Chrysostom on Acts 3900
ACTS XVII. 32–34. XVIII. 1.—“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead,some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.”
3901 What can be the reason that, having persuaded (some so far as to say) that they would hear him again, and there being no dangers, Paul is so in haste to leave Athens? Probably he knew that he should do them no great good; moreover he was led by the Spirit to Corinth.1 (b) For the Athenians, although fond of hearing strange things, nevertheless did not attend (to him); for this was not their study, but only to be always having something to say; which was the cause that made them hold off from him. But if this was their custom, how is it that they accuse him, “he seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods?” (ch. 17,18). Yes, but these were matters they did not at all know what to make of. Howbeit, he did convert both Dionysius the Areopagite, and some others. For those who were careful of (right) living, quickly received the word; but the others not so. It seemed to Paul sufficient to have cast the seeds of the doctrines. (a) To Corinth then, as I said, he was led by the Spirit, in which city he was to abide. (c) “And having found a certain Jew named Aquila, of Pontus by birth, lately come from Italy”—for the greater part of his life had been passed there—“and Priscilla his wife, because that Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome.” (v. 2). For though it was in the reign of Nero that the war against the Jews was consummated, yet from the time of Claudius and thenceforward it was fanning up, at a distance indeed,2 so that, were it but so, they might come to their senses, and from Rome they were now driven as common pests. This is why it is so ordered by Providence that Paul was led thither as a prisoner, that he might not as a Jew be driven away, but as acting under military custody might even be guarded there. (Having found these,) “he came to them, and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought: for by occupation they were tent-makers.” (v. 3). Lo, what a justification he found for dwelling in the same house with them! For because here, of all places, it was necessary that he should not receive, as he himself says, “That wherein they glory, they may be found, even as we” (2Co 11,12), it is providentially ordered that he there abides. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was straitened in the word,3 testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.” (v. 4, 5). “And when the Jews opposed and blasphemed,” i.e. they tried to bear him down (ephreazon), they set upon him—What then does Paul? He separates from them, and in a very awful manner: and though he does not now say, “It was need that the word should be spoken unto you,” yet he darkly intimates it to them:—“ and when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” (v. 6). “And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.” See how having again said, “Henceforth—” for all that, he does not neglect them; so that it was to rouse them that he said this, and thereupon came to Justus, whose house was contiguous to the synagogue, so that4 a even from this they might have jealousy, from the very proximity. “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house.” This also was, of all things, enough to bring them over. “And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” (v. 8–10). See by how many reasons He persuades him, and how He puts last the reason which of all others most prevailed with him, “I have much people in this city.” Then how was it, you may ask, that they set upon him? And5 yet, the writer tells us, they prevailed nothing, but brought him to the proconsul. “And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews ;made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat.” (v. 11, 12). Do you mark why those men were ever contriving to give a public turn to the misdemeanors (they accused them of)? Thus see here: (b) “Saying, This fellow seduceth men contrary to the law to worship God. And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said: If indeed it were any wrong-doing or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you. But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drave them from the judgment-seat.” (v. 13—16). This Gallio seems to me to have been a sensible man. (a) Thus observe, when these had said, “Against the law he seduceth men to worship God,” he “cared for none of these things:” and observe how he answers them: “If indeed it were” any matter affecting the city, “any wrong-doing or wicked lewdness,” etc. (c) “Then all the Jews6 took Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat: and Gallio cared for none of these things” (Ac 18,17): but their beating him he did not take as an insult to himself. So petulant were the Jews. But let us look over again what has been said.
3902 (Recapitulation). “And when they heard,” (Ac 17,32) what great and lofty doctrines, they did not even attend, but jeered at the Resurrection! “For the natural man,” it saith, “receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” (1Co 2,14). “And so,” it says, “Paul went forth.” (Ac 17,33). How? Having persuaded some; derided by others. “But certain men,” it says, “clave unto him, and believed, among whom was also Dionysius the Areopagite and some others.”7 (Ac 17,34). “And after these things,” etc. “And having found a certain Jew by name Aquila, of Pontus by birth, lately come from Italy, because that Claudius had ordered all Jews to depart from Rome, he came to them, and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent-makers.” (). Being of Pontus, this Aquila * * * .8 Observe how, not in Jerusalem, nor near it (the crisis), was hasting to come, but at a greater distance. And with him he abides, and is not ashamed to abide, nay, for this very reason he does abide, as having a suitable lodging-place, for to him it was much more suitable than any king’s palace. And smile not thou, beloved, to hear (of his occupation). For (it was good for him) even as to the athlete the palaestra is more useful than delicate carpets; so to the warrior the iron sword (is useful), not that of gold. “And wrought,” though he preached. Let us be ashamed, who though we have no preaching to occupy us, live in idleness. “And he disputed in the synagogue every sabbath day, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (v. 4): but “when they opposed and blasphemed” he withdrew, by this expecting to draw them more. For wherefore having left that house did he come to live hard by the synagogue? was it not for this? For it was not that he saw any danger here. But therefore it is that Paul having testified to them—not teaches now, but testifies— “having shaken his garments,” to terrify them not by word only but by action, “said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads” (v. 6): he speaks the more vehemently as having already persuaded many. “I,” says he, “am clean.” Then we also are accountable for the blood of those entrusted to us, if we neglect them. “From this time forth I will go to the Gentiles.” So that also when he says, “Henceforth let no man trouble me” (Ga 6,17), he says it to terrify. For not so much did the punishment terrify, as this stung them. “And having removed thence he came into the house of one named Justus, that worshipped God, whose house was contiguous to the synagogue” (Ac 18,7), and there abode, by this wishing to persuade them that he was in earnest (pro" ta eqnh hpeigeto) to go to the Gentiles. Accordingly, mark immediately the ruler of the synagogue converted, and many others, when he had done this. “Crispus the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord, with his whole house: and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.”