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The Life Of St Paul by James Stalker

HINTS TO TEACHERS AND QUESTIONS FOR PUPILS

Teacher's Apparatus. -- English theology has no juster cause for pride than the books it has produced on the Life of Paul. Perhaps there is no other subject in which it has so outdistanced all rivals. Conybeare and Howson's Life and Epistles of St. Paul will probably always keep the foremost place; in many respects it is nearly perfect; and a teacher who has mastered it will be sufficiently equipped for his work and require no other help. The works of Lewin and Farrar are written on the same lines; the former is rich in maps of countries and plans of towns; and the strong point of the latter is the analysis of Paul's writings -- the exposition of the mind of Paul. Sir William Ramsay has made the whole subject peculiarly his own by the enthusiasm and labors of a lifetime. The German books are not nearly so valuable. Hausrath's The Apostle Paul is a brilliant performance, but it is as weak in handling the deeper things as it is strong in coloring up the external and picturesque features of the subject. Baur's work is an amazingly clever tour de force, but it is not so much a well-proportioned picture of the apostle as a prolonged paradox thrown down as a challenge to the learned. The latest large German work, Clemen's Paulus, proceeds on the principle that the miracle is untrue, and the effect may be sufficiently seen in the account it gives of the first visit to Philippi. In Weinal's Paulus, pp.312, 313, there appears a forbidding picture of the effects produced by the teaching of the subject in the author's country; in our country, on the contrary, it has long been among the most attractive subjects for both teachers and students. Adolphe Monod's Saint Paul, a series of five discourses, is an inquiry into the secret of the apostle's life, written with deep sympathy and glowing eloquence; and Renan's work, with the same title, gives, with unrivaled brilliance, a picture of the world in which the apostle lived, if not of the apostle himself. There are books on the subject which do honor to American scholarship from the pens of Cone, Gilbert, Bacon and A. T. Robertson, the last mentioned with a valuable bibliography. But the best help is to be found in the original sources themselves -- the cameolike pictures of Luke and the self-revelations of Paul's Epistles. The latter especially, read in the fresh translation of Conybeare, will show the apostle to any one who has eyes to see. Johnstone's wall-map of Paul's journey is indispensable in the class-room.

CHAPTER I

Paragraph 2. Subject of class essay -- Paul and the other Apostles: Points of Connection and Contrast.

5. Subject of class essay -- Relation of Christianity to Learning and Intellectual Gifts: its Use of them and its Independence of them.

9. Quote passages of Scripture in which Paul's destination to be the missionary of the Gentiles is expressed.

CHAPTER II

On the external features of the period embraced in this chapter compare the corresponding pages of Hausrath; on the internal features see Principal Rainy's lecture on Paul in The Evangelical Succession Lectures, vol. i.

14. On the chronology of Paul's life see the notes at the end of Conybeare and Howson, and Farrar, ii.623.

The principal dates may be given at this stage from Conybeare and Howson, for reference throughout:

A.D.
36. Conversion.
38. Flight to Tarsus.
44. Brought to Antioch by Barnabas.
48. First Missionary Journey.
50. Council at Jerusalem.
51-54. Second Missionary Journey. 1 and 2 Thessalonians written at Corinth.
54-58. Third Missionary Journey.
57. 1 Corinthians written at Ephesus; 2 Corinthians, in Macedonia; Galatians, at Corinth.
58. Romans written at Corinth. Arrest at Jerusalem.59. In prison at Caesarea.
60. Voyage to Rome.
62. Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, written at Rome.
63. Release from prison.
67. 1 Timothy and Titus written.
68. In prison again at Rome. 2 Timothy. Death.

With these may be compared some of Ramsay's dates -- the conversion, 33; First Missionary Journey, 47-49; Second, 50-53; Third, 53-57; Voyage to Rome, 59, 60; Trial and Acquittal, 61; Second Trial, 67.

