The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ

By Johann Peter Lange

Edited by Rev. Marcus Dods







the public attack made upon Jesus at magdala, and his return across the sea to the hill country of gaulonitis. the healing of a blind man at Bethsaida. Peter's confession, and Peter's shrinking from the cross

(Matt. 16. Mar 8:11-38; Mar 9:1. Luk 9:18-27)

The caution with which Jesus landed on the western coast of the Sea failed of securing to Him a safe return home among His Galilean followers. Hardly was His arrival known before He was encountered by a larger group of opponents, who sought to obstruct His path by making the requirement, that He should give them that sign from heaven which was looked for to mark out the Messiah. When the Jews at first required of Him ‘a sign’ to accredit His mission, the demand was made in that general form, without any more definite specification (Joh 2:18). But the second demand of the kind is characterized in such a way as being plainly enough the demand for the first time of a sign from heaven (Joh 6:30). Another requirement of this more special kind was made after He warned His adversaries against the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Mat 12:32). The one before us is therefore the third instance of this specific demand. The Israelites found certain passages of prophecy,1 containing the intimation of a change which is to take place in the cosmical condition of the world, but only as the result of the completion of Christ’s work.2 Taking these passages literally, they expected that the Messiah would, at His appearing, give a signal of His coming in the vault of the sky, or in the air at some elevation above the earth. Now Jesus had plainly enough given men to understand that He was the Messiah, even if He had not expressly said so. They therefore required of Him the sign from heaven as His authentication. And just as a person who is regarded with suspicion may have his passport asked for, in different parts of a country, six times one after the other; so might the adversaries of Jesus, proceeding upon their superstitious views, demand of Him again and again His credentials in the form of a sign from heaven. This demand was, at the same time, also always a temptation for Jesus: a temptation either distinctly to declare that He was still the Messiah, even though He did not give them this sign; or else to let fall some word upon which His opponents would have been able to found the inference, that He made after all no claim to be regarded as the Messiah. So that the Evangelists have reason to remark that they tempted Him in making this demand.

On the occasion of His gainsayers encountering Him with this renewed requirement, Mark tells us He sighed deeply in His spirit. He understood the critical significance of the occasion. He must no longer remain in Galilee. Galilee was rejecting Him.

We are to reflect on the significance of the fact, that the Pharisees had already been able to join with their opponents, the Sadducees (who in Galilee were especially represented by the court party, the Herodians, Mar 5:15), in common hatred to Jesus, and that this confederate hostile power was prepared, immediately upon His landing, to confront Him publicly with a categorical demand, which should decide His position in the eyes of the people;—the whole looking as if at that place a watch had been established against Him.

We can hardly suppose, however, that that deep sigh of Jesus was drawn forth merely by grief at the outward circumstance, that His beloved Galilee was now being torn away from Him by those who were the rulers of the country. Rather in this outward event He saw the internal, hypocritical hardness of heart with which these men pressed upon Him for the sign from heaven—the sign of that highest and most glorious appearing of His, when He should come to judge the world,—whilst they were contemplating no other object than His destruction. Nevertheless this monstrous consistency in malignity had no power to perplex Him even in this crisis of His ministry. He felt the whole misery of the dreadful blindness of these men, and forthwith drew a rapid sketch of it. ‘When it is evening, ye say, Fine weather (to-morrow)! for the sky is red. And in the morning, Stormy weather to-day! for the sky is red and lowering. Ye hypocrites! the face of the sky ye know how to judge of, but not the signs of the times.’ They deemed that they were able to interpret the signs of the real heavens and were therefore prophets; because they were practised in interpreting the signs of the external heavens, and were thus practised prophets of the weather. Nevertheless they were not acquainted with the signs of the true heavens, because they knew not how to interpret the signs of the changing times in those human relations with which they were themselves mixed up. At the evening of the old dispensation the sky had adorned itself with a beauteous evening red in the appearing of Christ; but these weather-prophets had remarked nothing; none of them had called out, Fine weather! The sky was beginning to redden loweringly in the dawn of the new dispensation; nevertheless these weather-prophets had no foreboding of that mighty storm of judgment which was approaching them. It is as if the Lord would say, ‘O ye —— and a sign from heaven!’ And with that same definiteness with which they were repeatedly requiring of Him the sign from heaven, He was again giving them the assurance that they were an evil and adulterous generation—a generation, that is, fallen into the positive heathenism of apostasy; and that there should be given to them only such a sign as was proper for heathens, the sign of the prophet Jonah. If they had been at all minded to reflect upon the mysterious sign of Jonah’s deliverance from the depths of the sea, they would have gained that apprehension of a suffering Messiah which was at present wholly wanting to them.

After this declaration Jesus immediately turned away from them, and with His disciples crossed back again to the eastern coast. He felt that it behoved Him now, in the safe retreat which that neighbourhood offered Him, to prepare not only Himself, but also the more intimate of His disciples, for the approach of His death.

This voyage had an extraordinary solemnity of meaning: it was sailing away into banishment and excommunication.3 The disciples also could not help feeling this. With sorrowful looks, we may suppose, they could at this time, under that lowering morning sky of the new era, whose cloudy red presaged storm, sail along by Capernaum, where they had their home, and gaze back upon the town, which would now seem to them vanishing away in the distance, as if it were for them now wholly lost. Nevertheless they bravely stood fast: they forsook all and followed Him.

As they were approaching the farther shore, Christ of a sudden addressed to them the solemn warning, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees,’ or ‘of Herod!’