—(v. 8). “With his whole house:”9 observe the converts in those times doing this with their entire household. This Crispus he means where he writes, “I baptized none save Crispus and Gaius.” (1Co 1,14). This (same) I take to be called Sosthenes—(evidently) a believer, insomuch that he is beaten, and is always present with Paul.10 “And the Lord said in the night,” etc. Now even the number (of the “much people”) persuaded him, but Christ’s claiming them for His own (moved him) more.11 Yet He says also, “Fear not:” for the danger was become greater now, both because more believed, and also the ruler of the synagogue. This was enough to rouse him. Not that he was reproved12 as fearing; but that he should not suffer aught; “I am with thee, and none shall set upon thee to hurt thee.” (Ac 18,9-10). For He did not always permit them to suffer evil, that they might not become too weak. For nothing so grieved Paul, as men’s unbelief and setting themselves (against the Truth): this was worse than the dangers. Therefore it is that (Christ) appears to him now. “And he continued a year and six months,” etc. (v. 11). After the year and six months, they set upon him. “And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,” etc. (Ac 18,12-13), because they had no longer the use of their own laws.13 (c) And observe how prudent he is: for he does not say straightway, I care not, but, “If,” says he, “it were a matter of wrong-doing or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you; but if it be a question of doctrine and words and of your law, see ye to it, for I do not choose to be a judge of such matters.” (Ac 18,14-15). (g) He taught14 them that not such are the matters which crave a judicial sentence, but they do all things out of order. And he does not say, It is not my duty, but, “I do not choose,” that they may not trouble him again. Thus Pilate said in the case of Christ, “Take ye Him, and judge him according to your law.” (Jn 18,31). But they were just like men drunken and mad. (d) “And he drave them from the judgment-seat” (v. 16)—he effectually closed the tribunal against them. “Then all” (the Jews) “having seized Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things.” (v. 17). (a)This thing, of all others, set them on (to this violence)—their persuasion that the governor would not even let himself down (to notice it). (e) It was a splendid victory. O the shame they were put to! (b) For it is one thing to have come off victorious from a controversy, and another for those to learn that he cared nothing for the affair. (f) “And Gallio cared for none of these things:” and yet the whole was meant as an insult to him! But, forsooth, as if they had received authority (they did this). Why did he (Sosthenes), though he also had authority, not beat (them)? But they were (otherwise) trained: so that the judge should learn which party was more reasonable. This was no small benefit to those present—both the reasonableness of these, and the audacity of those. (h)15 He was beaten, and said nothing.
3903 This man let us also imitate: to them that beat us, let us return blow for blow, by meekness, by silence, by long-suffering. More grievous these wounds, greater this blow, and more heavy. For to show that it is not the receiving a blow in the body that is grievous, but the receiving it in the mind, we often smite people, but since it is in the way of friendship, they are even pleased: but if you smite any indifferent person in an insolent manner, you have pained him exceedingly, because you have touched his heart. So let us smite their heart. But that meekness inflicts a greater blow than fierceness, come, let us prove, so far as that is possible, by words. For the sure proof indeed is by acts and by experience: but if you will, let us also make the enquiry by word, though indeed we have often made it already. Now in insults, nothing pains us so much, as the opinion passed by the spectators; for it is not the same thing to be insulted in public and in private, but those same insults we endure even with ease, when we suffer them in a solitary place, and with none by to witness them, or know of them. So true is it that it is not the insult, as it is in itself, that mortifies us, but the having to suffer it in the sight of all men: since if one should do us honor in the sight of all men, and insult us in private, we shall notwithstanding even feel obliged to him. The pain then is not in the nature of the insult, but in the opinion of the beholders; that one may not seem to be contemptible. What then, if this opinion should be in our favor? Is not the man attempting to disgrace us himself more disgraced, when men give their opinion in our favor? Say, whom do the bystanders despise? Him who insults, or him who being insulted keeps silence? Passion indeed suggests, that they despise him who is insulted: but let us look into it now while we are free from that excitement, in order that we may not be carried away when the time comes. Say, whom do we all condemn? Plainly the man who insults: and if he be an inferior, we shall say that he is even mad; if an equal, that he is foolish; if a superior, still we shall not approve of it. For which man, I ask, is worthy of approval, the man who is excited, who is tossed with a tempest of passion, who is infuriated like a wild beast, who demeans himself in this sort against our common nature, or he who lives in a state of calm, in a haven of repose, and in virtuous equanimity? Is not the one like an angel, the other not even like a man? For the one cannot even bear his own evils, while the other bears even those of others also: here, the man cannot even endure himself; there, he endures another too: the one is in danger of shipwreck, the other sails in safety, his ship wafted along the favoring gales: for he has not suffered the squall of passion to catch his sails and overturn the bark of his understanding: but the breath of a soft and sweet air fanning upon it, the breath of forbearance, wafts it with much tranquillity into the haven of wise equanimity. And like as when a ship is in danger of foundèring, the sailors know not what they cast away, whether what they lay hands upon be their own or other men’s property, but they throw overboard all the contents without discrimination, alike the precious and what is not such: but when the storm has ceased, then reckoning up all that they have thrown out, they shed tears, and are not sensible of the calm for the loss of what they have thrown overboard: so here, when passion blows hard, and the storm is raised, people in flinging out their words know not how to use order or fitness; but when the passion has ceased, then recalling to mind what kind of words they have given utterance to, they consider the loss and feel not the quiet, when they remember the words by which they have disgraced themselves, and sustained most grievous loss, not as to money, but as to character for moderation and gentleness. Anger is a darkness. “The fool,” saith Scripture, “hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Ps 13,1). Perhaps also of the angry man it is suitable to say the same, that the angry man hath said, There is no God. For, saith Scripture, “Through the multitude of his anger he will not seek” (after God).16 (Ps 10,4). For let what pious thought will enter in, (passion) thrusts and drives all out, flings all athwart. (b) When you are told, that he whom you abused uttered not one bitter word, do you not for this feel more pain than you have inflicted? (a)If you in your own mind do not feel more pain than he whom you have abused, abuse still; (but) though there be none to call you to account, the judgment of your conscience, having taken you privately, shall give you a thousand lashes, (when you think) how you poured out a flood of railings on one so meek, and humble, and forbearing. We are forever saying these things, but we do not see them exhibited in works. You, a human being, insult your fellow-man? You, a servant, your fellow-servant? But why do I wonder at this, when many even insult God?
