Grace, means of
an expression not used in Scripture, but employed (1) to denote
those institutions ordained by God to be the ordinary channels
of grace to the souls of men. These are the Word, Sacraments,
(2.) But in popular language the expression is used in a wider
sense to denote those exercises in which we engage for the
purpose of obtaining spiritual blessing; as hearing the gospel,
reading the Word, meditation, self-examination, Christian
(Luke 2:46; 5:17; Acts 5:34), a teacher. The Jewish doctors
taught and disputed in synagogues, or wherever they could find
an audience. Their disciples were allowed to propose to them
questions. They assumed the office without any appointment to
it. The doctors of the law were principally of the sect of the
Pharisees. Schools were established after the destruction of
Jerusalem at Babylon and Tiberias, in which academical degrees
were conferred on those who passed a certain examination. Those
of the school of Tiberias were called by the title "rabbi," and
those of Babylon by that of "master."
from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion
chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the
Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without
reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New
Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks
"heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also
denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In
Titus 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own
self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus
came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2
The ashes of a red heifer burned entire (Num. 19:5) when
sprinkled on the unclean made them ceremonially clean (Heb.
To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence
and humiliation (2 Sam. 13:19; Esther 4:3; Jer. 6:26, etc.).
To feed on ashes (Isa. 44:20), means to seek that which will
prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the
unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Compare Hos. 12:1).
was high priest A.D. 7-14. In A.D. 25 Caiaphas, who had married
the daughter of Annas (John 18:13), was raised to that office,
and probably Annas was now made president of the Sanhedrim, or
deputy or coadjutor of the high priest, and thus was also called
high priest along with Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). By the Mosaic law
the high-priesthood was held for life (Num. 3:10); and although
Annas had been deposed by the Roman procurator, the Jews may
still have regarded him as legally the high priest. Our Lord was
first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of him
(John 18:19-23) was sent to Caiaphas, when some members of the
Sanhedrim had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place
(Matt. 26:57-68). This examination of our Lord before Annas is
recorded only by John. Annas was president of the Sanhedrim
before which Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).
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.
ewe, "the daughter", "the somewhat petulant, peevish, and
self-willed though beautiful younger daughter" of Laban, and one
of Jacob's wives (Gen. 29:6, 28). He served Laban fourteen years
for her, so deep was Jacob's affection for her. She was the
mother of Joseph (Gen. 30:22-24). Afterwards, on Jacob's
departure from Mesopotamia, she took with her her father's
teraphim (31:34, 35). As they journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel
died in giving birth to Benjamin (35:18, 19), and was buried "in
the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar
upon her grave". Her sepulchre is still regarded with great
veneration by the Jews. Its traditional site is about half a
mile from Jerusalem.
This name is used poetically by Jeremiah (31:15-17) to denote
God's people mourning under their calamities. This passage is
also quoted by Matthew as fulfilled in the lamentation at
Bethlehem on account of the slaughter of the infants there at
the command of Herod (Matt. 2:17, 18).
Corinthians, Second Epistle to the
Shortly after writing his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul
left Ephesus, where intense excitement had been aroused against
him, the evidence of his great success, and proceeded to
Macedonia. Pursuing the usual route, he reached Troas, the port
of departure for Europe. Here he expected to meet with Titus,
whom he had sent from Ephesus to Corinth, with tidings of the
effects produced on the church there by the first epistle; but
was disappointed (1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 1:8; 2:12, 13). He then
left Troas and proceeded to Macedonia; and at Philippi, where he
tarried, he was soon joined by Titus (2 Cor. 7:6, 7), who
brought him good news from Corinth, and also by Timothy. Under
the influence of the feelings awakened in his mind by the
favourable report which Titus brought back from Corinth, this
second epistle was written. It was probably written at Philippi,
or, as some think, Thessalonica, early in the year A.D. 58, and
was sent to Corinth by Titus. This letter he addresses not only
to the church in Corinth, but also to the saints in all Achaia,
i.e., in Athens, Cenchrea, and other cities in Greece.
The contents of this epistle may be thus arranged:
(1.) Paul speaks of his spiritual labors and course of life,
and expresses his warm affection toward the Corinthians (2 Cor.