This utterance opens to us a glimpse into the depths of His soul. When the children of Israel went forth out of Egypt, they behoved to put away and to leave behind all leaven, and to celebrate their departure with unleavened bread. Whosoever kept and ate leavened bread was to be cut off from his people (Exo 12:15-17). In this view, the leaven betokened the principle of contamination and overpowering corruption; and the prohibition was a symbolical declaration that the Jews should bring no contamination of Egyptian corruptions with them to Canaan (comp. 1 Cor. 5)4 No doubt the word of Jesus has reference to this prohibition. His journey over the sea was to Him as a journey forth out of Egypt; so clean separated He felt Himself to be from fellowship with the heathenism of Pharisees and Sadducees. He had the feeling on His mind that the real, the great Passover, the time of His death, was drawing near. But at the same time He was deeply saddened by the thought, that His disciples unconsciously were yet carrying away with them a leaven of pharisean and sadducean sentiment, particularly in the heart of Judas. He saw clearly that they were not yet clean separated from the contaminating corruptions of their enemies, their Chiliasm and their hypocrisy; and hence His warning. But the disciples did not understand the mysterious word. They conferred among themselves, ‘What can He mean?’ At first they thought that the word was to be taken literally; that their Master forbade them thenceforward to buy bread from persons belonging to the party of the Pharisees and Sadducees, because He designed to do away with all fellowship with them, to excommunicate them. But next this thought leads them along the path of anxiety for the future, into a line of reflection engaged with matters more purely external still. Their voyage had been entered upon very suddenly; they had been, moreover, very much excited at the, time; and thus they had forgotten to provide themselves with a fresh supply of bread. And now that the word leaven had fallen amongst them, now that they were beginning to talk about buying bread, it struck their minds that they had no more than a single loaf with them. They were beginning to think that Jesus alluded to this in His warning, that He was giving them an admonition on account of their improvidence. When Jesus learnt that they were putting this most pitiful construction upon the great and profound word which He had uttered, He might, perhaps (as no doubt often), in this miserable exegesis of His disciples, foresee in spirit and sigh over that miserable exegesis which in future ages awaited His words. ‘O ye of little faith’ (thus did He upbraid them), ‘why do ye distress yourselves at not having brought loaves of bread with you? Will ye not yet consider, not yet understand? ‘The account of Mark adds, ‘Have ye a heart, and feel not, eyes, and see not, ears, and hear not? And have ye no memory?’ And then He puts them to a regular catechizing upon the two miraculous meals which they had themselves assisted at. They are well able to answer His questions, how much provision remained in the form of fragments at the first of these two occasions, and how much at the second. Thereupon He tells them distinctly that it was not of bread that He had spoken; and thus they are brought to the conclusion that He had warned them against the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, against the contaminating leaven of their corrupting errors and principles.

Their route on land lay west, along the left shore of the Jordan, northwards towards the hills. At Bethsaida Julias5 there was brought to the Lord a blind man, with the prayer that He would heal him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. Here He spat into His eyes, and laid His hands upon him; and then asked him if he saw anything. He said that he saw men moving about in dim confused shapes, which might be compared to trees. From this circumstance we may infer that he was not born blind. He recollected men and trees which he had once seen.6 Hereupon Jesus laid His hands upon the patient’s eyes; and therewith the cure was decided: the diseased man could again distinguish all objects clearly and distinctly.

From this last observation we may infer that there was a crowd of people standing at some distance, which by Christ’s direction had remained behind, when He Himself went forward with the blind man. Christ, however, did not return into the town; and the man whose sight had been restored He commanded likewise not to return thither, nor to tell any one belonging to the place of his restoration. The man’s home then, we may suppose, was somewhere north of Julias; and upon his applying to Jesus for help in the town, the Lord, after the manner of a kind and mysterious guide, who was also a helpful friend, had taken him by the hand to accompany him for some way on his return homeward, and to declare His intentions on the road in reference to his healing.

Two several times did Jesus in this neighbourhood act in this manner in working a miraculous cure. The deaf man who had an impediment in his speech (Mar 7:32, &c.) He led, as He did this man, apart; in his case likewise, He made use of spittle as the means. Thus did He in two ways allay the strong excitement which His miracles might have occasioned, at a time when, more than at any other, He needed to escape public notice, and in a neighbourhood where He sought for a retirement in which He might come to a clear understanding upon certain points with His disciples. The use of a healing medium served in each case to soften the startling character of the miracle, just as did also the precaution of withdrawing the act of healing from the view of the people.7

They now proceeded to the neighbourhood of Cesarea Philippi, probably avoiding the city itself, and only touching its suburbs or towns of its vicinity (Mark, ver. 27). This place lay near the sources of the Jordan: it was originally called Paneas; but on its being enlarged by the tetrarch Philip, received from that Prince its name.8 On their coming into the district (τὰ μέρη) belonging to this town, Jesus addressed to His disciples a question: What character did men attribute to Him, the Son of man? i.e., what historical and theocratical significance did they ascribe to Him, who, viewed in His ideal significance, had evinced Himself sufficiently as the new or Second Man? They honestly told Him: ‘Some say Thou art John the Baptist’ (that is, John raised from the dead again); ‘others, Elijah; others again, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ According to this report of the disciples, the openly expressed judgment of the people respecting Jesus was not now so favourable as it was at the commencement of His ministry. We have before this repeatedly, in the Gospel history, heard voices calling out with enthusiasm that Jesus was the Son of David, meaning, that is, to greet Him as the Messiah. We have, however, also seen how passionately and how artfully the hierarchical party sought to countermine these judgments. Now this party had, it is true, not yet succeeded in tearing away from the Lord the confidence of the populace; nevertheless, there had already begun to set in a tendency to the entertaining of lower views respecting Him. All the most recent judgments respecting Jesus which the disciples had gleaned, outside that smaller circle round which the larger body of His adherents clustered, however various their shapes, issued in this one result, that He was a forerunner of the Messiah rather than the Messiah Himself. John the Baptist—so some named this Forerunner, according to the superstitious and romance-loving views of the Herodians, who in part found probably a political interest in holding fast to this designation of His character. Others preferred calling Him Elijah, because the character of Elijah answered the best to their theocratic longings: these might find especial grounds for doing so, when Jesus began to upbraid His gainsayers in so vehement a manner. Nevertheless, as He now was beginning manifestly to avoid His enemies everywhere, as they saw ever more and more conspicuous in His look and bearing the aspect of sorrow and suffering patience, others again, especially such as could more readily appreciate this air of melancholy, would call Him Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But as Messiah they no longer ventured to acknowledge Him, at least, no longer openly.

After the disciples had thus frankly given their report, without any attempt at softening down the popular judgment by giving it a fairer or more flattering aspect, then Jesus proposed to them the decisive question, ‘Whom then say ye that I am?’

We may well affirm that it was altogether for the sake of this question that the journey of Jesus and His followers into the neighbourhood of the sources of the Jordan had been taken. Nay, this question called forth a crisis affecting the whole history of the world. For if it had been so that the disciples had now got so intimidated by the powerful influence of the public judgment as to waver in their own judgment respecting Jesus, then Jesus would have had to look upon His work as one which, through the authority of His enemies, had been frustrated and brought to nought. It had to be now decided whether the disciples had, through the power of His Spirit, arrived at a stedfast and independent conviction; at such a faith in Him as would enable them to disengage themselves from the faith and views of the whole nation; whether they were able to hold fast by Him, and acknowledge Him in His true significance, in opposition to the Old Testament Church, or not.

Peter answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!’ Now was the New Testament Church, in opposition to the Church of the Old Testament, in its rudimentary form founded and won. Thus had Peter spoken, as Christian, in the joyous energy of the Spirit of Christ; as Protestant, against all misapprehension of Christ in the Jewish Church; as Catholic, in the name of his fellow-disciples.