3904 Let this be a consolation to you when suffering insult. Are you insulted? God also is insulted. Are you reviled? God also was reviled. Are you treated with scorn? Why, so was our Master also. In these things He shares with us, but not so in the contrary things. For He never insulted another unjustly: God forbid! He never reviled, never did a wrong. So that we are those who share with Him, not ye. For to endure when insulted is God’s part: to be merely abusive, is the part of the devil. See the two sides. “Thou hast a devil” (Jn 7,20 Jn 18,22), Christ was told: He received a blow on the face from the servant of the high-priest. They who wrongfully insult, are in the same class with these. For if Peter was even called “Satan” (Mt 16,23) for one word; much17 more shall these men, when they do the works of the Jews, be called, as those were called, “children of the devil” (Jn 8,44), because they wrought the works of the devil. You insult; who are you, I ask (that you do so)? Nay, rather the reason why you insult, is this, that you are nothing: no one that is human insults. So that what is said in quarrels, “Who are you?” ought to be put in the contrary way: “Insult: for you are nothing.” Instead of that the phrase is, “Who are you, that you insult?” “A better man than you,” is the answer. And yet it is just the contrary: but because we put the question amiss, therefore they answer amiss: so that the fault is ours. For as if we thought it was for great men to insult, therefore we ask, “Who are you, that you insult?” And therefore they make this answer.
But, on the contrary, we ought to say: “Do you insult? insult still: for you are nobody:” whereas to those who do not insult this should be said: “Who are you that you insult not?—you have surpassed human nature.” This is nobility, this is generosity, to speak nothing ungenerous, though a man may deserve to have it spoken to him. Tell me now, how many are there who are not worthy to be put to death? Nevertheless, the judge does not this in his own person, but interrogates them; and not this either, in his own person. But if it is not to be suffered, that the judge, sitting in judgment, should (in his own person) speak with a criminal, but he does all by the intervention of a third person, much more is it our duty not to insult our equals in rank; for18 all the advantage we shall get of them will be, not so much to have disgraced them, as to be made to learn that we have disgraced ourselves. Well then, in the case of the wicked, this is why we must not insult (even them); in the case of the good there is another reason also because they do not deserve it: and for a third,19 because it is not right to be abusive. But as things are, see what comes of it; the person abused is a man, and the person abusing is a man, and the spectators men. What then? must the beasts come between them and settle matters? for only this is left. For when both the wrong-doers and those who delight in the wrong-doing are men, the part of reconciler is left for the beasts: for just as when the masters quarrel in a house, there is nothing left but for the servants to reconcile them,—even if this be not the result, for the nature of the thing demands this,—just so is it here.—Are you abusive? Well may you be so, for you are not even human. Insolence seemed to be a high-born thing; it seemed to belong to the great; whereas it belongs rather to slaves; but to give good words belongs to free men. For as to do ill is the part of those, so to suffer ill is the part of these.—Just as if some slave should steal the master’s property, some old hag,—such a thing as that is the abusive man. And like as some detestable thief and runaway,20 with studied purpose stealing in, looks all around him, wishing to filch something: so does this man, even as he, look narrowly at all on every side, studying how to throw out some (reproach). Or perhaps we may set him forth by a different sort of example. Just as if21 one should steal filthy vessels out of a house, and bring them out in the presence of all men, the things purloined do not so disgrace the persons robbed, as they disgrace the thief himself: just so this man, bybringing out his words in the presence of all men, casts disgrace not on others but on himself by the words, in giving vent to this language, and be-fouling both his tongue and his mind. For it is all one, when we quarrel with bad men, as if one for the sake of striking a man who is immersed in putrefying filth should defile himself by plunging his hands into the nastiness. Therefore, reflecting on these things, let us flee the mischief thence accruing, and keep a clean tongue, that being clear from all abusiveness, we may be enabled with strictness to pass through the life present, and to attain unto the good things promised to those that love Him, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen).
1 Here in mss. and Edd. the order is confused by the insertion of the text 17,34; 18,1–3, and the transposition of the sentence marked (a), in consequence of which the first sentence of (c) has been misunderstood, as if it meant that St. Paul thought it enough merely to sow the seeds at Athens (tew" mod. text Cat). twn logwn), “because the greater part of his life was now passed.” So Cat. is further betrayed into a misconception of the following words epi men gar Nerwno" eteleiwqh, adding o IIaulo", as if it referred to St. Paul’s martyrdom: and so Ben. mistakes the matter, major’ enim pars vitae illius jam (entauqa) transacta erat. Nam sub Nerone consummatus est, as Erasm). occisus est:’ though the opposition to the epi men N. in the following clause apo de Kl., might have obviated this misapprehension).
2 See Recapitulation, p. 239, note 1.
3 A). b.c. tw logw: so the best mss. of the Acts, Gr. and Lat). instabat verbo.
4 A). b.c. wste kai apo (B. om)). tou zhlou (zhlon C)). ecein apo th" geitniasew". Cat. has preserved the true reading, apo toutou zhlon.
5 This would be better transposed thus: kai mhn, fhsin, hgagon auton pro" ton anq., allAE qouden scusan. Mod. text, “but they only brought him,” etc. What follows is confused by the transposition after ora goun entauqa of the part (a) beginning with the same words.
6 The mss. have qEllhne" as in some copies of the Ac and Elz., but the best authorities Gr. and Lat. simply pante". We adopt oi AEIoudaioi from the Catena, and Chrys. evidently understood it of the Jews).
7 Here A). b.c. insert the sentence ora tou" pistou" k. t. l. which mod. text rightly removes to the comment on 5,8, and after it, ora pw" o n mo" kataluetai loipon: which unless it means, “See here the beginning of the judgment on the Jews, the dissolution of their Law, and overthrow of their nation,” of which Chrys. speaks in this sentence, is out of place here, and belongs to the comment on 5, 18, i.e. to the beginning of Hom. 40, which in fact opens with these words. So mod. text understands them. “Mc how the Law, begins to be dissolved from henceforth. For this man, being a Jew, having after these things shorn his head in Cenchrea, goes with Paul into Syria. Being a man of Pontus, not in Jerusalem nor near it did he haste to come, but at a greater distance.” The innovator’s meaning seems to have been, that he shore his head in fulfilment of his vow, not in Jerusalem, nor near Jerusalem, but at a greater distance, viz. in Cenchrea." But St. Chrys. is here commenting on Claudius’ edict (see (above, p. 240, on 5, 2): “See here the beginning of the judgment on the Jews: it was hasting to come, but it began not in Jerusalem, nor in Palestines but at a greater distance—at Rome, in this edict of the Emperor: ouk en JIerosolumoi, oude plhsion espeuden elqein alla makroterw.”