(2.) He gives specific directions regarding the collection
that was to be made for their poor brethren in Judea (8; 9).
(3.) He defends his own apostolic claim (10-13), and justifies
himself from the charges and insinuations of the false teacher
and his adherents.
This epistle, it has been well said, shows the individuallity
of the apostle more than any other. "Human weakness, spiritual
strength, the deepest tenderness of affection, wounded feeling,
sternness, irony, rebuke, impassioned self-vindication,
humility, a just self-respect, zeal for the welfare of the weak
and suffering, as well as for the progress of the church of
Christ and for the spiritual advancement of its members, are all
displayed in turn in the course of his appeal."--Lias, Second
Of the effects produced on the Corinthian church by this
epistle we have no definite information. We know that Paul
visited Corinth after he had written it (Acts 20:2, 3), and that
on that occasion he tarried there for three months. In his
letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from
some of the principal members of the church to the Romans.
(1.) Trial; a being put to the test. Thus God "tempted [Gen. 22:
1; R.V., 'did prove'] Abraham;" and afflictions are said to
tempt, i.e., to try, men (James 1:2, 12; compare Deut. 8:2),
putting their faith and patience to the test. (2.) Ordinarily,
however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and
hence Satan is called "the tempter" (Matt. 4:3). Our Lord was in
this way tempted in the wilderness. That temptation was not
internal, but by a real, active, subtle being. It was not
self-sought. It was submitted to as an act of obedience on his
part. "Christ was led, driven. An unseen personal force bore him
a certain violence is implied in the words" (Matt. 4:1-11).
The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed
to have been the mountain of Quarantania (q.v.), "a high and
precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain
west of Jordan, near Jericho."
Temptation is common to all (Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:9; Ps.
66:10; Luke 22:31, 40; Heb. 11:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:7;
4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph (Gen. 39), of David
(2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:31), of Daniel
(Dan. 6), etc. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to
temptations, and need ever to be on our watch against them.
separatists (Heb. persahin, from parash, "to separate"). They
were probably the successors of the Assideans (i.e., the
"pious"), a party that originated in the time of Antiochus
Epiphanes in revolt against his heathenizing policy. The first
mention of them is in a description by Josephus of the three
sects or schools into which the Jews were divided (B.C. 145).
The other two sects were the Essenes and the Sadducees. In the
time of our Lord they were the popular party (John 7:48). They
were extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining
to the law of Moses (Matt. 9:14; 23:15; Luke 11:39; 18:12).
Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed
himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6-8; 26:4, 5).
There was much that was sound in their creed, yet their system
of religion was a form and nothing more. Theirs was a very lax
morality (Matt. 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On
the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matt. 3:7), they
are ranked by our Lord with the Sadducees as a "generation of
vipers." They were noted for their self-righteousness and their
pride (Matt. 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently
rebuked by our Lord (Matt. 12:39; 16:1-4).
From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees showed
themselves bitter and persistent enemies of our Lord. They could
not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to
destroy his influence among the people.
the special and significant name (not merely an appellative
title such as Lord [adonai]) by which God revealed himself to
the ancient Hebrews (Ex. 6:2, 3). This name, the Tetragrammaton
of the Greeks, was held by the later Jews to be so sacred that
it was never pronounced except by the high priest on the great
Day of Atonement, when he entered into the most holy place.
Whenever this name occurred in the sacred books they pronounced
it, as they still do, "Adonai" (i.e., Lord), thus using another
word in its stead. The Massorets gave to it the vowel-points
appropriate to this word. This Jewish practice was founded on a
false interpretation of Lev. 24:16. The meaning of the word
appears from Ex. 3:14 to be "the unchanging, eternal,
self-existent God," the "I am that I am," a convenant-keeping
God. (Compare Mal. 3:6; Hos. 12:5; Rev. 1:4, 8.)
The Hebrew name "Jehovah" is generally translated in the
Authorized Version (and the Revised Version has not departed
from this rule) by the word LORD printed in small capitals, to
distinguish it from the rendering of the Hebrew "Adonai" and the
Greek "Kurios", which are also rendered Lord, but printed in the
usual type. The Hebrew word is translated "Jehovah" only in Ex.
