Used in various senses in Scripture. In Prov. 12:17, 19, it
denotes that which is opposed to falsehood. In Isa. 59:14, 15,
Jer. 7:28, it means fidelity or truthfulness. The doctrine of
Christ is called "the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:5), "the
truth" (2 Tim. 3:7; 4:4). Our Lord says of himself, "I am the
way, and the truth" (John 14:6).
(Heb. shamir), Ezek. 3:9. The Greek word adamas means diamond.
This stone is not referred to, but corundum or some kind of hard
steel. It is an emblem of firmness in resisting adversaries of
the truth (Zech. 7:12), and of hard-heartedness against the
truth (Jer. 17:1).
compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the
atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of
mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of
truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps.
85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together.
Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).
an uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been
previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen. God has been
pleased in various ways and at different times (Heb. 1:1) to
make a supernatural revelation of himself and his purposes and
plans, which, under the guidance of his Spirit, has been
committed to writing. (See WORD OF GOD ¯T0003832.) The
Scriptures are not merely the "record" of revelation; they are
the revelation itself in a written form, in order to the
accurate presevation and propagation of the truth.
Revelation and inspiration differ. Revelation is the
supernatural communication of truth to the mind; inspiration
(q.v.) secures to the teacher or writer infallibility in
communicating that truth to others. It renders its subject the
spokesman or prophet of God in such a sense that everything he
asserts to be true, whether fact or doctrine or moral principle,
is true, infallibly true.
(Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized Version reads, "should
behave themselves strangely;" i.e., not recognize the truth,
misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel's ruin, which was
due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their
one who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the
cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this sense
Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all
other cases is translated "witness." (1.) In a court of justice
(Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19).
(2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has
seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5,
10; 1 John 1:2).
to promise "by one's truth." Men and women were betrothed when
they were engaged to be married. This usually took place a year
or more before marriage. From the time of betrothal the woman
was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was
betrothed (Deut. 28:30; Judg. 14:2, 8; Matt. 1:18-21). The term
is figuratively employed of the spiritual connection between God
and his people (Hos. 2:19, 20).
an intentional violation of the truth. Lies are emphatically
condemned in Scripture (John 8:44; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; Rev. 21:27;
22:15). Mention is made of the lies told by good men, as by
Abraham (Gen. 12:12, 13; 20:2), Isaac (26:7), and Jacob (27:24);
also by the Hebrew midwives (Ex. 1:15-19), by Michal (1 Sam.
19:14), and by David (1 Sam. 20:6). (See ANANIAS ¯T0000230.)
(1.) A silversmith at Ephesus, whose chief occupation was to
make "silver shrines for Diana" (q.v.), Acts 19:24,i.e., models
either of the temple of Diana or of the statue of the goddess.
This trade brought to him and his fellow-craftsmen "no small
gain," for these shrines found a ready sale among the countless
thousands who came to this temple from all parts of Asia Minor.
This traffic was greatly endangered by the progress of the
gospel, and hence Demetrius excited the tradesmen employed in
the manufacture of these shrines, and caused so great a tumult
that "the whole city was filled with confusion."
(2.) A Christian who is spoken of as having "a good report of
all men, and of the truth itself" (3 John 1:12).
the chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven
churches" was planted here (Rev. 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for
its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was
there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the
truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the
Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed
his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20
miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a
population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand
profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here,
and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the
Proportion of faith
(Rom. 12:6). Paul says here that each one was to exercise his
gift of prophecy, i.e., of teaching, "according to the
proportion of faith." The meaning is, that the utterances of the
"prophet" were not to fluctuate according to his own impulses or
independent thoughts, but were to be adjusted to the truth
revealed to him as a beliver, i.e., were to be in accordance
In post-Reformation times this phrase was used as meaning that
all Scripture was to be interpreted with reference to all other
Scripture, i.e., that no words or expressions were to be
isolated or interpreted in a way contrary to its general
teaching. This was also called the "analogy of faith."
The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the "assurance" (Gr.
pistis, generally rendered "faith") or pledge God has given that
his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The "full
assurance [Gr. plerophoria, 'full bearing'] of faith" (Heb.
10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for
doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Col. 2:2) is an
entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of
Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of
conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The "full
assurance of hope" (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded
expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of
hope is the assurance of a man's own particular salvation.
This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as
to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the
promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian
graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom.
8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the
testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the
command to seek after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the
fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3;
This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It
is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of
nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True
believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something
different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers,
moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at
present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full
assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this
grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought.
"Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding
peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these
from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength,
and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every
department of duty."
This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and
intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never
be lost. (See FAITH ¯T0001302.)
Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain
statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea
is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It
admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in
accordance with the evidence on which it rests.
Faith is the result of teaching (Rom. 10:14-17). Knowledge is
an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as
an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet the two are
distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent,
which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the
understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith,
and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed
truth rests is the veracity of God.
Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain
statements which are regarded as mere facts of history.
Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men
(e.g., Felix) by the exhibition of the truth and by the
influence of religious sympathy, or by what is sometimes styled
the common operation of the Holy Spirit.
Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life
inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than
in the words of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism: "Faith in
Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon
him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel."
The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God.
Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But
the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its
object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John
7:38; Acts 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a
sinner is justified before God (Rom. 3:22, 25; Gal. 2:16; Phil.
3:9; John 3:16-36; Acts 10:43; 16:31). In this act of faith the
believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in
all his offices.
This assent to or belief in the truth received upon the divine
testimony has always associated with it a deep sense of sin, a
distinct view of Christ, a consenting will, and a loving heart,
together with a reliance on, a trusting in, or resting in
Christ. It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner,
conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his
Saviour, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on him. It
consists chiefly, not in the assent given to the testimony of
God in his Word, but in embracing with fiducial reliance and
trust the one and only Saviour whom God reveals. This trust and
reliance is of the essence of faith. By faith the believer
directly and immediately appropriates Christ as his own. Faith
in its direct act makes Christ ours. It is not a work which God
graciously accepts instead of perfect obedience, but is only the
hand by which we take hold of the person and work of our
Redeemer as the only ground of our salvation.
Saving faith is a moral act, as it proceeds from a renewed
will, and a renewed will is necessary to believing assent to the
truth of God (1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:4). Faith, therefore, has
its seat in the moral part of our nature fully as much as in the
intellectual. The mind must first be enlightened by divine
teaching (John 6:44; Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17, 18)
before it can discern the things of the Spirit.
Faith is necessary to our salvation (Mark 16:16), not because
there is any merit in it, but simply because it is the sinner's
taking the place assigned him by God, his falling in with what
God is doing.
The warrant or ground of faith is the divine testimony, not
the reasonableness of what God says, but the simple fact that he
says it. Faith rests immediately on, "Thus saith the Lord." But
in order to this faith the veracity, sincerity, and truth of God
must be owned and appreciated, together with his
unchangeableness. God's word encourages and emboldens the sinner
personally to transact with Christ as God's gift, to close with
him, embrace him, give himself to Christ, and take Christ as
his. That word comes with power, for it is the word of God who
has revealed himself in his works, and especially in the cross.
