The Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia

Part 5

By E. H. Plumptre

III.—PERGAMOS. (Revelation 2:12-17.)

In this instance there seems reason to believe that there is a somewhat closer connection between the outward history of the city and the language in which the Church in that city is described in the Apocalypse than we have found in dealing with the Messages to Ephesus and Smyrna. Something there was which gave it a bad eminence over them and over the other cities that are here grouped with it. More emphatically than any other it was the metropolis and fortress of the powers of evil, the place where "Satan's throne was,'' and where he himself was thought of, as ruling from that throne, as the strong man armed, resenting and resisting the attack which was now made upon him by One mightier than himself. How it came to be so, that outward history may, in part at least, explain.

It is not necessary to go back to the earlier time when the rock citadel of Mysia, about three miles from the banks of the Caicus, first became celebrated for its worship of the mysterious Cabiri, and then, like other sacred places, became a treasury where kings and chieftains deposited their wealth. It will be enough to remember that after the break-up of the Macedonian monarchy it became the capital of a wealthy kingdom, and Eumenes II. sought to rival the glory of Alexandria by the foundation of a library, in which were stored the chief works of the literature and philosophy of Greece;1 that it became famous for the worship of the great deities, Zeus, Athene, Dionysos, Apollo, Aphrodite, and, with even a more special devotion, of ∆sculapius; that round that last form of idolatry there gathered a great medical school, which was afterwards rendered illustrious by the' name of Galen. In this religious character lay its special claim to greatness. It was, as Dean Blakesley has well described it,2 "a sort of union of a pagan cathedral city, an university town, and a royal residence;" and when, on the death of Attalus III., it passed, by his bequest, to the Roman Republic, and afterwards to the Empire, it retained its old fame, and was described by Pliny as without a rival in the whole province of Asia.

Such a city might well seem to the Apostle to be the head-quarters of that great evil Power against which he and his fellow-believers had gone forth in the name of Christ to wage an internecine warfare. And if we picture to ourselves some of the peculiarities of the worship which was there prominent, how ∆sculapius was honoured with the name of ''Preserver," or" Saviour" (Σωτὴρ); how in his temple the ∆sculapian symbol of the wreathed serpent must have been the most conspicuous object, seeming alike to Jew and Christian to be nothing else but an open adoration of the " great dragon called the Devil and Satan;" how to them the works of healing that were ascribed to the power of the guardian deity of the city would seem to be lying signs and wonders, and the name which he bore a blasphemous assumption of the power of the true Saviour.; and even the books which the followers of ∆sculapius studied to be of the class of those belonging to the "curious arts," which they held in righteous abhorrence and which the first fervour of faith had led the zealous converts to destroy (Acts xix. 19),—it will not seem strange that such a city should be described, as we find it described here, as the very throne of Satan, even if there had been no special events to indicate that there the powers of evil were working in their utmost malignity. But the context shews that they had thus displayed themselves. In other cities there had been the trial of persecution, but it had not extended beyond scorn, contumely, spoliation, or, at the furthest, imprisonp1ent, and stripes, and exile. Here it had gone further, and Pergamos had witnessed the death of one whom we may well believe to have been the proto-martyr of the Asiatic Churches.

The special intensity of the evils which prevailed at Pergamos determined, it would seem, the choice of the special attribute claimed by the Lord of the Churches as " He which hath the sharp sword with two edges." That sharp sword (the word points, in its literal meaning, to the long sword of the heavy-armed soldier, as distinct from dagger or short sabre) came, it will be remembered, from the mouth, instead of being wielded with the hand, and so answered to the description of the righteous and victorious King given by the prophet (Isa. xi. 4; xlix. 2), and was the symbolic representation of the imagery which the language of St. Paul must have made familiar, and in which the "sword of the Spirit" was "the word of God" (Ephes. vi. 17). As such the two-edged weapon was to do its twofold work. On the one hand it was to smite that it might heal, "piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit," cutting to the quick, reaching conscience, laying bare the hidden depths of each man's life. On the other it was also quick and powerful' to smite and to destroy; and with it, with the weapon of the Divine Word; the champions of the Truth, and the Captain of the great host of those champions Himself, would win the victory even in that battlefield where the throne of Satan was set up as though he were undisputed lord.

