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which the question of forbidden meats is treated in the xivth chapter is only a special example of the motive which pervades the whole work. The Apostle, it is true, had a personal reason for writing to the Romans, as he contemplated visiting them soon and wished to prepare them for his visit: but above all this, there was singular propriety in addressing such an exposition to the Church of the metropolis, composed, as we have seen, in almost equal parts of the same two discordant elements which he strove to combine. Thus the epistle, though not a circular epistle itself, yet manifested the general and comprehensive character which might be expected in such. It is more of a treatise than a letter. This was our Epistle to the Romans.
The shorter recension, in which the two last chapters were omitted, was, I suppose, an after-thought, being an attempt to divest it of all personal matter, and to make it available as a circular letter or general treatise. So far, it was a carrying out of the spirit of the original work. When and how this was done I shall endeavour to make out; but by way of introduction I will set side by side what I consider to have been the contents of these two recensions respectively.
Epistle to the Romans.
i-xiv. [Substituting τοις ουσιν εν αγάπη Θεού for τοίς ουσιν έν Ρώμη αγαπητούς Θεού in i. 5, and omitting év 'Póun in i. 17].
xvi. 1-23 [omitting the benediction (xvi. 24), and the doxology
Of the abridged recension we have distinct traces in Marcion's copy (though he omitted the doxology), in FG, and less decidedly in other authorities; and some such hypothesis
alone will explain the varying positions of the doxology in different MSS.
The MS F is unfortunately defective in the first chapter, but doubtless preserved here the same phenomena which we find in G. These two MSS are very closely allied, and must have been copied mediately or immediately from the same prototype. They themselves may probably be referred to the Ixth century, having belonged to two neighbouring Swiss monasteries, the one to Reichenau, the other to St Gall. Either their common prototype, or a still earlier MS from which it was copied, must have preserved the abridged recension. The space of about five lines, which is left blank between chapters xiv and xv in G, would be about sufficient for the doxology (xvi. 25—27), which however is omitted in both places. These features in the MS suggest that the copyist of an earlier MS, from which it has descended, transcribed a MS of the abridged recension till the end of chapter xiv, and then took up a MS of the original Epistle to the Romans to supply the lacking matter, omitting however the doxology as inappropriate to what had thus become the middle of the letter, and perhaps intending to give it a place afterwards, but abandoning his purpose. It is an instructive fact that in the allied MS F no space is left after ch. xiv, but the text is written continuously.
My reasons for supposing that the doxology (xvi. 25—27 of the received text) belonged to the abridged recension and not to the original epistle are the following:
(1) It has nothing in common with the usual endings of St Paul's Epistles, which close with a benediction of the type mentioned above (p. 283).
(2) On the other hand, such an abridged recension as I have supposed, whether issued by the Apostle or by some later editor, would hardly have been left to terminate abruptly with πάν δε ο ουκ εκ πίστεως, αμαρτία εστίν. The addition of a doxology, or of some equivalent, would seem necessary.
(3) If it had occurred at the end of the xivth chapter in the original epistle, it would have been a violent interruption of the sense, for the xvth chapter continues the thread of the xivth, and there is nothing to call for such a thanksgiving. On the other hand, if its position was at the end of the epistle, the displacement to the close of the xivth is somewhat difficult to explain.
(4) The difference of style between this doxology and the rest of the epistle has often been noticed, and has led some critics to question or deny its genuineness. The real fact is, that though it does differ somewhat in thought and diction from the epistles of this date, it has very strong affinities to the later letters of the Apostle, as the following table will show :
το δε δυναμένω...
το δε δυναμένω, Εph. iii. 20. κατά το ευαγγέλιόν μου...
κατά το ευαγγέλιόν μου (2 Τim.
ii. 8, but also Rom. ii. 16). το κήρυγμα Ιησού Χριστού κα- κατά αποκάλυψιν έγνωρίσθη τα αποκάλυψιν μυστηρίου χρό- μoι το μυστήριον...δ ετέραις νοις αιωνίοις σεσιγημένου φανε- γενεαϊς ουκ έγνωρίσθη...ως νυν ρωθέντος δε νύν διά τε γραφών απεκαλύφθη τοις αγίοις αποπροφητικών, κατ' επιταγήν του στόλους αυτού και προφήταις αιωνίου Θεού είς υπακοήν πί- εν πνεύματι, είναι τα έθνη κ.τ.λ. στεως εις πάντα τα έθνη γνωρι- Εph. iii. 3, 5, 6. σθέντος.
του μυστηρίου του αποκεκρυμ-
9, 10. του αιωνίου Θεού...μόνο σοφώ το δε βασιλεϊ των αιώνων... Θεώ διά Ιησού Χριστού και η μόνω [σοφώ] Θεώ τιμή και δόξα δόξα εις τους αιώνας [των αιώ- | εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. νων]. αμήν.
αμήν. 1 Τim. i. 17.
These facts seem to show that though written by the Apostle it was not written at the same time with the letter itself ?
In order to account for all these data, I suggest the following hypothesis. At some later period of his life, not improbably during one of his sojourns in Rome, it occurred to the Apostle to give to this letter a wider circulation. To this end he made two changes in it; he obliterated all mention of Rome in the opening paragraphs by slight alterations; and he cut off the two last chapters containing personal matters, adding at the same time a doxology as a termination to the whole. By this ready method it was made available for general circulation, and perhaps was circulated to prepare the way for a personal visit in countries into which he had not yet penetrated (i. 11 sq.). The idea of a circular letter was not new to him; for he had already addressed one to the Churches of Asia. M. Renan pertinently remarks that the First Epistle of St Peter makes use chiefly of the Epistle to the Romans and the Epistle to the Ephesians, c'est-à-dire des deux épîtres qui sont des traités généraux, des catéchèses' (p. lxxii).
Thus I believe that the last, and the last alone, of M. Renan's four epistles represents a historical fact. It was not however a special copy, as he supposes, addressed to some individual church now unknown, but an adaptation of the original epistle for general circulation. A copy of this fell into the hands of Marcion, but (unless Rufinus in his translation has misrepresented Origen's meaning) he removed the doxology, as he well might have done with a doctrinal aim. Another was the prototype of FG. All the phenomena relating to the doxology arose from the combination of copies of this abridged recension with copies of the original epistle in different ways. The notice of Origen shows that such combinations took place at a very early date.
One point still remains to be settled-relating however not to the abridged recension, but to the original epistle. Where are we to place the benediction which occurs (1) at xvi. 20, (2) after xvi. 23, whether before or after the doxology, or (3) in both places, in different copies, as explained above (p. 284) ? To this question the great preponderance of authority allows but one answer. It must stand at xvi. 20, and must be omitted from the later place. If so ver. 20 is the true close of the epistle, and the salutations from the amanuensis and other companions of St. Paul were added irregularly as a sort of postscript, as was very likely to have been done, considering the circumstances under which St Paul's epistles were written. The desire of later transcribers to get a proper close to the letter would lead them to transplant to the end of these salutations the benediction of xvi. 20, with or without modification, or to supply the defect with the doxology from the abridged recension. Either expedient appears in different MSS, and in some both are combined.
1 Dean Alford (G. T. II. Prol. p. 80) points out the resemblance of this doxology to the Pastoral Epistles, though not to the Epistle to the Ephesians, and suggests that it was appended to
the epistle 'in later times by the Apostle himself, as a thankful effusion of his fervent mind.' This view seems not to supply an adequate occasion for the addition.