Jesus felt the blessedness of this juncture; for He was then receiving the assurance that He really had struck root in the human race, and that He had won therein a Church which would abide His in spite of all the powers of hell. But He was glad also for the blessedness of His disciples, and in especial for the commencing regeneration of Peter, the weakness and sinfulness of whose nature He completely saw through. ‘Blessed art thou, Simon, son of Jonas’ (said He significantly), ‘for flesh and blood has not made this revelation to thee, but My Father in heaven.’9 This thou hast got, not from thy father through thy flesh and blood, son of Jonas! but from My Father, through the Spirit of Him whom thou confessest as the Son of God.10 And as Peter has given in his adhesion to Him, viewed in His own proper dignity, so He also announces to him the glorious calling which should be assigned to him: ‘And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter (the Rock); and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not overpower it.’ Peter had surely hardly anticipated such an extraordinary promise on the part of Jesus. But solemnly did Jesus add to this a second: ‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be also bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, shall be also loosed in heaven.’

If one has only attained to a just appreciation of the juncture at which Peter made his confession, one has got altogether beyond the scruples of our ‘critics,’ who draw attention to the circumstance that, according to other passages, the disciples had already conceded to Jesus the distinction of being the Messiah,11 and that Jesus had at His first greeting presented Simon with the surname of Peter.12 In fact, on that earlier occasion the disciples gave in their adhesion to the Messianic dignity of Jesus upon the authority of John the Baptist, and borne on also by the fresh and joyous hope that their whole nation would soon acknowledge Him with shouts of triumph. But the confession which Peter now is making has an altogether different value. It stands above the first, wherewith he greeted Jesus as the Christ; and just as much above the second, wherein he testified, Thou hast the words of eternal life, at a time when many disciples went back, and said that He was speaking hard sayings which none could listen to. It is the third confession, in making which he has no support from the flesh and blood of his birth, or of his people; in which he feels himself forsaken by the sympathies of his time; a confession in which he runs the risk of breaking with his nation, and of being excommunicated with Christ; spoken out in the divine power of the Holy Ghost. And while popular excitement no longer favoured one making such a confession, the confession was in itself richer than ever. ‘Thou art Christ,—that he had said before ; but the words, Thou art the Son of the living God, he had never spoken; at least, never with this emphasis, with this fulness of knowledge. He saw bodily before him, in Jesus, the reflection of the living God who fills the universe, the counterpart of the Deity, notwithstanding that He, as the Son of man, looked now more like some poor fugitive than the Messianic King. In this confession he decidedly goes beyond any conception of the Messiah which was current among the Jews, and far beyond it. With good reason, therefore, could Jesus pronounce him blessed.13

Attention has been drawn to the fact, that here the word Church (ἐκκλησία) occurs for the first time as a designation of Christ’s congregation.14 And with good reason ; for at the juncture when Peter uttered his confession, the New Testament congregation was beginning to distinguish itself from that of the Old Testament as a peculiar and independent institution.

Even in earlier ages the words, ‘ Upon this rock will I build My Church,’ have been construed as referring not to Peter himself, but to his confession. There is certainly a distinction between πέτρος and πέτρα, the stone or piece of rock, and the rock itself. But the name Cephas, we must allow, combines both significations (comp. John ii. 44). And if we do make Peter's confession the foundation of the Church, we must surely also recollect that in the Church of Christ those abstractions which will fain distinguish doctrine from life, and confessions from persons, are not exactly in place. Undoubtedly we can, and indeed must, separate the confession of Peter from the sinful Simon, son of Jonas; but with the proper, regenerated Peter, with his eternal character and his eternal significance for the Church, his confession coincides, and is identical.15 The word of Peter is the heart of Peter; it is he himself. And thus also Christ's promise, in its most proper sense, refers to his Christian personality, and to his relation to the Church, as that relation begins henceforward to develop itself. Peter becomes undoubtedly the foundation-stone for the edifice of Christ’s Church ; for the very reason, because he, first of all men, now utters forth the watch-cry of the New Testament Church in contrast with the Old Testament Church. He proves himself such subsequently in the fact, that he, standing at the head of the disciples (in which position Jesus has all along, with unerring foresight, placed him), founds the apostolic Church by his sermon on the day of Pentecost. Finally, he proves himself such, inasmuch as he imparts to Christ's Church, as it makes its appearance in the world, an ineffaceable characteristic of his own particular being. But if we will be rigidly strict in the construction which we put upon these words, then we must assuredly” hold fast by this, that in the similitude which Jesus here employs, He Himself appears as the Master-Builder. Hence Peter is the foundation-stone, or the rocky foundation of the building, Christ the Master-Builder ; while in a kindred similitude employed by the Apostle Paul, Christ is the foundation-stone, and the apostles the builders (1 Cor. 3:11). Manifestly, in this last, the point which is contemplated is the relation which those, who in time are labouring upon the Church, bear to the eternal conditions of their being, and in particular their relation to the eternal Foundation of their life; while, in the similitude of Christ, the development and starting-point of the Church in time are characterized in relation to its eternal Master-Builder. There the foundation of the Church is the eternal Head of the Church Himself ;—the Church, that is, is growing out of eternity into a phenomenal manifestation in time; the apostle is contemplating the congregation of the eternal New Testament kingdom. Here, on the contrary, the foundation of the Church is the first operative member of the Church; the Church is growing out of its phenomenal manifestation in time into eternity; it is the Church in the narrower sense of the term that is spoken of, so far as it forms a Christian society manifesting itself in time.16 From this it follows, that it is not in a mystic, symbolical, or universal sense of the term Peter that Peter is here characterized as the foundation of the Church, as the Romish dogma affirms; that (for example) our Lord is not speaking of an ever abiding Peter, who should be perpetuated through the whole line of the popes, He rather speaks of the historical significance which the faith of the individual Peter bore in relation to the historical development of the Church ; upon the understanding, that is, that there could be only one Peter in the laying of the Church’s foundation, whose individuality disappears in the Church of time in proportion as the Church increases (as the foundation-stone disappears, the more the edifice rises) ; while (for example) the spiritual individuality of John proves itself to be much more than simply an abiding one in the Church of Christ, and comes forth ever more and more strongly into view to meet the second coming (John 21:22), because John lay on Jesus’ breast,—because in him the fulness of Jesus’ glory is the most perfectly mirrored.17

Respecting this Church which Jesus designs to build upon the foundation of Petrine Christianity, He makes the announcement, "The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." In that opposition to this ripened confession of His Messianic dignity, which is now likewise ripened in the camp of His enemies, Jesus descries the coming forth into view of that kingdom of darkness, which from this present hour shall unfold its power in a perpetual conflict with His Church. And it is in the gloomiest of all of its shapes that the kingdom of darkness is to rage against the Church of Christ, viz., as the kingdom of the dead. It shall first by means of persecutions and executions, beginning with the crucifixion of the Messiah Himself, seek to tear down the Church of Christ into the kingdom of the dead, It shall draw down into the abyss of death, and essay to hold fast in the land of shades, first Himself, and then His chosen ones.

