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that countrey? We just now observed passages of Origen, Epiphanius, Grégorie Nazianzen, Jerome, Chryfoftom, relating to St. Peter's travels, But none have mentioned Babylon, as -a place, where he traveled, and preached the gospel.
Says Mr. Beaufobre: “ As (z) Peter was the Apostle of the Jews se scattered abroad among the Gentils, St. James having stayed in Judea, s he went to Babylon, where a great number of the Israelites had re: - mained.” But may I not take the liberty to ask a question, and say: Who assigned to these Apostles those several provinces, with such limitations ? St. James staid in Judea. It is allowed. We are certain of it from the histoire in the Acts. Nevertheless he did not confine his regards to the Jews in the land of Israel. For he wrote an epiftle, addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. And if Peter_alfo was an A. postle, chiefly, of the circumcision; it was not of those only, who were in Gentil countreys, but of those likewise, who were in Judea: where, as I apprehend, he spent the greatest part of his life, even after our Saviour's ascension.
Mr. Beaufobre says, “ Peter went to Babylon, where a great number of Israelites had remained.” That is, he imagined, that he did fo. And it was fit for him so to do. As Basnage, in a passage (r) cited not long ago, says: “ There was a multitude of Jews in Allyria, where was Babylon. Nor could he any where inore successfully execute bis apóstolical commission." And because we imagine, that Peter might very fitly preach: the gospel in Assyria, we conclude, that he went thither. But duch reasonings, if calmly considered, are of no weight. It would be much better to allege come ancient testimonies, in behalf of St. Peter's Journey into Affyria, or Parthia.
Mr. Wetstein thinks, that St. Peter's first epistle was writ in the countrey of Babylon, in Mesopotamia. As there is somewhat new in his argument, I place below (b) a large part of it. In particular, he says, thrát
Negant enim, Petrum Romæ fuiffe : quod teftatur antiquitas. Affirmant autem Babylone fuisse, vel in Ægypto, vel in Chaldæa.. Quod nulla prodit historia. Ef. in i Pet. v. 13.
(2) Comme il étoit l'Apôtre des Juifs dispersez parmi les Payens, S. Jacques étant demueré en Judée, il alla à Babylone, et dans les provinces soilines; ou il étoit resté un bon nombre d'Israelites. Hijt. de Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T. i. p. 181.
(a) See p. 452. note (x).
6) Cur Babylon in Italia potius, aut Ægypto, quam in Mesopotamia, fit quærenda, cauflam non video. Veteres quidem Romam intelligunt. Quod recentiores observant, Babylonem proprie dictam, quo tempore Petrus hæc fcribebat, habitatam r.on fuiffe, verum eft, At (preterquam quod et Stephano Byzantino et Lucano constat, etiam Seleuciam eo tempore nomine Babylonis fuisse appellatam,) possumus Babylonem interpretari non urbem, fed totam regionem. ... Huic observationi addo aliam, quæ licet mihi nunc primum in mentem venerit, fuum tamen apud me pondus habet. Nimirum bi de pluribus vel provinäis vel urbibus loquimur, vel ubi ad plures fcribimus, ordini naturæ convenientius et fimplicius videtur, ut incipiamus non
when a person writes to the people of several cities, or countreys, it is natural to begin with that which is nearest to him. So does Paul. Col. iv. 3. and St. John in Patmos. Rev. i. and ii. The like order, tays he, is also accurately observed by St. Peter, if he wrote from Mesopotamia, not if we suppose him to have writ from Italie, or Egypt.
But such observations, though ingenious and plausible, are not demonftrative and decisive, even when they are juft and right. Which cannot be said of this. For fuppofing St. Peter to have been in Mefopota. mia, the country, nearest to him, would be Cappadocia, as lying more eastward, and nore southward, than the two first named Certainly Pontus and Galatia were farther off from Mesopotamia, than Cappadocia
. The truth is : St. Peter begins at the north, and so goes round. And that way of beginning does as well suit Rome, as Babylon, so far as I can fee.
Beside all this, there offers an argument, which appears to me deci. sive. If the Assyrian Babylon was not now subject to the Romans, tut to (c) the Parthians : which I suppose to be allowed by all: it cannot ie the place, intended by St. Peter. For the people, to whom he writes, were subject to the Romans. And at the time of writing this epiftle he must have been within the territories of the fame Empire. I ep. il. 13 14. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's lake: whether it be to the king, or rather Emperour, as formerly (a) thewn, as jiepreme: or unto Governours sent, (from Rome,) by him, for the puniftriert of evil-deers, and for the pruise of them that do well
. Again, ver. 17. Hsnor the King : or rather, the Emperour. If Su eter had not now been within the Roman territories, he would have been led to express himlelf in a different manner, when he enforced obedience to the Roman Em. perour
This argument appears to me very obvious. And yet I do not know, that it has ever been thought of by any before. which makes me almost suspect the validity of it: though I cannot discern, where the leo feet lies.
St. Peter requires subjection to Governours, fent by the Emperous : un. doubtedly, meaning from Rome. I suppose, that way of speaking might be properly used in any part of the Empire. But it might have a special propriety, if the writer was then at Rome. Where indeed, in all probability, Peter then was.
