Chrysostom on Acts 3700
ACTS XVII. 1, 2, 3.—“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”
Again they haste past the small cities, and press on to the greater ones, since from those. the word was to flow as from a fountain into the neighboring cities. “And Paul, as his manner was, went into the synagogue of the Jews.” Although he had said, “We turn to the Gentiles” (ch. 13,46), he did not leave these alone: such was the longing affection he had towards them. For hear him saying, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Rm 10,1): and, “I wished myself accursed from Christ for my brethren.” (Rm 9,3). But he did this1 because of God’s promise and the glory: and this, that it might not be a cause of offence to the Gentiles. “Opening,” it says, “from the Scriptures, he reasoned with them for three sabbaths, putting before them that the Christ must suffer.” Do thou mark how before all other things he preaches the Passion: so little were they ashamed of it, knowing it to be the cause of salvation. “And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” (v. 4). The writer mentions only the sum and substance of the discoursing: he is not given to redundancy, and does not on every occasion report the sermons. “But the Jews which believed not (the best texts omit “which believed not”), moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.” (v. 5–7). Oh! what an accusation! again they get up a charge of treason against them, “saying, there is another king (one) Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.” (v. 8, 9). A man worthy to be admired, that he put himself into danger, and sent them away from it. “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble,” it says, “than they of Thessalonica: more noble,” 1,e. more gentle (epieikesteroi) (in their behavior): “in that they received the word with all readiness,” and this not inconsiderately, but with a strictness wherein2 was no passion, “searching the Scriptures whether these things were so.” (v. 10, 11). “Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.” (v. 12–14). See how he at one time gives way, at another presses on, and in many things takes his measures upon human considerations. “And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with speed, they departed.” (v. 15). But let us look again at what has been said.
(Recapitulation). “Three sabbath-days,” it says, being the time when they had leisure from work, “he reasoned with them, opening out of the Scriptures” (v. 2): for so used Christ also to do: as on many occasions we find Him reasoning from the Scriptures, and not on all occasions (urging men) by miracles. Because to this3 indeed they stood in a posture of hostility, calling them deceivers and jugglers; but he that persuades l men by reasons from the Scriptures, is not liable to this imputation. And on many occasions we find (Paul) to have convinced men simply by force of teaching: and in Antioch “the whole city was gathered together” (ch. 13,44): so4 great a thing is this also, for indeed this itself is no small miracle, nay, it is even a very great one. And that they might not think that they did it all by their own strength, but rather that God permitted it,5 two things resulted, namely, “Some of them were persuaded,” etc. (c) “And of devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few :”6 but those others did the contrary: “the Jews moved with envy,” etc. (v. 4, 5) (b) and, from the fact that the being called was itself a matter of God’s fore-ordering, (a) they neither thought great things of themselves as if the triumph were their own, nor were terrified as being responsible (for all). But how comes it that he said, “That we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision” (Ga 2,9), and yet discoursed to the Jews? (a) He did this as a thing over and above. (b) For7 he did other things also more than he was obliged. For instance, Christ ordained that they should “live by the Gospel” (1Co 9,14 1Co 1,17), but our Apostle did it not: Christ sent him not to baptize, yet he did baptize. Mc how he was equal to all. Peter to the circumcision, he to the Gentiles, to the greater part. (a) Since if it was necessary for him to discourse to Jews, how said he again: “For He that wrought effectually in him toward the circumcision, the same was mighty also in me toward the Gentiles” (Ga 2,8)? In the same way as those Apostles also had intercourse with the Gentiles, though they had been set apart for the circumcision, so likewise did our Apostle. The more part of his work indeed was with the Gentiles: still he did not neglect the Jews either, that they might not seem to be severed from them. And how was it, you will ask, that he entered in the first place into the synagogues, as if this were his leading object? True;but he persuaded the Gentiles through the Jews, and from the things which he discoursed of to the Jews. And he knew, that this was most suitable for the Gentiles, and most conducive to belief. Therefore he says: “Inasmuch as I am the “Apostle of the Gentiles.” (Rm 11,13). And his Epistles too all fight against the Jews.—That the Christ," he says, “must needs have suffered.” (v. 3). If there was a necessity for His suffering, there was assuredly. a necessity for His rising again: for the former8 was far more wonderful than the latter. For if He gave Him up to death Who had done no wrong, much rather did He raise Him up again. "But the Jews which believed not took unto them certain of the baser sort, and set all the city on an uproar (v. 5): so that the Gentiles were more in number. The Jews thought not themselves enough to raise the disturbance:for because they had no reasonable pretext, they ever effect such purposes by means of uproar, and by taking to themselves base men. “And when they found them not,” it says, “they haled Jason and certain brethren.” (v. 6). O the tyranny! dragged them without any cause out of their houses. “These all,” say they, “do contrary to the decrees of Caeesar” (v. 7): for since they spoke nothing contrary to what had been decreed, nor made any commotion in the city, they bring them under a different charge: “saying that there is another king, one Jesus.9 And they troubled the people,” etc. (v. 8). And what are ye afraid of, seeing He is dead? (b) “And when they had taken security,” etc. (v. 9). See how by giving security Jason sent Paul away: so that he gave his life (to the hazard) for him.10 (a) “And brethren,” etc. (v. 10). See how the persecutions in every case extend the preaching. “Now these,” it says, “were more noble than those in Thessalonica” (v. 11): i.e. they were not (men) practising base things, but some11 were convinced, and the others (who were not), did nothing (of that sort). (b) “Daily,” it says, “searching the Scriptures whether these things were so:” not merely upon a sudden impetus or (burst of) zeal. “More noble,” it says: 1,e. in point of virtue (a) “Therefore many of them,” etc. (v. 12). And here again are Greeks. (b) “But when the Jews of Thessalonica,” etc. (v. 13), because there were lewd persons there. And yet that city was greater. But it is no wonder in the greater city the people were worse: nay, of course to the greater city there go the worse men, where the occasions of disturbances are many. And as in the body, where the disease is more violent for having12 more matter and fuel, just so is it here. (a) But look, I beg you, how their fleeing was providentially ordered, not from cowardice: otherwise they would have ceased to preach, and would not have exasperated them still more. But from this (flight) two things resulted: both the rage of those (Jews) was quenched, and the preaching spread. But in terms befitting their disorderly conduct, he says, “Agitating the multitude.” (b) Just what was done at Iconium—that they may have the additional condemnation of destroying others besides themselves. (ch. 14,2, 19). This is what Paul says of them: “Forbidding to preach to the Gentiles, to fill up their sins alway, for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” (1Th 2,16). Why did he not stay? for if (at Lystra, ch. 14,19, 21) there, where he was stoned, he nevertheless stayed a long time, much more here. Why? (The Lord) did not wish them to be always doing signs; for this is itself a sign, not less than the working of signs—that being persecuted, they overcame without signs. So that just as now He prevails without signs, so was it on many occasions His will to prevail then. Consequently neither did the Apostles run after signs: as in fact he says himself, “We preach Christ crucified” (1Co 1,23)—to them that crave signs, to them that crave wisdom, we give that which cannot even after signs persuade, and yet we do persuade! So that this was a mighty sign. See then, how when the preaching is extended, they are not in a hurry to run after signs.13 a For it was right that thenceforth the believers should be mighty signs to the rest. Howbeit, by retreating and advancing they did these things. (a) “And immediately,” it says, “the brethren sent away Paul.” (v. 14). Here now they send Paul alone: for it was for him they feared, lest he should suffer some harm, the head and front of all being in fact none other than he. (b) “They sent him away,” it says, “as it were to the sea:” that it might not be easy for them to seize him. For14 at present they could not have done much by themselves; and with him they accomplished and achieved many things. For the present, it says, they wished to rescue him. (a) So far is it from being the case, that (supernatural) Grace worked all alike on all occasions: on the contrary, it left them to take their measures upon human judgment, (only) stirring them up and rousing them out of sleep, and making them to take pains.15 Thus, observe, it brought them safe only as far as Philippi, but no more after that. “And receiving,” it says, “a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.” (v. 15). For though he was a Paul, nevertheless he needed them. And with good reason are they urged by God to go into Macedonia, for there lay Greece moreover bright (before them). (ch. 16,9).