God is to be believed for his word's sake, but also for his
Faith in Christ secures for the believer freedom from
condemnation, or justification before God; a participation in
the life that is in Christ, the divine life (John 14:19; Rom.
6:4-10; Eph. 4:15,16, etc.); "peace with God" (Rom. 5:1); and
sanctification (Acts 26:18; Gal. 5:6; Acts 15:9).
All who thus believe in Christ will certainly be saved (John
6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).
The faith=the gospel (Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim.
3:9; Jude 1:3).
the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so
designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth
undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made
manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other
doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully
understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1
Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized
by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven
stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman
clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The
anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle
(2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
Timothy, First Epistle to
Paul in this epistle speaks of himself as having left Ephesus
for Macedonia (1:3), and hence not Laodicea, as mentioned in the
subscription; but probably Philippi, or some other city in that
region, was the place where this epistle was written. During the
interval between his first and second imprisonments he probably
visited the scenes of his former labours in Greece and Asia, and
then found his way into Macedonia, whence he wrote this letter
to Timothy, whom he had left behind in Ephesus.
It was probably written about A.D. 66 or 67.
The epistle consists mainly, (1) of counsels to Timothy
regarding the worship and organization of the Church, and the
responsibilities resting on its several members; and (2) of
exhortation to faithfulness in maintaining the truth amid
involves more than a mere moral reformation of character,
brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the
Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the
influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul
in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying
on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends
to the whole man (Rom. 6:13; 2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:10; 1 John 4:7;
1 Cor. 6:19). It is the special office of the Holy Spirit in the
plan of redemption to carry on this work (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess.
2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification,
inasmuch as it (1) secures union to Christ (Gal. 2:20), and (2)
brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby
he is led to yield obedience "to the commands, trembling at the
threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life
and that which is to come."
Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life (1 Kings
8:46; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8). See Paul's
account of himself in Rom. 7:14-25; Phil. 3:12-14; and 1 Tim.
1:15; also the confessions of David (Ps. 19:12, 13; 51), of
Moses (90:8), of Job (42:5, 6), and of Daniel (9:3-20). "The
more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing,
self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes,
and the more closely he clings to Christ. The moral
imperfections which cling to him he feels to be sins, which he
laments and strives to overcome. Believers find that their life
is a constant warfare, and they need to take the kingdom of
heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are always
subject to the constant chastisement of their Father's loving
hand, which can only be designed to correct their imperfections
and to confirm their graces. And it has been notoriously the
fact that the best Christians have been those who have been the
least prone to claim the attainment of perfection for
themselves.", Hodge's Outlines.
This Hebrew word means firm, and hence also faithful (Rev.
3:14). In Isa. 65:16, the Authorized Version has "the God of
truth," which in Hebrew is "the God of Amen." It is frequently
used by our Saviour to give emphasis to his words, where it is
translated "verily." Sometimes, only, however, in John's Gospel,
it is repeated, "Verily, verily." It is used as an epithet of
the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:14).
It is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers
(Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the
fulfilment of them. It is used in token of being bound by an
oath (Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; 1 Chr. 16:36).
In the primitive churches it was common for the general audience
to say "Amen" at the close of the prayer (1 Cor. 14:16).
The promises of God are Amen; i.e., they are all true and sure
(2 Cor. 1:20).
(1.) To cry for help, hence to pray (Gen. 4:26). Thus men are
said to "call upon the name of the Lord" (Acts 2:21; 7:59; 9:14;
Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 1:2).
(2.) God calls with respect to men when he designates them to
some special office (Ex. 31:2; Isa. 22:20; Acts 13:2), and when
he invites them to accept his offered grace (Matt. 9:13; 11:28;
In the message of the gospel his call is addressed to all men,
to Jews and Gentiles alike (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Rom. 9:24,
25). But this universal call is not inseparably connected with
salvation, although it leaves all to whom it comes inexcusable
if they reject it (John 3:14-19; Matt. 22:14).
An effectual call is something more than the outward message
of the Word of God to men. It is internal, and is the result of
the enlightening and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit
(John 16:14; Acts 26: 18; John 6:44), effectually drawing men to
Christ, and disposing and enabling them to receive the truth
(John 6:45; Acts 16:14; Eph. 1:17).
that extraordinary or supernatural divine influence vouchsafed
to those who wrote the Holy Scriptures, rendering their writings
infallible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God"
(R.V., "Every scripture inspired of God"), 2 Tim. 3:16. This is
true of all the "sacred writings," not in the sense of their
being works of genius or of supernatural insight, but as
"theopneustic," i.e., "breathed into by God" in such a sense
that the writers were supernaturally guided to express exactly
what God intended them to express as a revelation of his mind
and will. The testimony of the sacred writers themselves
abundantly demonstrates this truth; and if they are infallible
as teachers of doctrine, then the doctrine of plenary
inspiration must be accepted. There are no errors in the Bible
as it came from God, none have been proved to exist.
Difficulties and phenomena we cannot explain are not errors. All
these books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired. We do
not say that they contain, but that they are, the Word of God.
The gift of inspiration rendered the writers the organs of God,
for the infallible communication of his mind and will, in the
very manner and words in which it was originally given.
As to the nature of inspiration we have no information. This
only we know, it rendered the writers infallible. They were all
equally inspired, and are all equally infallible. The
inspiration of the sacred writers did not change their
characters. They retained all their individual peculiarities as
thinkers or writers. (See BIBLE ¯T0000580; WORD OF GOD
the descendants of Merari (Num. 26:57). They with the
Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle,
which they had to carry from place to place (Num. 3:20, 33-37;
4:29-33). In the distribution of the oxen and waggons offered by
the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites
(four waggons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites,
because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of
the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the
former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars,
sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply
of oxen and waggons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the
truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp
was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards
took part with the other Levitical families in the various
functions of their office (1 Chr. 23:6, 21-23; 2 Chr. 29:12,
13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them
(Josh. 21:7, 34-40).
Perseverance of the saints
their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified
and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally
fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and
attain everlasting life.
This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28,
29; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5. It, moreover, follows
from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine
decrees (Jer. 31:3; Matt. 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:30); (2)
the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer. 32:40; John 10:29;
17:2-6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa.
53:6, 11; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20;
Rom. 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John
14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 1 John 3:9).
This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the
believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue
therein for some time. (See BACKSLIDE ¯T0000414.)
perfection (LXX., "truth;" Vulg., "veritas"), Ex. 28:30; Deut.
33:8; Judg. 1:1; 20:18; 1 Sam. 14:3,18; 23:9; 2 Sam. 21:1. What
the "Urim and Thummim" were cannot be determined with any
certainty. All we certainly know is that they were a certain
divinely-given means by which God imparted, through the high
priest, direction and counsel to Israel when these were needed.
The method by which this was done can be only a matter of mere
conjecture. They were apparently material objects, quite
distinct from the breastplate, but something added to it after
all the stones had been set in it, something in addition to the
breastplate and its jewels. They may have been, as some suppose,
two small images, like the teraphim (comp. Judg. 17:5; 18:14,
17, 20; Hos. 3:4), which were kept in the bag of the
breastplate, by which, in some unknown way, the high priest
could give forth his divinely imparted decision when consulted.