Whereas Conybeare and Howson consider Galatians to have been written, in close conjunction with Romans, at Corinth during the Fourth Missionary Journey, Ramsay believes it to have been written at Antioch before this journey commenced; and, whereas the older authorities suppose it to be addressed to Galatians evangelized by Paul during the Second Missionary Journey, though no details of such a conquest are found in Acts, Ramsay holds the recipients of the Epistle to have been the churches in the interior of Asia Minor evangelized during the First Missionary Journey, the regions of Phrygia and Lycaonia in which these were situated forming at that time part of the Province of Galatia, the boundaries of which had been extended. This is the South Galatian theory, the fullest statement and defence of which will be found in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, vol. v.

15. The goat's-hair cloth was called |cilicium,| from the name of the province.

16. Dean Howson's Metaphors of St. Paul. Also Hausrath, p.15.

18. Compare the long lists of sins frequent in the Epistle.

23. Subject for class essay: Paul's First Sight of Jerusalem.

27. A startling picture of the state of society in Jerusalem might be constructed from the materials supplied in Matt. xxiii.

28. Detailed comparison of the experience of Paul with that of Luther: their early religious ideas; the state of religion around them; their failure to find peace and their sufferings of conscience; their discovery of the righteousness of God.

On the religious associations of Paul's early life see the first 100 pages of Reuss' Christian Theology in the Apostolic Age.

31. On the history of Christianity between the death of Christ and the conversion of St. Paul see Dykes' From Jerusalem to Antioch.

34. The question whether Paul was married. His views on the place of woman.

35. Perhaps Acts xxvi.11 may not imply that any of the Christians yielded to his endeavors to make them blaspheme.

15. What was the Latin name for a town enjoying the political privileges possessed by Tarsus?

16. What are Paul's principal metaphors?

17. Where does he make this boast?

19. What was the Latin name for the Roman citizenship, and what privileges did it include? On what occasions is Paul recorded to have used it? On what occasions might he have been expected to use it, when he omitted to do so? What reasons may be given for the omission?

20. Name friends of Paul who were engaged in the same trade as he.

21. Give Paul's quotations from the Greek poets. Do you know the authors he quoted from? Explain Septuagint and Diaspora.

22. Where does Paul refer to the sophists and rhetoricians?

26. Make a collection of Paul's quotations from the Old Testament, showing whence each of them was taken.

28. What does Paul mean by the Law?

32. Trace out the points of contact between the language and views of Stephen's speech and those of Paul. Explain --

|Si Stephanus non orasset,
Ecclesia Paulum non haberet.|

34. Where is it said that Paul voted in the Sanhedrim?

45. Collect Paul's references to the persecution and bring out how severe it was.

CHAPTER III

On Paul's mental processes before and at the time of his conversion see Principal Rainy's lecture, already quoted.

The conversion of Paul is one of the strong apologetic positions of Christianity. See this worked out in Lyttelton's Conversion of St. Paul. But it might be worked out afresh on more modern lines.

40. Principal Rainy, in the lecture above referred to, says that he sees no evidence of such a conflict as this in Paul's mind; but what, then, is the meaning of |It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks|?

41. The general tenor of the earliest Christian apologetic, as it is to be found in the speeches of the Acts of the Apostles.

44. Nothing could be more alien to the spirit of the New Testament than to turn this round the other way, and, assuming that what Paul saw was only a vision, argue that the other appearances of Christ, because they are put on the same level, may have been only visions too. This is a mere stroke of dialectical cleverness, which shows no regard to the obvious intention of the writers.

There are three accounts of the conversion of Paul in the Acts. What is the significance of this reduplication in so small a book? Enumerate the differences between these accounts, and explain them.

38. Prove that the first Christians called Christianity THE WAY, and explain the signification of this name.

CHAPTER IV

On the subject of this chapter see the works on Pauline Theology by Pfleiderer, Bruce, Du Bose, Titius and Stevens, also the relevant portions of any of the Handbooks of New Testament Theology -- Weiss, Reuss, Schmid, van Oosterzee, Beyschlag, Holtzmann, and Stevens. Weiss' exposition is among the most solid and trustworthy. He divides Paulinism into four sections: --

I. THE EARLIEST GOSPEL OF PAUL DURING THE HEATHEN MISSION (gathered from Thessalonians). One chapter -- the Gospel as the Way of Deliverance from Judgment.

