Зображення сторінки
PDF

Patiently Wait for the

JAMES. V.

Lord's Coming treasure" to no profit, instead of repenting and seek | English Version be retained, the receiving of the early ing salvation (see Note, v. 6). 4. Behold-calling atten- and latter rains is not to be understood as the object tion to their coming doom as no vain threat. labourers of his hope, but the harvest for which those rains are -lit., workomen. of you kept back-So English Version the necessary preliminary. The early rain fell at som rightly. Not as ALFORD, “crieth out from you." The ing time, about November or December: the latter ** keeping back of the hire" was, on the part or the rain, about March or April, to mature the grain for rich, virtually an act of "fraud," because the poor harvest. The latter rain that shall precede the labourers were not immediately paid. The phrase is coming spiritual harvest, will probably be another therefore not, " kept back by you," but" of yon;" the Pentecost-like effusion of the Holy Ghost. 8. coming latter implying virtual, rather than overt, fraud. St. ...draweth nigh-The Greek expresses present time and James refers to Deuteronomy.24. 14, 15, "At his day... & settled state. 1 Peter, 4. 7. "Is at hand." We are give his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, to live in a continued state of expectancy of the Lord's lest he CRY against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin coming, as an event always pigh. Nothing can more unto thee." Many sins "cry" to heaven for vengeance "stablish the heart" amidst present troubles than the which men tacitly take no account of, as unchastity realized expectation of His speedy coming. 9. Gradge and injustice. (BENGEL) Sins peculiarly offensive to not-rather, "Murmur not:" "grumble not. The God are said to "cry" to Him. The rich ought to have Greek is lit. "groan;" a half-suppressed murmur af given freely to the poor; their not doing so was sin. A impatience and harsh judgment, not uttered aloud or still greater sin was their not paying their debts. Their freely. Having exhorted them to patience in bearing greatest sin was not paying them to the poor, whose / wrongs from the wicked, he now exhorts them to a wages is their all. cries of them-a double cry: both forbearing spirit as to the offences given by brethren. that of the hire abstractly, and that of the labourers | Christians who bear the former patiently, sometimes hired. the Lord of sabaoth-Here only in the New are impatient at the latter though much less grier. Testarent. In Romans, 9. 29 it is & quotation. It is ous. lest...coudemned-The best MS. authorities red. suited to the Jewish tone of the epistle, It reminds "judged." St. James refers to Matthew, 7. 1, "Jo the rich who think the poor have no protector, that not lest ye be judged." To "murmur against one at the Lord of the whole hosts in heaven and earth is the other" is virtually to judge, and so to become liable guardian and avenger of the latter. He is identical to be judged. Judge ... before the door-Referring to with the "coming Lord" Jesus (v. 7). 5. Translate, Matthew, 24. 33. The Greek is the same in both pas"Ye have luxuriated... and wantoned." The former sages, and so ought to be translated here as there. expresses luxurious effeminacy; the latter, wantonness" doors," plural. The phrase means "is near at hand and prodigality. Their luxury was at the expense of (Genesis, 4. 7, which in the oldest interpretations (the the defrauded poor (v.4). on the earth-the same earth Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem) is explained. which has been the scene of your wantonness, shall be "thy sin is reserved unto the judgment of the soorld to the scene of the judgment coming on you: instead of come." Cf. "the everlasting doors." Psalm 84. 1. earthly delights ye shall have punishments. nourished whence He shall come forth). The Lord's coming to ... hearts-1.e., glutted your bodies like bensts to the destroy Jerusalem is primarily referred to: and ultifull extent of your heart's desire: ye live to eat, not mately, His coming again visibly to judgment. 10. eat to live, as in a day of slanghter-The oldest authori. example of suffering affliction - rather, simply, "of ties omit "as." Ye are like beasts which eat to their affliction," lit., "evil treatment." the prophets-wbo beart's content on the very day of their approaching were especially persecuted, and therefore were espe slaughter, unconscious it is near. The phrase answers | cially " blessed." 11, count them happy-Matthes, & to "the last days," 0. 3, which favours ALFORD'S 10.) which endure - The oldest authorities reed. translation there, "in," not" for." 6. Ya have con "Which have endured,"which suits the sense better demned... the just-The Greek aorist expresses," Ye are than English Version : "Those who in past days, like accustomed to condemn, &c., the just." Their condem the prophets and Job, have endured trials.* Such, pation of Christ, "the Just," is foremost in St. James' | not those who have lived in pleasure and been mind. But all the innocent blood shed, and to be wanton on the earth" (v. 6), are "happy." patience shed, is included, the Holy Spirit comprehending St. rather, “endurance," answering to "endure: the Greek James himself, called "the just." who was slain in al words similarly corresponding. Distinct from the tumult. See my Introduction. This gives a peculiar Greek word for "patience," v.10. The same word appropriateness to the expression in this verse, the onght to be translated, "endurance," ch, 1. 3. He same was the righteons (just) man," v. 16. The justice here reverts to the subject which he began with. Jou or righteousness of Jesus and His people is what pecu--This passage shows the history of him is concerning linrly provoked the ungodly great men of the world. I a real, not an imaginary person ; otherwise his co! he doth not resist you-The very patience of the Just I could not be quoted as an example at all. Though he one is abused by the wicked as an incentive to boldness showed much of impatience, yet he always returned to in violent persecution, as if they may do as they please this that he committed himself wholly to God, and st with impunity. God doth “resist the proud" (ch. 4, 6): last showed a perfect spirit of enduring submission. but Jesus as man, "as a sheep is dumb before the and have seen-(with tho eyes of your mind.) ALFORD shearers, so He opened not His mouth :" so His people translates from the old and genuine reading. "See are meek under persecution. The day will come when also," &c. The old reading is, however, capable of be God will resist (lit., set Himself in array against) llising translated as English Version, the end of the Lord foes and theirs. 7. Be patient therefore--as judgment | --the end which the Lord gave. If Job had much to is so near (v. 1, 8). ye may well afford to be patient" | "endure," remember also Job's happy "end." Hence, after the example of the unresisting Just one (v. 6). I learn, though much tried, to "endure to the end brethren-contrasted with the "rich" oppressors, v. 1-6. I that-ALFORD, &c., translates, "inasmuch as." "jor. unto the coming of the Lord-Christ, when the trial or I pitiful...of tender mercy-the former refers to the feelin your patience shall cease. husbandman waiteth for-i.e.. I the latter, to the act. His pity is shown in not layis patiently bears toils and delays through hope of the l on the patient endurer more trials than he is able to harvest at last. Its "preciousness" (cf. Psalm 126. 6. I bear: His mercy, in His giving a happy "end" to the "precious seed") will more than compensate for all trials. (BENGEL.) 12. But above all-as swearing 1 the past. Cf. the same image, Galatians, 6. 8. 9. hath I utterly alien to the Christian meek "endurance just long patience for it-"over it." in respect to it. until he recommended. swear pot - through impatience, receive until it receive.” (ALFORD.) Even if I which trials may tempt you (v. 10, 11). In contrast