See what zeal the rest of the disciples showed with respect to their leaders: not as it is now with us, who are separated and divided into great and small: some of us exalted, while others are envious: for this is the reason why those are envious, because we are puffed up, because we will not endure to be put upon a par with them. The reason why there is harmony in the body, is because there is no puffing up: and there is no puffing up, because the members are of necessity made to stand in need of each other, and the head has need of the feet. And God has made this to be the case with us, and, for all that, we will not endure it: although even without this, there ought to be love among us. Hear ye not how they that are without accuse us when they say, “Needs make friendships?” The laity have need of us; and we again exist for them. Since teacher or ruler would not exist, if there were not persons to be taught, nor would he perform his part, for it would not be possible. As the land has need of the husbandman, and the husbandman of the land, so is it here. What reward is there for the teacher to receive, when he has none to produce that he has taught? and what for the taught, who have not had the benefit of the best teaching? So that we need each other alike in turn, both the governed, them that govern,16 and leaders, them that obey: for rulers are for the sake of many. Since no one is sufficient to do anything by himself alone, whether need be to ordain (ceirotonhsai), or to examine men’s counsels and opinions. but they become more honorable by assembly and numbers. For instance, the poor need givers, the givers again need receivers. “Considering one another” he says, “to provoke unto love and to good works.” (He 10,24). On this account the assembly of the whole Church has more power: and what each cannot do by himself singly, he is able to do when joined with the rest. Therefore most necessary are the prayers offered up, here, for the world, for the Church, from the one end of the earth to the other, for peace, for those who are in adversities. And Paul shows this when he says, “That for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf” (2Co 1,11); that is, that He might confer the favor on many. And often he asks for their prayers. See also what God says with regard to the Ninevites: “And shall not I spare that city, wherein dwell more than six score thousand persons?” (Jon 4,11). For if, “where two or three,” He says, “are gathered together in My Name” (Mt 18,20), they prevail much, how much more, being many? And yet thou mayest prevail, though thou be but one; yet not equally so. For why art thou but one? Why dost thou not make many? Why dost thou not become the maker of love? Why dost thou not create (kataskeuazei") friendship? Thou lackest the chief excellence of virtue. For as men’s being bad by agreement together more provokes God; so for men to be good by unanimity delights Him more. “Thou shall not follow a multitude,” He says, “to do evil.” (Ex 23,2). “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable” (Rm 3,12), and have become as it were men singing in concert in their wickedness. Make for thyself friends in preference to domestics, and all besides. If the peacemaker is a son of God, how much more he who makes friends also? (Mt 5,9). If he who reconciles only is called a son of God, of what shall not he be worthy, who makes friends of those who are reconciled? Let us engage ourselves in this trade, let us make those who are enemies to each other friends, and those who are not indeed enemies, but are not friends, them let us bring together, and before all, our own selves. For as he who is at enmity in his house, and has differences with his wife, carries no authority when reconciling others, but will be told, “Physician, heal thyself” (Lc 4,23), so will a man be told in this case. What then is the enmity that is in us? That of the soul against the body, that of vice against virtue. This enmity let us put an end to, this war let us take away, and then being in peace we shall also address others with much boldness of speech, our conscience not accusing us. Anger fights against gentleness, love of money against contempt of it, envy against goodness of heart. Let us make an end of this war, let us overthrow these enemies, let us set up these trophies, let us establish peace in our own city. We have within us a city and a civil polity, and citizens and aliens many: but let us banish the aliens, that our own people may not be ruined. Let no foreign nor spurious doctrine enter in, no carnal desire. See we not that, if any enemy has been caught in a city, he is judged as a spy? Then let us not only banish aliens, but let us drive out enemies also. If we see one, let us deliver up to the ruler, (that is), to conscience (tw nw), that imagination which is indeed an alien, a barbarian, albeit tricked out with the garb of a citizen. For there are within us many imaginations of this kind, which are by nature indeed enemies, but are clad in sheep’s skins. Just as the Persians, when they have put off the tiara, and the drawers, and the barbarian shoes, and put on the other dress which is usual with us, and have shorn themselves close, and converse in our own tongue, conceal war under their outward garb: but once apply the tortures (basanou" or “tests”), and thou bringest to light what is hidden: so here, examine (or “put to the test,”)by torture again and again such an imagination as this, and thou wilt quickly see that its spirit is that of a stranger. But to show you also by way of example the sort of spies which the devil sends into us to spy out what is in us, come let us strip one of them, and examine it strictly at the tribunal: and if you please, let us bring forward some of those which were detected by Paul. “Which things,” he says, “have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.” (Col 2,23). The devil wished to bring in Judaism: now if he had introduced it in its own form, he would not have carried his point. Accordingly, mark how he brought it about. “You must neglect the body,” he says: “this is (the true) philosophy, not to admit of meats, but to guard against them: this is humility.” And now again in our own times, in the case of the heretics, he wished to bring us down to the creature. See then how he dressed up his deceit. Had he said, “Worship a creature,” he would have been detected: but what says he? “God” (viz. the Son and the Holy Ghost), he says, “is a created being.” But let us lay bare for the decision of the judges the meaning of the Apostolic writings: there let us bring him: themselves will acknowledge both the preaching and the language. Many make gains “that they may have wherewith to give to the poor,” unjust gains: this too is a wicked imagination. But let us undress it, let us convict it, that we may not be taken by it, but that having escaped all the devices of the devil, and holding to the sound doctrines with strictness, we may be able both to pass in safety through this life present, and to obtain the good things promised, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father,together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
1 This seems meant to refer to the sequel of the passage cited, Rom. 9,4. “who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory …and the promises:” then kai touto refers to eboulomhn, indicatively, “I wished:” but kai touto (mod. text omits touto), “And this solicitude he showed for the sake of the Gentiles also, to whom the unbelief of the Jews might be a stumbling-block:”—unless kai touto refers to 5,3, the discourse of Christ’s death and resurrection—that the Cross might not be an offence to the devout Greeks.