The fact that the Church of Pergamos had witnessed the death of one of its teachers (Antipas) has been already noticed by anticipation: of that faithful martyr we must be content to confess that we know nothing more than the name. The passing mention of him by Tertullian is obviously drawn from this passage and conveys no information; the longer narrative of Simeon Metaphrastes is as obviously nothing but a martyrdom written to order in the tenth century. The suggestion made by Hengstenberg that the name is itself symbolical; that it is as it were, equivalent to ἀντίκοσμος, "one who holds his own against every one" (ἀντὶ‐πᾶς), an "Athanasius contra Mundum;" and the still wilder conjecture that under this pseudonym we may recognize the living form of Timotheus, though nothing in what the New Testament records connects him with the Pergamene district, may be dismissed as simply and almost childishly fantastic.3 The name, like that of the Tetrarch of Galilee, is simply a form of Antipatros, as Lucas is of Lucanus, or Zenas of Zenodorus. And so we must leave the name that thus shines like a star in the firmament of heaven, without knowing more than that he who bore it had in open conflict against the powers of evil witnessed that Christ was the one Healer, Preserver, Saviour, and thus had drawn upon himself the wrath of those who saw their craft endangered, or were roused, apart from motives of interest, to fanatic indignation. It remains only to note that here also the blood of martyrs was the seed of the Church, and was fruitful in a harvest of like noble souls, and that among those who were most conspicuous in the annals of martyrdom in the severer persecutions of the second century were four, at least, who claimed Pergamos as their birthplace. (Euseb. "Hist. Eccl." iv. 15; v. 1.)

The words that follow note what there was of evil in the Church in which there was so much that was conspicuously good: "I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak4 to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel." On the assumption to "Which we were led in examining the reference to the Nicolaitanes in the Message to Ephesus, we have here to deal with a distinct form of error. Why the name of Balaam should be the representative of that false doctrine, what was its nature and its practical working, in what relation it stood to the teaching of other parts of the New Testament on the same subject, are all questions of much interest. It will be convenient to deal with the two last first, and to trace the history of the controversy as to εἰδωλόθυτα, or " things sacrificed to idols."

Every convert from Heathenism to the faith of Christ would acknowledge that he was bound to abstain from any participation, direct or indirect, in the false worship which he renounced at baptism. But the question what acts involved an indirect participation was one that gave rise to a perplexing casuistry, and yet could not be avoided. Was the convert to go out of the world and turn from all social gatherings but those of his own community? Was he to refuse to join in the public meals at inns or elsewhere, which travel made almost indispensable? If he did so refuse, he cut himself off not only from. the pleasures, but from the duties and opportunities, of family and social companionship. Yet if he accepted the invitation, there was the risk that he might be eating of the flesh of sheep or ox which the host had himself sacrificed, as a festive thank-offering, to Zeus or Apollo, or that the wine which he drank might have been poured out as a libation. If he did so eat, was he not, in "eating of the sacrifice," a partaker in the worship, eating the flesh and drinking the cup that belonged to the demons that he had learnt to identify with the gods whom the Heathen worshipped? Yet another case presented itself which followed the convert even to his own home. Of the sacrifices that were offered in Heathen temples the greater part became the perquisite of the priests. When they had more than they could consume themselves they sold it to the meat-dealers of the market. The Christian convert, therefore, could never be sure that what he: bought had not been thus offered, and the sensitive conscience was harassed with the tormenting thought of an unknown involuntary transgression, which yet brought with it defilement and condemnation. The Jew might avoid the danger by dealing only, as, for the most part, Jews deal now, with a butcher of his own persuasion; but this implied a more settled and organized society than that of most Christian communities in the early days of the Church's life, and many years would probably pass away before the convert was able to meet with a Christian butcher. On the other hand, in most cases, the Jewish butcher would probably refuse to supply him; or, if that were not the case, would only do so under the restrictions (to the Gentile burdensome and vexatious) of the Mosaic law of clean and unclean meats. wood, how could it taint the flesh of the victim sacrificed to it, and make the creature of God, in itself good, unfit for human food? Some, waxing yet bolder, seem to have contended that they might even take their place in a public banquet within the precincts of an idol temple, so long as they were not required to join in any formal act of worship. (1 Cor. viii. 10.)