II. THE DOCTRINAL SYSTEM OF THE FOUR GREAT DOCTRINAL AND CONTROVERSIAL EPISTLES (Corinthians, Romans, Galatians). Ch. i. Universal Sinfulness of Man; ch. ii. Heathenism and Judaism; ch. iii. Prophecy and Fulfilment; ch. iv. Christology; ch. v. Redemption and Justification; ch. vi. The New Life; ch. vii. The Doctrine of Predestination; ch. viii. The Doctrine of the Church; ch. ix. The Last Things.

III. THE DEVELOPMENT OP THE DOCTRINE IN THE EPISTLES WRITTEN IN PRISON (Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, Philemon). Ch. i. The Pauline Foundations; ch. ii. Further Development of Doctrine.

IV. THE TEACHING OF THE PASTORAL EPISTLES. One chapter -- Christianity as Doctrine.

51. Subject for class essay. The Sources of St. Paul's Theology.

52. Luther in the Wartburg.

54-65. As these paragraphs are nothing but a paraphrase of Rom. i.-viii., pupils ought to be asked to compare with them the corresponding paragraphs of the Epistle.

56. Compare Tholuck, The Moral Character of Heathendom.

65. On Paul's Psychology see the monograph of Simon and the Handbooks of Biblical Psychology by Delitzsch and Beck: also Heard, The Tripartite Nature of Man, Laidlaw, The Bible Doctrine of Man, and Dickson, St. Paul's Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit.

67. Compare Somerville, St. Paul's Conception of Christ, and Knowling, The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ.

51. Where does Paul mention his journey to Arabia?

56. What is the connection between moral and intellectual degeneracy?

62. Where does Paul speak of the Gospel as a |mystery,| and what does he mean by this word?

65. Does Paul divide human nature into two or into three sections? Do you know the theological names for these alternatives? Does Paul regard the unregenerate man as possessing the part of human nature which he calls |spirit|?

67. Enumerate the incidents of Christ's earthly life referred to by Paul.

CHAPTER V

On this subject see the first two chapters of Conybeare and Howson; New Testament Times of Hausrath or Schuerer; Fairweather, From the Exile to the Advent, Moss, From Malachi to Matthew.

72. Subject of class essay: The Origin and Significance of the name |Christian.|

72. By what other names were the Christians called in New Testament times, among themselves or among their enemies?

78. What did the Greeks, the Romans, and the Jews severally contribute to Christianity?

CHAPTER VI

The aim of this Handbook, as of The Life of Jesus Christ in the same series, being to show at a single glance the general course of the life and the principal objects it touched, a good many details have been omitted. This is especially the case in this chapter and in chapter x. The omissions cause those great features to stand out more prominently which details are apt to obscure. In this chapter an endeavor has been made to show in this way what were the different regions into which the apostle traveled, and what the peculiarities and the extent of the work he did in each. But in an extended Bible Class course the lessons will naturally go more into detail, and perhaps the incidents which took place in each town may generally form a lesson. Here, therefore, and at the beginning of chap. x., a few hints may be given of the viewpoints for the lessons, in so far as these are not already supplied in the text.

Acts xiii.1-12. First Footsteps of Christian Missions. | | 14-52. Antioch. Paul's Missionary Method. | xiv.1-6. Iconium. Among the Jews.
| | 6-20. Lystra. Among the Heathens.
| | 21-28. Paul as a Pastor.
| xv. Paul as an Ecclesiastic.
Acts xvi.1-6. The New Companion.
| | 6-10. Opening up Virgin Soil.
| | 12-40. Philippi. Transfiguration and Disfiguration of Humanity.
| xvii.1-9. Thessalonica. An Honorable Reproach. | | 10-14. Beroea. Rare Freedom from Prejudice. | | 15-34. Athens. The Gospel and Intellectual Curiosity.
| xviii.1-3. Corinth. Paul's earthly Home.
| | 4-17. The Missionary's Discouragements
and Encouragements.
| | 23-28. A polished Shaft in God's Quiver.
| xix. Ephesus. See the text. Also, Conflict of Christianity with Vested Interests and
Mob Violence.

