Images de page
PDF
ePub

which, in the common version, is rendered, and properly so, confess.” This part of the passage having an evident reference to the words quoted from Isaiah, commentators have generally confined the reference to this prophet only; but it deserves to be particularly noticed that the text also presents, “ heavenly, and earthly, and subterrene creatures;” nor can we find much difficulty in determining that the Apostle, in these words, had in his mind what is written in Rev. iv. 11. v. 12–14, &c. when we find afterwards, in this Epistle to the Philippians (ch.iv. 3), a direct allusion to the Apocalypse in the expression, « ών τα ονόματα εν βίβλω ζωής, whose names "[are] in the book of life.The book of which the Apostle speaks is το βιβλίο της ζωής του αρviou the book of life of the Lamb," Rev. xxi. 27. Indeed “ The book of life" is a term so perfectly Apocalyptical (see ch. iii. 5. xiii. 8. xvji. 8.xx. 12, 15. xxii. 19.) that, excepting this passage in the Epistle to the Philippians, it is found only in the Revelation. Can we doubt then whence Paul took the expression, especially when we find him, in other epistles, frequently quoting, or directly alluding to, the Apocalypse ?

,

§ 6. Of Evidence respecting the Date of the

Apocalypse furnished by the Epistle to the Colossians.

The Epistle to the Colossians presents such a torrent of internal evidence, of its having been written later than the Apocalypse, that it is wonderful critics should not have perceived it; nor can this be accounted for, but from the power of prejudice and prepossession. The basis of the Apostle's topics, arguments and illustrations, in his address to this Asiatic church, are wholly Apocalyptical.

In Ch. i. 12. he gives “ thanks to the FATHER, who hath made us meet to be partakers. Toû xanpou των αγίων εν τω φωτί, OF THE INHERITANCE

OF THE SAINTS IN THE LIGHT:"—having in his eye what is declared in Rev. ch. xxi. : “He “ that overcometh, xanpovojnoel TOVTA SHALL IN

HERIT ALL THINGS." (v. 7). This inheritance is represented under the symbol of a city—the New Jerusalem. This city hath no need of the sun, or of the moon, to shine therein ; " for the * glory of THE OMNIPOTENT, even the light “(literally the lamp) thereof, THE LAMB, EN“ LIGÅTENS it : and the nations of them who are « saved shall walk in τω φωτί αυτής THE LIGHT “ THEREOF” (v. 23, 24). No night shall be there, nor any need of a lamp, or of sun-light; because JEHOVAH, the OMNIPOTENT, QwTie &' avrovs WILL ENLIGHTEN THEM:” (Rev. xxii. 5).

V. 13. “ Who hath delivered us from our las toll cxóTous THE POWER OF THE DARKNESS, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son ;' -The saints having an inheritance in the light, are, of course, delivered from darkness; but the Apostle presses the contrast:—they are delivered from the kingdom of the beast, which has become co xotwuém darkened (Rev. xvi. 10), and now belong “ to the kingdom of God's dear son; -(yea, they shall reign for ever and ever.Rev. xxii. 5.) For the convenience of comparison the following corresponding passages are placed in opposite columns :

COLOSSIANS.

APOCALYPSE.

I. 14 Tbrough whom we I. 5 To him who ... have the redemption, through hath washed us from our sins his blood" (the forgiveness of in his own blood. v. 9 hast sins).

redeemed us to God by thy blood.

The words, “ Through his blood”-Sià To asparos auTOū, are absent from some of the early versions and seven of the antient MSS., and have been thrown from the text into the margin by Griesbach. Some Critics think they were transcribed here from Ephes. i. 7. But in fact they found their way into both Epistles, from the Apocalypse being in the mind of the writer when he penned them. The way in which the forgiveness of sins” is introduced, probably led to their rejection by some early transcriber, who did not perceive that the latter words are explanatory of the redemption through his blood--literally through the blood of him, who is the image of the invisible God," the forgiveness of sins" being read in parenthesis.

16 For by him were created IV. 11 For thou hast creaall things, those in the hea- ted all things. vens, an

those on the earth; X. 6 who created the heathe visible and the invisible; ven and the things in it; also whetherthrones, or dominions, the earth and the things in it, or principalities, or powers : likewise the sea and the things all things were created by him therein. and for him :

17 And he is before all IV. 11 Yea as they were things, and by him all things made, so also they exist by consist :

18 And he is the head of I. 5 From Jesus Christ... the body, the church ; who ... the first-born from the is Chief (or Prince, 'APXH], dead, and the Chief (or Prince, the first-born from the dead, "APXIN] of the Kings of the that in all things he might be earth. first (or Chief].

thy will.

/

In Ch. ii. 9, 10. we read, " In him dwelleth all THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY ; and ye are made complete by him who is the head of all PRINCIPALITY (APXHPrinceship or Government) and Power.That is : to him belongs Power, in all its forms and attributes, with all the glory that attaches thereto. When the

reader shall have weighed what is stated in the Fifth Dissertation, respecting the radical sense of the word Oeds [Theos] commonly rendered God, he will probably feel no difficulty in admitting that the power, glory, &c. ascribed to the Lamb, in the fifth chapter from the 12th verse to the end, and in other parts of the Apocalypse, explain fully what is meant by the fulness tñs 086TYTOS (Theotētos) OF THE Godhead, dwelling in him bodily. In this place I need only remark that, in the Apocalypse, the radical sense of Theos is Power; and that, in the passage before us, Paul having (in v. 15) stated Christ Jesus to be the image of the INVISIBLE GOD—that is, the image of the INVISIBLE Power, informs them here, that THE BODILY MANIFESTATION of this Power had its fulness in his person; which is precisely the same truth stated in other words.

The recurrence of the article, generally omitted by translators, in this passage, is too striking to be passed without notice: “The inheritance,

—“The light,"_" the darkness,”—“THE re

THE demption,&c. refer emphatically, to matters not now laid before the Colossians for the first time, but with which they were already made acquainted, by him who is the head of all 'APXHX (Archēs), even by the "APXAN (Archoon) himself. Is it possible to read, with any atten

.

/

« PrécédentContinuer »