2 meta akribeia" enqa paqo" ouk hn. It is not easy to see what else this can mean. Below in the Recapitulation ou rumh oude zhlw.—Mod. text “With exactness they explored the Scriptures—for this is the meaning of anekrinon—wishing from them to derive assurance rather concerning the Passion: for they had already believed.” The last statement, like some other additions in the mod. text, seems to be borrowed from the Catena (Ammonius) whence it is adopted also by Oecumenius: but this was certainly not Chrysostom’s meaning).
3 pro" touto, 1,e. the working of miracles. Not only it did not win them: they set themselves against it, taxing the doers of the miracles with imposture and magical art, etc.—Mod. text “For because to Him (touton, Christ) they were opposed, and slandered Him that He was a deceiver and juggler, therefore it is that He also reasons from the Scriptures. For he that attempts to persuade by miracles alone may well be suspected: but he that persuades from the Scriptures,” etc.
4 A. B). outw mega ti kai touto esti kai to pan. C. omits this: we place it after iscusan in the next sentence, where mod. text has it. This thought is brought out more fully below, p. 230. The persuading men by telling them that which even with miracles was hard to believe—a Messiah crucified!—was itself a miracle.
5 all` o Qeo" sunecwrhsen, if not corrupt, must mean "but that God permitted all: i.e. that all depended on God’s permission, not on their strength,—duo egeneto, i.e. some believed 5,4., others opposed, 5,5. The sense is confused in the mss. and Edd. by the transposition of the sentences marked c and a. In c, verse 2 is substituted for 5,4, which we restore. In b, we read tw te (A. B). to te) oikonomian einai kai to kaleisqai for kai tw kal. The meaning is, And so by reason of the fact that to kaleisqai is itself oikonomia—that is of God’s ordering, according to His own pleasure, who are called and who not—the preachers are not left either to think too much of themselves when they succeed, w" autoi kaqelonte", nor to be terrified by failure w", upeuqunoi, as if they were responsible for men’s unbelief.—Mod. text, “And that they may not think that they did it all by their own strength, God suffers them to be driven away (elaunesqai). For two things came of this: they neither etc. nor etc. So (much) was even the being called a matter of God’s ordering. ‘And of the devout Greeks,’” etc.
6 The “devout Greeks” would include such as were Jewish proselytes and such as were worshippers of the true God and attended the synagogue services, without being connected with Judaism. The “first women” were probably female proselytes to Judaism. These heard the Apostle with interest, but the more ardent and fanatical Jews, reinforced by the baser element—the loungers from the market place, made a tumult of opposition.—G. B. S.
7 Between the Exposition and the Moral, the original editor or transcriber has thrown together a set of disconnected notes. These are here inserted in what seems to be their proper connection. In the mss. and Edd, the parts lie in the order as shown by the letters a, b prefixed.
8 We adopt the reading of B). ekeino, “the suffering;” toutou, “the rising again.” The others, ekeinou, touto: reversing Chrysostom’s meaning).
9 The accusation is artfully made. They are accused of the crimen majestatis—treason against Caesar. The Jews knew well that to accuse them of disturbing their worship or opposing their opinions would produce no effect. To arouse the Roman feeling against them it was necessary to prevent their teaching concerning the Kingship of Jesus so as to make it seem to the rulers of this free city as a treasonable doctrine against the Roman state.—G. B. S.
10 “When they had taken security”—labonte" to ikanon, a legal term—satisfactionem accipere, it is doubtful if, as Chrys. supposes, Jason became surety in person. The surety was more probably a deposit of money and had for its object the guaranty that the peace should be kept, and nothing done contrary the Emperor and the state.—G. B. S.
11 Mod. text mistaking the meaning, has: “But they indeed were persuaded, but these do just the contrary, making an uproar among them.”
12 Edd). kaqaper gar en swmati, otan h noso" calepwtera h, pleiona ecei thn ulhn kai thn trofhn. Neander, der heil. Chysost. t. 1,p. 2. note, corrects the passage thus, kaqaper gar en swmati h noso" calepwtera, otan pl. ecoi thn ulhn. But A. C. preserve the true reading ecousa.
13 Of the Edd. Savile alone has adopted the true reading pw" ou tacew" epitrecousi toi" shmeioi", preserved by B. The other mss. and Edd. omit ou.
14 Here again Savile (with B). has the true reading oupw gar, the rest outw.
15 Here (because it seems unsuitable to refer this to cari", 1,e. supernatural grace, or special miraculous interposition,) B. substitutes, allAE ina peiran labwsi, dianistwsan autou" kai diupnizousan kai ei" merimnan emballousan, epoiei autou" kai anqrwpina pascein, “but in order that they may get experience, rousing and waking, and making them take pains, (the Lord) made them to suffer (or be affected) after the manner of men.”—Below, for “Philippi” the same has “Athens.”
16 mss. kai arconte" arcomenwn, kai hgoumenoi (mod. text hgoumeno") uphkown. A change is necessary in one or other clause, and we read arcontwn arcomenoi).
(Ac XVII. 16, 17.—“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.”