79. Howson's Companions of St. Paul.

81. A minute inspection of Acts xiii.9 will confirm the view here given of the change of name, though it is difficult to get rid of the idea that the conversion of the governor, who bore the same name, had something to do with it.

84. On the worship of the synagogue see Farrar's Life of Christ, i.220.

89. On the Council of Jerusalem, which took place between the first and second journeys, see ch. ix.

93. What is here said of the plan of the Acts explains still more strikingly the meagerness of the record of the third journey.

97. Beroea was to the south of the Via Egnatia.

99. Subject of class essay: The Influence of Christianity on the Lot of Woman.

103. Subject of class essay: Paul at Athens.

104. Subject of class essay: Paul and Socrates.

113. A strong argument against the mythical theory of the miracles of our Lord may be constructed from the paucity of the miracles attributed to Paul. If that age naturally wove miraculous legends round great names, why did it not encircle Paul with a continuous web of miracle? and why does the New Testament admit that the Baptist worked no miracle?

114. See Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches.

79. Give a list of Paul's companions and friends mentioned in the New Testament.

84. What were the charges generally brought against him before the authorities?

91. Where in his writings does he mention Barnabas and Mark?

93. Give the places in Acts where the items of this catalogue are recorded.

94. Mention other classical associations of this region.

98. What two kings of Macedonia are famous in history?

102. Expand these allusions to Greek history.

103. Give a number of the names associated with the golden age of Athens and mention what they were famous for.

108. Find out all the visions mentioned in Paul's life, and prove that they were given him at the crises of his history.

110. Distinguish our Asia and Asia Minor from the Asia of the New Testament.

CHAPTER VII

In the chronological table, p.138, the dates of the Epistles have already been given and the points of the history indicated where they come in. It is a pity the Epistles are not arranged in chronological order in our Bibles. Their characteristics may be mentioned:

1 and 2 Thessalonians. Simple beginnings. Attitude to Christ's second coming.
1 Corinthians. Picture of an apostolic church.
2 Corinthians. Paul's portrait of himself.
Galatians. Vehement polemic against Judaizers.
Romans. Paul's gospel.
Philemon. Example of Christian courtesy.
Colossians and Ephesians. Paul's later gospel. Philippians. Picture of Roman imprisonment.
1 Timothy and Titus. Form of the church.
2 Timothy. The last scenes.

Ramsay places Galatians before 1 and 2 Corinthians; compare p.139 above.

116. Compare Shaw, The Pauline Epistles.

118. On Paul's style see Farrar's Excursus at the close of vol. i. The comparison of it to that of Thucydides is more dignified than that of the text, but less true.

119. Inspiration did not interfere with natural characteristics of style. It made the writer not less but more himself, while of course it imparted to the products of his pen a divine value and authority.

120-127. Howson's Character of St. Paul; Speer, The Man Paul; Hausrath, 45-57; Baur's remarks (ii.294 ff.) on his intellectual character are very good. But the principal sources are 2 Corinthians and Acts xx.

122. Farrar's treatment of Paul's bodily infirmities is a serious blot on his book; for these are obtruded with a frequency and exaggeration which produce an impression quite different from that made by the references to them in Scripture. This is still truer of Baring-Gould's Study of St. Paul. For a treatment of the same subject, realistic, but full of sympathy and delicacy, see Monod. Ramsay is of opinion that the |thorn in the flesh| was chronic malarial fever.

122 ff. Illustrate these paragraphs fully from Scripture.

128. Compare Paul with Livingstone and other missionaries.

CHAPTER VIII

On this subject compare Neander's Planting of Christianity, Book ii., ch.7, and Schaff's Church History; also Bannerman's Church of Christ. This chapter is only a piecing together of the information scattered through 1 Corinthians. It would be well to get pupils to seek out the passages of the Epistle which correspond to the different paragraphs. A picture of a Pauline church of a later date might be compiled in the same way from the Pastoral Epistles.

136. The doctrine of the Holy Spirit was revealed |at sundry times and in divers manners,| and the complete doctrine is to be obtained by uniting the representations of the various writers of Scripture. In the New Testament there are four phases -- 1. In the Synoptical Gospels the Holy Spirit is set forth in His influence on the human nature of Christ; 2. in the Acts and Paul, as the power for founding the Church and converting the world; 3. in Paul as the principle of the new life of Christians; 4. in John as the Comforter.

