur nowhere. else in Mark, and that for the best of reasons; the accuracy which the compounded forms impart was demanded here, and not before, where the simple form sufficed. And this is the less surprising, inasmuch as the former appears only in Luke's preface, and the latter nowhere else, as far as the four evangelists are concerned.
As to the singularity of καλῶς ἕξουσιν, what simpler, seeing that this promise (as well as that about the new tongues, serpents, etc.) is revealed here only, and was unquestionably verified in the subsequent history? It is the natural converse of a common scriptural designation for the sick οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες, and if the occurrence of ἄῤῥωστος should be here objected to, the reader may find it twice already in Mark 6, while Matthew and Paul use it each only once.
Only one further objection remains worth noticing, the use of κύριος in 19, 20. In Mark 11:3, I suppose it is equivalent to Jehovah, and at any rate I would not press this as in point. But the absence of such a title before seems to me a beauty, not a blemish, in Mark, whose business was to exhibit the service of Jesus. But now that God had vindicated His rejected Servant by the resurrection, now that He had made Him both "Lord" and Christ, what more natural, or even necessary, than that the same Gospel which had hitherto traced Him as the Servant, Son of God, should make Him now known as "the Lord?" But this is not all. The Lord had uttered His charge to those who were, at His bidding, to replace Him as servants, and in a world-wide sphere; He was received up to heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Now it was Mark's place, and only Mark's to add that, while they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord was working with them. Jesus, even as the Lord, is, if I may so say, servant still. Glorious truth! And whose hand so suited to record it as his who proved by sad experience how hard it is to be a faithful servant; but who proved also that the grace of the Lord is sufficient to restore and strengthen the feeblest? (Compare Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11.)
There is no doubt of the fact that this section had its present place in the second century, i.e., before any existing witness which omits it or questions its authorship. And even Tregelles, notoriously subservient as he was to favourite voices of antiquity and to points of detail, owns, that the very difficulties it contains (exaggerated as I have shown them to be) afford a strong presumption in its favour. Thought and expression point to Mark only. It is therefore genuine, as well as authentic.
Bible Treasury Volume 16, p. 365. November 1887.
Q. Romans 5:15-17. — No exposition of this passage which I have seen has appeared to me quite satisfactory. My opinion is, that every one of these verses contains a separate thought, which is fitted, by its position and progression, to magnify the grace of God. The apostle is illustrating the leading truth of the christian system, justification by divine righteousness accomplished in Christ; and, in order to establish conclusively the gratuitous nature of it, he draws his illustration from the way in which we became guilty, viz., by the guilt of Adam's first sin. As we are reckoned by God, and treated, as in fact guilty persons, before we do anything personally to involve us in guilt, so we are reckoned by God as righteous persons, and are treated as such, before we do anything to make us righteous. There is such a striking analogy or resemblance between guile and grace — the fall — and the restoration. But the apostle begins to show, at verse 15, that this analogy does not hold in all respects: by showing that the side of the parallel formed by materials drawn from file, new and gracious dispensation is the broader, deeper, and more outstanding and noticeable. It illustrates grace superabounding and triumphing over guilt, in three particulars: 1. in its provision (ver. 15); 2. in its communication (ver. 16,); and 3. in its consummation (ver. 17).
1. The Source. — Verse 15 points us to the fountainhead or source of sin and righteousness; of guilt and grace. There is evidently a comparison of stocks or stores in this verse; and grace gets a triumph over guilt when we look to Jesus, in whom, as in a storehouse, all fulness of it dwells. If we are condemned for the sin of Adam, a mere creature like ourselves, shall we not much more be justified by grace for the sake of the Divine One, Jesus, who is "full of grace and truth"? If natural connection with the creature has brought us so much evil, much more shall spiritual connection with the God-man, Jesus Christ, bring us good.
2. The Communication. — Verse 16 shows, that the communication of grace far exceeds the communication of guilt. Adam shares what is his with his race, so Christ shares what belongs to Him with His seed; but the righteousness which believers enjoy in Him covers far more than the guilt they inherit from Adam For by Christ we are justified not only from the guilt of this one sin, but also from the aggravated guilt which we have contracted by our "many offences," i.e., all our sins. Besides, we were involved in Adam's guilt by generic necessity; we are put in possession of righteousness in Christ as "a free and gracious gift."
3. The Consummation. — Ver. 17. Here we have the rich excess of grace over guilt in consummation, or in what it will do for believers when communicated to them and possessed by them. The point contained in this verse is this: If all connected with Adam are made subject to death for his one offence, much more shall all connected with Christ (who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of justification) not only have their original condemnation to death removed, but also reign in life with Him, on account of His obedience even unto death, and His resurrection, as their representative and living head, to the enjoyment of an endless life. Their connection with Jesus not only frees them from death, but it gives them a right to life, nor only here, but in the glorious kingdom to come: "Being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." He is now possessed of an ever-enduring life in resurrection, and all believers are sharers with Him in this life, for "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Just as death began in Adam the moment he sinned, so life begins in believers the moment they believe in Christ: "God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." And as the time is fast approaching when Jesus, the Son of God, Who once suffered for our sins, shall return to reign, so all His saints shall then reign in life with Him: "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." "Thou hast redeemed us, and made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign over the earth."
The, analogy being thus explained, limited, and illustrated, the apostle resumes his argument, and sums up the whole matter in verses 18 and 19, which contain his main position. This, in nearly the words of these verses, may be thus stated: — "As by the offence of one all connected with that one are condemned; so by the accomplished righteousness of One all connected with Him have 'justification of life.' For as by the disobedience of the One (the representative) the many (the represented) were constituted sinners, so by the obedience of the one (the representative) with the many (the represented) be constituted righteous."
I should be glad to see the above passage in Romans thoroughly examined by you and your correspondents. It is one of the most vital, seeing that it forms the keystone of the gateway of grace. W. R.
Q. 2. Hebrews 6:19. What is "The hope set before us"?
A. It is the expectation of heavenly glory as secured and displayed in Christ exalted on high. Of course, the "hope" implies something yet to be done or manifested; though, being of God in Christ, it has not the smallest shade of uncertainty about it like what men call hope. This hope has present effects too "by the which we draw nigh to God." (Compare Heb. 10:23, which ought to be "hope" rather than "faith," as in the Authorised version), as it ought to fill us with joy (Heb. 3:6). It is clearly in the future alone that all will he realised, and therefore it is justly called "hope." Still the work being finished, and Christ having entered within the veil, our hope is said to penetrate there too. That is, besides being sure for us and steadfast in itself, it is heavenly as entering into the immediate presence of God on the basis of the precious blood of Christ. It counts upon God fulfilling all He has promised according to the faithfulness which has raised up Christ from the dead (like Isaac in the type), and set Him in the atmosphere of unchangeable blessing inside the veil. As Abraham had his son given back as it were, and the promise confirmed by an oath, so have we our hopes confirmed in a yet more precious way in a risen Christ glorified above, though still having "need of patience."