Observe how he meets with greater trials among the Jews than among the Gentiles. Thus in Athens he undergoes nothing of this kind; the thing goes as far as ridicule, and there an end: and yet he did make some converts: whereas among the Jews he underwent many perils; so much greater was their hostility against him.—“ His spirit,” it says, “was roused within him when he saw the city all full of idols.” Nowhere else were so many objects1 of worship to be seen. But again “he disputed with the Jews in the synagogue, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain of the philosophers of the Stoics and Epicureans encountered him.” (v. 18). It is a wonder the philosophers did not laugh him to scorn, speaking in the way he did. “And some said, What does this babbler mean to say?” insolently, on the instant:2 —this is far from philosophy. “Other some said, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods,” from the preaching, because he had no arrogance. They did not understand, nor comprehend the subjects he was speaking of—how should they? affirming as they did, some of them, that God is a body; others, that pleasure is the (true) happiness.3 “Of strange gods, because he preached:unto them Jesus and the Resurrection :” for in fact they supposed “Anastasis” (the Resurrection) to be some deity, being accustomed to worship female divinities also.4 “And having taken him, they brought him to the Areopagus” (v. 19)—not to punish, but in order to learn5 —“to the Areopagus” where the trials for murder were held. Thus observe, in hope of learning (they ask him), saying, “May we know what is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange matters to our ears” (v. 20):everywhere novelty is the charge: “we would fain know therefore, what these things may mean.” It was a city of talkers, that city of theirs. “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I look upon you as being in all things” (v. 21, 22)—he puts it by way of encomium: (the word) does not seem to mean anything offensive—deisidaimonesterou", that is, eulabesterou", “more religiously disposed. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with his inscription, To an Unknown God. What therefore ye ignorantly worship, this declare I unto you.” (v. 23).—“ On which was inscribed, To an Unknown God.” The Athenians, namely, as on many occasions they had received gods from foreign parts also—for instance, the temple of Minerva, Pan, and others from different countries-being afraid that there might be some other god not yet known to them, but worshipped elsewhere, for more assurance, forsooth, erected an altar to that god also: and as the god was not known, it was inscribed, “To an Unknown God.” This God then, he tells them, is Christ; or rather, the God of all.6 “Him declare I unto you,” Observe how he shows that they had already received Him, and “it is nothing strange,” says he, “nothing new that I introduce to you.” All along, this was what they had been saying: “What is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange matters to our ears.” Immediately therefore he removes this surmise of theirs: and then says, “God that made the world and all things therein, He being Lord of heaven and earth” —for, that they may not imagine Him to be one of many, he presently sets them right on this point; adding, “dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (v. 24), “neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything”—do you observe how, little by little, he brings in the philosophy? how he ridicules the heathen error? “seeing it is He that giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” This is peculiar to God. Look, then, whether these things may not be predicated of the Son also. “Being Lord,” he saith, “of heaven and earth”—which they accounted to be God’s. Both the creation he declares to be His work, and mankind also.7 “Having determined,” he says, “the times8 assigned to them, and the bounds of their habitation,” (v. 25, 26), “that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being: as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.” (v. 27, 28). This is said by Aratus the poet. Observe how he draws his arguments from things done by themselves, and from sayings of their own. “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art.” (v. 29). And yet for this reason we ought.9 By no means: for surely we are not like (to such), nor are these souls of ours. “And imagination of man.” How so? * * But some person might say, “We do not think this.” But it was to the many that he was addressing himself, not now to Philosophy. How then did they think so unworthily of Him? Again, putting it upon their ignorance, he says, “Now the times of ignorance God overlooked.” Having10 agitated their minds by the fear, he then adds this: and yet he says, “but now he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” (v. 30). “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” (v. 31). But let us look over again what has been said.
(Recapitulation). (b) “And while Paul waited,” etc. (v. 16). It is providentially ordered that against his will he stays there, while waiting for those others. (a) “His spirit,” it says, “within him” parwxuneto. It does not mean there anger or exasperation: just as elsewhere it says, “There was paroxusmo" between them.” (ch. 15,30). (c) Then what is parwxuneto? Was roused: for the gift is far removed from anger and exasperation. He could not bear it, but pined away.11 “He reasoned therefore in the synagogue,” etc. (v. 17). Observe him again reasoning with Jews. By “devout persons” he means the proselytes. For the Jews were dispersed everywhere before (mod. text “since”) Christ’s coming, the Law indeed being henceforth, so to say, in process of dissolution, but at the same time (the dispersed Jews) teaching men religion.12 But those prevailed nothing, save only that they got witnesses of their own calamities. (e) “And certain philosophers,” etc. (v. 18). How came they to be willing to confer with him? (They did it) when they saw others reasoning, and the man having repute (in the encounter). And observe straightway with overbearing insolence, “some said, What would this babbler say? For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” (1Co 2,14). Other some, He seemeth to be a setter-forth of strange deities: daimoniwn, for so they called their gods. “And having taken him, they brought him,” etc. (v. 19). (a) The Athenians no longer enjoyed their own laws, but were become subject to the Romans. (g) (Then) why did they hale him to the Areopagus? Meaning to overawe him—(the place) where they held the trials for bloodshed. “May we know, what is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears; we would fain know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” (v. 20, 21). Here the thing noted is, that though ever occupied only in this telling and hearing, yet they thought those things strange—things which they had never heard. “Then Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus said, Ye men of Athens, I look upon you as being in all things more religiously disposed” (v. 22): (f) for the cities were full of gods (daimonwn, al). eidwlwn): (h)this is why he says deisidaimonesterou". For as I passed by and viewed the objects of your worship —he does not say simply tou" daimona" (the demons, or deities), but paves the way for his discourse: “I beheld an altar,” etc. (v. 23). This is why he says, “I look upon you as being more religiously disposed,” viz. because of the altar. “God,” he says, “that made the world.” (v. 24). He uttered one word, by which he has subverted all the (doctrines) of the philosophers. For the Epicureans affirm all to be fortuitously formed and (by concourse) of atoms, the Stoics held it to be body and fire (ekpurwsin). “The world and all that is therein.” Do you mark the conciseness, and in conciseness, clearness? Mc what were the things that were strange to them: that God made the world! Things which now any of the most ordinary persons know, these the Athenians and the wise men of the Athenians knew not. “Seeing He is Lord of heaven and earth:” for if He made them, it is clear that He is Lord. Observe what he affirms to be the note of Deity—creation. Which attribute the Son also hath.