They were probably lost at the destruction of the temple by
Nebuchadnezzar. They were never seen after the return from
the lamp-stand, "candelabrum," which Moses was commanded to make
for the tabernacle, according to the pattern shown him. Its form
is described in Ex. 25:31-40; 37:17-24, and may be seen
represented on the Arch of Titus at Rome. It was among the
spoils taken by the Romans from the temple of Jerusalem (A.D.
70). It was made of fine gold, and with the utensils belonging
to it was a talent in weight.
The tabernacle was a tent without windows, and thus artificial
light was needed. This was supplied by the candlestick, which,
however, served also as a symbol of the church or people of God,
who are "the light of the world." The light which "symbolizes
the knowledge of God is not the sun or any natural light, but an
artificial light supplied with a specially prepared oil; for the
knowledge of God is in truth not natural nor common to all men,
but furnished over and above nature."
This candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy
Place, opposite the table of shewbread (Ex. 27:21; 30:7, 8; Lev.
24:3; 1 Sam. 3:3). It was lighted every evening, and was
extinguished in the morning. In the morning the priests trimmed
the seven lamps, borne by the seven branches, with golden
snuffers, carrying away the ashes in golden dishes (Ex. 25:38),
and supplying the lamps at the same time with fresh oil. What
ultimately became of the candlestick is unknown.
In Solomon's temple there were ten separate candlesticks of
pure gold, five on the right and five on the left of the Holy
Place (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:7). Their structure is not
mentioned. They were carried away to Babylon (Jer. 52:19).
In the temple erected after the Exile there was again but one
candlestick, and like the first, with seven branches. It was
this which was afterwards carried away by Titus to Rome, where
it was deposited in the Temple of Peace. When Genseric plundered
Rome, he is said to have carried it to Carthage (A.D. 455). It
was recaptured by Belisarius (A.D. 533), and carried to
Constantinople and thence to Jerusalem, where it finally
Nahum's town, a Galilean city frequently mentioned in the
history of our Lord. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament.
After our Lord's expulsion from Nazareth (Matt. 4:13-16; Luke
4:16-31), Capernaum became his "own city." It was the scene of
many acts and incidents of his life (Matt. 8:5, 14, 15; 9:2-6,
10-17; 15:1-20; Mark 1:32-34, etc.). The impenitence and
unbelief of its inhabitants after the many evidences our Lord
gave among them of the truth of his mission, brought down upon
them a heavy denunciation of judgement (Matt. 11:23).
It stood on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The "land
of Gennesaret," near, if not in, which it was situated, was one
of the most prosperous and crowded districts of Israel. This
city lay on the great highway from Damascus to Acco and Tyre. It
has been identified with Tell Hum, about two miles south-west of
where the Jordan flows into the lake. Here are extensive ruins
of walls and foundations, and also the remains of what must have
been a beautiful synagogue, which it is conjectured may have
been the one built by the centurion (Luke 7:5), in which our
Lord frequently taught (John 6:59; Mark 1:21; Luke 4:33). Others
have conjectured that the ruins of the city are to be found at
Khan Minyeh, some three miles further to the south on the shore
of the lake. "If Tell Hum be Capernaum, the remains spoken of
are without doubt the ruins of the synagogue built by the Roman
centurion, and one of the most sacred places on earth. It was in
this building that our Lord gave the well-known discourse in
John 6; and it was not without a certain strange feeling that on
turning over a large block we found the pot of manna engraved on
its face, and remembered the words, 'I am that bread of life:
your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.'",
(The Recovery of Jerusalem.)
(Heb. kabhod; Gr. doxa). (1.) Abundance, wealth, treasure, and
hence honour (Ps. 49:12); glory (Gen. 31:1; Matt. 4:8; Rev.
(2.) Honour, dignity (1 Kings 3:13; Heb. 2:7 1 Pet. 1:24); of
God (Ps. 19:1; 29:1); of the mind or heart (Gen. 49:6; Ps. 7:5;
(3.) Splendour, brightness, majesty (Gen. 45:13; Isa. 4:5;
Acts 22:11; 2 Cor. 3:7); of Jehovah (Isa. 59:19; 60:1; 2 Thess.
(4.) The glorious moral attributes, the infinite perfections
of God (Isa. 40:5; Acts 7:2; Rom. 1:23; 9:23; Eph. 1:12). Jesus
is the "brightness of the Father's glory" (Heb. 1:3; John 1:14;
(5.) The bliss of heaven (Rom. 2:7, 10; 5:2; 8:18; Heb. 2:10;
1 Pet. 5:1, 10).
(6.) The phrase "Give glory to God" (Josh. 7:19; Jer. 13:16)
is a Hebrew idiom meaning, "Confess your sins." The words of the
Jews to the blind man, "Give God the praise" (John 9:24), are an
adjuration to confess. They are equivalent to, "Confess that you
are an impostor," "Give God the glory by speaking the truth;"
for they denied that a miracle had been wrought.
John, Gospel of
The genuineness of this Gospel, i.e., the fact that the apostle
John was its author, is beyond all reasonable doubt. In recent
times, from about 1820, many attempts have been made to impugn
its genuineness, but without success.
The design of John in writing this Gospel is stated by himself
(John 20:31). It was at one time supposed that he wrote for the
purpose of supplying the omissions of the synoptical, i.e., of
the first three, Gospels, but there is no evidence for this.
"There is here no history of Jesus and his teaching after the
manner of the other evangelists. But there is in historical form
a representation of the Christian faith in relation to the
person of Christ as its central point; and in this
representation there is a picture on the one hand of the
antagonism of the world to the truth revealed in him, and on the
other of the spiritual blessedness of the few who yield
themselves to him as the Light of life" (Reuss).
After the prologue (1:1-5), the historical part of the book
begins with verse 6, and consists of two parts. The first part
(1:6-ch. 12) contains the history of our Lord's public ministry
from the time of his introduction to it by John the Baptist to
its close. The second part (ch. 13-21) presents our Lord in the
retirement of private life and in his intercourse with his
immediate followers (13-17), and gives an account of his
sufferings and of his appearances to the disciples after his
The peculiarities of this Gospel are the place it gives (1) to
the mystical relation of the Son to the Father, and (2) of the
Redeemer to believers; (3) the announcement of the Holy Ghost as
the Comforter; (4) the prominence given to love as an element in
the Christian character. It was obviously addressed primarily to
It was probably written at Ephesus, which, after the
destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), became the centre of
Christian life and activity in the East, about A.D. 90.
a change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a
change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity.