621

Healing of the Sick through Prayer,

JAMES, V.

with Unction of Oil, dc. this stands the proper use of the tongue, v. 12. St. may be made to any one who can pray'(BENGEL); (3.) James here refers to Matthew, 6. 34, &c. let your yea open confession of sin before the church and the world, be yea-do not use oaths in your every day conversa in token of penitence. Not auricular confession. tion, but let a simple affirmative or denial be deemed that ye may be healed--of your bodily sicknesses. Also enough to establish your word. condemnation-lit., that, if your sickness be the punishment of sin, the judgment, piz., of "the Judge" who "standeth before latter being forgiven on intercessory prayer, "ye may the doors" (v. 9). 13. afflicted-referring to the "suf be healed" of the former. Also, that yo may be healed fering affliction" (v. 10). let him pray-not "swear" spiritually. effectual - intense and fervent, not in rash impatience. merry-joyous in mind. sing "wavering (ch. 1. 6). [BEZA. " When energised" psalms-of praise. St. Paul and Silas sang psalms even by the Spirit, as those were who performed miracles. in affliction. 14. let him call for the elders-not some (HAMMOND.) This suits the collocation of the Greek one of the elders, as Roman Catholics interpret it, to words and the sense well. A righteous man's prayer is justify their usage in extreme unction. The prayers of always beard generally, but his particular request for the elders over the sick would be much the same as the healing of another was then likely to be granted. though the whole church which they represent should when he was one possessing a special charism of the pray. (BENGEL.) anointing him with oil-the usage spirit. ALFORD translates, "Availeth much in its which Christ committed to His apostles was afterwards | working." The "righteous" is one himself careful to continued with laying on of hands, as a token of the avoid "faults," and showing his faith by works (ch. 2. highest faculty of medicine in the church, just as we 24). 17. Elias...like passions as we--therefore it canfind in 1 Corinthians, 6.2, the church's highest judicial not be said that he was so raised above us as to afford function. Now that the miraculous gift of healing has no example applicable to common mortals like our. been withdrawn for the most part, to use the sign where selves. prayed earnestly - lit., prayed with prayer: the reality is wanting would be unmeaning supersti Hebraism for prayed intensely. Cr. Luke, 22. 16, tion. Cf. other apostolic usages now discontinued right