For the Prophets everywhere affirm this, that to create is God’s prerogative. Not as those affirm13 that another is Maker but not Lord, assuming that matter is uncreated. Here now he covertly affirms and establishes his own, while he overthrows their doctrine.14 “Dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” For He does indeed dwell in temples, yet not in such, but in man’s soul. He overthrows the corporeal worship. What then? Did He not dwell in the temple at Jerusalem? No indeed: but He wrought therein. “Neither is worshipped by men’s hands.” (v. 25). How then was He worshipped by men’s hands among the Jews? Not by hands, but by the understanding. “As though He needed anything:” since even those (Acts of worship) He did not in this sort seek, “as having need. Shall I eat,” saith He, “the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (Ps 50,13). Neither is this enough—the having need of naught—which he has affirmed: for though this is Divine, yet a further attribute must be added. “Seeing it is He that giveth unto all, life and breath and all things.” Two proofs of Godhead: Himself to have need of naught, and to supply all things to all men. Produce here Plato (and) all that he has philosophized about God, all that Epicurus has: and all is but trifling to this! “Giveth,” he says, “life and breath.” Lo, he makes Him the Creator of the soul also, not its begetter. See again how he overthrows the doctrine about matter. “And made,” he says, “of one blood every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth.” (v. 26). These things are better than the former: and what an impeachment both of the atoms and of matter, that (creation) is not partial (work), nor the soul of man either.15 But this, which those say, is not to be Creator.16 —But by the mind and understanding He is worshipped.—“ It is He that giveth,” etc. He not the partial (merikoi daimone") deities. “And all things.” it is “He,” he saith.—How man also came into being.17 —First he showed that “He dwelleth not,” etc., and then declared18 that He “is not worshipped as though He had need of aught.” If God,19 He made all: but if He made not, He is not God. Gods that made not heaven and earth, let them perish. He introduces much greater doctrines, though as yet he does not mention the great doctrines; but he discoursed to them as unto children. And these were much greater than those. Creation, Lordship, the having need of naught, authorship of all good—these he has declared. But20 how is He worshipped? say. It is not yet the proper time. What equal to this sublimity? Marvellous is this also—of one, to have made so many: but also, having made, Himself sustains them (sugkratei) in being, “giving life and breath and all things. (b) And hath determined the times appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him.” (v. 27). (a) It means either this, that He did not compel them to ,go about and seek God, but according to the bounds21 of their habitation: (c) or this, that He determined their seeking God, yet not determined this (to be done) continually, but (determined) certain appointed times (when they should do so): showing22 now, that not having sought they had found: for since, having sought, they had not found, he shows that God was now as manifest as though He were in the midst of them palpably (yhlafwmeno"). (e) “Though He be not far,” he saith, “from every one of us,” but is near to all. See again the power (or, “what it is to be God,”) of God. What saith he? Not only He gave “life and breath and all things,” but, as the sum and substance of all, He brought us to the knowledge of Himself, by giving us these things by which we are able to find and to apprehend Him. But we did not wish to find Him, albeit close at hand. “Though He be not far from every one of us.” Why look now, He is near to all, to every one all the world over! What can be greater than this? See how he makes clear riddance of the parcel deities (tou" merikou")! What say I, “afar off?” He is so near, that without Him we live not: “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (v. 28). “In him;” to put it by way of corporeal similitude, even as it is impossible to be ignorant of the air which is diffused on every side around us, and is “not far from every one of us,” nay rather, which is in us. (d)For it was not so that there was a heaven in one place, in another none, nor yet (a heaven) at one time, at another none. So that both at every “time” and at every “bound” it was possible to find Him. He so ordered things, that neither by place nor by time were men hindered. For of course even this, if nothing else, of itself was a help to them—that the heaven is in every place, that it stands in all time. (f) See how (he declares) His Providence, and His upholding power (sugkrathsin); the existence of all things from Him, (from Him) their working (to energein), (from Him their preservation) that they perish not. And he does not say, “Through Him,” but, what was nearer than this, “In him.”—That poet said nothing equal to this, “For we are His offspring.” He, however, spake it of Jupiter, but Paul takes it of the Creator, not meaning the same being as he, God forbid! but meaning what is properly predicated of God: just as he spoke of the altar with reference to Him, not to the being whom they worshipped. As much as to say,“For certain things are said and done with reference to this (true God), but ye know not that they are with reference to Him.” For say, of whom would it be properly said, “To an Unknown God?” Of the Creator, or of the demon? Manifestly of the Creator: because Him they knew not, but the other they knew. Again, that all things are filled (with the presence)—of God? or of Jupiter—a wretch of a man, a detestable impostor! But Paul said it not in the same sense as he, God forbid! but with quite a different meaning. For he says we are God’s offspring, i.e. God’s own,23 His nearest neighbors as it were.
For lest, when he says, “Being the offspring of God” (v. 29), they should again say, Thou bringest certain strange things to our ears,24 he produces the poet. He does not say, “Ye ought not to think the Godhead like to gold or silver,” ye accursed and execrable: but in more lowly sort he says, “We ought not.” For what (says he)?25 God is above this? No, he does not say this either: but for the present this—“We ought not to think the Godhead like unto such,” for nothing is so opposite to men. “But we do not affirm the Godhead to be like unto this, for who would say that?” Mark26 how he has introduced the incorporeal (nature of God) when he said, “In Him,” etc., for the mind, when it surmises body, at the same time implies the notion of distance. (Speaking) to the many he says, “We ought not to think the Godhead like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the shaping of art,”27 for if we are not like to those as regards the soul, much more God (is not like to such). So far, he withdraws them from the notion. But neither is the Godhead, he would say, subjected to any other human conception. For28 if that which art or thought has found—this is why he says it thus, “of art or imagination of man” —if that, then, which human art or thought has found, is God, then even in the stone (is) God’s essence.—How comes it then, if “in Him we live,” that we do not find Him? The charge is twofold, both that they did not find Him, and that they found such as these. The (human) understanding in itself is not at all to be relied upon.—But when he has agitated their soul by showing them to be without excuse, see what he says: “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” (v. 30). What then? Are none of these men to be punished? None of them that are willing to repent. He says it of these men, not of the departed, but of them whom He commands to repent. He does not call you to account, he would say. He does not say, Took no notice (pareiden); does not say, Permitted: but, Ye were ignorant. “Overlooked,” i.e. does not demand punishment as of men that deserve punishment. Ye were ignorant. And he does not say, Ye wilfully did evil.; but this he showed by what he said above29 —“ All men everywhere to repent:” again he hints at the whole world. Observe how he takes them off from the parcel deities! “Because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance to all men, in that He raised Him from the dead.” (v. 31). Observe how he again declares the Passion. Observe the terror again: for, that the judgment is true, is clear from the raising Him up: for it is alleged in proof of that. That all he has been saying is true, is clear from the fact that He rose again. For He did give30 this “assurance to all men,” His rising from the dead: this (i.e. judgment), also is henceforth certain.
