Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

most favourable impression in regard to accuracy and care. Confident judgment can, of course, only be passed after the most thorough examination and longer use.

Like Trommius before, the new work takes account not only of the LXX., but also of the other portions of the Greek Bible (the so-called Apocrypha) and the relics of Origen's Hexapla. Especially as regards the latter, the English work is more complete. Trommius was able to use the pioneer work of Montfaucon on the Hexapla, which had appeared a few years before (1713); the English workers had at command the incomparably richer collection of Field (Origenis Hexaplorum quæ supersunt, 2 vols., 1875). For the Septuagint text, including the Apocrypha, the three chief MSS.—the Alexandrine (A), Vatican (B), and Sinaitic (S), and the most important edition, the Roman or Sixtine edition of 1587 (R)-have been fully used; and indeed in such a way that the variant readings of one or several MSS. have been always inserted in the accepted texts--words in brackets. Certainly, it is not stated on what testimony the accepted text is based. But this would have been a burdening of the text out of keeping with the plan ; for any one at all versed in these matters will know, as a rule, for which books A, B, and S are available ; in doubtful cases one can easily consult Swete's handy edition. A difficulty in indicating the passages lay in the fact that the editions of the LXX. differ so widely in the numbering of the verses. The editors had no resource but to adhere strictly to one edition, namely, to the reprint of the Sixtine text, published by the Clarendon Press, 1875. The variations in the numbering of chapters and verses in the Hebrew text are added in brackets.

The new work also entirely omits, like Trommius, proper names, personal pronouns, and “a few of the commonest words.” Yet in the latter respect the English work supplies considerably more than its predecessor. It gives e.g. a complete catalogue under åXá, dv, åró; whereas Trommius here contents himself with a quite small selection of special passages, which seem to have a special interest for him. A great number of new idiomatic phrases appears in the new work, because it has taken in all Hebrew words left untranslated in the Greek versions, whereas here also Trommius supplies but very few. There are surprisingly many of these, not only in the later versions, but also in the LXX.

The task of indicating the corresponding Hebrew word occasions special difficulties in a Concordance of the Septuagint. Trommius's plan was to arrange the passages, in which a Greek word occurs, in the order of the corresponding Hebrew words. E.g., under åyviów (áyvíšoual) he first collects the passages in which it stands

and lastly those in which ,הִמָּהֵר or מִהַר next those in which it stands for ,הִתְחַמֵא for

a

it answers to wp or w???. The new English Concordance gives up such an arrangement, and gives all the passages in which a Greek word occurs, in the order of the leading passages without regard to the corresponding Hebrew words. But to indicate the Hebrew equivalents, they are enumerated and numbered at the head of every Greek article, and the corresponding marks stand in every leading passage in brackets in the margin, so that one can easily collect all that bears on the Hebrew equivalents. It is undeniable that the arrangement of Trommius has its advantages for many purposes. But for other purposes the arrangement in the new Concordance is more useful; and it is recommended especially by the circumstance that in many cases no Hebrew word at all corresponds to the Greek one, or the Hebrew equivalent is uncertain. The new Concordance has also indicated these cases by signs ( - and + ). But the uncertainty in deciding such cases, of course, makes the arrangement adopted by Trommius appear mistaken. In another very important point the new Concordance supplies no more than Trommius, since it does not attempt to reconstruct the text in cases in which the LXX. had before them a Hebrew text varying from our Massoretic

a

one. The editors justify this course by saying that the solution of this difficulty would be impracticable" without altering the scope of the whole work." scarcely to the point. One can only plead the difficulty of the matter as an excuse. But in many cases the Hebrew text, presupposed by the LXX., might have been indicated by means of already existing exegetical labours. Certainly in this way the amount of labour necessary would have been greatly increased, and, unless carried out with great circumspection and insight, might easily have done more harm than good. We will, therefore, not contend with the editor about the decision arrived at, but rather conclude with the warmest thanks for what is given, and with the hope of a speedy completion.