Such was the state of things which St Paul found at Corinth. There the more scrupulous party, under the influence of Jewish feeling, was obviously the weaker; the bolder were also the stronger, exulting in their knowledge, their rights, their independence. It is remarkable that, in arguing with these latter, St. Paul never makes even the most distant allusion to the decree of the. Council of Jerusalem, though,. he himself had been at least a consenting party to—it. For some reason of policy or principle, because the Corinthians would have demurred to the authority of the Council, or from a characteristic love of going to the bottom of a matter, he discusses the  questions of casuistry that thus presented themselves. on the ground, not of authority, but of the rights of conscience. Sin lay in the will, and therefore and involuntary act done in ignorance was no transgression; and as the act was in its own nature neutral, the man need not be over-anxious to ask questions, the answer to which might involve him in perplexity. Where, on the other hand, the man was, as it were, openly challenged or tempted to partake of the sacrificial food, he was to abstain, yielding up the abstract right, which St. Paul fully recognized, lest he should wound the conscience of any other less strong-minded than himself. ( 1 Cor. x. 21.) For a like reason the Apostle, while apparently admitting, for the sake of argument, the abstract possibility of a blameless participation in a banquet, even in the idol temple, first earnestly dissuades men from it, on the ground of its perilous consequences to others; and then, on what more truly expressed his own convictions, as involving a formal recognition of the false worship which the Christian had renounced in his baptism.

I have dwelt at this length on the position occupied by St. Paul in this controversy because it has been maintained by Renan and other recent writers, who see in the different aspects of teaching presented by the writers of the New Testament Epistles not only diversities of gifts, but antagonism of principles, that the strong language of the Apocalypse is intended to be a condemnation of his teaching; that he is, in fact, the Balaam whom St. John seeks to hold up to the abhorrence of the Churches, just as others have identified him with the Simon Magus who appears as "the hero of "the romance of heresy" in the strange controversial novel known as "The Clementine Recognitions."5 It can, I believe, be shewn that this theory is altogether destitute of probability; that the minds of St. Paul and St. John were in this respect in perfect harmony; that even dealing with the Message as coming from, and not to, the latter Apostle,

How near the surface the question lay is seen by the fact that it occupied an almost co-ordinate place with that of circumcision, and entered into what then appeared as the great charter of the freedom of the Gentile converts. The decision of the Apostles and Elders in that first Council at Jerusalem was practically of the nature of a compromise. On the one hand, the converts were released from the necessity of circumcision; on the other, by way of make-weight, they were commanded to " abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication" (Acts xv. 20). The grouping of these latter prohibitions was due to the fact that they were popularly recognized as among the precepts of Noah, which were held to be binding upon all his descendants, and were required, therefore, even by the more liberal Rabbis, of all " proselytes of the gate;" while those who aspired to the higher blessedness of the children of Abraham had to qualify themselves as "proselytes of righteousness" by the sacrament of adoption. The decree was, as I have said, received at first with a joyous welcome. But soon new difficulties presented themselves as rising out of the broad general language in which it spoke. Did any eating of meat that had been sacrificed to idols, even if unconscious, involve the eater in pollution? Others, at a distance from Jerusalem, Gentile converts, reasoning from broad principles to bold conclusions, might question the obligation of that which seemed to rest on no great principle, but to represent a policy of conciliation and concession. If an idol was "nothing in the world," a powerless block of marble or of it is such as the former would have accepted and rejoiced in.  

And (1) I note that those who are condemned by the Message are precisely those whom St. Paul urges, on grounds of a moral expediency so high that it becomes a duty, to refrain from the exercise of the freedom and the right of which they boasted. It was to be expected that some in their self-will would har9.en themselves against the appeal; that they might even use St. Paul's name, and boast that they were more consistent with his principles than he was himself. This, we know, was what Marcion and his followers actually did when they claimed alike liberty for themselves; and Marcion may well have had forerunners among the Gnostics of the apostolic age. And it would be but. natural that those who took this attitude towards one of the restrictions imposed by the Council at Jerusalem should act in like manner towards another, and look at the sin of fornication from the Heathen, and not from the Jewish or the Christian, point of view, as a thing in itself indifferent; a sensual pleasure; it was true, but not more worthy of blame. than 'that of eating meat that had been offered in sacrifice to idols, or food which the Jewish law prohibited as unclean. The very grouping of the apostolic decree might seem at first sight to favour the view that the prohibitions were of co-ordinate obligation.: The earnestness with which St. Pau1 warns the Corinthians against falling back into the old vicious habits in which they had once indulged with no consciousness of sin, the passing reference ( 1 Cor. vi. 13) to "meats for the belly and the belly for meats,'' shew how closely the two were connected in his own mind and in the influences that were at work in the Church to which he wrote. The habitual license of the orgies of many Heathen festivals, the prevalence of prostitution in the precincts of many temples, the presence, in that of Aphrodite, of the harlot priestesses who made Corinth infamous, all brought the two evils of which St. Paul wrote into very close combination.

(2) It must be remembered that the strange prominence given to the name of Balaam in the later writings of the New Testament began, not with the real or supposed anti-Pauline teachers, but with that Apostle himself It was in his warnings to the Corinthians (I Cor. x. 8) that that dark history of the days when Israel abode in Shittim was first recalled to the memory of the Christian Church: "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand." Then, as in later days, the two si11s had gone together, and the Israelites had both committed whoredom with the daughters of Moab and joined themselves to Baal-peor, and eaten the sacrifices of their gods (Num. xxv. 1-3). When St. Peter6 then speaks of the false teachers, who had "eyes full of adultery" and ''beguiled unstable souls," as following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor ( 2 Pet. ii. 14, 15); when St. Jude:  describes those who "corrupt themselves in what they know naturally as brute beasts" as "going greedily after the error of Balaam for reward;" when St. John records the condemnation of those "that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication," they are not glancing obliquely and with the glance of hate at the teaching of St. Paul, but are actually echoing it

(3) It may be noted, as accounting for the stronger and more vehement language of the Apocalypse, considered even as a simply human book, that the conditions of the case had altered. Christians and Heathens were no longer dwelling together, as at Corinth, with comparatively slight interruption to their social intercourse, but were divided by a sharp line of demarcation. The eating of things sacrificed to idols was more and more a crucial test, involving a cowardly shrinking from the open confession of a Christian's faith. Disciples who sat at meat in the idol's temple were making merry with those whose hands were red with the blood of their fellow -worshippers and whose lips had uttered blaspheming scoffs against the Holy Name.

And to this teaching, as to the kindred doctrine of the Nicolaitanes,7 arriving at the same goal by a different path, overleaping itself from an overstrained sceticism and falling on the other side, scorning he body, and therefore indifferent to its acts, the Angel of the Church of Pergamos had offered but a feeble and slack resistance. There was no righteous hatred such as won the praise of his Lord for the Angel of the Church of. Ephesus. Tolerance of these debasing forms of evil took its place among the "few things " for which he was reproved. And a sharp warning both for himself and for the false teachers followed on the reproof: " Repent, or else I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them. with the sword of my mouth." There is, it will be seen a marked distinction between the two clauses. To the chief. pastor of the Church, in his separate personal responsibility for this moral feebleness, the Lord ''comes quickly." The words are important as shewing that that "coming quickly" had, in the mind of the Apostle, quite another meaning besides that of the great final Advent. In ways which the man reproved would feel, in the chances and changes of life, in failure and disappointment, in suffering and shame, He would visit the offending pastor who did not repent and rouse himself to a nobler energy from conviction. But with the others he would " make war with the sword of his mouth." There may be in this, as many have thought, a. reference to the fact that Balaam the son of Bear was slain with the sword of the children of Israel, which was also the sword of God; but I agree with Alford in thinking that this reference is, to say the least, remote,: and that the words receive a sufficient explanation from the imagery of the immediate context. And if, as we have seen, the sword of the Spirit is here also the Word of God,—that which cometh from the mouth of the Lord,—then we may well adopt the—interpretation given by Grotius as leading us to the true and. spiritual meaning of the passage. In that warfare the weapons would not be carnal. He, the. Lord, would. raise up faithful and true prophets, and his word should be in their mouths also as a sharp sword, and they would wield that sword effectively and slay the monstrous forms of error that were warring against the truth.

The promise " to him that overcometh '' presents in this case points at once of peculiar difficulty and special interest. The meaning of the " manna" appears, perhaps, at first not far to seek. Those who remember with what fulness St. John, and he alone, records the teaching in which his Master claimed to be the Bread of God, the living bread that came down from heaven, of which, if a mandate, he should live for ever, as contrasted with the manna in the wilderness, which had n~ power to save from death (John vi. 33. 50), will be ready to admit that the words now before us must have recalled that teaching, and that the manna which was to be the reward of the conqueror was the fruition of the ineffable sweetness of that Divine presence. Those who resisted the temptation to join the idol's feast in the idol's temple should be admitted to that heavenly feast in the eternal temple, which was also the palace of the great King. But the epithet "hidden" suggests more than this. In the current belief of the Jews the sacred treasures oi the Temple, which had disappeared when Jerusalem was laid waste by the army of the Chaldeans, had not been allowed to perish. The Prophet Jeremiah had carried them to" the mountain, where Moses climbed up and saw the heritage of God" (2 Mace. ii. 4), i.e., the heights of Pisgah, and there they were kept, no man knowing of the place, " until the time that God shall gather his people again together and shew them his mercy." It was not strange that the imagination of devout Jews should dwell on that legend, and picture to themselves the restoration, not only of the Shekinah and the Urirn and the Thummim, and the ark and the tables of stone, but also of the manna thus hidden. This and the general thought that the hidden and the precious were, for the most part, co-extensive terms (as in Psa. xvii. 14, "Whose bellies thou fillest with thy hid treasures"), will explain why the word was chosen to heighten all that was conveyed by the promise of the manna. Whatever men had dreamt of blessedness and joy should be surpassed by the taste of that hidden manna, the gladness of that fellowship with Christ.

The "white stone, and the new name written on it. which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it," present difficulties of another kind, chiefly, as by a strange paradox, through the very ease with which they admit of interpretations more or less probable. In the symbolism of colours, which, as having its ultimate root in impressions of pain or pleasure made upon the senses, might almost be called natural, and is, as a matter of fact, all but universal. white, in its brightness and purity, had been associated with joy and gladness, with victory and triumph. So, in a practice which, though originating, it was said, with the half-civilized tribes of Thrace or Scythia, had become general, days of festivity were noted with a white, those of calamity with a black. stone. So, when the vote of an assembly as to the guilt of an accused person was taken by ballot, white stones were the symbol of an acquittal, black of a condemnation. It has, accordingly, been contended, with at least much plausibility, that this is the significance of the " white stone" in the promise now before us. The conqueror in the great strife with evil, whatever opprobrium he might incur in the sight of men, whatever sentence he might receive at the hands of an earthly judge, would be received as justified and acquitted by the Eternal Judge. Yet, on the other hand, it can scarcely be said that the symbol of a mere acquittal would be an adequate expression of the reward promised to him that overcometh. A verdict of "not guilty," which, on this interpretation, would exhaust the meaning of the promise, could hardly take its place as co-ordinate with the '' crown of life," or with " the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Partly on the ground of this inadequacy, partly on the general principle that the source of the Apocalyptic imagery must be sought, not in the customs of Heathen antiquity, but in the more venerable symbolism of the Jewish ritual, it has been contended by Archbishop Trench, following a German commentator (Zullig), that the "white stone," associated, as it is, with one of the lost treasures of the sanctuary of Israel, must be interpreted as another of those treasures, and be identified accordingly with the U rim and Thummim of the High Priest's vestments, on the assumption that they consisted of one or more stones of translucent and colourless purity, of the. nature of diamond or rock crystal. There is so much in this view of these " stones oracular" that commends itself to me, that it is not without reluctance I am brought to the conviction, as I have elsewhere shewn,8 that it is not applicable to the passage now before us. Not only were the Urim and Thummim almost or altogether beyond the horizon of the thoughts of the writers of the New Testament so that. throughout its pages there is not a single allusion to them, not even where we should have most looked for it, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, unless it be in this obscure and debateable passage; but the word used by St. John is not that which throughout the LXX. and the New Testament is used of precious stones and gems (λίθος), but that which describes the secondary and derived use of stones or pebbles in social or political life (ψῆφος). On these grounds it seems to me that there is a strong prim‚ facie presumption against Archbishop Trench's view; nor can I admit that it is counterbalanced by the view (which I have shewn, in dealing with the Message to the Church of Smyrna, to be unproven) that ail allusions to Heathen usages are outside the circle of Apocalyptic symbolism. On the whole, then, with one important modification, I am disposed to adopt Ewald's view, who sees in the stone, or ψῆφος of the promise, the tessera hospitalis, by which, in virtue of form or characters inscribed on it, he who possessed it could claim from the friend who gave it, at any distance of time, a frank and hearty welcome. What I would suggest, as an addition to this, rises out of the probability, almost the certainty, that some such tessera, or ticket—a stone with the name of the guest written on it—was given to those who were' invited to partake, within the precincts of the temple, of the feast that consisted wholly, or in part, of the meat that had been offered as a sacrifice.9 On this view the second part of the promise is brought into harmony with the first; and is made more directly appropriate: he who had the courage to refuse that tessera to the feast that defiled should receive another that would admit him to the supper of the Great King.

This hypothesis gives, it will be seen at once, a fresh vividness to the closing words which speak of the ''new name" that was to be written on it. Here we are at once within the circle of familiar prophetic language. The "new name" had been to Isaiah and Jeremiah the formula for expressing the new life of blessedness in store for those to whom it was applied. The land that had been forsaken and abandoned to destruction should be called, " Hephzibah," as once more the delight of her Lord. The daughter of Zion, that had sat desolate as a widow, should be" Beulah," as a bride over whom the bride-groom once more rejoiced (Isa. lxii. 2-4. Comp. lxv. 15). Jerusa1em herself was to be known by the mystic name of the " Lord our Righteousness'' (Jer. xxxiii. 16). In his own case and that of his brother, as in that of Simon Barjona—in Peter, the "Rock," and Boanerges, the "Sons of Thunder "—the Apostle had known a new name given which was the symbol of a higher life and a character idealized in its gifts. And so in this case the inner truth that lies below the outward imagery would seem to be that the conqueror, when received at the heavenly feast, should find upon the stone, or tessera, that gave him the right of entrance, a "new name," the token of a character transformed and perfected, a name the full significance of which should be known only to him who was conscious of the transformation, just as in the experiences of our human life, "the heart knoweth its own bitterness, and the stranger cloth not intermeddle with his joy."

The apparent parallelism of the descriptiqn in Chap. xix. of Him who "was called Faithful and True," whose "name was called the Word of God," and who yet had besides these " a name written that no man knew but he himself" (xix. 11-13), has led some interpreters to suppose that here also it is the name of the Lord, new, wonderful, mysterious, as expressing some relation between Him and his people which the names as yet revealed do not perfectly embody, that is promised to him that overcometh. A closer study of the parallelism will, however, I believe, confirm the view which has been given above. As the Lord alone knows the name which He bears, so the name written upon the stone given to the conqueror is known only to him that receiveth it. What is this but the expression, in the language of symbolism, of the truth which the writer of the Apocalypse expressed afterwards in language more purely abstract and ideal: " Now are we the sons of God, and it cloth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is"? Only when humanity has become partaker of the Divine nature will it be able to cqmprehend the mystery of his being who is at once Divine and human. And yet in that likeness of all the saved to their common Lord there shall be no mere uniformity. There, also, as the manna in the Jewish legends was said to taste to each man like the food in which he most delighted, each soul shall recognize in the work which Christ has done for it that of which none can know the wonder or the sweetness but himself.

E. H. Plumptre

 

 

1) It may be interesting to some readers to be reminded that from this library we get the name parchment (charta Pergamma), as applied to the special kind of vellum that was manufactured for the transcription of its choicest works,

2) "Dictionary of the Bible," art. "Pergamos.

3) It may be well to state that I can see nothing in the faint apology which Archbishop Trench makes for Hengstenberg s hypothesis to modify this conviction.

4) The anomalous dative (γῷ Βάλακ), instead of the accusative common after verbs of teaching, which is found in the better MSS., must, I believe, be explained as an instance of the imperfect knowledge of Greek which led to the use of an idiom more or less Hebraic rather than as a deliberate use of the "dativus commodi.''

5) Camp. Renan's "St. Paul." "Les chapitres ii. et iii. de l'Apocalypse sont un cri de haine contre Paul et ses amis," p. 367. So assuming that Balaam is translated into Nicolas, "un seducteur paien, qui eutdes visions quoique infidele, un homme qui engagťant le peuple ŗ pťcher avec filles des paienncs, parut le vrai type de Paul," p. 304.

6) I assume the genuineness of the second Epistle that bears the name of Peter; but it makes no difference in my argument if it is treated as an instance of pseudonymous authorship.

7) I have already expressed my dissent from the view that the Nicolaitanes were identical with the followers of Balaam. The view given in the text seems to me the nearest approximation possible to their real relations lo each other.

8) "Dictionary of the Bible," art. "Urim and Thummin."

9) Some such tessera, giving the bearer admission to the theatre of Dionysos at Athens, are, if I remember rightly, to be seen among the Greek antiquities of the Britid1 Museum.