These words were spoken indeed to the Athenians: but it were seasonable that one should say to us also, “that all men everywhere must repent, because he hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world.” See how he brings Him in as Judge also: Him, both provident for the world, and merciful and forgiving and powerful and wise, and, in a word possessing all the attributes of a Creator. “Having given assurance to all men,” i.e. He has given proof in the rising (of Jesus) from the dead.31 Let us repent then: for we must assuredly be judged. If Christ rose not, we shall not be judged: but if he rose, we shall without doubt be judged. “For to this end,” it is said, “did He also die, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Rm 14,9). “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to that he hath done.” (Rm 14,10, and 2Co 5,10). Do not imagine that these are but words. Lo! he introduced also the subject of the resurrection of all men; for in no other way can the world be judged. And that, “In that He hath raised Him from the dead,” relates to the body: for that was dead, that had fallen. Among the Greeks, as their notions of Creation, so likewise of the Judgment, are children’s fancies, ravings of drunken men. But let us, who know these things accurately, do something that is to the purpose: let us be made friends unto God. How long shall we be at enmity with Him? How long shall we entertain dislike towards Him? “God forbid!” you will say: “Why do you say such things?” I would wish not to say the things I say, if ye did not do the things ye do: but as things are, what is the use now in keeping silence from words, when the plain evidence of deeds so cries aloud? How then, how shall we love Him? I have told you thousands of ways, thousands of times: but I will speak it also now. One way I seem to myself to have discovered, a very great and admirable way. Namely,32 after acknowledging to Him our general obligations,—what none shall be able to express (I mean), what has been done for each of us in his own person, of these also let us bethink ourselves, because these are of great force:let each one of us reckon them up with himself, and make diligent search, and as it were in a book let him have the benefits of God written down; for instance, if at any time having fallen into dangers he has escaped the hands of his enemies; if ever having gone out on a journey at an untimely hour, he has escaped danger; if ever, having had an encounter with wicked men, he has got the better of them; or if ever, having fallen into sickness, he has recovered when all had given him over: for this avails much for attaching us to God. For if that Mordecai, when the services done by him were brought to the king’s remembrance, found them to be so available, that he in return rose to that height of splendor (): much more we, if we call to mind, and make diligent enquiry of these two points, what sins we have committed against God, and what good He has done to us, shall thus both be thankful, and give Him freely all that is ours. But no one gives a thought to any of these things: but just as regarding our sins we say that we are sinners, while we do not enquire into them specifically, so with regard to God’s benefits (we say), that God has done us good, and do not specifically enquire, where, and in how great number and at what time. But from this time forth let us be very exact in our reckoning. For if any one can recall even those things which happened long ago, let him reckon up all accurately, as one who will find a great treasure. This is also profitable to us in keeping us from despair. For when we see that he has often protected us, we shall not despair, nor suppose that we are cast off but we shall take it as a strong pledge of His care for us, when we bethink us how, though we have sinned, we are not punished, but even enjoy protection from Him. Let me now tell you a case, which I heard from a certain person, in which was a child, and it happened on a time that he was in the country with his mother, being not yet fifteen years old. Just then there came a bad air, in consequence of which a fever attacked them both, for in fact it was the autumn season. It happened that the mother succeeded in getting into the town before (they could stop her); but the boy, when the physicians on the spot33 ordered him, with the fever burning within him, to gargle his throat, resisted, having forsooth his own wise view of the matter, and thinking he should be better able to quench the fire, if he took nothing whatever, therefore, in his unseasonable spirit of opposition, boy-like, he would take nothing. But when he came into the town, his tongue was paralyzed, and he was for a long time speechless, so that he could pronounce nothing articulately; however, he could read indeed, and attended masters for a long time, but34 that was all, and there was nothing to mark his progress. So all his hopes (in life) were cut off, and his mother was full of grief: and though the physicians suggested many plans, and many others did so too, yet nobody was able to do him any good, until the merciful God loosed the string of his tongue (Mc 7,35), and then he recovered, and was restored to his former readiness and distinctness of speech. His mother also related, that when a very little child, he had an affection in the nose, which they call a polypus: and then too the physicians had given him over and his father cursed him (for the father was then living), and (even) his mother prayed for him to die;35 and all was full of distress. But he on a sudden having coughed, owing to the collection of mucus, by the force of the breath expelled the creature (to qhrion) from his nostrils, and all the danger was removed. But this evil having been extinguished, an acrid and viscid running from the eyes formed such a thick gathering of the humors (ta" lhma"), that it was like a skin drawn over the pupil, and what was worse, it threatened blindness, and everybody said this would be the issue. But from this disease also was he quickly freed by the grace of God. So far what I have heard from others: now I will tell you what I myself know. Once on a time a suspicion of tyrants was raised in our city—at that time I was but a youth—and all the soldiers being set to watch without the city as it chanced, they were making strict36 inquisition after books of sorcery and magic. And the person who had written the book, had flung it unbound (akataskeuaston) into the river, and was taken, and when asked for it, was not able to give it up, but was carried all around the city in bonds: when, however, the evidence being brought home to him, he had suffered punishment, just then it chanced that I, wishing to go to the Martyrs’ Church, was returning through the gardens by the riverside in company with another person. He, seeing the book floating on the water at first thought it was a linen cloth, but when he got near, perceived it was a book, so he went down, and took it up. I however called shares in the booty, and laughed about it. But let us see, says he, what in the world it is. So he turns back a part of the page, and finds the contents to be magic. At that very moment it chanced that a soldier came by:
then having taken from within,37 he went off. There were we congealed with fear. For who would have believed our story that we had picked it up from the river, when all were at that time, even the unsuspected, under strict watch? And we did not dare to cast it away, lest we should be seen, and there was a like danger to us in tearing it to pieces. God gave us means, and we cast it away, and at last we were free for that time from the extreme peril. And I might mention numberless cases, if I had a mind to recount all. And even these I have mentioned for your sakes, so that, if any have other cases, although not such as these, let him bear them in mind constantly: for example, if at any time a stone having been hurled, and being about to strike thee, has not struck thee, do thou bear this ever in thy mind: these things produce in us great affection towards God. For if on remembering any men who have been the means of saving us, we are much mortified if we be not able to requite them, much more (should we feel thus) with regard to God. This too is useful in other respects. When we wish not to be overmuch grieved, let us say: “If we have received good things at the hand of the Lord, shall not we endure evil things?” (Jb 2,10). And when Paul told them from whence he had been delivered, (2Tm 4,17) the reason was that he might put them also in mind. See too how Jacob kept all these things in his mind: wherefore also he said: "The Angel which redeemed me from my youth up (Gn 48,16); and not only that he redeemed him, but how and for what purpose. See accordingly how he also calls to mind the benefits he had received in particular. “With my staff,” he says, “I passed over Jordan.” (Gn 32,10).
The Jews also always remembered the things which happened to their forefathers, turning over in their minds the things done in Egypt. Then much more let us, bearing in mind the special mercies which have happened to us also, how often we have fallen into dangers and calamities, and unless God had held his hand over us, should long ago have perished: I say, let us all, considering these things and recounting them day by day, return our united thanks all of us to God, and never cease to glorify Him, that so we may receive a large recompense for our thankfulness of heart, through the grace and compassion of His only begotten Son, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
1 The old text has peirasmou", perhaps for sebasmou". Mod. text, tosauta eidwla.
2 Old text, outw" autou fqeggomenou ubristikw" euqew" (comp. Recapitulation) makran touto filosofia": apo tou khrugmato". oti oudena tufon eicen. Hence Mod. text, oude apephdhsan apo tou khr., eiponte": makron touto fil. (Oti oud. t. eicen: allw" de oti ouk enooun k. t. l. The insertion of the texts removes some of the difficulties. Perhaps apo tou khr. is opposed to euqew": the one sort straightway expressed their disdain, with a supercilious, “What does this opeqmologo" mean to say?” the other sort did listen, and condescended to comment on the matter of the preaching, having heard it—apo tou khr. (as in the phrase apo tou deipnou)—saying, “He seemeth,” etc. Of these Chrys. may have said, oti oudena tufon eicon, opp. to ubristikw". But all the mss. have eicen, and so we have rendered it).