* With desire I have desired," i.e., earnestly desired. ly, 1 Corinthians, 11. 4-16; 16. 20. "Let them use oil who ALFORD is wrong in saying, Elias' prayer that it can by their prayers obtain recovery for the sick: let might not rain" is not even hinted at in the Old those who cannot do this, abstain from using the

Testament history." In 1 Kings, 17. 1, it is plainly empty sign." (WHITAKER.) Romish extreme unction implied, "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before is administered to those whose life is despaired of, to whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these heal the soul, whereas St. James' unction was to heal years, but according to my word." His prophecy of the body. Cardinal Cajetan (Commentary) admits that the fact was according to a divine intimation given St. James cannot refer to extreme unction. Oil in the to him in answer to prayer. In jealousy for God's East, and especially a mong the Jews (see the Talmud, honour (1 Kings, 19. 10), and being of one mind with Jerusalem and Babylon), was mv.ch used as a curative God in his abhorrence of apostasy, he prayed that agent. It was also a sign of the Divine grace. Hence the national idolatry should be punished with a it was an appropriate sign in performing miraculous national judgment, drought; and on Israel's profescures, in the name of the Lord-by whom alone the sion of repentance he prayed for the removal of the miracle was performed: men were but the instruments, visitation, as is implied in i Kings, 18. 39-42; cf. Luke, 15. prayer-He does not say the oil shall save: it is 4. 25. three years, &c.-C. 1 Kings, 18. 1, "The third but the symbol. save - plainly not as Rome says, year," viz., from Elijah's going to Zarephath; the pro"save" the soul, but heal "the sick." as the words, phecy (v. 1) was probably about five or six months "the Lord shall raise him up," prove. So the same previously. 18. prayed ...and-i.e., and so. Mark the Greck is translated, "made (thee) whole,” Matthew, 9. connexion between the prayer and its accomplishment. 21, 22. and if...sins--for not all who are sick, are so her fruit-her usual and due fruit, heretofore withheld because of some special sins. Here a case is supposed on account of sin, Three and a half years is the time of one visited with sickness for special sins. have also that the two witnesses prophesy who have committed-lit., be in a state of having committed sins, power to shut and open heaven that it rain not." 19. i.e., be under the consequences of sins committed. The blessing of reclaiming an erring sinner by the they-rather, it: his having committed sins shall be mutual counsel and intercessory prayer just recom. forgiven bim. The connexion of sin and sickness is mended. do err-more lit., "be led astray." the truth implied in Isaiah, 32, 34; Matthew, 9. 2-6; John, 6. 14. -the gospel doctrine and precepts. one-lit, any; as The absolution of the sick, retained in the Church of "any" before. Every one ought to seek the salvation England, refers to the sins which the sick man con- of every one. (BENGEL.] 20. Let him (the converted! fesses (v. 16) and repents of, whereby outward scandal know--for his comfort, and the encouragement ot has been given to the church and the cause of roli others to do likewise. shall save-Future. The salvagion ; not to sins in their relation to God, the only tion of the one so converted shall be manifested Judge. 16. The oldest authorities read, “Confess. I hereafter. shall hide a multitude of sins--not his own THEREFORE," &c. Not only in the particular case of but the sins of the converted. The Greek verb in sickness, but universally confess. fanlts--your falls the middle voice requires this. Proverbs, 10. 12, and offences, in relation to one another. The word is refers to charity covering the sins of others before not the same as sins, Matthew, 6. 23. 24 : Luke, 17. 4. men: St. James to one's effecting by the conversion of illustrate the precept here. one to another-not to the another that that other's sins be covered before God. priest, ag Rome insists. The Church of England recom- vík., with Christ's atonement. He effects this by mak. mends in certain caseg. Rome compels confession in / ing the convert partaker in the Christian covenant all cases. Confession is desirable in the case of (1.) for the remission of all sins. Though this hiding of wrong done to a neighbour; (2.) when under a troubled sins was included in the previous "shall save," St. conscience we ask counsel of a godly minister or friend, James expresses it to mark in detail the greatness of as to how we may obtain God's forgiveness and strength the blessing conferred on the penitent through the to sin no more, or when we desire their intercessory converter's instrumentality, and to incite others to the prayers for us /"Pray one for another"): "Confession same sood deed.

520

THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF

PETER.
INTRODUCTION.