(1.) In Col. 1:21, 22, the word there used refers to a change
wrought in the personal character of the sinner who ceases to be
an enemy to God by wicked works, and yields up to him his full
confidence and love. In 2 Cor. 5:20 the apostle beseeches the
Corinthians to be "reconciled to God", i.e., to lay aside their
(2.) Rom. 5:10 refers not to any change in our disposition
toward God, but to God himself, as the party reconciled. Romans
5:11 teaches the same truth. From God we have received "the
reconciliation" (R.V.), i.e., he has conferred on us the token
of his friendship. So also 2 Cor. 5:18, 19 speaks of a
reconciliation originating with God, and consisting in the
removal of his merited wrath. In Eph. 2:16 it is clear that the
apostle does not refer to the winning back of the sinner in love
and loyalty to God, but to the restoration of God's forfeited
favour. This is effected by his justice being satisfied, so that
he can, in consistency with his own nature, be favourable toward
sinners. Justice demands the punishment of sinners. The death of
Christ satisfies justice, and so reconciles God to us. This
reconciliation makes God our friend, and enables him to pardon
and save us. (See ATONEMENT ¯T0000362.)
adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word
so rendered has the article "the adversary" (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7).
In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with
Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called "the dragon," "the old serpent" (Rev. 12:9;
20:2); "the prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30); "the
prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2); "the god of this
world" (2 Cor. 4:4); "the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). The distinct personality
of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously
recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt.
4:1-11). He is "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils" (12:24). He
is "the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom,
of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood
and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every
possible way." His power is very great in the world. He is a
"roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are
said to be "taken captive by him" (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are
warned against his "devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to
"resist" him (James 4:7). Christ redeems his people from "him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14).
Satan has the "power of death," not as lord, but simply as
an event in the external world brought about by the immediate
agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use
of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed
to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and
the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an
occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the
intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either
of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which
govern their movements, a supernatural power.
"The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in
miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around
us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the
chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can
control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight
from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor
violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true
as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of
iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth
that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical
forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate
from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not
superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes,
acting with or without them." God ordinarily effects his purpose
through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also
of effecting his purpose immediately and without the
intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed
order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the
possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand
intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally
used to designate miracles: (1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an
evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine
message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8;
John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and
working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents;
producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts
2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in
working" (John 5:20, 36).
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers
appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our
Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his
divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of
the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they
are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of
God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man,
therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that
he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials
that he is God's messenger. The teacher points to these
credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the
authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness, both
with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles."
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of
the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and
to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses
were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers,
following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle,
because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that
miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to.
Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy
evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any
facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it
is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary
to our experience, but that does not prove that they were
contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We
believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that
are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the
ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must,
as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to
one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see
fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles
are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF
(A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the
Divine Being. It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew _'El_, from
a word meaning to be strong; (2) of _'Eloah_, plural _'Elohim_.
The singular form, _Eloah_, is used only in poetry. The plural
form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew
word Jehovah (q.v.), the only other word generally employed to
denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the
Authorized Version by "LORD," printed in small capitals. The
existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is
nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth
is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Ps. 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the
being of God are:
(1.) The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by
(2.) The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically
from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
(a) The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be
a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
(b) The teleological, or the argument from design. We see
everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
(c) The moral argument, called also the anthropological
argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of
mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only
be explained on the supposition of the existence of God.
Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God
that judgeth in the earth."
The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Ex.
34:6,7. (see also Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num. 16:22; Ex. 15:11;
33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are
also systematically classified in Rev. 5:12 and 7:12.
God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such
as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative,
i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his
creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e.,
those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures:
goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which
cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity,
and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural
attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness,
This word is properly used only with reference to God's plan or
purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered "predestinate" is
found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1
Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same
meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and
unconditional decree or "determinate purpose" of God governs all
This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many
difficulties. It belongs to the "secret things" of God. But if
we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept
this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our
questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, "Even so,
Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the
following passages be examined in addition to those referred to
above; Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh.
11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4;
Isa. 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37;
15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom.
9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2
Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2. (See DECREES OF GOD ¯T0001002;
Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this
doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God,
while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just
displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential
truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can
either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.)
It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial
embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the
believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once
deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full
assurance of hope" (Outlines).
Bible, the English form of the Greek name _Biblia_, meaning
"books," the name which in the fifth century began to be given
to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine
Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came
gradually into use in our English language. The Bible consists
of sixty-six different books, composed by many different
writers, in three different languages, under different
circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen
and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests,
tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and
Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at
various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet,
after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in
its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man's
It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine
books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books. The
names given to the Old in the writings of the New are "the
scriptures" (Matt. 21:42), "scripture" (2 Pet. 1:20), "the holy
scriptures" (Rom. 1:2), "the law" (John 12:34), "the law of
Moses, the prophets, and the psalms" (Luke 24:44), "the law and
the prophets" (Matt. 5:17), "the old covenant" (2 Cor. 3:14,
R.V.). There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament
and the New. (See APOCRYPHA ¯T0000263.)
The Old Testament is divided into three parts:, 1. The Law
(Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.
2. The Prophets, consisting of (1) the former, namely, Joshua,
Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings; (2) the
latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and
Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. 3. The Hagiographa, or
holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were
ranked in three divisions:, (1) The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job,
distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial
letters of these books, _emeth_, meaning truth. (2) Canticles,
Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five
rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate
rolls. (3) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Between the Old and the New Testament no addition was made to
the revelation God had already given. The period of New
Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the
appearance of John the Baptist.
The New Testament consists of (1) the historical books, viz.,
the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles; (2) the Epistles; and
(3) the book of prophecy, the Revelation.
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is
altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference
to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain
sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later
period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern
system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced
by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he
died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was
introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although
neither Tyndale's nor Coverdale's English translation of the
Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it
is very useful. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
cutting around. This rite, practised before, as some think, by
divers races, was appointed by God to be the special badge of
his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration to him.
It was established as a national ordinance (Gen. 17:10, 11). In
compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine
years of age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who
was thirteen years old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or
purchased, were circumcised (17:12, 13); and all foreigners must
have their males circumcised before they could enjoy the
privileges of Jewish citizenship (Ex. 12:48). During the journey
through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into
disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they
entered the Promised Land (Josh. 5:2-9). It was observed always
afterwards among the tribes of israel, although it is not
expressly mentioned from the time of the settlement in Canaan
till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The Jews prided
themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judg.
14:3; 15:18; 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26; 2 Sam. 1:20; Ezek. 31:18).
As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times
began (Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to
impose it, however, on the Gentile converts; but this the
apostles resolutely resisted (Acts 15:1; Gal. 6:12). Our Lord
was circumcised, for it "became him to fulfil all
righteousness," as of the seed of Abraham, according to the
flesh; and Paul "took and circumcised" Timothy (Acts 16:3), to
avoid giving offence to the Jews. It would render Timothy's
labours more acceptable to the Jews. But Paul would by no means
consent to the demand that Titus should be circumcised (Gal.
2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was the free
admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He
contended successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to
circumcision. It was the symbol of purity (Isa. 52:1). We read
of uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:12, 30), ears (Jer. 6:10), hearts
(Lev. 26:41). The fruit of a tree that is unclean is spoken of
as uncircumcised (Lev. 19:23).