8 The sentence may be completed with: “had spent the greater part of his life at Rome.” etc.; see above, p. 236, but the copyist make outo" nom. to ouk espeuden elqein.
9 To this clause, mod. text rightly refers the comment, ora tou" pistou" tote meta th" oikia" touto poiounta" oloklhrou, which the original text has after kai eteroi tine" of 17,34.
10 There is no sufficient ground for the supposition of Chrys. that the Sosthenes here mentioned was a Christian and the same who is saluted in 1Co 1,1. On the contrary, he was the leader of the Jewish party who persecuted the ruler of the synagogue, perhaps the successor of Crispus who had become a Christian. The reading AEIoudaioi of some inferior mss. in 5,17 which is followed by Chrys. would easily give rise to this misconception. The true text is most probably pante", meaning the officers of the governor. The representatives of the Roman government, then, attacked Sosthenes, the leader of the party which was persecuting Paul. Thus their effort ended in failure. And so indifferent was Gallio that he in no way interfered. Paul’s accusers were thus themselves beaten and the whole effort at prosecution miserably failed.—G. B. S.
11 h de oikeiwsi" tou X). pleon, Sed familiaritas Christi magis. Ben. Chrys. said above, that the most powerful consideration was this which is put last, “For I have much people in this city.” The meaning here is, That there was “much people” to be converted, was a cheering consideration: that Christ should say, lao" moi poln" estin, speaking of them as “His own,” was the strongest inducement).
12 b.c. oti hlegcqh foboumeno" h ouk hlegcqh wste mh (C). mhde) paqein. A., ote elecqh wste de mh paqein, (which is meant for emendation: “This was enough to rouse him when it was spoken: but, that he should not suffer,” etc). Mod. text, oti hl. foboumeno", h ouk hl. men, allAE wste mhde touto paqein. We read Ouk oti hlegcqh w" foboumeno". wste de mh paqein, AEEgw eimi meta son. The accidental omission of ouk may have been corrected in the margin by the gloss h ouk hl. But the sense seems to be otherwise confused by transpositions. "It is true, even the number, and still more Christ’s oikeiwsi" of them, prevailed with him. This was enough to rouse him. But Christ begins by saying, “Fear not,” etc. And in fact the danger was increased, etc. Not that Paul was reproved as being afraid, etc.
13 From this point to the end of the Exposition all is confused. To make something like connection, it has been necessary to rearrange the parts, but the restoration is still unsatisfactory.
14 Kai edidaxen oti ta toiauta dikastikh" yhfou [ou, this we supply,] deitai: alla ataktw" panta poiousin. Mod. text edidaxe gar (h te toutwn qepieikeia kai ekeinwn qrasuth", from f) oti ta toi. dik yhf. deitai.
15 Here, between the parts g and h, the mss. have two sentences retained by Edd. but clearly out of place, unless they form part of a second recapitulation: “Therefore he departed from Athens.” “Because there was much people here.”
16 (Ps 10,4, wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not,” etc. E.V.
17 mss. pollw mallon outoi AEIoudaioi akousontai, otan ta AEIoudaiwn poiwsin wsper kakeinoi diabolou tekna, epeidh k. t. l. We omit AEIoudaioi).
18 ou gar outw to ubrisai pleonekthsomen autwn, w" to didacqhnai oti ubrisamen eautou". B. and mod. text tw ubr., tw did. The oti om. by A). b.c. Sav. is supplied by mod. text. A has deicqhnai, Sav). dialecqhnai. The construction is pleonektein ti tino". “We may think we have got something, viz. the pleasure of having disgraced them; whereas all that we get, in advance of them, is the being taught that we have disgraced ourselves.”
19 kai triton (om. C)., oti ubristhn einai ou crh. This cannot be, “for a third reason,” or “in the third place,” out seems rather to mean “the third party” spoken of in the preceding sentence. Perhaps it may mean, As the judge does not himself arraign nor even interrogate the criminal, but by a third person, because the judge must not seem to be an ubristh", so there is need of a third person, kai triton dei ei" meson elqein oti. …But the whole scope of the argument is very obscure.
20 Old text: ubristh", klepth" katarato" kai drapeth": kai w" an eipoi ti" spoudh eisiwn, kaqaper ekeino" pantacou periblepetai ufelesqai ti spoudazwn, outw kai outo" panta periskopei ekballein tiqelwn. We read ubristh". Kai w" an ei ti" klepth" katar. kai drap. spoudh eisiwn, pant. peribl. uf. ti welwn, outw kai outo" kaqaper ekeino" pantaperisk. ekballein ti spoudazwn. But it can hardly be supposed that Chrys. thus expressed himself. The purport seems to be this: To be abusive is to behave like a slave, like a foul-mouthed hag. (see (p. 200). And the abusive man, when he is eager to catch at something in your life or manners, the exposure of which may disgrace you, is like a thief who should slink into a house, and pry about for something that he can lay hold of—nay, like one who should purposely look about for the filthiest things he can bring out, and who in so doing disgraces himself more than the owner.
21 Here again wsper an eipoi ti", B. for wsper an ei ti", C.—The sentence ouci ta ofaireqenta hscune tosouton is incomplete; viz. “the owner, by the exposure of the noisomeness, as the stealer himself who produces it.”
ACTS XVIII. 18.—“And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.”