TTS GENUINENESS ig attested by : Peter, 3.1: on the authority of 2 Peter, see the Introduction. Also by Polyear 1 din Eusebius, 4. 14), who, in writing to the Philippians, quotes many passages: in ch.2 he quotes 1 Peter, 1. 13, 91, and 2. 9; in ch.5., 1 Peter, 2, 11. Eusebius says of Papias, Ecclesiastical History, 3. 39, that he, too, quotes Peter's first epistle Irenaeus (Haereses 4. 9. 9) expressly mentions it; and in 4. 16. 5, 1 Peter, $. 16. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 1.1, p. 544 quotes 1 Peter, 2. 11, 12, 15, 16; and p. 562, 1 Peter, 1.21, 22; and 4, p. 584, 1 Peter, 3. 14-17; and p. 535, 1 Peter, 13-14 Origen, in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6. 25, mentions this epistle; in Homúly 7, on Joshua, vol. ii., P. 63, he mentions both epistles; and Comment, on Psalm 3., and on John, he mentions 1 Peter, 3. 18-21. Tertullian, Scorp., c. 12, quotes er pressly 1 Peter, 2. 20, 21; and ch, 14., 1 Peter, 2. 13. 17. Eusebius states it as the opinion of those before him, that this was among the universally acknowledged epistles. The Peachito Syriac Version contains it. The fragment of the canon called Muratori's, omits it. Excepting this and the Paulician heretics who rejected it, all ancient testimony is on its side. The internal evidence is equally strong. The author calls himself the apostle Peter, ch, 1. 1, and "a witness of Christ's suf ferings," and an "elder," ch. 6. 1. The energy of the style harmonizes with the warmth of Peter's character; and, us Erasmus esys, this epistle is full of apostolical diguity and authority, and is worthy of the leader a

PETER'S PERSONAL HISTORY.-Simon or Simeon, was a native of Bethsaida on the sea of Galilee, son of Jansa or John. With his father and his brother Andrew, he carried on trade as a fisherman at Capernaum, his subsequent place of abode. He was a married man, and tradition represents his wife's name as Concordia or Perpetra. Clemens Aler. says that she suffered martyrdom, her husband encouraging her to be faithful unto denth, "Remember, dear, our Lord." His wife's mother was restored from a fever by Christ. He was brought to Jesus by his brother Andrew, who had been s disciple of John the Baptist, but was pointed to the Saviour as "the Lamb of God" by his master. Jesus, on first bebelding him, gave him the name by which chiefly he is known, indicative of his subsequent character and work in the charch,

Peter" (Greek) or" Cephas" (Aramaic), a stone. He did not join our Lord finally until a subsequent period. The leading incidents in his apostolio life are well known: his walking on the troubled waters to meet Jesus, but sinking through doubting : bis bold and clear acknowledgment of the Divine person and office of Jesus, notwithstanding the difficulties in the way of such belief, whence he was then also designated as the stone, or rock; but his rebuke of his Lord when annouse ing what was 80 un palatable to carnal prejudices, Christ's coming passion and death; his passing from one extreme to the opposite, in reference to Christ's offer to wash his feet; his self-confident assertion that he would never forsake his Lord, whatever others might do, followed by his base denial of Christ thrice with curses; his deep penitence; Christ's full for. giveness and prophecy of his faithfulness unto death, after he had received from him a profession of "love" as often To peated as his previous denial. These incidents illustrate his character as zealous, pious, and ardently attached to the Lord, but at the same time impulsive in feeling, rather than calmly and continuously stedfast. Prompt in action, and ready to arow his convictions boldly, he was hasty in judgment, precipitate, and too self-confident in the assertion of his own sted. fastness ; the result was that, though he abounded in animal courage, his inoral courage was too easily overcome by fear man's opinion. A wonderful change was wrought in him by his restoration after his fall, through the gree of his risen Lord. His zeal and ardour became sanctified, being chastened by a spirit of unaffected humility. His love to the Lord was, if possible, increased, whilst his mode of manifesting it now was in doing and suffering for His name, rather than in loud protestations. Thus, when imprisoned and tried before the Sanhedrim, for preaching Christ, be boldly avowed us determination to continue to do so. He is well called " the mouth of the apostles." His faithfulness led to his sp. prehension by Herod Agrippa, with a view to his execution, from which, however, he was delivered by the angel of the Lord.