THE APOLOGETIC OF THE EARLY CHURCH IN ITS EXEMPLARY ASPECT. By Pastor Dr. GOTTLOB MAYER, Priegnitz (Neue Kirchl. Zeitschr., 1892, No. 7). The writer first distinguishes between Apologetic and Polemic. The former defends Christianity against external attacks, the latter attacks internal errors. Apologetic flourished at the close of the third century. It is exemplary both in the points of view taken and in the manner in which it was conducted.

1. The two foes against which Christianity had to defend itself were Judaism and Heathenism. The controversy with Judaism, as represented by Rabbi Akibah and the Talmud, " that great Jewish anathema on the Christian religion," turned on two questions, whether Jesus was the Messiah, and whether the Mosaic law was obligatory on Christians. The three objections alleged were, Christ's lowly appearance, His suffering and death, and the non-appearing of Elijah. The reply was, that Christ's glory was inner and spiritual, that the suffering was foretold in such prophe. cies as Isaiah liii., and that Elijah had come in the person of the Baptist. The Jews maintained the eternal validity of the law because of its divine origin. The Apologists, while acknowledging the latter point, argued its temporary character from its preparatory purpose. They pointed out that the patriarchs were justified by prospective faith in Christ without the law, and that Jeremiah speaks of the new covenant written on the heart. “This is in brief the substance of the writings pro and con in the contest with Judaism. The Apologists seek on one hand to show that the substance of the new covenant is contained seminally in the old, and on the other to distinguish between the two, and so to maintain at once the identity of the new with the old, and its independence. Obvious as this proceeding may seem to us, the tact, the certainty, and the acuteness with which the Church discharged its task in detail are admirable.”

Heathenism was already in decay when Christianity appeared. Philosophy merely prolonged its life or its death-struggles. At first philosophy scarcely took the new religion seriously, and only did so as the danger seemed to grow real. The three assailants were Stoicism, Epicureanism and Neo-Platonism. Stoics could not understand the joy of Christian martyrs. They regarded it as fanaticism. To Tacitus Christianity was an exitiabilis superstitio. Marcus Aurelius allowed Crescens, the Cynic, to put Justin to death. Epicureanism ridiculed the Christian longing for heaven. Celsus's “ True Word” is its representative. Neo-Platonism was an amalgam of philosophy and religion. To it speculation was a priestly work, the ancestral gods were the personified ideas of the world-soul, philosophy was merely elevation to the supreme principle of nature, the čv reflected in the rolls. The chief Neo-Platonists are Plotinus, Jamblichus, Philostratus and Porphyry. Their oppo. nents on Christian ground are Quadratus and Aristides, Justin and Tatian, Athenagoras and Theophilus of the Greek Church, Tertullian, Cyprian and Lactantius of the Western, and Clement, Origen, and Methodius of the Alexandrine.