See how the Law was breaking up; see how they were bound by conscience. This, namely, was a Jewish custom, to shear their heads agreeably with a vow. But then there ought to be also a sacrifice (ch. 21,26), which was not the case here.1 —“Having yet tarried:” after the beating of Sosthenes.2 For it was necessary that he should yet tarry, and comfort them concerning these things. “He sailed for Syria.” Why does he desire again to come to Syria? It was there that “the disciples were ordered to be called Christians” (ch. 11,26): there, that he had been “commended to the grace of God” (xiv. 26): there, that he had effected such things concerning the doctrine. “And with him Priscilla”—lo, a woman also3 —“ and Aquila.” But these he left at Ephesus. With good reason, namely, that they should teach. For having been with him so long time, they were learning many things: and yet he did not at present withdraw them from their custom as Jews. “And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; but bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem.” Therefore4 it was that he was hindered from coming into Asia, being impelled to what was of pressing moment. Thus observe him here, entreated (by them) to stay, but because he could not comply, being in haste to depart, “he bade them farewell.” However, he did not leave them without more ado, but with promise (to return): “But I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” (v. 19–21). “And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the Church, he went down to Antioch. And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.” (v. 22–23). He came again to those places which he had previously visited. “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.” (v. 24). Lo, even learned men are now urgent, and the disciples henceforth go abroad. Do you mark the spread of the preaching? “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (v. 25–26). If this man5 knew only the baptism of John, how is it that he was “fervent in the Spirit,” for the Spirit was not given in that way? And if those after him needed the baptism of Christ, much6 more would he need it. Then what is to be said? For it is not without a meaning that the writer has strung the two incidents together. It seems to me that this was one of the hundred and twenty who were baptized with the Apostles: or, if not so, then the same that took place in the case of Cornelius, took place also in the case of this man. But neither does he receive baptism. That expression, then, “they expounded more perfectly,” seems7 to me to be this, that he behooved also to be baptized. Because the other twelve knew nothing accurate, not even what related to Jesus. And it is likely8 that he did in fact receive baptism. But if these (disciples) of John,9 after that baptism again received baptism, was this needful for the disciples also? And wherefore the need of water? These are very different from him, men who did not even know whether there were a Holy Ghost.10 “He was fervent,” then, “in the Spirit, knowing only the baptism of John:” but these “expounded to him more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace.” (v. 27). He wished then also to depart into Achaia, and these11 also encouraged (him to do so), having also given him letters. “Who when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: for he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” (v. 28). “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper coasts”—meaning what we have read as to Caesarea and the other places—"came to Ephesus, and having found certain disciples (ch. 19,1), “he said to them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him who should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” (v. 2–4). For that they did not even believe in Christ is plain from his saying, “that they should believe on Him that was to come after him.” And he did not say, The baptism of Jn is nothing, but, It is incomplete. Nor does he add this (in so many words), but he taught them, and many received the Holy Ghost. “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve” (v. 5–7): so that it was likely they had the Spirit, but it did not appear.12 “And all the men were about twelve.”
(Recapitulation). “And they came to Ephesus, and there he left them” (v. 19): for he did not wish to take them about with him, but left them at Ephesus. But they subsequently dwelt at Corinth, and he bears high testimony to them, and writing to the Romans, salutes them. (Rm 16,3). Whence it seems to me that they afterwards went back to Rome, in the time of Nero,13 as having an attachment for those parts whence they had been expelled in the time of Claudius. “But14 he himself went into the synagogue.” It seems to me that the faithful still assembled there, for they did not immediately withdraw them. “And when they besought him to stay, he consented not” (v. 20, 21), for he was hastening to Caesarea. “And having arrived at Caesarea,” etc., “passing through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, confirming all the disciples.” (v. 22, 23). Through these regions also he merely passes again, just enough to establish them by his presence. “And a certain Jew, Apollos by name,” etc. (v. 24). For he was an awakened man, travelling in foreign parts for this very purpose. Writing of him the Apostle said, “Now concerning Apollos our brother.”15 (1Co 16,12)). b Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard," etc. (v. 26). It was not for nothing that he left them at Ephesus, but for Apollos’ sake, the Spirit so ordered it, that he might come with greater force to the attack (epibhnai) upon Corinth. What may be the reason that to him they did nothing, but Paul they assault? They knew that he was the leader, and great was the name of the man. “And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia” (v. 27) 1,e. in faith, he did all by faith; “the brethren wrote,” etc. nowhere envy, nowhere an evil eye. Aquila teaches, or rather this man lets himself be taught. He was minded to depart, and they send letters. (a) “For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly,” etc. (v. 28). Now by this, that he “publicly” convinced them, his boldness was shown: by the clearness of his arguing, his power was declared: by his convicting them out of the Scriptures, his skill (of learning). For neither boldness by itself contributes aught, where there is not power, nor power where there is not boldness. “He mightily convinced,” it says. (b) “And it came to pass,” etc. (ch. 19,1). But whence had those, being in Ephesus, the baptism of John? Probably they had been on a visit at Jerusalem at the time (of John’s preaching), and did not even know Jesus. And he does not say to them, Do ye believe in Jesus? but what? “Have ye received the Holy Ghost?” (v. 2). He knew that they had not, but wishes themselves to say it, that having learnt what they lack, they may ask. “Jn verily baptized,” etc. (v. 4). From the baptism itself he (John) prophesies:16 and he leads them (to see) that this is the meaning of John’s baptism. (a) “That they should believe on Him that was to come:” on what kind (of Person)? “I indeed baptize you with water, but He that cometh after me, shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mt 3,11). And when Paul," it says, “had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (v. 6). (b) The gift is twofold: tongues and prophesyings. Hence is shown an important doctrine, that17 the baptism of Jn is incomplete. And he does not say, “Baptism” of forgiveness, but, “of repentance.” What18 (is it) then? These had not the Spirit: they were not so fervent, not even instructed. And why did (Apollos) not receive baptism?19 (The case) seems to me to be this: Great was the boldness of the man. “He taught diligently the things concerning Jesus,” but he needed more diligent teaching. Thus, though not knowing all, by his zeal he attracted the Holy Ghost, in the same manner as Cornelius and his company.