After the ascension he took the lead in the church ; and on the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he exercised the designed power of "the keys" of Christ's kingdom, by opening the door of the church, in preaching, for the ad mission of thousands of Israelites; and still more so in opening (in obedience to a special revelation) an entrance to the "devout" (ie, Jewish proselyte from heathendom) Gentile, Cornelius : the forerunner of the harvest gathered in from idolatrous Gentiles at Antioch. This explains in what sense Christ used as to him the words," Upon this rock I will build my church, vin, on his preaching of Christ, the true "Rook," by connexion with whom only he was giren the designation: a title shared in common on the same grounds by the rest of the apostles, as the first founders of the cbarch on Christ, the chief corner stone." A name is often given in Hebrew, not that the person is actually the thing itself, but has some special relation to it, as Elijah means Mighty Jehovah: so Simon is called Peter "the rock," not that he is sare by connexion with Jesus, the only true Rock (Isaiah, 28. 16; 1 Corinthians, 8. 11.) As subsequently he identifed him self with “Satan," and is therefore called so, in the same way, by his clear confession of Christ, the Rock, he became identied with film, and is accordingly so called. It is certain that there is no instance on record of Peter's having ever claimed or exercised supremacy; on the contrary, he is represented as sent by the apostles at Jerusalem to confirm the Samaritans baptized by Philip the deacon : again at tbe council of Jerusalem, not he, but James the president, or leading bishop in the church of that city, pronounced the authoritative decision : Acts, 15. 19. "My sentence is," &c A kind of primas, doubtless (though certainly not supremacy), was given him on the ground of his age, and prominent eartiestness, and boldness in taking the lead on many important occasions. Hence he is called “first in enumerating the apostles. He too, arise the phrases, " Peter and the eleven," * Peter and the rest of the apostles;" and Paul, in going up to Jerusalem alte his conversion, went to see Peter in particular.

Once only he again betrayed the same spirit of vacillation through fear of man's reproach, which had caused his dental of his Lord. Though at the Jerusalem council he advocated the exemption of Gentile converts from the ceremoniu observances of the law, yet he, after having associated in closest intercourse with the Gentiles at Antioch, withdrew from them, through dread of the prejudices of his Jewish brethren who came from James, and timidly dissembled his conviction of the religious equality of Jew and Gentile; for this, Paul openly withstood and rebuked him: a plain refutation of his alleged supremacy and infallibility (except where specially inspired, as in writing his epistles). In all other cases he showed himself to be, indeed, as Paul calls him, "a pillar.. Subsequently we find him in * Babylon," whence be wrote this first epistle to the Israelite believers of the dispersion, and the Gentile Christians united in Christ, in Pontus, Galatis, Cod padocia, Asia, and Bithynia

Introduction.

1 PETER.

Introduction.

Jerome, de Seriptorum Ecclesiasticorum 1., states that " Peter, after having been bishop of Antioch, and after having prerched to the believers of the circumcision in Pontas, &c. (plainly inferred from ch, 1. 1], in the second year of Claudius, went to Rome to retute Simon Magus, and for twenty-five years there held the episcopal chair, down to the last year of Nero, Le, the 14th, by whom he was crucified with his head downwards, declaring himself unworthy to be crucified as his Lord, and was buried in the Vatican, near the triumphal way." Eusebius, Chron. Ann. 3, also asserts his episoopate at Antioch: his assertion that Peter founded that church, contradicts Acts. 11. 19-22. His journey to Rome to oppose Simon Magus, arose from Justin's story of the statue found at Rome (really the statue of the Sabine god, Semo Sancus, or Hercules, mistaken as if Simon Magus were worshipped by that name, "Simoni Deo Sancto:" found in the Tiber in 1574, or on an Island in the Tiber in 1662), combined with the account, Aots, 8. 9-24. The twenty-five years' bishopric is chronologically impossible, as it would make Peter, at the interview with Paul at Antioch, to have been then for some years bishop of Rome! His crucifixion is certain from Christ's prophecy, John, 21, 18, 19. Dionysius of Corinth (in Eusebius, Ecclesiasti. eal History, 9. 25) asserted in an epistle to the Romans, that Paul and Peter planted both the Roman and Corinthian churches, and endured martyrdom in Italy at the same time. So Tertullian, contra Marcion, 4. 5, and prescriptio Hæreticorum, c. 36. 38. Also Caius, the Presbyter of Rome, in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2. 25, asserts that some memorials of their martyrdom were to be seen at Rume on the road to Ostia. So Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2. 95, and Demonstratio Evangelicce, 3. 116. So Lactantius de mortibus Persecutorum, 0.2 Many of the details are palpably false: whether the whole be so or not is dubious, considering the tendency to concentrate at Rome events of interest. (Alford.) What is certain is, that Peter was not there before the writing of the epistle to the Romans (58 A.D.), otherwise he must have been mentioned in it; nor during Paul's first imprisonment at Rome, otherwise be would have been mentioned in some ore of Paul's many other epistles written from Rome; nor daring Paul's second imprisonment, at least when be was writing the second epistle to Timotby, just before his martyrdom. He may have gone to Rome after Paul's death, and, as common tradition represents, been imprisoned in the Mamertine dungeon, and crucified on the Janiculum, on the eminence of St. Pietro in Montorio, and his remains deposited under the great alter in the centre of the famous basilica of St. Peter. Ambrose, Ep. 33, Ed. Paris, 1586, p. 1022, relates that St. Peter, not long before his death, being overcome by the solicitations of his fellow Christians to save himself, was flying from Rome when he was met by our Lord, and on asking, "Lord, whither goest thou ?" received the answer, “I go to be erucified a fresh." On this he returned and joyfully went to martyr. dom. The church called "Domine quo vadis," on the Appian way, commemorates the legend. It is not unlikely that the whole tradition is built on the connexion which existed between Paul and Peter. As Paul, "the apostle of the uncir. eumcision," wrote epistles to Galatir, Ephesus, and Colosse, and to Philemon at Cologse, making the Gentile Christians the persons prominently addressed, and the Jewish Chritians subordinately so; so, vice versa, Peter," the apostle of the cir. cumcision," addressed the same churches, the Jewish Christians in them primarily, and the Gentile Christians also secondarily.

