Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4.djvu/425

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CORINTHIANS


369


CORINTHIANS


ihing their disobedience. Some say he terrifies by otters which "are weighty and strong; but his bodily resencc is wealv, and his speech contemptible". Let jch a one understand that such as he is in his Epistle, i will he be when present. (2) He will not pretend, as ley do, to be greater than he is, nor will he exalt him- ■If by other men's labours. (3) He asks pardon for viking like a worldly-minded man. It is to counteract le influence of the pseudo- Apostles. He jealously uards the Corinthians lest they be deceived as Eve as by the serpent. (4) If the new-comers brought lem anything lietter in the way of religion, he could nderstanii their submission to their dictatorship. ')) He is not inferior to those superlative Apostles. F his s]ieech Is rude, his knowledge is not. He hum- led himself amongst them, and did not exact support

I order to gain them. Tlie false Apostles profess a ke disinterestedness; but they are deceitful work- len transforming themselves into Apostles of Jesus hrist. And no wonder: for Satan transformed him-

lf into an angel of light, and they imitate their mas-
r. They make false insinuations against the Apos-

e. (6) He, too, will glorj- a little (speaking like a )olish worldly person, in order to confound them), hey boast of natural advantages. He is not inferior 5 them in any ; but he far surpasses them in his suf-

rings for the propagation of the Gospel, in his super-

atural gifts, and in the miraculous proofs of his .postleship at Corinth, "in aU. patience, in signs, and 'onders, and mighty deeds". The Corinthians have

II that other Churches had except the burden of his i|5port. He asks them to pardon him that injury, icitlicr he nor Titus nor any other of his friends over- cached them. He writes thus lest he should come gain in sorrow. He threatens the unrepentant.

Unilu of the Second Epistk. — Whilst the Pauline uthorship is universally acknowledged, the same innot be said for its unity. Some critics hold that it onsists of two Epistles, or portions of Epistles, by t. Paul; that the first nine chapters belong to one Ipistle, and the last four to another. As these two sctions are held to have been written by St. Paul, acre appears to be nothing in this view that can be lid to be in opposition to the Catholic doctrine of ispiration. But the hj'pothesis is very far from eing proved. Nay more, on account of the argu- lents that can be alleged against it, it can scarcely be ?gardeil as probable. The principal objection against \ie unity of the Epistle is the difference of tone in the ivo sections. This is well stated and answered by the 'atholic scholar Hug ("Introduction", tr. by Wait, lOndon, 1S27, p. 392): "It is moreover objected how iffercnt is the tone of the first part, mild, ami.able, fleet ionate, whereas the third part is severe, vehe- lent, and irrespectively castigatory. But who on bis account would divide Demosthenes' oration De 'onmd into two parts, because in the more general efence placidity and circumspection predominate rhile on the other hand, in abashing and chastizing he accuser, in the parallel between him and ^Eschines, rords of bitter irony gush out impetuously and fall kc niin in a storm." This argument is referred to rith approval by Meyer, Comely, and Jacquier. )thcrs have explained the difference of tone by sup- losing that when the finst nine chapters were finished resh news of a disagreeable kind arrived from Cor- ith, and that this led St. Paul to a<ld the la.st four hapters. In the same way the parenthetical section vi. H, vii, 2), which seems to have been inserted as an ftertliought. can be explained. It was added, ac- ording to Bernard, to prevent a misconception of he expression u.sed in vi, 11, 13, "our heart is en- jtrged ... be you also enlarged", which in the O. T. lad tlie Ijad meaning of being too free with infidels. !t. Paul's manner of writing has also to be taken into <^count. In this, as in his other Epistles, he speaks s a preacher who now addresses one portion of his IV.— 24.


congregation, now another, as if they were the only persons present, and that without fear of being mis- understood. Dr. Bernard thinks that the difference of tone can be sufficiently accounted for on the sup- position that the letter was written at different sit- tings, and that the writer was in a different mood ow- ing to ill-health or other circvmistanees. The other objections brought against the unity of the Epistle are ably refuted bj' the same author, whose argmnent may be briefly sinumarized as follows: The last section, it is said, begins verj' abruptly, and is loosely connected with the previous one by the particle 5^. But there are several other instances in the Epistles of St. Paul where transition is made in precisely the same way. In the last part, it is objected, people in open rebellion are tlenounced, whereas that is not the case in the first portion. Still, there is clear reference in the first sec- tion to persons who accused him of being fickle, arro- gant, brave at a distance, etc. One of the strongest arguments against the integrity is that there are sev- eral verses in the first nine chapters which seem to presuppose an equal number of passages in the second, and the contention is that the last section is a portion of an earlier Epistle. But on closer examination of each passage this connexion is seen to be only appar- ent. On the other hand, there are at least as many passages in the last part which clearly and unmistak- ably look back to and presuppose verses in the first. It is remarkable, moreover, that the only extant frag- ments of the supposed two Epistles should fit so well. It has also been urged that the First Epistle is not "painful" enough to account for statements in the Second. But a close examination of i, 11, 14; ii, 6; iii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 18; iv, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19; y, etc., of the First Epistle, will show that this objection is qviite un- founded. The linguistic unity between the two por- tions of the Epistle is very great; and many examples can be given to show that the two sections were always integral portions of one whole. The evidence afforded by early manuscripts, translations, and quotations points strongly in the same direction.

Orgaxization of the Church at Corinth as Ex- hibited IX THE Two Epistles. — There is nothing in either Epistle which enables us to say what was the precise nature of the organization of the Church at Corinth. In I Cor., xii, 28, we read: "And God in- deed hath set some in the ch\irch; first apostles, sec- ondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that (the gift of] miracles; then the graces [charismata] of healings, helps, governments [or wise counsels], kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. Are all apostles? . . .Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of heal- ing?" From the whole context it is clear that this passage is nothing else than an enumeration of extraor- dinary gifts, and that it has no bearing whatsoever on church government. The word apnsllc is probably used here in its broad sense, not as meaning the Apos- tles of Jesus Christ, but the apostles of the Church. If it is meant to include the former, then the reference is not to their ruling power, but to their supernatural gifts, upon which the whole argument turns. St. Paul thanked God that he spoke with all their tongues. Barnabas is called an apostle (Acts, xiv, 4, 13). In 1 1 Cor. , viii, 23, St. Paul calls his messengers " the apos- tles of the churches". (Compare Rom., xvi, 7: Apoc, ii, 2.) The Didache, or "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles", which is probably a work of the first cen- tury, has the statement that if an apo.stle remains till tlie third day claiming support , he is to be regarded as a false prophet. It also says that every true teacher and true prophet is worthy of his support; and it gives one of the rules for detecting a false prophet. "Prophets and doctors" are referred to in Acts, xiii, 1. It Ls extremely probable that St. Paul had organ- ized the Church at Corinth during his long stay there as carefully as he had previously done in Galatia ("and when they had ordained to them priests in