The objections of philosophy bore upon the tendency, the origin, the form, and the contents of the Christian religion. The tendency of Christianity, they said, was to withdraw Christians from the service of the State, partly in order to avoid contact with idolatry, partly for mutual edification. The Church was thus a public danger. The Apologists, in reply, pointed to their conscientiousness in social duties, their prayers for the emperor, their meekness in bearing the penalties imposed on them, and their impartial benevolence to friend and foe. The heathen spoke of the author of Christianity as a poor Jew, " who learned magic in Alexandria.” The Apologists said it was a restoration of the primal religion. As to its origin in the East, did not the Greeks themselves receive their art and science from the same quarter ? As to the form of Christianity, the heathen took offence at its universality (admitting all " without regard to their moral character, whereas the heathen mysteries required moral purity "), at its want of unity, and at the “contradictions" of Scripture. The Apologists maintained that universality was a point of excellence, requiring “moral purity,” and imparting it to all; that differences of opinion among Christians sprang from differences of natural capacity; that the Bible is the record of God's redeeming acts, and must perforce speak in human language. As to the contents of Christian doctrine, the heathen attacked the Deity of Christ, Redemption and Resurrection. The Apologists referred to the incarnations in the heathen world; the Divine incarnation was only realized in Christ; it is a necessary effect of divine love. On the second point Celsus argued that evil is a part of the world-system; no redemption is necessary; Christianity came too late. “ The Apologists denied the necessary character of evil, justifying the late appearance of Christianity by reference to the need of preparation. Redemption was determined à priori by God, and accomplished in the fulness of time." The heathen denied the resurrection, regarding death as a happy release. " It was Athenagoras who first attempted to give a reasoned defence of the doctrine. The doctrine, he held, can only be opposed on the ground that God lacks either the power or the will to raise the dead. If He lacks the power it is because He is without knowledge or strength. But creation proves that He has both. If God lacks the will, the resurrection must be unjust either to those rising again or to others; but it is not so. Or it must be unworthy of God—which it is not-because otherwise creation would be unworthy of Him. He then alleges positive reasons: the divine motive in man's creation, according to which man is constantly to behold God's wisdom; man's nature, which demands the continuance of the body in order to a rational life; the necessity of a divine judgment on men; the end of man's creation not being realized in this life, the end being the contemplation of true being. Untenable as these arguments may be, we cannot deny to these Apologists high capacity of philosophic speculation."

We thus see that the Christian Apologists were not content with a negative attitude, but adduced positive arguments. They appealed to the preparatory and accompanying signs of the Gospel. Examples of the preparatory are Old Testament prophecies, the heathen oracles, the stories of a golden age. The accompanying signs are the miracles of Christ, which are distinguished from others by their moral purpose. They pointed also to the moral effects of Christianity. Nor did they forget the testimonium anima. Christianity is the answer to the questionings and surmisings of human nature. Thus, the Apologists acknowledged the measure of truth to be found in heathenism, explained by the work of the logos spermatikos and by the Old Testament revelation.

2. Dr. Mayer then proceeds to indicate the features in the work of the early Apologists which are exemplary for all time.

In reference to Judaism, the Apologists acknowledged the divine character of Judaism in contrast with other religions, and dwelt on the continuity of revelation. The first point especially is a sine qua non of influence with the Jew. The Epistle to the Hebrews and Rom. ix.-xi, illustrate the second.

The admirable features in the controversy with heathenism are the skill with which the Apologists used the truth in their opponents' position as a ground of argument, and accommodated themselves to their state of knowledge and education, their proof of the untenableness of the heathen position, and insistence on the absolute supremacy of the Christian over other religions. They seemed to divine by instinct the weak and strong points. In proof of the untenableness of heathenism they appealed to the contradictions of philosophical teachers, and the insufficiency of heathen religions to satisfy human longings. The supremacy of Christianity was argued from its universal character. “ This is involved in the principle of the Christian religion in Christ. Because Christ was a universal man, the man kat' ėçoxív, Christianity is designed and destined to be the universal religion. And this character is confirmed by the consensus gentium. It was Tertullian chiefly who used this argument. The sayings of the Greek sages are to him anticipations of Christian experience. Anima naturaliter Christiana. The moral effects of Christianity prove the same.”

The early Apologists often turn aside from their line of thought to make a direct appeal to the conscience, experience, and will of opponents. They recognize the function of will as well as intellect in religion. Their own lives confirmed their teaching. They illustrated in their own person the effects which they ascribed to Christianity. The best Christian is the best Apologist. We thus see that most of the modern lines of argument were anticipated in early days.

THE CHURCH'S RELATION TO Missions. By Dr. G. WARNECK (Allgem. Missions, Zeitschrift, 1892, July). One of the good signs of German religious life is the growing interest in foreign missions. Dr. Warneck's numerous writings on the subject have contributed much to the revival. The article in the above missionary magazine (of which Dr. Warneck is editor) is a chapter from a new work of his on the doctrine of Protestant missions (Evangelische Missionslehre). The total number of German Protestant missionaries is only about 450, against 12,000 pastors in the fatherland; the entire missionary income is about £150,000, so that much remains to be done. The amount raised for the German Inner Mission (Home Mission) alone is about ten times that raised for foreign missions.