It shall, secondly, imperil the Church by threatening to involve in its own ruin, the ruin in which it is itself evermore plunging into the kingdom of the dead, the Church of God; as e.g. was the case in the destruction of Jerusalem. It shall, thirdly, as being Satan’s kingdom, make it its general endeavour, by means of its deadly corruptions, to spread abroad in the Church spiritual death through superstition and unbelief. Thus have the gates of Hades now opened against the Church of God. The gates of Hades, which is here identical with hell, denote the power of hell18 But the term no doubt here, at the same time, expresses the thought, that the bottomless pit has now upon earth itself opened against God’s Church, and that it shall wage war with it until the day of the world’s judgment (see Rev. 20:1). We are now called to look down through the riven world into that yawning abyss, which would fain draw the Church down into its dark depths. Many are the gates of this kingdom ; in manifold corruptions is the earth, as it were, riven into manifold chasms, which reach even to the bottomless pit, and threaten to swallow the Church up. Nevertheless the Church shall maintain its stand, held together by the power of Peter's heroic faith, of Peter's confession, and of Peter’s institution; because in all this is expressed the Son of God's becoming a community [comp. 1 Cor. 12:12], wherein His becoming man finds its continuation: as the kingdom of life, it shall prevail over the kingdom of the dead, and triumph.

Thus shall the apostle overcome, and for believers close up, the open gates of hell. On the other hand, he shall unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven. For that end there are given to him ‘ the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’

What do these keys consist in? In the plenary authority of the apostle’s judgment on the relations of men to salvation. His judgments upon earth, i.e., in the Christian society phenomenally existing upon earth,19 shall be identical with the judgments of the Spirit of God in the region of that real and living fellowship which subsists among the believing and saved. The Church, in its apostolic, rudimentary form, in its apostolic commencement, in its apostolic depth and perfecting, shall so essentially he the kingdom of heaven itself, that in all these junctures of its history the determinations of the society shall coincide with the determinations of the Spirit of God. An offence against this essence of the Christian society will be equal to an offence against the Spirit of Christ; and, conversely, every offence against the Spirit will be manifested and be judged as social guilt. Were it otherwise, then Christendom would be a merely prefiguring institution, and not the real substantive kingdom of heaven in its rudimentary existence. Therefore, so far as Christianity is the real substantive religion of the Spirit,—so far are its judgments heavenly, eternal, emanating from God, and (consequently) valid before God. Christ, however, characterizes these judgments by an expression which to us is obscure: He describes them as binding and loosing.

In what sense is this binding and loosing connected with the keys of the kingdom of heaven? We find in the Old ‘Testament a mode of expression, according to which sins are bound together into a bundle in order that judgment may be executed upon them (Hos. 13:12; comp. Job 14:17). With this mode of expression corresponds probably the opposite one, according to which sins are unloosed, so that reconciliation supervenes (Isa. 40:2, Sept. λέλυται αὐτῆς ἡ ἁμαρτία). Both expressions rest upon a very definite view of things. When a man goes so far in the incurring of guilt that the theocratic community is bound to thrust him out, then with this act all his sins get comprised into one single unit, and in conjunction constitute now that sentence of excommunication which is laid upon him. But when the theocratic community becomes reconciled with a sinning man, when it remits to him his several offences, then it undoes the bundle of his guilt—the combined working of his guilt is done away. It is seemingly to those Old Testament thoughts that the expression before us is to be referred. Therefore it is that in two different passages Christ speaks in the neuter gender: what ye shall bind, what ye shall loose.20 Now, when the apostle receives authority to bind and to loose, the meaning is, that he is able to execute the Church’s excommunication upon a man, and therewith tie up his guilt, or retain it (John xx, 23), as if it were tied up into a bundle, so that in its totality it goes on working upon him with its curse as a judgment; and so he is able also to receive a man, or to re-admit him after being excluded, into the Church, and through the power of this act, which in its natural effect is an absolution, clean do away with the pernicious workings of his guilt. And because the apostle will execute this binding and loosing only in the Spirit of Christ, he will on every occasion lock up the kingdom of heaven when he ties up a man’s sins, and will unlock it when he unlooses them.21 The same authority which the Apostle Peter here received, was subsequently imparted to all disciples with him (Matt. 18:18; John 20:23). This authority, however, maintains its reality in the Church only so far as the ecclesiastical function keeps upon the apostolic elevation, in its identity with the Spirit of Christ. For at bottom it is evermore Christ Himself in His Spirit who receives into the true communion and executes the real excommunication, according to that word which we have in the Revelation of John, chap. 3:7.22 Thus, therefore, that authority stands under an eternal regulative power. We see for the rest with what enlightenment of mind Peter exercised the office of binding and loosing, when he uttered the sentence of excommunication upon Simon Magus, and when he received into the Church the heathen centurion Cornelius. But when, as a man, he wavered in the exercise of this authority (Gal, 2:12), the apostolic spirit was seen correcting him. Paul also exercised the same office, as is evidenced in the excommunication of the incestuous man in the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 5:3 ff.) ; but he also was in his own heart completely alive to the awful working of such a measure (2 Cor. 2.), and was disposed as quickly as possible to execute the absolution.

The office of the keys is essentially apostolic; that is, in its unqualified character it is restrained to the totality of the Church. Within the Church itself, it is qualified in proportion as the several parts of the Church are in their churchly character obscured. The apostles exercised it in an unqualified manner, in the Spirit of Christ, so that the highest compassion was identical with the highest righteousness. ‘They excommunicated only for the moment, so far and so long as the guilt lasted, not for eternal times; and by thus converting the collective guilt of a sinner into a social judgment upon him, they made the most strenuous endeavour to overawe, and thus save him. ‘The fulness of the apostolic authority resides now only in the collective Church of Christ viewed in its essential and innermost life, and is executed by everything wherein is expressed the antithesis of Christ’s Church to the world (1 Cor. 6:2). At the end of days the whole Church will execute this office as a royal priesthood (Jude 14; Rev, 20:9), in uniting itself together as a Christian community, and separating itself from the antichristian world. But in the social discipline of the Church, the social administration of the office of the keys is liable to come greatly into conflict with its ideal administration. Nevertheless, notwithstanding its liability to err, it remains a vital want of the Church as a society (Matt. 18:15);23 and, ‘as a right belonging to the community, 1t must be recognized even there, where it comes even into direct antagonism with the Church’s ideal and essential characteristics.