138. Compare the irregularities of other periods of vast change, e.g., the Reformation.

144. On the extent to which an authoritative ecclesiastical system is given in the New Testament compare Jus Divinum Presbyterii and Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity.

130. Give the names of the principal games of ancient times, derived from the places where they were held.

131. Where are churches mentioned as meeting in the houses of individuals?

132. Explain the words |barbarian,| |Scythian,| in Col. iii.11.

135. What modern divine endeavored to revive these phenomena, and what is the name of the church he founded? What is the meaning of the word |charism|? Were the tongues of Pentecost the same as those of 1 Corinthians? Give instances in which New Testament prophets did predict future events.

CHAPTER IX

The criticism which seeks to disintegrate the New Testament writings and set the apostles against one another is founded on a revival of the claim of the Judaizers that their propaganda had the sanction of Peter and the other original apostles. In a Handbook like this it is impossible to discuss at any length the Tuebingen Theory. But some of its points are silently met in the text; and the whole theory is answered by an attempt to give a view of the course of the controversy which covers all the facts. The distinction drawn in paragraphs 159 ff. between the central question in dispute and a subordinate aspect of the controversy will be found to clear up many intricacies. Compare Sorley's Jewish Christians and Judaism.

This chapter is full of references to passages in Acts and Galatians, which pupils ought to be asked to produce.

CHAPTER X

Viewpoints for lessons on details omitted or only lightly referred to in the text:

Acts xx. 4-16. Paul the Hirer of Laborers for Christ's Vineyard: the Unwearied Preacher (Troas).
| | 17-38. The Man of Heart (Miletus).
| xxii. Final Effort to save his Country.
| xxiii. 1-10. In the Dock where he had placed others. | xxiii. 22-27. The Preacher of Righteousness.
| xxvi. The Inspired Student.
| xxvii. Paul as a Ruler of Men.
| xxviii. The benevolence of Nature and that of Grace (Malta).

171. See notes on ch. iv., p.141.

The authenticity of Ephesians and Colossians can only be denied by ignoring the impression of majesty and profundity which they have made on the greatest minds. (See the Introductions in Meyer and Alford.) What other mind of those ages except Paul's could have erected a structure so magnificent on the very foundations of the Epistle to the Romans? or in what other mind was there such a union of the doctrinal and the ethical?

In John's writings the relation of believers to Christ is illustrated by a far higher comparison: it is compared to the union of Father and Son in the Deity.

172. See Ernesti: The Ethic of Paul; also Juncker.

174. See Smith's Voyage of St. Paul; also Sir William Ramsay's article on Roads and Travel in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, vol. v.

176. Burrus, the Praetorian Prefect. So Conybeare and Howson; but Ramsay, following Mommsen, holds the officer to have been the princeps peregrinorum, whose quarters lay on the Coelian Hill.

On the various kinds of imprisonment in Roman law see Ramsay's Roman Antiquities, ch. ix.

177-182. The materials for this account of Paul's prison life at Rome are chiefly gathered from the Epistle to the Philippians.

184. On the genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles see essay by Findley in Sabatier's The Apostle Paul. The comparative lack of doctrinal matter in them is accounted for by the fact that they were written to ministers well acquainted with his doctrinal system.

188. At Tre Fontane, to the south of Rome, the traditional scene of the execution is still pointed out; and not far off stands St. Paul's-outside-the-Walls, one of the most gorgeous churches in the world.

164. Trace out the different collections which Paul is recorded to have been engaged with.

166. What were the courts of the temple; and what was the name of the Roman fortress which overlooked them?

171. How often does the phrase |in Christ| (or |in| with pronouns referring to Christ) occur in Ephesians?

172. Give examples from Paul's writings of the application of great principles to small duties.

175. Give the names and localities of other great Roman roads. Describe a Roman triumph.

179. Narrate the story of Onesimus, gathering it from the Epistle to Philemon.

184. Explain the name of the Pastoral Epistles.

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