Perhaps it is the wish of many, Oh that we had the baptism of John now! But (if we had), many would still be careless of a life of virtue, and it might be thought that each for this, and not for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, aimed at virtue. There would be many false prophets: for then “they which are approved” would not be very “manifest.” (1Co 11,19). As, “blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn 20,29), so they that (believe) without signs. “Except,” saith (Christ), “ye see signs, ye will not believe.” (Jn 4,48). For we lose nothing (by lack of miracles), if we will but take heed to ourselves. We have the sum and substance of the good things: through baptism we received remission of sins, sanctification, participation of the Spirit, adoption, eternal life. What would ye more? Signs? But they come to an end (alla katargeitai). Thou hast “faith, hope, charity,” the abiding things: these seek thou, these are greater than signs. Nothing is equal to charity. For “greater than all,” saith he, “is charity.” (1Co 13,5). But now, love is in jeopardy, for only its name is left behind, while the reality is nowhere (seen), but we are divided each from the other. What then shall one do to reunite (ourselves)? For to find fault is easy, but how may one make friendship, this is the point to be studied; how we may bring together the scattered members. For be it so, that we have one Church, or one doctrine—yet this is not the (main) consideration: no, the evil is, that20 in these we have not fellowship—“living peaceably,” as the Apostle says, “with all men” (Rm 12,18), on the contrary, we are at variance one with another. For be it that we are not having fights every day, yet look not thou to this, but (to this), that neither have we charity, genuine and unswerving. There is need of bandages and oil. Let us bear it in mind, that charity is the cognizance of the disciples of Christ: that without this, all else avails nothing: that it is an easy task if we will. Yes, say you, we know all this, but how (to go to work) that it may be achieved? What (to do), that it may be effected? in what way, that we may love one another? First, let us put away the things which are subversive of charity, and then we shall establish this. Let none be resentful, none be envious, none rejoicing in (others’) misfortunes: these are the things that hinder love; well then, the things that make it are of the other sort. For it is not enough to put away the things that hinder; the things that establish must also be forthcoming. Now Sirach tells us the things that are subversive (of friendship), and does not go on to speak of the things which make union. “Reproaching,” he says, “and revealing of a secret, and a treacherous wound.” (Si 22, Si 27). But in speaking of the men of those times, these things might well be named, seeing they were carnal: but in our case, God forbid they should be (even) named. Not21 from these things do we bring our inducements for you, but from the others. For us, there is nothing good without friendship. Let there be good things without number, but what is the benefit—be it wealth, be it luxury—without friendship? No possession equal to this, even in matters of this life, just as there is nothing worse than men hating (us). “Charity hides a multitude of sins” (1P 4,8): but enmity, even where sins are not, suspects them to be. It is not enough not to be an enemy; no, one must also love. Bethink thee, that Christ has bidden, and this is enough. Even affliction makes friendships, and draws (men) together. “What then,” say you, “now, when there is no affliction? say, how (are we to act) to become friends?” Have ye not other friends, I ask? In what way are ye their friends, how do ye continue such? For a beginning, let none have any enemy: this (in itself) is not a small matter: let none envy; it is not possible to accuse the man who envies not. (b)How then shall we be warmly affected? What makes love of persons? Beauty of person. Then let us also make our souls beautiful, and we shall be amiable one to another: for it is necessary, of course, not only to love, but also to be loved. Let us first achieve this point, that we may be loved, and the other will be easy. How to act that we may be loved? Let us become beautiful, and let us do this, that we may always have lovers. Let none make it his study to get money, to get slaves, to get houses, (so much) as to be loved, as to have a good name. Better is a name than much wealth. For the one remains, the other perishes: and the one it is possible to acquire, the other impossible. For he that has got an evil character, will with difficulty lay it aside: but by means of his (good) name the poor man may quickly be rich. Let there be a man having ten thousand talents, and another a hundred friends; the latter is more rich in resources than the former. Then let us not merely do this, but let us work it as a kind of trade. “And how can we?” say you. “A sweet mouth multiplieth its friends, and a gracious tongue.” Let us get a well-spoken mouth, and pure manners. It is not possible for a man to be such, and not to be known.
(a) We have one world that we all inhabit, with the same fruits we all are fed. But these are small matters: by the same Sacraments we partake of the same spiritual food. These surely are justifications of loving! (c) Mark22 how many (inducements and pleas) for friendship they that are without have excogitated; community of art or trade, neighborhood, relationships: but mightier than all these are the impulses and ties which are among us: this Table is calculated more (than all else) to shame us into friendliness. But many of us who come thereto do not even know one another. The reason, it may be said, is that there are so many of them. By no means; it is only our own sluggish indifference. (Once) there were three thousand (ch. 2,41)—there were five thousand (iv 4)—and yet they had all one soul: but now each knows not his brother, and is not ashamed to lay the blame on the number, because it is so great! Yet he that has many friends is invincible against all men: stronger he than any tyrant. Not such the safety the tyrant has with his body-guards, as this man has with his friends. Moreover, this man is more glorious than he: for the tyrant is guarded by his own slaves, but this man by his peers: the tyrant, by men unwilling and afraid of him; this man by willing men and without fear. And here too is a wonderful thing to be seen—many in one, and one in many. (a)Just as in an harp, the sounds are diverse, not the harmony, and they all together give out one harmony and symphony, (c) I could wish to bring, you into such a city, were it possible, wherein (all) should be one soul: then shouldest thou see surpassing all harmony of harp and flute, the more harmonious symphony. (b) But the musician is the Might of Love: it is this that strikes out the sweet melody, (d) singing,23 (withal) a strain in which no note is out of tune. This strain rejoices both Angels, and God the Lord of Angels; this strain rouses (to hear it) the whole audience that is in heaven; this even lulls (evil) passions—it does not even suffer them to be raised, but deep is the stillness. For as in a theatre, when the band of musicians plays, all listen with a hush, and there is no noise there; so among friends, while Love strikes the chords, all the passions are still and laid to sleep, like wild beasts charmed and unnerved: just as, where hate is, there is all the contrary to this. But let us say nothing just now about enmity; let us speak of friendship. Though thou let fall some casual hasty word, there is none to catch thee up, but all forgive thee; though thou do (some hasty thing), none puts upon it the worse construction, but all allowance is made: every one prompt to stretch out the hand to him that is falling, every one wishing him to stand. A wall it is indeed impregnable, this friendship; a wall, which not the devil himself, much less men, can overpower. It is not possible for that man to fall into danger who has gotten many friends. (Where love is) no room is there to get matter of anger, but24 only for pleasantness of feeling: no room is there to get matter of envying; none, to get occasion of resentment. Mc him, how in all things both spiritual and temporal, he accomplishes all with ease. What then, I pray you, can be equal to this man? Like a city walled on every side is this man, the other as a city unwalled.—Great wisdom, to be able to be a creator of friendship! Take away friendship, and thou hast taken away all, thou hast confounded all. But if the likeness of friendship have so great power, what must the reality itself be? Then let us, I beseech you, make to ourselves friends, and let each make this his art. But, lo! you will say, I do study this, but the other does not. All the greater the reward to thee. True, say you, but the matter is more difficult. How, I ask? Lo! I testify and declare to you, that if but ten of you would knit yourselves together, and make this your work, as the Apostles made the preaching theirs, and the Prophets theirs the teaching, so we the making of friends, great would be the reward. Let us make for ourselves royal portraits. For if this be the common badge of disciples, we do a greater work than if we should put ourselves into the power to raise the dead. The diadem and the purple mark the Emperor, and where these are not, though his apparel be all gold, the Emperor is not yet manifest. So now thou art making known thy lineage. Make men friends to thyself, and (friends) to others. There is none who being loved will wish to hate thee. Let us learn the colors, with what ingredients they are mixed, with what (tints) this portrait is composed. Let us be affable: let us not wait for our neighbors to move. Say not, if I see any person hanging back (for me to make the first advances), I become worse than he: but rather when thou seest this, forestall him, and extinguish his bad feeling. Seest thou one diseased, and addest to his malady? This, most of all, let us make sure of—“ in honor to prefer one another, to account others better than one’s self” (Rm 12,10), deem not this to be a lessening of thyself. If thou prefer (another) in honor, thou hast honored thyself more, attracting25 to thyself a still higher extinction. On all occasions let us yield the precedence to others. Let us bear nothing in mind of the evil done to us, but if any good has been done (let us remember only that). Nothing so makes a man a friend, as a gracious tongue, a mouth speaking good things, a soul free from self-elation, a contempt of vain-glory, a despising of honor. If we secure these things, we shall be able to become invincible to the snares of the Devil, and having with strictness accomplished the pursuit of virtue, to attain unto the good things promised to them that love Him, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
1 Two points are much disputed in reference to the vow mentioned in 5, 18: (1) What kind of a vow it was, whether the Nazarite vow or some other. (2) Whether it had been taken and whether the shaving of the head was done by Paul or by Aquila. The majority of interpreters maintain that this shaving of the head represented the termination of a Nazarite vow which had been taken by Paul. The view encounters two great difficulties: (1) How can we suppose that the champion of liberty from Jewish ceremonies and observances should himself be given to their observance? (2) Lc here places the name of the wife Priscilla first and then Aquila, and keirameno" stands next to this name. It is most naturally construed with the name to which it stands nearest, especially when this unexpected arrangement of the names of the husband and wife is taken into account. It is true that the same arrangement is found in the salutation of Paul (Rm 16,3 1Tm 4,19), but this may be due to the predominant Christian activity of the wife; so also in 5,26, which may have been conformed to this passage. The former consideration is the one of chief importance. On the other side it must be acknowledged that there would be less motive for mentioning a vow of Aquila than of Paul. The vow taken was probably akin to that of the Nazarites. It is referred to Paul by the older interpreters by Bengel, Olshausen, Zeller, De Wette, Lange, Hackett, Gloag, Lechler, Bleek, Ewald; to Aquila, by the Vulgate, Grotius, Kuinoel. Wieseler, Meyer, Conybeare and Howson.—G. B. S.
2 Edd. without stop, hti" ouk egeneto meta to tupthqhnai ton Swsqenhn.—B. N. Cat). egeneto eti, which is the eti of 5,18, and explained by the following words.
3 AEIdou kai gunh: transposed from after the sentence, “For having been—custom as Jews.” Mod. text adds, to ison andrasi poiousa kai didaskousa. But perhaps the comment was, “and mentioned before her husband.” See Serm. in illud Salutate Prise. et Aquil. tom. 3,p. 176. B. where he comments on this position of the names, and adds that “she having taken Apollos, an eloquent man, etc. taught him the way of God and made him a perfect teacher.”
4 Something is wanting here, for in ekwlueto ei" thn AEAsian elqein there seems to be a reference to 16,6). kwluqente" lalhsai ton logon en tn AEAsia, and again in ou mhn autou" aplw" eiasen to ibid. 7). ouk eiasen autou" to pneuma. He may have spoken to this effect: This was his first visit to Ephesus, for he was forbidden before to come into Asia. …Not however that the Spirit aplw" ouk eiasen, but he says, with promise, I will come to you, etc. The prohibition was not absolute, but he was not permitted on the former occasion to preach in Asia (Procons)., because he was impelled to more urgent duties (in Macedonia and Greece); accordingly here also he has other immediate objects in view, and therefore cannot stay. So in Hom. 41,on 19,10, 11. “For this reason also (the Lord) suffered him not to come into Asia, waiting (or reserving Himself) for this conjuncture.”
5 What St. Chrysostom said has been misconceived by the reporter or the copyists. He meant to remark two things concerning Apollos: 1. That having only the baptism of Jn he nevertheless had the Spirit, nay, was “fervent in the Spirit.” How so? He had it, as Cornelius had it; the baptism of the Spirit without the baptism of water. (See Recapitulation fin.)2. That there is no mention of his receiving baptism, as the twelve did in the following narrative. St. Luke, he says, evidently had a meaning in this juxtaposition of the two incidents. Apollos had the baptism of the Spirit “therefore did not need the water.” (Hence whether he received it or not, the writer does not think need to mention it). Those twelve had no accurate knowledge even of the facts relating to Jesus: nor so much as know whether there were a Holy Ghost.—The scribes did not comprehend this view of the case. Hence A. C. omit allAE ou baptizetai, retained by B. mod. text and Cat. Oec. (allAE oude b).—They take oi meta touton (i.e. the twelve of the following incident) to mean the Apostles, and therefore make it pollw mallon kai outo" edehqh an, “if Christ’s own disciples after John’s baptism needed the baptism of Christ, a fortiori this man would need it.”—They find the baptism in the akrib. autw exeqento, “this was one of the points they taught him—that he must be baptized.”—St. Chrys. probably spoke of the case of the hundred and twenty who were baptized with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost: i.e. “Those having” the greater, the baptism of the Spirit, did not need the less, the baptism of water. The scribes absurdly make him suggest that Apollos may have been one of the hundred and twenty.
6 Perhaps it should be, kai ei oi meta touton. <`85Ÿtou C., pw" ouc outo" edehqh an; AEAllAE oude bapizetai. Ti oun estin eipein; oude gar aplw" efexh" eqhken amfotera. (By amf. perhaps the scribes understood. the “knowing only the baptism of John,” and, the being “fervent in Spirit”) AEEmoi dokei oper epi twn ekaton eikosi twn meta twn AEAp. baptisqentwn, oper epi tou Kornhliou gegone, gegenhtai kai epi toutou.
