Obrazy na stronie

vetustate et usu meruit, et inter sanctas Scripturas comparatur. *

That there is a difference in the style of the first and second epistle of St. Peter is allowed; but it is not such a difference as ought to create any doubt of the genuineness of the epistle. One reason is, because 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 Jewish 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 passage differs as much from all the rest of this second epistle, as it does from the first. St. Jerome † supposed, and others I 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.

Were this nothing but a conjecture, yet so reasonable a one it is, that the doubt raised against this second epistle merely from this difference of style, could hardly stand before it.

[ocr errors]

* Hieron. Catal, Script. Eccl, + Epist, ad Hedibiam, qu. 2.:

# Estius, Calmet, &c,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

But we can go farther, and show on very probable grounds that this was indeed the case.

The very beginning of the second chapter of this second epistle shows 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 :' verse 1. If you consider 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 Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness :' verse 15. A very natural thought this, and to be expected in a description of false prophets made by an ancient Jewish writer; but such a one as hardly would have occurred in an original description of the false teachers under the gospel. 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;' verse 11. These are antique figures, and discover the age to which they belong : and St. Jude tells us plainly that these false teachers were nála. проγεγραμμένοι είς τούτο το κρίμα, 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 ex. pressions 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.

St. Jude. Ver. 4. Ει γάρ ό Θεός αγγέ- Ver. 6. 'Αγγέλους τε τους μη

' λων αμαρτησάντων ουκ έφεί- τηρήσαντας την εαυτών άρχήν, σατο, αλλά σειραϊς ξόφου ταρ- αλλά απολιπόντας το ίδιον οίκηταρώσας παρέδωκεν εις κρίσιν τήριον, εις κρίσιν μεγάλης ημέτετηρημένους.

ρας, δεσμοίς αιδίοις υπό ξόφον

τετήρηκεν. Ver. 6. Πόλεις Σοδόμων και Ver. 7. Ως Σόδομα και ΓόΓομόρρας τεφρώσας καταστροφή μορρα, και αι περί αυτάς πόλεις, κατέκρινεν, υπόδειγμα μελλόν- τον όμοιον τούτοις τρόπος εκπορτων ασεβείν τεθεικώς.

νεύσασαι, και απελθούσαι οπίσω

σαρκός ετέρας. Ver. 11. "Αγγελοι ισχύϊ και Ver. 9. Ο δε Μιχαήλ και δυνάμει μείζονες όντες, ου φέ- αρχάγγελος, ότε το διαβόλο διαρωσι κατ' αυτών παρά Κυρίω κρινόμενος διελέγετο περί του βλάσφημον κρίσιν.

Μωσέως σώματος, κ. τ. λ.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

St. Peter speaks of the angels that sinned; St. Jude gives an account of their sin, that they kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation.' This account of the angels' sin 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 unlikely that he should add these circumstances, if he had only St. Peter's αγγέλων αμαρτησάντων 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 sinners; 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, verse 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, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, the Lord rebuke thee :' verse 9. These instances show that St. Jude did not merely

[ocr errors]

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 some old 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.

St. Jude. Ver. 6. Και πόλεις Σοδόμων Ver. 7. Ως Σόδομα και Γόκαι Γομόρρας τεφρώσας κατα- μορρα κ. τ. λ. πρόκεινται δείγστροφή κατέκρινεν, υπόδειγμα μα, πυρός αιωνίου δίκην υπέχουμελλόντων ασεβείν τεθεικώς.

Ver. 10. Μάλιστα δε τους Ver. 8. Ομοίως μέντοι και οπίσω σαρκός εν επιθυμία μιασ- ούτοι ενυπνιαζόμενοι σάρκα μεν μου πορευομένους, και κυριότητος μιαίνουσι, κυριότητα δε αθετούσι, καταφρονούντας. Τολμηται, αυ- δόξας δε βλασφημούσι. θάδεις, δόξας ου τρέμουσι βλασφημούντες.

Ver. 12. Ούτοι δε, ως άλογα Ver. 10. Ούτοι δε όσα μεν ζώα, φυσικά, γεγεννημένα εις ουκ οίδασι βλασφημούσιν όσα άλωσιν και φθοράν, εν οίς άγ- δε φυσικώς, ως τα άλογα ζώα, νοούσι βλασφημούντες, εν τη επίστανται, εν τούτοις φθείρουφθορά αυτών καταφθαρήσονται.


In these instances the language of St. Jude is much plainer and simpler than St. Peter's, and represents the meaning common to both espistles 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 same Greek author, the language of one epistle would

[ocr errors]

probably have answered more nearly to the language of the other; and yet the sentiments and notions of the two epistles are so much the same, that we must needs suppose the two writers to follow one and the same copy; and if we suppose this .copy to have been in the Jewish language, and that each writer translated for himself, this will answer the whole appearance, and account as well for their difference as their agreement. The difference which appears in the parallel places last quoted, may indeed be accounted for on the supposition that St. Jude transcribed from St. Peter. He might intend perhạps to make plain the abstruse passages, and to that end might make choice of a plainer way of expressing himself. But the former passages cannot be thus accounted for, which will appear

if we consider farther : That the subject matter common to these two epistles was without doubt taken from some old Jewish author by one or both of these writers. That St. Jude had the old book before him, and did not merely copy after St. Peter, is evident; for he expressly quotes Enoch, meaning either a book under that name and title, or, which is more probable, some ancient book of Jewish traditions, in which some prophecies of Enoch were recorded. St. Jude, by telling us whence he had his description of the false prophets, has informed us at the same time whence St. Peter had the materials of the second chapter of his second epistle ; which is the very same description, with such varieties as have already been observed. It is very remarkable,

, that notwithstanding this great agreement between the two epistles, St. Peter has an instance not to be found in St. Jude ; and St. Jude has another not to be found in St. Peter. St. Jude quotes the prophecy of Enoch, of which St. Peter says nothing ; St. Peter refers to the preaching of Noah, of which St. Jude says nothing. Supposing one to be a mere transcriber of the other, it is hard to account for this variation ; especially considering that the preaching referred to by St. Peter under the name of Noah, and the prophecy referred to by St. Jude under the name of Enoch, relate to one and the same thing, the destruction of the old world. But if


will suppose both Apostles to use an ancient Jewish book, in which the prophecies of Enoch and Noah relating to the flood were

« PoprzedniaDalej »