TO WHOM HE ADDRESSES THIS EPISTLE. - The heading, ch. 1. 1, "to the elect strangers (spiritually pilgrims) of the dispersion" (Greek), clearly marks the Christians of the Jewish dispersion as prominently addressed, but still including also Gentile Christians as grafted into the Christian Jewish stock by adoption and faith, and so being part of the true [xrael; ch. 1. 14; 2. 9, 10; 3. 6; and 4, 3, clearly prove this. Thus he, the apostle of the circumcision, sought to unite in one Christ Jew and Gentile, promoting thereby the same work and doctrine as Paul the apostle of the uncircumcision. The provinces are named by Peter in the heading in the order proceeding from North East to South and West. Pontus was the country of the Christian Jew Aquila. To Gnlatia Paul paid two visits, founding and confirming churches, Crescens, his companion, went there about the time of Paul's last imprisonment, just before his martyrdom. Ancyra was subsequently its ecclesiastical metropolis. Men of Cappadocia, as well as of " Pontus" and "Asia," were among the hearers of Peter's effective sermon on the Pentecost whereon the Spirit descended on the church; these probably brought home to their native land the first tidings of the gospel, Proconsular "Asia" included Mysia, Lydia, Caria, Phrygia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia In Lycaonia were the churches of Ioopium, founded by Paul and Barnabas; of Lystra, Timothy's birthplace, where Paul was stoned at the instigation of the Jews; and of Derbe, the birth-place of Gaius, or Caius. In Pisidia vas Antioch, where Paul was the instrument of converting many, but was driven out by the Jews. In Carin was Miletus, containing doubtless a Christian church. In Phrygia Paul preached both times when visiting Galatia in its neighbourhood, and in it were the churches of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colosse, of which last church Philemon and Onesimus were Inembers, and Arcbippus and Epaphras leaders. In Lydia was the Philadelphian church favourably noticed, Revelation. 27, &c; that of Sardis the capital and of Thyatira, and of Ephesus, founded by Paul, and a scene of the labours of Aquila and Priscilla and Apollos, and subsequently of more than two whole years' labour of Paul again, and subsequently censured for falling from its first love in Revelation, 2 4. Smyrna of Ionia was in the same quarter, and as one of the seven churches receives unqualified praise. In Mysia was Pergamos. Troas, too, is known as the scene of Paul's preaching and ruising Eutychus to life, and of his subsequently staying for a time with Carpus. Of "Bithynia," no church is expressly named in Scripture elsewhere. When Paul at an earlier period "assayed to go into Bithynia," the Spirit suffered him not But afterwards we infer from ch, 1, 1, the Spirit did impart the gospel to that country, possibly by Peter's ministry. In government, these several churches, it appears from this epistle (ch. 5. 1, 2,"feed," &c.), were much in the same state as when Paul addressed the Ephesian "elders" at Miletas (Acts, 2017, 28, “feed") in very similar language: elders or pres. byter-bishops ruled, whilst the apostle exercised the general superintendence. They were exposed to persecutions, though Opparently not systematic, but rather annoyances and reproach arising from their not joining their heatben neighbours in riotous living, into which however some of them were in danger of falling. The evils which existed among themselves, pad which are therefore reproved, were ambition and lucre-seeking on the part of the presbyters (ch. 5. 2, 3), evil houghts and words among the members in general, and a want of sympathy and generosity towards one another.

