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angels were looking on, which has been proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in the world, and has obtained a glorious reception."
In the beginning of the second chapter of this Epistle, St. Paul speaks earnestly, and at length, of the prayers to be offered by Christians in their public assemblies. The main object of their thus
to many other parts of this essay. The careful inquirer will find that it abounds in misstatements and false assumptions; and will be astonished at the suppression of important facts, of which it hardly seems possible that the author can have been ignorant. Some of Dr. Henderson's errors are pointed out in the article in the Eclectic Review before referred to, and in the Christian Examiner for January 1850, p. 29, note. There are other important mistakes and omissions not there noted, particularly in his account of the evidence of the Fathers.
Professor Stuart, in the new edition of his Letters to Dr. Channing contained in his "Miscellanies," published in 1846, has some remarks on this passage, in which he has repeated many of Dr. Henderson's errors, and added others of his own. After the statements and references which have been made, it is not worth while to point these out in detail. But though the accuracy of Professor Stuart cannot be relied on, he has shown his candor in the following honest concession, which is quoted with approbation by Dr. Davidson, himself a Trinitarian.
"I cannot feel," he says, in concluding his remarks supplementary to Dr. Henderson's essay, "that the contest on the subject of the reading can profit one side so much, or harm the other so much, as disputants respecting the doctrine of the Trinity have supposed. Whoever attentively studies John xvii. 20-26, 1 John i. 3, ii. 5, iv. 15, 16, and other passages of the like tenor, will see that 'God might be manifest' in the person of Christ, without the necessary implication of the proper divinity of the Saviour; at least, that the phraseology of Scripture does admit of other constructions besides this; and other ones, moreover, which are not forced. And conceding this fact, less is determined by the contest about ős and Ocós, in 1 Tim. iii. 16, than might seem to be at first view."- Biblical Repository for January, 1832, p. 79.]
associating together was to excite their feelings of piety by mutual sympathy. Then follow directions respecting the well-ordering of a Christian community or church, and the proper character of its officers; and, in conclusion, the Apostle recurs to the great distinctive character of Christianity, its new doctrine of piety to God, that state of mind which their assemblies were particularly intended to cherish. Thus we have a connected train of thought. But if the conclusion of the passage be explained of the manifestation of Christ, or of God, in the flesh, a new subject is abruptly introduced, having but a remote connection with what precedes; and one which we perceive no reason for the Apostle's adverting to in this place.*
Passages relating to Christ which have been mistranslated.
To this class belongs Philippians ii. 5, seqq. Here the Common Version makes the Apostle say of Christ, that he "thought it not robbery to be equal with God." This has been considered a decisive argument that Christ is God; though
[For a notice of the various readings of some other passages supposed to have a bearing on the doctrine of the Trinity, see Appendix, Note C.]
it is an absurdity to say of any being, that he - thought it not robbery to be equal with himself." Perhaps no text, however, has been more frequently quoted or referred to. But it now seems to be generally conceded that the words have been mistranslated. In the verses that follow, the verbal rendering of ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ is, “ in the form of God,” and that of μop doúλov, “the
form of a servant." But as these phrases do not correspond to our modes of expression, they can hardly convey a distinct meaning to most readers. "To be in the form of another," as here used, means “to appear as another," "to be as another.” In a translation it is better to substitute one of these equivalent, but more intelligible phrases. The whole passage may be thus rendered:
"Let the same disposition [Let the same humility and benevolence] be in you which was in Jesus Christ, who being as God did not think that his equality with God was to be eagerly retained; but divested himself of it, and made himself as a servant and was as men are, and being in the common condition of man, humbled himself, and was submissive, even to death, the death of the cross."
Christ was "in the form of God," or "the image of God," or "as God"; he was "like God,"
Thus Dr. Watts in one of his hymns:
"Yet there is one of human frame,
Jesus arrayed in flesh and blood,
Thinks it no robbery to claim
A full equality with God.
Their glory shines with equal beams," &c.
Book II., H. 51.
or he was "equal with God" (the latter words being correctly understood); because he was a minister in the hands of God, wholly under his direction; because his words were the words of God, his miracles, the works of the Father who sent him, and his authority as a teacher and legislator, that of the Almighty, not human, but divine. Yet notwithstanding that he bore the high character of God's messenger and representative to men, with all the powers connected with it, he was not eager to display that character, or exercise those powers, for the sake of any personal advantage, or of assuming any rank or splendor corresponding to his pre-eminence over all other men. "Being rich, for our sakes he became poor."* He divested himself as it were of his powers, lowered himself to the condition of common men, lived as they live, exposed to their deprivations and sufferings, and voluntarily, as if weak as they, submitted to an ignominious and torturing death. When it is affirmed that Christ made himself as a servant, these words are illustrated by those which he himself used, while inculcating, like the Apostle, the virtues of humility and benevolence, with a like reference to his own example: "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve." It is in imitation of this example, that he directs him, "who would be chief among his disciples, to become the servant of all." +
I PROCEED to another example. It is the mistranslation of the word alwves by the English word "worlds," in the commencement of the Epistle to the Hebrews. For giving this sense to the original term, there is not, I think, any authority to be found either in Hellenistic or classic Greek. was not so used till long after the composition of this Epistle. In the theological dialect of Christians, this sense was assigned to it in reference to the present passage and to another in this Epistle (Ch. xi. 3.) ; and the corresponding Latin word sæculum acquired the same meaning. The Greek word αἰών was used to denote a space of time of considerable length, leaving its precise limits undefined. Hence it denotes, secondarily, the state of things existing during such a period. In this sense it often occurs in the New Testament. We use the word age in a like signification, employing it to denote the men of a particular period, considered in reference to their circumstances and character, as when we speak of the "manners of an age," "the learning of an age," &c. So, likewise, the word time is used, though, by an idiom of our language, rather in the plural than the singular, as in the phrase, "the times of the Messiah." Shakespeare, however, says in the singular, "the time is
* There can be no reason for not explaining the passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews which I believe to have been misunderstood, though I do not regard the Epistle as the work of St. Paul or any other Apostle. My reasons for this opinion I have formerly given in the Christian Examiner (Vols. IV., V., VI.), in a series of articles which I may, perhaps, at some time republish.