6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4, and in the compound names
It is worthy of notice that this name is never used in the
LXX., the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Apocrypha, or in the New
Testament. It is found, however, on the "Moabite stone" (q.v.),
and consequently it must have been in the days of Mesba so
commonly pronounced by the Hebrews as to be familiar to their
frequently used in its proper sense, for fastening a tent (Ex.
35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isa. 5:18), binding
prisoners (Judg. 15:13; Ps. 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground (2
Sam. 8;2; Ps. 78:55). Figuratively, death is spoken of as the
giving way of the tent-cord (Job 4:21. "Is not their tent-cord
plucked up?" R.V.). To gird one's self with a cord was a token
of sorrow and humiliation. To stretch a line over a city meant
to level it with the ground (Lam. 2:8). The "cords of sin" are
the consequences or fruits of sin (Prov. 5:22). A "threefold
cord" is a symbol of union (Eccl. 4:12). The "cords of a man"
(Hos. 11:4) means that men employ, in inducing each other,
methods such as are suitable to men, and not "cords" such as
oxen are led by. Isaiah (5:18) says, "Woe unto them that draw
iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart
rope." This verse is thus given in the Chaldee paraphrase: "Woe
to those who begin to sin by little and little, drawing sin by
cords of vanity: these sins grow and increase till they are
strong and are like a cart rope." This may be the true meaning.
The wicked at first draw sin with a slender cord; but by-and-by
their sins increase, and they are drawn after them by a cart
rope. Henderson in his commentary says: "The meaning is that the
persons described were not satisfied with ordinary modes of
provoking the Deity, and the consequent ordinary approach of his
vengeance, but, as it were, yoked themselves in the harness of
iniquity, and, putting forth all their strength, drew down upon
themselves, with accelerated speed, the load of punishment which
their sins deserved."
Numbering of the people
Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of
the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a
general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which
David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very
reluctantly began to carry out the king's command.
This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose
from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance
on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not
by the divine favour but by the material resources of his
kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and
forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned
against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart
smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in
profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in
what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before
him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for "seven years"
in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have "three years"),
three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of
these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months
before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account
of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said,
"Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out
among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At
David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the
threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel
was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there
offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1).
The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at
least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that
time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See
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).
a possession; a spear. (1.) The first-born son of Adam and Eve
(Gen. 4). He became a tiller of the ground, as his brother Abel
followed the pursuits of pastoral life. He was "a sullen,
self-willed, haughty, vindictive man; wanting the religious
element in his character, and defiant even in his attitude
towards God." It came to pass "in process of time" (marg. "at
the end of days"), i.e., probably on the Sabbath, that the two
brothers presented their offerings to the Lord. Abel's offering
was of the "firstlings of his flock and of the fat," while
Cain's was "of the fruit of the ground." Abel's sacrifice was
"more excellent" (Heb. 11:4) than Cain's, and was accepted by
God. On this account Cain was "very wroth," and cherished
feelings of murderous hatred against his brother, and was at
length guilty of the desperate outrage of putting him to death
(1 John 3:12). For this crime he was expelled from Eden, and
henceforth led the life of an exile, bearing upon him some mark
which God had set upon him in answer to his own cry for mercy,
so that thereby he might be protected from the wrath of his
fellow-men; or it may be that God only gave him some sign to
assure him that he would not be slain (Gen. 4:15). Doomed to be
a wanderer and a fugitive in the earth, he went forth into the
"land of Nod", i.e., the land of "exile", which is said to have
been in the "east of Eden," and there he built a city, the first
we read of, and called it after his son's name, Enoch. His
descendants are enumerated to the sixth generation. They
gradually degenerated in their moral and spiritual condition
till they became wholly corrupt before God. This corruption
prevailed, and at length the Deluge was sent by God to prevent
the final triumph of evil. (See ABEL T0000015.)
(2.) A town of the Kenites, a branch of the Midianites (Josh.
15:57), on the east edge of the mountain above Engedi; probably
the "nest in a rock" mentioned by Balaam (Num. 24:21). It is
identified with the modern Yekin, 3 miles south-east of Hebron.
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).
Corinthians, First Epistle to the
was written from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8) about the time of the
Passover in the third year of the apostle's sojourn there (Acts
19:10; 20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit
Macedonia, and then return to Corinth (probably A.D. 57).
The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth
frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions
that had arisen among them, first from Apollos (Acts 19:1), and
then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also
from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and
his two friends who had visited him (1 Cor. 1:11; 16:17). Paul
thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the
factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had
sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and
disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose
name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter (2
Cor. 2:13; 8:6, 16-18).
The epistle may be divided into four parts:
(1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable
divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them (1 Cor.
(2.) He next treats of certain cases of immorality that had
become notorious among them. They had apparently set at nought
the very first principles of morality (5; 6).
(3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of
doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain
communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies
certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's
(4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate
defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which
had been called in question by some among them, followed by some
general instructions, intimations, and greetings.
This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle
in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances,
his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was
written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction
and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' (2 Cor. 2:4);
yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with
a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win
back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early
church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic
church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or
purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and
applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages
in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they
This is one of the epistles the authenticity of which has
never been called in question by critics of any school, so many
and so conclusive are the evidences of its Pauline origin.
The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the
Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error
arose from a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 16:5, "For I do pass
through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am
passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of
remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose
is to "pass through Macedonia."
Philippians, Epistle to
was written by Paul during the two years when he was "in bonds"
in Rome (Phil. 1:7-13), probably early in the year A.D. 62 or in
the end of 61.
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with
contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his
return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious
communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey.
"The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful
letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden
from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church
itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet
cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was
once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the
most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and
fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To
myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter
written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way
by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a
cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life" (Professor
The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European
Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent,
and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the
churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully
acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The
pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very
conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). "This was a characteristic of the
Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully
prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a
class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their
poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary
and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the
missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion,
really greater than that of the rich" (Moule's Philippians,
The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into
the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written.
Paul's imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his
preaching the gospel, but rather "turned out to the furtherance
of the gospel." The gospel spread very extensively among the
Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the
Christians grew into a "vast multitude." It is plain that
Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome.
The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation
to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20
with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea
of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul's writings.
The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost
parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph.
1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. "This exposition of the grace
and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and
personal exaltation after it," found in these epistles, "is, in
a great measure, a new development in the revelations given
through St. Paul" (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of
expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of
the five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the
Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it
certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five
portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern
critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as
one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different
character from the other books, and has a different author. It
stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books
beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See
The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book,
the "Law of Moses," the "Book of the Law of Moses," the "Book of
Moses," or, as the Jews designate it, the "Torah" or "Law." That
in its present form it "proceeds from a single author is proved
by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer
to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the
instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before
his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all
the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity
has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the
latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is
visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the
work.", Keil, Einl. i.d. A. T.
A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct
the books of the Old Testament. By a process of "scientific
study" they have discovered that the so-called historical books
of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous
collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers,
patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the
Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even
conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to
their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and
partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the
work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details
of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have
no faith in this "higher criticism." It degrades the books of
the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings,
and the arguments on which its speculations are built are
The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the
Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them
(1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the
name of God (Ex. 17:14; 24:3, 4, 7; 32:7-10, 30-34; 34:27; Lev.
26:46; 27:34; Deut. 31:9, 24, 25).
(2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the
Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (compare Josh. 8:31,
32; 1 Kings 2:3; Jer. 7:22; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 8:1; Mal. 4:4; Matt.
22:24; Acts 15:21).
(3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these
books (Matt. 5:17, 18; 19:8; 22:31, 32; 23:2; Mark 10:9; 12:26;
Luke 16:31; 20:37; 24:26, 27, 44; John 3:14; 5:45, 46, 47; 6:32,
49; 7:19, 22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to
allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the
Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet
encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to?
(4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there
is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference
to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a
point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that
there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical
character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we
find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical
books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses"
was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of
Joshua (Josh. 5:10, cf. 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2
Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19-22), and is
referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 23:22; 2 Chr. 35:18; 1
Kings 9:25 ("three times in a year"); 2 Chr. 8:13. Similarly we
might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and
other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any
valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in
such a case. An examination of the following texts, 1 Kings 2:9;
2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Dan.
9:11, 13, will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was
known during all these centuries.
Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral
traditions or written records and documents which he was
divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing
was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for
certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called
"anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates
against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the
whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm
that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that
the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of
those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The
Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of
the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See
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).
originally called Simon (=Simeon ,i.e., "hearing"), a very
common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona
(Matt. 16:17). His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had
a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus
(John 1:40-42). His native town was Bethsaida, on the western
coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here
he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and was
trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably
died while he was still young, and he and his brother were
brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome (Matt.
27:56; Mark 15:40; 16:1). There the four youths, Simon, Andrew,
James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in
constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all
the advantages of a religious training, and were early
instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the
great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They did
not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study
of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before
the Sanhedrin, he looked like an "unlearned man" (Acts 4:13).
"Simon was a Galilean, and he was that out and out...The
Galileans had a marked character of their own. They had a
reputation for an independence and energy which often ran out
into turbulence. They were at the same time of a franker and
more transparent disposition than their brethren in the south.
In all these respects, in bluntness, impetuosity, headiness, and
simplicity, Simon was a genuine Galilean. They spoke a peculiar
dialect. They had a difficulty with the guttural sounds and some
others, and their pronunciation was reckoned harsh in Judea. The
Galilean accent stuck to Simon all through his career. It
betrayed him as a follower of Christ when he stood within the
judgment-hall (Mark 14:70). It betrayed his own nationality and
that of those conjoined with him on the day of Pentecost (Acts
2:7)." It would seem that Simon was married before he became an
apostle. His wife's mother is referred to (Matt. 8:14; Mark
1:30; Luke 4:38). He was in all probability accompanied by his
wife on his missionary journeys (1 Cor. 9:5; compare 1 Pet. 5:13).
He appears to have been settled at Capernaum when Christ
entered on his public ministry, and may have reached beyond the
age of thirty. His house was large enough to give a home to his
brother Andrew, his wife's mother, and also to Christ, who seems
to have lived with him (Mark 1:29, 36; 2:1), as well as to his
own family. It was apparently two stories high (2:4).
At Bethabara (R.V., John 1:28, "Bethany"), beyond Jordan, John
the Baptist had borne testimony concerning Jesus as the "Lamb of
God" (John 1:29-36). Andrew and John hearing it, followed Jesus,
and abode with him where he was. They were convinced, by his
gracious words and by the authority with which he spoke, that he
was the Messiah (Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:29); and Andrew went forth
and found Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41).
Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he
would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the
Greek Petros, which means "a mass of rock detached from the
living rock." The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the
name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our
Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him
(Matt. 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31, compare 21:15-17). We are
not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced
on the mind of Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of
Galilee (Matt. 4:18-22). There the four (Simon and Andrew, James
and John) had had an unsuccessful night's fishing. Jesus
appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon's boat, bade him
launch forth and let down the nets. He did so, and enclosed a
great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought
before Simon's eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at
the feet of Jesus, crying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful
man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Jesus addressed him with the assuring
words, "Fear not," and announced to him his life's work. Simon
responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after
this we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.
He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and
becomes a "fisher of men" (Matt. 4:19) in the stormy seas of the
world of human life (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16),
and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading
events of our Lord's life. It is he who utters that notable
profession of faith at Capernaum (John 6:66-69), and again at
Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20).
This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and
our Lord in response used these memorable words: "Thou art
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
"From that time forth" Jesus began to speak of his sufferings.
For this Peter rebuked him. But our Lord in return rebuked
Peter, speaking to him in sterner words than he ever used to any
other of his disciples (Matt. 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33). At the
close of his brief sojourn at Caesarea our Lord took Peter and
James and John with him into "an high mountain apart," and was
transfigured before them. Peter on that occasion, under the
impression the scene produced on his mind, exclaimed, "Lord, it
is good for us to be here: let us make three tabernacles" (Matt.
On his return to Capernaum the collectors of the temple tax (a
didrachma, half a sacred shekel), which every Israelite of
twenty years old and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:15), came to
Peter and reminded him that Jesus had not paid it (Matt.
17:24-27). Our Lord instructed Peter to go and catch a fish in
the lake and take from its mouth the exact amount needed for the
tax, viz., a stater, or two half-shekels. "That take," said our
Lord, "and give unto them for me and thee."
As the end was drawing nigh, our Lord sent Peter and John
(Luke 22:7-13) into the city to prepare a place where he should
keep the feast with his disciples. There he was forewarned of
the fearful sin into which he afterwards fell (22:31-34). He
accompanied our Lord from the guest-chamber to the garden of
Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46), which he and the other two who had
been witnesses of the transfiguration were permitted to enter
with our Lord, while the rest were left without. Here he passed
through a strange experience. Under a sudden impulse he cut off
the ear of Malchus (47-51), one of the band that had come forth
to take Jesus. Then follow the scenes of the judgment-hall
(54-61) and his bitter grief (62).
He is found in John's company early on the morning of the
resurrection. He boldly entered into the empty grave (John
20:1-10), and saw the "linen clothes laid by themselves" (Luke
24:9-12). To him, the first of the apostles, our risen Lord
revealed himself, thus conferring on him a signal honour, and
showing how fully he was restored to his favour (Luke 24:34; 1
Cor. 15:5). We next read of our Lord's singular interview with
Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where he thrice asked
him, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" (John 21:1-19). (See
After this scene at the lake we hear nothing of Peter till he
again appears with the others at the ascension (Acts 1:15-26).
It was he who proposed that the vacancy caused by the apostasy
of Judas should be filled up. He is prominent on the day of
Pentecost (2:14-40). The events of that day "completed the
change in Peter himself which the painful discipline of his fall
and all the lengthened process of previous training had been
slowly making. He is now no more the unreliable, changeful,
self-confident man, ever swaying between rash courage and weak
timidity, but the stead-fast, trusted guide and director of the
fellowship of believers, the intrepid preacher of Christ in
Jerusalem and abroad. And now that he is become Cephas indeed,
we hear almost nothing of the name Simon (only in Acts 10:5, 32;
15:14), and he is known to us finally as Peter."
After the miracle at the temple gate (Acts 3) persecution
arose against the Christians, and Peter was cast into prison. He
boldly defended himself and his companions at the bar of the
council (4:19, 20). A fresh outburst of violence against the
Christians (5:17-21) led to the whole body of the apostles being
cast into prison; but during the night they were wonderfully
delivered, and were found in the morning teaching in the temple.
A second time Peter defended them before the council (Acts
5:29-32), who, "when they had called the apostles and beaten
them, let them go."
The time had come for Peter to leave Jerusalem. After
labouring for some time in Samaria, he returned to Jerusalem,
and reported to the church there the results of his work (Acts
8:14-25). Here he remained for a period, during which he met
Paul for the first time since his conversion (9:26-30; Gal.
1:18). Leaving Jerusalem again, he went forth on a missionary
journey to Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43). He is next called on
to open the door of the Christian church to the Gentiles by the
admission of Cornelius of Caesarea (ch. 10).
After remaining for some time at Caesarea, he returned to
Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18), where he defended his conduct with
reference to the Gentiles. Next we hear of his being cast into
prison by Herod Agrippa (12:1-19); but in the night an angel of
the Lord opened the prison gates, and he went forth and found
refuge in the house of Mary.
He took part in the deliberations of the council in Jerusalem
(Acts 15:1-31; Gal. 2:1-10) regarding the relation of the
Gentiles to the church. This subject had awakened new interest
at Antioch, and for its settlement was referred to the council
of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Here Paul and Peter met
We have no further mention of Peter in the Acts of the
Apostles. He seems to have gone down to Antioch after the
council at Jerusalem, and there to have been guilty of
dissembling, for which he was severely reprimanded by Paul (Gal.
2:11-16), who "rebuked him to his face."
After this he appears to have carried the gospel to the east,
and to have laboured for a while at Babylon, on the Euphrates (1
Pet. 5:13). There is no satisfactory evidence that he was ever
at Rome. Where or when he died is not certainly known. Probably
he died between A.D. 64 and 67.