3 Here the mss. have the text 5,18, and 5,19, 20 after “female divinities also.”
4 The view of Chrys. that the Greeks supposed Paul to designate by the Anastasis some goddess, has been shared by many more recent interpreters, but seems very improbable. The apostle could hardly have spoken so abstractly of the resurrection as to give rise to such a misapprehension. Paul doubtless spoke of Jesus’ own resurrection and of its relation to that of believers (vid. 1Co xv)., although in the text the absence of autou permits us to find only the idea of the general resurrection expressed.—G. B. S.
5 mss. and Edd). ouc wste maqein, allAE wste kolasai. But this cannot be Chrysostom’s meaning: for in the opening of the Hom. he remarks, that there was nothing of persecution here (comp. the opening of Hom. xxxix)., and in the Recapitulation, that the Athenians at this time were under Roman Law. Also in the following sentence, he explains that their questions were prompted by the hope of learning, (Ora goun (i. e. to show that this was their meaning) kai en elpidi tou maqein. In the Recapitulation indeed, he says, they brought him w" kataplhxonte", but this is a different thing from wste kolasai. Therefore we have transposed the order of the words. The clause enqa ai fonikai dikai (and in the Recapitulation enqa ta" f d. edikazon, which we retain from B)., seems to be meant to show that they did not bring him there for trial.
6 The principal points to be noted for the interpretation of 5,23 are as follows: (1) Pausanias (a.d. 174) and Philostratus (a.d. 244) testify to the existence at Athens of altars with the inscription: agnwstw qew. (2). “Upon important occasions, when the reference to a god known by name was wanting, as in public calamities of which no definite god could be assigned as the author, in order to honor or propitiate the god concerned by sacrifice, without lighting on a wrong one, altars were erected which were destined and designated agnwstw qew.” (Meyer). (3) By these inscriptions the Athenians referred to no particular divinities, but to supposed benefactors or avengers to whom they, in their religious system, could attach no name. (4) No reference is to be found in these inscriptions to the God of the Jews. The true text: o oun agnoounte" eusebeite, touto egw kataggelw umin (instead of the masculine on—touton of the cursives and the T. R). does not require the supposition of such a reference. They acknowledged an unknown—lying beyond their pantheon. Paul declares what this is: the true God as revealed in Jesus Christ. They would only partially and gradually understand his full meaning.—G. B. S.
7 prostet. E. V. “before appointed” (protet).
8 Edd). kai thn dhmiourgian edhlwse kai tou" anqrwpou" Comp. Recapitulation. whence it appears that he means “Both heaven and earth, and mankind also were created, not generated or emanated.”
9 Kai mhn dia touto ofeilomen. Mod. text inserts a fhsin, to make this an interlocution, in the sense, “Nay but for this reason, viz., being His offspring, we ought to think of Him as in the likeness of man.” But this cannot be Chrysostom’s meaning. Perhaps Chrys. said, oude touto, viz., after the following sentence, so that the sense will be, “We ought not to think the Godhead like unto gold, etc., the graven work of man’s art. By no means: for certainly we ourselves, our souls, are not like unto such. Nay, more, we ought not to think even this, that the Godhead is like unto aught that man’s imagination can conceive, as the Apostle adds, kai enqumhsew" anqrwpou to Qeion eikai omoion.” (See the Recapitulation). He proceeds: ti dhpote; 1,e. Why having said caragmati tecnh" does he add kai enqum. onqr.? The answer, not expressed here, is, “Because neither is it subject to any other human conception,” (dianoia, Recapitulation). Then, the old text has, ouk esti pro" filosofian: pw" oun palin to zhtoumenon: tou" men oun cron. k. t. l. Here we insert from the Recapitulation a sentence, which, where it stands, is superfluous (p. 236, note 6): AEAllAE eipoi an ti", Ou touto nomizomen. AEAlla pro" tou" pollou" o logo" hn autw, and then, ouketi (so we correct ouk esti) pro" filosofian. 1,e. “Philosophers may say, We do not so think of the Godhead. But he is not dealing with Philosophy, but pro" tro" tou" pollou". IIw" oun ouc euron; or the like; IIalin to zhtoumenon. Again coming to the question in hand (An ‘Unknown’ God, Whom ye ’ignorantly worship, he says). Now the times of ignorance,” etc.—Mod. text. “Why did he not immediately come (esth) to Philosophy, and say, God is incorporeal by nature, invisible and without form? Because it seemed superfluous at present to say these things to men who had not yet (mhtw om. E). learned that there is but one God. Therefore leaving those matters, he addresses himself (istatai) to the matter in hand, and says, Now the times,” etc.
10 Old text inserts here the whole of v. 30, 31, then, kaitoige fhsin, wrisen hm. anasthsa" auton ek nekrwn. Kataseisa" autwn thn dianoian tw fobw, tote epagei touto. It appears from the Recapitulation that kat. tw f. refers to the preceding verses, being explained by deixa" anapologhtou": and epagei touto to the first clause of 5,30, the overlooking of the times of ignorance. We have arranged the matter accordingly.—Mod. text, 5,30, 31. “See, having agitated their minds by saying, ‘He hath appointed a day,’ and terrified them, then he seasonably adds this, ‘Having raised Him from the dead.’” Which is clearly not Chrysostom’s meaning.
11 ouk eferen, allAE ethketo. The latter word seems incongruous, unless there he a reference to what St. Paul says of the state of his mind while waiting at Athens, in 1Th 2,1. q.d. this is not the state of feeling in which one is apt to give way to anger and irritation.
12 ama men tou nomou luomenou fhsin loipon, ama de didaskonte" eusebeian tou" anqrwpou". 1,e. “of which dispersion the consequence was indeed a breaking down, it may be said, of the Law (by intermarriages, etc)., but withal a spreading of the true religion among men.” Mod. text, having mistakenly changed pro to apo, inserts ex ekeinou “from that time” before tou nomouq: and also omits fhsin loipon, which the innovator did not understand.—AEAllAE ouden iscusan (mod. text, ekerdanan) ekeinoi. But those Jews, for all their success in spreading their religion, availed nothing, save that they got (more) witnesses (marturia" perhaps should be martura") of their own proper calamities (when the wrath came upon them to the uttermost), i.e. they prepared the way for the Gospel. but for themselves they availed nothing, but only to increase the number of those who should bear witness to the truth of God’s judgment upon them for their unbelief).
13 This, as it stands seems to be meant rather for the Manichaeans than the heathen philosophers, to whom, he has just before said, the very notion of creation was strange. But the whole exposition is most inadequately given, through the carelessness or incompetency of the reporter. To be referred to the heathen, it should be allon men einai kurion (as Jupiter) ou poihthn de: and this is favored, perhaps, by the unnecessary thn de (omitted by A. B). as remaining from ou poihthn de agennuton ulhn upotiqente".