HIS OBJECT seems to be, by the prospect of their heavenly portion, and by Christ's example, to afford consolation to the persecuted, and prepare them for a greater approaching ordeal, and to exhort all, husbands, wives, servants, pres. bytere, and people, to a due discharge of relative duties, so as to give no handle to the enemy to reproach Christianity, bat rather to win them to it, and so to establish them in "the true grace of God wherein they stand" (ch. 5. 12). Sec. bovever, note there, on the oldest reading. Alford rightly argues, that "exhorting and testifying there, refer to Peter's

teortations throughout the epistle grounded on testimony which he bears to the pospel truth already well known to his aders by the teaching of Paul in those churches. They were already introduced into (so the Greek, ch. 5. 12) this grace of

od as their safe standing ground. Cf. 1 Corinthians, 15. 1, "I declare unto you the gospel wherein ye stand." Therefore he Toes not, in this epistle, set forth a complete statement of this gospel doctrine of grace but falls back on it as already OW. Cl. ch. 1.8, 18, "Ye know;" 3. 15; 9 Peter, 3. 1. Not that Peter servilely copies the style and mode of teaching

Introduction.

1 PETER

Introduction

of Paul, but as an independent witness in his own style, attests the same truths. We may divide the epistle into (L) The inscription (ch. 1. 1, 9. (II) The stirring up of a pare feeling in believers as born again of God. By the motive of hope to which God has regenernted us (r. 3-12); bringing forth the fruit of faith, considering the costis price paid for our redemption from sin (9, 14-21). Being purified by the Spirit unto love of the brethren as begotten of God's eternal word, as spiritual priest-kings, to whom alone Christ is precions (o. 22,-ch, 2 10): after Christ's example in suffering, maintaining a good conversation in every relation (. 10,-ch. & 14), and a good profession of faith as baring in view Christ's once offered sacrifice, and His future coming to judgment (v. 18,-ch. 4 11); and exhibiting patience is adversity, as looking for future glorification with Christ, (1.) in general as Christians, , 12-19; ) cach in his own sphere, eh, 6. 1-11. "The title Beloved' marks the separation of the second part from the first, ch. 2 11; and of the third part from the second," eh. 4. 12. (Bengol.) (III) The conclusion.

TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING.-It was plainly before the open and systematic persecution of the later years of Nero had begun. That this epistle was written after Paul's epistles, even those written during his imprisonment at Rome ending an A.D. 03, appears from the acquaintance which Peter in this epistle shows he has with them. CI. ch. 2. 13, with 1 Timothy, 2. 2-4; 2. 18, with Ephesians, 6. 5; 1.2, with Ephesians, 1. 4-7; 1. 3, with Ephesians, 1, $; 1. 14, with Romans, 12. 9: 2 6-10, with Romans, 9. 32, 33; 2. 13, with Romans, 13. 14; 2. 16, with Galatians, 3. 13 ; 2. 18, with Ephesians, 6. 5; 3. 1, with Ephesians, 8. 22; 3. 9, with Romans, 12. 17; 4. 9, with Philippians, 2 14, and Romaa, 12 13, and Hebrews, 13. 2; 4, 10, with Romans, 12 6-8; 5. 1, with Romans, 8. 18; 5. 5. with Ephesinds, 5. 91; Philippians, 2. 3,5-8; 5. 8, with 1 Thessalonians, 5. 6; 5. 14, with 1 Corinthians, 16. 90. Moreover, in ch.5. 13. Mark is mentioned as with Peter in Babylon This must have been after Colossians, 4. 10 (A.D. 61-63). when Mark was with Paul at Rome, bat intending to go to Asia Minor. Again, in 9 Timothy, 4. 11 (AD. 67 or €9), Mark was in or near Ephesus, in Asia Minor, and Timothy is told to bring him to Rome. So that it is likely it was after this, via, after Paul's martyrdom that Mark joined Peter, and consequently, that this epistle was written. It is not likely that Peter would have intrencbed og Paul's field of labour, the aburches of Asia Minor, during Paul's lifetime. The death of the apostle of the uncircum" cision, and the consequent need of some one to follow up his teachings, probably gave occasion to the testimony given by Peter to the same churches, collectively addressed, in behalf of the same truth. The relation in which the Panline Get tile churches stood towards the apostles at Jerusalem favours this view. Even the Gentile Christians would naturally look to the spiritual fathers of the church at Jerusalem, the centre whence the gospel had emanated to them, for counsel wherewith to meet the pretensions of Judaizing Christians and hereties; and Peter, always prominent among the Apostles in Jerusalem, would even when elsewhere feel a deep interest in them, especially when they were by death bereft of Paul's guidance. Birka, Hora Evangelica, suggests that false teachers may have appealed from Paul's doctrine to that of James and Peter, Peter then would naturally write to confirm the doctrines of grace and tacitly show there was no difference between his teaching and Paul's. Birks prefers dating the epistle A.D, 58, after Paul's second visit to Galatia, when Silvanus was with him, and so could not have been with Peter (A.D. 56), and before his imprisonment at Rome, when Mark was with him, and so could not have been with Peter (A.D, 69); perhaps when Paul was detained at Casares, and so debarred from personal intercourse with those churches, I prefer the view previously stated. This sets aside the tradition tbnt Paul and Peter suffered martyrdom together at Rome. Origen and Eusebius' statement that Peter visited the churches of Asia in person seems very probable.

