Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

cause this difference of style does not run through the whole Epistle, but affects only one part of it; another reason is, that this difference may be more probably accounted for, than by supposing the second Epistle to come from another hand than the first.

The second Epistle is divided into three chapters ; the first and the third stand clear of this difficulty, agreeing very well with the style of the first Epistle. The second chapter is full of bold figures, and abounds in pompous words and expressions: it is a description of the false prophets and teachers, who infested the church, and perverted the doctrines of the Gospel ; and it seems to be an extract from some ancient Jew. ish writer, who had left behind him a description of the false prophets of his own, or perhaps earlier times; which description is applied, both by St. Peter and St. Jude, to the false teachers of their own times. If this be the case, where is the wonder, that a passage transcribed from another author, and inserted into this second Epistle, should differ in style from St. Peter's first Epistle? especially, considering that the style of this paffage differs as much from all the rest of this second Epistle, as it does from the first. St. Jerome supposed, and others 8 have followed his opinion, that St. Peter made use of different interpreters to express his sense in his two Epistles ; but had this been the case, the difference of style would have appeared in the whole Epistle, and not in one part of it only, which is the present state : and I see no reason to think that St. Peter did not write both the Epistles himself.

į Epist. ad Hedibiam quæft. 2.

. Eftius, Calmet, &c.

Were this nothing but a conjecture, yet so reasonable an one it is, that the doubt raised against this second Epistle, merely from this difference of style, could hardly stand before it. But we can go further, and shew, upon very probable grounds, that this was indeed the case.

The very beginning of the second chapter of this second Epistle shews, that St. Peter had the image of some ancient false prophets before him, in describing the false teachers of his own time : There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, ver. I. If you confider the character he gives of these false teachers, it will appear to be drawn from the description of the old false prophets; such they are, he tells us, as have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bofor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, ver. 15. A very natural thought this, and to be expected in a description of false prophets made by an ancient Jewish writer; but such an one as hardly would have occurred in an original description of the false teachers under the Gofpel. St. Jude has this comparison, and others of the same kind joined with it: They have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam, and perished in the gainsaying of Core, ver. 11. These are antique figures, and discover the age to which they belong. And St. Jude tells us plainly, that there falfe teachers were πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εις TŪTO cò xpipa, described or set forth of old for this condemnation ; and it is very likely that both St. Peter and he had the old description before them, when they gave the character of the false teachers of their own times. St. Jude's Epistle is so like the second chapter of St. Peter's second Epistle, the figures and images in both are so much the same, as likewise the ancient examples and instances made use of, that it has been commonly thought that St. Jude copied after St. Peter's Epistle : and yet the turn of words and expressions are so different; the choice of matter likewise is in part so different, some things being mentioned in one, and omitted in the other; that it is much more probable that both copied from the same original, and drew from it according to their own judgments. I will give some instances of this, and leave the rest to the reader's own examination :

St. Peter, ver. 4.

St. Jude, ver. 6. Ει γαρ ο Θεός αγγέλων 'Αγγέλες τε τους μη τηρήαμαρτησάντων ουκ εφείσατο, σαντας την έαυτών αρχήν, αλαλλα σειραϊς ζόφου ταρταρώ- λα απολιπόντας το ίδιον οίκησας, παρέδωκεν εις κρίσιν τέθη- τήριον, εις κρίσιν μεγάλης ημέρημένους.

ρας, δεσμούς αϊδίοις υπό ζόφον

τετήρηκεν. Ver. 6. Πόλεις Σοδόμων Ver. 7. Ως Σόδομα και και Γομόρρας τεφρώσας κατα- Γόμορρα, και αι περί αυτας στροφή κατέκρινεν, υπόδειγμα πόλεις, τον όμοιον τούτοις τρόμελλόντων ασεβείν τεθεικώς. που εκπορνεύσασαι, και απελ

98σαι οπίσω σαρκός ετέρας. Ver. 11. "Αγγελοι ισχύ Ver. 9. ο δε Μιχαήλ και και δυνάμει μείζονες όντες, ου αρχάγγελος, ότε το διαβόλο φέρουσι κατ' αυτών παρα Κυ- διακρινόμενος διελέγετο περί τα ρίω βλάσφημον κρίσιν. Μωσέως σώματος κ. τ. λ.

St. Peter 1peaks of the angels that finned; St. Jude gives an account of their sin, that they kept not

[ocr errors]

their firft eflate, but left their own habitation. This account of the angels' fin is no where else to be found in Scripture; but was, if I may guess, in the old book from which St. Jude transcribed : for it is

very un. likely that he should add these circumstances, if he had only St. Peter's dyyénwr ar cepamohurw before him. The very

same difference may be observed in setting forth the example of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is common to both Epistles : St. Peter speaks only of their judgment, and of their being made an example to finners ; St. Jude adds an account of their crime. And though, as far as the two Epistles agree in respect to this instance, the images and ideas are the same; yet the turn of expression is very different. Again, St. Peter, ver. 11. in reproof of the presumptuous and self-willed, who speak evil of dignities, says, That angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusations against them before the Lord: but here St. Jude has given us the history to which this belongs ; Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil about the body of Moses, durft not bring against him a railing accusation, but faid, The Lord rebuke thee, ver. 9. These instances shew that St. Jude did not merely copy from St. Peter, but had recourse to the original itself, where these instances stood recorded, and took from thence such circumstances as he thought proper to set these examples in their full light.

If we compare the different manners of expressing the same thing in the two Epistles, we shall hardly imagine that St. Peter and St. Jude had the same language before them to transcribe ; it is much more probable that they both translated from fome old

,

[ocr errors]

Hebrew book; which will account for the difference of language between them, and the great agreement in their images and ideas. The following instances, will make my meaning plain :

2 Peter ii. ver. 6.

St. Jude, ver. 7. Και πόλεις Σοδόμων και Ως Σόδομα και Γόμορρα Γομόρρας τεφρώσας καταστρο- κ. τ. λ. πρόκεινται δείγμα, πυφη κατέκρινεν, υπόδειγμα μελ- ρoς αιωνίου δίκην υπέχεσαι. λόντων ασεβείν τεθεικώς

Ver. 10. Μάλιστα δε τες Ver. 8. Ομοίως μέντοι και οπίσω σαρκός εν επιθυμία μι- ούτοι ενυπνιαζόμενοι, σάρκα ασμού πορευομένους, και κυριό- μεν μιαίνουσι, κυριότητα δε τητος καταφρονούντας, τολμη- αθετουσι, δόξας δε βλασφημίται, αυθάδεις, δόξας ου τρέ- σιν. μουσι βλασφημούντες.

Ver. 12. Ούτοι δε, ως ά- Ver. 10. Ούτοι δε όσα λογα ζώα φυσικα, γεγεννημένα μεν ουκ οίδασι βλασφημούσιν εις άλωσιν και φθοραν, εν οίς όσα δε φυσικώς, ως τα άλογα αγνούσι βλασφημούντες, έν τη ζώα, επίστανται, εν τούτοις φθορά αυτών, καταφθαρήσον- φθείρονται.

ται.

In these instances the language of St. Jude is much plainer and simpler than St. Peter's, and represents the meaning common to both Epistles much more intelligibly; and whoever will be at the pains to examine the two Epistles carefully, will find more instances of this kind, where the sentiments, and notions are the same, and the manners of expression very different. Whence can proceed this agreement and disagreement at once ? Had one transcribed the other, or had both copied from the fame Greek au

« AnteriorContinuar »