14 AEEntauqa loipon ainigmatwdw" eipe to autou kai esthse—i. e. in speaking of God, he at the same time hints at the coequal Godhead of the Son: for He also is Creator and Lord. See p). 233 in the comments on 5,23, and v. 25, 26.
15 oti ouk esti merikh, oude yuch tou anqrwpou. “This is very obscure, and seems remote from the matter in hand. Hales ap. Sav. thinks it has come into the text from some other place. I should rather think the passage either mutilated or corrupt.” Ben. “There is nothing either obscure or corrupt in the passage.” Ed. Par. The meaning seems to be, As the whole creation is the work of One God, not merike" but to kaqolou, so are all mankind, universally, His work; the soul too, as well as the body.
16 This and the following sentences seem to be fragments belonging to the preceding exposition. But the whole is too confused and mangled to admit of any satisfactory restoration.
17 IIw" kai anqrwpo" gegone. Or (see (note 2). “How He (the Son) became man”—as belonging to some other place; e. g. after oudepw ta megala eipen. Or this may be put in the place of pw" qerapeuetai, note 8. Mod. text. “Having before shown, how the heaven was made, then he declared,” etc.
18 apefhnato: above, to mhdeno" deisqai, oper apefhnato.
19 This also may be part of the argument against the Arians, which Chrys. seems to have brought into his exposition. See note 2.
20 This is clearly out of place. Perhaps pw" kai anqrwpo" gegane (note 5). belongs here.
21 Kata ta" oroqesia". Perhaps Chrys. may have read kata ta" or. in his copy of the Acts: as Cod. Bezae and S. Irenaeus, kata thn oroqesian.
22 Mod. text spoiling tbe sense; “And this he says showing that not even now had they, having sought, found: although He was as plain to be found as anything would be that was (set) in the midst to be handled.”
23 Old text: Toutestin, oikeiou", eggutatou" wsper paroikou" kai geitona" otan legh: so Cat. The two last words are out of place; we insert them with the text-words after ( vIa gar mh. The sense is: He does not mean, with the heathen poet, that mankind came from God by generation or emanation: but that we are very near to Him.
24 Here mss. and Edd, have ouden gar outw" anqrwpoi" enantion, as if it meant, “nothing so goes against men as strangeness.” We place it in what seems a more suitable connection: “We ought not to think,” etc. for so far from “the Godhead” being “like unto such,” nothing is so much the reverse of like unto men, who “are his offspring.”
25 ti gar; uper touto Qeo"; oude touto: alla tew" touto: A). b.c., ti gar to uper touto qeo": oude k. t. l. Cat. om). ti gar to, and alla tew" touto. Mod. text, allAE uper touto. ti dai to uper touto; Qeo": allAE oude touto, energeia" gar estin onoma: alla tew" touto.
26 Possibly the connection may be, “He is not addressing himself to the notions of philosophers, (supra, note 1 p 234). for them he insinuated to aswmaton by the AEEn autw zwmen, the intimate presence of Deity, the denial of body by the denial of diasthma which is necessarily implied in the notion of body. But he speaks to the many, and puts it to them in this way, We, being in respect of the soul, akin to God, ought not to think,” etc.—Mod. text omits pro" tou" pollou".
27 Here the mss. and Edd. have the sentence allAE eipoi an ti"—o logo" autw, which we have transferred above, p. 234, note 1. In the next sentence, ei gar hmei" ouk esmen omoioi ekeinoi" to kata yuchn, A). b.c. omit the negative, which Cat. and mod. text retain.
28 Ei gar h tecnh h dianoia eure, A). b.c. but Cat. om). ei gar, mod. text h gar tecnh h d. eure. Dia touto outw" eipen: A. also has this last clause, which is unknown to b.c. Cat. In the translation we assume the reading to be, Ei gar oper h t. h d. eure—dia touto outw" “tecn. h enq. a.”—oper oun t. h d. a. eure, touto o Qeo", kai en liqw ousia qeou).
29 i. e. in 5,27. “that they should seek the Lord …being, as He is, not far from every one of us.” But text refers it to the following clause, by adding eipwn.
30 IIasi gar tauthn pareice pistin, 1,e. God; but C. and mod. text pareicon, as if it meant “the Apostles gave assurance of Christ’s resurrection,” overlooking the pistin parascwn of the text.’
31 Mod. text “The things spoken have given proof of His rising from the dead.”
32 A). b.c. meta gar tauta kaqolika" eidenai autw. The sense would be satisfied by meta to ta" kaq. eidenai autw carita". Mod. text. “Together with the reckoning up of what God has done for us in common (benefits), so many that none is able even to number them, and giving Him thanks for all these, let us all bethink us of what has been done for each one of us, and reckon them up day by day. Since then these,” etc).
33 twn iatrwn twn ekei. Mod. text omits twn, and adds menein, kai: “the physicians ordering him to stay there.” The mss., except A. which has preserved the true reading eirxato, have hrxato, whence Erasm. Ben). coepit gargarizare—just what the boy refused to do. He would not take the gargle, nor any other medicine or food.—For sbennutai we restore with mod. text sbennunai.—w" dhqen filosofwn either as above, or “to show his strength of mind forsooth.”—uper filoneikia", B). filotimia". (Erasmus’ translation is altogether wide of the sense).
34 aplw" de (kai mod. text)). ashma. Meaning perhaps, “being speechless, he read and heard, but could not give tokens of understanding what he learned.”
35 mss. kai o pathr autw kathrato, kai teleuthsai huceto kai h mhthr: eti gar etuce zwn o pathr autou. Mod. text. “His mother prayed for him to die, and his father cursed him, for he was yet living.”
36 tucon aplastw" zhtountwn: meaning perhaps, in earnest not for form’s sake. The occasion of this strictness was doubtless the affair of Theodorus the Sicilian, see t. 1,343 B. and 470 D. (IIro deka toutwn etwn ealwsan epi turannidi tine" k. t. l). For the history of the treasonable and magical practices against Valens at Antioch, in which Theodorus was implicated, and of the severities exercised in consequence of that attempt, see Ammianus Marcell. 29,init. Comp. Zosi mus 4,13, 3, Sozomen 6,35, Socrates 4,19).
37 eita endoqen labwn aphei: apepagh tw deei It is not easy to see what this means, unless the sense intended be, “the soldier paced backward and forward, so that we were intercepted between his walk and the river.”—Mod. text, eita e. l, aphei kai apephgei tw deei Erasm qui hoc animadvertens abiit, et timere nos fecit. Ben. Hinc). vero socius. illo occultato abiit et timore tabescebat. We must certainly read apepaghn, or apepaghmen.
Chrysostom on Acts 3700