The PLACE of writing was doubtless Babylon on the Euphrates (ch. 5. 13). It is most improbable that in the midle of writing matter-of-fact communications and salutations in a remarkably plain epistle, the symbolical language of prophecy (vie., "Babylon" for Rome) should be used. Josephus, Antiquities 15., 2. 9; . 1, states that there was a great multitude of Jews in the Chaldean Babylon; it is therefore likely that "the apostle of the circumcision would at some time or other visit them. Some have maintained that the Babylon meant was in Egypt, for that Mark preached in and arous Alexandria after Peter's death, and therefore it is likely he did so along with that apostle in the same region prenta ously. But no mention elsewhere in Seripture is made of this Egyptian Babylon, but only of the Chaldean oue dad though towards the close of Caligaln's reign a persecution drove the Jews thence to Seleucia, a still further thinned their numbers, yet this does not preclude their return and multiplication during the twenty year that elapsed between the plague and the writing of the epistle. Moreover, the order in which the countries are enumerata from North East to South and West, is such as would be adopted by one writing from the Oriental Babylon on the Euphrates, not from Egypt or Rome. Indeed, Cosmas Indioopleustes in the sixth oentury, understood the Babylon peset to be outside the Roman empire. Silvanus, Paul's companion, became subsequently Peter's, and was the carrier of this! epistle.

STYLE.-Fervour and practical truth, rather than logical reasoning, are the characteristies of this epistle as they were of its energetic warm-hearted writer. His familiarity with Paul's epistles shown in the language accords with it we should expect from the fact of Paul's having " eommunicated the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles (as revealed specially to him) to Peter among others of reputation." Individualities ocour, such as baptisma, stb answer of a good conscience toward God" (ch. 3. 21); "consciousness of God" (Greek) ch. 2. 19, as a motire for enduring se ferings; "living hope" (ch, 1.3); "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away" (oh. 1. 4); "kisna charity' (ch. 6. 14). Christ is viewed less in relation to His past sufferings than as at present exalted and hereafter to be manifested in all His majesty. Glory and hope are prominent features in this epistle (ch. 1. 8), so much so that Wes entities him " the apostle of hope." The realizntion of future bliss as near causes him to regard believers as but "stratigas and "sojourners' here. Obastened fervour, deep humility, and ardent love appear, just as we should expect from one ? had been 80 graciously restored after his grievous fall. "Being converted" be truly does strengthen his breths. His fervour shows itself in often repeating the same thought in similar words.

In some passages he shows familiarity with the epistle of James, the apostle of especial weight with the Jenis legalizing party, whose inspiration he thus confirms (of. ch. 1. 6, 7, with James, 1. 9, 3; 1. 94, with James. 1. 18:31 with James, 1.91; 4. 8, with James, 5. 20, both quoting Proverbs, 10. 12; . 5, with James, 4. 6, both quoting Proverbs, In most of these cases Old Testament quotations are the common ground of both "Strong susceptibility to our impressions, liveliness of feeling, dexterity in handling subjects, dispose natures like that of Peter to repeat afresh thoughts of others." [Steiger.)

The diction of this epistle and of his speeches in Acts is very similar : an undesigned coincidence, and go a zar genuineness (cf. ob. 2. 7, with Acts, 4. 11; 1. 12, with Acts, 5.32; 2. 24, with Acts, 5.30; 10.39; 6. 1, with Aets, S 1. 10, with Acts, 3. 18; 10.43; 1. 21, with Actr, 2. 15; 10. 40; 4.5, with Acts, 10. 43; 2 94, with Acts, 2. 19, 261

There is, too, a recurrence to the language of the Lori at the last interview after His resurrection, recorded in John

« НазадПродовжити »