4. So that we are now come to the fourth opinion concerning the date of this epistle. Which is, that by Babylon St. Peter figuratively means
ab ea, quæ loquentibus vel scribentibus eft remotiffima, sed proxima. Hunc ordinem fervavit Paulus Col. iv. 13. et Joannes ex Patmo. Apoc. i. et n. Hunc ordinem accurate fervavit etiam Petrus, fi fcripfit ex Mesopotamia, minime autem, fi vel ex Ægypto, vel ex Italia, eum fcripfiffe existimemus. Werfein, in 2 Pet. v. 13. Tom. 2. p. 197. 698.
(c) Vid. Sirat. l. 16. p. 1081, in al. p. 745.
(d) See the first part of this work. Book in ch. 2. go xi. near the end. Of p. 176. of the ehird edition.
Rome. This is the opinion of (e) Grotius, and (f) Whitby, and (c) Valesius, and all the learned writers of the Roman communion in
These have, confessedly, in their favour, the testimonie of antiquity. Which is no small advantage.
Eusebius' having given an account of St. Mark's Gospel, and of it's having been writ at the request of St. Peter's hearers at Rome, adds : “And (b) it is said, that Peter mentions this Mark in his first epistle, & which, they say, he wrote at Rome: and that himself calls that city “ Babylon figuratively in those words: the church that is at Babylon falutés
you, as does Mark my son.”
This interpretation some suppose Eusebius to ascribe to Papias. But (i) Spanheim denies it. And perhaps it is not certain. Whether Papias faid so, or not, it was the prevailing opinion in the time of Eusebius.
Jerome in his book of Illustrious Men, in his article of St. Mark, transcribes the just cited paflage of Eusebius, but expresseth himself more positively. " Peter (k) makes mention of this Mark in his first epiftle, figuratively denoting Rome by the name of Babylon. The church which is at Babylon, elected together with you, faluteth you, as does Mark my fon."
(c) De Babylone dissident veteres et novi interpretes. Veteres Romam interpretantur, ubi Petrum fuisse nemo verus Chriftianus dubitabit. Novi Babylonem in Chaldæa. Ego veteribus assentior. Nam quod Romam Babylonem vocavit, non in hoc tantum ferviit, ut fi deprehenderetur epiftola, non poffet inde fciri, quibus in locis viveret. Verum etiam. Congruentias plurimas inter Babylonem et Romam vide Orofii ii. 2. 3. 4. Grol. ad i Pet. v. 13.
(f) See him upon i Pet. v. 13.
(3) Romam Petrus figurate Babylonem vocavit, vel ob magnitudinem et potentiam, vel propter impietatem... Poteft etiam alia ratio hujus cognominis afferri, quod fcilicet ut Babylonii judæos in fervitutem redege. rant, fic Romani" tunc Judæos ditioni fuæ subjeciffent. Sunt qui in dieta Petri epiftola Babylonis nomine non Romam, fed Babylonem ipfam, quae caput fuit Assyriorum, defignari contendunt. Verum hi omnium veterum patrum teftimonio refelluntur. Valef. Annot. ad Eufeb. H. E. I. 2. c. 15. p. 33. (0) Τα δε μάρκα μνημονίυειν τόν σίτρoν εν τη προτίρα επιςολή, ήν και συντάξα»
à φασιν επ' αυτής ρώμης σημαινειν τε τατ' αυτόν την πόλιν τροπικώτερον βαβυλώνα, προσειπόντα δια τύτων Αστιάζεται υμάς ή έν βαβυλώνι συνεκλεκτή, και μάρκος vrés pt. Euf. H. E. I. 2. c. 15.
(i) Atqui primus omnium Eusebius narrationi de Marco hæc fubjungit: Ele, qui dicerent Romam figurate Babylonem appellari..: Nec tamen Papiz iph adscribi eam interpretationem, quicquid vulgo fentiant; Valesio ipfo verba hæc a prioribus fejungente, fupra demonftratum eft. Vid. P. num. xii. Spanheim. Dir. de fiaa Profea. Petri ad Rom. Part. it. num. ii. Tom. 2. p. 375:
(1) Meminit hujus Marci et Petrus in epistola prima, fub nomine Babylonis figuraliter Romam figuificans: falutat vos que ia Babylone ea, coelecta, et Marcus filius meus, De 1. Lo capi vii.
Bede (1) by Babylon understood Rome, as did (m) Oecumenius. However, it may be here properly recollected, that (n) formerly we saw an author, Colmas of Alexandria, in the sixth centurie, who hereby seems to have understood Babylon in Affyria.
This opinion concerning the place of writing this epistle is much confirmed by the general tradition of the ancients, that St. Mark's Gospel was writ at Rome, at the request of Peter's hearers, and that Mark here mentioned is the Evangelift. Nor is this contradicted by Cosmas, but confirmed by him. For he expressly says, “ that (0) Mark, the lecond Evangelist, wrote his Gospel' at 'Rome by the direction of Peter.”