Thus was the first ground-plan drawn for the Christian Church ; the groundwork of it was indicated as consisting in a definite confessor and confession, nay, in the confessing character of the whole band of disciples, in whose name Peter had spoken: the society’s right of receiving and excluding members, without which no society could subsist, was established. Now, then, Jesus was in a position to make to the disciples clear and definite disclosures respecting the course which His life was to take. First of all He gave them most strict orders not as yet to proclaim Him as the Christ. Then He made to them a definite disclosure of what lay before Him: that He must go up to Jerusalem, suffer much, be rejected by the rulers of the Jews, and be put to death, but that on the third day He should rise again.

There is no doubt that Jesus did now speak to the disciples in this clear and definite manner. Previously He had only given obscurer intimations; but subsequently He made disclosures of a yet more distinct character. ‘Lhe fact that theological writers have not felt quite sure in reference to the definiteness of Christ’s predictions of His own death (viewed apart from the system of those who are incapable of believing in the spirit of prophecy altogether), is connected with the prevailing indistinctness of view as to the difference of times, and as to the pragmatic significance of the several particulars of Christ's history. As soon as the pragmatic sequency of these particulars according to their significance comes clearly into view, it becomes likewise clear that our Lord could not fail now to make to His disciples definite disclosures respecting His decease.

Jesus definitely foretold not only His death, but also His resurrection on the third day. Mark observes expressly, that He made the whole disclosure without reserve. How Jesus behoved to arrive at this foresight, we have already indicated (vol. i. p. 402). Just as the certainty of His impending death could not but unfold itself ever clearer and clearer before His spirit, so also the certainty of His resurrection. His conflict with that spirit of the world and of the Jewish people which stood opposed to Him, made it clear that He behoved to die under the shame of a public execution. But therewith it became also clear to Him, that nothing but a miraculous restoration of His honour and of His life could procure for Him, or for the cause of God in Him, the victory.

Out of this clearness of view developed itself the cheerful willingness to surrender His life to His Father’s disposal for the salvation of the world. With this divine, cheerful willingness to die, there however ripened at the same time the joy of life which He had in God; that triumphant feeling of life, which guaranteed to Him His resurrection. And as in His oneness with the Spirit of God there was perfected the clear foresight of His death, so also that of His resurrection. But this unfolding of His foresight stood continually in reciprocal action with His view of the prophecies of the Old Testament.24 He found throughout in the Old Testament. the fundamental law, that believers should be the subjects of both humiliation and exaltation. The most general manifestation of this law was found in the history of the chosen people. He found that this theocratic curve, this waved line, of the divine guidance of the pious, became ever the more conspicuous, as the life of those men was great and large wherein it was displayed. It formed a significant arch in the life of Joseph, who, after having been lost in the dungeons of Egypt, was then made a lord and prince of the whole of the land. It showed itself already as an inverted, pointed arch in the life of Moses, who was not allowed to see the promised land, but yet in holy solitude died before God’s face, and by Him was buried (Deut. 34:6, 7); but especially in the life of Elijah, who was forced to leave the promised land as a fugitive, but subsequently reappeared therein as a hero of God armed with rebukes, and went up to heaven in a chariot of fire. The assurance, then, could not fail to become perfect in the spirit of Christ, that this waved arch-line of humiliation and exaltation would in His life attain its complete perfection. In proportion, however, as He found this fundamental law evidenced in the history of the people of Israel, and of the most eminent of God’s heroes belonging to the old economy, He would discover the same again in a thousand individual traits of Old ‘Testament history, typology, and prophecy. The great and the little had this form of an inverted arch. Thus there appeared to our Lord, mirrored on every page of the Old ‘Testament, together with the certainty of His death, the certainty also of His resurrection,—just as we may find the pointed arch in every several part of a Gothic cathedral.

But how was Jesus in a position to announce that His resurrection would ensue on the third day? ‘'Three days, wherein was no trace of life, were, according to men’s experience of the regular course which nature took in the process of the separation of soul from body, acknowledged to be evidence of death.’25 He had in His spirit the guarantee that He should not see corruption, And yet it was a point clear to Him, that His death must accredit itself as a certain fact to the whole world. Out of these positive and negative premises, viewed in their consonance with Old ‘estament symbols, there was developed, in the clearness of His divine spirit, the certain feeling beforehand of the duration of His rest in the grave.

But if our Lord announced to His disciples His resurrection so distinctly and so repeatedly, how comes it that they did not more distinctly expect it, when at length they saw Him dead before their eyes? In the first place, it must be observed, that at the proper time they missed receiving the word of His death, together with the word of His resurrection, into their minds. So long as they would know nothing of His impending death, of course there could not fasten on their minds the word of His resurrection. Next, their uncertainty also surely arose from the circumstance, that for a long time it remained with them a doubtful point, whether they were to take the word in a literal or a figurative sense. ‘There was such an imperfect relation between the spiritual glories of Christ's life and their own mental standing-point up to that time, that they were in various respects uncertain how they were to take His words. On many occasions they apprehended them amiss. Oftentimes they took His figurative expressions literally.26 At other times, again, they seemed inclined to take His literal expressions in a figurative sense.27 It was therefore a natural consequence of their own experience of the insecure hold which they had upon the true sense of Jesus’ words, if they were wholly doubtful respecting the sense of His prediction of His rising again, and if they, as is probable, fancied that this bold word could hardly be taken otherwise than as figurative. Therefore, when Jesus had a second time uttered this announcement, they had a discussion among themselves, how they were to interpret it (Mark 9:10).—It is very odd that those very critics who fancy they are setting the New Testament history to rights in affirming that the resurrection of Jesus is only to be understood spiritually, can lay such a vast weight upon the fact, that the disciples did not forthwith understand Jesus’ word in a literal sense. herewith they do their work of ‘criticising’ upon themselves. It might, one would think, readily occur to their minds, that when the disciples had often previously tripped in the ways of literalness, they might subsequently, when they fancied themselves grown wiser, trip in the ways of spiritualizing or falsely idealizing. They were just now going through the second course of hermeneutic misconceptions in the interpretation of Jesus’ words, viz., that of false idealizing: they were therefore destined, by and by, to find out their mistake in that perverse way of interpreting Scripture which they had been indulging in, and which was just that in which some of our very latest fashion of critics are still seen floundering. Later, they learnt to see that in the words and life of Jesus the historical sense does not exclude the ideal, nor the ideal the historical ; but that the one element ever glorifies the other.

That Jesus had now made to His disciples definite disclosures respecting His course of suffering, was shown in a very striking manner by the behaviour of Peter consequent upon this disclosure. Hardly had our Lord felicitated the confessing disciple, and blessed him as a rock of the Church, when He had to rebuke him as a Satan, and to treat him as a reed shaken with the wind. Therewith was it also plainly shown how those words of Christ were meant. Not the Simon who was Jonas’ son was meant, but the Simon whom his rock-like steadfastness of spirit made a Peter, when He pronounced him blessed, and placed him at the head of the Church. And so also must, in the whole Church, all that belongs to the flesh and blood of Simon be in all reason distinguished from that which is of the genuine Petrine spirit.

For Peter was in the highest degree excited by the unexpected disclosure which Jesus had made. He had indeed himself boldly come forward to make a beginning of a break with Judaism; but when now Jesus threw Himself upon the same course, and showed him the rift which must ensue from it, as well as the disastrous consequences for His own life, Peter was startled, He drew his Master aside, and addressed Him in the language of objurgation. Impetuously he assailed Him with remonstrances, telling Him that this result He must avoid. No doubt, even in this erring behaviour of his, there is no mistaking his love to his Master; it showed itself in the words, ‘God preserve thee, O Lord! that must not, that will not, happen unto Thee!’ Nevertheless there was in this love too large a share of his self-will and of his own self-seeking plan of life. He took the position of a master over Him; nay, he stepped into His way as a tempter.

Jesus immediately turned away from him and came back to the company of the disciples, saying to him meanwhile, ‘Get thee behind Me, Satan! thou art a stumbling block to Me! for thou mindest not that which is God's, but that which is of men.’ As Peter in the moment of his confession had been an organ of the Eternal Rock, so in this moment of his obscuration, although unconsciously, not in satanic malignity, but in the weakness of sinful humanity, he sided with Satan. He repeated that voice of temptation which Jesus had overcome in the wilderness. This temptation Jesus had already put behind Him. Therefore this tempter also He was able at once to order behind Him. But, however, His word applied not merely to the seducing spirit in which Peter was now speaking to Him: it applied also to the strayed disciple. Peter made himself a tempter to Christ in that he stepped before Him and was disposed to obstruct His path: the only way in which he could again become the faithful disciple, the blessed Peter, was by humbly stepping back behind the Master and following after Him.

It is an impressive warning for every Christian, especially for that Church and spirituality which believes itself to be in possession of the authority of Peter, that the disciple who had with such enlightenment of soul confessed the Lord, was yet able afterwards in such darkening of spirit to stand in His way. It was, no doubt, only a season of obscuration; but yet it lasted for a considerable while still, until the Spirit of Christ had completely overcome that way of thinking out of which the offence proceeded.

When Jesus with His abashed disciple had returned into: the circle of the Twelve, He continued His discourse, without any further rebuke of the particular offence of Peter. He knew that the idealistic worldliness of mind, the higher chiliasm, which had misled Peter into this error, was still alive also in the other disciples. He therefore addressed a categorical appeal to all,—an appeal to which, in addition to the apostles, He summoned also His other adherents who were standing near (Mark 8:34),—in which He declared that only they were His disciples who were ready to follow after Him and to suffer with Him. ‘They were definitively required now to decide whether they would accept the suffering Messiah and share His lot. ‘If any man will come after Me (i.e, be My disciple), let him deny himself, take up his across,28 and follow after Me,’ The third clanse is not a mere repetition of the first. It brings out into prominence the innermost vital thought of discipleship. The first duty of the disciple is to deny himself; in the decided confession of his Master, clean to give up, and no more mention or know, his own selfish purposes and ways. The second is, to be ready daily to bear with contentment the lot of that particular cross which is prepared for him in this following after Jesus. The third is, that he in no case step before his Master, and that he just as little slink on behind Him, but that he follow Him with decided resolution. It was as if Jesus had meant already now to point forward to the danger in which the disciples, especially Peter, were of denying Him, if they were not minded to deny their own selves. That solemn word about the cross Jesus was now speaking for the second time (see Matt. 10); and thus He also, with a little modification which was completely in accordance with the case now before Him, stated afresh a maxim which He had already before given utterance to: ‘ Whoever will save his soul (ψυχήυ)—whoever is bent upon rescuing from the storm of carrying the cross the soul of his life, or the life of his soul, so far as his soul is not yet living in the Spirit, the idealism of his unspiritual soul, or what seems to him in his unconverted state as happiness— shall lose his happiness; but whoever for Christ's sake loses his soul’s life shall find it.’ The happiness of a false idealism he gives up; the happiness of his true ideality, of his real destination, he finds. For through the sacrifice of that beauteous world of his he gains his freedom, and in his freedom finds again his life. This thought Christ expresses in that noble word, ‘What doth it profit a man if he might gain the whole world, and should for it lose or forfeit his soul, himself?’ This does not merely express the position: A man may in such wise strive after the earthly that he shall lose the eternal, shall receive hurt in his soul. The matter rather stands thus:—As he must give up his soul's life for his soul's life, so must he give up his world for his world. In his natural idealism he seeks somehow in an earthly fashion to gain the whole world, and therein he seeks his soul's happiness. He gains it not in this mood of mind ; God's ordering of things provides for that. But if he were able thus entirely to gain his soul, yet he would thereby have wholly corrupted and lost it; for he would be the slave of the whole world: the pleasure and the sorrow of the whole world would consume him. He must therefore lose, as the soul’s life of his earthly idealism, so also the object thereof, the outward world, in order that he may again wholly gain himself. The cross he will find’ helpful to him for this end; and he is therefore blessed if he conforms his views to the lot of the cross. As he has first wholly lost the old world for Christ's sake, so has he in Christ gained a new world,

If, however, he has lost his soul in the illusory notion that at this price he is gaining the world, then he has lost also the world—he has lost all. And can he then himself again redeem his soul, which he has given up for the world as its purchase-money ? He cannot, mainly, because he has not really gained even the world, but at the best a mere phantom of the world, and therefore in any case a sham good, which has an infinitely lower value than his soul; so that he is in reality absolutely bankrupt, and has nothing that he might be able again to pay as an equivalent (ἀντάλλαγμςα) in exchange for his soul. He has lost his freedom, and can no more rescue himself.29

The disciples therefore behoved now to be prepared to sacrifice the world in order to gain their soul. They behoved to be prepared to break with that spirit of the times which was now about to condemn their Lord,—to break, therefore, with the generation which was already now proving itself to be an ‘adulterous generation,’ i.e., a generation fallen from its allegiance to Jehovah. This is what Jesus so solemnly says to them in the words, ‘Whosoever is ashamed of Me and of My words before this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall also the Son of man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of the Father with the holy angels.” This word is a repetition in a stronger form—which, however, is called forth by the circumstances—of the former word of Jesus respecting the confession of His name, which we have in Matt. 10:32.

As soon as the Lord began to make to His disciples the definite disclosure of His passion, He announced to them also the future of glory which awaited Him. And now was also the proper time for this announcement; for the disciples were not to be allowed to think that their hopes of the glory of the Messiah and of the Messianic kingdom had been a mere illusory phantom, ‘Their faith in the prophecies relating to the Messiah behoved now to be developed into a definite shape, in the most distinct knowledge of the truth, that through suffering Christ would enter into His glory.

With this consolation He sought to allay the feelings of consternation which His solemn disclosure was calenlated to call forth in their minds. When He should ‘come again in His glory’ (He told them), then would He ‘recompense’ them for well-doing.

But, however, He was able also to add yet another special promise to calm their minds, and to strengthen them under the weakness which made them tremble before the approaching catastrophe : ‘Verily I say unto you, Some of those who stand here shall not taste death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom,’ or (according to another account) ‘until they see the kingdom of God coming in its power.ʼ

These words do not, as some imagine, announce that certain of the disciples would not die before they had seen the Messiah appearing at the end of time to judge the world. Apart from the consideration that it was not possible that Christ should be so mistaken as to give such a promise, we observe that if His word be taken in this sense, it would be simply a form, altogether too indirect a form, of expressing the promise, that some were not to die at all. For after Christ's coming to judge the world, there surely cannot any more be any death for His disciples. ‘The appearing of Christ in the glory of His kingdom in the midst of His disciples, is a fact which does not wait for the end of the world, but ensues forthwith upon the resurrection. ‘This is confirmed by the expressions in Mark and Luke. With the resurrection of Christ commences the beginning of the kingdom of God; for His resurrection brings in His coming in the power of the Holy Ghost. The meaning, therefore, of Jesus’ words is the following: We are not all of us to die at once ; some of those who stand here shall not die before they have gained a sight of the kingdom of glory, through the appearing in their midst of the Risen One. The Lord might have said, Only two of this company will die before the commencement of that glory. The one of these was Himself, the other Judas. But He chose rather to say, Some shall not taste death, in order to measure out to them just that measure of fear and of hope which they required.



In reference to the observations of Strauss assailing the historical character of Jesus’ predictions of His death and resurrection, see above, vol. i. p. 412. Compare also Ebrard, p. 341 [and an admirable note by Alford on Matt. xvi. 21]. Ebrard rightly combats the supposition, that if we are not disposed to ascribe to Jesus an omniscient foresight of all the circumstances of His passion, we must conceive of Him as guessing certain of those circumstances from certain passages of the Old Testament, torn from their proper connection. He observes, in opposition to that view, that the whole history of Israel’s development is one large prophecy and typical prefigurement of Christ. Nevertheless, the fact that Jesus and His disciples did, in the most diversified manner, find individual features of His sufferings prefigured in the Old Testament by the Spirit which inspired the Old Testament, is surely not brought out into sufficient prominence by the remark which he adds, ‘that it was only through the divine guidance that it happened in the details, that many features of the sufferings of Old Testament believers were even in particular circumstances reproduced in the history of Jesus.’ That Jesus was able distinctly to foresee and to foretell His death and resurrection, is brought out with much sagacity in the above cited work of Hasert. Yet even Hasert assumes that we must regard the obscurer predictions of this kind which we have in John as the authentic ones; whilst, on the other hand, he is disposed to explain the more definite form of the disclosures which we have in the synoptic Gospels, from the compendious form in which these Evangelists record His obscurer intimations (pp. 73-75). The same view is found again in various shapes among Church divines; it has gained a considerable respectability. But if we consider the relations of the several particulars of our Lord’s history to the surrounding circumstances, this view loses all foundation. We find that it was only in the most confidential manner, and on occasions in which it was quite necessary, that Jesus disclosed to the disciples with positive distinctness what lay before Him at Jerusalem. We find, further, that He made these disclosures to them in a clearly marked gradation, which was perfectly called for by the several situations. This gradation is found in the varying character of the following passages: Matt. 16:21, 17:22, 23, 20:18,19, 26:2. As to the motive leading to these different disclosures, this cannot fail to offer itself from the simple representation which we have given of the situations. ‘That these definite disclosures are wanting in John, is explained from the plan of his Gospel, in which it formed no part to communicate the particular circumstances referred to as leading to those disclosures. ‘The obscure predictions in John were likewise in perfect correspondence to the situations in which they were uttered, in so far as Jesus uttered them before persons standing at a greater distance from Him, or in larger assemblages, or not. in the form of categorical disclosures, but in connection with other disclosures.



1) Dan. vii. 13; Joel iii. 3. Stier (ii. 297) is of opinion that these passages do riot speak of any miraculous Messianic signs in the heavens. But it is plain from the context that nothing else can be intended.

2) Matt. xxiv. 30.

3) Von Ammon (ii. p. 235) considers it probable that ʻeconomical occasions—fishing or traffic had made this voyage necessary.ʼ

4) Comp. Stier, ii. 301.

5) On the difference between this Bethsaida in the north-east and the other on the west of the sea, see Ebrard.

6) [But those born blind can attain to far more accurate knowledge than the distinction between men and trees. And even supposing that in the days of our Lord there was no special teaching of the blind, every blind person must be supposed to have a pretty accurate idea of objects so common and so accessible to the organ of touch as men and trees. ED.]

7) In reference to the gradual character of the healing in this case, we are neither disposed, with Olshausen, to explain it by supposing that the Lord meant to provide against the sudden light giving pain to the patient s eyes, nor with Ebrard (p. 339) to refer it to a weakness of faith on the man s part. [But if the miracle was wrought gradually only for the sake of the effect which would thus be produced on the by standers, is it not more likely that the effect intended was, that the disciples should understand that the working of the Lord was often gradual? This lesson was at least appropriate at this stage of their own enlightenment, when they were taken apart for the express purpose of learning that as yet they themselves only saw men as trees walking, and needed much further illumination, especially regarding the person and future of their Lord.—ED.]

8) [A detailed description of Paneas or Banias is given by Robinson, iii. 406, &c. Paneas and Bethsaida Julias are mentioned together by Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 2, 1, and Bell. Jud. ii. 9, 1.—ED.]

9) Von Ammon (ii. 209) says: ʻHe wishes Simon joy of this view of his.ʼ

10) See the able comparison which Stier (ii. 317) makes between this passage and Paul s statements in Gal. i

11) Strauss, i. p. 497.

12) It is in fact clear, that in our present passage it is presupposed that Simon already bears the name of Peter. ʻThere (John i. 43), in reference to the presence of Him who should come, "Thou art Simon," but prophetically in reference to the future, "Thou shalt be called (shalt become and be) Peter." Now very differently, "Thou art now Peter, as thou art named." Stier, ii. 317.

13) See Olshausen on the passage.

14) Stier, ii. 321. Christ is here not announcing beforehand a congregation which was afterwards to be built up. The building is eve now commencing.

15) See Olshausen on the passage.

16) Therefore, here, the ἐκκλησία is not (as Olshausen says it is) equivalent to the βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.. Stier (ii. 824) quotes from Richter as follows :—‘The Church has the keys of the kingdom ; for it is the institution by which we enter into the kingdom : Christ builds upon Peter, not His kingdom, but His Church, which is not the, but only a, phenomenal form of Christianity.’ This statement is well founded, as long as we regard this one phenomenal form as the form which belongs to time in distinction from the eternal one.

17) The arguments against the Papacy which are found in the utterances of Peter himself, are put together in a very striking manner by Stier, ii, 818. It is further especially deserving of notice, how the apostle himself characterizes Christ as the real foundation-stone of the Church, and all Christians as those who, by contact with this Living Stone—that is, in union with this Petra—become Peters, among whom the one Peter gladly loses himself in the common relation of all to that Foundation stone (1 Pet. ii. 4,5). From Christ, as the proper Foundation-stone, proceeds the influence which makes Peters both of Simon and of all the members of the Church;—not, however, a petrifaction into death, but into life. Petrus ipse, quasi interpretans nomen suum, Christum quidem appellat lapidem vivumi, hoc est, vivificantem, et cos qui ad eum accedunt, lapides vivos, hoc est, vivilieatos, Cucceius, Er. Matth. c. xvi. § 7.

18) See V. Ammon, ii. p. 292; Stier, ii, 522.

19) See above, Part iv., sect. 6, the explanation of the expression, τὰ. ἐπιγεια.

20) Here we have the singular .ὅ, in Matt. xviii. 18 the plural ὅσα. We might, it is true, refer the first neuter immediately to persons ; but since the phraseology even in the plural is still neuter, it seems necessary to refer the expression directly to things,—to things, however, so far as they exhibit themselves in certain classes of persons.

21) The explanations of the words bind and loose in this passage are very different. Bretschneider, in his Lexicon, understands, under the term δέω directly, uniting a man with the Christian Church; under λύω, excluding him from it.” Olshausen refers both expressions to the custom of primitive times, of tying up a door to fasten it, and of untying the fastening to open it, Stier will fain join this reference to the custom of the ancients with another reference to rabbinical phraseology having its origin in the Old Testament, ‘according to which bind and loose are equivalent to forbid and allow, and also in particular, retain and remit sin.’ Von Ammon, after Lightioot and Schöttgen, finds in binding and loosing a threefold force: (1.) the authority to pronounce anything permitted or not permitted; (2.) the authority, in consequence, of holding a deed guilty or innocent ; (3.) the authority of pronouncing a sentence of excommunication and of canceling it again (ii, 293). Manifestly, however, Christ's word refers immediately only to the third, the judgment of the society, since here the keys of the kingdom of heaven are the matter spoken of; although this judgment of the society, as a spiritual judgment, must always likewise include the first determination of what is allowed or forbidden, and the second, of guilt and innocence, And therefore, as it seems to us, the expression which Christ uses must be referred immediately to that view of things which is above indicated as found in the Old Testament, and only therein can it find its adequate explanation, [Meyer remarks, that though λύειν ἀμαρτ. may mean to forgive sin, there is no such usage as δίειν ἀμαρτ. What Alford adds to this, ‘that it is not the sin but the sinner that is bound,’ is both unnecessary and hasty; for if there were such a usage, it would be very intelligible to speak of a man's sin being bound to him, as a thing of which he cannot be rid, but must answer for as his own sin, Meyer is of opinion that the expression is equivalent to that in common use among the Jews, signifying, ‘to forbid and allow,’ and refers it to the legislative power of the Church. This is probably the right interpretation ; but Josephus, Bell. Jud. i. 5, 2, can scarcely be cited in confirmation.—ED.]

22) Comp, Isa. xx. 21, 22.

23) We shall revert to this point further on.

24) It is a decidedly pettifogging either, or, when a ‘critic’ assumes that Jesus must have got the foresight of His suffering either out of the Old Testament, or else through the supernatural faculty of independent prescience.

25) See Hasert, Ucber die Vorhersagungen Jesu von seinem Tode und seiner Auferstchung, p. 46.

26) See Matt. xvi. 7; John iv, 88, xi, 12.

27)  See John vi, 70; Matt. xv, 15, 17; John xi. 11, comp. ver. 16.

28) ʻDaily,’ it is in Luke ; an addition which explains the meaning of the word.

29) Thus, assuredly, the explanation is given of the difficult passage ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ, on which Hitzig (über Joh. Mark, p. 24) pronounces the judgment, ‘Words which no one has yet understood, and no one can understand,’ As a reason for this judgment is stated the following, that ἀντάλλαγμα does not denote purchase money or ransom, but that which is exchanged for something else. ‘The price which one pays is the ἅλλαγμα, the counter-price which one receives is the ἀντάλλαγμα. How then can one give an ἀντάλλαγμα instead of receiving it? But one really ean do 80 in the case where the sale is to be cancelled back. Then one makes the ἀντάλλαγμα again the ἅλλαγμα, and the ἅλλαγμα which has been paid down, one receives back as an ἀντάλλαγμα, This surely may happen in external businesses. But when a man has given up his soul fur a sham phantom of the world and then would fain cancel the sale back again, what can he then pay down as an ἀντάλλαγμα received for his soul? The sentence gives, therefore, a good sense, which is brought to light by Hitzig’s very remark, ‘The reading in the Gospel of Mark found in the St Gall MS. τί γὰρ ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὑτοῦ, which Hitzig commends, certainly gives an easier sense, and would therefore be preferable if the common reading gave no sense at all. But as the sense of this last is only to be regarded as the more difficult one, we are only following a recognized principle of Criticism in preferring it. Hitzig considers that, in the passage before us, it is nut yet presupposed that the man is trying to get back from another’s land his soul already lost. But as the sentence τί δώσει, κ.τ.λ., integrates the sentence τί γὰρ ὠφελήσει by the ἥ, surely both sentences may be understood as referring to the same presupposed case which has been expressed with the words τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὑτοῦ ζημιωθῇ. [But really there is no necessity whatever to follow Hitzig in any such mistaken statement. There is no such distinetion maintained as he supposes between the simple and compound word. Where the simple word itself expresses exchange, no steh distinetion is in any ease maintained (cf. λυτρον and ἀντίλυτρον). And if one cannot give an ἀντάλλαγμα, then what becomes of the statement of Ahab, δώσω σοι ἀργύριον ἀντάλλαγμα, κ.τ.λ., 1 Kings xxi, 2?—ED.]