It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of
the national covenant between God and the Hebrews. (1.) It
sealed the promises made to Abraham, which related to the
commonwealth of Israel, national promises. (2.) But the promises
made to Abraham included the promise of redemption (Gal. 3:14),
a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham was
a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and
circumcision was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a
spiritual meaning. It signified purification of the heart,
inward circumcision effected by the Spirit (Deut. 10:16; 30:6;
Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:28; Col. 2:11). Circumcision as a
symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now
given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth
embodied in both ordinances is ever the same, the removal of
sin, the sanctifying effects of grace in the heart.
Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were
identical. No one could be a member of the one without also
being a member of the other. Circumcision was a sign and seal of
membership in both. Every circumcised person bore thereby
evidence that he was one of the chosen people, a member of the
church of God as it then existed, and consequently also a member
of the Jewish commonwealth.
the name given to Noah's flood, the history of which is recorded
in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar
months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence
that filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in
righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the
ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one
household that continued faithful and true to God, the household
of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50
broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a
period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the
purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following
table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God
to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons
with their wives (Gen. 7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty
days after the Deluge began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth
month (Gen. 8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening
she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven
days, and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of
the new year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month (Gen. 8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is
established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.
24:37; comp. Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20;
2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood is referred to as "the
waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so
far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family,
who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race
is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great
divisions of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a
whole, wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree
with it in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the
Biblical is the authentic narrative, of which all these
traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The most
remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets
prepared by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These
were, however, copies of older records which belonged to
somewhere about B.C. 2000, and which formed part of the priestly
library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable remembrance of a real
and terrible event." (See NOAH ¯T0002741; CHALDEA ¯T0000758.)
Fall of man
an expression probably borrowed from the Apocryphal Book of
Wisdom, to express the fact of the revolt of our first parents
from God, and the consequent sin and misery in which they and
all their posterity were involved.
The history of the Fall is recorded in Gen. 2 and 3. That
history is to be literally interpreted. It records facts which
underlie the whole system of revealed truth. It is referred to
by our Lord and his apostles not only as being true, but as
furnishing the ground of all God's subsequent dispensations and
dealings with the children of men. The record of Adam's
temptation and fall must be taken as a true historical account,
if we are to understand the Bible at all as a revelation of
God's purpose of mercy.
The effects of this first sin upon our first parents
themselves were (1) "shame, a sense of degradation and
pollution; (2) dread of the displeasure of God, or a sense of
guilt, and the consequent desire to hide from his presence.
These effects were unavoidable. They prove the loss not only of
innocence but of original righteousness, and, with it, of the
favour and fellowship of God. The state therefore to which Adam
was reduced by his disobedience, so far as his subjective
condition is concerned, was analogous to that of the fallen
angels. He was entirely and absolutely ruined" (Hodge's
But the unbelief and disobedience of our first parents brought
not only on themselves this misery and ruin, it entailed also
the same sad consequences on all their descendants. (1.) The
guilt, i.e., liability to punishment, of that sin comes by
imputation upon all men, because all were represented by Adam in
the covenant of works (q.v.). (See IMPUTATION ¯T0001878.)
(2.) Hence, also, all his descendants inherit a corrupt
nature. In all by nature there is an inherent and prevailing
tendency to sin. This universal depravity is taught by universal
experience. All men sin as soon as they are capable of moral
actions. The testimony of the Scriptures to the same effect is
most abundant (Rom. 1; 2; 3:1-19, etc.).
(3.) This innate depravity is total: we are by nature "dead in
trespasses and sins," and must be "born again" before we can
enter into the kingdom (John 3:7, etc.).
(4.) Resulting from this "corruption of our whole nature" is
our absolute moral inability to change our nature or to obey the
law of God.
Commenting on John 9:3, Ryle well remarks: "A deep and
instructive principle lies in these words. They surely throw
some light on that great question, the origin of evil. God has
thought fit to allow evil to exist in order that he may have a
platform for showing his mercy, grace, and compassion. If man
had never fallen there would have been no opportunity of showing
divine mercy. But by permitting evil, mysterious as it seems,
God's works of grace, mercy, and wisdom in saving sinners have
been wonderfully manifested to all his creatures. The redeeming
of the church of elect sinners is the means of 'showing to
principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God' (Eph.
3:10). Without the Fall we should have known nothing of the
Cross and the Gospel."
On the monuments of Egypt are found representations of a deity
in human form, piercing with a spear the head of a serpent. This
is regarded as an illustration of the wide dissemination of the
tradition of the Fall. The story of the "golden age," which
gives place to the "iron age", the age of purity and innocence,
which is followed by a time when man becomes a prey to sin and
misery, as represented in the mythology of Greece and Rome, has
also been regarded as a tradition of the Fall.
(1.) One who, with Annas and Caiaphas, sat in judgment on the
apostles Peter and John (Acts 4:6). He was of the kindred of the
high priest; otherwise unknown.
(2.) The Hebrew name of Mark (q.v.). He is designated by this
name in the acts of the Apostles (12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37).
(3.) THE APOSTLE, brother of James the "Greater" (Matt. 4:21;
10:2; Mark 1:19; 3:17; 10:35). He was one, probably the younger,
of the sons of Zebedee (Matt. 4:21) and Salome (Matt. 27:56;
comp. Mark 15:40), and was born at Bethsaida. His father was
apparently a man of some wealth (comp. Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John
19:27). He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the
ordinary education of Jewish youth. When he grew up he followed
the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. When John
the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, John,
with many others, gathered round him, and was deeply influenced
by his teaching. There he heard the announcement, "Behold the
Lamb of God," and forthwith, on the invitation of Jesus, became
a disciple and ranked among his followers (John 1:36, 37) for a
time. He and his brother then returned to their former
avocation, for how long is uncertain. Jesus again called them
(Matt. 4: 21; Luke 5:1-11), and now they left all and
permanently attached themselves to the company of his disciples.
He became one of the innermost circle (Mark 5:37; Matt. 17:1;
26:37; Mark 13:3). He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. In zeal
and intensity of character he was a "Boanerges" (Mark 3:17).
This spirit once and again broke out (Matt. 20:20-24; Mark
10:35-41; Luke 9:49, 54). At the betrayal he and Peter follow
Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty
flight (John 18:15). At the trial he follows Christ into the
council chamber, and thence to the praetorium (18:16, 19, 28)
and to the place of crucifixion (19:26, 27). To him and Peter,
Mary first conveys tidings of the resurrection (20:2), and they
are the first to go and see what her strange words mean. After
the resurrection he and Peter again return to the Sea of
Galilee, where the Lord reveals himself to them (21:1, 7). We
find Peter and John frequently after this together (Acts 3:1;
4:13). John remained apparently in Jerusalem as the leader of
the church there (Acts 15:6; Gal. 2:9). His subsequent history
is unrecorded. He was not there, however, at the time of Paul's
last visit (Acts 21:15-40). He appears to have retired to
Ephesus, but at what time is unknown. The seven churches of Asia
were the objects of his special care (Rev. 1:11). He suffered
under persecution, and was banished to Patmos (1:9); whence he
again returned to Ephesus, where he died, probably about A.D.