They (P) who reject this interpretation, affect to fight Papias: whereas there is no good reason for it. If he said so, certainly his testimonie would be of some value. But we do not clearly perceive, that this was in Papias. However, it is said by Eusebius. It was then a common opinion. Nor did he know of a better.
Others infinuate likewise, that (q) the reason, why Jerome was willing to confound Rome with Babylon, was, that he was out of humour with the people of Rome.' Which seems to me to be groundless. Jerome only transcribes what he had found in Eusebius. They who reject the accounts of those two learned ancients should by all means produce some evidence, that Peter was in Mesopotamia. We have good assurance, that St. Mark's Gospel was writ at Rome, and that Peter preached, and suffered martyrdom there. His two epistles therefore, probably, were writ in the same city, a short time before the period of his life.
Mill-varies. In his note upon the place he is for Babylon in Egypt: But in his Prolegomena (r) he is for Rome, and argues well
(?) Babylonem typice Romam dicit, videlicet propter confufioncm multiplicis idololatriæ. &c. Bed, expos: 1 Pet. v. 13.
(m) Βαβυλώνα δε την ύμην δια το περιφανές καλεί, ο και Βαβυλών πολλά χρόνια downxe. Oecum. in loc. 70m. 2. p. 526. A. (n) See Vol. *. p. 275. and 283.
) See Vol. xi. p. 267, and the first volume of this Supplement. p. 178. w Quod fi, ut Rufinus interpretatur, tefte Papia nititur, intirmo fane tibicine fultum est. Nec temere ad tropum in nominibus urbium aut regionum est recurrendum, nisi ubi propria vocis significatio locum habere non poteft. Wetstein. N. T. Tom. 2. p. 697.
(2) C'est une imagination de Papias, que les anciens ont adopté avec trop de facilité, et que S. Jerome auroit rejettée avec mepris, fi dans la mauvaise humeur ou il étoit contre Rome, il n'eût été bien aise de la confondre avec Babylone. Beauf. His. Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T. 1. p. 181.
(r) Romæ eam scriptam fuiffe notant ex traditione Veterum Eusebius, Hieronymus in Catalogo, et alii permulti. Hanc enim Babylonis nomine defignatam voluit Petrus, ceu communi tuin temporis apud Judæos fuos appellatione. Quæ quidem et in hunc usque diem apud eos obtinet. Abarbi. nel, aliique recentiores Judæi, commentantes in prophetias de Babylone, ad Romam iftas referunt: quod ficut a Babyloniis olim in fervitutem redacti fue. rint, ita poftea jam a Romanis. &c. Proleg. num. 59. 60.
enough for that opinion. I suppose, that to be his final determination.
It may be best for me now to conclude this argument with a part of Whitby's note upon 1 Pet. v, 13. which is very agreeable also to the note of Eftius upon the same text." That Babylon is figuratively here put “ for Rome, is an opinion so early delivered by Papias, and which after“ wards so generally prevailed, (as we learn from Eufebius, Jerome, and « Oecumenius,) that I subscribe to the note at the end of this epiitle,
igęcon dine góuns, it was written from Rome, ftiled allo Babylon by the « author of the Revelations. ch. xvii. and xviii. For the Apostle, at the a time of writing it, must be at Rome, figuratively, or at some city, pro“ perly, called Babylon. Now as it is uncertain, whether St. Peter ever
was at Babylon in Chaldea, or in Egypt, and improbable, that he " made any confiderable stay there : so it is very improbable, he « should do it, when near his end. At Rome, and Antioch, where "he confeffedly resided, church-historie is copious in giving an ac« count of his successors in those Sees. But who can shew any a thing of this nature, with reference to either of those Babylons? "&c. &c." IV. The only thing remaining to be observed by us is the
Their Time. time of writing these two epiftles. Which I think to be the year 63. or 64. or at the latest 65. I fuppofe, Paul to have left Rome in the spring of the year 63. St. Peter was not then come thither. If he had been there, he would have been mentioned by St. Paul in some of his epiftles, writ near the end of his imprisonment at Rome. Howe' ever, not very long after St. Paul was gone, St. Peter might come thi. ther. Here, I suppose, he preached for a while freely, and with great successe. And it appears to me probable, that both these epistles were writ at Rome, not long before the Apostle's death.
That he was old, and near his end, when he wrote the second epistle, is apparent from Ch. i. 14. And that the first epistle to the fame Chris tians had not been writ long before, may be argued from the apologie, which he makes for writing this second epistle to them. ch. i. ver. 13.
15. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by way of remembrance. Knowing, that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover, I will endeatour, that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
It is not unlikely, that soon after the Apostle had sent away Silvanus with the first epistle, some came from those countreys to Rome, where was a frequent and general resort from all parts, bringing him informations concerning the itate of religion among them. Which induced him to write a second time for the establishment of the Chriftians, among whom he had labored. And he might well hope, that his last words, and dying teftimonie to the doctrine, which he had received from Christ, and had taught for many years with unshaken stedfastnefle, would be of great weight with them.
V. I have now gone through the four inquiries, pro- Remarks upon poled at the begining of this article. I thall here add. 1 Pet. V. 13.