7 Here Oecumenius perceived that Chrys. was misrepresented. Accordingly, he reads). Toutou oun akrtbw" exetasqento" (Cat). to oun akribw" exetasqen to, a confusion of the two readings), dokei touto mh einai oti …“This point being closely examined, it does not seem to mean this, that he also needed to be baptized.” But the scribes took it as above, and the innovator (with whom A. partly agrees) enlarges it thus: “But he is not baptized, but when “they expounded to him more perfectly.” But this seems to me to be true, that he did also need to be baptized: since the other twelve,” etc. On this the Paris Editor, supposing the twelve Apostles to be meant, strangely remarks, Itane? duodecim quoe Jesum spectabant nihil noverunt Imo oi kr, 1,e). oi ekaton eikost. As if it were likely that those hundred and twenty could be so ignorant.
8 Eiko" de auton kai baptisqhnai. If Chrys. said this (see (note 7, p. 247), the meaning may be: “It is likely however that he did receive baptism,” viz. though the writer does not mention it. For this is the point—the writer mentions it in the case of those twelve, for it was the means by which they, ignorant hitherto of the existence of a Holy Ghost, received the Spirit; not so in the case of Apollos, for as he had already the baptism of the Spirit, the water was quite a subordinate consideration. See above, Hom, 24,p. 157, on the case of Cornelius.
9 Still overlooking the reference to the following narrative, b.c. read Ei de autoi oi AEIwannou—. “But if even John’s disciples,” etc.: mod. text and A., Plhn ei kai autoi—, reading the next clause affirmatively, Cat. and Oec., ei de outoi oi AEIwannou—, which we adopt. The scribes have further darkened the sense by inserting here v. 27 to the end, and 19,1–7.
10 The utter confusion of the text makes it uncertain what Chrys. said concerning Apollos. The probability is that he still stood upon the plane of John’s baptism and teaching, a zealous and able man, but not yet instructed in the Christian doctrine of the Spirit, nor understanding the significance of Christian baptism. It is probable that after receiving instruction he was re-baptized with the twelve at Ephesus (xix. 5–7).—G. B. S.
11 IIroetreyato (Sav, marg). anto) kai outo" (A). outw"). We read proetreyanto de kai outoi.
12 Viz. the Spirit came upon them in baptism, but it did not appear until Paul had laid his hands upon them: then they spake with tongues, etc).
13 epi Nerwno" must be removed from the end of the sentence where the mss. and Edd. have it.
14 Instead of this, Edd. have 5,22, 23.
15 From this point to the end of the Exposition, all is confused, viz. in the old text the order is as here marked by the letters a, a, a. . b. b. . i.e. it gives two expositions, severally imperfect, but completing each other. In mod. text the parts are rearranged, but so that the first of the portions marked b is placed after the second of those marked a. It also assigns some of the comments to wrong texts, and in many places alters the sense.
16 Mod. text “From the baptism itself (i.e. immediately after it) they prophesy: but this the baptism of Jn had not; wherefore it was imperfect. But that they may be made worthy of such gifts, he more prepared them first.”
17 Mod. text “that they who receive baptism are (therein) thoroughly cleansed from their sins: for were it not so, these would not have received the gifts immediately.”
18 Mod. text “And how is it that they who have received the Spirit taught not, but Apollos did, who had not yet received the Spirit?” An entire perversion of Chrysostom’s meaning.
19 In the mss. it is pw" de ouk elabon baptisma; which cannot be right. We restore elaben).
20 Mod. text besides other alterations: “that communicating in the other things one with another, in the essentials (en toi" anagkaioi") we do not communicate, and being in peace with all men are at variance one with another.”
21 Ouk apo toutwn uma" enagomen, allAE apo twn allwn. But the scope seems to require, Ouk apo t. u. apagomen, 1,e. “as these are things not even to be supposed to exist among Christians, we do not make it our business to lead you away from these;”—and for the other clause, “But would lead you on to those other things” which Sirach has not mentioned).
22 A. substitutes kai gar polla esti ta sunwqounta hma" kai sundesmounta pro" filia": “For indeed there are many things which perforce impel us to become and bind us to continue friends,” viz. independently of our own choice: which is good in point of sense; but the original reading of the passage implies this meaning: “Even the men of the world acknowledge the necessity of friendship, and look out pleas, inducements, and justifications for friendship: ora posa oi exwqen epenohsan filika”—i. e. which are far-fetched, and therefore need epinoeisqai, compared with the near and constraining motives which bring and keep us Christians together. For sunteknian which appears in all our mss. and is retained without suspicion by the Edd. we confidently restore suntecnian, comp. 18,2). dia to omotecnon einai. There is a gradation from lower to higher, suntecnian, geitonian (or geitosunhn C. A)). suggeneia".
23 In the old text both sense and syntax are confused by the transpositions of the parts marked (c) and (b)—occasioned perhaps by the homoeteleuton, viz., sumfwnian at the end of (a) and (c): hence (d) ouden aphce" adousa melo" has nothing to agree with, unless it were the mia yuch of (c); accordingly C. omits adousa. Mod. text reforms the whole passage thus: “Just as in an harp, the sounds are diverse, but one the harmony, and one the musician who touches the harp: so here, the harp is Charity itself, and the ringing sounds are the loving words brought forth by Charity, all of them giving out one and the same harmony and symphony: but the musician is the might of Charity: this strikes out the sweet strain. I could wish to lead you into such a city, were it possible, wherein were one soul, and thou shouldest see how than all harp and flute more harmonious is the symphony there, singing no dissonant strain,”—Instead of ouden aphce" adousa melo". Touto …, we place the full stop after adousa, so that the next sentence begins Melo" touto kai aggelou" k. t. l. and at the end of it, instead of Qeon eufrainei to melo". (Olon …, we read eufrainei. Touto melo" olon k. t. l.
24 The omission in b.c. of this clause and the following which A. and Mod. text retain, may be explained by the like ending upoqesin scein. Mod. text has also after qumhdia: the clause en gelwti aei esti kai trufh.
25 ei" to pleon timhqhnai epispwmeno". As epispasqai, epispasasqai in Chrys. is generally transitive with accusative of the thing, which is here to pleon timhqhnai we read, ei" sauton to pl. t. j.
Chrysostom on Acts 3900