Missions grow out of the very nature of the Church, which is designed to create a new humanity. The Christian religion alone has a Church, and missions are the means by which that Church seeks to realize its universal destiny. Thus the Church and Missions were founded together by Christ. “In the two Jesus continues the work of His life until His coming to complete it. The two are at once His work and His instrument. The one supposes the other, and is the consequence of the other. No Church, no mission ; no mission, no Church. In the Church missions find their basis, and in missions the Church its means of extension. .... What would the Church of Jerusalem have been without missions ? A mere Jewish sect, no Christian Church. Only through mission work did the Jerusalem Church become the mother of the Christian Church. And so it continues; only by this means is the existing Church built up into that universal house of God which it was designed to be. Thus the ecclesia as such is a mission Church, founded on missions, extended by missions, and ever renewing its life by such extension.” The power of growth, which makes the Church truly universal and keeps it in constant movement, is immanent in the spiritual life of believers, even apart from the missionary command. For the communio credentium is a body of witnesses, a society of workers, which is called to be the light of the world, the salt of the eart and as such prays and toils for the coming of the kingdom. Living faith cannot tolerate the narrow-hearted egoistic quietism, which thinks: If we are only saved, what matter about others? But it creates confessors, witnesses, and labourers of Christ, in whom there is a constraint to bring in the other sheep not of this fold. It cannot coldly pass by those who are living without Christ and His salvation, but, impelled by universal love, must endeavour, like the good Samaritan, to bring them to the cross.”

The reflex influence of missionary work is well set forth. “Blessings are reflected back on the Home Church, quickening its inner life. There is a living reciprocity; if the Home Church builds up God's kingdom among the heathen, missions to the heathen build up God's kingdom in the Home Church; as the root is strengthened the boughs grow, and as the boughs grow the root is strengthened. The Church must therefore carry on missions for its own sake. To neglect missions or carry them on in a niggardly way is not to strengthen but to weaken the Home Church. What blessing was brought to the Church of Apostolic days by missionary work. Because it was a missionary Church through and through, it came so near the Church-ideal of the body of Christ. The triumph of Paulinism in the great conflict with the Judaizing school, which was by no means decided by the superior dogmatic reasoning of Paul, but in connexion therewith by practical mission-work among the heathen, by incorporating the heathen into the family of God, saved youthful Christianity from the rule of a new legalism, and from shrinking into a mere Jewish sect. In the same way, by implanting vigorous wild saplings, missionary work filled the mediæval Church with no less abundance of strength and life, which would have had still greater effect, if the work had been carried on by more spiritual means. Nevertheless, not merely the Anglo-Saxon but also the French Church was greatly revived by its mission-toil. What freshness of life continued in the monastic orders, as long as they kept the mission spirit, and what decay began when this came to an end ! Even the offshoots of the mediæval missions, which followed the Portuguese and Spanish discoveries in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in America, Africa, and Asia, unlike as they were to the Apostolic model, contributed not a little to the life of the Roman Church.”

“And what abundance of blessing has come to the evangelical Church from its missionary work! How the means of religious revival have been multiplied by missionary sermons, addresses, festivals, writings, hymns! Who will calculate how much real life has streamed into the Church through these channels ! How many conversions at home we owe to missions, how many have had their faith strengthened. their hearts warmed and broadened, how many have been helped in their life of prayer! What furtherance of Christian fellowship, free association, catholic largeheartedness, and healthy union has evangelical Christendom received through missions to the heathen, to say nothing of the international spirit fostered! In what an astonishing degree have missions called forth the generosity which to-day supports philanthropic work at home! Are not Home Missions the daughter of Foreign ? In short, the incoming to the Home Church from missions is greater than the outgoing to them. The Home Church itself lives by its missions. If this is so, the Church must be a missionary one in order to maintain its own preservation. Its extension is not merely an outcome, but an indispensable condition of its life."

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »