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9 Him resist stedfast in 9 Him resist, (See James iv. 7.) the faith, knowing that by being stedfast in the faith, knowthe same KINDS of suffer. ing that the very same kinds of sufferings are accomplished in ings, proceeding from the devil and your brethren who are in his instruments, which ye now susthe world.
tain, are alloited to your Christian brethren who are dispersed through
the world. 10 And may the God of 10 And may God the author of all all grace, who hath called goodness, who hath called us to the us unto his eternal glory enjoyment of his eternal happiness by Christ Jesus, after ye by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffer. have suffered a little," ed a lilile, himself make you complete (AUTOS, 65.) himself make in the virtues, support you in the you complete, support, exercise of them, strengthen you to strengthen, settle you. resist temptations, and settle you in
the profession of the gospel. 11 (Auto) To him be 11 To him be the glory of all perthe glory,' and the domi- fection, and the dominion of the uninion for ever and ever. verse ascribed by us for ever and Amen.
Amen. 12 (414) By Silvanus, 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother a faithful brother as I con. as I conclude from the general tenor clude,? I have written to of his behaviour, I have written to rou in few words, ex- you in few words, to encourage you horting rou, and strongly to persevere in the belief and protestifying that this is the fession of the gospel, exhorting you true grace of God in which and strongly testifying to you, thut
this is the true gospel of God in which ye stand : it contains a true account of the salvation of sinners.
Ver. 9.-1. Him resist, stedfast in the faith. To shew the efficacy of faith in enabling us to resist temptation, Paul calls it a shield, Eph. vi. 16. wherewith the fiery darts of the wicked one, &c.
Ver. 10.-1. After ye have suffered a little. St. Peter calls the sufferings of the first Christians orogor a little, either in respect of time or of degree; or perhaps in respect of both, because compared with the joys of heaven, the sufferings of this life are both light and momentary.
Ver. 11.-1. To him be the glory, &c. By this doxology Peter expressed bis firm persuasion that the devil hath no tile to any honour from men, nor any dominion in the universe, nor power to tempt men, but by permission from God.
Ver. 12.-1. By Silvanus a faithful icider. If Silsanus, by whom this
13 The church that is at
Ασπαζεται υμας η Babylon, elected together εν Βαβυλωνι συνεκλεκτη, και with you, saluteth you ;
Μαρκος ο γιος μου. and so doth Marcus my son.
14 Greet ye one another 14 Ασπασασθε αλληλους with a kiss of charity. εν φιληματι αγαπης. Ειρηνη Peace be with you all that
υμιν σασι τοις εν Χριςω Ιηin Christ Jesus.
letter was sent, is, as Oecumenius supposes, the person of that name, who joined Paul in writing the epistles to the Thessalonians, he is the Silas who is called, Acts xv. 22. A chief man among the brethren, and ver. 32. a propbet ; and being Paul's constant companion in travel, after the defection of John Mark, he no doubt assisted in planting churches in Galatia and the other countries of the lesser Asia mentioned in the inscription. So being well known to the brethren in tliese parts, he was a fit person to carry this letter. He is called here by Peter a faithful brotber. And without doubt he must have been an excellent person, and very zealous in the cause of the gospel, who attended Paul in so many painful journeys, undertaken for the service of Christ : and who on this occasion was willing to go into Pontus, Galatia, &c. with Peter's cpistle to the churches in these widely extended countries. Probably after Paul's death, Silas attached himself to Peter as assistani, and reckoned binself much honoured by this commission to carry the a: postles's letter into the lesser Asia, which lie executed faithfully.
2. A faithful brother as I conclude. Peter having become intimately acquainted with Silvanus only since Paul's death, he concluded him to be a faithful brother from his having so long jointly laboured with Paul in the work of the gospel.
3. And strongly testifying. According to Bengelius the preposition for in the word sa luceptu poupe tres, is used to signify that Peter added his testimony to that of Paul and Silas, concerning the truth of the gospel which they preached to the Galatians, &c. But I think the meaning is sinıply, that Peter testified concerning the gospel which had been preached to the Galatians, that it is the true gospel : consequently, that thc rites of the law were not necessary to salvation.
Ver. 13.– 1. The church which is in Babylon. (See pref. sect. 5.) The word church is not in the original. But it is supplied in the Syriac, Vulgate, and other ancient versions, and by Oecumenius. Grotius approves of the addition : and Beza observes very well that Peter omitted the word church, as is often done with regard to words of common use. But Mill and Wall think the translation should be, Sbe wbo is in Babylon; and that the apostle meant his own wife ; or some honourable woman in that city. Lardner says, it is not probable that Peter would send a salutation to the Christians of so many countries, from a woman not named.
13 The CHURCH" WHICH 13 The members of the church is at Babylon elected joint- which is in Babylon who are elected ly 2 with you, and Mark3 jointly with you to be the people of my son saluie you.
God, and Murk, whom I love as my
own son, salute you. 14 Salute one another 14 Salute one another with a kiss in with a kiss of love. (See testimony of your mutual love. HapiRom. xvi. 16. note 1.) piness be to all among you who are Peace 10 you all who ARE stedfast in the belief and profession in Christ Jesus. Amen. of the gospel. Amen.
2. Elected jointly with you. The apostle in the beginning of his letter, had called the strangers of the dispersion, elected according to the fore-knowledge of God: Here he tells them, that the church at Babylon, was elected jointly with them, to be the people of God.
3. And Mark my son. Heuman, following the opinion of some of the ancients mentioned by Oecumenius, supposes this Mark to be Peter's own son by his wife. But others are of opinion, that he calls him his son because he had converted him: So that he was his son according to the spirit, and not according to the flesh. This opinion is probable because Peter was well acquainted with the family of which Mark was a member, as may be gathered from his going immediately to the bouse of Mary tbe motber of John wbose surname was Mark, after he was miraculously brought out of prison by the angel, Acts xii. 12. This John Mark, was Barnabas's sister's son, Col. iv. 20. and the person who accompanied Paul and Barnabas as their minister in their first journey among the idolatrous Gentiles, Acts xiii. 5. But he deserted them in Pamphylia, ver. 13. Afterwards, however, he accompanied Paul in some of his journeys, Col. iv. 10. And during his second imprisonment at Rome the apostle ordered Timothy to bring Mark to Rome because he was useful to him in the ministry, 2 Tim. iv. 11. See the note on that verse. - It is generally believed that John Mark was the author of the gospel called, according to Mark.
OF THE SECOND
EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLE PETER.
Of the Authenticity of the Second Epistle of Peter. In the preface to the epistle of James, (Sect. 2. initio.) and in that to 1 Peter, (Sect. 2. initio.) the doubts which the ancients entertained, concerning the authenticity of five of the seven Catholic epistles, are faithfully declared. But at the same time it is proved, that the doubted epistles were very early known, and well received by many. On this subject, it is proper to put the reader in mind, that these epistles were rendered doubtful by a circunstance mentioned in the Gen. Pref. p. 2. namely, that the doubted epistles are omitted in the first Syriac translation of the New Testament, which is supposed to have been made in the second century. But the only conclusion that can be drawn from the omission is, that the author had not seen these epistles, or rather that they were not generally known, when he made his version. Now this might easily happen, if, as it is probable, he was a Syrian Jew. For Syria being at a great distance from Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the proconsular Asia and Bithynia, to whose inhabitants the epistles under consideration were originally sent, it would be a considerable time before copies of them were dispersed among the people for whom the Syriac version of the New Testament was made, so that the author might think it useless to translate them.
With respect to the doubts, which some entertained of these epistles, after they came to be known, they serve to prove that the ancient Christians were very cautious of receiving any books as canonical, whose authority they were not perfectly assured of. For as Wall, Crit. Notes, vol. iii. p. 358. very well observes, “ They not only rejected all the writings forged by heretics un« der the names of the apostles.—But if any good book, affirmed “ by some man or by some church, to have been written and sent « by some apostle,-was offered to them, they would not, till “ fully satisfied of the fact, receive it into their canon.” Wherefore, though the five epistles above mentioned, were not immediately acknowledged as inspired writings, in the countries at a distance from the churches or persons, to whom they were originally sent, it is no proof that they were looked on as forge. ries. It only shews, that the persons who doubted of them, had not received complete and incontestible evidence of their authenticity : Just as their being afterwards universally received, is a demonstration that, upon the strictest enquiry they found them the genuine productions of the apostles of Christ, whose names they bear. For the churches to whom these letters were sent, hearing that doubts were entertained concerning them, would no doubt of their own accord, as well as when asked concerning them, declare them to be genuine. And their attestation made public, joined with the marks of authenticity found in the epistles themselves, in time established their authority beyond üll possibility of doubt. The truth is, such good opportunity the ancient Christians had to know the truth in this matter, and so well founded their judgment concerning the books of the New Testament was, that as Lardner observes, no writing which was by them pronounced genuine, hath since their time been found spurious; neither have we at this day, the least reason to think any book genuine, which they rejected.
Thus much was necessary to be said concerning the five doubted of epistics in general. With respect to the second epistle of Peter in particular, it remains to point out the marks of authenticity, contained in the epistle itself, which, with the attestations of the churches to which it was sent, have fully established its authority.
I. And first, it is observable that the writer styles himself Syjmeon Peter ; from which we conclude that this epistle is the work of the apostle Peter.-If it be objected, that the apostle's name was Simon not Symeon, the answer is, that although in Greek, this apostle's name was commonly written Simon, the