98, having outlived all or nearly all the friends and companions
even of his maturer years. There are many interesting traditions
regarding John during his residence at Ephesus, but these cannot
claim the character of historical truth.
John the Baptist
the "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and
imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly
descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of
Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the
daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the
subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth,
which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold
by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a
token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with
reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech
restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64).
After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what
is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth
(Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the
mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead
Sea (Matt. 3:1-12).
At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes
from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his
preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the
Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned
them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8).
"As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating.
Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people
at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and
consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against
extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine
and manner of life roused the entire south of Israel, and the
people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the
banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt.
3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John,
on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all
righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the
baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to
his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear
testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his
disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry
was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a
close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had
reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his
brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of
Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of
Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded.
His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave,
went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12).
John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover
of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him
that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).
light, or the moon city, a city "of the Chaldees," the
birthplace of Haran (Gen. 11:28,31), the largest city of Shinar
or northern Chaldea, and the principal commercial centre of the
country as well as the centre of political power. It stood near
the mouth of the Euphrates, on its western bank, and is
represented by the mounds (of bricks cemented by bitumen) of
el-Mugheir, i.e., "the bitumined," or "the town of bitumen," now
150 miles from the sea and some 6 miles from the Euphrates, a
little above the point where it receives the Shat el-Hie, an
affluent from the Tigris. It was formerly a maritime city, as
the waters of the Persian Gulf reached thus far inland. Ur was
the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the
dwellers on the gulf, and with the distant countries of India,
Ethiopia, and Egypt. It was abandoned about B.C. 500, but long
continued, like Erech, to be a great sacred cemetery city, as is
evident from the number of tombs found there. (See ABRAHAM
The oldest king of Ur known to us is Ur-Ba'u (servant of the
goddess Ba'u), as Hommel reads the name, or Ur-Gur, as others
read it. He lived some twenty-eight hundred years B.C., and took
part in building the famous temple of the moon-god Sin in Ur
itself. The illustration here given represents his cuneiform
inscription, written in the Sumerian language, and stamped upon
every brick of the temple in Ur. It reads: "Ur-Ba'u, king of Ur,
who built the temple of the moon-god."
"Ur was consecrated to the worship of Sin, the Babylonian
moon-god. It shared this honour, however, with another city, and
this city was Haran, or Harran. Harran was in Mesopotamia, and
took its name from the highroad which led through it from the
east to the west. The name is Babylonian, and bears witness to
its having been founded by a Babylonian king. The same witness
is still more decisively borne by the worship paid in it to the
Babylonian moon-god and by its ancient temple of Sin. Indeed,
the temple of the moon-god at Harran was perhaps even more
famous in the Assyrian and Babylonian world than the temple of
the moon-god at Ur.
"Between Ur and Harran there must, consequently, have been a
close connection in early times, the record of which has not yet
been recovered. It may be that Harran owed its foundation to a
king of Ur; at any rate the two cities were bound together by
the worship of the same deity, the closest and most enduring
bond of union that existed in the ancient world. That Terah
should have migrated from Ur to Harran, therefore, ceases to be
extraordinary. If he left Ur at all, it was the most natural
place to which to go. It was like passing from one court of a
temple into another.
"Such a remarkable coincidence between the Biblical narrative
and the evidence of archaeological research cannot be the result
of chance. The narrative must be historical; no writer of late
date, even if he were a Babylonian, could have invented a story
so exactly in accordance with what we now know to have been the
truth. For a story of the kind to have been the invention of
Palestinian tradition is equally impossible. To the unprejudiced
mind there is no escape from the conclusion that the history of
the migration of Terah from Ur to Harran is founded on fact"
Acts of the Apostles
the title now given to the fifth and last of the historical
books of the New Testament. The author styles it a "treatise"
(1:1). It was early called "The Acts," "The Gospel of the Holy
Ghost," and "The Gospel of the Resurrection." It contains
properly no account of any of the apostles except Peter and
Paul. John is noticed only three times; and all that is recorded
of James, the son of Zebedee, is his execution by Herod. It is
properly therefore not the history of the "Acts of the
Apostles," a title which was given to the book at a later date,
but of "Acts of Apostles," or more correctly, of "Some Acts of
As regards its authorship, it was certainly the work of Luke,
the "beloved physician" (comp. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). This is
the uniform tradition of antiquity, although the writer nowhere
makes mention of himself by name. The style and idiom of the
Gospel of Luke and of the Acts, and the usage of words and
phrases common to both, strengthen this opinion. The writer
first appears in the narrative in 16:11, and then disappears
till Paul's return to Philippi two years afterwards, when he and
Paul left that place together (20:6), and the two seem
henceforth to have been constant companions to the end. He was
certainly with Paul at Rome (28; Col. 4:14). Thus he wrote a
great portion of that history from personal observation. For
what lay beyond his own experience he had the instruction of
Paul. If, as is very probable, 2 Tim. was written during Paul's
second imprisonment at Rome, Luke was with him then as his
faithful companion to the last (2 Tim. 4:11). Of his subsequent
history we have no certain information.
The design of Luke's Gospel was to give an exhibition of the
character and work of Christ as seen in his history till he was
taken up from his disciples into heaven; and of the Acts, as its
sequel, to give an illustration of the power and working of the
gospel when preached among all nations, "beginning at
Jerusalem." The opening sentences of the Acts are just an
expansion and an explanation of the closing words of the Gospel.
In this book we have just a continuation of the history of the
church after Christ's ascension. Luke here carries on the
history in the same spirit in which he had commenced it. It is
only a book of beginnings, a history of the founding of
churches, the initial steps in the formation of the Christian
society in the different places visited by the apostles. It
records a cycle of "representative events."
All through the narrative we see the ever-present,
all-controlling power of the ever-living Saviour. He worketh all
and in all in spreading abroad his truth among men by his Spirit
and through the instrumentality of his apostles.
The time of the writing of this history may be gathered from
the fact that the narrative extends down to the close of the
second year of Paul's first imprisonment at Rome. It could not
therefore have been written earlier than A.D. 61 or 62, nor
later than about the end of A.D. 63. Paul was probably put to
death during his second imprisonment, about A.D. 64, or, as some
The place where the book was written was probably Rome, to
which Luke accompanied Paul.
The key to the contents of the book is in 1:8, "Ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." After
referring to what had been recorded in a "former treatise" of
the sayings and doings of Jesus Christ before his ascension, the
author proceeds to give an account of the circumstances
connected with that event, and then records the leading facts
with reference to the spread and triumphs of Christianity over
the world during a period of about thirty years. The record
begins with Pentecost (A.D. 33) and ends with Paul's first
imprisonment (A.D. 63 or 64). The whole contents of the book may
be divided into these three parts:
(1.) Chaps. 1-12, describing the first twelve years of the
Christian church. This section has been entitled "From Jerusalem
to Antioch." It contains the history of the planting and
extension of the church among the Jews by the ministry of Peter.
(2.) Chaps. 13-21, Paul's missionary journeys, giving the
history of the extension and planting of the church among the
(3.) Chaps. 21-28, Paul at Rome, and the events which led to
this. Chaps. 13-28 have been entitled "From Antioch to Rome."
In this book it is worthy of note that no mention is made of
the writing by Paul of any of his epistles. This may be
accounted for by the fact that the writer confined himself to a
history of the planting of the church, and not to that of its
training or edification. The relation, however, between this
history and the epistles of Paul is of such a kind, i.e., brings
to light so many undesigned coincidences, as to prove the
genuineness and authenticity of both, as is so ably shown by
Paley in his _Horae Paulinae_. "No ancient work affords so many
tests of veracity; for no other has such numerous points of
contact in all directions with contemporary history, politics,
and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman." Lightfoot.
(See PAUL ¯T0002871.)
Chronicles, Books of
The two books were originally one. They bore the title in the
Massoretic Hebrew _Dibre hayyamim_, i.e., "Acts of the Days."
This title was rendered by Jerome in his Latin version
"Chronicon," and hence "Chronicles." In the Septuagint version
the book is divided into two, and bears the title Paraleipomena,
i.e., "things omitted," or "supplements", because containing
many things omitted in the Books of Kings.
The contents of these books are comprehended under four heads.
(1.) The first nine chapters of Book I. contain little more than
a list of genealogies in the line of Israel down to the time of
David. (2.) The remainder of the first book contains a history
of the reign of David. (3.) The first nine chapters of Book II.
contain the history of the reign of Solomon. (4.) The remaining
chapters of the second book contain the history of the separate
kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from Babylonian
The time of the composition of the Chronicles was, there is
every ground to conclude, subsequent to the Babylonian Exile,
probably between 450 and 435 B.C. The contents of this twofold
book, both as to matter and form, correspond closely with this
idea. The close of the book records the proclamation of Cyrus
permitting the Jews to return to their own land, and this forms
the opening passage of the Book of Ezra, which must be viewed as
a continuation of the Chronicles. The peculiar form of the
language, being Aramaean in its general character, harmonizes
also with that of the books which were written after the Exile.
The author was certainly contemporary with Zerubbabel, details
of whose family history are given (1 Chr. 3:19).
The time of the composition being determined, the question of
the authorship may be more easily decided. According to Jewish
tradition, which was universally received down to the middle of
the seventeenth century, Ezra was regarded as the author of the
Chronicles. There are many points of resemblance and of contact
between the Chronicles and the Book of Ezra which seem to
confirm this opinion. The conclusion of the one and the
beginning of the other are almost identical in expression. In
their spirit and characteristics they are the same, showing thus
also an identity of authorship.
In their general scope and design these books are not so much
historical as didactic. The principal aim of the writer appears
to be to present moral and religious truth. He does not give
prominence to political occurences, as is done in Samuel and
Kings, but to ecclesiastical institutions. "The genealogies, so
uninteresting to most modern readers, were really an important
part of the public records of the Hebrew state. They were the
basis on which not only the land was distributed and held, but
the public services of the temple were arranged and conducted,
the Levites and their descendants alone, as is well known, being
entitled and first fruits set apart for that purpose." The
"Chronicles" are an epitome of the sacred history from the days
of Adam down to the return from Babylonian Exile, a period of
about 3,500 years. The writer gathers up "the threads of the old
national life broken by the Captivity."
The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were
public records, registers, and genealogical tables belonging to
the Jews. These are referred to in the course of the book (1
Chr. 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27;
26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25). There are in Chronicles,
and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often
verbal, proving that the writer both knew and used these records
(1 Chr. 17:18; comp. 2 Sam. 7:18-20; 1 Chr. 19; comp. 2 Sam. 10,
As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles
omits many particulars there recorded (2 Sam. 6:20-23; 9; 11;
14-19, etc.), and includes many things peculiar to itself (1
Chr. 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.). Twenty whole chapters,
and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied with matter not
found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller detail,
as (e.g.) the list of David's heroes (1 Chr. 12:1-37), the
removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chr. 13;
15:2-24; 16:4-43; comp. 2 Sam. 6), Uzziah's leprosy and its
cause (2 Chr. 26:16-21; comp. 2 Kings 15:5), etc.
It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book
is that it substitutes modern and more common expressions for
those that had then become unusual or obsolete. This is seen
particularly in the substitution of modern names of places, such
as were in use in the writer's day, for the old names; thus
Gezer (1 Chr. 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18), etc.
The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the _khethubim_ or
hagiographa. They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in
the New Testament (Heb. 5:4; Matt. 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5;
Resurrection of Christ
one of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. If Christ
be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15:14). The whole of the
New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. On
the day of Pentecost Peter argued the necessity of Christ's
resurrection from the prediction in Ps. 16 (Acts 2:24-28). In
his own discourses, also, our Lord clearly intimates his
resurrection (Matt. 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John
The evangelists give circumstantial accounts of the facts
connected with that event, and the apostles, also, in their
public teaching largely insist upon it. Ten different
appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament.
They may be arranged as follows:
(1.) To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is
recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by
(2.) To certain women, "the other Mary," Salome, Joanna, and
others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10)
alone gives an account of this. (Comp. Mark 16:1-8, and Luke
(3.) To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See
Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)
(4.) To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of
the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Comp.
Mark 16:12, 13).
(5.) To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others
"with them," at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection
day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance,
(6.) To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at
Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also
1 Cor. 15:5).
(7.) To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of
this appearance also John (21:1-23) alone gives an account.
(8.) To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an
appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; comp. Matt. 28:16-20).
(9.) To James, but under what circumstances we are not
informed (1 Cor. 15:7).
(10.) To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They
accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they
saw him ascend "till a cloud received him out of their sight"
(Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).
It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on
most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the
amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He
conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9;
Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42,
43; John 21:12, 13).
(11.) In addition to the above, mention might be made of
Christ's manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who
speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3-9,
17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).
It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may
have been other appearances of which we have no record.
The resurrection is spoken of as the act (1) of God the Father
(Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:24; 3:15; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12;
Heb. 13:20); (2) of Christ himself (John 2:19; 10:18); and (3)
of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
The resurrection is a public testimony of Christ's release
from his undertaking as surety, and an evidence of the Father's
acceptance of his work of redemption. It is a victory over death
and the grave for all his followers.
The importance of Christ's resurrection will be seen when we
consider that if he rose the gospel is true, and if he rose not
it is false. His resurrection from the dead makes it manifest
that his sacrifice was accepted. Our justification was secured
by his obedience to the death, and therefore he was raised from
the dead (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection is a proof that he made a
full atonement for our sins, that his sacrifice was accepted as
a satisfaction to divine justice, and his blood a ransom for
sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection
of all believers (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:47-49; Phil. 3:21;
1 John 3:2). As he lives, they shall live also.
It proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it
authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17). "If Christ did
not rise, the whole scheme of redemption is a failure, and all
the predictions and anticipations of its glorious results for
time and for eternity, for men and for angels of every rank and
order, are proved to be chimeras. 'But now is Christ risen from
the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.'
Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The
kingdom of darkness has been overthrown, Satan has fallen as
lightning from heaven, and the triumph of truth over error, of
good over evil, of happiness over misery is for ever secured."
With reference to the report which the Roman soldiers were
bribed (Matt. 28:12-14) to circulate concerning Christ's
resurrection, "his disciples came by night and stole him away
while we slept," Matthew Henry in his "Commentary," under John
20:1-10, fittingly remarks, "The grave-clothes in which Christ
had been buried were found in very good order, which serves for
an evidence that his body was not 'stolen away while men slept.'
Robbers of tombs have been known to take away 'the clothes' and
leave the body; but none ever took away 'the body' and left the
clothes, especially when they were 'fine linen' and new (Mark
15:46). Any one would rather choose to carry a dead body in its
clothes than naked. Or if they that were supposed to have stolen
it would have left the grave-clothes behind, yet it cannot be
supposed they would find leisure to 'fold up the linen.'"
=Saul (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His
circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also
given to him in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as
"Saul" would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus,
the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south-east of
Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus,
which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of
extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the
shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of
central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the
wealth of its inhabitants.
Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in
reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria,
the only others that then existed. Here Saul was born, and here
he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his
native city could afford. His father was of the straitest sect
of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and
unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing
regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she
was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she
exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of
her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being,
from his youth up, "touching the righteousness which is in the
law, blameless" (Phil. 3:6).
We read of his sister and his sister's son (Acts 23:16), and
of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11, 12). Though a Jew, his father
was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not
informed. "It might be bought, or won by distinguished service
to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events,
his son was freeborn. It was a valuable privilege, and one that
was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in
which his father might have been expected to desire him to make
use of it." Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to
follow was that of a merchant. "But it was decided that...he
should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a
teacher, and a lawyer all in one."
According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before
entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred
profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from
goats' hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in
His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was
sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great
Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of
the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi
Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of
the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with
which the rabbis exercised themselves. During these years of
diligent study he lived "in all good conscience," unstained by
the vices of that great city.
After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left
Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in
connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him
back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord.
Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion,
and the rise of the new sect of the "Nazarenes."
For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly
spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of
the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive
testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much
excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their
synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers
of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent
part. He was at this time probably a member of the great
Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious
persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate
But the object of this persecution also failed. "They that
were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The
anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer
flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he
obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to
proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long
journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days,
during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward,
"breathing out threatenings and slaughter." But the crisis of
his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his
journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his
companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone
round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground,
a voice sounding in his ears, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
me?" The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his
glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the
stricken persecutor, "Who art thou, Lord?" he said, "I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest" (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all
his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his
companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep
thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11).
Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision
of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to
open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church
(9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently
Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes
of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of "Sinai in Arabia," for the
purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the
marvellous revelation that had been made to him. "A veil of
thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes
among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which
engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis
which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life,
absolutely nothing is known. 'Immediately,' says St. Paul, 'I
went away into Arabia.' The historian passes over the incident
[comp. Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38, 39]. It is a mysterious
pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle's history, a
breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his
active missionary life." Coming back, after three years, to
Damascus, he began to preach the gospel "boldly in the name of
Jesus" (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor.
11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he
tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts
9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus
(Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose
sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his
great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became
the scene of great Christian activity. There the gospel gained a
firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas
(q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work
at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he
set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the
call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for
"a whole year" became the scene of his labours, which were
crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first
time, were called "Christians" (Acts 11:26).
The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to
the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their
attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in
the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give
effect to the Master's command: "Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature."
The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary
tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across
to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the south-west. Here at Paphos,
Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul
took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul. The
missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6
or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where
John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two
then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through
Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this
tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first
address of which we have any record (13:16-51; comp. 10:30-43),
Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to
see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders
in every city to watch over the churches which had been
gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which
they had set out.
After remaining "a long time", probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in
Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there
regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For
the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and
Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at
Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15)
decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies,
accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing
with them the decree of the council.
After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: "Let us
go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have
preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do." Mark
proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him
to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul
had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met.
Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honour of Barnabas, and
sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11).
Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his
second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by
land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia.
But he longed to enter into "regions beyond," and still went
forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his
intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on
account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4:13, 14). Bithynia, a
populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before
him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit
in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came
down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the
north-western coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8). Of this long
journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some
references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13).
As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to
his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man
from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and
heard him cry, "Come over, and help us" (Acts 16:9). Paul
recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very
next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him
from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the
Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea. Leaving this province, Paul passed into
Achaia, "the paradise of genius and renown." He reached Athens,
but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The
Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never
visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of
the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a
half, labouring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote
his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest
apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be
in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was
accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at
which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He
landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having
"saluted the church" there, and kept the feast, he left for
Antioch, where he abode "some time" (Acts 18:20-23).
He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land
in the "upper coasts" (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor,
and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no
less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labour.
"This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean.
It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the
traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations;
and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire,
so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those
mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the
book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was a city of vast wealth, and it
was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its
theatres and race-course being world-wide" (Stalker's Life of
St. Paul). Here a "great door and effectual" was opened to the
apostle. His fellow-labourers aided him in his work, carrying
the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they
Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle
wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The
silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made
was in danger (see DEMETRIUS ¯T0001013), organized a riot
against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2
Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in
Macedonia. Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from
Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having
spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia,
visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior,
to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into
Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the
greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his
stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and
also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three
months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia
Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian
presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and
then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in
the spring of A.D. 58.
While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost
murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple. (See TEMPLE, HEROD'S
¯T0003611.) Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant,
he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various
causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod's
praetorium (Acts 23:35). "Paul was not kept in close
confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which
he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on
the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the
blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus,
where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps
encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence.
It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies
and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now
see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years
of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the
harvest of experience...During these two years he wrote nothing;
it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress"
(Stalker's Life of St. Paul).
At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in
the governorship of Israel by Porcius Festus, before whom the
apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to
claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the
emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded,
and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one
Julius, a centurion of the "Augustan cohort." After a long and
perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the
early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to
occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody.
This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a
Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without
a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course
changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity
of preaching the gospel to many of them during these "two whole
years," and with the blessed result of spreading among the
imperial guards, and even in Caesar's household, an interest in
the truth (Phil. 1:13). His rooms were resorted to by many
anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30, 31),
and thus his imprisonment "turned rather to the furtherance of
the gospel," and his "hired house" became the centre of a
gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According
to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the
modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from
the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the
apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians,
Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews.
This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having
been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against
him. Once more he set out on his missionary labours, probably
visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this
period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his
Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the
burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the
Christians. A fierce persecution now broke out against the
Christians. Paul was siezed, and once more conveyed to Rome a
prisoner. During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second
Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. "There can be little
doubt that he appered again at Nero's bar, and this time the
charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more
startling illustration of the irony of human life than this
scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in
the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained
the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a
man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so
steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and
soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a
compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner's dock stood the
best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labours for
the good of men and the glory of God. The trial ended: Paul was
condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out
of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The
fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the
headsman's axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the
apostle of the world rolled down in the dust" (probably A.D.
66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.